Trust – by Jim

Is there any greater comfort than knowing that one can put his trust in HaShem rather than in a man? I cannot imagine one. Because we know that HaShem is without need and because we know that God created the world for our good, we can be certain that HaShem does not seek our destruction. Nor does he seek the destruction of another on our behalf.

The Church imagines a god with a foreshortened arm, a god with no strength. He is a god bound in rules and either unable or unwilling to forgive unless suffering is inflicted upon someone, even the innocent. In Ezekiel 33:10, the people have said: “Our transgressions and our sins weigh upon us, and we waste away because of them; how then can we live?” The Church echoes this question. It is the question on the lips of every missionary. But the answer of the Church does not match that of Ezekiel. The answer of the Church does not match that of HaShem. Ezekiel continues: “Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn back from their ways and live.’” The Church might acknowledge that HaShem has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but then it responds that He takes pleasure in the death of the righteous. But this is not what Ezekiel says. Ezekiel says that HaShem wishes that we would turn away from our ways. HaShem says of those that turn back to Him: “None of the sins that they have committed shall be remembered against them; they have done what is lawful and right, they shall surely live” (Ez. 33:16). No one need die for the sins of another; one need only turn back to HaShem.

The Church will say that this is to make light of God’s righteousness. They will say that someone must pay the penalty for sin, if not the sinner then someone. In this, they echo what the people say in Ezekiel: “The way of the Lord is not just…” (Ezekiel 33:17). It does not seem right to them that HaShem would ‘just’ forgive a person. But HaShem’s response is that “it is their own way that is not just” (Ezekiel 33:17). And He reiterates that He desires the wicked to repent: “And when the wicked turn from their wickedness, and do what is lawful and right, they shall live by it” (Ez. 33:19).

Sadly, the Church often portrays this teaching as trusting in one’s own righteousness. But this is not the case at all. Indeed, this is trust in the promise of HaShem, trust in His love and in His goodness and in His mercy. This is the God that assured Moses of His mercy: “…a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for the thousandth generation” (Ex. 34:7). We can be assured of His kindness extended toward us. So assured can we be that we know that if he punishes us, it is for our good, an act of kindness: “My child, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves the one he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights” (Prov. 3:11-12). Such punishments are a call to return to Him, where we are assured of His forgiveness, mercy, and generosity.

One of the blessings of God is the conscience. It serves to motivate one to review his actions, to see if he has not violated God’s precepts, to see if he has not ill-used another. Guilt, when used properly, is a blessing, urging the sinner to return to HaShem. But guilt can be a burden to those that do not properly heed it. The guilty can become hopeless, feeling he may never be right with God, as those in Ezekiel. The Church compounds this guilt by telling its adherents that they are so bad that God could never forgive them. Not only that, an innocent man needed to be terribly shamed, beaten, and murdered on their behalf. This can create in incredibly over-powering guilt in people, creating in them the sense that they are worthless.

All this leads to the mistake of putting their trust in a man rather than in HaShem. Because they have been told that HaShem could never tolerate them, He feels forever far away. Moreover, He is an object of fear, because He would destroy them. Jesus on the other hand, rather than wanting to destroy them, was willing to suffer and die for them. His love appears to the Christian to be so much greater than the love of God. God was willing to send someone else to die. Jesus was willing to actually do the dying.

And so his trust and affection is given to a man.

All the while, he does not know that HaShem did not need someone to die for Him. He does not know that HaShem loves him enough to forgive him if he will but make amends and return to HaShem. He does not know that his trust in a man is misplaced, but trust in HaShem can never be misplaced. HaShem does not wish his destruction. Nor is HaShem powerless to forgive those that have violated His Torah.

You are right to put your trust in HaShem.

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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93 Responses to Trust – by Jim

  1. bible819 says:

    Hashem requires blood which is well pointed out in the Torah. And the only reason why blood sacrifices ceased to exist was becuase of rebellion. You might mention the 2nd Temple, but why would God allow it to be destroyed?

    • Jim says:

      819,

      Your comments are often so terse, that I must admit I cannot always follow them. However, you appear to be in a contradiction. You write that HaShem requires blood, and by this, I assume you to mean that He requires it in order to forgive one of his wrongdoing. And then you say that sacrifices ceased due to rebellion. This puts you in something of a conundrum.

      If the only way for the people to gain forgiveness for their rebellion is through their sacrifices, then by what means will the rebel be forgiven? The only means, according to you, for him to become right with God had been taken from him. Moreover, now even those that did not rebel were left entirely cut off from God, according to your reading. Jeremiah, Daniel, and Ezekiel were all left without means of forgiveness according to you, at least for large portions of their lives.

      Indeed, you make Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9 a rather ridiculous prayer. There he admits the faults of Israel. He begins by acknowledging the guilt of Israel: “…we have sinned and done wrong, acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and ordinances…” (v.5). And he concludes: “O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, listen and act and do not delay! For your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people bear your name!” (v. 19). But surely Daniel knew that God would not forgive, not when there was no temple, not when there was no sacrifice. Why then does he ask for forgiveness when he knows there can be none?

      It is because Daniel knows that sacrifices are not necessary for forgiveness. His prayer is not ridiculous, and it is not offered in vain. He knows that his trust is in the Merciful One. He knows that blood is not a prerequisite to forgiveness. He knows the love of HaShem for His creatures, that He wants only their good and not their destruction.

      Do not imagine that the Merciful One destroyed the means of forgiveness for either a short or long period of time. Do not imagine that He is weak, unable to forgive without blood. Know that HaShem does not desire that the wicked should die, and He calls them to repentance.

      Jim

  2. Concerned Reader says:

    Bible819, G-d said he required blood of lambs, goats, small birds (if you couldn’t manage,) or grain if you were too poor. NEVER DOES G-D SAY HE DELIGHTS IN THE BLOOD OF A PERSON.

    G-d condemned the practice of a person passing their child through the flames to Molech,he told Abraham to stay his hand from killing Isaac. G-d provided an actual animal in the verse, not another human being to substitute for Isaac.

    Also, what sense does it really make for G-d to require a sinless divine sacrifice, when Adam has already died for the infractions he committed which brought death into the world?

    What I mean is, if you follow Christian logic that says “we were in Adam when he sinned,” were we not in him when he asked forgiveness and died as well? In other words, G-d got whatever blood he may have sought already when Adam died. And if not from Adam, surely from his righteous son Abel?

    The Christian notion of the death of the righteous son doesn’t work. How many Christians do other Christians believe will still end up in hell? Many!

    Jesus’ death has not ended sin, even sin committed among his most devoted followers.

    • Yedidiah says:

      Eve & Adam could stand in the presence of God. And Eve gave birth to Cain & Abel with God’s help. And God could say to Cain, “Surely, if you do right,
      There is uplift. But if you do not do right
      Sin couches at the door; Its urge is toward you,
      Yet you can be its master.” Then Cain, whose sin was so bad that even “sinful men” would kill him, could yet still stand before God & be given divine protection & allowed to build a great city instead of forever being a homeless wanderer.

      And God commanded that sinful humans be Holy as God is Holy. Jesus said narrow is the way. But God promised a messiah who would pave a wide path through the wilderness.

      • CP says:

        Yedidiah,
        ” Jesus said narrow is the way. But God promised a messiah who would pave a wide path through the wilderness.”

        If Scripture indicated only one advent of Messiah, your statement would be of grave concern.

        • Yedidiah says:

          Depends on what you would consider a messiah. And grave concern for whom? A messiah for the few, is no messiah & he or she was unneccesary. No covenant has been renewed if it added nothing to what was already & if it too can be broken or is empty until one day when one speculate it will finally achieves some fullness it currently lacks.

          • CP says:

            Yedidiah,
            If Scripture pointed to only one advent of Messiah it would be a grave concern for anyone believing Yeshua was Messiah because obviously not all the Messianic prophecies were fulfilled by Yeshua.

            Why do you think a covenant must added to or subtracted from in order to be renewed?

            Abraham made a Covenant with Hashem but did not realize the promises of the Covenant so why do you think the promises of the new/renewed Covenant Yeshua made must be immediately realized?

          • Yedidiah says:

            For Jesus to be a messiah would have to either add (be whatever was new) or subtract (exclude what came before). Something that has not lost value needs no renewal.

            Since Jesus, if he existed, fulfilled no prophecy (making it no longer valid or no longer applicable for some future time) nothing had to be renewed (it would be redundant).

            A covenant was made with Abraham alone, which he need not have seen fulfilled. Did God make a covenant with Jesus, that he did not see fulfilled? Could not any promise made to Jesus alone be also promised to a future generation without making it with Jesus first? If not, man can invent messiahs in their own mind, in their own image & beliefs.

    • bible819 says:

      Concearned Reader,

      Yeshua brought God to the gentiles. We know God because of Yeshua. Blood has atoned for sin from the beginning. The 3rd temple has been non existent. And when does get built, you will shed animals in which God does not desire. Because of Man intentions, desires, and nature would be why Yeshua was crucified to a tree. But God raised his Son to Victory.

      Forgiveness and Blood go hand in hand. How many Christians will go to hell? Just as many those who are not apart of the remnant of Israel. Narrow is the Gate!

      Last point. As I told Dina, 1 Group received the Fathers instruction and was rebellious. 1 group didn’t receive their Fathers instruction and was rebellious; Now we both have Gods instruction. Yeshua Gave us Life but to deny him is Death

      If man couldn’t agree with Jeremiah, Hosea and Ezekiel…

      Moses said,

      for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against Him; and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.’

      Don’t trust in Israel (Man) discernment to determine when God comes.

      Forever Praise Yeshua (God Saves)

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Bibs, this is the whole problem with your belief system. You keep telling people that unless they believe in Jesus they can’t have life.

        Again. Explicitly, G-d said TWICE that he doesn’t want human sacrifice you still do not recognize this point.

        G-d wants The Obedience of the individual not his suffering or his death.

        You keep taking one verse from the Torah that says that G-d does not desire animal sacrifice and use that to say the animal sacrifice doesn’t atone.

        what you fail to realize is that no sacrifice atones without repentance. That is the point of those verses.

        • bible819 says:

          Concerned Reader,

          Circumcision of Heart is repentance. God explicitly pointed out that following the Torah was not enough. To out simply, Israel has never passed the Torah test. The result is Today’s world. Israel is still scattered.

          Only 1 group had Gods law while the rest of the world was going wild. Israel became like world around them. God intervened with God righteousness.

          Because of Abraham’s sacriface, all nations were bless by Faith.

          Because of Yeshuas sacrifice, all nations were healed by Faith.

          Do you think after Israel left, came back, left cameback, and left… Do you really believe Gods Glory is contingent on how Israel follows the Torah?

          Only by Yeshuas sacrifice does the world the Father. Nobody else!

          Your belief, does consider that your duly establish covenant has not changed the world to Glorify the Father. If so where?

          • Yedidiah says:

            Perhaps there has never been a more divided religion than the mythical “one way”. You see or read about division, heresy, apostasy, false teachers & prophets throughout the NT. There were and are many different Christianity’s & thousands of denominations, many of which claim to be “the one true church” or many that despise what they call “churchianity”. Some of the harshest critics of Christians are other Christians. Could it be true that more Christians have persecuted or killed other Christians, more than non-Christian has persecuted or killed non-Christians?

          • Yedidiah says:

            Perhaps there has never been a more divided religion than the mythical “one way”. You see or read about division, heresy, apostasy, false teachers & prophets throughout the NT. There were and are many different Christianity’s & thousands of denominations, many of which claim to be “the one true church” or many that despise what they call “churchianity”. Some of the harshest critics of Christians are other Christians. Could it be true that more Christians have persecuted or killed other Christians, more than non-Christian has persecuted or killed Christians?

  3. CP says:

    Jim,
    Thank you for using the word “Church”, it narrows down who & what you are discussing. Therefore I’m in agreement with much of what you’ve written. However I wish to comment on a few points.

    No matter what system of forgiveness one adheres to, there is one non-negotiable commonality they all share no matter what; ‘There is no forgiveness for sin with out repentance’ – blood or no blood / Jesus or no Jesus.

    You’ve written; “They will say that someone must pay the penalty for sin, if not the sinner then someone.” — I agree this is a poor doctrine, for if it’s “Paid For” then what need is there for “Forgiveness”.

    Also you’ve written; “This can create in incredibly over-powering guilt in people, creating in them the sense that they are worthless” — This really isn’t the case because of how Church doctrine is structured systematically. They see a God who loves them so much as to give his only son. Knowing how much they are loved gives a great sense of value to their lives.

    Many assume much in declaring “Yeshua died for the sins of man”. What does this really mean? Most everyone will say it was some sort of atonement or at-one-ment, This is entirely possible, but there are other possibilities, such as Yeshua died because of the sins of man, like Abel died for the sin of Cain killing him. In other words Yeshua died because we were sinful and killed him. Since the Atonement issue can’t be properly addressed in a comment post, I’ll skip it, except just to say the whole sacrifice thing to pay a penalty just doesn’t make sense in light of all Scripture.

    Also to touch briefly on “Sacrifice”; there is more than one way to look at a sacrifice; a ceremonial sacrifice and to forfeit something to destruction in order to accomplish something. I think the latter is the kind of sacrifice Yeshua was. He came to deliver a message knowing he would be killed for it – he sacrificed his life for Hashem as many of the Prophets before him.

    Lastly, I think many of the things Hashem implemented concerning sacrifice and the forgiveness of sin is for us rather than Him. Many people aren’t able to realize or fully appropriate forgiveness unless there is something tangible for them to focus on.

    Now to the point: There is something bigger than just “sin” here. There is the Blood Covenant God and Abraham made, Abraham kept it when Isaac was asked for but we broke it (and the Mosaic Covenant and were exiled). This isn’t some imaginary covenant or some shadow of a reality metaphor. No this is a REAL Covenant and the terms of the broken covenant must be satisfied in blood otherwise it is not really a covenant. We might break our word, but Hashem never does, therefore someone needed to fulfill the terms.

    Hashem fulfilled the terms and renewed the Covenant we broke through His son/servant Yeshua. It’s not a “New” Covenant as in ‘Changed’, but rather Renewed as in all debts cleared and starting over with a clean slate. The fullness of this will not be realized until the latter days when Messiah comes.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      CP, G-d doesnt desire the blood of a man.

      • CP says:

        Concerned Reader,
        I agree, Yet Hashem personally asked for the blood of Isaac. I’ll go one further; Hashem doesn’t desire the blood of animals either. It is not Hashem who requires blood, it is the (broken) Covenant which requires blood.

      • CP says:

        Concerned Reader,
        The blood Covenant God and Abraham made requires the blood (death) of the one who breaks it.

        Immediately we see a couple difficulties in Abraham’s making of this kind of covenant with Hashem:
        1) It is not recorded in Scripture if Abraham walked through the cut-in-half dead animals and their blood. This strongly hints at Hashem knowing His love for man, yet their weakness, is taking responsibility for both parties in the Covenant.
        2) How can Hashem who is Eternal Spirit able to die or shed blood to fulfill the terms of a broken Blood Covenant? The only way possible is through ‘agency’.

      • LarryB says:

        CR, from Judaism 101
        “The passage that people ordinarily cite for the notion that blood is required is Leviticus 17:11: “For the soul of the flesh is in the blood and I have assigned it for you upon the altar to provide atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that atones for the soul.” But the passage that this verse comes from is not about atonement; it is about dietary laws, and the passage says only that blood is used to obtain atonement; not that blood is the only means for obtaining atonement. Leviticus 17:10-12 could be paraphrased as “Don’t eat blood, because blood is used in atonement rituals; therefore, don’t eat blood.”

        • CP says:

          LarryB,
          I’d say the reason blood is used in atonement is; since life is in the blood, to offer it symbolizes a confession we deserve to die for breaking the Covenant. Couple this with repentance and there is forgiveness of sin.

        • LarryB says:

          CR—I should have given the link, here goes:
          http://www.jewfaq.org/m/qorbanot.htm

          But isn’t a blood sacrifice required in order to obtain forgiveness?
          No. Although animal sacrifice is one means of obtaining forgiveness, there are non-animal offerings as well, and there are other means for obtaining forgiveness that do not involve sacrifices at all. The Biblical book of Jonah tells of an entire community condemned to destruction that was forgiven when they simply repented and fasted, without ever offering any sacrifice, blood or otherwise. (Jonah 3)

        • CP says:

          LarryB,
          In fact I’d even go so far to say; sacrificed animals took no more sin away than Yeshua’s death on the tree as they both need to be appropriated through the confession; ‘this is what I deserve’ and Praise Hashem for providing and accepting a symbolic substitute. Again, it is heart felt confession and real repentance which brings Hashem’s forgiveness, not the sacrifices.

          • cflat7 says:

            CP,

            “…and real repentance which brings Hashem’s forgiveness, not the sacrifices.”

            Thus there is/was no need for Jesus to be a sacrifice.

          • CP says:

            cflat7,
            Depending on what one reads into the word ‘sacrifice’ you could be right.

          • cflat7 says:

            CP,

            What possible readings do you have in mind? This was a quote from you in the context of what is essential for forgiveness. Does the Torah mention the need for a symbolic substitute?

          • CP says:

            cflat7,
            A sacrifice could be penal, governmental, ceremonial, substutionary.
            Or
            The cost of a tool or person to accomplish a job.

            Repentance is essential for forgiveness.

            The Torah is filled with ceremonial actions for the forgiveness of sin. Yet the Prophets declare this is not what Hashem desires most and is actually repugnant to Him without repentance.

          • cflat7 says:

            CP,

            So, following this line of reasoning, a person can receive forgiveness without a sacrifice. That’s great, there is therefore no need for Jesus in the process of receiving forgiveness, which of course was the situation before Jesus came along. Since, as has been pointed out clearly by others in this blog, God abhors human sacrifice, and since Jesus isn’t a proper sacrifive to begin with, your worship/veneration of him must then stand solely upon your position that he is the 1st coming of the Messiah. This has two weaknesses: 1) Support for two comings is not clearly stated in Torah, 2) The Torah does not say we are to worship/venerate the Messiah any more than you would a king like David.

            If Jesus is in the same class as David (and Moses as you have claimed) , why don’t you also worship David and Moses who were also like Jesus and who are also dead? And if Jesus is coming back to finish things, maybe you should also worship/venerate Elijah who is a prophet that is coming back?

            And if you say your worship/veneration of Jesus is because Jesus led you to Hashem, should then the Rabbi or missionary who influences a person to come back to Hashem also be worshipped/venerated? If so, maybe it is okay for Horace to worship/venerate his backyard tree since it led him back to Hashem.

