A brief word of caution before you begin reading. I will be speaking ill of Christianity and its founder. I will not mince my words; stop here if you don’t want to go there.
I will make another introductory statement. I recognize full well that Christians have done much good for mankind and that Christianity has incorporated much that is holy. I recognize also that throughout history and until today there were many truly righteous Christians; sincere men and women whose lives reflected sheer Godliness. I do not deny these facts and I cannot deny them. I will however remind you that the tree that brought death to this world was not the tree of evil. It was the tree of good and evil. It is the mixture of good and evil that is so deadly. Yes; there is good in Christianity, and yes; many people have built their lives on that good and have lit up the world with righteousness. But so many more have focused on the evil side of Christianity and filled the world with pain, darkness and death. It is that evil side of Christianity to which I draw your attention in these paragraphs.
One final introductory statement before I begin. I am a Jew and I speak as a Jew. My religious background gives me a unique perspective of Christianity. I look at Christianity from the vantage point of a belief system that Christianity cannot disavow. All of the theological claims of Christianity stand on the basis of the revelation that was first granted to the Jewish people. But that same revelation contradicts everything that Christianity has introduced into the thought process of humanity. For 2000 years the Church has attempted to shut the mouth of the Jew who would dare expose her fault-lines. The time has come to end that silence.
The most prized possession of mankind is the truth. Truth is also the most powerful possession of humanity. Truth is virtually indestructible. Mighty empires have fallen because they ran afoul of one universal truth or another. Truth cannot be destroyed, but it can be manipulated and exploited for the advancement of falsehood.
There are several ways that falsehood can take advantage of truth. By combining falsehood with truth and presenting the mixture as pure unadulterated truth, falsehood can then enjoy the popularity and credibility of truth. By associating oneself with a particular truth a teacher of falsehood can attempt to take the credit as the originator of that truth. And by presenting a distorted version of the truth, an institution of lies can attempt to set itself up as the sole distributor of truth.
This then is the modus operandi of Christianity; it has exploited the truth for the advancement of the lie. This institution and her teachers have taken certain universal truths and combined them with some of her own teachings. The spread of this mixture was accelerated because of the truth it contains. The Church has enjoyed the credibility associated with these truths because people failed to discern between that which is originally Christian and that which is the true possession of all mankind. Christianity has also falsely claimed to be the originator of certain truths that do not belong to her. And finally and most seriously, the Church has set herself up as the sole distributor of truths that belong to everyone.
We shall examine several basic truths associated with Christianity and we intend to expose how she has exploited them for her advantage. These are; the universal principles of justice and charity, the inherent Godliness of man, the testimony of the Jewish nation, the Jewish Scriptures, the Messianic hope and the relationship that man shares with God. These truths are the most precious possessions of mankind, they belong to everybody. But the Church has distorted these truths so that millions were misled to believe that they can only be acquired at her altar.
The Universal Principles of Justice and Charity
The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3 – 7:27) is perhaps one of the most famous teachings of Christianity. In this Sermon, Jesus presents some basic and beautiful truths. The basic principles of morality, justice and kindness are articulated in this teaching clearly and concisely. But if you step back and look at the literary structure of the book of Matthew, the Sermon on the Mount takes on a different character entirely.
The underlying theme of the book of Matthew (and Christianity as a whole) is the exaltation of Jesus and the emphasis of humanity’s “need” for Jesus. The author of the book of Matthew presents the Sermon on the Mount not so much as a teaching on how to live a moral life but as an argument for the superiority of Jesus. Immediately after the Sermon (Matthew7:28,29) the author tells us how the crowds were amazed at the teaching; not because of the beauty of the truths they contained, but because Jesus spoke with incomparable “authority”. Key segments of the Sermon are introduced with the phrase: “You have heard that it was said to them of old time” and contrasted with “But I (Jesus) say to you”. This literary device accentuates the fictitious notion that Jesus is the originator of these universal truths and that they were unknown to mankind until Jesus uttered them to his audience.
But this is false. These universal principles of justice and charity were planted by the Creator into the heart of every man and woman; they belong to all of us. Every one of us is sensitive to an injustice that we suffer at the hands of another. We are all acutely aware that injustice is wrong and evil when we find ourselves at the receiving end of an injustice. This is the guide that our Creator gave us all to teach us these universal principles. Every civilization has produced individuals who have brought greater clarity to these universal principles through the lives they lived and through the words they uttered. Clarifying and articulating these universal principles is good and Godly; falsely claiming to be the originator of these universal principles is not.
The Inherent Godliness of Mankind
Man was created in the image of God. Even after Adam’s fall, the Bible still points to this basic truth as the underlying basis for the prohibition against murder (Genesis 9:6). This Biblical truth has many ramifications not least of which is the fact that every human being is inherently capable of living a Godly life. The capability for righteousness is an integral part of every human soul.
Christianity has set itself up in opposition to this truth but at the same time it has exploited this truth in a deep and insidious way.
Christianity contends that man is inherently evil. The Church theologians have emphasized Biblical passages that speak of man’s proclivity towards evil and of the fallibility of humanity. The teachers of Christianity have highlighted the negative side of the history of man, the wars, the cruelty and the immorality in order to establish her teaching that man is bad. According to the Church, it is only acceptance of Jesus into one’s heart that can alter this sorry state of affairs. Christianity asserts that man is evil until he bends his heart towards Jesus. Faith in Jesus, it is taught, generates a “new birth” that produces a “new person” who is now inherently inclined towards righteousness and holiness.
This false teaching affects the Christian mind in two different areas; in the way Christians view non-Christians and in the way Christians view themselves.
