Why Jews Don’t Believe in the Trinity
The Jewish people as a distinct historic community do not believe in the trinity. Throughout history many Jews have chosen to die rather than accept a doctrine that deifies a human being.
Trinitarian Christians take offense at this Jewish position. These Christians do not consider themselves idolaters. They believe that Jesus is somehow “one and the same” as the God of Israel who the Jewish people worship. These Christians point to various passages in the Jewish Bible where God Himself appears in a limited manifestation. The presence of God in the Tabernacle and in the Temple, the presence of God in the burning bush seen by Moses, and the image that Ezekiel saw are all examples of manifestations of the Divine that took place in the limits of this world. These Christians argue that their belief in Jesus is just another example of a divine manifestation in a limited format.
This Christian argument is invalid. There are several ways of demonstrating that this Christian argument is without merit, but for the sake of brevity I will limit myself to one.
Worship is something that takes place in the human heart. Worship means submission. Submitting and surrendering oneself to the object of devotion. Something must serve to motivate the submission. What is it?
Now the human heart can be motivated into submission by a wide variety of factors. The beauty of a physical object, (real or imagined), can motivate a person into submission. The power of a natural force, (real or imagined), can generate feelings of worship and submission in a person’s heart. Various qualities that humans may possess, such as holiness, righteousness, self-sacrifice, wisdom, (real or imagined), can motivate submission towards the one who possesses these qualities.
All of these submissions would be idolatrous (I certainly recognize the distinction between respect, reverence and honor that is appropriate to be directed towards a human being – what I refer to here is that total and complete surrender of self that is only appropriate towards God).
The only submission that is not idolatrous is the submission of the created being towards its Creator – because He is my Creator.
When God appeared in the Tabernacle – the worship that ensued was motivated by the understanding that I now stand in the presence of the One who created me together with all of my fellow creations. The root of that worship in the human heart was the recognition that I owe everything to the One who created all.
The Christians read about Jesus as a human character in a book. The feelings that are generated towards this human character are motivated by qualities that this character seems to possess. The perceived righteousness of Jesus, his charisma, the aura of mystery he generates, his wisdom and his self-sacrifice motivate Christians to submit themselves in worship towards him.
This is not worship of the Creator.
The feelings in the Christian’s heart are not generated by the recognition that everything, including myself, belongs to the One Creator of all. All of the feelings of submission towards Jesus are entirely possible without believing in the Christian claims for the divinity of Jesus. If a Christian were to discover that Jesus is in fact not divine, would the feelings of submission towards Jesus immediately disappear? Of-course not!
The missionary argument that compares the Christian worship of Jesus with Israel’s worship of the One Creator of all is invalid.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal
That’s an interesting idea- that Jews worship G-d as the Creator, whereas Jesus is seen by many Christians as the manifestation of a suffering, selfless person, but theoretically can be separate from claims to his divinity.
But is that really the reason Jews cannot accept the trinity? Simply because the major ‘attractions’ to Jesus for many are his personal attributes, not claims to divinity?
I mean, many Christians presumably worship Jesus firstly because they believe he is the Creator. I imagine that is the problem right there- that as you wrote, no one at Sinai (or later) ever met or was introduced to Jesus on a national scale, the bible never commands us to worship the messiah, and so on.
As of this date, no one has yet qualified as the messiah obviously. Especially not in Jewish law. There are certain characteristics that you must have in order to qualify the role of the messiah, and no one to this day has done that…and those that have claimed to be the messiah (many in the world have claimed themselves to be with similar life styles and destinies) are also included in the “not qualifying as the true messiah” department. None yet or ever has been one yet is the truth and reality.
That’s a really interesting argument! That the reasons you worship something can determine whether or not it is idolatry. I wonder, If I were to worship God for His qualities i.e. slow to anger, abounding in love, showing mercy to thousands … (as God reveals His character to Moses in Exodus), would that be idolatry?
I’m not sure I agree though that Christians only worship Christ for His qualities. The apostle Thomas followed Jesus, believing he was a great man, but Thomas does not worship Jesus for his wisdom and miracles. In fact, he positively refused to believe in Jesus (see John 20:25). However, we read in John 20:28 that only when Thomas acknowledged Jesus as ‘My Lord and My God’ did he fall on his knees and worship Him. Further, you will find throughout history that any attempt to claim that Jesus is only a man (one example is Monophysitism that was common in the eastern Roman empire at 500 AD) has been vehemently rejected by the church, as it WOULD equal idolatry if Christ were worshipped in his manhood and not Godhood. Personally, I direct my prayers to God the father, as I believe that when the curtain in the temple (I’m sure you’re all familiar with that 😉 was torn in two, as Jesus died, it signified the fact that through Christ’s act we can be reconciled with God, calling him ‘abba’ and having relationship with Him. He can pray to God for the sake of what Jesus did. The curtain is now torn and nothing separates us from God (or he people from the holy of holies). We do not need priest intermediaries (or saints or Mary to intervene on our behalf), because Christ has done that once for all. If Jesus were not God, there would be no Christians. That is the basis of our faith, and the only ground for our worship.
Christianity also rejects that there is one God that sometimes manifests himself as the spirit, sometimes as Christ and sometimes as the Father. We can see in places like Isaiah 61:1, Luke 3:22 and even Genesis 1 (where we are introduced to God (the father), the Spirit of God (hovering over the waters) and the Word of God — the Christ). Clearly, if they can all be in the same place at the same time, there are three persons, not one person ‘morphing into different forms’. What I find to be the most convincing evidence of the trinity is the fact that, when God calls himself the One God as He does on a plethora of occasions), he uses the word ‘echad’ to mean ‘one’. He uses the same word when he speaks about the man and woman becoming one (echad) flesh. ‘Echad’ means ‘many making one’. By calling himself the echad God, God acknowledges that He is many persons composing the one God. Lastly, we know that the sinfulness of man separates us from God, and that because man had sinned and ruined God’s creation (starting with Adam), only man can rightly make recompense for that. Further, a sinful man cannot pay the price of a sinful man, so the man that pays the price for sin must be perfect. Only God is perfect. Thus, the only person that could possibly make amends for our sin, and reconcile us to God, is someone that is fully God and fully man. Only Jesus fits this description.
Who would have thought that the Messiah would come as the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 52?
Oh, lastly, Deb, what ARE the characteristics of the Messiah that Jesus fails to fulfil? I have read the Old Testament many times and the prophesies only ever serve to reaffirm my faith in how completely Jesus fulfils them.
Thanks! This is a really respectful forum and I am grateful for how candidly and earnestly all of you have presented your criticism of Christianity. Please keep researching, and seeking the truth! I was once Christianity’s biggest sceptic!
Except that it is acknowledged by every genuine scholar and archaeologist that the Pentateuch is nothing but historical fiction, so that leaves Jesus of Nazareth high and dry, I’m afraid.
Only because you would not accept someone as a “genuine scholar” who does not support your view. Its circular reasoning. Kind of like the theory of evolution. Only those who support Darwinism are accepted as “authentic scientists” by the Darwinist community. Welcome to the world of fundamentalism. You seem to have the basics down.
Actually Fred I eschew anyone who starts from a presuppositional basis and this includes atheists.
The evidence leads where the evidence leads and the Genome Project has pretty much killed off any more speculation about a primal couple, Adam and Eve, and science and archaeology has demonstrated that biblical stories such as Exodus and the Flood are nothing but part of the foundational myth.
It’s either accepting the findings of almost the entire scientific community
or siding with halfwits like Ken Ham, Ron Wyatt, William Lane Craig, Matt Slick etc and other creationist/fundamentalist dimwits.
I’ll stick with the guys and girls of science, thanks.
Arkenaten, you’ve come to the wrong place, then. This blog is a defense of Judaism against Christian misinformation. It’s not a debate between atheists and theists.
At least 75% of modern Jewry is secular and recognises that the Pentateuch is Historical Fiction, and this includes such people as David Wolpe.
Are you then one of the 20-25% that still believe Moses was a real person and that Noah did gather the animals two by two?
Surely not, Dina?
Arkenaten, 74% of Americans believe in God, including Francis Collins and 48% of Jews. Are you then one of the 26% of Americans who believe the universe meandered into existence all on its own?
Surely not, Arkenaten?
Actually I am not American. Deism is fine with ,ne. It doesn’t have any doctrine, noone is a sinner and no one goes to hell.
Anything else is stretching thins into fantasy.
So, all Jews recognize that Adam and Eve are allegorical. May I ask why you might consider Moses in a different light?
Arkenaten, it is not true that all Jews see Adam and Eve as allegorical.
Rabbi B., please accept my apologies for straying far afield. Please let me know if you would rather I did not continue this off-the-topic discussion. Thanks!
Really? Well you have already mentioned Francis Collins is I am sure you are aware of his work with the Genome Project, yes?And I hope you are aware of what the Project turned up regarding a bottleneck re: our species?
Thus, belief in an historical Adam and Eve is simply nonsense.
But you sound intelligent and I suspect you are merely baiting here and I am sure you don’t believe here was an original first Primal Couple so I am wondering why you intent on giving me a hard time?
I don’t know about the bottleneck; I’ll have to read about that.
I am not enamored of the attitude that anyone who believes the Bible is literally true is an idiot and moron.
Lots of extraordinarily brilliant and intelligent people throughout history have believed it down to our own time.
The overwhelming majority of Orthodox Jews believe in the literal truth of the Torah. To assume that they are all unintelligent is ridiculous.
Basically, the Genome Project established that humanity could not have derived from a single Primal Couple.
Of course, Young Earth Creationists etc likely consider this some sort of global atheist plot,which strikes me as more than a bit silly, don’t you?
Anyone who believes the bible is literally true is either willfully ignorant or indoctrinated.
In fact all one needs to say in this regard is ”Fossil”.
Yes, many did. You are quite correct. However, if one considers that it was practically ”The only game in town.” one has to extend a degree of honesty here and admit what would likely have happened to those individuals who bucked the system.
Think Galileo, for example.
And we all know what Luther thought of the Jews in his day, don’t we?
So let’s try to keep this chat civil and within the bounds of historical reality?
Orthodox Jewish scientists today also believe in the literal truth of the Bible. To say they are all indoctrinated and haven’t given this any real thought is wishful thinking. Many of them have written on the topic, and it would be fair to consider what they have to say. There is for example an organization called The Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists. And there is Gerald Schroeder whom I mentioned earlier.
I’m not sure what your point about Martin Luther is. In my view, he was an evil man with a lot of blood on his hands, and not just Jewish blood. Did you know that he encouraged putting down a peasant revolt that resulted in the murder of over 100,000 peasants? He helped foment anti-Semitism in Germany that had disastrous consequences for the Jews down to the twentieth century. Do you think anti-Semitism was a product only of the sixteenth century? It’s alive and well today. Don’t get me started.
By the way, if you want to have a civil chat, it would be advisable to refrain from making comments like this: “It’s either accepting the findings of almost the entire scientific community
or siding with halfwits like Ken Ham, Ron Wyatt, William Lane Craig, Matt Slick etc and other creationist/fundamentalist dimwits.”
Calling those with whom you disagree halfwits and dimwits is not a good way to get a civil discussion going.
Really? Other than Shroeder who I have read briefly and he strikes me as a Creationist, I could not find much. I have skip-scanned a wiki article and it suggests the orthodox Jewish scientists are more flexible in this regard. Although they believe there is divine intervention most seem to accept evolution and an Old Earth.
If this is not the case please direct me to a link post etc that specifically says otherwise. I am fascinated to read up on a scientific literal Adam and Eve.
Of course not. I was simply making reference to Luther, as an example.that’s all. Okay I won’t get you started.
You think someone such as Ron Wyatt is deserving of any greater epithet than ”Halfwit”?
I was being polite. Please, feel free to offer one of your own. 😉
Also, what’s it to you what I believe?
It isn’t anything to me, on the face of it. This is an open forum, I read it and I commented, and now it seems you are jumping on the bandwagon and as they say in the school playground, ”piling on.”
If you have an issue, then please, spit it out?
I don’t have an issue.
In that case, why are you intent on railroading me?
Why are you here, anyway? This is a debate between Christians and Jews. You’re on the wrong forum.
I did not notice the sign saying No Atheists Allowed.
Am I missing something?
Anyone is allowed, atheists included, but everyone should respect the comment policy and stick to the topic.
If you take note, my first comment was to the Christian commenter and it was directly relevant to the topic.
If the Pentateuch is historical fiction, which it is,then Christianity has no leg to stand on, and certainly no silly claims of a Trinity.
After that it seems it was open season on my comments, so I responded.
And for what it’s worth, I am fully aware that the Doctrine of the Trinity is wholly ( holy(sic)) a Church construct.
If you would like to leave it at that then fair enough.
If you wish to explore the fictitious nature of the Pentateuch I am happy with this also.
Maybe a chat about the settlement pattern?
Yes, but, if the Torah is fiction then Judaism has no leg to stand on either–so your comment is really not specific to Christianity but to all Biblically derived religions including Islam. That is way off the topic here.
It’s really up to Rabbi B. if he wants us to continue the discussion, as he is the host. But until he says no, I’ll continue to answer you as I have time. Therefore, I will note the following:
You wrote, “If you wish to explore the fictitious nature of the Pentateuch etc.” It would have been more precise to say, “If you wish to discuss with me whether the nature of the Pentateuch is fictitious or not” since you must surely know by now that I do not believe it is fictitious.
Also, please know that I’m terrible at math and when it comes to science I’m pretty slow. If the discussion gets scientific I might be in well over my head. You might want to consider reading the work of Gerald Schroeder, an Orthodox Jewish physicist. He has written on this topic, on the Adam and Eve creation story, and so on, in his book Genesis and the Big Bang.
I am as tick as two bricks when it come to science as well and not much better with math so you are in good company!.
There is little point discussing the Genome Project until you have had a chance to read a bit. There are plenty of links and many sites for the laymen … like me!
As for the nature of the Pentateuch being historical fiction, I bow to the archaeologists on this one. And mean genuine archaeologists, like Finkelstein, Herzog, Devers etc; not dimwits like Ron Wyatt and such like.
And for me the biggy is the Exodus. There is no evidence for this event but there is evidence of a gradual settlement of Canaan.
And that for me is the clincher.
“Actually Fred I eschew anyone who starts from a presuppositional basis and this includes atheists.
The evidence leads where the evidence leads and the Genome Project has pretty much killed off any more speculation about a primal couple, Adam and Eve, and science and archaeology has demonstrated that biblical stories such as Exodus and the Flood are nothing but part of the foundational myth.
It’s either accepting the findings of almost the entire scientific community
or siding with halfwits like Ken Ham, Ron Wyatt, William Lane Craig, Matt Slick etc and other creationist/fundamentalist dimwits.
I’ll stick with the guys and girls of science, thanks.”
Shows me anyone who claims the science is settled and I’ll show you someone who is not a scientist at all.
Science is never settled. Who said it was? This is the beauty of it.
But although it is fluid it sure as heck is not moving toward a Biblical interpretation of the evidence, now is it?
And the Ken Ham brigade and those nitwits who push Intelligent Design are not scientists.
“And the Ken Ham brigade and those nitwits who push Intelligent Design are not scientists.”
..Please tell us who the real scientist are. You seem to know. I’m not defending any nitwits and do not recognize any you have mentioned.
You don’t recognise the name Ken Ham?
Are you being purposely obtuse?
Arkenatan, I do not know any of those names you mentioned either, and no, we are not being deliberately obtuse. I think it’s uncivil to call those with whom you disagree names. In this case, it seems one only has to be a creationist to earn your derision.
God-directed evolution and an older earth are not incompatible with Genesis. That is what Schroeder demonstrates in his book.
I suggest you suspend your scorn and your judgment until you read his book. You may well disagree with him, but I assure you he is neither a dimwit, halfwit, nitwit, nor lackwit.
Well, Dina, I haven’t read Shroeder’s book, so you’re right, it would be unfair to comment on his stance directly, though it does come across as creationist. Granted, woth a twist but creationist none the less, and the modern world, by and large, rejects creationism .
Then again, like you, I know little about the complexities of physics.
But a biologist such as Laurence Krauss believes in evolution and so do most of the scientific community so I’d rather side with them unless you can provide verifiable evidence that refutes evolution and the genome project among other things?
If you do not recognise the names, the Google them. You are sitting at a computer are you not? It only takes a few moments to find out who Ron Wyatt was or who Ken Ham is.
But rather spend the time investigating Israel Finkelstein or William Devers.
Arkenatan, I don’t know much about popular creationism but I know that a lot of Orthodox Jews who believe in a Creator God also believe that evolution–or at least much of it–is compatible with this belief.
If some people want to believe that God put dinosaur fossils in the earth to test us, I don’t really care. I think it’s silly, but they’re not hurting anyone. I also don’t think they are worthy of my scorn.
I am not at a computer at the moment but am typing laboriously on my slow phone. I will take a look at these people if time permits.
Please know that true knowledge of any subject is not gained by superficial Google “studies,” but by the perusal of well-researched and well-documented books.
The Creator God scenario is similar to deism.
And yes, I am aware that many Jews now accept evolution, but there are quite a number who are trying to harmonize science with the Torah and Genesis in particular and from what I read there is no ”official” position as yet.
And let’s be honest, Yahweh was simply one Canaanite god among several … and he had a ”wife ” at one time too, if I recall.
They are most certainly hurting people if they try to push this nonsense onto children as science.
Yes, I forgot one can post from one’s phone. Apologies.
Agreed, books are often the better place to research.However, technology and science advance so quickly these days that many such reference books are out of date by the time they get to print.
Th internet is always a good place to start, if one exercises due caution.
Arkenaten, you’ve given me a lot of homework, but in the meantime, I just wanted to respond to one point you made. You wrote: “And let’s be honest, Yahweh was simply one Canaanite god among several … and he had a ‘wife’ at one time too, if I recall.”
The God of Israel was not a Canaanite god; however, the ancient Israelites worshipped Him along with the popular Canaanite idols of the day, including Ashera and Ba’al. These idols are mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and the prophets castigate the Israelites for worshiping them. Thus it is unsurprising that archaeologists would find evidence that the ancient Israelites worshiped these idols–our Scripture even confirms that fact.
My knowledge of archaeology is poor, but I thought that was worth pointing out.
Oh yes he ,em>was my dear. You need to suspend your religious bias for half an hour and do some research.
He was simply one god in the Canaanite Pantheon.But I am not going to get into this with you as no matter what evidence I present you will hand wave it away.
Yes he was well established before the Torah was written but you might want to ask yourself just when was the Torah written? And by whom?
Certainly not Moses.
Believe what you like.
The truth is merely a few clicks away.
Ark, you wrote this: “But I am not going to get into this with you as no matter what evidence I present you will hand wave it away.” And isn’t it ironic that a Christian once told me the exact same thing.
I’m not trying to convince you of anything, but if you are here and want to debate, then we can present our views and have fun debating. If you are trying to “convert” me, then you will not be interested in hearing opposing views, just in pushing your own. In that case, I agree that there is no point in discussing it.
Arkenaten, you wrote, “They are most certainly hurting people if they try to push this nonsense onto children as science.”
I don’t see how this hurts people. Lots of people believe lots of different things and they pass their values and beliefs to their children, including you if you are a parent. What’s wrong with that? Would you like to see a world where children get taken away from people who have the “wrong” beliefs? And who would decide which beliefs are correct?
You are not American (too bad for you) but in my country, we believe in the freedom for each man to worship or not to worship according to his conscience. It’s called religious liberty and it’s a wonderful thing. It is not dangerous at all. In fact, it is the absence of this liberty that is dangerous.
What’s wrong? Hmm, let’s see, shall we?
From a Judeo /Christian perpsective perspective:
1. To teach creationism and deny evolution is wrong, not only scientifically but one could argue it is morally wrong as well – not saying you are doing this .
2. To teach that divine command theory is right is disgusting and most definitely morally reprehensible.
Two examples. And let’s remember that Judaism and Christianity spawned their bastard not-so-love child, Islam. I cannot think of anything, off hand, that is particularly worthy of teaching children in that religion, can you? And just look what has wriggled out of Islam.ISIS. Nicer religious folks you couldn’t wish to have over for dinner, right?
And all the good things, ethics, morality, being nice to your granny etc can be found in secualar humanism without the superstitious nonsense – witch burning, born in sin, Hell etc, etc.( I know there is not a genuine Jewish Hell so you don’t have to worry that I may be singling out Judaism.
Too bad? *Smile* No,not bad at all. I live in South Africa and our constitution is regarded as good as, if no better than the American one.
Just wait until the Islamic extremists have out-bred the Jews and Christians and are in a position to outvote y’all.
I wonder who you consider an ally when that happens?
Religion has shackled humanity for millenia .
In the grand scheme of things – and looking the way much of the more socially advanced nations are moving, its days may well be numbered. Not for a condierable time yet, but normal society is definitely not moving more towards relgion, now is it?
I’m responding to your point that religion has caused a great deal of evil. In the twentieth century, secular ideologies killed more people than all the world religions in all of history combined, with estimates ranging from 50 million to 150 million as a result of Communism and 50 million to 70 million as a result of Nazism.
The ideas of the sanctity of human life and sexual morality are religious ideas that secular humanists adopted–they did not grow up in a vacuum but in Western society that indoctrinated them in these values.
Also, Ark, the demographics don’t support your claim that religion is dying out. Secular humanists barely reproduce. Religious people have a far higher birth rate. Barring another Holocaust, Orthodox Jews will overtake all other denominations within a few decades. Catholics and Mormons have huge families, and Muslims too.
Reports of our demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Hi Dina, if I may add something here:
Rabbi Rabbi Chalom Ph.D says:
“Would you willingly lie to your children? Would you say this is what happened when you know this is not what happened? There’s an ethical question there. The truth is out there. They’ll find this archaeological, evidence-based version of Jewish history… and then they’ll say, why did you lie to me?”
The lie is referring to is the continued maintenance of the popular belief that the Jewish foundation narrative detailed in the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible) chronicles actual historical events, when in fact it’s been known among biblical archaeologists for nearly three generations that the Five Books of Moses (the Torah) and the Deuteronomistic History of the Nevi’im (including the books of Joshua, Judges, and Samuel) are no more a literal account of the early history of the Jewish people than J. R. R. Tolkien’s, The Lord of the Rings, is a literal account of World War 1.
You lie when you say something that you know is false. Otherwise it is not a lie.
True. Re-read the rabbi’s comment. He clearly says we know the truth. The Pentateuch is myth.
