Where is his Birth Certificate?
Christians insist that Jesus is the Messiah. They base this belief on the faulty claim that Jesus “fulfilled” many prophecies concerning the Messiah. We have already demonstrated that this missionary claim is without foundation. Most of these “prophecies” are not messianic and the ones that cannot apply to Jesus. (https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/the-applicant-with-353-references/ )
Another point to consider is the fact that there is no evidence that Jesus even fulfilled the Christian interpretation of these prophecies. Let us take the passage in Micah 5 which predicts that the Messiah will arise from the Bethlehmite clan. Christians have misinterpreted this passage and arrived at the erroneous conclusion that the Messiah needs to be born in the city of Bethlehem. The Church then claims that Jesus fulfilled this “prophecy” by being born in Bethlehem.
Putting aside the fact that the prophecy says nothing about the geographical location of the Messiah’s birth (it speaks of Bethlehem as the name of a clan, not as the name of a city), how can anyone know if Jesus was truly born in Bethlehem?
Christians respond to this by pointing to the gospels. The gospel writers report that he was born in Bethlehem, so there you have it, black on white.
But why should we believe the gospel writers?
At this point in the argument the followers of Jesus respond with the brilliant formula; two wrongs make a right! There is no evidence to the events described in the Jewish Bible so how can you criticize the Christians for believing the events recorded in the Christians Scriptures?
Those who use this argument have given evidence that their faith has no foundation in fact. But even more, those who use this argument demonstrate that they have no understanding of the faith structure of the Jewish Bible.
The faith that is spoken of in the Jewish Bible stands on the testimony of a nation who experienced the foundational events of Judaism: the exodus, the Sinai revelation and the wandering in the wilderness. This testimony was passed on to the physical descendants of those who were impacted by these events. This testimony confirms the two foundational truths of Judaism: that our hearts belong to the One Creator of heaven and earth and that Moses is His prophet. The teachings of Moses guide us in the acceptance of the other prophets and divinely inspired writings. It is on the basis of what Moses taught us that we accept the rest of the books of Scripture.
To put this in the form of a chart we would describe the faith structure of Judaism as follows:
1 – National testimony from the physical descendants of those who experienced the exodus, the Sinai revelation and the miraculous wandering through the desert.
2 – Foundational truths confirmed by this testimony. That God is One and that Moses is His prophet.
3 – The teachings of Moses which guide us in all areas in life including in the realm of accepting or rejecting prophets and canonical books.
4 – Accepting the canon of the Jewish Bible on the basis of applying the teachings of Moses.
In contrast, the Christian faith structure would appear as follows:
1 – Testimony of the gospels.
2 – The testimony of the gospels confirms that Jesus is the Messiah.
3 – The alleged Messiah-ship of Jesus confirms that the gospel writers are telling the truth.
So where is his birth certificate?
You can read more about this subject in the following articles.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal