Response to Gil Torres

Response to Gil Torres

http://roundrockministry.blogspot.com/2012/06/christianity-unmasked.html#comment-form

It has come to my attention that one Gil Torres has taken exception to my article entitled “Christianity Unmasked”. In an article of his own Torres attempts to respond to a number of points that I raise in the aforementioned article. I would like to thank Mr. Torres for giving me the opportunity and the context to bring greater clarity to these important issues.

 

Torres labels the belief of Judaism in the Creator of heaven and earth and Israel’s loyalty to her God with the term: “unbelief”. The usage of such terminology distorts the essence of the discussion. By labeling the Jewish position that refuses to attribute divinity to Jesus as “unbelief”, the discussion is cast in the mold of a discussion as to whether we do believe or do not believe in the supposed divinity of Jesus. This is false. The discussion does not begin with the advent of Jesus. The discussion begins with the loyalty that God demanded before Jesus ever walked the earth. Did that loyalty allow for the direction of devotion towards a human? Or did the loyalty to God that existed before the birth of Jesus leave no room for devotion to a human. What was the foundation of our worship before the advent of Christianity and did that foundation change? Could that foundation change? This is the discussion.  https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/foundation-of-worship-iii/

https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/forms-of-communication/

https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/deuteronomy-173-and-the-bedrock-of-existence/

 

I have presented the argument that the literary tools that Matthew uses give Jesus the appearance of one who originates universal truths that were unheard of before Jesus uttered them. I pointed to the fact that Matthew uses the teaching of these universal truths, not so much as a guide for Godly behavior or as an exaltation of the principles of justice and charity but rather as an exaltation of the man Jesus.

 

Torres claims that my argument is weak and unnecessary. He goes on to say that he has asserted that Jesus taught very little that was new.

 

But Torres did not address the words of Matthew. Is the Sermon on the Mount not presented by Matthew as an exaltation of Jesus rather than an exaltation of the teachings he is propounding or is it not? What does Matthew mean with the expression: “you have heard that it was said to them of old time… but I say to you”? How has that expression been understood by the readers of Matthew’s words for the past two millennia?

 

Torres goes on to say: “When our convictions meet or exceed those of the originator have we not effectively made those truths our own so as to live and die by them?” If I understood him correctly he is implying that because Jesus’ convictions concerning the universal truths exceeded those of the originator of these truths then he could rightly call them his own.

 

The originator of the universal truths is the Creator of heaven and earth and no one can “exceed” the convictions of the originator of these truths.

 

In response to my assertion that the Church teaches that belief in Jesus generates a certain righteousness in man that is unavailable without devotion to Jesus, Torres writes: “IT IS NOT that non-Christians cannot do good. It is not that they cannot do righteousness. Furthermore, it is not that they fail to DO good or DO righteousness. Rather, it is that the good they do and the righteousness they do is according to a righteousness in accordance with their own standard.”

 

However you want to word it the upshot is that this doctrine asserts that Christians are intrinsically different than non-Christians in the righteousness that they do or do not do. This is a dangerous fallacy and has no support from the words of the prophets of God. My arguments in “Christianity Unmasked” remain unaffected by Torres’ rewording of this Christian teaching.

 

I wrote that Israel was “trustworthy enough to establish the credibility of her covenant with God, her prophets and her Messianic vision”.

 

Torres challenges me with the question: “What does “trustworthy enough to establish the credibility” mean? Your statement does bring to my remembrance the admonition of God to Israel that He had not chosen them because of piety, goodness or anything God deems favorable. Rather, Israel was chosen because of God’s was faithfulness to his promise to Abraham.”

 

My point about Israel’s trustworthiness is not a point about Israel’s piety; it is a point about the way God chose to operate. It was He who chose this nation as His witnesses (Isaiah 43:10). You could reject their testimony by throwing out their Scriptures or you can accept it and realize that devotion to Jesus is idolatry; but you can’t honestly do both at the same time.

 

In “Christianity Unmasked” I stated that: “According to the Jewish Bible, the deification of any inhabitant of God’s earth is idolatry, the greatest rebellion against God.”

 

Torres seems to agree with me this time; however, he attributes certain motivations to me thus deflecting the discussion.  Here are Torres’ words: “This is certainly a true statement. Yet, as true and noble as it may make us sound or make us appear it is not to say there is much or any degree of appreciation for one of your key points: Man was created in the image of God.” Torres goes on to “remind” me that Israel sinned against God by worshipping idols.