*Apologies, that should read, Rabbi Adam Chalom
Oh … I just thought of one for you, Big L. Chap by the name of Einstein. ‘Course, he a bit dead these days …
And there was some bloke called Feynman. That sort of scientist, Big L.
That settles it, now I know who and what to believe. Thank you.
You can now jump back in your box now and hug your fluffy dinosaur toy.
Not me I don’t believe in dinosaurs.
Ha! As I suspected all along.
It was god planting all those fossils just for shits-and-giggles, right? 🙂
Please watch your language, Arkenatan. Ladies present.
By the way, are you Jewish?
You’re worried about me using the word shit and your here defending the veracity of the Torah which contains some of the most vile acts of violence in literature? And you read this to children for the gods’ sake.
Oh, and as for the word … try 2 Kings: 18 vs 27. Among others.
No, I am not Jewish.
I thought you wanted to have a civil dialogue, Arkenaten.
We are having a civil dialogue. If we can’t use the bible as reference then why are we even having a discussion?
Forgive me, I thought you were a flat earthier who did not believe in God.
No , I am a round earther who does not believe in gods
Round earthier atheist, congrats. That’s a step in the right direction. it a good thing to keep an open mind.
I try to fill it with interesting stuff, but not so full that new stuff can’t be assimilated.
When did you find out the earth wasn’t flat, Larry? Did a god tell you or did one of your ancestors crew for Magellan?
You are 100 percent correct in what you say that the main reason Jews do not believe in the trinity is because when we were taught – by God Himself – whoit is we are to worship – it wasn’t Jesus. The purpose of this article was to iluminate the idea from another angle – to demonstrate that the feelings Christians have towards Jesus cannot be compared with what a Jew felt when he or she bowed towards the holy of holies in the Temple.
One more point – I do not think that Christians worship Jesus because they see him as “Creator” – that is never a role that Jesus is cast in.
Thanks for your comments
I remember asking an evangelical Christian once, who was explaining why I should accept the Trinity and Jesus, that if Jesus died, and he was part of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, what part died? Did G-d die? Did 1/3 of G-d die? What happened to that 1/3? How could G-d die, when only G-d can resurrect the dead? Did G-d resurrect G-d’s self? It makes no sense.
I think I ran him around in circles well enough that he left me alone after that.
You’re one smart mom!!
Brilliant response. I will pop that in my ”One to keep” file.
Or better still:
God sacrificed himself,
to save humanity from himself.
Yisroel with all do respect I don’t know you but I would like to. Christianity Catholic and protestant, believe that the man Jesus was in fact the creator one need only to look at the first verse in the Gospel of John that in the begining was the word and the word was with God and the word was God and nothing was made but by the word. and verse 14 the word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. He also said have you not seen me if you have seen me then you have seen the Father. And Paul says to Timothy I tell you a great mystery God was manifest in the flesh. The core of christianity is human deification. Groups that do not hold this veiw like the J.W.’s and the mormons are cosidered cults by protestant and catholic christians alike. I speak from experience my Father is a preacher I was christian and coverted to orthodox Judaism. My anniversary of conversion is coming on the 23rd of Kislev. I will be posting my testimony on facebook. My passion is combating the lies of christianity and the complacency of veiws to confront them. As you know Rambam poskins that indeed christians are idol worshipers precisely because they claim that Jesus was God.
If they want to worship the Creator they don’t need Jesus and they wouldn’t be trying to convert Jews – who already worship the Creator – to worship of Jesus. The claim that Jesus is somehow “one and the same” as the Creator – is only a weak theological excuse to justify their devotion.
What would the Jewish messiah look like to you? Would you know Him if you saw Him?
Jon, Tanach clearly describes what to expect from the Messiah. Read it.
That’s the thing about the trinity that is so very convoluted. Even if Jews accepted the theological premise of a tri-unity within G-d that Christians put on offer, Jesus’ own person would be made utterly irrelevant because he is SUPPOSED TO SERVE THE WILL OF HASHEM according to Christian texts.
the Christians say they believe in only one G-d revealed in three persons who are of a unified will. (1 Corinthians 12:11) The 3 person’s are always said by the Church theologians to be of one united will with each other, hence the importance of Jesus’ alleged sinless nature. (Luke 22:42) In other words, the desires of Jesus’ human will are understood by all classical Christian texts to be made subject to hashem’s will.
Christians supposedly teach that everything will be placed under Jesus’ feet EXCEPT FOR THE FATHER 1 Corinthians 15:28, because it is stated that it is Jesus’ job to hand the kingdom over to hashem. They call this teaching Jesus’ functional (as opposed to ontological) subordination to the father.
In other words, even though they believe Jesus (in a mysterious way) is allegedly the immaterial divine word of the father tabernacled in a body, Jesus also has a fallible human will and nature that is subject to temptation, that is not divine, that lacks knowledge, that must be made to fulfill the father’s commands etc. (John 10:37) It is a paradox.
As it was put in the Catholic forum above, “While each member of the Trinity has an independent will, they all desire Good, and so the three wills naturally COINCIDE. Christ keeps HIS HUMAN WILL IN LINE with this, never sinning (Heb 4:15).”
So, even if Jews were to believe in the theology of a trinity, they would still be subject to the Torah’s laws, the halacha, because that was the expressed will of the father that Jesus allegedly had to obey. If Jesus detracts from the father’s will, the doctrine becomes still more unintelligible. Even the NT teaches that it is the Torah’s unique job to define what a sin against G-d is. (1 John 3:4)
So, even if Jesus were somehow G-d, this would not change Judaism, or the Jewish people’s responsibilities to maintain Torah observance.
The way I understood the trinity’s purpose (as it was explained to me in university, and through my own study of gentile polytheistic faiths,) was that the doctrine developed as a way to explain to gentiles how G-d could be like he is described in scripture, to philosophically minded hellenistic non Jews.
Ancient hellenists, and gentile polytheists more generally do not believe in or accept in their religions the major biblical premises about G-d’s nature.
they simply don’t grant the premise that G-d is
4. All loving
5. Providentially active
6. That he Cares for human suffering
The trinity was a convoluted attempt by Christian theologians (using Jesus’ person) to explain their religious experiences on the one hand, and moreso to demonstrate that these characteristics of G-d were true and verifiable.
All good points, but my reason has been simply the first & second commandments, ‘I am the Lord thy God”, “thou shalt have no other gods before Me” additionally, ‘The Lord our G-d, The Lord is one.’ HaShem emphasizes there being none other than He. When HaShem makes a declaration, is it not eternal? He will not amend it later orutterly reverse his own commandment or Torah, rendering the replacement ideology of both Christianity & Islam null & void.
I agree with you wholeheartedly – My purpose with this post was just to illuminate the matter from another angle.
how can water be ice and vapor and liquid and still ALL BE THE SAME THING? just a thought….
Then why in old testament Genesis, there are so many verses like, Let Us go down, Let Us make man in our own image, etc etc?
What do the names mean in hebrew from Gen chapter 5, Adam-Noah..?
I am a life-long agnostic who over the past several months is quickly becoming a Christian Apologetic. The point being that I am just starting to research these eternal questions in earnest for the first time in my life. This is an honest query, with no ulterior motive. This is some of what I think I know about Jewish beliefs:
1. There is a God.
2. There is a spirit of God. He spoke to the Old Testament prophets using it. (Ezekiel 2:2)
3. On at least one occasion God came to Abraham in “physical form”. (Genesis 18:2-5)
If those 3 are facts, then the concept of a “trinity” doesn’t seem like a big leap. Mind you, I am not talking about Jesus or Christianity, just the Jewish aversion to a trinity specifically.
Why stop at 3? You have the arm of the Lord (Exodus 6:6), the soul of the Lord (Amos 6:8), the strength of the Lord (Jeremiah 32;17) – and more.
The issue is – who are we to worship and the Bible is very clear – Deuteronomy 4:35.
“…LORD is God; besides him there is no other…”
Okay, I get that. So, that was not the LORD that Abraham was talking to. Was that 1/6th of the LORD (hi mom)? Just kidding. You don’t need to answer that, because applying fractions to God would be silly. I understand the Jewish perspective now.
One mistake you are all making is that you think all Christians believe in the trinity. In fact about 10% do not. I count myself among those 10% and I’m not a JW, or cult, etc., just someone who reads the same bible as other Christians and have come to my own conclusion. God is God and Jesus is his son. And that’s all there is on that.
I and many other non- Trinitarian Christians believe that Jesus is the Christ, the messiah, the son of God, but not God. We believe in one God, God the father, who is the creator of all. The Holy Spirit that other Christians talk about and which is mentioned in both the new and old testament is not another deity or manifestation or third person of a trinity but rather is God’s own spirit and is sometimes used to refer to God himself. You have to go by the context. In no case is holy spirit ever meant to imply another deity.
There is only one God and he is God the father. Jesus now sits at the right hand of his God and my God and the God and creator of all creation including Jesus.
I worship and honor Jesus as God’s son, his direct representative whom God himself has chosen and because God has placed him in charge of just about everything. I don’t worship him as God but as the direct pathway to God, the mediator between man and God.
Jesus himself said I can do nothing apart from God. Jesus never claimed to be God. All the talk about the trinity was started around the 3rd and 4th centuries.
Amen, enough said!
man (sadly) there are so many doctrines. I am a “Christian” too. I also do not believe in a trinity (praise break!). But I do believe Jesus (Son of God) is God manifest in flesh (John 1:1-2,14 and 1 Tim 3:16 KJV). BTW John 1:1 says in the “beginning” not eternity (think about it).
If the trinity (or just the deity of Jesus) had really been taught (or believed) by the first Christians, the schism between the Jews (who considered such a teaching “an unpardonable offense”) and Christians would have been immediate, irrevocable, and incredibly intense. But that is not what caused the greatest and final split between the sect of the first Christians and the Jews.
Jesus was a Jew and followed the Law and his first followers (his apostles) were also Jews.
Jesus frequented the synagogues where he preached to the crowd. See Matthew 9:18 and Matthew 13:54 “He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers ?”
Luke 4:16 “And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.”
Even after the death of Jesus, the apostles still visited the synagogues preaching and reasoning. Here we see Paul at Berea at Acts 17:10-11
10 “The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.”
There was no New Testament at that time, they were teaching from the Hebrew Scriptures and more that likely explaining prophecies regarding the Messiah.
The point I am making is that the first followers of Christ considered themselves to Jews, but Jews who believed that their promised Messiah had come and was killed according to prophecy.
Jesus never claimed to be God, neither did his early followers ever think he was God. Indeed there is more than enough written to show that Jesus worshipped Yahweh and even quoted Deuteronomy 6:4 to a Scribe who asked him a question…. “And one of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together, and knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, What commandment is the first of all? 29 Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one:
New Testament show that there may have been arguments regarding the Messiah-ship of Jesus, but imagine the outrage if he or his followers ever claimed that he was God. But there is nothing written about such controversy, the Jews to their credit were the strictest of Monotheists…..and had such a ludicrous claim been made that Jesus was God it would have been blazoned all over the NT and historical writings of the time.
The “rift” between Jew and followers of Christ came later.
It was the generation following the destruction of the Temple which brought about a final rupture between Jews and Christians …. In the third rebellion against Rome [132-135 A.D.], when the Christians were unable to accept bar Kochba as their Messiah, they declared that their kingdom was of the other world, and withdrew themselves completely from Judaism and everything Jewish. The alienation process was completed. Judaism and Christianity became strangers to each other …. A wall of misunderstanding and hate was erected by the narrow zealotries of the two faiths. [pp. 152, 153, Jews, God and History, Max I. Dimont, A Signet Book, 1962.]
“Cochba [bar Kochba] … tortured and killed the Christians who refused to aid him against the Roman army.” – p. 42, Greek Apologists of the Second Century, Robert M. Grant, The Westminster Press, 1988.
“Another Christian apologist, Justin [Martyr], tells how … Bar Kochba, the leader of the insurrection, ordered Christians alone to be executed if they would not deny and curse Jesus the Messiah.” – Ibid.
It was in the early 4th century that the Christian Church became embroiled in the false doctrine if the Trinity. Many historians and religious scholars, attest to the influence of Greek or Platonic philosophy in the development and acceptance of the Trinity doctrine which caused much controversy and bloodshed at that time.
Finally, what is perceived as orthodox Christianity today with its false teachings, doctrines and dogma is more in line with Paganism than the teaching of Yahweh and his sent Messiah Jesus. Paul describes the coming “apostasy” at 2 Thess. 2:3-12 .
I agree with you. Jesus clearly is God’s son, and when he said they were one, I feel he was telling us that he thinks and does the will of his Father. Some people did not understand his parables and I believe this was another issue they misunderstood. When I die and if I’m wrong, I’m guessing we’ll have a “little talk”. The more I Bible read It will clarify with time, either way.
In numbers 23:19-God is not man, that he should tell or act a lie, neither the son of man,……I look at that as being both true when it was said and towards the future. I am uncertain but I think Jesus refers to himself some 75 to 80 times as ” the son of man”. If Jesus made one thing clear/ or confusing depending how you look at it, is that he is not g-d but the son of a man.
Jesus most certainly claimed to be God. “..before Abraham was born, I AM.” It is Jesus’ claim that drove the Pharisees to murder Him. They knew precisely what he was saying, and they knew precisely what His arrival meant to them – a threat to their worldly power and stewardship over Israel. Not surprisingly, they weren’t willing to give it up.
I find it interesting that Christains couldn’t accept a false messiah – but a false god was OK?
The early Christians who followed the Christ, never considered him to be God Almighty and although Trinitarians attempt to wrest verses and change the intended meaning of Jesus’ words they can only “imply” that Jesus is God. Their Trinity Proof Texts are never incontrovertible and easily disproved. Many Bible translations have been carried out from way back by Trinitarian translaters with a mindset that God was three in one and some of the words they choose shows this bias. The Kings James Version is notorious.
jESUS NEVER CLAIMED TO BE g-D g-D CANT BE CHOPPED IN TO THREE PARTS,gET gET REAL WOULD YOU CHOP YOUR CHILD INTO THREE PARTS, i THINK NOT
Yes he did.
Is it not scripturally possible that Jesus Christ is the visible, manifest image, of the One true God, of the Old Testament?
Questions to Ponder:
#1) Who is Isaiah 7:14 and Isaiah 9:6 speaking of?
#2) In the following passage of scripture,”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…..And the Word was made flesh.”( John1:1, 14) Who/what is the Word and who/what is the flesh?
#3) Did Thomas in John 20:28 make an error on who Jesus was?
#4) In Acts 9:1-6, before Sauls conversion, in vs 5, did the voice that responded to Sauls question of, “Who art thou Lord?” in error? Notice it wasn’t a rabbi, minister/preacher or religios organization that responded to Saul.
#5) Who is the”Who” in Colossians 1:15; “Who is the image of the invisible God”
#6) According to Colossians 2:9-10, Where does the fulness of the Godhead dwell?
#7) How was God manifest in the flesh in I Timothy 3:16
#8) Who is the Emmanuel in Matthew 1:23?
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord Deuteronomy 6:4
hello my name is Leo Espinoza. I read the bible too, you’re right cause you’re using both
OT and NT. Is.52:6 God said He was gonna come and He did in the flesh. and cuase He is Spirit not trinity (Jn.4:24), the apostels saw the man Jesus, and not knowing nor understanding the scriptures [Jesus said if you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father (meaning the All mighty Creator, Spirit and Holy, Holy Spirit, Lord God the Spirit 1Cor.3:17, and the Spirit of Christ Jesus 1Pet.1:11, the God of the spirits Num.27:16, so the only one True God is Spirit and can’t be divided in three) cause no one can the Spirit, no one has seen the Father, so God became visible through the Man Jesus the son of God. And cause He was in the flesh He did not say literally “I AM GOD”. on the contrary He said ‘before Abraham I AM’. that’s . why the pharisees wanted to kill him but they could not.] they the apostels fully understood every thing when Jesus died and was risen from the dead. But now the main point is that: Jesus Christ is not human any more.
seems like no body understands that Jesus is in glory with a glorified body 2Cor.5:16, so He’s new body is also a new spiritual body, 1Cor.15:44,45 sitting on the throne of God cause the Spirit All Mighty God has no rear. Eze.1:26-28 and Rev.4:2,3; 19:6; 21:3,6,23.
so we’ll see “The Father God All Mighty” in the Glorified New JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.
There’s a lot more in the Bible, but you ask God to give you more wisdom in the spirit by his Spirit and He will. 1 John 5:20 New American Standard Bible (© 1995)
And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, guard yourselves from idols.
Teh answer to your opening question is a resounding “NO” – only one of your questions is predicated on the Jewish Scriptures – you will find the answers when you read those Scriptures in context – this may help https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/fifth-response-to-dalton-lifsey-isaiah-956-67/
In Judaism, no one has fulfilled the qualificatiions of the Messiah as of today. Anyone who claims this is a false Messiah. Remember, the Old Testament never stated anywhere…to be continued. It was the first, the last and there is nothing in between. That was G-D’s words in there. Judaism never approved of any bible to follow besides the Old Testament so it was all made up and by someone who wanted to create a new bible for their religion. If it wasn’t for the Jewish people, there wouldn’t be a Christian religion. Jesus was Jewish and if he came back today, he not only would not know his name, but his religion as well! There is a place in heaven for everyone, so don’t worry and try to justify your beliefs because that is how G-D stated this in the Old Testament. Be who you decide to believe in and let others do the same and the world will be a more tolerable and less violent place…wishful thinking. Messiah is expected from now until about 3OO years according to Judaism. This is when the world will clean itself up according according to ther Talmud..oldest form of Jewish Scriptures.
June, how are you going to prove he is from the line of David if all those records have been distroyed? You will never be able to PROVE anyone is from that line.
That also rules out Jesus, who by the way never existed except in the minds of the Roman emperors who created him in the Gospels. Anyway how could he have been a descendent of King David If he was the son of G-d? Did G-d come from the house of David? And don’t hand me the Mary business either. In Judaism, lineage was, is, and always will be traced from the father’s side. Do yourself a favour and watch this video if you haven’t already. It is 90 minutes long but it will be the best 90 minutes you will ever spend. Afterwards you will learn the TRUTH about Jesus and why the Jews will never accept Christianity.A compelling video about Jesus and the Gospels. Long but worth the watch.
you are stupid you will worship the antichrist. like they will
God has come in the person of Jesus Christ the man cause He is spirit, the Spirit of Christ and holy. but now He is not man cause blood nor flesh can’t enter heaven. no body can nor will see God but through The spiritual living JESUS CHRIST.
only with the new testament you could really understand the old testament.
He had not to say to be continue cause He never said I’m gonna start now.
Leo. Not to gang up on you but can you imagine g-d giving the NT understanding 1000 years after the Old Testment? Does g-d want to mislead us? I don’t believe so.
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I believe you are right that a lot of the attraction towards Jesus is based on his personality as expressed in the gospels. Many Christians worship Jesus because they are taught that he was/is our creator. They do not worship him because of affection towards the righteousness, beauty, and authority expressed in his character, and yet that affection is completely inseparable from their concept of who God is and what relationship with Him means. I have heard a number of Jewish Christians describe how they read through the gospels and ‘just knew that this person was God’… presumably on the basis of how he reflected the attributes and power of God in these stories. It’s all very mixed up.
This line really strikes me: “The only submission that is not idolatrous is the submission of the created being towards its Creator – because He is my Creator.” I was wondering… is the human sense of justice and righteousness so strong that we make a choice of worship only in response to the fact that God deserves it? But maybe this is the sort of fact that comes closest to the absolute heart of what we are. It’s not just an idea we’re aware of, but something we tangibly respond to. Because I know what you mean by the sense of loyalty that comes from knowing that we don’t owe this surrender to anything else, but we do owe it to God.
I just don’t know that I really am motivated by justice except *within* my relationship with God… so I don’t know how to say that this is the reason why we worship Him. I do know that it’s totally degrading and a breaking of covenant to surrender in this way to anything else, and I know that we live to belong to Him.
I’m sorry the ideas in that post are a bit convoluted… let me know if I can clarify.
U wordship what you don’t know, we wordship what we know. U are like the ones who say yah threre is a god, there most be a god whom created everything. you seem to talk what comes to your ears and your human mind, with out the wisdom of God the Holy Spirit of JESUS CHRIST. or YAOSHUA EL MESIAS. sorry no so good in hebrew like the jews.
I am glad to come across this community of enlightened and passionate scholars of scripture from diverse backgrounds. I believe that the message of the Hebrew old testament as well as the new testament would have been clear enough for the common person if not for the natural problem of the obliteration of meanings in the course of translating documents from one language to another. I was raised an Anglican (mainstream Christian denomination) here in Nigeria, but as i started wading deeper into the original languages of scripture, i was startled to discover that so much of what i had been thought have little basis in scripture. Here is what i have come to believe: the God of the Jews YHWH is the only true God. Yeshua (Jesus of Nazareth) is not YHWH, but the only being who as yet ever materialised on earth, possessing the full attributes of YHWH. The idea of trinity truly has some root in the new testament, but its true meaning is misconstrued. The one God YHWH whose primary attribute is to love and withhold nothing from His objects of love, decided to bestow on His Son who we came to know as Yeshua (a spirit He made), the full attributes of His nature. Yeshua thus appeared with the gift of God’s nature when He incarnated as a human on earth. This is why he was able to do some things which the Jews knew were God’s personal prerogatives. He forgave sins, and commissioned people who shall become like him, to do the same. He acknowledged that he obeyed the father, had access to all of what the father owned and received everything he had as gift from the father. The unity of the father, son and spirit, to me, demonstrate the boundless selflessness of the father in bestowing His nature upon His spirit sons. He in fact promises to bestow a divine nature upon humans who shall come to Him following the example of Yeshua. The trinity does not explain the nature of God, but the unity of three beings which the one supreme being spearheaded in order to save humanity from eternal death. This is why Yeshua asked that people be baptized in the name of three persons (baptism is a symbolic seal of salvation or freedom from eternal death), while maintaining that there is one true God who is greater than he. The idea that God could open up His cadre to His sons out of love inspires unspeakable awe in me for YHWH. God allowed angels to worship Yeshua, and i am not averse to that. But my highest worship belongs to the father and God of Yeshua, who made Yeshua the “God” that he is. To me, the difference between YHWH and the spirit Yeshua in heaven today, is that one is the giver and the other is the grateful receiver. One is God, the father, and the other is the Son sitted at God’s right hand of approval. This is a spurty fragment of what i’ve condensed of my walk with God so far, but God has by the way He speaks to me, asked me to speak out on this matter. A revolution is on the way. Something is brewing within the church of Christ, which the world has never seen before. The followers of Christ were stripped of God’s power at Nicea in 325, but the truth is coming back, and with it much power to win many people back to the worship of the only one who deserves the absolute obeisance of all creature. Yeshua himself does not like that after he became the bridge between men and God, many humans chose to get stuck on the bridge rather than to use it as access to a powerful relationship with the Father. This whole thing is really a love story, and you can find everything i said in the pages of the new testament.
