The “Resurrection” – by Jim

Aaron,

You call it speculation for Fred to say that Jesus did not come back from the dead. To some degree this is true, but it is also speculation to say that Jesus did come back from the dead. After all, you did not see him. I did not see him. Fred did not see him. Apologists will say that the tomb is empty, but of course that does not imply a resurrection. For that you would need a living body. They want us to speculate; only they want us to speculate that Jesus came back from the dead. But this is not a reasonable conclusion.

I would like to conduct a thought experiment with you, if you are willing. It is one I have asked others to consider when they have insisted that we accept the resurrection. I would like you to take yourself back in time mentally. I would like you to put your self in the shoes of someone living during the time of Jesus. And I would like you to consider how the story of the resurrection would unfold to you if you were not a disciple of Jesus but merely an interested party.

Let us say that you have heard that Jesus claimed he was going to come back from the dead. Also, you have heard of his miracles. Perhaps you have even seen some. There is controversy surrounding Jesus, and perhaps you wonder if he might be the Messiah. Perhaps you are even hopeful that he might be the Messiah.

When he is put to death, at first you may be disappointed. Certainly you are saddened. But you remember his prediction. You do not rule him out of contention as Messiah, because he has three days in which to prove himself. Depending on how hopeful you are, you anticipate the third day with either curiosity or excitement.

Now, remember that you are not a disciple. So, when the third day comes around, you do not see him. You do not even hear of his resurrection, because it is not publicized. For you, the third day comes and goes with no fanfare. If you were anticipating his return you are disappointed.

After a week, he is still not back. He does not come back at three weeks. For you, life is returning to normal. You still must await the Messiah, just as you did before. It has been a month since Jesus died before you know it. Shavuot is fast approaching.

And that is when the announcement is made. Jesus disciples show up 50 days after his death, saying that he came back from the dead. By this you are surprised. It is long after the time we was supposed to come back. You may be interested, even excited. Perhaps you go to one of the disciples and say, “Take me to Jesus.” Or you want to, but then Peter tells everyone that Jesus did come back from the dead, but ten days ago, he rose into the heavens. He is not here now. But he was. Really. You just missed him.

I would like to take this opportunity to point out that this is the story of the gospels and the Book of Acts. I have only retold the story from a different perspective. According to the NT, Jesus did not appear to his critics. He did not appear publicly. He came to a few, here and there, in secret. Granted the NT contradicts itself on his appearances, but I am willing to put that aside for the moment. I only want to ask if it is a credible story.

Jesus did not come back on day three as promised, not so most people could know anyway. His supposed resurrection was not announced until day fifty. At that time, he is nowhere to be found. People say he came back, but they have no proof to offer. This story is not credible.

So, when you tell Fred that it is speculation that Jesus did not return from the grave, you should know, that you are only speculating that he did. The question is whether or not it is reasonable to believe that he did come back from the dead (and if so what that means.) And in fact, as this thought experiment shows, it is not reasonable to believe in the resurrection. It is an unsupported claim. At the time when Jesus’ resurrection was announced, the disciples produced no Jesus. They had to tell people instead that Jesus rose into the sky. The story is not compelling. Fred’s conclusion is not mere speculation but reasonable. Perhaps it is time to reconsider your own speculations.

Jim

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420 Responses to The “Resurrection” – by Jim

  1. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello Jim,

    Thought you might be willing to watch, hear this link?

    • Jim says:

      Paul,

      I much prefer people to make arguments if they have them and not merely appeal to the works of others. However, if I can find the time, I will watch the video for you. It may be a little while before I can get to it. In the meantime, perhaps you can make your own argument.

      Jim

    • Jim says:

      Paul,

      After watching the video, I am unsure what the point of sharing it was. Perhaps you could shed some light on the matters you find of particular relevance. There is nothing in the lecture that counters my argument and nothing to compel belief in the resurrection. Certainly, nothing in the lecture could compel those devoted to God to direct their devotion to a man. Although I am uncertain which points you find particularly salient in Fruchtenbaum’s lecture, I will address a few of those I assume you to find important. If I miss any point you think worth considering, please bring it to my attention.

      Fruchtenbaum references the sign of Jonah. I have discussed this multiple times, so I do not know if it is of any interest to you, so I will attempt to keep my comments brief. First, there are not multiple fulfillments and rejections of this sign as Fruchtenbaum asserts. He makes the resurrection of Lazarus to be a fulfillment that was rejected by the Jewish leadership. However, this was not the sign promised. It was not just any resurrection after three days but the resurrection of the “son of man” i.e. Jesus. Second, and more importantly, Jesus did not complete the sign, not according to the gospels. After his resurrection, he should then have presented himself to the Pharisees to whom he offered the sign. This he did not do. We can definitely say then that the Pharisees did not reject the sign, as Fruchtenbaum puts it, as they never received it. By not appearing to the Pharisees after the resurrection, Jesus fails to fulfill the sign, even if he did come back.

      Think about it this way. Imagine Horace comes to you and tells you that you are to worship his tree, because it is the form of the holy spirit. It is divine. You would not likely believe him. Now, let us say that he offers you proof. He says that his tree will produce a golden apple, and this will be a sign from God that you are to worship his tree. A few weeks later he calls you and tells you that his tree has produced the golden apple. Curious, you go to his house to see this marvel, but when you get there, the tree has produced only ordinary apples. He tells you that he sold the apple and gave the money to charity (anonymously, of course). Do you consider that he fulfilled the sign? Would you consider the sign fulfilled if twelve people signed a document that said they saw the apple before it was sold, as those who supposedly saw Joseph Smith’s golden tablets? I think you and I will agree that he did not fulfill the sign if he did so privately. Neither did Jesus fulfill the sign of Jonah by fulfilling it ‘off-stage’ as it were.

      (As an aside, I should also note that even if Horace’s Tree grew a golden apple right before your eyes, you ought not worship it. Similarly, if Jesus walked right up to you and shook your hand and said: “I’m back!” you should not worship him. Such devotion is reserved for God. It does not matter what wonders or miracles one can perform. If he attempts to induce us to worship something other than God or claims some created object is God e.g. a man, then we are not to heed him. See Deuteronomy 13.)

      Also, there is some confusion among Christians as to whom is expected to produce the body. Christian apologists have long argued that the empty tomb is the proof that Jesus was bodily resurrected and they argue that if Jesus did not rise from the dead, then the Jewish leadership should have produced a body. Fruchtenbaum argues likewise. This is backward. It is not incumbent upon the Jewish leadership to produce a body; it is incumbent upon the Church to produce a living body. This they did not do. But an empty grave is not proof of a resurrection. As I pointed out already, the disciples of Jesus did not produce a living Jesus. Instead, they told people Jesus rose from the dead and then ascended to be with God. They could offer no proof that Jesus was back from the dead. This is no more compelling than Horace’s golden apple.

      And there is good reason why no body was produced by the Jewish leadership. The disciples did not begin announcing the resurrection of Jesus until 7 weeks after he had died. By that time, his corpse would have been unrecognizable. Even if a body had been produced, it would not have laid to rest the idea that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Instead, the Church would have written that the Jewish leadership dug up a body and claimed it was Jesus but that it was not. No one could have identified him by that point. The idea that the Jewish leaders should have exhumed the grisly and unidentifiable corpse is absurd. This is just an attempt by the Church to shift the burden of proof off its own shoulders.

      In shifting the burden of proof, the Church has also argued that the disciples could not have stolen the body, because otherwise they would not have gone to their deaths professing Jesus resurrected, which they would have known to be a lie. Fruchtenbaum also relies upon this argument, but it is not sound. For one thing, it is not clear that the early Church experience much persecution, especially from the Jewish people. But even if they had, that does not mean they could have denied their early teachings. Joseph Smith was hounded, but he did not stop spreading his own new religion. He did not attempt to save his life by claiming he had made the whole thing up. The disciples could have been in a similar situation.

      In fact, it may have been impossible for them to save their lives by renouncing their claim that Jesus was resurrected. They may have been afraid what their followers would do to them if they discovered the fraud. After all, they had been telling all their followers to sell everything they owned and turn over the proceeds to the disciples who then mismanaged the funds. They may have felt that they were better off sticking to their story than coming clean. This is one explanation. There may be others.

      What is clear, however, is that the body of Jesus was never produced. If it had been, Fruchtenbaum and other apologists would not have to point elsewhere. They would not point at the tomb. They would not point at the behavior of the disciples. And they certainly would not try to shift the burden of proof to the Jewish leadership. On the contrary, they would point to the one thing they could not produce, a living Jesus. Paul, I am sorry to say that Fruchtenbaum does not make the resurrection claim any more credible. He only draws attention to its great unlikelihood. He only reminds us that we must not put our trust in a son of man, but in Hashem, Creator of the Universe.

      Jim

  2. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hi Jim
    Thanks, hope you get the chance.

  3. Dina says:

    Following :).

  4. Concerned Reader says:

    http://www.askelm.com/secrets/sec107.htm The Christians on this site have highlighted some of the major issues with the claims made in the Exodus narrative, (much like this article does with Jesus’ resurrection. These people, (being Christians) believe in Exodus by faith knowing full well the Paucity of evidence. This article states that this behavior is not virtuous, so when will the Torah’s claims have proof?

    As a historian, I see the same fundamental issues with verification of both the Torah and the New Testament’s miracle claims. The Torah makes as many unverifiable claims as the NT, but it does so on a much grander scale, (one that involves several different nations.)

    • Dina says:

      Con, if you don’t find the evidence for the Exodus story compelling, I can respect that, just as I expect Christians to respect that I don’t find the evidence for their stories compelling (not that the NT miracles even matter).

      Speaking for myself, as a direct descendant of the people who heard God speak at Mount Sinai and passed that experience to their children, the national revelation argument is good enough, coupled with Deuteronomy’s true prediction that no other religion will make such a claim.

      The survival of the Jewish people and specifically the survival of the Pharisaic strain to the exclusion of all others is to me another compelling argument.

      There are other arguments of course, but I’m not really aiming to convince you, just to state my position. Sorry for butting in, I don’t even know who this comment was addressed to.

      • Concerned reader says:

        I understand that position Dina. One big reason that I don’t find that argument very compelling is that literally every religion on earth comes from something transmitted by someone’s ancestors to later generations.

        Your ancestral claims may have more validity somehow to your belief, but there is no way for anyone outside of your people group to test or verify your claims.

        Just because another group doesn’t have an identical unique claim in and of itself says nothing about the truth or falsehood of your beliefs.

        Is every truly unique claim given extra weight because it is unique or because a large group of related people, such as a nation or tribe transmitted it?

        I don’t believe so. The miracle of Jewish survival is something I can appreciate as something that can build faith.

        My comment was directed towards Jim’s statement, specifically when he said, “After all, you did not see him. I did not see him. Fred did not see him.”

        Nobody has seen anything from the biblical period, from the Exodus to now. None of it can be checked for truth.

        All we have is a claim by ONE GROUP of PEOPLE that X or Y event has happened, and that X or Y is a unique claim. That proof means nothing, and the number of people in the revelation claim is also meaningless.

        • Concerned reader We argues about this in the past – You argument might be good for an atheist (it isn’t but for argument’s sake). But for a Christian it falls flat – you see whoever wrote the Torah beleived that this claim (Exodus, Sinai) was unique and stood apart from other faith claims for the reasons that Dina mentioned. A Christian can’t come with a faith claim that is not recognized by the Torah and claim to believe in the Torah at the same time

          1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Rabbi, don’t misunderstand me. I agree with you that if Christians are consistent, they should view Judaism as the baseline common denominator.

            My qualm is that this is the argument your blog should stick to, but that members of your blog don’t stick to it. They resort to performing rigorous cross examination of NT narrative, without performing the same rigorous practice to your own sacred narrative.

            The arguments that start ripping the NT narrative apart for inconsistency are in bad faith. As has been attested, a critic of Judaism can point to the same inconsistencies in your narrative. The issue is, you guys don’t care about that because you are an anti-missionary blog.

            The method through which Jim and others rip the NT to shreds smacks of inconsistency in the following way. They say Jesus didn’t appear to his opponents, ergo his claim is false. But, you don’t believe that miracles prove anything anyway, so ripping into their narrative while uncritically accepting your own narrative is a debate in bad faith that has no two sides to it.

            It doesn’t matter that you “don’t care” or “don’t have to examine Christian claims.” You guys managed to make me question Christianity by ripping into its narrative inconsistencies, but then you don’t seem to mind or care that Torah has inconsistencies of its own. Christians can see how willing you are to make them question their foundation by ripping their book apart, but they can also see that as Dina says, “you don’t care if people can verify your claims.” You don’t care that your book and belief has the same problems. That’s why I chimed in.

          • Dina says:

            Con, I feel compelled to chime in because it’s unfair of you to attribute my arguments to Rabbi B. I speak for myself, not for all Orthodox Jews. And it’s quite possible that Rabbi B. disagrees with me here.

            You attribute bad motives to us because you do not understand our arguments and our loyalty to the word of Hashem. Deuteronomy tells us that we can discern the false prophet by his false predictions. If he gives a sign that does not come to pass, he has spoken falsely in God’s name. Jesus’s failure to appear to the Pharisees’ in fulfillment of the sign he gave them means that he is a false prophet.

            Deuteronomy 13 tells us that miracles lack validity when coupled with words that contradict the Torah, not necessarily that miracles are always not valid. We never made that argument. If a prophet produces a sign and says nothing to contradict the Torah and our received tradition we would take him seriously.

            Why is this a bad faith argument? Give me an example where we uncritically accepted a prophet who contradicted the Torah based on a promised sign that did not materialize and then you might have a fair accusation. Otherwise, you ought to apologize for imputing bad motives to us.

            Also, how do you know our acceptance of our faith is uncritical? It drives me crazy when people make assumptions about their opponents out of their own prejudices and biases. You have zero evidence for that statement.

          • Concerned Reader The Torah does not appeal to the entire world to believe in its claims – it only appeals to the descendants of those who experienced the claims. The NT does appeal to the entire world. The Torah respects man’s right to question the NT does not. This is not inconsistent. 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

        • Dina says:

          Con, you wrote: “Your ancestral claims may have more validity somehow to your belief, but there is no way for anyone outside of your people group to test or verify your claims.”

          Guess what? I don’t care! I don’t care if anyone outside my “people group” has no way to test or verify my claims. They can weigh the evidence for themselves and decide to believe what they want. Go bother the missionaries, now.

          • The Real Messianic says:

            CR, their is an element of belief as well in Judaism. But it’s harder to make that one out (at least in my opinion, which I accept you can disagree on). If you look at evidences on a crime scene, which is harder to say “500 people saw it” or “You were there”. Of course, this could be fabricated, but if it’s written “Your parents were there”, then well, you can check it out. True, Josiah could have found a book in the temple written by “Yosef Blowenbaum” and just decided to use it as a religious text to have a unified group to increase their chance of victory and appartenance. … And even if those did not agree, they would have had to go with it and if not, being killed, and down the line, well Judaism could have happened like that. Possible? Yes, Plausible? that’s where we have to fill the blank. Let’s do a risk analysis and check the probability. I think it’s unlikely. Is it possible that Paul said 500 people saw Jesus and lied about it? Yes. Plausible? Totally plausible.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            The fact that you don’t care says it all. You are 100% willing to Crush the Christian faith, but when the same weaknesses can be found in yours, you don’t care, because this is an anti missionary blog devoted to stopping missionaries, I know!

          • Dina says:

            Whoa, Connie! You are so wrong you couldn’t be wronger. I am not seeking to crush the Christian faith nor any other faith; I am defending my own. I hope you see the difference.

            The same weakness is not found in my faith. There is no comparison between the Jewish claim (very strong) to the Christian claim (zero validity). If the Jewish claim is false the Christian claim is false, and if the Jewish claim is true then the Christian claim is false. For the Christian it’s lose-lose all the way.

            I disagree about the similarity in weaknesses and inconsistencies are the same, yet I don’t care to argue with you unless you are trying to convert me to atheism. Then you can be sure I will vigorously defend Judaism. So is that what you’re trying to do? Are you trying to convert me? Just say the word :).

          • The Real Messianic says:

            Let’s not do the same mistake of “blind faith” as our Christian Friends do. There is an element of faith in both, but do we have more than that? I think it’s clear that some prophecies show the validity of Judaism? Won’t you agree with that CR? If no why? Do you think they have been written after the fact? That would be hard to believe that it would have been included as Holy Scriptures if the prophet was just a phoney who did not prophecies correctly..,

        • Sharbano says:

          The uniqueness of the Jewish claim is that the entire nation was part of the revelation, some 3+ million persons. ALL others, without exception rely on the single individual, or, at best a few. THIS is the Applewhite theorem.

    • Jim says:

      Con,

      Many of the questions you have raised “as a historian” are bad practice. For example, you compare the Egyptian testimony to that of the Jewish people, failing to distinguish between keeping a memory alive and forgetting and failing to distinguish between the processes of transmission. And your comparison of the Sinai event to lights that some people call ‘Mary’ is a false comparison. This article you bring forward is interesting, but its questions are not necessarily unresolvable.

      But I have no desire to argue these questions with you, anyway. I am not, nor are the Jewish people generally, missionaries. If you do not believe the Sinai event happened, that is your business. Torah does not teach the Jewish people “to go into all the world preaching… to every creature”.

      On the other hand, the Christian does preach that all must accept his gospel. He tells me and you and “every creature” that one must accept that Jesus died on the cross for his sins and was resurrected. And then he has no proof to offer. He wants me to accept it anyway. This is a little bothersome, but what I find most troubling is that he distorts Torah to do it. Even if you do not hold Torah to be divine, then you must believe it is the work of a people other than those misrepresenting it.

      There is a reason that I write here and not on Christian blogs. I am not approaching Christians to tell them that they should abandon their faith. Would it be better for them not to devote their worship to a man? Of course. But I write only in defense of the Torah. I need not pick a fight with every Christian I meet.

      I do not know what drives you to derail every conversation with your own objections to Torah. You have taken to speculating that the Jewish people, if given the chance, will become as oppressive as Christians and Muslims have been. Why speculate? Why not go pick fights with the Christians and Muslims who have a history of oppressive behavior? Why not pick fights with the Christian who demands your assent to preposterous notions, like that one should worship a man? Instead you pick fights with those who make no demand upon you to believe in their faith, who respect your right to come to your own conclusions as best as you can. What is the point?

      Jim

      • Concerned Reader says:

        I do not know what drives you to derail every conversation with your own objections to Torah.

        What drives me is merely to point out to you your own inconsistencies in your own narrative and logic, lest the Christians somehow think you have more actual data to go on then they do. I’m pointing out that by ripping into their narrative while holding yours on a pedestal, you are being inconsistent with your own methods.

        • The Real Messianic says:

          Do you have any other contradiction that you should mention? I guess you are welcome to do the devil’s advocate and point all the inconsistency. Maybe in the end, you will show how foolish we really are. I don’t mind that, I think it’s good to see if what we believe really makes sense.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Here is a good article to check out to answer your question Remi.

            http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evidence_for_the_Exodus#Mainstream_scholarly_consensus

          • Sharbano says:

            First of all, anyone who ‘relies’ on Wikipedia for a basis in scholarly work is deluded. Years ago I read a book titled, “The birth of Torah”. It presented what you are attempting to have people believe and it was the worst attempt at anything scholarly that I have EVER read. The thinking was so simplistic it bordered on juvenile.
            Non-Jews most certainly don’t like to hear or accept the “Fact” that there is a transmission from the time of Moshe to the present. There are many a Rabbi who trace their lineage back to Aaron and that Alone negates any premise you attempt to put forth.
            There are things Jewish culture has produced that cannot even be conceived of by non-Jews. One, is the “Fact” that many a Rabbi has Literally memorized the Entire Torah AND Talmud. Another, is that Jewish Tradition can be maintained from generation to generation for thousands of years with little to no change. These are unique to Jews and Judaism and it IS why the nation has survived for all this time regardless of what non-Jews have attempted to do.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Sharbano, did you read the works cited page? lol The title of the page is the mainstream scholarly consensus. That’s archaeologists, historians, etc. Wikipedia can be valuable if it points you to valid sources. Judging by your response, it doesn’t seem you have answers to the issues presented, which is fine. You can believe what you want. Anyone can. 🙂

          • Sharbano says:

            As I said, the site is promoting the idea of what is called Documentary Hypothesis, of which I said I read a book on. The evidence was presented around the1880’s when there hadn’t been that much study of the region and as a result the theory doesn’t have any merit.

            As I mentioned many times before what is the purpose of the book and what is it trying to teach. One of the competing theories in the hypothesis is Never examined, and that being a “Divine Authorship”.

            One of the presumptions is the multiple names of G-d as being evidence of multiple authors. As if a culture wouldn’t have more than one name. In fact “archaeology” discovered a people that had 65 names of their god. The problem they should encounter is that the names of G-d are not unique to each supposed author. They are intermingled among those “different authors”. One thing is for certain there is NO consensus on How to divide up the documents, Nor how many authors there actually are. And that weakens the study considerably.

            Another presumption is the variation in styles. Some years ago Technion did a computer study and found results among different authors, single authors and determined the book of Genesis to have a very high probability of a single author. This may not be conclusive in and of itself but what it Does show is the same criteria can give widely different results. This will cause suspicion on the DH.

            One of the explanation in support is to say it was Ezra who was the editor of all the different fragments which were complied into a completed text. The illogic of that assertion is tremendous. First, as these historians would want omit, is the lack of any “evidence” of such a conclusion. Certainly there would have been a celebration for such an event or some historical record of some sort. Considering that there are records of the instituting of washing the hands it is likely such an event would also have been recorded.

            Furthermore, if there were editors who compiled the text then surely a single editor would have cleaned it up and used a single name for G-d, variations in style, contradictions etc. since this was the impetus that began this theory.

            There are a number of discrepancies that the theory has promoted. They will assert one thing when the text says the opposite. What is evident is how these ‘scholars’ will use superficiality as a pretext for evidence. One thing can be said; there is little difference between the method Xtianity uses and the methods employed by these so-called scholars. When a scholar will say two stories are a repetition of the same event when the text clearly identifies two different events and times. They have noted that certain names of G-d do not appear in certain instances when clearly it does. Is this what denotes a scholarly approach.

            There was an individual, Leah Bronner, who did a study of Genesis alone and found that it corroborated the lifestyle of the time period in question. It disputes the anachronistic notion. The work found that the time periods in Genesis coincided with that time period in history.

            And we are suppose to believe this, and these people have conducted a scholarly review?
            What is apparent is the zeal for undermining Torah so that they too can attain their own type of convert, a secularist.

            And to “claim” as you do with “mainstream scholarly consensus” is thus ludicrous in the extreme. Those who are part of this consensus certainly haven’t the scholarly background to be IN a consensus. Either that or the premise of “scholarly pursuits” itself is discredited and cannot be trusted and so reduced to a pejorative. We can conclude that no one has been able to actually prove Torah was manufactured. Since you have questioned and disputed what those here have said you should question your reliance on your own sources. Certainly they are questionable in their authenticity.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Is Archaeology simplistic? Is it simplistic to ask that the Bible actually name the Pharaoh who ruled during the Exodus event, so that we could cross check and anchor the Bible with preserved history?

            Is it unreasonable to expect to see some impact from the plagues that ravaged Egypt in the Archaeological record?

            Would it be unreasonable to find a monument that commemorates all the deceased firstborn?

            Is it odd to expect some small shred of physical proof that 3 million people lived in the Sinai desert for 40 whole years? None of this should be difficult to consisely prove if it actually occurred.

            These are not unreasonable questions. I have heard many Jews ask for proof from Christians that Jesus was even a real person. If that is a legitimate question to ask them, these are reasonable questions to ask the Torah.

            If you need to feel that Non Jews just hate you, I feel very sorry. I am a non Jew. I do not hate anyone, especially not the Jewish people.

          • The Real Messianic says:

            Well,… Glad I never asked if Yeshua was real 🙂 Things get harder when the event is far, and that’s the problem CR. You can’t prove Yeshua/the exodus and it would be hard to disprove either. Archaeologies are good and useful but sometimes there might be a reason why you don’t find the evidences. Maybe we are not even looking at the good place in the first place… Think about it, as per Catholics, Sinai is at one place… for many years, everybody believed it was right. The same for your article, they look at very specific places… I like the objections, I saw the historical “findings” before on youtube and was somewhat impressed, but to see the flaws of the findings makes me doubt that he was a serious historian in the first place. Not finding evidence won’t help anything to prove that it did not happened. We should, nevertheless be careful not to do the same with Christians. For example, there are many that say that Jesus was Caesar, that’s a nice theory, but that’s plainly just that… a theory. We can’t say that it’s a proof.

          • Sharbano says:

            You seem to have a need that “requires” proof that this exists or that happened.
            The questions you want answered would unlikely survive an archaeological record, and certainly a civilization that was decimated wouldn’t want to advertise that demise. It would signify their own illegitimacy in the eyes of their descendants.
            When a person examines what HAS been found in archaeology it is insignificant in comparison to what could or might be found. To suggest there Should be evidence of the 40 years is frivolous. If it stated cities were built or anything else that would be more likely to survive thousands of years then, and only then, could one ask the question. Some evidence of ancient times Has been found, as dating to Joshua’s time, and David.
            It can be said your questions ARE unreasonable.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Also Sharbano, I was just complying with Remi’s request to point out some possible issues.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Sharbano, you don’t want proof?

            You brought up a bunch of things about the documentary hypothesis, but there were other issues that the article raised that are totally independent of the book’s styling or textual criticism.

            If someone says to me that more than 3 million people interacted with a huge empire over hundreds of years, and then a huge cataclysmic event took place as a result of their leaving/escaping that killed all the firstborn, and the livestock, and turned the Nile to blood, and blackened the sky, I don’t think I’m being unreasonable to say, please prove it with something more than your book’s say so.

            “there is little difference between the method Xtianity uses and the methods employed by these so-called scholars.”

            That is a complete copout.

            Their method is like that of the Christians, therefore I can dismiss the valid points they raise. Fallacies in your logic are abundant my friend. The idea that the Egyptians “wouldn’t want to advertise” is meaningless and a distraction. They wouldn’t need to advertise, and even if they didn’t want to advertise, there is no way they could possibly “hide” evidence of such a grand scale event.

            The chief criticism you apply to the resurrection (why didn’t Jesus clearly reveal himself to his opponents/the ones he claimed to interact with,) applies in the Exodus story. Why is there no evidence of Israel in Egypt or statements from the Egytians?

            We know from Archaeology that the Egyptians in fact tried to erase the history of Pharaoh Akhenaten, (how do we know?) because try as they might, they simply couldn’t hide all the evidence of his existence or activities. If that is true (that we can find evidence in modern day of one man from 1000s of years ago,) how much more should it be that we can find remnants of 3 million? The explanation that says “evidence didn’t survive” has limits when you factor in the scale of your book’s claims.

            Your claim is that something on the level of WWII occurred (a multinational event) that left no physical evidence behind, and not even extra biblical documentary evidence behind. There is a legitimate question there for anyone to ask. Why wasn’t Pharaoh named? That’s a simple question.

          • Concerned Reader The difference is that the NT itself says that he didn’t show himself to his opponents – this is an internal criticism – not an external one. The NT story is INTERNALLY inconsistent 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Dina says:

            Con, I don’t think your demand for archaeological evidence is unreasonable at all. In fact I think it’s very reasonable.

            You know what’s unreasonable? Ignoring the points Jim, Rabbi B., and I made and leaving the conversation with your straw man torn to shreds in your wake.

          • Sharbano says:

            How convenient. Don’t look at what is found to be lacking in credibility and just ignore it, Instead, let’s look at a specious argument.
            Clearly there can be no physical evidence of things that aren’t archaeological, such as an event. Just because there is no historical writing of something is NO proof that such event didn’t take place. Using that as an argument is specious indeed. What you ask is physical evidence of things that can leave NO physical evidence behind. Has any civilization recorded their own demise. Do you really think the Egyptians would celebrate what happened.

            There is no need to “prove”, in some historical archive, that such an event took place. One can use the same argument with every document that has ever been written, or event that ever happened. All you have been trying to do is “prove” your own agnosticism. Your problem IS you refuse to accept Torah is an accurate telling of things that occurred. Why should IT be discounted with no real evidence to the contrary. THIS was the attempt of the documentary hypothesis and why other issues are similarly without merit.

            I suggest that since the article you laid so much claim to has already been shown to be factually problematic then other points they make are also suspicious and problematic. A lack of evidence is NOT evidence. Furthermore, this event wasn’t a “multinational” event. It was entirely in Egypt alone. We can be certain there are many things that the Egyptians did make note of. You actually confirm my point by saying the Egyptians attempted to erase the history. Considering the Israelites were slaves surely there wouldn’t be remnants of their society. If one looks at the Entire American Indian population you will find little evidence of their living here. Most of the tribes have only an oral Tradition of their history. Just as many of the tribes left no evidence of their existence, which was Much more recent than the events we’re speaking of, how much more so there isn’t the physical evidence of the Israelites. To say that slaves would leave an indelible mark in history in a country that wasn’t theirs is asking that which is beyond belief.

            When it comes to Xtianity there ARE methods than can be employed to discern truthfulness. The main one, as I have repeatedly pointed to, is the fact that a man Stephen, who should be knowledgeable in Torah, did indeed make numerous errors. What we can determine is certainly he wasn’t educated in a Yeshiva because his account reflects the Septuagint and a Yeshiva wouldn’t have used such a book. There is also physical evidence. There are different versions of the texts that give credence to things being problematic.

  5. Concerned Reader says:

    “This article states that this behavior is not virtuous,”

    Jim’s article states that this behavior is not virtuous.

  6. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello Jim

    Thanks for taking the time to hear Arnolds video clip.

    Of course it has been discussed previously about the view point of Jesus and the presentation of Himself post resurrection.
    The crux of your view is always from the angle that Jesus should have shown Himself as proof as a sign that His words were true.

    If you compare other narratives from Jesus, you will see that a showing was never intended, nor was it ever promised.

    The first thing to see is that the resurrection was never just a sign of Jesus Messiaships claim. Israel as a nation had 3 and a bit years to make up her mind in regard to this. The resurrection was the first fruit resurrection of the penalty of sin. It was the final completed work of His earthy role as God, to restore mans corrupted sinful flesh and soul. Showing Himself to anyone who rejected His claims pre death, was never an option. The leaders of Israel who led Israel into rejecting Christ were already guilty as charged. Mathew ch 12, and ch 23. Verse 38 of ch 23 states this. This v 38 is the pre required act before Israel see Christ again. Jesus makes it very claer. That request is a Messianic greeting said in faith.

    Secondly if you read luke ch 16 v 31, Jesus makes the same point. A resurrection by itself to unbelievers is pointless. Faith in The God of Israel through Moses and the prophets is the bench mark.

    Thirdy. Jesus did present Himself to hundreds of His followers.The first witnesses were women in the first few hrs on the first day of the week.Its a well documented period of history. The disciples fellowshiped with Christ prior and post death. They follwed Him in life, witnessed His death, and saw Him resurrected. Shortly after they saw Him asscend back to which He came.

    The burden of proof to present a living Jesus by the disciples to non believers is a completely anti scriptural teaching. Luke 19 v 41-44.

    Having said all this though is pretty pointless, scripturaly speaking. First one must see that Christ is the living Son of the living God. That Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sin. That through His death and resurrection, all that believe in Him will he saved.

    Hebrews 10 v38.

    Christ or the Church have no responsibility to prove anything. Man must respond by faith to His God.

    • Paul Summers Which Messianic prophecy did Jesus fulfill? Remember – you have to give me something from before his death.

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello PF

        Well I would use Gen ch 3 v 15, but that contains His birth and death, so quoting a Messianic prophecy with no death included will have to be chronologically, Isaiah ch 7 v 14.

        • The Real Messianic says:

          The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

          Will SOON, soon, soon, not yet, not yet, not yet… the snake is still not crushed, he is still alive, not happened yet, soon, soon, soon, another second coming prophecy that is used by Christians to say it has already happened, but soon, soon, soon, Satan WILL be crushed. (Future Tense).

          Sorry

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello

            Well yes I agree in part.
            The crucified Christ did end satans work of death which came into this world at Eden. By Christs death and resurrection the penalty of sin has been dealt with.
            But until the final judgement at the Judgement seat of Christ, satan still wars against God. That is the final victory over satan. (Future).

          • The Real Messianic says:

            “But until the final judgement at the Judgement seat of Christ, satan still wars against God.”

            Let’s talk about Genesis 3 when Satan is really crushed, for now, it’s a second-coming prophecy!

          • The Real Messianic says:

            Who Crush satan according to that verse? Jesus? The seed of the woman?

          • Sharbano says:

            Do you know who Torah names as the one who G-d is at war with.

          • Jim says:

            Paul,

            One hardly knows what to say. You make some rather striking statements. According to you Jesus had no obligation to present himself after he was resurrected. Most striking about this is the claim that such a requirement is “not scriptural.” Such an appearance is demanded both by the reason and by scriptures, and any claim to the contrary is clearly false.

            I have already addressed the demand of reason in my last comment to you. You seem to think that by declaring reason unscriptural that the demand of reason will be lessened. However, this is not so, as my brief return to Horace’s Tree illustrates. A sign is not a sign unless it is performed so that one can see it. By reason alone, you will demand proof of me if I tell you that God give me a message for you. And you would not accept a sign from me that I did not present before you. But I see no need to rehash a point I have already made and you have not refuted.

            So, then let us consider the scriptural obligation. Deuteronomy 18 tells us that one will not need to accept a prophet blindly. When you write, “Man must respond by faith to His God,” you obviously did not consult scripture, particularly those that you and I agree are actually scripture. When Moses tells Israel that God will raise a prophet from them, He does not demand blind adherence to the voice of every self-proclaimed prophet. Rather, he says: “You may say to yourself, ‘How can we recognize a word that the Lord has not spoken?’ If a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord but the thing does not take place or prove true, it is a word that the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; do not be frightened by it” (Deut. 18:21-22.) Contrary to your doctrine, Torah teaches that one can test a prophet. This obligates the prophet to present a sign. So, if he tells you that he is going to come from the dead, he is obligated to come to you. It will not be enough that someone claims it for him 47 days later than his prediction. Sadly, in your Christian zeal, you have neglected scripture rather than upheld it.

            Of course, even the Christian scriptures obligate Jesus to present himself to the Pharisees after his resurrection. Contrary to your assertion, he did promise “an adulterous generation” the “sign of Jonah.” At that moment, Jesus obligated himself. It does not matter if later he said they would not see him until they said “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord,” because he had already promised the sign (Matthew 23:39). Nor can you excuse him by saying they would not have believed him anyway. That is their responsibility, not his. This is a child’s excuse, “You wouldn’t have believed me anyway.” Jesus could have refrained from offering the sign altogether, but he did not. And once he did, he was obligated by Deuteronomy 18 to fulfill it. And he was obligated by his own teaching, that one should let his ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and ‘no,’ ‘no’.

            Moreover, I think you downplay the importance of the resurrection as a sign that Jesus was the Messiah. After all, many people worked healings and performed other signs and wonders. The miracle that sets Jesus apart, according to many Christians if not you, is the sign of the resurrection. That puts him in another league. But, it is not really a sign if nobody saw it.

            Surely you know that apologists appeal to the resurrection as a sign of Jesus’ messiahship, even godhood. How often has an apologist or missionary appealed to the empty tomb. I have heard it said if you have not: “The whole world revolves around an empty tomb.” Since it is so essential to showing Jesus’ power, to show his status as prophet, messiah, and what-have-you, then it is incumbent upon Jesus to have shown himself. But he did not. Instead, we are to “respond by faith”.

