Matthew’s Guards – by Jim

Eric,

Some time ago, you and I briefly discussed whether or not the Pharisees were trustworthy. You wrote that they are not, which started the conversation. If I recall correctly, one thing you held against them was that they covered up the resurrection of Jesus, according to Matthew. This proved to you just how treacherous they were. I pointed out that Matthew was not trustworthy, drawing as proof his abuse of the holy words of HaShem. You were unable to answer this charge. You wrote something about the other books of the NT being in existence as well and Matthew (and John) speaking for itself. This, of course, does not establish that Matthew is trustworthy. You found it outrageous that I would take your lack of defense as an admission that Matthew was not trustworthy. Meanwhile, without any evidence, you have determined that the Pharisees are not trustworthy, on the say-so of a man whom you could not defend. Now, as I mentioned before, Matthew does not write that the Pharisees paid the guards. It was the chief priest and elders, which I mention only for accuracy (because you and I both know that someone will claim that I do not know the story, if I get a detail wrong.) I propose that we briefly examine Matthew’s story and see if it is credible. Once we examine it, we will see that Matthew is untrustworthy, fabricating stories to malign his opponents.

When you read Matthew 28:11-15, you should notice something exceedingly strange about the entire story. A huge question should come into your mind when you read that they paid the soldiers to say that the disciples stole Jesus away. I do not mean the question that is so often asked, about how the guards would be able to admit that they fell asleep on duty without being killed for it, although that is a good question. I do not even mean how the guards could be expected to testify to an event that they are supposed to have slept through, although that is also good. No, there is a huge question that reveals how the whole story is a lie, that Matthew made it up. Think for a minute.

How did they know that Jesus was not going to show himself publicly?

Think about it. I’ll wait.

The chief priests and elders have just heard that Jesus is going to come back. They have no idea what he will do. They do not know that he is going to ascend to heaven in forty days. But the story shows that they expect never to see him. Why is that?

Well, the answer is obvious. This story was fabricated by Matthew much later. Jesus never made any public appearances. But the Jewish leadership could not know that was going to happen. Yet they did not worry at all what he was going to do. Instead, they somehow knew in advance that they could say the disciples took him. This makes no sense. They should have been expecting him to appear. They could not bribe the guards on the day that Jesus resurrected to say the disciples took Jesus, because nobody knew that he was not going to show up.

This story only makes sense after the disciples begin publicizing the resurrection but have no Jesus to prove it. It is only then that the accusation of the Jewish leaders that the disciples stole the body would make any sense. But according to the NT, this happened 47 days later than the plotting of the chief priests and elders. The Jewish leadership did not know that Jesus was not going to show himself, so the story they hatched does not make sense at day three after his death. The claim that the disciples took the body presumes that they know that there is no Jesus to show.

Matthew’s story is a fabrication. He overlooked the fact that the Jewish leadership would not know what Jesus was going to do. His story reflects the idea that the claim of his resurrection was made without evidence, without an actual resurrected Jesus. It is a neat trick he has pulled. He has made the Jewish leadership look like hypocrites and tried to establish them as witnesses to the resurrection. But he clearly invented this story, overlooking that their behavior is not consistent with those who believed that a man back from the dead could present himself. Their behavior is consistent with people who know that the disciples will claim he came back and then disappeared.

Let’s be frank. Matthew lied. He made up a story about the Jewish leadership to cover up the lack of Christian proof and malign critics of Christianity.

In fact, if you pay careful attention, you can see he has pulled another trick. He is trying to establish the timeline by attributing it to his critics. See, the disciples did not announce the resurrection until long after Jesus was supposed to come back. Now, I am not saying that the disciples stole Jesus’ body out of the grave, but they had much more than three days in which to do it, if they wanted to. They could have taken it at day 47. It is likely that he invented the story of the guards, to give the appearance that Jesus was back by day three, as he was supposed to be. It is a real problem that his resurrection is not publicized until day 50 and that he is not there to do it. So, Matthew invents a story about guards. He makes his opponents look like liars and hypocrites, while making them appear to testify to his story.

In fact, you can see how useless guards would be. The guards are only going to be posted for a few days. So, whenever they leave, that’s when you take the body (if you were going to.) And then you just make up a story about how the guards were paid off or whatever story you like. The guards are useless.

It is clear that Matthew is not trustworthy. His accusations against the Pharisees should not be trusted. His accusations against the chief priests and elders are obvious fabrications. His abuse of scripture shows that he is disinterested in truth and would distort even the words of Tanach if it suited him. His accusations are not to be believed.

Jim

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143 Responses to Matthew’s Guards – by Jim

  1. LarryB says:

    Jim
    See what happens when you don’t have faith and you run into the obvious/truth. You need to “walk by faith not by sight”, a favorite Christian mantra. When you see the truth have faith. Let the centurian be your guide. with no obvious knowledge he calls Jsus lord, At which point Jsus holds him up as an example of what faith should be like, and pronounces, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel” I would imagine that includes the jewish people too. No knowledge, just faith. And faith like that will get your servant instantly healed. Maybe you could throw a mountain into the sea, and see how many times it will skip, or something like that. Who’s the master manipulator now?

  2. David says:

    Hi Jim,

    You wrote:
    “… there is a huge question that reveals how the whole story is a lie, that Matthew made it up. Think for a minute.

    How did they know that Jesus was not going to show himself publicly?”

    Jim, to summarize your post, you believe that Matthew must have made up the event of the circumstances surrounding the claimed resurrection, based on the false premise that the chief priests “should have been expecting him to appear” since “nobody knew that he was not going to show up.” That’s absurd Jim as I’ll explain below.

    In the first place, Matthew 27:41 – 43 makes clear that the chief priests, along with the scribes and elders did NOT believe Jesus was who he said he was (which was the Son of God) since in their thinking He would have come down from the cross if He really was the Son of God. In other words they believed He was an imposter, a fraud.

    “let Him come down from the cross now, and we will believe him.”

    He didn’t, ………. and so they didn’t.

    In their minds what further proof does one need that He wasn’t the Messiah? How is it possible that God would permit His Messiah, the King of the Jews, to be crucified!!? Not to mention the fact that such an event (crucifixion of the Messiah) is not, or so it is/was believed, foretold in Scripture? That point is still even argued today Jim! So they had what they thought was irrefutable self-evident proof, clearly obvious, plain and discernible to even the village idiot that He wasn’t who He said He was when He died on the cross.

    Now, regarding the claimed resurrection in three days time which is the main event of your post:

    The chief priests and elders didn’t “just hear” of Jesus’ claim to come back as you erroneously stated. And, you mistakenly promote the false impression through a misreading of NT Scripture that they seriously considered, and thought it remotely possible that he might actually come back and make good on his promise. Scripture actually paints the opposite scenario than what you put forth in your post.

    In actuality, Scripture tells us that they, in their words, “REMEMBERED what that IMPOSTER said while HE was STILL ALIVE.” They did NOT believe, NOT FOR A MINUTE, that he’d come back on the third day as he promised, but were genuinely concerned that his disciples might “steal Him away, and tell the people He has been raised from the dead”, thus making the last “DECEPTION” worst than the first DECEPTION. Now that’s a very legitimate well reasoned concern that anyone might have who is convinced that an imposter is putting forth deceptions to mislead the people. So therefore Jim, this is the reason and motivation they requested from Pilot a guard of soldiers which he authorized (Matthew 27:62 – 66). They were concerned that the last deception would be worse than the first.

    In conclusion then, Scripture is clear; at no time, whether while on the cross, or dead in the tomb, did they believe His previous claims He made while alive were anything but deception. Therefore, your contention to the contrary is false. And, your hypothesis that Matthew must have made the event up at a later date is based on an erroneous, and non-Scriptural premise and is therefore also wrong.

    “How did they know that Jesus was not going to show himself publicly?”

    Because they, like you, believed Him to be an imposter.

    • David I will let Jim answer for himself – but you really misunderstood the thrust of this article. According to Matthew – the guards reported to the leaders everything that happened (the resurrection) and they need a story to explain the empty grave – the whole point of Matthew’s story is that the leaders “know” and hide the ”truth” from the populace – just read the text

      • David says:

        Hi Yisroel,

        You wrote, “the whole point of Matthew’s story is that the leaders “know” and hide the ”truth” from the populace”

        My response,
        That’s the whole point of Jim’s fairy tail story regarding his absurd commentary on Matthews gospel, I agree with you there. But as usual you are reading into the text what isn’t there. At no point does the text state or imply that the leaders knew or believed in the resurrection of the “imposter” who was putting forth a “deception.” The leaders thought him to be an imposter who was intent on deceiving the people. They also obviously put His disciples in the same category since they anticipated that His disciples would “steal Him away, and tell the people, He has been raised from the dead.”

        Furthermore you imply that Matthew’s text reads that the guards reported to the leaders that He in fact was resurrected. False! As you say, “read the text.”

        Read Matthew:
        Matthew 28:11 “While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened.”

        So, what is “everything that had happened” from the guards perspective? Where does it say they reported a resurrection?

        Matthew’s gospel makes clear that the guards would have experienced a “great earthquake” and that there was an angel who’s appearance was like lightning, and for fear of him, “the guards shook and became like dead men” (Matthew 28:2 – 4). After the commotion was over, the guards probably also examined the stone rolled away from the tomb, checked the seal and checked the empty tomb since it was their duty to guard the tomb from thieves.

        So at what point does Matthew’s gospel say the guards saw Jesus resurrect and leave the tomb, or even that they saw the resurrected Jesus alive at any time, in the tomb, or out of the tomb? Never. At no point does the text ever read that guards saw Jesus, dead or alive, or that they believed Jesus had resurrected, or what they believed.

        And how do the leaders react to the guards report of “everything that had happened”, which would have been the earthquake, angle, and empty tomb as noted above? Is there a scintilla of evidence that they had a change heart regarding their opinion of Jesus that He was anything other than an imposter and deceiver, or that His disciples were not also just as guilty? No, not at all.

        Matthew 28:13,14 “…you must say, His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep. If this comes to the Governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”

        You shouldn’t jump to the non-biblical and unsupported conclusion that just because the leaders didn’t want the story of the earthquake and angel told, would necessarily mean that they had a change of heart and came to believe in the resurrection of the imposter.

        Would you?

        There are any number of reasonable explanations why the spiritual leaders of Judaism, such as you for example, would not want to add unnecessarily, to any intrigue and interest into the disappearance of the body of what they believed to be an imposter. By speaking of the empty tomb as part of an “angelical event” or “natural (earthquake) event”, might just prolong unnecessarily, interest in a nearly closed and “dead” case of an executed imposter who unfortunately still had some misguided supporters intent on stealing the body to keep alive the deception.

        That, for example, would be a perfectly reasonable position of a non-believing Jewish leader, such as you to take.

        Actually we don’t even know if the leaders believed the “angel” report. After all, would you? The text doesn’t say.

        But, if someone who was charged with staying awake to guard a tomb, and reported to you that an angel came along with an earthquake and the tomb was found empty would you believe it? Obviously not. So if you don’t consider yourself to be that gullible why do you and Jim hold the leaders of Judaism at the time in such low esteem when the text doesn’t support it?

        More than likely they actually thought the guards really did just fell asleep, and that the disciples actually did come in the night and steal away the body, as would you.

    • Sharbano says:

      I have started to read that chapter and it didn’t take long to find a question.
      Where is it written that; “Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet”
      And apparently there were many who were resurrected. Why would Jsus be anything more astounding as these others.
      The question Is; Who wrote Matthew and When.

      • Saul Goodman says:

        From the early Church we learn this: Matthew was written in hebrew, and a translation was done the best it could be, but no one knows by whom. Wich means that from Matthew, we have a copy of a translation of a copy from the original:

        Original Matthew in Hebrew>Copy of it>Translation of it>Copy of it. This book has really no credibility And yet it testifies against Christianity.

        Now, if we don’t take into account the Early Church, Matthew is simply an anonymous greek work.

  3. cpsoper says:

    How did the Council known that Yeshua would not appear in public? They didn’t expect it,for the obvious reason that they thought He was still dead. The guards were set to prevent a theft of the body, not to prevent the resurrection.

    The appearance of an angel and the rolling away of the stone may well have troubled them, but it need not have lead them to have known He had risen. Perhaps the disciples had pulled some clever stunt, perhaps some demonic event had taken place, but the resurrection, any resurrection, when you don’t believe in resurrections in general ? – ridiculous. Then of course they were wilfully ignorant of the scriptures’ impregnable witness to the future resurrection (Job 19.25-29, Daniel 12.2-3) because of the Greek philosophical influences that blinkered them.
    Sound familiar perhaps?

    As to the guards being killed, the argument is weak, they were supposed to be guarding a corpse not a living prisoner, what evidence is there that tomb guards would be punished with death. For one thing, they were the soldiers of the priests, not ordinary soldiers. Even the professional guards of Peter and John don’t seem to have been so punished when the escaped (Acts 5.18-25). It was testimony to Herod Agrippa’s singular barbarity that he executed all the prison guards in Acts 12.19.

    The Saviour chose not to appear to unbelievers after the resurrection, and there are many instructive reasons for this, not appropriate for this forum.

    However the Sadducees did hear the voice and see face of the Messiah after His death, as is very evident from Acts 4.8-12, 5.29-32 – in the words and visage of His own disciples. It was a living echo and a clear reflection of the Rabboni, and there was no escape from His claims.

    • Saul Goodman says:

      “However the Sadducees did hear the voice and see face of the Messiah after His death, as is very evident from Acts 4.8-12, 5.29-32 ”

      You are making things up:

      Acts 4:8-12American Standard Version (ASV)
      8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders, 9 if we this day are examined concerning a good deed done to an impotent man, by what means this man is made whole; 10 be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even in him doth this man stand here before you whole.11 He is the stone which was set at nought of you the builders, which was made the head of the corner.12 And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved.

      No one saw Jesus in this text.

      Acts 5:29-32American Standard Version (ASV)
      29 But Peter and the apostles answered and said, We must obey God rather than men.
      30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew, hanging him on a tree.
      31 Him did God exalt with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins.
      32 And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

      No one saw Jesus in this text. You made this up 100%. Like Stephen in Acts 7, history repeats itself.

    • Sharbano says:

      Both your references are regarding Peter. He only Speaks of Jsus. Nothing there speaks of Jsus being present.

  4. Dina says:

    Following.

  5. Jim says:

    Eric, David, et al,

    Thank you for your comments. Several of you have objected that Matthew is not implying that the chief priests did not believe that Jesus had returned from the dead. I was surprised to read these comments. Obviously, I knew that many of you would object to my argument that Matthew’s story is a fabrication. But I can hardly believe the tack that some of you have taken. This idea that the chief priests in Matthew 28 disbelieve in the resurrection is not supported by the text.

    Let us note that they never question the guards’ story. They do not accuse the guards of being drunk. They do not accuse them of making up a story, because they had fallen asleep. They express no doubt about the matter whatsoever. Instead, hearing of the resurrection, they “assembled with the elders” and “devised a plan” to bribe the soldiers.