One who believes the Church teaching on the inherent evil of man will find it difficult to acknowledge any goodness in non-Christians (or in Christians who are defined as heretical). After all, these people were never “born again” so how could they be Godly? In the more extreme forms of this world-view, non-Christians are viewed as enemies of God. It is no coincidence that the same institution that denied the Biblical truth of the second half of Genesis 9:6 is the same institution that most often violated the commandment expressed in the first half of that same verse.
The effect of the Christian teaching on the inherent evil of humanity is even more pronounced in the way Christians view themselves. When a Christian accepts Jesus and when this same Christian finds in his or her heart a capacity for righteousness they will automatically credit Jesus for this blessing. “After all”, the Christian reasons, “on my own I am completely evil; it must be my new birth in Jesus that brought this goodness into my heart”. The Church’s distorted teaching on the nature of man acts as a stranglehold on the minds of those who believe this teaching. These people are lead to believe that if they abandon their faith in Jesus they will become evil people.
All of us have a capacity for Godliness and righteousness; it is a gift that God has granted all of humanity. Many people fail to actuate this gift but we all possess it. There are many strategies that can be used to bring forth man’s inherent capacity for goodness, and under certain circumstances, belief in Jesus can serve as this trigger. But the historical record has demonstrated that belief in Jesus can just as easily be used to bring forth man’s capacity for evil and destruction. The fact remains that the Godliness that is innate to every human soul is in no way related to belief in Jesus, rather it is part and parcel of the original creation of all men. The claim that belief in Jesus is what produces this capacity is simply a strategy that has been used by the Church to control the hearts and the minds of her followers.
The Testimony of the Jewish Nation
The Jewish people take up a unique position in the saga of human history. The Jewish people bear a message of One God who is the Master of all nature. The Jewish people are associated with a holy law, a law of morality, justice and charity. The Jewish people present an unparalleled claim of a covenant with God, a covenant confirmed with miracles that affected nations in the world of objective reality.
All of these together lend an aura of credibility to Israel’s message. The prophet’s of Israel are respected on the basis of Israel’s unique standing amongst the nations. Israel’s universal message carries a certain weight in the minds of men because of this aura of credibility that surrounds the Jewish people.
The Church has exploited Israel’s credibility in her effort to advance her own agenda. The Church presents itself as the culmination and fulfillment of anything credible associated withIsrael. Christianity took the Jewish Bible and claimed it for herself. Christianity tookIsrael’s Messianic hope and reconstructed it for her own purposes. Christianity tookIsrael’s covenant and made it her own. And Christianity took Israel’s God and redefined Him to fit her own theological claims. I will elaborate on each of these in the next few paragraphs, but first let us stop and see what the Church has done to the Jewish people.
The eternal Jewish community testifies against all of the claims of the Church. It was important to the Church thatIsraelshould lose her credibility in the eyes of men. If Israel’s voice was still going to be heard in the collective pool of human thought the Church needed to discredit her testimony. And this is exactly what the Church has done.
The Church presented Israel’s rejection of Jesus as a turning point in the history of the nation from whom she stole all her blessings. The authors of the Christian Scriptures and the early Church Fathers taught the world that Jews and Judaism can no longer be trusted. For years the Church has taught that she alone is the true Israel. While this teaching is not as widespread as it used to be, the distrust of Israe lthat this teaching has generated is still firmly in place. The Church has taught the world that the word “Pharisee” is a synonym for “hypocrisy”. John’s Jesus taught the world that the Jews are children of the Devil and as such, are the living incarnation of falsehood. The Church exerted herself to discredit the testimony of the Jew.
The Jew was trustworthy enough to establish the credibility of her covenant with God, her prophets and her Messianic vision. But now that the Church has all of these safely in her own arms, the Jew has become the quintessential liar.
The Jewish Scriptures
The Jewish Bible is a document of incredible power. The universal appeal of this collection of books is unmatched in the literary history of mankind. The searing rebuke of Jeremiah, the Messianic vision presented by Isaiah and the simple trust in God of Psalmist have touched the hearts of men for thousands of years. The Church has exploited the power of the Jewish Bible with the claim that she alone is the complete fulfillment of the hope and promise expressed in its pages.
The problem that the Church faced was that the Jewish Bible exposes her flaws. If one approaches the Jewish Bible from within the context of the pre-Christian world-view, which is actually the only true context of the Jewish Bible, then every doctrine of the Church will be revealed as a lie. According to the Jewish Bible, the deification of any inhabitant of God’s earth is idolatry, the greatest rebellion against God. The Jewish Bible NEVER associates forgiveness from sin with faith in an individual. The Messianic hope presented by the Jewish prophets includes all of mankind and is no way limited to the members of one denomination of Christianity or another. And the Messiah of the Jewish Bible will direct everyone’s devotion to the One Creator of heaven and earth; not to himself.
The Church has used several strategies in her effort to neutralize the message of the Hebrew prophets. For many long centuries, the Catholic popes simply forbade the reading of the book. Another tactic that the Church has used to silence the Jewish prophets was by pointing to her own clergy as the sole interpreters of the text. These techniques were quite effective in their time.
For various sociological reasons, these two strategies are no longer as popular as they used to be. The Church still has two other methods that it uses to mitigate the message of the Jewish Bible. The first of these strategies is the creation of the Christian Scriptures. The Church disregarded the simple fact that the same standard that was used to determine the canonical status of the books of the Jewish Bible would have decidedly INVALIDATED the books of the Christian Scriptures. Ignoring this basic truth, the Church placed her books side by side with the books of the Jewish prophets. The Church took this strategy one step further and renamed the Jewish Scripture with the disparaging title; “Old Testament”. The thrust of this strategy is that no-one will dream of reading the Jewish Scriptures with a pre-Christian world-view. The mind of the reader is predisposed to believe that the story of the “Old Testament” is not complete until he or she has read through to the Christian book of Revelations. And this strategy creates a preconception about the Jewish Scriptures as if it is a book that has “had its day” and is no longer relevant to a world that has progressed above and beyond.
