Biblical Offerings versus Christian Doctrine

Biblical Offerings versus Christian Doctrine
Christianity contends that the crucifixion of Jesus represents the culmination of the offerings described in the Jewish Bible. It is claimed that Jesus is the “sacrifice to end all sacrifices”.
Is there any truth to this Christian assertion? Let us study the Biblical offerings and see what we can learn.
One feature that is obvious in all of the Scriptural offerings is the fact that nothing remained of them, they were completely consumed. Some of the offerings were immediately burned on the altar, while others were eaten by the priests or by the bearer of the offering. Anything that remained was burned (Exodus 12:10, Leviticus 7:17). The offering itself was eradicated. The only thing that remained from the offering was the closeness to God that it generated.
When an individual walked home after having brought his or her offering in the Temple, the last thing on their mind was the animal that was burned or eaten. The destruction of the animal brought to mind the concept that everything temporal; is just that – temporal. There is no intrinsic value to anything that can be destroyed. The offering brought into focus that our only true possession is the relationship we share with the One who created all.
In short, one of the central concepts of the Biblical offerings was the idea that everything earthly – represented by the offering – has no intrinsic existence. It is only the closeness to God that we obtain through the sincere act of bringing a gift to God that is of any value. The offerings of Scripture reinforced the central concept of Scripture, that God is the absolute Master of all – while the animal that was brought as the offering represented the flimsy nature of the existence of all created beings – including life itself.
Imagine if someone were to return from having brought an offering in the Temple with a portrait of the animal that he or she had brought as an offering. Imagine further that this individual hangs this portrait in a prominent place in his or her home. This individual goes around praising the animal: “Oh what a perfect sacrifice! Completely unblemished! This offering is my best friend because through it I achieved atonement from my sins!” – It would be obvious to one and all that this individual has completely misunderstood the Biblical sacrifices. Instead of learning the lesson of the offering – that all earthly existence is but a dream – this individual attempts to exalt an example of earthly existence.
The individual in our parable is none other than the Christian theologian. The Christian theologian points to the supposed sacrifice of Jesus in order to exalt Jesus. With this doctrine, the Christian has turned the Biblical concept of sacrifice inside out. The point of the Biblical sacrifice was to emphasize the ephemeral nature of the article brought as an offering and to exalt the Creator of all. Exalting the item brought as an offering goes directly against one of the basic themes of the Biblical offerings.

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25 Responses to Biblical Offerings versus Christian Doctrine

  1. bography says:

    If Jesus existed and if said what the Bible says, then Jesus disagrees with you. All rejecters of Jesus as a sacrifice – ultimate or not – for man’s sin, base their views on the either or both of the two “ifs.”

  2. Shawn says:

    bography, we can assume all we wish that Jesus said exactly what he is purported to have said. His words still totally contradict what G-d already said in the Hebrew Bible about the nature of sacrifice. G-d tells us sacrifice must be perfect and unblemished. The NT now tells us otherwise. Well, if the Old Testament is from G-d, then the message coming from Jesus is clearly not from the same G-d.

    So if G-d already made the Law, and revealed it to the nation of Israel, Jesus’ words cannot be accepted also. You cannot logically accept both contraditory commands, and say it is from the same G-d.

  3. Shawn says:

    As a bit of a sidenote, bography, I’m sure you realize that your argument can be (and is frequently) used to justify the Book of Mormon. Simply say “well, if Joseph Smith existed and said these things…” claimed about him, then he must be a prophet of G-d.

    But you would never buy that argument if presented by a Mormon. Why? You would justifiably respond by saying how the OT/NT and the Book of Mormon teach contradictory theologies in many places, and thus the Book of Mormon cannot be “supplemental” to the OT/NT by virtue of it teaching a totally opposing theology. That makes sense. So if you accept this reasoning for the NT, you must also logically accept it for the Book of Mormon.

  4. Shawn
    Your point is clear – does Christianity “base” itself on the idea that Mohammed, Charlie and Joseph Smith did not exist? Or that the Koran, the Newer Testament and the Book of Mormon are not accurate? Thanks!
    Bography
    Do you really believe that Judaism’s non-acceptance of Jesus is “based” on the belief that Jesus did not exist or that the Biblical interpretations offered by the writers of the Christian Scriptures are off the mark?
    Don’t you acknowledge that God established an authentic belief system BEFORE the birth of Jesus – and in that belief system – God provided us with guidance as to how we should evaluate claims to prophecy and competing belief systems. According to the guidance God granted us – we recognize that acceptance of Jesus would be the deepest violation of our covenant with God. Is this news to you?

  5. bography says:

    Shawn, before I comment, it seems to be your view that Jesus couls have said at the last supper: ‘This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many’ (Mark 14:24). Is this correct?

  6. Shawn says:

    As I said, and as the author wrote also, the Jewish rejection of Christian teaching is not based on the assumption that he never existed, or that he could not have said these words.

    Simply put, G-d already created the Law and gave it to the Jewish people long before Jesus was ever born. Therefore, if Jesus makes commands and theological statements totally contrary to the teachings already given by G-d, those words are to be rejected.

    If you feel your reasoning is a valid argument for Jesus simply because he said it, the *exact* same argument can be used for Mormonism.

