Daniel 9:24 – 27

Daniel 9:24 – 27

“Seventy weeks have been decreed upon your people and upon your holy city to end the transgression, and to complete iniquity, and to expiate sin, and to bring everlasting righteousness, and to seal vision and prophet, and to anoint holy of holies. And you will know and understand from the going forth of the word to restore and build Jerusalem until anointed (a) leader, (is) seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks it will return and be built square and moat and in the travails of times. And following the sixty-two weeks (an) anointed (one) will be cut off and he has not, and the city and the sanctuary will be destroyed by the nation of the leader that comes, and his end will be with a torrent, and until the end wars it is decreed desolation. He will strengthen (a) covenant with many (for) one week, and (for) a half week he will abolish sacrifice and meal offering and upon the wing (of) abominations desolation and until extermination as decreed will be poured out upon (the) desolation.”

 

Before we begin with the various interpretations of this passage, it would be in order to clarify a few points. Both Christians and Jews understand that the seventy weeks of this passage, refer to sets of seven years. Scripture uses this term of reference in relation to the Sabbatical year mentioned in Leviticus 25:8. Christians and Jews likewise agree that the time period of the seventy weeks, generally parallels the Second Temple era. There are several Christian variations of the interpretation of these ambiguous verses, as well as several Jewish interpretations. We will try to provide a synopsis of both the Jewish and Christian interpretations. (Some Christian scholars agree to the Jewish understanding of the passage, we will be presenting a synopsis of those Christian interpretations that see this passage as a reference to Jesus.)

 

According to the missionaries, the seventy weeks began towards the beginning of the Second Temple era. The missionaries understand the verse that speaks of the coming of an anointed leader is to be read as follows – from the going forth of the word … until anointed leader is seven and sixty-two weeks. In other words, the anointed leader comes after sixty-nine weeks. For the missionary the rest of the verse is disconnected from the beginning. Thus the phrase “it will return and be built …” stands alone. The anointed one to be cut off after the sixty-two weeks is the same one who came after the sixty-nine weeks. Thus the anointed one is Jesus, and these verses refer to his arrival and death. The introductory verse to this passage, describing the ending of sin and the completion of iniquity is understood to be a description of Jesus’ purpose and mission.

 

The closing verse in this passage is understood by missionaries to be a reference to the seventieth week. There is disagreement amongst missionaries concerning this seventieth week. All of the missionaries understand that it is disconnected from the sixty-nine weeks. The question is, when will it, or was it, fulfilled. One group understands that the seventieth week was fulfilled with the destruction of the Temple, forty years after Jesus’ death. Others understand that the seventieth week will be fulfilled immediately before Jesus’ anticipated second coming.

This interpretation (or these interpretations) fails for several reasons. Most obvious, is the fact that the verse clearly implies that the cutting off of the anointed one is to occur together with the destruction of the city and the sanctuary, after sixty-two weeks. Jesus died several decades before the Romans sacked Jerusalem.

 

Another problem with the missionary interpretation of this passage is the fact that the passage speaks of two separate anointed ones. The first “anointed leader” is to come after seven weeks, with the second anointed to be cut off after sixty-two weeks. The missionary interpretation ignores this clear implication of the verse, and provides no reason why the sixty-nine week period should be subdivided into seven and sixty-two.

 

Furthermore, the missionary interpretation does not explain the main point of the passage. By inserting a space into the seventy weeks (either several decades or several thousand years), there is nothing special about these seventy weeks. They do not measure any particular time, nor do they accomplish anything unique. The missionary understanding of this passage can be compared to someone who tells his friend, “it is 50 miles from New York to Los Angeles.” When questioned by his friend about the accuracy of his statement, the fellow responds, “- well I’m sure you realize that there is a large gap between the forty-ninth and fiftieth miles.” In other words the original statement was meaningless.

 

According to the Jewish commentators, the seventy weeks are contiguous. They end with the destruction of the Temple and the sacking of Jerusalem. The seventy weeks are divided into two periods, the first consisting of seven weeks, with the second consisting of sixty-two. The seventieth week is split between these two periods. The understanding of this interpretation can be compared to the following situation. We are told that the distance between point A and point C is fifty miles. Then we are told that the distance between point A and point B is four miles, while the distance between B and C is forty-five miles. In reality, point B is four and a half miles from point A, and forty-five and a half miles from point C, but we understand that the fractions are being rounded off. The closing verse that speaks of the one week, refers to the last of the sixty-two weeks, and describes the events of that seven-year period.

In order to understand the purpose of the seventy-week period, we must focus on the context of this passage and on the only other passage in scripture that uses the term of weeks to describe sets of seven years. The chapter opens with Daniel contemplating the prophecy of Jeremiah. The Temple was destroyed, the city of Jerusalem was in ruins, and Jeremiah had prophesied that after a seventy-year period Jerusalem would be restored. According to Daniel’s calculations Jeremiah’s seventy years had passed, and the city was still in ruins. Daniel prayed that God have compassion upon His people, and restore the city and the Temple.

 

In response to Daniel’s prayer God dispatches the angel Gabriel. The passage quoted above, was Gabriel’s response to the prayer of Daniel. Gabriel was telling Daniel that he had misunderstood two separate points. Firstly he had miscalculated the seventy years predicted by Jeremiah. This is the meaning of the phrase “you will know and understand from the going forth of the word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.” In other words, Daniel had not understood when it is that the word to rebuild Jerusalem actually went forth, and now he should reevaluate his calculations. Daniel had assumed that the seventy years predicted by Jeremiah began with the first Babylonian invasion, in which the Jews lost their independence to Nebuchadnezzar. In reality he was to count from the third and final Babylonian invasion, when the city and Temple were actually destroyed. Thus the angel tells him that the “word” (of God through Jeremiah) was related to the rebuilding of the city, therefore it was to begin with the destruction of the same.

 

The second point that the angel clarified to Daniel, was that the rebuilding of the Temple was not going to be final; the Temple was going to be destroyed again. Daniel had been hoping that the prophecies of all the prophets were going to be fulfilled in their entirety, and God will come to dwell amongst His people as in the days of Moses and Solomon. This was not to be. Gabriel told Daniel, that his nation must undergo a purging process of seventy weeks, and only then can the sin begin to be expiated as well as the process of ushering in eternal righteousness.  First the nation and the land must make expiation for the particular sin of neglecting the Sabbath of the land. It is for this reason that angel speaks of groups of seven years as “weeks.” This serves as a pointer to the passage in Leviticus in which we are told that the land must undergo a purging period for the expiation of this particular sin. Only after this process is complete, can the national purging process begin; the process that will refine the nation and bring them to the anointing of holy of holies, and everlasting righteousness – according to the visions of the prophets.

 

The two “anointed ones” that Gabriel makes reference to, are Cyrus – the Persian monarch, and the last high priest to serve in the Second Temple. From the going forth of the word until Cyrus, whom Isaiah (45:1) had already identified as the anointed one who will restore the city, will be seven full weeks. This will be followed by sixty-two weeks of the city being rebuilt, but in troubled times (not as Daniel had hoped.) After the sixty-two weeks the high priest would be cut off without any continuity and the city will be destroyed. When Ezekiel prophecies about the restored high-priesthood in the Third Temple, he tells us that it will not be a continuation of the corrupt Sadducee high-priesthood. Rather, the priests who did not stray from God will serve in the Third Temple, and they will teach the people the Laws of God.

 

According to the Jewish interpretation, Gabriel’s words are a direct answer to Daniel’s prayer. Daniel had assumed that with the completion of Jeremiah’s seventy years, all of the Messianic prophecies will come to fruition. The main point of Gabriel’s words are that seventy weeks of years were decreed upon Daniel’s people and upon his city, before the Messianic prophecies can begin to be fulfilled. The seventy-week period is the thrust of Gabriel’s message, as the passage clearly implies.

 

One final point about this prophecy; According to the missionary, the seventy weeks were not decreed “upon your people and upon your holy city.” The seventy weeks are particular components in time that have no direct bearing upon the Jewish people or Jerusalem. In fact the entire Christian vision of the Messiah negates the people whom Daniel considered his own, as well as the city that Daniel considered holy. An unbiased reading of the Jewish scriptures will reveal that the entire focus of the Messianic vision is upon the Jews whom Daniel considered his own, and upon the city that Daniel considered holy.

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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97 Responses to Daniel 9:24 – 27

  1. Pingback: The Applicant with 353 References | 1000 Verses

  2. yitro says:

    Dan 9:24 ….”to end the transgression, and to complete iniquity, and to expiate sin, and to bring everlasting righteousness, and to seal vision and prophet, and to anoint holy of holies”.

    I know Michael Brown makes a big deal about this particular section saying that Jsus did these things (He clearly did not) and that if Jsus isnt the messiah, no one can be.

    It seems to me, that if he had done those things, (again, he clearly didnt) then the Temple would not have been destroyed and the messianic era would have been ushered in at that point. So, clearly the man from Nazareth failed.

  3. Paul says:

    Hello. A great passage this one. I was wondering though? You state the priest will be cut off. Being a christian my Bible states ” Messiah prince” will be cut off, but not for Himself. What is the the original hebrew wording here?
    Are you saying the priests in the third temple will serve instead of the corrupt priests from the second temple (Yes I think), so that raises a few questions. If someone had previously mentioned, which Im sure they have. They would have said this and that in regard to Jesus and the issues He had with the Jewish/priests leaders on various points. Someone would have defended the leaders and said that it was Jesus and His followers were corrupt for not obeying the laws etc. The sabbath being the big one. Are you now saying that is was the priests of that time that were corrupt? Which is it. Corrupt or holy? So Is this the corruption which lead to the temple distruction and the present non temple service?
    Are the priests in the third temple levites, if so, how do you know who is and who is not a levite. Or does it not matter in the third temple period, can we find any reference in the scriptures to this? and finally when does the temple service begin again? I mean prohectically, is it when Messiah comes? You might have mentioned it, I might have misread the blog.

    Thanks.

  4. Paul
    the Hebrew says “annointed” leader – the word “annointed” is used in reference to the high priest many times (Leviticus 4:3). urthermore – it does not say “and not for himself” – it says “and not to him” which implies that he has no continuity
    The reference about the corrupt priesthood is Ezekiel 44:15.
    Paul you can’t believe the Christian Scriptures about the rejection of Jesus any more than you can believe the Koran about the rejection of Mohammed – they are both works of propaganda

  5. Paul says:

    Ok Thanks for info. What do you mean by, “No continuity”?

    Ezekiel 45:15.I do see these verses as the Third temple period, but Are you saying that the sons of Zadok will minister, if so the question still remains. How do you know who are the sons of Zadok are, I mean today that is?

    Are saying that it wasnt the priesthood etc who had Christ handed over to the Romans for crucifixtion. If so who was it that had Him handed over? Was it some other group maybe, His followers?? Or are you stating that the whole period of the Gospels is a propaganda conspiracy against Israel and the Jews, and nothing really happened at all?

    Plus for the record you are definatley stating that the priesthood of the second temple period were corrupt, and were ultimatley responsible for the devine destruction of the temple in AD70?

    Thanks x

  6. naaria says:

    Paul, I was wondering, that since not all Jews in Judea, the Galilee, or “the Diaspora” were destroyed in ancient Rome’s 3 major wars against Jews, that it was true that priests and Levites also survived, and so statuses, roles, traditions, and history also survived and were passed down through the generations. If God chose Rome to do severe damage to Jews, whether they were corrupt or were innocent, those crushed are always restored to their former lands; those “punished” are always rewarded according to the prophets or else they surrender their identity to the nations (lost & unknown until the end times). Many family lines have died out over the centuries, but not all, and historically, we know who some of the “priests” or Levites are. And statistically or mathematically, we also can be sure of those facts. It may be that Man does not know, but what really matters is that God knows who the Levites, priests, or Sons of David are. God kept alive some Holy Servants and has kept their lines “clean”, despite the protests or wishful thinking of anti-Jews. God has that ability, especially if His prophets could be made out to be liars by Men, who will also make God a liar (and a man or a fiction). BTW, when I read Josephus’s “Against Apion”, I see a different Judea & “the Jews”, then I often see in the NT (or as pictured by some modern church cults), which is sometimes closer to the views of Apion or Apollinius or Rome.

    But early Christian history is a whole lot fuzzier. Except for pretenders or those unknowingly are ignorant, there are large gaps in the history. The followers of Jesus, who before 70 c.e., supposedly expected their messiah to return soon, to cleanse or preserve (or at least rebuild later, but also soon) the physical, stone Temple (the same one Jesus thought was worthy and he also tried to cleanse), are very hard to find after 70 c.e. According to many believers (but few scholars), there are no canonical, non-heretical Christian writings after about 66-68 c.e., or at least not after John’s writings guessed to be about 90 c.e. After the bar Kochba revolt middle of the 2nd century or even before, according to the early church fathers, there is no known group that is claiming to be direct descendants of the 1st followers of Jesus. Only legends or unprovable theories. Over 10 thousand missing followers and no trace of where they went or what happened to them. No one, except a few Christians and heretics, mainly Gentiles. Non-Christian Jewish history (outside of Josephus) is sparse, but better preserved and more consistent with the histories written by non-Jews.

    There are some who believe the visions of the prophet John of Patmos are to be taken literally. If they are true prophecies, then shouldn’t they be taken literally or else which scripture says that certain things in a vision are literally true and others are open to individual, subjective interpretation? Are visions really prophetic and who can show objectively that the words apply to the Churches or believers today and not to the people who were actually to be given the message by John? Where is the Ephesus Church of Revelation 2:4 “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.”? Did they repent & go back and do the works that they did at first? Was their lampstand taken from them and who in the Churches today can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are or are not of that church? Do they still hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate” (Rev 2:6)? Where is the church of Smyrna (modern day Izmar?) that was rich but impoverished and harassed by “Jews who weren’t Jews”? Was that a literal 10 days or was it to be taken as soon or a short time in their lifetimes before Christ returned in glory in 10 years or did the preacher not mean to speak to the real church and it was only meant as a generalized prophecy to future churches 1900 years or 10000 years later? When and where or who was or is the Church of Pergamum, “who hold on to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the people of Israe, and so that they would eat food sacrificed to idols and practice fornication”, while yet holding fast to the name of Jesus”? Which Church is Thyatira in Rev 2:19-21, “I know your works—your love, faith, service, and patient endurance. I know that your last works are greater than the first. But I have this against you: you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet and is teaching and beguiling my servants to practice fornication and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her fornication”. Followers of Jesus can be corrupt & idolatrous and yet they can be praised for their love & faith and for their service to Jesus. Similar words are directed to Sardis & to Laodicea, a livey but dead Church or one that is neither “hot or cold” – room temperature – that is rich & blessed but poor in spirit. There is another Greek city, in between, that is praised because they also had patient endurance and kept the name. Jesus will keep them (not us today?) from the hour of trial that would SOON be coming on the whole world. It wasn’t them then, so who can prove that they are of that persecuted Church today?

  7. Paul
    We still know who the priests are – the messenger will come to purify the sons of Levi as God promised (Malachi 3:3)
    Some of the political leaders of the priesthood collaborated with the Romans – it was those people who were corrupt – The vast majority of the priests were not

  8. Paul says:

    Hi,
    Yes of course i agree with your point. Not all were corrupt. But Im afraid the majority were, not sure what percentage? I suppose by deduction and common sense it but have been quite conciderabe. Otherwise God would not have taken your temple service from you. Just a few as you state would not justify Gods devine wrath upon the whole nation of the children of Israel. Not just then at the time, but the last 2000 yrs also.
    So as you can see corrupt priests rejected their Messiah/God. Corrupt priests led the children of Israel astray. If they had accepted their Messiah as it is written in the books of Moses then YOU would have done also. Lost and blind sheep following lost and blind shepherds is a sorrowful blight. And today you are still paying the price. Of course until the day you repent of your fathers sin.
    Deut ch 32 v 5!

    x

    • Paul
      In Joshua 7 we see that one man sins and the whole nation suffers – in any case the suffering that we endured was bad – but we choose this suffering anytime over the suffering that the followers of Jesus suffered – we suffered, they hated and killed

  9. Paul says:

    Hello
    Joshua 7??? Im a little confused,
    Why quote this? v26b ” So the Lord turned from the fierceness of His anger” (Forgiveness) Then ch 8. The Lord then encourages Joshua not to be affraid. All is forgiven and Joshua is to continue in his work. Like I previously stated, Israel has to repent. Your fathers past sin.(Singular)

    Can you please help me with your quote ” Followers of Jesus suffered- we suffered, they hated and killed”??

    Sorry, I dont understand.

    Thanks
    x

  10. Paul
    My quote from Joshua was to demonstrate to you that your assumption that the majority of us have to sin in order for God to get angry at all of us is unbliblical
    Yes we need to repent and that will be a return to the Law of Moses as God clearly teaches in Deuteronomy 30:2
    My point was that while the Jews suffered terrible physical persecution – the followers of Jesus suffered a deep spiritual darkness which is a far worse punishment

  11. Paul says:

    Hello
    OK, The way you wrote your last message, in my veiw was the very point which now you are arguing against??!! I wasnt trying to say, or I wasnt just assuming that God gets angry with a majority, generally that is……I do see, I think what you might mean. But you do have to remember that the priests and leaders were just that. Leaders. The average common person looked up to the leaders for guidance. They were in a postion of great power and authority.Thats just common sense thoughout any consitution….. But the point I was talking about is of a specific sin that resulted in a specific judgement, which were corrupt priests, which was stated not by me, but by somebody on this blog. The point was made that QUOTE; ” It was the corrupt priests that were running the second temple period, and when the third temple comes, it will be run by Holy preists unlike the last second corrupt temple. Hence the reason for no temple today. The person made it very clear.
    So my question was; ” Are you stating that the priests, who rejected Jesus as being the Messsiah were actually corrupt?”. Without being rude my friend, the answer is either Yes or No.