The Bible says that only the Father is God:
“There is no other God but one . . . to us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things,” 1 Corinthians 8:3-6
“One God and Father of all, who is over all, above all, and in all,” Ephesians 4:6
“Father . . . This is eternal life: that they might know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent,” John 17:1-3
God is 1 not 3 (Deuteronomy 6:4), and Trinitarianism is not true Christianity
YHWH is Spirit. and The SPIRIT OF CHRIST is the same, but manifested in human flesh or body on earth so we could have a RELATIONSHIP with our Heavenly FATHER whom is not flesh but created a human suit to wear himself. that’s why he introduced himself as the Son of God due to his human condition. that’s why He said ‘before Abraham I AM’. U can’t see the Spirit of our LORD GOD, THE FATHER WHOM IS HOLY AND HOLY SPIRIT. who lives in JESUS, but now a LIVING SPIRITUAL BODY and not flesh nor blood. not human any more. sitting on the throne of GOD who has no rear.
Spirit is like air, can feel it but can’t be seen or touch (is in the bible).
Rev. 21:23 God is the Light and Jesus is the lamp. if you break the lamp you can’t see the light, never the less there’s still current and power. don’t touch “danger” it will kill you.
only Jesus can fulfill that gap. that’s how we his people can have light in this dark world.
I agree, that is true to Scripture, both NT and OT.
The reason so many Jews do not believe in the trinity is because it is IDOL worship! Yes, Jesus is God because the name of the the Lord God Almighty from the Old Testament is Jesus! The image of the invisible God – Jesus Christ…the Lord God of the OT created a body for himself and walked among humanity in the NT. Emmanuel, God with us. Jews, what about your prophet Esais? He prophesied that unto us a CHILD is BORN, unto us a SON is given…..his name shall be called Wonderful, Councelor….AND the EVERLASTING FATHER. How can the SON be called the FATHER? Because the BODY of the SON was made by GOD to house his spirit in. The things of the spirit are not discerned with a carnal mind. Nor can we understand grace when we only want to embrace law. Law has its place, it was a schoolmaster but grace fulfilled the law. Jews should take a look at the NT from the perspective of ONE God. The ones who corrupted the world with this doctrine from Satan called the TRINITY was the catholic workers of iniquity at the council of nicea. The apostles never followed, nor made mention of a trinity, nor elluded to an existence of a trinity – ever! Trinitarianism is all paganism.
I wouldn’t exactly call it paganism, at least not the kind of paganism we see in the bible. I would put it in a special category all its own. I would still call it Christianity but with a serious corruption. In practice many so called Trinitarians are really not. Most fall between 1st century Christianity (One God Christianity) and the Trinity. But I do agree 100% that the whole concept of the Trinity was not part of original Christianity.
I’ll submit this article from R.C. Sproul explaining the necessity of the Trinity using several key passages from Scripture. http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/triune-monarchy/
I feel sorry for you not understanding the scripture yourself.
Read the Bible and ask The LORD JESUS CHRIST to give you his Holy spirit’s Wisdom and knowledge so you can understand the mystery of Jesus the Son of God and God The Father. Colossians 2:2 New American Standard Bible (© 1995)
attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
If I modify your recommendation slightly so that I advocate that one read the Torah and asks the Creator of the universe to grant him an honest understanding of it and after doing so concludes that there is no reason to ask Jesus for anything, what would such a person have done wrong?
Leo, it seems a little presumptious to assume that you understand all of scripture when there is quite a bit of mystery to it. So how can you fully, as you wrote above, “understand the mystery of Jesus the Son of God and God the Father?” I’m skeptical of anyone who claims to understand the mystery of the Trinity.
Not too long ago I was talking to a Jewish Rabbi. He said to me, “You Gentiles can’t cut God in three pieces and give Him to a Jew. We know better than that.”
I said to him, “That’s just it Rabbi, we don’t cut God in three pieces. You believe the prophets, don’t you?”
He said, “Certainly I do.”
“Do you believe Isaiah 9:6?”
“Who was the prophet speaking of?”
I said, “What relation will Messiah be to God?”
He said, “He will be God.”
I said, “That’s right.” Amen.
Are you making that up? If not, then either a) you misunderstood what he was saying or b) he was not a Torah observant rabbi.
It only takes one person to start a new belief system. Christianity, Islam, Mormonism, etc.
The question I ask myself is who should I go to for questions and understandings about Isaiah? Should I ask a Mormon, a Christian? A Islamist? And who should I go to with questions about Christianity? A Jew? Maybe a Buddist could explain Mormonosm better for me. Some people’s belief is so real, so intense, they are so sure, they will blow themselves up believing they are doing the right thing. Who told Christians there was a new covenant? A Mormon? A Buddatist? What was the original teaching? Who told the Jew he has been wrong all along? Did Peter ask Paul, who never met Christ, what his vision told him, even though Peter was taught by Christ for over two years? If Jesus was handing out visions like the one for Paul, why not save himself all the human sacrifice thing not to mention the suffering? Maybe we should just believe our own visions or feelings. That might be the easiest. God in our own image.
Who told Christians we needed a begotten perfect human being to die as a sacrifice for all of mankind? A Jew? No, they taught repentance.. Maybe one of the early civilizations who had the human sacrifice but not the perfect begotten human. That had to be where the Christians got that. Or was it Paul’s vision, or christ teaching, I’m so confused. Why oh why didn’t G-d give us just one belief? Why didn’t He hand pick just one group of people to teach us?
What a coincidence, Craig. I was chatting with an Christian minister recently and he said that worship of Jesus as God is a corruption of everything that the Jewish scriptures stand for. And I said, Amen.
Ha, you wouldn’t believe it, but I had a very similar experience! Only for me, I heard a Christian missionary telling a Jew that he should ignore Christianity and listen to the rulings and the testimony of whatever Jewish group has been keeping Torah and passing it to their kids through history. The Jew said thank you, and asked whether this means that the gentiles should also take the Orthodox community seriously and not the churches. The missionary said yes. And the funny thing is, I also said Amen.
Annalise, I had the exact same experience. A missionary told me how I had to accept Jesus and all the rest of it, followed by an admittance that she can’t actually understand the Bible in its original and then an insistance that we Jews are supposed to teach the world about God and the Torah. I responded quite bluntly, with ‘If I am supposed to be teaching you, then why are you trying to argue with us? Practice what you preach, and shut up and let the Jews teach you then. If we say what you are doing is idolatrous and against the Torah and God, then stop doing it. I would go even further to argue that in my opinion if the historical Jesus saw people worshipping him as God, divine, the son of God, God incarnate… and saw gentiles distorting the Torah, his teachings and turning him into an idol he would probably be turning in his grave.
Yes. Calling him Yoshke is probably one of the most respectful things anyone does for that man in these times…the way it all turned out is shocking.
Jesus was a unitarian, that is. he believed that only the Father was GOD. Jesus said just that: “You, Father are the only one who is true God” (John 17:3). Language has no meaning at all, if this means someone other than the Father is also true God. Jesus agreed on the Jewish creed and he affirmed it in agreement with a Jew who was also a unitarian (Mark 12:29). The creed of Israel was its oath of allegiance to the true God. Jesus was a Jew and never hinted that he disagreed with his own heritage in Israel. None of this is difficult, unless the Church tells you otherwise, and it does, threateningly! Take courage and believe Jesus in Mark 12:29. Being a Christian means following Jesus not contradicting him.
It doesn’t matter whether you call Jesus a man or you call him a god. Making him the center and focus of your worship accords to him the kind of veneration that belongs to God alone and hence is idolatry.
Dina, in my question I am agreeing with you! I am a Christian but I can see that the Trinity is false.
The NT never says that Jesus IS GOD. The Shema prevents that.
I’m sorry I wasn’t clear on where we disagree, so let me try to clarify. You see, if you are a Christian, then even if you believe Jesus was a mere man and not a god, you still make him the center and focus of your religion. You therefore accord to a mere man the type of veneration that is due only to God. Therefore, this is still idolatry.
The center and focus of your worship must be God and God alone. He alone is your Savior, only He can forgive your sins, He shares His glory with no one.
Furthermore, Jesus could not possibly have been the Messiah, as he lacked the personal credentials, but even more importantly, he failed to fulfill the prophecies regarding the messianic age.
Do you see now where we disagree?
Thanks for your comment. I would ask you though – do you think that it is a wild coincidence that the followers of Jesus eventually deified him? Would you not agree that this deification is somehow related to the new world order that Jesus taught – a world order in which the most important line is “do you believe in Jesus or do you not”?
I certainly don’t claim to understand the trinity, but are you sure his followers “eventually deified him?” He said “before Abraham was born, I AM.” Not once did Jesus ever rebuke those that worshipped him as God. Jesus was either God incarnate, or else he was some kind of megalomoaniac. As CS Lewis says, “you must make your choice.”
I can claim I’m a chicken, but that doesn’t make it so.
But would you be willing to be crucified on a cross for that claim?
Cult leaders die all the time for claims that are obviously false, claims in fact that you hold to be false. This country persecuted the Mormons after Joseph Smith’s revelation. According to your logic, he should have just come clean and said he made the whole thing up. But he didn’t.
Then Abraham, Noah, Moses, and the prophets were cult leaders, too. Smith’s revelations were not consistent with the OT or NT.
Jon, Jesus’s claims (or the claims his followers put his mouth) are also not consistent with Hebrew scripture.
The Romans in fact put messianic claimants to death because they perceived them to be a political threat.
If Jesus called himself “King of the Jews” the Romans would have seen this as a direct challenge to their emperor. Crucifixion was specifically used to punish people for political crimes.
The NT is inconsistent with Tanach (OT). In fact, it abuses Tanach regularly. It trots out a phrase or sentence from the Hebrew scriptures only to distort it beyond recognition.
Moreover, God attested to Moses before the entire nation. This, of course, did not happen for Jesus.
But really, this is beside the point. You are really only dodging the point that cult leaders endure persecution for their claims quite frequently. They will even embrace them unto death. So, if Jesus ever claimed to be divine, it would be nothing out of the ordinary to die espousing such claims.
Let’s say that he did claim divinity. And then he’s turned over to the Romans. What’s he supposed to say? “I was just kidding”? No. That’s probably no safer.
Jim, Jesus never ever claimed to be the God of Israel! He expressly affirmed the Shema.
The Shema is Unitarian as all Jews know. Jesus did claim to be the Messiah but that is a different issue. It is wrong to say that Jesus claimed to break the Shema. He affirmed it. I speak as a believer in Jesus as Messiah, certainly as GOD!
I speak as a Christian and I work in a Christian Bible College. Jesus was never worshiped as GOD!
One verse in John 20:28 is simply the resolution of the problem for Thomas in ch 14. Finally Thomas saw the IN Jesus the one God was at work. This was not a claim to contradict the Shema and the rest of the BIble. Ps. 110:1 is the key to the NT and there only one YHVH. The Messiah is adoni, which is never a title of Deity!
You say you are a Christian, who believes that Jesus never claimed to be God or divine, he was a Unitarian and taught a Unitarian message. I agree that there are plenty of passages in the Christian bible to suggest that this is true. I also would regard those verses as most likely words that Jesus actually said because they are consistent with the teachings of the Torah.
Verses such as “no one comes to the father but through me” or his giving his disciples bread and wine and telling them that this is his body and blood… to Jews would be absolutely abhorrent today and in the first century. These verses I find are so contrary to the teachings of the Torah that it is very hard to fathom that if Jesus and his disciples were Torah observant Jews, which we have good reason to believe that they were, that he would have said such things.
So, the question is, if Jesus was not divine, but you say you believe he is the Messiah, how are you defining the Messiah? Do you believe that the Messiahs role was to come and die to atone for the sins of humanity? As Christians claim. Or do you subscribe to the Jewish view of the Messiah? If you believe in the Jewish concept of the Messiah, how do you explain the unfulfilled prophesies? If you believe Jesus was a man, but his role was to die to atone for our sins, how do you reconcile that, with the Torahs contradictory teaching that one person cannot suffer or die to atone for the sins of another. This is what the incident of the Golden Calf illustrated. Moses pleas with G-d to let him suffer for their sins. G-d tells Moses that it doesn’t work like that, each person is responsible for his own actions and must be punished for his/her sins.
See here for more on the last point http://www.whatjewsbelieve.org/explanation1.html
In your view, the qualities that induce Christians to worship Jesus are his charisma, suffering, kindness towards others, etc. It is idolatrous because it isn’t something intrinsic to Hashem as creator. I would like to offer an explanation. In the vast majority of polytheistic cultures, worship is grounded in the natural world of the here and now, and of the temporal. Ancestor worship, animism, pantheism, and deism predominate. A personage like Plato, or the Dalai Llama can accept a notion of a first cause as Judaism does, but not in a biblical sense. For Plato, the first cause is the abstract notion of the good. For the Dalai llama, the notion of first Cause is inconsequential because when we speak of the first cause (whose nature is being itself,) we could just as easily speak of continuous causation. In other words, no need exists to believe in a creative agent behind everything that exists in polytheistic traditions. The first cause can be called such allegorically, agnostically, or personally, but in a more relative sense. Hinduism is a good example of the point I am trying to make. Certain schools of Hinduism, call Brahman the “first Cause,” the existent one, etc. but what does it mean to them? In Hinduism, Atman (the self) is Brahaman (the supreme self.) So in hinduism, a personal notion of divinity has many faces, many aspects, many interpretations, and all paths lead to the same truth. In their view, if G-d is one, transcendent, and incorporeal, then to speak of him exclusively as an agent or creator, is to limit his nature. The pagans don’t see their gods as any less one, transcendent, or personal, but the concept of transcendence doesn’t mean what it does to Jews or Christians. For them, G-d is not one agent beyond all with a will. For instance, Hindus will argue about who is the “true god” Shiva, Brahma, or vishnu, or whether we can speak of theism at all. What we fail to see is that these names are just names for concepts of the creative, destructive, and sustaining forces of nature. These divinities are conceived as personal in the sense that certain special people have an “awareness” of them, these mortal people with awarness are what hindus call incarnations and avatars. They are mortal beings who live, die, and are reborn, just as Brahman lives dies and is reborn. Brahman is thus not an agent, but ongoing existence itself. In this system, the Jewish and Christian notion of the personal divinity beyond time and space, makes no sense in these worldviews. It makes no sense for them, because god is all, and all is god. What does this mean? It means that polytheists could understand the Jewish idea of monism, but not the idea of G-d behind it found in scripture. When the rabbis like Maimonides say that G-d is one, infinite, and incorporeal, and that we know not what he is, but only know of him and his will through his works (angels, emissaries, etc.) the polytheists can say, “yeah, ok. but, what you call angels and emissaries, we call gods.” They have notions of a monistic first cause(Plato, Aristotle, Hindu’s, Buddhists, Sikhs, etc.) but it doesn’t translate to Monotheism, merely abstract notions of divinity, and special emissaries. Now, this is where a trinity of persons comes in. Trinity of persons does not mean physical bodies, nor does it mean there is more than one being called G-d. Picture if you will the first cause in Plato, Aristotle, Philo, and other religions. Christians would say this first cause is the person (because the biblical G-d has a will) of the father whom no man can, or has seen. The polytheists would say, “if you haven’t seen him, then how do you know he exists?” Christians would say “we know the will of the father through the son.” “Is the son a creature?” No, the Christians answer. For no man has ascended to heaven, but he who came down from heaven, the son of man.” The Son is the revelation of the father, “the express image of his person.” (not to imply corporeality, but merely to preserve biblical notions of theism.) For the Pagans who have a relative notion of divinity, G-d is either transcendent, immanent, knowable or unknowable, he cannot be all of these at once in a real substantial way in the sense we think of the G-d of covenant and scripture. Zeus and Jupiter for instance, are not beings with wills, they are interchangeable archetypes, or ideas, subject to fate like everything else. So when Christians speak of the Son, they are speaking of the unique uncreated voice at Sinai, the voice also out of the bush. It is not regarded as created, because polytheism can survive with that notion. G-d is transcendent, and yet possesses a will, which we know because he revealed it at Sinai through the angel of the l-rd whom Jews call Metatron and Christians call the uncreated Logos or Son of G-d. You see, we are talking about the incorporeal G-d as existing as concealed unknowable agent (personal), revealed agent (personal), and last but not least providentially acting agent (Spirit) All of these aspects of divine identity are and must be truly distinct from our perspective (to avoid pantheism), but one in essence and being to avoid polytheism. we have not even talked about a human being at all at this point. The Christian trinity preserves the distinctions of divine identity (G-d is not a monad, a force, or a principle.) He cannot be known in the biblical sense by human effort or by delving his wisdom alone. (notice that Balam was an active polytheist who saw no qualm in adding G-d to his pantheon, or studying G-d’s wisdom. How do we fix that notion?) Jesus is unique son of G-d in the sense that he had the same voice speak through him that Moses heard and had speak through him at Sinai.) The human being is not the divinity, the incorporeal word is divine. They are joined, but not confused. To think about it another way. Each person is who they are in themselves, is who they reveal to others, and is who they behave like.) These are unique persons, speaking about one being (synonymously,) Christian theology is not near as obsessed with corporeality as the rabbis think. For a final illustration. Early Christians who lived in a halachic context saw Jesus as an appointed adopted emissary of G-d with two human parents, who became spiritual son after resurrection due to his deeds. The interesting thng is that the Romans conceived of Caesar as a full human emissary, adopted son of a god (the previous human emperor) who joined the ranks of the gods after death. Early Christianity abandoned that model because it was too close to Pagan notions. Pagans had to be shown that G-d was incorporeal, immutable, etc. but this did not make him dependent on creatures, or unknowable.
What you wrote here is important because it shows how idolatrous notions, such as those of Hinduism and Christianity, are defended.
Peace and blessings,
You missed the point entirely Dina. The trinity does not mean that G-d is physical, it does not mean that he is confined to flesh, it doesn’t mean that non Christians can’t know G-d. There is nothing intrinsically 3 about G-d. Its interesting that in halacha the philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, and religions like Sikhism and Bahai (that have no direct relation to monotheistic Judaism) are regarded as monotheistic and non idolatrous, but Christianity which uses the Jewish Bible, and calls upon the name of Hashem (albiet in a form of partnership of sorts, in order to maintain divine unity and identity, in order to avoid relativism) is considered idolatrous. It is especially odd, since Christians did not invent the concept of a philonic logos mediator figure who was once human, but who embodies divine wisdom. The Targums, Philo, Saadia Gaon, and Maimonides all have notions akin to the Logos of Christianity. Enoch and Elijah are both identified as angels in some streams of Jewish tradition, and are invested with much authority. This is functionally the same thing as Christianity, just articulated differently. Christianity sought to solve the problem of the Two powers heresy (the 1st cause and the demiurge being treated as two powers or different gods by gnostics and philosophers) by positing a complex unity of G-d. This has been backed up by scholarship. Read Dr. Benjamin Sommer’s the bodies of G-d and the world of ancient Israel and Rethinking “Gnosticism”: An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category The metaphysics of christian doctrine existed prior to Christianity, in a halachic context, that dictated a difference of meaning (an adoptionist one) than the meaning of the later 4th century church. I don’t disagree with the unitarian position, but I’m not going to say that paganism can substantiate Christian doctrine. Frankly, there are too many metaphysical peculiarities to Christianity that could only arise from a desire to clarify the relationship between G-d and nature to separate them, (such as hypo-static union.) Polytheism has no need for such distinctions.
Jews don’t worship angels. We worship the God of Israel as He revealed Himself to us at Sinai, and Jesus wasn’t there (See Deuteronomy 4).
The very complexity of the discussion tells me that something is amiss. Jesus never ever claimed to be the PERSON who is the ONE God, ie YHVH the God of Israel! His claims were as the unique representative of God, superior to Moses and of course to all angels. Ps. 110:1 says it all. Jesus is the only human being so far resurrected to immortality. In this position he is ADONI! Adoni is never Deity. Unitary monotheism is a fixed datum for the Bible. Jesus’ origin is quite simply laid out for us in Luke 1:35. No one imagined anything as bad as the idea that GOD was born! The Trinity is a huge jumble of philosophy \imposed on the Christian documents. None of this is so difficult. The “church” went astray from the 2nd century. Look at the results!
Jesus is in no way greater than Moses, even if he said he was. I could declare myself to be President of the Universe (which I am sure we would all agree is a fitting title for me) but that doesn’t make it so.
Moses was established by God in the sight of the entire nation. Jesus was supposed to have been established privately. The most similar event in Jesus’ life to the appointment of Moses was the “transfiguration”. Here Jesus is supposed to have been conversing with Moses and Elijah and God to have announced that Jesus is God’s son, proclaiming, “Listen to him!” And how many people saw this? Three. And Jesus told them not to tell anyone until after his death. Jesus isn’t even in the same league as Moses.
The resurrection is similarly private, though a few more people are supposed to have seen that. But Jesus didn’t reveal himself to those to whom he promised the “sign of Jonah”. His resurrection wasn’t publicized until 47 days after the date he promised to rise from the dead. And if anyone at that time had asked to go see the resurrected Jesus, they would be told that he ascended to the clouds ten days prior to the announcement of his resurrection. One should just take it on faith.
This is why he can say to Thomas that those who do not see and believe anyway will be blessed. Jesus is appealing to a faith born out of ignorance rather than experience. But the Torah does not appeal to some world shaking event to which virtually no one was privy. Rather, he appeals to the direct experience of the people, what they saw and heard.
Moreover, Moses was chosen by both God and the people. God tells Moses He will speak to him in front of the people so they will believe in him forever. The people, for their part, ask God to talk to Moses for them. Both parties agreed to the appointment of Moses as prophet. Jesus has neither. The Church says he was sent by God, but that claim has no supporting evidence, only the private events mentioned. And the people certainly didn’t ask him to talk to God for them.
In no way then is Jesus greater than Moses. He was not publicly attested to by God. The claims made by his disciples are unverifiable. And not even the people looked to him. One can claim that Jesus is greater than Moses only in the same way that they might honor me as the President of the Universe.