            Your mission to “not reject” the “historical Jesus” (which involves primarily your own subjective analysis), appears to be hanging by very thin threads, in my opinion (imaginary ones, in fact). You must have some very convincing proofs that you have not yet shared with us; either that, or your unrelenting clinging to worship/veneration of Jesus is based more on emotion that on logic and facts; but I’ve said this before in different words. 🙂

          • Dina says:

            cflat7, well said. But as I’ve said before, it’s hard to argue with someone who responds with statements that are simply not true. The Talmud does not teach about two comings of the same messiah. The Torah does not teach it either. David did not call the messiah lord (typical missionary proof text twisting things out of context and mistranslating; that particular Psalm was likely written by one of David’s soldiers calling David his master). So there really is nothing to be done. People who wish to cling to their beliefs because of emotional reasons will not see any evidence to the contrary.

          • Yedidiah says:

            Many Christians selectively read Torah/Tanach, especially they read what Jesus or NT writers selectively read & distorted the text before them. Any & all messiahs (no matter how often they have or will occur) would also call God master. And so Jesus would also call God his master. Since Jesus couldn’t be God (although many Christians believe that contradiction, that divided house, is possible), then according to the gospel writers mis-reading of the Psalm, there is an upper lord and a lower lord, and. before Jesus, David already knew his lord & his lord’s lord, although there is no lord beside his Lord or our Lord. Do we have 2 lords? Then there is no direct relationship to God or the higher Lord. As servants and as sons & daughters of God, we only get to God through the image of a man or only though the story of a man who was only a servant or a son of our Lord. We make that man, our god, our idol, our golden calf who we credit as getting us out of our “Egypt”. They kill the true prophets of God as did the Ba’alists. They follow the Israelites who deserted God for the pagan model of a god, as they practice water baptism, symbolic human sacrifice with the “eating of the flesh” & the “drinking of the blood” of their lord, etc.

          • Yedidiah says:

            Many Christians selectively read Torah/Tanach, especially they read what Jesus or NT writers selectively read & distorted the text before them. Any & all messiahs (no matter how often they have or will occur) would also call God master. And so Jesus would also call God his master. Since Jesus couldn’t be God (although many Christians believe that contradiction, that divided house, is possible), then according to the gospel writers mis-reading of the Psalm, there is an upper lord and a lower lord, and. before Jesus, David already knew his lord & his lord’s lord, although there is no lord beside his Lord or our Lord. Do we have 2 lords? Then there is no direct relationship to God or the higher Lord. As servants and as sons & daughters of God, we only get to God through the image of a man or only though the story of a man who was only a servant or a son of our Lord. We make that man, our god, our idol, our golden calf who we credit as getting us out of our “Egypt”. They kill the true prophets of God as did the Ba’alists. They follow the Israelites who deserted God for the pagan model of a god, as they practice water baptism, symbolic human sacrifice with the “eating of the flesh” & the “drinking of the blood” of their lord, etc.

            CP has come closer to God & further from “the church” and Jesus, but it takes more than calling Jesus Yeshua to leave Jesus. He is here looking for a way to give up Yeshua, but don’t despair it takes time to overcome indoctrination.

          • CP says:

            cflat7,
            “So, following this line of reasoning, a person can receive forgiveness without a sacrifice.” — this is incorrect, true repentance always involves the sacrifice of one’s self.

            “That’s great, there is therefore no need for Jesus in the process of receiving forgiveness” — except he modeled the true sacrifice to one’s self to the will of Hashem and when he taught us to follow him, he was teaching us to do the same.

            “Support for two comings is not clearly stated in Torah” — It is clear enough that there that the Talmud speaks of it.

            “The Torah does not say we are to worship/venerate the Messiah any more than you would a king like David.
            If Jesus is in the same class as David (and Moses as you have claimed) , why don’t you also worship David and Moses who were also like Jesus and who are also dead?” — Who says they’re dead? As for the Messiah being no more than David; then why did Dabid call him “lord”?

            Your mission to “reject” the “historical Jesus” (which involves primarily your own subjective analysis), appears to be hanging by very thin threads, in my opinion (imaginary ones, in fact). You must have some very convincing proofs that you have not yet shared with us; either that, or your unrelenting clinging to a cultural disrespect of Jesus is based more on emotion that on logic and facts; but I’ve said this before in different words.

          • cflat7 says:

            I’m reminded of a quote of Franz Fanon:

            “Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are
            presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new
            evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is
            extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it
            is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize,
            ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.”
            ― Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

          • CP says:

            Yeah, I’m reminded also

          • CP says:

            Dina
            “But as I’ve said before, it’s hard to argue with someone who responds with statements that are simply not true”—yes I know exactly what you mean.

            “David did not call the messiah lord (typical missionary proof text twisting things out of context and mistranslating; that particular Psalm was likely written by one of David’s soldiers calling David his master).” — Speaking of responding with statements that are simply not true; thanks for providing a perfect example, wow!

          • CP says:

            Yedidiah,
            “then according to the gospel writers mis-reading of the Psalm, there is an upper lord and a lower lord,” — yes, super confusing in the Greek lending itself to mistranslation and misinterpretation. However in Hebrew it is clear as day Hashem is addressing someone King David considers higher than himself. Or I suppose it could be translated as a lord coming from Davidic lineage? (Being a beginner hebrew student, I’m not sure on the last one)

          • Yedidiah says:

            CP on your comment & reply to me on 1 Feb 2017, 0935 pm, about Psalm 110 about “The Lord said to my lord…”. First, not all Psalms were written by David; the first verse or heading will often give who the writer or singer is or who the intended audience is. It is a good idea to consult several good (more objective, less biased) study bibles. There are several good Christian free or low cost study bibles out there for computers or smart phones. Most of them would call this Psalm a Royal Psalm which is sort of an “inaugural” ritual for new Kings. It is addressed to a human king who has strong enemies that could defeat & destroy a kingdom ruled by a human king. The Lord (God) will crush the lord’s (king’s) enemies. W/o the Lord’s/God’s help the lord/human king will be crushed by hus human enemies.

            One much more in depth study (about 15 pages) looking at the Hebrew text (vs, or in comparison with, Greek or Christian translations) of the Psalm can be found at http://thejewishhome.org/counter/Psa110.pdf.

          • Yedidiah says:

            Also, w/o consulting a commentary or a study bible on Psalm 110, we can read it in context, read it a common sensical way. Why or how would David be listening in on a “private conversation” between David’s Lord & David’s “lord”? Why is this “lord” all so human and all so fearful or vulnerable to human enemies, as if it were possible for this “lord” to not have faith or hope in his Lord or to lose faith in his Lord? If the lord sits at the right hand of the Lord, why must the “lord” still depend on his Lord? Who or why is the Lord on the right side of the “lord” in verse 5? Why is the Lord doing all the work as if the “lord” could be just some sort of a puppet of whom the Lord does not really need, since the Lord is the Almighty who needs no human king/lord nor even no “minor divine god” to crush nations?

          • Dina says:

            Yedidiah, that is a very thorough and illuminating study on Psalm 110 which destroys CP’s assessment that the interpretation I offered (which is not mine, by the way) is utterly dishonest and silly.

            Here’s part of it (the Hebrew letters are scrambled, don’t know how to fix, sorry):

            The Christian interpretation of Psalms 110 suffers from serious problems that are
            rooted in the common Christian renditions of the first verse.
            A. The Superscription
            Christian renditions generally do not number the superscription at the head of
            a psalm and, in the case of Psalms 110, the KJV deleted the superscription
            altogether. Yet, it is noteworthy that the Christian perspective on this psalm
            depends on the assumption that King David is the author and speaker. On
            the other hand, the various Jewish interpretations are not limited by such a
            restriction.
            6
            In the Hebrew text, the superscription reads מור ֹזְמ ִודִדָל) ְl
            e
            daVID mizMOR),
            where ל־) ְl
            e
            -) is a preposition, ודִד) ָdaVID) is the name David, and מור ֹזְמ) ִmizMOR), as used in the Hebrew Bible, means a psalm. The Hebrew
            preposition ל־ ְcould have any of the following meanings: to or for, by, and in
            or into. Eliminating the last pair for obvious reasons, this particular
            superscription could indicate this psalm as having been either composed by
            David or composed for or dedicated to David. In other words, it is not
            possible to determine, with absolute certainty, that King David composed this
            psalm.
            Christian missionaries will charge that this is an after-the-fact attempt to use
            the ambiguity to force a biased interpretation of this psalm. This claim is
            effectively countered with other instances in the Book of Psalms, where the
            preposition ל־ ְin the superscription unambiguously means for and not by.
            One such example is Psalms 72, which was composed by King David for his
            son Solomon:
            Psalms 72:1,20 – (1) A Psalm for Solomon [מהÏֹ שׁ ְל) ִli’shloMOH)]. O God, give your
            judgments to a king; and your righteousness to a king’s son.
            (20) The prayers of David the son of Jesse are completed.
            In this case, the preposition ל־ ְchanges to ל־) ִli-) due to a rule of grammar.7

            This example puts into question the assumption on which the Christian view
            of Psalms 110 is based, namely, that David had to be its author, since it is not
            the only possibility here. Because Psalms 110 is not written in the 1st-person
            relative to David, it could have been composed by someone else, perhaps
            someone who served under David.
            It is interesting to note that, in Psalms 72,
            King David speaks about himself in the 3rd-person in the opening and closing
            verses.
            In another psalm attributed to David, he speaks of himself in both the 1st person
            and 3rd-person in the opening verse, and ends the psalm by speaking
            about himself in the 3rd-person:
            Psalms 144:1,10 – (1) A Psalm of David [ודִדָל) ְl
            e
            David)]. Blessed is the Lord my
            rock, Who trains my hands for the battle; my fingers for the war;
            (10) Who gives salvation to the kings; Who delivers David His servant from the evil
            sword.
            These examples demonstrate that, while it is plausible to consider King David
            as the author of Psalms 110 writing about himself in the 3rd-person or,
            perhaps prophetically, about יח ַשׁ ִמ , ָPsalms 110 could also be the work of a
            different author.

