Why I Left Jesus – by Concerned Reader

Why I Left Jesus – by Concerned Reader

Annelise, as you have noted, (and I tend to agree,) we seem to be tied by strong conviction and knowledge to our own experiences as communities and individuals. We can only see the truth of various religious claims as we perceive them for ourselves. Being told various truths by other groups and people, (be they Jews or Christians, or others) can seldom hold a candle to our personal experiences. I used to believe in Jesus. (I wasn’t raised trinitarian, though I appreciated the doctrine later, after deeper studies in university.)

What led me away from Jesus and Christianity was not disrespect for Jesus, it wasn’t that I couldn’t find various historical or theological reasons to believe in him, it wasn’t for lack of love, nor was in an inability to empathize with Christian experience, it was the realization of the original target audience, content, context, and the expectations of the biblical books of the Torah read by themselves, and as understood as lived by Jews before Jesus who were expected to observe the law.

When Jesus first came, there was not yet a set of books called the “New Testament.” The only sacred text available to Jews to learn from was the Torah of Moses with its laws, and its promises addressed uniquely to Jewish people as a covenant nation, in which they were told to observe perpetually the law in all generations. Even Christians agree that a “second coming” must occur to truly fulfill the big picture of the biblical messianic expectations, namely the age of peace and prosperity.

This hasn’t happened yet, but its the only Crystal clear picture the Tanakh gives us of what it will be like when the messiah comes with the least amount of interpreting of biblical verses needed. Even Jesus’ students asked, “are you going to at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” Messiah is understood by the Torah text, plainly and straightforwardly to be an anointed mortal monarch, just as David, Solomon, and others were. Jesus has not ever literally ruled as an earthly monarch.

In the Jewish people’s historical experience therefore, (given the Torah’s clearest passages about expectations of the coming messianic age,) Jesus has been nothing like a king in the sense the Torah uses most plainly. In that historical plain sense, as far as Jewish experience goes, Jesus simply doesn’t have a role. He has none of the same historical significance for Jews and Jewish culture as he has had for the non Jewish world. He’s not their King. He hasn’t saved them from exile, he hasn’t saved them from enemies, etc. His purported followers in fact have historically harmed Jewish people. Im not blaming all Christians for that, but it shows us something. These promises are things the Torah says the messiah must do. Jesus has not done. This is vitally important information to understand. The Torah describes (most clearly and in its most plain historical sense,) the coming of a ruling mortal king who ushers in an age of peace for humanity, but chiefly, this promise is addressed to the covenant community, the Jews. The Christian experience (coming to monotheism, learning about G-d and bible stories, having many redemptive experiences from lives of depravity,) may have been felt strongly by the Gentiles through this Jesus, but Jews as a nation and people didn’t and haven’t ever experienced these things when Jesus lived, or through him. The Jewish people as a covenant nation therefore have no basis in their lived out historical experience, or clear reason given from a plain reading of the Torah text to accept Jesus as anything more than a 1st century rabbi who made an unverified claim.

Even the gospels tell us that Jesus’ students only knew of Him (at first) as a human rabbi, until he allegedly explained mysterious things to them in a deeper way, or taught them what to see that others couldn’t. The NT says he had to “open their eyes to the scriptures.” This tells us that the everyday people (such as any regular guy who met Jesus with no prior knowledge) had to be told certain things about him.

The New Testament is a document that Chronicles the unique Christian experiences of a Jesus that has been filtered through those Christian experiences. “Joe Anybody” couldn’t just read Hebrew scripture plainly and be assured that Jesus was the messiah. It had to be taught. Messiah as taught by the Torah is supposed to be self evident. Israel knew Moses because he finished his task. Jesus hasn’t completed redemption, so in Jewish experience, he’s not the one.

Give a read to the article entitled Starting Points.

https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/starting-points-by-concerned-reader/

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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422 Responses to Why I Left Jesus – by Concerned Reader

  1. Reuben Hart says:

    I’m unclear as to your wording of the ‘second coming.’ Torah does not promote the doctrine of a failed Messiah getting the opportunity to come back and try a second time. Messiah only comes once. In the meantime congratulations in throwing off Jesus and returning to G-d. Well done.

    • Saul Goodman says:

      I think CR meant that even Christians implicitly agree with Jews that Jesus didn’t meet the messianic criterias, and so made up a 2nd coming in order to give justification for his failures, and maintain blind faith in Jesus.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        That’s right Saul. The doctrine of a second coming of the messiah is not stated in the Torah, it had to be taught by the Church. That’s the issue for Christianity. It has to go against the text’s most straightforward meaning.

        • A Berean Talmid says:

          The Book of the Law was ratified @ the altar built on Har Eval with the second generation of the mixed multitude, after circumcision and Passover and after a mini rehearsal of the Reed Sea crossing with crossing the Yarden.

          Why did Moses command Yehoshua to build the first altar built in the land on the Har Eval, mount of the curse and not in the Har Gerizim, Mount of the blessings?

          Because it foreshadows Yeshua’s death which was the death of an accursed man who was hanged on a tree.

  2. A Berean Talmid says:

    The two witnesses will confront the anti-missionaries in Jerusalem. The latter is called Sodom & Egypt (Rev 11:8) until the Lord returns. The vision is sealed for them according to Isaiah 29 & Daniel 9:24 & 12:9. There is no Yeshiva in Jerusalem that has any light in them for the vision is sealed up until Messiah returns to clean the land of Israel from their idols and false prophets Zec 10:2 & 13:2-6. They may have the Law but not the Testimony of Yahushua given by Moses and the Prophets
    Isa 8:20 To the law and to 》》》the testimony:《《《 if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

  3. A Berean Talmid says:

    The Torah teaches that Joseph was betrayed and sold by his brothers. He went on to become vizier of Pharaoh while his brothers told his father that he was dead. When anti-missionaries ask: where was Jesus king? I respond with my own question: where was Joseph ruling supreme? In Israel or in Egypt? Joseph foreshadows Jesus and yes the Torah teaches the second coming of Joseph to his unsuspecting brothers.

  4. A Berean Talmid says:

    “Israel knows Moses because he finished his task”

    Wrong! The ultimate proof of Jesus in the Torah is that Moses had to charge Yehoshua (Jesus) to enter the land of Israel because Moses could only see it from afar at Mt. NEBO.

    • Saul Goodman says:

      But Moses finishe his task of leading the Exodus and giving the Torah. And Joshua replacing Moses for the people has nothing to do with Jesus as supposed Messiah i really can’t follow your point.

      • A Berean Talmid says:

        In the end Moses begged to see the land. He knew he didn’t finish. This was not meant to be for this task was given to Yehoshua a foreshadow of Messiah.

      • Michel Keslacy says:

        HASHEM gave us many many instructions ( the word Torah means instructions).the Torah was giving to us in LIGHT meaning simple to understand, and not in darkness. you can understand very easily the 10 adherents, what animals we can eat. Keep my Shabbat and so on. Our prophet Malachi last massage to judeans beford going to exile was DON’T FORGET THE TORAH OF MOSHE MY SERVANT. I beg you please why he didn’t say .don’t worry you I am going to send My son jesus and he going to save you.
        Every time HASHEM spoke about His son was always Israel, king David, Salomon and so
        On.
        the teaching of Torah about son of HASHEM its any Hebrew person who follow HASHEM and His mitzvot. HASHEM bless my friend and brother.

    • Sharbano says:

      Are you Actually implying that it was “Jsus” who led the Israelite into the land.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Read the vision of the burning bush/exodus 3-4 it’s all right there. Moses’ task from G-d was to bring Israel out of Egypt, (a task he completed in his own lifetime,) and also to speak to G-d in front of all Israel on Sinai so that he would be believed in forever. Moses completed both of these missions long before he died. It is in this sense that I say Israel knew Moses was a true prophet because he completed his clearly appointed tasks just as the text says.

      Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. (Moses did his signs in front of the elders, the people, and his doubters.)

      And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” (The sign that it is G-d who sent Moses is that Moses brings them to Sinai after leading them out of Egypt.)

      You point to Joseph as a type of Jesus. He’s not similar at all. Jesus expects people to have faith in him and his prophecies long before he has actually done the work and redemptive tasks that the messiah is clearly known to have been expected to do as per Torah texts. He wants a good faith deposit by others with no guarantees that they will see anything. Would you give all of your money to a random preacher who says he knows the exact day of Jesus’ alleged second coming? Off course not, because to you there is no verification, no guarantees. Joseph had the chance to retaliate against his brothers, to mock, (but he didn’t do it,) because he knew it was G-d’s purpose, and he didn’t expect blind trust from his brothers to occur.

      Moses likewise expected people to doubt him. That’s what Exodus 3 plainly says, just read it. Your Jesus expects unconditional trust before offering clear proof.

      How the ressurection should have gone down if Jesus was to be like Moses.

      Jesus says to the elders “an adulterous generation seeks a sign/miracle and no sign shall be given save that of Jonah. As Jonah was three days and nights in the belly of the fish, so shall the son of man be in the belly of the earth.”

      If Jesus had fulfilled this sign before both his faithful students and also before his extreme doubters the Pharisees at the same time, and unambiguously, then he would have been clearly just like Moses.

      He’s not like Moses because he only shows himself to one person or a small group of people at a time, (most of them believers) and never in an unambiguous way. In Luke 24 we clearly read that the disciples find an empty tomb, and Jesus comes to them, but it says they were “prevented from recognizing him.” Moses anticipated Israel’s skepticism, he knew it would happen, Jesus didn’t expect doubt, and Jesus wouldn’t tolerate it. He is nothing like Moses. Sorry to be blunt.

      • A Berean Talmid says:

        Ahhh but you forget the full charge to Moses which he didn’t fulfill.

        *[[Exo 33:1]] KJV* And the LORD said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it:

      • Jim says:

        CR,

        Well said.

        Jim

      • A Berean Talmid says:

        What proof did Abraham receive during his lifetime regarding the land inheritance promise? Lilewise, those who call themselves children of Abraham may not receive the promise during their lifetime.

        • Sharbano says:

          The Proof was the word of Hashem!

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            Dina, the angel will not forgive is not the same as does not forgive

          • Dina says:

            If the angel is God why would God say in advance that He will not forgive sins? The Hebrew Bible stresses the concept that God forgives sin when we turn away from it (see Ezekiel Chapters 18 and 33). So your semantics doesn’t work here.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            there is no semantics involved. when the mixed multitude rejected the land after hearing the evil report from ten spies there was no possibility of turning away from sin for forgiveness your Ezekiel Chapters 18 and 33 doesn’t work here

          • Dina says:

            The angel not forgiving sin is a separate matter. Did you look at the text? Why would God warn ahead of time that He doesn’t forgive sin?

          • Dina says:

            By the way, Tal, this is a mere quibble. Deuteronomy 4 is a much bigger question. I would like to know how reconcile that with Jesus.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        The whole point behind Joseph placing the cup in the sacks of food was to compel his brothers sense of guilt and remorse, to gauge their Desire for reconciliation, not to condemn them. His brothers are willing to do anything to spare Jacob the pain of losing another son in Benjamin. (Because Both Joseph, and his brothers know that for Benjamin to stay in Egypt would be a repeat of the whole traumatic event.) The whole exercise by Joseph is an attempt to see if the brothers had learned their lesson. Again, the implication is that Joseph expects his brothers to betray Benjamin too, to repeat a mistake. Jesus by contrast is always extremely critical of anyone who doubts him, he doesn’t test metal, he sends doubters away. Joseph essentially uses a recreation of a shared trauma (his own sale to the Gentiles) to test his brothers to see their progress. Joseph tested for growth in faith, he didn’t expect it at all,n that’s why Joseph was so moved by his brothers’ entreaty regarding Benjamin.

        • A Berean Talmid says:

          Joseph was given a gentile name and gentile wife. So was Yahshua (Jesus ) given a gentile name and gentile wife.

          • Jim says:

            ABT,

            This gross exercise in eisegesis shows one thing: Jesus is not in the Torah. Because Torah says very little about the Messiah, you have to invent connections to other passages. You do not read them for what they say, but what you think you can make it say. Your every reference so far betrays a mind disinterested in Torah but obsessed with Jesus. The underlying question to your every reading appears to be: “How does this relate to Jesus?” The fact that you squeeze him in to every passage is the clearest evidence that you cannot find him anywhere; therefore you invent connections.

            Jim

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            I call your bluff. In the Parasha Re’eh I saw Yahshua appear from Beresheet to Devarim multiple times. I don’t buy the paradigm that Messiah is not in the torah. There are more references to Messiah in the Torah than in the rest of Tanach

          • Concerned Reader says:

            You are resting on typology. Types are like cloud shapes. Any shape can be found in any cloud if your perception is tailored to it.

          • remi4321 says:

            Yes you are right ABT, I see it clearly! Jesus is the rock in the wilderness, the spiritual rock, everybody should see that, you blind fools! I rebuke you in the name of!!!! You have scales in your eyes! Moses is also a foreshadow (whatever that means) of Jesus, because “Out of Egypt I called my Son” Not Israel, no no no!. He is the manna also, why don’t people see that, the water, and the Lamb of gods who takes away the sins of the world as clearly written in the Torah, the he lambs are used for atonement all the times! What? It’s not? Just skip the reference then, nobody else will see that!

            He is also Azazel, no I mean the goat that the lot felt? euff, I mean both! And finally he is the prophet like Moses asking people to bow down to him (another god, who is also one, or maybe three in oneness!)

            There are 365 prophecies as clear as the one mentioned, that clearly talk about Jesus, staring in Genesis 1:1 when the gods (elohim PLURAL!) created the heavens and the earth! But we are not polytheist! We again only believe in one gods!

            Chears!

    • Concerned Reader says:

      So Moses is a false prophet? You say he didn’t finish his job. That puts the lie on the Torah which calls Moses trustworthy. If you believe Moses didn’t fulfill exodus 3’s predictions, you have a problem with the Torah.

      • A Berean Talmid says:

        I say you have a problem with Ex 33:1 and make the giver of the torah a liar

        • Concerned Reader says:

          You are saying that Moses didn’t complete G-d’s appointed tasks, that G-d said he would, and you are saying I’m in the wrong?

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            Ex 33:1. Nuff said

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Your issue is with Torah then, not with me. The text says Moses would complete his tasks and thereby be recognized as a true prophet. You say the job wasn’t finished. That means Moses was not a prophet, because he failed to complete a task that G-d said he would complete.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            The fact is Moses didn’t lead Israel into the Land since this was commissioned to both the angel of the host and Yehoshua. That should tell you something profound.

          • LarryB says:

            ABT, EL,CP
            When reading EX33:1 I do not see where Moses was told to go “into” the land as you point as his failure. Yet, He did take the people to the land as told. I’m probably being to literal here but when I think every word of God as being prophesy then it kind of fits.

    • Michel Keslacy says:

      Yehoshua is not Jesus, His name was HOSHEA (and that not Jesus name). HOSHEA was giving an extra letter of YOD that letter comes from the first letter of HASHEM to give him strength. Beford entering the land of Canaan. and his full Hebrew name is Yehoshua Been Noon. And not Jesus the son of “Joseph”
      because every Christian knows that Joseph is not his father. Christianity claims that god is his father.

  5. Concerned Reader says:

    Yeshua Ben nun is in the Toeah, yes, but that doesn’t mean Yeshua’s Ben Yosef is. You are assuming something on eisogetical grounds that you would never allow in the NT.

    What you are doing here is no different than what Muslims always do to the NT to find Muhammad in it. They point to the passage where Jesus speaks of the “comforter” to come. Comforter in Arabic is Mehmet ie a short form of the name Muhammad. See what a good type this is? The name is right there! Nobody in any circumstance would accept that as a legitimate reading.

    • A Berean Talmid says:

      Typology? Yes. Eisegesis? No. The Torah is not to be read with extremist literalism otherwise the blood of an animal could save you with no required faith in the Almighty. All you needed to do was to bring a sacrifice and bingo you are safe. This is much like the Catholics selling the indulgences. But it doesn’t work that way otherwise why have no sacrifices been performed for the last 1945 years?

      • Concerned Reader says:

        No, blood is not the final source of atonment, but repentance, and mastering of sinful desires. If you read about Cain and Abel’s offerings, it’s clear that intention was the motivator in the offering, not the offering itself. Abel gives the firstling, best of his flock. Cain offers his offering of his craft without sincerity, G-d has redeemed without sacrifice, such as when he brought the exiles from Babylon back.

        • A Berean Talmid says:

          I agree with repentance being a requisite but atonement still needs blood. An innocent for the guilty, a life for a life is the formula since they were clothed with animal skins in the garden to replace bloodless aprons of fig leaves.

          The overarching sacrifice for purity from all sorts of contamination and impurity is the chuka of the red heifer. This is the one sacrifice performed entirely outside the camp and outside the [eastern] gate and it requires purification on the third day just like He died outside the camp and outside the gate and rose on the third day of unleavened bread.

          • Sharbano says:

            I suggest you read Isaiah 27.There is NO blood there, NOR is there a Jsus.

          • They believe that God introduced sacrifices for nothing. Loss of life for nothing. God clearly says he doesn’t need them for Himself it is a sign for us, a lesson for us of price for the sin. Lesson that we do not pay that price but but involved blood shed.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, you obviously have no clue what we believe, so you have no business talking on our behalf. This statement is a vicious lie. More and more you reveal your black heart. Show me evidence that we believe that God introduced sacrifices–or any law, like the law of wearing wool and linen–for nothing. And if you can’t, then you need to retract that statement and apologize. I’m disgusted with you.

            Does the truth mean nothing to you? Shame on you.

          • Sharbano says:

            Since you already answered on this I’ll just echo your sentiments regarding Eric and his vast knowledge of Judaism. There’s little else that get my blood to boil when someone “speaks” for Judaism as if they “know” something. It’s like a situation I mentioned before when a person “thought” a Rabbi had to “bless the food” before a Jew could eat it. Clearly non-Jews are unaware of how the laws of Berachot works in Judaism, among all the other aspects of Judaism they are ignorant about.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, you wrote this disgusting lie: “They believe that God introduced sacrifices for nothing.”

            So tell me, who’s looking forward to the restoration of the Third Temple sacrificial system? You, or I?

            Do you pray daily in your liturgy for God to restore it, as we do?

          • Dina says:

            Oh, and by the way, Eric? Did you know that the overwhelming majority of sacrifices had nothing to do with atonement? You would know that if you didn’t read the Hebrew Bible so selectively. So what about those? What was the point of “loss of life” for a sacrifice of thanksgiving? For the festival sacrifices? For the Sabbath sacrifices? Please enlighten us, you who know the only true meaning of sacrifice.

    • Michel Keslacy says:

      I will not say jesus the son of Joseph because Christianity teaches jesus did not have a human father . G-D is the father. So he has no connection to Judah.
      Matthew spend a whole chapter that jesus is the son of Joseph. And luke in chapter 3 gave completely different genealogy about jesus but some how he arrived to Joseph.
      Then everything falls apart because they insist he is the son G-D.

  6. Concerned Reader says:

    The verse plainly says in 33:1 “go up to the land I promised.” Moses went “up to” but was not allowed in because G-d wouldn’t let him. It’s not me that has an issue with this text,

  7. Concerned Reader says:

    I’m not the one accusing the text of being inconsistent, you are the one doing that. The text plainly says Moses was faithful and that he did the Job of redeeming Israel, you say he didn’t exactly do that, and you imply that Moses wasn’t very faithful. Christians cannot just cope with the simple historical meaning, the traditional understanding of the text.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      you are also hyper literalizing the text. You imply that Moses did not redeem Israel, but that it was Joshua and the captain of the lord’s host. That is absurd and completely against the plain sense of the text.

    • A Berean Talmid says:

      All your inferences are entirely your projections. I never said Moses wasn’t faithful. I wrote that he didn’t bring Israel into the land and that he begged to be allowed to go to the land. Exodus 33 doesn’t agree with your eisegesis.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        by saying that Moses didn’t do what is outlined in Exodus 33, and by saying that it was an angel who redeemed Israel by bringing them into the land, you are disputing Moses’ role as expressed in the plain meaning of the text. Mount Nebo is in Jordan. Moses therefore had a view of Israel, but was not allowed in because G-d wouldn’t allow it. This doesn’t mean that Moses was not the redeemer and that some angel redeemed Israel instead. Are you saying that the “Joshua” referred to wasn’t the son of Nun but a pre-incarnate Jesus angel?

        • A Berean Talmid says:

          Look up in Ex 33:2 how it is an angel sent and why an angel is sent instead. Yehoshua and the angel of the host are both figures and foreshadows of Yahushua. Both man and Malak

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Yahushua? It’s Yeshua יֵשׁוּעַ

            A messenger is not the message giver. Do you worship Jesus as divine?

