The Experience of the False Prophet

The Experience of the False Prophet

What is a “false prophet”? Is it someone who makes up a story out of his hat but never had any experience to back up that story? Or is it perhaps someone who had a profound experience but the experience is actually misleading?

There is no question that some false prophets simply concocted “visions” out of thin air but the Bible also teaches us about another type of “false prophet”.

In the First Book of Kings chapter 22 we are introduced to Zedekiah son of Chenaanah. This Zedekiah prophesied to King Ahab but his prophecy was false. Michaiah, who was a true prophet of God, described how Zedekiah had been misled. Michaiah describes God’s heavenly court sitting in judgment over Ahab. The court seeks to destroy Ahab and a medium is sought to accomplish this goal. A spirit is sent forth to persuade Ahab to go to battle where he will meet his fate. This spirit sent from on high was a real experience that Zedekiah and the other false prophets truly felt. But it was sent to mislead and to confuse.

It is clear that the fact that someone undergoes an “experience” does not prove anything. When Moses teaches us about the miracles of the false prophet he describes them as a test from God (Deuteronomy 13:4). Moses doesn’t tell us that the false prophet cannot perform miracles, signs and wonders. Instead Moses tells us that we need to measure those experiences, we need to evaluate those miracles and use our sense of discernment to understand if the miracles and the experiences are tests from God or if they are true prophecy.

The yardstick that God granted our nation so that we can evaluate these supernatural experiences is the testimony of our nation. Is the experience leading us in the path that God set us on when he took us out of Egypt or are these miracles introducing a “new” and “better” path?

Throughout history many people have attempted to market their “new paths” by claiming to be the real and rediscovered “old path”. But the path that God set us on travels through the hearts of His witness nation. And the only way that these people can claim our path for themselves is by dismissing our testimony.

As the nation chosen by God we have the responsibility toward ourselves and towards the world to remain loyal to the testimony with which we were entrusted. And the prophet Isaiah prophesied that the purpose of the Lord will indeed be fulfilled through our people. With our hearts on fire for God we will yet illuminate the world (Isaiah 60:3).

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

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

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

Thank You

Yisroel C. Blumenthal

This entry was posted in Faith Structure. Bookmark the permalink.

243 Responses to The Experience of the False Prophet

  1. Shomer says:

    5Mo 18:20-22 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. 21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? 22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

    5Mo 13:1-5 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. 5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

    When I was a Charismatic I attended church services where prophesy was given, “Thus saith the LORD….” and then very Christian statements followed. But know that this “Lord” was NOT HaShem but the “Lord Jesus Christ”. Christians have mistranslated “Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey” in their “OT” als “LORD”. The Christian “Lord”, to them, is the same Lord as HaShem and in some areas he is worshipped as a graven Image on a crucifix or in a manger. Thus, messianic Jews are trapped in Balaam’s the son of Beor’s trap. Sometimes, predicted events occurred which was taken as a proof that “the Lord” had really spoken. And when they didn’t occur, they were forgotten. This is how it works since laws in most Christan countries prohibit death sentence. But a Christian prophet very often is considered like a saint or even higher.

  2. Annelise says:

    Rabbi Yisroel,

    Are you saying that God would send experiences like that to people who are vulnerable, who are genuinely seeking Him, and who don’t know any better about how to test it? For people with a very personal and close relationship with God it would be very painful to hear that He sent miracles, dreams, coincidences, or other experiences in a way that deceived them with a lie.

    Also, you wrote, “But the path that God set us on travels through the hearts of His witness nation. And the only way that these people can claim our path for themselves is by dismissing our testimony.” Couldn’t Christian Jews say the same thing, arguing that Christian Jews through history have been interpreting the Torah in the right way and that the path of God is in *their* hearts… which *we* dismiss?

    • Dina says:

      I have the same question as Annelise. We can distinguish the false prophet from the true if he proclaims any changes to the law, especially concerning whom to worship. But in this case, the prophecy touched on whether to go into battle or not. How can a just God confuse His followers by sending spirits to mislead them? Hasn’t He other means of punishment at His disposal? That doesn’t seem like playing fair!

      • Annelise and Dina
        There is no question that supernatural experiences confuse people – whichever religion you believe is true – there are others that have profound supernatural experiences. My understanding is that:
        1- sometimes God uses these experiences to bring people closer to the truth
        2 – other times these are tests – the people’s sense of honesty is telling them that something is amiss.
        3- In the case of Ahab – it seems that this was a punishment.
        4 -In many situations – the person who has the experience is filled with negativity to begin with – and the experience is an offshoot of these negative character qualities.
        5 -I believe that many experiences that we hear about today are simply psychological manifestations.
        6 -There is a concept of an order of spirituality which is not necessarily negative – such as angels and spiritual forces behind nature – it is only when people worship these or attribute independent power to these that they become negative. One such concept is the idea that a group of people believing in something can generate an aura – which can be felt by others – not necessarily via normal communication. For example a large group of people believing intensely in the powers of one individual can give this individual an aura that is sensed by others who do not even know that people believe in him.
        7 – finally – the experience could be a combination of any or all of the above.
        In any case – for someone who believes in the Jewish Bible – it is clear that a supernatural experience is not a determinant for truth.

        • Dina says:

          Thank you, Rabbi Blumenthal, for your clear and well-organized explanation. I was asking specifically about the case of Ahab. The punishment seems strange. Why confuse the prophets by sending a real spirit to mislead them? Couldn’t God figure out a way to lure the king to battle without such deception? (This has nothing to do with the point you made, so forgive me for going off on a tangent.)

          Thanks,
          Dina

          • Dina
            my understanding is that the prophets were part of the punishment. They were probably lackeys of Ahab and God was showing the hollowness of the social structure that they had erected around themselves.

  3. Paul summers says:

    Hello.
    You mention on your opening statement that experiences are meaningless. Im just thinking about all those people who were healed from blindness, lame, deaf, mute and even rsised from the dead. Im 100% sure they would have said otherwise.
    Dont be fooled with the sin of unbelief. Only because one chooses not to believe in the Lord God Jeshua of Israel doesnt make the facts fiction.
    Generally speaking the children of Israel have never followed and believed in God. This generation are no different. It is only by Gods grace that He will save His portion.
    x

    • Dina says:

      Just about every faith on the planet, including Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism, draw adherents that claim healings and near-death experiences. Since adherents to my faith, Judaism, have experienced similar miracles, according to you I can be confident that my faith is the true one.

      Not a shred of evidence exists to support your claim that the Children of Israel “have never followed and believed in God.” (Note that “generally speaking” and “never” are a contradiction in terms.) Even if true, what is your point?

      • Paul summers says:

        Hi
        What I mean is that on a majority basis the children of Israel have never believed.
        If you are looking for evidence I would look at just post the exodus until today. If Israel are walking in accordance to Adonai’s diserable will you would now be living in the post millenial Eternal new order.
        Fortunatley for me Israel, as a nation, rejected the Lord Jeshua as her Messiah. So your rejection was my acceptance into the promises of Gods covenant that He made with your fathers.
        So until He opens your eyes and you repent you will still remain detatched from the Lord.
        Ref signs and miracles. Yes signs and miracles can be counterfiet. Miracles on there own do not stand on there works unless they are in line with scripture. The word as doctrine can of course stand alone it doesnt need a sign to back it up.
        The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the God of the living, not the dead.
        x

        • Paul
          Israel is never “detached” from the Lord – God promised that he will never abandon us (Deuteronomy 4:31)
          If you agree that miracles can be counterfeit unless they line up with Scripture – so will you examine Scripture to see if Jesus’ miracles lined up with Scripture?
          If you are willing and open to studying Scripture with me – let’s start from the virgin birth allegedly predicted in Isaiah 7:14 – are you interested in discussing this?

          • Paul summers says:

            Yes of course, always open.
            x

          • Paul summers says:

            ps.
            I never meant detatched for ever. I meant on a temp basis until He opens your eyes. The promise is that He will open your eyes. To fulfill His covenants.
            x

        • Birthe Jensen says:

          HI Paul.
          “Fortunaly for me Israel, as a nation, rejected the Lord Jeshua as her Messiah. So your rejection was my acceptance into the promise of G-ds covenant that He made with your fathers.”
          But Paul, Gentiles were also offered to follow The Law. They stood together with The Jews. And Jeshua is not the savior. G-d says He is.
          And why would The Creator and Almighty use human sacrifice, when He forbids the same through out the Scripture? He would never go against His own Word. Many of the messianic prophecies are constructed by men. If we read them in context, we very often get a very different meaning.

          “So until He opens your eyes and you repent you will still remain detached from the Lord”
          The Jews told the truth from the beginning, we were told lies from generation to generation. They are no blind. Israel is the bride and not detached.

          Blessings to you. Birthe

          • Derick Berold says:

            Well said I am so tired of these Arrogant Christians with their bull and they need to learn we are G-ds and they not till they repent and give up their IDOL..

        • Nice to meet you Paul. I just want to remind you ( i guess you already know Romans 11) of what Paul says about our attitude toward Jews. ” But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you” (Romans 11:17-18) Also let us remind ourselves of the warnings from Paul, who talked about the unbelief of Israelites in the wilderness, “… Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did…These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.” (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11). Last reminder from the Jeshua’s parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15. After the younger son (church) came back to his Father (the Lord) after squandering in gentile country, the Father held a big party. When the first son (Israel) came back from the field and heard this party sound (Good News), what happened? Luke 15:28 says, ” the older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.” Although the older brother is detached from the house, the Father is attached to him. Although Israel is detached from the Gospel party now, the Lord is never detached to him until he comes in.

          • Dina says:

            Gean, while I value your admonishment to Paul, I must point out your error.

            You wrote that the Jews will not be attached to God until they join the Gospel party, which as you know, is occupied by gentiles. The Hebrew Bible utterly rejects this notion. Instead of predicting that the Jews will join the gentiles, the Bible predicts the opposite. The prophets speak of a time when the gentiles will come to the Jews and ask them to teach them about God. One such example is Zechariah 8:23.

            Furthermore, God appointed the Jews to be His witnesses (see for example Isaiah 43:10). God promised in Isaiah 59:21 that His word would never veer away from our mouths and the mouths of our descendants forever. He also assured us that even when we stray we will still bear His testimony (Psalm 78).

            By the way, Gean, I seem to remember challenging you with Deuteronomy 4 and 13. I eagerly await your response.

          • Shalom, Dina. I am sorry i’m late. And I thank you for your willingness to discuss. Maybe i wasn’t clear in the last sentence, so let me clarify.
            “Although the older brother is detached from the house, the Father is attached to him (the older brother) because the father went out of the house to talk with him. Therefore, although Israel (older brother= the first born son=Jews) is detached from the Gospel party now (house), the Lord (Father) is never detached to her (Isreal, Jews) until she comes in.” I believe God never leave nor abandon Israel and Jews because of the Old Covenant regardless of their current position on the New Covenant or Gospel. So Hashem is pleading and knocking the door of their hearts to unite with younger brother which is church today. Yes, you are right; gentiles come to the Jews and learn from them about salvation, abundant life, the Lord of the universe, the Messianic kingdom with peace and justice. Jeshua also said, “salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22)

            God’s promise in Isaiah 59:21 is true and Amen to that. All the 66 books of the Bible are written by Jews! Without it, where can humanity find the absolute standard of morality, a hope of world redemption and of eternal life in individual level? Let us not forget that His Spirit and His words never leave from the mouth of generations of the Jews, and Jeshua and 12 disciples were Jews and the early church consited of mostly Jews! About Deuteronomy 4 and 13, i was troubled as you intended^^ and it takes more time. It is tough and long (two CHAPTERS!)

          • Dina says:

            Hi Gean,

            I likewise appreciate your willingness to discuss and also to hear me out rather than preach at me. It’s respectful and refreshing!

            Many Christians have responded to my argument exactly as you have, that Jesus and his original followers were Jews and therefore we should follow them.

            So that leaves us with the question: which Jews are the ones who carry God’s truth in their mouths and bear His testimony in every generation?

            It can’t be Jesus and his early followers because they did not survive as a Jewish movement. They have therefore failed to bear God’s testimony throughout the generations.

            The ones who bear God’s testimony can only be those who survived into each ensuing generation in order to have the capability to carry God’s spirit and pass His words on to the next generation. Look, Gean, you need real, physical human beings who are identifiable as Jews to fulfill this promise.

            If you examine history, it’s obvious which Jews we’re talking about. As much as a Christian might hate to face the fact, the only group of Jews to survive the destruction of the Second Temple for good was the Pharisees, the one group that is most maligned and hated in Christian Scripture. Orthodox Jewry is another word for Pharisaic Jewry, and our national experience has been thus: whatever group splinters off from Pharisaism eventually dies out or dwindles so as to become insignificant. Today’s other branches of Judaism are suffering the same fate, with birthrates lower than that of the general population and an assimilation rate of 80%–while the Orthodox are the fastest growing group with a high birthrate and and an assimilation rate of 3%.

            So while Christians may not care about the fate of particular Jewish groups, they should nevertheless take heed. Any group that does not survive as a Jewish movement is clearly not from God.

            Take your time on Deuteronomy 4 and 13. I’ll be happy to read what you write when you post it. To save time, the relevant passages are 4:9-12, 15-19, 35, 39 and Deuteronomy 13:1-5.

          • Hi, Dina. I hope you had a Shabbat shalom. Before we talk about Deuteronomy, let me talk about the status of Pharisees in Christian Scriptures. As you observed, I see also that the remarks of Jeshua in NT seem very hostile and judgmental against the Pharisees. I see also in the OT that the words from Hashem through the mouth of prophets seem very judgmental and criticizing against the people of Israel and Judah. Did God do so because He hated them or loved them? We know the answer. Proverbs 3:11-12 says, “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction. For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” Hebrews12:7-8 says the same thing to the Jews!
            I personally believe Jeshua is more delighted with Orthodox Pharisees than with secular Jews. After years of my personal Bible study, i came to a conclusion (i might change in the future but right now this is what i believe) the N.T. does not teach that Pharisees are the enemy of Christianity, rather they were used as special agents to fulfill the salvation plan of Hashem. The apostle Paul was a devout Pharisee and without his education under Gamaliel, he would not understand the gospel at all; the core message of the gospel that is “resurrection” is also advocated by Pharisees; Jeshua challenged his followers to faithfully obey the commandments of the law and the supplemental revelations of Jeshua Himself on the Sermon on the Mount, giving an example of the righteousness and passion of the Pharisees and Scribes (Mt5:20); Many people among the Pharisaic groups believed in Jeshua: John12:42, “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue”; Acts 12:42,”So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.” And a well known leader of Pharisees Nicodemus was favored by Jeshua (John3:1, 7:50, 19:39).
            Then, the question is why the N.T. portrays so much of Jeshua’s criticism against Pharisees? Obviously, because of their hypocritical practices of the Law and their putting tradition over the Scriptures and unblief, so forth. But, this is what i found. Actually this was a mystery. The NT reveals that they could not believe, not that they did not believe! I want to tell this to both Jews and Christians because this is amazingly important to understand the Gospel. The most Jews in times of Jeshua, especially Pharisees and Scribes, could not see the Messiahship of Jeshua because their eyes were covered by Hashem so that they would accuse Jeshua and deliver Him to crucifixion so that the prophecies would be fulfilled! God’s intended spiritual concealing the eyes of His people is prophesied in Isaiah 6:10 and this is THE MOST frequently- Quoted and expounded O.T.verse in the N.T!!! Jeshua fulfilled this prophecy in covering the eyes and hardening of the hearts of His people to secretly carry out His mission for crucifixion and resurrection which will initiate bringing the Kingdom of heaven on earth. In this sense, Pharisees functioned as ‘the priests for nations’, and Jeshua as ‘the lamb of God that bears the sins of the world.’ These are a few examples: Matthew 13:11, “He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.” The Gospel secrets had been hidden to Pharisees and many Jews at that time. Sometimes, even the eyes of disciples of Jeshua were blinded so that they would not block the way of the cross- Luke 18:34 “The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.” Actually, Peter once tried to block Jeshua from going to the crucifixion and He rebuked him (Mt 16:21-23). Peter, after the ascension of Messiah, preached to the Jews in the temple court, knowing the spiritual blindness happened to his fellow men, said “And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also”(Acts 3:17).
            On the cross, the Messiah said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) I am indebted to Orthodox Jews for their faithful preservance of the Scriptures and for their active participation in the salvation plan of Hashem according to His infinite wisdom and mystery.

          • Dina says:

            Gean,

            Thank you for taking the time to explain your view. I am disappointed, however, that you did not address the main reason for my comment.

            I am tempted to point out the errors in your post, but I would like first for you to respond to my previous question: how should gentiles know which Jews to listen to?

            I respectfully request that you reread that comment and also consider another aspect that I neglected to mention. God gave the Jewish people the Sabbath as an eternal sign. Eternal, as you know, means forever. Which group of Jewish people still observe the Sabbath as an eternal sign? And who have been doing so for generations? Those are the Jews that gentiles should be looking to for guidance to understanding the truth that God entrusted them with.

            As for your most recent post, while I have much to add, suffice it to say that it is too bad for the Jewish people that Christians did not understand these passages the way you do. And I don’t mean some Christians. The number of Christians that believed what you do today about Jews–to the extent that they existed at all–was so small as to be negligible.

          • Here we go. I think gentiles should listen to the Jews who believe the inerrancy of the Tanakh as the Word of God and the inspiration of the Spirit of God in every single jots and dots of Tanakh- because Yeshua said in Matthew 5:18-19, ” For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” And those who do and teach in the great respect to THE divine book are the ones gentiles should listen to. So i want to learn from Rabbis and have a discussion based on the Tanakh, more than on the tradition or commentaries, although these resources help greatly. I believe this issue is explained more specifically in Deuteronomy 18:15-22. If we take this passage at face value, we could ask and answer this way..
            1. Why Hashem promised He would raise up a prophet like Moses among fellow Israelites? Verse 16 answers- “For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.” Why they asked for this? because they were horrified by the mode of the divine communication- FIRE and location-MOUNTAIN. Imagine we hear a deep and echoing sound (human language) from great fire and smoke on the mountain or clouds, i bet our hearts would fall. The mode of the divine communication should be changed so that they will approach and hear the divine voice clearly and safely without feeling terrified or running away. If you are married, you would know this. Without intimacy and safety between two partners, the true conveyance of message is impossible. So Hashem promised He would raise up a prophet (human being) among fellow Israelites (neighborhood)! The mode of divine communication would be from HUMAN not from FIRE, location will be on NEIGHBORHOOD (the land of Israel) not on the MOUNTAIN in the wilderness. Now, we might ask “why Yeshua, who commands to keep even the least of the commandments, say different things and seemingly opposite law instead of passing down the Law as it is?” Let us look carefully what the text says: ” and I WILL PUT my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I COMMAND him.” Compare it with this- “I HAVE PUT same words in his mouth, He will tell them everything I HAVE COMMANDED him.” You see the difference? The Prophet whom Hashem will raise up in the future will have to hear the voice of God IN ADDITION TO the LAW of Moses (without annulling or exchanging the LAW). We could call it “The progressive revelation of Hashem” Now, how do we know whether the words of the prophet came from Hashem or not? verse 22 answers- “If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken.” So, these are the 3 qualifications to be THE prophet: 1. He should not terrify the Israelites by speaking through FIRE from lofty MOUNTAIN, as an invisible one. He should be visible MAN from among fellow Jews. 2. He has to hear the additional revelation from God, whatever Hashem put in His mouth, He must speak in the name of the LORD (no other god’s name). 3. His words must fulfill.
            Please correct me if i misunderstand this plain passage. Now, the Jewish follower (not gentile) of the famous Rabbi whose name was Yeshua, Peter, claimed Yeshua was THE prophet (Acts 3:22). And I see Yeshua is qualified according the three requirements: 1. Yeshua was a visible man, preaching not through fire on the mountain but through plain human language on the villages and synagogues, and no one feared of death when hearing. 2. He spoke not in the name of Zeus or Molech or Baal but of Hashem; He not only quoted literally and passed down the Law as it is but also spoke his words as Hashem progressively revealed to him- John 12:49 “For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. 3. His words really fulfilled. I find in the Gospels that the most frequent mode of speaking of Yeshua is “prophetic.” He spoke things ahead before it occured- one of so many examples is this: John 3:19 “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am.”

          • Dina says:

            Thank you, Gean, but the Torah flatly refutes your concept of progressive revelation.

            In Deuteronomy 4:1, Moses addresses the entire people of Israel with the words “And now, Israel, listen to the decrees and ordinances that I am teaching you to perform.” He then goes on to say in verse 2, still addressing the nation, “Do not add to the word that I command you nor subtract from it.”

            This commandment not to add anything (as in progressive revelation) does not exclude prophets, as they are part of the nation of Israel. If a self-proclaimed prophet tells us to add or subtract anything from the Law of Moses, then we know sure as sure that he is a false prophet.

            Deuteronomy 13 teaches us that if a prophet should even perform signs and wonders, yet he introduces a type of worship previously unknown to us, then he is a false prophet and must be put to death.

            Jesus introduced a new type of worship, there is no two ways around it.

            Deuteronomy 4 teaches us that we are never to associate God with a physical form. Moses sternly warns the Jewish people to remember that they never saw anything at Mount Sinai, only heard God’s voice. He strongly impresses on us that we are to worship God only as He appeared at Sinai, for “you were shown in order to know that the Lord, He is the God, there is none beside Him” (4:35). In other words, the purpose of the revelation at Sinai was to teach us Whom to worship, and through the process of elimination, whom not to worship. Anyone who did not appear at Sinai is automatically disqualified. Jesus did not appear at Sinai; ergo, worship of him constitutes idolatry.

            Please realize that if you read Deuteronomy 18:15 in context it will become clear to you that your interpretation is false. Start from the beginning of the chapter and you will see that Moses is describing a near-future event. The Children of Israel are about to enter the Land of Canaan. Moses warns them not to copy the ways of the Canaanites, who rely on astrologers and diviners. Not so for the people of Israel! For them God will appoint a prophet to lead them. Why would it be relevant to the Jewish people that 1500 years later Jesus would come along? They need a leader soon, to replace Moses after his death.

            Joshua and all the leaders and prophets who followed him fit the bill.

            Now let us examine Deuteronomy 18:22. If a prophet fails to produce a sign, then you can be confident he is false. According to Christian scripture’s own accounts, Jesus failed to produce a sign. He promised the Pharisees, reluctantly, to give them the sign of the resurrection. But he failed to appear to them after his death.

            So Jesus fails the God test and the prophet test on three counts:

            1. Per Deuteronomy 4, he did not appear at Sinai, ergo he is not God.
            2. Per Deuteronomy 13, he introduced a new type of worship, ergo he is a false prophet.
            3. Per Deuteronomy 18, he failed to produce a promised sign, ergo he is a false prophet.

          • Thank you Dina for this constructive bible study.
            1. I think the concept of “progressive revelation” is also implied in Deut.4:1-2. Here, Moses is TEACHING (as you know, it is ‘lamad’ in Hebrew, which means also “learn” like modern hebrew ‘lomed’) the decrees and ordinances. It seems that Moses who had received the LAW directly from Hashem now construed the decrees and ordinances out of the LAW. He began to expound (Deut.1:5) the LAW and now he teaches by laying out the decrees and ordinances for Israelites to better understand the LAW and apply to their real lives. About this “exposition and teaching and commandments” of himself (Moses, not Hashem), he says “don’t add to the word that I command you nor subtract from it.” Now, do we call ‘this exposition and teaching of MOSES’ ‘the word of man’ or ‘the word of God’? We call it “word of God.” We call it Deuteronomy which is inspired and written word of (from) God. I think Hashem had revealed progressively and more specifically to Israelites here at Moab through Moses in addition to the Sinai Law. The concept of ‘progressive revelation’ is in this text. In this sense, the New covenant does not mean “a replaced or brand new revelation” but it means “progressive revelation of the core spirit and heart of God within the Old Covenant as Moses did it in Deteuronomy.” The New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-33 seems to say “replaced covenant,” but i don’t want to believe and don’t believe that Hashem broke the Old Covenant, even though it says Israelites broke it. Without the concept of progressive revelation, it will be so hard to understand Jeremiah 31. We see this reasoning of progressive revelation in the conversation between Yehudim and Yeshua. One day Jews wanted to stone Yeshua because of his blasphemy of calling himself ‘God,’ then Yeshua answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’? (Psalm82:6) If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? (John 10:34-36). The fact is that even though Yeshua received the revelatoin and the words directly from God like Moses, he did not call him “i am God,” he often called himself “the Son of man.” Even though He called him “son of God,” what is wrong with it because Hashem called Israelites “my first born son?”
            2. Let us move on Deut.18:15ff. I think it is good to think that they needed a leader soon, to replace Moses after his death. But if God meant the all subsequent leaders such as Joshua and judges and prophets, why used “Nabi,(singular)” instead of “Nabim (pl.)?” Also, why the Scripture emphasized by calling him “a prophet LIKE ME”(v.15), “a prophet LIKE YOU”(v.18). The prophet should be very significant and authoritative one who sees and hears and speaks the Word of God directly like Moses! Deut.34:10 “Since that time no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.” Yeshua said in John 5:19 “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He SEES the Father doing; for whatever [fn]the Father does, these things the Son also DOES in like manner” John 8:40- “But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I HAVE HEARD of God: this did not Abraham”
            3. I have two questions; could you elaborate “a new type of worship” introduced by Yeshua? Also could you tell me where Yeshua promised the Pharisses of showing the sign of resurrection? i can’t remember the verse.
            4. Let me say about the association of God with a physical form in Deuteronomy 4. As far as i know, it is true that some Catholics and orthodox churches use many images and symbols. but i don’t think they teach and command congregations to bow down or pray to images. Are they like reformed Judaism? I don’t know. the majority of Christians don’t do that. I don’t do it since i had terrible skin disease (i believe it was God’s punishment) after i bowed down in front of my gradpa’s grave at the funeral. And i grew up in a church where image worship is abhorred. Our God of Jews and Christians is the one who SPEAKS and let things happen. John 4:24 says, “God is [fn]spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word, The Word was with the God, the Word was God.” No image or idol but the LOGOS (Word) is God. Isn’t it true that When God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing (Gen.1:1), He didn’t create the Spirit of God, that was already there (v.2), and neither He created His Word, that was already there (v.3). God, the Spirit, and the Word (LOGOS)… the preexistent being as far as i read the Genesis. It seems that the NT notion of form of God is as much faithful to the Scriptures as the OT. Now, we need to remember that NT never say “God became man.” Rather it says, The LOGOS (WORD) became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). Now, how the Lord appears and reveals to man? through the DABAR (דבר-LOGOS : Word). 1 Samuel 3:21 says ” And the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, because the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the WORD of the LORD.” If the Lord appears through His Word, and the Word spoken by Hashem becomes a realtiy in physical form to make history (Is.55:10-11), The Lord can appears through the physical form. Is that why in the OT, the angel of the Lord who delivered the Word of the Lord sometimes were seen as the Lord Himself? Is that why Chronicles is named,” דברי הימים‎ – the Words of the day, or the things of the day, or the history of the day?” I think Incarnation is not unbiblical; what Moses warned in Deuteronomy 4 is ” to make and carve” wooden or stone idols and worship them. So, i think Deuteronomy 4 teaches how to worship God, not how to judge the divinity of human such as incarnation.

          • Dina says:

            Thank you, Gean.

            I’m having some difficulty unraveling what you wrote here.

            I reread your comment several times and then looked back at my previous comment and I see that you did not actually respond to any of my challenges. Instead, you defended your argument of progressive revelation even though there is not a shred of Biblical evidence to support it.

            Your argument of the word “lamad” in Hebrew (besides for demonstrating ignorance of how the Hebrew language works, please forgive me) is irrelevant. There is no evidence that Moses transmitted anything other than God’s word to people of Israel, the entire people of Israel. And they are all, prophets included, bound by the restriction to neither add nor take anything anyway from the Law of Moses.

            Otherwise any self-proclaimed leader can claim anything he wants and use your progressive revelation argument for support. This idea renders everything in the Torah meaningless.

            Using Jeremiah to bolster your view doesn’t work, as this article on this blog shows:

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/jeremiah-31-teaches-that-christianity-is-not-the-new-covenant/

            As for Deuteronomy 4. Moses strongly warns the Jewish people to worship God only as He appeared at Sinai (4:35). The whole purpose of the revelation was to teach us Whom to worship, and through the process of elimination, whom not to worship. Do you really believe, contrary to the words in this chapter, that this was an admonition only not to make carved images? That would justify the worship of any kind of entity, so long as an image is not created. Mr. Smith can worship his dead dog, so long as he doesn’t make an image. That’s absurd!

            This teaching is so clear, so strong, that you ought to interpret the Bible in light of Deuteronomy 4 and not the other way around. You are picking passages that seem to support your theology only because you first believed in Jesus (this is known as circular reasoning). Remember, those passages are not a teaching about Whom and how to worship. You are, of course, misreading the text. However, those arguments are addressed elsewhere on this blog in articles such as this:

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/the-bush-the-cloud-and-genesis-18/

            You asked about Deuteronomy 18:22, why is the word “navi” in the singular and not in the plural “nevi’im” if God meant subsequent prophets? The Bible often uses a general noun to denote a group rather than an individual. To restrict the meaning to a single prophet, the Hebrew would have read “hanavi,” the prophet. Otherwise, you can create the ludicrous argument that Deuteronomy 13:1-5 refers to a single prophet.

            This is how the Hebrew language works.

            As for “a prophet like me,” Moses delineates in the next few words in what way a prophet will be like him: he will transmit to the people God’s words. Jesus was as unlike Moses as it is possible to to be. Christian scripture does not record about him such things as “And God spoke to Jesus, saying, command the Jewish people, etc.” We do not see a record of conversations between Jesus and God at all. Jesus demanded that people believe in him; Moses never said such a thing, not ever. Jesus uses harsh vitriol against the Jewish people; Moses never did. The contrast is quite stark. For all these reasons, your understanding of this verse referring to Jesus in error.

            You asked me what new type of worship Jesus introduced. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the light and no one comes to the Father but through me.” This was a completely foreign concept in avodas Hashem (worship of God). And that’s just for starters.

            Jesus promised the Pharisees the sign of Jonah, Matthew 12:38-40, but he did not fulfill it. A rumor reaching them from devoted believers doesn’t cut it.

            To recap once again, worship of Jesus is idolatry according to Deuteronomy 4. Jesus fails the true prophet test according to Deuteronomy 13:1-5 and Deuteronomy 18:22.

          • Shalom, Dina. I’m sorry for the trouble. Actually i was preparing for my argument on a paper to anwer your previous questions (i did it much joyfully than in seminary) but quickly got tempted to respond to the recent post where i thought i could answer all those questions at one post because it seemed ‘overlapping’ issues. If i looked like i ignored your requests, please forgive me. Let me say just quick response to this post, and i will come back after i finish the paper.

            1. I think i heard one professor in a seminary mentioned about the term “progressive revelations” but i didn’t understand it, nor interested at all at that time, but as i study and meditate on Tanakh to respond to all questions from others here, i find by myself the concept is pretty important to know how Hashem reveals Himself to humanity. A few biblical examples
            1. Numbers 9:8-9. facing new situations and places, Moses asked and Hashem revealed a little more specifically about keeping the Passover (of course without annulling or replacing the eternal covenant He already had made). So, we could keep the Passover on another day when we were in war or jail where no food or time available. As i posted on my blog, the divine revelations of Adonai Eloheinu are Flexible, not Fluctuating.
            2. Hosea 6:3, “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” According to 1Samuel 3:21 and the national experience at Sinai, Hashem reveals Himself or appears to us by His Words! Denying it, both Jews and Christians are nothing but one of the ritualistic religion, right? Now, Hosea shouts, “Let us know who He is!” He comes (appears or reveals or goes forth) like early moring light-dawn. How the dawn appears to us? by becoming progressively brighter and brighter (Proverbs 4:18 “but the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day). How the rain comes to the land of Israel? Just one time? No, it has both early rain and latter rain. Who knows it alludes to the Early rain (the Old covenant) and Latter rain (the New covenant)? The divine revelation is progressive; it is like the dawn that shines progressively and rain which comes early and lately. You have well pointed out the danger of this theological concept; “any self-proclaimed leader can claim anything he wants and use your progressive revelation argument for support.” That’s why i think we must come back to the Scriptures and examine their anyone’s arguments. Yes.

            And about “lamad,” you are right. i am still learning the modern Hebrew although i tasted the biblical Hebrew qzat in seminary. thank you for teaching me. I thought about it because my Korean version put “One prophet” and English version put “a prophet.” But need to reexamine based on the Hebrew grammar as you did. Thanks.

            I want to remind you that there are many similarities between Moses and Yeshua; John 12:49, “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.” why no record of conversations between Yeshua and God? I see a few; Matthew 3:16-17 “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” but Yeshua didn’t respond, so maybe not “conversations.”
            Matthew 17:4-5, “Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him” Neither here Yeshua responded to the divine voice. Is that because God and Yeshua was in union? Maybe. What i know is that Yeshua said in John 14:10, “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.”
            Also, unlike Moses, Yeshua demanded (?) people to believe in him; yes, however, does that mean, “Don’t believe in God, believe in Me-the Jewish carpenter with beards and eyes?” I don’t think so. He said in John 14:1 ” Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” In the Gospel of John, we always have to remind ourselves of His theological emphasis on the LOGOS(Word) as being of God and Yeshua. When Yeshua said, “believe in me,” i think he meant the Word of God incarnated in him. When Yeshua said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” I think He meant The Word of God which directs our way to abundant life (Psalm119:105), which is the truth (“Sanctify them with your truth; Thy word is truth” Jn17:17), and which is the life (so many references in Torah).
            In Matthew 12:38-40, Yeshua didn’t show the sign immediately because He would have be buried in the appointed time- the Passover? Also because He didn’t want them to see HImself as diviners or spiritist or miracle worker as the Deuteronmy warned? Lastly, i do not bow down to the image of Yeshua, whever i see the face paintings of Yeshua, i feel uncomfortable as many Chrisitans do, i love reading and meditating the Bible to find truth and love and guidance. I pray like Yehudim, “our Lord God… The creator of universe who is alone God… absolutely soverign over all things…” we usually end the prayer “in Jesus name, Amen” but i was surprised to find when He taught His disciples how to pray, He didn’t include “In Jesus name!” He told us to pray in His name like in John 16:23-24, “In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” So, i seems to me that praying in Yeshua’s name is not so much ending prayer with reciting the phrase as praying in intimate relationship between father and children.

          • Dina says:

            Gean, first I would like to thank you for taking the time to have a serious dialogue on this issue and especially for your respectful tone.

            Progressive revelation seems to me a euphemism for God flip flopping on some pretty major issues. The example you cited in Numbers is not an example of “progressive revelation;” rather, it is an example of the people asking Moses a legitimate question about how to observe a commandment that carries with it the penalty of “karet” (being cut off from the nation) when one is in a state that makes it impossible for him to perform the commandment. Moses’s response, as it is in other similar situations, is to ask God directly for the answer. God provides the answer, then Moses transmits that directly to the people.

            It’s not God being flexible but God being reasonable. God provided only one other “make-up” day to bring the Passover sacrifice, which is only available to those who had a legitimate reason under the law to delay. Anyone who delays for any other reason, the text makes clear, is liable to this harsh penalty.

            Moses made it clear that no one has the authority to change any of God’s laws (Deuteronomy 4:1-2). There is no such thing as progressive revelation. It is a concept Christians made up to justify their worship of a human being. Forgive me for being so blunt. Your evidence is not only weak, it’s ludicrous. If you’re going to try to find support for an idea that upends the whole Sinai revelation, you had better find evidence that is not so flimsy. This applies as well to your creative interpretation of Hosea.

