The Real Jewish Messiah – Part 2

Transcript and Notes to: The Real Jewish Messiah Part 2

This presentation is a response to Dr. Brown’s video on the subject of the Real Jewish Messiah.

Dr. Brown begins his presentation by telling us that he accepts the roles assigned to the Messiah by traditional Judaism, namely; ingathering of Israel’s exile, building the Temple in Jerusalem, ushering in an era of universal peace and knowledge of God. But Dr. Brown argues that this is only half of the picture. According to Dr. Brown traditional Judaism has missed a crucial aspect of the Messiah’s mission. According to Dr. Brown the Messiah is first supposed to provide atonement for mankind with his vicarious death. Judaism does not accept this function as one of the roles of the Messiah.

But the difference between Judaism and Christianity does not stop there. This is not merely an argument about how many functions are assigned to the Messiah, is it 4 or is it 5, is the Messiah to come once or twice. It is a question of faith and devotion. Dr. Brown believes that all of humanity needs to put their faith and trust in the atoning sacrifice of his Messiah or else they remain unredeemed and unsaved. Let’s word this differently, from a Jewish perspective. Dr. Brown is telling us that our love for God is inadequate and that our trust in God is misplaced. According to Dr. Brown, now that his Messiah has died for your sins, your love for God is incomplete without faith in the sacrifice of his Messiah.

The rejection of Dr. Brown’s position is not a peripheral aspect of Judaism. It cuts to the very heart and soul of our standing as a covenant nation before God. Isaiah declares that we are God’s witnesses (Isaiah 43:10,12; 44:8) and our testimony to the world is that there is but One God, the Creator of heaven and earth. The God that we encountered through the exodus experience and the Sinai revelation is the only one that humanity needs to turn to. Every cause for trust, every reason for love and for worship resides with Him and with Him alone. We testify to the world that everyone and everything is but a subject of God, even the people that are deified by the nations around us. All of man’s worship, all of man’s trust and hope belong with our God, the God who the Jewish people pray to, and with Him alone. This is what Judaism stands for.

So this is not just a debate about the Messiah, this is an argument about Israel’s faith and trust in God. Is this trust inadequate and misplaced as Dr. Brown would have us believe, or is this trust adequate and true, as Judaism affirms.

The prophets have settled this argument a long time ago and they settled it decisively, with clarity and with force. The prophets declared that when the Messiah comes, it will be Israel’s trust in God that will be vindicated. The prophets actually took this one step further. The Scriptures tell us that it is precisely through the vindication of Israel’s trust in God that the nations will come to know God.

Micah 7 (verses 7-9) tells us that while Israel suffers for her sins, God is her light. Israel hopes to God from the midst of her suffering and that trust will be vindicated to the eyes of her enemies. (There are several Psalms which give voice to Israel’s hope to God from the midst of her suffering (Psalms 74, 79, 80 and 83). See also Isaiah 26:8,13,16; 33:2; Psalms 44:18; 102:18; 115:1,9,18; 123:2; 124:8; 130:7; Lamentations 3:24.)

Psalm 102 describes the process through which all the nations will come to knowledge of God. “The nations will fear the name of the Lord and all the kings of the earth His glory. Because the Lord has built Zion, He is seen in His glory. He has turned to the prayer of the destitute, and He has not despised their prayer.” It is when God answers the prayer of Israel that all the nations learn to fear Him. And you know exactly Who it is that Israel is praying to and you know who it is that they are not praying to.

This theme is repeated again and again throughout the Scriptures. Not once or twice, but dozens of times. When Israel is comforted and glorified, when God hears their prayer and when their enemies are put to shame, that is when the nations of the world come to know God. (See Isaiah 18:3; 30:26; 35:2; 40:5; 41:20; 42:6; 44:23; 45:6,14; 49:6,13,23; 52:9,10; 55:5; 60:3; 61:2; 62:2; 65:25; 66:18; Jeremiah 3:17; 31:6,9,10; 33;9; Ezekiel 20:41; 36:23,36; 37:28; 38:23; 39:7,27; Joel 4:16; Obadiah 1;21; Micah 4:1; 7:16; Zephaniah 2:11; 3:9; Zechariah 8:23; 13:2; 14:9; Psalm 9:9; 22:29; 46:11; 67:1,2; 69:35; 76:10; 83:19; 96:11; 97:8; 98:3; 108:6; 126:2.)

Because knowing God is not just a matter of knowing about the existence of God. Knowing God means knowing that God hears the prayer of all who turn to Him in sincerity. Knowing God means knowing that you could bring all of your troubles directly to Him, even your worst sins. Knowing God means realizing that you don’t need to trust in anyone or anything else because His mercy is all-encompassing. And knowing God means knowing that those who hope to Him, and to Him alone, will not be shamed (Isaiah 49:23).

The prophets made it abundantly clear that it is Israel’s trust in God that will be vindicated at the end of the age. Dr. Brown’s contention that Israel’s trust is inadequate and incomplete is openly refuted by the explicit word of God.

So how does Dr. Brown try to support his position? Where does he see this trust in a particular sacrifice in the pages of Scripture?

There is no explicit passage in Scripture, even according to Dr. Brown’s interpretation, that declares that we need to trust in the vicarious atonement of anyone in order to be accepted by God. Dr. Brown is pointing to gaps in the Scriptural narrative and he weaves a multi-stepped interpretation to fill in those gaps. He then presents this theological construct as the only valid interpretation of these ambiguous passages. But again, even according to Dr. Brown’s interpretation, there is no clear and unambiguous teaching in Scripture on this subject.

So here we have a clear and explicit teaching, the teaching of the vindication of Israel’s trust in God, pitted against a questionable interpretation of ambiguous passages. And Dr. Brown would have us reinterpret all the clear statements of the prophets on the basis of his tenuous interpretation. This is not reading Scripture. This is imposing theology on Scripture.

What are the passages that Dr. Brown is pointing to in his effort to support his theological construct? And what methods of interpretation is he using to justify his far-reaching conclusion?

Dr. Brown points to the suffering servant in Isaiah. Isaiah 52:13 thru 53:12 describes a suffering servant of God who shocks the kings of nations with his sudden exaltation. When the servant is exalted, the onlookers realize that this servant, whom they had despised, was actually bearing their sins. Dr. Brown argues that this servant is the Messiah who suffers for the sins of the world.

Before we point to the flaws in Dr. Brown’s interpretation, let us point out what the prophet left unsaid even according to Dr. Brown’s understanding of this passage. The prophet did not say that this servant is the Messiah. The prophet did not say that the servant’s suffering is the only valid form of atonement. And the prophet did not say that you need to put your faith in this servant in order to be accepted by God. If these teachings are so central to the salvation of humanity, why did the prophets leave them unsaid? Why did the prophets find the time and space to speak at length about the vindication of Israel’s trust with clarity and with force, but they couldn’t find the words to tell us about the need to have faith in the vicarious atonement of the servant?

Dr. Brown argues that the prophet is speaking of a servant who is perfectly sinless and in this way the prophet informs us of the identity of the servant. Because no one is sinless except for Dr. Brown’s Messiah, or so they claim. It is in place to note that it is impossible to know if anyone is sinless so this is an illogical way to identify someone.

Did the prophet really speak of sinlessness? Dr. Brown points to verse 9 where the servant is described as having done no violence and that no deception was found on his lips. And verse 11 uses the Hebrew word “tzaddik,” righteous one, to describe the servant. The argument is that this word cannot apply to anyone but to a perfectly righteous individual.

These two arguments have no basis in the reality of Scripture. Verse 9 is not speaking about sinless perfection, it is speaking about an unjust accusation. The verse tells us that the servant was persecuted for no violence that he had done and for no deception that was in his mouth. All the prophet is telling us is that the persecutors of the servant punished him for crimes that he did not commit. This has nothing to do with sinless perfection. And the Hebrew word “tzaddik” is actually used by Isaiah (26:2) to describe the nation of Israel, who is quite sinful, but is righteous to a degree as far as its trust in God goes. This is not the word the prophet would use to tell us the earthshattering news that the servant is perfectly sinless.

So who is this servant? Before I answer this question, I would like to share a thought with you. Did you notice? The prophet did not clearly identify the servant, but the prophet did tell us that the servant has a message for us. This same suffering servant appears in chapter 50 (verses 4 thru 11). The servant tells us that he is assured that he will be vindicated because of his own trust in God and the servant turns to his listeners and encourages them to put their trust in God as well. Whoever you believe the servant to be, his message to you is to trust in the same God that he prayed to. The servant isn’t pointing people to his own person, he is pointing his listeners to his steadfast trust in God and encouraging them to follow his example.

But who is the servant? The servant is Israel, not all of Israel, but those amongst Israel who are worthy of being called God’s servant, those who have put their trust in God.

But hold on. Didn’t Dr. Brown demonstrate that the servant is not Israel? Didn’t Dr. Brown show how the references to Israel and Jacob diminish in the chapters leading up to Isaiah 53?

Let me explain this one, because in this situation Dr. Brown is actually using a solid interpretative method. Dr. Brown pointed out that while Isaiah refers to Israel and Jacob many times in chapters 40-48, the references to Israel and Jacob fade away as we approach the suffering servant passage of Isaiah 53. This would be the Author’s way of showing us that He has shifted His focus from Israel, which was the center of attention in the earlier chapters, and He is directing our attention elsewhere.

The method that Dr. Brown has used is a good method, but Dr. Brown has applied it incorrectly. The prophet has many ways of referring to the nation of Israel aside from using the words “Israel” and “Jacob.” (As an aside, in these chapters of Isaiah these names are often not being used to identify Israel, but rather they are used to identify God; i.e. “the God of Israel.”) Zion, Jerusalem, the nation with My teaching in their hearts, seekers of God and followers of justice are all nouns and metaphors that the prophet uses to identify Israel. There are also pronouns that the prophet uses that give us to understand that he is referring to Israel such as a female “you,” a plural “you” or “them.” In chapters 49 through 52 there are over 150 nouns, metaphors and pronouns referring to Israel. So, according to Dr. Brown’s own method of Scriptural interpretation, we see that the prophet is not shifting his focus away from Israel, he is actually zooming in on Israel.

There are other ways that the prophet tells us that he is talking about Israel. The suffering servant passage opens up with the kings of the nations being astonished that the arm of the Lord is revealed upon this servant (53:1). Merely 3 verses before this passage, the prophet tells us that the arm of the Lord is revealed on behalf of Israel to the eyes of all the nations and all the ends of the earth see the salvation of our God (52:10 – compare to Psalm 98:3). A straightforward reading of Scripture tells us that these two revelations of the arm of the Lord are one and the same.

Yet another way that the prophet helps us see that he is talking of Israel is his use of the word “report.” When the kings of the nations see the servant’s exaltation, they exclaim, “Who would have believed our report” (53:1). In chapter 48:20 we learn that the report that goes to the ends of the earth is the report of the redemption of God’s servant, Jacob.

Another way the prophet helps us see that this suffering servant is Israel is the very last description of Israel before the passage in question. In Isaiah 52:11 Isaiah describes Israel as the armor bearers of God, or as the bearers of God’s vessels. The prophet is clearly telling us that the nation of Israel plays an active role in God’s plan for the world. This description is used nowhere else in Scripture except for this passage, in the verses that lead up to Isaiah 53. This brings us to the suffering servant passage, where the prophet tells us that the purpose of God is achieved through the servant’s hand (53:10).

The overwhelming weight of the textual cues that the prophet gives us to help identify the servant point to Israel. Christians cannot dispute the national interpretation of Isaiah 53 on textual grounds. They object to the national interpretation on theological grounds. They cannot fathom how it is that Israel suffers for the sins of others. This is a theological problem, not a textual problem.

The interpretation that Dr. Brown is proposing comes with a slew of theological problems that are far more serious than the arguments that challenge the Jewish position. There is no textual or theological advantage in Dr. Brown’s interpretation.

If you go to the notes on this presentation you will find an interpretation of Isaiah 53 that explains the theological aspect of this passage in a way that harmonizes with the text and with the theology of Scripture. I suggest that you read it.

Let’s move on to another one of Dr. Brown’s arguments. Dr. Brown argued that the Messiah is supposed to be a priestly king and as such he is to provide atonement for all mankind.

I actually accept that the Messiah is supposed to serve in a priestly role. I differ with Dr. Brown on the question of how does the Messiah fulfill this priestly function?

How do I know that the Messiah plays a priestly role? Well, we have Psalm 110 which tells us that the Messiah (or perhaps David) will be a priest forever. But even if I wouldn’t have that Psalm I would know that the Messiah is some sort of priest. After all, as a king of a priestly nation, he would have to be a priest as well. Twice do the Scriptures declare that Israel is a nation of priests (Exodus 19:6; Isaiah 61:6). If the Jewish people are priests, it would follow that their king, the Messiah, is also a priest.

The fact is that the priests served in many roles. If I would follow Dr. Brown’s method of Scriptural interpretation, I could technically pick any one of those roles out of the hat and assign it to the Messiah and to Israel. But this is not a responsible way to read Scripture. It would be best to allow Scripture to tell us which particular priestly function is performed by the people of Israel rather than dictate to Scripture what we want to believe.

The prophet Malachi describes the role of the priest with the words, “the lips of the priest guard knowledge and teaching is sought from his mouth.” One of the functions of the priest is to serve as a repository for the knowledge of God. The Scriptures declare openly and unequivocally that this is one of Israel’s functions as a nation before God (Deuteronomy 33:4; Psalm 78:5; 147:19,20; Zechariah 8:23).

As Israel’s king, David carries the knowledge of God through the corridors of history. David and all of his righteous descendants that sit on his throne, including the Messiah, represent trust in God and they bear the responsibility of carrying this knowledge and holding its banner.

(Let me address one more of Dr. Brown’s arguments. Dr. Brown asserted that Haggai and Malachi both say that the Messiah will come while the Second Temple was still standing.

They said nothing of the sort. Had they said, “This generation shall not pass until all of these things come to be”, I would perhaps understand Dr. Brown’s argument. But they did not say that, and their words can be understood as a reference to a future Temple, not necessarily the Second Temple.

How about Daniel 9? There we have a specific time limit for the ushering in of everlasting righteousness. How do the Jewish people explain that prophecy?

Look, everlasting righteousness has not been ushered in by any stretch of the imagination. Both Christians and Jews recognize that the prophet was referring to the launching of God’s program that will ultimately usher in everlasting righteousness. The argument between the Christian and the Jew revolves around the nature of this program. But the Bible makes God’s program very clear.

God’s program for the ushering in of everlasting righteousness is that God will take the nation that has hoped to Him through 2000 years of pain and exalt them and vindicate their trust. All the nations will then see that Israel’s trust is not misplaced and is not inadequate. And the nations will hear the message of God’s servant, which is simply to put their trust in the same One who he, the servant, has put his trust.)

Dr. Brown’s primary message is that Israel’s trust is inadequate. The trust that David had for God is not enough for Dr. Brown. Dr. Brown contends that if we limit ourselves to the trust that David articulated in his Psalms we will remain unsaved. The Message of David, the message of Israel and the message of the Messiah refutes Dr. Brown’s argument. The God of Israel is all the trust that your heart needs.

And when you taste this truth you will join our king in declaring, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). You will realize that you are missing nothing.

Notes:

The theological explanation of Isaiah 53

The suffering servant of Isaiah 53 is said to be suffering for the sins of others. This seems to conflict with those passages that affirm that each individual suffers for his own sins (e.g. Exodus 32:33; Ezekiel 18:20). Even without these conflicting passages, if Isaiah 53 is indeed speaking of vicarious atonement it would stand out as a sore thumb on the landscape of Scripture. The atonement offerings of Scripture were not truly vicarious. The Temple offerings were acts of obedience on the part of the sinner and the sinner incurred a monetary loss in the process. So how are we to understand Isaiah 53 which has the servant suffering on behalf of people who despise him? How can we understand this passage in a way that harmonizes with what we are taught throughout the Scriptures?

It is not coincidental that the very last description of Israel before Isaiah 53 portrays Israel as the bearers of God’s vessels. Those who carried the vessels of the Tabernacle bore a heavy responsibility. They were bearing the holy vessels and such activity demanded a higher level of duty. The slightest error would incur God’s wrath (Numbers 4:17-19; 1 Samuel 6:19; 2 Samuel 6:6,7).

The entire community benefited from this activity but it was the bearers of the vessels who bore the brunt of the responsibility. Those bearers of God’s vessels who erred and were punished were obviously suffering for their own sin; however, they were also suffering on behalf of the community, because the very act of carrying the vessels was an act that brought blessing for the entire community, not just for the vessel bearers. Ideally, the responsibility of carrying the vessels should have been equally apportioned amongst all the members of the community. The fact that the responsibility of carrying the vessels was concentrated on one family made the burden lighter for the rest of the community.

The same concept is repeated with the priesthood in general. The priests were the guardians of the Temple. They carried the burden of protecting the sanctity of the Temple precincts by themselves (Numbers 18:1). If they were lax in their responsibilities, they would be punished for their sin, but it would also be true to say that they were suffering for the community. The reason for this is because the Temple was a blessing for the entire community, not only for the priests, but the priests bore the responsibility of preserving its sanctity by themselves.

Another function of the priesthood requires that the priests be the guardians of God’s truth (Leviticus 10:11; Ezekiel 44:23; Malachi 2:7; 2 Chronicles 31:4). This is a heavy responsibility, and if the priests fall short, they get punished (Malachi 2:8,9). Yet they are bearing this responsibility for everyone.

What the Levitical priests do for the nation of Israel, the nation of Israel does for the world. The nation of Israel is the guardian of God’s truth (Isaiah 51:7). Israel bears the message of One God and that all of mankind’s trust and devotion belong to that One God and to Him alone. This is a heavy responsibility and it comes with a price, the slightest disobedience is punished to a degree that Israel suffers far more than the other nations of the world (Amos 3:2). But they are bearing this responsibility for the benefit of the world, because it is the truth that Israel carries that will ultimately elevate all of the nations.

Until the nations of the world understand Israel’s role in God’s plan, they see Israel’s suffering as a sign that Israel is more sinful than the other nations. They see Israel’s suffering as a sign that Israel’s trust in God is inadequate and misplaced. But when the nations come to understand that Israel was bearing God’s truth all along, they will realize that the burden that should have been shared by all was carried by Israel alone. And the burden that Israel carried was the burden of the sins of the world.

In a world without sin, all of us would trust in God, and there would be no need for one nation to carry this message for all of mankind. It is only in a world darkened by sin that this message needs to be sustained. And Israel sustained this message with its very life-blood.

This is the realization that is described so vividly by the prophet Isaiah. This is the understanding that will come to the nations of the world when they see God’s arm revealed on behalf of the people that bore His truth through the darkness of a world filled with sin.

Does Israel trust in God?

Does Israel really trust in God? Aren’t there so many passages in Scripture which speak of Israel’s lack of trust in God? Some of these passages describe Israel putting their trust in other gods (such as Deuteronomy 32:35). How can Israel be carrying a message of trust in God?

The answer is that these passages only tell half the story. The other half of the story is clearly affirmed throughout the Scriptures. The primary purpose of Israel’s exile is that they be refined and that they learn to put their trust in God. That was the purpose of Israel’s wandering through the desert for 40 years in the days of Moses (Deuteronomy 8:3) and that is the purpose of Israel’s suffering in exile (Leviticus 26:41; Isaiah 48:10, where Israel’s suffering is described as a refining process, see also Deuteronomy 4:20; Isaiah 40:2; Jeremiah 11:4; Ezekiel 20:37; Zephaniah 3:11,12; Daniel 11:35; 12:10).

And there are dozens of passages that clearly affirm that while Israel is suffering in exile their trust is in God. Micah 7 stands out where Israel declares that it bears the wrath of God because of its sins but it still trusts in God and this theme is repeated again and again throughout the Scriptures with clarity and force (Isaiah 26:8,13,15; 33:2; 40:31; 49:23; Psalm 9:9; 10:17; 33;20; 44;18; 62:10; 69:34; the prayers of Psalm 74, Psalm 79, Psalm 80 and Psalm 83 are prayers of a suffering nation who hopes to God, 102:18; 115:1,9,18; 123:2; 124:8; 130:7; Lamentations 3:24.)

Another way that the Author of Scripture brings this truth to light is in the way He describes the comfort of Israel. Isaiah tells us, ”How beautiful are the footsteps of the one who brings the news to Israel” (Isaiah 52:7). What news is Israel going to hear? Two words, and no more. And with those two words all of Israel’s pain will turn to joy; and those two words are “Malach Elokayich,”- your God has reigned. All that Israel needs to hear is that the God of Isaiah, the God of David has made His sovereignty manifest to the eyes of the world and their deepest yearning has come to fruition (Isaiah 52:7; 40:9). Isaiah tells us that when Israel rejoices at the glory of God revealed they will say “This is the God we had hoped to” (Isaiah 25:9) and the nations will praise Israel as a righteous nation that has kept its faithfulness (Isaiah 26:2).

So the Author of Scripture left us no room to doubt this truth, that Israel trusts in God and it is when this trust is vindicated to the eyes of the nations that the nations will know God.

Additional Notes:

In the following notes I respond to those arguments and Scriptural quotations that Dr. Brown raised in his first presentation (The Real Jewish Messiah part 1) that I did not respond to in my video rebuttal.

1. Is the promise to Abraham limited to the tribe of Judah?

Dr. Brown describes how God’s promise to Abraham passed on to Abraham’s descendants. Dr. Brown states, “God then chose Isaac, then Jacob, then Judah.” By placing the choice of Judah in the same line as the choice of Isaac and Jacob Dr. Brown seems to be saying that just as Isaac was chosen to the complete exclusion of Ishmael, and Jacob to the exclusion of Esau, so was Judah chosen to the exclusion of his brothers.