    Secondly you say that you would rather be where you are now, spiritually, than where followers of Messiah are. How do you see yourselfs spiritually, now without the temple service. You mentioned about repenting and going back to the Law of Moses. The whole Law was sanctified with blood. If it was important then, the Law, blood etc. How have you been atoning and how have your sins being forgiven. You dont even have a priest. I dont understand!? You mentioned that you are in a period of no Law. If you can be sanctified without blood and no law, whats the point of having one in the future? Are you in a special dispensation of grace? I thought the whole concept, say Day of Atonement was for the Priest first, then the nation, by the sprinkling of the blood, so that the sins of Israel were forgiven for that year. Do you believe that as Jew you dont need the blood atonement anymore? The whole idea of once having such Holy ordinances in place, and now not having them seems somewhat strange. Dont get me wrong I believe in the Blood ordinance, thats why I ask the question.

    Finally where do you get you information from in regard to followers of Jesus as suffering spiritual darkness? The Lord has taken your Temple away not Christians. Thats not physical punishment but spiritual punishment, isnt it??

    x

    • naaria says:

      How can one (on the outside of the one supposedly “spiritally punished”) determine that “spiritual punishment” of the other, especially when the poor examples given are all of the “physical”? (and based on misunderstandings of the Tanach). In the bible, when the prophets said Israel was punished (other than by drought or plagues), the nation was punished by “enemies of God”, who later were “destroyed” or “punished” & God’s people were restored (after the prophet also promised restoration). But Jesus came before the Temple was destroyed (the very same physical Temple that Jesus sought to cleanse, but he failed). Jesus allowed “his Father’s Temple” to be destroyed by the “enemies of God”. In fact, with his promises that he would back “soon”, he caused his followers to believe that they should win the war against Rome. But his followers (if any part of the NT is history & not myth or Roman propaganda) were perhaps all annihilated around or within the walls of the physical Temple. His promises led them to bring about the destruction “of the Temple of the God of Jesus”. Another failure to “cleanse the Temple” & not yet rebuilt. That promise of a new Temple of God & a new Jerusalem was also promised by Jesus. The “Law of God” (that many Jews still consider worthy & Holy before Rome taught otherwise) that “not even one letter shall be taken away from”, until some “end time” when that “Law is written on the hearts of all people”. Then, Jesus, supposedly on the throne in heaven, allowed his name to be glorified & exalted as a man-god, like a pagan idol, by the destroyers of his Father’s Temple. When did Jesus determine that the once Holy Law of God was no longer valid & a new “spirit”, taught & promoted by Rome, was the true “spirit” of the “true law”?

      It was the enemies of God who said then & still say, that God’s Law is also obsolete and has been replaced with “a new law” that in many areas contradicts the Words of God, supposedly of the same God as the God of Jesus. However, it is almost entirely the words of Jesus or Yeshua, that have been used to justify persecution, exile, & murder of Jews. It is almost entirely the words of Jesus that brought about this “spiritual darkness” upon many non-Jews, many nations, which can be seen as trying to “destroy the light”. If Jesus was given authority over all the earth before he even died, why should he not be held accountable for his failures?

      • naaria says:

        They “looked up to Jesus” & he failed his followers & corruption in his priesthood soon ensued.

        It is the “Law of Moses” which supposedly justifies Jesus. Not one dot can be removed (especially since not all was yet “fulfilled”). The so-called “blood ordinance” only remains in effect as long as the Law is in effect. Without “the law of Moses & of God” being in effect, Jesus’s un-kosher human “blood” or his “god blood” (based on blood ordinances of pagan laws) can not “atone”. So if the blood on or covering non-Jews has a positive effect, that blood of Jesus on or covering the Jews (as related in the gospels) also should have a salvation effect. Grace is not earned, it was given to all.

        • naaria says:

          Putting aside Torah Laws, let us look generally (even as given by heathens) at the nature of sacrifices. Now a sacrifice is a gift from Man to God (or their god). A rather small, rather pitiful, & feeble attempt at giving back to God (or their god), who already owns what a person is giving to God. The one who sacrifices, bears a cost, whether the gift is sincere or not. It is a sign of worship of God (or their god). God can’t sacrifice and especially God doesn’t sacrifice to God. Nor does God worship Man and offer a sacrifice to appease Man; so there is no real sacrifice, but only a muddled idea by Man of Who God (or their god- although their gods can be even worse then people). In some myths, the minor god might get “saved”; the dying sun-god will be born again soon; but this serves only to try to temporarily calm the fears of humans & not because the god needs a re-birth. We can also say that a “resurrection” undoes all of “the sacrifice” (I give you a dollar & I get it back, there was no loss- so no real sacrifice & no real gift- perhaps only a charade). Now, if I give a gift to an evil being, then I in effect devote my worship to the “evil one”. I might say, “no, I am giving a ransom”, but that is an admission that we are under the authority of the evil one; the god is sub-subservient to evil. Unless that is only a temporary ploy to get the evil one to give up the “hostage” (if the evil one is fairly decent & honest -a “man of his words” & does not make it a “real sacrifice”, doubled). But one does not want the evil one to “slip away for many ages” & terrorize us still night & day.

      • yitro says:

        Good points Naaria.

      • Paul says:

        Hello
        If Im reading you correctly here, are you saying that it was Jesus and His failed promises that led/caused (via Rome) the destruction of the second temple?

        Thanks x

        • naaria says:

          Paul on Jan 30: Not exactly, I was presenting a few alternatives that seem to make more sense and that can be better supported or aligned with plain readings of the Biblical prophets and can be better reconciled with the history as both Jews and Christians seen it then and how Christian scholars present it now. For instance, Josephus & Jews in the 2nd century c.e. & later, as well, claimed that the destruction of the temple, was in large part due to “the zealots” and messianics who believed the time was right for a messiah and men had to act and then God would soon move (how could the Roman army win if God was on the side of “the zealots”). Those expecting a messiah to come (or “come back soon”) would have had little fear of the Roman army (shouting like American revolutionaries in 1770’s, “live free or die” or -like 1 madman preacher/prophet Josephus tells us of, “repent the end is near”). If God (Jesus to some) would be coming to Mount Zion soon, you would want to be there. If one believes followers of a messiah would rather “flee” than “see the messiah”, well those theorists have to explain why those “many who escaped” never came back to preach “see I told you so” & start or reestablish their “new kingdom on earth, on earth as it was in heaven). Those who thought the Jews were virtually annihilated (or captured as slaves) especially, since their God “had died, or at least was mortally wounded since His House was destroyed”, were surprised to see instead that Jews persisted or “were resurrected”. Those Jews that survived did not have a messiah, especially not a resurrected one, and they weren’t expecting one soon. But Rome was amazed that the Jews arose after 70 c.e., then after 119 c.e., again after 137 c.e., and again at ____, without a messiah & without the one that Rome soon declared was “their messiah” that they “rejected”. The Jews persisted as if “God indeed was with them”.

          One of the 4 popular faces or views of Jesus was that he was a revolutionary, the lion of Zion who came bringing a sword. One disciple was called “Simon the Zealot”, he was associated with the “bojarnes” and with the “sons of thunder”, who lived at the same & in the same area that Jesus supposedly lived in, and who were the sons of a messianic leader, Judah “the Galilean”. Two of the messianic leaders were a John (of Gischala) & a “Jesus” from the Galilee. So, “30-35 years after his death”, if Jesus had more than a small handful of followers who lived in the Galilee or in Judea, they had to be somewhere (other than “raptured” away) or they had to go somewhere (beside a place mentioned in one legend, where they would be protected by & would have collaborated with “Caesar” in the war against the Jews) or they surrendered to Rome or they would have died defending their land, their homes, their families, Zion & the “City of David, City of God”, and the same physical Temple (“Jesus’s house” or his Father’s house that Jesus felt needed to be cleansed in the same manner as Judah “the Galilean”). If there was a Jesus, his followers were hard to find. Just as “Paul’s” story in Acts ends abruptly & in silence, even the NT ends abruptly and is silent several years before 70 c.e. Just at that precise time when you would expect that the “followers of Jesus” would shout in victory and joyfully proclaim “their lord” to all the world, especially to their hopeless, depressed & demoralized Jewish brothers & sisters, they are silent. No “see, we were right. Now repent & join us”. No hope, no Jesus taught to the hopeless ones eager for “some good news”, even any small amount. Even according to church history, nothing much happening with Jesus until the middle of the 2nd century c.e. even with the “Gentiles” and that was so lackluster, that they figured there were only a few thousand Christians worldwide at the beginning of the 3rd c.e.

          Just wondering about people & things & times & places that the NT, the church, and most Christians are silent about.

  12. Paul
    You were quoting me – and that is NOT what I wrote – in any case there were corrupt priests during the Second Temple period many of which held high power (these were Sadducees) – the rejection of Jesus is the holiest thing the Jews did in that time period – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/isaiah-53-micah-7-and-isaiah-62/
    Our sins are being forgiven through repentance – your statements about the law being dependant on the blood is unbiblical
    By the way I never said we are in a period of “no law”
    I don’t see the point of interacting with you if you keep on putting words into my mouth
    You want to know where I get the information about the followers of Jesus suffering spiritual darkness? read history – this might help – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/a-tale-of-two-schools/ – your friend Dr. Fruchtenbaum having to fabricate messianic miracles to mislead people is another example of spiritual darkness
    Please don’t respond until you have tried to understand what I wrote

  13. Paul says:

    Ok. Well one step at a time. If you want to put comments on this blog and want everyone just to agree with you on all your statements, thats fine, but why bother replying?? I dont really see the point. Unless you feel like argueing for the sake of it, or unless as previously stated by someone else all you want to do is to use this as a “christian bashing blog”.and vent some anger! (I hope not)
    We having a saying here in the UK. ” If you cant stand the heat then get out of the kitchen”

    Sorry if you feel affended, but Hey! you started it with this blog! LOL!!!

    In regard to your first response here. You say that by rejecting Jesus, it was the holiest act the pharisees did…… Way back at the beginning of the Dan blog, it was stated that the pharisees were corrupt, hence no temple! My only question then and still now is , How can someone who is corrupt make a Holy decision? I dont mean live a total sinless life, perfect in all things, but corrupt enough to have the temple destroyed.
    That was it. No hidden agendas.

    Your second statement about blood not being dependant in regard to the Law. Leviticus 17:11 says; For the Life of the flesh is in the blood,I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by reason of the life.

    Need help here? Does it say repentance or blood, that makes atonement for the soul? Does it mean then that the word repentance is the same act as the physical shedding of blood?

    Ps I never actually said that you said “you have no Law” Its was an open question for you. Not a quote.
    x

    • naaria says:

      Are you disagreeing with Lev 17:11 & other surrounding verses and saying that blood is blood and its “atoning power” is absolute? Is it ok then to shed blood “outside the camp”? Does the blood offered to “goat-demons” still atone? If a “corrupt” priest accidentally cuts himself and then throws some fat with his blood on it upon the altar, are the sins of all the people atoned for, are his sins forgiven forever and he is no longer “corrupt”? Does the blood of a pig or a serpent or a human child atone, even outside the “tent” or temple, as long as one pours the blood on the ground & cover it with dirt? Whether or not that the blood is shed & offered as a sacrifice and even if I found the dead animal beside the road? Because after all it is blood & it had & still may have life in the blood, or must one say some words like “I offer this blood to you as an atonement for all my sins, whether past or any i might commit in the future, and for all the sins of my family members & 3 of my 4 neighbors”? So, the temple is not needed (since the temple did not even exist at the time when Lev 17 was first written) for ones sins to be forgiven? Despite what Lev 17 says, is it ok to eat (or drink) blood of a “special” person? Can one eat the flesh of a person that one considers holy, as long as they first pour our the blood & cover it with dirt?

      • naaria says:

        Does Leviticus 17 say that people didn’t have to make an offering as long as they believed someone else’s offering was “by the law” (although it was not but it seemed as a sincere offering) and whether or not they meant their offering for me? That way people could save money (or their animal) & “belief on blood” is easier and much cheaper and therefore better than “worthless repentance” or foolish ideas like asking God for forgiveness or giving back money that one stole?

        • naaria says:

          I just now was wondering if “corrupt priests” might be that way because they picked some biblical verses (like v. 11) to obey (and/or misinterpreted) while ignoring the context of the verses and ignoring the many other verses and commandments? It seems to me that the most cultish & most corrupt persons or groups build a basis on a relatively small number of bible verses (the smaller the better) & then build a whole complex & “foreign” theology on those isolated & oft-repeated favorite verses.

  14. Paul
    an argument is when to people present what they think are logical points and they listen to each other’s points – what you are doing is screaming past me without listening to what I am saying – I am not talking about agreeing – I am talking about getting my position straight and not attributing opinions to me that I never said
    For example – I never said the Pharisees were corrupt
    As for Leviticus 17:11 – does it say that there is no atonement without blood? – all it says is that blood atones – to jump from there to “there is no atonement without blood” is like if I would say the sun came up today and you would jump to the conclsuion that it never came up any other day

  15. Felix Zamora says:

    Yourphariseefriend:

    Pardon my comment, but your translation does not make clear that there are two figures envisioned by the initial statement.

  16. Pingback: Responding to the Missionary Proof-texts | The "Proof-texts" – a project of Judaism Resourc

  17. Pingback: RESPONDING TO THE MISSIONARY PROOF-TEXTS by Rabbi Blumenthal | Noach ben Avraham

  18. Bru Ram says:

    Ok…for sake of brevity….I will not comment extensively about the points of which we agree…
    which is that the 70 weeks, or 490 years speak of the times of the Old Testament to the times of the Messiah to come….(which for us is Christ)…during which the OT temple was in action=

    You said….
    >> The anointed one to be cut off after the sixty-two weeks is the same one who came after the sixty-nine weeks.

    POINT (A)= THE ARRIVAL OF THE MESSIAH
    In fact the anointed one that arrives at the end of the 69 weeks also is the one that dies after the 69 weeks….simply because AFTER THE 69 WEEKS IS THE SAME AS SAYING “AFTER 62 WEEKS” depending from which point one is counting=

    Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment(DECREE) to restore and to build Jerusalem UNTO the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks:

    MESSIAH arrives
    ……………………………..62weeks……………………………>(A)
    (A)

    Point (A) above as the “arrival” of the Messiah…as anointed, to start His ministry…is said to take place at the end of the 7weeks and 62 weeks……that is at the end of 69 weeks the Messiah was to arrive…

    Point (A) as the arrival of the Messiah…can be defined as both “the end of the 69 weeks” when counting from the decree or as “the end of the 62 weeks” when counting from the end of the initial 7 weeks……it is the same point…certainly depends from where one is counting back that the total amount of weeks is defined…

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    POINT (X)= THE DEATH OF THE MESSIAH
    Point (X) is the point in time when the Messiah was to die…is told to take place AFTER the 62 weeks (when counting from the end of the initial 7 weeks)….which actually means the same as saying “AFTER 69 WEEKS” when counting from the decree….as shown below=

    Dan 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off(X),

    (A)…..(X)…….

    Above = (X ) the death of the Messiah taking place AFTER THE END OF THE 69WEEKS/(A)…this “AFTER” is not a definitive date, says anywhere AFTER his arrival He is to die….. In order to localize His death one needs to know that the atonement/reconciliation at the death of the Messiah is listed as the one of the 6 actions to take place during the 70 weeks, this then localizes the death of the Messiah as taking place during the last or 70th week)

    as can be gather simply here…a+b=

    a)
    ” atonement/death of the Messiah within the 70 weeks”
    b)
    ” the death of the Messiah after the 69 weeks, same as after 62 weeks”

    a+b = means within the 70th week…means the Messiah was to die within the 70th week

    THE THE ISSUE REMAINS….WHICH DECREE…
    It becomes apparent that all the decrees address different issues in the restoration of Jerusalem and its temple, as such they should be understood as a unit, as a composite decree….which included the decree of Cyrus and Darius, and culminated in the decree of Artaxerxes which finally gave Israel religious political powers, as such restoring Jerusalem and by default Israel once again as a nation under God..this finalizing decree is the one recorded in Ezra 7 which is dated as the decree of Artaxerxes of 457BC….

    Within that context….then we can find out Who is the Messiah….
    by simple mathematics….

    decree/457bc…….+69weeks(483 years)………>27ad/A= THE ARRIVAL OF THE MESSIAH
    decree/457bc……7weeks..>…….62weeks…….>27ad/A….X…….>34ad/end of the 70 weeks..

    We then will see the Messiah dying in the midst of the 70th week, the last week of the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel 9. This tells us that the Messiah dying in the midst of that week has to die in 31 AD….It so happens that Jesus arrived in 27ad, and He died soon after, after 3.5 years of ministry right in the midst of the 70th week as foretold…

    DANIEL 9 points to JESUS AS THE MESSIAH TO COME….
    AND SO DID HE….

  19. Bru Ram says:

    WELL….GIVEN THE ERRORS INTRODUCE BY THIS FORMAT TO THE TIMELINES I PRESENTED I WILL REPOSTED AND MAKE THE APPROPIATE CORRECTIONS…=

    Ok…for sake of brevity….I will not comment extensively about the points of which we agree…
    which is that the 70 weeks, or 490 years speak of the times of the Old Testament to the times of the Messiah to come….(which for us is Christ)…during which the OT temple was in action=

    You said….
    >> The anointed one to be cut off after the sixty-two weeks is the same one who came after the sixty-nine weeks.

