Christianity Unmasked

Christianity Unmasked

 

Preface

 

A brief word of caution before you begin reading. I will be speaking ill of Christianity and its founder. I will not mince my words; stop here if you don’t want to go there.

 

I will make another introductory statement. I recognize full well that Christians have done much good for mankind and that Christianity has incorporated much that is holy. I recognize also that throughout history and until today there were many truly righteous Christians; sincere men and women whose lives reflected sheer Godliness. I do not deny these facts and I cannot deny them. I will however remind you that the tree that brought death to this world was not the tree of evil. It was the tree of good and evil. It is the mixture of good and evil that is so deadly. Yes; there is good in Christianity, and yes; many people have built their lives on that good and have lit up the world with righteousness. But so many more have focused on the evil side of Christianity and filled the world with pain, darkness and death. It is that evil side of Christianity to which I draw your attention in these paragraphs.

 

One final introductory statement before I begin. I am a Jew and I speak as a Jew. My religious background gives me a unique perspective of Christianity. I look at Christianity from the vantage point of a belief system that Christianity cannot disavow. All of the theological claims of Christianity stand on the basis of the revelation that was first granted to the Jewish people. But that same revelation contradicts everything that Christianity has introduced into the thought process of humanity. For 2000 years the Church has attempted to shut the mouth of the Jew who would dare expose her fault-lines. The time has come to end that silence.

 

 

 

Modus Operandi

 

The most prized possession of mankind is the truth. Truth is also the most powerful possession of humanity. Truth is virtually indestructible. Mighty empires have fallen because they ran afoul of one universal truth or another. Truth cannot be destroyed, but it can be manipulated and exploited for the advancement of falsehood.

 

There are several ways that falsehood can take advantage of truth. By combining falsehood with truth and presenting the mixture as pure unadulterated truth, falsehood can then enjoy the popularity and credibility of truth. By associating oneself with a particular truth a teacher of falsehood can attempt to take the credit as the originator of that truth. And by presenting a distorted version of the truth, an institution of lies can attempt to set itself up as the sole distributor of truth.

 

This then is the modus operandi of Christianity; it has exploited the truth for the advancement of the lie. This institution and her teachers have taken certain universal truths and combined them with some of her own teachings. The spread of this mixture was accelerated because of the truth it contains. The Church has enjoyed the credibility associated with these truths because people failed to discern between that which is originally Christian and that which is the true possession of all mankind. Christianity has also falsely claimed to be the originator of certain truths that do not belong to her. And finally and most seriously, the Church has set herself up as the sole distributor of truths that belong to everyone.

 

We shall examine several basic truths associated with Christianity and we intend to expose how she has exploited them for her advantage. These are; the universal principles of justice and charity, the inherent Godliness of man, the testimony of the Jewish nation, the Jewish Scriptures, the Messianic hope and the relationship that man shares with God. These truths are the most precious possessions of mankind, they belong to everybody. But the Church has distorted these truths so that millions were misled to believe that they can only be acquired at her altar.

 

The Universal Principles of Justice and Charity

The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3 – 7:27) is perhaps one of the most famous teachings of Christianity. In this Sermon, Jesus presents some basic and beautiful truths. The basic principles of morality, justice and kindness are articulated in this teaching clearly and concisely. But if you step back and look at the literary structure of the book of Matthew, the Sermon on the Mount takes on a different character entirely.

 

The underlying theme of the book of Matthew (and Christianity as a whole) is the exaltation of Jesus and the emphasis of humanity’s “need” for Jesus. The author of the book of Matthew presents the Sermon on the Mount not so much as a teaching on how to live a moral life but as an argument for the superiority of Jesus. Immediately after the Sermon (Matthew7:28,29) the author tells us how the crowds were amazed at the teaching; not because of the beauty of the truths they contained, but because Jesus spoke with incomparable “authority”. Key segments of the Sermon are introduced with the phrase: “You have heard that it was said to them of old time” and contrasted with “But I (Jesus) say to you”. This literary device accentuates the fictitious notion that Jesus is the originator of these universal truths and that they were unknown to mankind until Jesus uttered them to his audience.

 

But this is false. These universal principles of justice and charity were planted by the Creator into the heart of every man and woman; they belong to all of us. Every one of us is sensitive to an injustice that we suffer at the hands of another. We are all acutely aware that injustice is wrong and evil when we find ourselves at the receiving end of an injustice. This is the guide that our Creator gave us all to teach us these universal principles. Every civilization has produced individuals who have brought greater clarity to these universal principles through the lives they lived and through the words they uttered. Clarifying and articulating these universal principles is good and Godly; falsely claiming to be the originator of these universal principles is not.

 

The Inherent Godliness of Mankind

 

Man was created in the image of God. Even after Adam’s fall, the Bible still points to this basic truth as the underlying basis for the prohibition against murder (Genesis 9:6). This Biblical truth has many ramifications not least of which is the fact that every human being is inherently capable of living a Godly life. The capability for righteousness is an integral part of every human soul.

 

Christianity has set itself up in opposition to this truth but at the same time it has exploited this truth in a deep and insidious way.

 

Christianity contends that man is inherently evil. The Church theologians have emphasized Biblical passages that speak of man’s proclivity towards evil and of the fallibility of humanity. The teachers of Christianity have highlighted the negative side of the history of man, the wars, the cruelty and the immorality in order to establish her teaching that man is bad. According to the Church, it is only acceptance of Jesus into one’s heart that can alter this sorry state of affairs. Christianity asserts that man is evil until he bends his heart towards Jesus. Faith in Jesus, it is taught, generates a “new birth” that produces a “new person” who is now inherently inclined towards righteousness and holiness.

 

This false teaching affects the Christian mind in two different areas; in the way Christians view non-Christians and in the way Christians view themselves.

 

One who believes the Church teaching on the inherent evil of man will find it difficult to acknowledge any goodness in non-Christians (or in Christians who are defined as heretical). After all, these people were never “born again” so how could they be Godly? In the more extreme forms of this world-view, non-Christians are viewed as enemies of God. It is no coincidence that the same institution that denied the Biblical truth of the second half of Genesis 9:6 is the same institution that most often violated the commandment expressed in the first half of that same verse.

 

The effect of the Christian teaching on the inherent evil of humanity is even more pronounced in the way Christians view themselves. When a Christian accepts Jesus and when this same Christian finds in his or her heart a capacity for righteousness they will automatically credit Jesus for this blessing. “After all”, the Christian reasons, “on my own I am completely evil; it must be my new birth in Jesus that brought this goodness into my heart”. The Church’s distorted teaching on the nature of man acts as a stranglehold on the minds of those who believe this teaching. These people are lead to believe that if they abandon their faith in Jesus they will become evil people.

 

All of us have a capacity for Godliness and righteousness; it is a gift that God has granted all of humanity. Many people fail to actuate this gift but we all possess it. There are many strategies that can be used to bring forth man’s inherent capacity for goodness, and under certain circumstances, belief in Jesus can serve as this trigger. But the historical record has demonstrated that belief in Jesus can just as easily be used to bring forth man’s capacity for evil and destruction. The fact remains that the Godliness that is innate to every human soul is in no way related to belief in Jesus, rather it is part and parcel of the original creation of all men. The claim that belief in Jesus is what produces this capacity is simply a strategy that has been used by the Church to control the hearts and the minds of her followers.

 

The Testimony of the Jewish Nation

 

The Jewish people take up a unique position in the saga of human history. The Jewish people bear a message of One God who is the Master of all nature. The Jewish people are associated with a holy law, a law of morality, justice and charity. The Jewish people present an unparalleled claim of a covenant with God, a covenant confirmed with miracles that affected nations in the world of objective reality.

 

All of these together lend an aura of credibility toIsrael’s message. The prophet’s ofIsraelare respected on the basis ofIsrael’s unique standing amongst the nations.Israel’s universal message carries a certain weight in the minds of men because of this aura of credibility that surrounds the Jewish people.

 

The Church has exploited Israel’s credibility in her effort to advance her own agenda. The Church presents itself as the culmination and fulfillment of anything credible associated withIsrael. Christianity took the Jewish Bible and claimed it for herself. Christianity tookIsrael’s Messianic hope and reconstructed it for her own purposes. Christianity tookIsrael’s covenant and made it her own. And Christianity tookIsrael’s God and redefined Him to fit her own theological claims. I will elaborate on each of these in the next few paragraphs, but first let us stop and see what the Church has done to the Jewish people.

 

The eternal Jewish community testifies against all of the claims of the Church. It was important to the Church thatIsraelshould lose her credibility in the eyes of men. IfIsrael’s voice was still going to be heard in the collective pool of human thought the Church needed to discredit her testimony. And this is exactly what the Church has done.

 

The Church presentedIsrael’s rejection of Jesus as a turning point in the history of the nation from whom she stole all her blessings. The authors of the Christian Scriptures and the early Church Fathers taught the world that Jews and Judaism can no longer be trusted. For years the Church has taught that she alone is the trueIsrael. While this teaching is not as widespread as it used to be, the distrust ofIsraelthat this teaching has generated is still firmly in place. The Church has taught the world that the word “Pharisee” is a synonym for “hypocrisy”. John’s Jesus taught the world that the Jews are children of the Devil and as such, are the living incarnation of falsehood. The Church exerted herself to discredit the testimony of the Jew.

 

The Jew was trustworthy enough to establish the credibility of her covenant with God, her prophets and her Messianic vision. But now that the Church has all of these safely in her own arms, the Jew has become the quintessential liar.

 

The Jewish Scriptures

 

The Jewish Bible is a document of incredible power. The universal appeal of this collection of books is unmatched in the literary history of mankind. The searing rebuke of Jeremiah, the Messianic vision presented by Isaiah and the simple trust in God of Psalmist have touched the hearts of men for thousands of years. The Church has exploited the power of the Jewish Bible with the claim that she alone is the complete fulfillment of the hope and promise expressed in its pages.

 

The problem that the Church faced was that the Jewish Bible exposes her flaws. If one approaches the Jewish Bible from within the context of the pre-Christian world-view, which is actually the only true context of the Jewish Bible, then every doctrine of the Church will be revealed as a lie. According to the Jewish Bible, the deification of any inhabitant of God’s earth is idolatry, the greatest rebellion against God. The Jewish Bible NEVER associates forgiveness from sin with faith in an individual. The Messianic hope presented by the Jewish prophets includes all of mankind and is no way limited to the members of one denomination of Christianity or another. And the Messiah of the Jewish Bible will direct everyone’s devotion to the One Creator of heaven and earth; not to himself.

 

The Church has used several strategies in her effort to neutralize the message of the Hebrew prophets. For many long centuries, the Catholic popes simply forbade the reading of the book. Another tactic that the Church has used to silence the Jewish prophets was by pointing to her own clergy as the sole interpreters of the text. These techniques were quite effective in their time.

 

For various sociological reasons, these two strategies are no longer as popular as they used to be. The Church still has two other methods that it uses to mitigate the message of the Jewish Bible. The first of these strategies is the creation of the Christian Scriptures. The Church disregarded the simple fact that the same standard that was used to determine the canonical status of the books of the Jewish Bible would have decidedly INVALIDATED the books of the Christian Scriptures. Ignoring this basic truth, the Church placed her books side by side with the books of the Jewish prophets. The Church took this strategy one step further and renamed the Jewish Scripture with the disparaging title; “Old Testament”. The thrust of this strategy is that no-one will dream of reading the Jewish Scriptures with a pre-Christian world-view. The mind of the reader is predisposed to believe that the story of the “Old Testament” is not complete until he or she has read through to the Christian book of Revelations. And this strategy creates a preconception about the Jewish Scriptures as if it is a book that has “had its day” and is no longer relevant to a world that has progressed above and beyond.

 

The second strategy employed by the Church in her effort to silence the voice of the Jewish prophets is by misrepresenting the literary structure of the Bible. As it is with any work of literature, the Jewish Bible contains highlights and climaxes. The prophets used various literary devices to emphasize certain events and certain teachings. Having a storyline slowly build up towards a certain event is one device used by the prophetic narrator to direct the reader’s attention to a given point (e.g. the Sinai revelation in Exodus 20). Repeating a teaching again and again is another literary device that the prophets used to underline a given teaching (e.g. the universal principles of justice and charity). Pointing back to a specific teaching, reiterating and elaborating, is yet another method that the prophets used to help us see the importance of a given truth (e.g. the Sinai revelation as per Deuteronomy 4).

 

The Church ignores the literary structure that is inherent in the Bible itself. Instead the Church presents its own version of the “highlights” of the Jewish Bible. These are passages or verses that, when read out of context, seem to support one Christian doctrine or another. The Church promotes the non-contextual reading of these solitary passages as if they were the central teachings of the Jewish Bible. The Church’s exaltation of the alleged “virgin birth” of Isaiah7:14, is a perfect illustration of this strategy. A contextual reading of this verse will reveal that this prophecy has nothing to do with the Messiah and a correct translation will prove that there is no virgin mentioned in the verse. But in complete disregard for the literary structure of the Jewish Bible, the Church has for centuries pointed to this verse as if it were the climax of human history. By exalting this passage, the Church has successfully distorted the literary landscape of the Jewish Bible in the minds of many readers.

 

Through the implementation of these various strategies, the Church has endeavored to silence the voice of the Jewish prophets.

 

The Messianic Hope

 

The Jewish prophets taught the world to hope for a brilliant future. Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah have inspired mankind to look forward to a day when nation shall not lift sword against nation and the lion will lie with the lamb. This powerful message of hope has also been exploited by the Church.

 

The Jewish prophets presented this vision of hope for all mankind (Isaiah 54:5; Zephaniah 3:9). There is not one verse in all of the Jewish Bible that can be misconstrued to read as if the glory of the Messianic future is limited to those who have faith in one individual or another. The Jewish Scriptures presents a vision of universal peace that encompasses all of humanity.

 

The Church took this vision of universal peace and taught the world that it can only be accessed in her pews. According to Christian theology, the glory of the Messianic era is reserved for those who have placed their faith in Jesus. The Church has taken the glorious promise that rightfully belongs to all of humanity and has attempted to make it her own.

 

The Relationship That Man Shares With God

 

Every human being is entitled to a relationship with the Creator. The deepest yearning of the human soul is a desire to connect to the Creator. The only true possession that remains eternally yours is the relationship that exists between you and your Creator. The Church has exploited this relationship in order to further her own agenda.

 

God’s kindness and mercy encompasses all of His creations (Psalm 145:9). The fact that God created man in His own image is an expression of God’s love and respect towards every man and woman (Genesis1:27). The gift of existence, the gift of sight, the ability to think, and all of the myriads of details that embrace every aspect of human life, all articulate God’s incredible love for every human. There is nothing closer to our soul than the love of the One who called it into being to begin with. All we need to do is to focus on the blessings, recognize how we did nothing to deserve them, and we will learn to feel each moment of existence as an embrace from a loving Father.

 

People have an unhealthy tendency to focus on the negative. We tend to magnify what we don’t have and minimize what God has granted to us. Our minds easily lose sight of the fact that our existence is an undeserved gift and we fail to see our blessings for what they are; expressions of God’s love. Developing a relationship with God requires that we overcome these negative tendencies and shift our focus to the positive. We must teach ourselves to acknowledge God’s goodness inherent in every breath of existence and build in ourselves an outlook of gratitude towards the true source of all goodness.

 

Man also has a tendency to question God’s love. As humans, we all fall short of our own expectations and we often find our minds focusing on these failings. We recognize that God is holy and pure and our sense of guilt casts a pall of doubt on our relationship with God. God directly addressed this confusion through the teachings of the Jewish prophets. The prophets taught that God does not spurn a heart that turns to him with sincerity (Psalm 51:19; 145:18). The prophets passed on God’s encouraging words that He accepts sincere repentance (Isaiah 55:7; Ezekiel18:21; 33:16; Jonah3:10).

 

The Church exploited man’s longing to connect to God. The Church also capitalized on the feelings of inadequacy that man encounters in his struggle to develop a relationship with God.

 

Instead of invalidating these feelings of inadequacy and instead of encouraging man to overcome the psychological barriers as did the Jewish prophets, the Church took the exact opposite approach. Not only did the Church validate any feelings of inadequacy that frustrate man’s attempt to connect with God; the Church elevated those feelings to the level of theological doctrines. Not only did the Church discourage man’s attempt to overcome the obstacles that are encountered in approaching God; the Church taught that these obstacles are insurmountable.

