Dr. Brown’s Teaching on Biblical Interpretation
In Volume 2, on page 94, Dr. Brown presents a teaching on the correct method of Biblical interpretation: “…it would be highly unlikely ‑ to put it mildly‑ that the Lord would hang a major life‑critical Torah revising revelation, on just one verse, especially when that verse in the original Hebrew is somewhat obscure grammatically…”.
This teaching is quite straightforward. God did not give us the Hebrew Scriptures to confuse us. There are many clear and explicit teachings in the Hebrew Scriptures. Many of these teachings are repeated again and again. God has no problem making a point clear and emphasizing the point again and again. Dr. Brown is teaching us that a Biblical interpretation that assumes that God revealed a critical revelation in just one grammatically obscure verse that runs counter to a teaching that is expressed clearly and explicitly in many verses, would be illogical and faulty.
With this teaching, Dr. Brown has delivered a death blow to the Church’s 2000 year effort to establish a Scriptural basis for Jesus’ claims.
The entire theology of Christianity stands on the tenuous claim that God hung major Torah revising revelation on solitary verses where the Hebrew is grammatically obscure.
The Scriptures explicitly state that the forgiveness of sin is achieved through sincere repentance. This teaching is repeated many times throughout the Hebrew Scriptures in a clear and unambiguous manner (Deuteronomy 30:1‑10, Ezekiel 18:21‑23,27,28,31,32, 33:11,14‑16,19, Isaiah 1:16‑18, 55:7, Hosea 14:2‑10, Jonah 3:10, Micah 6:7,8, Psalm 51:19). These passages directly address the issue of forgiveness from sin, yet they make no mention of a blood offering. Some of these passages actually preclude the requirement of a blood offering as a necessary component in the process of forgiveness from sin. Yet on the basis of the misinterpretation of one solitary verse (Leviticus 17:11) from a passage that does not directly address the issue of forgiveness from sin at all, Christianity teaches that repentance cannot achieve atonement without a blood offering!
Throughout the Scriptures, we find that both tribal and royal lineage proceed through the paternal line. The phrase “to the house of their fathers” is repeated over 20 times in the first four chapters of the Book of Numbers alone. Yet Christianity teaches that the Davidic Messiah of the tribe of Judah will NOT be a descendant of David and Judah from his father’s side. This, on the basis of one solitary mistranslated verse that is wrenched out of its Scriptural and historical context (Isaiah 7:14)!
Many passages in Scripture are devoted to describing the Messianic era. These passages provide us with a clear and unambiguous portrait of those glorious times (Numbers 24:14‑19, Deuteronomy 4:30, 30:1‑10, 32:43, Jeremiah 3:14‑18, 16:14,15,19, 23:3‑8, 30:3,7‑11,16‑25, 31:1‑39, 32:37‑44, 33:6‑26, 46:27,28, 50:4,5,19,20, Ezekiel 11:17‑20, 20:40‑44, 28:25‑26, 34:9‑16,22‑31, 36:6‑15,22‑38, 37:1‑28, 38:1‑48:35, Isaiah 1:26,27, 2:1‑4, 4:2‑6, 10:33‑12:6, 24:21‑25:9, 30:26, 34:1‑35:10, 40:1‑11, 41:8‑20, 43:1‑10, 44:1‑5 49:8‑26, 51:11,22‑52:12, 54:1‑55:5, 56:7, 60:1‑63:9, 65:17‑25, 66:10‑24, Hosea 2:1‑3,16‑25, Joel 3:1‑4:21, Amos 9:11‑15, Obadiah 1:17‑21, Micah 4:1‑7, 5:1‑13, 7:8‑20, Zephaniah 3:9‑20, Zechariah 2:9, 8:1‑8, 14:3‑21, Malachi 3:4,16‑24, Psalm 51:20,21, 69:36,37, 98:1‑3, 102:14‑23, 126:1‑6, Daniel 2:44, 7:18,22,27, 12:2,3). Throughout these lengthy Scriptural depictions, we find not a word about a second coming of the Messiah. Christianity builds the theological edifice of a second coming on the basis of the misinterpretation of one solitary verse (Daniel 7:13)!
This is not to mention the many Christian doctrines which do not have even one solitary, non-contextual, mistranslated verse to lean on at all. These include, but are not limited to, the idea that the sacrificial system is to be replaced, the teaching that our devotion ought to be directed to Jesus, the concept that all men are damned to hell for ever and ever because of Adam’s sin, the concept that a new election is established on the basis of devotion to an individual and the concept that devotion to an individual is a prerequisite for atonement, amongst many others.
According to Dr. Brown’s own teaching, Christianity has no valid Scriptural basis.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal