In response to a Christian who asked me if the God of Sinai is the same as the God of Genesis 18 and Exodus 24
Of-course the God of Sinai is the same as the God of Genesis 18, Exodus 24 and the God of the rest of the Tanach – there is only one God. When God appears to His prophets – however it is that He choses to appear to them – they know that they are talking with the Master of all creation – that is what we call prophecy – when one KNOWS that he or she is talking with the Master of all creation. They did not need to run to their Bibles and try to figure out who they are talking to.
When people saw Jesus – they just saw a man.
The key here is that we learned at Sinai – what our fathers Abraham Isaac and Jacob knew before us that everything that happens here on earth is a gift from the all-powerful God who is above every form of existence that we can fathom – to point to the qualities (in this case the spiritual qualities of selflessness) of an inhabitant of this earth as emanating directly from God is to confuse the Ultimate Giver with one of His beneficiaries.
If you found this article helpful please consider making a donation to Judaism Resources by clicking on the link below.
Judaism Resources is a recognized 501(c) 3 public charity and your donation is tax exempt.
Yisroel C. Blumenthal
Depending upon how you read Christian “gospels” (which are partial “biographies” – some of the scriptures do not focus on a “human” or living Jesus), Jesus pretty much lived in the form of an ordinary man for about 30 years until he began a ministry of about 1-3 years. One year is really quite a long time to be walking among humans as some type of “god figure”. Neither the ministry period nor the pre-ministry period of experiences with Jesus is similar in nature to the Sinai experience of God or to Gen. 18 or Exodus 24. Most of that time is very unremarkable and even close disciples are ignorant of his Godness or Godly nature for a large part of that time. Or they can easily forget from day to day or even from hour to hour that they seen unforgettable miracles or that God was in their very presence for months on end.
The whole “Genesis 18” argument that christians offer as their Tanakh-based evidence of incarnation always puzzles me. Tell me, I would ask the christian why is it that Abraham, during this relatively brief encounter, immediately knew he was communicating with the creator of the universe while even Jesus closest disciples were – to paraphrase even some of the most prominent messianic apologists – not completely sure about his precise nature during all of the years they were in his physical presence. If Jesus,as they experienced him,was such a natural extension of Genesis 18 -,as they understood it – how could they have possibly not known. Unless, of course, there was nothing about Jesus as they experienced him that in any way resembled their understanding of Genesis 18..
Not really anything you didn’t already say Rabbi B., just my two cents on the idea….