Closing Arguments

Closing Arguments – Excerpt From Critique of Volume 5

72. Objection 6.18

 

Brown concludes his five volume series with an appeal to his readers to put their faith in Jesus. I will conclude my critique of this series with an appeal to my readers to put their faith in God, and in God alone.

 

I find it interesting that Brown chose to place his objections against the Oral Law as the “closing argument” in his five volume series. The entire debate about the Oral Law is not very relevant to the controversy between Judaism and Christianity. The Karaite Jews, who do not accept the Oral Law, are among the most vehement critics of Christianity. On the other hand, we find Christians that see no need to repudiate the Oral Law in order to maintain their belief in Jesus. It seems however that Brown considers the discussion about the Oral Law to be central to the divide between Judaism and Christianity. Protestant Christianity takes prides in her claim that her theology is based on the word of God, in other words, on the Scripture (both Jewish and Christian) and on the Scripture alone. From the standpoint of the Protestant Christian, the Jewish acceptance of the Oral Law is a fatal flaw in the faith structure of Judaism. The Protestant challenges the Jew: “How can you rely on the words of men?” The Protestant looks to his own faith and is satisfied that it is based on the words of God.

 

But is this truly so?

 

When we examine the matter just a bit beyond the superficial, it becomes clear that it is Protestant Christianity who relies on the words of men, while Judaism leans on the words of God.

 

Did you ever notice that NOT ONE of the core doctrines of Protestant Christianity are directly spelled put in the Jewish Scripture? The Protestant cannot point to one verse that says: “put your faith in the Messiah in order to receive eternal salvation”. There is not one passage in Scripture that says that belief in the Messiah effects atonement, and there is not one passage in Scripture that encourages us to direct our devotion to a human incarnation of God.

 

EVERY ONE of the core doctrines of Judaism are EXPLICITLY and DIRECTLY spelled out in Scripture. God introduced Himself to our fathers and said: “I am the Lord your God who took you out of the land of Egypt, you should have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:2,3). God explicitly said that repentance is all that is necessary to wipe the slate of guilt clean (Ezekiel 33:16). And the Scriptures explicitly declare that the path to the restoration of Israel is through observance of the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 30:2).

 

Furthermore, the entire faith of Christianity stands on the reasoning of biased men. No one ever SAW Jesus die for anyone’s sins, and no one ever SAW that Jesus is the second person in a triune godhead. What happened was that a group of people, who were already completely devoted to Jesus, came up with these theories (Jesus’ atoning death, and his alleged divine nature) as an INTERPRETATION of various phenomena they saw or heard. But it was a TWO-STEP PROCESS. They first saw and heard the phenomena (Jesus’ life, death and alleged resurrection), they then processed these events in their human minds, and only then did they came up with these theological theories as an EXPLANATION to the events that they believed had happened. The fact is that the Christian’s faith must lean on these explanations concocted by finite human beings.

 

Contrast this with Judaism, where the two pillars of faith were actually witnessed by the entirety of Israel – no interpretation was necessary and nothing needed to be explained. All of Israel SAW that God is the power (Deuteronomy 4:35) and all of Israel HEARD God talking to Moses (Exodus 19:9). Jews does not need to rely on anyone’s interpretation for the foundations of their faith; their perception of God, and the knowledge that Moses is His prophet.

 

The Scriptures openly declare that the Jewish people are God’s firstborn son (Exodus 4:22, Jeremiah 30:8) and His witnesses (Isaiah 43:10). It is because we trust God’s witnesses that we accept the canon of Jewish Scripture. We trust that God’s firstborn son is capable of sorting out the true prophets from the frauds and that they are capable of identifying God’s holy spirit when they see it manifest in a person’s life. The Jewish people testify to us about the authors of the books of the Jewish Bible – and all of them lived amongst the Jewish people – that these were Godly people who lived a life in line with God’s truth. These same witnesses testify about the authors of the Christian Scriptures – all of whom lived amongst the Jewish people as well – that they did not live a life that reflected God’s truth. If you want to trust God’s witness, go ahead and accept all of their testimony. If you choose to reject their testimony, please be consistent and reject all of it. The witness can be trustworthy or he can be a liar, but he can’t be both at the same time.

 

The underlying message of the Jewish Scripture is that God is the absolute Master of all creation. This core truth permeates every chapter and verse in the Jewish Scriptures. As God’s creations, we all owe all of our devotion to Him who gave us our hearts to begin with.

 

The calling of the Jewish people is to bear this truth and to carry it with them wherever they go. God established His testimony in Jacob through the events of the miracles and the Sinai revelation. These unparalleled evens planted the truth of God’s sovereignty into our hearts to the degree that even our children who stray far from the path of their ancestors, still cannot bring themselves to direct their devotion to a fellow creation of God.

 

I appeal to you, turn to your Creator. The One who provided for your every need can surely satisfy the yearning of your soul. The One who was lovingly maintaining your existence even while you sinned against Him, will surely forgive you if you just sincerely return to Him. Could there be a greater joy than the embrace of your Creator?

 

“Taste and see that God is good, happy is the man who takes shelter in Him” (Psalm 34:9).

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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110 Responses to Closing Arguments

  1. hyechiel says:

    Dear Friends;
    Oral Law, Shmual Law; every society, including the Christians ones, need Law to functioin. In a Democracy, oral Law is the traditioin which suports the writen, and is needed to keep the writen relavant. So only a fool would want to see his rights trashed, just to make it easier for him.
    Historicaly, this is what happened; Christianity started out as Democractic as Helinic and Judaic society. For the most part, they have kept this tradition, but if you look carefully at the negativity in Christian history, and the excuses for it, the rulers put aside the Tradition for their way.
    we have seen this happen receintly in the Suprem Court! The Judge before whom the Obama Care was brought before dismissed the suit. His reason; “Obama is the President; he can do whatever he likes.”
    Now, does America need a Talmud, to keep its Democracy, or have the citizens given up?

    • ChristianPaul says:

      Dear witness, you wrote: “We trust that God’s firstborn son is capable of sorting out the true prophets from the frauds and that they are capable of identifying God’s holy spirit when they see it manifest in a person’s life.”

      My question are:

      1) Who gives authority to the prophets? And for what purpose?
      2) How can Israel know when the prophet is a true one? Is it subsequently or on the spot?
      3)Does Jeremiah was recognized as a true prophet when he criticized the king? Was he persecuted?
      4)Did Eliyah was recognized as a true prophet on the spot or was he banned?

      Thank you and blessings!

  2. ChristianPaul says:

    Shalom to all! To be fair to Christianity we must not only view it from an American Protestant view. Orthodox Christian represented in numbers by Russia view Tradition as the giver of written Scriptures.

    The Protestant view is surely not representative of the Church but only a pale pseudo-association of so-called believers in a not so clear faith…

    To compare real Judaism and real Christianity one must compared them at the Orthodox level of each.

    • Dina says:

      Christian Paul, as far as I can see, this article applies equally to Orthodox Christians. But I think you should also know that all Christian denominations think they are the real Christianity, so we have no reason to take anyone’s word for it that their brand, be it Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, or anything, is the real deal.

      May God Who is the Father of us all lead us in the light of His truth.

      Peace and blessings,
      Dina

      • ChristianPaul says:

        Peace to you Dina!

        I said that Dina for Orthodox Christian have a developed theology and a divine liturgy with canon law and tradition that can compare in their structure to Orthodox Judaism. Their have Cohen-priest and scribes-theologians and have their ancients(rabbis)-bishops and their high priest Patriarch. They have their own Sanhedrin (Council of Ancients-Bishops).

        Actually their development is not just a sect or a cult like the mormons or protestantism or even Romanism but their are a religion with a sophisticated system of belief with Oral and Written Teachings and Instructions given by Revelation through the Apostles and their successors.. Their bishops can trace back their ordination back in time to the Apostles.

        I said all that for us to realize that to compare Judaism with Christianity one must do it at the Orthodox level to be fair in our conclusions. That will certainly make us more realize the shining light of the Torah.

        Blessings to you!

        • Dina says:

          We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one, Christian Paul. The arguments in this article are highly relevant to whatever denomination of Christianity you belong. If an Orthodox Christian wants to refute them, let him try. That would be fine with me.

        • Saul Goodman says:

          Hello. The only difference between Orthodoxs and Romanists is the Papacy. Papacy also has priests, tradition, canon law, liturgy etc etc. So for you to say Romanism is different from “Orthodoxy” is based on ideology, not facts.

          “Romanism but their are a religion with a sophisticated system of belief with Oral and Written Teachings and Instructions given by Revelation through the Apostles and their successors.. Their bishops can trace back their ordination back in time to the Apostles.”

          Exactly as Romanism.

          • ChristianPaul says:

            Peace to you Saul! You seem to know Orthodoxy but I doubt that you know it from the inside. If you are Roman Catholic I am sorry to have offend you that was not my intention.

            Romanism is a parody of Orthodoxy. Even your pope was forced to admit that the Orthodox Divine Liturgy is the only one having kept his genuine and original Praxis. I could enumerate all the differences but all Patriarchates do not recognize Rome as a valid Orthodox Church.

            Concerning the doctrine that will be interesting to compare but suffice to say that her dark theology brought forth the daughters of Babylon here the multiple sects of Protestantism.

            Now concerning Russia during the Communism era, persecution may have compromised some bishops but the end result did not succeed for the Russian Church is stronger than ever coming back with fire. The fire of persecution is a testimony of her certain validity.

            Now I understand Orthodox Judaism attacking Christianity and protecting their flock against the sect-cult of Protestantism for they are indeed wolves in sheep clothing!

            Blessings!

          • Saul Goodman says:

            Peace.

            I’m a former Eastern Orthodox, so no, i know it from the inside.

            “Romanism is a parody of Orthodoxy. Even your pope was forced to admit that the Orthodox Divine Liturgy is the only one having kept his genuine and original Praxis. I could enumerate all the differences but all Patriarchates do not recognize Rome as a valid Orthodox Church.”

            And the opinion of Patriarchs has absolutely no value in Eastern Orthodoxy. Your Patriarchs signed the Florence agreement with the Papacy, but you do not follow it. I won’t even mention the number of heretical Patriarchs that have ruled in Constantinople.

            “Now concerning Russia during the Communism era, persecution may have compromised some bishops but the end result did not succeed for the Russian Church is stronger than ever coming back with fire. The fire of persecution is a testimony of her certain validity.”

            No, the martyrs of USSR said the Moscow Patriarchate had fallen away from Grace because of Sergianism. And if persecution is sign of validity, you should become Jew, cause the Eastern Orthodox pedigree is really weak compared to persecutions the Jewish people has suffered.

            Now, do not assume beforehand that i’m a papist. I’ve never been, never will be.

            Blessings.

          • ChristianPaul says:

            Saul peace to you!

            Saul you were a convert to Eastern Orthodoxy but was a Protestant before you converted. Is it so? I doubt that an English men like you can be Eastern Orthodox from your baby days and through your parents.

            As an ex-convert you could not stand the pure fire who transform. Therefore I will see your perception of Orthodoxy as more a revolt having failed the test of those who become sons of God.