    Let us note also that the thing they are trying to cover up is the resurrection. They are not trying to explain away the earthquake. They are not trying to explain away the angel. In fact, it would be improper to say that they are trying to explain away the missing body. They know the body is missing, and they want to devise a story about why it is missing. But we cannot call this explaining away, because it is not in service of their doubt. That is to say, they are not looking for an alternative explanation to why the body is gone. When they bribe the guards, they are performing a cover up. They are not looking for a ‘more plausible’ explanation than the resurrection because they do not believe that is what happened. They are covering up the resurrection, so that people do not believe it.

    Some of your rebuttals to my argument are shocking. I can hardly believe what mental contortions you put yourselves through to deny the facts of the story.

    One of you has relied upon gross speculation to support his arguments. He has said that maybe the chief priests believed the disciples pulled a trick. Or maybe the chief priests thought a demonic power took the body. Maybe, maybe, maybe. These speculations are not borne out by the text. The chief priests express no doubt. Rather, they “devised a plan”. So what makes a commenter offer his own empty speculations? Necessity is the mother of invention.

    One of you believes that the guards did not tell the chief priests that Jesus had been resurrected. He reads the passage as the guards being unconscious for the announcement that Jesus has been resurrected. So, they come back to the chief priests and tell them everything that happened, but this does not include what the angel said. In answering this objection, I think we must note that the commenter’s reading is not demanded by the text. It is in no way clear that “everything” that the guards reported omitted the angel’s announcement. But in fact, the chief priests’ concern is for the missing body. According to this commenter, they do not even know it’s gone.

    Perhaps he means that the guards woke up and looked in the tomb. Then they reported the earthquake, angel, and empty tomb. And the chief priests are then to have shrugged at each other and said, “That’s weird.” They take this as some random event that had nothing to with the claim Jesus is supposed to have made that he would come back from the dead. I do not know how he typed this with a straight face. Maybe he didn’t. Maybe he is putting us on.

    Now this gentleman has said that I have concocted fairy tales. But I have to say, that my mind is not limber enough to hatch the stories that he has cooked up. He says that the chief priests did not expect Jesus to come back from the dead. They posted guards to keep the disciples from stealing the body. Obviously, he is correct here. But then, I never said otherwise. This is an argument with nobody. This is not the part that makes his interpretation a fanciful story.

    What makes his interpretation fanciful is that he argues that the chief priests set a test for Jesus. When he was on the cross, the chief priests told him to come down and then they would believe him. I really think the gentleman is pulling our leg. He actually writes that because Jesus did not come down, they did not believe in him. This is a gross mischaracterization. They were not presenting Jesus with a test. They were mocking him. If one doubts this; if he thinks that this is my own private interpretation, Matthew says it openly in 27:41. And then he says the bandits crucified with Jesus “taunted him in the same way” (v. 44). This was not a test but mockery. They already did not believe in him. I can only imagine that this was a joke of some sort on the commenter’s part, and I did not understand it.

    Several of you object that because the chief priests were not expecting Jesus to come back, they did not believe that is what happened. You have only confused how they reacted to the claim he made before the fact and what they learned after the fact. I hardly think this needs to be explained. Certainly they did not believe he would come back from the dead. But when they heard his body was missing, they did not question at all what happened. They knew Jesus’ claims and when the earthquake and angel were present, and they obviously associated that with the resurrection claim. I cannot see how one could deny this.

    Matthew does not have the chief priests wonder about where the body went. They do not speculate that it was the work of demons or disciples. They do not question the guards’ sanity or sobriety. It is clear that Matthew wants to make them out to be hypocrites and deniers of the truth, not mere doubters. This is why they understand Jesus claimed to be coming back in three days when his disciples did not. But Matthew, in attributing these lies to the chief priests, forgot that they did not know that Jesus would never show himself. Matthew made it up.

    Jim

    • ChristianPaul says:

      Peace be upon you Jim!

      Your thesis lies on the fact that the chief priest believed that Yeshua was resurrected. Therefore Matthew made up the story for if they lied how could they know that Yeshua will not appear to them or the People. You have a point if your thesis is true.

      But obviously it is not for two reasons:

      1) The chief priests all Sadducee (the party in power) do not believe in any Resurrection, but they knew though that simple people do even guards and certainly the majority of Jews in their time. Therefore their bribe is to silence the testimony of the guards that could fuel the belief. That is obvious but only those in denial can bypass this. Also read what Dina said in confirmation:

      Dina said: “The chief priests belonged to the Saduccees. The Pharisees and the Saduccees would never have gotten together to confer on anything, as they did not like and distrusted each other.”

      2) You suppose that Matthew is a cunning artist on a mission to deceive. May be you should redirect this accusations to the Sadducee, unbelievers in many things that pertains to the true Jewish Faith.

      Matthew is not a cunning artist but a witness in the Resurrection and his testimony was first written to the Jews who many converted to Christianity as testified in the book of Acts. Your slander of Matthew is based on your prideful speculation to justified your unbelief and comfort you in your falsehood. Repentance is the key to freedom from your bondage and the lie and deceits of Babylon!

      May the truth prevail in all!

      P.S.: That is what I wrote in in other section and for the record:

      You can not have it both ways. The chief priests were not Pharisees. The Pharisees were with the chief priests before Pilate both not when the guard came back only the chief priests were there. Read carefully before your unfunded accusation. Here is the text:

      11 Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. 12 When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. (Matthew 28)

      The party in power were not the Pharisee but the Sadducee and this party did NOT believe in the Resurrection. They certainly did not think that the Messiah will appear to them. They were firm non-believer in the Resurrection. Note that in Matthew 28 contrary to Matthew 27 (before Pilate request to post guards to protect the body) the Pharisees do not appear in the text. Why? Because Pharisees believed in the Resurrection and if they were aware of the guard story they will have their doubt. Actually why do you think that prominent Pharisees converted to the Faith in Yeshua:

      1)Nicodemus
      2)Gamaliel
      3)Saul
      4)Yosef of Arimatheia

      Think about it!

      Peace and many blessings and may the truth prevail in all!

      • Saul Goodman says:

        Hilarious how you repeat claims that we have already refuted, refutations that you never answered to.

        “Matthew is not a cunning artist but a witness in the Resurrection and his testimony was first written to the Jews who many converted to Christianity as testified in the book of Acts.”

        They were so many that 500 years later they had gone out of history, wiped out by the Gentile Church.

        “Actually why do you think that prominent Pharisees converted to the Faith in Yeshua:

        1)Nicodemus
        2)Gamaliel
        3)Saul
        4)Yosef of Arimatheia”

        I have refuted you days ago about Gamaliel and how it comes from pseudo clementine litterature.

      • Sharbano says:

        How would YOU know Matthew was a witness. You only have speculation of the author of the book. We know of the book of Matthew and how it distorts Tanach. We also know about the book of Acts when it comes to Stephen. Considering the people of that time didn’t have ready access to the Real Scriptures they were unaware of all the inconsistencies their books had throughout. This was further compounded by the choice of Jsus to seek out, specifically the ignorant. He dared not have knowledgeable Jews in his charade.
        It wouldn’t be the first time Xtians have “Claimed” some Rabbi has endorsed their religion. And so it is with Gamliel. The internet abounds with such false reports. This is the result by which Xtianity has YET to convince a single Torah Jew to believe in this nonsense. We all know the origins of this religion, Greco-Roman, and their texts has their origins there. It is why Xtianity puts such emphasis on a “Greek Septuagint”. It is the continuation of the religion of demi-gods.

        • Saul Goodman says:

          Sharbano, also notice that for the Early Church, and it’s unanimous, the Gospel of Matthew was written in hebrew, and no one knows who translated it in greek. Wich means that what we have today is a copy of a copy of a translation of a copy of a copy. Also, “St” Jerome and “St” Remi, both Church Fathers, the translator of Matthew changed the original hebrew texts in some places. So, basically, we have a totaly made up book.

        • ChristianPaul says:

          Sharbano peace to you!

          Gamaliel in the Eastern Orthodox Church is venerated as a Saint. Why would we venerate a Jewish Rabbi??

          Also how do we know Matthew… as you have your Oral Torah we have also our Oral Holy Tradition. For not everything was written down in Holy Scriptures…

          How do you know to make proper Shabbat? How do we know how to celebrate properly the Holy Sacrifice? Oral Torah!!

          May the truth prevail in all!

          • Saul Goodman says:

            “Gamaliel in the Eastern Orthodox Church is venerated as a Saint. Why would we venerate a Jewish Rabbi??”

            Because the pseudo clementine litterature made up a story and you believed it. I have refuted you on Gamaliel, stop running!

            And as far as your oral tradition about Matthew is concerned, here is your Oral Tradition:

            ” for the Early Church, and it’s unanimous, the Gospel of Matthew was written in hebrew, and no one knows who translated it in greek. Wich means that what we have today is a copy of a copy of a translation of a copy of a copy. Also, “St” Jerome and “St” Remi, both Church Fathers, the translator of Matthew changed the original hebrew texts in some places. So, basically, we have a totaly made up book.”

            You know, ignoring my refutations won’t do any good to you, since all those reading the comments can see you run.

          • Dina says:

            Chris Lion wrote: “Why would we venerate a Jewish Rabbi??”

            What a hateful thing to say, Chris Lion. Why would you venerate a Jewish rabbi? The implication being, how could a Jewish rabbi possibly be good enough or kind enough or moral enough to be venerated?

            Jewish rabbis are despicable, who in their right mind would want to venerate them?

            Ugh.

      • Jim says:

        C. Paul,

        I never claimed Matthew was clever. He is not even competent. His obvious misrepresentations of the prophets are a great contribution to proving the falsity of his book. If he were clever, he would have omitted them.

        I am in a hurry right now, so I will leave off discussion of the Sadducees until later.

        I do find it amusing, however, that Christians attempt to trot out a few Pharisees (whom they declare prominent) as believers as if this proves anything. If the testimony of a few Pharisees is strong, how much stronger the greater number that did not follow after Jesus? Only one of the ones you claimed was prominent, Gamliel, and there is no evidence that he converted to faith in Jesus. Saul was assuredly not a Pharisee. By the NT account he was working for the Sadducees. His claim that he was a Pharisee is unlikely. It is even more unlikely that he was a student of Gamliel, who apparently did not wish Christians persecuted as Paul practiced. The other two are not prominent as far as I know. Perhaps R’ Blumenthal can tell us if they were greatly respected men whose works have been preserved by the Jewish people, due to their great wisdom and erudition.

        Your argument is hollow. It could easily and more strongly be reversed: “Actually why do you think that [the vast majority of actually] prominent Pharisees [did] not convert to the Faith in Yeshua… Think about it”.

        Jim

        P.S. As you have shown yourself to be Lion, I am still waiting for the retraction to your statement that non-Jews are called “dogs” in Tanach. Such hateful language ought not have been employed in the first place. But since you were shown to be incorrect, you ought to have the decency to retract the statement. I await your retraction.

      • Jim says:

        Lion,

        One other short comment: You do not know that Matthew was a witness to the resurrection. Just his saying so does not make it so. There is good reason to doubt him. After all, he lied about what was written in Isaiah, Hosea, Micah, and the Psalms. His fabrications are well known.

        A man can say he saw something and it not be true. Muhammad claimed an angel sat on his chest; you do not follow Islam based on his testimony. Nor do you follow Joseph Smith, who claimed an angel gave him plates and claimed other witnesses besides.

        I certainly cannot prove that Matthew did not see a risen Jesus. But I can assess the story and see if it is credible. Matthew misrepresents the words of Tanach, so I have good reason to doubt his honesty. Moreover, Jesus did not show himself publicly. It was 47 days after the supposed resurrection that the disciples claimed Jesus came back from the dead. And they had no Jesus to show for it. Can I prove that they did not see him? No, but the claim is not credible.

        Jim

  6. Jim says:

    Lion Christian, Charles, et al,

    Regarding the Sadducees disbelief in the resurrection at the end of days, this has no bearing upon the resurrection of Jesus. They did not deny that one could be brought back by a miracle, as far as I know. They did not, for example, deny the resurrection of the Shunamite woman’s son through Elisha as far as I know. They denied the general resurrection of the dead.

    This has little to do with the resurrection of Jesus. I know that Christians see it as the first and necessary resurrection, but the Sadducees would not need to see it that way to acknowledge it as a single event. It is not demanded logically from Jesus’ resurrection that there be a general resurrection of the dead later, any more than the supposed resurrection of Lazarus demands it or the resurrection of the Shunamite woman’s son. So, they need not object to it as a special event based on their disbelief in the resurrection at the end of days.

    And nothing in their response to the news of the guards suggests this view. They do not ask what happened to the body. They do not accuse the guards of lying or dereliction of duty. They do not express at all the idea that resurrections are impossible. They are not looking for another explanation. They are inventing it through a bribe. The Sadducees denial of the resurrection of the dead has no bearing upon the singular event of Jesus’ resurrection. They need not deny his resurrection to deny the general resurrection. Nor does disbelief in the latter necessitate disbelief in the former.

    Jim

    • ChristianPaul says:

      Peace to you Jim!

      This is pure Speculation! Ask any Pharisee if the Sadducee believed in the Resurrection intended by the Messiah. Sadducee were unbelievers a political party of reigning priests.

      The Sadducees

      The Sadducees were elitists who wanted to maintain the priestly caste, but they were also liberal in their willingness to incorporate Hellenism into their lives, something the Pharisees opposed. The Sadducees rejected the idea of the Oral Law and insisted on a literal interpretation of the Written Law; consequently, they did not believe in an after life, since it is not mentioned in the Torah. The main focus ofSadducee life was rituals associated with the Temple.

      Source:http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/sadducees_pharisees_essenes.html

      • Jim says:

        C. Paul,

        This is no answer to what I wrote. I did not deny that the Sadducees denied the resurrection of the dead. Stating a fact I did not deny demonstrates nothing regarding the argument.

        Jim

        P.S. I still await your retraction on the claim that Tanach calls all gentiles “dogs”.

  7. Jim, Since lots of people discussed already your post I won’t repeat myself. I am kind of busy to really write more like I wanted but I will tr to focus on that one issue.
    Let’s ask yourself a question what did Matthew intend to fabricate by the way he wrote chapter 28? I am focusing just on that one you discussed in your post. What is the main reason Matthew writes? To testify about life and death and resurrection of jesus and it’s purpose together along with independent writers who all confirm the same events. Matthew is not even the first witness/ author to the gospels. We can make different conclusions from chapter 28; whether the leaders expected Jesus resurrection or not and make our own theories based on that and conclusions but they do not lead anywhere. Your point of view sees the events in a certain way as a fabrication based on the presented facts regarding the guards via the leaders. IF YOU REALLY EXAMINE THE VERSES YOU CAN TELL THAT THE WAY YOU VIEW THINGS ARE NOT THE ONLY WAY AND THAT YOUR CONCLUSIONS ARE BASED ON YOUR NOT COMPLETE EXAMINATION.