 

This will come as a shock to Torres but I did not write the statement in order to make myself “appear noble”. I am well aware of my own faults and the faults of my nation. I wrote that statement simply in order to encourage myself and others to avoid the sin of idolatry and to constantly grow stronger in our absolute devotion to God. As we progress in our devotion to God all other considerations such as Jesus, Buddha, the desire for honor and wealth all fade away into the background.

 

Torres goes on to assert that the alleged resurrection of Jesus confirmed his claims to deity.

 

The fact is that according to the Jewish Bible no miracle, no matter how spectacular, can confirm anyone’s claim for deity.

https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/12/30/dr-brown-volume-4/

(Please see point # 5 in my critique of Dr. Brown’s volume 4 for an expanded treatment of this subject.)

 

In “Christianity Unmasked” I expose the tactic of the Church when it claims that the Messianic promise is exclusively reserved for those who are devoted to Jesus. Torres seems to be bothered by this argument. He responds with the following paragraph: “This statement struck me as peculiar until I read the rest of your article. A message of exclusivity does not play well in our present world. The world wants to be safe, as in professing trust in God in accordance with a particular tenet of faith, while being open to anything and everything. This is the way to absolve oneself both from the need to understand, teach and tougher still, to correct.”

 

Torres did not address my point at all. The Jewish prophets openly declare that the Messianic promise will unite all of mankind in the service of God (Zephaniah 3). Torres has no response to this. Instead he charges that the desire to avoid exclusivity is a way to absolve oneself of the need to understand, teach, and be corrected. Torres could not be more wrong. It is the Church’s teaching on exclusivity which has “absolved” them from the desire to understand and be corrected. When one is convinced that they already possess the exclusive ticket to heaven; why should they bother trying to understand? It is only when we acknowledge that God judges every man and woman according to their situation, their capabilities and their opportunities that we realize our responsibility before God to learn to be corrected and to forever grow.

 

Torres accuses me of distorting the message of the prophets: “You ply on the prophets and their message of hope to the world to employ your own message. Was the message of prophets like today’s new age, culture-speak of “focus(ing) on the positive”, “overcome(ing) psychological barriers,” of “Your relationship with your Creator . . . before you were born” or did they call it sin? Yes, in the midst of their proclamation of messianic hope and calling Israel back from her rebellion against God they called it sin. We know of the people’s response to the message of sin by the prophets and the fate faced by those servants of God.”

 

What did the prophets call sin? Did they teach, as does the Church, that man’s situation is hopeless? Not at all! They encouraged us to focus on the positive and on God’s all-encompassing goodness (Psalm 100:2-5). They encouraged us to overcome psychological barriers (Ezekiel 33:10-20). And they spoke of God’s love for us before we were born (Psalm 139:13-16; Job 10:8-12). The Church’s ongoing attempt to oppose these teachings must be unmasked.

 

Torres responds to my accusation that the Church stole Israel’s Scriptures from her with the assertion: “Your lament about how the church has stolen the scriptures, Jewish culture is unconvincing. It is unconvincing because Israel still has the scriptures and her culture. Whatever the church or anyone else might do with those scriptures and that culture can in no way be taken from Israel. Your mistaken view to equate the precepts and practices of the Catholic church as that of all disciples of Jesus is seriously flawed.”

 

Indeed; our Scriptures can never be truly stolen from us. But for long centuries the Church, both Protestant and Catholic, have claimed that it is their interpretation of our scriptures that is accurate as if they were the intended audience of those Scriptures. It seems that this exercise is still ongoing.

 

As long as people are still being directed away from the God of truth by the teachings of the Church it will be the duty of God’s witnesses to unmask their efforts.

If you found this article helpful please consider making a donation to Judaism Resources by clicking on the link below.

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=FEAQ55Y7MR3E6

Judaism Resources is a recognized 501(c) 3 public charity and your donation is tax exempt.

