Christian Anti-Semitism – Is It Still Relevant? – by Jim
The question of Christian Jew-hatred comes up semi-frequently in discussions about Christianity. The Christian wonders how this topic relates to the conversation about whether or not one should accept Jesus or not. The Christian may acknowledge that the Church did persecute the Jewish people, but does not see why this is pertinent. He may even adopt a wounded attitude: “Geez Louise, we said we’re sorry already. Get over it, willya?” One poster on this thread summed up this attitude by calling the Jew (i.e. the victim of 2,000 years of persecution) that brings up the history of persecution one who stirs up hatred, adding that “[t]he rest of us are moving on.” The Christian sees himself as taking the high road by avoiding the discussion of Christian Jew-hatred, while the Jew that mentions it is hateful. It is too bad that the irony is lost on him and is likely to remain so. But the question is not whether Christian Jew-hatred exists or has existed; the question is why talking about Christian Jew-hatred is relevant to discussions about Jesus. At least a few reasons can be given why this topic is relevant.
Perhaps the most obvious reason that the topic is relevant is that Christians claim that Jesus has greatly improved the moral quality of the lives of millions of people throughout history. One of the ways in which this grandiose claim can be examined is to review the history of the Church. Of course, it is a bloody history. The Church has perpetrated great crimes against the Jewish people. They have evicted them from their homes, creating the wandering Jew. They have burned their works. They have killed them in large numbers. It is reasonable that a Jew—or anybody really—should answer that this does not seem to be much of an improvement in the moral quality of these people’s lives. The faith of these Christians did not keep them from being murderers, oppressors, thieves, or destroyers. Moreover, it is the Jew who carries the scars that serve as proof that belief in Jesus failed to improve millions.
The Christian answer to this is rather Orwellian. All of those people do not count; those were not real Christians. Their history is not the history of the true believers. Etc. But even if the Christian had a good answer, that would not mean that the topic would be irrelevant. Because the Christian claims that Jesus has improved the lives of so many people, it is relevant to examine the history of believers.
It is also relevant because Christians frequently mischaracterize Jews as having a phobia of Jesus. Often this is attributed to spiritual blindness. Also, Christians will make it sound that the rabbis fear that if people really knew about Jesus, then they would turn in large numbers to Jesus, so the rabbis to preserve their power have created a stigma around him. In this context, it is relevant to point out that the Jewish people wish little to do with Jesus because in his name terrible crimes were perpetrated against the Jewish people. The aversion comes not from a fear of losing control but from 2,000 years of Jewish suffering at the hands of the Church. In this case, the Jew is answering a charge from the Christian. Unfortunately, too frequently the Christian attempts to bind the hands of the Jew, telling him that this answer is off limits.
Nevertheless many Christians will argue that because Jew-hatred has been greatly diminished in the past 80 years, it is unfair to bring it up. But the crimes of the Church against the Jewish people continue. The Church still continues to make itself the interpreter of the meaning of the Jewish scriptures. Not only that, it borrows from the rabbis what it can make use of to prop up its theology and castigate the rabbis with whom they disagree. They redefine the Jewish scriptures and the words of its interpreters, a great cultural theft and continue to malign the Jew. Too often, the modern acceptance of the Jew is not motivated from justice or kindness but a grab at legitimacy. That Jesus was a Jew is put forward as a reason to cease oppressing the Jew, yes, but it is not left there. It is also a weapon to show the Jew that Christianity is Jewish, the true Judaism. It is a tool to legitimize Christian interpretation of the Jewish scriptures.
So, one will read that Jesus was a student of Hillel. This makes Jesus a rabbi, a legitimate interpreter of the Jewish religion. And the Christian will praise Hillel as one of the good rabbis, making a pretense to knowledge of the rabbis that they do not actually have. What the Christian does not note is that the Jewish community preserved the words of Hillel. They did not preserve the words of Jesus. He does not notice it, because it does not matter to him. He never cared to read Hillel anyway. Hillel was just a tool to establish the bona fides of Jesus and Christianity. He wants to borrow Hillel’s authority, not learn at his feet.
Christian Jew-hatred may have largely ceased, but Christian aggression against the Jewish people has not. The Christian continues to insist that the Jew hear the Christian. He insists that he understands the Jewish tradition better than the Jew. He knows the Jewish scriptures better than the Jew. He is more Jewish than the Jew.