    You said ”
    “And nothing in their response to the news of the guards suggests this view. They DO NOT ASK what happened to the body. They DO NOT ACCUSE the guards of lying or dereliction of duty. They DO NOT express at all the idea that resurrections are impossible. They are NOT looking for another explanation. They are inventing it through a bribe.”
    The obvious point is you presume no other conversation took place except decision of bribing. There were no questions asked, no other explanation offered. That would be really unrealistic if this is all what took place. One thing is that the gospels are simply not books that will report every single word spoken between the people they are discussing. But we also CAN’T SAY that any of the above mentioned suggestions were never offered and questions asked!
    ” And when they were assembled with the elders, and HAD TAKEN COUNSEL,(..)
    they gave large money unto the soldiers.”
    So we can surely say that their final decision was proceeded by a counsel .

    If that final solution to the problem is bribing, the question is why to change a story? Why not keep it the way the leaders ‘believed’? The body is stolen so if I believe it, I do not have a need to bribe the witnesses. Do I?
    So where do you see a fabrication in that story? If Matthew tries to make up a tale of a resurrection that never took place why not to write that everybody witnessed it? Why not to add as much credibility as possible so that the reader doesn’t need to evaluate anything but just accept? Why to add the enemy and unbelievers? Why to mention any mistrust? It is rather unlikely to create a story which you want everybody to believe while adding the unbelievers, opposition and all sorts of obstacles.

    ” Moreover, Jesus did not show himself publicly”.It was 47 days after the supposed resurrection that the disciples claimed Jesus came back from the dead.”
    Who says that? What are the other gospels reporting? The account of resurrected Jesus with his disciples and others from reports from his resurrection day till weeks after.
    Mary Magdalene ( John 20;11, mark 16;9),
    The other women ( Matth 28;8-10),
    Peter ( Luke 24;34, 1 cor 15;5)
    The two on the road to Emmaus ( luke 24;13-35, Mark 16)
    11 of his disciples ( except Thomas- Luke 24;36-43, John 20;19-23)
    Then Thomas,
    12 disciples 8 days later ( 1 cor 15;5, John 20;24-29)
    7 disciples at the sea of Tiberias ( john 21;1-23)
    500 followers ( 1 cor 15;6)
    James ( 1 cor 15;6)
    12 disciples at the ascension ( Acts 1;3-12)

    “Can I prove that they did not see him? No, but the claim is not credible. ”

    Lets ( for the sake of the discussion ) ask; If he did not rise from the dead , then what could have happened to his body?
    I would say that the earliness of these accounts in the 4 gospels, at a time with hostile witnesses would have made fabrication unlikely and dangerous. There is agreement on the main facts and great variety in the witness given and they are not a mare repetition of some standardized story but each witness reporting from his own particular point.
    So lets examine what could have happened to the body if he didn’t rise back to life.

    Enemies taking the body would easily have a chance to make a public declaration of a falsehood of the events and his failure while displaying the body and humiliating all jesus’ believers. But we know that didn’t take place.
    It is also equally unlikely that Jesus’ friends took the body because after his crucifixion they were profoundly disappointed and discouraged man . It is absurd to think that under these conditions they would invents any scheme and proclamation with courage and faith and joy return of their Lord. Their ‘new hope ‘ would surely died out and leave them as a disappointed failures of a some type ;new Christians movement’ that would have no fuel to continue to grow.
    Stories of disappointed believers would be surely well going around, but there is no such record even among their enemies. In the event that the story was fabricated ,some critic or disappointed ex-Christians would surely come up with attempts to create another alternative. But the only explanation for the rise of church that has even been given is that the early Christians believed that Jesus had been raised back from the dead.

  8. YPF, I read that once and responded to it like1.5 half ago. It all goes back to the same; having a scapegoat of ‘another god’ who shows his love and dependence on the Father and leads others to repentance and God. Another thing is God never intended to tempt his people with miracles beyond the resurrection that’s why he didn’t even mentioned about such a test.
    For some Jews it is clear for the others not. Last time one Jewish friend share with some facts relating to the coming Yom Kippur. After he finished he added; that in all the ‘ ceremony ‘this was such a powerful picture of the wonderful promise of God’s forgiveness revealing the spiritual truth for the NEED FOR SOMEONE TO TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR WRONGDOING AWAY FROM US .
    For him jesus is not a test but the promised king that will come.

    • Sharbano says:

      NEED FOR SOMEONE TO TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR WRONGDOING AWAY FROM US

      One does NOT go into Yom Kippur Without FIRST correcting the wrongdoing. So, you are saying the best part of Xtianity is Not To Face Your Own Responsibility. That is sad indeed. What need would there be for prisons. A great many have had conversions while in jail therefore they should be immediately set free. They are No Longer responsible for their actions. This is just Unbelievable. It is abundantly clear WHY it is so many are attracted to this religion. I can simply Get Out of any responsibility. If a Xtian commits a crime why should he be punished for it. He bears no responsibility as the wrongdoing has been taken away.

      • Sharbano, you took my sentence out of spoken context. He referred to the symbolic use of animals carrying away peoples guilt but he is aware that Y K is proceeded by days of preparing and repentance . No ‘sin’ offering , no loos of life does anything to someone who deliberately holds on to his sinful life. Even NT teaches that! You have pitiful understanding of us. You think people just need to believe in jesus and nothing else matters. Nobody comes to Jesus just for forgiveness without first acknowledging his need for a savior and acknowledging his own imperfections and failures. His sharing was in a letter. I didn’t copy you the whole letter for you to make conclusions based on one sentence.

        • Sharbano says:

          You reply doesn’t invalidate my proposition. As you say, acknowledging the need for a savior and one’s own imperfections and failures; which doesn’t answer the question of “responsibility” of one’s actions. I don’t recall anywhere in the Xtian text that speaks of personal responsibility.
          If I were to steal someone’s ox and sell it and then sometime later do that which you state, I would be forgiven. Nothing in the Xtian text says I must FIRST make compensation. Your text Does state that Torah law is abrogated because is points to sin and this sin is “taken care of”. As Jsus once said, ‘go and sin no more’. What about the owner of the ox who was harmed. It is insufficient to say he must do the ‘right thing’. This is the quandary that Xtianity has. Xtianity has abrogated that which had all the answers, Torah.

          • Sharbano, what did the Zacchaeus do after he came to jesus and realized his sinfulness?
            Luke 19
            “And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, for so much as he also is a son of Abraham.I can’t tell you everybody’s story. Everybody’s life is different and He leads you to whatever you have to do.

          • Sharbano says:

            Well, this must be where evangelicals adjure their flocks to give until they can give no more. Is it to say that because This man gives half that he warrants a greater reward. It is as if he is saying that because he gives More he is the better person.
            This is given as an example of one man But is this considered a Xtian commandment. I have never ever heard of a Xtian citing This reference before gaining salvation. If it is Not required then it is meaningless. We are back to the same proposition I put forth. We’ve only discussed the monetary circumstances but there are others that would also require contemplation. Without the “law”, as Xtians define Torah, there is No justice. Justice, as defined by Torah is called legalisms by Xtians. Without justice how can there be salvation. It is rather convenient that the only answer is “He will lead the person”. The result is ‘personal responsibility’ is solely ‘up to the person’ and the victim is left without recourse. I would thus conclude those who decry “legalisms” are those who most shun the idea of ‘personal responsibility’.

          • Sharbano, “This man gives half that he warrants a greater reward. It is as if he is saying that because he gives More he is the better person.” You do not get it. This is a story of a tax collector and he knows all his dishonesty. he simply says he will reimburse every dishonesty he did as this became a need of his heart . If he says he will pay back twice more or something like that he doesn’t do it for a better reward. The decisions come from his joy and he wants to do it what is right this time and from then on..
            And you can’t judge every christian not knowing what is in their hearts when they come to God. You are bringing up some examples and think every body carries the same guilt . and should act the same .
            “The result is ‘personal responsibility’ is solely ‘up to the person’ and the victim is left without recourse.”
            Oh really? Tell me how king David’ victim ; Bathsheba’ husband was left with a recourse after he was killed? Did God condemn David when he could not do nothing more but repent?

  9. Jim says:

    Eric,

    I am sorry not to have responded to your latest comment. I am not ignoring you; I have been busy. Tomorrow, I do hope to finally answer, or at least begin to answer you. In the meantime, I remind you of these posts:

    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/what-do-miracles-prove/#comment-22122

    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/what-do-miracles-prove/#comment-22230

    I believe that both of these can help us establish a common framework from which we can argue.

    I know you have been busy too. Please do not take my reposting these links as a complaint or a remark upon your negligence.

    Jim

    • Jim, in response to your long 2 comments;
      I do not expect you to agree with me. I am just sharing my point of view of the facts you asked about.

      You said ;”If we agree on this, then can you now admit that certain Christian practices have been unfair and manipulative.”
      What others have on mind is not necesserily on mine so I can’t tell you and judge their motives. I do not discusse others and their work unless I know these people and understand their motives.
      And the example you listed about the disguised Christian service is unknown to me. We go over Passover in mine not to attract Jews but to get to know the meaning of it.
      You are addressing it because of me calling you ‘ genuis in manupulation’ that touched you. Maybe I used too strong words but your post definitelly intentionally or not has the manupulative character. And what did I really mean by it?
      Getting the public to your post in which you express your straight judgement of the facts clasifying them as a lie and fabrication every few episodes .( I may be exagerating) I am talking about that chapter 28 . You do it before proving an argument and as we discussed on that post your concept is not the only one and your point of view doesn’t have to qualify something as a lie as there is many other sides of the story that you omitted but imposing your final judgement. Simple examples; it is a fabrication to you because the outcome of the story that doesn’t suit you ; jewish leaders via the bribed guards is not the way you think it should have gone. Guards are not in danger of being punished , Jews didn’t believe the resurrection and why they changed the story etc, why the bribing. It all proves explainable and logical in all discussed comments and I already talked about in my previous comment relating to it.
      But just a short going over;
      What would matthew try to fabricate in that chapter ?
      your possibilities;
      1)that the resurrection didn’t happen but he wants to sound it as it did? No. Such ‘ fabrication’ doesn’t go along with other testimonies.
      2)he creates a NEW story not known to others that some prophet rose from the dead? No, since other gosples already existed before Matthew and gave a testimony of Jesus being risen.
      Why does he write of the guards being bribed? Why doesn’t he allow them to speak of an event they really witnessed? That would promote his message even more.The reason the guards are bribed is so that they would not share what they really witnessed. If Jesus is not around let better ‘sell’ it as a stolen body story ( whether they believed he rose or not it doesn’t matter) . What would Matthew want to achieve by the end of the story as such? To put the leaders in a bad light? No, again if his purpose is to convince the jewish audience of somebody that didn’t exist but he wants them believ e that he did or that a false prophet was really a true one , Matthew ( if it was up to him creating a story) he would have included the leaders as approving believers to show to all that if the leaders believed so should everyone.

      Now back to the to other points you brought up.
      “Recently, there has been a discussion on Psalm 41. Jesus applied one verse to himself. To do so, he had to ignore the rest of the psalm. ”
      It may sound it like that to someone at the first look if you do not go to a deeper study to understand what actually the words ” so that the scriptures many be fulfilled” meant. We can’t also judge that verse based on one gospel but it requires also to look at it within the other 3 reports of it by Matthew, Luke Mark. The question is; was the goal of the authors to really manupulate the public? Doing it undependently as they didn’t come together to that conclussion? The gospels were written not at the same time. If yes, why doesn’t ‘fabricative’ matthew copy the ‘froud’ of John and use it to his benefit ? Why doesn’t John add to jesus words that the words from the psalm are prophecy about jesus? He doesn’t . He would have a perfect chance to add such words so should have done others. Only John brings the words of Jesus that say “I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.”
      The conversational contex of that is that jesus knows that he will be betrayed.( Luke) Then he goes that he knows whom he has chosen ; his disciples but one is unfaitful and has to be allowed to go against jesus( betray him) . He can’t be stopped so that the scriptures can be fulfilled which relates to all what was predicted about his purpose of his coming that he would have to suffer and die for others. In order for that to happen he had to submit himself to what was coming ahread instead of running away. He had a choice and could tell Judas’ I know what you are going to do ; getting all the solder come after me for my arresting” but he had to let it happen.
      ….
      “Many times, it has been pointed out that Matthew misrepresents the words of the prophets.”

      We need to search the motives and understand Matthew’ point of view before we can say anything. You say ” he quotes with alarming frequency”. Again you add those expressive words making the message more negativelly appealing. Is Matthew stupid enough to have a reason to keep misquoting scriptures why confirming about the events the others also wrote? Based on all the gospels it doesn’t look like his purpose is to impose a non existing story.

      “When he quotes Isaiah 7:14, he leaves out verse 15.”
      The question is why he should quote all about when the point is to announce the childs birth of great importance?
      When he guotes such events he brings up the words spoken at an earlier time in redemptive history, words that were also pointing to a fuller and complete redemptive future that found fulfilment in jesus ( according to what’s written in NT) . So are all other of his quotations of such character.

      As far as quotation of Hosea, “…out of Egypt I have called my son” . First of all Jesus as the Messiah is shown by Matthew here as the representative of israel who fallows the steps of the nation and fulfills God’s will completelly. If israel as God’s son was called out of Egypt so had to be God’s son Jesus . So Matthew is not confusing Hosea’s text with jesus by saying ‘ so that it would be fulfilled’ as it was just about jesus. The original language, the Greek, uses a word that has, besides ” fulfilled” also other meanings. The Greek word “plero-o” has to do with “becoming full”, “to render perfect”, or “to carry through to the end”. It is in this sense that Matthew uses the word . So what Matthew then is saying is that; God first called His son out of Egypt. That was Israel. This we find in Hosea 11:1. But he is also calling his son ( Jesus) out of Egypt by whom God’s will will be carried to the end/perfected.

      “When Paul separates the verse from the psalm, “There is none righteous, no not one” from what comes before, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no god’”, this is a blatant misrepresentation.”

      Let’s see ; In Rom 3;10 Paul says ” Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; 11THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;

      You said that “David was not writing that a man cannot be righteous. He was writing about those that deny God. ”
      What does Paul want to say by bringing all that what david said before ?
      Paul says that we are simply not ‘outstanding’ the others, that we are not better as we all are under a sin. ( v9) He speaks in the context of our sinful nature that there is no man that would not sin. Even looking at so known ‘righteous’ David his righteousness was not based on his actions but trust in God . Another words if we want to call ourselves righteous we are not better as we are all sinners.

      • Jim says:

        Eric,

        Since the question before us is, “Who is trustworthy?” it is quite pertinent how Christian missionaries behave. You need not judge a motive to judge a practice. I assume that Christians mean well. That does not mean that their tactics are proper, however.

        Perhaps we should slow this down. Let us examine one case, one to which we both have access, so no assumptions need to be made. A website calls itself jewsforjudaism2000. (It’s a wordpress site.) That site is not teaching Judaism but Christianity. Is that fair usage? Is the author of the site trustworthy? Is he not advertising falsely?