Thank You

Yisroel C. Blumenthal

This entry was posted in Correspondence. Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Response to Gil Torres

  1. hyechiel says:

    Dear Gil;
    I wonder if Mr. Torres is aware of the Noahide Covenant? HaShem has them as the first followers of His way, with the 7 teachings of the Noah Commandments. These are for all of humanity; not hardly an exclusive way, unless humanity is seen as an exclusive club?
    There is not one word in the Tanach where HaShem minimized the Noah Covenant, just has the Nation of Israel, the Jewish people, to vowed an Eternal Covenant to Him, and Him, to us.
    As for the other faiths? JC said it proper to that gentleman, in Matthew 19:16-19, where for a none Jew, it is the Noahide Covenant, and that Only G-d Can Be Seen As Special. I guess JC believed in One G-d, of which he is no more a part of than you or I.
    Shalom;
    Yechiel

    • Gil T says:

      My familiarity with the Noahide Covenant is immaterial, Yeshiel.

      You are correct it was not minimized in the Tanach, but it was also not what God gave to Moses for Israel to observe all the days of their lives. It may not have been minimized anymore than Abraham was minimized by Moses, but each was given, received and served its purpose in its appointed time according to the will of God.

      I won’t, at this time, address the glib comment as to your guess about what JC believed in part because that is a matter I addressed in my original response to Mr. Blumenthal’s article and because of your flippant treatment of the text: Only G-d can be seen as SPECIAL(?) or the familiar numeric quantification of “God is one.”

      • hyechiel says:

        Dear Gil T;
        Thank you for the excerpt you shared with us. Much of what I have been saying is also reflected in your writing, but the fact is, you showed also how we are two different faiths. I read much of Maccoby’s writings, and I found some items I questioned, looking at them from the Christian perspective. I went into some of them, and found although he could have been more in detailed about some items, and referred more to his sources, still the fact is there; Judaism and Christianity are two different faiths.
        Not as much separated as say, Traditional Judaism and the Samaritan, but thoroughly impregnated with the Hellenic philosophy. Not a criticism, but a fact, when you consider the denial of the Nazarene beliefs in the Councils, and the war they waged against these first Nazarenes. But, as Judaism, with our Torah in which His Monotheistic proclamation is the banner we go by, as opposed to the Trinitarian one your faith supports.
        For Two thousand years, almost, the church has worked hard to have us lower His banner of Oneness, and to come to the one of the Trinitarian. As history has shown, we could and did not. He ordered us to be true to Him, or bare the consequences of compromise.
        I have as much respect for Christianity as for all other faiths, but respect does not equate adherence.
        As I read the several interpretations of Christian doctrine, I do wonder about one thing which could help you; a Christian Talmud. But, then, we are two different faiths, and what each has works best through the focus of what we have.
        Thank you, again and G-d Bless you.
        Shalom;
        Yechiel

      • hyechiel says:

        Dear Gil;
        The Noahide faith is very well attended to by tose who do not want to convert to Judaism, but want to worship HaShem. You can gain more knowledge on their website; http://035f591.netsolhost.com/
        The information here relates to the basic of our Sacred Writings.

        Then, your remark to me; ” I addressed in my original response to Mr. Blumenthal’s article and because of your flippant treatment of the text: Only G-d can be seen as SPECIAL(?) or the familiar numeric quantification of “God is one.”

        16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

        17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

        18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

        19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

        20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

        21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

        22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

        Dear Gil-where, if I was, was i flippant? I quoted Jesus from the KJV, not made up a composiary, nor was i disrespectful of your faith. I understand, though; we are of two different religions and faiths, and thus of two separate world views, so some confusion is possible. But Istill look forwward to our learning from each other.
        Shalom;
        Yechiel

  2. Annelise says:

    A lot of Christians would consider what you wrote in the original article to be relativist; not limiting God’s salvation to faith and holiness, but saying it is free for everyone. The problem is the confusion where faith in Jesus is seen as equal to faith in God, inseparable from it. If the New Testament is wrong about that point, and God’s revelation to the Jewish people still stands, then we can see that Christianity has drawn the circle of righteousness far too small: limited to disciples of a particular teacher and(/or) divine claimant.

    The question is, what has God really revealed in our world, through history, about how to be loyal to Him and how to be righteous? How do the Hebrew scriptures define the righteous remnant, and how do they describe the way to return to God and be forgiven by Him? To take away from God’s criteria for salvation certainly is relativist, and ignores the importance of His holiness and sovereignty… but to add a new definition of ‘faith’, which God demonstrably hasn’t commanded, is to hide away the places where God really has spoken and to blur the heart of the law. People need to be freed from that kind of burden.