            You know, Gean, it’s worth considering that in Exodus 19:9 God said to Moses that He will speak to Moses in front of all the people so that Moses could gain their trust. That’s pretty amazing, considering all the miracles Moses performed on a national scale, striking Egypt with plagues and finally leading the whole nation out of Egypt right under Pharaoh’s nose through a split sea. These miracles that transformed the destinies of two entire whole nations were on a much greater scale than any miracle Jesus allegedly performed, yet that was still not enough. God decided that the Jews needed a greater level of trust in order to accept the transmission of God’s word from Moses. They actually needed to hear God speak to Moses Himself.

            So if Jesus is going to come along and make an outrageous claim that no Jewish leader or prophet before him ever made, namely, that he is not only the only way to get to God but that he is God himself, then we demand at least the same level of evidence on the same national scale. God said this could never be, so we would need to hear from God Himself–who said He never changes His mind on His promises (Numbers 23:19)–that Jesus is to be trusted in his claims.

            By the way, I did not make an argument about graven images, although there is a lot to be said about that. I argued that Deuteronomy 4 teaches that we are to worship God only as He appeared at Sinai. Jesus did not appear at Sinai, ergo, he is not God.

            You cannot defend Matthew 12:38-40. You making excuses for Jesus. The Torah, on the other hand, does not make excuses for prophets who predict a sign but fail to fulfill it. The text clearly says that if a prophet’s words fail to come to pass then we can be confident that his words are not from God. Jesus’s words failed to come to pass–it’s really as simple as that. There is no monkey business in the Torah. Its teachings are plain and clear.

            My contrast between the humble Moses and the arrogant Jesus still stands: the difference between a man who did not speak about himself and a man who used the personal pronoun a lot, the difference between a clearly linked transmission from God to Moses to Israel and the absence of such a link (your examples do not mirror the examples in Tanach and even then there is a paucity of such examples), the difference between a man who did not expect to be believed and thought that was fair enough, and a man who demanded faith peremptorily.

          • Shalom Dina~ long time no see! I have read and meditated on your serious article a few times and was able to see your staunch love for God, this blesses me also. Thank you. I think you are afraid that the concept of progressive revelation might scratch on the faithfulness of the speaking of God and upend the whole Sinai revelation. So was I. But i want you to know that it makes God’s word “reasonable” as you said. it prevents us from being bondaged to the technicalities of the LETTERS of the law, instead, it helps us to understand the SPIRIT and HEART of God in our daily applications of His word. We see it in the law of passover. Exodus 12 was revealed in Egypt about “how to do it.” Deuteronomy 16 was revealed in Moab about “where to do it.” Right? if i got wrong, please correct me. In Joshua 5, Joshua knew the heart of God (not letter) so he observed it on Jericho (not Jerusalem). 2 Chronicles 30, people joyfully extended another week to celebrate Passover! I wish i could be there.^^ I don’t think God would say “you broke my law” because they added another week. In 2 Chronicles 35, the priest’s role is included in the law of passover. In Ezekiel 45:21, a final revelation of passover mention about “King and cow?” I hope you could see the heart of God was gradually unfolding to the Israelites.

            Millions of Jews throughout the world cannot keep the law of passover literally according to the tanakh only. Do they break the law? I don’t think so. There is love and freedom in the word of God. I believe that the mighty acts of salvation of God for Hebrews from Egypt is an prelude to the great drama of His salvation for all nations through the Jewish Messiah Yeshua. This is THE final revelation of Passover.

            And about matthew 12:38-40. Please look carefully how the text begins. “Then CERTAIN of the scribes and of the Pharisees anwered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.” I thank God, not all of them asked for a sign. What prophets in the history of Israel had to show the sign first to prove their qualification to be a God’s prophet? Well, i think it is a practice of Egyptian magicians and Baal worshippers. Judeo-Christian prophets speak of prophetic words first, and then it comes true. Deuteronomy 18:22 says that. Yeshua prophesied his death and resurrection like Jonah’s experience and it came true! Faith comes by hearing, not by seeing the sign (Numbers 14:11) Please ask further why you see Yeshua failed.

            I also see a humbleness of Moses in his life and wildness, too. You know what i mean. I see a humbleness of Yehsua and wildness, too. You are right; sometimes there is missing link between “God to Yeshua to Israel.” I think it is because the link is “God in Yeshua to Israel.” And i see same character of Moses in Yeshua in not expecting to be believed by people; ” If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.” (John 10:37-38)
            “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47-48)
            If Moses and Yeshua were sent to save God’s beloved people from the slavery, sin, and death, i think both Moses and Yeshua would have thought of people’s unbelief more than “fair enough”, they must have died for it. You know what a mom would do if a child don’t believe what a mom says. Obedience is a matter of life and death. “fair enough” has no place in the hearts of God’s servants. In both Old and New Testaments, I see both Moses and Yeshua groaned, suffered, and died for them in order to save them.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Gean,

            Allow me to clarify why “progressive revelation” can’t justify changing our worship of God.

            I will examine several Scriptural passages:

            1. Deuteronomy 4:2 on the prohibition to add or subtract from the law.
            2. Deuteronomy 13:1-5 on testing the false prophet.
            3. Deuteronomy 18:22 on testing the false prophet.
            4. Deuteronomy 4 on idolatry.

            Deuteronomy 4:2

            We understand the prohibition on adding or subtracting as a prohibition for all time. We find examples where tested and trusted leaders change or add something temporarily. Such may be the case in the example you gave on extending Passover.

            If a prophet were to announce a permanent change to the law, we would find him in violation of Deuteronomy 4:2.

            We also believe that the laws recorded in the Bible are like the Cliff notes version of what Moses taught to us. This is obvious in cases like the statement to slaughter animals according to the way Moses commanded, although instructions are not recorded in the Bible (see Deuteronomy 12:21: “You will slaughter from your cattle and from your sheep that the Lord has given you as I have commanded you”).

            That is why you find references in later books of the Bible to laws that are not recorded in the First Five Books. For example, Jeremiah reminds the people “Do not carry a burden on the Sabbath day…Do not bring a burden out from your houses on the Sabbath day…as I commanded your forefathers” (17:21-22). You will not find such a law previously, but the prophet is obviously referencing an ancient commandment.

            Therefore, your examples do not prove progressive revelation but rather confirm that a body of law was taught to the Jewish people and preserved through oral transmission.

            The progressive revelation argument does not stand up to Deuteronomy 4:2.

            Deuteronomy 13:1-5

            You have not responded adequately to this passage, which speaks about people exactly like Jesus: a prophet who produces a miracle or sign and then introduces a new type of worship. Even if you believe in progressive revelation, the Torah specifically forbids believing in the type of revelation Jesus promoted.

            So the progressive revelation argument does not stand up to Deuteronomy 13:1-5, either.

            Deuteronomy 18:22

            Your argument against this passage flies in the face of the Torah’s teachings. You ask what prophet had to show a sign to prove his credibility? How about the first one, Moses? He was all about signs! He had to give signs to Pharaoh and the Egyptians. He had to give signs to the Jewish people. And you know what? Even that was not enough! God had to speak to him in front of the entire nation of Israel so that he would be accepted and believed forever (Exodus 19:9).

            Furthermore, this verse in Deuteronomy tells us that it is right and proper to test a prophet by asking for a sign and seeing if it comes to pass in order to know if a prophet is transmitting God’s words or just making stuff up. If the story recorded in Matthew is true, the Pharisees were following a time-honored commandment of God by demanding a sign from Jesus. Your citation of Numbers 14:11 actually proves my point. God is angry because the people of Israel lack faith even after seeing all of His the signs. Even God Himself did not demand their faith without signs.

            The Pharisees were right to demand a sign. Jesus failed to produce the sign he promised specifically to them. According to Deuteronomy 18:22, Jesus was a false prophet. According to Deuteronomy 18:22, your defense of Jesus’s behavior is no defense at all.

            Deuteronomy 4

            In the end, all your arguments wither under any scrutiny that is performed in light of Deuteronomy 4. Verse 35 tells that we were specifically given the revelation at Sinai so we will know Who God is (“For you were shown in order to know that the Lord, He is the God, beside Him there is no other”).

            Verses 12-19 starkly forbid us, based on our experience of the revelation, to associate God with any form.

            To conclude:

            Deuteronomy 4 teaches us that we are to worship God only as He revealed Himself to us at Sinai.
            Deuteronomy 4 teaches us that we are never to associate God with a physical form.
            Deuteronomy 13 teaches not to worship gods we or our fathers did not know.
            Exodus 20:4-5 teaches us not to worship any created being in the heavens above or the earth below.

            Jesus did not appear at Sinai. Jesus is a physical form. Jesus is a god we and our fathers did not know. Jesus is a created being.

            Therefore, one who worships this human being commits the sin of idolatry, the greatest of crimes against God.

          • Shalom, Dina. I hope I will not be considered idolator

          • Woops, sorry, I happened to touch send button while I was still writing- “i wish i would be considered as a truth seeker rather than idolator” Thank you for the well organised and indepth article. However, I wish I could talk with you from more wider spectrum of the tanakh as well as the Law. We have God’s revelation in greater amount of volume in Nabiim and ketuvim, so i try to build my argument from various sources from whole Tanakh, but you give me an impression that your argument is built only on Deuteronomy and Exodus or the Law.

            I agree that showing signs is an important part of divine authority. Please Read Gospel of John 20:30-31. I still don’t understand why Yeshua failed Deut.18:22 and where is the Scripture verse saying “ask for a sign and test the credibility?” Yeshua spoke words in the name of the Lord, and all came true, thus no fail according to Deut.18:22. It is noteworthy throughout the Gospels that how many times Yeshua tried to fulfill Deuteronomy 18:22 in all his verbal activities- his habit of speaking is prophetic!

            Yes, Yeshua did not appear at Sinai in physical form but in Word of Hashem! The God of Judaism and Messianity appears and reveals Himself through Word.

            “Jews worship God only as He revealed Himself at Sinai.” I believe that It does not mean Jews worship Moses, rather they worship God by obeying the revealed word of God spoken by Moses. Jews don’t worship Isaiah but worship God by obeying the revealed word of God through Isaiah. In the same way, Messianic gentiles worship God. Then why worship Yeshua? Here is a difference. All the ancient prophets were the flesh through which the Word of God was spoken, but Yeshua was the flesh that was the Word of God incarnated. There is nothing impossible with the power of the Word of God.

            To Worship God only as the Sinai revelation Vs. To worship God as He speaks in His appointed time. When Moses broke the law on the stone tablet and God has written again but concealed it in the wooden box. Jeremiah 31:32-33 says Jews broke it but God will write again in the hearts of people. God continued to speak! Sinai revelations is not one and only word of God. “God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob…” does it mean God continues to speak to the generations to come? Why being stuck in Sinai generations? Many subsequent generations of Jews have received the divine revelations. Thank you for reasoning with me.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Gean,

            I do not understand why you think that because my argument is based in the Pentateuch therefore it is not valid. My argument is sound and deserves a rebuttal that is at least equally sound, don’t you think? I showed you using clear Scriptural teachings why worship of Jesus is idolatry according to the Torah’s definition of idolatry. Now can you show me equally clear Scriptural teachings why worship of Jesus is not idolatry? You can’t because they don’t exist. This should trouble you.

            Nevertheless, I will take you up on your challenge and give you passages from throughout Tanach rather than just the First Five Books.

            Isaiah 42:5, Isaiah 2:22, 1 Samuel 15:29, Psalms 146:3

            For your convenience, I am posting below more sources from “1000 Verses” on this blog:

            Genesis 1:1, 2:1-3, 14:19,20,22, 18:14, 21:33, 24:3, Exodus 4:11, 7:17, 8:6,18, 9:14,15,16,29, 10:2, 14:4,18, 15:11,18, 18:11, 20:2,11,19, 23:13, 29:46, 34:14, Leviticus 11:45, 19:36, 25:23,38, 26:13,45, Numbers 15:41, Deuteronomy 4:9-24, 31-39, 5:6,7,15, 6:4,12,13,14,21, 7:9,18,19,21, 8:2,3,4,14-18, 9:3, 10:14,17,18,21,22, 11:2-7, 13:3,6,7,11,14, 17:3, 20:1, 26:8, 29:1,2,4,5, 32:6,39,40, 33:26,27, Joshua 2:11, 3:11, 4:24, 24:17,18, 1Samuel 2:2,3,6,10, 10:18, 12:6, 2Samuel 7:22, 22:32, 1Kings 8:23,27,60, 2Kings 19:15, Jeremiah 2:6, 5:22,24, 10:6-16, 14:22, 23:24, 27:5, 31:34, 32:17-21,27, 51:15-19, Isaiah 40:12-26,28, 41:4, 42:5, 43:10-13, 44:6-8,24, 45:5-7,12,18-23, 46:5,9,10, 48:13, 51:15, 66:1, Hosea 13:4, Amos 4:13, 5:8, 9:5,6, Jonah 1:9, Nahum 1:2-4, Zechariah 12:1, Psalm 8:4, 10:16, 11:4, 18:32, 19:1-7, 24:1,2, 29:10, 33:6-11, 65:7-14, 66:6-9, 68:8,9, 71:19, 74:12-17, 78:12-16,42-55, 81:11, 83:19, 86:8-10, 89:6-14, 95:1-7, 96:4,5, 100:3, 102:26, 104:1-35, 113:4,5, 114:7,8, 115:3-11, 119:73,89-91, 121:2, 124:8, 134:3, 135:5-21, 136:1-26, 139:5-16, 145:9,14-16, 146:1-10, 147:1-20, 148:1-14, 149:2, Job 4:17, 5:9,10, 9:2-12, 10:8-12, 12:9,10,13-25, 25:1-6, 26:6-14, 28:23-28, 34:13, 35:10, 36:22,23,26-37:24, 38:1-42:6, Proverbs 3:19,20, Ecclesiastes 3:11,14, Daniel 2:20-22, 3:33, 4:31,32,34, 5:23, 6:27,28, 9:15, Ezra 1:2, 5:11, Nehemiah 9:6, 1Chronicles 16:25,26, 17:20, 29:10-12,14-16, 2Chronicles 2:5, 6:14,18, 20:6, 36:23,

            The entire corpus of the Hebrew Bible supports the Jewish position and refutes the Christian one.

            Allow me to clarify the context of Deuteronomy 18:22. A couple of verses previously, Moses says that any prophet who dares to speak falsehoods in God’s name must be put to death (verse 20). Then Moses says, you might ask how you can possibly know that someone is a false prophet (verse 21). The answer is in verse 22: if he says something that doesn’t come to pass, then you know for sure that he is a false prophet.

            So you see, in order to prove their bona fide prophet credentials, self-proclaimed prophets were expected to produces signs. Jesus failed to produce the one sign he promised to a specific group of people according to your own scripture. That is a huge problem that cannot be blithely dismissed. This is also beside the other prophecies that never materialized, like his promise to his disciples that he would return while they were yet alive.

            Finally, you can’t rebut my argument that we must worship God only according to the knowledge of Himself that He imparted to us at Sinai. Knowledge of Jesus was not taught at Sinai–you can’t deny this. In Deuteronomy 4 and elsewhere we are told not to worship gods that either we or our fathers did not know. Even if you say that Jesus was present at Sinai as God’s word–which is an unsubstantiated and unverifiable assertion on your part, nevertheless–Jesus was unknown at Sinai. Jesus was a god we and our fathers did not know. Ergo, worship of Jesus is idolatry.

            It’s really that simple.

          • Shalom, Dina and thank you for your thoughtful responses that help my understanding of the Tanakh deeper. I am not saying your argument based on Pentateuch is invalid, actually it is valid because God said so through Moses in the Torah. What i meant was that your argument is wanted to be enlarged and supplemented by the rest of the revelations so that we as 21 century- people- of- God might have holistic understanding of what God has said and done throughout the history of Jews. I know you have employed many other Scriptural supports outside the Torah, but i said i had such an IMPRESSION of Torah- focused argument.

            Who is Yeshua? John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word(דבר), and the Word was with God, the Word was God.” John 1:14 says “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

            The New Covenant says that Yeshua was the Word(דבר) of God and also the Wisdom and power of God-“But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”(1 Corinthians 1:24) Now, you know, my sister, how many times the patriarchs, Psamists, and Israelites sang and praised for the power and salvatoin(ישוע the name of Yeshua) of Adonia Eloheinu! David praised and worshipped the WORD of Hashem- “In God I will PRAISE HIS WORD, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.”(Ps56:4)
            ” בֵּֽאלֹהִים אֲהַלֵּל דָּבָר בַּיהוָה אֲהַלֵּל דָּבָֽר׃ ” (Ps 56:10)
            Solomon encourages us to exalt the Wisdom- “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. EXALT HER, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.” (Proverbs 4:7-8)
            “then I was beside him, like a master workman (אָמֹון: as you know, Amon is from same root אמן – which is the LAST word of the book of Revelations; and the FIRST three letters of Genesis is ברא : Yeshua said in Revelations 1:8, 17 “I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.” So, Yeshua is both ברא (First-Alpha-creator) and אמן (Last-Omega-maker), therefore, the work of creation by the power and wisdom of the Word of God is done through Yeshua by Hashem.)
            and I was daily his delight,
            rejoicing before him always,;Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.” (proverbs 8:30-31)
            This is why Yeshua said “For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.”(John 5:46)

            Yeshua explained what Abraham believed- the Resurrection of the son of man when he obeyed God by sacrificing his son and the life giving powe of the word of God- “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” (JOhn 8:56) The NT says Yeshua was in the beginning of creation, at Sinai, in the history of Israelites, all the time with His own people. He will never leave Jews or Chrisitans.

            Yeshua never taught people to worship himself, instead, God Only- ”
            Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
            “‘You shall worship the Lord your God
            and him only shall you serve.’”(Mt4:10)
            Yeshua always turned the glory to His Father God, “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Mt19:16-17)

            Psalm 146:3 says “don’t trust in son of a man, there is no salvation (Yeshua).” Why? because verse 4 says “When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.” However, Yeshua resurrected from the dead (for 2000 years, the faith continues to expand because Jews have witnessed and spread it out to the point of martyrdom because they saw and believed in the resurrection) and He put on the immortal body and ascended into heaven and will come back as the Messiah, the Lion of Judah to establish the Kingdom of God on earth, here in Jerusalem.
            I hope this will help your understanding of the difference between idolatry and worship of God.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Gean,

            I am responding to your comment here:

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/the-experience-of-the-false-prophet/#comment-28358

            Which, respectfully, does not answer anything in my comment here:

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/the-experience-of-the-false-prophet/#comment-28255

            I showed you according to Tanach that worship of Jesus is idolatry on several counts. You then showed me according to Christian scripture that worship of Jesus is not idolatry.

            You have a huge problem then. The Hebrew Bible and the Christian bible stand in a stark and unreconcilable contradiction to each other. The one forbids worship of a man as God; the other extols it.

            You face three options:

            Either the Torah is right and Christianity is wrong.
            Either the Torah is wrong and Christianity is wrong by default, since it draws its authority from the Torah.
            Both the Torah and Christianity are wrong.

            There is no fourth option.

            At any rate, I do not see that you addressed the clear teachings of the Hebrew Bible against your theology.

            Thank you for your time and for hearing me out. I appreciate it!

          • Dina says:

            Also, Gean, looking at the passage from Jeremiah you cited (31:32-33), that only supports my position more. The prophet spells out clearly the difference between the old covenant and the new covenant. In the new covenant, God will write the Torah on our hearts and no one will need to teach his fellow about God because everyone will already know. Clearly, that has not happened yet. The prophet also says at the end of verse 33 that God will forgive us our sins and not remember them anymore.

            Notice what’s missing from this description of the new covenant: that we must worship some human being claiming to actually be God and that we need this human’s sacrificial death to atone for our sins. The prophet doesn’t seem to think that God can’t wipe away our sins without Jesus.

            So there you have it.

            Thank you for reasoning with me as well, to use your words, and thank you for taking the time to think and reflect and write thoughtful responses.

          • Shalom, Dina. If you say that the events of the new covenant has not happened yet, then the Jewish people today are in the status of “No Covenant” because the old covenant had been broken according to Jeremiah 31:32-33? I think that one of the reasons why the new covenant in Jeremiah misses the description of the atoning death of a man is because God had hidden it until it is fulfilled. The messiaship of Yeshua should have been hidden to the eyes of the Jews in the first century so that they would deliver Him to the crucifixion.
            To extend HIs salvation and kingdom citizenship to all nations, God’s wisdom was secretly being operated. The Pharisee Paul says, “Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” 1 Corinthians 2:6-9

            Hebrews 8:1-13 expounds on the Old and New covenant, and especially Hebrews 8:13 is so important. This is the literal translation of the Greek : “In that he saith, “New,” while making the first old. Now that which is being obsolete and what He is making old is near disappearance.”
            Important points drawn from the literal interpretation.
            1. Although Jeremiah 31 says “Jews broke the first covenant,” Hebrews 8 says “God was making it old.”
            2. NOW- in the time of the New covenant, the Old covenant was made old (passive form) by God in times of Jeremiah, and God is still making it (active form) old in this interim period (between Messiah’s first coming and second coming). The old covenant is still valid because the Scripture does not say “It disappeared,” instead, “It is NEAR disappearance!” God is still knocking the doors of Jewish hearts to introduce them to the everlasting love of God in the new covenant.

          • Dina says:

            Gean, I don’t know how you arrived at the conclusion that the Jewish people have no covenant with God. The prophet does not say that the Jewish people are not under any covenant with God, just that they failed to stick to the terms. God said the covenant is eternal. In my lexicon eternal means forever. It means that no matter what we do, our covenant with God is unbreakable.

            Again, for your convenience, I am pasting below a list of sources from “1000 Verses” on this blog–an article well worth reading, I might add–regarding the unbreakable nature of God’s promises to Israel, her priests, and her land.

            Genesis 9:27, 12:2,7, 13:14-17, 15:5,7,18, 17:7-14, 18:18, 22;17,18, 25:23, 26:3-5, 28:13,14, 35:12, 48:4,16,20, 49:10, 50:24, Exodus 2:24, 3:8,17, 4:22, 6:4,8, 8:19, 11:7, 15:16,17, 19:5,6 24:8, 25:8,22, 29:43-46, 31:12-17, 33:1,16, 34:10,27, Leviticus 11:45, 15:31, 19:2, 20:3,24,26, 22:33, 26:44, Numbers 15:41, 22:12, 23:21, 24:9, 33:53, 35:34, Deuteronomy 1:8, 4:7,20,31-39, 6:10,18, 7:6-8, 8:1, 9:5,26,29, 10:11,15, 11:12,31, 14:1,2, 21:8, 23:6, 26:15-19, 27:9, 29:11-14, 32:9-12, 33:28,29, Joshua 1:6, 5:6, 21:41, 1Samuel 12:22, 2Samuel 7:23,24, 1Kings 8:13,51-53, 9:3, 10:9, 11:36, Jeremiah 2:2,3, 10:16, 12:14, 14:9, 31:2,8,34-36, 33:19-26, 46:27,28, 50:33,34, 51:5, Ezekiel 11:16, 16:60, 37:28, Isaiah 41:8-16, 43:1-21, 44:1-8,21-23, 45:4,14-17, 46:3,4, 48:12, 49:14-16, 51:7,15,16,22-52:12, 54:10, 55:5, 59:21, 60:1-3,12,21, 61:6,9, 62:1-12, Hosea 2:1,21,22, Joel 4:17,20,21, Zephaniah 3:20, Zechariah 2:12, 8:20-23, Malachi 1:2, Psalm 28:9, 29:11, 38:12, 44:18, 47:4,5, 48:9,15, 50:7, 68:35,36, 74:2, 78:5,69, 79:13, 89:16, 94:14, 95:7, 98:1-3, 100:3, 105:8-45, 111:4-9, 125:2, 132:13-18, 133:3, 135:4, 144:15, 147:19,20, 148:14, 149:2,4, Nehemiah 1:10, 9:7,8, 1Chronicles 15:2, 16:15-22, 17:21,22,24, 23:13,25, 2Chronicles 6:6, 7:16, 9:8, 20:7

            You are not facing the plain meaning of the text in Jeremiah, which explains exactly how the new covenant will be different from the old. It will be the same Torah, but we will keep it better. We will keep it so well that it won’t be necessary anymore to teach anyone about God because everyone will know Him.

            That new covenant was obviously not fulfilled in Jesus, or there would be no need for missionaries.

            It’s really that simple, my friend.

          • The plain meaning of Jeremiah 31 teaches the difference between Old and New Covenant, right? Verse 32 says, the New covenant will be different from the Sinai covenant (so can we say “THE SAME Torah?”). The LETTERS of the Torah will be melting into the HEART so that no one will point to the verses and chapters of the Torah in order to teach or rebuke brothers and sisters (though, your displaying of 1000 verses on me proves that the age of the New covenant has not arrived ^^). Verse 34 says that people will not teach, correct, or rebuke based on the Technicality of the letters of the Torah, Why? because they already know THE TORAH, or ME? It says, “Me אותי ” The Torah, the Word of God, will be incarnated to a personal being, Yeshua. Interestingly, Messianics do not judge each other according to the Torah, actually they cannot because all sins were forgiven and atoned for by what Yeshua did. I hope we will help each other to understand and experience the blessing and power of the message of Jeremiah regarding the New Covenant. Thanks.

          • Dina says:

            Gean, look at what the text says and not what you wish it to say. The text doesn’t say the Torah will be different. The text says the covenant will be different–and in what way? The Torah will be engraved on our hearts and no man will need to teach his fellow about God. Where do you see here in these very verses that the Torah will be different? Where do you see in these verses that God will be incarnated into a particular individual?

            According to your messy logic, since the Torah will be written into our hearts, then God’s word is incarnated within us, and you should be worshiping the Jewish people. After all, this prophecy was written in the plural, not the singular. This is so obviously wrong, you should be able to extrapolate from this to Jesus.

            Oh, and by the way, you’re right about one thing. This prophecy has clearly not been fulfilled yet. It wasn’t fulfilled in Jesus, as I’ve shown in numerous ways. It wasn’t fulfilled in us, as you can plainly see.

            We await the arrival of God’s messiah. May he arrive speedily, in our days!

          • Dina says:

            Gean, I responded to this comment and it disappeared, so I’m writing it again, and if both appear please forgive me for being redundant.

            You need to look at the text to understand what it actually says and not what you wish it to say. The text does not say the Torah will be different, just the covenant. And the text also tells us in what way the covenant will be different. Where in these verses do you see that the Torah will be different and that it will be incarnated into a particular individual?

            By your messy logic, since the Torah will be engraved on the hearts of the Jewish people, then it is incarnated into every Jew. When this prophecy will be fulfilled, you will need to worship all the Jews. I say this because the prophecy is about the people of Israel and not any one particular person. This is so obviously wrong, you should be able to extrapolate from this to Jesus.

            You’re right about one thing, though. This prophecy has not yet been fulfilled. It has certainly not been fulfilled in Jesus, as I have shown you in numerous ways. It has not been fulfilled in the Jewish people, as you can plainly see.

            We await the arrival of God’s messiah. May he come speedily, in our days!

          • Dina says:

            By the way, Gean, the messianic era will be characterized by a national resurgence of Torah observance, an idea which supports the passage in Jeremiah that we are discussing. See Deuteronomy 30:1-8, with special emphasis on verse 2, “according to everything that I command you today,” and verse 8, “and you will perform all His commandments that I command you today.”

            Since you like sources that are not just from the Pentateuch, here are more: Ezekiel 11:20, Ezekiel 36:27, Ezekiel 37:24, Ezekiel 44:23-24.

          • Dina says:

            Thanks, I found it helpful too :).

          • robert2016 says:

            ” I think Incarnation is not unbiblical; what Moses warned in Deuteronomy 4 is ” to make and carve” wooden or stone idols and worship them. So, i think Deuteronomy 4 teaches how to worship God, not how to judge the divinity of human such as incarnation.”

            i think this could be destructive of entire message of torah. even idol worshippers say they don’t worship the idol ,but the ghost within the idol. people who used to bow before live animal never say that the animal is almighty god, but the agent or ghost of god is held within idol/animal.

            moses’ argument in the torah is rendered useless had their been any clever thinking golden calf worshipper.

            i see it this way. imagine you are in galilee and jesus is in jerusalem. you call out to jesus and think to yourself that some or bit of god is in flesh of jesus.

            you are forgetting about the “outside god” and more focused on the “inside god” thinking that the “inside god” is more close than the “outside god”

            you are believing that some of god has taken different forms in different places and it is okay to call out to animal and human because god/some of god is truly within this created thing.

            your brain is in tension

            “he is a man… no he is god… no he is a man … no he is animal.. no he is weak… no he is powerful”

            do you really think almighty wants one to worship like this?

          • robert2016 says:

            ” John 5:19 “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He SEES the Father doing; for whatever [fn]the Father does, these things the Son also DOES in like manner” John 8:40-”

            here is the greek

            to be powerful, able
            Of uncertain affinity; to be able or possible — be able, can (do, + -not), could, may, might, be possible, be of power.

            which then means that the LEADEr in trinity is the father and jesus lacks things the father has. meaning he has to copy the leader . so the son has no will of his own and is forced to move in the direction the leader wants him to move. the son is controlled by the controller/leader
            which then means they can’t be co-equal

            coequal
            kəʊˈiːkw(ə)l/Submit
            adjective
            adjective: co-equal
            1.
            having the same rank or importance.

            the father can work independently of the son because the father can do things himself, the father is .
            if jesus thought that the father was dependant on jesus, then jesus’ claim is totally shot to pieces.

            so what we see is

            controller and controlled
            leader and follower
            master who has power in himself and copier who has no power in himself.

          • Hi, robert 2016, I am sorry for late response. I was having harder time to understand your logic than John 5:19 which says simply about Yeshua’s absolute dependence on His Father and the Father’s absolute soverignty and control upon His Son.

      • Annelise says:

        Dina I value how you write, it’s very clear. Thanks 🙂

  4. Larry says:

    @ Rabbi Y.B.
    1. Would you consider all experiences as you call it, to be prophetic in nature?
    2. If I remember right, even g-d wanted to make sure that Moses was seen as a prophet among the people of the time and future people, of course. But since Siani is never going to happen again how and who is to determine if someone is a prophet or if their experience is prophetic? Did Moses or anyone else give us any other guidelines other than “wait and see”?

    • Larry
      1 -No not all experiences are “prophetic” – many if not most are simple psychological manifestations.
      2 – The main guideline we were given was – is this prophet talking in the name of a god our fathers knew not or is he/she talking in the name of the God of our fathers.
      Traditionally we were taught that a prophet would be a man who is clean from self-interest and is filled with humility and love towards God and towards his fellow man – most people today who claim to be prophets are amazingly self-centered – others are clever enough to hide their self-centeredness even from themselves – but it comes through eventually
      – But there are simple and humble people who do experience supernatural experiences and they are not self-centered – but it still doesn’t make their experience a determinant for truth

    • Matt Tillman says:

      Larry asked,
      “2. If I remember right, even g-d wanted to make sure that Moses was seen as a prophet among the people of the time and future people, of course. But since [Sinai] is never going to happen again how and who is to determine if someone is a prophet or if their experience is prophetic? Did Moses or anyone else give us any other guidelines other than “wait and see”?”

      If I may, the rabbis at Aish HaTorah said the same thing you said. The Revelation at Sinai was a unique situation. The Children of Israel knew Moses was a true prophet because HaShem told them Moses was a prophet. In other words, the children of Israel received a message (a true message) from HaShem; they had a prophetic experience, meaning they all were prophets… at least in that one instance.
      The later prophets could not be verified that way, but they could be identified by a true prophet. Moses names someone as a true prophet, that person names someone as a true prophet, and so on, down through the ages. The rabbis at Aish said this line remained unbroken until at least the days of the destruction of the First Temple.
      Since then, though, that line HAS been broken. To determine if a person can be considered to be a true prophet today, we should test them by the test Moses received from HaShem and recorded in the Torah.
      Rabbi Shmuel Golding of the Jerusalem Institute of Biblical Polemics pointed out that the NT says the rabbis tested Yeshu because either he or his followers claimed him to be a prophet. The NT (and Xtians) make this out to have been a sin, or at least a failing of faith on the part of the rabbis, but actually it is exactly what they SHOULD have done!
      By the way, Yeshu FAILED the test!

  5. Paul
    The passage in Deuteronomy is a promise that we will never be forsaken by God – not even temporarily.
    As for the passage in Isaiah – Are you aware Paul that the Hebrew word for “virgin” is not found in that verse and that the context would tell you that it is speaking about an event that will happen in the local historical setting – which was several centuries before Jesus?

    • Paul summers says:

      Hello
      Yes I am aware of this, what appears to be a invalid arguement that believers in Jeshua use in regard to this text.
      However after looking into the text there is no issue at all. Infact clarity to the wording “virgin”.
      Also the rule of “double reference” should be applied here not “double fulfilment” which unfortuneatly even the church use. This adds contradiction to the text. This is why non believers are not shown the real meaning. Hence arguements.
      Sorry I cannot stop and type all this on my phone. Will try and explain tomorrow via laptop.
      x

  6. paul summers says:

    Hello
    Chapters 7-12 of Isaiah constitute a single unit, sometimes referred to as the “Book of Immanuel”, because the name Immanuel appears three times in the Hebrew text; 7;14..8.8..10. At this point We are of course are discussing the birth of Immanuel.

    You of course know when Jewish parents name there new born baby, they show what they are thinking when they name the child, as here, the very nature of the baby is named. Immanuel means “with us, God”, so the character of the child will be “God among us”

    Because this text is probably the most controversial, even by evangelical theologians, it has to studied very closely.

    The 2 main arguments which you actually stated are the wording virgin and secondly, what’s the point of a prophecy concerning a birth of a child got to do with a king who lived 700 yrs before his birth.

    Well the answer to the second question/point is nothing directly. The prophecy is directed actually to the House of David, as a whole, and in the future, not then. The latter part of the prophecy is then directed to the king himself on a personal basis. This is where the confusion has taken place by all.

    Just as an add on here…..Double reference prophecies do not always have to be joined together directly. They can have one person then a group/nation, singular event then many events and time differences with no indication of exact time, unless otherwise proved/stated elsewhere in scripture. So one block of scripture can explain numerous events over any span of time.

    so, Is ch 7 v 13-14 To the house of David. 15-17 to the king Ahaz.

    In the English language the word “You for singular and the word “You” plural are used with no differences. In the Hebrew text there are differences.

    So now if you read the text 13 through to 17 placing;

    Singular “You” verses, 9,11,16,17
    Plural “You” verses 13,14

    Basically God is trying to tell the king not to worry about the invasion from Assyria. The king is not happy with the thought of joining with Israel and Syria to defeat there common enemy Assyria. However Israel and Syria are conspiring to actually overthrow the king and later join forces with the Assyrians. This of course puts Judah and the House of David in jeopardy.

    This plot is told to the king in v 3-9. Isaiah is a master of the Hebrew language. Tabeel means “God is good”. Bt altering the vowel pattern very slightly, Isaiah changes this to mean “good for nothing”. Eventually God will judge the 2 kings.

    This is the point of Gods “Sign”. This sign is actually as stated before,, to the house of David. Nothing will break that promise. This probable alliance is in direct violation of Gods will and it will be doomed to fail.
    However the main point of this prophecy is this. The House of David at this moment of Israel’s history is not under any real threat because Gods plans will of course succeed.

    In the future though the House of David will loose its identity. Its very clear that Immanuel, God with us, must be born prior to the destruction of the temple and before all its genealogical records are lost.

    So there is no threat for the House of David until the Virgin shall give birth to a Son some 700 yrs later,

    Also the king is given another assurance through Isiaiah,s son Shear-Jashub, before he reaches an age of moral maturity, the 2 enemy kings will be cease to exist. That explains that a virgin birth at this moment in time is totally pointless and its actual fulfilment is many years away from king Ahaz;s day.

    x

    • Dina says:

      “Double reference” prophecies have no scriptural support. Christian apologists trying to explain away Matthew’s embarrassing blunder have fabricated the concept. Therefore, all your strenuous arguments using Hebrew grammar (which fail to impress a Hebrew speaker such as I) are moot.