        I do not assume that his motives are bad. He probably believes himself to be performing the greatest good. Nevertheless, his practice is deceptive. Would you call him trustworthy?

        Let us take an opposite case. I sincerely believe that it is to the detriment of people for them to offer devotion to a man and to believe that a man needed to die in their place. I am firmly convinced that one does not need Jesus to worship God and that, in fact, Jesus is an impediment. Now, if I were to start up a website called “True Christianity” or “Christianity 2000”, or worse, to take the name of an organization and weave it into my website’s address, something like “Jews for Jesus 2000,” would you not consider this false advertising? Would it matter that my motives were good, that I meant well? Would you consider me trustworthy or a manipulator?

        Please answer honestly. You have said that you do not like to judge the motives of others. Yet you have spent time judging the Pharisees, based not on what they said but what others said about them. But I do not ask you to judge the motives of Christians at all. I only ask you to judge the correctness of their actions.

        Is it right for a Christian site to advertise itself falsely in an attempt to lure in the unsuspecting Jew who is looking for Jews for Judaism? Can we consider this fair play? Is such a person trustworthy?

        Jim

        • Jim, to that I will tell you that many messianic jews consider their belief that jesus is the Messiah as a true judaism. This type of blog is not the first one .I just saw a blog on which jews a themselves stated; ” Nothing could be more Jewish than to follow Israel’s Messiah Jesus. To them jesus – Messiah is part of true judaism. If someone had these motives to them true judaism is including Jesus their future King.

          • Jim says:

            Eric,

            This is mere sophistry. The author, studyb, must surely know that whether or not he defines “Judaism” as “Christianity,” most people will not know that when they see the address of the site. They will believe his site is a site devoted to “Judaism” as the term is commonly understood. Not only that, he did not just link his site to the idea of “Judaism,” but employed the term “Jews for Judaism,” an obvious effort to attract those looking for that site devoted to authentic Judaism.

            Moreover, his site is obviously a missionary site. If you do a little reading, and as I am sure you are already aware, the author devotes his few writings to attempting to prove that Jesus is the Messiah and a true prophet. (What I do not see on his site is an explanation of his use of the word “Judaism.”)

            Whether or not he believes he has the true Judaism is irrelevant. He knows that when someone reads Jews for Judaism, they are not expecting Christianity. It is a bait and switch. It is deceptive.

            It is not trustworthy. And if one is going to go about proclaiming others to be untrustworthy, it is incumbent upon him that he tends to the beam in his own eye.

            Jim

          • Dina says:

            Eric, you had best respond to Jim honestly. I no longer think you are sincere but a scoundrel. Studyb? Where do I know that screen name from, I wonder?

            I do not know how you can defend such a disgraceful tactic. How do you sleep at night? Is that what Jesus is for? To soothe the conscience of a dishonest man?

            Shame on you.

  10. Jim says:

    Eric,

    One of the cleverest bits of rhetoric throughout all of history must be the Christian argument for the resurrection. Apologists sometimes say that the whole of history revolves around an empty tomb. They will argue that if Jesus had not come back from the dead, all the critics of Christianity had to do was produce a body. The missing body is considered one of the great strengths of the Christian claim, but this is only the result of the Church’s talent for propaganda. In reality, what the Church considers a strength is a great weakness. In modern parlance, the missing body is not a feature of Christianity but a bug.

    The Christian apologist has removed the burden of proof from his own neck and saddled it around others in a bit of propaganda. He has demanded that the critic produce a body. He demands that an explanation be given for the empty tomb. But this is all cover up. The burden of proof rests with the Christian.

    There are many reasons why a tomb might be empty. It is not for the unbeliever to offer an alternate explanation. He can readily admit that he does not know why the grave is empty. But an empty grave, by itself, does not imply a resurrection.

    Imagine if you will, that I were to assert that a dead man had come back as a zombie. The reader will likely be skeptical and rightly so. But now, let us also say that I show you an empty grave. Will that prove that there was a zombie? Not at all. The grave could be empty for numerous reasons, many of them more likely than zombification. The fact that the reader does not know why the grave is empty does not mean that he should accept my outrageous claim. The one thing I have not shown him is a zombie.

    The same holds true for the resurrection. An empty grave does not equate to a once dead but now living man. The burden of proof is on those that claim Jesus was resurrected. It is not up to the disbeliever to produce a dead body. It is up to the missionary to produce a live one. This, they did not do.

    Jesus did not walk the streets of Jerusalem, showing himself to the people. He did not present himself to the chief priests, announcing his resurrection. According to the gospels, Jesus appeared to a handful of people. He made no public appearances, only private ones. And only after he left his disciples were they to make public his resurrection.

    According to the Book of Acts, the disciples began teaching about the resurrection on the day of Pentecost. This was 50 days after the crucifixion, roughly. (The gospels disagree on the day of the crucifixion, whether it was on Passover or the day after). And it was (roughly) 47 days after the supposed resurrection. At that time, Jesus had already ascended to heaven. Even according to the NT, then, the resurrection was not publicized until after Jesus was no longer present. The three thousand persons that became believers on that day did not do so because they saw the risen Jesus. To the contrary, they were swayed by the preaching of Peter.

    This timeline is important, because Jesus was supposed to come back after three days in the grave. The Christians say that it happened, but that only a few people saw him. When they began telling others about the resurrection, seven weeks after his death, there was no evidence to back up their claim. But it would also be hard to prove the opposite. First, there was plenty of time to steal the body if one or more of the disciples had been so inclined. They did not need to steal it in three days, because they did not tell anyone that Jesus came back until 50 days after his death. This gave them seven weeks to take the body, if that was what happened. Moreover, seven weeks of death might make it hard to recognize a body. If the critics did produce the body of Jesus, it would likely have been hard to identify him by that time. Remember that Jesus was not embalmed.

    It is also important to note that the Church put forth the notion that one was to believe without proof. According to John, Thomas was not with the other disciples when Jesus first appeared to them. Because of this, he did not believe them, and said he would not unless he could make a thorough examination of Jesus himself. When he did make that examination, he was not praised for his demand for evidence. On the contrary, Jesus blessed those who would believe even though they had not seen. In fact, all through John, those who ask for proof are treated with contempt. It is clear that one should not seek proof.

    And, in fact, the Church has no proof to give. By the time the disciples tell the world about Jesus, there is no Jesus to present to the world. One must ‘take their word for it’. The Church must have recognized the weakness of this position. This is why they have launched a propaganda campaign that denies them the need to bring proof. They teach that it is better to believe without evidence of truth. They appeal to an empty grave. And they attempt to make the critic responsible to produce a dead body. All of this points to the lack of credibility of the Christian claim. If they had a living Jesus, they would have produced him. Instead, they tried to make a virtue of blind faith and push the burden of proof on those who did not believe. It was a clever bit of propaganda that appealed to the lack of a dead body as proof of a resurrection. But we see that it is actually not a feature, but a bug. They could not produce a live body.

    Jim

  11. Jim says:

    Eric,

    You have asserted that the authors of the gospels were witnesses. This is not true.

    First, only two of the gospels are supposed to have been written by witnesses, Matthew and John. It would be difficult for you to prove that Matthew’s account is true because Mark and Luke ‘back him up,’ so to speak. The eyewitness is not corroborated by second- and third-hand witnesses, but the other way around.

    Second, if we accept Matthew’s gospel as a first hand account, we run into further troubles. The author is clearly not making an account of his experiences with Jesus. He writes of the experiences of Mary and Joseph to which he was not a witness. He writes of wise men from the east meeting with Herod to which again he was not a witness. He writes of Jesus’ private experience in the wilderness to which there were no witnesses. Nor was he witness to the calling of Peter, Andrew, James and John. Nor does he appear to be a witness to the Sermon on the Mount. He was not a witness to the crucifixion. Nor was he witness to the story in question, the bribing of the guards.

    One of the more amazing claims the Church makes is that these books were written by witnesses. Of all the gospels, only one was supposed to have been written by a witness to the Transfiguration, John. Without looking, can you tell me which gospel is the only one not to record the event? That’s right, John! The only book purportedly to have been written by a witness to the Transfiguration does not mention it. I guess he thought turning water into wine was more significant.

    Third, the gospels do not corroborate each other. Matthew and John, the only two supposed to have been written by actual witnesses do not agree on the date of the crucifixion. They disagree on many of the facts surrounding the resurrection as well. If you wish, I will detail them in another post. Matthew and Luke also disagree on many issues.

    Eric, when you ignore evidence, you do your cause grievous injury. Matthew clearly misused scripture. To ignore this malfeasance on the say-so of other men whom may not be trustworthy is untenable. Moreover, it does your own credibility grave injury when you ignore such blatant lies but insist that Matthew is trustworthy and those he maligns (whose works you have not read and whose deeds are unknown to you) are untrustworthy. You cannot accept the testimony of one who so readily perjures himself.

    Jim

    • Jim, I have no time to go over all your emails, but will discuss a few of your points;
      “When God wanted the people to know that Moses was His chosen mouthpiece, He granted them all revelation. In Exodus 19, God tells Moses that the reason for the Sinai revelation is that now the people will know to believe in Moses. There will be no question that he speaks the words of God.”
      Then look again at the exodus story and see after how many events did God establish that witness of speaking in front of entire gathered nation? Was it’s purposes to lead people out of Egypt so that they would believe Moses ? No. Was it the first sign so that people would believe Moses? No. In order to leave Egypt / slavary place people had to relay on Moses ‘ words and confirmation of him telling the truth was accompanied with the miracles of God’s power over the nature, sickness and life. They believed Moses before the revelation on Sinai. Nobody said to Moses ‘ unless God speaks to us personally THEN WE WILL BELIEVE YOU THAT YOU SPEAK WORDS OF GOD.’ Moses role was to lead them into freedom with God’s help. You wanted freedom you obeyed and experienced by following whether he was leading you into freedom. People believed him in all what he said including God requirement before leaving that night which included killing the lamb and putting the blood on the door posts. Don’t you think some questions of doubt couldn’t have been raised because of that idea? YET THEY FOLLOWED.
      Jesus offering freedom from slavery of sin to people is like Moses offering freedom from slavary in Egypt. You want the freedom you go and see if his words do not make you free. The same way people did by following Moses words. Long before revelation on Sinai, contrary to your argument ‘ that God had to first confirm Moses credibility on Sinai’ . Sinai happened after everybody already obeyed and did what Moses said.

      You all admitted that even a sign is not enough so why to look for a sign after sign? ( I am not including believes who do not ‘suffer’ from lack of signs as the ones presented are sufficient) You would argue about a ‘better resurrection sign, Jesus walking all over the streets etc so every single eye saw him-‘ to establish the testimony yet it still would not mean anything.Those who looked for a sign they would still find their reasons not to believe. Simply because they didn’t believe in need of what jesus came with.
      So how many more signs do we need? If Jesus was a froud people would not have the freedom granted they have in him. This is the biggest sign you experience in your heart.

      you said ” But when God wants people, according to you, to believe on Jesus for eternal life, there is no public revelation. This is done in private. A few people are supposed to have seen Jesus, and then, after Jesus has gone from the Earth, they tell people about it. This is no sign whatsoever.”

      People’s belief on eternal life through jesus is not based on guess from watched signs , miracles etc.
      God is our confirmation. He is a giver of revelation to a person; John 6;44-45
      “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”
      Everlasting life means everlasting life with God where your sins you repented from are washed away, atoned for the same way they were done each year when an sacrificed animal was offered in the temple. ( to cover your sins you repented from) .
      Why jesus could say he gives eternal life? Because God sent him to be our atoning and jesus knew the reason he would die was to be covering for our sins.

      • Eric
        By the time the Jews needed to listen to Moses about slaughtering the lamb they had seen the Nile turn into blood for seven days, frogs, lice etc. – national calamities that brought a superpower to its knees- and this was done nationally – not just a few faith healings – and that still wasn’t enough to get the Jews to accept Moses as an eternal teacher – until the Sinai revelation – how does this compare to Jesus’ insignificant career?
        https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/the-exodus-versus-the-resurrection/

        • ypf, I bet if Jesus did all the same what Moses you would still not believe. Besides you are now turning to the power of miracles through which you are trying to compare Moses to jesus’ “career.” Now the miracles mean something to you? And you are skipping that important point that Sinai happened after people decided to believe Moses and did what he said and made lots of their steps in order to leave Egypt.. And the miracle that put the enemy to their knees was not until the ‘enemy’ lost their firstborns.
          Sinai also proved that even national revelation won’t make people obey God so wouldn’t such a great revelation about Jesus make them obey and trust him.
          Besides God did not leave people left out concerning who jesus was either; His voice from heaven was heard by many . Matthew 3;1-17. Mark 9

          • Eric The Scriptures teach that there are two aspects to belief in Moses – One as a redeemer from slavery – Exodus 14:31 and the second as a lawgiver – Exodus 19:9 The first was established through the practical power of his miracles – and Egypt was brought to its knees before the smiting of the firstborn – Exodus 10:7 – but full belief wasn’t achieved until they were practically redeemed Miracles are not nothing – they have the power to establish the authority of a prophet that doesn’t bring a message that contradicts Moses. Jesus did contradict Moses so miracles wouldn’t have helped him – but even if he would have brought a message that does not contradict Moses – he did very little for his credibility. the fact that Christians think that he did more than Moses simply reveals how little they understand about the credibility that God granted Moses

          • Jim says:

            Eric,

            You wrote: “You all admitted that even a sign is not enough so why to look for a sign after sign?” You have misunderstood the argument.

            It is true that a sign is not enough by itself. If there is a question whether or not a man is a prophet, and he performs signs, but then leads one to worship a new god, then we must reject him. And no greater signs, including a resurrection, will prove the man’s message to be true. But we have not asked for any greater signs. Please let me clarify.

            You should understand the context of my comments regarding the resurrection. You, and Christians generally, appeal to the resurrection as a great sign that Jesus’ claims are true. Deuteronomy 13 does not admit your argument. It would be perfectly fine, then, to leave things there. Even if Jesus did come back from the dead, he is not God, and one should not follow him. See my comments regarding whether or not one should worship the sun if told to do so by a resurrected man in one of the two links I provided above.

            But I also think that it is helpful to note that the resurrection is not a credible event. You have called a public appearance a “greater sign”. This is a misunderstanding. That would not be a greater sign, but a sign.

            It is not a sign if a man claims that he will be resurrected on day 3, and when day 3 comes around, he does not reveal himself resurrected. It is not a sign if on day 50, a few people come forward and say that he was resurrected but that he is no longer around, “Just take our word for it.” A sign is something visible.

            Consider this: I can tell you that this morning I walked on water. And this is a sign from God that you should not worship Jesus. Is my claim a sign? No. Anybody can say anything. What if I say that 30 people saw me do it? Will you believe me then? Of course not. Who were these 30 people?

            And what if I take the tack of the Church? What if I say that the only reason you do not believe me is because you love sin? What if I say that you are arrogant, relying upon reason and that you have been blinded by God, because you are of your father, the devil? Will this convince you that my claim to walking on water is a sign? And if not, should I dismiss your reasoned arguments with an accusatory claim: “Those who looked for a sign they would still find their reasons not to believe.”