            Like all Protestants you can not and you will not comprehend the beauty of the Orthodox church who is not composed only of hierarchs but of holy faithful blessed from ancient days in the benediction of Jacob to Ephraim (Genesis 48)

            Concerning the persecution of the red beast of Communism of the Orthodox Christians it is estimated to at least 20 million souls which is in communion with 6 million of our brothers from Judah who were also killed.

            Blessings!

          • Saul Goodman says:

            Now you should really stop make assumptions. If you are not able to counter the arguments presented, just say so or don’t reply at all. Making personal assumptions is both wrong and irrelevant.

            “Saul you were a convert to Eastern Orthodoxy but was a Protestant before you converted. Is it so? I doubt that an English men like you can be Eastern Orthodox from your baby days and through your parents.”

            No, i was not a protestant before converting. Papist, protestant, aren’t you tired of lying on people?

            And i’m not an english man. So 3rd false assumption. You should really stop.

            “As an ex-convert you could not stand the pure fire who transform. Therefore I will see your perception of Orthodoxy as more a revolt having failed the test of those who become sons of God.”

            And i can see that if you are Christian Orthodox is because your parents have beaten you when you were a kid and your wife cheated on you. How does it sound?

            “Concerning the persecution of the red beast of Communism of the Orthodox Christians it is estimated to at least 20 million souls which is in communion with 6 million of our brothers from Judah who were also killed.”

            You dare to compare not even a century of persecution with 2000 years? Shame on you. Not only do you lie on people in order to escape from the issue at hand, but you even dare to compare less than 100 years of persecutions with 2000 years.

            Inconcistency is the sign of a failed argument. Ciao.

  3. As long as one believes that jesus is “G-d in the flesh” or that jesus’s “blood/death atones for all sin for those who believe in him,” such a person practices a false belief system that is contrary to G-d’s Tanach. The fact is, jesus failed to fulfill the Messianic prophesies of the Tanach. The teachings of the NT are filled with falsehood and lies.

    So there really isn’t a need to compare Orthodox Judaism to orthodox christianity any more than there is a “need” to compare Orthodox Judaism with mormonism…False doctrine is false doctrine and both protestant christianity and orthodox christianity follow false doctrine. (and of course, mormons do as well, which I’m sure you agree.)

    Shalom

    • ChristianPaul says:

      Shalom Yehuda!

      The questions pertaining to Christianity are those:

      1)Is the Christ, the true Messiah?
      2)Can a man be fully connected to the Elohim by an Incarnation of a Son-Spirit?
      3)Can a woman be bearer of a Son-Spirit of the Elohim?

      4)Does the Tanakh show us any indices to this theology?
      5)Does Moseh is a type of the Messiah?
      6)Does Moseh was an elohim in the flesh?
      7)Does the Elohim manifestations to our forefathers were human manifestations also?

      8)Is the Trinity a human hypothesis or an implicit affirmation of the Tanach?

      Studying all those questions bring us to the forefront of Orthodox Christianity which represents itself as the bearer of Truth.

      Blessings!

      • ChristianPaul,

        If you read Deuteronomy 4:9-19, the prohibition of the worship of the form of a man is quite explicit in verse 16. Lets start at verse 15 to establish the context.

        Deut 4:15. And you shall watch yourselves very well, *FOR YOU DID NOT SEE ANY IMAGE* on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire.

        Deut 4:16. Lest you become corrupt and make for yourselves a graven image, *the representation of ANY FORM, the likeness of MALE or female,*

        ChristianPaul, this prohibition does not leave room for jesus being G-d. G-d explicitly forbids the worship of ANY FORM including MAN. You seem to want us to read Deuteronomy 4:16 like this:

        ChristianPaulonomy 4:16 Lest you become corrupt and make yourself a graven image, the representation of any form, the likeness of male or female, *EXCEPT FOR MY SON “jesus” WHO IS ALSO ME IN THE FLESH. YOU MUST WORSHIP THAT MAN AS YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR AND MESSIAH IN THE FUTURE WHEN he COMES. IN FACT, JUST FORGET ABOUT TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT HOW YOU SAW NO FORM AT SINAI BECAUSE I AM ACTUALLY A MAN NAMED jesus!*

        All jest aside, this is reminiscent of your true understanding of jesus. However, your true understanding of jesus contradicts what the Torah says concerning Deuteronomy 4:9-19. G-d explicitly forbids us from worshipping Him in ANY FORM and jesus is not an exception…

        Shalom

        • ChristianPaul says:

          Yehuda your arguments are compelling to say the least. That is why I am on your site to debate in the purpose of seeking the truth. I have Jewish blood therefore my interest is much more important for me to seek the truth where my whole family now is Christian.

          Deuteronomy 4 is crucial and my understanding is that it applied to us in the context of being surrounded by pagan nations promoting the carving of images and the worship of idols.

          My understanding of Christianity is not the worship of Man but the sole worship of the Heavenly Father. The Man-Messiah is the mean to the End. For all worship is directed to the Supreme One.

          My understanding of Orthodox Christian is that the Body and Blood of the Messiah transforms us to become elohim to be able to commune with the One Elohim. It is not the deification of man by himself but the deification of man through the holy Spirit who transforms us to be elohim in the One Elohim.

          That make sense when we know that YHWH wants with his people a perfect communion and therefore manifested Himself to his People through his Word and his Spirit.

          Peace and Blessings!

          • Dina says:

            Lion wrote:

            “That make sense when we know that YHWH wants with his people a perfect communion and therefore manifested Himself to his People through his Word and his Spirit.”

            There is one itty bitty little problem with that statement: that’s not what Dueteronomy 4 teaches at all. So your understanding of Deuteronomy 4 is to make up something that isn’t there. The trinity isn’t there. The sonship of the messiahship of the whatever you want to call it isn’t there. The only entity at Sinai, perfect and complete and one, was God.

            You have still not answered the contradiction of Deuteronomy 4 to your theology.

      • Sharbano says:

        To understand your points a person cannot use a Xtian version of Hebrew words. It is necessary to understand Hebrew, in and of itself.

  4. Christian Paul,

    I am going to address your second question right off the bat. You ask this:

    2)Can a man be fully connected to the Elohim by an Incarnation of a Son-Spirit?

    Your question misses the point. Let me demonstrate by asking you this question:

    COULD G-d take on the form of a golden calf? Why or why not?

    See the problem?

    The question you need to be asking is WOULD G-d take on the form of a man…That answer is no. How do I know this? G-d explicitly tells us so! Here are the facts:

    1. G-d explicitly prohibits the worship of ANY FORM. This is not exclusive to “man made forms,” as the worship of the moon the sun and the stars are considered idolatry, despite the fact that these are not “man made forms.” It does not matter if you want to insist that jesus is a supposed ‘uncreated form.’ (Which you have no way of proving…All you can do is make a baseless assertion that your jesus is an ‘uncreated form’…) A form is a form is a form and your jesus is disqualified from being Hashem based off of the fact that your jesus was a form. Deuteronomy 4:9-19 wasn’t a “one time deal.” It was meant for Israel to teach to future generations, as it explicitly states. G-d is explicit that He prohibits the worship of ANY FORM, and for you to insist that G-d “took on the form of the jesus” would make G-d out to be a liar. Deuteronomy 4:9-19 is essentially a promise to Israel that G-d will never reveal Himself to us in any form. If your jesus is an exception to this promise, then G-d lied…We know G-d does not lie, (Numbers 23:19) so your jesus cannot be “Hashem in the flesh.”

    2. The Tanach NEVER instructs anyone to worship jesus in any fashion.

    The question you should be asking me is “WOULD G-d take on the form of a man?” Whether or not G-d “can” do such and such is an irrelevant question…

    To which appropriate response is, WOULD G-d take on the form of a golden calf?

    We know that G-d WOULD NEVER manifest Himself in the form of a golden calf us. By the same token, He made it clear that He will not appear in the form of a man to us. Deut 4:9-19 was not a “one time deal.” It was a commandment for all generations! It was also not limited to “man made forms.” It extends to “any form,” including the form of a man.

    G-d’s explicit commands to Israel concerning how we are to worship Him override any eisegetical assumptions you make about G-d supposedly being “a man be fully connected to the Elohim by an incarnation of a son-spirit” or “existing in a unified plurality” or whatever you want to call it. A form is a form is a form and because jesus walked the earth in the form of a man, jesus cannot be our Creator.

    Your jesus is not G-d.

    Shalom

    • ChristianPaul says:

      Peace to you Yehuda!

      I am stating the Orthodox Theology in form of questions in order to test if the theology make sense!

      Now your responded by an interesting question: Could the Elohim take the form of a calf?

      The Orthodox position of Christianity is that the Son-Spirit took the form of a Man to make us partake to his Glory. It proceeds from a desire of Communion with our kind. This honestly corroborate the Tanakh for the desire of Elohim is to commune with us men.

      Calves are animals and were not created in the Elohim Image. Therefore the Elohim is not interested in communion with beast but with men.

      The proof of that lies in the davarim elohim who are incarnated in written words expressing the thoughts and wisdom of the Elohim. If they were no reciprocity between Elohim and men I would incline toward your view. But Jewish Tradition teaches us that the Elohim wants to be one with us. Look the special relationship of the Eternal with Moseh. Look the dialogue between Elohim and Adam. Look the communion of the Prophets with the Spirit Holy.

      Also Yehuda if it possible for you to address the other questions. That will be interesting to further test the validity or non-validity of the Christian Orthodox Theology.

      Thank you and blessings!

      • Addressing the 1st question, in the most basic terms, jesus cannot be the Jewish Messiah because he did not fulfill the Messianic prophesies. These included Isaiah 2:2-4, Ezekiel 37:24-28, Hosea 3:5, Jeremiah 30:9, Zechariah 8:19-23, Zephaniah 3:9, and Isaiah 56, just to name a few…

        So it really makes no sense to assume that jesus must be the Messiah. The fact is, jesus did not fulfill the Messianic prophesies in the slightest…

        Shalom

        • ChristianPaul says:

          Yehuda let us take Ezekiel 37: 24-28

          24 “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them…”

          The chapter following chronologically is chapter 38 on Gog from magog. How can you explain it? The Messiah should have defeated all his enemies, therefore chap.38-39 described a big war against Israel… How can you reconcile chapter 37 being written before 38 and 39?

          Could it be that the Messiah is to be comprehended in a spiritual manner instead of a literal political figure magically doing everything in a short time?

          Therefore could this David meaning Beloved be the Messiah Yeshua reigning from heaven and reigning by his Orthodox Church in the hearts of his believers?

          “…and My servant David shall be their prince forever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore…” Ezekiel chap.37

          Can a mere man be their prince forever?

          Peace and blessings!

          • ChristianPaul,

            Your understanding is very similar to certain protestant groups who do not believe that there will be a literal 3rd Temple. Unfortunately for you and them, the Tanach describes a literal 3rd Temple

            Ezekiel chapters 40-48 describes the Third Holy Temple in all its glory, Levitical priests and all! Zechariah 14:16 speaks of the nations of the world coming to celebrate Sukkot. (the festival of tabernacles) This requires a Holy Temple in order to celebrate.

            Zechariah 8:19 describes 4 fast days that will one day become days of joy when the true Messiah comes at the end of days.