  7. John Pfefferle says:

    I enjoy reading and appreciate the fact that Rabbi spends his precious time sharing his knowledge and wisdom. The “comments” section however are somewhat “humorous” when you step back and read in 3rd person. I was introduced to a yiddish term by my Jewish (ex) wife, “mashugganah”?? that I really liked, and if I understand it correctly, it would be exactly what “I” am, if I thought, that engaging in debate, I would change anybody’s faith tradition or belief. What I do enjoy about the comment section, is that it challenges me to really know why I believe what I believe. A Christian study was recently released, called the “Truth Project”, because many people who profess to be Christian and a belief system and life style more similar to “non-believers” than to what Yeshua proposed. The opening challenge, that all of us must be honest with ourselves about, is “do you really believe, that what you believe, is really real?”. This question has been a driving force for me to understand why I believe what I believe, which I feel all of us need to do daily. As far as being a missionary, it is not my intention to persuade or talk anyone into believing what I believe, whether Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. I do not get paid extra (since I don’t get paid), nor receive recognition from any organization. There is not a “premium” on getting a Jew! If anything, I get grief from the “anti-semites”, and yes, I do believe they exist in the church. A Jew is my friend before a conversation, and is still a friend after, regardless of their faith decision. If I had control over what people thought about me, that is how I would like to be known. Blessings Rabbi, as well to all who read and comment on this site, regardless if you are waiting for the Messiah, or waiting for His second return. Shema Yisrael!

    • Brian Jamieson says:

      John Pfefferle, It isn’t about believing in anyone, nor is about faith in a western theological definition; It is about knowing G-D and following the path he has set before us, by obeying his Torah.
      The Torah Personality -A Non-Believer
      Rabbi Israel Chait

      ——————————————————————————–

      Joseph Campbell the famous mythologist tells of a meeting he once had with a priest while on vacation. The priest, recognizing the famous professor, asked Campbell if he believed in God, to which Campbell replied, “no.” “Well, would you believe in Him if I could prove Him to you?” asked the priest. “Yes,” replied Campbell, “but then how would I have faith?” The priest conceded defeat.

      This anecdote typifies the idea of Christian faith. The virtue of faith is only possible where the mind does not convince us that something is so. Indeed, some have gone so far as to say that the ideal of Christian faith is to believe in something the mind dictates as absurd. As Tertullian said, “credo quia absurdum,” (I believe that which is absurd). Søren Kierkegaard went even further and said that the very absurdity if the Christian claim makes it worthy of belief. This type of thinking has its source in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 1& 2.

      There is nothing mysterious about why religion demands belief. Religion is not a result of knowledge and investigation. It is basically man’s projections of an inner world onto what we call the real world. Such a system by definition demands belief. Its very existence is dependent on the denial of a weltanschauung that bases itself on reasoning alone. Such a system would spell doomsday for the religion. Other modes of cognition must be sanctified so that the religion may survive. These modes are dubbed “spiritual.”

      In order to protect itself further, religion maintains that these modes of cognition are superior to reason. The challenge of religion then becomes to rely exclusively on the “spiritual” type thinking. This becomes the mark of virtue, so much so that if one were to know something by reason there would be no religious challenge and hence no virtue. This was Campbell’s response to the priest.

      What does Torah have to say about this? Torah teaches the exact opposite of what all man-made religions teach. We usually characterize religious people as believers because they accept as true things which cannot be proven through reason. We call non-religious individuals non-believers because they demand proof for their convictions and therefore reject religious notions. In the eyes of the Torah both the religious and non-religious people are believers while the Torah personality is not a believer. Sound strange? Let us examine the matter more closely.

      The Christian idea of faith leads to insoluble problems when we approach Torah. If having faith is the highest level of religiosity then Moses, the greatest figure in the Torah would be the least religious. Since he knew God via direct prophecy, “face

      to face,” there would be no need for him to have any faith. He would thus be devoid of the most important religious virtue, faith. Similarly, the Patriarchs who had knowledge of God via prophecy would have no need for faith. Moreover, all Israel who witnessed God’s revelation at Sinai would have no need for faith. The Torah then is a book of the faithless. Indeed, Torah encourages faithlessness. God tells Moses, “Behold I will come to you in the thickness of the cloud in order that the nation shall hear when I speak with you and in you too will they believe forever, (Exodus 19:9).” God expects the people to believe in Him and the fact that Moses is His loyal servant only after the spectacular event at Sinai. God never tells Moses to tell the people to simply have faith. Moses repeats the formula at great length in Deuteronomy 4:9-15, and 32-36, 5:2-5 and 19-24. It is quite clear through all of this that the only reason the people were expected to believe in God and Torah was because they witnessed the event at Sinai with their own eyes, as it stated, “You have been shown so that you may know that Hashem, He is God…, (Ibid. 4:35), “Face to face, God spoke to you, (Ibid. 5:4)”, “You have seen that from the heavens I have spoken to you, (Exodus 20:19).” There is not one word in God’s Torah that suggests that we suspend our critical faculty and indulge in what Christians call faith.

      The Torah actually cautions against such a practice. In Deuteronomy 13, the Torah warns us not to follow any prophet who deviates from any of the teachings of the Torah even if his predictions of signs and wonders come true. Predictions, signs and wonders evoke the mysterious element in man’s nature. The false prophet is a test (13:4) to see if man will remain faithful to the evidence of Sinai or follow the mysterious, the emotional and the faith type of thinking. We are never to be impressed by soothsayers, miracle workers, faith healers or other mystical performers. Throughout the Five Books of Moses and the prophets we find respect only for knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. The message of the Torah is a clear one: If we are to perfect ourselves we are to pursue knowledge not any other modes of cognition. God’s universe and God’s Torah are based on knowledge. (See especially the first three chapters of Proverbs).

