Shapira is not a Trinitarian
( – but he is still an Idolater)
Itzhak Shapira published a response to my critique of his interview with Dr. Brown that took place in August of 2013 (https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/response-to-line-of-fire-14/ ). Shapira’s response can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu4EWiw9Os4
Shapira’s video only addresses one word of my critique. That word is “trinity.” I had assumed that Shapira is a Trinitarian Christian.
If you take out the word “trinity” from my critique and you put in the words “worshiper of Yeshua,” every one of my arguments will still stand. It is obvious that Shapira has no response to my arguments so he needs to nitpick on irrelevant words in order to appear as one who is presenting a defense.
Why did I assume that Shapira is a Trinitarian?
Simple; he claims to have been ordained by the IMACS which is a subsidiary of the MJAA. The statement of faith of the MJAA declares that the organization believes in the trinity. Furthermore; Shapira quotes extensively from Trinitarian books (such as “Can Three be One”) and from various Trinitarian Christians (such as Dr. Michael Brown). At no point does Shapira distance himself from the beliefs of those he quotes from.
Is Shapira a Trinitarian? It makes no difference. As long as he directs worship to a man and encourages others to do the same then he has taken a stance against the very heart of what Israel stands for as a nation before God.
P.S. I find it odd that Shapira demands a public debate with me as if he were interested in having his audience hear both sides of the argument. If he would truly be interested in having his audience hearing both sides of the story he would tell his audience where they could read my responses to his works. His failure to take this elementary step makes me wonder.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal
R’ Blumenthal: I found that surprising also. He has videos teaching the Trinity. As you say, it matter not since his prime focus is a hybrid god-man, foreign to the revelation at Sinai.
Trinitarians are unitarians, in fact more unitarian than “unitarian Christians or some followers of ‘Yehoshua” or Jesus”. They believe that Jesus and God are one and the same, not 2 or 3. Many who are not trinitarians are actually “binarians”, where Jesus is a little less divine than God. They are separate and not equal, as a pair or as a father god and his son, who is also a god (“more god” than an angel might be). If Jesus is not divine (not a god), than he was a mere man and then much of the NT promotes idolatry rather than polytheism disguised as unitarianism or “trinitarian oneness”.
Rabbi: I was about to discuss this with a trinitarian but I decided not to. If you raise the issue to a believer in the trinity that directing worship to an entity other than Hashem is idolatry, they will inevitably respond by saying that Jesus=God or at least 1/3 of what they call god-head. Aside from stating that echad in the shema is an adjective ie one, and not a compound unity, how else can you demonstrate the inconsistency of this type of belief?
Ed– It is really kind of simple actually. What the church teaches is that Jesus was a god in pre-existent spirit. Then BECAME flesh at the incarnation. That means he became what they call a hypostatic union. 100% god100%man. Keep in mind, he was 100% spirit to begin with. Now, after living on Earth as a god-man, he returned to heaven as a god-man.
What is wrong? G-d is immutable. He does not change. Ever. He says so himself. So for G-d (the son) to fuse himself to humanity, that by definition is change. This god has added to his god nature…human nature..permanently to the godhead. This would violate G-ds self-professed unchanging nature. Therefore, it is a false heretical doctrine.
Rabbi Blumenthal told me a couple of things that also help to explain this. Basically… what does it mean to be human? Christians say that Jesus was 100% human and 100% God, in other words, that God chose to create a reality in which He would totally experience what it is to be human. But the question here is important. The very deepest part of our human experience is not that our bodies need air, food, water, shelter; it’s not that we feel pain, loneliness, or uncertainty… even deeper than that is our experience of being created. Owing worship and gratitude for our very existence. Being able to look to God and Creator, while we are the ones He has made, and serve and know Him within that experience. This… it is something that wouldn’t be experienced by God, who isn’t created 🙂 Let everything that has breath praise Hashem… He created the skies, the earth, and everything in them.
The other part of it is to understand our relationship with God as being defined by this same experience… we are part of a relationship between Creator and created. If Jesus was created, he was one of us on this side of the relationship and didn’t deserve our worship. If he was God incarnate, then he wasn’t one of us, he never experienced what it is to be on this side of the relationship.
God works through creation to reveal Himself all the time. But if you start saying something in your experience is not just a vessel for God’s light but in fact is God, then that entity will no longer be transparent; you won’t be able to see through to Him in its humility. Humility that is defined as the inherent quality of created things and people and how we should be before Him and others.
you already said that Yeshua as church believe is 100%God, and 100%man, not 50-50, so, God doesn’t change at all, for when he is God (100%) he’s not human, and when he is man (100%) he’s not God. the book of revelation, gives us a good picture, God is the Light, and the Lamb is the lamp.
ito– “for when he is God (100%) he’s not human, and when he is man (100%) he’s not God.”
That is not what the church teaches…and that does not solve your problem. The point is, from the beginning of time, there was only “God” , there was no humanity. After the incarnation, there is a NEW entity….a “god-man”. So, “God” is not today…as “God” was before time and humanity. That is change. That is forbbiden.
I find it a shame that Shapira is an anti-trinitarian, it does sadden me as a Christian.
But also, I never use Shapira’s works in my articles and to be very honest, judging by the correspondence that Mr Blumenthal and Mr Cohen have had, I’d rather not and glad I did not.
We tried to warn Dr Michael L Brown, who has endorsed the work of Shapira without doing his due diligence. He did not heed the warning. In fact Brown doubled down on his support of this unhinged character and non-orthodox heretic. Shocking really.
