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Many Christians have a difficult time understanding why it is that Jews view their faith in Jesus as idolatrous. Christians assert that Jesus is “one and the same” as the God of Israel. How could veneration of Jesus be considered idolatry?
It may come as a surprise to some Christians if they were to realize that many Jews have a difficult time understanding Christians. After everything is said and done, Christianity is pointing to a man, and calling him “god”. What else is there to discuss?
This article is written in an effort to help Christians see things from a Jewish perspective.
Imagine the following scenario.
The Messianic era is here. God is revealed to all mankind. Every human being clearly sees that the One Creator of heaven and earth is the only true power. Everyone understands that every facet of existence is just an expression of His…
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Thankyou for replying. You stated that I didnt diserve an answer, but I thankyou that you changed your mind, and gave your answer anyway.
Two point’s came from yourself that I think should be voiced;
Of course God cannot sin or do evil. By His Holy, devine, perefect nature and Name it is impossible for Him to sin and be unholy.
But then you state that God cannot take on the form of a human. By doing this you are telling God what He can do and what He cannot. Gods unlimited nature is not for you to dictate. You are man, with the sin nature. You are created by God, He alone dictates the world not you or I.
By telling God His limits all you are doing is telling Him that He has a set limit out of His control. Basically you are putting God in a small box.
Comparing your two ststements you presume that God taking on the human condition of flesh, remaining devine, but still having the opportunity to sin, but remaining sinless because of His obedience to His father, as a condition of sinning in the first place.
The problem that you have are not the scriptures, christians or history. The problem is actually how big is your God, and much you think Gods loves you to Give His Only begotten Son, to die, to pay the penalty for your sins. Until you see that no matter what you do to seek God, Only forgiveness through the Son will bring you into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Paul, please answer my questions I asked. Let’s start with this question and I would a appreciate it if you could give me a direct answer:
Can G-d take on the form of a golden calf? Why or why not?
Yes of course. If He wanted to. Nothing is beyond Him. However sinning is not a option. God cannot sin.
Yehuda, do you think it was the physical form itself alone that bothered G-d the most, or the fact that an idol fashioned in any form causes Israel to act corruptly and presumptuously? Exodus 32:6 implies merrymaking by the people, and likely immorality. Notice too that the verse says ” make for us a deity of gold, as for .this man Moses, we know not where he has gone.” In other words, they sought a stand in for Moses, not for Hashem.
when under the tutelage of Moses, they did not act corruptly, but left to their own devices they fell into immorality.
The reason that I think it’s not so much the images, as it is the immorality caused by human presumption related to them, is that G-d tells Moses to build the Nachash necoshet. I realize that it too became an idol hundreds of years later, but what about its use up until that time? Did people interact properly with it at one time? Scripture shows that anything can become an idol even, the Torah itself (the Luchot for example, that’s why Moses destroyed them.)
My point with all this is, if gentile Christians In their theology emphasize the proper relationship between Jesus and Hashem (that of a father to his obedient son,) and moreover define that it’ is wrong to focus on Jesus too much, or without Hashem as his head, how is it a violation of idolatry for them?
Let’s start from your First point. What does Exodus 32:14 have to say on the matter. This isn’t the only place such is said. “The Lord [then] reconsidered the evil He had said He would do to His people.”
No one is telling what G-d can or cannot DO. This is just another diversionary tactic so as to deflect what IS being said. It is Xtianity that is putting G-d in a “small box”, namely a man-god. How much more small of a box can one get in comparison to an Omnipotent G_d.
I responded to your same non-question previously, which you chose to ignore. It’s not the simplistic view that Xtianity is known for with its roots not found in Judaism. So I’ll re-post it here.
It is wholly ridiculous and ludicrous that a question of whether G-d can be manifest into something physical. This is the typical method of Xtianity to bring what is assumed to be a legitimate question. It would be no different than asking if G-d could create a rock that is too heavy for Him to lift. If He can do anything why can’t This question be answered. Could G-d create a rock that spanned infinity. In so doing would it be too heavy for Him to lift? It is like asking the question, How many is the color red. It is an irrelevant question because it is Not a question with an answer. The best our minds are able to grasp the outcome would result in the entire universe collapsing in on itself; because it says He cannot be contained.
Another way to look at is, can a “thought” be “seen”? At the most the thought can be described in the physical but the thought itself has not Become physical. So it is with G-d. He is not part of physicality but merely Pure Will, thought, as it were. His Will “controls” the physical and it is That which we are able to perceive. We know there is Wind, but we do not “see” it, nor do we hear it.
Because of His immense Power, as was experienced at Sinai, G-d’s influence is transmitted to the physical level but only through levels. Each level diminishes the effect of that Power. When it does reach this physical world it has been tempered by the many levels it travels. If this weren’t the case there would be no need for the angels.
There is no doubt the concept of G-d’s manifestation into a fleshly creature began long ago. Many peoples view G-d as a white-haired “man”. In my youth, I recall when I had first seen the Michaelangelo’s painting in the Sistine chapel I assumed it may have been of Abraham and Isaac. I was utterly flabbergasted to find out it was suppose to be an image of the Xtian version of their god. If this concept is what a person has in their minds when they contemplate G-d it is no wonder a belief in a man-god is possible. When “I” perceive G-d I begin with contemplating the earth, and visualize outward to the solar system, to the galaxy, to the universe, and, since I am unable to go any further, I contemplate G-d is encompassing ALL that I have imagined thus far. I would, therefore ask, why would ANYone imagine G-d to such a limited degree as a speck on a planet, that is a speck in a solar system, that is a speck in the universe.
And you want to end it with How big is your G-d. Really, How BIG is YOUR G_D. This is grade school talk, “my dad can beat up your dad” talk. Jews have NO need for a man-god to die in penalty for sins when direct communication forgives. As has been said countless times over and over again, if G-d really and truly wanted to use a “man” to die for all the sins of mankind there would be explicit talk of such matters. Yet there is not a single prophet who spoke of such. On the contrary, it IS a problem with scripture that Xtianity has. All the evidence, In scripture, that G-d requires of the Jewish people is summarily ignored by Xtianity. What does the last prophetic book state:
22 Remember the Torah of Moses my servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
23 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord;
24 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a curse.
Funny thing, I don’t see any mention of a “belief” in a begotten son here. I DO see the mention of the Torah of Moshe and all its precepts. Who then should we have a belief IN, G-d or man. Remember G-d does NOT speak in the Xtian text whereas He DOES in Torah. I, for one, will choose the G-d of Torah and not a god made of man, man-god, god-man, or whatever.
Sharbano and Paul,
If I may contribute to Sharbano’s point here:
The Christians’ question is absurd: do you limit God by saying that he cannot become human? It is the Christian who denies God’s power. It is the Christian who says that God cannot forgive one’s sin. The Christian foreshortens God’s arm. According to them, He needs blood. But God does not need anything. It is the Christian who denies the power of God. And as he envisions a God impotent to forgive those who repent without magical blood, they limit him further by envisioning Him as one of us, making the Creator to be as the created. The take the Infinite and make Him take on finitude. They take the Omnipotent and make Him impotent in the face of human sin. The take the One who declared that only the sinner would be punished and make Him out to punish the innocent. What absurdity to talk about limiting God by denying that He is limited, all the while asserting that God wants to forgive sin but cannot without a sacrifice.
It’s always fascinated my How it is people can believe in such a concept. There is Only one example throughout the Jewish bible that speaks of G-d making a literal “contact” with humanity, and that event was at Sinai. Then, we are told of that contact that there was no physical entity that was seen. I wonder if it isn’t simply a matter of Emunah that causes people to assume a divinity of a man and thus the need for such divinity. Since Xtianity does not have a Sinai event to look back upon they need something physical to attach themselves to. It is too difficult for mankind to perceive a reality that is completely apart from Any time and Any space.
When G-d spoke at Sinai He says “I (am) Hashem your G-d”. Now, if this same G-d would want people to “Know” that He was sending a man-god son would not that son have said, “I was virgin born, and I am the lord your god”. Instead Jsus infers just the opposite. I find no true clarity in the Xtian text when examined in its entirety, but ambiguity does abound.
John 20:17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”
(We are not to hold on to Jesus, for we know no man after the flesh.)
John 20:22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” The holy spirit is called HIS Spirit.
1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tonguesa as the Spirit enabled them. (Purportedly this was in the upper room, near the tomb of King David.)
5Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,b 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11(both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
13Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
Peter Addresses the Crowd
14Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17“ ‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
18Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
19I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’c
22“Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23This man was handed over to you by God’s DELIBERATE PLAN and FOREKNOWLEDGE ; and you, with the help of wicked men,d put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was IMPOSSIBLE for death to keep its hold on him.
VS 23 allays any possible charge of culpability or evil intent in the death of Jesus by anyone. Christianity’s own texts say this was G-d who planned this, it is nobodies fault that Jesus died. Period, end of discussion. Also, if anyone were culpable Jesus said, “forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Some may say that a prophet is not accredited by Signs, but Moses was accredited by such.
How does any of this response relate. The one quote of Peter makes no sense. Was Peter living in the last days. Just another prophecy pulled from the text which has no relationship to the events depicted.
Jim, not all Christians place this emphasis on blood as absolutely necessary for G-d to forgive. Substitution is one form of Christian understanding on this issue.
Not all people who use the Name of Christ in there lives will enter into the kingdom of Heaven. A very clear teaching of Jesus.
Substitution is not a teaching of Christ.
Yes Paul, that’s what I was saying. Anselm and Augustine stripped Christian scripture of a clear sense of reward and punishment, righteousness, and justice.
A strange concept and odd question, which in its self is a double negative with tones of circular reasoning.
Can God create something which by itself is so big that God cannot control the said item which has been created? Of course He can’t! He would then be inferior to His own abilities. Which of course is a bizarre idea.
I dont see why your question is aligned with the God man teaching?
Jesus in His humanity could not lift any object heavier than the average man of His size and physical strength. However if it was the devine will of His Father in heaven, then anything could be possible. The God of Israel didnt send His Son to show Gods size, God sent His Son because the father loves His creation and penalty of sin needing paying.
Jesus continously claimed what He did was because of His father’s will and abilities, Jesus never ever said He alone was able to do the works that He did.
Gods will for Jesus and for mankind, was for Jesus to die and to resurrected to pay for the sins of all humanity.
Could God use another people, temple service and medium for sin atonement, yes, if He willed it, but He didnt, He alone chose the method of blood atonement through the nation of Israel. A concept that is clearly taught in scripture. Like I stated earlier, God is only limited by the limits that He chooses and He wills, not limited by external sources. And He is not limited by sinful man who choose to ignore His free gift and unlimited grace.
It isn’t a question of whether G-d can become a man — but whether G-d lies to us. G-d clearly tells us He is not a man. He tells us that He does not change (becoming a man is certainly change!). G-d tells us that any form of worship we did not know at Mount Sinai is false — and we most certainly didn’t hear of Jesus at Sinai! G-d says that no man can see Him and live — yet all those people supposedly saw and interacted with Jesus and lived (ergo Jesus couldn’t be G-d). . .
G-d made the rules and G-d tells us He doesn’t change or break those rules — that is the true issue at hand.
Yes you are correct, God isn’t a man. Scripture teaches that God is spirit. But thats not saying He cannot take on human flesh and retain His deity.
You are correct again God does not change, God cannot repent. However that verse you are quoting is obviously talking about Gods status, statues and personality, nothing else.
Unlike man who can and does constantly change ideas and opinions etc.
You also correct in stating that no one can see God and live. Seeing God in His fulness, spirit will kill a man. Why??? Because God is holy and man is fallen, sinful with corrupted flesh, so never the twain can meet, and corruption of sinful flesh cannot enter into heaven.
Thats the very reason God sent His Son to reveal the Law of God face to face with His people. God veiled His Name through the humanity of Jesus. Thats why God and Jesus are the same.
One of dozens and dozens of clear scriptural truth is in John ch 18 v 5,6.
Paul, you agree that G-d is not a man. You seem to negate this when you go on to say that Jesus “takes on human flesh and retains His deity.” Newsflash: human flesh = human = man and G-d is not a man! There is no difference between G-d “taking on earthly form” and G-d becoming a man except for word games. The Christian bible says that Jesus was born a human, of a human mother (Gal. 4:4) . Having a human mother = human child (at least half of him) – and G-d is not human.
Read Luke 24:39 “Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
Flesh and bones = human. Man. And G-d is not a man!
If Jesus was a man then he was not G-d. G-d clearly states (as) that He is NOT a man. The Christian bible says Jesus is the “son of man” 83 times in the Christian gospels. Son of man = man (which G-d is not!).
Luke uses the term 25 times
John uses it 12 times
Yet the bible says that G-d is not a man . . . nor is He the son of man. . . Numbers 23:19
Not to mention the bible also tells us not to trust the son of man!
Do not trust in princes, or in the son of men, who has no salvation. (Psalm 146:3)
Jesus is the “son of man” (83 times!) – ergo Jesus has no salvation (Psalm 146:3).
Jesus should not be trusted (Psalm 146:3). Jesus is not G-d (Hosea 11:9,1 Samuel 15:29, Numbers 23:19). . .
Listen to the bible instead of what others came along and said later directly contradicting that bible. . .
Hosea 11:9 . . .I am G-d, and not man
1 Samuel 15:29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man. . .
Job 10:4-5 – (4) Do You have eyes of flesh? Do You see as a man sees? (5) Are Your days like the days of a mortal? Are Your years like the days of a man?
Malachai 3:6 – I HaShem do not change
Isaiah 43:11 – Before Me no god was formed, nor will there be one after Me. I, even I, am HaShem, and besides Me there is no Savior.”
Isaiah 45:5 – I am HaShem, and there is no other; besides Me there is no G-d;
Isaiah 44:6 – I am the first and I am the last; apart from Me there is no G-d!
Isaiah 46:9 – Remember the first things of old, that I am G-d and there is no other; I am G-d and there is none like Me.
On the one hand I have G-d telling me that He is not a man and I have missionaries like you insisting that He became one. I think I’ll stick with G-d. G-d who told me not to trust your false god. It is necessary to understand and be aware of G-d’s incorporeality because if G-d occupied space, man could be free of Him. If G-d occupied space, He would be limited and He would have boundaries. A physical being cannot be in two places at the same time. If the Almighty were limited in space, then man could elude His awareness. If man could elude His awareness, then G-d could no longer tell humanity how to act.
You left out one important point I made in my last post. G-d told Jews clearly at Sinai that any form of worship we did not know at Sinai was false. Deuteronomy 13:7-9. So even if G-d was able to become human G-d has said repeatedly that He is not. He says do not trust in the “son of man.” He says any difference post-Sinai is a false god. . . On top of all that we are not all fallen, sinful with corrupted flesh – the bible says this as well. This idea is disproved by the bible, where we are told we are not born sinners and that when we repent G-d forgives.