            This sentence of yours is much more ugly than you intend or than the Church realizes. You have attributed dark motives to us, as if you know our hearts. That is bad enough. But you have also eschewed any common ground for discussion. You are right because you feel you are right. That is all there is to it. And if we do not believe you, then what? We are spiritually blind?

            It is not enough to declare that you are spiritually enlightened and we are not. Declaring yourself to be correct is not the same as demonstrating you are correct. Any cult figure can declare disbelievers to be “sons of the devil” or “suppressive persons” or what have you. (“Suppressive persons” is the scientologists’ term.) Jesus declaring that people come to him by God is not proof that it is so.

            And it is not proof of a resurrection to just say it happened. If you and I had been alive at the time of the resurrection, but had not been a disciple, we would only hear about the resurrection 47 days later and would be given no evidence of the event. So, when you appeal to it as proof that Jesus did not want God dead, I ask “What proof?” There is none, except in your imagination.

            But you are right about this: If Jesus were resurrected, I would still not worship him. One must give his devotion only to HaShem, beside Whom there is no other.

            Jim

          • Jim,what new god is Jesus telling you to worship?? You guys keep adding so much stuff that is not there.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, this is absurd. You belong to a tiny minority of Christians that do not view Jesus as God. Jim is arguing that Jesus pointed to worship of himself; that is the new god that the overwhelming majority of Christians have accepted from the fourth-century council of Nicea until today.

            But making Jesus, a man, the center of your religion, is still idolatrous, it is still a new type of worship that was not taught at Sinai.

          • Dina, The problem is what you do call a worship? Accepting jesus for who he is( Son of God) ? Acknowledging him as the one whom God sent has to be idolatry? Accepting him as our atonement is another worship? Jesus is not calling you to worship him but the Father in heaven! He was asked many times by his disciples about how they should pray etc and he never said; pray to me! ‘ believe just in me’. He never said to anybody ‘ I am your God’ He never said he does things on his own but only what the Father in heaven tells him to do. He showed his relation and dependence to him in every situation! That’s why I say you guys keep adding what is not there based on ‘ because majority does it!” I do not care what majority does but what’s written.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, I have many times pointed out what was different about the worship Jesus supposedly introduced (I don’t believe it was Jesus at all but whoever wrote Christian scripture, primarily Paul, but that is irrelevant).

            As usual, you ignore our arguments. Jesus said he was the only way to God (“I am the way, the truth, and the light, and no one comes to the Father but through me”). That is an entirely new way of worshiping God, unknown to my fathers.

            The need to believe in a literal, physical son of God dying to redeem mankind from sin as the only way to eternal life was also a brand-new concept never heard before by my forefathers.

            Finally, Jesus contradicted much of Mosaic Law, as many writers on this blog such as Jim, Rabbi B., and I have shown you.

            I don’t need Jesus to call me to worship God because I have the Torah to do that for me. As I have said before, if that’s all that Jesus did, I would have no problem with it. But Jesus is not calling people to worship God. He is calling people to worship himself, whether as a god as most Christians understand it or as a human as you understand it.

            “I am the way, the truth and the light and no one comes to the Father but through me” is not “stuff” that we “guys keep adding what is not there.”

          • Dina, “ Jesus said he was the only way to God (“I am the way, the truth, and the light, and no one comes to the Father but through me”). That is an entirely new way of worshiping God, unknown to my fathers.”

            New way or you do not get it what he said? The only way means the only name by which we are saved/redeemed because he is the only way through which our ‘repented’ sins are covered.

            “The need to believe in a literal, physical son of God dying to redeem mankind from sin as the only way to eternal life was also a brand-new concept never heard before by my forefathers.”

            You interpret it wrong again. Believing in jesus is simply part of trusting God not a concept functioning on it’s own deciding about your salvation. God shows you how He redeemed His believers and if you trust Him about it you accept what God said . Accepting jesus is part of our trust in God.
            “Finally, Jesus contradicted much of Mosaic Law, as many writers on this blog such as Jim, Rabbi B., and I have shown you.”
            I know how it goes; examples;”Jesus said ‘”but I tell you..”. The law says 2+2+4. Jesus says “But I tell you …” if you add 1+1+1+1 this also will be 4. This is the way he spoke about the law, laying it out in details so that people would not rely just on words and it’s superficial meaning.

            “ He is calling people to worship himself” this is a lie as I showed it many times before based on what other keep adding. If it was so he would have a chance and introduced you to a prayer addressed to himself yet he teaches everybody to address ” Father in heaven…”

          • Dina says:

            Eric, responding to this: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/matthews-guards-by-jim/#comment-22624

            I argued that Jesus brought a new type of worship that contradicts Deuteronomy 4, namely, the teaching that a mediator was needed to access God and that a man’s death was necessary for the salvation of mankind.

            Your response boils down to: it’s about trusting God and whom He sends as a redeemer, so if you trust in God then you believe in Jesus.

            Seriously? You did not show me why these two things were not a new type of worship, you simply assert that it doesn’t matter because God sent Jesus.

            It’s a bald-faced lie to say that Christianity did not introduce a new type of worship. Never before was it ever taught that you can only get to God through Jesus (I am the way etc.) but the very opposite (Psalm 145:18; Rabbi B. pointed this out several times and you never responded). Never before was it taught that a man’s death is needed to atone for all the sins of all mankind forever. That belief is totally foreign to the Torah.

            For these reasons you have not reconciled your idolatrous beliefs (that put a man at the center of your worship even if you acknowledge that he was not God) with Deuteronomy 4.

            You said it’s a lie that he directs people to himself. Well, I’ll let his own words speak for themselves: “I am the way, the way, the truth, and the light, and no one comes to the Father but by me.”

          • Dina, correcting a line it should be 2+2=4 instead ” The law says 2+2+4.” so that you won’t have to add to your comment my wrong counting;-)

          • Sharbano says:

            As others have pointed out Jsus DID take the Pesach Seder and make it about himself. What is suppose to be about G-D’S redemption of Israel from Egypt, Jsus took it and said to remember him. He mentioned NOTHING about G-d. Therefore we Can conclude Jsus considered himself more important than G-d. There is a term for this, duplicitous.

            Therefore, when you say :
            “He showed his relation and dependence to him in every situation! That’s why I say you guys keep adding what is not there ”
            It is not a factual statement. Furthermore, if G-d is the one who is the one to exalt then why is it the Xtian text is ALL about Jsus. The difference with Moshe was he related the “Words of G-d”, which the Torah reflects. As it is written, “G-d said to Moshe saying…”. Or, other times Moshe would say he would consult G-d on the matter. Jsus, on the other hand, purports to speak for G-d without ever actually speaking TO him.

          • sharbano, “As others have pointed out Jsus DID take the Pesach Seder and make it about himself. What is suppose to be about G-D’S redemption of Israel from Egypt, Jsus took it and said to remember him.”

            You really mixed up a couple different thing together and created strange conclusion. Remembering him relates to the same known fact that -God made us familiar with long before – that there was blood shared for our sins. Why should his life offered for us stay anonymous? As “remember me” is a problem??
            Also show me where does Jesus say that he made Pesach about himself or that he tries to claim that redemption from Egypt was about him?
            It is John the Baptist who gives a testimony about him ; John 1;29 “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! “
            He doesn’t make redemption from Egypt about himself but through John the Baptist God is pointing out to the fact that like the the lamb had to be offered to save people so does Jesus die for our redemption.
            “He mentioned NOTHING about G-d.” Read entire John and tell me where? To me he relates to the Father all the time. There is almost no chapter where he wouldn’t mention the Father and His will.

          • Sharbano says:

            Now you are distorting the Pesach Seder. I suggest you read through a Haggadah and see what is remembered, and NOT one of messianic Xtian origin. Once again you are back to the blood when previously noting the two goats you discounted the blood in regards to the Azazel goat.
            You bring up another distortion with this and taking away the sin of the world. The Passover lamb had Nothing at all to do with expiation of sin.
            What you Have done here is divert the subject matter by citing text that is not relevant to the subject. The point is; Jsus said do this in remembrance of “ME”. It can’t be any more explicit.

          • Sharbano, passover lamb ‘saved’ your from God’s wrath. Do you think God would spare your house if you refused to do what He said and refused applying the lamb’s blood on the doorposts? ( if you lived at that time) According to you God brought up a strange idea that everybody just followed not thinking about what it meant.

          • Sharbano says:

            That commandment was proactive and Not some remedy for sins resulting in G-d’s wrath.

            Again you have been consistent, in that you come with diversions so as to avoid confronting the difficulties that Xtianity has created.

          • Sharb, No, but your firstborn would NOT be spared despite being Jewish, if would undergo the same judgement that of those whose house was not marked. And that doesn;t mean anything to you.

          • Sharbano says:

            “Sharb, No, but your firstborn would NOT be spared despite being Jewish, if would undergo the same judgement that of those whose house was not marked. And that doesn;t mean anything to you.”

            Your train of logic doesn’t follow the points made. You tried to make an assumption that didn’t follow the event. You failed to take in consideration the words “Proactive commandment”. This refutes your previous contention.

          • Sharbano, you did not answer; would they die or not? The answer is they would. You don;t want to admit that.

          • Sharbano says:

            You’re once again evading the point. We are not talking about dying but about whether or not is was proactive. You want to change the point because, again, as in many times past, you are unable to contradict the initial point.

          • Dina says:

            Jim, my apologies for presuming to speak for you. I fired off a reply without thinking first, which I am usually careful not to do! You can produce a much more powerful and eloquent argument in response than I ever could, and I look forward to reading it :).

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            I am responding to your comment addressed to Rabbi B. https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/matthews-guards-by-jim/#comment-22571

            Your argument is not with Rabbi B. but with God. You’ve been asked to explain Exodus 19:9. Instead of explaining it, you argue that it is meaningless because some Jews rebelled, etc. Please explain Exodus 19:9. Was God just being stupid in your estimation, God forbid? What was the point of God’s words in that verse, then?

            Also, I looked up the reference in Matthew and it is not clear how many people heard the voice from heaven; it could very well have only been Jesus and John. If the other people who had been baptized stuck around for Jesus’s baptism, we don’t know how many there were. Certainly, no one related to me, none of my ancestors, testifies that he witnessed any of this.

          • Jim says:

            Eric,

            If Jesus taught that he was god as some Christians understand it (and was not an invention of ‘us guys,’) then he was preaching a new and foreign god. If not, he still was not a prophet, as he placed his word above God’s.

            If you believe that people ought not add things to the text, then you should be aware that Torah does not teach that a human being must be sacrificed or even that he may be sacrificed to atone for the sins of others. It does not teach a messiah who must die to free others from slavery to sin. Tanach does not say that the Messiah would be born of a virgin or that he would come out of Egypt. it does not say that no one is righteous. Torah does not say that it is impossible to keep God’s commandments. It does not say that a prophet that does not stay dead is a true prophet, regardless of his message.

            Jim

          • Jim,”If not, he still was not a prophet, as he placed his word above God’s.” Oh really?? I wonder where…?? When did he ever say his words were of a higher authority then the Father’s in heaven?

            As far as this; of course ” Torah does not teach that a human being must be sacrificed ” Jesus is not about a human sacrifice that was laid before God to appease him. Like I explained before to Saul God didn’t ask people to sacrifice a human because He needed any.He didn’t ask for killing jesus so that He (God) can be pleased with the human offering Jesus willingly lays his life for us. This is how his blood shed atones for us.

          • Jim says:

            Dina,

            No need to apologize. How can my prolixity improve upon your brevity?

            Jim

          • Dina says:

            Jim, once again you are too kind. I actually had to look up “prolixity” in the dictionary, although I could have guessed what it meant from context. The prize for brevity goes to Rabbi B.!

          • Jim says:

            Eric,

            You are being incredibly disingenuous when you write that God did not need to be appeased by a human sacrifice. You have said (but the Torah does not) that blood is the only means of atonement. You have said that animal blood is insufficient. You have said God sent Jesus to be an atonement. It is you who claims that God needed a human being to die so that He could forgive others, and now you act as if this is an invention by myself.

            And you continue to invent standards not found in the Torah. Torah does not teach at any point that a human sacrifice is acceptable. It does not give a condition that a willing human sacrifice is acceptable but that an unwilling sacrifice is not. It does not demand one at all. It does not even demand blood.

            If you acknowledge that God does not need to be appeased by the sacrifice of a willing (and presumably perfect) human being, then we can agree that Jesus did not need to die. If you say, however, that he did need to die, then you are saying that God needed to be appeased by the blood of a (presumably innocent) human being. You are foreshortening the power of God to forgive and making him into a pagan abomination. Playing word games will not alter this fact.

            Regarding the words of Jesus being placed above the Word of God, this has been shown multiple times. I do not have time right now to do so again. Perhaps while you wait, you can answer the two linked comments I have given you. It would be good if we could agree on certain principles.

            Jim

          • jim, I am disingenuous or you just fail to understand what I wrote? You like to ‘frame’ people in what you want to call them before you understand what they are talking about.
            ” God did not need to be appeased by a human sacrifice. ”
            By this I meant a person sacrificed , killed for God and offered to him on request to God ! If that was a case what was needed God would ask anybody ; “hey guys offer me Jesus; Tie him up , kill him on an altar and I will be gracious to you. Now I am happy your sins are forgiven” . This is what I was explaining.

            You also said” If you say, however, that he did need to die( Jesus) , then you are saying that God needed to be appeased by the blood of a (presumably innocent) human being. You are foreshortening the power of God to forgive and making him into a pagan abomination. “

            Then replace the word ‘Jesus’ and “ innocent human being” with the word ‘ a goat, a lamb/ or any sacrificed animal and the word ‘innocent life’ ( instead of human life) and read your above sentence.
            I am foreshortening the power of God to forgive because I am saying that some life had to be lost for our sins. According to your reasoning the sacrificial system is also’ an unnecessary obstacle’ as God should do without, just forgive by you saying sorry and grant everybody everlasting life starting from Adam as they surely were sorry and forgiven.

          • Jim says:

            Eric,

            The Torah does not teach that the shedding of blood is necessary to the forgiveness of sins. It does not write that one can only be forgiven if one brings a sacrifice. This is a Christian invention. It is, in fact, inappropriate to call lambs and goats “innocent lives”. Moreover, if God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, how much less the death of the innocent? (See Ezekiel 18).

            When you write that it would be foreshortening God’s power to forgive to make him reliant upon the blood of sheep and goats, you are correct. However, that only refutes your position, not mine. Torah does not teach that God requires these things to forgive. Because this has been demonstrated to you multiple times, it is (forgive me for framing you) disingenuous in the highest degree to pretend that our difference is merely a matter of animal sacrifice versus human sacrifice. That is one difference and a big one. But Dina, Sharbano, and R’ Blumenthal have all demonstrated that sacrifices are not needed for forgiveness. To then pretend that we say that blood is necessary but only from animals is incorrect. So replacing “Jesus” with goat”, etc. in the argument: “If you say, however that Jesus did need to die, then you are saying that God needed to be appeased by the blood of a human being. You are foreshortening the power of God to forgive and making him into a pagan abomination” does nothing to refute our position. Our position does not have God relying upon blood for appesement. And basing your proof upon putting false words in our mouths is, yes, disingenuous. Winning an argument by misrepresenting the opposition is not winning an argument at all.