    POINT (A)= THE ARRIVAL OF THE MESSIAH
    In fact the anointed one that arrives at the end of the 69 weeks, and also is the one that dies after the 69 weeks….simply because AFTER THE 69 WEEKS IS THE SAME AS SAYING “AFTER 62 WEEKS” depending from which point one is counting=

    Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment(DECREE) to restore and to build Jerusalem UNTO the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks:

    MESSIAH arrives
    …..62weeks…->(A)
    (A)
    Point (A) above as the “arrival” of the Messiah…as anointed, to start His ministry…is said to take place at the end of ” the 7weeks and 62 weeks” (notice the AND)……therefore…END OF 69WKS
    that is at the end of 69 weeks the Messiah was to arrive…

    Point (A) as the arrival of the Messiah…can be defined both=
    = as “the end of the 69 weeks” when counting from the decree(D) or
    = as “the end of the 62 weeks” when counting from the end of the initial 7 weeks……
    it is the same point in time to which one arrives.…certainly depends from where one is counting back that the total amount of weeks is defined…

    69 weeks from the decree(D) bring us to the arrival of the Messiah at (A)…or
    62 weeks (when counting from the end of the initial 7 weeks/Y) also arrives to point (A)
    analize that below= point (A) is the same for both ways..(end of 62wks or end of 69wks)

    (Y)…………62wks……>(A)arrival Messiah
    (A)arrival Messiah

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    POINT (X)= THE DEATH OF THE MESSIAH
    Point (X) is the point in time when the Messiah was to die…is told to take place AFTER the 62 weeks when counting from the end of the initial 7 weeks, that is Point (Y)….which actually means the same as saying “AFTER 69 WEEKS” when counting from the decree….as shown below=

    Dan 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off(X),

    <……7wks…….(Y)(A)….(X)…
    (D)……………………69wks…………………………>(A)….(X)…

    Above = (X ) the death of the Messiah taking place AFTER THE END OF THE 69WEEKS/(A)…this “AFTER” is not a definitive date, means anywhere AFTER his arrival He is to die…..
    In order to localize His death one needs to know that the atonement/reconciliation at the death of the Messiah is listed as the one of the 6 actions to take place during the 70 weeks, this then localizes the death of the Messiah as taking place during the last or 70th week)

    as can be gather simply here…a+b as told below=
    a) ” atonement/death of the Messiah within the 70 weeks”
    b) ” but after the 69 weeks (same as after 62 weeks)
    a+b = means within the 70th week…means the Messiah was to die within the 70th week

    (A)…… 70TH……>end 70 wks
    (A)……X/70TH…>end 70 wks

    THE THE ISSUE REMAINS….WHICH DECREE…
    It becomes apparent that all the decrees address different issues in the restoration of Jerusalem and its temple, as such they should be understood as a unit, as a composite decree….which included the decree of Cyrus and Darius, and culminated in the decree of Artaxerxes which finally gave Israel religious political powers, as such restoring Jerusalem and by default Israel once again as a nation under God..this finalizing decree is the one recorded in Ezra 7 which is dated as the decree of Artaxerxes of 457BC….

    Within that context….then we can find out Who is the Messiah….
    by simple mathematics…knowing the decree of 457bc, then 69 weeks(483 years) later we arrive to the Messiah arrival(A) in 27ad (the year 0 does not counts)….and his death (X) soon thereafter…

    decree/457bc……+69weeks(483 years)…>27ad/A= THE ARRIVAL OF THE MESSIAH
    decree/457bc…7weeks..>….62weeks…..>27ad/A…(x/31ad)……>34ad/end of the 70 weeks..

    We then will see the Messiah dying in the midst of the 70th week, the last week of the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel 9. This tells us that the Messiah dying in the midst of that week has to die in 31 AD….It so happens that Jesus arrived in 27ad, and He died soon after, after 3.5 years of ministry right in the midst of the 70th week as foretold…We are then told that the one that stops the Old Covenant of sacrifices and oblation (because Christ’s blood is sufficient, those animal sacrifices no longer needed) is the Messiah Prince Jesus…..(The abomination and desolation we are told to take place soon after…and so it did in 70ad…)

    DANIEL 9 points to JESUS AS THE MESSIAH TO COME….
    AND SO DID HE….

    PS
    Please note that although the Messiah confirms the New covenant and stops the Old covenant…og sacrifices and oblation (meaning they lost their meaning)…He did not causes the abomination desolation of the land…instead is “the people of the Prince to Come, the People of the Messiah to come”…this came as a result of the Jewish own rebellion which led to them to fall prey on the hand of the Romans (the abominator.desolator)

    Yes the abomination desolation that was to come…was done by somebody else which other prophecies identified as the Roman Empire (eg. Daniel 8)…this is the power that desolated the Pleasant land/Israel in 70ad, and it is described as such in Dan. 8 as attacking the Pleasant land(Israel)…
    …. and which also was to have a later religious phase, when the apostate christian church united with the Roman Empire and became its continuation…. as Papal Rome to desolate the Christian Church, those that remained faithfull and other people of God, even the Jews themselves fallin under her hand….

    History documents the same prophetic message…..the apostate christian church as uniting with the Roman Empire and became one with it….yet the true saints, God’s true church, nevertheless persecuted by this religious political power…Papal Rome as the continuation of the Roman Empire….is the sole and only Antichrist…..to return in power soon as the The New World Order…not so new…just revived….(she still hiding behind her allies…but many have recognize her role as ruler of the world banks, intelligence agencies, kingdoms…)….

  20. Bru Ram says:

    >>>>The closing verse in this passage is understood by missionaries to be a reference to the seventieth week. There is disagreement amongst missionaries concerning this seventieth week. All of the missionaries understand that it is disconnected from the sixty-nine weeks.

    BIG ERROR….
    1)
    THE 70TH WEEK IS CONNECTED TO THE OTHER 69 WEEKS…AND WELL ANCHORED IN PLACE. SIMPLY BECAUSE THE 70TH WEEK IS WHEN THE MESSIAH’S MINISTRY TAKES PLACE, DYING IN THE MIDST OF THE WEEK (MIDST OF THE 70TH WEEK) AND AT THAT POINT IN TIME OF HIS DEATH RATIFYING THE NEW COVENANT, AND STOPPING/ENDING THE OLD COVENANT OF SACRIFICES AND OBLATION(THEY NO LONGER NEED BECAUSE THE BLOOD OF THE MESSIAH IS ENOUGH)…IN FACT THE WHOLE 69 WEEKS PURPOSE IS TO POINT TO THE TIMES OF THE MESSIAH, HIS ARRIVAL AND HIS DEATH AND MINISTRY AS TAKING PLACE DURING THE LAST WEEK/70TH WEEK OF THE TOTAL TIME PER IOD…

    2) Point…that is important is that the prophecy itself unifies all the weeks as a continues ….
    by saying that the 70 weeks are to include the atonement/reconcialition by the Messiah, and that this atonement/death of the Messiah was to take place AFTER his arrival…after the 69 weeks..
    therefore…
    within the 70 weeks
    but after the 69 weeks
    means within the 70th week=as the time when the atoning death of the Messiah was to take place

    3) This unified sense of the 70 weeks as a continuous time period, yet certainly subdivide in three basic time period (…all as a unit, a block of time…
    this sense can be understood if one pays attention that this block of time the whole 70 weeks were cut off from the longer time period given in the previous vision of Daniel 8 which are the
    2300em./p.days/years… In fact the 70 weeks(490 years) is the first part of the 2300 years, =

    a)
    2300e.m(years) starting from the times of the MedoPersian ram and its decree of 457bc all the way to end in 1844ad (some say that this timeline corresponds to the times of the little horn’s abomination desolation, but that is wrong, since Daniel 12 tells that this one only last 1290prophetic days, which are 1290 years, using the day.year principle)….

    457bc—+2300yrs—>1844ad

    b)
    The 70 weeks(490 yrs) are cut off from these 2300 years, and represent the first part of this time period, which start from the times of MedoPersia the ram and its decree of 457bc as the starting point, and then continue through the Old Testament until the time of Jesus and his disciples during the last 70th week(27ad to 34ad),

    <457bc—-FIRST PART 2300yrs…..
    34ad

    c)
    the 1260/1290 yrs of persecution/abomination.desolation, are the most later part of the 2300 years, which are the times of the Mid Ages, from ~500ad to ~1800ad….more specifically knowing this to be the times of Papal Rome during the Mid ages as the continuation of the Roman Empire, we know that Papal Rome started taking care of Rome, ruling there, from 538ad when it defeated the last invading tribe for the most part, and took power as king of Rome…until its end of religious political persecutive powers in 1798ad during the French Revolution, healing since then..up and down…now almost completely healed…The ending point of the 2300 years (its later part being the times of Papal Rome as the continuation of the Roman Empire/2nd phase) extends forwards a little bit to mark the point in time when the judgment of the littlehorn/ was to start…1844ad..

    1844ad
    1844ad

    d) all together…first part, mid and later part of the 2300 years…

    ——1844ad
    1844ad
    goat/G->LITTLE HORN/ROME.IMP.PAPAL-)>1844ad

    That is the 70 weeks mark the first part of the 2300 years…, this piece of cut off and discussed in Daniel 9, as the time of probation for the nation of Israel..

    While the 1290yrs refer to the later part of the 2300 years …this being the times of the little horn, Rome during which the second religious phase of the Roman Empire takes place, which is Papal Rome’s its abomination and desolation…which ended in 1798ad, as such closely associated with the ending point of the 2300 years (ending shortly before this point) which carries us a little forwards to 1844ad at which time the judgment of the profess believers, among them the beast was to start…(the Beast is the organized Roman Christian apostasy and its allies, aka Papal Rome which united with the Roman Empire to form a religious apostate christian kingdom, eventually to rule the whole world for a short time…THE NEW WORLD ORDER, IS NOT THAT NEW, IS IN FACT THE REVIVED ROMAN EMPIRE/PAPAL PHASE)

    >>>>The question is, when will it, or was it, fulfilled. One group understands that the seventieth week was fulfilled with the destruction of the Temple, forty years after Jesus’ death. Others understand that the seventieth week will be fulfilled immediately before Jesus’ anticipated second coming.

    YOU ARE DESCRIBING THE PRETERIST AND FUTURIST END-TIME PROPHETIC UNDERSTANDING, BOTH WHICH ARE WRONG AND UN-BIBLICAL…

    SIMPLY….because it is THE MESSIAH’S/Jesus’ ministry the one taking place during the 70th week, NOBODY ELSES..

    -He is the Messiah Prince that was to come at the end of the 69 weeks in 27ad,

    -was to die shortly after in 31ad, at which point because of His death/blood He was to ratify the New Covenant and cause the end of the Old Covenant of sacrifices and oblations…

    -During that last or 70th week the Messiah was to confirm the covenant (give in strength the New Covenant, same as the Everlasting Covenant already in place as a promises and oath, and which the Messiah ratified in the midst of the 70th week at which point this also ended the Old Covenant of sacrifices and oblation)… Therefore the 70th week was the time for the offering of the New covenant(same as Everlasting Covenant) given in strength solely to the Jews, as done by Jesus during the first part of the 70th week, and after His death in the midst of the 70th week, then His disciples were to offer the New Covenant solely to the Jews during the later part of this 70th week.)

    -By the end of the 70th week…in 34 ad, this marks the end of the 70 weeks probation to the nation of Israel. They rejected this New Covenant in Christ as a nation…
    but at the end of the 70th week, at the personal level this new covenant was then opened to all, believer Jews and believer Gentiles alike….

    thanks to God…that despite of us…He finds a way to save us….

    >>>This interpretation (or these interpretations) fails for several reasons. Most obvious, is the fact that the verse clearly implies that the cutting off of the anointed one is to occur together with the destruction of the city and the sanctuary, after sixty-two weeks. Jesus died several decades before the Romans sacked Jerusalem.

    1) The Messiah at His death, stops the Old Covenant sacrifices and oblation and also ratifies the New Covenant, in the midst of the 70th week (this speaks of its spiritual meaning, the actual physical destruction of Jerusalem and its temple…happened somewhere after the 69 weeks…the prophecy does not say when this was to take place…the truth is that history tells us that it came after the end of the 70 weeks…around 40 years later..

    …..70AD/TEMPLE/CITY DESTROYED
    …..70AD/TEMPLE/CITY DESTROYED

    So the 70 weeks, although initially addressing the contruction of the 2nd temple as the starting point of these 490yrs timeline(70 weeks), yet the key issues dealt within this 70 years period are constructive and spiritual….

    The actual destruction of Jerusalem and its temple falls outside the 70 weeks, actually 40 years later as done during the second part of the 2300 yrs, this second part addresses the abuses of the Roman Empire, initially by Caesars Rome(70ad) and later on by papal Rome thereafter against the true christian church,their abominations.desolations…

    THE 2300 YRS….
    A) FIRST PART 2300 YEARS
    TIMES= MPERSIA, GREECE, VERY EARLY ROME
    As such although the 70 weeks as the FIRST PART of the 2300 years addresses Jewish probationary times…

    B) LATER PART 2300 YEARS
    TIMES= MOST OF ROME( TWO PHASES= CAESAR’S PHASE AND LATER PAPAL.PHASE)
    yet the LATER PART of the 2300 years addresses the offenses of Rome/little horn, against God’s people…

    i) FIRST PHASE OF ROMAN EMPIRE/CAESARS as it abominates and desolates the Pleasant land of Israel, 70ad (induced by the Jewish rebellion against them)…

    ii) SECOND PHASE OF ROME/PAPAL.PHASE, which speaks of the offenses of Rome during its later or Papal Phase, amalgamation of chrsitianity and the roman state= which also institutes the abomination desolation of the true christian church, this one lasting 1290yrs. As such this latest part of the 2300 years specifically addressing the activities of the second phase of the little Horn, second phase, the Roman Empire Papal phase, of abomination desolation…

    A quick Review…
    2300 years….
    1844ad
    Greece—>Rome.Imp.Papal—->1844ad

    First part = 2300 years = 70 weeks=
    34ad

    2300 years= First,part/70wks and later ROMAN TIMES/CAESARS.PAPAL=
    70 weeks + mid period/Rome.C + later period/Rome.Papal/1290years= ending in 1844ad
    34ad-70ad-m.ages>1844ad

  21. Dina says:

    Just following.

  22. William Gaddam says:

    Daniel 9 is not a “messianic prophecy”, it is a prophecy of rebuilding of Yerushalyim and the Second Temple.

  23. Pingback: Daniel 9 | Judaism Resources

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  25. Raphael says:

    Hi ,
    Can you explain what Rashi meant in his explanation on verse 24?

  26. Raphael
    The explanation presented in the article is an elaboration on Rashi’s interpretation. Is there a specific point you wanted clarified?

  27. gus alva says:

    yourphariseedfriend, this explanation you gave is very confusing and not convincing. You meant that the order was given 70 years before Cyrus? The beginning of chapter 9 of Daniel says that this prayer was done 1 year before Cyrus. Second point you say that the other anointed is a priest ? this is just speculation, there is no facts backing this. This chapter talks about a Jewish messiah and restauration of Israel and timing to expiate sin.
    Traditional rabbinic literature states that the Second Temple stood for 420 years and based on the 2nd-century work Seder Olam Rabbah, placed construction in 350 BCE (3408 AM), 166 years later than secular estimates, and destruction in 70 CE (3829 AM).
    62 Weeks is equal to 434 years. Second temple was destroyed 70 years after Jesus was born.
    Amazing coincidence?!!! do your research.

    • gus alva The word that you translate as “order” is actually “davar” – equivalent to “word” which I understand to refer to the word mentioned in verse 2 – the word of God through Jeremiah. And the word for anointed one is “mashiach” which is NEVER used in Scripture to refer to the Davidic king that reigns in the end of days. It often refers to the high priest. As I point out there are serious problems with the Christian interpretation.

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • gus alva says:

        “The spirit of G‑d will rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and might, a spirit of knowledge and of the fear of G‑d. He shall be inspired with fear of G‑d, and he shall not judge with the sight of his eyes nor decide according to the hearing of his ears. He shall judge the poor with righteousness and decide with equity for the humble of the earth; he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth and slay the wicked with the breath of his lips. Righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faith the girdle of his reins.” (Isaiah 11:2-5)14 “Through his knowledge My servant shall justify the righteous to the many…” (Isaiah 53:11)
        “Behold, My servant shall be wise, he shall be exalted and lofty, and shall be very high.” (Isaiah 52:13). His wisdom shall exceed even that of King Solomon;15 he shall be greater than the patriarchs, greater than all the prophets after Moses, and in many respects even more exalted than Moses.16 His stature and honor shall exceed that of all kings before him.17 He will be an extraordinary prophet, second only to Moses,18 with all the spiritual and mental qualities that are prerequisites to be endowed with the gift of prophecy.19
        As a faithful shepherd he already cares so much about his people that he volunteered to suffer all kinds of agonies to assure that not a single Jew of all times will be lost.20
        Mashiach shall meditate on the Torah21 and be preoccupied with mitzvot. He shall teach all the Jewish people and instruct them in the way of G‑d. He will prevail upon Israel to follow and observe the Torah, repair its breaches, and fight the battles of G‑d.22
        Mashiach will reveal altogether new insights, making manifest the hidden mysteries of the Torah,23 to the point that “all the Torah learned in the present world will be vain compared to the Torah of Mashiach.”24
        Though Mashiach comes first and foremost to Israel, all the nations will recognize his wisdom and sublimity and submit to his rule.25 He will guide and instruct them as well.26
        There is no need for Mashiach to perform signs and wonders to prove himself.27 Nonetheless, he will do so.
        Chabad.org
        no need to say more

  28. Jim says:

    Mr. Alva,

    I want to thank you for taking the time to copy and paste part of an article from Chabad regarding what the Messiah will be like. If I understand the purpose of your quoting this article, it is to provide a definition of the Messiah to which both sides of this debate will agree, so that Jesus may be compared to that definition. And, I presume that you believe that Jesus comports to this definition, so that one should reach the conclusion that Jesus is the Messiah when a comparison is drawn between the two. If so, you have not read the article carefully enough, because it shows that Jesus is not the Messiah. Below, I will show a few areas in which Jesus does not match the (presumably) agreed upon definition.