            No, Paul, you are incorrect. Jesus had a very real obligation to present himself after the resurrection, an obligation he put upon himself. By failing to do so, he proved that he was not even a prophet let alone divine. This is a scriptural obligation, because God does not demand that we guess at the truth. But obviously, it is demanded of us by reason as well.

            Jim

        • Paul Summers Do you mean this seriously? How could Jesus have fulfilled Isaiah 7:14 when it was supposed to be a sign for King Ahaz who died before Jesus was born? How could Jesus have fulfilled Isaiah 7:14 if his mother never called him Emmanuel? and how did you come to the absurd conclusion that Isaiah 7:14 is a Messianic prophecy? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello YPF

            The sign of a virgin birth is not aimed at the King, personally on a one too one basis. Of course this couldnt be true, and wouldnt make sense, as you say. What would it mean to the king?, nothing! The sign of the virgin birth is for the House of David. Something future.

            The whole context of the Isiah text is from YOU (King), singular, to YOU (house of David) plural.

          • The Real Messianic says:

            Nobody saw that sign! Not even Joseph…

            http://www.seinfeldscripts.com/TheVirgin.htm

            Marla: Well because I’m a virgin. (Elaine enters)

            Elaine: Hello!

            Jerry: Hi, um. Marla, Elaine.

            Elaine: I’m sorry, I didn’t know you had company. I just wanted to return your tape.

            Jerry: Oh, thanks a lot, two weeks late. Now that costs me thirty-five dollars to see Havana.

            Elaine: I’m sorry, I really am. I just kept forgetting.

            Marla: I should be going.

            Elaine: No, no, I’m leaving.

            Jerry: I like that thing in your hair there.

            Elaine: Oh yeah? This woman was selling them at this crazy party I was at last night. You’ll appreciate this. Snapple?

            Marla: No thanks.

            Elaine: I was talking to this guy, you know, and I just happened to throw my purse on the sofa. And my diaphragm goes flying out. So I just froze, you know, ahh! Staring at my diaphragm. You know, it’s just lying there. So then, this woman, the one who sold me this hair thing, she grabbed it before the guy noticed, so. I mean, big deal, right? So I carry around my diaphragm, who doesn’t? Yeah, like it’s a big, big secret that women carry around their diaphragms. You never know when you’re gonna need it, right? (Sips the Snapple) Ahh.

            Marla: I should be going.

            Jerry: So we’ll talk about the hooks then?

            Marla: Yes. (She exits)

            Elaine: What? Was it something I said?

            Jerry: She’s a virgin, she just told me.

            Elaine: Well I didn’t know.

            Jerry: Well it’s not like spotting a toupee.

          • Sharbano says:

            First of all, there is NO virgin birth. But even if it Were the case the text is written in that present time. Therefore we would have to conclude there are TWO virgin births.
            Besides it says “SHE” will name him Immanuel. He was never named that, Or, do you have a source that was his name.
            Furthermore, Isaiah IDENTIFIES the sign, as , “FOR BEFORE the child will know.” What two kings were alive and abandoned in the time of Xtianity. WHERE is this recorded.

          • Paul Summers The prophecy in Isaiah is aimed at the King as the leader of Israel and it is telling him that God is with His people. The prophet explicitly says that the two kings that are threatening Ahaz and his people will be out of the way before this Emmanuel grows up – obviously this has nothing to do with someone who was born long after Ahaz died 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Sharbano says:

            An interesting quote I just read;

            As satirist Jonathan Swift observed three centuries ago (I’m paraphrasing), “You cannot reason a man out of a position he has not reasoned himself into.”

        • Sharbano says:

          Where does Gen 3:15 even come close, or resemble anything regarding a birth or death. There is enmity between the two, “He will pound your head, and you will bite his heel”.
          There is Absolutely Nothing Here that in any way can be construed to your opinion.
          Regarding Isaiah heed his words “FOR before the child will know”. This is telling the sign. You are relying on a “preliminary” statement that lays the groundwork for what the sign actually is. Surely you have access to a concordance. I suggest you look at EVERY instance where the word sign is used. Furthermore, if a sign is of a virgin how is this test of a pregnant virgin done. Isaiah is saying this to “O House of David”.
          Do you really expect people to believe such nonsense with such flimsy evidence. Do you now understand why your messiah had to go to those who were the most ignorant of Jews. The ignorant would be none the wiser.

    • Sharbano says:

      It is recorded countless times that G-d tests His people in that Torah be followed. Xtianity is just another one of those tests that needs to be overcome.

  7. robert2016 says:

    “Thirdy. Jesus did present Himself to hundreds of His followers.The first witnesses were women in the first few hrs”

    the earliest story says nothing about appearing to women or that the women were the first witnesses. mark comes along later on and says that the women said nothing to anyone which indicate jesus was not waiting near or meters away from the tomb as he is in matthews retelling,

    ” on the first day of the week.Its a well documented period of history. The disciples fellowshiped with Christ prior and post death.”

    they fellowshipped with a vision they were having not a flesh and blood human being. christians today fellowship with mother of jesus and say that they are able to feel, touch and see her.

    ” They follwed Him in life, witnessed His death, and saw Him resurrected. Shortly after they saw Him asscend back to which He came.”

    nobody from his disiples witnessed his death. the women who were looking from afar did not witness a person who stopped breathing. nobody saw a jew called jesus exit his tomb. all different theories were being created earlier on like maybe it was jesus’ twin brother or that he did not die or that jesus was not even human but a ghost.

    christianity like all other faith has faith.

    • PAUL SUMMERS says:

      Hello robert2016

      Im not sure where you get your line of argument from? Any text written on the subject are in all four of the gospel accounts.

      The gospels clearly teach women at the empty tomb. You also read that Jesus was physically touched by a woman.
      Jesus also makes the point that He was actually Flesh and bone. You mention, incorrectly flesh and blood.

      To say nobody saw his death is also false. Again the written accounts witness His death. Nicodeamus the priest is one source who buried Christ.

      The only two statements that you mention which are true are;

      1. Many theories were/have been created.

      2. Nobody witnessed Jesus exiting His tomb. (The NT teaches this very point.)

      • robert2016 says:

        “To say nobody saw his death is also false. Again the written accounts witness His death. Nicodeamus the priest is one source who buried Christ.”

        how did he know he was dead?

        “2. Nobody witnessed Jesus exiting His tomb. (The NT teaches this very point.)”

        no it doesn’t

        “The gospels clearly teach women at the empty tomb. You also read that Jesus was physically touched by a woman.”

        in the writings of paul there are no stories about wounded jesus walking around and eating fish. mark says that the women saw no jesus and ran away and said nothing to anyone because fear sealed their mouth.

        “Jesus also makes the point that He was actually Flesh and bone. You mention, incorrectly flesh and blood.”

        paul didn’t think of this and use this against the christians who were doubting the resurrection.

        • PAUL SUMMERS says:

          Hello

          Born again believers in Christ dont doubt the resurrection.

          You are correct about Paul not stating Jesus eating fish etc. Paul never saw Christ post resurrection, pre ascension. At the time of the resurrection Paul was a persecutor.

          • robert2016 says:

            what should be noted is that when reading the letters of one one does not get the impression that he knew of a half naked person exiting an unknown tomb with linen clothing. pauls resurrected jesus does not seem to be walking around in jerusalem with holes in his hands and feet. pauls jesus seems to be replaced with another “uncorruptible” form and he does not id the location as matthew, luke and john do as to whereabouts of this body. paul is a strange one and never ever uses the claims in the gospel accounts

            i will quote

            it is reasonable Paul would know of Jesus’ physical appearances, yet omit the point when arguing for what a resurrection body would be like? Is it reasonable Paul knew Jesus’ resurrection physical abilities yet when describing what a post-resurrection body was like Paul would use every tool in his belt such as tradition, analogy (seeds and clothes), church practices (baptism for the dead), and argument (“our faith would be in vain.”)? But not the far more simplistic act of describing Jesus’ body?

            end quote

            about appearances

            today catholics and other pagans have documented evidence of who they felt, touched and saw

            even doctors can examine if they are mental or not

            is your god appearing in the form of the blessed virgin mary?

        • PAUL SUMMERS says:

          Hello

          Again, im not sure where you get most of your points from??

          I think you are mixing up oral and written theories with what is exactly written. If you read the text and stop filling in areas with presuppositions, you might see what is written.

          I appreciate that fact you dont believe what is written, but you argueing about things which are not there, and insisting to add things which quite obviously shouldn’t .

          Paul doesnt pen any direct resurrection accounts because he wasnt present at the time. The book of Acts is the church age from ch 2 onwards. Pauls conversion happens in ch 9. Pauls meeting with Christs Glory is sometime after.

          Your statement or question about Nichodemus is ridiculous. After being scourged, beaten, having gone through the horrors of being crucified, being left for hrs, and then having a spear thrust into His side, would be sufficient to kill the strongest man. I think the roman soldiers were pretty competent at killing.

          You argue speculative with no basis of truth.

          • robert2016 says:

            “Paul doesnt pen any direct resurrection accounts because he wasnt present at the time. The book of Acts is the church age from ch 2 onwards.”

            mark wasn’t present at the time either .actually none of the writers of the synoptics and john was present at the time. i guess you believe that the reason why the gospel writers do not mention the “500 witnesses” because they weren’t present at that time?

            so no 500 witnesses in the gospel accounts
            and no walking, talking and preaching post resurrected jesus in pauls letters because he wasn’t present at the time ?

            “Your statement or question about Nichodemus is ridiculous. After being scourged, beaten, having gone through the horrors of being crucified, being left for hrs, and then having a spear thrust into His side, would be sufficient to kill the strongest man. I think the roman soldiers were pretty competent at killing.”

            think carefully about the spear thrust. note that the post resurrected god in lukes account gives not even one hint that his side was pierced. he tells the people to look at his hands and feet and absolutely no mention of pierced side. the scourged and beaten would not produce a talking jesus on the cross , it would produce a jesus who cries to his dad ” why have you forsaken me” and then he dies with a loud cry which seems to be wordless. notice that every time there is an exorcism in marks account the evil ones come out with a wordless LOUD cry. we cannot know if the guy stopped breathing by depending on the text of the gospels. we have no evidence if he was badly beaten up .
            we have no evidence that he was pierced. you said “sufficient to kill the strongest man” but not sufficient from jesus becoming preacher while on the cross?

            christians as well as pagans will tell you there experiences with virgin mary and pagan gods. today there is better documented evidence than the gospel accounts. we have the other side of the story and people are experiencing in large groups visions .

            is jesus christ the bless virgin mary appearing in female form?

          • robert2016 says:

            “You argue speculative with no basis of truth.”

            can you tell me how a man in the tomb (gospel of mark) renders into a flying angel who comes down , floors the guards and tell the women ” do not be afraid… come see the place where he lay…”

            aren’t you going to SPECULATE IN trying to reconcile this?

  8. Jim says:

    Con,

    You wrote to Dina:

    “My comment was directed towards Jim’s statement, specifically when he said, “After all, you did not see him. I did not see him. Fred did not see him.

    “Nobody has seen anything from the biblical period, from the Exodus to now. None of it can be checked for truth.”

    I am disappointed that you would take my quote out of the context of the essay, disappointed but not surprised. My comment is refers Aaron’s assertion that Fred is merely speculating and goes on to argue whether or not belief in the resurrection is reasonable, not based on the fact that none of the three of us saw the resurrected Jesus, but upon the testimony of the NT itself. Since none of us has seen Jesus, I weigh the likelihood of the event, not merely based upon direct absence but on how and when the story was spread. I was not present for most historical events; this does not mean that I hold they are unlikely to have happened and that belief that they did is mere speculation.

    It is absurd the lengths you will go to in order to find a nit to pick. Ignoring substance, you seize upon some single statement you do not like and ‘go to town on it’. You take that statement out of context and go on to refute it. Rather than engage with the whole of the essay, you react to something from the introduction as if the rest of the essay does not exist.

    What I would give for you to pay attention to the context of a piece, instead of reacting in your knee-jerk concern! You could begin by asking: “To whom is this essay written? To what does it respond?” On the other hand, if you actually addressed the substance of a piece, I might die of a heart attack. Like I say, I’m disappointed, not surprised.

    Jim

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Jim, do you think this is the only blog I frequent? Do you think these are the only Jewish outreach arguments I have ever heard? Do you think I’m unfamiliar with the substance of what is being taught here? I’m “nit picking” your point that none of Jesus’ opponents saw him, because there is no possible verification that anyone “saw” anything that happened in Torah either! You are mad because you think I’m pestering you about this, and Dina thinks I should “go bother the missionaries now.” I’m only asking you all to be consistent and admit that you too have a faith argument, just like the Christians do.

      Here is an exercise for you. If you want to use an argument to legitimize Judaism, use the Kuzari, but only use it in the way Yehuda ha Levi originally used it, not in the modern kiruv form that tries to make substantial evident proof out of something that was only ever a philosophical argument among theists. Arguments like this are “proof” or “evidence” only in a philosophical sense, not any real sense.

      Judah Ha Levi’s audience when he delivered that proof was a monarch, Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The only point the argument really made was that everyone agrees that Torah is the common denominator belief. Jews, Christians, and Muslim’s all believe the Torah is true, so Judaism (according to all parties) if they are consistent in good faith, must be the true default position. That was all the Kuzari was arguing. These discussions with Christians about “Jesus didn’t appear to his opponents, etc.” is ludicrous because nobodies miracles can be checked. Its in bad faith to bash their miracles while you yourselves say faith isn’t based on miracles.

      Just stick to the basic argument that makes the point. I don’t like how you guys rhetorically rip Christians and their miracle stories to bits, but then when your miracle claims and grandiose stories have the same faulty logic, you poo poo about it and how unfair it is. Respectfully, I would just stick with a common denominator argument.

      You say “this miracle makes no sense” or “this claim is ludicrous,” all i’m saying is your basis is no better, and you don’t like that. I’m sorry.

      • Dina says:

        Con, why shouldn’t we use modern kiruv proofs? Just because you don’t like them? Philosophical arguments can be very compelling.

      • LarryB says:

        CR
        Wouldn’t the fact the Torah being the common denominator make it better?
        Also, if Christians and Muslims disagree with the teaching wouldn’t that make them unbelievers?

        • Concerned Reader says:

          It does make it better, in a sense, but this argument does not produce evidence that anything actually occurred that is verifiable. It only makes the point that if you are Christian or Muslim you already have faith in Torah, so be consistent and treat Judaism as the default position. That argument makes perfect sense, but not if you expand it to claim that X event REALLY TRULY actually happened.

          • Sharbano says:

            The underlying principle in Xtian theology is flawed by the simple fact of the distortion of the text they purport to rely upon.

          • LarryB says:

            CR
            You say Christians and Muslims have faith in the Torah. How can the Christians have faith in the Torah that was taught when they, as you say, rip its teachings? If every Religious group inserted their god and belief would you say they also had faith in the Torah? If I believed that Jesus was our savior and died for my sins then I would be a Christian. If I don’t then I am not. If I disagreed with the meaning of the NT teachings then I would not be a Christian. If I disagreed the true identity of Jesus surely I’d be a non believer. Is faith that a certain event happened enough? God spoke to man at mt Sinai. Is that all that matters?

      • Concerned reader The Author of Deuteronomy uses the argument – not in a philosophical sense but in a real sense. The only limitation is that He is not addressing people who are not part of the cha

        • Concerned Reader says:

          The common denominator argument in the way Judah Ha Levi originally employed it, is indeed compelling for groups of theists that he was addressing. What is not compelling is that in modern times, and modern versions of the argument, this simple proof is given greater weight (in terms of claimed produced evidence) than the argument itself can reasonably produce. That’s not good. Maybe it would work for the author of Deuteronomy to literally claim X occured, but in today’s world when we have archaeology, historical studies, genetics, Egyptian records, etc. it is hard to argue that something on the scale of the Exodus event actually happened in a literal sense as the Torah describes, just like in a modern sense you can’t verify that Jesus rose from the dead. Same kinds of problems, different circumstances.

          Numerous problems exist if you take the biblical narrative literally, not the least of them being that the ancient world simply could not possibly support populations of the size that the Bible describes.

      • Sharbano says:

        The whole point in a logical analysis is whether or not a “rational”, i.e., “logical” argument can be employed that gives credence to the argument. If one is to take your approach then we can question whether or not we are even living in a reality.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          Sharbano, that is a reductio ad absurdum fallacy par excellence. The method I am advocating is using our eyes, the rest of the senses, and our rational faculty to determine what we can reasonably know is true. Its true, that is a more modern method, but we live in a world that we have because of the fruits of that method. The reason I have brought up that method is because arguments on this blog use that exact method to undermine the Christian narrative. I am just asking you all to be consistent with that method.

          • The Real Messianic says:

            CR, we can only look at the Bible. There are point that can be debatable. Like “did the exodus happen” or “Was Jesus raised from the dead”. I might say no, but because none were there, none saw it, none can know for sure that those events took place. That’s the faith part of any religion. For the New Testament, we can know if Jesus was the messiah or not. Look at the prophecies, do they fit Jesus? Yes, or No. It’s easy to do. Does the New Testament Contradict the Hebrew Bible in such a way that it’s totally incompatible? Yes or No? I agree with you that we have to be careful not to use two standards, but to determine if Jesus was the messiah or not, it should be pretty much straight forward. The problem is “Christians spiritualize everything and they say that you have to be enlighten by the holy spirit to see those prophecies) On top of that, Christians have being conditioned in a way to see things as messianic, so it’s hard for them to make them see some realities (Like Jesus was NOT a king). Also, they are required by Jesus not to doubt him and if doubts come, they should fight them and conquer. So, each time you come with an argument, you will have them denying it!

          • Sharbano says:

            You really can’t be sure. It’s not unlike a dream where the events seem all to real, and even when one realizes he’s in a dream state and is still convinced what is anti-reality is truth.
            As it is taught, when we reach Olam HaBa this physical reality Will seem like a fleeting dream which will pass in the night. Those who believe G-d is in this physical reality cannot fathom such an idea. It might be said, ‘we are in G-d’s dream’.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            The problem is “Christians spiritualize everything and they say that you have to be enlighten by the holy spirit to see those prophecies.

            Remi, we all spiritualize everything to some degree, or interpret as we choose. Nobody is immune as the history of Jewish messainism shows us.

            We all know that the Tanakh promises peace for the Jewish people in the land, that the Tanakh prophecies a halachcially valid scion of David, that the Tanakh prophecies knowledge of G-d covering the planet, and that it prophecies a new temple.

            We all know that, but we’ve seen these things happen in degrees at different moments in history, and still we say, “nope. Not the era of messiah yet.”

            I listened to a shiur the other day called “Hezekiah the almost messiah.” I realized while listening to this that this checklist of temple, in gathering, peace, Israel’s sovereignty, and knowledge, etc. has been met before by various kings in various degrees, but there was still a view of not being in a messianic age. It seems inconsistent to make the moshiach contingent on that checklist of things when they have existed before without the messianic age having materialized. IE just because we aren’t in the final inning doesn’t mean we aren’t playing baseball.

            I get bothered when the NT gets ripped to shreds (on historical grounds, or because of inconsistencies,) because the Torah has the same problems that need to be interpreted away. Moreso however, I have an issue because Jesus serves as the impetus for millions of people to have faith in G-d and the Bible at all. For many, if you take him away (or his impact on the world away,) there goes the impetus, there goes a firsthand knowledge of a sense of divine providence for many non Jews.

            Without Jesus, Muhammad would be a boat without a river to paddle in, without Jesus, so many gentiles in the world wouldn’t even have any reason to believe in the Torah at all, or consider it meaningful as the Kuzari argument illustrates. It only has meaning if you accept the story. THE PROBLEM IS, JESUS IS THE REASON WHY MANY PEOPLE ACCEPT THE STORY! I understand Judaism’s arguments as to why he “can’t be anyone special,” but if you say that, we may as well be living in a polytheistic culture again, because the only people who would have 1st hand reason to believe (on the basis of experience) in the Bible would be the Jewish people. That’s fine for Jews, but about everyone else?

            Reasons why I could see people accept belief in a prophetic significance to Jesus of Nazareth, Reasons why I can see why people couldn’t believe.

            Couldn’t:
            No halachically valid (paternal line all the way back) descendant of David is presently verifiably known to exist according to the Davidic Dynasty website’s analysis of available geneological records. Jesus likewise only has an unverifiable maternal connection.

            Being that no candidate can be genelogically verified at present to have proper lineage, (we must wait on prophecy to make the determination,) which is why the rabbis say that when the redemptive Job is finally done we will know who the messiah is. Further, it seems that Urim and Turim may help clarify preistly , geneological, and tribal determinations.

            No world peace

            No temple

            No peace for the Jewish people in the land.

            Reasons I Could Believe

            Daniel 9 unambiguously prophecies vision and prophet being sealed, and eternal righteousness being brought in starting (in potential at least) at 70 CE in the plain sense.

            Zechariah 12 prophecies the nations coming against Jerusalem, initial victory (for Israel) followed by defeat and national repentance (of Israel) as a result of the loss. (this fits the history of 70 CE to 200 CE quite well.) After losing two wars against the Romans (the rulers of the known world at that time,) Israel regrouped, and the mishna was codified ending a long period of sectarianism. At the same time, the nations experienced a much broader sense of the knowledge of G-d without first becoming converts to Judaism. (the birth of the Jesus movement,) Old world polytheism disappears from Europe, its former seat of power, and the pagans embrace A form of the Bible.

            Being that no candidate can be genelogically verified at present, (we must wait on prophecy to make the determination,) which is why the rabbis say that when the Job is done we will know who the messiah is. Further, Urim and Turim may help clarify tribal and preistly determinations. Could it be that a claimant (despite a theory of of miraculous birth) could be reinforced somewhat by the real knowledge of the Bible that he brought?

            Another reason why I could believe in a significance is that the theologies that emerged in Christianity (a dying messiah with a unique soul who is near angelic/godly in stature,) are not unique to Christianity at all, but have emerged in later Judaism around other candidates. IE if its idolatry plain and simple, Judaism itself hasn’t been able to avoid it, even in its most traditional Torah observant circles.

            If Yeshua appears to fall in to these things for people, whose at fault? Both sides have something to go on, and like it or not, that Nazarene has served as the impetus for many people to have faith in Tanakh at all.

          • robert2016 says:

            “Zechariah 12 prophecies the nations coming against Jerusalem, initial victory (for Israel) followed by defeat and national repentance (of Israel) as a result of the loss. (this fits the history of 70 CE to 200 CE quite well.) After losing two wars against the Romans (the rulers of the known world at that time,) Israel regrouped, and the mishna was codified ending a long period of sectarianism. At the same time, the nations experienced a much broader sense of the knowledge of G-d without first becoming converts to Judaism. (the birth of the Jesus movement,) Old world polytheism disappears from Europe, its former seat of power, and the pagans embrace A form of the Bible.”

            if hinduism fused the torah with the gheeta and said that the animal gods are really representation of 3 persons in 1 god, then the central message of the torah would be lost in all of india. so the point is ,what is great that one version of jesus has helped europeans embrace another version of polytheism?
            the message is lost.

  9. LarryB says:

    Paul S.
    Specifically, the Bible says he will:
    Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
    Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
    Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)
    Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: “God will be King over all the world – on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One” (Zechariah 14:9). cut and paste!
    …..I take it he didn’t achieve these things the first time around. But that would make these prophets wrong and ruin any reason to believe they prophesied Jesus. How many times did they say he would come back?

  10. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello Larry B.

    Does your text say (THIRD) TEMPLE, or is that your assumption?

    • The Real Messianic says:

      Why do Christians have to spiritualize everything! The Temple is not Jesus’ body! Look at Ezekiel’s temple specifications. (Ezekiel 40).

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello
        I wasnt referring to Christ, as you weren’t either. You mentioned Exekiel referring to the third temple. I asked “Where in the text does it state third”?

        Dont get me wrong I totally agree with the text, Messiah, and the Messianic Kingdom to come, here on earth.

        • The Real Messianic says:

          That fits then… DO you think that the next temple will be the anti-christ’s temple. (The one desecrated by him). Then it will be destroy and then the fourth one will be Ezekiel Temple? Interesting, if it’s the case, the anti-christ (Dajjal for muslims) will be the Jewish messiah. Note that the Jewish Messiah and Jerusalm will be attacked by all the nations (muslims and Christians) who will think that he is a false messiah / anti-christ / Dajjal. And at the end the nations will say “Who has believe our report!”

          Or, all the Jews will get it wrong and will ally with the anti-christ and then, Jesus will come back on the cloud, or maybe the Mahdi!

          What a suspense! Who’s right?

          (drum beat!)

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello
            If you read your Texts, thats the Hebrew texts, you will might hopefully find all the answers.

          • The Real Messianic says:

            The answer depends if the NT is inspired… There is no antichrist, and if you look at Daniel’s 70 weeks this event took place at the destruction of the second temple…

    • Sharbano says:

      What number comes after “Two”.

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello

        If you read Daniel it says seventy sevens. Each seven is seven years. Wich equals 490 yrs.

        If you deduct one seven (tribulation yrs) that leaves 483 from the decree. Decree + 483 yrs comes to the birth of Jesus of Nazereth.

        The prince of peace cut off is Christ.

        • Sharbano says:

          Where do you get this 7 year deducting. It says from when the word is given, by Cyrus,
          You failed to read the whole. This anointed one who is cut off suffers another calamity. That is, “He will exist NO longer”.
          Well, maybe you’re right. Once your god died that was the end of him.

  11. The Real Messianic says:

    Quite a hard one Sharbano! If 1+1+1=1, then Two + 1 = one again!

  12. Concerned Reader says:

    robert2016 Similarities between Christianity and polytheistic religions are truly skin deep honestly. Take the Hindu trimurti as an example. Brahma Shiva and Vishnu embody the creative, sustaining, and destructive aspects of Brahman. The Brahman concept however lives and dies with the cosmos, and in some schools is identical to the cosmos. Totally different concept from that of the Christians if we are honest with their sources. If you read any polytheistic polemic against monotheism, you realize quickly how truly different the notions of divinity are between those worldviews. No offense meant.

  13. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello YPF

    If you read the text again concerning the King and Isaiah, you will see that Isaiah is talking about his own son will soon see the destruction of the two opposing kings. The son is the antecedent not Emanuel.

    God is telling the King ask for a sign, a sign so miraculous, in heaven or on earth, ask it and it will be given. God is telling the faithless king, JUST ASK and I will you show you that the Davidic covenant will stand eternally. Do not fear, just put your faith in Me. The king basically says no, no faith, So God says, ok I will show a sign anyway. Not for you, but for the house of David.

    A woman bearing a child as a sign hardly constitutes a sign to anyone. Its a daily occurance. The sign so spectacular, that only God can perform is a virgin conception.God is promising a miraculous sign for the house of David, not in Isaiahs lifetime but in a future period of time.

    The sign contextually is for the house of David, and specifically to the house before all its records were lost in 70AD.

    So Emanuel must be here prior to AD70.

    • Paul Summers So do you believe that there were two Emmanuels? Where do you see that in the text? And who told you that the Davidic records were lost in the year 70? It is obvious to everyone reading your posts that you don’t give a hang as to what the prophet said or meant – you are just trying to hang on to your idol. Did you know that the word “virgin” appears nowhere in Isaiah 7:14 – and by the way – what kind of a sign is it if a woman becomes pregnant and claims to be a virgin?

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello

        Not sure where you get the notion that I mentioned two Emanuells?

        Are you stating the genealogical records werent destroyed?

        Your last comment does surprise me. You have to remember that God, according to the text is promising a sign. God is offering the king a miraculous sign. God would not offer if He couldnt fulfill. A woman of a matrimonial union doesnt constitute a sign, or a eligitimate relationship would be out of the question, for one a union wouldnt be miraculous and second idolatry wouldnt of course be considered.

        Your statement of claiming to be virgin, here in the context, directly opposes Gods promise of His workmanship. Unless you can show me who else did, or who will fulfill the text?

        • Paul Summers If you don’t have two Emmanuel’s so who is the child who was still young when the two kings who threatened Ahaz were no longer a threat? The genealogical records were not destroyed And if you would know Hebrew you would see that Matthew lied to you – the text in Isaiah says nothing about a virgin – it speaks of a young woman. 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello YPF
            Im sure this has already been stated?

            V 12-14 Emanuel.
            V 15-17 This sign is for the king specifically. The “you” is singular. So before Isaiahs son is old enough to make moral discisions, the two opposed kings will be dead.

            Isaiah uses the definitive THE, so its another boy. The boy of v 16 cannot be the boy of v 14, but refers back to Isaiahs son in v 3. Why else was Isaiah commanded to take his son along to this meeting?

            In summary, King Ahaz, the King of Judah is under attack. This threat is not only a personal threat to him but to the whole House of David. Through Isaiah, God tells the king to be at peace. Two reasons are given. Two signs that guarantee Gods promise of security. The first sign, v 13 and 14 that no attempt to destroy the house of David will succeed until the birth of a virgin born son.The second sign v 15 and 16 are for the king personally. The opposing kings will be dead before Isaiah son reaches an age of maturity.

            The term “virgin” Is required both by the hebrew vocabulary and the context.

            Using previous reference and the rule of definite article. Ch 7 v1, the omly pre existing text that has any concept of a virgin giving birth to a son is Gen ch 3 v 15.

          • Paul Summers So you believe Isaiah is talking about two boys. You base this on the fact that Isaiah uses the definitive “the” – If you would know Hebrew you would realize that the usage of “the” would indicate that he is speaking about the same boy not a different one. The flow of verse 14 into 15 doesn’t leave you with another option but that they are speaking of the same boy. And I challenge you to find the Hebrew word for virgin in Isaiah 7:14 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello

            Ok so theres two statements that you have made that need clarification.

            Please show me the alternative word for Virgin.

            Please show me where I can find the records of the Davidic family blood line.

          • Paul Summers “Betula” is the ONLY word for virgin that the Hebrew Bible uses (e.g. Deuteronomy 22:20). And the idea of genealogical records is absurd – there are families that claim to descend from David – and genealogical would have never helped someone who claimed to be born from a virgin anyways 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

    • Sharbano says:

      I wonder, Can you understand grammatical contexts. For a sign to be considered it has to be something will soon occur. Isaiah has written elsewhere regarding events far off. But, THIS is NOT one of those occasions. Here, there is NO reference of a far off time, instead it is written,
      “For BEFORE the child will know… the two kings whom YOU fear, will be abandoned. This is the mention of a sign, something soon to happen.

    • Dina says:

      Paul, you wrote: “God is telling the King ask for a sign, a sign so miraculous, in heaven or on earth, ask it and it will be given.”

      You added the words “so miraculous.” A sign can be a simple prediction. Who says it has to be a miracle?

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello Dina

        Yes you are correct. A sign can be merely a sign, without it being miraculous. I was adding there, my mistake.

        Contextually though, God is stating “I will show you a sign”

        The virgin will have a Son. A woman conceiving a child isnt a sign. A virgin conceiving is though. So the text doesnt say “Miracle”. However, A virgin giving birth does show a miraculous sign. In light of other texts all things promised, fulfills the contextual prophecy.

        • Fred says:

          Pretty incoherent post. First you say a sign need not be a miracle, then turn around and say that only a miraculous virgin birth would be sign and normal birth would not be. The Torah is plain that signs need not be miraculous. Binding tefillin “as a sign on your hand” is not a miracle, but God says it is a sign. The method of birth is not the “sign” in Isaiah, the sign is the entire chronological experience of the child. Otherwise, Isaiah could just have said “I give you a sign, a woman will experience a virgin birth”. NOT what it says.

          • Greg says:

            I’m surprised that some seem unable to understand the written word. It’s one thing not understanding a language but to ignore what is in front of your eyes is unbelievable.

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello

            Not sure why that would be considered incoherent?

            A miraculous conception would be a sign in relation to a specific text. I agree NOT ALL signs are miraculous, Ive just restated that point.

            If you read my previous posts, there are two children mentioned in the text.

            Emanuell and Isaiahs son.

          • Paul Summers It would be an even more miraculous sign if a mouse gives birth to a full-size elephant – but the text says nothing about mice, nothing about elephants and nothing about virgins – so Matthew’s suggestion has nothing to do with the text in Isaiah. 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Sharbano says:

            How can a “conception” be any kind of sign. Did anyone do a virginity test.
            Read the NEXT chapter. (Of course I realize you flatly ignore what you cannot and are unwilling to accept). As I said, the sign IS “For before the child shall…”. As it says in chapter 8 “For before the child knows…”.
            As you can see, if willing, Isaiah uses the same terminology to REINFORCE what he says in chapter 7. It may be difficult BUT Xtianity is wholly based upon flimsy evidence, and many times no evidence at all. It is why Xtians fear any knowledge of the Hebrew language and will avoid it like a plague.

        • Sharbano says:

          Since you speak of “adding there” you should also correct yourself regarding “adding” the word ‘virgin’ which the text doesn’t say. Is the word there ‘alma’ or ‘betulah’.

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello Sharbano

            The sign of the virgin conceiving wouldnt warrant a test. The base of the Lord God promise is based on faith in Him and what He promised. You seem to be saying that a conception isnt a sign? The text simply says otherwise, either side of the argument, a conception is the sign!

            God doesn’t need to prove Himself or to be tested. Here God offers the king a sign. The king is faithless. So God instigates the sign Himself. Not for the King, but for the house of David.

          • Sharbano says:

            WHAT do you think a Sign IS. It IS a TEST. Show me ANY meaning whereby a “sign” is something based upon a faith concept. Words have a meaning and it doesn’t work to come here using Xtianese (def. a language that takes a definite meaning and changes it to anything Other than its true meaning). You are doing to Torah what contemporary language has done to English. For example, the word “bad” is now something good. What does the Bible say about changing a meaning.

            Since you obviously don’t care to read what is previously written I suggest you look at the Next chapter and see the same thing repeated.

        • Dina says:

          Paul, a prediction that comes to pass is also a sign. The sign in this passage is that the woman will give birth to a son (remember, they didn’t do prenatal testing in those days) and she will call him Emmanuel and that before the child is old enough to tell the difference between good and evil, the danger will pass away. That, and not how the child is conceived, is the sign.

          The passage says nothing about a virgin birth. The word virgin is not in there! Hello?

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello Dina

            In verse 14, the hebrew word for “behold” is a word which draws in the attention to an event which could be past, present or future. In the context, grammatically, when behold is used with the present participle, it always refers to a future event. Not only is the birth future but also the conception. This verse is also not referring to a pregnant woman who is about to give birth, and obviously who hadnt already had a child.

            Im surprised YPF argues for the word Betulah. If you read Gen 24:16, and Judges 21:12 the authors make a note in the verse “had not known a man” emphasising the point to clarify what he means. So the word isnt used entirely exclusively.

            The Jewish scribes who wrote the septguagint some 200 yrs prior to the argument about Jesus used the the equivalent word parthenos, which means virgin, not known a man.

            Also if you read back to my posts to YPF Ive already mentioned the reasoning of two children. Using the definite aricle THE, principle of previous reference and immediate context.

            There is a very good reason Isaiah is commanded to take his son.

            Ps what word is used instead of virgin?