      Furthermore, what happened to sola scriptura? You are not sticking to the plain, contextual meaning of the passage.

      • Paul summers says:

        Hello
        What do you mean by Matthews blunder?

      • Paul summers says:

        Hello
        I am glad that you are not impressed, because impressing you was not my aim. Im english and only speak english as my native tongue.
        I am a little confused on your statement ref Sola.

        I thought Sola was a teaching on the OT NT teaching salvation by the Word of God. And the word only. Not teaching anything else??
        I thought my blogs were just that?
        Is Sola something else?

        • Dina says:

          Sola scriptura is Latin for literally “only scripture.” This doctrine says that you only use the literal meaning of the text to understand scripture and don’t accept any extra-scriptural interpretation. Your interpretation of Isaiah 7:14 strays far from the plain and contextual meaning.

          • Paul summers says:

            Are you quoting latin or hebrew to be the benchmark for the validity of the original text?

  7. paul summers says:

    Hello

    Thanks for your patience.

    So the word “Virgin” also such a hot bed of debate.

    Of course the Christian faith is built on a handful of main statutes, the concept of a virgin birth being one of them. Without this Jeshua would have been conceived with the genetic fault of sin which the bible teaches all men have. Sin was imputed into man through the fall of Adam. Hence death came to all men through Adams disobedience.
    As Christians believe that Jeshua is the God Man, normal flesh conception is impossible. The conception has to be Devine without the male seed. I will say this, that the NT never teaches that a man became God. It teaches that God became a man.
    One main reason for this was so He could live by the Law and fulfil it completely. No man could live up to the Law and its standards. The Law is holy and only God Himself could fulfil it, and all its requirement’s.

    Three words for Virgin in scripture;
    Na’a’rah, Betulah and Almah.

    Na’a’rah means damsel and can refer to either a virgin as in 1 Kings 1;2 or a non virgin as in Ruth 2;6.

    Betulah is considered to mean virgin exclusively. And if Isaiah meant to say virgin he would have used this wording, but this is not always the case. The word does get used in other places;
    Joel 1;8 Widow
    Gen 24;16 and Judges 21;12. Because the word can mean either the author also states ” had not known a man, had never known a man” This is to clarify exactly what the author means by virgin.

    Almah is a virgin of marriageable age but never used to describe a married woman.
    Gen 24;43
    Ex 2;8
    Psm 68;25 Since God Himself is in this context, absolute Virginity is required.
    Song of songs 1;3
    Song of songs 6;8
    Proverbs 30;18-19
    Isa 7;14
    Since everyone agrees that ALMAH means an unmarried woman, if the woman in Is 7;14 were a non virgin, then God would be promising a sign involving fornication and illegitimacy. It is unthinkable that God would sanction sin, and in any case, what would be so unusual about a illegitimate baby that could possibly constitute a sign? Children are born by the thousands daily.

    As far as ancient Jewish writers were concerned, there was NO argument about Is 7;14 predicting a virgin birth. The Septuagint is of course the Greek translation made about 200 BC. They actually used the Greek word PARTHENOS which exclusively means virgin.

    So there can be no doubt that the unique event which God is promising as a sign, is the miraculous conception of a son by a girl who is still a virgin.

    The NT also makes the point that Joseph never new his wife Mary until they were married.

    Shalom.

    • Dina says:

      Paul,

      You say that since Jesus has to be a god-man, he can’t be conceived through the seed of a human male. Why does the seed of the human male invalidate one to be divine, but the female egg doesn’t?

      • Paul summers says:

        Hello
        Thats a good question which bothered me until someone showed me Luke 1 v35.

        The angel answered and said to her, “The holy spirit will come upon you, AND THE POWER OF THE MOST HIGH WILL OVERSHADOW YOU; and for that reason the HOLY CHILD shall be called the Son of God.

        You are correct in your reasoning. But the text explains the way God will overcome Marys sin nature compromising the conception. ie overshadowing.
        x

        • Dina says:

          Using that reasoning, God could have overcome the sin nature of the male seed as well. Why is the female egg better able to produce a divine being than male seed?

          • Paul summers says:

            Well I suppose it what you believe from what it says in scripture. Using logic is not always the way to understand the works of God.

            Sticking to scripture Gen 3.15 and Isa 7.14 mention a woman not a man. Gen 3.15 mentions the womans seed not the fathers. A natural father is excluded. Isa 7.14 doesnt say Man virgin will concieve. A man who produces seed in a woman is no virgin. But if a woman is going to concieve supernaturally she can remain a virgin. But be impregnated by the power of the God most high. Or do think Adonai is limited to only natural levels. Do you believe He can say “let it be” and the world can made? I dont understand how He did it but I know He did because it says so. I dont need to understand God to believe in Him.

  8. Paul
    Parthenos – does not necessarily mean “virgin” it is used in Genesis 34 for a girl that is not a virgin. “Alma” does not always refer to a virgin – the passage in Proverbs that you quoted cannot be speaking of a virgin because it is speaking of intercourse without leaving a trace
    “Alma” means a young maiden – nowhere in the Christian Scriptures does it say that Mary was young
    Whenever the Jewish Bible needs to say “virgin” such as in a legal context or to make a point in the story the word used is “betula” – your argument about the word “betula” being used in conjunction with the phrase “and no man knew her” so therefore betula in and of itself does not mean virgin is fallacious – look at 2 Samuel 14:5 where the woman describes herself as a widow whose husband had died – does this mean that widows are people whose husbands are still alive?
    As for the double fulfillment/reference – you are building it on the differences between the plural and singular “you” – problem with your argument is that in verse 17 it explicitly addresses Ahaz’s father’s house which tells us that the plural “you” is also localized and cannot be used as evidence to a necessary future prophecy
    In any case – by playing with the Bible in this way (double reference) than anything can mean anything – let’s say that the birth of Ishmael is a future reference to the birth of Mohammed – or Joseph Smith while the return of the Babylonian exile is a reference to the reelection of President Obama
    For Matthew to quote this prophecy as if it was a literal fulfillment – is simply dishonest
    Look at how the Jewish Bible itself describes fulfillment of prophecy
    Whenever the prophets put forth a prediction, and the Tanach points to its fulfillment, it is ALWAYS in its plain grammatical sense. The point is so obvious that it does not need to be stated but we will still provide some examples.

    Abraham was told that he will be granted a child who will be called “Isaac” (Genesis 17:19). This is exactly what happened (Genesis 21;1-3).

    1 Kings 12:13 records how a prophet predicted Josiah’s birth and his violation of Jerobaam’s altar, which is exactly what happened (2 Kings 23:16)

    1 Kings 21:19 has Elijah predicting that the dogs will lick the blood of Ahab in the same place that the dogs had licked the blood of Naboth. Again, this is precisely what happened (1 Kings 22:38).

    But the Christian Scriptures argue for the Messiah-ship of Jesus on the basis of symbolic “fulfillment” of prophecy! If we look at the literal depiction of the Messiah in the Jewish Scriptures, we would never end up with Jesus.

    • Dina says:

      Paul, I am responding to your statement that “using logic is not always the way to understand the works of God.” Thank you for your honesty and courage in admitting that in fact your belief in the virgin birth stands on faith and not logic. That clarifies the difference in the standard of evidence we each require before we accept a new belief. I must ask you this, however: You surely realize that when you cite proof texts to support your belief you are attempting to exercise logic. If you admit that your belief does not rest on rational grounds, what is the point of this exercise?

      Thanks again for bringing greater clarity to this discussion.

      • Paul summers says:

        Hello
        What I meant by logic is not based on the idea of reading and understanding and having none of it (logic). The point I was making is that our thinking is limited while Gods isnt. Unless you feel that you are infinite?

        x

        • Dina says:

          The infinity of God and the finitude of His creations is not relevant to this discussion. When someone points out the flaws in my reasoning, I have two options: either clarify my position or concede that I’m wrong. I can’t see a third option, Paul. Either defend your position so clearly that you reduce me to stammering or concede that your belief in the virgin birth does not rest on logical grounds.

          • Annelise says:

            Mm. It is a matter of dealing with what someone is asking you to do, before God and with the resources He’s given you, to love His truth… it’s not a claim to know about everything. If Christians are appealing to reason then they’ve got to follow through with reason.

            If they are appealing to faith, then unless they show you why, their message is no different from any other religious faith claim… which has no authority over us. We also have faith, but not in just anything.

          • Paul summers says:

            Ok
            The logical reason why I believe in The virgin birth is this;

            Gen 3.15 says so.
            Isa 7. 14 says so.
            The NT says so.
            These are of course just a handful. Genisis teaches that sin came into the world via Adams fall. By this act all men have the sin seed nature resulting in death. The LAW was given to reveal the sin nature. The animal blood sacrifices were to attone sin in a temp basis until Messiah came. Jeshua The Lamb of God did this according to the LAW.
            Jeshua had to be born from a virgin. To born without spot or blemish and to die also spotless.
            Because Abraham was told that the world would be blessed through his seed, me as a gentile am blessed by Grace through faith in Jesus the Christ.

            To me thats logic. What isnt logical is your rebellion against Adonai. But I do understand it because logically Israel have always been rebellious (According to your scripture)

      • Annelise says:

        Hi Dina,

        Your writing on these things is really clear, and I can see you’ve engaged with and thought about this conversation a lot.

        I want to ask your thoughts about something. You have a standard of evidence that is needed for you to accept something as a new belief… you believe wholeheartedly in the importance of faith, but only in such a way that you can be confident in before God. So how do you see the choice to have faith in Him as the author of creation, goodness, and the one who hears and speaks; to have faith in the Jewish testimony about Sinai, the Torah, and your covenant?

        Personally I believe that faith in Jesus is very different from faith in God, or faith in the Torah. Once the message of Sinai is accepted (and even apart from that!), any claim that a person is God must be tested 100%, not out of intellectual pride but out of loyalty and faithfulness to Hashem. On the other hand, faith in Him is a journey of knowing, in which we experience Him as our creator and, though we are small, learn to respond and to hear Him in truth. Two totally different kinds of ‘faith’. I seek God, and everything I have belongs to Him, even though I don’t know everything. But I would never worship Jesus or any man or woman if I had any reason for doubting (let alone having no reason to believe) that they were not a mere human, created as we are.

        But my question is how you see it. What kind of evidence do you need to put your faith in Hashem and how do you approach your surrender to Judaism as if it be the truth from Him? How do you see it as different from the faith one would muster to accept Christianity? And what is the path like, for you, of valuing the faith you’re in?

        Be well, and may you know the closeness of God always,
        Annelise

        • Annelise says:

          Wait, I wasn’t clear. I do have reasons for doubting, and no reason to believe, that Yeshua was anything but a mere human. I wasn’t trying to say there *is* a reason to have faith in that claim.

        • Dina says:

          Thanks, Annelise! You’re asking an important question. I don’t believe God expects us to be robots and not think for ourselves but to use our common sense (with which He blessed us) in our choice to accept Him and His Torah. That is why Judaism is the only rational religion in the world, and the ancient Pharisees who redacted the Talmud were the great rationalists, who wrote with breathtaking logic.

          The verse in Dueteronomy (4:39), “You shall know this day and take to your heart,” supports this idea. First understand with your intellect (“know”); then you can cultivate the faith in your heart (“take to your heart”).

          • Annelise says:

            Thank you so much for your thoughts… I’d like to talk over it with you more and hear more about what you think, but I don’t want to distract from the conversation at hand. If you have time and don’t mind, my email address is anneliseholwerda@gmail.com… but if you prefer not or can’t, it’s okay, I have others like Rabbi Blumenthal whom I can ask as well for their thoughts 🙂

    • Paul summers says:

      And you would end with who, according to Jewish scripture?

    • May I ask how you understand the use of Betula in Joel 1.8?
      אֱלִי, כִּבְתוּלָה חֲגֻרַת-שַׂק עַל-בַּעַל נְעוּרֶיהָ
      Is this word used only of virgins or not?

      • Yehuda says:

        HI Charles,

        If I may chime in. In Jewish marriage of antiquity a woman was considered fully married in every sense of the word (even requiring a Jewish legal divorce to be undone) at the moment the marriage ceremony was initially performed. However, the marriage was typically not consumated for a period of time – as much as a year or more. This is the virgin in the imagery being used here by the prophet Joel, the inconsolable virgin mourning the death of hew young husband with whom she never even had the chance to be intimate – her virginity intensifies the mourning all the more.

        So yes, Betulah is always exclusively a virgin.

        I hope that answers your question.

      • Dina says:

        Charles, I would just like to add a tiny bit Yehuda’s response, which is excellent. The word “besulah” translates exactly into “virgin” in English. Just like the word “virgin” in English is used exclusively of virgins, the word “besulah” (or “betulah” if you prefer the Sephardic pronunciation) is used exclusively of virgins.

        • Yehuda says:

          Thank you Dina, and if may may add one more thought…Deut 22:14, 15, and 17 use the root word of betulah in a manner inescapably intended to refer to EVIDENCE OF ANATOMICAL VIRGINTY.

          It would be pretty weird for the verse to be discussing virginity in what might be the most clinically and anatomically specific context that appears in all of scripture and to use anything but word most specifically associated with virginity.

          • cpsoper says:

            Perhaps, although could not a counterargument for the word husband בַּעַל and consummation be made? Deut.22.22 אִשָּׁה בְעֻלַת-בַּעַל in this instance clearly not just a fiancee, cf. v 23 נַעֲרָ בְתוּלָה, מְאֹרָשָׂה לְאִישׁ now of course I agree, here from context בְתוּלָה can only mean a virgin, just as in Joel 1.8, בַּעַל נְעוּרֶיהָ suggests prior consummation. Can you disprove this? There are no instances where בַּעַל is used of a fiance to my knowledge, but please correct me. The sense of both words is best understood from the context. Perhaps Joel simply intends they were recently married.

          • Yehuda says:

            Charles,

            Let’s try to keep the larger context of what is being discussed and respective burdens of proof.

            Scripture clearly demonstrates that “Betula” and its roots are clearly, consistently, and repeatedly, used to indicate physical virginity while you can demonstrate nothing of the sort for “Almah”.

            The discussion thereby reduces not to any kind of demonstration on your part. Rather it is a series of conjectures on your part about whether Betulah could mean something else. Twice in your last post you say “perhaps”. I’m not really interested in “perhaps”es. I’m interested in what the scripture says and the scripture consistently uses Betula when it wants to convey virginity.

            Deut 22:22: you say connotes more than just a fiance. First of all you obviously didn’t understand what I explained about ancient Jewish marriage. It was not simply engagement IT WAS FULL LEGALLY ENFORCED MARRIAGE. So your assertion that it is clearly not just a fiance is absolutely correct. Nonetheless this verse demonstrates nothing about the meaning of Ba’al.

            Think about about how flimsy your position is. Scripture consistently uses the word Betula when it is clearly describing a virgin. – You said nothing to address my point about Deut 22:14-15 – It never uses Almah to connote virginity. But since you think there may be on verse where betulah could be strained to be referring to a non-virgin (which it isn’t, as I explained) that would justify Isaiah’s word choice.

            If Isaiah 7:14 was truly trying to say what you believe he was trying to say, then Isaiah committed the worst word-choice blunder imaginable. Why in this one instance – where by Christian reckoning, communicating the notion of virginity was more important than anywhere else in scripture – did Isaiah completely blow the opportunity to use the word most directly associated with virginity every else in scripture . The best answer Christianity has provided to that question inn 2,000 is the circular answer that since Isaiah “must” be talking about a virgin, then Almah must be the better (or at least acceptable) word choice. C’mon doesn’t that bother you just a little? Wouldn’t you guys have been soooooo much happier if the discovery of the great Isaiah scroll had revealed that Isaiah had actually said Betula instead of Almah?….alas….sigh.

          • cpsoper says:

            Sorry if this appears out of sequence, but there’s no reply tag below your post, Yehudah.
            You beg the question, ‘the scripture consistently uses Betulah when it wants to convey virginity’. Is it exclusive or not? You assume this is the case in Joel 1.8. How do we know this is true?
            I take an engagement to be effectively an unconsummated marriage, you have decided to define it differently, fair enough, but let’s be clear about the issues, not throw up smoke.
            The key question is does Joel 1.8 refer to an unconsummated marriage or not?
            Look at Gen 20.3 for an example, there it seems clear Abimelech has taken (לָקַחְ) Sarah as a wife, but not yet consummated the union, that is plain in the verb, still synonymous in modern Hebrew with sexual possession, בָּעַל.
            עַל-הָאִשָּׁה אֲשֶׁר-לָקַחְתָּ, וְהִוא, בְּעֻלַת בָּעַל.
            My argument is that by juxtaposing בָּעַל with Betulah, it’s likely that Betulah does not always mean a virgin. I have asked you to disprove that by citing an example – please demonstrate one. I don’t like uncertainty either, but it is best to be clear about what we are certain of and what we are not.

          • Yehuda says:

            Charles.

            1) You continue to claim that the key question is whether Joel is referring to a virgin. IT is NOT the key question. It is a tangential question to the real key question which is whether there is any imaginable scriptural justification for Isaiah using a word other than Betula to convey virginity. THAT my friend is the key question. NOT whether or we can find a single counterexample to Betula being used with a non-virgin. Let’s pretend for a moment that there was in one solitary instance in scripture where Betula unequivocally referred a non-virgin who was perhaps a recent non-virgin and could therefore be thought of as “virginal” in a poetic sense. Would that in your mind actually be a justification for Isaiah’s word choice? That seems to be your position and it is a weak grasp.

            2) Is Almah EVER use to clearly convey virginity?

            3) You claim I have not proven that Betula is used exclusively to refer to virgins.
            Again, let’s pretend I haven’t. But you have not responded to what I have proven which is that no word OTHER than Betula is EVER used to clearly convey virginity whereas Betula is inescapably used that way in Deut 22:14-16 and many other places. So it’s actually rather amusing that you accuse me of throwing up smoke while you cling to the pathetic notion that a single instance in Joel – for which BTW I have provided you with a valid counterargument that you have not disproven either – would undo the reality of how Betula is used everywhere else including to describe the STATE OF VIRGINITY itself, not just of people who were virgins.

            4) You keep harping on the word Ba’al You have not proven that it conveys sexual consumation. The literal meaning of the word is ownership or control and it is used in the non-matrimonial way numerous times in scripture. You haven’t provided a single solitary instance of proof that it means sexual union.

            (BTW, I want to acknowledge that the the active verb for of Ba’al DOES refer to sexual union in scripture. However the noun Ba’al does not; It simply means husband. Now a husband is obviously a person with sexual license with his wife but the noun has nothing to do with sexuality.)

            So let’s summarize your position.

            1) Betula is clearly used repeatedly in scripture to clearly convey virginity. You don’t appear to deny this.
            2) No other word – including Almah – is EVER used to clearly convey virginity. You seem to acknowledge that as well.
            3) You believe that there may be a single instance of Betula being used with a non-virgin, although you can’t disprove a counterargument that even that instance is a virgin.
            4) You point to the juxtiposition in that one verse of betula with the word Ba’al as suggestive of non-virginity but you can’t prove that Ba’al clearly conveys that either.

            And in your mind this adds up to an explanation as to why the prophet Isaiah in the single most important prophecy about virginity in history chose to convey virginity by ignoring the only word that scripture EVER uses to clearly and consistently to convey virginity and instead used a word NEVER used to anywhere else to convey virginity when imparting this terribly important message.

            I will leave it to the intellectually honest to see where logic resides in this matter.

            Peace to you.

          • cpsoper says:

            Thank you. Joel’s use of Betulah is the key question I raised to Yisroel.
            Your hypothetical summary of Joel’s use is precisely how I see it – it is an instance where Bethulah doesn’t literally mean virgin.
            I agree that Isaiah’s use of Betulah would have made the prophecy transparent, just as to use the word maiden in English would have been trumped by the word virgin, but then prophecies are often not transparent and for good reason. As to your comments on Almah as a description of a maiden, still a virgin, you won’t find my opinions on this page, and you have assumed them. I fear rhetoric has become more important than accuracy, my friend.

            Perhaps you can answer my challenge from Talmudic sources, as you have not addressed it yet. Is Baal (n) ever used to refer to the husband of one who is in fact still a virgin? Gen.20.3 addressed your question about consummation.

            I take Dina’s useful point about modern Hebrew, and she’s right I don’t speak it, but that is not seminal to the question of Joel’s passage. Semantics can and do change with time.

          • Dina says:

            Charles, clearly you do not speak Hebrew, or you would realize how silly this conversation is. Betulah is the Hebrew word for virgin. I challenge you to ask any Hebrew speaker what betulah means and listen to what they say. Most Hebrew speakers have never heard of this debate so they have no axe to ground, as it were. But if you’re worried about their subjectivity, choose for your test cases secular Israelis who don’t read the Bible.

          • Yehuda says:

            Charles,

            1) Your statement about Gen: 20:3 is your imagnitaion. It demonstrates nothing other than Ba’al meaning that someone had a husband.

            2) You continue to ignore my own valid interpretation of Joel 1:8 which you have said nothing other than “perhaps”. Let me ask you a simpler question . Since we both agree that Joel is trying to describe a woman mourning her husband. what alternative scriptural word for husband would you suggest Joel have used if he was concerned with not conveying a consumated marriage?

            3) As you continue to focus on Joel to the exclusion of the larger issue I have raised and the multiple points I have made in support while you speculate about Isaiah’s reasons for leaving this oh so important prophecy less than transparent, I am perfectly comfortable letting the issue stand on based on my last post and let the discerning seekers of truth come to their own conclusion.

            Peace.

          • Yehuda says:

            Oh and let me answer your challenge. Joel 1:8 uses Ba’al to describe the husband of an uncosumated marriage.

            The only evidence you have offered to the contrary in your insistence that it doesn’t.

          • Yehuda says:

            Sorry for the fragmented posting.

            …and Thank You, Charles, for acknowledging that Betula would have been Isaiah’s word of choice if he had wanted the prophecy to unquestionably transparent.

          • Dina says:

            Charles, what is the “good reason” for prophecies to be not transparent? What is the purpose of God sending messages to His people through prophets if He will not be clear?

            Fact is, Christians like to conveniently argue that the nature of prophecy is that you don’t understand it until after it comes to pass. (This is not a straw man. A Christian told me this with a straight face.) Then what’s the point of prophecy? Scripture refutes this notion by providing clear prophecies. God predicts that Abraham will have a son who will be called Isaac, and voila, he has a son who is called Isaac. Rebecca is told that she will have twins who will each father a nation, and voila, she has twins, one who is the father of the Jewish people and the other who is the father of Edom. Pretty clear, no? And that’s just two of dozens of examples.

            What you have done in Isaiah is take a very clear prophecy to the king, rip it out of context, give it a new meaning, and say that it’s not a transparent prophecy because prophecies are supposed to be unclear. How convenient!

            Actually, it’s unfair to blame you for this. Matthew started it when he quoted this passage in his gospel. Poor, bumbling Matthew! For 2000 years Christian apologists have been trying to cover for his ignorance by finding ways to make his pathetic blunder make sense. They are not convincing Jews who can read Scripture in its original language.

            As for meanings changing over time, you are correct. But that is not the case here. It’s another convenient argument. If the word doesn’t mean what you want it to, you can just say, oh well, the meaning was different then.

            Modern Hebrew adopted this particular word from biblical Hebrew. It means virgin in English. It really is that simple, Charles.

          • Dina says:

            Yehuda, I hope Rabbi Blumenthal will forgive me for veering off topic to pay you a compliment. I noticed in one of your comments that you used the plural “fora” for “forum.” Not too many English speakers know that. As a word nerd, I applaud you!

            Everyone else out there: Don’t worry, “forums” is now an accepted (and more widely used) plural form of “forum.”

          • This page is a field of thorns now, so I post your comments with my response. I have less time, and I’m sorry for not reading your comments till now.

            ‘1) Your statement about Gen: 20:3 is your imaginiarion. It demonstrates nothing other than Ba’al meaning that someone had a husband.’
            Not quite, Sarah had two husbands in effect – only one had consummated the marriage the other ‘had taken her’. Baal is only used of the former.

            ‘2) You continue to ignore my own valid interpretation of Joel 1:8 which you have said nothing other than “perhaps”. Let me ask you a simpler question . Since we both agree that Joel is trying to describe a woman mourning her husband. what alternative scriptural word for husband would you suggest Joel have used if he was concerned with not conveying a consumated marriage?’

            Aish.

            ‘3) As you continue to focus on Joel to the exclusion of the larger issue I have raised and the multiple points I have made in support while you speculate about Isaiah’s reasons for leaving this oh so important prophecy less than transparent, I am perfectly comfortable letting the issue stand on based on my last post and let the discerning seekers of truth come to their own conclusion.’

            All I have sought from the beginning, Yehudah, is to examine the hermetical seal you’ve set between Almah and Betulah. I agree and all I know agree that the latter is a better description of virginity, but the semantic distinction is not as absolute or as watertight as you suggest. You have evaded my challenge, which I guess means you can’t answer it – where is Baal ever used as husband in an unconsummated marriage, not just in the Tenach?

            Real peace is found only in its Prince.

          • Yehuda says:

            Charles,

            I’ve answered your challenge 3 times.

            Joel 1:8 is the example.

            That fact that you insist it isn’t, does not constitute a refutation.

            And “Ish” is no more indicative non-consumation. See Ruth 1:3 among other examples

            Your entire argument for suggesting that Betulah is not exclusive is based on Joel 1:8;s juxtiposition with Ba’al. But that is also your argument for insisting Ba’al is never used with a virgin. That my friend is called a circular reasoning.

            As I summarized before, the honest reader is left to determine for him or herself whether the immense scriptural evidence for the specificity of meaning of Betula (which you acknowledge) should shed light on the usage of Ba’al in Joel 1:8 or whether your unsubstantiated assertion about Ba’al should shed light on betula in Joel 1:8.

          • One last word, Yehudah, since I’ve just seen your latest evading the question.
            Aish is clearly not always linked to consummation, Gen.2.23 is an obvious example.
            (PS I am not a Hebrew speaker, reader and writer only – see above)

          • Yehuda says:

            Let me add a little more color to this discussion. Charles keeps arguing his unproven assertion that Ba’al is never used in an unconsumated union.

            One might think that there are numerous instances of Ba’al in Tanach used in the context of a male female pairing.

            There are actually about five such occurences in all of Tanach.

            One of the five, is the subject of this disagreement, Joel 1:8.

            Another two are cases of the phrase “Be’ulas Ba’al” which is in fact more specific to the notion of having been “husbanded” than just plain Ba’al.

            That leaves two more, one of which, exodus 21:3 is also completely unspecific about consumation and another Exodus 23:2 which clearly is speaking of a consumated union.

            That’s the extent of the great evidence behind Charles’ circular argument about Joel 1:8 which is supposed to pursuade us that Ba’al Trumps Betulah, a word that has no meaning outside of Virgin.

          • Dina says:

            Yehuda, I found out to my surprise that Charles is a Hebrew speaker, so he must surely know that “betulah” is just the same word as “virgin” in English. Why is he doing these scriptural gymnastics? Desperation breeds invention, I guess. If almah doesn’t mean virgin, then Matthew loses credibility for quoting it as such, and if there is only one mistake in a book that is supposed to be the inerrant word of God, the whole structure of Christianity crumbles.

          • Yehuda says:

            Charles,

            1) Gen 2:23 is not using “ish” in the context of the husband in a pair, merely as in “man”, in the general sense, So it has no bearing on this discussion. “Me’Ish” there just means “from a man”.

            2) You’ve been pressing for an example of Ba’al used in a non-consumated union and you’ve implied that you’d be interested in even a non-scriptural Rabbinic example. Here you go. Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Kesubos: Page 78b: 10th line down from the top in the standard “Vilna” edition of the Talmud. The word “Ba’a’lah”, meaning “her husband” is used in the explicit context of the husband of an “Arusa”. An Arusa is a woman in that preliminary stage of marriage I described in my earlier post and who has – by definition – not yet consumated her marriage with her husband. There are other such examples in Mishna and Talmud and Rabbinic writings.

            3) I am content with permitting the exchange to date to stand and allow the judicious reader to determine which of us is evading the issues – in your case the issue of circular reasoning. If I may quote your last post to Rabbi B. “I acknowledge Joel 1:8 might be interpreted either way…”. Apparently, you’re willing to concede that to Rabbi B, but not to me because I have not been as ”courteous”. So be it. In any event, if you acknowledge that, then you concede that Joel 1:8 provides no evidence of being an exception to the rule of the use of Betula.

            Respectfully.

            Y.

          • Dina says:

            Charles, if you were fluent in Hebrew as a speaker of the language, rather than studying it out of texts (this is my assumption, since you only read and write it), this discussion would never have taken place. While my apology still stands–and I am not retracting it–this whole conversation sounds silly to my ears. I commend Yehuda for his patience in staying with you in a debate about language that is simply absurd. I mean no disrespect and I apologize for giving offense.

            The point is, there is good reason that this particular passage has failed for 2000 years to impress Jews versed in their own language and scripture.

            Let’s leave Hebrew aside for a moment. So many other scriptural errors abound that I am curious to hear your explanation. For example, Acts 7:14 claims that 75 souls traveled from Canaan to Egypt with Jacob. But Hebrew Scripture records only seventy. In fact, it repeats this simple fact THREE times (Genesis 46:27, Exodus 1:5, Deuteronomy 10:22), and still the Book of Acts gets it wrong.

            Furthermore, what do you make of the prophecy Jesus fulfilled that the Messiah shall be called a Nazarene (Matthew 2:23)? No such prophecy exists in Tanach, and in fact Nazareth is not even mentioned in all of Tanach.

            These are two examples of many, but I am keen to see how you deal with just those.

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

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • cpsoper says:

            Yehudah, your dedication to the site is impressive, but does leave me the sense of being more concerned with grandstanding than nuance. This won’t serve you well in the long run.
            1/ Gen.2.23 is ‘not using “ish” in the context of the husband in a pair,’ Are you serious?
            In Deut.22.22 vs 23, the difference between the two husbands is consummation. In Deut 21.13 and 24.1 the verb is used to imply consummation.
            2/ Thanks for the quotes from the Talmud – which will be worth examining.
            3/ I don’t think the data is yet definitive about Joel 1.8 – though I think it’s more likely literal Baal trumps literal Betulah here.
            Your colleague raises other points which I’d love to examine but this is not the place.
            2 brief observations: נֵצֶר is an important Messianic term (Isa.11.1).
            If the Cilicians and others who stoned Stephen could have silenced him better with ridicule, they would have done themselves, and all Jewry and Christians a big favour – but they didn’t. The situation with numbers is a little more complex than it appears, 66 in Gen 46.26 (not counting at least 3 daughters) why not 67? What about the subtotal in Gen.46.15 of 33 (when two sons died and did not descend), does this as v.7,15 indicate then actually include the daughters? I wish you blessing, even if from unexpected quarters.

          • Yehuda says:

            Hi Charles,

            I see you couldn’t resist coming back despite your assertion that you wouldn’t.

            Very well. Here are itemized responses to your last post.

            You: Yehudah, your dedication to the site is impressive, but does leave me the sense of being more concerned with grandstanding than nuance. This won’t serve you well in the long run.

            Me: This comment leaves me with the sense that your are more interested in lecturing than examining the evidence. But you’re entitled to your opinion.

            You: 1/ Gen.2.23 is ‘not using “ish” in the context of the husband in a pair,’ Are you serious?

            Me: You claim to be able to read Hebrew? If you cannot see the difference between “Ish” referring to a “man” who happens to be someone’s husband vs. having the same meaning as the word husband,(which it does have in a few places in Tanach, although this is not one of them) then I would have to ask you the same question Are you serious? Do you really not get that? And you lecture me about “nuance”? Could you please provide me with your translation of Gen: 2:23 that uses the husband in that verse for “ish”? Do you understand the difference between “Ish” meaning “man” and “Isha” meaning “her husband”. Seriously may I ask where you learned Hebrew?

            You: In Deut.22.22 vs 23, the difference between the two husbands is consummation. In Deut 21.13 and 24.1 the verb is used to imply consummation.

            Me: I acknowledged the verb use of “Ba”al many posts ago. This is a distraction from the real issue which is the use of the word “Ba’al alone as a noun meaning husband, of which there are only 3 in Tanach and not a single one of which DEMANDS the implicit MEANING of consumation even if one of them is clearly REFERRING to a case of consumation. This again is the nuanced distinction you seem to have difficulty with. Let me try this one more way. How about the English word “husband”? Does it mean consumated spouse, uncomsumated spouse, both, or neither. Surely you would agree that it is used to REFER to either one. And that is because it doesn’t inherently MEAN either one. Such is the case with Ba’al, and you have provided zero in the way of evidence to the contrary. And before you waste our time again, “Be’ulas Ba’al” is not the same thing as “Ba’al” alone. To argue that would be akin to arguing that “husband” alone is the same as “husbanded by a husband”. One describes a woman,. The other describes a man.

            You: Thanks for the quotes from the Talmud – which will be worth examining.

            Me: You’re welcome. Examine away.

            You: “I don’t think the data is yet definitive about Joel 1.8 – though I think it’s more likely literal Baal trumps literal Betulah here.

            Me: As I have pointed out, there are perhaps 3 or 4 unqualified usages of “Ba’al”meaning husband in all of Tanach. So the scriptural data ain’t gonna get much more robust. As for your “thinking” that it trumps Betula, once again you’re entitled to your opinion, and I will continue to welcome readers to assess the relative coherence of our respective positions.

            You: Your colleague raises other points which I’d love to examine but this is not the place.2 brief observations…

            Me: I believe the balance of your comments were directed at others.

        • Yehuda says:

          Charles,

          Before your formulate your next response, let me see if I can spare us all some wasted time and keep us focused..

          The discussion about “Ish” came about because I asked you for what you would consider a superior choice for the word husband in Joel 1:8 if the connotation of consumation was to be avoided. You then said :”Ish” We have gone off on a tangent about whether “Ish” has more or less connotation of consumation than does “Ba’al”. Where we have most recently differed is in my attempt to explain that not every occurrence of “Ish” translates to “husband” even if it is referring to someone who is a husband.

          I’ll tell you what though. Even though I continue to insist that you are pointing to the wrong instances of Ish in Tanach to make your point, I am willing to concede that there are instances of Ish where it IS being used to mean husband and where the husband in question in clearly not a consumated one. (It’s just that your annoying failure to point to the correct example, makes me question your Hebrew skills) However, there are also instances where Ish is used to mean husband in the case of one who clearly IS a consumated one, e.g. Ruth 1:3. So Ish is also non-specific as to consumation, and would therefore not necessarily be s superior choice to support your point about Joel 1:8.

          However, be that as it may it really doesn’t shed any light on the real question of whether or not BA’AL has any such inherent specific meaning, given “Ba’al’s very limited usage in the context of husband in all of Tanach.

          Thus this whole thing therefore continues to come back to your insistence about Joel 1:8, which you acknowledge can go either way.

          So let’s stick to that, shall we?

          In my last post, I added something to the discussion – one of several examples that can be provided from Talmud, of Ba’al being used with a non-consumated marriage.

          The only additional evidence you offered in your last post on this point is that you “…don’t THINK the data is yet definitive about Joel 1.8…” and that you “…THINK it’s more likely literal Baal trumps literal Betulah…” there.

          This remains the only point really worth discussing in this exchange.

          When you have something other than your speculative thoughts on the subject to, offer us, let us know.

          • cpsoper says:

            Thank you, Yehudah, as expected, you’ve rather amply demonstrated my first point, but this time I am content to leave further examination to a better forum.