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            I like when the discussion gets distracted into spelling of names. It is a sign of desperation. The two spellings appear in the scriptures. יהושׁע Ex 17:9 for example

            Yes.

          • Sharbano says:

            When has G-d EVER, even ONCE, said He would use “foreshadows”. Instead, you should read Amos. G-d speaks clearly and not some hidden foreshadowing.

  8. Concerned Reader says:

    The Torah is not to be read with extremist literalism

    The plain literary context is extreme literalism?

  9. Concerned Reader says:

    Desperation? No sir. Scholars call the man Yeshua, that’s all I meant. You didn’t answer my question. Is Jesus divine and to be worshipped?

    • A Berean Talmid says:

      I did answer your question. YES!!

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Oh.. Didn’t see the yes answer there. Ok. So, if the angel of the host is G-d and meant to be worshipped, what do you make of Exodus 33:5? The angel is clearly described as distinct from G-d, a different being, especially in light of the prohibitions in Deuteronomy 4. Israel is commanded not to worship THE WHOLE HOST OF HEAVEN and is clearly told that they saw no form when G-d spoke. There is no way to reconcile that clear chapter with an incarnation.

      • A Berean Talmid says:

        I base my belief in what Jews believed up to the destruction of the temple. If you read two powers in heaven by Alan Segal you will see what I am talking about.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          I have read it, and the Jewish gospels, and borderlines, by Boyarin etc. I actually have a degree in comparative religions from university. I’m not unfeeling towards your perspective. The problem is that there is a very clear conflict between your theological reading of the text and the Halacha as expressed in Deuteronomy 4. There is never an instance where Israel prays to an entity other than the father. When they walk that line, (such as was the case with the brass serpent,) they are charged by G-d and Torah with idolatry. If your theological construction is biblical why didn’t anyone ever pray to the burning bush as G-d made manifest? His word came through it, his spirit rested on it, etc. The answer lies clearly in Deiteronomy 4.

          • Dina says:

            Hey Tal,

            Con is making an important point here. How do you reconcile Deuteronomy 4 with worship of Jesus as God?

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            Psa_2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

          • Dina says:

            Tal, first, if you read the rest of the Psalm you will see that Jesus did not fulfill it. Also, the traditional Jewish interpretation is “Yearn for purity,” not “kiss the son.” Even if it were so, it would be “kiss a son” because there is no definite article.

          • Dina says:

            I never saw this used as a proof text, so I’m just thinking out loud here. “Bar” is the Aramaic word for son; that is the word in Psalm 2:12 that you are translating as son. But King David always uses the Hebrew “ben” for son in every other instance. He did not write the Psalms in Aramaic. So I’m thinking this is a mistranslation by Christians that is either deliberate–an attempt to impose Christological meaning to the passage–or simply ignorant.

          • Sharbano says:

            “Kiss the Son”
            Where did you get your bible from. Maybe you should consider taking a Hebrew course.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            Thanks but, maybe you should consider reading the entire Psalm 2 and see if the context doesn’t speak of a particular son.

          • Dina says:

            Yes, Tal, if you read the entire Psalm you will see that it can’t be talking about Jesus.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            We will agree to disagree for He quoted it and so I believe He is talking about Himself.

          • Dina says:

            Circular reasoning, I thought you were smarter than that. Come on, Tal.

          • Dina says:

            He also quoted the Psalm about being betrayed by someone who ate bread with him. If you read that Psalm in context, the narrator talks about his sins, but Jesus is supposed to be sinless. The same goes for his quote about being given gall and vinegar. So that’s a problem, isn’t it?

          • Dina says:

            Psalms 41 and 69; if you read them in context you will see they can’t be talking about Jesus.

          • Dina says:

            Are you avoiding Deuteronomy 4 or do you need more time? If the latter let me know, I can wait. I’m going to have to leave the conversation soon anyway, at least for a little while.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            I am not avoiding. I do not have a problem with Deut 4. there is no conflict in my belief system.

          • Dina says:

            Listen, Tal, both Con and I presented evidence from Deuteronomy 4 that contradicts your theology. You came here to argue based on Scriptural evidence and reason, did you not? It is no debate at all if you expect us to answer your challenges but you can weasel out of ours by saying “there is no conflict in my belief system.” That is very one-sided.

            Please be fair and answer the challenge. I suspect that you cannot. To repeat, in Deuteronomy 4 we are warned that we saw no image or form; we are taught Whom to worship; we are taught how to pass this teaching to subsequent generations. Jesus was not presented at Sinai to be worshiped; ergo, he is not God.

            What say you?

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            At sinai they saw (re eh) Him and since it is not possible to see the Invisible Spirit they saw Hids image. Check mate to both you and Con

          • Dina says:

            Cite the chapter and verse, please.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            Ex 24:10

          • Dina says:

            So-called theophanies to individuals or small groups of individuals in Scripture are irrelevant even if true (I do not take this passage as a literal sight but a vision). Why? Because God stresses in Deuteronomy 4 that we are only to worship Him as He appeared to the entire nation at Sinai. Read that passage and then explain why it does not contradict your theology.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            The verb used in Ex 24:10 is re’eh which is both to see or to appear but Ex 24:11 uses a different verb chazah which is likely a vision. But Ex 24:10 is explicit so check mate

          • Dina says:

            You ignored my comment on the irrelevancies of your theophanies in light of Deuteronomy 4. The collective national experience of the Jewish people is the heart of the matter; everything in Scripture must be read in light of that powerful teaching, that warning that we saw no image at Sinai. You aren’t addressing the contradiction.

            Why the dire warnings, if we were meant to worship a form?

            By the way, are you Jewish?

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            Loaded personal question for who is Jewish? Sephardic, Mizrahi, Ashkenazi, falasha, beni menasche?

          • Sharbano says:

            Here we go again!

          • Dina says:

            Oh no, not that again! Whaddya do, get a language makeover? Very clever.

            But you’re sidestepping the issue. Answer the question and don’t divert to the question of who is a Jew.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            It our way to answer a question with a question

          • Dina says:

            It’s our way to stick to the topic and not divert to something else when we can’t answer a question but to admit when we’re stumped.

          • Dina says:

            But if you’re “binitarian” then no more ruah holy…too bad, I found that funny little wind amusing.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            By the way, it wasn’t the Jewish people who were at the base of the mountain but a mixed multitude together with the twelve tribes of Israel.

          • Dina says:

            Stop chasing distractions and red herrings and answer the challenge. Can you not?

            We can talk about who is a Jew when you’ve answered the challenge. Can you prove that you are a Jew? (Would you happen to be related to the Hayat family, but any chance?)

          • Sharbano says:

            It would ONLY be a checkmate if the two references applied the same form. The word (ויחזו) clarifies the situation as being a prophetic envisioning. It is given to more clarity when G-d says, specifically, that NO man can see G-d and live. What they saw was the same as Ezekiel and Isaiah speak of. But, once again a Xtian will take a single verse and “Create” a dogma From That. It is literally impossible for Xtianity to contemplate the entirety of Torah and consider that in developing their doctrines.

          • Dina says:

            Deuteronomy 4:13: The Lord spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you were hearing the sound of words, but you were not seeing a likeness, only a sound. 15: But you shall beware greatly for your souls, for you did not see an likeness on the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb.

            You called checkmate a little too soon, Tali.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            Ex 24:10. Not everybody saw some only listened but the 70 saw and that means check mate for you and Con

          • A Berean Talmid So how do you read Ecclesiastes 1:16? And by the way – we are not playing chess here this is a discussion about truth – if you came to play go to Eric’s site

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Psalm 2:12?

            What about this one
            Psalm 146:3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

          • Dina says:

            Tal, please respond on Deuteronomy 4. It’s crucial.

        • Sharbano says:

          Just because some Xtian Jew writes something doesn’t make it authoritative.

  10. Concerned Reader says:

    Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’

    G-d says HE WILL NOT GO WITH THEM (so he sends an angel.) the Angel cannot be both G-d and not G-d at the same time.

    • A Berean Talmid says:

      Deu_8:2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God LED THEE these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

      Read Psalm 136 and figure out who was it then that led them

  11. Dina says:

    Hi Con, I left you a message in another comments section but don’t know if you got it. Over in the comments section of “Good, Bad, and Both” and “Matthews Messengers–by Jim” we’ve been discussing our discovery of Eric’s website, Jews for Judaism 2000.

    It’s fine if you don’t want to weigh in, but if you do, I would love to get your thoughts.

  12. Concerned Reader says:

    G-d redeemed Israel, not an angel. Read Deuteronomy 4. The context unambiguously clearly shows that the captain of G-D’S HOST CANNOT BE G-d AND DANT GE PRAYED TO GECAUSE HE IS PART OF THE HOST OF HEAVEN. The context CLEARLY says the Angel “will not pardon your transgressions.” G-d explicitly says he himself cannot go with them, so he sends an angel with them. An angel that bears G-d’s name, that is his captain is contextually and clearly not G-d.

    • Dina says:

      We see that often in the text, because the angel acts as God’s emissary the two names are interchanged. So, for example, Hosea identifies Jacob’s assailant who is called God as an angel. When Hagar encounters the angel, she says she spoke to the Lord. And so on.

      By way of analogy, of the king’s herald comes to town and proclaims a message, people might turn to each other and say, “Did you hear what the king decreed?” They heard it from the herald, not the king, but it’s the king’s words.

      • Dina says:

        Sorry, “if the king’s herald,” not “of the king’s herald.”

      • A Berean Talmid says:

        I understand your line of reasoning. But I see a different reality and it is called complex monotheism and binitarianism by Segal. You have this particular angel who is sent on behalf of the king but who has his same name. He is the visible image of the invisible Lord. He forgives sins and receives worship and is The Way. I see no violation of Deut 4

        • Dina says:

          Tal, the text clearly says the angel will not forgive sins. And “complex monotheism” and “binitarianism” contradict Deut 4. The “visible image of the invisible”? We are warned in that chapter to remember that we so no form or image at Sinai.

          How do you reconcile this?

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            That He didn’t forgive their sins is clear from the death of all the men of war that rejected the land after the evil report from the ten spies.

            Take this into consideration: Judaism, mainstream that is it has gone astray judging by these prophecies: The vision is sealed for them according to Isaiah 29 & Daniel 9:24 & 12:9. There is no Yeshiva in Jerusalem that has any light in them for the vision is sealed up until Messiah returns to clean the land of Israel from their idols and false prophets Zec 10:2 & 13:2-6.

          • Dina says:

            Tal, you’re diverting. God says the angel does not forgive sins as God does, therefore don’t provoke him. You said the angel does forgive sins. What gives?

  13. A Berean Talmid says:

    Dina, there is no reply button by your posts so that I can be more specific.

    Psalms 2 was quoted by Yahushua when they came to collect the temple taxes. He referred to the Sadducees as the kings of the earth. The whole Psalm is about one particular Son and thus I will need to reject masoretic revisionism as uninspired

    • Dina says:

      Tal, I’m sorry about the reply buttons, I have no control over that. WordPress does its own thing.

      As for Psalm 2:12, it is a very convenient argument, whenever the translation doesn’t quite match up with your theology, to say that it is “Masoretic revisionism” without any evidence at all. In your view, what did the original Hebrew text say and how did the Masoretes change it?

      Would you say that they also changed “betulah” to “almah” in Isaiah 7:14 (“virgin” to “young woman”), because we also argue that that has been mistranslated?

      • A Berean Talmid says:

        There is a scriptural record in the stars and constellations from before the Torah was recorded by Moses. Guess what? The constellation of the Betulah does give birth to the alfa-virginis double star known as Tsemech, Shibboleth, Al Zimach which means The Branch and it is associated to the Messiah of Israel. I have a lengthy study about it so in all likelihood the masoretes engaged in revisionism to try to obliterate Jesus and the prophecies He fulfilled from the Scriptures

        • Dina says:

          Sorry, Tal, I don’t know what you are talking about. Let’s try to simplify it with a yes or no question. In your view, did the original Isaiah 7:14 say “betulah” and the Masoretic text later changed it to “almah”? Yes, or no?

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            It doesn’t matter since there is a record in the sky that can’t be tampered with,

          • Dina says:

            Hey, Tal, I don’t do astrology. (The Torah forbids it, by the way.) You charged us with text tampering, now you need to back it up with evidence. How do you know that the Masoretic text changed Psalm 12:2? That’s the first question.

            The second question is, and it does matter to me, did the Masoretes change betulah to almah in Isaiah 7:14? I can’t make you answer, of course, but I hope you will.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            Astronomy and astrology are a bit different. Astronomy is universal while astrology is babylonian. You know as in captivity in babylonia and babylonian talmud. That should ring a bell.

          • Dina says:

            Astrology is bunkum and astronomy is science. What you presented is astrology.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            This is incorrect no matter how many times you repeat it. That the constellation called Bethulah has a double star in the arm called Tsemech, al Zimach, Shibboleth and Spica was taken feom and archeoastronomy site not from the Zodiac.

          • Dina says:

            Okay, whatever, I don’t want to get into a discussion about astrology versus astronomy. Just tell me if you think the rabbis changed betulah to almah in the text. Why don’t you want to answer the question?

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            I don’t need to get into that kind of discussion. I don’t have proof but there is a record in the sky that tells a story and can’t be tampered with. There is a betulah and there is a Tsemech, the Branch

          • Dina says:

            You can’t be serious, Tal. The constellations form images of Greek and Roman gods–why don’t you worship them too?

            You can’t be bothered to have this discussion, but you raised the topic. You presented a serious charge against the Jewish rabbis. It’s serious enough that it needs to either be substantiated or retracted–and substantiated with something real, not with imaginary pictures in the sky.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            What Roman or Greek gods? I am talking Betulah and Tsemech both ancient hebrew names for groups of stars.

            I wrote the masoretes tamper with the scriptures. Jeremiah says the lying pen of the scribes……are you going to make Jeremiah retract from this accusation?

            Find the content of Nehemiah 10:34 in the Torah

          • Dina says:

            Whatever, their mythology was intertwined with the constellations. I have to take the time to look up your references, but if the text was corrupted as early as Jeremiah then you can’t rely on any of it and you oughtn’t to be using any of it as proof of your belief in anything.

            And you ought to answer straight out if you think the original text said betulah but the rabbis changed it to almah. This is significant because proof of the whole virgin birth is wholly pinned on this verse. So it must be established if the text is established or not. Your scripture does not take its proof from constellations but appeals to Isaiah 7:14. So you need to face it.

          • Dina says:

            Tal, God promised us that even when we stray we will carry His Torah and His testimony, see Psalm 78. The fact that some rebellious elements in Jeremiah’s day were corrupting texts is therefore irrelevant. As for the reference to Nehemiah 10:34, I fail to see the relevance.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            Dina, you fail to see the relevance of Nehemias 10:34? Give me a break! This is monumental, for the commandment for the wood offering is not preserved in the Torah as handed down by the masoretes. What else could be missing?

            What else is wrong? The masoretes corrupted Isaiah 42:4b and a stroke like a yud on top of the gimmel to make it look like it spells isles instead of goy like in the Septuagint translation. Going by the context it is goy not isles. In Psalm 22:16 ( 17) JPS has ari for lions instead of aru for pierced they (masoretes) changed the vav to a yud.

          • Sharbano says:

            This is hilarious. Since Tanach doesn’t agree with Xtianity you accuse the source as being tampered with. This is an old accusation and only the desperate resort to this. Xtian scholars themselves have chronicled the disparity of the Septuagint. There were modifications after modifications until such a point they gave up. The result was numerous versions and no one has any idea which is even authentic.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            What is hilarious is that Nehemias 10:34 is staring at everybody and calling out the hypocrisy.

          • Dina says:

            Let me make your case a little stronger, Tal. Jeremiah also references a prohibition not mentioned in the Torah: carrying on Shabbat. Since you reject the Oral Torah, you reject the idea that Moses did not write down all the laws but transmitted many orally, and the prophets often allude to these laws or rituals not mentioned in the Torah (like Daniel praying three times a day facing Jerusalem).

            So we have no problem with Nehemiah, it does nothing to bolster your case that the Torah was corrupted (which in this instance according to you would show that the Septuagint was corrupted as well), and is entirely irrelevant to the subject at hand. You can’t answer the challenge so you are chasing distractions.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            Not so fast Dina, the words of Moses are explicit Deut 27:3;28:58 & 31:24. The only distraction is that you have no intelligible answer to this but just faith. Faith that so called Oral law is actually from Moses and not from some deceivers pretending to speak for Moses from the grave.

          • Dina says:

            Distractions, distractions, distractions. You are avoiding Deuteronomy 4. You want to talk about who is a Jew, corruption of the text, and whether we invented the Oral Law. Fine, I’ll be happy to discuss all that with you after you answer my challenge on Deuteronomy 4. Try to stay on topic, please.

          • Sharbano says:

            What??? Your conclusions aren’t supported by the text itself.

          • Sharbano says:

            Your logic is incoherent and disconnected and has no correlation to your assumptions.

          • Dina says:

            You need to go learn some Hebrew, Tal, so you don’t post ridiculous nonsense here that makes us cringe on your behalf. There is no such word in Hebrew is “ka’aru” and the word for “pierce” in Hebrew is “kadar” or “ratzah.”

          • Dina says:

            Furthermore, Tal, you are quite happy to point out specific instances that in your ignorance you believe “prove” that the rabbis corrupted the text, but you are unwilling to say whether they changed Isaiah 7:14. Why the reluctance in this particular place, I wonder? Hmm?

            What is your native tongue, by the way? Your English is quite excellent.

          • Sharbano says:

            You are distorting what Jeremiah speaks of.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            Jeremiah or Ezekiel? Make up your mind

          • Dina says:

            Astrology predates Babylon, by the way.

          • Dina says:

            No, sorry, you’re right about one thing, the Babylonians developed the first system of organized astrology. I thought it was the Egyptians.

        • Sharbano says:

          Do you think Xtianity was the First to declare a virgin born god.

    • Sharbano says:

      This is getting to look like another incarnation.

  14. Concerned Reader says:

    I understand your line of reasoning. But I see a different reality and it is called complex monotheism and Binitarianism by Segal.”

    Yes Talmid, you have one author’s hypothesis regarding a binary aspect within G-d, but this is not proof, it is a hypothesis. Are you aware of the book “the bodies of G-d and the world of ancient Israel”? By Benjamin Sommer? It talks about a view called the fluidity model of G-d’s personality/manifestations. The author believes that ideas in later Jewish mysticism and Christology could have been influenced by ancient roots in a common near eastern religious model. The problem though is that this fluidity model was shared by Israel’s polytheistic Canaanite neighbors. If G-d has a divine son, could he also have a wife? After all Ruah is feminine right? Could G-d’s wife possibly be Asherah and could one of his sons be Baal? Is there a queen of heaven who is without sin? G-d is called El after all, and El was the head of Canaan’s pantheon.

    That would be the regional near eastern background of such a model of divine fluidity that’s proposed by scholars such as we find in Segal, Boyarin, and other authors. This is why Deuteronomy 4 is so vital, because if you can have a theological divine son, the floodgates are open as to who that son might be, arguments about his nature, etc. Anyone can claim such a concept is reffering to them. We are not supposed to worship G-d’s entourage. It’s abundantly clear why as per Deuteronomy 4.

    • A Berean Talmid says:

      I never stated that my belief comes from reading one author like Segal.

      • Dina says:

        Okay, but why isn’t your belief opening the floodgates, as Con said, to multiple deities?

        • A Berean Talmid says:

          my belief is strictly of two powers not three. Note the two are referred as powers not deities. One Deity and one mediator.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          I have a further question. How do you know a messiah who died wasn’t the rebbe or bar kochba?

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            Because Yahushua warned us not to believe in any deceiver coming after Him. That is why the believers didn’t follow bar kockba

          • Concerned Reader says:

            So, in your estimation, every person or group who claims what Jesus claimed for their founder, but who isn’t Jesus is a liar? If that is the case, consider carefully that the Torah warns you against believing that Anyone who walks the earth is G-d.

    • Concerned Reader I am not sure if you are aware of this but I have two responses to Boyarin’s writings on this blog One is called “Covenant Nation” – The other is called “The Canaanite Gospels” – you could also search for “Boyarin” perhaps you will find them helpful

  15. A Berean Talmid says:

    No. I do not believe that my spirit is a different person from me.

  16. Concerned Reader says:

    So, you believe based on Jesus’ warning, but what if he was false? You say the stars predict a betulah and a tsemach, but again, you do not confront Deuteronomy 4. Do not worship the “sun, the moon, the stars, and “THE WHOLE HOST OF HEAVEN.” The Torah prohibits divination and consulting astrologers. Astrology deals with the influence of the signs vis the constellation. You are not relying on just scripture, nor are you relying on traditional Christian definitions. You have your own personal Jesus, a religion of one.m

    • A Berean Talmid says:

      What Torah prohibits is anything not sanctioned by Torah. Divination? What do you think turim & unim used by the kohen is?

      What do you think Ezekiel’s vision of the heavenly throne shows? The 4 constellations of the cardinal celestial references. Lion, Aquarius, Taurus, Eagle.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Again, as is usual with many Christians, you don’t try and confront the difficulties your theology has with the law’s plain meaning, you just explain why your violations of its commands are acceptable.

        The Urim and thummim were a commandment ordained by G-d for use within the temple service, just as sacrifices themselves have a purpose when performed by the priests within that context, but not outside of it. They had a proper designated use. Nobody would take these things into their own hands, Just as sacrifice was forbidden to be performed on high places and was only legal in the Temple. If we go the route you suggest, the actual design of the Temple in Jerusalem itself isn’t markedly different in layout than other near eastern temples dedicated to many gods, so Is polytheism then made acceptable to you?

        You are seeing similarities with polytheism in biblical books, and then essentially saying “polytheism is OK then right?” When you argue for a divine son of El Elyon (Genesis 14.18–20) and when other people point to Melchizedek as a type of the Divine son of El, in a near eastern context, you could just as easily be arguing for Baal as a son of El, as you could for a Jesus. A person can seize on any text and make it fit their notions. That’s why we have the laws of the Torah.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          Below is a vital snippet from Rabbi B’s post “the Canaanite gospels” a review of one of Daniel Byarin’s books.

          “What these Messianics have failed to notice is that BOYARIN STILL ATTRIBUTES PAGAN ORIGINS TO THE THEOLOGY WHICH DEIFIES JESUS. On page 45 of his book, Boyarin argues that the Israelites were part of the ancient Canaanite community and that they inherited some theological baggage from that pagan community. It is to this Canaanite influence on Judaism that Boyarin attributes the theological underpinnings for the deification of Jesus.”

          Boyarin is not alone in this hypothesis, many other scholars share it, its pretty common. Dr. Benjamin Sommer, and Dr. Michael Heiser also acknowledge these things, among other scholars. There is a common understanding among scholars that there was near constant religious syncretism (the blending of religious ideas) between Israel and her Canaanite neighbors that occurred both consciously and unconsciously, that influenced biblical and mystical theologies in both Judaism and Christianity. I tend to see this as a pretty plausible notion, (because even the prophets declared that it happened in Israel.) There was a son of the Canaanite god El that was worshiped in ancient Israel. He was the storm god Baal. There was a consort of the canaanite god El worshiped in ancient Israel, she was called Asherah. Three entities all worshiped simultaneously in Israel by various peoplle, Hahsem, Baal, and Asherah.

          THIS IS WHY THE COMMANDMENTS EXIST. The Mytho-poetical underpinnings of all the religions in the near east are polytheistic. Abraham himself was raised as a polytheist. Does this mean for us that believing in 2 or more powers, emanations, sefirot, etc. is 100% recommended? NO! Read Deuteronomy 4! Approaching G-d that way BREEDS CORRUPTION!

          Dear Christian friends, do you think it a small coincidence that Mary is called “queen of heaven” or “co redeemer? in Catholicism? Its not! It is in the nature of human beings to want to form sacred connections with something near to them, especially FAMILY. Ancestor worship and veneration of great ones is the oldest religion there is alongside animism: aka nature worship.

          Venerating Jesus is no different than this type of ancient veneration. Even if the words of Jesus were G-d’s words, it would be his Torah teachings, (those that align with Torah rules THE WORDS) that would matter, not his physical life or personality. You guys see this man’s blood as the only means of forgiveness. G-d is thereby placed in a human box by your belief, even if it isn’t intended to be.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            We don’t worship the humanity in Jesus. He said that His words are from the Father.

          • ABT but the Christian Scriptures are only about Jesus’ humanity – and you worship the central character in that book

          • Concerned Reader says:

            We don’t worship the humanity in Jesus. He said that His words are from the Father.

            That is BS (that you care not for his humanity) and you know it. According to the Church, if the man Jesus’ blood NOT G-d BLOOD but Jesus’ blood was not spilled on Calvary, you have no atonement. The hypostatic union pays a meaningless lip service to monotheism. If you didn’t actually worship Jesus’ humanity, then why do we have to recognize this man’s death? Why do I have to “eat his flesh”? You don’t worship Christ;s humanity? Ever heard of the song “some Children See him?” Or “I see love.” ? Or “in Christ alone?”

            To this day you have oneness Pentecostals who say, ONLY JESUS MATTERS!

            If Jesus wasn’t being worshiped as a man, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            You are familiar with the atonement death of the Tzadik, right? With regards to eating His flesh, you are into hyper literalism. He explained that His flesh were His words.

          • Sharbano says:

            When Jsus uses a term like “flesh and blood” it reveals a lack of understanding of Torah.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            Pluueeze! Now you are a greater rabbi than Jesus

          • Dina says:

            Tal, we’re not exactly impressed with Jesus’s rabbinical status, as you are.

          • Saul Goodman says:

            “A Berean Talmid says:
            September 4, 2015 at 8:17 am
            We don’t worship the humanity in Jesus. He said that His words are from the Father.”

            I find it hilarious the use of the “we”. John of Damascus made it clear that even the flesh is to be worshiped. John of Damascus teachng equals Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians, so the majority of Christendom, almost all of Europe, east and west. Whle you stand alone in your 2 powers theory. So you can not use an imaginary “we” when majority of Christians do worship the flesh.

          • Dina says:

            Tal, what denomination do you belong to? Russian Orthodox? Greek Orthodox?

  17. A Berean Talmid says:

    “Dina says:
    September 4, 2015 at 7:30 am
    You need to go learn some Hebrew, Tal, so you don’t post ridiculous nonsense here that makes us cringe on your behalf. There is no such word in Hebrew is “ka’aru” and the word for “pierce” in Hebrew is “kadar” or “ratzah.”

    The difference between the Yud and Vev are small but the DSS has kaaru which seems to agree with the LXX and Syriac and also the Latin. “Among the Dead Sea Scrolls, the reading in question is not preserved at Qumran, but in the Psalms scroll from Nahal Hever (5/6HevPs), which is textually very close to the Masoretic Text. In line 12 of column 10 we read: “They have pierced my hands and feet”! For the crucial work () the Hebrew form is grammatically difficult; but it is clearly a verb, not a noun and means they have bored or they have dug or they have pierced.”

    So obviously have a masoretic revisionism of the verse to deny Jesus. I hope clears it up for you. Also, the same word is translated as dig or opened throughout the rest of the OT, but literally means to dig in, bore through. The “lion” rendering is basically a masoretic anti-Messiah bias. The majority of the ancient translations read pierced. Only the MT, Targums and the Symmachus greek read “like a lion”.

    • Dina says:

      Tal, obviously the people you quoted from don’t know Hebrew either. Where else does the word “ka’aru” appear in the text? Listen, we already covered this ground in your previous incarnation. Stop chasing distractions and answer the challenge.

    • Dina says:

      Also, you’re slipping, Tal. Watch your English very carefully, I have eagle eyes.

      • A Berean Talmid says:

        Dina, your hebrew is getting rusty….it is a verb = to bore through or dig not a noun = lion 😉

        • Dina says:

          Lion, show me a verb in Hebrew in the Torah with the root כאר that means to dig. I tell you there is no such word in Hebrew. Also, to dig does not mean to pierce, so maybe you need to learn English a little better too.

          And hurry up and answer the challenge, which you also refused to answer the last time around, before you get blocked again.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          Berean Talmid/Eli Lion/Christian Paul seriously man? You keep coming back! Your style is the same, you call Jesus Yahushua, etc. Now you know latin and Greek? Are you “Orthodox”?

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            I do not know who these people are but if they have the same persuasion then I want to meet them.

          • Sharbano says:

            Stating your answer in such a manner actually confirms it, especially given the evidence You have provided.

          • A Berean Talmid says:

            The bar for your rules of evidence is quite low. Should I then discard everything that you have written as baseless speculation?

          • Dina says:

            What is your persuasion? If it’s the same as theirs, perhaps we can arrange for you guys to have lunch together.

    • SBT The word “k-a-r-u” with an alef, is never translated as dug and even the word “k-r-u” without the alef is never translated as pierced

  18. A Berean Talmid says:

    כּרה

    • Dina says:

      In the Psalm there is an aleph. A verb with the letters כרה would never be conjugated as כארו but as כרו so that’s a hole in your theory. Also, to dig doesn’t mean to pierce. The verb for that in Hebrew is kadar (stab) or ratzah (pierce). You’re still chasing distractions with pseudo-scholarly studies while ignoring the main challenge of Deuteronomy 4.

      You can’t expect Hebrew speakers to take this seriously when you don’t speak Hebrew yourself and thus have no idea what you’re talking about.

    • Dina says:

      Also, are you Jewish, and if so, can you prove it? I believe this is the third time I’m asking the question.

      • A Berean Talmid says:

        And for the third time I say Jewish accotding to whom? Is it not true that a y Jew who accepts Jesus is not considered a Jew anymore? Likewise, Revelatuons says there are those professing to be Jews but are not.

        • Dina says:

          Wrong, a Jew who accepts Jesus is still a Jew. You are Jewish if your mother was a Jew, it’s that simple. The goyim never had trouble figuring out who was Jewish and whether to stick ’em in a ghetto or impale them on swords. Stop being coy. Are you Jewish?

          Please don’t pretend that no one knows who Jews are. If that were so, anti-Semitism would not exist.

      • A Berean Talmid says:

        Interesting question. Forgive me forvdeclining to prove. Since temple records were destroyed long ago the only tangible proof seems to be circumcision.

    • ABT So how did the alef get into the text – did the Masorites put that there too?

  19. A Berean Talmid says:

    Has anyone here seen the DSS Scroll for Psalm 110? It is quite an eye opener. I recommend to take a peak at it.

    • Sharbano says:

      You’re digging yourself a grave here by “assuming” those scrolls are the most accurate. We can judge that community by the content of the entire scroll library. Their content reflect a Hellenistic thinking and we know from historical accounts these were not the most erudite of people. It is quite clear they were mixing Greek beliefs with Jewish, not unlike the Samaritans had done.

  20. Concerned Reader says:

    You are familiar with the atonement death of the Tzadik, right? With regards to eating His flesh, you are into hyper literalism. He explained that His flesh were His words.

    I’m aware that these words like flesh and blood are metaphors in the gospels, its the Church that is not aware. Orthodox, Catholic, and mainline protestants all read transubstantiation in a very real literal way.

    As to the idea of the Tzadik in Judaism, are you also aware that literally ANY MAN OR ANY WOMAN can be considered a tzaddik? Look at Paul’s reference to the well of Miriam in 1 Corinthians 10:4.

    Any Jew, or even a righteous gentile, who lives a life of piety, serves as a beacon of holiness, and acts as a reminder for others to do repentance, IN LIFE OR after they die, can be called an atonement, it has nothing whatever to do with their death or blood.

    You Christians teach that only one man (Jesus) is the Tzaddik, and that only one death can atone. How do you think atonement via the death of the righteous even occurs? HINT: “they will MOURN.” Mourning produces contrition which results in repentance. Its not the blood or the death that atones, but the state of contrition followed by godly actions that atones, and anyone can do that. See Paul’s statement here? Colossians1:24 “Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is STILL LACKING in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.”

    Or this verse here? Acts 2:32 When the people heard this, they were CUT TO THE HEART and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, REPENT and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

    Repentance, not blood atones for sins. If you were living in the time of the temple and you brought a sacrifice without the proper intent and repentant heart, it would be fruitless.

    Contrast this perspective with Christianity which says trust in Jesus and all your sins will be wiped away regardless of mitzvot, regardless of actions. In fact, in Christianity your works mean nothing and do not justify you.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      have you never noticed in the Tanakh the various sacrificial offerings that were brought but were still not acceptable to G-d? This proves that blood does nothing.

  21. A Berean Talmid says:

    Dina asked “Tal, what denomination do you belong to? Russian Orthodox? Greek Orthodox?”

    Nazarene, follower of The Way

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Why are Christians so coy about what denomination they belong to? Are you eastern orthodox, Catholic, Baptist?

    • Dina says:

      Tal, why don’t you straightforwardly answer questions? I asked you about your denomination, and you answered, “Nazarene, follower of The Way.” That is not a denomination.

      Why won’t you tell me your denomination?

      Why won’t you tell me if the rabbis changed betulah to almah in Isaiah 7:14 when you are happy to say that they changed words in other places?

      Why won’t you tell me if you are Jewish?

      Why won’t you tell me what your native tongue is?

      What are you trying to hide?

  22. Fred says:

    ABT, you are yet another Christian who denies the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. Please show me a church that believes Jesus was half human and half God and worships only the “god-half”? This is a denial of the main foundational doctrine of your religion ( that Jesus is 100% man and 100% God), unless, that is, you have your own personal version of Christianity that is not shared by ANY denomination, and in fact you would be branded as a heretic by each and EVERY denomination.
    I am new to Judaism, so I will not even attempt to speak for the deep teachings of Judaism, but as a former Christian preacher and author I will speak of Christianity.

    The truth is, Christianity does not work; does not deliver on the promises it makes in the NT. This is not just in reference to the prophecies kicked down the road to the “second -coming” or to a future “salvation from hades”, but to what is promised here and now: the entire change of nature from one of complete fleshly depravity to the “Indwelling of christ” that changes you into a sanctified and holy creature that does not sin. This is the larger , and most important, feature of the Christian “gospel”: that it solves “the sin problem”. It does not solve the sin problem in the mortal man, as any Christian will tell you they still commit sins years after their “Born-again” experience. Therefore, the church responds to this problem by hiding the most important feature of the gospel: “That accepting Jesus creates a new man who walks in the spirit of christ and does not sin”. 1John 3:9, Romans 8:1. A new person that “crucifies the flesh” and walks in the newness of life, Romans chapters 5-8. The “just believe and you are saved” of John 3:16 is a “free sample” ruse to get one into the church, and to trick the Jew into forsaking his faith.

    Martin Luther is considered the champion of the gospel of “righteousness by faith” by Evangelicals and Protestants, yet Luther slipped further and further into depravity and evil the longer he walked in that message. So regardless of how many Hebrew texts you can read Jesus into, the truth is that the meta-narrative of Christianity is a bait-and-switch scam that misrepresents the God of Abraham, His character and His Law.

    May the God of Avraham, Yitzaac and Yacov illumine your mind to the plain truth of Torah.

  23. Fred says:

    Maybe sometime, Dina. It is a long story. Shalom! 🙂

  24. Fred says:

    I wrote something up that I could share. Where would be the best place to post?

  25. Fred says:

    To family and friends,
    It seems that we are in a kind of “day of reckoning”: right now, with people making firm decisions about their lives and lifestyles, and then pronouncing such changes and affirmations openly. I feel it is time for me to make a proclamation myself and clear the air, lest rumors fly and inaccuracies occur in the speculative reporting of the situation.
    Anyone who knows me also knows I am a pretty religious person. Make no mistake, things of a spiritual nature have always been important to me, as well as the idea of “doing the right thing” whenever I could, according to the knowledge I had at the time. This has been a struggle for me, since all people want to be happy, myself being no exception. However, there has always been a tension in my soul between persuing happiness and persuing meaning. One does not always lead to, or bring about, the other. Unfortunately, I have also projected such a paradigm onto others, including my children. I cannot really apologize for that, being as how I still believe that meaning in life is should always be persued even at the cost of happiness, which I believe is fleeting and dependent upon circumstances. Happiness can be stolen from you,but meaning never can be.
    However, the persuit of meaning and truth is a journey that requires taking different paths, viewing things from various perspectives and at times exposing oneself to rejection and pain. I do apologize for putting my family and friends through any pain they may have suffered as a result of my persuit of meaning and truth. On the other hand, I also hope that my children , family and friends have enjoyed a deeper life experience on some level as a result of the same.
    The persuit of meaning and truth has no end, and is always in motion. It often means “trading-in” one paradigm, or mindset, for another. These trade-offs can sometimes demand not only a change of thought, but a change in lifestyle that accompanies that change of thought, if one is to be consistent. However, I have also learned that compromise is not always bad, and that oftentimes compromise is the wiser path. Obviously there are those who would vehemently disagree.

    In 1999, during a time of personal distress over my circumstances. I made a decision to let God take my life and mold it into whatever He thought best. This decision led to convictions about many things. The first of which was to surrender completely to God. I decided to persue my Christian faith in an uncompromising way and to open my heart to anything God wanted to show me. It was at this point that questions came to mind:

    1- Why do people pray to Jesus if Jesus said to pray to the Father and not to him?
    2- Why don’t Jews, who had the Law,the Prophets and a rich history of deep spiritual persuit of truth accept Jesus?

    I had actually made a phone call to a local synagogue in order to ask a rabbi why he did not accept Jesus. At this point I had no information on the matter being as how the “Information Age”, i.e., the Internet, had not yet made it to my household. The rabbi was not available at the time, so I decided to try at a later date.

    I was able to find an old friend from my “Christian rock band” days, ________,who was now a pastor, and made an appointment to discuss these things with him. His answer was that Jesus was not what the Jews expected in a Messiah:
    1- A warrior to destroy the Romans, so they could dominate the world
    3- The egotistical Jewish leadership saw Jesus as a “threat to their power”
    These seemed to satisfy my curiosity for a while. I also asked Pastor _____ why people pray to Jesus when Jesus said to pray to God. Of course the answer was that Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit were all the same God, and to pray to any one of them was to pray to them all. It still made no sense, but I persued my Christianity with great zeal nonetheless. As most of you know, I later became a Seventh-Day Adventist due to my conviction that God’s laws could never be changed, since God himself could never change. But in the spirit of transperancy I must add that SDA was not my first choice.
    All of my life I have had a strong and inexplicable pull toward Israel and the Jewish people. Prior to attending the Adventist Church I investigated “Messianic Judaism”, that is, a form of Judiasm that was also Christian. However, the congregations were few and far between, and the ones I found were focused more on political Zionism than God. I had no problem with Zionism ( centering on Israel as a nation), but I was hungry for God and his truth. I has already begun keeping the Shabbat ( Sabbath), adopted a kosher diet and taught my children accordingly.

    I joined the Adventist Church, took and Adventist wife and later took a job at a Seventh-day Adventist high school in Oklahoma. During this time, I continued my persuit of truth regarding my very first question as a “born-again Christian”: Why do people pray to Jesus when Jesus said to pray to the Father? Christianity was very “Christ-centered”, but Jesus seemed more “God-centered”, at least in the Synoptic Gospels. I got many different answers for this, bit none satisfied that nagging curiosity that goaded my conscience and my intellect.

    I continued my research for the next couple of years in earnest to uncover this odd mystery . Much to my surprise, I discovered that the SDA Church was nontrinitarian for its first 90 years, and that the trinity was only made an official doctrine in 1980! I then wrote a piece using my over 1000 pages of gleaned study notes, which resulted in the manuscript called “The Trinity Chronicles”. This MS made its way around the globe, was translated into several slavic languages, and eventually found its way to the leadership of the SDA denomination. Calls were made by the General Conference to the school I was on staff at and my contract was not renewed for the following year.

    I then began to investigate my original question: why do Jews not accept Jesus as messiah?
    This question took me to a few different rabbis, all of whom had a different story than the standard Christian response. The rabbis took me through the Jewish Bible, called Tanakh, which includes what Christians call “the Old Testament”. They showed me that, in fact, there was an entire litany of scriptural requirements spelled out plainly in the Bible which must be met for any messianic claimant; events that would accompany his arrival into the world ( this is only a partial list):

    1- The Messiah is not God or a divine being, but a mere mortal, and will not be worshiped in any way
    2- He will be of the tribe of Judah and tribal affiliation comes through the father’s bloodlines
    3- The Third Temple will be rebuilt and fully functional, including Levitical priests
    4- Universal knowledge of God, nobody will have to preach anything to anyone
    5- The Jewish Bible says nothing about eternal salvation being dependent on “believing in” the messiah.