          • Sharbano says:

            Where DID you learn Hebrew, from Strong’s. Furthermore, surely you are aware that the Rabbis translated Torah and it was without error. The Septuagint HAS errors, mainly the 70 that went to Egypt. The Xtian text Followed the error in the Septuagint AND copied that error. A man who was “supposedly” guided by the Xtian “spirit” related the story WITH and INCLUDING that error. We can conclude, therefore, those early Xtians who were Jews had NO Torah education. How could a Jew, who would be keeping the Mitzvot of Shabbat not KNOW such an intimate detail. Clearly the Xtian text CANNOT be relied upon for ANY elucidation.

          • Paul Summers
            The word betula means virgin and the word betulim means virginity (Deuteronomy 22:14) – alma does not mean virgin. If you want to bury your head in the sand that is your prerogative but don’t expect anyone to take you seriously

  14. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello robert2016

    Again you talk about theories and not written eye witness accounts. The gospels are a collection and eye witness accounts.

    You keep adding Jesus and mary stuff?? Not scriptual.

    You also make the gross error that Jesus had scarring. Christ was resurrected with a new body. Thats the ENTIRE whole point of the resurrection.

    Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.

    • robert2016 says:

      “You keep adding Jesus and mary stuff?? Not scriptual.”

      who gives a damn? people are experiencing different forms of their god and making loving relationship with them. have you seen the devotion of catholics to blessed virgin mary and how they use her as intermediary? according to them, no one comes to god EXCEPT THROUGH BLESSED virgin mary. GROUPS of people are having visions of her
      .
      is this krist in the form of blessed virgin mary?

      so lets see

      christians worship

      1. angel of the lord
      2. unrecognizable jewish person
      3. Gardner
      4. the word
      5. lamb of god
      6. bless virgin mary?

      why not just add her into the mix?

      actually why not just become a hindu and believe that god appears in different forms?

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello

        Just because people do this and some do that, doesnt make it sctiptual and a correct way to serve God.
        The RC Church are not the church of Christ, nor do they practice anything scriptual. They may base their ordinaces on scripture and use scripture as there foundation. However it is in error and not contextually scriptually correct. In otherwords its counterfeit.

        Likewise anyother idolatry practice which misrepresents the God of Israel.

        There is only One God. The Lord God of Abraham. He, The Lord God, has Three Names.

        The Lord God.
        The Lord Son of God.
        The lord God Holy Spirit.

        • Sharbano says:

          Another example whereby anything Xtianity teaches the Tanach disputes. It is the way Torah works, in that it says once Mashiach has come THEN G-d’s name will once again be ONE, not two, not three.
          What you have named is NOT names but entities. It is the same as saying you and your father are “one name”, one person.

          • The Real Messianic says:

            I would not say that the non testament teaches the trinity. Rather, it’s a way for them to have Jesus as lord and as saviour and as redeemer and as rock without contradicting the Hebrew Bible. They did not want to be called Polytheists, so they had to find a proper explanation for these inconsistencies, so they came up with the trinity. Is it in the NT, that could be contested at least. But if contested, then they are polytheist. There is that Oneness view as well, so you have to be careful with whom you speak and what they believe… For example, if you say that G-d cannot die to someone who does not believe Jesus is a trinitarian god, then he will agree with you and say that G-d did not die. It’s the same with the law, if you say that the NT teaches that the law is done away with, and that it would go against the Hebrew Bible, then you might find yourself with somebody that think he have to keep the law anyway, so he will tell you that there is no contradiction and that the NT does not teach that the law is done away with. Even if you quote those passages, they will explain it in a way or another and say that “it does not mean what the CHRUCH teachs, but such and such…”.

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        robert2016 says:
        April 1, 2016 at 10:05 am
        “You argue speculative with no basis of truth.”

        can you tell me how a man in the tomb (gospel of mark) renders into a flying angel who comes down , floors the guards and tell the women ” do not be afraid… come see the place where he lay…”

        aren’t you going to SPECULATE IN trying to reconcile this?

        First of all one needs to lesrn the word, SPECULATE, before its used in an argument.

        1.Angels having wings that fly are totally a myth based speculation based on man and not scripture.
        2. The angels apperance shook the soildeirs so much they fainted or became like deadmen. The woman didnt faint. Theres no speculation here, just written accounts of facts. Mathews account not marks!!!!

        3. Theres no reason to speculate on what wasnt said. The angle said, “come see the place”. You simply dont believe the account. Thats fine. But as Ive stated before, you are trying to use a arguement based on my speculative reading, where its not me speculating anything. I just telling you whats written.

        Whats to not reconcile, you assume contradiction. Guards fainting and woman not??

  15. robert2016 says:

    “Christ was resurrected with a new body. Thats the ENTIRE whole point of the resurrection.
    Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.”

    for this reason you won’t have a fish eating jesus or a wounded one or a half naked flesh god exiting tomb with linen clothing. the christian texts are not eyewitness accounts but disagreements .

  16. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello

    The only thing that disagree or are in error are your comments.

    The Jewish Tanach teaches resurrected saints enjoying the benifits of a resurrection in the Messianic Kingdom. Its not a new Christian theology.

    • Fred says:

      “The only thing that disagree or are in error are your comments.”

      His point was spot-on. If Jesus was “resurrected in a new body”,thus accounting for the fact that not a single person recognized him (but yet he still appeared like a typical unremarkable human being), then how is it he still had a gash in his side and holes in his hands?

      “The Jewish Tanach teaches resurrected saints enjoying the benifits (sic) of a resurrection in the Messianic Kingdom. Its not a new Christian theology.”

      Does that same Jewish Tanakh say that these resurrected saints will walk around with the open wounds they received before they died? Your interpretation sounds less like Tanakh and more like the movie “Beetlejuice”.

      • LarryB says:

        Fred
        Great point. I can see how that would happen. “Work all night on a drink of Rum”

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello Fred

        Not sure, if you read my points previously?

        I made the point very clear. The resurrected Jesus had no marks or scars. I was very clear on this. You then make a erroneous comment on walking around with open wounds.

        You and the magority, jump to conclusions without reading or understanding the point of resurrection.

        When Thomas makes the comment about nail pierced holes, he, Thomas hasnt even seen Christ as yet. In his understanding, if Christ is alive then surley He must still be battered and bruised. A logical understanding I suppose, if one has never seen anyone resurrected back to eternal life. What does Thomas know what Jesus looks like at this present time, he doesn’t. Thomas only knows Jesus condition as He came off the cross.

        When Jesus then presents Himself to Thomas, the presented Jesus shows Thomas his hands. No wounds, no scars! Its then Thomas sees the complete healing works of God.

        “”My Lord, My God””

        When Jesus says, “Put your hand into my side” Jesus isn’t saying stick your hand into my internal organs, He Is saying touch me and feel. The same language is like me saying put your hand into mine.

        Your point on been regonised is also wrong. Yes at first He wasn’t recognised, that point is not contested. However as soon as He spoke to Mary, in the early hrs, He was recognised.

        • LarryB says:

          PS
          “When Jesus then presents Himself to Thomas, the presented Jesus shows Thomas his hands. No wounds, no scars! Its then Thomas sees the complete healing works of God.”
          …It’s pretty clear what Thomas required for proof,
          “Unless I see the nail marks” in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” That’s a little different than saying unless I see there is no nail marks. If you could just get rid of those 6 pesky words.
          Now, It does not say that he actually did touch him, apparently seeing them was enough.
          27Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving”. Here Jesus obliges Thomas and offers to let him touch him.
          The Latin vulgate is even clearer.
          “The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails and put my finger into the place of the nails and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello Larryb
            Yes THEY have seen the lord. They, the disciples are telling Thomas we have seen Him physically, so believe, because we have seen Him. There is no mention in the text that the disciples saw wounds, so he must believe based purley on what they are testifying . They never mention wounds. Wounds are no issue to them because there witness of Jesus bares no resemblance to Thomas’s viewpoint.

            Thomas view of Jesus is purley presumptive.

          • LarryB says:

            PS
            We’ll have to agree to disagree, but you are the first I have ever heard teach this passage this way. Your correct about the others but Thomas wanted proof and Jesus gave him that proof. The wounds were still there and Thomas was a believer. If you have links to this teaching I would read them, something more than one mans / believers web site.

          • robert2016 says:

            “But someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?”

            okay christian, tell me why paul couldn’t give a simple answer
            “they come in bodies which eat and cook fish”

            whats all this seed and flower analogy when you have lukes claims right in front of you ?

        • robert2016 says:

          what are you talking about?
          are you trying to reconcile synoptics + john with paul?

          you see you are speculating

          jesus eat fish. did the fish go undigested and is eternally part of trinity?

          thom “BALE eis ” jesus’ SIDE.

          so why specially the side of jesus?

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Robert, just out of curiosity do you accept the documentary hypothesis concerning the Tanakh?

          • LarryB says:

            CR
            Do you agree with PS here?
            “When Jesus then presents Himself to Thomas, the presented Jesus shows Thomas his hands. No wounds, no scars! Its then Thomas sees the complete healing works of God.”
            Or does it even matter?
            LarryB

          • robert2016 says:

            “CR
            Do you agree with PS here?
            “When Jesus then presents Himself to Thomas, the presented Jesus shows Thomas his hands. No wounds, no scars! Its then Thomas sees the complete healing works of God.”
            Or does it even matter?
            LarryB”

            a greek speaker gave this reply to my comment here :

            when john says that the disciples saw jesus’ hands and side is he saying that they saw pierced hands and side or is he saying that “look , no more holes/wounds”
            ?
            later on john has his jesus say to thomas to “bale ees” him

            βάλε εἰς

            some apologists want to reconcile paul’s transformed jesus with johns jesus and say that jesus did not have any holes in his hands or side, he was simply telling them “to feel” not

            “to poke”

            apologist:

            “They, the disciples are telling Thomas we have seen him physically, so believe, because we have seen him. There is no mention in the text that the disciples saw wounds, so he must believe based purely on what they are testifying .”

            “When Jesus says, “Put your hand into my side” Jesus isn’t saying stick your hand into my internal organs, he Is saying touch me and feel.”

            but doesn’t the text say that they saw “hands and side”
            doesn’t the text say that jesus himself requests thomas to “baale ees” him?

            if “bale” means “thrust”

            why did thomas want to “βάλλω” his lord if all he was doing was to feel /handle jesus?
            “…and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

            the greek βάλω

            and βάλε
            seem to be conveying a picture of throwing/thrusting hand into jesus’ side.
            what are your thoughts on this?

            response :
            Verse 25 likewise refutes that theory. Thomas said he wouldn’t believe unless he verified the wounds. Not just touched them, but saw them, and actually put his finger into the nail holes and his hand into the side wound. The authors of John unmistakably meant the body Jesus was wearing retained its wounds.

            john is the only gospel which has pierced side
            john is the only gospel which requires the disiples and jesus pay attention to his side.
            john didn’t want his jesus pierced through hands and feet, he wanted a complete “Finnish him”

          • The Real Messianic says:

            Un gruyere! Holes everywhere, just for you to poke him through!

          • LarryB says:

            Robert
            Thomas wasn’t going to settle for some fake look alike. PS just ignores the text here. Somehow I believe we all get credit for trying?

        • robert2016 says:

          “When Jesus says, “Put your hand into my side” Jesus isn’t saying stick your hand into my internal organs, He Is saying touch me and feel.”

          no he isn’t

          “bale ees” is not “HANDLE me” = psélaphaó
          to handle, touch, feel.

          you seem to be reading lukes words into johns words.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            If you consider the Meta Narrative of the Thomas story, (why it was written aside from simply “proving” the resurrection,) then the term “bale ees” makes sense. This text is an anti docetic polemic. All Christians (Gnostic, Ebionite, Orthodox, etc.) all agreed that Jesus died by crucifixion, but some only felt the event was apparent, ie Jesus only appeared to suffer, (like the Quran says) because to some Christians he “had no body.” “bale ees” as a word does not allow for the docetic interpretation, because it implies a thrusting, a skeptic “finish him” as you would say.

            I personally don’t find arguing the nature of the resurrection appearances very fruitful because all of the appearances are somewhere on an expected rubric where it is similar to translation accounts, (of the righteous into a glorified state,) and a belief that “as they sleep so they rise.” The account of Paul’s experience (where he hears Jesus, but only sees light) is meant (in my opinion) to convey a Sinai like experience for Paul where (words are heard, but no form is seen.) The text didn’t have to say, “here are the hands, the scourging, etc.” because the common faith expectation (that everyone already believed at the time,) rested somewhere on this rubric of a real body as it was. to a glorified one.

            Ancient peoples believed all kinds of things (Science as such did not exist,) so people didn’t do verification like they do today. It was no more difficult to believe in a resurrected Jesus then to believe that Elijah went up to heaven.

        • robert2016 says:

          “Yes THEY have seen the lord. They, the disciples are telling Thomas we have seen Him physically, so believe, because we have seen Him. There is no mention in the text that the disciples saw wounds, so he must believe based purley on what they are testifying . They never mention wounds. Wounds are no issue to them because there witness of Jesus bares no resemblance to Thomas’s viewpoint.”

          seems like you are shape shifting your god to fit into something. if thomas’ “view point” required that your god shape shifted and made him see wounds in his body, how do we know any of this isn’t magic? how do you know that the guy who died on the cross simply didn’t change face?

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello

            Its getting to the point, which it usually does, that your responses are quite mad, and totally contradictory to all things pertaining the discussion.
            You now talk about shape shifting? ??

            All your views and arguements are moving in all directions just to counter my arguement based on the written account, these views go contrary to yours. Unfortunately you have been unable to see the truth and then your only option is, is to simply add more contradictions to the mix, which doesnt help no one.

            If you take the time to read other books in the NT, it quite clearly teaches the mortal, corrupted flesh of man becomes incorruptible and immortal at the point of the resurrection. The old sinnful man becomes literally and physically anew. All traces of the old have been given a new body.

            To deny this is simply denying the Complete Whole Bible in its entirety.

            If you dont have anything constructive to add, I wouldn’t waste your time replying.

        • robert2016 says:

          “They, the disciples are telling Thomas we have seen Him physically, so believe, because we have seen Him. There is no mention in the text that the disciples saw wounds, so he must believe based purley on what they are testifying . They never mention wounds. Wounds are no issue to them because there witness of Jesus bares no resemblance to Thomas’s viewpoint.”

          you are a speculative apologist so why not do some speculation

          thomas is not a witness to the crucifixion, do you have a text which says he was?

          john 20:19
          says that jesus showed them his hands and side

          are you saying that john 20:24 wants readers to believe that the disciples words were “we have seen jesus” and that’s it? is that what one would assume when seeing that just before it explicitly says “hands and side” was seen?

          apologist, why would thomas say

          ” unless i see the nail marks…and put my hand into his side…”

          unless he didn’t hear the disiples say that they saw jesus’ pierced hand and side?

          are you thinking that the only thing john the writer wants is a reaction from , “we have seen jesus” ?

          here is paul
          “But someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?”

          “Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies”

          “There are both heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one thing, and that of the earthly is another”

          compare to luke

          “Look at my hands and my feet, to see it is I. Handle me and see – for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (24:39). They still have trouble believing it, and so he asks them for something to eat. They give him a piece of broiled fish, and he eats it before their very eyes.

          lukes buried jesus comes back in the same body which requests fish to eat.

          paul is telling luke, fool the sowed thing is dead and is TRANSFORMED LIKE a plant is transformed. luke seem to be saying that it is the same sowed seed came back to life in its flesh and bone body i.e same body.

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello

            This is a prime example of a double standard and a speculative argument from you.

            You state that Thomas never witnessed the crucifixion. Ok, the text doesnt explicitly state he did, however it never says he didnt either.
            However, looking at who Thomas was, theres a massive chance that he did. He could have been there at the actuall nailing, or sometime after, before the coming off the cross. Its totally irelivant. However, again Thomas does know that Jesus was crucified. From the verses that you quoted its pretty probable thomas did witness the event, Thomas nows for sure that crucifixion entails hands and feet being nailed through. The clue is in the term crucified.

            The issue isnt did Thomas witness the death, the issue here is on what form does a resurrected body look like. You seem differ ftom one side to another. Are you now believing that Jesus was resurrected but now the bones, flesh are real because Jesus asks to be touched, AND its capable of digestion?

            Remember Jesus is not in a glorified state at this moment in time.

            The NT teaches the resurrected body is a fuctioning body made anew. Eating, breathing walking talking etc. All the characteristics which Jesus did. The difference from the old, is that the old flesh man is now made incorruptible, not at the mercy of death. Death has been destroyed. The person is the same in feature but not at the mercy of decay, ageing etc.

            I wear glasses, hairs gone, bones creaks, wrinkles, scars from life, fillings in teeth etc etc.

            At my resurrection none of the above will hinder me. I will be made alive, my old flesh reconditioned to the state that God intended before sin came into the human experience.

            Pauls idiom of a seed is thus,

            A seed is buried, it grows into a new plant. The seed doesnt come out of the ground, the new life plant does, from the seed, but first it has to die and be buried.

        • robert2016 says:

          it is john who seems to be in control of what he wants to go into the mouths of the disciples. note that his disciples have fixation on jesus’ side and doubting thomas has fixation on jesus’ side because john is controlling the narrative. he has to because he is the only writer who has his jesus pierced. these texts are not written by eyewitnesses but christians who were disagreeing on what type of body jesus had.

        • robert2016 says:

          “When Jesus says, “Put your hand into my side” Jesus isn’t saying stick your hand into my internal organs, He Is saying touch me and feel.”

          but i know a christian who speaks greek. he wrote:

          If you mean βάλε εἰς, it means “cast into” or “throw/thrust into”.

          I do not know whether Thomas obeyed, but yes, Jesus was telling him to actually stick his hand into [εἰς] his side.

          so who is right?

        • robert2016 says:

          This is a prime example of a double standard and a speculative argument from you.

          “You state that Thomas never witnessed the crucifixion. Ok, the text doesnt explicitly state he did, however it never says he didnt either.”
          However, looking at who Thomas was, theres a massive chance that he did. He could have been there at the actuall nailing, or sometime after, before the coming off the cross.

          see you are speculating like a typical christian apologist. how does looking at “who thomas” was mean thomas was there when the gospels of mark says everyone forsook and fled jesus?

          read my question again, do you think that john would go in the trouble of mentioning that they saw jesus’ hands and feet and want the readers to assume that “we saw jesus” was the only words they conveyed to thomas?

          ” Its totally irelivant.”

          its relevant because jesus’ body is still the old wounded body which cooks and eats.

          ” However, again Thomas does know that Jesus was crucified. From the verses that you quoted its pretty probable thomas did witness the event, Thomas nows for sure that crucifixion entails hands and feet being nailed through. The clue is in the term crucified.”

          are you ignoring the side of your god?
          john has his jesus’ side pierced
          john has disiples view side and hand
          john has thomas say he wants to poke jesus
          johns jesus’ tells thomas to poke him

          side , side , side side

          “The issue isnt did Thomas witness the death, the issue here is on what form does a resurrected body look like.”

          i have given you proof that it would an old wounded body which could eat and cook meat.
          christian disagreements with paul

          “You seem differ ftom one side to another. Are you now believing that Jesus was resurrected but now the bones, flesh are real because Jesus asks to be touched, AND its capable of digestion?”

          i am telling a christian apologist like you that when paul could have brought evidence about his crucified god eating, walking and talking he doesn’t do it. he fails to mention anything about the gospel jesus. pauls jesus is disconnected from the one you find in luke and john.

          “Remember Jesus is not in a glorified state at this moment in time.”

          apologist paul thinks that the resurrected jesus WHEN he ressurected was in a transformed body . there is no earthly sighting of this body. the guy tells us nothing about this body.

          “The NT teaches the resurrected body is a fuctioning body made anew. Eating, breathing walking talking etc.”

          bull s . paul does say nothing like this.

          “All the characteristics which Jesus did. The difference from the old, is that the old flesh man is now made incorruptible, not at the mercy of death. Death has been destroyed. The person is the same in feature but not at the mercy of decay, ageing etc.”

          this is not what paul says. look at his word again. he says the seed becomes a plant.
          is plant a seed?
          to different things. the seed is left behind but the plant shoots off to heaven
          paul is in disagreement with luke and john.


          Pauls idiom of a seed is thus,

          A seed is buried, it grows into a new plant. The seed doesnt come out of the ground, the new life plant does, from the seed, but first it has to die and be buried.”

          but luke says that it is the same seed which came back out of the ground and was able to eat fish and have wounds

          answer the following question

          why did john say that jesus told peter to poke his side if there was no gash there?

          • robert2016 says:

            This is a prime example of a double standard and a speculative argument from you.

            “You state that Thomas never witnessed the crucifixion. Ok, the text doesnt explicitly state he did, however it never says he didnt either.”
            However, looking at who Thomas was, theres a massive chance that he did. He could have been there at the actuall nailing, or sometime after, before the coming off the cross.

            see you are speculating like a typical christian apologist. how does looking at “who thomas was” mean that thomas was there when the gospels of mark says everyone forsook and fled jesus?

            read my question again, do you think that john would go in the trouble of mentioning that they saw jesus’ hands and SIDE and want the readers to assume that “we saw jesus” was the only words they conveyed to thomas?

            ” Its totally irelivant.”

            its relevant because jesus’ body is still the old wounded body which cooks and eats in contrasts to paul jesus who seems to be transformed at his resurrection.

            pauls jesus is buried somewhere unknown and is transformed into another body which paul knows nothing about except the bright lights he sees.

            ” However, again Thomas does know that Jesus was crucified. From the verses that you quoted its pretty probable thomas did witness the event, Thomas nows for sure that crucifixion entails hands and feet being nailed through. The clue is in the term crucified.”

            are you ignoring the side of your god?
            john has his jesus’ side pierced
            john has disciples view side and hand
            john has thomas say he wants to poke jesus
            johns jesus’ tells thomas to poke him

            john is not interested in feet, he is interested in the pierced side.

            this is the same dead sowed seed which is in its same wounded condition.

            side , side , side side

            “The issue isnt did Thomas witness the death, the issue here is on what form does a resurrected body look like.”

            i have given you proof that it would an old wounded body which could eat and cook meat.
            christian disagreements with paul

            “You seem differ ftom one side to another. Are you now believing that Jesus was resurrected but now the bones, flesh are real because Jesus asks to be touched, AND its capable of digestion?”

            i am telling a christian apologist like you that when paul could have brought evidence about his crucified god eating, walking and talking he doesn’t do it. he doesn’t do it even when he is asked questions which could have had a reply like, “hey, jesus eat fish and walked around for 40 days…” he fails to mention anything about the gospel jesus. pauls jesus is disconnected from the one you find in luke and john.

            “Remember Jesus is not in a glorified state at this moment in time.”

            apologist, paul thinks that the resurrected jesus WHEN he resurrected was in a transformed body . there is no earthly sighting of this body. the guy tells us nothing about this body.

            “The NT teaches the resurrected body is a fuctioning body made anew. Eating, breathing walking talking etc.”

            bull s . paul says nothing like this. funny paul didn’t mention anything about your “anew” body with different functions including carrying wounds

            “All the characteristics which Jesus did. The difference from the old, is that the old flesh man is now made incorruptible, not at the mercy of death. Death has been destroyed. The person is the same in feature but not at the mercy of decay, ageing etc.”

            this is not what paul says. look at his word again. he says the seed becomes a plant.
            is plant a seed?
            two different things. the seed is left behind but the plant shoots off to heaven
            paul is in disagreement with luke and john.

            why would something transformed still carry wounds ?
            why would it need to eat? or do you believe the undigested fish became part of trinity?


            Pauls idiom of a seed is thus,

            A seed is buried, it grows into a new plant. The seed doesnt come out of the ground, the new life plant does, from the seed, but first it has to die and be buried.”

            but luke says that it is the same seed which came back out of the ground and was able to eat fish and have wounds.

            you are helping me. you said “new life plant does”
            so “new life plant” translates into a new body.
            but luke and john has the same old wounded body, how come?

            answer the following question

            why did john say that jesus told peter to poke his side if there was no gash there?

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello

            The point is that the same Jesus who died is the very same Jesus who is resurrected. Transformed to a resurrected condition.

            If Jesus was able to conquer the grave, go from clinical and biological death to a new transformed condition, scars and wounds be some how superior to complete transformation of the body.

            You notice that, from the texts, no body asked or saw the scars from the crown of thorns, or said lets look at the wounds of the roman scourge. You think from your view, only certain scars remained. How come Jesus wasnt limping from the nails breaking His feet. Jesus didnt ask help in walking or for passing food.

            The healing is compatible with a full resurrection, just as Jesus was able to leave the tomb unhindered.

            Paul never saw Christ as the diciples did. What Paul saw was a great light from heaven. The voice spoke and addresses Himself as Christ.

            Just to note also. Jesus Himself never said look at my wounds. He stated look at my hands and feet. The only ones asking about wounds are disciples.

            This is not about healing. Its about the resurrected body.

        • robert2016 says:

          1. luke has the disciples look at the hands and feet
          john has jesus ask one of the disciples to poke his side

          Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

          what does paul have? nothing. no early witness to this.

          you are talking about “scars and thorns” and i am telling you that paul does not seem to say that his transformed god had anything earthly.

          open wounds = earthly
          eating fish = earthly

          “There are both heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one thing, and that of the earthly is another”

          if paul knew of this

          “Look at my hands and my feet, to see it is I. Handle me and see – for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have”

          he is clearly rejecting it because it is earthly

          it is not transformed body.

          so look at your witnesses

          paul no witness to resurrection

          mark . may have heard that a meeting took place in galilee but provides no details. indication that mark just knew there was a meeting but knew nothing of what took place
          no wounded jesus in mark. no fish eating jesus in mark

          matthew : some doubted.

          all you have is john and luke

          “You notice that, from the texts, no body asked or saw the scars from the crown of thorns, or said lets look at the wounds of the roman scourge. You think from your view, only certain scars remained. How come Jesus wasnt limping from the nails breaking His feet. Jesus didnt ask help in walking or for passing food.”

          how do you know luke or john thought that? for example ,john has had his disciples look at the SIDE and hands of jesus, omitting any mention of the feet.
          luke has them look at feet and hands. why would the writers want to talk about scars when there are open wounds and holes? even if jesus was limping why would the later writers want to inform about it? if they would inform more about limping jesus or bleeding jesus one could ask if he even died on the cross . the goal of both writers is to write about a resurrected man god, it is the detective job to find out what is going on in the cover up .

          but the point is

          paul does not seem to believe in naked body leaving an empty tomb
          eating and cooking body
          and injured /wounded body.

          paul does not seem to be imagining john or lukes jesus.

          “The healing is compatible with a full resurrection, just as Jesus was able to leave the tomb unhindered.”

          what are you talking about? “full resurrection”
          how much was jesus resurrected when he had injuries, holes and wounds ?

          “Paul never saw Christ as the diciples did. What Paul saw was a great light from heaven. The voice spoke and addresses Himself as Christ.”

          that’s all paul knew. paul didn’t know about any gospel story .

          “Just to note also. Jesus Himself never said look at my wounds. He stated look at my hands and feet. The only ones asking about wounds are disciples.”

          Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

          βάλε εἰς, it means “cast into” or “throw/thrust into”.

          jesus was telling him to actually stick his hand into [εἰς] his side.

          pauls transformed god would not be asking anyone to ees his side.

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello

            Im not stating, nor does the texts contradict, the condition of Christ. Paul wasnt an eye witness, or even a follower of Jesus.

            Why does it seem so crucial to you that Pauls accounts differ ftom the Gospel accounts. They dont contradict, just different views from different points of time. You seem totally confused on the chronological line of events.

            Wounds, there or not, eating, walking, post resurrection sightings etc are not Pauls testimonies or eye witness accounts. They are not mentioned because Paul is not in the four Gospels. Pauls personal sighting of Christ is acts ch 9. Sometime after Christ glorification. The church was in its infancy and being persecuted by Paul.

            Again its only your assumed preferred view that keep you from the truth. Only because Jesus said look at my hands, you automatically assume wounds. Thomas doesnt need wounds to recognise Jesus, he can Jesus for himself. The point of look at my hands are look not only am I alive, im totally healed, look touch and feel, put your hand into my side.

            When people say, “I can see right through him, and his ideas, or I can see what you are thinking, they don’t acually mean it literally, its a phrase that one uses to make a point.

            Jesus isnt paraphrasing, He is just saying look at my body, He doesnt say look at my wounds!

            You need the NT to contradict itself to support your view, fortunately it doesnt. There is no contradictions just limited knowledge and poor research, based on a foundation of self denying will.

          • robert2016 says:

            according to paul ,your god was transformed into a spirit. he wasn’t picturing a god who was getting poked from the side , he was picturing something completely different than the later writers. he spends more than 40 lines in 1 corinthians giving gardening analogies yet he can’t quote one thing from the synoptics or john. he is talking about raised man god , he is talking about ressurection, he is answering the question ” what kind of body will they come?” but nothing from post resurrected jesus stories in the synoptics is worth quoting lol.

        • robert2016 says:

          few questions

          1. do you think paul knew about jesus walking, eating, cooking food, telling peter to poke his side

          ” βάλε εἰς, it means “cast into” or ‘throw/thrust into’. ”

          knew that ” Jesus was telling him to actually stick his hand into [εἰς] his side.”

          paul knew all of this, but when proving the resurrection of his god he omitted all the stuff mentioned above? wasn’t important even though the guy is telling them stories about a crucified guy who came back to life?

          paul repeats himself in his letters that he is preaching crucified god
          he repeats himself about the vision he, peter and 500 had, but he leaves out all the stuff earthly jesus did after his alleged ressurection

        • robert2016 says:

          you said that the accounts don’t contradict

          but you have yet to explain how

          βάλε εἰς, i “cast into” or “throw/thrust into”.

          means touching like we find in lukes text.

          can you explain this.

          “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

          here is paul speaking

          topic resurrection

          https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+15

          he says that his god was buried, raised and seen .

          The Resurrection of the Dead

          12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

          20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.”[c] Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

          29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them? 30 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31 I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,

          “Let us eat and drink,
          for tomorrow we die.”[d]
          33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”[e] 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.

          The Resurrection Body

          35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.

          42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

          If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”[f]; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we[g] bear the image of the heavenly man.

          50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”[h]

          55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
          Where, O death, is your sting?”[i]
          56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

          58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

          can you explain how an eating , drinking, body with open wound is “spiritual body” ?
          paul is talking about RAISED body and you repeat yourself like christian apologist that paul was not there
          whose raised body is he talking about? and when was that body raised? he is talking about a past event

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello

            You have quoted some great passsges here. All of these are perfect, my only confusion is, why are you quoting them to me, surley I must he quoting them to you????

            These passages are mainly aimed at “The resurrection ” of church saints at the rapture.

            Its a physical resurrection.

            V20 onwards starts to gives a over view of past and future events in order.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Actually Fred, there are many sources that strongly imply that the way the righteous deceased people slept/died is the way they that will rise. The light of righteousness/divine presence will shine, the light destroying the wicked, and healing the righteous.

    • robert2016 says:

      how would you interpreted “wounded because of our transgressions”
      so tell me how peter would talk about wounds of jesus in public sermons when what you believe is

      “When Jesus then presents Himself to Thomas, the presented Jesus shows Thomas his hands. No wounds, no scars! Its then Thomas sees the complete healing works of God”

      1. according to mark and paul nobody believer witnessed the crucifixion of jesus

      2. jesus appeared with no wounds and no scars

      so how was is 53 relevant? doesn’t your reading on the gospel have to force in the belief that in isaiah 53 there wounds could magically appear and disappear?

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello

        The wounds of Christ are the wounds He sustained at the point of death, the wounds which caused His desth. Its the wounds that He was willing to obtain, which caused His death, which of cause ultimately brought on His resurrection.

        The resurrection is pure 100%. The old is done away with.

    • robert2016 says:

      The Roman view of Paul’s position

      23:25-30 – He further wrote a letter to Felix of which this is a copy: “Claudius Lysias sends greeting to his excellency the governor Felix. “This man had been seized by the Jews and was on the point of being murdered by them when I arrived with my troops and rescued him, since I had discovered that he was a Roman citizen. Wishing to find out what the accusation was that they were making against him, I had him brought down to their Sanhedrin. There I discovered he was being accused over questions of their laws, and that there was no charge against him which deserved either death or imprisonment. Now, however, that I have received private information of a plot against his life, I have sent him to you without delay. At the same time I have notified his accusers that they must make their charges against him in your presence.”

      what is going on here? if paul was being persecuted because he was worshipping a convicted criminal who paul thought was leading his movement , why didn’t the jews inform about this? this is the “king of the jews”
      and paul is charged with nothing serious?
      the point is that paul does not know about the fish eating and wounded jesus yet. those stories have not been created in pauls time, they will be created later on.
      i told you 2 weeks ago that the christians weren’t producing a human jesus, they were producing an experience of bright lights .

  17. Jim says:

    Con,

    I have been having some difficulty determining whether or not I should respond further to your comments here. It feels rude to ignore your comments, so I will respond briefly, no matter how futile that seems to me.

    You do not understand at all why your comments annoy me. I am not offended by the insult. I do not much care whether you think I am a hypocrite or a fool. That is your business and not mine, and I have no intention of answering to you.

    The problem is that your comments are irrelevant and a distraction.

    Please reread the above sentence, so you know why I am annoyed by your comments.

    One more time, please.

    My essay was written in response to Aaron’s statement that Fred is speculating that Jesus did not come back from the dead. It agrees that Fred is speculating to some degree, but that Aaron is too. And it argues that the more reasonable conclusion is that Jesus did not rise from the dead.

    Your comment is a non sequitur. Let us say that Sinai is subject to the same criticism. (It is not, but let us imagine it to be so.) Nevertheless, it is irrelevant. That does not get at the truth or falsity of my argument. Let us say that I am a hypocrite. So, what? That has nothing to do with the argument. Even if I apply the standard of my argument inconsistently, if it is applied correctly to the resurrection, then it does not matter for this argument whether I misapply it in the case of Sinai.

    I get that this is your pet peeve, and you are entitled to it, but you are not entitled to derail conversations. Just a couple days before posting your comment here that we are inconsistent, you made a pass at it on the thread from which this essay comes, calling the Jews foolish for believing Sinai is different than the resurrection or the giving of the Quran. It had little to do with the conversation there, just like here. But you interject it anyway. Failing to gain traction there, you tried again here.

    The problem with your comments is not that they aren’t fair as you wrote somewhere here. It is that they are not relevant. If my logic is faulty regarding Sinai, that has no bearing on my logic regarding the resurrection.

    Jim

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Your comment is a non sequitur. Let us say that Sinai is subject to the same criticism. (It is not, but let us imagine it to be so.) My whole problem with your statements is summed up in what you said here. You employ a self confessed double standard when you deal with your sacred text. Sinai is subject to the same kinds of criticism because the Torah is claiming that something happened in history at a particular place and time. I have already stated that if you go by a plain and simple Kuzari argument, you have a leg to stand on. The minute you criticize the Christian narrative on empirical grounds, grounds of consistency, etc. you open the Tanakh to it too. That’s sound method.

      • Jim says:

        Non sequitur.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          ok Jim, whatever. : ) I only bring it up because you pick at their narrative inconsistencies. If you are going to say that the New Testament has no clothes because of its narrative inconsistencies, but you ignore the ones in your own text, you are just as guilty of checking your head at the door as them. that’s all I’m saying.

      • Dina says:

        Con, our arguments against the resurrection (whether it happened or didn’t happen) are mostly Biblical.

        Deuteronomy 4 and 13 are the main ones.

        Whatever inconsistencies a Christian or a polytheist might see because of their polytheist glasses we interpret in light of Deuteronomy 4.

        We are the only ones with the right to interpret it this way because we are the target audience, we were the ones who experienced the Sinai revelation, etc. (When I say “we” I mean traditional Jews who are loyal to God and Torah observance.)