    But first, allow me to supply a link to the article:

    https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/101679/jewish/The-Personality-of-Mashiach.htm

    And allow me to note also that this is only one part of a series of articles on the Messiah and the Messianic Age.

    Before any comparison is drawn between the supplied definition of the Messiah and the candidate Jesus, we might note that the author is Rabbi Immanuel Shochet. This is relevant, because Rabbi Shochet was not a follower of Jesus. Indeed, he offered a cogent argument in debate with Dr. Michael Brown against the claim that Jesus was the Messiah. So, Rabbi Shochet, upon whose work you are relying did not see a correspondence between the qualities of Jesus and the qualities of the Messiah. Already, this gives us pause.

    When we go through the list, we see that some points of comparison will be subjective or useless, so I will avoid discussing those. For example, the Messiah is to be wiser than Solomon. Was Jesus? You are likely to say “yes.” I will say “no.” It certainly is not clear that he was. These areas are subjective, so I will just steer around them. And, for the sake of brevity, I will mention only a few clear areas of departure between Jesus and the Messiah.

    We see that Rabbi Shochet quotes Isaiah 53:11: “Through his knowledge My servant shall justify the righteous to the many…” This has no relation to Jesus. Jesus is not supposed to have justified people through his knowledge but through his blood.

    Further on, we see that the definition of the Messiah from which we are working includes that he will be a prophet “second only to Moses.” But Christians do not hold that Jesus is a prophet second to Moses. They hold that Jesus is greater than Moses. On those grounds, Jesus cannot be the Messiah (i.e. he does not meet the proposed definition). More significantly, though, it has been demonstrated that Jesus was a false prophet. It is not true that he is the greatest of all prophets. He is not one at all, certainly not “second only to Moses.”

    Similarly, though you omitted this section, Rabbi Shochet writes that the Messiah will be born in the usual way, to a man and a woman. However, Christians teach that this did not happen with Jesus. If so, again, he does not meet the proposed definition of the Messiah.

    Nor did he “mak[e] manifest the hidden mysteries of the Torah.” He did not lead to a great observance of Torah, either. In fact, a great number of Jewish Christians regularly violate the Torah by not keeping the Sabbath, for example. Nor did he “fight the battles of G-d.”

    Finally, you neglected to quote from Rabbi Shochet’s introduction to the topic of the Messiah. On that page, he writes that the Messiah will rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem and that he will lead the ingathering of the exiles, ending the diaspora. But, Jesus did neither of these things. Indeed, relatively shortly after his death, the reverse happened: the Temple was destroyed and Israel was scattered. Again, we see that Jesus does not match the proposed definition. (https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1157486/jewish/Moshiach-An-Introduction.htm)

    Again, I thank you for bringing this to our attention. It allows us to examine clearly the evidence before us. Jesus did not perform the mission of the Messiah. Moreover, he was a false prophet. A great many people could have saved themselves time and energy if only they had known the definition of Messiah before they accepted that Jesus was he.

    Jim

    • Sharon S says:

      Dear Jim,

      Hello. I hope that you and your family are well ,especially in the midst of the pandemic and unrests.

      I have perused the article link that you have attached to your comment. Appreciate if you can address the following:

      1.According to Rabbi Schochet , the Messiah will be an extraordinary prophet , second only to Moses. However Rabbi Schochet also stated only three paragraphs later that the “Mashiach will reveal altogether new insights, making manifest the hidden mysteries of the Torah, to the point that “all the Torah learned in the present world will be vain compared to the Torah of Mashiach”.

      What does “all Torah learned in the present world” mean? Does this mean the Torah taught and interpreted by Moses, the Sages , the tannaim, amoraim and all esteemed Rabbis (Savoraim, Geonim, Rishonim, Acharonim) up to present day? If we go by that definition , then does this mean that the Torah (and Halacha) taught by these esteemed individuals will be in vain/nullified once the Torah of Mashiach is revealed?

      2.Rabbi Schochet explained in his article that the “Mashiach and the Messianic age are the ultimate end for the world, preconceived from the very beginning, for which the world was created. Mashiach, therefore, is one of the things that precede the creation. This refers, however, to the principle and soul of Mashiach. On the actual level of the physical world’s reality, Mashiach is a human being” . Rabbi Schochet wrote , about three paragraphs later that “the unique pre-existing soul of Mashiach ‘stored’ in Gan Eden from aforetimes will descend and be bestowed upon that tzadik.” I assume the “tzadik’’ here is the human candidate for the Mashiach.

      Doesn’t the teaching that the soul of the Mashiach which is “preconceived from the very beginning” and “precede the creation” seems to ring a bell ? Paul describe of Jesus in Colossians 1:15 as “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation”. How do we explain the difference between Rabbi Schochet’s explanation and that of Paul?

      I assume that Rabbi Schochet is writing these articles on the Mashiach for the Jewish reader. You have pointed out the criteria of the Maschiach that Jesus did not seem to fulfill very well.

      However , there are other criteria which seem ‘’confusing’’, especially to the audience familiar with Christianity . Apart from the above points , there are teaching on the Mashiach ben Yosef & Mashiach ben David, which I heard a Rabbi talking about it recently. Rabbi Schochet also wrote that the Mashiach “volunteered to suffer all kinds of agonies to assure that no single Jew of all times will be lost’’. At first glance , Jesus seem to fit these criteria (the 1st & 2nd coming and the crucifixion).

      I hope you can look into it and discuss the above “confusing’’ criteria as well. Thank you.

      • Jim says:

        In response to Sharon’s questions,

        1. No. Rabbi Shochet does not write anything about the Torah being nullified. Nor does he write that the Torah of the present age will be vain absolutely. He makes a comparison: the Torah learned in this word will be vain in comparison to the Torah learned in the future.

        2. It is of little interest what Paul wrote. He was a false teacher, a false prophet, and one who consulted with the dead. Whatever he taught about the Messiah is of no use. Might it confuse Christians? Yes, thus they should avoid it.

        The confusion Christians suffer comes from cherry-picking sources and relying upon superficialities to prop up their faith. Let us say that Paul makes claim X about the Messiah, and claim X is actually true, supported by the prophets. But he also makes claims Y and Z about the Messiah, which are false, unsupported by the prophets or in contradiction to the prophets. One should no longer give credence to his teaching. Confusion results from focusing solely on the point he got right and ignoring or minimizing his errors. If a Christian is more interested in defending his faith than adhering to truth, his confusion grows. He finds himself in a state of cognitive dissonance. This state of affairs demands of him that he reconcile points Y and Z to the truth. In order to do so, he seizes upon superficial similarities in Tanach or rabbinic writings to the writings of Paul. Even though they mean quite different things in most cases, the superficial similarities allow the Christian to remain in a state of confusion.

        One can see this in Mr. Alva’s comments above. He quoted Rabbi Shochet’s writing, as if it somehow affirmed the Messiahship of Jesus. However, he neglected several points, the most salient ones in fact, such as the mission of the Messiah. And, as I mentioned above, Jesus was not a prophet, second only to Moses. He was not a legitimate prophet altogether. Rather, he was a false prophet. (I write of the Jesus of the gospels, of course.) Nevertheless, he sees Jesus somehow in the writings of Rabbi Shochet. Does the fault lie in the good rabbi? No, it follows from the agenda of the reader.

        Jim

        • LarryB says:

          Jim
          “Mashiach will reveal altogether new insights, making manifest the hidden mysteries of the Torah, to the point that “all the Torah learned in the present world will be vain compared to the Torah of Mashiach.”
          Would it be safe to say this is a “prophesy” and simply means that these “new insights make manifest the hidden mysteries”, so many tried in vain to understand but were not able? This does not seem to be a negative statement of Torah understanding but more of better understanding to come. With this new added knowledge the world will change?

          • Jim says:

            Larry,

            I agree that this appears to be about a greater understanding to come. This is not an area to which I have devoted any study. It certainly does not mean that the Torah is nullified, as Rabbi Shochet had written previously that the Messiah will meditate on the Torah and will lead others in its observance.

            Jim

        • Sharon S says:

          Dear Jim,

          Let me clarify again the point of my comment.

          You have explained that Jesus is not the Messiah , based on criteria of the Mashiach as per Rabbi Schochet’s article. However there are also criteria in the article written by Rabbi Schochet , in which the manner it is written can be “confusing’’ to the reader who is already familiar with Christianity. There are certain terms which Rabbi Schochet wrote when describing these criteria which seem similar to the definition of the Messiah as per the New Testament. Rabbi Schochet quoted sources from Jewish tradition (which one can find at the bottom of the article ) when he wrote these statements:
          a.“all the Torah learned in the present world will be vain compared to the Torah of Mashiach.”
          b.“the unique pre-existing soul of Mashiach ‘stored’ in Gan Eden from aforetimes will descend and be bestowed upon that tzadik’’

          I requested for these ‘’confusing’’ criteria , alongside two other criteria that I mentioned in my comment to be discussed as well.

          I appreciate that you have taken the time to explain on the two criteria above. I thought that perhaps you might have checked and gone through the sources with a learned Rabbi . Perhaps you would have been able to explain the above terms from Rabbinic perspective and how it departs from the New Testament /Pauline understanding of the Messiah.
          It seems from your explanation that you did not consult with a learned Rabbi . Instead you just use this opportunity to discredit Paul as a ‘’false teacher, a false prophet, and one who consulted with the dead’’. I don’t think you have answered the question at all.

          I hope that you will distinguish the nature of my comment from Mr Alva’s. The point that I am trying to make is that there are teachings in Jewish tradition that seems to echo the teachings of Christianity-which one can only find when one delve deeply into Jewish tradition or from reading/following teachings of Rabbis to a Jewish audience. These teachings seem to be contradictory to what one learn in Jewish Christian polemics.

          For example , I came across a video on a particular teaching on Israel and the Nations , taken from Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto’s (Ramchal) work “Derech Hashem’’ .I found out through a video on these teachings by a a Noahide organization based in Texas . The video was disturbing to me personally . I checked out “Derech Hashem” , available in the Sefaria App . Please refer excerpts on this teaching , taken from Derech Hashem “Part Two, On Israel and the Nations’’
          •From the deepest matters in His direction [of the world], may He be blessed, is that matter of Israel and the [other] nations of the world. For from the angle of man’s nature they truly appear to be the same; but from the angle of the Torah, they are completely and greatly different – distinct like two completely differing species.
          •The first man (Adam) before his sin was in a much more elevated state than man now, and we already explained this matter (Part 1, On Mankind 6). And in that state, mankind was on a very respectable level, a level fit for perpetual elevation, as we mentioned.
          •…But see that with his (Adam’s) sin, he descended greatly from his level and internalized a large amount from the darkness and the murkiness, as we mentioned above. And the whole human specie descended from its level and stood on a very lowly level which was not fit for the perpetually lofty status for which it was first destined.
          •So he only remained ready and prepared for a much lower level. And in this respect, he produced offspring in the world that were all on this lowly level that we mentioned.
          •However from the angle of his true root, the existence of the higher aspect, that was the aspect that had been in this specie at the time of his corruption, was nevertheless not extinct from the category of the human specie. So Adam was not completely pushed off, so that he could not return to the high level.
          •And behold the Master, may He be blessed, placed the choice in front of these generations that were found at that time, to strengthen themselves and make efforts to elevate themselves from the lowly level and to place themselves on the higher level. And He left them time for this thing,
          •However, according to the Supreme Justice, they were all found to be fit to stay on the lowly level of mankind that Adam and his offspring had reached due to his sin – and not higher than this at all. And it was Abraham alone that was chosen because of his deeds.
          •He had raised himself and was set to be an excellent and precious tree, according to the higher level of human existence, such that it was [also] given to him to produce his branches according to his qualities.
          •Nevertheless, the decree was not to destroy these nations. Rather, the decree was that they should remain on the lowly level that we mentioned.

          It seems what Ramchal is teaching here echoes the teachings of Christianity , that man have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) . However the savior who can redeem mankind has shifted from Jesus to the Jewish people . A non Jew can only elevate him/herself through conversion to Judaism. This seems to contradict what Rabbi Blumenthal wrote in his article “Christianity Unmasked” as follows:

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

          My request , again is that Rabbi Blumenthal and other learned Jews out there will take the time to clarify all these “confusing” teachings . This is important so that all truth seekers out there , especially the non Jew/ those of Christian backgrounds will have all information available so that they are able to make an informed decision. Condemning Paul or Jesus as ‘’false teacher, a false prophet, and one who consulted with the dead’’ is just not the way.

          Thank you.

          • Dina says:

            But why not point out that they are false teachers if they really are? If it can be proven that this is the case–and it can, and we have done so time and again–then why not dismiss them altogether? What is the point of learning from a source that is unreliable?

          • Sharon S says:

            Dina,

            I asked Jim on how should we explain the difference between Rabbi Schochet’s explanation that the soul of the Mashiach which is “preconceived from the very beginning” and “precede the creation” and Paul’s statement in Colossians 1:15. Jim did not answer my question . Instead he stated , as he frequently does that Paul is a false teacher and what he taught of the Messiah is of no use.

            Did Jim answer my question? No.

            Jim could have explained Rabbi Schochet’s position , in which sources are readily available and that of Paul. Jim could have pointed out how Paul’s interpretation differ from Rabbinical opinion to prove that whatever Paul taught of Jesus is of no use.

            This reminds me of political arguments where one political candidate will speak ill of his/her opponent without addressing the arguments the political opponent brings forth , no matter how rational it may be. This is done to silence the audience from asking more. This happens not only in the political arena , but in all spheres of life and in all nations. I am surprised that this happens here too..🤦‍♀️

            As usual , I hope that you will go through my comments to understand where I am coming from. Thank you.

          • Jim says:

            Sharon,

            Though I was giving a partial answer to your question, the answer was not intended for you. I realized some time ago that you and I have not any common ground upon which we can have a conversation. You have stated multiple times that the truth is not your primary concern. At that point, any argument made between us is futile.

            I will sometimes, then, give a basic treatment to one of your questions, just to avoid giving someone the impression that no answers exist. And, if someone who cares about the truth asked for further clarification, I would discuss the issue with him as far as I am able. However, to carry on a conversation with you is pointless. Because truth is of secondary (or lower) concern to you, whenever we arrive at a conclusion that does not fit your agenda, you ignore the conclusion and raise the question again (as you have done on this page with your “question” concerning rabbinic interpretation and Pauline interpretation). Then you take over every page and every discussion with the same questions, despite not being relevant to what is being discussed on the page, continuing to discard any answers that do not suit your agenda.

            I suppose my writing this must offend you, for which I am sorry. This is not meant as an attack. I sympathize with the turmoil that you endure. However, until truth is your goal, conversation between us is impossible.

            Jim

          • Jim says:

            Dina,

            Sharon accuses me of ad hominem, because she has not yet established basic principles for “religious” claims. She tests religious claims in light of her prejudices. Because the test of religious claims is for her subjective, one cannot dismiss the claims of another on objective grounds.

            If you were approached by two men, Albert and Brian, both claiming to be prophets with instructions from God for you, you would expect some sort of proof from both of them to establish their claims. You would not expect the two men to just argue in front of you. No argument could suffice, because they are not claiming to have learned from logic the will of God. They are claiming to have received it from God.

            Let us say that Albert performed a miracle and made a prediction about an unlikely future event and that prediction came true. And, let us say that Brian could not work a miracle and/or made a prediction that did not came true. (Both of these predictions are made in the name of God, of course.) You would say, I think, that Albert is still in the running as a possible legitimate prophet and that Brian is definitely not a prophet. This is not so for Sharon. Sharon will still want them to argue before her. Her arbitration regarding which of the two, if either, is a prophet rests on how she feels about the messages they bring.

            Let us take a step further. If we had good reason to believe that Albert was a prophet and Brian was not, neither you nor I would listen any further to Brian. But let us say that Brian’s message had some similarities to Albert’s. Sharon would not disregard Brian, despite his inability to establish his credentials as prophet. She would ask Albert what the difference is between Brian’s and Albert’s messages. She would ask what is so wrong with Brian’s message. The fact that he spoke presumptuously in the name of God is of secondary importance to her. She would give him as much credence, possibly more, as Albert.

            So, when I argue that Paul’s teaching is best ignored to avoid confusion, Sharon sees this as off-limits. She wants to hear him out. That it has been demonstrated that he was a false teacher does not matter. That he was a false prophet does not matter. To Sharon, it does not matter even that Paul claimed to be a chief student of a man he never met, whose teachings he supposedly got in the desert rather than from the disciples of that man. He still has a seat at the table. Why should he not? After all, why should being a false prophet who claims to hear from a dead false prophet disqualify anyone?

            You and I operate from a different starting point. We look at Paul’s disqualifications and we are done with him. We apply the objective test. Sharon sees this as unfair. She wants to apply subjective tests and allow him a seat at the table. And if we will not grant him one, if we will not hear him out, then this only reveals that we are threatened by him and need to silence him. This is obviously absurd, but what can one do about that?

            Jim

          • Dina says:

            Similarly, it’s like having a symposium on the Holocaust and granting an audience to a Holocaust denier.