For these reasons, and perhaps more, Christian persecution of the Jew remains relevant. The Christian cannot claim moral superiority by ignoring the moral failures of the Church. It cannot pretend that the aversion to Jesus is rooted in a fear of the Church and not the bloody history of Jewish suffering in the name of Jesus. Nor can it ignore that, while physical persecution has ceased, Christian aggression against the Jew has continued. Missionary efforts continue. Christians misrepresent the Jewish scriptures and the rabbis. Jew-hatred may have lessened, but Christian aggression has taken another form.
P.S. For more on Orwell Christian talk see here:
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal
Thank you, Jim! This was great. I have only one minor correction to make. It has been less than 80 years since Christian aggression to Jews has ceased. The 1960s ushered in an era of greater tolerance finally. Ask Jews who grew up in the 1940s–scratch that, most of them died in the Holocaust–I mean the 1950s or who were adults at that time how hard it was to get a job or keep it if you wore a yarmulke and how many times they were asked where their horns were.
Someone asked my mother that when she was a kid, by the way.
Oh, and by the way, my fourteen-year-old son often has slurs yelled at him from passing cars when he’s walking on the street. That’s not the anti-Semitism of yesterday–thank goodness! But it’s still not nice [wags finger].
People have yelled Heil Hitler and Christ killer at my husband as well.
Thanks for the corrections. The timeline correction is especially important, because it links the change in attitude toward the Jews to the political climate of the day. The Christian will attribute the minimized Jew-hatred to the work of Jesus. But Jesus’ 2,000 year long influence did not eradicate but inflame Jew-hatred. No good reason exists to attribute the change in attitude to the work of Jesus.
I appreciate your input.
Oops, I forgot to follow.
For lack of wood the fire goes out,
And where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down.
You got a shortage of wood? Thought so.
I’ve my own personal stories of antisemitism against my immediate family, therefore no shortage of wood here. I’d also share, but I was taught as a child; never play the victim. Ya’ll have fun, count me out.
Interesting Dina. I’m sorry to hear that you still have those kinds of experiences with any kind of regularity. Speaking for myself, as a kid in the 70s I got my share of slurs yelled at me in the streets, eggs thrown at us on Halloween, etc. My brother who is 15 years older than me got beaten up a couple of times (figure the early 60s) in addition to the other stuff. I am happy to report though, that I and my family, still live in the same part of the Northeast (ok it rhymes with Shnooklyn) and my kids and I, thank G-d, experience little of these kinds of things in recent years . Then again, for better or worse, the neighborhoods are more insular now. When I was a kid I had the kind of, largely Catholic, kids who did those kinds of things living in much closer proximity than my kids do. Can’t say I miss them.
Yehuda, we live in Philadelphia, so we are surrounded mostly by non-Jews. I’m sure if we lived in a place that rhymes with Shmooklyn or Shmakewood it would never happen. Once you leave the safety of those kinds of rhyming places you’re fair game, sadly.
To be honest, it doesn’t happen too often, but it’s awful when it happens to your kid.
Very well written Jim.
I’ve seen anti semitic Jabs made in our own day. I was in a biology class in high school, (right around the time the passion of the Christ was out,) and someone I know made a disparaging comment about evolution, and then about, “the Jews.”
I spoke up and said, “excuse me, SHUT UP. There may be Jews in class right now, you may even be friends with many who don’t mention it, and how would you know?”
He thereupon asked If I was Jewish. I said I wasn’t and that it didn’t matter if I was. I also said, he would have no religion, and would be worshiping Zeus if not for Jews. He stopped talking.
I have also been asked if I was Jewish a few times just randomly. I have middle eastern (specifically Egyptian) ancestry, but I’m very European also. Many have judged solely based on my appearance that I may be Jewish, (a ridiculous thing to judge by,) and said things to that effect without realizing that I’m not. I am disabled, so I have received many disparaging remarks on that basis. Such as, wouldn’t I rather be dead.
People are just very stupid, and they don’t bother to think.
I had an elementary school friend who started hanging out with white supremacists in high school. He had a Nazi flag in the back of his truck. He said hi to me one day with his paraphernalia, and I told him not to speak to me, because according to that ideology, I should be dead.
