Finally! A Response (almost)
“Contra Brown” was made public (on www.jewsforjudaism.org ) more than five years ago. In that article I critique the core arguments that Dr. Brown makes against Judaism. At the time Dr. Brown assured me that he would respond in writing but his response has not materialized (as of now – Nov. 2013). This lack of response has been disappointing. I believe in the process of human discussion and I feel that as we bring our arguments to light all of us can come closer to the truth. I have engaged in lengthy written discussions with various Christians and I have found that these dialogues lead to greater clarity and articulation (https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/response-to-line-of-fire-13-dispelling-a-myth/ ).
But it takes two to dialogue. And until anyone from the Christian world addresses the arguments that I have raised in Contra Brown then the conversation cannot progress any further.
It has been brought to my attention that Gassen Duu has posted a response to one of the points I raised in Contra Brown (http://answering-judaism.blogspot.com/2013/10/examination-of-isaiah-539-by-gassen-duu.html ). Duu’s article is crowned with the broad title “Hebrew Scriptures Refute Contra Brown,” but in fact his article addresses only one argument out of the totality of Contra Brown.
Duu concludes his article with the words “only hyper literalists are trying to pick faults from the minute details.” His contention is that the line of reasoning that I present in relation to Isaiah 53:9 is an example of “nitpicking” and hyper literalism.
I humbly disagree with Duu’s concluding remarks. I believe that it is not only the hyper literalists who focus on minute details. Those who have no response to the larger argument also tend to try to draw people’s attention to the minute details. And Duu’s article is a prime example of this strategy.
In Contra Brown I present a comprehensive argument why I believe that the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 cannot be Jesus. One section of my argument focuses on the suffering described by Isaiah. I demonstrate why Isaiah’s depiction of suffering cannot apply to Jesus but clearly does apply to the righteous of Israel.
In one subsection of my argument I point out that Isaiah predicts that the servant will die with rich and make his grave with the wicked. My contention is that if Isaiah was thinking of Jesus when he uttered these words he would have switched his metaphors. According to the gospels Jesus died with the wicked and not with the rich. According to the same gospels Jesus is buried with the rich and not with the wicked. If Isaiah had Matthew’s Jesus in mind when spoke his prophecy he would have more accurately described the servant as dying with the wicked and making his grave with the rich.
It is this subset of my larger argument that Duu attacks in his article. Duu makes the claim that the words “grave” and “death” are synonymous. As evidence to this contention he presents several passages from the Jewish Scriptures which use these terms as poetic parallelisms.
This argument is devoid of any substance. The Jewish Scriptures use many terms as poetic parallelisms and this does not make these terms “synonymous.” Horses and chariots (Isaiah 2:7; Psalm 20:8), mouth and tongue (Psalm 66:17; Job 33:2), violence and deception (Isaiah 53:9; Zephaniah 1:9), are but three examples of poetic parallelisms in Scripture. Yet although these words are closely associated they are not synonyms.
If the prophet was thinking about the central character of the Christian Scriptures when he spoke his prophetic words he would have switched the metaphors.
For anyone who is familiar with Jewish history it is amazing to see how the prophet accurately predicted the basis for the persecution of his people. The common canards against the Jewish people were the claims that they had misappropriated the wealth of the world and that they slaughter innocent Christian children.
Here is a quote from an 1893 Catholic publication: “The Jewish nation does not work, but traffics in the property and work of others; it does not produce, but lives and grows fat with the products of the arts and industry of the nations that give it refuge. It is the giant octopus that with its oversize tentacles envelopes everything. It has its stomach in the banks…”
This from a 1477 Catholic author: “…they cheat us and ruin whole nations by their usury and secret murders.”
The Great Reformer, Martin Luther, wrote: “They have been thirsty bloodhounds and murderers of all Christendom for more than fourteen hundred years…” “Jews are nothing but thieves and robbers who daily eat no morsel and wear no thread of clothing which they have not stolen and pilfered from us…”
The Jew lived in the constant shadow of these vile accusations; that he obtained wealth through deception and that he committed violent murder on a grand scale. The Jew could have avoided these terrible indictments by converting to Christianity. But the Jew’s loyalty to God prevented him from taking that step.
This is what Isaiah had in mind when he said about the servant “he made his grave with the wicked and with rich in his deaths for no violence that he has done and for no deception that was in his mouth.”
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal
Hi Rabbi Blumenthal,
I’m disappointed that Dr. Brown has not yet tried to refute “Contra Brown” and its supplement. Why the long silence?
Dr. Brown likes to imply that his arguments are so strong, no Orthodox rabbi dares to take him on. One can’t help wondering if his silence is due to his inability to counter-refute your arguments.
Gassen’s argument is an odd one, since Christians who say the servant here cannot be Israel, or the righteous remnant, etc., also try to take ‘evidence’ from minute details. I believe they can and, in context, must be answered, but still, it’s a similar picking of minutiae.
I myself have looked at Contra Brown briefly, only Gassen has had me post an article dealing with Isaiah 53:9. There aren’t other articles addressing Contra Brown at this time.
I have however been looking at some of the points you raised in ‘Supplements to Contra Brown’ which were interesting points you raised. There are articles that do tackle those. I have yet to write more but we’ll have to see what happens.
Maimonides states that the popularity of Christianity (and Islam) is part of G-d’s plan
to spread the ideals of Torah throughout the world. This moves society closer to a
perfected state of morality and toward a greater understanding of G-d. All this is in
preparation for the Messianic age.
The Messiah will complete the education and bring all the Gentiles to the G-d of Israel.
But it’s so sad and violating, even while letting much light through. A lot has to be relearnt. I don’t know Orthodox Jews who’d let adoration for a human anywhere near their relationship with God or even feel comfortable in such a building, but sadly these things are etched onto the hearts and minds of unsuspecting Christians. Counter-missionary work is important for gentiles too in real ways, even now.
while i disagree with interpretation of Judaism as a religion which is above others prefering a co existence i am aware of the fact that other religions project their ideals of ruling and being the only one right religion.
