A New Set of Feelings

A New Set of Feelings

The heart of the Jew who worships God is filled with emotion. Gratitude, awe, love and reverence for the One who brought everything into existence. Love for the One who knows all and sustains all with a degree of knowledge, precision and perfection that humanity could never fathom. Awe of the One who is the source of all truth and justice. Love of the One who is the source of all goodness and blessing. Gratitude toward the One who is presently sustaining every form of existence that we can encompass with our finite minds, including all of the people I see in front of me, the animals, the trees, the grass the sky and the sea. Reverence for the One who knows every thought of every man, woman and child that ever lived. And yearning toward the One who knows the yearnings of our hearts before we do.

The hearts of those early worshipers of Jesus were filled with adoration toward a man. We cannot see into their hearts but their spiritual descendants encourage the worshipers of God to join them in the adoration.

Joining in this adoration would mean adopting a set of feelings that is not yet present in one’s heart. Why do they seek to fill our hearts with a new set of feelings? What is missing in the heart of David? What was lacking in the heart of Abraham? Which set of feelings does the worshiper of God lack that he will find in Jesus?

The fact that they seek the hearts of those who worship God tells me that the heart of the God-worshiper is not the heart of the Jesus worshiper.

Need I say more?

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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710 Responses to A New Set of Feelings

  1. Annelise says:

    Do you think that after a great blessing, or new clarity of understanding, we are filled with new feelings? I know you’re not meaning it like that… how would you put the difference?

    • Annelise says:

      Maybe you’re saying that this set of feelings runs deeper than the gratitude or wonder regarding anything else we are shown and given. It is the deepest experience we have of Him, as our Creator, in the singularity of our hearts. He deserves that because every gift comes from Him. To add feelings about the finite qualities of someone’s personality in to THAT level of worship is to mix things around the wrong way?

      It’s hard for me to put in words what I hear from you wrote…

      • Annelise says:

        …it mixes things the wrong way because we owe gratitude for the blessings in creation, but the kind of gratitude that identifies the worship of God alone is the thankfulness that all things come from Him and point to Him, beyond our comprehension… no thing should get in the way of going PAST it to its giver (not ‘to it to its giver’). In the words of a Turkish theologian, that would be like thanking the traybearer for bringing us a gift from the king.

        • Annelise says:

          (as if he *gave* it, not just brought it)

          • Dina says:

            Hi Annelise.

            What I understand Rabbi B. to be saying is that Christians adopted a new set of the same feelings for another entity. They took the feelings of love, awe, gratitude, and so on that we have for Hashem and applied them to a man. Is that more clear? (Of course, I may be completely misunderstanding what he wrote, but that’s what it looks like to me.)

          • Annelise says:

            Dina you’re right… he meant what you said, and one more step. Since it is toward a different entity, it would have to be a different set of feelings, a different type of awe, a different type of love and a different type of reverence

          • Annelise says:

            I have another question about this blog article. Maybe Dina you could help. You can have new feelings for the same entity, and you cannot limit God to personhood in the way of a relationship with a human. Think about the new set of feelings added to the hearts and vocabulary of Israel’s children after the exodus, crossing of the sea, and giving of Torah.

          • Annelise says:

            (This question doesn’t add weight to the Christian claim, I’m just trying to appreciate Rabbi Yisroel’s meaning here.)

          • Dina says:

            I don’t see a problem with increasing feelings of love, awe, gratitude, reverence and so on for Hashem after having a deeper experience of Him. This happens naturally as we grow in our relationship with Him. Not sure if I understand your question.

          • Annelise says:

            Of course there is no problem with it. But Christians would say that with J it was quite the same: the same God, new set of feelings due to a ‘new *type of experience* of Him’.

            We disagree with that because we believe that J was a different entity to God! But how does this particular point in this article stand… new feelings don’t always prove that it is a new entity…

          • Dina says:

            This article doesn’t say that new feelings prove it’s a new entity. Not sure how you came to that conclusion. I think the point is to question why Christians would want to turn the hearts of those that are already filled with the right feelings toward God toward another entity. To sum it up, in Rabbi B.’s words: “The fact that they seek the hearts of those who worship God tells me that the heart of the God-worshiper is not the heart of the Jesus worshiper.”

          • Annelise says:

            Hm. How would Moshe have responded to someone who said, I am going to keep worshiping the Creator, the God of my ancestors, but I am not worshiping the entity who spoke to us on Sinai…? What are the differences with this situation of Christianity?

          • Annelise says:

            PS I thought he meant that based on my reading of other things he has said, but I may have misunderstood. Thankfully in this situation the author is around to clarify 🙂

          • Annelise says:

            PPS- my question is not how the Sinai claim was acceptable while the Christian claim isn’t. It is just a question about how the concept in this post applies uniquely to Christianity when they claim it is new feelings for the ‘same God’.

            Also, see how the topic is new feelings, not just giving the same feelings to one who doesn’t deserve and is not God.

          • Annelise says:

            I’m so sorry for the numerousness of my posting…

            Here is where I think the answer could lie, but it needs to be expanded upon. Rabbi Yisroel wrote me a quick reply to something before Shabbos, where he said the love, awe, and reverence towards a finite being is different than that towards the infinite one. It is from his message then as well that I got that he was talking about a new set of feelings because it is a different entity.

            So basically… the love, awe, and reverence one has for a human personality is always finite… we know that the goodness each person around us exhibits is just a glimmer of the entirety of God’s revelation of Himself through humanity… each personality shows different strengths in different ways. We always thank God for endowing a human being with the glory of His ways that their lives portray.

            Some Christians have said that J was the perfect balance of personality and that what he exhibited during his life was done in perfect wisdom. They would say that this is the only human personality whose consciousness has been eternal and whose portrayal of God’s ways was perfect. I feel that idea simply doesn’t work, as you don’t look at any human in shul or on the street and say that their personality is not finite… Christians think that people who first accepted J had a spark of recognition towards the ‘person’ of their God in the person of J… explaining why the idea doesn’t work would answer my whole question.

          • Dina says:

            Jesus was a man like anyone else. Why should anyone accept their claims that he is God? They have no rational basis for this claim, which is anti-Tanach, as you know. So who cares what justification they offer?

            Really, whatever they say is irrelevant and beside the point.

          • Annelise says:

            I totally agree. But I really want to know what the argument is that Rabbi Yisroel is offering here in this article, and why it matters in addition to all the other reasons.

          • Dina says:

            I can’t presume to talk for Rabbi Blumenthal, but it seems to me that the point is, if I’m worshiping God, why is the Christian coming to me and telling me to worship something else? In other words, if the Christian thinks something is lacking in my worship, that proves that the Christian is worshiping an additional entity. I don’t know if I’m articulating this clearly.

          • Annelise says:

            Also here- https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/knock-knock/
            and here- https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/fusion-and-confusion/
            and in at least one other post I can’t find where he says that if anyone doesn’t feel included in our worship towards our Creator, then he will have to deal with being excluded.

          • Dina says:

            So then that clarifies things for you, yes?

          • Annelise says:

            I think this post was saying something more…about a new kind of feelings… Anyway, don’t know exactly.

          • Annelise says:

            I.e. It IS definitely irrelevant and beside the point, when Christians insist that they aren’t raising a finite soul to the level of worship. They say that their messianic claimant had an eternal consciousness and that his personality was the perfect balance, perfectly wise in exhibition of the ways of God in the places he went on earth. Says who?

            But I also wonder… there seems to be something inherently wrong with the claim itself…

          • Annelise says:

            The posts are out of order. My post “I.e…” is meant to be after what I wrote a few posts up 🙂

          • LarryB says:

            Dina
            ” In other words, if the Christian thinks something is lacking in my worship, that proves that the Christian is worshiping an additional entity. I don’t know if I’m articulating this clearly.”
            That is such a great point.

          • Annelise says:

            Yes, she put it really clearly!

            There are different Christian approaches to this. Some people will say that Jews have a relationship with God but it is missing something because there is no relationship with J. Others will say that if people try to worship God “but not J”, then they are missing God altogether, or at least having a big impediment in prayer. Perhaps their idea is similar to how a Jew would feel if another Jew claimed to worship the creator “but not the one who gave the Torah to us.”

            The second group does treat J as a distinct entity, but not to the extent that you can know God while rejecting him. Perhaps it is more to the first group that this mathematical-type argument is directed.

            Nonetheless, the idea of saying to a claimant for worship that you’ll step into the other room and pray to God, and if he feels he is missing out then so be it… that is helpful for every Christian…

  2. As far as the meaning of worship itself- it is the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration. that is followed by submission to the person that is considered an authority.
    The question is can we do both; express our reverence and adoration toward God and a man?
    The answer is yes, even more when the man is a king and he is appointed by God. That is how the first century Jewish believers acted, expressing the reverence and adoration for Jesus as they believed he was appointed by God the King and the Messiah.
    ” This is my beloved Son, listen to Him.” NT , Mark 9;7
    It didn’t mean that God is put aside. God’s will and acting was being done through Jesus;
    John 5;19 “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise.”

    20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that himself does: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.”

    As far as David, he worshiped God and had a reverence toward the king who was ruling on the throne before David himself was appointed . There was a normal thing to do both to worship God and to have a reverence toward the king, toward the appointed authority. Jewish people had always worshiped God yet, they still wanted a king to rule and having a king always required to honor him.

    • Eric
      Reverence toward a human, recognizing that he is but a human and a subject of the Creator like we all are has nothing to do with reverence toward the One who holds our breath in His hand every second. One is a relationship between equals (both subjects of God) and the other is a true dependent toward benevolent Giver relationship

      • Annelise says:

        Exactly. There’s nothing wrong with honouring a king on a human level, as long as you realise that inherently the king owes as much to God as a slave does. In that sense we are equal, and our honour to God is something on a really different level, something only dimly expressed in the metaphor of kingship.

        Nonetheless there are times when the Hebrew scriptures show a kind of equality in the relationship between us and God… not a real equality, but one that has been created as a gift to us. It only shows even more how dependent we are on Him. Our existence is one of these things; He allows us to exist and relate to Him. So is the ability to become holy because He is holy, the fact that He desires us, and allows us to to be partly responsible for pursuing Him in the relationship, None of these things are inherent to us and we must realise thankfulness, but they are real opportunities of relating on His level in some way. (Correct me if I’m wrong…)

        Christians might say, then what is the difference between those things, and the idea of relating to God on our level through an incarnation that God Himself decided to do? If they relate to God-as-a-man in a human type of affection and communication while also realising that they owe their existence to God, then what is wrong with that. Of course rabbinic Jews would reply that there is no good reason at all to consider any man an incarnation of God, but there is another problem: a few things are inherently wrong with the idea itself.

        One of those things is that the incarnation claim does not offer any new intimacy with God. (To keep the post from getting too long, I won’t discuss that in depth.) This being the case, why is the idea of a ‘human to human’ relationship with God so attractive? If it can offer nothing to the closeness of our relationship with Him, why do people pour their emotions into the idea that “God came close?” We must be very suspicious of these new feelings, and the fact that the feelings we can have for a human are now being offered to God. Its allure is not as pure as many sincere Christians have felt, but there is something lower in the mix: the comfort of relating to God as one of us, on our own terms. This is no way to come into the presence of our King

    • Dina says:

      Hi Eric.

      The problem with Christian adoration of Jesus isn’t that his first-century followers revered him as their leader but that Christians today worship him as a god. Besides, Jesus was never appointed king. He never ruled as king.

      • For most people worship has only religious meaning, so when they hear somebody is worshiped , they think he is a deity.
        Second , Jesus himself said that God is a Spirit, and Jesus was referring to himself as a son of man.
        In the NT he is described as a reflection of the invisible God, as he was reflecting God’s character. We can’t see God because He is a Spirit, but we can get impression of what God is like if someone is reflecting His character and does His will. Based on that I would call him Son of God.
        ( We can always pray to God for the proper understanding instead of relying what others say, whether Christians or non-Christians)
        Jesus himself said that he only does what the father does, ( Mark 5;19) he didn’t come to change the rules of God.

        As far as being ‘never appointed as a king’. From my knowledge based on the scriptures he was rejected by his own people and killed so of course he couldn’t rule as a king at that time. His story is similar to Joseph’s story. Rejection by his own, suffering and then through his special position given, forgiveness and redeeming his own people. From Isaiah 53
        I understand he came first as the promised suffering servant to do the redemption from our sin and even before his death he foretold his resurrection and that the second time he would come as a judge and the savior and the king. Judge for those who are rejecting God’s words and the savior for those who are holding to God’s words.

        Hebrew 9;27-28 “(…) but now once in the end of the world has he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
        And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
        So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

        • Dina says:

          Hi Eric,

          “Israel is My firstborn son” (Exodus 4:22).

          Eric, please show me where in Hebrew scripture we are promised that the messiah will be recognized in his first appearance by suffering and dying and then he will come back another time to finish the job.

          The facts are these:

          Not once in Hebrew scripture does it say that faith in an individual is necessary for salvation.
          Not once in Hebrew scripture does it say that repentance is impossible without blood sacrifice.
          Not once in Hebrew scripture does it say that the Jews will come to the gentiles for the truth.
          Not once in Hebrew Scripture does it say that we need a mediator to get to God.

          Instead, Hebrew scripture tells us not to place our faith in the son of man (Psalms 146:3), that prayer and repentance and turning away from evil are all that is needed to obtain God’s forgiveness (Ezekiel Chapters 18 and 33), that at the end of days the gentiles will come to the Jews to learn the truth (Zechariah 8:23), that God is close to all who call to him (Psalms 145:18) and that He shares His glory with no one and that He alone is our Savior (Isaiah 42:8, 43:11).

          Can you refute this?

          Peace,
          Dina

          • Yes, God is our Savior as He provides atonement for us, not we for him. God was guiding Israel using Moses to tell him what to do, He can use His angels to protect us.
            We believe God saved us from everlasting death by giving Jesus for us.

        • Annelise says:

          Hi Eric. What do you mean by “God is a spirit”? It sounds like you mean that He is one spirit out of many spirits… one entity out of many entities in the spiritual sphere… rather than the Creator of them all, and it all.

          If you think Jesus was a representation of God’s will and His righteousness, then he wouldn’t have been the only one. Many people and things in creation have embodied aspects of goodness and fulfilled parts of His will. If you think that Jesus did it perfectly, then that doesn’t mean we would be able to honour God in Jesus’ direction, it just means that he would’ve been a particularly righteous man. Such a man deserves honour, but not a part in the relationship that we directly have with God alone, just like the righteous man or any leader also has. In short, whatever Jesus reflected of God’s ways, he wasn’t inherently different from us because creation holds many reflections of His likeness.

          When I said he wasn’t crowned king yet, I meant two things. First, there is no warning in the Jewish scriptures that one needs to accept a king before he’s even crowned. Secondly, it is the Torah observant Jews who, as a community, have a responsibility to know who a true prophet is, and such a prophet (along with the circumstances) will make it clear who the king is. As it is, the observant community has not recognised a prophet who pointed out a descendent of David to reign righteously. Until that happens, the promise of the messiah is a prophetic comfort, not a prophetic warning or guessing game.

          I feel you’re reading into Isaiah’s prophecy, there.

          From looking at the Torah and prophets, how do you think the nations could come to the deepest possible knowledge and obedience of God? And how was the source of such insight meant to be preserved in the world? Do you think that the words of human beings play any part in making sure that clear awareness of truth can be learnt, in each generation?

          Blessings.

  3. Sophie Saguy says:

    Eric, King David did not worship Saul. Honor is one thing — worship is quite another! We are warned not to worship human beings. Mark 9:7 is contradicting the Torah itself. Jesus is called the “son of man” 83 times in the Christian gospels. Matthew uses the term 32 times, Luke uses the term 25 times. John uses it 12 times. Yet the Jewish bible tells us: “Do not trust in princes, or in the son of men, who has no salvation.” (Psalm / T’hillim 146:3). Mark and the other authors of the Christian bible misled people into idolatry by ignoring what the bible itself has to say. . .

    The Jewish bible tells us that we are not to pray to any “god” our fathers did not know (at Sinai). This is the absolute death knell to the missionary claim that Jesus IS G-d. If we did not “know” Jesus at Sinai he is a false god. Read Devarim 11 and Devarim 13 (Deuteronomy):

    11: 28. . . .the curse, if you. . .turn away from the way I command you this day, to follow other gods, WHICH YOU DID NOT KNOW.

    Read Deuteronomy 13:7 “[This is what you must do] if your blood brother, your son, your daughter, your bosom wife, or your closest friend secretly tries to act as a missionary among you, and says, ‘Let us go worship a new god. LET US HAVE A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN BY YOU OR YOUR FATHER.’ 13:8 [He may be enticing you with] the gods of the nations around you, far or near, or those that are found at one end of the world or another. 13:9 Do not agree with him, and do not listen to him.”

    The key phrase here is “LET US HAVE A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN BY YOU OR YOUR FATHERS.”

    or gods “YOU DID NOT KNOW.”

    When did “our fathers”, present at Sinai, have a spiritual experience with Jesus? Was Jesus “known” to them? Did they pray to Jesus or through Jesus? Of course not! Jesus was unknown to them.

    Ergo G-d warned us against both Christianity and Islam — any spiritual experience not known to us at Mount Sinai is false.

    • LarryB says:

      Even the NT Matthew 7:21 ‘It is not anyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the person who does the will (torah) of my Father in heaven.
      1 John 2:3 In this way we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments (torah).

      • Dina says:

        Good point, Larry. I wonder why Christians ignore these verses.

        • LarryB says:

          That reminds me of what Jim put so clearly. I forget the exact words, but something like this. We’re supposed to use the the scripture that is real clear and easy to understand to help guide us with some of the less clear scripture and harder to understand. This leads me to believe that If we find ourselves ignoring the easy to understand, it must not fit our beliefs. Or, maybe what we want. And that want can be anything.

        • LarryB says:

          also, how about, “I am not a man, nor the son of man”. talk about prophetic. Clear and easy to understand, yet, if it does not fit your belief, then it is of no good to you. We all need to look to those who were charged with teaching, and carrying his message for our understanding. Otherwise we are truly on our own.

    • I would say that the most confusion comes from the wrong perception of the commonly used word ‘ worship’ .
      In our modern culture worship is an action directed toward God and God alone. But this is not the case in the Hebrew Bible. The word shehhah is a common Hebrew word meaning to prostrate oneself before another in respect. We see Moses doing this to his father in law in Exodus 18:7. When the modern translators translate the word shehhah they will use the word “worship” when the bowing down is directed toward God BUT as “obeisance” or other equivalent word when directed toward another man. From an Hebraic perspective worship, or shehhah is simply the act of getting down on ones knees and placing the face down on the ground before another worthy of respect.
      So when it comes to David, of course he didn’t ‘worship ‘Saul’ as God, David simply keeled down in respect toward the king to show his submission and obedience and willingness to serve him. The same were doing all people showing up in the presence of their kings- and that didn’t have to mean that by doing this the king was God God is a creator and a king is a human.

      The confusion is about the word ‘worshiping’ Jesus, when the modern translators use the word ‘worship; so it looks like it is referring to deity. But what it should be understood here is that Jesus is honored and respected when the word’ worship’ is used. It does not mean he is referred to as God.
      An example is Joseph’s life. One day Joseph had a dream in which his brothers’ sheaves gathered around his and bowed down to it. ( modern translators use the word ‘worshiped’)” Genesis 37-7-8 The fact happened years later when his brothers came to Egypt for food and bowed down before Joseph ( as their authority). ( modern translators would say they worshiped him). But Joseph was not a deity. He was ‘worshiped’ which means bowed down as he was worthy to be respected. THE WORD ‘WORSHIP’ DOES NOT HAVE TO BE ALWAYS REFERRED AS RELIGIOUS ACTION.

      Jesus’ life was similar to Joseph’s; rejection, suffering, and placed by God in a special position to redeem his people. That is what the first Jewish believers understood and bowed down and respected Jesus as Joseph’s brothers bowed down and respected the authority of Joseph in Egypt. There was nothing religious in it, but expressing the honor of the person.

      All the king’s lives and Joseph’s life shows that the word ‘bowing down’ to someone and showing your obedience and respect does not ‘hinder’ your special worship toward God alone. If God places someone as an authority like a king, showing respect and obedience to that person means also obeying God. When we come to a king we show him a reverence as to the king, and when we come before God we ‘worship’ him as God as the one who is the creator of all and we can praise him and acknowledge all the good things we know about him in our praise.
      So when it comes to Jesus, the first Jewish followers of him, were people who simply acknowledged him as a Messiah and the Jewish King appointed by God. They didn’t ‘worship’ him as God, they were showing their respect to him as to the king and the messiah, whom they understood from the scriptures
      ( Isaiah 53) was the awaited messiah who came to serve and die for our sins , and they understood that all the promised good things are still to come.
      They understood that he was the promised servant in Isaiah 53 who was to “raise up the tribes of Jacob,
      and to restore the preserved ones of Israel, punished for the transgressions of ‘my people’- as Isaiah said.

      They witnessed his death and resurrection and GOD WOULD NOT RAISE BACK TO LIFE A LIAR Jesus also foretold his resurrection which happened after
      3 days.
      God would not support a false prophet and grant him life back. God would not resurrect Jesus if he wasn’t a Man of God as the wages of sin is death and Jesus would die for a false testimony.
      In Deuteronomy 18;15-22 God gave instructions about the prophet whom to trust;
      ” I will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.”
      God also said that “the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak” – he shall die.
      What would then justify Jesus’ resurrection?
      Believed that he is the Messiah and respected as the king doesn’t mean he takes God’s place, as God is worshiped as God and He is the One who sent the Messiah.

      • Annelise says:

        Eric… we agree about how wrong it is to honour any human being in the modern sense of the word ‘worship’, and how it is fine to honour a human in the older sense of the word.

        I would say that even so, the Christian scriptures accord far greater devotion to him than any king, any human leader, should receive.

        Israel has not been shown with any clarity that Jesus was resurrected. Instead, we are left looking at a few texts by unknown authors which are unclear and perhaps even contradictory regarding the details, and also a predominantly gentile historical movement that practises idolatry towards him. Torah observant Israel has barely noticed him at all, and hasn’t broken a commandment in response to him.

        Jesus’ claims to be the Messiah do not need to be taken seriously unless and until he proves himself to be the coming king in the proper sense. Since according to the Christian scriptures he is not a son of David through his fathers (considering virgin birth), and since he hasn’t been anointed as king by a prophet accepted in Israel and crowned by the observant nation, why should we see him as David’s heir? Torah doesn’t even warn that we should do that with anyone or else be cut off from God (a serious idea). In fact, it prescribes a different response to the issue of sin, repentance, and atonement, even in a time of exile.

        Sometimes miracles happen to test Israel. Sometimes miracle stories get made up out of nothing. But your question might be less “Is Jesus the Messiah?”, and more “Where (according to Torah and prophets) can I hear the righteous testimony of the nation of Israel about God, in this generation?”

        • Dina says:

          Annelise, this is so well put. I would also add that making Jesus the focus and center of your religion even as you claim that he is a mere human is idolatry. That’s because, as you said so well, that would be giving more reverence to a human than a human deserves.

          Eric, does that make sense to you?

          • Doesn’t the Isaiah 53 explain anything about the Messiah? No matter whom we see as the suffering servant ( Jewish people- their nation, Christians- Jesus) Isaiah 53, justifies the fact that there is a NEED FOR REDEMPTION and, ATONEMENT FOR SIN! A great testimony that the law can’t justify anybody and that we need the redeemer!
            I know that most Jewish people are taught that suffering servant in Isaiah 53 is talking about their whole nation, because Isaiah 52 mentioned Israel to be God’s servant.

            I am not denying that Israel is God’s servant , he is mentioned in the book of Isaiah but there is one thing overlooked that Isaiah is ALSO clearly POINTS OUT a specific servant- the one who is PART OF A NATION. ( one of their own people)
            Starting with Isaiah 49;5-6 which says ;
            5)And now says the LORD, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, TO BRING JACOB BACK TO HIM,SO THAT ISRAEL MIGHT BE GATHERED TO HIM (For I am honored in the sight of the LORD, And My God is My strength ), 6 He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be MY SERVANT TO RAISE UP THE TRIBES OF JACOB and TO RESTORE THE PRESERVED ONES OF ISRAEL; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
            ( that tells us that the servant here can’t be a nation as he is going to restore the nation)
            The list of messianic prophecy would be really long to keep it in this post, it would continue over Isaiah 53 where Isaiah says that his people are the ones for whom ‘the servant’ was punished:,
            v. 8” (…)for the transgression of MY PEOPLE he was punished “
            And very important fact is- the servant in Isaiah 53 is completely innocent and righteous who is punished for others, the servant who is NOT suffering for his own sin because he is innocent.
            53v.9 “and they made his grave with the wicked…(…) ALTHOUGH HE HAD DONE NO VIOLENCE AND THERE WAS NO DECEIT IN HIS MOUTH .
            MORE EXAMPLES;[Isa 42 ;1-9; Isa 50; 4-10, Isa 52 v.13 till Isaiah 53]
            Many other scriptures show the nation as guilty of their sin. ( examples; Isaiah 50;1, Ezekiel 39;23, Isaiah 51;17-22)

            When it comes to that ‘special adoration to Jesus by Christians, it comes from understanding the price he paid for us. If you can’t relate to him as the one who paid your debt, he will be very unknown and distant. He is also not adding anything to worshiping God or taking away. He is making the relationship with the creator deeper by understanding that it is God who sent him to pay for my sin. He is the gift from God , atonement gift, it makes you thankful to God how much He carries. That might answer the question to some people who wondered why we honor Jesus, instead of just focusing on God alone. We just simply also enjoy God’s gift.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric.

            You wrote that the Jewish people are taught the identity of the suffering servant. Actually, the Jewish people read Isaiah 53 in context, and the context reveals the servant’s identity clearly. Furthermore, we read it in the original Hebrew, so the nuances that get lost in translation do not confuse us as they confuse you. For example, you wrote the following translation: “for the transgression of MY PEOPLE he was punished.” In fact, a more accurate translation would have been “from the transgression” or “because of,” a small but very significant difference. Also you thing that “my people” refers to us Jews, but if you had read it in context you would have seen that the speaker is the nations of the world talking about Israel. Another common mistranslation is “his death” instead of “his deaths.” Since “deaths” is in the plural in Hebrew, you have to figure out how that applies to Jesus. “Mipesha ami nega lamo” translates as “from the transgression of my people THEY were afflicted,” but your translation has it in the singular.

            Hebrew scripture tells us how to atone for our sins. And Isaiah 53 tells us that if we repent then God will physically redeem us from our enemies: “If his soul would acknowledge guilt [wasn’t Jesus supposed to be sinless?] he would see offspring [Jesus had offspring?] and live long days and the desire of Hashem would succeed in his hand.”

            God’s faithful servant Israel has not yet been vindicated. We await the coming of the true Messiah and the vindication of our people.

            In the meantime, if you read the links I posted in my other comments to you, you will see how those answer the other questions you posed in your latest comment.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

        • My answer to the issue ; Jesus right to the David’s throne.
          In the matter of the legal inheritance, Joseph of Nazareth was the proper, legal heir of David’s throne through the royal line of Solomon. He adopted Yeshua as his firstborn, making Yeshua the legal heir of the throne. There are three other arguments one can use to prove that an adopted son inherits just as a natural one does:

          Had Abraham not had a child “of his own loins,” Eliezar of Damascus would have inherited his “kingdom” (mobile kingdom that it was)–and he had no genetic link.

          Jacob adopted two of Joseph’s sons as his own heirs, giving them and their posterity the same inheritance as Joseph’s brothers, including specific domains in Israel.

          The laws of levirate marriage required a dead man’s brother to “give him a son” if he had no children of his own by marrying his widow. The son would carry the dead man’s name and inherit his property and thus continue his line even though he would not be the man’s genetic son (Deu. 25:5;)
          It was the refusal to perform this duty that brought about the death of Onan in Gen. 38:8ff).

          • Annelise says:

            I don’t know if there is an answer to these points about royal adoption, we’ll see if anyone knows 🙂

            Regarding Isaiah 53, Dina has answered a lot of what you said. Remember also that when the Jewish prophets used the symbol of a man or woman to illustrate a group of people, a city, etc., it could be a slightly loose metaphor. I personally think that the servant is the whole nation at times, the righteous and Torah observant remnant at times, and perhaps sometimes an individual on behalf of the rest. I have met many individuals who fit into the category of the servant, both in his testimony and in his suffering, and who tell me about their friends and ancestors who fit as well. The Messiah may also be part of that image, maybe.

            Another thought. If you want to find the ‘actual’ revelation from God at Sinai, the written Torah is only one part of what was left to the world by that event. The legacy is not just printed in a scroll or in books, and the written Torah itself points to that: it is also imprinted on the living, testimonial entity of ‘bnei Yisrael’.

            Foreign as it is to many Christians, this idea is totally core in the Torah: that through the passing of of a message from parents to children, the testimonial observances like Shabbos and holidays, other laws, and an active preservation of the nation’s testimony by God in each generation, the message of Sinai will be heard by all later generations and by other nations. Without Israel there isn’t even such a thing as Torah… the book is the record of communication within their relationship with God, and the law that binds them to Him in a deep way.

            This is what I was alluding to by saying your starting-question might be less “Is Jesus the Messiah?”, and more “Where (according to Torah and prophets) can I hear the righteous testimony of the nation of Israel about God, in this generation?”

          • Annelise, I will try to give my answer about Jaconiah curse and non matching genealogy later. Since I got so many emails this morning and there is no time to answer all the points people are talking about I would like to focus on a few.
            I like your statement that a servant sometimes might be an individual on behalf of the rest. Talking about the servant, I believe Israel is called the first born son, and Israel can refer to both a nation and to an individual. Jacob was the first one called Israel – by God. He was one-person Israel ‘nation’ at that time. So looking closely in the book of Isaiah from chapt 49-53 it is clear to me, the suffering servant can be an individual. ( one of your righteous people )
            It doesn’t mean the nation of Israel didn’t suffer. By the way Israel is not the only one, Mao killed more people then the whole Holocaust number of killed Jewish people.. People are being killed and tortured all over the world every day . North Korea now , Polish people during the world war 2 ( by the way I am Polish). So it wouldn’t make sense to me that one nation ( Israel) was supposed to justify others by their own sufferings.
            The question would be who is the subject to be justified? What about all the bad people who keep killing others every day? What about those who used to persecute Jewish people? Would they be justified by you because they make you suffer? That would make no sense. Would I be justified by harming you, if you claim you are suffering for my transgressions ( anybody’s transgressions? That would make no sense.
            When I said that Isaiah 49 -5-6 clearly talks about an individual to raise the tribes of Jacob and restore preserved ones of Israel somebody mentioned it was about Isaiah the prophet. So here is clear it might be an individual, but the thing is Isaiah is not matching, he is dead and didn’t do a job to restore the nation.
            You believe the nation is the suffering servant, Christians see that one of your people to be that servant Yeshua ( Jesus).
            You guys refer to the only revelation on Mt Sinai, and are taught to not believe any NT scriptures .So you think God has not communicated with people since that time? I believe God could communicate with Jewish people 2000 years ago giving them a revelation about the things to come. All the things we can read now accounted in NT books. They heard from God about Jesus , when the voice from heaven said; this is my beloved son, listen to him.” Is there a right to say it is all made up story? Most of the people witnessed Jesus resurrection and you would think they would let themselves to die for a lie when the Romans were torturing them and killing them so that they would deny their hope in Jesus? NT books have an account about the angel talking to Mary that her son was to save their people from their sin.
            So the list of things in NT would be long to go through all, but what I am pointing to, that not only Isaiah books are completing the picture about the suffering servant.
            Another thing I would say; there is no evidence that these the nations speaking in Is 53. in saying ‘ for transgressions of ‘my people’ . That would be really odd as the nations didn’t get any revelation from God at that time only Jewish prophets of God to speak to their people. Next ‘ cut off from the land of living’ clearly indicates somebody’s’ deaf.. also’ He poured out his soul to deaf’ v.12 , “No deceit on his mouth’- shows his innocence, sinless nature. v.10 ‘ Jehovah pleased to crush him(…) so that if he should put his soul as guilt offering, he shall see his seed”.-it does not mean Jesus had to offer any sacrifice for himself , he offered himself as guilt offering, and his seed refers to the people he paid for ( not his children).

            When it comes to the movie about Jesus, I would ignore the producers’ idea of a handsome looking Jesus . Move is for making money.
            But about his suffering that it wasn’t as bad as others is kind of not-propriet statement. There were days off beating before the crucifixion and the level of applied suffering doesn’t make someone less or more hero.
            The point was he didn’t have to go to deaf, he did it of his own will. Second – he was righteous and willingly took that deaf as a punishment for our transgressions. Usually nobody wants to die for other people crimes. Mostly he suffered by being rejected by his own people whom he loved.

            Another thought why so many Christians think Jesus was God? I would leave it up to them individually. Mostly we say he was son of God, by obeying God completely and reflecting the image of an invisible God. So, since it is hard to imagine an invisible God and Jesus was reflecting God’s character- Christians would say that God was in Jesus.
            But since we all know little who God actually is, until we will be able to see Him one day, we can’t all have a complete understanding and complete picture of Him. Even Moses didn’t see his face . And knowing God it is not about knowing how He looks like but what His personality and character is like. Whether He consists of any parts or not, I don’t think it is a main think for us to know. God won’t judge us based on how much we knew what He consists of, but whether we obeyed Him or not.
            Ok, more points to discuss late, go back to work. But I like to talk to you guys.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            The thread on Isaiah 53 is getting rather tangled. I’d like to write a comprehensive explanation of the subject, if I have time. In the meantime, I’d like to address other points you mentioned.

            First of all, I was joking about the handsome actor (I should have typed a smiley). I do find it amusing that you wrote that we are taught not to believe Christian scripture. As if our teachers walk into class and say, “Students, don’t believe the NT!” The truth is this: we don’t pay any attention to the sacred texts of any religion, such as the NT and the Koran. We know the Torah is true, so all other religious texts are irrelevant. Christians are simply unaware of the massive indifference of Jews to their religion.

            You wrote concerning Isaiah 53 that “somebody [that was me, Dina] mentioned it was about Isaiah the prophet. So here is clear it might be an individual, but the thing is Isaiah is not matching, he is dead and didn’t do a job to restore the nation.” How ironic that you should say that! Perhaps he will come back and finish the job in his second coming, eh? 🙂

            I hope to have more coming soon. Pleasure talking to you!

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Annelise says:

            PS I’m still figuring out some of this for myself, but just sharing some things that make sense from the Jewish perspective!

          • Dina says:

            Eric, all three examples refer to inheritance and/or property rights, NOT tribal lineage, which is passed through the father (see Numbers, Chapter 1). If a Kohain or Levite adopted a child from another tribe, that child would not be allowed to serve in the Temple.

            Christians have to answer a huge question concerning the genealogies in Matthew and Luke. Not only do the genealogies not match up with each other (no small problem), they also don’t match the genealogy in 1 Chronicles 3 (an even bigger problem).

            Yet another problem: Matthew’s genealogy goes through Jeconiah, who was cursed never to have offspring sit on the throne (Jeremiah 22:30). Joseph is not Jesus’s father. Luke’s genealogy goes through Nathan, although God promised that the throne would pass through Solomon (2 Samuel 7:12-14; 1 Chronicles 22:9-10). Again, Joseph is not Jesus’s father.

            And that’s just a tiny detail. Suppose Jesus was David’s descendant through Solomon on his father’s side (he wasn’t, but let’s say for argument’s sake), then he is no different than thousands of other descendants who can lay claim to the throne. And he still has the problem that he didn’t fulfill the rest of the requirements. I refer you again to my challenge to Charles (sorry to keep sending you links, but it saves a lot of space here and a lot of time for me): http://www.scribd.com/doc/206777589/A-Challenge-for-Charles

            Best,
            Dina

          • LarryB says:

            Eric
            So your Polish. that explains alot.. just kidding I’m polish to. “You believe the nation is the suffering servant, Christians see that one of your people to be that servant Yeshua ( Jesus).” As a fellow pollock, I would not reccomend going to a rabbi to learn the NT anymore than I would recommend going to a christian to learn the OT. If you don’t believe what the torah teaches, that includes believing what the nation charged with passing it down un corrupted would teach you, thats fine and I understand that. But if you say you do believe in the torah, then you cannot be taught Torah by christians. God taught a nation, mary was the only one who heard god speaking about her soon to be born son. Who heard God say this is my son with who I am pleased? Big difference.

          • Sophiee says:

            What you are calling “leverate” is actually a yabham marriage. Note that it ONLY pertains to a widow who has no children. If she has children she may marry whomever she chooses in whatever tribe she chooses. Mary (per the Christian bible) was not a widow and Joseph was not her former husband (who had died) brother. It is totally immaterial.

            Adoption is also a moot argument as it simply does NOT EXIST in Jewish law. Although the institution of adoption, through its widespread use in Roman law Jewish law denied the concept of “adoption.” Judaism has the concept of “A person Who Raises Another’s Child.” Unlike either Roman law or current adoption law, this institution does not change the legal parents of the person whose custody has changed. One who raises another’s child is an agent of the natural parent; and like any agency rule in Jewish law, If Jesus wasn’t Joseph’s natural (biological son) then he had no tribal rights PERIOD.

            In Ketuvim (Writings) we are told that Esther is adopted by her cousin Mordechai (Book of Esther 2:7). This example re-enforces what I just told you, because Esther’s full name is used twice in the story — and both times it is tied to her birth father (Esther daughter of Avihayil). (Book of Esther 2:15 and 9:29) — in other words, she is called by the name of her biological father, not her adoptive father.

            A child born as a priest (a kohein) is ALWAYS a kohein even if adopted by someone from the tribe of Judah. Adoption does NOT change tribal status — it is only biological from a Jewish father to his Jewish child.

            In Mary’s case if the father of her child was anyone other than Joseph the child was a mamzer and had no tribal status at all. When a woman marries she takes on the tribe of her husband (as if her birth tribe simply disappeared). Mary’s lineage is totally immaterial — excepting that she had to be Jewish.

            Any child born to Mary whose father was not Joseph (her husband) would NOT be of the tribe of Judah. Mary could only pass on the tribal status of her husband’s sperm PERIOD.

            If adoption into the royal line were possible, one would have to wonder why Athaliah took such drastic measures following the death of her sons at the hands of Jehu and his men:
            2 Kings 11:1 “And Athaliah, Ahaziah’s mother, saw that her son was dead, and she rose and destroyed all those of royal descent.” Had adoption been a viable solution to the problem of an heir, Athaliah would have been able to pursue that route (see 2 Kings 9:27, 10:13-14).

            Even in the case of one’s land being passed through a daughter if she marries into the same tribe (as with Zelophehad’s daughters) she does NOT keep even the land if she marries into another tribe. Again the mother’s tribe is IMMATERIAL (Numbers 36):
            36:7 The hereditary property of the Israelites will thus not be transferred from one tribe to another, and each person among the Israelites will remain attached to the hereditary property of his father’s tribe.

            As for Jacob “adopting” Ephraim and Menashe — they were his biological grandchildren and thus had the same “paternal inheritance” rights as would any grandchildren of a male (in this case Joseph) son. There were no tribes prior to those assigned by Jacob — and he passed his inheritance on to his BIOLOGICAL HEIRS THROUGH THE MALE LINE.

      • Dina says:

        Eric, how then do you explain the overwhelming majority of Christians who worship Jesus as God? Also, if you believe he is the messiah, then can you answer the classic Jewish response showing he is not the Messiah? I’ve written a summary of the challenge for Charles, a frequent commenter on this blog. You can access it here:

        As for who is the subject of Isaiah 53, you must be new to this blog, because Rabbi Blumenthal and others have clearly shown that it isn’t the messiah and is certainly not Jesus. You can read about that here:

        https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/isaiah-53/

        I tried to post more links but couldn’t, so I’ll add them to another comment.

        Would God resurrect a liar? You’re asking the wrong question, because we don’t accept the accounts in Christian scripture as true. Deuteronomy 13:2-6 can just as easily apply to Jesus.

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

        Peace and blessings,
        Dina

        • My question to LarryB; How many witnessed Moses talking with God?

          • Dina says:

            How many witnessed Moses talking to God? THE WHOLE ENTIRE JEWISH NATION, MAN, WOMAN, AND CHILD.

          • LarryB says:

            Eric
            Would that be before he talked to the whole NATION or after?

          • I mean at the burning bush.
            By the way Jesus was seen by thousands too after his resurrection.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, can you identify any of their physical descendants today?

          • It is like going 2000 years back trying to trace down who knew whom?. That conversation does not go anywhere.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, there was a point to my question. The only religion that has ever made a claim of national revelation is Judaism. And here I am, a direct descendant of the people who claimed to hear God speak at Sinai. That makes the claim pretty credible. A chain of tradition starting from the people who were there who told their children, who in turn told their children, and so on, down to me and all other Jews today.

            The claim that a lot of people saw the resurrection doesn’t have that kind of credibility. If Jesus wanted the Jews to believe in him, he should have appeared to the entire nation. He should have at least appeared to the Pharisees! Now wouldn’t that have been something? But no, instead he appears only to those who already believed in him. How convenient!

          • LarryB says:

            Eric
            “I mean at the burning bush.
            By the way Jesus was seen by thousands too after his resurrection.”
            The NT teaches that I know. Islam has their teachings, Mormans have theirs, etc.. Then along came Horaces tree.
            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/horaces-tree-by-jim/
            You can believe anything you wish. God is what ever you want him to be. But if you wish to believe in the same god Judaism teaches, or if you claim there god is the same as yours, then you must learn what they teach, christianity cannot do that for you.

          • LarryB says:

            Eric
            Sorry i must correct myself. Even J taught in Matt 5:17-19 that you must follow the torah. So as J taught people to “follow me” he taught (18: In truth I tell you, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke,(mitzvot) is to disappear from the Law until all its purpose is achieved. Actually, I believe, when you look at it, every reference to scripture in the NT it actually points to the tanakh as being the scripture to use. Whether or not the christian org. you belong to teaches that I don’t know.

          • Eric says:

            LarryB, Is Jesus teaching so against torah for you? I think Matthew explained a little bit about it what it means to listen to Jesus in an above comment. When Jesus was teaching no NT book were written yet, no gospel nothing. He was always pointing to listening to God. You keep saying ‘follow torah’ , ‘follow torah’ all the time. But what it means to follow torah? Is it about learning all the history facts for the sake of information? I am sure it is not,but you are learning from the history for your benefit how God was dealing with people, and for the most it is for you to learn to obey His word, you are getting to know Him, you and are learning to trust Him. Our trust is also believing in the testimony God gave about Jesus that his death is for our redemption.

            As far as Jesus teachings, what was he teaching when it comes to the commandments in torah? To love your God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself. He ‘fitted ‘ all the commandments into two .Does it mean he excluded the rest of them because he said it so? No, because if you really love God and others you won’t steal, you won’t kill, you won’t cheat etc. It is all included. If you really love God, you will listen to His voice that is not only limited to the 10 commandments but your ear will be inclined to ‘hear ‘ His voice whether through the prayer, or through His written word. Jesus even ‘stretched ‘it even more saying; if you think you keep the commandments but you see your brother in need and won’t help him, you are deceiving yourself. Put it all in practice. Follow me. By the words ‘follow me’ he didn’t mean to ‘betray’ God but to follow his example. Be holy as I am holy, another words put your words into practice like
            I am doing. Learn from me. So simple.

          • Dina says:

            Right, Eric, it’s so simple, but not in the way you think. It’s so simple to just follow the Torah and listen to the prophets who pointed us to God rather than to themselves. Can you imagine Moses or Isaiah telling Israel to do things “for my sake” or to “believe in me” as Jesus so often says?

          • Eric says:

            Dina,
            We call Jesus our savior for what he has done because he offered his life willingly for us. He is an ‘agent’ God used to save the world, and there is nothing wrong to call him savior to address him in respect and gratitude ( for what he has done) when he chose to obey God to save your lives.
            Farther more, he was given all the authority by God to accomplish things for which God called him, so that whoever comes to him His death was because of our sin.
            His given authority was much more then Moses’ to lead the people out of Egypt.
            In Jesus there is salvation offered to all people.
            Another problem calling Jesus ‘Lord’.
            How many kings were called Lord in the past? ( I don’t have time to list you all of them here). It didn’t mean they were the Lords of the universe but their title was expressing
            the position they were holding, and by being called ‘lord’ their their authority was respected. Why did Joseph’s brothers called him Lord? Why was he even bowed down to??? Aren’t you guys shocked by that??
            If Jesus by his authority and respect can’t be called Lord, all the kings and Joseph shouldn’t have been called so either.

            You asked if we are allowed now to sin because we believe we are forgiven.
            No, because even Jesus said, don’t call me Lord unless you are doing the will of my Father who is in heaven. That means you listen to God’s commandments and if they tell don’t steal, you don’t steal. If you love God you obey Him.

            By the way I will mention we are not saved by law because we keep it, by law is the knowledge what is wrong what is right, and people fail no matter what. That ‘once’ is enough what brought the consequence of death. Adam and Eve had their ‘once’ too.
            They heard that they would die after their first disobedience. Even the animal- sacrifices were reminder of the fact, that sin brought death. God didn’t need the slaughter for himself as a weird amusement. ( He said He doesn’t need it!) Sorry I am repeating myself. I already talked about it before but I can’t help.
            Levit 17 explained WHY blood was used, but I know it is ONLY about not eating blood.
            I agree verses 1-10 . But in v.11 no purpose mentioned for what so ever.

            “I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul “

            That really makes me astonished. Reject verse 11 and you have just instructions what food not to eat. It is like trying to believe that Gen 3;3 only talks about not eating a certain fruit from a certain tree.

            You said something about forgiveness like as if it should also not carry on any consequences of sin ( death). That is what we received in Jesus. God set us free completely from a bondage of sin from the everlasting death. ( I don’t believe in functioning as a spirit after my life. OT tells you in the prophets that our future is to function as people not spirits. )
            By saying ( samuel to saul) “tomorrow you will be with me” , could mean ; you will be with me in the grave, you will be dead. Second ;nobody knows what exactly is a spirit , if there is any consciousness of us in it ( just because a psalm says ; the spirit comes back to God’ doesn’t mean you are alive.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, some points.

            1. God says there is no savior besides him, so you have no right to call a human your savior no matter how much gratitude you feel.

            2. In order to establish Moses’s credibility as a prophet, God sent him to perform great wonders. The Ten Plagues. The splitting of the sea. And so on. But that wasn’t enough. God actually spoke to Moses in front of the entire people to establish his credibility. If Jesus was given more authority than Moses, at least he should have been given the same credibility, instead of performing small-time miracles like Elijah and Elisha (which I don’t accept as true that he did it, just saying for argument’s sake). At least God should have spoken to him in front of all of Israel, to at least put him on par with Moses. Jesus was not greater than Moses (he wasn’t even a prophet). Deuteronomy 34:10 tells us that since the time of Moses there has never again arisen a prophet like him.

            3. Humans are called lord (adoni) while God is called Lord (Ado-nai). Big difference. No human king is ever, ever called Lord in Tanach. Bowing down to Joseph and calling him king is not the same as worshiping him as a deity. No, I am not shocked by ordinary reverence of a king. I’m surprised you don’t see the difference between that and worship of God.

            4. You wrote: “You asked if we are allowed now to sin because we believe we are forgiven.” Actually, that is not what I asked. Since you kept talking about consequences for sin (like Cain being sent away), I asked you if you thought that by accepting Jesus you could sin without consequence.

            For example, let’s say a man–we’ll call him Adam–walks into a school in Newtown, Connecticut, and shoots and kills 20 children and 6 adults. Let’s say that instead of killing himself, he goes home. The next day, filled with remorse, he accepts Jesus as his lord and savior. Should he get off scot-free? Why or why not?

            5. About Leviticus. We aren’t saying what you’re attributing to us. The passage is a prohibition to eat blood. The reason given is that the blood atones, that’s why we can’t eat it. (Incidentally, Christians “eat” the “blood” of Jesus in their pagan custom of the Eucharist). It doesn’t say that without blood it’s impossible to atone for sin.

            6. Why didn’t Samuel just say “Tomorrow you will die”? Why the more comforting “you will be with me”? How could they be together if they were dead?

            Best,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina,
            I will respond with my quick thoughts as this week kids are out of school and I am not sitting at the computer.

            Whether I have a right to call Jesus my savior and express my gratitude it is between me and God. If He has something against that, I am sure He will let me know. So far I have enjoyed my relationship with God and I am sure that He sent his son for a purpose.

            You mentioned you don’t worry and care about the future but aren’t Jewish people not looking forward to the Messiah’s coming and the glorious peaceful times? That is still future, he may not happen to come in our lives but those who died are to be resurrected at his coming to be part of God’s kingdom. ( I am not saying here that Christians are focusing on the resurrection as there are things we are busy with in this life but I know there is hope for the future.)
            My thought is why is such a big deal about who will be the Messiah?
            Is somebody unknown of a sinful nature a better perspective than Jesus who proved to be God’s servant and rose back to life? I am sure if it is Jesus , he will still be able to do what the scriptures are promising. I know that before Messiah is coming, the earth will first face God’s judgment. So I am not asking myself a question why he didn’t fulfill all the scriptures at that time because I understand the need for our redemption first . ( But I know you don’t see the need for that.)

            You asked why we would listen to Jesus although people years ago didn’t know him?
            Even t e people in the jungle who never heard of God like we do- I am sure God has the way to judge them based on what He revealed to them about Himself through His creation. I can’t speak for God what about them, God knows their hearts. I would rather focus on me, how much I am listening to Him now .
            People in OT listened to God and whatever God revealed to them at their time. For example before the prophets were given , nobody was asked to believe their message, because there was no message from any prophet. But when the prophets were given, God wanted people to listen to what He was saying through them ( Jeremiah 22). Lots of prophets were rejected or even killed. People not always listened to God’s word whether through prophets or Jesus now. We believe God gave Jesus as He promised in Deut 18;15-18
            “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, (…) I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him.” I know Moses miracles’ were more reliable than those that followed Jesus. That’s another story…

            I asked you being God’s servant and I rather was sure you would say yes, rather than no. You want to obey God , you want to serve Him, that makes you his servant for sure. So it is not only a nation as a whole to serve God, but also an individual can be God’s servant. Let’s say I have never heard of Isaiah 53 and 49, so my opinion about Jesus would not be only based on interpretation of the scriptures, but I would look at his life. Would I recognize God’s servant in him? Definitely yes.

            Now, what about the bad people you asked, some guy killing and then repenting and coming back to God. Would he be forgiven? I can’t speak for all, God knows their hearts. But I would look at the examples in the OT at Cain after he killed his brother, then David who took somebody’s wife and ‘arranged’ her husband to be killed. Didn’t God forgive them? To me it looked like He did although it was a nasty crime.
            So can we keep sinning then, especially Christians because they think they are forgiven? I see in the scriptures that no sin wasn’t left without consequences also relating to your present life. We don’t read much about Cain, but we know that David’s kingdom was not free from the enemies any more and the peace was over. With all the blood’ on his hands’ he wasn’t allowed to build the temple. God took Moses disobedience seriously to the point that He had to die before he entered the promised land. Do I want to play with a sin then??? .

            I am not saying we are all perfect as Christians. You obey God, you know He hates sin, but I am sure it happens that we fail many times and the consequences of different types follow us in our lives. You sinned , you repent. God is showing you grace and time to change. I am sure whoever is constantly ignoring God, constantly sinning, can’t be called servant of God ( even if he calls himself a Christian).
            I come back to more of your challenges later. I am not keeping any grudges as far as your saying about ‘ good deal”

            ..

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            You wrote: “Whether I have a right to call Jesus my savior and express my gratitude it is between me and God.”

            Calling Jesus you lord and savior is not a private matter between you and God. All Christians call him that, and they come to us and ask us to do the same. So it’s fair game for me to question you thoroughly regarding this point.

            You further wrote: “If He has something against that, I am sure He will let me know.” Ah, but He did let you know, Eric. Did He not say that aside from Him there is no Savior (Isaiah 43:11)?

            Calling Jesus your savior is a direct violation of God’s clear teaching.

          • Eric says:

            Dina, still replying to your previous emails;
            As far as these ‘small-time’ miracles of Jesus l would say, what was so ‘unusual’ like rising a dead to life , or calming the sea and wind, making the blind to see, the lame to walk, the death to hear,, being himself back to life- looks like there were almost unnoticeable, but I can tell that the power to raise dead to life ( in the body) were usually man of God ( Elijah and Elisha).