            By the way, there is an error in my numbering of the sons of Jacob, I double counted Beriah, so the 66 does include daughters (one of Leah’s daughters or granddaughters being unnamed, though the male preponderance is miraculous). It’s likely Stephen added the remaining sons’ but not grandsons’ wives to the 66 (I suggest Benjamin was kept in Egypt by his assiduous brother). If his audience knew this it would explain why they couldn’t contest it. Yehudah won’t be happy with these conditionals but this does suggest Leah had already passed away, if so it underscores the point made originally about Joseph’s dream being incompletely fulfilled in Joseph himself, and the necessity of double fulfillment for its perfection.

          • Yehuda says:

            Hello Charles,

            Regarding your latest remark that “Yehuda won’t be happy with these conditionals”, I remind you – again – that your comments are related to posts made by others not me.

  9. cpsoper says:

    Dear Yisroel,
    How about Gen.37.9-10? Did Jacob in fact bow down to the earth to Joseph? Was not Leah buried in Machpelah (49.31)? Where is the scripture indication of this, most take 47.31 to refer to worship not his act to Joseph?
    Is this not an indication that the One to whom ‘thy father’s children shall bow down before thee’, prefigured in the suretyship of Judah, not the judicial subjugation of Joseph, more amply fulfilled Joseph’s dreams, than even Joseph did?

    • cpsoper
      whether Jacob bowed to Joseph or worshipped God – what is your point?
      What is your point about Leah being buried in Machpelah?

      • The prophecy was not fulfilled ‘in its plain grammatical sense’, if Jacob did not bow (לְהִשְׁתַּחֲו‍ֹת) to Joseph. Leah seems to have died before in Canaan, perhaps before Jacob’s descent (though I grant that’s uncertain), if so again how could she literally bow down to Joseph? Even if she had been alive, did his step mother indeed humble herself thus?
        My point is that there are often two sides to a prophecy, one immediate and obvious, one later and not so evident until afterwards. Joseph did not fulfill his own dream completely. When the people bowed (וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ) to David near the end of his reign, almost as though he were Divine, 1Ch 29:20 (though he most certainly was not), the other side of this Joseph’s vision, modified by Jacob to apply to Judah must have seemed a little closer in the coming of the Son.

        • Annelise says:

          How was Joseph’s vision fulfilled when people were bowing to a descendant of his brother?

          Bowing to a king is quite different from worship of God… especially when that king is glorifying God alongside the people.

          If a prophecy and its fulfillment have echoes of something that God will do later, how do you suggest we should recognise or interpret that? I think it is important to always let what is clearly said and revealed be our basis for making links between things that are not clearly pointed to except by our own inferences.

          • cpsoper says:

            The point Annelise is, was Joseph’s vision fully realised in himself, and if not, why does Jacob redirect it to Judah?

        • Dina says:

          The concept of dual prophecy has no scriptural basis. Christian apologists made it up to support their twisted, out-of-context use of verses to show the prophecies that Jesus supposedly fulfilled.

  10. Dina says:

    Paul, I ran out of space so I’m responding to your question here. Your question regarding sola scriptura was, “Are you quoting latin or hebrew to be the benchmark for the validity of the original text?” I contend that you have strayed from the plain and contextual meaning of Isaiah 7:14 when you use it to prove the validity of the virgin birth. I do not understand your question, nor do I see how you countered my argument.

    (I will say, however, that I only accept the Hebrew Masoretic text of Tanach as authoritative.)

    Thanks,
    Dina

    • Paul summers says:

      Thats ok. I think your original question on sola was misunderstood by me.

      I thought you followed sola.

      x

    • David says:

      Why do you accept something written at a later date by those clearly biased against Christianity, unless you have an antichristian bias yourself and prefer it that way? Why not look to something written before Christianity existed to get to the unbiased facts, or at least the facts unadulterated by an antichristian (or pro Christian) argument built into the text.

      • David says:

        That was for Dina (regarding the Masoretic Text).

        • Annelise says:

          She said she only considered MT as *authoritative*… she didn’t say she won’t consider other manuscripts as historical evidence of earlier views.

        • Dina says:

          David, your question shows that you have a pro-Christian (or anti-Jewish) bias. Don’t you know that all of your versions of the “Old” Testament are based on our texts?

          Do you really believe that the original text had the word “besulah” and the Masoretes changed it to “almah” to build an anti-Christian argument into the text? If that’s the case, and I am assuming that is what you meant, your bias is causing you make an argument that is based on zero evidence.

          Please forgive me if I misunderstood your question. I hope I did.

          • David says:

            Yes, I’m pro Christian. And I’m just wondering if know that the MT was written well after the advent of Christianity. And the criticism against it is that it was written in part to suit the anti Christian biases of the writers. Sadly, the original text is lost to us now. But we do have the Greek Septuagint based itself on the original which much closer to the original (much, much closer than the MT) which was written before the advent of Christianity (so no Christian bias there, neither pro nor con). It was perfectly acceptable to Jews until the advent and spread of the new Jewish sect known as the Way which came to be known to us as Christianity. Don’t you find that a little suspicious? I do.

            Almost all of the popular Christian English bible versions by the way are based on the MT. Why? Jews, as you know have long been using the MT as there only authorized bible. Some say that western Christianity “officially” adopted the MT into other translations, first Spanish, then English in an effort (by Christianity) to remove any arguments or barriers, psychological, imagined, or real, which Jews may have against converting to Christianity. So the argument goes, if we use “your” text with which to base translations and argue the case of Christianity from the Jewish authorized text, what possible objection could you have? At least that’s one of the Christian arguments for using the MT even though many freely admit it is an inferior anti-Christian biased document.

            At least that’s one of the arguments for using the MT. There are others of course.

          • Annelise says:

            Just suspecting an anti-Christian bias in the Masoretic Text isn’t a good enough reason for proving that Christianity is true and Jews rejected it knowingly.

            You would have a bit more substance to this hypothesis if you could prove from the Septuagint that someone, specifically Jesus, should have been accepted as both king and as deserving worship. That would still be the start of the conversation, but at least there’d be something to discuss.

          • Annelise says:

            By the way, you have also said that the Septuagint is closer to the original Hebrew text, but that is debated. The places where it is shorter than the MT could just as well be because it was cut down, for example, in minor details without meaning to compromise the meaning of the text. It’s a complicated discussion anyway, and not one that is clearly decided.

          • Dina says:

            David, I would have liked to make this a short comment, but so much been written on this topic that I could not condense that much information into one short paragraph.

            I’ll tell you what I find suspicious. We have writings by Christians accusing Jews of all sorts of disgusting things like falsifying our own sacred texts to score a few points against Christians, we see horrible things said about Jews in the New Testament and the writings of the early Church Fathers (and down through the centuries; Martin Luther wrote a really charming pamphlet called “On the Jews and Their Lies”). Yet if you search the Talmud from cover to cover, it is silent on Christianity. There are three passages in the whole Talmud (which is about the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica) that could maybe, possibly, be construed as being negative to Christianity. Josephus had nothing to say about it too.

            What is suspicious, therefore, is all these slanderous attacks that the Jews met with COMPLETE INDIFFERENCE. You know what this tells me? This tells me that the Masoretes and traditional Jews of all time periods couldn’t care less about Christianity. It was the last thing on their minds; their first concern was studying and preserving our ancient texts, and their second, survival. If you could produce a document written by a Masorete saying, “Yeah, we feel threatened by Christians, so we are changing stuff around,” you might have a leg to stand on. You are simply repeating substance-less arguments made by Christians who felt threatened by the fact that the Jews continued to exist.

            For your edification, I have reproduced below an excerpt from a well-researched and footnoted letter to a Christian by Rabbi Tovia Singer:

            The Septuagint in our hands is not a Jewish document, but rather a Christian recension. The original Septuagint, translated some 2,200 years ago by 72 Jewish scholars, was a Greek translation of the Five Books of Moses alone, and is no longer in our hands. It therefore did not contain the Books of the Prophets or Writings of the Hebrew Bible such as Isaiah, from which you asserted Matthew quoted. The Septuagint as we have it today, which includes the Prophets and Writings as well, is a product of the Church, not the Jewish people. In fact, the Septuagint remains the official Old Testament of the Greek Orthodox Church, and the manuscripts that consist of our Septuagint today date to the third century C.E. The fact that additional books known as the Apocrypha, which are uniquely sacred to the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Church, are found in the Septuagint should raise a red flag to those inquiring into the Jewishness of the Septuagint.

            Christians such as Origen and Lucian (third and fourth century C.E.) edited and shaped the Septuagint that missionaries use to advance their untenable arguments against Judaism. In essence, the present Septuagint is largely a post-second century Christian translation of the Bible, used zealously by the Church throughout its history as an indispensable apologetic instrument to defend and sustain Christological alterations of the Jewish Scriptures.

            For example, in his preface to the Book of Chronicles, the Church father Jerome, who was the primary translator of the Vulgate, concedes that in his day there were at least three variant Greek translations of the Bible: the edition of the third century Christian theologian Origen, as well as the Egyptian recension of Hesychius and the Syrian recension of Lucian.1 In essence, there were numerous Greek renditions of the Jewish Scriptures which were revised and edited by Christian hands. All Septuagints in our hands are derived from the revisions of Hesychius, as well as the Christian theologians Origen and Lucian

            Accordingly, the Jewish people never use the Septuagint in their worship or religious studies because it is recognized as a corrupt text.

            The ancient Letter of Aristeas, which is the earliest attestation to the existence of the Septuagint, confirms that the original Septuagint translated by rabbis more than 22 centuries ago was of the Pentateuch alone, and not the Books of the Prophets such as Isaiah. The Talmud also states this explicitly in Tractate Megillah (9a), and Josephus as well affirms that the Septuagint was a translation only of the Law of Moses in his preface to Antiquities of the Jews.2

            Therefore, St. Jerome, a Church father and Bible translator who could hardly be construed as friendly to Judaism, affirms Josephus’ statement regarding the authorship of the Septuagint in his preface to The Book of Hebrew Questions.3 Likewise, the Anchor Bible Dictionary reports precisely this point in the opening sentence of its article on the Septuagint which states, “The word ‘Septuagint,’ (from Lat. septuaginta = 70; hence the abbreviation LXX) derives from a story that 72 elders translated the Pentateuch into Greek; the term therefore applied originally only to those five books.”4
            In fact, Dr. F.F. Bruce, a preeminent professor of Biblical exegesis, keenly points out that, strictly speaking, the Septuagint deals only with the Pentateuch and not the whole Old Testament. Bruce writes,

            The Jews might have gone on at a later time to authorize a standard text of the rest of the Septuagint, but . . . lost interest in the Septuagint altogether. With but few exceptions, every manuscript of the Septuagint which has come down to our day was copied and preserved in Christian, not Jewish, circles.5

            1. Jerome repeats this statement in his Apology Against Rufinus ii, 27 (Migne, P.L. 23, 471).
            2. Josephus, preface to Antiquities of the Jews, section 3. For Josephus’ detailed description of events surrounding the original authorship of the Septuagint, see Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, XII, ii, 1-4.
            3. St. Jerome, preface to The Book of Hebrew Questions, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Volume 6. Pg. 487. Hendrickson.
            4. The Anchor Bible Dictionary. Excerpt from “Septuagint,” New York: Vol. 5, pg. 1093.
            5. F.F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments, p.150.

          • David says:

            I think that anyone interested in the truth and word of God should be happy however and where ever it is found. On the other hand if you are more interested in the traditions of man then you’ll be quick to reject alternate sources information which tend to contradict your preconceived ideas.

            I’m not suggesting that we throw out the MT, only that we view it in light of other manuscripts, modern discoveries, and advances in linguistics etc. and see and use the MT for what it is. It has corruptions and has it’s faults but is still a valuable tool in the quest for truth when used with other documents.

            Your statement is a misleading half true argument that the Septuagint only covered the books of Moses. While it is true of the initial authorized translation; eventually over time the entire Hebrew scriptures were translated into the Greek and came to be referred to as the “Septuagint”. But more importantly the translation was used widely by Greek speaking Jews for the entire OT. So to say that only the books of Mosses presents only half the story.

            And we know that it would have been impossible to have an anti-Christian bias in the Septuagint since it was done before the advent of Christianity. Can we say the same for the MT honestly, can we?

            Further more we know that both the Septuagint scriptures and Hebrew scriptures are widely quoted in the NT by devout God fearing Jews who were of the new Jewish “Way” sect.

            But, regarding the corruption and bias of the MT verses the original Hebrew, the evidence is clear and abundant as exemplified by the following references:

            Taken in part from: http://theorthodoxlife.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/masoretic-text-vs-original-hebrew/

            “Historical research reveals five significant ways in which the Masoretic Text is different from the original Old Testament:

            1.The Masoretes admitted that they received corrupted texts to begin with.
            2.The Masoretic Text is written with a radically different alphabet than the original.
            3.The Masoretes added vowel points which did not exist in the original.
            4.The Masoretic Text excluded several books from the Old Testament scriptures.
            5.The Masoretic Text includes changes to prophecy and doctrine.

            “If Justin Martyr’s findings are correct, then it is likely that the Masoretes inherited a Hebrew textual tradition which had already been corrupted with an anti-Christian bias.”

            And, the MT is not even the Hebrew which was used during the 1st century:
            Taken in part from:http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/masorete.htm

            “… the Hebrew text that it contains is clearly not the original Hebrew, nor even the Hebrew that was in use in the 1st century AD. The Hebrew of the 1st century AD was closely akin to the Greek Septuagint that we have today; this is clear because, although the Hebrew was little used, when it was used in ancient writing it was clearly in agreement with the Greek Septuagint rather than the Masoretic Text. …”

          • Dina says:

            I agree, David, with the first paragraph of your last comment. I appreciate that even as you search for the truth you honestly admit your bias. I take the same approach. I too seek the truth, and I would be lying to you and to myself if I said that I were free from bias.

            Please note that the information you provided is poorly documented (and comes from at least as highly biased a source, if not more so, than the one I used) and in a lot of cases is not documented at all. The information that I provided (that directly contradicts yours) is well documented. I included all the sources.

            Clearly, one of us is wrong.

            The charge that the Masoretes falsified our sacred text to win an argument with Christians is unsubstantiated. Because of nearly 2,000 years of relentless persecution of the Jews, Christians lack the moral standing to make this charge–and you can hardly blame Jews for not taking them seriously, after all we have suffered at their hands. (The fact that you cannot produce hard evidence for this doesn’t exactly help.)

            Why should we trust that the Christians have the original “Old” Testament and that they have preserved it perfectly, when there are over 5,000 versions of the “New Testament” containing over 150,000 variants? Furthermore, how can you know that what you have is accurate? The nature of translation is that things get lost or changed in translation; anyone who has dealt with a translated work can tell you that. I published a book that was translated into Hebrew, and it’s a good thing I had a chance to read the manuscript before publication. Usually, the original author doesn’t get to read his translated work and correct the errors, as I did. In this case, the original Author being God, humans had to rely on their own translation skills without the original Author reviewing their work after they were done.

            The fact that the Masoretes added vowels simply to make the unvowelized Hebrew easier to read is irrelevant to your argument.

            May God the Father of us all lead us on the path of truth.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • David says:

            I don’t agree with you regarding references because you can find scholarly arguments on both sides. I just happened to pick a couple at random that abound on the internet. And I’m not suggesting that they (Masoretes) intentionally falsified anything. Falsified is your word and is not a word I’d use to characterize the MT nor did I. So you missed my point. But they “corrupted” it with their own system and bias. And that doesn’t mean that the entire text is bad or worthless either. It’s highly valuable in discerning the word of God when used with other text. It is also true by the way that the most popular English translations of the Christian texts of the OT are also corrupted in part. Most lean much too heavily to a Trinity bias. And again that doesn’t mean they are all bad or can’t be used. But you have to keep in mind the bias while your using it. And the same goes with the MT, you have to keep in mind the bias.

            Yes, I freely admit my bias toward Christianity because I’ve studied it and believe it to be closer to the truth than Judaism or anything else.

            Actually I believe Christianity IS Judaism but to avoid confusion I call it Christianity. And I’m not trying to convert any Jews here. It’s just my point of view.

          • Dina says:

            Yes, well, I studied both Judaism and Christianity, and Judaism wins hands down.

            This was a very interesting discussion, David, but what does it prove, really? I think it’s a distraction from the main issues that divide us, namely, is Jesus the Messiah and is the Messiah God? Whatever version of Tanach you use shows that Jesus cannot possibly have been the Messiah and the Messiah is meant to be a human king.

            Of course, many other issue divide us; Tanach supports no Christian doctrine; but this is a good starting point.

          • David says:

            I think seeking the truth is never a distraction. The questions you presented are answered conclusively in scripture. Jesus IS the messiah and the messiah is NOT God.

          • Annelise says:

            Hi David,

            Do you think that the Torah and prophets give Jews a warning that they must recognise the messiah even before he is made king? Or do you think they give any criteria for the Messiah, other than that he will be from David’s line, be chosen by God, and be humble and righteous before God, etc.?

            I’m not saying that your belief would crumble immediately if you say no to those two questions. Just curious whether you disagree with what I can see.

            Also, what do you think are the key descriptions of what the Messiah will be like? I’m not ruling out a second coming in that particular statement (I would have more to say about it though). Just seeing if we’re on the same page about all the ways that king is described.

          • Dina says:

            David, if you believe that Jesus is not God, then that takes care of half the argument, doesn’t it? I’m curious to know how you would answer Annelise’s questions, then, and I’d like to add one more. What is the purpose of the Messiah according to the scripture we both share?

          • David says:

            There is criteria for the Christ. The purpose of the Christ is that of God’s purpose. It’s what God’s purpose has always been since the beginning. That purpose has never changed. What is God’s purpose? Was Noah the ultimate solution or a step along the way? The way and purpose of God is a continuum. His desire is to save the entire world and always has been.

          • Dina says:

            David, I do not understand what you just wrote. Can you be more specific? If someone worships the God of Israel, what does he need Jesus for? What role has God designated for the Messiah to play? How will the Messiah accomplish God’s plan? What does “save” the world mean?

            Please support every point you make with a Scriptural citation so I can go ahead and check the references.

            Thanks!

            Dina

          • David says:

            Hi Dina,

            There have been books written of the subjects you raised. I don’t have much time here, sorry I’m just giving a short response.
            I believe that God sent Jesus as Mosses had promised in Deuteronomy 18:15.
            Why did God do that? Why did God think it would be necessary way back then, how did he know? I guess that’s what you call theological investigation into the purpose of God’s behavior, plan, foreknowledge, motives, character, etc.

            Did Noah and Abraham not worship the same God as the “God of Israel” BEFORE Jacob? Did Cain and Able not worship God as well before Abraham? What do we need the law and Jews for is someone already worships God? I mean could we not have gone on worshiping God with out the use of the law and without Jews? But God established the law and the Jews. So why did God do that? Was it the final solution or an interim step in His overall plan. Is the law and the Jews a foreshadowing, a preparation, the establishment of what was to come, or was it the end of all that had come before?

            Jews believe the law is the final answer, I don’t. Just as the expulsion from the garden, the split in the line between Cain and Able, the Flood , Noah, Abraham, the Exodus all represent a process of God, so too does the law as it was given, so too is the concept of Judaism as it was given.

            So with that in mind here are some specifics to some of the points/questions you posed.
            God has always wanted all to come to Him to be saved. Saved is to have life in the age to come (which some call eternal life). But first he needed to reveal Himself to mankind so that mankind would know how to behave in order to make the choice to be one with God or to instead go on rejecting God. He did this in stages and with each age He revealed Himself in different ways, revealing more of himself. He did this with Adam, Cain/Able, Noah, Abraham, Mosses, and Jesus to name a few which represent the varying degrees and ways in which God has revealed Himself to us.

            The law was good just as Abraham was good just as Noah was good etc. But with each age God provided something better. God decided to work with a small group of people (Abraham’s descendants) within the world to effect His plan at the right moment in time to send the promised one for the whole world to provide something better to the entire world as given through the Jews and through the law. Although Judaism itself is not the final goal, because the final goal is salvation of the world. And the only way to salvation is to accept God.

            The promised Christ embodies the law and reveals God as never before. God has decided that to save the world He would provide a mechanism in which all who believe in His Son who embodies in human form all that is from God would be saved to the age to come having eternal life in the age to come.

            And that is a better revelation from God than the law as was given prior to Jesus. Jesus is the human law if you will.

          • Dina says:

            Hi, David.

            You asked a lot of questions and then proceeded to answer them without citing scriptural support. The one reference you provided does not clearly point to Jesus; in fact, it points clearly not to Jesus, since Jesus wasn’t anything like Moses. (I can provide the contrasts between them in another comment if you wish).

            The type of passages I’m asking you to provide must teach your doctrines in a way that is clear, direct, and corroborative or I can’t take them seriously.

            Let me explain what I mean:

            “Clear” means that both Christian and Jew (and anyone else who would read this passage) would agree about the meaning of the passage. For example, we would both agree that the following passage says that God gave the Children of Israel the Sabbath as a testimonial observance:

            Exodus 20:8-11: “Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it. Six days shall you work and accomplish all your work; but the seventh day is Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son, your daughter, your slave, your maidservant, your animal, and your convert within your gates—for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it.”

            “Direct” means that the passage must directly address the issue under discussion. In our example, the issue under discussion is the commandment to keep the Sabbath as a testimonial observance. The passage directly addresses this issue. For example, if I asked you to entitle the passage, you might call it “Sabbath Observance” or “The Commandment to Observe the Sabbath” or even “Reason for Sabbath Observance.”

            “Corroborative” means that we should find instances throughout Scripture where this concept is clearly and directly reiterated and emphasized. In our example, corroboration occurs in Exodus 31:12-17 and Deuteronomy 5:12-15. There are other instances, but you get the picture.

            Can you do this? Can you find this type of evidence in Hebrew Scripture for the questions you posed and their answers?

            One last question: if Jesus is not God, what does his being God’s son mean to you, other than the sense that we are all God’s children?

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Annelise says:

            Your thoughts are interesting David, and you know I appreciate your process of thinking about these things and trying to surrender to God in them.

            I’ll add a few responses as well, but you can reply to what Dina wrote because I don’t want to overwhelm you with people to reply to!

            -It’s one thing to follow God’s clear commandments, humbly, especially when He says that they are for all generations. It’s another thing to speculate about the ‘plan of God’ when you interpret the flow of history, especially by using hints and shadows, or moulding prophetic verses to a particular idea or shape. In my understanding, it is not right for Jews to decide that God has done something new with the law; what they need to do is follow it.

            -If God chooses to change the nature of things re. the Torah, even though it is such a blessing as it is, He will reveal that to the nation without any doubt left to be possible. And I’ll tell you that for Him to make the ’embodiment of Torah’ come as an ordinary man, and also let people end up worshiping that figure *as God* (plain idolatry) for millennia… and to use a two-comings model without ever clearly or repeatedly warning Israel to make sure that they recognise the Messiah when he comes, or giving them criteria to recognise such a thing by… that really gives the impression that this whole thing is not to be taken seriously, and in fact should be avoided.

            -If Jesus is not the new embodiment of Torah, not the Messiah, then what is missing in Judaism? It just means that all the blessings God already gave are still here, and the things yet to come in future are in His hand.

            -When Moses speaks of a prophet like himself, look at the context. He was saying that God wouldn’t leave the Israelites in a situation where they had to consult astrologers or necromancers etc. when they needed advice about their lost donkey. Instead, He would raise up a prophet. In the context, I think that promise was intended to be plural, repeated; i.e. God was promising that they wouldn’t be left alone after Moses’ death but that He’d send them prophets. Actually, a lot of things in the Torah suggest that no one (even a prophet) would be able to change the Torah once it was given at the start, so no prophet would have the status of Moses; their role was to help with practical situations and lead people back to the Torah.

            -All of these ideas you have are ignoring something in the real world: the generations and generations of observant Jews who have been passing the Torah down to their children in obedience and love, and at the same time preserving a testimony in the world (despite persecution and difficulty) about who God is. And who Jesus is not, incidentally, whenever they have lived among Christians. You are telling these Jews that they have missed their messiah and are walking at odds with the plan of God. That is pretty serious, especially since these people believe that they are holding His message for the world, living as the righteous remnant (as described by the prophets) and as God’s servant to whom the whole world will one day learn to listen. You are saying that this is not the case, even though they have been passing His ways on to their children and there has been no community of Jewish believers in Jesus as Messiah that has done that. So what about God’s promise that His words would never leave their mouths, or the mouths of their children, forever? Which community has that been kept in? And since the Torah was given as a guide of how to follow God in any upcoming situation, as a law that is ‘near you’ to them, what commandment exactly are they breaking or ignoring by ignoring the man Jesus?

          • David says:

            Dina,

            I think you a looking to have a debate of the body of prophesies which some claim point to the Christ. They have been well documented and debated, verbally, written, and every other way by Judaism and Christianity and others. I don’t care to have that debate since it has already been done for the last 2000 years (and beyond) and you have access to that readily at your finger tips if you want. I’m guessing you’ve probably already researched that to your satisfaction; in any case you don’t believe the prophesies with a Christian conclusion of course other wise you’d be a Christian. Debating them here I think would be a repetitive waste of time which is in short supply.

            But I took your question to be a “why” does/did God do what He does (regarding the Christ) and not the “what” did/does God do and plan to do. Why would God send a Messiah for us to look to God, if God already had Jews looking to Him without a Messiah? Or words to that effect.

            I attempted to answer the “why” however feeble, short or inadequate my response may have been for you. And, I answered the “why” briefly through using the body of scripture to show the historical pattern God used to reveal Himself over and over again in multiple ways all the while bringing us closer to Him with each step and ultimately to a superior revelation of Him through His Son. Jewish Rabbis and Pharisees also answer the “why” at times using this historical multifaceted revelation of God, but with a different conclusion of course.

          • Dina says:

            David, I hear that you don’t wish to have this debate with me, and that’s fine. I am curious, though. I understood you to say–and please correct me if I am wrong–that you don’t believe Jesus is a divine being, so I assume you’re a Unitarian Christian. I have never spoken to one before, so I would love to get an answer from you to my last question. Since you wrote about Jesus being God’s son (with a capital “s”), what does his being God’s son mean to you, other than that we are all in a sense God’s children?

          • Annelise says:

            The ‘historical pattern’ of redemption and the widening out of God’s blessing. If Jesus wasn’t actually the Messiah then what’s the difference? It doesn’t change the fact of God’s promise to forgive. It doesn’t change His closeness to us now or the expression of His love for us. It doesn’t stop the historical pattern in its tracks. It just means that when the restoration happens and that king sits on Israel’s throne again, it will be someone else than Jesus.

          • Annelise says:

            Also… Christians take a vast array of verses from Tanach to be ‘messianic’. We don’t have to re-debate them here, but just so we know, can you tell us what you think the key messianic prophecies are?

            I didn’t ask you to answer the long message I wrote before my last one here, but this one is short so if you have the time I’d value hearing. Again, just to know what foundation you hold for what you’re saying.

          • David says:

            Hi Dina and Annelise,

            Sorry I haven’t had time to get back to you but I’ll try later to respond, maybe one or two or a few at a time.

            Someone asked if I was a Universalist I think. And the answer is no, not in the religious movement sense, in a general sense yes. But although Universalist started out as pure Non-Trinitarians (I think), they then morphed into other things over the centuries.

            I’ve heard someone like me referred to as OneGod, Biblical Unitarian, or probably the least complicated best understood classification of what I believe is simply non-Trinitarian.

            So therefore, I believe in everything the bible says, both NT and OT Hebrew Scriptures but from a non-Trinitarian point of view. So Jesus is Jesus, God’s son. He was born as a man, lived as a man, died as a man and was raised from the dead by God his Father and our Father. He did not pre-exist himself in any way.

            I personally capitalize son in “Son of God.” But I noticed most others don’t. I do so not because He is God but because there is no other like Him so it is done more in the sense of a title as Him being unique, the only Son of God in that sense. Kind of like when God said that Isaac was Abraham’s “only” son. Isaac was Abraham’s only son (even though we know he had another) in the sense of God’s divine purpose for the line descendants of Abraham to save humanity through his seed Jesus, who is God’s only Son. That and the fact that scripture says he is begotten of God which is unique in the bible as well.

          • Dina says:

            David, thanks for your response. It’s very interesting. My question to you is, how do you understand Jesus as being God’s begotten son? Is he physically begotten, meaning that you understand God to be a male who produces male seed and can thus mate with mortal women? Or do you understand it in a spiritual sense? If you understand it in a physical sense, does that make Jesus semi-divine, i.e., 50% of his genes comes from his divine parent? If you understand it in a spiritual sense, who is his human father?

            I’m not trying to trap you. I would just like you to clarify your position a little more, which will help me to clarify mine.

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • David says:

            Hi Annelise,

            I’m still trying to work my way through some of these posts and answer the questions briefly, then if you want to get more in depth on any particular point I’ll try to do that.

            Regarding favorite prophesies:
            I personally don’t have any particular favorites. And I think most Christians don’t look to any particular prophesies either. Perhaps if my background were Jewish I’d pay more attention to that part of scripture as confirmation that I’m not doing something wrong but I didn’t come at scripture from a Jewish perspective.

            I think most Christians are like me in the sense that they were introduced first to people and concepts and then to the whole body of scripture. At least I personally didn’t view the OT as something separate and isolated from the NT. Most Christians come to know the whole body of scripture as one unit. So therefore we see everything from Adam and Eve in the Garden to Noah to Abraham to Moses to Jesus to the Apostles to the book of Revelation as one long uninterrupted revelation from God. For myself and perhaps for most others the decision is made to either accept the whole deal or reject the whole deal. I mean I came to a point whether I would accept the entire bible including both the OT and NT, accepting God and Christ or rejecting all of it. No thought is ever given to picking it all apart piece meal and taking the NT and not the OT or the OT and not the NT.

            Nobody says this is the way it has to be done, and the process has no rules. The only criteria to becoming a Christian are to accept Jesus as your Lord and savior, that he is God son and that God raised him from the dead. Each individual that accepts Jesus comes to that conclusion in their own way.

            Having said all that, although I don’t have a favorite prophesies, I do have favorite parts of the bible. As far as the OT I prefer the books of Moses, and of that Genesis; and as far as the NT I guess I’d have to say all of it.

          • Annelise says:

            Oh, thanks for clearing that up; I thought that you were believing in Jesus as the messiah because you felt it made sense from what was written in Tanach.

            It’s interesting to me that you accept ‘the Bible’ (the Christian version) on the authority of the church saying it is God’s words, but then you reject one one the fundamental aspects of worship in the mainstream Christian tradition at the same time. How do you decide that the church is right about the Christian Bible, but not about Jesus? Also, do you accept the book of Revelation? In chapter 1, God is portrayed saying He is the alpha and omega, who was and is and is to come. In chapter 22, Jesus calls himself the same thing. Earlier in Revelation there is a great interweaving between the image of God on the throne, and the ‘sacrificial lamb’, also on the throne and receiving the same praise, as if their very personal identities were impossible to truly separate and the lamb would be seen in the same glimpse as God, and given the same praise as God. This is after the expression of God’s glory in chapter 4; in the parts that follow, all creation and angels etc. give Jesus the same treatment. This is far, far, far more than any king or supernatural creature could be given, God forbid, and it certainly equates him with God in the bold ‘alpha and omega’ statement at the end of the book. If you accept the New Testament and its statements about the ‘son’ embodying the wisdom, creative power, glory, and law of God, and if you accept the book of Revelation

            In Tanach, no one worships God and His glory as two personal entities deserving praise. God alone deserves that, and the created expression of His glory in the earth is totally transparent in its negation to letting people direct their praise not to it but to God. It’s certainly not a person to relate to separately (or, as trinitarians would feel, not-really-separately but still as God + messiah) :S

            The thing is, if the Tanach is accepted as God’s words, you have to see that even the non-divinity messiah claims you’re making about Jesus, the law, and Israel would have to be really tested and there would have to be a Torah-authenticated reason to accept it… otherwise it is so wrong. Especially because much of the world has been *worshiping* this man, and it would be better to keep away from the whole thing and how blurred it becomes. Also, I believe strongly that even if you don’t take the Christian Bible… even if you leave it, and the testimony of the churches… then there are still massive reasons to take the Jewish claims about their own nation and experience seriously. In their own right. Anyway, many Jews certainly believe that, and they are holding loyally to it in all that it involves. The nations are meant to take notice of that and learn form it, thank God.

          • Annelise says:

            Also, one more question… you don’t have to answer it unless you want to… I can’t find a better way to phrase it… but I believe it’s important.

            Who do you think is more heretical, more in danger of damage from their theology? Christians who worship Jesus, or Jews who don’t even think he will be the messiah? Also, which group would you feel more comfortable worshiping with?

            Really, really important question in my opinion. Thanks for listening to it, I know that these are very personal things.

          • David says:

            Hi Annelise,

            Again these are my views and although my experience may be similar to other Christians, that is not necessarily so. Some maybe start believing one thing, never give it much thought, or give it a lot of thought, either way continue believing the same thing until the day they die. No so with me. I started out believing one thing, never gave it much thought, then started thinking about it, what I believed and didn’t believe and why, and over the course of time have changed my views in certain areas, modified, thrown out completely this or that, strengthen tremendously some views I already had for a long time but just understand them better, etc. So that’s just me.

            As far as the book of Revelation:

            It clearly establishes that God and Jesus are two separate entities throughout. The only confusing part for some is the use of a title “Alpha and Omega” which is used for God in verse 8 and later for Jesus. Some believe a title if used for God can only be used for God, but that’s not biblically true. Many titles have been applied to God, Jesus and other men at various times. So the fact that Jesus can share a title with God doesn’t make him God. The two are never established as one and always spoken of seperately. All authority of Jesus comes from God including throughout the book of Revelations. And, at no time does the bible say that Jesus is worshipped as if he were God himself.

            I copied this small excerpt about titles from biblicalunitarian.com, but the rest of the post is from me.
            From biblicalunitarian.com:
            {“Since both God and Jesus Christ are “the Alpha and the Omega” in their own respective ways, there is good reason to believe that the title can apply to both of them, and no good reason why that makes the two into “one God.” The titles “Lord” (see Rom. 10:9), “Savior” (see Luke 1:47) and “king of kings (see 1 Tim. 6:14-16) apply to both God and Christ, as well as to other men. As with “Lord,” “Savior” and “King of kings,” this title fits them both. God is truly the beginning and the end of all things, while Christ is the beginning and the end because he is the firstborn from the dead, the Author and Finisher of faith, the Man by whom God will judge the world, and the creator of the new ages to come (see Heb. 1:10).”}

            The following is a sampling of just a few of the verses which I picked in Revelation which clearly show that Jesus and God are spoken of separately. In no case does Revelation every say the Jesus is God or the God is Jesus or make any reference what so ever to a Trinity/ God or a Jesus/God. The Lamb is the Lamb and God is God. Also, everything that Jesus, the Lamb, has is “from” God as shown in some of these verses; he does not “have eternally” as if he “were” God. He has “received” authority from God. Can God receive his authority from another? Of course not. In addition, some of the verses show that Jesus has a God; which would not be possible if he were God himself. How can one BE God if one “has” God. We all have God, the creator of heaven and earth, as does Jesus. Jesus is no exception in that revelation speaks of the Lamb AND his God.