Isnt there place for every non violent faith? I ask a rehetorical question and answer that violence seems to be an integral part of almost all world religions and therefore they seek a battle rather than a co existence-
Judaism according to my understanding is different by not seeking violence to convince or to convert others but i am aware of orthodox sources that do not wish to dialogue but to control , do not wish to explain but to force, and this sadly puts them on the same shelf as the violent world religions and very foreign to the very roots of Judaism as i perceive Judasim to be.
A very important point in arguing interpretation Jews who know Hebrew can argue better and those who argue about the bible basing their arguments on translated versions of the original try to deny this fact by seeking to undermine the clear advantage of the people of the book who know the language first hand and therefore are able to interpret the meaning truer to the intended meaning.
There are important parallels between the suffering of Jews for the sins of the surrounding idolators (for often the most ferocious ‘Christian’ haters have been at least iconolaters) and the Messiah for His own kin.
However this text for one thing is too strong for ordinary humanity and too strong for ordinary God fearers and lovers – no guile, no violence in His mouth – really none? Can anyone writing here honestly similarly testify they have never lied?
Whilst I agree that prima facie it would seem more precise to switch the references, in alluding to Jesus, the prophet’s scope may well be confined to the same event – the graves of those both rich and wicked, where He was buried following death. Inaccuracy – I don’t think so; a modest element of vagueness, all too common in prophetic passages in all sorts of areas – much more probably.
By the way, Contra Brown and the Elephant both deserve a solid response, they’re both serious and thoughtful pieces of writing, with admirable edge, clarity and respectfulness, but I do think both have some serious flaws. I may cast my own tuppence ha’penny in, when I can grab some moments, but Michael Brown ought to focus on the task.
Charles, I have a question for you.
Do you have a standard of evidence, that if met, would cause you to seriously reconsider your beliefs? Barring, of course, open miracles or direct revelation from God?
If so, what is that standard, and is it a reasonable and fair one in your estimation?
I have asked myself this question and thought about it a lot, so I am curious to know what you think.
Charles, you write well…but why do you allow for vagueness in the context of death and burial while demanding a strangely literalistic reading of innocence?
That’s a very important point, Annelise. We have to be careful–both sides–to be honest about when we choose to interpret Biblical passages literally or figuratively.
Charles, Rabbi Blumenthal has addressed this argument somewhere, and I think it goes something like this:
If a person is wrongly convicted of murder, we say he is innocent. What we mean is that he is innocent of the crime he was convicted of, not that he is innocent of all wrongdoing in general. Jews have been targeted for murdering little children and poisoning wells (violence) and obtaining their wealth through trickery (deceit). So they were punished for no guile or violence that they were accused of.
Rabbi B. says it much better. If I find the link I’ll post it.
Thanks, that would be helpful.
Okay, I found it:
Search for “the innocence of the servant” and you’ll find the explanation in that passage.
Here’s the crux, ‘What David is saying is that he is not guilty of the crimes of which his persecutors accuse him. The servant of Isaiah is in the same situation. The governments of various countries deal with him as if he was a violent criminal, and they deal with the servant as if he had acquired wealth with deception. But the servant is innocent of these charges.’
it’s just about plausible, but לֹא-חָמָס עָשָׂה, וְלֹא מִרְמָה בְּפִיו is given as the reason or the grounds for his vindication ( עַל) by being buried with the rich (and wicked), YB’s interpretation removes this apposition and makes the two statements mere correlations.
It also doesn’t do sufficient justice to the intense contrast between our sin and the righteous servant’s guiltlessness and meekness in bearing our sin for us.
‘All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.’
‘He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.’
So that the servant Levite or not does in fact perform a priestly service ‘thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin,’
Nor does Israel the nation appear to have been ‘hidden from our eyes’, as this servant was (מַסְתֵּר פָּנִים מִמֶּנּוּ), for I believe the English may have mistranslated this phrase with the wrong subject, being lead aside by LXX, but I’d be grateful if the Hebrew speakers here corrected me if wrong.
My vote is for Messiah being testified to by national Israel, not national Israel being testified to by Isaiah.
Charles, I will be happy to correct the mistranslations (tiny but significant changes in wording), but first I’d like to point out that you are reading this passage entirely from the wrong perspective. If you begin with Isaiah 52:13 you will see who is identified as the narrator of this passage (until 53:10, when the narrator switches to the prophet Isaiah).
Examining this passage in context, it becomes clear that there are only three possible narrators: the prophet, God speaking through the prophet, or the kings of nations. Israel is not identified anywhere in this context as the narrator.
As for the servant, “avdi” (My servant), I had a huge, long discussion with David about this. “Avdi” is consistently identified as corporate Israel, explicitly and implicitly, beginning from chapter 41 until past chapter 53. It’s important to look at the scriptural passages in context and not isolate them to make them appear Christological (I’m not accusing you of doing this; you are simply following a long-standing and unfortunate tradition).
Now to correct your translations:
53:3: He was despised and isolated from men, a man of pains and accustomed to illness. As one FROM WHOM WE WOULD HID OUR FACES; he was despised, and we had no regard for him.
This is a description of the tragic situation of the Jews in Europe. The Jews were isolated by being forced into ghettos. And despised is almost a mild word for the hatred they endured.
53:4: But in truth, it was our ILLS that he bore, and our PAINS that he carried–but we had regarded him diseased, stricken by God, and afflicted.
The nations inflicted terrible persecutions on the Jews and then turned around and said this was God’s punishment for their rejection of Christianity.
53:5: He was pained BECAUSE OF [not for] our rebellious sins and oppressed BECAUSE OF [not for] our iniquities; the chastisement upon him was for our benefit, and through his WOUNDS [not stripes], we were healed.
The nations’ sins and iniquities including inflicting pain on and oppressing Israel. They scapegoated Israel, thinking this would solve their problems (such as the Black Death, or their economic woes).
53:10: The Lord desired to oppress him and He afflicted him; IF HIS SOUL WOULD ACKNOWLEDGE GUILT, he would see offspring and live long days and the desire of the Lord would succeed in his hand.
This fits with the idea that God allowed the nations to oppress us because of our sins (Habakkuk 1:12).
Another problem with this passage (for Christians) is that the description of the servant doesn’t match up with the description of Jesus in Christian scripture.
You can read my argument (addressed to David) here:
The discussion with David was very involved; you might want to read further.