            Zechariah 8:19 So said the Lord of Hosts: The fast of the fourth [month], the fast of the fifth [month], the fast of the seventh [month], and the fast of the tenth [month] shall be for the house of Judah for joy and happiness and for happy holidays-but love truth and peace.

            Are you even aware what these fast days are, ChristianPaul? Do you fast during these days? Do you celebrate these days?

            I don’t know of any orthodox christians who even acknowledge these days. I’ll give you a hint about what they represent…One of the fasts was observed this past weekend by Jews around the world. It marked the saddest day on the Jewish calendar.

            All of the four fasts mentioned have to do with commemorating the destruction of both Holy Temples. The message of Zechariah 8:19 is that after the Messiah comes, the Holy Temple will be rebuilt and the Jewish people will celebrate these former days of mourning with future days of joy!

            But you don’t even observe these fasts…Let alone celebrate them…Do you ChristianPaul?

            Zechariah 8:20 So said the Lord of Hosts: [There will] yet [be a time] that peoples and the inhabitants of many cities shall come.

            Zechariah 8:21 And the inhabitants of one shall go to another, saying, “Let us go to pray before the Lord and to entreat the Lord of Hosts. I, too, will go.”

            Zechariah 8:22 And many peoples and powerful nations shall come to entreat the Lord of Hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.

            Zechariah 8:23 So said the Lord of Hosts: In those days, when ten men of all the languages of the nations shall take hold of the skirt of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”

            May it happen speedily in our days!

          • ChristianPaul says:

            Yehuda I would have been impressed if you had tried to response to some of my questions in the last post:

            Yehuda let us take Ezekiel 37: 24-28

            24 “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them…”

            The chapter following chronologically is chapter 38 on Gog from magog. How can you explain it? The Messiah should have defeated all his enemies, therefore chap.38-39 described a big war against Israel… How can you reconcile chapter 37 being written before 38 and 39?

            Could it be that the Messiah is to be comprehended in a spiritual manner instead of a literal political figure magically doing everything in a short time?

            Therefore could this David meaning Beloved be the Messiah Yeshua reigning from heaven and reigning by his Orthodox Church in the hearts of his believers?

            “…and My servant David shall be their prince forever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore…” Ezekiel chap.37

            Can a mere man be their prince forever?

            Now to address your post. I do not understand why do you bring the issue of 3rd Temple. I think that Ezekiel chronology must be respected. Thank you in advance for your diligent response.

            Many blessings!

          • ChristianPaul,

            If you have ever read through the rest of the prophets, you will see that much of the prophesies are not written in “chronological order.” For example, Isaiah chapter 1 starts out with a vision of a future exile of the Jewish people, chastisement and all. But when we transition to Isaiah chapter 2, we see Messianic hope in Isaiah 2:2-4. And by the time we reach Isaiah 3, Isaiah is back to the chastisement and eventually we move into a narrative of the kings of Judah by the time we reach Isaiah 6.

            Likewise, within the Book of Jeremiah, we see passages which speak of the exile of the Jewish people, such as Jeremiah 29. But by the time we reach Jeremiah chapter 30, Jeremiah gives a clear Messianic prophesy in Jeremiah 30:8-9. But by the time we get to Jeremiah chapter 32, suddenly, we are back to discussing to kingdom of Judah going into exile under the rule of King Zedekiah…

            Zechariah does the same thing transitioning from Zechariah chapter 7 to chapter 8. Zechariah 7 describes the exile and Zechariah 8 describes the Messianic age. Then later, Zechariah describes terrors reminiscent of Ezekiel’s war in Ezekiel 38-39 and intermixes this with prophesies concerning the Messianic age.

            Which brings us to Ezekiel 38-39…Its the same idea…Ezekiel speaks of a Messianic prophesy concerning the Messiah himself in Ezekiel 37:24-28, but then transitions to a dubious war in Ezekiel 38-39. Then Ezekiel speaks of the Messianic age in Ezekiel 40-48. The chronology isn’t linear in the prophets. Just because chapter 37 appears before chapter 38, this does not mean that Ezekiel intended chapter 37 to happen in its entirety before chapter 38 came to fruition…

            So your “spiritualized” idea of jesus being in heaven winning some “spiritual war” is more of wishful thinking on your part…Clearly, there is a better explanation that is more consistent with other prophets in the Tanach…

            And yes, a mere man can be a Davidic “prince forever” just as a mere man can be a Levitical “priest forever.”

            Concerning the Levities, G-d says this:

            Exodus 40:15 “And it shall be for them an appointment as priests forever, for all generations.”

            And again:

            Deuteronomy 18:5 “For the Lord your God has chosen him out of all your tribes, to stand to serve in the name of the Lord, him and his sons forever.” (Deut. 18:5)

            As I told you before, ChristianPaul, the Levitical priesthood is just as ETERNAL as the Davidic kingship. Therefore, there is no need to insist that the Davidic king must be “G-d in the flesh” any more than we need to assume that a Levitical priest must be “G-d in the flesh.” This was never the standard that G-d set for someone to be a king of Judah/Israel, so it makes little sense why you insist that being “eternal” must mean that G-d must “take on flesh” or some other way of saying the same thing…

            For another example of why David ruling “forever” does not equate to a need for a “G-d in the flesh” sort of king, I will refer you to I Samuel 1:22

            I Samuel 1:22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband: “Until the child is weaned, then I shall bring him, and he shall appear before the Lord, and abide there forever.

            This verse says that Samuel will ABIDE WITH THE LORD FOREVER…

            Now ChristianPaul, since it says that Samuel will abide with the Lord FOREVER, does this mean that Samuel must be “more than a man?” Does this mean that Samuel must be “G-d in the flesh?”

            Just think about how silly that sounds!

            So too, it is just as silly to assume that just because Ezekiel 37:24-28 says that the Davidic prince will rule “forever,” this means that this Davidic prince/the Messiah must be “G-d in the flesh.”

            Do you see how the Tanach does not support a deified messiah, ChristianPaul?

            Shalom

          • ChristianPaul says:

            Hi Yehuda! Very interesting and thank you for your response!

            You are right that the Prophets are not in chronological order for Time for God is not linear but only for us.

            Concerning Samuel abiding forever with God, I understand it that he will be in Heaven with God. But David reigning forever therefore must be understood in the same manner or if it is on Earth where Time is therefore David can not be a mere man. For which man can live forever?

            We are back again to an Eternal Messiah only possible if there is Resurrection and a Mastering of Time and Space.

            Shalom!

          • ChristianPaul,

            Your logic really doesn’t follow at all. I think at this point it’s quite obvious that your position really has no foundation whatsoever. Let’s say hypothetically that “David the prince” spoken of in Ezekiel 37:24-28 must be “G-d in the flesh” because it uses the word “forever.” (I say hypothetically because the Messiah is not “G-d in the flesh”, but I am entertaining the scenario for argument’s sake.) Even if this were true, (It’s not true!) you would still have no way of proving that your jesus is being described as “David the prince” in Ezekiel 37:24-28. The reality is that your jesus did not fulfill any of Ezekiel 37:24-28, so your position that jesus is “David the prince” in these verses is simply wishful thinking on your part. Your jesus did not establish any sort of kingdom at all. You can sit here and wishfully think that he will do so in the future, but as it stands, you have no evidence to support jesus having ever established any sort of kingdom. The very fact that you hope for a “second coming” is a concession that jesus failed to fulfill this prophesy, as well as many other Messianic prophesies in the Tanach.

            But there is ample evidence to support the fact that the Messiah is a man and not “G-d in the flesh.” Hosea chapter 3 verse 5 describes the Messiah and G-d as separate entities:

            Hosea 3:5 Afterwards shall the children of Israel return, and seek **the Lord their God AND DAVID THEIR KING,** and they shall come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness at the end of days.

            As you can see, “the Lord their G-d” is mentioned separately from “David their king.” This lends even more evidence to the fact that the Messiah is not “G-d in the flesh.”

            But the best evidence for the Messiah not being “G-d in the flesh” comes from Deuteronomy 4:9-19, in which G-d forbids the worship of ANY FORM, including man.

            Since jesus was a man, Deuteronomy 4:9-19 disqualifies jesus from being “G-d in the flesh,” as the worship of ANY FORM is considered idolatry according to G-d in Deuteronomy 4:9-19.

            Shalom

      • Sharbano says:

        Where does it say that a Son-Spirit took the form of a man. One thing Torah teaches is that Each after its OWN Kind. Taking another form is against the laws of Creation. In other words one’s essence cannot change.

        • ChristianPaul says:

          Very good point Sharbano!

          The Tanakh is the sacred historic relation of Elohim with men. The dabarim elohim are a written human form of the Mind of Elohim. Therefore we can not communicate with the Elohim if the Elohim does not descend to us through his angel or through his word.

          Abraham encounter with the 3 Anashim proves that the Elohim manifests himself in different level of manifestation-incarnation. That the Son-Spirit as Dabar made an Incarnation in the flesh is in the making from the on start of the revelation of the Torah to men. Therefore the Tanakh is a testimony to the coming of the Word among us as the one Immanuel in the garden, in the covenant with Noah, in the covenant at Sinai with Moses and in the renew covenant with the Prophets.

          All through the Tanakh the Elohim wants to establish Communion with men and therefore wants to elevate him by first descending to us to bring us to Him. This is called love in the highest form in the ultimate testimony in the last days in his Word made flesh. For He came down to bring us up for without his hand no one can think or dare commune with Him.

          Peace!

  5. Concerned Reader says:

    Christian Paul

    Welcome to the blog. Even the NT helps explain (with its tradition about an antichrist) why Jews cannot simply accept the Christian notions of an incarnation of G-d, or proof offered by Christians from Jesus’ miracles. Literally anyone can (not too mention historically has) claimed to be the divine in the flesh, sought worship, and has claimed miracles. (that’s what the Christian tradition about antichrist is all about, a false messiah who seeks worship of himself by doing false miracles. Revelation 13) Even your NT says people do false miracles and make false claims, and that the commandments are more important.

    You, for example, would not accept Joseph smith (of Mormonism) or Muhammad (of Islam) as prophets just because they claimed their books were miraculously produced, right, or because they had many followers? You know that the claims of a prophet have to fit cleanly with the totality of the unbroken chain of scripture and tradition.

    In Judaism, this means that a prophet has to conform strictly to halacha (otherwise known as the law of Moses.) In Deuteronomy 4:19 G-d prohibits Israel as a nation directly from worshiping “the WHOLE HOST OF HEAVEN.” Now, many Christian commentaries (including Orthodox Christian commentaries,) point to the Captain of G-d’s host in Joshua 5 (as an example,) believing that this being is actually the uncreated word of the father, AKA Jesus, the second person, before the incarnation. The problem for Judaism is, Deuteronomy 4:19 tells Israel not to worship the whole host of heaven. In other words, even if G-d had an entourage (multiple persons in one godhead,) the Jews are explicitly commanded not to worship the entourage, but the father alone. So, Jews simply can’t worship G-d that way.