This premise is demonstrably false. Throughout Scripture, it is the entirety of Israel that is God’s chosen nation, not only the tribe of Judah. Here are some of the Scriptural references: Genesis 28:13,14, 35:12, 48:4,16,20, 50:24, Exodus 2:24, 3:8,17, 4:11,22, 6:4,7,8, 9:19, 11:7, 15:16,17, 16:12, 19:5,6 24:8, 25:8,22, 29:45, 31;12-17, 33:1,16, 34:10,27, Leviticus 11;45, 15:31, 19:2, 20:3,24,26, 22:33, 26:44, Numbers 15:41, 22:12, 23:21, 24:9, 33:53, 35:34, Deuteronomy 1:8, 4:7,20,31-39, 6:10,18, 7:6-8, 8:1, 9:5,26,29, 10:11,15, 11:12,31, 14:1,2, 21:8, 23:6, 26:15-19, 27:9, 29:11-14, 32:9-12, 33:28,29, Joshua 1:6, 5:5, 22:41, 1Samuel 12:22, 2Samuel 7:23,24, 1Kings 8:13,51-53, 9:3, 10:9, 11:36, Jeremiah 2:2,3, 10:16, 12:14, 14:9, 31:2,8,34-36, 33:19-26, 46:27,28, 50:33,34, 51:5, Ezekiel 11:16, 16:60, 37:28, Isaiah 41:8-16, 43:1-21, 44:1-8,21-23, 45:4,14-17, 46:3,4, 48:12, 49:14-16, 51:7,15,16,22-52:12, 54:10, 55:5, 59:21, 60:1-3,12,21, 61:6,9, 62:1-12, Hosea 2:1,21,22, Joel 4:17,20,21, Zephaniah 3:20, Zechariah 2:12, 8:20-23, Malachi 1:2, Psalms 28:9, 29:11,38:12, 44:18, 47:4,5, 48:9,15, 50:7, 68:35,36, 74:2, 78:5,69, 79:13, 89:16, 94:14, 95:7, 98:1-3, 100:3, 105:8-45, 111:4-9, 125:2, 132:13-18, 133:3, 135:4, 144:15, 147:19,20, 148:14, 149:2,4, Nehemiah 1:10, 9:7,8 1Chronicles 15:2, 16:15-22, 17:21,22,24, 23:13,25, 2Chronicles 6:6, 7:16, 9:8, 20:7

2. Is the Messiah to be a light to the nations before the physical salvation of Israel?

Dr. Brown states that the Messiah is to be a light to the nations before the physical redemption of Israel. There is not one passage in all of Scripture that can be misconstrued to support Dr. Brown’s position. There are numerous passages in Scripture which openly declare that God will use the physical salvation of Israel to bring the nations to knowledge of God. See Isaiah 18:3; 30:26; 35:2; 40:5; 41:20; 42:6; 44:23; 45:6,14; 49:6,13,23; 52:9,10; 55:5; 60:3; 61:2; 62:2; 65:25; 66:18; Jeremiah 3:17; 31:6,9,10; 33;9; Ezekiel 20:41; 36:23,36; 37:28; 38:23; 39:7,27; Joel 4:16; Obadiah 1;21; Micah 4:1; 7:16; Zephaniah 2:11; 3:9; Zechariah 8:23; 13:2; 14:9; Psalm 9:9; 22:29; 46:11; 67:1,2; 69:35; 76:10; 83:19; 96:11; 97:8; 98:3; 108:6; 126:2.

3. How do we know that David was a priestly king?

I affirmed in my video presentation that I accept that the Davidic dynasty plays a priestly role in God’s plan. I accept that this is taught in Psalm 110 and in the fact that as king of a priestly nation, David and his descendants ought to be priestly kings. But in his zeal to emphasize the priestly role of David, Dr. Brown has misunderstood several passages in Scripture.

Dr. Brown points to 2 Samuel 24 (verse 25), where the prophet describes how David offered sacrifices to God. Dr. Brown argues that this role was limited to the priesthood and if David offered sacrifices, he must have been a priest.

Dr. Brown’s argument has no basis in Scripture. It is only on the special altar of the Tabernacle or of the Temple that the service is limited to the Aaronic priests (Numbers 18:7). Outside of the Temple precincts, anyone may bring up an offering, even a gentile. There is no statement in the entire Torah which would have us believe otherwise. The episode described in 2 Chronicles 26:16-20 clearly refutes Dr. Brown’s contention. In that passage we learn how a king of the Davidic dynasty tried to usurp the office of the Aaronic priesthood and was consequently punished by God. The Aaronic priesthood belongs to Aaron’s descendants, not to David. (See also Jeremiah 33:17-26 where God reaffirms His promises to David and to Aaron, clearly distinguishing their roles one from the other).

4. Does Zechariah 6:9-15 teach us that the Messiah will be a priestly king?

Dr. Brown points to this passage in Zechariah, where a crown is placed on the head of the high-priest, as a teaching on the priestly role of the Messiah. Dr. Brown is reading the passage as if the prophet is pointing to the priest and telling his audience that this priest is representative of the Messiah (or Zerubbabel, the Davidic ruler). This is inaccurate. The prophet is informing the high-priest about the role that the Davidic ruler will play. The prophet is not making the priest a representative of this Davidic ruler.

5. Which servant in the book of Isaiah is sent on a mission to the people of Israel?

In the later chapter of the book of Isaiah, we encounter a servant of God. At times it is clear that the servant is the people of Israel. Yet in some passages, the servant is sent on a mission to Israel. Dr. Brown argues that one who is sent on a mission to the nation cannot be the nation itself, Dr. Brown concludes that the servant is the Messiah.

It seems that Isaiah 51:12-16 has escaped Dr. Brown’s attention. In this passage the servant is sent on a mission to Israel (“and to declare to Zion; you are My nation;” verse 16), yet the servant is a plural entity who has forgotten God and needs to be reminded to put his faith in God (verse 13).

The fact is that the servant who is sent on a mission to Israel is never clearly identified by the prophet. It is not clear if it is the same servant throughout (49:1-3; 50:4-9; 51:12-16; 61:1-9) or if these are different servants. If they are indeed one entity throughout, then the plural reference in chapter 51 demonstrates that this is not the Messiah. The simple reading would tell us that these are the righteous of Israel. The body of the righteous includes the prophet Isaiah and the Messiah.

See – https://judaismresources.net/2012/07/24/armor-bearers-isaiah-5211/

A plural entity within the nation figures prominently throughout the closing chapters of Isaiah (40:1 is a message handed to a plural entity commissioning them to comfort the nation; 44:26 speaks of a plurality of messengers; 51:12-16; 54:17 refers to servants in the plural, perhaps a reference to the nation as a whole; 65:8,13-15;66:5,14).

6. Who is speaking in Isaiah 53:1-9?

Dr. Brown argues that the suffering servant will be rejected by Israel. He bases this contention on the assumption that those who are speaking in these verses (Isaiah 53:1-9) are the people of Israel.

If the speakers of this passage are the people of Israel, then where does Dr. Brown see in the Scriptures that the Messiah is to suffer for the sins of the nations? And if the speakers in these verses are the kings of the nations (as a simple reading of the text would indicate) then he has no basis for this contention (that Israel will reject the servant).

7. Is the question; “Who does this describe?” a valid interpretative method?

Dr. Brown reads from Isaiah 53, he then turns to his audience and asks them; “who does this describe?” Dr. Brown seems to be impressed by the fact that many people immediately associate this scriptural passage with the person of Jesus from Nazareth .

Let us step back and examine the facts. The prophet presents certain physical details that mark the servant’s history enabling us to identify the servant. Then there is the theology of the servant. The prophet gives us a theological explanation to help us understand the suffering of the servant. The spiritual explanation for the suffering of the servant is not something that can be seen in the world of objective reality. The description of the servant’s suffering, on the other hand, can be measured in the realm of objective reality. Upon examining the identifying details of the passage, it will become apparent that there is another subject that would more readily correspond with Isaiah’s description. It is the invisible theology of the passage that causes people who read this passage to think of Jesus. No other figure in history is more closely associated with the theology of this passage than is Jesus. It is not the man, Jesus, whom people see in this passage; rather, it is Christianity.

Is this so impressive? Christianity has erected her theology on the non-contextual meaning of this passage, and has vociferously spread her doctrines to the ends of the earth. The 2000 years of missionary activity have publicized the Christian claim that Jesus fulfilled the theology of Isaiah 53. Upon reading Isaiah 53, many people do indeed make the association with the theological claims of Christianity. But did anyone see Jesus fulfill the theology of Isaiah 53? Did anyone see Jesus die for the sins of the world? The fact that Isaiah 53 is associated with Jesus testifies to the success of the Christian effort in promulgating their intangible theology. This association is not rooted in an objective observation of the real world, nor is it supported by the text of Isaiah 53.

Let us see how the prophet describes the servant’s suffering and his rejection. The prophet describes the servant:

“his visage is disfigured in a manner that marked him as less than human, and his form is marred from that of men” (52:14).

The prophet continues to tell us that the servant:

“Has no form or comeliness that we should look at him and no countenance that we should desire him” (53:2)

Did anyone ever associate unsightliness with Jesus? Was Jesus ever put into a class of creatures that is less than human? There are countless pieces of art that demonstrate that the European mind saw the Jew as a repulsive creature whose appearance set them apart from the rest of humanity.

“Despised, isolated from men”

How was Jesus “isolated from men”? Was he confined to ghettoes as were the Jews for centuries upon centuries? Was he barred from interacting freely with the citizenry in dozens of countries as were the Jews? How many places of habitation were “off-limits” to Jesus?

“A man of pains and acquainted with sickness”

The Christian scriptures report that Jesus was crucified, but does that make him stand out as – “a man of pains and acquainted with sickness”? Many people were crucified and many individuals suffered so much more than Jesus. But the suffering of the Jewish people sets them apart from any other national entity.

“we hid our faces from him and we esteemed him not” (53:3)

When did mankind hide their faces from Jesus? Mankind certainly did hide their faces from the Jews while the most horrid crimes were being committed against them.

“we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted” (53:4)

Did the suffering of Jesus ever play a role in the theology of those who rejected his claims? But both Christianity and Islam focus on the suffering of the Jewish people in their theological assessment of the Jew. According to both of these belief systems, the suffering of the Jewish people is the evidence of their lowly status in God’s eyes.

“His grave is with the wicked, and his deaths are with the rich.” (53:9)

The servant of God is buried with the wicked, but the Christian scriptures tell us that Jesus was buried with the rich and not with the wicked. God’s servant is to die with the rich, yet the Christian scriptures tell us that Jesus did not die with the rich, but with the wicked. It is obvious that Isaiah did not have Jesus in mind when he uttered these words.

The prophetic description clearly applies to the persecution of the Jewish people. Throughout the generations, the enemies of the Jew characterized the Jew as both rich and wicked. They justified the murder of the Jews because they believed that the Jew swindled the world of its wealth. The imagined wealth of the Jew triggered many pogroms and massacres. The preconception of the Jew as a criminal served as the basis for the disrespect that the killers showed for the Jewish dead.

When we focus on those verses which describe the servant’s physical attributes, it becomes clear that the prophet foresaw the suffering of the Jewish people. The suffering servant is the persecuted Jew.

8. How can the servant be Israel if the nations will be punished for persecuting Israel?

Dr. Brown argues that the servant cannot be Israel. The suffering of the servant is to be a blessing to the nations but the prophets tell us that the nations will be punished for persecuting Israel.

It is hard to take this question seriously from someone who argues that Psalm 110, a Psalm describing the destruction of nations, is the same Psalm that proclaims the “blessing of Jesus’ suffering.”

I also find it incredible to argue that Jesus brought blessing to the nations when it is in his name that the nations became such haters of God’s first-born son; Israel (Exodus 4:22; Jeremiah 31:8).

It is clear from the prophets that the nations will be blessed through the knowledge that Israel carries. This is in accord with Isaiah’s depiction of the servant justifying the many through his knowledge (Isaiah 53:11), not through his blood. So the persecutors of Israel will suffer destruction, but the rest of the nations will be blessed through the knowledge that Israel carried through their excruciating exile.

9. Does Ezekiel 39:23,24 refute the national interpretation of Isaiah 53?

These verses in Ezekiel tell us that in the Messianic era the nations will come to realize that Israel was exiled for her sins. Dr. Brown argues that this prophecy refutes the explanation which posits that Israel is the suffering servant of Isaiah 53. According to Isaiah 53, the nations will come to realize that the servant had been suffering for the sins of the nations and not for his own sins, or so claims Dr. Brown. How then can the nations realize that the servant had been suffering for his own sins and the sins of the nations?

The obvious question to ask when we read Ezekiel 39 is, “What were the nations thinking before they realized that Israel was suffering for its sins?” There is not one reference in Scripture, nor is there a reference in history, where we find the nations assuming that Israel had been suffering for the sins of others. This is pure fantasy. Dr. Brown himself asserts that Israel suffers because of its rejection of Jesus (Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, Volume 1, page 107).

Throughout the Scripture we find that the nations assume that Israel suffers because her God is inadequate, or because God has cast her away (2 Kings18:35; Isaiah 36:20; Jeremiah 30:17; Joel 2;17; Micah 7:10; Psalms 42:11; 79:10; 115:2; 2 Chronicles 32:15,17). These are the notions that will be refuted in the Messianic age. The nations will realize that Israel had been trusting in the right God and that God had not abandoned them. It was their behavior that was wrong, not their message.

10. Does Psalm 22 describe a righteous sufferer?

Dr. Brown claims that Psalm 22 describes a righteous sufferer. In the context of his argument it is clear that Dr. Brown assumes that the sufferer of Psalm 22 is perfectly sinless.

The Psalm says nothing about the righteousness of the sufferer, only about his trust in God. Psalm 22 is actually mirrored by Psalm 69 where the sufferer’s salvation also brings knowledge of God to the world (described by the Psalmist as the heaven and earth praising God – verse 35). Only the sufferer in Psalm 69 is clearly NOT sinless (see Psalm 69:6).

It is also clear from Psalm 69 that it is not only the salvation of one sufferer that brings knowledge of God to the world, it is the salvation of Zion as a whole (verse 36). Psalm 22 only speaks of the knowledge of God spreading to the ends of the earth after Israel praises God (Psalm 22:24-28). This refutes Dr. Brown’s model which has the knowledge of God coming to the nations before the salvation of Israel.

Psalm 22 and Psalm 69 describe David’s deliverance, which in turn, inspires Israel. It is when Israel absorbs David’s message and falls in step to David’s song that the nations of the world come to knowledge of God.

11. Does Zechariah 12:10 teach that Israel will repent for rejecting the Messiah?

Dr. Brown points to Zechariah 12 as a prophecy that predicts Israel’s “repentance” for having rejected the Messiah.

This interpretation fails for two reasons. Firstly, the mourning is described as the mourning for a lost child, and not as a cry of shame. (For a scriptural description of an admission of shame, see Micah 7:7-17.)

Secondly, the missionary interpretation ignores the context of the verse. The chapter in Zechariah in which this verse is found, speaks of the siege of Jerusalem. The prophet describes how the nations will besiege Jerusalem, but they will not succeed. The prophet describes how a Jewish contingent in the besieging army will do battle against the nations that have come to besiege Jerusalem. The Jewish warriors will succeed, and the nations besieging Jerusalem will be destroyed. It is in this context that there will be a great mourning for the “one who was pierced.”

The Talmud (Succah 52a) understands that this verse is a reference to the death of a Messiah from the tribe of Joseph. This leader, who successfully led the Jewish people in battle against their enemies, will fall at the hands of the nations. At the time of the ultimate victory (under the leadership of Messiah from the lineage of David), the people will mourn for the loss of their former leader. They fact that their leader had died in battle will generate a spirit of repentance and turning back to God. Thus the prophet declares in the name of God that the people will look to Me (God) on account of the one that was pierced.

This is obviously parallel to the first events of David’s monarchy. The first activity that David engaged in as King of his people was to mourn for Saul (2 Samuel 1:17). In fact, the only two people in Scripture who died through piercing, and were mourned, are Saul and the unspecified person in this verse in Zechariah. Although David (and his descendant the Messiah) is the ultimate leader chosen by God to guide the nation, the Davidic Kings recognize the sacrifice of the leaders that preceded them and that laid the groundwork for their kingship. Their first act as leader of their people is to mourn for those who suffered and died before they reached that ultimate victory.

12. Did Haggai predict that the Messiah must put in an appearance before the destruction of the Second Temple?

Dr. Brown argues that the prophecy of Haggai 2:6-9 tells us that the Messiah must appear while the Second Temple is still standing.

There is no basis to this claim. The prophet says nothing about the Messiah. The prophet speaks of the glory of the Temple. Dr. Brown argues that Jesus’ career brought the promised glory to the Second Temple.

This is the same Dr. Brown who claims that the disciples of Jesus’ found strength in the destruction of the Temple and that the destruction of the Temple brought them into a richer spiritual experience (Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, Vol. 4, pg. 209). If this is glory for the Temple, then what is shame?

13. Did Malachi predict that the Messiah must put in an appearance before the destruction of the Second Temple?

Dr. Brown claims that the prophecy of Malachi 3:1 proves that the Messiah must put in an appearance before the destruction of the Second Temple.

This argument has no basis in the reality of Scripture. The prophet speaks of a purging of the Levites, rendering them pure and acceptable to God. Their offerings on behalf of Judah and Jerusalem will then be pleasing to God as in the days of old. But Dr. Brown tells us that with the advent of Jesus, the Levitical priesthood was set aside because it was weak and useless (Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, Vol. 4, pg. 263). How can the abolishment of the Levitical priesthood be considered a fulfillment of a prophecy which looks forward to its restoration?

14. Does Daniel predict that the Messiah must put in an appearance before the destruction of the Second Temple?

Daniel 9:24-27 tells us that the end of transgression, the forgiveness of sin and the ushering in of everlasting righteousness will take place during the Second Temple period. Dr. Brown claims that this prediction was fulfilled in the death of Jesus.

But this claim has no basis in fact. As we can all see, everlasting righteousness has not been ushered in and no end has been made to transgression. Both Jewish and Christian commentators understand that the prophet was referring to the launching of God’s program to accomplish all of these, not to the completion of the program. The difference between Jewish and Christian commentators relates to the nature of the program. And Scripture affirms that God’s program for the expiation of sin, putting an end to transgression and ushering in everlasting righteousness is Israel’s exile and suffering. That process began with the destruction of the Second Temple, exactly as Daniel foretold.

15. Does the supposed contrast between Zechariah 9:9 and Daniel 7:13 support the theory that the Messiah must come twice?

Dr. Brown argues that the Scriptures present us with two pictures of the Messiah; One lowly and meek, riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9),.while the other portrays the Messiah high and exalted, riding on the clouds (Daniel 7:13). Dr. Brown argues that this tells us that the Messiah will come twice, once in a lowly form and a second time in an exalted manner.

The fact is that Zechariah 9:9 speaks of a king that rules from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth, hardly a fitting description of Jesus’ career. And Daniel 7:13 is not speaking of the Messiah. The Scriptures itself explain that the one riding on the clouds in Daniel’s vision represents the people of Israel (Daniel 7:18,27).

These Scriptural passages do not support Dr. Brown’s rendition of the role and function of the Messiah.

 

If you found this article helpful please consider making a donation to Judaism Resources by clicking on the link below.

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=FEAQ55Y7MR3E6

Judaism Resources is a recognized 501(c) 3 public charity and your donation is tax exempt.

Thank You

Yisroel C. Blumenthal

This entry was posted in Debate Forum, General, Response to Dr. Brown Line of Fire. Bookmark the permalink.

112 Responses to The Real Jewish Messiah – Part 2

  1. Pingback: The Real Jewish Messiah – Full Debate | 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources

  2. mr.heathcliff says:

    “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him”

    how does it make sense that god sends god and god commands god to say “i am god” ?

  3. Concerned Reader says:

    Heathcliff, even in the Torah (all by itself) angels will speak (like a mouthpiece) as if they were God speaking. Look at the account of the burning bush. The text clearly identifies an angel in the Bush, but when Moses is talking and listening, it is God who he converses with.

    Or, there is this text in Judges 6.

    11And the angel of the Lord came, and sat under the oak which was in Ophra, that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite; and his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress, to be enabled to flee from Midian. יאוַיָּבֹ֞א מַלְאַ֣ךְ יְהֹוָ֗ה וַיֵּ֙שֵׁב֙ תַּ֚חַת הָֽאֵלָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּעָפְרָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר לְיוֹאָ֖שׁ אֲבִ֣י הָֽעֶזְרִ֑י וְגִדְע֣וֹן בְּנ֗וֹ חֹבֵ֚ט חִטִּים֙ בַּגַּ֔ת לְהָנִ֖יס מִפְּנֵ֥י מִדְיָֽן:

    12And the angel of the Lord appeared and said to him, “The Lord is with you, mighty man of valor.” יבוַיֵּרָ֥א אֵלָ֖יו מַלְאַ֣ךְ יְהֹוָ֑ה וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלָ֔יו יְהֹוָ֥ה עִמְּךָ֖ גִּבּ֥וֹר הֶחָֽיִל:

    13And Gideon said to him, “Please my lord, (adoni) if the Lord be with us, why then has all this befallen us? And where are all His wonders which our forefathers told us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us, and He has delivered us into the hand of Midian.” יגוַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֵלָ֚יו גִּדְעוֹן֙ בִּ֣י אֲדֹנִ֔י וְיֵ֚שׁ יְהֹוָה֙ עִמָּ֔נוּ וְלָ֥מָּה מְצָאַ֖תְנוּ כָּל־זֹ֑את וְאַיֵּ֣ה כָֽל־נִפְלְאֹתָ֡יו אֲשֶׁר֩ סִפְּרוּ־לָ֨נוּ אֲבוֹתֵ֜ינוּ לֵאמֹ֗ר הֲלֹ֚א מִמִּצְרַ֙יִם֙ הֶעֱלָ֣נוּ יְהֹוָ֔ה וְעַתָּה֙ נְטָשָׁ֣נוּ יְהֹוָ֔ה וַֽיִּתְּנֵ֖נוּ בְּכַף־מִדְיָֽן:

    14And the Lord (the word Hashem is used here) turned toward him and said, “Go, with this your strength, and save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?”

    The Lord? It says “Hashem” turned to Gideon in verse 14. Isn’t this just a created angelic messenger speaking as is clearly outlined to us earlier in this passage?