Just looking at your last few lines here. Of course one of the main areas that seperates the beliver in Christ and the non believer rest on the idea that you present here. ” Not all sinners”
Im very much intrested in texts that show such. Adam, Noah, Moses were seen as sinners and brought sacrifices to God. I’d like to see where you stand personally before God, a sinner or non sinner?
Also the son of man references does not mean The Son of Man ie Messiah, it just means mankind in general. I understand your quote, but that would mean if God was talking about THE Son of Man, it would mean that God didnt trust in the Messiah who He appointed and sent. Regardless who the Messiah was/is. How can he be the anointed, promised one if God Himself doesnt trust him???? Your reasoning is not thought through.
When God said do not worship what you dont know just highlights Jesus ministry. Jesus said, “you do Not my Father, so you know NOT Me”
You are correct, any false worship is wrong, rejecting The Son is wrong.
I dont disagree with your Isaiah passages. There is only One compound God. Moses used the same word.
Jesus the Man DID NOT exist pre Navity conception// birth.God only BECAME A MAN at the conception//birth. Again thats why i dont disagree with your quotes about God not being a man. The context is yes God spirit, but not God changing His form singular. Your scriptures speak of The Angel of Jehovha who forgives sins. That Angel is the second person of the compound Godhead, pre Conception// birth.
Lastly, Jesus only had a earthly mother, Joseph was only a step father. The only way God chose to be Man was to born from the womb of a woman. To live and breath like any human flesh. Thats why Jesus could be sympathetic with the human condition, but show humanity the will of his father by living a sinnless life. The luke passage that you quote, states the Power of the Holy Spirit wil overshadow you. Ie no male seed required, no sin, but Jesus just like Adam had the opportunity to sin, Adam failed, Jesus did not. Total victory over Death and Sin at the Cross.
So, Jsus had Only an earthly mother. If so, then the prophets were wrong when they say a “branch”, or “root” of Jesse. A branch or root is a physical connection from an original seed of that particular tree. Also, not being a descendant of David also negates his being from the line of David. If this concept has such importance why is it only told to his mother. Shouldn’t Jsus himself proclaimed it to everyone he taught.
And Now we have angels who are part of this “godhead”. How far does it go. How many angels are of this godhead. If Jsus DID NOT exist prior then why does Revelation say he did.
There is only “One compound” G-d used by Moshe. Where does That come from. As Devorah quoted, “There is none ‘beside’ Me”. Yet Xtianity teaches Jsus sits at the right hand.
I hear what you guys are saying, in the sense of believing that G-d taking on a human nature could be construed as introducing change in G-d, (but that is a metaphysical limit and assumption we humans are placing on G-d.) Wouldn’t the creation of the world itself count as a change in G-d, if your category is applied?
Christians are not saying at all that G-d ceased being G-d, literally becoming only a limited human being. It has always been the case that it is the word that Is called G-d, in Christian scripture, this word or wisdom transcends the limited human being who was born named Jesus of Nazareth, but his personality reflects the word in a full and real way revealed to us. (Colossians 1:15.) We are not limiting G-d to a human being. (2 Corinthians 5:16.) scripture clearly says “you saw no manner of form on the day The Lord spoke to you at Horev, you only HEARD A VOICE. We Christians also know that this voice was spoken through Moses’ throat (which is why Deuteronomy is considered the word of G-d.) Christians are saying this same word tabernacled among us in the person of Jesus. BTW scripture says G-d IS A MAN OF WAR, but we wouldn’t ever then say, Aha Gotcha G-d is therefore human! We in Christianity are not limiting G- d to Jesus, Judaism is asserting that we are doing this.
We also know that G-d is not physical, that to worship Jesus without Hashem is idolatry, we ourselves have historically understood our faith this way. If we were interested in making an idol of him, we would have no need of such stringent definitions in our doctrine, we could just treat Jesus as a sacred teacher as every other idolatrous religion does to their teachers and great men.
It is an assertion that Christians are engaging in self justification.
Any form of worship not known at Sinai is false? What do you make then of the new knowledge brought through Moses before, and at Sinai itself in light of Exodus 6:3? According to this verse Moses brought new and unique knowledge of G-d, his personal name, not known to Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob. He would then be adding to the faith structure already established before his mission began wouldn’t he? It seems to me to be scriptural to say that Scripture assumes a degree of progressive revelation, that respects the previous revelation, whilst extending its range. (I fully admit that Christians must repent of their mistreatment and missionizing of Jews,) but to say that we Christians are unaware of what scripture is saying regarding monotheism is inaccurate in light of our sources and tradition. I realize that you can make the same claims btw. Looking forward to any replies, blessings.
CR asked “Wouldn’t the creation of the world itself count as a change in G-d, if your category is applied?”
Nope, because the world is not G-d.
Creation is just that—a creation. It is not G-d.
What happened pre-Sinai is not applicable (it is post-Sinai that is idolatry to worship any “new” god or religion).
The holiest name of G-d is found in Genesis 18:3, 18:27 and 18:31 – it was not “new” with Moses. This name occurs about 6000 times in the present text of the Hebrew Bible – 153 times in Genesis alone (pre-Moses). This, also, was “pre” Sinai. . . A name is not a change in G-d in any case – it is a way man relates to G-d.
Nothing given as an example shows a change in G-d – however G-d becoming a man IS a change. It is not only a change, it makes G-d a liar if it were true.
Remember that the entire nation (over 3 million people) heard G-d speak at Sinai. For 40 years all the Jews (not just Moses) had direct experience of G-d – leading them through the wilderness and feeding them manna to name just two. . .
You assert that Xtiaity does Not consider Jsus as a god. I would say the vast majority of them actually DO. There are several parts in Revelation that say it in pretty explicit terminology.
What “personal name” did Moshe bring.?
Progressive revelation. I’d say Xtianity goes far beyond any progressive revelation. It changed everything. The idea of blood atonement Only and through one individual that is part of a godhead.
Scripture explicitly has G-d himself telling Moses that he was not known to the patriarchs by the 4 letter name Hashem. That’s explicitly taught in the verse I brought, Exodus 6:3. Moses clearly from the context introduced G-d to Israel by a name that G-d himself said Abraham’s descendants didn’t yet know, that was my point..
What happened pre Sinai is not applicable? May I ask Why not? Also, G-d was all that there was before the creation, and Scripture tells us that a man cannot see hashem’s face (meaning that we cannot exist while G-d’s full glory is revealed.) if I’m not mistaken this is why Kabbalah talks about tzimtzum? Also why Saadia speaks about the created glory (Kavod Nivra.) How is it consistent given this, to say that Hashem can withdraw or contract his manifest presence to make room for creation, but to fault the Christians for teaching that G-d can incarnate? Incarnation is not saying that G-d ceased being G-d, but that he dwelled among us and revealed his word through a human nature.
To say that Hashem”s Shechinah can equate with an incarnation of G-d is a ridiculous thought in Judaism. Why is it that only Jews have such a limited view of G-d. Xtianity and all the pagan religions that preceded were More enlightened than Jews? Every other religion including Xtianity did not have a national revelation whereas G-d Himself speaks to that nation. Yet they are the Most ignorant of that same G-d? To use the word incarnate is certainly not New to Xtianity. Why does Xtianity have more similarity with all the previous religions and depart from Jewish teaching especially when is proposes to be a fulfillment of Judaism? How is that Any different than when Torah speaks of “wood and stone”? , which many see as Xtianity and Islam.
I suspect you are confusing the teachings of Kabbalah. Basically, all it is teaching is understanding how G-d’s Glory is filtered through the many levels until it reaches mankind. There is no way to insert a man-god theology into that. It’s an exercise in desperation to find some way to inject the philosophy of the pagans into Judaism.
Please respectfully Support your assertion Sharbano that Christianity is similar to ancient polytheism with some actual substantial evidence if you wouldn’t mind.
The Shekinah is G-d’s manifested presence, the locus of his particular providential guidance (such as in the temple, the burning Bush, the captain of Hashem’s host WHO scripture says APPEARED OPPOSITE JOSHUA AS A MAN etc.)
13. And it was when Joshua was in Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and saw, and, behold, A MAN was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand; and Joshua went to him, and said to him, Are you for us, or for our adversaries? יג. וַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹת יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּירִיחוֹ וַיִּשָּׂא עֵינָיו וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה אִישׁ עֹמֵד לְנֶגְדּוֹ וְחַרְבּוֹ שְׁלוּפָה בְּיָדוֹ וַיֵּלֶךְ יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֵלָיו וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ הֲלָנוּ אַתָּה אִם לְצָרֵינוּ:
when Joshua was in Jericho: Hence we deduce that the outskirts of a city are considered as part of the city, for it is impossible to say [that he was actually] inside Jericho.
Are you for us: Have you come to support us?
14. And he said, No, but I am the captain of the host of the Lord; I have now come. And Joshua FELL ON HIS FACE to the earth and PROSTRATED himself, and said to him, What does my lord (adoni) say to his servant? יד. וַיֹּאמֶר | לֹא כִּי אֲנִי שַׂר צְבָא יְהֹוָה עַתָּה בָאתִי וַיִּפֹּל יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶל פָּנָיו אַרְצָה וַיִּשְׁתָּחוּ וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ מָה אֲדֹנִי מְדַבֵּר אֶל עַבְדּוֹ:
I have now come: to your aid, for no man can wage war against it [Jericho] and seize it, to throw down the wall. But in the time of Moses your master, I CAME and he did not want ME, as it is stated: “if YOUR PRESENCE does not go, etc.”
15. And the captain of the Lord’s host said to Joshua, Remove your shoe from your foot; for the place upon which you stand is holy. And Joshua did so. טו. וַיֹּאמֶר שַׂר צְבָא יְהֹוָה אֶל יְהוֹשֻׁעַ שַׁל נַעַלְךָ מֵעַל רַגְלֶךָ כִּי הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה עֹמֵד עָלָיו קֹדֶשׁ הוּא וַיַּעַשׂ יְהוֹשֻׁעַ כֵּן:
the captain of the Lord’s host: Israel, who is the Lord’s host. Now, this was Michael, as it is said: “Michael your prince.”
The angel identified by Rashi as Michael (who is identified as Metat elsewhere in other sources) who bears the name like his master, appeared to Joshua as captain of Hashem’s host, prompting Joshua to prostrate himself to the one he calls his adoni. One does not do the action of removing sandals and face down prostration for a mere messenger or adoni.
This scene is almost a carbon copy of Hashem’s manifestation to Moses at the burning bush. Joshua knew the difference between the man he was seeing, and the reality of the manifestation of G-d he was witnessing. The visible human form he was truly perceiving did not stop him from bowing his face to the ground, or stop him from removing his shoes in service. Joshua, (like Christians) knew the difference between the man, or bush, or insert medium here etc. and G-d as revealed through them. Christians say the word is G-d, not a limited human nature.
Are you really unaware that the gods of the nations had their own offspring. As a scholar of religions you should be able to come up with countless examples. Egypt, Greece, and Rome all had man-gods.
What’s the point of quoting Joshua. This is a Messenger of Hashem, not Hashem taking on the form of a man. This supports the Jewish view.
One would have to ask the question, if this was just the angel Michael,va Shaliach, an adoni, why doesn’t Joshua say to himself, “I mustn’t prostrate before this creature too much.” Even if you could say that it was only a vision, it was realistic enough that Joshua asked this person who he was opposite from, Are you with Israel or her enemies? He clearly perceived a real human being according to the plain sense. I could see the argument made that he was just offering respect, at least up until the moment when he removed his shoes, and referred to himself as his servant.
What’s the difficulty here. It is no different than what Avraham had done regarding the visit of the three angels. Their purpose is a direction of Hashem.
Kavod Nivra is not G-d. . . it is a created light. A created thing is not G-d. . . Saadia Gaon who wrote of Kavod Nivra also wrote The Book of Beliefs and Opinions (completed 933 CE). In it he completely refuted the the Christian doctrine of the Trinity (aka Jesus as part of G-d). He goes on to discuss G-d’s absolute unity (G-d is ONE and Jesus is not part of Him). . .
G-d is one, CR, and the mistake missionaries make in trying to use sources like Saadia Gaon and the Kabbalah is that they distort them (probably unwittingly). The Kabbalah does not chop G-d up into parts either. Indeed it speaks of G-d’s absolute oneness! The Creator does not change, and therefore one cannot add or subtract from Him (Jesus being born is definitely a change and adding to Him).
You wrote “Scripture explicitly has G-d himself telling Moses that he was not known to the patriarchs by the 4 letter name Hashem.” This is not true. The holy name is found in Genesis (pre-Moses) no less than 153 times. The holiest name of G-d is found in speaking to Abraham (Genesis 15:7) and Jacob (Genesis 28:13). The name was used by angels (Genesis 16:11, 19:13,14, 18:14), by the Patriarchs themselves (Genesis 14:22, 15:2, 15:8, 16:2, 16:5, 22:14, 24:27, 24:31, 24:40, 24:44, 24:48, 26:22, 27:7, 27:27, 28:31, 29:32, 33:35, 30:24, 30:30, 32:10, 49:18), and even by gentiles (Genesis 24:3, 24:31, 26:28,29, 30:27, 31:49).
Knowing someone differently doesn’t change the person themselves. Think of a man whose children know him one way and his wife knows him another. . . however the man is still the same man.
Sh’mot / Exodus 6:3 is not saying that the patriarchs did not know G-d by His holy name. It is speaking of the way the patriarchs perceived G-d and how Moses perceived Him. . . G-d Himself did not change. Perceptions are unique.
What happened pre-Sinai of course is applicable. The Jews are the children of the patriarchs and matriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob). The covenant G-d made with Noah still stands. The covenant G-d made with Abraham, which was renewed with Isaac and renewed again with Jacob and once again with Moses all still exist.
Again Sharbano the focus on blood and atonment is not the only, or the oldest Christian teaching.
If blood atonement is not the only way then what is the purpose of Jsus and Xtianity as a whole. If one’s purpose is to primarily follow Jsus’ teachings then the people are left wanting. It wold be better for a person to look at the entire Torah as it has the laws for everything, It will be what goes forth from Jerusalem in the end. A person would think if a man (“messiah”) were to institute a new teaching he would have penned a Torah in his own hand for the people, especially considering he is suppose to replace Moshe Rabbeinu.
That is a very fair point Sharbano, very fair indeed. How I wish we had a scroll written with Jesus’ own hand. Sadly, all any of us has are copies of copies of copies.
A miss understanding of many non believers is the idea presented here by yourself. Jesus of course never penned a new Torah because the torah was already penned by Himself at Sinai.
