Did Dr. Brown Misrepresent History?

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15 Responses to Did Dr. Brown Misrepresent History?

  1. Dina says:

    Too true, too true…

  2. Concerned Reader says:

    Very good video rabbi B.

  3. My phariseefriend! Why didn’t you put your face on the video clip? It was your lecture, not Dr. Brown’s. I might have skipped this good video because the cover face on the clip looked like saying, “Freeze! and listen, i’m LAPD.”

    As i played the video, someone appeared, saying like, “i have something to tell you and would you like to take time to reason with me? i’m NYCD (counselling department).”
    What am I talking about? I just want to say that i like your face better.

    Anyway, your testimony of your experience in yeshiva of never having lessons about Jesus or Christianity while the NT has so many lessons about Judaism and Israel is very powerful and convincing. Let me comment a couple of things in your presentation.

    You said, “the Gospel of John teaches that the Jewish rejection to Jesus is because they are the children of darkness,” You might say like that, but there is a verse that clearly reveals the authentic reason: John 12:39-41
    “Therefore they COULD NOT believe, because that Esaias said again,
    He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
    These things said Esaias, when he saw his GLORY, and spake of him.”

    John is not blaming the Jews; you see? they COULD NOT believe because it was God who blinded and hardened. Yeshua taught in parable in order for the Jews not to understand the secrets of the Kingdom. Why? Simple reason is this: they would treat him as a heretic and deliver him to the crucifixion.

    The apostle Paul explains: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
    Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of GLORY. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:7-9

    • Gean Guk Jeon And is John 3:19-21 not the “true” message? Or John 8:44?

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • Brother, i believe both are true. The gospel of John may seem to be anti semitic but truth is the very opposite. If you bring any verse on the table, i could discuss with you.

        The gospel of John is a unique book which needs a different lens to see the message. Same lens for the Synoptic gospels does not work for John’s gospel.

        The first verse of John 1:1 becomes the backbone of the whole book; the Logos theology permeates throughout what Yeshua has said and done. John 3:19-21 is not an exception. Light is the word of God! Yeshua is talking about himself as the word of God, not as the Jewish carpenter in early 30s.

        Both the Jews in that time and we of today often miss the intention of John. In order to understand 8:44, we gotta start with 8:30 which says “Even as he spoke, many put their faith in HIM” WOOPS! THAT WAS NOT YESHUA’S INTENTION! since John chapter 8 is already toward the third passover during Yeshua’s ministry, he had to headstart hardening the hearts of the Jews so that he would be rejected and delivered by them to the crcifixion.
        However, manyJews put their faith in HIM! — Now, to the Jews who believed HIM, Yeshua directs their admiration to other. He directs it to his TEACHING (TRUTH: THE WORD OF GOD) in 8:31~32. What happened at the end? “They picked up stones to stone him”(8:59) This was Yeshua’s intention: the hardening of the Jews as Isaiah 6:9-10 prophesied.

        8:44 doesn’t say that the Jews are children of devil. Why? If he really meant it, Peter must be Satan (Mt 16:23). Yeshua is not talking about themselves. He is talking about Their words and thoughts are from (or on the side of) devil. NIV translated “you belong to your father, the devil” i believe this is a great mistake. The Greek text says literally “you from the father the devil.” In other words, they are lying; they speak not from truth but from devil which is the father of liar. Why? They said they are Abraham’s descendents and have never been slaves of anyone (v.33) is this true? No. They once have been slaves in Egypt and now under occupation of Roman empire and also slaves to sin!

        They said “Abraham is our father”(v.39)
        And also said “the only father we have is God himself”(v.41b) Are they speaking out of two sides of mouth?

        When we read between the lines of John, we must focus on the WORDS of Yeshua and the words of Jews rather than on Yeshua himself or Jews themselves.
        I hope this helps.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          Gean, a clear message from a clear head doesn’t require a person to read between the lines.

          John’s gospel “appears to be” Anti Semitic because it contains all the misrepresentation of Jews within it to make people mistrust the Jews. IE it is antisemitic.

