Forgive them Father – by Jim

Alan,

You and Kavi have drawn attention to some interesting problems that arise out of Christian doctrine, or if not Christian doctrine generally, at least Kavi’s understanding of it.

Kavi wrote that when Jesus said on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” that God listened to Jesus and forgave those that crucified him. This forgiveness, of course, does not appear in the text. At first blush, one might believe Kavi’s assertion “appears to be mostly conjectural and not found in the written text,” as he wrote in answer to you on another point. Yet, one can see that Kavi almost has to say that God forgave them, or else a couple signficant challenges arise in Christian theology. It turns out, however, that this explanation causes significant problems of its own, as you have already pointed out, Alan.

Before I explain, I should mention that Jesus might never have said this. Of course, I do not hold the gospels to be true, generally, but that is not why I write this. The only book in which it appears is Luke, I believe. And, some early manuscripts do not carry this sentence. So, it is dubious that he said, “Father, forgive them…”. But I am not interested in that point.

The text gives no indication that those that crucified Jesus were forgiven for that crime. I can think of nowhere in the NT where indication of such is given. But if God did not forgive them, two problems arise:

1. Jesus would appear to be more merciful than God; and
2. Jesus would not appear to be effective as an intermediary between God and Man.

Each of these problems is signficant. If Jesus forgives them, but God does not, then Jesus is more merciful than God. Christians are uncomfortable with saying that God is less merciful than Jesus. After all, Jesus is supposed to be fulfilling the will of God. Moreover, that would really show that Jesus is the god to whom the Christian owes his devotion, not the unforgiving Father.

(Yet this does linger in Christian theology. Logically speaking, Jesus is more loving than God is, if one goes by Christian theology. One can see this in John 3:16, which speaks of God’s great love for humanity: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever should believe in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” In the two figures that wish to save humanity, whose actions are more loving. God sends someone to die. Jesus does the actual dying. Though a Christian will deny that they believe Jesus loves them more than God, one can see that their gratitude to Jesus is logically greater, because he makes the actual sacrifice. If he did not, God would still judge all humanity with a terrifying and impossible standard. This just makes God less loveable. And, Jesus is supposed to have said, according to John, that the greatest love is to lay down one’s life for his friends. Christians would not apply that standard to God, per se, but on an unconscious level…)

If the Christian does not want to say that Jesus loves humanity more than God does, he also does not want Jesus to appear to be offering useless prayers. Jesus is supposed to be their mediator, the one that secures forgiveness for them. It would be troubling to think that he was unable to secure their forgiveness on this occasion, that in the throes of death and extreme suffering, Jesus’ prayers were useless. One would be inclined to think that in this moment of obedience and self-sacrifice, Jesus would be more likely to secure the blessings of God, not less.

So, Kavi almost has to say that God forgave the people for killing Jesus, even though the text says nothing of the sort.

However, Alan, you already pointed out a huge problem with this. If one says that God forgave this sin without blood, as Kavi granted, then one must say that God can forgive sin without blood. Obviously, then, the crucifixion of Jesus was not necessary. He did not need to die for the sins of humanity. Kavi attempted to sidestep this issue by saying that God can forgive individual sins without calling people righteous, however this does not answer the problem. In fact, it complicates things.

Kavi granted something that many Christians will not grant. He granted that Nineveh was forgiven without the shedding of blood. Dr. Brown will not grant such a point. He will say that sacrifices were happening in the temple at that time, sacrifices for the non-Jew as well as the Jew. And it was through that blood that Nineveh was forgiven. But Kavi has taken a different tack. He has admitted that Nineveh was forgiven without blood. He argues that Nineveh was not then counted righteous.

This attempt to sweep things under the carpet undermines the whole of Christian doctrine. How many times has a Christian quoted Hebrews: “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.” Anyone that has argued with a Christian knows that under most circumstances, the Christian would emphasize the word “no,” almost as if he were shouting it. Again, Dr. Brown would certainly emphasize it this way. Kavi is now arguing that there is some remission of sin, just not that all of it is so remitted. Righteousness is not achieved.

This is absurdity.

If God does not need blood to forgive one sin, then he does not need blood to forgive all your sins. To say that he can forgive one or maybe two or maybe even two million, but not all, is only to limit God. (Of course, this is a major problem with Christianity in the first place. If you say to a Christian that God is not a man, he will respond with a question: “Are you saying that God cannot do anything? Are you not limiting the power of God?” But, of course, this is precisely what Christianity does. It says that God cannot forgive sins without blood, limiting His power. Absurd.) Kavi has now implied that the death of Jesus is meaningless, without meaning to do so. If God can forgive one sin, he can forgive all sins without blood.

Kavi cannot even answer that they could be forgiven due to their ignorance. Sacrifices were made for inadvertent sin. By the Christian reading of Leviticus, this means that blood was needed to cover even inadvertent sins. Sins done from ignorance required blood no less than other sins, so Kavi would have no leg upon which to stand.

Moreover, Christians will tell you—and I believe Kavi has said this—that two elements are needed to get forgiveness for one’s sins. One is blood. The other is repentance. In this case, however, neither prerequisite is met. Jesus is praying for the forgiveness of those that are in the throes of a murderous passion (i.e. unrepentant) before the necessary sacrifice has been brought. So, according to Kavi, neither of these things is necessary for the forgiveness of sin. He is in a serious contradiction.

I should emphasize that this is Kavi’s contradiction, not the Church’s in general. I doubt many Christians would have granted that no blood was necessary for the forgiveness Jesus is praying for here.

I should also point out that Kavi makes Jesus ridiculous here. If Jesus is praying for the forgiveness of this one sin, but not asking for forgiveness for them in general, the prayer is particularly vain. Jesus would be allowing those people to burn in hell for all eternity, just for other sins. The punishment for sinners in the Christian system is no less for one sin than another. To the Lake of Fire go the unbelievers. It is rather absurd to pray, “Do not send Fred to hell for killing me; send him for stealing a 10-cent piece of bubblegum when he was 13.”

Through your discourse with Kavi, Alan, you have shown just how empty his arguments are. His arguments gloss over what are major problems in his religious thought. He ties himself in knots to explain the NT, but rather than explaining problems, he only makes them worse. Thank you for drawing attention to the absurdity underlying his arguments.

Jim

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 Jim. Bookmark the permalink.

101 Responses to Forgive them Father – by Jim

  1. Alan says:

    Jim,
    Is it clear to you that Hashem forgave the people of Ninveh in the book of Yonah? It is clear to me that He did, even though the word “forgive” is not mentioned but in 4:11 it says that Hashem had pity on them – “and should not I have pity on Nineveh”. You pointed out in another post that in Exodus 32 it doesn’t say that Hashem forgave His people. It just says that Hashem agreed with Moshe not to annihilate them.

    But almost identical language is used in Yonah 3:10 –
    “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and GOD RECONSIDERED THE EVIL WHICH HE SAID HE WOULD DO TO THEM; and He did it not.”

    Exodus 32:14 –
    AND HASHEM RECONSIDERED THE EVIL WHICH HE SAID HE WOULD DO TO HIS PEOPLE.

    One of the differences I notice is that the name Hashem is used in the Exodus verse while the name Elohim is used in the Yonah verse. These names signify two different modes of how God relates to the world. Hashem is usually the name of compassion and Elohim is usually the name of strict justice. However, in Yonah 4:11, it is the name of Hashem speaking, not Elohim, who says: “and should not I have pity on Nineveh”. But, the major difference is that in Yonah the people did teshuva before God reconsidered. But in Exodus, the people had not yet done teshuva when Hashem told Moshe He would reconsider Also in Yonah it says “and He did it not” which seems to be redundant, but must really be teaching us something else.

    Perhaps we need to define atonement, forgiveness and “remission of sins” as opposed to just suspension of punishment (which could still come at a later time) in both Judaism and Christianity.

    • Jim says:

      Alan,

      It would be difficult to say that God forgave His people in Ex. 32:14. After Moses pleads for God to relent, he goes down to the people, breaking the tablets and such. Then he tells the people that he will go back up the mountain and try to win atonement for them. And when he goes up, he asks God to forgive the people in v. 32. But if God forgave them before Moses descended, why is Moses asking God’s forgiveness when he reascends the mountain? It appears to me that when God initially relented, that did not indicate the people had been forgiven.

      I am all in favor of a glossary of terms. Much confusion arises from homonymous terms between the Christian and the Jew. Definitions, according to each system, would be good for outlining the differences and incompatibilities between the two systems.

      Jim

      • Alan says:

        Jim,

        I see that nowhere in Exodus 32 does Hashem say he forgives their sin even though Moshe requests it. Moshe succeeded in preventing their being wiped out but didn’t succeed in getting Hashem to forgive them. And Hashem punished the people immediately even after Moshe prevented their destruction.