You know for a fact it is written that Jesus always reassured the People that He came to fulfil the Law, not replace it. Jesus never had to re wite anything. The Jewish people had the Law, its whats they did with it was the problem. Pharisaic, Rabbinical, or Talmudic law is not the Law of Moses. Just as some christian teaching today isnt the teaching of Christ. Its just what man has always done, ignore God.
So now you say Jsus is a reincarnated Moshe. Xtianity becomes more and more bizarre. No doubt you’ll come up with some fanciful way to put it.
What Xtianity calls “fulfill” is Not the same definition as any other would say. To say he fulfilled Torah is to say he met his obligations in that Torah, which he did not do on many occasions. He broke Shabbat, he destroyed a fruit bearing tree, he dishonored his parents to name a few. As a matter of fact Jsus DID re-write Torah. He changed Torah regarding divorce. Evidently he was unaware Torah came from Hashem and was created before anything else. This isn’t his only lack of knowledge.
Pharisaic, Rabbinical, or Talmudic law is not the Law of Moses? Where do you learn this from. Even Jsus himself said so. You are to do all they tell you as they sit in Moshe’s seat. Apparently you haven’t studied Torah very carefully. What the Rabbis teach is exactly what is sanctioned in Torah.
I take it you are the purveyor of TRUE Xtianity. It is certainly interesting how virtually Every Xtian says the same thing.
“Christians are not saying at all that G-d ceased being G-d, literally becoming only a limited human being.”
so what was jesus? a plaster or a flesh puppet which was ADDED to god? did god peal it off later on ? how did god FUSE finite flesh to his infinite nature? when the consciousness in jesus was learning and growing in wisdom where did the god part go? did it switch off? was god an on/off god? god knows ALL languages so where did god go when jesus was crying like a baby? did the crying will of the flesh part dominate the all knowing part? or was god ACTING like a crying baby and pretending to his mum?
To answer these questions, one only has to ask, how is your will truly free if G-d knows everything you do before you do it?
does his knowledge cause me to choose to steal something ?
question about omnipotence
does god’s omnipotence need something ?
was god’s power /omnipotence contained in flesh?
God being all seeing and all knowing doesn’t stop you from making your own decisions. The word free means free to choose, not free from God seeing your heart and mind.
thats why i asked , ” does his knowledge cause me to steal something?”
it doesn’t .
CR wrote “BTW scripture says G-d IS A MAN OF WAR, but we wouldn’t ever then say, Aha Gotcha G-d is therefore human! ” That isn’t what the passage says. That is what a translation of the passage says — the translator having chosen the word “man” when they might have chosen “male animal”!
G-d is called an אִישׁ־מִלְחָמָה ish-milḥamah, which is a compound noun. The word being translated as “man” is ish. I can give you a list of a whole string of cases in which entire nations are each likened to a single אִישׁ ish. There are four words which are translated as “male,” “man” or “master.” One of these is אּישׁ transliterated as “ish.” The highest level of the words is “adam” btw.
Keep in mind “man” is just a word chosen in translation — the word אּישׁ (ish) is used to describe animals (Bereshit / Genesis 7:2) שִׁבְעָ֥ה שִׁבְעָ֖ה אִ֣ישׁ וְאִשְׁתּ֑וֹ וּמִן־ (translation “by sevens, a male and his female”) (speaking of the animals going into Noah’s ark) as well as angels (Bereshit / Genesis 19:8 and 32:24) and humans (Bereshit / Genesis 2:24). “Ish” is rather a generic term, meaning husband, mate, man, each/every one (in the double usage), etc, and would therefore apply to other things such as animals and angels in such usage. In the usage you gave it is stating that although G-d is merciful He is still a warrior when necessary (and since nouns in Hebrew are feminine or masculine warriors are masculine). . . .
In other words that passage doesn’t help the Christian case of G- being a man — whereas the various quotes I’ve given are all very clear that G-d is not a man, or a son of man — and that G-d does not change or share His glory with another. . .
I didn’t mean to go on and on, but wanted to clear up that misconception. . .
This is awesome, Devorah! Are you going to just ignore this, Con?
No, Dina I’m not going to ignore it. Notice though how I said in my comment that we Christians WOULD NEVER SAY? My statement was rhetorical! Scripture says ish milhama, and Dvorah is right, it DOESNT mean that We would say AHA G-d is a human. I said Very clearly and concisely that this is something that WE WOULD NOT SAY! We do not claim that a being that was born of flesh is divine, we are saying that the one G-d revealed himself through a human nature. G-d did not undergo change! When scripture says “you saw no form, you only heard a voice” this means that G-d’s personal will was revealed. His will is his word, wisdom, speech, son, etc. revealed through Jesus.
Con, you missed the point, which is that even if you wanted to play gotcha, you couldn’t–because you didn’t even understand the term “ish milchama,” whereas what Devorah presented wasn’t “gotcha” but clear teachings.
In other words, you would not have used this particular example rhetorically had you understood what it actually meant (forgive me).
I am not going to research it again, but as I recall there are several references in the book of Revelation that assigns Jsus the same as G-d. If I’m not mistaken it says he is the first and last and also the creator.
It appears there is a great effort in turning Jsus into some type of man-god. All manner of hurdles are used in order to accomplish this.
One thing is rather interesting. Why is it that the Greek language is used in disseminating the doctrines of the church. According to Josephus Greek wasn’t widely spoken and few knew it. We would assume Hebrew would have been used. Hebrew is a much more refined language as Devorah pointed out with “davar”. Much more can be conveyed in fewer words in Hebrew than Greek or probably any other language. It’s rather informative that the same errors in the Xtian text actually come from the same errors in the Septuagint. The man Stephen, who was supposedly guided by the Xtian holy spirit, repeated the errors Found in the Greek text. Undoubted this is the reason the messianics decided to write their own Hebrew Xtian text. It would be rather interesting to see if the errors present in the Greek followed in that messianic translation.
There certainly seems to be a strong Greco-Roman influence in Xtianity. Paul, who was formerly Saul is such an indication. This makes the entirety suspect. It was the Greeks who first wanted to destroy Judaism, which the church continued. We find this continues today when Xtianity says Jews are wrong in their understanding of “Jewish” texts. It’s further compounded when references are made to “Rabbinic Judaism, Talmudic Judaism, Pharisaic Judaism”. This term Pharisee even finds itself in news articles to evidently refer to some type of hypocrite. This has all been perpetrated by Xtianity that continues to this day. Some will say the Jews Should follow their Torah, but I suspect there would be rejoicing by the same if a Jew becomes a Xtian. This Greco-Roman influence has never left and it is the exile of today. More than ever the Jew has to guard against this intrusion into his soul.
How about the fact that Greek was the common tongue among the non Jewish population that made up the majority of Pauline congregations who copied the texts? Does someone absolutely need to know Hebrew to know or love G-d?
That’s an interesting rebuttal. Then, considering this was suppose to be G-d’s plan it would be allowable that Greek would be preferable and the corruption of the text doesn’t matter? These are not my words but, if memory serves, it was Origen who says the text is corrupted. Apparently those early Xtians didn’t regard their texts with the same distinction as Jews did with Torah. In all probability this could be the reason for convening the Council of Nicea. It brings a point to mind. Is it not true that the canonizing of the texts came After the Jews abandoned these teachings. Certainly it wasn’t long before it became a strictly Gentile religion. Without the influence of the Jews, possibly someone like James, then comes all these bizarre philosophies that attempt to insert a Greek philosophy into theology. I’ve maintained over the years after initially studying those texts, that much of what is written isn’t perceived as written by Jews. I came to a conclusion that the popularity of Jewish morality of the time caused many to seek out Judaism. Of course their understanding was minimal and this is what the text seems to reflect. Therefore, in my opinion, these texts were Not written by Jews but Gentiles with some background in Judaism. Needless to say, knowledge enough to be dangerous.
Are you really unaware that the gods of the nations had their own offspring. As a scholar of religions you should be able to come up with countless examples. Egypt, Greece, and Rome all had man-gods. None of which divinities bear any similarity in content, worldview, or meaning with Christianity or it’s faith.
What’s the point of quoting Joshua. This is a Messenger of Hashem, not Hashem taking on the form of a man. This supports the Jewish view. Then why does scripture treat this shaliach as though it is a manifestation of G-d? Why have Joshua bowing, prostrating, removing sandals, etc. no other angels or messengers receive this kind of treatment, nor should they if you regard them as only angels.
Sharbano, indeed I am aware of those claims of parallel, the issue is that all religions share a degree of natural parallel (even Judaism with polytheism.) However, When Pharaoh or caesar were called gods, it didn’t mean anything to pagans like what the Bible means by the term G-d. Ancient gods were fully acknowledged by their worshipers to be fully part of the cosmos along with everything else. they regarded the cosmos as eternal, and the gods as more powerful, yet still clearly imperfect beings. There was no such thing to them as an all powerful unitary divinity beyond space time that providentially guided creation. Christianity may have terms that sound polytheistic, but there are no substantial similarities beyond the superficial similarities that most religions share.
It sounds to be somewhat of a cop-out. Just because it doesn’t completely follow paganism doesn’t mean there are NO similarities. Is there anyplace in Judaism that has a man being born who is the literal son of a god. Where is this similarity. There is some similarity in the ancient gods having children, whether or not they were deemed the same as Hashem notwithstanding. The correlation IS there. What Xtianity does though, is to attempt to fuse the idea of this god child INTO Judaism, using the term “compound unity”. Just because the ancient had no similar content, worldview or meaning doesn’t deter from the derivative being there. The Torah goes to great lengths in disputing this fact when it speaks saying No Manner of form or image. It is worded in such a way that any similarity is forbidden. It is why Moshe question G-d in writing “Let us make”. He knew people would misconstrue the intent.
Your reference regarding Joshua and the angel supports my point in man attempting to assign G-d to being a man, in form or image, as Moshe warned against. If Joshua actually considered this man as being Hashem why didn’t he refer to him as such. Instead, the text Does say, “I am the commander of Hashem’s legion”. Also, “The commander of Hashem’s legion said to Joshua”. There is no ambiguity regarding Joshua and his perception of who he was speaking to. I can never understand the purpose in man (Xtianity) and the attempts to bring G-d, Hashem Down to the level of mankind. THIS is what ancient religions were known for. In the beginning, before the flood, mankind knew who and what G-d was and saw the physical as His servants but gradually those servants became physical gods themselves. Xtianity has returned to those days in ascribing a divinity to a man, a servant. It’s one thing to prostrate to a king, but an entirely different matter to call a king a god.
As you say, the ancient gods were fully acknowledged by their worshipers to be fully part of the cosmos along with everything else. Isn’t this what Jsus is considered, albeit a perfect one. Isn’t this your point in Joshua These are examples of a god being Part of the cosmos, not separated from time and space. Xtianity has taken many quotes from the Jewish texts regarding men and ascribing them to G-d.
They regarded gods as part of nature as in identical with nature. They did not have a view of an omnipotent divinity, or a divinity beyond nature at all. Christians treat the things Jesus said as evidence of the divine word. His flesh, blood, mind, body, and soul are not regarded as G-d in any sense.
Are you saying that Only the words of Jsus are divine but not the man. This doesn’t mesh with most thinking. What was the point with a virgin birth if not to reinforce some type of man-god.
Well, Sharbano the theology of the words of Jesus as being divine does fit very well, and is not new, when you consider that the meaning of person in the Christian theology is not taken anthropomorphically. Personality, or reason, (logos) is what we consider to be the meaning of the “image of G-d” that Jesus showed forth. So, Jesus’ personality, wisdom, etc. not his human nature, (flesh or human frailties) is called divine. Christians have a doctrine called the hypostatic union (the union of two distinct natures) in Jesus that clarifies that we do not pray to a human nature. There are things Jesus says and does in the NT that it would only be ok for Hashem himself to say, and to do, so the sources lead us to say Jesus is and must be G-d.
Theology of Words??? The “logic” of Xtianity is far removed from logic. You may as well pray to the parchment, for this is the relationship that is created. What it amounts to is nothing less than a New form of idolatry. The Torah is revered in many ways but certainly Not considered an “image of G-d”. One thing is for certain and that is every individual has a “spark” from G-d and this houses intellect etc. In your understanding we are all the same as Jsus. We are all divine. Therefore there is certainly No Need for him whatsoever. We are left to our own devices. So, there is Nothing that Jsus said or done that I could not say or do. In conclusion, you are self-contradictory by saying only his personality and reason alone are the image, the same with all mankind, but it leads you to say he is and must be G-d. Your arguments have no basis in G-d’s reality.
was god’s omnipotence/UNLIMITED power in the flesh? was anything INFINITE in the FINITE? was ANYTHING infinite EXPERIENCE finite?
“Christians treat the things Jesus said as evidence of the divine word. His flesh, blood, mind, body, and soul are not regarded as G-d in any sense.”
one can then deduce from this that at some certain point in time – prior to the incarnation – the complete human form (or nature) of Christ and the devine nature, were separated from each other. That is to say that whiles the body of Christ was been prepared in his mother’s womb, the “devine Son” was present somewhere else and therefore at the moment when the heart started beating in the chest of the foetus in Mary’s womb, the devine nature of him was probably not at presence either. It follows therefore that at this point in time, Jesus Christ must have been 100% human, which again beggars the questions as to when did the spirit (the “devine Son”) came to possess the body of Christ?… Was it before he was born or after? And when he was allegedly crucified and died at the cross, was it the both of the immaterial entities that left his body or did one of them remained in it, which later helped him to “resurrect” from his tomb – with his entire body intact?
“Christians treat the things Jesus said as evidence of the divine word. His flesh, blood, mind, body, and soul are not regarded as G-d in any sense.”
what do you think of the following quotations?
Moreover, the Christian seems to understand in here that making the Universe out of pre-existing matter would be a flaw in God, since it would mean that God needs something (an instance of matter in undifferentiated form) in order to create something else (matter in specific, differentiated form). So they understand that God has no needs. What we say is that they should also apply this to the ‘Incarnation’ issue, since a body by definition has a huge number of needs, and such needs cannot be attributed to God. Even if we were to imagine that Jesus came to this world as a grown-up man, without needing to grow up, eat, or sleep, he would still have a huge number of needs. At the very least, he would need a place in which to exist and dwell, and this need or requirement is enough to show that he is not God. Of course, we know from the Biblical narrative that much more than this was needed by Jesus as per the Christian religion, but we want to show that even if someone says that their ‘God’ came to this world in his perfect grown-up form, and fasted and meditated all his life without ever eating or sleeping, this would still not remove the many relative flaws he has (that is, these are flaws with respect to ‘Godhood’, not with respect to humanity).
“But now He entered the world in a new way, stooping to our level in His love and Self-revealing to us.”