The point of my article is that the Christian devotion to a man has nothing to do with the philosophical explanation that accompanies it. Christians did not “seek to solve the two powers problem” – they sought to justify feelings that already existed in their heart. Fact – most Christians today do not agree on the exact philosophical parameters of the “correct” explanation of the trinity – yet they do not see people who disagree with them on philosophy as idolaters as long as they still worship Jesus.
here is another article that may help you understand where we are coming from
Yourpharisee friend, the later church did indeed have to fix and deal with a two powers problem, and indeed the rest of polytheism. (What do you think Gnosticism’s teaching was?) The Gnostics were mixing platonic and stoic dualism, (true god and demiurge,) Pagan myth, and Christianity. I’m not claiming that unitarianism is wrong per se (I was raised Unitarian.) Unitarianism does fit the early Jewish context of the NT. The issue is that a Unitarian position must be coupled with Halacha, a covenental notion of G-d, and rabbinic or priestly oversight, in order to be consistent in the context of Torah. Gentile polytheism had none of these notions concerning the gods. Polytheists could believe in a first cause, (as did Plato and Aristotle,) and a notion of created emissaries, but the Jewish view of a personal G-d endowed with a specific will for us to follow, and a desire to care for us was not part of their understanding. Early gentile Christianity did not have this early halachc background, as the early Church made the decision that ethics for G-d fearing non Jews, and acceptance of Jesus was sufficient for them. (Acts 15.) We have to remember that Christianity did something which Judaism normally does not do, evangelize and actively oppose polytheistic theology. These early Christians actively defended and defined their faith against the polytheistic religions, and their notions. They couldn’t do it with ethics alone, so they used metaphysics. This is why Christianity has distinct doctrines like triune personality and incarnation.
Mr. Buzzard, it is truly a pleasure to happen upon a blog that you are involved in. I have seen many of your videos, debates, etc. excellent work, I’m a big fan! It is unquestionable that early Christians were unitarian and adoptionist (at least prior to 90 C.E. and John’s gospel, or 1 John etc. in their various redacted copies) but this early view arose in a Torah sensitive context. The problem for early trinitarians was, that the classical Jewish model of Jesus as appointed agent/adoni (master), was very similar to notions and trends common in Roman polytheism and metaphysics, and this created doctrinal and apologetic problems. for example, Caesar was the adopted agent of a deified emperor who earned his position by his deeds after his death. (this is why Mark’s gospel mocks the Roman imperial cult in its style by placing Jesus in the same model, but inverting it. righteousness, wisdom and obedience as opposed to power, terrestrial control, and glory, mark the true son of of G-d Jesus, against the false son of a god Caesar. Is it not conceivable in the slightest sense that the early Christian community would have defined Jesus in debate with Roman polytheists as being uncreated person precisely because of an apologetic conflict with the earlier Jewish understanding? For example, Plato was a monist (he could thus grasp the gist of Jewish metaphysics, notions of one ineffable divine monad, with lots of created emissaries,) but that this didn’t mean of necessity that he would believe in the rest of the Bible’s presuppositions or abandon polytheism. Jewish ethics after all, can be accepted and employed without a necessary belief in the personal G-d who spoke at Sinai, we all know this. It is easier to be a skeptical deist than a biblical theist. Christian doctrine is trying to advance a Jewish notion of one G-d as personal, and yet also transcendent in a decidedly non Jewish cultural context that favors strict separation between perfect cosmos and imperfect matter, and sees no rationality in the Bible. I saw the great debate with Dr. Michael Brown, John Goode, James White, and yourself, it was quite good. I think both sides were correct in what they were saying though. G-d could conceivably require the allegiance of the whole earth to a mortal messiah, but this would allow for the same problem (idolatry,) or the temptation to it, to exist unimpeded. As Dr. Brown had said, If you say Jesus is a mortal emissary given divine authority, you are giving the authority of G-d to a mortal man! And, if one mortal can claim divine authority, then many can. That’s the trinitarian issue. A great pleasure to Blog with you, sir.
Dear Concerned Reader,
While this is interesting (to those who are interested in this stuff) and while it makes you sound erudite (always a nice thing), it is completely irrelevant if the Torah is true. Like I said earlier, Deuteronomy 4 tells us exactly Whom to worship, and by the process of elimination, whom not to worship. Anyone who was not revealed to the Jewish nation at Mount Sinai is not a candidate for the deity. Jesus wasn’t there; ergo, he isn’t God.
It really is that simple.
Peace and blessings,
My point is that the quest to philosophize about two powers, theism vs. deism etc. only began after a given devotion was already fixed in their hearts. They didn’t choose philosophy after consulting with a career guide – they entered the field of philosophy by necessity – that is after their devotion was called into question – either by their own conscience or by the criticism of outsiders – or both. And that original devotion was already problematic.
Right Yourphariseefriend, but that devotion was within a Torah context like that of a talmid to his Rebbe. Jacob, Enoch, Elijah, etc. have all been treated as created, subsequently angelic emissaries who it was permissible to ask to pray for you, to hope for their return etc.in Judaism itself, so long as no worship due to G-d was given to them. In that context, that view works. John’s gospel however was written in 90 CE when there was significant contact with gentile cultures who had philosophy and could accept a unitarian notion of G-d, who worked through created emissaries, as well as through a system of ethics, but not a notion of an active personal G-d as Judaism really believed in. polytheistic metaphysics were totally different. Saying the Word was G-d, and the word was Jesus, was like saying, see! G-d really exists, is personal, and this is what he expects us to do! We don’t just drash through G-d’s wisdom, use astrology, or determine he exists because of nature, G-d is literally able to enter history himself and show us how to live, like he did for Moses at Sinai! The purpose in saying Jesus is G-d was never to elevate him as a man, (polytheists do that by default,) but to illustrate the Jewish notion of a transcendent G-d who enters into history from above. Jesus the man has always been treated in christian tradition like the Bush of the burning Bush. The bush itself is just a bush, but what was manifest in or through it, was G-d. This is why Acts says Jesus’ spirit was breathed on his disciples, and that same spirit fell at Shavuot! (pentacost) This is what people don’t get about polytheistic religions. It is 1000 times more likely that gentile pagans would believe in the intrinsic divinity of nature, and everyone and everything in it, before believing in a G-d of covenant who enters into creation from outside. Dr. Buzzard has said that if G-d ordains that we worship his sinless created son, that is ok! That is not Ok! Romans used that model! G-d alone deserves worship, but G-d is not a philosophical monad like Plato or Aristotle taught, nor is he a divinely realized teacher! He is not impersonal. Do you see how both models work in different contexts? Nations needed to know G-d as actively present and personal more than they needed a notion of oneness or ethics. You keep the Torah because it is from G-d, not because you think it ethical, do you see how John 1:1 could have needed clarification that became trinitarian?
I’m sorry if it irks you when I keep responding to your comments addressed to Your Pharisee Friend, rather than to me. I can’t resist!
I just can’t help asking you if you really believe what you said, that “Jesus the man has always been treated in christian tradition like the Bush of the burning Bush.” You even capitalized the word “bush.”
Can you support this statement? Can you show that the bush is the focal point of Judaism the way Jesus in Christian tradition has always been the focal point of Christianity?
but that devotion was devotion to a finite being, an inhabitant of the earth, a beneficiary of G-d’s kindness. To start talking about such a devotion as devotion to God Himself on the basis of philosophical speculation is disingenuous – it is denying the root of the devotion – which is whatever it is that attracts people to finite beings.
For clarity – it would be one thing for someone to philosophize about God and come up with a theory that God must somehow be two. I would call such a person mistaken.
But if someone is completely devoted to a sports hero – and when challenged by others to justify his extreme devotion he searches the libraries for different theories about God and find one that fits his devotion – that’s not “mistaken” – that’s ignoring reality
That’s a really good comment. There is still the claim that what they saw in Jesus didn’t just lead them to adore him highly and then justify it, but in fact it led them to think he was God incarnate, then justify worship, then worship him, then clarify it all. I personally don’t think that happened or even could have happened. But it is still a different chain of events than just being attracted to something in him; it is more a claim of thinking they understood something about ‘who he was’.
To Dina. We know from historic studies of the gospel texts that the tradition has evolved. Some early Christians saw Jesus as completely human, but venerated him much the way they would a rebbe. (initially, his Disciples did this) (and that is permissible in Judaism.) Some saw him as an adopted Son of Spiritual significance Like Enoch, Israel, or Elijah who after resurrection or ascension joined the ranks of angels. (this is also known of in Judaism.) Something however, about Jesus’ Words in the texts scream that a mere man cannot say such things, for to say such things, one would need to have Hashem speaking through him without an intermediary.) As an example, Jews don’t accept moshe rabbeinu because he said something cool, or did a miracle, or because he was powerful, they accept him because G-d spoke from his throat at Sinai, people saw it, and there was no other possible explanation why he could say or do what he did. When Moshe says in Devarim 11:15, “I will provide grass in the fields,” he is speaking as himself with hashem’s authority as his Shaliach, (a complete man, but endowed with the voice of G-d.) Does this mean that Moses, or the bush, etc. is a divinity in their own right, or that their body is somehow G-d? Heaven forbid, for G-d is spirit, and spirit hath not flesh and bones! But the encounter can’t mean anything else other than that hashem himself is speaking through Moses without an intermediary. What I meant about Christians preserving the distinctions, is that Always, the gospel speaks about Jesus as limited, lacking knowledge, being tempted, dying, etc. G-d himself can do none of these things. Ergo, Jesus (mind body soul and spirit) is called a human being alike with us in all ways except sin. It is the Words Jesus speaks that force the Christian to say, G-d is Jesus. the word became flesh, flesh did not become the word. Thus, Christians know that G-d is one, incorporeal, infinite, absolutely simple, first cause, and is beyond time and space. If Christians meant to say the man Jesus was G-d (Hashem) then it would not be heresy (as it indeed is in Christianity) to say that we don’t need to have the Tanakh in our bible because we have Jesus (Marcion), or to say that Jesus alone is G-d.(Modalism) It is true that trinity of persons, 3 persons, is a later elaboration, and clarification, (against pagan notions) but the sources make plain that when Jesus said, “son, your sins are forgiven thee, take up thy pad and walk,” even if he was merely an appointed shaliach chosen to utter this, like Moses, it would have to be G-d himself behind him saying it through him, just as was the case with Moses. John 5:30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. Moses on Sinai had his human limitations, hunger, will, and evil inclination effectively suspended when G-d delivered Torah. Maimonides says that no human before or since has been on his level of prophecy, and that we only trust his words because G-d was there, and experienced by everyone. So it must be with Jesus. Yourphariseefriend sees Jesus as the locus of devotion, but it is words and deeds, not flesh that prompts, even forces, the conclusion Christians reach.
Polytheists, would either have no need for these types of distinctions between human and divine nature, saying indeed that as creations so and so is the only true god, or that, it doesn’t matter if he is born of regular human parents, if he died, if he was horrible, he has the terrestrial power,or has been given it, and we venerate him as a divinity even knowing that. You see, the problem is that people evaluate polytheism presupposing an acquiescence to biblical concepts. (people who had knowledge of G-d, but fell short in assigning partners to G-d, like Balaam.) Polytheism does not necessarily believe in that view of divine reality. G-d needn’t be beyond nature, because he is nature in their view. There doesn’t even need to be a god in polytheism. They worship ancestors without qualms, and call natural phenomenon, the life cycle itself, divine. Teachers like Buddha (who explicitly said: I am not a god) are worshiped because of their wisdom, not because they are any different than us. If you say G-d is one, to them, that doesn’t mean there is a covenant. If you say he is one, transcendent first cause, they could agree to that premise, but understand it to mean that this makes him or it too abstract. The oneness of god for a polytheist is grounds for multiple true paths to G-d, not the biblical notion of covenant.
It is slanderous to the Christian texts and tradition to say that they are unaware of biblical monotheism’s meaning. The rabbis have said that Plato, Aristotle, Sikhs, Bahai, and Muslims are all monotheists because they are unitarian (monists), (even though they all reject a unique covenant notion of G-d, and the Hebrew Bible,) but Christians who accept the sanctity of the Hebrew Bible as delivered by G-d to Moses, are called idolaters because they believe that hahsem can enter into his own creation to redeem it? Who is focusing too much on the man Jesus here?
I mean all this respectfully btw. BTW, if any Jews are reading this, your commitment is to your G-d and to his Torah, and I would not change that. I merely disagree with the halachic classification of Christianity as Idolatry. Its doctrines formed in many ways as a direct response to actual ancient idolatrous notions that were far more diverse, naturalistic, and relativistic than anything around today.
Also Dina, to think of it another way. Remember when The king of Babel Nebuchadnezzar burned incense to Daniel, and gave him the highest position second only to himself in Daniel 2? Just like Pharaoh had done for Yosef in Genesis? Neither Yosef nor Daniel said no to this,(because shittuf, or partnership of others with G-d is fine for gentiles) and both of the kings said truly hashem is the highest G-d! These gentiles were still paying homage to mortals, (and in any context, you didn’t offer incense unless it was for religious service.) So, the question arises, given that these gentiles believed that G-d was the highest G-d, but that they also saw no contradiction in honoring Daniel and Yosef, what then was their view of the divine? The answer is, off course gods aren’t the reality of the divine, they are mortal go betweens. The Jewish notion of G-d beyond time and space, yet still directly personally active in creation is a silly notion. Thats what kings are for. Sure they are mortal like us, but they serve a high station. Nobody thinks they are the full divine reality operating in this world, that would be ridiculous. How could G-d be boxed into one form, one covenant, or any covenant? How can G-d be described at all? You see then, how polytheists (even in scripture) can accept divine unity, transcendence, etc. but that it may not mean the same thing? To them, its perfectly OK to worship a being just like them because they are higher on the totem pole. Its ok to worship the seasons, an animal, a prophet, a priest, a king, a shaman etc. because the one divine reality can never be boxed, never known directly, but only through creation. It can never have a unique love of one people.Think about Pharoah’s reaction to G-d”s miracles through Moses and Aaron. Everything miraculous that the Egyptian magicians could duplicate let Pharaoh remain safely a skeptic. Skepticism, natural explanations, and men of high station, family honor, the here and now, are the gods of the nations by default. Christianity went through a lot to undue that assessment.
I fail to see the difference.
If you can find Scriptural support for the Christian worship of Jesus, that would be more useful.
P.S. I appreciate your respectful tone and would like you to know that I mean no disrespect in these conversations as well.
Christians have converted to Judaism when they really feel the pull, but instead, they can just accept the Noahide laws (shortened version of the ten commandments) if they choose to. I’ve seen many convert to Judaism based on their comfort level, feelings and research. It’s just what feels right and passionate to them. One should stay they way they’re unless they personally feel a need to change. Some rather be burned at stake than to change which I can understand completely. This should not be a contest or game of who’s right and who’s wrong, but what you feel passionate and loyal to and many since birth have felt what they already feel now. Some people become confused and vulnerable and are easily swayed to certain groups (like a cult), but each person has a birth right and many feel the power of what they believe in based on their experiences, upbringing and studies during their youth. There wouldn’t be as much war and violence if everyone accepted that the world is made up of different ways to connect with G-D and a miracle will have to occur in order for this to occur (which in Judaism, it’s due any time from now until 225 years from now aka the Jewish Messiah. This was stated in the Talmud (one of the oldest Jewish scriptures of our time). Dysfunctional behavior will cease along with birth defects and other mishaps. The lion will sleep with the lamb and there will not be any violence, weapons, etc. in the world. And now we see why the Messiah has not arrived yet..just look at all that is happening in our world.
From Judaism’s point of view, it’s cut and dry. We have a direct connection with G-D and don’t go through anything or person to communicate or repent for wrong doings. For us, this is what we do and live by which is second nature. For those that don’t do what we do, that is there choice based on what they were taught or how they were raised and maybe what they studied. But that is their decision, responsibility, obligation and convictions which is fine for them. The same goes for Judaism as well. As long as YOU don’t believe or think you’re idol worshiping, that’s what counts. And if you think it’s okay and acceptable to do this, than that’s what counts as well. One should feel confident in their beliefs and not force someone else to do the same if they don’t want, need or choose to do so. There is no point of it and hasn’t been like this as much as there as been no violence, bigotry and war. I still believe that when our Messiah actually arrives (may not be in our life time), then the truth will be revealed and only then will everyone see the one and only truth itself.
Dina, respectfully, if you are looking for a single verse, you won’t find one, any more than you will find single verses substantiating Philo’s unique theology, Saadia gaon’s Kavod Nivra theology, or any of Judaism or Christianity’s later doctrinal or philosophical developments. Allegorically, if you need verses, we have the notion that Moshiach is Moshe’s successor. What was the name of Moshe’s successor in the plain historical sense? Yehoshua ie Yeshua 😉 just kidding lol, but you get that I jest. As i’ve tried to explain, its not that a unitarian position couldn’t work, (such as saying Jesus is just a human chosen by G-d.) the problem is that idolatrous connotations still flourish with that assertion and view, especially back in the day among gentile cultures existing outside of a halachic culture. The trinity, deity of Jesus, incarnation, etc. are better understood as responses by the Church to certain problems that arose over time in the Church, in response to problematic readings, polytheistic apologetic s, etc.. Christian theology is like the Jewish concept of fences around Torah. Gentile Christianity was explaining a Jewish notion of G-d through Jesus with essentially noachide ethics, to cultures which couldn’t understand the divine in a biblical way, and as I’ve said, in light of many of Jesus’ own statements, if he wasn’t G-d, essentially connected to G-d, or speaking entirely allegorically exclusively in a halachic context, his statements are very problematic from the scriptural standpoint. If you need context on trinity VS non trinity, The Great Debate: Is Jesus G-d, gives an excellent overview of different Christian perspectives on this question. It is not outside the bible to be unitarian, its a question of how a halachcially minimalist view among non Jews could spread true biblical belief in cultures without necessary biblical presuppositions. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDnWdDxfZcQ
Every Christian I’ve engaged with on this blog has a different idea of what Christianity is. It’s very confusing. How can anyone know what the truth is?
We believe that the truth lies in the core experience of the Jewish people, the national revelation at Sinai–a claim no other religion has ever made. In fact, the Torah predicts that no one else will make such a claim (Deuteronomy 4:32-35).
Hashem spoke to Moses out of the cloud in front of the entire nation so that we would all believe him (Exodus 19:9). For us to believe in the Torah, such a high standard of evidence was needed to establish the credibility of Moses.
The questions we must ask are:
1. What is the truth?
2. What does God want us to do?
If you believe the Torah is true, then you will find the answers there. The Torah teaches us everything we need to know about Whom to worship. The Torah teaches it in a way so simple that even a five-year-old can grasp. Complicated philosophical musings are thus rendered unnecessary.
If you do not believe the Torah is true, then we should be having a very different conversation.
Sorry, Concerned Reader, I’ve been meaning to respond to this for a while. Since we believe the Torah is the word of God, then it follows that if we want to know what God requires of us, the Torah is the place to search. That’s why I always ask for Scriptural support. I need to know that Hashem commanded it–especially when it comes to fundamentally changing the way we worship.
I respectfully disagree that Christian theology is like the Jewish concept of building fences around the Torah. The building of fences refers to laws or restrictions that will safeguard us from transgressing a Biblical commandment. For example, to prevent us from inadvertently mixing milk and meat products, we keep separate dishes for milk and meat. This creates a fence around the prohibition of eating milk and meat together.
Christian theology is the exact opposite of this, as it breaks down the barrier around strict monotheism. It blurs the distinction between Creator and created.
I think you underestimate the intelligence of the people belonging to the surrounding cultures when you say that they “couldn’t understand the divine in a biblical way” and therefore needed a repackaging in the form of Christianity, so to speak. In fact, Judaism was becoming a quite influential religion, and gentiles were drawn to it (they were called “God fearers”). According to our version of history :), Christianity drew away these people and thus the “God fearer” movement ended.
If I understand you correctly you seem to feel that the Jewish people are guilty of unjustified discrimination in their attitude toward other religions. The Jewish people identify Christianity as idolatry while other religions, which are perhaps closer to pagan notions, are not identified as idolatry by the spiritual leadership of Israel.
I will preface my response by telling you that there is no authoritative Jewish ruling concerning most of the religions you mentioned. If the popular opinion of Jews is wrong concerning these religions and they are truly idolatrous, then the popular opinion is wrong – we generally like to give people the benefit of the doubt. But this has nothing to do with Christianity. Christianity points to a person who walked this earth and directs devotion to that person.
And this is the point you seem to be missing. There is a difference between “devotion” and “philosophy – theology.” As far as I know, the Sikhs, the Bahais, Plato and Aristotle did not single out any entity from within creation as an object of worship. Perhaps their philosophy is idolatrous. Perhaps, but it will take a lot of studying for me to be able to make that pronouncement and I haven’t done that study, so I am not qualified to render an opinion on the matter. But Christianity does single out an entity from within creation as an object of worship. I don’t need to study the philosophy that is used to justify this devotion. This is exactly what we were warned about at Sinai.
You speak of devotion to Rebbes/teachers/prophets/Moses that is accepted within Judaism as a justification for Christianity’s devotion toward Jesus.
Let me say this. Not all devotion to teachers is justified in Judaism. The belief system that we were taught at Sinai is God-centered. If devotion to a teacher moves the center point of the community away from God and puts it on that teacher, then that community has taken a step in the wrong direction. Devotion to a Torah teacher should flow out of our loyalty to God and not move the center of our loyalty. – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/yearning-for-the-messiah/
How can a given community know that they have become “teacher centered” as opposed to “God centered”? Perhaps the subtleties are not readily apparent, but extreme levels of this shift of focus, such as is present in the Christian community, is very obvious. If the community defines themselves and others, according to devotion to this leader – their friends are fellow devotees and their enemies are people who don’t share this devotion – regardless of where those people stand in relation to God – then it is obvious that the community is no longer centered on God.
For purposes of illustration. Several people who comment on this blog are Christians who do not believe in the trinity. Yet many of them see Trinitarian Christians as mistaken “brothers in faith” while people who love God but don’t believe in Jesus are not “brothers in faith”. This tells me as it should tell you that this community is Jesus centered and not God centered.
When a community uses devotion to an individual to define themselves, as did the early Christians, and then that devotion is elevated to devotion of the divine – then it is obvious that we are dealing with idolatry – the type that violates our covenant with God. The actions of the community leave us with no question. There is no need to study the philosophy/theology of the community – the end-product says it all.
As for spreading monotheism amongst pagans. Judaism was working slowly to build belief in God amongst their pagan neighbors. But Christianity diverted the attention away from Judaism – you can read about it in my article “Christianity Unmasked”
I will conclude with this statement and request. I appreciate your questions and I request that if you feel that I am mistaken – please try to articulate where you think I went wrong so that this discussion can continue – I feel that this discussion will bring clarity.