 

The Church presented the claim that faith in Jesus is the magical answer to the psychological barriers that man encounters in his search for God. In effect the Church has taught mankind that the only way to satisfy the innate human yearning for God is through devotion to Jesus. Christianity has spread the lie that man’s deepest need can only be purchased through the agency of Jesus. According to the teachers of Christianity one must fully commit his or her soul to Jesus in order to be allowed into a relationship with God.

 

Your relationship with your Creator is the only possession that belonged to you before you were born. The Church would have you believe that you must purchase that which is intrinsically yours by giving Jesus your very life and soul.

 

A Final Travesty

 

The spread of Christianity was facilitated through the combination of universal truths and her own false doctrines. Within the past century certain Churchmen have realized that one of their doctrines is hampering the propagation of Christianity in the minds and hearts of one specific community. They then developed a new hybrid, a fresh mixture of truth and falsehood that was designed to promote Christianity within the confines of this one specific community. This hybrid goes by the name “Messianic Judaism”.

 

The Church’s effort to discredit the testimony of the Jew (after robbing the Jew of his prophets, his Bible and his covenant with God) was a successful means of spreading Christianity amongst non-Jewish people. By teaching the Gentiles that the Jews are God-killers and liars, the Church effectively prevented the Gentiles from listening to the testimony of God’s witness which proclaims that Jesus is NOT the Messiah promised to the Jews. But this teaching had an opposite effect on the Jewish community. Even those Jews who had strayed far from the core principles of Judaism were repelled by the Christian vilification of their people. The secular Jew might not have appreciated his own religious heritage but he certainly could not buy the myth that his own people were the most evil race on earth. This same myth that discredited the Jew in the eyes of the Gentile, served to discredit the Church in the eyes of the Jew.

 

In an effort to reverse the effects of this teaching in the Jewish community, some Church teachers created a new mixture. Instead of defining Christianity over and against Judaism, these teachers repackaged Christianity and presented it as the “true Judaism”. These teachers eschewed the familiar symbols of the Church; the cross, the steeple, Sunday worship and even the Latinized name; Jesus. Instead they substituted Jewish symbols; the Star of David, the synagogue, Friday night services and a Hebraic “Yeshua”. Instead of deriding the Jewish religion and her culture, these Churchmen exalted these and claimed them as their own.

 

Some Churchmen have taken this tactic one step further. Not only have they expropriated the cultural trappings of Judaism for herself, but they also usurped the religious observances of Judaism. These Christians observe the Jewish Sabbath as defined by Jewish law and they present their observance as the “complete and true” Judaism.

 

This lie must be exposed.

 

The heart of Judaism is the truth that every inhabitant of this earth is equally subservient to the One God who is above all of nature. When the Pagans bowed to various forces from within the natural realm, the Jew stood apart. When the Romans were deifying their emperors, The Jew would not participate. When the Europeans exalted royalty and nobility to a higher plane of existence, the Jew insisted on the equality of all men. And when the Church exalted the person of Jesus, the Jew refused to join.

 

All of the observances of Judaism point to this great truth and all of the Jewish culture is built around this great truth; that all men are equal before their common Creator. For 2000 years the Church has used every tool at her disposal to eradicate this concept from the heart of the Jew. These include but are not limited to; stripping the Jew of every civil right, locking the Jew into crowded ghettoes, taxing the Jew into poverty, physical torture, forced expulsions and often-times even killing the Jew. The Jew has endured all of these in order to remain loyal to the great truth that God had planted in her heart; that no man is lord of another but that all are equally subject to God.

 

The observances of Judaism were preserved through the Jew who rejected the Church’s claims for Jesus. Those who observed the Jewish Sabbath for the past 2000 years did so as a testimony that One God created all men; including the Christian Jesus. Those brave men and women, who preserved Judaism under the most terrible circumstances, identified the Christian deification of Jesus as the very antithesis of everything that they stood for.

 

2000 years of Jewish history cries out to these Churchmen: “Cease and desist!” Don’t usurp those observances that we preserved with our very life-blood and exploit them as a means to confuse our children! We lived and died for one truth and for one truth only; that there is but One God who is the Father of us all. Don’t steal the outer trappings of our heritage in your criminal effort to shut out our testimony from the ears of our children.

 

Concluding Statement

 

Since its inception, Christianity has presented a mixture of truth and falsehood. Sincere people have been misled into thinking that the universal truths are only available in the pews of the Church. God-fearing men and women have failed to distinguish between the truths that belong to everyone and the packaging of lies that Christianity has wrapped around these truths. But as humanity is moved inexorably towards the Messianic era, the truth must be disentangled for the web of lies that the Church has woven around them.

 

Mankind will recognize that the universal principles of justice and charity did not originate with the Church and that they need not be acquired through the agency of the Church. Humanity will learn to appreciate the universal message of the Jew that does not allow for the deification of an inhabitant of God’s earth. Men and women will learn to read the Jewish Bible without the slant that the Church has put on that holy book. All will recognize that the Messianic hope is God’s plan for all of humanity and is not limited to the narrow circle of “believers”. And finally and most importantly; every human being will learn to love their Creator without the medium of devotion to a fellow subject of God.

 

May it happen speedily and in our days.

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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139 Responses to Christianity Unmasked

  1. Larry says:

    OMG. A must read for anyone who considers picking up a bible.

  2. Shomer says:

    Yourphariseefriend wrote: This lie must be exposed.

    You unfortunately cannot expose 1900 years of church history with one blog entry. With this statement above you are only scratching at the sad truth. I basically agree with everything written but ask you kindly to consider this,

    You wrote, “The observances of Judaism were preserved through the Jew who rejected the Church’s claims for Jesus. Those who observed the Jewish Sabbath for the past 2000 years did so as a testimony that One God created all men; including the Christian Jesus.”

    Today, I believe that there is a whole bunch of pagan divinities on one hand and a Jewish Rabbi called Yeshua on the other. Church (Constantine) mixed them all up and created a fictive “Jesus”. Yeshua, in Mark 12:29+30 taught the Shma Israel, but Jesus was conceived by the third person of the holy Trinity in the womb of the holy virgin Mary who is totally unknown in Judaism to the very day. I believe that the Creator never created Jesus Christ, but Rabbi Yeshua BarYosef HE had inspired and sent into this world with a Jewish and totally un-Christian task. “Jesus Christ is God”, is a statement that even Yeshua didn’t know. The God “Jesus Christ” at no time was created by the creator since HE has prohibited Israel to have other Gods before HIM. The Christian “Jesus Christ” is an Idol to the HOLY ONE HaQodesh Baruch Hu. Every Jesus Christ that I have seen, was a carven or a painted image. Jesus Christ is contradicting Yeshua, the only point we have to learn is to distinguish and to discern the various statements. I give you an example,

    You mentioned the sermon on the mount. Here Yeshua (not Jesus) said in Mat 7:14, “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” – Keep in mind, “few”! But two minutes before his ascension Jesus Christ (not Yeshua) became so megalomaniac that he sent his disciples to all nations in order to convert them all to Christianity. Keep in mind, “all Nations”!

  3. Shomer
    The original Jesus/Yeshua is dead and forgotten for 2000 years now. Why attempt to reconstruct his personal history?

    • Shomer says:

      Good question. But I don’t reconstruct, I just mention that there are two Jesusses in the “NT”, even the other Jesus taught by Paul in 2Cor 11:4. Yeshua had nothing to do with the creation of “Jesus” by Constantine. As a matter of fact I leave Yeshua where he is – in Sheol.

    • David says:

      forgotten? You wish perhaps.

  4. Xander says:

    Understanding that this is coming from your Jewish perspective, I understand and can see some of what you see and why you see it that way.

    I agree that Christians have overly emphasized the goodness of man, once they become “saved”. It is a false argument that can easily be proven by looking at the Christian church and seeing the corruption and scandal that exists in it. I personally know agnostics and atheist who are “better” people than some of the Christians I know. Many people who claim Jesus will try and use that to excuse away any bad behavior since they are “forgiven”. What needs to be stressed and what they are really trying to say is that no one can please God based upon their own actions or merits. I think we can agree on that.

    I agree that the Jewish bible never associates forgiveness of sin with faith from an individual. Correct me if I am wrong here, but only a blood sacrifice will cover the sins of the nation/individual. While all may repent, repenting is not the same as the sacrifice. That is why Christians hold that Jesus is the sacrifice. True, Judaism does not allow for human sacrifices, Christians hold that Jesus is God, so it was not really a human sacrifice.

    The Messiah of the Jewish Bible directs everyone’s devotion to the One Creator of heaven and earth. We agree on this as we see Jesus as that One. The Messianic hope points to a world of peace and tranquility where “nation shall not lift sword against nation and the lion will lie with the lamb.” We fully agree with you. How does the human messiah bring this about though? There have always been wars under the prior kings of Israel, so what makes this one different? Christians say it is because the messiah is God, for no one else can bring about peace and command others with the authority needed.

  5. Xander
    The Bible teaches that ANYONE can please God based on their actions – provided that God’s sovereignty is recognized – i.e. acknowledging that one’s actions are but a gift from God (as per 1Chronicles 29:14)
    The Bible explicitly says that blood is NOT necessary – read the book of Jonah
    You don’t SEE Jesus as Creator – you just saw a man – you BELIEVE that Jesus is Creator in some mysterious way – but that belief runs contrary to the Bible’s foundational distinction between Creator and created
    You ask how the human Messiah brings universal peace? Look at Solomon and Hezekiah

    • xander says:

      Sorry. I meant to please as in being righteous or worthy of God.

      I am missing in Jonah where sin was forgiven due to repentance. I see where Nineveh was not destroyed due to repentance, but not forgiven or declared sinless. Where does it say that a blood sacrifice is no longer required?

      There was no universal peace with Solomon or Hezekiah. All eyes were not turned toward the One God. Wars still raged in the world.

      • Thomas says:

        The Hebrew Bible does not state anywhere that atonement is impossible without a blood offering. Some people make that unwarranted claim, but that is rather counter-productive: to be fair, Leviticus does describe very detailed rituals, so if one is going to hold to an ‘only blood atones’ requirement, that does require the biblical requirements- ie- animal, on the altar, blood sprinkled, etc. Leviticus emphasizes offerings because Leviticus deals with the temple cult, but Leviticus, neither any other text, makes any claim that atonement is predicated on bringing a blood offering.

        There are a multitude of later prophetic verses, in Isaiah and Micah to Amos and Hosea and Jeremiah, who emphasize the primacy of obedience with respect to what God expects for a proper relationship. See also 1 Sam. 15:22 and Prov. 21:3. Some scholars say the prophets actually rejected the temple cult totally (!), but I think that goes too far, but it does show that at the very least, they did not believe that sacrificial offerings were the only way to God, and certainly not the central way, either. What the prophets taught was really quite simple- “obedience is better than sacrifice”- sacrifice is needed when commanded, but never lose sight that the ‘key’ to closeness to God is not a blood offering, but obedience- that is the consistent theme. That does not contradict the Levitical teaching about the temple offerings, because the offerings DID atone- we do not deny that- but clearly in the absence of a temple, other options exist- the prophets constantly taught about repentance and obedience- that is the consistent theme they repeated.

      • Xander says:

        Thomas –

        Yes, obedience is better than sacrifice for if one is obedient then they are not out sinning, but obedience never replaced the need for sacrifice. With the tabernacle, there was sacrifice. With each temple, there was sacrifice. If there is no need for sacrifice, why even build a temple in the first place?

        Sacrifice is not what God desired, but rather obedience from His people. This is not to say that the sacrifice is not needed though. One does not replace the other. When the people were obedient, they made sacrifices. When the people were disobedient and judgment was brought upon them, the people would turn and sacrifice again.

      • Thomas says:

        I never said the sacrifices were unnecessary! Not at all- Judaism emphasizes highly the future sacrifices and temple offerings. The point, though, is that man’s relationship with God is not dependent on sacrificial offerings or not- they certainly enrich and deepen the relationship, but the overall theme is obedience, and a just ordering of society, etc.

        Thus, in the event that one is unable to bring an offering (such as when there is no temple), one cannot bring an offering, but there is no hint anywhere that one’s atonement is predicated on offerings, and indeed, offerings are an extension of man’s obedience.

        In any case, the repeated prophetic statements about the cultus serve only to make the point clearer- the sacrificial offerings are dependent on overall obedience and a just society. Obedience to God’s will is primary- that can (and when there is a temple, does) include sacrificial offerings and many other rituals, but offerings are not the key to Israel’s closeness to God- they are only an aspect of it.

        I am not claiming that the offerings are gone or superceded (much of traditional Christianity does); rather, I am making the same point that the prophets made- that following God’s moral commands is true obedience- sacrifices, rituals, and everything else are important and relevant, and fall under that category, but if one cannot (for whatever reason) fulfill it completely for reasons outside one’s control, how does one make the claim that one is incapable of atoning. On what basis is that conclusion arrived at?

        See the following excerpt which reflect quite closely the Jewish position on this matter, and what I am trying to communicate:

        “The text (Isaiah 1) dwells on the notion that Israel must repent, reform, and return to God. Only then will their sacrifices be appropriate.” Ancient Mediterranean Sacrifice By Jennifer Wright Knust, Zsuzsanna Várhelyi

        This is my position, and the traditional Jewish position, but the consequences are rarely understood or appreciated. The offerings are important and relevant, but only in the greater context of Israel’s obedience to God. Only when Israel accomplishes that can offerings continue. Thus, offerings are not the basic requirement, but a fuller achievement, just as Jews say- we pray thrice daily for the return of the temple because the temple offerings accomplish something that is lacking without a temple- but it is obedience which is the ‘key’ to Israel’s relationship and closeness to God. Thus, the Jewish position that the temple was destroyed 2,000 years ago to make Israel get its focus right on what God really expects of them – is exactly in this same vein.

        God destroyed the temple so Israel will get its focus about what following Him means- and then, if they get that right, then they can bring offerings again and reach the true apex of closeness to God- but to suggest that somehow atonement is impossible without a sacrificial offering is to make a claim that goes unsaid anywhere in Scripture.

        On a more macro level, it needs to be noted that of course under the logic that temple offerings are required for atonement, no atonement is possible for anyone because there is no temple today. But, of course, we both do believe that there are alternatives proscribed- we simply disagree as to what the alternative is. The repeated assertion by the prophets is that obedience is the answer- thus, so many of the texts in the prophets. The alternative, which rests on the very narrow interpretation of a few texts such as Is. 53, which finds relatively few scholarly adherents, even among conservative Christians, is a far less capable of providing an answer.

  6. Yehuda says:

    Xander said:

    “The Messianic hope points to a world of peace and tranquility where “nation shall not lift sword against nation and the lion will lie with the lamb.” We fully agree with you. How does the human messiah bring this about though? There have always been wars under the prior kings of Israel, so what makes this one different? Christians say it is because the messiah is God, for no one else can bring about peace and command others with the authority needed.”

    We agree that the hand of God will be necessary to bring about world peace. And we believe in a messianic agent through which, or to be more precise, in whose time that will happen. Here is the part of your logic that always escapes me. Why does that require that messiah and God be one and the same? God has always worked miracles through purely human agents. Did Moses have to be God himself to split the red sea? Why not? Can a mere man split the sea? Why must the miracle of achieving peace be fundamentally different? Or, to answer your question “What makes this one different?” Because God said that this one will be different. Why is that so difficult to grasp? That only necessitates that “this one” be God himself if you have already accepted that premise.

    • xander says:

      It is not a hard concept to grasp. I agree he will be different, as he will not be a man.

      Moses parted the Red Sea then failed God and was left out of the Promised Land. God can most certainly use men, but mankind fails to follow the One God.

      If the promise of universal peace will be solely within the time of the messiah, how long will that last? One generation or maybe two? When the messiah dies, will this peace continue on or fail as has been the case in the past? The Jewish people who knew God and saw Him deliver them from Egypt could not remain faithful for even a year. That is a long stretch from the 1000 year Shabbat era that the messiah will be the start of.

      • Juan G. says:

        What about Elijah?

        Also, you said Jesus was the sacrifice. So God gets sacrificed. God dies for Himself. Why on earth would God even need to die for Himself? To save us from our sin?

        What could anyone do with that storyline besides confuse themselves?

    • David says:

      No, Christianity does not say that the messiah is or must be God. Christians who are also trinitarians say this but Christianity does not. Jesus the Christ, the anointed one, the son of God never said it and neither did any of his opostles. And the way the talked about peace comes about is through his second comming. He will come as the son of God that he is with the God given authority God has given him. But he is not God.