Let the reader consider the crucial word ‘stoop’ in here: When someone stoops down to enter something, it is because bending or lowering are part of what is innately possible to his nature and that capability has been actualized with his stooping. Now, the Christian is applying this to God, and saying that ‘the Word’ lowered Himself to our level in order to demonstrate His ‘love’.
The careful reader will note the inappropriateness of this terminology; for when anyone says that God lowers Himself to a certain plane or within certain dimensions, it means that existing in those dimensions is something inherent in His Nature. This is an obvious contradiction to the true nature of God, since (even as this Christian author recognized earlier) it is impossible that the Creator is of the same genus as the Creation…otherwise what we have is merely one creation (the Christian concept of ‘God’) apparently (but not technically) giving life to another creation (the Universe, mankind), while in reality there has to be a Being other than the ‘Christian God’ or the ‘Universe’ which originates the actual creation.
In fact, even if the body had appeared without a mother, and had suddenly appeared in the midst of people as a full-grown man, there would still be many needs attached to this body and many specifications that had to be determined for this body, such as its exact location, time of appearance, its exact coordinates at every instant, and so forth. So whatever the case may be, a body has a need for specification that has to be fulfilled by something other than itself.
We say that if the ‘Artificer’ is preparing the body which He himself ‘took up’ or ‘dwelt in’, then it is being said that the ‘builder’ and the ‘building’ are of one and the same genus. In such a case, the ‘Godhood’ of God is claimed to be non-existent. As we have shown before, this is impossible in itself, regardless of other considerations such as ‘love’ and ‘compassion’.
Consider that if one says that a carpenter built a house so that he can dwell in the house, we would know that this is possible since both the carpenter and the house are beings limited by the workings of space-time. We would know that the ‘carpenter’ is inherently limited, for even if he had never built the house it would not remove the fact that he is limited by the directions of space and the moments of time, and his dwelling in a house is simply a manifestation of the reality of this carpenter. Whether he dwells in a house he himself built, a house someone else built, or he sleeps in the street, the inherent need of him to dwell somewhere is never removed from him.
“His flesh, blood, mind, body, and soul are not regarded as G-d in any sense.”
“he theology of the words of Jesus as being divine does fit very well, and is not new, when you consider that the meaning of person in the Christian theology is not taken anthropomorphically. Personality, or reason, (logos) is what we consider to be the meaning of the “image of G-d” that Jesus showed forth. So, Jesus’ personality, wisdom, etc. not his human nature, (flesh or human frailties) is called divine. Christians have a doctrine called the hypostatic union (the union of two distinct natures) in Jesus that clarifies that we do not pray to a human nature. There are things Jesus says and does in the NT that it would only be ok for Hashem himself to say, and to do, so the sources lead us to say Jesus is and must be G-d.”
jesus had a voice box. god didn’t
jesus had a mouth, god didn’t
if the humans who heard finite created sounds from jesus’ mouth, how on earth is the personality which is infinite speaking finite created sounds? god must have CHANGED his nature into flesh nature to speak his thoughts, right?
Did G-d change his nature when he spoke from the midst of the fire on Sinai? Do the sounds of words that Israel hears mean G-d had a voice box?
The bible never treats messengers (angels) as a “manifestation” of G-d. To quote R’ Yisroel Blumenthal on this blog: “Christians point to the burning bush which Moses encountered at Horeb (Exodus 3:1-4). The Christian contends that if God spoke to Moses out of the fire in the bush, He can also speak to us out of the person of Jesus. . .
“The Christian does not believe that the relationship between Jesus and God is the same as the relationship between God and the burning bush or between God and the cloud. No Christian theologian ever maintained that there are five members in the trinity (- add the bush and the cloud to the trinity). The person of the bush and the person of the cloud are insignificant entities in our relationship with God. No one ever recorded an adoring description of the bush or the cloud. The bush and the cloud were used by God to convey certain messages and that is all that remains of these two entities – the messages that God conveyed through them. Christians do not see Jesus as a mere medium that was used to convey a message. The person of Jesus himself is exalted and venerated by Christianity. The books that describe Jesus’ human activities; his birth, his travels, his human struggles and his suffering and death stand at the center of the Christian’s worship of Jesus. These books have no parallel in the Jewish memory of the bush or the cloud, and the Christian veneration of the person of Jesus has no parallel in the Jewish Bible’s teachings on the bush and the cloud. . . ”
G-d makes it clear (D’varim / Deuteronomy 4:12,15) that He was not the burning bush and warns us “take great care of your souls [and remember] that you did not see any visible manifestation on the day that HaShem spoke to you at Ḥorév (Sinai) from the middle of the fire.”
Why Devorah is the captain of the host in Joshua 5 who appeared as a man, serving as an impetus for Joshua to fall to the ground and remove his sandals? If it wasn’t G-d himself, why should he do that?
Why, Con, haven’t the Jews been worshipping the incarnate god since the time of Joshua? If the captain of the host was God himself, why shouldn’t they do that?
Joshua was grateful for the protection of the angel (messenger aka NOT G-D) against Jericho. The word in Joshua 5:14 is אדני which is NEVER used to speak of G-d. Furthermore, read it in CONTEXT:
Joshua 14. And he said, No, but I am the the captain of the host of the L-rd; I have now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and prostrated himself, and said to him, What does my lord (adoni aka אדני ) say to his servant? say to his servant?
15. And the captain of the L-rd’s host said to Joshua, Remove your shoe from your foot; for the place upon which you stand is holy. And Joshua did so.
“I am the captain of the host of HaShem.” Not “I am HaShem.” The entity is obviously speaking of itself as the captain of G-d, not as G-d.
See also Joshua 10:13 where the term adoni is used along with tzedek (righteous) to speak of the King of Jerusalem, a human being.
Adoni is ALWAYS used to speak of human or angelic masters, not G-d. Adona-i is used to speak of G-d.
Adoni is never used to refer to G-d. I believe there are 194 instances in all. If Joshua or Psalms were meant to convey that they were speaking of G-d they would have said so. The Tanach is not ambiguous about when G-d is being referred to or is saying something. If you look at both verses, they are both surrounded by explicit references to Hashem. It just makes someone appear to be foolish to posit that Hashem is being spoken of explicitly in one verse and then is being ambiguously alluded to in the next, then suddenly explicitly spoken of again the next.
Con, you need to respond to this. You (inadvertently, I do not doubt) misquoted and took out of context a verse about Joshua.
To the many innocent Christians who have stumbled onto this blog whom Concerned Reader has made it his pet project to protect:
One can see from his writings and from those of the Church, that the Church’s reading of Torah is unconcerned with Truth. The Church comes with it’s agenda to the text, ignoring clear statements regarding the worship of God. How many times, if you have read Concerned Reader’s writings, has he ignored the point that Devorah has made above, and Dina has made countless times, that we have been warned not to worship any form? Moses emphasizes in Deut. that no form was seen at Sinai. This is a direct teaching regarding worship. Above you can see that he once again ignores the clear teaching of scripture, and like the Church in general, appeals to a passage that does not teach that one is supposed to worship “the captain of the host” to prove that one should worship other forms of God. Surely you can see that Concerned Reader, though well-meaning, cherry picks verses that fit his preconceived notions and does not study the Torah for instruction.
Is it not strange that the people who kept and studied the law for all this time, the ones to whom it was entrusted by God, did not understand that God was a Trinity? Is it not strange that they did not know to devote their worship to the Angel of the Lord? Paul writes that the Law is a school master. It is bizarre that the people to whom it was given did not understand it. It is absurd that they have devoted themselves to the worship of God but did not recognize the ultimate fulfillment of its teachings. Keep in mind, we are not referring to those who wandered into idolatry. We are talking about those who most scrupulously studied the Torah. And they did not understand its purpose?
Instead, the Church has understood its purpose much better. The Church, founded largely on ignorant Jews (by its own testimony) and gentiles, who were not given the Law and were also ignorant, is supposed to understand it much better that those to whom God gave it. This is nonsense. And are you not bothered to find that Concerned Reader ignores the direct teaching of scripture to find something that sounds like it might fit the worship of Jesus? Are you not concerned with the way he has compared Jesus to Moses, disingenuously, knowing that there is all the difference in the world between how Moses is viewed by Jew and how Jesus is viewed by Christians? Even Christians view the two differently.
Are you not troubled by his down-playing of the significance of blood for the Church, knowing that the Church says that “without blood there is no remission of sin”? Perhaps he does not know that Jesus is supposed to have said that those who do not partake of his flesh and drink his blood “have no life” in them, but those “who eat [his] flesh and drink [his] blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day” (Jn 6.53-54). But he knows that this is not the emphasis of Torah, and so he pretends that the Church is not so concerned with such things.
Are you not troubled that the Church will take any verse out of context to fit its agenda? Are you not concerned about the dishonest methods of interpretation, ignoring clear statements in favor of eisegetical readings. Some of you are, but you are afraid to doubt. Do not be afraid. Doubt can begin an honest investigation into the Truth. Take that doubt and read the Torah with fresh eyes. Look not how you can fit Jesus into the scripture, but look to find what God teaches. And then, see if the Church’s teachings match up with the clear teachings of Torah. Do not seek to push them in; only look to see if they follow logically. If they do, adhere to them still. If not, do not be afraid to abandon them. You will find yourself more strengthened by the Truth than imagination.
Whatever course you choose, recognize that Concerned Reader, and those like him are a strong proof that the Church has no right to the Torah. Their steady abuse of it to fit their preconceived notions reveal their lack of understanding. They have come to Torah through Jesus. They have come through the wrong gate and are disoriented. They must rewrite Torah to fit their understanding, rather than build their understanding upon Torah.
Do not be angry with Concerned Reader. He means well. But do not be led astray by him either. His continued disingenuous arguments and ignoring of clear testimony show that he is misinformed. His constant cherry picking shows that he is not interested in conforming to Torah; he wishes Torah to conform to him. When he tolerates the abuse of Torah, he shows you that he is disinterested in Truth, for he does not apply that same standard to the NT. He makes constant and unending appeals to authority, but facts and reason he neglects. Do not follow him.
Jim, you sure are concerned about little ole me, considering that I have made no effort at miss ionizing anyone, like the Church has.
I have continually told Jews that it is their duty to uphold the law of Moses, but have noted that it is not unreasonable to hold to a Christian reading given history, and certain concepts. I am not asking anyone to “follow me,” nor have I asked anyone to ignore scripture’s plain sense. So that I am not accused of cherry picking, I will allow rabbi B’s words to speak for me.
“Indeed the scriptures do explicitly teach that God could use an angel to represent His glory to the people. God tells Moses that He will send an angel to guide the people. This angel bears God’s name. God warns Moses:
“’hearken to his voice and do all that I speak’ (Exodus 23:20 – 22).
“It is the angel’s voice, but God has spoken. The same occurs in Genesis 22:16, andNumbers 22:35/23:5, where an angel speaks God’s words.
We have here an acknowledged creature (according to rabbi B) whose creature hood must be truncated, not focused on, a created nature speaking with the authority of Hashem himself, and with his blessing. In Joshua chapter 5 we are told that this same angel appears as a human being! His humanity is to be deemed as nothing but a window, a medium. (This kind of distinction and nuance is called hypostatic union in Christianity.)
But what does this have to do with Christianity? Christianity does not stop at the claim that Jesus was a representative of God to bring His words to the people, or to guide them and protect them – as preposterous as this claim would be.
Christianity demands that the worship, the love, the awe and the adoration that belong to God, and to God alone, are to be directed towards Jesus.”
Jesus whose very name means Hashem saves. The one name that members of the trinity share is Hashem. We assert that “angel” in these unique verses listed above cannot refer to an ontological subordination, but only a functional one, as it would be improper to say that a creature like the angels be invested with divine authority that only Hashem has a right to. What Christians teach is an ontological unity between G-d, and this messenger. The messenger is still subject to the will of the sender, thus functionally subordinate.
August 26, 2013 at 12:14 pm
To consider more deeply the last thought there, we could use the terminology of Colossians 1:15-20, and say that Christianity demands that the love belonging only to God are to be directed towards a (claimed) reflection or ‘image’ of Him. An image is created, acted upon and caused to exist, a finite expression of the infinite. Only the infinite one deserves our hearts.
When He lets us see Him through a created manifestation, EVEN WHEN WE LOOK TOWARDS IT we don’t worship it as ‘part of Him’. It’s somewhat like when you see a beautiful landscape through a window. You look through the window, but you don’t consider it to be a part of the outdoors 🙂 It simply isn’t. It reflects the outdoors, keeps you safe from the elements, your right that the window isn’t the focus!
Everything that Annelise just said about not focusing on the created manifestation, is reflected in Christian doctrine and self understanding, as I have mentioned. In Christianity, it is Jesus’ personality (his words and deeds) that are classified as the actions of the Word of G-d. His humanity (born in time) had a beginning and is thus not divine. His words necessitate that he was G-d!
Who is the Image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation: for in Him were all things created, in the heavens, and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers: all things have been created through Him, and unto Him; and He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the Church.”
“The Image of the Invisible” is itself also invisible, and invisible in like manner, for otherwise it would not be an image. For an image, so far as it is an image, EVEN AMONGST US, ought to be exactly similar, as, for example, in respect of the features and the likeness.734 But here indeed amongst us THIS IS BY NO MEANS POSSIBLE for human ART FAILS in many respects, or rather FAILS IN ALL, if you examine with accuracy. But where God is, there is no error, no failure.”
Excerpt from chrysostom’s Homily on collosians 1:15-18 http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf113.iv.iv.iii.html
It is clear from the homily that anything considered divine is automatically taken to be incorporeal by Christian teachers. Christ is word and wisdom of the father,his humanity is deemed alike in all ways with us, hence it is not divine. This distinction in our teaching is flat out ignored as being mere sophistry.
Again, if we sought mere idolatry, why focus on Hashem at all? Why clarify what we mean? Why don’t Christians just behave like every other idolater and worship the man outright without Hashem?
Con, I thought real Christians don’t hate Jews. Why are you quoting Chrysostom? He hated Jews and therefore was not a real Christian.
Dina, really? Our communities have had a hostile history. Nobody can deny that, and I never have. I have never said that those Christians weren’t real, merely that being human, they made grave mistakes in judgement, and treated the Jewish people wrongly. I’ve never ever said they weren’t Christians. It’s possible to be sinful and Christian. Quoting chrysostom’s homily is not legitimizing his anti Jewish views. He is a church father who knew church doctrine, so I quoted his homily. Please don’t stoop so low as to think that just because I quoted him, that it means I think he’s infallible or some ludicrous notion.
Okay, then you’re the first Christian I’ve ever met to say that real Christians can hate Jews. I guess this is news to you, but it’s something Christians like to tell Jews when Jews raise the issue of Christian anti-Semitism.
And yes, someone infected with Jew hatred is MORALLY SICK AND EVIL and cannot be trusted on matters divine and theological. This is not a matter of mistaken judgment. I wonder that you would stoop so low as to trust him.