We only have 1 Chabad synagogue and a reform Synagogue near me. I’ve been to the reform Synagogue several times, once for a bat Mitzvah, and a couple times for services.
Oftentimes, I know from experience that people just don’t step out of their own echo-bubble, and this means they have no exposure to new ideas/beliefs.
I (for myself) respected Judaism, through my Christianity, because I reasoned that it wouldn’t have existed without Jews. I also did not proselytize, because I reasoned that Jews heard from Jesus 1st, and they taught us about him. I reasoned, “if the people who wrote the books don’t get it, we are all screwed.”
Con, you are a good man.
Concerned Reader Thank you for being a concerned human being – and thank you for sharing this
1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
i have to confess that i grew up in a Christian church, South Korea, of which theological tradition was Reformd Theology. Slowly i began to realize why Some (maybe many) Korean Christians of modern day had a prejudice against the Jews. It was because , i believe, the mainline churches in Korea were mostly “Reformed or Presbyterian” whose founding theologians could not see the biblical prophecy historically and biblically. Also the theologians lived before the rebirth of state of Israel which blinded their eyes the Kigdom Gospel and God’s eternal covenant with the Jews. They could not understand the message that flows consistently throughout the Pauline epistles and gospels and even Korean tranlsations of the New Testament have in a few places biases against the Jews. Nevertheless, the love and support for Israel and the Jews are rapidly growing now in Korea, Hallelujah! They came to Jerusalem for the past “Jerusalem Marching” this year,
and march for hours holding the flag on which it says “We apologize…” i joined the march and marched with them dancing on the street for three hours shouting ” Shalom Israel! You are not alone! ” i almost fainted at the final spot. I know this performance is not enough, but i know God is doing something amazing to unite Christians and Jews in One Spirit and One Word of God. Thank you for your patience toward Christians…
I just want to say ‘Thank You’ for exhibiting the heart of a true Christian!
I know we may disagree on some things, but I think we both agree there is not a entrance examination testing our knowledge on the specifics of doctrine before we are allowed to enter the world to come.
I agree. I don’t know what the heart of a true Christian is supposed to be, but Gean has shown that he is the consummate gentleman. I admire his ability to convey cheerfulness and respect in every comment that he posts.
sister Dina! i want to say “thank you.” i am learning the Torah and the good news more deeply and accurately through all the conversations here in which you contribute very intellectually and gracefully. The true heart of Christian, i believe is supposed to be Isaiah 40:1-2 and John 21:17.
Yes, I guess that’s the difference between the heart of the Christian and the heart of the Jew. The heart of the Jew is turned to God and the heart of the Christian is turned to Jesus.
It’s good to be clear on where we differ.
Isaiah 40:1-2 reveals the heart of God who really wants His people to be comforted and be known the good news of forgiveness. John 21 revelas the heart of Jesus who really wants to see his lamb-( he was once a shepherd of the lambs of God) to be fed and nurtured. He said “feed my lamb-the people of God” not “feed me or turn to me”
So what do you make of his statement that no one comes to the Father but through him? Is that not another way of saying to turn to him?
Sorry for butting in, but;
Words mean things!
“through” does NOT equal “to”
Yeshua often referred to himself as a “door” and a “gate”.
If you go “to” a door but don’t go “through” it gets you nowhere.
Yeshua is not the end, rather a ‘means to an end”, the end being Hashem.
If you are not able to wrap your head around this, think of Torah. Is Torah the goal or the gate? Torah is a means to an end, not an end in itself. In the same way Yeshua is a door to those who are lost. A doorway which promises forgiveness through repentance, return to Torah and a restored relationship with Hashem.
You can gasp at the crowds gathered at the door worshiping, declaring; ‘such ignorant people’ and you’d be correct; doors are meant to be gone “through” not “to”.
Your error is in declaring the door; ‘evil’ on the grounds ignorant people worship it rather than using it for its intended purpose; to go through.
Perhaps you don’t need a door, but many people do. Does Torah agree with misleading the lost? Robbing the poor? Barring the door leading to repentance, Torah and ultimately to Hashem?
Thanks for pointing out that “through” does not mean “to.” Please realize that in order to go “through” something, you have to turn “to” it. And you can get stuck in the doorway.