    Notice that Israel never prays to or treats as mediator

    1. The Ark of the covenant
    2. The burning bush
    3. The Captain of G-d’s host
    4. The brass serpent

    Even If G-d was present and his spirit rested on these phenomenon, for Jews, that would not make them worthy of worship alongside the father. Never would you find Jews praying in the name of the Father, the burning Bush, and the spirit for example. Jesus cannot be served because G-d told Israel not to deviate from the G-d known to their fathers, or from how he revealed himself on Sinai.

    The question then isn’t whether some Christian ideas might have historic roots in Judaism in the past, but whether these roots are firmly rooted in the commandments. Jews would say many Christian teachings go against the plain meaning of the commandments, so Jews cannot believe it.

    • ChristianPaul says:

      Peace to you Con! Very interesting comment! Thank you!

      I am with you when you state the Supremacy of the Father and all worship must go to Him. For the Schema Israel is clear:

      Schema Israel, YHWH Eloheinu, YHWH Ehad. You will love YHWH Eloheikha of all your heart, of all your soul and of all your strength.

      Therefore does Orthodox Christianity encourages this?
      Does Orthodoxy encourages the obedience to the Father in the heavens?
      Does Orthodoxy presents a false Messiah or the true Messiah?
      Is the mission of the Messiah a magical happening or a gradual happening in the fabric of Space and Time?

      Ultimately does Orthodox Christianity bring closer humankind to the One Elohim?

      Blessings to you!

      P.S.: honoring the king or the messiah is it anti-Torah?

      • Christian Paul Your question “Does the Tanakh show us any indices to this theology” reveals where you are going wrong – Tanach is not a book to be read with a specific theology in mind and to see if we can “find indices to this theology” – You start with the Tanach and the Tanch will tell you what theology to believe

        • ChristianPaul says:

          Friend thank you for your response!

          I understand your warning. Tanakh is the source of all orthodox theology. The problem is that when you take human spirit it tends to deform the message based on special interest. Therefore how can you read Tanakh with the proper interpretation that will give the right theology. Does Orthodox Judaism is able to do this. If so why is their so much division in the realm of the Jewish life? Is it not a counter-witness to the truth to have so much divisions and possible interpretations of no unified theology.

          Orthodox Christianity on a comparison basis has the strength of unity of mind and humility of action. Look at the Orthodox Church the spirit of division can not grasp it contrary to the Protestant where you find more than 10000 denominations. Is Judaism unified that is my question? Looking at it I see that each rabbi has the power to mold his community and edict is rule… Is it true? When I see Lev Tahor, the Rebbe followers, the ultra-orthodox, the orthodox for women rabbis, the orthodox for gay rights, the conservatism… and so on… I do not see an unified People… Here a don’t even mention the divide between Hashkenazi and Sephardi and Mizrahi… and Ethiopian Jews versus Yeminite etc… Syrian Orthodox who don’t even admit converts…

          The power of Orthodoxy the Christian One is very attractive for its Spirit is an unifying force where even the different nationalities don’t change the core beliefs and morals…

          My question therefore to you can we guarantee seeker of truth that the actual Judaism is the genuine Judaism of the Tanakh or that may be the Christian Orthodox is the true form of Judaism having recognized the true Messiah becoming what Yaakov prophetizied to Ephraim descendants:

          וְזַרְעוֹ יִהְיֶה מְלֹא־הַגּוֹיִם : And his seed will become plenitude of the nations (Genesis 48)

          The question is in this light very simple: Where is the seed of Ephraim? And who is a plenitude to the nations?

          My intuition directs me toward the Orthodox Christian so similar to Orthodox Judaism but with the simple difference that they are the universal Church present in all nations to be witnesses to the One Elohim in the person of the Messiah.

          Peace and blessings to you!!

          • Dina says:

            Lion, your argument misses the point. It matters not whether Orthodox Christianity is unified as you say and Protestantism is splintered–what matters is if it’s true.

            We have already shown you that is it not true.

            Also why are you repeating anti-Semitic talking points like the rabbis control the communities? You have to be completely clueless about Jewish Orthodox life to say something like that.

            You wrote, “My intuition directs me.” You should pay attention to reason, not to intuition.

            If you divorce your emotions from your intellect, then you will truly be on the way to discovering the truth.

            Oh, and by the way: I don’t think anyone here is fooled by your new identity. Honesty is the best policy, or is that unimportant to Christian Orthodoxy?

          • Sharbano says:

            You make a big mistake in thinking a difference in customs equate to divisions. Whether it’s Lev Tahor, Lubavitch, or others, they all maintain a Torah foundation.

            Also, there is little difference between Your theology and most Protestants. The question that SHOULD be asked is Why are all forms of Xtianity an antithesis to any form of Judaism.

            My daughter asked a similar question regarding the Rabbis. They are not changing or violating Torah laws. Jews have had to live as minorities in many communities and if the culture was moral they could be lenient in certain matters. If that community was immoral they may have restrictions. It was the same with the type of dress. Governments enacted dress codes for Jews and some Rabbis decided to use the dress of other states that were part of the country.

          • Saul Goodman says:

            This is so wrong. I don’t even know where to beging. In my opinion, you are being dishonnest because you think people here do not know about “Orthodox” Christianity. But i do. So let’s try.

            “Orthodox Christianity on a comparison basis has the strength of unity of mind and humility of action. Look at the Orthodox Church the spirit of division can not grasp it contrary to the Protestant where you find more than 10000 denominations. Is Judaism unified that is my question? ”

            You have absolutely no unity. In fact, during the plytheist crisis, the bulgarian orthodox church was in communion with the Russian Church, but not with the Greek Church. Unity you said?

            And even now, we can read this: http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/78812.htm

            Unity? You are trying to fool people of this blog. I won’t even mention the martyrs of USSR that condemned the Moscow Patriarchate for Sergianism. But if there is one thing you do not have is unity.

            “The power of Orthodoxy the Christian One is very attractive for its Spirit is an unifying force where even the different nationalities don’t change the core beliefs and morals…

            A big LOL is all that it deserves. You guyz can not even agree on the Canon of Scriptures. You go to one country you find a different canon. Most of you believe the Deuterocanonicals to be inspired scriptures. This is denied by Philaret of Moscow in his Catechism:

            34. Why is there no notice taken in this enumeration of the books of the Old Testament of the book of the Wisdom of the son of Sirach, and of certain others?

            Because they do not exist in the Hebrew.

            35. How are we to regard these last-named books?

            Athanasius the Great says that they have been appointed of the Fathers to be read by proselytes who are preparing for admission into the Church. http://www.pravoslavieto.com/docs/eng/Orthodox_Catechism_of_Philaret.htm#ii.xv.iii.i.p41

            So what should we think of your unity of belief when you can not even agree on wich books are Divine Scriptures? Yeah, right, no comment.

            “My intuition directs me toward the Orthodox Christian so similar to Orthodox Judaism but with the simple difference that they are the universal Church present in all nations to be witnesses to the One Elohim in the person of the Messiah.”

            First, for a very longtime you were not in all nations. Roman Catholicism was much more universal in its scope than you. They were in America when you were cornered in Eastern Europe by the Turks and the Mongols.

            So please, next time, don’t try to fool the people of this blog. Dialogue can only be based on honnesty, and you have not shown an inch of it until now.

            Then, if you want, we can discuss of “Orthodox” internal credibility. We will use the criteria given by “Saint” Vincent of Lerins of Antiquity and Universality. We will apply it to your beliefs in Mary’s assumption, in your prayers to the angels, we will also see your incapacity to have an oecumenical council without a Pope, we will test your supposed unity. And i can already tell you, the “Orthodox” Church will come out of this in bad shape.

            Peace.

          • Saul Goodman says:

            Now, Paul, i see you ask many questions, let me ask you some.

            What is an Oecumenical Council? How do you know a Council is oecumenical?

            2 simple questions, and we’ll go on from there.

          • Christian Paul
            You say that the Tanach cannot teach theology because the human spirit will deform the message – so you say we need to read it with the “proper” interpretation – then you try to prove that Judaism is wrong because of the division you see there – but you are looking through human eyes without the benefit of Tanach theology

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Therefore does Orthodox Christianity encourages this?

        Christian Orthodoxy attaches a human nature to a conception of G-d’s word. It says this word is (Jesus) and then says “the only way to G-d is through Jesus.” That is not what the Tanakh teaches. We are not supposed to worship anything but the father. (Deuteronomy 4:19.) Christianity is teaching devotion in a different way than Tanakh does, so it cannot be accepted. I have a question for you.

        Could G-d love/save people without Jesus’ blood being shed on the cross 2,000 years ago?

        • ChristianPaul says:

          Peace to you Con!

          Con Orthodoxy is way different than Protestantism. Protestants are all mixed up and do not have proper worship. They are anti-Christ in their worship!

          Concerning blood atonement it is referred in Leviticus 17 v.11:

          ”11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.”

          For Orthodox the holy blood is the life of the Spirit giving permanent atonement and growth by the Resurrected flesh. It is the mean chosen to sanctify us in the Spirit. The divine liturgy is Communion to the Flesh and Blood of the Messiah to become One Holy Body capable to sanctify and praise YHWH in spirit and truth.

          Blessings!

          • Sharbano says:

            Are you referring to that disgusting pagan practice of drinking his blood and eating his flesh. As the saying goes, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it still is a pig.
            This practice was used by some pagans to absorb the power of their enemies and make them stronger. You are suggesting the same.
            Each and Every religion has One thing in common. They all seek to bring their god down to their level. Only Judaism says we must elevate ourselves to be like G-d. This is unique to any other religion.

          • ChristianPaul says:

            Hi Sharbano!

            Your point is valid. But what is the mean to elevate yourself toward the Elohim? Is it not the Elohim that elevates us on his wings. And therefore who are his wings?

            Do you think that YHWH Almighty will exercise all his power to elevate us? Is it possible in this realm to fly? No of course therefore how in the other life are you going to fly toward Him? Are you a seraphim?

            In another view what his the mean that the Elohim uses to communicate his Revelation through inspired men like Moses who wrote the words of God. Therefore all communication with him his made by Him at our level descending to our realm to reach to us. Therefore our hope is that He will elevate us by seeing our good will to obey him proof that we love him and want to make alliance with Him. But his Will is that He wants us to be holy like his Holy to be One with him. This demand a real transformation of our being to become more like Him. Do you see the implications here? This is mega stuff not a simple task … impossible by man alone but all possible to the Author of all things. Bless He be now and forever!

            Blessings!

          • Sharbano says:

            Fly to Him on wings??
            You have tried to make Torah say what it does not. What does Torah say G-d wants. What did G-d say of Avraham. This is all that needs to be known. Did G-d tell Cain that He would elevate him. No matter how you want to spin it the Torah simply contradicts ALL that you promote.

          • Dina says:

            Hi “Christian Paul,”

            When you were “Lion,” you made the same arguments. You just can’t help yourself, can you? You came here with a new name pretending to be humble and pretending to ask questions as if you really are interested in learning from us. But it didn’t take long before you switched from pretending to want to learn to preaching.

            The Torah does not teach your theology. Do you have anything new to say?

          • ChristianPaul says:

            Hi Sharbano!

            You seem puzzled by this expression : “Fly to Him on wings??” putting after it two question marks.

            I did not invented it. It is in the Torah:

            Exodus 19:4
            ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.