Man, you continue miss the point. You continue to substitute your own definition of idolatry for than the one given by Torah. Of course the Church doesn’t consider its own practices to be incorrect. But the Church claims that the standard of the Torah, which precedes Christian doctrine by more than a millennium, is correct. Devorah, above, and Dina, many times, have pointed out that worshipping Jesus is a violation of Deuteronomy. You ignore them and argue from the standard of the Church, which we have no reason to accept and all the reason to reject.
Most of what was written were quotes from rabbi B and Annalise. If your argument is that G-d never associates himself with a material form as per Deuteronomy, then why is he always using created forms to communicate his will? Why does the bible say things like thus says the L-rd, (btw all this time, I’m just an angel speaking and not G-d, but obey me because I have his authority?) Isn’t G-d in a way setting up the stage for misunderstanding given your reading? In a culture of monotheists surrounded by polytheists, where nature is itself deemed divine by polytheists, isn’t it odd that G-d would say to them “behold my created emissary (a part of nature) who is not me, but bears all my authority whom you must obey? It seems more consistent with scripture to say that the uncreated’s voice itself can emanate from a creature, rather than G-d investing a creature with his authority.
You are asking questions in order to come to different conclusions than what God commanded – read – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/forms-of-communication/
Somehow the Jews never had the confusion that you seem to find in these passages. Could it be that when the Church took books to which they had no right, they also had no understanding? Do you not find it strange that those confused are those who began by worshipping Jesus and then had to find him in the text?
Let us say that this angel is a manifestation of God: then, why don’t you worship it? You have no reason to believe that it’s Jesus. So, now Jesus is a quadrinity. Or a quintinity. Or… I hope you get the point.
Moreover, you have repeatedly missed the point that we are never told to worship those entities. Even if they had been God, we were restricted in our worship. Idolatry is in practice. Jesus is a “god you did not know”. Therefore, one is not to worship him. It is forbidden. It is totally irrelevant whether or not God could take on human form. The practice of worshipping a “god you did not know” limits worship to how he was revealed at Sinai. One may not worship a bush or an angel or a man, no matter how special they appear to him. Your assertions that a man had the personality of God do not allow one to worship him, not even his personality.
By the way, you keep acting as if it is the statue that idol worshippers honored. It was not the statue but the idea associated with it (just like the Church does with Jesus.)
When quoting Annelise, it would have been better for you to consider the wisdom of her words rather than look for an opportunity to misappropriate them. The difference between the outdoors and the window is a metaphor that can not be turned to use in worshipping Jesus. You don’t claim that he is like a window. You claim that he is part of the outdoor scenery. But you ignore the meaning of her words, because it sounds like something else you’ve read. If you considered her words and the words of Chrysostom, you’d have realized that they were not saying anything remotely the same, superficialities aside. This is just another example in a long list of you ignoring the meaning of what someone wrote so you could force a similarity in their writing to your beliefs. Annelise and R’ Blumenthal deserve so much better.
Regarding the mistaken notion that Jesus’ words “necessitate that he was God,” this is simply nonsense. Even if he spoke the words of God, prophets and angels did likewise without being worshipped as God. You might have heard of one who gave over the Law of God to the people and whose face shone brightly. His name was Moses, and nobody ever worshipped him as God.
However, Jesus’ words show that he was most definitely not God, in the following points:
1. During the Sermon on the Mount, he denigrates the Torah.
2. His speech toward his enemies was full of hate-filled invective, often unearned. He goes so far as to say the Jews are to be held responsible for the killing of Abel, when of course they were not in existence at that time. He calls Jews the “children of the devil”.
3. He defends the desecration of the Sabbath by his disciples (in the most bizarre and foolish argument imaginable.)
4. He curses a fig tree for not bearing fruit out of season.
5. He speaks disrespectfully to his mother.
6. He urges a man to not bury his own parents. (He really doesn’t seem to care much about honoring one’s parents, does he?)
7. He lies during his trial, claiming never to have taught anything privately that he did not teach publicly.
8. He speaks in a cowardly fashion to extricate himself from trouble. When he is challenged for claiming to be the Son of God, he makes it sound as if he meant nothing more than the Psalm which calls us all sons of God. (He has, in effect, denied himself, as Peter would do.)
9. He forgives the unrepentant.
10. He steals some pigs (by casting demons into them.)
11. He is a false prophet, predicting that he would return during the generation to whom he spoke. Moreover, he promised (albeit in a rebellious fashion) that he would show himself to his doubters after being dead for three days, but did no such thing.
12. He diverts attention from God’s acts to be remembered during Pesach and makes them to be about himself.
13. And if he claimed to be God, and if he said that anyone should worship him as God, he clearly violated Torah.
Any and all of these show that there was nothing divine about the man. I understand that he also said some nice things like “Love one another” but that hardly makes him divine.
That’s a good point about the face of Moshe. With the limited contact he had with G-d this was the result. I do not recall reading in the Xtian text whereby Jsus face shone as such. If Moshe’s face shone as it did how much more so should Jsus have shown, being divine and all. I should have expounded on this in the earlier post. I’ll leave it at that for now.
Clearly you haven’t heard about the transfiguration.
Well, I read the passages regarding that and I must say it sounds suspicious. I realize you will take it as “gospel” but such an event would warrant the event to be seen by all, especially All the disciples. The words of Jsus actually contradict the prophet, as with so many occasions. Jsus said he came to do exactly opposite what Elijah would do. It’s good you brought it up since it is more evidence of Xtian contradictions.
Jim, He denigrates the Torah in the sermon on the mount? No, He interprets it in the sermon on the mount. He may have been presumptuous to Judaism’s view to word things the way he did,(unless he were G-d as Christians claimed,) but he’s not attacking the Torah there.
If you point to the verses that say it was said to them of old time, love your friend and hate your enemy, but I say to you, bless those who persecute you. Jews have always prayed for all nations, including the nations responsible for their exiles and persecution. Jews are told to revile idols, but not people from other lands. Jesus is not advocating complacency when faced with violence either, as many have alleged was his violation. If honor of parents, or an alleged desire for violence, was what you think he taught, read on.
“To this Peter answered: “Our Master, who was the true Prophet, and ever mindful of Himself, neither contradicted Himself, nor enjoined upon us anything different from what Himself practised. For whereas He said, ‘I am not come to send peace on earth, but a sword; and henceforth you shall see father separated from son, son from father, husband from wife and wife from husband, mother from daughter and daughter from mother, brother from brother, father-in-law from daughter-in-law, friend from friend,’ all these contain the doctrine of peace; and I will tell you how. At the beginning of His preaching, as wishing to invite and lead all to salvation, and induce them to bear patiently labours and trials, He blessed the poor, and promised that they should obtain the kingdom of heaven for their endurance of poverty, in order that under the influence of such a hope they might bear with equanimity the weight of poverty, despising covetousness; for covetousness is one, and the greatest, of most pernicious sins. But He promised also that the hungry and the thirsty should be satisfied with the eternal blessings of righteousness, in order that they might bear poverty patiently, and not be led by it to undertake any unrighteous work. In like manner, also, He said that the pure in heart are blessed, and that thereby they should see God, in order that every one desiring so great a good might keep himself from evil and polluted thoughts.”
Thus, therefore, our Master, inviting His disciples to patience, impressed upon them that the blessing of peace was also to be preserved with the labour of patience. But, on the other hand, He mourned over those who lived in riches and luxury, who bestowed nothing upon the poor; proving that they must render an account, because they did not pity their neighbours, even when they were in poverty, whom they ought to love as themselves. And by such sayings as these He brought some indeed to obey Him, but others He rendered hostile. The believers therefore, and the obedient, He charges to have peace among themselves. and says to them, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the very sons of God.’622 But to those who not only did not believe, but set themselves in opposition to His doctrine, He proclaims the war of the word and of confutation, and says that ‘henceforth ye shall see son separated from father, and husband from wife, and daughter from mother, and brother from brother, and daughter-in-law from mother-in-law, and a man’s foes shall be they of his own house.’623 For in every house, when there begins to be a difference betwixt believer and unbeliever, there is necessarily a contest: the unbelievers, on the one hand, fighting against the faith; and the believers on the other, confuting the old error and the vices of sins in them.”
“In like manner, also, during the last period of His teaching, He wages war against the scribes and Pharisees, charging them with evil deeds and unsound doctrine, and with hiding the key of knowledge which they had handed down to them from Moses, by which the gate of the heavenly kingdom might be opened.624 But when our Master sent us forth to preach, He commanded us, that into whatsoever city or house we should enter, we should say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ ‘And if,’ said He, ‘a son of peace be there, your peace shall come upon him; but if there be not, your peace shall return to you.’ Also that, going out from that house or city, we should shake off upon them the very dust which adhered to our feet. ‘But it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city or house.’625 This indeed He
commanded to be done at length, if first the word of truth be preached in the city or house, whereby they who receive the faith of the truth may become sons of peace and sons of God; and those who will not receive it may be convicted as enemies of peace and of God.”
Jim, to address your point and questions directly, your position is already limiting G-d to operating through the Sinai event, and it’s fundamental premises, exclusively, when we know from the scripture that he was willing and able to reveal himself to small groups or individuals (as well as to a nation.) G-d says in Deuteronomy not to “corrupt yourselves” with an image of any shape. This didn’t prevent G-d from later telling Moses to construct a brass serpent which he commanded Israel to gaze upon. Did hashem not know that they would later idolize it? Sure he knew, but So long as the distinction in role and purpose was maintained, it was not a sin to gaze at this object as a window to G-d’s power. It is not a sin to say that Hashem can be perceived as a man in light of the verses provided from Joshua or genesis 18. You can say its irrational, but Christians preserve hashem’s headship and a functionally subordinate role of Jesus. Is it not a fundamental principle that one covenant cannot unravel a previous one? If thats the case, then it would be wrong to say that G-d must reveal himself nationally, (as he didn’t require national revelation before Sinai.) it’s also hasty to say that G-d can’t and doesn’t reveal himself in a form.
In order to bring a different point. You and Xtianity Begin with a false assumption. First you assume that G-d with physical feet would stand on a physical earth. With that assumption it is quite easy to follow the next step in stating an individual (Jsus) could also be that person, standing on physical earth. This is how idolatry Begins.
The problem is G-d does Not stand on earth and it wasn’t His essence, (for lack of anything definable) at Sinai either. Considering the thought that He re-creates the entire Universe moment by moment He creates what is seen at Sinai during that period of time. It can be said that it was there at the beginning of creation, so to speak.
Because His “essence” is so very powerful and encompassing the entire Universe He simply cannot bring His Glory within the confines of humanity. It is therefore metered out in levels. There are those who are at the highest level and each level is metered down to a point which that level can withstand. When it reaches Our level it is so metered that His Glory is unnoticed around us. If it weren’t for this every person would have the obvious knowledge of His existence and the result would be no free will. He is therefore, Hidden. Xtianity and its followers are unaware of this hiddenness and thus errs in their understanding and perception of G-d.
WHEN did G-d reveal Himself to an individual or group.
Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses at the bush, etc. G-d spoke one on one with individuals before har Sinai and Mattan Torah.
G-d “speaking” is NOT the same as Him standing there in some “form”. Are you saying G-d took the “form” of a bush?? So, not only do we have G-d as a man, but now He’s a bush? Maybe that bush should have been preserved so they could worship it later on.
Anytime a person “speaks” with G-d it is done through a “spirit of prophecy”. They do not see Him as one would see another individual. I’ve mentioned numerous times now and each and every time it is ignored. Obviously, all Xtians want to see G-d in human form whether or not Torah is explicit otherwise. How much more explicit does it have to get when Torah says outright “you saw no one”. It was Only a voice. I suppose you believe there was an appendage of G-d that inscribed the tablets. Wouldn’t Moshe have seen such an appendage. A person can easily visualize such a thing using After Effects and create fire cutting out letters. Since G-d is a creator he can create that in reality.
This all reminds me of Rav Ashi when Mensashe came to him in a dream. It is beyond our grasp to understand the pull of idolatry of those times, but when Menashe answered a question of halachah, with a profound answer Rav Ashi asked how someone could so fervently follow idolatry and be so well learned in Torah. Menashe answered, “if you would have been there, you would have lifted up your coat to run and serve avodah zara” This is how I see the perplexing obsession with a trinity. They will pull up their cloak to run after that theology.
Sharbano, isn’t it possible that form and likeness are not referring to something corporeal as you keep insisting it does? We are told that we are made in the image of G-d, does this mean G-d is shaped a certain way? No! It means we have intelligence! It’s not about the fleshly earthly man, how many times can I say it?
Your words are creating the difficulty. At one point you said ” so the sources lead us to say Jsus is and must be G-d”. Now you say form and likeness are intellect and non-corporeal. This being the case, as I mentioned before, then we are all G-d considering we are in His image. You also try to use Joshua et.al. experience as evidence G-d has corporeality. I daresay you are in a rather small minority saying the image is non-corporeal. Every Xtian I’ve ever encountered for decades now equate that as being, at least, human in appearance, as depicted in Michelangelo. Apparently you are classifying Jsus as human and divine simply because of a personality imbued with wisdom. There is nothing special regarding him. In any event you are ascribing a “part” of him as being divine, and thus G-d. Is this how Xtianity wants to define one as being “man” And G-d. What you are wanting to call G-d is that same Divine Spark that is within all mankind.
If this concept were with merit there has to be some evidence from G-d that such a man-god entity exists. There is nowhere in Torah this can even be derived. I suppose your example of Joshua is to corroborate this notion. Well that corroboration does not exist in that example, or any other example. It is nothing but a “belief”, something that is injected without actually being there. There is no difference in the Joshua example than what occurs in Daniel 10. These are beings that are on the level that mankind interacts with, nothing more. They are not G-d, in some fleshy “form”.
Are you sure you want to compare Jesus to the brass serpent?
The brass serpent was commanded by G-d or did you forget? The gospel also draws the parallel.
Think about this for a moment…
So, Con, are you taking Jim’s advice and thinking? I’m thinking. I’m thinking of Genesis 3:15. Does that mean anything to you? Do you know why comparing the brass serpent to Jesus makes me think of Genesis 3:15?
I’m eager to hear your response. Whenever I pose this question to Christians, they mysteriously disappear. They also disappear when I ask about the 15-generation gap between Jesus’s two genealogies. They’d much rather talk about compound unities and hypostatic unions and stuff like that. Curious, don’t you think?
It is quite fascinating to say the least. There are many difficulties in Torah and we have the Rabbis who have expounded on those and gave us clarity.