    This angel of the lord is speaking in 1st person saying “go with your strength,” identified as the 4 letter name of Hashem.

    IE the agent is speaking with the voice of his master.

    Jewish literature has the angel Metatron as a fallback to deal with verses like this where it appears as if God is talking to a jr. God. It is an angel speaking as an agent.

    The Muslim apologist in this video (apart from being ridiculously rude) needs to closely examine the claims of his own Quran before ever bashing a Christian for beliefs that he finds “inconsistent.”

    The Quran calls Isa (JC penny) the Word of God, (in reference to God creating him with the word “be” at the moment of Mary’s virginal conception.)

    Muhammad is never ever given such a title in the entire Quran.

    Now, I’m sure you agree that there can only be one creator right? Only God has the power to create life from non life? After all, God identifies himself as “I will be that I will be” IE signifying that he is the source of being IE “Be er” in contrast to all else which is and has “being.”

    Why in the Quran does Isa create birds from non living dirt?

    How could God temporarily gift a power to a prophet that is properly essential to God’s own nature which in fact defines who he is in distinction from all else?

    If a person takes Islam seriously, in the case of Isa, you would have to believe that God can temporarily give the power of creation out of nothing itself, to a creature he made.

    Can God create a rock so heavy he cant lift it? No, because the question would be logically absurd.

    The idea that God can take what is not God (IE a prophet,) and give this not God (a prophet) the power to create life is absurd.

    Quran 3:49

    And (make him) a messenger to the Children of Israel (saying): I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I determine for you out of dust the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird with Allah’s permission, and I heal the blind and the leprous, and bring the dead to life with Allah’s permission; and I inform you of what you should eat and what you should store in your houses. Surely there is a sign in this for you, if you are believers.

    This one verse from the Quran undermines this Muslim apologist’s whole logical point. He says Jesus must accept commands, and that nobody can command the father!

    In the same way, Can god make a subordinate God for a day by giving him God’s essential attribute as creator? Because that is what the Quran does with Jesus!

    Look at the language in this Quranic text.

    It says make Jesus a messenger TO SAY “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord,” THAT I DETERMINE FOR YOU out of dust the form of a bird, THEN I BREATHE INTO IT and it becomes a bird with Allah’s permission.

    Even Joshua the son of Nun (when he did a miracle in the sight of Israel by stopping the Sun in the Sky) only manipulated an already existing object without interacting with it.

    Elijah with the widow’s son could easily be called a resuscitation.

    The same with Aaron’s staff becoming a serpent. The Torah says that miracle happens when Moses and Aaron set the staff down! They are not active participants in the miracle. Its as if it were a pre programmed miracle set to occur at a certain time.

    In the Quran it has Jesus saying “I will form dust into birds THEN I WILL BREATHE ON IT (why does he have to breathe on it exactly?) Why is Jesus an active participant in a miracle of creating life from non living matter?

    I mean, this is what is so hilarious to me about Islam. The guy grills this Pastor saying “Did Jesus speak in the name of Hashem?”

    All the while. his text Says Jesus creates life forms on the weekends because “Allah said I could.”

    really?

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Quran 5:110 further clarifies saying that it was Jesus who determined to make birds out of clay, that it was Jesus who breathed on them, and that it became a bird.

      Quran 5:110 When Allah will say: O Jesus, son of Mary, remember My favour to thee and to thy mother, when I strengthened thee with the Holy Spirit; thou spokest to people in the cradle and in old age, and when I taught thee the Book and the Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel, and when thou didst determine out of clay a thing like the form of a bird by My permission, then thou didst breathe into it and it became a bird by My permission; and thou didst heal the blind and the leprous by My permission; and when thou didst raise the dead by My permission; and when I withheld the Children of Israel from thee when thou camest to them with clear arguments — but those of them who disbelieved said: This is nothing but clear enchantment.

    • mr.heathcliff says:

      “The Quran calls Isa (JC penny) the Word of God, (in reference to God creating him with the word “be” at the moment of Mary’s virginal conception.)”

      do you really think that the author of the quran thought that the arabic word for “be” was identified as jesus, the flesh human being?

      the quran uses the word “be” for the creation of adam ; is adam the incarnation of the word “be” ?

      show me one place in the quran where the word “be” is IDENTIFIED as “jesus” ?

      in the hadeeth literature, muhammad is identified as “WALKING QURAN,” so according to your logic, MUHAMMAD is IDENTIFIED as quran which is , according to muslims, the speech of God. so according to your logic, Muhammad is SPEECH of God.

      “Muhammad is never ever given such a title in the entire Quran.”

      thats because Muhammad had two parents and was born the natural way, whereas Adam and jesus, according to the muslims ,were created by direct command “Be”

      so you really think Gods word , according to the Quran was in mary’s womb?

      “Now, I’m sure you agree that there can only be one creator right? Only God has the power to create life from non life?”

      the muslim philosophers have said that When God creates he does not NEED any pre-existing picture of something to create. so human beings who make cars are dependent on pre-existing ideas, God being God is not like human creators.

      There is a word which is AL-bariy in the Quran, lets see you try to find this word for jesus.

      and by the way concerned reader, can you tell me why QURAN identifies ALLAH as AL-bari and never identifies any creature as AL-bari?

      ” After all, God identifies himself as “I will be that I will be” IE signifying that he is the source of being IE “Be er” in contrast to all else which is and has “being.””

      “Why in the Quran does Isa create birds from non living dirt?”

      quote :

      15. Q. What is the meaning of the Creator (Khaliq)?

      A: The meaning of the Creator (Khaliq) is the One who created and formed all the creations. That is, He brought them from non-existence to existence. Creating in this context may not be attributed to other than Allah. Allah ta^ala said in Surat Fatir verse 3

      { هل من خالق غير الله }

      which means: No one is the creator except Allah.

      The meanings of Khaliq
      (اللَّهُ أَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِينَ)
      [Surat Al-Mu’minun 14]

      Allah is the best of those who decree. Khaliqeen has the meaning of Muqadireen(The one who decrees) in the verse of 23:14. Al Khaliq is a name of Allahu ta’ala and it is not permissible to call anyone other than Allah as Al Khaliq. Al Khaliq has 5 meanings as follows:

      1. Bring things non-existent into the state of existence(Creates).

      2. Plan/ Decree

      3. Sculpt

      4. Fabricate a lie

      5. To make straight and smooth.

      So if one tries to quote 23:14 to make it appear as if it is in contradiction to any ayats such as the following ayat :

      (قُلِ اللَّهُ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ)
      [Surah Ar-Ra’d 16]

      Meaning : Say Allah created everything and He is Al Wahid Al Qahhar.
      (وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ)

      [ Surat As-Saffaat 96]
      Meaning: Allah created you and your deeds

      quote :

      The word “create” in Arabic could be used to either mean:

      1) Create a thing from complete non-existence from nothing (i.e. creation ex nihilo)

      2) Create a thing from preexisting matter

      3) Create a thing via transformation, whereby something new is created after having been transformed from a previous state.

      When it comes to the first kind of creation, only Allah could be ascribed with this.
      As for the other two types, they could be ascribed to other than Allah, for human beings could manufacture cars from raw materials (e.g. steel, glass, rubber, etc.) or transform copper into gold, etc. Anything to do with processing, crafting, assembling, molding, etc. things could linguistically be said to be “creations” by human beings.

      So when Allah says that he is “the best of creators” (Surah 23, 14), we understand that “creators” here is taking into account both of the 2nd and 3rd modes of creating. At the same time we could say that there is no Creator but Allah and not contradict ourselves. For in the latter statement, we have the the first mode of creating borne in mind. And surely, no life may be created, nor anything created ex nihilo, except by Allah.

      “How could God temporarily gift a power to a prophet that is properly essential to God’s own nature which in fact defines who he is in distinction from all else?”

      God didn’t “temporarily gift” anything to prophet x, there is not even one hint in the quran that Gods life giving powers gets transferred to someone else.

      (قُلِ اللَّهُ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ)
      [Surah Ar-Ra’d 16]

      Meaning : Say Allah created everything and He is Al Wahid Al Qahhar.
      (وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ)

      [ Surat As-Saffaat 96]
      Meaning: Allah created you and your deeds

      “If a person takes Islam seriously, in the case of Isa, you would have to believe that God can temporarily give the power of creation out of nothing itself, to a creature he made.”

      and where is their even one hint in the Quran that Gods creative powers get transferred?

      (قُلِ اللَّهُ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ)
      [Surah Ar-Ra’d 16]

      Meaning : Say Allah created everything and He is Al Wahid Al Qahhar.
      (وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ)

      [ Surat As-Saffaat 96]
      Meaning: Allah created you and your deeds

      “The idea that God can take what is not God (IE a prophet,) and give this not God (a prophet) the power to create life is absurd.”

      SINCE the prophet actions were created by God and the prophet said “by Gods leave” then the prophet and his acts are all created, what are you talking about ?

      (قُلِ اللَّهُ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ)
      [Surah Ar-Ra’d 16]

      Meaning : Say Allah created everything and He is Al Wahid Al Qahhar.
      (وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ)

      [ Surat As-Saffaat 96]
      Meaning: Allah created you and your deeds

      Quran 3:49

      And (make him) a messenger to the Children of Israel (saying): I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I determine for you out of dust the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird with Allah’s permission, and I heal the blind and the leprous, and bring the dead to life with Allah’s permission; and I inform you of what you should eat and what you should store in your houses. Surely there is a sign in this for you, if you are believers.

      “This one verse from the Quran undermines this Muslim apologist’s whole logical point. He says Jesus must accept commands, and that nobody can command the father!”

      i do not see how it is “undermining” anything , what are you talking about ?


      In the same way, Can god make a subordinate God for a day by giving him God’s essential attribute as creator? Because that is what the Quran does with Jesus!”

      so you will show me where the Quran says “Gods essential attribute as creator” was transferred and given to a prophet.

      (قُلِ اللَّهُ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ)
      [Surah Ar-Ra’d 16]

      Meaning : Say Allah created everything and He is Al Wahid Al Qahhar.
      (وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ)

      [ Surat As-Saffaat 96]
      Meaning: Allah created you and your deeds

      “Look at the language in this Quranic text.”

      yes i did, i don’t see what you are trying to say

      (قُلِ اللَّهُ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ)
      [Surah Ar-Ra’d 16]

      Meaning : Say Allah created everything and He is Al Wahid Al Qahhar.
      (وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ)

      [ Surat As-Saffaat 96]
      Meaning: Allah created you and your deeds

      “It says make Jesus a messenger TO SAY “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord,” THAT I DETERMINE FOR YOU out of dust the form of a bird, THEN I BREATHE INTO IT and it becomes a bird with Allah’s permission.”

      why would a prophet who has been given “gods creative attribute” require permission when that attribute is part of him?

      Sahih International: And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say], ‘Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allah. And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead – by permission of Allah. And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.

      first the material that is being used is pre-existing material which God already created.
      second, it is NOT a bird, it is “like a bird” so your jesus couldn’t even create an EXACT copy from pre-existing material . since GOD created jesus’ breath, then logically GOD formed all the actions. Then finally, jesus is dependant on the will of GOD in order for bird to COME to life.

      (قُلِ اللَّهُ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ)
      [Surah Ar-Ra’d 16]

      Meaning : Say Allah created everything and He is Al Wahid Al Qahhar.
      (وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ)

      [ Surat As-Saffaat 96]
      Meaning: Allah created you and your deeds


      In the Quran it has Jesus saying “I will form dust into birds THEN I WILL BREATHE ON IT (why does he have to breathe on it exactly?) Why is Jesus an active participant in a miracle of creating life from non living matter?”

      Altteeni: the clay/ the wet soil
      Note: The root is TTa-Y-N and it means clay or the soil when it is wet and can be shaped into shaped or the ceramic before it is put in the oven to be baked. ALTTEENI is the clay or wet soil.

      1. how is he an “active participant” when text clearly says ALL his acts are dependent on the permission of Allah ? and let me ask, Allah says “be” to something, jesus has to build the engine , then breath into it, why wasn’t jesus given gods “Creative word”

      “be” ?

      concerned reader failed to answer how can a god be OBJECT of his own command and at the same time exist as commander.

      command is the ability to control or use something, the commander has inherent within himself the ability to command, jesus LACKED this ability . ergo jesus is not god.

      jesus IS dependant upon what his god TELLS him what to say, menaing jesus does not have access to or inherent within him the ability to command.


      All the while. his text Says Jesus creates life forms on the weekends because “Allah said I could.”

      so if God gave me the ability to use clay, create a shape of a bird (not exact copy), breath into it, then that means i have Gods supernatural ABILITY to create life? what kind of thinking is this?

      • Concerned Reader says:

        so if God gave me the ability to use clay, create a shape of a bird (not exact copy), breath into it, then that means i have Gods supernatural ABILITY to create life? what kind of thinking is this?

        Reply

        No prophet in the Torah has ever created living matter from non living matter by fashioning something and then breathing on it. Nobody!

        Torah takes great pains to seperate the prophet from his miracles, because they are not his.

        Your Quran says Jesus created a clay bird and breathed life into it. (A story from the infancy gospel of Thomas.)

        I dont need to delve into arabic minutae about the words used or “type of creating.” That is apologetic spin.

        Only God can create life from non life. This is plainly evident.

        In that sense, Allah is granting
        Jesus a power only God has.

        Saying “by God’s permission” or that “its not an exact copy” doesn’t change the material fact presented that the Quran has a created being creating life from non life.

        Its just like how the Quran deals with the Crucifixion by saying “someone was Crucified, it just wasn’t Jesus, but it was made to “look like” he was.”

        The material fact of the occurance is established but you have to explain how what you are seeing is not what you are seeing.

        • mr.heathcliff says:

          “No prophet in the Torah has ever created living matter from non living matter by fashioning something and then breathing on it. Nobody!”

          applying “progressive revelation”

          so let me ask again, if God gave me the ability to form a bird out of clay (not an exact bird) and i breath into it and say “BY GODS PERMISSION”
          and @ the same time i know GOD is the creator of EVERYTHING including my breathing and acts, then this means GOD forwarded his “creative abilities” to me?

          “Torah takes great pains to seperate the prophet from his miracles, because they are not his.”

          and Quran NEVER says that miracles of the prophets are theirs.

          “Your Quran says Jesus created a clay bird and breathed life into it.”

          and what has that got to do with your gOD BEING COMMANDED what to say?

          why don’t you read the quran “holistically” ?

          why don’t you see that if it was not by the permission of his CREATOR, that bird would be lifeless clay? why did you ignore the verses where GOD is the creator of the miracles?
          according to the Quran are the deeds of jesus CREATED or uncreated? the answer lies in these verses

          (قُلِ اللَّهُ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ)
          [Surah Ar-Ra’d 16]

          Meaning : Say Allah created everything and He is Al Wahid Al Qahhar.
          (وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ)

          [ Surat As-Saffaat 96]
          Meaning: Allah created you and your deeds

          ” (A story from the infancy gospel of Thomas.)”
          what has this got to do with the topic? i can post to you video responses to this, but why should i do your work for you?

          “I dont need to delve into arabic minutae about the words used or “type of creating.” That is apologetic spin.”

          you don’t even know arabic. the word “aqluku” has been used for PEOPLE other than jesus,

          so when the quran says “ahsanul KHALIQEEN” it aknowledges other khaliqs, so the word you were using to bolster your jesus , has been used for OTHER creatures as well.

          remember your “i determine” apologetics which you employed above?

          “Only God can create life from non life. This is plainly evident.”

          i am still waiting for your evidence that GODS life giving powers were TRANSFERRED to created object. you still have not provided anything.

          you are stuck on “life from non-life” but you completely ignore that jesus himself was created object and required permission and all the deeds and the request were all created by God, so it was GOD behind it all.


          In that sense, Allah is granting
          Jesus a power only God has.”

          how?

          jesus couldn’t move if it was not by the permission of God, what are you talking about ?
          your jesus is CREATED object . there is not even one hint that power of GOD was put into jesus. this is not pantheism.

          you said that GODS creative attribute was in your jesus, so why would an object which has the attribute, need a HIGHER GOD to activate it?

          “Saying “by God’s permission” or that “its not an exact copy” doesn’t change the material fact presented that the Quran has a created being creating life from non life.”

          so are you saying that the quran sees a created object as an INDEPENDENT creator ?

          1. is the object a dependent creator who needs God or who doesn’t need God?
          2. if he has gods creative ability, why he need to ASK his God to activate?
          3. who CREATED the creating of this “created being” ?


          Its just like how the Quran deals with the Crucifixion by saying “someone was Crucified, it just wasn’t Jesus, but it was made to “look like” he was.””

          what do you mean?

  4. Concerned Reader says:

    “in the hadeeth literature, muhammad is identified as “WALKING QURAN,” so according to your logic, MUHAMMAD is IDENTIFIED as quran which is , according to muslims, the speech of God. so according to your logic, Muhammad is SPEECH of God.”

    Its not my logic.

    The Sufis drew this paralell and conclusion before I ever gave it much thought.

  5. Concerned Reader says:

    Heathcliff, whatever responses a person can come up with to excuse the fact that the Quran has something in it which only otherwise appears in a Gnostic Gospel, is irelevant because we know that the Gnostic Gospel was written first.

    We know that in this text where the story comes from, (the infancy gospel of Thomas) Jesus is treated as entirely divine, and not human.

    It didn’t need to be revealed to Muhammad, because it was a pre-existing Fringe gnostic Christian idea, and other beliefs Muhammad mentions were unique to Muhammad’s area.

    When the Quran talks about Mary being a part of the Christian trinity for example, we know that the reason for this belief being mentioned by Muhammad is because of the sect in Arabia called Colidarians.

    Muhammad probably had interaction with those Christians.

    In other words, the Quran shows evidence that Muhammad was dealing with off-the-wall minority groups of Christians who were unique to Arabia, he does not know main line Orthodox people, or even Catholic people.

    He does not know basics of mainline Christian theology.

    We know that the sources that he’s getting his information from about Christianity are Fringe at best.

    While not even describing the vast majority in Christianity properly, his “revelation” then chides the entire people of the book for not knowing the truth about Jesus.

    See the issue there?

    He chides the Christians as a whole, while only actually interacting with and describing the beliefs of the teeny tiny number where he is located.

    The way the Quran handles the crucifixion, the way it handles explaining Jesus creating something living from nonliving matter, is not dissimilar To how a gnostic or a unitarian explains away clear Christian teachings that are problematic by applying several layers of convoluted interpretation.

    I’m not saying it’s impossible to do this, to look at minutiae in language and develop a different reading, its just that the reading doesn’t do away with the material fact of what’s going on.

    The explanation doesn’t deal with the forceful imagery that you see.

    Does that make sense?

    To use your example. If I saw a human being bend down into the Dust, saw dust molded into the shape of a bird, ( or anything else resembling a life form,) and he breathed life into it, I could understand clearly why at least some people would assume that this person was God In the Flesh. Why is that?

    There is only supposed to be one creator.

    The only time the Bible mentioned anything about dust being shaped, and then breathed into to come alive, was during the creation of Adam, the 1st man.

    God is the only one in the Bible who ever shaped dust into something, and made it alive.

    Now sure, the Quran says Jesus did this by Allah’s permission, but put yourself in Israel in the first century actually watching that happen for a moment.

    If you see a guy do this, has any prophet in the history of humanity done this before? What about the fact of the Primacy of Moses’ revelation?

    The only antecedent to this miracle in world history would be God making something.

    But with your eyes, you are physically seeing Jesus do it.

    Take how a Unitarian reads the Gospel of John. Scholars recognize that in this latest of the four Gospels, Jesus is treated as divine by that text.

    A Unitarian will bend themselves backwards and forwards, diving into the minutiae of Greek grammar, Etc.

    All while ignoring what the text is plainly telling you is happening.

    John’s gospel says the word was with God, and was God. And that this word (God’s wisdom) was made flesh.

    When you read that like a Unitarian, you have to dive into that text to make it avoid saying exactly what it said explicitly.

    If I give you a grocery list and say get milk and you bring back pickles, you did not read what the list plainly said.

    Why does the Quran have to explain how even though people saw a crucifixion, it wasn’t Jesus?

    What Earthly reason is there to assume it wasn’t Jesus, when every historical Source we know about Jesus tells us that it was Jesus?

    In point of fact it’s the only historical thing that can be known about him. He died, and his students deified him, building a cult around the very instrument of his death.

    Do you see what I’m saying?

    The Quran has to explain around things and it says occured.

    Something occurs, and then the Quran has to say it didn’t really happen the way it looked to have happened.

    By the way I’m not a Christian, so please stop saying “your Jesus”

    It’s like with dr. Anthony buzzard the famous Unitarian. He dives into the Gospel of John, into the Greek texts of the synoptics dismantling the doctrine of the deity of Jesus in his eyes, but when he gets to the rub, when the rubber hits the pavement, he has to say something like

    ” if God ordains that I must worship (proskuneo) his sinless lamb son, then I don’t see any contradiction there.”

    A Unitarian says it’s a-okay to bow down to Jesus as the one who died for your sins if he isn’t God as long as God ordains it.

    Not so. This is completely ignoring the rules and warnings passed down in Deuteronomy 4 and Deuteronomy 18.

    I was just watching a debate between Nabeel and Shabir Ally where Shabir Ally was using EP Sanders’ book on Paul’s Christology to prove that Paul didn’t see Jesus as God.

    Ok, fine. But then Ally points out that Paul plainly describes Jesus as being the 1st creation through which God created the entire world, “but he is still a creature.” Says Ally.

    Just like a Unitarian, shabir Ally had to take a material statement from Paul’s Epistles, as problematic as it is, and downplay it.

    Sure Jesus isn’t God to Paul, but Jesus is most assuredly described as a Divine being by Paul. And he’s doing this before his death takes place in the 60s CE.

    It is a fact that 30 years after Jesus died, people were ascribing qualities and powers to him that only belong to God, and they were starting to conflate themk

  6. mr.heathcliff says:

    “We know that in this text where the story comes from, (the infancy gospel of Thomas) Jesus is treated as entirely divine, and not human.”