The second strategy employed by the Church in her effort to silence the voice of the Jewish prophets is by misrepresenting the literary structure of the Bible. As it is with any work of literature, the Jewish Bible contains highlights and climaxes. The prophets used various literary devices to emphasize certain events and certain teachings. Having a storyline slowly build up towards a certain event is one device used by the prophetic narrator to direct the reader’s attention to a given point (e.g. the Sinai revelation in Exodus 20). Repeating a teaching again and again is another literary device that the prophets used to underline a given teaching (e.g. the universal principles of justice and charity). Pointing back to a specific teaching, reiterating and elaborating, is yet another method that the prophets used to help us see the importance of a given truth (e.g. the Sinai revelation as per Deuteronomy 4).
The Church ignores the literary structure that is inherent in the Bible itself. Instead the Church presents its own version of the “highlights” of the Jewish Bible. These are passages or verses that, when read out of context, seem to support one Christian doctrine or another. The Church promotes the non-contextual reading of these solitary passages as if they were the central teachings of the Jewish Bible. The Church’s exaltation of the alleged “virgin birth” of Isaiah 7:14, is a perfect illustration of this strategy. A contextual reading of this verse will reveal that this prophecy has nothing to do with the Messiah and a correct translation will prove that there is no virgin mentioned in the verse. But in complete disregard for the literary structure of the Jewish Bible, the Church has for centuries pointed to this verse as if it were the climax of human history. By exalting this passage, the Church has successfully distorted the literary landscape of the Jewish Bible in the minds of many readers.
Through the implementation of these various strategies, the Church has endeavored to silence the voice of the Jewish prophets.
The Messianic Hope
The Jewish prophets taught the world to hope for a brilliant future. Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah have inspired mankind to look forward to a day when nation shall not lift sword against nation and the lion will lie with the lamb. This powerful message of hope has also been exploited by the Church.
The Jewish prophets presented this vision of hope for all mankind (Isaiah 54:5; Zephaniah 3:9). There is not one verse in all of the Jewish Bible that can be misconstrued to read as if the glory of the Messianic future is limited to those who have faith in one individual or another. The Jewish Scriptures presents a vision of universal peace that encompasses all of humanity.
The Church took this vision of universal peace and taught the world that it can only be accessed in her pews. According to Christian theology, the glory of the Messianic era is reserved for those who have placed their faith in Jesus. The Church has taken the glorious promise that rightfully belongs to all of humanity and has attempted to make it her own.
The Relationship That Man Shares With God
Every human being is entitled to a relationship with the Creator. The deepest yearning of the human soul is a desire to connect to the Creator. The only true possession that remains eternally yours is the relationship that exists between you and your Creator. The Church has exploited this relationship in order to further her own agenda.
God’s kindness and mercy encompasses all of His creations (Psalm 145:9). The fact that God created man in His own image is an expression of God’s love and respect towards every man and woman (Genesis1:27). The gift of existence, the gift of sight, the ability to think, and all of the myriads of details that embrace every aspect of human life, all articulate God’s incredible love for every human. There is nothing closer to our soul than the love of the One who called it into being to begin with. All we need to do is to focus on the blessings, recognize how we did nothing to deserve them, and we will learn to feel each moment of existence as an embrace from a loving Father.
People have an unhealthy tendency to focus on the negative. We tend to magnify what we don’t have and minimize what God has granted to us. Our minds easily lose sight of the fact that our existence is an undeserved gift and we fail to see our blessings for what they are; expressions of God’s love. Developing a relationship with God requires that we overcome these negative tendencies and shift our focus to the positive. We must teach ourselves to acknowledge God’s goodness inherent in every breath of existence and build in ourselves an outlook of gratitude towards the true source of all goodness.
Man also has a tendency to question God’s love. As humans, we all fall short of our own expectations and we often find our minds focusing on these failings. We recognize that God is holy and pure and our sense of guilt casts a pall of doubt on our relationship with God. God directly addressed this confusion through the teachings of the Jewish prophets. The prophets taught that God does not spurn a heart that turns to him with sincerity (Psalm 51:19; 145:18). The prophets passed on God’s encouraging words that He accepts sincere repentance (Isaiah 55:7; Ezekiel18:21; 33:16; Jonah3:10).
The Church exploited man’s longing to connect to God. The Church also capitalized on the feelings of inadequacy that man encounters in his struggle to develop a relationship with God.
Instead of invalidating these feelings of inadequacy and instead of encouraging man to overcome the psychological barriers as did the Jewish prophets, the Church took the exact opposite approach. Not only did the Church validate any feelings of inadequacy that frustrate man’s attempt to connect with God; the Church elevated those feelings to the level of theological doctrines. Not only did the Church discourage man’s attempt to overcome the obstacles that are encountered in approaching God; the Church taught that these obstacles are insurmountable.
The Church presented the claim that faith in Jesus is the magical answer to the psychological barriers that man encounters in his search for God. In effect the Church has taught mankind that the only way to satisfy the innate human yearning for God is through devotion to Jesus. Christianity has spread the lie that man’s deepest need can only be purchased through the agency of Jesus. According to the teachers of Christianity one must fully commit his or her soul to Jesus in order to be allowed into a relationship with God.
Your relationship with your Creator is the only possession that belonged to you before you were born. The Church would have you believe that you must purchase that which is intrinsically yours by giving Jesus your very life and soul.