Peace and blessings,
Charles, let me know what you think of this parallel:
Isaiah 53:9. And he gave his grave to the wicked, and to the wealthy with his kinds of death, because he committed no violence, and THERE WAS NO DECEIT IN HIS MOUTH.
Zephaniah 3:13. The REMNANT OF ISRAEL shall neither commit injustice nor speak lies; NEITHER SHALL DECEITFUL SPEECH BE FOUND IN THEIR MOUTH, for they shall graze and lie down, with no one to cause them to shudder.
I think we’ve found our suffering servant! What do you think?
Oooh, good one, Jason!
Good question, but the verse concludes ‘and none shall make them afraid’… does that sound like now or the future?
So lets look at the full context: Moving on from Zephaniah 3:13 concerning the remnant:
Zepheniah 3:14. Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Rejoice and jubilate wholeheartedly, O daughter of Jerusalem!
3:15. **The Lord has removed your afflictions;** He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst-you shall no longer fear evil.
3:16. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, “Have no fear! O Zion, let your hands not be slack.
3:17. The Lord your God is in your midst-a Mighty One Who will save. He will rejoice over you with joy. He will be silent in His love. He will jubilate over you with song.”
3:18. Those who are removed from the appointed season I have destroyed. They were of you-it was a burden of shame upon her.
3:19. Behold, I wreak destruction upon all those who **afflict** you at that time. And I will save the one who limps, and I will gather the stray one, and I will make them a praise and a name throughout all the land where they **suffered shame.**
3:20. At that time I will bring them, and at [that] time I will gather you, for I will make you a name and a praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your captivities before your eyes, said the Lord.
A previously afflicted remnant who suffered shame, only to made a praise among all the peoples of the earth? Sounds like the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 to me!
Indeed it clearly refers to righteous of Israel, the nation – the Jewish people, but in a sinless future state (the principle enemy of all after all is our own sin or lawlessness).
However there’s an interesting link between the nation and one significant individual.
Here’s another picture of the servant Israel, in Isaiah 49.
‘Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.
And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;
And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.
Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God.’
It’s clear from the next verses this one is from but distinct from the nation:
‘And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.
Then an intriguing promise is made:
And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, [doesn’t that strike you as significant – not the nations but the nation] to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.
As I said, the identity of the Messiah and the nation are very closely intertwined, even when they reject Him.
Charles, Keep in mind what is said in Isaiah 49:3-6
Isaiah 49:3. And He said to me, “You are My servant, Israel, about whom I will boast.”
Isaiah 49:4. And I said, “I toiled in vain, I consumed my strength for nought and vanity.” Yet surely my right is with the Lord, and my deed is with my God.
Isaiah 49:5. And now, the Lord, Who formed me from the womb as a servant to Him, said to bring Jacob back to Him, and Israel shall be gathered to Him, and I will be honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God was my strength.
Isaiah 49:6. And He said, “It is too light for you to be My servant, to establish the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the besieged of Israel, but I will make you a light of nations, so that My salvation shall be until the end of the earth.”
Here, Isaiah makes a distinction between the righteous remnant (the servant) and the rest of “besieged Israel.” Part of the role of the remnant is to bring back the rest of Israel to righteousness.
The first step of redemption involves bringing “besieged Israel” back to Torah. Once this phase is complete, the nation of Israel can function as a “light unto the nations.”
It is interesting to note that no where in the entirety of the servant songs of Isaiah is the Messianic title of “David” used to define the servant. However, the general term “Israel” used use to describe the servant almost a dozen times in the servant songs of Isaiah!
You are forcing your preconceived notions on to the text, Charles. Isaiah is not referring to jesus when he says “you are my servant Israel” in Isaiah 49. He is referring to the righteous remnant of Israel. Messiah is a part of the remnant, yes. But to say it is ONLY speaking about the Messiah is a misunderstanding by christians. This is not about jesus at all…
Not pointing out anything new here but Duu mistranslates “bemotav” as “death” (singular) whereas the proper translation is “deaths” which is why is pertains to Israel as in multiple deaths. If Isaiah wanted to say “death” he would have used the word “bemoto”.
1 I gave access to them that asked not for Me, I was at hand to them that sought Me not; I said: ‘Behold Me, behold Me’, unto a nation that was not called by My name.
2 I have spread out My hands all the day unto a rebellious people, that walk in a way that is not good, after their own thoughts;
3 A people that provoke Me to My face continually, that sacrifice in gardens, and burn incense upon bricks;
4 That sit among the graves, and lodge in the vaults; that eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
5 That say: ‘Stand by thyself, come not near to me, for I am holier than thou’; these are a smoke in My nose, a fire that burneth all the day.
6 Behold, it is written before Me; I will not keep silence, except I have requited, yea, I will requite into their bosom,
7 Your own iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith HaShem, that have offered upon the mountains, and blasphemed Me upon the hills; therefore will I first measure their wage into their bosom.
8 Thus saith HaShem: as, when wine is found in the cluster, one saith: ‘Destroy it not, for a blessing is in it’; so will I do for My servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy all.
9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of My mountains; and Mine elect shall inherit it, and My servants shall dwell there. (Isaiah 65:11)
31 Behold, the days come, saith HaShem, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah;
32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; forasmuch as they broke My covenant, although I was a lord over them, saith HaShem. (Jeremiah 31)
Hey, Derek! Nice to see you. I’d like to talk to you more. Do you have an answer for me on a proposal for some ground rules for debating?
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1: 1-3)
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:14-18)
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12)
Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also. For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar.For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life. For it is attested of Him,
“YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER
ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.”
For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. And inasmuch as it was not without an oath (for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him,
“THE LORD HAS SWORN
AND WILL NOT CHANGE HIS MIND,
‘YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER’”);
so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.
The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever. (Hebrews 7:11-28)
I don’t consider your posts to be particularly useful communication, but I’ll play along:
“For thus says the Lord: David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, and the levitical priests shall never lack a man in my presence to offer burnt offerings, to make grain offering, and to make sacrifices for all time.