Really, Why am I not surprised? Seriously I am upset Brown did not heed the warning.
While I’m with Judaism, I think you have the right approach here of standing for individual things you see to be true, rather than just taking sides. It would be wrong to lump all Christians’ beliefs, or all missionaries’ approaches, in with Shapira’s work. (Though I think it does illustrate in exaggerated magnitude a lot of the existing issues in other people’s work when they try to use rabbinic sources to prove that ‘complex unity in God’ or ‘divine messiah’ are traditional Jewish ideas.)
I do appreciate what you have said and yes it would be wrong to lump all missionaries with Shapira. The point I made is that Brown supports certain ministries which have a bad reputation among Christian camps. I was simply saying in light of that, It doesn’t surprise me that Brown would support Shapira.
But yes I agree with you, we shouldn’t lump people together with a broadbrush.
Oh but he has my brother and we are watching ever post.
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Now that the elementary steps have been revealed Rabbi are you going to step out from behind your blog and back up what you are saying?
Which point of mine did I not back up with evidence?
Shapira has not denied the Trinity here, neither has he affirmed it.
He is simply arguing for the non simple nature of Deity in this he has common ground with other Jews.
Listen from about the 13 minute mark for about a minute – he says that he does not believe in the trinity
I should have read this reply 5 yrs ago but he does say @13.30 ‘God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit are different personas’ then deny the concept.
I agree it sounds like a denial of the Trinity, but to be fair to him, I still think it’s compatible with a disavowal of a subtle form of tritheism by taking issue with the notion of an independent personal being for each member of the Godhead, I’ve heard orthodox ministers do the same, though it’s clumsily expressed,and it needs closer examination.
Frankly I wouldn’t expect this speaker to manage nuance well.
Rabbi, what then is the nature of the Messiah or any of us? Are we spiritual beings who come to earth and then return? Genesis 6 speaks in no uncertain terms about the Sons of G-d mating with daughters of men. We can rationalize that particular verse all day long but finally, it says what it says. One can write it off as an inability to see a deeper hidden meaning or a misunderstanding but we see that the concept of taking it literally is not new according to the Book of Enoch. Why couldn’t Jesus have been like one of these?
Or what does this verse tell us about the nature of G-d, his apparent “Sons” and finally about us?
Messiah or not, I don’t see Jesus as G-d, neither do I believe he or his original followers believed it. It clearly makes no sense, is not biblical according to any text “old” or “new”, and from any angle and is rife with problems. The only remote consideration would be Isaiah 9 but this is clearly up for debate too. Why do some find it necessary to hold to this dogma? Aside from the legalities, it makes no logical sense. Hello, I would like you to meet my son…me, he’s a good kid and so am I. The sentence makes no sense mono does not = tri. 1 is not = 3
I was seriously going to become a Christian, a follower of Yahshua. I did my due-diligence and attended bible study, did my own research too. Then I asked the question to a mature Christain, “please explain this concept of the trinity”. The answer I got was confusion in trying to answer my question. I asked another mature Christian and another, no one could answer this simple question in a simple manner. I kept on asking, same confused answer. The the power of reasoning kicked in and I realized that if God wanted Yahshua to be God, then the answer to my question would be simple to understand and explain. God almighty is not a God of confusion. I did not become a Christian.
Lola, with respect to what you have said about the Trinity, belief in it doesn’t mean that God is the author of confusion. Even if you cannot understand it completely, that doesn’t mean you cannot understand it at all.
God existing from eternity is far more complicated than the Trinity yet most believe in God and cannot fathom how he can exist without beginning and end. Does that mean God is the author of confusion just because he exists eternally and has no beginning and end? No.
Lola– Confusion and He does not lie or act deceitfully. For Him to tell us in Deut 30 that there is nothing in heaven to retrieve, in order to be right with G-d and according to the church, he was actually witholding the Torah in the flesh (Jesus) from us, makes G-d decietful. (G-d forbid). BUt Paul says in the NT the Torah was a tutor, to show us our sin and make us ready for “grace”. So who is right? G-d who says we have everything we need in Deut 30? Or Paul, who claims Jesus was witheld for 1500 years from us?
All of Tanakh points to Yeshua. The Red Heifer–Blood Moons–Passover–and His Father testifies of Him as well, and only He can remove the scales when we cry out to Him from a broken and contrite heart. When I was broken to the point I cried out to G-d, and surrendered for the first time in my life of 44 years, He answered in a way I can’t do justice describing. The two things I realized in a powerful way was that He had never intended anything but good for me, and that He loved me enough to send His Son to bear the weight of my sin.
If G-d didn’t make a means of atonement, I’m in real danger because no ones been offering atonement now since 70 a.d. He did though, from the hill overlooking the Temple.
Michael Brown, Itzhac Shapira, Sid Roth, and the likes of them, are being condemned here because of a revelation given to them by the Father. If we are fools, we will fall as fools, but I will gladly come across as a fool for the One who lifted me in the time of my distress. I challenge you to publish my response. Pick it apart, for those who are so inclined, but it is given in the same Spirit that lifted me from my despair–before this I was pretty much like Lola who posted earlier.
Ask your Heavenly Father for the answer!