            In the Tanakh:

            Ruth 2:12
            The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”

            2 Samuel 22:11
            He rode upon a cherub, and flew; And He was seen upon the wings of the wind.

            Now can you explain me how does YHWH the infinite One can ride and be seen on the wings of the Wind?

            Thank you and blessings!

          • Sharbano says:

            Can you not understand a metaphor. David pens a song and uses many metaphors.

          • ChristianPaul says:

            Hi Dina! I do not believe in zodiac sign. I am not a lion whatever the sign.

            My first name is Christian like the Christians. I received it by my father. Can you explain what is my offense if I did something wrong? I thought this site was to seek the truth and try to answer questions. I have asked many questions that I hope you or more knowledge persons will answer to validate the Faith and clear the clouds of Confusion.

            Thank you in advance and blessings!

          • Dina says:

            Hi “Christian Paul,”

            Here’s a simple yes or no question.

            Did you, or did you not, ever post comments on this blog using a different screen name?

            Yes or no. If you give me more than a one-word answer, I’ll know you’re lying.

            I can’t write your previous screen name because it was blocked, so my comment won’t go through. It was two names, and the second name was “Lion.” The first name was “Eliyah.”

            I suspect everyone else recognizes you but is too polite to say so. Not only do you make the exact same tired old arguments as that Lion guy, but you also write in the exact same style and voice. Unless you’re his twin brother.

            If you’re on this blog to seek truth, as you say, start with being truthful about yourself.

          • Sharbano says:

            Usually when a person asks questions it’s because they want to learn some thing. Xtians do not follow this pattern. When They ask questions the purpose is for an opening to transmit a theology. That is why the “follow-up”, is lacking by Xtian questioning. It is also why the subject and focus changes from moment to moment. There is no finality in the pursuit, because the arguments are unconvincing to the educated or knowledgeable.

          • ChristianPaul says:

            Peace to you Dina!

            You asked: Did you, or did you not, ever post comments on this blog using a different screen name? No!

            The screen name that you are referring too was very interesting to read from an Orthodox point of view. It was like fire in a bottle. I did pay attention to his terminology for it was very Scriptural. I did not agree with the insult from either way. It degrades us all and may have gave I bad perception of Orthodoxy for which I am sorry. I wish He would have been less harsh and more comprehensive of the nature of the human intellect.

            His claim to be a prophet is to be tested if it is true but for us Orthodox Christian we know that Eliyah must come back before the Messiah return. I think that is also or used to be the doctrine of Orthodox Judaism. Can you light us please on this fascinating subject you or all the witnesses here. Thank you!

            May the Holy Name bless you now and forever and please always pray for me a sinner now and till the hour of my death! Thank you!

          • Sharbano says:

            I wonder if you are aware that there are ways to find the source of someone who uses the internet. There are signatures that computers leave when they access the internet.

          • Dina says:

            Hi “Christian Paul,”

            That’s fascinating. Another question for you:

            What is your native tongue? And what other languages do you speak?

            Thank you.

            P.S. I accept your apology.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        P.S.: honoring the king or the messiah is it anti-Torah?

        Honor or respect is not what Christians do in worshiping Jesus as divine, nor is honor defined as PRAYING to an entity as G-d. Christians WORSHIP Jesus as divine in the full sense of the word, and they fully believe that this human nature’s shed blood and death 2,000 years ago was necessary, and the only means for salvation. Torah knows nothing of this theology, and explicitly contradicts these notions in its plain meaning.

        You asked if Torah could possibly be speaking allegorically in certain prophecies. The problem with that view is, If the Torah speaks allegorically, you could literally make the Torah say or prove anything you want it to. That’s the problem with Christian theology.

        Your commentaries look for types here, shadows there, a bible hint here, and another hint there. With the same methodology of hints and shadows that mainstream Christians use to prove Jesus, Muslims have sought to prove Muhammad, Mormons to prove Joseph smith, and the gnostics to prove endless emanations and theological speculations.

        The allegorical methodology wont and cant ever produce a sound theology. The prophets prophesied everlasting peace, is this possibly an allegory? What about the messianic advent itself? Is that an allegory?

        • Concerned Reader says:

          Catholics have even used allegory in recent years to virtually add Mary as “queen of heaven” to the trinity. The method Christianity employs is inherently unstable because it starts with hints and miracles, not solid ethical principles. Christians often care more about who is baptized, and in what Church, than they care about people who actually live daily life as Jesus would have.

          In respect of daily life, liturgy, practices, etc. Jesus has more in common with orthodox Jews than he does with Christians.

          • Saul Goodman says:

            For Mary, it is really true:

            “De la sorte, le Père Kolbe relie la maternité et l’Immaculée conception et il affirme une intériorité de l’Esprit dans la vie et dans la personnalité de Marie telle que Marie est une quasi-incarnation de l’Esprit” http://it.mariedenazareth.com/13758.0.html

            In english:

            “As such, Father Kolbe links the maternity with the immaculate conception, and affirms an interiority of the Spirit in the life and personality of Mary, so much that Mary is a quasi-incarnation of the Spirit.”

            Kolbe was canonized on 10 October 1982 by Pope John Paul II, and declared a martyr of charity. He is the patron saint of drug addicts, political prisoners, families, journalists, prisoners, and the pro-life movement. John Paul II declared him “The Patron Saint of Our Difficult Century”.

          • ChristianPaul says:

            Peace to you Saul!

            First Maximilian Kolbe a Catholic priest who traded his place in Auschwitz to be executed by the Nazis instead of a Jewish father. He is a just holy man. His theology can be considered way advanced for the time. He had intuitions that are worthy to explore on a Christian level.

            For the Jewish mind he could be scandalous in a sense. His position being that Maryam the mother of the Messiah is the personification of the Ruah-Spirit (feminine)

            She is the ark of the Covenant in flesh who bears the living Torah!
            She is the human Image of the Ruah-Shekhinah
            She is the holy temple bearing Elohim
            She is the pure vessels giving the cup of salvation
            She is the immaculate one giving birth to Israel

            Conclusion the Holy Spirit and Maryam in Orthodoxy are in synergy in the work of salvation. They are One as the Messiah is One with the Word. It is the extent of YHWH Elohim reaching humankind in his dual Act of Love towards us. Glory be to Him in all things!

            Blessings!

          • Sharbano says:

            This is what happens when you have a man-made theology. Once you claim a man is a god via a virgin birth, then logic has to follow that the mother is also a god. This is no different than the god Zeus, who would impregnate a human woman and create a “savior”. Once one starts down this road then the instinct is to create an even more preposterous reasoning to justify the belief.

            There is a reason Torah was given, and in it are all the answers. Those answers are explicit and clear. G-d Himself gives the answer. It was He who spoke to Moshe WITH clarity of speech. Never does G-d say to speak to Israel in riddles, but speak to them as He speaks to Moshe. As I stated previously G-d gave the parameters of all creation. Each and EVERY thing after it OWN kind. He also says there is NO one beside Him. No man-god, no woman-god, but HIM alone. No wonder it says they blaspheme My Name every day.

          • Saul Goodman says:

            Hi Paul.

            Well, this is all good, but John Chrysostom sad Mary sinned, Cyrill of Alexandria said she sinned, Basil of Cesarea said she sinned, Origen said she sinned, Tertullian said she was a type of the Synagogue(under his pen, this is not a compliment). From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

            “In regard to the sinlessness of Mary the older Fathers are very cautious: some of them even seem to have been in error on this matter.

            Origen, although he ascribed to Mary high spiritual prerogatives, thought that, at the time of Christ’s passion, the sword of disbelief pierced Mary’s soul; that she was struck by the poniard of doubt; and that for her sins also Christ died (Origen, “In Luc. hom. xvii”).
            In the same manner St. Basil writes in the fourth century: he sees in the sword, of which Simeon speaks, the doubt which pierced Mary’s soul (Epistle 260).
            St. Chrysostom accuses her of ambition, and of putting herself forward unduly when she sought to speak to Jesus at Capharnaum (Matthew 12:46; Chrysostom, Homily 44 on Matthew).” http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07674d.htm

          • ChristianPaul says:

            Hi Saul! I am aware of that subject on Maryam but the Orthodox position on her immaculate conception is very simple contrary to Romanism. She is a human like us having been purified-sanctified by the Holy Spirit to receive a special mission in the history of Israel. She was like us affected by original sin having the same flesh that we inherited after the fall.

            Peace to you!

          • ChristianPaul says:

            Hi Sharbano, peace to you!

            YHWH is clear in his Torah you are 100% right. We must obey him and serve him. Therefore I am trying to grasp your contention here. Are you opposing the Orthodox Interpretation of Scriptures. If yes what is your interpretation. I am asking this because:

            a) Rabbi Boteach an Orthodox rabbi is for gay rights. Orthodox Christian are against it. What is the Orthodox Jewish position?

            b) Lev Tahor an ultra-orthodox movement are against the state of Israel, is it an Orthodox position or not?

            I wish the Jewish voice was coherent and unified in order to give a clear and pure testimony of Torah but the reality is tough: where do we turn to for guidance? Surely the Torah but everybody turns it to his understanding… than who is right in this confusion?

            Blessings!

          • Sharbano says:

            You apparently do not want to comprehend what I write. Avraham was blessed Because he obeyed G-d’s voice, kept His charge, His commandments, his statutes and His laws. G-d didn’t ask Avraham to “believe” in some strange worship (Avodah Zarah). You have taken Torah and perverted its intention in order to comply with the likes of Zeus and others.

            THEN, your only answer is to cite one individual, or bring up a political position of one group. You say we must obey and serve Him. What? Serve Him with Avodah Zarah. It would be best to confront your own theology and whether it stands up to scrutiny according to the clear words of Torah, and Not some esoteric interpretation. If you cannot accept the words as they stand you will be unable to know How to obey and serve in the way prescribed by Torah.

          • Christian Paul Both, Rabbi S. Boteach and the Lev Tahor cult have been criticized by mainstream Orthodox Judaism as radicals – and they themselves disparage mainstream Orthodox Judaism as being out of touch with the “proper” interpretation. Either way – your demand for absolute unity in thought is not Biblical. God created us to think differently – that is what human life is all about. When we had a Sanhedrin – the ruling of the Sanhedrin would determine a unified practice as per Deuteronomy 17:8. But the fact that we think differently is healthy. But – what you fail to realize is that on the fundamentals – we agree. And that includes the idea that to direct worship to a man – no matter the theological justification – is idolatry. We are not God’s witnesses for nothing.

          • Saul Goodman says:

            Hi Paul. But i was not reffering to the immaculate conception of Mary, but to your belief that she was sinless. Will you deny the Orthodox Church believes Mary was sinless in opposition to Chrysostom, Cyrill or Basil?

            “I can say, in short, that the Orthodox Church believes that Mary, as a human being, could indeed have sinned, but chose not to.” https://oca.org/questions/saints/sinlessness-of-mary

            OCA vs Chrysostom, you must choose.

            But now i’m really getting tired of your manipulation towards people of this blog. You write:

            “I wish the Jewish voice was coherent and unified in order to give a clear and pure testimony of Torah but the reality is tough: where do we turn to for guidance? Surely the Torah but everybody turns it to his understanding… than who is right in this confusion?”