Jesus is not the Torah, so you cannot compare him to the Torah as a way to God. He was just a man. And a man that the Jewish people–who were appointed by God to be His witnesses (Isaiah 43:10-12, Isaiah 44:8) and among whom God promised to preserve His testimony forever (Isaiah 59:21, Psalm 78, Psalm 44:18-19), a task which God did not give to any other nation (Psalm 147:19-20)–have testified throughout the ages with great courage and personal sacrifice that he is a false messiah and a false prophet.
All you know about Jesus was preserved by those whom God did not entrust with this precious task, which means that all the books about are worthless.
I have already presented this challenge to you a number of times (I believe we are approaching the double digits). I wonder when you will answer it?
Finally, the ends do not justify the means. You may not rob the rich to give to the poor, no matter how pure your intentions. You may not rule in favor of a poor man because of his poverty, no matter how much compassion you feel. You may not serve God through an idol, no matter how expedient.
The gentile nations do not need Jesus to turn to God. They can worship God directly. And if they have any questions, they can ask God’s witnesses and listen humbly to His true message.
Sadly, that will not happen until the messiah comes (Zechariah 8:23), may he come speedily in our days!
Jesus is a door only if you look to him. Again why look to him?
“Jesus is not the Torah”
I never said his was; reread my posts, I said; Yeshua points and leads to Torah.
“so you cannot compare him to the Torah as a way to God”
Dina, what dont you understand about: ‘Yeshua is for people without Torah’ leading them to Torah which leads to GOD.
“….who were appointed by God to be His witnesses (Isaiah 43:10-12, Isaiah 44:8) and among whom God promised to preserve His testimony forever (Isaiah 59:21, Psalm 78, Psalm 44:18-19), a task which God did not give to any other nation (Psalm 147:19-20)–have testified throughout the ages with great courage and personal sacrifice…….”
“…..I have already presented this challenge to you a number of times (I believe we are approaching the double digits). I wonder when you will answer it?”
Because I haven’t wanted to be rude and post all the Scripture where our ancestors had failed, where GOD had to step up for the sake of HIS name because we failed miserably. You truly fail to understand we are witnesses not because we’ve always interpreted and taught correctly. We are witnesses because the word looks at the people HE chose and sees how GOD treats us according to our actions. They see the justice and mercy of GOD displayed. They see the fact of our existence as proof of GOD’s existence.
Please, with respect I say; if you think it has been Israel who has always accurately represented GOD, you are either deluded or don’t know the Tanach. You misinterpret the meaning of “Witnesses”. We are witnesses ‘of ‘ GOD and have not been faithful witnesses ‘for’ GOD.
I did not say you said Jesus is the Torah; I said he is not the Torah, and therefore, cannot be compared as such as a doorway to God. I reread your post as you suggested and I saw that you did make that comparison. Perhaps I still misunderstand you and you did not compare Jesus to the Torah; in that case, may I ask you to clarify?
I appreciate your kindness in wishing to spare my feelings by not responding to my challenge on God’s witness. Please know that I was not offended by your answer, and feel free to answer all my challenges. I present tough challenges and I expect tough answers. (Tough does not mean disrespectful or ad hominem, of course, and I try to consider the feelings of my opponents when I write, though not always successfully as you know.)
I may be wrong, but your response leads me to believe that you did not check the Scriptures I cited, or if you did, that you did not read them carefully. I say this because you failed to note that even when God punishes us we have not forgotten God nor turned away from Him (Psalm 44:18-19) and even when we stray we still preserve His testimony (Psalm 78).
You also failed to note that God promised that His spirit and His word would never veer away from us, nor from our offspring, nor from our offspring’s offspring, forever; and I do think it’s fair to say that when God says forever he means it (Isaiah 59:21). These Scriptures talk about testifying to God’s word and preserving His testimony–not the fact of our survival/punishment witnessing to God’s existence, mercy, and justice.
You can also be sure that if God appoints someone as His witness, He will find a way to make sure they witness faithfully. If you carefully read Isaiah 43:10-12 and 44:6-8, you will see what kind of witnesses God appointed us to be. As far as I can see, nowhere in Scripture have we been fired from our job.
Also remember that God is not a man that he should lie nor a son of man that he should relent (Numbers 23:19). God does not break his promises. Your response would make God into a liar.