            You said;’ why God should have spoken to him…” so I see- we can tell God what to do. You have to ask God about if why He have spoken like that, I can’t give you the answer about that.

            Deut 34;10 when was that said?? I am sure not nowadays and surely before Jesus was born.

            Because others chose to worship somebody as deity doesn’t mean you can’t chose to respect him for being a servant of God.

            I know catholic Christians believe they are drinking’ blood ‘ in the Eucharistic. well, I can’t help what some people believe, blood is usually a blood and wino is wino. Just because somebody doesn’t understand that sharing the cup with wino was to symbolize we all share in Jesus atoning death, It shouldn’t be mine concern that I can’t sleep., It doesn’t mean I haven’t tried to explain it to them.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric.

            Thanks as always for taking the time.

            You wrote: “Because others chose to worship somebody as deity doesn’t mean you can’t chose to respect him for being a servant of God.”

            That is like saying that just because someone cheats on her husband doesn’t mean you can’t chose to respect her for being a faithful wife.

            Idolatry is the greatest sin against God. It’s spiritual adultery. And worshiping someone as a deity is idolatry.

            We’re having a lot of back and forth on a lot of different points, but the bottom line is, one of us is right and one of us is wrong (there is a third possibility, that both of us are wrong, but neither of us accepts that). Because the Christian accepts the Jewish scriptures as the word of God and has come along to change it, the burden of proof lies on him.

            Therefore, it behooves you to prove from Hebrew scripture that one must place his faith in an individual in order to attain salvation, that that individual is the messiah, that the messiah will fail to fulfill the messianic prophecies (universal peace, universal knowledge of God, rebuilding of the Temple, etc.) and will need to return to complete the task, and so on.

            By the way, if Jesus was the sacrifice to end all sacrifices, why will the Third Temple be rebuilt and the sacrificial system reinstated?

            Also, I would like the answers to my questions about what happens to Jews when they die and what famous Christians you admire.

            Thanks again for your serious and thoughtful replies. I am impressed that you can carry on a debate in a language that is not your native tongue.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina,
            I see that is still not clear to you what we mean by our trust in Jesus. You keep mentioning “we put our faith in an individual in order to attain salvation,” ‘ we worship a human” let’s maybe re-write it how I would address it;
            ‘we put trust in God and believe in the testimony He gave about His son . We believe in the authority He have to His son and we respect that. Our listening to him is like your listening to Moses. ( I know we honor him more than Moses as he obtained something eternal for us )
            People at Moses’ time might have some problems too. They might have no need for Moses because God himself should be sufficient. Why didn’t God lead the people in person by himself, why did he need Moses to speak? I am sure faro wouldn’t have a problem with letting the people out right away if God himself stood there. I guess, sometimes God has a reason to use a person.
            Our putting faith in Jesus means we trust his words because we believe they are words of God. Our ‘material’ NT which is so immaterial to many of you says (in John 5;19 ) that Jesus is doing what God told him to do and saying what he told him to say. Our listening to him, means listening to God.
            And back to definition of worship, – the word – that is related to completely differently than it should.
            Our worship means to express our submission and obedience and authority Jesus has as given to Him by God, as a son of God.
            Whatever people think about Jesus he is still who he is,. I would rather search myself to see who he is rather than base my opinion on others , how they ‘admire ‘ him .

            Complaining about why he failed to fulfill the messianic prophecies (universal peace, universal knowledge of God, rebuilding of the Temple, etc.) and will need to return to complete the task, and so on comes from lack of understanding. It is like being sick and going to a doctor and rejecting all the medicine , vitamins, and minerals and then complaining why I am still sick. Aren’t you supposed to be a doctor?? You must be a fake doctor, probably still a student of a medicine. I don’t know how the history would continue if he wasn’t rejected and plotted to be killed. I am sure God knew he would be killed and used that , but that wasn’t because Jesus wanted to be killed, or God delights in a blood shed . If people are not ready to listen what God wants from them , there won’t be any peace. Even in OT God said, Isaiah 48;18
            “If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.”

            What do I think ,” if Jesus was the sacrifice to end all sacrifices, why will the Third Temple be rebuilt and the sacrificial system reinstated” My answer is ; the sacrifices weren’t for the eternal redemption but a lesson and reminder of consequences of sin which is death. If the sacrifices had to be repeated and weren’t cleansing people from sin forever why should the ones do it the third temple.? Or maybe if it was just for a food- party, there is nothing wrong with continuing to have a good party with an underdone steak!

          • Dina says:

            Come on, Eric, you know I don’t think the ritual of sacrifices was just a food party. I asked you a fair question. If Jesus is the sacrifice to end all sacrifices, what is the point of the Third Temple and the reinstating of the system of sacrifice? Can you answer that?

          • Dina says:

            Furthermore, Eric, Christians changed the job description for the Messiah. Whereas originally it had been to rule over all of Israel as king during a time of universal peace, universal knowledge of God, rebuilding of the Third Temple, ingathering of all the exiles, the exaltation of Israel to the eyes of all the nations, etc., Christianity changed it to spiritual salvation through accepting him (or however you want to express it).

            Show me where in all of Tanach we told that this is what we should expect of the Messiah.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Sorry, the last sentence should have said “we are told.”

          • Dina says:

            Eric, actually, it’s like going to a doctor and instead of giving you medicine and all of that, he tells you to believe in Hippocrates, the doctor to end all doctors, who will come back one day and cure you.

            The doctor is supposed to give you medicine if you have Strep throat; otherwise he isn’t a doctor.

            The Messiah has a job description; if he fails to fulfill it, he isn’t the Messiah.

            (What about those genealogies, by the way?)

          • Dina says:

            Eric, my last point for today (if I can resist the temptation, because I have work to do), is that Deuteronomy 34:10 was written before all the prophets (including Samuel), so it has to be telling us that Moses is unique among the prophets.

            I may not get to the rest of your points till Monday. Till then, peace and blessings.

            Dina

          • LarryB says:

            I must correct myself even J taught in Matt 5:17-19 In truth I tell you, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke,(mitzvot) is to disappear from the Law until all its purpose is achieved. I believe the point J makes here, is that when the two books don’t agree, the tanak teachings rule. Whether or not your form of christianity teaches that……

        • To LarryB,exactly, a good verse, non of God’;s words will ever be cancelled or disappear whatever He said He will do, that is why we take His words seriously that a wages for sin is death. Not a death for a day or 2 it meant everlasting one. That why the idea of atonement needed for my sin makes sense to me.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, you keep saying “the wages of sin is death.” Can you support this statement from Tanach?

            You wrote that “atonement was never without blood shed.” Can you support this statement from Tanach?

            In fact the Jewish scriptures teach us the opposite. I cited the following passages in a previous comment and am copying them below; I hope you have a chance to look them up, because I believe these verses will give you a lot of food for thought:

            1 Kings 8:46-53; Hosea 14:1-2; Psalms 141:2; 2 Chronicles 7:14; 2 Chronicles 6:21; Proverbs 15:8; 2 Samuel 12:13; Psalms 32:5; Proverbs 28:13; Ezekiel 18:21-23; Ezekiel 33:14-16; Jeremiah 36:3; Isaiah 55:6-7; Jonah 3:6-10; Daniel 4:27; Job 22:22; Proverbs 16:6; Isaiah 1:18-19; Isaiah 27:9; Isaiah 1:11-16; Amos 5:22-24; Psalms 51:15-17; Jeremiah 7:1-7; Micah 6:6-8; Proverbs 21:3; Hosea 6:6; 1 Samuel 15:22,30-31; Psalms 78:35-39; Micah 7:18-20; Joel 2:12-13; Psalms 86:5-6; Isaiah 43:22-25; Nehemiah 9:16-17; Jonah 4:2

            If Tanach contradicts Christian scripture, which one is true?

            May we gain ever more clarity from this discussion!

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

        • To Dina, about that only one reliable witness of God in Judaism. You keep forgetting that Jesus came to the Jewish people as he was one of them. Just because the nation at that time was spread in different towns and cities and didn’t gather all around him in one day to listen to him – doesn’t give less creditability to believe in his message or not. By the way we see that God was speaking by the Jewish prophets throughout all the history about the future king. ( why we believed he was that king I answered today in the other comment ) No message is hidden or disclaimed just for a few individuals Of course from the very beginning there were people who believed his message and those how didn’t . That is why I can’t say which one of my descendants believed which one not. God is passing the message about His salvation to all people around the world. Some will believe it is true some not. People tried adding lots of garbage to every truth in every religion , adding wooden statues even in Christian churches and changing to worship Mary , but the truth can be found if you are really looking for it and God is able to tell you what is flash and what is not.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, these are all statements of faith, not evidence.You wrote, “the truth can be found if you are really looking for it.” I agree. God leads right those who seek the truth sincerely with an open mind. May He guide us always in the light of His truth.

            Peace and blessings.

      • Sophiee says:

        The Hebrew word for worship is : עֲבוֹדָה‎ / avodah. — don’t confuse English with Hebrew! The Torah tells us clearly not to worship human beings. We don’t worship prophets in any case! We only pray to G-d. BTW, Jesus was not a prophet — if he ever lived at all his so-called prophecies as recorded in the Christian bible were all false ones. Take for example his “prophecy” in that Matthew 24:2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” FALSE PROPHECY. esus speaks of JERUSALEM “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city” — so Jesus was speaking of the entire city of Jerusalem, not just the Temple. Jesus also said “They will not leave one stone on another”. . .

        FALSE PROPHECY (and this was written AFTER the Temple was destroyed — you would think that making a “prophecy” after something happened you could get it right!).

        Yet Josephus (who was an was an eye witness to the Romans pillaging Jerusalem 2000 years ago) wrote: “Now as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of their fury (for they would not have spared any, had there remained any other work to be done), [Titus] Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and Temple, but should leave as many of the towers standing as were of the greatest eminence; that is, Phasaelus, and Hippicus, and Mariamne; and so much of the wall as enclosed the city on the west side. This wall was spared, in order to afford a camp for such as were to lie in garrison [in the Upper City], ”

        There were stones left standing.

        Aside from Josephus we have archaeological evidence — not to mention the western wall which Jews go to even today!

        As for Jesus being “resurrected” — you can’t prove that he lived at all, let alone was resurrected from the dead. The stories in the Christian bible contradict one another (regarding the supposed resurrection) from who discovered him missing to who saw him “rise from the dead.” It is a fairy tale. http://www.outreachjudaism.org/articles/cru-chart.html

        • Dina says:

          Hi Sophiee.

          In fairness, the Hebrew word “avodah” also means “work” or “service.” Most reputable historians who don’t have an axe to grind accept that Jesus was a real historical character, although nothing is known about him from any accounts other than Christian scripture.

          It seems fair to say that this character existed, and at least we know that he committed a crime for which the Romans executed him. How much more can be said about him with any certainty? That depends on whom you ask :).

          The bottom line is, you can’t prove it either way if you’re looking strictly at the historical record. Just because someone is not mentioned doesn’t prove he didn’t exist.

          • There are tons of historical documents about him, but anyways no point of talking about it as it is not reliable to you, look from another perspective from the need for atonement for every one and understanding seriousness of God’s words about that the wages for sin is death. Temporary death would be no death just a sleep.The idea that we die we just ALL get resurrected has completely no support in OT. Neither for being good we are justified but by faith which means by trusting and doing in what God says. That applied to all the people from the beginning, with Abraham and the rest of your fathers.

        • Dina says:

          Sophiee, thanks for the crucifixion chart. That’s a useful little piece to file away. I have stored it already in my file!

  4. I will try to give my answers to all the questions but it will take me a while because I have a family and my little kids need to much of my attention 😉
    I would say that even with some mistranslations of the scriptures the truth can’t hide. My question is referring again to a servant that is believed to be a nation. (in Isaiah) If the servant is the whole nation of Israel how can we explain the Isaiah 49;5-6 that the servant is supposed
    “To bring Jacob back to Him,
    So that Israel is gathered to Him, (…) and to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel.?
    That tells you the nation is restoring the nation… how would Israel fit here to ‘raise the tribes of Jacob? Raise his own tribes, he suffers to restore himself? The servant is clearly pointed to redeem ( restore) Israel. Is 49. How does it all make sense?

    Second , presuming it that there are the nations speaking in Is 53 ” for transgressions of my people he was punished’ – that would mean Israel is suffering because of the other nations’ sin. But many scriptures tell us that Israel is suffering because of their own sin.
    Ezekiel 39; 23 “ And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel WENT INTO CAPTIVITY BECAUSE OF THEIR INIQUITY : because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them,(…)

    What about Is 53;11″my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.”
    How can we justify others as we all are sinners? If the nation of Israel is to justify others, why one of her people ( Jesus) is rejected that he could to it?
    More, the statement is clear;’the servant is RIGHTEOUS, while Israel is not called so. All other nations are not excluded as we all failed.

    Anyways it clearly speaks to me that the whole Isaiah 53 points to the fact that the suffering of ‘that secret servant’ is needed to justify others. ( I said secret as Jewish people believe it is a nation , and Christians- Jesus). The first Jewish believers simply accepted Jesus as that suffering servant who was part of their nation. That would make sense why Isaiah 49;5-6 says that the servant would restore the tribes of Jacob and restore the preserved ones of Israel.

    More topics tomorrow, time to sleep;-)
    Eric

    • Dina says:

      Hi Eric.

      It’s a pleasure to talk to you, by the way, and I’m really enjoying this conversation!

      I also have a bunch of kids, the youngest of whom is three months old, so I am sympathetic to your time constraints. Take your time! The search for truth requires that we take it seriously and not rush through it.

      Reading Isaiah 49 in Hebrew, it is clear that the prophet Isaiah in verses 1-6 is talking about himself. Going by the plain meaning of the text, why should I assume otherwise? Furthermore, Eric, how would you apply the rest of the chapter to Jesus? Starting from verse 7, it starts to become nonsensical (forgive me).

      Regarding 53:11, here’s the translation from the Masoretic text by Artscroll, the Stone Edition: “With his knowledge, My servant will vindicate the Righteous One to multitudes [in other words, Israel will teach the nations about the righteousness of God]; it is their iniquities that he will carry.

      No observant Jew will deny that we suffer in exile for our sins, but we also have suffered from the sins of the many nations who indulged in anti-Semitic tantrums and persecuted us in the worst ways. That is the regret the nations speaking in Isaiah are referring to.

      “As one from whom we would hide our faces, he was despised and we had no regard for him. 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 (Christian) nations inflicted great suffering upon the Jewish people and thought that the Jews brought it upon themselves for their rejection of Jesus (“we had regarded him…stricken by God). But at the end of days, they will see that “He was pained because of our rebellious sins…we have all strayed like sheep…”

      Take heed of Zechariah 1:14-15: I have become zealous for Jerusalem and for Zion, a great zeal, and I am wrathful, a great wrath against the complacent nations, who, when I became slightly wrathful, augmented the evil. [The nations, instruments to punish Israel, way overdid it.]

      The concept that “we are all sinners” and “can’t justify ourselves except through Jesus’s all-atoning sacrifice” has no basis in Hebrew scripture (see Genesis 4:7).

      Respectfully,
      Dina

      • Sophiee says:

        Do you not see the inherent flaw in your line of thinking? Whether this is speaking of Isaiah, the messiah or the entire nation of Israel all of them are both righteous of Israel! Read Isaiah 49 in context and it is clear that Isaiah speaks of himself about ten times in the first four verses alone. Again — what was Isaiah? A son of Israel! and did you bother to read LINE 3 of Isaiah 49? “You are My servant, Israel, about whom I will boast.” (Isaiah 49:3).

        Who is the servant identified by Isaiah prior to Isaiah 52:13-53:12? Israel. The Jews.

        Isaiah 41 8. But you, Israel My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, who loved Me, 9. Whom I grasped from the ends of the earth, and from its nobles I called you, and I said to you, “You are My servant”; I chose you and I did not despise you.
        and
        Isaiah 44 1. And now, hearken, Jacob (Jacob’s name was changed to Israel) My servant, and Israel whom I have chosen. 2. So said HaShem your Maker, and He Who formed you from the womb shall aid you. Fear not, My servant Jacob, and Jeshurun whom I have chosen.

        and
        Isaiah 44:21 “Remember these things, O Jacob, for you are my servant, O Israel. I have made you, you are my servant; O Israel, I will not forget you.
        and
        Isaiah 45 4. For the sake of My servant Jacob, and Israel My chosen one, and I called to you by your name; I surnamed you, yet you have not known Me.
        and

        Isaiah 49 3. And He said to me, “You are My servant, Israel, about whom I will boast.”
        and
        Isaiah 49:7 This is what HaShem says- the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel- to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers: “Kings will see you and rise up, princes will see and bow down, because of HaShem , who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
        and from Jeremiah:
        Jeremiah 30:10 ” ‘So do not fear, O Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, O Israel,’ declares HaShem .
        Also see Isaiah 42:19-20; 43:10 to see that Israel is the servant, nowhere is this term used for the messiah. Jeremiah 30:10 also names Israel as the servant and Jeremiah 30:17 says that the servant Israel is regarded by the nations as an outcast, forsaken by G-d, just like in Isaiah 53:4!

        You mentioned Isaiah 49:3 and 5 saying:
        49:3 as another proof that Israel is the servant. However, 49:5 states this ‘the servant’ will “bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself”. Shall the Israel (the servant) gather Israel (the remnant)? Shall she be her own salvation?
        Interesting that you didn’t QUOTE Isaiah 49:3 which does lead into 49:5.
        Isaiah 49:3 And He said to me, “You are My servant, Israel, about whom I will boast.”
        In Isaiah 49 Israel is clearly identified as the servant. Let’s read it in context from 49:1 to 7:
        1 Listen to me, O Islands, and hearken, O distant regimes: HaShem summoned me from the belly; He mentioned my name from my mother’s womb. 2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword in the shadow of His hand He hid me; He made me like a smooth arrow, in His quiver. He concealed me. 3 He said to me: “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I take glory. 4 But I said, “I have toiled in vain and used up my strength of nothingness and naught; however, my judgment is with HaShem and the reward for my accomplishment is with My G-d. 5 And now HaShem, who formed me from the belly to be a servant to Him said (I should) return Jacob to Him, so that Israel would be gathered to Him, so I was honored in G-d’s eyes and my G-d was my strength. 8 He said It is insufficient that you be a servant for Me (only) to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the ruins of Israel; I will make you a light for the nations, so that My salvation may extend to the ends of the earth (Artsroll Stone Edition).

        Note that this is not only clear that Israel is the servant but also that we are a light unto the nations to bring everyone to G-d.

        • Believe me I read all the chapters. Understand that whether you are part of a group who is called a servant to his/her master ( here is God), you are still a servant of that master as an individual.
          So trying to prove who is a servant is becoming pointless, we know it is Israel and that even one member of your nation will not be excluded to be called a servant.

          So what about Is 42;19-25? Does it match the description in Isaiah 53;11 ? The servant God wasn’t to happy with in ch apt 42 ;19 and the the righteous one? How can you be paying for transgressions of others? Why do you have to pay at all if we can just repent on our own to be forgiven?
          If you ( as a nation) had to suffer for us , why Jesus ( one of your people couldn’t?)
          Nobody still answered me that except for ‘ we don’t believe in Jesus’. The NT is not reliable. well, you don’t have to believe in him, but why couldn’t one righteous suffer for others?
          I know you are the light of the world. If not Jesus who was Jewish we would not have such a great savior and thanks to all the Jewish believers who spread the message about him. And I believe that in the Messianic Kingdom Israel will really prosper.
          I know that might sound sarcastic but I am very thankful! I would rather enjoy the Messiah who paid for my guilt so that I can have forgiveness of God rather than enjoying a Messiah- political leader

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric.

            In your last three comments you talked about who the servant is saving from their sins. You asked how Israel’s suffering atones for mankind’s sins. You want to know how mankind will be redeemed from their sins without a savior. This is a Christian idea that has no place in the Jewish scriptures.

            In fact, I never suggested anything like what you are saying. When I said that Jews suffered from the nations sins, that would be like saying my husband suffers from my bad temper. His suffering from my bad temper doesn’t “justify” me. It’s simply an unfortunate fact of life for him. And it’s something to which God will hold me accountable for making his life miserable. (I’m just using this as an example; I’m nice to my husband in real life 🙂 ).

            The Christian and Muslim nations who persecuted the Jewish people caused them to suffer BECAUSE OF their sin of persecution. They thought (and many still think) that this proves that their religion is the truth, that the Jews have suffered for rejecting Jesus or Mohammed. Our suffering because of their sin of persecution doesn’t “justify” them; in fact they will be punished for it and the Jews will be vindicated at the end of days (Deuteronomy 30:7; Isaiah 17:12-14; Isaiah 25:1-8; Isaiah 30:26; Isaiah 30:28; Isaiah 34:1-35:10; Isaiah 40:1-11; Isaiah 49:8-13; Isaiah 52:7-10; Isaiah 60:1-3; Zephaniah 3:8-20; Zechariah 8:23; Psalm 9).

            Your vision of the Messiah is based on dubious passages wrenched out of context. Can you answer my challenge, based on clear teachings in Tanach? (See it here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/206777589/A-Challenge-for-Charles). I’m so curious how you answer that challenge. (And what about my challenge about Jesus’s genealogy?)

            Although Jews are indifferent to the sacred texts of other religions, I can give you good reason to throw the credibility of Christian scripture into question.

            The first is that the very people who determined which prophets were from God and decided to include their works in the canon of Hebrew scripture are the very people who rejected Jesus and the Christian canon. If you trust these people on all the books of Hebrew scripture, then it’s inconsistent to distrust them on anything after the Hebrew canon was sealed. “You are My Witnesses, says the Lord” (Isaiah 43:10).

            The second is the distortion in Christian scripture which is obvious to anyone familiar with Hebrew scripture. Mark, Matthew, and the others consistently quote out of context, mistranslate, or make up references from Hebrew scripture. For example, Matthew quotes Isaiah 7:14 out of context and mistranslates the word “alma” as virgin (it really means “young woman”). He makes up the reference “and he shall be called a Nazarene” which is not found anywhere in the Hebrew Bible. I could go on and on, but the discussion I really want to have is to see if you can prove your theology from Hebrew scripture.

            As for Daniel, Rabbi Blumenthal has written about that on this blog. You can read his arguments here: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/daniel-713/ and also here: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/daniel-924-27/

            I am very, very curious if you still believe your interpretation of the passages in Daniel is accurate after you read those articles. And if you still believe it, then why?

            This conversation is so important, Eric, because nothing less than our precious souls hinges on the success of our discovery of the truth.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina Bucholz

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric.

            I’m going to call you out on something you said that is not fair. You wrote: “Nobody still answered me that except for ‘ we don’t believe in Jesus’. The NT is not reliable.”

            This is unfair because I have spent a considerable amount of time citing sources and providing links that give evidence for WHY I don’t believe in Jesus and WHY the NT is not reliable. You may disagree with me, but to boil down everything I said into “we don’t believe in Jesus” is plainly insulting.

            I hope you will look up the sources I cited and read the articles I linked to. If you will take the time to do that, you will see that I didn’t just say, “We don’t believe in Jesus; the NT is not reliable.”

            Respectfully,
            Dina

    • Dina says:

      Just another quick point about Isaiah 53, Eric.

      The chapter talks about the bad looks of the servant, and how he was generally despised. According to Christian scripture, Jesus was quite popular, drawing huge crowds. So a small group of Pharisees didn’t care for him? So what, was he holding out for universal popularity? Also, if he looks anything like Diogo Morgado (the actor playing Jesus in the soon-to-be-released film “Son of God”), then he was quite good looking!

      And his suffering: this chapter talks about a man of pains, someone who suffers continually. A few hours on the cross doesn’t cut it. In fact, Jesus was one of the lucky ones. Some victims of crucifixion lingered on the cross for days, suffering unimaginably until they died. Up to 100,000 Jews were crucified by the Romans according to Josephus.

      This is just a small point to show that the chapter can’t be talking about Jesus.

  5. Sophie Saguy says:

    Eric — Joseph (Jesus’ un-father) might have been eligible to be the messiah as a descendant of Kings David or Solomon (one lineage says “yes” one says “no”) — but he wasn’t a messiah either. There have been hundreds of thousands of Davidic potential heirs. he T’nach tells us that Solomon: “had seven hundred royal wives and three hundred concubines.” (1 Kings 11:3). How many children do you suppose he had?

    Each male child was eligible to be the messiah (assuming a Jewish mother). Each of his grandsons. Each of his great-grandsons. . . Just HOW many Davidic heirs (through Solomon) have been alive through the ages — and are still alive today?

    — but not one has been the messiah — fulfilling the messianic prophecies. The right parentage is only the starting point. . . And even if Joseph were eligible, Jesus (per the Christian bible) was NOT eligible. Joseph wasn’t his biological father ergo Jesus did not have the right parentage to fulfill the prophecies to be the messiah.

    Lineage in Judaism passes paternally. Mary was married to Joseph. As his legal wife only he could legally father her children and pass on a tribal line. According to the Christian bible Joseph was NOT the biological father, and thus Jesus did not possess the correct lineage to be a messiah.

    The two conflicting lineages for Joseph given in the Christian bible are immaterial since Joseph was not the biological father. Mary’s lineage does not matter (only males pass lineage).

    IF Joseph were Jesus’ biological father (Joseph’s sperm impregnated Mary) then having the right lineage would give Jesus the birth right – but he would still have to fulfill all the messianic prophecies. To date no one has fulfilled them, so there is no messiah.

  6. Back to the previous question; why all the Messianic prophecy hasn’t been all fulfilled yet?
    Christians generally see Messiah accomplishing God’s purposes in 2 separate comings. Why we see 2 comings although you can’t find literally there would be 2 comings? The answer can be given based on described events in both OT and NT scriptures that are related to the Messiah.
    ( take it as the thing; we believe it, I am not trying to convince anybody to see things the same). We`agree that the Messiah was to be’ from among his brothers’ a man like any man living on earth. Then Daniel 7;13 also shows a unique vision;
    “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man([ bar enash meaning human being) coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” To me it all looks really special , a Messiah being honored, being given everlasting dominion. Any sinful character ( mortal one) would not fit in that description, he would not be able to rule forever.
    So who is that secret human in Daniel 7;13?

    These 2 pictures of the Messiah , the one from among his brothers, born in Bethlehem, coming humbly , then suffering for our transgressions ( Isaiah 53) and then the vision described in Daniel 7;13 of the one coming with clouds indicate time span.

    Referring now to NT events , Christians know that Jesus said himself he would be coming again from heaven with clouds in glory and every eye will see him.He will come to set the Messianic kingdom and also come as a judge for those who are rejecting God. We would wonder why not setting the kingdom right away? Why all the promises couldn’t be fulfilled all at once?

    The first Jewish believers found the answer after they understood the need for salvation and redemption so that we could have everlasting life.
    God wants all people to have a chance to know that they can be forgiven and not be subject to his judgement because their guilt is paid off.
    ( If you really believe it is you- the nation suffering to pay for our transgressions, explain how you get justified? I guess you don’t need the salvation, as you are a savior yourselves.) You might say, we just repent, turn back from sin, well then Gentiles might do the same and Isaiah 53 wouldn’t be really needed. So why you still had to pay for us with your sufferings?
    If you are that savior in Is 53, why Jesus can’t?????
    I know you don’t take any accounts written in NT as true, asking a question , how many witnessed an event , how many heard the voice of God, how many really witnessed Jesus resurrection, it is all so unreliable to you- well I can’t help.

  7. Sophiee says:

    Eric — the messiah does not have to be “born in Bethlehem” — Micah says that the messiah will come from the line of King David who WAS from Bethlehem. As I’ve already shown — Jesus was NOT of the line of David (tribal status only passing from a Jewish biological father to his children or to a woman via marrying into a tribe). Daniel 7 has nothing to do with the messiah. Daniel 7 actually says כְּבַר אֱנָשׁ k’var enash, “[something] like a human being” Next, Verse 14 does not say anything about anyone “worshiping” anybody; the word it actually uses is יִפְלְחוּן yifl’ḥun, “they will serve [in the sense of work for] him”.

    Lastly, you keep harping on Isaiah 53. Isaiah 53 clearly does not fit Jesus. If you think Jesus is a god please explain how he could also be God’s servant? A servant by definition is always in an inferior position to his master.

    If this were about Jesus:

    1. where are his living, breathing descendants from his zera? Zera only refers to the living offspring from another being (plant, animal or human). Jesus had no children — and followers were not from his body now were they?

    2. when did he die multiple deaths? Isaiah 53 speaks of MULTIPLE deaths.

    3. when did Jesus die with the rich? The Christian bible says he died with thieves!

    4. when was he buried with the poor? Jesus was supposedly buried in a rich man’s tomb!

    5. How can one describe Jesus as non-violent? (Moneychangers ring a bell?)

    It doesn’t matter if you believe that Isaiah 53 is speaking of the Jews or not — it clearly does NOT fit Jesus.

    • I didn’t say god, but called him son of God, God’s servant. I already explained that in the other comment.

      1. where are God’s offsprings then? Whoever belongs to God is called God;’s child , God’s offspring, it is not just biological.

      2. when did he die multiple deaths? He Messiah, the text predicts, will justify the many . He dies the deaths of others , for everybody’s sins.

      3. when did Jesus die with the rich?
      it is said he died with the thieves and ‘with the rich in his death’ refers to him being buried in a rich man’s tomb.

      4. when was he buried with the poor? ( I have to find out , where you took it from)

      5. How can one describe Jesus as non-violent? (Moneychangers ring a bell?)
      Turning over the tables to say the temple is not a place for making money, but a house of prayer wasn’t to hurt anybody.

  8. Sophiee says:

    Your translation of Isaiah 53 is pretty bad — to help you I’ll post the translation from Artscroll’s Stone Edition.

    [52:13] Behold, My servant will succeed; he will be exalted and become high and exceedingly lofty.

    [14] Just as multitudes were astonished over you, [saying,] ‘His appearance is too marred to be a man’s, and his visage to be human,’

    [15] so will the many nations exclaim about him, and kings will shut their mouths [in amazement], for they will see that which had never been told to them, and will perceive things they had never heard.

    [53:1] Who would believe what we have heard! For whom has the arm of HASHEM been revealed!

    [2]Formerly he grew like a sapling or like a root from arid ground; he had neither form nor grandeur; we saw him, but without such visage that we could desire.

    [3] He was despised and isolated from men, a man of pains and accustomed to illness. As one from whom we would hide our faces; he was despised, and we had no regard for him.

    [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 G-d, and afflicted!

    [5] He was pained because of our rebellious sins and oppressed through our iniquities; the chastisement upon him was for our benefit, and through his wounds, we were healed.

    [6]We have all strayed like sheep, each of us turning his own way, and HaShem inflicted upon him the iniquity of us all.

    [7] He was persecuted and afflicted, but he did not open his mouth; like a sheep being led to the slaughter or a ewe that is silent before her shearers, he did not open his mouth.

    [8] Now that he had been released from captivity and judgment, who could have imagined such a generation? For he had been removed from the land of the living, an affliction upon them that was my people’s sin.

    [9] He submitted himself to his grave like wicked men; and the wealthy [submitted] to his executions, for committing no crime and with no deceit in his mouth.

    [10] HaShem desired to oppress him and afflicted him; if his soul would acknowledge guilt, he would see offspring and live long days and the desire of HaShem would succeed in his hand.

    [11] He would see [the purpose] and be satisfied with his soul’s distress. With his knowledge My servant will vindicate the Righteous One to multitudes; it is their iniquities that he will carry.

    [12]Therefore, I will assign him a portion from the multitudes and he will divide the mighty as spoils – in return for having poured out his soul for death and being counted among the wicked for he bore the sin of the multitudes and prayed for the wicked.
    Here are the footnotes from Artscroll I suggest you read UriYosef’s articles on the topic of Isaiah 53.
    Here are the Artscroll footnotes:

    52:13 i.e. G-d’s servant the people of Israel (Rashi)

    52:15 Just as Israel had once been astonishgly degraded, so it will astonish the nations by its exaltedness when the time of redemption arrives.

    53:1-3 this is the prophecy foretelling what the nations and their kings will exclaim when they witness Israel’s rejuvenation. The nations will contrast their former scornful attitude toward the Jews (vv. 1-3) with their new realization of Israel’s grandeur (vv 4-7).

    53:5 we brought suffering upon Israel for our own selfish purposes; it was not, as we had claimed, that G-d was punishing Israel for its own evil behavior.

    53:6 We sinned by inflicting punishment upon Israel. Such oppression is often described as “Hashem’s punishment” (see 10:5, Habakkuk 1:12), for He decreed that it should happen (Abarbanel).

    53:8 When Israel’s exile is finally ended the nations will marvel that such a generation could have survived the expulsion from “the land of the living, i.e. Israel, that the nations had sinfully inflicted upon it.

    53:9 Ordinary Jews chose to die like common criminals, rather than renounce their faith; and wealthy Jews were killed for no reason other than to enable their wicked conquerors to confiscate their riches (Radak).

    53:10 That is, Israel. G-d replies to the nations that Israel’s suffering was a punishment for its own sins; and when the people realize this and repent, they will be redeemed and rewarded.

    53:11 Israel will teach the nations of G-d’s righteousness.

    • Just shortly, no matter what the translation it still states ; ‘by his wound we are healed’ – that means we Gentiles are healed ? that indicates the purpose of the suffering rather just a fact’ it happened , “people were mean to us”
      Next why “HaShem desired to oppress him and afflicted him”; why did He desired to afflict you? Any purpose?

      • Sophiee says:

        Eric, Isaiah 53:5 doesn’t say by HIS sound we are healed (present tense) but rather “by their wounds we would be healed” PLURAL. Isaiah 53:5 is a classic example of mistranslation: The verse does not say, “He was wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities,” which could convey the vicarious suffering ascribed to Jesus. Rather, the proper translation is: “They were pained because of our rebellious sins and crushed because of our iniquities; [we thought that] punishing them would benefit ourselves, and through their wounds we would be healed.” This conveys that the Servant suffered as a result of the sinfulness of others – not the opposite as Christians contend – that the Servant suffered to atone for the sins of others.

        Indeed, the Christian idea directly contradicts the basic Jewish teaching that G-d promises forgiveness to all who sincerely return to Him; thus there is no need for the Messiah to atone for others (Isaiah 55:6-7, Jeremiah 36:3, Ezekiel chapters 18 and 33, Hoseah 14:1-3, Jonah 3:6-10, Proverbs 16:6, Daniel 4:27, 2-Chronicles 7:14).

    • The nation can repent and be redeemed, but the thing is we are still going to die one day . Based on what you think you would be resurrected? We see atonement for sin needed. The wages of sin is death. Or else we would be living forever. Somebody paying off your guilt- giving his life for me I don’t see a problem with accepting that.

      • Dina says:

        Hi Eric.

        I know you think it’s pretty cool not to worry about your sins because someone else died for them, but the Torah clearly states: “Fathers shall not be put to death because of sons, and sons shall not be put to death because of fathers; A MAN SHALL BE PUT TO DEATH FOR HIS OWN SIN” (Deuteronomy 24:16). For a biblical understanding of atonement, please see the following:

        1 Kings 8:46-53; Hosea 14:1-2; Psalms 141:2; 2 Chronicles 7:14; 2 Chronicles 6:21; Proverbs 15:8; 2 Samuel 12:13; Psalms 32:5; Proverbs 28:13; Ezekiel 18:21-23; Ezekiel 33:14-16; Jeremiah 36:3; Isaiah 55:6-7; Jonah 3:6-10; Daniel 4:27; Job 22:22; Proverbs 16:6; Isaiah 1:18-19; Isaiah 27:9; Isaiah 1:11-16; Amos 5:22-24; Psalms 51:15-17; Jeremiah 7:1-7; Micah 6:6-8; Proverbs 21:3; Hosea 6:6; 1 Samuel 15:22,30-31; Psalms 78:35-39; Micah 7:18-20; Joel 2:12-13; Psalms 86:5-6; Isaiah 43:22-25; Nehemiah 9:16-17; Jonah 4:2

        For an interesting and informative discussion on the Jewish understanding of Isaiah 53, I highly recommend Rabbi Michael Skobac’s video presentation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TeOtzTaAco&list=PLD3DF0E2817D81B0D&feature=c4-overview-vl.

        It’s nearly two hours, so listen while you do your chores 🙂 If you listen carefully till the very end, you will see that the logic is good even if you disagree with it. I’m sorry I keep giving you stuff to read or listen to. I wanted to write up a comprehensive review of the subject, but in the end I really don’t have the time. Will you listen to it and tell me what you think? I’d love to get your opinion on it.

        Peace and blessings,
        Dina

        • I am completely not a Catholic Christian, and lots of people who used to claim to be Christians were just using the title of Christians but not reflecting a heart of Jesus. There were people who used to kill in the name of Jesus although he never told anybody to do that, and the list can go on how many things people can make up so I am not following any of their teachings.The true Jesus always was directing people to God, the teaching was to obey God’s word. So If I see anything that is not matching that , it means it is added by other people and it does not matter. what everybody is trying to add.
          I will read all the other links later, it is just no time right now

          • Dina says:

            Eric, you wrote, “Jesus always was directing people to God, the teaching was to obey God’s word.” I already worship God and try my best to obey His word. So what do I need Jesus for?

            Take your time with the links, and thanks for considering taking the time to look at them.

      • Dina says:

        Also, Eric, all your questions in these comments are discussed in the video I linked in my previous comment.

      • Sophiee says:

        The resurrection of the dead is a basic principle of the Torah of Moses. Anyone who does not believe it has no connection with the Jewish Nation. “Thy dead shall live, my dead bodies shall arise, awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust, for thy dew is as the dew of light, and the earth shall bring to life the shades” (Isaiah 26:19). Yet, as Dina showed you, no one can die for your sins. Each man must atone for his own transgressions. Man is not a soul bound in a transient body. If that were the case, resurrection would have little significance other than representing the soul’s return to its bodily prison. Man is a soul and a body together. As such, he needs to relate to a future that somehow involved both his soul and his body. Resurrection is the rejoining of the body to the soul in such a way that it can achieve this future.

        • LarryB says:

          Thanks Sophiee. I once heard it as the body that man creates dies and the body God creates (resurrected) lives forever.

        • So how are you going to atone for your own sin? You would not believe that God atoned already for you? God’s son was sinless, blameless ‘ lamb’ as he is called. That is the testimony we believe God gave about Him.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, you asked “how are you going to atone for your own sin?” The Bible teaches us exactly how to do that (gentiles are included). I keep citing passages; why don’t they adequately answer your question?

          • Dina- this is the answer to your previous message- I saw the verses you put for me to read. They all say God will forgive us if we repent and turn away from sin, that He can deliver us from the enemies, bring back the blessing but the fact is we are still going to die one day. In 2 Sam 12;13 David was told he won’t die , God forgave him his sin, but right now David is already dead .I am sure he will be resurrected, but right now he is dead. Why??? Why doesn’t God’s forgiveness allow us to stay alive all the time?
            In Ezek 18 whether God’s words ” he won’t die” mean that the individual would have everlasting life or just not die right away, it is not freeing us from death that we are going to experience one day.
            Why? Because of God’s justice. But the resurrection is by grace. Everlasting life by grace.

            We are pardoned , we repented , God forgave us but his justice required to also deal with the consequences of our sin.
            So the atonement provided for our sin is not illogical. That is what Christians believe- in atonement provided.

            Where do I find anything about relation sin-death in OT? Genesis 2;17, Gen 3;3 where Adam and Eve were told that if they did something God told them not to, they would die. They didn’t die right away. God forgave them they could still have a long life. ‘The words ‘ wages for sin is death’ are in the NT based on OT.

            I don’t see anything contradicting Torah in NT

            Leviticus 17:11 (NIV)
            ” For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”

            The term “atonement” is translated from the Hebrew term, kapar (kaw-far’), which essentially means “to cover.”
            But why to cover anything if we can just say sorry?
            Sins are covered, or hidden, from God’s sight – that they may not be held against the sinner. What’s wrong in believing that God forgives us when we repent but He wants the sins to be covered also ?
            The Day of Atonement was a gracious day each year when all the Israelite s could experience a new beginning by being cleansed from their sins and restored to fellowship with their Maker.
            “On this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins you shall be clean before the Lord” (Lev 16:30)
            God made for His people to experience an annual cleansing and a new beginning through His atonement! This was truly the Gospel in types which finds its anti typical fulfillment through Christ’s atoning sacrifice.
            Of course, the Israelite s did not know of Jesus per se, or how He would die on their behalf and then rise again, but they did believe God would be sending them a Savior. All of the many, many blood sacrifices seen throughout the Old Testament were foreshadowing the true, once-for-all-time sacrifice to come so that the Israelites would never forget that, without the blood, there is no forgiveness.

            Humans recognized their need for atonement long before the time of Moses. When Adam and Eve committed the first sin, they hid from God because they were ashamed (Gn 3:8).
            How does atonement work? The first (indirect) OT reference to atonement occurs when God provided animal skins to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness, an act necessitating the death of a sinless animal and hence the shedding of its blood on their behalf (Gn 3:21).

            More examples;

            Exodus 29:10-14
            Sin offering included blood . Do you think there was just a ritual for no purpose??
            A “sacrifice” is defined as the offering up of something precious for a cause or a reason. Making atonement is satisfying someone or something for an offense committed. In Leviticus 17 God said, “I have given it to you (the creature’s life, which is in its blood) to make atonement for yourselves (covering the offense you have committed against Me).” In other words, those who are covered by the blood sacrifice are set free from the consequences of sin.
            v.10 “Bring the bull to the front of the Tent of Meeting, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on its head. 11 Slaughter it in the Lord’s presence at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 12 Take some of the bull’s blood and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger, and pour out the rest of it at the base of the altar. them, and burn them on the altar. (…)
            God’s prescription for a sin offering then, was the shedding of substitutionary blood. Blood sacrifices provided a cleansing; for both ceremonial purposes and for the atonement for sins.

            The “regular” daily offering consisted of the slaughter of two male lambs; one each morning and one each evening.
            Exodus 29:38-39
            38 “This is what you are to offer on the altar regularly each day: two lambs a year old. 39 Offer one in the morning and the other at twilight.
            In addition to the daily offerings were weekly Sabbath offerings. On each Sabbath two male lambs were slaughtered in addition to the regular offerings.
            So much blood being shed .Why they could not have stopped being offered? The worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

            So , if no more of these ceremonies nowdays, nobody is doing it now like it used to be , would that mean God changed his law, and the need for ‘covering’ the sin? No ,because the cover is now by atonement in Jesus

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric.

            I appreciate your taking the time to express your beliefs so carefully and for looking up the sources I cited. Thank you for taking this discussion seriously and working hard to respond to mine and others’ comments.

            I assumed that you believe in the immortal soul and the afterlife, but in this comment you seem to say that once we die, we’re dead forever, unless we’re resurrected. Do I have that right?

            You realize, of course, that the Torah (and I use the word to refer to all of Hebrew scripture) says precious little about our souls and the afterlife. The Torah tells us how to live our lives in obedience to God and in harmony with our fellows, so we don’t obsess about eternity–God will take care of that. Still, there are hints. What do you think of Psalms 16:10, Ecclesiastes 12:7, Genesis 25:8, and 1 Samuel Chapter 28 (especially verse 19)?

            About sacrifice, consider that during the Babylonian exile, after the First Temple was destroyed, there was no Temple and there were no sacrifices. How did people atone for sin then?

            It’s clear to me that you approach Hebrew scripture with your theology firmly in place, so you start with a conclusion and then find support for it. All your explanations of the passages you brought in your latest comment are pure speculation and do not follow the plain meaning of the text.

            So as not to take up more space, I refer you once again (forgive me!) to two articles on this blog that discuss the passage in Leviticus 17. I think they will make you really rethink your understanding of this passage.

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/leviticus-1711-and-the-book-of-hebrews/

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/tsvi-jacobson-on-hebrews-922/

            See you later,
            Dina

  9. Sophiee says:

    Eric — how many people saw Harry Potter defeat Voldemort?

    Are you a wizard, Eric?

    Just because some anonymous person says that something happened doesn’t mean that it DID happen. If any of what is claimed in the Christian bible were true why didn’t the Romans report of dead zombies walking around Jerusalem? Why didn’t they report of crowds of thousands listening to Jesus speak? Why don’t they mention him AT ALL?

    Here is an interesting snipped from http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/rmsbrg02.htm

    There is no historical reference to Jsus life, death or the crucifixionnothing at all. John E. Remsburg, in his classic book The Chrst: A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidence of His Existence 1 lists the following contemporary historians/writers who lived during the time, or within a century after the time, that Jesus was supposed to have lived:

    Apollonius Persius
    Appian Petronius
    Arrian Phaedrus
    Aulus Gellius Philo-Judaeus
    Columella Phlegon
    Damis Pliny the Elder
    Dio Chrysostom Pliny the Younger
    Dion Pruseus Plutarch
    Epictetus Pompon Mela
    Favorinus Ptolemy
    Florus Lucius Quintilian
    Hermogones Quintius Curtius
    Josephus Seneca
    Justus of Tiberius Silius Italicus
    Juvenal Statius
    Lucanus Suetonius
    Lucian Tacitus
    Lysias Theon of Smyran
    Martial Valerius Flaccus
    Paterculus Valerius Maximus
    Pausanias

    Enough of the writings of the authors named in the foregoing list remains to form a library. Yet in this mass of Jewish and Pagan literature, aside from two forged passages in the works of a Jewish author, and two disputed passages in the works of Roman writers, there is to be found no mention of Jesus. . .

    • If he didn’t exist why would be Romans persecuting the first followers of Jesus, if he didn’t exist , there would be nobody to follow him, – then all these believers would not allow themselves to be killed for a lie , for faith based on nonsense. Yet, thousands of people were being killed for holding on to their witness about Jesus. Read NT- plenty of people talked to Jesus and witnessed him.

  10. Sophie Saguy says:

    Eric — Thor, Zeus and Mithra had PLENTY of followers. So do Buddha and Mohammad. People believe lies all the time! Who told you about Romans persecuting Christians? Christians, that is who! But anonymous Christians! Who was Paul? Mark? Any of them? No one ever heard of ANY OF THEM. How many Syrians have died in the name of Islam? How many Hindus? Your arguments are defeated by history and facts. The Christian bible was written after the fact by anonymous authors. . . and it bears more than a passing similarity to the pagan religions that came before it including Mithraism. The early Christians accused the pagans of stealing ideas from them — even though the pagans pre-dated Christianity! The Catholic Encyclopedia as well as the early Church Fathers found the religion of Mithra very disturbing, because there are so many similarities between the two religions. Some examples are:

    1) Hundreds of years before Jesus, according to the Mithraic religion, three Wise Men of Persia came to visit the baby savior―god Mithra, bring him gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense.

    2) According to Mithraism, before Mithra died on a cross, he celebrated a “Last Supper” with his twelve disciples, who represented the twelve signs of the zodiac.

    3) After the death of Mithra, his body was laid to rest in a rock tomb.

    4) Mithra had a celibate priesthood.

    5) Mithra ascended into heaven during the spring (Passover) equinox (the time when the sun crosses the equator making night and day of equal length).

    BTW — to your earlier argument that the Romans aren’t Edom — you do know that the Emperor Constantine named Christianity the state religion of Rome, right? You’ve heard of the Vatican in ROME? Your Christian bible is an invention of those Romans — all those councils which were held in places other than Rome but were of the Roman church!!

    On the site where the Vatican now stands there once stood a Pagan temple. Here Pagan priests observed sacred ceremonies, which early Christians found so disturbing that they tried to erase all evidence of them ever having been practiced. What were those shocking Pagan rites? Gruesome sacrifices or obscene orgies perhaps? This is what we have been led to believe. But the truth is far stranger than this fiction.

    Where today the gathered faithful revere Jesus, the ancients worshiped another godman, who like Jesus, had been miraculously born on December 25 (winter solstice) before three shepherds. In this ancient sanctuary Pagan congregations once glorified a Pagan redeemer who, like Jsus, was said to have ascended to heaven and to have promised to come back again at the end of time to judge the quick and the dead. On the same spot where the Pope celebrates the Catholic mass, Pagan priests also celebrated a symbolic meal of bread and wine in memory of their savior who, just like Jsus, had declared: “He who will not eat of my body and drink of my blood, so that he will be made one with me and I with him, the same shall not know salvation.”

    Your religion isn’t based on Judaism — it is based on paganism.

  11. Sophie Saguy says:

    Justin Martyr — early church father ( c. 100 – 165 CE) wrote about the Eucharist (eating Jesus’ body — not kosher!) — and in case you don’t read all of it — note the last sentence where he admits that the Mithraites did EXACTLY THE SAME THING!!!! He calls them “wicked devils” who “have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated (into Mithraism). Here, read it for yourself:

    “no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, “This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body”; and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, “This is My blood”; and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.”

    Another early Christian, Tertullian (c. 160-c. 225 CE) wrote of the similarities between Mithraism and Christianity: “He (Mithra), too, baptizes somethat is, his own believers and faithful followers; he promises the putting away of sins by a layer (of his own); and if my memory still serves me, Mithra there, (in the kingdom of Satan) sets his marks on the foreheads of his soldiers.”

    Maybe there was a real Jesus — maybe not. If there was a man at the heart of what became Christianity the following became so paganized as to be unrecognizable.

  12. We call Christianity Judaism fulfilled. Paganism is putting trust in a god who is a work of your hands. ( making yourself a wooden, golden idol etc) We put trust in the Creator of this universe and believe Him that He provided perfect atonement for sin ( by his innocent son giving up his life for our sin)Christianity is not putting trust in a human. It is a belief in God and his way provided to set us free from sin. Trusting in Jesus means we trust in his payment, not putting God aside.

    By the way Christianity comes from Judaism, the first believers were Jewish people,(Jesus was Jewish ). They trusted God about the perfect atonement provided. God provided the atonement so that not only Jews but the whole world would benefit. You had your atonement every year, what about the rest of the world if it was important to God?
    What’s more or less atoning? A lamb ( animal) that was offered every year or a perfect lamb ( that Jesus is called) given once for all?Thousands of animals were slaughtered each year among the Jewish people in the past , each one of the prophecy of the Lamb to come. All your sacrifices whether the flour from the poor or animals – it all had a purpose! It was a reminder the sin always carried a price ! And atonement was never without blood shed. Jesus wasn’t a human sacrifice like some people look at it, nobody tied him up and laughed him, he willingly gave up his life that what it means ‘ he scarified himself. Sacrifice is here in a figurative language. You would ask so what about the words that ‘nobody can pay for other people’s sin’ how could Jesus be accepted then? He was the only sinless man that could carry the human burden of sin. If God says He is sending him for us, that means He is also accepting his life offered. No sinful person is paying for others as the sinful one would need a paymant first for himself.

    Let’s see some other way to illustrate how we view God’s righteousness. My human is like that
    ( an example; I say to my son, stop doing something, he keeps doing, I say, you will be grounded, he continues, I say grounded for the whole day. he stops , he is sorry , my response; he is not grounded any more. My words’ grounded all day’ are cancelled. That is bad parenting example.
    God’s righteousness is perfect; He says you will sin, you will die. Wages of sin is death . God of course forgives us after we repent and turn back from sin.
    But the death sentence is there, one day we will die. That is why we believe what God said about His son, that Jesus is to atone for us.

    Why we also believe he is that Messiah to come? Perfection and sinless life in him. The perfect Messianic God’s Kingdom that is described in all the scriptures ( daniel 2;44, daniel 7;12, , Ezekiel 37;24-25, Zach 9;9 , Is 65; 17-25, , Is 11;1-5, , Is 9, 5-6)
    They all portray the perfect kingdom and a ruler, king, walking with God, whose kingdom will never fall apart and who is the everlasting king. No other king is to come after him. He is to rule forever from Jerusalem and at his coming all the resurrected people back to life. ( Ezek 37) The idea of a sinful messiah is not speaking to me as wherever the sin shows up, things start to fall apart. That is how it is now all over the world.
    If something is to last forever it has to be planted on a solid ground.

    I can accept daniel 7;12, let say it is talking about Israel . I would say ok, no problem, possible, as an everlasting kingdom, but I am sure there must a king there included too. And what you are guys all doing there in the clouds?

    later will look to more of your questions.

  13. Yehuda says:

    Hi Eric,

    You said: “Paganism is putting trust in a god who is a work of your hands. ( making yourself a wooden, golden idol etc) ”

    How about worshiping frogs – which are not the work of my hands, but that of God? Is that paganism? Is it idolatry?