            As i mentioned it above, and as you carefully avoided answering, your Church does not even have a unified Canon of Scriptures. You can not even agree on the Canon, and you want to debate unity? You can not even agree on what is an oecumenical council, and you want to use the Unity criteria? If we apply this criteria to your Church, your Church does not pass the test.

            In fact, it is impossible to know what Orthodox Church you are talking about. The Old Calendarists from the “True Orthodoxs” call the official patriarchates heretics. Who is the true Orthodox Church? And do not tell me you must follow the Patriarchates, this is false. At Florence, your Patriarchates submited to the Papacy and you do not follow it.

            So please, don’t try to manipulate people here. Honnesty is the basis for any dialogue.

          • ChristianPaul says:

            Mr. Goodman I understand that you rejected Orthodoxy but I feel resentment toward the Church. I wish you resentment could be alleviated. Your arguments that we can not agree on the canons of Scriptures is not serious. What do it mean practically? Some books were recognized having been previously included in the Septuagint version of the Bible approved at the time of the 70 by the Jewish authorities subsequently removed for x reasons… That is worth questioning for scholarship debates. Therefore if it is possible for you to be less judgmental we could try to find the truth in crucial matters. Thank you very much!

            Peace and blessings to you!

          • Sharbano says:

            I would think a person would check out facts before making statements as, ” Some books were recognized having been previously included in the Septuagint version of the Bible approved at the time of the 70 by the Jewish authorities subsequently removed for x reasons”
            This is just another of many Xtian fabrications in order to support a failed position.

          • Saul Goodman says:

            Paul, can you stop the ad hominem internet cafee psychology and answer to the arguments instead?

            “Your arguments that we can not agree on the canons of Scriptures is not serious.”

            “Saint” Philaret of Moscow obliterates your claim:

            34. Why is there no notice taken in this enumeration of the books of the Old Testament of the book of the Wisdom of the son of Sirach, and of certain others?

            Because they do not exist in the Hebrew.

            35. How are we to regard these last-named books?

            Athanasius the Great says that they have been appointed of the Fathers to be read by proselytes who are preparing for admission into the Church. http://www.pravoslavieto.com/docs/eng/Orthodox_Catechism_of_Philaret.htm#ii.xv.iii.i

            Who has authority? Philaret of Moscow or… Paul the internet orthodox layman?

            “Some books were recognized having been previously included in the Septuagint version of the Bible approved at the time of the 70 by the Jewish authorities subsequently removed for x reasons”

            I challenge you to prove it. Now, i will quote the Church Fathers that once again, falsifie your claim.

            Cyrill of Jerusalem writes:

            And, pray, read none of the apocryphal writings : for why do you, who know not those which are acknowledged among all, trouble yourself in vain about those which are disputed? Read the Divine Scriptures, the twenty-two books of the Old Testament, these that have been translated by the Seventy-two Interpreters. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310104.htm

            Epiphanius of Salamis writes:

            so that the books of the (Old) Testament are as follows: the five of the Law—- {49b} Genesis,45 Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy—-this is the Pentateuch, otherwise the code of law; and five in verse—-the book of Job, then of the Psalms, the Proverbs of Solomon, Koheleth, the Song of Songs. Then another “pentateuch” (of books) which are called the Writings, and by some the Hagiographa, which are as follows: Joshua the (son) of Nun, the book of Judges with Ruth, First and Second Paraleipomena, First and Second Kingdoms, Third and Fourth Kingdoms; and this is a third “pentateuch.” Another “pentateuch” is the books of the prophets—-the Twelve Prophets (forming) one 46 book,46 Isaiah one,46 Jeremiah one,46 Ezekiel one,46 Daniel one 46—-and again the prophetic “pentateuch” is filled up.47 But there remain two other books, which are (one of them) the two30 of Ezra that are counted as one, and the other the book of Esther. So twenty-two books are completed according to the number of the twenty-two {49c} letters of the Hebrews. For there are two (other) poetical books, that by Solomon called “Most Excellent,” 48 and that by Jesus the son of Sirach and grandson of Jesus—-49 for his grandfather was named Jesus 49 (and was) he who composed Wisdom in Hebrew, which his grandson, |20 translating, wrote in Greek—-which also are helpful and useful, but are not included in the number of the recognized; and therefore they were not 50 kept in the chest, that is, in the ark of the covenant. http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/epiphanius_weights_03_text.htm#C9

            What should we do then of your claim? Right, no comment.

            “Therefore if it is possible for you to be less judgmental we could try to find the truth in crucial matters. Thank you very much!”

            I can hear you cry from here. Now, if you could stop your emotional and psychological rents and stick to the issue you would be nice.

          • ChristianPaul says:

            Saul Peace to you! Saul I feel some of your resentment hopefully it will not cloud you. I did not invent this actually you can read this to get the info:

            http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/84579/jewish/The-True-Translation.htm

            http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13722a.htm

            Blessings and be in Peace!

          • Sharbano says:

            That translation, as it is stated at Chabad, was ONLY the Torah, the 5 books of Moshe, and nothing else.

          • Saul Goodman says:

            Paul, if you want to prove a point, you should at least specify the point you want to prove.

            The Chabad link does not even adress the canon of the LXX. 100% irelevant link.

            2nd; the translation officialy done by Jewish sages was only of the Torah, the first 5 books, and so could not include the Apocrypha. 100% irelevant….again. To quote from your own second link:

            3) The few details which during the course of ages have been added to Aristeas’s account cannot be accepted; such are the story of the cells (St. Jerome explicitly rejects this); the inspiration of the translators, an opinion certainly based on the legend of the cells; the number of the translators, seventy-two (see below); the assertion that all the Hebrew books were translated at the same time. Aristeas speaks of the translation of the law (nomos), of the legislation (nomothesia), of the books of the legislator; now these expressions especially the last two, certainly mean the Pentateuch, exclusive of the other Old Testament books: and St. Jerome (Comment. in Mich.) says: “Josephus writes, and the Hebrews inform us, that only the five books of Moses were translated by them (seventy-two), and given to King Ptolemy.”

            So basically, you do not even read the links you post. How boring you are

        • ChristianPaul says:

          Hi Con

          It is mainly Origen that used the allegoric way to interpret Scriptures. In case you did not know he was condemned by the Orthodox Church. The way to interpret properly Scriptures is always in the Holy Assembly in the Holy Author who can teach us in humility and simplicity his commandments and statutes according to his will.

          The prophets always remind us in the Spirit the will of God the Father. The words they spoke was one voice in the desert proclaiming the Word to accomplish the will of the Father.

          All Christian Orthodox refers to the Messiah Elohim as their master in the Faith to prepare them to receive the Holy Spirit where they become fully transformed to worship the Father in spirit and truth.

          The Supremacy of YHWH father is always a pillar of the Orthodox Faith contrary to Catholics or Protestants. They have deviated from the Faith. Orthodox Judaism can understand that when they compare to liberals or reform or conservative Judaism. As those form of Judaism are a danger to Orthodox Judaism. The same can apply to Orthodox Christianity which is the only form of Christianity that is genuine from the beginning. Therefore the understanding of the Orthodox Church is the mind of the Messiah and the Apostles where they have united all Ephraim descendants to accomplish the prophecy and benediction of Jacob in Genesis 48, where Ephraim descendants will become a plenitude of the nations. Through them the word of God is proclaimed and lived to the glory of the One Elohim.

          Blessings!

          • Sharbano says:

            Your words are no different than any other Xtian. They all claim to have the truth from the beginning and make the same arguments. Every group has the Same problem. NONE of you can claim firsthand knowledge. The first book of Xtianity wasn’t even written until a generation later, unlike the Torah, which was penned by Moshe as it Happened.
            I suppose you want us to believe in the “Ten Tribes Movement”, where Britain has “Brit”, for covenant, and the Danube has “Dan” as a tribal name. Those people “Claim” to be the lost tribes. It’s just a new and improved form of replacement theology.

  6. Concerned Reader says:

    BTW the extreme veneration of Mary (near deification) is explicitly declared heresy in early Church documents and history. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collyridianism

    This phenomenon of worshiping and venerating servants of G-d as “special” is exactly why Deuteronomy 4:19 exists. You are not supposed to worship anyone of the “host of heaven,” but the father only. Most polytheists believe that they worship G-d (although they do not believe he is like anything described in the Bible,) but they are infatuated with those whom they believe “carry out G-d’s will.” They reason to themselves, how could it be wrong to worship those who carry out G-d’s will?

    • ChristianPaul says:

      Hi Con! In the Orthodox church there is no extreme veneration of Maryam but we honor her as a mother here of the Messiah. She is our beloved mother in the life of the Ruah HaKodesh as the first bearer of the Messiah like we are called to be.

      Therefore the heresy that was condemned was condemned by the Orthodox church which can not be accused of being in this heresy herself.

      Now venerating servants of God is a Jewish practice not a Christian practice alone. We venerate Moses and David and the Patriarchs, therefore let us be honest here and treat everyone with due respect.

      Peace!

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Mary is not called Christtokos in Eastern Orthodoxy, but Theotokos, meaning G-d bearer. The immaculate conception means that Mary bore Jesus while her life was free of original sin. Mary is as close to quasi deified in orthodoxy as she is in Catholicism, its heresy, its not similar to mainstream Jewish religion in any way.

        Asking a person to pray to G-d on your behalf (while they live on earth) is not like asking a person who has passed on to intercede with G-d on your behalf. The Torah says not to inquire of the dead, and also not to worship the host of heaven. Christian practices clearly violate both of these commandments, so its not acceptable for Jews to believe it.

        • Saul Goodman says:

          By now, it is obvious that Paul is dishonnest. He makes bold claims about the Orthodox Church that he is not able to back up. When cornered, he comes out to cry us a river.

          He claims, “In the Orthodox church there is no extreme veneration of Maryam but we honor her as a mother here of the Messiah.”

          Now i will post prayers adressed to Mary in the Orthodox Church and everyone will see if there is no extreme veneration of Mary.

          “Unto you, O Theotokos, invincible Champion, your City, in thanksgiving ascribes the victory for the deliverance from sufferings. And having your might unassailable, free us from all dangers, so that we may cry unto you….

          You are a fortress protecting all virgins, O Theotokos and Virgin…

          O all-hymned Mother, worthy of all praise, who brought forth the Word, the Holiest of all Saints [3 times], as you receive this our offering, rescue us all from every calamity, and deliver from future torment those who cry with one voice…” Akathist Hymn, chanted in all Orthodox Churches throughout the world during the five Fridays in the Great Lent.

          All of this is adressed to a dead woman. I let everyone judge if this is extreme or not. I could also add that in the Church, there are woody icons of her,they kiss it and bow down to it. I did it also, may God forgive me.

          • ChristianPaul says:

            Hi Con and Saul! My first name is Christian thank you Saul! Peace to you both!

            I will state right off that the Orthodox Church strongly believes that Maryam is not dead but Resurrected like her son. Therefore your claim that we pray to the dead is not founded.