I do not deny that we have sinned, and we continue to sin, which is why we have yet to be redeemed from our long, dark exile. But yes, despite our sins, we have preserved God’s word through hell, fire, and water (Isaiah 59:21), and we have served as His faithful witnesses even when he has punished us for sins (Psalm 44:18-19).
If you want to claim that we lost our status as God’s faithful witness and are no longer appointed the task to preserve His testimony due to our sins, can you substantiate it? Can you find Scriptural support for this assertion, or are you speculating? Can you refer, not to the many instances in the Bible where we have sinned, but to where specifically as a result of our sins we lost our witness status and were fired from our truth-preserver position? If you cannot do this, isn’t fair for you to rethink your position?
I ask that you revisit these Scriptures, ponder, and consider them well. God does not break promises. And he made some weighty promises to the people of Israel with grave implications for you.
For people far off without Torah; look to the door that will get you where you need to go. They have to start somewhere. After getting to the door they must go through. You seem to contend; because there is a crowd outside not going through, the door must be false. Yet I know you’re a smart guy and knows a person cannot judge a door because ignorant people refuse to go through.
When I open up my christian bible the very beginning starts with the torah, not with Jesus.
You are right that words mean things. Unfortunately, in the very same place that Jesus says that people come through him to God, he also disproves your theology that Jesus is only for those who need it, a way but not the only way.
John 14:6-7: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Jesus is not referring people to the Torah, by the way, when he makes the claim. What Torah teacher would refer to himself as the way, the truth and the life? A Torah teacher—a true Torah teacher—knows that he teaches the truth, but he is not himself the truth. Jesus’ claim is grandiose.
It is not the modest claim that he is only to help those that do not have Torah. It is not that he is a way for those who need his help. And for those that do not, that is fine. Rather, he claims to be the exclusive way to God. Focusing on the word “through” makes his teaching appear much more humble that it is. And your theology that Jesus is “a” but not “the” way is contradicted by the passage in question.
Yes, GOD keeps 1000% keeps HIS promises‼️
I do NOT believe in the doctrine of Supersessionism.
When I get home I will look up every Scripture reference you posted. However for me to change my mind; they would have to indicate Israel 100% accurately and faithfully always presented, lived, taught and passed on the correct doctrine. What I think your not hearing me on is; no matter what Israel does, she will be a witness to the Greatness of GOD. This in no way guarantees proper doctrine continually taught and embraced.
CP, you already know you will not find such evidence. By imposing a standard not set by the Torah but by yourself, are you perhaps protecting yourself beforehand from having to confront these passages? What you really need to find in order to maintain your position is Scriptural evidence that God’s promises (as I set forth in my previous comments) are conditional on “Israel 100% accurately and faithfully always present[ing], liv[ing], [teaching] and pass[ing] on the correct doctrine.” If you cannot find such evidence, do you not agree that you will then have to rethink your position?
What you are not hearing me on is that God did not appoint Israel as witness and give her the task of preserving His testimony only to attest to His greatness but to testify to the truth that he is the One and Only God and there is no savior beside Him and to preserve His words.
The Book of John is a late theologically advanced book written in high level Greek. What does this tell you? A doctrine of “exclusiveness” is imho a thing of cults. I don’t believe the meaning you or the Church has attached to this passage.
Perhaps you have a secret meaning to this, that if you said aloud wouldn’t even make sense to yourself?
It’s directed at this.
.. “For people far off without Torah; look to the door that will get you where you need to go. They have to start somewhere. After getting to the door they must go through.”
When they open their bible chances are they will meet the Torah first. With the proper teaching they won’t need anything else.
It’s the Oral message that gets them to the point point of opening Torah. If some do come straight to the text, the NT points to Torah.
That’s only if someone like you were directing them, but that would have to be after they decided to skip the first half of the bible/book, and started reading in the middle. Why assume people start reading the New Testament. Besides I should refer you to Jim and Dinas response a little earlier.
CP, the New Testament points to Jesus… not the Torah. You can have Jesus without the torah, but as per the new, or rather non-testament say, you cannot have the torah without Jesus. It’s easy, or you believe in Jesus, or you are one of the hypocrite who like to pray out loud in the Synagogue.
“CP, the New Testament points to Jesus… not the Torah.”
This is not true; it points to both.
“You can have Jesus without the torah”
Without Torah there is no Jesus. (you may have to think this one through).