There are simply Countless difficulties in the Xtian text, yet no one, scholar or laymen, has ever, since the dawn of Xtianity, given any answers to those. Invariably the subject is changed or completely ignored. Hmmm, how many times has This been said in the very short time I’ve been here. How can an inspired word have so many without so much as a hint of explanation. I’ve read websites, as this, have seen debates and only one was anything replied, “I don’t Know”. That is the only response I have ever encountered. Simply Amazing!!
Dina, I presume You are equating Jesus to the yetzer hara/serpent/idolatry/Esau in some way? Jacob will one day crush his head? It’s interesting that the gospel draws the paralell because the whole point of the brass serpent paralell was to look to it, but not to dwell on it, and the gospel contains this parallel. Jesus is to hand the kingdom to the father, not hold onto it himself. The end goal is that G-d will be all in all. 1 Corinthians 15:24 We are also not to hold onto Jesus too much, 2 Corinthians 5:16 John 20:17.
I’m not the one drawing parallels here! Christians have told me that the serpent in Genesis 3:15 represents Satan and the serpent in Numbers 21:8 represents Jesus. Explain, please.
The copper serpent actually refutes your argument rather than supporting it. G-d had Moses craft the copper snake as something for the people to look upwards and direct their hearts to their Father in Heaven. The snake was a representation of their sin of lashon hara (evil speech), referring back to the snake in the Garden of Eden. Thus, the copper snake was merely an aid in doing repenting and turning to G-d (no sacrifice needed).
People were not to pray “to” the copper snake. However, this was eventually destroyed because it did become a point of idolatry for some: “(Hezekiah) crushed the copper serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the children of Israel were burning incense to it; and he called it Nehushtan.” 2 Kings 18.
When people began to pray TO the serpent it was destroyed as a symbol of idolatry. Rashi describes the word נְחֻשְׁתָּן neḥushtan as “a term of contempt”. The last three words of 2 Kings 18:4 can be translated as “he called it ‘just a silly little lump of copper’.”
G-d communicated with the patriarchs and Moses — but He never changed. He never took a form. He was not a bush (burning or otherwise). Praying to or through an entity — be it in one’s mind or an icon or any other image — is forbidden.
D’varim / Deuteronomy 4:23. “Beware, lest you forget the covenant of HaShem your G-d, which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image, the likeness of anything, which HaShem your G-d has forbidden you.”
You seem to be trying to say that G-d Himself is actually appearing or dwelling in the cloud or the burning bush — and yet G-d Himself tells us this is NOT TRUE. Read the Torah:
“G-d spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but saw no image; there was only a voice. . .” D’varim / Deuteronomy 4:12.
They saw the fire — ergo if the fire were the image of G-d. . . if He were “dwelling” in the fire. . . the Torah would say that the fire was the image of G-d. It does NOT say that. Torah says the people saw NO IMAGE of G-d.
G-d spoke to you out of the fire. “You heard the sound of words, but saw no image; there was only a voice.” D’varim / Deuteronomy 4:15
The fire was NOT a manifestation of G-d. Torah says it clearly.
A death knell to the trinitarian concept happens just a few more lines down:
“Realize it today and ponder it in your heart: G-d is the Supreme Being in heaven above and on the earth beneath – there is no other”. — D’varim / Deuteronomy 4:39
There is NO OTHER. Not a burning bush. Not a cloud. Most certainly not a man / demigod!
Re-read R’ Blumenthal’s excellent blog post which I linked to in my previous response.
I urge you to read and re-read these words from Devorah. Consider them and do not look merely for a way to turn them to justifying your faith.
You all keep ignoring what I’ve clearly said and demonstrated about how Christianity views the flesh and blood person. You are ignoring that I’ve said repeatedly, the human is not divine, or declared divine! Restating a mistaken notion of what Christians believe is just wrong of you. I will consider what you have written carefully though.
Con, you are going on what I like to call, “the great jesus angel hunt!” Unfortunately, your own NT destroys your thesis. Your jesus never claimed to be “the angel of the Lord”! In fact, your book of Hebrews refutes this claim!
Hebrews 1:6 But when he again brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all the angels of God worship him!”
If all the angels “worship jesus,” then what does that make jesus? He couldn’t be “the angel of the Lord” because it says ALL THE ANGELS WORSHIP jesus! Thus, jesus is not a “pre-incarnate angel” who appeared to Abraham, Jacob, Joshua, Moses, Gideon, Manoach, and any other passage that you christians try to peddle as a a supposed “jesus angel.” Your jesus never even claimed to be “the angel of the Lord,” so why would you put words in your own god’s mouth?!
Unfortunately Yehuda, I think you are apparently accidentally not understanding what is being said by the Church. The church is saying that there is an angel of the l-rd (lit. A Messenger) who is not really an “angel” in the conventional ontological sense of a created being normally associated with the term. The term “Angel” in Joshua 5 and genesis 18, as well as other places, contextually runs into some problems if it means a created angel was being referred to. Christians use the term angel applied to Jesus in these cases in the sense of the role as messenger, but believe that these “angels,” are really a theophany, and an uncreated revelation of G-d. There is a clear conflict of interest if we say that G-d has said of a creature “obey him for he will not pardon your transgressions.” Investing a created being with that kind of authority, or calling said creature by hashem’s unique name, can do nothing but create an intermediary, so Christians believe it must somehow be a manifestation of Hashem. I hope that clarifies the NT usage of terms a little better.
Just because you and the “church” say such, doesn’t mean it is the case or factual. The text of Joshua 5 is clarified within the context itself. Moshe spoke of this in Exodus 23:
“I send an angel before you to protect you on the way, and to bring you to the place that I have made ready. Beware of him – hearken to his voice, do not rebel against him for he will not forgive your willful sin – for My Name is within him. For if you hearken to his voice an carry out all that I shall speak, the I shall be the enemy of your enemies and persecute your persecutors. For My angel shall go before you and bring you to….”
I suspect there are those who say this “Angel” is Jsus but the text clearly says angel, messenger. To attribute this or any other text to Jsus is wishful thinking. Given the nature of Hebrew, G-d could have written Torah to actually Show this to be the case. There are methods the Torah uses to convey more than the written text says by itself. If this particular passage were to reflect a future Jsus it could have been written in such a way. What Xtianity Does do is “assume” these texts to be about Jsus when no evidence exists at all. These angels are “agents of Hasem” and given authority in such circumstances.
The idea of theophanies are a feeble attempt to bring a form of humanity to a G-d who cannot be in the presence of mankind. Somehow G-d is suppose to transform Himself from an Eternal Light to a form of man? This was well believed in ancient circles but when the G-d of Israel brought truth into the world. If it were the case G-d would do such a thing there would never have been the creation of angels. There would be no need. But Jewish Tradition shows there to Be a need. Xtianity would prefer to weave ancient religions into the mix rather than understand what Jews were taught By G-d. So, just because Jsus “Seems” to reflect some aspect of divinity by mere words doesn’t make it factual. The evidence is weighted more against than for.
Con, I fully understand what the church is saying. However, jesus never made such a statement and nor does the NT. If you wish to speculate about which angels in the Tanach are actually “theophanic jesus angels,” it would make a little more sense if you could show me in the NT where jesus claimed to be such…
And by the way, Exodus 23:21 betrays your interpretation. I have no idea why christians use this as a “proof text” for a “jesus angel.” Watch and learn:
Exodus 23:21. Beware of him and obey him; do not rebel against him, **FOR HE WILL NOT FORGIVE YOUR TRANSGRESSION,** for My Name is within him.
Are you telling me that jesus WILL NOT forgive sins? I guess jesus’s death means nothing in terms of atonement, after all! Good to see you’ve come around!
I think you will find if you revisit my posts that I have not neglected that point at all. A few days ago, I believe that I argued that Jesus displays no sign of divinity, physical or otherwise. It is a mere assertion of the Church. Above, I showed how his speech, which you thought proved him divine, shows that he is not divine. I also argued that one who worshipped a statue did not worship the statue itself, but the thing the statue represented, which is akin to the worship of Jesus. Jesus was not divine. The non-physical elements of him are no more divine than mine are.
I insist that you are still redefining idolatry, and ignoring that the innovative worship of the Church is forbidden according to Torah.
Your words are creating the difficulty. At one point you said ” so the sources lead us to say Jsus is and must be G-d”. Now you say form and likeness are intellect and non-corporeal. This being the case, as I mentioned before, then we are all G-d considering we are in His image. You also try to use Joshua et.al. experience as evidence G-d has corporeality. No, Not that he IS or has corporeality, Sharbano, but that he can and has manifested as such. In no way am i saying thereby that he is limited to operation through the corporeal, do you see the difference?
I daresay you are in a rather small minority saying the image is non-corporeal. Every Xtian I’ve ever encountered for decades now equate that as being, at least, human in appearance, as depicted in Michelangelo.
Actually Sharbano, orthodox Christian sources, including the church fathers, are with me, and clearlydraw the distinction between the eternal incorporeal word, “image of G-d,” and the fleshly Jesus. It’s in the catechism, and in the manuals of the Eastern Orthodox churches. Odds are that you are meeting the average American Protestant laypeople who do not have a very deep knowledge of what classical historic Christianity teaches.
Apparently you are classifying Jsus as human and divine simply because of a personality imbued with wisdom. There is nothing special regarding him. In any event you are ascribing a “part” of him as being divine, and thus G-d. Is this how Xtianity wants to define one as being “man” And G-d. What you are wanting to call G-d is that same Divine Spark that is within all mankind.
The divine spark notion in Judaism is roughly analogous to the Logos concept Sharbano, true, except that Jesus’ words and deeds in the NT were too close to that fine line to say that he was a mere Shaliach Like anyone else. Jesus says I and the father are one, father let them be one as you and I are one. He also says “son, thy sins are forgiven” take up thy pad and walk.” A mere shaliach cannot forgive sins. This is why I say the NT forces the issue.
Christianity also teaches that we are partakers in divine nature called the “spermitokos Logos” in orthodox sources(which is analogous to the teaching in Judaism that we all have a divine spark.
It’s not a matter of wanting to call Jesus G-d, he said and did what G-d alone is allowed.
Are you going to say then the list Jim wrote of all his failings are merely the human failings side of the man-god, that this is the man part of him. This man Did give examples contrary to that opinion. In any event it is man attempting to put G-d in equality to man.
You have continued and repeated this image as being divine and therefore all man is divine. The only difference are his “words” of “saying” sins are forgiven. You are imputing a divine nature because of this? There are those who ascribe a divinity because of “miracles” but Torah speaks to this, saying “If there arises a prophet and gives a sign or wonder”. We are not to listen to him.
“Logos” was a Greek concept, not a Jewish one. From G. F. Moore,Judaism in First Centuries of the Christian Era: (It is an) “erroneous opinion widely entertained that Palestinian Judaism made the word of G-d a personal intermediary comparable to Philo’s Logos.”
This is a falsehood. There is no concept of “logos” in Judaism and there never has been.
The word missionaries correlate to “logos” is the word מֵימַר meimar. It’s equivalent to the Hebrew מַאֲמַר ma’amar, which literally means a “saying” (root אמר “to say”). It has no personification as do the Christians.
Jastrow gives two definitions or מֵימַר meimar, not just the one (“word” or “command”), and notes that his second definition is “used in Targum to obviate [=avoid] anthropomophism”. The exact OPPOSITE of what missionaries try to do with it!
The Encyclopedia Judaica re-enforces Jastrow and says “To avoid anthropomorphisms, the Targum employs the memra (“utterance”). For example, Deuteronomy 1:32 is rendered,”
Sorry — my qoute got “cut off” it should have read the Encyclopedia Judaica re-enforces Jastrow and says “To avoid anthropomorphisms, the Targum employs the memra (“utterance”). For example, Deuteronomy 1:32 is rendered,” “… ye have not believed in the memra of the L-rd.”
Personification of the word
While in the Book of Jubilees, xii. 22, the word of God is sent through the angel to Abraham, in other cases it becomes more and more a personified agency: “By the word of God exist His works” (Ecclus. [Sirach] xlii. 15); “The Holy One, blessed be He, created the world by the ‘Ma’amar'” (Mek., Beshallaḥ, 10, with reference to Ps. xxxiii. 6). Quite frequent is the expression, especially in the liturgy, “Thou who hast made the universe with Thy word and ordained man through Thy wisdom to rule over the creatures made by Thee” (Wisdom ix. 1; comp. “Who by Thy words causest the evenings to bring darkness, who openest the gates of the sky by Thy wisdom”; . . . “who by His speech created the heavens, and by the breath of His mouth all their hosts”; through whose “words all things were created”; see Singer’s “Daily Prayer-Book,” pp. 96, 290, 292). So also in IV Esdras vi. 38 (“Lord, Thou spakest on the first day of Creation: ‘Let there be heaven and earth,’ and Thy word hath accomplished the work”). “Thy word, O Lord, healeth all things” (Wisdom xvi. 12); “Thy word preserveth them that put their trust in Thee” (l.c. xvi. 26). Especially strong is the personification of the word in Wisdom xviii. 15: “Thine Almighty Word leaped down from heaven out of Thy royal throne as a fierce man of war.” The Mishnah, with reference to the ten passages in Genesis (ch. i.) beginning with “And God said,” speaks of the ten “ma’amarot” (= “speeches”) by which the world was created (Abot v. 1; comp. Gen. R. iv. 2: “The upper heavens are held in suspense by the creative Ma’amar”). Out of every speech [“dibbur”] which emanated from God an angel was created (Ḥag. 14a). “The Word [“dibbur”] called none but Moses” (Lev. R. i. 4, 5). “The Word [“dibbur”] went forth from the right hand of God and made a circuit around the camp of Israel” (Cant. R. i. 13).
Yes the usage in these sources avoid anthropomorphism, and Christianity also defines these distinctions in its faith carefully.
I’m sure everyone here would agree that angels have appeared as men in scripture right? Enoch?
The Jewish Encyclopedia was written right after World War I and while it is ok in part it is horrible in others. It is not a half chic / respected resource.
Zev, quote the source to support your position, or don’t. Try not to cherry pick. The logos or wisdom is sometimes treated as a personified agency in the sources.
The whole “Word” becoming flesh idea in Christianity comes from the pagan Greek concept of the λόγος lōgos, the “personified word”—an impossible notion in Hebrew and incomprehensible to the Jewish mind because the Hebrew word דָּבָר davar (translated as “word”) is the closest thing that Hebrew has to a neuter noun and actually means a “thing”, i.e. an inanimate object.
As for Philo’s “logos” — there are really no similarities between it and the Christian concept found in John 1.
Philo wrote that G-d exists outside of time and space;
Philo wrote that G-d has no human attributes or emotions.
Philo wrote that G-d has no attributes at all (ἁπλοῡς).
Philo goes on to insist that G-d has no name (ἅρρητος), and can’t be perceived by man (ἀκατάληπτος).
G-d can is incapable of change (ἅτρεπτος):
G-d is always the same (ἀἱδιος).