    • naaria says:

      If “no one can please God based upon their own actions or merits”, what is the PURPOSE of any human??? To merely exist? We can please God by refusing to act and think like the children of God we were created to be??? To believe we merit “something” because of the “merit of belief in Jesus” and an “act of faith in and an act of acceptance of Jesus”? Where is God in that equation? Where is that in the Original Bible, before the traditions of man added 26 books to the Original Word of God?

      BTW, I am not Jewish. I was trained with a Christian perspective on Jesus and on God and on the bible.

      • xander says:

        The purpose of man is to seek God. To be obedient and in relationship with Him.

        Abraham pleased God by faith in God alone. There were no actions that Abraham did that merited anything. There is no meriting of anything through faith. Faith in God alone, which Christians feel Jesus is God, is what was taught before the last 26 books were added. That is what the last 26 books say as well. No man is worthy of God.

        • naaria says:

          If no one is “worthy” of God, it is futile to seek God. If no one is worthy of God, how can one “be obedient or be in a relationship with God”? As worthless as YOU believe man to be, God didn’t think that way when God told (actually commanded) worthless sinners to be Holy as God was Holy. Read about Abraham again in the “OT”, but this time without looking at him through Paul’s distorted “eyes”.

          Why say the name Jesus instead of God? Why represent God as a dead man? Why disguise God as a man??? To bring God down to your level to that of a “worthless man” (in your eyes) rather than raise yourself up out of your gutter and be Holy as God is Holy?

      • David says:

        You please God today the same way we always have or have tried to. Do God’s will, nothing more, nothing less. Jesus the Christ is the only human who perfectly followed God’s will without error. Jesus fits into the equation because it is Gods’ will that we honor and follow his son, the messiah. That’s the way it’s always been old testament and new. And that’s the way it stays through enternity.

  7. Len Hummel says:

    Much of what you have said about the religion/s of Christianity is TRUE. What you do NOT see and are blind to is this: The Person of Christ has often been poorly represented by the institutions have have evolved around Him. and two: there has always been a remnant of Spirit-born followers of Jesus Christ. – *they* are part of the One New Man, – the one new creation IN CHRIST. … and *those who HAVE received and followed* Christ have done and contributed enormous good in the world. … http://www.clearlight.7t.net/7

    • Len, you wrote:
      >>Much of what you have said about the religion/s of Christianity is TRUE. What you do >>NOT see and are blind to is this: The Person of Christ has often been poorly >>represented by the institutions have have evolved around Him.

      Sorry Len, does that mean that you’re not a Christian? Did 2000 years of Church History get it wrong, and now you Len Hummel, 21st Century Messianic, suddenly make an amazing discovery that that early Church fathers, Christians of old, and about 2 billion Christians today kind of missed? Len, I hate to break it to you, but a Christian is someone who believes in the doctrine of Trinity explicated in the Creed of Nicea in 325 CE. A Christian believes in the fact that Jesus rose from the dead, and created a new revelation in the world, that whoever believes in the Person of Christ – i.e. the resurrected body which is god incarnate, is saved from eternal damnation, and lives forever. A Christian believes that every word of the New Testament is true, and inspired by god. If you don’t believe in these fundamental tenants then you are no Christian, regardless of your moral depravity.

      Len you wrote:
      >>two: there has always been a remnant of Spirit-born followers of Jesus Christ. – *they* >>are part of the One New Man, – the one new creation IN CHRIST. … and *those who >>HAVE received and followed* Christ have done and contributed enormous good in the >>world.

      Does this mean you’re catholic? This “spirit-born” language is subterfuge for being “Born Again”, which has its roots in transmogrification when the wine and bread of the eucarist is the actual blood and body of Christ? Does this mean that you’re a born again Catholic? Or are you Jesus too? Since you’re born in Christ?

      I think your words are meaningless, and when you begin to analyze them properly, and in a manner that makes human language comprehensible, you’ll find that you’ve said very little.

      • Matityahu ben Avraham says:

        I just want to deal with two issues. One, the early church fathers were actually all over the map when it comes to the issue of Jesus being God or not. Some believed he was a second god to the Father, some believed that only the Father is truly God, others believed he was had an actual beginning. Remember the Nicene Council was convened BECAUSE of disagreements as to the nature of Jesus. A christian friend of mine has a great deal of info on this at http://www.angelfire.com/space/thegospeltruth/trinity.html

        Now second, you said:
        “Does this mean you’re catholic? This “spirit-born” language is subterfuge for being “Born Again”, which has its roots in transmogrification when the wine and bread of the eucarist is the actual blood and body of Christ? Does this mean that you’re a born again Catholic? Or are you Jesus too? Since you’re born in Christ?”

        The teaching of the bread and whine becoming the body and blood of Christ is called Transubstantiation (change of substance), which has NOTHING to with being born again. In Catholic, Eastern Orthodoxy, and some Protestant forms of Christianity, being born again happens at Baptism.

      • David says:

        You seem to be refusing to allow a Christian to be his own man, or woman, that we’re doomed to group think. The institution of Christianity has suffered just as the institution of Judaism has suffered from people who profess to speak for all others and want to force their ideas down our throats.People who profess to be teachers of the law or bible. Jesus himself fought against this. And 2000 years later we all still suffer from it. When I read the bible for example I don’t see the argument for the trinity expressed anywhere. I see just the opposite. To be a Christian you simply have to believe in the one God sent, his messiah, Christ, Son; who is Jesus. whom God rose from the dead. It’s not something I invented or anyone else. It’s just something God requires. The bible of both testaments is clear on that. The only difference between us as I see it is that you don’t believe God has sent his Christ yet and I do.

  8. Len Hummel says:

    And as to the testimony of Jesus and His disciples AND the early Church fathers: either it is a deliberate fraud filled with huge portions of false testimony and flat-out lies, … or it is true: GOD has visited us in the Person of His Eternal Word and Son {and He was treated by the world *in exactly the manner you would expect from a world of sin & pride & jealousies like this one*}. – now I have found the latter to be true. … and I also know very well that we have been warned by Jesus Himself, by Paul and throughout NT scripture that “many false teachers and false versions of Christ would arise and deceive many…” – well, that has proven out true as well. – but it does not invalidate the TRUTH of Who Christ IS, … or the wisdom of His teachings & Life.

    • Len you wrote:
      >>And as to the testimony of Jesus and His disciples AND the early Church fathers: either >>it is a deliberate fraud filled with huge portions of false testimony and flat-out lies,

      This is a mistake. Maybe it is a work fill of inconsistencies, mistakes, and falsehood together with a good body of truisms, beliefs and statements by sincere honest people trying to make sense of their surroundings. You don’t have to look at the statements of men as fraudulent lies that have been deliberate attempts at falsehood.

      >>… or it is true: GOD has visited us in the Person of His Eternal Word and Son {and He >> was treated by the world *in exactly the manner you would expect from a world of sin & >> pride & jealousies like this one*}.

      Again, this is your take. You see things as either black or white. What happened to 10% Gray? 40% Gray? 50% Gray with a touch of pink and a little blue for good measure. Life isn’t about things that are black or white, but are shades of gray. Growth is about little steps in a particular direction. That doesn’t negate the movement, nor does it have to be definite, clear cut, or true or false.

      >> – now I have found the latter to be true

      This is your own subjective belief. You have done little to show WHY you believe the latter to be true. In fact, your reasoning, from what I’ve seen is the standard message of most fanatical, bible-bashing, southern, fundamentalist missionaries, who don’t really engage the reader in any meaningful debate, but rather rant their view, without thought, intellectual honesty, or sound logic and reasoning. You have simply stated the obvious – you’re not interested in the truth, or analysis of the arguments presented. You’re emotionally attached to what you believe. You should admit that and move on.

      >>. … and I also know very well that we have been warned by Jesus Himself, by Paul and >> throughout NT scripture that “many false teachers and false versions of Christ would >> arise and deceive many…” – well, that has proven out true as well. – but it does not >> invalidate the TRUTH of Who Christ IS, … or the wisdom of His teachings & Life.

      Coercion is not your strong point. Save it for the time when God feels the need to brandish his fire and brimstone upon all those fundamentalist fanatics out there.

    • David says:

      Or there’s a third explanation. God’s Son has visited us. He once was not, then he was, and now he is for ever more with all the authority God has given him to rule heaven and earth. As a non trinitarian I don’t believe that Jesus preexisted himself. That’s not to say that he wasn’t in the mind or plan or “LOGOS” of God from the begining of time.

  9. naaria says:

    I guess Jesus was wrong about good fruit off of a bad tree or bad fruit from a good tree? A house divided (and on a weak foundation) indeed can stand & can evolve as mighty institutions?

    Yes, mankind has failed to follow the One God and now imagines 3 (yes, the 3 are separate & different as the NT attests to). This 1 “new man”, this “new Israel” is like the old Israel (the lost tribes, the lost sheep who followed the gods of Egypt or harlot Babylon or Rome). Their god is stone or tree or gold calf or lamb or sun or son-god or god-man. That is the “old man” who represents god as a man.

    • David says:

      A good tree produces good fruit. A bad tree produces bad fruit. The fruit of the trinitarian tree is not 3 gods but 3 persons or manifestations of god within one God. But in either case I still disagree with it. The trinity tree started a few centuries after Christ’s time on earth. And the bad fruit of that tree is a misunderstanding of Jesus the Christ and God’s Spirit. I believe that the bible speaks only of one God.

  10. Brian says:

    Len Hummel,
    You always seem to predicate the Jewish scriptures based on the NT.
    The new testament, has to stand in light of the Jewish scriptures; not the other way around.
    I don’t believe the rabbi is the one who is blind here; you seem to have a precarious knack for completely ignoring Jewish scripture that refutes 100 % of all of your caims.
    You want “TRUTH” look to the Torah; Psalm 119:142
    Of course the writers of the nt would insinuate anything other than what they are conveying to be false; yet to convey that G-D and his teachings in the Jewish bible as false is insidious, and quite frankly to do so would completely invalidate christianity itself, so all you have left “IS” the Jewish scriptures; So with that being said, the nt has to establish itself in the Jewish bible; The Jewish scriptures need not meet up to the standards predicated within the nt.

    • David says:

      The new testament is the fulfillment of the old testament. Yes, the new testament does not stand alone. Just as the Christ is the fullillment of God’s plan. Or said another way the fulfillment of the prophets and the law. There is no other reason for the existance of the messiah. So, no the new testament is not a stand alone document. Everything is the old points to the new.

      • Brian says:

        David,
        What passages in the Tanakh (old testament) are alluding to jesus and his death and resurection (clearly)? What passages state doing away with the law (Torah) will be fulfillment of it? Isn’t fulfillment fulfilling something, and “not” doing away with, and disregarding?

  11. naaria says:

    Faith is an action. And yes, God sees merit in it or else there would be no reason for faith. No reason for God to be pleased. And if God wants to bless or rescue/save us, as a gift or as love, no faith is required or else it would be on merit and not as a gift. But God is be pleased (to your merit). And God loves without your meritorius faith or love.

    Seeking is definitely action. Seek & one finds; not a gift, but a reward (merit for your action). The prodigal son turned around; no blood, no asking for forgiveness, no begging, no faith but only a recognition of the kindness, the Godliness, righteousness of his human father. But without action, without returning, he was dead (dead, no matter how much he still loved his father & had faith in him). And Jesus did say something about those “believers”, those with “faith “alone”” who would be surprised, because some did do while the others did NOT do. Yaakov called your faith, dead “faith”. Man is here not to just think but to do. Jesus said that do unto others is Rule 1. To your merit.

    But that is beside the many main points the Rabbi made above. His faith is based on the complete, original Word of God. Other folks have a different religion and different texts. So be Hindu or Muslim or some new age follower of some old “new” religion.

  12. Duke Bennett says:

    A good article and responses but a few things that everyone seems to be missing. First off, Yashua didn’t come to start a new “religion”, He came to call the lost sheep of Israel back to the One True God. The Jewish people had done exactly what the author is accusing the Church of doing, falling away from the teachings of Moses and Torah and following the rabbinic teachings of Talmud.

  13. Yehuda says:

    Xander,

    Listen closely and stay with me here, because I really want you to understand what is being asked.

    I know that you believe the messiah and God to be one and the same. I also know that you believe that the Torah contains foreshadowings of this concept. And I also know that you believe that this is a necessary condition to achieve the messianic vision of world peace.

    Now I’m asking you to pause and explain to me – not just restate your belief in slightly different words – but PROVE to me why the God of the Torah MUST appear in the flesh as the Messiah himself in order to bring his messianic vision to reality. PROVE to me based on the Scripture of the Torah itself that this is the ONLY way that the omnipotent creator of the universe could make this come to pass, rather than through some other means of implanting his spirit in the hearts of human kind.

    This is what is being asked of you.

    Are you familiar with the term Pareidolia. It is the formal name given to the psychological phenomenon of seeing significance where it isn’t necessarily there, such as seeing shapes in clouds.

    It is insufficient to simply BELIEVE the christian proposition to be somehow theologically plausible such that if you squint at just the right angle you can see Jesus in the Tanach.

    The Jew is commanded to worship God solely and faithfully and if your beliefs cannot be PROVEN to be more than pareidolia of the Tanach, they MUST be rejected.

    I await the proof.

    • David says:

      I don’t believe that to be the case. Jesus nor God never claimed that. One can read the old and new testaments and believe that Jesus is the Christ and is now at the right hand of God and not believe that he IS God. In short one does not have to be a believer in the Trinity to acknowledge Jesus as the Christ.

  14. Yehuda says:

    Xander,

    You made an interest remark about Abraham earlier. You said:
    “Abraham pleased God by faith in God alone. There were no actions that Abraham did that merited anything. ”

    Curious. Genesis 26:3-5 states rather clearly that God’s oath of bountiful blessing to Abraham was merited…read carefully here…

    “BECAUSE that Abraham hearkened to My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.’

    Would you like to reconsider your comment?

    • Xander says:

      Sure.

      And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. (Gen 15:6)

      Abraham’s faith preceded any righteousness. Now, I agree that his actions pleased God, but it was not his actions that made him righteous. The actions flowed out of the faith Abraham had for God, but his was because of the faith that God struck the covenant with Abraham. The same covenant that was extended to Isaac.

      • Yehuda says:

        Sorry Xander. You’re being disingenuous.

        First you said: “There were no actions that Abraham did that merited ANYTHING”

        Then you acknowledged: “Now, I agree that his actions pleased God…”

        So first things first. Admit that you recast your position.

        Next: You added a clause that “…but it was not his actions that made him righteous”. Your supposed evidence for that is Genesis 15:6. Sorry. The fact that that verse mentions righteousness in the context of faith (and, I might add, faith in a limited context and circumstance) is not the same thing as saying that nothing else counts as righteousness. That is a logical fallacy – your own belief superimposed on what the verse actually says (or doesn’t say).

        Your argument is akin to arguing that if I say: “He used the soap and it made him clean” is equivalent to saying “Nothing but soap can make you clean”. I you took any high school Math you should recall the problem with this.

        You can either admit to this logical fallacy or continue your deflections. I’m happy to rest my case and let the judicious reader decide who is making sense.

        • Xander says:

          So the logical fallacy is that there is another way to be counted as righteous other than by faith? I am wrong then. A person can be counted as righteousness by keeping all of the commandment given to people by God. Now, is there a way to love God with all of your heart, mind and soul without first believing He is who He says He is? Can anyone believe in something that they can not see without faith in what is written and the testimony of others? Personally, I think you are looking for a technicality, but I admitted I was wrong.

          Now, help me understand which commandments, statutes and laws did Abraham obey and when were these given to him by God? Are these the same statutes that were given by Moses later on in which righteousness would be counted to people?

    • David says:

      Faith and actions go together, but it was credited to him as faith.

      • Larry says:

        It makes more sense to me that christians would study what G-od taught his chosen people and learn from them what his laws and prophasies meant than to try and change what was passed on for a couple thousand years because YOU believe the torah or old testment means something else. If I am not mistaken, you are not a trinatarian. Well now, you are doing to the catholics what the catholics did to the Jewish people. You probably have other arguments with them. Even the new catholics of today with Mary as their co medieatrix, you pray to her and she takes your patitions to Jesus/G-d. He always does what his mother asked of him. We now have yet a new
        G-d, Mary, the one G-d himself listens to and does what she asks.

  15. Xander
    Faith in the God of Abraham means believing Him when He says that He accepts our actions presented to Him in sincerity (Deuteronomy 6:25) – Yehuda’s quote from Genesis is also VERY relevant

    • Xander says:

      Verse 6:25 says that it shall be counted as righteousness to the people if they keep all of the commandment that the LORD has commanded.