“but as per the new, or rather non-testament say, you cannot have the torah without Jesus. It’s easy, or you believe in Jesus, or you are one of the hypocrite who like to pray out loud in the Synagogue.”
Lol, my Hebrew is not that good, I wish it was! haha
No need to rethink my position on this; I’m not thinking what your saying I do. To be clear; some promises to Israel are conditional, some are not. GOD’s faithfulness to Israel is unconditional. However this does not guarantee uninterrupted accurate transmission of doctrine. If passing on and teaching uninterrupted accurate doctrine is an unconditional promise, then why is it a commandment? Granted this is what Israel is supposed to do, yet there are numerous passages in Tanach which indicate Israel has not always been faithful in keeping this commandment.
Does this make Israel any less of a “Witness”? Absolutely not! In fact it reveals the faithfulness of GOD even when we are unfaithful, but it does not guarantee faithful transmission. If you have passages in Tanach which guarantee faithful uninterrupted transmission I’d love to read them. However I have Tanach passages which declare just the opposite.
CP, I cited Scripture which guarantees that Israel will preserve God’s truth. Did you not look them up? What is your Scriptural evidence that God does not guarantee this? What is your evidence that God will take away (or has taken away) Israel’s witness status and his promise that she will preserve his Word forever?
If you read your post again, you will see that it is full of unsubstantiated assertions. Not one of your declarations is supported by any evidence. You must surely realize that a declaration that something is so does not make it so.
You have not even begun to respond to the challenge. Forgive me for pointing out that you have simply dismissed it on no grounds at all.
So here’s my challenge to you, CP.
I maintain that God appointed Israel to be His witness, not merely to His greatness, but to Who He is (Isaiah 43:10-12, Isaiah 44:8). I maintain that God promised that His spirit and His word would never veer away from Israel forever (Isaiah 59:21). I maintain that God kept this promise even when He had to punish us for our sins (Psalm 44:18-20) and even when we strayed (Psalm 78). I maintain that God gives His word to Jacob and not to any other nation (Psalm 147:19-20).
I challenge you to read the Scriptural citations above carefully, then respond with a thoughtful and considered response that shows, using Scripture as evidence, that God has revoked these promises or that they no longer apply.
If you cannot do this, then I challenge you to acknowledge that you accept Jesus anyway, despite the fact that all you know of him has been preserved by those who have not been tasked by God to preserve His truth and who were not appointed His witness to testify Who He is.
Israel is the apple of Gods eye.
But there is no difference from a Israeli soul from a foreigners soul. I.E ” only a remnant”. Point being, God creates them both.
Fact: Israel became like the world around them.
Fact- Solomon turned away.
“Solomon married seven hundred princesses and also had three hundred concubines. They made him turn away from God, 4 and by the time he was old they had led him into the worship of foreign gods. He was not faithful to the Lord his God, as his father David had been. 5 He worshiped (Astarte), the goddess of (Sidon, and Molech), the disgusting god of Ammon. 6 He sinned against the Lord and was not true to him as his father David had been. 7 On the mountain east of Jerusalem he built a place to worship Chemosh, the disgusting god of Moab, and a place to worship Molech, the disgusting god of Ammon. 8 He also built places of worship where all his foreign wives could burn incense and offer sacrifices to their own gods”
Sacrificing their kids, worshiping other gods, and not adhering to the very Law you uphold.
God wants his people to separate from the world.
King Solomon didn’t.
King Jesus did separate himself from the world.
Abraham blessed all nations.
God created all people.
I went through all your Scripture references; all they say is; GOD will unconditionally keep HIS promises to Israel and Israel is the keeper of HIS words. They say nothing about guaranteeing a correct interpretation or correct teachings about the Word entrusted to Israel.
Here are the Scriptures you asked for; showing Israel has not always preserved the correct interpretations and teachings about the Word.
“How can you say, ‘We are wise,
And the law of the LORD is with us’?
But behold, the lying pen of the scribes
Has made it into a lie.
So the word of the LORD to them will be,
“Order on order, order on order,
Line on line, line on line,
A little here, a little there,”
That they may go and stumble backward, be broken, snared and taken captive.
Dina, what is interesting about the Scriptures you and I posted is they have something in common; they are most all in close proximity to another passage containing Messianic implications.