        • Concerned Reader says:

          A theological argument in light of Deuteronomy 4 or 13 is completely fine Dina, but when people start questioning the details of the narratives, IE “who really saw Jesus? Who really touched his body, etc.” the argument extends beyond scripture and into historicity.
          As I’ve said before, that’s OK and fine for you (as a descendant) to believe that your ancestors heard G-d speak. I’m fine with that. However, when people start saying “show me proof,” it is consistent to say that empirical evidence for these things simply does not exist for any biblical narrative.

          • Concerned Reader The argument – who really saw Jesus? Does not extend “beyond Scripture” – it is just a demonstration that the NT story is internally inconsistent – and it has nothing to do with an external inconsistency like asking about the population of the exodus vs. the wagon trains out west

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Rabbi, given what passes for consistent testimony in the biblical accounts, its surprising so many people believe in it. I personally would find a story involving fewer people to be slightly more plausible, (considering known population densities, life expectancy, etc.) but that’s just me. When you say “why wouldn’t Jesus appear to his opponents,” your own religion provides an answer to you.

            G-d gives you free will. If Jesus showed himself to his extreme doubters or opponents, you couldn’t be said to have free agency. You would know the “truth” and what humans would say no to life after death? Repentance from your sins would have none of what makes repentance real. What would you do if you saw someone you knew was dead, walking around? Also, even if people could see G-d doing something, they wouldn’t necessarily agree with what they were seeing. (consider people in the Noah story, or how easy it would be to charge someone with necromancy or witchcraft.)

            honestly, given the claim of a resurrected person, you wouldn’t expect a consistent testimony about it. It would be a traumatic experience in every way to say the least, you would also likely question your own experiences, if you were sane. Jim asked “why did the disciples not say anything for 50 days,”

            well, would you go broadcasting that you spoke to an alien, or a deceased loved one? Would you grab the nearest Roman centurion and say “hey man, you Romans are in serious trouble, the king of our people is alive and he’s coming for you!” Somehow, I doubt it.

          • Concerned Reader When I say “internally consistent” I mean consistent with the concept of credibility established by the OT. Moses is the greatest prophet because everyone saw (Deuteronomy 34:12) exodus and Sinai are so foundational because they are so public. The writers of the NT expect the crowd who has the religious training of the OT to believe on the basis of testimony that the OT-mind can’t accept.

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  18. Jim says:

    Paul,

    Regarding Isaiah 7, I wrote about this here: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/emmanuel-by-jim/ .

    That does not discuss the ‘virgin birth’, which has been discussed many times before, but it is still relevant to the discussion.

    Jim

    • Concerned reader says:

      I would not say that the non testament teaches the trinity. Rather, it’s a way for them to have Jesus as lord and as saviour and as redeemer and as rock without contradicting the Hebrew Bible. They did not want to be called Polytheists, so they had to find a proper explanation for these inconsistencies, so they came up with the trinity. Is it in the NT, that could be contested at least. But if contested, then they are polytheist.

      Remi, I hear what you are saying, but you don’t even need the New Testament or the Christians as a group to exist at all in order to see the same issue of contradiction you mentioned, you just need the Torah by itself. This issue of to whom service belongs evolves out of a tension present in the Torah text itself. This tension was exacerbated when Christians (and Jews like Philo) were interacting with polytheists who already saw a contradiction in the Bible.

      Its very true that the Torah clearly says only to “worship” hashem, but……

      “worship” apparently only means “pray to” in the context of the halacha. HOWVEVER WORSHIP CAN MEAN MANY DIFFERENT THINGS IN A DIFFERENT CULTURE’S CONTEXT.

      As per the biblical examples, You can pray at some righteous man’s grave and that’s OK, you can bow down to the dust in reverence in front of an agent of G-d out of respect, (Joshua 5:14) You can listen to an angel say “I am the god” in first person, (Genesis 31:13) You can be told that an agent has possession of the name, and therefore has power over your very life (Exodus 23:21) You can also casually mention an agent in a blessing, (as long as you invoke G-d too. Genesis 48:15-16)

      The reason the trinity exists is because the Pagans used to say things like (to paraphrase,)

      “you call yourselves monotheists, but you have divine agents beyond number in your books who do various actions for your G-d, they draw clear reverence from your ancestors, and they carry out the will of your deity. In that respect they are no different from the gods we serve. If you say “we don’t pray to them,” what does prayer mean to us when even gods cannot control their fate? You “monotheists” do the same kind of actions involving these agents that we do for our gods and ancestors, what exactly is the difference?”

      The trinity really is answering a fundamental contradiction (to the skeptical pagan mind,) but its not a contradiction that the Christians invented or started at all. Even Elisha Ben Abuyah saw there was an issue. If you can slap G-d’s name, authority, control, jobs, etc. on an agent, you have in functional form created the same aparatus as the Christians, you just don’t have a fancy Christian name for what you are doing. Same dance though in a different form. The Christians didn’t invent this stuff man. Its like you said though, they tried to reconcile the contradiction.

      Just look at the Ebionites. Who was Jesus to them? He was a human agent of G-d chosen to be the messiah, who had a very special (near angelic) soul, bore G-d’s name, and acted in his authority, whom the congregation had to obey. The elevation of Jesus was happening then, its happening still today with different groups and different teachers. Indeed those trinitarian theologians were just trying to solve (as commited monotheists) what they (and their pagan opponents) saw as a contradiction.

      • robert2016 says:

        “If you can slap G-d’s name, authority, control, jobs, etc. on an agent, you have in functional form created the same aparatus as the Christians…”

        and if they are both conscious of each other we call it polytheism. so christianity is polytheism and if you want to say judaism has what christianity has , then your thought has made judaism into polytheism as well. no point playing with words just say what it is separate gods in object subject relationship.

  19. Concerned Reader says:

    “and if they are both conscious of each other we call it polytheism.”

    I find it interesting that you said “if they are both conscious” because by describing polytheism as a religion that sees two or more conscious powers, you are inadvertently applying biblical worldview and conceptions to polytheistic ideologies.

    Many polytheists wouldn’t even consider the divine to be “conscious” like some kind of personality, but would instead see their deities as forces that are part of an eternal cosmos.

    That’s why when people say “we don’t pray to these other entities/angels, but only to G-d,” it makes no sense to certain polytheistic belief systems. They might ask you, “how do you know G-d is personal?” “How do you know the deity answers prayer?” Its actually kind of ironic. The Christians so saturated the world with biblical concepts of deity that people don’t even know what polytheistic systems actually believe and teach. Not bad for a so called failed religion huh?

  20. robert2016 says:

    polytheism
    [pol-ee-thee-iz-uh m, pol-ee-thee-iz-uh m]
    Spell Syllables
    Examples Word Origin
    See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
    noun
    1.
    the doctrine of or belief in more than one god or in many gods.

    simple definition

    “I find it interesting that you said “if they are both conscious” because by describing polytheism as a religion that sees two or more conscious powers, you are inadvertently applying biblical worldview and conceptions to polytheistic ideologies.”

    so the father is conscious of the son and the son is conscious of the father and both have co equal powers.

    what else is this other than polytheism or more than one god?

    “Many polytheists wouldn’t even consider the divine to be “conscious” like some kind of personality, but would instead see their deities as forces that are part of an eternal cosmos.”

    well neither do you consider the “one what” in trinity to be conscious, do you?

    you have one god who is one what

    is that divine nature conscious? is that one what conscious? but then you have 3 who’s who you must separate before you think of them .3 .

    you have persons who talk to each other, love each other and one of them sends the other, so how much “who” and “what” does one of them send?

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Angels love G-d, they obey him, etc. Its actually no less polytheistic if you have one supreme entity who uses or appionts another entity who serves only as a vessel for his will. The one thing we can say about polytheistic traditions is that its tough to boil it down, because it was so diverse.

  21. robert2016 says:

    “Angels love G-d, they obey him, etc. Its actually no less polytheistic if you have one supreme entity who uses or appionts another entity who serves only as a vessel for his will.”

    can you explain this? is the angel carrying divine attribute of god within him? do you think that the jewish torah says that angels had infinite being in them or were angels CREATED to do Gods will?

    • Concerned Reader says:

      in Judaism (and in other religions too) angels are seen as subordinate incorporeal, ie spiritual beings, created, but nonetheless unending beings. Remember, in ancient times, the prevailing intellectual opinion among the nations of the world was that the cosmos was eternal, and not created. The Jewish people said, “no it is created,” but nobody on either side of the discussion (Jewish or Pagan) could prove for certain that the cosmos wasn’t eternal after G-d/gods created it. For many people, gods were just synonymous with eternal natural forces that continually interacted with each other, and there was no creation out of nothing as such. The interactions were understood as different gods working for/with other gods, some deemed more supreme, some less supreme.

      Angels are synonymous with natural forces . IE what the nations call gods, Jews call angels and don’t pray to them, though some Jews in history have invoked them for various purposes.

      Notice how the Bible says things like the heavens and earth sing praises to G-d? That’s because the natural forces are believed to have “angels” ie intellects behind them. (see Aristotle for more info)

      So, the cosmos, angels, etc. are presumed created, but also eternal. Or, if you have a system like Hinduism, “eternal” is understood as a relative term denoting a huge cycle of time. One life cycle of Brahman for example, (the monad of Hinduism) is believed to be 311.04 trillion human years, and is identical to the cosmos.

      Depending on which sources within Judaism you ask, there is some belief that life has a “spark” of godliness within it. So, G-d commands angels to do certain things, and in polytheism, the gods command the other gods to do things for them.

      is the angel carrying divine attribute of god within him?

      It depends on what culture and perspective you are talking about and what their notion of ” the divine” is. As I said, because of Christianity and Islam, we (in western culture) have become accustomed to only think of the divine in biblical or Abrahamic fashion. This fact obscures the truth that polytheistic religions are very very different, and have totally different worldviews, (even though we see seeming elements of similarity.) Its one of my pet peeves when people point out the “polytheism” in Christianity, because, in a real sense, all of the monotheistic traditions have “paganism” in them if you look at the question deep enough.

      • Dina says:

        Con, I’ve heard you make the following arguments, and I paraphrase:

        1. Polytheists can’t see the difference between Judaism and polytheism because what they call gods Jews call angels. So really it’s the same thing.

        2. Christianity is not at all similar to paganism; it’s Judaism dressed up in different terminology. The similarities to paganism are only skin deep, while the differences Jews claim between Judaism and Christianity are hypocritical and inconsistent. Jews therefore have no right to accuse Christians of inconsistency.

        3. If you look deeply enough, you will see that Judaism is also pagan.

        Do you see the inconsistencies in these arguments? I hope so. You’re trying to argue that Judaism and paganism are different sides of the same coin while Christianity is not pagan. Or you’re saying that Christianity is not pagan because it’s similar to Judaism which is really no different from polytheism. Do I understand you correctly?

        The reason you think Judaism is so similar to Christianity is because you have not grasped the Jewish concept of monotheism.

        The Jews introduced to the world the idea of an invisible God that is not associated with any physical form. The original Christian missionaries couldn’t sell this idea to the gentile masses. So they associated God with a physical form.

        The Torah defines for Jews what type of worship is considered idolatry and what isn’t. You may disagree with that definition, but don’t presume to tell Jews that they ought to conform to your definition. And don’t presume to tell us that we have no right to tell Christians that their idea of God is wrong–forgetting that we only tell this to Christians who first target us for conversion. I’m sorry to be so blunt, but it’s frankly repulsive for you to sit on your high horse and lecture us on how wrong we are to discount the experience of Christians when the truth is that we do nothing of the kind. We leave Christians alone. We do not preach to them. We only answer back in defense of our own faith. And you would tell us that we have no right to defend our faith. If Christians would leave us alone there would be zero dialogue. Have you no shame, sir?

        Returning to the Torah’s definition of idolatry, what is it indeed?

        Idolatry is worship of another entity or entities alongside of or instead of God (Exodus 20:3).

        Idolatry is association of God with a physical form (Deuteronomy 4).

        You don’t have to take such simple concepts and make them needlessly complicated. According to the Torah’s definition of idolatry Christianity has a problem, and if Christians are going to tell us why we’re wrong we’re going to call them out on it.

        Sorry if that is too black and white for your highly nuanced and subtle mind.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          allow me to clarify Dina. All religion has inherent similarities to polytheism at some level, because polytheism was the native religious climate that even Israel struggled with. It is therefore silly to say, “Christianity or Judaism is more or less polytheistic” (even Abraham was born into a polytheistic culture that used the day’s common language to describe his experience of G-d’s activity.) Sacrifices, sacred space, righteous ancestors and holy men at whose graves you can pray, or to whom we show respect, subordinate spiritual beings that carry out tasks (angels,) are all things common to various kinds of religion whether monotheistic or polytheistic. The idea of one god is also not unique. Ancient Egyptians, Hindus, and Native Americans, all have had a notion of one great spirit.

          G-d of the Torah is less unique in terms of the concept of unity alone, but is extremely unique in the concept of covenant that expresses unity. The G-d of the Tanakh has a moral requirement, a promise, and a people that he wants communion and fellowship with. The idea of the personal G-d who is invested as creator and guide is really a unique contribution. Christianity’s contribution was to make that unique idea more accessible to skeptical pagan minds.

          “The Jews introduced to the world the idea of an invisible God that is not associated with any physical form.”

          Not really. The Greeks, (Plato and Aristotle,) the Hindus, the Daoists, all have a concept like this. Where they are different than Judaism regarding this idea is that they do not consider this incorporeal oneness to be personal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, or distinct from nature, or as a being that gives commands.

          I fully grasp your notion of monotheism.

          What I know for certain is that you don’t need the Christians’ help to end up doing exactly what they do functionally speaking. Your religion is capable of making a shaliach identical in function to what Jesus is in Christianity. The only difference? You don’t pray to the emissary. But, prayer is not a universal notion to every religion.

          You have said (and so does Tanakh) that an angel can bear G-d’s name and authority and serve as his mouthpiece without violating monotheism. In that sense, you can have a creation say “hi, I’m god,” and it doesn’t violate anything in scripture. Genesis 31:13.

          • Sharbano says:

            Once again you resort to a Xtian understanding of a “Jewish” text. It is why Tehillim says it is Only Israel that has understanding in these matters. I wonder if you assume an angel is a humanoid being with sprouted wings.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          Did I say you couldn’t defend your religion? NO! G-d Forbid!

          I’ve said that you are inconsistently critical of Christian claims, while being uncritical of your own equally specious claims even though you only have as much data to go on.

          2. I’ve said that your religion created their Christian religion, and has even recreated it later on. All the while Judaism is claiming CHRISTIANS ARE THE ONES BEING INCONSISTENT.

          3. The concepts are not as black and white as you would like to make them, hence I don’t let you just act like it is black and white.

          • Dina says:

            Con, I’m looking at what you wrote here and it’s baffling.

            First you wrote: “Did I say you couldn’t defend your religion? NO! G-d Forbid!” But then you wrote this to Rabbi B.: “A Christian tells you, “I gained knowledge of G-d,” and you say, “no you didn’t, listen to me because we wrote the Torah.” “Don’t listen to what you know, listen to what we tell you, based on our experience, not based on your own experience.” What makes it worse is that your religion has managed to create new Jesus’ of its own, and still you want people to trust your experience over their own regarding your “public miracles” that they can’t verify.”

            This is tantamount to saying we have no moral right to push back against Christians. As I said earlier, bear in mind, we don’t tell Christians what to believe and what not to believe unless they first come knocking. If you would acknowledge this fact this conversation would be over.

            Next you said: “I’ve said that you are inconsistently critical of Christian claims, while being uncritical of your own equally specious claims even though you only have as much data to go on.”

            Why is it inconsistent to say that Christianity completely contradicts the clear teachings of the Torah? That is my criticism of Christianity. How can my own claim be equally specious if my standard is the clear teachings of the Torah? God said we must not associate Him with any form. Christians flatly contradict that teaching. Why is that inconsistent and specious?

            God taught that our spiritual fate lies completely in the choices we make, that He will erase our sins if we turn away from evil and do good, that one cannot die for the sins of another. Christianity flatly contradicts this teaching by saying that you can only achieve atonement for your sins by accepting as your lord and savior a human who died for your sins.

            Why is it inconsistent and specious of me to point that out?

            Why is the argument of Deuteronomy 4:32-35 inconsistent and specious? If Christians believe it they need to accept it, along with Chapters 13 and 18 which I keep talking about and you keep not responding to.

            And finally, you wrote: “I’ve said that your religion created their Christian religion, and has even recreated it later on. All the while Judaism is claiming CHRISTIANS ARE THE ONES BEING INCONSISTENT.”

            Right, why is that inconsistent? Some Jews broke off and created a religion that is inconsistent with the Torah. Are you saying that it’s impossible for a group of Jews to create a theology that is inconsistent with the Torah just because they are Jewish? Are you saying it’s impossible for this type of theology to be inconsistent because it happened more than once? Who cares how many times it happened? It’s still inconsistent with Judaism. This argument is not based on anything remotely resembling logic. It’s like saying that we have no right to take a moral stand against idolatry as being inconsistent with Judaism because so much idolatry has sprung from Judaism (see the Books of the Prophets, for example). I raised this objection in an earlier comment. Do you not see the absurdity of this argument?

  22. Concerned Reader says:

    Moses is the greatest prophet because everyone saw (Deuteronomy 34:12) exodus and Sinai are so foundational because they are so public.

    The problem is rabbi, any schmoe can write about a “public event” and say, “tada it happened.” Its very easy to do, because the moment someone questions that narrative, you can make up reasons why said story doesn’t fit the conventional standards of credibility. You can say, “this event is unique, so x objection doesn’t apply. Anyone can write a narrative like that. The native Americans did it, (some could say that the Torah does it,) people will believe whatever they feel, consistency and logic be damned.

    • Concerned Reader
      The Torah DOES point to the publicity of Moses’ miracles and to the publicity of exodus and Sinai and makes the argument that this publicity lends credibility to the miracles. You are entitled to argue – but you cannot claim to argue in the name of the Torah. The NT presents non-public miracles in a society educated by the Torah (which taught those who accept her that publicity is what makes a miracle credible) and cannot understand why that society laughs at its claims.
      My point is that the questions that Jim is asking are not hypocritical – they are being presented in a specific context – he is not arguing with an atheist – he is arguing with a Christian who claims to believe in the Torah and he is applying Torah mentality to demolish the Christian claims

  23. Concerned Reader says:

    publicity is what makes a miracle credible. he is arguing with a Christian who claims to believe in the Torah and he is applying Torah mentality to demolish the Christian claims (IF THAT IS TRUE, WHERE IS VERIFICATION OF THIS PUBLIC SPECTACLE?) A spectacle is only truly public if the public can witness to it.

    You demolish faith in G-d that already existed among those Christian people in your process, if you disprove their religion. By claiming that “publicity is what makes a miracle credible,” while at the same time being unable to produce a single source other than the Torah to corroborate or prove the Torah’s claims, you act with the epitome of a double standard, and you have as much or less evidence than Christians themselves have for their story.

    You demolish Christianity by noting that evidence among the few disciples is meaningless, but you make a grander claim that two whole societies clashed, but only the Torah took notice. A Christian tells you, “I gained knowledge of G-d,” and you say, “no you didn’t, listen to me because we wrote the Torah.” “Don’t listen to what you know, listen to what we tell you, based on our experience, not based on your own experience.” What makes it worse is that your religion has managed to create new Jesus’ of its own, and still you want people to trust your experience over their own regarding your “public miracles” that they can’t verify.

    • Dina says:

      Con, it’s amazing how you are not getting this very simple idea. Maybe it’s too simple for your complex brain.

      All Rabbi B. is saying, if I understood him correctly, is that the original Christians were arguing with an audience with a Torah mentality, a mentality that understood that very public miracles performed in front of believers and doubters alike have a great deal of credibility.

      Now we are arguing with Christians who accept the Torah as 100% true who therefore do not seek “verification of this public spectacle.” The Torah defines the standard of evidence, so if they accept the Torah as true they must accept her standard of evidence. The evidence is meaningless not only because of the small number of spectators or because extra-biblical historical verification is unavailable. It is really only meaningless because according to Deuteronomy 18 Jesus failed the prophet test by not producing a sign to the very people he promised it to. And it is meaningless furthermore because he failed the prophet test of Deuteronomy 13 because he introduced a new type of worship. The Torah sets the standard of evidence for Jews and for anyone else who believes in her truth. Christians who are honest must concede this point.

      Your argument that we really have no moral ground to stand on because Judaism has a tendency to produce false messiahs is absurd to the last degree. Judaism has also produced murderers. Does that mean that Judaism can’t make a moral argument against murder? Judaism has produced idolaters, even kings who were idol worshipers (just read the Bible); does that mean we can’t take a moral stand against idolatry? What kind of argument is that? Seriously!

      • Dina says:

        Idolatry is very enticing, that’s why the prophets of old constantly railed against its practice among Jews. Cults of personality are seductive anywhere and everywhere (see Donald Trump for instance). A cult of personality is a human psychological phenomenon. And as you ought to know by now, the Torah can be used to justify anything anyone wants it to with just a little willingness to be dishonest.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        They did know a Torah audience, and they still only reported what they knew and experienced. That is to their credit, not a bad thing.

        Would you rather someone writes a narrative that precisely conforms to your preconceived sense of reality? The Christians (by the fifth century) could have easily invented a story that would parallel a Sinai like claim and imposed it. Instead, we got gospels where Jesus appears to some women, and a bunch of illiterate peasants who meant nothing to anyone. It wasn’t written to impress, or fit some preconceived plan. Its a communication of Christian faith experience. Its an honest narrative in that regard.

    • Concerned Reader I’ll try to articulate my position with greater clarity. The Torah talks to an audience assuming that audience already thinks a certain way. The Torah assumes that the audience it is speaking to considers a claim made by a nation of descendants of practical beneficiaries of a spectacular public miracle more credible then a claim that does not match this standard. Before you attack – let me remind you – I am not contrasting the miracle against the miracle – but the claim against the claim and let me also remind you that it is not I that created this contrast or that attributed any validity to it – but the Torah. Now – since Christianity acknowledges that if its claims don’t pan out according to the Torah then it is a bogus religion – it is fitting and correct for us to point out that Christianity’s claims do NOT pan out according to the very standard that it chose to set for itself.

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • Concerned Reader says:

        A long deceased prince of the past will be their prince forever
        Ezekiel 34:24
        Ezekiel 37:25
        An angelic agent can call itself G-d in first person Genesis 31:13

        A righteous man of the past can come, disappear, and come back a second time long after he first appeared. Malachi 4:5

        The suffering of a righteous person can bring repentance and atonment for others. Zechariah 12:10

        All of that is written in the Torah, not some foreign book, and there is no censure when this happens. That’s why I bring up the Jesus replicas. The mythos that built Christianity is in the text of Tanakh. Its not from a foreign book. Its ingredients are all listed in your book authored by your deity. These false messiahs are built on non heretical biblical ideas that exist in the bible, but you say the implications are alien to it. I’m not quoting some obscure midrash, just scripture.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          Let me simplify the question. If it is foreign / heretical / evil / idolatrous for a mortal agent to be

          1. called G-d
          2. die and return after a long period
          3. to cause repentance and forgiveness for many through one’s death

          What are these notions (even allegorically speaking) doing being in the Torah, in the mouths of great prophets without a word of censure being spoken by G-d against them for speaking or implying those things even remotely?

          • Sharbano says:

            I would ask you This question. WHAT is the purpose of Torah and HOW are we to understand it.

        • Sharbano says:

          Now you resort to the same distortions as any other Xtian has done. You are aware there were many who made the same claims as Xtianity. He was nothing new.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            My question is, WHY IS IT IN THE TORAH? If those things are foreign, (or at the least dangerous) why do we have those building blocks in there?

  24. Concerned Reader says:

    Its an honest question Sharbano. You have had more than one group (that followed the Torah zealously) go the Christian route. Prophets who spoke about those eerily similar concepts were not censured by G-d. Whatever you believe the proper explanation is, there are in fact agents in Tanakh that say “I am the G-d,” and that agent was not killed for saying something false or heretical. Nobody says Elijah coming back is heretical. Nobody says its heresy for David (who clearly died) to come back and be their prince forever. In that vein, I don’t see how you can call something born and reborn in this context foreign. Wrong? probably. Foreign? No.

    • Sharbano says:

      Many of these points have been previously covered. Just because they don’t ‘fit’ in with your preconceptions doesn’t make them questionable. WE KNOW what Torah says and what it MEANS. BUT, you just don’t want to accept it. You seem unable or unwilling to understand that Torah is part of a “Culture” and the people of the culture are best in understanding its own culture. What you are really saying is we don’t know or understand a culture that is “Inherent”. Torah is indigenous to Jews.

      • Concerned reader says:

        I’m aware that Torah is indigenous to Jews. I have not said otherwise.

        I have perspectives coming from other cultures whom your culture regards as in error. The error which these nations are accused of is calling something G-d which isn’t G-d. I’m asking, why does the Torah itself have an agent that says “I am G-d” in it, if this is an error?

        I understand your explanations on the blog that this agent really isn’t G-d, but if that is the case, the problem still exists that this creature is saying “I am G-d.” Even if it is only metaphor, the problem occurrence is still in there. The building block to build a Christianity is there. The explanation offered doesn’t solve the issue to say, “well that being is only an emissary.” That explains the problem away, it doesn’t answer it. See what I’m saying?

        • Concerned Reader In your eyes – the fact that the entities in question are never worshiped seems to be a minor nitpick but from the eyes of the Jew and from the eyes of the writer of Tanach – this was the whole point. Its like talking to a woman who is caught in an act of adultery and tries to blame her husband because he confused her by sometimes having one of his servants take out the garbage and plow the field in his farm – so he must have permitted her to take these agents as his replacement 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Rabbi, maybe I can explain better. When you say “worship” you mean (I’m assuming) giving your heart in prayer?

            Its a nitpik in the sense that several thousand idolatrous religions exist without even invoking the prayer concept.

            The whole point to a biblical author may have been “only pray to hashem,” but prayer as a concept is in many ways unique to the Bible, unique to its spirituality, unique to that culture.

            This ignores however that whole varieties of idolatrous devotion can exist without even raising a question of prayer as a concept. So, lets say (in Judaism) you go to a righteous man’s grave to pray.

            You can say “biblically speaking, there is nothing wrong with being introspective at someone’s graveside because I’m not praying to them like I pray to G-d.”

            If a Buddhist is at a Stupa, (a purported resting place of Buddhas remains,) he is not praying to anything!

            He believes in no gods. He too is just being introspective at the grave of a man he respects.

            The Same exact action is being done in two different contexts, on biblical, one not. In one it is allowed for the other it is idolatrous.

            A biblical justification for why the behavior is OK, ie “I’m not praying to the deceased,” has no meaning in the idolatrous context where the biblical notion of prayer has no meaning to the idol worshiper. He sees your bible, what you are doing, and he is doing the same thing.

            The writer of the Bible posits that there are things that are considered A ok in a Torah context such as

            1. A shalaich calling itself by G-d’s name

            2. praying at the grave of a righteous man (as long as you don’t pray to him.)

            If you leave that context though, whole forms of idolatrous spirituality are founded on these things that the Torah considers as “fine” in its own context.

            Christianity tries to teach (and convince non biblical peoples and cultures) that G-d’s nature as described in scripture makes sense in a way they can comprehend. As I said to Dina when she said “Judaism was unique for saying G-d was without form,” that’t not entirely accurate. Lots of culture’s believed gods were without form, to the point of becoming impersonal and abstract. Have you read any polytheistic polemics against Judaism, Christianity, and Islam? If you had, Christian doctrines might make better sense, (just from a purely academic standpoint.)

          • Concerned Reader When I say “worship” I mean making the entity the center and primary object of your spiritual yearning, submitting your heart and acknowledging subservience to that entity – however you express it

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

        • Sharbano says:

          As it is with Xtianity you are trying to build a house with a pebble. The context of the two doesn’t compare. You have a specific instance where it is clear and then take that episode and claim it applies to Xtianity. The problem IS you have a flawed individual that negates the comparison. There is NO “new gospel” that is being taught in Genesis as it is in Xtianity.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        I just don’t want to accept it? You just boil down my entire experience into that? Convenient.

        • Sharbano says:

          The difficulty you have expressed is simple. Xtians do not use the hermeneutic principles that are bound with Torah. They are left confused whereas a Jew finds the matter simple. Answers are given but refused and ignored because understanding is not the goal, rather it is the furthering of an ideology that is the goal. This creates a barrier to understanding the whole. Xtians are desperate in holding on to what they believe and become uneasy when confronted with that which could hinder that opinion.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Sharbano. Again, even Jews (who know Torah principles of interpretations) have created something similar to Christianity. I don’t miss the points you raise. The issue is, it doesn’t matter if you raise those points because there is devotion to beings other than hashem going on in Tanakh in some sense, but you explain it in such away that you explain away the problem, because it isn’t prayer strictly speaking. The point is though, you haven’t really fixed the underlying problem of devotion to another entity.

            To put it another way. If your kosher explanations of a Shaliach speaking as the one who sent him, an Elijah becoming an angel, or a public miracle story like Exodus, did their Job, Judaism would be unable (in an otherwise religious context) to produce Jesus like or rebbe like ideas. The point is, there is something these theologies thrive off of that is in the text and not censured.

          • Sharbano says:

            Once again you attempt is to separate the culture from the Torah with your explanation and perspective. Your examples don’t have merit since the influence comes Not from Torah but from societies that are Torah lacking, if not anti-Torah. Your confusion lies with ignorance of the totality of Judaism and rely solely on something YOU consider suspicious, causing the outgrowth of numerous other belief system. Jim has answered this by pointing out the belief was there Before and Torah was used to justify the same. As Torah teaches, Moshe was to be a god and Aaron was to be his prophet.
            I have suspected that many people simply cannot fathom an idea that G-d can be so infinite and in order to have some type of relationship they Must reduce Him to a level that corresponds to their own existence. In so doing they believe they can “relate” to Him. But this destroys the actual nature of G-d. The Hebrew language makes this more understandable. A Hebrew name can actually define the essence of something, which no other language is capable of. As such when Torah speaks of G-d it cannot give a name defining that essence. Instead, it is a descriptive of actions that are performed. This is the perspective one has to employ in understanding. It is WHY Hebrew is So important.

  25. robert2016 says:

    CR,

    one of my hindu friends reasons that if one says that an infinite being entered time and space and body , then how was it possible that it’s “infiniteness” did not effect what it was held by/surrounded by?

    christians may say , ” it is a miracle”

    a hindu can say ” it is a miracle that the finite temporarily became infinite”

    i think christian theology of incarnation has left many unanswered questions

    if god is infinite, timeless and changeless, how is it possible that it remain in its current state but did not change? if it did not get effected by anything finite, then did it even exist in the finite?

    • Concerned Reader says:

      I think christian theology of incarnation has left many unanswered questions.

      Yeah, it has, but it freely admits to the mystery of the notion, and to the mystery of the nature of G-d. How is it possible that G-d does anything? Would it be G-d if it fit squarely into a logic box?

      • robert2016 says:

        yeah it is a mistery that finite create became infinite when god was held by location and space. it is a miracle that finite became infinite. we should not really question it. just embrace the belief that once upon a time created became the creator for a little while.

  26. Concerned Reader says:

    Are you saying it’s impossible for this type of theology to be inconsistent because it happened more than once? Who cares how many times it happened? It’s still inconsistent with Judaism.

    No, I’m saying its unlikely to be inconsistent because it is born out from the source texts themselves, from the mouths of prophets who weren’t censured for expressing the thoughts, and the ideas have emerged in an otherwise pious religious context that was not seeking to overthrow anything.

    For example, If you ask one of the crazies who believes their rebbe is Moshiach even though he died, does he think he is going against Torah or Judaism by believing it? No. He may be going against someone’s opinion, but the text gives that conception a basis.

    As I’ve tried to point out, you say how fringe the ideas are, but the fact remains that the building blocks of the Christian mythos are canonized in the text of the Torah itself, so it can’t truly be inconsistent, because it stems from the main narrative. The idea is inconsistent with your interpretation of the narrative, but not necessarily with the narrative itself.

    The material didn’t come from the outside. Judaism disagrees with the way Christians interpret various things in scripture, but what the Christians, Chabadniks, and other messianists draw upon is rooted within the source text.

    Whatever interpretation you offer, A long deceased prince of the past is described as being their prince forever according to the text.
    Ezekiel 34:24
    Ezekiel 37:25

    Whatever interpretation you offer or go by, according to the text, an angelic agent can call itself G-d in first person Genesis 31:13 without being censured.

    whatever your interpretation, Righteous humans (the house of David) are likened to the angel who bears G-d’s name within him (Zechariah 12:8)

    A righteous man of the past can come, disappear, and come back a second time long after he first appeared according to the text. Malachi 4:5 (in the case of Elijah, whom some sources describe as angelic.)

    The suffering of a righteous person can bring repentance and atonement for others. Zechariah 12:10

    The Christians may have invented their specific trinitarian theology out of these notions, but they are building off of themes and concepts already found within precedents the Torah text has set, and in the traditions surrounding it.

    When the Christians started, they viewed Jesus as a righteous person (with a lofty soul) chosen to be the messiah. He was son of G-d metaphorically, (like any Jewish person,) He was described as angelic (as several saints like Enoch and Elijah are.) If anything, the Christians were trying to reconcile the devotions you likewise find in Tanakh with stated monotheistic notions. I’m saying to you that this discussion doesn’t even need to involve the Jesus figure. This “heresy” has come without effort out of the Bible’s own pages, sans the Christians and their testament.

  27. Jim says:

    Headline: Buddhist Torah Scholars Do Not Understand Torah Any Better Than Greeks and Romans!

  28. Jim says:

    Paul,

    The reading of Isaiah 7:14 that you have proposed is wholly unjustified by the text. It is clear that the child to be born will be named Emmanuel by his mother. It is also clear that the woman is not a virgin. Matthew altered the plain understanding of the text, in fact altering it to suit his agenda. This has all been discussed before. What I would like to discuss is how the Church uses the phrase “house of David” to alter the context and why that is wholly unjustified.

    First, let us note that you have separated Isaiah 7:14 from Isaiah 7:15 though they are inseparable. You wrote that v. 14 is about the Messiah, while the verses immediately following refer to a child born in Ahaz’s time. This is totally unjustified by the text. Verse 15 continues right on from v. 14. The child in vv. 15 and 16 is clearly the child of v. 14.

    You are not the first to put the Messiah into this passage by citing the phrase “Son of David”. In your argument, you use the argument that the argument has just gone from the king’s interest to that of the “house of David”. But the context does not allow for such a reading. If you look at Isaiah 7:2, you will see the phrase is used there, not in relation to the Messianic hope but in fear of Aram and Ephraim: “When the house of David heard that Aram had allied itself with Ephraim, the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.” It is obvious then that the House of David is concerned about the same problem as Ahaz. When Isaiah uses the phrase, he is not then changing the context to an event hundreds of years away. He is addressing the concerns of the House of David, which are Aram and Ephraim. A Messianic reading is not justified by the context nor the text at all.

    It is a good question to ask why the phrase appears, but we must not jump to hasty conclusions. The Church does not use such questions in the spirit of inquiry. They use them to prop up their unjustified theology. They begin with answers and then look for questions to suit the answers. Do not let them fool you. They do you a great disservice.