The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: Thus says the Lord: If any of you would break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night would not come at their appointed time, only then could my covenant with my servant David be broken, so that he would not have a son to reign on his throne, and my covenant with my ministers the Levites. Just as the host of heaven cannot be measured, so I will increase the offspring of my servant David, and the Levites who minister to me.” Jeremiah 33:19-22.
“You are the ones who have been shown, so that you will know that God is the Supreme Being, and there is none other besides Him.” Deuteronomy 4:35
“I am the Lord, that is My name, and My glory I will not give to another. Neither my praise to graven images!” Isaiah 42:8
“This is what the Lord says, Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty, ‘I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no god! Who then is like Me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before Me… Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.” Isaiah 44:6-8
The Levitical Priesthood is just as “eternal” as the Melchizedek Priesthood and I will use scripture to back this up. Here we go! “And they shall have the Kehuna/Priesthood as a statute forever, and you shall consecrate Aaron and his sons.” (Ex. 29:9)
“Bring close Aaron your brother and his sons with him from among the children of Israel to become Kohanim/Priests to Me [for all time].” (Exodus 28:1)
“And anoint them as you anointed their father, that they may serve Me, and it shall be for them an appointment to an everlasting Kehuna/Priesthood throughout their generations.” (Exodus 40:15)
“You and your sons with you shall keep your Kehuna/Priesthood. I give your Kehuna/Priesthood as a gift of service.” (Numbers 18:7)
“It is an everlasting covenant of salt before God with you and with your descendants.” (Numbers 18:19)
“And it shall be to him and to his descendants after him a covenant of everlasting Kehuna/Priesthood.” (Numbers 25:13)
“For God your God has chosen him of all your tribes to stand and serve with the name of God he and his sons forever.” (Deuteronomy 18:5)
“The Kohanim, the Levites, the sons of Tzadok kept the charge of my Sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from Me, they shall come near to Me to serve Me and stand before Me to offer before Me the fat and the blood, says the Lord, God.” (Ezekiel 44:15)
“For the Kohain’s lips shall keep knowledge, and Torah you shall seek from his mouth, for he is a messenger of God.” (Malachi 2:7)
As you can see, there is an abundance of references to the fact that the Levitical priesthood is ETERNAL. Thus, it’s a moot point to bring up that the Melchizedek priesthood is eternal. The Levitical priesthood is eternal, too!
The word “priest” is not ubiquitous with blood atonement. Rabbi Blumenthal explains this in Contra Brown. Only the Levites were given the authority by Hashem to utilize blood sacrifices for atoning purposes. Moses’s father-in-law, Jethro, was called a “midianite priest.” (kohen) It would be absurd to assume that just because it calls him a priest/kohen, that his duty was to “atone for the sins of his people using blood.” The same thing goes for Melchizedek and Psalms 110. There is NO evidence to support the idea that Melchizedek or the priest of Psalms 110 has anything to do with “blood sacrifice atonement.” What I’m getting at here is that jesus has no connection to Melchizedek. There is nothing in the Psalm that remotely resembles anything of jesus. Did jesus “crush kings?” Did jesus’s enemies “become a footstool at his feet”? There is nothing in the Psalm that even remotely resembles the life of jesus. Here is the Rashi for who the real priests of Melchizedek are! Abraham and King David certainly “crushed kings” with Hashem’s help. Their enemies were delivered into their hands, just as the Psalm states. Look at the Rashi with an open mind and look up the sources in Genesis 14 that he cites. At the very least, I think we can agree that the lives of Abraham and King David reflect the general idea of this pslam better than the life of jesus did. I have no problem with this Psalm referring to the Messiah as well. However, I do have a problem with the assertion that Hebrews makes concerning jesus being the subject of the psalm.
Regardless of how you interpret Psalms 110, one thing is clear: jesus has not fulfilled any part of it! You’d have to admit that everything you claim about jesus’s supposed connection the Psalm is based upon your belief in “the second coming,” in which jesus will supposedly fulfill all of what he didn’t fulfill during his first coming. (Which was everything…) Thats when he will supposedly “crush kings” and that’s when his enemies will be made “a footstool at his feet.” At least Abraham and King David fit the context of the Psalm in a certain sense that they battled kings and were victorious in battle. Abraham even received a blessing from Melchizedek himself! But what did jesus have to do with the psalm? What did jesus have to do with Melchizedek? Did jesus meet Melchizedek as Abraham did during his lifetime? We both know the answer…He did not. I have no problem with someone interpreting this Psalm in a Messianic sense, coming to full fulfillment in the end of days. However, to make the claim that jesus somehow “fulfilled” this Psalm in any way shape or form is completely baseless and unsupported. Fact is, jesus never served as a king or a priest. He never had any contact with Melchizedek during his lifetime either. Yet somehow he gets dibbs on this Psalm over King David, who actually did serve as a King of Israel, and Abraham, who actually did receive a blessing directly from Melchizedek himself!
The fact of the matter is, jesus is not a priest of anything…
Yehudah, Yehoshua has drunk from the brook, His head is lifted up and He is already seeing the effects of His reign on earth. You may regard Constantine’s conversion as an unmitigated disaster, and in many ways it was both for Jews and for idol-hating Christians, but it still was an astonishing change of tack for the Empire that made Christians living bonfires, hounded and crucified them in 1,000s to then try to seduce them into cohabitation by nominally bowing the knee to their once despised criminal King. The stone has already struck the foot of the golden headed statue.
I am confident on the basis of the extended and detailed description of the priest’s office in Exod. 29, blood sacrifice was universally part and parcel of their work, it is taken for granted. Jethro and Melchizedek very likely sacrificed just as Abel, Noah and Job did in their time by Divine appointment, as did all the patriarchs long before Levi. Feel free to document evidence it isn’t so, but an argument from silence isn’t sufficient.
By the way, if I called you yehudah, not Yehudah, would I not be properly charged with malice?
Daniel warns us about an individual who will try to “change the times and the Law” in Daniel 7:25
Daniel 7:25. And he will speak words against the Most High, and he will oppress the high holy ones, **and he will think to CHANGE the times and the LAW,** and they will be delivered into his hand until a time, two times, and half a time.
Lets compare this verse with Hebrews 7:12
Hebrews 7:12 For when the priesthood is changed, the **LAW MUST BE CHANGED** also.