Yourphariseefriend, the view that is Jesus only centered (pentacostal, ie moadalist, etc.) is entirely heretical according to all early Christian thinkers. Paul mentions that “the law is written on the heart” of those who are non Christians. Jews worship G-d the father, Christians do not doubt that Jews worship hashem, and that he deals with Israel in his way (see Paula Fredriksen’s Augustine and the Jews.) Many Christians on this blog believe that “if G-d ordains that his sinless human agent” is to be worshiped, that this would be acceptable. This is wrong in Christian theology, and definitely not G-d centered. To Quote you, If devotion to a teacher moves the center point of the community away from God and puts it on that teacher, then that community has taken a step in the wrong direction.
Indeed, A man of flesh and blood cannot become G-d. Only G-d, who exists from eternity past (incorporeally I might add also) can come down and make himself known, as Hashem did in the Tanakh. This off course is not the rabbinic reading of those verses where hashem does these things like come to see Abraham after his Circumcision, (for that Jewish tradition has Metatron,) but it is important to remember that Jesus (the personality, as opposed to the human being born 2,000 years ago) Pre-existed as the Malach who carried Hahsem’s name, according to Christian thought. As Paul also says in 1 Corinthians 10 1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3They all ate the same spiritual food 4and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. (IE the Well of Miriam) 5Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. (what rock/Christ could Paul be talking about? The Torah, which is not an abstract system of laws, but G-d’s own will. (Your covenant is valid, for the gifts and call of G-d are irrevocable.) Paul is saying that the spirit of Christ went with Israel in the wilderness. If Christ was with Israel in the wilderness, than clearly the statement Jesus is G-d, is true in one sense, and false in another sense. Hypostatic union:The exact imprint of the father’s being/ the radiance of his glory, his word, was joined to a human nature and was reflected in it fully. Notice that the personality of Jesus (that of an obedient son reflecting the will of his father) is not the same thing in the same respect as a tempted, learning, struggling servant.)
In answer to your question, when can you tell when a community has crossed the line from G-d centered to teacher centered? Just look at the Christian community. Catholics and Orthodox, have a working theology of how G-d can and does operate beyond Christian religion. Pentacostals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, etc. generally see everyone who is outside of their view as lost beyond redemption. The interesting thing is that early Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christianity (non protestant) teaches that a Christian can lose their salvation, a la the book of Hebrews, but a non Christian should not be judged.
Do I feel that Judaism has been unfair to other religions?
I wouldn’t say unfair. I would say very equitable, but largely unexposed to the particulars of various belief systems obviously for a reason. I do not blame Jews for their extreme dislike of Christians and Christianity as a whole, at all, given the horrible history. I do feel, that both of our communities don’t respect each other, or our definitions of identity and faith, and that this has caused more harm than anything. This is the fault of a Christianity that does not know the Judaism it sprang from, that does not know the beauty of the Jewish tradition, and which has made zero effort to understand the value of Jewish law, its continued relevance for Jews, or even Jewish reasons for rejecting Jesus. The fact is, if a Christian tells you that Jesus didn’t observe Torah in his day, it is likely that he doesn’t know that in fact Jesus did, because he has never been exposed to that information.
Devotion to a Torah teacher should flow out of our loyalty to God and not move the center of our loyalty.
This is true in Christianity as well. If you hold that Only Jesus is G-d, and that the only people G-d can love are Christians, then the texts and arguments in the NT implode on themselves. Think about it for a second. If that was really the view of the early Christians, then the Jews who advocated full proselyte conversion to Judaism before declaring a person “saved,” in Acts would have been right, and Christianity would have probably disappeared with bar kochba. My criticism is not in the rabbinic position that worship of Jesus can be idolatrous, my critique is in the statement that it is idolatrous no matter what outright! The issue is that the rabbis have put recognition of divine unity and simplicity, above recognition of a notion of G-d who has specific personal characteristics as revealed in the Bible. For instance, Islam is monotheistic, there is no doubt there. It is however possible to fall into idolatry the way that Muslims emphasize Muhammad so much. (To the extreme of killing people for drawing a picture of Muhammad for instance.)
I feel that I should say, I was raised as a unitarian Christian, so I appreciate that view. It also shows that the blanket statement in halacha that Christians are idolaters is wrong in many instances. I realized in college taking comparative religions as my degree, that polytheistic religions don’t necessarily hold to a Jewish or Christian view of theism, or theism at all for that matter. Many greek philosophers and Roman writers for instance, (before and contemporary with Jesus) advocated the view that the gods were mere men, the myths superstition, and that they served the purpose of keeping people submissive and paying taxes. This was remarkably similar to the views expressed by non religious people today. This showed me that in real world classical idolatry (many idolatrous religions) don’t default to any notion even remotely resembling the G-d of scripture, and they also employ a great deal of observational wisdom in theology and cosmology, as well as the knowledge current in their day, just like today. I’ve explained many pagan views above. Most pagan systems believe matter is eternal, is evil to some extent, creation is an eternal process, etc. One G-d can be seen as an unknowable force, an illusion, personal via the agency of natural processes and creatures, etc. The christian theology of persons is thus not tied to material things (in fact it is heresy to say that the persons are bodies as Mormons say,) but the theology serves a genuine purpose in distancing the Church from Pagan culture, much like halacha does for Judaism. The other issue is as you stated, just because the sages have issued rulings, doesn’t mean that it is definitive. The problem with this, is that people often judge according to what they know, which is popular opinion, which is very often incorrect.
Although we disagree on many points, I appreciate your tone. In a debate that can get contentious, you present a calm and respectful demeanor. Just wanted to thank you for that rare quality.
Peace and blessings,
You speak of the “pre-existent” Jesus – no one ever saw this entity. This entity is created out of theological speculation that was launched to justify devotion to Jesus the human who lived 2000 years ago.
So I do not see the place for your criticism that the rabbinic community considering all worship of Jesus to be idolatry. after everything is said and done – all denominations of Christianity who believe in the deity of Jesus believe that the character described in the Christian Scriptures is worthy of worship.
If you will invent a different version of Christianity – then we will check out your new denomination to see if it is idolatrous – but if you are going to deify a man (and saying God became man changes nothing) then you might as well stop now.
There is another error in your information bank. Many rabbis are aware of the distinction between Unitarian Christians and non-Unitarians and they do not consider Unitarians to be idolaters.
Really no reason to go on any further. The original untouched/unedited Torah/Talmud/Five Books of Moses (what was handed down to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai from G-D, was the first, the last and there is nothing in between, to those who believe in Judaism. You see, in all of our books and scriptures (bible), it NEVER stated “To Be Continued!” This means that we don’t give our approval to any other bibles that followed aka The New Testament. It means nothing to those that believe in Judaism, so for us that is that. Real simple concept for Judaism. G-D stated in the Torah/Talmud…I am the first, I am the last and there is nothing in between is what G-D stated in the orignal Old Testament/Torah/Bible of those who practice Judaism as it has always been. We don’t approve of any other bibles or edited versions after this which was our promise to the G-D of Israel. Amen.
nothing in between. No further discussion or need to say one more word. It would be a waste of our time! There is a place in heaven for all is what G-D promised in the original,
You heard a still small voice that declared a specific list of do and don’t commandments. An unknowable or ineffable divine reality that of necessity is one, need not have this characteristic, so it could be argued that either this divinity is impersonal and the voice was a lie or a creation, or we could say that the one divinity is what we call a person by linguistic convention that is transcendent and personal, immanent and personal, and acting and personal. Three comes about by the relation of these unique mutually exclusive characteristics. Not by divisions, or corporeality, or anything accidental including humans. You claim G-d as agent who delivers Torah, but you lock him out of direct contact with creation to preserve a monad. Many rabbis do make distinctions for unitarians, but not a majority. .
I will take my educated and birthright chance to stick with Judaism based on all the research I’ve personally done. I obey the G-D of Israel and on Mount Sinai. No questions asked. No one can take that away from you, thank G-D. As stated by G-D, I am the first, I am the last and there is nothing in between. There is a place in heaven for everyone.
I don’t disagree with you there Sara. All nations have a share in the world to come. I also don’t advocate Jewish conversion to Christianity, just for the record. I only have a disagreement as to the Christian doctrine vis the question of idolatry as per Jewish law. I don’t agree that it should qualify as idolatrous for gentiles. It also seems that if a non religious Jew becomes a Christian, that there is a far better chance that they may eventually embrace Judaism, rather than the alternatives. Just a thought.
You may not know this, but Jews do not seek to convert Christians or others to Judaism. In light of that, why do you take issue with how Judaism defines idolatry?
Dina, I know that Judaism doesn’t actively seek conversion, and I also know that the process isn’t easy. I take issue with the way Judaism defines Idolatry for one reason. Monotheism ( as expounded by the rabbis) states: that G-d, the first and the last, The great I Will Be That I Will Be, is one, infinite, incorporeal, absolutely simple first cause, and that to believe this makes one a biblical monotheist. However, to hold this belief does not require a belief in G-d as defined by the Torah at all. This is my problem. Many religions that are regarded as Monotheistic, given the above definition, have no concept of G-d as taught by scripture. Plato held unity, incorporeality, and simplicity of essence as essential, but he was a polytheist. Many Hindus hold this view, Islam, which holds the same definition of Monotheism as Judaism, does not hold to the covenant notion that Jews or Christians hold to in the same way we do, (they don’t accept Torah or Christian traditional texts as written.) Spinoza who held the same notion (albiet bordering on pantheism) certainly did not hold belief in a biblical description of G-d or commandments. These various views are held by many rabbis though not all, as authentic monotheistic views. Christianity, by contrast, which holds the Hebrew Bible as delivered by Moses as sacred, which believes G-d is capable of direct intervention in his own creation (without being limited by that Creation,) which believes G-d can do everything he said he could, is regarded as idolatrous, because the explanation of Christian doctrine as it is understood by Christians themselves is deemed inadequate monotheism by the rabbis. Christians can scream at the top of their lungs that G-d is in no way limited by dwelling in Jesus, that we are not teaching that only Jesus=G-d, and that people outside of the Church can be saved if G-d wills, but because Christians hold that G-d came down as Jesus without ceasing to be G-d in heaven, Christians are idolaters. There is nothing in the written text of scripture to say that G-d cannot take on a form (whatever form it may be,) but Christians do not conceive of G-d as material, they merely assert that he can and did dwell among us revealing his word. (anyone who has read Aquinas knows Christians are not corporealists.) Christian doctrine serves to preserve the Theism of the Bible. G-d is a unity, but not an abstract unity in Christian tradition. G-d is personal, active, etc. Just to clarify, this is not to say, that the rabbis are wrong in saying that Christian worship CAN be idolatrous, it is just that given the communities self understanding and definition, it is unjust to accuse it outright of idolatry, when it is not saying what it is accused of saying, in the manner it is accused of saying it. As an example. G-d told Moses to build a serpent of brass (it eventually became an idol called Nehushtan.) Initially, however, this image was permissible for use (as long as it was used and understood in a certain way.) If Christians conceive of Jesus as eternally emanating from the father, bearing his name, not upstaging his glory, and at the same time preserving a personal experience of G-d, as opposed to that of a mere watchmaker, how is that idolatry? Especially considering that Genuine agreed upon categories of Idolatry, make G-d less relevant, make G-d more abstract, and make an authentic covenant of G-d an impossibility through many many relative abstract understandings of the term god? Is my caring about this question making any sense at all?
I will cut to the chase quickly. First of all, the New Testament interpretation and meaning was changed and isn’t equal to the original and unedited version of the Jewish people who believe in Judaism. This is a fact. 2nd of all, a true, believable messenger of G-d does not state that he is more than a messenger and arrogantly state they’re G-d as Jesus did. If so, they will be punished as he obviously was by Ponchus Pilate and the Romans who practice that type of death. Because Judaism doesn’t support what Christianity does on this level, this is why we hold our beilefs sacred since they don’t add up to anyone deserving to be thought of other than the one and only invisible G-d. If you did see G-d, you wouldn’t be alive and Jesus screaming out to be spared and forsaken says it all. Why would one believe in a human and put them up so honored and respected when they can’t even safe themself being high and mighty. No different than anyone else who walks on this earth. He bled like a human and ate like one. If you’re devine, you don’t function or need these things. So, I would believe in Moses as much as Jesus, but I won’t place a human being at the same or higher position as G-d. Please consider reading a book I can’t stop thinking about called How to Refute a Missionary by Gerald Sigal. It explains this clearly and extremely well. It is my favorite book and suggest reading it to see where I am coming from. Please consider for more clarifications and examples. Thanks for your attention and good luck.
I haven’t taken the time to study the different systems that are out there. My first step on my own spiritual journey was to ascertain that the Torah is true. Once I did that, I examined the claims of other Christianity in light of the Torah and saw that they contradicted the teachings of the Torah. I ignored the other religions which did not use the Torah as evidence for the truth of their claims.
The Christian doctrine that belief in a divine messiah is needed for salvation is nowhere to be found in the Torah. The Torah tells us that our spiritual destiny is entirely in our own hands through the agency of free will (Genesis 4:7, Deuteronomy 30; Ezekiel 18; Ezekiel 33).
That’s just one example.
Okay, I’m getting off track. If I’m happy for Christians to remain Christian, and you’re happy for Jews to remain Jewish, then why would you care how 0.2% of the world population defines idolatry? That’s what’s confusing me. So I guess I don’t understand how you answered my question. Or maybe you didn’t understand my question. Why care what we think?
Sara, with respect, I wrote that in response to Dina’s question. I will consider looking up that book.
I do not understand what it is that you don’t understand about my response to your concerns so I will try to clarify. I will break my response into two statements and I will ask you to tell me which of the two you disagree with.
1 – Idolatry is not about belief it is about devotion. To illustrate – atheism is a completely erroneous belief and as beliefs go it is perhaps worse than idolatry from a biblical standpoint – but it is not idolatry. The term “idolatry” is only relevant in a situation of devotion to a beneficiary of God’s benevolence.
2 – The devotion that many Christians direct toward the character described in the Christian Scripture falls under the category of “idolatry” that is prohibited by the Torah. The belief statements that Christians use to deflect the charge of idolatry are irrelevant because they do not change the devotion.
Do you disagree with both of these statements? And if you disagree with only one of them; which one?
I am taking the liberty of pasting links to articles that may shed light on my understanding of the matter – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/another-mathematical-problem/
1 – Idolatry is not about belief it is about devotion. To illustrate – atheism is a completely erroneous belief and as beliefs go it is perhaps worse than idolatry from a biblical standpoint – but it is not idolatry. (How So? it is devotion to non belief.) As I understood from a post above responding to Dr. Anthony Buzzard (A Unitarian,) devotion to Jesus or any other entity is idolatrous from the Jewish perspective. I’ve heard this perspective from this Blog as well. http://hesedyahu.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/the-shituf-excuse-preserving-madness-because-its-permissible/
I do understand the point you have raised. I’m not disagreeing to be disrespectful in any way, I mean that.
It seems to me however that belief, and even some degree of unique mediatorship (like that of Moses) has to be essential to devotion to G-d in a biblical view, if only to be consistent with how scripture describes G-d. As for Atheism being erroneous, while I sympathize, it is a very predominate position in the modern age, given scientific discoveries, skepticism, etc. I don’t have an issue with preserving the unity of G-d as you describe it, but the question does come down to belief, precisely because atheism, agnosticism, pantheism, and polytheism flourish quite readily, even effortlessly, even in religious settings, despite the fact that insistence and emphasis on unity is upheld in your position. What do I mean? Not only are Jews and Christians confessing divine unity in scripture, we are proposing that G-d spoke directly on Sinai, delivered his will, and redeemed a nation. The problem isn’t with your notion of only being devoted to G-d, it is that your description of devotion to G-d hangs more on the acceptance of a rational philosophical monism than on the personal G-d described in scripture. A person can accept your emphasis on divine unity, and even the halachic system of ethics, without the least necessity of accepting the Bible, or the description of G-d found in it. After all, most mitzvot can be rationally deduced and justified without the least need to believe any of the stories in the Torah. If the premise is, devotion to G-d and him alone, then even very religious observant people can be accused of breaking the commandment against idol worship through devotion via popular religion. Even Mr. Buzzard who defends the Shema with his every breath and heart, because of his devotion to Jesus as a teacher, was regarded above as an idolater. I’m not going to continue to explain the Christian position since I know you see it as a mere justification for idolatry, but given that you can rationally understand and come to accept your viewpoint without actually needing scripture, what do you make of that? To put it another way, many Christians may worship Jesus, but there is only Hahsem G-d associated with him in Christian consciousness.
BTW, I will restate that I do not want Jews to convert and become Christians. I love Judaism and the good it does for this world. Services that I have been too were all beautiful, full of warmth, love, and G-dly people.
Let me preface my response with the statement that you don’t have to apologize to me when you disagree with me. The respectful way in which you interact is an inspiration.
Getting to the subject at hand. I take it that you disagree with my first statement.
Perhaps let me state the areas that I agree with you so we can move those out of the way and focus on the areas of disagreement.
I agree with you when you say that in a certain philosophical sense, Christianity’s concept of a God that enters into personal relationships with His creations is closer to Judaism then those who make God out to be some distant entity that inherently cannot interact with anyone.
So in the are of trying to describe the nature of God, Christianity accepts a Biblical truth which many others do not accept. I agree with this. I also agree that if people take the words of Maimonides out of the context of the Jewish consciousness about God they are likely to end up with the impersonal “first cause” of Aristotle.
But the Five Books of Moses, the Psalms and the prayer book were always more authoritative and popular in Judaism than Maimonides and Maimonides words need to be read in that context – Judaism does not believe in an impersonal God.
But all that relates to “belief” – or the “study of the nature of God.” But idolatry is a sin of devotion/worship. worship is a specific set of feeling in which one bends his or her heart toward another entity in an extreme and total way. according to the Bible, this particular set of feelings is only appropriate toward the One Creator of heaven and earth who revealed himself to our ancestors at Sinai – as our ancestors preserved that revelation. according to the Bible, the sin of idolatry is committed when this specific set of feelings is directed anywhere else.
Trinitarian Christianity engages in this activity, while those who believe in an Aristotolean understanding of existence do not.
Is this clear?
In case it is not – let me use a Biblical metaphor. If a married woman denies the existence of her husband or if she comes up with a fantastic theory and she ends up believing that her husband is not a regular human being but some type of philosophical abstract that can never be seen – then this woman is not being a very loyal spouse – but she hasn’t committed adultery.
But if the married woman acknowledges her husband’s existence, she also recognizes that her husband is a man with whom she can interact – but she has relations with another man because she was persuaded into believing that this other man is an incarnation of her husband – then she has committed adultery. Perhaps we will say that her crime is not so severe because of her confusion – perhaps – but there is no question that we are talking about an act of adultery.
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Very interesting discussion. Like most of the discussions on this blog, it gets deep and complicated. However, for 99.999% of Christianity, the trinity is a necessary mystery. Most of the Christians who comment on this website seem to be outside of 99.999% for some reason. It is true that there are Christian and quasi-Christian sects who claim to be non-trinitarian, or even antitrinitarian. There are non-trinitarian Christians that exist even within the trinitarian denominations. I was one of those. There has been much said in this thread about how Jesus never claimed to be God. I also believe that. Yet, a Christian should never try to build anything on that, since the New testament, the Christian “word of God” clearly teaches the deity of Jesus- even if the antitrinitarian wants to say “the divine Son who is not God himself”. That is where the controversy comes in and cannot be justified.
There are no Christians, as the word is commonly defined, who ONLY believe the “jewish-ish” words of Jesus while rejecting the rest of the New Testament. Even the “Non-trinitarian” Jehovah’s Witnesses, who teach against worshiping Jesus and praying to him, still believe John1:1 should be translated “and the word was ‘a god'”. Such a proclamation does not help the case in terms of idolatry. At the end of the day, whether Jesus claimed to be God or not is not relevant. What is relevant is that one is not a Christian, by definition, who cannot accept the entire New Testament as God’s word.And the NT teaches the divinity of Jesus.Period.
And those sects which are “bitinarian” ( COG) or even “Arian” ( Early Adventists) still believe in a divine Jesus who is the actual preincarnate son of God, worthy of worship. Much of the problem anti-trinitarians have with the trinity is not even the deification and worship of Jesus, but the “person-hood” of the holy ghost.They fully accept and teach the divinity of Jesus as a preincarnate being made flesh- God as a man.
The bottom line, I have found in many years of study on the topic, is that:
1- Jesus’ deity was put in his mouth by others.
2- This proclaimed deity was one of necessity, since a mere “fallen human”, no matter how righteous, could not atone for sins or else Daniel or Enoch would have sufficed. Ironically, the same who say this also believe that ONLY the human part of Jesus died. The deification was also necessary because according to Christian theology, humans are not capable of perfect sinlessness, thus needing an atoning savior.
3- Deification justified his own sinful actions and errant views. I once asked a church elder how it was that Jesus could be so “unchristlike” at times. Why was it not a sin when he ransacked the temple, lied to his disciples or had his disciples pick and eat corn on the Sabbath, etc.His answer was that because he was asserting his divine authority, and as such his actions defined what was, and what was not, sin.
If the Christian doctrine of Jesus’ deity is incorrect, and Jesus was a mere human, then Christianity is irrelevant. If he were a “good teacher” and died, then he was no different than any other Jewish commentator of his day. If he died, he was not the Messiah. But more than anything else, Jesus own statements, or those attributed to him, were blasphemy of the highest order when he asserted his authority to such a degree that salvation itself depended on accepting him as the ONLY mediator between man and God, a job that a mere man could not hold, but only one who was both man and God. Paul’s entire theology hinged on Jesus as a divine, indwelling presence; The “spirit of christ”. A man could not be such.
Finally, the 1st century church’s views on the deity of Jesus is also irrelevant, since that sect did not survive even one generation, and ran the course of every other “messiah cult” of its day. Only Paul’s Christianity thrived, even with break-offs such as the Waldensians Albigenses, etc. which also either assimilated with Rome or ceased to exist.
I realize my scholarship and knowledge does not hold a candle to the brilliant minds here, but those are my two shekels.
Kind of like the theory of evolution. Only those who support Darwinism are accepted as “authentic scientists” by the Darwinist community.
Fred, what Darwinist community? We have the scientific community and scientific method, and observable evidence that scientists across cultures and religions can interact with. Do you not believe that it is possible that G-d could have created the world whilst natural selection is also true? One is an agent, the other is a mechanism.
Evidence of natural selection is readily apparent, and not only in the way we might at first stereo-typically think it is, (such as through the fossil record.)