    A more sound reading would note that Ahaz does not trust in God. This is quite unlike David. David’s psalms overflow with trust in HaShem. Even as he at times feels abandoned by those around him, he does not cease hoping in HaShem. Not so, Ahaz. He does not want to be overrun by Aram and Ephraim, but his hope is not in God. This is why he does not wish to ask for a sign. His righteous son, Hezekiah, later gladly accepts a sign from HaShem when Isaiah offers him one. What we see then is that Ahaz is of the House of David, but he is not like David. Isaiah may be using the term as a reproach. The use of the term shows that Ahaz may have David’s blood but not his attitudes.

    This reading may not be correct, but it has the virtue of fitting the context. The Church’s interpretation relies on bending Isaiah out of shape. It has ignored the general context and the continuation of Isaiah’s prophecy concerning the child of v. 14. No justification can be found in the phrase “House of David” to give Isaiah 7:14 a Messianic slant. In fact, the Church does not derive that from Isaiah but from its own mistaken theology.

    Jim

  29. Jim says:

    One of the most bizarre arguments one might hope to encounter is that Christianity is a product of Judaism. After all, the Torah is quite clear that one should not worship a human being or any created thing for that matter; Christianity teaches one to worship a man. The Torah hardly makes mention of the Messiah, but for Christianity it is a central figure. And Torah teaches that its teachings are to be kept and are able to be kept, while Christianity teaches that the Torah is impossible to keep. When two religions are so opposed on fundamental issues, it is hard to imagine that one could be derived from the other. Yet, despite the great contradictions that separate these two philosophies, one commenter here insists that Judaism produced Christianity based on other similar movements. In this essay, it will be shown that this absurd notion is false, that Christianity is not a product of Judaism.

    It should be obvious to any reader of the Torah that one is not to worship a human being. When Moses died, the place of his burial was left unknown to Israel in order to prevent them worshiping a man. Moreover, Deuteronomy 4 teaches clearly that one should not associate God with any form. This lesson was to be learned from Sinai, where the people saw no form for God. Though this should be obvious to even a casual reader of the Torah, it has not been obvious to the Church. This is because the Church began with deifying a human and needed to justify it afterward. Though the Torah contradicted their theology, the Church would scour passages that might seem to permit that which was openly forbidden. Necessity is the mother…

    But, the reader will object, how do you explain movements similar to Christianity if they are not produced by Judaism? Clearly, he will argue, there is something within Judaism that produces just such movements, messianic movements that deify their leader, that employ the scriptures in just such a way as to suit their theological and emotional needs. Christianity, he will say, is the product of Judaism and has shown to be so over time.

    The reader has failed to identify the cause of these movements.

    Jews are not the only group of people to idolize human beings, far from it. Groups of human beings all over the world worship human beings or have historically. So-called gurus arrive on the scene even today, some of whom are considered to be divine beings. Such adoration is not limited to the Jewish people and therefore it is not caused by the Torah. Perhaps the reader believes that every group of people who attaches itself inappropriately to a human being arrived at such folly through Torah, but I doubt it.

    Of course, Jews who succumb to this error do look to justify it through the Torah. This should not be surprising. Does one expect the Jew in error to justify his error through a clever reading of the Bhagavad Gita? I should think not. When such groups arise among Jews, they take on a slightly different flavor than they do in other cultures.

    But the source of the error is a human tendency to deify powerful people. This error resided in the minds of some of those who left Egypt and made a golden calf. Some of them had begun to depend upon Moses in an inappropriate manner. They told Aaron to “make for us gods that will go before us, for this man Moses who brought us up from the land of Egypt—we do not know what became of him!” (Ex. 32:1). Afraid of what to do without Moses, they wished to make a replacement for him, their mediator between them and God. Eventually this idea changed in their mind as they declared the calf to be the god who brought them out of Egypt. It is clear that the Torah finds this behavior abominable, however. Torah stands firmly against the actions of these few people; it certainly is not the source of their behavior. It is the antidote.

    Throughout history, others have made similar errors. Some have considered Jesus to be God. Some thought the Shabbetai Tzvi was divine. They found ways to justify their behavior, declaring their new ‘golden calves’ to be the same as the God who led the Jews out of Egypt. However, the few who followed these men broke away from the Torah, invoking it only to justify their error, disinterested in its truths anymore.

    Christianity is the case that proves this most effectively. If Torah Judaism produces Christianity, Our Pharisee Friend ought to be preaching the gospel, not rescuing the truth from those who would grievously distort it. However, the NT attests to the fact that it was the Torah ignorant who followed Jesus. First, ignorant Jews, prostitutes, drunkards and the like devoted themselves to him. Then, as the movement changed after the death of Jesus, it grew among non-Jews. It grew among those who did not know Torah. Rather than being an outgrowth of the Torah educated mind, it grew in the minds of the Torah deficient. It grew not out of the Judaic mind but the Greek and Roman mind that had confused notions about Torah.

    One suspects that the reader who declares that Judaism produces Christianity and like movements comes with an agenda. Jews are not the only people to idolize human beings. Those Jews that do idolize human beings are bound to abuse Torah to justify their bad behavior. Humans of all stripes justify themselves however they can. However, this is done in spite of Torah not because of it. The Christian and other idolater may take a verse out of context here or redefine a concept there, but in so doing, they reveal that it is not Torah that leads to their idolatry but their idolatry that leads to misreading Torah. Torah does not lead to Jesus; Jesus leads to an ‘Old Testament,’ the book necessary to support one’s anti-Torah views.

    Jim

    • Concerned Reader says:

      I have an agenda? Maybe I’m just calling it like I see it Jim. Maybe your “explanations” just aren’t explaining much anymore, and are just side stepping a serious issue.

      I’ve observed that while you guys rail against Christian idolatry, you have your own kosher permitted forms of veneration that easily blossom into Christian like behavior, and have done so. There are both kosher and “unkosher” forms of the same veneration activities going on.

      I’m not against your Torah explanations, I’m just pointing out what I see. Those explanations don’t guard against what you regard as this serious error.

      Sure, Moses’ grave was hidden so that he wouldn’t be venerated by Jews. Did that stop Jews from venerating Moses as being higher than any human to ever exist? No! Read the 7th principle of the Rambam! Is Maimonides a Torah ignoramus?

      Jews venerate Elijah the prophet in a Kosher way (that in any other context you would call idolatry.)

      you venerate Jacob, and all the other patriarchs too, in a way that you would call idolatry in any other context.

      All of that permitted veneration (that evolves into christology) comes from examples of people doing it in the Torah and not being censured for it.

      • Sharbano says:

        You must be taking your cue from Paul, who would distort Anything to make himself right to his followers. It is like the majority of Xtians who have read Torah, or rather Their version, and “assume” they understand Judaism. Time and again we find these people know little to nothing of Judaism and resort to the same rehashing of One point, even when shown their mistakes.

  30. Concerned Reader says:

    One of the most bizarre arguments one might hope to encounter is that Christianity is a product of Judaism.

    Its not an argument Jim. We have seen it happen in our own days. Nobody has to believe me, just look at the history of Jewish messianism. Has there ever been a movement that had a more negative view of Torah than the Sabbateans? The Christians didn’t create them. Chabad has evolved a Chriatian like theology, Christians didn’t create them. This isn’t argument, its just established historical data.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      The writer neglects the portion of the argument that notes that this “devotion to a being other than G-d ” is present in the Biblical text, and it is not censured by that text.”

      The Torah allows in its own context what it would call “idolatry” in any other context, I think that’s the root of the problem.

      The writer further neglects that all New Testament Scholars know of the early Jesus movement that it was Torah Observant, (whilst also venerating Jesus.) I don’t say Christianity arose from Judaism to be mean, but to be factual.

      While Christians venerated Jesus, (they were virulently opposed to other forms of cult and religion.

  31. Jim says:

    Con,

    This answer is no answer to my argument at all. It is as if you did not read it but seized upon one sentence from the beginning and answered without finishing the piece. Piece? Nay, paragraph.

    The fact that you think data requires no interpretation or understanding just about says everything that needs to be said. I think I’m going to need an awfully big chunk of salt to swallow your claim that you are a historian.

    Jim

    • Concerned Reader says:

      There are historians and scholars of religion who say exactly what I have said. Rabbi B Wrote an article against Daniel Boyarin who says (in summation) what I have said. Alan Segal also, Benjamin Sommer also, Bart Ehrman also. Yes, I have a degree. Do I need one to see what is clearly going on? Absolutely not! You say “the source error is to deify powerful people.” Granted. My whole point is, the Torah allows for itself what it calls idolatry for everyone else. The Torah (by doing this) builds momentum and precedent for movements (like Chabad or Breslov messianism) that it then calls idolatry.

      You are ignoring the main thrust of my argument that these groups are venerating people based off of precedents they have found in the Torah itself, which the Torah does not censure. Traditional Judaism says that these groups have gone beyond the pale of kosher veneration, all the while ignoring the elephant in the room, that this extreme veneration is present IN THE TEXT!

  32. Concerned Reader says:

    Jim,a historian can state (factually I might add) that Judaism produced Christianity in the same way that they can state that Christianity produced Mormonism. You are representing your ideal kosher interpretation as the ONLY ONE whilst neglecting the fact that these ideas are not based purely in emotional need or human stupidity, but are based on kosher examples found in the narrative that then blossomed into something other.

    The ebionites would not have been seen as heretics, just as mistaken. Jesus had not yet evolved into the godman, even though all of that was already present in embryonic form in their ideas of him as angelic, godly, etc. That embryo (of devotion to beings that aren’t G-d) is in the Torah text around angels and righteous people. These groups have merely applied the concepts to their own situations.

    • Sharbano says:

      That is a ridiculous statement. If a historian knows Nothing of Judaism how can he, in any way, say the two are related. A Jew doesn’t necessarily equate with Judaism. According to you it would be proper to say that Marxism is based upon Judaism since he was a Jew.
      Your conclusions have as much basis in reality as 13 X 7 = 28, as Costello would prove.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Your logic is they aren’t traditional ergo they know nothing. That is not logical either.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          If we go by your understanding Sharbano, we can’t know anything about Judaism’s past history(a time when many different groups (of equally religious people) disagreed.)

  33. Concerned Reader says:

    The fact that you think data requires no interpretation or understanding just about says everything that needs to be said.

    Did I say that? No I didn’t.

    I’ve said that despite your proper kosher explanations, the same effects as we have seen in Christianity are produced, and without biblical censure. Its just history to state that.

    Elisha Ben Abuyah knew that Metatron was just an angel. (I’m sure he knew the kosher explanations of his role.) He saw however that this angel (who was not G-d) did something that only G-d should be doing. The point is, the kosher explanation of that angel and his Job description did not get rid of the fundamental contradictory problem that Acher was seeing! You need to understand that its not that I don’t grasp your interpretations, or the plain meaning of Deuteronomy 4 and 13, (I’ve written articles on those subjects which you have all enjoyed after all,) its that your interpretation doesn’t de claw the cat. It doesn’t fix the fundamental problems. It just side steps it, excuses it, explains it away.

  34. Jim says:

    Con,

    When you write that Judaism produced Christianity, that is an interpretation. It is not data. The data is that some Jews idolized one man. Some Jews idolized another. From that you interpret that Judaism produces these groups. That is a bad interpretation, but what is worse is that you, as a historian, do not know the difference between the data and the interpretation. You state that your interpretation is the data. And then you think because others share that interpretation that it is data. This is laughably bad method.

    Pass the salt,

    Jim

    • Concerned Reader says:

      If the same effect is produced in the same environment multiple times over a span of time, it is not bad method to suppose that there is very likely to be a solid relation between that environment and that effect. Is it a hypothesis? Yes! Is it a reasonable hypothesis in light of the repetition and available evidence? Also yes. If I see an apple fall off a tree, it is only reasonable to assume that its an apple tree.

      When I said Data did I say proof? No. Allow me to clarify. It is reasonable and plausible to assume that there is causal (or productive) relationship between Judaism and Christianity, because of the available evidence.

      • Jim says:

        Con,

        Of course it is a bad method, because people outside of Judaism idolize people. It is not the Judaism that makes this happen then. The fact that you have not answered this but asserted your rectitude based on credentials is telling.

        Jim

        • Concerned Reader says:

          It is not the Judaism that makes this happen then. The Bible itself makes it happen Jim.

          The Bible has agents that speak (as nullified vessels) as if they were G-d, and considers that OK/kosher. That’s all you need to account for the deification of crazy people later on.

          Even Jesus claimed, “I’m only a vessel.”

          Off course the Torah also says “don’t pray to them,” but various types of veneration (that would be idolatry at any other time) occurs as even a cursory reading of the text shows. You can bow, request blessings, etc. Just don’t pray to it cause that will fix the issue.

          • Dina says:

            Con, you have failed to directly address the points made by Rabbi B., Jim, and me, instead repeating your same argument over and over again. I don’t have the time right now to sum all our points, so I’d ask you to please review the threads on this page and the other one (I think it’s “Isaiah 53 Teaches That Jesus is NOT the Messiah).

            In the meantime I’ll just quickly respond to your argument that the problem in Judaism is an agent saying “I’m God,” which is acceptable in Judaism but idolatrous in other religions and therefore causes religions like Christianity to naturally spring out of it.

            You are wrong, of course.

            If an entity claims “I’m God” in the sense that “I’m a mouthpiece for God but am not actually God Himself” it would not be idolatry. It might be false, but not idolatry. You made up your own non-biblical definition of idolatry which has nothing to do with the way Jews understand it. You created a straw man which is therefore easy for you to tear down.

            As has been pointed out to you ad nauseum, our problem with Christianity is not that Jesus claimed to be God’s mouthpiece. It’s that his followers claimed he was God Himself, really God, of the same substance and co-equal and so on and so forth, and they made him the center of their religious devotion. And then they try to force him down our throats.

            As Jim pointed out to you, you were wrong about Christianity and you learned that at least in some way right here. At least have the humility to accept the possibility that you might be wrong again.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            If an entity claims “I’m God” in the sense that “I’m a mouthpiece for God but am not actually God Himself” it would not be idolatry.

            Dina, I’m repeating because you don’t seem to truly understand my objection to your answers. Its not that I don’t understand your answers.

            if you honestly believe what you have said here, you have just (inadvertently off course) justified the existence of thousands of forms of real practiced ancient historical idol worship that are practiced among many nations, that have no concept of “G-d himself,” and that’s my whole point.

            When you said “If an entity claims “I’m G-d” in the sense that “I’m a mouthpiece, but am not actually God Himself it would not be idolatry” You just embodied my whole objection.

            Hindus call themselves “god” (in this sense you mentioned as a kosher one) all the time. You are clearly not grasping my objection. You can’t really put a guard against idolatry without actually grasping how the other cultures define and practice their own religions. What you call a kosher answer in Torah is actually something that whole idolatrous religions are based off of.

            I’m trying to help you see that only the Bible has this specific definition of what constitutes “G-d himself” in your belief system. The dichotomy of “G-d himself” contrasted with an agent who speaks as a mouthpiece is a meaningless distinction in any context outside the bible that does not believe in biblical definitions.

            In other words, If your explanation is truly a kosher one, you have (by accident) given Hinduism footing, mahayana Buddhism footing, and “ancestor worship” footing, because none of these belief systems has any notion of “G-d himself” that you could contrast with an agent. IE if an agent can say “I’m G-d” in a mouthpiece sense,” then many really polytheistic religions are completely fine by your answer.

            My objection is that your explanation/justification (that is kosher in a Torah worldview and context) actually serves as the backbone of literally entire systems of Avodah Zara that are practiced in non biblical cultures.

            This is why Christians are always asking, “wait…my religion believes in Torah and the god of Torah…but I’m an idolater, while someone who has no Bible (and no notion of G-d) is not an idolater.

            In applying this Torah concept without closely examining how these “idolatrous” cultures actually define their own beliefs, you inadvertently don’t see that what you feel is justified and kosher (In Torah’s context) is actually the building block, fuel, and foundation of much of the world’s real lived idolatry in another context.

            Your religion is the only one (apart from the sister religions of Christianity and Islam) that defines the concept of G-d the way that you do. Most other cultures do not even conceive of the divine in personal, covenant, or “Omni” terms like you do.

            By saying “If an entity claims “I’m God” in the sense that “I’m a mouthpiece for God but am not actually God Himself” it would not be idolatry.” many religions (that we know believe in many “gods”) would theoretically be OK, without scripture, because this notion of “agent” is all their pagan faith is based on.

            Does anyone here grasp what my objection is? I’m starting to fear that nobody really gets it. I hear your explanations for how X is kosher because of Y, but I’m saying, if you told that to Hindu X or Shintoist Y, they would have no reason to change their beliefs, because you have (inadvertently) ok’d their polytheistic belief system.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Con,

            A friend of mine told me a joke. A woman is listening to the radio and she hears a traffic alert. Anyone who is driving down I95 should beware of a car that is traveling in the wrong direction. Frantic, the woman calls her husband who takes that highway to work every day.

            “Bob,” she yells into the phone, “be careful! I just heard on the radio that some crazy is driving down the highway the wrong way!”

            “A crazy, Susie?” he yells back. “How about 10,000 crazies? Everyone is driving the wrong way today!”

            You’re arguing on this blog with a pretty smart bunch of people who proved you wrong before, so it’s time for you to consider that if we’re not getting it maybe it’s because you’re not making any sense.

            Which you aren’t.

            You quoted me as saying that if someone announces he’s God in the sense that he’s a mouthpiece for God but not God Himself that’s okay. Then you said that validates religions that say they’re gods but don’t believe in God Himself. Do you see the inherent illogic of that argument? If you have other gods, call them what you want, call them angels–but you don’t believe in God as the Torah teaches Who He is, then you’re an idolater. The Sinai revelation is what teaches us what is idolatry and what is not.

            You are still failing to grasp that you are imposing your own definition of idolatry onto the Bible. But your definition is irrelevant because it’s the Bible that came up with the idea that any other type of worship except for the one described in the Bible is idolatry.

            You’re needlessly twisting yourself into pretzels trying to destroy the straw man you created.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Please don’t confuse me as saying that you have no right to your interpretations, (you absolutely do have a right and a bible backing for your reading.) I’m just making note that your reading does not alleviate or lessen idolatry. Whole religions are based on the idea of calling oneself “divine” in only a metaphorical sense, so the explanation you are offering doesn’t actually solve the problem, or fix the issue.

          • LarryB says:

            CR
            here is a wiki defination of idolatry.
            Judaism strongly prohibits any form of idolatry. Idolatry is Judaism’s antithesis, and is prohibited. Judaism holds that idolatry is not limited to the worship of an idol itself, but also worship involving any artistic representations of God. In addition it is forbidden to derive benefit (hana’ah) from anything dedicated to idolatry.
            Wouldn’t worship involving any artistic reprensation of god make hindu, idol worship,…. x 330 million times?

  35. Jim says:

    Con,

    The so-called kosher idolatry of Judaism did not produce Christianity. You do not find a line from ‘venerating Jacob’ to Jesus. There was no notion that because Jacob is venerated, one can worship a man as God. In fact, all those little justifications come after the fact. It is after Jesus is believed to be divine that Christians looked for instances where angels were worshiped and other items to justify their faith. Christianity produced the apologetic, not the other way around.

    Your example that Christianity produced Mormonism is empty. Christianity did not produce Mormonism. A conman named Joseph Smith invented a religion, and he borrowed from Christianity. It is not a natural outgrowth of Christianity.

    If you were intellectually honest, you would say that some people have throughout history misrepresented various texts and pretended that their innovations were the intended meanings of the original authors. This is hardly the same thing as saying that a given work produces the abuses of the ignorant or malevolent. And when you write disparagingly of those who devote themselves to Torah study and practice, whose tradition you study as an outsider. You pit your historianship against their Torah knowledge and assume your rectitude.

    Absurd.

    Do you not remember that you did not even understand that God is One before you came here? You came insisting that you knew Torah better than Sharbano, better than Dina, and better than R’ Blumenthal. Yet you did not understand one of the fundamentals. And yet… you presume to instruct them still. You know Torah better than they do. Since you think your degree means you have an unparalleled insight into history, perhaps you should give some credence to R’ Blumenthal’s credentials. One would think that now that you have realized you did not understand even a basic principle of Torah, you would stop teaching it and either learn it or go do something else. One would be naive. Of course you still teach them.

    Where is your intellectual honesty? You misrepresent facts regularly. On this page their are several misrepresentations of my original argument which I have not taken up because I am not interested. But you have also misrepresented Torah, a dishonesty I cannot abide. (And now you are a Talmudic scholar! Nevermind, I am sure you have a degree in Talmud, too.) You write of an angel saying that it is God. But you know that it does not speak for itself. It speaks on behalf of God. The Christian does not claim the same thing for Jesus. The Christian does not say that Jesus is a mere messenger of God speaking on his behalf and you know it. But you treat the two situations as equivalent, which is obviously not true. You have drawn a false equivalence, and the only question is whether you do so intentionally.

    Jim

    • Sharbano says:

      What I think is this is an effort to discredit Judaism. In so doing they are not discrediting Jews but rather discrediting G-d Himself. What isn’t understood, and even ignored, is the words are those which G-d wanted written down. Insofar as each letter also. There is a reason all that is written and has a purpose. It has been taught that G-d could have said to ignore the P’shat and understand it “this way”, and that would have been the way Torah is to be understood. This is what I’ve tried to get across, ‘Why’ was Torah written, and ‘How’ is it to be understood. Without these fundamentals Torah will be misused. As I have noted before, it is only Israel that has been given the understanding regarding these matters.

      • Jim says:

        Indeed.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Really? No, its not, I’m just pointing out that the problem you have with the Christians wouldn’t go away even if they didn’t exist. I’m saying the building blocks for their ideas are in the text. Its a simple observation actually.

        Of course it is a bad method, because people outside of Judaism idolize people.

        Yeah, I know. Why then is the Torah OK with a creature (as an agent) saying “I am G-d?” I know you say its only a vessel for his message that has no independent personal existence, but that doesn’t fix anything.

      • LarryB says:

        The radical interpretation of the Torah and traditions some say are the building blocks, denigrates God and are un-Jewish/un-kosher in the extreme.

      • LarryB says:

        At least lets not forget the un kosher building blocks of christianity.
        http://www.sabbathcovenant.com/book3TheGreatDesception/Chapter6.htm

        • Concerned Reader says:

          LarryB, the article you posted suffers from fatal flaws in its premises. I mentioned this to Remi on his blog.

          Remember, the Christians say, “To the Jew I became as a Jew to win the Jews, and to the Greek..etc.”

          The problem with Eusebius saying “what we teach is neither new nor strange” is that he is writing a Christian defense of Christianity by attempting a sloppy appeal to pagan thought in the same way that any missionary uses other sources. The pagans disagreed with Eusebius using their sources Just as Jews did. Remember Celsus? If you want to hear a Pagan view, read Celsus.

          In other words, Why are you listening to the Christians when they say their belief is not new or different. Don’t ask Christians what polytheism was, ask the Pagans. If you read any pagan polemic against Judaism or Christianity, you realize very quickly that the worldviews are very different, and that any claim of derivation therefore falls flat on its face.

          Does a Christmas tree have roots in Paganism? Yes. BUT CHRISTIANS KNOW THAT AND MANY AVOID THEM.

          Consider carefully

          The ideas of sin and atonement are not Pagan, so the Christian mythos of a savior dying for sin has zero meaning or significance to their cultural framework.

          The idea of a moral law or covenant that is so central to a Jewish or a Christian worldview has no antecedent in Roman sources where “moral” meant what was dictated by the state.

          All the omni statements (omnicience, omnipotence, omnipresence, etc.) that Jews and Christians and Muslims apply to G-d have no antecedent root in pagan thinking. They simply do not view the nature or meaning of “divine” in the same way.

          • robert2016 says:

            “The ideas of sin and atonement are not Pagan, so the Christian mythos of a savior dying for sin has zero meaning or significance to their cultural framework.”

            wrong according to richard carrier

            in his recent debate with justin bass he gave arguments that the rising and dying motif and going through a passion is present in pagan beliefs. he thinks christianity fused these ideas with jewish beliefs .

            he thinks even mithras went through a passion

          • LarryB says:

            CR
            The guy who wrote the book is not a christian. Not in the orthodox sense. He is against it. His book is just another opinion. You said, “I’m saying the building blocks for their ideas are in the text”. Back it up, lets see the writings how they did this. Otherwise yours is just another useless opinion.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      But you know that it does not speak for itself. It speaks on behalf of God.

      Precisely. That’s the point Jim.

      If an angel is allowed to say “I am G-d” on behalf of G-d as his agent, the problem I referred to still exists. A being that is not G-d is saying that it is G-d (on his behalf) and is believed to be justified as an agent who speaks not for himself. Here you provide a kosher explanation for how something that isn’t G-d can say “hi there Iam the Lord.”

      Again, my argument has gone unaddressed. See how your explanation did not disarm the problem in the text? You believe that its ok that this agent can say “I am G-d” because it is only an impersonal (nullified) vessel for the divine will, not a being with its own will. If that is a kosher notion, then everything a Christian needs to build Christological devotion to Jesus, or someone else needs to build devotion to the Rebbe already exists, it will just be a low christology.

      WHATEVER THE INTERPRETATION IS, (Jewish or Christian) THE PROBLEM IS STILL THERE WHERE JUSTIFICATION IS GIVEN FOR A NON G-D CALLING ITSELF G-D.

      It is your perception that I don’t understand your arguments Jim. I’m saying your exegesis hasn’t fixed the underlying problem, not saying anything else.

      Do you not remember that you did not even understand that God is One before you came here?

      I was non trinitarian (didn’t worship a man) before I came here buddy. G-d is one is a simple Idea, I understood fine. Disagreeing with you is not the same as not understanding your point of view.

      If you were intellectually honest, you would say that some people have throughout history misrepresented various texts and pretended that their innovations were the intended meanings of the original authors.

      Ummm, all ancient texts (particularly religious and philosophical texts) go through this phenomenon, because there are living textual traditions where there are disagreements among sects on various levels.

      You BELIEVE you have the intent of the original authors at heart, (I’m not even saying your interpretation is wrong, BTW) I’m saying that the text gives one all the tools they need to create a near deified human being without Christianity even existing.

      • Sharbano says:

        The difficulty you are having is due to the inability to divest yourself from idolatrous thinking when it comes to the nature of G-d. We are speaking about a event that was a vision in a dream. Once a person has a belief that a god can come down to earth, manifested in the flesh, it is quite difficult to rid oneself of this thinking. It will always be lurking. Because we Know that G-d cannot manifest Himself as it would destroy all there is we also realize that His power and Glory is ‘filtered’, so to speak, in that the Power is diminished as it filters down each level, from the highest down to our level. These agents, or angels, are part of that diminishing influence.

        • The Real Messianic says:

          I think that the real difficulty of CR is that when you realize that Christianity is false and are not Jewish, you are stuck in the no men’s land… There are difficult passages and it’s OK to point them out, but I don’t think that the Christian interpretation is the proper one and most don’t even link it to Yeshua…

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello

            How can you state its not Jewish, when the NT was written by Jews, primarily for Jews. Its written from a Jewish Theological perspective. Non other.

            The believers of Yeshua in the NT were not looking to reinvent Jewsish scripture, or pen a alternative Torah Law. Christ was the fulfilled Law, prophets and writings.

            When you see Christ in John ch 8. You will see the point that Christ is teaching.

            Paraphrase……….. Dont ask, or test me on the Law, Im well versed in the Law and all its requirements, I wrote the Law, and gave it to your fathers.

          • Paul Summers
            The context of this conversation was that you claimed that the resurrection wasn’t the sign by which the Jews should have believed in Jesus – so I asked you which Messianic prophecy did Jesus fulfill BEFORE the crucifixion that should have made anyone believe in him – so is your final answer “Isaiah 7:14”? Do you have any other prophecies from BEFORE the crucifixion that should have made anyone believe in him?

  36. Concerned Reader says:

    The so-called kosher idolatry of Judaism did not produce Christianity. You do not find a line from ‘venerating Jacob’ to Jesus

    You don’t? I sure do see a line from venerating the righteous to Jesus’ deification.

    Think. How is it that otherwise reasonable Jews were able to delude themselves into thinking a dead messiah candidate could still be alive and be the Christ to come back later?

    “Oh, that’s right! The righteous do not really Die!” But the guy was put in a grave right? We saw him die? That doesn’t matter, because the Jews in the Exodus saw Moses (the agent of G-D’s) body and burial shroud. Remember? The Satan tried to fool them into thinking he was dead during the calf incident, but he wasn’t dead was he? He came back after they all thought they saw him die.

    After a man dies you can go to his grave on holidays and he promises he will intercede for you. Remember?

  37. Concerned Reader says:

    wrong according to Richard Carrier

    Richard Carrier has a very bad method that totally ignores the context of all these religious movements, scholarly consensus, etc.. (its the same mistake the Zeitgeist documentary makes.)

    He sees pagan parallels to Christianity because he wants to see them. Just like he sees Jesus as a myth (based off of spurious 2nd century sources.) He traces ISIS as a “dying and rising divinity” and also Mithra. The thing is, we have no mithraic sacred texts. Everything Carrier hypothesizes about Mithra is based on conjecture after he has looked at carvings in Mithraic temples. WE DON”T KNOW MITHRAIC THEOLOGY, so we can’t say that Christianity “copies it.”

  38. Concerned Reader says:

    robert2016 Check my comments in this thread

    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/why-i-left-jesus-by-concerned-reader/#comments

    There was a guy named Arkenaten who believed something along the lines that Jesus was a narrative construct invented by the Flavians. He was a big fan of Richard Carrier, and also Joseph Atwill. I pointed out to him that his whole problem was one of method.

    He rejected scholarly consensus
    He neglected the native cultural contexts of the belief systems he was investigating (this is actually the embodiment of my argument in the comments above too.)

    I noted that Carrier establishes a rigorous method that he doesn’t follow for himself.

    The objections I had to the Arkenaten’s arguments are similar to the objections I have had to the answers offered here by many.

  39. The Real Messianic says:

    Hold on PAUL SUMMERS, you want to argue about Alma.

    the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with an ALMA, “This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth and says, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong.’

    Here’s your virgin!

    For the Septuagint, please add “Origen” before… There was a lot of versions until the year 200 CE. So, your nice Christian guy arranged it as he was pleased. Also, only the first 5 books of Moses were written 200 years before Yeshua… So, you can as well throw this book in the garbage to have anything authentic!

    • Fred says:

      And frankly speaking, Christians do this kind of thing to each other all day. Put an Wesleyan and a Calvinist , or a trinitarian and a modalist, in a room together and they will twist and reconstruct every verse of the Bible as needed to make their point. The NT is the most inconsistent holy book in existence, and one can make it say anything.

  40. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello “The real messianic”?
    You have just quoted right against yourself here. Not only that, you seem to have little understanding of that verse from proverbs.

    If you take the time to study the text in context of its rendering from a Jewish teaching, you will see the all mighty gaff that you have just shown in your understanding.

    What “”other” texts were available are irrelevant to the topic in question. Mathews source was the septuagent. Period!!

    Nice try, but you again are only using speculative arguments, and dodging the historic facts.

  41. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello YPF

    Yes, that is correct, I said Jesus had no intention to present Himself to the non believers, specifically the Jewish leadership.

    Gods sovereign power through His Son was,is….. The sign of Jonah…. 3 parts.

    The resurrection of Lazurus.
    The resurrection of Christ Himself.
    The resurrection of the two Jewish witnesses in the book of revelation.

    The first was pre death, The believing remnant then.
    The last two are post death, and are in conjuction with the tribulation and the book of revelation. In particular the Jews of that time. The time of Jacobs trouble.

    I stated that technically, Israel had by Mathew ch 12, rendered nil and void of any chance of believing in Jesus claims as Messiah. Jews personally could accept Him, on a one to one basis, but Israel as a nation, at this point in history was basically at a point of no return. So the resurrection as a sign unto them was worthless.

    I will carry on asap. Work calls.

    • robert2016 says:

      ” at this point in history was basically at a point of no return. So the resurrection as a sign unto them was worthless.”

      so jesus was leading his movement for 40 days but let the pharisees spread the news that his disciples stole the body because of “point of no return” ?

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello

        Jesus had no dealings with the non believing part of The nation of Israel post resurrection. Thats why, in Mathew ch 12 its called the unpardonable sin. It has no room for a pardon.

        You read on, ch 13, Jesus then turns His ministry into speaking in parables. Something He never did prior. Prior to ch 12, Jesus openly ministered, authenticated His claim and offered the Kingdom. That offer was rejected. Now post ch 12 until Acts ch 2, a person came to saving grace on the prerequisite that Jesus was the Messiah of Israel. Instead of the open offer, you had to come to Him with a base of faith. Technically these believers are still under the OT dispensation of grace through faith.

        From Acts ch 2 this is the Church period. Jews and gentiles united in One body, the Church, Christ being the head of the body, The Church.

        What the pharisees were saying or not saying is irrelevant to the subject. Either way, what ever was said was totally unimportant. The thrust of God then, was aimed at establishing the Church in Acts ch 2.

        Christ is the Lamb of the passover.
        Christs blood is the feast of unleavened bread.
        The birth of the Church is the fulfilment of Pentecost. Pente is greek for 50. Fifty days post death is the Birth of the Church.

        40 days + 10 days = 50.

        • robert2016 says:

          so for 50 days your man god allowed the jews to spread lies against him because it was irrelevant to the subject?
          you don’t really answer questions do you?

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello

            People have been been denying Jesus and spreading conspicuous lies about Him for 2000 yrs +, why are you so concerned by a mere 50?

            Ive just shown you contextually and scriptually the reason. Im not expecting to convince you otherwise, Im just showing you what the scripture teaches.

            What you do with the info is entirely up to you.

        • robert2016 says:

          “Jesus had no dealings with the non believing part of The nation of Israel post resurrection. Thats why, in Mathew ch 12 its called the unpardonable sin. It has no room for a pardon.”

          according to matthew religious jews told the pagans to lie and spread the claim that the body was stolen and jesus christ was hiding like a convicted criminal?

        • robert2016 says:

          “People have been been denying Jesus and spreading conspicuous lies about Him for 2000 yrs +, why are you so concerned by a mere 50?”

          your god was hiding in those 50 days that’s the difference. if the dead saints could go out and appear to many why was jesus hiding when people were spreading lies like his body was stolen?

          the only witness you have to jesus are liars like peter and others who doubted

          that is the only witness you have from unknowns who would lie and doubt.