Derek, you must admit, this parallel is uncanny…
Though of course the word for law in Dan.7.25 is plural ‘laws’. הַשְׁנָיָה זִמְנִין וְדָת
and how many rabbinic Jews would see Yehoshua or Jesus as the little horn of Daniel’s 10? If no change of the Law is needed, why does Ezekiel indicate there will be new Temple ordinances?
I find it interesting that you put so much emphasis on the sacrificial discrepancies between Ezekiel’s Temple and the Laws concerning the traveling Mishkan in the desert. there were even slight sacrificial discrepancies between the traveling Mishkan, the first Holy Temple, and the Second Holy Temple. For example, during the times of the traveling Mishkan, Moses performed many of the priestly duties of Aaron, inaugurating the tabernacle and Aaron into office. However, during the times of the first and second Temples, only Kohanim (patrilineal descendants of AARON) were allowed to perform those same priestly atonement duties that Moses performed in the Mishkan! This is a clear “change” in the way in which atoning sacrifices were issued. Likewise, in Ezekiel 44:15, we learn that in the third Temple, only Levitical Kohanim of the family of Zadok will serve in the inner court of the Temple. So just as Moses originally performed duties specific to the High Priest but was forbidden to do so after the inauguration of his brother Aaron, so too, do we have “changes” in the priesthood concerning the sons of Zadok and the third Temple!
When you look at the totality of scripture concerning the priesthood, one thing remains 100% consistent: The sacrificial atonement via the blood is SPECIFIC TO THE LEVITES AND ONLY THE LEVITES! There is no mention of a “Melchizedek priesthood.” Neither Melchizedek, nor the “priesthood after the order of Melchizedek” are charged with the function of “atonement for sin,” let alone blood sacrifice….(See Gen 14 and Psalms 110 for the two times Melchizedek is mentioned in the Tanach) So any sort of “changes” which will occur during this time assume that the Levitical priests continue to function with the same general duties of which they always did…We can nit pick the number of sacrifices, but the fact is, there is no support for a “Melchizedek priesthood” superseding the Levitical priesthood in terms of atoning power. (or even having anything to do with atonement.) That is why Jeremiah 33:17-18 is so important. The house of David has a specific duty and the house of Levi has a specific duty.
The book of Hebrews appears to argue that jesus’s blood is “the real deal.” In other words, it appears to argue that all animal sacrifices “point to jesus’s blood sacrifice on the cross.” I would argue that this is simply circular reasoning. As stated above there is nothing in the Tanach to support the idea that a member of the “Melchizedek priesthood” has superior “atoning power” to the Levitical priesthood in any way shape or form! The book of Hebrews, specifically in chapters 7-10, appears to whitewash the Levitical priesthood and it’s atoning methods as being “impossible to remove sin” (Hebrews 10:4) and even renders it “weak and useless” (Hebrews 7:18) in comparison to this supposed “Melchizedek priesthood” which apparently only jesus is a part of! (Apart from Melchizedek.) Of course, Hebrews 9:22 contradicts this supposed “uselessness” of blood sacrifices, but hey, who’s keeping score anyway! 😉
Don’t you find it odd that there is NO MENTION of this supposed “Melchizedek priesthood” in the entity of Ezekiel 40-48?? If jesus really is the fulfillment of these chapters, wouldn’t it make sense for Ezekiel to at least casually mention what Hebrews 7-10 discusses in detail about concerning jesus as a priest of the order of Melchizedek, who has higher atoning power in his blood than the Levitical priests do in their sacrifices? Instead, Ezekiel 40-48 goes into extreme detail concerning the Temple and the LEVITICAL sacrifices what were to be made, even singling out the descendants of Zadok!
Drop Hebrews and get Torah!
Shalom and G-d bless!
Thanks Jason. Simple question, have you not considered that the Second Temple was always just as empty as the Tabernacle was at Gibeon (1 Ch.29.21), despite all its many sacrifices, the Ark – God’s presence – being in Zion (2 Sa 6:17, 2 Ch 1:4)? No wonder when Daniel prayed fervently for the restoration, Gabriel warned him it would shortly be destroyed, after its purpose in welcoming in the Ark was complete (Hag. 2.6-8, Mal.3.1). Where will you find the Testimony for a future Temple, or will it too be an empty shell, as at Gibeon?
The restoration of the Third Temple will take place in that future glorious age when the knowledge of God will cover the earth as the water covers the seabed, when all the Jewish exiles will be gathered in, when God’s commands, statutes, decrees, and ordinances will be observed by ALL Jews, when universal peace will reign, when all the nations of the world will join together in the worship of the one true God of Israel. If you read the messianic prophecies I presented to you in my challenge, I think you will see what the prophets meant when they talked about the Third Temple.
I looked up all these verses and can’t figure out what you meant in quoting any of them. (I think you meant 1 Chr 21:29.) Some of them seem to be part of directly disproving your ’empty shell’ idea, am I missing something?
Annelise, the verses are correct. Why did the Shekinah never appear in the Second Temple? For the same reason it never appeared in the Tabernacle when the Ark wasn’t there, as at Gibeon, (but God’s presence accompanied the Ark, 2 Sam. 6:5,14,16,17).
Incidentally Dina, though this takes us off topic of our discussion elsewhere, as you know I disagree. The foundation of the third Temple has long since been laid, and long been in construction (Isa.8.13-15, Isa.28.15-18, Zech.3.8-9, Zech.6.12-15).
I Chronicles 29:21 says “On the next day they offered sacrifices and burnt offerings to the Lord, a thousand bulls, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their libations, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel.” Are you sure you didn’t mean 21:29?
In any case… I still don’t see the relevance of the verses you cited with it… could you go through them?
You’re absolutely right, Annelise, my error, sorry. Can I walk you through my thinking, yes will do as soon as I have 10 minutes spare, even though we both know full well, it will likely bring me more trouble!
God’s appearance in a dream to Solomon happened at Gibeon, by the way. Even that in itself makes the place holy and a place of meeting with God, in my opinion (I don’t know the rabbinic opinion).
And From 1 Chronicles 21:
“For the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were at that time in the high place at Gibeon; but David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the Lord.”