      Compare this to the righteousness of Abraham which was counted on to him because he simply believed God for who and what he is.

      What changed between God and the people so that the keeping of the commandment was now required for righteousness? Could it be when the people stated that they would rather have Moses tell them what to do instead of hearing the Lord’s voice directly?

      Regardless, now a person can not be counted as righteous without doing all that was commanded through out the entirety of their lives.

      • Yehuda says:

        “What changed between God and the people so that the keeping of the commandment was now required for righteousness? Could it be when the people stated that they would rather have Moses tell them what to do instead of hearing the Lord’s voice directly? ”

        Xander, are you suggesting that when the Israelites said this they were, in effect , disappointing God, and subjecting themselves to “burden” of the law?

  16. Duke
    All of Judiasm’s fundamentals are spelled out explicitly in the Bible – I encourage you to read the articles under the category entitled “Faith Structure”

  17. Len
    You have a choice – either you trust the witness that God chose for Himself (Isaiah 43:10) – or you don’t. Either way you will never end up with Christianity.

  18. Blasater says:

    R’ Blumenthal– This “could” be your best ever. Anyone who is a truth seeker…truly a truth seeker, who reads this through, more than once and lets the words sink-in, cannot accept the Christian narrative. To your words, certain thoughts come to mind.

    A) The fact that there is a New Testament, in and of itself, invalidates the Christian narrative. It will take no NT to PROVE messiah is who he says he is. Nor will it take a NT to persuade us that the era of the new covenant has arrived. It will be evident to all by the actions of the Jewish Nation not the actions of the goyim, who misappropriate the Jewish scriptures.

    B) The NT asserts the Jew is a liar and a hypocrite. Therefore the church asserts thats its method of rendering the Jewish scriptures is the Holy Inspired method and the Jewish method is flawed by willful blinding of the Jew by G-d. Therefore, 3 millenia of exegesis by the Jew is rejected. The NT expositors, such as Michael Brown create in the Church wilful ignorance of the proper interpretive methods. The NT books which are midrashic interpretations of the Tanakh are exposited as Peshat. And this “New” midrashic reading of certain “messianic” passages is given primacy over the Jewish “plain meaning” of the texts. Thus changing the revelation that G-d made exclusively to the Jewish people. The books of Matthew and Hebrews are prime examples of misquoting, misapplication and out-and-out tampering with the Jewish Tanakh. Any attempt by the Jew to correct this is simply chalked-up as “blindness”.

    C) R’ Blumenthal wrote:”Those brave men and women, who preserved Judaism under the most terrible circumstances, identified the Christian deification of Jesus as the very antithesis of everything that they stood for.” Which is exactly why I chose as my avatar, Rabbi Moshe Hengerman, HY”D, who is shown as mocked and tormented, for what cause? Because he was a Jew. For being attached to Hakadosh Baruch Hu. As he stands there, with his Tefillin and tattered prayer shawl, before his congregation on the ground. The very church that made this climate of Jew torture possible, now seeks to take from him his Shabbat, His tallit, his torah and insert a counterfeit god.

  19. Brian says:

    Xander,
    G-D told Moses what to tell the people, and “FYI” G-D himself spoke to the people “VIA” directly from the midst of the fire.
    Deut. 4:12 Deut. 4:36
    Believing HaShem “IS” G-D is an essential step that brings about faith; “THAT” what you are being instructed to do is from him.
    Abraham, and Moses would be two people who would have the least necessity for what you classify as blind faith “since” they both talked to G-D “via” directly.
    If I were your father, and I told you at some point it was safe to cross the street, “SO” run! By you acting on my words, you had faith in “ME”.
    G-D never ask us to just have blind faith that he “ALONE” is G-D; he “showed” us, and told us dierectly; Deut. 4:35

    • Xander says:

      But Abraham and Moses did not grow up with God, so the example of trusting a father that you knew your entire life is not quite the same.

      If you had heard a voice that you had never heard before and it told you to sell your house and move far away, would you have blind faith in the voice?

  20. Yehuda says:

    Xander this is in reply to your posts of 1:24 and 1:28.(it’s easier to just add posts sequentially to the end of the thread.)

    To your 1:24 post:
    Thank you for acknowledging the plain meaning of Genesis 26:5. Ok what commandments, statutes, and Laws did Abraham keep. Fair question. There are differences of opinion in Jewish Tradition. One fairly straightforward interpretation is that it refers to the some of the instructions with which God challenged Abraham as spelled out in the scripture e.g. leaving his homeland, circumcision, the binding of Isaac, all of which tested Abraham’s obedient devotion and all of which he passed and thereby merited God’s favor.

    To your 1:28 post
    “Was God pleased when the Israelites refused to ascend the mountain when the trumpet was sounded?”

    Well if we are referring to when the Israelites asked Moses to speak to them as you first mentioned (let’s stick to the topic YOU raised), I would say that God made his reaction to that fairly clear in Deut 5:24, where in reaction to this very event God said:

    “‘I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee; they have well said all that they have spoken.”

    So I would say God was pleased.

    Xander, Have your read the Torah in it’s entirety?

  21. Xander says:

    Yehuda

    In response to the first point, there is obedience present with each of the actions, but did not faith precede obedience. For Abraham to hear a voice that was not heard before and then trust enough to do what it said, is that not a testament to the faith that was present?

    As to the second point, I think you are talking about verse 28 instead of 24. So does that mean God was lying when he told them to come up to the mountain after consecrating themselves? The people felt they would die if they listened to the voice any longer and wished to be away from that place, right? I do see God commending the people in that they feared the Lord and wished they would all have that in mind for the rest of their days and warned them to be careful in keeping all of the commandments that were to be given. Of course, they turned around and made an idol that they were worshipping when Moses came back down the mountain. I do not see God as being pleased that they did not want to be in his presence, but he did acknowledge that being sinful in his presence would lead to death.

    I have read it, even though I am not a big fan of Numbers.

  22. Yehuda says:

    1) Abraham obeyed the voice because there was something in the interaction that made it clear to him that he was speaking to the creator of the universe. By the way, we have no idea how many times God may have previously spoken to Abraham and thereby established the relationship. The Torah is silent on the topic.What the Torah makes clear is who the parties to conversation were and that they were certain of those identities. I don’t need to speculate about how they identified themselves. Prophecy is a unique experience and Abraham knew it when he experienced it. At this point your attempt to read faith into, and as a prerequisite of, obedience is an irrelevant semantic exercise. What is clear is that the merit was earned by the ultimate action. If it pleases you to see an element of faith as a precursor to action that’s fine with me too. Jews have no quarrel with the virtue of faith. It is indeed an ingredient of obedience. It is simply not an end in itself. I could also say that Abraham’s lifting his feet was a prerequisite to obeying the command to leave his homeland, but that would not attach any special significance to the act of lifting ones feet. in and of itself.

    2) No I mean verse 24. Not sure what edition you are using, but I quoted the relevant words which make clear how God reacted to the matter at hand. The rest your point meanders a bit. You speculate about things that are not in the verse. You’re entitled to your speculations. As for the Jews subsequent rapid failure and sin, this is again not relevant to the point I thought we were discussing (and which YOU raised) which I’ll remind you of. You asserted that by recoiling, the Jews earned God’s disfavor and as a result were burdened with the Law instead of being granted the simple merit of faith. You have offered no evidence of this, just your ruminations, to which, again, you are entitled. Nothing could be further from the simple repeated emphasis that the Torah places on obedience to the Law and there is absolutely nothing in the scriptures to suggest that it was God’s nasty trick played on the Jews because they recoiled at Sinai. It was the point of Sinai.

  23. Xander says:

    1) Is the action without faith considered righteous then? If one does the acts of obedience without believing in God, are they still counted as being righteous?

    2) I was looking at the JPS version. I do not see it as a nasty trick, but as a result of a choice on the part of the people. I apologize for going off topic though.

    • Yehuda says:

      1) Actually there is indeed some merit to such faithless obedience as one would still at least be complying with the will of God as compared with someone who did not comply. Secondly, no one ever said that you don’t have to believe in God. All we keep saying is that obedience as a result of that belief is necessary and defines righteousness. You are, at this point, way off your original assertion that faith is enough in itself. Let’s not argue with strawmen.

      2) See my post of 4:07. I don’t think you are correct in thinking that there was any disobedience whatsoever in their recoiling, so the point is moot.

      • Xander says:

        The point is that from faith, obedience will follow. when there is faith, the faithful action will follow, thus the faith is mandatory and that is what is seen as being righteous as action alone does not carry the same effect as it is not done out of obedience.

  24. Yehuda says:

    By the way, Xander, I think you are misreading Exodus 19. You seem to be understanding that the Israelites were COMMANDED to ascend the mount Sinai during the revelation, and were thus being defiant by recoiling. Look again at the thrust of verses 12, 21, 22, 23, 24, as well as the first half of verse 13 and I think it will be clear that while the revelation was taking place, they were indeed NOT to go near or touch the mountain.

    What you are left with is how to understand the second clause of verse 13 which says: “when the ram’s horn soundeth long, they [shall] come up to the mount.’

    Well, you can understand it your way, which would seem to be in direct conflict with the context of the other verses. Or you can understand it correctly which is that in verse 13, God was describing when the prohibition on ascending the mountain would end, which was when a long protracted sounding of the ram’s horn was heard signaling that God’s “presence” had departed.

  25. Yehuda says:

    “The point is that from faith, obedience will follow. when there is faith, the faithful action will follow, thus the faith is mandatory and that is what is seen as being righteous as action alone does not carry the same effect as it is not done out of obedience.”

    Nope: You’re trying to wave away the significance of the action, and you can’t – you acknowledged as much. I don’t deny the significance of the faith that leads to the action.

  26. Xander
    It might help you to read Psalm 106:31 – where one action is “counted for righteousness” – as well as Isaiah 58:6-14. If you say a sincere kind word to a person who is down – you will please God

  27. naaria says:

    Abraham has little to do with what the Rabbi wrote above. Actuallty, Abraham did not have “blind faith”. Several times he questioned God. Several times he had little faith in what God told him. Sometimes, he moved without noticeably inquiring of what God wanted. One thing to remember is that Abraham didn’t write his memoirs. And it was God that made a “covenant of grant” with Abraham in Gen 14. Bible scholars tell us that a covenant of grant is a reward for past loyality and it bears no covenantal obligation to the subject or grantee. Abraham. A key term is reward for past loyalty, despite Abrahams doubt or lack of faith or trust at other times.

    • naaria says:

      Actually, God can speak to one if they never had faith or if they have lost faith. Faith is not a constant. It is not perfect nor does it bring perfection. Nor is righteousness brought about because of perfect obedience. Notice the first few letters of the word “righteousness”. To be righteous one must first do what is “right”. How does one know they “think right”? By the results of your right thinking. Some people just think they are right. One judges a person by what one does. Jesus said that too, especially when he was quoting the Tanach.

  28. James Wood says:

    After many years of thought and having made it through the process of writing my book… the message to anyone that dwells on Jesus or even thinks about him once a day in passing is…
    You simply don’t need him…
    The time you spend thinking about him or trying to make him fit into your “Jewishness” is better spent talking with your God and learning His Words as revealed in the Torah… and remembering this…
    If Jesus was intended to be the important thing in your “Jewish Life,” why didn’t Moses, God, or the Prophets mention him even once by name?

  29. Brian says:

    James Wood,
    Bravo! I couldn’t have said it better myself.
    I would be interested in your book; what is the title?

  30. Brian says:

    Xander,
    Abraham only had faith “after” G-D gave him a son, Moses had direct relations with G-D and allowed him to see that he was G-D, the people were delievered from Egypt, and seen G-D part the red sea, and spoke to them from the midst of the fire to “SHOW” them that he “ALONE” is G-D.
    So you are mistaken, the child trusting the father, only comes from the child learning over a period of time, that it can trust the father; a child abused by his father on the other hand learns that it cannot trust that parent.
    The Torah reveals that the people didn’t always have faith, and it was only when G-D showed them, that they acquired it, and did all that they were commanded to do, and did what was righteous in his eyes; no blind faith here.

  31. naaria says:

    Mr Wood; I agree that Jesus is not needed, especially not by someone who already believes in God. Some say Jesus is God, but Jesus wasn’t the God given to Israel or the Jews. If Jesus were God (a god that believes idolatry is OK; a representation of God; God disguised as a man for a time on earth and forever a man in the mind of some people), then Jesus is redundant. Why say Jesus (or Yehoshua or Yeshua or Yahshua, etc) and not haShem or one of names given in the the Hebrew or Jewish bible? But they don’t really believe God is Jesus (unless they believe a common idea that Jesus is a replacement for the God of the “OT”/Tanach). They pray to “God, the father”, but they end the prayer in Jesus’ or “Yeshua’s” name, because Jesus is the real god, the “real approver or ultimate authority”. Some of these people don’t really love God. They love the emotions. They love feelings and ecstatic states. “Feel good” feelings. They love the traditions of men about “a god created in the image of man”. A humanistic-centered god. They don’t love the Word. In the usual weekly “bible study”, of churches that I am familiar with, aren’t “studies of the bible” or of the “words”. Often times, it’s just inspirational or motivational speaking or “propaganda”. Some study the “OT”/Tanach (Torah or “their Hebraic roots”) to “prove” the NT or to prove Jesus (not God). Who they say he is (or who they say “he said he was/is”). A one on one relationship with the “God of Israel” is not what they really want.

    I can say this, because I heard it or I seen it for decades. I know what many really think of Jews and/or Judaism. That’s why my first comment to Rabbi Blumenthal’s post above was “AMEN”. It was right on target, “hit the nail on the head”.

  32. naaria says:

    Continue to give us all a glimpse into the recorded & documented history of Christian writings & of Christianity to teach us and to also offset or counter the imagined “history” or speculative theories that some others present about Jesus, Christian texts, and the evolution of the church and it’s theology. There are some who accept the speculation or hypothesis of one or a few scholars as “truth”, while they reject the more objective research of the majority of scholars. For instance, some believe that a medieval text in Hebrew of the “gospel of Matthew” (largely a harmonization of several different texts and commentary) is “proof” of Jesus or proof that the earliest Christian writings were not Greek, Roman or “Gentile”, but “Jewish” (as if the same pagan theological beliefs are somehow acceptable or “kosher” if they were from a “Jewish” source).

  33. James Wood says:

    Brian,
    It’s called Leaving Jesus and it’s available here.
    http://leavingjesus.wordpress.com/

  34. naaria says:

    As one searches to unmask Christianity, one finds there are also many different masks of Jesus. Many different faces of Jesus, depending on who does the studying. The Jesus you favor depends upon many things: which type of Jesus you want to find; which NT books you favor; which verses you accept and which ones you reject or ignore; whether you include historical non-canonical Christian writings or you reject them as fraudulent or “from the devil”; which Christian or which Jewish scholar or school you favor and agree with; etc. Some Christian scholars who wanted to find a “historical” Jesus, were sadly disappointed that they could not find one and they settled for a “spiritual” one; a Jesus that exists on “faith alone”. They searched for the “authentic” words of Jesus and discovered he said nothing new. His words were quotes, altered quotes, common sayings, the words of the Paul or various church leaders or different churches or faith communities, etc. Some researchers or scholars found (or speculate & theorize) that the “real Jesus” was an Essene, a Zealot rebel leader, a poor wandering holy man, a drifting poet-philosopher, a charismatic healer, a Samaritan or a Gentile, a cynic, a stoic, a gnostic, or more like a Sadducee or a true pharisee and more like a Rabbi Shammai or more like a Hillel or more like Judah “the Galilean” or like “the Egyptian” failed messiah leader. Or he didn’t even exist or else his disciples “re-invented” him or else Paul or Roman-Greeker Judaizers (or Roman government conspirators) invented him or else he was a fictional character (syncretic) in a 2nd century c.e. dramatic play about the “destruction of the Jewish nation” (using Josephus as a source text) or Roman myth-makers (who changed YWYH into Iesous/Yehoshua as they changed other peoples gods, like Zeus into Saturn).

    To some, Paul invented Christianity, but of course, the early church didn’t know of any Paul, because he was “invented”. Saint Augustine said some of the NT writings, accepted as authentic, were actually fraudulent and written by 2nd-4th church leaders to promote their particular beliefs or schools of theology. Marcionite committed forgery and anti-marcionites forged writings of Marcionite. Tertullian was accused by other church leaders of writing the gospel of John in about 150 c.e., over 120 years after Jesus died. Jesus’ “brother Yaakov” or “James” supposedly was still alive during the bar Kochba revolt in 137 c.e, 105 years after Jesus. Read about all sorts of different heresies, lies, forgeries, fake letters and gospels and other shenanigans in the writings of the early church fathers. Even in the NT we read about heretics or “enemies of Paul” who wrote forgeries in Paul’s name.