      Only those who think of themselves as scholars but have never mastered the method of Torah analysis, and often times do not even know Hebrew, proclaim otherwise. Nahum M. Sarna in his book Understanding Genesis, states:

      The quality of faith associated with Abraham at the covenant ceremony shows itself once again in this situation. Answering the doubts of his servant, the Patriarch is absolutely sure that the mission will be successfully accomplished. “The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my birth, who promised me under oath, saying ‘I will give this land to your offspring’ – He will send his angel before you and you will get a wife for my son from there, (Genesis 24:7).”

      Nahum M. Sarna, Understanding Genesis, (Schocken Books) 171.

      Sarna then compares these words of Abraham with the words he used previously at the covenant of the parts, Genesis 15:2 and 15:8 stating:

      At the outset of his career his very first words to God were expressions of doubt about each of the two elements of the divine promise – posterity and land. “O Lord God, what can you give seeing that I die childless…, (Genesis 15:2),” he had said despairingly of the former; and, “O Lord God, how (sic) shall I know that I am to possess it?” (Ibid. 15:8) was his response to the latter. Now he evokes both posterity and land, serenely confident that God’s promises will work themselves out in history. Abram, the doubter has become Abraham, the man of absolute faith.

      Ibid. Sarna’s claim that Abraham was “absolutely sure that the mission will be successfully accomplished” is patently false. Had Sarna simply read the very next verse he would have realized this. Genesis 24:8 states, “And if the woman be not willing to follow thee then thou shalt be clear from this my oath.” It is clear from 24:8 that Abraham was not sure at all that God would fulfill his mission. Sarna made a mistake in his translation verse 7. In Hebrew the future tense often signifies a hope or desire. the correct translation for the Hebrew word yishlach in this instance is not will send but shall send meaning should send. The same is true of Genesis 49:10. The translation should read “The scepter shall not depart from Judah,” meaning should not depart, not will not depart. People in Israel often say Hashem yaazor, meaning (I hope that) God shall help, not God will help. Abraham was not a man of naive religious faith who assumed that God will do as he wishes. He knew full well that neither he nor any other human being has knowledge of God’s will. He thus prepared his servant for both eventualities.

      Being raised in a Christian environment Sarna equated faith with religious virtue, he then proceeded to project this notion onto the Torah. He committed the error of a bad historian. He took something from his existing environment and projected it onto the past. Sarna’s idea that Abraham doubted God at the covenant of Genesis 15 is not only wrong it is stupid. How can one speak to God, know that He is creator of heaven and earth and yet not think He can give him a son or give a certain land to a certain people? He is, however, consistent. He demonstrates as much understanding of Genesis 15 as he does of Genesis 24. (Genesis 15 contains a very profound concept which I cannot expound upon here). Unfortunately, due to the fact that most people are ignorant , men like Sarna can masquerade as scholars when they don’t even know the most basic and fundamental principles of Torah. One must be extremely cautious about one’s authorities these days.

      It should be pointed out that the word emunah translated as belief or faith does not connote in Hebrew what these terms mean in English. The word emunah means verification of a truth from an external source, (see Genesis 42:20 and Exodus 14:31). It does not mean blind religious faith.

      The Torah personality is guided by the tzellem elokim, the divine element in man’s soul. All Torah authorities interpret that term as the rational element in man’s soul. He bases his life on his knowledge of Torah and the demonstration at Sinai. (For an understanding of how the demonstration at Sinai is relevant today you may send for a special paper I have written on the subject). His belief in God is based on knowledge not shallow faith. As Maimonides states in the very beginning of his work, “the foundation of foundations and the pillar of all knowledge is to know that God exists.” One must search assiduously for the knowledge of God’s existence through the study of Torah.

      The Torah personality is an individual committed to a way of life based on knowledge. For decisions in religious matters he studies the Talmud. He uses only intellect in interpreting its words. No Talmudic authority has ever based a ruling on feeling or religious emotion. Only logic and reason are admissible in this endeavor. What is contrary to logic is false.

      But what of modern man is he a believer or a non-believer? Every person must have some philosophy of life. Every person strives for happiness and acts in a way he thinks is good. Modern man is ruled by one notion – success. He is convinced that fame, fortune and satisfaction of his desire for romantic love will bring him happiness. But does modern man know this to be true? Can he prove this? Indeed if we were guided merely by what we observe of others’ lives it would be patently clear that such is not the case. Again and again people find to their dismay that those people who have what they dream of are in the depths of misery and despair. But modern man does not change his course. He persists in believing that in his case it would be different. He is a believer. He believes his emotions. Torah teaches us not to trust our emotions, to reason about what is truly good for man and to understand the nature of our emotions and instinctual life. Only through knowledge can we have a good and happy life. The Torah personality is a total non-believer in the benefits most people ascribe to wealth, fame or romantic love. Maimonides states that the true Torah personality does not get excited by a sudden increase in his possessions or renown nor does he get depressed by a decrease in his wealth or popularity. He rides an “even keel” through life having the true good, Torah knowledge before his mind’s eye always and everything else in proper perspective. His emotional life is tempered by knowledge. He is very critical in his judgments and goes through a lengthy analysis of himself and Torah before making any decisions.