            That’s why I agree that the credentials of the teacher are highly relevant to the discussion.

          • Sharon S says:

            Dear Jim,

            Thank you for your honest feedback.

            I am aware that our past conversations did not go well . I was initially hesitant to comment on your reply to Mr. Alva. However there were a few points in Rabbi Shochet’s article that you did not respond fully , and that is why I felt I had to chime in , for the sake of the audience following this conversation.

            I think it is important for those following Jewish-Christian polemics to see the full picture. In my opinion the texts and teachings of both religious traditions should be given a fair hearing. I believe that Paul’s teachings did not arise out of vacuum . It was influenced by the very Jewish tradition that he was raised and trained in , after all , Paul may have very well been a Yeshiva student in his day. I understand that there are many articles here that discuss Paul’s teaching and how it runs counter to Judaism and the Torah. However I have not seen any argument so far on the specific criteria of the Messiah which I have highlighted in my comment -which I see as important and need to be addressed.

            I thought that even though you may have some reservations about me , you will at least consider the points I have highlighted . I do not expect for you to respond to me, your response to the audience , backed by solid Rabbinic opinion instead of half hearted replies would have been sufficient.Unfortunately , both you and Dina have decided from the start that Paul is disqualified and that you are done with him. This means that there is no opportunity for us to hear the Rabbinic versus Pauline argument on the specific criteria of the Messiah brought up by the late Rabbi Schochet.

            I am sad that you have an impression that truth is of secondary (lower) importance to me. I don’t think we can define what truth actually is. However we have the one faculty that the almighty has blessed us with to search for the truth, and that is our minds. The mind is the only tool we have to gather data and to weigh each and every argument , as well as its context carefully . God has also blessed us with certain gifts such as conscience and cognitive dissonance so that we can detect any inconsistencies we habor in our beliefs/action and to rectify it accordingly. I am acting in accordance with the truth when I try to rectify the inconsistencies that I see. Part of the rectification involves my calling out these inconsistencies when I see one.

            I hope that the reader will learn beneficial lessons from this conversation, though I wished it turned out differently. To the reader , I would advise you to do your own research and not to take any argument here as the gospel truth. There are tendencies among all of us to highlight points that can boost our argument and to gloss over some that will not lend support to our arguments . Push whoever is making claims that run counter to your long cherished beliefs to lay all facts on the table and to research/discuss it fully . I would advise you to make an informed decision only after you gather all facts possible and weigh the pros /cons of each decision . Good luck.

            I would like to thank the blog administrator for giving me the opportunity to comment in this blog. I will still keep on commenting here there are any inconsistencies here that needs to be called out.

            Thank you.

          • Dina says:

            Sharon, a good while back you posted clearly and unequivocally that the truth is not important to you. You said that if you don’t like the message, then you will reject it even if it’s true. I don’t have the time or the resources to find your comments on this point. I wouldn’t even know how to begin going about doing that. But Jim obviously remembers this as well. I recall at the time saying that discussion is pointless if truth is not the goal.

            Forgive my harshness, but you inadvertently admitted that your goal here is not to learn, but to scold. You wrote that you will keep commenting as long as you find inconsistencies to call out. I’m bowing out of this discussion because I sense that you are not arguing in good faith. I know this is blunt, and I am sorry for that. I truly wish you well.

          • LarryB says:

            Sharon
            “I am sad that you have an impression that truth is of secondary (lower) importance to me”
            I remember this as well and agree with both Jim and Dina.
            Its not an “impression” it is your words.

          • Sharon S says:

            Dina and Larry,

            I notice that your comments are directed more and more to my character rather than to clarify the specific criteria of the Messiah as described in Rabbi Shochet’s article-the future Torah of the Mashiach and the pre-existing soul of the Mashiach.

            It seems that you are trying create smokescreens to divert from the discussion at hand . You are doing a “Paul was a false prophet” on me. Paul was a false prophet , he has no credentials ,case closed. You are questioning my stand on truth to show that I have no credentials , case closed.

            Please focus on the argument at hand , not on the character of the one making the argument.Just admit if you are not able to provide explanation on Rabbi Schochet’s criteria on the Mashiach .

            Again , appreciate if other learned Jews out there can explain Rabbi Schochet’s position based on Rabbinic opinion/Jewish tradition and how it differs from the Pauline interpretation of the Messiah as per Colossians 1:15.

          • Dina says:

            This is not an attack on your character in order to avoid discussion. As you have surely noted, in the past, none of have shied away from engaging in challenging questions. We aren’t suddenly so afraid of questions that we are all resorting to ad hominem tactics to shut down opposing viewpoints. It’s the pointlessness of holding these dialogues. They go absolutely nowhere, for all the reasons we already outlined.

            If you still see us as vicious character assassins picking on poor you because we lack a better defense, that is your choice. I hope you will choose a better path.

        • Sharon S says:

          Dear Jim,

          If you don’t mind , I would like to respond to your point on Christians and cognitive dissonance.

          According to Wikipedia , cognitive dissonance “occurs when a person holds contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values, and is typically experienced as psychological stress when they participate in an action that goes against one or more of them. According to this theory, when two actions or ideas are not psychologically consistent with each other, people do all in their power to change them until they become consistent”

          You pointed out that christians find themselves in a state of cognitive dissonance when they want to reconcile false claims to the truth. The Christian seizes upon superficial similarities in Tanach or Rabbinic writings to the writings of Paul which allows the Christian to remain in the state of confusion.

          The only solution for the Christian to reconcile two seemingly inconsistent actions or beliefs is to change the behavior or cognition -to discard his/her beliefs in Jesus completely.

          The ex-Christian then decides to explore Judaism with the belief that the Jewish people are God’s witnesses. The ex-Christian attends synagogue (if there is one available within his/her area) , follow the weekly Torah portions and the daily daf Yomi (Talmud) lessons) or any shiur-anything to learn about the will of God from His witnesses . However , during this exploration , the ex-Christian may come across the following:
          1.Teachings in Jewish tradition that seems to echo the teachings of Christianity
          2.The liberties Jewish Sages & Rabbis employ to interpret the Jewish Scriptures , in order to justify a particular ruling/teaching .Their methods are far more elaborate and put Paul and the other New Testament writers to shame.
          Example: Employing Genesis 2:16 as a proof text to justify the teaching of the 7 noachide laws
          3.Anti-Gentile and other teachings in Jewish scriptures that may offend modern day sensitivities , human rights, etc.

          These elements may not raise any eyebrows within the Jewish community , who are not exposed to Christianity and who have been fed with these teachings in Hebrew schools/Yeshivas all their lives. However this certainly may the raise eyebrow of the ex-Christian , if he/she is honest about it.

          These are the questions that I ask:
          1.Should I accept the teachings of the Jewish Sages/Rabbis that echo the teachings of Christianity when I condemn similar teachings in Christianity as well?
          2.Should I just accept the elaborate proof texts that the Jewish sages/Rabbis employ to justify their rulings when I condemn the proof texts Paul/ New Testament writers employ to justify their belief of Jesus?
          3.Should I accept the fact that non Jews are of lowly level that our ancestor Adam had reached due to his sin when I condemn the teachings in Christianity that man are inherently evil?

          If I am honest , I am experiencing a state of cognitive dissonance too. I abandoned Christianity precisely because of its false claims (in particular 1 to 3 above) , yet I have to accept the very same claims when it is made by the very belief system that condemns these claims in Christianity. Hmm…

          I don’t know about you , but I think this state of cognitive dissonance will happen for both the Christian and the ex-Christian (if he/she choose to be honest about it). However it is much worse for the ex-Christian grappling with these inconsistencies as compared to the Christian trying to reconcile false claims to the truth. The Christian is trying defend his/her faith. The ex-Christian , though outwardly condemning the actions of the Christian , is forced to swallow the same beliefs that the Christian is trying to defend -this is just hypocrisy.

          Food for thought.

  29. gus alva says:

    dear Jim
    answers below
    1 We see that Rabbi Shochet quotes Isaiah 53:11: “Through his knowledge My servant shall justify the righteous to the many…” This has no relation to Jesus. Jesus is not supposed to have justified people through his knowledge but through his blood.
    ——————————————————————————
    John 3, 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    2 Further on, we see that the definition of the Messiah from which we are working includes that he will be a prophet “second only to Moses.” But Christians do not hold that Jesus is a prophet second to Moses. They hold that Jesus is greater than Moses. On those grounds, Jesus cannot be the Messiah (i.e. he does not meet the proposed definition). More significantly, though, it has been demonstrated that Jesus was a false prophet. It is not true that he is the greatest of all prophets. He is not one at all, certainly not “second only to Moses.”
    Similarly, though you omitted this section, Rabbi Shochet writes that the Messiah will be born in the usual way, to a man and a woman. However, Christians teach that this did not happen with Jesus. If so, again, he does not meet the proposed definition of the Messiah.
    ——————————————————————————————————–
    On the particular day that marks the end of the galut, when Mashiach will redeem Israel, the unique pre-existing soul of Mashiach ‘stored’ in Gan Eden from aforetimes will descend and be bestowed upon that tzadik.10 R. Mosheh Sofer summarizes this principle in his responsa:11
    “Behold, My servant shall be wise, he shall be exalted and lofty, and shall be very high.” (Isaiah 52:13). His wisdom shall exceed even that of King Solomon;15 he shall be greater than the patriarchs, greater than all the prophets after Moses, and in many respects even more exalted than Moses. (Chabad.org)
    Looks like there is a lack of understanding of the New Testament
    There is a dual concept ,He is from the beginning but He is also in form of a men. He is before Moses and after Moses and yes more exalted than Moses.

    3 Nor did he “mak[e] manifest the hidden mysteries of the Torah.” He did not lead to a great observance of Torah, either. In fact, a great number of Jewish Christians regularly violate the Torah by not keeping the Sabbath, for example. Nor did he “fight the battles of G-d.”

    We have to separate Jesus teachings from actions from his followers. If we judge the law and the prophets by what many jewish people do this will devalue the Torah.
    Mathew 5 17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    —————————————————————————————————————————–
    4 Finally, you neglected to quote from Rabbi Shochet’s introduction to the topic of the Messiah. On that page, he writes that the Messiah will rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem and that he will lead the ingathering of the exiles, ending the diaspora. But, Jesus did neither of these things. Indeed, relatively shortly after his death, the reverse happened: the Temple was destroyed and Israel was scattered. Again, we see that Jesus does not match the proposed definition.

    Our tradition teaches us that there will be two Messiahs, Mashiach ben Yosef and Mashiach ben David – each one strengthening the other. Zecharia describes a situation (based on the first source quoted by HaRav Kook) that, in spite of the salvation, Mashiach ben Yosef will die. HaRav Kook explains that the verse compares this to young parents who do not yet know how to raise children, and, as such, make mistakes that cause the death of their first born son.

    Jesus came to his own people to start the restoration of all things, but scriptures said that he will be cut off. He predicted the destruction of the temple and He mentioned that He will return as king and accomplish the leading the ingathering of the exiles, ending the diaspora and restoring world peace.
    Mathew 23 37“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 38Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ c ”

  30. Sharon S says:

    Jim, Dina, Larry,

    Responding to your comments from here https://judaismresources.net/2013/01/17/daniel-924-27/#comment-121340.

    I can see from your feedback that there seems to be a problem with the way I conduct myself when we have discussions on the blog . I do not have any intention to ruffle feathers again. My intent is simple- there are criteria about the Mashiach raised by Rabbi Schochet’s article which I have not seen discussed in Jewish-Christian polemical discussions/debates etc. I was hoping that you would look past our heated discussions in the past and to just focus on the criteria , since superficially it seemed to point to a certain Christian Messiah (to me).

    Unfortunately , we got into the same situation again.

    I understand from your comments that your grievances of me are as follows:
    a. Jim: There is no common ground for us (Jim and I) to have a conversation .
    I have stated many times that the truth is not my primary concern.
    Any argument between us is futile
    b. Jim: Whenever we (i.e Jim, Dina, Larry , etc) arrive at a conclusion that does not fit
    my agenda , I ignored the conclusion and raise the question again. I took over every
    page and discussion with the same questions.
    c. Jim: Jim and I operate from a different starting point . Jim looks at Paul’s disqualification and
    he (as well as Dina) are done with him (objective test). I look at Paul and allow him a
    seat at the table (subjective test).
    d. Dina:
    1. I posted clearly and unequivocally that the truth is not important to me ( Is it this comment -https://judaismresources.net/2018/07/18/sufficient/#comment-115444 ?)
    The exact words I stated were “The Jews have their covenant with God and Christians/non Jews through Jesus , the Jew. I understand this statement may not be rooted in truth . However having a fulfilling relationship with God based on how one choose to understand Him is more meaningful than worshiping God in truth without love and purpose. Truth is nothing without love.”
    3.I inadvertently admitted that your goal here is not to learn, but to scold.

    e. Larry: That it’s my words which clearly shows that truth is secondary (or of no importance)
    to me

    I understand that there are many other comments made about me in our previous conversations . However I will focus on the above comments for now.

    From the above , I suspect that the most obvious grievance that you have against me is on my stand on truth, so I will focus on that.

    I made a statement recently that there are two different path of closeness to God for the Jew and the non Jew. Having a fulfilling relationship based on how one choose to understand God is more meaningful than worshiping God in truth without love. Truth is nothing without love. I suspect that you find this statement very hurtful and jarring . Perhaps you may conclude from this statement that any dialogue with me is futile from this point. My recent comments on truth in this thread may have made you even more confused on my intent .Please correct me if I am wrong.

    I am sorry.

    Jim and Larry , I believe that both of you , including your families must have gone through a lot of challenges in your transition from being Christians to getting to know the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all over again-seeing Him in a whole different way than you see Him before. Both of you left because of the convictions that you had about the falsehoods of Christianity. It must have been a challenge then , and perhaps even now. I am sorry if my statements undermine your effort and gave a clear message to the audience that truth is an option , a less than appealing option.

    Dina , I have been following the daily Daf (Talmud) lessons for more than 5 months now. I started following teachings on Tractate Shabbat and now we are at Eruvin. I have just experienced the first virtual Siyum when we completed Tractate Shabbat . I have come to appreciate the effort and sacrifice that the Jewish community , in particular the wife and mother make to sanctify the home and family for Shabbos .It is just amazing. No other community on earth did their best to honor God in fulfilling the 613 commandments plus numerous other Rabbinical decrees (fences to keep one from committing a Torah prohibition)-even in the midst of the most severe form of persecution . I am amazed at the effort of the Jewish community in sanctify your homes and communities , such rectifying alleyways and public/private domains to honor God’s command to honor Shabbos. I am truly amazed and have no words to say.

    To hear this kind of statements from me seem so otherworldly and so jarring. Here you are trying your best to obey God’s law and here am I spewing these statements. To make things worse I brought out the anti gentile elements , the differences between Jew and non Jew and pushing for you to admit all these. I am sorry.

    I understand that all of you are trying your best to live your lives in accordance with God’s truth. Unfortunately the struggles that I am going through is just too much and that is why I come to these conclusions. I am just not as good as you.

    I will do my own research about the criteria of the Messiah that was raised by Rabbi Schochet. Seriously there are no worries if you want to end the discussion here.

    I am also sorry since this discussion have digressed far beyond topic.

    Thank you.

    • Jim says:

      Sharon,

      You wrote: “Truth is nothing without love. I suspect that you find this statement very hurtful and jarring.”

      I appreciate your attempting to sympathize, the attempt to be sensitive to my feelings. However, it is not necessary. These are not my feelings. Nothing I have written is because I am offended by what you have written.

      Jim

  31. Jim says:

    Regarding Sharon’s comments above: https://judaismresources.net/2013/01/17/daniel-924-27/#comment-121539

    Sharon has said that her purpose here is to ensure that those who follow the conversations here are presented with both sides of the story. She presents herself as something of an arbiter, calling out inconsistencies in thought on both sides. She implies, also, that I and others on the Jewish side of the debate are intentionally neglectful of certain inconvenient facts, intentionally weighting the argument on our side. In actuality, Sharon is doing nothing but muddying the waters.

    She writes: “However there were a few points in Rabbi Shochet’s article that you did not respond fully, and that is why I felt I had to chime in, for the sake of the audience following the conversation.” This sentence is a misrepresentation of the scenario. I was not responding to Rabbi Shochet’s article at all. It was not the purpose of my comments. I was not expounding upon them or even employing them to disprove that Jesus is the Messiah. Mr. Alva, above, quoted part of Rabbi Shochet’s article, presumably as a support of the Christian contention that Jesus is the Messiah. (I write “presumably,” because he did not himself explicate the ways Jesus fit this definition.). I only pointed out some of the ways in which, if Mr. Alva accepts this as a mutual agreed upon definition of the Messiah, then Jesus does not fit with what Rabbi Shochet defined. Mr. Alva presented this definition, but it is inconsistent both with Christian doctrine and known facts. In order to do this, I need not discuss every sentence written by Rabbi Shochet. I did not present the article as a definition of the Messiah. Sharon has implied negligence on my part where there was none.

    Moreover, her questions are irrelevant to the discussion. In order to show that I am weighting the discussion one way, she asks questions about topics that I did not address. The reader can see above that one of the questions related to nullifying the law. The question was based on nothing. Rabbi Shochet wrote nothing of the law being nullified. Her other question is about a teaching of Paul about the eternality of the Messiah. She implies that by neglecting this I have hidden a proof from the reader that inclines the argument toward the Christian side.

    Fiddlesticks.