    I believe that this is not about one religion trying to defend itself against another. It’s about biblical Judaism truly expressing what it means to worship God alone and be blessed in the relationship of obedience, and the fact that this leaves no room for any boundaries of the kind that Christianity sets up about sincere faith, the inner meaning of the Law, and the way of repentance. However similar these visions are to the ideas from Tanach that they drew upon, they are set in a different context and are therefore not the same.

    • hyechiel says:

      Dear Annelise and Mr. Torres;
      G-d’s answer to your comments is inscribed in the Book of Genesis; the Noahide Covenant.
      JC stated as much in Matthew 19, and in Luke 18, where the conversation with the Gentile gentleman about what one has to do to be saved. JC responded to by these items;
      1. Only G-d is Good. No one else, including the responded (JC) is Good in that since.
      2. The Seven Laws of the Noahide Covenant is stataed.
      3. These are for all humanity, and unlimited regarding any particular faith or sect.
      Also;
      4. Torah is not owned by the Jews; it is put into our trust for all humanity. We read that in that day, all the nations shall come to recognize G-d, and to worship at the Holy Temple.
      5. The Temple shall be rebuilt, or caused to be rebuilt, by the true Moshiac. We still wait for him.
      I hope this helps you to better understand what His word is about. One more thing; as Hillel said around 40 BCE, to a Pagan who challenged him to teach the whole Torah, while he stood on one leg; “Do not do unto anyone what you would not want done unto you. The rest is commentary, go forth and learn.” This was repeated by JC; “Do unto others what you would want done unto you.”
      Shalom;
      Yechiel

    • Gil T says:

      I will refer anyone interested to read on my blog (RoundRockMinistry) at the above link my response to you, Annelise, on 1) “the commandments are not an inferior yoke”, 2) “narrowing the definition of righteousness” and 3) “the narrow circle of faith and righteousness.” Please, all: These enumerated points are merely brief abbreviations of Annelise’s fuller wording and I have no intention of corrupting her words.

    • Gil T says:

      My apologies to hyechiel and all discussion participants. I just misplaced this reply for Annelise. Thank you.

      I will refer anyone interested to read on my blog (RoundRockMinistry) at the above link my response to you, Annelise, on 1) “the commandments are not an inferior yoke”, 2) “narrowing the definition of righteousness” and 3) “the narrow circle of faith and righteousness.” Please, all: These enumerated points are merely brief abbreviations of Annelise’s fuller wording and I have no intention of corrupting her words.

  3. Annelise says:

    Hi Yechiel,

    I agree, the Hebrew scriptures are quite explicit that even while God’s covenant is with the Jewish people, relationship with God is available to anyone.

    A difference between this and Christianity is that Christians believe humans respond to God through having faith in Jesus as the way to know God and receive forgiveness. It’s the relationship of faith alone, by God’s grace, that allows us to be in relationship with Him, and it’s also clear that this faith has to be accompanied by obedience. Judaism also says that relationship with God isn’t something we can earn by our own perfection; it’s a gift. It is accepted through faith, which is an action of the heart, and accompanied inherently by actions of obedience that allow a person to draw closer to God. The commandments to Jews aren’t expected of Gentiles, but God definitely cares about the morality and the worship from Gentiles, and the ability to respond to God is already open to every human being on earth. The message of the Jewish people is for the whole world to know God, like you said. By His grace, and limited within the context of repentance, forgiveness, and a changed life, but not limited to thinking that all these things come *through* a particular person’s life in history.

    • hyechiel says:

      Dear Annelise;
      I agree that there is the idea of a gift. It is for all; the Noahide, Jews and others who live decent and compassonate lives. The Gospels erred with the idea that it is only through a “majic” formula that you can get salvation. I cannot abuse you, then ask for forgiveness by accepting a human as my savior, as say JC. I have to repent for my abuse of you, first, then I can ask -d for forgiveness. Otherwise, I abuse the idea of forgiveness by seeking His way, without doing what I shouild, His way.
      Noahide and jews have it right, go to G-d with a contrack heart and He shall hear you. But you have a rsponsibility to do first, or you show disrespect for G-d.
      I call on all Christians to accept your responsibility first, then your cry for forgiveness shall be heard.
      Shalom;
      Yechiel
      PS;
      What I posted is what He said.