            And here’s the rest of it, worthwhile to read:

            http://thejewishhome.org/counter/Psa110.pdf

          • CP says:

            Yedidiah,
            I want to thank you for your comments on this. This is the kind of discussion I’m looking for rather than the typical frustrating Internet banter one typically receives. I’m off to work at the moment, but I’ll dig into this when I get home. Study Bibles and reference material are not a problem. I have a small library akin to a woman’s closet with a shoe fetish.

          • RT says:

            Psalm 110:

            Of David. A psalm.
            L’David Could mean to or from David. A cohen could have sang it to David and that “lord” could have been David himself. This is a bit weak but possible. Most other psalm are from David, not to David.

            The Lord says to my lord:
            Who is the master? The text does not say who it is and it can be interpreted in different ways. Now, I don’t think it would be wise to assume we are right. Some may say Abraham, other the future messiah. Could it be true? Yes, but we cannot be sure.

            “Sit at my right hand
            Position of power and authority. Could that fit Jesus. Well, that depends if we believe he is in heaven or not. Again, can that be verify? No. Could that be the future messiah? Yes, and again, because both are impossible to verify, we are stuck with the interpretation that fits our belief. This can hardly be a proof of anything.

            until I make your enemies…
            Jesus enemies were not at his footstool. The high priest and Pharisee kept on ruling until the destruction of the second temple… If we talk of “satan”, this is unverifiable again. If we consider that it talks about David, his enemies were concerned, but can we say that all his enemies were? That would fit more the messiah, just like Psalm 2. A Jewish leader who will come and rule the whole earth…

            The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying,
            “Rule in the midst of your enemies!”

            Yeshua never was a ruler. So, that could be either Yeshua when he comes back, or the future messiah when he comes the first time.

            “You are a priest forever,
            in the order of Melchizedek.”

            What does it mean? Well, I am not a Hebrew expert and will let those who speak it properly to say their comments, but Melchizedek never had the same kind of priestly function as the Levites. The king had also priestly functions…

            he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.

            That has not happened yet.

            He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead
            and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.

            That has not happened yet.

            He will drink from a brook along the way,[d]
            and so he will lift his head high.

            That has not happened yet.

            So, regardless of which view you take, it can hardly be used to prove anything. If you are a Christian, this is a “second” coming prophecy. If you are a Jew, there might be other explanation, but I think it would fit David in many ways, but fully only whit the messiah.

            What I do not like is that Christians will arrive and say it “proves” Yeshua. This cannot be so, if the prophecy has not happened yet, and if you only believe the tales of his ruling in heaven and second coming…

          • CP says:

            RT,
            Kuddos to you for an extremely fair and balanced examination of the situation concerning Psalm 110

  4. LarryB says:

    Jim
    Thanks, that was a really good article.

  5. Dina says:

    Following.

  6. Dina says:

    Rabbi B., can you tell me what I am missing? A commenter on this page referenced the many prophets murdered by the Jews. I have heard this charge from Christians numerous times and am puzzled by it. The wicked queen Jezebel mass murdered the prophets, but she was not even Jewish. King Saul ordered the murder of Ahimelech’s family and his servants refused. The only one to take up the sword was the wicked Do’eg the Edomite, who wiped out the city of Nov.

    Other than those two individuals, not even Jews, not acting on behalf of Israel but on their own whims (or the whim of a crazed master), I can’t find incidents of Jews killing their prophets, like it was a common thing.

    Having heard this charge more times than I can count, and assuming Christians have read the accounts of Tanach for themselves, I can’t help wondering what I am missing. I know some prophets’ lives were in danger from certain elements among the Jewish people, but is that not a very different thing than the charge of murder?

    Is this just another slander against the Jewish people that traces its roots to Christian scripture (1 Thessalonians 2:15, Matthew 23:35)?

    • Dina 2Chronicles 24:20; Jeremiah 26:20-24; Jeremiah 2:30

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • Dina says:

        Only the second citation refers to one specific prophet put to death. That’s a bad thing, but is that all there is? Does this justify the Christian charge that we killed our prophets, like it was commonly done?

        • Dina The Jeremiah prophecy can be quoted to read that this was an endemic problem. The main problem with the charge is that it is through us that God preserved the prophets and that in a certain sense we are His mouth-pieces (i.e. prophets) as per Isaiah 51:16 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

        • CP says:

          1 Kings 19:14
          Then he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

          Nehemiah 9:26
          “But they became disobedient and rebelled against You, And cast Your law behind their backs And killed Your prophets who had admonished them So that they might return to You, And they committed great blasphemies.

          Jeremiah 2:30
          “In vain I have struck your sons; They accepted no chastening Your sword has devoured your prophets Like a destroying lion.

  7. Dina says:

    I’m reposting a comment on Christian attitudes to Jews here, as I think this is a better place for it. To those who have seen it already, my apologies for the redundancy.

    Christian Contempt

    Over the years, I have received a number of different responses from Christians to the question, “Why do you think that the Jews, alone among all cultural/religious groups in Europe, resisted the message of Christianity and rejected Jesus?”

    These are the answers I have received:

    1. The Jews are spiritually blind.
    2. The Jews know the truth, but are maliciously stubborn.
    3. It’s all part of God’s mysterious plan.
    4. God is keeping the Jews as witnesses to the truth of Jesus.
    5. Jesus, the true Messiah, was not what Jews had come to expect.
    6. Jews rejected Jesus because they hate gentiles (I kid you not).

    I do not know how Christians can believe answers 1 and 4, which in effect mean the same thing: either because of a spiritual deficiency or because God wills it, Jews lack the free will to accept Jesus. Nevertheless, they are punished for it. Christians believe that the sacking of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Temple, and the subsequent suffering in exile is the punishment for rejecting Jesus. Is it just and merciful for God to take away the free will of an entire people and then punish them for it?

    The common rejoinder to this argument is that God removed Pharaoh’s free will by hardening his heart. Jewish tradition deals with this problem, but it must be noted that God Himself taught us we have free will. If you examine Genesis 4:7; Deuteronomy 30:11-15, 19:-20; and Ezekiel 18 and 33, you will see that these passages represent clear and open teachings on free will. Therefore, whatever your opinion, the story about Pharaoh must be understood in light of these teachings as a rare exception. As far as I know, there is not a single other instance in the Bible wherein God hardens someone’s heart, removing his free will.

    So how do Christians believe 1 and 4? They believe this because their scripture tells them so. More on that in a moment.

    The second answer is also the influence of Christian scripture. Again, more on that soon.

    The third answer is intellectually lazy, the answer of a Christian who would rather not think about it, so I won’t address it. (This answer was presented to me by a good friend who used to be my neighbor before we both moved.)

    As for the last two, when Christians have been trying to persuade Jews to convert for 2000 years and have failed miserably–and not for lack of trying, that’s for sure!–and they still can’t articulate the Jewish position on Jesus, then one thing becomes clear: For 2000 years they have not been listening. Instead, they have been preaching at us, unwilling or unable to open their minds and hearts to hear us out with compassion and understanding.

    Where does this attitude come from?

    The Christian scriptures teach that when the Jews read their own Scripture, a veil covers their eyes (2 Corinthians 3:14-15). They also teach that the Jews do not love God and do not even believe Moses (John 5:42, 47).

    The idea that God preserved the Jews as a witness to Jesus is not found in Christian scripture to the best of my knowledge, but was promulgated by Augustine. Nevertheless, his teachings greatly influenced Christendom (some for better, some for worse; this topic is beyond the scope of this article). Therefore, this idea is still in circulation today, though less popular than it was formerly.

    The Christian scriptures teach that the Jews knew who Jesus was and killed him because they wanted his inheritance (Luke 20:9-19).

    The Christian scriptures teach that even the gentiles saw the goodness of Jesus, yet the Jews bayed for his blood. The gospels show Pontius Pilate trying to reason with the crowd, then washing his hands of the matter, while the Jews proclaim, “His blood be upon us and upon our children!”

    These last two teachings not only charge the Jews with deicide, but charge them so for all time. Most Christians today reject the eternal charge of deicide. Still, they see a man who displayed the quintessence of kindness, goodness, mercy, and wisdom; and they imagine that only hate-filled, or malicious, or jealous Jews could have handed him over to the Romans to be killed. Till today, in their view, only Jews who are spiritually blind, arrogant in their expectation of the Messiah (an article on this topic is forthcoming), malicious, or hateful could possibly reject this righteous man, who out of his great love of mankind, laid down his life for them. How could there be any other reason?

    Truly, greater contempt hath no man.

    Yet the irony is that Christians are unaware of this contempt or its source. They sincerely believe they love the Jewish people, they support Israel, they are kind and gracious to us. Are we grateful for this? And how! I remember getting goosebumps listening to Pastor John Hagee talk about his love for the Jewish people and support for Israel. We have gratefully accepted the olive branch. We have few friends in the world, and we do not lightly dismiss the support of our Christian, Israel-supporting friends.

    Yet if you talk to a Christian long enough about religion, you will find this contempt for the Jew and Judaism bubbling just below the surface. It is simply not respectful to assume the above about anyone; these reasons for Jewish rejection of Jesus mark the Christian’s contempt for the Jew.