    Neither of her questions are relevant to the discussion at hand. Mr. Alva presented a definition of the Messiah to which he assumed we would assent. That definition of the Messiah precludes Jesus from being the Messiah, because he fails on various points. If Christian teaching about Jesus matched the definition on some other points, that would not then qualify Jesus to be the Messiah.

    Let us consider by way of analogy the following scenario. Taped to a wall is a geometric figure with four right angles and four straight lines. The opposite sides are congruent and parallel to one another, one pair measuring 30 cm and the other 10 cm. A crowd looks quizzically at this shape, having never before seen one. Along comes a man who claims he can instruct the crowd about this shape. He declares it to be a square. The crowd is amazed. A square! The say the word with awe. But a second man comes along who challenges this. He says that the shape is a rectangle. The crowd is uncertain. Who is right? The first man scoffs at the newcomer. He says that a true geometer would know that a square has four right angles and four parallel sides as does the shape in question. Aaaahhh, says the crowd. The second man objects. He says that a square has four sides of equal length, and these side lengths are not all equal. The crowd is now unsure, again. Both men appear to know what they are talking about. Finally, a third man approaches the group, an “arbitrator”. He accuses the second man of neglecting the first man’s points about right angles. He insinuates that the second man is hiding the strength of the argument of the first man.

    This third man is Sharon. (So to speak.)

    It is obvious that the second man is correct to point out that if all the sides are not congruent, then the figure is not a square. The fact that the figure has four right angles is true, but that is not enough to make the figure a square. It is the point of departure from the definition of the square that is at issue, not the points of agreement. The third person, like Sharon, has only introduced unnecessary confusion.

    Let us not concern ourselves with the specific content of Paul’s teaching on the Messiah for the moment. Let us substitute it with a variable, just to understand the situation at hand. Paul writes X, where X is a claim about the Messiah. Either X is true or false. Let us assume it is true. It is nevertheless irrelevant to the discussion. Mr. Alva was using a certain definition to imply that Jews should acknowledge Jesus to be the Messiah. Jesus does not fit that definition. If Paul is correct about X, it does not matter.

    Bear in mind, the question was not whether or not the definition was correct. I never addressed the rectitude of the definition at all, expressing neither agreement nor disagreement with Rabbi Shochet. My argument was not that the Christian definition of the Messiah was incorrect, because it does not match Rabbi Shochet’s. Even if it had been, though, I would not have been negligent in failing to mention that they agree on some point unless I had written that they did not agree on any point. It would have been perfectly fair to say that their definition deviated on points Y and Z. However, I was not challenging or affirming the Christian definition. I only pointed out that if Mr. Alva believes that Rabbi Shochet’s definition is a shared definition, it does not support the claim that Jesus is the Messiah—it refutes it.

    So, Sharon has done nothing but raised an irrelevant point to muddy the waters. If Paul is correct on his point, so what? It changes nothing in the discussion. She certainly has not pointed out a discrepancy in my argument. She has not uncovered any inconsistency. To pretend otherwise is absurd.

    And, by way of completion, if Paul and Rabbi Shochet agree in their meaning that the Messiah precedes creation, this does not support the claim that Jesus is the Messiah either. One has no means of determining that Jesus precedes creation. So, one cannot appeal to his eternality, which one must suppose, to prove his Messiahship. It would just be another in a long line of untestable claims meant to support the claim that Jesus is Messiah, despite its inability to be tested, observed, or in any way known.

    Sharon also tries to muddy the waters by reiterating questions already answered. She asks, for example, about the difference between Paul’s misuse of scripture and the derivation of the Seven Laws from Genesis 2:16. I answered this question for Sharon about two years ago. By reintroducing the question, she implies that I have without reason eliminated Paul’s work from the discussion. She implies also that, if we say that Paul has misrepresented the scriptures, the rabbis have done the same. Paul is only doing what they do, and we are employing a double standard. However, I have already shown how what Paul does is quite different from what the rabbis do. By asking this question again, she only creates further distraction.

    Now, she has lamented “that [I] have an impression that truth is of secondary (lower) importance to [her].” As Dina and Larry have pointed out, this is not an “impression.” She has said it herself. On one occasion, she wished that she had not learned that idolatry is forbidden to the non-Jew, because then she not be liable for failing to keep the law. She could continue worshiping Jesus, even though he is not a god, without fear of punishment. What is this, except to say that the truth is of lesser importance than her attachment to other ideas? She has also written that she would prefer to believe in the false promises of Christianity—she was admitting they were false, that is not my interjection—than the true promises of the Torah, because she found them more… comforting? I do not recall the exact reason. And, she has made other statements like this, one of which she quoted recently, setting up a false dichotomy between love and truth. In that comment, it is clear that truth is secondary to love. This is not an impression; this is what she has said.

    And I am not condemning her for this. But it does mean that we do not have a common set of rules between us and no common ground and thus, no real communication.

    Sharon has in the past told us that she is a logical person, that it is required for her job. And she has told us that she spots inconsistencies. Now, those traits, if employed in search of the truth, are good and useful. But, if one does not aim at the truth, they are corrupted. The clever mind, seeking to uphold something other than the truth, will reject conclusions, however sound, that do not fit the agenda. They will seek inconsistencies where there are none, as Sharon did with regard to Paul’s teaching on the Messiah, in order to tear down the truth and support the agenda. Her logical mind allows here to muddy the waters in the name of nuance, to obscure rather than clarify, to undermine the truth rather than uphold it.

    That she puts these gifts in service to her biases can be seen in two instances, which I detail only so that one might see that I am not looking for an excuse to ignore Sharon’s penetrating and intimidating questions. My goal is not to dismiss her. I ignore her questions, because the bias blocks honest exchange, not because I am afraid of her questions. Nor do I intend any mockery or unkindness. This is only an explanation intended to show why no exchange of ideas is possible.

    Some time ago, Sharon and I discussed the necessary evidences to establish a religion. I argued that one needed an objective experience to establish a prophet or prophets, such as the Sinai revelation, an argument not original to me. Sharon agreed that this was a strong piece of evidence. But, she wished to propose another test of a religion. She asked whether or not the universality of the religious claims might not be a better test, as with Christianity and Islam. It is important to note that she includes those two religions in her question, because by including them, the question answers itself. The question contains the inconsistency that shows the universality of the claims is not a test at all. The claims of Christianity and Islam are mutually exclusive. Since they both make universal claims, then that cannot be the grounds for establishing a religion as true.

    At the root of her question, the cause of her error, is her mistaken belief that the Torah has nothing for the non-Jew. Her claim is that it is strictly particularistic, and to support this claim she cherry picks sources—usually ones she does not understand—that seem to support her contention that the Torah. She weights the evidence one way. And it is that agenda that guides her questions and leads her to ask a question that contains the contradiction that answers the question.

    Similarly, she proposed recently that the Jews have a covenant with God and the non-Jews a covenant with Jesus. I need hardly dwell on why this cannot be correct. Jesus did not, according to the NT, come to the non-Jews. He specifically said that he came to the lost sheep of Israel. He did not make it his life’s work to teach non-Jews about God. Those that did learn from him were not his target audience. They just happened to be present for his teaching. When he says that no man comes to the Father except through him and that all must believe in him, he says that to Jews. If it did not apply to those he taught, it certainly does not apply to those he did not teach.

    Again, she comes to this idea because of her insistence that the Jewish religion cares nothing for the non-Jew. But Jesus compared non-Jews to dogs who are not to be given the food of children (the Jews). His message was not more expansive. Her distorted view of Torah and her agenda to prop up Christianity lead her to obviously absurd claims.

    One should not think I condemn her for making errors. I do not condemn her at all. And we are all prone to errors in our reasoning. But, when someone does not wish to know the truth, only error can be produced. Communication ceases. Sharon does not and cannot hear anything that does not go to her agenda. So, she will muddy the waters. She will cherry pick. She will insist on unsound interpretations of sources, the context of which she does not understand. And so on and so on.

    Communication is impossible.

    If I treat her questions with short shrift, then, it is not because I am afraid of her questions. It is that answering them is a never-ending task as they are asked again and again, because the desired answer is not given. Until Sharon is satisfied with the truth, she can never be satisfied with a true answer.

    Jim

    • Sharon S says:

      To Jim and all who are following this discussion,

      I would like to thank Jim for explaining his position on our recent conversation.

      Let us go back to the analogy of the geometric shape taped on the wall. The crowd does not know what is a square . There were two men ,each making claims that the shape the crowd is looking at is a square. The second man introduce another criteria to argue that the shape the crowd is looking at is not a square. Who is right?

      As the “third man”, I would argue that both men seem to agree that a square have four right angles and four parallel lines. The point of departure is the length of the four sides-should it be equal in length or not ? Jim have not shown in his analogy on how the second man’s argument–that all sides must have equal length is an important criteria to determine that the shape on the wall is indeed a square. There is no authoritative source quoted in the analogy, which states that the length of the sides is an important criteria. We can only conclude in the absence of an authoritative source/standard that the geometric shape on the wall is a square based on the points that both men agree on .

      This analogy does not accurately describe the conversation that Jim and I had on the characteristics of the Mashiach.

      There is an authoritative source (Jewish scriptures) , which both Jews and Christians agree upon –which we can refer to identify the characteristics of the Mashiach/Messiah. However both Jews and Christians rely on separate authoritative sources , i.e Jewish tradition and the New Testament to further define the characteristics of the Messiah from the agreed authoritative source.

      Jim has argued that Jesus , the Christian Messiah does not fit with what Rabbi Schochet has defined .However I had also perused Rabbi Schochet’s article and he mentioned of two criteria of the Mashiach in the Jewish tradition which seem similar to the characteristics of the Messiah described in the New Testament as well. Jim did not include these points in his response to Mr. Alva.

      Jim argued that Jesus did not lead to greater observance of the Torah. However Rabbi Schochet stated that all Torah learned in the present world will be in vain as compared to the Torah of the Mashiach. Jim did not include this point in his response to Mr. Alva. It seems to me that this point is important and should be addressed. What does “all Torah learned in the present world” mean? Is “all Torah learned in the present world” same as the “Torah of the Mashiach?

      Jim argued that , based on Rabbi Schochet’s article , the Messiah will be born in the usual way, to a man and a woman. However Rabbi Schochet also wrote ,about three paragraphs later that “the unique pre-existing soul of Mashiach ‘stored’ in Gan Eden from aforetimes will descend and be bestowed upon that tzadik.”. Jim did not include this point in his response to Mr. Alva. It seems to me that this point is important and should be addressed. Why state the Messiah is born human and then say he has a pre-existing soul? How do we explain the difference between Rabbi Schochet’s statement and the New Testament?

      Am I muddying the waters here? Is this question irrelevant?

      Jim assumes that the second man in the analogy of the geometric shape is correct. The shape that the crowd sees on the wall is not a square. The shared characteristics between the “true square” and the rectangle on the wall is irrelevant. Both are not the same. Discussion on these matters just adds to the confusion.

      Similarly , in his reasoning ,the Messiah of Christianity is not the same as the Mashiach of the Jewish Scriptures/tradition . The shared characteristics in Rabbi Schochet’s definition of the Mashiach and that of the New Testament does not support the fact that Jesus is the Messiah. I am just muddying the waters when I highlighted the shared characteristics from both traditions.

      Jim argues that one needed an objective experience to establish a prophet or prophets, such as the Sinai revelation for a religion to be valid. He argues very successfully that the Church does not meet that criteria. As such Christianity, the Church and her teachers has no credentials when measured against the objective experience. Hence when I brought out teachings in Jewish tradition that seems to echo the teachings of Christianity , it is regarded as irrelevant .

      Jim is using the same line of reasoning when he tried to discredit me based on my position that the truth is secondary to me . According to Jim , I am using my logic and ability to spot inconsistencies to service my biases .Based on that criteria , I am condemned , alongside with the Church. Hence Jim would want to paint my arguments as causing confusion or leading one to error. The Church is evil and false , it has no credentials ,case closed. Sharon has no credentials because she sees truth as of secondary importance . Sharon “muddy the waters” , she “cherry pick”,she “ insist on unsound interpretations of sources” Sharon has no credentials , case closed.

      If we go by Jim’s reasoning , the teachings of Christianity that man is by nature corrupted or evil without the saving work of Jesus is irrelevant . However , we have to accept Ramchal’s statement that mankind (apart from the Jewish nation) is “found to be fit to stay on the lowly level of mankind that Adam and his offspring had reached due to his sin – and not higher than this at all.” without question because Ramchal and his ancestors were the nation that received the revelation at Sinai. Both teachings are similar , however we should condemn the teachings of Christianity on the state of man.

      If we go by Jim’s reasoning , we are to disregard the proof texts that the New Testament authors use to justify Jesus as the Messiah foretold in Jewish scriptures.. However , we have to accept the 7 Noachide laws based on Genesis 2:16 (which is about God commanding Adam not to eat from the Tree of Good and evil) without question because the Sages and their ancestors were the nation that received the revelation at Sinai. There are similar practices in both traditions of employing proof texts to justify a certain ruling/teaching, however the proof texts of Christianity are irrelevant as the Church has no credentials to interpret the Jewish scriptures. Yet we are required to believe that there are 7 laws that all non Jews are required to follow based on an elaborate proof text .

      If truth is my main priority , then I should accept the teachings of Judaism regarding these matters without question, though I condemn similar teachings/practices in Christianity. I am to condemn a Christian who defends these teachings/practices because Christianity has no credentials. However I should not bat an eyelid when I come across similar teachings/practices in Jewish tradition. I am in a state of cognitive dissonance.

      To date , Jim has not made a persuasive argument on this.

      My statement that the truth is secondary to me comes the struggles from grappling with these inconsistencies. That is why I am calling it out in my comments on the blog.

      I have publicly apologized to Jim, Dina and Larry if it cause grievance to them. However that does not change my position . I would understand if they do not intent to have any communication with me based on my stand.

      I will carry on my mantle as an “arbitrator” ,the title that Jim has bestowed on me. I will still call out inconsistencies from both side of the religious divide when I see one. I will put in comments that will educate the audience , as long as I am permitted to comment here. I think it is important for those following Jewish-Christian polemics to see the full picture.

      The most important takeaway from this discussion is to focus on the argument at hand , not on the one making the argument. The credentials of the one making the argument should not have any bearing on the merit of the argument and if it deserves a fair hearing or no hearing at all. Jim wants you to focus on the credentials of the one making the argument –if the arguer fails his objective test then their argument has no merit and deserve no hearing. Is this the way for all of us to come to absolute clarity ?

      Thank you.

      • Dina says:

        Sharon, you do not need to apologize. Your approach does not offend me; I merely see it as precluding fruitful dialogue. You do not accept any answer, no matter how fair and logical, unless it supports the answer you want hear. For example, if you ask whether a teaching is inconsistent with another, the answer you want to hear is, “yes, this teaching is inconsistent, and that throws doubt on the teachings of Judaism.” You reject any and all attempts to show how Jews resolve a seeming contradiction.

        In your latest comment, you demonstrate this. You repeatedly asked us in the past why Jewish proof texts work to support a teaching but Christian ones do not, claiming this is a double standard. We repeatedly and patiently answered you, spending hours of our time in the process. Yet you still raise the issue and claim that Jim did not answer satisfactorily. He did. But you did not find it satisfying because the answer you wanted to hear was that if Jews rely on proof texts, Christians can also do so, and we must ascribe equal weight to both types of exegesis. Because we disagree, you act as if we did not answer. It is okay to agree to disagree and then move on. It is not okay to keep asking hoping to hear a different response, and to accuse others of of not answering when they clearly have.

        That is why it is pointless to address your arguments. They don’t move the discussion forward and don’t advance the cause of seeking truth.

        It is fair to argue that one should address the points raised without referring to the one raising the points (something you are profoundly guilty of, by the way). However, that applies only when your opponent is arguing in good faith. You are not arguing in good faith. Your are “calling out inconsistencies” but are not interested in anything other than agreement with your assessments.

        Please feel free to comment as you wish. I am not the moderator of this website, and Rabbi Blumenthal gives commenters a lot of freedom, which is great. As he has a lot more patience than I, you can, if you wish, address your questions to him and see what he has to say. As for myself, I am bowing out. Again, I wish you well. Stay safe and healthy during these difficult times.

      • Jim says:

        What is it to muddy the waters? It is to seize upon ambiguities and superficial similarities between two objects or ideas to introduce doubt. One who muddies the waters elevates remote possibilities over likelihood and the unproveable over the proven. She avoids clear distinctions between ideas, preferring ill-defined concepts. Often the goal of a water muddier is to prevent any conclusion from being reached. She does not hope to win an argument; she only hopes to impede the argumentation of others. So, she sets herself up as an arbiter of the argument, declaring herself to be fair-minded. But, of course, she is anything but.

        Does Sharon muddy the waters?

        Obviously.

        I have written in the past about the supposed qualities that Jesus possessed that make him the Messiah. These are by-and-large things that cannot be known. They are assumed. They are asserted. But they are not known, and they cannot be tested. Qualities of the Messiah which, if one had performed them would be observed and known, such as rebuilding the Temple, Jesus did not do. Sharon has just added to the unknowable qualities that Jesus has and insisted that we should test him by that—a test of the untestable—rather than observable qualities.

        Essentially, by her lights one should give no weight to the fact that he was a false prophet. One should give no weight to the fact that he did not build the Temple. One should give no weight to the fact that he is not a king ruling in Jerusalem, and the like. Instead, one should give his eternality great weight, a quality, which if he had, one has no way of knowing. This is just another non-proof added to a large heap of non-proofs. Sharon does not want to us to consider the clear evidence; she wants us to make unjustified supposition.