There’s an underlying similarity between most all Xtian testimonies. The more despair the more the zealotry. It is understandable how a burden can be lifted and attributed to an individual that walked the earth. We can understand this through psychology. If a person is burdened with despair and has a means to remove it that person will choose that method. The person will be convinced that he will bear absolutely NO responsibility if he chooses that path. This is not only appealing but necessary for that person to heal his mental health. Once a person has been convinced he bears absolutely NO responsibility by the act of declaration and that is attributable to his god it reinvigorates that belief when he feels the burden lifted. It’s the act of removing responsibility that caused the change, not an act of a man-god. It is this reason that the same effect occurs withing other religions and not solely the benefit of Xtianity.
Needless to say, this is not the way or method that Avraham pursued. Instead, he used an intellectual approach that ended in actually determining that there must be One who governs all.
Therefore, Michael, removing despair isn’t evidence of a belief.We are taught that Am Yisrael will cry out to Hashem in the end and will be saved. One can understand the tribulations Israel has endured that it was all for Israel’s benefit, even the Shoah.
Echad. This was my exact response – verbatim – this past Shabbat when asked how `Jesus’ could be G-d. No more scarlet turning white, no Atonement for breaking covenant with HaShem. What of the covenant of the pieces with Avraham? Did HaShem really pass between the pieces; to give the Land and to make a nation of priests to minister to ALL nations? Did we – the mixed multitude not break that covenant? Is it written – HaShem will provide HIMSELF for a lamb? Or not. This may be all thinking from the `bottom-up’ i.e. from base human; but I believe – from the TOP down, that our Creator can and will accomplish everything. From knowing the thoughts and intents of the heart, to creating the world in 6 days. And so if my Creator chose to manifest Himself in HIS creation, who am I to say – not so? He so clearly manifests in my everyday life – which is profoundly more astounding (to believe) than anything else.
According to the church, Jesus is god in the “OT” . Their primary proof text is Psalm 102:25-27 and it’s NT counterpart Heb 1:8-12.
The apologist James White uses these two proof texts as a means to convince JW’s and Unitarians that Jesus is not only “God” but “Yahweh”.
25 In the beginning you (LORD or YHVH) laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing you will change them
and they will be discarded.
27 But you remain the same,
and your years will never end.
8 But about the Son he says, …..
10 He also says,
“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
11 They will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
12 You will roll them up like a robe;
like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
and your years will never end.”
Thus, White will point out the son is the subject of Heb 1 and YHVH is the subject of Ps 102, therefore Jesus is not only “god” but is “Yahweh”.
Why this fails:
A) Jesus nearly always refers to G-d as “father”.
The problem for the church, is that YHVH is called “father” and YHVH Himself refers to Himself as “father” in Tanakh (OT).
Isa 64:8 But now, O LORD (YHVH), you are our father; we are the clay, and you our potter; and we all are the work of your hand.
Jer 31:9 They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.
Jer 3:19 19 “Then I (YHVH) said,
‘How I would set you among My sons
And give you a pleasant land,
The most beautiful inheritance of the nations!’
And I said, ‘You shall call Me, My Father,
And not turn away from following Me.’
Isa 63:16 Doubtless you are our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: you, O LORD (YHVH), are our father, our redeemer; your name is from everlasting.
Deu 32:6 Do you therefore requite the LORD (YHVH), O foolish people and unwise? is not he your father that has bought you? has he not made you, and established you?
1Ch 29:10 Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be you, LORD (YHVH) God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.
Mal 1:6 A son honors his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is my honor? and if I be a master, where is my fear? says the LORD (YHVH) of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And you say, Wherein have we despised your name?
Pro 3:12 For whom the LORD (YHVH) loves he corrects; even as a father, the son in whom he delights.
Psa 103:13 Like as a father pities his children, so the LORD (YHVH) pities them that fear him.
Exodus 4: 22 Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the LORD (YHVH) says: Israel is my firstborn son,
Deut 1: 31 and in the wilderness. There you saw how the LORD (YHVH) your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”
Deut 8: 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD (YHVH) your God disciplines you.
Deut 14: 1 You are the children of the LORD (YHVH) your God.
Psalm 103: 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD (YHVH) has compassion on those who fear him;
Jer 3: 22 “Return, O faithless sons,
I will heal your faithlessness.”
“Behold, we come to You;
For You are the LORD (YHVH) our God.
Jer 31: 20 Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him,” declares the LORD (YHVH).
Mal 3: 17 “On the day when I act,” says the LORD (YHVH) Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him.
The church claims in the theology that there is one “God” but in three “persons” and specifically that the Father is NOT the son. Likewise, the HS is not the Father.
So, both Jesus (allegedly “god the son”) and the father (allegedy “god the father”) can not be the called the same “father” or make the claim to be the same person.
In other words….Hebrews claims Jesus is YHVH but the Tanakh (OT) makes it clear that YHVH is “Father” of the Jewish people…and Jesus makes it clear, his god is called “father”. Jesus can NOT be father and therefore the book of Hebrews is fatally flawed and church dogma is fatally flawed.
B) Never once in the Tanakh (OT) does YHVH make any reference to a personage known as “god the son” . There are numerous “sons of G-d” but never a “god the son”. Nor is YHVH ever applied to any other personage.
C) And regarding His name G-d said of YHVH or LORD: Exo 3 “ The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is MY NAME FOREVER, and this is My memorial-name to all generations”.
This is not merely a reference to YHVH having the property or nature of “God”, something that a future church could claim as merely something that can be shared among three personages in a trinity. This name, YHVH is His name and that reveals His will through Torah and Tanakh.