      Thus, based on our original definition of a believer as he who accepts conclusions uncritically and a non-believer as he who is guided by his mind we must conclude that the Torah personality is a non-believer while modern non-religious man is a believer par excellence.

      Modern religious man who subscribes to the man-made religions, attempts to escape the human dilemma by creating in his mind a world based on simplistic infantile notions which have no support from reality. If only I could believe these things life would be great, he thinks. Belief becomes his great challenge. For the Torah personality perfection is the challenge. But even witnessing the event at Sinai does not give man perfection as is clear from the Torah narrative. Knowledge of God’s existence through Sinai is only the beginning. Perfection involves the study and understanding of Torah ideas. We must gain knowledge of what is good and what is evil. We must understand our every emotion. We must recognize the difference between our instinctual nature and our divine element. We must exercise careful judgment in our deeds to make certain that we are not being guided in our lives by our basic emotion. Like a great general, the Torah personality assesses his own strengths and weaknesses, knows when to move into battle and when to avoid certain situations. He knows when and when not to satisfy his instinctual nature. His every move is determined by knowledge. He knows that even the most righteous occasionally fail. He is always ready to reanalyze and reevaluate his past deeds. He learns from his errors and thereby rises to even greater heights. His is not an infantile simplistic challenge of faith, but the challenge of challenges – the challenge of human perfection. He is armed with a great work, the work that gives man true insight into the greatness and the frailties of human nature. He is constantly engaged in the delights of this insightful work, the great joy its knowledge brings, as well as the unique existence it forges for him. The torah personality is never bored. He is interested in all of God’s knowledge, from the most obscure minutiae of Halachic detail to the latest advance in scientific knowledge. In all this he sees God’s infinite wisdom. He is best described as the prophet describes him, “And let us know, let us run (eagerly strive) to know God, (Hosea 6:3).” Ibn Ezra states on this verse, ” We should eagerly strive to know God because this is the foundation of all knowledge and because of this alone man was created.”

  8. Shawn says:

    John, sometimes the comment section is not about convincing the other person, but ensuring that if anyone sees the comments made by one person, they have all the information in front of them.

    Proverbs 18:17 says it well: ‘The first to present his case seems right, until another comes forward and questions him.’

  9. agadah says:

    Part of the reason certain Christians believe Jesus (or as someone else mentioned on another post, Jesus’ real name was Iesous not Yeshua, which is the mangled form of the name Yehoshua), is that they believe in “fallen man” or so-called “original sin”. They wrongly believe that the Adamah’s & Chavah’s “punishment” has made mankind totally depraved & ungodly. But Abel pleased God, as did others (although pleasing God did not prevent Abel’s murder. But Cayin lived).

    But God said to us, “Be Ye Holy, for I, your God, am Holy.”. So “fallen man” can be Holy like God!!! And God did not have to be a conniving schemer, “confidence man” and come up with some pagan, mystery religion based idea to play-act as a man (or 1/2 man, 1/2 god) for a couple of years and then die on a cross and rise like phoenix

  10. deerhunter says:

    Jesus is Lord!

  11. Miriam Pia says:

    Wow, the article and posts were really something. Allow me to share: I was raised Unitarian Universalist – which I have also practiced as an adult, with parents who had started out as Protestant Christians – Methodist [insert type of Protestant here] . They had some study. I grew up having a few Jewish friends, but truthfully ‘a few American Jews in a Christian society’. To me, it has seemed vital to keep in mind that Jesus Christ was himself a Jew. I went to religious education for years and liked it. My father and second wife would ‘talk Christianity’ in the kitchen – very real but very casual supplemental religious ed.

    Not all Jews agree with one another. ….[everyone take a deep breath or two]….No kidding! and Jesus Christ was no exception to this! There are passages in The Bible [lack of scholarship – not telling you exactly which ones] that are dedicated to Jesus arguing doctrine with other sects of Jews…and, wow, did the arguments get passionate and heated! Well, Jesus also taught that he would be a source of division amongst people, as he sought to be closest with each – this is resembled in teachings of other religions where the intimacy with God [apologies to non Christian Jews to whom it is offensive that I wrote out the whole word] helps each individual to know and manifest their inner divinity – some would call this ‘the inner spiritual master’ – someone else would call this the Torah personality [sorry, saw the Hebrew phrase above but didn’t retain it to this point] and that when this happens…well, the bottom line is that the individuality and uniqueness of each individual becomes so apparent that the idea of everything being covered in a blanket of agreement …that’s not how it works. That is not how it happens. This is why there is such value in the Christian prayer: ” Dear God, please protect me from your other followers.” Christians are all taught that if they hope to reach G-d, they have to go through Jesus Christ. Obviously, Jews are taught: just keep practicing. Although all Christians are ‘some weird type of gentile-Jew hybridizes thing’ there are lots of Jews who drew the conclusion that Jesus had one too many cracker jack box toys or something, popped a gasket – meditated the wrong way and was not the Messiah but made a huge mess by claiming he was, and the world is still coping with how much believed him even though there is the contingent of Jews who never bought into it in the first place.