        Let us envision the following scenario. You have learned that the Messiah was born in such and such a hospital on such and such a day. Excited, you grab your frankincense as a birthday present. You hasten to the hospital, but there are two babies born on that day. Oh no, to whom do you present your gift? No need to worry, Sharon has given us the perfect test. Just give it to the baby whose existence preceded creation.

        I hope this requires no further explanation.

        Does Sharon muddy the waters?

        Yes.

      • Sharon S says:

        Let us focus on the facts of the conversation , which started here https://judaismresources.net/2013/01/17/daniel-924-27/#comment-121942

        The important facts of the conversation are as follows:

        1.Jim had pointed out the criteria of the Mashiach in Rabbi Shochet’s article that Jesus did not seem to fulfill very well. Some of the criteria include how Jesus did not lead to a great observance of the Torah and that the Messiah will be born in a human way (which Jesus did not according to Christian tradition)

        2.I read Rabbi Shochet’s article at the link Jim has put in his comment to Mr. Alva . It seems clear to me that the article is meant for a Jewish audience. Rabbi Shochet highlighted the Torah of the Mashiach and the pre-existing soul of the Mashiach , which is “confusing” to the reader with a Christian background like me. These criteria is somehow contradictory to the points that Jim highlighted in (1). I requested for Jim to look into and discuss these criteria as well.

        3.I requested Jim to distinguish the nature of my comment from Mr Alva’s. The point that I am trying to make is that there are teachings in Jewish tradition that seems to echo the teachings of Christianity-which one can only find when one delve deeply into Jewish tradition or from reading/following teachings of Rabbis to a Jewish audience. These teachings seem to be contradictory to what one learn in Jewish Christian polemics.
        How do we explain the difference ?

        4.Jim admitted that he was giving a partial answer to my question and that it was not intended for me. He wrote that we have no common ground for having a conversation and that truth is not my primary concern.

        5.Jim also stated that I was accusing him of ad hominem. Jim applies objective test on Paul and is disqualified with him. I applied subjective test on Paul and allow him a seat at the table.

        6.The subsequent comments I received are directed more and more to my character rather than to clarify the specific criteria of the Messiah as described in Rabbi Shochet’s article.

        7.I requested Jim, Larry and Dina to focus on the argument at hand , not on the character of the one making the argument. Just admit if they are not able to provide explanation on Rabbi Schochet’s criteria on the Mashiach .

        8.After much thought , I apologized to Jim , Larry and Dina if they are offended by my position on truth. I stated clearly that I will do my own research about the criteria of the Messiah that was raised by Rabbi Shochet. I was willing to end the conversation here .

        9.Jim came out with a scathing comment , with a clear intent to attack my character despite my apology and willingness to back out from this argument. I had to respond. He has come out with two other scathing comments at this time of writing.

        Who is muddying the waters here ? Jim or me?

        In response to Jim’s scenario , how does Jim or anyone know when the Messiah will be born? Again , Jim did not provide any authoritative source . So , his scenario fails at that point.

        It is very clear that Jim wants you to focus on the credentials of the one making these types of argument rather than addressing the arguments themselves. I have stated quite clearly that I am willing to end the conversation (timestamp September 1, 2020 at 9:13 am). Jim came out with a scathing comment attacking my character for the most part (timestamp September 1, 2020 at 5:07 pm). Jim is still spewing out comments attacking my character twice after that.

        If Jim’s intent with these comments is to intimidate me to back off , then he is sadly mistaken. I will not be cowed.

        • Annomous says:

          Reload repeat.

        • LarryB says:

          Reload repeat. You write that the Jewish tradition echos the teaching of Christianity. Would you agree it is the other way around since Judaism existed first. The messiah is a echo of Judaism tradition, etc. Christianitys 10 commandments is an echo of Judaism 10 commandments, yet not quite the same.

  32. Jim says:

    Mr. Alva,

    In response to your comments here: https://judaismresources.net/2013/01/17/daniel-924-27/#comment-121552

    Thank you for your reply. I will have to break up my response, and I may not be able to respond to everything until next week, as I will be gone for a few days. This comment will focus only upon section 1 or your comment, implying a link between Isaiah 53:11 and John 3:16-18.

    I would like to ask as a favor to me that when you post sections of scripture that you explain to me what you think we should take out of it. When you post two passages like this, if you provide some connective tissue telling me how they relate to one another, this would be a kindness to me. Though I was at one time a Christian and have been posting in the comments section here for several years, I am not nearly as sharp as many of the other posters here. It helps if things are explained to me. If I have to infer an argument, I am afraid that I will go astray (as the rest of this comment may illustrate).

    I do not see any connection between the two passages in question. And I certainly do not see how the passage in John establishes the claim that Jesus is the Messiah. Perhaps I am obtuse, but I cannot make heads or tails of what you are trying to establish here.

    In the one passage, we have the righteous being justified through the knowledge of God’s servant. In the other, we have people being granted eternal life, not through the knowledge of Jesus, but through their own belief on him. (And I think we are entitled to say that this is because Jesus is supposed to be “the lamb who takes away the sin of the world,” which he does through his death, not his knowledge). I do not see a connection between the one and the other.

    Nor do I think that it is enough to assert that a thing happens in a way that cannot be observed in order to establish the claim that Jesus, or anyone else for that matter, is the Messiah. I would like to present two thought experiments to illustrate my meaning.

    Let us say for the sake of argument that I was to claim that all who believe in me would be delivered from eternal damnation and would instead receive everlasting life. (Heaven forbid that I should ever say such a thing!) Based on this, I then claim that I have fulfilled Isaiah 53:11. So now, you have two candidates for Messiah. Both of us have promised eternal life. How would you know which one of us was telling the truth, or if either one of us were? I do not believe you can know. You cannot see who has been set aside for eternal life after his death. I suppose, then, you would look to other qualifications of the Messiah and appeal to those. But then, this only goes to show that this claim that Jesus is supposed to have made in John 3:16 serves as no proof of anything.

    I hope the second thought experiment clarifies my meaning. Let us say some years hence, a Messianic candidate appears. He rebuilds the temple, and it serves as a house of prayer for all peoples. The exiles are in-gathered. He rules as a king in Jerusalem. The world is at peace and all have a knowledge of God. And, let us say that this man is not Jesus. At this time, could you still support the claim that Jesus is the Messiah by linking these two passages? I do not think so. Between the two candidates for Messiah, the king in Jerusalem would have fulfilled the role of the Messiah in clear and observable ways, while Jesus would not have done so. Appealing to an unobservable post-death salvation could not serve to undermine the undeniable evidence before our eyes.

    Mr. Alva, anybody can make untestable assertions. Such assertions do not serve as proof of anything. They require proofs themselves. If you review Deuteronomy 18, I think you will see that the Torah prescribes testing a prophet through objective, verifiable evidences. It does not appeal to what cannot be seen, what must be assumed. It does not pressure one to believe (or risk damnation!) what cannot be established.

    Jim

  33. alva says:

    Jim.
    I don’t replay with my opinion I just mention what is written both in the Torah and the new covenant. If you talk about proof then you are touching a very thin line, because other religions will say the same about Adam Eve and the creation, the opening of the sea by Moses (where is the proof), we talk about the same proof that both of us believe upon, in good faith that was the written law 4,000-3000 years ago with Moses and 2000 year ago with Jesus Age.

    So based upon what is written . Jesus mentioned in John 8, 31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
    32 And ye shall KNOW the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
    33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
    34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
    35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
    36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

    Also in John 14, 5 Thomas asked him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
    6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you have known me, you will also know my Father. From now on you know him and have seen him.”

    So Jesus = The truth
    If we connect this to John 3, 32 it says this. And ye shall KNOW Jesus, and Jesus shall make you free. (justification).

    Regarding the second part of He rebuilds the temple, and it serves as a house of prayer for all peoples. The exiles are in-gathered. He rules as a king in Jerusalem. The world is at peace and all have a knowledge of God, I already mentioned that many Rabbis agree that there are two Messiah( not sure if they are the same) but they agree that prophets talk about one suffering and the other as a king. One comes before the other. Jesus explained that he will come back for this.

    One sign of the Messiah that not many Rabbis talk about is what is written in Yeshayahu 11 ,10 And it shall come to pass on that day, that the root of Jesse, which stands as a banner for peoples, to him shall the nations inquire, and his peace shall be [with] honor.
    The spread of the knowledge of the Torah to the gentile world came through Jesus preaching and his disciples including Paul. If it were not for the Messiah Jesus only 0.2 % of the world population will know the Torah. The rest of the world will be denied access to salvation, but we are all Gods creation and the salvation is not for a small minority, or a small club.

    History tells us about Joseph son of Jacob, (in the future Jesus) he was despised by his brothers and they put him in the pit,(grave) he suffered but God was with him. He went to Egypt( gentiles). He became second Leader on authority, his brothers bowed down before him (Jesus as King in the future), after that the Hebrews went to the promised Land. (new Jerusalem restoration of all things eternal peace).

  34. Jim says:

    Mr. Alva,

    Thank you for your continued replies. I am currently visiting family, so that I have not time to offer sufficient reply to your latest comment. I hope to do so in a few days.

    In the meantime, I am confused about what you write in regards to proof. You are likely aware that we do not accept the Christian Scriptures as a source. On what grounds do you believe that we should accept its claims? On what ground do you reject the claims of other religious prophets and texts?

    For example, if a Mormon were to say that you should accept Joseph Smith as a prophet, on what grounds would you reject him—assuming you do? On what grounds do you accept the Christian writings and exclude the Book of Mormon?

    Jim

  35. alva says:

    I didn’t think that this website was created to discredit and criticize other religions. If you don’t accept the Christian scriptures then your only point is to say that you are right and the rest is wrong. Then I don’t see a useful interaction here. Why to have a website to attack others who don’t think like you.? . no point to continue discussion. good luck.

    • LarryB says:

      alva
      It seems that it would be more appropriate if you said
      ‘ If you don’t accept the Christian scriptures “Blindly” then your only point is to say that you are right and the rest is wrong.
      Also similar to what Jim said insert any religion name where you have “christian scriptures” above and you end up with all religions are just a valid as the other. If that is your belief then i agree with the rest of your argument.
      “Then I don’t see a useful interaction here. Why to have a website to attack others who don’t think like you.? . no point to continue discussion. good luck.

      • Jim says:

        Mr. Alva,

        A good number of people across the world and throughout history have claimed to speak with divine authority. One must have some standard, then, for eliminating some voices and heeding others. One must subject the claims of such prophets to tests, in order to know to whom he should incline his ear. If the Christian scriptures are divinely given, then one has a responsibility to adhere to them, but if not, not. So, they too must be tested.

        I hope that you will reconsider withdrawing from this discussion. I am sure you know that, according to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is supposed to have said that many false prophets would appear and false messiahs as well (see chap. 24). Christianity excludes the claims of all of those it considers to fall into those categories. It is not the voice of ecumenicalism. On the contrary, it claims to have the sole truth, and indeed claims that those who do not believe in Jesus are condemned, as you recently noted (John 3:18). I am unclear, then, on what grounds you feel discounting the NT is unfair.

        Perhaps you are under the impression that we have dismissed the NT capriciously, that it merely does not appeal to us. Please understand that this is not so. If you read Rabbi Blumenthal’s work, you will see that he has presented extraordinarily good reasons for rejecting the NT and the claims of the Church. And among the commenters here, some of us were once Christians, such as Annelise, Larry, and myself. In leaving the Church behind, we had to give thoughtful consideration to the claims of the Church. We did not dismiss them out of hand. Some of us resisted quite fiercely the conclusions to which we had been led.

        With that in mind, please consider the following point:

        Christians and Jews agree that a few thousand years ago, the Jewish people were entrusted HaShem’s Torah. No other nation was granted an experience similar to the revelation at Sinai (Deut. 4:32-39). For hundreds of years, the Jewish people received further guidance from HaShem through prophets. And, the judges of the Jewish people preserved the words of some of these prophets. They determined what books should be considered part of the Jewish Bible and which should be excluded.

        Later, a body of men codified the Christian teachings. They ruled on which books should be included in the “New Testament” and which should be excluded. These men were not of the Jewish people. They had not been entrusted the Torah by HaShem. They were not a part of the chain of transmission coming from Sinai forward to the present. These men seized an authority not granted them by God. They appointed themselves the job of not just ruling on what books should make up the Christian canon but to make rulings on the meanings of the Tanach.

        This is, I think, a significant objection to the legitimacy of the “New Testament.” Still, I think it one of the lighter objections. In the future as time permits, I will bring other reasons why the Christian scriptures are not to be trusted. I hope that you will continue to participate in this dialogue.

        Jim

    • Sharon S says:

      Mr Alva,

      I share the frustration that you have in your conversation with Jim. There is no point to continue the discussion if Jim does not accept the validity of the Christian scriptures.

      However , it seems to me the conversation we are having here echoes the narratives of the New Testament, particularly the interaction Jesus had with the Pharisees . I think we should step back and evaluate the way the Gospel writers describe these accounts critically by asking the following questions:

      •What were the focus of the Gospel writers when they record the interaction between Jesus and the Pharisees ? Do they focus more on the credentials of the Pharisees rather than the arguments that they brought forth in their interaction with Jesus?

      •What were the intent of the Gospel writers when they record these interactions for their communities and for all who may read their account , like you and me? Do they intend for their communities to evaluate the arguments of both sides (Jesus and the Pharisees) fairly and critically?

      The Gospel writers did record dialogue between Jesus and the Pharisees , however the narratives are such that the credentials of the Pharisees are highlighted more than the arguments they bring to the table. The Gospels record Jesus frequently making scathing comments against them , Matthew 23 in my opinion the most vicious one of them all.

      What was the intent of the Gospel writers? It is very clear that they want to magnify Jesus . This is done by cutting down the Pharisees so that their arguments are not completely heard / not heard at all.

      You and I are arguing that the New Testament is a valid scripture and its arguments deserve a fair hearing. However we ignore the fact that the Gospel writers are focused in painting the Pharisees in a very bad light , giving its readers a very bad impression of them. Hence their arguments are not heard at all.

      In my opinion , Rabbi Blumenthal, your Pharisee friend has been very gracious in allowing us to even put forth this argument in his blog , even when the New Testament does not allow the Pharisees to do the same.

      We should always distinguish the blog from those who regularly comment in it.

      Food for thought.

    • Dina says:

      Mr. Alva, if we accepted the Christian scriptures as valid then we would be Christians. The purpose of this website is to explain why we do not accept Christian scripture. In the view of traditional Judaism, we cannot both be right. Therefore, either one side is right or one side is wrong. We challenge each other on our beliefs and see if they can withstand scrutiny. How else to discover the truth?

      These arguments should not be seen as criticism of the practitioners of Christianity but rather critical analysis of its founders and writings.

    • Jim says:

      Mr. Alva,

      As we consider the question of whether or not we should accept the Christian scriptures, I would like to turn our attention to one of its authors. I would like to ask whether or not we have sufficient reason to trust his teaching and writing.

      Please imagine with me that you are in church one day, when a new man comes in. After the service is done, the church is holding a potluck, and this man rises to speak. He thanks the congregation for the warm welcome. And then, he begins speaking about something you had never before heard. He begins giving an interpretation of the Christian scriptures that is in many respects foreign to Christianity. He quotes from the “New Testament,” but you are familiar with the passages in question, and he has distorted their meaning. Indeed, he has at times made the passages out to be the opposite of their actual teaching.

      The pastor of the church stands up. He challenges the newcomer. He asks the man from where he arrives at these “interpretations,” which were hitherto unknown to the Church. The man responds that he lived for a few years in the desert. And while he was there, a dead man would come to him in visions. The dead man would reveal secrets to the man, opening up his mind to new spiritual truths. And now, he has come back from the desert with this new understanding of Christianity, and it is his task to teach it to others.

      He mentions also that he has left behind his old Christianity for this new doctrine, and this should impress everyone, because he claims (without producing evidence) that he was a major Christian scholar. He attended a well-known and highly respected seminary. And he was a close student to one of the leading Christian scholars of the day, who mentored the man. And yet, all those days at seminary, he casts readily aside for the teaching of the dead man. This should impress you all with the seriousness of his claim.

      The pastor gives him no credence. Nor do any of the deacons or elders. They all ask the man to be quiet. The only people who are taken with this man and his teaching are some seekers who have come to church. They are not yet believers, but they wanted to know what Christianity was about. They had thought they might become believers. But now, they are interested in this new Christianity. And they ask him to come to a meeting at one of their houses, so they may learn from him.

      Let me ask you, Mr. Alva: would you believe this man? Is his claim credible?

      I hope that you would not readily follow him. His claim is unverifiable. One cannot know if the dead man really came to him or not. And, one cannot know if the dead man has special authority to understand the Christian scriptures. And it is most definitely not a point in his favor that it is only the ignorant who follow him. That Christian leaders reject his message does not speak well for the message.

      The analogy to the self-appointed apostle Paul, formerly Saul, is obvious, I think. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul claims to have received his message from Jesus: “For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed to me is not of human origin; for though I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (1:11-12). This claim could not be checked. What could be checked was the use he made of Tanach, which use was dishonest. At virtually every point Paul quotes Tanach, he misrepresents it, often turning it on his head.

      Those who followed him were, by and large, those least learned in Torah. When he went to synagogues to teach, his message was largely rejected by the Jewish community. But non-Jews, who had come to learn Torah, were taken with him. And they followed after his teaching in much greater numbers than Jews. (At least, this is how Christians tell the story. See the Book of Acts.)