            Also on a Jewish perspective of the Torah:. Is YHWH the Elohim of the dead or the living? When He introduced Himself to his servants he says: I am Elohei Abraham Yaakov Israel… Is He the God of the dead? Certainly not for we believe all Jews and Christians that the Resurrection is real and even a dogma of Faith. For you can not be a Jew or a Christian if you do not believe in the Resurrection.

            Concerning Maryam she is venerated as the Holy One commanded us to do in His Holy Commandments. Please read all the Ten Commandments:

            For us Orthodox Christians in the life of Grace we are the sons and daughters of the Messiah and the Virgin therefore we honor them and praise them and ask them as we ask our parents when we are in need. It is not for nothing that the 5th commandment is in the same Table with the Commandment pertaining to God Himself.

            Now concerning the Theotokos versus the Christokos. That was a debate in the Church between Nestorius and the Chalcedonians. The Temple of Yerusalem did bear the Elohim and it was made of stone. Now why did living stone can not bear the Elohim? Answering will explain the terminology employed by the Church being a living Temple. Therefore she is theotokos in Communion with the One Theotokos the Ruah Hakodesh the Divine Presence.

            The Beauty of the Orthodox Faith is that the Faith opens our hearts to the Beauty of the One Revelation to a level never taught to be possible to men. We are partakers of the Resurrection and in this light we can fly like eagles to contemplate the Beauty of YHWH! Glory be to Him now and forever!

            Thank you and Blessings!

          • Sharbano says:

            You’ve confirmed by statement regarding the Xtian use of the word “Faith”.

            Do you know the difference Between Hashem (the Tetragrammaton) and Elokim. And Why do you even write it, and also using a “W”. Furthermore, what is your background in the Hebrew language.

          • Saul Goodman says:

            Paul you write:

            “I will state right off that the Orthodox Church strongly believes that Maryam is not dead but Resurrected like her son. Therefore your claim that we pray to the dead is not founded.”

            It is your claim that is irelevant. The fact is that she died. Your claim that she was somehow ressurected is foreign to the Early Church. It comes from an apocrypha. Let’s quote the Catholic Encyclopedia:

            The belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is founded on the apocryphal treatise De Obitu S. Dominae, bearing the name of St. John, which belongs however to the fourth or fifth century. It is also found in the book De Transitu Virginis, falsely ascribed to St. Melito of Sardis, and in a spurious letter attributed to St. Denis the Areopagite. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02006b.htm

            So basically, yes, you are praying to a dead woman. We have a fact, versus your claim that she got ressurected.

            “Concerning Maryam she is venerated as the Holy One commanded us to do in His Holy Commandments. Please read all the Ten Commandments:”

            Ten Commandments are not about praying to a dead woman, be it your Mother or anyone else.

            “Now concerning the Theotokos versus the Christokos. That was a debate in the Church between Nestorius and the Chalcedonians. ”

            You are very ignorant. It is a debate between Nestorians and Ephesians. It is the Council of Ephesus that condemned Nestorius, not Chalcedon. Are you really Orthodox Christian? In fact, the Council of Chalcedon was seen with joy by the party of Nestorius, and sent the Coptic Ephesians into separation, schism from the Chalcedonian Church. Coptics felt that Chalcedon was a concession to Nestorius and divided Jesus in 2 as Nestorius supposedly did.

          • ChristianPaul says:

            Hi Saul! Thank you for correcting me for I just human and surely ignorant. May the Lord be my true knowledge!

            Peace!

            P.S.: Concerning the theotokos being dead that is heresy and your opinion is not the Orthodox Doctrine. You denigrate Holy Tradition for your own view like the popes of Rome thinking they know everything. We must be very careful about pride here who distort everything in our mind to introduce confusion. I hope your resentment will heal one day.

            P.S.: The proof that Maryam is resurrected and the doctrine was preached from the beginning is in the Book of Revelation if you read it with an Orthodox mind.

            Blessings!

          • Dina says:

            Hi CP,

            You warned Saul about pride. How bad is pride in a man? Is it worse in a woman?

          • Saul Goodman says:

            I’m sorry to be rude Paul. But you are dishonnest and i’m partially a hot blood eastern european. You make bold claims and can not back them up.

            Now you say i go against Tradition because of Revelation 12? But my poor Paul, the earliest interpretation is that it refers to the Church and not to Mary. The fact is, your Church belief on this comes from Apocrypha, as admited by the Catholic Encyclopedia. To quote it again:

            ” If we consult genuine writings in the East, it is mentioned in the sermons of St. Andrew of Crete, St. John Damascene, St. Modestus of Jerusalem and others. In the West, St. Gregory of Tours (De gloria mart., I, iv) mentions it first.”

            The first mention of it is Gregory of Tours. Rather late right?

            Pope Gregory the “Great” writes:

            Whence also John says; A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet. [Rev. 12, 1] For by the ‘sun’ is understood the illumination of truth, but by the moon, which wanes and is filled up every month, the changeableness of temporal things. But Holy Church, because she is protected with the splendour of the heavenly light, is clothed, as it were, with the sun; but, because she despises all temporal things, she tramples the moon under her feet. http://www.lectionarycentral.com/GregoryMoralia/Book34.html

            The woman is the Church, not Mary.

            Raban Maure does not see Mary either:

            ” Also in the New Testament, by the twelve stars in the bride’s crown, by the twelve foundations of Jerusalem which John saw, and her twelve gates.” http://dhspriory.org/thomas/CAMatthew.htm#10

            Epiphanius is the first to say it is Mary but was not even sure. Before him, it was always the Church. So in fact, your Church is contradicting the Tradition of the Early Church. And not only on this. I see you love Tradition so much, if we test your Church by the Tradition, it will fall apart. On prayers to the angels, by example, condemned as demonic by Ireneus of Lyon or John Chrysostom. You don’t want to go there, trust me.

            I don’t have any bad feeling about the Orthodox Church. The psalms sung by its monks are very beautifull. But what matters is truth. You should stop hidding behind psychology in order to avoid the facts. I know how hard it is, believe me, it was not easy for me. But you should try to be honnest. This is all i’m asking you.

  7. Concerned Reader says:

    It is mainly Origen that used the allegoric way to interpret Scriptures. In case you did not know he was condemned by the Orthodox Church.

    Then why did you advocate reading scripture allegorically?

  8. Concerned Reader says:

    Pistis, Fide, or Emunah, which is the “faith” taught in the Bible?
    Pistis and Fide have a traditional link to the Greco Roman rhetorical tradition. In these contexts, (and in much of patristic literature too,) pistis lends itself to the meaning of trust, or intellectual persuasion towards a position. If you trust or are persuaded that a claim is true, you have “pistis” and “fide.” The New Testament corroborates this meaning of faith, namely, “believing without seeing or knowing.” as virtuous. The question is, is this the meaning of the Hebrew Bible’s word Emunah?
    Emunah in the Hebrew language means something akin to faithfulness, and even in the case of an individual acting on a strong conviction (such as was the case with pinchas,) it is always combined with actions taught or reinforced by the commandments and their observance.
    Daniel the prophet is the ultimate example of Emunah. He was faithful to G-d’s decrees in all his life, to the point of being thrown into the lion’s den. Never in the Tanakh does faith mean a strong belief in something you do not know to be true. Emunah is not pistis, it is not the Fide of Christian literature. Emunah is always understood as a faithfulness to the commandments.

    • ChristianPaul says:

      Hi Con! You concluded with this statement: “Emunah is always understood as a faithfulness to the commandments.”

      You should read this:
      http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1398519/jewish/Emunah.htm

      The practice of the commandments is the path to true Emunah. The more you are obedient the more your Emunah will grow. Therefore Faith and Emunah are equivalent terminology. Faith will grow the more you are obedient to the will of YHWH.

      I am trying to understand why you make a distinction. Is it in reference to the Protestant heretical view that the commandments are not important?

      Another point; you said: “Then why did you advocate reading scripture allegorically?” I did not advocate it. If I did can you show me that I may see the context of what I wrote. I strongly believe that all Scriptures are the word of God therefore have an amplitude much more profound than the literal historical meaning. But I do not deny the primal sense in opposition to a strange sense. If so I did please correct me and show me where?

      Thank you in advance! Peace!

      • Sharbano says:

        I don’t think you grasped the real concept of Emunah. The Xtian use of the word “faith” has more to do with a “belief” rather than what the essence of Emunah is.

        • ChristianPaul says:

          Hi Sharbano! Faith for protestant may be. But Faith for Orthodox Christian is alive not dead. And our works keeps it alive. Read the Epistle of James. You will understand our view. It is the same as Emunah.

          18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[d] works, and I will show you my faith by my[e] works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?[f] 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

          25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

          26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (Epistle of James ch.2 NKJV)

          Blessings!

          • Sharbano says:

            You had already defined your concept of Faith and it is no different than any Protestant I have ever heard.

  9. Concerned Reader says:

    Actually Sharbano, Orthodox Christians are very different than Protestants because they don’t teach salvation by belief only, nor do they teach once saved always saved. They believe a person’s deeds matter in relationship with G-d. Most protestants don’t believe that.

    • Dina says:

      But Con, one belief they do share is that all your good deeds count for nothing if you don’t accept Jesus as your lord and savior. Even if you live a moral and upright life, you are still eternally damned if you don’t believe in Jesus. (I think Christians think there is no such thing as a good person who doesn’t believe in Jesus. Just from things people have said on this blog, it seems to me a pervasive and ugly notion among Christians.)

    • ChristianPaul says:

      Hi Con and Dina! Con you are right and just: here we are not like Protestant. It is not for nothing that we are called Orthodox Christian. And It will be beneficial for both Orthodox branches to compare themselves to see the differences and the similitudes.

      Now concerning damnation it is very clear that ALL the human race will be saved because of the Messiah. The Protestant view is a LIE, plus they are anti-Messiah and anti-Torah for most of them. Those who will be damned are those who refuses Redemption and want to die in their wickedness for love of Darkness. They choose the path of death instead of life.

      Dina the role of the Messiah is to gave us a safeguard in order not to drown but good swimmers can swim if they have the energy to traverse the other side…But always keep in mind that to YHWH nothing is impossible and YHWH loves all his children but also He respect dearly our liberty. Therefore if someone chose evil for eternity that is his liberty even though we know that it is foolishness.

      Thank you and blessings!

      • Saul Goodman says:

        Christian are you saying the Orthodox Church teaches Universalism? If so, this is false. Here is the true Orthodox position: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o7UGLTauHI

        The fact is, the Church Fathers and so the Tradition you adhere to teach “No salvation outside of the Church”.

        Irenaeus (a.D. 130 – 202):
        “The Church is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account we are bound to avoid them . . . . We hear it declared of the unbelieving and the blinded of this world that they shall not inherit the world of life which is to come” Against Heresies (Book III, Chapter 4) http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103304.htm

        How different is it from your words!

        Cyprian of Carthage:
        “When we say, ‘Do you believe in eternal life and the remission of sins through the holy Church?’ we mean that remission of sins is not granted except in the Church” The Ante-Nicene Fathers: The Writings of the Fathers Down to A. D. 325 Page 376 https://books.google.fr/books?id=3IPM-zYaPl4C&printsec=frontcover&hl=fr&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

      • Dina says:

        Very funny, CP.