Selection happens even now and is observable by humans. For example, Humans have practiced “artificial” selection for centuries, (such as when we breed various animals to exhibit certain desired traits,) or when we create vaccine’s for curing disease, etc. Natural selection is simply that same process, but occurring naturally without human intervention. We create a vaccine, the organism adapts (via genetic mutation through generations of reproducing) to combat the Vaccine, ie its descendants have changed so much as to be immune to the vaccine. We can’t keep up with this process try as we might. If you need a more concrete example, There are animals that we know have canine ancestors, but that can no longer interbreed with Canines, (such as foxes and dogs.) Even within the Canine family there are dogs that cannot make babies with other dogs. That is selection in action.
CR, have you seen “Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed”? My point is that those who even propose ID are shown the door and villified as “non-scientists”. That is my point. In the same way, two teams of archeologists can inspect a site in Israel and one will say “It was never occupied by Israelites because we found idol statues in it.” The Other researcher will look at the same evidence and say, “It is probable that the Israelites lived there BECAUSE we found idol statues in it.And the dating of the evidence coincides with israel’s run of idolatry.” In other words, what qualifies as good science and “junk science” is predetermined by the pre-existing opinions of the peers. Much of the Tanakh has been confirmed with archeology and anthropology. The way the anti-Bible crowd puts it, though, is to say that unless it HAS been confirmed, then that is proof it never happened.
As for creation, I was not there. I have no idea what happened or how. But for someone to say that the entire Torah has been confirmed by “any genuine scholar as fiction” is what I am addressing. It is no different than those who say that ID advocates are “not real scientists”.
Yes, yes I have.
Sorry, Fred, but there are no genuine scientists who trumpet ID. It’s like throwing a sheet over a piano. You still know what’s underneath.
And to use the line, ‘I was not there’ in reference to ”creation”. Good grief, what a very silly and irresponsible thing to say. You might as well throw away all reason and sign up for the Ken Ham Fan Club.
Much of the Tanakh has been confirmed with archeology and anthropology.
Fred, with all due respect, that’s just nonsense. Pure, utter nonsense. What archaeology has revealed is a completely alternative (rather pedestrian) Jewish history to that detailed in the Pentateurch, and the majority of rabbi’s today recognise this fact. Yes, it is a fact. Even Orthodox rabbis, such as Norman Solomon, recognise this. See his 2012 book, Torah from Heaven: The Reconstruction of Faith, in which he presents the case that the concept of Torah Mi Sinai was not rooted in reality but was rather a “foundation myth;” an origin dream, not a descriptive historical fact.
The Pentateuch is myth. This has been known now for almost three generations.
I do not know Norman Solomon, John, but I can tell you this. The majority of Orthodox rabbis do not accept his case that the revelation at Mount Sinai “was not rooted in reality.” In fact, I do not think any Orthodox rabbi would accept that premise or they would cease to be Orthodox.
Furthermore, many scholars say that archaeology cannot prove or disprove the Bible. For example, I found an interesting quote from William Dever online: “Archaeology by definition cannot ‘prove’ the Bible’s theological interpretation of events, can at best only comment on the likelihood of the events in question having happened historically. But, if it is any comfort to believers, archaeology, by the same token, cannot disprove the Bible’s assertion of the meaning of events.”
Someone here, I think it was Con, posted an interesting YouTube video of an archaeologist explaining why archaeology cannot prove or disprove the Bible. Con, if it was you, can you repost?
One more thing, and I hope Arkenaten is listening as well: there are archaeologists on both sides, and they interpret their finds according to their preconceived notions. If you want to believe the atheist archaeologists, then you say that the biblical archaeologists are not real scientists, and vice versa. But the truth is somewhere in the middle. Both sides have good scientists who do good work; you have to look at their findings and interpret them for yourself. (Hint: it helps to have some biblical knowledge in order to know whether what you’re looking at confirms or disproves a particular biblical event.)
Yes, there will be personal bias but it cannot hold up indefinitely as science will eventually ”out” religious superstition every time. I suspect that even you are not afraid to sail close to the edge of the earth any more, right? 😉
Devers is a perfect example of how science eventually obliged him to shift his position. YOu should read up on him. Good bloke.
No Jew believes that someone called Jesus of Nazareth walked on water or came back from the dead, so why should an atheist believe an octogenarian climbed a mountain to meet an omnipotent deity to receive a couple of stone tablets with commandments on? What was the matter with Yahweh? Couldn’t he come down the mountain? What did he do, sprain his ankle?
I am open to evidence though, if you have any?
Given YOUR beliefs then why are you even here.
I followed a link and came to read.
Is this some sort of Secret Society that you have the temerity to demand this of me?
Those who trashed the Bible were also forced to shift their position with time – (e.g. on the existence of the cities Sodom and Gomorrah)
And their is a serious difference between the walking on water story and the exodus story – one is a personal story while the other speaks of national ramifications – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/the-exodus-versus-the-resurrection/
I am not citing this as evidence – I am just explaining why the Jewish position is not self-contradictory
It matters not how you wish to present it, Fred, providing you acknowledge it is fiction, plain and simple.
You cannot expect to trash Christianity and in the next breath wave your Supernatural Jewish Banner and walk away scot free.
It simply makes you look very silly and even more of a hypocrite.
Historical fiction doesn’t mean fairytale. Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October contains many real places (Washington, Moscow) and even cites actual technology, but this doesn’t make Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October non-fiction.
We know the Pentateuch is historical fiction because of, for one reason, the period blunders scattered throughout it. Edom, for example. It would not become a nation until 800 BCE, and yet if we are to believe the narrative contained in the Pentateuch, it was in existence 1,200 years earlier. This, of course, is nonsense. The history of Edom is well documented through extra-biblical sources. It became Edom in 800 BCE, which is (among other things) how we know today when, exactly, the story was actually dreamed up. There are a multitude of other period blunders, from the stations mentioned in Exodus, to the humble camel and the Philistines which the bible places on the Levant 600 years before they’d actually land. These things, places and nations, did not exist at the time the stories are alleged to have happened, but did exist in the period just before, or during, the time when the story was penned.
You are out of date with science about Edom – Science shifted toward the Bible on this one – http://www.ioa.ucla.edu/content/new-insights-iron-age-archaeology-edom-southern-jordan-2-vol-set
About the Philistines – The Bible itself speaks of two groups of people with the same name – the ones who were around in the time of the patriarchs had a different political system (King and general vs. Five officers (seranim) – a different central city (Gerar vs Ashdod, Gat,etc.) and are identified as emigrating from a different place than the Philistines who appear later in the Bible (Patruthim and Katluchim vs. Kaphtor – Crete)
And the statement about camels not being domesticated is based on an absence of evidence not on positive evidence
Thanks for that, but where do you get the idea there are two philistines? There is just the philistines, and the authors of the bible have them on the Levant many, many, many hundreds of years before they would actually arrive. I think you’re confusing Philistine with the general term, Sea People. The Philistines were one group of “the sea people,” but that being said, they all arrived pretty much at the same time 1150 BCE, after failing to invade Egypt. The Settlement of the Judean hills began 50 years later. Nice article about iron age mines, but that does nothing to demonstrate Edom, the nation, was in existence before 800 BCE. Settlements, sure, no one is denying that. Nation, no. We have extra-biblical documents confirming this. I actually know one of that papers authors, Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef. We chat quite regularly. His paper “A New Chronological Framework for Iron Age Copper Production at Timna (Israel)” was recently heralded as the most influential paper published in BASOR (Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research). Ben-Yosef also co-authored a startling paper in 2014, titled, “The Introduction of Domestic Camels to the Southern Levant: Evidence from the Aravah Valley,” proving camels did not first appear on the Levant until 900 BCE.
But again, we will always come back to “historical fiction.” Not fairytale. And as I posted above, somewhere, Israel’s oldest daily Newspaper, Hareetz, announced recently:
To repeat that last line: “nor any archaeological evidence to make them think otherwise”
That’s just a fact.
John Zande Although the Bible uses the name “Philistine” for the people who Abraham and Isaac interacted with as well as the people who lived in the times of David – but it is clear that they are different ethnic groups of people First you have the origins – the Bible gives two different ethnic origins for these people in two different time periods – Genesis 10:14 gives us Patrutim and Kasluchim as the forerunners of the Philistines with the Kaphtorim presented as a loosely related group while Amos 9:7 presents Kaphtor as the forerunner of the Philistines. Deuteronomy 2:23 speaks of an invasion by the people of Kaphtor which could refer to something that occurred after the time of the Patriarchs. Besides – the later Philistines are always associated with a group of 5 cities – Gat, Ekron, Aza, Ashdod, Ashkelon (see for example 1Samuel chapter 5) But the Philistines that interact with the Patriarchs are never associated with these cities. Furthermore – the Philistines in the days of the Patriarchs are all ruled by a king – Abimelech while the later Philistines have their officers each associated with their own city. All of this gives us to understand that we are dealing with two different ethnic groups
The Bible also uses the name Philistine in the Moses narrative, when Yhwh warns him not to travel up the coast for fear of warring with them… 300-400 years before they’d actually land on the coast. Exodus 13.17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, ‘If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’
I’m sorry, yourphariseefriend, but I’ve never read any commentary that even remotely hints what you’re suggesting. In fact, what you’re suggesting here is a people who maintained a culture intact for a thousand years, invaded Egypt not once, but twice, occupied the land, interacted with existing cultures, but left absolutely no record of this first sojourn (and eventual departure), or their very existence elsewhere. yourphariseefriend, there are no forerunners to the sea people, or we’d see extra-biblical accounts. We don’t. It’s a historical blunder, an attempt to extend contemporary 7th Century BCE geopolitical reality into a larger origin narrative that places Judah at the heart of the Jewish world. This is broadly recognised and uncontested. They (a mix-match of Mediterranean peoples probably driven south due to economic strife) landed on the Levant 1150 BCE, and 50 years later Canaanite refugees began settling the hills where the kingdoms of Judah and Israel would be established. That is the actual history of the early Jews. The hills were simply not occupied before this moment.
As Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine said:
That being said, I’m always happy to read new material. If you do have some papers on this idea then I’d love to read them. I can at least see where you’re coming from, but I just don’t know of any reason why one would even entertain the thought except for, perhaps, trying to make the biblical narrative fit.
I subscribe to many archaeological journals, biblical archaeology is a particular interest to me, and from what I understand, the only area where there is still a live debate regarding biblical archaeology is whether or not Judah had an urban society in the 9th Century BCE, which relates to the narrative concerning the United Kingdom. That’s it. That’s all there is. The Patriarchs, Egypt, Moses, Exodus and Conquest are dead subjects in the field of serious archaeology. Yes, sure, a handful of evangelical Christian amateurs and semi-professionals service their audience by “publishing” papers in their own vanity press (non-peer-reviewed) “journals” and try to move the dates around, but these attempts do little but confound other elements of the narrative.
I re-read this morning the excellent article you posted last night, New Insights. Thanks for that. It’s great. What I found interesting were the dates, pushing mining activities back as far as 1200. Given the time, we’d probably expect this operation to be Egyptian (maybe not, though), but it still misses the Patriarchs (Genesis 36) narrative by 700-800 years.
Last year I was chatting via email with Professor Rafi Greenberg (Tel Aviv University, Jerusalem) about some research I was conducting. I’ll post something here he said which I think is an extremely conservative position (considering the position held by most Israeli archaeologists), but it’s an opinion I thoroughly respect. I think you’ll appreciate it to:
John Zande I’ll get back to you about the Philistines – my point was not that this is the same culture (intact) but two different cultures that lived in approximately the same place (albeit with a different geographical center – Gerar vs. the coast) and the Bible gives the same name to these people but clearly describes them as two people. By the way – the Bible never said that the first group (the Gerarites) “invaded” the land – I’ll try to get you more information on this (this whole field is not my focus – I have friends that give me the information so please bear with me) – but about the Edomites – The Bible does not have them as a nation until the times of Moses – not in the time of the Patriarchs
I’ll try to get you more information on this
Excellent, thank you. One can never learn enough. Like I said earlier, I think I can see where you’re coming from, but I’ve just never heard this line of reasoning before.
Edom, though, is mentioned in the time of the Patriarchs. Esau’s descendants are said to be its founders:
Genesis 36:1 This is the account of the descendants of Esau (also known as Edom).
Genesis 25:30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.)
This is actually a tremendously good example of how the origin tales was knitted together. Thomas Römer (one of the world’s leading experts on the Old Testament) is an excellent source for greater detail here, but to paraphrase: Abraham and his sons were not historical characters, but metaphors for kingdoms/tribes: Isaac in the north (Israel), Jacob/Esau in the south (Edom), and Abraham, the father, right in the middle in Hebron (Judah) uniting them all. It’s a unity tale, a geopolitical work of fiction designed to place Judah as the centre of the Jewish world and justify their expansionist goals after 722 BCE.
The Bible does not have them as a nation until the times of Moses – not in the time of the Patriarchs
Even Moses is 700 years before Edom would be first seen to be a nation. Moses, of course, is not a real historical character. The Encyclopaedia Judaica (a famed publication which examines all scholastic, theological and scientific work) openly concludes that the entire Exodus narrative was “dramatically woven out of various strands of tradition… he [Moses] wasn’t a historical character.”
John Zande Again – I am out of my depth on the archeology – but I do have a bit of an understanding of the Bible – The first place that Edom is mentioned as a nation is in Numbers 20. The list of kings in Genesis 36 is a reference to the times immediately preceding Moses. The story of Esau is not contradicted by archeology because there is nothing telling us that individual nomads didn’t wander the land or pitch their tents in the region before there were well populated established settlements. A word about sources. You and I both believe that we should leave our mind open to hear the facts and come to our own conclusions according to the facts that we see – not according to opinions that are sacred or comfortable for those espousing them. This being the case let us try to stick to quotations from original sources – such as the archeologists that are presenting their findings, scientific publications or the Bible which is the document under discussion and let us try to keep newspapers and popular encyclopedias out of the conversation. Also please do not confuse theories and facts. Once we are on the theory of the motives behind the authorship of the Bible can you please read Deuteronomy 32 and ask yourself how it fits in to your theory?
What makes you think the Encyclopedia Judaica is lesser publication? But OK, if you want to stick with quotes :
“The period of the patriarchs, exodus, conquest, or judges as devised by the writers of Scriptures never existed,” (Robert Coote, Senior Research Professor of Hebrew Exegesis at San Francisco’s Theological Seminary).
“The Genesis and Exodus accounts are a fiction,” (Niels Peter Lemche of the University of Copenhagen).
“The actual evidence concerning the Exodus resembles the evidence for the unicorn,” (Baruch Halpern, Professor of Jewish Studies of Pennsylvania State University).
“The patriarchs’ acts are legendary stories, we did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, we did not conquer the land. Those who take an interest have known these facts for years,” (Ze’ev Herzog of Tel Aviv University).
“Scholars have known these things for a long time, but we’ve broken the news very gently” (Professor William Dever of the University of Arizona)
“The fact is that not one shred of direct archaeological evidence has been found for Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob or the 400-plus years the children of Israel sojourned in Egypt. The same is true for their miraculous exodus from slavery.” (Christianity Today’s Kevin D. Miller)
“The rejection of the Bible as literally true is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis.” (Rabbi Wolpe)
“The Pentateuch is the Jewish Mythology. My duty as a Rabbi is to interpret the Bible and consider it as my Mythology, as the founding story of the people of Israel, of course not to take it literally… it is not a book of facts, but a myth.”
[The Pentateuch is an] “extended metaphor” ( Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, Dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism)
“The Torah is not a book we turn to for historical accuracy,” (Rabbi, David Wolpe)
“Most Reform rabbis and Jews agree that the biblical text is not to be taken literally or word-for-word,” Reform Rabbi Victor Appell.
“My sense is all liberal seminaries and the vast majority of Jews assume the Bible isn’t literally true,” Rabbi Irwin Kula, president of The National Jewish Centre for Learning and Leadership, adjunct at the United Theological Seminary
“The Pentateuch is filled with wonderful mythology of our beginnings” Rabbi Robert Schreibman.
“The Torah is a piece of human literature. Its stories are fictional and that is how I teach them.” Rabbi, Jeffrey Falick.
“There is no archaeological evidence for any of it. This is something unexampled in history. They [Judah] wanted to seize control of the territories of the kingdom of Israel and annex them, because, they said, `These territories are actually ours and if you have a minute, we’ll tell you how that’s so.’” (Professor of archaeology at Tel Aviv University, Israel Finkelstein).
“We looked for evidence for the Exodus in the Sinai Desert and found there was nothing in the Sinai Desert. We looked at the Patriarch stories and the times in which they supposedly lived, and it didn’t seem to match. Then we looked at the stories of the Patriarchs in the time they were apparently written, historically, and that matched much better.” (Rabbi Adam Chalom)
“The story of Abraham has less to do with 1800 BCE, when Abraham presumably lived, than with 700 BCE when his story was created.” (Rabbi Sherwin T Wine)
“Defending a rabbi in the 21st century for saying the Exodus story isn’t factual is like defending him for saying the Earth isn’t flat. It’s neither new nor shocking to most of us that the Earth is round or that the Torah isn’t a history book dictated to Moses by God on Mount Sinai,” (Rabbi Steven Leder)
What do you say to the work of Kenneth Kitchen?
Kitchen? Not very much beyond his chronology work. He’s an evangelical Christian and Egyptologist at Liverpool Uni, been involved (remotely, as far as I understand) in only one actual dig in the Sinai at Tell el-Borg (the Gate of the Ramesside Fort) which confirmed an Egyptian military road. That was conducted principally by the notorious Hoffmeier from the Evangelical Divinity College. These two, and Bryant Wood, the Young Earth Creationist from the inerrantist Associates for Biblical Research, are the poster-boys of the evangelical world who try to still hold onto some hope the Pentateuch can be proven historically true. They’ve never produced any conclusive evidence, rather their “work” revolves wholly around shifting the date of the Exodus. As far as I’m aware, none have published a peer-reviewed paper on this hypothesis, and they never will. These ideas are floated in their books and vanity press magazines, not peer-reviewed journals, paid for by evangelical groups, and given catchy names like The Biblical Archaeology Review to give the impression of being real scientific journals. They’re not. What papers have been published in real journals, like JSTOR, concern unrelated work, like the dig at Tell el-Borg, and cistern/drainage systems. Important stuff, but not related to anything biblical. Their later date Exodus hypothesis is widely ignored for the simple reason that it 1) contradicts the biblical record, adding 400 years onto Kings and screwing up earlier chronologies that are known to be quite accurate, 2) it further contradicts the known geopolitical realities confirmed through extra-biblical sources like the Amarna letters 3) further contradicts the actual founding of the Stations mentioned in Exodus, 4) tries to fit an unfounded earlier destruction of Jericho date (1400), but ignores the total absence of all other supposedly conquered cities. As it stands, only one city, Hazor, actually fits the Conquest narrative, although it’s impossible to say who (or what) destroyed the city. Wood (who’s the main voice here) suggests this earlier Jericho date, but it contradicts the actual final destruction of MBA Jericho which occurred during the late 17th or the 16th century BCE. 5) contradicts the Settlement Period and published population maps of the Judean hills. [It helps here to forget looking for evidence of the “departure” from Egypt, for which there is none, but instead look at the evidence for an “arrival.”]
So, in answer to your question: not very much, I’m afraid. I see the name Kitchen, Wood, or Hoffmeier and I generally switch off, knowing exactly where that conversation is going. Their ideas are imaginative runes thrown hopefully into the air, although it does find fertile ground (and sells many books) in Evangelical circles. This reminds me of the seminal church historian of 3rd and 4th Century Christianity, Eusebius of Caesarea, who brazenly titled the 32nd chapter of the 12th book of his Evangelical Preparation,
John Zande I am not a Christian and I have a deep suspicion of Christian scholarship precisely because of quotations like the one you presented Eusebius – also – I have not read Kitchen’s work but I do understand that he is respected as a scholar – and that he presents some arguments that are not easily dismissed against the minimalist view of archeology. I would also point out that there is no question that just as there is a pro-Bible bias on the part of Christian scholars there is also an anti-Bible bias on the part of liberal scholars – (this is proven simply by the amount of assumptions that were proven false since Biblical criticism emerged) – so I wouldn’t dismiss someone’s scholarship just because they are biased – I would try to read it and come to my own conclusions.
And I’d encourage you to read as much as you can. Learning is a joy. As you read, though, never lose sight of the broader narrative. Good luck in everything.
Hi again yourphariseefriend
Just following up on your mention of Sodom and Gomorrah. Who is claiming these two cities have been found? What was the evidence? Can you point me to any published journal papers on this subject, i’d like to read up on it. Thanks.
John Zande It was National Geographic – I think around 1975 – The cities were referenced in the tablets found at Ebla – I’ll try to track down the details
Cheers. I looked it up, saw that no one’s actually found them, per say, rather located some bronze age sites on what might have been plains at that time. The southern theory, I read, sounds more plausible (having located 5 sites), which is great, but like I said earlier, historical fiction doesn’t mean fairytale.
Hey, are you that English antitheist from Facebook that goes around harrassing Christians and Jews? Your tone strikes me as very familiar. I’m trying to remember the FB username. Its something like “Messiah in the toast” or something like that. He has the same insulting, arrogant style.
I just find religion fascinating.
You blog on an open forum and are obviously keen to tell the world of your conversion., so why are you now upset by the interaction?
Ark, those are fair questions to ask. If you’ve done your research with an open mind, acknowledging your biases, examined all the evidence from both sides, and came to the conclusion that there isn’t a God, then I have nothing to say, really. We all do the best we can.
As for evidence, I don’t have scientific proof. If you think that settles it, then we can end the conversation right now. I do have evidence, though, and good arguments. I think a good essay that will save me a lot of time if I just post the link to it is this:
Click to access RabbiGottliebLivingUpToTheTruth.pdf
I believe the author is a rabbi and professor of philosophy.
Actually, what I always say is: based on the evidence presented all gods can be dismissed with impunity.
The one you believe in is simply one of many and is not that special, believe me!
I have never once mentioned proof, but the evidence is against you from A-Z.
I cannot imagine reading this chap’s essay is going to be anything other than a wander down Philosophical Lane.
If it was that revealing you would be jumping up and down shouting Hallelujah! and so would the rest of the theological and scientific community.
Maybe you could summarize it for me?
It would save me time if you read it, Ark.
I should not be on the computer doing this :). I have so much work to do! We are right in the middle of the Jewish holiday season and I am supposed to get busy cooking up a storm (and I have a bunch of kids). And after the holidays it’s going to get pretty intense because I have to buckle down and finish a new edition for one of my books under a very tight deadline.