        What about in the book of Yonah? Did Hashem forgive? Or was it only wiping away the punishment without real forgiveness. I believe the text shows that Hashem really forgave them and completely wiped away all punishment.

        • Dina says:

          If Ezekiel is to be believed, that when you turn away from your evil ways and do good, then you will surely live and your sins will not be remembered, then God forgave Nineveh when they repented.

          When God agreed not to destroy Israel, there hadn’t been any repentance.

          • Alan says:

            Dina,
            I think the same. Hashem has promised all over Tanakh that He greatly desires bloodless teshuva and that He is receptive to bloodless teshuva at all times; and the person, community or nation that does bloodless teshuva is lovingly accepted by Hashem with open arms. Teshuva doesn’t necessarily mean that all of the debts have been completely paid off. But it always means that a process of being born again has occurred and in Hashem’s eyes we are right with Him again.

          • Alan says:

            Daniel 9:19 –

            19 ‘O Lord, hear, O Lord, FORGIVE, O Lord, attend and do, DO NOT DELAY; for Thine own sake, O my God, because Thy name is called upon Thy city and Thy people.’

            Didn’t Daniel realize the Temple was destroyed and there were no more sacrifices when he made the above prayer to God? Was Daniel making a vain prayer to God? Didn’t he have any clue from his knowledge of the Torah that it was impossible to do teshuva and have God forgive you without blood and without being able to fulfill all of the commandments? I guess he didn’t have a good understanding of the Torah. Or perhaps…is it possible that he did know something about the One he was praying to?

          • Jim says:

            Dina and Alan,

            It seems to me that you are correct regarding Yonah. Though it does not say that God forgave them, for the reasons Dina stated, it is likely that they were. And thus they were not destroyed.

            “Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord God, and not rather that they should turn from their ways and live?” (Ez. 18:23)

            Jim

          • Alan says:

            Thanks, Jim. Perhaps we can say that teshuva that has been accepted is forgiveness. The word forgiveness doesn’t have to be said because that is what “accepted teshuva” is. They are the same thing. There is higher and lower teshuva and therefore higher and lower forgiveness. Teshuva done from fear of punishment alone is a lower level and therefore the forgiveness is not as strong. But teshuva done out of feeling bad that we hurt Hashem and his world is higher and therefore the forgivness is also higher.

  2. KAVI says:

    Jim,
    Your analysis is fundamentally flawed because your fundamental premise is false— namely, that “forgiveness” in the B’rit Chadashah/NT strictly means that G-d confers eternal righteousness—it does not.

    On the contrary, the concept of “forgiveness” found in the BC/NT is no different than what we find in Tanakh— namely, Divine Judgment for sin(s) may be granted either on an eternal or temporal basis.

    The Orthodox describe teshuva being inherently temporal, imperfect, and marked with human frailty- hence no one can claim with any degree of certainty that their teshuva achieved perfect righteousness before the Almighty Judge—they must leave that decision up to G-d.

    David, on the other hand, describes a secure, eternal righteousness whereby,
    [1] G-d would not impute sin…and yet,
    [2] G-d requires David to continue to seek forgiveness within that framework of perfect imputed holiness.
    [see Psalm 32]

    As such, to David there are two “levels” of forgiveness—
    [1] one of a complete, eternal Yom Kippur cleansing of sin…and yet,
    [2] one that maintains ongoing fellowship with the eternal Creator.

    L-RD Yeshua is mediator of the merciful covenant of G-d’s eternal Yom Kippur— the New Covenant that accomplishes circumcision of the heart.

    Like a parent who freely gives up their temporal life to save the lives of their children, so L-RD Yeshua surrendered up His temporal life to save the eternal souls of mankind.
    ____________________

    • RT says:

      Kavi, you arrived with your theory first. David did not believe or trust in Jesus in the first place. You can see that through the Psalm you quote! It actually contradict what you believe…

      Then I acknowledged my sin to you
      and did not cover up my iniquity.
      I said, “I will confess
      my transgressions to the Lord.”
      And you forgave
      the guilt of my sin.

      You see, David confessed his sins to HaSHem and he was forgotten. There was actually no sacrifice there, even less a foreign sacrifice of a human being that would happen 800 years later!

      For CHristians, they see those text as fulfillment, For Jews, they see them as contradiction. Why? Because one of them arrives with his theory first, and the other see if it makes sense before accepting it. Why Kavi can’t you read Psalm 32 for what it really said? David confessed and was forgiven by G-d. (See Ezekiel 18). Anybody can do it and you do not need sacrifice.

      He will not always content, neither will he keep his anger forever, his ways are higher than our for that reason! He is not like a man who keeps grudges forever like you want us to believe.

      • KAVI says:

        RT: Why Kavi can’t you read Psalm 32 for what it really said? David confessed and was forgiven by G-d. (See Ezekiel 18). Anybody can do it and you do not need sacrifice.

        Kavi: Psalm 32 is meant to be sung by the righteous,
        “Be glad in the L-RD, and rejoice, ye righteous; And shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.” [Psalm 32:11]

        The Orthodox do not pretend that they have assurance their teshuva compels G-d to impute righteousness [e.g., the deathbed confession of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai].

        So, why should anyone surrender up David’s song of eternal assurance in Messianic redemption in exchange for a modern Rabbinic teshuva theory that is just as ineffective as the sacrificial system?

        In contrast, Messianic “teshuva” (where G-d circumcises the heart) does achieve the righteousness demanded by G-d and, thereby, provides eternal rest, peace, and assurance of salvation before the Almighty Judge.

        ___________________

        RT: Kavi, you arrived with your theory first. David did not believe or trust in Jesus in the first place.

        Kavi: On the contrary, David understood Moses and his writings about the future, suffering Kinsman Redeemer.

        David understood G-d’s plan of salvation didn’t change from the days of Gan Eden when the suffering Redeemer is introduced along with the first blood sacrifice [Genesis 3]

        As far as futility to take away sin, teshuva mimics the sacrifical system… a continual, useless cycle whereby real sin is followed by a hoped for forgiveness which never makes a person perfectly righteous… both teshuva and sacrifice simply remind us just how sinful we are.

        Yom Kippur annually reminded Israel of their sinfulness… as the most holy of sacrifices, the rites of Yom Kippur never eternally imputed righteousness to anybody. If so, neither the High Priest nor the people would need to go through the whole process again year after year after year after…. [Leviticus 16, Psalm 40:6, Hosea 6:6]

        In Torah, Yom Kippur was only one of a number of temporal deeds of obedience which, taken together, could postpone G-d’s Divine Judgment and allow Israel to continue to live Divinely blessed in the land.

        Modern Rabbinic theory of teshuva is just as bad…
        [1] Teshuva just continues the inability to offer lasting value and certainly offers no assurance of righteousness before the Almighty Judge.
        [2] Where did G-d make a covenant in blood confirming this modern teshuva theory at Mt. Sinai?
        [3] Where is the logic, any logic, for instituting a sacrificial system if teshuva was what G-d wanted Adam/Chava to do?
        [4] etc
        _________________________

        But an eternal G-d certainly did have an eternal purpose in establishing blood sacrifice from the days of Adam/Chava… namely, to point to His Chosen Divine Kinsman Redeemer whose ultimate suffering would destroy the works of Satan that separate us from G-d.

        G-d didn’t change His plan of salvation… but He did decide to take a long, long time to testify and reveal His plan.

        G-d’s plan did not include sinful mankind’s futile sacrifices but, instead, testified of an act of G-d Himself who graciously found a way to send the Redeemer into the world who could then freely give up His life and shed His own blood to eternally save mankind from their sins… all by Faith in G-d and His enduring promise and not by our own works. [Psalm 118:21-23, Deuteronomy 30:14, Habakkuk 2:4].

        David understood G-d’s teaching through the words of Moses… and David sang of this future, suffering Divine Kinsman Redeemer who would triumph over Satan.

        Those who G-d makes eternally, securely righteous through Faith in His Anointed One, L-RD Yeshua, may with blessed assurance sing Psalm 32.

        _________________________

        • Alan says:

          Kavi,

          Do you think you are a tzadik gamur (completely righteous)?
          Do you think you have a circumcised heart?
          What does it mean to you to be a tzadik (a righteous person)?
          What does it mean to you to have a circumcised heart?

          • Alan says:

            following

          • KAVI says:

            Alan,
            The concepts supporting “tzadik gamur” are far too steeped in Orthodox theology to make a direct comparison to what a Messianic believes.

            So, let me approach your question this way,

            “Holy, Holy, Holy is the L-RD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” [Isaiah 6]

            G-d made mankind righteous when He breathed the breath of life into him.