    You need only look to the Christian scriptures to see from whence this poison silently flows into the subconsciousness of the Christian mind, while the sincere and well-meaning Christian is oblivious to the infection of Jew hatred subtly and quietly implanted in his soul.

    • CP says:

      Dina,
      With all due respect; I thought your question on the prophets being killed was on point and interesting. I thought to myself; ‘I need to look into this’. But now you’ve escalated the whole thing with this “Christan Contempt” repost — quite frankly; I’ve lost my appetite for any further engagement on the topic.

    • CP says:

      Dina,
      I wish you’d asked me your question: “Why do you think that the Jews, alone among all cultural/religious groups in Europe, resisted the message of Christianity and rejected Jesus?”

      Answer;
      It is the synergistic effect of Christian revisionism and Jews culturally raised and taught Yeshua is irrelevant while accepting Christian revisionism to be the truth about Yeshua, therefore enforcing the alleged irrelevancy.

      • Dina says:

        Folks, this is the great irony. CP is one of the Christians who suggested that the Jews had Jesus killed because they wanted to claim his inheritance for themselves. He is also one of the Christians who suggested that we rejected Jesus because of our hostility to gentiles, telling Rabbi B. that if the gentiles hadn’t made such a fuss over Jesus we would have accepted him as a Second Temple prophet.

        If this is not contempt…

        But I’m not done yet, my friends. CP’s response is mystifying in light of the fact that he surely knows that the Jews had rejected Jesus centuries before what he says took effect. So his answer is irrelevant.

      • CP The Scriptures make Jesus irrelevant – its not our culture and we are not picking on any one individual – there are and were thousands of Jesuses

        1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • CP says:

        “Folks, this is the great irony. CP is one of the Christians who suggested that the Jews had Jesus killed because they wanted to claim his inheritance for themselves.”

        ??? I quoted a 2000 year old parable spoken by Yeshua and this is how you interpret it?

        “He is also one of the Christians who suggested that we rejected Jesus because of our hostility to gentiles,”

        ??? I never said this.

        Why is there most always a difference between what I write and what you read?

        • Dina says:

          Folks, if people don’t remember their own arguments, what is one to do?

          From https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2017/01/23/non-prophet-3/#comment-33066:

          “I’d be willing to bet if the Gentiles hadn’t made such a big deal out of Yeshua he’d be accepted by Jews today as a second Temple prophet.”

          And this is how I paraphrased it: “telling Rabbi B. that if the gentiles hadn’t made such a fuss over Jesus we would have accepted him as a Second Temple prophet.”

          Is there a meaningful distinction here? No, there is not. And is the implication that we rejected Jesus out of hostility to gentiles? Of course it is.

          I hope CP will retract his statement that he never said this. And if he doesn’t, shame on him.

          Also, CP cited that evil parable as proof of why we reject Jesus, prefacing it with the words, and I quote: “I think this is the real reason you must reject Yeshua as a false prophet.” I am not misunderstanding anything, but perhaps he is very confused.

          This is why I don’t like talking to him. He says he didn’t say things he clearly said, he says things mean things they clearly don’t mean. What is one to do?

          Oh, what a tangled web!

          • CP says:

            “Tangled Web” ?
            Just go up one post above to the post which you are addressing; its easily untangled. Anyone with Junior High reading comprehension skills can see you’ve built your argument around something I didn’t quote, mention or object to.

            I can understand this happening time to time, we all sometimes read into the text, but this is something you’re doing quite regularly. That’s okay too, but forgive me and others if we don’t buy into your version of reality, especially when it is so clearly different than the obvious reality.

          • CP says:

            Dina,
            I’d like to add by saying thank you for showcasing your decision making processes. It helps me to weigh other decisions you’ve made concerning truth.

          • Dina says:

            All you folks out there:

            Could someone else besides for CP show me that my version of reality doesn’t match the obvious reality?

            I would like to be corrected if I am wrong, but CP doesn’t correct people, he attacks them. I backed up everything I said with quotes and sources, as is my wont. CP can’t or won’t show where I went wrong.

            So it’s up to someone else in the audience, which is why I appeal to you.

            Is it obvious that CP used the evil parable of the vineyard to show Jewish rejection of Jesus? Or not?

            Is it obvious that CP said that the Jews would have accepted Jesus if not for the gentiles’ fuss over him? Or not?

            Scroll up for links and quotes.

            Thank you!

          • Dina I understood CP the same way you did 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Dina says:

            Thank you!

          • Yedidiah says:

            Yes, he said that & yes he meant to us that parable for that intended purpose.

            But perhaps by saying that Jews would have accepted Jesus if not for the gentiles’ fuss over him, was meant to tell us of a different theory or theology or a rewriting of Christian history. A different history than what I have read & studied. Perhaps he believes that Jesus or Yeshua came about because gentiles made a relative nobody, a poor itinerant preacher into some type of hero or god that they thought Jews might buy. Sort of like Atwills theory in his recent book called “Caesars Messiah”.

          • CP says:

            “….we rejected Jesus out of hostility to gentiles?….
            ….I hope CP will retract his statement that he never said this. And if he doesn’t, shame on him.”—

            —There is nothing to retract since I never said this. If you can prove otherwise, please stop posturing and do so by copy/paste and link.

          • CP says:

            Ya’ll,
            Three people have written or agreed I’ve said: ““….we rejected Jesus out of hostility to gentiles?….” Yet not one person is able to post proof.

            This is because what I write is subtly changed then changed again into something I never said. For example changing couch to bench to plank. This kind of thing is dishonest. It’s a shame some feel their position is so weak that they resort to such tactics. It is a huge impediment to productive discussion.

          • CP Did it occur to you that perhaps your words gave that impression? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • CP says:

            R’B,
            People have “impressions” about Orthodox Judaism. I first came here to cut through the impressions of others to know the truth first hand. In doing so I discovered Judaism has many “impressions” about Christianity and seem unable to separate Christian doctrine from Yeshua. I also discovered some unwilling to let go of their impressions of others because they use these impressions defensively. There are some here who continually and deceitfully rebuild torn down impressions to use them offensively.These people have no desire for Truth

            A prime example is above where others purposefully and knowingly accuse me according to their “impressions” rather than my first hand Words — they take my words editing them to match their impressions, then judge me for their impressions. How is this a pursuit of Truth?

            Interestingly enough, this is very revealing, because it is more and more appearing to be a fractal of Orthodox Judaism’s rejection of Yeshua.

          • CP This blog has been around for 6 years or more – thens of thousands of comments – your the first one that sees things this way

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Yedidiah says:

            You must first examine your own impressions with a “critical eye”, because you may be fooling yourself. For one, some of the people you are conversing with aren’t Orthodox Jews or even Jews and some are former Christians who had found little truth in Jesus or Yeshua. As part of a small minority, most of them are surrounded most days by Christians of all sorts. They get their impressions of Christians from Christians. Many get their impressions of Jesus (or Yeshua) from the NT & many have taken an honest look at Yeshua, some maybe even looking to convert & join the crowd, join the “gentiles”, & follow Yeshua. What those folks seen was a Yeshua that contradicts some of the basic fundamentals of Judaism and of the Torah & Tanach. They see texts “stolen” from the Hebrew Bible & twisted & bent all out of shape in order to try to support some validity to Yeshua’s ‘foreign, pagan” teachings. Even the gospel writers themselves speak of many common ordinary Jews (crowds of folks that were not rose evil “leaders” or “scholars”) rushed to hear Jesus speak & they turned away & left disappointed with Yeshua & his pagan teachings that were “too hard for Jews to follow”. They rejected Yeshua because of Yeshua and not because of the fuss “gentiles” made about Yeshua centuries later.

            Some of the folks you have or may converse with here, may be more knowledgeable about Yeshua’ than quite a few Christians. Some of those Christians come to this blog to preach & then they go. Those Christians who comment more frequently are a lot like you, CP; they use buzzwords like Yeshua and Messiah to try to separate their hero from all the bad impressions that many Jews & others get from many Christians. Those commentors who see very good reasons to not accept Yeshua, see contradictions in Yeshua; they read about outlandish “miracles” with little or no evidence that impressed very few Jews and didn’t impress many Romans nor the many foreign merchants & others who traveled through the Galil and Judea. Instead of history, many who are given no good reason to accept Yeshua, read quotes (distorted or not) from the Hebrew Scriptures. They read tall tales, lies, & absurdities. More fiction, more theatre, more myth than reality.

            You might try to separate “Yeshua” from “Jesus” & from “Christian doctrine”, but Yeshua is 100% Jesus & all of Yeshua is Christian doctrine. You might reject a lot of Christian doctrines or teachings, but the more you do, the more your Yeshua is an imaginary character, a myth you are trying to re-invent.

          • CP says:

            Yedidiah,
            “You must first examine your own impressions with a “critical eye”——- I’m doing the best I can in this department. Anyone who tries, quickly finds this is easier said than done. Especially when it comes to matters of Faith.

            “They see texts “stolen” from the Hebrew Bible & twisted & bent all out of shape in order to try to support some validity” ——- I agree this is what they claim. Yet they don’t see texts “stolen” and twisted when used in the Talmud. Why is that?

            “they read about outlandish “miracles” with little or no evidence” ——- Many say the same of the Tanach. Quite frankly, there is a double standard being applied.

            “they use buzzwords like Yeshua and Messiah to try to separate their hero from all the bad impressions that many Jews & others get from many Christians.”——- Just because people are using more accurate and truthful terms concerning Yeshua, these are labeled “buzzwords”?