            The caps are my editing as well as everything in parenthesis to emphasize the distinction the bible makes between Jesus and God. The texts not in parenthesis are verbatim out of the REV (Revised English Version) English translation New Testament bible.
            1:2 who testified to the word of God AND to the testimony of Jesus Christ.
            1:5 And from Jesus Christ…
            1:6…to his GOD and Father… (his “God”… How can Jesus have a God if he IS God himself? Therefore Jesus cannot be God)
            1:9…the word of God AND the testimony about Jesus.
            2:27…As I also have RECEIVED of my Father,… (If Jesus is God why does he need to “receive” from God?)
            3:5…and I will confess his name before MY Father… (what does he need to do that for if he’s already God?)
            3:12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the sanctuary of MY God… (“My God” so are we to believe that God can have a God? Obviously Jesus is not God based on this alone.)
            …I will write upon him the name of MY God, and the name of the city of MY God… from MY God… AND (AND) MY OWN new name.
            3:21(Jesus receives his throne from his God) … I will give to him to sit down with me on MY throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father on HIS throne… (Well this explains it all. Jesus overcame and “earned” the right to sit at the throne of God. Does that sound like God? Does God get something in reward for doing something right? Obviously more evidence here that Jesus cannot possibly be God.)
            5:1 (God gives the scroll to the Lamb) And I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll…
            5:7 And he came, and he takes it out of the right hand of him who sat on the throne.
            5:8 (the Lamb is honored, not as if he were God but as the only one worthy to take the scroll)… And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty four elders FELL DOWM BEFORE THE LAMB…
            5:12 (the Lamb receives; the Lamb doesn’t HAVE eternally in his own right) “Worthy is the Lamb who has been slain to RECEIVE the power, and riches, and wisdom, and might and HONOR, and GLORY, and blessing.”
            5:13 (both God and the Lamb are due honor, BUT, as separate entities; they are not the same. See verse 7:11)… “To him who sits on the throne AND to the Lamb, be the blessing, HONOR… And the elders fell down and worshipped. (It doesn’t say the Elders worshipped the Lamb as if he were God. the Elders clearly know who God is and who the Lamb is as two distinct entities and that the Lamb has received everything from God because he “earned it” because he overcame and as shown in the previous verses; in “worshipping”, there is no reason to believe they are mistaken about who is who here) The Israelites bowed down as well in the direction of the tent of meeting. Likewise there is no reason to believe that the Israelites were confused about who was who between Moses and God.
            7:3…OUR God
            7:9…before the throne AND before the Lamb…
            7:10 “Salvation to OUR God who sits on the throne, AND to the Lamb.”
            7:11 (see verse 5:13. Here we see proof positive clearly and explicitly that the elders know who God is and who the Lamb is. We are told they only “worship” God even though both God and the Lamb are at the throne together)…they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God… (it does NOT say they worshipped the Lamb as if he were God)
            7:13 (an Elder addressed as “my Lord”)… “My Lord, you know.” (The Elder is not God either just because he shares a title with God.)
            7:17…(the Lamb is a shepherd, not God. Remember the Lamb has earned the right to sit with God at his throne) … for the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to fountains of waters of life and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
            11:15 … (The two work together to reign forever. This does NOT mean they are the same just because they have the same function and God has shared his kingdom with the Lamb because the Lamb has earned it and received it from his God) “The kingdom of the world is become the kingdom of our Lord, AND of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.”
            11:16 … And the twenty four Elders who sit before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshipped God,…
            12:10 … (God here is separate from His Christ, and His Christ is said to have “authority” so that those attributes associated with God are at times attributed to Christ such as salvation, power and kingdom) … “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ have come, …”
            14:1 (the name of the Lamb and of His Father are spoken of separately, why do that if they are the same entity?)… And I saw, and look!, the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 having his name, and the name of his Father…
            14:4 … the first fruits to God AND to the Lamb
            14:7 … (here we see the angel tell John not to worship him as if he made the heavens and the earth; not to worship him as if he were God. No one in Revelations is worshiping the Lamb or ought to worship the Lamb AS IF HE WERE GOD; he, the Lamb, didn’t make the heavens and the earth, and he is not God. And, at no time do we see the Lamb worshipped as if he were God. The Lamb is always spoken of separately. When the two (God and the Lamb) are together, God is worshipped as God and the lamb is honored as God’s Lamb. When the two are together NEVER NEVER does the bible say only the Lamb is worshipped and not God. When the lamb is alone he is NEVER honored or worshipped as creator of heaven and earth, he IS honored as God’s unique worthy Lamb) … “Fear God, and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment is come, and worship him who made the heavens and the earth and sea and springs of water.”
            14:12 (if Jesus were God, if Jesus and God were one and the same, the commandments would be his as well) …keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
            19:13 (His name is NOT God, but the “word of God” because he speaks for God. If he were God his name would be God) …and his name is called The Word of God.
            19:16 (again, His name is NOT God. It doesn’t say written on his thigh is the name “God.” He was GIVEN authority from God to act as king of kings and lord of lords. Revelations NEVER says that his name is God) … And he has on his garment and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. (that is because he has as we have seen in previous verses “earned” the right and has been “given” the authority “from” God. And he will then act as “God’s” KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS).
            20:4 (here we see that not only was Jesus given authority to judge but others are given that authority as well. Neither are they “God” just because they were given authority to judge for “God”) …And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was “given” to them…
            20:4 (they “reigned” with Christ. They are not Christ and they are not God any more than Christ is God just because they are reigning. Christ was “GIVEN” authority to reign just as are the others) … and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
            20:6 (Again Jesus and God spoken of separately) … but they will be priests of God AND of Christ, and will reign with him a thousand years.
            21:2 (the New Jerusalem is from God NOT from Jesus) …And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…
            21:3,4 (again Jesus and God are separate; here God “himself” comes to dwell forever with man) …”Look!, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them, and be their God, and he will wipe away every tear from their eyes…
            21:5 (it is God who sits on the throne as is in keeping with the theme of chapter 21, God dwelling with men. See the immediate preceding verses) … And he who sits on the throne said, “Look! I make all things new…
            21:6 (here God NOT Jesus says I am the Alpha and the Omega. The titles here are interchangeable and shared between Jesus and God just as the title Lord. There is no reason to jump to the conclusion that Jesus changes himself into God in the one instance throughout ALL of Revelations simply because he and God share a title. And don’t make the assumption that Jesus suddenly becomes God and then switches back to the Lamb for the remainder of chapter 21 and Revelations. See only three verses ahead, 21:9, we are back to talking about the “Lamb” as separate and apart from “God”. Why continue making a distinction if they are one and the same and that one and the same is God? Obviously because the Lamb is NOT God and Revelations NEVER says that the Lamb IS God )… And he said to me “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
            21:7 (Again, there is no reason to make the assumption that Jesus suddenly becomes the God of all who overcome. It is God talking here and not Jesus. Don’t make the assumption that we suddenly switch to Jesus talking)… He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
            21:9 (We see that Revelations continues to talk about the Lamb as separate from God, He is not God as seen here)… “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
            21:10 (Again, we see the continuing distinction between God and the Lamb as Jerusalem is from God, NOT the Lamb. If Jesus had become God in 21:6 then there’d be no need to continue the distinction)… Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, …
            21:22,23 (As we approach the end of Revelation we continue to see the clear distinction made between God and the Lamb. Have you ever heard of the “Lamb Almighty”? Never because he is not God.) … And I saw no sanctuary in it, for the Lord God the Almighty, and the Lamb are its sanctuary. … for the glory of God has illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb.
            22:1 … Proceeding out of the throne of God AND of the Lamb, …
            22:3 And the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it…
            22:5 … for the Lord God will give them light….
            22:16 (We are nearly at the end of Revelations and the entire bible and Jesus is still calling himself Jesus not God, why not call himself God if he is in fact God? Why leave with us with the concept that he is still Jesus and not God if in fact we are supposed to think that the Lamb is God?) … I JESUS have sent my angel to testify to you these things…

          • Annelise says:

            I agree with you that a) Jesus is not God, and b) all early Christians did speak of him as quite a separate entity from God. The horrible thing is the way that he is ascribed with things that no created entity should have directed towards him. You may interpret it as if they had the same distinction as you do but nonetheless I think it is very wrong to ascribe like that.

            Here’s an important thought about how we know what the scriptures are at all. In Psalm 78,
            He established a decree in Jacob,
            and appointed a law in Israel,
            which he commanded our ancestors
            to teach to their children;
            that the next generation might know them,
            the children yet unborn,
            and rise up and tell them to their children.

            It seems like the Torah-observant Jewish community is meant to be listened to in what they consider to be His ways. That’s how we know what books are scriptural.

            I know that I personally would not worship in a church where Jesus is considered God, and I would not tell Jews that they are missing any of God’s commandments by ignoring Jesus. If you are the same then it’s strange that you consider yourself to be part of the Christian community, but if not, I don’t understand why.

          • Annelise says:

            Wait, when I said early Christians spoke of Jesus as a separate entity from God, that isn’t what I meant at all! What I meant was that they described them as two entities, even when saying things about Jesus as an incarnation of God. It’s a bit mixed up, but to Christians that is just the way God is expressed as one-not-three and simultaneously not-without-Jesus.

          • Dina says:

            David, thanks for taking so much time to explain your beliefs. I still don’t understand how you understand Jesus to be God’s begotten son and whether you take that to mean physically or spiritually (you can see my series of questions on this issue above).

            I know that Annelise and I have given you lots of comments to review and respond to, so I don’t want to overload you with more questions. You did say something, though, that begs a response. Below is the statement in question:

            “Perhaps if my background were Jewish I’d pay more attention to that part of scripture as confirmation that I’m not doing something wrong but I didn’t come at scripture from a Jewish perspective.”

            I’m not sure what you mean to say. You seem like a nice guy, David, and a serious thinker to boot, so this snide and rather self-righteous comment disappointed me. The Jews you are talking about revere a book that highlights their own faults and not those of their theological foes. Does this mean nothing to you? For thousands of years we have studied our sacred texts to learn what God wants from us, and we see plenty of rebuke for us to take to heart and learn lessons from. We read, and study, and study some more; we know we fall short, and this book teaches us what we must do to travel on the straight and narrow path of obedience to God.

            You, on the other hand, revere a book that slanders us. I think that’s why it’s only too easy for you to feel you have the right to sneer at us. I don’t mean you, in particular, David. I don’t doubt your sincerity. I’m addressing all Christians now. Ever since I’ve engaged with Christians in debate, I’ve been appalled at the anti-Jewish sentiment simmering below the surface. This stems from the anti-Jewish sentiment in Christian scripture, make no mistake.

            I’m not asking you nor expecting you to apologize. I just hope that I provoked you to think about what influenced you to have such a contemptuous attitude to Jews.

          • David says:

            Hi Dina,

            Regarding my comment which you quoted, and I guess you took some offense to it, sorry, I didn’t mean to offend. I’ll explain it this way, since I have no Jewish background and started my journey viewing both the NT and OT as one document, one continuous revelation of God, I therefore didn’t see Jesus as needing any more justification to be accepted into my belief system than say Moses, Abraham or any other prophet of the OT.

            But If I had come from a background where my parents and community accepted Moses (Jewish for example) and rejected Jesus I probably would have paid much more attention to and studied the prophesies more so which Christians claim reveals God’s Christ to be. And I probably would have focused on that. I have since studied them, but more or less after the fact. I gave it about the same amount of study as any other part of the bible, no more and no less. It wasn’t a critical factor in other-words in the acceptance of Jesus, no more so than the acceptance of Moses.

            As I said earlier I accepted all of God’s word simultaneously (all for me is the OT and NT combined). I didn’t and don’t now see any justification to accept Moses for example above or over accepting Christ. I see them both as coming from God and met them both (in a manner of speaking) at the same time. And perhaps, if I had been Jewish or from a Jewish background I’d never have met Jesus until my faith had been well established without Jesus. Does that make any more since? Or maybe that’s more offensive, but really I don’t mean to offend. Over time I have rejected some things like the Trinity and confirmed other things.

            I think there are many like me in that we view the whole thing as a package deal. And as I said in an earlier post, it doesn’t have to be that way in that no one says do it this way, but it’s just how it happened for me. For me Moses is good and he had his job and Jesus is supremely good and he continues to have his job. But one would never be without the other. It’s all part of God’s overall plan.

          • Dina says:

            David, thank you so much for clearing that up. Yes, the way you explained this is much less offensive, but it shows that you still don’t understand my main point, so I will try to clarify.

            You seem to be laboring under the assumption that since Jews a priori reject Jesus, then it follows that Jews focus their efforts on finding ways that Scripture rejects the notion of Jesus as messiah in various prophecies.

            Nothing could be further from the truth. I tried to explain previously that Jews have always been, and still remain, indifferent to the claims of Christianity, just as we are indifferent to the claims of all other religions. Your average religious Jew doesn’t give Jesus or Mohammed or the Buddha any thought at all. Furthermore, Jews pay the least attention to the messianic prophecies in the Bible, focusing instead on studying and understanding God’s commandments and striving to perfect our obedience to Him and improving our human relationships. Judaism is a behavior-based, this-worldly religion; messianism and the afterlife are Christian obsessions (but I hasten to add that having said that, we do believe in the coming of the messiah and an afterlife; we just don’t focus on it).

            I think you can understand this. Do you read your scripture looking for ways to reject Mohammed, the Buddha, or Krishna? If you are like most Christians, you likely don’t give them a second thought. For Jews, that list includes Jesus.

            You make a big mistake when you compare the reverence Jews have for Moses (you used the term rejecting or accepting him) with the reverence Christians have for Jesus. Jews don’t “accept” or “reject” Moses. Jesus plays a central role in the faith of even non-Trinitarian Christians; Christianity is Jesus-focused. Moses was simply a messenger of God who transmitted God’s teachings to the Jewish people. If you listen to Jews conversing about matters of faith and religion, you will rarely hear Moses’s name mentioned; his name is also rarely mentioned in our liturgy. Instead, you will hear God’s name mentioned a lot. Judaism is God-centered. It seems every other word that comes out of a Jew’s mouth is God.

            One final point. You accepted a priori the Hebrew and Christian scriptures as one continuous revelation. Please understand that we Jews read our Scripture in the context in which we received it; that is, the revelation of God on Mount Sinai which preceded Scripture (Deuteronomy 4:12-20,35). If you are the truth seeker I believe you to be, then I challenge you to try to read Hebrew scripture in that context as well, listening carefully to the testimony of the Jewish people, whom God appointed to be His witnesses (Isaiah 43:10-12).

            I pray that God open our eyes to His truth.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • David says:

            Thanks Dina,

            Yes, Jesus is central to Christianity, you have that absolute right and something we can agree on wholeheartedly. But, we believe Jesus is central because God made him His central instrument/agent by sending Him to humanity to be His instrument of salvation to all of mankind (not just the Jews, but to the Jews as well), to everyone, and a revelation from God of God’s own heart, and God’s own thinking expressed in a human way through Jesus’ everyday hands-on real world life. That’s part of what Jesus is to us and our understanding of why he was sent by God (why He was begotten by God). It is God’s chosen way of revealing Himself to us in these final days in a way that is more complete than he has ever done before, prior to Jesus. And, when combined with pre-Jesus revelation including that of Judaism, and pre-Judaism or pre-law revelations such as Abraham, Noah, the flood, Cain/Able, and Adam and Eve and the Garden, and the creation, we have a more complete picture of God’s will for mankind because we have a more complete picture of God.

            We Christians believe it is not necessary as “step one” to understand Judaism or that which existed prior to Judaism to attain “salvation.” However, it is extremely necessary to your spiritual growth and to understand God more fully and therefore please God more fully by executing better God’s will which you are able to do better if you understand better ALL of his revelation of himself, not just that of Jesus and post Jesus, but also that of pre-Jesus including Judaism and pre-Judaism. And I believe Christianity encompasses it all and makes sense of God from Creation, and Adam and Eve, to Revelations and everything in-between .

            And, yes Christians do have an obsession with salvation which is life in the age to come (or eternal life). We view this temporary life prior to death as a training ground, as like boot camp for the more important things in life in the age to come as we believe that Christians have been purchased for God by the blood of Christ to be a people and priests of God in the age to come, that we will reign with Christ on this earth who will exercise His authority as He received it from God so that Jesus will reign as God’s KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

            But we believe that while we are here prior to our death in this “first part” of our life, we have job to do and things to learn and responsibilities and obligations for which we will be judged on our “works” here which some Christians don’t get, some don’t understand, but is clearly stated in Revelations. Some Christians sad to say just don’t understand that we will indeed be judged on our works. But the first issue which Christians agree on is that for a Christian, salvation is the main focus, step one.

            Basically step ONE in Christian thinking if you want to please God, which is to obey God, and to obey God’s overriding desire for our lives that we not perish. And we do that by following His rule, his only rule regarding salvation since the time of the resurrection of His Son. We attain life, thus obeying God by becoming Christian, thus attaining salvation (life in the age to come) and that is done by the uncomplicated act of accepting Jesus as God’s son and our personal individual Lord and savior as sent from God himself, meaning Jesus our savior is sent to us from God who is the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob.

            During the time of Judaism and prior to the resurrection, salvation was obtained through pleasing and obeying God through the rules Judaism at that time. Prior to Judaism, eternal life was obtained by pleasing and obeying God in the standard and manner as He revealed Himself such as to Adam an Eve, Cain/Able, Noah and Abraham. For example, Noah pleased God and was found to be the only one righteous. He did this because he understood what God wanted for him in his life and he obeyed; obviously he wasn’t violent as all of his neighbors were, etc. God said that the earth was filled with violence because of man. But Noah was the only one to be found righteous in the eyes of God.

            We see that historically the particular rules have changed regarding how to please God, but regardless of the historical setting or the particular rules, Judaism, pre-Judaism, post-resurrection, God always requires obedience. We cannot please God without obedience. Therefore, Noah pleased God absent of Judaism, Abraham pleased God absent of Judaism, Moses and pleased God through the rules Judaism, and we Christians today please God without Judaism, or outside of the rules known to Judaism. This is what God wants; the rules have changed. So to obey we have to follow where God leads us as the rules change. The rules changed between the time of Abraham and Moses. When Moses introduced new rules from God, they were hard to accept at first, but eventually after all the adults died in the desert they were accepted for a period of time more or less.

            Then, step TWO in Christian thinking to please God, is living your life here in keeping with the knowledge of what God wants of you. And what God wants of you is what Jesus demonstrated for us which is basically to serve others as Jesus taught us, understanding you are judged on what you do (“works”), not just on what you believe.

            Step one gets through the Judgment door of salvation, and step two determines how you will be judged once you get there. There are two books in each person’s life, God’s book of life, and another book which pertains to the individual’s works on earth.

            We believe as it is written that Jesus has been given authority by God to judge each person’s life to confess us before His Father or to deny us.

          • Annelise says:

            Hi David.

            Do you think that a Jew who loved and obeyed God in the first century *should* have been cautious about claims like these about another man? If so, could they have tested and accepted those claims according to what they were already being loyal to? What was at stake, I mean, with a mistake, and what had God previously provided to let things become clear in this matter about what He wanted and was part of?

            Secondly, what do you think this question has to do with non-Jews, like the two of us, especially as we were raised in Christianity? Whatever stream it is. What does the Jewish nation and their experience of God have to do with us?

            Blessings.

          • David says:

            Hi Annelise,

            To answer your first question. Yes, I agree. I believe the Jews were given a special duty and responsibility. They needed to correctly discern God and God’s wishes/commands to serve as a standard and revelation to the rest of the world at the time and future generations. So, therefore in keeping with their solemn duty, they would naturally be obligated to use careful and thoughtful discernment of the scriptures regarding these matters before following just anyone who happens along.

            On the other hand it’s just as bad or maybe even worse to reject a true revelation of God out of an unwillingness to change, sticking to the status quo out of a personal or national desire to maintain things as they are in spite of God’s direction to follow Him to the unfamiliar.

            Therefore in considering both of the above paragraphs, the bottom line is to discern what is and what isn’t from God, and NOT say for example: I don’t like where I’m/we’re going and therefore it’s not from God. If you decide that something is not from God then you are right to reject it. If this is the case for you or anyone whether Jew or Christian, then I say your heart is in the right place with God. But if the place He is leading you is the reason for the rejection, then I say your heart with God is not right. The destination in other words should NOT be a governing factor in and of itself. The only governing factor should be (as stated earlier) “is this from God or is it not.” To discern whether something is or isn’t from God we must first and foremost carefully discern scripture, ALL of scripture, carefully listening and studying all sides of the argument.

            The answer your second question which is related to the answer to the first,

            The Jewish nation has to do with everyone. It is God’s revelation to man. Noah has to do with us too, as well as Adam, and Abraham, etcetera. We need to study diligently all of God’s revelation which He gives us. He gives us His revelation in the form of what He does and thinks through His dialog, commands and actions directly and indirectly through others. God establishes His character, His thinking, His feelings, and reasoning, through His revelation. And therefore we can better understand what God wants or wanted in any given situation now, throughout history and in the future, and therefore better comply with God’s will, and therefore better please God, and therefore be a better servant of God. We then work “with” God in our better knowledge of God rather than against Him either through ignorance or laziness to understand Him (or even in outright rebellion).

            A classic example that relates to both of the above is Abraham. He followed God regardless of whether or not it made immediate sense to him. The first recorded obedience is when he left his family to face a dangerous world in which they would kill him and take Sarah because of her beauty and because there was no “fear of God” around the places he was traveling; Genesis 12:1,12; 20:11.

            His obedience is exemplified when God commands him to sacrifice his “only son” (Genesis 22:2).

            Abraham asks for no explanation and God gives none until AFTER complete compliance on the part of Abraham.

          • Dina says:

            David, that was a well-expressed statement of your faith. Thanks for taking the time. It is clear to me that there is no consensus among Christians on even such fundamental concepts as faith versus works, but that is a conversation for another time.

            I’d like to focus on a dangerous line of reasoning that you subscribe to, namely, that God changes the rules from time to time and we must follow Him when those rules change.

            This is dangerous because you can reason this way to justify any new belief system. If God changed the rules when Jesus came along, who’s to say He didn’t change them again when Mohammed came along, or when Joseph Smith (founder of Mormonism) came along?

            This is also dangerous because God explicitly tells us He doesn’t change His mind (Numbers 23:19) and that He has forged a covenant with His chosen people who must keep his statutes, laws, decrees, and ordinances forever (Genesis 17:7,12-13; Exodus 12:14-17; Leviticus 23:31,41; Deuteronomy 11:1; 2 Kings 17:37; Psalms 111:7-10; Malachi 3:22, 4:4 in Christian bible). Your line of thinking would make God a liar. Heaven forbid!

            It’s interesting that you say that we need to study ALL of scripture to understand God’s revelation, taking it for granted that Christian scripture is part of ALL of scripture. A Muslim or Mormon could just as easily say that the Koran or the Book of Mormon, respectively, is part of ALL of scripture.

            Incidentally, I am currently studying Christian scripture, which I took up in response to a challenge from a Christian friend. I have just completed the first two gospels and begun the third, and I have yet to see anything even remotely compelling. So far, the gospels are riddled with scriptural errors, contradictions, and some pretty horrific examples of Jew hatred. If I were a Christian, I would be ashamed of that and wouldn’t want Jews to read it. The fact that Christians are not embarrassed shows an appalling lack of sensitivity on their part (they don’t even see the hatred in there).

            Finally, I need to press you again on the question of what Jesus as God’s son means to you, because I believe it’s important for you to be able to clearly articulate your belief in this regard. For your benefit, I am reposting the question here:

            My question to you is, how do you understand Jesus as being God’s begotten son? Is he physically begotten, meaning that you understand God to be a male who produces male seed and can thus mate with mortal women? Or do you understand it in a spiritual sense? If you understand it in a physical sense, does that make Jesus semi-divine, i.e., 50% of his genes comes from his divine parent? If you understand it in a spiritual sense, who is his human father?

            I’m not trying to trap you. I would just like you to clarify your position a little more, which will help me to clarify mine.

            Thanks!

            Your friend,
            Dina

          • Annelise says:

            Mm, I think it’s worth talking about why Jews believe that the commandments were for all generations, why you see the five books as being the foremost and central part of Tanach, and why you feel confident that if you follow the commandments outlined there then you’ll never miss a revelation from God in the future.

          • Annelise says:

            and also, whether you actually believe it’s possible for people to be seeking sincerely to obey God and thus to reject Jesus’ claims to be moshiach. Do you think that actually happens in some people’s lives, or were you just saying that hypothetically?

            If the first one, then it’s worth looking at what evidence they (Jews, and the Gentiles who are blessed by them with a knowledge of God and what He wants) are taking for or against Jesus. What process is right for them to take? What questions should they ask? What evidence matters, for or against? And how did God want Israel, and the world, to know that?

            I’m still puzzled about why you seem to feel more close to the community of Jesus-worshiping Christians than you do to the community of Jesus-rejecting Jews. Idolatry, even unintentional, is a pretty big deal, yes? Better to be with people who are really seeking God and following His Torah, but have some different opinions than you do about the messiah, than to worship and closely share faith with people who are worshiping a human? I know that is a very presumptuous thing for me to say, even though I feel it matters, so I’m not pressing you about it. Sorry if it doesn’t come across right.

            Blessings

          • Annelise says:

            O sorry!! The first message there is for Dina, the second for David 🙂

          • Dina says:

            Hi, Annelise. I’m not sure what you’re asking. If you are looking for biblical sources, I cited some (there are many more) on the eternal nature of specific commandments as well as the covenant in general in my last comment.

            Deuteronomy warns us not to add or detract from the law of Moses (13:1), so if any prophet comes along and tells us to change anything, we can be sure he is a false prophet. Furthermore, this same book shows us how to identify false prophets (13:2-4; 18:21-22).

            The concern is not so much missing a future revelation as following a false one.

            I see the Five Books as central because they were transmitted from God to Moses.

            Does this answer your questions?

            I would like to also answer your question to David, although you did not address it to me. David is comfortable worshipping with Jesus-worshippers because he worships Jesus himself. He’s just playing semantics when he says Jesus isn’t God. Jesus, he freely admits, is the center and focus of Christianity. If you focus your religion and your worship on a human, rather than on God, it doesn’t matter if you say that you know he isn’t God; you’re still worshipping him in a way that no human deserves. In a way, this is worse than Trinitarian theology; at least Trinitarians think they are worshipping God. Non-Trinitarians admit that Jesus is just a human and they worship him anyway. This is a very confused theology.

            I pressed David three or four times on his understanding of Jesus as God’s son. David, if you’re reading this, would you please answer?

            Suppose you have three groups of people. Group A says that chocolate caramel nougat bars are as good for you as carrot sticks. They eat mostly chocolate candy bars, with a carrot stick once in a while. It’s all the same to them, but they prefer the candy bars.

            Group B says that chocolate caramel nougat bars are not in the same league as carrot sticks, health-wise. Nevertheless, they too eat mostly chocolate candy bars, with a carrot stick here and there.

            What’s the difference between the two groups? Nothing but semantics. They are both behaving exactly the same way.

            Group C says that chocolate caramel nougat bars have no place in the diet of a person committed to living a healthy life style. They don’t touch the stuff, but they sure are big on carrot sticks.

            You see what I mean? (Not that I’m equating worship of God with eating only carrot sticks, God forbid! I would be very sad not to be able to have some chocolate from time to time :).)

            There is more hope for the people who admit that the candy bars aren’t good for you, because they might be persuaded to focus on the carrot sticks. That’s about the only difference between Groups A and B.

          • Annelise says:

            Mm… Dina, I truly agree with you that the way Jesus is treated in the NT, when you read it as not deifying him, still attributes so much to him that belongs only to God. For me, personally, I never intended to worship a mere human when I was in Christianity, but it still makes such a difference to me to be away from it… because there is so much more clarity about how God our Creator is glorified. And that is something that will never belong to the messiah or to any king, though he may humbly hold the glory of God in his reign.

            Jews aren’t meant to focus ‘worship’ (I don’t even mean idolatrous divine-worship, but just adoration and deep attention) on their king in a way that is mingled in heart with the adoration towards God. The nations aren’t meant to come to a realisation of Israel’s king as if he were the creating principle, the expression to be looked at as God’s visible likeness. God forbid. The nation, and the king representing them, are an expression of how creation bows before God alone in His glory, which is beyond our sight but is expressed in ways we can know. It is Him alone we give our hearts to, not all those expressions.

            Anyway, so I agree with you! But to tell someone they’re worshiping someone when they expressly have chosen not to… I think it’s fair to let David qualify that statement with his own values. I agree with you that what he’s describing is the giving of things that belong to God alone towards Jesus. I agree with the analogy of the carrots etc. for that reason. But to deny the divine title, and prayer, from Jesus… it does come from a dedication of worship to God only and not to Jesus. Which is why I asked how it could be more comfortable and appropriate to worship alongside Jesus-worshipers. I guess what I’m trying to say is that your explanation makes total sense, but only David can know whether it accurately describes his heart. Sorry for prying and probing into something so personal.

          • Annelise says:

            Also David, I don’t know why someone would need to ‘meet Jesus’ in order to be close to God and be right with Him and truly follow Him. Why do we need a relationship with some other heavenly being when it is God alone whom we have our eyes turned to to be everything and to deserve everything? There’s a Jewish prayer ‘yedid nefesh’-
            http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/media_cdo/aid/265805/jewish/Ydid-Nefesh.htm

          • Annelise says:

            I mean, considering that you know Jesus wasn’t an ‘incarnation’ of God, you can see that he didn’t deserve any of what is said in that song or all the prayers like it.

          • Dina says:

            Well, Annelise, I don’t pretend to know what goes on in people’s hearts. I can only hear what they say and see what they do. So if their words and actions contradict each other, it’s fair to call them out on it.

          • Dina says:

            Here’s another way to look at it, Annelise. A woman cheats on her husband and says it’s not sex because she doesn’t consider this other man her husband; he’s only her boyfriend. Would you say you can’t judge what’s in her heart? No, you would say she is committing adultery no matter what she calls it.

            If someone carries on a relationship with someone else that belongs only with God, it’s idolatry no matter what he calls it.

            I don’t meant to offend David at all; I can see that he’s serious and sincere and committed. Still, people who are truly loyal to God recoil from the type of worship he advocates, and it’s hard to find language strong enough to express that.

          • David says:

            Hi Dina and Annelise,

            Sorry for not responding and I know when I do It’s usually sporadic and I only answer one or two questions. I’m occupied with other things for the time being.

            Anyway it looks like the most pressing questions is what I think of Jesus and/or God. I think of God just as the bible represents Him as the creator of the universe. He’s the God of Abraham of Isaac and of Jacob. I think of Jesus as the only begotten Son of God, who is God’s Christ and the savior of the world.

            I believe that all authority that Jesus has is received from God. When the bible says that he is “KING OF KING, LORD OF LORDS” that’s because God gave him that authority because he is the only that is worthy to assume such a title.

            As far as comparing Jesus to other prophets such as Moses, he is like Moses but so far superior that it is not even close and Moses was one of the greatest profits of all time surpassing Abraham.

            As far as worshipping Jesus as if he were God, I don’t. Why would I if I believe He’s not God?

            I worship only God as God. Jesus is honored and given the honor due the only begotten son of God, the honor due one who is God’s King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the honor due God’s Christ, and the honor due God’s savior of the world. God never said that we are to worship his son as if he were God, why would God say that? Neither has Jesus ever claimed to be God or requiring worship that is reserved for God alone.

            The OT and NT are completely compatible and in agreement in this non-Trinitarian respect. The evidence proving the non-Trinitarian point of view is overwhelming.

            Of course Trinitarians say just the opposite that the OT and NT are in agreement proving a Trinitarian point of view.

            And it goes without saying that Jews claim that the Hebrew Scriptures prove one God while the NT claims 3 gods.

            I believe what I believe regarding the Trinity/non-Trinity debate because I’ve listened to, read, and researched most claims to date from all sides. I also believe there are knowledgeable, well-meaning, honest, God-fearing truth seekers on all sides of the debate.

          • Larry B says:

            David
            There seems to be a difference for you in what honoring and worshiping means. And you clearly only worship G-d. I don’t even know what you mean about the whole king of kings and lords of lords bit, and I don’t want to, but if you worship god only that’s not idolatry. I do believe though that you walk a very fine line.

          • Dina says:

            David, I couldn’t agree with you more that there are sincere truth seekers on all sides of the debate. I think it’s important to remember that as we continue to discuss these contentious issues. I know I ask hard questions and perhaps I use strong language. I beg you to understand that this is not personal, and please forgive me if I offend.

            I’m trying to pin you down to answer my questions directly. Thus far, you have simply repeated your statements of faith. I will number my points so you can see easily if you are responding to all of them.

            1. I asked you specific questions about the concept that Jesus is God’s begotten son. I would like to know how you would answer them, so here they are again: How do you understand Jesus as being God’s begotten son? Is he physically begotten, meaning God is a male who produces male seed and can thus mate with mortal women? Or do you understand it in a spiritual sense? If you understand it in a physical sense, does that make Jesus semi-divine, i.e., 50% of his genes comes from his divine parent? If you understand it in a spiritual sense, who is his human father?

            2. I challenged you regarding the lack of uniqueness of your argument that we must follow God every time He changes the rules. By not unique, I mean that all religions that claim Godly revelations can use the same argument (Islam and Mormonism, for example). For my full argument, you can go back and read my entire earlier comment on this issue.

            3. You emphasized several times that the “OT” and the “NT” are completely compatible with your beliefs about Jesus. You refuse to engage with me on this issue, but I don’t understand how we can be reading the same book, as I do not see AT ALL what you see. We cannot have a fair discussion of this issue if you won’t provide sources that clearly point to what you attribute to Jesus.

            4. I provided a couple of analogies that make crystal clear what is wrong with your veneration of Jesus. Analogies are useful, so here is another one:

            Your friend confides in you that in addition to his wife, he has a lovely girlfriend. His sexual relationship with his wife is 100% exclusive, and he wouldn’t dream of sharing that sort of relationship with his girlfriend. But he goes on to tell you that his girlfriend is the most beautiful of all women who are not his wife, and the wisest and kindest as well. He takes her out every night to romantic candlelit dinners, he buys her chocolates and flowers, and they go for long, solitary walks in the woods holding hands and gazing into each other’s eyes, but that’s as far as it goes. His wife approves of and encourages the arrangement, he claims. I think you would feel a bit uncomfortable listening to him, wouldn’t you? You might just say, “Dude, something’s wrong with your moral compass! And your wife is very confused! Or maybe you three are a bunch of creeps!”

            Why is this picture so wrong? Because your friend is devoting himself to a woman other than his wife in a way that belongs to his wife alone and to no other woman.

            This is what I’m hearing in your relationship with Jesus. Just because you say something doesn’t make it so. A rose by any other name, etc. The description of the devotion you have for Jesus makes me intensely uncomfortable because it violates the relationship that you should reserve only for your Creator. King of kings? Lord of lords? Those are titles reserved for God and God alone.

            Besides, how can you have a religion based on veneration of a human? Jesus is the focus of your worship, whether you call him a god or a man. That’s idolatry, David!

          • Annelise says:

            I agree very deeply with what Dina has just written here. When I read what you wrote, David, I also planned to write that you’ve just restated your statements of faith but not considered the important issues that have been not only brought up by Dina and me but also described so that hopefully they’ll make sense as being important.

            I grew up in a church setting and a family where God is really loved and people are dedicated to serving Him, fully, and only. That was also my experience with Him. But personally, I found some Jewish objections to be so important in relationship with Him that I started to take the Jewish story seriously in its own right; not to continue revering the New Testament, even though it was a big part of my knowledge of God (and of Tanach!) for a long time.

            Dina is right that the issues here are things like:
            *giving to Jesus things that only belong to God, whether or not you label it worship
            *just because you don’t see a contradiction between Tanach and Christian scriptures does not mean that the framework given to Israel can accept the ideas you’re saying about Jesus (and harmonising with Tanach, but not testing according to its understandings and values)
            *the nature of the Torah given for all generations, and how important and natural it is that Jews continue to see it as being literally in effect
            –and other things that she wrote about.

            Blessings

          • Annelise says:

            Btw, just to backtrack a bit to the earlier conversations. About the Septuagint, someone pointed out to me recently that Lawrence Schiffman, a scholar specialising in the Dead Sea Scrolls MSS, documents that even in Qumran library, proto-Masoretic texts make up 60% of the preserved texts. Another 20% were uniquely Qumran, 10% were non-aligned, 5% were Samaritan, and 5% were proto-Septuagint. So even in this pre-Christian sectarian community, the Septuagint was not a bigger player than the Samaritan version. (This is from Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls)

            Also, another thought to add to what was said before. We haven’t been considering the Tanach a lot in this conversation, either Christian proof texts or passages that reflect important aspects of the Jewish attitude. David said that the verses have already been debated for 2000 years. But the thing is, a debate is when each side puts forth their position in honesty. For the past 2000 years the Church has basically ignored the Jewish arguments, and just keep restating the old ones. Even now people like Dr. Brown seem to be reluctant to put forth the next step in the argument and prefer to play their cards close to their chest.