            …yet Adam/Chava found out too late just a glimpse G-d’s holy demand for righteousness when they “simply” ate a piece of fruit from the forbidden tree. [Genesis 3]

            …immediately, G-d deemed them unholy,
            “you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.” [Genesis 2]

            … It didn’t matter whether Adam/Chava did/didn’t do teshuva or did/didn’t do sacrifice—they became unholy to a Holy Almighty Judge.

            ___________________________

            Although G-d loves mankind, He is also the Eternal Righteous One and the Almighty Judge… as such, the Echad L-RD could not simply sweep sin under the rug and “forgive and forget”– for sin, judgment required that we be punished.

            So, Being the G-d of loving-kindess, righteousness, and justice [Jeremiah 9], He would therefore, by His nature, need to establish a salvation inherent to all three aspects of His nature– a way that graciously, yet judicially declare us righteous through an eternal Yom Kippur.

            Consistently, from the beginnings of Genesis and throughout Tanakh, G-d slowly revealed that His Suffering, Kinsman Redeemer would need to fulfill the heart of the Law and institute an everlasting Yom Kippur that “spiritually circumcises” our souls and so makes us eternally righteous…

            Therefore, G-d instituted a kind of righteousness that is as eternal as G-d is… a righteousness that cannot again be impugned by the sins of our weak, cursed, “uncircumcised”, dying, fleshly minds and fleshly bodies… instead, eternal Yom Kippur gives the righteous a new heart/mind [soul] and where the Holy Spirit may dwell despite all the evil that exists outside. [as an analogy, one might (not “must”) think of a Holy G-d in the Tabernacle surrounded by all those who were in rebellion around Him– Utmost Holiness in the midst of the utterly evil].

            ___________________________

            David sang about those who were made righteous according to eternal Yom Kippur– an eternal righteousness where G-d would not impute [ascribe] sin to the inmost being [the soul] despite the sins of the flesh. [Psalm 32, Psalm 51:6]

            Through L-RD Yeshua’s fulfillment of a better, everlasting Yom Kippur, G-d can give us an eternal, secure hope to be with our Echad L-RD G-d forever.

            ___________________________

          • Alan says:

            Kavi,
            Did you answer any of my questions?

          • Alan says:

            Kavi,
            Let me ask one question at a time –

            Are you, Kavi, a tzadik (a righteous man)?

          • KAVI says:

            Alan: Are you, Kavi, a tzadik (a righteous man)?

            Kavi: “Tzadik” according to Talmud/Rambam or Tanya?

            Neither… again, too much Jewish theology clouds the issue.
            ____________________

            Instead, G-d made the Way to securely establish my own eternal soul eternally righteous.

            As such, G-d’s Way to righteousness makes my soul as righteous as He is righteous.

            Why? G-d is Holy… and G-d “re-births” the souls of all Messianic believers akin to the day that G-d breathed the breath of life into mankind– only infinitely better because L-RD Yeshua’s fulfillment of everlasting Yom Kippur perpetually protects the soul from spiritually dying again like the day Adam/Chava sinned.

            ____________________

          • Alan says:

            Kavi,
            I’ll ask as simply as possible – Are you today a righteous man* according to Tanakh?

            *a righteous man is called a tzadik in Tanakh.

          • KAVI says:

            Alan: I’ll ask as simply as possible – Are you today a righteous man* according to Tanakh?

            Kavi: And it is not “simple”… particularly if your worldview encapsulates “tzadik” according the interpretations of Talmud or Tanya.

            Moreover, going beyond Judaism and Messianics, what of other faiths of nations who have their own definitions and traditions of “righteous men/women”?
            ___________________

            Therefore, by forced necessity, I described whom G-d considers righteous [“tzadik”] in accordance to His prescribed Way of righteousness.

            Moses, David, the Prophets, and all the holy ones (including me) who accept G-d’s Way of righteousness have their souls made securely righteous– not a righteousness of our own, but a righteousness imputed us by faith in Him and His Word.

            ___________________

          • Alan says:

            Kavi,
            Are you aware that the words tzadik (righteous man), tzadikim (righteous men), tzedek (justice) and tzedakah (righteousness/justice) are in the text of Tanakh very many times? Do you think these words are only in rabbinic writings?
            I am asking you about a word in Tanakh, like the word mashiach and yeshua which also come from Tanakh.

            I’ll ask again – according to what is meant by “righteous” in Tanakh, are YOU Kavi, today, righteous?

          • KAVI says:

            Alan: I am asking you about a word in Tanakh, like the word mashiach and yeshua which also come from Tanakh.

            Kavi: Not exactly… for G-d by His nature is the Righteous One, the Almighty Judge, and the only True One Who is Lovingly Kind.

            Because of His nature, G-d lovingly made Adam/Chava “righteous ones”… and continuously judged them as such until Adam/Chava ate of the forbidden tree and became unholy.

            Therefore, G-d alone judges the meaning of “righteousness” by His eternal nature… and G-d openly testifies to His eternal standard of righteousness through the example of Adam/Chava.

            _________________________

            Alan: According to what is meant by “righteous” in Tanakh, are YOU Kavi, today, righteous?

            Kavi: I thought I had already answered… but I don’t mind repeating,

            Moses, David, the Prophets, and all the holy ones (including me) who accept G-d’s Way of righteousness through the Anointed Redeemer have their eternal souls made securely righteous by G-d Himself…it is not a righteousness of our own, but a righteousness imputed us by faith in Him and His Word… a Word of Promise that the Echad L-RD founded in Genesis and testified to and revealed throughout Tanakh.

            _________________________

          • Alan says:

            Kavi,
            So even though the word tzadik/tzedek appears in Tanakh a few hundred times you will not discuss this Tanakh word with me? And you won’t discuss it even though you think you are one?

          • KAVI says:

            Alan,
            G-d gave us His definition of His righteousness as well as His definition of those souls He judges righteous.

            …not only have I discussed these matters conceptually, but I provided very real examples from Tanakh…

            …what have you given me in return?

            __________________

            G-d made only One Way for mankind to receive His righteousness– His One Way through the Anointed Redeemer… as such, His One Way sets the context for all my thoughts and conversations… not Rambam, not Baal Shem Tov.

            __________________

          • Alan says:

            Kavi,
            You realize that if the NT is not consistent with Tanakh, your religion collapses. That’s why you care very much about showing how the Tanakh is in synch with or at least doesn’t contradict Christianity. I asked you if you believe that your definition of Tzadik (not any rabbinic definition) comes from the Tanakh. All you said was something about Adam and Eve being tzadikim. But nowhere in Tanakh does it call them tzadikim. Tzadik/tzedek appear a few hundred times in Tanakh and it always means someone who DOES the RIGHT THING. There is one time where God COUNTS Avraham’s believing in God’s words as justice/righteousness. It doesn’t say that this belief made Avraham a tzadik. The belief was considered as if he had DONE “tzedakah” as the verse says. A tzadik is the opposite of a rasha (a lawless person) – it is one who DOES the right thing.

          • Alan says:

            Kavi,
            “as such, His One Way sets the context for all my thoughts and conversations… not Rambam, not Baal Shem Tov.”

            What I think you mean by the above is that you can only read the Tanakh in terms of the NT but not on its own terms (pre-NT). You got accused me a few times of imposing rabbinic ideas on Tanakh even though I wasn’t – I only wanted to discuss the text of Tanakh. What you accused me of – imposing a non-Tanakh source onto Tanakh – you just admited that it’s ok for you to do just that.

          • Alan says:

            Kavi,
            If you really wanted to know what Tanakh means by tzedakah (justice–love is the best definition, not righteousness which is very ambiguous) you would read Tanakh on it’s own terms –

            Isaiah 56:1-
            Thus saith the LORD: Keep ye judgement, and DO TZEDAKAH; for My yeshua (salvation) is near to come, and My favour to be revealed.

            Isaiah 58:2-
            Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways; as a nation that DID TZEDAKAH, and forsook not the ordinance of their God, they ask of Me righteous judgements, they delight to draw near unto God.

            Psalms 106:3-
            Happy are they that keep justice, that DO TZEDAKAH at all times.

            Psalms 106:30-31-
            Then stood up Phinehas, and wrought judgment, and so the plague was stayed.
            And that was counted unto him for TZEDAKAH, unto all generations for ever. (KAVI, WHY DIDN’T PAUL OF TARSUS TEACH THAT THE ONLY WAY A PERSON IS RIGHTEOUS IN GOD’S EYES IS IF HE KILLS PEOPLE WHO HAVE ILLICIT RELATIONS LIKE PINCHAS DID?)

            Genesis 18:19-
            For I have known him [Abraham], to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep THE WAY OF THE LORD TO DO TZEDAKAH AND JUSTICE; to the end that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him.’