    .
    the only agreement the quran has with the igt is A miracle, the qurans portrayal of jesus is radically different from the igt, so how can you say “we know ….where the story comes from” ?
    we do not see intertextuality like we see between matthew and mark.

    “Why does the Quran have to explain how even though people saw a crucifixion, it wasn’t Jesus?”

    “When the Quran talks about Mary being a part of the Christian trinity for example, ”

    where does it say that ? it doesn’t say that the 3 are 1. do some justice to the text.

    “Now sure, the Quran says Jesus did this by Allah’s permission, but put yourself in Israel in the first century actually watching that happen for a moment.”

    so if i knew what “Allahs permission” meant in first century israel, i would know that the power is ONLY IN ALLAH’S hand. i would know that the miracle came from ALLAH, not jesus.

    put yourself in the time of joshua and hear him command the sun, you will see a man commanding the sun with no mention of “by the permission of God”

    quote :
    Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon

    nobody saw the lord (unless you take the sun as the lord), they saw a man commanding the sun…so what would you do? take joshua as God ?

    “If you see a guy do this, has any prophet in the history of humanity done this before? What about the fact of the Primacy of Moses’ revelation?

    The only antecedent to this miracle in world history would be God making something.

    But with your eyes, you are physically seeing Jesus do it.”

    from holistic reading of the quran jesus is doing nothing.
    when jesus says “by the permission of God” he would be declaring its by Gods power, nothing to do with his physical act.

    think about it, by not mentioning “by the permission of Allah” that clay would be dead clay.

    “Why does the Quran have to explain how even though people saw a crucifixion, it wasn’t Jesus?”

    it actually doesn’t say they saw a crucifixion, it does sound like it is saying that it was a rumor “made to appear”

    nt writers employ ot and “make to appear” crucifixion in texts which have nothing to do with alleged crucifixion of jesus. paul does the same too.

    “when every historical Source we know about Jesus tells us that it was Jesus?”

    the gospels are your historical source?

  7. mr.heathcliff says:

    Quote :

    Th issue of Isa(a.s) creating in a “similar” manner to Allah(S.W.T) can be refuted by simply looking at jewish sources. In the talmud it is stated-

    אמר רבא אי בעו צדיקי ברו עלמא שנאמר כי עונותיכם היו מבדילים וגו’ Rava says: If the righteous wish to do so, they can create a world, as it is stated: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God.” In other words, there is no distinction between God and a righteous person who has no sins, and just as God created the world, so can the righteous.

    רבא ברא גברא שדריה לקמיה דר’ זירא הוה קא משתעי בהדיה ולא הוה קא מהדר ליה אמר ליה מן חבריא את הדר לעפריך
    Indeed, Rava created a man, a golem, using forces of sanctity. Rava sent his creation before Rabbi Zeira. Rabbi Zeira would speak to him but he would not reply. Rabbi Zeira said to him: You were created by one of the members of the group, one of the Sages. Return to your dust.

    רב חנינא ורב אושעיא הוו יתבי כל מעלי שבתא ועסקי בספר יצירה ומיברו להו עיגלא תילתא ואכלי ליה
    The Gemara relates another fact substantiating the statement that the righteous could create a world if they so desired: Rav Ḥanina and Rav Oshaya would sit every Shabbat eve and engage in the study of Sefer Yetzira, and a third-born calf [igla tilta] would be created for them, and they would eat it in honor of Shabbat.

    https://www.sefaria.org/Sanhedrin.65b.16?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en

    the reference to studying Sefer Yetzirah, or Book of Creation is also important. Sefer Yetzirah is said to be the divine revelation given to Abraham(a.s) about how the universe was created. In other words by studying How God creates the rabbi’s were able to make golems (men and even calf) as a symbol of them being learned in scripture and the nature of God.

    This shows what Isa(a.s) was doing. proving his prophethood by preforming a miracle that only someone said to have knowledge of scripture and God could do. After all it is known that prophets are given miracles according to their culture. for more information you can see these links

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sefer_Yetzirah

    https://folklore.livejournal.com/36003.html

    or just google golems or golems in the talmud ect. the christian may retort back that he doesn’t believe that the rabbi’s ever had such knowledge or power but that doesn’t matter. what matters is that the notion that they could existed for some time. in other words the true meaning of Isa(a.s) miracle would have been understood by some of people of his time or near his time.

    The issue of Isa(a.s) being called the word is also simple to refute. He is given this title because of his creation by Allah(S.W.T) direct command “BE!” like with Adam(a.s). The question that Christians then ask is why wasn’t Adam given the tittle of word to reflect his creation?

    The answers are 1) Prophets are given unique titles all the time, that doesn’t mean that other prophets completely lack the qualities of said title. Abraham(a.s) is called friend of God does that mean all other prophets are strangers to God?

    2) Moreover the reason Isa(a.s) is called the word and not Adam(a.s) is because he already has title that describes his creation. he is someone who “God created with his hand”/ with his two hands. this yaqueen institute article discussing the islamic view of evolution has an entire section discussing Adams titles.

    while I think the whole article and collection of articles on evolution is great and iman boosting, the portion relevant to my point is under the Theological Implications for Human Evolution part in this article.
    https://yaqeeninstitute.org/dr-david-solomon-jalajel/tawaqquf-and-acceptance-of-human-evolution/#.XOA918hKhPY

    3) Christians don’t seem to realize that when they make this argument they inadvertently shoot their own theology in the foot. The trinity claims that the father, son, and holy spirit are all fully god sharing the same essence. the word-logos is described as an attribute of God, of his creative power and reason.

    Yet ONLY the son is given the title of logos. The father and spirit are, as far as i’m aware, never referred to as logos. This begs an important question to Christians. If the son alone is given /emphasized with the title of logos, does that mean the father and holy spirit do not have that divine attribute? If the answer is no then they have no argument or room to talk. If the answer is yes then that means the father and holy spirit are not fully God and deficient compared to the son with the logos.

    ////

    concerned reader, what are your thoughts on this?

    • Concerned Reader says:

      What are my thoughts on midrashim that turn rabbis into supermen?

      Honestly, It is stuff like this that I directly blame for the existence of Christianity in the 1st place.

      Midrashim are homily, they are not supposed to be taken literally, but, you cant control if someone takes this or that homily literally, especially since there is all kinds of stuff in scripture that we do take literally. that sounds equally off the wall.

      So, in a way this is why we have Christian like ideas in all the monotheistic traditions in some form or other.

      You mentioned earlier that Muhammad is treated metaphorically as the embodiment of the Quran, which some Muslims identify as eternal, and identify as Logos, and that this doesn’t mean he is divine.

      Ok, Granted. But this is why you also have Sufism where people actually see prophets as embodiment of divinity.

      If I claim to be a fully fledged monotheist but I believe that God can routinely let men and angels do things all the time that should be ascribed only to God alone properly, its only a matter of time before someone says “hey, maybe that is God too somehow,” or “maybe God wants me to honor this or that person to the point of ending my own life.”

      In the quest to avoid Shirk, you inadvertently embrace it wholeheartedly in this diet coke “its not what it seems to be” way.

      “The issue of Isa(a.s) being called the word is also simple to refute. He is given this title because of his creation by Allah(S.W.T) direct command “BE!” like with Adam(a.s). The question that Christians then ask is why wasn’t Adam given the tittle of word to reflect his creation?

      The answers are 1) Prophets are given unique titles all the time, that doesn’t mean that other prophets completely lack the qualities of said title. Abraham(a.s) is called friend of God does that mean all other prophets are strangers to God?

      2) Moreover the reason Isa(a.s) is called the word and not Adam(a.s) is because he already has title that describes his creation. he is someone who “God created with his hand”/ with his two hands. this yaqueen institute article discussing the islamic view of evolution has an entire section discussing Adams titles.”

      right, and the Quran says Iblis was punished why? Because he would not worship Adam!

      Adam was supposed to be honored by the angels who would chant “holy holy” as Adam was meant to be God;s chief emissary, with dominion over creation.

      Just as Christians say Jesus is supposed to be honored.

      See? the issue is, Deuteronomy 4 says that type of honor is unfitting of created beings.

      Sometimes when I read the Quran, the Torah, and the New Testament, it seems like the prophet is just the projection on the screen from the Wizard of Oz..
      “I am Oz! The great and powerful, listen to me!”

      God is the “man” behind the curtain. He appoints a megaphone prophet or angel guy, but gets surprised when they switch them for him.

      • stewjo004 says:

        @ Concerned Reader
        Your blatant disrespect to your Messiah(as) (“JCPenney”) and God’s Scripture(the Quran) is why this is about to happen to you:

        To begin, you gotta love the alleged accusations of idolatry and blasphemy in our books from a nation that thinks the Lord:

        A. Regrets and throws temper tantrums (Genesis 6:6 -7, 1 Samuel 11)

        B. Repents (Exodus 32:14)

        C. Rests (Genesis 2:2)

        D. And looks like an old man sitting on a chair (Daniel 7:1-14)

        Now regarding your “arguments” presented let’s not play with books we haven’t read. To begin the Messiah(as) emphasizes the fact that he is doing this by God’s PERMISSION 3 times is enough to refute your argument. There is no time in the Quran where God attributes a miracle to a Prophet or gives him the power over life and death. Doing an act to perform the miracle does not mean he is an active force in it, for example, why did Moses(as)himself have to hit the sea with his staff? Using your logic Moses(as) is an active participant in the miracle and has power over nature according to the Hebrew Bible. Your argument is inconsistent as I can apply it to ANY MIRACLE PERFORMED PERIOD, not just the Messiah’s (as).

        Next Muhammad(saw) your prophet, is given a multitude of titles in the Quran examples include:

        A.Messenger
        B.Prophet
        C.Seal of Prophets
        D.The Model of Excellent Conduct
        E.The Witness
        F.Conveyor if Good News
        G.The Caller
        H.The Warner
        I.The Wrapped and Enshrouded
        J.Ahmad (or the Highly Praised)

        So again let’s avoid saying things about God or His books that we don’t know.

        Moving on, the text is drastically different from the infancy gospel of Thomas. Even then this text is still early (around 80 CE) and was in circulation as an oral tradition much sooner. Christians mix and match stories all throughout this period and even your works like the Toledoth Yesu contin the story and place it right into Matt after his (as) alleged speech about God taking care of humans like sparrows which is more in line with the Quranic narrative.

        Furthermore, the Quran does not say Mary is in the Trinity and I challenge you to show me where it says Mary is so. Instead of blindly copying Christian crap actually know the source you’re quotingf. It speaks on MANY of their doctrines but since you’ve never read it you don’t know that. Please see my above about saying things about God we don’t know. In fact, it also talks about your doctrines as well:

        People of the Scripture, why do you mix truth with lies and knowingly hide the truth? (3:71)

        Which explains you trying to skate around Elijah(as) bringing some back to life to justify your disbelief in the Lord’s Messengers let’s first read your text:

        https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+17%3A17-24&version=NCV

        To be clear it is emphasizing Elijah (as) bringing back the boy from the dead not just giving him some CPR as you tried to make it sound. Words used in Hebrew (the little you might still be able to speak):

        let this
        הַזֶּ֖ה (haz·zeh)
        Article | Pronoun – masculine singular
        Strong’s Hebrew 2088: This, that

        boy’s
        הַיֶּ֥לֶד (hay·ye·leḏ)
        Article | Noun – masculine singular
        Strong’s Hebrew 3206: Something born, a lad, offspring

        LIFE
        נֶֽפֶשׁ־ (ne·p̄eš-)
        Noun – feminine singular construct
        Strong’s Hebrew 5315: A soul, living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion

        RETURN
        תָּ֥שָׁב (tā·šāḇ)
        Verb – Qal – Imperfect Jussive – third person feminine singular
        Strong’s Hebrew 7725: To turn back, in, to retreat, again

        TO
        עַל־ (‘al-)
        Preposition
        Strong’s Hebrew 5921: Above, over, upon, against

        HIM!!!”
        קִרְבּֽוֹ׃ (qir·bōw)

        So does Elijah (as) have power over life and death as well according to your books? Use these weak arguments with the Christians not us.

        The lack of a crucifixion is a proof for Islam not against it. To begin there are many ways to interpret the verse but let’s stick with the most common. Your “historical argument” is weak because a miracle cannot be explained historically. If you want to argue about this prove that 600,000 Jews left Egypt into the Holy Land. That many people moving will leave a TON of archaeological evidence and a collapsed Egyptian economy. Or how somethign a litlle more simple prove the that the sea split for us instead. NO historian thinks either of these evens are historical as well. Miracles simply cannot be proven historically as they go against the essence of what it is because it is the LEAST likely event to occur with the available evidence. I have a series going on this just showing the inconsistencies in their books about the subject couple that with no eyewitnesses, independent attestation, their books attesting to him being saved or there being no basis in the Bible and our position is QUITE solid.
        https://quranandbibleblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/21/top-8-contentions-against-the-crucifixion-part-i/

        Moving on, the Messiah(as) is not to blame for your ancestors worshipping everything except the Lord. I guess Moses(as) and Aaron(as) are to blame because your idol worshipping forefathers worshipped the Golden Calf like what 2 weeks after being freed? God tests people ALL the time and they failed.

        Finally because I know the history of your text I have to put a disclaimer in here please don’t add my post into the Torah and claim Moses(as) wrote it. Become Muslims or you will have nothing in the life to come and may peace be on those who follow guidance.

  8. Concerned Reader says:

    Before I even reply to your rebuttal, you just throughly insulted the Torah, on which your entire Revelation rests by taking the human language used by the Torah as evidence that God is portrayed improperly therein. IE God repents, etc.

    Since the Torah can be dated to thousands of years before your book even existed, I would think very carefully about imputing its credibility, or The credibility of its transmission as Islam often does. If the Torah in the Gospels can be hopelessly corrupted, so can your book.

    Most readings of the Hebrew Bible fully Accord with the masoretic text that we have have today in spite of mistranslation by the Christians.

    Without the five books of Moses there would be no Christianity, there would be no Islam. Chew on that, cupcake.

    I explained very clearly why I do not find the
    Quran suitable as a piece of Revelation. Having a miracle in it that only appears otherwise in a Gnostic Gospel is going to carry no weight with Christians, and even less weight with Jews.

    Muhammad’s interaction with Christians was limited in-scope to some very Off the Wall region specific sects of Christianity. This is abundantly clear do to the Quran’s description of Christian beliefs.

    I also clearly explained why Jesus creating birds from clay is thoroughly different from the Miracles of the other prophets.

    The only antecedent you have in the Torah for someone creating something from dust, breathing into it, and making it alive is God creating life.

    Something I’m not sure you know about the Christian Bible’s usage of the Tanakh: its that when Jesus does miracles, it’s usually a miracle that God Alone has done in the past.

    Ie Jesus calms the storm, and the New Testament author uses a text as proof where Hashem Stills the storm and walks on the water.

    Shabir Ally understands that the Christian Bible, even understood academically in its earliest strata of development (60s CE ) still makes Jesus out to be a Divine being.

    I e 30 years after the man Jesus was gone from this world, people were considering him divine! Just three decades!

    Muhammad tries to warn Christians, while not even understanding their simplest doctrines properly. That’s just a fact. I have read your Quran.

    This other commentator Heathcliff ( who I have chatted with amicably for a long time)

    just used the midrash which as I said is not meant to be taken literally as a means of explaining how a creation/prophet of God can create something alive from non-life.

    I attempted to explain how saying “by God’s permission” doesn’t change the material fact. Muslims use the same line of reasoning when dealing with Christianity.

    As an example, even though the Christians believe in the trinity, and also in Jesus’ divinity, they very clearly teach at the same time that the son is not the father, and that Jesus is subject to the father’s will. The New Testament says clearly that Jesus only does what his father commands him to do.

    Paul clearly says the son will hand over the kingdom to the father. Ie this is what Christian doctrine calls functional subordination of the son of God.

    As we both know however, this Christian belief in Jesus’s functional subordination to the farher doesn’t make Christianity any less idolatrous.

    If it did we could all just go home.

    When the Quran talks about Jesus doing the miracle of clay birds by God’s permission, it is whitewashing something that very clearly started out as a gnostic Christian story.

    It was a story so difficult to source in ancient Christian tradition that the Christians did not consider it canonical.

    Why wouldn’t they consider this story canonical when it suits their purposes so well by making Jesus into Superman?

    One issue that I have with the Quran is that the Christians Muhammad interacted with were clearly largely of a gnostic variety.

    Quran is using language to say what you’re seeing is not actually what you are seeing.

    A human being is not creating life from non-life, but God is, even though the one doing it is Jesus.

    My point is, this story in the Quran bears all the similarity in the world to a gnostic Christian story.

    You guys spend so much time ripping the New Testament to shreds showing how it is corrupted, showing the absurdity that it makes a man out to be God, but then you believe in a book that has a miracle story in it that comes from Gnostic sources and makes that case 10 times stronger then any text the Christians ever could use.

    Just because you don’t pray to a man as a divinity doesn’t mean you haven’t deified him.

    Look at the Mahayana Buddhist who doesn’t believe that Buddha is a God. Nonetheless he builds a stupa, that contains the Buddha’s tooth, and bows to a golden statue.

    When you ask him why he does it, he will say “this brings to mind his teachings.”

    In other words, idolatry can be idolatry even if you have dressed it up as monotheism, or in the case of Buddhism a non theism.

  9. Mjjjjcmmfkc says:

    That’s right the Gospel of Thomas infancy narratives come from the eighties of the Common Era.

    The Gospel of John comes just ten years after that.

    This is part of the point. Miracle stories attributed to Jesus in the Quran come from the late period of the New Testament’s development when Jesus has well since become Divine Superman.

    The infancy Gospel of Thomas is post mark, mathew, and Luke, ( all of which is post Paul) coming on the scene just before John, who explicitly calls Jesus God, no matter what weird games people play with the Greek.

    Jesus is either portrayed as a Divine man, or asvGod incarnate at that period of New Testament development.

    It’s only partially the explanation of how you say Jesus can do the miracle that I find problematic, it’s more where we can know that story comes from, and the theological intent to that story when it came about.

    It doesn’t matter if Muhammad tries to clean up the story. The story itself is literally saying that a human being is creating life from non-life.

    • mr.heathcliff says:

      “Ie Jesus calms the storm, and the New Testament author uses a text as proof where Hashem Stills the storm and walks on the water.”

      have you read the gmark? the author seems to be implying that if the disciples had faith (Where is your faith? ), they would have been able to calm the storm themselves. i am beginning to think that you think that the biblical God had human legs and was walking on water when you say “Hashem stills the stills the storm and WALKS on the water”

      Mark 11:23 (NRSV)
      23 Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you.

      why don’t you interpret mark holistically?

      “I also clearly explained why Jesus creating birds from clay is thoroughly different from the Miracles of the other prophets.”

      creating birds from clay? the text doesn’t even say a bird was formed. no where does the text say that jesus had the power or shared the power of God to make the object alive, because the “by the leave of Allah” clearly implies that power for life is ONLY in Allahs hands, no one else’s.

      how does the quran understand “by the leave of Allah” ? the whole purpose of this miracle is for the people to praise Allah, turn to Allah
      all you are doing is focusing on a created thing putting ANOTHER created thing (clay) together and then physically breathing (ANOTHER created act) while ignoring that the text is meant to take your attention to ALLAH, not the created jesus.

      and jesus is not having any power or control over any created object when you have texts like these :

      (قُلِ اللَّهُ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ)
      [Surah Ar-Ra’d 16]

      Meaning : Say Allah created everything and He is Al Wahid Al Qahhar.
      (وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ)

      [ Surat As-Saffaat 96]
      Meaning: Allah created you and your deeds

      its seems to me that you are imaging that the God you believe in can LITERALLY share his power as in take it off and give it to created objects. You have absolutely no respect for the text.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Again you missed the point. Of course the point is to bring attention to God. That doesn’t work!

        Everything you are saying about how Jesus works by the leave of God, the Christians also say.

        You told me to interpret the Quranic text holistically, but then you pick one text from the gospel of Mark.

        The intent in mark of Jesus going out to the boat in the middle of the storm when the disciples are stuck out there and he tells Peter to have faith, is that men can do great works by faith yes, but that is also a typology of a text from the Torah where God metaphorically Stills the storm.

        The intent of the author of Mark is to show that what God does metaphorically Jesus is doing literally.

        It doesn’t matter if you say a miracle is done by God’s leave, when the source of that Miracle story is insanely suspect, and from a Time when all the stories about Jesus written we’re about a God man, or a created being who is somehow divine.

        Just think of the absurdity of your justifications. You pulled a text from Sanhedrin about how the rabbis can make a Golem!

        That is allegory, it is story, it is for moral lessons it is not literal!

        You quoted a text where it basically said man and God are identical as long as God is doing the work, and you want to take that literally as a literal possibility?

        Without realizing it you are doing exactly what you accuse the Christians of doing. That is the point.

        • mr.heathcliff says:

          “You quoted a text where it basically said man and God are identical as long as God is doing the work, and you want to take that literally as a literal possibility?”

          i am beginning to wonder if there is any point in continuing this discussion.

        • mr.heathcliff says:

          “Again you missed the point. Of course the point is to bring attention to God. That doesn’t work!”

          it actually did for 7th century arabs and non-arab christians, they stopped worshiping a created being and start worshiping their creator.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            But as you just Illustrated, you are completely okay with letting the righteous have magic powers as long as God allows it, and you used a midrash that said “there was no distinction between a righteous person who never sins in the Creator when it comes to creating a world.”

          • mr.heathcliff says:

            i quoted a muslim apologist, i did not say i agree with the quote.

  10. Concerned Reader says:

    Sorry my phone was flipping out, the previous replies from me.

    You mentioned Toldot Yeshu, and Heathcliff mentioned a midrash from Sanhedrin to explain how a simple man of god can create life by God’s permission.

    I’m actually glad you showed up today I’m glad you wrote this response because it allows me to finally explain what I have been trying to explain to readers of blog for a long time.

    You cannot control how anybody reads a text. So, if you have stories couched in allegory that make men out to be magic, it doesn’t matter how much you clarify that this is only a human being.

    Let me give you a little bit of background on myself. I was raised as a non trinitarian Christian. I did not believe that Jesus was God in human form. I believed he did nothing without God’s permission.