            I just wanted to bring that up here for a couple of reasons. Because we really need to be looking at Tanach, and the claims of rabbinic Judaism which aren’t recognised by Christianity, with fresh eyes in this conversation. I am not content with the conclusions that people have drawn from the ‘debate’ through history. And also, because it is important to have an honest conversation where true points put forward by the other side are accepted and we can move forward in truth *together*.

          • Larry B says:

            David
            One of the most interesting things you have said is
            “Nobody says this is the way it has to be done, and the process has no rules. The only criteria to becoming a Christian are to accept Jesus as your Lord and savior, that he is God son and that God raised him from the dead. Each individual that accepts Jesus comes to that conclusion in their own way.”
            There are no rules? I believe the only way you can become a Christian by choice, is to toss the rules. Or never learn them. The other thing is that if there are no rules, when does that end? When do you start making rules for the truth? It was mentioned earlier why not Mormonism? When did god stop changing his mind? and say It is done. If there are no rules your not a trinitarian, your a many-tarian. There would be no end. The rabbi has said The law is grace. I’m no rabbi but doesn’t that mean the law is what he wanted us to learn, and to use it. No need to add to it or subtract from it. Any thing other than “it” is not the law. Of course if there are no rules the. The bible means whatever you say it means after years of careful study and accepting the real truth and meaning that is clearly there for all to see.

          • David says:

            Hi Dina,

            OK, I understand you want more specifics on what exactly I believe and perhaps some citations. First off, not all questions are answered in the bible, neither OT nor NT. But I’ll try to do my best to address the 4 points which you raised.

            You wrote:
            (#1): “I asked you specific questions about the concept that Jesus is God’s begotten son.”

            My response:
            First off the word “begotten” in English means beginning. That means that in the case of Jesus He wasn’t “incarnated.” Trinitarians use this word “incarnated” which is NOT used in the bible in connection with Jesus. Therefore God “created” Jesus and his beginning was in the womb of Mary. Jesus did not therefore pre-exit himself as God since God created him.
            How was He begotten by God? The bible says the following (taken from the REV English translation NT):
            Luke 1:
            “ 34And Mary said to
            the angel, “How will this be, seeing I
            am not knowing a man?” 35And the
            angel answered and said to her, “The
            Holy Spirit will come upon you, and
            the power of the Most High will
            overshadow you, and for that reason
            the holy one to be born will be called
            the Son of God.”

            So we see here the reason He is called the “Son of God” (also “His only begotten Son” as in John 3:16) is because the “Holy Spirit” (which is God’s spirit) came upon Mary and the “power” of the Most High (meaning the power of God) overshadowed her, And for this reason she, Mary, a virgin (from verse 31 words to the effect) conceived in her womb and gave birth to a son and called his name Jesus.

            So God used Mary in His creation of a human being. Beyond that we don’t have the details because the bible simply doesn’t give us more details as to the specifics. But we know from history that God also used a person, Adam, to create Eve. God used the earth to create Adam. So is it too hard for God to create Jesus in a womb of a woman considering the fact that He created two humans previously? Now you want to know if God physically impregnated Mary or if Jesus “physically” has God’s genes. Or if Jesus is in some way part God, part divine. First of all God is not “physical.” He creates the physical but doesn’t need physical to create physical as in the case of the creation of the universe. Does Adam have God’s genes because God created him? Does Eve God’s genes because she was created from Adam who in turn was created by God from the earth? Do we have God’s genes because we descended from Adam? But our physical is a representation of God. We are created in the “image” of God. God created physical genes for Adam and Eve (but that doesn’t mean they are God or divine) and He created physical genes for Jesus and that doesn’t make Jesus God either, nor is He divine in any way meaning He is not part God. So Jesus is called the “Son of God” and also the “only begotten son of God”, NOT because he is God or has divine physical genes (whatever that is) but because God “created” him in the womb of a woman.

            For further scriptural confirmation, nothing in the NT or OT says that He will be or was God or will be/was a “god/man” or a “divine man” either in whole or in part. Furthermore, the NT refers to Jesus as “man” and never refers to him as God. And “man” in English is NOT “God.” So, let’s go through a few verses that describe Jesus as a “man.”

            Acts 2:22
            “Men of Israel, 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.
            Acts 2:23
            This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.
            Acts 17:31
            For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”
            1 Timothy 2:5
            For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
            Romans 5:15
            But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man (Adam) how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!

            So in conclusion, in answering your first point as to how I view Jesus as being the Son of God; he is physically created by God in the same way as Adam was created, but Jesus was created in the womb and was born as a child whereas Adam wasn’t born from a woman as a child. Jesus therefore is just like Adam in every way physically except for the fact that he doesn’t have a navel. As far as the spiritual goes he is also just like Adam prior to the time when Adam sinned. Other than that you could say he, Jesus, is some kind of replica of Adam. Nothing of what I’ve written should be construed to mean that Jesus was born a God or partially God in any way or pre-existed himself. He is and was 100% man created by God for the purpose of saving the world.

            You wrote:
            (#2): “ I challenged you regarding the lack of uniqueness of your argument that we must follow God every time He changes the rules. By not unique, I mean that all religions that claim Godly revelations can use the same argument (Islam and Mormonism, for example). For my full argument, you can go back and read my entire earlier comment on this issue.”

            My response:
            Ok, my argument is not unique if you want to see it that way. Jews also make the same argument if you want to think about it. Let’s talk about the changes in the rules regarding the menu for human food which Jews adopted understanding that the rules had changed several times prior to the Jews.
            God’s rule #1:
            Genesis 1:29: God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.”
            God’s Menu rule change #2:
            Genesis 3:18,19:
            “…you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread. …”

            Menu rule change #3:
            Genesis 9:3,4: “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and just as I gave you the green plants, I give you EVERYTHING. 4Only, you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is its blood.”
            God’s menu change #4 (God makes a separate Israelite menu apart from the Gentiles):
            Citations in Leviticus and Deuteronomy
            God’s menu change #5 (God makes one Jew/Gentile menu):
            (REV NT) Acts 11:6-9:
            6and when I
            had fixed my gaze upon it and was
            observing it, I saw the four-footed
            animals of the earth and wild beasts
            and reptiles and birds of heaven.
            7And I also heard a voice saying to
            me, ‘Rise, Peter. Kill and eat.’ 8But I
            said, ‘Surely not, Lord, for nothing
            common or unclean has ever entered
            into my mouth.’ 9But a voice
            answered the second time out of
            heaven, ‘What God has cleansed, do
            not consider unclean.’

            Another example of a change in a rule is regarding murder which changed between the time of Genesis 4 and Genesis 9. When Cain murdered Able God protected him from possibly being killed from other humans that would eventually come upon the earth and find Cain. But then later after the Flood, God COMMANDS Noah to KILL those who take the life of another. So instead of telling Adam or even Adam’s future sons to go and kill Cain, God instead protects him. Then God turns around and tells Noah to kill anyone who kills another.

            Genesis 4:15
            15 Then the LORD said to him, “Not so![c] Whoever kills Cain will suffer a sevenfold vengeance.” And the LORD put a mark on Cain, so that no one who came upon him would kill him.

            Then the rule changes:

            Genesis 9:6
            “6 Whoever sheds the blood of a human,
            by a human shall that person’s blood be shed;
            for in his own image
            God made humankind.”

            And you can find many more examples like these which are too time consuming and numerous to list here such as when God changed the rule for the death penalty as to who should die for their sins in Ezekiel 33 or when the rules for circumcision was suspended by Moses for 40 years in the desert.

            So in conclusion regarding your comment of rule changes; yes God does change the rules from time to time and the point is that we should go where ever God leads us. The only concern in our minds should be the confirmation that order or direction or rule change is originating from God and not man. A prophet that speaks for God can and has changed the rules as noted above. Just as in the case of the Jews when they accepted all the new rules and menu changes from Moses after they left Egypt.

            You wrote:
            (#3) “You emphasized several times that the “OT” and the “NT” are completely compatible with your beliefs about Jesus. You refuse to engage with me on this issue, but I don’t understand how we can be reading the same book, as I do not see AT ALL what you see. We cannot have a fair discussion of this issue if you won’t provide sources that clearly point to what you attribute to Jesus.”
            My response:
            This is what I meant regarding compatibility of the OT/NT.
            Regarding Jesus or the Messiah, what I meant was that in the Hebrew Scriptures the Messiah is never taken to be understood as God Himself. You can check any of the Jewish claims of prophesies of the Messiah and see this for yourself. As to the Christian Trinitarian claims that a few prophesies of the Hebrew Scriptures portray the Messiah as God is without merit when Scripture is properly discerned; I’ve already said that the Trinitarians are in error. But if you’d like I could go through which ever prophesy or verse you may want to study together and show where they (Trinitarians) are mistaken in their claims that some of the Hebrew prophesies associate the Messiah as God Himself. The compatibility and agreement between the OT and NT then is clear in the sense that both speak of the Messiah/Christ as a person, meaning a “man”, and NOT as God. I’ve already shown above how the NT doesn’t refer to Jesus as God, but rather as a man.

            Regarding how the Christian bible treats God, both NT and OT are also equally in agreement in that it is the same God throughout both. God doesn’t “change” to a different God as we read the OT and the NT; it is the “same” God throughout. God is referred to as the creator of the heavens and the earth for example in both the NT and the OT. The same God as reference as the creator in the NT is quoted from Psalm 102:25-27 for example:
            Hebrews 1:10 – 12

            10And, You,
            Lord, in the beginning laid the
            foundation of the earth, and the
            heavens are the works of your hands.
            11They will perish, but you continue,
            and they will all grow old as does a
            garment, 12and you will roll them up
            like a cloak, and they will be changed
            like a garment. But you are the same,
            and your years will not fail.

            The NT God is identified as: “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” as Jesus quoted from Exodus 3:6 in
            Matthew 22:31,32:
            31But
            concerning the resurrection of the
            dead, have you not read that which
            was spoken to you by God, saying,
            32 I am the God of Abraham, and the
            God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?

            In most Christian bible English translations the word LORD printed in all caps in both the NT and OT represents the traditional manner in rendering the divine name, YHWH.

            And there are many more examples like these which show that the God of the OT is one and the same as the God of the NT and vice versa. And YHWH God it is never confused with the Messiah for example. The two are always separate beings. Jesus of the NT is man and is never represented as YHWH God or the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Nor is Jesus ever represented as the creator of heaven and earth, (erroneous claims of Trinitarians not withstanding).

            You wrote:
            (#4) “I provided a couple of analogies that make crystal clear what is wrong with your veneration of Jesus. Analogies are useful, so here is another one: Your friend confides in you that in addition to his wife, he has a lovely girlfriend. …”

            My response:

            Your analogy is completely in error because you are using husband and wife (who are equals more or less to each other depending on culture) and you are equating the wife to God and the man to man.
            God created everything including man (the wife did not create anything). God owns man (the wife does not “own” man). Man maintains what God owns as God’s servant (man is not servant to the wife). Man is subject to God (Man is not subject to the wife). God is all powerful and has complete authority over man (the wife is not all powerful and does not have authority over the man). God has exclusive authority to establish His servants whom we must listen to and follow (the wife has no authority to require the husband to follow anyone else in her place).

            Instead of your analogy scenario, what we have in reality is God who has “ordered” us to listen to His Son. So it’s not an option but rather a command of God. If I choose not to listen to Jesus knowing that God has ordered me to listen to him then I would be disobeying God.

            Mark 9:7
            7And a
            cloud formed, overshadowing them,
            and a voice came out of the cloud,
            “This is my Son, the beloved. Listen

            to him.”

            Matthew 17:5
            …a voice out of the cloud, saying, “This
            is my beloved Son, in whom I am
            well pleased. Listen to him.”

            This concept is not new for Jews or Christians. God started the practice of requiring us to listen and obey His agents much earlier. Moses is an example of an agent of God who was given authority. The Israelites listened to Moses because they knew he spoke for God. An example of rebellion of Moses is Korah as in Exodus 16:
            20 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying: 21 Separate yourselves from this congregation, so that I may consume them in a moment. 22 They fell on their faces, and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one person sin and you become angry with the whole congregation?”
            23 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 24 Say to the congregation: Get away from the dwellings of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. 25 So Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram; the elders of Israel followed him. 26 He said to the congregation, “Turn away from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, or you will be swept away for all their sins.” 27 So they got away from the dwellings of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the entrance of their tents, together with their wives, their children, and their little ones. 28 And Moses said, “This is how you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these works; it has not been of my own accord: 29 If these people die a natural death, or if a natural fate comes on them, then the LORD has not sent me. 30 But if the LORD creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up, with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the LORD.”
            31 As soon as he finished speaking all these words, the ground under them was split apart. 32 The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, along with their households—everyone who belonged to Korah and all their goods. 33 So they with all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol; the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.

            I included a lengthy citation above because it also demonstrates how God changes his mind which you or Annelise said He doesn’t do. God was initially going to kill the whole congregation until Moses and Aaron convinced Him not to.

            God gives Moses authority so that he will be listened to by the Israelites.
            Exodus 4:30
            30 Aaron spoke all the words that the LORD had spoken to Moses, and performed the signs in the sight of the people. 31 The people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had given heed to the Israelites and that he had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.
            Exodus 19:9
            9 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak with you and so trust you ever after.”

          • Dina says:

            David, thanks for taking the time to carefully respond to each one of my points. You obviously have given this a lot of thought, and I appreciate that. A lengthy response is forthcoming, but for now, I want to point out that you have incorrectly defined the word “begotten” (which is the past participle of “beget”).

            To beget, used usually of a male, is to procreate. A more modern definition is to cause an effect. Look it up.

            If you found a dictionary that defines it as “to begin,” I will be very surprised. Nevertheless, the word is not used in that sense in the NT, just as it is not used that way in the OT (see for example the dozens, if not hundreds, of times that the term is used in the phrase “so-and-so begat so-and-so”).

            (I can speak with some authority on the English language, as I happen to have a degree in English and was an English teacher.)

            More later,
            Dina

          • Annelise says:

            Shalom David… thanks for your thoughtful answer. I’ll try and reply in two separate parts, because I want to isolate the first question as the main thing.

            1.

            You wrote that you accept Yeshua/Jesus not as an inappropriate love, but as something designed and commanded by God. In essence you said that Dina’s metaphor of an emotional affair is not accurate because in that case, something that belongs exclusively to a husband/wife is being given to someone else; on the other hand, in the case of honouring Jesus, you think God has revealed that it is actually appropriate and commanded to give him those things (so therefore it isn’t worship). I will write a bit more about this later. But the biggest question I want to ask at this moment is: why? Why are you convinced that the one who created us, who continues to create and sustain this world in all our moments, and who calls us in goodness and truth… why do you believe so firmly that He has commanded you and all humans to honour Jesus to such a massively high degree? What is it that convinces you that to ignore Jesus would be a grievous disobedience against God?

            If that’s the case then it also applies to me and to all the other people, Jews and Gentiles, in the world. If that’s the case then you could drop your caution about not giving any creature this kind of honour, which comes from the affection of the human heart towards God, and you could (by God’s command, hypothetically) let a creature into some aspect of it. But both of those things are a pretty huge claim. If you feel compelled to believe that obedience to God lies primarily in accepting of a particular claim about a certain man, there must be a clear reason for that.

            Even if you don’t have time to answer the other thoughts here, I think this is an important thing to discuss in very careful and pressed detail.

            2. Some brief responses to your other thoughts.

            a) I’m inclined to accept the way you think God could choose to impregnate a woman without that being incestuous, and without it resulting in a ‘demigod’. If she were married, that would be a big deal and it would seem really wrong. But I don’t claim to know why God does certain things the way He does in history, so. Anyway the Christian scriptures do give explanations about how (in this part of the claim) Joseph and Mary were both chosen as ‘parents’ for a particular reason, virgin birth was considered important in the plan, and both husband and wife were prepared by God to accept the idea.

            That said, let me say this whole concept is horrific to me! I grew up believing that God chose to enter the experience of humanity, and that the torture and death of Jesus, which I thought to be an atonement for human sin, was actually a choice of God to take the punishment on Himself. Now I don’t accept the Christian idea about that. But listen to what you wrote: Jesus “was 100% man created by God for the purpose of saving the world.” So God created a man to be punished for everyone else’s sins? How do you differentiate that from a human sacrifice? And even if you think it’s possible, it’s still so far from the way God has spoken about human sacrifice, and also about the legitimate, holy sacrificial system in general and its establishment throughout generations. I’d refer back to the first question in this message, and ask what exactly is the driving proof that pushes you to go against the current here.

            b) God has changed some systems and rules in history… but in the case of the Torah, it was established as a testimony between God and Israel, and from Israel to the rest of the world, for all their generations. You could go through the five books and find all the references to how it should be passed on and kept faithfully for all time, every generation, so that any generation in exile is able to turn back to the law given by Moses at that time. You could go through the prophets and see how their whole message was to turn back to the Torah, with justice and sincerity.

            When God said He would change the fact that children were punished for the sins of fathers, that wasn’t a change in the law. It wasn’t a change in the death penalty enacted by humans.

            c) I know that when you first wrote about the compatibility of the Tanach and Christian scriptures not as an argument that there are no contradictions at all (though I think you believe that), but instead as say that both agree that the messiah would not be God incarnate. I agree that Tanach does not expect an incarnation of God, and speaks of the anointed king as separate to God. I will agree that the Christian scriptures often read naturally in the same way. Although I believe there are a few books and instances (most notably the ‘alpha and omega’ description of Jesus) where it is blatantly idolatrous, I know that you have found other ways of reading it that leash it back to some kind of cosmic-but-not-divine messianism. Okay. The remaining question, again, is what exactly compels you to take seriously what you think is a commandment to look at Jesus in a way that we believe is only reserved for God. I think there are so many reasons why the Christian concept (including non-trinitarian) is very distorted in this way. But we could argue and pull on those things for a long time. The root issue here is why you haven taken Jesus to be important at all, especially given all these issues, but even regardless.

          • Dina says:

            Okay, David, Annelise gave you a lot of good stuff to chew over, and now I’m going to give you some more:). Sorry for overloading you, but here goes.

            Again, I shall number my points so you can organize your response around them.

            1. Since you have misunderstood the word “begotten,” please re-explain your answer to my questions.

            2. When there were no humans, God created the first two, male and female, and gave them the ability to reproduce. Once there were humans on the planet, to what purpose would God fashion a new human? After all, couldn’t God bestow His authority on whomever He pleases, even if he is born in the usual way?

            3. Since Adam and Eve were fashioned by God’s hands, why aren’t they also called the begotten children of God? According to your explanation, Jesus should be the third begotten child of God. (An aside: how do you know God didn’t fashion Adam with a navel? Just because he wasn’t born with an umbilical chord? Interesting speculation, but speculation based on zero evidence.)

            4. If Jesus had no human father, having been fashioned in Mary’s womb by God, then you have a serious problem. Scripture describes the messiah as an anointed Jewish king who will be a direct descendent of King David through his son Solomon (2 Samuel 7:12-14; 1 Chronicles 22:9-10) who will rule in Israel (Isaiah 11:1-10; Jeremiah: 23:5-6, 30:7-10, 33:14-17; Ezekiel 34:23-30, 37:24-28). Since tribal lineage is patrilineal (see Numbers, Chapter 1), Jesus is automatically disqualified. Furthermore, he was never anointed king and did not rule in Israel. You can conveniently argue that God changed the rules, but I hope you won’t because that’s cheating.

            5. I almost fell out of my chair when you proved to me from the OT and NT that Jesus is a human. Come on! You know I agree with you there, so why go through all that bother? Please confirm that Tanach supports the idea that God will repeal the Mosaic Law–which He emphasizes many times is eternal and binding forever–because He will send His only begotten son to die on behalf of everyone’s sins. Also, please confirm from Tanach that this is the role of the messiah. And that this human will be lord of lords and king of kings (perish the thought!).

            I see a great many contradictions between these ideas and Tanach, which I can provide for you in a later comment if you wish.

            6. You have a serious problem with the rules changing. You picked a few instances which YOU interpret as rules changing (and please understand that your NT citations mean nothing to me, as I don’t see the NT as authoritative). They starkly contradict God’s emphatic declarations that the laws are unchanging, forever binding, and eternal. How do you reconcile this contradiction? Is God a liar, or what?

            7. You say that prophets can come along and change the laws. Moses was the only prophet to transmit God’s law to the people of Israel. No other prophet after him had the authority to add or detract from the law (I cited the source for this earlier). You can search the Tanach from cover to cover and you will not find a single true prophet of God changing the law of Moses; on the contrary, they exhorted the people to return to God and to obedience to His laws.

            Unlike Jesus, the prophets spoke in God’s name. They never directed the people to do anything for their sake. But Jesus keeps saying things like “for my sake” and “in my name,” and “me, me, me.” I see nowhere in Tanach God giving to any human the kind of authority the NT gives to Jesus. But the rules changed, eh?

            8. You have yet to answer the question, if prophets can come along and change the laws, how do we know whom to listen to? How do you know that Mohammed isn’t a true prophet of God come to change the law? How do you know that Joseph Smith isn’t a true prophet of God come to change the law? How do you know you are following God’s revelations each time He changes the rules? Or did the rule that God capriciously changes the rules change when Jesus arrived on the scene, and after Jesus the rules no longer change?

            9. You did not appreciate my husband-wife analogy (I thought it was rather clever, if I may so myself 🙂 ). All right, then, let’s change it around. Let’s make the wife the one with the husband and boyfriend. I didn’t make up that one. Scripture uses that analogy too. God is the husband who took Israel to be his bride (see Jeremiah 1:2 and Song of Songs; see also Lamentations). So when Israel looks at any entity other than God with the kind of veneration you have for Jesus, she is committing spiritual adultery. If you think that’s a silly analogy, take it up with God.

            10. God expects us to listen and obey our leaders as long as they are in sync with the laws of Moses. If any leader were to come along and try to change anything, he would be run out of town, I assure you.

            Best wishes,
            Dina

          • David says:

            Hi Dina,

            I only have time to respond to your point on “begotten.”

            Yes you are correct. Beget means to be the father (or mother in some cases). It also means to generate, to cause to exist. And God is all of that to Jesus. God is His Father, He caused Him to exist, He generated him, He made Him. My overriding point was that God did not “incarnate” Himself in the form of Jesus. The concept of “incarnation” as it relates to Jesus is exclusive to Trinitarians and is NOT supported (as you seem to agree) by the NT. If God Begat Jesus, then it is illogical and contrary to Scripture to assume that Jesus pre-exited Himself and was “incarnated.” Incarnate does not equate to beget.

            God is the father of Jesus in the same way that He is the father of Adam with the following difference. Adam was created outside the womb of a woman and Jesus was created inside the womb of a woman. The genes that Adam has are from God just as the genes that Jesus has are from God. The bible doesn’t tell us how God created Adam’s genes nor does it tell us how God created Jesus’ genes.

            The reason the bible uses the word beget in regards to Jesus in my opinion is to demonstrate that he was not created by man and woman jointly, but by God alone who used a woman in the case of Jesus and not the earth as in the case of Adam. The correct English translation of John 1:13 is bloods (plural), not blood (singular). This means He was not created by the “bloods” of two people. He was not created by the will of man, meaning He had no earthly father.

            John 1:13 13who was born, not of
            bloods, nor of the desire of the flesh,
            nor of the will of man, but of God.

            Now some may say that God spoke sperm into existence in the womb of Mary thus causing the conception of Jesus. Or, some say that He just caused the inception without sperm and without Mary’s egg but injected the genes of Adam which Adam had prior to Adam sinning. Some (not Christians) even say that God has a penis and impregnated Mary that way. Christians and Jews believe that God doesn’t have a penis (even though God describes himself as have various body parts such as an arm, hand, back, etcetera). And to beget a child one doesn’t need a penis anyway as we now know with the aid of modern science. Not even sperm is required now with the advent of the knowledge of stem cells and their uses. So if we feeble humans have figured out how to beget something without sperm and a penis, I think the God who created the universe out of nothing can beget a man even though God himself doesn’t have a penis.

            We need to be careful and no inject our modern concept into words of the bible. We have to use them the way they were used at the time.

            A related meaning of the word father is as follows:

            Father as used in the bible also means the beginning of something or the originator of something. For example as used in Genesis 4, Jabal was the “father” of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. Abraham dwelled in tents and had livestock. Jabal wasn’t Abraham’s father literally but rather the originator of the “practice” of dwelling in tents and having livestock.

            So we have to be careful how the bible is using a term. The above not withstanding, I believe that the meaning of God being the Father of Jesus and Jesus being the only begotten son of God is literal in that He created Jesus in the womb of Mary through the power of His holy spirit which overshadowed Mary and caused her, a virgin, to give birth to a son, whom we know to be a “man” because the bible tells us so.

          • Dina says:

            David, this particular aspect of the conversation is becoming extremely distasteful to me. Your arguments are deeply flawed, however, and I will try to overcome my disgust and point out the holes early next week if I can stomach it.

            That will give you plenty of time to respond to my last comment.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • David says:

            Hi Dina,
            Sorry for that.

            I guess I was responding to arguments that others (not you) have made here on this blog relating to beget and God’s body parts attempting to prove that the “Christian” God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is somehow different from the God of the Hebrew Scriptures because He “begat” and that some have also made the claim here that because the Christian God “begat” through Mary He must therefore also be a “fornicator” and is for that reason not the same God as the God of the Hebrew Scriptures.

            I was just showing the error of that thinking and those arguments of some which have been presented here on this blog in the past to me. But I’m comfortable just dropping that whole aspect of the argument.

            You were not making those arguments. So again, I apologize.

          • Dina says:

            Thank you for saying that, David, and I accept your apology.

            Still, I will point out that you are misusing the word “beget.” You want to impose its secondary and modern definition of “cause to generate” onto an archaic text which uses the word in its archaic sense, a meaning that has fallen out of use today. The secondary meaning, “to cause to generate,” is more in line with “to spawn,” as in “A bad policy begets a lot of problems.”

            It is not interchangeable with the word “to create” or “to fashion.” For example, you cannot say, “The sculptor begets a statue,” which is the way you are trying to use it in the NT example.

            I am not playing word games with you. First you said that “begotten” means “beginning.” Then you corrected yourself and defined it as “been caused to generate,” the much more recent definition of the word with the past participle applied, which simply makes no sense in this instance. (Jesus is the begotten son of God means Jesus has been caused to generate of God.) That’s a good start. Now I hope you will understand how you have misapplied the definition to fit your theology.

            The NT was written in Greek, not English, so it would be interesting to find out what the original Greek word is. I do not speak, read, or write in Greek, unfortunately, so I can’t figure this one out with you. I can, however, point out when you are wrong in English.

            One more thing. God created everything, the heavens and the earth and all that they contain. That means He created you and me, too. He fashioned us in the womb just as much as He created anything else. Do you not believe this? We are all equal before God.

            In the meantime, I await with interest your response to my remaining arguments.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            David, to be fair to you, I did ask very specific questions about what “begotten” means to you, but I had preconceived notions of how you might answer the question, so I was caught off guard by your actual answer. I am relieved that you are willing to drop it.

            I asked those questions to show you that your understanding of the sonship of Jesus is confused.

            The Torah agrees with you that Jesus could only have been a mere a human. The NT is far less clear on this issue.

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • David says:

            Hi Dina,

            Regarding our continuing discussion on “beget.”

            If you are really interested in what the word means to me as I’ve been using it in our discussion then you’ll have to study the context of the passage from which I’m taking it. I’m using the term to mean what the author who wrote it meant it to mean in 1:13 which I previously cited.

            I’m not saying you have to agree with John (I know you don’t), but if you want to disagree with John then disagree with what John is really saying and meaning and don’t inject your own imagination and definitions into it but simply study the context.

            We see that when John uses the word “beget” it is used in the context of a physical birth of a child. But it is a unique physical birth as described by John, as John says, the child was NOT born by the “bloods” or “desire” or the “will” of “MAN” but of the will of God. “Bloods” is physical. John is saying that Jesus was born NOT by the physical “bloods” of man. This verse in context goes straight to the heart of our discussion regarding “beget” these past several posts. Read the verse where “beget” is first used by John.

            “13who was born, NOT of
            bloods, NOR of the desire of the flesh,
            NOR of the will of man, but of God.”

            Now let’s look at the immediate context taking into account the preceding verse and following verses, first verse 12:

            “12But as many
            as received him, to them he gave the
            right to become children of God,
            even to those who believe on his
            name,”

            Verse 12 refers to believing in his “NAME.” And verse 13 goes on to describe and define that part of his “name” that we believe on is that he was born of the “will of God” and NOT of man, that he was NOT born of the “bloods” of man. The “name” of Jesus does NOT include being born of the “bloods” or the “will” of man.

            Continuing to study the context we see in verses 14 and 18 that John uses the terms “only BEGOTTEN from the FATHER” and “ONLY BEGOTTEN SON.”

            Note that John says Jesus is the only begotten from the “FATHER.” Clearly John’s intent is to convey that Jesus was given his physical life, given physical birth, created (not incarnated) in the physical world, given his physical body from God and NOT from the “BLOODS” of man.

            That has been my whole point throughout this back and forth discussion.

            Now, you brought up the point that we are all created in the womb and yes we are, but we also come from the “bloods” and “will” of man when we are created in the womb as referenced in John.

            There is only one other man in history and one woman who were also created by God and not by man’s “will” or “bloods” and they of course as we have already discussed is Adam and Eve.

            If you want to insist that Adam and Eve were “begotten” also as was Jesus, I can will accept it for the sake of argument in the sense that God and only God created them and not from the “bloods, will, or desire” of man. But they were not created in the “womb of a woman.” The rest of us were created in the womb of a woman but by the “will” and “bloods” of man. But in the sense that Adam and Eve were created directly and independently by God I’ll accept that they were also begotten.

            14And the word became flesh, and
            dwelt among us (and we saw his
            glory, glory as of the only begotten
            from the Father), full of grace and
            truth.

            18No man has seen God
            at any time; the only begotten Son,
            who is in the bosom of the Father, he
            has made him known.
            said.

            The part I raised earlier about Adam and Eve not having navels is not important. I only mentioned it as a way of saying they were created outside of the womb of a woman, since God says clearly that man was created first and then woman. But if you want to insist that they had navels, that God decided that He’d create the first man and woman with navels, it makes no real difference to me.

            Now having said all that regarding how the word “beget” is used here, the NT as well as the OT uses the word elsewhere in other contexts with differing connotations and emphasis and meanings depending on the context. So I’m not arguing about how it is or isn’t used elsewhere in Scripture, I’m arguing how it is used here in the specific context of John 1:13. Which is the manner in which I’ve been using “beget” throughout our discussion of the “ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD.”

            A related point regarding “only” Son.

            The reason why Jesus is also call the “ONLY” Son here in John and elsewhere is not because, or not ONLY because he was “begotten” but rather for the same reason as in the case with Abraham and his “only” son Isaac as identified by God in Genesis 22:2.

            God identifies Abraham’s son Isaac as his “only” son even though Abraham had another son at the time as you know, Ishmael, who was born prior to Isaac and was living at the time of Genesis 22:2. The reason why God identifies and refers to Isaac as Abraham’s “only” son is not given. But the reason seems obvious enough to me and also happens to be I believe the same reason why God identifies Jesus as His “only” son even though God has other sons in the sense we ourselves are sons of God not to mention Adam who is a direct son of God in every way except one.

            The reason God uses the term “only” is that God did not choose Ishmael and did not choose Adam through which to fulfill His plan to save mankind. So in that sense Isaac is an “only” son to Abraham and “Jesus” is an “only” son to God. Jesus is God’s ultimate fulfillment of His plan which He, God, (not Jesus) envisioned from the beginning of time which was to save mankind through one man, Jesus.

            In the case of Abraham, the plan or promise was carried out through Isaac and not Ishmael. The reason why Adam is not God’s “only” son is that Adam failed God and is the reason why God had a plan ready to put in place in the first place. God knew before the creation of the world that He would create a man after Adam due to Adam failing Him. He already knew the manner and circumstances of how he was going to create Adam, and already knew the knowing the heart of Adam/man. And knowing the heart of man and also the circumstances in which Adam would be placed, God already knew or had a very good idea that Adam would fail Him and therefore God was already prepared with the solution which is another man like Adam, who is Jesus. Only Jesus didn’t fail as Adam did. Jesus in a manner of speaking then was planned before anything else. God planned the solution before the problem even happened. Before the first day of creation, because God knew that if He created man in His own image and placed before him with even just one rule that he’d fail in that.

          • David says:

            Hi Annelise,

            As to your point in which you wrote:
            “If you feel compelled to believe that obedience to God lies primarily in accepting of a particular claim about a certain man, there must be a clear reason for that.”

            My response:
            Regarding why I believe in Jesus, that He is the Christ, the Son of God, there are many reasons. For example I believe that the NT and Hebrews Scriptures have the ring of truth to my ears, and other reasons such as that. But as to a legally justifiable reason to accept that first of all there is a Christ and second of all that Jesus is that Christ then I’d have to say that it relates to general and specific prophesies which start as early as Genesis 3:15 which are fulfilled in the NT as well as just examples in the bible such as Moses which prepare us for accepting the Christ, as well as the continuity of the bible itself from beginning to end which unequivocally shows to me the mind and motives of God presented therein that He planned the Christ from before Creation for the salvation of humanity. It is abundantly clear that humanity had a problem since the time of the fall in the Garden, and God of course was well aware before the fact.

            Everything we do in relation to Christ and God for example is justified in a legal and God ordained sense by how God commanded the Israelites in their relation with Himself and Moses.

            If it is wrong to obey Christ then it was wrong for the Israelites to obey Moses. And I believe it was right for the Israelites to obey Moses.

            And the same justifications used for obeying Moses can and should be used for obeying Christ.

            Then that leaves us with only one question. Is Jesus the Christ? And the answer for me is yes he most certainly is.

            Your argument seems to be exclusively focused on the false understanding that it is only wrong to accept the false prophet. But the bible tells us in Deuteronomy 18 that it is also wrong to reject the true prophet. You have to consider that both errors are wrong.

          • David says:

            Hi Dina,

            I didn’t take note of your last post in which you indicated you were ending the discussion on “beget.” You can ignore my post of my continuing discussion on beget. I’m happy to end it as well actually.

          • Dina says:

            Hi David.

            Okay, you can have the last word on “beget.” Sort of. Because I just want to let you know I have counterarguments but I’m dropping it :).

            Now that we’ve cleared that off the table, I still eagerly await your response to points four through seven of my comment posted on August 15 at 10:32 pm.

            And I will give you one more point to consider, regarding your comment to Annelise. Deuteronomy instructs us how to differentiate between true and false prophets (Deuteronomy 13:2-4; 18:21-22). The Jewish people, who are the audience of Deuteronomy and who were appointed by God to be His witnesses (Isaiah 43:10,12), reject Jesus as a prophet. Why aren’t you listening to the testimony of God’s witnesses?

            Thank you for staying with me in this discussion.

          • cflat7 says:

            David,

            “…the bible itself from beginning to end which unequivocally shows to me the mind and motives of God presented therein that He planned the Christ from before Creation for the salvation of humanity. It is abundantly clear that humanity had a problem since the time of the fall in the Garden, and God of course was well aware before the fact.”