But if you have patience I will try to do that for you when I have time. Another option is to print it out and read it in bits.
It’s an interesting read even if you disagree with it.
Ah, but does it provide concrete evidence for your claims or is it merely philosophy?
I think the evidence is concrete.
What of exactly?
The truth of the Torah.
Now, just so’s we are clear here, when you say truth you mean exactly what?
Summarize in three sentences, okay?
Not fiction. Divinely inspired.
Oh, you slay me! That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all week. And this includes the Terry Pratchett book I am reading and the two episodes of the Big Bang Theory I have just watched.
Tell me, which god did the divining?
Listen, Ark, people have been making fun of us for our beliefs for thousands of years. At least these days they don’t kill us for it. You might want to put aside your incredible contempt for a few minutes and examine what it is this persecuted people would not give up on despite the worst sort of oppression.
If you want to have a respectful debate, that’s fine with me, but if you want to poke fun I will say good bye. Let me know if you want to read the essay I posted and continue in a respectful way.
Hey, Mak, this is another example of incivility from Ark. He calls it humor.
You assume I have not read the bible and not studied it. This is a bad assumption on your part.
Have you read it – ALL of it.
And have you studied it as well?
Ark, first please answer my questions. Are you here to poke fun, express your contempt, and sneer–or do you wish to engage in respectful dialogue?
Are you willing to read the essay I posted?
It is rather interesting that “modern science” has actually “caught up” with Torah, e.g., regarding the number of stars mentioned in Talmud and only recently confirmed with the Hubble Telescope. Or, the length of the lunar month confirmed after the lunar landing, etc. Apparently the ancient Jews were noteworthy scientists, well ahead of their time.
Yes, and they could build rally cool boats too! ”Two, Hippos, two cows, two rabbits …three rabbits… four . Now stop that!”
In fact, I do not think any Orthodox rabbi would accept that premise or they would cease to be Orthodox.
That’s an odd thing to say considering I just gave you the name of an Orthodox rabbi who has published a book saying exactly that… which you can purchase, if you like.
Furthermore, many scholars say that archaeology cannot prove or disprove the Bible.
Yes, it can, and it does so by proving a completely alternative early Jewish history. I would suggest you research the Settlement Period.
One more thing, and I hope Arkenaten is listening as well: there are archaeologists on both sides, and they interpret their finds according to their preconceived notions.
Sorry, but this is nonsense. Evidence is evidence. The Patriarchs, Egypt, Moses, Exodus and Conquest are dead subjects in the field of serious archaeology. They were dismissed as myth nearly three generations ago, and nothing has changed in that time to alter this consensus. As Israel’s oldest daily Newspaper, Hareetz, announced recently:
That last sentence is important: nor any archaeological evidence to make them think otherwise.”
So overwhelming is the evidence, that in 1998, the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), the primary American professional body for archaeologists working in the Middle East, changed the name of its magazine from Biblical Archaeologist to Near Eastern Archaeology simply because the bible had been determined to be (beyond all doubt) an entirely unreliable historical source to direct research into the early Jews, pre-Babylonian captivity.
As Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine to eloquently put it:
Or as Rabbi Steven Leder said:
These are the facts. They are not secret. They are in the public domain, but as Professor Magen Broshi, Chief Archaeologist at the Israel Museum explained:
Or Professor William Dever explained:
The Pentateuch (the Jewish origin tale) is not a historical document. It is historical fiction, a geopolitical myth fashioned in the 7th and 6th century BCE designed to place Judah as the centre of the Jewish world so as to capitalise on a weakened Mamlekhet (Kingdom) Yisra’el after its sacking in 722 BCE. To understand this you have to understand the Settlement Period. The hills where the kingdoms of Judah and Israel would be found were not inundated with 2.5 million “arriving” foreigners in the 14th Century BCE, rather they were first settled 50 years after the landing of the Philistines on the Levant, in 1110 BCE. There were 11 villages, and the most generous estimate in the published population maps is 30,000 people, refugees from the coastal states, but probably closer to 20,000, total. Even the Encyclopaedia Judaica (a famed publication which examines all scholastic, theological and scientific work) openly concludes that the entire Exodus narrative was “dramatically woven out of various strands of tradition… he [Moses] wasn’t a historical character.”
Now, I could take you through the mountain of evidence that has been unearthed in the last 100 years, but if you are genuinely interested, I would suggest you start by purchasing the Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary; the first authorised commentary on the Torah since 1936. Published in 2001 by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (in collaboration with the Rabbinical Assembly and the Jewish Publication Society) the 1,559 page long Etz Hayim concludes with 41 essays written by prominent rabbis and scholars who admit the Pentateuch is little more than a self-serving myth rife with anachronisms and un-ignorable archeological inconsistencies.
I watched a show on channel 9 where a paleontologist explained birds come from t-Rex’s because of a couple of bones. This is science? Just like global warming, there is no evidence just computer models that are proved incorrect all the time. NASA data proves it.
I’ll just assume you’re joking.
John has the Archaeological consensus right. All other theories that postulate Exodus type information or events go against the grain of the evidence as I said in the other thread.
Hi Concerned Reader
I’m sorry, I don’t quite understand your comment. Could you clarify, please. Thanks.
Concerned Reader, sorry, I understand your comment now.
Joking about what part, nasa or birds?
Consensus of who. Apparently there isn’t a consensus among scientists who are in the actual field. Only about 42 percent of “climate scientists” are in agreement. Here again there is a distortion of the Real Truth.
You, off my planet
Mak, here is another one. John actually wants to off people he doesn’t like. Scary.
I see you don’t have a sense of humour.
Your from Australia and the ark is out of Africa somewhere correct? Well there is a lot about nasa you do not know and I could literally swap links all day with you but I simply have no interest. but I suggest you keep researching for the truth.
Or you could actually present something factual, for a change 😉
Since it is CO2 that is the current villain how about some genuine comparisons. We see news reports of how many millions of tons of CO2 that has been sent into the atmosphere. Well exactly how much tonnage of CO2 is there on the earth at present. What percentage of CO2 IS there in the atmosphere. What percentage is man’s actual contribution to that CO2. What is man’s contribution of CO2 in comparison to the entire atmosphere. When a person looks at This context we see how insignificant man really is compared to the earth.
Yes, I’m sure you’re right and these scientific bodies (who have each released statements confirming man-caused climate change) are all wrong.
1. Academia Chilena de Ciencias, Chile
2. Academia das Ciencias de Lisboa, Portugal
3. Academia de Ciencias de la República Dominicana
4. Academia de Ciencias Físicas, Matemáticas y Naturales de Venezuela
5. Academia de Ciencias Medicas, Fisicas y Naturales de Guatemala
6. Academia Mexicana de Ciencias,Mexico
7. Academia Nacional de Ciencias de Bolivia
8. Academia Nacional de Ciencias del Peru
9. Académie des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal
10. Académie des Sciences, France
11. Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada
12. Academy of Athens
13. Academy of Science of Mozambique
14. Academy of Science of South Africa
15. Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS)
16. Academy of Sciences Malaysia
17. Academy of Sciences of Moldova
18. Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
19. Academy of Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran
20. Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, Egypt
21. Academy of the Royal Society of New Zealand
22. Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy
23. Africa Centre for Climate and Earth Systems Science
24. African Academy of Sciences
25. Albanian Academy of Sciences
26. Amazon Environmental Research Institute
27. American Academy of Pediatrics
28. American Anthropological Association
29. American Association for the Advancement of Science
30. American Association of State Climatologists (AASC)
31. American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians
32. American Astronomical Society
33. American Chemical Society
34. American College of Preventive Medicine
35. American Fisheries Society
36. American Geophysical Union
37. American Institute of Biological Sciences
38. American Institute of Physics
39. American Meteorological Society
40. American Physical Society
41. American Public Health Association
42. American Quaternary Association
43. American Society for Microbiology
44. American Society of Agronomy
45. American Society of Civil Engineers
46. American Society of Plant Biologists
47. American Statistical Association
48. Association of Ecosystem Research Centers
49. Australian Academy of Science
50. Australian Bureau of Meteorology
51. Australian Coral Reef Society
52. Australian Institute of Marine Science
53. Australian Institute of Physics
54. Australian Marine Sciences Association
55. Australian Medical Association
56. Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
57. Bangladesh Academy of Sciences
58. Botanical Society of America
59. Brazilian Academy of Sciences
60. British Antarctic Survey
61. Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
62. California Academy of Sciences
63. Cameroon Academy of Sciences
64. Canadian Association of Physicists
65. Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences
66. Canadian Geophysical Union
67. Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
68. Canadian Society of Soil Science
69. Canadian Society of Zoologists
70. Caribbean Academy of Sciences views
71. Center for International Forestry Research
72. Chinese Academy of Sciences
73. Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences
74. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) (Australia)
75. Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
76. Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences
77. Crop Science Society of America
78. Cuban Academy of Sciences
79. Delegation of the Finnish Academies of Science and Letters
80. Ecological Society of America
81. Ecological Society of Australia
82. Environmental Protection Agency
83. European Academy of Sciences and Arts
84. European Federation of Geologists
85. European Geosciences Union
86. European Physical Society
87. European Science Foundation
88. Federation of American Scientists
89. French Academy of Sciences
90. Geological Society of America
91. Geological Society of Australia
92. Geological Society of London
93. Georgian Academy of Sciences
94. German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina
95. Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences
96. Indian National Science Academy
97. Indonesian Academy of Sciences
98. Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management
99. Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology
100. Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand
101. Institution of Mechanical Engineers, UK
102. InterAcademy Council
103. International Alliance of Research Universities
104. International Arctic Science Committee
105. International Association for Great Lakes Research
106. International Council for Science
107. International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences
108. International Research Institute for Climate and Society
109. International Union for Quaternary Research
110. International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
111. International Union of Pure and Applied Physics
112. Islamic World Academy of Sciences
113. Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
114. Kenya National Academy of Sciences
115. Korean Academy of Science and Technology
116. Kosovo Academy of Sciences and Arts
117. l’Académie des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal
118. Latin American Academy of Sciences
119. Latvian Academy of Sciences
120. Lithuanian Academy of Sciences
121. Madagascar National Academy of Arts, Letters, and Sciences
122. Mauritius Academy of Science and Technology
123. Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts
124. National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences, Argentina
125. National Academy of Sciences of Armenia
126. National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic
127. National Academy of Sciences, Sri Lanka
128. National Academy of Sciences, United States of America
129. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
130. National Association of Geoscience Teachers
131. National Association of State Foresters
132. National Center for Atmospheric Research
133. National Council of Engineers Australia
134. National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research, New Zealand
135. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
136. National Research Council
137. National Science Foundation
138. Natural England
139. Natural Environment Research Council, UK
140. Natural Science Collections Alliance
141. Network of African Science Academies
142. New York Academy of Sciences
143. Nicaraguan Academy of Sciences
144. Nigerian Academy of Sciences
145. Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters
146. Oklahoma Climatological Survey
147. Organization of Biological Field Stations
148. Pakistan Academy of Sciences
149. Palestine Academy for Science and Technology
150. Pew Center on Global Climate Change
151. Polish Academy of Sciences
152. Romanian Academy
153. Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium
154. Royal Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences of Spain
155. Royal Astronomical Society, UK
156. Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
157. Royal Irish Academy
158. Royal Meteorological Society (UK)
159. Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
160. Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
161. Royal Scientific Society of Jordan
162. Royal Society of Canada
163. Royal Society of Chemistry, UK
164. Royal Society of the United Kingdom
165. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
166. Russian Academy of Sciences
167. Science and Technology, Australia
168. Science Council of Japan
169. Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research
170. Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics
171. Scripps Institution of Oceanography
172. Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
173. Slovak Academy of Sciences
174. Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
175. Society for Ecological Restoration International
176. Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
177. Society of American Foresters
178. Society of Biology (UK)
179. Society of Systematic Biologists
180. Soil Science Society of America
181. Sudan Academy of Sciences
182. Sudanese National Academy of Science
183. Tanzania Academy of Sciences
184. The Wildlife Society (international)
185. Turkish Academy of Sciences
186. Uganda National Academy of Sciences
187. Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities
188. United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
189. University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
190. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
191. World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
192. World Federation of Public Health Associations
193. World Forestry Congress
194. World Health Organization
195. World Meteorological Organization
196. Zambia Academy of Sciences
197. Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences
Here’s a five-minute video explaining the other side of the climate debate:
Here’s a list of scientists skeptical of catastrophic man-caused global warming:
And since Wikepedia is not the most reliable source, here’s another one (though I can’t vouch for its credibility):
If you Google “list of scientists skeptical of global warming” you’ll get a lot of hits.
The science is never settled.
Prager? Are you serious? A right wing radio talk show host?
You dismiss someone’s views without considering them based on their political affiliation–that is narrow-minded and intellectually dishonest.
That’s the problem with left wingers. They consider anyone on the right to be subhuman idiots, so why engage them in dialogue in the first place? So convinced are they of their moral superiority that they will not even deign to consider that the opposition may have a reasoned argument.
I hold that honest people on both sides can disagree. People like you hold that there are no honest people on the other side.
No, I’m dismissing him because he has no scientific qualification whatsoever. He’s a radio talk show host who has recently taken to making youtube video’s and attaching the word “university” to his name as some sort of vane appeal to authority.
Please, let’s keep this within the real of “real.”
And anyway, I thought we were talking about archaeology.
Um, somebody provided a very long list of scientist who back the idea of catastrophic, man-caused global warming. I think it’s fair to give the man a hearing.
If you are “dismissing him because he has no scientific qualification whatsoever” and not because he’s a “right wing radio talk show host,” then why did you mention it in the first place? Why not just say, “I do not rely on this video because it was produced by Prager, a man with no scientific qualifications”? Why mention his political leanings at all?
I notice you have said nothing about the long lists of scientists who are skeptical of catastrophic man-caused global warming.
I mentioned “right-wing” because all the climate nonsense is focused wholly and completely on right-wing “commentators.”
There are skeptics on the left.
Maybe I misheard you, but your writing came across as scornful.
Probably. It takes a staggering amount of willful ignorance to be a climate change denier.
“Climate change denier” is a misnomer because no one denies that the climate changes. They are simply skeptical that man-caused global warming will lead to catastrophe.
OK, I think we’re done.
If you want to talk about archaeology then just let me know.
I’m skeptical Because of the way the argument is presented. Getting back to the CO2 argument. What is the percentage of man’s contribution to the atmosphere as a whole. When people begin to use the term pollutant regarding what is IN nature, and required BY nature, then that in itself demotes their argument.
Dina, are the host of this blog?
Rabbi Yisroel Chaim Blumenthal is the host of this blog.
I think you’ll find this particularly interesting, if you’re at all actually interested in learning
John, I know there is a strong consensus on climate change. My point was simply that the science isn’t settled. Do you agree?
No, I don’t agree. The science is settled. It was settled in the 90’s. Period.
If 97 aeronautic engineers told you not to fly on a certain plane, but 3 said, “it might be safe, we can’t be certain.” would you fly on that plane?
Now, weren’t we talking about archaeology?
I showed you evidence that the science isn’t settled. I can see you don’t want to talk about this anymore.
There is nothing to talk about. The science is settled. The best you could produced was a radio talk show host. Very impressive, but i’ll stick with NASA, climate scientists, and every scientific organisation on the planet.
John, I presented two websites that listed scientists who are skeptics. Why are you ignoring this?
Oh, two websites! Alert the press!!
Yes, if 97% of climate scientists agree man-made climate change is happening then that will leave, let’s see, 3% who have doubts.
Tell me, do any of these 3% actually deny it, or are they simply being cautious?
How many of YOUR sources are actually scientists that WORK in climatology. Does an archaeologist have the knowledge of a climatologist, or one of the other disciplines. At one point in time Einstein was thought to be wrong BECAUSE of consensus.
They why did NASA change their dataset of the previous years.
Follow the money. If governments are going to pay people to confirm a hypothesis then obviously there will be followers, to receive that money.
Yes, you’re right, it’s a grand, global conspiracy. You’ve busted us. Congratulations.
Do you really think science is born from consensus. I’m sure that was the thinking of Einstein. Tell us, what are the details of CO2.
Good idea, I wish him luck. The amount of (willful) scientific ignorance among the American population is astounding.
You have no idea how far the corruption reaches with about a 3 trillion budget across the globe.
I didn’t post a video about Archaeology being incapable of proving or disproving religions, but I absolutely did say that we can only conceivably discuss the probability of religious truths and events. Such things are not proof in an empirical sense. Any honest religious person should say that you need “faith” in order to believe in the Bible. The text’s chief concerns are “religious truths and morals,” not empirical data.
Here is what I said in the other thread
Fred, the problem with the Archaeological record and reconciling it with the Exodus accounts is that we cannot precisely anchor the Israelite people before they were in Canaan, the dates they were in Egypt, we don’t see the presence of the uniquely monotheistic Israelite culture in Egypt, the miracles, etc. The Bible itself does not give us the adequate indicators to do a proper historical investigation, and Archaeology tells a different story from that of the Bible. (Who was Pharoah under Joseph, or Moses for example? when? Nobody in scholarship knows.)
We do know from the Archaeological record that there were some Semitic peoples (people from the area of Canaan/Syria) occupying an ancient city called Avaris in Egypt, (the Nile Delta) where the Bible purports that the land of Goshen was located. The problems are that those people were there near the end and after the middle kingdom period, some hundreds of years before the supposed dates of the Exodus’ occurrence which most people place in the New Kingdom period under Ramses II because of the Torah’s mention of the names of cities like pithom and Ramses which Israelite people are said to have built.
Changing the accepted Chronology would throw what we know about the rest of history out of whack, as well as cast doubt on the Torah text itself. These people in Avaris also had foreign “gods,” ie we know they were some kind of polytheistic worshipers sharing polytheistic sentiments (near as we can tell.)
2 waves of these people Occupied Avaris in this and later years, namely, a wave of Shepherds with flocks engaging in trade, and then later, it was the capital of those known to history as the Hyksos, or “heqa khaseshet,” (called rulers from foreign lands by the Egyptians.) Even if we believed these were somehow the Israelite people, (as Josephus thought,) they had a kingdom, and ruled over the Egyptians, replacing and displacing the native Egyptian Pharoah’s and gods.
These people were thus not slaves in the way that the Bible described. These Hyksos were rulers in Egypt. At most, (from examining bones) we can say that they suffered from very high infant mortality rates, and they also dealt with bouts of famine in the city as did any ancient society. As such, we can only make guesswork of whether they may have been enslaved. Either way, if we found that these shepherds were of Israelite origin, we would still have to explain all the discrepancies. Why are they Polytheists? Why no references to hashem? Why were they ruling in the land and not enslaved in it? Why are the Egyptians strongly present in Canaan where the Israelite people are supposed to be safe?
Speaking of dinosaurs and “science”. Should science be used to distort reality. Most people’s impression of dinosaurs are what they see in museums, some huge towering beast. Is this reality. What those museums have done is take a single bone and “create” a dinosaur and distort the truth by portraying it as if it were found whole and intact. It is painted as if that entire remains were actual skeletal remains. There is distortions and dishonesty among scientists so how can they be trusted any more than anyone else.
Stegosaurus has gone on display at London’s Natural history Museum
‘Sophie’ is named after the daughter of the principal donor, but experts aren’t sure of the 150 million-year-old dinosaur’s sex
The skeleton is the most complete in the world – and is 85 per cent real.
Where do you </em read your science? From the back of a Cheerios packet?
You confirm what I said.
No, this is not what you said at all.
Let me refresh you memory:
(Previously discovered T. rex skeletons were usually missing over half of their bones.)
Yes, and the one named Sue is 80 percent complete and guess what? It looks more or less the same size as the others! Wow, who would have guessed that paleontologists could be so clever, hey?
I guess they, unlike you, don’t get their science from the back of a cereal packet.
Who said anything about size. I find it interesting and informative you have taken such a hostile tone when one points out that science isn’t always as honest as they let on.
I find it interesting that you make a sweeping statement that is disingenuous and then try to cover your false presentation of the facts with an asinine comment which only compounds your ignorance.
Perhaps you could back track a little and star with an apology?
Hmm. An even more hostile retort. What I wrote Was factual, whether you want to accept it or not. Your anecdotal examples aren’t sufficient to outweigh the misleading ones. It seems I’ve touched a nerve. Are you defending your own.
Of course they outweigh and the evidence fully supports them.
Your comments so far suggest you struggle with facts.
You are like a worm wriggling on a hook. Give it up. You were caught in a lie.
Admit it, say sorry and move on.
Are you really going to say that out of ALL the museums that they ALL have complete or nearly complete fossil remains. It is YOU who is distorting the reality by ignoring the totality.
Are you being obtuse on purpose or are you just simple?
This was my point from the VERY BEGINNING. There is much in science that attempts to mislead. THIS is nothing new and it still goes on.
No, you began with a lie.
And now you are simply behaving like a Troll.
It’s more like you want to distort reality. Go to any young child who visits a museum and see if he doesn’t come away with the idea that what he saw is what they found, a complete intact specimen. Who is it that is lying.
Once again, this is not how you presented your initial argument. Please stop trying to cover your faux pas. You lied and the first comment stands as testament to this.
It is EXACTLY how I presented it. YOU wanted to make assumptions INTO what I wrote.
Lol… you’re a Troll. Bye bye …
All you need to do is go back and look what I Wrote. There was a comment made about dinosaurs. This brought to mind how museums distort what they actually display. There have been media reports from the past stating how a “complete dinosaur” had been found. After careful reading this was NOT the case.
Apparently you have the assumption if one is religious then they MUST be anti-science. What I want from science is honest reporting. This is the issue at hand. It is the same with “climate change”. These people had to change the terms used. It is compounded by the use of the term “greenhouse gases”. A greenhouse is determined by a LACK of “weather events”. The earth, as a whole, is rampant with these “weather events”. It is by weather events that discount the idea that climate is static and alterable by man made interactions. It is compounded by the fact the models used aren’t available for scrutiny. Isn’t it convenient that the software used isn’t in the public domain, open to scrutiny.
Okay, Ark, I think I get what Sharbano is saying. Because science isn’t 100% reliable (as in the way scientists present dinosaur skeletons as if they were discovered intact), then we can extrapolate from that that the science of archaeology isn’t 100% reliable. I think his point wasn’t about dinosaurs per se, is that right, Sharbano?
That expresses my point better, although that wasn’t my actual intent. I don’t discount science, only some conclusions, especially if those conclusions lead to assumptions that are questionable.