    • hyechiel says:

      Dear Annelise;
      One more thing; you said that the Commandments are not expected of Christians? JC and his deciples, as well as Paul, said that not one word of His way shall be moved until His way is established throughoutthe Human Race. Tis is when all the Natioins shall be able to worship as one at His Holy Temple; when the true Moshiac arives and the temple is rebuilt, universal peace and the rest of what G-d said shall be here, when the Moshiac arrives and does his job. Not, yet, but someday.
      Shalom;
      Yechiel

      • Annelise says:

        I think I said they’re not expected of Gentiles, which is basically the same as what you said about Noahide laws. I don’t accept Christianity, so my thought wasn’t coming from the perspective of what Jesus said or what Christian groups believe.

        But even according the the mindset in the New Testament, it seems like Jewish believers in Jesus were keeping Torah (like you said), at least at the start, while other nations were joining in their faith but only keeping a handful of instructions (Acts 15:19-20).

  4. hyechiel says:

    Dear Annelise;
    Correct. If the War of ’70 had nothappened, who knows what the end result could have been. Seems as if the violence just continued, but is a different form.
    You have seen what the Iranian leader had said, and what the Pal fanantics say? You can read it is Psalms, as well. so nothing new.
    If the Huaman Race could settle down to doing what He wants, in His way, and stop trying to force others to do it “my” way, what a better world this would be,
    Shalom;
    Yechiel

  5. Gil T says:

    I am going to address only one of your replies to my comment on your original article, Mr. Blumenthal. I read your three articles, if you’ll pardon this brief renaming, on foundation, communication and bedrock.

    You say I distorted the discussion because it, that is the discussion, did not begin with the advent of Jesus. You proceed to orient me in the direction of the greater precedent of loyalty to God long before the birth of the human Jesus. Well enough, so, lets go back to that loyalty and forget about Jesus.

    The question of loyalty, or perhaps more precisely, disloyalty, no more began with Christians than with Israel. That disloyalty begin in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Their’s was a betrayal, not unlike any one of us, of what the God who walked in their midst had commanded and expected of them.

    I’m not going to recount a list of Israel’s transgressions against God. Even having said that, I prefer to always clarify my reference to those transgression is not to mock or ridicule Israel. Those transgressions of disloyalty are hardly a point of contention, but they are also not unlike any one of us as individuals who have been guilty before God. So, I have no desire or intention to cast stones on Israel or anyone else.

    What I do wish to point out, in very general terms and in no specific order, are some instances when the God who revealed himself, such as he did, to Israel. These different manifestations and works of God revealed something about the varied and multiple ways God was willing and able to make himself or his will made known. I do not believe anyone in Israel would argue that God had compromised himself or would dismiss any of those instances as corruption and idolatry.

    The first instance I will cite is the manifestation of God to Moses in the burning bush. Then there was the cloud by day and the fire by night which accompanied Israel during their forty years of wandering in the wilderness. There was the bronze fiery serpent God instructed Moses to make for the children of Israel to look upon and be healed of the serpent bites they had suffered during their rebelliousness.

    Lastly, there was the ark of the covenant. Imagine that. God in a box. No, this is not a mockery. It is not a ridicule. I firmly believe and will boldly declare to all, believers and nonbelievers alike, that the presence of God dwell in the midst of Israel in the ark of the covenant.

    What, if anything, might these instances suggest about what God was teaching to those who would learn?

    The truth is all these instances, taken at face value, are the stuff of mockery and ridicule by nonbelievers. Yet, God was surely impressing on Israel, surrounded by pagan, idolatrous nations, that something as wildly absurd as LOOKING at a bronze serpent to be healed is just that, UNLESS the living God, Creator of heaven and earth has commanded it. Given the mutinous talk by an unbelieving Israel against Moses in Numbers 21 it is not completely implausible that not all Israel came to look upon the bronze serpent. That was just too ridiculous for them just like so many other manifestations of God throughout history to all mankind.
    Sincerely,
    Gil T

    • Gil T says:

      Please understand my reply to the single matter of loyalty is only so as to not drag out the discussion excessively long. I will gladly post additional replies if other elements of our dialog come up in the ongoing discussion. gt

    • Annelise says:

      Gil T, I think that you’ve made a brilliant and important point about things that are made ridiculous to those who don’t accept them, but are part of the revelation of God to Israel about how He wants to be known. Within the deeper understanding, and experience, of the faith and the relationship the nation has with God, these things have been valuable and precious to them. There are many things that Jews do point out in the NT as issues which could easily be taken up in argument against Tanach as well. Likewise, there are things Christians disapprove of in Orthodox Judaism that are actually found beneath their own way of looking at faith as well.