            Genesis 18:22-23-
            And the men turned from thence, and went toward Sodom; but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.
            And Abraham drew near, and said: ‘Wilt Thou indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? (KAVI, ALL OVER TANAKH THE WICKED ARE THOSE WHO DON’T ACT ACCORDING TO HASHEM’S LAWS, THE RIGHTEOUS ARE THOSE WHO ACT ACCORDING TO HASHEM’S LAWS).

          • Alan says:

            Kavi,

            The Torah and commandments are forever –

            1 Chronicles 15-18 –
            Remember His covenant for ever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations;
            which He made with Abraham, and His oath unto Isaac;
            And He established it unto Jacob for a statute, to Israel for an everlasting covenant;

            Psalms 119:44 –
            So shall I [David] observe Thy law continually for ever and ever

          • Alan says:

            I forgot Proverbs 21:3-
            “TO DO TZEDAKAH and justice is choicer/more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” I would love to know if Paul of Tarsus quotes or misquotes this verse anywhere in the NT.

          • Alan says:

            And, Kavi, Ezekiel 18:5 –

            “And a man when he will be a TZADIK and DO JUSTICE AND TZEDAKAH.”

            Here is the rest of the definition of a TZADIK from Ezekiel 18 –

            6 and hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour’s wife, neither hath come near to a woman in her impurity;

            7 and hath not wronged any, but hath restored his pledge for a debt, hath taken nought by robbery, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment;

            8 he that hath not given forth upon interest, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true justice between man and man,

            9 hath walked in My statutes, and hath kept Mine ordinances, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD.

            Kavi, your definition of tzadik and tzedakah is not Hashem’s definition of these words. What makes a tzadik according to the NT is not what makes a tzadik according to Tanakh. A TZADIK IS SOMEONE WHO D-O-E-S TZEDAKAH (JUSTICE-LOVE) and who ACTS ACCORDING TO HASHEM’S LAWS – THAT’S WHY THE WORD TZADIK SOUNDS LIKE THE WORD TZEDAKAH. Do you see in any of the verses I have posted about tzadik/tzedakah your definition of tzadik/tzedakah? To you, the tzedakah that makes someone a tzadik is TO BELIEVE that Jesus is the final and eternal Yom Kippur sacrifice. This BELIEF is your tzedakah that makes someone a tzadik.

          • Alan says:

            Let me rewrite one verse in Ezekiel –

            9 hath walked in My statutes, and hath kept Mine ordinances, to deal truly; HE IS A TZADIK, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD.

            Kavi,
            HE – THAT person who Ezekiel just described – HE is a tzadik. This is Tanakh’s – Hashem’s – definition of what a tzadik is. It bears no resemblance to your tzadik.

          • Alan says:

            And just like a good human father who is gracious and patient with his children, so is Hashem but infinitely more so. He only wants us to try, he doesn’t want us to be perfect. Being a tzadik doesn’t mean that one is perfect!

            Proverbs 24:16-
            For a TZADIK FALLS SEVEN TIMES, and rises up again, but the wicked stumble under adversity.

            Ecclesiastes 7:16-
            DO NOT BE TOO MUCH OF A TZADIK; neither make thyself overwise; why shouldest thou destroy thyself?
            —–

            And King David who sinned, as we discussed in depth a few weeks ago, was still tzadik because he picked himself up, did teshuva (Kavi – teshuva according to Tanakh), taught others how to do teshuva, and returned to Hashem and His commandments. All of the following prophecies were said AFTER David had sinned and done teshuva –

            1 Kings 3-
            14 And if thou wilt walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.

            1 Kings 9-
            4 And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before Me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep My statutes and Mine ordinances;

            1 Kings 11-
            38 And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in My ways, and do that which is right in Mine eyes, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as David My servant did, that I will be with thee, and will build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.

            1 Kings 14-
            7 Go, tell Jeroboam: Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel: Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over My people Israel,
            8 and rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee; and yet thou hast not been as My servant David, who kept My commandments, and who followed Me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in Mine eyes;

          • Dina says:

            Alan, you’re on a roll! Great work!

          • Alan says:

            Baruch tihiyeh (may you be blessed)! 🙂

          • Dina says:

            Kavi keeps mentioning this modern rabbinic teshuva theory even after I posted Scriptures showing it is neither modern, nor rabbinic, nor a theory. Kavi did not respond but kept right on.

            Here are the citations again:

            Genesis 4:7; Deuteronomy 30; Ezekiel 18 and 33; 1 Kings 8:46-52; Hosea 14:2

          • Alan says:

            Dina,
            Kavi feels that the main thing he gets with Jesus that he can’t get any other way is that he has a guarantee that he will be considered righteous after he leaves the world and his soul will live forever. It’s this guarantee that seems to be the biggest attraction for him. He feels that with the Father alone, there is no such guarantee. Kavi feels that only Jesus can give him this “job security” and he doesn’t want to give this up. Kavi knows that when Jews sin, they have teshuva and Hashem will remove our sins even without a blood sacrifice. Kavi admitted this with Ninveh and I think he can see that it also applies to Jews. But Kavi says that in order for a person not to be condemned to hell or eternal death he must be righteous. But what a penitent without Jesus doesn’t have is a guarantee of God judging him/her to be righteous. Kavi admits that a person could be righteous without Jesus but he also thinks that there is no way to guarantee permanent righteousness without Jesus. So according to Kavi, the main thing he needs Jesus for is the guarantee of “winning the court case in heaven”, otherwise the pre-Jesus system of keeping the commandments, sometimes messing up and doing teshuva is perfectly fine because this is EXACTLY HOW KAVI HAS TO LIVE HIS LIFE RIGHT NOW TOO. He has to do his commandments, mess up sometimes and do teshuva. So the only thing separating Kavi from Judaism appears to be this guarantee that he thinks he has with Jesus. Well guess what? He is terribly mistaken about the Father. The Father of the Tanakh is patient, bears insult, is slow to anger and DESIRES to JUDGE US FAVORABLY and give us life. He has told us in Tanakh that a little bit of teshuva IS A GUARANTEE of eternal life. So Kavi it turns out that Jesus gives you nothing that the Torah doesn’t already have from the Father. We have a guarantee too. Please forgive any spelling or grammatical mistakes. I’m typing fast and don’t have time to proof read (which is my MO anyway).

          • Dina says:

            Exactly so. God is not quick to consign sinners to eternal death. You have to be supremely wicked for something like that (perhaps something along the lines of a Hitler or a Saddam Hussein).

            I wonder why it doesn’t occur to Christians how a just and merciful God could send Hitler, the Nazis, and their victims to the same fate. (In fact some even believe that the Nazis who were Christian are indeed in heaven, while their victims roast eternally in the lake of fire.)

          • RT says:

            “Kavi feels that the main thing he gets with Jesus that he can’t get any other way is that he has a guarantee that he will be considered righteous after he leaves the world and his soul will live forever. ”

            Alan, I doubt that is how Kavi think. He might say it like that, but his ways are craftier than that.. You and I are doomed to hell. We CANNOT be tzadick or righteous. He think that your good deeds and righteousness are like filthy rags. The only one that are righteous are the follower of Jesus and those who trusted that the messiah would come and die for their sins. You can see that in Kavi’s comment:

            “Moses, David, the Prophets, and all the holy ones (including me) who accept G-d’s Way of righteousness have their souls made securely righteous– not a righteousness of our own, but a righteousness imputed us by faith in Him and His Word.”

            Translation:

            G-d’s Way: Jesus. Why? Jesus said I am the way.
            a righteousness of our own: Fitly rags
            His word: Jesus. WHy? See John 1

            “Moses, David, the Prophets, and all the holy ones (including me) who accept JESUS’ righteousness have their souls made securely righteous– not a righteousness of our own (LIKE YOU and all Jews, and all non-followers of Jesus), but a righteousness imputed us by faith in Jesus and Jesus.”

            Kavi said:

            “Therefore, G-d alone judges the meaning of “righteousness” by His eternal nature… and G-d openly testifies to His eternal standard of righteousness through the example of Adam/Chava.”

            Translation: One sin deserves hell, Romans 6:23. And that’s where you will finish, just like Adam.

            Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death (HELL) by sin; and so death (HELL) passed upon all men, for that all have sinned

            Deaths = Hell as per Revelation 2:11 and 20:6

            Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection (follower of Jesus): on such the second death hath no power

            Kavi said:

            “G-d made only One Way for mankind to receive His righteousness– His One Way through the Anointed Redeemer… as such, His One Way sets the context for all my thoughts and conversations… not Rambam, not Baal Shem Tov.”