          If we cant read John for what John simply says, what the heck is the point of the book? I know the book has a historical context, that you don’t have to read it in an antisemitic way, but the book lends itself to antisemitic readings without much work, and that is the whole problem with the book.

          Was John incapable of giving us his interpretation of logos theology without bashing the Jews?

          They said “Abraham is our father”(v.39)
          And also said “the only father we have is God himself”(v.41b) Are they speaking out of two sides of mouth?

          You just accused John’s hypothetical Jews of double talk. Does the book not work without this? Did John need to write that way? Did he need to interact with his theological opponents this way?

          Think that through carefully. Rather than excuse John’s gospel as a mysterious text that needs certain lenses, maybe you should be asking why the author couldn’t say what he needed to say without accusation.

          • Dina says:

            Where do Jews say the only father we have is God? Prove that the Jews have such a theology. Abraham is our father literally and God is our Father metaphorically.

  4. Your parable of school X and school Y is also thought provoking in a good sense!
    School X (Xristianity) is turning back on the track, cofessing that they have been blinded to the importance of Heart (Israel and Torah) and repenting before the followers of School Y (Yisroel?).
    I strongly believe that not only the Jews but also Christians are blinded to the things God has prepared for us who love HIM. (1 Cor. 2:9)

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Gean, once again, you missed the point of what the rabbi said.

      The fact that the New Testament book of John claims that G-d blinded or hardened the people is the whole problem.

      If we ask the question “on the whole does G-d harden the heart of righteous, or of wicked men in scripture?”

      The answer you would get is that in Torah,
      G-d hardens a wicked heart. He doesnt make the righteous to stumble, or hearden a righteous man.

      The only other time Torah says that G-d hardened a heart, it was the Pharoah’s heart.

      Do you get the feeling that Pharoah was a good guy who you (as a believer) should have an equal or measured conversation with or emulate?

      Isnt it more likely that Pharoah is seen as a bad guy by most people who read scripture? Isnt it likely that you would think “dont be like the Egyptians?”

      Whatever YOU BELIEVE the intent of John’s gospel author was is not relevant.

      The author of that book portrayed the Jews as blind, disobedient. Self seeking, and as wicked IN MANY INSTANCES.

      ONE VERSE DOESNT UNDER CUT THAT OVERALL MESSAGE!

      If you have to look at one verse and say “Aha! See what the “true” intent was?” Its manifestly clear that the plain intent of the author was the opposite.

      Ask yourself honestly, did the early Christians let the plain meaning of the Torah teach them?

      Or did they let the words of their master Jesus carry more weight than the Torah’s plain teaching?

      Judging by the apostles own words, Jesus had to “open their eyes to the scriptures.” IE what Torah says plainly was not enough to point to Jesus, he had to offer secret sauce interpretations to make his students see.

      Remember your history. Even during the days of Paul, in his epistles, Paul drew distinctions between a law oriented gospel, and an observance free one that he taught for the gentiles.

      Paul did not see teaching Jewish observances to gentiles as an asset, or as important, but as a hinderance to the non Jew’s spiritual development.

      Paul wanted his Churches to know grace, not theTorah law, or the Jewish religion. Torah observance among Christians died by the start of the 4th century.

      As a direct result of gospel teaching, Christians have never saught to have an equal discussion of what Jewish religion means to Jews themselves as they practice it.

      Saying that G-d closed Israel’s eyes, is the 1st step to plugging the ears to what Jews actually have to say about their own beliefs.

      • Brother CR, did you say, “ONE VERSE DOESNT UNDER CUT THAT OVERALL MESSAGE!”?
        God’s hardening of the ears and hearts of His people in Isaiah 6:9-10 is
        THE MOST FREQUENTLY QUOTED VERSE OF TANAKH IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
        and the latter part of Yeshua’s ministry is filled with this secret task if you look carefully with an open mind! That’s why Mark 4:13 claims that this parable of the sower which is the direct fulfilment of Isaiah 6:9-10 (Mt 13:14) IS THE BASIC 101 PARABLE FOR THE WHOLE PARABLES OF YESHUA! The key to understand the overall message of the N.T. is found in this one verse of Isaiah.