      The conversation needs to continue to see whether there are any genuine claims made by Judaism against what the early Christians did, accepted, and proclaimed; or, rather, whether Christianity makes a claim that biblical Jews could not ignore without being faithless to God. But what you pointed out will be a healthy thought to keep in mind.

      If you don’t mind, I’ll reply to your comment on your own post within the week, unless someone else takes up the discussion. I have exams and assignments for uni and need to focus on those 🙂

      Blessings, and thanks for your thoughts and your time.

      • Annelise says:

        So the question is, What has God commanded, and how has He revealed Himself?

        From there we can only follow humbly and thankfully.

      • Gil T says:

        Whatever those particulars are in Orthodox Judaism with which Christians object or disapprove I do not know. As I stated earlier I would always prefer to take up that discussion with what the scriptures state and work from their on our respective understanding rather than to say I agree/disagree with these or those people.

        Godspeed to you on those exams. I’ll be here, God willing.

      • Annelise says:

        I appreciate that, and I think it’s very healthy. The only question, though, is that the scriptures themselves are only meaningful in the context of a community that tells you they are true and from God. And there are constant indications in the scriptures themselves about the community they were addressed to, and how it would be preserved.

        We do have common scriptures, but accepted and so inevitably interpreted on the basis of different authorities. For that reason a person who decided that the New Testament could not have been accepted by Torah following Jews would be faced with the question of why to listen to the written Torah and the rest of the Jewish scriptures at all. What do you think?

  6. Gil T says:

    I am not sure, Annelise, to what it is you allude when you say there are constant indications in the scriptures as to their preservation. I do know that neither the meaning, the truth nor origin of the scriptures as being from God is reliant on a community. Yes, community is important and we are a part of it, but it does not stand in the place of telling the truth of the scriptures as much as it is to TEACH those scriptures for the individual to begin the dialog in the community and ascertain through that dialog correction and understanding in, from and of the scriptures.

    Furthermore, even in the ABSENCE of scripture they do not cease to be meaningful in the lives of those who have, perhaps through community, learned of those scriptures and have learned those scriptures and their meaning. Certainly, this was the case when the book of the law was found during the reign of king Josiah. No telling how many generations had lived and died without the scriptures, yet the meaning and meaningfulness of the scriptures was preserved in Israel even if in a very weakened state.

    Your question as to the place of the Torah versus the New Covenant is essentially Yechiel’s point in favor of the Noahide Covenant. He stated it was not minimized by the the Tanach. I agreed, but I also stated the Noahide Covenant is not what God gave Moses to deliver to Israel. Certainly, no Jew understood they were free to violate the Noahide Covenant once Israel had the law. If the animal sacrifices of the law for forgiveness of sins were so complete who would want to keep, or profess to keep, that law and not offer those sacrifices continually? Today, the reality is Jews, and I stand ready to be corrected on this, do not offer animal sacrifices in the manner as commanded by the law. The tension between continuing to hold fast to the Torah while professing to the New Covenant is at best mediocre and at worse hypocrisy on both sides of the fence and is the question for every individual to answer for themselves if the conviction of faith.
    paz
    Gil T

    • Annelise says:

      I don’t think I wrote it clearly, but I was only trying to say that a Christian accepts the Jewish scriptures for a different reason than Jews do.

      If a person doesn’t believe in these scriptures because of Christianity, then they could only come to consider them important in the context of the Jewish community, which proclaimed and proclaims them to be from God.

      I think Rabbi Blumenthal would be better able than I to discuss the issues you’ve brought up here, but I’ll reply later on if he doesn’t. I’m sorry but I really

  7. Annelise says:

    P.S. You have a good point about the fact that God made a new covenant with Israel, the Mosaic one, which didn’t refute the promise that God had made with all humanity previously but needed to be listened to. If Christianity is true then this is again what has happened: God has brought something new for Israel and for all the world to recognise as being from Himself, without contradicting what He said before. Christians tend to differ on how that happened. Some believe that Jews (and some, even Gentiles) need to keep the written Torah as well as having faith in Jesus; some believe that the Torah has a different function in the messianic era; there are lots of different views and theologies. The main point remains that Jews cannot violate the Mosaic covenant in order to accept a new revelation; therefore there needs to be a way of testing everything. Especially a claim about divinity of a man, or relationship with God being exclusive to him and his followers.