            This does not, by the way, make sacrifices into ‘unnecessary obstacles’. It only means that you do not understand their purpose.

            Jim

            P.S. Are you avoiding responding to the links, or is it a matter of not having time?

      • Sharbano says:

        To say that Jsus brought freedom from the sin of slavery isn’t supported by factual evidence. In saying THIS you would have to conclude that Xtians no longer sin.
        The yearly sacrifice you speak of I assume is in reference to Yom Kippur. The goat that the sins of the people were laid upon was NOT the sacrificial goat. Therefore the comparison is Not valid.
        This is the dilemma in what I will begin calling whereby select parts are derived to draw a conclusion that supports Xtianity when, in fact, the fragment of scriptural teaching bears little resemblance to that teaching. This is the entire methodology in Xtian texts and in Xtian thinking and in Xtian pursuits of study.

        • Sharbano, The goat the sins were placed on and send away into wilderness represents how God deals with our sins’ they are removed and never seen again. ps 103;12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

          • Sharbano says:

            Since you concur with the purpose of the goat then you will HAVE to agree there was no need for a human sacrifice, and Jsus, since that goat held the sin and was never sacrificed on the altar.

          • sharbano; “Since you concur with the purpose of the goat then you will HAVE to agree there was no need for a human sacrifice, and Jsus, since that goat held the sin and was never sacrificed on the altar.”
            let’s start first what is your understanding. Was the sacrificing of any symbolic meaning ( if yes, then what?) or just a ritual for the sake of ‘creative’ ritual?
            If you understand it as symbolic as me you would see what each step carried it’s symbolic meaning with the 1 and 2nd goat. The first goat was for a purpose ; as a sin offering. What does it mean? It had to be offered for peoples sin. ( despite not placing the sins on it- it still had to die for the peoples’ sins).
            Second question. Why a life that has to be taken away – serves as a sin offering here??? You can just repent, don’t you? A goat has nothing to do with your sins but it still has to die.
            The symbolic meaning of the fact how God deals with our sins is that they are ‘send away and never remembered again”- This is shown with the scapegoat. This is symbolic “ritual” of the facts / things that are involved in our atonement. If you do not believe it, explain the purpose of a life sacrificed for your sins that God showed in that sacrificial atonement “ceremony”.

          • Sharbano says:

            You’ve taken some convoluted steps in what symbolism is attributed to. You conclude a sacrifice that is not the one sins are laid upon as being for the peoples sin. According to your logic there would have to be two persons in the redemption process. According to Xtianity the sins are “washed in the blood” not merely set aside or forgotten. As you have stated countless times it is only blood that has redemptive qualities. Now you say it isn’t the case.

        • Sharbano, you said; “freedom from the sin of slavery”. We say; freedom from the slavery of sin which means your sin won’t hold you dead forever as they would. Like through one man death came into the world so though one man God brought us everlasting life for those who obey Him.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, you wrote this:

            “Sharbano, you said; “freedom from the sin of slavery”. We say; freedom from the slavery of sin which means your sin won’t hold you dead forever as they would. Like through one man death came into the world so though one man God brought us everlasting life for those who obey Him.”

            Please show me one place in the Hebrew Bible that teaches that your sins will “hold you dead forever as they would.” Show me one place in the Hebrew Bible that teaches that just “like through one man death came into the world so through one man God brought everlasting life for those who obey Him.”

            Please explain to me why what was good enough for my biblical forefathers from Moses to David to Daniel is not good enough for me.

            Please explain to me why God would find acceptable this new type of worship that was unknown to my biblical forefathers in contradiction to His explicit instructions to us at Sinai (Deuteronomy 4).

          • Dina, “Please explain to me why what was good enough for my biblical forefathers from Moses to David to Daniel is not good enough for me.”
            You can’t categorize like that as you do not know if their trust in God would also allow them to recognize jesus as God’s servant f he lived in their times. But I am sure they would. Whatever God had to speak to them about, they trusted Him and believed Him. If Jesus is God’s servant that involves from us acceptance of him. Since we believe he is, we accept him for whom God said he is.

            “Please explain to me why God would find acceptable this new type of worship that was unknown to my biblical forefathers in contradiction to His explicit instructions to us at Sinai (Deuteronomy 4).”

            Unacceptable worship is your concept how you formulated it. People at Sinai didn’t hear of many prophets yet it doesn’t mean that the others which later heard of them had to reject them ‘ as unknown worship’.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, responding to this: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/matthews-guards-by-jim/#comment-22626

            My challenge: “Please explain to me why what was good enough for my biblical forefathers from Moses to David to Daniel is not good enough for me.”

            Your response: “You do not know if their trust in God would also allow them to recognize jesus as God’s servant f he lived in their times. But I am sure they would.”

            Instead of responding, you engaged in wishful thinking. You don’t know if they would have accepted Jesus or not–but you aren’t explaining why they were able to obtain atonement for their sins and were able to come to God without Jesus. You didn’t explain why what was good enough for them would not be good enough for me.

            My challenge: “Please explain to me why God would find acceptable this new type of worship that was unknown to my biblical forefathers in contradiction to His explicit instructions to us at Sinai (Deuteronomy 4).”

            Your response: “Unacceptable worship is your concept how you formulated it. People at Sinai didn’t hear of many prophets yet it doesn’t mean that the others which later heard of them had to reject them ‘ as unknown worship’.”

            Dead wrong, Eric. “”Unacceptable worship is not my concept how I formulated it.” It’s what God Himself defined at Sinai. The prophets who came after Moses never introduced a new type of worship, nor did they ever contradict the Law of Moses. So it’s irrelevant if those who stood at hte foot of the mountain didn’t hear of a particular prophet or not. They received a teaching of Whom to worship and how; they received a teaching of how to identify the true prophet; Jesus fails on both counts because he introduced a new type of worship and because he failed the true-prophet test.

          • Dina, Our ideology of people with my church goes strictly with the Messianic statement concerning what is considered the true Judaism . Despite what you believe we do not add words ‘messianic’ if we write for Jews but ‘true’ Judaism. And there are many Jews among. Our faith is that the Judaism of the Bible the scriptural one is centered on Messiah and the salvation He brings. Our belief is that people are brought near to God because of the atoning work of Jesus who has fulfilled Judaism itself which you will be fighting with. All our websites for Jews will be under the name ‘true Judaism’.

          • Dina says:

            You know very well what the word “Judaism” means to most people, and so you are employing the word deceptively. You have a lot to answer for to God.

          • Sharbano says:

            Obey him how? Do you follow Torah.
            Besides it wasn’t actually “one man” that sin came into the world. It was the entire human race at that time, namely Adam AND Eve, who both ate from the tree.

          • Sharbano, “Obey him how? Do you follow Torah.
            Besides it wasn’t actually “one man” that sin came into the world. It was the entire human race at that time, namely Adam AND Eve, who both ate from the tree.”

            Torah is the law and all law closes in these 2 commandments love your God and love your neighbor as yourself. Believing that jesus is from God you follow the way he lived putting God in your center . You are not told to go and break the law because you are saved as that’s what is your understanding about us Christians.
            As far as the Adam and Eve. Of course all sin but all started with one person that ate something he was not supposed to take and eat.

          • Sharbano says:

            You say believing Jsus is from G-d and follow the way he lived is the point. Since much is written regarding the miracles he is suppose to have done then we could say Xtians should be doing all kinds of miracles. There was one commandment that Jsus spoke of, that being for one to consume the poison of a snake.

          • Sharbano, you are responding like a kid. Following Jesus didn’t mean starting doing miracles but the life that depends on God. And what poison of snakes are you coming with ??? Your conclusions are “incredible”!

          • Sharbano says:

            I suggest you read your Own bible before accusing someone.

            17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

            18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

          • Sharbano, these things do not depend on you . It is God who can equip you that way. if He wants to and sees a purpose. Do not mix it with the way of following Jesus. Nobody comes to jesus for these ‘miracles’ as they do not happen on your request.

          • Sharbano says:

            I guess since Xtianity obscures the plain meaning of the text then the same principle applies to their own texts. WHAT does it say there.

            “And these signs shall follow them that believe”

            If you believe THEN these signs shall follow. How much more plain can it be. You accused me of making it up about drinking poison and what was your reply. Diversion.

      • Jim says:

        Eric,

        Regarding the Sinai revelation, can you tell me its purpose? It can be found at Exodus 19:9, if you are having trouble.

        Jim

        • Jim, it seems to me that you are having trouble to notice that God didn’t start with that revelation to establish credibility of Moses. If they didn’t believe Moses before they wouldn’t even end up at Sinai. God’s revelation was for those who already trusted Moses. All answers are in my previous message.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, your answer to Jim shows that you do not understand Exodus 19:9 and that you ignored what Rabbi B. said on this topic. Up till now, Moses earned the trust of the Jews because he actually led them out of slavery. Nevertheless this was not enough for the people to accept a whole set of laws. For that God had to speak to Moses in front of the whole people.

          • Dina, the greatest revelation is still to come. If this what Jesus said didn’t convince some, God will establish such testimony that nobody will ever doubt at the time of God’s judgement and at the time of His Messiah coming to rule; ” BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.” Rev 1;7

          • Dina says:

            Eric, you wrote “the greatest revelation is still to come.” Well, it hasn’t come yet, has it? You would do well to reconsider a faith that is based on future revelation and on feelings of the heart.

          • Dina, “the greatest revelation is still to come.” Well, it hasn’t come yet, has it? You would do well to reconsider a faith that is based on future revelation and on feelings of the heart.”

            Faith is based on words said and promise of things to come and not based on your imagination.
            According to you conclusion looking forward to the messianic future and deliverance should be considered as a longing based on your feelings as well as you wish it all already came. You still have not seen it but there is a promise and you look forward to that. So is about Jesus second coming and ruling to us.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, in response to yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/matthews-guards-by-jim/#comment-22620

            The promise is from the God who spoke to Moses in front of the entire nation of Israel. So that has a little more credibility than a guy who just made some claims. Do you not see the difference?

          • Sharbano says:

            “Even those who pierced him”??
            So, those Roman guards are still alive today, or will they be resurrected in order to see this happen. Either way it shows how severe the problems with the text are. And you expect US to believe in such treif.

          • Sharbano, all are to see him as resurrection is to happen at his ( Messiah) coming. Then some will be risen to everlasting life with God the others to everlasting shame Daniel 12;2

          • sharbano, According to Daniel and Ezekiel resurrection is described at the Messiah’s coming. In Daniel after the time of trouble and deliverance” (…) and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake(…..)

          • Dina, “Moses earned the trust of the Jews because he actually led them out of slavery.”
            So is Jesus for those who believe him that God send him for a purpose of our redemption.
            Freedom from slavery of sin means freedom from what holds you dead; consequences of your quilt which would result in your death forever. All who trusted Jesus know in their hearts they have forgiveness and future life and peace with God . They understand that Jesus is the means through which God brought us life .

          • Dina says:

            Eric, so you believe that only Christians are free from sin? Prove it!

            Please show me one place in the Hebrew Bible that teaches that sin keeps you dead forever. Please show one place in the Hebrew Bible that teaches that a man needs to die in order to free you from eternal death.

            You can’t compare the trust of an entire people in a leader whose actions impacted the whole nation plus another whole nation in a real, tangible way to someone who people feel in their hearts has freed them from sin.

            ” All who trusted Jesus know in their hearts they have forgiveness and future life and peace with God.” You keep talking about this feeling in the heart–that is not a good reason to accept any faith. Adherents to many different faiths have feelings in their hearts. I have a feeling in my heart that my path to God is the only way to God. I have a feeling in my heart of being at peace with God. I have a feeling in my heart that my repentance is accepted by God and that I have His forgiveness. I have a feeling in my heart that I have a personal relationship with my Creator. Those are the dumbest reasons, excuse me for saying so, for trying to convince you that my religion is true.

            Also, my reason came first, my feelings came after. It’s like when I fell in love with my husband. First I determined that he was a good guy worthy of being the object of my affections. Then I allowed myself to fall in love. A lot of people who do it the other way around fall out of love and are devastated by their stupid choice (and some are just lucky…)

          • Dina, “my reason came first, my feelings came after.” Nobody feels free from sin unless you realize your sin and realize there is a person that offers forgiveness ( God) and come to that person . Here is the reason that comes first. No christian just starts having any ‘feelings’ and then he learns why he has them!

          • Dina, “Eric, so you believe that only Christians are free from sin? Prove it!”
            Being set free from slavery of sin doesn’t mean you never happen to sin but that sin doesn’t rule over you and it is not your master to hold you dead forever. God has the reason to rise you back to life because your sins are covered/ atoned for.

            “Please show me one place in the Hebrew Bible that teaches that sin keeps you dead forever.”
            Death is death and when you read Gen 3 ;22-24 God banned the way to the tree of life which was for living forever;
            v 22(…) lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:(…)
            v 24 “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

            “Please show one place in the Hebrew Bible that teaches that a man needs to die in order to free you from eternal death.”

            It doesn’t tell you that the man needs to die but that atonement is in the blood. ( Levit and Isaiah ) Why blood? What it has to do with your sins and repentance anyways?? Just to show you that the is a loss of life involved for your atonement , sin resulting in death.

            My answer to you would be repeating what I wrote in another post to Saul that God doesn’t simply switch from one way of atonement to another. He didn’t establish sacrificial system in order to switch to something else and more the same lessons He will bring up again in another temple. Despite the fact that you can just repent! God didn’t replace sacrifices with repentance , good deeds, prayer or the opposite. Like repentance was always to start with, the reason the sacrifices were ever introduced didn’t loose it’s sense / meaning either. The price of sin which is death has always been the principle – the fact and God showed us through sacrificial system how He dealt with it, that some other innocent life paid the price for us / whether a lamb, a goat , whether some other. Like Hebrew says 9;13-14 “For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

          • Dina says:

            Eric, in response to your comment here: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/matthews-guards-by-jim/#comment-22623

            You wrote: “Being set free from slavery of sin doesn’t mean you never happen to sin but that sin doesn’t rule over you and it is not your master to hold you dead forever. God has the reason to rise you back to life because your sins are covered/ atoned for.”

            How about this: “And the Lord said to Cain, Why are you annoyed, and why has your countenance fallen? Surely, if you improve yourself, you will be forgiven. But if you do not improve yourself, sin rests at the door. Its desire is toward you, yet you can conquer it” (Genesis 4:6-7).

            God tells Cain that he can set himself free from sin through his own effort. Fancy that!

            I challenged you to find me one place in the Hebrew Bible that teaches that sin keeps you dead forever, and you cited Genesis 3:22-24. How you read that into these verses is a mystery to me. Adam was supposed to live forever, physically. By eating from the tree of knowledge, he brought physical death into the world. This chapter says nothing about eternal life after death or eternal death.