    However, none of that changes the fact that from the earliest strata of the New Testament, Jesus is portrayed as a man with Divine qualities.

    Paul says God used this creature to help him create the world, and he was writing that in the fifties of the Common Era!

    It doesn’t matter if you reject the trinity, the Incarnation, the deity of Christ, if you then have a human being who you elevate to the status of creating life from non-life, to the status of intercessor, to the status of the walking embodiment of God’s will, etc.

    This is what breeds idolatry. This is what Deuteronomy 4 and Deuteronomy 18 warn Jews about!

    Study any idolatrous religion in the world and you’ll find out that half the time if you ask someone to describe the nature of their gods or founder, you will hear

    ” oh! Don’t worry, he’s just a normal guy born of normal parents, and we don’t worship him or anything.”

    • mr.heathcliff says:

      quick question, where does the text in any way indicate that the power came from jesus ?

      where does the text say that ALLAHS “be” TRANSFERRED to jesus?
      where does the text say that jesus was the CAUSE of his own CREATED actions?

      are you telling me that the HEARERS of this text knowing the arabic and the usage of specific arabic words would have jumped to your conclusions?

  11. Concerned Reader says:

    Quote :

    Th issue of Isa(a.s) creating in a “similar” manner to Allah(S.W.T) can be refuted by simply looking at jewish sources. In the talmud it is stated-

    אמר רבא אי בעו צדיקי ברו עלמא שנאמר כי עונותיכם היו מבדילים וגו’ Rava says: If the righteous wish to do so, they can create a world, as it is stated: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God.” In other words, there is no distinction between God and a righteous person who has no sins, and just as God created the world, so can the righteous.

    רבא ברא גברא שדריה לקמיה דר’ זירא הוה קא משתעי בהדיה ולא הוה קא מהדר ליה אמר ליה מן חבריא את הדר לעפריך
    Indeed, Rava created a man, a golem, using forces of sanctity. Rava sent his creation before Rabbi Zeira. Rabbi Zeira would speak to him but he would not reply. Rabbi Zeira said to him: You were created by one of the members of the group, one of the Sages. Return to your dust.

    רב חנינא ורב אושעיא הוו יתבי כל מעלי שבתא ועסקי בספר יצירה ומיברו להו עיגלא תילתא ואכלי ליה
    The Gemara relates another fact substantiating the statement that the righteous could create a world if they so desired: Rav Ḥanina and Rav Oshaya would sit every Shabbat eve and engage in the study of Sefer Yetzira, and a third-born calf [igla tilta] would be created for them, and they would eat it in honor of Shabbat.

    Heathcliff, do you believe that the rabbis did these things literally?

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Do you believe that there is no distinction between a man who has no sins and the Creator as you quoted from this midrash?

      Look at what you are using to substantiate this belief.

  12. Concerned Reader says:

    Heathcliff, let me put it to you another way. Scholars have good records of the textual transmission of the Christian Bible from within decades of its alleged events. We know when Paul was writing, then we have Mark, then Mathew, Luke-Acts, and then John.

    From these texts we see the slow progression of christology, from Jesus as a claimed prophet who becomes endowed by the spirit at Baptism to his development into the Logos in John’s gospel. We can see the Christian deity concept developing.

    Nowhere in these early records is there any story about Jesus making birds out of clay by the leave of God. The Church regarded this as a spurious story for a reason. It is not attested early, but late.

    We are talking writings in the 50s, 60s, and 70s when it comes to Paul, Mark, and Mathew/Luke-Acts. Paul started writing only twenty years after Jesus.

    John 1 John, Hebrews, and gnostic texts are 80s 90s and later.

    The only place that story ever had occurred before Muhammad mentioned it was in the infancy gospel of Thomas, a text from 80 CE 10 years before the gospel of John was written. Why didn’t John mention that story?

    IGT as a text is entirely Gnostic.

    Is it reasonable to believe that Muhammad heard this story in a Vacuum directly from God, when someone like Paul didn’t mention it?

    Its also theologically a problematic thing, because nowhere in the Hebrew Bible does God give prophets that kind of ability. Why would he? It would fuel idolatry as illustrated by the brass serpent fiasco.

    • mr.heathcliff says:

      “Nowhere in these early records is there any story about Jesus making birds out of clay by the leave of God. The Church regarded this as a spurious story for a reason. It is not attested early, but late.”

      the gospel writers were interesting in repeating everything they heard?
      did the church regard the stories in john as spurious because they were not found in the synoptics?

    • mr.heathcliff says:

      “Its also theologically a problematic thing, because nowhere in the Hebrew Bible does God give prophets that kind of ability. Why would he? It would fuel idolatry as illustrated by the brass serpent fiasco.”

      i am still waiting for you to prove to us how the CREATIVE ability of GOD was TRANSFERRED to a created object like jesus. so far you are just parroting the same stuff.

      you will demonstrate from the arabic texts, how the language used gives the idea that Gods power is SHARED by created object.

  13. Concerned Reader says:

    “i quoted a muslim apologist, i did not say i agree with the quote.”

    Then why quote it?

    • mr.heathcliff says:

      i’ll quote the muslim brother :

      the entire reason this was brought into the discussion was because you claimed that

      “No prophet in the Torah has ever created living matter from non living matter by fashioning something and then breathing on it. Nobody!”

      “Now sure, the Quran says Jesus did this by Allah’s permission, but put yourself in Israel in the first century actually watching that happen for a moment. If you see a guy do this, has any prophet in the history of humanity done this before? What about the fact of the Primacy of Moses’ revelation? The only antecedent to this miracle in world history would be God making something.”

      “Something I’m not sure you know about the Christian Bible’s usage of the Tanakh: its that when Jesus does miracles, it’s usually a miracle that God Alone has done in the past. Ie Jesus calms the storm, and the New Testament author uses a text as proof where Hashem Stills the storm and walks on the water.”

      Exo 14:21 “And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.”

      Exo 14:26-27 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.”

      Job 1:12 “Very well,” said the LORD to Satan. “Everything he has is in your hands, but you must not lay a hand on the man himself.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD ”

      Job 1:18-19 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and reported: “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on the young people and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

      The argument you made was that someone doing something miraculous that only God can do is absent from the jewish mind. that the Quran is inadvertently deifying Jesus(a.s) and attempting to rectify its mistake. The materials you used to prove your point were Jewish sources and your own reason. I feel like i addressed the Jewish sources. The prophets Abraham Jeremiah Mosses(a.s them all), the rabbi’s, apostle peter, and even satan are able to have control over things that only God should have because he allowed it. I do not see any meaningful difference between biblical and islamic references on this matter. and I find your attempts to distinguish them to be left wanting.

      As for your personal opinion on the matter, with all due respect its not relevant. Don’t get me wrong i get where your coming from. worshiping an idol while giving blasphemous reasons as to why, should be called out. the issue is determining what is and isn’t idolatry and how. otherwise anyone can say anything is idolatry. like the concept of angels, temples, or priestly blessing ect.

      both traditions don’t have an problem with prophets preforming miracles like these. this isn’t even something unique to Isa(a.s) in the quran. The prophet salih(a.s) causes a she camel to emerge from a rock and prophet solomon(a.s) has the wind subjugated for him. so the quran is quite consistent on this matter. if you want to argue its idolatry anyway then we can have that discussion. but i hope you see how that is a issue affecting all religions and a different issue than if the quran is confused on this matter.

    • mr.heathcliff says:

      quote:
      First
      “Just think of the absurdity of your justifications. You pulled a text from Sanhedrin about how the rabbis can make a Golem! That is allegory, it is story, it is for moral lessons it is not literal”!

      this is not entirely true. while yes some believed these to be allegorical-

      ” The golem appears in other places in the Talmud as well. One legend says the prophet Jeremiah made a golem However, some mystics believe the creation of a golem has symbolic meaning only, like a spiritual experience following a religious rite.”

      https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-golem

      clearly not everyone did. This can be seen via even a cursory investigation of the golem discussions. Such as whether destroying a golem would be considered murder.

      https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/4285513/jewish/From-Golems-to-AI.htm

      In fact some said Abraham(a.s) used the same method to create the calf prepared for the three angels at Genesis 18:7

      “The Kabbalists speculated that the calf that Abraham served to his angelic guests was created through the use of Sefer Yetzirah. This would place the calf beyond the law and make it parve [neutral]. In this way, Abraham would avoid the sin of serving milk with meat. Return”

      https://folklore.livejournal.com/36003.html

      I am willing to concede that some interpreted these accounts of golems as allegorical. Are you willing to concede that some interpreted these as very literal?

      • Concerned Reader says:

        I am willing to admit that some read that stuff literally, but as I said, that kind of reasoning is what leads directly to idolatry.

        I dont grant the Talmud’s legends that level of authority, because that kind of stuff is what lead to guys like Shabbatai Tzvi and Jesus getting deified.

  14. stewjo004 says:

    @ Tony
    Oh look at that he conveniently throws the Talmud under the bus when it defeats his claim of “idolatry”. Hmm, it’s almost like they “flung God’s Scripture behind their backs like they had no knowledge about it.” (2:102)

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Stewjoe, I’m a gentile. I threw nothing under the bus, and BTW the Jewish people have a far better track record of admitting their own flaws.

      Maybe if you could emulate that honerable quality, you would learn.

  15. stewjo004 says:

    @ Concerned Reader

    I haven’t insulted anything, I believe in the Scripture the Lord gave to Moses(as) on Mt. Sinai, not your make believe books that you claim are it. I can attack your fairy tales because they have proven corruptions in them. You have 4 versions of the thing as of the time of this writing (I assume there will be more in the future found in another garbage dump in Egypt like the rest), two MASSIVE transmission breaks from Moses(as) (over 1,000 years), random scribe tourist notes (“and such and such place still stands here today…”) and nobody other than you all and fundamentalist Christian think Moses(as) wrote it. “Human language” is the excuse used to try to get around the clear cut blasphemy in your current texts.

    As for your attempted argument, you see because we are actually Abraham’s(as) religion and without him, YOUR text would not exist as Abraham was not a jew so this point is moot.

    Now Christian tales were ALL over the place in the 1st century so that means nothing nor was this story even intended for you. I do not care what some Christians claim living hundreds of miles away from where the Messiah(as) preached and is quite frankly irrelevant as they, like you, do not have a transmission of their texts. The text is not “difficult to source” NONE OF YOU HAVE SOURCES. The story has LONG been in circulation with them and their current books say:

    Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. (John 21:25)

    I.E. “This book has not recorded all his miracles”. Just because a text is redacted in 80 CE does not mean the source was not in circulation earlier like for example the Talmud. The story of the Quran and the infancy Gospel are completely different. The only thing similar is the birds.

    As for your argument of “in 3 decades they were worshipping him” Well again you all worshipped a Golden Calf just because Moses(as) went up to a mountain for forty days (i.e. LESS THAN TWO MONTHS) is he to blme for that? Again not his fault just your nations lack of belief in God. Your nations tendency to worship anything but the Lord and pagan Romans are to the problem, let me just give you an example of the environment the Messiah preached in:

    When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices in the Lycaonian language: “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 12Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. (Acts 14:11-12)

    Yeah. They worshipped anything at the drop of a hat like the Hindus. You’re comparing us with the Christians is flawed because worship is different than a miracle you know this, I know this drop the lame argument. Simple question are all miracles a prophet performs by God’s permission yes or no?

    Moving on, did you just say we deify a man and try to teach US about true monotheism when you all visit saint’s graves, worshipped Enoch (akak Metatron) and have anthropomorphism? Do you REALLY want to do this dude? WE know there’s more to it than worship its YOU all that don’t which is why you kept worshipping idols. I mean the sheer audacity of this claim is mindblowing.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      “Moving on, did you just say we deify a man and try to teach US about true monotheism when you all visit saint’s graves, worshipped Enoch (akak Metatron) ”

      Nobody worshiped Enoch! Nobody called Ezra son of God either!

      Honestly, where do you people even get this crap from?

      And I don’t understand something. You don’t trust that Jews have the authentic text of the Torah of Moses, but you will pour over midrashim and Jewish legends, and necessitate that we read it literally to bolster your claims that a prophet can create worlds. life forms, etc. if God allows by his permission?

      You need to learn the accurate role that Talmud and Midrash plays in Jewish tradition before you go read it, and misapply it. Don’t make the same mistake the Christians make.

      Do you believe every hadith is correct?

      Midrash is a rabbis personal creative homily. Its meant to illustrate biblical concepts. It is never allowed to overturn the plain meaning of the commandments.

      Take the midrash from Sanhedrin 65B that says a righteous man who does not sin can create a world.

      What does this mean? What is it teaching us?

      If you are a righteous person, and live uprightly according to the commandments, society prospers. People learn new things. Society progresses, we invent new technologies, we change the world. Because God is continually upholding the world, (allowing it to exist,) we have “created” a world.

      There was once a world in which there were no vaccines, no internet, no indoor plumbing. Society growing and learning we learning in each generation “re creates” the world anew.

      See? Not literal!

      When I alluded to you deifying a man, I mean it in the sense that you work so hard to avoid making Muhammad a partner with God that inadvertently, you display a reverence for him that borders on deification.

      As an example, some people who want to injure people who draw a picture, or write criticism of Muhammad, have in fact idolized him.

      The Sufis who say he is the living embodiment of the Quran (an Islamic concept that they interpret literally,) have deified him, and the other prophets.

      Therevada Buddhist’s dont call Buddha a divine being, (in fact the Pali canon explicitly has him telling them not to,) but this doesn’t stop them from building a Stupa and gold statues that they bow to.

      Idolatry is more complex than saying “I don’t pray to a creature.”

      The oldest idolatry on the planet is ancestor worship. Nobody says that their ancestors are divine beings, but they venerate them to an unhealthy level.

      You are right that Christians (and even some Jews) have venerated ancestors to an unhealthy level, but the point I was making is that this goes against the law, as Jews posses it.

      Nobody is perfect, everyone sins. All God wants is repentance, and he will turn to you with love.

  16. Concerned Reader says:

    Abraham was not a jew so this point is moot.

    You are a fool if you take this statement seriously. Was Jacob a Jew? What about Jacob’s son Judah?

    You only hear about Abraham at all from the context of the event of the giving of the Covenant at Sinai after God saved the JEWS in Egypt.

    Its called the 5 books of Moses (of which genesis is a part) for a reason there you goofball.

    If its true that “none of you have sources” then why in the hell do your apologists try to paint your self confessed illiterate warrior prophet into the Torah and gospels?

    And i’m sorry that you want to deny Christian and Jewish academic knowledge of their own tradition’s transmission because it is inconvenient for you, but whatever. Historical fact doesnt bend to your or my opinion.

    Also, if you are so sure that the Jews and Christians royally screwed up, why in the hell would Muhammad be telling you to ask us for points of clarity when you get confused?

    Torah says that the commandments will not depart from Jacob in spite of their exile. Your Prophet denied this by claiming that Jews and Christians hopelessly corrupted their message.

    The Torah gives the test of a true prophet. Both Jesus and Muhammad fail that test.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      I haven’t insulted anything, I believe in the Scripture the Lord gave to Moses(as) on Mt. Sinai, not your make believe books that you claim are it. 

      Well, considering our oldest manuscripts are dated to hundreds of years before either Jesus or Muhammad, forgive me if I dont just trust a 7th century would be prophet who says he was illiterate to critique the validity of the Torah’s transmission.

      Why does your Muhammad even call the Jews the people of the book if their book is made up and beyond recognition?

      What usefulness does it serve for him to identify us as people of the book? Seems an odd designation if our texts cant be trusted.

      Why did he seek their council and tell you to seek their help?

      If you mean the “true Torah” and “True Gospel” were only revealed to Muhammad in his recitation, then your entire claim is unfalsifiable, and therefore logically incoherant because your reasoning is circular.

      “I believe in the true Torah and the true gospel.”

      “How do you know what the true Torah is? From history? From the Jews?”

      “No, we know what is true because Muhammad recieved the true Torah and gospel.”

      WHILE BY HIMSELF ALONE IN A CAVE.

      What standard are Muhammad’s claims to be judged against if the people of the book have lost their way as you claim?

      He is literally the untestable prophet.

  17. Concerned Reader says:

    You see, Jesus was a real historical 1st century Jew.

    Jewish and Roman sources both tell us he died by Crucifixion under Pilate. That is the historical consensus. It is the least controversial fact about Jesus among historians.

    Quran doubts that Jesus died by Crucifixion.

    We know when the epistles and Synoptics date from, and that they are early documents.

    Jesus died in the 30s, Paul writes in the 50s-60s.

    The whole tradition went to hell within 20 years?

    I’m not even a Christian, and I know that would be a ridiculous claim for you to make.

    • stewjo004 says:

      @ Concerned reader

      The Arabs knew who Abraham(as) was without the Torah because they had Ishmael(as) as their father so as I said your point moot. Again I know you’re used to arguing with Christians who blindly relied on your text, but we are not dependent on them. As Abraham(as) was not a Jew and submitted to God he is a Muslim (one who submits) you can also add all the prophets to this. We are his religion and legacy. Also btw the Jews knew who Abraham(as) was previous to the revelation on Sinai and your sources attest to that:
      “Nevertheless, the deeds he did were not so potent in convincing them of the reality of the mission as the words wherein God had announced the approaching redemption to him, which he repeated in their ears. The elders knew that Jacob had imparted to Joseph the secret mark designating the redeemer, and Joseph had in turn confided it to his brethren before his death. The last surviving one of the brethren, Asher, had revealed it to his daughter Serah, in the following words: “He that will come and proclaim the redemption with the words of God, ‘I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt,’ he is the true redeemer.” Serah was still alive at Moses’ return, and the elders betook themselves to her, and told her the words of Moses announcing the redemption. When she heard that his words had been the same as those Asher had quoted, she knew that he was the promised redeemer, and all the people believed in him.”

      So as I was saying all of the man’s descendants know who he is, it ain’t that exclusive.

      Oh and “a whoopty do!” you have manuscripts going back HUNDREDS of years! I guess that would be impressive if Moses(as) didn’t live THOUSANDS of years ago!

      Also I have not said anything about Muhammad(saw) being in there so that was simply a strawman on your part. He is in the Torah and MAYBE some of your current works that cite from it. Your alleged Torah quotes books and verses not in it. So is that the Torah as well? Since you cited your “Scholar transmission” yeah it’s been picked apart:
      https://quranandbibleblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/21/missing-books-in-the-bible/

      Also again instead of quoting Christian dribble that verse has NOTHING to do with asking you for “tips” (which doesn’t even make sense logically) it is mocking the Arab pagans about them asking the Jews questions about Muhammad(saw):
      https://quranandbibleblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/24/corruption-of-the-scriptures-part-i-does-islam-confirm-the-bible-as-a-scripture-from-god/

      Regarding your stupid “abrogation so he is false argument” then Moses(as) is a false prophet as well as he abrogated Torah:
      https://quranandbibleblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/the-concept-of-abrogation-in-scripture/

      The title People of the Scripture that GOD (not Muhammad) designated you with is because you received a Scripture at one time and believe in Abraham’s(as) God unlike say pagans. That does not mean your text have not been corrupted. You already conceded this for Jesus(as) so the Jewish text isn’t that big of a stretch we simply don’t have a lot if them and what we do already is 4 different versions. The false prophecies in it are enough proof of that:

      Moving on to the bite-sized arguments
      A. If God declares something it’s not circular. Prophet Muhammad(saw) is verifiable through the Qur’an, his prophecies and His Message
      B. There are no Roman or Jewish sources that say Jesus was crucified that was a lie.
      C. He was alone in the cave ONCE not every time for 23 years so again know the source your quoting
      D. Yes, their tradition went to crap in 20 years and we have an example from this in our history. Ali(ra) the Prophet’s cousin was declared a God (despite never saying this) 20 years after he died by the Sabai AND FOUR false prophets arose a week afterward he(saw) died. So again your ignorance of history is not our fault.

      Now, I see us going back and forth insulting will not allow fruitful dialogue to take root so I will extend an olive branch of peace as I still enjoyed your article and would prefer a more academic discussion. So let’s agree:

      You won’t insult Islam, Jesus, and Muhammad

      And I won’t :

      Insult Judaism

      Agreed?

  18. Concerned Reader says:

    The Arabs knew who Abraham(as) was without the Torah because they had Ishmael(as) as their father so as I said your point moot. Again I know you’re used to arguing with Christians who blindly relied on your text, but we are not dependent on them.

    Right they did have Avraham as their father, and they squandered their monotheistic heritage.

    Arabs were idolaters prior to the advent of your alleged prophet, (as even he recognized,)

    so you not relying on the testimony of the only people who had revelation at that point to validate your prophet’s claims is part of the problem.

    Muhammad lays a baseless charge when he says the Torah was corrupted by Israel. How do I know that?

    Because we can check his claim against independently preserved copies of the five books of Moses, preserved by multiple faith communities.

    We have the DSS from 200 years before even Jesus existed, and guess what? Same text.

    The Samaritans kept a Torah too. Guess what? Same text, (with the exception of Mt. Gerezim.)

    The Christians likewise have the same Pentateuch text in all its details (with exceptions for their christological interpretations in the prophets and the writings which do not carry halachic weight.)

    Both Jesus and Muhammad made claims that did not meet the Torah’s litmus test for a true prophet.

    Both spoke in a way unlnown to the Jewish people at Sinai, so both failed the test.

    The fact that Muhammad claims Jesus is a prophet is enough to disqualify him as well.

    Jesus’ Torah observant followers died out. That is the punishment of being cut off from the people that happens when you deviate to the right or left from the Torah.

    Your reasoning is so flawed its unreal.

    Muhammad claims Jesus was virgin born. As we tell the Christians all the time, if he is virgin born he has no human father, which means he has no connection to the tribe of Judah, or king David. (God promised to preserve David’s seed, from his own body.)

    If Jesus wasnt born naturally, he cant be the son of David.