        • RT says:

          Gean, if you would read Isaiah in context, you would realize that this prophecy was already fulfilled during the first exile. Jesus took that verse totally out of context for his own purpose. That’s call deceit! How do I know that? Because of the answer on Isaiah 6:11…

          Then I said, “For how long, Lord?”

          And he answered:

          “Until the cities lie ruined
          and without inhabitant,
          until the houses are left deserted
          and the fields ruined and ravaged,

          until the Lord has sent everyone far away
          and the land is utterly forsaken.

          When were the cities ruined and without inhabitants? At the first exile.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          Gean, to be blunt, I don’t care 1 iota if that is the most quoted verse in the New Testament. The New Testament claims the Torah as the source of its authority, so it must fit the overall message of the Torah. If it does not, then nobody is obligated to believe in it.

          As RT said, that verse in context refers to the 1st exile. John using it, or for you to use it to excuse the author calling the Jews blind is not good.

          Why don’t you respond to the actual points of issue that I raised? I even compared the gospel of John’s usage of this concept to that of another second temple group for you to reference.

          John doesn’t call Jews blind in order to tell them how to be better Jews in the eyes of the Torah, he calls them blind because they wont accept John’s theological formulae about Jesus, and that is an immense difference.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Gean, repentance means to turn. To turn away from the bad behavior that one used to do, and to act with mended behavior.

      The Church has not really repented, it has reinterpreted. The Church has not confessed wrongdoing, it has merely said “Oh, ok, so Torah is sort of important, but Jesus is still central to proper spiritual expression.”

      That’s not Teshuva.

      You said:

      “Light is the word of God! Yeshua is talking about himself as the word of God, not as the Jewish carpenter in early 30s.”

      Christian commentaries disagree with you here. Jesus and the Logos are one person, the reflection of G-d’s being. To say that the Logos is not the carpenter from the 30s is to misinterpret John’s entire gospel.

      Texts that apply only to G-d in Tanakh are applied to Jesus by New Testament authors. You are going against the stream of the book if you want to say that personal acceptance of Jesus is not the author’s intent.

      “Both the Jews in that time and we of today often miss the intention of John. In order to understand 8:44, we gotta start with 8:30 which says “Even as he spoke, many put their faith in HIM” WOOPS! THAT WAS NOT YESHUA’S INTENTION!”

      If the original hearers of John in that time could not understand what he plainly told them, in a book that those original hearers transmitted to us, why should a later reader’s interpretation carry more weight?

  5. Concerned Reader says:

    Gean, I’m not sure if you are aware that John’s gospel is written in a style of ancient Greek biography in the tradition of Greek Rhetoric.

    Rhetoric does not care about the facts as they are on the ground, but cares mainly about persuasion by any means possible. In Greek rhetoric the objective is to make your opponents look as dumb as possible, and to make your position appear as the most logically sound.

    So, John’s descriptions of “the Jews” fit squarely within that rhetorical tradition. In the gospel, notice that the only “wisdom” comes out of Jesus’ mouth, while the disciples, and the Jews as a whole are treated by the author of the book as the foolish people who “just don’t get it.”

    This may have been a common form of writing in the 1st century among Romans, in the tradition of Roman and Greek rhetoric, but its not a Jewish way to write a book.

    For example, here is a contrast in the form of another debate between Jews.

    if you read the Dead Sea Scroll document 4qmmt, its clear that the sectarians at Qumran don’t agree with other Jews, especially not with the priests in Jerusalem. The people at Qumran even call the temple priests, “those of the lot of Belial” IE a second temple near equivalent of “the devil.”

    Seems similar to the New Testament right?

    HOWEVER, the sectarians argue with the other Jews with their legal opinions, and with their interpretations of the law. THEY LET THEIR HALACHA SPEAK, NOT THEIR OPINION OF ANOTHER JEW’S CHARACTER.

    The New Testament by contrast handles ALL OF ITS theological opponents (both Jewish and other Christian opponents) with character assassination.

    When Paul is speaking against Judaizers for example, he makes it a personal fight. He doesn’t look to the law dispassionately and say “Torah agrees with me.”

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