It is His name. His personal name. His name ein od milvado. And there is no other besides Him.
It is this name, YHVH that is called father. NO other “personage” can use or adopt this name ever. So even using the definition of the church and it’s trinity, Jesus can not be called YHVH….
If you want to worship the love of your heart – that’s your business. If you want to excuse your worship with our Tanach – fine. But if you would love God you would be satisfied in your devotion to Him and you wouldn’t need to find another love
Dietrich, you wrote, “Is it written – HaShem will provide HIMSELF for a lamb? Or not.”
What is your point? To show that you don’t know what is written?
The text says “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering” (Genesis 22:8). You pin your faith on a wacky mistranslation? As you well know, God did provide: after the angel stays Abraham’s hand, he finds an animal to sacrifice.
By the way, you conveniently forgot the other part of the verse, the burnt offering part. Jesus was not a burnt offering.
Also, Jesus was not a lamb. Why do I keep needing to point this out?
Intellect did nothing for Avraham. Faith in Adoni did! He did not solve his own problems; his Heavenly Father did. Do you call Avraham an Xtianist? I think not!
There is an underlying similarity in our testimonies because we’ve been helped by the same G-d of our Fathers that we recognize from the Tanakh. If you’ve not had this experience; I understand that it seems Xtainist, and I won’t bother you anymore, but I came to all this by failing by my own means, and my own intellect, and sincerely crying out to the Father!
My response to the Diaspora and Shoah is that there are some pretty graphic pictures given to the Nevim and it seems like there’s a lot of this still in effect. We could go round, and round, but Thank You for a Response, and a forum to debate.
It was the intellect that led Avraham to his realization about G-d. There is No evidence in Torah that Avraham experienced some kind of despair of his life and then called out to G-d. Instead it says Because Avraham obeyed My voice and kept My commandments. This is a far cry from a Xtian “experience”.
Michael– Your testimony sounds just like Glen Beck and many Mormons and if you are a christian, you would most likely reject. The Tanakh in no way points to Jesus. That is a Roman retrofit or reverse engineering of the Tanakh (OT) . It is no surprise that nearly all (if not all) of the proof-texts that allegedly “point to Jesus” are mystical events or mystical prophetic langauge.
There is not ONE clear, and unambiguous statement by G-d or a prophet that such a person as Jesus will exist. Not one statement by G-d saying at Sinai, “there will be a messiah and he will be me” there will be a messiah who will become a gate to me and if you dont believe in him you will perish. There will be a messiah who will do the law perfectly and end the law…etc etc.
Yet, G-d says dont mix linen and wool. Dont eat bugs. Dont mix meat and milk. Dont eat pigs. etc etc…
Why would G-d clearly and unambiguously give us every minute detail to follow in regards of how to live but not a single clear declarative word regarding a future god-man in which our “salvation” depends?
He wouldnt. The church simply takes the NT narrative and incorporates it into the mystical events and mystical prophecy in the OT to create the Jesus narrative.
In reply to Sharbano: You say Avraham came to a realization about G-d by intellect, yet you correctly state that “Because Avraham Obeyed my voice and kept My commandments.” Avraham did not think them up on his own. It did not come from within him. G-d spoke to him! His experience was external–G-d choosing him! You would not call this Xtianist. Avraham relates his experience with G-d that would later be for our benefit.
In reply to Blasater: There sure seems to be a lot of those “Mystical” references you say are not there. Avraham being told to offer up Yitsak, Lambs Blood on the Door frames on the night of the first Peschot. There is too many mystical points to mention here in the rest of the Tanakh.
As for Glenn Beck and the Mormon’s. Do they follow the Law? No! There are comfortable with their traditions.
G-d gave the Law because He wanted a Peculiar People, and there are many examples of Gentiles being grafted in when they adopted the standard of the household they were adopted into. This is my primary argument with Christianity.
I’m not a scholar, but I can see the Mesiach all over Torah and Tanakh as I study it with my own son. My real desire is to find peace in what we can agree on, but maybe that is too much to ask for in this world.
Michael Cuber– I think you need to re-read what I wrote. I didnt say the mystical events are not there. I said the church RELIES pretty much exclusively on mystical events.
Avraham and Yitzhak? Not a picture of Jesus…it is the OPPOSITE of the picture of Jesus. In every way.I would be happy to spell it out if you want.
Lambs blood on the door frame? Oh the irony! The ram-lamb was an Egyptian god that was being slain as an afront to the Egyptians! What was the blood for? “13 The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you,.”
The blood is a “sign”…not a sacrifice…not for sin…just a sign, that those inside trusted G-d, that he would destroy pharoh on that night, because all those with blood on their doors who just killed the Egyptian god would be slaughtered by the Egyptians if G-ds plan failed!
When a person takes into context what is going on at all these mystical events, it has nothing to to with Jesus. And often times, the opposite of what the church claims.
As finite beings, who among us can truly say we comprehend the complexity between our Creator, and His relationship with Yeshua (Who I believe fulfilled all those mystic verses). All the nitpicking is simply an attempt to disparage.