    Whoever brought up the Book of Mormon brings up a great point. The bias I was raised with is that the Old Testament and New Testament are high quality scriptures but that the Book of Mormon was done up by some crack pot who claimed that the story about Jesus having walked away from the crucifixion was true and the one about Him still being alive might also be true and He went all the way to North America and left writing on some gold plates. I was taught that is either a travesty of error or the founders of Mormonism was a nut case…having read the articles above, I imagine the Jews of today were probably taught a similar line about Jesus Christ – he was a nut job! From that perspective, the Jews who believe Jesus was a nut job probably spend a lot of time with a sort of atmospheric paranoia – like the sane one at the lunatic asylum being urged to receive unecessary medication: become Christians like the rest of us psychopaths: what’s wrong with you Jews, why are you resisting Jesus?

    A few years ago, I had an incredible experience which goes along with 1) how I often believe, which was that a Muslim wrote from the Q’ran that God actually thinks it is OK for people to seek verification of His existence or to ‘debunk’ the craziness. I think that’s true, and the fact that Jews and Arabs actually have the same note about it…and that it doesn’t conflict with the European Enlightenment and efforts of science and other forms of legitimate enquiry is encouraging.

    In reality, I believe that a lot of people who believe in G-d/God do so because they trust their parents or the clerics in their [insert name of religious institution here]. I believe that another massive group of people believe because they either pleased God or got lucky because they have had experiences which confirmed the reality such that: the Rabbi is right: they don’t actually just have blind faith in God, they KNOW Him. Its like knowing that the glowing sometimes yellowy radiant orb in the sky is the Sun [insert name for it in relevant language]. The problem is that much of the knowledge people who believe have – instead of it being as easy to point as that…is not.

    In reality, I personally point up the existence of the manifest Cosmos as “material evidence of the existence of God” but I have met atheists who think I must have had way too much egg nog or chanting or something to think that our having emerged as sentient beings the same way that mold develops on left overs in a refrigerator makes it obvious that G-d is real. Well, to be honest with you, when that’s the situation I’m not sure how to proceed with people…Mainly, I just claim: if you get lucky God will make it clear to you that He is real. If not, then that explains why you don’t think so. As such, patience and forbearance and forgiveness are needed for all of us at all times – which is pretty much what I think Jesus Christ actually meant.

    My apologies that this is not as clear and linear as I would like.

    On a ritual note: I prefer the flaming chalice and the fish over the image of the man hanging on the cross. However, I do think that I like his policy change that no one needs to make any more animal sacrifices and people can just do the eucharist: a little wine and a bite of bread. I have no idea whether or not he understood what that would do to the entire caste of Rabbis who often literally lived off of the sacrifices. “Corruption in the institution” was probably the issue there, as we have seen it: Raise you hand if you’re one of the millions of Protestants who’s denomination was founded on “The Catholic church is corrupt” as a founding principle….I see there are a lot of you here today…

    Well, I really went on about this. Thank you for permitting me to respond to your shared opinions.

  12. Dina says:

    I think a Christian would say that the analogy is absurd because the animal that is being venerated is not created in God’s image. My response would be, so what? That is a non-sequitur. Besides, it weakens their argument because what was created in man’s image must not be sacrificed. Furthermore, what was created in God’s image must not be worshiped.

    Tangentially, the idea that man is created in God’s physical image is silly. Some species of primates uncannily resemble humans. Are they too created in God’s image? We are created in God’s image in the things that separate us from animals (the ability to reason, the ability to make moral choices).

  13. KRZ says:

    When making a blood sacrifice, isn’t it the obedient ‘faith’ involved in making the sacrifice what G-d values?

    Consider the Passover– was not the blood placed on the doorposts ultimately an act of faith in G-d’s word that saved the obedient from plague of death?

    Or, Yom Kippur– was not the high priest’s offering of a blood sacrifice upon the altar also ultimately an act of faith of obedience to G-d’s Word that, by carefully following G-d’s instructions, the sins of the people would be forgiven?

    Not incidentally, both involved blood, “For the soul of the flesh is in the blood, and I have therefore given it to you to be placed upon the altar, to atone for your souls. For it is the blood that atones for the soul.” Leviticus 17:11

    No blood on Passover? Failure to believe G-d and obey Him meant death.

    No blood on Yom Kippur? Failure to believe G-d and obey Him not only brought no forgiveness to the people, but the high priest would be dead if he entered the Holy of Holies.

    So, in accordance with the Passover, Yom Kippur, Isaiah 53, etc, is it not reasonable to find that those who obediently believe in the atoning sacrifice of Yeshua the Messiah for forgiveness of sins have their souls most assuredly cleansed according G-d’s word?

    • KRZ,

      Your assertion that Israel cannot atone for sin without “jesus blood/death” couldn’t be farther from the truth…Nowhere in the Tanach does it even hint that “jesus blood/death” is needed for Israel to receive forgiveness of sin from Hashem.

      Leviticus 17:11 states that blood animal sacrifice is one way to atone for sin. However, it does not state that blood sacrifice is the only way to atone for sin…(also, note that “jesus blood” is also not mentioned here…Only animal blood!)

      The prophet Daniel stood RIGHTEOUS and SAVED before Hashem without a Temple. He didn’t need “jesus blood” or jesus in any fashion on order to stand righteous before Hashem.

      Ezekiel 14:14 even if these three men–Noah, Daniel and Job–were in it, they could SAVE only themselves by THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS, declares the Sovereign LORD.