            Translation:

            One Way: Jesus
            Anointed Redeemer: Jesus

            “G-d made only Jesus for mankind to receive Jesus’ righteousness– Jesus’ Jesus through the Jesus… as such, His Jesus sets the context for all my thoughts and conversations…”

            So, it’s not like he thinks you are righteous or good. He thinks you deserve hell and you cannot be righteous. Your good deeds is as filthy as a tampax as per Kavi. It’s all tricks if he made you think that you had a single drop of righteousness (as per his own idea)

          • Alan says:

            RT,
            Thanks, I needed that. But I still have some hope that Kavi heard something I said this time.

          • RT says:

            Doubtful. If he did, then that would mean Jesus blood is not needed. And if the blood is not needed, then the sacrifice is not needed and if the sacrifice is not needed, Jesus is not needed. That would go against the New Testament teaching and would render him as an antichrist. It still may takes years before he can even handle this. I have seen two people (CR and someone else) that acknowledged that Jesus was not the messiah after talking to them. CR is the only one that kept on blogging after, so in truth he might be the only one. But it’s worth the effort…

          • KAVI says:

            Alan: I asked you if you believe that your definition of Tzadik (not any rabbinic definition) comes from the Tanakh. All you said was something about Adam and Eve being tzadikim. But nowhere in Tanakh does it call them tzadikim.

            Kavi: When G-d breathed the breath of life into Adam… what unrighteousness was in G-d that made Adam likewise unrighteous?

            Since we know there is no unrighteousness in G-d whatsoever… therefore, we know with certainty that G-d made Adam/Chava perfectly righteous.

            ______________________

          • Dina says:

            Kavi, are you lying through your teeth or did you not see the many posts Alan wrote–and no doubt spent a lot of time researching–showing you the exact definition of tzadik within Tanach? How can you say that all he wrote was something about Adam and Chava (actually I think you were the one who kept saying things about Adam and Chava; Alan wrote about a whole lot of other things)?

            I am appalled and astounded by your behavior.

          • Dina
            KAVI is quoting Alan

          • Whoever
            either way it is clear that KAVI is doing everything he can to avoid answering Alan’s straightforward question

          • Dina says:

            Alan, I think it is pointless to talk to Kavi. He seems determined not to hear what you are actually saying.

          • KAVI
            https://judaismresources.net/2013/03/12/ten-letters-4-beauty-and-spirituality/
            The qualities of God are inseparable. God is the Ultimate Merciful One precisely because He is the Creator. He is supremely holy because He stands outside of nature and He is completely righteous because He is an independent existence.
            As dependent beings all of us who exist between heaven and earth can only share the blessings that God showered upon us – we can’t create new blessings. Our kindness is only a relative term when seen against the backdrop of God’s mercy. God’s mercy is limitless because He is limitless.
            Holiness is the separation from all pettiness and self-interest. Only the One who intrinsically needs nothing can truly be separate from all self-interest. Perfect righteousness is only possible by the One who brought every detail into existence and who has intimate knowledge of every action and thought that ever existed and that will ever exist – together with the ability to deal with every detail with unlimited power. It is only the Creator of all who constantly sustains all that can be called intrinsically righteous.

          • KAVI says:

            Dina: “How can you say that all he wrote was something about Adam and Chava (actually I think you were the one who kept saying things about Adam and Chava; Alan wrote about a whole lot of other things)?

            I am appalled and astounded by your behavior.”

            Kavi: As the Rabbi mentioned, I quoted directly from Alan’s post… I know WordPress is difficult to follow, but before posting, please do a simple search.

            Now then, Alan wrote a great many things and it will take a little time to compile an answer… I started with Adam/Chava because that’s where Alan starts his dialogue.

            And, to be frank, Alan does not start out on very solid footing… for G-d did indeed created mankind righteous… for G-d is righteous and the author of all righteousness… and He made mankind in His image.

            _______________________

          • Alan says:

            I will restate my very simple question.

            Kavi has admitted that he is a righteous man (in Hebrew this is called a tzadik).

            The words tzadik/tzedaka appears in Tanakh 479 times (according to my concordance). They appear zero times in reference to Adam and Eve.

            I want to know from Kavi if his definition of tzadik/tzadakah has the same meaning as the Tanakh’s definition of these words.

            I have asked this question about half a dozen times already, but all Kavi has given me so far has been his original midrashic teachings about Adam and Eve.

          • Dina says:

            Kavi and Rabbi B., did both of you miss the myriad posts where Alan takes the time to define tzadik and tzedakah according to Tanach, especially the very clear definition as he demonstrated in Ezekiel 18?

            Here are a couple:

            https://judaismresources.net/2017/07/06/forgive-them-father-by-jim/#comment-38012
            https://judaismresources.net/2017/07/06/forgive-them-father-by-jim/#comment-38013

            And another one:

            https://judaismresources.net/2017/07/06/forgive-them-father-by-jim/#comment-38014

            As Alan pointed out, Tanach couldn’t be more clear on the definition of a tzadik, which bears no relationship whatsoever to Kavi’s definition.

            I am appalled because Kavi is pretending that all Alan wrote was something about Adam and Chava. Allan wrote that the word tzadik is not used about these two; it’s not all he wrote, not by a long stretch. (Kavi is the one who raised the subject of Adam and Chava in regard to righteousness.)

            So I still stand by my condemnation of Kavi’s behavior.

          • KAVI says:

            Alan: “Tzadik/tzedek appear a few hundred times in Tanakh and it always means someone who DOES the RIGHT THING.”

            Kavi: The root word “zadak” does indeed imply an ethical standard and is used to describe weights, paths, speech, people, and G-d Himself.

            So, on one hand, we have G-d as perfectly righteous…

            And, on the other hand, we have people who fall short of G-d’s righteousness…

            The problematic heart of the matter is when mankind pretends “ethics” or “morality” can elevate us to the point of being acceptable to G-d and His standard of utter Holiness.
            _______________________

            G-d never opposes someone who does what is moral since it is a reflection of His perfect righteousness… but mankind’s moral behavior does not compel G-d to Judge that person righteous according to His standard of Holiness…

            … and in considering the Judgment before an Almighty G-d, certainly R. Yohanen ben Zakkai found no comfort in Orthodox theology on his deathbed.

            ________________________

            Your concepts demand more of a response and I plan to do so.

            In the meantime, a couple things to think about:
            [a] Isaiah 58:2- Take a look at what Rashi says about this passage.
            [b] Ecclesiastes 24:16- In context of the preceding verse, what does it mean to ‘fall’?

            ________________________

          • Alan says:

            Kavi,
            I am staying focused so I’m not going to answer your new questions right now, because they are distractions fom my simplest of questions.

            You think you are a tzadik (because Paul of Tarsus says that according to Tanakh a person like you is a tzadik).

            Kavi, are you (and Paul of Tarsus) using the words tzadik/tzadakah the way Tanakh uses them?

          • KAVI Doesn’t it strike you as odd that you consistently accuse Alan of working with a Talmudic template when Alan didn’t quote the Talmud once while you , who claim to be working with Tanach have nothing to support your fantasy but misunderstood quotations from rabbinic literature? Reminds me of Jesus accusing everyone of being sinners when it is his own slander that caused more bloodshed than we can count

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • RT says:

            Kavi, maybe you can answer that question:

            Is there any tzadik (righteous in the eye of G-d) that does not believe in Jesus (or the future messiah for those before Jesus time) except Adam and Eve before they sinned?

          • Alan says:

            RT,

            A person is born into this world INNOCENT and PURE FROM SIN – but not a TZADIK. A tzadik is someone who ACTS according to God’s LAWS – he/she lives a life of TZEDEK (justice – the state of being law abiding) and DOING TZEDAKAH (justice-love) to his fellow humans. A rasha (a wicked person) is someone who does not live according to God’s Laws, he does not fulfill his duties of tzedakah (justice-love) to his fellow humans.

            So Adam and Eve came into the world innocent and pure from all sin, but they were not yet tzaddikim until God taught them His laws. Once they were aware of God’s laws, they could then choose whether to DO His laws or whether to NOT DO them. When they chose to do God’s laws they were tzadikim. But they were not created tzadikim.

            Kavi, Paul of Tarsus and the rest of the NT teach that according to Hashem (and the Tanakh) a tzadik is ONLY someone who believes in the “Final Eternal Yom Kippur Sacrifice (Jesus)”. And Paul of Tarsus attempts to bring proof of this from Tanakh. His “proof” is one of the most ignorant “Torah lessons” I have ever seen. He takes the word tzedakah (in the verse about Abraham) which means an act of justice-love and teaches that it instead means innocent – that “believing” is an act of tzedakah which makes the person innocent. TZEDAKAH NEVER MEANS “INNOCENT OF SIN” IN ALL OF TANAKH. Paul of Tarsus told one of the biggest whoppers in human history.