You have done something truly astonishing. You and I both agree that God does not break His promises. But you then tried to demonstrate that God actually did break His promises to the Jewish people by attempting to show that they bear false witness to God. How can you have it both ways? How can you say, out of one side of your mouth, that God does not break His promises, and then out of the other claim that the Jews have been faithless witnesses contrary to God’s promise?
Let us examine the promises God made to the Jewish people, since you see nothing of import therein.
I was hoping to avoid this, as it will make for a lengthy comment. But be that as it may.
Isaiah 59:21: “As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My spirit, which is upon you and My words that I have placed in your mouth, shall not move from your mouth or from the mouth of your seed and from the mouth of your seed’s seed,” said the Lord, “from now and to eternity.”
Here God is saying that both His spirit and His words will be kept by the physical descendants of the Jewish people forever. He is thus promising an unbroken chain of transmission.
Spirit is a word you throw around a lot because you claim it is the only way to understand the Torah. God did not promise this spirit to the gentile nations or to believers in Jesus but to simple Jews. His spirit is forever upon us, the keepers of His words. Forever means forever means forever. God could not be more clear.
God appointed us to be witnesses to His truth:
Isaiah 43:9-13: Were all the nations gathered together, and kingdoms assembled, who of them would tell this or let us know of the first events? Let them present their witnesses, and they shall be deemed just, and let them hear and say, “True.” “You are My witnesses,” says the Lord, “and My servant whom I chose,” in order that you know and believe Me, and understand that I am He; before Me no god was formed and after Me none shall be. I, I am the Lord, and besides Me there is no Savior. I told and I saved, and I made heard and there was no stranger among you, and you are My witnesses,” says the Lord, “and I am God. Even before the day I am He, and there is no saving from My hand; I do, and who retracts it?”
Here God is saying that of all the nations, God chose Israel His servant to be His witnesses to the world that He is the one and only God, the only Savior. You can be sure that if God hires someone to testify on His behalf, He will ensure that they get it right time after time. Unless you think God made a mistake to choose Israel–maybe he should have chosen just you, since only you know God’s truth?
Isaiah 44:8: Fear not and be not dismayed; did I not let you hear it from then, and I told [it] and you are My witnesses; is there a God besides Me? And there is no rock I did not know.
This reiterates that Israel is God’s witness on Whom to worship.
God also informs us that His truth cannot be found among the gentile nations (the only ones who attempted to preserve Jesus’s teachings, rendering all those books worthless by God’s standards):
Psalm 147:19-20: He tells His words to Jacob, His statutes and His judgments to Israel. He did not do so to any nation, and they did not know the judgments. Hallelujah!
Even when God punishes us we do not turn away from Him:
Psalm 44:12,18-20: You deliver us as sheep to be eaten, and You scatter us among the nations…All this has befallen us and we have not forgotten You, neither have we betrayed Your covenant. Our heart has not turned back, nor have our steps turned away from Your path–even when You crushed us in a place of serpents, and You covered us with darkness.
Even when we stray, we still testify to God’s truth:
Psalm 78:4-6,37-39 We shall not hide from their sons; to the last generation they will recite the praises of the Lord, and His might and His wonders, which He performed. And He established testimony in Jacob, and He set down a Torah in Israel, which He commanded our forefathers to make them known to their sons. In order that the last generation might know, sons who will be born should tell their sons…Their heart was not sincere with Him; they were not faithful in His covenant. But He is merciful, He expiates iniquity and does not destroy; many times He takes back His wrath and does not arouse all His anger. He remembers that they are flesh, a spirit that goes away and does not return.
What you have done is tried to find evidence that God broke His promise. You quoted out of context the prophets castigating Israel for their sins, as if to imply that there was not a righteous one in all the land. The prophets were sent to rebuke the sinners, not the loyal ones. There was always a righteous remnant in Israel, as Psalm 147 quoted above proves.
You have failed to provide evidence that if Israel sins then God will revoke His promise that we are His eternal Witnesses who bear His testimony. You have failed to provide evidence that truth about God can be found among the gentiles (to the contrary, Zechariah 8:23 tells us that in the messianic era 10 men from the gentile nations will grab onto the coat of a Jew and beg to be taught God’s truth).
The only way for you to maintain your position is to provide Scriptural evidence that God will shift the witness status to the gentile nations if the Jews sin.
