Response to Line of Fire 2
Dr. Brown addressed Rabbi Cohen’s presentation on repentance on his “Line of Fire” radio show on May 12 2011 http://lineoffireradio.askdrbrown.org/ . Rabbi Cohen demonstrated from the Jewish Scriptures that the path to forgiveness from sin is repentance.
Dr. Brown opened his response by acknowledging the importance of repentance. He then goes on to compare repentance to one wing of a bird, the other being blood sacrifice. Dr. Brown is attempting to argue that repentance does not work without a blood sacrifice.
This argument of Dr. Brown has no biblical basis. The Jewish Scriptures NEVER say: “there is no forgiveness without a blood offering”. The Scriptures clearly say that with repentance there is forgiveness.
Dr. Brown appeals to his audience: “would you want to stand before God having to rely on your own repentance”?
This argument is fallacious for two obvious reasons. We do not rely on our own repentance. We rely on God’s explicit word that He fully accepts our repentance. It is not a matter of relying on our own actions. We rely on God and His promise.
Furthermore, does the Christian not need repentance? According to Dr. Brown, repentance serves as one of the wings of the bird? How can a bird fly without one of its wings?
Dr. Brown’s assertion that Nineveh’s sin was forgiven because of the sacrifices of Israel, has just about the same Biblical basis as does Paul’s assertion that the Temple sacrifices only worked because of Jesus’ future sacrifice. Namely: Zero. I might as well say that Jesus’s sacrifice only worked because someone in the future will die for the sins of mankind.
The Scriptures are abundantly clear. God in His infinite mercy accepts our repentance. All we need to do is to take God on His word.
For further information – please read Contra Brown and The Elephant and the Suit (on the Jews for Judaism website) as well as the articles filed under the category “Atonement” that are posted on this blog.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal
“Furthermore, does the Christian not need repentance? According to Dr. Brown, repentance serves as one of the wings of the bird? How can a bird fly without one of its wings?”
Very good point. Dr.Brown inadvertently backed himself into a corner. He has now introduced a new doctrine. The blood of Yeshu is NOT alone sufficent. (not that human sacrifice was ever valid to begin with)
Hello. What is the best way to refute brown when he says that ninevah were forgiven cos of Israels sacrifices. Brown also quotes Josephus as tellinh a story that the Jews said to the romans before they destroyed the temple that ” who will now do sacrifices for your atonement” . This is an argument that has been bugging me alot along with the christian claim that PELACH can only mean worship for God so the son of man in daniel 7 is god. Plz help me with these points.
The best way to refute Brown and all missionaries is to read Tanach and see what God has to say about the matter. Then you will know that Brown is taking a half a verse here, a quote out of context there, and so on, and twisting it to fit his preconceived theologies.
If you read the Hebrew Bible from cover to cover, you will find that it teaches us what to do when we do not have a Temple where we can offer sacrifices (1 Kings 8:46-51; Hosea 14:2). You will discover how we can repent of our sins (Ezekiel chapters 18 and 33). You will find that God despises human sacrifice, that it is an abomination that He forbids. You will learn that one man cannot die to atone for the sin of another (Exodus 32:32-34; Deuteronomy 24:16).
If you read Deuteronomy 4, you will learn of Moses’s warning to the people of Israel. In this chapter, Moses reminds the people that God revealed Himself to the entire nation, and that they saw no image, only heard the sound of His voice. Moses then warns them that they are to worship God ONLY as He appeared at Sinai. Jesus did not appear at Sinai; ergo he must not be worshiped as a god.
You will also find that the Torah defines as idolatry any type of worship that was unknown to our fathers, as per Deuteronomy 13. Jesus worship was unknown to our fathers; ergo we must not worship him, God forbid!
I could go on and on, but the bottom line is, we study the Torah to learn what God teaches, not, as Brown does, to try to find Jesus in it.
Lastly, Rabbi Blumenthal has written a series of articles refuting Brown’s ideas. You can find them here on this website: The Elephant and the Suit, Contra Brown, Supplement to Contra Brown, Response to Line of Fire, and quite possibly others that I have missed.
I hope this helps to set your mind at ease.
Peace and blessings,
I answered your first question in “The Elephant and the Suit” – here is the relevant excerpt -The Biblical Book of Jonah describes God’s decree of destruction against the city of Nineveh. The prophet describes how the people repented and God rescinded the decree of destruction. This is the primary plot of the 3 chapters of this Biblical book. There was no blood sacrifice, just repentance, and it worked. This poses a serious problem to Dr. Brown. How does he deal with it?
Here again Dr. Brown turns to the Talmud for help (the villain of Volume 5 is again the champion of Volume 2). Dr. Brown quotes the Talmud which speaks of Israel offering sacrifices on behalf of the gentiles (vol. 2, page 152). Dr. Brown then argues that the repentance of the Ninevites only worked in conjunction with the offerings described by the Talmud.
Dr. Brown does not tell his readers that the authors of the Talmud never meant their teaching to be read that way. The same Talmud points to the Book of Jonah as the classic teaching on the efficacy of repentance (B. Talmud, Taanit 15a). But for Dr. Brown, an obscure teaching of the Talmud, wrenched out of its broader Talmudic context, is grounds enough to transmute the central teaching of this Biblical book.
You may also find this article helpful – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/the-prophets-perspective/
The question from Josephus is not a question – no Jew ever claimed that the sacrifices did not atone – the Christians are claiming that there is no atonement without a sacrifice and for this there is no support – not from the Bible and not from Josephus
I answered your question about “palach” here -https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/reading-the-dictionary/
I hope you found this helpful
Please do not hesitate to ask to question and to challenge
You know, I would be very interested to hear what Dr. Brown has to say about Deuteronomy 4 and 13. I don’t think he ever really gets into a discussion of those central passages.