    I then went back to the Christian side for their response. I was presented with “over 300 prophecies about the Messiah that Jesus fulfilled”. Rather than study all 300, I asked for the “top 40”; those that were considered the plainest and most important. I took these prophecies one by one and studied them in their context and in their original language ( Hebrew) using my concordance and lexicons. Of the 40 I was presented, I concluded that Jesus only fulfilled three:
    1- He was human ( the seed of Eve)
    2- He was Jewish ( His mom was Jewish so he was too)
    3- He rode a donkey into Jerusalem ( although he had his disciples steal the donkey for the sole purpose of fulfiling that prophecy)

    Most of the “messianic prophecies” I was presented with were not even prophecies. And those that were prophecies were taken out of context or had a verse attached to the context , such as sins the “messiah” would be repenting of, that would eliminate Jesus as the New Testament presents him. One proof text even tells of a false prophet … and Christians applied this text to Jesus!
    I stopped attending the SDA church entirely and there was growing contention with my wife and in my home. Eventually, we divorced in 2010 ( not just over religion, but several reasons).
    I attended the Conservative synagogue in Oklahoma City for three years, from 2008 to 2011, while also studying with Orthodox rabbis over the phone and by internet ( the Orthdox rabbis believed I have a “Jewish soul” that is trying to find its way home). I was asked by the rabbi in OKC to convert. But by 2011 my life had become lonely. The synagogue I was attending hired a new rabbi, who became vocal in [liberal] politics from the pulpit which was a turn-off for me ( my friends know I lean conservative, but I also do not enjoy secular political activism from the pulpit) and I found myself in the middle of an emotional “no man’s land”. I missed my “old life”: my wife, my kids, my step-kids and my SDA friends, and tried my best to win back as much as I could. My youngest daughter was still Christian as well.

    On the strength of all these difficulties I decided to “hold my nose” and return to the SDA church, burying my antitrinitarian and “non-Jesus” thoughts as best I could. I made no secret of the fact that my Christian faith held by only a weak thread. But in the back of my mind, I knew I was not walking out my convictions, and every Adventist sermon that centered on Jesus grated on my conscience ( I actually appreciated the ones that centered on the law and God’s justice). I found it increasingly difficult to add “in Jesus’ name” to my prayers. You know that feeling when you tell a lie and you know you are lying? Like a “mini headache”, right?

    The point of personal crisis came at a communion service when the pastor made it clear that only a human being was sacrificed on Calvary, because God cannot die. A human sacrifice was made by the God who condemned human sacrifices as evil? I got up and walked out, never to return.
    I said all of that to announce that I am converting to Judaism once and for all and at any and all cost. In my personal experience I cannot accept anything else in my persuit of meaning, truth and of who God made me to be. I cannot be atheist or angostic, as it has been to clear me from my life’s experience that there is a God and that this God does in fact intervene in mankind’s affairs, else I would not be here today ( I’ve got stories!). A personal God, in my view, is self-evident.

    There is no doubt in my mind or my heart that I was meant to be Jewish, or that I always was before my birth: with all of its trials and difficulties, with all of the hate directed toward us from so many directions, but also with every spiritual form, blessing and tradition given by God to His people. Anything else would be a denial of who I really am. I long to wear a tallit, kiss the Mezuzah on my door post and repeat the Sh’ma in unison with the entire people Israel. The Shabbat has always been in my heart, as has the nation of Israel; the people , the language I seem to somehow recognize on the inside but have to “relearn” on the outside. But mostly, we think differently. It is not a Western linear way of thought, but a cyclical and poetic way of thought. We do not see God’s laws ( mitzvot) as restrictions but as freedom and a way to show God we love all He has supplied, which is everything and everybody. To us, God is not a fictional “Flying Spaghetti Monster” nor a mean-spirited ogre that demands a human sacrifice to assuage His anger. Does God get “angry”? In a way. Is he an “angry God”? Not at all. Judaism goes as deep as anyone could comprehend, but God’s request of His people is still so simple a child can understand it.
    Anyway, that is all I have to say at this point. I hope this clears up any speculation of confusion as to my thoughts, my beliefs and my motivations.
    Blessings to all in His glorious name!
    Fred

    • Inspiring! I will post this as a blog article Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Dina says:

      Fred, your story is inspiring for its courage. I’m quoting this line again because I love it:

      “Judaism goes as deep as anyone could comprehend, but God’s request of His people is still so simple a child can understand it.”

      Indeed!

      May this year bring us all a closer and deeper connection with God.

  26. Fred says:

    Thank you both! L’shana Tova!

  27. Ufuomaee says:

    Hi dear Concerned Reader,

    While I appreciate your revelation and approach, I have to deny that Jesus taught His followers that He was the Messiah. What He did was affirm their claim to His being the Christ, which was evident by His life and teachings, and revealed to them by God.

    Matthew 16:17 “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven”.

    Jesus intentional wanted it to be secret, otherwise He would have divided the people more, who would have tried to force Him to lead them into battle, or even aroused the suspicion of the Romans. His eyes were on the Cross. Being rejected by His own people was part of His fulfilment of prophecy (as they had done to the other prophets before Him). But He promised to come back – only when they are ready to profess “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matt 23:39).

    Many others in Jesus’ time, prior and since have professed to be the Messiah. But how many of them still have following…?

    The Jews were waiting for a different Messiah other than Jesus, and 2000 years later, they are still waiting. Maybe they need to accept Jesus, before He will come back as their once and future King!

    Sincerely, Ufuoma.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Ufuomaee,

      I’m super busy these days but when I have the time may I ask you some questions to get your Christian perspective?

      Thanks,
      Dina

        • Dina says:

          Hi Ufuomaee,

          I skimmed through your blog and I must commend you for your work. It is truly inspiring to see someone dedicate her life to helping others!

          I did have a question on an idea I saw in one of your articles. I may have misunderstood, but it seemed to say that divorce and remarriage constitute adultery. The Hebrew Bible allows for divorce and remarriage, as in Deuteronomy 24:1. In Deuteronomy 22:19, 29, we see that a man who raped a woman must marry her (if she consents) and then may not divorce her as long as he lives, implying that in other cases a man may divorce his wife. The Hebrew Bible also warns not to change its laws (Deuteronomy 4:2).

          In light of that, how do you as a Christian reconcile this with the idea that divorce and remarriage constitute adultery?

          Also, is a Christian woman expected to stay chained to a man who beats her, whether by staying with him or whether by leaving him but never being allowed to remarry? If he beats her and her children, is her first responsibility to the marriage or to keep her and her children safe?

          • Dina says:

            Thank you in advance!

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Hi Dina,

            I’m sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I moved house this week, and things have been hectic. I finally got round to writing a response to you. I decided to do it as a post, as I feel it would help more people, who may also be confused about what you asked about.

            You can read my response here: http://ufuomaee.com/2015/10/03/reader-questions-dina-on-remarriage/

            I hope I’ve answered you fully. Cheers, Ufuoma.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Ufuomaee,

            Thank you for taking the time to present a considered and thoughtful response to my questions. I have more questions on your response but am bogged down at the moment and hope to address them to you later this week, God willing.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Hi Ufuomaee,

            Finally getting back to you. Thanks again for taking the time to write about this. First, we do agree that adultery is forgivable. The Bible teaches that your sins are wiped away, that you are forgiven, as soon as you turn away from your evil ways and pursue acts of righteousness, charity, and justice (Ezekiel 18 and 33). This was the case 3500 years ago and it is the case today. You wrote that you don’t know how modern Judaism views this teaching; traditional Judaism today is no different from its ancient counterpart.

            In fact, I would like to quote what you wrote: “I don’t know if you still stone people to death who are caught in the ‘act of adultery’. I really don’t know how modern Judaism operates.”

            It is hard for me to believe that you don’t know that we don’t stone people for adultery, or for anything else, for that matter. That’s a rather shocking statement! Since you know so little about Jews and Judaism, please allow me to give you a little background. Stoning people for adultery was an impossibility even in ancient times, because for death penalty cases the Bible requires at least two eyewitnesses. And of course, who commits adultery in front of witnesses? According to our received tradition, there were many other hurdles to overcome in order to sentence someone to death because of our dread of executing an innocent person—so much so that the Talmud records that a Jewish court that carried out an execution once every 70 years was viewed as a particularly harsh court.

            Furthermore, I would like to set the record straight on how we understand the Bible we personally received from God. You wrote that Jesus taught a higher law of love, as opposed to an eye for an eye. Jews have never read this passage from Exodus 21 as a law of vengeance to literally take an eye for an eye and so on. What we have understood—and which you will see if you read the verse in context (verse 18, for example, explains the context)—is that a person who is injured in any limb or organ is due monetary compensation for that loss. This is social justice plain and simple and prevents anarchy from taking place. A person who has his eye put out can seek redress in a court of law, where a judge will demand that the perpetrator pay the victim compensation.

            This also becomes more obvious in light of Leviticus 19, which forbids us to take revenge or bear a grudge (verse 18). Personal revenge is forbidden, but redress for wrongs in a court of law is another matter entirely. This must be so to maintain order in society and prevent anarchy.

            Please realize that the same Torah that taught this rule of law also taught us to love your fellow as you love yourself (Leviticus 19:18), to help your enemy (Exodus 23:5), not to hate your brother in your heart (Leviticus 19:17)—a high law of love indeed.

            As for my question on the contradiction between the Jewish Bible and the Christian one on divorce, I do not understand your answer. You wrote that Jesus didn’t change it, he simply expanded it. This is what I don’t understand. The Hebrew Bible allows for divorce and remarriage (except in the case of a husband who wants to remarry his ex-wife who has been remarried and divorced). The Christian bible calls this adultery. This is to me not an expansion but an outright, direct change. But even if it were a mere expansion, the Torah forbids adding on (expanding) or subtracting from the law. Therefore it would still be a contradiction.

            In a case of domestic abuse, you wrote that you can permit the couple to separate, but not to divorce and remarry. This is a contradiction. It is a change. You may argue it’s a change for the better (I would disagree, and so would the victims of abuse). But God said we may not change His decrees. For these reasons, I do not understand why you say that Jesus changed nothing.

            I hasten to add that Judaism does not encourage divorce, of course! Traditional Jewish communities are known for their strong, stable family units and very low rate of divorce.

            I hope I have enlightened you on Judaism and I hope you can further clarify what still seems to me to be a contradiction between the Torah and the teaching of Jesus.

            Thanks again for your time, patience, respect, and courtesy.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Hi Dina, I’ve responded to you on my blog.

            Thanks!

          • Dina says:

            Hi Ufuomaee,

            I would like to first explain why I’m responding here. This website aims to defend Judaism from misinformation for the sake of those Jewish people who can be easily misled due to lack of education.

            Ultimately, I am here defending my territory. I don’t visit Christian websites to debate because it’s not my job to convince Christians of the truth of Judaism. In our tradition one need not convert to Judaism in order to get right with God as long as he lives a moral and decent life. If a Christian comes to this website, though, and presents a challenge, then I will defend Judaism here.

            Just explaining so you’ll know it’s nothing personal.

            As for your answer, I saw that you responded point for point and I am honored that you took the time to do so. If I review your post and go toe-to-toe with you on every point, however, I fear our conversation is going to get unwieldy. May I suggest choosing one point at a time to discuss? If you agree, please feel free to choose the point that is closest to your heart.

            I look forward to getting your thoughts on this.

            Peace and blessings,

            Dina

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Thanks Dina,

            I appreciate your explanation. I was drawn to this site by Fred’s post about rejecting Jesus. I also was interested in Concern Reader’s posts on the same topic.

            In my comments, I targeted them to get a better understanding on their views and decisions, not because I wanted to come and preach Christ here. I am not fond of going to people’s blogs to preach Christ. I make good use of my blog for that.

            However, you were the one who was keen to respond to me and engage me. You went to my site to read my material and decided to question me on my messages, but you wanted to do so here. As you were asking questions that I believe my other readers would desire answers to, I felt it only appropriate to address them on my blog.

            I do believe I have addressed every issue in my last response to you. It is for you to decide if and what you would like to defend and reply to. If you do not wish to continue our discussion/debate, that’s also fine. I do believe I’ve exceeded the purpose of my visit here. If another post or comments catches my intention, then I will happily respond. But believe me, I don’t skim through the site or comments looking for things to argue over.

            Thanks for engaging me though, and respectfully too.

            Cheers, Ufuoma.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Ufuomaee,

            You are right and I stand corrected. Out of curiosity I impulsively violated my own policy and didn’t realize it until you pointed it out. Therefore, I am happy to drop it as well if that is what you prefer.

            Thank you for correcting me.

            As for your other posts here, I plan to respond to them but I do understand if you’d rather not continue the conversation.

            Wishing you all the best,
            Dina

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Actually, if you don’t mind, I asked you a couple of questions in my response about your charge against me, Jesus and Christianity for seeking to change God’s laws. I pointed out that I felt you have a modernised perspective on the laws yourself. I kind of wanted your feedback on that issue, if you could indulge me.

            Regarding this site, and other sites I comment on, I only stir when I am poked, that is, people reply to me directly. If you want to continue the discussion, I’ll do my best to keep up.

            Cheers, Ufuoma.

          • Dina says:

            Sure, Ufuoma, I am happy to oblige.

            I think you are referring to my adding that the rapist could only marry the victim with her consent. The Talmud brings this explanation. The redaction of the Talmud began in the third century and was completed in the sixth, about 1500 years ago. The Talmud records our oral tradition that preceded it by about 2000 years. Therefore, this is not my modern understanding but our ancient tradition.

            Please let me know if this answers your question and/or if you have any others.

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Thanks for replying and obliging me.

            I did a little search to verify what the Talmud consists of and got this from Wiki:

            “The entire Talmud consists of 63 tractates, and in standard print is over 6,200 pages long. It is written in Tannaitic Hebrew andAramaic, and contains the teachings and opinions of thousands of pre-Christian Erarabbis on a variety of subjects, includingHalakha (law), Jewish ethics, philosophy, customs, history, lore and many other topics.”

            The part that is most interesting to me is that it consists of the opinions and teaching of rabbis. The fact that it wasn’t solidified or completed until much after Christ is reported to have come, and long after the canonization of the Bible, suggests that in terms of ancient understanding, it has less weight than even the Bible.

            It was open for editing for centuries and was no doubt influenced by Christianity.

            Regardless, my point is, despite when it was affirmed as complete and true, it is still an attempt to understand the Law, based on OPINIONS and TEACHING other than from Moses, who received the Law and passed on the message that we ought not to add or remove from it.

            Now, it’s easy and comfortable for you to chuck that accusation at Christians, but your understanding is not anymore the Word of God

          • Ufuomaee says:

            My response wasn’t complete as I clicked send by mistake.

            I was saying that the Talmud is not any more the Word of God than the New Testament teachings from Jesus and the Apostles. Both boths have perspectives on the Law as given by Moses that Moses can not affirm as true. Yet, they are not wrong as long as they are in keeping with the Spirit of God. Therein lies the real issue.

            God’s blessings, Ufuoma.

          • Dina says:

            That’s an excellent point, Ufuoma. And so the question we must ask is this: Which writings represent the faithful testimony of God’s true witnesses?

            I offer the following reasons for accepting the testimony of the Pharisees and their descendants who represent God’s truth.

            I shall be repeating points I already made, but as this is a different context, please bear with me.

            First, God appointed Israel to be his witnesses (Isaiah 43:10). As I detailed in one of my responses to you, the Torah repeatedly stresses that the teachings of the Torah must be transmitted from parent to child. But the early movement of Christianity did not survive as a Jewish movement. We do not see a Jewish parent-to-child transmission of Jesus’s teachings; the early Jewish Christians simply disappeared without leaving a living line of descendants. God furthermore teaches that the Sabbath is an eternal sign between Him and the Jewish people (Exodus 31:16-17). The only continuous Sabbath observance we see throughout history to the present day is within the Orthodox Jewish community (the descendants of the Pharisees who were the Orthodox Jews of their day).

            Second, God said that He put his testimony in Jacob (Psalm 78:5-8) and that His spirit which He has placed upon us and the words which He has placed in our mouths will never depart from us (Isaiah 59:21).

            Finally, Jews must utterly reject any type of worship that is not the same as the one known to them from their fathers (Deuteronomy 13:1-5) and any type of worship that involves any type of form (Deuteronomy 4:9-20). Only those Jews who throughout the generations clung to God and His Torah at risk of life and limb and often losing those are the ones who bear faithful testimony to God’s truth.

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Hi Dina,

            I really want to go toe to toe with you on this, but I fear it would be a fruitless exercise. I do have a few points though.

            You said dismissively of the early Jewish Christians that they ‘simply disappeared’. Was it that simple? Where they not heavily persecuted and killed off?

            Even still… they did one better than passing it by word of mouth from parent to child. THEY WROTE IT DOWN! I think that’s rather smart.

            And regarding the rest of your defense for your people being the only ones entrusted with God’s word and truth… you need to know that your covenant was broken – by you. God warned you of all that would happen to you and your people if you failed to abide by His laws! That’s what’s going on.

            But He promised that if you turned around and repented, He will forgive and heal you. It is not too late. Again I must conclude with Jesus’ parting statement:

            “You shall not see me again until you say ‘blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord'” (Matt 23:39)

            Have a blessed evening!

          • Dina says:

            Hi Ufuoma,

            I’d like you to know that I do not seek to convince you of the truth of Judaism or to “win” this debate. If I could clarify to you the Jewish position that would be enough for me :).

            As for your comment, these are God’s words, not mine; thus your argument is, respectfully, not with me but with God. All the passages I cited come straight from Scripture, which we both hold to be the inerrant word of God. I hope you will read them and consider them well.

            Regarding the early Jewish Christians, there is zero historical evidence that Jews massacred their Jewish Christian brethren. Roman persecution of Christians was, if memory serves me correctly, sporadic and confined to the large cities. By the fourth century, the Christian Church had branded these Jews as heretics because they refused to give up their Jewish observances, did not view Jesus as God but only as the Messiah, and rejected Paul’s teachings; for this reason, the Church persecuted them to the point that some were assimilated and some were killed off.

            That is tragic, but God promised He would never wipe out His righteous remnant. And the remnant of Jews that God has chosen to preserve turns out to be the Pharisees. In every generation, every schismatic group eventually disappears (either by reabsorbtion into the traditional community or through assimilation). We see this happening today with non-Orthodox Jews whose rate of assimilation is as high as 80% with a birthrate lower than the general population (these are statistics for U.S. Jews from Pew) as opposed to a low assimilation rate of 3% and a high birthrate for Orthodox Jews.

            In fact, the survival of the Pharisees—the only Jewish sect to have survived the destruction of the Second Temple—is nothing short of miraculous in light of the persistent and strenuous attempts of Christianity to render us extinct through forced conversions, expulsions, massacres, tortures, burnings, economic and financial pressure, and so on. I find that the Christians I talk to often don’t understand the Jewish perspective due to an ignorance of the history of Christian-Jewish relations. I therefore recommend the following eye-opening books:

            Thy Brothers Blood: The Roots of Christian Anti-Semitism by Malcolm Hay
            Christian Antisemitism: A History of Hate by William Nicholls
            Holy Hatred: Christianity, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust by Robert Michael

            Christians get very angry with me when I mention this, so I beg you to understand that the last thing I wish to do is to offend. I pray you hear my words in the spirit with which I offer them: to understand and seek the truth.

            You wrote that the Christians did even better than God’s command by writing it down. We have our Scripture as well, and our Talmud—but that does not give us the right to decide which of God’s commandments we can discard and which we should observe. God commanded us to pass His teachings through parent-to-child instruction as the primary means of transmission, a chain of transmission that remains unbroken to this day. Of course we study our sacred texts, too (the two are not mutually exclusive). The early Christians wrote books, but they failed to transmit their teachings as the Bible commands; God did not preserve them as a Jewish movement; while there are many reasons for Jews to reject belief in Jesus as God (I gave you some) and as Messiah (we haven’t talked about that yet) this is also good proof that God did not favor Jews converting to this movement.

            You concluded by telling me that if I repent, God would heal me, and so on. By repentance, I assume you mean acceptance of Jesus. If my assumption is correct, then you must have not read the reasons I gave you for why Jews cannot ever worship Jesus as God. If you have read the reasons I gave you, then you have not offered a refutation. Since in the Hebrew Bible idolatry is considered a terrible crime against God, then surely you can understand our caution? And surely you will understand that I would ask you to show me why the Scriptures I cited are not relevant and why a repent-and-he-will-heal-you response fails to persuade?

            By the way, do you believe that the people of Israel is no longer God’s chosen nation and that the church has replaced Israel (i.e., replacement theology)?

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

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Let me just clarify my position on one thing which you misrepresented. I do not hold the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God. You can learn about my views regarding that on my post – A Classic Conversion Mistake.

            I haven’t read the rest of your comment, but will get round to it, when I can settle down to understand and decide for myself if I want to continue this discussion. But I doubt there will be more to say.

            Peace and Out, Ufuoma.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Ufuoma,

            I know that this is a difficult topic and I understand your wish to discontinue the discussion. I will nevertheless respond, as time permits, to your comments for the sake of those following the conversation. It has been a pleasure to talk to you!

            Wishing you all the best,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Ufuoma,

            I haven’t had a chance to read your article but if Scripture is not God’s words then we really do have nothing to talk about. If we cannot appeal to the authority of Scripture then our religion is what we decide it is, and quoting Scripture at each other is pointless if you can pick and choose which passages you think are true and which you think are not because they don’t fit with your theology. Does that make sense?