  14. Frogs included too, sorry I forgot to mention it all, by the way I will be asked about cats ( all creatures), they ,too. Worshiping means serving to the one you submit yourself to.

    • Yehuda says:

      Thanks Eric.

      Can you point me to the verse in the Tanach the expressly includes living members of the animal kingdom in the prohibition against idolatry?

      • I don’t really get what are you aiming at with your question about animals… I don’t have time for that, just get the atlas with the animal world and then look at all what is there. I am sure God gave us enough understanding so we can tell what is an animal what not, so accidentally we won’t worship any.

        • Yehuda says:

          Humor me Eric.

          If I, for whatever reason, came to the conviction that the frog that lives in the pond near my house was God and deserving of my worship, to what verse would you point me to convince me that I was committing idolatry?

  15. Sophiee says:

    Eric — the definition of what constitutes idolatry is found in the bible. The actual Hebrew term is עבודה זרה / Avodah Zarah and it means “strange worship” — and worshiping Jesus is a violation of the agreement Jews made with G-d at Sinai: “[This is what you must do] if your blood brother, your son, your daughter, your bosom wife, or your closest friend secretly tries to act as a missionary among you, and says, ‘Let us go worship a new god. LET US HAVE A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN BY YOU OR YOUR FATHER.’ 13:8 [He may be enticing you with] the gods of the nations around you, far or near, or those that are found at one end of the world or another. 13:9 Do not agree with him, and do not listen to him.”

    In Judaism any G-d we did not know at Sinai and any form of worshiping G-d that we did not know at Sinai is avodah zarah — “strange” or “foreign” worship — aka “idolatry.” Obviously praying in the name of Jesus, whom our ancestors never heard of, falls into the category of idolatry. A Jew should not even enter a church (while a Jew can enter a Mosque).

    From Torah.org:

    Practically speaking, however, the vast majority of the poskim agree that Christianity is considered avodah zarah (idolatry) and a Jew is forbidden to enter a church[8]. The following reasons are offered:

    Most poskim consider Christianity to be avodah zarah[9].
    Even if avodah zarah b’shituf is permitted, it is only permitted for a non-Jew. For a Jew, however, there is no difference between avodah zarah and avodah zarah b’shituf[10]. For him, therefore, a church is considered a house of avodah zarah.

    The view of the Ran (Sanhedrin 61b) is that the belief in any religion except Judaism constitutes avodah zarah. He says the following: “…even the Christian saints, and even the…leader of the Ishmaelites, even though their followers do not consider them gods, nevertheless, since they bow to them to acknowledge that they are human incarnation of their divinities, they all have the halachic status of avodah zarah…”

    Even if present-day gentiles do not worship idols, nevertheless their churches are considered houses of idol worship, since all the services conducted therein are performed in the name of avodah zarah[11].

    9. Minchas Elazar 1:53-3; Yechaveh Da’as 4:45. See entire list in Yayin Malchus, pgs. 234-237

    10. Binyan Tziyon 1:63.

    11. Darchei Teshuvah 150:2; Tzitz Eliezer 14:91, quoting Rav C. Palagi.

    In the Torah G-d promises that He will never send a prophet to add, subtract, or change any mitzvot in the Torah. He will also never grant a prophetic vision to interpret a mitzvah differently than set forth in tradition, or to render a decision in Jewish law as given in the Torah. Therefore, anyone claiming to be a prophet who claims to do any of these things must be judged as a false prophet.

    לֹ֣א תֹסִ֗פוּ עַל־הַדָּבָר֙ אֲשֶׁ֤ר אָנֹכִי֙ מְצַוֶּ֣ה אֶתְכֶ֔ם וְלֹ֥א תִגְרְע֖וּ מִמֶּ֑נּוּ לִשְׁמֹ֗ר אֶת־מִצְוֹת֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר אָנֹכִ֖י מְצַוֶּ֥ה אֶתְכֶֽם׃

    Devarim / Deuteronomy 4:2: “Do not add to the word that I am commanding you, and do not subtract from it. You must keep all the mitzvot (commandment)s of G-d your L-rd, which I am instructing you”

    “The Torah explicitly states that its mitzvot will remain binding forever, with neither change, addition nor subtraction… Therefore, if any person will arise – whether Jew or non-Jew – and performs signs and wonders, saying that G-d sent him to either add or subtract a mitzvah from the Torah… then we immediately know he is a false prophet… For G-d Himself told Moses that these commandments are for us and for our children forever.” (Foundations of Torah 9:1-2, the Rambam).

    Jesus (or someone in his name) came along and changed the words of God in direct violation of G-d’s commandments.

    • Does Jesus’ death show God is so cruel? But what about Moses? I was really sorry for him after all the trouble dealing with so many people. I would surely loose my temper,too.
      Did God need his death as if He was delighted in it?
      Of course no! “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” Ps 116;15

      There used to be so many sacrifices every day in the past in which animals were involved with daily offering consisting of the slaughter of two male lambs; one each morning and one each evening. How bloody was that???
      Why even the high priest had to use the blood to sprinkle the altar? I know sometimes flower was offered, too ( at other offerings) , but why not to replace all the animals with flower????

      Imagining thousands bulls, goats, lambs ,killed for that purpose. Much more blood compared with Jesus killed. Believe me , if I didn’t know God and lived in the old times and witnessed the days with all these offerings I would say the God of the tanack is really blood -thirsty. But I understand the purpose of that , so I know it didn’t happen because He was thirsty of blood and delighting in the animal death.
      God gave that sacrificial system to obey at that time for a reason! That is why you don’t have to do it even now or earlier in the history.
      It was to SYMBOLIZE something not to live by it. Blood was symbolizing life offered. Not because God craved for all the dead animals, ( He says all is His ) the same Jesus death wasn’t because he needed a man’s blood for a change.!
      Christians are not sacrificing animals. People didn’t kill Jesus and offered him to God as if He needed his death. Jesus offered his life willingly for us so that all peoples’ sin is covered.
      Does it mean God is cruel ????

      • Sophiee says:

        Moses died of old age at 120. He wasn’t murdered viciously and painfully — not to mention that no one prays to or through Moses! I already wrote a lengthy post on your distortion of sacrifices. Most were to thank G-d — only two types of individual sacrifices atoned for any kind of sin — the אָשָׁם asham was for three different types of violations. I just gave you these in my last post:
        1. unintentionally taking and using something from the holy Temple. The person must return the items, add 1/5th in restitution and bring an asham;

        2. asham taluy is for when you aren’t sure if you sinned or not, so just to be sure you bring an asham taluy. If later you discover that you did commit a cheit (accidental sin) you bring a chatat (sin offer);

        3. asham g’zelot if you lied under oath defrauding someone of his things or money. In this case again you have to return the stolen things and add 1/5th to it as well as bring the asham g’zelot.

        The point of sacrifice is for US to give G-d something of value — Christianity turns this upside down and has G-d supposedly sacrificing himself to himself??? It reverses the entire concept and distorts it. And WHERE is the sacrifice since Jesus “undies.” Just fooling!!

        Speaking of reversing the idea of sacrifices,Torah teaches that sacrifices can only atone for sins committed PRIOR to the offering of the sacrifice. No sacrifice could ever atone for sins committed AFTER the sacrifice was offered. Thus, no sacrifice could ever atone for people born after the sacrifice was offered.

        Torah vehemently FORBIDS human vicarious atonement (e.g., Exodus 32:31-33; Numbers 35:33; Deuteronomy 24:16; II Kings 14:6; Jeremiah 31:29 [30 in a Christian Bible]; Ezekiel 18:4,20; Psalms 49:7).

        Human sacrifices are strictly forbidden in Torah (e.g., Leviticus 18:21, 24-25; Deuteronomy 18:10; Jeremiah 7:31, 19: 5; Ezekiel 23:37, 39).

        Per G-d’s Torah, Eric, the death of Jesus could never atone for any sin, much less all sins of all people for all time? NOT AT ALL, NEVER! The story is pagan in its entirety and breaks all the laws of Jewish sacrifice.

      • Sophiee says:

        All this Christian sacrificial atonement is contradicted by accounts in both the NT and Jewish bible.

        1. Acts 21 shows the Jerusalem Church made Paul take a nazirite vow that required a sin-sacrifice. This, after Jesus’ death. Why this deed of all deeds to show Paul was still Torah observant to the masses who doubted this? Couldn’t Paul just going through the motions? This totally repudiated Paul’s view that Jesus was the final sacrifice for sin and would be a demonstration for the masses to prove so. The Jerusalem Church members were still offering sin-sacrifices after Jesus’ death. They believed these sin-sacrifices had atoning power. As did the priests who accepted these sacrifices at the Temple.

        2. Ezekiel 45:22 shows the Messiah Prince making sin-sacrifices for himself in the future. The same Prince from Ezekiel 37:25. A Messiah who sins. And this is not some final sacrifice.

        People die. We all die as our physical lives are finite. Let’s not muddy the waters of human death — either by humans murdering each other as in the case of Jesus’ supposed death at the hand of Romans — and the commandments by G-d to sacrifice (and generally EAT) kosher domestic animals. Let’s not further confuse sacrifices with the forgiveness of sin. Most sins cannot and never could be forgiven by sacrifices (blood, flour, money or jewelry). . . That has always taken true repentance and returning to G-d.

        Look up the meanings of the words cheit, avon and pesha. Pesha is the worst type of sin possible — one in willful defiance of G-d. Guess what, Eric? Sacrifices don’t work! An avon (unless it falls under the asham talu or asham g’zelot) cannot be rectified with a qorban, and neither can a pesha. Repentance and turning to G-d to seek forgiveness for sins against G-d and seeking forgiveness to any person that might have been harmed from that person are the methods of atonement.

        REPENTANCE

        2 Samuel 12:13-14 is a cheit (David admits to sin before Nathan the prophet and repents)
        Jonah 3:10 has to do with the sins of Nineveh (unspecified, just identified as “evil” in 1:2), the people repented and G-d forgave
        Leviticus 26:40-42 speaks of avon and repentence atoning for it
        Ezikiel 18:21-32 speaks of chatat (21), pesha (22), chatat (24), pesha (28), pesha and avon (30) are all atoned through repentance

        KINDNESS

        Proverbs 16:6 an avon is atoned for with kindness
        Daniel 4:24 is chatat and avon by showing mercy and kindness

        PRAYER (accompanied by repentance)

        Hosea 14:2-3 teshuva (turning to G-d) and 1prayer atones for avon
        1 Kings 8:46-50 include chatat, avon, rasha (wicked or evil) and pesha are atoned for by prayer
        Daniel 9:5-19 include chatat, avon, and rasha are atoned by prayer

        REMOVING IDOLATRY

        Isaiah 27:9 both chatat and avon are atoned by removing idolatry

        PUNISHMENT

        Isaiah 40:1-2 avon is removed by punishment
        Lamentations 4:22 avon is removed by punishment

        DEATH

        Isaiah 22:14 avon will surely not be atoned until you die.

        FLOUR OFFERING

        Leviticus 5:1-13 for specific ashams (guilts including not testifying honestly, touching something ritually unclean, if one makes an oath one doesn’t keep, he must confess, and he must bring a guilt offering which should be a female sheep or goat, but if he can’t afford it he may bring two turtle doves (one as a chatat and one as an olah). If he cannot afford the turtle doves he may bring flour as a chatat (sin offer)

        MONEY

        Exodus 30:15-16 to atone for the life-force (similar to blood in Leviticus 17:11)

        JEWELRY

        Numbers 31:50 to atone for the life-force (similar to blood in Leviticus 17:11)

        INCENSE

        Numbers 17:11-12 atonement for the Israelites “for there is wrath” Per Rashi This secret was given over to him by the angel of death when he went up to heaven, that incense holds back the plague… as is related in Tractate Shabbath (89a).

        • Eric says:

          To Sophiee, As far as Ezekiel 45:22, there is no evidence for me the Prince mentioned is the Messiah. From Is 9;7 it looks like he is to rule forever.” Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” How do you understand Is 9;6??

          Back to Ezekiel) I would mention that If the animal sacrifices in the OT weren’t to take away sin
          ( because forgiveness was by repentance), why would they be expected to work as sin removal in the Messiah’s time? They used to be as an object of lesson for the sinner, they might serve the same purpose.

    • About idolatry I already explained in my previous comments. Once again, Christianity is not putting trust in a men but in God who sent his son for us.

      • Yehuda says:

        Eric,
        I’m not sure if this last post of yours was addressed to me or not, but I’m not sure why you are so reluctant to respond with directness to my question: Can you or can you not point to the verse in the Torah that condemns, as rank idolatry, my devotion to the frog that I believe God sent for us?

      • Yehuda says:

        Eric,

        I’m guessing you consider my question to pointless and silly to be dignified with a response. Curiously, you are not the first christian I’ve seen react to it that way.

        Nonetheless I remain puzzled by the reluctance. Since frog worship is so self-evidently idolatrous and since I’m sure we both agree that the Tanach is not stingy on verses pertaining to the prohibition of idolatry, I would think that pointing to verse(s) that make this plain should be an easy exercise.

        Are you game?

  16. Sophiee says:

    Eric, you said ” Christianity comes from Judaism, the first believers were Jewish people,(Jesus was Jewish ).” Karl Marx was Jewish. Does that mean communism is Jewish? Should you be a communist? Do you recall the Jewish followers of the false god Ba’al? The prophets speak against them in the bible. . . do you follow Ba’al because some Jews did?

    Just because a Jew MAY have invented Christianity doesn’t make it right. We know it is false because it turns its followers away from the mitzvot, away from the eternal words of G-d. Don’t take it personally — we also know that Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism are false, too.

  17. Sophie Saguy says:

    Read Leviticus 17:10 (the line directly ABOVE the one you quoted). “If any person, whether of the family of Israel or a proselyte who joins them, eats any blood, I will direct My anger against the person who eats blood and cut him off [spiritually] from among his people. This is because the life-force of the flesh is in the blood; and I therefore gave it to you to be [placed] on the altar to atone for your lives. 17:11 It is the blood that atones for a life” It is telling you not to EAT blood (hope you don’t like your steak rare!). This mistake that atonement of sin requires a blood sacrifice comes from a mis-reading of Leviticus 17 where Jews are forbidden from EATING blood and told its only purpose is on the altar or to be thrown away into the dirt (Leviticus 17:13).

    Moses didn’t bring sacrifices pre-Sinai. Yet G-d loved Moses. The Jews lived 400 years in Egypt and didn’t bring sacrifices — and yet G-d loved them too. You’ve been lied to by the Christian bible (Hebrews 7) about needing all that blood. The idea that you need blood to atone for your sins is part of Christianity’s pagan roots. It is NOT Judaism. It is NOT Torah for all that missionaries keeps trying to force fit the angry evil pagan god who delights in blood onto the Jewish G-d.

    This mistake that atonement of sin requires a blood sacrifice comes from a mis-reading of Leviticus 17 where Jews are forbidden from EATING blood and told its only purpose is on the altar or to be thrown away into the dirt. Read the entire chapter of Leviticus.

    The biggest mistake in the Christian bible is thinking G-d is a pagan god that needs blood (e.g. is “blood thirsty”). G-d needs nothing and He is loving, not cruel. Qorban aka “sacrifice” (and prayer for that matter) is for US, not for Him. It gives us a way to connect closer to Him by turning our focus away from the mundane to the holy.

    The false idea that only blood atones gives the excuse Christians need to explain how their all powerful man-god (Jesus) could be killed. Not only does it explain that he could be killed, but it explains that Jesus HAD to be killed to be the “perfect” sacrifice.

    This is pagan nonsense, the opposite of what the Torah teaches us.

    Quote: You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of G-d are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O G-d, you will not despise. [Psalm 51:16-17]

    To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Eternal than sacrifice. [Proverbs 21:3]

    Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. [Psalm 40:6]

    He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. [Proverbs 28:13]

    If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. [2 Chronicles 7:14]

    But if from there you seek the Eternal your G-d, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. [Deuteronomy 4:29]

    He prays to G-d and finds favor with him, he sees G-d’s face and shouts for joy; he is restored by G-d to his righteous state. [Job 33:26]

    Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. [Psalm 34:14]

    Take words with you and return to the Eternal. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the bulls of our lips. [Hosea 14:2]

    Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Eternal a man avoids evil. [Proverbs 16:6]

    For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of G-d rather than burnt offerings. [Hosea 6:6]

    With what shall I come before the Eternal and bow down before the exalted G-d? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Eternal be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Eternal require of you? Only to do Justice, and to love Mercy and to walk humbly with your G-d. [Micah 6:6-8]

    So the Christian bible says you need blood and there is no atonement without blood — but Torah and G-d disagrees.

    The fact is that during Temple times, sacrifices were not required for all sins, only for a “missing of the mark” (mistake) or for very specific, generally minor sins which are all specified in the Torah.

    There have always been many methods of atonement including prayer. Prayer is not a “replacement” or “substitution”.

    For those sins that required sacrifices, the fact is that WITHOUT prayer, charity, fasting, etc.., there was no atonement – due to lack of obedience.

    Even in bringing a sacrifice there were many things that added up in the atonement process. Sacrifice without obedience was useless. Obedience without sacrifice when sacrifice was required and possible, was useless. Obedience without sacrifice when sacrifice was never required or when sacrifice wasn’t possible – was and is sufficient in and of itself, since it’s all that G-d requires when sacrifices cannot be offered (see Hosea 14:2-3, Ezekiel 18/33). All of this is IN THE BIBLE. The REAL bible. Again: you’ve been lied to. Read the bible for yourself!

    Without a Temple we are forbidden from bringing qorban. They are “suspended” during times when there is no Temple standing in Jerusalem [Hosea 3:4-5, 14:2-3]. However, these will be “reinstated” for all the occasions noted in the Torah when the promised Jewish messiah builds the Third Temple in Jerusalem [Ezekiel describes all this in the last nine chapters of his book].

    There is atonement through repentance (II Samuel 12:13-14, Jonah 3:10, Lev. 26:40-42, Ezek. 18:21-32, 33:11-16)
    kindness (Prov. 16:6, Daniel 4:24)
    prayer (Hos. 14:2-3,I Kings 8:46-50, Daniel 9:19)
    removal of idolatry (Is. 27:9)
    punishment (Is. 40:1, Lam. 4:22),
    death (Is. 22:14)
    flour offerings (Lev. 5:11-13)
    money (Ex. 30:15)
    jewelry (Num. 31:50)
    and incense (Num. 17:11-12).

    The Jewish concept of qorban (translated as sacrifice) can be very confusing to a non-Jew. Non-Jews tend to think of qorban as some magical way of paying for sins (as in J-sus died for your sins). This is very far from what Torah teaches us.

    Qorban (what you call sacrifice) was never the ONLY way to be close to HaShem, it was only A way. There has always been turning to G-d, prayer, being a good person. . . just read the Torah and this is apparent. Start with Adam and Eve and move right along to Cain and Abel.

    Cain could have risen above sin — without a blood sacrifice and without any flour, either. Genesis chapter 4.

    Qorban translates in concept to a “drawing near to HaShem. Most qorbans had nothing to do with sin at all they were used to thank HaShem and also to try and draw nearer to Him spiritually.

    The offer could be grain and sometimes was money (shekels) disproving the fallacy that qorban required blood or that atonement was only through the blood.

    Quote: MONEY: Exodus 30:12 When you take a census of the Israelites to determine their numbers, each one shall be counted by giving an atonement offering for his life. . .13 Everyone included in the census must give a half shekel.

    FLOUR: Leviticus 5: 11 the sacrifice that he must bring for his sin shall consist of 1/10 ephah of wheat meal as a sin offering.

    This mistake that atonement of sin requires a blood sacrifice comes from Hebrews in the Christian bible where they distort Leviticus 17:11 where Jews are forbidden from EATING blood and told its only purpose is on the altar or to be thrown away into the dirt (Leviticus 17:13). One last thing: the blood sacrifices that were acceptable had to be from domestic and KOSHER animals. Jesus was not an acceptable blood sacrifice — even for accidental sins.

    • Eric says:

      Sophie Saguy, Why was he not acceptable? Can you explain? How would you explain
      Lev 16 relation; sin cleansing/atoning- blood sacrifice?
      Also I would say that ‘atoning for sin’ (by any sacrifice, which was always temporary and had to be repeated ) and redemption from the sin’s final consequences ( death )
      ( that we see in Jesus) are 2 different things. His is called the biggest , the final ‘ sacrifice’ as it redeems you from bondage of everlasting .death.

  18. Sophiee, It is not about that God doesn’t love those who weren’t or aren’t doing sacrifice. You just understood me wrong. It is not about believing in sacrifice or doing it. It is not even about knowing about Jesus. It is all about obedience. He said, you could even call him Lord Lord, but without doing God’s will it didn’t matter. ( Matthew 7;21, NT)

    Our part is to obey God and it is Him who takes care about the coverage of our sin. The sacrifices ( I mean the ones for sin ) were teaching people that sin needed some coverage. Coverage by something what was valuable to you, (like you said )so that we would understand how much valuable was God’s offering for us ( to cover our sins) by giving his son. – that is -of course- what we believe. Also the fact that it involved animals killed so many times was teaching you about the value of life that was lost. ( value of God’s son’ life)
    Maybe I will put it in this’ picture’ – the concept how we understand God giving Jesus:;
    Imagine you are in the court of God . The judge ( God) says you are guilty of some crime ( your sin) for which His righteous law says you have to die. But the judge ( God) sees how much you are sorry, He seas your broken heart , so He has mercy on you because He loves you and wants you to live.
    But according to His righteousness He has to fulfill the requirements of His law that say you are guilty. The only way out is to provide a coverage / substitute. He ‘sends’ his sinless son Jesus who willingly wants to take your crimes on himself. That is why he is let to be treated like a criminal and die in our place as if he was guilty. ( symbolizing the blameless lamb killed )- which God accepts. Our sin is covered by God’s mercy and we are cleansed by the blood. It doesn’t mean that before ‘the coverage of sin’ was accomplished in Jesus, that God would not pardon a person. His atonement was in His plan from the beginning. God’s only requires our obedience We do our part ( obedience, repentance, broken heart) , God does His part forgives us and covers our sin.

    To answer some of your other points:
    The statement ‘ human sacrifice’ ( I see it everywhere in the Jewish web teachings against Christianity) is wrongly understood. Like I said before Jesus wasn’t offered by people to God . Sacrifices were being offered BY PEOPLE to GOD. People didn’t kill Jesus in order to offer him to God. He offered himself which means he gave himself for us, died in our place. The word ‘sacrifice ‘ is used here figuratively!

    You said ‘” The point of sacrifice is for US to give G-d something of value” —I fully agree. For Christians it also points to God’s love because in His offered son we see He offered for us something what had the highest value to Him. God wasn’t delighting in Jesus death! The picture of Abraham asked by God to offer his son gives you an impression how hard it is to do such thing. ( of course God didn’t intend Isaac to be killed, it was just a lesson of obedience and trust for Abraham).

    Now some answer to Dina. You said before that you don’t need the savior because God is your savior so it is a Christian idea to have Jesus
    Does it mean that by sending someone to help us God is not a savior anymore?
    Would you say it wasn’t God who defended ( OT) Israelite s against Assyrians because it happened with the help of God’s angels? God didn’t show up there personally but sent His angels. All glory belongs to God. He was the savior. Wasn’t God the savior although He used Moses to save you from Egyptians? The same we see God by sending Jesus. .God is the one who is the Savior. Jesus didn’t send himself and didn’t do anything out of his own idea. He said he did what God told him to do.
    ( John 5;19, NT)
    Maybe I didn’t answer all of your points yet – no time for all of it at once. I will try to be back later to the rest of them.

    • Dina says:

      Eric, thanks again for taking the time. I know I gave you a lot to respond to, so I understand if it takes you a while.

      Let me just ask you this: do you accept Jesus as your lord and savior? (That should be a quick and easy one for you.)

      Thanks,
      Dina

      • Eric says:

        To Dina, Of course I do accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Why?
        Another quick response to your question before about atonement in exile, good explanation you find in this link;
        http://realmessiah.com/content/atonement-exile-0 so it is no point to do my long lecture here.
        It talks about forgiveness by repentance, but still suffering the consequences of sin.
        Anyways summarizing it all , whatever way the atonement was achieved, whether by prayer, repentance, sin sacrifice, broken heart, etc, we are not free from the consequences of sin till.
        Cain was forgiven without any sacrifice, yet he suffered his consequences of being send away. David sinned and was forgiven and so many other people we could mention.
        But they all died and all will do as the final consequence of sin. ( mentioned in Gen) If God says’ I will have eternal life , obtained by redemption in Jesus, I believe it.

        My question is; is your Messiah to be mortal and die one day as he is supposed to be a sinful person? Second; you you going to live forever after the resurrection at the Messiah coming?

        As far as the vision- Dina asked me- of the ‘dead’ Samuel talking to Saul – I say my opinion might be just a speculation, whether that was just a vision with the words of the prophecy for Saul regarding his future, or temporary bringing Samuel to life, I don’t know , there is no explanation anywhere to clearly state there is a part of us living somewhere while we are dead.

        Also in the other verse ‘ joining your descendants’ spoken about Moses, don’t tell you whether the descendants were alive somewhere or not ( I mean their souls or spirits). Generally looking into the scriptures you see that our reward is a long life and lots of kings prayed to God about it. Nobody was happy at the thought of death and wasn’t looking to function as ‘ separated soul from the body’ also there is nothing mentioned about ‘ in between life’ after death and while “waiting” for resurrection somewhere as a spirit, and death wouldn’t be death is some part of you is ‘conscious/’ living somewhere.- Anyways that is my opinion.

        • Dina says:

          Hi Eric,

          You wrote that although God forgave Cain, he still had to pay the consequence of his sin by being sent away, and that throughout Scripture we see people paying the consequences for their sin despite God’s forgiveness. In your view, this is why mankind needs Jesus’s atoning death.

          Interesting. Are you saying that by accepting Jesus you can sin without consequence?

          Besides,what does God’s forgiveness mean to you when you say something like God forgives but there is still a consequence?

          • Eric says:

            Accepting Jesus means I am accepting the way of life you are showing that is living without sin and following God’s commandments of loving God and others. Be holy as I am holy Jesus said. He is not saying ; do guys what ever, I paid for you. It looks like you see him that way.

        • Dina says:

          Hi Eric,

          Regarding your speculation about 1 Samuel Chapter 28 that it was just a vision, do you realize that runs counter to the plain meaning of the text? The text plainly tells us that the witch raised up Samuel. Also, what do you think Samuel meant when he told Saul in verse 19 “Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me”? Could the meaning be any plainer?

          Also, what do you make of Ecclesiastes 12:7: “Thus the dust returns to the ground, as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” [The end of verse 5 puts this in context: “So man goes to his eternal home, while the mourners go about the streets.”]

          You wrote that “nobody was happy at the thought of death.” Why, are Christians happy about it? Really?

          To answer your question, yes, the Messiah will be mortal; there is no indication that he will be otherwise. I don’t worry about eternal life or resurrection; my job is to live my life as best as I can in obedience to God and His Torah and let Him sort it all out.

          By the way, the reason we obey God and Torah is not for the reward of eternal life but out of love for our Father who created us. At the bare minimum we owe Him our obedience. And guess what? We would do it even if it made us miserable and sent us to hell because it is the right thing to do and we love Him. As God is merciful and gracious, He has promised to reward us for our obedience, but that is not our primary motivating factor.

        • Dina says:

          Hi Eric,

          I read the link you posted and I almost fell out of my chair in astonishment. Did you realize that the statement in the first quote was predicting exactly the sort of situation in the second, yet Dr. Brown (or his team) used it to disprove the first? Amazing, really.

    • Sophie Saguy says:

      But you are NOT obeying G-d. Part of obeying G-d is listening to what He tells you He wants (this includes BTW NOT bringing sacrifices anywhere other than the Temple Mount which he chose). Quoting to me from the Christian bible is totally immaterial — you must prove your points with the “OT” — the Original and ONLY true testament of G-d. How can you keep the Ten Commandments if you have thrown out all of the laws pertaining to those commandments? Does each individual Christian decide what the “Ten Commandments” mean? Is there no objective basis for determining what the Commandments actually command a person to do?

      The covenant G-d made with us Jews is eternal. The Torah is eternal — and it is definitely as meaningful today as it was the day G-d gave it to us at Sinai. Psalm 119:160 “All your words are true; all your righteous Torah is eternal.” It is a fundamental principle of Judaism that the Torah received at Sinai will never be changed nor become obsolete. This concept is mentioned in the Torah no less than 24 times, with the words:

      “This is an eternal law for all generations” (Exodus 12:14, 12:17, 12:43, 27:21, 28:43, Leviticus 3:17, 7:36, 10:9, 16:29, 16:31, 16:34, 17:7, 23:14, 23:21, 23:31, 23:41, 24:3, Numbers 10:8, 15:15, 19:10, 19:21, 18:23, 35:29, Deuteronomy29:28)

      No one — not Jesus or Paul or anyone else (Joseph Smith, Mohammad, etc.) can change it. You focus on sacrifices and ignore that the Torah tells us where and when we can and cannot bring sacrifices. It is also extremely detailed about what specific sacrifices are for (and Jesus’ death is in no way a sacrifice — if it happened it was a murder and an abomination to G-d). . .

      • Hi Sophie,
        You are right to question the common Evangelical perspective that The Bible is “One Book” which all “harmonizes” and is all equally authoritative and important and one unified “voice of God.”

        What Biblical basis is there for this “traditional” view? Only one, really. Paul wrote once, buried in the middle of a personal letter, “All Scripture is God-breathed.” But no one else ever said that, and even Paul didn’t say that all Scripture was equal. (The Apostle Peter wrote of PROPHECY of Scripture, not “All Scripture.”)

        Jesus clearly saw the Scriptures of his day, what we call the Old Testament, in 3 distinct categories, in order of priority.
        Here is a relevant quote from John Paul Jackson, from the following video.

        “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….” [John 1:1]
        that just doesn’t mean the New Testament. Because guess what, when He came and John wrote it the New Testament didn’t exist. He was talking about the word of God, EXPRESSLY THE TORAH. In the beginning was the Torah. And you go whoa; now you’re getting heavy. That should not be heavy to us. That should not be heavy to us. That should be one of those: “of course.” But we take one step at a time.”
        John Paul Jackson – 2/28/2009 Rend The Heavens Conference
        Charlotte NC Mahesh Chavda Ministries

        1. http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=John+Paul+Jackson+YouTube&Form=VQFRVP#view=detail&mid=E4E465431ECB131A2CFAE4E465431ECB131A2CFA

        How would Jesus prioritize “The Books” – the 66 books of what we call “The Bible?”
        Even if you believe that “all Scripture is God-breathed”, Jesus clearly told us that all Scripture is NOT equally authoritative or important. When asked, Jesus summed things up in not 1 but rather 2 commandments, based on only 2 out of the 3 accepted sections of the Hebrew Scriptures- the Law and the Prophets. He didn’t mention the Writings at that time. Then in Luke 24:44 Jesus spoke of “The Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

        I’m not Moses writing tablets of stone. But below is my rough idea of how I think Jesus would prioritize “The Books.” I’m not questioning the content of the texts. But one way or another, the choice of which order to arrange the content of the 66 books in is a matter of human tradition, and there are multiple traditions.

        If you think what we call the “New Testament” has to be in the order of (1) Gospels, (2) Acts, then (3) Paul front and center, you should talk with the Russian Orthodox Church.

        And if you think the order of the books in the King James Version of what we call the “Old Testament” is the only authorized order, you should talk with the Jews. (You also might want to change the name of your Bible to “King Jacob.”)

        But you probably would also need to remind modern Jews that Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles were all originally stand-alone scrolls, not part 1 & part 2.

        I’m not saying, “Thus says the Lord” here. But based on what I know right now of the Jesus of the Bible, and the Bible text itself, here is my best guess at how Jesus would order the priority of “The Books.”
        .1) The Word made flesh- 4 Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
        .2) Torah – The Law of Moses – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
        .3) The Prophecy – Acts, Revelation
        .4) The Prophets – Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets
        .5) Psalms
        .6) General letters: of the Apostles I & 2 Peter, 1 John
        .7) General letters: to the Hebrews, and from James (aka Jacob)
        .8) Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job, Ruth, Esther and the other Writings
        .9) Personal letters: of The Apostle John, Jude, and Paul

    • Sophie Saguy says:

      Obedience is doing what G-d tells us to do — and Christians (by praying to or through Jesus) are doing the opposite of what G-d tells us to do. To know that He is one–Deuteronomy 6:4 To learn Torah and teach it–Deuteronomy 6:7. Not to inquire into idolatry–Leviticus 19:4. Not to follow the whims of your heart or what your eyes see–Numbers 15:39. Not to worship idols in the manner they are worshiped–Exodus 20:5. Not to make human forms even for decorative purposes–Exodus 20:20. Not to missionize an individual to idol worship–Deuteronomy 13:12. Not to prophesize falsely in the name of God–Deuteronomy 18:20. Not to listen to a false prophet–Deuteronomy 13:4. Not to perform Ov (medium)–Leviticus 19:31 (this would fit Jesus supposedly driving demons out BTW). Not to perform Yidoni (magical seer)–Leviticus 19:31 (also fits Jesus’ supposed miracles). Not to perform acts of magic–Deuteronomy 18:10 (again fits Jesus). . .

    • Dina says:

      Hi Eric.

      In response to my challenge that God is alone and there is no savior beside him (Isaiah 43:11), you wrote, “God is the one who is the Savior. Jesus didn’t send himself and didn’t do anything out of his own idea.” But you also said that of course you accept Jesus as your lord and savior. That sounds like a contradiction to me.

      You compared this to Moses, but we never regarded Moses as our savior. God is our Savior; Moses was simply His agent. Our title for Moses is Moshe Rabbeinu, which means “Moses our teacher.”

      It sounds to me that your acceptance of a mere human as your savior violates the idea that that title belongs only to God.

  19. Yes, the Most Important Commandment is to Love God with everything we’ve got.
    And that involves obedience and being “filled with emotion. Gratitude, awe, love and reverence for the One who brought everything into existence.”

    Jesus knew this and Jesus taught this.
    But Paul the Pharisee didn’t know this, and Paul taught that loving people was the one Great Commandment. Paul was wrong. Jesus is right. But most “Bible believing Christians” ignore Jesus and follow Paul instead. Here is the comparison in their teachings.

    JESUS
    Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?
    Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these TWO commandments.” [Matthew 22:36-40, Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18]

    Of all the commandments, which is the most important?
    “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “ is this: ‘Hear, of Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than THESE.” [Mark 12:28-31, Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Leviticus 19:18]

    But, in contrast, Paul didn’t know the greatest, most important, first commandment according to Jesus. Paul made up his own rule. Paul wrote:
    “The entire law is summed up in a SINGLE command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” [Galatians 5:14, Leviticus 19:18]

    And again, Paul wrote:
    “He how loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not covet, and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this ONE RULE: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” [Romans 13:8-10, Leviticus 19:18]

    Jesus said it’s TWO commandments, with the greatest, most important, first command to
    .1) first, love God with everything you’ve got, and
    . 2) second, love people.
    Paul said no, it ONE commandment- to love people.

    Paul, and the Beatles, were wrong.
    Jesus is right. I’m following the Lord God Jesus Christ the Jewish Messiah, Son of Yahweh the Most High God..

    • LarryB says:

      Matt
      Paul wrote half the new testment and you reject him? In 2 Peter 3:14-17, even Peter very much supports him, you reject that to? Since Acts supports Paul you have to reject that to. What part do you agree with?

    • David says:

      Hi Matthew,

      I think you are seeing a distinction where there is none between Paul and Jesus regarding their affirmation of the primacy of both the 1st and 2nd commandments.

      Paul’s letters, in this case to the Galations, were to address certain issues to that particular group. In this case, the section in question was to address their conduct towards each other. But that doesn’t mean that the epistles don’t also have universal value if read in the context and purpose in which they were written.

      On the other hand, the question put forth to Jesus was meant to entrap him and his response was more universal in a theological way.

      Matthew 22: 34,35: When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.

      And as you noted Matthew, Jesus DID say: “On these TWO commandments (PLURAL) hang all the law and the prophets.”

      Therefore, even Jesus is NOT saying you can be exclusive with the 1st commandment. In other words one cannot LOVE God yet NOT love his neighbor as himself. And Paul is not and does not negate the 1st commandment by telling the Gentile Galations that the law is summed up in a single command. He is merely combining the two as they must be always together as expressed by Jesus himself in the following verses.

      MATTHEW 5:23,24 “So when you are offering you gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

      Matthew 25:45,46 “Then he will answer them, Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me. And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
      Luke 14:3 And Jesus asked the lawyer and Pharisees, “Is it lawful to cure people on the Sabbath, or not?” But they were silent. So Jesus took him and healed him…

      John 15:12,13 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do as I command you.”

      John is also consistent with Paul:
      1 John 4:19- 21 “19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers, are liars; for those who do not love a brother whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. 21 The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

      • David,
        The man asking the question in the Mark passage was not trying to entrap Jesus.

        According to Jesus, which is the most important commandment?
        This can be an “open Book” test, and here is the page: Mark 12:28-34
        (No, the answer is not “Love” or Love your neighbor as yourself.” Sorry.)
        The Mark passage begins…
        Of all the commandments, which is the most important?
        “The most important ONE,” answered Jesus, “ is this: …”
        When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” [Mark 12:28-34, Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Leviticus 19:18]

        It is 2 Commandments not 1, according to Jesus.
        #1 is #1
        #2 is #2
        Yes, they are related, but they are not synonymous, and not interchangeable according to JESUS. Paul was wrong.

        True, it’s impossible to love God if we hate our brother. But lots of people, like the Beatles, “love people” in their own human sinful way, without the love of God. This false view happens to agree with Paul’s false teaching here.

        The love of God is first, on top, and greater than the love of people. To love people is ONE way that we demonstrate our love for God, but not the only way. Loving God involves more than simply loving people. It involves obedience to God, following God, listening to God, worshipping God. No it isn’t “two sides of the same coin.” It’s two different coins. We should love God differently than we love people.

        We can listen to the voice of Jesus for ourselves, and let Jesus speak for himself. We don’t need Paul the Pharisee to “redefine” or “refine” the teaching of Jesus. Especially about the Most Important Commandment.

        • David says:

          Hi Matthew,

          Matthew 22:15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted to “ENTRAP” him in what he said…
          22:34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to “TEST” him.

          So Matthew, maybe the Lawyer wasn’t personally trying to “entrap” him (maybe the lawyer was a more honorable man than the rest of the group of Pharisees) but the overall plot orchestrated by the Pharisees was to “entrap” him. So the event and context in which a response to the “test” question was requested was one of entrapment by a group, and the lawyer was part of that group.

          And regarding the 1st and 2nd commandment. Jesus did NOT say all the law and prophets hang on the 1st commandment nor did he say it hung on the 2nd. He said it hangs on BOTH.
          There is no argument that God comes 1st. Did we really need Jesus to tell us that? But the fact is we cannot love God in a right relationship if our relationship with our fellow man is not right. Jesus proclaimed this loud and clear.

          What is the Lord’s prayer but confirmation of this fact that you must be right with God AND man? God is paramount and always comes first, but not in isolation to our relation with man.

          Give us this day our daily bread (the primacy of our dependence on God is placed 1st).

          Forgive our sins as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. (our relationship with God is directly affected/determined by our relation with our fellow man). Jesus said, If we do not forgive, neither will we be forgiven. Jesus commented specifically on this (and ONLY this) section of the prayer.

          And the prayer ends with
          And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (or the evil one). (So we end once again on our complete dependence upon God.)

          Paul addressed the specific problem of the Galations with the most important command as it related to them. Paul begins ALL of his epistles with praise FIRST for God. So I think it is quite clear that Paul understood the first command in a universal sense.

          Again, Jesus was responding to a question posed in the context of entrapment, not as a specific remedy to a specific problem as was the case for Paul.

          • David,
            You dodged the issue, quoting the Matthew passage again. As I spelled out above,
            The man asking the question in the MARK passage was NOT trying to entrap Jesus. You have avoided facing the text of Mark 12:28-34.

          • David,
            Below are the full texts of the relevant passages.
            Rather than reading things into them that simply are not there, why don’t we just read the texts and let Jesus speak for himself?

            These are two different accounts, where two different men asked Jesus basically the same straighforward question. Jesus gave them both basically the same straightforward answer, direct from the same Torah passages.

            Yes, in the “Matthew passage” it was an attempt to entrap Jesus. But in the “Mark passage” it very clearly was NOT an attempt ot entrap Jesus, so for you to stubbornly insist that it was, (without ever quoting the Mark passage itself,) is wrong.

            Jesus is not a parrot, so he did not repeat the exact same words both times, or simply quote the exact words of the Torah like a machine. But his answers were the same. Yes, the man with a good attitude got a little more detail. But Jesus is not some politician who would give different answers to different people about his true “top priority” depending on who was asking. (When Jesus walked the earth, He didn’t try to “be all things to all men” like Paul the hypocritcal Pharisee did.)

            Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?
            [Matthew 22:34-40, Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18]

            Of all the commandments, which is the most important?
            [Mark 12:28-34, Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Leviticus 19:18]

            Your desperate attempt to twist the words of Jesus, refuse to listen to Jesus, and make Jesus fit into Paul’s false teaching, is sad. But, most Evagelicals today have been trained that way. We need to wake up. The priority is God’s commandments (Torah & Prophets) and the testimony of Jesus.

          • David says:

            Matthew,

            Really?
            “Your desperate attempt to twist the words of Jesus, refuse to listen to Jesus, and make Jesus fit into Paul’s false teaching, is sad.”

            Relax Matthew,

            Read the passages and compare Matthew and Mark; then apply your preaching to yourself.

            THE QUESTION OF TAXES:
            Mark 12:13 “Then they sent him some Pharisees and some Herodians to TRAP him in what he said. And they came and said to him, Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and show deference to no one, for you do not regard people with partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth…
            Matthew 22:15,16 “Then the Pharisees went and plotted to ENTRAP him in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians saying, Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth…”

            So far, so good?

            THE QUESTION OF THE RESURRECTION:
            Mark 12:18 Some Sadducces, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, saying, Teacher, Moses wrote for us…
            Matthew 22:23 The same day some Sadducees came to him, saying there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying, Teacher, Moses said…

            Still following?
            THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT:
            Mark 12:28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, which commandment is first of all…

            Matthew 22:34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to TEST him. Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest…

          • But David
            You are still dodging the issue and refusing to look at the the entire short passage in question. There were some individual Pharisees who were good – such as Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. You are unjustly condemning this man who asked the question in.
            Mark 12:28-34

          • David says:

            Matthew,

            I reject your claim that the event in Mark 12:13 – 34 and that of Matthew 22:15 – 40 refers to two separate events. The passages refer to one and the same event as I will demonstrate.

            There are three parts to each passage. All parts were orchestrated by the Pharisees in an attempt to entrap Jesus in his words. The three parts include: the trap about paying taxes, the trap about the resurrection, and the trap about the greatest command.

            First off both Matthew and Mark agree on all the details. It was the Pharisees who planned the entrapment along with the Herodians. In each gospel the question of taxes was asked in exactly the same manner with the exact same manner of response. The same can be said of the resurrection question by the Sadducees and of course the same can be said of the greatest command question by the scribe. It can be said these were all “test” questions, meaning they knew the answer they were looking for before they asked the question. They were not the type of question one asks to learn something new. This can also be verified by the fact that the scribe in the gospel of Mark actually told Jesus his answer was correct.

            Second, we learn from Matthew with 100% certainty that all 3 parts of the event in question took place on the same day and in the sequential order given in the gospels.
            See Matthew 22:23 and 22:34,35. We learn from verse 23 that the Sadducees’ resurrection question was the same day as the tax question. And we learn from verses 34 and 35 that when the Pharisees heard that Jesus silenced the Sadducees they “gathered together” and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, testing him. This also tells us that the events happened in successive chronological order as noted in the gospels: Tax, resurrection, and lastly greatest command.

            We learn from Mark with 100% certainty that the question from the scribe of greatest command also followed in sequential order that of the Sadducees’ question of resurrection (thus agreeing with the gospel of Matthew) and that he was present for the Sadducees’ question. The scribe “heard them disputing” and recognized that Jesus answered them well.
            See Mark 12:28

            We also learn that Luke chapter 20 records the same event agreeing with Matthew and Mark in the same sequential order with the same manner of questions but absent of any mention of the greatest commandment question.

            Conclusion:
            The passages in Matthew and Mark describe the same event.

            Now that that’s established, let’s move on.

            As you have requested I’ll deal specifically with Mark chapter 12.

            “28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; 33 and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’—this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question.”

            First off, Check out the scribe’s response in verse 32,33. He combines both commands into one! And then uses a singular demonstrative pronoun to follow: “THIS” is much more important… He doesn’t use a plural pronoun “these” are much more important. Does Jesus correct him and tell him you cannot combine the commands and speak of them as if they are one? No. Actually Jesus saw that he answered wisely and complimented him. The scribe asked him a “test” question, one in which he already knew the answer. He didn’t ask Jesus which were the TWO greatest. Yet Jesus responded with TWO EVEN THOUGH HE WAS ASKED FOR JUST ONE! And the scribe considered the two to be one AS WELL.

            Secondly, I submit that the speaking of the second command combined with the first (as we see above) was not that uncommon. And, once again, Jesus agrees with the way the scribe puts it.

            See Luke 10:27 which combines the two commands into one.
            “25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus.[j] “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” 27 He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”

            Thirdly, Jesus was operating in the old covenant and transitioning to the new. The dawning of the “new covenant” was much more revealed in the gospel of John. Therefor we see more references to the “new command from JESUS ”to love your neighbor” in John. And the new command is, surprise, surprise an old command (which is the second command again). And surprise, surprise, it just happens to be the same command given by Paul.

            See John
            13:
            34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
            15:
            12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

            See 1st John
            2: 7 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word that you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new commandment that is true in him and in you, because[a] the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9 Whoever says, “I am in the light,” while hating a brother or sister,[b] is still in the darkness. 10 Whoever loves a brother or sister[c] lives in the light, and in such a person[d] there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates another believer[e] is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness.

            See 2nd John
            1: 5 But now, dear lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning, let us love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment just as you have heard it from the beginning—you must walk in it.

            Lastly, this should make it clear that Paul was not negating the 1st command of the old covenant to love God but was passing on the new command of the new covenant given by our Lord Jesus to love each other AND as the most important command that was needed in the specific case of the Galatians and others.

          • David,
            Thank you for your extensive scholarship. You have brought to light an important point, which I did not notice before. The three “Synoptic Gospels” are interrelated and have a lot of overlapping material, and Matthew 22 & Mark 12 are an example of what this looks like. They each describe a number of events – not “the same event.” Some of the events described are the same, as you have correctly pointed out, and the events are related in time.

            Although I’m not 100% sure, I think by far the best way to reconcile the series of events described in these chapters is to simply insert the text of Mark 12:28-34 chronologically in between Matthew 22:33 and Matthew 22:34.

            This makes it clear. First one teacher of the law came with a good attitude, asked Jesus a question, Jesus answered him, no one dared ask more questions, [Mark 12:28-34] then “hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together” and an expert in the law asked Jesus the same question with a bad attitude, and Jesus gave basically the same answer. [Matthew 22:34-40] It makes perfect sense. This was not the same man, it was two different men. So yes, most of the Pharisees were trying to entrap Jesus- but not all. You should not condemn the teacher of the law in [Mark 12:28-34] as guilty by association. There were a few Pharisees who were good.

            The teachings of Jesus are supreme, above the words of all others. The words of Jesus are clear about 2 Commandments, the First and Greatest Most Important Commandment and the Second. Paul was wrong.

            The words of the teacher of the law [Mark 12:32-33] and [Luke 10:27] are just that – their words. The words of men, not the words of God, even though they are recorded in the Gospels. These words are “not far” and “correct”, but they are not the words of Jesus. They were not wrong- they were right, so Jesus didn’t condemn them. They spoke of the First Commandment first, and the Second Commandment second. However, they were not quite as clear as Jesus was about there being 2 distinct commandments, not One Commandment.

            The voice of Jesus is superior and more clear, so while their statements were good, Jesus is better. If we listen to the voices of other men and not the voice of Jesus Himself, we can become confused, especially by the false teachings of Paul the Pharisee. Paul ignored the Most Important Commandment, to Love God, and just focused on the Second.

            It is wrong to ignore Jesus and “combine” these 2 Commandments into one, even though it was common in Jesus’ day, just as it is today. Being “common” does not mean that it’s right. Paul was wrong. Jesus is right.

          • David says:

            Matthew,

            You’re obviously wrong Matthew. It’s clearly one event. But never the less. For the sake of argument, let’s say it is two separate events. My point remains, Jesus was clearly responding in the context of ENTRAPMENT as I’ve previously stated. They were looking to catch him in his words. Luke in Chapter 20 as I noted goes so far as to say they sent SPIES. So the crowd around Jesus would have been a mixture of righteous truth seekers but also evil spies etc looking for a slip up to report his words to the authorities. It was an orchestrated set up.

            And at no time did I condemn all Pharisees, scribes, lawyers, etc. It could even be that this particular scribe being righteous and believing the false reports of the Pharisees thought at first Jesus to be a fraud which is why he was testing him. Upon recognizing that Jesus answered wisely, he undoubtedly changed his opinion, one would hope.

            Secondly, You didn’t address the words of Jesus in John. The New Commandment is his words which matches more or less to that of Paul.

            Thirdly, you didn’t address the fact that when Jesus was responding (within the context of entrapment), he was dealing with those who were under the OLD covenant.

            Fourth, the NEW COVENANT command (given by JESUS himself in John) that I noted does not negate the old. It is “new” because it is for the New covenant AND is given in the person of JESUS. Read John 13 and 15 again. Specifically, it emphasizes love of one another as Jesus loved us. Therefore if you analyze it you’ll see that the New Command incorporates the Old. Since Jesus perfectly represented God and the love of God and all the will of God and the Father’s commands, if we emulate Jesus in how he loved us by loving each other in the same way, then we are fulfilling the first command which is to love God with all our all as well as the second. So therefore all the law hangs on this New Command of Jesus just as in the Old Covenant it hung on the 1st and 2nd command.

            Fifth, Can you show me one instance where Jesus ever spoke specifically of the first command without linking it to the second?

            sixth, you didn’t address my point that John more so than the synoptic gospels reveals the New Covenant, as such we’d expect new covenant doctrine to be emphasized more in John and Old Covenant doctrine more so in the Synoptics. This fact is not a contradiction; it is a difference of perspective between the gospels.

            The rest of the New testament scripture (including Paul) would naturally have more to do with the New Covenant than the Old.

            You’re doing too much “word smithing” and not enough understanding the meanings behind the passages and how Jesus transitions from Old to New. You’re misinterpreting this as a contradiction.

          • David,
            The entire ministry of Jesus from beginning to end was marked by a context of entrapment and hostility, especially from the Pharisees. We agree on that.

            Before I try to answer all your new objections, I would like to have clarity on the original point of disagreement, As I laid out above,
            I think by far the best way to reconcile the series of events described in these chapters is to simply insert the text of Mark 12:28-34 chronologically in between Matthew 22:33 and Matthew 22:34.
            If you have any specific problem or objection as to why this would not work, please tell me. I don’t see any. It seems like a near-perfect fit, with Mark 12:28-34 being an additional episode in the ongoing story that Matthew did not record.

            We don’t look at Nicodemus in John 3 and accuse him of “entrapment.” Likewise, for the teacher of the law in Mark 12:28-34, we should not attempt to judge the intentions of his heart and read things into the text that simply are not there. God see us as individuals, and He will meet us if we seek Him with all our heart – regardless of the context, even if we are part of an organization or system that is hostile to God.

          • David,
            Jesus believed in absolute truth, (and being true in relationship), but not relative truth. I agree with Jesus.

            Sadly, subconsciously you have been brainwashed by Paul the Pharisee into believing in “relative truth.” As in, “that’s true for them, but it isn’t true for me,” or “this is true for me, even if it isn’t true for you.” For example, Paul wrote to the church he abandoned in Corinth, “Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you!” [1 Corinthians 9:2] Paul was not an apostle, and didn’t know what an apostle was. Neither Jesus or any of the true 12 Apostles ever recognized Paul as an apostle in any way. But, Paul was making an argument for relative truth. “It may not be true for others, but it’s true for you!”

            Your refusal to accept the clear words of Jesus about the Most Important Commandment and try to twist them to make them fit Paul’s false teaching are another argument for “relative truth.”