            Sorry, Eric, you’ll have to do better than that.

            I challenged you to find me one place that teaches that a man needs to die in order to atone for your sins. You conceded that the Torah teaches no such thing. To justify your position, therefore, you reverted to your position that Leviticus teaches that atonement is in the blood. You left out something crucial, however. All that passage in Leviticus is saying, as has been pointed out to you before, is that we are not allowed to eat the blood of the animal because that is the part of the animal that atones. It does not teach that atonement is ONLY in the blood. Not at all. You continue to refuse to reconcile with your theology the facts that I mentioned to you countless times–and here they are again:

            God mapped out a complete path for forgiveness and wiping away of sins without blood sacrifice in Ezekiel 18 and 33.

            Leviticus teaches that a flour offering can replace an animal offering for one who is too poor to buy an animal.

            Solomon’s dedication prayer talks about forgiveness without sacrifices.

            When Nathan accused David of sinning, all he had to do was express remorse and he was forgiven–no sacrifices were required.

            Hosea tells us we can use prayer instead of sacrifices.

            The sacrificial system will be entirely restored in the Third Temple.

            Instead you keep repeating that blood is needed because God commanded sacrifices. This is the one commandment that you are sure God demands for all time. The other ones? Bah! Who needs them? The inconsistency and hypocrisy are deeply disturbing.

          • Sharbano says:

            “Freedom from slavery of sin means freedom from what holds you dead; consequences of your quilt which would result in your death forever”

            This was my entire point about Xtian responsibility. In most every case a Xtian comes to Jsus because of some guilt ridden complex. Xtianity therefore absolves a person of that guilt and the subsequent responsibility it houses and therefore eases the mind. This change of mind that is attributed to a new Xtian birth is actually just a relinquishing of person responsibility. It is quite a powerful relief to tell someone that responsibility is laid upon a sacrificed man. It gives the person “An Image” “to see” of someone paying their debts and thus the mind is set at ease.

          • Sharbano, “Freedom from slavery of sin means freedom from what holds you dead; consequences of your quilt which would result in your death forever” To those words of mine you responded; I”n most every case a Xtian comes to Jsus because of some guilt ridden complex “

            Your comments are kind of strange Not because of a guilt ridden complex but acceptance of God’s forgiveness a person comes to jesus, unless you consider yourself so perfect and tell God you are self sufficient in your righteousness that you do not need any of His. Second you accept God’s gift which is everlasting life offered to you that’s why you come to Jesus.

            you said ; “It is quite a powerful relief to tell someone that responsibility is laid upon a sacrificed man. It gives the person “An Image” “to see” of someone paying their debts and thus the mind is set at ease. “
            Oh, really , how is somebody’s mind set at ease at the same time being aware of it’s own guilt, more; having a guilt ridden complex as you concluded???
            As far as this “ It gives the person “An Image” “to see” of someone paying their debts” Is it something unfamiliar to you that took place at the atonement day ? Wasn’t any life lost , was it ? Was the goat dying for herself?? Or the sins were people’s responsibilities?? Was everybody just setting their minds at ease over there ? You can’t speak of others about what they thought , felt , had on mind etc

          • Sharbano says:

            Apparently the sole purpose of “coming to Jsus” is the singular promise of an eternal life. Evidently that is more important than what G-d may want of us in the present. We know with certainty what G-d wants of us and it is all recorded in Torah. It is understandable that whatever G-d places the most emphasis on would be that which He considers Most important. That emphasis is Torah which is mentioned throughout and countless times. When it comes to a messiah it is barely a footnote of a mention. We can see who places emphasis on what is most important.

            Since you haven’t been able to deal with the lack of responsibility you have ventured off into defining it by symbolism. The guilt one has isn’t truly paid for, only the feeling is taken care of. The wrongdoing, and the responsibility For It, isn’t taken care of but the guilt of responsibility IS. When a person comes to Jsus are they asked to first take care of their obligations. How can there be repentance if there is no assuming of responsibility of any obligations. What we are finding is that Xtianity is a means to allow a person to shun what has been done to their fellow man and have a clear conscience in so doing.
            If you want to follow the Yom Kippur sacrifice in some comparison then it Would be incumbent upon the person to First and foremost make amends and discharge their obligations with the repentance. Otherwise the repentance means nothing. By abrogating Torah, Xtianity has also abrogated any responsibility. It is no wonder why Paul was so adamant in his admonition of Torah principles. Clearly Paul didn’t want to accept responsibility for all he had done and make restitution according to law. What better means than to say all he said Against Torah. Xtianity is certainly convenient method of escape.

          • Sharbano, The Levitical sacrifices were intended to teach man about the seriousness of sin and the cost of forgiveness. You do not get it because you do not want to . You will be going around with that subject and creating such conclusions about 2 redeemers needed because there were 2 goats.

          • Sharbano says:

            What do YOU know regarding what Leviticus teaches regarding sacrifices. You take two words from a text and redefine it to suit your own agenda. As Dina pointed out, it says SPECIFICALLY WHAT is being taught, consuming blood, and furthermore it teaches about “life-blood” which you “conveniently” ignore since Jsus certainly DID NOT fulfill. The problem IS; when the Xtian writers penned their conclusions there wasn’t the availability of the written word to the masses and therefore there wasn’t the questions to them as it is today. They could get by because of the ignorance of their followers.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, instead of actually proving Sharbano wrong with evidence and logic, you wrote “you do not get it because you do not want to.” How do you know what is in Sharbano’s heart? I submit to you that he gets it far more than you realize, but you can’t answer him, so instead you are resorting to a variation on an old theme: the stubborn malicious Jew who is blinded to the truth.

            You’re the one who doesn’t get it. You don’t get the meaning of the word “honesty.” You’re an embarrassment to all well-meaning Christians.

          • Larry B says:

            Eric
            May I ask what religion you are? I have never heard some of the things you say in the context you say them.

          • larrB
            If you were a catholic christian you would not get why I do not care about ‘saint’s’ portraits hanging on the walls of a church building. It would be a ‘foreign to you.

          • Larry B says:

            Eric
            It is a simple question. It is not about saints portraits. It is a simple question, what religion are you? Will you answer?

          • L B, then you have a simple answer; christian.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, if I may stick my nose in, I think Larry is asking what denomination of Christianity you belong to, or are you, like Eli Lion aka Christian Paul, your own one-man religion? (I hope Larry will forgive me for presuming to speak on his behalf.)

          • Dina, When I lived in Europa I belonged to baptist christian church . I do not like going by denomination as american christian churches differ so much even between those carrying the same name( denomination). What is called baptist church there is not necessarily agreeing with all the man made doctrines in some churches here. Like; some would insist on Trinidadian view , the other not.

          • LarryB says:

            Eric
            That’s a start. Not what denomanation are you? Baptis, Mormon, etc…..?

  12. Jim says:

    Eric,

    If Jesus offered freedom from slavery to sin, then surely you do not sin any more. Please then, rather than preach to us, show us with your exemplary life how you are no longer a slave to sin. I do not write this sarcastically, though I know it could be read that way.

    It is all well and good to claim to no longer be a slave to sin. The claim has no substance. It is a thing unproven. The only proof of it that you could bring would be a perfect life, but this you cannot do. Therefore, I must reject the proposition that you are not a slave to sin, because of Jesus.

    So, you appeal to an experience in the heart. People feel free, though they do not live freely. Well, people have found similar freedom through all sorts of teachers you acknowledge to be false. The Mormons are notorious for appealing to a ‘burning in the bosom,’ a heart experience. And, modifying your words just a little, they would say, “If Joseph Smith was a fraud, people would not have the freedom granted by belief in his teachings.” And the same thing would go for so many gurus and preachers around the world of various philosophies and religions. Each of you appeals to his subjective ‘experience’ to prove objective claims.

    But objective proof you have none. You make a claim that you feel free and treat it the same as actually being free. You paralleled freedom from sin through Jesus to the freedom experienced by Israel, but they are not paralleled. For Israel to have experienced the illusory freedom of which you write, they would have to have remained in Egypt but ‘felt’ free. They would have to have to walk about explaining how they are no longer Egyptian slaves, though they still must obey Egyptian voices, are still abused, and have their firstborn males killed. At the same time, they would rapturously exult, “Oh how good it is to be free!”

    Eric, I know that this comment may appear rather cruel. It is not meant unkindly. Surely you see that the freedom you espouse is proof of nothing. You cannot display this freedom. You are appealing to an emotional state. I do not deny that you are emotionally invested in Jesus. I deny that that is any measure of truth.

    Jim

  13. Jim says:

    Eric,

    One of your proofs that Matthew is trustworthy is that other people wrote about the same accounts that he did. This does not make him trustworthy. As I have already pointed out, Mark and Luke were not witness to the accounts they write about, nor does anyone claim that they were. All you have written is that other Christians who heard the same stories as Matthew heard also reported them. That does not make them true. Nor can they be used to validate Matthew.

    Jim

    • Jim, The authors of NT books who also were witnesses are John and james, Paul.
      The testimony God gives about jesus is more than matthew’s words. You really want to know pray I guarantee God doesn’t leave without response.

      • Jim says:

        Eric,

        Come now. This grows absurd. John’s testimony is not the same as Matthew’s. He does not even have Jesus being crucified on the same day as Matthew. Nor do their accounts of the resurrection match. James, the brother of Jesus, is supposed to have written the epistle by that name. He says little that would corroborate Matthew.

        As far as Paul, this is your most outrageous appeal to a witness. He did not know Jesus. He had a vision of Jesus, a private event. Moreover, his account of his own story makes him untrustworthy. It is terribly unlikely that a “Pharisee of Pharisees” was working for the chief priest. It is unlikely that a man who studied under Gamliel prosecuted the early Church while his teacher taught the opposite. His story is not terribly credible.

        If that was not enough, he certainly abused scripture. He teaches that none can keep Torah. Torah says the opposite. He even quotes part of the passage that says that the Torah is not in heaven, but he adds his own warped interpolations and then omits the end of the passage which says that one is capable of keeping the Torah. He omits the beginning of the psalm when he says that there is “none righteous”. The psalmist is not talking about humanity in general but the fool who “says in his heart, ‘there is no God.'” The man is dishonest. He is untrustworthy.

        Paul can offer no corroboration to Matthew. He was not a witness to Jesus’ life or ministry. The history he gives himself is unlikely. And it is clear that he misrepresents shamelessly the Words of the Most High.

        Your list of corroborative witnesses is absurd.

        Jim

  14. Jim says:

    Eric,

    Since the main topic of our discussion is the question of who is trustworthy, I think it is quite interesting that you quote from Hebrews to support your arguments. If we take a look at Hebrews, I would say that we have another untrustworthy book of the NT. (This is my thesis, the thing I wish to prove. You should not take it as a proclamation meant to sway the audience.)

    The author of Hebrews is unknown. Some attribute the book to Paul. I am disinterested in who wrote it, so I will just refer for ease to the author of Hebrews as “the author”.

    The author does not merely take texts out of context, as so much of the NT does, the author actually changes the text, either through error or on purpose. I will give a couple examples:

    Hebrews 10:5-7 misquotes Psalm 40:6-8. The author writes:

    “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘See, God, I have come to do your will, O God’ (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).”

    The psalmist, however, writes:

    “Sacrifice and offering you do not desire, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. Then I said, “Here I am; in the scroll of the book it is written [for] me.”

    Now, while it would be invaluable to study the psalm for what David means, that is not the point of this post. I wish to focus on the rewriting of the psalm. Where David writes: “…but you have given me an open ear,” the author writes: “a body you have prepared for me.” Either, the author does not know the actual source from which he quotes, or he has altered the text. In either case, is his work trustworthy? It is written in either ignorance or deception, neither of which makes it trustworthy.

    In chapter 8, he quotes Jeremiah, or rather, misquotes him. In verse 9, he writes: “…not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors, on the day when I took them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in my covenant, and so I had no concern for them, says the Lord.” This is an alteration of Jeremiah 31:31: “It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord.” Note the change from “though I was their husband” to “so I had no concern for them.” The author is altering the words of the prophets, either through error or purposefully.

    These alterations to Tanach reveal that the author is untrustworthy. Either he is ignorant of Tanach or he is purposefully altering it. Either way, one cannot trust his teaching. Nevertheless, you quote from him as if he were trustworthy. This is obviously an error on your part.

    Jim

    P.S. I am certain that we will finally be able to come to an agreement upon fair play in this debate. I eagerly await your agreement that for a Christian to call his site jewsforjudaism2000 is a dishonest practice that ought not be done. I feel like at last we may have some common ground.

  15. Jim says:

    Eric,

    May I ask: are you Jewish?

    There are several responses that need to be written to things you’ve written, but I will be out of town for a few days. I’ll try to respond before I leave, but if not, please know that I am not ignoring you.

    Jim

    • jim, I myself have no time so I am not ‘eagerly’ waiting for responses so take your time. And I am not jewish .
      About Hebrews 10:5-7 via Psalm 40:6-8 and other ‘misquotations’.
      The second phrase in the quotation in Hebrews is different from the reading of the Old Testament in our English Bibles because the Hebrews writer quotes from the Septuagint (our English Bibles are translated from Massoretic texts). All quotations in NT from OT are coming mainly from Septuagint manuscripts which are older than the existing Hebrew texts. The oldest versions of hebrew texts (those that are found in ‘the Dead Sea Scrolls’ dating to the 1st Century BCE) read most like the Septuagint which proves the Septuagiant’s translation as more accurate if comparable to the ancient sources. The difference we see between the translations from Massoretic and Septuagiant writings is what many read as mistranslation. Both paul and Jesus quoted from Septuagiant. This source has also other support of it’s credibility ; an independent Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible the Peshitta deciding between the Masoretic text and the one christian authors quoted from . Simply confirming the same facts quoted.. But of course
      many modern Jewish scholars now reject the Septuagint (although it was created by Jewish scholars and translators to begin with), but they will not call them real Jews because they view their translation as a ‘Christian Bible’. The project of seventy rabbis ( around 250 B.C) of translation of the sacred texts into Greek was approved by the High Priest and the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. But that doesn’t count . The Septuagint, the translation of the seventy, was an official document not a christian -jewish manipulation work. When it comes to the Masoretic text ( from which jesus didn’t quote) it was compiled around 700 A.D. It is almost one thousand years newer than the Septuagint. The rabbis who compiled the Masoretic text were not accountable to the High Priest in Jerusalem. There no longer was a High Priest. The rabbis who compiled the Masoretic text were not accountable to the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem either. The Septuagint predates the first appearance of the Masoretic text by almost ten centuries ..wow that’s pretty a number and is based upon Hebrew texts at least twelve centuries older than the texts upon which the Masoretic version is based. So we have a difference upon difference in quotations and both quotations in Hebrew 8;9 and Ps 40 go along with the Septuagiant.

      Just consider the following translations nowadays of the same verse how much they differ( what about translations thousand years apart?)