I don’t know a lot about this at all, I just did a word search, but is it not important?
A few minutes to try and explain more fully, so that you can at least know what you’re contesting better. The Ark symbolised God’s immediate presence and always is present when the Shekinah is manifest. The reason for this should be obvious, from the beginning the Ark was the shield or cloak of the 10 commandments. In Deut.10, where it is described it is introduced as a means of mediating the by now already fractured Law.
So in one important sense, the second Temple was always empty. Of course God appointed it, used it, blessed it and had commanded its rebuilding, but only to clear the decks for the coming of the Third. Yes Solomon obtained blessing from Gibeon, but it’s telling that it’s introduced as the ‘great high place’ after the condemnation of other high places. The only lawful way to approach God is through complete and sufficient obedience to His law, hence our constant need for a priestly mediator and intercessor, whose efficacy is not determined merely by his own life, but by the visible change he makes to our lives to.
Charles, Malachi 3:1-4 does not refer to the second Temple. I can prove this by demonstrating to you how verses 3-4 have not been fulfilled yet:
Malachi 3:3. And he shall sit refining and purifying silver, and he shall **PURIFY THE CHILDREN OF LEVI.** And he shall purge them as gold and as silver, and they shall be offering up an offering to the Lord with righteousness.
Malachi 3:4. And THEN the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem shall be pleasant to the Lord, **AS IN THE DAYS OF OLD AND IN FORMER YEARS.**
Charles, has this happened yet? Are the Levites purified so that the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem are pleasant to the Lord as in the days of old and in former years?
When you are honest with yourself, this has not come to fruition yet. At the end of days, the Levites will perform sacrifices for the sake of Judah and Jerusalem so that their offerings will be pleasing to Hashem as in the days of old and in former years. This refers to the third Temple…NOT THE SECOND!
Dr. Michael Brown has manipulated his audience into believing such fallacies.
I encourage you to watch this video I made of my interaction with Dr. Michael Brown. I highlight his theological inconsistencies and misrepresentation of Rabbinic Judaism.
Thanks for the video, I’m listening to it. I think you’re over-reading his statements, when he says not necessarily using blood, he’s simply trying to be honest with the texts – not every text explicitly alludes to blood sacrifice, so the connexion cannot be proven in every instance. That is not the same thing at as saying that there are any instances (and how much does it matter what the Babylonians and Egyptians believed) whatsoever where a priest is definitely known not to have been involved in blood sacrifices at all, which is what you take him to say. A Cohen is a sacrificing priest – no sacrifice, no cohen. There are scores of texts that establish this association, where is the text that disproves it?
A prime example of a purified Levite is Matthew, formerly Levi, a depraved former collaborator and gangster purified into a lover and follower of HaShem. There were and are many, many others.
Incidentally I agree the Zech.14, Ezek. 40+ texts and many others do primarily focus on a glorious future that focuses on Israel. The role of the Temple in that is crucial, but it surely won’t be an empty shell.
Oops! Here’s the video!
Zechariah 14:16. And it will come to pass that everyone left of the nations who came up against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to prostrate himself to the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to celebrate the festival of Tabernacles.
Zechariah 14:17. And it shall be that whoever of all the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to prostrate himself to the King, the Lord of Hosts-upon them there shall be no rain.
Zechariah 14:18. And if the family of Egypt does not go up and does not come, it shall not [rain] upon them. The plague [on Egypt] will be [the same as] that with which the Lord will plague the nations who do not go up to celebrate the festival of Tabernacles.
Zechariah 14:19. Such will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the festival of Tabernacles.
Charles, this hasn’t happened yet. It is one of the three Jewish holidays which the Jews would go to the Holy Temple to celebrate in Jerusalem. (The holiday of Sukkot/Festival of Tabernacles) This implies that there will be a third Temple at the end of days.
The Messianic promise it that Israel will be restored and the Temple will be reestablished along with the priesthood. Ezekiel 37:24-28 shows this, (Sanctuary, dwelling place) as does Ezekiel 40-48. Zechariah 14:16-20 also shows (as shown above) this along with Isaiah 2:2-4 and Zechariah 8:20-23.
Also, read this from Isaiah 56 and tell me if it has been fulfilled yet…
Isaiah 56:2. Fortunate is the man who will do this and the person who will hold fast to it, he who keeps the Sabbath from profaning it and guards his hand from doing any evil.
Isaiah 56:3. Now let not the foreigner who joined the Lord, say, “The Lord will surely separate me from His people,” and let not the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.”
Isaiah 56:4. For so says the Lord to the eunuchs who will keep My Sabbaths and will choose what I desire and hold fast to My covenant,
Isaiah 56:5. “I will give them in My house and in My walls a place and a name, better than sons and daughters; an everlasting name I will give him, which will not be discontinued.
Isaiah 56:6. And the foreigners who join with the Lord to serve Him and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, everyone who observes the Sabbath from profaning it and who holds fast to My covenant.
Isaiah 56:7. I will bring them to My holy mount, and I will cause them to rejoice in My house of prayer, their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable upon My altar, for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
Has this happened yet, Charles?
May it happen speedily in our days!
Charles, you’d have to admit though, that the very fact that Dr. Brown must appeal to extra-biblical sources in order to make his case, demonstrates that he is coming to his conclusions using eisegesis. He has no reason to assume that every time the Tanach uses the word “priest,” it must mean that such and such priests must be associated with blood atoning sacrifices. Dr. Brown was forced to admit that Exodus 19:6 was an example of “priests” PRAYING on behalf of the nations. He tried to excuse this as a “metaphor,” but this just further proves the point I was trying to make: When used in the Tanach, the word “priest/kohen” is not ubiquitous with blood atoning sacrifice UNLESS we are speaking of the LEVITICAL PRIESTS. G-d only gave the LEVITES the authority to utilize blood atoning sacrifices on behalf of the people. Melchizedek was never given this authority and nor was the “priest of Melchizedek” spoken of in Psalms 110. There is nothing in the Tanach that indicates that a “change in the priesthood” is necessary in the days of King Messiah. Like I said before, the Book of Ezekiel conveniently left out any “Melchizedek Priesthood” concerning the 3rd Temple in Ezekiel 40-48.