            You are saying the answer to the question about which is the Most Important Commandment depends on who is asking. You are saying that “the Most Important Commandment” is not an absolute truth, which does not change, which Jesus reminded us of from the Torah. Rather, you are saying that “the Most Important Commandment” is really whatever is most important TO YOU. You are saying that Jesus told the “bad people” one thing – to Love God – but He told the “good people” something else – Love People. No Jesus did not do that.

            Jesus told us all the same absolute truth about “the Most Important Commandment” from the Torah. Yes, to Love People is PART of Loving God, and the commandments are connected and not to be pulled apart, but they are 2 Commandments, not 1, and the Love of God is on top, #1.

          • David says:

            Matthew,

            You wrote:
            “The entire ministry of Jesus from beginning to end was marked by a context of entrapment and hostility, especially from the Pharisees. We agree on that.”

            No, we don’t agree on that. You even contradict yourself with this.

            “We don’t look at Nicodemus in John 3 and accuse him of “entrapment.””

            We do agree on that. Nicodemus was not trying to entrap him. So, you make my point. Thank you.

            The entirety of his ministry regarding his speech and deeds was NOT ruled by attempts to entrap him. That wasn’t the case when he started out; it wasn’t the case when he taught in isolated places; it wasn’t the case when he taught privately to his closest disciples, and it wasn’t the case as you pointed out with Nicodemus. However, it most certainly was the case at other times such as during the last week of his life while he taught in the Temple surrounded by spies testing him with questions such as the tax question, resurrection question, and greatest commandment question. But, he wasn’t being entrapped for example when he talked to his 11 apostles (Judas was not present) about the “new commandment” for the new covenant. The “new commandment” was to love each other as he loved them.

            However, this whole argument (of entrapment) although true and verifiable, is actually of lesser importance than the aspect of my argument concerning the transition from Old covenant to New Covenant (Jesus words: “new covenant” which he spoke at the last supper). Because, YES, absolutely, it does matter who you are talking to, where, for what purpose, under what circumstances, etcetera.

            But, since you brought it up (again) arguing the point that there are two scribes I’ll deal it once again (I think for the last time).

            So what you are saying is that we may have a good scribe unaware of the conspiracy and another who was involved in the conspiracy to entrap and both are asking the same question at some point in time after the Sadducees were silenced a couple of days before he was executed while teaching in the Temple?

            You posted: “I think by far the best way to reconcile the series of events described in these chapters is to simply insert the text of Mark 12:28-34 chronologically in between Matthew 22:33 and Matthew 22:34.”

            My response:

            So, could the passage of Mark in question fit in Matthew between the Sadducees and the scribe of Matthew?

            No.

            The last clause of Mark 12:34 rules out that possibility, which reads:
            “…After that no one dared to ask him any question.”

            So then, because of that, if there are as you argue, two scribes then Mark’s scribe would have to come at the end (after Matthew’s scribe and NOT before) since Mark says that no one asked any more questions. And we know that Matthew’s scribe DID ask a question, the greatest commandment question.

            But then that creates yet another problem. That being the problem of Mark 12:28 which reads:
            “28 One of the scribes came near and heard THEM disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered THEM well, he asked him…” (my emphasis added).

            The way the above reads and must be understood is that when Mark’s scribe came and heard “THEM” (the Sadducees) disputing with one another, he asked his question upon hearing and seeing that he (Jesus) answered “THEM” (the Sadducees) well. AND, both of the plural pronouns “THEM”, in the passage most logically refer to the group of Sadducees disputing with one another (who were told by Jesus that they knew neither scripture nor the power of God; that they were greatly deceived). The passage should not be misunderstood to refer to a single scribe arguing with himself or a single scribe arguing with Jesus. Furthermore, there was NO argument with any scribes on the issue of the greatest commandment; there was only agreement. So it fails on two counts, first because of the plural pronoun and also because of the fact there is no record of Jesus or anyone else “disputing” about the greatest commandment question.

            And, if you say that Mark’s scribe didn’t ask “upon hearing” as the scripture in fact reads or in other words, didn’t IMMEDIATELY ask, and instead waited until he heard and saw Matthew’s scribe ask the greatest commandment question, then it fails on logic. It makes no sense that he’d ask the same question he just heard AND also compliment Jesus on the exact same response he just heard Jesus give earlier. That defies logic and reason.

            So Matthew, once again, what you believe to be two scribes is in fact clearly just one and the same.

            Regarding other matters you wrote about:
            You wrote:

            “we should not attempt to judge the intentions of his heart and read things into the text that simply are not there.”

            My response: I agree, that’s why I don’t read things into the text that aren’t. I try to ascertain the context, what the author is trying to tell me. To do this I take into account such things as whether the author intends the message to be universal, or specific, whether it applies always to all, or to a specific group or individual to a specific time and place.

            Regarding your arguments of absolute truth and relativity:

            You speak a false doctrine unsupportable by scripture.
            God is absolute truth and Jesus is the human manifestation of that truth. Everything that God and/or Jesus does and did must be evaluated to determine whether it was meant by God and Jesus to be permanent or conditional, general or specific, etc.
            We must take into account such factors as the intended recipient, what the needs are, what the purpose is/was, the time period in history, whether it applies to the whole planet, a group, or select individuals, etc.

            If you disagree, you need only read your bible. It’s full of such example such as these that follow:

            God gave the “law” through Moses. He gave it to whom? Did He give it to ALL or a select special group of people? Let’s check scripture.
            The preamble to the 10 commandments:
            Deuteronomy 5:1
            5 Moses convened all Israel, and said to them:
            Hear, O Israel, …
            And the preamble continues with:
            Deuteronomy 5:6 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;…”

            Clearly He didn’t give it to me. I’m not an Israelite, I’m not a Jew, God didn’t bring me nor my ancestors out of Egypt.

            Let’s also check the first part of the so called “greatest commandment” of the Old Covenant and see who it’s addressed to; to whom does it apply.
            Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel:…”

            Once again, I’m not Israel, at no time have I lived under the old covenant. It might be a great command, the greatest, essential to live by if you’re under the old covenant, but I live under the new covenant commands of Jesus, and every word from Jesus that is for me and the new covenant.

            But at the time, the passages above most certainly would have applied to the scribe in question referred to in Matthew and Mark. The passages would most certainly have applied to the spies who were listening. It would have applied to Jesus; it would have applied to those Jews who killed Jesus; it would have applied to Judas; it would have applied to the other 11 apostles.

            Now let’s check what Jesus said on the last night of his life when he assured in the New Covenant.

            In John 13 Jesus tells us that we must serve each other. Is he talking to everyone or just those who love him and follow his commands? Verse 18 reveals that he is NOT talking to everyone.
            “12 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16 Very truly, I tell you, servants[d] are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. 18 I am NOT (my emphasis added) speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen…”

            We see that Jesus is NOT talking to everyone. He is only talking to those who he has chosen; who will manifest the new covenant; he is speaking to those who will spread the gospel and do and teach what Jesus did and taught regarding the new covenant. They will do this after his death and resurrection. This is the new covenant.
            He is speaking to me.

            What else did Jesus tell us about the New Covenant on the last night of his life on earth?
            He instituted the Lord’s Supper of the New Covenant in the blood of himself and said DO this in remembrance of me. And said in Luke 22:16 that it would be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God. Is he speaking to Judas; is he speaking to Satan who entered Judas to “do this” in remembrance of him? Or, is he once again, speaking to what would be new covenant believer’s to “do this”?

            Did He give any last commands for the new covenant before he died? Yes, He gave a “New” command.
            John 13:34
            “34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.””
            John 15:12
            12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

            Was Judas present when Jesus gave this “new command”? No. He told Judas to leave and go do quickly what he had to do. So then of course he couldn’t have been speaking to Judas then either. So, the New Covenant commands apply to those who love him.

            John 14:15 “If you love me you will keep my commandments.”

            So, we see that on the last night of his life Jesus says to serve one another and love one another as he loved us. This is the New Covenant.

            Here’s more scriptural proof that to discern truth we must take into account the context, who is being addressed, etc.

            The issue of how to come into eternal life:
            Case one: The Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25 – 37
            Eternal life is attained by Loving God and loving your neighbor (sound familiar?)

            Case two: The Rich Young Ruler, Mark 10:17 – 31; Matthew 19:16 – 31; Luke 18:18 – 30
            Eternal life is attained by: keeping all the commandments, Selling all you own, giving all the money to the poor, and following Jesus.

            Case three: Nicodemus, John 3:1 – 16
            Eternal life is attained by being born from above and believing in Jesus.
            Note: Matthew, you said that Nicodemus was a righteous Pharisee; I too believe that Nicodemus was a righteous man, and he probably attained eternal life, not because he followed the commandments (although he probably did), but because I think he came to believe fully in Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God.

            How do you resolve the discrepancies above? Are we all to sell all we own for example? If that’s the case why didn’t Jesus mention that to other rich people? The way to resolve the differences is to keep in mind the context. The first and second cases deal with the old covenant. The first person had no problem with great possessions; his problem was trying to justify himself about who his neighbor “wasn’t” really (which is why Jesus gave him the parable of the Samaritan to show him who his neighbor WAS really). The person in the case of the Rich Ruler had a specific problem with coveting great wealth. In the case of Nicodemus, his problem was not the law. What Nicodemus needed was understanding that he, Nicodemus was to be part of the new covenant to understand that he was passing from old covenant to new, that the Kingdom of God was at hand, and that to enter the Kingdom of God (to have eternal life) and teach others to do likewise as a “teacher of Israel” he needed to be born from above.

            And how is it that we become born from above? We “believe” that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God and that through believing we have life in the name of Jesus.

            To whom and for what purpose did John write? After John writes about the resurrection of Jesus, he goes on to write this regarding eternal life:

            John 20:
            30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may come to believe[d] that Jesus is the Messiah,[e] the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

          • David,
            “When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum…” [Matthew 4:12-13]

            “The entire ministry of Jesus from beginning to end was marked by a context of entrapment and hostility” does not mean that every single person around Jesus every single time was hostile or trying to entrap him. It’s the general social context. I think you could agree on that. Lets be reasonable.
            Sincerely,
            Matthew

          • David,
            The last clause of Mark 12:34 reads:
            “…After that no one dared to ask him any question.”

            For how long? The rest of Jesus’ life? We don’t know exactly. Just for a certain period of time. Please don’t be obstinate and unreasonable.

            Matthew 22:34 begins, “Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.” This is an obvious description of what just happened in the Mark passage, simply said in different words. No one dared ask Jesus any more questions, Jesus silenced them. It’s the same thing. It is unreasonable to insist this could not be so. These obviously were 2 different men, and the narratives are significantly different. And although it’s not 100% provable, what I’ve suggested is certainly probable, and cannot be disproven.

            The trouble is, you have already decided that Paul must be right, so you have to twist and change and add to the words of Jesus to make Jesus fit into Paul’s false teaching. This could accurately be called “Paulism.” It isn’t new, and it isn’t uncommon, but nevertheless it is wrong.

            You are teaching against absolute truth, and promoting relative truth, just like Paul the Pharisee. Jesus taught absolute truth from the Torah. Paul frequently taught his own ideas. You are saying the “The Most Important Commandment” is really what is most important TO YOU, that it “depends on who is asking.” No, it doesn’t.

            The Most Important Commandment is to Love God, period. This applies to everyone everywhere, all the time, and it summarizes the first 4 of the 10 Commandments of Moses. The Second Commandment of Jesus is to Love People, which summarizes the next 6 of the 10 Commandments of Moses.

            Jesus didn’t change the 10 Commandments, He simply summarized them into 2, NOT 1. (not One Rule as Paul falsely taught, forgetting about God.) Yes, God’s Law was given first to the Hebrews, and now we Gentiles can more freely have access to it, which is a blessing to us. But Jesus didn’t change the Most Important Commandment from “Love God” to “Love People”, and He didn’t make the love of people completely synonymous with the love of God. Yes there is overlap, and interrelationship, but it’s not the same thing. To Love God involves more than simply loving people.

            So please don’t go on and on adding things and putting words in the mouth of Jesus when He spoke about “a new commandment.” Jesus didn’t say this was the Most Important Commandment, or the First and Greatest, or One Great Commandment.

            Matthew

          • David says:

            Matthew,

            Leaving behind the argument of whether or not there are one or two scribes, I note that you’ve pretty much ignored most of my counter arguments on the other matters in my last two posts. However, you did address one argument somewhat, that of the concept of truth. But unlike you, I have cited scripture in the matter while you have not.

            Let’s assume for the sake of argument that you are correct regarding your baseless accusation, that I’ve been “subconsciously brainwashed” by Paul. If that’s true, then why should I listen to your claims as opposed to those of Paul, (if I’ve been brainwashed) and if you don’t cite scripture? You started out well enough in this long series of posts and cited scripture for the premise of your claim against Paul, but as soon as your argument was challenged with scripture you have resorted to baseless claims, failing to address my challenges through scripture. Your argument has no depth.

            The reason why I say now and have said that you write false doctrine of men is not only because you don’t cite scripture, but because you contradict scripture by what you write as I have shown.

            If you want me to believe you that your understanding of the teaching of Jesus is the correct one, and that Paul’s understanding of the teaching of Jesus is false, then when challenged with scripture, you’ll have to cite scripture of your own to defend your position.

            So, now…
            Regarding the 1st commandment in the law, I cited scripture in my previous post which conclusively shows that the Law given through Moses is not addressed to me or other Gentiles and is therefore not applicable to me or other Gentiles.

            In response you wrote among other things (lacking scriptural citations of course):
            “This applies to everyone everywhere, all the time…”

            My response:
            It most certainly does not apply to everyone, everywhere, all the time. God never said that. And, has Jesus ever said that. You can’t just put words in the mouth of God or the mouth of Jesus just because you want it to be so.

            You can’t just make baseless claims; you have to prove it through scripture. Otherwise everyone everywhere should reject you’re claims as the teachings of men, the same way you advocate that we reject the teachings of Paul.

            Where is your scripture that it applies to everyone, everywhere, all the time?

            While you are working on that, I have one challenge questions for you.

            1. What did Jesus teach his disciples is the greatest love?

          • David, you wrote, QUOTE:
            “Leaving behind the argument of whether or not there are one or two scribes….” And you expressed a desire ot dialogue on other topies.

            First, I want to thank you for helping me understand that Matthew 22 and Mark 12 are largely parallel narrative accounts of one long intense day in the ministry of Jesus, that was filled with conflict and confusion, and they describe several of the same events. I had not realized that before, so I learned something from you.

            And I respect and appreciate you willingness to listen to the voice of Jesus, examine the text of the Bible, and dialogue about it, in search of the truth.

            There are many issues that it would be profitable to discuss. But the first, main issue we have been debating at length is the relationship between Matthew 22:34-40 and Mark 12:28-34. I believe that if you simply insert the Mark passage directly before the Matthew passage chronologically, it makes near perfect sense. I believe these are clearly 2 different episodes in the same one-day narrative, with 2 different casts of characters, and 2 different scripts, although the 2 casts overlap somewhat and the 2 scripts have some similarities.

            These passages show us that Jesus teaches the same absolute truth from the Torah about what is the Most Important Commandment, and the Second, regardless of the context or who is asking. Jesus didn’t teach relative truth, that the most important thing “depends” on who you are.

            So before “Leaving behind the argument of whether or not there are one or two scribes….” I would like to resolve it. After everything that’s been written above, I think the answer is now obvious. Wouldn’t you agree?
            Sincerely,
            Matthew

          • David says:

            Matthew,

            To continue endlessly the debate on the merely academic point of whether there were one or two scribes is a pointless distraction and has little to no bearing on the other more important questions which we’ve only begun to touch on.

            Thanks for the discussion up to this point.

            If you come up with something new and worthwhile on the scribe issue, I’ll be happy to discuss it with you. Otherwise, I’m done with that.

          • David,
            Jesus was asked the basic question “of all the commandments, which is the most important.”?
            In Matthew 22 & Mark 12, Jesus gave a direct, specific answer (which was actually bigger than the question, but did answer it) quoting from the Torah.

            Do you believe that Jesus spoke absolute truth here? Or relative truth?
            Matthew

    • Sophie Saguy says:

      We show love by doing things for the one we love that THEY want — not indulging ourselves. The Torah tells us “what does HaShem your G-d ask of you? Only this: to respect HaShem your G-d by following all His ways and to love and serve HaShem your G-d with all your heart and all your being by keeping HaShem’s commandments and laws that I am commanding you today….” (D’varim / Deuteronomy 10:12-13).

      How could it be any clearer, more explicit?

      It is easy enough to say you love someone — it is quite another to PROVE and SHOW your love. If you think you love someone but you don’t do the most basic things that person (or in this case G-d) requires to FEEL loved — are you really showing them love at all or are you being selfish and indulging in what YOU want?

      G-d even warns you NOT to be swayed by your emotions. “Be careful that your heart not be tempted to go astray and worship other gods, bowing down to them.” D’varim Deuteronomy 11:16. and “it will be, when [one following Jesus perhaps] hears the words (Torah) that he will bless himself in his heart, saying, “I will have peace, even if I follow my heart’s desires,”. . .HaShem will not be willing to forgive him; rather, then, HaShem’s fury and His zeal will fume against that man, and the entire curse written in this book will rest upon him, and HaShem will obliterate his name from beneath the heavens. And HaShem will separate him for evil.” D’varim / Deuteronomy 29:17-20.

      Love is doing for the person we love (or doing for G-d what He wants) — not in indulging our emotions and doing what we want and calling it love. . .

      • Sophie,
        On a fundamental basic level, I agree with you that, QUOTE:
        “Love is doing for the person we love (or doing for G-d what He wants) — not in indulging our emotions and doing what we want and calling it love. .”

        I agree as a devoted follower of Yahshua, Jesus Christ the Jewish Messiah, Son of Yahweh the Most High God of Israel. His testimony recorded by Matthew Mark Luke & John (in the New Testament) is the Torah made flesh, in harmony with and fulfillment of the Law of Moses and the Prophets. (The OT Writings, and NT Letters, are Scripture and they have some use, but just as Jesus recognized, they have less authority.)

        No one in the Bible except Paul the Pharisee ever said “All Scripture is God-breathed” and Paul was wrong. Neither the OT nor the NT nor “The Bible” were ever given to us as “one book.” It is a collection of writings. The Gospel writings, the Law and the Prophets are on top. The “Tanakh” was not given as “one book” either.

        However, God did also give us emotions, which are not necessarily wrong. God is emotional at times. And it is healthy and good to express our emotions in appropriate God-honoring ways in appropriate times and places – like during worship of Yahweh the One True God, through His Only Son Yahshua our Messiah.

  20. LarryB
    You haven’t addressed the texts I put forth for comparison at all.
    You seem to imply that either every word Paul ever said and wrote, and everything Paul ever did was 100% perfect, or else I “reject him.” By that standard, we should reject everyone except Jesus.

    You are exaggerating to say “Peter very much supports him.” The Apostle Peter briefly mentioned Paul in a passing reference, putting distance between them, while trying to find something good to say about his enemy. He never said Paul was “an apostle” and neither did anyone else except Paul himself. (No Luke didn’t say Paul was “an apostle” in Acts 14 either. Look at Acts 1, 6, 9, 13 & 15). Paul was never recognized as “an apostle” by anyone else. There is no “Apostle to the Gentiles.” Paul made up this title for himself.

    And to say that “Acts supports Paul” reflects a lack of understanding.
    Acts is a narrative, and it reveals things Paul said and did – some of which were true and good, others of which were false and sinful, or maybe just Paul’s experience. The Bible giving an account of David’s adultery and murder does not mean that the Bible “supports David” in those things.

    Paul didn’t write “half the New Testament.” I counted by chapters, and it’s 33.4% by chapter count – so 1/3. Perhaps the reason you give Paul more credit than he deserves is that you spend the majority of your time in the New Testament listening to the voice of Paul, like many Evangelicals. Therefore, you are so used to Paul’s voice that you can’t discern or distinguish the voice of Jesus. Evangelicals have both been trained that way- never to question Paul, or compare or contrast his teachings or behavior with Jesus.

    Paul wrote, “All Scripture is God-breathed” once, in the middle of a personal letter to his friend Timothy. Jesus never said that. And no other author of Scripture besides Paul ever said that either. (The Apostle Peter wrote about “PROPHECY of Scripture” not ALL Scripture, and no it isn’t the same thing.) If you believe I’m mistaken, please quote me chapter and verse to show me where.

    Paul DID contradict Jesus regarding what is the Most Important Commandment, as I quoted here. It’s 2 Commandments, not 1, and the Love of God is clearly and distinctly on top. We love God and love people in different ways. Loving people is ONE of the ways we demonstrate our love for God, but it isn’t the only way, and it isn’t synonymous. We don’t need Paul, or any other man (or woman) to further refine the clear teachings of Jesus. We can listen to Jesus directly, understand, and obey Jesus – not obey Paul.

    In the pages of the New Testament, no one besides Jesus and Paul ever held himself up as a singular example and said, “follow me” or “imitate me” or “follow my example” or even “Follow Me as I Follow Christ.” Jesus is right, Paul was wrong. No one else ever said to follow Paul except Paul talking about himself. We cannot serve two masters.

    Of course, Evangelicals are all trained to admit, theologically, theoretically, intellectually, that Paul was not flawless- but when it comes to specifics? What were some of Paul’s specific sins, mistakes, flaws, etc.? Our minds go blank, and we get that sinking feeling… It’s a spiritual blindness. But now is the time to wake up, open our Bibles, and listen to the voice of Jesus!

    • LarryB says:

      I agree with you that we cannot serve two masters. How do you reconcile that with Ot teaching that “god is not a man nor the son of man”, with your teaching that we need to listen to the voice of Jesus? And, if you listen to the voice of J, does he not also tell you his definition of what holy scripture is in Matt 5:17-19? The Torah.

      • LarryB
        Where are you quoting – Book, chapter and verse? “god is not a man nor the son of man”,

        The OT Scriptures were
        Torah
        Prophets
        Writings

        Jesus referred to the Law and the Prophets here, which harmonize with the testimony of Jesus recorded by Matthew Mark Luke & John. Not “All Scripture.”

        • LarryB says:

          What do you mean ” not all scripture”

          • You recognize that the Kethuvim, the “Writings” including Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, are Scripture but not the Torah or Prophets…. right.? (Jesus made the line slightly blurry with a few prophetic Psalms about Him…)

          • LarryB says:

            I’m confused again. What books exactly are scripture to you?

          • I view the 66 Books of the Bible as “Scripture.” That doesn’t mean they are all equally authoritative, or equally important, or to be used in the same way.

        • Dina says:

          Hi Matthew.

          How about Numbers 23:19 (in the Torah): “God is not a man that He should be deceitful, nor a son of man that He should relent”?

          Or how about 1 Samuel 15:29 (in the Prophets): “Moreover, the Eternal One of Israel does not lie and does not relent, for He is not a human that He should relent.”

          • Hi Dina
            I’m glad that you and LarryB are willing to open The Torah and The Prophets, discuss them, and think for yourselves. You provided two good objections, written before the coming of the Messiah in the flesh.

            LarryB wrote below: “The torah tells us who the messiah is.” Yes.
            Here are a few of the words of God, recorded by Moses in the Torah regarding the Messiah.
            “The LORD [Yahweh] said to me: ‘What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.’” [Deuteronomy 18:17-18]

            Doesn’t this mean that the Messiah, when He comes, will be a Hebrew or Jewish man?

          • Dina says:

            Yes, Matthew, but so what?

          • Dina,
            What do you mean “so what”?
            You agree that the Messiah, when He comes, will be a Hebrew or Jewish man.
            So WHEN He comes, He will be “a son of man” and “human.”
            Right?

          • Dina says:

            Yes, Matthew.

            What I meant by “so what” is “what does this prove, exactly?”

            When the Messiah comes, he will be mortal, he will be human, he will be a son of man, and he will be Jewish.

            He will be a direct descendant of David from his father’s side through David’s son Solomon (2 Samuel 7:12-14; 1 Chronicles 22:9-10) . Jesus is not descended from David through his father’s side. The two genealogies in Christian scripture not only conflict each other but they both do not match the genealogy in 1 Chronicles 3.

            Moreover, the following will occur during his reign:

            INGATHERING OF THE JEWISH EXILES
            (Deuteronomy 30:3-4; Isaiah 11:12; Isaiah 43:5-6; Isaiah 49:12, 18, 22; Isaiah 60:4; Isaiah 66:20; Jeremiah 3:18; Jeremiah 30:3; Jeremiah 31:7; Jeremiah 32:37; Ezekiel 11:17; Ezekiel 20:41; Ezekiel 34:13; Ezekiel 36:24; Ezekiel 37:21)
            REBUILDING OF THE THIRD TEMPLE
            (Isaiah 2:2; Jeremiah 33:18; Ezekiel 37:26-28; Ezekiel 43:7; Ezekiel 44:15:-16; Micah 4:1)
            NATIONAL RESURGENCE OF TORAH OBSERVANCE
            (Deuteronomy 30:10; Jeremiah 31:32; Ezekiel 11:20; Ezekiel 36:27; Ezekiel 37:24; Ezekiel 44:23-24)
            UNIVERSAL PEACE
            (Isaiah 2:4; Isaiah 65:25; Jeremiah 33:9, 16; Ezekiel 34:25, 28; Ezekiel 37:26; Hosea 2:20; Psalm 72:3)
            UNIVERSAL KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
            (Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 45:23; Isaiah 54:13; Isaiah 66:18, 19, 23; Jeremiah 3:17; Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 38:23; Zephaniah 3:9; Zechariah 8:20-23; Zechariah: 14:16)
            PUNISHMENT OF PERSECUTORS OF THE JEWS/VINDICATION OF THE JEWS IN THE EYES OF THE NATIONS
            (Deuteronomy 30:7; Isaiah 17:12-14; Isaiah 25:1-8; Isaiah 30:26; Isaiah 30:28; Isaiah 34:1-35:10; Isaiah 40:1-11; Isaiah 49:8-13; Isaiah 52:7-10; Isaiah 60:1-3; Zephaniah 3:8-20; Zechariah 8:23; Psalm 9)

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, reffering to your response to Matthew, the ( Messiah) comes , does all the great things but one day he dies as he is sinful and all the glorious future continues for ever. At his coming people get resurrected so that they would live forever, but the messiah dies. Then he functions as a spirit….that is what I understood from your emails…. we die we are spirits. That is scary;-)

          • Dina says:

            Eric, why is the idea of resurrection so important to you when Jewish scripture focuses so little on it? All I need to know is what God wants of me, and God says it is so simple.

            Deuteronomy 10:12: “Now, O Israel, what does the Lord, your God, ask of you? Only to fear the Lord, your God, to go in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul, to observe the commandments of the Lord and His decrees, which I command you today for your benefit.”

            I don’t know when the resurrection will occur. Maybe before, maybe after. I don’t know what happens to the people who are still alive when it will occur. And frankly, I don’t care. It has nothing to do with why I worship God.

            Christians are looking for a good deal. Jews love God.

          • Eric says:

            Dina,,Ok, really quick response, today no time at all but will try up to catch up on tall the messages tomorrow. By the resurrection we see that God’s love is so great that He wants us to spend eternity with Him ! There will be time when He Himself will be living among people. Our life is not a quick episode to happen and finish. So that hope give us joy and Jesus the assurance that we will be free from the death one day ( at the resurrection) All is true what you said about what God requires from us how to live, I am not taking away from it, I am just adding the hope for the future and rejoicing in God’s love that is beyond the grave.
            One question? Are you God’s servant?

          • Eric says:

            By saying ‘ Christians are looking for good deal’ and worship God just for resurrection -that is very judgmental to say and completely not relevant as we love God the same as you would claim that you love Him.I am sure God wouldn’t want to spend eternity with those who don’t love Him. What in common they would have? Second, what does it mean to love God? It means to love others too. You can’t love God that you don’t see if you can’t love those whom you see who are created in His image.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, I think I gave pretty good reason to believe, as Jews and the overwhelming majority of Christians have believed for centuries, in the immortal soul and the afterlife. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one and let the audience decide who has the stronger argument.

            By the way, I think it’s much less scary to know that I have a continuing consciousness that can never die than to think that death is completely final, that with death comes oblivion.

          • Dina says:

            Besides, Eric, there is no room in your theology for people who never heard of Jesus, like the indigenous tribes of continents before they were discovered by Europeans. Is it fair that they should be denied everlasting life for their ignorance?

            What about the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust? What kind of God do you believe in that He would consign to everlasting death six million of His chosen people while their Christians murderers get everlasting life (I refer to even members of the clergy who encouraged or participated in this horror)?

          • Eric says:

            Dina, first of all you have to understand that not everybody who calls himself a Christian is a servant of God. Just because somebody decides to kill in my name does not mean Eric is a killer. That is what people used to do throughout the history killing others in the name of God. or Jesus I don’t believe anybody can be follower of Christ and kill. That is a ‘fake Christian’ somebody deceiving himself. If Jesus is your lord , you obey what He says, and he never said to kill. Jesus didn’t come justify our constant disobedience to God. If you want him as your lord, you turn away from sin.
            What about the others who didn’t hear about Jesus? God didn’t require from Abraham to fallow Jesus as he wasn’t known at that time. God required from Abraham ( and others living long before us ) to trust His words in whatever was revealed to them at that time ( of the history) by Him. Not all of God’s word was revealed to people right away. God didn’t hand over OT or NT to Adam on the first day of Adam’s life.
            Adam and Eve didn’t know about torah as it wasn’t written then, I am sure God didn’t require them to live based on torah, either but by trusting His promises. ( His word whatever word was directed to them).
            As far as now- we believe that God spoke through his son Jesus and gave us His promises about life with Him ( life free from everlasting death) , so we trust in what Jesus accomplished.
            .

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            I’m going to try to respond to all of your comments here. First, I owe you an apology. It was wrong of me to imply that Christians don’t love God and cynical to say that they’re just looking for a good deal. There are honest people on both sides of this debate, and I do not doubt your sincerity even as I think you are misguided (which surely you think of me as well). I am sorry and I ask for your forgiveness.

            Your focus on the resurrection is odd to me because the Torah doesn’t emphasize it. Furthermore, the Torah doesn’t promise us that we will only be resurrected if we place our faith in an individual. I challenge you to find me one verse that says that.

            The Torah tells us to choose life. Deuteronomy 30:15-20: “See, I have placed before you today the life and the good, and the death and the evil…I have placed life and death before you, blessing and curse; and you shall choose life, so that you will live…to love the Lord, your God…for He is your life and the length of your days.”

            Proverbs 3:18: [The Torah’s] ways are ways of pleasantness and all its pathways are peace. It is a tree of life to those who grasp it, and its supporters are praiseworthy.

            In Deuteronomy 4:2, God warns us not to add or subtract from His commandments. But Jesus came along and added a commandment (which I daresay replaced most if not all of God’s) that is so important, that even if one follows God’s decrees to the letter (and spirit), he will be eternally damned if he doesn’t follow Jesus’s one commandment to believe in him.

            If this is not disobedience to God, then I don’t know what the word “disobedience” means.

            You wrote, “Accepting Jesus means I am accepting the way of life you are showing that is living without sin.” Do you really mean that? Do you believe that you are living a life without sin because you accept Jesus? What happens to people who accept Jesus but who sin? You didn’t answer my question about that. (I know you said it would take you some time to answer my other challenges, so I’m just reminding you that I’m curious about your response to the genealogy problem, among others that I mentioned.)

            What happens to the indigenous peoples on previously undiscovered continents? You haven’t answered that either. How do you know that the pre-Jesus people are right with God? What does your scripture say about that, besides for, say, Mark 16:16 (He that believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believes not shall be damned) and John 3:36 (“He that believes in the son shall have everlasting life, and he that doesn’t believe in the son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides in him”)?

            Why were the pre-Jesus people able to obtain atonement without him? What happened all of a sudden that the guy who lived just before Jesus was fine without him while the guy who came right after suddenly needed him?

            You asked me if I am God’s servant. I’m not sure what your point is, but here is my answer:

            Isaiah 44:1: “But hear now, Jacob, My servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen. 21: Remember these things, Jacob and Israel, for you are My servant: I fashioned you to be My servant; Israel, do not forget Me!”

            I surely don’t always meet the standard, but I just as surely try.

            I have two questions for you.

            1. Are all Jews denied eternal salvation because they have not accepted Jesus (like me, for instance)?

            2. Of the famous Christians leaders and churchmen of the past, from the early church fathers until, say, 1600, are there any among them whom you regard highly? If so, would you tell me who they are?

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina,Did I answer your question about ; can I just sin without consequences? I think I kind of mentioned something about it before. If not clear, I say ;no, non sin is without consequences. God may find a way to teach us not to do things what He doesn’t like us to do. Is that clear? The same rule what applied to people in OT applies now. Listen to what God says and apply it into your life. Put your trust in Him. So why I would mention Jesus again? Because I believe – God gave the authority to him and He is continuing to speak to us through him.
            You said ; “In Deuteronomy 4:2, God warns us not to add or subtract from His commandments. But Jesus came along and added a commandment “ I am curious what did he add , how dared he to say “have love for each other” John 13;31-35 – :a new commandment I give to you”. Is ir really a new fact and people in OT didn’t know about it? To me it looks like it covers all the commandments of God about how we should live with our fellow people. If you love them you won’t steal, harm, cheat, kill etc. How dared Jesus say that new thing…if you find more let me know.
            You ask me ‘Do you believe that you are living a life without sin because you accept Jesus?” Are you living life without sin? For sure we all fail at some time. We do the same, God gives us understanding about sin, we repent and look for restoring our relationship with God. Was David happy after he sinned? I know that it affected his life to the end with no rest from his enemies.
            You asked;”How do you know that the pre-Jesus people are right with God?” I have no insight in others people whether they are right with God whether not. Why it should it be my business? It is between them and God.

            What do I think about “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believes not shall be damned”. What is believing first of all? It is not just mental possession of information or just knowledge . It is not ‘believing’ that usually ref errs only to ‘knowing that something exists’. Believing God is connected with trusting His words. You say ( God) that I do it. That shows He is our Lord whom we obey. What does it have to do with Jesus ( for those who believe in his testimony in NT) we say we trust in the words you are saying as they are words of God.
            Similar way was obeying what Moses was telling his people because he was put in charge of leading by God. Each time they didn’t want to listen to him, it meant they also weren’t trusting God. Each time they complained to him about lack of things, they complained about God.

          • Eric says:

            Dina,
            My quick answer to Your two questions;.
            1. Are all Jews denied eternal salvation because they have not accepted Jesus (like me, for instance)?
            Many Jewish people believe God about Jesus, I personally know a person who was so against and God answered him in prayer that Jesus is his servant). His name is Mike Evans ,he started Jerusalem Prayer Team, but I can’t speak about you all- I am not God to judge. He knows everybody , whether your trust in God is honest or not, whether your lack of proof about credibility of Jesus is justified or not , I can’t tell. It is between you guys and God.
            As far as famous Christians leaders and churchmen of the past, from the early church fathers until, say, 1600,- I don’t really rely on any and think of any at the moment. Most of them relate to catholic churches that has so little to do with truth.

          • Eric says:

            Dina, still finishing the answers .
            You said there is no room for my theology for those who have not heard of Jesus. What about the room for Judaism to those people on the other continents far away living in the past? Did they hear about torah???
            Before any missionary would ever reach them with either OT and NT they are left with whatever God revealed to them through His creation. How He exactly deals with them I have no further details.
            Another thought, Sophiee earlier stated; Jesus wasn’t a sacrifice, if he was killed it was a murder and abomination to God. But how justify the murder of all the people including children in 1 Samuel 15:2-3 . How does it justify your commandment of not to kill??? You will surely tell me that because Amalek were enemies of Israel at that time . If God had a reason for that killing, He surely had a reason to ‘get rid’ of our enemy which is eternal death , which is ‘done with’ by His son’s atoning death. If this as such ‘abomination’ I would say 1 Sam 15 is much bigger.
            Another thing if you can tell me whether Leviticus 16 looks as a ‘barbeque party’ to you???? A ‘barbeque’ with all the strict rules just for no significant purpose.

            According to you the word savior applies only to God and no one else can be called so…
            (…) when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies. Neh 9;27
            I know you will say, but we didn’t worship them. Once again, we honor Jesus for his everlasting redemption that came not out of him only but God who sent him for that purpose..

          • Dina,
            Thanks for your scholarship. According to what you presented, Jesus fits the profile of Messiah perfectly.
            Jesus was mortal, human, a son of man, and Jewish.
            Jesus was a direct descendant of David from his father’s side through David’s son Solomon. This is shown in the genealogy in Matthew, which is for Jesus’ earthly father Joseph.

            The genealogy in Luke is different because it is for Mary, mother of Jesus. It’s a subtle point, easy to miss, but it begins, ‘He was the son, SO IT WAS THOUGHT, of Joseph,… [Luke 3:23] not “He WAS the son of Joseph.” So the 2 genealogies don’t conflict at all, rather they reinforce the point that Jesus is the Son of David, on both sides.

            As for the second part of your objections, “the following will occur during his reign:”
            Of course they have not been completely fulfilled yet – Messiah is not reigning yet on earth !!! But He will reign when He returns in glory at the end of the age. Would you agree?

          • Dina says:

            Hi Matthew.

            According to that, my great-grandfather fits the profile of the Messiah perfectly as well. He was mortal, human,son of man, and Jewish. And like many thousands of Jewish men today, he may well have been directly descended from David on his father’s side. Moreover, he suffered and died at the hands of the Nazis. So maybe he’ll come back in a “second coming,” eh?

            As for the genealogy in Luke, there’s nothing in the text to show it’s Mary’s. In fact, that defies logic. Luke 3:23: “He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli.” Notice how “the son of Heli” directly follows Joseph. If the genealogy was Mary’s, Luke should have written, “He was the son…of Joseph, husband of Mary, daughter of etc.” The NIV inserts the words “son of” because it was obvious to those translators that it was talking about Joseph the son, not Mary the daughter.

            Joseph wasn’t Jesus’s biological father. Tribal lineage, unlike inheritance rights, cannot be passed through adoption.

            I don’t know why you don’t see a problem with with the genealogies not matching Chronicles, just because it is less authoritative than the Torah.

            You know, Matthew, the very people who decided the Torah was most authoritative, followed by the Prophets, followed by the Writings–the very people who decided which prophets to include in the canon of Hebrew Scripture–are the very people who rejected the “New Testament.” Why trust them on the one and not the other?

          • Dina,
            One final objection you made was that the genealogies in Matthew & Luke “do not match the genealogy in 1 Chronicles 3.”

            I have not analyzed 1 Chronicles 3 to see where something does “not match”, and I’m not sure what specifically you are referring to .

            However, as Jew you should know that the Book of Chronicles (later divided in 2) was never part of the authoritative parts of the Hebrew Scriptures, Torah or Prophets. It is part of the third, least authoritative category, the Writings, or Kethuvim, which include things like Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes. Yes it’s Scripture, and has some value. But as you know it isn’t Torah. Or The Prophets either.

          • Dina,
            The genealogy in the Book of Matthew ends, QUOTE:
            “and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of MARY, OF WHOM WAS BORN JESUS, who is called Christ.” [Matthew 1:16]

            So Matthew wrote Joseph’s genealogy. Luke wrote Mary’s genealogy. Matthew tells us here that Jesus was born of Mary, not that Joseph was the father of Jesus. It’s a subtle distinction, as is the distinction Luke makes. But they are both there, if you have eyes to see. Joseph served as the earthly father of Jesus and husband of Mary the mother of Jesus. So we agree that Joseph was not Jesus’ biological father.

            I’m glad we also agree that “Chronicles, is less authoritative than the Torah.” I have not seen any specific explanation of what exactly in Chronicles “doesn’t match” what. But, we agree on the priorities in the Hebrew Scriptures – Torah and The Prophets. Certain parts of the Writings may be just wrong, and that is why they have always been considered by true Torah-observant Jews as less authoritative and not “the Word of God.”

            One could debate endlessly about “what Solomon really meant” in writing “there is nothing new under the sun,” just as many Christians debate endlessly about “what Paul really meant” in his letters. It doesn’t matter that much. The OT Writings and the NT letters are somewhat useful, but they are not the Word of God.

            Do you have any other specific objection from The Law or The Prophets as to why Jesus could not be the Jewish Messiah?

          • Dina says:

            Matthew, I don’t know what you’re trying to prove from that quote in Matthew.

            There’s a genealogical problem, and you haven’t solved it. Just compare them to 1 Chronicles 3 to see that they don’t match. You don’t need any “specific explanations.” You can see it for yourself.

            Anyway. We don’t agree about the authoritativeness of these books, because the word “authoritative” means different things to us. Torah-observant Jews still consider the rest of Tanach to be true and written by divine inspiration. By the way, so do Christians, besides for you.

            My objections are taken from the entire Tanach and here they are:

          • Dina,
            You wrote, QUOTE:
            “the very people who decided which prophets to include in the canon of Hebrew Scripture–are the very people who rejected the “New Testament.”

            I also reject the “New Testament” as “One Book” which is all equally authoritative and all “the word of God,” but I accept the Testimony of Jesus recorded by Matthew Mark Luke & John as the word of God, in harmony with Torah and The Prophets.

            I don’t think the word “canon” appears anywhere in the pages of either the Tanakh or the New Testament. Does it? And wasn’t the Book of Daniel originally in the Writings, and then moved to The Prophets?

            Below is a link showing the origin of the idea of a “New Testament.”
            http://www.jesuswordsonly.com/recommendedreading/56-marcionism.html

          • Dina says:

            Okay, Matthew, I’ll reword it:

            The very people who decided which prophets to include in Hebrew Scripture are the very people who rejected the four gospels.

          • Dina,
            What is your source for your statement? – QUOTE:
            “The very people who decided which prophets to include in Hebrew Scripture are the very people who rejected the four gospels.”

            Which people? When? And when did they reclassify the Book of Daniel from being just the “Writings” into “The Prophets” category? Did they “reject the four gospels” because they were presented with the same false choice that most people think of today – namely, that either all of the “New Testament” is 100% true, or none of it is? I don’t know everything, but I am willing to listen and learn from others.

          • Dina
            I have never heard the term Tanach-observant Jew.”
            Does anyone say that? Or is it only “Torah-observant Jew”?

          • Dina says:

            Matthew, I’ll try to respond to your comments here.

            Historians agree that Jewish rabbis sealed the Hebrew Bible canon. It’s also well known that they didn’t accept the Christian gospels. Furthermore, in the Jewish Bible, the Book of Daniel is not included in the Prophets but is included in the Writings.

            It’s not like the rabbis didn’t include it because of some sort of choice that was presented to them. They simply ignored it, if they even were aware of its existence. It wasn’t even up for discussion. There is no historical record of a rabbinical dispute about it. The insertion of the gospels into the canon was done by Christians.

            About the verse that a prophet has never arisen like Moses, it was also written many hundreds of years before Samuel and all the other prophets. So that point is irrelevant (forgive me).

            The passage in Deuteronomy that you keep saying refers to the Messiah has never been understood as such by Jews. The classic understanding follows the plain meaning of the verse: “A prophet from your midst, from your brethren like me” simply means that just as Moses was from our midst and from our brethren, the future Jewish leader (Joshua, especially, but those who followed him as well) would also be from our midst and from our brethren.

            As for the term “Torah observant,” observant Jews use the word “Torah” loosely to refer to Tanach and often also to include the Talmud. So when we say “Torah observant” we mean Orthodox Jews. In other words, Pharisees. Did you know that all Jews today are descended from the hated Pharisees? I’m a Pharisee.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Dina,
            Thank you for taking time for this thoughtful informative response- it has helped my gain more understanding. It appears we have no disagreement that the word “canon” is a human tradition that came later, outside of the Torah, the whole “Tanach”, and the whole “New Testament.” Yet we agree that the Hebrew Scriptures consists of Torah, Prophets, and Writings, in descending order of authority and importance, (which agrees with Jesus’ teachings recorded in the Gospels.)

            If you believe in a coming Jewish Messiah prophesied in the Torah (which we both do), it is a mystery to me why anyone would look at Deuteronomy 18:15 and not see this as a clear prophecy about the Messiah and commandment to listen to Him. I don’t see any reason this doesn’t refer to Jesus… or at least why it COULDN’T refer to Jesus.

            Thanks for your clear summary of the teaching of the Pharisees, QUOTE:
            “Observant Jews use the word “Torah” loosely to refer to Tanach and often also to include the Talmud. So when we say “Torah observant” we mean Orthodox Jews. In other words, Pharisees.”

            You use the term for God’s Word loosely – Torah, Law, God’s Word – just like Paul the Pharisee! Paul wrote: “All Scripture is God-breathed.” Jesus never said that. No other New Testament author ever wrote that. Maybe you can help me. Did anyone in the pages of the Torah, Prophets or Writings ever write such a thing?

            Modern Christian Pharisees today consistently refer to the 66 books of the Bible as one Book which is “the inerrant word of God.” They falsely say the the words of Paul are equal to the words of Jesus. Yet in essence, you are doing the same sort of thing, claiming to be “Torah observant” when you really are following other traditions that came later, in the Tanach or even the Talmud. No offense, but would you agree?

            A good question to consider would be SHOULD you use the word “Torah” loosely if you are really “Torah observant”? Jesus did not! If you read the 4 Gospels, you will find that when Jesus spoke and used the term “The Law” Jesus meant one and only one thing – The Torah, the Law of Moses. Nothing else.

            Jesus taught against the Pharisees of His day, speaking of “their law” and “your law” to them, because they were using the term “law” loosely to refer to “All Scripture.” But to Jesus “The Law” = “Torah” and Torah only.

            By the way, there were at least 2 Pharisees whose hearts were right and they were specifically mentioned by name in the Gospels – Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.

            The LORD bless you and keep you,
            Matthew

          • Dina says:

            Hi Matthew.

            I’m puzzled by your objection to the word “canon,” which simply means a list of written works. The Hebrew biblical canon simply means the collection of writings that make up the Hebrew Bible.

            As for Deuteronomy 18:15, Sophiee gave a good reason why it can’t and doesn’t refer to Jesus. The only reason you think it refers to the Messiah is because the Messiah is so central to your worship. If you read the Torah from beginning to end without any preconceived notions about Jesus or the messiah, you would never reach this conclusion. I think it’s almost impossible for you to set aside that bias and read it like I do, but I wish you could so you would see what I mean. Oh well.

            As for what Jesus said and did, since the gospels have zero credibility and Jesus is completely meaningless to me (sorry, I don’t mean to offend), then what he said is irrelevant (again, no offense meant).

            I know Jesus taught against the Pharisees. I know too well. The tragic consequences of those teachings lie heavily on my people’s past and should give pause to any Christian who considers their moral legacy.

            Peace and blessings to you too,
            Dina

          • Dina,
            You wrote, QUOTE:
            “Historians agree that Jewish rabbis sealed the Hebrew Bible canon.
            I’m puzzled by your objection to the word “canon,” which simply means a list of written works. The Hebrew biblical canon simply means the collection of writings that make up the Hebrew Bible.”

            “Canon,” “Bible,” “Tanach,” “Old Testament,” “New Testament” are all words created by men, none of which appear in the text the Jewish or Christian Scriptures anywhere. It is presupposing that men have the authority to make one definitive list of Scriptures that they give one name to, which may include the Torah but has additional writings as well.

            It’s not a good idea to do that, because it blurs the distinction between the Word of God and words of men. Unlike most Christians, at least many Jews understand theoretically that there are 3 categories of Scripture in descending level of authority, Torah Prophets, Writings.

            But rather than thinking and maintaining the distinction, it’s “easier” to just make up a new word, “Tanach”, and then use the word “Torah” loosely to refer generally to all 3 categories of Scripture, plus maybe some other traditions for good measure. That’s the teaching of Paul the Pharisee – “all Scripture is God-breathed.”

            To speak of a “Hebrew Bible” is begging the question, assuming there should be “A Bible.” Christians would say it’s 66 Books, Jews would disagree. But you are both agreeing as Pharisees that there is “One Book” which is “the Word of God” which includes the Torah (and the Prophets) but also other books! You are indirectly putting the Writings on the same level as Torah, treating them as the Word of God when they are not! This is just the same as what Christian Pharisees do with the letters of Paul the Pharisee.

            If you are really “Tanach observant” rather than “Torah observant” wouldn’t it be less confusing to just say so?

          • Dina says:

            Hi Matthew.

            I don’t understand why the name people decide to give their sacred texts matters. Even if it does matter, it’s a distraction from the main issue. Who has the truth? That’s what we need to figure out first.

          • Dina,
            If it really doesn’t matter to you, why do you insist on calling yourself “Torah observant”
            rather than “Tanach observant” or “Talmud observant”? 😉

          • Dina says:

            Matthew, you can call me whatever you would like .

            You can also call me a rabbinic Jew. Or you can call me a Pharisee.

          • Dina,
            What I’m asking is, what do YOU call yourself, and why? I don’t want to put my own label on you. I want to understand what you really believe, and what is the basis for your belief. Based on what you’ve written, “Tanach & Talmud observant” seems like a more accurate description than “Torah observant.” Wouldn’t you agree?

          • Dina says:

            Matthew, if someone asks me what my religion is, I say Orthodox Judaism. I use this term because that is the label commonly given to the practice of traditional Judaism.

            I hope this helps,
            Dina

          • Hi Dina,
            This is a good response that would be popular and commonly accepted by many religious people. “Welcome to the middle ground – it’s safe and sound.”

            Typically, it’s a claim to be “Orthodox” and a vague reference to “One sacred text” and the religious traditions surrounding that one text – but without clearly distinguishing between the sacred text and the tradition, and without identifying different authority levels for different parts of the text.

            In essence, the response of a Christian Pharisee would be similar- something like this:
            “I’ve been a Bible-believing Christian all my life. I believe in Historic Orthodox Christianity. The whole Bible is The Word of God, and I believe all of it, because the Bible tells us “All Scripture is God-breathed.” We can’t pick and choose which parts we like and which parts we don’t – it’s all inerrant and can’t be questioned. You shouldn’t listen to those heretics who love to bash our great Apostle Paul, the “Apostle to the Gentiles.” As for Bible teachers, I’ve been listening to Chuck for an hour a day every day for years, and I agree with everything he says. Of course he isn’t perfect, none of us are. But why would you insist that he is wrong on a particular point? Don’t be rebellious. Don’t touch the Lord’s anointed!”

          • Dina says:

            Dear Matthew,

            You are entitled to your opinion.

            Respectfully,
            Dina

    • LarryB says:

      Matt
      14You say that Peter “briefly mentioned Paul in a passing reference, putting distance between them, while trying to find something good to say about his enemy.” Lets look at that.
      “(14So then, my dear friends, while you are waiting, do your best to live blameless and unsullied lives so that he will find you at peace.
      15 Think of our Lord’s patience as your opportunity to be saved; our brother Paul, who is so dear to us, told you this when he wrote to you with the wisdom that he was given.
      16 He makes this point too in his letters as a whole wherever he touches on these things. In all his letters there are of course some passages which are hard to understand, and these are the ones that uneducated and unbalanced people distort, in the same way as they distort the rest of scripture–(Torah) to their own destruction.
      17 Since you have been forewarned about this, my dear friends, be careful that you do not come to the point of losing the firm ground that you are standing on, carried away by the errors of unprincipled people.”) This is far from a milk toast warning and looks like complete support to me.

      • LarryB says:

        today we have J, and peter telling us that the ultimate source of truth is scripture (torah).

        • LarryB
          The ultimate source of truth is the testimony of Jesus recorded by Matthew Mark Luke & John, backed up by the Torah and the Prophets. Not “All Scripture.”

          • LarryB says:

            thats not what J said.

          • LarryB says:

            Matthew
            You said you accept the testimony of Jesus recorder by Matthew, mark Luke and Paul. Well, my Christian bible has 5 full pages of introduction of Matthew and they call him The Unknown Author. So much for testimony. Mark has two pages of introduction, and is considered to be the first of the gospels. Unfortunately the author is “anonymous”. And 70 years later. Luke was real and it seems to written Acts. Like you said. Then there is Paul, and since you already said he was wrong I’ll stop here.
            1. Matthew unknown
            2. Mark anonymous
            3. Luke real
            4. Paul wrong
            I think you have been a youth minister too long. Maybe kids would believe you but common.

          • LarryB
            That was Matthew Mark Luke & JOHN. The 4 Gospel writers who recorded the testimony of Jesus. Which “Christian bible ” are you using? The introductions to the books are not authoritative, and not part of the Bible. They are simply some person’s opinion. Human tradition.