G-d needs no other entity (χρήζων ὁυδενòς τò παράπαν), and thus is completely self-sufficient (ἑαυτῷ ἱκανός).
G-d can not die (ἅφθαρτος). But is eternal (ó ὤν, τὺ ὅν).
Philo concludes that G-d has no relations with any other being (τὸ γὰρ ἢ ὄν ἒστιν ουχὶ τῶν πρός τι).
Ergo Philo is not even by inference saying that the “word” can become “flesh.” This is a pagan concept as epitomized by gods such as Hermes and Prometheus.
CR, you might want to try reading Philo yourself rather than depending on what missionaries are telling you he says.
I have read him. You have pre judged the Christians as worshiping a piece of flesh by completely ignoring and misconstruing all that they say they believe, and how they understand and define their belief. You condemn a caricature that you have created, that reflects none of the content that they teach.
Christians affirm divine incorporeality, but they believe in bodily resurrection to eternal life. If Jesus has a fleshly body in heaven it wouldn’t be a G-d flesh, or G-d’s body, but an example of the resurrection of the body to eternal life that awaits all of the righteous.
Word games. There is zero difference of G-d as a man and your statements of G-d divine in human form. If Jesus was born as a baby to a human mother he was human. G-d is not a man or a son of man. The word as part of G-d is pagan not Jewish.
Show me an original practiced gentile religion from pre Christian times that believes in only one deity that exists totally beyond time and space, that gives commandments for moral behavior, and also remains actively willingly involved in human affairs. Show me a polytheistic theology that accepts creatio ex nihlo. If you can do that, your accusations of word games and pagan paralell might have merit.
Con, just because Christianity is different from every other idolatrous religion does not mean it is not idolatrous. As I have told you countless times, the Torah defines idolatry as a type of worship unknown to our fathers. Jesus, or the trinity, was unknown to our fathers; ergo, worship of Jesus, or the trinity, is idolatry. You ignore me each time I say this.
Idolatry is not what you, Con, say it is. It is what the Torah says it is.
Quite true, quite true.
So, Dina. By your reckoning what is the status of the Tanya, Zohar, kabbalistic speculations, etc. vis this perspective that says what was not known to your fathers is idolatry?
None of these have told me to change my worship, Con! Why don’t you actually answer my question, instead of changing the subject? I wish you would stop saying “you do it too” and just respond to what I wrote.
Con, show me an Orthodox Jew that accepts Kabbalah who prays in the name of anyone else other than Hashem. You would be hard pressed to find one!
But can you find me a “messianic Jew” who does not pray in the name of jesus? I’d say your chances are also slim to none…
In other words, your comparison is bogus.
Yehuda you should read the articles from Mesora.org about Kabbalah. The point I’m making, is that both traditions have overlap in terms of proper clarification and definition. When a Christian prays, he says, in the NAME singular of the father, son, and Holy Ghost. One Name! Hashem. Even the name Jesus means Hashem saves.
And when a Jew prays, he prays in the NAME of Hashem, just ONE God. Christians say God is one and three at the same time. Jews say the math doesn’t work.
Heck, the name Eliezer means Hashem helps. Does that make my husband a divine assistant or something? The name Eliyahu means God is God. What does that make my son, then? What kind of proof is that, Con?
Con, the only thing you seem to be clear “concerned” about is justifying pagan man worship. You don’t appear to care about what the Tanach says, and instead you attempt to pervert Kabbalistic teachings by trying to use them as a “defense” against your own pagan man worship. I will say it one more time. I do not know of any practicing Orthodox Jew who prays in the name of the Sephirot or acknowledges the Sephirot as being a literal “person” in the godhead, as you christians interpret jesus. I’m sure you know this, Con. This is why I don’t feel that you are genuinely interested in what the Tanach has to say. You are grasping for straws in desperation to justify your pagan man worship and now you have resorted to distorting Kabbalah, falsely pawning the Sephirot off as being analogous to trinitarian thought. You aren’t the first to try this. Watch and learn:
The RaMBaN, in his commentary to Sefer Yetzirah concerning “eser sefirot beli-mah”, “10 sefirot of nothingness”, comments that the 10 sefirot are “bli- mahut HaShem”, “without ANY ESSENCE of HaShem himself”. And how the Ein Sof is exalted above the sefirot and they are completely subjugated to Him, etc. THEY ARE NOTHING compared to G-d. Therefore, know with certainty that those who erroneously believe that the 10 sefirot are the essence of Hashem, they make the most serious error, and will only bring much evil upon their souls! And upon such did R’ Shimon bar Yochai banned with his terrible curse, for they believe in the concept of the sefirot themselves, and make “something” of them and are led to think of them and worship them, ch”v.”
Let’s get down to the chase. If we are all mistaken on understanding and that is the result then why use Greek to begin with. If this religion were ordained by G-d Why in His Name did He allow the use of a language that would create such confusion, Especially when language would return to a pure language.
Dina, beautifully put.
Theology of Words??? The “logic” of Xtianity is far removed from logic. Christians did not invent this usage of the word concept, or the logic behind it sharbano, Jews who shared their monotheistic belief with Gentiles did! You may believe they were mistaken, but Gentiles never thought about divine things this way.
You may as well pray to the parchment, for this is the relationship that is created. No, we don’t pray to the parchment, the parchment is holy, but. irrelevant as an object of worship. The wisdom and practical application revealed in the parchment, the unique will is what’s important! BTW don’t Jews dress the torah in priestly garments and dance with it on Simchat Torah? That’s not idol worship right?
What it amounts to is nothing less than a New form of idolatry.
No, rather a new category was invented that some have had to create in order to be able to judge by, because their Christian religion doesn’t exactly fit the accepted interpretation, or any previous form of idolatry ever known for that matter. A new category has to be invented.
The Torah is revered in many ways but certainly Not considered an “image of G-d”. One thing is for certain and that is every individual has a “spark” from G-d and this houses intellect etc.
So it’s ok to slightly revere an object as long as we don’t call it G-d? If this is true than Buddhism isn’t idolatry because they don’t believe in G-d. They only revere the Buddha as a teacher!
Sharbano, according to Judaism, it has been said that the people of Israel themselves are the living embodiment of G-d’s will (as your people existed prior to Mattan Torah, and the book, with the express mission given to make a dwelling for G-d in this world.) Christians may word things weirdly, but they did not invent the concept of G-d revealing his presence through his unique son. They may have theologized it to teach Gentiles a concept hitherto unknown by them, but they didn’t invent anything.
In your understanding we are all the same as Jsus. We are all divine. No! We have seeds of reason, (spermitokos Logos) but we are not divine by nature.
Therefore there is certainly No Need for him whatsoever. We are left to our own devices. So, there is Nothing that Jsus said or done that I could not say or do. In conclusion, you are self-contradictory by saying only his personality and reason alone are the image, the same with all mankind, but it leads you to say he is and must be G-d. Your arguments have no basis in G-d’s reality.
Would you say that in his degree of wisdom, Moses was identical with all of the rest of us, or that his level of prophecy was not unique to him? Would you say that Adam Ha rishon before he sinned was identical with everyone alive today? You would say the level of their tzelem was high, but they were just humans. Christians say that Jesus was Just human, but that his tzelem is the highest, clearest reflection of G-d, being the divine word.
We didn’t invent this. We were taught it.
You were taught it by pagans — not by Jews. Jews do not pray to people — not to Moses or Abraham or Isaiah or any other HUMAN BEING. Likewise Jews don’t pray to things (including Torot). You seem to confuse honor with WORSHIP. We are told to honor the Torah and to honor our parents and our sages.
We are also told not to worship any but the one true G-d.
Your attempt to accuse Jews of idolatry is
1. to misrepresent Jews as wicked and “idolaters”, and
2. to deflect attention away from Christian idolatry by claiming “well, Jews worship idols too, so they’re being hypocritical by accusing us of doing it”. But two “wrongs” wouldn’t make a “right” even if there were any substance to their false claim.
The term in Hebrew is עבודה זרה — “avodah zara.” זרה means “foreign” and עבודה can mean work but in this context it is translated as worship. Ergo עבודה זרה means “foreign work” or “strange worship.”
Surely worshiping G-d as He ASKED to be worshiped is not strange or foreign. Following His instructions as given in the Jewish bible can in no way be “foreign” as the words are His and those of His prophets. Worshiping a man as if he were G-d is most certainly strange and foreign — and thus idolatry.
You seem to confuse honor with WORSHIP.
You Yehuda seem to think that classical idolatry (or even modern) treats honor and worship as two different things. A pagan’s worship is primarily an offer of honor or respect not exclusive devotion. The gods of classical idolatry were never given the attributes that entitled them to exclusive devotion as Judaism or Christianity would define it. Divine service is very relativistic in polytheism.
In fact, I once saw a lecture where the question was put to a panel of Hindu ascetics “who is the one true god?” They each listed the attributes that they considered their choice candidate to posses in abundance, but in the end the consensus was reached that they each had their own merits, and to decide the question would be too presumptuous for ANY PERSON to answer.
Honor and worship are two different things. When G-d tells us to honor our parents do you think he wanted us to worship them?
Idolatry in Judaism has been defined for you numerous times. It is strange worship (avodah zarah) — Avodah Zarah (strange worship) has to do with any religious observance not known to us at Sinai. This is the definition of idolatry in Judaism.
Praying to or through an entity — be it in one’s mind or an icon or any other image — is forbidden. This includes Jesus!
D’varim / Deuteronomy 4:23. “Beware, lest you forget the covenant of HaShem your G-d, which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image, the likeness of anything, which HaShem your G-d has forbidden you.”
Any changes to the instructions of G-d given to us in the Sinai are false (such as Jesus changing divorce laws, or dishonoring his parents, or saying the dead should bury the dead (yet again dishonoring parents). . .
Jesus follows a similar ruling to that of beit shammai regarding divorce. He didn’t change that.
CR, read the Christian bible. Jesus completely changed what the Torah teaches about divorce. Beit Shammai did no sch thing. Matthew 5:31-32 – (31) “It has been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: (32) But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committed adultery.”
So the author of Matthew says that anyone who gets divorced for any reason OTHER than adultery it is the same as committing adultery! And your pastor doesn’t see that this is an obvious distortion of the Torah???? The Christian bible’s harshness regarding divorce is the very the opposite of Torah.
R’ Shammai said the opposite of Jesus, aligning (of course) with Torah. He said that a man may only divorce his wife for a serious transgression. “A man should not divorce his wife unless he has found her to be guilty of unchastity, because it is written, “Because he has found in her indecency in anything”.”
Where does the school of Shammai say that a divorced woman is guilty of adultery whether or not she committed it (as Jesus said in Matthew chapter 5)?
Shammai: A man should not divorce his wife unless she has committed adultery.
Jesus: A woman divorced for any reason other than for her adultery cases her to commit adultery.
The school of Hillel said a man can divorce his wife for any reason. In Judaism a woman is guilty of adultery only when she is in fact an adulteress!
The Torah says “When a man marries a woman or possesses her, if she is displeasing to him [or] if he has evidence of sexual misconduct on her part, he shall write her a bill of divorce and place it in her hand, thus releasing her from his household. When she thus leaves his household, she may go and marry another man.” D’varim / Deuteronomy 24:1-2.
Nowhere does the Torah say that a woman who gets a divorce is an adulteress — Jesus changed the words of G-d regarding divorce. . . R’ Shammai and R’ Hillel did not. Any changes to the instructions of G-d given to us in the Sinai are false.
This is so clear, Zev. I would also add, Con, that Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'” Where does it say “hate your enemy”? Why does Jesus falsify the Torah in order to pretend that he is presenting a superior teaching?
Dina, the Torah commands you to blot out the name of Amalek (interpreted as enemies of the Jewish people) http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/948893/jewish/Why-Pray-for-the-Destruction-of-our-Enemies.htm you are encouraged to mock and hate the enemy. http://www.mesora.org/loveyourenemy.html
Con, you brought as proof two articles that, as it happens, pretty much say the opposite of what you contend. Did you actually read them, or did you do a word search to see if “hate” came up? You are not reading carefully.
Search Tanach and show me where it says “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” Jesus made up a quote that does not exist. Even regarding Amalek, we are not instructed to hate them, just to punish them. Did Jesus forget Exodus 23:4-5, Proverbs 24:17, Proverbs 25:21, Job 31:29-30, and Jeremiah 29:7?
Besides, here’s what the Talmud teaches on this subject:
Avos d’ Rabbi Nassan 23: Who is strong? He who turns an enemy into a friend.
Berachos 17a: To those who curse me let me soul be silent, and let my soul be as dust to all.
I don’t know how you can trust Jesus after this. He lied. Or Matthew lied in his name, so you shouldn’t trust him either.
However–and there is a big however here–it should be obvious to anyone with common sense that enemies in all these contexts means personal enemies. Should we love Hitler or ISIS or Hamas? Do you? Did Jesus? Whoever loves these people are morally rotten.
Well, Dina if you don’t read the gospels words carefully, noting a difference between Jesus’ interpretation and “change” keeping in mind how we Christians understand the words, I’m sorry if I make the same mistakes with your tradition’s views. Truly I mean that. No Christian believes love of enemy means to love unrighteousness. Nor do we treat Jesus ‘ teaching on divorce as a box. You imply it means he changed and twisted the spirit of Torah because it helps your case through rhetoric. You’ve already admitted though that you have a tradition to mock what you consider idolatry, so it seems to me that you are not really interested in hearing anything you don’t already accept as truth unless filtered through your tradition. I hope you’ll forgive me if that sounds rude, it’s not meant that way. Just observation. The blog says in one breath that Jesus observed Judaism, in the next that he destroyed its purpose. Which is it? It’s difficult to see how thousands of diverse rabbinic commentaries are ok, but this Jesus is so full of lies!
I’m able in my theology to see the good in another viewpoint, including your own. Part of what G-d’s unity means to Christians is that the knowledge of him is accessible through diverse cultural lenses and languages because all people are made in G-d’s image, and have the spermitokos Logos “seed of reason.” I’ve already told you that I see your point in many ways, but the perspective on Christianity demonstrated and expressed here is almost always pure caricature. The perspective I’ve noticed on this site intimates that once G-d spoke to your ancestors at Sinai, the rest of us in the world went out to the proverbial woodshed and lost the ability to understand anything without your people’s mediation, noachide law with rabbinic supervision, or conversion to Judaism.
We are apparently not capable of reason,independent thought, or love of G-d through our own cultures, and we don’t seem deemed capable of undestanding G-d without your language, your specific guidance, even your mediation of what is ok to do and say as it were.