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

    • Concerned Reader says:

      I understand that Christians have their reasons to believe, but as per the Torah, the messiah needs to finish the job. You say he won’t come until he’s accepted, but take note that Moses expected that people would doubt him, and he only expected them to follow him after he finished the job of redemption. If you believe that messiah had to die, there are many claimants other than Jesus who have died. If you open the door to one dying messiah, the messiah could be any number of people. Jews will accept a messiah when he finishes the job of redemption.

      • Ufuomaee says:

        I understand their perspective as you laid it out in your post already. I was just giving the other side (Christian perspective), which is what if Jesus was the Messiah?

        Anyway, that if the big if in my book. Some may say it’s a small if.

        What is not clear from reading your post is what you believe now. Are you a Jew, like Fred?

        Cheers for getting back to me.

    • Michel Keslacy says:

      The Jews they were not waiting for a different Messiah then Jesus.We have been waiting for Mashiyah Ben David, he is not different for the Jews there is only ONE .According to Torah every one will know who is the Mashiyah. The resurrection of the dead, no more wars, the glorious third temple will be standing, the jews will all worship HASHEM and keep His mitzvot. And his primary function is to unit the people. May HASHEM bless you and keep you.

    • Arkenaten says:

      @Ufuoma

      I have to deny that Jesus taught His followers that He was the Messiah. What He did was affirm their claim to His being the Christ,

      Er … doesn’t the word Messiah mean ‘anointed’ which is the same as ‘Christ’?

      Or do you follower a different form of Christianity? Just asking?

      • Ufuomaee says:

        Messiah and Christ are one and the same. What is your point?

        My point was that Jesus affirmed that He was the Christ, which became obvious to His followers. He didn’t brainwash or indoctrinate them into agreeing that He was the Christ, as the post suggests.

        • Arkenaten says:

          You said you denied that Jesus taught his followers he was the Messiah then went on to say he affirmed he was the Christ.

          As the words mean the same thing what point are you not understanding?

          • Ufuomaee says:

            The word don’t mean the same time. A teacher can stand in a classroom paying close attention to her pupils and doing what a good teacher does. If her students acknowledge that she is a good teacher and she affirms it (agrees with their insight), it’s very different from if she devotes her teaching to telling them that she’s a good teacher repeatedly (as though to convince them by her own testimony or self praise).

          • Arkenaten says:

            Ah .. well, in actual fact, Jesus denied he was a ”god”. But you know this of coourse, yes?

          • Ufuomaee says:

            For the sake of our discussion, show me where, so I can understand the context.

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Are you wasting time Ark? I said show me where it’s written in scripture

          • Arkenaten says:

            Sorry, I was answering from the drop down and forgot the question.

            And Jesus said unto him, Why call me good? none is good, except one, that is, God.
            You know this yes?

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Oh wow, classic! Is that it? That’s too easy

            I could use all the other times that Jesus equated Himself with God to nullify YOUR INTERPRETATION of that statement, because that is all it is…an interpretation.

            Like I said in response to CR, Jesus was on the “hush hush” about His divinity. So, He cast doubt in the minds of those He didn’t want to know He was. He silenced demons who professed that He was the Christ, Son of God etc. Not because He didn’t believe He was those things, but because He didn’t want the situation to get out of hand. He was controlling the situation by controlling their perspective.

            What I understand by that statement from Jesus, as a follower of Jesus is:

            “Do not assume that I am good. None is good but God”.

            He wasn’t saying He wasn’t God, He was separating the issues. I could say something similar about myself:

            “Why do you call me a Social Worker? (just because you see me helping the poor and running a charity) Only those who qualified in Social Work are social workers”.

            This would throw doubt about whether or not I qualified as a social worker, but I am not saying I didn’t qualify as a social worker (I certainly did). However, I am challenging the basis of the assumption, being simply because I run a charity, which many unqualified people do in Nigeria. Jesus was saying “don’t say I’m good because I do ‘good’ things”.

            Get the picture?

          • Arkenaten says:

            Of course he was repudiating the goodness claim.
            Seriously,where do you get your theology from, the back of a Cheerios packet?

            The character, Jesus of Nowhere..oops, sorry, Nazareth never equates himself with any god, let alone the genocidal Canaanite deity, Yahweh, and you can offer absolutely nothing but apologetic BS.

            Hush hush?Lol. ”Didn’t want the situation to get out of hand?” Are you listening to yourself? What utter crapola. He was at a public wedding when he did his viticulture trick.
            He was out in the open, feeding thousands with little fishes and bread – twice!
            He was ruining the livelihood of a local pig farmer.( and those were some very fit pigs by the way, the closest cliff was 8kms away.)
            The story says he was mobbed upon entry into Jerusalem.

            CNN or Fox news couldn’t have done a better job of keeping his identity hush hush.
            Not to mention what was said in the last verse of the fraudulent nonsense that is ”John.Lol… ‘

            Now, be a good girl and go and do some genuine historical study and stop simply espousing apologetic claptrap.

          • Ufuomaee says:

            I guess there ends your civility.

            Still on your quote from Jesus. Notice that He didn’t say “Don’t call me good”. He asked “WHY do you call me good?”

            I would bet you any dollar, if it would make a difference, that if the man had responded “Because You are the Christ, the Holy One of God”, Jesus would have responded the same way He responded to Peter : “flesh and blood did not reveal this to you…”

            Jesus said that none come to Him except those that the Father sends…so He is trusting that God will reveal His identity to people, rather than Him having to do so. It is the Holy Spirit that gave understanding then, and it is the Holy Spirit that grants understanding now.

            If you want to say that Jesus was saying He was not good, then what would you say about His teaching that He is the “Good Shepherd”? And who was He talking to when He made this claim, His followers, who God had sent to Him.

            Jesus made a splash, not doubt. A big splash. But if He hadn’t sought to control it, He would have made a MIGHTY BIG splash. He controlled it for the Cross. His mission was for the Cross.

            I won’t expect you to understand, because it is God (who you deny) that grants understanding.

          • Arkenaten says:

            Nope. He denied any claim of godhood.
            Your interpretation is based on Christian apologetics. Just like the stupid doctrine of Original Sin and that crap about Hell.
            All nonsense. The character is prtrayed as a Jew. He would never have called himself Yahweh (God)

            It was one of the main reasons Constantine called all the bishops together at Niceae and said:”Right you lot, sort this bloody mess out, got it?”

            And it is why it was not sorted out for hundreds of years.
            It was why everyone and his granny was pissed off with Arius,and it was why JCs god -hood was decided upon by the church and written into law.
            In other words – they made it up.

            Oh, and simply because we know CR is lurking, you don’t need reminding, I hope, that I consider Jesus of Nazareth nothing but a narrative construct?
            That means, he is a work of fiction.

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Ark, you are a contradiction. I’m starting to think you are insane.

            You say with absolution “Nope. He denied any claim to god hood”, as though you believer or even care about His testimony! And in fact you’re wrong. He referred to Himself as “I am”, the way God did to Moses. He told His disciples that if they have seen Him, they have seen God. There are many more such references…but they are absolutely wasted on you.

            You can’t claim that something is fiction and take seriously its own claims to discredit itself! You’re like a cat chasing its tail. You don’t know what you’re doing, just wasting time. And I’ve given you enough today. Infact, enough for a lifetime.

            Hopefully, God will still send another servant to you to persuade you of the Truth, but I’m dusting my feet off you.

          • Arkenaten says:

            Ah, yes.The I AM claim. I wondered when this little pearler would be introduced.
            This appears in John,( in the NT) and only in John which is a bigger work of cobbled together fiction than Lord of the Rings.
            Ask anyone on this blog.
            Again … do some research!
            Really, it is a piece of literary garbage.

            There are many more such references but they are absolutely wasted on you.

            Translation: You have Sweet Fanny Adams and are grasping at straws and don’t even understand your own apologetics.

            You can’t claim that something is fiction and take seriously its own claims to discredit itself!

            I dont take seriously any biblical claims . It is a work of Historical Fiction. Plain nonsense.
            I am simply pointing out your rank ignorance of the contents.

            God? Which god are you talking about, please?

          • Dina says:

            Ufuomaee, if you wanted to cast doubt on your status as a social worker even though you are one (let us say), by saying what you suggested in this comment, would that not be misleading? And is it not dishonest to mislead people?

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Hi Dina,

            I think your issue here is with wisdom.

            Prov 29:11 says that the fool utters all that is in his heart, whereas the wise withholds it until later.

            People who are wise do not put all their cards on the table. If this means that you see them as dishonest, then that is really your issue. Even in relationships, we do not come out and say everything about ourselves until we trust the other person.

            And I will say again that Jesus didn’t tell a lie. He asked a question. I believe He asked that question for at least two reasons (there may be more).

            1. For his enquirer to reveal his true understanding. If the man had responded “because you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (like Peter did) or something that reveals that he knew who Jesus was, Jesus would not have denied it. But he may have told the man to keep it to himself, like he told other people.

            2. He also wanted to teach a man a lesson in making assumptions about people’s goodness. It is a good lesson to teach. We even teach our children not to assume that ‘nice’ people are good and follow those who offer them sweets or treats. If they are strangers, they must beware.

            I think these lessons were obvious in my response to Ark.

            Now, if I chose to tell someone who assumes that I am a social worker that social workers actually need to be qualified, without revealing that I am qualified myself, I have imparted on them an understanding, and I have a right not to disclose that I am social worker, especially if it may present as a risk to others (as you may imagine many circumstances that that may be the case).

            Cheers, Ufuoma.

          • Dina says:

            Thanks for the clarification, Ufuomaee. I do see what you are saying—and in fact agree with you—that one does not have to reveal everything about himself to everyone all at once. However, one also ought not to be deliberately misleading. For example, if I were a licensed social worker, and someone asked me, “Are you a social worker?”, then if my response is, “Why do you say that? Didn’t you know you have to be licensed in order to practice social work?” what I am saying by implication is that I am not a social worker, and therefore that is obviously deceptive. The Bible teaches us “from a matter of falsehood keep your distance” (Exodus 23:7)—it’s not enough to avoid outright lies; we must also keep our distance from any semblance of falsehood. Thus, deliberately misleading others is also unethical.

            When someone calls Jesus good, and his response is, “Why do you call me good? Only God is good,” that is a rebuke that implies that he is a mere man and not deserving to be called good as God is good.

            I do not understand your defense that this is not dishonest. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that if Jesus knew he was God, he was definitely deceptive about it, but he was justified in practicing this deception for whatever reasons (I don’t agree with that, but it is I think a more defensible position). Others, such as Unitarians, use this verse to prove that Jesus was not God.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Hi Dina,

            I’m confused about something. Do you believe what is written in the Bible about Jesus? Since you said that Jesus’ response was a rebuke, it sounds like you believe that He actually had such a conversation with someone.

            What about the other conversations He had with His disciples, where He told them that He is the Good Shepherd, and that if they have seen Him, they have seen the Father? Do you believe that He said those things, or do you only believe He said things that support your belief that He wasn’t God?

            Like I said in my first response to you, I can’t know all the reasons that Jesus decided to answer His enquirer in that manner, but I could draw at least two lessons. You decided to change what the enquirer said to a question, by saying “If someone asks me “are you a social worker?”. Problem is, the enquirer did not ask Jesus “are you the Christ?” or “are you the Good Master?” or “are you God?”. He made a presumptious statement, and Jesus saw an opportunity to challenge that presumption and teach a lesson.

            Your charge is that in giving a false impression of Himself, He was being unethical. I know that He has His reasons for hiding things from certain people. He even said to His disciples that the reason He spoke in parables often was to HIDE the truth from those whose hearts were already hardened against it, so that though “seeing they may not perceive, and hearing they may not understand” (Mark 4:12).

            As I believe that He is Sovereign, I cannot tell Him that it is unfair for Him to do those things. God as a parent, has the right to do certain things to protect us or limit us. What do you think of parents who pretend to leave the house, so that they will test their children? This deception is not to hurt the children, but to teach them a valuable lesson. There’s a you-tube video of such an exercise to catch children who were vulnerable to Internet predators, and the parents who partook in it were shocked beyond measure at what their innocent and naive children where capable of. I believe that those parents were justified.

            The long and short of it is I can’t tell you why Jesus chose the response He chose, but I do know He was not saying that He wasn’t God. I know that because of all the other things He said to those He trusted.

            Sincerely, Ufuoma.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Ufuoma,

            To answer your question, I do not believe the stories of Christian scripture. I was merely pointing out what is problematic in the things claimed to have been said by Jesus. In other cases, I point out problems in stories although I do not believe those stories ever took place, like the conversation between Jesus and the Pharisees when they ask for a sign. I hope that clears up some confusion.

            Wishing you all the best,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Ufuoma, I know you opted out of the conversation. I am responding anyway in case anyone following our various threads is interested :).

          • Ufuomaee says:

            No problem. I’ve read them all. I haven’t opted out. We’ve run out of road to discuss and nothing you’re saying is new. I believe I have addressed every point sincerely and I am not convinced by your decision to call Jesus a false prophet.

            There’s a time for everything, and our time for debate has come and gone. Continuing won’t edify either of us or your readers.

            I wish you the best!

          • Dina says:

            Hi Ufuoma,

            A wise man said, “There is nothing new under the sun!” Our conversation has been ongoing for hundreds of years. But still I think there is much clarity to be gained by hashing and rehashing the old stuff. Although it may get tedious at times, I find the search for clarity to be exhilarating! Please let me know if you change your mind :).

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

  28. Fred says:

    Ufu, the problem is that there is biblical criteria for the messiah and Jesus does not fit. Period. NONE of the events that are prophesied to take place at the advent of messiah happened. Why is that so hard to understand? Cognitive dissonance?

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Ufuomaee The thing about the question “what if Jesus was the messiah?” is that “if” could be said to fit any number of people, particularly if you believe in a suffering messiah concept. What if Bar Kochba was the messiah? What if it was Theudas? The Lubavitcher Rebbe? The Torah sets out plainly the things that the messiah will do, but Jesus hasn’t done any of those big things.

      Consider that even in Christianity, you have a tradition about false Messiahs. It is said these people are said to come and do miracles, to demand recognition, and end up leading people astray. The only thing given by the book as the guide to be able to know the truth is the commandments.

      Jews don’t and won’t believe in a messiah figure until the Job of the messiah is actually completed.

      I believe that Jesus of Nazareth existed, but he was not the messiah. He tragically died, but the Torah teaches that repentance is what matters, not blood. A contrite heart and a broken spirit.

      • Ufuomaee says:

        Hi Concerned Reader,

        I’m only just seeing you reply as you didn’t reply me directly. I also asked to know you… if you have a name (or can I call you CR?) and if you’re a Jew convert like Fred?

        I’m not disagreeing with you that Jews who rejected Jesus did so on thr basis that He didn’t meet up to their expectations. That’s rock solid. It’s also rock solid that their interpretations and perspectives should matter in understanding who the Messiah is. I can’t argue with them on that.

        Your case is clearly stated in your post, and I appreciate that going with what ifs could lead to an endless analysis of what could be a minefield of possibilities.

        Stand firm on what you believe. I’ll stand firm on what I believe. I believe the evidence for Jesus is sufficient, though I wasn’t there, though many seek to discount the witnesses… the same way I believe in the great flood that Jews believe happened, though they weren’t there and many oppose these Biblical revelations.

        For me, the strength of Christianity is the truth of Jesus’ wisdom, which was undeniable then and undeniable now. I read Raj’s post about how Christianity stole wisdom that belonged to the world… I don’t see it that way at all. I see it as the Author of wisdom making things plain and stripping down a lot of religious hypocrisy that has tried to pervert the truth. He said it like no other before Him. He wasn’t trying to take credit for wisdom that was already out there, He was trying to free them. All credit belongs to God for all wisdom and every good thing.

        • Arkenaten says:

          You have n evidence whatsoever that he said damn thing. You only have the anonymous texts that claim he said.
          And considering how much malarkey the church is responsible for one can deduce that the gospels are nothing but historical fiction.
          Just like the Pentateuch.
          Why not go and do some genuine research?

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Hey Ark. Will you please make up your mind? Just above you said to Ufuomaee “Jesus never claimed to be G-d.” why should that claim even matter if he didn’t exist? You’ve said elsewhere that he may have been based on a composite of Jewish preachers who may have existed, and then you said there is no evidence of any such thing. You are as flipped as a pancake on the griddle, make up your mind! If you are just trolling to piss off the theists, then just be a man and say so.

          • Arkenaten says:

            When I engage theists I generally engage the question/topic of their comment/post.

            Ufuoma and I have discussed a few things in the past.

            You will note I pretty much always write : the character Jesus of Nazareth.
            That should tell you enough, I believe?
            If not I can explain in smaller words?
            Let me know, all right?
            Super-duper.

            Oh, and why are you whining again?

            Sheesh, give it a rest.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            “Why not go and do some genuine research?” Says the guy who doubts the consensus of the majority of ancient historians and religious studies scholars (both religious and not.) I leave it up to our readers to figure out who to take seriously.

          • Arkenaten says:

            I have done research. Which is one of the reasons I confirmed what I began to believe after reading the entire bible.’
            There is no verifiable evidence for any such historical claims.

            Points of view change all the time. Carrier is one such.

            Once upon a time almost everyone believed that Moses was a real historical character. Now we know this is absolute BS.
            As with Noah’s flood, Adam and Eve Jonah and the Whale , The Exodus, and a host of other mythical biblical stories.

            I leave it up to our readers to figure out who to take seriously.

            Good heavens’, you really are acting like a spoiled child.
            And now you resort to being smarmy as well.
            What next, foot stamping, pouting?

            Grow up a little CR. I didn’t think they gave degrees to people who acted like pissy,whiny kids.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          Ufuomaee Many Jews spoke exactly like Jesus did. Jesus’ ethical perspectives are not new. Christian theology and beliefs about theology are what is new.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            If Jesus was “hush hush” about his divinity, then he has no business telling others (or his Church has no business) telling others that they MUST accept it to be saved. Deuteronomy 4 explicitly contradicts the idea that G-d can take on flesh and become a human being. If he could become a man, then people would be guilty of worshiping the “host of heaven,” because G-d would be joined (and forever associated with) a human being’s form.

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Do you have the teachings of these teachers recorded? Can you identify 100 of their followers living today?

            I am of the opinion that the Jews that sought to end Christianity when it started would be far more reliable than modern Jews…yet this is what is written to have been said by one of the highly acclaimed among them:

            “But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while.
            35Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men.
            36Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing.
            37After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered.
            38Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.
            39But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

            I think, however divided Christianity had become, the essential message of Christ is still out there, and He had genuine followers in the millions. Time has not destroyed our testimony. Maybe it is time to listen.

          • Dina says:

            Ufuomaee, you quoted Gamaliel as having said that if the movement of Christianity was from God no one would be able to stop its followers. Maybe he said these words; maybe he didn’t—but the point is correct: Christianity did not survive as a Jewish movement. The fact that it has millions of followers for thousands of years cannot be an argument in its favor, as Islam has millions of followers for close to that amount of time and is the fastest growing religion in the world, while Hinduism which predates even Judaism also has millions of followers, among other examples.

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Well argued Dina. Legacy does not equal truth. I have no more defence for this argument.

          • Dina says:

            Ufuomaee, you have just soared in my estimation of you. It is a rare person, of any religion, who can concede point so graciously. Kudos to you!

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Ufuomaee says:

            “If Jesus was “hush hush” about his divinity, then he has no business telling others (or his Church has no business) telling others that they MUST accept it to be saved. Deuteronomy 4 explicitly contradicts the idea that G-d can take on flesh and become a human being. If he could become a man, then people would be guilty of worshiping the “host of heaven,” because G-d would be joined (and forever associated with) a human being’s form.”

            I couldn’t hit reply to your comment, so I’ve copied it to reply here.

            If Jesus was hush hush about His divinity then He has no business telling us to tell others??? It seems to me that you do not know what Christianity is about AT ALL.

            Jesus was hush hush because He didn’t want to divide the people and sabotage His mission to the Cross. Because if He hadn’t, the crowds would have picked Him over Barabbas!

            Now, after the victory of the Cross…the message of the gospel can be preached (and must be preached) without hinderance because IT IS FINISHED. The salvation has been done and completed, now it is for men to be given a chance to repent…and then the end.

            For your second point, do you believe God took on the form of fire or cloud in any form when He led the Israelites?

            If the devil, a creation of God can take the form of a serpent…why is God limited in the forms He can take?