            In my 21 years of knowing Jesus, I’ve never heard or read anyone who said that the 4 Gospel writers did not write the books that bear their names. I’m glad you took a moment to look at by old blog. You can reach me at MatthewMontebello@hotmail.com if needed. Since you have a desire to look to The Torah for truth about the Messiah and you have a Jewish perspective, there is a lot I can learn from you.

          • LarryB says:

            Matthew
            JOHN, his gospel contains many details about Jesus not found in the synoptic gospels, e.g. That Jesus engaged in a baptizing ministry before he changed to one of preaching and signs. Unfortunately, although tradition, ( to you that would mean Mans tradition, ) identified this person as John, the son of Zebedee, most scholars find that the evidence does not support this. One more thing, the introductions are just as authoritive as Everything you think, do, and say.

          • LarryB says:

            Matthew, you wrote “Since you have a desire to look to The Torah for truth about the Messiah and you have a Jewish perspective, there is a lot I can learn from you.” I have no interest in learning the truth about the messiah, as you think, my interest is learning what god teaches, and incorporating that into my life. Which I fail at miserably, so you cannot learn from me. One more thing, if you have not read about the authors of the N.T., its time you learned about your bible. I could tell you who wrote my bible but it’s not the best money can buy and I would not want to limit your search. You’ll have to find out on your own. But may I suggest, start with the Torah. At least there you know who the author is.

          • Dina says:

            Larry, you must be doing a pretty good job because Matthew thinks you’re Jewish 🙂

            It took a great sensitivity to the truth and a lot of courage to get to where you are today. Don’t be so hard on yourself 🙂

          • LarryB
            I appreciate your insights and advice, and I agree with you on a number of points. As you know from the Torah, every matter should be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses, and a man’s testimony about himself is not valid. Jesus even applied this Law to himself. Perhaps that is why Jesus didn’t write his own book, like Muhammad or Joseph Smith of the Mormons or many other cult leaders.

            Jesus had 4 other witnesses make written records of His personal life, actions, and teachings, 2 of whom (Matthew & John) followed Him personally for 3 ½ years. So Jesus followed the Torah on this point. (Unlike Paul, who deceitfully gave himself the title “Apostle to the Gentiles” and said; “follow me.” But Paul has no witnesses to back him up.)

            Man’s tradition is not necessarily right or wrong. I would say it must be examined in light of God’s commandments (Torah & Prophets) and the testimony of Jesus the Jewish Messiah, (the Torah made flesh.) I think you might say simply, “The Torah”, and that’s fine – lets start with that.

            You are right, John’s Gospel reveals some different aspects of the ministry of Jesus that are not revealed by the other Gospels. Why would this be strange? If the other 3 Gospels were already written, and John had seen those writings, why repeat all the same things again as a fourth witness? Why not fill in some gaps about important details that were missing? Since John was perhaps the Apostle who was personally closest to Jesus, John had deep personal insight to add.

            I still don’t know which mysterious “Christian Bible” you are using that has these long “introductions” to the Gospel books. But I agree with you that, standing alone, “the introductions are just as authoritive as Everything you think, do, and say.” Yes – that is to say, neither I nor “the introductions” are authoritative on their own. Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses, according to Torah.

            I believe you agree that God teaches us about The Messiah in the Torah, which we should apply in our lives.
            Moses spoke to your people:
            “The LORD Yahweh your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. YOU MUST LISTEN TO HIM.” [Deuteronomy 18:15]

            Wouldn’t you agree that this is a command of God, given through Moses in the Torah, which you need to incorporate into your life today? And isn’t Moses referring to the Jewish Messiah here, telling you to listen to HIM? We all fail miserably at things sometimes. But God is never far away, and we will find Him if we turn to Him and seek Him with all our hearts, with “a new set of feelings.”

            I agree with your suggestion to “start with the Torah”, and I have started right here with text of The Torah. I want to obey God’s commandment to listen to The Messiah.

            Regarding the N.T., the best source to start with is the text of the 4 Gospels themselves. Although I’l never know it all, and there are always new insights to be gained, I have spent a great amount of time in the 4 Gospels. It was 21 years ago that I actually opened a Bible and started to read them, trying to understand who Jesus was, and that is when Jesus revealed Himself to me personally.

            You will notice in the text of the 4 Gospels that the authors go way out of their way not to talk about themselves. The Gospels are not about the authors, they are about Jesus. They put the focus on Jesus, where it belongs, not on themselves and their own feelings, experiences and supposed credentials. This is the polar opposite of Paul the Pharisee in his letters, filled with boastful self-promotion, testimony about his own feelings, experience, ministry, intentions, emotions, travel plans, etc. and false teaching.

            I have not found anything in the text of the 4 Gospels to indicate that the Gospel writers did not write the Books that bear their names, or that there is really any relevance in considering that. It seems like a non-issue to me. I’m interested to lisen to the voice of Jesus recorded in the Books.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Matthew.

            You addressed this to Larry, so forgive me once again for taking the liberty of responding. The idea of establishing a matter by two or three witnesses applies to a court of law, so you took that out of context. Jesus didn’t leave any writings behind (unlike most Jewish leaders who preceded him, including Moses and the prophets) and he also talked an awful lot about himself (also unlike Moses and the prophets). Can you imagine Moses or Isaiah commanding the people to “believe in me” or do something “for my sake”?

            I’m sorry to repeat myself, but the verse you keep pointing to that says we have to listen to the prophet absolutely does not refer to the Messiah. You are reading your theology into the text.

            You wrote: “I’m interested to listen to the voice of Jesus recorded in the Books.” How about the voice of God? God’s voice is curiously absent in the gospels. We don’t see Jesus saying “the Lord said to me” or “God said” or “so saith the Lord.” Something to consider, no?

          • “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’”
            [Matthew 3:16-17]

            ”a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’” [Matthew 17:5]

          • Dina says:

            An unidentified voice, twice in all of Christian scripture. Jesus never says “God said to me,” nor does the scripture relate that “God said” anything.

            Even if you want to say that the voice has to be God’s, the mere paucity of His voice in your scripture should trouble you.

          • LarryB says:

            MAtthew
            “You will notice in the text of the 4 Gospels that the authors go way out of their way not to talk about themselves.”
            “I have not found anything in the text of the 4 Gospels to indicate that the Gospel writers did not write the Books that bear their names, ”
            …………….That is because they did not talk about themselves.
            “or that there is really any relevance in considering that”
            …………… somehow I bet mormons / Islamers say the same thing. They got their book and are happy with that.
            “It seems like a non-issue to me”
            …………..thats because You have a particular mind set. You know, don’t confuse me with facts kind of thing. From what you say here when quoting from the torah, you have not learned the meaning of the text from the very people charged with teaching it. Being a light unto the nations was a little more than lighting the menorah and putting it in the window. I would say trust that you were drawn to this web site to get a different point of view of your belief and then thats the free will decision you have to make.

          • LarryB says:

            Dina
            What courage, I still havent told my mom.

          • Dina says:

            That is really tough, Larry. I don’t blame you.

          • LarryB
            Generally speaking, the recipe for a cult is,
            One book, written by one man, who is “above the law” and can never be questioned because he claims God spoke to him, so he MAKES the law.

            Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon.
            Muhammad wrote the Koran.
            Paul the Pharisee wrote some letters.

            You don’t seem too familiar with the 4 Gospels- most people are not. But the issue of who wrote them is like a walk in the park compared to the question of who wrote the Torah. Do you think Moses was in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve? I don’t question the “authorship” of Moses, although I think we need to use the term a bit loosely in this case.

          • Dina,
            No offense, but you don’t know the Gospels very well.

            The words of Jesus speaking:
            “God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.” [Luke 11:49]

            Jesus said:
            “’Father, glorify your name!’
            Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.’” [John 12:28]

            Jesus said:
            “The Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me.” [John 5:37]

            “A voice came from the cloud, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.’” [Luke 9:35]

          • Dina says:

            Okay, Matthew, I stand corrected. You found four instances of God’s voice (sort of) in the gospels. That’s still a remarkable paucity that should trouble you. Why is God so quiet, so absent, from your scripture?

      • LarryB
        So you agree that neither Jesus, nor Peter nor John nor any of the Original 12 Apostles ever recognized Paul as an apostle in any way? And there are only 12 Apostles, with the 12th being Matthias, therefore Paul was not an apostle?

    • LarryB says:

      I guess we disagree with how much of the NT Paul wrote. Lets say your right, he only wrote 1/3 of the NT, if I were to agree with you on how wrong Paul is, thats plenty enough reason for me to reject the whole thing. You say Torah Torah Torah, well the torah tells us who the messiah is. It aint jesus. You would claim differently but I would no more listen to a Rabbi to explaign the NT to me any more than I would listen to an evangelist minister tell me what the Torah teaches. i apologise for saying anything to you, I got hurt on the job last week and I get a little chatty when taking pain medication.

      • Hi LarryB
        Here are the composition percentages of the New Testament by author
        By chapter count:

        The Apostle Matthew 28
        Mark 16
        Luke 52
        The Apostle John 50
        Paul the Pharisee 87
        Anonymous author of Hebrews 13
        James half brother of Jesus (Jacob) 5
        The Apostle Peter 8
        Jude half brother of Jesus 1

        Total chapters of the New Testament, 260
        87 / 260 = 33.46% written by Paul the Pharisee
        Anyone with a Bible can easily verify these figures.

        Two notes:
        .1) The author of Hebrews chose to remain anonymous, and no knows, or can know for sure, who wrote this book. There is no proof that Paul wrote it, but on the contrary there is evidence that Paul did NOT write it. In all Paul’s letters, Paul very publicly took credit. So if someone tells you “Paul wrote Hebrews”, you will know that they are, at best, ignorant, deceived, misinformed, and relying on the incorrect opinions of other men, rather than taking the time to look at the text of Hebrews and think for themselves.

        .2) Luke wrote the Book of Acts, not Paul. It is a narrative. Yes, a lot of the book is “about Paul.” The Bible also contains a lot of chapters of narrative about other sinful characters, like Samson, King Saul, King Solomon, Jonah…

        I would agree that “The Torah” could be considered a “whole thing,” the 5 Books of Moses being given to us by God as “One Book”, The Book of the Law.

        However, neither the New Testament nor The Bible, nor even “The Tanakh,” was given to us by God as “One Book” or a “whole thing.” They were given as collections of writings, with an order of priority and authority. Would you agree?

        • LarryB says:

          You seem to have your own set of facts, so who wrote the torah?

          • LarryB
            Anyone with a Bible can check these facts- they are not my own. I just took a little trouble to examine the text of the Bible, and you have not disagreed. I don’t claim to know everything, I’m sure there are some points where I can learn from you as well.

            Moses wrote the Torah – but I don’t mean that with mindset of an American lawyer. I am sure Moses must have used some sources, and where it’s written that “Moses was the most humble man on the earth” I think this was probably inserted by someone else. But these details really do not matter. Would you agree?

          • LarryB says:

            I should not try and correct you, your the educated one and trust me, Im the bottom feed around here. The last one you should talk to about such things. One of the problems i have with the NT is many of the authors are unknown or, Like with John, it’s thought many authors wrote it. Since it was written so many years later, its nothing more than an “oral gosple” to me. Nothing done at the time. not trust worthy, or just flat out wrong like as you said Paul was. Do you think the book of the Law is no longer valid? The one book you say god gave us?

          • LarryB
            The whole idea of a “New Testament”, which replaces the “Old Testament” was started by the Second Century heretic Marcion. Here is a link. (This website has a huge amount of other detailed articles to expose Paul worship, most of which I have not had time to read, because I already get the big idea. But I would recommend starting with this one. )

            http://www.jesuswordsonly.com/recommendedreading/56-marcionism.html

            I would not exactly say that God didn’t give us other books in the Bible. But the big picture is, it’s a collection of books, just as the Tanakh is, not all “one book.” Yes, Torah is the most important part of “the Tanakh.” This has been generally accepted by many, maybe most Jews, for millennia, including Jesus.

            Likewise, I see the 4 Gospels as the most important part of the “New Testament”, and this happens to exactly be the Orthodox view (as in Eastern Orthodox Christian.) So it isn’t some new idea started by me.

            When Solomon wrote “everything is meaningless” and “there is nothing new under the sun” these are not the commandments or teaching or truth of God. They are just Solomon’s sinful feelings based on his own sinful experience. A lot of Paul’s writings are like that. Paul was frequently wrong.

            I would say Jesus is the Torah made flesh. He did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. Not everything is fulfilled yet. Certainly the basic moral law has not changed. But Jesus fulfilled the need for an atoning sacrifice, so we don’t need to kill animals in the temple in Jerusalem any more. We can look to Jesus our Messiah, and come into right relationship with Yahweh through His Son Yahshua.

          • LarryB says:

            Matthew
            The problem I have with your version of religion, i admit i truly do not know what your beliefs are, but it seems to continue to point back to Jesus. I do not believe he is the messiah, or god made flesh. I do not believe I need someone to die for my sins, the very thought makes me sick. Strangely you think its love. You already know all the verses real scripture, Torah, teaches against what you believe, you simply choose to ignore or believe what you desire.

          • Eric says:

            LarryB, Wouldn’t the view of all the animals slaughtered and offered for atonement at that time in the OT make you sick too?? That would make me sicker than, knowing about Jesus who chose to give his life for my redemption to everlasting life, and to save me from God’s wrath.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, I have a bad habit of jumping in and answering questions that are not addressed to me. Please forgive! Not all animal sacrifices were for atonement. Some were for thanksgiving, some were for holidays. And in most cases (except for a particular sacrifice called an olah), the priests and the people ate the sacrifices. Roast meat, yum!

            Throughout human history down to our own times animals were slaughtered for human consumption. Do you find that sickening?

            (Instead of bringing your hens to the butcher you bring them to the priest.)

          • Eric says:

            Dina,Still, anyways, any animal slaughter would make me sick if I had to repeat it all the time year after year, even if they were for my consumption. Why didn’t God tell you to bring veggies if it was just a food-party? I am just saying that there is no reason to be soooo ‘sick’ about Jesus because he once paid for us with his life.

          • LarryB,
            The passages I’ve been quoting from Torah and the Prophets DO seem to be pointing to Jesus. You agree that these writings point to a coming Jewish Messiah. Can you give any specifics why you think it couldn’t be Jesus? I appreciate your honesty to say bluntly, “I do not believe he is the messiah, or god made flesh.”

            You know the command following the Shema to “talk about them” [Deuteronomy 6:1-7] For a Jew,what could be more important to discuss than “who is the Jewish Messiah”? If it’s not Jesus, than certainly you as a Jew should be able to open the Torah and the Prophets and show me why not. Wouldn’t you agree?

          • Dina says:

            Matthew, I hope you don’t mind my responding although you addressed this to Larry. You did not quote Deuteronomy accurately but twisted it for rhetorical effect. Deuteronomy clearly identifies the pronoun “them”: “And these matters that I command you today shall be upon your heart. You shall teach them thoroughly to your children and you shall speak of them etc.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).

            “Them” refers to “these matters that I command you today.” That’s obvious, isn’t it? God commands us to teach and talk about His commandments. Nowhere in Hebrew scripture does God command us to speculate on the person of the Messiah. Who should Larry listen to, Matthew or God?

            The person of the Messiah is central to Christianity but irrelevant to Judaism. So your question “For a Jew,what could be more important to discuss than ‘who is the Jewish Messiah’?” is irrelevant. As a Jew, I find it a strange question.

            What passages do you see in our Scripture that points to Jesus? I must have missed that.

          • Dina,
            You wrote, QUOTE:
            “The person of the Messiah is central to Christianity but irrelevant to Judaism.”
            Really?
            What do you do with this command in the Torah given by Moses:
            “The LORD Yahweh your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. YOU MUST LISTEN TO HIM.” [Deuteronomy 18:15]

            Are you listening?

          • Dina says:

            Yes, really, Matthew.

            Have you looked at Deuteronomy 34:10: Never again has there arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses?

            So how do you resolve that?

            Besides, what in the verse you quoted proves it’s talking about Jesus? The prophets Samuel, Isaiah and the rest fit the bill nicely.

            Isaiah 43:10: You are My witnesses, the word of the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen.

            God’s chosen witnesses have been testifying to His truth for over 3,000 years. Are you listening? Are you listening to the testimony of God’s witnesses?

          • Dina
            I don’t see what there is to “resolve” about Deuteronomy 34:10:
            “Never again has there arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses.”
            This is written in the Torah, many hundreds of years before Yahshua the Messiah came. So of course He had not already arisen when Deuteronomy was written.

            In Deuteronomy 18:15 Moses speaks of “a prophet” and “him”. Not “prophets” and “them”. I hope you can enlighten this Gentile Goi. Isn’t this passage almost universally recognized among Jews as a clear reference to The Messiah?

          • Sophiee says:

            When the Torah speaks of a single prophet the word for prophet is applied with the definite article (and, occasionally, with an additional preposition or conjunction), such as, ביאִנָּהַ (ha’naVI), the prophet, ביאִנָּהַוְ
            (veha’naVI), and the prophet, ביאִנָּלַ (la’naVI), to the prophet, etc., it always refers to a specific individual. In contrast, whenever the term is applied without a definite article (and, occasionally, with an additional preposition or conjunction), such as נביא (a prophet) or ונביא (and a prophet) or even לנביא (to a prophet) unless connected explicitly with a name or somehow identified elsewhere in nearby text – it is used in a generic sense. Without the clear distinctions I’ve given the way the Hebrew is understood (as in Deuteronomy 18) it is speaking not of ONE SPECIFIC PROPHET but rather of the office of “prophet.” You can even see this in Deuteronomy 13:2 which speaks of false prophets.

            Take a look at the wording in Deuteronomy 18:18 which says “and I (G-d) will put My words in his mouth and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him.” Now read Isaiah 59:21 which says “”My words which I have placed in your mouth; shall not depart from your mouth and from the mouth of your offspring. . .” No check out Jeremiah 1:9 “I have put My words in your mouth”

            Deuteronomy 18:9-22 speaks of the prophets (plural) who came after Moses. Jesus was not a prophet (well, maybe a false one) as none of his so-called prophecies came to pass. http://thejewishhome.org/counter/Deut18.pdf

          • Eric says:

            Sophiee,What about listening to these ‘plural’ prophets; Zechariah was stoned in the porch of the Temple by order of King Joash, because the Prophet had denounced the people for their unfaithfulness (2 Chrn 24:20-22)
            Jeremiah wasn’t appreciated for the message he was sharing to the people.
            Unnumbered unnamed prophets of the Lord were put to death by Jezebel, in the time of Elijah (1 Kgs 18:4, 13; 19:14). She wanted to wipe out the worship of the Lord, and replace it with the worship of Baal.
            No wonder that Jesus won’t be appreciated even for being the servant of God.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, the people who were doing the killing and/or rejecting were wicked, not righteous. Ultimately, all of Israel accepted the books of these prophets into the canon of the Hebrew Bible. Obviously, there was a remnant, a righteous remnant, that was listening to the prophet (for example, with Jeremiah there were clearly two factions, one that persecuted him and one that was loyal to him).

            The people who ultimately accepted all these prophets rejected Jesus. Why trust God’s witnesses on the one and not the other?

          • Eric says:

            Dina, who says to trust only on one or the other ( prophet)? If they all are sent by God for a purpose you listen to them all.

          • Dina says:

            Okay, fine, Eric, one more thing (I can’t resist, after all). I must not have been clear. I was talking about the nation of Israel as a witness testifying about the credibility of the prophets. The nation of Israel held the prophets of the Hebrew Bible to be true prophets and included them in the canon. This very same nation rejected Jesus. It doesn’t make sense to trust the nation of Israel on their testimony in the one case (the Hebrew prophets) and reject it in the other case (Jesus). Either the nation of Israel is a reliable witness, or it isn’t.

            I hope that helps,
            Dina

          • Hi Sophiee,
            Thank you for your scholarly response- I don’t know much Hebrew.
            I agree with you that in a general overall sense, Deuteronomy 18:9-22 speaks of the prophets (plural) who came after Moses.

            However, I am left wondering about the use of the word “prophet” (and surrounding grammar, singular vs. plural, generic, etc.) in the specific verses Deuteronomy 18:15, 18 & 19. Those were the specific verses I was bringing up, but you didn’t directly address them.

            I’m not insisting that these verses could not ALSO have a larger meaning of “prophets.” Yet I find it hard to believe that “prophet” absolutely cannot mean “prophet” but it HAS to mean “prophets.”

            Do you believe in the coming Jewish Messiah? (For the moment, lets leave aside if you believe that is Jesus.) And if so, do you believe that Deuteronomy 18:15, 18 & 19 COULD be pointing to Him, at least in part?

          • LarryB says:

            Eric
            I agree with Dina. Since they ate the sacrifice, A barbecue sounds better than a hanging.

          • Eric says:

            LarryB, but if somebody is a vegetarian he will have a hard time because in he next temple you will have to continue dealing with slaughter before you eat your burger. Maybe you will have to fix it yourself. I don’t mind barbeque if I can buy meat already butchered.

  21. LarryB says:

    Matt
    You wrote “But, in contrast, Paul didn’t know the greatest, most important, first commandment according to Jesus. Paul made up his own rule.” Then you say “You haven’t addressed the texts I put forth for comparison at all.” My question to you why would I? Then you end your rant comparing the Beatles to Paul, and that they were both wrong. Now you say that I “imply that either every word Paul ever said and wrote, and everything Paul ever did was 100% perfect, or else I “reject him.” Well, why wouldn’t you? He rejects the most important first commandment Jesus taught and he probably would have liked the Beatles. And since they were both wrong………Now, in your second rant you say ” no one besides Jesus and Paul ever held himself up as a singular example and said, “follow me” or “imitate me” or “follow my example” or even “Follow Me as I Follow Christ.” Jesus is right, Paul was wrong.” Again, why wouldn’t you reject him? Lastly, you ask for specifics. “What were Paul’s flaws?” I’m so confused I’m taking a cold shower now.

  22. Torah ! Torah ! Torah !

    “It is written” is one of Satan’s favorite phrases.
    He loves to quote “religious writings”, including the Bible, and many others such as the Koran and Book of Mormon.

    Saying “it must be true because It is Written” is like saying it must be true because it’s on TV. Or it must be true because Wikipedia said so- nothing against them, but “every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”

    In the account of the Temptation of Jesus [Matthew 4:1-11 & Luke 4:1-13]
    Satan says; “it is written” and quotes Psalm 91:11-12. Is that really part of the Bible? Yes. It is part of the third, least authoritative category, the Kethubim (Writings or Scripture). Satan didn’t quote the Torah (the Instruction, Teaching, or Law of Moses) or the Nabi’im (The Prophets). Satan quoted the “Scripture” and said; “it is written.”

    http://rediscoveringthebible.com/IntroTheProphets.html

    Most of us know that when Satan tempted Jesus 3 times, Jesus responded 3 times with “It is written.” But we never stop to ask the basic questions of an “investigative reporter” like Sid Roth used to do, before he hit the “Big Time.” (That marvelous song and video of my youth by Peter Gabriel just came to mind… sorry, where was I?) Oh yes…
    Who, What, Where, When, Why, How?

    We just say; “Jesus quoted the Bible.” And we stop thinking.
    But what specifically did Jesus quote in the Bible? Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians? No, it wasn’t written yet. Proverbs? No. Another part of Psalms, or other Scripture? No.

    “Deuteronomy” literally means “second law.” It is the 5th Book of the Torah.
    Question: So what specifically did Jesus quote when he said; “it is written”?
    Answer: Deuteronomy 8:3, Deuteronomy 6:16, Deuteronomy 6:13
    In other words…

    Torah ! Torah ! Torah !

  23. Eric says:

    LarryB. I put my comment in a wrong order. It is supposed to be after Matthew, as it included some of his answer that was also in his comment. I hope you will figure it out.

  24. Sophiee says:

    How do you tempt a god? The whole “Satan tempted Jesus” thing never made sense to me! And BTW, the Hebrew word “satan” simply means adversary. There are human and angelic adversaries in the Jewish bible — but no devils. There is only one G-d and no demi-gods like the devil!

  25. JIm says:

    Matthew,

    I would like to take up the following points, if you will permit me:

    1. Whether or not the testimony of Jesus is the ultimate source of truth, backed up by the Torah and the Prophets; and

    2. Whether or not the Gospels are trustworthy.

    Regarding the first point, the statement itself betrays that it is untenable. If Jesus’ testimony is the ultimate source of truth, it needs nothing to back it up. Rather, the Torah and the Prophets should have to rely upon Jesus’ testimony. Obviously this is untenable, however, since the only way to know if Jesus is a true prophet or the Messiah is to test his words in their light. For example, if he countermanded the laws of theft, we would immediately know that he was not a true prophet, because his words did not adhere to Torah. We would, in fact, recognize him as an evil or disturbed person. This is made clear by the Christian refrain that Jesus taught that not one jot or tittle should be done away with. If he were the ultimate authority, he could do away with those. Therefore, the Torah and Prophets have greater authority than Jesus.

    Moreover, because Jesus doesn’t seem to really understand the Torah, we can say that he is not backed up by them. In fact, his teachings sometimes contradict Torah, showing that he could not be the ultimate source of truth. For example, he makes “eye for an eye” to be about revenge. But if you read the Torah, you will find that the phrase is used in regard to compensatory damages. The Torah is not issuing permit to take one man’s eye for the eye he destroyed in another. It is speaking about the valuation of the eye. Review Exodus 21.12-37. In this regard Jesus is either an ignoramus or is purposefully misrepresenting the law. Either way, he is proven be out of sync with the Torah that is supposed to be pointing to him.

    One further note: you omit the Writings, seeing them as not authoritative. But the Gospels, which you do find authoritative appeal to the Writings on multiple occasions, particularly the Psalms. Note for example that the Gospels have Jesus proving from the Psalms that the Messiah must be greater than David–“The Lord said to my lord”. Likewise, Matthew tells us that the parables Jesus spoke were to fulfill “what was spoken through the prophet: ‘I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world”. This is actually from a psalm, however, 78.2. So the gospels rely on the Writings, or at least the Psalms.

    This does lead into the second question, which is whether or not the Gospels are authoritative. I applaud you for rejecting Paul, although labeling him a Pharisee is an insult to our Pharisee friend. However, accepting the Gospels is equally perilous. I have already shown that Jesus did not understand the Torah–or he purposefully represented it. His scribes are equally guilty of this, particularly Matthew.

    Let’s examine for a moment Psalm 78.2, to which I made reference two paragraphs ago. Notice how Matthew has misrepresented it. The Psalmist, Asaph, is not writing a prophecy regarding the Messiah speaking in parables. He is speaking of himself. This is the teaching he is giving over, and he says that these things were traditions passed on from their parents and which they will share with their children. Note verse 5: “For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should make them known to their children…”. In no way does this have to do with the parables of the Messiah. In fact, as he goes on, the lessons Asaph teaches us are those of Israel’s history. Matthew has wrenched the verse out of context and misapplied it where it had no application.

    This is Matthew’s way, of course, as has been commented on many times. The first two chapters are a travesty, the way he alters the words of Isaiah, and removes from their context the words of not only Isaiah, but Jeremiah and Hosea. He mutilates the works of the Holy Prophets. Nothing is sacred to him, if he thinks by employing it, he can prove Jesus fulfilled something. He casts about desperately, seeking anything close at hand.

    This being the case, Matthew is not an authority. He is not trustworthy. As I said of Jesus a short time ago, he is either an ignoramus or an evil man. I will leave it to you to decide which.

    Mark and Luke were not witnesses as you already admitted. At best theirs is second-hand testimony. They certainly don’t carry the words of Jesus as they heard them. Their testimony, then, is totally irrelevant. In this, I should also add that Matthew is not witness to much of his book, as well. He did not see Jesus born, was not privy to the messages from the angel to Mary, the flight to Egypt, Jesus’ baptism or temptation, or Jesus’ crucifixion, for that matter. He reports matters of which he had no first-hand knowledge. None of these men is the authority you proclaim them to be.

    Now, I suppose you might be left with John. He doesn’t quote the Tanach the way that Matthew does, making his honesty a little harder to test. He does quote a psalm and apply it to Jesus. (Another psalm for the Gospels to establish Jesus!) Jesus is betrayed according to himself in John “that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me'” (John 13.18). This comes from Psalm 41, written by David, and there is no reason to see it as a prophecy at all. David is writing about his own troubles. But if Jesus wants to apply verse 9 to himself, then he must also apply verse four where David asks for mercy “for I have sinned against you.” Now if you are going to hold that Jesus is sinless, you will be in a huge quandary. If John is a good witness, then you have no cause to worship Jesus, nor to ask us to. Or John misapplied this prophecy, casting about in the same dishonest way that Matthew does. Either way, I have no reason to worship Jesus, nor to accept the Gospels as reliable.

    Jim

    • Hi Jim,
      I appreciate your writing.
      Regarding your first point, QUOTE:
      “1. Whether or not the testimony of Jesus is the ultimate source of truth, backed up by the Torah and the Prophets;”

      I believe that the Torah is consistent with the principle that “every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses,” and therefore “a man’s testimony about himself is not valid.” I think this reflects the character of God, and also it should be reflected in terms of books of Scripture- not “One Book”, called by either of the man-made words “Tanach” or “Bible.”

      If someone comes along and says “follow me because God spoke to me and I said so…. I don’t need anyone to back me up”, that is the sign of a false cult religion. Jesus did not do that.

      It is not true that I “omit the Writings, seeing them as not authoritative.” I don’t omit them. But like true Torah-observant Jews for millennia, I see them as LESS authoritative than The Law and The Prophets.

      The Psalms are a bit of a special case, and I see them the way that Jesus did – parts of them are really Prophecy. Jesus spoke many times about The Law, or The Law and the Prophets, and He also made a few references to the Psalms, and this reflects the general priority level, I believe. See Luke 24:44. Jesus did not have the mindset of an American Lawyer (nothing against lawyers – don’t sue me.) 😉

      I believe that Jesus, His life and His teachings, were consistent with The Torah and the Prophets. (Unlike Paul.) Jesus was the embodiment of the Torah, the Jewish Messiah, I believe. He did not contradict the 10 commandments; rather He summarized the first 4 with the commandment of Love God, and the next 6 with the commandment to love People.

    • Jim
      About the Psalms,
      Are they not always listed first on the list (followed by Proverbs) in the Kethuvim (Writings) category of the Hebrew Scriptures? I submit to you that this indicates a sense of priority for the Psalms among other “Writings” in the thinking of the Scribes and Rabbis who put together “The Tanach”…. would you agree?

      I have seen a number of “New Testaments” come out over the years that leave out the “Old Testament” – mostly. Yet in every case I can think of, they do include Psalms and Proverbs. So even among Gentiles, who don’t know the OT was given in 3 categories of Torah, Prophets, & Writings, and that Psalms is top priority among Writings followed by Proverbs, there is a subconscious sense of the importance, value, and priority of Psalms compared to other Writings.

      • Jim says:

        Matthew,

        Are you really appealing to the ignorant “who don’t know the OT was given in three categories” and who include among their NT’s the writing of Paul? Surely you can see they have no authority.

        However, this argument is with yourself. I was only pointing out the holes in your position. I was not asserting that the Psalms are of no or little authority. It was you who wrote dismissively of the Writings, while missing that they are quoted frequently in the Gospels, appealing to the very authority you deny. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if I think the Psalms have primacy over the other books or not. I will leave that for you to puzzle out.

        I should point out, however, that if we are to accept them as prophecy with authority, they will undo your thought that the Gospels are authoritative, due to the abuse the Gospels heap upon them.

        Jim

        • Jim,
          I don’t know everything and even when I am mostly right, I don’t communicate everything perfectly. I want to be right – not try to prove that I WAS right, when maybe I wasn’t 100% right. I want to learn, which means growing in understanding – which means change sometimes.

          The Tanach and The Bible both contain the written word of God, (which does not change), but they also contain a lot of words of men, and men’s opinions, sinful feelings and experience. To think of these Scriptures as “One Book” which is all equally “the Words of God” is not correct.

          I think you are exaggerating to write that I “wrote dismissively of the Writings, while missing that they are quoted frequently in the Gospels.” I don’t dismiss the Writings, but I put them were they belong, on the third, lowest level of priority, just as any true “Torah observant Jew” would do. I do not miss that Jesus sometimes quoted the Psalms, but not nearly as frequently as He referred to The Law and The Prophets.

          It seems fairly obvious that of all the books in the Hebrew “Writings” category, Psalms stands out above all others in the minds of both Jews and Gentiles who are familiar with the Scriptures.

          All Scripture is not equal or equally authoritative. No author of Scripture ever said it was. Jesus never said that. (Paul the Pharisee wrote “All Scripture is God-breathed”, but he didn’t know what he was talking about.) Would you agree?

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            I would hate for you to get bogged down in what was a minor point indicating an inconsistency in your argument. I do not deny that the Ketuvim do not have the same authority as Torah, although I do not find them full of “sinful feelings”. Nor do I treat the Tanach as one book. I was only showing the flaw in your reasoning. But all of this is beside the point.

            In fact you are neglecting the greater part of the argument, which is that the Gospels are of no actual value at all. They do not share in even that “lesser authority” of the Ketuvim. Nor is Jesus the ultimate source of truth. I don’t much care what Paul wrote, because his books do not conform to the truth, just as the Gospels don’t.

            Jim

          • Jim,
            I see you are a reasonable man, and that we basically agree right down the line, except for about Jesus and the Gospels.

            We agree that:
            .1) The Torah is more authoritative than the Ketuvim.
            .2) The Psalms are not FULL of sinful feelings – (but there are a few places where sinful feelings are expressed, such as Psalm 137: 8-9 – this is not the teaching or promise or commandment of God.)
            .3) We should NOT “treat the Tanach as one book.”
            .4) Paul’s letters “do not conform to the truth.”

            I will prayerfully consider how to answer you second major point- namely,
            “Whether or not the Gospels are trustworthy.”

            Sincerely,
            Matthew

  26. Jim says:

    Eric,

    I am sorry the thought of animals dying is more sickening to you than a human being. This, however, is not the value of the Torah. I refer you to Genesis 9. There it is made clear that human life is of a higher value that animal life.

    Jim

  27. Jim,
    I’m still thinking through Matthew chapter 5, and I’ll respond soon. In the meantime,

    I submit to you that God sometimes uses double meanings, puns, figures of speech, inside jokes, word pictures, parables, and, to be more theological, “multiple fulfillments of Prophecy.” Why? I think because it’s fun, and He enjoys it, just as we do. It also causes people to really seek Him and His ways and thoughts more, so we know him and understand Him at a deeper level.

    For example, if I say; “That Jewish talk show host used to describe himself as an “investigative reporter” and talk about “thinking for yourself” – before he hit the “Big Time”, as Peter Gabriel might say…” Most people would have no idea what I am talking about. Some might get it on a basic level, which is true. But others might REALLY “get it.”

    If I say’ “We should be “Brave” as Nichole Nordeman would say…”
    Most people would agree that being “brave” is a good thing. But if you were not familiar with the lyrics to her song, you would not really understand at a deep level.

    This morning I ate “Force Primeval Bars” from Trader Joe’s. I’m not positive, but this appears to be a humorous reference to an unusual comment made by Bugs Bunny in one of his cartoons that I remember from my childhood. In what I now believe was a stereotypical Brooklyn Jewish accent, Bugs Bunny spoke of “The Forest Primeval.” My guess is that whoever came up with the name for these baked goods was inspired by Bugs Bunny, and they would be pleased if someone “got the inside joke.”

    Matthew

    • Dina says:

      Matthew, that’s a very convenient argument for someone who wants God’s words to mean whatever fits his theology.

      God is neither coy nor mysterious when it comes to His expectations of us. He tells us exactly Whom to worship, in such clear language as to leave no doubt about His meaning.

      • Dina says:

        I’m not responding on Jim’s behalf and I look forward to what he has to say. I just couldn’t resist jumping in. Very bad habit of mine.

      • Dina,
        Since you mention “God’s words” we really should have a common understanding of what are God’s words and what are not. Speaking about the Hebrew Scriptures only, would you agree that “God’s words” are The Torah and The Prophets, (with parts of the Psalms included as Prophecy)? Or do you think that “God’s words” are “The Tanach and the Talmud and/or other Rabbinic Tradition”?
        Matthew

        • Dina says:

          Matthew, we do not have a common ground here. God’s words comprise all of Tanach, as all of it was written with Divine inspiration. I also accept that the Torah was transmitted along with an oral explication, much of which is recorded in the Talmud.

          Your understanding of how the Jews perceive the different levels of divine inspiration in the three sections of our Scripture is seriously flawed.

          So we don’t have a common ground. Nevertheless, if you would like to limit our discussion to the Pentateuch and the Prophets, I’m game.

          • Dina,
            You said, QUOTE:
            “God’s words comprise all of Tanach, as all of it was written with Divine inspiration.” That agrees with the teaching of Paul the Pharisee, “All Scripture is God-breathed.”

            However, besides Paul, I am not aware of any other author of Scripture, either in the “Tanach” or the “New Testament”, who said such a thing. Jesus certainly never said anything like that. Jesus spoke specifically of “the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” [Luke 24:44]

            Could you enlighten me please, as to why you believe this, and if you have a Scriptural basis from the pages of the Tanach itself?
            Blessings,
            Matthew

          • Dina says:

            Hi Matthew.

            A long time ago, my ancestors stood at the foot of Mount Sinai and heard God speak. The foundation of the written word is the national testimony of Israel. Rabbi Blumenthal explains this idea in “Faith Structure.” You can read it here:

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/faith-structure/

            The word “Torah” as used in the Five Books refers to a body of law, not to a book. You can find a comprehensive explanation of this idea by Rabbi Blumenthal here:

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/deuteronomy-334-oral-law/

            I hope you don’t mind my sending you to other articles on this blog, but it saves a lot of time and space.

            Anyway, even if you disagree, this might help clarify to you the common terms we use and why we use them.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Dina,
            What I’m hearing you say is that:
            There are no specific Scripture verses in the Tanach itself that you would use to make the claim that ““God’s words comprise all of Tanach, as all of it was written with Divine inspiration.”

            Rather, you would make that claim based on the writings of another Rabbi who came later, namely Rabbi Blumenthal. (“Bible-believing” Evangelical Christians would use the same logic, except with a different Rabbi – they would listen to Rabbi Paul the Pharisee.)

            I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but have I understood you correctly?
            Shalom,
            Matthew

          • Dina says:

            Nope, not even close, Matthew. So here’s a challenge: Read the articles I posted links to and see if you can poke holes in the logic.

            May we draw ever closer to God in our humble quest for His truth.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Dina,
            I appreciate you sharing some of your traditions with me. But this particular suggestion seems like all hole, and no logic. I understand that you are holding up the writings of “Rabbi Blumenthal” (which we both agree were NOT “written with Divine inspiration”) as the standard to define and analyze the writings that you say WERE “written with Divine inspiration”, namely the entire Tanach and the Talmud.

            I don’t see the logic in that. Rather, it seems to me that we should look at the divinely inspired writings first, as the standard to evaluate all other writings.

            You wrote to me, QUOTE:
            “Your understanding of how the Jews perceive the different levels of divine inspiration in the three sections of our Scripture is seriously flawed.”

            Well, I’m trying to understand more, but now you are bringing up the Talmud – so is that the fourth section of Scripture? And what about all the Jews who lived before “Rabbi Blumenthal” was born? Maybe it’s hard for you to answer the question “what is God’s written word”, because it’s a constantly moving target. That is very dangerous, because the line between the Words of God and the words of men becomes hazy and blurred.

            The Prophet Isaiah warned us about this kind of situation:
            “Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.” [Isaiah 29:13]
            peace,
            Matthew

          • Dina says:

            Hi Matthew.

            You wrote: “That is very dangerous, because the line between the Words of God and the words of men becomes hazy and blurred.”

            Using your standard, quoting only from the Law, the Prophets, and/or the Psalms, show me where the following is taught:

            1. One must place his faith in the Messiah in order to attain eternal salvation (Psalms 146:3).
            2. Turning away from evil and instead turning to God in prayer and repentance are not enough to atone for sin (Ezekiel Chapters 18 and 33).
            3. At the end of days, rather than the gentiles approaching the Jews to learn from them the truth about God, the Jews will come to the gentiles to learn from them the truth about Jesus (Isaiah 25:1-8; Isaiah 60:1-3; Zechariah 8:23).

            I wish you well,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Hi Matthew.

            One more thing. You seem to be laboring under the impression that I hold up the work of Rabbi Blumenthal to be authoritative. I simply linked to his articles to save me the time of writing what already has been written. Since this is Rabbi Blumenthal’s blog, I sent you to his articles. In fact, since we are guests on his blog, I do think it’s only polite to pause for a moment to listen to what he has to say.

            In the particular articles that I posted, Rabbi B. explains the way Jews understand these matters and he cites Scriptural support for it. Do you want to understand our perspective? Or at least hear it? Then I suggest again that you read those links. After you read them, you might at least understand where we are coming from, even if you ultimately disagree. It would also be interesting and perhaps clarifying to see you present what you find to be the faulty reasoning.

            So what do you say, Matthew?

            Best wishes,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, just jumping in , I am also curious what about those born long before torah , long before Moses, how reliable was their witness, no huge crowd hearing word of God but individuals, this is what is so much brought against Christians, that the witness of minority doesn’t count, like who witnessed the angel talking to Mary about the magnificent role her child would be playing, was not less reliable than the visit of 3 man and Abraham. Just giving tiny example.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, that’s a fair question. The answer is that the foundation of the Jewish faith does not rest on these examples, nor do we use these examples to prove the truth of our claim. Our claim rests on national revelation, a claim no other religion has ever made, a claim that the Bible predicts no other religion will ever make (Deuteronomy 4:32-35). Verse 35 in this passages tells us that God specifically did this to prove Himself to us:

            “You have been SHOWN IN ORDER TO KNOW that the Lord, He is God! There is none beside Him!”

            The tremendous miracles that accompanied the Exodus were not enough. God had to reveal Himself personally to the entire nation (some three million people), not just to a handful of folks who were already devoted to Him. It’s a pretty strong claim of credibility.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, to continue, since God established Moses’s credibility in front of the whole nation by talking to him in front of us (again, the miracles Moses performed were not enough), and since Moses transmitted to us the Five Books, we believe everything that’s in it, including individual revelations. Does that make sense?

          • Eric says:

            Dina, It all makes sense, I am not doubting Moses and God;s revelation to your nation. The thing is you are locking yourselves up in the past not allowing God to speak to you since your descendants. God still speaks through the one He sent. Lots of Jewish people recognized Jesus as their Messiah and they are these are light to the world. Jesus said , if you claim you listen to God , you would also listen to his words. John 8;47 -59, John 6;45 . John 5 30-47.
            His words are not to take you away from God but to lead you to God.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, when the Roman emperor Constantine converted to Christianity, it spread quickly through the Roman empire. Jews who converted to Christianity had very little, if anything, to do with it.

            It does not make sense to say that the fact that Christians attracted a few Jews and converted them means that those Jews are a light to the gentiles. It would make more sense for you to say that the Christians are a light to the those Jews. (Besides, what would make these Jews different from any other converts to Christianity?)

            Let me tell you what happens to Jews who convert to Christianity. Within a few generations their descendants completely lose their Jewish identity through assimilation and intermarriage. Tell me, where are the Jewish descendants of Pablo Cristiani, Nicholas Donan, Heinrich Heine, Karl Marx, and so on? (Not sure if these guys even had children.) Where, in fact, are the Jewish descendants of the early Christians, who were all Jewish?

            Converts to Christianity, a light to the gentiles? I don’t think so.

            It should trouble you that God does not preserve the Jewishness of those who convert to other religions, that the only Jews who have survived persecution and enormous pressure to convert are the Pharisees. Did you know that every Jew today (with the exception of converts) are descendants of the hated Pharisees? Every schismatic group throughout history has assimilated itself into oblivion. We see this happening, for example, with Reform and Conservative Jews whose birthrate is lower than the general population and who assimilate at a rate of 50% (compared with Orthodox Jews whose birthrate is four times higher than the general population and who have a 3% assimilation rate).

            I’m curious about what it means to you that at the end of days the gentiles will come to the Jews to learn the truth about God rather than that the Jews will come to the gentiles to learn the truth about Jesus (Isaiah 25:1-8; Isaiah 60:1-3; Zechariah 8:23).

            Also curious about what it means to you that Moses tells the Children of Israel that they will be punished for their sins, but ultimately they will return to God and to obedience to His commandments, and that God will then gather them from the ends of the world and bring them back to the Land. It would have been simpler, don’t you think, for Moses to say something like, “You will sin, but God will send his son to redeem you from your sins.” See Deuteronomy Chapter 30 for Moses’s stirring speech to the nation of Israel.

          • Eric says:

            Dina,
            -It didn’t start with Christians converting a few Jews. It started with Jewish people to follow Christ’ teaching that was from God.Jesus first came to Jewish people being himself Jewish and they were the first followers before anybody else. That is what we call the light of the world because the message of salvation came from them first. I would say everybody who listens and obeys God is the light to the world. Forget about the titles or names; there are Christians who don’t follow God and there are Jews who don’t care about God. That is why I don’t put everybody into the same ‘box’. By the way you mentioned suffering of your people by Christians. I already said that before; that followers of Jesus are not killers. And numbers of people all over the world are suffering every day not because of NT but because of people who don’t know God.

            -Where are the Jewish descendants of Karl Max? Does this question point to anything? What if he didn’t call himself a Christian but still Jewish and completely ignoring God? What that matter where are his descendants?

            – I tell you what happens to Jewish people who became Christians. I will skip the names you listed and mention about the good side you might not heard, as the hatred toward Christians doesn’t let any bright light at all. . They are helping their own people as much as they can , doing fund rising for all the old holocaust survivors that live in Israel without any help and serve food every day. Somehow the example of Jesus’ teaching to feed the poor didn’t mess their brains up.

            -You said ;”Converts to Christianity, a light to the gentiles? I would say it differently; those who obey God’s word and listen to what He says , that is including also through His son Jesus.

            -I don’;t consider Jewish people who believe in Jesus being their Messiah- converters to the other religion, as Jesus’ testimony is from God. You might call it ‘the other religion ‘whatever you want to. I care what God says about listening to His son. ( which is unreliable testimony to you- so I skip commenting it more)

            You asked me why didn’t Moses say, “You will sin, but God will send his son to redeem you from your sins.”
            – To this I say ; God can’t redeem you from your sins if you choose to sin and choose not to listen to Him, so saying God will redeem you from your sin it is like expecting God will do it by force whether you sin or not. So of course Moses didn’t say that. Besides not much was revealed to him at his time, no prophets speaking yet. Before and now the same rule applied;
            You submit yourself to God freely out of your will, you will be in His hands. He takes care of you and knows how to wipe away your sins.
            We trust Him, he takes care of that and He told us how He took care of it , by His son who paid it all. And I trust Him in that.

          • Eric says:

            Dina,
            -You asked me;” I’m curious about what it means to you that at the end of days the gentiles will come to the Jews”
            I can say that watching God fulfilling of His words about Israel , is a great testimony of His care. Gentiles are surely watching that. Knowing how He will gather all the people after being scattered tells you He will fulfill His words.
            But I believe that being the light of the world in these last days is not only accomplishment of people to me. It is about God’ grace in everything what He will do. ( Zech 9;9-16 ) (Is 2;2-4 ) including deliverance of Jerusalem . ( Zech 12)
            I believe the glorious future and the greatest light to the world will be also thanks to the rules of the Messiah who will be hand with hand with God and rule with the iron rod ( Is 11;1-6 ) from Jerusalem All people will want to hear the word of God that will come out from there.
            Meanwhile before that glory the earth will go through lots of trouble; and in that trouble there will be those who turn to God and will be saved. Isaiah and other prophets ( Amos 9;8-10) tell you that NOT all Jewish people are obeying God but they will have God’s grace to call to Him.
            ( nothing personal- Gentiles do the same).
            “And I will give portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. And it shall come to pass that all who call upon the name of the LORD shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.” (Joel 2:30-32)
            Also Isaiah 4;3-4 and 10;20-22
            Ia 4;3-4 “ And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.”
            Isaiah 10;20-22 “And it shall come to pass in that day
            That the remnant of Israel,
            And such as have escaped of the house of Jacob,
            Will never again depend on him who defeated them,
            But will depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
            21 The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob,
            To the Mighty God.
            22 For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea,
            A remnant of them will return;”

            Why would God say that? Because not everybody is listening to God.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, you wrote:

            “His words are not to take you away from God but to lead you to God.”

            I already worship God, so I don’t need Jesus to lead me to him.

          • Eric says:

            Dina, do what you want.
            I Hebrew 1;1-3
            “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
            Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:”

          • Dina says:

            Okay, Eric. Let me put it differently. If Jesus’s role is to point people to God, then if I’m already worshiping God, what is missing in my worship?

            Thanks!

          • Eric says:

            Dina, If you realize what price was paid for our redemption, then you will know.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, you said that Jesus leads people to God. So why do I need Jesus to lead me to Him if I’m already there?

            Can you answer the question?

          • Dina says:

            Eric, are you still there? I hope you are, because it would be nice to hear from you! I asked you a question about your words that Jesus leads us to God, not away from him. I wanted to know if I already worship God, what am I missing? I wanted to know, if I’m already worshiping God, why do I need Jesus to lead me to Him?

            You answered that “if you realize what price was paid for our redemption, then you will know.”

            That’s not an answer. How am I supposed to know, if you won’t tell?

            Is there a rational way to reach this conclusion, that’s what I’m trying to get at here.

            Respectfully,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, I don’t know what type of answer are you expecting from me. maybe to answer your question would help if you tell me what it means to you to worship God?
            Eric

          • Dina says:

            Eric:

            Deuteronomy 10:12-13

          • Eric says:

            Dina, to your question about what is missing in your worship. Because part of it is walking in obedience to Him, I will ask this question; Can you obey God and at the same time not trust His words or decide which words you want to trust which not? Would you trust the words about his birth in Luke 1 ;26-37 and Matthew 1;21. Would you trust the words said in John 6;39 and 51, or Matthew 26;28 or John 5;24?
            You would surely not consider them true. Would you? That is what is missing, trust in His provided redemption.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, how do you know the Torah is true? How do you know the Prophets are true? How do you know the Writings are true?

            Finally, how do you know the NT is true?

          • Dina says:

            Eric, I am asking these questions because faith must have a rational basis. If you tell me just to trust that the NT is true, and a Muslim tells me to just trust that the Koran is true, and a Mormon tells me to just trust that the Book of Mormon is true, how do I know who has the truth?

            So can you answer the questions I posted above?

          • Eric says:

            Dina, That is a good question you asked. Not only different religions claim they know the truth but even the atheist would think their theory of evolution and universe creating itself is true no matter how many arguments or facts we ( believers in God) would bring them about that there is God who created the world. As far as me what I believe came out of the need to know the truth and have peace with God. Do all people have peace with God because they believe something that they consider true? I don’t think so.. I will first tell you my story. To me growing up in Catholic religion God seemed very distant , giving you unknown future. So no matter how many times I would go to church or repeat their prayers or believe in the confession of sins to the priest, that wasn’t giving me any peace. I could go with the flow of other peoples’ sayings; we are all humans, we make mistakes, God is love , we should not worry what will happen to us when we face God. That wasn’t satisfying to me, having your own faith without any ‘proof’ from God , didn’t give me any peace.
            Then I kind of lost my interest in God as there were no answers to my questions in that church and that made God too mysterious to me and distant to understand him. I had no interest in the other religions either because in each of them God seemed distant so I focused on my career as a student at that time that seemed more interesting than thinking about unknown God but I remembered to live ‘good life’ so that I would not face God’s judgment in case there was some. At that time if anybody asked me If I knew the truth I would say; I believe there was God who created the world and we should do his commandments not to harm others and that would be it. What else was missing?
            I could not love God whom I didn’t know. I had no peace, I didn’t know if I was reconciled with him or not. I had no answers about my future . Then I came across these words “ Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7;21
            Just because these words come from the NT I didn’t spend years to try to prove them whether they are true or not. I simply prayed to God expressing my will to do His will because I didn’t want to be deceived by my ‘own righteousness’. For the first time in my life I felt like God heard my prayer because he gave me so much peace. It was so surprising to me as before he seemed so distant But that day there were no more doubts in my heart, no distance, no fear about the future, just so much peace . No more doubts whether I am good enough to God or not. I felt that God met all my needs after I prayed to him not questioning his words. I didn’t question whether Jesus who said these words was really true, the main thing was by his words in Matthew 7 I finally honestly prayed to God. If his words led me to God do I want to question him? No, the peace I have is so sufficient that I don’t have any need to look into other religions to search which one would offer me anything better. What is better than already having peace with God in your heart and knowing He can hear you? My needs in God were met what I later found in the other words; John 14;27”Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. “
            Did I know everything that is in the scripture at that time? Definitely no. Only because God wasn’t distant anymore I had a new interest to search the scriptures to see what is written about Him. I was searching both. God’s character is clearly expressed in both OT and NT to me. The same forgiving nature and patience of God I see in the Torah, prophets and NT books. Events predicted thousands years before they came true both in OT and NT. Words of Jesus about his death and resurrection, about destruction of the temple about people being scattered and the last days that are found also in Joel and other prophets. There would be so many examples to write about. If I find it hard to understand why Jesus had to die for our sins, then I go back to leviticus 16 and ask myself the question why everything had to be cleansed with blood in the temple .Why only the high priest could enter the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.
            The NT says about Jesus that he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.
            You said; Deuteronomy 10:12-13 doesn’t talk about trusting in God’s promised redemption. Redemption is for those who love God and trust him and obey him so trusting in the redemption without obeying God doesn’t work. Deut 10 talks about walking in all His ways which requires trusting Him and listening to Him. You can’t walk in His ways without listening to him, or else you don’t know where you walk.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric.