I think there are doubts about many aspects of science. Once DNA was discovered and how it works it results in many questions regarding evolution.
I had left a little while ago and on returning there was a news report that THIS was the “hottest year on record”. Well, that statement is disingenuous. Part of the assertion is a temperature difference in the hundredth of a degree. Considering that NASA has re-evaluated the previous temperature readings makes that headline misleading in the extreme. I have worked in the measurement field, namely Pressure and Temperature and I can guarantee there isn’t that kind of accuracy “in the field”. It’s not even that conclusive in a lab environment. Even then there are variables that have to be accounted for. There is always a “margin of error”. The temperatures used for climate change want to Ignore the margins. One thing that has been ignored of recent are the ice cores. If nothing else just look at history. WHY was “Iceland” and “Greenland” named as they are and HOW do those names correspond to today. Obviously there has been significant changes in the earth long before man’s affecting the environment.
Troll …. and a liar.
One who has to resort to personal attacks lacks the wherewithal to engage in constructive analysis and proves to all his inability to formulate a coherent rebuttal.
Lol… And you are still a liar!
Really? I wonder, how old are you. This sounds like someone who is in grade school.
Pants on fire ….
I wonder if you have ever learned to tell the truth … or apologise.
Maybe instead of jumping to conclusions and putting yourself into a snare, through the assumptions of what religious people believe, it would have been better to ask for a clarification of what was intended. OR, is this how your knowledge is accumulated, by ‘assumptions’ of what people say. You’ve been unable to give rebuttals and have resorted to snarky remarks. It appears THIS is all you have left.
It doesn’t really matter, you are a Troll and still a damn liar.
Why not simply admit it, apologise then we can move on and maybe I will address the rest of your comments?
Ark, it seems to by that are deliberately refusing to, or are simply unable to, understand what Sharbano is saying. He clarified his point, which is not at all what you assumed it to be.
Everyone knows that the person who is losing has nothing left but ad hominem attacks.
I have not even begun on ad hominum.
He needs to apologise for being disingenuous. I have no truck with his ilk.
If this is not ad hominem, then I don’t want to see what you consider ad hominem. If name calling is not ad hominem then your standard for civility is low.
Firstly are you trying to demonstrate you are open to the fact that what you believe is based on indoctrination and there is no evidence for the superstitions you currently adhere to?
I considered that long ago when I asked myself if I was a practicing Orthodox Jew because I had been raised that way or did I really believe it? So let me ask you: are you open to the possibility that you might be wrong?
Absolutely! I never ever turn my nose up at evidence.
Let’s see what you got!
That’s a lot nicer, Ark! I already sent you a link. It’s really hard to bake a cake and do this at the same time, so please do yourself and me a favor and print it out and read it in bits. I don’t mind waiting to ouch base about it next week or next month.
But it’s based on faith, not evidence . Do you not understand?
Did you read it all, already? That was fast! It’s based on logic and reason, not reason.
I read the first four Summaries and the final summary.
I asked for evidence , not philosophy and not theology.
He waxes lyrical on how wonderful and positive Judaism is. Yeah, right. And this is the religion that supposedly brought you Moses and Joshua the two greatest liquidators of the Bronze Age.
Now, let’s back it up, shall we?
When I say verifiable evidence do you understand what this means?
I was hoping you would drop the contemptuous tone. Of course I know what verifiable evidence means. You obviously take me for an idiot. I shall review this with you when I have a chance. I ask for your patience.
Idiot, no. Misguided and maybe indoctrinated – quite likely.
I mean, touch base.
Then Be Specific how I was disingenuous. Are you going to tell us that museums ONLY the remains that are genuine and do NOT use fabricated parts.
It must be frustrating when someone doesn’t bend to Your whim. I KNOW what I meant, You DON’T.
Frustrating? Not in the least. I don’t give a monkey’s uncle of your opinion. It is based on false assumption and erroneous information.
When you decide to change into long trousers and discuss like an adult then maybe I’ll regard you, and treat you in a different manner.
Until then you are merely a very silly person.
Here you go.
This might help too.
Sharbano, I usually agree with you but in fact dinosaur fossils have been found nearly intact. They were indeed huge. And that does not contradict the Torah.
I don’t see why this should be SO difficult. I didn’t discount the existence of dinosaurs OR their size. My point, as stated in the First, is how they are making people “assume” what they are “seeing” is actually “real” when, in fact, it is “created”. It was NOT found whole and intact. THIS is compounded by an attempt to “cover it up” with paint. The result is a person sees this skeletal remains and would have to assume it is complete. The MOST egregious are those huge dinosaurs on display when it comprises only a single bone or two. As a result most people have assumed that the majority of dinosaur remains are whole, intact specimens.
Sharbano, humans are capable of solving puzzles correct? Apes can solve small puzzles too. Dinosaur fossils are like puzzles. We can make educated guesses on how they fit together, especially because in many dig sites there are numerous fossils of the same dinosaur species. So, it isn’t a guess “created” by humans, its an educated researched view of the logical way the skeleton fits together.
PS Why should climate change be denied by the Torah? You all believe that G-d allowed these other religions to flourish as a test for Israel, (he was not impeded by their existence,) that every other nation’s sacred experiences are mistaken, but its illogical to accept fossils, evolution, and climate change? Someone explain this please.
I think Everybody is reading into what I wrote with their own assumptions expanding into conclusions I never regarded. I don’t know HOW explicit I need to be to get it across. My point was NOTHING more that what was written. It’s NOT some lies OR Trolling. Imagine this; I go to a museum and they have this gigantic dinosaur on display. It looks like a complete and whole entity. There is no indication to think otherwise. Now, what happens when a person finds out that the only original is a single bone or two. A person assumed he saw what he saw. What is his reaction. Now, tell him over here we have a 60% dinosaur. and he will be unimpressed. Museums will not indicate in the display exactly what bones are real and what are not. The result would be those whose displays are few real bones would fail in drawing visitations. So, what it amounts to is “money”. THIS is the science of today.
Con, I don’t agree with Sharbano here. The discovery of fossils, the old age of the universe, and much of evolution do not contradict the Torah (read Gerald Schroeder on this).
As for climate change, no one denies that the climate changes; of course it does. But people are skeptical of man-caused catastrophic global warming (the key words being “man-caused” and “catastrophic”) because the science isn’t settled and there is still a debate.
Scientists keep changing their minds about things. Remember when eggs and coconut oil were bad for you? Now eggs are good for you and coconut oil is the latest health craze (or one of).
The science on most issues is not settled.
Global warming has become highly politicized, which makes it hard to discover the scientific truth. Scientists themselves are not free from bias.
I posted a YouTube video that explains the reasons for skepticism, as well as lists of respected scientists who are skeptics.
We all agree that global temperatures change, whether or not you believe humans are causing it. We definitely know that human beings are adding CO2 into the air at a rate far greater (and faster) than was ever possible (or naturally occurring) before the industrial revolution. At the same time, people who have difficulty accepting climate change as a man-made problem always ask: “wait a minute, Isn’t it true that natural phenomenon (such as Volcanoes erupting globally over time, or the world’s natural cycle of CO2 emissions from other sources) output much more CO2 then we humans possibly could?” Yes, partially true, but nature’s emissions of gasses are slow and sporadic. On the face of it, this is a rather straightforward seemingly basic intelligent question. The problem is, this question misses what the scientists are actually telling us.
Scientists are saying that human CO2 emissions at their present rate of speed (very fast in a short amount of time,) combined with deforestation, and other ecological impacts from humans are making it harder for the planet to handle/recycle the CO2 (that it already deals with over very long periods of time.) Our planet simply can’t recycle it all fast enough anymore, because we humans are putting CO2 into the air so quickly, (and at a relatively quick pace) that the planet can’t handle the extra load.
Its true that our human CO2 emissions are a relatively small amount in the grand scheme of a normal global natural process, but we are adding stress (because of the rate of speed with which we expel CO2,) to an otherwise balanced system. The planet can handle lots of emissions, (but very slowly,) not the constant influx of smaller emissions all the time from industrial scale processes.
A somewhat related example would be the amount of plastic in the ocean. The Ocean is capable of filtering and cleaning itself (given enough time goes by,) but because we are producing and disposing of plastic at such high volume, and so quickly, the ocean isn’t able to clean itself fast enough. Just as a very small rock can make a huge ripple, so can the greenhouse gasses we produce cause big problems.
Con, the point I was making is that the science isn’t settled that man-caused global warming is leading to disaster. Wherever you stand on the issue, that is the case.
Enter your comment here…So what matters a disaster ? Mankind is doomed (re Corrie Ten Doom see youtomb testimoney. haha (miss steaks are common and for this reply are on purpose. ) Corrie ten Boom was one of the ONLY faithful women on television or youtube or any media in the last one hundred years/ century.
Really, you actually believe this guy?
Bill Nye has a thorough knowledge of Physics, theoretical and applied, he knows biology, and things we had to (at least I had to) learn in science classes all through high school and college. So, yeah Larry I believe him, but not just based on his own say so. He, NASA, the USGS, and the global scientific community all have empirical data pertaining to this question, they have demonstrated with verifiable data that what they are saying is true. Its testable, repeatable information.
Dina, in regards to disaster and CO2 emissions, you don’t even need to “believe” in global climate change to see the disastrous impact CO2 emissions can have on us as people. CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels kills people every year through the myriad adverse health effects like cancer, asthma, emphysema, etc.
When you said climate change is politicized, its not just because of the world getting warmer, but because major sources of emissions cause other very serious risks to human health and safety that are ignored.
Even the brightest can be fooled
Are you Really going to make the conclusion that CO2 causes cancer, asthma and emphysema. When people begin to call CO2 a “pollutant” then all sorts of hyperbole follows. We have entered into an era where science has been politicized. It is unfortunate but “true science” has fallen prey to ideologues instead of the pursuit of knowledge. Most all of this modern pseudo-science is what computer models suggest. Since my background is around 40 years of computer science I can say it is far too easy to manipulate the outcomes. Even with the super-computers of today there still isn’t enough computing power to take into account every variable that influences climate effects. There are just too many variables that cannot be entered into a model since they cannot be quantified. This is why the models fail in the predictions for the time-period that has already passed. A person can examine the predictions for the past 50 years and see how far from actual events these predictions were. It wasn’t so long ago many were saying the northeast would no longer see snowfall. How did that pan out.
Surely you have heard of this
Con, there is another side to this debate. Did you see all the links I posted? Lists of scientists who are skeptical? The WSJ article explaining why the oft-cited statistic that 97% of scientists believe in catastrophic man-caused global warming is bogus? The Prager U video explaining the position of skeptics?
It would be fair for you to examine the evidence on both sides before dismissing the notion that the science isn’t settled. It isn’t settled.
How much of our atmosphere is co2? I know pollution but the current rage is against c02
Your exactly correct. Everything in the global warming debate is based on computer models. Even nasa backed off of their own measurements because of the in-accuracies and now only use the satellites data which shows no increase in temperature 18 years 8 months and counting.
Not. Shad. Sorry iPad problems
It’s rather arrogant of man to think he has such power to cause earth’s destruction, OR, that the earth is SO fragile that mankind can end civilization. It reminds me of the predictions made by these same scientists during the Gulf War when all the oil fields were set ablaze. Were their predictions even remotely close.
I recall predictions of the 60’s when some were saying the earth wouldn’t be able to support the population growth, yet the growth has exceeded their predictions and food isn’t in short supply. There were predictions 30-40 years ago that said we had reached “peak oil” but Now oil is even more abundant. On this I would go with a minority that is doubtful oil is a “fossil fuel”.
I had just seen a tagline regarding the EPA and Ozone. Did anyone notice the times when news outlets hyped the “Ozone hole”. It was always in the middle of winter. What wasn’t said is, this is the norm. The Ozone layer is dependent upon sunlight. In the winter months there isn’t the direct rays of the sun and the Ozone layer subsides and increases in the summer months.
So anytime there is hype and gloom and doom then the prudent thing is to watch your pocket book. I started become suspicious and skeptical when I found that ALL the evidence is seldom given. Only the selected parts that fit the agenda of the parties involved.
I should also point out about Ozone; and that is the banning of Freon. Dupont had that patent on Freon and it had run out at the same time. We had to go to a New Freon which, you guessed it, Dupont has the patent on. As I said before, follow the money. Governments have the control of SO much wealth of the nations and they are ready and willing to hand out that money to those who will keep them in power and control, regardless of party affiliation.
I should have clarified and said that when we discuss “global climate change,” we often talk about it in terms of greenhouse gasses generally, including, but definitely not limited to Co2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPCC_list_of_greenhouse_gases Even ethanol, a renewable, biodegradable fuel only cuts emissions of CO2 by 34% compared to gasoline. The issue behind claims of coming disaster goes beyond simply rising temperature, that was my point. We use sources of energy (both directly and in the process of energy production) that pollute a lot and we have studies of the effects. We pollute to get access to these materials, pollute to refine them, and pollute when we use them, yet people use politics of denying climate change and refuse to try and innovate or learn because they think legitimate research is just bogus. If it was a matter of serious disagreement among accredited scientists, I would say you have a case, but you are doubting GLOBAL scientific studies and efforts, and saying it is inconsequential. That’s a conspiracy theorist mentality, and I respectfully disagree.
Sharbano, if you are going to throw out “computer models,” or “liberal” science, do you have any idea what you have to throw out in terms of what we know? These are not just arbitrary models thought up by idiots. These models tell us where to find precious hidden natural resources, help us to better determine possible weather patterns, help us fight diseases, help us design buildings to withstand natural disasters, help us predict seismic activity, aid us in growing crops, etc. It really bothers me when people blithely dismiss science when it has done so much for humanity, because “you aren’t or cant be sure.” You can believe in Hashem and religious truth like its the easiest thing ever (when so much violence happens in the world, even to your own righteous members) but G-d forbid that we can believe in the things that we can investigate with our own senses collectively as a species. Sharbano, name one aspect of human cognition that does not also have an ideology behind it, hint: there isn’t one. Since when have religious people had trouble trusting things that can’t be strictly quantified? Sure, computer models don’t account for “every possibility,” but does religion account for every possibility? How can you so blithely discount things we clearly see? Where have the glaciers gone? Polar bear habitat? Where is California’s winter cycle? Where is the snow on Kilimanjaro disappearing to and why? Its going to be gone in the next 100 years, its been there for generations!
Also, of what benefit is it to religion or the faithful to doubt global climate change or science?
The IPCC is a “political” body NOT a scientific body. What should be noted is “terminology”. NOW it is “climate change” instead of “global warming”. Climate changes occur throughout time. There have been ice ages and warming trends long before man had any influence. The mantra most cited is “consensus”. Well consensus isn’t science. The vast majority of this consensus aren’t those involved in climate science.
Not all computer models are created equal. Models that use mathematical equations that can be proven aren’t equal to speculative models. For instance, we have equations for physics that can be modeled and used for analysis. Can any computer model predict clouds and rainfall. These have a determining factor in when it warms and when it cools. Not too long ago these scientists claimed there would be a huge increase in hurricanes. THAT hasn’t happened. It’s as if everything predicted can be assured of being the opposite.
They can’t even predict tomorrow’s weather accurately, so why rely on their predictions 20 years or more hence?
He is even a commander of a clean energy station in Oakland at Chabot space and science center.
What a dumb thing to say. The Jews under attack should get to know their neighbors better. Blame the victim.
He believes Israel isn’t home for Jews either. It shouldn’t be a surprise to find how much the left agrees on certain matters.
That’s how to settle the science
The Church of Global Warming is intent on forcing the Galileos to conform.
Along With that we can therefore say the “Hell” of that church is the doomsday Climate scenario.
It’s rather arrogant of man to think he has such power to cause earth’s destruction
UMMM, We can annihilate life quickly, about 200 times over. It’s called the hydrogen bomb.
We CAN probably annihilate mankind with wars. It can’t be proven but I suspect even if all the bombs were exploded the earth would continue. It may very well be true that at one time Oxygen was a pollutant.
I recall predictions of the 60’s when some were saying the earth wouldn’t be able to support the population growth, yet the growth has exceeded their predictions and food isn’t in short supply.
Some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That’s about one in nine people on earth. The vast majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries, where 13.5 percent of the population is undernourished.
Why haven’t we reached carrying capacity Sharbano? Technological advancements in agriculture production, and still 13% of the WORLD is starving! Please read up some sir.
Con, the reason there is hunger is not food shortage but corrupt governments.
This website contradicts itself. First it says the world produces enough to feed its entire population, then it says it doesn’t.
You don’t think this organization as an agenda?? – “Food security”. This term is used in order to inflate hunger statistics.
THAT is not an answer to the prediction made. Food production has FAR exceeded what these people said was possible. Notice the terminology They use; “food insecurity”. I could be counted as one with “food insecurity” even though my cupboards are full. Do you REALLY believe that those who are starving is due to a lack of production, OR, is it more likely due to a lack of distribution.
Dina, the “skeptics” you mention are but a fraction of the scientific community, and they reject the plainly observable data by misrepresenting the majority’s arguments. I’m not dismissing anything, I’m saying that I believe the majority of the observable information that is available from scientists globally.
Con, you need to back up that statement.
On second thought, maybe not. It’s a bit surreal for us to be having a debate about global warming on this particular website :).
http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/ Here Dina. I would rather trust the experiments and people in the field WHO KNOW the science.
Con, the left has been wrong about just about every single hysteria that it produced from nuclear winter to heterosexual aids to you name it. I’m not terribly interested in a debate on climate change, but I’ll just repeat my earlier point: the science is never settled.
New evidence is always coming in that forces us to re-evaluate accepted scientific “facts.” Eggs were bad for you until they were good for you. People in a persistent vegetative state had no conscious awareness until they did. These things were accepted as fact until new evidence overturned them.
The simulated computer models were simply wrong. They failed to predict that the globe would stop warming for nearly two decades. The hockey stick projection was fraudulent. The Climategate email scandal was an awful conspiracy that should have damaged the credibility of the scientists involved (as it surely would have if the scientists had been skeptics). Anyway, people believe what they want. They find the scientists who agree with them and then dismiss the scientists who disagree as being not real scientists.
Why do you say that skeptical scientists don’t know the science? How do you know that? You are dismissing them out of hand.
Just like chicken little said , the sky is falling……
Believe who you want but bring the evidense, I am always willing to change my views.
It’s very important…..
NASA has lost its credibility when it started manipulating the data, by their own admission. Unfortunately NASA has also be politicized by this administration. Have you ever wondered where the temperature locations are. Do temperatures from an Airport Tarmac reflect the ambient temperature of a given area. THIS is where many “official” temperatures are taken from.
Con, have you been reading the links Larry and I posted? Not trying to change your mind, you can believe whomever you want on global warming. I just want to show that the science isn’t settled.
>>>>>Also, of what benefit is it to religion or the faithful to doubt global climate change or science?<<<<<
Because religious persecution often arises from political issues. The holocaust was promoted on "science" as a foundation for propaganda. Hitler rose to power on "science". My understanding is the Pope is going to speak to the U.S. Congress, making the case that climate change is a serious religious issue, and supposedly propose worldwide Sunday observance. Probably won't happen, and that may have changed since several months ago, but it was the buzz. Climate Change is a political football. Every side has their own "scientists".
Heck, when my wife made a workplace injury claim, the state had their own doctors who always denied the injury was that bad ( the lawyers called them "whores"), while the lawyers had their own doctors who always exaggerated the injury, whom the state called "whores". If you can't trust an mere MD to be unbiased, then what makes you think you can trust a "scientist" who is being paid by a government grant to find affirmative "climate change" data?
Here’s an example on computer modeling. One of the easiest models to program is physics, namely the actions of billiards. The actions and interactions can be simulated with great accuracy and the programs that simulate this work in a perfect environment. Certain actions can be performed by the computer that would never be able to be done by the most skilful player. There are factors that simply cannot be duplicated in the ‘real world’. It works the other way also. I can perform a shot that will never work in the computer model. It will work every time in the physical world but cannot be accomplished in a computer model. There are factors that are not and cannot be effectively programmed into the simulation. These include the temperature of the room, and subsequently the cloth. There is humidity in the room and this too affect the ball rolling on the cloth. Then, there is the cloth also and the variations of different cloths. There is also the tip and its material and chalk applied. Finally, there is also ‘dirt’. When a person picks up the balls he leaves a residue of skin oils etc A person will see professionals clean the cue ball occasionally to minimize any friction. All these factors are not part of the simulation but Do affect an outcome and thus allows me to make a shot that cannot be duplicated in a computer model.
The following are components used in climate modeling. Just as the computer model for billiards couldn’t work in the real world because factors aren’t part of the simulation so too here there are factors that aren’t under consideration, but should be.
Factor Understood? Contribution to models’ predicted future warming
ENSO No 0%
Ocean Oscillations No 0%
Ocean Currents No 0%
Volcanoes No 0%
Wind No 0%
Water Cycle Partly (built into Water Vapour, below)
The Sun No 0%
Galactic Cosmic Rays (and aerosols) No 0%
Milankovich cycles No 0%
Carbon Dioxide Yes 37%
Water Vapour Partly 22%
Clouds No 41%
I don’t want to say too much to you for but you have no idea what worship is what it means and how people use worship. You or what is called a hypocrite and there are a lot of them that worship other Hypocrites like you so get your facts and opinions to the other Hypocrites you worship.
The above is a slanderous lie against God, against the David’s descendant and creator. The author is guilty of treason against God and His Anointed.
He either fails to understand the Gospel of John, in which case he might be forgiven for ignorance and being blinded by the lies and distortions of the so-called rebbes, blind false teaches who lead their blind pupils into a ditch. Or, he way simply chose not to belief, being in league with Satan and anti-Christ and a god-hater.
The Gospel of John is pretty clear:
1That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have gazed upon and touched with our own hands—this is the Word of life. 2And this is the life that was revealed; we have seen it and testified to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us. 3We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And this fellowship of ours is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.…
Isaiah and many of the prophets said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.” How can you have a slice of God, a piece of God, and not all of God since God cannot be divided? Did the prophets says God had his low-beams on us?- a sort of diluted God? Can God dilute Himself, water himself down? That which was from the beginning could only be eternal. The only eternal being was. The Christian claim, received from Jesus, is that He was with the Father from the beginning and He, as the Logos =manifestation, creative energy, operative power (which got translated “son”) is the Creator.
Scary how little Jew hatred has changed in thousands of years.
Starting to learn pagan source of the false doctrines of trinity – from baby Lon, thru rom e. relig.
Learn truth from ABBA YHVH.
His born-ones , born again, are holy. i.e. holy (set apart) spirit is them. Not pagan concept.
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