  42. Concerned Reader says:

    The charge is made that Jesus promised, “the sign of Jonah” to the Pharisees his detractors, and that he did not deliver it. So, it is argued therefore that he was false, and the NT is internally inconsistent.
    1. By Judaism’s own criterion for judging a prophet’s claims, Jesus’ signs (or the signs of any alleged prophet) would not have proved him to be a true prophet. So, leveling the charge of invalidation on these grounds of failed miracle is itself partially inconsistent.
    Also, the prevaling belief among the people of Israel was that true biblical prophecy had ended with Malachi, and hence with the close of the Canon of the Torah. “prophecy” may have continued, but to a much diminished degree.
    2. The narratives purport that Jesus performed many small miracles and signs before this Jonah conversation with the pharisees, it shows that his opponents saw the signs, (and shows that he was challenged on halachic grounds for doing signs involving and or violating halachot on healing and the catagories of work.)
    As far as I am aware, in the Bible, a prophet, (or a claimant to prophecy,) may, when fulfilling his signs, be granted some benefit of the doubt, and some leeway when sleptics are intepreting the law in order to judge his claims, because, in the moment, his actions may appear strange or unlawful.
    For example, If Elijah had been judged very strictly by Torah standards for his actions of sacrificing on a high place, (in fulfilment of his signs,) he easily could have retroactively been labeled as a false prophet for “violating” a biblical prohibition, even though he did it to disprove the prophets of baal.
    The Pharisees did not give the benefit of the doubt to Jesus (in small healing miracles,) so why would they have faith in an appearance at his resurrection? The gospels presuppose that they won’t believe.
    Moses too may have been labeled false when the Torah says “He was too long in coming down” Exodus 32:1
    Jesus laid the charge in Mathew 16:1-4 (before the episode when he was asked for a sign,) that the Pharisees can clearly read signs they see, “but they do not see the signs of the times.” IE “I can show you all many miraculous signs, and they won’t have any effect on your perceptions of me as true or false.”
    3. Maimonides himself says that if a prophet fortells woes, (such as prophecies of doom as both Jonah and Jesus did) that the prophecy doesn’t have to come true, because repentance can avert a bad sign. Jonah himself struggled with not wanting to preach to the ninevites so they would repent, which is why he got swallowed up.
    Jesus predicted both his death and his ressurection as part of one event, “sign of Jonah” and then called his generation adulterous. Even the Talmud has no love for the high proest Caiaphas who was Jesus’ chief critic. Jesus’ sign of predicting his death is not believed, his healings are not believed, why would his ressurection be believed or matter at all?

    This is why I have said this whole narrative shredding that you are doing is in bad faith. Jesus spread some semblance of biblical knowledge to the western world, and even that is meaningless to Jews. So, why do you need to hear my “answers.”

    • robert2016 says:

      “The Pharisees did not give the benefit of the doubt to Jesus (in small healing miracles,) so why would they have faith in an appearance at his resurrection? ”

      not in the tomb, going to galilee :

      But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'”

      the women leave the tomb:

      8They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

      before this, peter is last seen denying jesus with an oath.

      mark in his gospel says that fear is the enemy of faith and what we see is that the women leave the tomb scared.

      it doesn’t seem that mark was written for peter but against him

      mark may have thought , “why would peter have faith in a resurrection” no wonder he ends his account at verse 16:7

      • Concerned Reader says:

        My point is, anyone can rip any narrative for any reason. It doesn’t mean anything. Whether JC was resurrected or not in front of his opponents is moot. As you point out, the gospel writers doubted each others motives as much as the opponents did. lots of people believed in some experience and based a religion on it.

    • Concerned Reader Your point #1 makes no sense to me – just because I can disprove something one way how does that make me inconsistent if I also disprove it another way? #2 You don’t seem to get the point of the NT – you are condemned for not believing – but no reason is given to believe and I don’t see how your point #3 differs from point #2 We once discussed Jesus’ effect on the world. Instigating the Crusades, Inquisition and holocaust – remember the conversation? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello

        It might have been stated, and ive missed it??!!

        But whats the concensus on the word virgin in Isaiah ch 7 v14?

        I seem to be getting different answers from non believers.

        YPF says Betulah.
        Dina and Jim are saying the word doednt exist.
        The real messianic says Alma

        • Concerned Reader says:

          Paul Summers, the word in Isaiah 7:14 is Alma (Maiden) IN CONTRAST to Betulah. (meaning virgin.)

          • robert2016 says:

            Commitment to “direct hit” prophecy has left some elements of evangelicalism in denial over such a text as Isaiah 7:14 where, against the evidence, the word ‘almah has been given the very specific sense of “virgin” – though no-one would suggest that when Saul uses the masculine equivalent in reference to David he is asking “Whose son is that virgin-lad?” (1 Sam. 17:56). Since, if ever a prophetic text did, Isaiah 7:14 has as its first port of call the circumstances of the prophet’s own lifetime (see verse 16), it is as well that ‘almah does not mean “virgin”.

            — Robert P. Gordon, Hebrew Bible and Ancient Versions, p. 175

            Thus it was also from a non-biblical Hellenistic milieu that the idea of virgin birth emanated, to be associated with Jesus and then read back into both the Hebrew word (almah and its Septuagint rendering παρθενος in Isaiah 7.14 so that the Hebrew word was made to mean here—contrary to all pertinent data—”virgin” instead of “young woman,” and the Greek word was made to mean—again incorrectly—exclusively “virgin.”

            — Harry M. Orlinsky, The So-Called Servant of the Lord and Suffering Servant in Second Isaiah, p. 75

            As is well known, in the Hebrew text the term employed is almah and that simply means a young woman, not necessarily a virgin, who would have been understood to conceive by the usual means. Indeed, the virginity of the young woman in question is of no interest to this text where the divine sign has to do with the timing of the conception and birth, not its manner.

            — Andrew T. Lincoln, “Contested Paternity and Contested Readings: Jesus’ Conception in Matthew 1.18–25”, JSNT 34(3), 2012.

            cnp from blog “is that really in the bible”

        • Jim says:

          Paul,

          Neither Dina nor I said that there is no word for virgin in Hebrew, only that the word does not appear in Isaiah 7:14. The word for a virgin is betulah as R’ Blumenthal has pointed out to you. The word almah means a young woman.

          Jim

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello YPF

        If you read the NT texts it says “0” about the Church of Christ destroying Jews.

        Howver if you read, say Deut you will see the punishment that Israel will suffer, as a promise, in her relentless struggle with God Himself, His words, statutes and the prophets sent.

        One might be wise to look a little closer to home before looking for a scapegoat.

        The real question that should be asked is this,

        If The Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob loves His children, and had promised them blessings, covenants, land, protection from there adversaries, etc, why has there been so much blood shed, and no protection per se?

        Dont miss hear me, a believing remnant will remain, and ultimately Jews can ever, ever be totally destroyed, (Praise be to God), but why the suffering???

        I dont suppose for one minute it could be that The Lord Of Hevean, The Lord God Jesus Christ, God And King Of The Jews was rejected, spat at, and aligned with satan himself.

        Just a thought?

        • robert2016 says:

          such infatuation with man worship seems disgusting.

        • paul Summers Read Micah 7:9 And by the way – never said that Isaiah 7:14 has the word “betula” in it – I said that the word “betula” is the word that the prophets use when they want to say “virgin” 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello YPF
            I mentioned that the word Betula ISNT Exclusive or solely used. Sometimes the author has added to the text, a line to determine his point to make his point clear. But this isnt always conclusive, its the author way if writing.

            Joel uses the word in ch 1 v 8 in reference to a widow.

            Alma
            Gen 24.v43. Rebekah virgin before marriage.
            Ex ch 2 v8 Miriam.
            Psalm 68.v25. Processions of virgins before God Himself.
            Song of songs 1 v3. Purity in marriage.
            Song of songs 6 v8. In contrast to wives and concubines.
            Proverbs 30 v18-19. In contrast to an adulterous.

            What makes Isaiah ch 7 v 14 the only exception?

            The Micah passage that you quoted only teaches the level of sin and despair within Israel and the promise of restitution, at some point in the future by God to those who call and believe in Him. And then its only a remnant. But it doesn’t answer why the despair. Particularly in context to the persecution of Jews as I mentioned. Infact the text mentions despair coming on each other by themselves.
            A closer study on the book will show Israels pardon and judgement on her enemies by the return of the Messiah.

            So the question still stands.

            .

          • Paul Summers I explained to you that the word “betula” is the ONLY word that the Scripture uses to denote virginity I showed you that the word means “virginity” alma simply means young girl – virgin or otherwise – the passage in Proverbs that you quoted makes it clear that a girl who is not a virgin is also an “alma” – so Matthew lied to you about Isaiah 7:14 The passage in Micah proves that the ones who sinned to God are still the ones who will be comforted by God to the shame of their enemies – This is repeated often in the Messianic prophecies – in other words – the punishment of Israel is not the business of the Gentiles – and the Gentiles who focus on Israel’s suffering to justify their theology (e.g. Islam and Christianity) are in for a surprise

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

    • Dina says:

      Con, nothing you wrote here makes any sense! But you wrote something really revolting:

      “Jesus spread some semblance of biblical knowledge to the western world, and even that is meaningless to Jews.”

      And also this: “This is why I have said this whole narrative shredding that you are doing is in bad faith.”

      Let your ugly words speak for themselves.

  43. Fred says:

    Wow, CR, have you always been contrarian by nature, by any chance?

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Fred, I would say I am skeptical, not contrarian. People don’t like my comments because they say I’m not dealing with the issues raised, or the arguments. My point in saying what I am, is that these arguments are fruitless in themselves even if they could be “proved.”

      You have to be favorably disposed to either narrative in order to read either of them as significant. You can find the same kind of material to cast doubt in either narrative if you want to find it.

      If I can’t prove the reality of the central miracle of the Tanakh, why am I going to ask the Christians to prove their own miracle? It makes no sense when both belief systems emphasize faith to such a degree.

      If the NT Pharisees (and rabbinic opinion) sees Jesus as a lawbreaker for doing small violations, (of mostly orally derived commands,) why would their central miracle claim even matter?

      Further, the main reason I even brought up giving an alleged prophet the benefit of the doubt, and pointed out that the pharisees didn’t do this for Jesus, is because that is what you have to do in order to consider the Tanakh’s prophets as divinely inspired. For example,

      What would you think if you saw this: Ezekiel 4:12 “And as barley cakes you shall eat it, and they shall bake it with human excrement before their eyes.”

      If some passerby saw Ezekiel baking bread (or bread being cooked by any person with human Feces) and then eating it, don’t you think a charge of witchcraft or halachic violation might spring to mind?

      Or When Elijah sacrificed on a high place in order to disprove the prophets of Baal? Isn’t that technically violating a biblical prohibition? Biblical prophets were called “biblical” and they had the same kind of odd duck apparently lawless behavior as Jesus did if you actually look into it.

      Jesus is held to a very high standard of lawfulness. Jesus was never apparently involved in murder or adultery for instance, but when the kings did it, “hey, not the same thing.” Sure, the NT sets an impossibly high standard for itself, but that’s because of its theological claim.

      My point is, any text can be read unfavorably.

  44. Concerned Reader says:

    Because The point of #1 is that you call Christians out on their miracle claims, but even if you accepted their miracle claims, it would have no bearing on J’s legitimacy in your religion. IE you are ripping their text apart just to rip it apart. Beyond that, you don’t subject the Torah to the same level of scrutiny. IE its somewhat in bad faith though, I agree, you have every right to do it.

    Concerning the NT condemnation for all who are non believing in J, different Christians would have different standards of how to deal with that question, so dealing with it unilaterally like you are doing is difficult.

    Even for those cultures who don’t know anything about the Bible, the NT says this Romans 2:14-15. The Christian reasoning as to why nobody has an excuse not to believe is that the wisdom of G-d is revealed to each human society in its due measure, (everyone has a basic morality) in one form or other, so they are held to it. Doesn’t the Talmud say the non believing non Jews will be judged by the universal laws of Noah one day? Also, you think the NT is tough on non believers? Look at how tough it is on the heterodox Christian.

    Since the Christians believe J is G-d himself, “believe in Jesus” can mean different things to different Christians. The Catholics (and many other Christians) for example have a notion they call the “invisible Church.” in line with passages from the NT like John 10:16 and Mathew 25:44-45 If you read Augustine’s confessions, he believed he was a part of the “invisible Church,” (due to divine providence,) while he was still a member of the manichean sect. The Church has a saying, which to paraphrase is “many sinners within, many saints without.” If I am judging modern Christianity by its Medieval behavior, I would never say they were good. However, All people (even Christians) have every opportunity to do good, because their book gives them a way to do good, even to those with whom they disagree.

    You have said many times that their gospel text says that Jews have a veil over their eyes. According to the Christians since the time of Augustine, the state of the Jewish people is in G-d’s hands, and only G-d really knows what will happen to them IE Romans 11. Christians have done absolutely evil actions under their theocracies, but this does not mean they can’t improve, and they have rationalizations for their contradictions just like you have for yours.

    How is Jesus spreading biblical wisdom revolting? He did! Even Muhammad did (even if we all agree it wasn’t perfect,) Gentiles would be worshiping Zeus and Thor without the sister religions of Christianity and Islam. The Christians can claim that without Jesus, Muhammad would have been a car without gas. Gentiles wouldn’t have gone anywhere vis the knowledge of G-d (on a massive scale) like they had without those movements.

    I’m not saying it to be mean Dina, i’m just stating it as historical that the western world cares about the Bible at all because of the daughter faiths. That may not mean anything to Judaism, but for non Jews, the path they are on is literally their whole raison d’etre for taking Torah seriously. I wrote exactly this in the starting points article, remember?

    You guys wanted me to address the discussion of internal NT consistency concerning the resurrection. I have done so. I’ve noted Who cares what their text says? Their text and your own opinions have demonstrated that even if the Christians could prove he was alive, it wouldn’t matter to Judaism. I find it to be in bad faith to rip miracle claims to shreds when we say faith doesn’t rest on miracles. So sue me.

    • robert2016 says:

      “The Christians can claim that without Jesus, Muhammad would have been a car without gas”

      in the quran the important message seems to be oneness of god and that all prophets communicated this message. jesus is just one from a bunch of others . it does not seem to me that “without jesus muhammad would have been a car without gas”
      it is more likely that without abraham and muhammad would have been without a car because abraham is called “leader of mankind”

      • Concerned Reader says:

        The Quran (which I have read) makes that claim for itself, because they allege Jesus made the clearest prophecy of Muhammad when he referenced a comforter “mehmet” to come. Jesus is a prophet but is described with higher words of veneration than any other in the Quran. Muhammad is treated as the seal of the ALL prophets, but Jesus is treated as the seal of Israelite prophets, and is just as important in Islam.

        I don’t make that claim (that Muhammad would be a car without gas) lightly. According to the Muslim sources themselves, Muhammad was only protected by his relatives, and then by a few Jews and Christians. Everyone else had a bone to pick with him.

        • robert2016 says:

          “Jesus is a prophet but is described with higher words of veneration than any other in the Quran. Muhammad is treated as the seal of the ALL prophets, but Jesus is treated as the seal of Israelite prophets, and is just as important in Islam.”

          where is your proof for “any other” ?
          can i see some evidence for this? Abraham is treated as leader of mankind . they mention abrahams name in thier prayer by sending blessings on his family
          abraham seems to be the most important.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Jesus is the only prophet in the Quran created whole cloth by G-d himself by his word. He is called “word of G-d,” on this account by the Quran. I don’t have the Suras off hand, but its easy to look up.

            Tasfir Ibn Kathir

            “Al-Masih `Isa, son of Maryam, was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah and His Word, which He bestowed on Maryam and a spirit from [created by] Him; `Isa is only one of Allah’s servants and one of His creatures. Allah said to him, `Be’, and he was, and He sent him as a Messenger. `Isa was a word from Allah that He bestowed on Maryam, meaning He created him with the word `Be’ that He sent with Jibril to Maryam.”

            Jesus is identified as a created spirit of G-d, the word “be,” the only prophet created directly by G-d’s breath.

            The Quran (while denying trinitarian Christology ) presupposes some knowledge of Christology and controversies, that at the time, only would have meant anything to Christians. In that sense, Jesus was a fundamental source of inspiration for both sister religions.

        • robert2016 says:

          i found this from an apologists website after i started doubting my thought that quran called abraham as “leader of mankind”

          then i found

          “When we read the Qur’an we realise that at the time of the revelation of the Qur’an, Jews, Christians and Muslims all had great respect for Abraham. He was a source of authority and everyone wanted to justify their particular position by referring to him. It can be argued from the Qur’an that Abraham was the founder of Islam.”

          http://islam-today.co.uk/abraham-a-role-model-and-guide-for-mankind

          so it seem that according to the muslim, abraham is the main source for the islamic religion .

          • Concerned Reader says:

            In one sense yes, in another no. Christians would also say that Abraham is essential to their religion. We would all say it in fact.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Jesus only has one being to which he is directly compared in the Quran, and that’s Adam the first man.

            “Surely the similarity of Jesus with Allah is like the sinûlarity of
            Adam. He created him from dust, and then said to him: ‘Be!’ and he is,This is the truth from your lord, do not be among those who doubt.”

            Qur’an:
            Surat
            Ali
            ‘Imran
            3:59-60

          • robert2016 says:

            “Jesus is identified as a created spirit of G-d, the word “be,” the only prophet created directly by G-d’s breath.”

            “Verily, the likeness of Jesus before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then He said to him: “Be!” – and he was”

          • robert2016 says:

            must be a miracle we posted the same verse

        • robert2016 says:

          “Jesus is the only prophet in the Quran created whole cloth by G-d himself by his word. He is called “word of G-d,” on this account by the Quran. I don’t have the Suras off hand, but its easy to look up.”

          so is that what is special about him? what word was used for the creation of adam? “be” ?
          i’ve read muslim responses to this.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Yes, be. Just like Adam was created with the word be.

            I’m not saying this supports Christians, as I’m not Christian. I am pointing out that he is as essential to Islam as he is to Christianity, despite not being identified as G-d. Even though he’s not G-d, he is the most exalted person as portrayed by their text.

            -He is depicted as seal of Israel’s prophets
            -created uniquely like Adam by G-d’s word “be”
            – He is called the Messiah
            -He is said to be coming back
            -depicted as performing miracles of creation, etc.

            Islam is similar to many a form of non trinitarian Christianity that has a low christology, like many of the Arabian Christian sects that were contemporary with Muhammad. I myself was a non trinitarian before coming to this blog. I was very bothered at being called an idolater when I knew as much about G-d”s unity as any Muslim did. Jesus was just more a part of why I believed.

          • robert2016 says:

            “-He is depicted as seal of Israel’s prophets”

            but the quran thinks that muhammad is the seal of all prophets on the earth yet he including jesus have to derive from abrahamic tradition because abraham = leader of mankind

            “-created uniquely like Adam by G-d’s word “be”

            so was the universe.

            Verily, His command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, “Be!”– and it is!

            “– He is called the Messiah”

            how the quran understands messiah is completely different than how pauline christianity understands it

            “-He is said to be coming back”

            disputed. muslims debate over the second coming and say no explicit verse which say he will return

            “-depicted as performing miracles of creation, etc.”

            it has him say “by the leave of God”

            all this exalted talk is refuted by the quran itself because it tells the muslims to say not to make distinction between them

            The Messenger believeth in what hath been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believeth in Allah, His angels, His books, and His messengers. “We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His messengers.” And they say: “We hear, and we obey: (We seek) Thy forgiveness, our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys.”

    • Concerned Reader I don’t rip apart Jesus’ claims “just to rip them apart” – I expose the flaws to help human beings rise above submission to another human being 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • Concerned Reader says:

        But Rabbi, you have refused (unconsciously I believe) to note that its not just about a human being for the sake of a human being. Every mainstream Christian denomination would call you a heretic if you believed in Jesus for that reason.

        Jesus literally serves as the impetus (for Christians and many non Christians, trinitarian and non trinitarian alike,) to believe in G-d and scripture at all. Because of him many gentiles have a sense of intention to follow G-d based on worldviews and personal experiences. IE you don’t have to convert or convince them because their worldview has already given you common ground.

        Gentiles even coming here and speaking about G-d is because their ancestors were moved away from polytheistic belief systems via these sister faiths that view Jesus as a central component.

        Even if you think the sister faiths are 100% BS, its quite easy to see why so many other people could believe it points to providence. Jesus wasn’t just teaching, but his life served as a spark for the discussion we are all having. Its quite eerie, you know?

        When I spoke to Dina, and she said “If an entity claims “I’m God” in the sense that “I’m a mouthpiece for God but am not actually God Himself” it would not be idolatry. It might be false, but not idolatry,” it made me think.

        We both know that Jesus is accused of violating Deuteronomy 4 and 13. Muhammad is not charged with violating Deuteronomy 4 by Judaism. IE it is said he taught a pure monotheism. But, if you read “the satanic verses” Muhammad did violate Deuteronomy 4 because he literally mentioned other gods not known to your fathers. Jesus at best violated (in the sense of an interpretation of G-d’s nature,) not in a question of to whom does the heart belong. The NT makes clear that to the father belongs all things, and Jesus is to hand over to the father. (1 Corinthians 15:24)

        If its established that alright for the agent to say “I am G-d” in first person as a mouthpiece, (Genesis 31:13) then this ends up being functionally no different then Christianity. Let me explain.

        Even though Jesus is seen as the eternal word of G-d, etc. in christology, Christian theology itself defines Jesus into the role of an agent who doesn’t upstage the father.

        IE its heresy (as a matter of their own definitions) in Christianity and Islam to venerate him as a creature, heresy to replace the father with Jesus, and heresy to ascribe this role to any other human person, (revelation 13.)

        My point is, the Christians (as Christians) can agree with you about G-d, and (Christians if they look) can agree about your responsibility to observe Torah (Mathew 23,) if they learn.

        The fact that so many don’t is sad, but I can’t shake the feeling that demolishing and diminishing Jesus will impact the genuine faith of millions in a negative way. It effects faith that has nothing to do with Christianity. Jesus is not Christianity. And, if the halacha is that Islam is not idolatry, (in light of agency,) I don’t see how Christianity can be.

        Its like I’ve said before. People don’t believe just based on one theology, or because people teach them. There are myriad other reasons.

        • Concerned Reader I never said that Christians worship Jesus “for the sake of a human being” – But they are allowing themselves to be overwhelmed by human qualities (righteousness, self-sacrifice, mystery, authority) and use these to motivate their devotion. This is diminishing the human being (worshipers) by making them subservient than a fellow traveler. Stating or believing a false philosophy or theology is not idolatry – idolatry is a movement of the heart – not the brain. I also never said that other religions are “100 percent bs” I think the human being is more noble than to fall for 100 percent bs – there needs to be truth in the belief system to get humans to fall for it. And I also believe that the pagans had elements of truth in their worldview or else they wouldn’t be able to stick around – perhaps it was an appreciation for teh beauty and harmony of nature, perhaps an appreciation of the power of thunder etc. And the fact that Jesus is the impetus for this discussion gives him no credit except for the ability to incorporate some foundational truths into his sales pitch – the reason this discussion is relevant is not because of him but because of the truths he borrowed – focus on the truths and you see how irrelevant he becomes

          1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  45. Concerned Reader says:

    My point rabbi is, you have no desire to hear why the Christian finds Jesus meaningful or why he finds the Christian claims plausible. You want that he should abandon Christianity and embrace the noachide path. That (in and of itself) is totally fine, but as I said in the starting points article, if you rip into their central raison d’etre for taking the Torah seriously, (by ripping apart their miracle claims,) while accepting the Torah’s claims unilaterally, it comes across as inconsistent on your own part because you don’t scrutinize your own claims as harshly as you do theirs.

  46. Concerned Reader says:

    Robert 2016 adding “by leave of G-d” doesn’t change anything, any more than it changes things when an angel calls itself G-d metaphorically. The same exact action is being done regardless of theological dress. Christians are called heretics when the other religions do the exact same stuff just dressed in different language.

    • Dina says:

      Con,

      A while back you made a comment to the effect that Jews dismiss the biblical faith of Christians as irrelevant and that our arguments are in bad faith.

      I replied that those were ugly words, yet you couldn’t understand why I took exception to them. I couldn’t find your original comment so I’m responding here.

      Your understanding of Jews and Judaism is warped, I don’t know how to say it kindly. Jews don’t dismiss Christians as people. It’s God’s business to judge people for their faith and actions; He didn’t hire us to do that job, and so we are not interested in the position. Jews are concerned with the truth. We simply ask the Christian who challenges us, is what you say true? Is it consistent with the teachings of the Torah? Jews are concerned with what God wants. If God said we may not worship Him alongside anyone else, then nothing anyone else says matters to us. We will only listen to God and point out the truth of the Torah to those who challenge us. Otherwise we let well enough alone, live and let live, do not impose our beliefs or lifestyle on anyone, nor threaten hell to those who practice a different faith.

      To paint with a broad brushstroke the entire Jewish people as being unfeeling and insensitive to Christians is not only a disgusting calumny, but a calumny that is being made about a group that for nearly two millennia has been persecuted by the very people you are defending. In other words, you made a false and injurious statement about a major victim group.

      I’m not saying that because Jews were victims of Christians they are forever above criticism; I’m just saying you could be a little sensitive and a little careful with the truth.

      As for your accusation of bad-faith arguments, I have repeatedly shown you why our arguments are fair, reasonable, and sincere. Instead of directly addressing my points, you kept repeating your straw man arguments.

      So all in all, I think you have recently treated us on this blog pretty shabbily.

      I don’t know if you’ll see this, but if you do and you decide to respond, I will likely not be able to reply until after Passover. Very busy with holiday preparations.

    • robert2016 says:

      “by leave of god”

      so in 7th century arabia the author would have understood “by leave of god”
      like you understand it here :

      “The same exact action is being done regardless of theological dress. Christians are called heretics when the other religions do the exact same stuff just dressed in different language”

      is not historians job to see how phrases take on new meaning later on?

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Robert, no need for the reductio ad absurdum, you know that’s not exactly what I meant.

        Let me clarify it for you. its my opinion that “The same exact action is being done regardless of theological dress,” because I can see the same constructs arising (that end up producing the same near christological/Christian results,) in these belief systems despite all their nuanced definitions of proper worship.

        I can examine the history of both Judaism and Islam, and I can find movements and figures within these religious settings, or trends therein that are very similar to Christianity, despite all the nuance and emphasis on proper definition. I will give you an example.

        Its no secret that in Judaism, G-d is perceived as wholly other than any created or corporeal thing. (Deuteronomy 4)

        That much is obvious to anyone who has studied the subject. The question then arises however, “how do we know what we do about hashem?” Well, we have the Torah, which is G-d’s wisdom in a book. This wisdom is revealed to us by sages.

        One sage in particular is stated to be on a higher level of prophecy, then any other human to ever exist, on a higher level of any human yet to exist. (Read Rambam’s seventh principle of faith.)

        That person is identified as Moses. Moses was on such a high level that according to Maimonides’ definition, he had a clear and unmediated experience of the following:

        “PROPHECY is, in truth and reality, an emanation sent forth by the Divine Being through the medium of the Active Intellect, in the first instance to man’s rational faculty, and then to his imaginative faculty;” (Guide for the Perplexed Part II chapter 36)

        What is the active intellect? It is, to paraphrase, the lowest level or “sphere” where the infinite divine wisdom touches the human being. It is responsible for prophecy. It is, in a sense, the Logos doctrine, just in a different form. What other prophets saw through an unpolished mirror, Moses saw clearly.
        Saadia Gaon’s version of this “overflow from G-d” is called the Kavod Nivra, (the created glory.) this overflow explains, (to philosophers like Rambam and Saadia) how it is that the prophets “see” in their prophetic visions.

        As I’ve discussed with Dina and rabbi B, (and as we can all agree,) we find agents in the Torah, (like Moses,) who represent G-d as an agent, and sometimes even speak G-d’s words interchangeably.

        “When God appears to the prophets He often sends an angel to represent Him for the purpose of passing on His message to the prophet. The angel speaks the words of God, and the prophet addresses God by speaking to the angel – but the angel is not God.”
        We all heard from rabbi B though that “Being that God is the Creator of nature – He isn’t limited by nature. He is in time and space – but everywhere, evenly all the time. God doesn’t have a “proper voice” He uses sound to further His purpose and He produces it without vocal chords.”

        As the Tanya says, “The second, uniquely Jewish, soul is truly “a part of G‑d above,”http://www.chabad.org/library/tanya/tanya_cdo/aid/7881/jewish/Chapter-2.htm

        That statement from Tanya is merely highlighting that all nature has G-d’s influence immanent within it, but is also wholly transcendent. It is believed that Some people, (like Moses) sense hashem’s immanence to such a degree that they were able to speak G-d’s words interchangeably with their own.

        In one such representation by an agent from scripture, the agent angel says, “I am the god of bethel.” (Genesis 31:13) Moses in one instance also says, “I will give you grass,” (Deuteronomy 11:15) during a semi lengthy exchange with the nation where he speaks G-d’s words interchangably with his own words.

        Now, I fully realize that Moses is not worshiped as divine. Believe me, I get it.

        BUT HERE IS THE RUB!

        JESUS WASN”T WORSHIPED AS DIVINE EITHER AT FIRST, nor was the Rebbe until the crazies came along! BUT VENERATION IS VENERATION.

        The point I have raised all along though is that all the building blocks, (the DNA) for a Christian like veneration already exist right here in the text.

        We have, (in an acceptable kosher environment,) an agent, who is allowed to say “metaphorically,” “I am G-d,” and is believed to speak G-d’s words interchangeably with his own. AND THE BELIEF IS THAT SUCH A PERSON’S WORD MUST BE OBEYED AS THOUGH IT WAS G-D HIMSELF WHO SPOKE.

        You don’t have to call it an incarnation for it to have the same effect.

        Jesus’ own defense to the pharisees when he was accused of blasphemy was the exchange from John 10:34-36, that used the established logic of the agent found in scripture.
        SAME EFFECT, DIFFERENT Interpretative CLOTHES.

        Fred once said, (I can’t remember exactly where) that what ultimately led the Christians to pray to Jesus was the Torah’s emphasis and insistence on serving only G-d in a worshipful fashion.

        Over and over the Torah says “only give your heart and obedience to G-d.”

        This call to obedience is however, (as we see above) carried over to a high degree of veneration of righteous people.

        Eventually, the dichotomy becomes too hard to handle for some, so some groups end up conflating G-d and the righteous teacher.

        Did it happen to Moses? No. Has it happened to Jesus and several other Jewish teachers since? Yes.

        Its not hard to conflate G-d with not G-d when you have a mechanism in the Torah that allows metaphorical mouthpieces that say “Hi, I’m G-d” right in the text. How you explain it makes no difference when it produces the effects you say you oppose.

        The Muslims may say that Jesus does things by “leave of G-d,” but it means nothing beyond lip service when their text uses this “leave” to give Jesus

        1. Power over creation
        2. to Call him G-d’s very word

        veneration of a shaliach who acts as G-d’s voice by metaphor is still veneration.

        • robert2016 says:

          “The Muslims may say that Jesus does things by “leave of G-d,” but it means nothing beyond lip service when their text uses this “leave” to give Jesus

          1. Power over creation
          2. to Call him G-d’s very word”

          and he shall be a prophet to the people of Israel (saying), that I have come to you, with a SIGN FROM GOD, namely, that I will CREATE for you out of clay as though it were the form of a bird, and I will blow thereon and it shall become a bird by God’s permission; and I will heal the blind from birth, and lepers; and I will bring the dead to life by God’s permission; and I will tell you what you eat and what ye store up in your houses. Verily, in that is a sign for you if ye be believers. S.

          the muslim apologist wrote:

          Those very words there refute Shamoun’s entire argument. Note that even before Jesus performs the miracle he says that IT IS FROM GOD. How can Shamoun miss that? Before Jesus performs the great miracle he makes sure to tell everybody it’s not really him doing it!

          end quote

          “In blasphemy indeed are those that say that God is Christ the son of Mary. Say: “Who then hath the least power against God, if His will were to destroy Christ the son of Mary, his mother, and all every – one that is on the earth? For to God belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between. He createth what He pleaseth. For God hath power over all things.” (The Noble Quran, 5:17)”

          either the created person is completely separated from god and his powers or else you have koran saying that god would destroy parts of himself.

          i will ask you again, in 7th century arabia how what did it mean ” by the leave of god” ?

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Before Jesus performs the great miracle he makes sure to tell everybody it’s not really him doing it! THE NEW TESTAMENT DOES THE SAME THING! TRINITARIANS SAY THE SAME THING! Even whilst believing Jesus is G-d, the NT makes clear that Jesus is subordinate to the father.

          • The Real Messianic says:

            Hi CR, it’s clear and not that he is subordinate. First, Jesus as per the NT is the saviour, the lord, the redeemer, the rock. Attributes that only can be attributed to G-d. The New Testament believers had to bring an explanation why, now, they have two saviours, two lords, two redeemers when clearly G-d would not allow to share HIS glory nor allow to put another god (mighty) before HIM.

            There is a reason why the trinity was invented, if Yeshu is not the Father, then you are stuck with polytheism and the Catholics knew it. I guess that they were accused of polytheism by REAL Jews and so they came with that nice theory. It’s almost impossible to disprove it, you just have to invent that one is the “group of gods” and claim you are a strict monotheist. Non-sense, but undisprovable. It was calculated, and that’s why even today the non-catholic Christians still hold to their false doctrine, If not, the Non Testament crumbles. I know, many say that Jesus is not G-d, but in the end, it makes no sense with the Hebrew Bible to worship 2 gods.

          • robert2016 says:

            “Before Jesus performs the great miracle he makes sure to tell everybody it’s not really him doing it! THE NEW TESTAMENT DOES THE SAME THING! TRINITARIANS SAY THE SAME THING! Even whilst believing Jesus is G-d, the NT makes clear that Jesus is subordinate to the father.”

            are you sure? trinitarians say that each person has access to the same what /divine nature and are co equal to each other. if jesus has access to the same what, then he can independently produce the miracle, right?

        • robert2016 says:


          SAME EFFECT, DIFFERENT Interpretative CLOTHES.”

          in the time of koran how would such phrases be understood? how many scholars of the koran you have consulted to come to the conclusion “same effect, different interpretative clothes” ?

          how do you know? if concept of god is evolving over time what makes you think “same effect” ?

  47. Pingback: Should Christians accept the book of Mormon?

  48. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello YFP
    I understand your side of the argument, but Joel uses the word in reference to a widow, who obviously isnt a virgin in the sense of not knowing a man sexually.

    Mary was betrothed to a man, but not married as yet.

    You still havnt answered my question either, all you have done now is to state its not gentiles business.
    Sctiptually speaking Jews are supposed to be a light to the gentiles. Historically Im struggling to see where this has happened. History and scripture clearly and unquestionable shows suffering on the children of Israel if they walk contrary to God.
    If Jesus and His Church are false, and Israel are walking in line with God The Father, ignoring the false prohet, why does God still punish His Children so?. Surley by Gods Abrahamic promise of Gen 12, the ones who curse the Jews will be punished. (Of course this still stands, dont miss hear me). The point im making is why are you as a nation still being persecuted?

    Im fascinated by the fact that you call Jesus a false prohet, when all He did was fulfil scripture and predict your now current spiritual and physical condition. This wayward thought process of believers isnt a haste rewritting idea proping up Christianity theology, its Israels fulfilling The Lord God’s sovereign will as per scrìpture.

    You asked for a another Messianic Text that Jesus apparently fulfilled.
    Sticking with Isaiah;

    Chapters;
    8 9 10
    9 6,7
    11 1,2
    40 3,5
    42 1,6
    49 1, 13
    50 4,9
    52 13
    53, 12
    61 1,13

    • Dina says:

      Paul, Rabbi B. is answering your questions and challenges. You are not listening.

    • Paul Summers The word betula means virgin – this is conclusively proven by Deuteronomy 22:14. As a borrowed term it can mean any young woman – but the literal meaning is virgin. Whenever Scripture wants to say virgin it uses betula – you have not said anything that could change these basic facts.

      Israel is a light to the gentiles in their refusal to worship Jesus – they are still suffering because they are not living up to all of God’s expectations from them but they still have the right God and the right hope. Very simple.

      As for your Messianic texts that Jesus allegedly fulfilled – pre-crucifixion None of the numbers you gave me make any sense – these verses clearly tell me that Jesus is NOT the Messiah. Can you please take one of them and explain how someone would know – pre-crucifixion – that jesus was the Messiah?

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello YPF
        I not contending with you on the word betulah in its context. Deut ch 22, is using the word regarding a virgin pre marital. I see that, but As you state, the word, can be used, or borrowed to mean any young girl.