            The bottom line is that God is Spirit… A spirit can possess any life form. God remains God, as the Father on the Throne, no matter the forms He choses to take. The Holy Spirit, which is everywhere and in Heaven, makes it possible for God the Father to reside on His throne, and for God the Son to manifest on the Earth. You are the one limiting God. He is not an old man sitting on a Throne…He is a living ageless Spirit.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Ufuomaee,

            This is a very interesting discussion, certainly! I read your response to Con and I don’t see that you addressed Deuteronomy 4. This chapter is very clear and explicit in teaching that we must not worship God in any form; we are to worship Him only as He appeared to us at Sinai, and it further instructs us to pass this teaching on to our children. Jesus did not appear at Sinai; ergo to worship him is to commit the gravest crime against God, the sin of idolatry. Therefore, even if God had appeared in various physical forms thousands of time throughout Scripture, those instances would be irrelevant because they would teach us nothing about whom or how to worship. The passages in Scripture that do address whom and how to worship are crystal clear.

            I also would emphasize Con’s point that no Christian would approve of worshiping God in the name of the Bush and the Fire. In fact, no one ever worshiped these so-called theophanies. In light of that, how do Christians justify their worship of Jesus?

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Christians believe Jesus is the revelation of God in the Flesh, which is why we worship Him as God (John 1:1).

            We know that God is a jealous God, and in times past, He has struck dead those who took the worship that belonged to Him. With several accounts in the New Testament of people worshiping Jesus, and Jesus not telling them not to worship, and the fact that He was not struck dead, but affirmed by God (through the appearance of the Holy Spirit, His radiant appearance and audible voice of God) that “this is My Son, hear Him”, we are convinced that Jesus is worthy of worship as one of the three Persons of God.

            Jesus speaks of the Father and the Holy Spirit, and that they are One. In Genesis, it is also telling that when God spoke to create man, He said: “Let US make man in OUR image”. This implies the multiplicity of the Godhead.

            Some say that this is Body, Mind and Spirit, where Jesus is the Body, the Father is the Mind and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit. I don’t know.

            I don’t claim to fully understand these things, but I can understand how and why God would choose to appear to us in the Person of Jesus Christ. I do not believe this is contrary to Deuteronomy 4.

            I, and other Christians, do not worship the Cross, or the Crucifix, or images or sculptures of Jesus. We accept that He was revealed as a Man and He will come once again in that form. When He comes, we believe as it is written in our scriptures, that “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil 2:10-11).

            Have a blessed day.

            Cheers, Ufuoma.

          • Dina says:

            Ufuoma, I do understand that Christians sincerely believe they are engaging in the monotheistic worship of the one God of Israel when they include Jesus in their worship.

            But God did not give us the test that if someone is not struck dead when engaging in a specific type of worship, then that worship is valid. Indeed, God even warned us that he would send prophets who can work miracles solely to test us to see if we really love Him (Deuteronomy 13:1-4). God in fact gave us two means by which to test a prophet if he is false or true: one is this passage, where if a prophet encourages a previously unknown type of worship, then no matter how many miracles he can perform we know with certainty he is not from God. (The other is in Deuteronomy 18:22, if he gives a sign that does not come to pass then he is also not from God; Jesus failed on both counts.)

            Deuteronomy 4 underscores this with the stern warning to worship God only according to the knowledge of Himself that He imparted to us at Sinai, and to pass this knowledge to our children by teaching/telling them about it. This method of transmission is often stressed in the Bible (see for example also Deuteronomy 6:7, 11:19, and 32:7; Psalm 78:3-4). God placed His testimony in Jacob and promised that even when we stray it will not be forgotten (Isaiah 59:21; Psalm 78:5-8). God is not a man and does not ever revoke His promises (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29).

            You mentioned God speaking about Himself in the plural in “Let us make man.” First, this is not a teaching on whom to worship but an account of the creation of Adam. In every single passage that speaks to the topic of whom to worship, the message is crystal clear: God’s absolute oneness is emphasized (Exodus 20:2-3; Deuteronomy 4:12-20; Deuteronomy 6:4; Deuteronomy 32:39; Isaiah 43:11 and 13 are just some among many examples).

            Second, the traditional Jewish understanding is that God is speaking in the plural of majesty. Alternatively, God is addressing the celestial court (a few verses on we see that God appointed celestial beings to guard Eden, so we know that they had already been created).

            We understand it this way because we view everything in the Torah through the context of the revelation at Mount Sinai. God did not appear in any form at Mount Sinai and warned us repeatedly not to worship Him in any form whatsoever; this is the prism through which we see the Torah.

            It is quite stupendous to consider that my own ancestors stood at Mount Sinai and heard God speak, and I know this because they passed this information parent-to-child in a never-ending chain of transmission just as God commanded.

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Hi Dina,

            What sign did Jesus give that did not come to pass?

            Cheers, Ufuoma

          • Ufuomaee says:

            This doesn’t answer my question.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Ufuoma,

            Here’s one: Jesus (reluctantly) promised the Pharisees the sign of the resurrection (Matthew 12:39-40), but he did not appear to them in resurrected form neither after three days nor ever.

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Sorry, what do you mean by reluctantly?

            And where did Jesus tell them that He would appear to them in His resurrected form?

          • Dina says:

            I put the word “reluctantly” in parenthesis because the context shows that Jesus was displeased that he was asked for a sign (“A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign”). He told the Pharisees that the sign will be resurrection after three days. A sign has to be something you can see, or it is not a sign. Since he gave this sign to the Pharisees, then in order to fulfill it he would have had to appear to them in resurrected form. He failed to do so.

          • Ufuomaee says:

            If I assume that your logic here is flawless, can you provide a secondary sign that was unfulfilled?

          • Dina says:

            Please don’t assume that any of my logic is flawless. I am a human being subject to the same biases and errors in judgement as anyone else. My goal is not to win but to discover truth. We must have cross-posted; I posted another failed prophecy just a few minutes ago.

          • Ufuomaee says:

            I’m glad that you can admit that your logic may be flawed.

            This is where I believe it is flawed in regards to Jesus’s resurrection. Jesus did not say to the Pharisees who asked Him that THEY would personally observe and believe the sign of His three days in the belly of the Earth.

            Did anyone observe Jonah while he was in the belly of the whale? What about when he was vomited out? Where there other witnesses but Jonah himself to testify?

            Yet, Jesus had soooo many witnesses who testified that He had risen (whether you believe them or not). Most were formerly Jews too! And, if you will only rest at the profession of a reputable Pharisee that Jesus was indeed risen…then consider Paul.

            He was among them… He didn’t believe, even organising the execution of the believers, until he was struck by God and received the revelation of Jesus, seeing Him himself! His life did a 180, and his strong passionately held views on Judaism changed as he became the most passionate voice of the Gospel.

            Maybe you should consider his testimony.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Ufuoma,

            I would like to respond to this comment and other comments of yours but I would like to give it the time and attention it deserves—two things that will be in short supply for me for the next couple of weeks. I ask for your patience and will get back to you on this, God willing, as soon as I can.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Hi Ufuoma,

            This is what Rabbi B. talked about in the article that he linked in answer to your question about which prophecies Jesus gave that were false. He wrote that when a prophecy fails, the faithful will never run out of excuses to explain why. It seems obvious that if a prophet gives a sign, the sign should come to pass before the eyes of those who were promised it. Furthermore, would you take something so huge as changing how you worship God on mere hearsay?

            But there is a larger question which Rabbi B. talked about. Did the prophet encourage a new type of worship? That’s really all we need to know. If he did, he is a false prophet. And of course, Jesus encouraged an entirely new form of worship (or at least his followers did on his behalf).

            Peace,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Another failed prophecy: in Mark 13: 1-4 Jesus predicts that not one stone will be left one upon the other of all the massive buildings (“what magnificent buildings” “do you see all these great buildings”–plural form) his student pointed out. Many of the structures the Romans built in that area have survived to the present day including the Western Wall that surrounded the Temple.

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Ok. But you admit that not one stone was left on top of another regarding the Temple itself, which was the object of the prophesy?

          • Dina says:

            But that’s not what your scripture says. One would expect a prophet to get the details right, and therefore this is highly significant.

  29. Concerned Reader says:

    whining, no. Annoyed by your trolling? slightly. Its been pointed out to you that the “character of Jesus of Nazareth” and the historical Jesus are understood by historicists to be completely different things. I don’t know how many ways to say it, but scholars know the mythical Jesus is mythical. You, however, seem so scared by the mythic Christian depiction, that you can’t even consider the possibility that a historical Jewish individual sits at the root of the myth, even though its the most plausible explanation of what’s occuring in the cultural context. Its not whining to consider your views foolish, its an opinion.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Point all you like.

      As far as I am concerned there is no character Jesus of Nazareth other than as a narrative construct.

      Scared? You truly are being silly.
      Nope, there is no Jewish individual at the root other than a template t build the fictitious biblical character upon.
      I have explained my position more than enough times. Is English not your first language.

      And yes, because you won’t accept what I believe, ( I have never said you must accept it) I consider what you are doing is whining.

      If you have verifiable evidence for your claim then present it. Otherwise, grow up a little.

      And why do you not have a blog and simply use a Gravatar? Are you hiding from something?

  30. Concerned Reader says:

    You’re kidding right? I’ll spell it out. THE PRESENCE OF AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF MYTH BY SCHOLARS DOES NOT MEAN THAT THERE IS NO HISTORICAL DATA PRESENT.

    Just because we don’t have contemporary sources, likewise, does not mean there is no historical basis. WE DON’T HAVE CONTEMPORARY SOURCES FOR MOST EVERYONE IN THE ANCIENT WORLD.

    Find me other independently attested contemporary literary source accounts that mention Josephus, Philo, Hillel, Shammai, Rabbi Akiva, and Pontius Pilate. You will not find any contemporary independent literary sources that talk about any of these men. It doesn’t mean they were myths!

    You have constructed this elaborate theory in your mind where a literary character was spun by Rome for political gain out of whole cloth, possibly based on some template. By the by, admitting there could have been a template thwarts your entire argument.

    Christians were persecuted by Romans. We know this from the historical sources that we have (about Christians) in contrast to the sources that we have on Jesus. The sources plainly state that Christianity was viewed as a pernicious Jewish superstition by the Romans. No doubt, since you believe Jesus was invented by the non Jews you will come up with even more reasons to doubt available sources none of which are valid. BTW I’m writing these responses for others, not to engage your asinine argument.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I did not say there wasn’t historical data present and Josephus mentions a number of such preachers. I think there were one or two called Yeshua as well. You can correct me on that one.

      But I consider the biblical character wholly made up.As were the disciples and also
      Saul of Tarsus.

      a pernicious Jewish superstition
      You do love old Publius Cornelius don’t you? 🙂

      I suppose you believe dear Nero had all those Christians wrapped up in animal skins and burned in his garden or something, yes?

      And I am sure ”others” are grateful for your responses.

      Oh, and you still sound like you’re whining.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Yet again, I’m not saying to accept sources without criticism. I’m saying that from all the Roman references to Christians, its clear they regarded it as a Jewish phenomenon, myth or not.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          Richard Carrier, in his lectures, believes Christianity and its founder to be based off of a preexisting Jewish mythology, (that he believes Philo alludes to.)

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Its very telling that the first Job of a mythicist hypothesis is usually to cast doubt on all of the available methods used by historians to study the sources, and then to cast doubt on the available sources.

      Statements like, “every historian recognizes the flaws in the available methods used to study history,” and “every historian recognizes the black hole present in the primary source evidence,” while technically correct, these facts are then used to come to wildly speculative conclusions that doubt much available information.

      That is not to say that there is no speculation present in history. Speculation is a part of historical study. What you are not being told by mythicist advocates is that while they often attack the methods used to come to the consensus view on a subject, they too have to use the same exact flawed methods to come to their views.

      For instance, Richard Carrier uses Bayes’ Theorum to asses the probability that Jesus of Nazareth was a wholly mythical character made from whole cloth. The problem with any statistical analysis is that it is only as good as the data you put into the equation. Carrier only put in data that supported his conclusion, and (I don’t think he did so purposely,) omitted available data that went against his hypothesis.

      • Arkenaten says:

        You are really struggling with this aren’t you?
        Before long you are going to be suffering with cognitive dissonance.
        First I never said anything that you have placed in quotes. In case any ”others” think you are quoting me.

        I have said on numerous occasions that you are not obliged to accept my view only that you accept that I am entitled to it.

        I have stated that personal views change and have mentioned I am quite willing to rethink my view should you produce any verifiable evidence.

        So far all you have done is the theological two step and whined and whined, but offered zip.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          If you want physical evidence, there isn’t any, you are right, and I grant that. There isn’t any for millions of people in the ancient world. If that is your standard requisite for accepting evidence, then great. I have never said that you are not entitled to your view, I’ve said, in my opinion, its a foolish view. I have not mentioned theology regarding the historicity of Jesus. You bring up the mythic content in the NT, not me. I’m only saying a real Jew lies at the heart of the myth, I don’t support the myth. I have reason from observation to support the hypothesis that a historical Jewish person can be deified.
          For the millionth time, I do not support the mythos. I was actually paraphrasing/quoting some of Richard Carrier’s statements in his lectures, not you. As I said above, I’m not engaging a hypothesis that has no basis in the sources for discussion. You hold that all the available primary documentary sources are inadmissible, its illogical to argue against that position, because it seems you do not accept different types of evidence, only archaeological evidence. It seems you do not trust methods used in the study of history, much like other mythicists.

  31. Concerned Reader says:

    1. Carrier notes that the historical consensus on the existence of Jesus is untrustworthy and based on methodoogical fallacies. (ex. all Scholars such as the Jesus seminar are working from hypothetical models of a possible historical Jesus.)
    2. Carrier does not support Ditto Mythicism IE the religilous or Zeitgeist documentaries which have misinformation of primary sources.
    3. He asks that we Adopt skeptisism of the conventional views of the historicity of Jesus because they were initaially proposed and held by Christian scholars, though they are still maintained by secular scholars years later. (don’t assume research was conducted in anunbiased way.)
    The alternative theory that Carrier propounds is that Jesus was not ever a real existing Charismatic rabbi, but began his existence conceived solely as an Archangel, a celestial being at war with evil forces in the heavenly realm conceived of in the Judeo Christian theologies, he was a theological construct who revealed deep scriptural wisdom to his followers.
    Carrier believes that the “pesher method” is key to unlocking the myth building of Jesus. Jesus was Euhemerized ( from Euhemerus 4th century B.C.E mythographer responsible for saying stories of the gods were about real people who were later deified.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euhemerus
    4. We have confirmed the presence of Euhemerization in religions in polynesia (the cargo cults) that anthropoligically speaking (while they were coming into being,) had no basis in fact.
    5. The sequence of evidence (authentic epistles, then synoptics, etc.) corrispond to a clear process of Euhemerization, IE Paul’s epistles only mention a celestial christ. (this is debated within the field of religious studies btw.)
    6. This celestial logos (also called by the name Jesus (from Zechariah) is elaborated upon by Philo of Alexandria. We can therefore see this type of Euhemerized literature exists for Enoch, Moses, Elijah, and the Jesus from Zechariah. We see then that Carrier believes that a coincidence is impossible, Christians must be believing in some form of pre-existing Jewish Jesus theological construct.
    7. Philipians 2:5-11 predates Paul acording to Carrier himself. He recieved a doctrine of a celestial Jesus from others.
    “We have confirmed the presence of Euhemerization in religions in polynesia (cargo cults) that anthropoligically speaking, had no basis in historical fact.”

    Carrier is using as his primary source example of Euhemerization in action, an anthropological study conducted during the rise of the cargo cult. A religion sprang to life with no historical persons at the start.
    What carrier fails to take note of is an awareness of anthropological data on Judaism. Its very true that in some cultures immaterial animistic spirits take on historicity when sncretism is present, but sometimes (also well documented) is where this occurs in reverse. A clealry existing earthly being gets enveloped in mythology.
    Documented cases of this Occuring within Judaism are
    1. Eva Frank
    2. The Lubavitcher Rebbe
    There may indeed be more cases, I am not sure, but anthropolically speaking, we have documented cases of living people who took on a heavenly role, either during their life, or within as litlle as 20 years of their dying. So, while I hear carrier’s objections (based on Greek myth formation, history, and anthropology of Polynesian and Greek cultures,) THE DATA SURROUNDING JEWISH CULTURE HAS ANTHROPOLOGICAL EVIDENCE (film, interviews, debates etc. OF REAL LIFE EXISTING PEOPLE undergoing this process in reverse (humans becoming heavenly beings.)
    Reply

  32. Arkenaten says:

    I cannot sit through a Carrier lecture. It is like being subjected to root canal without anesthetic.

    Again, who do you think was the Jew at the root of Christianity?

    • Concerned Reader says:

      You can’t listen to the lecture? He’s the best support your hypothesis has. You should work your way through it if you can.

      • Arkenaten says:

        I already mentioned I agree with hm but find him too pedantic for my liking.

        Maybe I’ll watch this later. Meantime … who do you think was the Jew at the root of Christianity?

  33. Concerned Reader says:

    Again, who do you think was the Jew at the root of Christianity?

    Its not really important that we have every last detail of who he was. There are many millions of ancients for whom we have absolutely no information, written or otherwise. I believe its very likely (in light of how many times this phenomenon of deification has happened with people we do know existed in Judaism,) that Yeshua was just an average second temple Jew. Nothing special. Some early Christians, called the Ebionites doubted the divinity and virgin birth of Jesus, they were just Torah observant Jews, and said he was just a man.

    To ask “who is he?” Implies that he was important. I believe its likely that there was a Jew who was deified after he was crucified. Again, its not based on the kind of physical evidence you are looking for, but we have very little of that kind of evidence for this time period.

    Also, Christians put more worry and stock into the messiah idea than Jews do. Christians have a whole theology centered around the messianic idea. In Judaism, messiah is a monarch, that’s it.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      There isn’t physical evidence for any of the rabbis of the mishna, or for Philo, or Josephus, etc. In fact, Pontius Pilate is only known to history because of one inscription and Tacitus. Physical evidence of the type most people want just doesn’t exist. That doesn’t mean that the people weren’t real.

      • Concerned Reader You made your case with reason and with “mentchlichkeit” – Anyone reading this conversation can see that. Their (ark and arch) arguments against you at this point are only making your case stronger. they are demonstrating what type of person it is that would disagree with you. The only point I see in continuing this conversation is that every comment of yours brings out their personality in stronger light – but I think that most readers would have that by now.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Not at all. Concerned Reader omits or glosses over several pertinent issues.
          The argument merely highlights just how weak this hearsay evidence truly is.
          In fact, as the argument continues, it is clear to anyone reading that the evidence has been likely fabricated.
          From the Jewish perspective, a made-up Jesus of Nazareth should be glaringly obvious.

          What is truly being defended is an age old academic view that is grounded in Historical Fiction.
          When the bible is taken as a whole and the Pentateuch is especially included the entire fictitious nature of the bible becomes that more clear.

          • larryb says:

            Ark
            I have never considered atheism until now and have read many of your post here and else where but have never found out your background other than your married. What degrees if any do you hold? Not that is an end all.

          • Arkenaten I believe that the readers could tell by themselves without your help

          • Arkenaten says:

            I am sure they can. Was this why you felt the need to raise the issue in the first place, or did you have another reason?

          • larryb says:

            Ark
            Actually I think you raised the issue when you talk about experts you would believe over others.
            It seems important to you. I asked because I am simply curious. I have met many brilliant people who have no degrees at all, some who never finished high school but hold extremely high positions in computer companies, I had to report to them. CR’s background to me, lends credibility. He is intelligent and very polite. You seem intelligent but your ornery-ness takes away your credibility. For the most part that seems the atheist way. Certainly not everyone
            though. When it comes to my beliefs blogs will never change my position.

          • Arkenaten says:

            Religion influences society right across the board and it is not confined to personal belief.

            Thus, anything that lends it any sort of credibility needs to be snuffed out at its source. It needs to be pointed out as the bullshit that it is.

            This way we can move away from a world that uses religion to justify any number of heinous practices from misogyny and sexism to the crap religious fundamentalism/extremism promotes.

            I don’t say this for any pie-in-the- sky Utopian reason but it would be one less thing to concern ourselves with.
            But if you are going to allow people like Concerned Reader who sounds like a nice person, but whose argument tacitly doffs its hat to Christianity, then we might as well turn a blind eye to those dimwits that would teach kids that dinosaurs roamed the earth with humans
            Or that Noah’s flood was a real historical event or that an eighty year old Moses really did go up a mountain to chat with a deity called Yahweh.

            It is all bull dust and it is about time such nonsense is politely but firmly shown the door.

          • Arkenaten If you want to snuff out false beliefs I would advise you to use no weapon other than truth, logic and reason. Once you start using scorn, exaggeration and obnoxiousness people realize that the belief you are trying to snuff out might have some truth to it

          • Arkenaten says:

            Actually, the evidence is there if you are willing to simply look.
            Willful ignorance should be no excuse these days and if this is your excuse then such nonsense deserves all the scorn once can muster, if only to highlight the damage indoctrination does to children, who are often not in a position to question this type of Bullshit.
            Nobody has the right to inculcate this diatribe into kids. Such actions are tantamount to child abuse.