          • Alan Mind-blowing clarity! Thank you!

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Alan says:

            Baruch tihiyeh (may you be blessed) Rabbi B! Thank you!

          • Alan says:

            I need to clarify something so that I do not leave anything out. I wrote that the primary meaning of tzadik in Tanakh is a person who does tzedakah and tzedek. When the word tzadik appears in Tanakh it has this meaning the overwhelming majority of times. There are a handful of times in Tanakh that the word tzadik does not have this meaning, but rather means someone who is on the right side of the law in a court case, just as the word rasha (wicked) is sometimes used in Tanakh to mean one who is on the wrong side of the law in a court case, e.g. “and they (the judges) vindicate the tzadik and find the rasha guilty” (Deut. 25:1). This verse is speaking about people who take their grievance to court.

            However, the word tzedakah only means justice or justice-love in every instance in Tanakh. It never means innocence, nor vindication, nor justification, nor “being right with G-d” as Paul of Tarsus and the NT teach us. This one NT teaching has pulled the wool over the eyes of people who don’t know Hebrew and has also killed the heart of the Torah, namely Hashem’s love of true righteousness which is the DOING OF TZEDAKAH.

          • Alan says:

            Correction to my last comment:

            I didn’t actually write that the primary meaning of tzadik is one who does tzedek/tzedakah; I wrote that this was the only meaning since I had forgotten that there was a secondary meaning. And I just learned that there is a tertiary meaning – in one place, according to my concordance, it means one who is correct (not always correct but correct in a particular circumstance). But the main point is the NT completely changes the real meaning of the word tzedakah to something it never meant before.

          • Dina says:

            Excellent research, Alan!

          • Alan says:

            Todah rabbah, Dina! (people can Google that)

          • KAVI says:

            Alan: “So Adam and Eve came into the world innocent and pure from all sin.”

            Kavi: …”pure from all sin”… Alan, are you going to say sin is righteous and reflects righteousness?

            Of course not… Adam/Chava were indeed pure from all sin as you say– hence, “righteous”.

            ____________________

            To know G-d is to know His characteristics are Echad…[Jeremiah 9]
            [] G-d is the Almighty Judge who Does Justice.
            [] G-d is the Righteous One who Does Righteousness.
            [] G-d is the Lovingly Kind One who Does Loving Kindness.

            By His nature, does G-d have the power to do evil? do an injustice? do an un-lovingly kind deed?

            No… For G-d, and To G-d, Justice, Righteousness, and Loving Kindness are inseparable… He is an Eternal, Echad L-RD.

            So again, by what part of His Being when He breathed life into mankind was there any injustice, unrighteousness, or lack of loving kindness?

            None… G-d made mankind in His image. He breathed into man life… and in that life are those inherent, eternal characteristics of His because there is no darkness nor deceit in Him.

            ____________________

            As such, in creating mankind the “state of being” of Adam/Chava’s eternal souls was that of justice, righteousness, and loving kindness… like Him, so we were.

            After sinning, G-d judged Adam/Chava not just… not righteous… and not loving…

            After sinning, Adam/Chava ceased from their “state of righteousness” and fell into a “state of lawlessness”.

            After sinning, there was no turning back– no teshuva, no sacrifice… mankind was unholy.

            Adam/Chava sinned… and they were cursed.
            “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.” [Genesis 2]

            G-d’s Judgment in Genesis is completely consistent as what He says in the Law,
            Cursed is he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.'” [Deuteronomy 27]

            …and repeated,
            “Thus says the L-RD, the G-d of Israel,
            Cursed is the man who does not heed the words of this covenant.'”
            [Jeremiah 11]

            ____________________

            Yet G-d gave mankind hope.

            G-d, without violating any of His characteristics, made a gracious way to judicially make mankind’s eternal soul righteous.

            This re-birthed “state of being” of the soul is exactly what L-RD Yeshua graciously did on behalf of mankind when He fulfilled eternal Yom Kippur.

            A Mighty G-d who freely yielded Himself up to die… much like a parent who does the same for their children…

            ____________________

            BTW> Your references to “tzedaka” in Tanach for Genesis 15:6 should be,
            Genesis 15:6, 18:19
            Deuteronomy 24:13
            2 Samuel 19:28
            Job 37:23
            Psalm 33:5, 106:3
            Proverbs 8:20, 11:18, 11:19, 12:28, 13:6, 14:34, 15:9, 16:31, 21:3, 21:21 (twice)
            Isaiah 10:22, 45:23, 56:1, 59:9, 59:17, 60:17, 61:10, 61:11,
            Isaiah 58:2 (where you should read Rashi’s commentary…)
            Jeremiah 33:15
            Amos 6:12
            Malachi 4:2

            Are you sure all these references, in context, mean what you want to say?
            ____________________

          • KAVI Instead of reading Rashi’s commentary on Isaiah 58 which is not relevant to the conversation why don’t you read the words of the prophet. God’s word has the power to set you free from your error. And God couldn’t give pure righteousness to Adam and Eve simply because His righteousness – like you explained is one with His being – and God didn’t create new God’s Furthermore – your interpretation on “in His image” is refuted by the fact that after the sin of Adam we are still spoken of as created in the image

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Alan says:

            Kavi,
            I will look at the Rashi later. But I thought you were against “clouding the issues with too much Jewish theology” to quote you? Is it or isn’t it ok to impose rabbinic sources on Tanakh?

            I am quite sure that every instance of the word tzadakah in Tanakh means an act of justice oe justice-love. If you disagree, please show me the verses.

            My question has nothing to do with Adam and Eve. I only mentioned them to correct something you said about them.

            My only question is why does Paul of Tarsus use the word tzedakah from the verse in Genesis to mean “innocence/vindication/right and pure before God” when this is never the meaning of this word in the hundreds of times it appears in Tanakh? Can you address this question?

          • Alan says:

            Ok, here’s the Rashi on Isaiah 58:2 –
            “כגוי אשר צדקה עשה וגו’ – “כך שואלים אותי תמיד משפט צדק, ואין דעתם לקיימם’

            On the words “like a nation who did tzedakah and the judgement of its God they have not forsaken; they ask Me about laws of tzedek; they desire nearness to God”, Rashi says, “Like this, the continually ask me just judgement (judgement of tzedek) but they do not intend to fulfill them”.

            Kavi, first of all you’re bringing rabbinic midrashim into our discussion which you asked me not to do. Second, what are you trying to show me with this Rashi?

          • Alan says:

            “BTW> Your references to “tzedaka” in Tanach for Genesis 15:6 should be,
            Genesis 15:6, 18:19
            Deuteronomy 24:13
            2 Samuel 19:28
            Job 37:23
            Psalm 33:5, 106:3
            Proverbs 8:20, 11:18, 11:19, 12:28, 13:6, 14:34, 15:9, 16:31, 21:3, 21:21 (twice)
            Isaiah 10:22, 45:23, 56:1, 59:9, 59:17, 60:17, 61:10, 61:11,
            Isaiah 58:2 (where you should read Rashi’s commentary…)
            Jeremiah 33:15
            Amos 6:12
            Malachi 4:2

            Are you sure all these references, in context, mean what you want to say?”

            I looked at all of the above references and every single time the word tzedakah appears in these verses it means justice/justice-love – it never means innocence/vindication/justification/sinlessness/purity/holiness/rightness with God.

            It seems to me the English translation of the word tzedakah as “righteousness” is a main cause of all of this confusion. In Jewish talk, the English word righteousness means justice/justice-love. But thanks to Christianity, the English word righteousness has come to instead mean innocence before God. Many English translations of Tanakh translate tzedakah as righteousness instead of justice. But I am telling you that what they mean by righteousness is justice not innocence/purity/holiness.

          • Dina says:

            Kavi wrote:

            “By His nature, does G-d have the power to do evil? do an injustice? do an un-lovingly kind deed?

            “No… For G-d, and To G-d, Justice, Righteousness, and Loving Kindness are inseparable… He is an Eternal, Echad L-RD.”

            Well, then, what do you make of this:

            Isaiah 45:7: Who forms light and creates darkness, Who makes peace and creates evil; I am the Lord, Who makes all these.

            I would like everyone to please note that Kavi has not addressed two major challenges:

            1. Alan’s challenge on the Tanach’s definition of tzadik.
            2. My challenge that what Kavi calls the “modern rabbinic teshuva theory” is neither modern, rabbinic, nor a theory but taught outright in Tanach. Kavi has completely ignored this challenge repeatedly, but here are the sources again:

            Genesis 4:7; Deuteronomy 30; Ezekiel 18 and 33; 1 Kings 8:46-52; Hosea 14:2

            Kavi doesn’t have a leg to stand on because the Torah teaches against his avodah zarah. If he could find clear teachings to support his corrupt and twisted theology he would have cited them by now.