            Thanks for sharing your story with me.

            I asked you how you know the Tanach and Christian scripture are true, and, to sum up your answer, it’s because you have found peace.

            So now I will share my story with you.

            I was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family. I had a happy childhood. Being raised in traditional Judaism was a positive experience for me. I felt fulfilled, I felt purposeful, I had a lot of joy and a lot of peace.

            When I was in my early twenties, I asked myself if I remained observant because that was how I had been raised. Could I defend my faith on rational grounds? Because to me the truth mattered more than feeling good.

            I investigated and found that indeed, I could defend my faith using reason.

            If the Torah is true, and I listen and obey God through His words, then I need to be very cautious about the assertions of any religion that claims to supersede the Torah. For example, if I follow God, and if Jesus is not following God, then it would be a grave error (and sin) to follow Jesus. I am sure you agree.

            Therefore, the claim that you have found peace is simply not strong enough to convince me. It is not unique, because I have found peace too. And many Muslims and Buddhists will say the same.

            Jim has a useful analogy to falling in love. Let’s say a woman falls in love with a rascal. No matter how much you might try to persuade her that he’s entirely wrong for her, she refuses to see his glaring faults–nay, she cannot see them. Her objectivity is clouded by her emotions.

            If we have fallen in love with the wrong religion, we must try as hard as we can to be clear-headed and to examine the evidence with as little bias as possible. This is not easy, to be sure. But we must do the best we can, praying to God for guidance and clarity.

            So, Eric, is the Torah true? How do you know? Is Christian scripture true? How do you know?

            Can you defend your faith on rational grounds rather than emotion?

          • Eric says:

            Dina, I am out of town tomorrow so I will try to go back to your email on Thursday.

          • Eric says:

            Dina,
            They gave me some time today so I am back. You said because I found peace – that is not convincing to you and you consider it more like emotions.
            I would say I am not here to worry about convincing anybody because everybody is responsible for himself to find the truth. I am sharing why I believe in what I say. I believe the truth of the scriptures is obvious to anyone – willing to fairly investigate it. I can also say that if God has designed us according to His image – then if we believers read His Word, we recognize it as the voice of our Creator. And then emotions are one thing but I am talking about the bases and reasons for my belief that are in God’s word.
            Lets start with the Torah, prophets and NT in general. They make very distinctive truth claims that God exists and that He has chosen to communicate with us through His creation, through the people , our moral conscience, and through His word in which He let us know His will and a purpose of creating everything. And although these words in all these books were written over a period of thousands years by more than 40 different writers you see inner consistency and the whole picture of God’s plan. From beginnings to the very end.
            The words in the scriptures show the facts that correspond to reality; in the past, in the present time and about the future with the great accuracy when it comes to predicted events. You see that some words were already fulfilled ( about Israel or the rest of the people) or are being fulfilled or will be in the future. They show you the whole picture of God’s plan for the mankind and relate to it;; you have the creation of the world and then stated purpose for it
            ( unless you want to believe the world created itself). You have moral law of God shown in OT and NT , dealing with people’s sin, the history of man’s rebellion against God, the historical details of God’s work of redemption for all who trust in Him, and the final victory over sin and death and glorious future with God the King. ( mentioned in Is 24;23 and and as the final fulfillment of God’s plan written in NT). All the messages both OT and NT show a consistent plan.
            If you want to only focus on Torah or just all in the books in OT you have the physical evidence, archeological about history that was recorded in these books, testimonies of people passed on, fulfillment of God’s words that were spoken to Jewish people about being scattered and promises related to the future about deliverance, new heavens , new earth ( Isaiah).
            You have the truth there about God wanting to save people since the beginnings ; (after the sin entered the world) God was teaching people to obey Him and to listen to His voice if they wanted life, but that life still wasn’t free of death. Then you read about the promise of woman’s seed crashing the head of ‘the seed’ of the God’s adversary. Then ( jumping to Isaiah) in the chapter 25 of Isaiah you have the promise of the victory over death and final reign of God as King ( Isa 24;23). Once again; CONSISTENCY of the God’s plan!!!

            So now about prophets – as I believe in their truthfulness, too
            Here are also some of the examples of the predictive prophecy and divine insight in Daniel , Isaiah and Job. ( by the way Job is not a prophet) A number of passages in the scriptures predict future events in great detail—events that were future to the writers but are now in our past. For example, in Daniel 2 a prophecy predicted the next three world empires (up to and including the Roman Empire) and their falls. If these scriptures were not inspired by God, how could its mere human writers possibly have known about events in the distant future?
            The OT scriptures also touch on matters of science in ways that seem to go beyond what was known to humankind at the time. In Isaiah 40:22 we read about the spreading out (expansion) of the heavens (the universe). The fact of such expansion not discovered until the 1920s. –
            I loved the astronomy -The spherical nature of the earth and the fact that the earth hangs in space are suggested in Scriptures such as Job 26:10 and Job 26:7 respectively. The book of Job is thought to have been written around 2000 BC—long before the nature of our planet was generally known. So here are just a few examples we can’t go over all the prophecy here- would not fit in that one email. One thing at a time.

            Then I go back to NT now which to me is the continuation of everything God promised in the OT scriptures to fulfill his plan of redemption; doing away with mankind’s sin, repentance and God’s forgiveness promised, God;s new covenant, God’s coming judgment promised ( Isaiah 24) destruction of God’s adversary, deliverance of God’s people, God’s kingdom being proclaimed that is near, resurrection to life and final reign of the messiah, victory over death. Again consistency of the plan carried by God about which we read in OT.

            While Genesis tells you about death coming to the world, the prophets tell you about the future victory over it ( Isaiah 25;8, Is 26;19 ), the books in the NT tell how is God dealing with it and how His plan is being carried through and accomplished why one day “death will be swallowed up” ( of course there is still plan about Israel – I just can’t fit it all here)
            So how can I believe that the plan shown in NT is true??
            Apart from prayer for God’s revelation, our common sense about the logic,we have over unique 300 facts from the OT that came true about Yeshua ( Jesus) not including the things he said will happen in the future that are consistent with God’s plan in OT about a kingdom that will be set up and never destroyed.

            So to me the gospels are completing the picture of the OT.
            I have to mention that the cornerstone in the NT is the resurrection of Christ. It is written in (1 Corinthians 15:17) that if the resurrection did not happen, Christian faith “is futile; you are still in your sins” . According to Deut 18 any prophet speaking words not from God was to die. Can you disprove Jesus resurrection?

          • Dina says:

            Another point, Eric. Deuteronomy 10:12-13 doesn’t talk about trusting in God’s promised redemption. As it happens, I do trust in God’s promised redemption. I believe that God will send the Messiah at the end of days and will gather the Jewish exiles, return us to the Holy Land, rebuild the Temple, bring universal peace, establish universal knowledge of God, exalt Israel in the eyes of the nations, and punish those who persecuted us, as promised throughout Tanach. I wrote about this here:

          • Eric says:

            Dina,What about credibility of the other books after Moses died, especially prophets?

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric.

            That’s a great answer! (This is regarding your comment https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/a-new-set-of-feelings/#comment-10434). And thank you for taking so much time to write it. I agree with a lot of what you wrote. Science, archaeology, and true predictions together form strong evidence for the truth of Tanach.

            The question is, what is the Torah’s standard of evidence for itself? The Torah does tell us how we can know it’s true. The Bible rests its authority on the testimony of Israel based on the Exodus and the Sinai revelation (Deuteronomy 4:9, Exodus 12:27; Leviticus 23:43; Psalms 78:6).

            As for the 300 prophecies, I refer you to an article Rabbi Blumenthal posted on this very topic:

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/the-applicant-with-353-references/

            As for proving the resurrection, can you disprove that the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith, or that the angel Gabriel appeared to Mohammed? Rather, I should ask you, can you prove the resurrection really happened? However, whether it happened or not is irrelevant, actually.

            You can read why here (another article by Rabbi B.)

            http://www.jewsforjudaism.ca/resources-info/resources-in-judaism/essaysycb/resurrection

            I hope you don’t mind that I’m sending you to these links. It saves me a lot of time, and it saves everyone a lot of space in this comment.

            May God bring us closer to His truth.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, thanks for your kindness to refer me to your rabbi B, but I find the words of rabbi Yeshua
            (Jesus) more reasonable to me. Asking me; can you prove ‘ this’ , can you prove ‘that’ –
            I might first ask you about Isaiah’s ( prophet) birth certificate to start with .
            But at least can you give your answer ( based on God’s words) to the fact; why people are still dying?
            If it is just to turn away from your sin to be forgiven by God why do you still have to die? What stops you from living forever? And if you will be resurrected, how do you know you won’t die again, just as you will in this life? Why death?
            You said before, you believed in God’s redemption, that is very good, you can have hope based on Ezekiel words about resurrection, but if God revealed to you the way the redemption was accomplished, would you tell Him ‘that was not what you expected so you don’t want it?
            At least you knew why the high priest couldn’t ever show up ( carrying on his ministry) without blood ( for a reason), which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people- once a year as a reminder of something or just as a good feast?

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric.

            I’m just wondering if you can refute what Rabbi Blumenthal wrote in the article? You asked me if I can disprove the resurrection; this article disproves it. But instead of responding to the article, you changed the topic to redemption. I’m curious to see what holes you can poke in his logic. You wrote that the resurrection is the cornerstone of your faith, so I’m surprised that you dismissed this so lightly

            The topic of redemption is complicated for us to discuss because we define it differently. I’m happy to explore it with you, but I have something else to say first, which I think is desperately important.

            If Jesus is not who he said he was, then it’s the greatest sin against God to follow him. Therefore, we must exercise extreme caution when evaluating his claims to see if they are true. Although you can’t accept that possibility, I’m sure that in theory, for argument’s sake, you could agree with that statement. Do I have that right? Can you agree with me that if Jesus is not who he said he was, it would be a terrible mistake to follow him, and that I should therefore examine very carefully your evidence for the truth of his claims?

            If you can answer yes to that question, then what would you offer as your strongest proof?

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina,I tell you, the main argument in in this article is not about disapproving the truth about resurrection ( whether it really happened or not) – because even if there was a solid prove of it that it was true – your rabbi admitted – he would not trust it as a true testimony . And his last words; who cares speak for themselves. The whole message is in the first part of his explanation that “here are a few points though, which these Christians failed to consider.. based on Deut 13.” I would say he failed to consider that it is not Jesus resurrecting himself ( dead people don’t resurrect themselves, it has never happened in the history, death is death which means there is no life and power in it or else we don’t call it death but an unknown stage of subexistence) but NT clearly states it is God who raised him back to life. Deut 13 ;6 if I he was a false prophet he WOULD DIE FOR HIS SIN OF MISLEADING THE PEOPLE!

            None of the four Gospels gives all the details of what happened . No four witnesses (or news reporters), all of whom witness a series of events, will write them up in exactly the same way, detail for detail. The gospels’ details correlate together to supply the larger picture with no contradictions. Each of one gives you different focus; One gospel tells you the number of angels seen, the other focuses on what the angel said. One tells you that the women came to the tomb, the other tells you which women was grieving the most and how happy she was seeing Jesus alive again. One gospel tells you that somebody left early in the dark to see the tomb, the other gospel tells you the people were there early morning. You have four reporters to tell you the main fact took place and each reporter gives different focus to the details.

            What else I can say; like most of the articles on this website and in your rabbi’s they are with the attitude to prove Jesus false, not with the opposite and to try to find things that are speaking for the truth. You know if I was an atheist and somebody was trying to prove the OT to be true, with my will to justify my atheist life I would find millions of facts that would speak against it. I would question every single prophet as they might be the false ones using Deut 13, I would question the God’s conversation to Adam and Eve- as there was no witness and I would take it as a good fairytale , I would question the contradiction of God’s words about loving other people and the fact of killing all the pagan folks. And the list would go on…at the end I would say; I am an atheist so I don’t carry anyways.

            But as a believer who wants to trust God’s word I am looking for the things to see the truth in the scriptures. Looking at all events , and prophesy revealed step by step as puzzles that make the whole picture of God’s plan from the beginnings to the end complete .
            Going back to that article, I will discuss only a few points as it is too long. Saying what do we know about Peter to believe him, I might ask what do we know about Jeremiah to believe him, what do we know about Job or Amos who was a shepherd? Even telling me the names of their fathers doesn’t mean their words might be trustworthy. Their message might be a visions or voices of a schizophrenic.
            But you put faith to these words and see if they are not telling you who God really is based on the other scriptures you learned about Him. The same I do with Peter . He tells me about a loving God who doesn’t want the world to perish and he tells me about His son who is reflection of God’s glory.

            Now about that article; ” Luke tells us that Jesus’ first appearance to his disciples took place in Jerusalem, Matthew and Mark (if we accept the version of Mark which contains the resurrection story) claim that this took place in the Galilee. “
            I took my time to check it myself ; no such thing what it is stated above.
            Luke doesn’t talk about anything as the first appearance in Jerusalem, but about two disciples on the way to Emous. Two people saw him and invited him to the house and then they came back to Jerusalem v.33. Matthew illustrates the following ; that an angel is telling the women that Jesus will see his disciples in Galilee It doesn’t say that it was the first appearance at all
            ( because the woman saw Jesus before the guys) but the message was passed on that the first appearance to his group of disciples was to be in Galilee. Mark does say the same. ( read for yourself)

            Your rabbi says;“Matthew has an angel informing Mary that the resurrection had taken place, before Jesus is sighted. John tells us that until Mary had met with the resurrected Jesus, she was under the assumption that human hands had removed the body of Jesus from its grave. The fact that these authors contradict themselves tells us that someone is lying somewhere. “

            My answer to that comment; Matthew 28 v.9 tells you two women see Jesus on their way to inform the guys. Because John is mentioning the fact that before seeing Jesus, Mary first saw an empty tomb and thought somebody removed the body- doesn’t indicate any contradiction. Only in the eyes who wants to see the contradiction.

            “the only ones who testified that they saw him were people who were already totally devoted to him “ -My answer ; it doesn’t speak anything against the truth. But who is telling the lie?
            Matthew 28;11-15
            “While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day. “

            “Jesus demanded that his followers love him more than they love their parents, spouses or their children. “ My answer; Jesus explained what it meant to love him; which means to listen to God’s words and love them the most and love others- you put it as priority .

            Rabbi B says; “With all this in mind Matthew reports (28:17) that when Jesus reappeared to his disciples, some worshiped him, but some doubted.” Of course not everybody believed such thing would happen, that is not an argument proving resurrection fact as false.
            Your rabbi said; resurrected Jesus -it might have been just a vision.
            People saw him in different places and different circumstances , and not the same group at once – and believing that they would be “affected by the same vision”… hundreds of people having the same vision of resurrected person in different circumstances ….very doubtful to believe that to me. Trying to tell me here they were all hallucinating the same vision?

            I would say that if the whole story is made up, the writer had to be both really creative to match so many details from the OT prophets and he had to be a prophet himself as everything what Jesus said happened in the future ( historical events; destruction of the temple, scattering of Jews , wars, future events matching the situation now and details of end times completing the picture together with OT prophets.
            “If indeed Jesus did reappear in a physical sense it would make sense that the physical details of the event should have been recorded. “ You have it all in 4 gospels; eating together, conversations, invitation to the house, people touching Jesus’ hands and feet.

            “There could have been an empty grave.” In fact it was indeed. So what?
            “(..)if his loyal followers would have required more evidence than an empty grave before preaching and believing that an actual resurrection took place. “ The evidence was to them the personal appearance , what other evidence do you expect, a videatape?
            So everything what rabbi B wrote is to me as a pure speculation to find as possible denials as he wants to without any logic and foundation.
            “One example for such a situation would be that there may have been confusion concerning the precise burial site of Jesus.” There is no confusion as it is clearly stated ; which place and where he was put. Somebody is looking for confusion.
            The last part about possible ;”digging up his body by the disciple”‘- it is a waste of time to me to comment that speculation that has no support in anything.
            “If the governing authorities did exhume the decaying corpse and display it in order to discount the claims of his followers, how would we hear about it today?” You won’t hear about any decayed body of Jesus as that didn’t happen. ( his body was not to see the decay. psalm)
            The last of your rabbi B words are; who cares- they speak for themselves.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric.

            You took a lot of time to read through the article and attempt to refute it point by point. I’m amazed that you did this. The reason for my amazement is that you wrote this:

            “Like most of the articles on this website and in your rabbi’s [by the way, Rabbi Blumenthal is the author of almost all the articles on this website] they are with the attitude to prove Jesus false, not with the opposite and to try to find things that are speaking for the truth.”

            If you believe that is my attitude, why are you bothering to talk to me?

            The difference between Christians and Jews is that Jews believe that Christians may be sincere but are misguided, while Christians believe that Jews are hardhearted, stubborn, and/or spiritually blind. A sincere Jew? No such thing! They get this notion, I am sorry to say, from 2 Corinthians 3:13-15, 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, Romans 11:7, and Romans 11:25.

            That belief absolves you from taking our well-reasoned arguments seriously and really searching for the truth. It is also–and forgive me for saying this–very cynical of you. Do you believe that the sincere truth seekers are only on your side? Have you searched within yourself to be sure that you are open to evaluating evidence presented by the other side in a fair manner? Is there any kind of standard of evidence that you might require that could potentially change your mind?

            If you answered “no” to the last question, then you are not intellectually honest. There’s an old Jewish saying: Take out the beam from your own eye before taking out the splinter in your friend’s eye.

            I’m taking the time to articulate this because I don’t know how we can have an honest discussion if we each believe the other is not capable of evaluating our respective arguments with an open mind.

            Having said that, I do have a standard of evidence. If you can show me clear, direct teachings in the Torah (not “hints”) that faith in the Messiah is necessary for salvation, that prayer and repentance are not enough to atone for sin, and that the gentiles rather than the Jews will have the truth about God at the end of days, then you will silence me.

            As for the points you raised, there were many, so I will address just a few. Regarding the “eyewitness to car accident” theory, the problem is this. Eyewitnesses to the same event might be hazy on some small details, but they won’t confuse time of day (for example, according to Mark the crucifixion occurred in the morning, while according to John it occurred at noon). The contradictions in the gospels regarding the crucifixion and resurrection are such that it is impossible for them all to have taken place. Furthermore, aren’t we supposed to believe that these “eyewitnesses” were writing with Divine inspiration–that these are the inerrant words of God? Here’s a chart that shows the contradictions between the stories, and it doesn’t look good. This would never stand up in a court of law!

            http://www.outreachjudaism.org/articles/cru-chart.html

            You wrote that the details from the Hebrew scriptures match up to the Christian scriptures. I don’t see that. What details?

            You don’t think it’s a little too convenient that Jesus only appeared to those who were already devoted to him and only performed miracles for those who had faith? When the Pharisees asked for a sign (according to Christian scripture), he refused to give them one, except for his resurrection. But did he appear to them after his resurrection? No indeed! Why not?

            There’s a lot more to say, but I have to get back to work.

            Thanks for staying with me in this conversation, even though you doubt my sincerity.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

    • Jim says:

      Matthew,

      You have shown a very important principle, which contradicts the Christian notion of double fulfillment. When you say one should be brave in reference to Nichole Nordeman, you point out that someone who doesn’t know the lyrics to her song (as I don’t) won’t really understand what you mean. Their agreement is based on their understanding of “brave” but not in reference to her song. They don’t have the context.

      The Christian notion of “double fulfillment” (as Dina points out) is convenient, and for them even necessary, but it ignores context, and so they are unable to understand the meaning of the prophecies they quote. For example, Matthew quotes Jeremiah, Rachel weeping for her children, but he relates that to the killing of Bethlehemite babies. And, amazingly enough, he calls this a fulfillment of the prophecy. But this clearly cannot be the case. The context of Jeremiah does not allow it. Only one unfamiliar with the prophecy could hold the deaths of these children to be a fulfillment of that one solitary verse. The context is about exile, and the next verse promises comfort because the exiles will return.

      This has nothing to do with puns, double meaning, parables, or the rest. The context tells us what the verse Matthew quotes is about, which is not the slaughter of children at the hands of a jealous king. By removing the prophecy from context, Matthew is able to force upon it a new meaning. But that new meaning is an invention, clearly not intended by Jeremiah, nor by God. Matthew has played false, either through ignorance or intention.

      The Christian claim of “double fulfillment” is problematic in another way, too. In a conversation with a Christian friend the other day, he brought out the same point, and I asked him then, as I will ask you now: “What principle will you stand on when a new religion arises to take the words of Jesus out of context and apply to them a ‘double meaning’?” You won’t be able to appeal to the context. In fact, I don’t think that you will find any general principle to defend the teachings of Jesus from their claims at all. And so, if they show that Jesus was predicting a third testament to come, a more perfect teaching than Jesus’, you will have no recourse to refute them. The principle of “double fulfillment” can be used to erode Jesus’ words as well.

      It’s an important point you’ve brought out. True understanding relies on context. As I showed in “Horace’s Tree” one who comes to the text with an agenda is able to prove whatever he wants from it. But he won’t be able to discover the teachings of God from it. He will have created his own message, piecemeal from the text, a theological Frankenstein patched together in a horrific fashion.

      (For “Horace’s Tree” go here: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/horaces-tree-by-jim/ .)

      Jim

      • Jim,
        Actually, I think what I wrote affirms the idea of double fulfillment. Here’s the quote:
        “If I say’ “We should be “Brave” as Nichole Nordeman would say…”
        Most people would agree that being “brave” is a good thing. But if you were not familiar with the lyrics to her song, you would not really understand at a deep level.”

        I think any English speaker CAN understand the simple basic obvious meaning of “We should be brave,” and most people would agree, at least in theory. (People might differ in their opinions as to how exactly to be brave, but it is understood as a positive desirable quality by most people.)

        Yet, to “really understand AT A DEEP LEVEL” is more rich than at a basic level, but it is not necessary. One can still understand what being brave means without knowing the song.
        I’ll give further thought to you other points too.
        Matthew

        • Jim says:

          Matthew,

          To be brave in a generic sense and to be brave in a specific sense according to Nordeman’s definition may not be the same thing at all. I don’t know her song, and thus I can’t say. And so, if you ask me if one should be brave as she says, I can only answer that I don’t know. I have no context for understanding what she says. She may really be teaching foolhardiness or some other quality easily mistaken for bravery, but in actuality a violation of it as a principle. I need the context, and so does anyone else to understand what she says.

          Notice in your quotes you have to change the context to assert people’s agreement. First you write it in the context of what she would say; then you remove the context. You say most people would agree that “we should be brave”, but those are very different questions. They do not yield the same answer.

          Again, you only emphasize the importance of context, even if that is not the point you intend to make.

          Jim

          • Jim,
            I think I understand you point, and I agree that “To be brave in a generic sense and to be brave in a specific sense according to Nordeman’s definition” ARE DEFINITELY NOT the same thing at all. One is generic, one is specific – not the same. It’s a great song – you can find it easily on Youtube. I’m not sure if it’s permitted to post video links on this site.
            🙂

      • Jim,
        Regarding Jeremiah 31:15, quoted in Matthew 2:17-18,
        I agree that a prophecy about “the killing of Bethlehemite babies” was “clearly not intended by Jeremiah.” But this is the nature of true prophecy. Prophets are All-telling, but not All-knowing.

        As for context, yes, we should always consider context with any passage of Scripture. But for this particular verse, Jeremiah 31:15, you can see that the prophet Jeremiah goes out of his way to make it stand alone to a large degree. This is not yanked out of the middle of a paragraph.

        Verse 31:15 begins, “This is what Yahweh says:” and the next verse, 31:16, begins with the identical words again: “This is what Yahweh says:” So in this case, this one verse is very intentionally a single unit of thought, much more so than almost any other single verse in the Scripture that I can think of.

        I don’t at all dispute your assertion that
        “The context is about exile, and the next verse promises comfort because the exiles will return.”

        However, I would say that, speaking for God, Jeremiah very intentionally weakens the context in this case to such an extent that the context WOULD allow this one verse to be a prophecy about the slaughter of children at the hands of a jealous king in Bethehem.

        Matthew

        • Jim says:

          Matthew,

          By stripping away the context you are left with whatever interpretation you see fit. One can relate the prophecy to an earthquake, the Crusades, or Jewish children leaving their parents to go to college. You are left with no means to interpret the passage. One will apply it to whatever situation suits him, as your namesake has done, and assert with no evidence that this new situation here is the second fulfillment of the prophecy.

          Regarding the repetition of “Thus says Hashem”, it is actually a common practice throughout Torah and Prophets. Does it change the context every time that happens? Clearly not. Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, if the Gospels only took prophecies that were broken up the way you talk about, it would be interesting. I would have to consider that there was a hidden meaning, as you suggest, and this was the way it was hinted at. But in the same chapter Matthew takes Hosea 11.1 out of context, not even a whole sentence but just a few words and in the previous chapter he not only takes Isaiah 7.14 out of context, he alters the prophecy to make it more to his liking. He doesn’t just truncate it, he changes words to fit his agenda. Therefore, the principle you suggest is not that employed by Matthew. He’s just an unreliable narrator who does not respect the Prophets.

          Jim

          • Dina says:

            What about making up a prophecy out of whole cloth? Matthew does this in 2:23: “And he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: ‘He will be called a Nazarene.’ ”

            You can search the prophets inside out and upside down; no such prophecy exists. Furthermore, the town of Nazareth isn’t even mentioned anywhere in Tanach.

            It’s outrageous that Matthew gets away with it.

          • Hi Dina & Jim,
            God enjoys making puns and word plays. He is God, so He is free to do that. Anyway, it’s fun, and it makes His Word more interesting. God has a sense of humor, and we should too.

            Example #1.
            “The word of Yahweh came to me: ‘What do you see, Jeremiah?’
            ‘I see the branch of an almond tree,’ I replied.
            Yahweh said to me, ‘You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.’” [Jeremiah 1:11-12]
            [NIV footnotes: “The Hebrew for WATCHING sounds like the Hebrew for ALMOND TREE.”]

            Example #2
            “… and he went an lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: ‘He will be called a Nazarene.’” [Matthew 2:23]
            Doesn’t the Hebrew root word for Nazareth mean something like “branch”, so Nazareth might be loosely translated “branch town”?

            The Prophet Isaiah wrote:
            “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” [Isaiah 11:1]

            So saying “He will be called a Nazarene” could be sort of like saying “He will be a branch man from branch town.” I’m not saying that this is THE answer, but it’s a possible answer.

            Here is an example of a similar pun today: Mt. Fuji is a famous landmark in Japan. New York is known as “The Big Apple.” There is a type of apple called the “Fuji Apple”, (which is the favorite of my wife and I by the way…) So if a Japanese person was born in New York, he might jokingly refer to himself as a “Fuji Apple.” Get it?

            Blessings,
            Matthew

          • Dina says:

            Matthew, there are a couple of problems with your argument.

            The first, most obvious one, is that Matthew makes it clear he is quoting from the Prophets: “So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: ‘He will be called a Nazarene.’ ”

            “What was said” is followed by “He will be called a Nazarene.” Matthew could not have made his meaning more clear. He also could not be more clearly wrong.

            Nowhere does Scripture tell us that the Messiah must be from Nazareth or called a Nazarene.

            So your explanation amounts to nothing more than desperate apologetics.

            The second problem is that you are speculating on the etymology of Natzeret. The root of that name could just as easily and more plausibly be “natzar” which means “watch” or “guard,” in the sense that the town was guarded or protected due to its location.

            You should be really troubled by this, instead of dismissing it as a fun play on words because God just likes to have fun.

          • Dina says:

            By the way, in the example of a pun that you took from Jeremiah, the meaning is very clear. The pun is immediately explained. (Just like in the example you took from the Psalms about parables.)

          • Jim,
            I agree with you, QUOTE:
            “Regarding the repetition of “Thus says Hashem”, it is actually a common practice throughout Torah and Prophets. Does it change the context every time that happens? Clearly not.”

            Yes. But it is at least sort of like a “paragraph break” in most cases, as I think you would agree. So Verse 31:15 is a very “short paragraph” compared to most other “paragraphs” in Jeremiah chapter 31, and also throughout the rest of the Torah and Prophets. (I will try to address elsewhere the other verses you mention in passing.)
            Matthew

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            Once again you conflate two issues: the use of puns and double fulfillment. The two topics are not related.

            Matthew did not make a pun. As Dina pointed out, he made a claim that Jesus fulfilled a prophecy about being from a particular city. No such prophecy exists. If he had only made a pun, that would have been tolerable. However, he ascribes fulfillment of prophecy to one that does not exist. You might as well say the Jesus fulfilled a Laffy Tafffy wrapper.

            Jim

      • Jim,
        You asked, QUOTE:
        “What principle will you stand on when a new religion arises to take the words of Jesus out of context and apply to them a ‘double meaning’?”

        My answer- here’s a start:
        The words of Jesus in context, recorded by the 4 Gospel witnesses, in alignment with the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms. “Let every matter be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid.” Understand the First and Greatest Most Important Commandment is to Love God. The Second is to love people. It’s 2 commandments, not one, and God is first.

        False teachers are constantly doing what you describe here. For example, Paul the Pharisee was primarily responsible fo redefining Communion (the Lord’s Supper). Instead of it being an extended intimate dinner party with rich fellowship among believers to REMEMBER JESUS, Paul’s evil influence made it into a short, cold religious ritual, with no real food, just a thimble of wine or grape juice and a tiny cracker, to remember the DEATH of Jesus. Paul’s bad influence on communion is most obvious in the Roman Catholic Mass.

        Blessings,
        Matthew

        • Jim says:

          Matthew,

          You are in a contradiction.

          Now, for you, the context matters. But the very point is that the NT ignores the context of the Torah and Prophets to set up their own agenda. In defending the Gospels you ignore the context and claim a second fulfillment. Now, if Paul wants to set up a new meaning to the communion, you want to object to him based on the context. But Paul could turn around to you and say that their is a second “DEEP MEANING” to the communion. He would say that there is a double fulfillment. And if he did so, he would not violate any of the principles according to which you operate.

          You cannot complain about Paul changing the teachings of Jesus when the Gospels are doing the very same thing to the Torah and the Prophets, and you stand behind them. Your principle cannot be the very one you violate in defending the Gospels. You cannot appeal to context.

          With respect,

          Jim

          • Jim,
            In terms of Paul, Jesus reminded us from the Torah:
            “Let every matter be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”
            So this is in both the Torah and the Gospels.

            No one agreed with Paul about many things, including his interpretation of Communion, the Most Important Commandment, what is an “Apostle” and his own claim to be “Apostle to the Gentiles.” The list goes on. And there are many other “Pauls,” through history and today, that people choose to follow

  28. Hi Jim,
    Thank you for being a light to a Gentile. Until I read your e-mail, and then looked at the Torah for myself, I always had the general idea that “eye for eye” [Matthew 5:38] was about “revenge”, which was “bad.”
    You wrote, QUOTE:
    “But if you read the Torah, you will find that the phrase is used in regard to compensatory damages. The Torah is not issuing permit to take one man’s eye for the eye he destroyed in another. It is speaking about the valuation of the eye. Review Exodus 21.12-37.”

    I agree with you about the actual meaning of this Torah passage. It seems to be designed to prevent acts of “revenge” done in moments of wild emotion and passion, so that people have a commonly accepted standard to reason from and think clearly. In other words, “the Law.” So we should take it “seriously”, but not “literally,” just as we should with Matthew 5:29, “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away.”

    Without the teaching (Torah) and presence of God, men will become unreasonable in a quest for revenge. It’s human nature – look at the beginning of the Torah itself. “I killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me. If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.” [Genesis 4:23-24] Lamech didn’t have the Torah to restrain him. The writer of Psalm 137 had the Torah, but seems not to have been applying it in verses 8-9. None of us can perfectly control our own emotions all the time. We are human.

    I would not say that Exodus 21.12-37 is wrong. I affirm that it is good, reasonable, better than the ideas of man on his own, and I’m sure that Jesus would agree. But I would also say that the teaching of Jesus is even better, and calls us to live at a higher level, which makes the world a better place for everyone.

    I would need to respectfully disagree with your statement that “he [Jesus] makes “eye for an eye” to be about revenge.”

    The relevant words of Jesus are in Matthew 5:17-48. Jesus begins by saying; “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
    Previously, I had expressed in my own words my understanding of the relationship between Jesus and the Law & Prophets, and you did not find that agreeable. That is fine – I’ll just let Jesus speak for himself in his own words, they are better than mine.

    After beginning with this clear affirmation of the Law and Prophets, for the remainder of Matthew chapter 5, Jesus expounds 6 points, beginning each with a variation of the basic idea or phrase: “You have heard that it was said…”
    Matthew 5:21, 27, 31, 33, 38, 43.

    Jesus did NOT say, “It was said,” “It was written,” or “It is written.” But rather “YOU HAVE HEARD that it was said.”
    Jesus was preaching against the superficial sound-bite version of Judaism put forth by the hypocritical talking heads of his day, (Pharisees mostly), which took a few words out of context and misinterpreted them. Many Christians, or self-proclaimed Christians, do this today, with words from “the Bible.” Also our technology makes it easier to do this.

    Back when I used to watch TV, I noticed that a politician might give a speech for an hour, but the TV news would only show half of one sentence out of context, which made him appear to be saying exactly the opposite of what he really said in context. I think that out of context, “eye for eye” does seem to be advocating at least a limited form of revenge, most people today probably see it that way, and I’m sure that many people 2000 years ago also saw it that way. It’s a wrong understanding, which Jesus was attempting to correct, telling them “YOU HAVE HEARD that it was said…”

    However, it seems clear to me that Matthew 5:38-42 is about more than simply Jesus correcting the false idea that “eye for eye” is about “revenge.” It’s a picture of a new way of thinking and personal relationships, where we don’t “strike back” immediately. Jesus still is advocating a measured response, not promoting abuse or encouraging people to let themselves be used or victimized. Jesus is encouraging us to be kind and patient with each other within reasonable limits, rather than “going ballistic” right away and “demanding our rights.”

    “If someone strikes you on the right cheek,” and you are ABLE to turn to him the other also, it means that you are not seriously wounded or injured or knocked down. And you only have 2 cheeks.

    “If someone wants to sue you and take your tunic,” your cloak probably costs less than a good lawyer would. Jesus doesn’t say give him your house.

    “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” Most healthy people could walk 2 miles in a day without trouble – it would be good exercise. It isn’t 100 miles. And Jesus said to go WITH HIM, which implies a sense of shared fellowship, conversation, and communication.
    “Give to the one who asks you” doesn’t mean give him whatever he asks for. You might just give him a smile and a word of encouragement.

    “Do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you” is not a command to necessarily loan him whatever he wants, as much as he wants. Rather, it’s a command to be kind to each other, to love your neighbor as yourself.

    Matthew

    • Dina says:

      Matthew and Jim, forgive me for jumping in again. Matthew, it doesn’t matter what you think Jesus was preaching against, whatever he taught of value was not new, and whatever was new was of no value. For an in-depth study of the Sermon on the Mount compared to traditional Jewish teachings, I highly recommend The Jewish Sources of the Sermon on the Mount by Gerald Friedlander.

      http://www.amazon.com/The-Jewish-Sources-Sermon-Mount/dp/1162757175/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395029074&sr=8-1&keywords=the+jewish+sources+for+the+sermon+on+the+mount

      You might find the Jewish perspective informative and enlightening, from a Jewish scholar writing at the beginning of twentieth-century England.

      If you ever read it, I’d love to get your thoughts on it.

      Best,
      Dina

    • Jim says:

      Matthew,

      I do not have the time at this moment to respond to your entire comment, but I hope to do so later today. However, I do not want to mislead you. I am not Jewish. From your comment about me being a “light to the Gentile” I gather that is your impression. My apologies if I made you think that. I am a ben Noach, a non-Jew. I am sorry if I made you think otherwise.

      Jim

    • Jim says:

      Matthew,

      I must admit that I am a little troubled by your response here. It appears to me that you are unwilling to actually investigate the words of Jesus and weigh them properly, that your goal as an apologist is only to find how they can be true rather than whether or not they are. Further, I am quite troubled by your unjustified attack on the pharisees, that is to say on Torah observant Jews, without evidence. However, I recognize that the NT has shaped your view of them, so I shall try to be understanding.

      You admitted up above that until recently you had the idea that “eye for an eye” was bad and that it was about revenge. But in my opinion, you are not honest about where you got that idea. I doubt it was from a deep reading of Torah. And it wasn’t from Rabbinic teachings, since they clearly teach that it is about compensation. So where did you get that idea? You got it from the Gospels and from the Church.

      And what I find particularly troubling about your response is that you then impute this wrong understanding to a sound-bite version of “eye for an eye” given by the Pharisees. This is something for which you have no evidence. In fact, the best evidence would suggest rather the opposite. The rabbis did not make this to be about revenge. The sound-bite comes from Jesus and shaped your understanding of the text, not from the Pharisees, and it is grossly unfair to misrepresent them, when in fact the very error you attribute to them is one you made.

      Even now, you seem to want to rewrite it. I see nothing that would make this about limiting revenge. I wouldn’t put it within the sphere of revenge at all. It’s civil law. It’s justice. It’s restitution. Revenge isn’t even the topic. It has nothing to do with “striking back,” or taking a more measured response. It is simply this. If I harm you, I ought to make it right. And a court system is set up in place to assess damages and make me pay them. Restitution is not revenge.

      Regarding the rest of your argument, I’m going to come back to it. Even now, after sitting with this for 24 hours, I am so flabbergasted by your response. I am deeply troubled by the way you misrepresent Jewish teaching so that you can exalt the teaching of Jesus. So, I’m going to deal separately with the idea that Jesus did not come to abolish the law. Since you used to watch politicians on television, you should already have an idea of what I’m going to say about the words of Jesus.

      Jim

      • Dina says:

        Also, Matthew, you can’t argue successfully that when Jesus said “you have heard it said of old,” he followed up with a nasty “Pharisaic soundbite,” because we have the writings of those very Pharisees to give the lie to his words.

        The Pharisees taught such things as:

        “Be exceedingly humble.”
        “Let your home be open wide [to poor people].”
        “Let the poor be the children of your household.”
        “Greet every person with a pleasant countenance.”
        “Be the first to greet every person.”
        “Who is rich? He who is content with his portion.”
        “Who is wise? He who learns from every person.”
        “Who is strong? He who has mastered himself.”
        “Judge every person in the scale of merit.” [I.e., judge favorably or give the benefit of the doubt.]

        That’s in their own words, I just randomly picked a few ideas from their own writings. I should like to know which of these teachings Jesus objected to.

        • Dina
          I don’t think Jesus objected to any of the teachings you listed. And these teachings fit perfectly with the teaching of Paul the Pharisee.
          But you are leaving out the Most Important teaching of the Torah.

          Paul made up his own rule. Paul wrote:
          “The entire law is summed up in a SINGLE command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” [Galatians 5:14, Leviticus 19:18]

          However, in contrast, here is what Jesus answered when asked the question:
          Of all the commandments, which is the most important?

          “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “ is this: ‘Hear, of Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than THESE.” [Mark 12:28-31, Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Leviticus 19:18]

          Blessings,
          Matthew

          • Dina says:

            Matthew, you didn’t respond to my challenge to your claim that Jesus misrepresented the Pharisees with his “you have heard it said of old” sayings.

            Please don’t call Paul a Pharisee. He was not a Pharisee; he was a Liar.

          • Dina,
            We agree that Paul was a liar.

            Here is the response you requested.
            Jesus said:
            “Whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
            [Matthew 5:20]

            Jesus also spoke at length about the Pharisees in the entire chapter of Matthew 23.

          • Dina says:

            Jesus said vicious things about the Pharisees in that chapter. And in other places as well. My people suffered unspeakably for nearly 2000 years because of what he said (or because of the words that are attributed to him).

            I don’t see how your quote answers the challenge. Jesus said “you have heard it said of old,” then presented a twisted teaching that you claim was taught by the Pharisees. But we have the writings of the Pharisees (the real-live ones, not the ones who existed in the imaginations of the Evangelists) that prove Jesus wrong. They never taught ideas such as “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” That’s a lie. If you can find such a teaching in all of the voluminous writings of the real Pharisees, I will eat my words.

            If I sound angry, it’s because I am. Millions of my people were tortured, degraded, hanged, burned, massacred, expelled–because of the anti-Jewish teachings of the “New Testament.”

          • Eric says:

            Dina, people suffered because of hating the others and Jesus didn’t teach that so there is no reason to blame him for that. He thought the opposite. If everybody put that into practice, there would no war ANYWHERE.
            I don’t think he was referring to Pharisees as if they were teaching the idea “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.”, these words WEREN’T WRITTEN anywhere , the words might have function simply in the SPOKEN language . Why did David had that hating attitude towards his enemies? It is because naturally people’s attitude is like that , it is easier to hate them , rather then to do any good to them. Jesus was just simply pointing to; be different , don’t show hatered “ that you may be children of your Father in heaven”
            David said in Ps 137 v.7-9
            Remember, Lord, what the Edomites did
            on the day Jerusalem fell.
            “Tear it down,” they cried,
            “tear it down to its foundations!”
            8 Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
            happy is the one who repays you
            according to what you have done to us.
            9 Happy is the one who seizes your infants
            and dashes them against the rocks.

            Matthew 3;43-48“You have heard that it was SAID , ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

          • Dina,
            Jesus and all the true 12 Apostles were all Jewish. The teachings of Jesus and the Gospels are not Anti-Jewish at all. Paul the Pharisee said all kinds of things, many of which are wrong, and some of which are Anti-Jewish. This is why we should not adopt the language of the Second Century Heretic Marcion, who coined the term “New Testament” was a devoted follower of Paul. We should think in terms the Torah, the Prophets, and the testimony of the Jewish Messiah as our priority. Yes there are other Writings and Letters that have some value, but they should not be confused with The Word of God.
            Matthew

          • Dina says:

            Matthew, the only thing I agree with here is that Jesus and his disciples were Jewish. Why is what Paul said anti-Jewish and what the gospels said not?

            Do you think that just because someone is Jewish then whatever anti-Jewish thing they say is inherently not anti-Jewish?

            Why isn’t it anti-Jewish, for example, to call Jews children of the devil (as in the gospel of John)? Why isn’t it anti-Jewish to blame all the Jews for all murders ever committed since the murder of Abel (before there were even any Jews)?

            You’ll have a hard time convincing me that these and other statements aren’t anti-Jewish, seeing as how my great-grandparents paid for them with their lives.

          • Dina,
            You wrote, QUOTE:
            “We have the writings of the Pharisees (the real-live ones, not the ones who existed in the imaginations of the Evangelists) that prove Jesus wrong. They never taught ideas such as “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” That’s a lie. If you can find such a teaching in all of the voluminous writings of the real Pharisees, I will eat my words.”

            Yes, I can believe that you have some of the writings of some real Pharisees preserved now 2000 years later. And I’m sure that “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy” isn’t in the writings you have.

            However, you were not alive 2000 years ago, and even if you had been, you are not omnipresent like God is. You could not hear ALL the ORAL teachings as well as read ALL the written teachings of ALL the Pharisees in ALL the synagogues in ALL of Israel.

            We do have the written record by the Jewish Scribe Matthew recording the oral teachings of a Jewish Rabbi, Jesus, who was referring to some of the oral teachings among some of the Pharisees of his day. Human teachers sometimes teach false doctrine, whether Pharisees, Christians, Jews, 2000 years ago or today. You cannot prove that no individual Pharisee ever taught “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy” 2000 years ago in Israel. The main point that we all agree on is, this wrong. God rebukes those he loves.
            Peace and blessings,
            Matthew

          • Dina says:

            Matthew:

            SOME of the writings of SOME real Pharisees? Try hundreds of Pharisees in a work roughly the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica. This is an unserious argument, Matthew.

            But you are right. I cannot prove that there was not some Pharisee somewhere who taught what Jesus claims was taught. Nor can you prove that what Jesus said was not a hateful lie, the consequences of which cost the lives of millions of my people.

            Although we each can’t prove our respective points, there is one fact from which we can draw a conclusion.

            That fact is the answer to this question: How did the followers of the Pharisees fare morally, compared to the followers of Jesus?

            Let’s take a look at history from the end of the fourth century until, say, 1950.

            While Christians were busy persecuting Jews and people of other faiths, herding Jews into ghettos, expelling them, massacring them, and so on, Pharisees prayed for their enemies (the Russian Jews were famous for praying for the welfare of the anti-Semitic czars).

            While Christians engaged in wars with each other over land, religion, and politics, spilling a lot of blood, Pharisees prayed for their enemies, set up charities within the ghetto walls, and performed acts of loving-kindness.

            While Christians put to death petty criminals (like hanging someone for stealing a loaf of bread), applied death penalties with little evidence, like the witch trials that swept through Europe and claimed tens of thousands of lives, Pharisees didn’t put anyone to death.

            While Christians demonized Jews in their writings, Pharisees studied the Jewish sacred texts, prayed for their enemies, and gave most of their money in punitive taxes to the Christian governments.

            The fact is, Christianity claimed to lead its followers down a path that was morally superior to Judaism but failed spectacularly.

            Now you might argue, as many others on this blog have argued, that those Christians weren’t real Christians. If you would argue that, just consider this: Why don’t you hear modern-day Pharisees defending themselves against such horrific acts by saying that those weren’t real Pharisees?

            And that is that.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Dina,
            The Satan does some of his best work through “religion” and “religious writings.”
            Just because people claim to know God and follow God and obey God does not mean that they are telling the truth.

            By the way, until I ran across “yourPhariseeFriend” I had assumed that the Pharisees ceased to exist somewhere around 70 AD. I had never heard anything about them, other than what is in the “New Testament.”

          • Dina says:

            Hi Matthew.

            You wrote: “Just because people claim to know God and follow God and obey God does not mean that they are telling the truth.”

            I anticipated this argument when I wrote that “you might argue, as many others on this blog have argued, that those Christians weren’t real Christians [or to use your words, weren’t really following God and that this was Satan’s work]. If you would argue that, just consider this: Why don’t you hear modern-day Pharisees defending themselves against such horrific acts by saying that those weren’t real Pharisees?”

            Why, indeed?

            I’m very curious to know who you hold up to be a true Christian follower of God. Which famous teachers of Christianity from the early church fathers until, say, 1600, would you point to as genuine?

            I’m amazed by your admission that you thought the Pharisees ceased to exist when the Temple was destroyed, when they were in fact the only group to survive. I thought this was well known. The other groups were destroyed or disappeared (the Jewish Hellenists, the Essenes, the Sadducees, and the early Jewish followers of Jesus, such as the Ebionites).

            Historians agree that the only segment of the Jewish population that is suited to survival is the Pharisaic, i.e. rabbinic, segment. Anyway, if you don’t mind my suggesting it, I recommend that you read a little Jewish history. If nothing else, it will at least help you understand our perspective. I recommend A History of the Jews by Paul Johnson and Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll (neither of these authors are Jews).

      • Jim,
        Yes, I admit I got the idea that “eye for an eye” was bad and that it was about revenge from the Christian church traditions. (I may have used the term “Pharisees” loosely, referring to ‘Christian Pharisees.”) Not from a deep reading of Torah or from Rabbinic teachings. I was wrong about that, but now I am learning more. Thank you for being patient with me. Yes, “It’s civil law. It’s justice. It’s restitution. Revenge isn’t even the topic” of this portion of the Torah. We agree now.

        You also wrote to me, QUOTE:
        “I am quite troubled by your unjustified attack on the pharisees, that is to say on Torah observant Jews, without evidence.”

        You seem to be saying here that “Pharisees” = “Torah observant Jews.”
        Here on “yourphariseefriend”, I have just recently had substantial dialogue with Dina on this very point. Based on Dina’s responses, it seems to me that this equation is not correct. It might be more accurate to say “Pharisees” = “Tanach, Talmud & Rabbinic Tradition observant Jews.”
        Would you care to comment?
        Respectfully,
        Matthew

        • Dina says:

          Matthew, what are Christian Pharisees? Is “Pharisee” an epithet you attach to Christians you disagree with?

          • Dina,
            It’s just my personal opinion, using the term “Christian Pharisees” loosely, so I don’t have a clearly thought-out definition. Even if I did, it is still just my own words, not The Word of God.
            But since you asked, roughly, I am referring to nominal “Bible-believing Christians” who practically speaking are really following Paul the Pharisee, the self-appointed “Apostle of the Gentiles.” They are not following the Lord God Jesus Christ the Jewish Messiah, Son of Yahweh the Most High God of Israel, as I am.
            Peace and blessings,
            Matthew

          • Dina says:

            Thanks for explaining. But you should know that Paul was not a Pharisee.

        • Dina says:

          Matthew, that’s an honest question, no disrespect intended. Thanks!

        • Jim says:

          Matthew,

          Yes, Pharisees are Torah observant Jews. And yes they observe the oral law as well as the written. (It could not be otherwise.) They do observe Rabbinic strictures as well, but those are not equated with commandments given by God. You are much better off asking R’ Blumenthal or Dina about this, however, as I am a baby, and I would not wish to misinform you regarding the Jewish position. As you can see there are no such thing as “Christian Pharisees”.

          Jim

  29. Eric says:

    Dina, I am trying to give you my answer to the genealogy. I don’t like to jump to a new ‘twisty’ subject before the other are completely discussed , but anyways here what I would say;
    What about Jeconiah curse ?
    The thing is – Jesus is not Joseph’ biological offspring so the curse is not passed on as there is no sinful nature inherited from them. Jesus said his Father is the one in heaven.
    You said; “If a Kohain or Levite adopted a child from another tribe, that child would not be allowed to serve in the Temple.” and “If Jesus wasn’t Joseph’s natural (biological son) then he had no tribal rights.”and all my three examples I spoke about before – you say – refer to inheritance and/or property rights, NOT tribal lineage.
    Why the tribal lineage could not be inherited but why Jesus could inherit it?
    To answer that we have to look at the fact that all the mentioned adoption examples and inheritance rules in OT related to a child who had a biological father and the child who was adopted into a new family carried already his biological father’s tribal lineage and blood .
    So if God made it possible that an unmarried woman had a child ( mentioned before in Isaiah
    ( without a biological father) , that child ( Jesus) was born into Joseph’s tribal lineage as a descendant of David having a right to the same lineage with all the tribal rights as there was no biological father of a different lineage.
    Not having a birth-father was a clear sign that Jesus is Son of God. There is no Jewish law that tells you whether the child born like that can’t be born into a certain lineage, or has tribal rights or not. I am living it up to God .
    When it comes to genealogy in Matthew and Luke;
    there is no confusion in both genealogies as one is the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph , the other is through Mary ( mother of Jesus).
    In each of the two genealogies every name is different up until David with the exception of Joseph, Zorobabel and Salathiel. Therefore these two genealogies do not trace the same lineage
    Luke starts with Joseph son of Heli instead of listing ;Mary daughter of Heli.
    The expression “Joseph, [ ] of Heli”, without the word “son” being present in the Greek, means that “Joseph, of Heli” is to be read “Joseph, [son-in-law] of Heli”.
    In Matthew ; Jacob is Joseph’s biological father, and in Luke ; Heli (Mary’s biological father) became Joseph’s surrogate father, ( and would be referred as father) making also Joseph Heli’s heir through his marriage to Mary. If Heli had no sons, this would have been the normal custom. Also, if Mary and Joseph lived under the same roof with Heli, his “son-in-law” would have been called “son” and considered a descendent. Men in those times often regarded their sons-in-law as their own sons. (The term “son” was also used to mean “grandson” or an even more remote descendant). Jesus was also called son of David, although he is not his ‘literal’ son.