      You see, Daniel received forgiveness for his sins INDEPENDENT of jesus during the first exile. He did this by praying and sincerely repenting before Hashem. Daniel 6:11 states that he even did this in the face of death! Clearly, Daniel knew that his sincere repentance to Hashem brought him back to righteousness.

      He was simply following the words of Jeremiah!

      The context of Jeremiah 29 concerns what G-d expects of us during the exile in order to merit the rebuilding of the Holy Temple. Consider what is said in Jeremiah 29:12-14

      Jeremiah 29:12. And you shall call Me and go and pray to Me, and I will hearken to you.

      Jeremiah 29:13. And you will seek Me and find [Me] for you will seek Me with all your heart.

      Jeremiah 29:14. And I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will return your captivity and gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will return you to the place whence I exiled you.

      G-d expected that the Israelites would pray to Him while in Babylon. The result of their prayers and repentance allowed them to return to the land and rebuild the Holy Temple.
      This is precisely what Daniel did…

      And this is precisely what Orthodox Jews do today! Hosea gives us a similar message:

      Hosea 3:4. For the children of Israel shall remain for many days, having neither king, nor prince, nor sacrifice, nor pillar, nor ephod nor seraphim.

      Hosea 3:5. Afterwards shall the children of Israel RETURN, and seek the Lord their God and David their king, and they shall come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness at the end of days.

      How do we return to Hashem if we do not have any sacrifices? Hosea tells us in Hosea 14:2-3!

      Hosea 14:2. RETURN, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have STUMBLED IN YOUR INIQUITY.

      Clearly, the subject of the next verse explains HOW Israel is supposed to RETURN to Hashem so that OUR INIQUITIES WILL BE FORGIVEN. Of course, the next verse explains just that!

      Hosea 14:3 Take WORDS with yourselves and RETURN TO THE LORD. Say, “YOU SHALL FORGIVE ALL INIQUITY and teach us [the] good [way], and let us render [for] bulls [the offering of] our lips.

      Even though we have stumbled in our iniquity and have been put into exile, we still have a means of returning to Hashem though our sincere PRAYERS. We take our words and return to Hashem by saying; “FORGIVE ALL INIQUITY.” Nothing in Hosea 14:2-3 indicates that we need the blood of animals in order to atone for our sins during the exile. And most importantly, NOTHING in Hosea 14:2-3 says we need the blood of jesus!

      This is why Daniel was able to stand righteous before Hashem, praying three times a day, despite the fact that he knew he would be thrown into a pit of lions if he continued to do so. Yet he continued to do so in the face of death! (Daniel 6:11)

      The Torah itself also gives us instructions as to what to do if we are in exile and we have no means of giving sacrifices in the Temple or Mishkan. Leviticus 26:38-43 elaborates:

      Leviticus 26:38 You will become lost among the nations, and the land of your enemies will consume you.

      Leviticus 26:39 And because of their iniquity, those of you who survive will rot away in the lands of your enemies; moreover, they will rot away because the iniquities of their fathers are still within them

      Leviticus 26:40 **THEY WILL CONFESS THEIR INIQUITY and the iniquity of their fathers** their betrayal that they dealt Me, and that they also treated Me as happenstance.

      Leviticus 26:41 Then I too, will treat them as happenstance and bring them [back while] in the land of their enemies. If then, their clogged heart becomes humbled, then, [their sufferings] will gain appeasement for their iniquity,

      Leviticus 26:42 and I will remember My covenant [with] Jacob, and also My covenant [with] Isaac, and also My covenant [with] Abraham I will remember. And I will remember the Land,

      Leviticus 26:43[For] the Land will be bereft of them, appeasing its sabbaticals when it had been desolate of them, **AND THEY WILL GAIN APPEASEMENT FOR THEIR INIQUITY.** This was all in retribution for their having despised My ordinances and in retribution for their having rejected My statutes.

      We know that the prophet Daniel confessed his iniquity and the iniquity of his forefathers multiple times during the exile according to the Book of Daniel. And just as Leviticus 26:38-43 explains, Israel was gathered back to the land by Hashem.

      If the Jewish people did not need “jesus blood/death” to merit going back to the land of Israel and the rebuilding of the Holy Temple during the first exile, then why would we need it now?!

      We don’t!

      Hebrews 9:22 is a false statement. It erroneously claims that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.”

      Lets take a look at II Chronicles 30:16-20 where it is HEZEKIAH’S PRAYER and NOT BLOOD which ATONES for the sins of the people…

      II Chronicles 30:16. And they stood in their station as was their custom, according to the Torah of Moses, the man of God; the priests sprinkled the blood from the hand of the Levites.

      II Chronicles 30:17. For there were many among the congregation who had not consecrated themselves, and the Levites were in charge of the slaughter of the Passover sacrifices for everyone who was unclean, to make it holy for the Lord.

      II Chronicles 30:18. For a multitude of the people, many from Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not purified themselves, for they ate the Passover sacrifice not as it is written, for *Hezekiah had PRAYED**for them, saying, *”MAY THE GOOD LORD ATONE FOR**

      II Chronicles 30:19. anyone who has set his whole heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his forefathers, though [he be] not [cleaned] according to the purity that pertains the holy things.”