          • KAVI says:

            Alan: Kavi, first of all you’re bringing rabbinic midrashim into our discussion which you asked me not to do.

            Kavi: I’m curious to know when I asked you not to speak of midrashim? Even I spoke of the Pirke De-Rabbi Eli’ezer in relation to Genesis and, as I remember, I also brought up Midrash Rabbah in our conversation about Psalm 41…
            ________________________

          • Dina says:

            Of course ignoring Alan’s main points and my challenge…

          • Alan says:

            Alan: Are you, Kavi, a tzadik (a righteous man)?

            Kavi: “Tzadik” according to Talmud/Rambam or Tanya?

            Neither… again, too much Jewish theology clouds the issue.
            —-
            Alan: I’ll ask as simply as possible – Are you today a righteous man* according to Tanakh?

            Kavi: And it is not “simple”… particularly if your worldview encapsulates “tzadik” according the interpretations of Talmud or Tanya.

            Moreover, going beyond Judaism and Messianics, what of other faiths of nations who have their own definitions and traditions of “righteous men/women”?
            ___________________

          • KAVI says:

            Alan,
            … and where did I “forbid” you anything?

            I myself refused to be tied to rabbinic theology because it strays far, far from the truthful reality of G-d…

            _____________________

          • Alan says:

            You refused to answer my question because you wrongly assumed that I was asking about the rabbinic definition of tzadik (when in reality I told you that I was only asking about the plain meaning of the word in Tanakh).

          • Dina says:

            Kavi, where did Alan say you “forbid” him to do anything? Using quotation marks means you are quoting Alan’s words directly. Where did Alan use the word “forbid” regarding your wish that he not discuss rabbinic definitions?

            Alan showed you where you said that you weren’t interested in rabbinic definitions, so he brought you definitions from Tanach that are so clear you can’t get any more clear. Yet you want to quibble on distractions and refuse to refute this definition using Scripture. Why is that, I wonder?

            And why have you not answered my challenge where I showed you in Scripture that your modern rabbinic teshuva theory is neither modern, rabbinic, nor a theory?

          • KAVI says:

            Alan: “You refused to answer my question because you wrongly assumed that I was asking about the rabbinic definition of tzadik (when in reality I told you that I was only asking about the plain meaning of the word in Tanakh).”

            Kavi: Partially correct…I would not prepare an answer based on rabbinic definitions of tzadik [which I held true to that notion].

            …yet, I never “forbade” you to do anything… I not quite sure I ever have to anyone.

            …in fact, I freely said to RT, “Since you seek and are pleased with the modern Rabbinic theory of teshuva– then by all means go and live it out… I will not deny you your prerogative!”

            I freely support free speech…
            ________________________

          • Alan says:

            Kavi,
            Let’s just drop the rabbinic sources. I’ll stick to the plain meaning of Tanakh if you also agree to do so. This means you can’t use Rashi to explain a verse to me, ok?

          • KAVI says:

            Alan: “In Jewish talk, the English word righteousness means justice/justice-love.”

            Kavi: So, when we find in these Scriptures we spoke of “two” different Hebrew words for “justice” and “righteousness”, we’re to believe they mean the same thing?

            [For example, Genesis 18:19, Job 37:23, Psalm 33:5, Proverbs 21:3, Isaiah 56:1, Jeremiah 33:15, etc]

            “The L-RD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.”
            [Psalm 33:5]

            or,
            “How blessed are those who keep justice, Who practice righteousness at all times! [Psalm 106:3]

            ____________________

          • Alan says:

            Kavi,
            Here are some definitions-

            Tzedek – justice; the practice of making sure our fellow human beings receive and get to keep what is rightfully theirs according to the laws of God
            Tzadakah – justice-love or benevolence as a duty
            Tzadik – 1). one who does tzedek and tzedakah; one who is law-abiding; 2). one who is on the right side of the law in a court case; 3). one who is correct or right in a particular circumstance
            Mishpat – from the word shofet (a judge); the law handed down by a court and accepted by the litigants or by an entire society. It can be a man-made law or a divine law.

            The word tzedakah never ever means innocent or pure or holy or clean or vindicated or justified.
            Kadosh means holy.
            Tahor means pure.
            Naki means clean.
            Lehatzdik means to vindicate or to justify (it has the same root as the word tzedek).
            Mutzdak means vindicated or justified (same root as the word tzedek).

            Tzedakah is the PERFORMANCE of BENEVOLENCE AS A DUTY. It never ever has the connotation of innocence/clean/pure/holy. Look at these verses and tell me if you think it makes sense that God is telling us to DO INNOCENCE, to DO PURITY, to DO HOLINESS. God is telling us to DO JUSTICE and JUSTICE-LOVE.

            https://judaismresources.net/2017/07/06/forgive-them-father-by-jim/#comment-38009

          • Dina says:

            Alan, you already gave him the definition of tzadik and tzedakah according to Tanach and supported your definition exhaustively with crystal clear verses. Kavi is clearly not listening.

          • Alan says:

            I’m hoping that a pinprick is opening in his ears.

          • Alan says:

            For the glossary –

            Correction to Naki – in addition to meaning clean (not dirty) it is also used in Tanakh to mean innocent or guiltless.

            Kedusha means holiness.
            Taharah means purity.
            Nekiut means cleanliness or innocence.

        • Dina says:

          Kavi, it is as pointless talking to you as it is talking to Bibs, but for the sake of the audience I feel compelled to point out that the “modern rabbinic teshuva theory” is neither modern, rabbinic, nor theory but taught openly in Hebrew Scripture.

          See Genesis 4:7; Deuteronomy 30; Ezekiel 18 and 33; 1 Kings 8:46-52; Hosea 14:2

          In contrast, nowhere does the Torah teach that the blood of a righteous man is required for eternal forgiveness (whatever that means–I mean, let’s face it, Christians also sin). In fact, human sacrifice is unequivocally forbidden.

          Folks, who’s making more sense here, Kavi or the Jewish people?

        • RT says:

          On the contrary, David understood Moses and his writings about the future, suffering Kinsman Redeemer.

          Where could David see the suffering Kinsman Redeemer? Point me one scripture that shows that, that David could have used! Only one, but remember that Isaiah was written way after David.

          Good luck!

          • KAVI says:

            RT,
            I have already spoken quite a bit about the Scripture which you and others can certainly argue against, but cannot “prove” to be false.

            Since you seek and are pleased with the modern Rabbinic theory of teshuva– then by all means go and live it out… I will not deny you your prerogative!

            But for those who are seeking an eternal G-d and His Way of eternal righteousness, they can find it in G-d’s eternal Yom Kippur fulfilled by L-RD Yeshua.

            The very real concepts of blood and redemption and faith are all rooted in the opening pages of Tanakh…

            On the other hand, as to my questions…
            [1] Where did G-d make a covenant in blood confirming this modern teshuva theory at Mt. Sinai?
            [2] Where is the logic, any logic, for instituting a sacrificial system if teshuva was what G-d wanted Adam/Chava to do?

            …until you find an Orthodox answer based on Tanakh… you have nothing.

            ______________________

        • KAVI Psalm 103 clearly describes David’s understanding of forgiveness from sin and God’s eternal kindness. David forgot to mention anything about a sacrifice, I wonder why? Psalm 44 also makes clear that human beings can observe God’s covenant and no human being is perfect.

          1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

        • Jim says:

          Kavi,

          The Torah is not your plaything. It is not right for you to misrepresent its teachings the way you do. It is not right for you to substitute your own teachings for those of HaShem. It is not right that you push into the text what cannot be found there and to brazenly insist that your own doctrines are those of the Most High. Such shamelessness!

          You write, for example, that God established blood sacrifices from the days of Adam and Chava. This is just not true. The first blood sacrifice does not appear in Genesis 3 as you assert, either. No sacrifice whatever appears in Genesis 3. Moreover, in the whole of Genesis, I do not believe that one sacrifice was brought in response to sin. Nor was one commanded.

          Perhaps you would assert that Gen. 3:21 is a sacrifice. I have heard other Christians assert this. But, of course, this is not true. The verse gives no indication of a sacrifice. It does not even mention that most important ingredient of Christian sacrifice: blood. It reads: “And the Lord God made garments of skin for the man and for his wife, and clothed them.” The Christian that makes this out to be a sacrifice is giving an egregious example of eisegesis. Or do you have a different verse in mind when you write that the first blood sacrifice appears in Genesis 3? As I look over the chapter, I see no such verse. Not a sacrifice. Not a command to bring a sacrifice.