        I mentioned the Joel text on a couple of occasions. But no response, I think? Betulah in the text is referring to a widow. A widow is a woman who’s husband has passed away. Her virginity has long gone, but Joel uses the term betulah.Why, and why not almah?

        • Paul Summers Your question about Joel is completely irrelevant – as I’ve demonstrated if the point the prophet was trying to make was about virginity he would not have used alma but betula I’ll answer your question about Joel anyway – the point is that this woman is morning the husband that she took when she was a virgin – so even though now she is no longer a virgin but she sees herself back in that situation feeling that same love and grieving over her loss 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello YPF
            The Joel text doesnt read it that way though.
            The text says the widow (betulah) virgin mourns, not the alma widow mourns and looks back at her betulah youth days.

          • Dina says:

            Paul, why do Christian bibles translate the word in Joel 1:8 as virgin?

            Because betulah means virgin.

            It operates the same way as the English translation.

          • Paul Summers So poetry means nothing to you – language means nothing to you. If you were wrong – what tool would I be able to use to prove it to you? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

        • Sharbano says:

          I suggest you read the following chapter for enlightenment.

      • robert2016 says:

        rabbi,

        as you know “virgin” cannot be derived from the word “young”

        is there any indication in the text of isaiah that young women did not have children
        before she is about to conceive a son?

        is there a possibility that she did have children before?

        NET Bible
        For this reason the sovereign master himself will give you a confirming sign. Look, this young woman is about to conceive and will give birth to a son. You, young woman, will name him Immanuel.

        • robert2016 There is no indication in the text that the woman had no children before 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Rashi on Isaiah 7:14

            Immanuel: [lit. God is with us. That is] to say that our Rock shall be with us, and this is the sign, for she is a young girl, and she never prophesied, yet in this instance, Divine inspiration shall rest upon her. This is what is stated below (8:3): “And I was intimate with the prophetess, etc.,” and we do not find a prophet’s wife called a prophetess unless she prophesied. Some interpret this as being said about Hezekiah, but it is impossible, because, when you count his years, you find that Hezekiah was born nine years before his father’s reign. And some interpret that this is the sign, that she was a young girl and INCAPABLE OF GIVING BIRTH.

          • Concerned Reader Exactly! The point of the prophet is YOUTH not virginity 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  49. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello Dina

    I disagree. The question has been side tracked with a diversifying statement completely unrelated.
    Infact I would say the answer was more akin to a politician than a theologian.

    If the word betula means absolute untouched virginity, then the hebrew texts are in error. Im not stating that the word cannot be used in connecting a untouched woman, what Im saying is the word in its absolute right of untouched doesn’t just have to be betula. Ive shown texts using alma and betula for both instances of a virgin.

    The texts Ive shown ref Alma are all unmarried women. If this is used by Mathew, which it is then Mathew cannot be charged for lying, because there is no conclusive evidence in the Hebrew grammar.

    Na ‘a’rah means damsel, and can refer to either also. 1 kings 1 v2 and Ruth 2:6.

    So all the words can be used for different conditions of a woman.

    • Dina says:

      Paul, here’s a Hebrew lesson for you.

      betulah = virgin
      alma = young woman

      It’s not very complicated! An alma, a young woman, can be a virgin or not a virgin. This is the word used in Isaiah 7:14. It is also the word used in Proverbs 30:19 where the young woman in question is most definitely not a virgin.

      If Isaiah had wanted it to be clear that the woman was a virgin he would have used the word betulah. But he used the word alma instead. Why did Matthew translate the word “alma” as virgin? Because he lied. Or he was ignorant. Not sure which is worse.

    • The Real Messianic says:
  50. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello

    So is Joel wrong when he used the word betulah for a widow?

    You have also just stated that almah can be either, Im not arguing any difference , so what makes you think Mathew is wrong, when all Mathew was doing was referring to the Jewish Written scripture. The words are the same. Mathew didnt change the word to suit his theology.You are assuming betulah should be used, but ive shown non exclusive usage.

    If, As you state Isaiah wanted to make the point of total virginity, why didnt the other authors, which I mentioned, do the same?

    What makes Isaiah text be the exception to the rule, when you admit its dual usage.

    I think you are fudging your rendering of almah (young woman ) with betulah (absolute virgin). There is no exclusive word for any context, per se. The immediate context, in relationship to other texts etc determine the meaning of the word in question. Again I have shown this.

    Psalm 68.25 Almah, A royal procession of pure virgins in the context of God being the king.If these almahs were just young women who were not absolute virgins, then God would be marring unchaste women.

    • The Real Messianic says:

      Betrothed women were considered married. So even if she was married, the word betulah makes it clear that she did not consume the union.

      Psalm 68
      In front are the singers, after them the musicians;
      with them are the young women playing the timbrels.

      Can non-virigin play the timbrels, they are not promised to be married to anybody, so this might just be a group of young women, some virgins and some not virgins. If you meet a group of 17 year old girls, would you say… look at those virgins, or look at those your ladies? and Why?

    • Dina says:

      Paul, first you found the answer, then asked the questions. For this reason, your questions are incoherent.

    • Dina says:

      Your ignorance of the Hebrew language further complicates matters. It would be nice if you would stop ignoring the Scriptural passages that are troublesome for you, like Proverbs 30:19.

  51. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello Dina

    I think you need to re read your own statement. You say, rightly, that is, the word Almah can mean either way. Do you agree with your own statement?

    Proverbs isnt a problem passage for me as you state. Because as you have already stated, the word can be either. I agree with this.

    In the context of the text, the Almah here is a married women engaing in sexual relations, im not disputing that. You think I am.

    Ive shown you, that Almah in the context of the text, and by your own admission, that the word can be one OR the other.

    The problem you have here, is the persistent willful denial of the grammar and contextual usage as per scripture. You want to make Mathews account unacceptable in regard to Issiah’s text because in the Hebrew text is the very sign which God promised, this sign, to you is beyond compression. I dont have to bend context or grammar to prop up my theology. I just read the text as it is written.Contextually.

    Can donkeys speak to humans, Normally? Absolutely not.
    Can God Almighty make donkeys speak? Yes absolutely, if He wills it.

    Can a virgin, not known a man, conceive a child, absolutely not.
    Can God almighty make a virgin pregnant by Just His very word……?…….only your faith can answer that.

    • Dina says:

      The fact that God has the ability to make a virgin conceive in a miraculous way is so totally irrelevant to this discussion that I’m not going to address.

      As for the rest of your incoherent (sorry) argument about the word “alma”: since it means “young woman” then why does Matthew translate it as virgin? Isaiah did not say “virgin”; he said “young woman.” That should end the discussion. Period, end of story.

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello

        To answer your question. Mathew uses the direct translation word parthenos from the xxl. You are using a later re written version.

        Its evident and obvious that the xxl is accurate. Its not Mathew who changed anything. If Mathew is wrong so is the xxl. Buts its not the xxl which is under scrutiny, is it?

        • Sharbano says:

          You are absolutely wrong. The ‘Septuagint’ is NOT accurate. Even Origen pointed this out. In one place the Septuagint says 70 went to Egypt. In another it is 75. Torah is the same in both instances. If you are relying on that ridiculous piece of work no wonder you are so confused on the facts.

          • Dinah Bucholz says:

            Paul, what do you make of the Great Isaiah Scroll which was found in the Dead Sea Caves and predates Jesus? It uses the word “alma” in the text.

            You talk out of both sides of your mouth. First you concede that Isaiah uses the word alma, then you concede that alma means young woman. Since that’s a problem for you, you now switch to an unsubstantiated and unverifiable argument that the original text said betulah but we changed it. Ha! Now what are you going to say?

            On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 3:43 PM, 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote:

            > Sharbano commented: “You are absolutely wrong. The ‘Septuagint’ is NOT > accurate. Even Origen pointed this out. In one place the Septuagint says 70 > went to Egypt. In another it is 75. Torah is the same in both instances. If > you are relying on that ridiculous piece of work no w” >

        • Dina says:

          Paul, what do you make of the Great Isaiah Scroll which was found in the Dead Sea Caves and predates Jesus? It uses the word “alma” in the text.

          You talk out of both sides of your mouth. First you concede that Isaiah uses the word alma, then you concede that alma means young woman. Since that’s a problem for you, you now switch to an unsubstantiated and unverifiable argument that the original text said betulah but we changed it. Ha! Now what are you going to say?

  52. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello Dina

    I totally agree with you. The word either, widow, virgin here in Joel is betulah. It reads betulah. The translation might say, widow, virgin woman or whatever else, but the original text that we have says betulah.
    Betulah is mourning for her husband, not Alma for her betulah days. The only contextual past tense word from her past is “Her” with “youth” neither of these words are betulah or Almah.

    The present widow, virgin betulah is mourning.

    • Sharbano says:

      Are you aware of the purpose of a metaphor. You are trying to apply literalness where it is not the case.
      The prophet tells the congregation of Israel to lament at the evil which has befallen her. Let her go into profound mourning, lament like a virgin betrothed to a young man who died when she was still young. Instead of finding deep marital joy with each other, which is most intense at a young age, they were separated by death. How terrible must be her bereavement. How deep her mourning.
      By means of this imagery the scripture conveys that the congregation of Israel should be anguished over what is lacking at the present time. No libations are performed in the House of G-d and no first-fruit baskets are brought to the Temple.
      The reference to sackcloth are a metaphor for the locusts devastating the trees, stripping them of their bark. The trees were wrapped in sackcloth to preserve them.
      According to the Sages, a tree which has never been trimmed is called a virgin. When the tree is pruned this “virgin” is girded with sackcloth where the branches had been cut away.
      The imagery is appropriate because a woman is likened to a vine. As it says “your wife will be like a fruitful vine in the innermost parts of your house”.
      Having previously mentioned the vine appropriately the prophet thus says, “Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth”.
      She is still a virgin, so the “husband of her youth” here is one worthy of being the husband of her youth. Everything was in readiness for the wedding feast and for the rejoicing, and he died.
      By analogy, the reaping season was at hand. The Jewish people had already made plans to harvest the wheat and rejoice but the locust came and devastated everything.
      Torah law stipulates that when a betrothed maiden is bereaved of her prospective bridegroom she is not entitled to the supplementary benefits specified in the marriage contract. Nor does she receive gifts.Her pain is thus twofold. She has remained a virgin, and she has been impoverished, girded with sackcloth.

    • PAUL SUMMERS says:

      Hello Dina

      Im not where and when I stated Isaiah was using betulah??

      I think wires are crossed here. My stance has always been Alma.
      You said mathew was a lier because he changed the word to alma from young woman.
      You are stating the scroll find says alma, I never ever stated any text says anyother, plus you said that I stated, once, the text read betulah, And I argued for that, such I never did.

      I think you need to re read my comments.

  53. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello YPF

    Of course poetry in the context means everthing. Isaiah uses such in ch 7.
    But you cant change the content of a verse on its head, just by changing the context under the guidance of Poetry to suit ones stance.

    If you are going try and change Joels wording under the rule of poetry, then that leaves the entire scriptures under poetic licence for interpretation.

    • Paul Summers Much of Scripture is NOT poetry – in fact some of Scripture is worded as explicit commandments. Those parts of Scripture which are clear and unambiguous guide us in understanding the rest of Scripture. That is why we use Deuteronomy 22:14,17 to help us understand Joel 1:8 and not the other way round. Just to put this in context – are you denying that when the Scripture wants to focus in on the virginity of a girl that it uses the word “betula” 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  54. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello YPF

    Of course betulah is a word in scripture that 90% of the time is referring to a virgin in the sense of not known a man. Ive never stated it isnt. What my arguments are, that the word betulah ISNT alwsys used, 100% of the time. Ive shown and explained this on many occasions. I havnt just said Isaiah is the exception to make the Christian viewpoint valid, ive shown that the Hebrew text shows examples when almah was used instead of betulah and in joel that betulah was used instead of almah.
    So I asked, why make Isiaah the exception of grammar when alma is used, when other texts show alma (as not known a man). Yes betulah could have been used, no arguement, but the examples which I shown dont use betulah,,,…..Why?????
    Because its the context and content of the passage that speaks and explains what is actually meant by the word, Alma, betulah.

    Ive shown 2 examples where it says betulah virgin, had never known a man. Why bother putting in the explanation, when one should reliase that betulah means what it says. It gives the added words to confirm what is being said. To clarify the point. But these rules dont apply consistently through scripture.

    So, I hope this answers your question. I cannot say yes 100%, because Ive shown you examples of Almah as not known a man.

    • Dina says:

      Paul, part of the reason this argument is so absurd is that you don’t speak Hebrew. If you could read the original Hebrew you would blush that you are even debating the point.

      • Sharbano says:

        This isn’t actually on topic but it was something I didn’t know. Apparently Trump said his favorite bible verse is, “eye for an eye”. A local radio program concluded he met fight fire with fire. What WAS informative was a quote from the Xtian text that says, “you’ve heard it said, an eye for an eye”. Now, he read the entire thing; and evidently we can conclude that Jsus is fully going against what G-d Himself had dictated. Not only That, he apparently didn’t read the text very well as it is self-explanatory. This is just another example where the Xtian text is suspect.

        • LarryB says:

          Sharbano
          Would you mind expanding on that, i would like to hear your explanation on this one.

          • Sharbano says:

            I don’t know what there is to explain. If he was suppose to have awed those in the Yeshiva at the time he certainly wouldn’t have made such glaring mistakes. It’s either that or someone played fast and loose with the record of his teachings.
            I have heard many people use this phrase as an example for many things and I always assume they just didn’t read the text. I was unaware, or forgot, that Xtianity actually teaches the misunderstanding. The first verse Says, “these are the judgments”. When reading the entire chapter it is understood that it is delving into meting out damages. The theme is basically equality, measure for measure, and the example, eye for eye. It speaks of situations with oxen. You can have a situation with those oxen where there isn’t equal, just compensation. Therefore adjustments have to be made to make the person whole. Once again, it has to be measured as eye for eye.

          • LarryB says:

            Sharbano.
            Thanks.. Please remember not everyone is as brilliant as me and needs it spelled out so simply. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello Dina
        You are correct in that I dont speak Hebrew. However I can read English, follow a concordance, and study historical facts etc.

        Quote;
        Firstly Paul, here’s a Hebrew lesson for you.

        betulah = virgin
        alma = young woman

        It’s not very complicated! An alma, a young woman, can be a virgin or not a virgin.

        Quote;

        Paul, what do you make of the Great Isaiah Scroll which was found in the Dead Sea Caves and predates Jesus? It uses the word “alma” in the text.

        You talk out of both sides of your mouth. First you concede that Isaiah uses the word alma, then you concede that alma means young woman. Since that’s a problem for you, you now switch to an unsubstantiated and unverifiable argument that the original text said betulah.

        Ive already stated this, but I will state it again,

        I never said Isaiah used anything other than almah, (you say I conceded) but not true.

        You have just stated, 11 lines up, An alma, a young woman, can be a virgin or not a virgin.

        The verses that I previously shown you were all Almah. Not once do these verses mean a married woman.

        Almah = virgin, a young virgin, or a virgin of marital age.

        However

        I think I miss directed you on a line of statement. I said that I agreed with you on almah being married or not. My mistake.
        My train of thought was on on the meaning of young woman, virgin. Not young woman non virgin This is why I was arguing on the verses which I did. Contextual usage here are virgin, young virgin or virgin of marital age.

        So my argument still stand of course, if not even stronger now, but your rendering of almah for not a virgin is incorrect.

        I appreciate you dont take this line of arguing on almah, but I must make myself clear due to any confusion that I might have caused.

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello Dina

        When you mention the original Hebrew, what exactly do you mean by this? You speak as though you have seen the original? And by comparison of my faulty version im quoting scripture in error.

        What version or translation do you use, of course if you have the exact copied scrolls then you will not have a translation or version.

        • Dina says:

          The Torah was originally written in Hebrew, and I am confident that we have the original because God promised that His word would never veer away from our mouths and our children’s mouth and our children’s children’s mouth forever (Isaiah 59:21) and that no matter how far we would stray we would still preserve God’s testimony (Psalms 78). I trust that God keeps His promises and made sure that we preserved His testimony accurately.

          God never made the same promise to the gentiles, so there is no way you can claim with the same assurance to have preserved God’s words.

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello Dina

            Thats not what I asked. I never asked what the Hebrew Bible promises the children of Israel, I asked what original scroll do you have, or not original scroll, what direct copies, or not direct copies, what translation do you use?

            Say I quoted a text from Judges, what paper, book or scroll do you pick up and read. What source do you use for comparing the christian view?

          • Dina says:

            Paul, I use the original Hebrew.

    • Paul Summers You didn’t begin to answer my question. When the Scripture NEEDS to speak of a virgin it ALWAYS uses “betula” – is this not true? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello YPF

        No. Ive already said so in my last answer, and shown you, using verses to substantiate the argument.
        The words, betulah and almah are not entirely conclusive. The content and context direct the word and fully explain its grammatical position.

        • Paul Summers Either you did not understand the question or you don’t understand the Bible or both. I challenge you to show me one verse in the entirety of Scripture where the prophet is making a point about the virginity of a girl and he uses a word other than betula – good luck.

          1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello YPF

            Not for the want of trying, I have answered your question. The answer was either going to be YES or NO. I answered it with a no. Im sure I made this clear.

            No, No , No, No, ( just in case you missed it again.)

            To re answer your question again, but to show you again, examples from the Hebrew bible OTHER THAN BETULAH, for a virgin, emphasising THE VIRGINITY of a woman, thats VIRGINITY of a woman, thats virginity, not known a man, I mean sexually, thats intimacy between a virgin and her husband, you know a man’s genitals entering a womans genitalia, for the purpose of love making and reproduction of the human race. I think you get the picture???….maybe not??…anyway here goes…..

            Almah Almah Almah Almah Almah Almah Almah Not a married woman.

            Gen 24:43
            Ex 2:8
            Pslm 68:25
            Song of Songs 1:3 6:8
            Proverbs 30: 18_19

            Granted Isiaiah doesnt use the word betulah here or in any other text. That is not a issue. But other Jewish authors do use Almah to make the VERY same point of virginity, virgin.

            Are there any grey areas here that need any classification or points that dont make sense?

            Ps any questions on the birds and the bees, please speak to a responsible adult.

          • Sharbano says:

            You keep avoiding the issue. What Is obvious and without question is Betulah “means” virgin. If ANY writer wants to have a reader understand he means virgin That writer would, out of necessity, USE the word virgin. He wouldn’t use a word that wouldn’t reflect his purpose. Your entire point has been to say “alma” Can be a virgin. This detracts from the point. Xtians have come up with all kinds of excuses, including referencing the Septuagint. Dinah has shown the accuracy of Isaiah with using the Isaiah scroll. There is no amount of excuses that can change what Isaiah wrote; if he wanted to say “virgin” he would have Said “Virgin” Case closed.

          • Paul Summers In not one of these verses that you quoted is the virginity of the girl the point the prophet is trying to make In not one of these verses that you quoted is the virginity of the girl the point the prophet is trying to make In not one of these verses that you quoted is the virginity of the girl the point the prophet is trying to make 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Dina says:

            Lol, lol, lol 🙂 🙂 🙂

  55. Concerned Reader says:

    Sharbano, sure Jesus decontextualized eye for eye (something that applies generally to damages usually financially exacted,) and then applied it to teach a moral lesson about turning the other cheek.

    The point is, Its hardly uncommon for the sources that existed in his time period to do this. Also, look at the second part of that statement by Jesus. “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.” Jesus brings the subject from the moral sphere back to the subject of damages in a lawsuit, (the subject of eye for eye and tooth for tooth.)

    This isn’t an abuse any more than a halachic midrash would be an abuse. He is pulling a moral lesson from a law about damages. I don’t see what is contextually wrong there?

    • Sharbano says:

      Do you really want to use the tired old Xtian method of clouding the issue.

      The entire narrative is an effort to dispute Torah. When Chazal brings down Midrash it is done is such a manner as this. His words are such that he “quotes” Torah and then says this isn’t so. Instead Torah should be saying this and this. He isn’t bringing a moral Midrash here.

      It is interesting that there is a Midrash that states a man will arise and be godlike and will go to the Jews and tells them to bring the Torah. When they do he says “This is Not the Torah I have given you” (Xtianity?) and subsequently kills them.

  56. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello Sharbano

    Im not avoiding any issue, ive hit the issue head on with Hebrew text examples. Unfortunately for yourselves, which you seem to ignore, is the fact, proven by the Hebrew text, which cannot be ignored, that betulah isnt the only word for virgin used in the Hebrew canon. If im wrong here, then the Hebrew authors are in error. I havnt just plucked my reasoning out of thin air and hoped for the best.

    If you want to see avoiding the issue for real, read Dina’s replies on my requests for her Hebrew original texts and sources. You would think one would be more than responsive to show me my error by revealing the “original ” texts. Not only that It would end 2000+ yrs plus of disagreements.

    So what version, copies do you read from?

    • Dina says:

      Paul, I answered your question. But I’ll be charitable and assume that with all the chatter here you missed it.

      I use the original Hebrew. It’s not a “version.” It’s the original. The original source is God, who dictated the words to Moses. We have the original testimony.

      The only reason there is 2000 plus years of disagreement is that people like you refuse to recognize who are God’s witnesses.

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello Dina

        Ok, I won’t embarrass you anymore. Before I go though, can you please just tell me where I can get a copie of your original scripture from. Im thinking of converting! ! Lol Lol Lol 😂😂😆

        • Sharbano says:

          What is your point. And in a mocking tone no less.
          Why are you so hung up on versions, originals etc. Even Xtian bibles that include Hebrew attest to our position.

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello Sharbano

            The version isnt a issue per se. Dina argued that the version used was THE original. Im well aware of the history of Scripture and its present form used today. But Dina insisted that the original was the source. I simply didnt know the original still existed.
            Dina then came through for me and admitted the truth.

        • The Real Messianic says:

          Yes, you may laugh, but even your Bible use the masoretic text for your Old Testament. If you can’t have scriptures that you can trust (just like the Muslims) then just throw your Non-testament as well, there are way more “original” manuscripts and some even have whole chapters added!

    • Sharbano says:

      Your examples are Not even comparable. You are trying to use some sort of “reverse logic” to prove “straight logic”. You haven’t proved Anything with the Hebrew text. There’s no equivocation when Isaiah writes using Alma. You simply do Not want to accept that there IS a word IN Hebrew FOR virgin. If he wanted to “convey” this was a virgin he WOULD HAVE used “virgin” and NOT some confused terminology.
      You confuse the issue by saying Betulah isn’t the only word. But IT IS. If a Hebrew writer wants to clearly define a woman as a “Virgin” the word IS Betulah. To say a word “may or may not” is a refutation of your position. To then say the Hebrew authors are in error shows a complete ignorance of Hebrew and original sources notwithstanding.
      The only reason there have been 2000 years of disagreements is due to the lack of a Hebrew education by the proponents. There have been many Xtian scholars who “Agree” with the Jewish position. No doubt the Xtian writers were addressing an audience that was ignorant of Jewish Scriptures and could pull out all those references to enhance their own positions. These were written For the people of the time and undoubtedly they would have chosen differently if they would have known their writings would survive to this day. Certainly this is the case since even the youngest Yeshiva students can easily understand the Isaiah scroll.

      • The Real Messianic says:

        Sharbano, to accepte your point and acknoledge that the Hebrew does not mean Virgin would be for most Xtians the same as accepting that Jesus was not the messiah…

  57. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello YPF

    Whats the issue here, the word or the meaning. The word is the meaning surley, isnt that the point of a word, to describe something.

    Are you now trying to sidestep the entire discussion about the importance of a word, which seemed the central pivotal point of language, in this context, but know, your argument has moved to the precise nature of her viginity and her viginity being the “point” of the text.

    Each text in its own right might be saying this, or saying that depending on the context. The word Almah is the same, meaning the same thing. What the virgins are doing is irrelevant. The virginity is the same though. Her viginity here in the examples given are collectively a hyhem isnt broken.

    No other explanation is required to explain the vigin Almah in the texts given, because the content and context show the nature of her/there viginity.

    • Sharbano says:

      What???
      You make absolutely NO sense here. As I said, even Xtian scholars dispute You.

    • Paul Summers In English we say virgin or we say young girl – if the point we are trying to make is the virginity of the girl we would not use the word “young girl” – its as simple as that. 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello YPF

        What word in Hebrew would you use in the situation if the virgin un married women was 45 yrs old?

        • Sharbano says:

          STILL, that doesn’t change the text in Isaiah. You just want to change the subject. Xtians “Assume” that because the Greek can mean different things then Hebrew Must be the same. Far from it.

        • Paul Summers Betula – is the word to use because it only says one thing about the woman that she is a virgin. The word alma would be the wrong word to use because all it says is that the woman is young

          1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello

            Why does Genesis ch 24 v 16 read, “young woman, Betulah virgin, and the author has to describe the virgins purity condition in comparison to verse 42 says which states Virgin Almah, no mention of age.

            We have 2 virgin names and only one virgin?

          • Paul Summers Good question – but it doesn’t change the meaning of the Hebrew – You still haven’t faced Deuteronomy 22;verses 14, 15 and 17 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Jim says:

            Paul,

            ‘Almah’ means ‘young woman,’ just as ‘elem’ means ‘young man’. R’ Blumenthal has already shown you that this is true from the passage in Deuteronomy. When the Torah gives laws regarding to virgins, it uses the Torah’s word for virgin, betulah. Because you do not know this, you do not know the proper questions to ask regarding Torah and come to mistaken conclusions. This is not your fault, of course. The Church has misled you as it has misled so many, but the problem remains, you do not understand the questions you ought to ask.

            If one were to adopt the style you have been taught by the Church, we will only find ways to muddy questions rather than understanding. The questions you ask are based on your ignorance and serve only to prop up your theological agenda. Such questions do not serve you. Because you cannot produce proof that ‘almah’ means ‘virgin,’ you are left attempting to show that ‘betulah’ does not mean ‘virgin’. And then you argue that either word can mean ‘virgin’ depending on the context.

            It is a rich irony that you should appeal to context. In fact, in discussing Isaiah 7:14 you have ignored the context of the passage altogether. You have instead settled for a recontextualizing of the passage by the dishonest author of the Gospel of Matthew. Again, this is not your fault. The Church has lied to you, imposing its own theology on Torah, and this is how you learned Torah. But it does not serve you in any useful way.

            If you examine Genesis 24, you will see that your understanding of ‘almah’ is nothing but a misunderstanding. In v. 42, Abraham’s servant is not calling the young woman from whom he will request water a virgin, because he only sees a young woman. And he cannot know if she is a virgin by sight. Consider the context. Of course, he will want the woman to be a virgin, but he is talking about a young woman who will draw water. He is only going to select a young woman. Just as how he does not know that she is Bethuel’s daughter, he will not know she is a virgin. He does not have the ability to select a virgin, only a young woman.

            Moreover, if ‘almah’ means virgin, as you have been told it does, then the Torah would not need to use ‘betulah’ and then say that Rebekah knew no man in v. 16. It would just supply the word ‘almah,’ and we would know that she was a virgin. Because ‘almah’ does not mean ‘virgin’ the Torah does not employ the word that way.

            But we are left with a question: Why does Torah elucidate the known term ‘betulah’? Telling us that Rebekah had not known a man is redundant. What is the point?

            Some will see this as mere poetics, but I think it is more than that. In this part of the story, the reader is being told things that Abraham’s servant does not know. We read there the family of Rebekah, and her status as a virgin. But the Torah is not satisfied to tell us only that Rebekah is a virgin, because one may be a virgin but have performed many sexual acts. So, the Torah tells us that Rebekah is a morally pure individual, not just one whose virginity is still in tact physically. Her virginity does not reliant upon what “the definition of is is”.

            The reason this explanation of v. 16 could not occur to you is because you are only looking to alter the meaning of ‘betulah,’ because the Church has taught you to reject Torah in favor of its teachings. It is good to ask why the redundancy exists, but the Church has tried to use the verse to alter the language of Torah. You would be well within your rights to be disgusted at their deception, for they have kept you from studying Torah for wisdom and only for apologetics. They have taught you to prop up their theology and obscure HaShem’s teachings. They have exchanged the Word of God for the word of man. However, if one will but turn his attention to Torah to learn what it says and not what he can make it say, he will find it an enriching endeavor.

            Jim

  58. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Come on Dina!

    You show me yours and I’ll show you mine!!😆

    • Dina says:

      Paul, I would show it to you but you can’t read Hebrew. I find it hilarious that you are arguing over Hebrew words when you do not know any Hebrew and can barely speak and write even in English.

      I just remembered: yes, the “version” we use is commonly known as the Masoretic text. It’s a meaningless term in this particular discussion because the Masoretes didn’t come up with this version. They simply faithfully copied the Torah, the original Torah, that we received according to our mesorah (tradition, hence the word “masoretic”).

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello Dina

        Im so glad your memory came back. The main thing here is that you finally saw sense snd finally admitted your source. The Masoretic text you say!!
        Well I wouldnt say a rewritten text 2500yrs + is technically original, as you insisted!, but now state faithfully copied, mmmmmm???

        You spoke of using English correctly and my lack of it. I wonder if you could help me. Could you please explain, in English and Hebrew, what the word “Orginal” means?

        Speak soon.

        • Dina says:

          Paul, maybe I’ll define “original” if you can spell it.

        • Dina says:

          Paul, the joke’s on you and the tragedy is that you don’t know it.

          God says we have the original text. He says we are His witnesses. If God chooses witnesses you ought to listen to what they have to say. Instead you mock God’s witnesses. For shame!

          We do have the original text–I did not say we have the original scroll upon which it was written. Can you see the difference?

          • Sharbano says:

            He appears to be laying the groundwork to suggest the original is unknown. The joke’s on him. There is NO version of the Xtian text that is complete. He begins from a false narrative. I think it was Tyndale, anyway one of the early Xtian Protestant editors, that admitted he didn’t like certain parts and changed the text.

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello Dina

            I wont pursue you on this. I think it was very clear on what you said, and what you were insinuating.
            A very simple historical study will show you the history of the hebrew language. From Moses, through the 1st century period until the present day.In other words its changed somewhat.
            Also a simple glance of history will show you the validity of the hebrew text into greek, 250 BC, in comparison to a 6th to 10th century version.
            Im sticking to a text written by Jews who lived alot closer to the original time period with no agendas.
            So I do listen to Gods witnesses, The Jews, but the Jews Im listening to aren’t the same as yours.

          • Sharbano says:

            I notice you continue to be quite vague in your descriptions but I have suspicions in what you are NOT saying. I submit your “historical study” of Hebrew is nothing more than Xtian fantasy. Those conclusions by Xtians are wishful thinking.
            What validity in 250 B.C.E. Know this, there was NO Greek version of Tanach at that time. This is a Xtian “Invention” in order to give people like you comfort in your theology. Read what Origen said of the Septuagint the church used. He implied it should be thrown out because of the many errors in the translation. So, we conclude your entire argument is based upon what a “translation” says instead of actual Hebrew. Are you going to actually be one of those will claim the Jews manipulated the text. That is all you have left. Archaeological evidence has laid that claim to the dustbin of history.
            There is NO historical documentation of such. As Dinah has pointed out, repeatedly, the Isaiah scroll dates farther back than ANY of your sources and that scroll denies your claim.

          • Dina says:

            Paul, I too am content to let the matter rest and let the audience decide which one of us is making sense.

        • Sharbano says:

          I suppose YOU have the corner on the market of “original”. Your arguments have been SO convoluted that your only option is to deflect from the page that is in front of your eyes.

          You Want to debate now what the word “original” is. No matter HOW you slice it, your “Xtianese” doesn’t work in the Hebrew text. You can try and twist words and create your own language (Xtianese) but it falls flat against Hebrew.

  59. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello Sharbano
    I havnt once said or insinuated in any manner that the Isaiah scroll is younger than any text which I have previously mentioned. I have briefly looked at the scroll, on line, not face to face. Im no hebrew scholar, ive never claimed such. But what I did see, from the source I read, which was neutral in its research, stated that Ch 7 v14 used the word Almah. Ive always argued for such a word. The meaning of the word is the issue.

    A little confused on the comment about the greek version of the tanach 250BC. Are you implying that I stated that there was a greek version before the LXX, or are you stating that there was never a LXX, Not sure what you are saying here??

    Ive read the works of Origen and to put it mildly he was a bafoon. He completely criticised the teachings of Christ which made him a apostate wolf in sheep’s clothing, dividing the flock. Something Jesus said would happen, and something the apostles frequently wrote about.

    It doesn’t come as a surprise that you agree with the views of this “Church father”, because his views support your own ideas, so conveniently you uphold his words as true. A brief glimpse of his teachings reveals his true spirit. Non of it is in line with scripture.

    The finish with, I never ever stated that the “M” text was a complete work of trash. I said the LXX was a better, historic rendering. The “M” text does have issues though.

    • Sharbano says:

      If the Isaiah scroll, in fact, Did use the word Betulah Then you would have a case. As we’ve exhaustively pointed out that he Did use the world Almah. Apparently you believe you can see into the mind of Isaiah and can conclude he actually meant Betulah. Each word has its own meaning. Do you think Isaiah wouldn’t know of a word that specifically denotes a virgin and just used a word that may or may not mean that. You’ve been so obsessed with That word you have failed to look at the grammar and context of the narrative.

      Isaiah is speaking of this woman to set forth a “time frame” OF the sign. This is the point you are missing. He is setting the conditions for the sign. The key to knowing the sign is the phrase “For before the child will know”. The previous statements were preparatory to know when the sign will occur. Isaiah uses the SAME method in the next chapter.
      “I approached the prophetess and she conceived and bore a son…(For before the child knows how to say)….” He uses the same preparatory method to go on and say “… the wealth of Damascus and the spoils of Samaria will be carried off”.
      The conclusion IS, that Isaiah knew quite well what he was speaking of and used the same rhetoric in TWO places. Unfortunately, for Xtians, your Bible takes snippets from Tanach in order to call it a prophetic revelation when, in truth, the text and context doesn’t support the assertion.

      There was no Greek version of the time period you specified. The only Greek translation was of Torah, the five books, and didn’t include any other books. You may not want to give credence to Origen but what he said Was factual. There are definite translation errors. And, HOW can a translation be better than the Hebrew, which is the language that was originally written. This is truly a ludicrous statement. The Hebrew text IS the original. The Greek is a translation. The two are incomparable.

  60. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello YPF

    Im not sure what im supposed to be seeing in Duet. The texts speaks of a betulah virgin who was falsely accused of not being one. The husband is then fined according to the Law.
    Im not disputing betulah. You know this.

    But why does Moses describe the one same virgin as betulah and almah, when her virginity hasnt changed?

    • Sharbano says:

      Are you assuming that Alma references a “non-virgin”.

    • Paul Summers How do you say the word “virginity” in Hebrew? (clue – its found in Deuteronomy 22) 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello YPF

        Are you referring to betulim, to decrible the viginity of the b thuwlah?

        • Paul Summers Yes I am referring to betulim – is it now clear to you which Hebrew word is the one the prophet would use if it was important for him to emphasize the virginity of a girl? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello YPF

            Contextually you are correct, because the chapter of Deut is referring to a situation that required a token proof. That is obvious due to the content.
            However, especially Isaiah ch 7, no proof is required. If this was true from your perspective then all betulahs would require this token of proof, which evidently the bible doesn’t show.
            So why doesnt Moses show that Rebecca required a token. Appreciated, in the context, her virginity isnt in question. Deuts virgin is. Hence token.