      II Chronicles 30:20. *And THE LORD HEARKENED TO HEZEKIAH and HEALED the people.*

      The Hebrew word יְכַפֵּר is used in verse 18. It means ATONE! Here we see that in the case of Hezekiah’s passover, many of his Israelite guests DID NOT cleanse themselves with BLOOD according to the Law of Moses. In order to ATONE for the sins of his people, King Hezekiah PRAYED TO HASHEM that he should grant ATONEMENT for all those in his Kingdom who truly turned their hearts to Hashem. Now, to further expand on this…In verse 16, it clearly states that the Levites were in charge of sprinkling BLOOD to purify Israel as it is stated in the Torah of Moses…Now, verses 17 and 18 say that there were many in Israel WHO DID NOT PURIFY THEMSELVES WITH THE *BLOOD* AS IT IS WRITTEN IN THE TORAH! When someone disobeys a Law in the Torah, what do we call that? We call it a SIN! Here, there were individuals who SINNED by NOT being purified by the LEVITICAL PRIESTS OF THE HOLY TEMPLE with BLOOD! Now, according to Hebrews 9:22, the only way to ATONE FOR SIN is through BLOOD! But here, the sin that was committed was that they DIDN’T use blood for atonement…So how is this sin atoned for?
      According to Hebrew 9:22, it has to be blood! But is that how this sin was atoned for? NO! Their sins were atoned for in this manner:

      II Chronicles 30:18 *Hezekiah had PRAYED**for them, saying, *”MAY THE GOOD LORD ATONE FOR**

      II Chronicles 30:19. anyone who has set his whole heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his forefathers, though [he be] not [cleaned] according to the purity that pertains the holy things.”

      II Chronicles 30:20. *And THE LORD HEARKENED TO HEZEKIAH and HEALED the people.*

      The sin of those not purified with the blood was atoned for through PRAYER! Thus, Hebrews 9:22 is an inaccurate statement…

      And if you are still skeptical about atonement without blood, The Hebrew word יִּרְפָּא is used in verse 20 for the word “healed.” The root of this word is רְפָּא which means heal.
      Amazingly, this same root is used in Isaiah 53:5

      Isaiah 53:5. But he was pained because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his wound we were *HEALED.*

      The Hebrew word נִרְפָּא is used in verse Isaiah 53:5 for the word “healed.” This shares the SAME ROOT with יִּרְפָּא as shown above. In both cases, (Isaiah 53:5 and II Chronicles 30:20) a form of the word רְפָּא is used for the word “healed.”

      Clearly, there are circumstances in which atonement can be made through PRAYER, particularly when blood sacrifice is not immediately available…

      II Chronicles 33:9-13 demonstrates this same principle:

      II Chronicles 33:9-13: “And Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray to do what was evil, more than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed from before the Children of Israel. And the Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they did not listen. And the Lord brought upon them the generals of the king of Assyria, and they seized Manasseh with hooks and bound him with copper chains and brought him to Babylon. And when he was distressed, he entreated the Lord his God, and he humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And he PRAYED to Him, and He accepted his prayer, and He heard his supplication and He restored him to Jerusalem to his kingdom, and Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.”

      Here we see that Manasseh used PRAYER to receive forgiveness of his sins as well. We see that when blood sacrifice is not available, prayer is a valid method of atonement for sin. Also keep in mind that under Manasseh’s rule, the kingdom of Judah was more idolatrous than it had ever been in the past! Clearly, Manasseh’s prayer served as a means of forgiveness/atonement without blood sacrifice and most importantly, without jesus!

      Here we have a cause and effect: King Manasseh says a prayer asking for forgiveness and G-d accepts his prayer and restores him as King of Judah. No blood sacrifice was used to atone for King Manasseh as there is nothing in the text that would indicate such.

      This proves that Hebrews 9:22 is a false statement. Blood sacrifice is not the only way to atone for sin. Your jesus has nothing to with our atonement.

      May Israel merit the rebuilding of the Holy Temple and the reinstatement of the Levitical sacrificial system through our sincere prayer and repentance, speedily in our days!

      Shalom

    • KRZ Obedience means following God’s command – those who believe in Jesus follow not one command with their belief and they violate many – but there is still hope for you. God promises that if you abandon your disobedience and turn to Him, He will abundantly forgive you

    • Dina says:

      KRZ, if obedience is so important, then you are in big trouble. God said to worship Him and Him alone, that there is no one beside Him, that we are to worship Him only as He appeared to us at Sinai (read Deuteronomy 4 carefully). He also said that human substitutionary atonement is unacceptable (Deuteronomy 24:16, Ezekiel 18:20) and of course that human sacrifice is categorically forbidden (need I say more?).

      He also never said that atonement is only in the blood but provided other means of atonement when sacrifices would not be available, as Yehuda Yisrael pointed out. Sacrifices only atoned for unintentional sin anyway, did you know that? (Read Leviticus 4.)

      Finally, if Jesus atoned for all the sins of all mankind forevermore, what is the purpose of the restoration of the Third Temple and the sacrificial system?

  14. KRZ says:

    Yehuda,
    In looking at your response, I am not sure you read my post? It looks as if you simply put together a “cut-and-paste” from some other website?

    First, to reiterate my original post, the first Passover required blood placed on the doorposts and Yom Kippur absolutely required a blood sacrifice for atonement.

    It is illogical to equate repentance to sacrificial atonement. If so, one negates the need for any type of sacrifice to be placed upon the altar before G-d.