            I realize this part of the discussion has been mutally closed between you and Dina, but I had some questions to which I’d like to hear your answers: You established to Dina that Jesus and Adam were more or less begotten similarly. From your posts, the only difference I can see between them is Jesus came via the womb and Adam via dust (as I think you mentioned). If that is true, and as you have just said, that God planned from before creation that Jesus was to be the salvation of humanity, why did Adam sin and Jesus not sin (I assume he had to be sinless for him to qualify for being saviour)? If they were both begotten similarly (and we are agreed Jesus wasn’t God) what is going on here? In fact, since Jesus came from a sinful mother, you’d expect he would be at a disadvantage compared to Adam. If God “put into” Jesus something extraordinary to enable him not to sin, why didn’t He do the same for Adam?

          • Dina says:

            Cflat7, I think the comments section of this blog is public–Rabbi B., correct me if I am wrong–so you are free to jump in with your comments. Annelise has been contributing to this conversation too, and I believe others have as well, here and there.

            You asked an important question and I would be curious to hear David’s response.

            By the way, is Cflat7 your favorite chord? Mine is E Major.

          • cflat7 says:

            Dina,
            I wouldn’t say C-Flat7 is my favorite chord, although it is “fun” to play on the piano. I chose it many years ago as it was a clever way of saying B7. Are into playing piano? Guitar?

          • David says:

            Hi Cflat7,

            In response to your question “…why did Adam sin and Jesus not sin…”

            Because Jesus, unlike Adam, had the benefit and opportunity of seeing and studying the lessons of history. They both had an intimate relation with God but Adam didn’t appreciate it due to his lack of a historical perspective and therefore did not grow in it. They both were able and free to accept or reject God’s direction. Adam never progressed beyond the stage of adolescence in his relation with God. Jesus grew in his relation with God into maturity because he cherished it partly due to his growing knowledge of God and understanding of God and superior perspective of God through the Scriptures and 20/20 hindsight, and without a doubt the teaching and understanding of His parents that He was the only begotten Son of God, and all this far surpassed Adam’s understanding.

            But just because we know more doesn’t mean we’ll do the right thing. In the end it’s still free will choice. Jesus could have failed, but he didn’t. He made a free will decision to accept the challenge to save humanity for God with His own blood through perfect obedience to God.

            That’s why He’s such a hero, he could have failed, but through His hard work, diligence and love for God and humanity, and blessing from God he prevailed.

            And all we have to do is accept Him because He already did the work.

          • Dina says:

            Cflat7,

            Rabbi B. is going to so kick me off this site for not staying on topic! Of course, I should have realized, but I wasn’t paying attention to your clever little trick. It’s like saying E sharp or F flat or B sharp! I play the guitar (classical, not acoustic or electric). But I play very badly (still, it’s great fun). And if you want to talk more music with me, I think you had best e-mail me at dinabucholz@gmail.com. I don’t want to get into trouble for breaking the rules :).

          • Dina says:

            David, that’s interesting non-scriptural conjecture, but that’s all it is: interesting non-scriptural conjecture.

          • Dina says:

            David, here’s another question, as if I haven’t given you enough already :)! What does it mean that Jesus never sinned? What does it mean that he fulfilled the law? Does it mean that he obeyed all of God’s commandments in the Torah? Or does it mean something else?

          • cflat7 says:

            Thank you David. Your answer leads me to ask a follow up question. What exactly is sin? If it is physical, and something inherited, then there is a problem with Jesus being sinless as he would have inherited sin from his mother Mary. He would thus be disqualified as being a savior (not to mention the fact that God said that there was no savior besides himself, see Hos 13:4).

            Now what if sin is not physical? In that case every person from Adam down to each child born today had/has the same “opportunity of seeing and studying the lessons of history,” and thereby avoid sinning like you say Jesus did. What did Jesus have that we do not? In fact, people today have an extra 2000 years of history to draw from. One hint that we don’t need to depend on Jesus, is what Hashem said to Cain just after he had sinned:

            “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” (Gen 4:7)

            Note that the last phrase says that Cain had the ability to rule over sin.

            But you may nevertheless say that only Jesus had been able not to sin and thereby he qualifies to be a savior (notwithstanding what God says in Hos 13:4). That of course leads to another whole discussion about the need and nature of atonement in the Torah, which I believe has been covered thoroughly elsewhere in this forum.

          • David says:

            Hi cflat7,

            I have two or three points I wish to convey to answer your question regarding why Jesus and only Jesus could have been qualified to be God’s only Son and only agent to be the savior of the world.

            By the way side tracking a little here regarding a side issue you made in misreading the significance of Hos 13, that Jesus couldn’t be savior since God is savior. To answer that: All authority Jesus has is originated from God. Therefore, Jesus is savior because He is God’s agent to be savior. In that sense, Jesus is not “another” savior. Jesus is working for God, just as Moses worked for God. Moses was not an independent savior apart from God. God is still the ultimate savior for humanity but He works through others. Without God we all cease to exist, including Jesus. God has commanded that we look to Jesus as His agent to save us. The people were ordered to look to the snake in the desert to save them. The snake is not an independent savior apart from God. The snake was used as an instrument of God, as was Moses, as is Jesus.

            Before I get into the actual reasoning behind why I believe that Jesus is our savior etcetera as ordered by God, His Father, let me say the following. You are asking a “why” and “how” question. The bible doesn’t always explain the “whys” and the “hows.” Sometimes all we get is the “what.” For example God never explained the details of “how” He created Adam out of the earth; He just says that He did it. God never says “why” He created Eve from Adam and not independently from the earth as in the case of Adam, or why He didn’t create Eve first. Why did God choose not to prophesy Moses, yet He chose to prophesy His Christ? “Why” did God select a people of His own out of all the earth for His purpose instead of selecting the whole earth or just one person or one angel or an army of angels or any number of other options to be a light to the world regarding Himself? Why did God speak through Moses and only Moses regarding the law and not the entire people? Why was Moses given authority to use his human judgment, to amend and suspend parts of the law? Why was Moses allowed to order the murder of his own Israelite brothers and sisters and children. Most if not all of these questions can be answered in hindsight through study and reason.
            Secondly, attempting to understand what God has not clearly stated regarding the “why” and the “how” as it pertains to salvation through Christ is not necessary or critical to obtain such salvation. All we need to know is what God tells us and most of what God tells us is in the form of the “what” given to us in His testimony throughout the OT and NT. For example John states in 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in him wil not perish, but have life in the Age to come.” Although the “why” is also alluded to, it is the “what” which is clearly spelled out.

            So, on to respond to your point, “why” and “how” is it that Jesus is the only qualified to be the savior of the world.

            The facts pertaining
            The first reason deals with sin and Mary’s egg: How did it come to be that Jesus is sinless from birth, inheriting no sin nature from Mary?

            The second reason is that the rest of us starting from Cain and Seth have no legal right in the eyes of God to exist.

            The third reason pertains to the “knowledge of good and evil.”

            As to the first point regarding the sinless seed of Mary.

            You are mistaken if you think that the particular egg of Mary in question, necessarily had to have a sin nature.

            A woman’s eggs are fully formed and stowed away in her ovaries since before birth. Jesus was planned since creation; since before the Garden as God knew that man would fall. Eve was a woman and a woman’s eggs are not affected one way or another by her own sin. A man’s seed (sperm) on the other hand is produced over and over again and is not shielded from sin (or the knowledge of sin) the same way a woman’s egg is. Nothing a woman does regarding sin either good or bad will affect her egg in any way. But when a man is in a state of sin and has knowledge of sin and produces seed (sperm) in a state of sin, then guess what happens to the offspring? The offspring receive the sinful seed from the man even if the seed from the woman has been protected from sin.

            Cain and his line turns out bad while Abel and his line turns out good, why? Pure coincidence? And, then with the intermingling with the lines the entire earth turns violent. More coincidence? And, prior to the Flood God says man is inclined to evil from youth (Genesis 6:5 “… the inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil…; Genesis 8:21 “…the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth…” Why? I’ll tell you why. It is because Cain’s bad line had mixed with Seth’s good line and caused the “inclination towards evil” to spread throughout both lines by the time of the Flood.

            Even though Eve’s egg was unaffected by sin her sin, Adam’s seed was indeed affected for the worse.
            Adam was in a prolonged state of sin regarding intentional disobedience to God prior to his expulsion from the Garden. All of his seed produced during that time were sinful. I believe that Adam repented from his offense to God, at the time immediately following his pronouncement of punishment in the Garden. But the problem was the seed that was “in him” at the time was sinful. After being banished from the Garden, Adam wanting to now please God and obey God, “knew” his wife in an effort to multiply, and rule over the world which he had failed at previously in the Garden. But unfortunately the seed that was still in him immediately following expulsion from the Garden was sinful and this is most certainly the seed which was used in the conception of Cain. Cain was born with corrupt sinful seed from Adam. No corrupt seed from Eve. Eve’s seed was protected unaffected as we know eggs to be.

            So then even though Eve’s egg was unaffected by sin, Adam’s seed was and they produced Cain with Adam’s sinful seed.

            But why then was Able and Seth “inclined” towards the good while Cain and his line “inclined” towards the bad?
            The answer is that by the time Able was conceived, the “bad” seed which was responsible for producing Cain (the seed which Adam had produced while in a state of sin) had long since been expelled from Adam’s body. Able and Seth therefore were born not of Adam’s sinful seed then but of Adam’s good seed which he produced outside the Garden while in a state repentance from his former sinful acts and thoughts against God. I’m not saying that the seed of Adam post Cain was 100% perfect without sin or necessarily had to be. I’m just saying it was much better than Adam’s seed which produced Cain. It was not as inclined to evil to the same extent as was the seed which produced Cain. I don’t know, it might have been not “inclined” to evil at all, depending on the state of mind of Adam at the time. And, of course it goes without saying that just because we are “inclined” to evil as in the case of the line of Cain doesn’t mean we can’t change and go against our inclination and decide to obey God. And just because we are not inclined or less inclined to do evil as in the line of Seth doesn’t mean we can’t error and disobey God. There is always free choice. Jesus had free choice just as Adam had free choice. They are both the same prior to Adam’s fall. But Jesus had the benefit of hindsight.

            The key to the pure human genes of the Christ (which made him like Adam pre-fall) from Mary is that they came all the way back from the unaffected seed of Eve. That seed of Eve could have been split up into genes into pieces and various lines, it doesn’t matter. The point is, God had 50% of the human gene pool as good seed with which to work and pass down to Mary. Regardless of how pure Adam’s seed may have become over time following Cain, the genes of Jesus did not come from Adam directly. They came from Adam in part but only through Eve as Eve was taken (made) from the genes of Adam before Adam had sinned. The other 50% of Jesus’ genes I believe God created in the womb of Mary through the power of His holy spirit. They didn’t come from any man in history and are most likely a replica of the original genes God used to create Adam in the first place. So, Jesus in a way is a replica of Adam prior to the fall.

            But then you could well argue that why didn’t God just make His Christ much earlier in history to save humanity, through any other number of people along the way through the same system of using a virgin with good seed (essentially the egg of Eve) and then create the other 50% of genes through the power of His holy spirit in the womb of a virgin for the required 100% as He did with Mary?

            And the answer is you are partly right God could have done that except for the following:
            As noted in a previous post, God waited for the right time in history to groom His Christ to prepare Him for success. As I noted in a previous post Jesus knew what He Knew and could learn what He learned partly (not completely) through the benefit of hindsight. If God had produced His Christ Too soon he would have failed just as Adam had failed. The Christ was produced at just the right time in history not only for his own success but for our success. We learn from history too. How else would I be able to explain this?

            As to my second reason:

            We don’t have the legal right to exist in the eyes of God because we all have genes from Adam. And Jesus is the only one who was born of a woman with an immediate legal right to exist from birth in that he has no genes from Adam (post fall).

            It all goes back to the Garden of Eden. God said to Adam that he would “surely die.” Elsewhere in the bible (Hebrew Scriptures) the phrase “surely die” refers to a premature death, usually violent. Adam did not die a premature death and not in the violent sense. Adam died a natural death after 930 years of old age. At the moment in time when Adam violated God’s command he had no legal right to exist. The only exception would be that if God forgave him. But God didn’t forgive him. Nowhere does it say anywhere that God forgave him. In fact God punishes him but he doesn’t carry out the warned and threatened sentence of a premature and violent death.
            Part of the clue to the puzzle is in Genesis 3:15. Right off the bat God lets it be known that Adam will not die, and will be allowed to have offspring, and the seed (meaning singular and plural) of the “woman” will have animosity towards evil.

            Why? God did not kill Adam on the spot giving him premature violent death because one offspring in particular (of Eve) would be the sacrificial replacement for Adam and receive the violent death that Adam was legally supposed to have received in the day when he sinned.

            The reason why no one else in history can die for Adam except one born of a virgin is because if you carry any genes even just one, from Adam, you are not qualified. And that’s because any genes which come from Adam (post sin) have no legal right to exist. So one can’t say I’ll take your place and die for you if he’s already condemned to die anyway along with you. One can only take your place and die for you if he’s not already condemned to die. We all are condemned to die because we carry some genes of Adam. Adam produced children in a state of condemnation. God had the legal right to annihilate all of humanity at any point, prior to Cain or after Cain and start over at any time..
            If Adam had been killed as God warned, none of us would be here. But God looked into the future, knowing His Son Jesus would accept the punishment for Adam and therefore God allowed Adam and Eve to procreate as prophesied in Genesis 3:15. And that’s the reason we exist and the reason we don’t have the right to exist without the sacrificial death of Jesus. Jesus gives us the legal right to live.

            The third reason has to do with knowledge of good and evil.

            I don’t have time to go into all the details right now, but basically in a nutshell, Jesus has no knowledge of good and evil, meaning He has no personal knowledge of evil. He has an intellectual knowledge as does God. God said that Adam was like Him in that Adam was knowing good and evil. What God meant was that Adam had come to “know” evil in a personal way through an actual act of evil. God knows good and evil only through the intellectual observance and understanding of evil not by committing an act himself. Anyone who carries any gene of Adam would also carry this knowledge within his genes. Eve as noted above did not impart this knowledge into her egg.

            God forbids that any who have this intimate knowledge of evil live forever. Therefore it would be impossible for Jesus to have any of Adams genes (post fall).

            Even though Adam eventually produced a good line through Seth, they still had this knowledge in their genes. Hence, the reason for the virgin birth and no genes from Adam, only Eve.

          • Dina says:

            Hi, David.

            I agree with you that we should stick with what God says and not with why or how, because when you start trying to figure out why or how you enter the realm of fantasy. Your speculation is purely that and is not based on any scriptural evidence. I think when cFlat7 asks you why, the expected answer is to the question, What did God say that lead you to this belief? That’s the appropriate way to answer “why” and “how” questions.

            So let’s talk about what God said. God told us, as I’ve explained at least twice before, how to differentiate between the false prophets and the true, and Jesus failed the true prophet test. God’s chosen witnesses testify to this. God said that His laws are eternally binding on the Jewish people, that His covenant with them is everlasting. God said that He doesn’t change His mind (you say that He does). God said that the Messiah will be a descendant of David through his son Solomon on his father’s side. God said that the Messiah will reign as a Jewish king in Israel. (I provided Scriptural sources for all these points in earlier comments.)

            God further said that during the reign of this Jewish king, the following scenarios will occur:

            Ingathering of the Jewish exiles
            Rebuilding of the Third Temple
            National resurgence of Torah observance
            Universal peace
            Universal knowledge of God
            Punishment of persecutors of the Jews/vindication of the Jews in the eyes of the nations

            For this messianic vision so clearly laid out in Tanach, you can find dozens of source citations on this blog (see for example https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/1000-verses/ and https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/response-to-line-of-fire-11/).

            That’s what God said. No need for twisty turns of thought.

            It really is that simple.

          • cflat7 says:

            David,

            Thanks for the lengthy reply. There are two main things I’m having trouble with in understanding your position. First, you seem to have assumed that sin is something physical passed down from parent to child. I’m not so sure that is the case. As I quoted before:

            “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” (Gen 4:7)

            …sin appears to be related to something that you do not what you are born with. Again, Hashem has said you have the ability rule over sin (make the right choices). If you have biblical support (OT please) that sin is physically inherited, I’d like to see it.

            Second, you refer to sin as being in “genes” and that “the genes of Jesus came from Adam in part but only through Eve as Eve was taken (made) from the genes of Adam before Adam had sinned.” I’m not sure how that is possible. This seems like a wild imaginative conjecture. Can you support this from scripture (again OT please)?

            Also, when you say, “all the way back from the unaffected seed of Eve.” How can any child born be unaffected? Every person has two copies of each gene, one inherited from each parent; and this applies to all children, from Adam and Eve all the way down to Jesus. Wouldn’t Mary’s genes have been just as “tainted” (in your view of what tainted means) as any other descendant of Adam and Eve?

          • David says:

            Hi cflat7,

            God says that we are “inclined” to evil from youth (I’ve already given the citation). What is your understanding of that? And when did this inclination start? The critical question is, did it start in the Garden or after the Garden? I submit that “we” became “inclined” towards evil with the birth of Cain after the Garden.

            You are mistaken if you think that being “inclined” to something means that we are necessarily “ruled” by it. In fact, I could be inclined to unhealthy behavior such as overeating because of my genes, or be “inclined” towards alcoholism because of my genes, but I can learn to “master” my inclination. So tell me how this is any different than learning to master sin? Your citation, Genesis 4:7 supports my claim since God also says we are “inclined” towards evil. And you have not answered or reconciled that fact.

            Secondly, in the Garden we have the forces of evil present in the form of the serpent who is actively trying to entice Eve to sin. Does God say to Adam and Eve, “Oh, hey you guys had the cards stacked against you with the serpent and all being there in the Garden with you so no problem, I forgive you.” NO, God expects us to obey him and to master sin regardless of any obstacles such as a serpent or an “inclination.”

            If we say that there is no inclination (at least by the time of Genesis 6:5) then we make God out to be a liar.

            Your theory is contrary to scripture.

            And further if I’m to believe you that there is nothing passed from parent to child as you suggest then I’d also have to believe that the stark differences between the lines of Cain and Seth are 100% coincidental. We owe our existence to the line of Seth by the way which produced Noah who followed God’s direction.

            Let’s look at some of the differences.

            The line of Cain:
            First of all Cain is a murderer. Cain builds a city and names it after his son, thus focusing the attention on himself and his line rather than God. Seth’s line never did such a thing (Noah built an ark at the direction of God and didn’t name it after himself). Cain’s grandson Lamech is a boaster, achiever, and murderer. He’s is the first in history that we know of to have two wives. Their names are Adah and Zillah (the first and the last, meaning everything, meaning trophy wives). He, Lamech is also a murder like his grandfather Cain, but Lamech out does his grandfather and boasts than he murdered for a minor infraction against him. Additionally, Lamech’s children through his two wives arrogantly achieve things without God (living in tents and keeping livestock, playing the lyre and pipe, and making all kinds of tools from metal), unlike the line of Seth who call on the name of God starting at the time of Seth’s son Enosh and do nothing without God.

            The line of Seth:

            They call on the name of God starting at the time of Enosh. The line is so righteous it produces Enoch who is the first in history and only one of two in history that never died. The line produces Noah, the only righteous in his generation. The line of Seth produced and achieved (an ark and the salvation of humanity) but did so at the direction of God; on the other hand the line of Cain achieved things (built a city etc.) but without God’s direction.

            You interpret this ability to pass things on to our children through our genes as passing on sin. I’m not say this necessarily has to be so. This is your interpretation, not mine. I read from the bible that we pass on an “inclination.” How else to you account for the differences between the lines of Cain and Seth? And furthermore, it’s quite certain that the line of Cain “infected” the line of Seth with intermarriage with this “inclination” based on Genesis 6:1 -4. By the time we arrive at Noah just before the Flood there are none except Noah who are righteous! Most likely Noah’s wife is of the line of Cain and they produced sons with this “inclination.”

            You’ve missed an important factor in the following:
            You wrote:
            “Also, when you say, “all the way back from the unaffected seed of Eve.” How can any child born be unaffected? Every person has two copies of each gene, one inherited from each parent; and this applies to all children, from Adam and Eve all the way down to Jesus. Wouldn’t Mary’s genes have been just as “tainted” (in your view of what tainted means) as any other descendant of Adam and Eve?”

            We all, you me, and everyone that ever walked the planet including Cain and Seth and their brothers and sisters and all of their children to follow with the exception of Jesus have our genes from post Garden Adam and Eve.

            50% of the world’s gene pool is from Eve and 50% comes from Adam. 50% of your genes are from Eve and 50% from Adam. Every woman’s “egg” contains exactly 50% of the genes required for conception. It wouldn’t be a difficult task for God to ensure that Mary’s egg contained the genes from Mary

            Furthermore, I never said that Adam’s genes had to “contain” sin.
            But I did say that they contained the “knowledge” of sin. Adam acquired the knowledge of sin from eating the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

            When Adam procreated he passed on this knowledge of sin to his children. Eve did not since her seed was unchanged even though she also had acquired knowledge of sin. The reason for that is as I explained in the previous post is that a man’s seed changes. Over time every day with his thoughts, with his relation to God, etcetera, the formation is altered. The old seed is discarded and new seed is made daily. The DNA remains the same but the compilation of the construction of the genes change over time and with each “seed.”

            This explains the difference in the lines of Cain and Seth and also explains how we can be “inclined” to evil and how we can acquire the knowledge of evil from Adam.

            God has never said that our knowledge of good and evil has been removed. Haven’t you ever wondered about that? And, with this knowledge we are not allowed to enter eternal life, Genesis 3:22. Haven’t you ever wondered about that either? God provides the answer to that in the NT.

          • Dina says:

            Hi, David.

            Based on cFlat7’s previous comment, I think it’s fair to say that we are both hearing what you are saying as conjecture. You have ignored all my recent challenges. Are you preparing a response, or shall I assume that I stumped you?

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • David says:

            Hi Dina,

            Sorry, I was in the process of answering you but then to be honest cflat7 crabbed my attention with his questions and time is in short supply, but I’ll go back and respond to your questions.

            In the mean time:

            Regarding conjecture, well I prefaced one of my previous posts to cflat7 with this:

            “You are asking a “why” and “how” question. The bible doesn’t always explain the “whys” and the “hows.” Sometimes all we get is the “what.” For example God never explained the details of “how” He created Adam out of the earth;…”

            I believe you had also asked some “why” and “how” questions.

            So tell me, since you disagree with my reasoning regarding the below matters I posted and call it “conjecture”:
            “Why” do you think Abraham’s son Isaac is referred to by God as his “only” son (Genesis 22:2) if not the reason I gave?
            “How” do you believe man became “inclined” to evil; “how” is it that the human heart became “inclined” to evil from youth (Genesis 6:5 and 8:21) if not the reason I gave?
            “Why” is it that not a single person in Cain’s line is cited for being good, yet Seth’s line has some of the most righteous in history who have walked with God (Genesis 5:24; 6:9; 7:1) if not the reason I gave?
            “Why” was Adam not killed as in “surely die” when other references in the bible using the phrase “surely die” refers to death from unnatural causes and usually violent at that (Genesis 2:17 and 5:5)?

            And “Why” do you believe it is so that while God has knowledge of good and evil and lives forever, man cannot acquire knowledge of good and evil and then be allowed by God to live forever (Genesis 3:22)?

          • Dina says:

            David, you started with an answer–your theology–and then you forced your questions onto the text, and answered them with your theology. That’s called circular reasoning. Your speculation means nothing to me, and I will not answer these questions because they are not my questions and because they stray far from the discussion you and I were having.

            I ask WHY and HOW questions with the expectation that the answer will be, “This is WHAT God says to answer these questions.” Instead, you’ve provided meaningless conjecture. I want to get back to the substance, to what Scripture says–which I cite extensively to support my points. I cite verses whose meaning is so plain that they do not require any interpretation, and I’d like to hold you to that standard (if I may) so we can have a fruitful conversation. Since the only scripture we both hold to be authoritative is the Tanach, please only quote from there. You must realize that Christian scripture is irrelevant to our discussion.

            Thank you for considering my arguments, and I look forward to hearing your counterarguments.

          • David says:

            Hi Dina,

            I see you have no answers to my questions, only questions for me.

            Regarding your previous questions:
            You wrote:
            “Why aren’t you listening to the testimony of God’s witnesses?”
            My response:
            Because Deuteronomy 18 tells us to discern who is and who isn’t a prophet and to listen to God’s prophet, and not listen if he’s not a prophet. No mention is made about whether or not some other Israelite or non-Israelite for that matter listens or doesn’t listen. “19 And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.” And “22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.”
            You wrote:
            “Again, I shall number my points so you can organize your response around them.
            1. Since you have misunderstood the word “begotten,” please re-explain your answer to my questions.”

            My response: This one we already discussed at length.
            You wrote:
            2. When there were no humans, God created the first two, male and female, and gave them the ability to reproduce. Once there were humans on the planet, to what purpose would God fashion a new human? After all, couldn’t God bestow His authority on whomever He pleases, even if he is born in the usual way?
            My response:
            Because the first couple ruined things through their misbehavior and passed down an “inclination” to sin down to Cain’s line which then mixed with Seth’s line; Adam also acquired the knowledge of good and evil and passed this down as well. Jesus was born through the power of God’s Holy Spirit, not of man like the rest of us. God created Jesus to fix things which were broken by the first couple, to die in place of Adam, the type of death that Adam was threatened with in Genesis 2:17 but never received.
            You wrote:
            3. “Since Adam and Eve were fashioned by God’s hands, why aren’t they also called the begotten children of God? According to your explanation, Jesus should be the third begotten child of God. (An aside: how do you know God didn’t fashion Adam with a navel? Just because he wasn’t born with an umbilical chord? Interesting speculation, but speculation based on zero evidence.)”
            My response:
            In a manner of speaking you could call them begotten also as I’ve already explained but that was in one of the last posts on “begotten” which I said to ignore. So I’ll explain here as well. God referred to Isaac as Abraham’s “only” son. Ishmael, Abraham’s “first” son was living at the time God referred to Isaac as Abraham’s “only” son. This was done to emphasize the unique purpose of Isaac, that he was Abraham’s “only” son through which God would fulfill His promise to Abraham. The promise would not be fulfilled through Ishmael. In a similar manner, Adam is God’s “first” son, but Jesus is God’s “only” Son. God’s purpose of saving humanity would not be fulfilled through Adam but rather Jesus. Jesus came to save humanity for God, and that’s God purpose for Jesus.
            Related to why God had to create Jesus and why he had to obey God perfectly: You can’t be a sacrifice if you are already condemned to die for something else as we all are. Jesus is the only man born on earth other than Adam (prior to Adam’s sin) who was not born under the condemnation of death. Adam was scheduled to die. If Adam had died when God said he would die then we wouldn’t be here; we wouldn’t exist. So therefore we couldn’t be the sacrificial Lamb even if we followed God perfectly as Jesus did. But God had a solution already in mind when He didn’t follow through with His threatened “surely die” death sentence on Adam.
            You wrote:
            4. If Jesus had no human father, having been fashioned in Mary’s womb by God, then you have a serious problem. Scripture describes the messiah as an anointed Jewish king who will be a direct descendent of King David through his son Solomon (2 Samuel 7:12-14; 1 Chronicles 22:9-10) who will rule in Israel (Isaiah 11:1-10; Jeremiah: 23:5-6, 30:7-10, 33:14-17; Ezekiel 34:23-30, 37:24-28). Since tribal lineage is patrilineal (see Numbers, Chapter 1), Jesus is automatically disqualified. Furthermore, he was never anointed king and did not rule in Israel. You can conveniently argue that God changed the rules, but I hope you won’t because that’s cheating.
            My response:
            Jesus is the King of the Jews. Joseph was in line to the throne of David. Jesus, as the legal son of Joseph, has the right to the throne and furthermore, also carries the blood line to David through Mary. Jewish claims to the contrary are untrue.
            You wrote:
            5. I almost fell out of my chair when you proved to me from the OT and NT that Jesus is a human. Come on! You know I agree with you there, so why go through all that bother? Please confirm that Tanach supports the idea that God will repeal the Mosaic Law–which He emphasizes many times is eternal and binding forever–because He will send His only begotten son to die on behalf of everyone’s sins. Also, please confirm from Tanach that this is the role of the messiah. And that this human will be lord of lords and king of kings (perish the thought!).
            My response:
            The prophesies clearly describe his manner of death. Having said that, I’ll also say that not everything must necessarily be or was prophesied. But since God gave prophesies of Jesus through His prophets then we should examine them. And He unequivocally fulfills the prophesies. If we held Moses to the same standard that you and some others hold Jesus to we’d have to reject Moses too. Moses was not prophesied for example, yet the people accepted him. Why? Because he performed miracles. So did Jesus. The law was not prophesied. Yet the people accepted that. Why? Because they accepted the prophet that gave them the law and believed the prophet when he told them it was from God. Jesus fulfilled more prophesies and tests then anyone.
            You wrote:
            6. You have a serious problem with the rules changing. You picked a few instances which YOU interpret as rules changing (and please understand that your NT citations mean nothing to me, as I don’t see the NT as authoritative). They starkly contradict God’s emphatic declarations that the laws are unchanging, forever binding, and eternal. How do you reconcile this contradiction? Is God a liar, or what?
            My response:
            God clearly changes his mind, and has done so on several occasions throughout Numbers and Deuteronomy. In addition He changes the rules which I pointed out previously. For example in the Flood He killed innocent babies. What was their crime? They were the children of parents of a violent generation. So God killed innocent children for the crimes of their parents. Then in Ezekiel He changes the rules regarding who should die. I also previously mentioned how the Israelites changed the food menu, and Moses amended (put on hold) the circumcision regulation while they were in the desert.

            Furthermore, God’s promises based on human behavior are conditional (Deuteronomy 6:25, 8:19, 11:8,13) are examples.

            In addition according to Jesus and the NT the purpose of law is not done away with and many particular observances are still kept, it is only the sacrificial part of the law that is taken up in Jesus. I think Jews have changed more of the law than Christians.

            You wrote:
            7. You say that prophets can come along and change the laws. Moses was the only prophet to transmit God’s law to the people of Israel. No other prophet after him had the authority to add or detract from the law (I cited the source for this earlier). You can search the Tanach from cover to cover and you will not find a single true prophet of God changing the law of Moses; on the contrary, they exhorted the people to return to God and to obedience to His laws.
            Unlike Jesus, the prophets spoke in God’s name. They never directed the people to do anything for their sake. But Jesus keeps saying things like “for my sake” and “in my name,” and “me, me, me.” I see nowhere in Tanach God giving to any human the kind of authority the NT gives to Jesus. But the rules changed, eh?

            My response:
            There is nothing in the bible which says that a prophet of God speaking for God cannot command anything which God wants. The one and only speaking restriction on a prophet of God is that he not lead the people to worship foreign gods.
            Deuteronomy 13: 1 – 3
            “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams.”

            Again, I think Jews have changed more laws than anyone else. So, if you are going to say laws can’t be changed then why have Jews changed the law?

            Furthermore, Jesus is not just any prophet. He is unique. He is God’s Christ to save humanity. No other prophet has been given the authority he has been given.
            You wrote:
            7. You have yet to answer the question, if prophets can come along and change the laws, how do we know whom to listen to? How do you know that Mohammed isn’t a true prophet of God come to change the law? How do you know that Joseph Smith isn’t a true prophet of God come to change the law? How do you know you are following God’s revelations each time He changes the rules? Or did the rule that God capriciously changes the rules change when Jesus arrived on the scene, and after Jesus the rules no longer change?
            My response:
            Because Mohammed did not fulfill the prophesies and wasn’t raised from the dead.
            We still have Jesus who is returning and prophesies will continue to be fulfilled. They haven’t all been fulfilled yet. There is still more to come. But enough have been fulfilled so that we know he is God’s Christ.
            You wrote:
            8. You did not appreciate my husband-wife analogy (I thought it was rather clever, if I may so myself ). All right, then, let’s change it around. Let’s make the wife the one with the husband and boyfriend. I didn’t make up that one. Scripture uses that analogy too. God is the husband who took Israel to be his bride (see Jeremiah 1:2 and Song of Songs; see also Lamentations). So when Israel looks at any entity other than God with the kind of veneration you have for Jesus, she is committing spiritual adultery. If you think that’s a silly analogy, take it up with God.
            My response:
            I didn’t say it was a silly analogy. But it just doesn’t fit. A better analogy is the vineyard parable of Jesus because God is in charge as the owner of the vineyard. The Jews represent the workers who ignore and mistreat the owner’s representatives who are the prophets. Lastly the owner sends his son and they kill him.

            The whole reason why we listen to a prophet is because he speaks for God. However, if the prophet is a false prophet then we should ignore him. So therefore if you believe that Jesus is a false prophet you should ignore him and if you believe as I do that he is a true agent of God as prophesied then we are obligated to listen to him. It’s as simple as that.

            I mean we could just as well be having this discussion about Moses in Egypt during the time of the Exodus. And, as I noted earlier, Moses wasn’t even prophesied.

            You wrote:
            9. God expects us to listen and obey our leaders as long as they are in sync with the laws of Moses. If any leader were to come along and try to change anything, he would be run out of town, I assure you.
            My response:
            No, God doesn’t expect us to obey our leaders as long as they are in sync with the laws of Moses. God expects us to obey our leaders as long as they are in sync with God. Remember the only exception is if they tell you to go worship some other God you have not known. And if you believe that is what you are being told to do (to worship another God you have not known) then you shouldn’t do it and you should ignore that prophet even if that includes Jesus. But God is not telling us to worship another God in Jesus. And for example I worship only the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God and no one else. We’ve already had that discussion. Those Christians who say that Jesus is God are mistaken as I’ve pointed out in previous posts.

          • Dina says:

            Hi, David.

            Thanks for taking the time to respond to each of my points from an earlier comment. Now it’s my turn.

            About listening to God’s witnesses, here’s the point I was trying to make: if God appoints a nation of witnesses, it’s logical to assume that they are reliable and that it pays to carefully consider their testimony rather than reject it out of hand.

            History bears out the accuracy and reliability of God’s chosen witnesses. Today one version of the Masoretic text exists, with only nine variants. Despite being scattered across the globe under terrible conditions, God’s witness nation preserved her sacred text for thousands of years. Compare this to the Christian sacred texts, which were transmitted by people who did not undergo persecution. There are over 4,000 versions with over 150,000 variants. This should trouble you, David.

            As for going toe-to-toe with you about the points I raised and to which you responded, I’m facing an obstacle. And that is your contention that God changes His mind and the rules. This makes Scriptural citations meaningless. It makes the whole Tanach meaningless, because you can always conveniently argue that God changes His mind and the sources mean whatever you want them to mean. Nevertheless, I will do my best to answer your counterarguments.

            I am skipping points 1 through 3 since we agreed to drop them. I am therefore renumbering my points.

            1. Scripture says that the messiah will be an anointed king descended from King David through his son Solomon on his father’s side who will reign as king in Israel. I argued that since Jesus had no human father, he was disqualified. Furthermore, he was never anointed king, nor did he rule as one in Israel. You would like to claim that Jesus can legally claim the throne through adoption. The Bible does not support this. Lineage cannot be passed through adoption. For example, a child from a tribe other than Levi adopted by a Kohen or Levite may not serve in the Temple. The king could not adopt an heir.

            You further argued that Mary is descended from David, but tribal lineage passes through the father (Numbers 1). Additionally, Christian scripture provides two contradictory lineages. If you want to argue that Jesus is qualified based on these lineages, you still have a problem. One lineage is through David’s son Nathan, not Solomon. The other passes through Jeconiah, who was cursed that none of his seed would sit on the throne of David.

            I anticipate that you will argue that God changed the rules again. I do not believe in your notion of such a capricious god.

            You did not answer my contention that Jesus was not anointed king, nor did he reign as king in Israel. You simply stated as a matter of faith, “Jesus is the king of the Jews.”