I’ve heard some anti-messianics go so far as to say Yeshua was a Roman construct, and that Israel was never looking for a Meshiach. I’ve seen scripture twisted horribly to support the anti-mesianic agenda as well as that of the Western Church. Some of you here argue that Christianity is no part of Judaism, but I’ve never heard any explanation for the Coptic Church of Ethiopia. Here you have a group of people that were practicing Judaism from the time of Solomon, and they were eagerly awaiting Ha Meshiach. The Coptics practiced Kashroot, kept Shabot, and were Torah observant (some still) until the infiltration by Jesuits in the 1500’s. DNA testing is confirming a Semitic ancestry among these people everyday.
Regardless of a dislike for the Western Church and all the Pagan encrustation that Rome heaped upon it, all it’s varied colors began as a sect of Judaism just like the Coptic Church. I’ve heard the horrible misinterpretations of Isaiah 53, and Zechariah 12, v 10 (which implies a second coming any way you slice it). Regardless of what some of you here want to believe about Yeshua, there were a whole lot of people that were both waiting for Him, and eagerly accepted Him as the one spoken of in Scripture; if this were not so, we would not be having this same debate some 2000 years later!
My desire is that my brothers and sisters would consider the scriptures for them selves with fervent prayer to the G-d of Abraham, and not out of a compulsion from anyone, and that we could all treat one another with a sense of respect based on a shared foundation.
No matter how Xtians want to spin their ideology it remains that nearly all of Tanach is speaking to the nation of Israel. If there is written such a vast amount of words a person would assume that G-d would have given some clear and unambiguous statement that would reflect this “new” religion. And just because some splinter sect comes up with a Hellenistic viewpoint doesn’t make it according to G-d. You call it horrible misinterpretations but who is interpreting and who is reading the text for what it is. Xtianity has to use the method of eisegesis (interpretation) in order turn the words into something they are not saying. Understanding the narrative beginning with Is 52 and through 54 it is clear to any reader what the narrative is conveying. It’s all about Israel and the history of their interaction with the nations. Throughout Tanach there are specifics on how Israel is to keep Torah and the result of not doing so. That is the totality of it all. As the last prophet says, Remember the Torah of Moshe, my servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel. It is as simple as that and the purpose of all that is written.
Michael Cuber, with respect, Coptic Christians are not Ethiopians, they are the native Egyptian Christians who uniquely preserve the coptic language, IE native Egyptian language.
The Etheopian orthodox Tawhedo Church is the Church in Etheopia to which you refer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eritrean_Orthodox_Tewahedo_Church
While it is true that the Etheopian Church practice a form of Kosher and Circumcision, according to their own doctrines, they only keep these rituals for cultural reasons, because they accept the teaching of Paul that salvation is by faith independent of the works of the law.
The Etheopian orthodox also preserve their texts in Gaez. Their Church is also the only Christian Church that accepts Enochic literature in its canon of books, so some other Churches regard their orthodoxy with suspicion.
Copts and Etheopians are completely different entities with different traditions. Just wanted to correct a misconception. 🙂
I agree with you, and I don’t believe for a second that G-d created some new religion. That was horribly twisted and used as a means of control by the Romans, is something that I think we both can agree on. What is practiced in Western Christendom has a whole lot of abomination to it, and I know that any Jew with just an inkling of Torah can see this.
I try to encourage my Christian and Gentile Friends in Yeshua the need for Torah Observance. To accept the standard of the house that they are grafted, or adopted into; many examples of this in Tanakh (I think even you would agree with this much?).
As to this Trinity; I think the very word was a later Roman construct. I believe the Shema, but I also believe that my Heavenly Father put Yeshua in a position of authority that I can’t quite fully comprehend.
I’ve got to catch a flight, but thank you for your response!
I don’t see how you can say that it is not a new religion. There is nothing in the Tradition that speaks to someone as “Yeshu a”. If a Jew is keeping all the Mitzvot that apply and the Shulchan Aruch then what need is there of a blood messiah. Regarding adoption; How can one be adopted when there is no conversion. Nowhere in Jewish law is there a provision for a non-Jew to be “grafted in”. There is no scriptural basis for it. Therefore it is a moot point.
How can Jsus be in a position of authority. If I have a question about Kashrut is he going to answer me and give a ruling. Is he going to render a decision on the controversy of the Kosher switch. One simply cannot “imagine” what his decision would be. Someone has to speak to the questions that the community asks. Otherwise each individual is making his Own Torah. This situation is actually covered in Torah.
Command of the Lord about foreigners attaching themselves to Abrahams household, Ruth, Rahab, Uriah; you don’t recall any of these?
Tell you what; I won’t bother any of you further.
I’m tempted to say Mazel Tov,
But I’ll still bid Shalom!
So sad, when the Christian loses he runs away instead of facing the truth.
Michael, you wrote “I also believe that my Heavenly Father put Yeshua in a position of authority that I can’t quite fully comprehend.” Do you believe that human nature (in its aspects of body, soul, spirit etc.) is a created thing? Then if you see Yeshua/Jesus as truly human, you should know that none of that humanity deserves our worship. It is created as we are. Even the created being with the highest authority and glory is completely not in league with Hashem, but can only be His reflection or representative; the honour we give to a fellow servant is totally different from the worship that is God’s alone. None of Jesus’ humanity should feature in our prayers and devotion…
but I also believe that my Heavenly Father put Yeshua in a position of authority that I can’t quite fully comprehend. Michael, Hashem in scripture doesn’t want to trip anyone up. Even Jesus is said to have stated in Mathew 4:10 “him only” i.e. The father shall you serve. Allow me to illustrate the problem Judaism has with Christianity in a parable.