            “You might reject a lot of Christian doctrines or teachings, but the more you do, the more your Yeshua is an imaginary character, a myth you are trying to re-invent.” ——- Rather than “re-invent”, I’d say “re-discover”. It is because it is the Christian Jesus who is the imaginary character, not the historical one.

          • Yedidiah says:

            Don’t expect many comments on this blog the next 24 hours because many are “doing” Shabbat.

            CP: on “Critical eye”- I truly hope you are doing the best that you can. But it isn’t that hard. I don’t like to use Paul, but the Corinthians & Roman letter writer or writers, essentially believes that faith is evidence. That could be used by virtually anyone putting faith in virtually anything or anyone. Instead, it is what you do that can be evidence of your faith. Torah “commanded” that the Israelites “be” holy as God “is” Holy. Do deeds instead of just have belief in some creed. Judaism is called by some, a religion of reason, not a religion of faith in a man or a man-figure. So instead of obsessing over “who” the messiah is or will be, one should be concerned with doing what God has commanded. Christians all too often are consumed with missionizing or witnessing, and are obsessed in trying to prove Jesus-Yeshua philosophically, doctrinally, or historically. They increase Yeshua to god or divine being or “greatest prophet of all” status, as a icon – created being filled with the spirit, which is idolatry. Despite what Paul writes, i.e., “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom”, the gospel writers are obsessed with trying to prove Yeshua (not God) was somebody though numerous signs & miracles (often just “one-upmanship over persons and/or prophets in the Hebrew bible) and attempting to show that Yeshua possesses the “wisdom of God”, rather than teaching how to be Godly.

            “Stolen” texts” – who are the “they” in “this is what they claim”? Orthodox Jews aren’t the only ones who can agree with that truth. Talmud does not pretend to be a ‘New Testament” or a “renewed covenant”. And the NT does not claim to be merely commentary on Torah and Tanakh for Torahs sake (NT is more like “for Yeshua’s sake”). The NT writers do place Yeshua/Jesus as part of a world of Greeks & in a Roman Empire, but the Greeks & Romans ignore or “reject” Yeshua more than the Jews did (which is strange since Yeshua was more a mirror of Babylonian or Roman religion then he was of the Jewish religion.

            “buzzwords” – Actually Jesus is closer to Iesous than Yeshua. I once counted at least a dozen different “sacred names” that “messianics” used in their NT translations or their sermons or websites because they were “more accurate and truthful terms” or names concerning Jesus (Yeshua, Yehoshua, Yahshua, Yahwehshua, YHWHshua, or other supposedly more “Hebraic” or “Aramaic” names). None of those names were used in the earliest Christian writings (nor in any non-Jewish writings that Christians make in their far-fetched claim of proof of Jesus’ or the Christ’s historical existence).

            “Reinvent” – How does one “re-discover” a character in text when one believes that “the Christian Jesus” is an imaginary character, not the historical one”? Without very selective reading & distortion of the text? Many Christians (not just those who say Jesus at times & Yeshua at other times) see “their Jesus” in every single verse where you see “your Yeshua”. If Jesus is imaginary, Yeshua is just a different name for that imaginary character.

          • RT says:

            Yedidiah

            What you say is totally true. As an ex-Christian that still goes to a messianic congregation, I see no reason why I should change my mind about Jesus. The fact that they changed his name does not change the fact that the writers of the new testament mistreat “prophecies” and bible text to arrive at their conclusion. Not only they did that, but they had to invent a story in heaven and a second coming to convince us that any prophecies were fulfilled. Most Christian have to accept by faith and prove themselves that they hold the truth, so basically, in any messianic congregation they will go on and on trying to convince each other that they hold the truth and that those who don’t agree are blind. It’s hard to believe when you come to understand that all prophecies are taken out of context, extremely vague, in heaven, have not happened yet (second coming), are plain wrong or are just not in the Bible at all.

            I am still waiting for one prophecy that would point to Jesus and that has actually being fulfilled. Until then, I will stay the black sheep 🙂

          • RT says:

            CP “I agree this is what they claim. Yet they don’t see texts “stolen” and twisted when used in the Talmud. Why is that?”

            If there is stolen or twisted text in the Talmud, this is irrelevant. Twisted and stolen text in the New testament would prove that it is non-inspired book full of lies.

            Let see:

            “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”).

            “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
            are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
            for out of you will come a ruler
            who will shepherd my people Israel.’
            Jesus was not a ruler.

            And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
            That was Israel…

            “A voice is heard in Ramah,
            weeping and great mourning,
            Rachel weeping for her children
            and refusing to be comforted,
            because they are no more.”[
            Should that have been Lea? And in context it was the captivity of Babylon… Rachel’s tomb was in Bethlehem though.

            So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.
            Where is that in the Bible? Still puzzled by that one!

            “A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
            ‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
            make straight paths for him.’
            That only work if you believe Yeshua is HaShem…

            To be fair, we may say that it was a Jewish thing to take Bible verses out of context to prove a point, but we should not use that as a Proof text. And if there is no such a proof text and you only have to believe Jesus by faith, then, why should we believe in him?

            Why should I put my trust in a man, when the Tanakh clearly said I should not, if there is no evidence that the scriptures speak of him? What did Yeshua mean when he said that all the scriptures speaks of him, if it is not the case and those bible proof are actually not proofs, then that renders the writer of the new testament or Yeshua as liar. Unless you show proofs that the Hebrew Bible talks of Yeshua, the new testament is a lie. Simple.

            Or do I need the holy spirit to reveal that the “proofs” are actually real proofs?

          • Jim says:

            RT,

            You may have heard that these misrepresented passages are not misrepresented, but are really midrashic interpretations. You may be interested in my response to that claim, here:
            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/matthew-admits-that-jesus-was-never-resurrected-by-jim/#comment-33245 .

            Jim

          • CP says:

            RT,
            “If there is stolen or twisted text in the Talmud, this is irrelevant. Twisted and stolen text in the New testament would prove that it is non-inspired book full of lies.” ——- I’m not saying this is so, but if you apply the same standard of judgment to the Talmud as you do the NT you should come to the same conclusion.

            “So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.
            Where is that in the Bible? Still puzzled by that one!” ——- I know you’ve posted a number of these, but since I’m typing on my phone, I’ll just pick the one you appear to see as most puzzling. This comes from Isaiah who is known for his play on words. It is from a play on the the word Nazar (branch) in a Messianic prophecy from Isaiah.

            RT, no one thing by itself (unless it is explicit) proves anything. A interesting example is Isaiah using a mem soffit in the middle of a word in a Messanic passage. There are a number of hints in Tanach. But if you’re looking for a picture ID and social security number of the Messiah along with his complete precise day to day itinerary; as far as I know they don’t exist.

          • Dina says:

            RT, I hope you realize that CP’s explanation of plays on words is as silly as can be. Matthew 2:23 reads quite clearly: “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene” (KJV).

            The author of Matthew is clearly saying that the prophets spoke a prophecy with the words “He shall be called a Nazarene.” Not only is this quote fabricated, the city of Natzeret is never mentioned in the Bible. The attempt to link it to the word netzer, branch, is as desperate as it sounds.

            For more on this, read this link:

            https://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/articles/s-there-a-missing-prophecy-of-the-nazarene/

            CP tells you that the Bible contains only hints (which you will see if you read the Bible like Horace does, see https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/horaces-tree-by-jim/). If you are looking for photo ID and such details they don’t exist.

            CP is wrong. True, you won’t find the Messiah’s photo ID and SS number in the Bible. But you will find enough defining characteristics to know that the Messiah has not yet arrived and is certainly not Jesus.

            The Torah tells us that the Messiah will be a descendant of King David on his father’s side through his son Solomon. He will be a king who will rule over a united Israel during a time of universal peace, universal knowledge of God, ingathering of the exiles, restoration to the Land, restoration of the Temple and sacrificial system, national resurgence of Torah observance, punishment of Israel’s oppressors, vindication of Israel in CP’s eyes ;), and…did I miss anything?

            It’s pretty clear that Jesus doesn’t fit the bill. He was either an illegitimate child of an unknown tribe (or even the son of a non-Jew, God only knows who Mary was fooling around with) as the Jews believe, or he had no earthly father, as the Christians believe. In either case, he is not a descendant of King David on his father’s side, which is the only way to pass on tribal affiliation.

            He also did not rule over Israel as a king. After his death, the opposite of the above messianic promises occurred. The Temple was destroyed and the sacrificial system thereby annulled, many Jews were scattered, the Jews became an object of scorn and derision among the nations of the world, and 2000 years of terrible oppression and darkness followed. Does this sound like a messianic era to you? I know, me neither!

            You know why the Torah doesn’t command us to believe in the messiah? Because when he comes it’s going to be so obvious. All you’ll have to do is read the headlines:

            ALL NATIONS LAY DOWN THEIR ARMS
            ISRAEL WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG!
            CONSTRUCTION ON THIRD TEMPLE UNDERWAY
            BERNIE SANDERS AND CO. EMBRACE RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE
            And so on and so forth.

            When the messiah comes, you won’t have to pull out your Bible and search for hints.

            And RT, this is beside for the fact that Jesus was a false prophet who gave signs that never came to pass and who encouraged a new type of worship (I am the way, I am the first and the last, Jesus is the word made flesh, etc.). But that’s a discussion for another time.

          • RT says:

            CP.