    • stewjo004 says:

      @ Concerned Reader

      1. the DSS, LXX, Samaritan, and Masoretic are different so that was a lie or ignorance
      http://www.manyprophetsonemessage.com/2014/05/14/the-corruption-of-the-torah/

      And again none of this matters as you have an over ONE THOUSAND year transmission break in the text from Moses(As). The Frankenstein book you have now is a compilation of various things (see JEDP theory). This isn’t even bringing the Sofrim issue into account.

      2. Your claim was the only way anybody knows about Abraham(as) is from the Torah. That was disproven so now you are engaging in a moving the goalpost fallacy.

      3. The Jews on Sinai argument is so weak it’s hilarious, question so did the WHOLE Jewish nation see Abraham’s(as), Isaiah(as), Daniel’s(as) or Jeremiah’s(as) revelations as well? So this is either another lie or case of ignorance.

      4. Your claim about Jesus(as) ACTUALLY disqualifies you as a fake religion. Oh, shocker, this “prophecy” is:
      A. Failed- David’s(as) line came to an end (quite quickly) despite allegedly being “forever and ever”
      B. Actually impossible to fulfill as both lines are dead.
      C. We are not bound to it as we don’t believe in your books.

      5. So we’re clear you’ve rejected the offer to show each other respect correct?

  19. stewjo004 says:

    @ concerned Reader
    Oh, and I didn’t see this post:

    Enoch(as) was worshipped by Jews that’s who Metatron is. Let me catch you up to speed on you religion as you attempt to teach a Muslim about monotheism:
    ” He is variously identified as the Prince (or Angel) of the Presence, as Michael the archangel, or as Enoch after his bodily ascent into heaven. He is commonly described as a celestial scribe recording the sins and merits of men, as a guardian of heavenly secrets, as God’s mediator with men, as the “lesser Yahweh”
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Metatron

    Yeah go ahead you were telling me what about idolatry again? See unlike you our WHOLE religion forms on it and this is an ENTIRE FIELD OF STUDY.

    Next, the Quran does not say Ezra it is just something that caught on there are various interpretations such as Uziel, Azazel etc. Again please know the source you are quoting.

    I never applied the Talmud so again strawman fallacy. Even in this case, the Talmud is considered the “Oral Torah” given to Moses(as) on Mt. SInai according to mainstream Judaism. Again the fact that I have to teach this:
    https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-oral-law-talmud-and-mishna

    So this is considered as “Authentic” as the written Torah according to mainstream Judaism so this point (like your others) are again moot.

    Finally, most Sufis have left the folds of Islam so go ahead and criticize them means nothing to us.

  20. Concerned Reader says:

    “Enoch(as) was worshipped by Jews that’s who Metatron is.”

    Metatron is only identified as Enoch in later sources. In earlier second Temple sources, the angel is called Yahoel, before its even called Metatron, and is not identified with Enoch.

    No angel is identified by name prior to the book of Daniel.

    Also, in the Talmud, Elisha Ben Abuyah sees Metaron and says “truly there are two powers” whereupon Metatron recieves lashes to show Elisha he is wrong. So, contrary to your misquote, nobody worships Metatron.

    Dont quote literature you do not understand.

    “Next, the Quran does not say Ezra it is just something that caught on there are various interpretations such as Uziel, Azazel etc. Again please know the source you are quoting.”

    Uzair is the one who is popularly claimed by everyday Muslims to have been called a son of God.

    The Bible calls Israel God’s 1st born, and Ephraim the 1st born. None of the people you listed were ever worshiped by Jews.

    You accuse me of moving goal posts? You are the one who cant even deal with the historical fact that all of the groups I mentioned agree on the text of the Pentateuch.

    Yes, the LXX is diffrrent than the Masoretic in some small matters, but no laws, or covenant obligations are changed.

    The covenant expectations do not change

    As i said, your method of reasoning points out that you have an unfalsifiable belief, because you inconsistantly cherrypick from Jewish and Christian sources what you will accept vs what you dont, regardless of what we can historically demonstrate.

    Dont you find it slightly odd that both Jews and Christians (who disagree sharply on so many things) are in lockstep agreement that you misrepresent both traditions?

  21. Concerned Reader says:

    Brother, I have degrees in history and comparitive religion. I have read your Quran, I was raised Christian. You are not teaching me a damn thing.

    To me, you are cherry picking things you have heard about here and there, probably from Islamic apologetics, and you are applying it wholesale to prove points regardless of what we know about the development of these concepts within our own traditions, when they showed up, etc..

    Just like a Christian does, you are saying “some Jews did X, at one point in time, therefore Judaism as a whole teaches or has taught Y. Thats a fallacy.

    If I used that logic, I could say all Muslims worship idols because Sufis say the prophets are divine embodiments.

    I wouldnt do that, because that would be an unfair generalization.

    I have already stated that any idolatry done in Islam is done unintentionaly, without anyone realizing it.

    The only verification Muhammad had identifying him as a Prophet came from his wife’s cousin, who was either ebionite, or more probably Nestorian (since it was 610 CE) and ebionites died out 2 centuries earlier.

    The man came home scared to death from his revelation.

    Moses was verified as a prophet because he redeemed the Jews from Egypt, and then spoke to the whole nation on Sinai delivering the mitzvot.

    Keep in mind, Jews and Christians (in spite of our disagreements, agree on this point.)

  22. Concerned Reader says:

    You keep saying “you have a 1,000 year gap in your transmission, so it invalidates the Torah text.”

    That would invalidate the Torah learning that Jesus himself (and all of his students) grew up learning wouldn’t it?

    I mean, we know when Jesus was born, when he lived, when he died, that he shared a ministry with John the Baptist, that he taught students, and when his movement started.

    So, if the Torah had been corrupted at this point, how could Jesus be a rabbi, much less a prophet? How would the people know how to test his prophecies which is their job as per the covenant?

    If the Jews have lost the law and the knowledge of it why did Jesus say this?

    Mathew 23:2-3 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.”

    Luke 11:52 “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”

    John 4:22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.

    The rabbis cant take away keys to knowledge that they don’t possess.

    If they had lost the ability to accurately gauge the truth from the scriptures how could a just God judge them?

    • stewjo004 says:

      Oh well you have a degree in comparative religion whatever shall I do? Its not like I heard the most foolish things when I took comparative religion as well or anything. Like fir example example “every religion has a Trinity and Islam’s is Muhammad(saw), Ali(ra) and Gabriel”. Or just the simple falsehood you spread. Which is why you quoted an “everyday Muslim opinion” as if that was some form of scholarly evidence.

      Even if you add a name overtime to your idolatry you STILL worship a human. If you have a problem with a prophet saying he is doing a miracle by God’s permission then surely calling an angel “lesser God” is FAR more inappropriate. Can’t help but notice your inconsistency.

      Also I can’t help but notice you tap dance around my question regarding other prophets revelations. So did the ENTIRE nation see them as well? Ig according to you they must be false as well so we can throw the entire Hebrew Bible then. Also, to show your complete lack of knowledge twgarding Islam this happened ONE time.

      Moving on you are STILL moving the goalpost. What does your sects agreement on late text from Moses(as) (which is not true btw) have to do with other nations not knowing who Abraham(as) is without the Torah which was your original contention?

      And no I don’t find it strange as you both claim the same about each other. Both your books are demonstrably falsifiable to anyone who is not in your religious traditions like I did with the “prophecy” of David’s(as) line lasting “forever” or the fact that you all claim God doesn’t know rabbits are not rudiments.

      Furthermore EARLY Christians thought the Torah was corrupt this is hardly something new on our side:

      God has one law for everyone and The law has been distorted by false texts: According to Akers, the Ebionites believed, in a fashion similar to Paul (Galatians 3:28), that “the distinction between Jew and gentile is abolished for the Jewish Christians but with a different result altogether – everyone should follow the universal and eternal law (Homilies 8.10) revealed to Moses (Recognitions 1:35).”40 The Ebionites’ view appears to have been that Jesus “was a prophet who sought to restore the original law…

      Akers states that “the Ebionites condemned many of the texts in the Jewish scriptures as false texts: they believed they were not inspired by God, but were false and shouldn’t be part of scripture are all.”44 They accepted the law as being given to Moses, but “denied that the written books of Moses (Pentateuch) were the same as the law. The written tradition (the Jewish scriptures) had been corrupted by false texts.” 45Schoeps explains that the Ebionites believed that these errors or falsifications would be removed by the True Prophet, Jesus. What were the primary falsifications? Schoeps argues that they are, “(a)s we have seen, Homilies 3.52 programmatically names ‘the sacrifices, the monarchy, and the female prophecy and other such things’ as ordinances that do not come from God.”46 The Ebionites also rejected the anthropomorphic descriptions of God, “especially all statements concerning God’s attributes, actions, and active as well as passive emotions.”47 The Ebionites also denied “the full revelatory character” of the books of the prophets; the reason for this, according to Schoeps is “probably to be sought in the disillusionment resulting from the non-fulfillment of the ancient predictions of the prophets about a political messiah.”48 Interestingly, Schoeps suggests that the Ebionite belief that falsifications existed in scripture, though it was a view that was rejected by Orthodox Jews and Christians, may not have been as eccentric as it first appears. He suggests that “…we may regard it as certain that the Ebionite theory of false pericopes did not come out of the blue, but derived from ancient recollections that the extant version of the Torah was not identical with the Sinai version but had been distorted by additions and alterations.”49

      https://www.theartsjournal.org/index.php/site/article/viewFile/187/162

      Oh they believed like us Muslims! I bet you weren’t taught that in class! Again your ignorance despite the class you took on “comparative religion” (which is a joke of a study btw) is not my problem.

      Finally it’s not unjust because anyone with a little bit of intelligence can see the foolishness of these texts. People are not punished for what they don’t know but at YOUR level which admits their are alterations and just saw what you saw are unexcused and worthy of punishment.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Your idea of what comparative religion teaches is half baked. No serious peer reviewed literature claims “everyone has a trinity.” that kind of claim gets debunked not substantiated.

        I studied the Ebionites a lot actually, and the Nazarenes too. : )

        Here is something I have learned from experience. If everyday believers of any faith tradition believe a thing in large enough numbers, enough times throughout history, its kind of irrelevant if it has scholarly support or not, because it is hugely represented in the popular religion.

        The belief that Ezra, or the other names you listed are believed by Jews to be son of God is blatantly and provably false.

        Just to show I am not applying a double standard here.

        I can read the New Testament with an academic reading from scholars that lessens the impact of some of its antisemitic verses, and anti Jewish vitriol, but its a fact that the Christian religion historically among its adherents has had a massively anti Jewish bias, that adherents have only recently started to correct.

        It is not a slander if you point out the errors of beliefs in popular religion, unless you are willfully ignoring how the members define themselves and their beliefs.

        A religion is represented far more in daily life by its adherents then by its scholars, sadly because most believers are not scholars.

        “Even if you add a name overtime to your idolatry you STILL worship a human.”

        No I don’t. Your everyday Muslim assumes that we worship humans, and rifles through texts that are not legally binding on Jews to believe to marshal support. That is dishonest.

        Should I judge Islam by the all the hadith (even the weaker ones?) Then we would have to deal dishonestly and bring up qissat al-gharaniq as it is brought down in Al Tabiri and say that Muhammad spoke falsely of the intercession of foreign deities by accident to be popular with the quraish, which would violate Deuteronomy 4!

        “If you have a problem with a prophet saying he is doing a miracle by God’s permission then surely calling an angel “lesser God” is FAR more inappropriate. Can’t help but notice your inconsistency.”

        What is your difficulty in understanding that the Midrash is not binding on Jews to believe, and that it represents a given rabbis opinion? I already told you how I feel about those midrashim.

        The rabbis clearly regard veneration of Metatron as idolatrous which is why I told you about the midrash where he receives lashes. (that thoroughly answers your objection.)

        “Moving on you are STILL moving the goalpost. What does your sects agreement on late text from Moses(as) (which is not true btw) have to do with other nations not knowing who Abraham(as) is without the Torah which was your original contention?”

        The only ones claiming the Torah we have is not true are the atheists, Bible critics, and the Muslims. Why would anyone take Muhammad seriously if that is your standard from a religious standpoint?

        Don’t you believe that God acts supernaturally to preserve the Quran in spite of its human transmission?

        “Hi, I trust the Kafir to tell me about the people of the book.” lol

        This is the problem that I am having with your methodology.

        You say that we cannot prove the legitimacy of the Torah, or that it comes from Moses.

        I pointed out that Jews, Samaritans, and Christians, ALL AGREE on the content of the five books. Their different interpretations, hostile stances to one another, do not impact the commandments, or what Jewish covenant responsibilities are.

        I also pointed out that the oldest copies predate either Jesus or Muhammad. IE Jesus would have learned from this Torah.

        In history that is called Multiple attestation (from hostile sources that disagree on other important issues) and therefore it also meets the Criteria of embarrassment.

        If you believe in the documentary hypothesis of JEPD as separate sources from different authors across time that were later compiled ( perhaps post Babylonian captivity) and that we only have what eventually became the Torah, then this is no different than how the Quran itself was compiled from oral tradition under the 1st Caliphate.

        J is the Yahwist source (IE where Hashem is God alone) E is where God is called Elohim (scholars say maybe there is some monolatry, or divine fluidity evidenced in these texts) Then you have P (which is the priestly source which talks about the temple and elevates the priesthood, also a fully monotheistic source) and D (the source for Deuteronomy which is also fully monotheistic.)

        Why should I be scared of the E source? The prophets (in their texts) tell us that Israel struggled with idols. We know that Elijah had to convince Israelites that Elohim and Baal could not be worshiped together. We know about the issue with the brass serpent, but that God keeps a righteous remnant who does keep his commandments.

        My point is, you wont find a text of the Torah that claims the pig is kosher, or that Korah and not Moses was the leader of the Jewish people. The Torah and its content is intact.

        Now onto the problem I have with your methodology. You or Heathcliff mentioned that the story of Jesus and the birds could have possibly been preserved through some other christian oral tradition independent of the infancy gospel of Thomas.

        You yourself have also pulled information from the Clementine Recognitions for information about Jewish Christianity, IE Ebionites.

        Here is the issue I have with this.

        You will not trust the accuracy of the sources which scholars have verified as dating from 1st century, IE Paul’s epistles (from 20 years after Jesus) and the Synoptic gospels (20 years after that, because you would say they are anonymous,) you may not trust Polycarp and Ignatius of Antioch dated from 110 CE.

        However, you will then pull (in the name of some hypothetical “ancient Christian” preserved possible oral tradition) tales from literature that in fact nobody knows the provenance of, or materials that we can be reasonably certain had Gnostic influences and date from 2 to 300 years after Jesus.

        In other words, you are unintentionally applying unequal weights and measures.

        You trust the scholarly documentary hypothesis to say we don’t have the Torah, but you wont trust the same scholars who admit we know a lot about 1st century Christianity, and how they treated Jesus as divine, or at a minimum extremely elevated in status.

        • stewjo004 says:

          @ Concerned Reader

          So your arrogant and ignorant not a good combo.

          To begin I never said this was true but this was a statement said by my “professor” while taking comparative religion.

          Moving on Ezra is only a name that caught on as I said earlier. You are basically just liking to hear yourself talk as this is laughably wrong. “Everyday opinion” is not a proper scholarly reference never has been never will be, end of story.

          Furthermore, unlike you we have a set system for grading ahadith and accepting them, yours is basically equivalent to “I feel this is right”. According to mainstream Judaism, the Talmud is as authoritative as the written text.

          Next, it does not answer my objection the Midrash is your SCHOLARLY OPINION. They are a larger authority than you. You are creating a Frankenstein religion of believing in some things a simple layman who does not even speak Aramaic and classical Hebrew so yes they have more rejecting others. Also, I have not quoted from the Talmud so again this is a strawman.

          Moving on a bunch of people agreeing on something does not make it true and is, in fact, a fallacious argument. No more to say on that. Also “criteria for embarrassment” does not AUTOMATICALLY make something true it simply increases the likelihood. However, this does not apply as has been demonstrated Early Christians rejected a large portion of texts and did not believe in the Pentateuch.

          Also please stop commenting on Islam as you look foolish. Quran compilation and history is a completely different animal to your text (like for one we know who did it and how it reached us). The ONLY reason that is yours hasn’t been as shredded as the Christian text is because of lack of manuscripts not because of preservation. The little we have shows alteration to the text and JEWS ADMIT THEY ALTERED IT. It is again only ignorant people who claim otherwise (another reason laymen opinion means nothing). A good book is “The Bible’s Cutting Room Floor by Dr. Hoffman”. Even in your CURRENT text one can see alterations I’ll give an example please show me where this verse is:

          “Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace.” (Leviticus 10:3)
          https://biblehub.com/leviticus/10-3.htm

          Yeah doesn’t appear anywhere. You can add ENTIRE BOOKS to this list as well.

          As for your desperate claim of bias, this is necessary based on the fact that we have no writings from Jewish Christians and their opponents were known liars. I have again proven in history of this event happening WITHIN 30 years of Shia worshipping Ali(ra) so again this point means nothing especially when none of you check sources.

          Finally (and I find it strange I have to teach this to someone who is “college educated”) But one does not have to agree with ALL of someone’s conclusion.

  23. Dina says:

    Con,

    You have been absolutely magnificent here!

    • stewjo004 says:

      @ Dina

      In your and his dreams, he actually just jumps topics and tap dances around points while making high flying claims and fallacious arguments.

      • Dina says:

        Stew,

        I’m hesitant to join the fray for the following reasons.

        1. I know too little about Islam to debate it with a Muslim.

        2. Since you do not accept our Torah as authoritative and we do not accept your Quran as authoritative, we have no common authority to appeal to in our arguments. When Christians and Jews argue, they have a sacred text in common, the Hebrew Bible, to which they can refer in order to make their case. But when a Muslim and a Jew debate, the discussion will boil down to, “no, it isn’t” and “yes, it is” and usually ends with the frustrated Muslim “warning” the Jew that he will go to hell. Therefore, it is pointless to enter into dialogue in the first place.

        3. The centuries-old history of the Muslim oppression of the Jewish people, up the present day with the demonization of Israel, the spreading of lies about Jews, Israel, and Zionism within the Muslim world (including such forgeries as The Protocols and the revival of the ancient blood libel, plus the modern propaganda against Israel and Zionism), automatically disqualifies Islam as being a religion favored by God.

        On the other hand, many Muslims believe that Jews and Muslims lived in peace and harmony until the creation of the State of Israel, an event in which Jews murdered thousands of Palestinians, stripped them of their homes and dignity, and forced the survivors to flee. They believe that the Israelis continue to oppress the Palestinians up to this day.

        In my experience, each side ends up being unpersuaded by the other’s arguments. For that reason as well, debating becomes an exercise in futility.

        4. The belief that a person who leads a life of righteous virtue will nevertheless go to hell simply because he does not believe in a particular human being also disqualifies Islam in my opinion. A God who is not only just but also compassionate and merciful, a loving Father, is not looking for reasons to chuck people into hell. The Jewish heaven is much more inclusive than both the Christian one and the Muslim one because we believe that pretty much any good person gets in and you can’t be punished for what you don’t know. (I should also mention that the notion of heaven in Islam is a huge turn-off to me.)

        For me, “believe in Jesus or you will go to hell” and “believe in Mohammed or you will go to hell” pretty much end the discussion. It is not evidence. It is not argumentation. It is meaningless.

        • stewjo004 says:

          @ Dina

          To begin Ms. Dina I am normally not as harsh as what you’ve seen this was because of “Concerned Reader’s” disrespect and rejection to speak maturely. So because of his and Larry B’s ignorance and arrogance I just delivered bluntly as I don’t care what they do I’m just ending them not being able to bring an argument against me on the Day of Judgement. Now since you are respectful (like Dovid) I have no issue RESPECTFULLY engaging the issues you’ve brought up as I believe they are legitimate concerns.

  24. stewjo004 says:

    @ Larry B

    Oh, I don’t want you to be confused it is not extremism to state a fact. If you, Larry B don’t become a Muslim you will go to Hell simple as that. It’s like saying 2+2=4 or the sky is blue.

    As for the Holy Land, there is no holding hands and singing kumbaya on that issue. The Zionist got it through deceitful means and then want to act like everyone is supposed to be cool afterward. They got the land through colonialist and the only reason “peace” is being offered is another deception. Now does that mean one can kill innocents of course not (and should be condemned as it is forbidden in Islam) but let’s not act like they’re a bunch of nuns, trying to find peace. Playing the game you are:

    But, but Larry B there “defending themselves against indiscriminate killing of innocent people” That’s what you said right? Right? I mean yeah according to your and their text they can commit genocide (which is why they laughed about burning a baby alive) but that’s okay, right?

    • Dovid Junik says:

      Stewjo004,

      By what means do you compare 1+1=2 to not believing in Islam=hell. Can you provide us the source of your conviction. Do you believe in Islam because your parents do or because you were inspired by the Quran? Are you ready to debate it out or will you simply shout out that nonbelievers go to hell. Dina wrote that it’ll be difficult to argue since there is no common ground like the Torah to refer to. But i believe that the common ground can be logic that we both share. Is there any logical basis for your belief?

      Looking forward to hear from you,
      Dovid

      • stewjo004 says:

        @ Dovid,

        Hi, as I was telling Dina I’m usually not as aggressive it was “Concerned Readers” disrespect that caused my reaction. So I think what you’ve suggested is excellent regarding reasoning and all that jazz. So background wise I was not born Muslim I converted a little bit before finishing high school.

        I’ll list a few of my personal reasons without going into detail for space purposes and whatever you want more info on you can just further inquire:

        1.A logical understanding of who God is and what He wants from all of humanity.
        2. A logical story of what came before the revealing of the religion and no monopoly on revelation
        3. Gives logical explanations to solving real life issues that span a variety of nations and cultures.
        4. The Quran as a literary piece and opening itself to challenges
        5. Verifiable prophecies
        6 Excellent preservation history
        7. Excellent character and legacy from the one who it was given; who had no claims to power, land or a reason to lie. Also had harder things placed on himself and the Quran correcting him.
        8. The defeat of 2 world empires that oppressed previous revelations at the same time by a people who had no legacy and couldn’t even read.

        These are just a couple off the top of my head.