I do have sympathy for the quandary this puts you in and why you would like to brush it aside. But God’s words cannot–nay, must not–be so lightly dismissed.
The truth is staring you in the face. Do you have the courage to face it?
1) You never addressed Jer 8:8 & Isa 28:13
2) Isa 59:21 in context is after the Redeemer comes to those who have repented. (see Jer 31:31) you’ve taken this out of context to serve your doctrine.
3) Isa 43:9-13 & 44:8, God does not break His promises, Israel is His witness to the end of the age. But you fail to grasp the full implication of this proclamation in light of the last half of Deut 28. Israel is a witness (proof) of God. This has nothing to do with faithfully teaching correct doctrine in and of herself. The Torah is preserved, Oral Torah is suspect.
4) “His truth cannot be found among the gentile nations” This is pure interpolation on your part. Because of Yeshua Torah has gone to the nations.
5) Psalm 147:19-20; No one is disputing God gave Torah to only to Israel. What you fail to realize; Israel was instructed to share Torah with the nations. Did they do it?
Dina, do you forget Yeshua is a Jew? Do you not know he said; “I am only sent to the lost sheep of Israel”? Do you not realize Yeshua did what God commanded Israel to do; to be a light to the nations?
The bottom line is you seem to think ONLY Orthodox Judaism has the God given ability to interpret Scripture and be in a good relationship with God. This is the typical trademark of a “Cult”. You have set yourself up as judge and jury of all other sects of Judaism and of the world. Yes, God always preserves a remnant, but you think that remnant is ONLY you. Perhaps you should consider God’s response to Ezekiel when he proclaimed he was the only one.
CP, responding to your comment here: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/christian-anti-semitism-is-it-still-relevant-by-jim/#comment-31727
In your zeal to destroy my arguments, you overlooked some key points.
First, you said I did not address the passages in Jeremiah and Isaiah. In fact I did; I pointed out that they were irrelevant to the discussion and why.
Second, you so need the verse in Isaiah 59:21 to not apply to us today, that you failed to recognize that this verse suddenly switches to present tense from the three preceding verses which are in the future tense. Therefore, it is not a prophecy of what will happen when the redeemer comes. I understand the quandary this puts you in. If God’s spirit and words never veer from us in an unbroken chain of transmission, then you have a problem.
Third and most bizarrely, you said that this “prophecy” (it’s not a prophecy but a promise) would be fulfilled after the redeemer comes. Now do you or do you not believe the redeemer has already come?
Fourth, you keep insisting that the Jews’ role as witness is only to the existence of God, ignoring Isaiah’s words which I have already explained. I invite you to reread my previous comments concerning this. But I will also add this: Psalm 78:5 tells us that God placed both His Torah and His testimony within Jacob/Israel.
Fifth, you wrote that my contention that God’s truth cannot be found among the nations is false. You wrote that because of Jesus Torah has gone to the nations. This flatly contradicts Psalm 147:19-20.
In these verses, we are told that God tells His words, statutes, and judgments to Israel. But “He did not do so to any nation, and they do not know the judgments.” The meaning could not be more clear. God delivered His words to the people of Israel. He did not deliver His words to any other nation, and they therefore don’t know God’s truth (you don’t like that I use that word, but God’s word is truth). The Torah that the gentile nations have is a perversion. Because they were not entrusted with the task of preserving God’s word, you have no business searching for His truth among their writings.
So that too poses a problem for you.
You wrote that Israel failed to teach the Torah to the nations as instructed. I would like to know, please, where the Torah commands Israel to teach Torah to the nations of the world.
Finally, you wrote that I “seem to think that ONLY Orthodox Judaism has the God given ability to interpret Scripture and be in a good relationship with God.” Guilty as charged on the first count, innocent on the second. Anyone can be in a good relationship with God. The Jews have a monopoly on the correct understanding of the Torah, as I showed with all the verses above, but we do not have a monopoly on God. Then you wrote that I seem to think the remnant is only me. Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much. I think the remnant is all Jews loyal to God and Torah, so I am in the company of well over a million Jews. You, on the other hand, believe that both Jews and Christians have got it wrong, and you are in possession of the ultimate truth. From the way you preach, one would almost think you believe you are God’s prophet bearing the message of his ultimate truth to all Jews and Christians.
there is not an entrance examination testing our knowledge…. Amen,bro. Shabat shalom~~