A Final Travesty
The spread of Christianity was facilitated through the combination of universal truths and her own false doctrines. Within the past century certain Churchmen have realized that one of their doctrines is hampering the propagation of Christianity in the minds and hearts of one specific community. They then developed a new hybrid, a fresh mixture of truth and falsehood that was designed to promote Christianity within the confines of this one specific community. This hybrid goes by the name “Messianic Judaism”.
The Church’s effort to discredit the testimony of the Jew (after robbing the Jew of his prophets, his Bible and his covenant with God) was a successful means of spreading Christianity amongst non-Jewish people. By teaching the Gentiles that the Jews are God-killers and liars, the Church effectively prevented the Gentiles from listening to the testimony of God’s witness which proclaims that Jesus is NOT the Messiah promised to the Jews. But this teaching had an opposite effect on the Jewish community. Even those Jews who had strayed far from the core principles of Judaism were repelled by the Christian vilification of their people. The secular Jew might not have appreciated his own religious heritage but he certainly could not buy the myth that his own people were the most evil race on earth. This same myth that discredited the Jew in the eyes of the Gentile, served to discredit the Church in the eyes of the Jew.
In an effort to reverse the effects of this teaching in the Jewish community, some Church teachers created a new mixture. Instead of defining Christianity over and against Judaism, these teachers repackaged Christianity and presented it as the “true Judaism”. These teachers eschewed the familiar symbols of the Church; the cross, the steeple, Sunday worship and even the Latinized name; Jesus. Instead they substituted Jewish symbols; the Star of David, the synagogue, Friday night services and a Hebraic “Yeshua”. Instead of deriding the Jewish religion and her culture, these Churchmen exalted these and claimed them as their own.
Some Churchmen have taken this tactic one step further. Not only have they expropriated the cultural trappings of Judaism for herself, but they also usurped the religious observances of Judaism. These Christians observe the Jewish Sabbath as defined by Jewish law and they present their observance as the “complete and true” Judaism.
This lie must be exposed.
The heart of Judaism is the truth that every inhabitant of this earth is equally subservient to the One God who is above all of nature. When the Pagans bowed to various forces from within the natural realm, the Jew stood apart. When the Romans were deifying their emperors, The Jew would not participate. When the Europeans exalted royalty and nobility to a higher plane of existence, the Jew insisted on the equality of all men. And when the Church exalted the person of Jesus, the Jew refused to join.
All of the observances of Judaism point to this great truth and all of the Jewish culture is built around this great truth; that all men are equal before their common Creator. For 2000 years the Church has used every tool at her disposal to eradicate this concept from the heart of the Jew. These include but are not limited to; stripping the Jew of every civil right, locking the Jew into crowded ghettoes, taxing the Jew into poverty, physical torture, forced expulsions and often-times even killing the Jew. The Jew has endured all of these in order to remain loyal to the great truth that God had planted in her heart; that no man is lord of another but that all are equally subject to God.
The observances of Judaism were preserved through the Jew who rejected the Church’s claims for Jesus. Those who observed the Jewish Sabbath for the past 2000 years did so as a testimony that One God created all men; including the Christian Jesus. Those brave men and women, who preserved Judaism under the most terrible circumstances, identified the Christian deification of Jesus as the very antithesis of everything that they stood for.
2000 years of Jewish history cries out to these Churchmen: “Cease and desist!” Don’t usurp those observances that we preserved with our very life-blood and exploit them as a means to confuse our children! We lived and died for one truth and for one truth only; that there is but One God who is the Father of us all. Don’t steal the outer trappings of our heritage in your criminal effort to shut out our testimony from the ears of our children.
Since its inception, Christianity has presented a mixture of truth and falsehood. Sincere people have been misled into thinking that the universal truths are only available in the pews of the Church. God-fearing men and women have failed to distinguish between the truths that belong to everyone and the packaging of lies that Christianity has wrapped around these truths. But as humanity is moved inexorably towards the Messianic era, the truth must be disentangled for the web of lies that the Church has woven around them.
Mankind will recognize that the universal principles of justice and charity did not originate with the Church and that they need not be acquired through the agency of the Church. Humanity will learn to appreciate the universal message of the Jew that does not allow for the deification of an inhabitant of God’s earth. Men and women will learn to read the Jewish Bible without the slant that the Church has put on that holy book. All will recognize that the Messianic hope is God’s plan for all of humanity and is not limited to the narrow circle of “believers”. And finally and most importantly; every human being will learn to love their Creator without the medium of devotion to a fellow subject of God.
May it happen speedily and in our days.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal
Bravo, Bravo! Well spoken and written, based on what I have read so far of this article. It’s getting late now but I will be back to read all of it.
My wife and I have come out of Christianity within the past 2 years. As time passes and we continue to study and pray, we see the absolute truth of the Jewish Scriptures every more clearly. Your presentation and analysis that appears on this page is well written and exposes Christianity for what it always was and is today – a false religion. We have also just finished listening to Rabbi Eli Cohen on a radio program, Truth2u.org, and found this website through that recording. May YHVH continue to bless you and your family.
There is no one so deceived as one who is willing. You are right in saying that the Jewish Scriptures are true, for they are of God. These are the Scriptures that speak of God’s work in Christ. Somehow the author is able to recall that Adam was created in the image of God but overlooks the fall into sin. The fallen nature of man that is passed on to every generation is seen in a passage that follows, “Adam had a son in his own image.” That image was of the one that had been flawed by sin. That son, by the way, was Cain, who had a murderous heart that slew the other son who honored God. See Genesis 3:15 as the first Gospel promise: From Eve will come one who will crush the head of Satan, even as his own heel would be bruised.
>>>>>See Genesis 3:15 as the first Gospel promise: From Eve will come one who will crush the head of Satan, even as his own heel would be bruised.<<<<
Typical Christian distortion. That verse says nothing about "the one", and even if it did, that would apply to any human being. Second, the verse says nothing about "Satan", it speaks of the serpent in the garden. It is you who has read Satan into the text. So you have added two things to one sentence that are not even there. That is why Christianity is seen as deceptive and dishonest by most Jews.
Hi, You are right!
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Simply amazes me how the Creator leads us to Truth only when were ready for it. I’d share this with people I know but I now understand the Father will reveal the truth to those that are searching when He knows they are ready. Thank you for writing this.
Thank you for exposing the deception in the Christian Church system. I have repented of believing & following that path and am now pursuing a Torah lifestyle. Jer 16:9 speaks of those of us from the nations, who will recognize that our fathers have inherited lies , and now HaShem is causing us to know His Hand and His Might and His Name ! Please come and teach again on Truth 2U .
Have you considered that the deceivers are those who reject the Christ? Forty years after the death (and resurrection/ascension) of Christ, Jerusalem was convinced by its leaders to rebel against Rome and to wall themselves in. Those who followed those messianic leaders suffered indignities to harsh even to ponder, from starvation and deprivation to suicidal leaps from the walls and the eventual siege which laid waste to the city and the destruction of God’s once-holy Temple. (Read Josephus for more information.)
Ezra are you talking about the Christ whose followers caused the crusades, the Inquisition. Who murdered MILLIONS in South America, burned innocent old woman at the stake to seize their property by labelling them as witches. When the Nazis moved into European towns and villages the “RIGHTEOUS CHRISTIAN” priests and clergy were quick to hand over the names of members in their congregation who were Jews who had converted to “THE ONE TRUE RELIGION”. It took two world wars and the UNANSWERED prayers of millions of Europeans, for the Europeans to be shocked into the unbelievable FACT, that prayers in the name of JESUS……ARE NEVER ANSWERED.
On the Cross,…. OUR GOOD “LORD” was shocked to discover that no LEGIONS OF GOD were rushing to rescue him. His final words were “My God, My God…why have you forsaken me”. And thus ended the life of yet another false prophet.
The Church created the NT……created a god out of a man…Such being Greek and Roman traditions. There is only one Creator of the Universe even today a mystery. This is my belief YESHUA was a Messiah for his time, he gave the gentiles the one Creator without him they would never have learnt this but it became corrupted. He YESHUA was a Holy man and not a false prophet. In the Times of Knowledge and Travel the truth will out.. Tis that time.
Beautifully put my friend.
Dude, you are AWESOME! Please don’t stop doing what you do. Writings and lectures like yours, Rabbi Skobac, and Tovia Singer are what have made me realize that I want to serve the HaShem through Judaism. I have very big expectations of converting to Judaism and I long for the day to finally be able to declare myself as a Jew. Much blessings to you, shalom.
Wonderful essay Rabbi. Please don’t stop what you do.
Much blessings to you, Shalom Aleikham.
Sad, you still reject the cornerstone, your nothing more than a Pharisee , so you think you no the scriptures better than Paul? And you think the LORD is going to allow you in his presence with your sinful soul, how you gonna purify that soul? I’ve read the Torah many times, why did the LORD require the shedding of blood for the atonement? You teaching of our universal good is the heresy that GOD just going to except us all based on our universally being created in his image, Satan was created a holy angel, Ezekiel 28 says he was perfect yet turned to sin or what about hitler or king ahab, or ramses? should I go on? Are they all saved cause there universal goodness? sounds like new age more than the scriptures,Keep fighting the fact that you don’t need forgiveness of your since and if you think you do need forgiveness and you all are such good Jews get you sacrifices out , cause no matter what you say the scriptures plainly point out in both old and new testaments that man has fell and been seperated from him, look at how Moses interacted up on the mount he couldn’t even look at him in the face cause if Gods holiness, and Moses in his sinful human form, Abraham was in paradise before the ressurection cause he had yet to be cleansed , you error in you fight against the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob. People there are alot of good rabbis out there anymore that have opened there hearts to the truth, quit chasing these Pharisees that spend there time attacking Christ and not truly seeking truth. Fact is do you think all the Christian ministers and Catholics all are in this big conspiracy? And if the are for what? To call people to repentance and back to GOD? Those horrible people, how dare they
No, please don’t continue because your “logic” is illogical. Apparently you didn’t notice his URL it says “yourphariseefriend”. Just saying, and by the way it’s know, not “no”.
Mike….where did the people of Ninevah use a sacrifice after Jonah warned them to repent from their evil deeds? Educate us…..
You are can not see because you will not see You are blinded by the light of Morning Star,REV.22;16
So where does it say in the Jewish Bible,” we need to drink blood in any manner”,to be saved?Jesus was not found in his tomb..and claims to be the morning star. He never ever said I am the messiah! But he did say plainly I am the Morning Star. You think what a person believes will make them right with G-d? Jews like Noahides believe that it is what you do that determines a righteous man or not.The earliest book on that one was 40-110 years after it died. Why did Peter have a sword in the garden? Who really killed that one?
I could go on,but why bother,I said what I said more so for me than you,because the blood is not on my hand. You go against the Jew,or Israel,the apple of The One true G-d’s eye,You go against the Same G-d…You were told …
Mike, even here I am having to deal with the likes of you as I have had to,back in the 1970’s when in thoes days it was The Jewish Evangelical Witness, today it is so much more sophisticated with the Messianic movement, with all their pseudo Judaism. I am a very assimulated Jewess and know more of Christianity than Judaism, almost Agnostic., but I have come to realise how much of a Jewish Soul I have. Your Jesus ”Christ ” as you call him has evolved from the early Jewish followers and got caught up in Greek Mythology. Your Christian theology in discripton within the NT screams of it….. Finding this website helps me heal the emotional wounds that have been inflicted on me. I know of a YESHUA, this Jesus is not him.
I’m not Jewish, but I relate a lot more to the Jewish community than to the Christian one I grew up in. For so long the Western world has been enamoured with one Jew, Yeshua. But in reality, there are so many people whose humble servanthood, wisdom, and love we can look up to and be thankful for. Because I don’t feel that he was God incarnate or the one way to forgiveness, it seems distracting to me to focus on him as a recipient of great honour more than all these others who have given so much with their righteous lives. And in the end, no human needs to take the limelight because it’s our Creator…the Maker of all things and people… we’re seeking to return and cling to!
Annelise, I find it difficult sometimes explaining myself.So I hope you will be able to understand me. In my way of thinking the Christian NT Jesus may not be the real Jewish YESHUA….The world has focased on the Bible one. I have been saying YESHUA is hidden beneath., for a long time now.The WWW, has been a WONDERFUL TOOL for me for research., at my age of 74 , as not before, to have all this information at my fingertips is amazing. That is what I have been doing the last few months and learning so much. Judaism that explains itself the way this type of website does is so pragmatic and enlightening. We as human beings are meant to find ourselves ,with our creator, through all wisom, from all sources. Our instinc tells us when we find truth through insight, as we discover. I wonder do you know that it is possable YESHUA died in India and may be buried there, ” Jesus ” from the Bible ground rooted….so Google… You Tube….Jesus in India…. food for thought. ……searching for truth….SHALOM.
This JESUS, was totally forgotten until Paul of Tarsus arrived on the scene and resurrected the forgotten Nazarene. Paul was a powerful and Charismatic speaker, plus he had the right contacts and was at the right time and the right place. He even had a bad argument with the disciples in Jerusalem, just prior to the destruction of the holy city. He insulted James the brother of Jesus who actually knew Jesus personally (Paul had never met Jesus). He specifically targeted the “gentiles” using their religious “mysteries” of the resurrected god, virgin birth, etc which were well known myths from the Egyptian god Horus, Indo-Iranian god Mitra and Roman Mithraism. The guy Paul, was a genius and created a world religion when Constantine, (described as a hideous tyrant guilty of horendous crimes), made “Paul’s VERSION of Christianity” the official religion. Even after Constantines “conversion” to Christianity, this RIGHTEOUS CHRISTIAN Constantine, had his own son executed and forced his wife to commit suicide. But that’s Christianity for you. Christianity’s TRACK RECORD of 2000 years of Anti- Semitism makes YOUR religion part of THE PROBLEM rather than the solution. The GOOD NEWS is this “NEW COVENANT RELIGION” and that’s all that it is …A RELIGION,…is fading fast. Europe is virtually completely SECULAR….closely followed by the USA.
Hey friend, so are you saying that Jewish scriptures, sacred texts, etc., are more valid or truer than any other texts coming from the superstitious past of human history? Are you saying that the Torah is “literally” true and there really was a “great flood”? Did the Sun really stop moving across the sky once, a donkey talked, water “heaped up” so millions could cross the Sea of Reeds, . . . and all the plagues on Egypt happened just as it was written? And the conquests narratives were true? Are you judging Jewish scripture by the same measure you do others? If you read the Bhagavad Gita, can you find the truth in it? Truth IS there, too! I’m sorry but as I’ve grown older, I find nothing beautiful about dividing humanity up into “chosen people” and “others” whatever your devotions might be. Such beliefs have caused more harm than good.
Annelise, I find it difficult sometimes explaining myself.So I hope you will be able to understand me. In my way of thinking the Christian NT Jesus may not be the real Jewish YESHUA….The world has focased on the Bible one. I have been saying YESHUA is hidden beneath., for a long time now.The WWW, has been a WONDERFUL TOOL for me for research., at my age of 74 , as not before, to have all this information at my fingertips is amazing. That is what I have been doing the last few months and learning so much. Judaism that explains itself the way this type of website does is so pragmatic and enlightening. We as human beings are meant to find ourselves ,with our creator, through all wisom, from all sources. Our instinc tells us when we find truth through insight, as we discover. I wonder do you know that it is possable YESHUA died in India and may be buried there, ” Jesus ” from the Bible ground rooted….so Google… You Tube….Jesus in India…. food for thought. ……searching for truth….SHALOM.
Frank has a point. If you listen to most modern critical scholars of the Tanak/Old Testament it is just myths. Moses never existed and the torah was written by the exile community in Babylon, inventing creation myths , influenced by Babylonian myths. The 10 commandments was ripped from the Egyptian book of the dead. The story of noah from the epic of Gilgamesh.The conquest of Canaan never happened the ancient Israelite just emerged out of the local Canaanite population. There is no evidence David or Solomon ever existed nor for any of their great buildings. Some scholars even think the great Jewish monotheism that you value as so superior over everything emerged out of paganism and that Ashera was originally the wife of yahweh as archeologists found an ancient inscriptions mentioning Yahweh and his ashera. They also found plenty of early evidence for polythiesm but none for monothiesm until much later. Also scholars think Solomon did not write Ecclesiastes , nor David the psalms. The torah was written by or had 4 separate sources. And that Isaiah was written by two authors one of them unkown. Dueteronomy is a pseudonymous 8th century text which had nothing to do with Moses. Is all this the universal truth you speak of ? seems to me like universal lies, paganism and myths.
So called scholars hypothesis are disproved every day. If the Jewish bible was written post-Babylon how do they explain the two silver scrolls from כָּתֵף הִינוֹם which date to the 6th century BCE and contain part of the Jewish bible? They have been dated to before the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem in 586/7 BCE. And let’s not forget the archeological discoveries of the first Temple (of King Solomon) and the DNA proving that Jewish priests have a common ancestor (Moses’ brother Aaron) dating back about 3500 years ago. But yes, let’s just blindly assume your “some scholars” and the JEPD theory of a post-Babylonian bible (which has long since been debunked) are “right” and ignore actual evidence such as these. . .
