Is the Jewish Bible a Mystery Novel?

1000 Verses - a project of Judaism Resources

Is the Jewish Bible a Mystery Novel?

Christian missionaries read the Jewish Bible as if it were a mystery novel. The Bible presents the missionary with an enigmatic puzzle that needs to be unraveled. Only the missionary knows that Jesus is the answer before he or she begins reading. The trick is to try to see Jesus behind every symbol and every metaphor that the poetic authors of the Bible bequeathed to us. When Jesus is “discovered”, the Jewish Bible has achieved its purpose and can now be summarily put aside.

But is the Jewish Bible a really a “mystery novel”? Is it one big “I spy” game in which the reader has to try to find that elusive Jesus? Is the Jewish Bible the ancient version of “Where is Waldo/Jesus”?

The missionary approach to the 53rd chapter in the book of Isaiah illustrates the Christian attitude towards the…

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