            I agree with you. You may find passages that look like Yeshua. The same similarities can be found with other people too. How many of such familiarities is needed to conclude that Yeshua is messiah? You may say that there is enough evidences with those similarities, and other may say no. Taking a work like “nazar” and adding all those play on word might be enough for you to conclude that Yeshua is the messiah. That does not convince me yet, especially that it could be considered a foreign worship if you are wrong. I only consider it to be safer to stay in my position and not accept him as messiah until I receive sufficient evidences, even if Yeshua say that I would regret my decision…

        • CP says:

          RT,
          “I only consider it to be safer to stay in my position and not accept him as messiah”

          ——- Safer position? Why? As long as the distinction between God and Messiah aren’t blurred. Is it some kind of sin to think someone is anointed by God when they aren’t?

          • RT says:

            Come to me, said Jesus, and I will give you rest…

            It’s hard to see Yeshua’s claims in direct opposition to YHVH. Even if you don’t worship him as G-d, you have to elevate him as a god. Let me see, you see him as lord, he forgave your sins and you must put him in a way or another between HaShem and yourself.

            Let me see, I could see myself accepting Yeshua as messiah, but what would happen…

            First, I have to totally oppose 99% of followers of Yeshua.
            Second, I must think that I am one of the few that the Holy Spirit reveal the truth, and all else must be considered as idolaters.
            Third, I would have to have two lords, two saviours, two redeemers, etc. and say to myself, I only believe in One G-d. And it’s fine! I still have to go to a congregation of idolaters (most likely) and while they pray to their Triune god, I would have to pray to G-d, then accept Yeshua as a lower god who does not deserve my worship.
            Fourth, I must reconsider most of the books of the new testament to fit the fact that the Torah is still in effect. Which book shall I pick depend on each individual decision… Or maybe I can twist to logical meaning and arrive at the exact opposite of what the text say to fit my belief…
            Fifth, I have to totally ignore the fact the Yeshua was not predicted in the Torah/Tanakh. I have to take vague midrash (similarities) and try to force myself to believe that Yeshua is indeed the messiah, just because he said so… I have to ignore the fact that there is a real meaning to those verses, and the fact that the prophets talked about something else. Rob the prophets of their original meaning to arrive at those midrash and feel happy that the whole scriptures speak of Yeshua!
            Sixth, I have to convince everybody else that they are wrong, mostly the Jews, because if I don’t do that, I am not really believing in Yeshua, my lord (with lowercase). I have to pretend it’s not another religion, but the continuation of the same religion, that the Jews (or Judean leaders) went all astray since 200 BC (not BCE).
            Seventh, I have to excuse the persecution of Jews/others since Christianity started, because they were not really following the real Historical Yeshua. Obviously, I would, because he is not the trinity that everybody else believe. I would boast myself because me and CP are the few whom the Holy Spirit has revealed that truth. Even more so, because all those idolaters are in hell, with the Jews and the rest of my family and friends, who refused / or never studied my version of the new testament.
            Seventh, I would have to ignore the fact that the New Testament god is an awful god who requires someone to die in my place. Or else, he will require all non-follower of Yeshua to be cast in outer darkness.
            Eight, I would have to ignore the fact that Yeshua is sometimes, extremely hard, calling people names, and saying to the gentiles that they are dogs. Of course, nice little domestic dog, not the street ones.
            Ninth, I would have to ignore the fact that Yeshua decided to speak in parable, just for the people not to understand what he was really saying. And I would have to say to myself, fools, you who did not understand him, good for you that you will finish in heaven, you would not eat his body and drink his blood. When the truth is, if I would have been there, I would probably have thought “What the heck is he talking about?”
            Tenth, I would have to finally pinpoint what “the word” means. Who was Yeshua, who was since the beginning with the father? Probably I won’t arrive at any conclusion that make sense and will conclude that he is the son of god, but not god the son. And be happy with the fact that the bible is full of “mysteries”

          • Dina says:

            RT, those are exactly the problems you would face if you accept Jesus. Well said.

          • CP says:

            RT, Dina,
            Rather than always focusing on the negative side of things, broaden your view of what is really happening:

          • Yedidiah says:

            The problem is, that the negative side of things is part of the broad view of what is really happening (or supposedly has happened). Always focusing on the so called “positive side” is a narrow view & one that does not negate the negative side.

          • CP says:

            Yedidiah,
            Seriously? Did you listen? This man is not focusing on one side or the other, but approaching the big picture fairly and trying to repair the world. You took it back to just one extreme, why?

          • Yedidiah says:

            I was responding to your text. Seriously? Did you read? How is it extreme to acknowledge that one must look at “all of the big picture”? Not just the part that you focus upon?

            I could agree with Tikun Olam or “repairing the world”. A question is how does one accomplish or go about that? By proposing a “Kosher Jesus” as did Orthodox Rabbi Boteach (his book was highly criticized by Jews & non-Jews on this blog site)”? By scrapping a good portion of the NT or rewriting the texts to make him (his 4 Faces or his “Changing Faces” as Vermes wrote) into a good Pharisee (or Herodian, Essene, or Sadducee or perhaps a Neo-Platonism/Gnostic or a Cynic, or a Stoic Jew)? There is strong opposition to “Messianc Jews” by many of their fellow Christians who believe messianics are heretics undermining Jesus and returning to a “Pharasaic legalism”.

            I have studied as a lay person the “historical Jesus” for almost 15 years now, so I have read Amy Levine, Crossan, & Ehrman, who the Rabbi mentions, but I also read numerous other writers who may or might not have a different opinion of the “historical Jesus/Yeshua”, such as Mack, Robert Price, Carrier, MacCoby, Eisenmann, and others. I have read books that explain how some modern Jews see Jesus and books where the authors explored the distinctiveness of Judaism and the theological differences for the purpose of mutual understanding between Jews & Christians (books such as “Where Judaism Differs”, “We Jews and Jesus”, “Why the Jews Rejected Jesus”, “Modern Jews Engage the New Testament”, “A Rabbi Talks With Jesus”, “There is no Messiah and You are It”, etc. One book I have was written by Jews & Christians, “Christianity in Jewish Terms”. And another of my books was written by a Jew & a Catholic scholar comparing some of the gospel parables to similar stories in the Mishna or Talmud. These are just some of the books in my library that pertain to your latest reply to me & to the video you posted.

            I know about inter-faith dialogue. In my city Jews & Catholics leaders meet on a monthly basis. I am not Jewish. I am still a member of a Church that is “returning to its Jewish Roots”. They celebrate most of the Jewish holidays to some degree. The Pastor & the church has strong ties to Israel & goes there several times a year (I’ve only been to Israel once back in 1998 (for Israel’s 50th year celebration). The Pastor had studied with Chief Rabbis (e.g., the controversial Chief Rabbi of Efrat), & other Orthdox Rabbis (in Israel, England, or the local Rabbi). The Pastor has meet with Israeli political leaders, including the current & a former Prime Minister. Orthodox Rabbis & Jews have attended a portion of the Church Sunday morning services and spoken & even preached.

            So what is happening that I don’t know about?

          • Yedidiah says:

            Sorry, I am amending my statement that the church I go to is “returning to it’s Jewish Roots” to “…Hebraic Roots”, since church doctrine is Jesus/Yeshua was/is Jewish, but the followers of Jesus now have “Hebraic Roots”, since the church members are not Jewish nor do they pretend to be Jewish or “Messianic Jews”, terms which may be offensive to our Jewish friends. They are Christians who use the more general term, “Hebraic Roots”. The Church is strongly Trinitarian, but I am unitarian since there is only 1 God, who was not a man. So, I see things a lot like RT in his comment above about being the only unitarian in a Trinitarian church. Some in the church leadership hope to “save” me (“under the devils spell”) & so they don’t have a problem as long as I keep quiet about my personal beliefs.

          • Eleazar says:

            RT, I have experienced first-hand every conflict you listed there. I know all about being the only non-trinitarian in a church.

            Every question your raised was a struggle for me and it got worse the more time went on and the more I learned.

          • RT says:

            CP, those are serious concern. I could focus on the positive and just ignore everything else I mentioned. I could also ignore the other side negative part. I could also decide that there is not god. All decision have a negative and a positive. For example, the Jewish portion that I could tell you that puzzled me more is the Oral Torah. First, I have not read it, so how could I judge. Second, there is the issue that G-d is Holy and even if I try my best, I still may fall short. I might think I follow enough and keep his commandments, when I don’t. I also may wonder if I should keep the Torah as a gentile. This would be the same issue if I would follow Yeshua. But, those issues are different than if I would believe in Yeshua. Those issues, I can live with them and even if I am wrong, it would not mean that I worship the wrong god. I may not worship G-d in the good way, and he may think that I am the most wretched man on earth, but still would worship the true G-d. If I go and accept the new testament, there is a good chance that I am wrong, which would render myself as a polytheist. Even if you do not say that Yeshua is a god, you have to accept him as such with the claims he has made.

            So, I took my decision on counting the pros and the cons of both Christianity and Judasim. My conscience could not allow me to still accept Yeshua without proofs and the Shadows and types could prove anything your heart wants to prove, especially if heaven is the reward and hell is the consequence…

          • RT says:

            CP, when you are calling a group of people, (Pharisees) Hypocrite, brood of vipers and from your father the devil, and then say he is a poor misunderstood Jew? It’s not hard to be delusive maybe… There are also a lot of people who are racist against their own race, you know. And add on top of that, that he thought he was the messiah… a prophet and persecuted for his own zeal, then he might have been delusional on top of that.