I suggest you read http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/proof-torah-true/
The first five books of the bible in Judaism are called the Torah, meaning “instruction” (it was translated to nomos/law in the Septuagint), and are regarded as the most important section of the Scriptures, traditionally thought to have been written between the 16th century and the 12th century BCE by Moses himself. Followers of the Copenhagen School place its origins in 5th century Yehud Medinata
The observances of Judaism were preserved through the Jew who rejected the Church’s claims for Jesus. Those who observed the Jewish Sabbath for the past 2000 years did so as a testimony that One God created all men; including the Christian Jesus. Those brave men and women, who preserved Judaism under the most terrible circumstances, identified the Christian deification of Jesus as the very antithesis of everything that they stood for.
Dear Rabbi Blumenthal,
The Church has made many, many errors not understanding that The Holy One came as The King of The Jews – The Lamb of God – The Messiah to Israel – to fulfill what was written about Him.
Forces ‘Chritianity’ has been an abomination before God and before man! The Lord gave us a ‘free will’ to chose to obey Him…Israel failed … the Church has failed … but … that does Not change the Truth of His Word.
Yeshua/Jesus came and Jews followed Him. Jews wrote of the New Testament that began in Jeremiah 31:31 to our people. It was Yeshua/Jesus who claimed to be The Messiah to the woman at the well – this is Not the Church claim that a Jew follows – it is by revelation knowledge of the Scriptures – The Torah – The Prophets – The Psalms speak of Him. The Scriptures lead to Him – and cause us to Shema/hear and obey …
Behold The Lamb … slain from the foundation of the world …
I’m a Jew born anew because The Holy One of Israel touched me. He opened my eyes to His Word – The Torah – The Prophets – The Psalms speak of Him.
My heart and prayers are with you and for you. Your heart desires to know Him and follow Him and I will pray for the Lord to open your eyes to See Him – The Lamb of God Who Takes Away The Sin of the world. Avenu Malkenu – My Father – My King – Yeshua/Jesus The King of the Jews.
“One God created all men; including the Christian Jesus.” Amen Rabbi Yisroel – Amen
None of the prophets referred to Jesus, and those referring to the Messiah do not even hint that the Messiah is to be worshipped. Only Hashem our creator is to be worshipped, only He is the Saviour as He himslf declared in Isaiah 43:3.
THANKYOU YOU FOR EXONERATING MY GRANDPARENTS AND UNCLE WHO WERE GASSED BY NAZI’S SUPPORTING THESE SAME JEWS.MY CHILDREN ARE A MESS ..I JEWISH AND THEIR FATHER CATHOLIC/THEY ARE LIVING IN COMPLETE CONFUSION.KAREN KASWAN..BARUCH HASHEM
Karen thank you for sharing this… I can’t understand how your family could go through such crushing trauma and damage. Even in grief I believe your heritage as a Jew is not darkness but light… a light in the dark… and the comfort and hope that grow from it in your heart will be a gentle anchor for your children wherever they go. They are blessed to have such a loving mother, may you all have strength to get through and may your kindness bless many people through your children and their children. Shavuah tov.
אֲדֹנָי לִי וְלֹא אִירָא
“One God created all men; including the Christian Jesus.” Amen Rabbi Yisroel – Amen
To clarify my Amen – Let Us make man in Our image after Our likeness … (Genesis 1:26)
I understand you meant that Jesus the Messiah was created – but He Is and Was and Is To Come because He Is our Creator!
A family are walking on a dark and isolated street when a man walks in front of them and stops them. He says he is a police officer and asks them to get into his car. The mother demands to see he is who he claims to be. So he says to her, “I am a police officer!”
She asks again for proof of his identity and he says, “I am not a fraud! I’m a member of the police. You must come with me or you will be arrested.” A few more times she tries to reason with him, but he replies, “I know you think that I may be a fraud, but I am a police officer. I am one. It is the law that you follow me because I’m with the police.”
The family, unsettled and fearing for their children, start to walk away from the man. He runs after them, “It’s the law! You’ll be arrested!” The father asks what law would have them arrested for not coming with them, and he simply replies, “I’m a police officer and you have to come with me.”
I’m not saying that all Christian evangelism is like this… often people do try and present reasons that they think are important. But when people keep saying over and over- Jesus is this and Jesus is that, and that his followers worship only “The Holy One,” “Avinu Malkeinu”… expecting people to respond to the forcefulness of what they say… then they are effectively asking people to drop their guard about worshiping what seems to be part of creation, just because “it’s true and important”, “it’s true and important”, “it’s true and important”. To ask people to do that is to ask them to violate the sanctity and holiness of their covenant with Hashem.
What I mean is that by any standard, you can’t use emotional forcefulness if that is all you’re saying, again and again. The crucial issue here is WHY. Repeating the claim is besides the point… everyone knows that Christians don’t think Jesus is ‘another’ besides God.
“Be gracious to us, and answer us, although we do not have deeds. Deal with us in righteousness and kindness, and save us.”
Please forgive me for being so blunt, Annelise, but that’s simply not true. There are many Christians that don’t believe Jesus to be G-d, but rather part and parcel to, or completely detached from. It really depends on who you encounter.
Part of the ongoing problem between Jews and Christians (of which I’m a Jew myself) is that they don’t fully understand the diversity of Christianity and how many different and even opposing viewpoints and worldviews exist WITHIN the religion as a whole.