    One thing that can definitely be said about Jesus is that nothing can be said definitely about Jesus. Yet while people believe Paul “invented a new religion” and “his theology” is scattered throughout even the gospels, they still believe they know where the “real Jesus” and where the “fake Jesus” is. Some say they can discern or separate out the “wheat from the chaff”, or the “Greek Jesus” from the “Jewish Yehoshua”.

  35. Brian says:

    naaria,
    Certainly a waste of time, right?
    All we need is HaShem and his Torah.
    ‘-)

    • Larry says:

      Being brought up as a catholic we were taught not to question the churches teaching of the bible, and to believe that the Pope has the final say as to what to believe or not to believe. This convient arrangment kept me a catholic most of my life. It wasn’t until I was exposed to the many questions concerning Paul that I started questioning christianitys validity.
      Thanks to many here and to similar believers elsewhere, it is because of Paul, who called himself an aposotle, that I am no longer christian. It seems to me that is why faith is so important to the church. Without faith the whole belief system and theology falls apart. It becomes a mortal sin not to believe what the Pope says you should believe. For all the non catholics who think catholics are not christian, stick around. Who’s your Pope?

  36. Blasater says:

    And regarding the langauge of Jesus…

    It seems to me odd, that G-d himself, conveys Torah in Hebrew, writes the 10 commandments Himself, in Hebrew, and even at the time of Jesus, the Torah scrolls were in Hebrew and yet we are expected to believe, the “God” comes as a man, doesnt write one word of his own new torah in his own hand, speaks in Aramaic and his new torah is written by others and disseminated in Greek?

    The very language of the people who would later destroy the holy temple and build a temple to Jupiter? The language of those that would slaughter the Jews by the hundreds of thousands?

    One of the duties of messiah is to restore the Jewish people to Torah. Would G-d show up and restore people to Himself in a language of the goyim? Just because it was lingua franca? I think not.

    • Yehuda says:

      Excellent point.

      That’s why the messianics are so desperate to find archeological evidence of Hebrew gospels. Even if some such fragment surfaced, which seems unlikely, all it would mean is that among the early Jewish followers of Jesus were members devoted enough to the cause to record their writings in Hebrew. What would remain irrevocably clear though, is that God did not see fit to preserve these writings as he did the books of the Tanach

  37. I think that Naaria’s point is relevant – the only thing we know about Jesu is that we don’t know anything about him – let’s try to keep the discussion about things that God chose to preserve – not those He chose to eradicate from the collective memory of the witness nation He chose for Himself

  38. naaria says:

    Since “correct” names seems almost to be more important to some than correct worship, has anyone ever counted the number of different “true or correct” names (or rather, variant spellings) that the different messianic “sacred name movements” have for Jesus? Names like Yahshua, Yahuashua, Yeshua, Yahvehshua, Yehoshua, Yhwhshua, etc. I once counted at least a dozen, but I know there must be several more. Some, I can’t type on my keyboard (I don’t have the fonts). How many sacred names are promoted out there for Jesus vs. the number they promote for God alone?

  39. naaria says:

    If someone wants to use the Peshitta NT, instead of using the most recent versions, use the “most accurate” one, the George Lamsa Aramaic Peshitta NT (saying that will greatly upset some people). In Lamsa’s English version, he calls Jesus, Jesus. In some of the other Peshitta NT’s in English, Yeshua may be used, but most of the nouns and most of the names of people & places are the same ones used in your standard English versions. In fact, the text of the books in the Aramaic NT are not all that different from various Greek texts. Just as the text of “The Netzarim Reconstruction of Hebrew Matityahu” is not all that different from many of the “original” Greek texts of Matthew. Of course, when the Revised Standard Version in the 1950’s translated certain favorite verses more correctly (like “the young woman” instead of “virgin”), some people were so upset because of a few words, that the RSV was burned in 1 church (ironically, they had great difficulty in trying to get the bible to burn) and some used the RSV as a target on a rifle range. And there are some Christian’s that believe that every bible, other than the 1611 King James version, is the “devil’s bible. I mentioned “the sacred names movement” (particularly in independent “messianic” Christian churches) earlier, because the “correct & sacred” Aramaic or Hebrew name for Jesus is different depending on which person or group or cult you speak to.

    The “One Way” began to split up, almost before it even began, into dozens, then hundreds, then 1000’s of “One Way”s and “true church’s. The “messiah” didn’t bring the “lost sheep” back into the fold, nor the Jews of the Diaspora back to Zion/Israel, nor the nations to the One God (or even to 1body, 1 church). I say to some “grow up”, to others “come back”, to other’s “don’t scatter & become one more generation of lost sheep”.

    • Matityahu ben Avraham says:

      Lamsa’s is okay, the problem is that he takes too much liberty with some of his translations. Paul Younan’s interlinear of the Gospels and Acts (well he’s working on Acts now) ain’t bad. and unlike some of the others, he keeps the Aramaic of all the names of persons and cities. Andrew Roth does the same (I personally use Andrew Roths’ because it has the whole NT, and it has the Aramaic on the opposite page as the English.

  40. Matityahu ben Avraham says:
    >>I just want to deal with two issues. One, the early church fathers were actually all over the map >>when it comes to the issue of Jesus being God or not. Some believed he was a second god to >>the Father, some believed that only the Father is truly God, others believed he was had an >>actual beginning. Remember the Nicene Council was convened BECAUSE of disagreements as >>to the nature of Jesus. A christian friend of mine has a great deal of info on this at >>http://www.angelfire.com/space/thegospeltruth/trinity.html

    The point was to show that Nicea was birthplace of modern Christianity.

    Now second, you said:
    >>The teaching of the bread and whine becoming the body and blood of Christ is called >>Transubstantiation (change of substance), which has NOTHING to with being born again. In >>Catholic, Eastern Orthodoxy, and some Protestant forms of Christianity, being born again >>happens at Baptism.

    Thank you for the correction with regard to transubstantiation. The point I’m making is that what was said is incoherent nonsense. At least transubstantiation is coherent.

    • Matityahu ben Avraham says:

      ah, okay. and yw for the smal.l corrections. And thnx for letting me no where exactly you were coming from.

  41. naaria says:

    messianic: My last comment that you replied to was not a statement, but what I had hoped was a clarification of my question. I was asking for some updated info (definitely not out of ignorance), since a lot of my earlier studies (since 1996) on early Christian writings (including those in Assyria & the east) and on current Christian movements, such as the sacred name, the messianic, the 2-house theory, and the Hebraic Roots movements are on CD’s and I don’t have access to them until weeks from now or later.

    I have several English bibles and/or NT’s downloaded on my computer now. One of them is Goble’s brit chadasha and full bible whiich uses Yehoshua for Jesus; the Hebrew Names Version uses Yeshua, which some say is Aramaic; Ethridge in the English “Peschito Syriac New Testament” uses Jeshu; the “New Heart English Bible: Jehovah Edition” uses Jesus (but Jehovah God for the 4 letter name of God), but then the “NHEB: Messianic edition “uses Yeshu (and Lord God for the 4 letter name of God); etc. I have more NT’s on CD’s 10 or more years ago that I can’t get to right now, but I have seen some more unusual variants or those that use non-standard or non-English fonts for certain names.

    It is very common to see, in English translations, that the same name in Greek is translated one way in the OT and another way in the NT. Common examples are Joshua, Miriam, Jacob in the OT and Jesus, Mary, and James in the NT. BTW, since there was no letter “J” in the English alphabet at the time, there was no “Jesus” in the 1st King James bible.

  42. naaria says:

    Adding to my last comment, I went back to my NT’s and I see that “The Scriptures 1998 by Institute for Scripture Research” (formerly known as the “Hebraic Roots Version”, when I first got the 1st edition before 1998) uses יהושע or all Hebrew characters for Jesus, while most other names are in English characters, although the names are “Hebrewized”, not Aramaic.

    I also noticed that some English NT’s use Saul for Paul before his “experience” and Paul after it. While some use Paulos throughout the NT and others use Sh’aul or Rav Shaul through the NT.

  43. To all commenting here
    Please note the comment policy. I have left these comments here for now – but I will be deleting them soon – if you want to preserve your writing – copy it now. The post has nothing to do with the “real” name of a man who may have lived and died many years ago. The post has to do with an institution of idolatry and deception.

  44. naaria says:

    Some sad defenses and counter-arguments.  But that is part of the modus operandi.  To criticize a misspelling, or to take a few words out of context, or to distract or detract or to lead astray by making a “mountain out of a mole hill”.  Or to build one’s whole argument or foundation on a few “hints” or “clues” and make them major proofs or evidence.  To speculate about mere possibilities, instead of focusing on facts or universal truths.  It is sophistry.  Making any argument that seems right at the moment, no matter how contradictory it is or how little it makes sense in your overall belief system.  

    God can be defined as not-man; a creator of the created.  So what is or was or will be created is not the creator; what man is, is not God.  Man may be “like” God in several ways or characteristics, but of course Man is always much less than God.  God acting like a man is only an act, a game.  God choosing to be imperfect; but then God would not be God nor could there be any existence at all.  Before the philosophers from the nations studied & considered the God of the Jews, there were rules already long established, that God was one, that God was not a man, & that God hated idolatry.  Manifestation of a divine being in a person or animal was the same as an indwelling of a spirit in an non-living object like a gold calf.   Representation of God as a tree or a calf or a man was anti-God.  Now some people promote the idea that God became a man, which promotes the idea that God practices a sort of idolatry in reverse.  According to them with their pagan traditions & philosophy, if it is ok for God to use or play with idols, then it is now ok for man to hold on to a mental image of the idol and to put faith in that idol. 

    Now Jews who were taught about this One God are not the only ones who argue against accepting various, different beliefs of Christians.  Christians are often the greatest critics of other Christians.  There supposedly was only 1 true way taught originally. But one problem is that almost anyone can claim to be a prophet. Almost anyone can start their own church and there will be followers disappoint with the “truth of those others”.   Some disparage the Roman Catholic Church, because they say their tradition goes back to the founder (either Jesus or Paul) through disciple or apostle so-and-so.  They are the “true church”.  They follow the “true messiah”; the “true god”.  Most, if not all others, have been deceived by the “devil” (a convenient scapegoat).  They are the true orthodox.  But the RC Church says the same thing.  They believe in an apostolic succession through Peter, one of the chief disciples, and Jesus built his true church (body of followers) on the rock, Peter. 

    Heresy was almost always a part of Christianity (no matter how YOU define Christianity or heresy).  Docetists could not accept a created, earthly, worldly, sinful being as a sprit, a  divine being, or as the supreme god.  To them, Jesus only appeared as a physical man, but he was only spirit. Nestor thought much the same; Jesus was “2 persons”, not “1 person fully man & god” at the same time. Ebionites, Nazarenes, gnostics, Marcionites, Pelagianists, Arianists, unitarians, trinitarians, etc. had different beliefs.  Whatever “school of Christianity” (or “messianic” belief) you follow, other Christians will say you’re dead wrong & “hell-bound”.  So choose your poison?

    Jesus seems to be ok with most of them though.  We can use some of the Christian arguments of Jews or Judaism (from the NT writers & from many believers) against Christians as well.  Why did Jesus allow just heresy in his churches? Why so many churches fighting each other?   Why did Jesus allow Islam to arise and in some places allow Islam to replace a Christian community or nation?  Jesus’ latter days saints were persecuted by fellow Christians, but Jesus blessed them and they are prospering?  

    Why did Jesus allow himself to be so well and so often represented by so many Christians (who follow the golden rule & have such Christian love) & yet who weren’t or who aren’t “real Christians”, especially in their interactions with Jews?  There has been a change since 1948, with some groups, but I don’t believe this new paradigm shift in theology is all that new, not all that much change, and not all that earnest. It could be.

    • Matityahu ben Avraham says:

      There are some problems with your post.
      1. It’s Nestorius and not Nestor.
      2., He did NOT teach that Jesus was 2 persons. He taught that Jesus was one person with two natures, one divine, and the other human. (the exact same thing the Council of Calcedon later concluded).. He was accused by Cyril of believing that Jesus was 2 persons. I have read the letters between Cyril and Nestorius, there is nothing whatsoever to indicate Nestorius believed in 2 persons of Jesus.

      • naaria says:

        I’m sorry, Nestor was part of the Heracles & the “Trojan war” story and had nothing to do with “Nestorianism”. I am going by what I read months back in a book on “heresies” written by a couple of authors with a Roman Catholic background. So from Cyril’s point of view, Nestorius was separating Christ’s divinity and his humanity into “two persons” yet existing in one body, which to Cyril and other opponents of Nestorius would be denying the “reality of the Incarnation”. Docetists, on the otherhand, separated the divine Jesus from the “person” of Jesus and so there was no body and Jesus only “appeared as real”. It is difficult for me to understand either theory. In an effort to resolve the “puzzle” or the problems inherent in those & other theories, some early followers of Jesus (before the NT gospels were written or before all 4 were accepted as canon), believed that Jesus only became divine in the resurrection or in the ascension.

  45. Juan G. says:

    “Manifestation of a divine being in a person or animal was the same as an indwelling of a spirit in an non-living object like a gold calf.” – naaria

    If someone exhibited righteousness could you say God has worked through that person (at that time)?

  46. Juan G. says:

    In Psalms 2 God speaks of a son, his anointed – blessed are they that put their trust in him.

  47. naaria says:

    Juan: Righteousness basically means to “do what is right”. If God “works” the righteousness, it is God’s righteousness, not the persons. The person would not be doing what the person was created for and the person would just be a robot or a puppet or just a mirror incapable of being truly righteous, incapable of being truly obedient, unable to truly love God, and not being a child of God; not really created “in the image of God”. Golden calfs or idols, such as the sun, have no real power, no mind, etc. If a person does evil, is God working through that person at that time and they were just a puppet, or did they freely choose not to do right? Free just as another chooses to do right.

    The son in the 2nd Psalm is a human king who can ask God for help, when the king or the king’s army can’t do what needs to be done. But that has little to do with the idea of the righteousness of a person. For there to be judgement if a person, a person has to be able to act freely and reap the rewards or suffer the consequences.

  48. Juan G. says:

    Agreed on the first part.

    “The son in the 2nd Psalm is a human king who can ask God for help, when the king or the king’s army can’t do what needs to be done. ” – naaria

    It sounds familiar, as does Psalms 22 – speaking of hands and feet being pierced, etc.

    • uriyosef says:

      Juan G., You wrote, “It sounds familiar, as does Psalms 22 – speaking of hands and feet being pierced, etc.”

      That’s strange. My Hebrew Bible has nothing in it about “hands and feet being pierced”. The only place you’ll find such mistranslations of the Hebrew would be in most Christian bibles such as the KJV, NIV, NASB, etc.

      To get a better understanding of this Psalm in it’s proper context, Irecommend that you read this article – http://thejewishhome.org/counter/Psa22.pdf

  49. Yehuda says:

    Juan G. Thank you for bringing this thread back from the extremely boring disgression into the topic of Jesus’ name (as if it mattered an iota).

    Now,

    in response to Naaria’s assertion that:

    “Manifestation of a divine being in a person or animal was the same as an indwelling of a spirit in an non-living object like a gold calf”

    Your responded with:

    “If someone exhibited righteousness could you say God has worked through that person (at that time”

    I take it, that this concept somehow – in your mind – justifies that christian idea of the incarnation.

    Now, pause for a moment, take a deep breath, and ask tell in all honesty if you really cannot see the difference between:

    1) the concept of God working his will through human agents while remaining fundamentally detached from all such agents, and

    2) the concept of asserting that God actually became human in the flesh.

    And if you truly cannot see that difference then tell me why there aren’t, by your way of thinking, numerous other persons worthy of divine worship by way their having served to work God’s righteousness in the world, such as:

    Abraham
    Isaac
    Jacob
    Joseph
    Moses
    Aaron
    David,
    etc., etc, etc.