          And no kinsman redeemer. You force that upon the passage, too. What is clear when you assert that something is in this passage or that passage, and it does not exist, is that you have no clear statements teaching Church doctrine. If you did, you would merely refer us to those passages. You would not look for a verse where, if one squints hard enough and makes up his mind to see a teaching in the passage, then he will be able to put it in there. You would not rely upon types and shadows; you would rely upon something solid.

          This is made clear when you make the mere assertion that David placed his faith in a suffering redeemer. You do not present a teaching from him on this matter. To the contrary, you reach back to your misrepresentation of Genesis 3 and pretend to us that this was David’s understanding as well. But of course, in Psalm 32, he gives no such indication. When he writes, “Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, etc.” he does not go on to discuss that the reason for such forgiveness is the sacrifice of a kinsman redeemer or man-god or any such thing. He says nothing of the human Yom Kippur sacrifice that you assert is his belief. What he does write is that one must acknowledge his wrongdoing. Strangely, you do not find it relevant when he writes: “Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Ps. 32:5). Nevermind; it is not that strange after all. It does not fit your doctrine.

          When you attempt to make David’s hope to be in Jesus, you have to hunt carefully through the scriptures to find a hint. You have to take a verse here, out of context, and a verse there, misrepresented, and impose a new meaning upon them. One reason for this is because the Christian expectation of a dying Messiah in anachronistic when applied to David. Jesus’ disciples found the idea shocking. Christians admit that Jews were looking for a king, not a human sacrifice. The concept was foreign to the Jewish world at the time of Jesus. It certainly was not the view of the Jewish world hundreds of years before. It was not David’s view. Please stop putting your words into the mouths of others.

          Jim

          • RT says:

            Good Point!

          • KAVI says:

            Jim,
            Adam/Chava decided to make their own way back to righteousness and covered the shame of their sin by sewing together fig leaves.

            G-d was not impressed…instead, an animal’s blood was spilled as an example of the sacrifice necessary to come before the Almighty.
            ____________________

            Abel faithfully obeyed G-d by preparing a sacrifice where blood was shed.

            Abel’s sacrifice was accepted…

            Cain did not obey G-d’s pattern and shed no blood in preparing his sacrifice [much like the “fig leaves” of his parents].

            Cain’s sacrifice was not accepted by G-d…

            ____________________

        • Alan says:

          Kavi,
          Do you think you are a tzadik?

          • KAVI says:

            Alan,
            Before shabbos today, I will provide a response to your question regarding “tzadik gamur” that was posed yesterday.

            ______________________

        • Alan says:

          Proverbs 21-
          3 TO DO righteousness and justice is choicer to the LORD than sacrifice.
          15 TO DO justly is joy to the righteous, but ruin to the workers of iniquity.

          DOING RIGHTEOUSNESS KAVI IS THE MAIN THING.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Kavi, if you don’t believe Alan that to do good is choicier to G-d, then listen to Paul.

            1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

            5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”a 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.

            12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

            The Jews and the Law

            17 Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; 18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19 if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”b

            25 Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. 26 So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27 The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.

            28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.

            When Paul condemned “works of the law” it was not the commandments themselves that he was condemning.

            “works of the law” for Paul means the identity markers of covenant membership and a given groups stringency of observance which these groups regard as essential.

            For instance, Sadducees observed the Torah’s commands according to their interpretation, and they boasted of their superiority to the Pharisees (who also observed the commands in accord with their interpretation.)

            Both groups boasted against each other that their interpretation of how to carry out a given command was superior to the other.

            IE a Sadducee might say to a Pharisee

            “my kosher slaughter is better and more stringent than yours.”

            A Pharisee might say

            “my method of calculating the calendar is superior to yours.”

            The dead sea sectarians in the scroll 4QMMT taught “our works of the law about how to perform sacrifices are better and more stringent than yours.”

            All these groups might say to a gentile G-d fearer that “our service is better than yours because we observe more commands than you do.”

            Paul of Tarsus tried (and through the later Church failed) to teach that G-d loves Jew and gentile equally from where they are (at their level) in their service of G-d.

            1 Corinthians 7:18-19 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised.Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts.

            Paul does not teach not to do, he teaches that doing is not grounds to boast.

  3. Eleazar says:

    RT wrote: “Alan, I doubt that is how Kavi think. He might say it like that, but his ways are craftier than that.. You and I are doomed to hell. We CANNOT be tzadick or righteous. He think that your good deeds and righteousness are like filthy rags. The only one that are righteous are the follower of Jesus and those who trusted that the messiah would come and die for their sins.”

    I agree 100% with your entire post. I saw through the language as well. You nailed it.

      • Dina says:

        I wonder why Christians like Kavi think God is loving and just. He sounds like a petty, vindictive and truly insane god according to their rendition.

        Imagine a father who says to his child, “If you do exactly and perfectly as you’re told all the time, I will take to a ball game and dinner. If you make one wrong move, I will beat you black and blue and break every bone in your body.”

        You would call social services on such a father because he’s deranged and dysfunctional! Yet basically this is how Christians see the God of the Hebrew Bible. They see him telling us that if we keep all his laws perfectly we will be rewarded, but if we make one false move, we will receive the worst possible punishment.

        And because this God that they picture is so deranged, they had to invent a savior to save people from him, basically.

        • Dina says:

          It’s even worse than that. Imagine if a father were to tell his child, “If you do exactly and perfectly as you’re told all the time, it makes no difference because everything you do is worthless and disgusting. But since I’m a nice father, I will reward you and I I will take to a ball game and dinner. But if you make one wrong move, I will beat you black and blue and break every bone in your body.”

  4. Jim says:

    A parable:

    In Whatahatchee, TN, a fat camp called Ohbee City runs every year for adults. The participants are weighed twice, once at the beginning of camp and once at the end, at which time a prize is awarded to the camper that lost the most weight, a trip to New York. One year, saw two men of different temperaments arrive.

    John was less interested in the trip to New York than he was about improving his life. He realized it was unhealthy for him to maintain the diet of fatty and sugary foods he enjoyed so much and to go without exercise. He realized also that it was intemperate of him to live a life devoted to his appetite. He came to Ohbee City with a desire to make new habits, ready to reform both his diet and lifestyle.

    Paul, on the other hand, was extremely focused on winning the trip to New York. He knew that his lifestyle contributed to his being overweight, but he also believed that this was part of his nature. He believed it was more important to have a good attitude than to change one’s habits. It was more important for him to feel skinny than to give up doughnuts and take up jogging. He devoted himself to reading the book “Skinny on the Inside” by the Fat Guru.

    Over the course of the month, Paul tried to teach John the teachings of the Fat Guru. He told John that it was more important to feel fit than be fit. He spoke of how his heart had been changed by the teachings of the Fat Guru, and that even though he still ate too many doughnuts and exercised too infrequently, he knew the judges would award him the trip to New York. He told John that one could never change his nature, except through the aid of the Fat Guru, and that John would always be overweight and unhealthy.

    But John was not interested in the teachings of Paul. He knew what he had done to contribute to his condition. And he knew what he needed to change to live a healthier life. He studied dietary books to determine which foods contributed best to his health. He exercised and changed his diet.

    As the date of the final weigh-in came closer, John was nervous. He wondered if he’d done enough to see real results. He wondered if he could not have worked a little harder. What if he had not lost any weight? He did not wish to appear foolish before the camp staff.

    Paul, on the other hand, just laughed at John. He said that John’s problem was that he thought he could become fit by changing his lifestyle. Paul was certain that his devotion to the Fat Guru would carry him through the day. He knew that he would win the prize, because his fitness was not based on his own hard work or merit. He had a sure knowledge that he was skinny on the inside.

    When the final day came, Paul found himself sorely disappointed. His assertions that he could be fit without the necessary work proved to be unfounded. He had hardly lost anything. His certitude that he was skinny on the inside had no effect on the scale. John on the other hand, though nervous when he stepped on the scale, was pleasantly surprised to see that he had lost more than he realized. On top of that, he was going to New York.

    Jim

    • Dina says:

      A masterful analogy from the Master of Analogies!

      –Member, MAS

    • Alan says:

      Ah! Now that’s a parable if there ever was one! This is so geshmak Jim! (people can google if they want)

      Psalm 23:4-
      Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

      Psalm 27:14 –
      Hope to Hashem; be strong, and let your heart take courage; and hope to Hashem.

      Psalm 121 –
      5 Hashem is your keeper; Hashem is your shade upon your right hand.
      6 The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.
      7 Hashem shall keep you from all evil; He shall keep your soul.
      8 Hashem shall guard your going out and your coming in, from this time forth and for ever.

    • Alan says:

      Jim,
      You must never have been to NY before! Paul should go to NY which is similar to a very hot Lake if you know what I mean. And John should go to Colorado or Maine.

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 )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s