There was a wise king who Sent a wise prince to teach his subjects. He sent him to teach the wisdom and love of the king’s path and the importance of acknowledging his sole sovereignty.
The prince spoke eloquently, and the palpability of G-d’s love flowed from his lips, so that many were inspired by him. He had spoken very emphatically of the Kings love, such that he truly saw himself as his child. One day the prince disappeared. Some servants say he died, others that he went home to the king, but there was a problem at his leaving. The prince had spoken so emphatically of the path and live of G-d, that some servants said, “he and only he knew the way of the King, and if we are to know him, we must embrace the prince. These servants became so enamoured by the prince himself, that his personality itself became more important than the service of the King that he advocated. Many servants screamed at their brothers, “remember the King, for in bending the knee and singing songs to the prince, you forget the King. Your prince loved the King, but you love your prince more. What’s worse, you injure us when we tell you this, though you be our brethren. Serve the King alone, and you will be remembering the prince well.
This parable is very much not from the point of view of Judaism, which does not accept that Jesus was sent by God to teach His subjects about Him and His Torah. Jews would not tell Christians to serve God alone because by doing so they would be remembering Jesus well.
I’m sorry if I give offense, but to Jews Jesus is simply insignificant. To the extent that Jews think of him at all, it would be to remember all the suffering inflicted upon them in his name. For this reason, Jews view Jesus in a very negative light, much more so than the leaders of other false religions.
The point was purely in the interest of illustration Dina, no offense was meant. History surely unabashedly shows us though that Jesus was a second temple era Jew, albiet with very sectarian ideas. This fact shouldn’t be diminished as insignificant, as it brings clarity for Gentiles who are in transition and seeking answers from a historical critical perspective as opposed to an outright Torah perspective that they don get. I hear 100% where you are coming from though.
Jesus surely is insignificant to Jews, as he hasn’t done anything good for the Jewish people or Jewish history as a whole at all. His name is associated with nothing but great pain. I understand that.
However, For a great many Gentiles, he and Muhammad both introduced them to an idea of G-d, and did that from a vantage point that was conveyed in their own culture’s assumptions. It also shaped their own cultures and identities to a huge extent. The key here is, they need to transition from their vantage point to a legitimate Torah vantage point. If Christians can understand Jesus from his Torah (albiet mistaken sectarian perspective,) they can come closer to true Torah at a pace beneficial to them long term, and with genuine appreciation.
I mean it like this. It’s crucial in my opinion, to know that many Gentiles when coming at the question of the Bible’s legitimacy, are exanining and approaching the question of verifiability, reliability, etc. from a complete outsiders vantage point that doesn’t automatically grant as true certain premises that Jews would consider as a given DUH conclusion.
As an example, For you, the Torah is as knowably true or certain as is the constitution or U.S. History for an American, because you are an insider in the culture, its your own ancestral heritage, your own history.
You personally aren’t out to be critical of the Torah perspective, but Gentiles might be, and they have their own experiences, histories, cultural methods for study, etc. that shape their views, which they see as equally valid to yours. The average non Jew doesn’t (and can’t ) have your insiders perspective unless they learn it. That’s why, in many cases when Christians study the subject of the Bible, history, etc. they genuinely see and believe that their Christian beliefs are plausible based on their methodologies, historical inquiry, and available data, etc. For instance, A Christian sees Philo, the DSS, certain Jewish mystical ideas, etc. as analogous legitimate Jewish historical counterparts to their ideas. They don’t fully realize just how much these ideas are fringe, or are based not on Torah, but on a fusion of two opposing mutually exclusive cultural ideas.
When Jesus is so roundly dismissed as insignificant by the Jewish people, (for good reason off course,) this strikes many (mistakenly off course) as being a pure arrogance, because from their perspective vantage point, and using the tools they approach the questions with, their ideas appear perfectly plausible to them. When Jesus is blithely dismissed, it’s also indirectly a dismissal of the whole intellectual culture, methods, assumptions, or “truths” that western culture is tied up with does that make sense?
Christians need to learn about Jesus as Jewish to know how and where he went wrong. If you just say he’s irrelevant, though true it may be, it’s a blithe dismissal of much more than just Jesus. Does that make sense?
Thanks for taking the time to explain the Christian perspective. I don’t disagree with what you wrote here, mostly. I don’t have a problem with Christians examining the Hebrew Bible from a critical perspective. I would just add, let them then be consistent and examine the Christian bible critically as well. You’d be surprised to learn that traditional Jews do not read their scriptures uncritically.
I read a book by Bart Ehrman in which he explains the critical method and realized that the method described was how I was taught to read Scripture from an early age. The difference is–and one might argue that this is circular–we accept it as true and work to resolve contradictions, rather than assume that the contradictions prove the author is human or whatnot.
The problem with your comment is that it ignores 2000 years of Christians blithely dismissing (to use your words) the Jewish position, and that hasn’t changed much even today. In almost all my dialogues with Christians, I find a deep contempt for Judaism and an assumption that we must be really thick not to “get” the obvious prophecies about Jesus in our own Scriptures. In fact, Con, the only reason I say “almost” is that you were the only Christian with whom I have ever spoken to demonstrate respect for our position and to really make an attempt to understand our perspective. And look how that turned out :).