I hope you forgive my saying, but some of the things said here on the blog seem to say, what we Christians say of Jesus belongs to your people alone as a whole, but not Jesus at all. We are declared wicked idolaters because we pray in Christ’s name, and say turn the other cheek, but it’s ok for your tradition to “honor” your sages, because honor and worship are so “different.” I’m curious if you have heard of or seen/ learned about ancestor worship? Just curious, because no ancestor worship is a belief in a creator G-d, but is merely a profound respect for and veneration of the moral lessons and lives/accomplishments of one’s ancestors.
I’m not saying you are idolaters because you honor your sages, but if I did say this, it would be a caricature on the same level as this blog’s caricature of Christianity.
I submit to you that you really don’t know Jsus’ intentions. I further submit, Xtians today are relying on primarily assumptions, without any cultural knowledge. I say this because “here”, there have been numerous occasions whereby a person writes something and another will misunderstand the point. We would be in the same predicament if it weren’t for having a Talmud. The Talmud is unique in that it doesn’t leave anything unanswered. The Xtian text doesn’t have that clarification. It is why there have been such divergent views. In fact, Xtianity had to change its understanding once Israel became a state.
The reason those here have a different perspective is they approach it from a “Jewish” perspective. It is from That perspective, that culture, that interpretations are formed. If the original writers were Jewish, from that same culture, shouldn’t there be a similar perspective. What we do know is that Xtianity soon became an entirely Gentile religion and any interpretation are from a Gentile culture. I can say from experience there is a great difference between the two cultures and few Xtians are truly aware How different. Even those who have had a long exposure to the culture are Still unaware in very many aspects.
I am unable to see the confusion between honoring our Sages and the worship of someone. So I looked up the words.
Worship – “show reverence and adoration for (a deity); honor with religious rites.”
Honor – “regard with great respect.”
Considering that one part of worship includes “religious rites” this directly applies to Jsus. I don’t recall the name, but the ritual of eating the body and the drinking of the blood is a “religious rite”. The Talmud speaks of wine used by idolaters and this ceremony should certainly fall into that category. This is certainly VERY problematic for a “Jew” to institute such a ceremony. As has been stated before this is Most certainly avodah zarah, “Strange” worship. Therefore, no matter how much reverence is bestowed to the Sages there are NO religious rites to accompany that respect.
Shed the thin skin, replace it with a thicker one, and respond to the arguments. Stop worrying about how close-minded we are and how morally superior we think we are and see if our arguments have merit. You missed the point, again. Please reread what Zev, Jim, Rabbi B., and I wrote. Instead of looking for what you want us to say, try to understand what we are actually saying.
Debate becomes impossible when you don’t respond to the actual arguments made. For example, you have asserted several times that you encourage Jews to continue Torah observance and not follow Jesus because the NT seems to encourage that. I challenged you by showing you that Jesus tells the Jews that they can only get to the Father and to the kingdom of heaven through him or face eternal damnation. This contradicts your assertion, but you have not responded.
I have also repeatedly challenged you on your notion that for Jews Jesus is not the messiah while for Christians he is the messiah, and that both are true. You have failed to respond in any meaningful way.
My last example is my insistence that the Torah defines idolatry, so the fact that Christianity is totally different from all other idolatrous religions is irrelevant. I have shown that the Torah tells us that any type of worship that was unknown to our ancestors is idolatry; thus Christianity is idolatry. You have ignored this point.
These are just a few examples of many. Instead of answering, you get distracted by our rhetoric or attitudes. It would be nice to hear real answers.
Oh, and stop condescending. It’s not nice.
Read the mesora.org articles on Kabbalah, I’m not accusing Jews of Avodah Zarah, G-d forbid, I’m noting that I’ve seen observant Jews accuse other observant Jews of committing idolatry because each community judges Halacha with it’s determined level of strictness, and in the light of its group’s undestanding. G-d forbid that I’m calling you idol worshipers! Don’t put words in my mouth.
You are calling me an idolater, I’m not calling anyone here an idolater.
Con, I have not seen Orthodox Jews accuse other Orthodox Jews of idolatry. What are you talking about?
Non-Jews misunderstand Kabbalah to compartmentalize G-d into “parts.” This is the exact opposite of what Kabbalah truly teaches. G-d is one, but men are limited. Humans try to understand G-d using those limited means. G-d is infinite, but people are finite.
Missionaries are past masters at trying to chop G-d up into many parts — and they try to say that is what Kabbalah does — but nothing could be further from the truth.
If non-Jews don’t understand the very basic difference between pshat (plain meaning) of Torah — which is always the truth and basis for our understanding. . . it is impossible that they can understand the concepts of Kabbalah. Trying to learn Kabbalah without first learning Torah and Talmud is like trying to understand Trigonometry without ever having learned what numbers are, let alone how to count them!
Likewise different Jewish communities never differ in their understanding of halacha. It would be nice if CR would stop making pronouncements about Judaism that are so absolutely wrong! There is a big difference between halacha and minhag!
As one who says he believes in the bible CR should revisit this quote “Besides this, in general,] you must keep the Torah as they (the Rabbis) interpret it for you, and follow the laws that they legislate for you. Do not stray to the right or left from the word that they declare to you. If there is any man who rebels and refuses to listen to the priest or other judge who is in charge of serving G-d your L-rd there [as leader of the supreme court], then that man must be put to death, thus ridding yourselves of evil in Israel.” (Devarim / Deuteronomy 17:11-12).
I suggest CR read “Haven’t the Rabbis Changed the Laws?” from the Being Jewish website. http://www.beingjewish.com/unchanged/never-altered.html
Ummm those articles I posted were from an orthodox Jewish wesite speaking about other Jews’ misunderstandings. Not Gentiles! Read before responding.
Do yo believe everything Joseph Smith (father of the Mormons) wrote about Jesus? After all he was a Christian. How about Charles Taze Russell, who founded the Jehovah Witnesses? Quoting non-halachic sources or misinterpreting what a Jew says out of context is doing the same thing. Earlier you quoted Philo as if he is some great Jewish source. He isn’t. He was a highly Hellenized Jew who wrote only in Greek and we don’t even know if he could read Hebrew since everything he wrote was in Greek. He even quoted Greek translations of the Jewish bible!
Now you claim to be using mesora.org as a source, You make claims but you don’t support them. Anyone can write a comment to a blog — you or I have no idea of their depth of knowledge — so the claim is worthless. The Rabbi on Mesora.org wrote “Whatever in Zohar is valid, meaning, what is synonymous with Torah, teaches us nothing new and it may be followed. Whatever in Zohar opposes Torah, must be rejected.” This is exactly what I said earlier. There is only ONE G-d and Kabbalah does not chop Him into parts as does the trinity. . .
Dina, I see the point that saying we don’t worship the human “part” makes the man from 2000 years ago utterly irrelevant, so why not just go for Torah by itself. I get it.
That’s great, Con, so what’s stopping you? Anyway, I didn’t make that argument. You are not responding to anything I’ve written.
Things sometimes get missed in these discussions, so I wanted to draw your attention to the comment above: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/isaiah-222-2/#comment-14386 .
You have said that Jesus’ words show him divine. All the above show that not to be true.
Ooh, I’d love to hear your response to this comment, Con.
“My G-d, My G-d why have you foresaken me?” If Jesus is G-d did he forsake himself?
read this question in light of psalm 37 : 46 . how could jesus be God’s faithful one? wrong doers will be destroyed.
con believes he forsook his voice box because gods word became voice box.
CR, I take it the United States has no courts of law? There is no debate on the meaning of a law? Since the Constitution was written nothing there has been no question on (for example) the right to bear arms?
You seem to forget that Moses himself established courts of law. He took elders from all of the tribes. It is all right there in the bible. Courts of law / legislatures have continued from Moses to today — Shammai and Hillel were the heads of the courts of their day.
“And you shall observe all that they shall instruct you” (D’varim / Deuteronomy 17:10)
G-d commanded us to listen to our teachers and our judges and to observe as they instruct.
“If a case is too difficult for you to decide…you shall go to the place that HaShem your G-d has chosen and you shall appear before the kohenim (priests) and the judge that is there in those days. You are to inquire, and they are to tell you the word of judgment. You are to do according to the judgment that they announce to you from that place that HaShem chose, observing scrupulously all their instructions to you. You shall act according to the law they shall teach you and according to the judgment that they shall tell you; do not deviate from the judgment that they announce to you either to the right or to the left” (Deuteronomy 17:8-11).
Rabbis are judges (they still are today).
Not adding to or subtracting from the mitzvot means do not CHANGE them. One mitzvah tell us not to murder. A rabbi could not order you to go out and murder someone. Another mitzvah tells us to honor our parents. A rabbi can’t tell you to disrespect them. Think of the mitzvah to use four species in Sukkot. You aren’t to use three and you aren’t to use five (add to or subtract from). You don’t CHANGE the mitzvot.
You cannot change the 613 mitzvot — but you must listen to the teachers and judges on how to protect the mitzvot (rules to help avoid breaking them or how they apply to modern technology).
CR, now you are just making excuses for Jesus. Re-read the words in Matthew 5. Read it for what it says and not what you WANT it to say. Matthew 5:31-32 – (31) “It has been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: (32) But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committed adultery.”
Whosoever puts his wife away by divorce is causing her to commit adultery.
Whoever shall marry her commits adultery as well.
This is CHANGING what the Torah clealry says which is “he shall write her a bill of divorce and place it in her hand, thus releasing her from his household. When she thus leaves his household, she may go and marry another man.” D’varim / Deuteronomy 24:2.”
Jesus reversed the Torah. Crystal clear.
Somehow I am not learning the hang of how to put my reply directly under the post I’m rsponding to. My reply to CR September 18, 2014 at 9:18 am is found ABOVE his post and marked September 18, 2014 at 9:24 am.
CR, now you are just making excuses for Jesus. Re-read the words in Matthew 5. Read it for what it says and not what you WANT it to say. Matthew 5:31-32 – (31) “It has been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: (32) But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committed adultery.”
Zev, after you type your comment, before posting you can sign up to be notified of new comments by clicking on the box “Notify me of new comments via email.” The emailed comment comes with a reply button. If you click on the reply button, after you post your comment it will appear under the post you are responding to.
Matthew 5:31-32 – (31) “It has been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: (32)
this seems to be a very odd reading of the torah.
look at what the text says,
Suppose a man enters into marriage with a woman,
but she does not please him because he finds
something objectionable about her, and so he
writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her
hand, and sends her out of his house;
leaves his house and goes off to become another
man’s wife. Then suppose the second man dislikes
her, writes her a bill of divorce, puts it in her hand,
and sends her out of his house (or the second man
who married her dies); her first husband, who sent
her away, is not permitted to take her again to be
his wife after she has been defiled;
for that would
be abhorrent to Yahweh, and you shall not bring
guilt on the land that Yahweh your God is giving
you as a possession. (Deut 24:1-4)
the command is that the wife who got divorced by her second husband CANNOT marry her first husband. both husbands (1st and second) gave her a writing of divorcement, the COMMAND was that she cannot marry her first one.
D’varim / Deuteronomy 24:1 is stating that man may divorce a wife so that she may remarry. This is one mitzvah. 24:4 says that man must not remarry his wife after she has married someone else. They are two separate mitzvot (on the list of 613).
As I’ve pointed already Jesus reverses this eternal mitzvah in Matthew 5 by saying if a woman is divorced (for whatever cause) it is as if she is an adulteress.
http://www.aish.com/jl/m/48945081.html lists the 613 mitzvot. You’ll see that both are listed there.
Dina I will do my best to answer those questions. btw you guys are condescending too. I don’t buy into a lot of the assumptions your arguments are based on because you are unable to provide sufficient verifiable evidence why I should accept, and you take this as a dismissal, or non comprehension on my part. I’m sorry, I will look into your arguments more closely.
Be well G-d bless
BTW Dina, I’m having to respond to you, Jim, rabbi B, Sharbano, Zev, etc. tough to keep track.
I know what you mean, Con. I’ve sometimes had several discussions going on at once as well. Take your time.
Please forgive me for taking so long to address how Jesus denigrates the Torah in the Sermon on the Mount. I have been very busy, and I was out of town for a few days last week.
I can understand why one might find it difficult to believe that Jesus is denigrating Torah. He does say, after all: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have not come to abolish but to fulfill” (Mt. 5.17). However, that in itself is suspicious. Imagine a candidate for president of the United States announcing in a debate, “Do not think that I come to abolish the Constitution.” That would be a remarkably strange event. Why would anyone have thought that he had come to abolish the Constitution? Likewise, why would anyone listening to an itinerant preacher think that he had come to abolish the Law and Prophets? It would not likely have occurred to anyone.
But he needs this introduction, because he sets himself up against the Torah. He sets himself up superior to the Torah. The repetitive phrasing he employs runs like this: “You have heard it said… but I say to you.” This is a clever phrasing he employs, because it distracts the listener (and the reader) from the way he has set his words up against God’s. Imagine if the phrasing had been a little different, if it had drawn attention to the Author of the words rather than to their status as tradition. What if he had said: “God said… but I say to you…”? His words would make one much more uncomfortable then. But that is what he is saying. The words he quotes come from the Torah, the Torah given by God. His phrasing distracts from that point.
This peculiar phrasing is one reason his teachings cannot be taken as mere interpretation of the Torah. If he had meant to interpret the Torah, he would not have had to set up his teachings against and superior to Torah. He could have said something like this: “The Torah teaches us not to murder. Guard yourselves carefully, then, against hate, lest you be overcome with passion.” By using a “but” he denigrates God’s Torah, pretending that his own teachings are better than those issued by God.
He further denigrates the Torah by altering it. The Torah does not urge one to “hate his enemy”. This is an invention by Jesus. He has manipulated the words of Torah so that he can show his own teachings to be superior. If he respected God’s Torah, he would not alter it to fit his agenda.
Similarly, he denigrates the laws of divorce, laying a heavier yoke on people than God did. He creates a category of adultery that does not exist in the Torah. The Torah does permit divorce, which does not mean that it takes marriage lightly. But he cannot add a category of adultery that does not exist. In so doing, he again makes his own teaching to be superior to God’s.
It is clear from the Sermon on the Mount that Jesus had a profound disrespect for Torah. He paid it lip service, but then he went on to set it up as a law inferior to his own. He props up his own moral teachings by stepping all over Torah. He even misrepresents the Torah. It is strange, because many of the things he says in the Sermon on the Mount would be tolerable if he did not denigrate the Torah to teach them. Rather than attacking the Pharisees, he should have followed their example.
Jim, you made some very important points. The fact that Jesus had to announce that he had not come to abolish any laws is very telling. Your analogy to a politician proclaiming that he isn’t going to abolish the Constitution is perfect. No Hebrew prophet ever made, or had to make, such a statement. Furthermore, no Hebrew prophet ever insisted that his audience believe in him. Even Moses didn’t!
Imagine if he had said, “God said…but I say” instead of “You have heard it said.” This is a brilliant point.
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