  50. naaria says:

    Juan: The more you read other parts of the bible (OT or Tanach), the more you will be familiar with them too. The more you read, the better you will be able to see the “Big Picture”. One needs to read more than a handful of oft quoted verses; verses which are often mistranslated or usually taken out of context. That is like intentionally wearing blinders. One mustn’t be afraid to explore the whole word of God, instead of being content with being spoon-fed tiny morsels of the traditional meager fare that those who follow the traditions of men offer. Don’t be afraid to read the words of David, Moses, and others, the way they were meant to read and the way the audience understood them 2500 years ago or more. When one reads the Psalms or the Torah or the Prophets, etc, as the authors felt those words, then one gets the true message from God. Else, one gets the biased propaganda of the “new agers” of harlot Babylon & Rome.

  51. Juan G. says:

    “1) the concept of God working his will through human agents while remaining fundamentally detached from all such agents, and
    2) the concept of asserting that God actually became human in the flesh.” – naaria

    I agree with the difference. It is difficult for me to accept that Jesus is God and human – or that God is composed of multiple personalities that play opposing roles. It doesn’t make sense to me.

    There are easy to say things that make the typical Christian picture look wrong – you could ask God (Jesus) was sacrificed for Himself to save us from His rule? Then the sacrifice was reversed. Huh? I just don’t get it.
    Also some of the doctrines taught, in my opinion, encourage people to be righteous imposters. People have a false sense of security – they’ve lost all fear of God – authority is no more.

  52. Rambamist
    That is not the point of this article at all – I would appreciate if you could keep your comments limited to the subject of the article
    Shalom
    Yisroel Blumenthal

  53. Matityahu ben Avraham says:

    now I would 100% agree that viewing him as G-d is wrong and would myself see it as idolatry.

  54. naaria says:

    Whether he is called Moshe or Moses or Fred doesn’t really matter. Who claims that he is God or a god or that his name is magic to those who say his name or his name is a “Sacred Name” revealed to the select few? Whether you believe in the “Documentary Hypotheses” or not doesn’t really matter. He is accepted by most Jews and most Christians as a real man. The NT authors & Jesus accepted Moses as a real man, so Moses was not then Jesus was ignorant and/or a fake, a false prophet. One can accept Moses as real and Jesus not. But not vice versa. Many people accept neither Moses nor Jesus as real folks. So, when one argues, one must remember who one is arguing against. What audience are you trying to persuade? Don’t worry so much if they can “use your argument against you”, because then they will also be using your point and their counter-argument against themselves. The social and political environment of a Moses was different from that of a Jesus. There were many more non-Israelites, non-Jews who could write and speak in Jesus’s day, who could have been witnesses, but did not write nor spread any news throughout the known world about Jesus or any other miracle-man, man-god or human prophet. That silence is a real concern. The FACT that early church leaders, learned men in Eqypt and Rome, knew so little about their own “lord Jesus” or a “human Christ” is astounding. The FACT that so many different & contradictory or heretical stories (biographies or gospels) were told and believed about Jesus (or Yeshua or Yehoshua or Iesous or whatever) and his followers should be very worrisome for his followers.

  55. naaria says:

    Messianic (on 20 March): I doubt, by your comments, that you “lack a post enlightenment filter” and your point might be better made if you hadn’t used such phrases such as “theological jumps”, “Protestant hermeneutics”, “theological constructions”, “nomina sacra”, “theologically derived” bibles, etc.  And you fail to show how “textual transmission” really matters, since the basic principles & the foundation of the beliefs expressed in the NT are mostly the same whether the text is in Aramaic, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, English, or Spanish.  Whether you say Moshe or you say Moses, why and what happens at the “Red Sea” or the “suf” or “Sea of Reeds” doesn’t really change that much.  If the details do matter, you make the distinction.  For example, the story of Jesus (or Iesous or Yehoshua) and the “blind” man “Bartimaeus” means one thing, but if the name is “bar Timaeus” it will mean something much different if we know who “Timaeus” was if we look at Plato’s writings. “Logos” and “Word” in John’s gospel seem the same, until we see what Logos meant to Plato and the gnostics.  But whatever the author is trying to say (or whatever we think he says”), is a far cry from the “God is One” of the Hebrew Bible

    • naaria says:

      Some people will argue that “Jesus was a “Jew'”, but then so were all those “hypocritical” Sadducees, the “many chief Priests”, “Pharisees”, and “the Jews”. So supposedly was the “real inventor of Christianity” Paul, the “Roman citizen” as well as a “trained Pharisee”, but “working for the chief priests and Saduccees(?)”. If there is criticism of Jesus, blame it all on Saul, later aka Paul, or Paulos. But maybe not on “Rav Sh’aul, since he somehow was a different man from the Roman or “Greek Paul”.

      • naaria says:

        Or better yet, blame Constantine and the “Catholic church”, but use their texts (slighty altered).

        Just curious, but does anyone know what languages the non-Jews and the Hellenist Jews in the Galilee and those in the Decapolis spoke?

      • naaria says:

        Or better yet, blame Constantine and the “Catholic church”, but use their texts (slighty altered).

        Just curious, but does anyone know what languages the non-Jews and the Hellenist Jews in the Galilee and those in the Decapolis spoke before and after the time of the Herodians? And, beside 1 letter in Greek (to a person who only knew Greek), were Shimon ben Kosiba’s (bar Kochba’s) letters all written in Hebrew or Aramaic?

  56. Brian says:

    yourphariseefriend
    I noticed that you cleaned up your thread; hopefully it will be a end to much of the nonsense that was here, and on future threads.
    It makes much more sense to stick to helping others learn instead of what some have tried to turn your threads into.

  57. naaria says:

    David:
    You wrote “Not two, just one.”, which is a really poor response to that believer in “Yeshua”, who, like many others, sees many contradictions in the Jesus that is shown in the gospels and in other books of the NT. To avoid calling Jesus a liar or a mentally unstable person with split or multiple personalities, they have to believe there are (at least) 2 Jesus’es (or 2 groups of authors). One is the “Jewish Yeshua” that they like and the other is a Greek/Roman Iesous or Jesus that they think is “an invention”, a “lie from the devil”. Most Christians, who believe the NT was written by the disciples of Jesus or the apostles in the 1st century c.e. and who believe the NT is the inerrant word of God, are “trinitarians” and will disagree with you that Jesus is not God. You do seem to base your opinion of Jesus on extra-biblical writings (3rd century) and not on what the NT literally and clearly says. Your disagreement with other Christians seems to be based upon which verses you “pick and choose” versus which ones they “favor and pick”.

    And it is highly improbable that you will see Jesus in the “OT”, unless you have first accepted some belief of a “divine” Jesus in the NT. The OT doesn’t teach about a divine “son” of God “to be sent”. The sons are human kings or are a nation of humans. Jesus as a “prophet” or as “one sent” or as a “messiah” would be no more and often much less noteworthy than a King Saul or a prophet Malachi. And, no, much of the “old” does not “point to the new”. There are more verses in the “old”, that warns against and even condemns some beliefs that may be found in the new, rather than those that “point to the new”. There is more “bad fruit” than the “trinitarian fruit” off of the “Jesus tree”. But, the “tree analogy” of Jesus is a bad one, because both good and bad fruit can come from both good or bad trees. Even on the same tree. And even the best of fruit can go bad. And if you believe Jesus was “the only human who perfectly followed God’s will without error”, you have not truly read the NT and you have a naive, biased, or perhaps even a perverse definition of “perfect”, “without error”, and “God’s will”. Where is it in the OT that we “honor and follow his “son”” in the sense of “following Jesus”? Are you not also God’s son? Why show indirect love, praise, or worship of God by “following a human”?

    Why follow a human instead of having faith in God? BTW, since God can be faithful to us, the usual NT and Christian definition of “faith” misses the mark.

    • David says:

      There are plenty of valid criticisms of Christianity as an institution. The same can be said of Judaism. There are those individuals who have misrepresented, misunderstood, and/or misused God’s law and instructions to man in both religions sometimes intentionally for personal gain of some sort and sometimes unintentional. It happens in all religions.
      When I read the bible I only see one Jesus, not two or more, one messiah which already came in the man Jesus, and I also see that the messiah and Jesus are one and the same. That’s based on the old as well as the new testaments.
      As you stated and I also stated in an earlier post, most Christians don’t agree with me that this point that Jesus is not God. I don’t believe he is God, he never claimed to be God. Others read the same bible and see it but I don’t. I have read that about 10% of Christians are not Trinitarians but I really don’t know if that’s accurate or not.
      Bad fruit of any sort including the trinity is not traced back to the messiah Jesus but rather others who have misinterpreted his words or misunderstood him in some way and also have misunderstood the old testament. The early Christians did not believe in the trinity as many or most Christians do today. As you know many of the original Christians were devout Jews who believed that the messiah had come and believed in one God and would never have believed in anything but one God. A trinity concept would have been the furthest thing from there concept of the messiah and his relation with God. Just as God and the profits can’t be blamed for how some people have misused scripture and have at times lead the Israelites astray, neither can Jesus be blamed for the same injustice. The tree of Judaism is God and his servants. The tree of Christianity is the same God and the same servants to also include Jesus the messiah, God’s son. Both are good trees and produce only good fruit. Bad fruit has come about to both Judaism and Christianity NOT because of or through the good trees but as explained earlier because of people not following Gods word and thus going astray.

  58. David says:

    Since your blog post, Christianity Unmasked is quite lengthy, I think I’ll just comment on smaller parts of it when I have the time to do so. So starting at the beginning of your post with your introductions:

    To “speak ill of Christianity and its founder” in itself I think shows a probable misunderstanding of the relation between Christianity now days and its founders by linking the bad now with the good that appeared on the scene 2000 years ago. Of course the spiritual founder is God himself; Jesus, one of your fellow Jews was his agent in that task and did nothing without God’s authority. He was helped by other Godly Jews to spread the truth. Modern day Christianity for about the last 1500 years has suffered from the same problems that Judaism has suffered throughout its history in that there are those within with power who think they have all the answers and do not tolerate thought that challenges the status quo. Historically in both Christianity and Judaism we have even put to death those who take an alternative view from that of the established power brokers. In the beginning things got off to a good start with Christianity, holding firmly to the truth and providing God’s people and gentiles alike an honest alternative from the Jewish hypocrites in power at that time 2000 ago.

    If we put Judaism to the same test as Christianity it fails miserably as well. The bible is full of examples; here’s one: Jeremiah 7:23 – but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you that it may go well with you. But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward. From the time your forefathers left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets. But they did not listen to me or pay attention. They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their forefathers.

    And that’s pretty much how Jesus found things when God sent him to show the world a better way as opposed to the backsliding hypocritical ways of the Pharisee of his day. But eventually man’s backsliding ways have entered into Christianity as well so that both Christianity and Judaism suffer the same fate.

    Here’s another example in Jeremiah of how those administering and guiding Judaism have mixed God’s truth with lies: Jeremiah 8:8 How can you say, We are wise for we have the law of the Lord, when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?

    Your criticisms of Christianity are true and equally applicable to Judaism, but it wasn’t that way from the beginning for either. If both get back to their roots, there is hope. Christianity is nothing more than a continuation and fulfillment of Judaism, or I should say how Judaism was meant from the beginning, not how it turned out to be with all of the lies and backsliding. Jesus came to refocus that light and show the way as God’s shepherd to his people and the gentiles.

    Nothing Jesus said contracts even the least among God’s holy scriptures. On the contrary he upheld, lived, and defended every bit of God’s word to the end of his earthly life. And this is why he was rewarded and exalted by God himself and despised by his fellow Jews in power and now sits at the right hand of God almighty and awaits God’s plan to send him back to earth.

    • David
      God always preserved His covenant amongst the Jewish people as He promised – I am not sure if you noticed but it was the Jewish people who canonized the book of Jeremiah – show me a Christian community that canonized a book that criticizes them. God never promised to preserve the Christian community – on the contrary – He promised to eradicate the false prophets.

  59. David says:

    On the issue of the exaltation of Jesus and the sermon on the mount:

    You wrote in part: “The author of the book of Matthew presents the Sermon on the Mount not so much as a teaching on how to live a moral life but as an argument for the superiority of Jesus.”

    The superiority of Jesus and God can never be separated since Jesus is God’s Christ. Any teaching that comes from God implies if not stated directly that his Christ is superior to all. Everything from God flows through his Christ.

    You are also right to pick up on the fact that Jesus in the sermon on the mount is associated with the truth because Jesus, the Son of God, IS the truth. His Father, his God, the creator, the eternal God of Abraham, IS the truth and the origin of all truth. Jesus gets his truth from God who is the source. There is no truth without his Christ because all grace and truth flow through the Christ. God’s Christ says only what he hears from the Father and does only what he sees his Father do. He does nothing on his own outside the will of God. This is because the Christ and the Father are one in purpose and God’s Christ does his will without error or defect in perfect obedience. No one has the Father without the Son. The way to the Father is through the Son. Said another way, it is God’s will that the name of his Christ be attached to truth which comes from God. The Son does not glorify himself but is glorified by his Father. Therefore if you want the Father you must accept the Son that being God’s will and thus the Son is glorified.

    Christ is greater than all except God himself as God has exalted him to that position to be the name above every name, King of kings for ever more. Nothing in creation has or ever will be greater than Christ. So, since he is in God and God in him, the believer such as myself accurately reads all that Christ did and said as if God himself said it, that being God’s will for all to be saved.

    John 1:17 reads: For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

    So When Jesus speaks to me it has the weight of God, just as the law once had. Said another way, his words are the words of God, or God’s Word, or the Word of Christ and the Word of God are one and the same.

    • Larry says:

      Mat 5:18 contained within the Sermon included within chapters 5 and 7. Now I’ll read verse 18 ” For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Yahshua is affirming for you and me that the Torah is still legally binding upon us as the standard of life in Him. He underscores this affirmation by telling us that not one jot or tittle shall pass away from the Law or Torah until all that the prophets and the Bible predicted and was written about comes to completion, and you and I know that this will not be until the G-d establishes a new heaven and a new earth. Therefore, if we confess to follow Yahshua any other teaching to the contrary must be wrong. The antinomian (anti-law) interpretations of Paul must also be wrong if our Bible is inerrant.
      http://rabdavis.org/sermon_on_the_mount.htm

    • naaria says:

      David, instead of criticizing other people’s religion or talk about their “backsliding”, you may want to first looking at yourself. Why were you dishonoring God and not honoring the Sabbath by writing posts on the Sabbath? Shouldn’t you have been more concerned about celebrating either “Good Friday” or Pesach (Passover) at that time, instead of expressing personal opinions?  You might observe those holidays on the “real days” as determined by humans who are self-proclaimed prophets?   Since the initial post was written over 5 weeks ago & the author was obeying God’s commandments & celebrating Pesach, what was your urgency to respond? Lame excuses similar to the ones Jesus gave when he dishonored the Sabbath and displayed a poor example of leadership? Like when he was in such a rush to get to the next small village, that his hungry disciples, who had not wisely prepared for their Sabbath meals, not only stole food, but worse they and Jesus trampled down a wide path “through the grain fields” without any concern; no apology nor any offer of payment for damages because of their reckless behavior. Or, like when Jesus vandalized, desecrated, a part of the temple in his failed attempt to “cleanse the temple”. Jesus failed to bring about freedom for the Jews. He failed to be a blessed peacemaker, but one thing he claimed was that he came to bring about division and discord. His anger helped to bring about the later destruction of the Temple & great devastation to Jerusalem, the Jewish population, and even to his own followers.

      Christianity is more of a continuation of Jesus than of “Judaism”. It’s “Hebrew or Jewish” roots are relatively minimal for it is more rooted in the soil of Babylon, Greece, Rome, & Egypt. Early Christianity (long before Constantine or a Roman Catholic Church) was barely distinguishable from other pagan religions, myths, or belief systems.

      Jesus teaches a different type of “salvation message, then that which is found in the OT. And Jesus is a different type of “shepherd”. For a “believer” to say that Jesus is a shepherd, yet that he is not responsible for the majority of his sheep, speaks poorly of his abilities or of his heart. If he sits at the “right hand of God” and yet allows 90% of his sheep to go astray and if he “authorizes” his teachers, his preachers, to pervert his teachings, he has no real power or else his power is not meant for good. Might his father be the “devil”, since the NT tempter said he would come back for Jesus? The world was the devil’s to give & somehow Jesus became quite popular and successful for an otherwise “normal man” whose “later” followers have for the most part “perverted his original teachings”. For, Jesus “in heaven” and his followers on earth either taught, encouraged, or failed to prevent the many false doctrines that arose, the many divisions in the churches, the “backsliding”, the “lying pens” of the NT authors or later editors, the “power brokers”, the persecutors and the murderers of Jews and many others. Those bad Christians aren’t “real Christians” is the oft heard excuse. Yet while they obviously are following the NT, they somehow aren’t following the “real Jesus”. Or else his words have no real effect or maybe a negative effect on them.