Also, I think it’s important for Christians to learn that Jesus is, from a theological if not historical perspective, insignificant to us because Christians assume that Jews are taught to hate Jesus from an early age, although Jews don’t even think about him, let alone mention him. This might be a bit of projection, because Christians talk about Judaism to each other and teach each other how very materialistic, devoid of spirituality, and full of empty ritual Judaism is. (I have had Christians tell me this.) So naturally, they assume we do the same. I wish Christians would compare the number and intensity of anti-Jewish writings by Christians (about 1.5 thousand over the centuries) to the number and intensity of anti-Christian writings by Jews (practically non-existent).
In other news, I just finished reading a book that is right up your alley. I may have mentioned it before. It’s called Christian Antisemitism: A History of Hate by William Nicholls, a Christian theologian and professor of religious studies. The first section examines who Jesus was from a historical perspective. While full of too much speculation for my taste, I thought it was just the sort of thing a student of Comparative Religion would find fascinating. He concludes, interestingly, that Jesus was not only a fully Torah observant Jew (a fact that scholars established a long time ago) but that he also did not claim to be the Messiah. How he spins the NT accounts to fit his historical narrative is interesting if not definitive.
Dina, yes, it’s true that many Gentiles just do assume that Jews view Christianity very negatively (the way most Christians themselves view Judaism,) It is projection par excellence. That said, discomfort for the average Christian person with a Jewish dismissal of Jesus isn’t only that you have a different perceptive vis the Bible, (a theological objection) it’s that by saying “he is irrelevant” you invalidate and cast disparagement on ALL OF THEIR CULTURAL ASSUMPTIONS AND historical LIFE EXPERIENCES. You are literally shaking their entire worldview, not just dismissing an insignificant man. It’s extremely emotionally charged territory.
Their ancestors used to worship Zeus, now they believe in scripture (albiet in a mistaken fashion,) but To the average Christian person, Jesus really is his or her Moshiach for that reason, because (so far as they know, or are aware,) they are now monotheists, not polytheists, and their culture has the name of G-d on their lips. See what I mean? The Torah perspective question doesn’t even enter into the equation for most of them, because to them, it’s just a matter of their history that Jesus redeemed them, and that’s a very important thing to realize. They aren’t asking the big questions the same way you are.
Most theological coercion and anti semitism has come from the politic, clergy and pulpits, and flowed Onto the people through years of indoctrination. The average Christian man or woman isn’t born anti Semitic, unless it’s instigated in sermons, politics, etc. AND EVEN WHEN SERMONS ARE ANTI SEMITIC, not all Christian people are, or even understand/buy into the anti semitic argument in the sermons.
Personally, as a for instance, (when I was a believer,) I never proseletyzed to Jews. (As far as I knew, Jews taught us about Jesus in the first place.) it didn’t make sense to me to harp on the people who supposedly got the memo before EVERYONE ELSE and taught it to us) LOL
My perspective is different because I have a multifaceted Christian family and education. I was not raised under one fundamentalist perspective. I have Protestants in my family, Catholics, and Orthodox friends. To me, Jesus’ words of teaching were more important than he himself was, I suppose that’s key. After all, why else would he be called “the word”? He’s called word but his words don’t matter?
Scholars have taken centuries to catch up to facts about Jesus’ Judaism, that, consequently, rabbis have made comment on only in passing since Ramban. I remember seeing “the disputation” the film about Ramban’s disputation with Christiani, and I smiled at the following exchange:
Priest: “Why do you hate Christianity and Jesus?”
Ramban: (to paraphrase) “I do not hate Jesus, it is merely my belief THAT THE CHURCH HAS PERVERTED HIS TEACHINGS INTO IDOLATRY.”
The King: “What then is Christianity rabbi?”
Ramban: “it is merely a heresy of Judaism.” Whereupon the Christian crowed stands a gasp and very upset.
“The problem with your comment is that it ignores 2000 years of Christians blithely dismissing (to use your words) the Jewish position, and that hasn’t changed much even today.”
I’m not ignoring their dismissal, It’s literally just me noticing that the issue of dismissal is because asking the question from your insider perspective just doesn’t occur to gentile Christians today Dina. To illustrate.
The crucial question to ask is, why exactly do the Christians blithely dismiss your perspective? Is it because they are malicious? Not at all. It’s Because, to their perspective and methodology regarding the relevant biblical questions, the Jewish people are making their own similar claims to a historical experience, namely the Exodus and Mattan Torah. To Christians, Jews can’t objectively “prove” their own sacred experience any better than Christians themselves can, (and to their Christian mind) Jesus’ redemptive work is a matter of their own inherited cultural historical experience, their own theological leap forward, their own type of self perceived Mattan Torah to their mind. So, when you bring an argument from your ancestral experience and tradition, it sounds like double talk and double standards to them. Make sense?
Only when they can examine the questions from the Tanakh’s covenant internal perspective, (the insider perspective) will they ever truly grasp Judaism’s Objections to Jesus. Christians literally are asking themselves this question. “Why are the Jewish people’s historical experiences somehow more valid than mine?” “They inherited a tradition from ancestors, so did I?” The question of, “what do Jews say among themselves constitutes Torah teaching, independent of my own redemptive experience?” Doesn’t even come up among them. See what I mean?
Their ancestors were introduced to Jesus independent of the Torah system, (even though it relies on it.) That’s a crucial point.
This image in the URL below illustrates it well.
(focus on the graphic of the inverted pyramid, not the text in the photo)
Judaism is like the tip (the source) of this inverted pyramid. Jesus’ initial Torah observant Covenanted followers under James are just above the Judaism tip of the pyramid. The next level is Paul’s initial gentile converts. The two last levels represent later Roman imperial adoption of an established doctrine and religion, and the final largest layer is gentile Christendom today which has Christianity as their accepted worldview inherited by their ancestors.