            Tell me CP, were ALL the Judean leaders and Pharisees hypocrites? Because that is exactly what Jesus said and implied. He said that they converted proselytes and they became twice as sons of hell as they are. So,

            To generalize and degrade a group of people just because they do not believe or act like you do is racism…

            P.S. I have not listened to you video…. I am at work

    • LarryB says:

      Dina
      I do not want to change your subject but… “The common rejoinder to this argument is that God removed Pharaoh’s free will by hardening his heart.”
      What about Sforno’s idea? Ive read that God didnt harden pharaohs heart as much as he gave it strength to resist. Pharaoh actually admitted he was wrong after the 7th plague.

      • Dina says:

        Larry, there are several ways to understand this, and some of those ways posit that God did not actually remove his free will. But my point was that even if so, it was an aberration and could not be used to rebut the free will argument.

  8. Dina says:

    The Messianic Expectation

    Part One: Who’s Right?

    A Christian response to the Jewish position that Jesus can’t be the Messiah because he didn’t fulfill the messianic promises can be summed up thus: Just because he wasn’t what you expected is no reason to reject him. What are you going to tell God when he asks you why you rejected Jesus? That he wasn’t what you expected? How do you think that’s going to go over?

    The Jewish position points to the fact that Tanach teaches openly and clearly what to expect in the messianic era. Moses promises the nation of Israel that after all the blessings and curses come upon us, we will return to Torah observance according to everything he has taught us on that day, and then God will gather us in and restore us to the Land (Deuteronomy 30). Ezekiel promises us that a scion of the House of David will rule over a united Israel during an era of universal peace, knowledge of God, a restored Temple, an ingathering of exiles to the Land, etc. (Ezekiel 37).

    On the other hand, Christianity teaches the following about the messiah:

    The messiah must be a sinless human being.
    The messiah must suffer and die–and according to most Christians–in order to atone for the sins of mankind.
    The messiah is the word of God made flesh; he is the living, breathing Torah (whatever that means) (John 1).
    The messiah will die, then come back at a later date to fulfill the messianic prophecies.
    According to most Christians, the messiah is also divine, part of the triune godhead.
    You must believe in the messiah.
    If you do not believe in the messiah you will be punished.

    There is one problem with these teachings, and that is this: They are not taught in the Torah.

    It is the height of audacity to make up teachings out of whole cloth, teachings that are not taught in the Torah, and then sneer at Jews for adding on to the Torah.

    It is the height of audacity to sneer at Jews for rejecting Jesus just because he wasn’t what we expected.

    Why? I’ll tell you why.

    We test the words of self-proclaimed prophets against the words of the vetted prophets who preceded them. If the teachings don’t match, we reject the prophet, not his predecessors. How else are we supposed to know if a prophet is true?

    To say that we reject Jesus because he wasn’t what we expected is to make a lie of all the messianic promises. We believe that the Torah is telling us true when it says that the messiah will be a Davidic king who will rule over Israel during a utopian era. It’s a strange and disingenuous argument because those who argue thus would never accept it regarding Mohammed or Joseph Smith or any other number of self-proclaimed prophets that mainstream Christians don’t accept. The idea that they might reject these prophets because they weren’t what they expected would appear absurd to them.

    Our eyes are not lying. The Torah’s teachings are crystal clear.

    Christianity’s teachings are crystal clear as well.

    They clearly contradict the Torah. They are clearly false.

    Part Two: Expectation or Obsession?

    The Torah and traditional Judaism do not share Christianity’s obsession with the messiah.

    To understand our different perspectives, we need to start at the beginning, with the Hebrew word mashiach, anglicized to messiah.

    This word means anointed one. The word “hamashiach,” the anointed one, is never used in Tanach to refer to the king who will rule over a united Israel at the end of days. It is used to refer to other figures in Tanach, such as Aaron, “the anointed priest;” and the word “mashiach” is used many times throughout Tanach. The process of anointing was common.

    Since all kings were anointed, and the figure who will rule over Israel will be an anointed king, we simply got into the habit of referring to him as the “anointed one,” or “mashiach.”

    However, in the entire canon of Hebrew Scripture, this figure is infrequently and lightly mentioned as compared to the emphasis on themes of importance. For example, the theme of monotheism, the importance of Sabbath observance, the concept of reward/punishment for obedience/disobedience, the promises of redemption–all these are strongly and repeatedly emphasized. The Tanach does not concern itself with who the messiah will be, nor does it command us in any way concerning him.

    Although as Jews in exile we anticipate the coming of the messiah which will usher in an era of world peace, universal knowledge of God, and our vindication–finally!–in the eyes of sneering gentiles, we don’t really care who the messiah specifically is (unless you’re Chabad, a fraction of Orthodox Jews). We don’t care, because we only care about the things the Torah tells us to care about.

    On the other hand, Christianity focuses on the messiah. The specific figure of the messiah, whom they believe is Jesus, takes front and center stage in Christianity. Christianity, as its name denotes, is Christ-centered (christ being derived from the Greek word to anoint). Judaism, as its name denotes (it comes from the Hebrew word to acknowledge or thank), focuses on God. Acknowledging God in everything we do, thanking him for our existence and the privilege of serving Him.

    Judaism teaches us to love and revere God, to obey Him, to walk in His ways, to love His children and render justice to them, to treat them with charity and compassion. Christianity teaches its adherents to accept Jesus as their lord and savior in order to be saved from eternal damnation. Secondarily, it teaches all those other things.

    As a background to looking to God and following His ways, Judaism encourages an expectation of the messiah and a yearning for better days.

    As a foreground to looking to Jesus and following his teachings, Christianity encourages an obsession with the messiah that is antithetical to the Torah.

  9. Jim says:

    A certain commenter here recently wrote:

    “These isn’t something that can be proven but I’d be willing to bet if the Gentiles hadn’t made such a big deal out of Yeshua he’d be accepted by Jews today as a second Temple prophet.”

    Putting aside for the moment that this speculation is without basis, it has provoked a bit of controversy. For obvious reasons, some took offense to this statement. Dina took this statement to mean: “Jews rejected Jesus because they hate gentiles (I kid you not).” She is not the only one that understood the offending commenter’s declaration this way. Instead of explaining what he did mean, the commenter just went on to insult those that misunderstood with him. For clarity, I am going to try to explain what I believe he meant and why his words could be so easily understood.

    It is my opinion that the commenter meant that the Jewish people did not accept Jesus as a prophet, because he became an idol. At that point, they were disinterested in trying to understand what he calls the “historical Jesus.” They made no effort even to understand his message, once he became an object of worship. Nor did they try to separate his message from the message of the Church. It had nothing to do with the non-Jew and everything to do with Jesus being made an idol. I believe this is what is meant by “made such a big deal out of Yeshua”. This would be in line with many of the commenter’s statements on this blog about separating the historical Jesus from the false Jesus, a creation of the Church, as well as his comments regarding the reaction of Judaism to Christianity.

    So, why were his comments misunderstood, assuming they were?

    First, the comment is terribly vague. What does it mean that non-Jews “made such a big deal” out of Jesus? It is easy to read the statement with an emphasis on Gentiles, contrasting the Gentile with the Jew. The statement could easily mean that Jews avoid all things Gentile. This idea could be supported by the fact that the same commenter linked to a Jewish-Christian website that claims that Jesus is God as proof that knowledgeable Jews believe in Jesus. It would be fair to understand from this that the problem is not that Jesus was made into an idol, but that the Church became a non-Jewish body. If he wanted to say that Jews rejected Jesus as a prophet because Jesus became an idol, he could have said that directly.

    Second, the commenter recently told Dina that he believes that if there were a Holocaust of Christians, she would not hide them. In context, his implication was not that she is a coward. He implied that she hated Christians. Inasmuch as that comment preceded the one in question by not a terribly long time, one can see how the reader could conclude that he was asserting that Jews hate non-Jews when he says that the Jews were reacting to the Gentiles making a big deal out of Jesus.

    Third, the comment furthers the notion that the Jews merely have an aversion to Jesus, not that they have a desire for truth. It is dismissive of Jewish arguments. Moreover, it ignores that the Jewish people do not recognize any prophets from the time of Jesus. By ignoring the facts and arguments, he misrepresents the Jewish objections. And he fails to treat them with the seriousness they deserve. Because the implication is that the Jew is merely reactionary, one can easily read the comment as a statement about the thoughtless reaction of the Jew do the non-Jew.

    The fourth reason, and in some ways the biggest, for the misunderstanding, is that the commenter treats others with contempt. This has made an impression upon those that have been following his comments for some time. In response to one blogpost, he wrote:

    “I must apologize for not answering this Blog the first time it was posted. Thinking it weak and others would see it for what it is, I gave it the attention I thought it deserved. After seeing it reblogged and reading some of the comments it became apparent not everyone read this closely.”

    The reader will note the contempt the commenter has for the writer of the blog post, the one who reposted it and the commenters who “did not read [it] closely.” I read this paragraph to my sister, and she audibly gasped, wondering aloud who would write such an incredibly disrespectful thing. Disagreement is one thing; one must present his arguments to the contrary. But these comments are merely insulting and do not put forward an argument at all. The same commenter told Dina that she could not read comments written at a junior high level.

    The problem is that when one writes with so much contempt for others, they are not likely to understand vague and unexplained points in the most charitable fashion. Being so used to suffering abuse at the fingers of the commenter, they will believe that he is only hurling more of the same in their direction.

    Of course, when such misunderstandings occur, he could just explain what he meant instead of insulting his interlocutor. The real question is not what he meant, but why he cannot explain what he meant when he was obviously misunderstood. Instead he complained about how people took his words in an unintended sense. For several comments he insults others and dares them to prove that he said that they hated Gentiles. All the while, he could have clarified the whole question.

    He could stop treating others with contempt.

    Jim

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