        • Dovid Jay says:

          Stew,

          I appreciate the time and effort you put into expounding your points. Your first point was expressing your concern of why Judaism doesn’t have equal standards for all of mankind. While I as well grapple with this issue emotionally, on a purely intellectual level, this poses no question. The very same G-d who commanded the Jews not to eat milk and meat together, a command beyond our understanding and reasoning, commanded a specific group of people with more laws and standards to abide by. If we were to understand everything G-d did, then we would be Him Himself. If we are to complain why G-d did and commanded certain things, then we lose the whole reason that we put our faith in Him in the first place. It is important to note that conversion is allowed for any non-Jew to become Jewish. Thus the high-level standards of morality and conduct that were given to the Jews are accessible to anyone if they only decide to jump for it.

          You ask “Mankind has been on this planet for a long time with many nations rising and falling way before the Torah was sent to Moses(as) so what was happening to everyone, including the Jewish people’s ancestors?”

          They were being judged for their moral behavior or lack thereof, such as the generation of the Great Flood and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. I’m not sure exactly what your concern is here, so I’ll leave it with this.

          “Finally, regarding monopoly on revelation do the Jews believe prophethood can extend to other peoples? If so, what happens in this case? If no does this not flow into my initial point?”

          First off of my head is the Prophet Bilaam recorded in Numbers 22. Maimonides was of the opinion that anyone can achieve prophecy, including non-Jews. However it is the Jewish view that prophecy has ended since the rebuilding of the Second Temple. Also, if a prophet contradicts the Word of G-d in the Torah, then he or she is to be regarded as a false prophet. This is because the whole basis of our belief in prophecy is the Torah.

          You continued “Again correct me if I’m wrong but I thought the Children of Israel were supposed to be the example for humanity and help in its guidance? So then if they have revelation why would they not preach it and use it to help others?”

          As Jews we do have the responsibility of reaching out to the Gentiles and teach them morality. However, having been abused and persecuted by previous generations of non-Jews, the Jewish people generally refrained from preaching. Nowadays, however, there are new programs and initiatives to reach out to the non-Jews. As a whole, I do think it is safe to say that the morality of the world today stems directly from Judaic values that influenced the Christian and Muslim beliefs.

          I will leave the prophecies for another comment once I do more research on them.

          You mention the circumstances of Muhammad that, in your opinion, make it unlikely for him to have lied. Without getting into too much depth, there are so many scenarios we can come up that will explain why he lied. Alternatively, he may have actually believed he was getting prophecy that was in fact hallucination. Not to compare, but the mass-school shooter at Parkland claimed that he heard voices from G-d telling him to shoot. Moses and other biblical figures also take much criticism, demonstrating that this is nothing exclusive for Muhammad. I believe it is foolish to accept the word of religion-father of the past based on his trustworthy credentials that we have passed down to us.

          I don’t know whether or not DNA work can attest the Jewishness of somebody.

          Again, I still need to address the prophecies you mentioned and I hope to write up about it in the near future. I think it would be fruitful if YOU narrow down the discussion to what YOU consider the greatest testimony to the truths of Islam. I recommend you choose that area of discussion since the objective of the conversation is the basis for your conviction of Islam.

          Let me know if there’s anything I missed out.

          Dina,
          Please add in your insight as well. We all love your special approach to Judaism.

          Thank you, looking forward to hear from both of you!

          • stewjo004 says:

            @ Dovid

            Regarding prophethood this is interesting, so then what is classified as contradicting the word of God” in Jewish belief?

            And I’m willing to concede the possibility of hallucinating but I think “liar” can be removed safely. Now hallucinating doesn’t really work because of what his revelation was. Even his opponents when trying to discredit him had to concede that. It is coherent and beautiful for example what did you think regarding the Arab Poetry and the Quran comparison?

        • Dovid Jay says:

          Hi Stew,

          As Dina pointed out, today us religious Jews prepare for our rest day that begins tonight and ends tomorrow night. I therefore won’t be able to write at length and will G-d willing write more after our Sabbath.

          Just to respond to your points, you ask what is regarded as the Word of G-d that cannot be contradicted by a prophet. The most basic criteria is that the prophet not contradict anything from the Torah. The Torah was given to us directly at Mt. Sinai. Thus no prophet can reject what was given to us from G-d Himself. If the prophet contradicts the Word of G-d, the Torah, there’s good reason to suspect that he or she is a false prophet.

          Regarding your next point. In my opinion there is much to room to consider the possibility of Muhammad being a liar or hallucinating. It is hard to discredit this possibility solely based on the narrative recorded in the Quran, which may have historical flaws. Trusting the Quran to legitimize Muhammad is circular reasoning. The reason why I’m so skeptical about Muhammad is because if I’m not skeptical towards the claims of religion-founders, I’ll be stuck believing in Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha and many others. Because religions contradict one another, the chances of a specific religion being the truth is slim. Thus strong evidence is essential in order to take one faith over the other.

          Forgive me but I don’t understand what you were saying about the Arabic poetry.

          I still have to research and type up my take on those prophecies you mentioned earlier. Hopefully I’ll be able to do it within the next few days. See you later, G-d bless you!

        • Dovid Jay says:

          Stew, I have a question regarding the first prophecy that you mentioned, in which Rome is predicted to regain control of itself after its defeat by the Persians. The prophecy’s date is six-eight years ahead of its writing. Is there a way to verify that this was actually written and sent to the public before the actual time of the Roman comeback? Can it be suggested that it was written post-facto and thus has no prophetic significance?

      • Dovid Jay says:

        Stewjo,

        Thank you for writing back and addressing my concerns. I especially appreciate it because you are the first Muslim that I will be privileged to discuss religious issues with.

        I’d like to point out that my issue with your statement about nonbelievers going to hell wasn’t an emotional issue but rather an intellectual one, and that question was what brings you to that conviction. You proceed with a number of interesting points that lead you to your specific faith. I’d like to address some of them while others I agree with.

        First off, it seems to me that you are not Jewish and please correct me if I’m wrong. Being so, I have no issue with you practicing Islam provided that no violence is incited. In fact, Islam embraces the basic standards of morality that Judaism preaches for non-Jews. Therefore I challenge you on these issues only from a objective point of view but not because I have any issue with your faith and practice.

        I’ll quote your 8 points followed with my take on the issues:

        “1.A logical understanding of who God is and what He wants from all of humanity.”

        Agreed 100% as this is the basis for every monotheistic religion.

        “2. A logical story of what came before the revealing of the religion and no monopoly on revelation”

        I’m not exactly sure what you are saying here.

        “3. Gives logical explanations to solving real life issues that span a variety of nations and cultures.”

        Granted this is so, this still doesn’t give it divine credibility. Instead it gives the Quran a good rating in psychology and philosophy which is obviously outside the scope of our discussion.

        “4. The Quran as a literary piece and opening itself to challenges”

        This is something that perhaps all religious documents contain, with the Quran not being exclusive in this regard. In addition, this aspect of a literary document does not reflect whether or not the document has divine origins or not.

        “5. Verifiable prophecies”

        This seems like an important point for discussion. Do these prophecies fit the “prophecy exam”. This includes not being predictable, not being vague, and being clearly fulfilled.

        “6 Excellent preservation history”

        While this is important from a historical point of view, this doesn’t reflect whether or not the Quran is divinely-inspired. Additionally, the text of Torah as well has been preserved throughout history, with all of the Masoretic texts being identical.

        “7. Excellent character and legacy from the one who it was given; who had no claims to power, land or a reason to lie. Also had harder things placed on himself and the Quran correcting him.”

        There were many religion-fathers who also seemingly had no reason to lie. This is not exclusive to Muhammad. Additionally, there may have been less obvious reasons for him to lie, an obvious example being fame or possibly hallucinations.

        “8. The defeat of 2 world empires that oppressed previous revelations at the same time by a people who had no legacy and couldn’t even read.”

        While this is certainly a military significance, this reflects no supernatural work at hand. There were many astonishing victories throughout history. And there are also historical explanations to explain the determination and persistence of the Muslim conquest.

        I’m sorry for the lengthily comment, but I had much to say. You can skip out points of mine and narrow down the discussion. The objective, I’m hoping, is to discuss the basis for belief in Islam from a rational point of view.

        Looking forward to hear from you,
        Dovid

        • Dina says:

          Stew,

          I hope you don’t mind my jumping in with a couple of comments/questions.

          I’d like to emphasize Dovid’s point that we are not trying to persuade you. As I explained in a previous comment, we Jews do not believe that, as Jews, we have a monopoly on a relationship with God and on heaven. As long as you lead an ethical and moral life to the best of your ability, you are right with God. But, like Dovid, I am very curious to see where this conversation will take us!

          So to that end, I have a question for you.

          Would your position be weakened if any one or more of the following could be demonstrated:

          1. That the points you enumerated to Dovid concerning a rational basis for belief are feats and/or behaviors have been accomplished by other religions/people.

          2. That any of them did not actually happen.

          3. That any of them are in fact morally objectionable.

          • Dina says:

            Oops, I meant to add that we wouldn’t be actively trying to persuade you if you aren’t Jewish. If you are Jewish, that’s a whole ‘nother story! Of course, if you are, please forgive me for making assumptions.

          • stewjo004 says:

            @ Dovid
            To begin no I completely understand you’re just being objective like I said please excuse my earlier behavior I have to deal with more ignorant people sometimes and I thought this was just another bashing blog. Also, I have no problem reading long comments (as I prefer to see the nuances of the person’s point_ so if that’s what your more comfortable fire away. I didn’t do a lot of detail because I was purposely keeping it short. I think it’s best to focus on an individual point so that things don’t get lost or points don’t just get “shotgunned” but that’s just my suggestion.

            @ Dina

            Of course, any position weakens or strengthens when something is proven true or false. I would ask the same thing on your guys’ end as well. Regarding if I’m Jewish or not that is actually in the question mark zone. My great grandmother escaped Poland when invaded by the Nazis and my grandmother was adopted young when they came to the US. I asked my grandmother before she passed away if we were Jewish and she said she doesn’t think so as she doesn’t remember celebrating anything but she remembers our family had a ton of friends who were, soooo… as you can see pretty ambiguous because she was VERY young. I would have to get tested to confirm or not if I am ethnically Jewish but correct me if I’m wrong that still wouldn’t count if proven true correct?.

            Now combining both of you back together some points have been misunderstood from my side. I’m going to expand all my points for easier clarification and we can go from there with whatever you guys are interested in the most:

            1.A logical understanding of who God is and what He wants from all of humanity.

            Notice something I put in there, ALL of humanity. These excerpts came from both of your posts:
            “the basic standards of morality that Judaism preaches for non-Jews.”

            “Oops, I meant to add that we wouldn’t be actively trying to persuade you if you aren’t Jewish. If you are Jewish, that’s a whole ‘nother story!”

            This is imo one of my big issues with Judaism. You basically just said to me you have a light from the Creator and would only share it with me based on something that would have been completely outside my control which is what womb I came from. Correct me if wrong, but all a “non-Jew” has to do is follow the law of Bnei Noach and their good right? While on paper this sounds nice for people who want to be lazy and do a little for a high reward it’s inconsistent. So why then did you receive a revelation and Scripture with more laws and guidance for no particular reason? It’s a very centric belief system that cuts out the rest of humanity when the Lord created ALL of us. Other nations really serve no point whatsoever and it’s not the same standard of judgment.

            2. A logical story of what came before the revealing of the religion and no monopoly on revelation

            The other point that flows into this is a question I ask Christians when they attempt to preach to me:
            “Before Jesus(as) what was happening to others regarding the Lord’s forgiveness and punishment?”

            Mankind has been on this planet for a long time with many nations rising and falling way before the Torah was sent to Moses(as) so what was happening to everyone, including the Jewish people’s ancestors?

            Finally, regarding monopoly on revelation do the Jews believe prophethood can extend to other peoples? If so, what happens in this case? If no does this not flow into my initial point?

            3. Gives logical explanations for solving real-life issues that span a variety of nations and cultures.
            If the Lord sends us a book containing rules naturally they are the best thing for society (which I think we can all agree He wants) Agin correct me if I’m wrong but I thought the Children of Israel were supposed to be the example for humanity and help in its guidance? So then if they have revelation why would they not preach it and use it to help others? Why do you need to wait for Messiah(as) beforehand? The purpose of revelation is to clarify who God is, what He wants and how to interact with others. The Bnei Noach laws are PRETTY BASIC and do not really help society. For example, how do these help a single African American in NY and at the same time help a Chinese man living in Shanghai?

            In Islam, because God sent this for ALL humanity He has given a variety of laws to deal with different situations and still give the best possible outcome.

            4. The Quran as a literary piece and opening itself to challenges

            Looking back I knew you wouldn’t get this so i’ll keep it as simple as I can. When God sends a prophet a miracle for his nation he does the best of what that people can do and expands beyond their capability. So for example, when Moses(as) challenged the Pharaoh and he brought his magicians when Moses(as) threw his staff the magicians knew he didn’t do something normal. The Arabs were master poets without getting into wordplay, etc or the fact that its a freestyle, you can HEAR a visible difference just listen for 15 sec each:

            Imru Ul Qais (think the William Shakespeare of Arabic poetry)

            Quran (Pharaoh):

            Quran (Noah)

            Because the Quran was sent for all humanity it had to be a timeless miracle not based off sight. So, for example, we all believe Moses(as) split the sea but if someone challenged us to prove it we can’t it’s a matter of faith. The Quran gives us something to touch and explore with our hands.

            5. Verifiable prophecies
            Good point from Dovid, and saves that I don’t have to explain that when talking about prophecy. Let’s look at few (there are way more though) and you judge:

            1. The Romans will Rebound
            This was between the war between the Persians and Romans. Persia beat them so bad people thought Rome was going to fall as they were marching on their capital. The Quran gives time and is clear Roman will make a comeback and Muslims will rejoice that day:

            A.L.M. The Romans have been defeated, in the lowest land nearby. But they will reverse their defeat and be victorious, within three to nine years’ time. And the Judgement, before and after this, is with God. On that day, the believers will celebrate, at God’s help. He helps whoever He wishes because He is the Final Authority and the Forever Merciful. This is a promise from God, and God never breaks His promise, but most people don’t even know. (30:1-6)

            Heraclius becomes the Emperor and leads an assault regaining all the lost land in 6-8 years. Also, the same day they won Muslims have their first military victory at Badr.

            2. Major Points in the First Muslim Civil War
            Too long to explain how it happened but the prophet(saw) predicted:

            The Civil War and that Muslims will fight each other throughout time:
            Thauban reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:

            Allah drew the ends of the world near one another for my sake. And I have seen its eastern and western ends. And the dominion of my Ummah would reach those ends which have been drawn near me and I have been granted the red and the white treasure and I begged my Lord for my Ummah that it should not be destroyed because of famine, nor be dominated by an enemy who is not amongst them to take their lives and destroy them root and branch, and my Lord said: Muhammad, whenever I make a decision, there is none to change it. I grant you for your Ummah that it would not be destroyed by famine and it would not be dominated by an enemy who would not be amongst it and would take their lives and destroy them root and branch even if all the people from the different parts of the world join hands together (for this purpose), but it would be from amongst them, viz. your Ummah, that some people would kill the others or imprison the others.
            https://sunnah.com/muslim/54

            Aisha and Ali would fight (Battle of the Camel)
            Abu Rafi‘ (rA) reported that the Prophet ﷺ said to ‘Ali, “There will be an issue between you and ‘Aisha.” He said, “Me, O Messenger of Allah?!” He said, “Yes.” He said, “Me?!” He said, “Yes.” He said, “Then [in that case] I would be the worst of them (all people).” He said, “No, but when this occurs, return her to her safe quarters.”

            Ammar bin Yassir would be killed by the side that is wrong
            During the construction of the mosque of the Prophet) we carried the adobe of the mosque, one brick at a time while `Ammar used to carry two at a time. The Prophet (ﷺ) passed by `Ammar and removed the dust off his head and said, “May Allah be merciful to `Ammar. He will be killed by a rebellious aggressive group. `Ammar will invite them to (obey) Allah and they will invite him to the (Hell) fire.”
            https://sunnah.com/bukhari/56/28

            Fighting the Khawarij by the side correct
            Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

            A group would secede itself (from the Ummah) when there would be dissension among the Muslims. Out of the two groups who would be nearer the truth would kill them.
            https://sunnah.com/muslim/12

            These guys emerged after the battle where Ammar was killed and his side that was in the right fought them.

            His grandson would make peace and end the civil war
            Narrated Abu Bakra:

            Once the Prophet (ﷺ) brought out Al-Hasan and took him up the pulpit along with him and said, “This son of mine is a Saiyid (i.e. chief) and I hope that Allah will help him bring about reconciliation between two Muslim groups.”
            https://sunnah.com/bukhari/61

            3. The leadership of Islam:
            Ḥudhayfa b. al-Yamān (rA) reported that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Prophethood will remain amongst you for as long as Allah wishes. Then Allah will remove it whenever He wishes to remove it, and there will be a caliphate upon the prophetic methodology. It will last for as long as Allah wishes it to last, then Allah will remove it whenever He wishes to remove it. Then there will be an abiding dynasty, and it will remain for as long as Allah wishes it to remain. Then Allah will remove it whenever He wishes to remove it. Then there will be tyrannical (forceful) kingship, and it will remain for as long as Allah wishes it to remain. Then He will remove it whenever He wishes to remove it, and then there will be a caliphate upon the Prophetic methodology.

            So leadership is Prophethood, Caliphate that follows his way, Kingdoms (Sultans), Dictatorships (Present), Caliphate that follows his way (future)

            6 Excellent preservation history
            Quran prophecy. Our text is memorized and doesn’t have variants o things of that nature.

            7. Excellent character and legacy from the one who it was given; who had no claims to power, land or a reason to lie. Also had harder things placed on himself and the Quran correcting him.

            It’s not the combination of ONE thing but multiple big things. I’ll give an example, obviously, other people have had military accomplishments (like Alexander the Great) but when you breakdown every aspect of a person’s life and their successful it becomes unique for example Muhammad(saw):

            A. The General (excellent)
            B. The Politician (excellent)
            C. Religious leader (excellent)
            D. Family man (excellent)

            You get the idea. So it’s the combination of secular and religious accomplishments where he becomes unique. Also regarding the fame, he was already famous, his family was one of the royalty tribes of Arabia and he already respected. Before the age of 40, there is no mention of him ever trying to take power. He was known among his people as AL Amin (the honest one) before any claim to prophethood so has no previous history as a liar.

            Next you have passages where God tells him he did something wrong or places more acts of worship on himself:

            He was slightly annoyed and turned away, because the blind man eagerly came to him. And what ˹pray tell˺ allows you to know that he may have gotten somewhat purified? Or taken heed; and the reminder would have benefited him? As for the one who thinks themselves as independent and doesn’t care, you echo your attention to them, while there’s no sin on you, that they won’t purify themselves. But as for the one who came to you eagerly, while he feared something greater than himself, you’re distracted from him with something less important.(80:1-10)

            So perform your prayers from the time the sun starts coming down from it’s peak till the darkness of the night, and recite the Quran at dawn. As the recitation of the Quran at dawn is always witnessed and attended. As an additional responsibility for you, stand vigilantly in the depths of the night so that your Lord can perhaps raise you to a high station. (17:78-79)

            Verses like this wouldn’t make sense if he was lying.

            8. The defeat of 2 world empires that oppressed previous revelations at the same time by a people who had no legacy and couldn’t even read.
            The Arabs were insignificant and nobody even conquered the land because it wasn’t worth the resources. You’re talking about in 23 years the destruction of 2 empires and the establishment of an empire spanning from Spain to China. I also suspect this is a fulfillment of Daniel 2 but I have to do some more research.

            Annndddd. Breathe. Whew. Don’t worry guys this was the last post I would do like this. I was just expanding on the points.

          • Dina says:

            Wow, Stew, that is a lot of information to chew over, absorb, and digest. I think I really ought to read your comment a few times before answering.

            But to begin with, I’d like to air a concern that has arisen in my mind while reviewing many of your comments.

            My concern is about preconceived bias before even beginning the conversation. I have had a similar problem when debating Christians. Christians believe what is explicitly stated in their scripture, that the Jews are blinded when reading their own Scripture and cannot properly understand what they are reading. This belief absolves the Christian from examining the evidence the Jew presents fairly and objectively; he has already dismissed the Jew’s arguments a priori.

            The similarity to Islam is the belief that the Jews corrupted their Scripture. Implicit in this belief is the idea that Jews are hence dishonest and cannot be trusted (as opposed to being blind and cannot be trusted). I worry that this preconceived bias prevents the Muslim from hearing the Jew out with an open mind and fairly evaluating his arguments.

            Furthermore, both the Christian and Muslim versions of this bias–the belief that Jews are blind and the belief that the Jews corrupted their Torah–are too pat, too convenient, perhaps a little too easy. Because, again, they absolve one of the responsibility to see Jews as real humans with intellectual firepower of their own and therefore to take them seriously.

            I’m sure you disagree with me, but I wonder if you nevertheless understand why I have this concern.

            Now that I have aired my concern, I have a question for you.

            You asked, why would God give a revelation only to one small group of people and withhold His revelation from the rest of mankind?

            That’s a fair question, but before we begin to tackle this question, I believe we must answer another one.

            Did God reveal Himself to the people of Israel and give them the Torah? Do you believe this to be true?

  25. LarryB says:

    Stew0004
    Well the extreminism I was talking about was,

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=islam+teaching+children+to+suicide+kill+jews%2c+foxnews&view=detail&mid=A1C7B1002BE0814AC8D2A1C7B1002BE0814AC8D2&FORM=VIRE

    As far as your extremist facts, “become a Muslim or go to hell” Im gonna have to pass on that. When people threaten me or try to bully me, I do the opposite. It sounds a bit Christian anyway, if I don’t believe that Jesus is the messiah I’ll go to hell. I left Christianity a few years ago. No thanks

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Well, hey Larry, if we go to his version of hell then, he wont be there so… .win win? LOL!

      • stewjo004 says:

        @ Concerned Reader

        Alrighty remember that “lol” on the Day of Judgement.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          So, StewJo004 Are you aftaid of the Christian hell? Are you afraid of their view of judgement? No?