            2. I asked you to bring support for Christian doctrine from Tanach, but you did not. Instead, you said that since Jesus performed miracles, like Moses, Jews should accept him. Moses led the Children of Israel out of exile, after which God personally revealed Himself to them on Mount Sinai. Jesus did not free the Jews from Roman dominion, nor did God show himself to Jesus in front of the entire nation. So the comparison fails. (Also, remember that the ability to perform miracles is not a criterion for accepting a prophet as true.)

            God tells us how to differentiate between true and false prophets. One way is if the prophecy fails to materialize (source in earlier comment). Jesus predicted that his generation would not taste death before he establishes God’s kingdom on earth. Christians are still waiting for that to happen, so you see, he made a false prediction. You argued that the only test of the false prophet is leading the people after other gods. But Deuteronomy also makes clear that no one may add or detract from the Law. I showed you that no true prophet ever dared to do that, as you can see if you read Tanach.

            3. You talk again about the laws changing according to God’s whim. I can only say that this belief makes anything God says meaningless. God Himself said He doesn’t change His mind and that His law is eternally binding. He promised restoration of the sacrificial system during the messianic era (see Ezekiel). The fact that you see certain events as proof of God’s changing His mind is strange to me in light of that.

            The Jews did not change the law, but preserved it. For example, observant Jews are the only group of people who have been keeping the Sabbath on the seventh day as a testimonial observance for over 3,400 consecutive years.

            4. I asked you, if God changes His revelation, how do you know which new prophet to follow? I asked about Mohammed, Joseph Smith, the Buddha, etc. You did not answer the question. Instead, you implied that if a man fulfills prophecies and is raised from the dead, he bears God’s true revelation. Where in Tanach did you find these criteria?

            5. To my contention that God expects us to listen to our leaders only if they are in sync with the law of Moses, you replied that God does not expect this; rather He expects us to listen to our leaders only if they are in sync with God. Are you kidding? The law of Moses IS the law of God; we just call it the law of Moses because he happens to be the one who transmitted it. That statement of yours almost rendered me speechless. (I say almost because it’s next to impossible to get me to stop talking :).)

            You seem to be having a hard time with the “you shall not add or detract” rule twice mentioned in Deuteronomy. Jesus violated God’s laws as recorded in the gospels, abolishing many (such as eating kosher, fasting on Yom Kippur, keeping the Sabbath).

            I have given you so many reasons why Jesus could not possibly be the messiah based on Tanach. You have given me no reason why he could be the messiah based on Tanach, except for your vague statement that he fulfilled prophecies.

            I ask you to examine the rest of my earlier comments before you respond to this one. They contain messianic prophecies that Jesus did not fulfill. Plus, I had a question about the sinless nature of Jesus and the concept that he fulfilled the law, to which I would very much like to hear your answer.

            Thanks again for taking the time.

            Dina

          • David says:

            Hi Dina,

            Thank you for your commentary on my answers to your questions.

            Up to this point in our discussions I think I’ve been only or mostly just responding to your questions in this back and forth. So It’s been kind of a one sided, one way discussion with me doing all the answering, and you conveniently doing all the critiquing.

            I’ll await your response to my questions before I continue with you any further. I think I gave you 5 or 6 and included citations from Hebrew Scripture for you in each one.

          • Dina says:

            Okay, David, fair enough. I am busy with Sabbath preparations, but I will try with God’s help to reply early next week. (For me the week begins Saturday night.)

            Have a nice weekend,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            David, I am starting a new thread, as this one is beginning to get cumbersome. I understand that we will have to refer to this thread, but I am letting you know so you can find my response to your questions below when I post it (I hope to do so soon).

          • Dina says:

            Hi, David. I posted my reply last night. You can find it toward the bottom of this page.

            Peace and blessings.

  11. Dina says:

    Hi, Paul. The rabbi already explained, in a clear and compelling way, why these verses do not support the virgin birth. What the NT says is irrelevant to me because I do not accept it as authoritative. I worship God; you worship a human. I’m not the one who’s rebelling. Finally, you say that Israel, according to my scripture, has always been rebellious. If you read my scripture honestly, you would recognize the falseness of this vicious charge. For example, take the Book of Judges, which spans a period of about 400 years. If you count up the years of rebellion, you get about 100 years. Rebelling twenty-five percent of the time is not a bad record and is a far cry from your claim that we’ve “always” been rebellious.

    • cpsoper says:

      Dina, did Abraham eat with God, then worship and pray to Him? Who did Jacob wrestle with, whose face did he see? Who redeemed the patriarch?

      • Dina says:

        Charles, what did God mean when He said, “No human can see me and live” (Exodus 33:20)? How do you explain “God is not a man that He should lie or a son of man that He should relent” (Numbers 23:19)? How do you interpret God’s warning to the people of Israel that they should beware greatly for their souls, for when He appeared on Mount Sinai they did not see any form or image but only heard the sound of His voice (Deuteronomy 4:12-19)? What do you make of His proclamation that He is not a man (1 Samuel 15:29) and that He shares his glory with no one (Isaiah 42:8)?

        How do you resolve the contradiction between your questions and mine?

        Here is how Jews understand it:

        God teaches us Who He is and Whom we are to worship in clear and unequivocal language. Then we see verses that seem to contradict this. We must interpret these verses so they are consistent with God’s teaching about His own nature, and we have an ancient tradition using two interpretations, based on the context: either it refers to an angel of the Lord, or Scripture is speaking in metaphorical, i.e., anthropomorphic, language.

        I checked the ancient Aramaic translation of the Torah by Onkelos (who lived while the Gospels were being written, before Christianity became a power that forced Jews to defend their faith). In his translation of the verse “for you have striven with the Divine and with man,” he translates “with the Divine” as “before the Divine.” In the phrase “for I have seen the Divine face to face,” he translates “Divine” as “angel.” Onkelos did not snatch this translation out of thin air but based it on this ancient tradition. Now listen. Hosea the prophet provides the same interpretation when he recounts Jacob’s life story. In Hosea 12:4, we have the phrase “with his strength he struggled with God,” and immediately following that, in verse 5, Hosea identifies Jacob’s assailant: “He struggled with an angel and prevailed.”

        I should also mention that in Hebrew, the word for God, E-lohim, has other meanings. For example, in Exodus 7:1, God tells Moses, “See, I have made you master [E-lohim] over Pharaoh.” In Exodus 4:16, God tells Moses regarding Aaron, “He will be your mouth and you will be his leader [E-lohim].” So for Hebrew speakers, it makes perfect sense, based on the context, to interpret E-lohim in other ways.

        On the one hand, we see clear teachings on the nature of God. On the other hand, you present stories that do not directly address the nature of God but from which you draw inferences about His nature.

        I am curious to know how you resolve the contradictions.

        Peace and blessings,
        Dina

        • Dina, one last post here to you, I have less time to hand than you.
          ‘No human can see me and live” (Exodus 33:20)?’
          Yet Torah repeatedly says YHVH appeared, it is a problem only for those who don’t believe God’s Word and Son is His image.
          ‘How do you explain “God is not a man that He should lie or a son of man that He should relent” (Numbers 23:19)? and ‘that He is not a man?’
          Divine nature is not human nature, but that doesn’t preclude a meeting place for the two in a visible Tabernacle or Ark – safe and proper mediation absolutely requires it.
          How do you interpret God’s warning …they did not see any form or image but only heard the sound of His voice (Deuteronomy 4:12-19)?
          Indeed, there is great danger in men making images, but God appeared to Moses in the burning bush and face to face in His Word. He chooses His own representation.
          He shares his glory with no one (Isaiah 42:8)?
          Indeed, so how could a mere angel receive worship or prayer (Gen 18 inter alia)? – but YHVH incarnate is no mere angel.

          Thanks for your subsequent summary of all Jewish opinion, for all time.

          • Dina says:

            Charles, I hear that you do not want to continue this discussion. I respect that. But for the sake of those following this thread, I would like to point out that you did not resolve the contradiction between God’s emphatic declarations about His own nature and stories that do not contain clear teachings about God’s nature but contain verses that appear to give God a physical appearance. I explained the Jewish interpretation, which you did not counter, merely repeating the stories you mentioned earlier.

            I will leave it to the reader to discern the truth.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

  12. Paul
    the entire point of appealing to logic is that we can check if our bias is preventing us from seeing the truth – in other words – logic has a universal appeal that crosses the subjective lines of our respective biases.
    So do you have anything logical to say on behalf of your position?
    In case you think Genesis 3:15 is a prediction of a virgin birth then you would need to say that Genesis 16:10 is also a prediction of a virgin birth
    Isaiah 7:14 – we discussed this already and it seems that you have no response
    So is your last answer that we are rebellious? – this would be an admission that you ran out of logical arguments which is the point I was trying to make to begin with

  13. As a final example of false visions, consider the TV special “Miracles and Visions: Fact or Fiction?” for March 31, 1996 on the Fox Network. This program discussed visions and apparitions of the Virgin Mary, the appearance of the stigmata, with serious wounds healing so quickly something supernatural seemed required; appearances of the Catholic host on a child’s tongue, statues that wept real liquid for weeks, glowing crosses in Medjugoria, Yugoslavia, statues of Hindu gods drinking milk by the liter, etc. The program observed in Medjugoria that, “the miraculous is commonplace.” In fact, this was declared by a former military intelligence officer who had personally witnessed miraculous events. In examining the miracles discussed on this show, we find that almost all of them support Roman Catholic belief. The miracles referred to were seen by hundreds of eyewitnesses and many were confirmed and/or authenticated photographically.

  14. Dina says:

    I am addressing this comment to Charles and Paul and any non-Hebrew speaker attempting to make Scriptural arguments based on Hebrew language and grammar.

    I am going to sound unkind, but I think this needs to be said. Speaking for myself, you cannot imagine how ridiculous it sounds to hear you pontificating about a language you do not speak. I mean no disrespect, but it’s hard not to fall out of my chair laughing. Imagine a non-English speaker arguing with you about a basic English language concept, getting it wrong, and insisting that you are not getting it. It would be presumptuous of me, for example, to explain to a Frenchman the purpose of the circumflex accent (and at least I do know a bit of French, but it would still be absurd).

    Even if you are simply repeating arguments made by someone who does have a basic grasp of Hebrew language and grammar, you are bound to make mistakes when you try to explain it.

    I recommend you stick to arguments you can defend and avoid this unfamiliar territory. There is plenty to talk about without getting into the nitty-gritty of the Hebrew language. I have to admit that your lack of knowledge in this area puts you at a disadvantage, but it can’t be helped.

    Having said that, I think it would be awesome if you did learn Hebrew and study Scripture in its original language.

    • Hi Dina, not for the first time, you assume too much, I read Hebrew most days, and write it often, and have done for 10 years or so.

      • Dina says:

        Well, Charles, I stand corrected and I apologize.

        I am mystified, then, by your argumentation over the word “betulah.” But let’s leave it at that.

    • David says:

      Hi Dina,

      If Moses were to see a copy of the Masoretic Text, he wouldn’t be able to read it.

      You wrote:
      “…I think it would be awesome if you did learn Hebrew and study Scripture in its original language. …”

      Can you read/speak Paleo-Hebrew, the original language?

      If not, maybe a surviving Samaritan could teach you.

      • Annelise says:

        David, you call Paleo-Hebrew a ‘language’, but it is more correct to call it a ‘script’. The language is the same, and while it developed, an early Israelite would have had so much in common with the later Jewish form of the language. As for the script itself, it would not be hard for Moshe to learn to read the modern Hebrew Torah because its alphabet corresponds very closely to the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet.

        There are various views represented in early rabbinic texts about which script the Torah and ten commandments were written in; they were quite aware of the issue and many were comfortable with the idea of a script that changed after the Babylonian exile while not thinking that actually affected the accuracy of the scrolls’ tranmission. There’s no reason why it should have.

        The ancient rabbis seem to have made a conscious decision to move towards the newer script as a way of disassociating themselves from the Samaritans.

        • Annelise says:

          Anyway, Dina’s point remains. To read in Hebrew allows so much more to be clear, things that are always lost in English translation… sometimes more than others, but really, always.

      • Dina says:

        Hi David.

        I think today’s Samaritans would be very confused by this comment. Though they use a different script and a different version of the Bible, the language is the same. The Samaritan canon includes only the Pentateuch, and only ever included the Pentateuch, so I doubt you would want to claim their text as authoritative. They also cannot be trusted because they deliberately changed verses to fit their theology. These changes differ from both the Jewish Masoretic and Greek Septuagint texts.

        My husband’s friend can read the Paleo-Hebrew script. He has no trouble understanding ancient texts written in that script just based on his knowledge of standard Hebrew.

        So to answer your question, I do speak, read, and write the original ancient Hebrew, as well as the modern.

        • Dina says:

          You do know that a community of Samaritans still brings animal sacrifices on Mount Gerizim, David, and still uses the Paleo-Hebrew script?

          • David says:

            I mentioned this group of Samaritans because it is claimed that there are some 1000 left that still faithfully use a form of the Paleo-Hebrew as passed down to them.

          • Annelise says:

            I know a Jewish friend who saw (but didn’t eat) their Pesach sacrifice… he said it was an interesting thing.

            David, I wonder if you believe that this group are holding any other ‘pure’ aspect of the testimony of God? Are they His remnant? Just a question I thought would be interesting to discuss: why or why not would you accept them as such?

  15. shadowalker says:

    @David

    How would Jesus have failed if he arrived sooner or later in human history since he is God the Son according to Christianity therefore would be all powerful?

    • David says:

      Not all Christians believe that Jesus is God, just like not all Jews believe that the songs of the servant written in Isaiah are Messianic. Jesus is not God, to answer your question.

  16. Dina says:

    Okay, David, here’s my response.

    Let me preface my words with some, um, words. You asked a number of questions which are difficult for me to answer for either one of two reasons: I disagree with the premise of the question, or the question is not legitimate. I don’t know how to make you understand that we approach Scripture with radically different perspectives. Before you ever read a line of Scripture, you believed that God had a son whom He created specifically for the salvation of mankind, that man could not atone for sin without the sacrifice of this individual, and that man’s only hope for spiritual salvation was by accepting in and believing in this human being. (Of course, Scripture openly repudiates this notion; see Deuteronomy 24:16 and Ezekiel 33).

    To someone holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So whether you are doing this consciously or unconsciously–and I believe it is unconscious on your part–when you read Scripture you find evidence for your beliefs. Then you craft your questions so that what you see answers your questions. You may well accuse me of the same thing. My point is that we are approaching this with completely different mindsets. I challenge you to try to read Scripture the way a Jew would have read it before the advent of Jesus (which is the way Jews read it today).

    You asked me why God calls Isaac Abraham’s only son. You gave your own imaginative interpretation. I will give you the classic Jewish interpretation. You will say that it is at least equally imaginative. And that’s my point: I don’t accept your interpretation; you don’t accept mine; this whole exercise is, therefore, a waste of time. We would gain more clarity discussing the plain meaning of the text and how it supports or contradicts our opposing beliefs.

    God told Abraham, “Take your son, your only one, whom you love” (Genesis 22:2). Why does God give so many descriptions of Isaac? Why not just say “Take Isaac”? We understand that the conversation went something like this:

    God: Take your son.
    Abraham: I have two sons.
    God: Your only one.
    Abraham: Each one is the only son to his mother.
    God: Whom you love.
    Abraham: I love both of them.
    God: Isaac.

    Among the reasons for such a conversation is that God wanted to break the news gradually to Abraham so as to soften the impact of shock (see Rashi, the classical biblical commentary).

    You then asked how man became inclined to evil, if not for the reason you gave. Scripture says that by eating from the tree of good and evil, Adam obtained knowledge of good and evil. That’s how. That’s all I need to know.

    You asked why Cain’s line was evil and Seth’s line was good. I disagree with the premise of your question. Cain had some pretty awesome people in his line. What would civilization be like if not for his clever, inventive, and innovative descendants? Can you imagine life without metal implements? Or musical instruments? All of which, by the way, are used in the worship of God? Or dwelling in tents (rather than caves)? Cain’s line started civilization as we know it.

    Nowhere does Scripture say these were achieved arrogantly. Scripture records this in a completely neutral way. As for Lamech, it is obvious from Scripture that his confession is ripped from a grief-stricken and remorseful man: “Have I slain a man by my wound and a child by my bruise? If Cain suffered vengeance at seven generations, then Lamech at seventy-seven” (Genesis 4:23-24).

    What wound caused Lamech to slay Cain? Who is the child that Lamech killed? The classic Jewish understanding is that Lamech was blind and that his son Tubal-cain took him hunting and directed him when to shoot. Lamech’s blindness (his “wound”) caused him to accidentally shoot at Cain, and in his grief, he beat his hands together and thus accidentally killed his son (by his “bruise”). Lamech reasons that if Cain got off for seven generations for an intentional murder, surely Lamech will get off for seventy-seven generations for an unintentional murder.

    So I don’t see any of Cain’s descendants as particularly evil, and I see some of them as being particularly good. Since I don’t agree with the premise of this question, I cannot answer it.

    You asked why Adam was not killed if God said that when he eats from the forbidden tree he will surely die. Again, the classic Jewish understanding is that Adam was supposed to live forever (physically). On the day that he ate of the forbidden fruit, he became subject to death, to a finite physical life.

    This ties in with your last question about why man cannot acquire this knowledge and live forever. You are confusing eternal spiritual life with eternal physical life. You believe that because of Adam’s sin, the only way to have eternal life is to accept Jesus as your savior. But the life mentioned in Genesis 3:22 is eternal physical life. When Adam died, his physical body died, but his soul lives on forever, without any help from Jesus.

    I hope you see the futility of discussing our respective interpretations. I still say, let’s talk about what God said, not why or how. What I mean by this is bringing verses to the table that according to their PLAIN meaning refute or support our respective beliefs.

    I brought you such verses to show you that Jesus is personally disqualified from being the messiah and is also disqualified because he failed to fulfill a single messianic prophecy. Let’s see if you can counter these objections with equally obvious verses from Scripture that show how wrong I am. But in order for us to continue to have a discussion that is intellectually honest, I ask you to take one card off the table. And that is your contention that God breaks His promises (i.e., changes the rules or changes His mind).

    So, what do you say, David?

    Dina

    • David says:

      Hi Dina,

      I think we can agree on something. We each think the other is in total fantasy land. I for example think you are 100% in denial, so deep in your scripturally twisted anti-Christological mind-set to the point where you are theologically blind any truth the bible has to offer.

      I think the discussion hasn’t been completely futile in the sense that it helps me understand how Judaism has promoted a fantastical human corruption of God’s biblical truths. And I’m sure you feel the same about Christianity. So maybe in that sense it hasn’t been a complete waste of time for either of us.

      • Annelise says:

        Maybe try to understand more the reasons why Dina is so interested in proving that Yeshua wasn’t the messiah.

        I’d be interested to know also the motivation why you’re intent on believing he was.

        I know Jews who believe that their teacher might be the messiah, but they don’t focus on it and they’re equally happy if it’s going to be someone else… the focus is on God and His message rather than the speculation about who that king will be.

        • David says:

          I’ve decided at this point to just debate, share, or discuss scripture. So if you can phrase what ever you want to discuss or ask based on that I’d be happy to respond. In other words, cite me a verse or passage, that way we’ll be less likely to get bogged down. It won’t prevent getting bogged down, but it helps. Also I can’t talk about “Yeshua” unless you want to open it up to the NT. But if you want to talk about the Messiah or a Messiah as cited in the Hebrew Scripture, I’d be happy to do that; just provide your citation.

          • Annelise says:

            The only reasons we would talk about the anointed king who is promised by the Jewish prophets are either
            -We are studying scripture on its own terms to learn about many topics, and randomly chose (or came to, after some time) the topic of moshiach, or
            -We are talking about your belief in Yeshua being the messiah and your idea that we all need to believe that as an intergral part of our relationship with Hashem.

            I’m sure we aren’t doing the first option, so I feel you are opening a false context for discussion. Even though you’re definitely right that Tanach stands on its own terms and there would need to be a good reason to test out and allow into that the New Testament. In light of everything in context, and very clear and good reason, the kind you can’t miss when you see it.

      • Dina says:

        Hi David.

        I am hearing a lot of anger in your words, not only in what you addressed to me but also in your comments to Rabbi Blumenthal and cFlat7 over the weekend. You are frustrated, it seems to me, because you have taken a lot of time to clearly explain what is so very obvious to you, and these stubborn, blind Jews or non-Christian gentiles are just not getting it. They are a complete waste of your time, so goodbye and to hell with them!

        You are so angry you have resorted to personal attacks. Like this, for example: “You are 100% in denial, so deep in your scripturally twisted anti-Christological mind-set to the point where you are theologically blind any truth the bible has to offer.”

        You are following an all-too-familiar pattern, one that has been repeated over and over and over again for 2000 years. The Christian presents the Jew with an argument, the Jew rejects it, the Christian becomes furious and attacks the Jew. Today, I am grateful that the attacks are nothing more than verbal. But I am disappointed because I expected better from you, David.

        Something very important is missing from this sad pattern: the Christian is not listening to the Jew. I mean, really listening. Listening does not mean agreeing. It just means hearing what the other person is saying and understanding it. When you listen in order to hear, you are listening with love and compassion, and that is the only way you have any hope of having any sort of fruitful discussion.

        That’s the type of listening that leads to the truth. You see, David, one of us is wrong. In order to grow, we each must entertain the possibility, however small, that we are wrong–otherwise truth seeking becomes a subjective exercise and a futile one at that. How do you know that it isn’t your side that is stubborn or refusing to see the truth? Please note that I have never accused you of that. I think all human beings, whether misguided or not, yearn for truth and goodness.

        Are you willing to open your heart and mind to hearing what we have to say? I have heard you. I am willing to have this discussion with you for as long as it takes for one of us to persuade the other of the truth. I have patience. And I have time.

        Truth seeking is not an exercise in tedium; it is an exercise in joy.

        May God our Father lead both of us to the light of His truth.

        Peace and blessings,
        Dina

        • David says:

          Hi Dina,

          I don’t plan on checking this thread with any regularity because we’ve left the realm of scriptural discussion.

          What you mistakenly perceive as anger is not. I fully admit I’m somewhat frustrated in my discussion with you and also Mr. Blumenthal for similar reasons. And the reason is this. I’ve continually bent over backwards to accommodate you and others while ignoring your accusations that I’m biased, implying that I’m just going with the Christian group think without reason, living in fantasy land, or that I resort to conjecture, etc. as if I don’t read the bible and give it careful consideration. So, finally I turned the tables back at you and Mr. Blumenthal, not in retaliation so much but to hopefully cause you to consider what you are doing. I never ever start the name calling, characterizations and/or labeling. You should carefully consider that fact; check the record with you and I and me and Mr. Blumenthal. Usually in fact, I just ignore it. But at times I do use your words or similar words back at you or others to demonstrate the irony of your accusations and thinking towards me.

          If you want to talk about who’s biased in their thinking, and who’s in fantasy land, consider the following.

          Have you ever rejected because of your careful reading of the text, what other people tell you what is considered to be a core tenant of Judaism? My guess is no.

          I, on the other hand have rejected several doctrines of what is considered to be mainstream Christianity, and many beliefs which some Christians mistakenly claim one must believe in order to be a Christian! I find some things simply aren’t true by a careful reading of the text and so I have just dropped many things over time. That’s the same reason I don’t accept many things of Judaism, not through an anti-Judaism mind set but through a careful reading of the text. If I wanted to point to evidence which would tend to support my claim of being an independent thinker more so than you for example and less prone to being biased against the other I could do so. There are many who say for example that they left Christianity and came to Judaism, or many who say that they left Judaism and came to Christianity. Ok, but aren’t they still potentially part of, and subject to “group think” in a big potential way? *rhetorical question* There are very few comparatively speaking who can say I reject this and I accept that and here’s the textual proof, chapter and verse in the bible which is what I try to do when debating scripture with Mr. Blumenthal for example. I don’t hold to Christianity simply to hold to something. I hold to the bible wherever it leads me as I’ve demonstrated in my rejection of many so called doctrines of both Christianity and Judaism.

          Now, admittedly you and I were in the realm of the “whys” and the “hows.” But that’s because YOU asked the why and how questions. And the whys and hows are prone to never ending arguments.

          I firmly believe in the bible which is why I reject what is thought to be Judaism (I don’t reject the Judaism of the bible) and I reject what is thought to be Christianity (I don’t reject the Christianity of the bible).

          So in short, I think the characterizations and labeling of the other in a debate or discussion used by either side, (including that which comes from you and Mr. Blumenthal and then was returned back to you by me) are absolutely unnecessary and serve no purpose in resolving scriptural questions. I tend not to use such characterizations even when unfairly and repeatedly leveled against me. But this time I did.

          • Annelise says:

            I haven’t followed all the comments here, but I tend to agree with what you have said about your comments not coming from anger but from trying to communicate back what you’re hearing from others. That is just my limited opinion, and I agree with your feeling there.

            Nonetheless… if you look honestly at the Torah… not that I know yet on what authority your accept it as true, since you don’t go by authority…

            But if you look at what the Torah says with honesty, do you believe it is for or against ‘group think’? Aren’t we talking here about a collective testimony, passed down along generations and in the whole organic unit of a Torah-abiding (always held by grace, often returning to it and seeking it out) community? And the whole nation? Aren’t the judgments of its leaders, and the teachings of its parents, truly central?

          • Concerned Reader says:

            But if you look at what the Torah says with honesty, do you believe it is for or against ‘group think’? Aren’t we talking here about a collective testimony, passed down along generations and in the whole organic unit of a Torah-abiding (always held by grace, often returning to it and seeking it out) community?

            Annelise, though the Torah encourages fraternity and family (among the Jewish people,) it absolutely does not condone group think among the Jewish people, and that is one reason I believe that Christians get so hung up when it comes to accepting rabbinic opinions.

            It has been mentioned before that the Tanakh is a group of self criticizing texts. No other books list the merits and demerits of its community so vigorously as does the Torah. The Torah seeks justice and truth, which means that it cannot support group think.

            The text explicitly states “do not follow the majority to pervert justice.” Exodus 23:2. The inverse (which we should do,) is to follow the majority only when it is being just.

            As you said, the Jewish people are abiding in G-d’s grace, and they return to it when they fall, but this in and of itself means that the people themselves cannot always properly define the core principles as they believe they can.

            When the king found the scroll of the Torah, he had to instigate reforms. Why? Because a majority of his people had forgotten the proper application of the law. The Torah is much like the constitution in the U.S. it works with the people, but is also a safety net against the same people. The Torah and prophets exist so that authority does not stagnate and become corrupt in the hands of a bureaucracy, in the way that idolatry corrupts. The halachic system is meant to be egalitarian, but it does not always work that way in a closed system, thats one reason why they argued in antiquity about writing down the oral traditions.

            Most Christians see all claimed biblical authority, (whether claimed by Popes, Pastors, or rabbis, or priests,) as something gifted to those individuals, not granted as a given state, because that is how Tanakh and Jewish history have shown it to be born out.

            When I have heard rabbis say, “the Bible means X because we say it means X” my first instinct is to think back on the Sadducees and the Pharisees having the exact same kind of arguments about the extent of their own authority back in antiquity.

            Just as a hypothetical example, A Sadducee (who was part of the priestly aristocracy that ran the second temple,) might say to a Pharisee “our halacha is correct because of Deuteronomy 17:9,” and in the plain literary context of the verse, the Sadducee may be right. Why?

            the verse plainly says, “go to the Levite and to the judge,” not to the judge and then to the Levite. The Sadducees had a monopoly (because they were the pristly class.) That did not make their opinion the right one, even if they were in “charge.”

            A verse that a rabbi today might employ to support the rabbinic consensus and authority, a sadducee in the past might have used to support his priestly aristocracy.

            The Torah however teaches a meritocracy, not a stagnate authority structure.

            IE those of sound character (ethical, skill, excelling in humility, etc.) are those who are fit for governance.

  17. cflat7 says:

    David,

    I have started a new thread here as well…

    I am having difficulty following your reasoning in your recent reply to my post. This whole theory about sin and genes, and Jesus being the saviour as an agent for God, is mostly speculation relying on reading between the lines from a few Torah passages. It does not seem to me to be properly based on Torah. I’d prefer not to interrupt the discussion with Dina, so I’ll make only a few remarks here.

    “God has commanded that we look to Jesus as His agent to save us.”
    –> In the Torah Hashem says that only He is our Saviour. There is no mention of an agent being required. I don’t believe you will find anywhere in the Torah that the Messiah is to be a personal saviour, or an atonement for our sins.

    “A woman’s eggs are fully formed and stowed away in her ovaries since before birth. Jesus was planned since creation; since before the Garden as God knew that man would fall. Eve was a woman and a woman’s eggs are not affected one way or another by her own sin.”
    –> A woman’s eggs are formed from her own DNA/genes. If sin is in the DNA/genes as you propose, then her eggs will thereby be tainted. I cannot see how you can get around that without far-fetched explanations.

    “…the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth…”
    –>Doing evil from youth is far different than doing so from birth, or being destined to do so from conception. As well, stating an observation (in this case that man is inclined to evil) does not include the cause for the thing observed. Saying that “man is inclined to evil means that sin is inherited via genes”, is like saying “because apples are inclined to fall to the earth means that apples are attracted to the earth by magnetism.”

    “We don’t have the legal right to exist in the eyes of God because we all have genes from Adam.”
    –> What? I find it incredible that you think this makes any sense. Where does it say in the Torah that everyone since Adam has no right to exist? If we inherit sin (supposing that it was even possible), and it is something we have no control over, what justice is there in being punished for that? As Dina has mentioned at least twice, and quoted from the Torah, each man is judged for his own actions and NOT for what Adam and Eve did in the garden of Eden.

    There is no need to reply to this post; I’d prefer to see your answers to Dina’s questions.

    • David says:

      Hi cflat7,

      I think I’ve already sufficiently explained to you most of your questions. It’s apparent that any further discussion would be a waste of time if you haven’t understood anything by now.

      • cflat7 says:

        David,

        I don’t think it is fair to say I haven’t understood anything but it is true I still don’t understand how you arrive at most of your positions. For one thing, you recognize the New Testament. I don’t think you have fully/properly shown your basis for accepting it as a revelation from the Creator. Maybe that would be a good place to start. I commend you for independently rejecting some tenants of Christianity (e.g. that Jesus was a man and not divine). However, accepting any of them would require justification for accepting the NT canon. This is very important for your position, as I don’t think you can properly support the major Christian doctrines from the Torah.

        You have indeed provided a lot of explanations as answers to my questions (thanks for taking the time to do that), but in my opinion they are, for the most part, theories and conjectures which don’t seem to be based on scripture (Tanach).

        • David says:

          cfla7,

          Sorry. You are in the right and I am in the wrong regarding my comment to you about not understanding anything. First of all it’s not true and second of all it’s not nice to say even if it was true.

  18. Charles
    You want the one verse in Joel to mitigate the meaning of betula on the basis of the usage of ba’al – you challenge Yehuda to find you one place where ba’al is used for a betrothal as opposed to a consummated marriage. So you want the word ba’al to teach us something about the word betula – perhaps its the other way around the word betula should teach us something about the word ba’al? after all – betula has NO OTHER connotation as opposed to ba’al which does. In any case at least one of the two words is being used imprecisely.

    • I acknowledge Joel 1.8 might be interpreted either way, I also agree that If Betulah here does not mean literal virgin, that is unusual (unique in the Tenach). Though a poetic reference would perhaps be more natural for Betulah, to heighten the tragedy of an irretrievable loss. Is Baal (either noun or as a verb) ever used in a marriage context of a husband who has not consummated the union with his wife (or even of a Beulah, in a mere passive)? I won’t now press for an answer, but I would be interested if you’re aware of an example.
      (I respect the courtesy of this and of Dina’s last replies, and will follow but probably not write again on this page.) Best wishes.

  19. Pingback: TONGUES speaking in. | Noach ben Avraham

  20. Shalom,

    Some friends of mine have told me that I put too much “faith” in the political leader, Moshe Feiglin. Firstly, I only trust HaShem, however it is specifically BECAUSE I believe so strongly in HaShem do I then believe that Moshe Feiglin is put on this Earth to accomplish something great for our people. Am I still considered a “false prophet” worshiper (G-d Forbid)?

  21. Concerned Reader says:

    Moses made it clear that no one has the authority to change any of God’s laws (Deuteronomy 4:1-2). There is no such thing as progressive revelation. It is a concept Christians made up to justify their worship of a human being. Forgive me for being so blunt. Your evidence is not only weak, it’s ludicrous. If you’re going to try to find support for an idea that upends the whole Sinai revelation, you had better find evidence that is not so flimsy. This applies as well to your creative interpretation of Hosea.

    Dina, upon reflection, isn’t it at least possible that Judaism has believed in something like progressive revelation before, in the sense of the transition from Noachide to Sinai covenant? The noachide laws are like Sinai’s laws, but only in a very embryonic, very underdeveloped form.

    When Moses came, (at Sinai) not only did Moses affirm noachide laws, but he expanded and added several laws which were unique to Jews only. It seems to me also, that the people, (if they were to survive in Egypt, IE during the plague of the first born,) they had to put faith in Moses well BEFORE national revelation ever took place. If they hadn’t stayed in Goshen, where G-d was protecting them, (with Moses’ guidance,) they would have died.

    I’m saying G-d expected his people to listen to Moses prior to the national revelation and giving of the Torah taking place.

    Also, there are particular laws (regarding categories of work on sabbath, notably carrying) which are not mentioned in the five books of Moses, but are only mentioned, (and elaborated upon clearly) in Isaiah the prophet. That seems like examples of progressive understanding of sorts.

    Also, the issue of progressive revelation/continuing prophecy was debated during Jesus’ lifetime, as any glance at the apocrypha and Dead Sea Scrolls shows. (I realize Jews today don’t believe in that, it just seems possible based on the sources available.)

    • Dina says:

      Con, whatever “progressive revelation” there may have been prior to Moses, it ended with Moses’s declaration that no one may add or subtract to the law. The law was now sealed. Also, the last revelation didn’t contradict or reverse prior revelations–an important detail.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        It did change in one respect. Shabbat was G-d’s rest first undertaken in Eden. It was understood (or at least implied) that Adam and Eve should have observed it. After Moses, shabbat became a uniquely Jewish observance.

        Also, my point was just to show that “progressive revelation” was not invented by the Christians like you said, nor was it a closed subject during the second temple period.

        Even now, certain groups (while maintaining the validity of the Torah forever,) teach that the messiah will reveal its depths through his chiddushim. So, while it is true that Torah remains valid, (even Josh said it remains valid,) that does not mean progressive revelation is an unknown concept.

        • Dina says:

          Con, just because God didn’t command Adam to observe the Sabbath doesn’t mean that later giving this commandment to the Jewish people is a contradiction or reversal. (Adam was not a Jew.) Seriously?

          Also, just because someone else thought of an idea doesn’t negate that Christians invented–or reinvented, if you will–the idea of progressive revelation to justify changing the Law of Moses.

          There is not a shred of evidence in Tanach that after Moses sealed the law there was “progressive revelation” or that changes were made (with the exception of hora’as sha’ah, which you had given examples of and had wrongly conflated with changing the law). I’m arguing with Gean about Biblical evidence and not some heretical notions found by outlying Jewish sects who also made stuff up (assuming you’re correct–I’ll have to take your word for it, as I haven’t studied the Dead Sea Scrolls).

  22. Concerned Reader says:

    Con, just because God didn’t command Adam to observe the Sabbath doesn’t mean that later giving this commandment to the Jewish people is a contradiction or reversal. (Adam was not a Jew.) Seriously?

    I did not say contradiction, I did not say there was a reversal. I said, that this is evidence of an evolving of the law, or a progression in its observance from one epoch to another.

    Calling the Dead Sea sectarians heretics is a misnomer. We do not know how faithful or unfaithful they were.

    All I have an issue with is the assertion that the Christians invented this. It is not true.

    • Dina says:

      Two people can come up with the same idea. You have no evidence that Christians got this idea from Second Temple Jewish sectarians.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s