The key hear is, you are telling them to see the fallacy in their ancestral perspective while simultaneously accepting your own. They are being consistent relative to the tools they are using to ask the question.
No, Con, I don’t think that Christians dismiss our perspective out of malice. They simply don’t consider it because of the certitude that they are right and that we are wrong, that Judaism is materialistic, devoid of spirituality, and full of empty rituals, while Christianity is spiritual, uplifting, and connects you with God. It would be like considering the perspective of a racist. You know he’s morally corrupt, so you don’t bother trying to understand him.
Christians imbibe this attitude early on, and while they aren’t necessarily anti-Semitic, they are certainly anti-Judaic. They absorb this anti-Judaism from the source, the Christian bible. Unfortunately, it’s hard to stop anti-Judaism from spilling over into anti-Semitism or Jew hatred. While plenty of Christians today don’t hate Jews, there are still many who do.
Also, Con, you wrote: Christians literally are asking themselves this question. “Why are the Jewish people’s historical experiences somehow more valid than mine?” “They inherited a tradition from ancestors, so did I?”
I don’t believe Christians are asking themselves this question. Most of them anyway, when they think about Judaism, they start with the assumption that their experience is more valid.
You are pleading for understanding of the Christian perspective, but you have it all wrong. Jews don’t need to try to understand the Christian perspective because we are not all that interested in talking to them about it. The Christians are the ones who keep knocking on our doors–they’re the ones who want to convert us–not the other way around. Therefore, it behooves them to try to understand our perspective. They are not content, as we are, to live and let live.
Christians have failed massively to convert the Jewish people. After 2000 years, it’s time for a little introspection, a little understanding, a little humility.
I realize that they need humility, and it’s up to them to be asking the right questions, but if you want to understand why they are so hard pressed to convert you, it’s because partially (among other things,) they ask the question, it nags at them, about their experience v your experience, and why yours is more valid to you than theirs is. Not all Christians see Judaism as deficient, (though most do) but they DO believe In Jesus, on what to them are historical grounds, and they don’t see the contradictions between your faith structure and their faith structure that you see, because they don’t know any better. They are like children in some ways.
So, when you say you are indifferent, could care less, etc. about Jesus you are just dismissing what is, to their mind, a profound historical experience that they know their people experienced.
I realize you don’t personally need to know their perspective, but that’s not the real issue.
THEY don’t know WHY you don’t need to know their perspective. THEY see their tradition as a demonstrably, verifiably, true historical experience. If you brush that off, many regard that as only arrogance, which only reinforces the anti Semitic attitudes and sentiments that they may have been exposed to. They aren’t just children, but indoctrinated children.
When live and let live is a matter of utter dismissal and indifference, when you live among so many Christians, (and Muslims too,) it nags at them, because you are saying no, while dismissing their history, worldview, etc. and not explaining, in a way they can grasp why your history matters more.
It’s a textbook example of the clash of civilizations that have different cultures.
That’s why, it’s important, (in J’s case at least) that you can show them (historically) that he was an observant Jew. You can explain the Jewish indifference towards Jesus from an inside perspective using him as a prime example. You can show that the ideas he employed were present, but heretical, so Christianity has a weak non Torah foundation. When you just say, this belief is BS, (when they see historical resonance in Judaism of their ideas,) it insults their intelligence. They need to know why their examples are not accepted, why they aren’t kosher.
Dina, to put it another way.
Judaism is like an abuse victim of Christianity that is in continual process of escape. It justly sees the damage that the Church is doing. So, from your view, all that needs to be said about it is that it’s evil, abusive, contorting scripture, etc.
The everyday Christian by contrast is like a person still living in an abusive relationship, but not aware or understanding why. Rather than question, they are blaming themselves, (original sin doctrine is a great example of this in action.) when the problem isn’t them, it’s the spouse. But, if, in trying to help them all you can do is say how wrong and foolish their idea is, they, (as victims themselves) will only jump to their spouses defense, because they don’t understand what’s really wrong. Does that clarify better?
I do hear what you are saying, but I think you misunderstood my point. Until very recent times, Christians didn’t get to consider the Jewish perspective because they didn’t allow the Jews to speak for themselves (the medieval disputations being, as you likely know, a farce). Now finally Jews can explain their position–but your everyday Christian is STILL not listening and trying to understand (I’m not saying agree, just listen).
When I say Jews view Jesus with indifference, I mean in contradistinction to the way Christians view Judaism, which is with contempt.
I say Jews are indifferent in response to Christians who say that Jews hate Jesus or feel threatened by him. I tell them that this is simply not the case; Jews view him the same way we view all other religions. It’s not to dismiss them as people or to treat them with contempt but to show them that Judaism doesn’t need to criticize Christianity or Jesus in order to be a viable religion. On the other hand, since Christianity was supposed to replace Judaism as a morally superior religion, it needs to be anti-Judaic.
Therefore, when I say Jews don’t care about Jesus, it’s to demonstrate that we hold the moral high ground. It’s to show that we are not anti-Christian the way Christians are anti-Judaic. If that fuels anti-Semitism, there’s something pathologically wrong in the Christian mind (other than blaming the victim).
I hope that clarifies what I mean.
Yes, that does clarify, and I do agree.