      Paul’s letters are not worth heeding. One would hardly heed such a teacher, if he were to come upon him in the present day. One would likely shun him. Paul’s claims are unverified and unverifiable. He claims to have been given a true understanding of the Torah in visions of a dead man. That teaching did not match the Torah tradition, and its attraction was strongest among those unlearned in Torah. They did not recognize his manipulations of the Tanach, his imparting to it foreign meanings. But the learned, those devoted to Torah, shunned him and rejected his foreign teaching. So should we.

      Jim

      • Sharon S says:

        Jim’s analogy is an inaccurate reflection of Paul’s teaching and ministry. Consider Paul’s own words and how he defer to the Church leadership in Jerusalem , taken from the New Testament below:

        1.Galatians 1:13-20
        For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.

        Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days. I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.

        2.Galatians 2:1-4
        Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain. Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.

        3.2 Thessalonians 2:15
        So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

        4.1 Corinthians 15:1-8

        Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

        For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

        5.1 Corinthians 16:1-4
        Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem.

        6.Acts 21:18-26
        The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.

        When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law.

        The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them.

        In conclusion , Paul had indeed checked his revelation and the Gospel he preached with the Jerusalem church (lead by those who were the most acquainted with Jesus) at various stages of his ministry. The leadership of the Jerusalem Church , James and Peter (Cephas), among other disciples have seen the resurrected Jesus . It certainly differs from the analogy of the newcomer who preach a new interpretation of Christianity without checking his teachings with the pastor , deacon or elders.

        Or perhaps, Jim identifies the pastor , deacon or elders in his analogy with the Jewish Sages/Rabbinical tradition?

        • Jim says:

          Mr. Alva,

          You likely find Sharon’s comment above quite perplexing. I just want to assure you that, no, she did not address anything that I wrote. Her response is a big non sequitur, and if you suspect that she did not read what I wrote before she responded to it, I share your suspicion. Please do not let her unrelated comment confuse you.

          On a side note, what she does attempt to show through her quotes is undermined by them. It may interest you to read her sources carefully, which if she had done, she would not likely relied upon them for her argument.

          I hope in the next few days to address why, if we accept the New Testament accounts of Jesus’ life and teaching, we must conclude that he is a false prophet. I hope that you have not entirely withdrawn from this conversation as you had indicated.

          Jim

          • Sharon S says:

            A non sequitur is defined as “ a conclusion or reply that doesn’t follow logically from the previous statement.”

            According to Jim, Paul claim to have received his message from Jesus, a claim that cannot be checked. What could be checked is Paul’s use of the Tanach. Jim also stated that Paul’s claims are unverified and unverifiable. According to Jim , Paul claims to have been given a true understanding of the Torah in visions of a dead man (I assume Jim is referring the dead man to Jesus).

            In response , I argued that Paul’s claims can be checked and this is recorded in the New Testament .Paul checked his revelation with the leadership of the Jerusalem church (James & Peter), who have witnessed to the risen Jesus as well.

            What is the testimony of the Apostles and of Paul?

            1.Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. (Acts 2:22-24)

            Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah. (Acts 2:36)

            2.Christ (Messiah) died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

            Jim is just relying on just one standard of checking –Paul’s use of the Tanach. He does not consider other criteria one can use to establish the veracity of Paul’s claims-does Paul’s claims corroborate with the testimony of the Apostles ? The answer , based on the NT is yes.

            Jim argues that “ Paul’s teaching did not match the Torah tradition, and its attraction was strongest among those unlearned in Torah. They did not recognize his manipulations of the Tanach, his imparting to it foreign meanings.”

            To respond , I will ask the following questions:

            a.What exactly are the teachings of Paul ,which are deemed foreign to the Torah tradition?

            b.Does the ideas behind these teachings already exist in Jewish tradition? (I assume Jewish tradition=Torah tradition)

            I have highlighted 3 such ideas in Jewish tradition and its echo (similarities) in the teachings of the New Testament . Two of these ideas are found upon perusing the Chabad article by a Rabbi Schochet , which Jim had posted in his comment here https://judaismresources.net/2013/01/17/daniel-924-27/#comment-120958 –“The-Personality-of-Mashiach”. ( refer points 1 & 2 below):

            1.“all the Torah learned in the present world will be vain compared to the Torah of Mashiach.”

            We can see this teaching seems to point to Jesus’s sermon on the Mount .

            2.“the unique pre-existing soul of Mashiach ‘stored’ in Gan Eden from aforetimes will descend and be bestowed upon that tzadik’’

            The teaching that the soul of the Mashiach which is “preconceived from the very beginning” and “precede the creation” seems similar to Paul’s description of Jesus in Colossians 1:15 as “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation”

            3.Teachings by Ramchal (Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato) that mankind (apart from the Jewish nation) is “found to be fit to stay on the lowly level of mankind that Adam and his offspring had reached due to his sin – and not higher than this at all.”

            It seems what Ramchal is teaching here echoes the teachings of Christianity , that man have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) .

            I requested clarification and points of departure between these teachings in Jewish tradition and its echo in the Christian scriptures. Unfortunately these differences were not discussed , perhaps because the Christian Scriptures are not regarded as valid at all. I am seen to be adding to the confusion when I highlighted these similarities.

            I can only assume from the non response that there are no significant points of departure between these teachings in both traditions, based on the 3 examples above .Hence, we can only conclude that Paul’s teachings , based on the examples below has some basis in Jewish tradition and is not foreign to it as per Jim’s argument.

            Another point which I would like to address , and that is Jim’s argument that Paul’s teachings has a strong attraction among those unlearned in Torah. Based on the account in Acts , the earliest Gentile believer was not a pagan /idolater , but centurion name Cornelius ,described as “devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly” (Acts 10:2). I would assume that Cornelius is like what a Noachide believer is today. Cornelius would have attended the synagogue regularly , hence he may be familiar with the Torah and the Jewish traditions at the time.

            Why then did Cornelius become a believer of Jesus if indeed this belief is foreign to the Torah tradition that Cornelius has become accustomed to? Cornelius is a righteous person in that he must have forsaken the idolatrous practices of his people and focus his worship to the God of the Jewish people. Is his capacity to perceive the truth/error on the teachings of the Apostles/Paul lesser than the Jewish congregation that rejected their teachings? This is the question we should strongly consider.

            I would argue that we should not shun Paul’s teachings as it corroborates with the teachings of the Apostles . We should not shun Paul’s teachings because it has some basis in Jewish tradition. We should focus the argument to address the points of similarity and departure between these teachings in Jewish tradition and its echo in the Christian scriptures.

            Thank you.

  36. Jim says:

    Mr. Alva,

    Resuming the discussion on whether or not one ought to accept the Christian scriptures:

    Let us now turn our attention to the head of the Church. Christians claim that Jesus was a prophet. Sometimes they claim he was a prophet like Moses, sometimes greater than Moses, but, in any case, a prophet. But, it is obvious that we cannot accept such a claim without first investigating it. It is our responsibility, in fact, not to accept too readily the claims anyone makes to being a prophet. Even the Christian scriptures acknowledge that false messiahs and false prophets exist—I refer you again to Matthew 24—so that one must be careful in choosing whom to trust. And I am sure you know of a number of claimants to prophecy whose claims you reject. But, how shall we determine whether or not Jesus was a prophet.

    The Torah tells us that we must obtain objective proof from the claimant to the mantle of prophet. He must produce certain observable signs to substantiate his claim. (See Deuteronomy 18:15-22). If the prophet says that he will perform a miracle, or he predicts a future event, and either the miracle or the prediction fails, then he should not be heeded. Worse, he is to die, because he has spoken presumptuously in the name of God.

    I would like to emphasize that this is a means whereby one is to test a prophet, and that this test must be observable, verifiable. Otherwise, it could not be a means whereby to test a prophet.

    To illustrate the significance of this point, imagine that a man comes to your door. He claims to be a police officer, and he claims that he has a warrant to search your house. But, he is not in uniform. He shows no badge, and he does not give you a warrant. I presume you would not readily allow him into your house. You will wish to see the badge. You will wish to see the warrant. If you ask him for these things, and he says that they are in his pocket, and that you can trust that they are there, will you trust him? I hope not. One is right to expect that the claimant should provide a sign of his authority, and that sign must not be hidden, or else it no longer serves as a sign.

    Keeping this in mind, let us consider the case for Jesus as prophet. In Matthew 12:38-42, a group of scribes and Pharisees requested that Jesus give them a sign. After insulting them, Jesus declares that the only sign they will be given is the sign of his resurrection after three days and three nights of burial. And then, he goes on with his screed. Fine. We have the prediction of a miracle.

    So, what happens? According to the Christian scriptures, Jesus did not present himself to the scribes and Pharisees after three days. Except for a privileged few, no one even knew that he was alive. If you go to the Book of Acts, you will see that the resurrection was not announced until much later than three days, more than thirty days—fifty days after the crucifixion! And, at that point, Jesus is supposed to have no longer been on the earth. He is supposed to have floated up into the heavens, so that he was no longer available for public viewing.

    Please remember that a sign must be observable. It is not enough to claim that the thing happened in private, that the miracle was performed in secret. The claim made by the disciples at that time (again, going by the Christian scriptures) is akin to the man who claims to be an officer of the law but refuses to show badge or warrant. It cannot serve as a sign of Jesus’ prophecy. On the contrary, he shows himself not to be a prophet. In not presenting himself as risen after three days, he shows that he spoke presumptuously and should not be heeded.

    It is worth our consideration that the Christian attitude toward establishing a prophet is counter that of the Torah. Jesus’ response to those asking for a sign is characteristically, but unduly, harsh. He boasts that he is greater than either Jonah or Solomon, and so he ought to be heeded the more. His grandiosity is to speak for itself. It is the “adulterous generation” that seeks a sign. Similarly, in the Gospel of John, when Thomas doubts the resurrection, he is told, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet come to believe” (John 20:29). The Christian scriptures imply that it is a virtue to accept its claims on subjective grounds. But this is not the way of Torah. The Torah expects the claimant to prophecy to produce objective evidences.

    And it must be this way, or else it will be impossible to identify a real prophet.

    Please consider the following as well. Even if Jesus had risen from the dead, this would not be enough to establish him as a prophet. His message would also have to conform to the Torah. (Please see Deuteronomy 13.) The miracle or prediction is a necessary but insufficient evidence that one has heard from God. If Jesus claimed to be God, as many Christians understand him to have done, then even if he walked about greeting people three days and nights after his death, he would still have proven himself to be a false prophet. One should not heed him. He would merit the death penalty.

    I hope that you see that our rejection of the “New Testament” is not capricious. This rejection is based on the evidence that the Christian scriptures themselves provide. They do not align with the standards of the Torah. The Jesus of the Christian scriptures is a false prophet, and one should not heed him.

    Jim

  37. alva says:

    well said, The new testament was written by Apostles and commented by several manuscripts about 1 million between 70 to 200 ce. To comment it is necessary to know both the Torah and the new testament. Thanks to Hashem the Torah was not forbidden to Christians, like it was for Jews the New testament. Both old and new are in complete agreement and harmony. Jesus quoted the Torah several times from the law, the prophets and tehillim. The Torah was in his leaps all time. He was also a Rabbi, He taught the Torah like no other Rabbi performing resurrections, healings, multiplication of food, deliverances, commanding the storms to stop, walking on water. Some of these signs are still being performed including resurrections, and myself received a miracle because, the preaching is not wording it is power from Hashem Romans 1, 16
    For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. this power, is being manifested over 2 billion people and counting…

    • LarryB says:

      alva
      “Some of these signs are still being performed including resurrections”
      I’m not sure what signs your talking about but if there are resurrections being performed the Church isn’t getting it’s message out like it should. That’s huge news.
      WOW. Where can we verify this new information?

    • Jim says:

      Mr. Alva,

      You should know that most religions claim to have miracles. What makes Christian miracles so special that I ought to accept their claims and not accept the claims of other religions?

      Jim

  38. alva says:

    I meant well said Sharon

  39. alva says:

    more testimonies.

    • LarryB says:

      alva
      People believe in all kind of things. This video doesn’t show anything happening at all. If it did show someone raising up how would we know that person was dead to begin with. Mr Bonnke has a 6 part video on you tube dealing with the same stuff.
      What do we believe?

      This video “below” shows people who actually believe the earth is flat yet we have live cams in space that prove the world is indeed round. This video also has eye witness testimony from astronauts who have actually been to space and testify that yes the earth is round.

      In todays world there are movies of people traveling through space at speeds faster than the speed of light. Transporters scramble the atoms of our bodies over great distances and reassemble them perfectly getting us to our location much faster. This tells us even videos can be faked. What do we believe? Do we believe the video you post because many people were there so he must be telling the truth? If everyone in the room was interviewed and testify someone was raised from the dead do we believe them? Because god can raise someone from the dead is that enough when you add their testimony.
      I would assume you have considered all this already and believe this is true that’s why you post it as evidence for your belief in Jesus as the messiah. Jim and others have posted comments carefully explaining this subject. Since God gave us the Torah with the requirements for a messiah included written long before Jesus birth, do we turn to the people god entrusted the Torah to and follow their tradition and teachings? Is the answer as simple as following the warnings of the Torah against followings the teachings of others who the Torah was not entrusted? Or do we turn to a future book and the claims it offers? Can books be written and faked as easily as videos? Is it possible the earth really Is Flat?

    • Sharon S says:

      Mr Alva,

      I understand that you regard Jesus Lord and Messiah .Your intent in posting these videos is to show that there is power in his name , to raise the dead ,even in the present day.

      Mr. Bonnke of the video you posted admit that not everyone who believe in Jesus for healing may have their prayers answered. He quoted Matthew 11:2-6 , an account of John the Baptist’s doubt that Jesus is the Messiah. Mr. Bonke explained on Jesus’s reply “Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”. One’s belief in Jesus should not waver even if there are no supernatural healings.

      Miracles and signs is just one aspect of of the Gospel message. The focus of the Gospel is not only on miracles and signs that Jesus performed , but the trials and sufferings those who believe in Him have to go through. Jesus stated “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:38 ).Most of the Apostles , disciples and early believers of Jesus took up that cross and were martyred for it. Many churches and Christians around the world are under persecution by their communities and governments today –even as we speak. Think of the Churches in China , India and the Middle East.

      In addition , these resurrection accounts , though uplifting and inspiring , nevertheless may cause one to overlook the miracles that are already happening around us , every second of every day. Rabbi Blumenthal has posted a video on these miracles recently here https://judaismresources.net/2020/09/06/miracles-happen-every-day/.

      My question to you-is the miracle of a new life coming into the world less “spectacular” than the miracle of bringing the dead back to life? Is the miracle of our bodies constantly sustaining its functions and systems, sometimes without us even realizing it less spectacular than the blind being given sight , or the paralyzed made able to walk again?

      Kindly consider.

  40. alva says:

    If we focus on the topic of this discussion, about Mashiach, I was mentioning that the ministry of Jesus was with miracles greater than those performed by Moses, because God does not change. Jesus said that those signs will follow the believers, we read in the scriptures that Peters shadow healed the people, Paul also had those miracles and I told I was witness of he power of God in my body through someone praying over me in the name of Jesus. The birth of the church was with power given by the spirit of God and no men can stop it, this is one of the reasons that the church keeps growing I cant deny it and I tell you so you can also kindly consider.

    • Sharon S says:

      Mr Alva,

      I am not undermining the miracles , signs and wonders by Jesus and the Apostles, and your personal testimony.I have watched beautiful testimonies of people all over the world,whose lives have changed for the better when they decided to place their faith  in Jesus.

      However there is a greater miracle at work than these signs and wonders. The spirit of God , as how you described it is sustaining all of creation , even as we speak. We are alive because He choose to preserve our souls in our bodies for another day. We are blessed with senses- sight, hearing,touch, taste ,smell because He choose to give us these senses. We are given the gift of mobility and all other providences we take for granted every day, because of His kindness- every second, every minute, every day.

      If the miracles performed in Jesus’s name points us to the kindness of Our Creator who lovingly give us these “hidden miracles” , then well and good.

      However , it seems from your comment that it does not. You feel the power of God when someone pray to you in the name of Jesus , not realizing that your own existence  is sustained by the power of God, even at this very moment.

      Please consider this question- if Jesus is not able to point you to the kindness of our Creator, then is he the right person that to whom we can  place our faith and trust , to lead us to our Creator?

      • bible819 says:

        f Jesus is not able to point you to the kindness of our Creator, then is he the right person that to whom we can place our faith and trust , to lead us to our Creator?

        The Father gave US his Son to reconcile the World to back to Him, true Kindness.

        I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, all nations on earth will be blessed, c because you have obeyed me.”

        Praise Jesus

        • Dina says:

          I know from long and weary experience that dialogue with bible819 is pointless because he does not engage, so I am addressing this comment to everyone else.

          That quote. It’s Genesis 22:16, God’s words to Abraham. It makes absolutely no sense to make this about Jesus. First, if it’s about Jesus, is God talking (through an angel) to Himself and blessing Himself for not withholding His son from Himself? He can’t be talking to Jesus, because Jesus didn’t have a son. Second, if you read it in context–go ahead and read the whole chapter–you will see that it’s simply not about Jesus.

          But most important, if you read the whole chapter, you will see the lesson that Christians missed–and you will see that they learned the very opposite of what this story is meant to teach.

          This story teaches that no matter how much we love God, He does not want us to sacrifice our children to Him. He abhors human sacrifice. He tested Abraham, to see how far his love went, but He taught him that this God would never require humans to show their love in such a manner. To take this as a vindication of the Jesus story is bizarre.

        • LarryB says:

          Does Jesus teach us God is a hypocrite?
          Matthew 26:39 39Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

          If Jesus ” a man, even if only partly” was sacrificed for mans sins then god would be the biggest hypocrite most high. This story would destroy both my faith and trust in the creator and lead me away from him if I thought for a second it were true.

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