The bottom line is that Dr. Brown has no basis for linking Melchizedek to jesus through Psalms 110. Why do you believe jesus is being spoken of in Psalms 110? I can’t find the faintest clue how jesus has anything to do with Melchizedek…
But Charles, Malachi 3:3-4 explains that it is through the Levites that the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to Hashem AS IN THE DAYS OF OLD AND IN FORMER YEARS. If this has already been fulfilled, then shouldn’t the Holy Temple be rebuild now? Shouldn’t we be doing the sacrifices as they were done in the time of King Solomon’s Temple under the Zadokian Priesthood? We both know that this is not happening today. Clearly, Matthew is not a “purified” Levite in the sense that Malachi 3:3-4 is speaking about…
This deals with Daniel 7 and Hebrews 7.
“And Jacob called his sons and said, ‘Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days.'” (Genesis 49:1)
“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to him shall be the obedience of the people.” (Genesis 49:10)
This transfer of power was recorded by Josephus.
“And now Archelaus’ part of Judea was reduced into a province, and Caponius, one of the Equestrian order of the Romans, was sent as a procurator,having the power of life and death put into his hands by Caesar!”
In the Targum pseudo-Jonathan it states:
“Kings and rulers shall not cease from the house of Judah…until King Messiah comes.”[9
In the Targum Onkelos it states:
“The transmission of dominion shall not cease from the house of Judah, nor the scribe from his children’s children, forever, until Messiah comes.”
In the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 98b, Rabbi Johanan said:
“The world was created for the sake of the Messiah, what is this Messiah’s name? The school of Rabbi Shila said ‘his name is Shiloh, for it is written; until Shiloh come.'”
transfer of power is even mentioned in the Talmud:
“A little more than forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the power of pronouncing capital sentences was taken away from the Jews.”
Antiquities 20:9 Josephus again points out that the Sanhedrin had no authority over capital cases:
“After the death of the procurator Festus, when Albinus was about to succeed him, the high-priest Ananius considered it a favorable opportunity to assemble the Sanhedrin. He therefore caused James the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, and several others, to appear before this hastily assembled council, and pronounced upon them the sentence of death by stoning. All the wise men and strict observers of the law who were at Jerusalem expressed their disapprobation of this act…some even went to Albinus himself, who had departed to Alexandria, to bring this breach of the law under his observation, and to inform him that Ananius had acted illegally in assembling the Sanhedrin without the Roman authority.”
“When the members of the Sanhedrin found themselves deprived of their right over life and death, a general consternation took possession of them: they covered their heads with ashes, and their bodies with sackcloth, exclaiming: ‘Woe unto us for the scepter has departed from Judah and the Messiah has not come'”,,
“Daniel has elucidated to us the knowledge of the end times. However, since they are secret, the wise [rabbis] have barred the calculation of the days of Messiah’s coming so that the untutored populace will not be led astray when they see that the End Times have already come but there is no sign of the Messiah” (Emphasis added). [Igeret Teiman, Chapter 3, p. 24.]
Rabbi Moses Abraham Levi said regarding the time of Messiah’s coming:
“I have examined and searched all the Holy Scriptures and have not found the time for the coming of Messiah clearly fixed, except in the words of Gabriel to the prophet Daniel, which are written in the 9th chapter of the prophecy Daniel.” [The Messiah of the Targums, Talmuds and Rabbinical Writers, 1971]
In the Targum of the prophets, in Tractate Megillah 3a, which was composed by Rabbi Jonathan ben Uzziel, we read:
“And the (voice from heaven) came forth and exclaimed, who is he that has revealed my secrets to mankind?.. He further sought to reveal by a Targum the inner meaning of the Hagiographa (a portion of scripture which includes Daniel), but a voice from heaven went forth and said, enough! What was the reason?–because the date of the Messiah was foretold in it!”
In the Babylonian Talmud (tractate Nazir 32b) we read:
“Had I been there, I should have said to them: is it not written, the temple of the Lord the temple of the Lord the temple of the Lord are these, which points to the destruction of the first and Second Temples? Granted that they [the rabbis of the Second Temple period] knew it would be destroyed, did they know when this would occur? Rabbi Abaye objected: and did they not know when? Is it not written, seventy weeks are determined upon the people, and upon the holy city. All the same, did they know on which day?”
Rabbi Elias, who lived 200 years before Jesus wrote:
“The world endures 6000 years: two thousand before the law, two thousand with the law and two thousand with the Messiah.” (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 96b-99a)
Sanhedrin 97b. Rabbi Rabh states:
“All the predestined dates for redemption (the coming of Messiah) have passed and the matter now depends only on the repentance and good deeds.”
“The Tannadebe Eliyyahu teaches: the world is to exist six thousand years. In the first two thousand there was desolation; two thousand years the Torah flourished; and the next two thousand years is the Messianic era, but through our many iniquities all these years have been lost!”
in the Yakult on Psalms 139:16-17 we find the statement:
“This world is to last 6000 years; 2000 years it was waste and desolate, 2000 years marks the period under the law, 2000 years under the Messiah. And because our sins are increased, they are increased.”
“If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hid from your eyes! For the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation!” (Luke 19:42-44)
This cut and paste from missionary literature contains blatant lies – If you have something of your own to say – you are more than welcome – but if you continue with cutting and pasting – you will be blocked from this blog
The earth shook, temple rent torn in two, skies darkened…He did it all for you!
Come in, come in, come into the Holy of Holies…open to all through Messiah…both Jew and Gentile.
He has done it!
That was really powerful. I’m sure every non-Christian who’s been following your arguments is running to the nearest church to get baptized.
I wish all Christian missionaries would follow your lead and use your method of evangelism to convert new followers.
May I suggest you hold conferences to teach your techniques? It would be totally awesome if your techniques replaced the standard ones ordinary missionaries use.
Is this a kid playing a joke?
No, Larry, I think Derek is serious. I mean, I think he thinks he’s serious. A secret invasion of aliens removed his brain and replaced it with a Christian bible, poor guy.