          What a surprise.

          You talk about a prophecy of damnation in the future, and that you are “warning” people.

          How has all that prophesying worked out for Christians and Muslims so far?

          BTW, who is sending people to this hell of yours?

          Who sets the crieria for who goes there?

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Do you have to verbally confess that Muhammad is a prophet to go to heaven?

            What if you live a life of fear of God but have legitimate doubts about the truth of Muhammad’s status as a prophet?

    • stewjo004 says:

      @ Larry B

      1. Not extremism to tell a prophecy that will happen in the future.
      2. You have not been threatened you’ve been warned. Think of it as you’re walking towards the edge of a cliff and someone says: “Watch Out!” and you go “Nobody threatens me!” The only reason you got that from me is that it’s obligatory for me to invite. I could quite frankly care less if I was the only one on Earth. God is the one who picks Muslims.
      3. And it is not “Christian” you just aren’t allowed to pick and choose what Prophets you want. Just doesn’t work that way if you reject one you reject them all and thus reject the One who sent them.

      • LarryB says:

        Stew0004
        Your a prophet? If not how can you tell me a prophecy? Also, I wouldn’t have felt threatened or bullied if you had said “watch out”. But you didn’t. You said “become Muslim or go to hell”. I’m having a hard time keeping up with you. In 1 above you say it’s a prophecy then in 2 above you say it was a warning, and an invite that you were obligated to do because you really don’t care and to top it all off, no matter what I do God picks Muslims. Now that sounds Lutheran. What are your guidelines for who is a prophet and who isn’t?

        • stewjo004 says:

          @ Larry B
          I’ll help you out because you seem to have confused yourself here is step by step what has happened:

          1. I am NOT claiming to be a prophet. You claimed the above hadith talking about the future (aka a “prophecy” is “extremism”) I said: “It is not extremism to tell what will happen in the future”.

          2. God picks Muslims this is something stated in the Qur’an. Unlike the Jews, we couldn’t sit there and hide revelation we have to spread it to humanity since no more are coming. You can decide to do what you like I’m simply giving the invite. I’m not a dictator over you. This is the “Warning” part.

          3. Prophethood is established by who God says is one.

          • LarryB says:

            Stew0004
            “Not extremism to tell a prophecy vs I am NOT claiming to be a prophet“. “ It is not extremism to tell what will happen in the future”. Sorry now I’m extremely confused. Telling me to watch my step near a cliff so I don’t fall off is not prophesy it’s common sense vs “not extreminism to tell a prophesy” and since prophethood is established by god” and god has not told me Muhammad is a prophet both lead me to believe that since “god picks Muslims” then your invite and warning are mute points I cannot be Muslim. This is to difficult to keep up with, on par with eating his body and drinking his blood in Christianity. I am not Jewish and being picked as his first born is very different from not being picked to be Muslim.

          • stewjo004 says:

            @ Larry B

            I’m going to help you out Larry as your only confusing yourself:

            1. You said the hadith quoted was “extremism” about the rocks shouting there is someone behind them. It is not it “Extremism” it is a prophecy about what will happen at the end of a battle in the End Times. For some odd reason, you think this means I am claiming prophethood.

            2. You have been warned to follow the path of Islam. Whether you reject or not is on you.

            3. God picks prophets

            Ta-dah! 3 easy steps in the conversation. Questions, comments or concerns?

          • LarryB says:

            Stew0004
            “I’m going to help you out Larry as your only confusing yourself:
            1. You said the hadith quoted was “extremism” about the rocks”

            I never said that. The extreminism I was talking about is, teaching children to kill.
            https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=islam+teaching+children+to+suicide+kill+jews%2c+foxnews&view=detail&mid=A1C7B1002BE0814AC8D2A1C7B1002BE0814AC8D2&FORM=VIRE

            From this conversation it’s apparent from you that Islam is more confusing than you. Maybe your more confusing than Islam, I’ll never know. Like Christianity I will ignore your warning and remind you they have a similar warning for you and me. At least with Judaism teaching I am judged by god on my actions, not some vague belief of a human being.

  26. Dina says:

    I’d like to clear the record about midrash. I am an observant Jew fairly competent in both classical and modern Hebrew. Having attended private religious schools for elementary and high school, I am well versed in the Jewish tradition.

    Here’s the scoop on midrash. Con is right. Midrash is not literal. It was deliberately written in abstruse way so it could be only understood via the chain of transmission, i.e., from father to son and teacher to student. Non-Jews cannot read a passage in the Talmud, either in the original Aramaic or a translation, and then assume they understand it and then think they know what Jewish tradition holds and what traditional Jews believe. They get mostly get it wrong.

  27. stewjo004 says:

    @ Concerned Reader

    The difference is theirs and yours is not based on anything. There is simply never a reason to fear an idol.

    Can’t talk about Christians because theirs (like yours) are based on false texts but it’s worked out pretty good on our end. We have a lot of verifiable prophecies that have come to pass.

    Not a “person” your and my Creator and the God of Abraham(as) has set the criteria. To have faith is to believe in:

    1.God
    2. The Messengers
    3. The Angels
    4. Judgement Day
    5. Scriptures
    6. Destiny and the good and bad that comes from it
    7. Resurrection
    9. Prayer
    9. Fasting
    10. Charity
    11. Pilgrimage

    So in the question provided by you disbelieving in Muhammad(saw) and Jesus (as) means to reject ALL prophets because rejecting a prophet is equivalent to rejecting the One who sent them as they all came with the same Message. For example, let’s say you have a Jew who accepts Moses(as) and rejects Abraham(as) and Joshua(as) this Jew is a disbeliever despite the fact that he believes in God. You can be a good person all day but missing criteria of faith nullifies the actions. For example, Sathya Sai Baba built schools, wells, etc but believed he was a god. Assuming he died on this belief does all the good he did matter? No, it doesn’t because his faith nullifies his actions. The concept would apply generally, of course, assuming the person never received the message etc then things shift a bit.

  28. Concerned Reader says:

    Stewjoe, I dod not mean to be distrspectful to you. I apologize. This was a case of escalating tensions.

    You entered into a discussion I was having with Heathcliff, who has been on the blog for a long time. He and I get into tense discussions.

    You entered into a long running discussion where this time, Heathcliff posted a video of a Muslim apologist basically just shouting down a preacher, not letting him talk, and calling it winning an argument.

    You accused me of disrespecting Jesus. I was a non trinitarian follower of this man Yeshua from the time I was seven until very recently.

    Calling him JCpenny is not meant as an insult to Yeshua of Nazareth, it is a jab at the “Jesus Christ” a deified man god/superman with magical abilities peddled by Christians who if you question, they say you will go to hell.

    The issue was exacerbated by an appeal to toldot Yeshu (a medieval satirical text,) and Jewish midrashim to substantiate the claim that a creature can create life to support the idea that Jesus could do this and simply be a prophet.

    As Dina can confirm, and the rabbi can confirm, using Jewish midrash in this way is a complete misapplication.

    So, I apologize to you for offending you, but as others on the blog can attest, when I 1st came here, I got offended too.

    • stewjo004 says:

      @ Concerned Reader
      My apologies for insulting, Mr.Heathcliff had asked me to join in the discussion and I thought:

      “Whelp there just trying to troll like the missionaries, might as well have fun as they have no intent of respectful dialogue.”

      So let’s start over as I do have questions about Judaism. Who here is a Rabbi?

      • Dina says:

        The moderator of this blog, Rabbi Blumenthal, is a rabbi.

      • stewj004 I happen to be a “rabbi” – what is your question (I am “rabbi” Blumenthal) 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

        • stewjo004 says:

          Hi, Rabbi Blumenthal to begin first thank you for having me on the blog I have read a few of your post and they were quite interesting reads.

          So I have 2 questions so far since I have studied Judaism (but honestly its been a slight dabble):

          1. Has there been a book written by a reputable Jewish scholar (classical or modern) that has compiled a biography of the prophets from the Tanakh, Talmud and any other traditions/authoritative sources? If not what would you suggest for someone looking into this subject?

          2. Is there any chains of narration back to Moses regarding the Talmud? So to my understanding prior to its compilation it was all oral and just became too massive to memorize. Did Rabbi Yehudah list where he got his sources from? If so are they available to look at or is it just too old?

          Any help you can provide would be fantastic thank you.

          • stewj004 Thanks for your questions and comments To answer your questions: 1 – There is a popular book called “Encyclopedia of Biblical Personalities” – by Yishai Chasidah, the English version is printed by Shaar Press. I never read the book, but I understand that it is a collection from the Rabbinic writings about all the Biblical personalities – including the prophets, arranged in (Hebrew) alphabetical order and structured sort of like a biography for each person (arranged according to the person’s stages of life) 2 – I don’t know what you mean by a “chain of narration” – If you mean a specific set of words associated with specific names (such as Moses said “abc” to Joshua who then repeated those words to Othniel etc.) then the answer is – no, we have no such “chain of narration” If you mean a specific set of books that are older than the Mishna – we have the Targum (3 of them) which is the oldest organized teachings that we have verbatim beyond the Bible, but they do not go all the way back to Moses. What we do have is the testimony of the nation that God appointed as His witnesses and to whom He chose to give His Law. The way Rabbi Yehuda wrote it is the way the nation understood it – and since this is the witness that God appointed – that is who we go with.

            BTW, the reason it got written down was not because it became “too massive to memorize” – but rather, because of the dispersion, we no longer had the nation working together to preserve the Law. Writing it down in one accepted authoritative text was a way to unite the nation around the preservation of the Law. I wrote more about this subject in the article entitled “The Council of My Nation” I hope this helped Yisroel Blumenthal

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  29. Concerned Reader says:

    Rabbi Blumenthal. This is his blog.I figured that Heathcliff must have brought you in, because he was not responding.

  30. stewjo004 says:

    @ Larry B

    Not my problem for your lack of reading comprehension we’re not talking about building spaceships in the conversation. It’s really not that difficult to understand but hey God says the people in Hell will say:

    “Had we just listened or used our intelligence, we wouldn’t have been among the dwellers of the growing Fire!” (67:10)

    PS. Rejection of something is an action.

  31. stewjo004 says:

    @ Dina
    Well I knew it would be a lot hence me first summing up and suggesteing going one at a time lol.

    Regarding bias, depends on what you mean. Strictly text for text when using the Bible imo Jews generally beat Christians. Regarding my views on “textual changes” while I of course believe that I can “dissociate myself” to see what an author’s intended meaning was when writing. For example, when discussing with Christians about Jesus’s (as) “divinity” I am honest. The first 3 “gospel according tos…” don’t think he is divine the last one does but not equal with God. That is the author of John’s message he wishes to convey not what I want it to convey. I think the same when reading the Hebrew Bible, they are all different books by different authors with different intentions and its dishonest to read it any other way. That’s why I intend to read other posts on this blog by the Rabbi (even if I don’t comment) because I want to understand how Jewish people think (hope that doesn’t come out wrong lol).
    Ps as a quick note, it would not mean EVERY Jewish person is dishonest only a faction of them would be

    Regarding your question yes I would agree.

    • Dina says:

      Stew, thanks for taking the time! And please forgive me for asking a few more questions.

      I’m going to leave the question of bias aside. I don’t think you understood what I wrote, perhaps I wasn’t clear, but it is what it is.

      Would you apply the same standard of criticism to your sacred text that you apply to ours? For example, I assume (and correct me if I’m wrong) that you rely on Bible critics who assign different authors to the Pentateuch. Would you accept a similar approach to the Quran, if scholars show that it evolved over time, that different variants existed, etc.? For example, I found two articles on this topic online:

      http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/SocialSciences/ppecorino/INTRO_TEXT/Chapter%203%20Religion/Koran-Origins.htm (this is a bit long; I didn’t even read the whole thing, just enough to get a basic idea).

      My second question regards the Sinai Revelation. You believe that it happened, that God gave the Jewish people the Torah. Here’s what baffles me. God who is All-Knowing chose to entrust the people of Israel with the Torah in an eternal covenant. God doesn’t make mistakes, so if He chose the Jewish nation to be His witnesses and to preserve His message, wouldn’t He make sure that the Torah would not become corrupted and thereby lost for all time? So how do you explain God’s colossal mistake in choosing the Jewish people?

      My final question is, how do you know which parts of the Torah are true? I suspect that it’s the parts that are repeated in the Quran, but having never read it, I don’t want to make assumptions.

      P.S. Your story of your grandmother is fascinating! If you can somehow dig up your great grandmother’s birth records you might be able to solve the mystery.

      • stewjo004 says:

        @ Dina

        Well, I want to make sure we have effective communication so do you mean like for example anything you say I just automatically think you’re a liar hiding the truth or something? If that’s the intended meaning then of course not, I think everyone on this blog has the intent to please God and IF someone lied about this subject they are terrible people.

        Regarding Luxemburg’s work, it’s already been heavily discredited. But yes I have read pretty much all major scholarly works on out text and I think more than a substantive refutation has been made otherwise I wouldn’t be Muslim.

        As for your questions:

        1. The first thing is Islam believes previous revelations were for specific people and times. For example, we know Adam’s(as) children married and had babies. I don’t think you and I will say this is still permissible, lol! The Torah would fall under a similar category it was FOR the Jewish people ONLY. God didn’t make a mistake in allowing it to be corrupted He simply tested them to see if they were true to the Covenant they made. Idk if this story is retained in Judaism but in ours when the Golden Calf was made God allowed it to make a “moo” sound and so all these people were positive this was Moses’s(as) god and worshipped it. God allowed this evil to test them. Expanding this to your point, God sent prophets to correct things etc but since it was not the FINAL revelation for humanity as a WHOLE it’s corruption would not matter, in Islamic thought, since it was replaced with the Qur’an. Since this revelation is for all nations (including the Jews) they would follow it as this the fulfillment of Abraham’s(as) Covenant and bringing all people under the One True God.

        2. This actually a more nuanced answer. We have general rules, the Prophet(saw) said:
        “Do not believe the people of the Scripture nor disbelieve them”
        https://sunnah.com/urn/41670

        A.Obvious if we have the same (Cool)
        B. If different depends (Could be corruption or just different rules depending on their situation)
        C. Blasphemy (Corruption, this is things like God resting, repenting, prophets committing idolatry, adultery etc.)
        D. No mention or equivalent (neutral)

        Honestly, I have not studied Jewish texts as intensely as the Christian texts though (as one your traditions are MUCH more extensive than say the Christians and two way less user-friendly jk) So it’s hard for me to form a complete opinion on the original Torah like I can on what was the original Gospel.

        Regarding my grandmother thanks I’m sure you got some cool ancestors as well. As for tracing I doubt it one she was adopted, two I don’t know if her father’s name was actually his and three I don’t even know what part of Poland we’re from.

        • Dina says:

          Stew,

          I just finished a comment to Sharon and I realized that I am running out of time. Today is the day we prepare for our Sabbath, and beginning from sundown tonight till tomorrow evening, we refrain from all work. This includes writing and using electronic devices. I ask for your patience. God willing I will reply early next week.

          Again, thank you for taking the time to write thoughtful and measured responses to my questions.

        • Dina says:

          Stew,

          Thanks for trying to understand my concern about bias. It’s actually a lot more subtle than that, and please know that I don’t suspect from what you’ve written so far that it will be a problem. My red flag was your contention that we corrupted the Torah. For some people–and you may well not be one of them–that type of preconceived notion can subtly, subconsciously, make it easier to dismiss our arguments, because we belong to a people that corrupted her own Scripture (so how honest can we be already). I’ve spoken to so many Christians who couldn’t or wouldn’t engage my arguments directly because of their preconceived idea that Jews can’t understand their own Scripture, being supernaturally blinded to it.

          The truth is, to be human is to be biased. I think the best we can do is acknowledge our biases and try as sincerely and honestly as possible to seek the truth knowing this. For example, for me, I know I have to be super careful to avoid confirmation bias because I was raised Orthodox and experienced Judaism as an extremely positive, uplifting, warm, and joyous part of my childhood (and extending into my adulthood).

          Your explanation of my first question raises the concern I addressed in my very first comment to you. Because we do not have a sacred text in common, will we end up with a case of “yes, it is” and “no, it isn’t”? For example, our accounts of the Golden Calf are different. In our account, God didn’t purposely make the calf go “moo” in order to entrap us (although the midrashic literature here is very interesting, I prefer to stick to the plain text). Furthermore, in our account, everyone who participated in the worship was soon after killed by the sword, some 3000 people, 0.1% of the population, a tiny minority of the nation. More were killed in a plague, number unknown, but the context seems to indicate that it was not much more than that.

          Why does the Torah make such a big deal about such a small number of people, making it sound like everyone was involved? If you read the whole Tanach, you will find this happens frequently. The reason is that God holds us up to a very high standard; if some people fail to withstand temptation, it’s because others weren’t strong enough to raise up the weaker ones. Thus, every one of the Children of Israel is responsible for everyone else. But despite all that, only the guilty are actually punished.

          Now for the textual problem. You wrote about revelation, and what your tradition holds about revelation. But our Torah says, and our oral transmission as well, that our covenant with God is eternal and cannot be broken. Furthermore, we are assured that we will never lose the message that God entrusted us with. (In Isaiah 59:21, the prophet proclaims in God’s name, “And I, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord: My spirit which is upon you and My words which I have placed in your mouth will not veer away from your mouth and from the mouth of your offspring and from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring, saith the Lord, from now until forever”).

          In Deuteronomy 18, Moses tells the Children of Israel before he dies that he will not leave them bereft of a prophet, but that prophets will arise to lead them and they must listen to the prophets. (This is to address your point that if we do not accept Jesus and Mohammed as prophets we are making a grave error.) He then says, anticipating their question, that now you will ask me how we can tell if a prophet is a true prophet of the Lord–or not. Moses says that the way to know is if the prophet gives a sign and it does not come to pass, then he is surely a false prophet and we must not listen to him. It is obvious from the context that the Children of Israel are supposed to test the prophet by asking for a sign, and the sign needs to be something in the near future so they can quickly evaluate him and accept or reject him (if he gives a sign that is, say, ten years in the future, they won’t know if they should obey him or not).

          In Deuteronomy 13, we learn of another test the prophet must pass in order to be accepted. He cannot introduce idolatry, i.e., contradict the Torah.

          Thus, a prophet must pass two tests in order to be accepted by the Jewish people.

          Both Jesus and Mohammed failed both tests. As far as we know, neither of them was tested by the Jewish people with a sign. Interestingly, Christian scripture records that the Jews did ask Jesus for a sign, he gave them the sign of the resurrection, but then failed to appear to them (he conveniently appeared only to those who already believed in him). Even so, we do not accept the accounts of Christian scripture as historical (although this is not a point in their favor). As for Mohammed, he was never asked by the Jewish people to produce a sign altogether.

          Furthermore, both Jesus and Mohammed contradicted the Torah in myriad ways.

          I’m sure you will agree that a prophet must be tested in some way that is clear and verifiable; otherwise you would have no reason to reject, say, the prophet of Mormonism, Joseph Smith.

          I’d like to point out that while Islam is technically a monotheistic religion, the reverence given to Mohammed is, for Jews, too close to idolatry for comfort. Any religion at whose center stands a man rather than God is problematic from a Jewish point of view.

          I did not understand so well your four ways of determining which parts of the Torah are true. Just want to address blasphemy for a moment. The definition of blasphemy in Judaism is very narrow; it means only actually cursing God. As for descriptions of God resting or saving the Children of Israel with outstretched arm, etc., the Torah uses anthropomorphisms so we can understand God, but we also understand that they are not literal. This is not blasphemy.

          One more thing. The work of Christoph Luxenberg and Ibn Warraq have not been widely debunked by Western non-Islamic scholars (although I am sure by religious Muslim scholars) but instead have received the kind of praise and criticism that any scholars receive for their work. Furthermore, most Western scholars are afraid to study Islam using the same critical analysis they use to study Judaism and Christianity, and both scholars listed above have had to use pseudonyms for their own protection. For this reason, there is very little scholarly study of the dating of the Quran and how it came to be written and by whom, with many scholars uncritically accepting Islamic tradition on the matter. I believe this may be an obstacle in the study of Islam from an outsider perspective as well for those within Islam who are seeking other perspectives. (I hope you won’t take offense that I raised this subject.)

  32. stewjo004 says:

    @ yourphariseefriend

    Wow, thank you that really helps. So (and sorry it’s just curiosity)

    I have heard of Targum before and am a little confused about what they are. I thought they were paraphrases, commentary, and translation in whatever target language for Jews in diaspora who may not be able to understand the Written Torah in Hebrew. Is this correct as your post makes it seem like they are something more? If I’m not correct what are they and what is their level of authority in Judaism?

    • stewj004 The Targum (and there are 3 versions – different communities used different versions) are an enhanced Aramaic translation of the text of the Five Books (there is a Targum on the prophets and writings as well). These translations go beyond literally translating the words of Moses, they also supply explanations and fill in various blanks especially in the legal sections of the Torah. As for their authority, – they were read in the synagogue every Sabbath together with the Torah readings – so they reflect the national understanding of the text. Because of the brevity of the Targum – there is not much in their that would be unknown, but a scholar would point to a nuance in the Targumic text to make a point. Because they are as ancient as they are (going back to the days of Ezra) they are authoritative. 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

    • That should have been “there is not much in THERE” sorry for the typo 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • stewjo004 says:

        @ yourphariseefriend
        So are they as authoritative as say the written Torah or are they like a “supplement ” for better understanding of how the nation understands and applies the written Torah?

        Second, were their potentially more than the 3 and they are the only ones who survived to our times? I ask this because I was wondering if it was possible that the Jews in Arabia were using some form of a Targum.

        • stewj004 It is understood that the targum is the human rendition of God’s word and not a word for word dictation like the written Torah – so the written Torah is more authoritative, the difference being that in the written Torah we understand that every letter is loaded with meaning. And no, my understanding is that there were only 3 versions and the Jews in Arabia were certainly using one of them (my understanding is that it would be the more popular one called “Onkelos” (it is printed together with almost every Jewish Torah). The Jews in Yemen (Arabian peninsula) are the only community that retained the practice of reading the Targum together with the Torah reading 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.