          • Arkenaten In your fight against beliefs that you believe to be false you have the choice of attempting to intimidate people into believing as you do (either through instilling fear or through scorn) or you can simply put down evidence for your position bit by bit I find that the latter method is far more effective. So much so – that when I see someone using the former method (intimidation) – I suspect that they can’t use the former method because of obvious reasons.

          • Arkenaten says:

            Fear? lol
            The evidence has already been ”put down” so why on earth would I attempt to best people like Devers and Finkelstein and the rest of the global archaeological community who have known for a couple of generations that the Pentateuch is nothing but Historical Fiction?
            And I am damn sure you are fully aware of this fact as well.

            And thus, this leaves the claims of Christianity well and truly flushed down the crapper, does it not?

            But of course, if you are going to crapt all over the Christian beliefs you have to be prepared to provide evidence for your own superstitious claptrap, and that is something you have not been able to do for thousands of years and wont be able to ever do, now will you?
            And deep down you already know this, don’t you?

            However, if you wish to continue with this display of obtuse, willful ignorance then so be it.
            But at least be honest with what you tell the children, yes?

            I suspect the only ”fear ” is borne out from your refusal to acknowledge the truth – which is somewhat silly in this day and age, don’t you think?

          • Arkenaten
            I find it interesting that you are interacting (?) with me for this length of time and you haven’t yet figured out that this is not a Christian blog

          • Arkenaten says:

            I find it interesting that you would have two people write for you, one expressing reasons why he left Christianity and one, Concerned Reader, explaining to a Jewish audience why the character, Jesus of Nazareth was/is not a messiah?
            Surely after all this time you are aware he he isn’t – or are you perhaps in some doubt?

          • Arkenaten take the time to read what they wrote and you will figure it out – it isn’t complicated at all

          • Arkenaten says:

            Well, I can understand why Fred would want to want to make his ” confessional”, but CR?
            If you are trying to promote Judaism and seem to be discouraging interaction from outside , why bother hosting CR?
            And surely, as with any POV, if you are not amenable ( afraid of?) to any sort of open dialogue, even my type of forthright approach, how much veracity can your ”faith” contain?

          • Arkenaten Where did you see that I discourage you from expressing your point of view on my blog?

          • Arkenaten says:

            There was the tacit implication from your statement suggesting. I was unaware that this was a Jewish site.

          • Arkenaten The point was not to discourage you from expressing your view – but to remind you that we are Jewish here and therefore barbs aimed at Christians are not relevant

          • Arkenaten says:

            Really? And your post where you announced you were going to speak ill of Christians, and the ensuing ”discussion”? What was that, a friendly rejoinder, that was relevant.

            What is this, ”don’t do as I do, but do as I say,” hmm?

            Tsk, tsk …

            🙂

          • Arkenaten Of course you can knock Christianity on this blog – but if you are directing your barbs at myself or at Concerned Reader – then you haven’t read what we are writing

          • Arkenaten says:

            My arguments are directed at your and CRs arguments – and of course the hypocrisy.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Its not really important that we have every last detail of who he was

      Maybe not to you it isn’t. But to me it is extremely important and I’ll be damned if you are simply going to hand-wave this away using some sort of piss willy semantic excuse.
      What you are in fact saying is: ”Nobody knows”.

      Or … He might just as well have been made up.

      Yes …. sort of exactly what I have been saying since the off, but without all the Bullshit you have been shoveling.
      You are so funny, like a kid trying to hide a cake behind his back. Meanwhile there’s chocolate all around his mouth.

      Give it up, CR … you’re beginning to sound like an apologist and a poor one at that.

      And you still haven’t answered why you don’t have a blog? Are you a Troll?

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Ark, simmer down a few dozen notches. when I say details about Jesus are not important, I mean, I believe Jesus was just some insignificant second temple rabbi. That is where I stand on the spectrum of historicity.

        Even the various mythicist positions exist on a rubric of possibilities as is readily admitted by them. Both those who advocate historicity and those who are pro mythic positions sit somewhere on constructed rubrics of possibility, that’s just ancient history.

        You yourself have said that Jesus may have been based on a composite of obscure preachers who may have existed, Carrier says this is a possibility too, though unlikely. If we are asking “are the gospels 100% factual?” I know we can both agree that the answer is clearly no. I have never claimed otherwise in our discussions.

        I believe Jesus was most likely some Jewish preacher that lies at the root of the Christian mythos, mainly because it is known to have happened more than once to rabbis in Jewish history even as little as 20 years ago.

        I have already very clearly stated that there is no archaeological evidence for Jesus. When I was talking with someone who has a degree in a pertinent subject and I said, “I don’t blame archaeologists for dismissing historicity of Jesus on the basis of Archaeology alone.”

        I have issues with the methods of some scholars who are on the mythicist spectrum, not with their skepticism. (and yes, its a spectrum. Some mythicist positions believe there may be preachers at the root, while others believe in complete Euhemerization.) I don’t believe that the latter option (Euhemerization) best fits with what I know are the norms of the culture, and that is gleaned from first hand knowledge. When people expect to find major historical details from texts like the NT or from rabbinic literature, its clear they don’t understand the intent of that literature. The same reasons given to dismiss the NT as a valid source of historical nuggets can dismiss everything we know about any of the rabbis of the Talmud.

        If all we had was manuscript evidence, we could doubt Pilate existed too. It would serve no purpose though.

        Look at how the Testimonium Flavianum is treated. I fully acknowledged that there were Christian interpolations in that text, I even acknowledge that it wasn’t referenced by early Christians when it really should have been, indicating that its very possible that it was not in their manuscript tradition of the past. It could well be a forgery.

        Louis H. Feldman of Yeshiva University.
        “We may remark here on the passage in Josephus which has occasioned by far more comment than any other, the so-called Testimonium Flavianum (Ant. XVIII. 63 – 4) concerning Jesus. The passage appears in all our manuscripts; but a considerable number of Christian writers – Pseudo-Justin and Theophilus in the second century, Minucius Felix, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Julius Africanus, Tertullian, Hippolytus and Orgen in the third century, and Methodius and Pseudo-Eustathius in the early fourth century – who knew Jeosphus and cited from his works do not refer to this passage, though one would imagine that it would be the first passage that a Christian apologist would cite. In particular, Origen (Contra Celsum 1.47 and Commentary on Matthew 10.17), who certainly knew Book 18 of the Antiquities and cites five passages from it, explicitly states that Josephus did not believe in Jesus as Christ. The first to cite the Testimonium is Eusebius (c. 324); and even after him, we may note, there are eleven Christian writers who cite Josephus but not the Testimonium. In fact, it is not until Jerome in the early fifth century that we have another reference to it.

        What I take issue with is not necessarily the myther dismissal of this passage (or others like the one in Tacitus) on those grounds, its the grandiose theories built by mythers on much less impressive, less attested, and more shaky manuscript sources that gives me pause.

        Mythers will say, “well, those passages in the authentic epistles where Paul appears to reference a historical birth or death of Jesus (which contradicts their views) aren’t necessarily literal, they can be read differently.” Once this is established, they then spin doctor the hell out of some obscure sources to prove Aha! See! It happened in the Sky, its all fake!

        Its the dismissal of what is more probable and certain in the native cultural context, in favor of known and recognized obscure texts that makes me doubt the Mythicists faithfulness to their own methodology.

        While the Testimonium may be fake, the fact is, the Testimonium Flavianum is in every manuscript of Josephus that we posses today, and it has even been corrected for gross Christian interpolation. Tacitus’ reference (though vague, and only a possible reference to Jesus is likewise well attested.)

        I take issue when Mythicists reject widely available and vetted information out of hand for some compelling reasons, but then proceed to build their central theses off of known obscure “out there” 2nd century Christian apocrypha or sources from different cultures which may well be entirely different in outlook. It shows they aren’t truly committed to their own standards of historical research.

        So, no I don’t mind that you are a myther. I have issues with your methods. Simmer down, no I’m not trolling.

        • Arkenaten says:

          The copies of Tacitus – I think there were two? – were dug up somewhere around the 15th century if memory serves.(or one was) – I am fed up with this shit already and cannot be bothered to trawl through tons of stuff to find the reference. I wrote a post some time back but I regularly empty old files.
          Before this date there was no mention of this claim.
          Same with Josephus. Before Eusebius, nada as you point out but glibly gloss over the ramifications.

          I am perfectly calm. I just get pissed off by all your pretend academic approach which is nothing but hand-waving while your trousers are round your ankles.

          Why do you wish to throw more biblical scholars into the mix? Do you truly think I woke up yesterday, smacked my forehead and announced … ”Well frakk me, it’s all make believe”.
          I am aware of Feldman’s stance and most other biblical scholars, pretty much all of whom toe the party line.
          Now, listen up.
          I don’t give a monkey’s uncle what you believe. Truly.
          I believe that, based on the paucity of textual evidence, total lack of archaeological evidence and the fact that the church forged god knows how much documentation and destroyed even more that the biblical character is wholly a narrative construct, whose creators may or may not have used some smelly eschatological itinerant Jewish preacher as a template.

          The claim that there was someone called Jesus of Nazareth but sans miracles (as depicted in the gospels) who was an historical character is utter crap.

          That is my view and I really don’t give a shit how many academics you throw at me, I am aware of their opinions and have read something from most of them in any case. Neither do I care how you condescendingly acknowledge what I believe.

          The evidence speaks for itself: Jesus of Nazareth is a complete work of fiction, placed in a cobbled together document/book on the orders of Constantine.

  34. Concerned Reader says:

    If you think I’m being condescending, that’s on you. I’m sorry you feel that way. I understand the mythicist perspective. Your whole attitude illustrates that you have bad blood with religion, and I get that. You are entitled to believe what you want. I’m not unqualified to express an opinion on this subject.

    • Arkenaten says:

      No religious ”bad blood” at all.

      Of course you can express an opinion. However, your qualifications reflect the general trend of theology that has been around for a considerable time. ”Don’t rock the boat”

      If this is your livelihood I can appreciate why you stubbornly cling to this ideology.
      Even if it isn’t, to deviate from this path might make your degree look silly?
      I can well imagine the turmoil professional pastors etc go through when they realise
      it is all garbage. Hence the Clergy Project.

      But a modicum of honesty and openness would be a breath of fresh air rather that parroting
      what you have been schooled t believe.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        I hold degrees in History and Comparative religion, I don’t have a religious axe to grind, or a job on the line. What more honesty do you want? I think I’ve been very up front with the various perspectives and the opinions of scholars on the subject. I’ve given my reasons why I find certain points of the myth hypothesis compelling, and parts that I find lacking. What else is there? lol

        • Arkenaten says:

          You should be completely honest and state that your view is not based on anything but hearsay and likely church fraud.
          That the historical method is not always applied so strictly to religious texts.
          That there is no evidence to support an historical character at the core of Christianity.
          That would be start.

  35. Concerned Reader says:

    Didn’t you read what I just wrote? I admitted the testimonium may be a forgery even though a majority of scholars believe there is a nugget of truth to it.

    “That the historical method is not always applied so strictly to religious texts.”

    You are absolutely right Ark, its not, but then, what genre of literature is a religious text, what kind of evidence can it reasonably provide, and can the usual methods be applied strictly in the way you suggest? Even Richard carrier’s central thesis relies on academic model. The argument rests on the premise that models used to determine historical truth are fundamentally flawed. He then proceeds to use the same flawed methods because he has no choice. This, btw was why I asked if you had a degree, not to be rude, but because this argument is quite clearly a scholarly argument among scholars about their own methodologies, and if they work.

    The gospels for their historical value are about as good to the historian as the Historia Augusta is, but when its what you’ve got to work with, there you go. Its not much I grant.

    I granted that you won’t find the Archaeological evidence you are looking for (unless we get very lucky.) If you consider scholarship’s views on the sources of the gospels, (the hypothetical Q text, or a theory of blending of content from different existing sources,) its important to note that the genuine content is regarded simply as a small list of sayings and parables like what is found in the gnostic gospel of Thomas.

    If you look at the Jesus seminar for instance, most of what they pull out as authentic are just simple sayings, and Doherty notes portraits that reflect author’s bias more than facts. That’s partly why Earl Doherty (author of the Jesus puzzle, embraced the myth hypothesis.)

    In ordinary history, you are right, not very robust information at all. However, if you consider Jewish historiography, (how the Jewish culture uniquely conveys its own history and information,) pithy sayings is all we really have for literally thousands of people from 100 years before Jesus to 200 years after him. Josephus was an anomaly in his culture. We do not have other Jewish historians in the second temple period. He was a Hellenic writer who used Hellenic methods blended with Judaism, though scholars debate how much Hellenism, and how much came from rabbis.

    With Judaism, you have both a culture and religion fully saturated with theologians talking about theological concepts. You have to factor that in. So, when you say to me that there is only myth present here, I say, yes, there sure is. As I’ve stated, if I apply Carrier’s own method (Bayes’ theorum) and I put in the relevant information about the host culture, it doesn’t SEEM unlikely that a historical rabbi lay at the root of Christianity, any more than Bar Kochba’s existence was unlikely in terms of that culture. We didn’t know for sure until we found bar Kochba’s letters, but there is not a lot to go on.

    If you throw out Jesus because of the mythology, you have to throw out literally every Jewish sage for which we have less information to go on, and you can spin sources to make them say anything. There are thousands of rabbis not mentioned in outside sources. Consider Robert M. Price’s expressed opinions on the dead sea scrolls and Simon Magus/his reviews on Robert Eisenman. He begins work under Eisenman’s theories that somehow the scrolls talk mythically about James the brother of Jesus, and then he draws links between the Kittim in the war scroll and Simon the magician. Once you acknowledge a fully mythic possibility to Jewish or NT sources, you can spin doctor anything out of them like Eisenman does. Look at Barbara Thiering’s theories on the historicity side, its nuts.

    I agree with you, its an academic model, but so is the mythicist position. As I noted, even mythicists have a variety of views along a rubric, and so do historicists.

  36. Concerned Reader says:

    Based on the observed phenomenon of deification within later Judaism, I do not find a historical Jesus unlikely in an earlier period.

  37. Concerned Reader says:

    You should be completely honest and state that your view is not based on anything but hearsay and likely church fraud.

    You should be honest and state that your type of hypothesis is based on the same flawed methodology as mine Ark, that’s the point. Namely, you as a mythicist must work backwards from the silence in Archaeology, and then backwards again from the black hole in primary source evidence. I must do the same.

    You can bring forward studies of Euhermerization present in cargo cults in various cultures outside the Bible, mythicists can note the phenomenon of Christian interpolation to dismiss certain available sources, and then you can elaborate on a theory of political manipulation and myth creation. Both historicist and myther are using the exact same tools in different ways.

    To martial support for mythicist theory, you have to discredit the vetted sources that the majority accepts, then you must pull from obscure sources like 2nd century Jewish/Christian Appocrypha to build your case. That method is no more solid than the historicist method is.

  38. Concerned Reader says:

    If people read my earlier posts (my very early ones when I still supported the Cristian position,) this was the exact phenomenon I was always alluding to when I said that Christianity was (in a small way) much less inimical to Judaism than is perceived, especially in light of this form of extreme skepticism. When even secular historians disagree with this mythic type of outlook, it should give one pause. Jesus can definitely be regarded as a false messiah, but he is one of the few multiply attested bridges that we have between secular history and Jewish history. As I said, if someone can blithely dismiss J’s existence, its an extremely short step to dismissing all other figures in the rabbinic corpus. Very short indeed.

  39. Arkenaten says:

    Didn’t you read what I just wrote? I admitted the testimonium may be a forgery even though a majority of scholars believe there is a nugget of truth to it.

    This is what I mean by not being scrupulously honest.
    Of course the TF is a forgery, but you include the ”nugget” caveat.
    And this typifies your entire approach.

    Once and for all: The remark in Josephus ( which is never mentioned by a single individual or even alluded to prior to Eusebius) is a rank forgery in its entirety and was always originally considered so.
    Only fairly recently has this crap about a genuine core surfaced.

    The passage in Annals is more than likely an interpolation. The text was only uncovered sometime in the 15th Century (?) and was never mentioned prior to this either.
    You have no evidence and are simply hand waving and appealing to authority.

    If you wish to continue with this obtuse, boorish approach, then be my guest. We are done.

  40. Arkenaten says:

    Typo: 5th century, of course.

  41. Concerned Reader says:

    You are right Ark, let me be scrupulously honest.

    Origen, Eusebius, and the Accidental Interpolation in Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.200.” Journal of Early Christian Studies 20.4 (Winter 2012)

    Louis H. Feldman, “On the Authenticity of the Testimonium Flavianum Attributed to Josephus,” in New Perspectives on Jewish Christian Relations, edited by Elisheva Carlebach and Jacob J. Schechter (Leiden: Brill, 2012) 14-30.

    The possibility that the passage was maliciously written by Eusebius himself, (the first writer to actually quote the Testimonium,) is indeed possible. I’m not denying that, I’m stating the consensus view, perhaps that’s irresponsible on my part. The Testimonium may even have come into the broader manuscript tradition unintentionally. Eusebius might have written the testimony intentionally and maliciously in the margins of one manuscript, and some unwitting copyist might have later unwittingly put it in the main text, causing it to go into the subsequent copies we have.

    As I’ve said numerous times now, the skepticism is not the issue I have with the myth hypothesis. Skepticism is good. Its that this rigorous method and questioning of sources (in the case of the testimonium, Tacitus, and NT) never applies to the myther’s core sources used in their own argument. vetted information and consensus is often ditched by mythers in favor of the questionable sources that form the driving thrust of the mythicist hypothesis. Rigorous method is established by scholars like Carrier, and then they doesn’t follow their own method when it comes to providing their own crucial evidence.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      How else could we plausibly account for the Testimonium of Josephus not being quoted until the 4th century? http://www.josephus.org/GoldbergJosephusLuke1995.pdf It is entirely possible that Eusebius did not forge the testimonium, but that Josephus himself got his information about Jesus from earlier Christian materials describing him, and not independently of their sources. Why doesn’t the Church mention this passage? Because, this information might already be well known to Christians as being from their own sources.

      As I’ve mentioned, Torah observant Jewish followers of this movement were still around from the 1st-3rd century, and as Ark himself has mentioned, ancient historians often don’t quote their sources, but merely chronicle information they have access to, or what they have heard.

    • Fred says:

      >>>>>the skepticism is not the issue I have with the myth hypothesis. Skepticism is good. Its that this rigorous method and questioning of sources (in the case of the testimonium, Tacitus, and NT) never applies to the myther’s core sources used in their own argument. vetted information and consensus is often ditched by mythers in favor of the questionable sources that form the driving thrust of the mythicist hypothesis. Rigorous method is established by scholars like Carrier, and then they don’t follow their own method when it comes to providing their own crucial evidence.<<<<<

      Well put.

  42. Concerned Reader says:

    *and then they don’t ’t follow their own method*

  43. Arkenaten says:

    If we acknowledge that in all probability the passages in Tacitus and Josephus are blatant fraud, what other verifiable sources are there? Really. If we are being scrupulously honest, of course.
    None.

    That leaves what? The gospels.
    RFLMAO is all one can say to that suggestion.
    Anything else?
    No.

    We have no original documents and the earliest reference is when and from whom? I’ll let you tell the readers this one.

    Josephus mentions how many Jesus’s?
    And why only relatively recently has the TF come under renewed scrutiny?
    You’ve got the degree; you tell me!

    Come on, CR. Let go of your own scholastic indoctrination. It is all a sham.
    Paul? Bullshit.The terrible Christian Hunter, who learned under Gamaliel. LOL!
    Genuine Pauline epistles my backside! The entire story sounds like a complete crock.
    I’ll lay you any odds you want this character was invented as a literary device by Marcion who got pissed off after the church refunded his money and sent him packing.

    So why not Jesus?

    The Jews invented goodness knows how much of the characters and events that formed the foundation of their history – lied in other words – so why are you so afraid to believe the Christians would not do the same?

    • Concerned Reader says:

      If we acknowledge that in all probability the passages in Tacitus and Josephus are blatant fraud, what other verifiable sources are there? Really. If we are being scrupulously honest, of course.

      What independently verifiable sources do we have for any person in the rabbinic corpus? You haven’t answered this question, even when I’ve asked it several times.

      • Arkenaten says:

        I have addressed this numerous times.
        It is not necessary to make this comparison. Unless, of course, you are stating that all these other entries are fraudulent?
        Well, are you?

        If we acknowledge the passages are fraud there is no evidence .

        • Concerned Reader says:

          I’m mentioning this because you (and others who doubt J’s historicity) have largely relied on silence as grounds for dismissal, and then built elaborate theories. Based on that, you would have no reason to grant the historicity of many of the rabbis, because no outside source mentions so many of them, and all we have in the literature are their views on Jewish law, and aggadah about their lives. I’m saying you would have no reason to call them historical either due to your skepticism, and you said “the Jews have invented many myths.”