      It usually winds up that the “real Jesus” that is preached now days is an imaginary Jesus; a Jesus based upon speculation and a hypotheses of an early “1st century Jesus and all his Jewish followers”. This “real Jesus or Yehoshua” is largely unwritten about, but these “modern scholars” know all about him. But that “real Jesus” impressed neither the Jews nor the Romans or many gentiles in Judea or in the Galilee, until a few Roman philosophers told a story of him over 100 years later. If only a small portion of his supposed miracles were real, his fame would have spread like wild fire in months throughout, not only the Roman empire, but all of the “known world”. Since it was so difficult to find a “historical Jesus” or evidence of “early Jewish followers”, then this “period of great silence” has birthed all sorts of theories and speculations about “this messiah” today.

      Most often, the church follows Jesus, not the OT, not Moses, not Judaism, not the Jews. They are his sheep, his fruit, whether you like it or not. Jesus followers say they are Israel, so they do resemble the “backsliding Israel” that the prophets spoke of. But these are not people who “have gone astray”; every word they say is from Jesus or Paul or is in accordance with teachings in the NT. And your beliefs aren’t that far from that of the other “backsliders”. You base your theology on the exact same NT they use. You just are “blind to that “real” Jesus”, those “true teachings” that many of them can see. You just favor different verses for your “real Jesus” and ignore the others. Jesus, in the NT, allowed false teachers to teach and heal in his name, because it was to “his glory”; he would get the credit, if they were successful. Jesus thought that in a short time that they too would become true disciples. You may also want to search on the internet for the words “questioning Paul” and what a Christian says about one of the earliest “Jewish followers” who was hand picked by Christ.

      So the sins & the problems that YOU admit to, are the “bad fruit” from the “Jesus tree”. Jesus is their lord, their teacher. They and the church is his fruit. And you are the fruit of that same church, that same NT. Jesus gets the credit (but the blame from the victims).   So, if Jesus “has to come again” because he failed the 1st time, it would be less because of the “non-Jesus people” (who were always there) than it would be because of the “Jesus people”.

      If you were wondering, I am not a Jew.  For much of my life, I was one of that “10%” you mentioned who could not see Jesus as God and/or who rejected the trinity theory.  You can pray directly to God without going through a human.   Why give a human worship that is meant for God?  Why exalt a dead man (or a fictional character) and take the confused & contradictory word of humans as truth?  Which one of those authors went to heaven & seen Jesus on the “right hand of God”?   God doesn’t need to play-act as a human nor go through a long dead human in order to deal with or relate to us humans. Or alternatively, you appear to be saying God was ignorant of how pagan & superstitious human minds work, and God made a terrible mistake by “sending a messenger” modeled after many of the man-gods of the nations?  God was in such a rush to give us a message (which supposedly had already been given) 1000’s of years before a real messiah will start to fulfill some of the real Biblical prophecies and “go to work” at what a  real promised messiah will is supposed to do.  There was division and there was confusion about the “message” and the “person” even before Jesus died.  It wouldn’t take take 1000’s or even 100’s of years before the message was perverted.  It happened within the first 2 decades.  The NT tells us it was there before the trial of Jesus.  Clearly at the confusion after Jesus’ death.  God would have chosen a wiser, more righteous, more capable leader for his messiah.

    • David
      Show me one verse in the Jewish Bible (Old Testament) that says that no one can approach God without faith in an individual or show me one verse that says that there is no forgiveness for sin without faith in an individual – Jesus’ teachings on these subjects are contrary to God’s teachings on these subjects

      • David says:

        To be honest I have reread your post at least 10 times and I’m still not sure of what you are asking. I mean I know you’re asking for a verse. Are you talking about prophesies of the Messiah and events surrounding his life, death, resurrection, and end times to come? But I you have all that. Or maybe you are asking where does it say the Christ can speak for God? Here’s at least one verse that says God’s Christ will tell us everything He is commanded by God to say. One of those things the Christ told us which He was commanded by God to tell us is that we need to believe, have faith, in the one God sent, his Christ in order to have life. And he also said that he was the fulfillment/embodiment all of the law and the prophets (which is life), and so by believing in Him one was fulfilling the law and the prophets and thus attaining life. In other words Christ is not destroying the law and the prophets he is showing us what they mean. So by following Christ we are following the law and the prophets. And so those of us that believe he is God’s Christ listen (obey) because that’s what God wants us to do in order to have life as stated in Deuteronomy 18. But the final proof that Jesus is what he said was is that God resurrected Him from the dead to eternal life Isaiah 52 and 53 and that his body did not see decay, Psalm 16.

        Deuteronomy 18:18-19 I will rise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account.

        Jesus said paraphrasing: God and I are one, I say only what I hear from my Father and do only what I see him do; on my own I can say and do nothing. Therefore any teaching from Jesus is a teaching from God. In other words it’s what God wants us to listen to Christ so that we can come to God.

        Psalm 40: 6-8 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced (opened), burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come, it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

        The fulfillment here is that Jesus was the last sacrifice as God’s grace to mankind. In other words the law of sacrifice is completed in Christ. So if we keep sacrificing once the law has been shown to us how it is fulfilled in Christ then we nullify the law and God’s Christ and therefore God as well.

        Psalm 110: 1, 4 “The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion ; you will rule in the midst of your enemies. The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”

        Here we have a clue that the end times will not happen immediately after the death and resurrection of His Christ but some time later.

        Psalm 118: 22,23 The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”

        The builders in this case are the hypocritical pharmacies of Jesus’ time. Jesus is not rejecting the law but rather the hypocritical application of it.

        Isaiah 28:16 “See, I Lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.”

        Here we are told we can never go wrong by trusting in God’s anointed precious cornerstone.

        Isaiah 49:6 “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”

        Here we are told that it is God’s Christ that brings salvation (life) and not only that, but to the ends of the earth, not only for God’s people but for the entire world.

        Isaiah 52 the last part and all of 53 but I’ll just put a few lines here:

        He was bruised for our iniquities; and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken; He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many. He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors”

        The death and resurrection: The resurrection is the final proof. I’m not sure what the Christian church in general thinks of this one but to me “By His knowledge” means by Jesus’ knowledge of God to include the law and prophets as greater and more in depth than any other in human history and his application of that in depth knowledge through commands, teachings, and power. To me “justify” is to give life, to save. Intercession is to intercede or mediate between man and God.

        • Larry says:

          My whole life this has been a question that has always bothered me.
          How is it that christians assume that their understanding of the torah/old testament “I:53”
          somehow corrects the very people who wrote it, and have taught it’s meaning to people for years?
          To me this is where replacement theology comes in. I absolutely reject all of the new testament
          starting with christ being the way the truth and the light the sacrificial lamb. All the
          scripture quotes I have ever seen which proport to point to christ are taken out of context.
          Taking scripture out of context is like taking fish out of water. It cannot survive.
          Although it has survived, but only because of faith. Which to me has nothing to do with truth.
          The way things are vs the way we think things are or will be.

      • David says:

        This just popped into my head as something maybe you were getting at in your post to me. Jesus encourages us to have direct access to God. In fact, of the many things He taught, He also taught us to pray directly to God “Our Father in heaven…” So the fact that God sent his Messiah doesn’t mean we are further from God as if His Christ were a road block. But we are closer to God because of His Christ. Some people see the role as intercessor as a road block to be sure, but God didn’t mean it that way.

  60. naaria says:

    Often, authors of the NT use verses from the Jewish Bible which cause a concern about the validity of their interpretation or a question of their motives and veracity.  Their “style” or “method” would not be much cause for concern, if only a relatively small number of verses were involved.  But the more you study the NT, the more troubling it becomes when you begin to perceive a pattern after several dozens of questionable quotations (not to mention noticing other problems with the text or with the philosophy of the authors which often seems in opposition to the authors of the Jewish Bible and their revelation of God).  

    Often, many of the quotes (or allusions) appear to be taken out of context (as 1 person wrote, like “a fish out of water” that wouldn’t survive long without some unnatural or forced effort).  At other times, the literal meaning appears to be rejected for a less rational or more “foreign” interpretation.  Or, the original Hebrew words are mistranslated into Greek or other languages (& often this appears to be intentional not incidental or not out of an “imperfect” knowledge of Hebrew).  Or, the verses are rare or the meaning of certain words are obscure.  

    Someone mentioned Melchizedek (a king & priest) as if he were someone of importance.  He is a very minor person in the Jewish Bible, being so unimportant to God and to the descendants of Abraham, that his name is barely mentioned.  At most, he is mentioned twice. But maybe only once.  In Genesis, he is blesses Abraham after his victory, but he is neither one of the 4 invading kings or the 5 defending kings.  His name is sort of an interjection in a “paragraph” about the king of Sodom. 

    One study bible states that the name “Melchizedek” means either “My king is Sidqu (a Canaanite god)” or it means “King of righteousness (or rightfulness)” or “Righteous (or rightful, legitimate) king”.   He is mentioned again in Psalm 110, but, according to another study bible, that depends upon whether “malki-tzedek” is understood as two common nouns ‘(a rightful king)’ or as a personal name.  It is sometimes translated according to the first definition, which seems more valid, because Ps. 110 is a “royal psalm”.  And, it is difficult to be sure in Gen 14, whether Melchizedek is a priest of Abram’s God or of one of another ancient Near Eastern deity.

    Ps. 110 is a royal psalm; “an oracle giving the king priestly functions and prerogatives (cf. 2 Sam 6.13–14, 18; 8.18; 24.25; 1 Kings  3.4; 8.14, 5.5.”  It is difficult to understand, because the psalm changes speakers often and some parts like v.3 are obscure. Young’s Literal Translation is not a good translation here, but v.1 reads “The affirmation of Jehovah to my Lord” (Lord is understood as a human “master” or a “human king”.) (plus, it would make no sense that a human King David, or the Psalmist, is in on a conversation in “heaven” between God and a “future messiah”).  Here, God is speaking to the king, called ‘my lord’.  Now, while verses 1-2 expresses the great power of the king, they also emphasize that the power comes from God, not the human king (nor any “messiah”).  In verses 5-6, God defeats the enemies of the king. Verses 5-7 assures the new king that it is God’s own power, God’s guidance, and God’s judgment that will assure victory in battles.  The human king is “nothing without God” (the king is almost a “puppet” and really is unnecessary to God or to God’s plans).  But, to some people (influenced by foreign or other non-Jewish Bible sources), Psalm 110 appears to show God as sort of “playing second fiddle” to his subject/”messiah” (or at least, some greater and lesser god, or some type of divine hierarchy, instead of a human-to-God relationship). 

  61. David
    The commandment to obey the prophet is balanced by teh commandment to DISOBEY the false prophet – as it is with any question of application of God’s law – we are referred to the qualified arbitrators of the law. They taught us that Jesus was a false prophet. If you don’t believe them or of you don’t accept their qualifications – then please reject their decision about Jeremiah and Isaiah as well – remember it was teh Jewish arbitrators of the law that canonized the words of those prophets.
    My question to you was – find me one verse that says that you need faith in an individual for atonement or for salvation. Look the ingathering of teh Jewish exiles is associated with teh Messianic era openly and unequivocally – please find one verse about faith in an individual that is clear and open.

    • David says:

      Thanks for the clarification.

      I see the point of your question now. I’ll take your word for it that such a verse does not exist. Why would it, since it is in line with other contrived standards and false claims made about Jesus during his time on earth which were designed specifically to refute the claims of Jesus and to preserve the status quo.

      The standard from God to distinguish between true and false prophets is provided in Deuteronomy 18.
      21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’— 22 (AC)when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; (AD)the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.

      So we can disagree about whether or not the words of Jesus have come true, that is a separate question.

      But God’s Word is directed to all of us and especially here in Deuteronomy, not just to a select few self-appointed ungodly arbitrators motivated by a self-serving desire to preserve the status quo.

      The canonization process was an invention manipulated by the power brokers of Jesus’ time out of fear of losing their secure and comfortable positions in Jewish society. It had everything to do with preserving the status quo and nothing to do with God. Furthermore, the cannon of scripture is what it is not because it was canonized by those in power but because it was already in widespread use for many centuries. In other words first came the use then came the stamp of approval in the canonization process.

      The canonizing power brokers then claimed around the turn of the second century that all inspiration from God had ceased which was designed to specifically exclude any writings from the new sect, the followers of Jesus, which was spreading like wild fire. They also excluded the Greek translation of the Hebrew bible which had been in wide spread use for approximately 250 years before Jesus by Greek speaking Jews. Paul, after his conversion was going all over Asia using the Greek translation and talking to Jews about Jesus showing them in the Greek translation how Jesus fulfilled the prophesies and was the promised Messiah.

      According to Michael Barber in “Loose Canons: The Development of the Old Testament (Part 1)” :
      “one thing that is clear about the canonical process used by the rabbis is that it was motivated in part by an anti-Christian bias.”

      So to continue from the Word of God then in Mathew 5:24
      “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”

      • Iti'El says:

        Well then maybe “Thank God” for “anti-Christian bias”. For that pro-Bible bias has kept the words of the text and the “canon” before Jesus (Qumran texts) pretty much intact and pure. Definitely much more than the Greek texts and Christian canons. For every book that you can cite, there might be dozens he can cite. The canonization of the New Testament is an abysmal, unholy mess. That Christian bias has spawned numerous heresies, numerous frauds, numerous forgeries, some of which the New Testament writers themselves also attest. And you believe the lies of their lying pens. Numerous gospels, numerous letters, several books of acts of the apostles, numerous apocalypses. Which ones of those with the real words of Jesus do you reject? Numerous alterations, deletions and additions to not only the New Testament, but to the original “bible” that Jesus would have used as part of his canon, his true word of God. We don’t know what Jesus said in Hebrew or Aramaic or Greek, because his words were written by man many decades or even centuries after his death. Abominations spawned by a pro-Jesus bias.

      • David
        You say the process began with the community accepting the book – to quote you “it was in widespread use for many centuries” – it is precisely that process that I refer to when I say the “canonization process” – Which community recognized the holiness of these books and why? furthermore – why do you care that this community saw these books as holy? why not go to the Hindu and Moslem communities and find out which books they consider holy?
        One more question – who gets to determine if the arbitrators of the law are corrupt or not? Should I take your word for it? should I take the words of the authors whose writings spawned the Inquisition and the Crusades?

      • Larry says:

        “So to continue from the Word of God then in Mathew 5:24”
        Shouldn’t that be John 5:24?

  62. David says:

    Yourphariseefriend:

    I have the same problem with your group of Jewish arbitrators as I have with my group of Christian arbitrators in that they are not going to stand in my place when God calls me personally to account as He promised to do in Deuteronomy as noted in the previous post.

    Let’s assume for the moment that I have it all wrong and I’ve been listening to a false prophet either on account I’ve submitted to the will of Christian arbitrators or I just stupidly get it wrong all on my own. When God holds me to account will God hold me guiltless if I say: Well, the Christians that held the power and claimed to know the truth, they deceived me.” Isn’t that basically the excuse that Eve tried to use in the Garden of Eden, that the Devil deceived her?

    On the other hand, If it turns out that Jesus really is God’s true prophet and I decide not to listen to him anymore because I submit to your Jewish arbitrators what’s going to be my defense when I’m called to account by God himself? I can’t very well say: “Well God, your people the Jews that you put here gave me the idea that he was a false prophet and I accepted their claim.” Isn’t that basically the excuse that Adam tried using? Adam listened to his wife and God said, paraphrasing, I gave you a direct order and you violated it.

    So attempts to shift the blame don’t work with God and since they don’t work I’m just going to make my own decisions about God regardless of arbitrators, Jewish or Christian who can’t stand in my place before God.

    So, I don’t believe in a triune God either. But I did for quite a long time. Then I heard arguments against the triune belief. I then came to my own decision in my own God given brain after comparing both arguments and checking into it on my own and came down on the side of one God. So I live or die on my decision, I can’t shift the blame if I get it wrong. And it is the same with listening to Jesus. I’ve heard both sides of the argument. So far I haven’t heard anything that would make me say to myself maybe I’ve got it wrong. Actually, based on what I’ve heard so far regarding arguments for and against, the case just keeps getting stronger for Jesus.
    Don’t think that I hold Christianity guiltless. For the last 1700 years approximately it has been hijacked in significant ways and has attempted to control its members with in some cases the same or similar strong arm tactics employed by the Jews in power 2000 years ago against Jesus and other Jewish followers of His. Although in recent years things are starting to open up to allow dialog and an exchange of ideas within Christiandom.