  30. Eric says:

    Dina, You asked me,Are you listening? Are you listening to the testimony of God’s witnesses?
    Yes; and God’s witness is not limited to the one before 3000 years ago to me. “This is my beloved son, listen to him.” Luke 9;35 Jesus tells you who God is and how much He carries.
    P.S Your idea about after -life ‘always living consciousness’ has no support in God’s word.
    Psalm 6:5, which says, “For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks” ? Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10, “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing.
    Ezekiel 37;12-14 “Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.” When God puts His spirit in you, then you are alive again. Ezekiel doesn’t say that all the live ‘souls’ were returning to their bodies.
    Another example; the spirit is not your consciousness; Numbers 11;25
    “And the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses. Then he gave the seventy elders the same Spirit that was upon Moses. And when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied.”

    • Dina says:

      Hi Eric,

      I need to look at all of these, plus I have a pile of comments from you that I haven’t responded to. I will try to get to them tomorrow or at least some time this week. Thanks in advance for your patience.

      Peace and blessings,
      Dina

  31. Eric says:

    Dina, my last comment today; You said our interpretation of the Messiah is completely different. You see him as a national leader – I will say; it is the same when it comes to his coming in the future and restoring everything. ( Jeremiah 23;5-6) . When Jesus came 2000 years ago he didn’t come as a king to rule but was a part of your suffering nation. This type of a person seems to you not to fit at all in the history to play the role we believe we did. So I gave myself time to read through detailed jewish interpretation of isaiah 53 to see if I can justify your thinking if there is no place for Jesus at all.
    http://www.aish.com/sp/ph/Isaiah_53_The_Suffering_Servant.html
    Because the commentary is too long to talk about it here I will just point to a few things .
    The Jewish commentary says; “There is no reason that the “servant” in Isaiah 53 would suddenly switch and refer to someone other than the Jewish people.
    First of all, there is no ‘someone other” because Jesus was Jewish , part of your nation. If you are part of that ‘suffering servant’ as a nation so was He. Some of you suffered at the exile , some from the holocaust, Jesus suffered from his own people and was crucified. Jewish commentary says ; the chapter is also about the glorious Messianic future of Israel. I am sure Jesus will be there too as he is a part of it! What else you have in common with him in that chapter is the suffering. However you want to translate it that every single thing here described is a group accomplishment ( as a nation) even limited only to a ‘righteous remnant’ I can’t agree;
    v.5 “ through his wounds we were healed” Jewish interpretation is a pure adjustment of these words to fit the nation. These words mean what they literally mean and Jesus clearly explained that his blood will be poured for many.
    v.6 “God inflicted upon him [Israel] the iniquity of us all.” Jewish commentary says; “how punishments that should have befallen the nations were averted through Israel’s suffering.”
    -You are not the only one nation that has been suffering. The other nations are NOT free from suffering. More logical to me is that the punishments that should have befallen the nations ( so it is me also ) were averted through Jesus’ suffering.” Another words what I deserved , he paid. Not a nation .
    v.8 “because of my people’s sin they were afflicted.” Even if your translation says it in plural to use that against Jesus, it still means Jesus is there as he is in the nation of your people ( they) so he is also afflicted because of other people’s sin.
    The difference is , he is sinless so he can take these sins upon himself and pay for them, the nation can’t as it consists of people who will die one day for their own sins.

    v.11 “My servant will cause the masses to be righteous; and he will bear their sins.
    First of all what do you mean by being righteous? Second , you can’t bear the peoples sin to make them righteous as everybody is a sinner even among Jewish people ( you all die as well). Only sinless Jesus who didn’t deserve death could accomplish that. God supported his testimony by raising him back to life. To bear somebody’s sin means to take it upon yourself and make the other person free of it. Jesus said he did that all, why wouldn’t I believe God’s word about Jesus, and instead of trust a group of people who also need God’s forgiveness?
    Sorry , I jumped back to that subject about the servant again.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Eric.

      Usually I can handle a few topics at once, but I’m beginning to feel overwhelmed by the number of different turns our conversation has taken and trying to keep up with every twist and turn. If you are agreeable, I would like to suggest picking a topic and hashing it out before moving on to the next.

      Would you like to pick a topic? I’m okay with going back to Isaiah 53, if you wish. You mentioned a virgin birth in Isaiah, which does not exist–so we can talk about that. Or anything else you’d like.

      Let me know if you’d like to do that.

      Respectfully,
      Dina

      • Eric says:

        Dina, you just asked me so many questions in your emails that is what I was trying to give my answer to… I am not sure if our conversation is going to anywhere as you will keep defending your view I will be defending my view. And what? You will be only referring to torah, I will be referring to both OT and NT. I will be proving that Jesus’ life wasn’t without a meaning, you will be responding with the fact that the only torah is sufficient source of God’s communication. So what is the point to continue….? I let you chose if you want to continue… maybe just asking questions about things relating to Christianity or Judaism would make more sense than putting long explanation to one topic… And you don’t have to give the answer to all my messages , if you don’t see a need for it or don’t have time for it. I let you decide.
        Eric,

        • Dina says:

          Thank you, Eric, you are very kind. I do have time for a dialogue with you (not a lot, true), but I shoved so many topics into our conversation that I overwhelmed myself. I do think there is a point to this conversation if we are both seeking the truth. The more we discuss the issues, the more clarity we gain, I believe.

          I would be honored to continue this discussion with you. You’ve been respectful and kind.

          Thanks again,
          Dina

    • Dina says:

      Or we can talk about the genealogies, Eric. There’s a lot to choose from, as I can see by just glancing over some previous comments.

  32. The voice of Yahweh, speaking through the Prophet Hosea:
    “I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of Egypt. I will make you live in tents again, as in the days of your appointed feasts. I spoke to the prophets, gave them many visions and told PARABLES through them.” [Hosea 12:8-10]

    The voice of Yahweh, speaking through Asaph:
    “O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in PARABLES, I will utter hidden things, things from of old – what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us.” [Psalm 78:1-3]

    • Dina says:

      Matthew, did you miss the meaning in the second part of the verse from Psalms that you quoted? It refutes your point.

  33. Matthew
    You are operating under a false assumption taught to you by the traditions of the Protestants (like Martin Luther) the Five Books of Moses refer to a “Torah” as a body of law that exists in the hearts and minds of the people taught to them by Moses orally – you can read about it here
    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/deuteronomy-334-oral-law/

    • Dear Pharisee Friend,
      I’ve read through your article here.
      What do you do with this passage from the Prophets?

      “Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, ‘I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of Yahweh. He gave it to Shaphan, who read it…..When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes. He gave these orders… ‘Go and inquire of Yahweh for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is Yahweh’s anger that burns against us because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.” [2 Kings 22:8—13]

      Respectfully,
      Matthew Perri

      • Dina says:

        Hi Matthew,

        I’m taking the liberty of responding on behalf of our Pharisee friend, Rabbi Blumenthal. I have cut and pasted the following from his paper “Supplement to Contra Brown.”

        The Torah scroll of Josiah

        Another objection put forward by Christians in support of their rejection of the Jewish national legacy relates to the history of our people. Scripture records many instances where the Jews forsook the Law. In the times of the Judges and in the times of the wicked kings of either the Northern or Southern Kingdoms, the nation fell into idolatry. The searing words of rebuke recorded in the scriptures describe a corrupt nation that disregarded the Law. This does not sound like a nation that was meticulously guarding minor details of the complex traditions. In scripture’s depiction of the religious revivals that followed some of these periods of disobedience, we learn how the written word was a central factor in getting the people back on track. Under the reign of Josiah, the finding of one scroll of the Law (the Five Books of Moses), triggered a wave of national repentance (2Kings 22:8 ‑ 23:25, 2Chronicles 34:14 ‑ 35:6). The implication seems to be that the nation had lost the Written Law. If the people had forgotten the basic written directives of Moses, how could the same nation have retained a vast and complex body of unwritten teachings of Moses? In the times of Ezra and Nehemiah the people needed to read about the festival of Tabernacles and about the law prohibiting intermarriage in order to learn of their existence (Nehemiah 8:14,13:1). How could this same nation who had forgotten some of the foundational written laws, at the same time have memorized countless details of an oral tradition?

        These questions are not new. This criticism was formulated by the Muslims long ago in an attempt to discredit the Scriptures themselves. The responsa of Rabbi Solomon ben Aderet (13th century Rabbi of Barcelona) records this Muslim argument ‑ If the Jewish nation was disloyal to God, how could we trust them to preserve the Scriptures? How can we know that the Torah scroll that Josiah found was truly the scroll that Moses had written?

        For those who believe in the divine origin of Scripture, this question is not relevant. If it was important to God to preserve His message, the fallible nature of man will not stand in His way. The Christian who believes in the inspired nature of Scripture, recognizes that God maintained the accuracy of His word, through the medium of the Jewish nation. The question only remains ‑ what is God’s word? If God had given Moses directives that were not recorded in the Five Books, and those directives were relevant to the later generations, then we can trust that God protected those directives from corruption.

        Those who present this challenge to the authenticity of the Law, be they Muslim imams or Christian missionaries, are missing an important feature of the nature of Scripture. Scripture’s objective in recording Israel’s past, is not to satisfy the curiosity of the history buff. The purpose of Scripture is to improve our future. We are therefore enjoined to recall our shortcomings (Deuteronomy 9:7) and these are magnified and emphasized with the most forceful words. Before Moses died, he spoke to the people. He did not commend them for all the love that they had poured into the Tabernacle. He did not praise them for following God into the wilderness (Jeremiah 2:2). The Jewish people would have to wait almost 1000 years before hearing this compliment from God. Instead Moses rebuked them for every failing that occurred throughout the 40 years, and described these at length (Deuteronomy 1:26‑45, 9:7‑24).

        The book of Joshua further illustrates this point (7:1). One individual, a man named Achan, had violated the oath that Joshua had declared to the people. The terminology that Scripture uses to describe this incident seems to be way out of proportion to the crime committed. The chapter opens with the words “The Children of Israel trespassed”. The entire nation is declared guilty for the sin of one lone individual. Further on in the chapter we read “Israel sinned, they have also violated My covenant that I have commanded them, they have also stolen and denied” (Joshua 7:11). Not only is the nation being blamed for the sin of one of her members, but the crime itself is magnified in the strongest possible terms. The consequence of this one sin seems exaggerated as well. The nation was punished with a defeat in battle (Joshua 7:5), and God tells Joshua that He will no longer be with the Jewish people. All this for the crime of one individual! This gives us an insight into the standard that God demands of His people. The sin of one man is the sin of the nation, and the repercussions come on a national scale.

        With this in mind we can appreciate that the intense words of rebuke that the prophets directed against the nation do not imply that every individual member of the nation was guilty of every trespass that the prophets mention. The prophets looked at the nation as a corporate whole, and the sin of some of the members is attributed to the complete national entity. The divinely inspired authors of scripture were certainly people of great moral caliber, yet they included themselves when they spoke of the nation’s sins. Exodus 16:28 has God accusing Moses together with Israel for refusing to obey His commandments. Isaiah 6:5, 42:24, and 64:8 have Isaiah including himself in confessing the sins of the nation. Jeremiah 14:7,20, Micha 7:9, Psalm 106:6, Lamentations 3:42, Daniel 9:20, Ezra 9:6, and Nehemiah 1:6 all record how the divinely inspired authors recognized the sins of the nation as their own sins.

        There can be no question that there were times when a large percentage of the nation was disobedient to God. But even in the lowest times there was a recognizable element that was loyal to God. Not an element that saw themselves as separate from the nation, but an element that saw themselves as part of the nation ‑ and the nation saw this element as a part of them. When the nation recognized that they had strayed and needed to return to God, they knew to whom to turn. God always had representatives amongst His nation, and these representatives were the medium through whom God preserved His Law. These were the people who treasured every word of God’s Law, both written and unwritten and passed them on to the future generations.

        This element of Jews who maintained their loyalty to God never lost the written Torah. When the Scriptures tell us that the reading of the Torah taught the people about the holiday of Tabernacles (Nehemiah 8:14), or about the prohibition against intermarriage (Nehemiah 13:1), this refers to the lower elements of the populace. The scripture itself makes the distinction between the two segments of the population ‑ “those who know the laws of your God” and ‑ “those who do not know them” (Ezra 7:25). These people who knew the Law, and certainly Ezra himself and the leadership around him, did not need to read a verse to discover something they never knew. Ezra himself is described as a “scribe of the law of God” (Ezra 7:12). Having copied the Torah we can safely assume that he knew what he had written.

        Similarly, we can understand that the scroll that was found in the times of Josiah, was not the last surviving copy of the Five Books of Moses. It would be ludicrous to believe that the recently converted Samaritans only several miles to the North, possessed their own copies of the Law (which differ significantly from the Judean version), while Jeremiah, Hulda the prophetess, and Zephaniah never saw a copy of the book. If every last copy of the Five Books went lost until Josiah found this one scroll, then who preserved the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Isaiah, Hosea, Joel, Jonah, Amos, Micha, Ruth, Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes? The fact that these books are with us today, tells us that in Josiah’s generation there must have been someone who was safeguarding them. If there were people who took the pains to preserve the writings of David and Solomon that related to the Temple appointments (2Chronicles 35:4), these same people would certainly recognize the importance of preserving Moses’ Five Books It is only sensible to assume, that God’s prophets and those loyal to God were faithfully preserving all of God’s word, both written and unwritten.

        Jeremiah began prophesying in the 13th year of Josiah’s reign, five years before the scroll was found. He criticizes those who “grasp the Torah” for their lack of intimacy with God (Jeremiah 2:8). Jeremiah denounces those who boast in their superficial possession of the Torah (Jeremiah 8:8). These verses clearly imply that even the lesser elements of the population had not lost track of the Torah. They certainly did not comply with her spirit, but the letter of the Law was with them to some degree. It is clear then that when Josiah found the scroll, he was not discovering a book that no one knew about. The scroll did not cause an impact through the information it imparted. The impact of the scroll was inspirational.

        We must consider which particular scroll it was that belonged in the Temple in the first place. Deuteronomy 31:9 informs us that Moses himself wrote a scroll of the Law and presented it to the priests and Levites who bear the ark of the covenant of the Lord. The ark had been moved from its rightful place (2Chronicles 35:3) ‑ presumably some time during the reign of Menashe ‑ who had violated the Temple precincts (2Kings 21:7, 2Chronicles 33:7). In the process, this particular Torah scroll disappeared. We can only speculate if it was some righteous priest who hid it from the ravages of the wicked kings, or if God used some other means to protect this holy scroll. What the scripture does tell us is that it had vanished. During the renovations of the Temple that took place under Josiah, this precious scroll was found. When the curses of the covenant were read from this very scroll (2Chronicles 34:24), Josiah was affected to the core of his being. The discovery of the scroll at this juncture in his career, and the words being read ‑ as if Moses himself was commanding him, helped him see that the past ten years of repentance were as shallow as the young Jeremiah had declared them to be.

        The word of our God stands forever (Isaiah 40:8). When God promises Israel that His spirit will remain in our midst (Isaiah 59:21), we can be confident that His promise will stand. All the forces that our enemies bring to bear against us will never prevail ‑ be they external enemies or our own fallible nature. When it is time for our nation to return, we will still have the teachings of Moses to guide us on our path back to God (Deuteronomy 30:2).

      • Hi Dina,
        This writing about “The Torah scroll of Josiah” says,

        QUOTE #1:
        ‘The scripture itself makes the distinction between the two segments of the population “those who know the laws of your God” and “those who do not know them” (Ezra 7:25). These people who knew the Law, and certainly Ezra himself and the leadership around him, did not need to read a verse to discover something they never knew. Ezra himself is described as a “scribe of the law of God” (Ezra 7:12).’

        I notice that these 2 quotes from the Writings, the Book of Ezra chapter 7, are actually reprinted from the words of a letter written by the pagan King Artaxerxes.

        Is there any words from Yahweh, or quotes from Torah or the Prophets, that would support the idea of a distinction between the two segments of the population “those who know the laws of your God” and “those who do not know them” ?

        QUOTE #2:
        “Scripture’s objective in recording Israel’s past, is not to satisfy the curiosity of the history buff. The purpose of Scripture is to improve our future.”

        I agree that Scripture is not to “satisfy curiosity.” But I don’t really understand what is meant here. Is it saying that Scripture is not about Yahweh the God of Israel, but rather it’s about the people of Israel, and helping them improve themselves?

        QUOTE #3:
        “….we can understand that the scroll that was found in the times of Josiah, was not the last surviving copy of the Five Books of Moses…. It is clear then that when Josiah found the scroll, he was not discovering a book that no one knew about.”

        Yes, I would agree. But it is equally clear from [2 Kings 22:8—13] that King Josiah WAS discovering a book that the top leaders of Israel did not know about, including himself as King, and the High Priest. Therefore, I would need to respectfully disagree with you assessment that:
        QUOTE#4:
        The scroll did not cause an impact through the information it imparted.

        I don’t see how one could arrive at that conclusion.

        Respectfully,
        Matthew Perri

        • Matthew
          # 1 Nehemiah 8:7 shows us that the Levites understood the Torah and that at a given time they shared this understanding with the people – the entire concept of judges as articulated in Exodus 18:21; Deuteronomy 1:15; 17:9; and 2Chronicles 19:5 demonstrates that there was always a class of people who were familiar with the Law
          # 2 Of course Scripture is about God – that is how Israel improves – by coming closer to God. It would be more accurate to say that Scripture is about the relationship between God and His people than to say that it is “about God”
          # 3 If Josiah did not know the law before he had the scroll then how did he turn back to God before he found the scroll? (see 2Kings 22:2; 2Chronicles 34:3).
          Furthermore – please note what I have written on this in my article entitled Deuteronomy 33:4 – “The first reference to the complete Torah scroll appears in relation to the imprecations of the covenant (Deuteronomy 28:58; 29:19,20, 26). The curses that will befall Israel if they disobey the Law are described as: “the imprecations of the covenant that are written in this book of the Law”. It is significant to note that the details of the curse would not be relevant to the practical day-to-day living of a Jew in his observance of the Law. It therefore follows that this information would require a written document in order to ensure its preservation. Again we see that the written document is not mentioned in relation to the practical observance of the individual Jew.”
          So if there was knowledge imparted it would relate to the curses that would befall the Jews should they stray – not to the practical observance of the law

  34. Jim says:

    Matthew,

    Regarding Matthew 5:

    When someone says to you, “I’m not saying that Morris is a jerk…”, you know that that is precisely what they are going to say. If someone says they do not want to malign others, the first thing they say often is that they don’t want to malign someone, usually followed by a “but”. In a similar vein, when someone has offered racist comments, they will defend themselves by saying, “Some of my best friends are black!” Misogynists, likewise defend themselves from the charge that they hate women by appealing to the fact that they have mothers, sisters, wives, and/or daughters, so how could they possibly hate women. It is quite common for one to deny doing what he is doing even while he does it, if what he is doing is frowned upon.

    It should give us pause, therefore, when Jesus announces that he did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. This is very suspicious. Which of the prophets ever had to announce that he was not coming to destroy Torah? Why would we even suspect that was his purpose? The fact that he sees this as a necessary announcement tells me that he is going to lay into the law after all. He is like a politician who want to defend himself against a charge of lacking patriotism, even while praising those who wish to see the dissolution of the country.

    Now you have offered one interpretation of why Jesus would take commands from the Torah and misrepresent them. You say that he was countering the false teachings of the Pharisees. This view is untenable. First, it is a defense that rests on no positive proof. Certainly you can assert that some Pharisee somewhere might have made “eye for an eye” to be about revenge, but it is an assertion without any proof. It shifts the attention away from Jesus’ error and places it on a nameless “false teacher”, but no source of such teaching is known. In fact, it flies in the face of the known teachings of the Pharisees.

    Second, Jesus doesn’t support your assertion. He says that the Pharisees teach well, but they do what is evil. According to him they are hypocrites. In Matthew 23, he says that they sit in Moses’ seat, and that their words must be observed, “but do not do according to their works” (vv. 2-3.) He does not say that the Pharisees don’t understand the Law, but that they are focused on superficialities and are proud. Therefore, you have no grounds to say that Jesus was correcting a Pharisaic teaching that “eye for an eye” grants one the right of revenge.

    I must interrupt myself here: I am on vacation at my sister’s house, and I need to drop her off at school. If I have time, I shall continue this argument later today. I hope to do so, anyway.

    Jim

    • Jim says:

      And… I’m back,

      Now, we do not have good grounds to think that Jesus was correcting Pharisaic teaching, but for the moment, I am going to assume that your assertion is correct. I’m going to assume that because Jesus did not say “It is written…” but “You have heard…” that he was not commenting on the Torah itself, but a perversion of the Torah. And I think that you will see that even if we accept that starting premise, Jesus is denying the Torah.

      For the sake of convenience, I’m going to call the false teacher “Phil”. Phil has been badly instructing the people. He has promoted unrestrained vengeance, violating the very essence of the Torah. And he has done this by taking it out of context. Of course, one of the phrases taken out of context is “eye for an eye, and tooth for a tooth,” and he has misrepresented this to mean that if your enemy takes your eye, then you may take his. And we’ll assume that this has become a popular understanding, although not the only understanding because other rabbis are teaching the things that Dina mentioned above. Moreover, the rabbis by-and-large agree that “eye for an eye” is not a phrase meant to be taken literally. Still, Phil has enough pull that he’s had an influence on a somewhat significant portion of the population.

      Jesus comes along, and he needs to correct this notion. Now the first thing one would expect Jesus to do is quote the context of “eye for an eye” so that the true understanding might come out. He should not be appealing to his own authority: “but I say to you”; he should be showing from the Torah itself how Phil has been misrepresenting the Torah: “but it is written in the Torah”. But he does not do this.

      Instead, he leaves them with the wrong notion that Phil’s idea of revenge is in the Torah, but that Jesus proposes a “better” way. This enforces the idea that Phil’s notion is the actual Torah teaching, leaving the people to still misunderstand the words given by God. It creates the idea that the Torah is an insufficient Law demanding amendment. And it makes Jesus’ teaching superior to the Torah, because the people still don’t understand what the actual teaching of the Torah was and are left with the idea that he proposes something superior to Torah itself, not just Phil’s incorrect notion of the Torah. The people are not being taught the responsibility one carries for wrong-doing as the Torah teaches, but are given instead platitudes regarding petty injuries.

      In fact, Jesus’ words are in the vein of non sequitur. If he is fixing Phil’s teaching, he should be appealing to what God’s actual command was. None of Jesus’ follow up teachings, going the extra mile and all of that have anything to do with “eye for an eye” whatsoever. He has used that as a launching place to push his own agenda. He has still shown that either one of two things is true: 1. He is ignorant of the Torah and believes that Phil’s teaching is that given by God; or 2. He cares little for the words of the Most High, using them only as an opportunity to aggrandize himself. Either way, your proposal that Jesus is only answering some bad teaching by a mythical Pharisee does not stand.

      I think we begin to get a clearer picture why Jesus opens with a declaration that he does not come to do away with the Law. He certainly won’t be its defender. He is going to denigrate the Law, in fact, leaving the uneducated masses with the wrong ideas of Phil as their understanding of Torah, supplanting that bad understanding, not with God’s actual commands, but his own teachings irrelevant to the topic. Or, there is no Phil, and Jesus is just misrepresenting the Torah himself. He portrays his own teaching as superior to that given by God in a most dishonest way. One can hear Jesus protesting, “But-but-but, some of my best friends are Torah scholars.” Sure they are.

      Jim

      • Dina says:

        Just to clarify, Matthew, I also do not accept your assertion that in these statements Jesus was referring to Pharisaic teachings, though I accepted it for arguments’ sake. I agree with Jim that Jesus referred to the Torah itself. Thus when he said something like “you have heard it said…love your neighbor and hate your enemies,” he was falsifying the Torah in order to pretend that he was presenting a superior teaching.

        I spent several weeks last summer studying the Sermon on the Mount, and I discovered that all of the good teachings (not all are good), were lifted wholesale from Tanach and from the traditional teachings of the Pharisees. Yet Jesus, with his words, “but I say to you,” presented them as his own.

        The word for that, of course, is plagiarism.

        Perhaps I’ll edit my extensive notes and post them.

  35. Dear Pharisee Friend, Jim, and Dina,
    I want to thank you all for your dialogues. You’ve brought up so many points it is hard to know where to begin. So perhaps I can start with what Jesus said was the Most Important Commandment, and ask if you agree with him based on the Torah.

    Here is what Jesus answered when asked the question:
    Of all the commandments, which is the most important?

    “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “ is this: ‘Hear, of Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than THESE.” [Mark 12:28-31, Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Leviticus 19:18]

    For the moment, perhaps we could leave aside objections to his other teachings, or whether he is the Messiah, or Church history, etc. Do you agree with Jesus on what is the Most Important Commandment?
    Respectfully,
    Matthew

    • lb162534 says:

      Matthew
      Matthew 12:28-31. States that is the first commandment. Jesus does not say the most important.

    • Dina says:

      Matthew,

      I mentioned in a previous comment that in my study of Mark and Matthew I discovered that Jesus lifted ideas wholesale from the teachings of the Tanach and the Pharisees and passed them off as his own.

      In the case of these two commandments, this holds true.

      I will tell you our attitude to these commandments and you can draw your own conclusions.

      Regarding “Hear O Israel,” this Shema prayer is recited three times a day. It is the last words a Jew utters before he dies (if he knows his death is imminent, obviously).

      Regarding love your neighbor, Rabbi Akiva, a famous Pharisee, said, “Love your fellow as yourself–this is a fundamental law of the Torah.”

      The Talmud records a story of a heathen who approached Hillel and asked Hillel to teach him the Torah while standing on one foot. Hillel responded with “love your fellow as yourself.” He said, “What is hateful to you do not do to others. The rest is commentary. Go and learn it.”

      But do I agree that these are the greatest commandments? When Moses transmitted the Law to the Children of Israel, he didn’t list them in order of importance or tell us that any of them are optional. So I can’t say I agree with the statement “there is no commandment greater than these.”

      But in the end, if Jesus was false to God and Torah–and he was (at least as portrayed in the gospels)–then what he taught, even the good parts, is irrelevant. What Mohammed taught, even the good parts, is irrelevant. What Buddha taught, even the good parts, is irrelevant. In the end, it doesn’t matter if we agree or not with some of Jesus’s teachings, or Mohammed’s, or Buddha’s. The question you should be asking is not is what Jesus taught agreeable, but is Jesus true? Is he the Messiah? (And if you are a Trinitarian, is he god?)

      • Dina,
        Jesus is obviously QUOTING the Torah, not passing the teaching off as his own. Yes I am familiar with the Shema. Hear O Israel introduces the Most Important Commandment, which appears to be missing from your post here.

        The famous Pharisees you quoted, Rabbi Akiva and Hillel, agree completely with another famous Pharisee, Paul. “love your fellow as yourself.” But none of them mention any command about the Love of God, and neither did you.

        In your view, what specifically is the Most Important Commandment? Do you think that it’s “love your fellow as yourself”, or something else?

        You wrote, QUOTE:
        “When Moses transmitted the Law to the Children of Israel, he didn’t list them in order of importance…”
        May I ask where you got this idea? Every single time I have ever seen the 10 Commandments anywhere, they are always listed in the same order. The 4 Commandments regarding loving God are first, followed by the 6 Commandments regarding loving people. Have you ever seen them listed differently anywhere?

        The question I am asking is, is what Jesus taught here true?

        Peace and blessings,
        Matthew

        • Dina says:

          Matthew, you must not have read all of my post, because I mentioned that we say Shema several times a day and it’s on our lips when we die. If that doesn’t suggest to you how important this is to us, then nothing else will. Part of the Shema prayer is the rest of the passage; the next verse is, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart etc.” So love of God is mentioned.

          Have you read all the writings of the Pharisees, that you can say that none of them mention love of God? Do you think it was an emotion other than a fierce love of God that inspired countless numbers of my people to choose torture and death rather than convert to your false religion?

          Your implication that the real Pharisees share Paul’s mindset shows your ignorance of Pharisaic teaching and tradition. If you would read some Jewish history you would not say these things. In addition to the books I suggested in an earlier comment, I recommend The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity by Hyam Maccoby, which presents evidence that Paul could not have been a Pharisee (he lied about his credentials). Maccoby discusses theories about Paul’s background that are unproven, but his central argument that Paul wasn’t a Pharisee is very strong.

          The next thing I want to say is that the ten commandments are not the whole Law, nor are they listed in order of importance, unless you would like to believe that murder is a less severe sin than dishonoring your parents, or adultery is a less severe sin than transgressing the Sabbath. Can you find any place in the Torah that tells us which commandments are more important than others?

          Matthew, I don’t care what Paul said or what Jesus said. I don’t care if some of the things they said were true. They are irrelevant to me. They are as irrelevant as Mohammed, Buddha, Hare Krishna, Joseph Smith, and Reverend Moon.

          Do you agree that if Jesus is not who he said he is, then he is as irrelevant as these others? And if that’s the case, then do you agree that your time is better spent first ascertaining beyond a shadow of a doubt whether he is what he claimed to be?

          • Dina,
            To answer your last 2 questions, Yes.
            But with all due respect, you are dodging the question I posed. You say yes, The Shema is important, (yes the love of God is mentioned, yes the Pharisees mentioned the love of God.) How important? The Most Important? Or just “important”? It’s not the same thing.

            You asked, QUOTE:
            “Can you find any place in the Torah that tells us which commandments are more important than others?”
            My response is, can you find any listing of the 10 Commandments where the 4 commandments about loving God are NOT listed first?

            So my question to you is,
            In your view, what specifically is the Most Important Commandment? Do you think that it’s “love your fellow as yourself”, or something else?

    • Jim says:

      Matthew,

      I’m sorry, but I don’t see the relevance of the question. It seems to ignore the objections raised and prevent us from investigating them properly. I try to avoid distractions.

      Jim

      • Dina says:

        I agree with Jim. This distracts from the important issues. Besides, I did indeed answer your question. I also proved that the order of the ten commandments (which is not the whole law, although Christians think it is) can’t be in order of importance or you would have to say that “honor your parents” is a greater commandment than “you shall not murder” and that “remember the Sabbath day” is a greater commandment than “you shall not commit adultery.”

        Please read my comments carefully because I sense that you are not quite registering everything I write.

        If you want a simple yes or no question, the answer is no. I do not agree with Jesus.

        Now it’s your turn to answer my questions. I refer you to some of my comments that you haven’t responded to either at all or in a serious and deep way. I will post the links in a series of comments because this website only allows a couple of links at a time:

        https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/a-new-set-of-feelings/#comment-10098
        https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/a-new-set-of-feelings/#comment-10176

      • Jim, LarryB & Dina,
        In the Torah (and everywhere else that I am aware of)
        the 10 Commandments are always listed in the same order. The 4 Commandments regarding loving God are first, followed by the 6 Commandments regarding loving people.

        Are you saying that there is no meaning or significance to Moses putting the commands regarding God above the commands regarding people? That there is no priority or order of importance indicated by Moses in the Torah?
        Respectfully
        Matthew

        • Dina says:

          Matthew, I’m going to do the Jewish thing and answer a question with a question (or, rather, questions). Looking at the 6 commandments that concern our relationship to our fellows, why is the commandment to love your neighbor missing? I mean, if the two most important commandments are to love God and to love man, and if the Ten Commandments are the only ones you regard as important, how can it be that that one got left out?

          Of these six commandments, which is the most important one, why, and how do you know this?

          How is it that the commandment to love God is not listed in the Ten Commandments, if it is one of the two greatest commandments?

          In fact, why reference the Ten Commandments at all, when they simply do not list “the two greatest commandments” to love God and love your neighbor?

          Before I sign off, I will once again express my wish to get off this distraction and address the real issues. Your reluctance to respond to my challenges, such as the evidence for lies in the gospels, mystifies me.

          • Dina,
            You wrote above:, QUOTE:
            “the ten commandments are not the whole Law”
            and your referred to, QUOTE:
            “the ten commandments (which is not the whole law, although Christians think it is)”

            Your quotes above answer your own questions here.
            Jesus simply quoted one commandment from Torah to summarize the first 4 of the 10 Commandments, and He quoted a second commandment from Torah to summarize the next 6 of the 10 Commandments,

          • Dina says:

            Matthew,

            If the Ten Commandments could be summed up in two, why did God bother writing out ten?

          • Dina,
            If the Torah could be summed up in 10 Commandments, why did God bother writing out the Torah?

          • Dina says:

            Where in the Torah does it say that the Ten Commandments sum up the whole Torah?

          • Are you saying that the Ten Commandments are NOT a kind of summary?

          • Dina says:

            Are you saying they are? And if so, what is your Scriptural basis?

          • Eric says:

            Dina, When I read that question of yours I was more than surprised about what you said; “Looking at the 6 commandments that concern our relationship to our fellows, why is the commandment to love your neighbor missing?” Now look at your 6 Torah commandments;
            5)“Honor your father and your mother(…)
            6) “You shall not murder.
            7)“You shall not commit adultery.
            8) “You shall not steal.
            9) “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
            10) “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
            I might sound sarcastic but even kids will understand that these things are based on the principle; love your fellow/ neighbor as yourself. If I tell my kid; share your toys, share your candy, play nicely with your sister, don’t pull her hair, don’t say mean words, and one other day
            I just say:BE NICE TO YOUR SISTER, did I added something new?????

          • Dina says:

            Eric, if you read the rest of the thread on this with Matthew, I think you’ll see that I’m going somewhere with this 🙂

    • LarryB says:

      Matthew
      Can I jump back in one more time? I do agree with Jim that this is just a distraction. I am just trying to figure out what your asking, or trying to prove. first you ask that according to what J said was the most important Commandment if others here agree. Then you state
      “Here is what Jesus answered when asked the question:
      Of all the commandments, which is the most important”
      After that you list mark 12:28-31,-Deut 4:5 and Lev 19:18
      First off I cannot find the question where he was asked “of all the commandments which is the most important”. In mark 12-28-31, he is asked a rather minor question that most children at the time would have known.
      28 “One of the scribes who had listened to them debating appreciated that Jesus had given a good answer and put a further question to him, ‘Which is the First of all the commandments” He was not asked which was the most important commandment like you claim. He was asked a simple question of what was the First commandment. J then explains that loving god was the first and then adds later that Lev:19:18 to love your neighbor as your self is the second. And to him these two are the greatest commandments. To me, your question is misleading. For some reason you miss quote the scripture and it seems to be based on what J’s response was. He thought those two commandments were the most important. He was never asked that question. Your question should be, Of all the commandments do you agree with J that the most important commandments is to love God, and to love your neighbor as yourself. It is a question based on what the NT wants to teach, not what God teaches.

      • LarryB says:

        Yes the torah teaches us to love god and each other, just not with misleading questions and in J’s order.

        • Hi LarryB
          I think a while back we agreed that Paul was wrong about the “most important commandment.” Paul said it was “love your neighbor as yourself.” Yet, this is really the same thing that a couple of other ancient Pharisees quoted here were teaching – “love your fellow as yourself” I believe it was. This leaves God out.

          Would you agree that to “love God” is more important, more inclusive, and involves more than simply “loving people” without God?
          Jesus order was:
          #1 Love God
          #2 Love people.
          I think this is Torah observant. Wouldn’t you agree?

          • Larry's says:

            Matthew
            Would you agree to respond to my comments?
            Your having a conversation with yourself.

          • Dear Larry’s
            Other than one comment above, where you wrote “Oops 31 does say that” and nothing else, I have not seen any of your comments. What are you referring to?
            Matthew

          • LarryB says:

            Matthew
            It’s LarryB and on 3-21-2014 @3:25 and 3:34 directly above your previous comment. I’ll repost my question if you need.

          • LarryB says:

            actually i think you and i only agreed that paul was not an apostle.

      • Dina says:

        Matthew, I think this is so important that I am going to say it again. It’s crucial to stop focusing on distractions like the term “Torah observant” or whether we agree with a specific Christian teaching–and instead confront the mountain of evidence that the gospels are not credible.

        Other things to confront are the moral legacies of our respective religions, twisting scripture to fit your theology, and the questions I posted to you which remain unanswered.

  36. Hi LarryB,
    I think I understand the point you are making, and I agree with the basic distinction that you are bringing up. You observe that the answer Jesus gave was bigger than the question he was asked. Yes, that is absolutely true. I omitted to specifically mention this – not to be misleading, but just because I can’t bring up every point and nuance at once. So I appreciate that you thought through this enough to notice this truth.

    You wrote, QUOTE:
    “He [Jesus] thought those two commandments were the most important. He was never asked that question. Your question should be, Of all the commandments do you agree with J that the most important commandments is to love God, and to love your neighbor as yourself.”

    Jesus taught here that these 2 Commandments are the most important, and they should not be separated, or thought of in isolation, because they are interrelated. No one can honestly say he loves God if he simultaneously hates people.
    However, there is an order. Loving God is first and most important, and loving people is second, if we are really following and obeying God.

    You also wrote, QUOTE:
    “Yes the torah teaches us to love god and each other, just not with misleading questions and in J’s order.”

    I believe that the Torah DOES teach in “Jesus’ order” – #1 Love God, #2 Love People. The Ten Commandments are probably the most obvious example, in my opinion. The only other “order” that I can see would be to love people first, and love God second. I don’t think the Torah teaches that. Do you? (I’m not asking here if you believe everything in the NT, or everything Jesus said, or if Jesus is the Messiah. Just this particular point of teaching.)
    Matthew

  37. LarryB says:

    Matthew
    I did not observe anything other than you miss quoting scripture. You now claim that you were not being misleading but simply failed to “bring up every point and nuisance at once”. I disagree. The only thing you failed at was being truthful. Your original question, notice the quotation marks, “Here is what Jesus answered when asked the question:
    Of all the commandments, which is the most important” You have totally changed the point of the question, from a scribe asking what was the first commandment to a scribe asking what is the most important commandment. And now you claim to “not to be misleading, but just because I can’t bring up every point and nuance at once.” I would buy into that if you were explaining something or even explaining what you thought J was saying. This is not the case here, you changed the original question into 9 words of your choice. You seem to not even care what your new bible says. Your reason for doing it seems to be because that is what you think J taught, and that the torah teaches the same thing. I would challenge you on this, please find that for me. I cannot. The last 6 commandments you allude to do not require love to achieve any of them. I will ask you, Why did God not command us to follow these rules because of love? God knows people do not kill the ones they love. People do not steal from the ones they love either. It is the ones you do not love he is protecting. For myself, I am incapable of loving everyone. some people I really dislike, alot. What does John 8:44 say about liars?

    • LarryB
      Here are some different translations:
      Matthew 22:36
      NIV “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
      NASB “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
      KJV “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”
      Amplified “Teacher, which kind of commandment is the great and important – the principal kind – in the Law?”

      Likewise, in the other scene where a different man asked basically the same question.
      Mark 22:28
      NIV “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
      NASB “What commandment is the foremost of all?”
      KJV “Which is the first commandment of all?”
      Amplified “Which is the first and most important commandment of all?”

      These are translations, and they all seem to mean basically the same thing to me. If you do see some important difference between the “first commandment of all” and “most important commandment”, what would that be?

      • LarryB
        Sorry, I made a typo. These are from Mark chapter TWELVE verse 28 (not chapter 22).
        Mark 12:28
        NIV “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
        NASB “What commandment is the foremost of all?”
        KJV “Which is the first commandment of all?”
        Amplified “Which is the first and most important commandment of all?”

        • LarryB says:

          You are right I was wrong. I forgot you have to google everything because of all the different versions of bibles out there. Somebody tell me I don’t have to check a dozen versions of the Torah, to know what it says. I dont mean the christian version of the torah.

    • LarryB
      You bring up an excellent point. You wrote, QUOTE #1:
      “The last 6 commandments you allude to do not require love to achieve any of them. “
      Yes, you are right. And I believe that is why God gave us the entire Torah as The Law, not just the Ten Commandments. (It seems clear to me that the Ten Commandments are a sort of summary, but they are not an comprehensive summary.)

      You wrote, QUOTE #2:
      “I will ask you, Why did God not command us to follow these rules because of love?”
      I think God did, in the Torah:
      “Do not hate your brother in you heart. Rubuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt.
      Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am Yaweh. Keep my decrees.” [Leviticus 19:17-19]

      You wrote, QUOTE #3:
      “For myself, I am incapable of loving everyone. some people I really dislike, alot.”
      So you are human- and so am I. Even Jesus didn’t command us to LIKE everyone or TRUST everyone. There are different ways to love people appropriately, even your enemies, although its hard to do, for me, you, and everyone else who is honest about it.

      • Dina says:

        Matthew, you wrote: ” There are different ways to love people appropriately, even your enemies.” Are there appropriate ways to love Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Kim Jong Un, Osama bin Laden, and all such monsters?

        Psalms 139:21-22

        • Dina,
          God is The Judge, not me. David expressed his sinful feelings in this Psalm, which I have also felt toward certain people. For some individuals, perhaps the most loving thing to do for them, and for those around them, is to give them a swift execution.

          • Dina says:

            God is the Judge, and He told us in His Torah what is morally repugnant.

            By the way, how do you know when David is expressing his sinful feelings, his righteous feelings, or a messianic prophecy that applies to Jesus?

            Is it sinful for him to say, as he does in Psalms 119, “How I love your Torah; all day long it is my conversation,” for example? If not, why not? If God is the Judge, who are you to judge which words or his are sinful and which are not?

          • Dina,
            We are to judge which words are Torah and which words are not.
            The Psalms are not Torah.

            I agree with you. “God is the Judge, and He told us in His Torah what is morally repugnant.”
            Jesus the Jewish Messiah understood that.
            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/a-new-set-of-feelings/#comment-9821

          • Dina says:

            Matthew, proving your point from Christian Scripture is meaningless to me. Let’s stick to our common ground, and let’s be honest about it. We agreed that the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms ca be quoted authoritatively in our discourse. Thanks.

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            You are playing fast and loose with your own rules. You declared the Psalms authoritative, and now when it doesn’t fit your theology, you declare them not to be authoritative. This grows absurd.

            Jim

          • Jim,
            The Torah is the MOST authoritative. Maybe that’s why people like to say they are “Torah observant”?

    • David says:

      Larry B,

      I do not agree with Matthew Perri. That’s an understatement I guess. But, on the other hand, regarding your comment on the greatest commandment, I think you also may be misunderstanding scripture. Which bible version are you using? On the 21st at 3:25 you made a couple of statements as follows, “First off I cannot find the question where he was asked “of all the commandments which is the most important”. In mark 12-28-31, he is asked a rather minor question that most children at the time would have known.” … “He was not asked which was the most important commandment like you claim. He was asked a simple question of what was the First commandment.”

      I checked several English translations and they all read essentially the same which contradict what you wrote above. I’ll quote from the ESV. In Matthew he is asked, “…which is the great commandment in the Law?” And in Mark he is asked, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”

      After answering the question of the scribe, Jesus adds, in Matthew, “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” And, in Mark, he adds, “There is no other commandment greater than these.” Note that here he speaks of two (not one), referring to them as “these.”

      There is no passage or verse in the Hebrew Scriptures which contradict Jesus on this point. And neither are there any passages which directly state which is the greatest, hence our “debate” and “test” question from the scribe. The scribe (as recorded in Mark) knew the answer he was looking for. And the scribe (in the account of Mark) combines the two commandments and speaks of them as ONE. Jesus does NOT correct him on that point. Quite the opposite, he praises him as having answered “wisely.” We therefore can surmise that Jesus believes the two can also be combined and spoken of as one commandment.

      I think we can all agree that the answer to the question as asked is a no brainer for anyone at the time who studied and lived under the Old Covenant. But Jesus didn’t limit his answer the question “as asked.” He linked the 2nd with the greatest characterizing it as “like it” in Matthew, and then said that all the Law and Prophets depend on THESE (in Matthew) or that there is no other greater than THESE (in Mark).

      There are nuanced differences depending on the version of the English translation of course, but here’s the full text of both accounts (Matthew and Mark) in the ESV:

      Matthew 22: 35 – 40
      35 (AR)And one of them, (AS)a lawyer, asked him a question (AT)to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, (AU)“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And (AV)a second is like it: (AW)You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 (AX)On these two commandments depend (AY)all the Law and the Prophets.”

      Mark 12:28 – 34
      28 (AX)And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, (AY)‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, (AZ)the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 (BA)The second is this: (BB)‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment (BC)greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that (BD)he is one, and (BE)there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all (BF)the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, (BG)is much more than all (BH)whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” (BI)And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.”

      However, the question was asked and responded to in the context of the Old Covenant in the last week of his life.

      So, how is the Old Covenant expressed in the New Covenant, or is it? I believe it is expressed through Jesus as follows:

      On the night before he died, he introduced the New Covenant. At that time, he gave a new command (which John later explains is really an old command from the beginning) to 11 of his apostles (he didn’t give it to Judas). The new command is found in John 13 as follows:

      “34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.””

      And how did Jesus love his apostles? John 15 provides the answer.

      “9 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”

      We cannot claim to love Jesus if we don’t keep his commandments. John 14:

      15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

      Then Jesus prays for future new believers in Jesus who will be in the New Covenant (that would include me of course) in John 17:
      20 “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us,…”

      Therefore, combining all the above scripture, if Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in Jesus and we who love Jesus today also keep his commandments and love one another as Jesus loved his apostles, then we know that we are in both the Son and the Father and they in us.

      Then also, the greatest commandment(s) of the Old Covenant upon which the Law and Prophets hang as debated above are also fulfilled in the New Covenant.

      • David,
        With all due respect, why are you being so obstinate and unreasonable?
        You wrote, QUOTE:
        “The scribe (as recorded in Mark) knew the answer he was looking for.”

        You don’t know that. You don’t know what he was thinking or looking for.

        You wrote, QUOTE:
        “And the scribe (in the account of Mark) combines the two commandments and speaks of them as ONE. Jesus does NOT correct him on that point. Quite the opposite, he praises him as having answered “wisely.” We therefore can surmise that Jesus believes the two can also be combined and spoken of as one commandment.”

        No, the man did NOT combine the two commandments and speak of them as ONE. He spoke of them as two, but since his understanding was still growing, he did not distingish and spell out as clearly as Jesus did the difference between the first and the second.

        Jesus did not harshly correct the man and demand that the man parrot His words exactly. Jesus said “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” [Mark 12:34] Jesus didn’t say the man had arrived, or had given a perfect answer. Also, you don’t need to put words in the mouth of Jesus. Jesus didn’t say “wisely”, that is in the editorial comments.

        So no, we CANNOT surmise that Jesus believes the two can also be combined and spoken of as one commandment. That is your personal opinion, and it is wrong. You know what happens when we ASSUME.

        The words of Jesus are clear – they are 2 commandments, not to be spoken of as one commandment or combined.

      • LarryB says:

        David
        Thanks for the correction. I’m more useful if I just stick to asking questions. As for the rest of you comments here, I do not consider anything in the NT. I just hope I do not find out there are dozens of versions of the Torah out there.

  38. Eric
    You wrote and I quote “Redemption is for those who love God and trust him and obey him so trusting in the redemption without obeying God doesn’t work. Deut 10 talks about walking in all His ways which requires trusting Him and listening to Him. You can’t walk in His ways without listening to him, or else you don’t know where you walk.”
    I couldn’t agree more – but what do you call listening to God? Is it finding peace in your heart? Do you think that you are the only one that has peace in their heart?
    Obedience to God means obedience to His commandments and since you accept that the Torah is God’s word wouldn’t you say that trusting in God, loving Him and obeying Him means hearing His voice to you through His word?

    • Eric says:

      yourphariseefriend, Of course we obey Him through His words. If I didn’t mention that then sorry for confusing you.
      To me His word continues through the prophets and also through NT which includes words of Jesus .
      By the way didn’t say I am the only one that has peace, I am happy for everyone who has it.

  39. Eric
    I don’t have time to comment on all of the points you made in your post but here are a few to consider
    You did not read Deuteronomy 13 – it doesn’t say anything about the prophet “preforming” the sign or wonder – it says that the sign or wonder comes to pass – and it clearly says that God is doing it to test you – it is on this basis that I wrote “who cares”
    The reason we believe Jeremiah is because the judges of Israel who were entrusted with applying the Law of Moses ratified Jeremiah according to the Law of Moses
    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/how-were-the-jewish-scriptures-canonized/
    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/non-prophet/
    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/believe-in-his-prophets-2chronicles-2020/

    • Eric says:

      Dina, I read the whole Deut 13 what I was saying that besides the fact of people being tested ,
      v 6 that tells you how you can recognize the false prophet- he would die for his sin. Jesus was raised by God to life. The other thing the only people in the OT who had power to perform such miracles like raising others from the dead were Elijah and Eliah- both men of God. This power of bringing life back was not given to any magician , nor any sorcerer ever , nor anybody, except prophets of God. The only power to raise others from the dead had Jesus in the NT.

      • Dina says:

        Eric, I don’t know what version of the Bible you’re reading, but mine says: “And that prophet or that dreamer of a dream SHALL BE PUT TO DEATH.” That’s not the same as “will die,” no indeed. This verse tells us that it is our responsibility to execute him.

        And I’ve shown you why I have good cause not to believe anything in Christian Scripture. But in any case, the assertion that Jesus could perform miracles DOES NOT PROVE that he is a prophet of God. A prophet of God never came to tell us to cancel our obedience to the law and to believe in him instead. Deuteronomy 13 tells us that if such a prophet comes along, even if he can perform miracles, we are not to believe him but to put him to death.

        I encourage you to take a look at that crucifixion/resurrection chart I posted and to respond to my challenges about your “eyewitness argument.”

        Thanks,
        Dina

        • Dina says:

          Also, Eric, I am curious if you do have a standard of evidence that you would require that could potentially change your mind, and why every Christian I ask to show me clear teachings in the Torah about the items I listed in my earlier comment always ignore me. They consistently pretend I never asked that question, but address my other points or change the subject. It’s very interesting, to say the least.

        • Eric says:

          Dina, I will have a look at it tomorrow, it is too late today and by the way I don’t have always too much time to keep writing so I can’t answer all your questions always right away.
          Eric

          • Dina says:

            That’s okay, take your time, and thanks for telling me. I don’t have so much time either, but I spend too much time here, more time than I have. 🙂 It’s so much fun!

      • there is a greek word that describes the sort of ressurection jesus did. how many pagans BEFORE jesus claimed that their holy men did a similar type of ressurection? just look at the greek word before christianity used it and inform people here how many other people did jesus type ressurections.

        • Eric says:

          Dina,Ok, back to writing. Before I start, I wanted to say; don’t be hard on yourself , if I thought you are not honest about your questions I would not be here trying to answer your questions. I am glad you mentioned the contradictions, as I definitely want to know what is going on . And looking at the fist thing you mentioned; confusion about time regarding the resurrection – I am sure you didn’t come up with that from your own research but read what others wrote. So lets open Mark and John and read how did they report the resurrection. Where is that information about crucifixion taking place in the morning??? Nowhere! Mark reports you all the events that took place before crucifixion, events that stared in the morning which was getting together of the leaders, making plans, bounding Jesus and handing him over to Pilate Then you have interrogation , facing the mocking crowd, verdict of crucifixion, then handing Jesus over to the Roman soldiers , beating and mocking by them, then before the crucifixion there was flogging, walking to the final execution place. Does it look like a morning??? I don’t think so. Now back to John reporting; nothing mentioned about noon! So If you collect hundreds of this type of ‘ contradictions’ without checking it first by yourself- then I am not surprised it makes you think it is all fake. I will have a look at the rest of the chart later.
          Now what else I wanted to address in the same email is Deut 13. Yes, mine has the same translation, “ the prophet had to be put to death” – I said it in my own words ( I am using my thoughts in the other language) so I said that he had to die which points to the same end. So if he had to be put to death I don’t see the reason God wanting him back to life, like it happened with Jesus. If he was back to life , he was without sin, because the only reason for death is sin.
          To reject the whole truth about Jesus being the son of God , you have to prove his life is made up and the resurrection never happened. But doing it based on peoples’ speculations without proof doesn’t prove anything.