            However Moses still uses the words betulah and almah. (Still awaiting an answer)

            Isaiah reference to the virgins virginity isnt in question. Either way how you believe in Isaiah ch 7, a token isnt the issue.

            Mary didnt have to prove her virginity. Joesph, unlike the Deut example, didnt want to make a public example of her. He couldnt see it through.However after a visitation from an angel, Joesph was assured of Marys purity, so not even a secret divorce was required.

            In Jeremiah he speaks of Israel as the virgins of Israel. Here in the context Israel are playing the harlot. The prophet uses the same root word, which isnt almah.

          • Paul Summers
            My pint has nothing to do with “token proof” it has to do with language. the passage in Deuteronomy makes it clear beyond doubt that when the prophets want to speak about virginity they use the word betula or a derivative of that word. Alma simply means a young girl – whether virgin or not – the word doesn’t FOCUS on virginity. If Isaiah wanted to say virgin he would have said betula – its as simple as that

  61. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello

    Of course not, quite the opposite, which Ive been showing in my last text examples.

    You did read my comments, yes????????

  62. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello YPF

    Apart from Moses who uses both words in regard to Rebecca. Plus you only assume Isaiah SHOULD have used betulah. Ive shown you from the hebrew texts Almah can refer to a virgins viginity.
    I appreciate the fact what betulah predominately means oppossed to almah, but the words are not 100% conclusive. If this wasn’t true, then the texts ive shown would mean non purity in the context, which would render the virgins adulterous, and also it would mean that the authors were wrong in their usage of the words given. So making the Hebrew texts inaccurate.
    Of course the texts are correct.

    Proving not only does Almah primarily translates young woman, but in the context, it means young virgin, pure, pre marital woman.

  63. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello YPF

    I have already shown you, on a number of occasions. You seem insistent not to understand the rendering and context of a word and its application to a text.

    Your view is this. Betulah means absolute pure, untouched virgin, and no other word is expressly used to mean thus. Your view, no other word CAN be used instead of Betulah virgin.
    Your view, if the Bible wants to describe a betulah virgin, then betulah is the word.
    Your view if a prohet wants to describe a young woman who is a betulah then betulah is used. Wherein a Almah just describes a young woman, who doesn’t necessarily have to be a betulah virgin.

    However, all this would be true IF the Hebrew Bible was 100% consistent with the language and its grammatical usage.
    Again I appreciate the prime meaning of the betulah word, and the Almah word,this is NOT the issue or my argument. I also understand that Almah in its root doesnt mean pure virgin, nor does it describe total virginity. Its prime meaning is young woman.

    But it still doesn’t rule out young woman who could be a betulah virgin.

    The context and the content steers the meaning, revealing, the prohet intensions of the meaning of the word.

    Jeremiah uses the a root word of betulah when referring to Israel as a nation of adulterers. How can a adulterous woman be a virgin?
    Joel describes a widow as a betulah.
    Moses describes Rebecca as both when she is still a betulah snd a Almah.
    In the Psalm Gods virgins in His bridal ceremony are Almahs, which must be Betulahs.

    The way to make sense of a word, because of its dual usage, is to read the entire chapter, or related verses to see its contextual meaning. If this wasnt true then the hebrew bible is a faulty document, because it misuses and misrepresents the hebrew language.

    • Paul Summers
      I asked you a simple question – where do you find in the entire Bible that the word “alma” or a derivative of the word is used to mean “virginity” – you should have had a short answer – chapter and verse. The fact that you need such a long answer means that you have no answer

  64. PAUL SUMMERS says:

    Hello YPF
    You are impossible.
    For one I have given you chapter and verse, several on many occasions.
    Secondly if you read my statements and looked at the context of the given verses, then a repeated lengthy response wouldnt be necessary.

    Your arguments are counter productive because technically, grammatically, scriptually betulah doesnt always 100% mean untouched virginity. Yes its a choice word, but as Ive proved, its not 100% conclusive. Unless of course you are stating the hebrew bible is inaccurate. Because that is your only line of defence.
    If your Deut chapter is the benchmark, without any other meaning, ie, untouched, then the texts that ive shown you previously must be wrong in comparison to use the word Almah which was used in the hebrew text.
    The texts given were all unmarried young womem, the context shows their viginity.

    I notice you dont answer my examples of the dual usage of a word, but insist on asking the same question, and when given a direct answer, you just ask the same question, and accuse one for not answering. You seem to narrow your view on one verse, and ignore the total hebrew texts as a whole.
    Your stance would more akin to a agnostic person who is trying to prove non validity of God and the bible. Its your own hebrew text that you choose to argue against.

    • Paul Summers Let me remind you of the context of our conversation. – You claimed that Jesus did not need to show the alleged resurrection to the Jews because they already did not believe. I asked you what should they have believed before the resurrection – so you said “virgin birth” of Isaiah 7:14 which is a ridiculous answer to begin with because how would anyone know that she was a virgin – instead I showed you that Isaiah did not say what you would have him say. You said that the word “alma” also means virgin – well it doesn’t – it simply means “young woman” – virgin or not. And throughout Scripture whenever the prophets want to speak about virginity they use “betula” – the word “alma” is NEVER EVER used to denote virginity – the fact that betula could be used to speak of a non-virgin is irrelevant – because the question is – what word do the prophets use when they WANT TO MAKE A POINT ABOUT THE VIRGINITY of a girl? and you have beaten around the bush but you haven’t answered the question.

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • PAUL SUMMERS says:

        Hello YPF
        You seem to mistake scripture from the start, this is your faulty foundation. You insist, thats you, not scripture, that the prophets, unequivocally, without doubt, without any other possibilities, use the term betulah and only betulah.
        This is your self applied veil. Ive shown you the hebrew texts, not Paul Summerd texts.

        Moses the greater prophet (in my opinion), the father of Judaism, who lived earlier than Isaiah, still used Almah when referring to Rebecca.

        I disagree that Almah doesnt ALWAYS just refer to a young woman, because the text, content and context denotes the virginity. A simple glance will denote such. As Moses does. A virgin, unmarried.

        Regarding to your opening statement about proof, virginity and the resurrection. Either I didnt understand you previously or you might be mistaken on my view.

        Jesus never, ever used His mothers virginity, His conception as proof of His Messianic claim. Its never recorded or stated.
        Through Jesus’s 3 and bit years of ministry, was a time for Israel to decide if in what Jesus claimed, and what He showed and what He did, was sufficient to make a decision about His claims.
        Jesus never had to prove anything. Authenticate yes, the resurrection or His birth origin were totally irrelevant to a generation that had already rejected Him.

        The only person who ever questioned Marys virginity was her husband to be Joseph. However this worry was laid to rest by the angel. The scripture do state the Joseph never knew his wife UNTIL after the birth of her first born.

        You seem to contradict your own statement?

        And throughout Scripture whenever the prophets want to speak about virginity they use “betula” – the word “alma” is NEVER EVER used to denote virginity – the fact that betula could be used to speak of a non-virgin is irrelevant –

        THE FACT THAT BETULAH COULD BE USED TO SPEAK OF A NON VIRGIN IS IRRELEVANT! !!!!!

        COULD be used you say, but NEVER used you say. Which is it??????

        COULD =DOES, WHICH MAKES IT VERY RELEVANT. Because you are now saying something different than before, which up turns your whole argument on single usage of a word.

        • Sharbano says:

          I really have to interject here. This is a presumptuous statement and reflects audacity in the extreme.
          “You seem to mistake scripture from the start, this is your faulty foundation”
          You have the temerity to suggest an understanding of a Hebrew text without even the faintest knowledge of the language. It is not faulty to Know, speak and understand a language. It IS faulty for someone who does NOT know the language to assume HE knows a language better than the native speaker. Whether you like it or not, or accept it or not, the FACT is, if a writer want to convey the primary focus as being a “virgin” THEN That writer WILL use Betulah. This is what is meant by context. Does a writer want the reader to understand the focus is virginity, or is there another focus.

          But now you want to turn the table and suggest it’s of No consequence because your man doesn’t mention it. It IS one of the most important precepts of Xtianity and part of its foundation in the god-man scenario. In that scenario Xtians, as yourself, will go to the utmost extreme to make themselves right, the facts notwithstanding. Then, when all else fails will resort to words like “mistake” and “faulty foundation”. It is an act of desperation because the religion hangs by a thread and is unable to withstand any weight against it.

          • PAUL SUMMERS says:

            Hello Sharbano

            If you take the time to read my comments and read the hebrew texts that I gave as a comparison to the word Almah instead of Betulah, you might just understand my point.

            Yes, please read the Hebrew texts where Almah is used, its as plain as day, that in the examples given, in hebrew, the writer is talking about a pure, unmarried, untouched virginity of a virgin.

            Plus Betulah isnt always used to denote total pure virgin. Because ive shown its roots from Jeremiah. Yes its a choice word, thats not my arguement.

            My arguments are NOT just what a word means, with no movement in its meanings, Im showing that the HEBREW not greek or NT, but the Hebrew texts shows alternative usage.

            If then because IT DOES show Almah in the context, as a unmarried, untouched young woman, ie virgin, then either the Jewish writers were wrong or you are? There is no alternative arguement because the Jewish writers use either one. The context upholds its true rendering. But because you fail to see its prophetic and contextual meaning, all you can see is the single usage.

            You dont have to listen to me, just read the verses given in Hebrew, they will tell you. YPF just told me I’d rather listen to Mathew’s version than Isaiah. Not true! Im reading and listening to what the Jewish text says, because all the answers are there. And you dont have to be Jewish to understand what The God Of Israel is saying.

        • Paul Summers I am happy to leave this conversation exactly where it stands – it is obvious by now to everyone which one of us cares about Scripture and which one of us follows the words of Matthew 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

    • Sharbano says:

      What’s your point. Even if the text said Betulah that is NOT the sign. Your obsession with the word virgin is of no consequence in light of the actual written text. Snippets may work for Xtianity but doesn’t hold up with Hebrew Tanach.

    • Sharbano says:

      Is a 16 year old girl a young woman or a virgin.

  65. Dear Pharisee Friend and Sharbano,
    I respect your role as faithful guardians of the word of the God of Israel, revealed through the Law of Moses and the Prophets. I have heard this issue discussed before, and I am convinced that you are accurate in your interpretation of the Hebrew text.
    So you are right…. BUT…..

    The 70 Jewish men who translated the Septuagint from Hebrew to Greek were also faithful guardians of the word of the God of Israel, and so was the Scribe Matthew. The Prophet Isaiah used a general word that could have a broader interpretation, therefore it could apply to both Isaiah’s time and also later. The specific woman Isaiah was speaking about was NOT a virgin after Isaiah slept with her, obviously. Isaiah 8:3
    Yet,
    in the Septuagint, I believe this word was translated as the Greek equivalent to virgin, rather than “young woman who we should assume is a virgin.” As I understand it, the Septuagint, (the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures,) was in common use by the Jews for hundreds of years before Yeshua came. It was what almost everyone was using during the time of Yeshua, other than the religious elite in the Temple. As I understand it, Matthew wrote his Gospel in Greek, and he would have been quoting the Greek Septuagint in his references to the Torah, Nabi’im and Kethuvim.

    if you or other scholars have access to these texts and I’m wrong about something you can let me know.

    • Jim says:

      Matthew,

      The idea that the word ‘ha’almah’ is a general word that could allow a dual prophetic fulfillment is—forgive me for being blunt—nonsense. The word does not stand on its own. It exists within the context of the surrounding passage. Nothing inherent in the word creates an idea that Isaiah would be referring to two separate instances. In fact, the use of the definite article limits the young woman to one woman known to Isaiah and Ahaz.

      Moreover, the child Emmanuel precludes this idea of dual fulfillment. The child to be born was one specific child to be named Emmanuel by his mother, who existed at the time of Ahaz. He was still young when the two invading armies threatening Judah ceased being a threat. He was not the Messiah, nor was he prophecied to be the Messiah, as the passage shows. Obviously, this figure cannot be Jesus, because Jesus neither lived in the time of Ahaz, nor was he named “Emmanuel” by his mother.

      If you are going to say that any common noun allows for “broader interpretation,” you will strip the Torah of all meaning. You will cease studying to learn what God says, but what you can seem to make Him say. A word may have many meanings of course, but those meanings become quite limited by the context.

      For example, I might tell my wife I am going to “the store” and ask if she would like me to pick something up for her. Obviously, from the context of the conversation, she must know what store I am talking about, or she will not know if the item she requests will be available. Let us assume, as is quite likely, that I am referring to the grocery store. It would be absurd for a third party to insist that because I used the general term “the store,” I meant the hardware store. Even if I used the same expression on another day to refer to the hardware store, that would have nothing to do with the current statement, and it would be incorrect for someone to impose their own meaning on my statement. It would be an act of injustice actually to insist that I meant something I did not by ignoring the context of my statement.

      How much greater an act of injustice does Matthew commit when he misrepresents the word of God! After all, my words are not divine and if their meaning is misunderstood, the tragedy is minor. But for Matthew to so grossly misrepresent the words of God and mislead many is a crime of the highest order. Rather than being a “faithful guardian of the word of the God of Israel” he reveals himself to be an unfaithful manipulator of the word of God. He replaces the Word of God with the word of man, only quoting the Word of God to elevate his own misrepresentations.

      Do not let the Church mislead you through its appeal to the Septuagint. The sages of Israel only translated the Torah, not the Nevi’im or Ketuvim. But even if they had, and even if they had used a Greek word that meant “virgin,” the passage would lend no credence to the Christian claim. The context of the passage does not allow for Matthew’s misuse. The Church would have us focus on the one word, as if it exists in a vacuum. And in one sense they must, because Isaiah never wrote about a virgin. He wrote about a young woman, so the Church is stuck. And so, they would have us ignore the rest of the chapter and accept just this one word because it will sound Christological—and that only because they made up a story about a virgin birth!

      The Church has lied to you. It ignores the rest of the passage for a reason. The practice of the Church is to read a passage and see if it can be made to sound like it talks about Jesus. And to do this, they do not mind ignoring the rest of the passage or even the rest of the sentence. Matthew’s use of Hosea 11:1 is outrageous just for the grievous disrespect it shows to the Almighty. I would tremble before I made the Word of God dance to my tune. But Matthew, no faithful guardian he, brazenly treats the prophets as puppets, putting his words into their mouths. With Isaiah 7:14, Matthew has stripped the passage of its context to make it mean what it does not. He has no fear of God.

      The question is not whether or not Matthew merely changed one word. That is not the only way to misrepresent the words of another. The passage is not messianic. It was fulfilled hundreds of years before Jesus. And nothing about the word “ha’almah” can justify the Church’s malfeasance in misrepresenting the Word of God. A common noun, with or without a definite article, does not allow for multiple fulfillments. If it did, every boy named Emmanuel born to a young woman, fulfilled Isaiah 7:14. The one person we could know did not fulfill it was the one named, not “Emmanuel,” but Jesus.

      Jim

      P.S. For further notes on this topic, I wrote an article about Emmanuel here: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/emmanuel-by-jim/ .

      • Jim, you paragraph about what it means to “go to the store” was very creative, yet my thinking of the significance is different.
        You wrote, QUOTE:
        “For example, I might tell my wife I am going to “the store” and ask if she would like me to pick something up for her. Obviously, from the context of the conversation, she must know what store I am talking about, or she will not know if the item she requests will be available. Let us assume, as is quite likely, that I am referring to the grocery store. It would be absurd for a third party to insist that because I used the general term “the store,” I meant the hardware store. Even if I used the same expression on another day to refer to the hardware store, that would have nothing to do with the current statement, and it would be incorrect for someone to impose their own meaning on my statement.”

        In my case, if I said that to my wife, the meaning to both me and my wife would be different than what you described. We live in a major city, with high-rise apartments in all direction, and we have no car. Yes, there are some big supermarket “grocery stores” here too, and I shop there on occasion. But most of the time, to “go to the store” means to go to several small stores in the neighborhood, not just one. Meat market, bakery, green grocer, health food store, pharmacy, hardware etc., to “pick something up” while I’m walking around the neighborhood shopping. I guess you could call that “multiple fulfillments”……

        • Jim says:

          Matthew,

          No, I would not call this multiple fulfillments, but that really does not matter. Let us assume that we would call this multiple fulfillments. If you reread the comment you are answering, you will see that I have already shown why this would not work for Isaiah 7:14. In fact, you can even see it in the paragraph you quoted. And the answer is also in what you wrote. This is a question of context.

          The context of your living situation and the shared usage of the phrase “go to the store” allows for mulitiple stores in your particular situation. You have shown how the context for you is different than the context for me and likely includes multiple stores. In that context, referring to shopping as ‘the store’ allows for “multiple fulfillments”. In my case, it would not.

          The question is whether or not Isaiah 7:14 is general in the way that you speak of ‘going to the store.’ With even the smallest bit of attention, we can see that he is not nearly so vague. He gives us specifics regarding the child. He was not just saying that some young woman somewhere at some time in history would have a child. The child will be a boy. His mother will name him “Emmanuel”. He will live in the time of Ahaz and Isaiah. He will still be young when the invading armies worrying Judah will no longer threaten them. The prophecy is not vague like your ‘going to the store.’ In context, it has quite a lot of identifying features and it does not allow for multiple fulfillments.

          Jesus does not share most of the identifying features. His mother did not name him Emmanuel. He did not live in the time of Ahaz. His childhood could not be used to measure the retreat of the invading armies, because they’d been long dead. The prophecy applies in no way to Jesus.

          This is why the Church would have us focus on one word, a word that does not appear in the prophecy. If we focus on the word ‘virgin’ and ignore the context, it might possibly appear to be about Jesus. Ignoring the context might allow for multiple fulfillments, but then of course, you could not restrict it to Jesus. Perhaps Muhammed and Joseph Smith also fulfilled it. Perhaps you did and I did.

          It would not be hard to invent an interpretation that allows for me to fulfill the prophecy. I was born to a young woman, even under some strange circumstances. She did not name me ‘Emmanuel’ but since that does not rule out Jesus, it does not rule out me. In fact, we will just have to say that because I have abandoned idolatry, I have acknowledged that ‘God is with us’ and that we do not need to rely upon a mere human being, and it is to this that Isaiah is referring.

          Obviously, neither of us will accept this interpretation. But from Matthew’s abuse of Isaiah 7:14, we really have no good way to rule out this interpretation. Since, all he did was take the parts he liked and ignored the parts he did not, we can do the same. But of course, in so doing, we will become like him, making the prophecy meaningless by attaching whatever meaning suits our fancy and not seeking out the meaning of the prophet. By ignoring and rewriting scripture, we can make it mean whatever we like, but then we really say it means nothing.

          The best reason to reject interpreting Isaiah 7:14 to apply to me is to read the whole prophecy and the surrounding context. We need not judge according to presupposition. We can see that I am not even in the proper time period. There is no reasonable way to apply this scripture to me, not even as a second, third, or thousandth fulfillment. The prophecy served a particular purpose at a particular time, neither of which fits me. Or Jesus.

          It is true, that sometimes a context is vague. This allows for multiple objects to fit a definition. Sometimes, the context is less vague, and this limits the objects that can be defined by a word or statement. Isaiah 7:14 is not vague enough to accommodate Jesus. He does not fit the definition. Isaiah 7:14 does not allow for multiple fulfillments.

          Jim

      • Jim,
        Regarding the Septuagint, you wrote,
        QUOTE:
        “The sages of Israel only translated the Torah, not the Nevi’im or Ketuvim.”

        You don’t name a source for this foundational claim. I suspect it is based on incomplete information. Perhaps there is a date recoded for when the sages of Israel completed their translation of the Torah. And then, they may have distributed copies of this for years or even decades before the less important parts were translated. This would be very understandable and logical – it all would not be finished at once.

        In the 20th Century there were a number of new translations of The Bible done, and I believe the pattern was essentially the same. The started with the section of text that they viewed as “Most Important” (in their case, the ‘New Testament’) and published it first, while they continued working on the rest which they felt was “less important”….

        My New American Heritage Dictionary says this:
        Septuagint. n.
        A Greek translation of the Old Testament made in the 3rd Century B.C.

        With all the scholarly firepower available among the readers of this site, and all the resources on the Internet, it should be possible to definitively state whether the Septuagint ultimately included all 3 sections of the Hebrew Scriptures translated into Greek, or only the Torah. I’ve named one source, and there are plenty more. If you believe the Septuagint only included the Torah, what are your sources?

        The case you have been making against the Apostle Matthew for misquoting the Hebrew Scriptures could be at least partly because you have not identified who exactly Matthew is quoting. It is my understanding that Matthew wrote in Greek, and therefore quoted the Greek translation of Isaiah in the Septuagint. That would be logical and normal.

        Likewise, when you blast Matthew (chapter 2) for misquoting Micah 5:2:
        Matthew was not quoting Micah directly, but rather it was “reported speech”, where Matthew was recording what King Herod’s chief priests and teachers of the law told Herod when Herod asked them a question. In other words, these teachers of the Law didn’t quote Micah correctly, and Matthew accurately recorded their mistake.

        • Also, Matthew Perri, there are several ways that I have approached this “alma” issue concerning Isaiah 7:14 in the past. However, I believe the way that I have just demonstrated is the most effective and easiest to refute your absurd assertion that the word “alma” exclusively refers to “unmarried woman who never had sexual relations.” Clearly, Isaiah tells us otherwise concerning his own wife in Isaiah 8:3-4, as the birth her son was the fulfillment of the sign of Isaiah 7:14, as Isaiah 8:18 explicitly states…

          But despite this, you christians whine and whine and attempt to turn this into a game of “my translation is better than yours.” And “the Septuagint says this,” and all sorts of other strawman arguments.

          My old approach was to take the “classic” semantic approach of saying that the word “betulah” more accurately describes a virgin woman in the Tanach. However, whenever I would make this argument, christians would bleat out “What about Joel 1:8?” before I could even finish a sentence…I actually saw some validity in their argument, as it appears as though this is the sole exception to the rule, and I knew that christians would cling to this for dear life. I heard counter-missionaries make somewhat weaker arguments defending this, claiming that this only referred to a “betrothed alma” and that sexual relations didn’t happen during this time and yadda yadda yadda…But I felt this was somewhat of a copout for the obvious in this case…

          So then we can turn this into a semantic game all over again…We know for a fact that the word “betulah” is used in context in the Torah where virginity is explicitly the subject at hand. Take for example Deuteronomy chapter 22, where the context deals with the virginity of a woman on her wedding night and the consequences of her not being a virgin and how to provide evidence if she is accused of not being a virgin…Concerning this chapter and its context of virginity guess how many times the word “alma” is used?

          Zero!

          Guess how many times the word “betulah” is used…

          Quite a few!

          Thus, if you wish to take this semantic route, the evidence runs in favor of “betulah” being the more accurate description of “virginity” in comparison to the word “alma.” The context is clear in Deuteronomy 22 as virginity is specifically the issue at hand.

          Shalom

    • I will now demonstrate to you how the “virgin birth” that matthew speaks of is a lie”Isaiah never made such a prophesy!

      The birth of Isaiah’ss child was clearly the fulfillment of the sign prophesied in Isaiah 7:14-16. How do I know this? Isaiah tells us himself! Lets look at these verses

      Isaiah 7:14. Therefore, the Lord, of His own, shall give you a sign; behold, the young woman is with child, and she shall bear a son, and she shall call his name Immanuel.

      Isaiah 7:15. Cream and honey he shall eat when he knows to reject bad and choose good.

      Isaiah 7:16. For, when the lad does not yet know to reject bad and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread, shall be abandoned.”

      Keep verse 16 in mind. It is crucial to the context of Isaiah. Now, lets look at the next chapter of Isaiah and see what he has to say:

      Isaiah 8:3. And I was intimate with the prophetess, and she conceived, and she bore a son, and the Lord said to me, “Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz.

      Isaiah 8:4. For, when the lad does not yet know to call, “Father” and “mother,” the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria shall be carried off before the king of Assyria.”

      Well what do you know! Isaiah said a young woman would give birth to a child and in the very next chapter his wife has a son! Prophesy fulfilled! The interesting thing about it is that Isaiah explicitly says he was intimate with her. This means that this “alma” described in Isaiah 7:14 is Isaiah”s wife. Morever, she is not a virgin! Thus, the word “alma” does not exclusively refer to women who are virgins! Isaiah says it himself!

      And if you are still not convinced, here”s a direct statement from Isaiah saying his sons are signs:

      Isaiah 8:18. Behold, I and the children whom the Lord gave me for signs and for tokens in Israel, from the Lord of Hosts, Who dwells on Mount Zion.

      The natural birth of Isaiah”s son was the fulfillment of the sign of Isaiah 7:14, namely that his wife would give birth to a son, and that before he knew the difference between good and evil/father and mother, “the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria shall be carried off before the king of Assyria.”And if you are going to whine that Isaiah”s son was not called “Immanuel directly,” I will kindly point out to you that your yeshua was never called “Immanuel” by his mother either, so you would be setting a double standard, as Isaiah states that the mother of this child will call him “Immanuel.”

      And just to delve into the idea behind “Immanuel” a bit more, II Chronicles 32:7-8 describes the events which occurred concerning the king of Assyria, during the reign of King Hezekiah, the son of King Ahaz:

      II Chronicles 32:7. “Be strong and of good courage; do not fear and do not be dismayed because of the KING OF ASSYRIA and because of all the multitude that is with him, because *HE WHO IS WITH US is greater than those with him.*

      II Chronicles 32:8. With him is an arm of flesh, and WITH US IS THE LORD OUR G-D to help us and to wage our wars,” and the people relied on the words of Hezekiah, king of Judah.

      So lets put it all together: The birth of Isaiah’s son was a sign for King Ahaz that the two kings who he dreaded would be destroyed by the king of Assyria. By after the king of Assyria defeated these kings, King Hezekiah (Ahaz’s son) assured his kingdom that G-d WAS WITH THEM. Since King Hezekiah and Isaiah’s son both lived during the same time as well, it is safe to conclude that the birth of Isaiah’s son can be linked to King Hezekiah’s understanding that G-D WAS WITH THEM, even though Assyria appeared to be a threat. Remember, this prophesy was TIME SENSITIVE and involved the two kingdoms being destroyed by the king of Assyria. This is how Isaiah’s son is considered Immanuel. It’s all linked together within the time frame.

      If you are going to argue that this is a “dual fulfillment” regarding Matthew”s application of this to the supposed virgin birth of yeshua, you will have to concede that the word “alma” does not exclusively refer to a virgin, as I have demonstrated above. This shows lack of exclusivity to the nature of the word “alma” and demystifies the “yeshua believer’s” obsession with the birth needing to be “miraculous” in order to see fulfillment.

      In other words, Isaiah 7:14 has just as much to do with the birth of yeshua as it does the birth of Karl Marx, or Jerry Seinfeld, assuming a “multiplicity of fulfillments” theory”

      Or perhaps my birth! I was born of a woman! Maybe Isaiah 7:14 is about me!

      See how ridiculous it is to attribute this prophesy to yeshua?

      • Dear Yehuda,
        You wrote, QUOTE:
        “If you are going to argue that this is a “dual fulfillment” regarding Matthew”s application of this to the supposed virgin birth of yeshua, you will have to concede that the word “alma” does not exclusively refer to a virgin, as I have demonstrated above.”

        Yes, I concede that – it is clear that what Isaiah said “does not exclusively refer to a virgin.”
        So regarding knowing the meaning of Hebrew, you are right.
        However,
        the underlying reason for disagreement about this point appears to be that we do not have a common understanding of what the Apostle Matthew is quoting. You are assuming that Matthew was quoting the Hebrew text.

        I am making an “educated” assumption or assertion that Matthew was writing in the common language of his day, Greek, and therefore Matthew quoted Isaiah in Greek from the Septuagint. There must be some scholars here who could quickly confirm if Isaiah was translated as part of the Septuagint, and if so, what word did the 70 Jewish sages choose to use referring to this young woman, and what does it mean?

        Yevareheha Adonai veyish mereha

        • Matthew Perri, you are also falsely assuming that the Book of Isaiah was part of what the Jewish sages originally translated. Tractate Megillah, pages 9a-9b states this:

          King Ptolemy once gathered 72 Elders. He placed them in 72 chambers, each of them in a separate one, without revealing to them why they were summoned. He entered each one’s room and said: “Write for me the Torah of Moshe, your teacher”. God put it in the heart of each one to translate identically as all the others did.

          The original translation of the Torah into Greek was just that…The TORAH, and not the Books of the Prophets or the Writings…We don’t know who did those translations…

          Moreover, you should be more intrigued by this: Concerning the Septuagint, your contention that “parthenos does mean virgin” is incorrect. The Greek word Παρθένου (parthenos) can mean either a young woman or a virgin. Therrefore, Παρθένου can be found in the Septuagint to describe a woman who is clearly not a virgin. For example, in Genesis 34:2-4, Shechem raped Dinah, the daughter of the patriarch Jacob, yet the Septuagint refers to her as a parthenos after she had been defiled. The Bible reports that after Shechem had violated her, “his heart desired Dinah, and he loved the damsel (Septuagint parthenos) and he spoke tenderly to the damsel (Septuagint parthenos).” Clearly, Dinah was not a virgin after having been raped, and yet she was referred to as a parthenos, the very same word the Septuagint used to translate the Hebrew word alma in Isaiah 7:14, which makes it all the more ironic that you would make such an argument concerning Dinah and the word “alma”…

          Shalom

          • Sharbano says:

            One has to only look at the introduction to the Septuagint and it says the same. It also records Origen who says how it is riddled with mistakes. The introduction also states that the Torah portion isn’t too bad but Isaiah is the worst.

          • Yehuda and Sharbano,
            Regarding the actual contents of the “Septuagint”, we are all saying essentially the same thing – we are just using different words to spin the conversation in the direction we want it to go.

            We all agree that first, the Jewish sages translated only the Torah, and they probably put the most effort into that work, since it is the Most Important. Why would we expect them to do otherwise? And they completed the Torah before anything else was done. We are not sure about the exact details of how the second and third sections of the Hebrew Scriptures, Nabi’im and Kethuvim, were translated – but they WERE translated, and ARE part of the final Septuagint. Anyone doing an internet search on the word “Septuagint” can see plenty more details. I’m not saying all details on every site are accurate, and I’m not debating how accurate the Septuagint translation of Isaiah is compared to how accurate the translation of Torah is. I’m also not debating specific dates of completion. My dictionary says 3rd Century BC, one site I checked said 2nd Century. Maybe they started the Torah, in the 3rd Century BC, and someone completed the other 2 portions sometime in the 2nd Century. This would not be surprising.

            So we all acknowledge that well over 100 years before Yeshua was born to Mary, somehow or other, with whatever degree of accuracy, the Greek Septuagint of the entire TaNaKh existed in the common language of the day, and was commonly used by the people who walked with Jesus, including Matthew and other Gospel writers.

            Matthew quoted Isaiah from the Greek Septuagint in his Gospel, since he was writing in Greek- he didn’t quote the Original Hebrew version.

            You wrote above, and I’ll take you at your word that QUOTE:
            “The Greek word Παρθένου (parthenos) can mean either a young woman or a virgin.”

            So it is open to interpretation – perhaps more ambiguous or “open to interpretation” than the Hebrew word? I can’t answer that definitively. But if it “can mean either”, that could fit well with a possible “multiple fulfillment.” Not for certain, not that it HAD to have a second fulfillment, but rather it would be more “possible.”

          • Matthew Perri, the bottom line is that there is nothing in Isaiah 7:14 that indicates that the world “alma” refers exclusively to a virgin…In fact, in the immediate context, the fact is that this “alma” refers to Isaiah’s wife, as Isaiah explains in Isaiah chapter 8. Clearly, she was not a virgin, so this demystifies the christian obsession with this birth described in Isaiah 7:14 needing to be “miraculous” in order to see fulfillment. Thus, there’s no sense in insisting that Isaiah 7:14 refers to jesus…There is nothing unique about jesus’s birth that can be linked to this prophesy any more than the birth of Jerry Seinfeld…

            Shalom

          • Dina says:

            Matthew, the fact is that the sages themselves recorded that they translated the Torah. We do not know who translated the remaining books of Hebrew scripture.

            One of the foundational proofs of Jesus’s miraculous virgin birth rests on a passage in Isaiah that has been mistranslated and quoted out of context by Matthew. (The incorrect translation of “alma” is not the only problem here; for example, changing the article from the definite to the indefinite and translating “she shall call his name” to “they shall call his name” are two more problems here.)

            Why is that not troubling?

            It should further trouble you that Matthew relied on an inaccurate translation of the original Hebrew. If he were divinely inspired, one would expect him to demonstrate less ignorance. A Jewish child could read and correctly translate those verses from the original Hebrew.

  66. Dear Jim,
    I’ve read your article above “The Resurrection.”
    I note that the Gospels and Acts do not claim to tell a complete detailed account of everything that happened to everyone. The first few verses in Acts 1 talks about Jesus appearing numerous times, and later in Acts 1 about the Apostles in prayer “with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus and his brothers”, and “the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty.”

    In Luke 24 Jesus appeared to two nameless disciples, and then they “returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven….” [Luke 24:33] So these two were NOT Apostles, but just other followers of Jesus…

    Your perspective is basically an “argument from silence”. Yeshua appeared to a number of people numerous times after his Resurrection – we don’t know all their names, because it doesn’t matter. we have enough witnesses without those details.

    Yeshua didn’t promise to give the Pharisees the sign of Jonah PERSONALLY. He had his witnesses testify and give it to them. Yeshua had been giving them many signs for over 3 years. He raised Lazarus for the dead. And how did they respond? Did the Pharisees deny that Yeshua did this? No – but rather “they plotted to take his life” [John 11:53] and then
    “the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him.” [John 12:10-11] Yeshua did obligate Himself to appear personally to the Pharisees to prove Himself to them. as resurrected.

    • I made a typo in my last sentence here. I meant.
      Yeshua did NOT obligate Himself to appear personally to the Pharisees to prove Himself to them. as resurrected.

  67. Concerned Reader says:

    Jim, if you want to accuse Mathew of extreme textual manipulation and with “stripping the text of all meaning.” what exactly were all the other Jews in the second temple period doing with religious texts as we posses them that share commonality of method? Writers like Philo, the authors of Books like Jubilees, the Damascus document, many texts in the dead sea scrolls, and many other documents from the time period in question (the oldest texts we posses btw) do exactly what Mathew did.

    The methods gospel writers used were very common in the time period. So, I think its fair to judge the document by the norms of its time period, rather than by a codified set of principles that were established much later on in 200 CE. with the codification of the mishna.

    You’ve brought up caveats about “the gospel authors needed to be a part of X tradition to employ X method of interpretation” in the past, but this is a caveat entirely of your own invention and has no bearing on the verifiable evidence as we posses it. “Pshat” in the time period we are talking about meant exposition or “spreading out” of the text, so a homiletical interpretation, a dual fulfillment, or otherwise, would not have seemed odd or “made up” to ancient readers, as it does to us. You don’t have to agree with the Church interpretation, but its not as much of a stretch as one might think. Alma is an ambiguous word, it doesn’t convey status of sexual purity, or lack thereof. Before the prophet sleeps with the prophetess, she is, it would seem, a young girl, and even Rashi says that some interpret that she was an “alma and incapable of giving birth.” This could mean barren, or it could well mean too young to conceive. I personally find a dogmatic approach to this verse either way absurd.

    Being that the author of Mathew wrote a biography, and wrote his text using material from Mark, he likely had oral stories about Jesus that influenced his text. Maybe the virgin birth story just came from that.

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