          Also, while it is very true that Christians before Eusebius don’t mention the Testimonium in Josephus, and the possible earlier vague allusions to it are not proof, the Christians wouldn’t really need to mention it, as there were still Jewish Christians around that they clearly did mention, who rejected all their Christian theological views.

          Most of these Jewish Christians rejected Jesus’ divinity, rejected the virgin birth, and rejected Paul of Tarsus. Irenaeus and Justin Martyr, just to name two, mention interacting with these groups.

          So, as I said earlier, what puts me on the side of historicity is mainly the directly observed phenomenon of deification of historical rabbis after death in later Judaism, and evidence of the Jewish Christians who clealry rejected Christian doctrines that makes a complete myth hypothesis highly improbable, unless you argue from complete silence.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            You doubt the Christian methods of transmission of their own group’s history as even having nuggets of historical value, and in some ways their method parallels that of Judaism, so I’m just saying that if you are consistent with your own methods, the whole cultural transmission would be suspect, no?

          • Arkenaten says:

            Again, hand-waving and no contemporary evidence.

            If you wish to draw comparisons, let’s rather use Moses.
            A work of fiction with nothing but the bible to vouch for him who was rejected as a genuine historical individual as far back by people like Noth,( maybe before, I’m not the historian) and despite all the archaeological evidence , is still considered a historical character by a great many ignorant fundamentalists of all stripes even now.

            Irenaeus and Justin Martyr? Really?

            How can you bring these two up? What are you chasing after now? Your own tail? For the gods sake!

            Saul of Tarsus is another probable narrative construct. I already mentioned this and the likelihood he could well have been Marcion’s creation.

            It was, after all Marcion who conveniently found Paul’s epistles I believe?

            I don’t care about the deification of others, and I have stated time and time again, stick with the character and judge solely by the evidence or lack thereof.
            Yes they rejected their doctrines – so what?
            Show me a single contemporary piece of written evidence denouncing the character?
            You can’t and are basically blowin’ in the wind.
            And based on this ,he is a work of fiction.

            I believe we truly are done, don’t you?

  44. Concerned Reader says:

    I believe that you have demonstrated that the evidence you need to see in order to accept historicity is only a very contemporary written record and or Archaeological verification. One day, I hope we find it. While I don’t blame you at all for wanting that kind of evidence, its simply not available for so many people in the ancient world, particularly in the case of this culture that we are discussing, and I think that is a relevant piece of information for people to think about. I think it biases your view on this question, if only partially. I mean that respectfully btw.

    I wonder what you would think of a lot of modern Jewish historiography in light of your skepticism. Such as the efforts of many historians’ to glean what life was like for the common people in Israel during the Roman period. Most studies available can only be said to vaguely resemble social studies because the written sources available can only give us insight into broader societal trends through one interpretive lens provided by the very small literate percentage of the population. I mean to say that only the rabbis were writing things down, and what they wrote was always expressed in the context of religious teaching, not really the day to day bread and butter of history. I’m sure you would consider the efforts of those historians to be futile. I would say that it is evident that Christian authors wrote in a similar way, so I’m not as shocked as you are to see very little in terms of contemporary sources. I respect that you have your theories.

    • Arkenaten says:

      What you fail to appreciate is there is no real problem with a lack of evidence, – as we both think the biblical character is simply a crock – but what evidence there is, outside the bible is fraudulent. Which immediately brings into question the motivation.
      Thus there is absolutely nothing one can use in any historical sense whatsoever to trace the source character that the god man was based upon.

      And if you strip away everything nonsensical all you are left with is the possibility that someone called Yeshua might have been crucified. And this is all you got. Nothing else. And this is pure speculation as well.

      You will have exactly the same problem if you try to find an histrical Sherlock Homes, for example.

      I have said umpteen times, aside from Moses or a few other select biblical characters I am not interested in looking at other figures for comparison, as I am not an historian. Yet you persist to pedantically raise this issue again and again. Why? Did you not understand my first response to this or do you believe I may change my mind if you keep hammering the same irrelevant point long enough?

      The best Jesus Christ’s’ creators( ‘scuse the pun) could have done was to look at one of these other ”Jesus’s” as per Josephus and say, ”Okay, he seems like a likely lad , lets model our god-man on something like him.”

      And that is all there is.

      And you have not (re) addressed the points you introduce or my response.

      Let me ask you straight:
      1. Do you believe that Moses was an historical character. ( direct answer please, no flim-flam.)

      2. Do you believe that Paul ne Saul of Tarsus was also an historical character. ( again straight answer)

      And please state your reason/s why or why not.
      Thanks

      • Fred says:

        Your statements illustrate almost complete ignorance of the meta-narratives taught by Jesus and Paul, who were diametrically opposed to each other in the most important theological aspects. Christians have gone to war with each other over whether they follow Paul’s or Jesus’ teachings. Why would a church create and canonize two fictional characters, one of which undermines their own theology? That would be like Planned Parenthood canonizing both Margaret Sanger’s and Pat Robertson’s books.
        Do you even consider this type of information as part of your studies? Does your demand for “peer-reviewed by atheists only archaeological evidence” override even your common sense?

        Sabbath is about to start so I will not be posting back tonight or tomorrow.

        • Arkenaten says:

          The last thing I am going to waste my time doing is explain or even discussTheology 101 to someone who decided Jesus Christ was fictional/not divine yet Yahweh and Moses are real.
          Sabbath? Oh, yes. Off you go and pray to your imaginary friend. Let me know how it goes when you’re done?
          Have a super week-end.

          • Michel Keslacy says:

            If the Greek bible supposed to be a continuation of the Tanakh and it’s base on the of our TANAKH and that supposed to be the same G-D.Than I beg your pardon why the Greek bible contradict the TANAKH. HASHEM told us 3 times that G-D is not a man.and He went out of His way to tell us 65 times that’s my mitzvot were giving to you FOREVER. then Paul comes around and telling us that no those mitzvot were temporarily? ????
            so please who is ignorant about our beloved TANAKH, remember since our TANAKH was canonized by our Haknesset Hagdolah our TANAKH was and is kept without any changes. You cannot make that statement obout your bible. Your bible was change and updated so many times you know it and I know it
            Paul basically went against our Holy Torah and and called nasty names of our sages
            Hebrews chapter 8:verse 13
            In that he says ” a new covenant” he has made the first OBSOLETE. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
            please go to a TANAKH and read the entire chaper 31 of Jeremiah. You going to see the new covenant (covenant in Hebrew means A PROMISE AND NOT A NEW SYSTEM OR TORAH) that promise it has nothing with the Mashiah or Jesus it has everything to do with in messianic era that all the 12 tribes will be reunited and every single one of us will know HASHEM from the youngest to the oldest.

    • Arkenaten says:

      @Michel Keslacy

      Who is you comment addressed to, MIchael?

  45. Pingback: Reader Questions – Dina on Remarriage | Grace and Truth

  46. Concerned Reader says:

    “It seems to me that you do not know what Christianity is about AT ALL.”

    Ufuomaee, with respect, the situation is quite the contrary. I do completely understand what Christianity is about, I was raised Christian with family in many different denominations, and I understand how Christians interpret Jesus’ hushness on his alleged divine nature. I understand they see this as having important purpose.

    The point is, as you said, Jews were not expecting this type of messiah at all. If G-d presumably gave Israel a guidebook to lead people to the messiah, then it makes no sense that this messiah would not bear any similarity to the figure found in the Torah.

    The purpose of Jesus’ death is supposed by Christians to be the means to open the road to repentance as you yourself have said. Jesus hasn’t accomplished even this task. Christians sin just as much as anyone else does. Even if we accepted the Christian premise that Jesus was an atoning sacrifice, he has been an ineffectual one at best. Read the history of blood in Christian history. Moreover, the Torah already lays out the pattern for G-d’s forgiveness, and it doesn’t require blood, it requires you to change behavior. G-d saved the exiles in Daniel’s day without one drop of blood.

    Even though Jews and Christians disagree, we both can agree that sacrifices are part of a larger equation. If a baptized person continues to sin, then J’s death accomplishes nothing. It becomes irrelevant. G-d needs godliness, not blood.

    Jews await someone who will actually bring humanity into the redeemed state, as that is Torah’s promise. I am not a convert to Judaism, nor am I Jewish.

    On the issue of incarnation, you will never find a prayer addressed to a theophany in the Torah. Nobody in Torah ever prays in the name of father, bush, and spirit, or father, cloud, and spirit. Deuteronomy 4 forbids service be done to the heavenly host, ie G-d’s entourage, so even if G-d took on form, we wouldn’t pray to him or serve him that way, because he told Jews not to.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      G-d’s spirit rested on the serpent of brass. Yet this object which was ordered by G-d to be made by Moses was itself destroyed when it became an object of worship in Israel. G-d’s presence rested in the temple, but nobody EVER prays to the temple. In the same way, we would never pray to a human even if he was fully endowed with G-d’s spirit.

    • Arkenaten says:

      >blockquote>If G-d presumably gave Israel a guidebook to lead people to the messiah, then it makes no sense that this messiah would not bear any similarity to the figure found in the Torah.

      Excellent comment.
      It boggles the mind that Christian who claim they understand the bible cannot see this?
      The church shot itself in the foot when they ‘adopted’ Yahweh. They should have listened to Marcion and ditched him at the first opportunity.

  47. Concerned Reader says:

    You can’t accept that Jesus was historical and you want to ask my opinion on someone who lived 1000s of years before him? Its possible Moses was real, but we don’t have sources outside the Torah. As for Paul, yes.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      The ridiculous thing about you asking this question is that we’ve already established that you don’t care about the scholarly consensus, and you will only accept contemporary sources. That being the case, why do you care? I don’t even know how you manage to express any opinions about the ancient world, especially with the conspiracy theorist mindset you seem to have.

      The evidence you want simply isn’t there. Even Pontius Pilate is known only from the N.T, Philo, Josephus, Tacitus, (who gets his title wrong,) and from a very damaged inscription. A huge career in Judea and all that remains of this man is literature preserved in questionable Christian manuscript traditions. The very people who had a vested interest in proving he existed, and whom you trust the least, the Christians, are the ones who have preserved all these histories.

      You have already said Tacitus doesn’t quote his sources, and the N.T. is 100% myth, so throw those out. Philo and Josephus were only preserved by the Churches, and so the Jewish community largely abandoned those sources to the Christians. Throw them out. So, while its true that you have one broken inscription that mentions Pilate, you still have to trust that the Christians didn’t embellish.

      Your myther methodology calls it all into question.

      • Arkenaten says:

        Its possible Moses was real,

        The ridiculous thing about (you asking) this statement (question) is that you obviously (we’ve already established that you) don’t care about the scholarly consensus,

        I have no conspiracy mindset at all. I simply look at the evidence ans follow it to it;s logical conclusion.

        As for Paul, yes.

        I did ask for you to state based on what evidence. So, evidence please.Anything verifiable will do.
        Please don’t sidestep or hand-wave again, CR it’s beginning to look like you are grasping at straws. You’re not, are you?

        Tacitus, (who gets his (Pilate’s) title wrong,)

        Actually, he doesn’t. You’re the historian so you should know why.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          I did ask for you to state based on what evidence. So, evidence please.Anything verifiable will do.

          We’ve established already that what you consider verifiable evidence (physical evidence) does not exist for Jesus, Paul, any of the Talmudic sages, etc. Its a non argument on your part.

          • Arkenaten says:

            Right … so based on all the other garbage we can safely assume that he didn’t exist either. Certainly the crap in Acts is an absolute joke.
            Furthermore, (correct me if I am wrong) was it not Marcion who purportedly ”discovered” the epistles?

            Lol…. really the things you want to hang your hat on.

          • Arkenaten says:

            BTW, you want the htm code things for blockquote and italics and wot not?

  48. Concerned Reader says:

    The usage of procurator was partially anachronistic, though true, not inaccurate.

  49. Concerned Reader says:

    I have no conspiracy mindset at all. I simply look at the evidence ans follow it to it;s logical conclusion.

    The “logical” conclusions that you are reaching, make the existence of several ancient people completely dubious.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Reaching? Moi?
      Surely you jest, sir?

      Yes, I am sure there are a great many ancient people who’s existence is extremely dubious.

      Jason and the Argonauts, Zeus, the fifth Beatle,Pope John VII ( you remember her oops,sorry, him, yes? Yahweh’s second cousin,Allah. the talking snake from Edn who later got a gig on the movie, Jungle book, George Bush.( but he’s not really ancient)
      I was going to say Bigfoot but we all know he’s real, right?

  50. Concerned Reader says:

  51. larryb says:

    since they brought it up lets hope everyone considers all evidence.
    http://www.wnd.com/2015/06/doc-faces-boot-for-citing-gay-health-dangers/

  52. Concerned Reader says:

    For your second point, do you believe God took on the form of fire or cloud in any form when He led the Israelites? Let me answer your question with a question Ufuomaee. If G-d takes on the form of cloud, bush, fire, or any form, does this legitimize praying to these phenomenon?

  53. Concerned Reader says:

    Ufuomaee, you say that Christians don’t worship the cross, and certainly, you do not do so literally, that’s very true. However, in every matter of the Christian heart, and every matter of the devotional life, the cross and the blood of this one person who lived as a man from 2,000 years ago sits at the center of your spiritual life. You count on just this one life who breathed 2,000 years ago for your atonement and for the preservation of your very soul given to you by G-d.

    With uttmost respect, it doesn’t matter that you don’t strictly pray to or admire an iconic representation. The life of the spirituality Christians advocate speaks volumes about the problem Jews are referring to.

    You place the very life giving water, the very essence of hashem, into a goblet of brass (like the brass serpent) called Jesus, and then you (or rather your forebears, you seem like a very nice person,) demand that the world recognize this person, or burn in fire forever. For the Christian, forever is forever. We burn as long as G-d will endure.

    As you know, many different and mutually exclusive groups carry this goblet around and demand the world drink of it, sometimes peacefully, sometimes with a sword. This is why Deuteronomy 4 has a prohibition against recognizing G-d in any form. If G-d has a form, humans can manipulate this form. So, its not a matter of hating Jesus, or hating Christians, we just see the real danger in a theology where G-d walks around. If G-d walks around, does he have a favorite resting place? Does he eat at Denny’s? If G-d eats at Denny’s shouldn’t all men do so? What if G-d likes one area over another? Rome? Jerusalem? See the problem? The prohibitions on images are about more than images. They are about authority. To whom or what does the heart belong.

  54. Fred says:

    Ufu wrote:

    >>>>I was drawn to this site by Fred’s post about rejecting Jesus. <<<<

    I am amazed that Christians can never resist using this kind of rhetoric. I did not "reject Jesus". Such wording implies that I knew he was the messiah and knowingly rejected him as a person. I simply came to an understanding of who he might have been historically, and biblically, and that he did not fit the bill presented by the Jewish scriptures of the Messiah. But my problem has never been with Jesus, but with Christianity and the Christian bible, since I believe both misrepresent the man Jesus who never asked to be worshiped and never claimed to be God. Jesus was one of dozens of messianic candidates who did not make it. I have no problem with that, and do not "reject him" on that level, just as I do not "reject" Simon Bar Kochba or King Arthur. Jesus, the real one, was an interesting person so far as I can tell. But he was not virgin born, was not God, is not the intercessor between man and God and could not die vicariously for the sins of the world. All of those doctrines, I believe, were added posthumously and are plainly precluded by the Torah even if Jesus did teach them. If I had to put a name to my decision it would be "Leaving Christianity", not "rejecting Jesus".

    • Concerned Reader says:

      well put Fred. If I could add, there are Christians themselves who doubt much of what classical Christian antiquity has taught, but nobody has an issue with them.

      • Fred says:

        Most Christian orgs demand acceptance of “non-negotiables”, such as the deity of Jesus and the trinity to be a member in good standing. This especially came to be with the rise of the modern “heretic hunters” like Dr Barnhouse and Walter Martin back in the 50s (Kingdom of the Cults), and then later by Hank Hanegraaff and Ron Rhodes who took the place of Martin and Barnhouse at the CRI. In my years of study of the trinity doctrine, I was amazed at how people understood it so many different ways, but as long as one believed in “the three persons of the godhead”, regardless of how they broke it down, it was acceptable by and large. It is as if the only truly idolatrous feature of the religion is the only “non-negotiable” part that really matters, which is kind of creepy when you think about it. Jesus started an austere Jewish sect that centered on God as Father, but then later turned into a cult that centered on Jesus as God. It is actually fascinating to “peel the onion” on this.

      • bible819 says:

        You can’t leave Jesus as classical Christian antiquity has taught.

        He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.

        You were not predestined.

        • CP says:

          bible819

          Just a word to the wise; be careful with that predestination stuff least you turn God into a monster.

          • Eleazar says:

            Wait a minute, CP. Bible819 is only sharing what he believes the holy spirit has personally told him is the absolute truth. He does not need your advice if he is getting it straight from the source! Remember, it is you who are blinded to the truth, not him!
            The only reason you are able to have such an amicable dialogue with him is because you both believe in “a” Jesus, even though his Jesus and your Jesus have nothing in common.

          • CP says:

            Eleazar,

            Are there disagreements in the Talmud? If there are, would you consider one or the other rabbi as blinded? If not, don’t you think your operating under a double standard when judging those with differing opinions who follow the Spirit?

          • CP The disagreements in the Talmud have nothing to do with your disagreement with bible819 – before the disagreements in the Talmud there is a consensus about the framework – what is your consensus with bible819? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • CP You need a rock solid reason for you to reject Jesus? – the fact that your belief in Jesus makes you consider someone like bible819 wise – this is not a joke

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • CP says:

            R’B,
            ‘The fool says in his heart there is no God’, this makes bible819 wiser than most.

            I agree it appears bible819 has been drinking Calvin’s Koolaide. Although it is not accepted by me it is still within the framework of Christianity. However I believe more than 50-75% of Christian doctrine is outside the framework of Torah and should be rejected by a true follower of Yeshua who points to Torah and Hashem.

          • CP Bible 819 is a person whose affinity for truth is well hidden. His respect for other human beings is likewise well hidden. The only thing that you share with him is his affinity for Jesus (not even your Jesus) – Don’t you see how your affinity to Jesus comes before, and well before your affinity to the alleged morality of his teachings?

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • CP says:

            R’B,
            I apologize for not seeing your post, I just came across it accidentally after following the comments discussion from the top. Thank you for allowing such a discussion. I don’t know that I would of, but am glad you did. It was extremely interesting and informative.

            To answer your ancient post to me; bible 819 and I may disagree on many things, but I know I am not his judge. As long as he has breath, GOD has obviously not finished his work in him nor has decided its time to. All I can do is try my best to offer what I have received thus far and pray for the best.

        • Eleazar says:

          So people who are not Christians were predestined to burn in an everlasting furnace because God decided before they were born not to “draw them” to Jesus, right? “Irresistible grace” was set aside for a chosen few, while we were born to suffer eternal torture, right?

          Thanks for bringing to this blog every reason to reject your beliefs.

  55. Fred says:

    >>>>>We again only believe in one gods!<<<<<

    Enough said right there.

  56. remi4321 says:

    Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember your Creators! See,… it’s right creators, there is more than one, so it most be fine to be polytheist! All they want to do is prove that Shema means a plural unity, but they go a bit too far and prove that they are polytheist!

  57. Pingback: Reader Questions: Dina on Remarriage – Grace and Truth

  58. KAVI says:

    Eleazer,
    Utter perfection is Elohim’s standard to live in His presence in the Olam Haba.

    Only one, single sin debauched Adam and Chava in the sight of Elohim– How does someone maintain a clean conscience that they did not break one of 613 mitzvot?

    Upon his deathbed, not even Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai could cleanse his conscience enough to be sure of his own destiny before the Holy One– eternal Gehinnom or eternal Paradise awaited him [Berakoth 28b]

    _________________________________

    In His mercy, the L-rd promised a Redeemer from the beginning in Gan Eden– the whole purpose of Tanakh is finding the way to holiness through faith in His Promised Redeemer.

    –L-rd Yeshua is El-Shaddai, the One who Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob visibly saw
    –With L-rd Yeshua, Abraham enjoyed a meal of bread, milk, and meat
    –Moses became righteous through the word of faith in the Promised Redeemer
    –Moses spoke with Yeshua face to face
    –the Elders ate in Yeshua’s presence

    These witnesses from the Tanakh along with the Genesis testimony of Elohim’s existence in Echad Triunity bear ample evidence according to the Law that redemption is through faith in L-rd Yeshua.

    To obtain utter perfection, the complete cleansing of the soul from all sin, the followers of the Way have found the only true way to holiness is through faith in L-rd Yeshua, the Promised Divine Redeemer.

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