          You also said you have your standard of evidence regarding your beliefs and you want me to show you if the faith in the Messiah is necessary for salvation. This is a wrong statement. It is like asking if faith in the words of the prophet Isaiah or Jeremiah ( during their times) was needed for salvation .
          Usually if you trusted and obeyed God you wanted to accept the words of the prophet that God sent, instead of having in mind ; ‘I don’t care what is He saying”. That mainly meant you didn’t care what God was saying. And why not to ask God Himself whether you need Jesus and whether he is true? I am sure God can answer our prayers.
          I know from the scriptures that prayer and repentance are enough for God to forgive us but that doesn’t have to exclude the fact that the price for our eternal life ( reason for freedom from the death) wasn’t paid by the One God sent.
          The book of Leviticus (17:11), clearly gives the prescription for forgiveness: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” To me it is not only about instructions relating to not eating blood without a reason.
          The Levitical High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies in the temple and sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice on the mercy seat. And he never could come like that without blood. Jesus arrived as a High Priest, He entered through the greater and more complete Tabernacle, not made with hands—and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered into the Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. “For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been made common, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit, offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God?” (Hebrews 9:11-14).

          I would be glad to hear your opinion to my question I put in the previous email; why there is death despite God’s forgiveness and why the high priest couldn’t enter the holy of holiest- place in the temple without blood? It is not a change of the subject. It is all connected.

          What can I say to your question about Jesus not appearing to all people but to the ones who believed in him. The same question I would have to ask why God spoke only to Moses at the burning bush , and no other people can hear God speaking like that? I don’t know everything.
          How convenient it would be if God spoke to an atheist like that so that the atheist would have a reason to believe there is God? Maybe it would be convenient if all people saw Jesus after his resurrection.
          But we also know from the scriptures that God opposes the pride ones and gives grace to the meek. And Jesus always said he was doing and saying things what God told him to do.
          I will look at your chart tomorrow if I find time,
          Eric

          • “So if he had to be put to death I don’t see the reason God wanting him back to life, like it happened with Jesus. If he was back to life , he was without sin, because the only reason for death is sin.”

            god has been giving life to creatures for a billion years and decided to give life to himself one day? can you explain how a god giving death to himself works in the trinity? the father doesn’t give himself death, the spirit doesn’t give himself death, the son does? if there were 2 persons who had death in a defeated position , then did death defeat and CONTROL the son?

            about death

            if u don’t give little infants food they would die. so in this case an infants death has nothing to do with sin.

          • Eric says:

            mrqestioner, Son of God is son of God , Father in heaven in Father in Heaven not somebody else. I don’t believe in trinity. So it was you who mentioned that infant, for some reason it was in my mind that it was Dina ( sorry Dina) . So you are the lucky one . As an infant you were given food to survive till now but why just by eating all the time can’t you live forever??

    • Eric says:

      yourphariseefriend, About ; performing a miracle or giving a wonder that comes to pass- what is the big difference between them? Just a similar saying pointing to doing something that is inconceivable , beyond our understanding and capability to do it yourself or impossible to explain how it happened, ” If there arise in the midst of thee a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams–and he give thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass,(..) whereof he spoke unto thee–saying: ‘Let us go after other gods (…) – then I understand – you don’t follow such , so what type of wonders ( that are not performed miracles) did Jesus do that you think you are being tested? What other gods does he tell you to go after??

  40. Eric says:

    Dina, little correction. I am describing the crucifixion time in Mark and John ( not resurrection). I mentioned that word by mistake by having a look at the previous message but I am talking about the one you asked me.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Eric,

      Your argument about long life proving the validity of a prophet’s claims tells me that you have missed the point of Deuteronomy 13. This passage in Scripture tells us that miracles mean NOTHING when evaluating the claims of the prophet. The only thing we need to know is what direction is he pointing our worship to. Jesus did not point people to God as much as he pointed them to HIMSELF. And that is not okay. Did Moses ever tell the people to do anything for his own sake, or to believe in him?

      Eric, it almost seems like you’re saying that if a person didn’t die in his sin then it proves he didn’t sin. If someone commits adultery and doesn’t die, does it mean he didn’t commit adultery? Of course not.

      Even if Jesus was miraculously resurrected–and I do not accept that claim–that would prove nothing so long as he failed the test of Deuteronomy 13. Which he did.

      Our discussion about redemption is not going to go anywhere because we define it differently. To you redemption means resurrection of the dead. To me, redemption is as described by the prophets: world peace, universal knowledge of God, ingathering of the exiles, rebuilding of the Third Temple, vindication of the Jews in the eyes of all the nations, punishment of our oppressors and enemies. That is redemption according to the Hebrew Scriptures.

      Our spiritual salvation lies entirely in our own hands as agents of free will (Deuteronomy 30).

      Furthermore, while I am not in any hurry to die, the notion of death troubles me less than it troubles you because I believe in the immortal soul and the afterlife. (Science is beginning to support this idea. See http://www.amazon.com/Evidence-Afterlife-Science-Near-Death-Experiences/dp/0061452572/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396553383&sr=8-1&keywords=evidence+of+the+afterlife.)

      Now I will address two side points. One is your dismissal of my question about the sign given to the Pharisees. You don’t know the answer to that question, but that doesn’t trouble you. It should. According to Christian scripture (I emphasize this because I don’t believe this conversation ever took place), Jesus tells the Pharisees that the only sign he will give them is his resurrection after three days. Then he fails to fulfill that sign by not appearing to them after three days (or ever).

      This is a HUGE theological problem. And it totally justifies the Pharisees’ rejection of him according to your scripture (there are lots of other good reasons as well). Jesus did not keep his word to the Pharisees according to your own scripture.

      Second point, about the contradiction of time of day in Mark and John, check this out:

      Mark 15:25: “It was nine in the morning when they crucified him.”
      John 19:14: “It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon.” The proceedings started then, so the crucifixion was even later in the afternoon.

      The eyewitnesses couldn’t tell the difference between morning and afternoon? Writing with divine inspiration? That’s a big deal, Eric. A very big deal indeed.

      Thanks for taking the time, truly.

      With respect,
      Dina

      • Eric says:

        Dina,I admit I confused you a bit, I missed that 9 am in Mark but anyways with the correct time given there is still no contradiction. I read it again to have the whole picture in 4 of the gospels. Mark describes so many events all together that took place and even if I wanted to fit them all before 9 am the same day -it is not possible. So logically I would say the crucifixion had to take place next day at 9am. Mark and Matthew list you how much happened before; which was questioning by Jewish leaders, sending Jesus to Pilate, questioning , beating, mocking by Pilate’s soldiers, flogging, sending Jesus to Herod ( Luke 23;7 ), then questioning by Herod, mocking and beating by Herod’s soldiers, then John is telling you it was about 12 pm when Pilate finished his questioning and was later talking to Jewish leaders. Then there was also negotiating with Jewish leaders to release Jesus as Pilate didn’t see any reason to kill him, ( Matthew 27;24, Luke 23;22 ) then Pilate’s asking the crowd whether to release the criminal Barabbas or let Jesus be free, and crowd chose Jesus to be killed. Too many events to take place before 9 am, then we still have to add the walking to Golgotha carrying the cross ,Jesus barely having strength to walk and if Mark says that at that time ( third hour) they already crucified him, it had to be next day. The gospels list you all events one after another but time given tells me one day was for trial and torturing , the other for crucifixion.
        I looked at your chart and there are many of that type situations when the reader doesn’t know the way the gospels are written so he takes the missing details in one gospel as a contradiction. There is no point to write explanation to all of them right now, you don’t believe them anyways and – it takes my time, but I looked also at this one; What your chart says about last words of Jesus that were confusing. I looked at the verses your chart gives to that ; Matthew 27;46 but I didn’t find that these were the last words but only that he said them, then Mark 15;34, is the same way, his words were still NOT his last words,, His last words are in Luke where it clearly says that AFTER saying them he died. Then John is focusing on the words Jesus said before he died ( they don’t say it was right after saying them). The reason John focused on these words is to emphasise the meaning of the crucifixion; ;”it is finished’, – the work to obtain our redemption.
        You wonder why the gospels are written that way. Each of the Gospels has its own emphasis on the ministry of Christ. Matthew, writing to a Jewish audience, emphasizes Jesus’ fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, proving that He is the long-awaited Messiah. Mark writes a fast-paced, condensed account, recording Jesus’ miraculous deeds and not recording His long discourses. Luke portrays Jesus as the remedy of the world’s ills, emphasizing His perfect humanity and humane concern for the weak, the suffering, and the outcast. John emphasizes Jesus’ being Son of God by selecting many conversations and also including “signs” that prove He is the Son of God. Why God chose them to be that way, is to put focus on each side of the person Jesus was; In one he is presented as the King, in the other as the Servant, then the Son of Man, and in John as the Son of God, He is completing all there.

        Because you mentioned so many points in the other emails I will have a look at them and try to respond to them later this weekend,
        Eric

        • Dina says:

          Eric, sorry, but this doesn’t work because you are speculating about why the contradictions are there and are ignoring the plain meaning of the text.

          I want you to know again that I appreciate your taking the time to write lengthy explanations to all my questions, and I look forward to your future comments addressing my other points.

          All the best,
          Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, my last comment to that contradiction issue about crucifixion times. You mentioned the plain meaning of the text. Ok, Let me accept John’s report as one story without time space and that after 12pm they were going to crucify Jesus. But then lets look at the chapter 18;28 till chapter 19;15 . How many events do you have described? mainly interrogation by Pilate and some talk with Jewish leaders. If you want to believe that it was all after and that the crucifixion took place right after talks in chapter 19; verse 15, then we are missing the trial by Herod, mocking by Herod’s soldiers, negotiations regarding releasing of Barabbas, releasing Barabbas, sending Jesus by Herod back to Pilate.
            Every gospel exposes different details to focus on, and you have to take it as a whole picture, rather than saying John 12 tells you about 12pm contradicting Mark. Then about Mark after chapter 15;20 it was not the end of the trial and torturing as this report is missing trial by Herod and his soldiers beatings, so you can know that events starting in v.21 were not fallowing right away but next day to be 3am.
            It is not the first time that the scriptures tell you about the events not necessarily listing them all in a chronological way; Look at Isaiah 3 last words and the whole chapter 4 starting ‘On that day…” as if it was continuation without time span. Huge time span between these two chapters , one telling you about cursed times and chapter 4 about glorious the Messianic times.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric.

            I have read these in context. I spent last summer reading Mark and Matthew very carefully. I wrote over 30 pages of notes on Matthew.

            You are not giving me serious answers. When I say that Jesus did not keep his word to the Pharisees, your response basically boils down to “so what, what’s the big deal, he revealed himself to Paul.” When I say that Jesus’s prophecy that this generation will not taste death until these things come to pass was a false prophecy, or that not one stone will be left standing on the other was a false prophecy, your answer is pretty much “well, that’s not what he meant.”

            When I show you contradictions between time of day (and in the case of the resurrection, how long Jesus was in the tomb, which was not three days and three nights, so that’s another false prophecy), you say that all these differences together give a full picture. I see contradictions that make the story impossible to have taken place according to all the versions.

            So I don’t really know what to say!

            Respectfully,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, I don’t know what more to say , the conversation doesn’t go anywhere. You say my answers are not serious to you, but that is ok, you think what you think. I am trying to explain you the way I see the gospels are written and I clearly showed you the fact that each gospel is giving different details and taking just one of the gospels won’t show you the whole picture at all . So making an assumption just based on John to say the crucifixion took place at 12pm is pointless and without any logical base. I wrote you yesterday how the crucifixion story is not complete based on just one report until you put all details together. But for you it still doesn’t make sense. Well it makes sense to me. If it doesn’t to you I am not going to insist on you seeing things the way I see. I haven’t looked at the other things in your chart to tell you anything more.
            Another thing is accusing Jesus of not giving a sign. I checked that verse David put and I agree in Matthew 12;38-40. There is nothing about Jesus telling them he promised to show up before their faces after resurrection. But just telling them about sign of Jonah. Then I explained you the the way Jesus used the word ;’generation’ well, you would insist it should refer to that 40-60 years period of life time ( generation of Jesus times) , but what if it ISN’T? Based on the context each time Jesus used this word it tells me it ISN’t! Even reading Matthew 12;41 “The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.” Was all generation that means all the people living there to be condemned??? Would Jesus include all even those who accepted his teaching? Would all whom he called the meek and poor in the spirit be condemned because they belonged to the generation of HIS times??? It ISN’T. So it tell me it refers to the generation of evil doers.

          • Dina says:

            Also, Eric, I read Matthew with growing astonishment. He twists Hebrew Scripture like a pretzel to fit his story and even makes things up. It’s extraordinary. If you’ve been following my conversations with others on this blog, you know what I refer to, but otherwise, I can give you examples if you’d like.

          • Eric says:

            Dina,Ok, give me some of the ‘twists’ that astonished you so much in Matthew. I have no time to follow all 300 messages to see who said what and what you talked about before.
            Eric

          • Dina says:

            Eric, I will compile a short list (not an exhaustive one) later tonight or tomorrow, God willing. And after that I don’t know how interaction on the blog I will have time for, given my holiday preparation. I will do my best, however, and hope you will bear with me if it takes several days to respond.

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, I am not in a hurry, so take your time.
            Eric

          • Dina says:

            Thanks for understanding, Eric. I’ll start with a few, and when we finish discussing those, we can move on to some more.

            All references are from the gospel of Matthew:

            Chapter 1: The genealogy of Jesus doesn’t match up with 1 Chronicles 3.
            1:23: Matthew mistranslates Isaiah 7:14, including the mistranslation “virgin” when it really says “young woman,” as well as quotes it out of context.
            2:6: Matthew mistranslates Micah 5:1 to make it appear to say the opposite of what it says.
            2:15: Matthew quotes Hosea 11:1 out context, lopping off half the verse to fit his narrative.
            2:17-18: Matthew misrepresents Jeremiah 31:14-16 to make it appear that Rachel is weeping for the slain babies in Herod’s massacre when in reality she is weeping for the Jewish exiles. The prophet then reassures her that the exiles will return.
            2:23-24: Matthew quotes a non-existent prophecy from the Prophets. This is the one that is most astonishing to me. He actually made up a prophecy out of whole cloth. There is no prophecy that the Messiah will be called a Nazarene; in fact, the town of Nazareth is nowhere mentioned in Hebrew scripture.

            Okay, that’s just in the first two chapters of Matthew. Perhaps we should focus on one at a time to avoid getting bogged down in a very complicated discussion.

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, We can either give quick judgement that something is messed up or take a closer look to realize there is a logical explanation to the issue, so it doesn’t have to deny thuthfulness or reliability of the written message. So my answers will be quick, no point to complicate something where there is no problem;
            I will start with ;”2:6: Matthew mistranslates Micah 5:1 to make it appear to say the opposite of what it says.”

            My question; does this verse show Mathew mistranslating the verse or anything opposite?
            Look at the verse .4 & 5 who is speaking;”And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.5  AND THEY SAID ( which is chief priests and scribes) unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, (…)
            It is NOT Matthew himself but people saying simply in their words what Micah said and that ‘s what Matthew is reporting. I do it the same way many times ; citing the verse out of my memory not exactly word in word but keeping the message.
            Does their answer really differ what the prophet said? ” And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. ” via Micah 5;2 “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; ” The same message passed on in both;
            1) Bethlehem shown as the little in Judah,
            2) Out of it will come the ruler of Judah
            The only information the people didn’t mention was “whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” because they were focusing on the birth place of Jesus to expose the fact he was born in Bethlehem. That doesn’t mean they were denying or rejecting any part of the words God said in Micah. Does it make sense?

          • Dina says:

            Eric, let’s look at that again.

            Let’s say Matthew quoted the Pharisees accurately (doubtful because the Pharisees knew their own Bible well enough to not misquote it like that). The point is that Matthew is trying to prove from this that the Messiah must be born in Bethlehem, so he seems to have agreed with this quote.

            Now the problem is like this, (using your translation for consistency’s sake):

            In Matthew, the quote is given as follows: “Thou, Bethlehem…ART NOT THE LEAST etc.”
            Micah: “Thou, Bethlehem…THOUGH THOU BE LITTLE etc.”

            Do you still say that the passage is saying much the same thing? Looks like the opposite to me.

            Finally, if you look at this in context, the prophet is saying that the Messiah will come from the people of Bethlehem, the particular clan–not necessarily the city.

            I emphasize the words that show this: “Bethlehem, Ephratah, YOU ARE TOO SMALL TO BE AMONG THE THOUSANDS OF JUDAH, but FROM YOU SOMEONE WILL EMERGE for Me to be a ruler over Israel; and his origins will be from early times, from days of old” (Tanach, Stone Edition).

            Best wishes,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, By whose words Matthew is trying to prove anything? You mean with the incorrect translation/quote of Micah in Matthew 2v.6 or with the answer of the people in v.4 which says ” in Bathlehem of Judeah”?
            Lets imagine that you never heard where Jesus was born but heard the words ; “In Bethlehem of Judaea” the way the people responded , would you understand it as a city or people of Bethlehem?
            Is the city excluded in words; “Bethlehem, Ephratah”?

          • Dina says:

            Eric, I’m busy with holiday preparations and will get back to this after Passover, God willing.

            Thanks for your patience,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric.

            I’ve been thinking of you and our debate. I’ve been thinking that our back and forth has helped me gain clarity, and I hope you can say the same. I was also thinking that although we may not change each other’s minds, perhaps something else will change that will also be worth our efforts.

            In my conversations with Christians over the years, I’ve confronted a deep misunderstanding of the Jewish position. Usually that misunderstanding was accompanied by contempt for it as well.

            My hope is that you are beginning to see that the Jewish position is strong enough to merit your respect, even as you disagree.

            I hope that you are beginning to understand–even while you disagree–why Jews cannot accept Jesus as their Messiah.

            The primary reason, in an argument with a Unitarian Christian such as you, is that Christians have changed the job description of the Messiah. According to Jewish tradition rooted in the Bible the Messiah will be a human-born Davidic king who will rule during a utopian era of universal knowledge of God, universal peace, the restoration of the Third Temple and the sacrificial system, the ingathering of the Jewish exiles, the vindication of the Jews in the eyes of the gentile nations, the exaltation of the nation of Israel as God’s true and loyal servant, punishment of Israel’s oppressors, and so on.

            According to Christian tradition rooted in Christian scripture, the messiah suffers and dies to atone for the sins of all of mankind, and man achieves eternal salvation only through belief in and acceptance of this messiah.

            Jews have no reason to accept this new job description.

            Jews mostly do not read Christian scripture, as we do not read the sacred texts of any religion. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism–it’s all the same to us. But those who do read it, as I have started to do, find that its authors have distorted the Hebrew scriptures. Surely you can see that a plain reading of the text will confirm what I am saying, even as you find ways to interpret the text so as to harmonize it with the Jewish bible.

            Even if you disagree, but can see that our position is strong, this effort will have been worthwhile.

            I hope to follow up in the near future, God willing, with more on this thread pertaining to your last comment to me.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, I will disappoint you but the more I look into the OT the more I am convinced of Jesus being sent by God as a true servant. I can put away a NT and I will still see the need for the atonement in the Jewish OT scriptures , the need for High Priest that Jesus is before God.

            Do you believe that God saved Israel once using Joseph?? I believe so. It is God who saved Jacob’s family but God used Joseph. Jacob’s sons were bad but God found the way to save the whole family. It is God who gave Joseph the ability to interpret dreams, He gave him wisdom to know how much food to collect for 7 years of drought, wisdom to be in charge, and through Joseph’s forgiving heart the whole family was saved from starvation as well the whole Egypt..
            God used a man.

            You said we changed the job description of the Messiah.
            I would say we see there is more than only expecting what Jewish people expect of him.
            You say that the Messiah will be a king who will rule during a utopian era of universal knowledge of God, universal peace.
            We say he will be the source of that universal knowledge of God. Not just ruling during that time but God and the Messiah will be the source of that peace. When the Lord will be the king then the restoration of everything else promised will be possible.
            So why not yet?
            Starting from Genesis- I see there is a sin issue and it’s consequences that had to be dealt with. If death came to the world after disobeying God’s word, and one day there is no more death, I believe God used Jesus to reconcile the world into Himself.
            You may insist that the nation is the suffering servant but Jesus was still there included and walked the same way. And because we ALL went astray like sheep(…)”, there is no exclusion, every nation went astray so every nation needs healing.

            There is no way the universal peace can just happen on it’s own. People are actually getting worse and the whole world is going to face God’s judgement one day. I am sure you are familiar with that. Until God deals with those who oppose Him, there can’t be any peace.. God is giving to people time of grace to still turn to Him. Then there will be time when the nations will gather against Jerusalem and God will rescue His people and the Messiah will come to rule. Then everybody who stayed alive will be part of that time. Zechariah chapters 12-14 .
            That time will be very unique. There will be resurrection of all the dead ones ( we read in Ezekiel) who served God so they can be a part of the Messianic kingdom. Then there will be still new people being born , living long but still dying . There will be people who once died and are back to life.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, Christians changed the job description of the Messiah–and you are still not showing me how Hebrew Scripture supports this.

            Where do you see that one must believe in and accept a messiah in order to attain eternal life?

            You cannot answer this question. I am just trying to show you why, even while you disagree with our position, you can still respect it as being a strong one, and our objections as being fair ones.

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, So we are back to the beginning.There is no such a thing like just ‘trust in the Messiah’ without trusting God about him.
            Jesus said you could call him Lord Lord, but that didn’t mean anything if you didn’t care about doing the will of the Father in Heaven. Matthew 7;21
            There is trust in God believing HE SENT him for us for our salvation so you can see that it is God who is a Redeemer.
            Getting to the Promised Land wasn’t because of Moses himself but by trusting God and obeying the leader ( Moses) whom God chose for that purpose.

            As far as trusting in Jesus words – In John 12;47-49 – Jesus explains;
            “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

            48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

            49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.”

            You decide you want to trust God that He sent Jesus to listen to His words or not.

            Why I believe Jesus is the Messiah? Jesus died and rose back to life and lives forever being now at the right hand of His Father in Heaven.

            OT references to the Everlasting King;
            Ps 21; 5-6 tells you about the King who will be EVERLASTING, ” Life he requested of You, You gave it to him. length of days forever and ever” and “conferred with majesty and splendor..
            Ps 2 ;6 tells you about the king whom God HIMSELF anointed over Zion, v.9 who will be ruling with the iron rod.
            Ps 110 v.1 Who is ‘the master’ David is talking about? ” The word of Hashem to my master ; Wait at my right , until I make your enemies a stool for your feet.”?
            The same king who is ‘sitting at the right hand of God’ He will be a Priest FOREVER because he is a king of righteousness. Not only a priest ( servant of God) but also a priest forever.

            That is why I don’t believe in the Messiah who will die as a sinner. If he will live forever there is no sin in his life.
            God gave a testimony of Jesus by raising him back to life. We may believe it is not true but scriptures are telling you about everlasting King.
            Why OT Scriptures are telling you about that special Messiah to come? Notice there is no other king glorified and exalted so much after him (that is mentioned) and his kingdom will be sustained ” from now to eternity” Is 9;6

            Daniel 7;13 ,(…) with the clouds of heaven, one like a man came , he came up to the One of Ancient Days (…) even the Artscroll English Tanach with Rabbinic comments , refer this verse to King Messiah.

            Is 53 . There is no logic in referring the suffering of the innocent servant to the nation, as we ALL ( all nations) went astray and need healing. Israel is not listed as ‘an innocent servant’ in prophets and if the ‘righteous remnant’ ‘ committed no crime and is “with no deceit on his mouth” v.9 there is no logic in acknowledging guilt and no way to heal others.v10 .

            The list can go and go so what do you call your ‘strong position’?
            God has not been only talking about His salvation only relating to Israel as the salvation from the enemies in the Messianic kingdom. He has been talking about His salvation to all people who are his servants , those who take refuge in Him , salvation of their SOULS which means their LIVES. Ps 34;23 Nobody achieved salvation yet until he is saved from everlasting death and risen back to life.

            Why we need Jesus now? He is our High Priest before God . Read whole chapter Hebrew 9.
            You never answered why the High Priest in OT was entering into Holy of Holies never without blood . (Hebrew 9;7 explains you that.)
            At the time of Israelities in Egypt, why was blood- a mark on a door a sign for a death angel to pass over that house and save the lives? I am sure angel would know who is Jewish who Egyptian. Blood was always a foreshadow of things that were to come which were done in Jesus.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric.

            You have set up a straw man and then proceeded to set him on fire. I did not argue with you about the eternal nature of the Messiah’s rule, nor did I ask you to provide Scriptural support for such an assertion. You have now inserted that into the argument and argued as if that was my position.

            I challenged you to cite Scriptural support for the notion that belief in and acceptance of the Messiah is necessary for my own eternal salvation (I did not argue whether this includes trust in God or not; that’s not my point). This you have failed to do.

            That Hebrew scripture is deafeningly silent on the foundation of Christian faith should trouble you.

            Nevertheless, your proofs about an everlasting king who is sinless work against you. In Ezekiel 44 the prince who will rule forever brings a sin offering for himself. He is obviously someone who sins. This is a problem for all of your arguments about needing to be sinless in order to rule forever and so on.

            You continue to quote from Christian scripture after I have shown you why the authors of Christian scripture cannot be trusted. Your response to this particular argument has been unsatisfactory and inadequate. You could not explain away the distortions I presented from Matthew based on the plain meaning of the text. Instead, you used apologetic gymnastics to try to harmonize Matthew with the Hebrew scriptures.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina,Just a short note about the prince in Ezekiel. Even Jewish Tanach with Rabbinic thoughts and comments doesn’t say that the prince is the Messiah in 100%. They comment that it is either ; Kohen Gadol , the king Menachem cited by Rashi to 54;17 or the Messiah. Personally what I think -you read further- the word’ prince comes up many times in plural; 45;8, 45.9 , Then, in Ezekiel 46:16 we see that the prince may have “sons” to whom the prince may pass on an inheritance. There was nothing ever mentioned that the Messiah would have ‘sons’.

            I will try to respond to your email later when I have more time. I have to work now .
            Eric

          • Dina says:

            Yes, Eric, but since you don’t accept rabbinical interpretations, then the question is, who else according to Christian theology could this prince be? What other prince will be the leader at the end of days, in Christian theology? I think you would like to wish this passage away; it’s troublesome for your faith. If you read it in context, there is a prince who will rule forever in chapter 37; this prince is singular; and if you want to say that “prince” can mean anyone, then why apply “prince of peace” in Isaiah to Jesus?

            If you want this to be the Kohen Gadol, then what purpose will he serve, if Jesus was the sacrifice to end all sacrifices? Remember, I asked you what is the purpose of rebuilding the Temple and re-instituting the sacrificial system if Jesus was the final atoning sacrifice? You shrugged off this question by saying you don’t know all the answers. But this question must be answered because it is a huge theological thorn in your side.

            Eric, I have asked you many tough but fair questions. You could not answer them. But you can’t admit that my position is strong.

            That’s disappointing.

            I look forward to hearing the rest of your response when you have more time.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina,
            No, I am not having hard time with Ezekiel and the prince. You want to believe the Messiah will have sons , you can believe , the thing I was pointing to is that there are MORE THAN ONE prince mentioned in Ezekiel. 54;8-9. There is one in singular in chapter 37;24-25 – very possible it is the Messiah Then in 44.3 – singular one , then 46 ;6,16 singular but 45 ;8-9 plural -many princesses. So if there are more than one mentioned there is no guarantee the prince in chapter 44;3 must be about the Messiah. The Messiah is called a king and the prince in the prophets but there are many princes mentioned here. Ezekiel mainly describes the rules of serving in the new temple, who will do what and how and what other princes will be involved in the temple or how much land will belong to them. We really don’t know much more.

            You asked me so who else then is the prince in Ezekiel 44. The rabbis don’t know for sure , I don’t know for sure either. I don’t say I don’t accept their explanation at all. When they say right things I am not in disagreement.
            The prophecy is never that clear to know all the details in advance until l all things are fulfilled. Anybody I will try to put there will be just my speculation because there is no more information about that prince. So I am not suggesting anybody.

            Second thing; why then the sacrifices in the Millennium kingdom if Jesus is considered the end of sacrifices?
            Nothing has changed when it comes to the meaning of sacrificial system- I mean – the offered animals and anything else offered ( flour, money) were never to wipe off somebody’s guilt. They were the symbol and the lesson that sin always HAD A PRICE . That is why a killed bull or lamb could make the sinner perfect. The sacrifices were being repeated all the time as a reminder of something greater to come. We believe Christ took on himself our sins and willingly submitted to the Father and took punishment for us. being himself innocent. I believe so, you don’t have to if you don’t .

            So why back to the sacrificial system? The same reason that it was in the past. It wasn’t accomplishing anything else than teaching that sin had a price and to offer God something special when you offered God something that had value to you, giving thanks and so.. As it could not wipe away a person’s sin , it won’t in the future. Besides there still will be people who won’t believe who will have to learn that approaching God requires holiness and that the sin has a price. We even have a reminder set of Christ ‘sacrifice’ for us which is to remember it in sharing bread and sharing wine. I there is no temple so we have that reminder. Wine- symbolizing his blood poured out for us. Bread symbolizing his body broken for us.

            The statement that Christ is the end of sacrifices- means his ‘sacrifice’ – finally accomplished our redemption. It was the final one all the sacrifices were pointing to.
            I mean it made it possible that the price for sin is paid off. That his sacrificed life pays for the consequences of sin ( eternal death ) so we can live forever. That one final price paid.

            You asked me if we have to believe in the Messiah to have eternal life. Depends whom are you expecting… . If the Messiah was to be just another ‘president’ of Israel by whose ruling there will be peaceful time- then trust in such a men has nothing to do with anybody’s salvation . There is no need to trust in a ‘president’ in order to have peace with God.

            But we see the messiah not only a ‘president’ type of peaceful times. We see that the he also brought us freedom from sin consequences ( eternal death.) That makes a difference. Believing him is trusting God that God made salvation possible by Jesus’ sacrifice’ It is also trusting God as he is passing on God’s message to us that we are given life instead of speculating of unknown what happens to us after we die.. So if I reject him I feel like I am also rejecting God and saying I don’t need your ‘cleansing’ from my sin. God said he would show us His salvation when we trust Him. psalm 23;34, ps 50 ;25

            It is like having Moses. If I lived at his time and said ‘I don’t want to listen to your message Moses, I am not going to walk the way you say, I will wait here for God himself on that desert” – I am ignoring Moses’ directions from God, then it means I am also not listening to God.
            Before Messiah was born people were putting trust in God and believing Him he was going to sent him. Coming to God was always by repenting and trusting Him and whomever He put in charge to listen to at different times , His messengers , prophets– was for our benefit- to know what is the will of God. So believing Jesus I know that God made our life free from eternal death and how He ‘cleansed’ us form sin.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            I think your answer on the prince in Ezekiel is fine, and I don’t have a problem with it. But your answer on the re-institution of the sacrificial system makes no sense to me.

            First, you have still not provided a source from Tanach supporting the Christian belief that only through acceptance of the Messiah as one’s lord and savior can one attain eternal life. Not a single source.

            Second, it makes no sense to say that Jesus is the final atoning sacrifice and then to say that we still need the sacrificial system to atone for sin. I simply could not make sense of what you wrote. It’s not clear.

            On the other hand, Hebrew scripture makes it perfectly clear how we can shape our spiritual destiny (Genesis 4:7; Deuteronomy 30; Ezekiel 18 and 33).

            Finally, you compared Jesus to Moses. May I remind you that God established the credibility of Moses as His prophet to the eyes of the whole entire nation by speaking to him in front of everyone (Exodus 19:9). The Torah tells us that a prophet as great as Moses has never again arisen in Israel (Deuteronomy 34:10).

            Christians contend that Jesus was greater even than Moses. Therefore, to establish his credibility, God should have done at least what He did with Moses: speak to him in front of all of Israel. Not only did he not do this, but Jesus also failed to fulfill the one sign he gave the Pharisees–that he would rise after three days and nights in the belly of the earth (and according to some gospels it wasn’t even a full three days and nights). The fact that Jesus failed to appear before the Pharisees is a problem. I believe we discussed this before. Forgive me; I can’t keep track of what I discussed with whom :).

            You keep saying things like “this is what I believe, you believe what you want.” But belief MUST have a strong rational basis. We are responsible for the choices we make, and what greater responsibility comes from a decision upon which hinges the fate of our very souls? A decision of what kind of loyalty to our own Creator?

            If we cannot clearly defend our faith, we must keep seeking for the truth, praying to our Father in heaven for His guidance all the while, and keeping our minds open.

            May He lead us to the light of His truth.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, You said “, you have still not provided a source from Tanach supporting the Christian belief that only through acceptance of the Messiah as one’s lord and savior can one attain eternal life. ”
            I tried to explain that so many times, so maybe once more maybe different way this time. Before Moses was born, God didn’t require people to listen to Moses when Moses didn’t exist, before any prophet or a judge or king was appointed , people weren’t required to listen to them ( because they didn’t exist) until they had a judge or a king or a prophet. The same is with the Messiah. When he comes God will want us to listen to him and respect him like you were doing to the chosen by God leaders in the past.
            So there are no words about trust in the Messiah itself as guarantee for eternal life in Torah . But the are words to listen to the leaders God choses. Deut 18 ; 18 people were to listen to the prophet/ prophets of God ( the ones sent by Him) ” I will establish a prophet for them from among their brethren like you, and I will place my words in his mouth , he shall speak everything that I will command him (…)” Listening to them meant you listened to God. If people didn’t listen to Moses , they didn’t get to the Promised Land, but died in the desert.
            If we believe God sent the Messiah also to bring the salvation, we trust Him in that.
            Because Christians believe the Messiah already came to bring the salvation – by accepting his promise – we can know we have eternal life because he paid for us.
            Because we believe that Is 50; 4-10, 52;13 and 53 are talking about Him , based on v. 5 and v.11 tells us that his wound are bringing us the healing. And v.11 ” that God’s righteous servant makes the many righteous’ or ‘ vindicates the Righteous One to multitudes.” I have already explained you that applying all this to the nation makes no sense to me for soooooo many reasons , no matter whose Jewish commentary I read. I agree with the nation as a servant and the sufferings and the future glory and restoration etc but here is clearly a specific person from the nation that brings the healing to ALL people . ‘ we all went astray like a sheep, including people of Israel” .
            Notice; nobody who ever died gets resurrected until the Messiah comes back. Makes sense to me that nobody is back to life until there was ‘a death of a righteous ‘ that atoned for you. So our trust in the Messiah’s words ( for Christians -Jesus) is because we believe he came to bring the healing, bearing the sin of multitudes ( of us).
            We accept Him as a Lord because we believe he is the Lord and King God chose to rule in the future . Accepting him now as a lord means I agree with what he is saying. I agree he brought the healing/ salvation so I respect him.

            You mentioned Jesus ‘ testimony is not as reliable as Moses, because God ‘established’ Moses’ testimony before the entire nation. The difference is Jesus walked from town to town to speak , while Moses spoke to the nation that wasn’t spread in the towns. You said'” God should have done it the way like with Moses’ Well, God showed the other way. Will I argue? Interesting is that Jesus said he leaves the revelation about himself to his Father. He said ” “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him “. I believe God chose to reveal Jesus by speaking to peoples hearts . Not in front of the group but to their hearts.
            Just because everybody heard Moses didn’t mean that his testimony make everybody trust God. Many gave up and died on the desert.
            Regarding Jesus resurrection and the sign there was also no promise that Jesus would appear to pharisees- that you said he failed to show a sign. I once explained you that. And I remember somebody on that website wrote about that too. Matthew 12;38-42. All his life those pharisees- living in his time – wanted to kill him, they saw many other signs -his healing- why would he want to show up to them as the only thing they were looking for was to kill him? He said sign of Jonah, but that didn’t promise showing up in person to them. By the way, the people at the grave waiting for him saw him, why didn’t they wait as well?? But instead of it is written they set the guards to watch the grave.

            Of course he was more than Moses, as not only a prophet but called Son of God with given authority to lay his life for our salvation and rule in the future. But I know you don’t believe that.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric.

            I hear your frustration with explaining something many times and me just not getting it. I understand because I feel that way too! But sometimes to achieve clarity we need to go round and round in circles. As we are forced to clarify our position, we gain deeper insight into the truth. So I appreciate your patience in explaining yet again what you hold to be true.

            Deuteronomy tells us to listen to the prophets, and indeed not to stray to the right or to the left of what our leaders (not even prophets, necessarily) command us to do (Deuteronomy 17:11). Deuteronomy tells us also how to identify the true prophet from the false. And finally, Deuteronomy tells us–before any other prophet other than Moses ever even arrived on the scene–that no prophet as great as Moses has ever arisen in Israel (Deuteronomy 34:10).

            Jesus fails the true prophet test because he encourages a worship that our fathers at Sinai did not know (Deuteronomy 13:6). He (or at least Paul) repealed the the Law of Moses, which God says is eternal (Exodus 12:14, 12:17, 27:21, 28:43; Leviticus 3:17, 7:36, 10:9, 16:29, 16:31, 16:34, 17:7, 23:14, 23:21, 23:31, 23:41, 24:3; Numbers 10:8, 15:15, 19:10, 19:21, 18:23, 35:29), and he gave false prophecy, as in the sign to the Pharisees.

            Now I know you’ve explained this last bit, about the sign to the Pharisees. But Eric, it doesn’t matter if he did other signs for them. It doesn’t matter if a couple of Pharisees were at his tomb at the resurrection (a vicious–very vicious–lie, if you stop and think about it for a moment). Nothing else that happened between Jesus and the Pharisees matters, if Jesus didn’t do as he said he would. He didn’t fulfill this one sign in front of the Pharisees, the only sign he actually promised them.

            Your comments on Isaiah 53 show me that you don’t understand the Jewish position. I have posted links and videos on this; I don’t know if you’ve had time to listen to or read all of it. To clarify and summarize, I will have to write up something. That will take some time, and God willing, if I have more of it, I will write about that.

            Congratulations on your family wedding!

          • Eric says:

            Dina, By the words ‘ you believe what you believe ‘ I meant I won’t insist that you will see things like I see. But of course I am not writing it in order to kill my time, but because of the concern so others will understand God is giving us hope. I hope you won’t get too mad I am writing about things you didn’t ask. I think thety are important to mention.
            There is no reason I would give up believing God that He sent His son Jesus so we could have eternal life with Him ( and to get to know him more- John 14). Somebody can believe in the imortal soul but the question is whether that soul would spend eternity with God or punished has no guarantee. There is no reason for me to believe Jesus was a sinner, there is no reason I would want to give up my trust that his ‘innocent’ death atones for me. His atonement’ I see as the averting of punishment, or the turning away of divine wrath by the payment of a ransom.
            So how do I explain the sacrificial system in Milenium?
            I usually do the observation of the entire subject to find the answers. First of all for some reason Jesus himself tells a men whom he healed to do the offering ‘ for his cleansing from leprosy’ . That is recorded in Mark 1;44 and Matthew 8;4, Luke 5;14. The law tells you what sacrifices did it require regarding leprosy.. I would think Jesus would be th e first person to say ; there is no need to do any offerings any more. Yet I see they serve the symbolic purpose and thanksgiving purpose. The sick with leprosy was ‘cleansed’ before his offering. Did it somehow ‘colide’ with what Jesus was going to accomplish? .No because Jesus’ death brough eternl life unlike the other sacrifices. That is one thing.

            Another thing back to Ezekiel now; I don’t see that the millennial practices are the reinstitution of Jewish sacrificial system completly. First ; there is no mention of an ark of the covenant, golden lampstand, table of shewbread, and veil. The Passover and Feast of Tabernacles are observed, but Pentecost is omitted. While the five classes of sacrifices and offerings are cited, the central Levitical sacrifice, the Day of Atonement together with the sprinkling of the blood upon the mercy seat of the ark by the high priest, (which was the most vital element in the Levitical system) is missing. What type of atonement we see in Ezekiel? Is any of them offering eternal life like Jesus’ atonement? I don’t think so.
            In Ezekiel 40-48, “atonement” is mentioned a total of 5 times, Ezekiel 43:20, 26 and 45:15,17, and 20. The mention of atonement in Ezekiel 43 speaks of the atonement being made for the altar many times . It isn’t made on behalf of people. Only the mention of “atonement” in chapter 45 is spoken of being made for “them” meaning the people of Israel. v. 15 also ‘to atone for the House of Israel’ My question is what about the rest of the world? Only mentioned sacrifices of praise, thanksgiving in other prophets. But no atonement available for other nations????
            If these ‘atoning ritiuals were to wipe off the ‘ moral ‘ guilt and make a person ‘clean’ forever then the other nations would be deprived of that privilage? Second was ever an animal sacrifice in Leviticus literaly taking away somebody’s guilt? Wasn’t it by repentance always and broken heart that God was showing His mercy? Without a right heart an offered sacrifice wasn’t accepted by God. That’s why I see all the offerings as symbolic as thanksgivings as reminders rather as literal ‘cleaning’, not literaly ‘ taking a person’s guilt. The literal , ( we believe) trully redeeming was Jesus sacrifice setting you free from eternal death.

            Another thing to consider is; in the Millenium kingdom there will be people who are mortal ( new people -sinners- being born ) and immortal onces ( those who were resurrected back to life from death Ezekiel 37, Is 26;19, ). I don’t think that once they have right to life again , they would die again. Jesus atonement makes sense in their case why they would have a priviledge to eternal life. If they already were once atoned for ( not by an animal ) but real ‘innocent substitute’ that took their death punishment like Jesus did, they can live forever like I believe the Messiah will be.
            Another thought came to me;people’s long life in the millenium kingdom. Not everybody will believe in God ( is mentioned) so any symbolic rituals might be helpful.
            Second , we don’t know whether the sacrifices will trelate to all people in the millenium; the new people born who will still die one day , whether the resurected ones will participate in the sacrificial system , I don’t know. There are so many things we don’t know about that time but I am sure there is a reason for everything that is mentioned in Ezekiel.
            P.S.I have a wedding to today in the family so I need to go. I will finish later .
            eric

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric.

            I’m not familiar with the term “millennial kingdom.” If you are talking about the end of days–“acharit hayamim” in Hebrew–then that’s what I mean. It’s great that you read Ezekiel so carefully as to note what practices are missing from the description of the Third Temple service–but just because a particular practice isn’t missing doesn’t mean it won’t be practiced, since the Law is eternal and binding, all of it. If parts of the Law can’t be practiced because of our exiled status and lack of Temple, that will be corrected when the Temple is rebuilt. Forever in the Bible means forever.

            You asked how gentiles achieve atonement without Jesus. The answer is simple. The same way that Jews do. Ezekiel 18 and 33 tell us how to do this, without sacrifices. The gentiles have a covenant with God, too. The covenant God forged with Noah applies to all of mankind. The story of Nineveh provides a good lesson to the gentiles on how to repent and obtain God’s forgiveness.

            I therefore find unsatisfactory your answer to the question, “What is the purpose of the Third Temple and reinstitution of the sacrificial system if Jesus is the final atoning sacrifice?”

            You wrote that during this end time, not everyone will believe in God. But that is not what Scripture teaches. Scripture tells us that at the end of days the knowledge of God will fill the world as the water covers the sea (Isaiah 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14). Universal knowledge of God is one of the signs of the messianic age.

            Thanks for your patience,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, I think we will be going back and forth on the things and never come to any conclusion. Jesus won’t be understood by Jewsih people untill they will understand the meaning of Day of Atonement they celebrated once a year ( described in Levit 16 ). I know it might sound funny for me to say that as you should understand your holidays more than me from just reading about them. But that Atonement type presented in Lev 16 is not unfamiliar to us because it relates to what we believe Jesus did.
            When you explained me atonement for gentiles based on example of people in Nineveh, this I would call a repentance of people and forgiveness of God. But that wasn’t the atonement from Levit 16. That specific one included a replacement presented that takes the sins away . Th e whole ritual showed you symbolicly on animals involved that there was reversing of the punishment by providing substitute . Repentance wasn’t the only point that fixed everything. There was a replacement for sin presented that had to be offered in sacrificing an animal
            ( representing life offered that’s why you didn’t offer flour on that day) v. 5-9
            There was a scapegoat symbolising the fact that the sins are put on the other being and carried away .
            This type of atonemet ( sacrificing ) was performent only by High Priest.
            You showed me many exaples in OT that people are forgiven by God after they repent. That is true because without repenting heart God can’t forgive.
            But what God did by sending Jesus to die for us is not just to forgive us. It is to acomplish what Levit 16 was praciced about. To show you there is replacement punished for your sin. The sins are carried away on ‘someone’ they are placed on. That’s why Jesus didn’t have to die , but chose to be our replacement for our sins.
            For me believing that we die because we die ( just because we get old or sick etc ) has no scriptual support. Scriptual support is to see death came after sin enetred the world ( Gen) Jeremiah 31 ;30 ( everyone dies for their own guilt) so there are consequences- we will be dying, but there is a freedom from that punishment as someones life -Jesus’ became a substitute so that we can have life back in Messianic Kindgom. That;’s why we believe in Jesus atoning death. Sorry I brought that again.
            God forgave people in Ninevah after they repented . He would destroy the city like Sodom and Gomora if they didn’t. And Jesus is also a substitute for punishment for those who repented and turned to God in OT although they didn’t know him.
            You said you don’t agree with me saying there will be people in messianic times who won’t know God.
            The world will indeed be full of knowledge of God but that doesn’t mean all people will want to worship God. That’s what I should have said . You said Scriptures are saying something different. But what about Zehariah 14;17-19 ??? Some will resist to come to worship and will need “encouragement ” from the Lord in lack of rain or water.

            The term Millenial Kingdom you asked about is th e words we describe Messianic Kindgom. Maybe later I wil write about it.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            Finally, this comment will bring me up to date on responding to all your comments to me on various threads (I think).

            You talked about Leviticus 16, and you seem to imply that now that we don’t have the Temple, we have no way to atone for our sins. Therefore, Jesus’s substitutionary sacrifice replaces one of the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement.

            Christians have been asking for forever, “How can you have atonement without the Temple?” They forget that there was a period in history that the Jews did not have a Temple, could not perform the Day of Atonement rituals, and this was centuries before the advent of Jesus. I refer to the period of the Babylonian exile, which occurred after the destruction of the First Temple.

            King Solomon anticipated this in his prayer at the Temple Dedication. See 1 Kings 8:46-50.

            God in the Torah emphatically rejects subtitutionary atonement. See Exodus 32:32-33; Deuteronomy 24:16; Ezekiel 18:20.

            Rabbi Blumenthal has written a brief article summing up the problems with the Christian interpretation of Leviticus 16. You can read it here:

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/lessons-from-leviticus-16/

            You wrote that the belief that we die because we die has no scriptural support. I agree. Adam, by sinning, brought death into the world, and since there is no one who never sins, everyone dies. Here is where we disagree: Jews (and even most Christians) believe that death in this world is a separation of the immortal soul from the body. We believe in an afterlife during which time a person is rewarded or punished depending on his actions.

            You wrote that the freedom from the punishment of death is Jesus’s atoning sacrifice which gives people their life back in the messianic age. This has no scriptural support.

            Ezekiel 18 and 33 tell us that we will live and not die if we turn away from evil and do righteousness.

            If you look at Zechariah 14 and read the whole chapter, it’s clear that one of the ways universal knowledge of God will be achieved is described here. In other words, this will happen first. So I don’t see this as a contradiction to the messianic promise that the knowledge of God will cover the earth as water covers the sea.

            I will finish this comment by saying that I do not feel criticized in your emails. You have been kind and respectful throughout, and it’s a pleasure talking to you!

          • Eric says:

            Dina, Finishing my response to your email from a week ago.
            You quoted ; “How can you have atonement without the Temple?” They forget that there was a period in history that the Jews did not have a Temple, could not perform the Day of Atonement rituals, and this was centuries before the advent of Jesus.
            Me; First of all- you can see the rituals of that time in itself weren’t the means by which sins were forgiven. You turn to God by turning from evil and decide to trust God – that’s what matters. Your temporary rituals were a lesson for something to come.
            People were forgiven throughout a history after they repented. What Jesus accomplished was is to bring freedom from death. Nobody, neither David, Moses whoever was forgiven by God – wasn’t ever free from dying, not without a costly soul redemption ps 49;8 ,, and at Messiah’s coming the believers are called back to life.
            you said; God in the Torah emphatically rejects substitution atonement.
            Me; Yes, atonement sinner for sinner. Jesus was God’s Son without sin. Moses couldn’t , as he was guilty of his own sin, so is everybody. Also , if you believe in no substitution atonement why do you belive that God inflicted upon him ( Israel) the iniquity of us all??? Is 53;6 God inflicted the iniquity of us on you,, but couldn’t inflict it on His Son?

            You said ” You wrote that the freedom from the punishment of death is Jesus’s atoning sacrifice which gives people their life back in the messianic age. This has no scriptural support. Ezekiel 18 and 33 tell us that we will live and not die if we turn away from evil and do righteousness.”
            It depends what you mean by ‘ we will live and not die’? If you mean that you never experience a stage of real death because you live as a soul- that I would call without scriptural support. I already wrote about that in t e previous email.
            What I agree on that verse in Ezekiel is; that we will live and not die everlasting death, if we turned back to God.
            The verse tells you ‘ we will not die. You would not have then a time of dying in your life, but prolonged life into eternity. But since we die physically and are risen to life to be physically present again ( Ezekiel 37 and Daniel 12;2 ) you see it talks NOT about a stage of soul existence after death.
            This verse doesn’t mean there is an automatic right away- transfer to life. It all has to agree what God said in the other place in Daniel and Ezekiel ‘ s vision of dry bones back to life. There is a space time between death and resurrection. And resurrection is mentioned at coming of messiah, no sooner. That’s why we believe at the resurrection at Jesus’ coming- Messiah coming.
            If you understand that death stage means NO life, like the word ‘death ‘ means like in the verses I wrote you previously , then you will see that being back to life means being finally free from the punishment of death ( since lack of life is not called a reward or stage in-between.)
            I don’t really understand what you wanted to say by Zechariah 14 that it’s clear that one of the ways universal knowledge of God will be achieved is described here. Of course after messiah ‘ comes and evil doers are removed . people will know who God is, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be sin any more. They will still be dying for it.

          • Eric says:

            Dina, Correction to my sentence. I am always loosing the ‘not’ s.
            It is supposed be in my last email ; “That is why a killed bull or lamb could NOT make the sinner perfect.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, if you want the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 to be the Messiah, he is blessed by God to see his offspring (the word “seed” is used, which always means biological children and not metaphorical children in Hebrew).

            I don’t accept that explanation, obviously. And I think it raises a lot of problems for you. But if you want it to be the Messiah, then you could say that this passage says the Messiah will have children.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            I looked at the passage in Matthew again, and compared it to the one in Micah again. And reading Micah in context, it is clear that the ORIGINS of the Messiah will be from Bethlehem, that the Messiah will come from the people of Bethlehem, and not that the Messiah has to be born in Bethlehem, as I have previously explained.

            As you know, King David was born in Bethlehem, and the Messiah will be his descendant.

            As I have previously pointed out, Jesus does not descend from King David on his father’s side (tribal affiliation is determined through patrilineal descent; see Numbers Chapter 1 for example).

            I have also pointed out that Matthew’s and Luke’s genealogies contradict each other and both of them contradict the genealogy in 1 Chronicles 3.

            Going back to Matthew versus Micah, you have failed to adequately explain the misquote. You have also not answered me satisfactorily on the other prophecies cited by Matthew.

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, I feel like being beaten up almost reading your last emails. I am glad I am on a distance;-) By the way I am writing to show you why I believe in Jesus message that it is from God, not to make anybody convert, ok? So if I say something that doesn’t make sense to – just ignore it.
            I have not had time yet to look into all the porblems in matthew you want to discus but I looked in that ‘being born in Bethlehem’; issue. I think what I meant in the question I asked you before was whether the words of the prophet Michah suggested only that the Messiah would come from ‘people of Bethlehem’ but not necessary be born in the city himself of that name. Right?

            From what I remember you think that Matthew is suggesting the Messiah must be born in Bethlehem. Is that the problem? If the only thing that is mentioned is th e ‘people of Bethlehem’ does Bethlehem have to be excluded?
            He had to be born somewhere, it happened there. Does the city exclude the ‘people of Bethlehem? What if it just happened there?.
            Well I looked also in the other gospels which describe some other events in whchi it is mentioned Jesus was born in the actual city of Bethlehem. So it is not just Matthew’s suggestion . They all say he was born in that city.
            Also back to Matthew – v5 -says other people responded and mentioned the place of his birth., not matthew himself.

            Luke 2;1-7 also is mentioning the city because of census;
            “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  (…)And everyone went to their own town to register.
            So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. ?
            John 7;42 says that some people thought the Messiah woul come from Bethlehem where David was born. Looked like some people weren’t really sure of the place
            I don’t see it as a problem.