    I thought I’d mention that now because it thought of it while reading Rabbi Yisroel’s last post. Regarding the sacrifices, I understand that Jews can’t bring them when the Temple isn’t standing because of Leviticus 17:8-9. This doesn’t mean that there is no atonement according to the Law, at this time… a lot can be said about it, but the period of the Babylonian exile is an example of a time when repentance was considered enough- and extremely important.

  8. hyechiel says:

    Dear Friends;
    I usually do not bring this up, because it has confused people in the past. Especially those who are all ears to what they can convince me of, but go blank when my response is Tanach?!
    If you even just glance at the Noahide Code, and then look at the Sinai Covenant, you should find that, except for three items, it is the same one.
    The three items added on at Sinai are the same ones the G-d Fearers objected to, and that Paul stated that they should have no difficulty with; Kosher, Marriage Code and the Cleanliness Code.
    One “code” was for everyone, so the health items are important, but without the necessary persons to over-see them, what then. As i read them, all is in order, and the Christian Faith-minus human gods-is a good framework for the Noahide code.
    For us, the Jewish People, remember that we are a People, a Nation, and have been handed a job by G-d. Compromise with Christianity is not an option.
    Thank you and I am glade we have this portal to sensibility to communicate on.
    Yechiel

    • Gil T says:

      I do not profess familiarity with the Noahide Code/Covenant, but between the little I know about it and what has been stated in this discussion I have no problem with it. As you yourself have stated all but three items are incorporated into the Sinai Covenant.

      So, I’m not quite sure if the point or interest is purely esoteric on your part. What I have pointed previously is that as valuable and revered as the Noahide Covenant might be in Israel; it is not what God gave Moses for Israel to observe all the days of their lives. It strikes me as peculiar that given this superiority (that is my wording) of the Mosaic law you would dispense a slightly-used like-new Noahide Covenant as a “good framework”, a yoke, for Christians to wear and keep?

      Please, understand I take no offense with this inference on your words, but I do feel compelled to point it out, Yechiel. Peace to you. Gil

  9. Yedidiah says:

    It might be worthwhile to remember that the prophets of Israel were speaking to Israel and/or it’s leader (and then sometimes perhaps also, more critically of Israel’s enemies”). Hope, victory, forgiveness by God was often the concluding word for a people, the nation, who returned to God. Sometimes, “outsiders” or enemies of Israel and the Jewish people, used or still use, those words not as “lessons learned” by all readers of those words, but arrogantly, as if those words were their own words or as if God had made them modern day prophets. They use them, like usurpers, against Jews (Israel) and Judaism, but not against themselves (although they may claim to be grafted-into Israel or are the “real Israel”, the “new Israel”, or the “replacement” for Israel. They may use them as justification for their own faith, since they were not part of the original audience.

    But, if prophets, in the style of the “Israelite-type” prophets came to speak to Christian leaders or churches or to America in the past or today, what might they say? Was the horrendous and devastating American Civil War, punishment against both “Christian” southern and “Christian” northern USA because they turned away from haShem? Some people do preach that the “Great Depression” of the 1930’s was a punishment by God for the “Roaring 20’s”. Did the Iraq war drag on for years, to chastise us because this nation and its leader went to war arrogantly thinking “God was on our side” and nonchalantly, thinking that the war would be over in a few days or weeks, because our military power & our Christian prayers would “shock & awe” not only the “heathen”, but all the “unbelieving” world? Some, Christian pastors (many, like the one in my church, just a short piece down the road from Mr Torres’s church) thought the President was “anointed by God”. They were surprised when the economy was went terribly wrong. No, we were not “chastised by God”, it was the “devil” who stopped him and replaced him and his friends. Maybe the Israelite prophets should have said “it was the Devil who was trying to destroy righteous Israel”, always the “Devil”? But the “devil is another non-Jewish, non-scriptiral idea, until Jesus came.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s