Many Christian websites run much tighter moderation of posts. An open warning like this seems completely fair game to me, and we’re guests here, not tenants, David. Perhaps, Derek, may I suggest a link and concise direction to the argument you want considered best – to enable proper scrutiny without taking up masses of space. Having said that, despite considerable exasperation, the ‘brain removal’ was somewhat subprime, sorry, but your pen is capable of much nobler, razor bladed ripostes – the man has a great desire to help, even if sometimes clumsily. Derek is absolutely no troll, but the common adage ‘not to feed’ is appropriate, if he goes badly off topic. Isn’t silence often a more powerful reply to duff argument?
Yes, Charles, you are right, that was very unkind of me and also low. My apologies to Derek.
I like that word “duff,” by the way. It’s a British word, apparently. It’s also a steamed pudding, rather like a spotted dick, which you kind of have to grow up with to appreciate (I tried it with butter instead of suet, which isn’t kosher, and it wasn’t half bad with custard sauce).
Such a revealing statement you have provided here. It highlights two opposing schools of thought. On the one hand you can govern expression of thought by central control using the tool of censorship or threatened censorship. On the other hand you can let the free market place of ideas flourish and let people think for themselves. To which do you hold? Should I go by what you wrote here or your comment policy statement?
If you hold to what you have written here then I have this proposal for amending your comment policy to bring it in line, (the amendment is contained in the parenthesis):
Comments are allowed on this blog (which agree with the opinions of the censor) because we believe that through civil respectful conversation we can all be lead closer to the truth (as defined by the censor). If you do not share this belief then please do not comment (those who do will be barred from this blog).
As a practical matter Yisroel, I don’t think you have to worry, and you don’t need to change your comment policy. Something tells me the vast majority of your readers being Jewish will very quickly grow weary of reading cut and pasted missionary literature and NT passages. Yisroel, even I grow weary of reading lengthy cut and pasted anything and am not going to read it for long, so if you want to be seen as a legitimate site for the free and open, uncensored, exchange of ideas then you’ll have to resist the urge to censor opinions which you believe are blatant lies. In the long run the only way to counter an opinion which you believe to be false is to rebut with your own opinion and allow others to rebut or agree as they see fit and let people sort it out for themselves without the threat of censorship.
The threat of censorship comes because of the cutting and pasting – which makes it difficult to read the intelligent comments.
For you to say that I only allow comments that agree with my point of view is almost as ridiculous as your comments on the history of Christian anti-Semitism – but you are entitled to your opinion.
I don’t believe you.
If it’s just cutting and pasting you claim to be objecting to then I have this in rebuttal.
Why mention the “blatant lies” in the same breath with your threat to block someone from the blog?
And, what about your own prolific cutting and pasting with Dr. Brown’s missionary literature and your contra missionary literature? There seems to be a lot of cutting and pasting missionary/contra missionary here, not to mention blatant lies (but who’s? that’s all in the eye’s of the particular reader at least up until now).
By the way. You misquoted me. Wouldn’t you classify that as a blatant lie? Maybe you should block yourself.
First of all, you had to have known that it was based on the conditional statement:
“If” you hold to what you have written here then I have this proposal…
Second of all, as you can see, it was a proposal for your comment policy and not a claim as to your conduct up to this point.
so let’s cut through all the obfuscation and speak openly and honestly.
If you change your policy whether you officially amend your comment policy in writing or not, and continue down this new path of threating censorship of blatant lies, you then become the arbiter between truth an lie. Agreed?
And, don’t you agree that even the “threat” of censorship of blatant lies stifles open and honest discussion and leads away from the truth and not towards it?
I take it this comment isn’t hateful frustration, just trying not to dilute a strong opinion in pleasantries?
David, did you read what I wrote below? Why are you doing this? It’s so hateful.
Do you think you can attract Jews to your brand of Christianity with this behavior?
David, you wrote:
“And, don’t you agree that even the ‘threat’ of censorship of blatant lies stifles open and honest discussion and leads away from the truth and not towards it?”
David, you are obviously not feeling very threatened. You continue to unrestrainedly voice your opinion without fear of being censored. Now who’s being dishonest?
David, I know you addressed this to Rabbi Blumenthal, so I hope he will forgive me for jumping in, and I’m sorry for inserting myself. I’m just so angered by what you’ve said that I can’t keep quiet.
This is probably the most disingenuous comment I’ve ever seen you write. It’s also the most disrespectful and contemptuous and nastily sarcastic.
Have you ever been blocked from airing your opinions on this blog, which do not “agree with the opinion of the censor”? Has “Freedom”? Has Charles? Cliff? Paul? June? Marilyn? Shapira? Go trawling through the thousands of comments on this blog and you will find innumerable dissenting opinions. Some of the opinions that do not “agree with the opinion of the censor” are quite harsh; some even call the Jewish people rebellious, sinful, and spiritually blind (I believe you might be guilty of pressing such charges against us on this blog). Many of them contain personal attacks against this blog’s “censor.”
It’s pretty rich for the most vehement dissenter of this blog’s “censor,” who is allowed free reign to express his opinions, to lecture Rabbi Blumenthal about censorship. I can’t think of a nice way to tell you that what you’ve just done is despicable.
You also obviously don’t understand what Derek has done, how base and insulting it is, and why Rabbi B. has threatened to block his comments.
Hi and Thank you, Dina. For Him and of Him,
12 “You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’
In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy,
And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it.
13 “It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy.
And He shall be your fear,
And He shall be your dread.
14 “Then He shall become a sanctuary;
But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over,
And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem. (Isaiah 8)
“O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (Jn 17:26)
I know this may sound a bit much…but I feel God’s love for you…it’s oozing out of me. He just wants you to stop fighting and believe and trust in Messiah Yeshua. Father, oh my Heavenly Father, please bring Dina into your Glorious Light.
LOL, Derek, thanks for the laugh!
I hope Rabbi B. doesn’t block you; this is highly entertaining. I mean it, you should get all missionaries to adopt your methods.
Derek, I’m sorry. I’ve been unkind. I didn’t think before speaking. What I said to you (and about you to Larry) was hateful.
Please accept my apologies.
P.S. I hope sometime soon that you will seriously engage with me on these issues. –Dina
Reblogged this on 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources.
The rich are usually wicked are they not?
Ps. 17:14 From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.