    Why do Jews everyday pray and beg G-d for the a new Temple to be constructed— only to enter it with no sacrificial offerings? Is the Torah to be made null and void because some people find the blood sacrifice required at Yom Kippur and Leviticus 17 offensive?

    Second, in referencing Daniel, why purposely exclude Noah and Job in the discussion? Unless there is a logical, foundational reason that Scripture binds all three together, your ensuing discussion fails simple PaRDeS.

    So, what does bind these three together? Faith in G-d’s promise of a Redeemer.

    From Genesis 3, both Noah and Daniel knew that G-d promised mankind a Redeemer. And, in Job 19, we find Job proclaiming he would see his Redeemer take His stand upon the earth where all flesh could see Him.

    Since all three men knew that from Genesis 1 that the “Echad” Elohim had already revealed Himself as the Unseen G-d, The Word, and The Holy Spirit— why should anyone find it a stretch that these men knew the ‘promised’ Redeemer would be The Word (the embodiment of G-d’s ‘word’ of promised redemption)?

    • KRZ The point of Passover and Yom Kippur was obedience as you yourself agreed earlier – so how does that lead you to Christianity? – I suggest that you read the first post on this blog – “1000 Verses” – and take it from there

    • Dina says:

      KRZ, I am not responding on Yehuda Yisrael’s behalf; I would very much like to hear what he has to say because his knowledge of Scripture is quite impressive. I would just like to point out three things: one is that Yehuda Yisrael obviously read your comment because his response addresses your points in detail. May I suggest you reread what he wrote–perhaps you missed those details.

      Two, you set up a straw man argument with these words: “Why do Jews everyday pray and beg G-d for the a new Temple to be constructed— only to enter it with no sacrificial offerings? Is the Torah to be made null and void because some people find the blood sacrifice required at Yom Kippur and Leviticus 17 offensive?”

      Jews do not have the expectation that there will be no sacrificial offerings–what are you talking about? Ezekiel describes the restoration of the Third Temple along with the sacrificial system. And Jews do not find the Yom Kippur sacrifice and other sacrifices offensive–they find the idea of human sacrifice offensive.

      Three, you closed with this question: “Since all three men knew that from Genesis 1 that the “Echad” Elohim had already revealed Himself as the Unseen G-d, The Word, and The Holy Spirit— why should anyone find it a stretch that these men knew the ‘promised’ Redeemer would be The Word (the embodiment of G-d’s ‘word’ of promised redemption)?”

      I refer you again to Deuteronomy 4, the chapter wherein God warns the Jewish people that, as they saw no form or image at Sinai, they should take care not to worship any. Here God instructs the Jewish people to worship Him only as he appeared at Sinai–so even if He appeared as a trinity in Genesis (which He didn’t–but let’s just say for argument’s sake); in fact even if He appeared as a human a gazillion times in Scripture, it is irrelevant because He commanded us to worship Him only as He appeared at Sinai. And guess what? Jesus did not appear at Sinai.

    • KRZ, my response to you is the same response that I give to every other christian who contextually abuses Leviticus 17:11. The fact is, there are other means of atonement outside of blood sacrifice, and the prophet Daniel is a prime example of this fact. I singled out Daniel because Daniel lived during the Babylonian exile, similar to how we are living today, without a Temple, without sacrifice, without a priesthood, and most importantly to this discussion, without any sort of “jesus blood” supposedly shed on his behalf. The fact that the Tanach describes Daniel as righteous and saved, proves that jesus is not needed for us to gain appeasement before G-d. During times of exile, G-d does not expect us to have some sort of “sacrifice.” Leviticus 26:38-43 lays it out clear as day that G-d expects us to confess our iniquities and repent so that we can gain appeasement for our iniquities before Him. None of this requires jesus to die on anyone’s behalf for us to believe in as our only means of salvation.

      The crux of the issue is that you erroneously believe that blood sacrifice is needed for atonement in all circumstances. This is patently false, as I have shown you several examples in my above response to you concerning other means of atonement outside of blood. Hezekiah’s prayer, for example, was used in II Chronicles 30:16-20 to ATONE for the sin of others. This atonement was done through PRAYER and not through blood!

      II Chronicles 30:18. For a multitude of the people, many from Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not purified themselves, for they ate the Passover sacrifice not as it is written, for *Hezekiah had PRAYED**for them, saying, *”MAY THE GOOD LORD ATONE FOR**

      II Chronicles 30:19. anyone who has set his whole heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his forefathers, though [he be] not [cleaned] according to the purity that pertains the holy things.”

      II Chronicles 30:20. *And THE LORD HEARKENED TO HEZEKIAH and HEALED the people.*

      The Hebrew word יְכַפֵּר is used in verse 18. It means ATONE!

      But this is not the only example of atonement without blood…

      In fact, Exodus 30:16 actually says that silver can atone for the soul!

      Exodus 30:16 You shall take the **SILVER OF THE ATONEMENTS** from the children of Israel and use it for the work of the Tent of Meeting; **it shall be a remembrance for the children of Israel before the Lord, TO ATONE FOR YOUR SOULS.”**

      Once again, the same Hebrew word for atone is used here…And yes, this is the same Hebrew word that is used in Leviticus 17:11…

      So clearly, bloodshed is not the only way to atone for sin.

      So there is clearly no need for us to believe that jesus died on our behalf. Clearly, there are other ways to atone for sin outside of blood sacrifice. Hebrews 9:22 is a false statement.

      Shalom

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