        What you are saying is, the whole human race will be saved because of the Messiah (meaning Jesus)…if they choose to believe in him.

        So what happens to good, moral people who don’t believe in him? What happens to the six million innocent Jewish men, women, and children killed in the Holocaust who did not accept Jesus as their lord and savior? What happens to the good, moral Jews throughout history who chose death over conversion?

        By the way, I’ve noticed and am struck by the fact that you have never once referred to your messiah by his name, only things like God’s beloved son, the messiah, the beloved messiah, and so on. How do you spell his name in English? Why do you avoid it in English?

        What, for the third time, is your native tongue, and what other languages do you speak?

      • ChristianPaul says:

        Hi Saul and Dina! This is interesting I wrote something and Saul you understood it in a way completely opposite of Dina. And Dina you understood my post in other way. Am I so confusing when I write. I should be more careful. Could it be that the reader should read also more attentively. Thank you!

        Now Saul I did not believe in universalism but stated: ‘Those who will be damned are those who refuses Redemption and want to die in their wickedness for love of Darkness. They choose the path of death instead of life.’

        Now Dina I did not say that all who do not know Yeshua will be damned for I said:
        ‘Dina the role of the Messiah is to gave us a safeguard in order not to drown but good swimmers can swim if they have the energy to traverse the other side…But always keep in mind that to YHWH nothing is impossible and YHWH loves all his children but also He respect dearly our liberty. Therefore if someone chose evil for eternity that is his liberty even though we know that it is foolishness.’

        Plus in complement to all statement read Matthew 25 the sheep versus the goat…

        In conclusion only God knows who will be saved or condemned who will make prison time or who will go directly to heaven. He is the Judge!

        Peace and blessings!

        • Saul Goodman says:

          Hi Christian.

          Ah well, since english is not my first language, it might happen. It will teach me to be more carefull and less bold.

          Can i ask for your to clarify what you mean by ” Now Saul I did not believe in universalism but stated: ‘Those who will be damned are those who refuses Redemption and want to die in their wickedness for love of Darkness. They choose the path of death instead of life.’”? I know what it means, it is basically the teaching of Kalomiros in the River of Fire, but i’m not sure now.

        • Dina says:

          CP,

          “In conclusion only God knows who will be saved or condemned who will make prison time or who will go directly to heaven. He is the Judge!”

          I think Christians contradict themselves when they say things like that, because they also assert that in order to gain eternal salvation you must accept Jesus as your lord and savior (despite what Con says). They believe you can only reach God through Jesus (“I am the way, the truth, and the light, and no one goes to the Father but through me”).

          See also Mark 16:16, John 3:36, 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9, Revelation 21:8.

          “Now Dina I did not say that all who do not know Yeshua will be damned.”

          Why did you spell his name “Yeshua” here? How many names does this guy have?

  10. Concerned Reader says:

    But Con, one belief they do share is that all your good deeds count for nothing if you don’t accept Jesus as your lord and savior.

    Actually Dina, its much more nuanced and complicated than that. There is a book called: The Non Orthodox: The Orthodox teaching on CHRISTIANS outside the Church, by Patrick Barnes. I recommend reading it for some insight into Christian thoughts on “the big question.”

    Since the mainstream Orthodox and Catholic Christians believe J to be hashem himself, ie “the express image of G-d,” “Salvation” needn’t be effected through membership in a literal Christian congregation, or even through direct knowledge of the man from Nazareth. CF. John 10:16.

    So, while Christians do say and mean “all come to salvation only through Jesus,” this statement doesn’t actually mean to them that there is no hope for non Christians, non Christian religions, or Christians outside of their community’s fold. In other words, for a Christian to say “there is salvation without Jesus” would be like for an orthodox Jew to say, “there is salvation without G-d.”

    In other words, Jesus in Christian consciousness isn’t only the physical man from 2,000 years ago, nor is the concept of “saved” only limited to his physical person. He is perceived as the “Logos,” AKA the “son” as the one “through whom all things were made and are held together.” “Jesus” in that sense becomes a metaphysical idea like the concept of Tzelem elohim in Judaism.

    Everyone has been made in G-d’s image, even if they don’t realize or accept it. In the same way to many of Christian consciousness, “all people retroactively have been covered by the blood of Jesus, and are “partakers” in his nature by “adoption,” even if they don’t realize it or believe it.”

    Therefore, when Catholics and Orthodox teach “Extra Ecclesium Naula Saulis” (outside the Church there is no salvation,) it is speaking strictly of the sacramental life of the Church, as if to say “we can’t guarantee that G-d will be pleased if you aren’t a member of our Church.” That’s not the same as saying, the gate is closed there is no hope for anyone. The position taken by the mainline Churches to non Christians is summarized in Romans 2:14.

    So, hypothetically, if you never heard “the true gospel message” you would not be at fault on the Christian “judgement day.”

    • ChristianPaul says:

      The Sheep and the Goats

      31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

      34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

      37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

      40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

      41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

      44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

      45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

      46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

    • Dina says:

      Con, I don’t think your average Christian believes that, nor Christians throughout history. Christians on this blog and others I have spoken to refuse to answer the question of where are the souls of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        That’s the problem with having so many Christian laymen who play preacher Dina. What I wrote is actually (ideally at least, as expressed in the textual sources) what the orthodox Christian teaching is on “salvation,” backed by patristic sources. That book I posted has many patristic references. It’s very depressing that more Christians haven’t followed those principles. I myself (being born into a Protestant home) didn’t even know about the orthodox Christian teaching on salvation until I was in college. THATS A HUGE PROBLEM WITH CHRISTIANITY, FLAT IGNORANCE AND SELF ABSORPTION.

        The Parable that CP posted of sheep and goats actually illustrates the orthodox view. You are not supposed to judge those who are not Christians, because you don’t in fact know who are truly the sheep of Jesus, hence the point of that parable. Jesus is in effect saying, “I am where the truly righteous are, and the truly righteous are known by their fruit.” It’s important also to note in orthodoxy, “salvation” is not guaranteed to a Christian unless he works his salvation with fear and trembling.

        If I were a Christian and I were to answer your question about the Shoah victims as a Christian, I would say, without question, all the children, and the righteous adults would be “saved” if they lived godly lives. I say this because in the NT it was Jesus’ own students who failed him in the clearest and most awful way. Judas betrayed him, Peter denied him, Paul persecuted his students, etc. If The Christian god supposedly has mercy on those who were so involved, had so much intimate knowledge of Jesus, and yet failed him, etc. how much more shall the truly innocent bystander be safe? Christianity has odd teachings, but most average Christians do care about the ethics and ideals of their founder. Christians who come to this blog and speak to anti missionaries have their axe to grind. They aren’t usually indicative of the average person to my experience.

        • Dina says:

          Con,

          “That’s the problem with having so many Christian laymen who play preacher Dina.”

          Wait a minute. The obsession with eternal life is a basic foundational principle of Christianity (forgive the redundancy but I want to strongly emphasize its importance to the Christian). You’re saying that it’s too complicated for the Christian layman to understand. Do you see a problem with a basic theology that is only accessible to theologians and not the common people?

          • Saul Goodman says:

            The Christian teaching is simple: if you are not in Jesus, you are dead in your sins and of the devil. This is the Traditionnal teaching. Only the Roman Church made up a new teaching called invincible ignorance that says invincibly ignorant people can be saved withou being in the Church.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            No, it’s not too hard for Christians to understand. Allow me to clarify a bit. Accessibility of the basic messages and premises of Christian faith ie the message of Jesus’ atoning death and his resurrection, preaching the world to come, eternity etc. are not at all beyond a layperson’s ability to discuss. Never however, in any historic orthodox Christian setting have the laymen been responsible to discuss, judge, and decide doctrine on questions about the Trinity, who is “saved,” eschatology, ecclesiology, or other things that Christian theology considers “the sacred mysteries.” The idea of the lay preacher who discusses and rules on theology with everyday folks for himself arises with the lollard movement, and the early Protestants.

            If you look at the Church’s early disciplinary manuals, and how those manuals handle the question of educating catechumens and laymen, it’s very much centered around the basics of the faith, the sacraments, liturgy, and practices, stress on following the bishops, etc. it’s actually written in these sources that the big questions are not for the everyday Christian people to be making pronouncements on. It’s ultimately for G-d to judge and for Church councils of bishops and elders to discuss doctrine.

            Just like we would ask rabbi B or another qualified halachic authority for help in a given situation, those early Christian sources suggest going to the bishops and your community. It’s only later that the “personal Jesus” even comes up.

            Is there something wrong with a theology that’s not open? Yes. However, every religion has aspects to it that are not open for everyone to discuss and especially not open for just anyone to make binding decisions on.

          • Dina says:

            Actually, Con, in Judaism the lay people can be as learned as they choose to be, and one need not be a rabbi in order to debate and discuss profound theological principles. Any lay person can look up even halachah for himself. Often my husband (who is more learned than I) will look up a fine point of halachah in the Shulchan Aruch or the Mishnah Berurah and will go to a rabbi if he still needs clarification. But not because only a rabbi is allowed to discuss these matters. Rather, it’s simply because the rabbi is more of an expert, having studied more.

            It’s like asking a doctor a question after you’ve done some research on Google but are still not sure about something. It’s not like you aren’t allowed to read about and discuss medicine. But you go to the doctor because he studied it more and so has more knowledge than you. It’s not a perfect analogy because in our circles there are a lot of lay people who are just as learned as rabbis. It’s very common.

            The early Pharisees held that Torah was for everyone. Here is a good link about this, read the section “The Principle of Democracy.”

            http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12087-pharisees

  11. Concerned Reader says:

    Saul, the book I shared with Dina talks about Eastern Orthodox, not Catholic perspectives.

    • Saul Goodman says:

      Yes, i know. I just mentionned that only the Roman Church has a view that would not send all non believers in Jesus in Hell.

      The Orthodox Church position is No salvation outside of the Church. All patristics claim it with one voice.

  12. Concerned Reader says:

    Dina, I know anyone can learn.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Con,

      I was making the distinction that theological/philosophical/esoteric discussion is not closed to the Jewish layperson as it is to the Christian.

      Thanks for all your clarifications.

  13. ChristianPaul says:

    Hi Con, Saul and Dina! Peace to all!

    Con I see that you know very well the Orthodox position and I am very grateful that you justly depicted it. Thank you!

    Saul the position of many fathers of the Church must be understood in light of the Gospel and in the Holy Tradition. Matthew 25 is very clear: on one side the sheep and on the other the goats. In Orthodoxy our deeds reflects our faith. The true Religion like James the Brother of the Messiah said it is to help the widows and the orphans, it means justice and mercy for the weak and poor. Please look at the Prophets reminding us about the needy.

    Who can understand God, God I think wants us to be merciful and kind to Arab and Jews, Christians or Muslims… To tell the truth with meekness not with arrogance and immodesty. The virtues reflects if a man or a woman is truthful. Without them how can we teach Torah without being living torah? For us Orthodox it is a long life process that the monks strive for but us laymen must also strive for. I hope you will pray for me a sinner the little me who dared to teach me the unworthy one. Thank you for clemency and mercy!

    Blessings!.

  14. Pingback: Study Notes and References | 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources

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