      For example Isaiah 40:3. via Matthew.
      “A voice is calling “NASB translation
      “a voice rings out ” JPS Jewish transpation
      ” a voice calls out” / Tanakh Art scrol)
      “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness;( NASB )
      “clear in the desert” JPS Jewish transpation,
      “in the wilderness clear the way of Hashem” (Tanakh Art scrol)
      “Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God”. ( NASB)
      “a road for the Lord” JPS Jewish transpation
      ” make a straight path in the desert , a road for our God.”(Tanakh Art scrol)

      • Sharbano says:

        Eric, you have no proof in stating the Septuagint was in any way accurate. You are basing it on nothing but assumptions. What we DO have is a written record showing that there were serious accuracy problems with that Septuagint, which evidently, the early Xtians were quite willing to accept. As a result there became many different versions, each having their own problems. It is a fabrication of Xtianity that the Seventy translated the Septuagint. They only translated the five books of Torah. This is confirmed in Talmud AND by Josephus. One thing is for certain; the Jews who kept and followed Torah were meticulous in maintaining a consistency in making copies. There is evidence to this even today. It is also known that the Hellenists were Not so meticulous and also didn’t have the command of the Hebrew language as is evident from the writings of Philo. His commentaries reflect his problems with the nuances of Hebrew. Furthermore your knowledge of Jewish history regarding the Sanhedrin, Jerusalem, etc is severely lacking.

        What is Astounding is your claim that Paul and Jsus “used” this translation. You are now admitting Jsus and his knowledge, along with Paul, are flawed. But this brings up the contradiction of historical accounts that the Jews of Eretz Yisrael read a Greek manuscript. The people of the land were Not Greek speakers but Aramaic. It was the Hellenists who were the Greek speaking Jews and they abandoned many of the Traditions to the point of building their own temple in Alexandria.

        Your example of Isaiah speaks against you in regards to the Septuagint. Since it IS a translation it therefore cannot be relied upon.

      • Dina says:

        Eric, you are no scholar, that’s for sure, and you do not get your information from scholars either, but from other dishonest missionaries like you who care more about their agenda than about the truth. They’re the ones who lied about Rashi–remember that? And how you refused to retract your error even you couldn’t refute the evidence I presented to you? And you still trust them!

        You never actually studied the Dead Sea Scrolls for yourself and compared them to the Masoretic text and to the Septuagint to see which scrolls matched which text the most. Neither did I, but I rely on the information of real scholars, scholars who don’t have a need to prove that the Septuagint is accurate because it supports their Christian scripture. In other words, scholars without an axe to grind.

        Read the work of impartial scholars on the DSS. You will find that a large percentage–if memory serves correctly it’s 60%–is proto-Masoretic. You will also find that the Jewish scholars who translated the Torah to Greek only translated the first five books, as Sharbano pointed out. This Greek translation did not remain in Jewish hands but in Christian ones, where it was edited and became a Christian document, not a Jewish one. Scholars have discovered that the Septuagint has been changed significantly since its first translation.

        Also, it’s ridiculous to say that Jesus quoted from the Septuagint. Are you kidding? He didn’t even speak Greek. And neither did the masses of Jews in Israel speak that language. Only the wealthy Hellenists and the Jews of Alexandria were fluent in it. Hebrew and Aramaic were the spoken languages of the time.

        • Dina, by “Jesus quoted from the Septuagint.” I don’t mean the language but the the message ( the way Septu states it) which differ in some details that the ones in M translation.

          • Dina says:

            Why don’t you say what you mean, then? Hmm? Or is it too hard to admit that you made a mistake? By the way, your answer is nothing more than speculation.

          • Sharbano says:

            You have GOT TO BE KIDDING!!!
            If Jsus is relaying what the Septuagint says then somewhere along the line he MUST have the knowledge of the Septuagint. How does one get that knowledge; by READING it. What is likely is the author of the text put that in on his own, which, by the way, make the text unreliable.

  16. Jim says:

    Two men are standing on a street corner. One is holding a sign that reads: “Democrats for Hillary Clinton”.

    The man without the sign says: “Oh, you support Hillary Clinton. Me too.”

    “What?! Yuck! What would make you say such a thing? I hate her and everything she stands for! Do we need to set up another dynasty in the United States?”

    “I’m sorry. I saw the sign and I thought.”

    “Oh, I see. No, this sign is so that I can talk to people about how bad she is for the country. I’m for her returning to Arkansas. That’s what I’m for.”

    “Won’t people be misled by your sign?”

    “No, because once they talk to me they’ll know that I stand for—Hillary Clinton in Arkansas.”

    “I see. Do many Democrats feel the way you do?”

    “Oh no. I’m not a Democrat. I’m a Republican. I’m a democrat with a little ‘d’. I believe people should govern themselves.”

    “Won’t your sign confuse people?”

    “How dare you, sir?! You are a hypocrite and an ignoramus!”

    “Nevermind. Good day.”

  17. Jim says:

    A man once bought a tube of toothpaste. When he got home, he opened it to discover that it was really anchovy paste. He double-checked the label: “Mint Toothpaste. Have the freshest breath on the block!”

    He called the service hotline to complain. “This is not toothpaste.”

    “I’m sorry, sir. There is nothing we can do to help you. Clearly you bought anchovy paste.”

    “Yes, but how was I to know that. It was mislabelled.”

    “Well, once you put it in your mouth, you’re sure to notice.”

  18. Jim says:

    Eric,

    You have questioned the relevance of discussing your website. You have stated that you are not subject to my criticism. Let me explain why your website matters.

    You have pronounced that the Jewish people in the time of Jesus are untrustworthy. You have written this, not because of what they said and did but what others said about them. I find it highly relevant to consider whether or not the Church is trustworthy. Is it built upon reliable works? And does the Church fairly represent itself to people?

    In fact, the Church is quite underhanded. In a separate comment I will answer your defense of Matthew, but it is quite obvious to any reader that the authors of the NT are much less interested in what Tanach says than in what they can make it appear to say. Matthew is not the only NT author guilty of misrepresenting Tanach. The NT even acknowledges this when it says that after the resurrection Jesus opened the scriptures to his disciples and then they saw that the Messiah must suffer and die in its pages. This means that a straight reading up to that point would not reveal any such mysteries. Can I trust the NT? No.

    And I should mention that in this way, you and I have a very different methodology. You judge the Pharisees by what others said about them, having no firsthand knowledge of them or their ideas. Yet you consider yourself qualified to rule on just what kind of untrustworthy hypocrites they are. On the other hand, I judge the NT writers by what they wrote and not what others told me about them. I am quite familiar with their works and can plainly see the misrepresentations they have made. I judge them by their own words, not the words of their opponents. Which method is more sound?

    I say that the Church is underhanded also in the way they appeal to people. They employ false advertising. They disguise their works to make them more appealing to others. This can be done in different ways. Some try to make their services more appealing by making them superficially more Jewish, wearing kippahs, keeping an aron, and inserting Hebrew into their services.

    One example of Christian dishonesty is your own site. You misrepresent your site. It unfairly borrows the name of a Jewish organization. It misrepresents itself as teaching Judaism, when it really has a secret definition of Judaism of which the reader is unaware. And it is not Jews for anything, inasmuch as you are not Jewish. So, why do I bring these misrepresentations to light?

    Because you have made it relevant. You have said that the Pharisees are not trustworthy. I submit to you that a man who misrepresents himself is not the arbiter of who is trustworthy. Who then are you to pronounce who is trustworthy and who is not? Sitting there in your stained glass tower, I would not be so ready to lob stones if I were you. Knowing that I was employing deceptive tactics to lure people to my site, I would not take it upon myself to judge the trustworthiness of others. But of course, that is your business. If you wish to make your pronouncements, go ahead. You should know, however, that as long as you practice such deceptions yourself, it will be pointed out that you can hardly be trusted as a judge in what is trustworthy and what is not.

    Jim

  19. Jim says:

    Eric,

    I would like to thank you for your comments in defense of Matthew’s abuse of scripture. I think an examination of them will be quite instructive. They show us how the misrepresentations of the Church have shaped the understanding of Christians, so that the meaning of passages from Tanach are obliterated and replaced by Christian doctrine.

    I wrote that it was dishonest of Matthew to quote Isaiah 7:14 and leave off 7:15. You answered: “The question is why he should quote all about when the point is to announce the childs birth of great importance?” This question itself is so heavy-laden with error that it reveals just how much Matthew’s misuse of scripture has corrupted the meaning of the text.

    When you write that the point is to announce the child’s birth, surely you mean that this is Matthew’s point and not Isaiah’s. Isaiah is not announcing the birth of a child at all. He announces a pregnancy and what the child will be named, a subject to which I will return in a moment. Then he skips over the birth and in the second half of the prophecy, in the verse you consider unimportant, Isaiah tells Ahaz that by the time the child is mature enough to choose the good and refuse the evil, the two kings who threaten Judah will no longer be a threat. This has nothing to do with the birth of the child. The two significant factors are his name and that he will not be too terribly old before Judah is delivered from her enemies. The reason you overlook this is because the deception practiced upon you by the Church. By omitting half the prophecy, Matthew has overwritten it. (We should note also that just as the birth of the child is not the topic, neither is its conception.)

    Your question contains an ambiguity, and I am unsure of your meaning. Do you mean that the child is of great importance or his birth? In either case you are wrong. The birth of the child is not the means of deliverance, nor is the child. The birth is not even mentioned, as already noted. And the child is not a deliverer. God is going to perform the deliverance before the child is old enough to choose good. The child is not important, except that he is being used as a sign, a message to Ahaz and Judah. And this is why the child’s name is important.

    It is sometimes believed that the child’s name means the child is significant, but this is not so. It is the name that matters. The name is an indication that God will deliver Judah. This is what it means, “God is with us.” Judah appears to be on the verge of destruction, but God has not abandoned him. To the contrary, God is with him. Isaiah had another son whose name was also a message: “A remnant shall return” (7:3). Moreover, he is not the only prophet whose children’s names were used as messages. Hosea had children, a daughter whose name meant “not pitied” and a son whose name meant “not my people” (Hosea 1:6-8). In each of these cases, the naming of the child does not imply that the child has a special destiny or role in human history. The same goes for Immanuel.

    And in fact, if Matthew had not so misused Isaiah 7:14, we would not even be having this discussion. Because Matthew truncated the prophecy, Christians have granted a significance to the child that is not found in the text. Nor is his birth remarkable. This again comes from Matthew and his abuse of the text.

    We should note that Matthew is guilty of more than truncating the text. He alters the words. Yes, of course he changed a young woman into a virgin, but I am not talking about that, even though it is rather important. Matthew also changed the naming of the child. In Isaiah, it is the woman who will name the child, “Immanuel”. This is not an honorific; it is the child’s name. It indicates nothing about the child, himself. It is only a message that God is still with Judah. Matthew changes the text, however. He has it that “they” shall call his name “Immanuel.” This bit of underhandedness turns the name of the child into an honorific and covers up what would be an obvious objection to the application of this prophecy in regard to Jesus, namely that Mary did not name her son “Immanuel” but “Jesus.”

    Matthew has used several tricks to apply this scripture to Jesus, then. He has truncated the prophecy to leave the reader with the impression that the child was important. As you know, he also altered the young woman to a virgin to make the birth significant as well. And then he changes the naming of the baby to an honorific to make the child appear to be significant. He has altered the entire meaning of the passage.

    You asked why Matthew should quote Isaiah 7:15. The answer should be clear by now. By quoting only half the prophecy, Matthew misleads the reader. The reader is left with the impression that the child is important, himself, as your question shows. But this was not the intention of Isaiah. Leaving off half of the prophecy allows Matthew to put his own words in the mouth of the prophet and has led to great confusion in the minds of Christians.

    I had hoped to discuss Hosea in this comment, but this is already getting long, so I will come back to Hosea in a separate comment. Also, I apologize for not responding so long on this point. I know that you have not been waiting for a response, but it did leave you with the impression that I’d been “touched” by your response. I did not mean to leave you with such a misunderstanding. My calling out your dishonesty in misrepresenting yourself had nothing to do with anything you wrote in your defense of Matthew. The two are not related. So, I apologize for leaving you with that false impression.

    Jim

  20. Jim says:

    Eric,

    Continuing to take up your defense of Matthew’s abuse of Tanach:

    In defending Matthew’s employment of Hosea 11:1, you write that Matthew is showing Jesus to be the representative of Israel as Messiah “who fallows the steps of the nation and fulfills God’s will completely.” Please, forgive me for being so blunt, but…

    This is folly.

    Jesus being taken to Egypt has nothing in common with Israel’s being in Egypt other than geographically, which is the shallowest level imaginable. His time there bears none of the hallmarks of Jewish oppression suffered under the Egyptians. In fact, for Jesus, Egypt was a haven. Of course, the Jewish people also went to Egypt for aid in a difficult time, but their sojourn became something much different than a haven. In no way can Jesus be called representative of Israel. His experience is nothing like theirs. Only a superficial reading would equate the two, that or an eisegetical reading, desperate to push Jesus into the Tanach anywhere one can.

    Your argument regarding the word fulfillment is similarly empty. Jesus’ being taken to Egypt does not make Hosea 11:1 more perfect, overflowing or whatever words you wish to make it mean. Those meanings do not even apply to prophecy in a meaningful way. They are an apologist’s excuse for scripture abuse. It is good of you and other apologists to acknowledge that Jesus did not fulfill Hosea 11:1, but it is nonsense to turn about and say that Matthew was making the prophecy more complete. The prophetic message requires nothing to complete it any further. The verse relates to the exodus and to Israel and nothing demands any further completion. This concept is mere frippery.

    And to say that Jesus would fulfill God’s will, that is also empty. First, that is not what Matthew writes that Jesus fulfilled. He writes that the prophecy was fulfilled. When Matthew writes that something was done so that a prophecy could be fulfilled, the prophecy is the object of fulfillment, not God’s will. Moreover, Jesus cannot be said to have fulfilled God’s will in coming out of Egypt, because he was a passive agent in the story. He neither chose to go to Egypt nor return home. Therefore, his coming out of Egypt does not constitute Jesus fulfilling God’s will. This is sophistry on your part.

    Moreover, it has already been shown that Jesus did not fulfill God’s will on many occasions. He broke the Sabbath. He taught others to do so. He dishonored his mother and taught others to dishonor their parents. He spoke abusively of his opponents. He failed the tests of a prophet but demanded to be believed anyway.

    But even if these things were not so, that would not excuse Matthew’s abuse of scripture. Nor would it make your assertions true. Even if Jesus had been virtuous, that would have nothing to do with him coming out of Egypt. When Matthew writes that this fulfills a prophecy, he is not claiming that Jesus generally fulfilled the will of God. Either I have misunderstood you here (which is possible; I find your writing quite unclear), or you have written nothing but blatant sophistry. It certainly appears to me that you have forced a new meaning upon Matthew in an attempt to justify his scriptural abuse. In any case, Jesus cannot be related to Hosea 11:1 in any meaningful way. Your attempt to redeem Matthew is sophistry.

    Jim

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