    • David
      God set up the Jewish community as a witness community to testify to the truth of the true prophets – God set up the system of arbitrators of His Law through Moses and He commanded us to obey them – Deuteronomy 17 and 2Chronicles 29 – when you listen to those arbitrators – you are obeying God – when you reject them you are obeying the serpent – remember – Eve only knew about God’s command from Adam – God uses His appointed witnesses to teach you His law

      • David says:

        Nothing in your references to Deuteronomy 17 and 2Chroicles 29 negates, changes, amends or alterers in any way God’s command and instructions in Deuteronomy 18 regarding His prophet. Specifically, Deuteronomy 17 deals with among other things: “… If cases come before your courts that are too difficult for you to judge – whether bloodshed, lawsuits or assaults – take them to the place the Lord your God will choose. Go to the priests, who are Levites, and to the judge who is in office at that time. …” Matters of bloodshed, lawsuits or assaults in the courts is an out of context application to the matter in Deuteronomy 18 which is God’s prophet and His instructions regarding how to determine who is and who isn’t His prophet. Likewise your reference to 2Chronicles 29 is taken out of context and misapplied as it deals the historical fact that: “…the service of the temple of the Lord was reestablished.”

        So then, we are back to where is the authority for disregarding God’s command and instruction in Deuteronomy 18? Where does it say we must go to the arbitrators to decide this matter when He clearly states otherwise with the following God given standard of: “… If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.”

        The point on Eve is well taken but misapplied as well. I’ll address it later as it will take more time.

    • naaria says:

      You haven’t studied hard enough yet. Your sense of history and of Jews or Judaism has been colored, rather greatly influenced, by the same Christianity, the same “hijacked” NT that you accepted for so long and now see a major flaw with. That NT didn’t begin “1700 years ago”, it supposedly was over 1950 years ago. That is a big gap, the history of which you know so little of. But modern “arbitrators” are preaching their speculations on that period. That is part of the new “blame game”. These modern apologists are trying to hold on to their beliefs about a man-god, an idol, by altering the “story a bit” and by altering the “triune theology”. But the “trinity” is not the big problem with Jesus or “Yeshua” or “Yahshua” or whoever. Since I never accepted the trinity or Jesus as God, it is not the reason that I reject Jesus as messiah or Christ or anointed one or prophet or teacher.

  63. David
    I made a mistake – I meant to 2Chronicles 19 (specifically verses 10 and 11) which paraphrase Deuteronomy 17 and make it clear that any question of God’s Law is to be taken to the arbitrators – Since the office of prophecy is under jurisdiction of the Law (the Law instructs us to listen to the true prophet and to execute the false one) – it would follow that when a controversy arises concerning the application of the Law concerning a prophet – we should take the question to the arbitrators. According to your understanding of the Law – who should decide such controversies?

    • David says:

      Again, it is out of context; doesn’t apply. Nothing in 2 Chronicles 19 replaces or supersedes God’s direct command to us in Deuteronomy 18. As in the other reference you cited it deals with judging or deciding disputes between MEN. I have no dispute with you in the sense of bloodshed or other concerns of the law, commands, decrees or ordinances. If you want to let your arbitrators decide for you then go ahead. And even if I did agree to let them decide those cases for me, that fact would not negate the command from God to me in Deuteronomy 18. The order from God and the question at hand (to listen or not to listen to the prophet) is between God and each man as it is stated in Deuteronomy 18, not between man and man as you are framing it. Man to man disputes are another matter. God states that I will have to give an account to Him, not his arbitrators for the matter of listening or not listening to the prophet. If as you suggest, this is not the case and your arbitrators replaced the relation between God and man then there would be no need for scripture or God for that matter. We could all just ignore the scripture and what it is telling us and go to a Catholic or Jewish arbitrator for example to tell us who to listen to and who not to listen to. I’m sure that would make those in power very happy indeed. But that is not what God tells us to do.

      But I think we’re just rehashing the same argument over and over. Let’s move on:

      “Remember – Eve only knew about God’s command from Adam – God uses His appointed witnesses to teach you His law”

      You raise an interesting argument about what Eve knew and how she knew it. That then leads us to several more profound questions which may be applied to humanity. What is the role of the prophet Adam in this case, and in our specific case the role of Jesus and our responsibilities and relationship to God through Jesus.
      Eve received direct instructions and blessings from God which she received jointly with Adam from God when God blessed them both and gave them both instructions to be fruitful, etc. We also receive instructions from scripture. Here it is clear that Eve had at least part of the plan as do we, but not as much as Adam. Eve believed Adam that his information had come from God. However, because Adam had given her inaccurate and misleading information about God’s command, Eve did not have the complete picture for God’s plan, as did Adam. She therefore was at a severe disadvantage in carrying out God’s plan, but it was still possible. God punished her only for those duties which she failed at which came directly from God to her and Adam jointly. She was not punished for failing at the misinformation told her from Adam and the Devil. In short, Eve was not punished for eating the fruit; only Adam was punished for that. God to Adam: “Because you (Adam) listened to your wife and ate form the tree about which I commanded you, …”

      Eve had everything backwards from Adam regarding God’s command of not eating from the tree in question. Where God was specific to Adam, Adam was general to Eve, where God was general, Adam was specific, where God didn’t add anything, Adam added false information, and where God included critical information, Adam deleted and replaced or just deleted.

      Let’s examine Eve’s confusion of the facts which she received from Adam as we learn from her discourse with the Devil.

      Command from God to Adam:
      “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; …”
      Adam’s misinformation to Eve as Eve understood it:
      “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, …”

      Here Eve mistakenly believes that they are limited to just the fruit of the trees. But God never limited us to just the fruit.

      Command from God to Adam:
      “but, you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
      Adam’s misinformation to Eve as Eve understood it:
      “but God did say, You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, …”

      There are several problems here and something good. Here we see something good and true that Eve rightly believes that Adam has heard from God directly “but God did say” however, two problems immediately follow. First, the name of the tree “knowledge of good and evil” is omitted by Adam and instead he replaces the specific with the general “in the middle of the garden” which is inadequate because there are two trees in the middle of the garden and only one is forbidden. Also, not knowing the name of the tree deprived Eve of critical information about the character of the tree in question and placed her at a disadvantage in her discourse with the Devil.

      The second and most critical problem we find here is that Adam added false information which if put to the test would not, could not have come true. He, Adam was therefore by definition, a false prophet to Eve. Adam added “and you must not touch it, …” However Eve mistakenly believed the false information from Adam. Had Eve simply held the fruit and broken it open, checked for seeds, and after determining that there were no seeds not eaten it, she would have been fine. Or if she simply just touched it and did not eat of it knowing nothing of the seeds she still would have been fine. But Eve’s reasoning was misguided through Adam’s deception and with the deception of the Devil that any lies or misinformation must have come from God himself. The danger of adding false information comes to fruition when Eve touches the forbidden fruit. She doesn’t die when she touches the fruit as she mistakenly believed God had warned, as Adam told her, so she therefore mistakenly has no fear in eating the for bidden fruit either. But, as we know, it is only the eating and not the touching that is forbidden.

      Command from God to Adam:
      “for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
      Adam’s misinformation to Eve:
      “or you will die”
      Here we see that Adam leaves off a key word “surely”. If God himself warns us that “surely” something will happen then we’d better pay attention and understand he told us “surely” for a reason. And that reason in this case is because God wants us to know that death is a certainty; that what is warned will happen, no doubt about it.

      So therefore, Adam has in effect deemphasized God’s warning; Adam has downplayed the potential pitfalls of violating God’s word.

      In conclusion then, Adam was a false prophet to Eve because he didn’t pass the test of the prophet in Deuteronomy 18. The message of God was given to him, but did not pass through his lips to Eve. Adam also fails the second test of Deuteronomy 18; what he said as far as “death from touching the fruit” was impossible to come true. The death came about from Adam’s eating; touching was irrelevant. Eve was punished not because she didn’t listen to Adam and violated “Adam’s word”, and was deceived by both the Devil and Adam, but because she didn’t listen to God himself when He blessed them and told them to “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Eve received that command with her own ears directly from God himself. Had Eve followed god’s directive she would have been too busy having babies, gathering food, separating human food from animal food, ruling over serpents and other animals that came into the Garden rather than being ruled by them.

      • David
        Yuo didn’t read 2Chronicles 19:11 – where the high priest is pointed to as the address for ALL matters of God. – I am not talking of supersession of the commandment – I am talking about applying the commandment. The judges of Israel rejected Jesus on the basis of God’s guidance not in violation of God’s law – see https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/non-prophet/
        One more point – Luke 19:44 has Jesus predicting one stone not left upon another – the Western Wall is still there
        Did Eve have Deuteronomy 18 to guide her?

      • naaria says:

        Jesus also was an arbitrator.  He decided there was only 1 way to get to God;  all needed to go through “his court”.  He overruled God in several places, including “no one had to be sent down”.  And although he may have said several “Judge nots”, he also in Luke 12:57 said, “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?”. Of course, “judging for yourselves” and having self-proclaimed “prophets” supposedly “hearing from the holy ghost or God” has led to great division within “the church or body of Christ” & to led to the growth of thousands of “one ways” or “true churches” (Independent churches vs. Protestant vs. Catholic; churches of the lord vs churches of the devil; Jesus the “Christ” vs. Jesus “the Jew”;  “Hebrew Yeshua” vs. “Greek” Jesus, etc.  Many decide for themselves which words of Jesus they will follow and which ones they won’t.

        All that came later.  What some people don’t like is that many Jews (& non-Jews) who supposedly knew Jesus first hand, face-to-face (and what happened later) decided he was a poor teacher and false prophet and he failed to be a messiah.  Instead of being a “real healer”, he was a “divider”.  “Real” Jews, who knew Israel’s history & knew the Word of God (Deut 13: & 18:), (not the stereotyped, “fake literary Jews” of the NT), would not have been surprised at a “prophet” with the power of “healing”, or doing “tricks”.  But it wasn’t just the “learned” Jews who saw no reason to “follow” Jesus.  Jesus failed to make much of an impression on the Romans as well. 

        In 1 Cor 6:2, we read “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels—to say nothing of ordinary matters?”

        So, we see the NT does not reject arbitrators either.  They just had different standards (not based mainly on the Tanach), but on the traditions of man that the Christians & Hellenized Jews were used to?  They can judge trivial cases & they can judge “angels of “God”.  

      • Larry says:

        I thought the first person the bible mentions as a prophet was Abraham. How can adam fail any test before it was written?

      • naaria says:

        The story of Adam & Eve can be read literally or interpreted several different ways.  We don’t know what Adam told Eve, if anything, so blaming Adam may be misplaced.  It appears, from what Eve & the serpent say, that God may have spoken to Eve directly.  We know Adam got the original word, the “OT” or “old testament”.  So if Adam told Eve, Adam may have taught incorrectly or else maybe Eve, totally on her own, misinterpreted the “original words of God”.  She had a “new testament” that took the “OT” original out of context or was mis-interpreted or was added to.  That was Eve’s error.  She listened to a tricky, false prophet (Deut 13), a created being not the creator, a “son” and not her father, one who “re-interpreted God” (“surely God….”) without true authority.  Then she went on a mission.  Adam’s error was that, instead of sticking with the original or “old word” of God, he listened to Eve the missionary and her “new word”.

  64. David says:

    Pharisee friend:

    I believe that’s an out of context misreading of 2 Chronicles 19:11.

    Here God is placing the emphasis on dividing the duties and responsibilities between two men so that one man does not step on the toes of the other man and so that the people know where to bring their complaints and who has legitimate authority over their particular case depending on whether it concerns the Lord or whether it concerns the King.

    God is not stating that ALL authority lies in these two men of course. You have to read it in its context as with everything. Verses 8 – 10 set up the immediate context – which is to settle disputes between MEN. “… to administer the law and settle disputes. … in every case that comes before you from your FELLOW CONTRYMEN who live in the cities. …”

    But I go back to my earlier statement that even if one were to disagree with my reading of it, nothing in 2 Chronicles or Deuteronomy negates God’s order for me to listen to his prophet.

    Eve didn’t have Deuteronomy 18, but God’s original intent was to have Adam and Eve work together to fulfill his plan for them and mankind although each had obviously different “tools” and duties to do the job assigned. God took Adam whom He had formed from the ground and placed him in the Garden He had planted to “work it and take care of it”. So that then would include taking care of anything added to the Garden such as Eve. Eve on the other hand was made from Adam, not directly from the ground and presented to Adam who was in the garden to be his “suitable helper”; Adam’s suitable helper in God’s plan to be fruitful and increase in number … etc. Eve knew that she was the late comer, that Adam had received instruction directly from God, that Adam knew more that her, such as the names of all the animals, and most importantly that Adam had an ongoing direct working relationship with God which Eve did not share to the extent that Adam did.

    God did give Eve a blessing and a direct order together with Adam which she heard with her own ears. And she was punished for violating that order which she heard directly from God. She was not punished for violating Adams misinformation. However, she did suffer because of Adam’s rebellion in addition to her own. She failed to be fruitful and increase in number, she failed to rule over the animal, the serpent, and she failed to eat from only the plants and trees that had fruit with seed in it. She failed at everything she was told directly from God himself.

    Eve’s punishment tells us what she failed at just as Adam’s punishment tells us what he failed at. Eve would give birth to children with pain, she would be ruled by her husband, and her desire would be for her husband who would deliver Gods word to her rather than as previously in feeding a desire for knowledge from “outside information” from the Devil and Adam with regards to the menu.

    Adam’s punishment was all about the menu and returning to dust which relates directly back to the command given from God to Adam alone.

    Before the fall Eve was not held completely at fault for not listening to Adam. After the fall she was bound tightly to Adam in a different way than before being that she now desired him and that she was now under his rule.

    The lesson is that originally they were supposed to work together each with different duties to achieve the goal. But they proved they were not yet ready to do that. Adam developed an animosity towards Eve but concealed it in his misinformation to her regarding God’s command. After God’s blessing to both Adam and Eve, Adam viewed her as a 3rd wheel interfering in his relation with God. Adam did not realize that he would always have a direct and special solitary working relation with God apart from Eve.

    Eve was not jealous of Adam’s special position with God but because of the misinformation from Adam and the Devil and her lack of getting on with her duties and Adam’s lack of getting on with his work she developed a desire for knowledge apart from God which she later tried to share with Adam when she gave him the fruit.

    • David
      I said nothing about NEGATING the commandment from Deuteronomy 18 – my point is that the priests are to settle disputes – aren’t we having a dispute now? The fact that the verse in Chronicles uses the words ALL matters of God would indicate that their role is to arbitrate in ALL matters. This supported by Leviticus 10:10,11 and Ezekiel 44:23,24.
      My point with Adan and Eve was that Eve was never directly commanded by God not to eat from the forbiden tree – God untrusted a feeble human messenger to teach her that law and she was supposed to obey him – because God trusted that messenger. – Today we have no way of evaluating the claims of Jesus – all we have to go with is the word of God’s witnesses

      • yitro says:

        Rabbi B, I think it is worth highlighting your Ezekiel 44 reference.

        a) the church maintains the Levitical has been replaced by the Melchizedek priesthood, which is of course, Jsus. This is in direct conflict with Ezek 44. So, I would say to my christian friends, who is in error Ezekiel or the unknown author of Hebrews?

        b) They Levites will “teach the people the difference between the profane and the unprofane”….Paul says all things are lawful (just not edifying)….Ezekiel says otherwise. And it is the Levites who teach? The church teaches messiah ben David is THE priest. Shouldnt messiah be the one who teaches?

        c) The Levites, will keep the law, obey the statutes, feasts and Sabbaths….all contrary to the Pauline teachings of the church… Clearly in the messianic era the law is in full effect. How can this be if the man from Nazareth was the once-for-all sacrifice?

  65. Mark Leavenworth says:

    Very nice writing and a wonderful effort!

    Whatever is good and true is one and the same, whereas there are many kinds and forms of corrupting the pure and the true. So there are as many forms and kinds of corruption in any organization as there are forms and kinds of sin.

    “According to the teachers of Christianity one must fully commit his or her soul to Jesus in order to be allowed into a relationship with God.” What the teaching is, or should be, is that through a personal relationship with Jesus, one is fully able to commit his or her soul to God.

    What we agree on most is the equality of all in the eyes of the Creator. He loves each of us with equally infinite care and sin is equally the barrier between each of us and Him.

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