This point alone should be enough to question its origins and its credibility. But we as Jews need to be mindful of how many of us lump Christianity into a pile and try to attest to some untruth that they are all the same, when in fact they are not.
Jesus is this and Jesus is that, and that his followers worship only “The Holy One,” “Avinu Malkeinu”… expecting people to respond to the forcefulness of what they say… then they are effectively asking people to drop their guard about worshiping what seems to be part of creation, just because “it’s true and important”, “it’s true and important”, “it’s true and important”. To ask people to do that is to ask them to violate the sanctity and holiness of their covenant with Hashem.
Be careful, Annelise,
He is the light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of my people Israel.
He is the light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of my people Israel.
The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.
Your [living] word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.
Then I saw that wisdom excelled foolishness, as far as light excelled darkness.
The wise man can see where he is going, but the fool walks in darkness; and I also understood that the same event happens to them all.
Be careful, Annilese, The wise has his spiritual eyes opened to see and walk by the light of God, but the unwise continues to walk in darkness, which is sin.
My people have a partial blindness over their eyes (Romans 11) but you were taught and should know better. These are the times of the Gentiles (Romans 9, 10, 11). Jesus is a stumbling to my people, Israel, but foolishness to those who are perishing. Strong Words, Biblical Words of warning.
I love you,
Biblical? And you quote from Romans?
If you do not recognize that Scripture is from Genesis to Revelation to the Jewish people, perhaps these Scriptures might be something to consider:
Psalm 118:20-24 (NAS)
20) This is the gate of the Lord;
The righteous will enter through it.
21) I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me,
And You have become my salvation.
22) The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief corner stone.
23) This is the Lord’s doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.
24) This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
(vs 23 us literally The LORD accomplishing)
*The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief
Naturally speaking, a corner stone holds the entire building secure.
Jerusalem is a picture of ‘living stones’ … you can only build with white
stones in Jerusalem …
The City of God …
The Messiah will build His Kingdom right here on earth – in That Day –
And Israel will become a ‘light to the nations.’ The Word of The LORD
will go forth from Jerusalem to the utter most parts of the earth – in That
He (Yeshua/Jesus) is the ‘stone’ which the builders (the whole house of Israel)
has rejected – it will take Zechariah 12 to bring about The Calling of God to Israel
to be a light to the nations!
Psalm 27:1 reads: The LORD is my light and my salvation,
Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid.
Jesus/Yeshua Is the light (coming from house of Jacob/Israel) that is now
a light to the nations – but in That Day – it will be The Whole House of Israel.
O house of Jacob come and let us walk in the light of The LORD!
Let me reply in the same manner: without giving reasons for my feelings, but expressing them with fervour and force. Please don’t take this as arrogance or a lack of respect on my part, because I don’t choose to write it like this, except to show you how it sounds to me when you write like that.
June, you should be careful. I was brought up not knowing about the message of observant Jews who love God with their hearts, and I don’t know what you have known of it. But you stood at Sinai and you should not have words like those in your mouth.
Be very careful because what you’re saying, and the way you interpret your experiences, are not following the process of the Torah and are completely harassing the community of Jews that is (by grace, with faithfulness) doing the job God gave you all to do. They aren’t missing anything you have. You should be careful about how you respond and especially the fact that you don’t listen or respond to the biblical points I was trying to make.
I don’t expect you to listen to me or to change the allegiance of your heart on the basis of what I say. But I do hope that you can listen. And I do warn you that the things you’re saying to other Jews is not as innocent as you think, nor is it the only ‘light in the darkness’.
“O house of Jacob come and let us walk in the light of The LORD” (to that I agree humbly and wholeheartedly xo)
Btw, in none of that did I say you don’t have a real or close relationship with God. On that topic I know nothing and most definitely stay far, in fact opposite, from making any attack.
But I do agree with Yisroel’s comment (below) where he said that unless you appeal to people sense of honesty, it seems like you have nothing to offer to us in that sense.
If someone disagrees with you on the basis of their own experience – what would you say to that? If someone expects you to completely disregard your own experience on the basis of their experience – what would you call that?
Do you realize that we have experienced truth as well? Did you notice that we are not talking to you about our experiences but that we are using arguments that appeal to your sense of honesty? The fact that you keep on quoting your experiences together with verses from Scripture that have nothing to do with the issue at hand would seem to indicate that you have nothing to offer to our sense of honesty – or do you?
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When I came upon this article, I sought to find what Scriptures you might use in your rebuke of Christianity. I found none except in general terms of interpretation based upon feelings of hostility toward something never ventured by the writer and therefore never experienced by the writer. The term Born-again is not just some Christian cliche, but something anyone who desires can experience, even a Jew. The Book of Ezekiel 18:20 states that the soul that sinneth, it shall die. We all have sinned, and as Isaiah 1:18 says, “Let us reason together saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” If Adam had never disobeyed God’s command in the Garden, he would have lived forever, but he disobeyed and became spiritually separated from God and also his living soul became a dead soul. We all have inherited his misdeed as handed down from a father to his son. The pure blood of Adam became contaminated to the point that his body died although he lived to be 930 years old. The life of the flesh is in the blood and God made it that the blood of calves and goats could atone for sin. However, the priest had to sprinkle the blood every year. The blood that Jesus shed is the pure blood that atones for sin forever. However, God will not infringe upon your free will and make you accept the fact of salvation through Jesus. You must do it yourself by faith, and accept Him by yourself. That means you alone are responsible if you are wrong. You make the decision and as a Born-again Christian, I am not here to pressure you or anyone. On the note of Christians hating Jews, you are promoting propaganda, because the Christian is probably the only true friends the Jews have today. We believe the same Bible, maybe not all of it by the Jews. We worship the same God although you don’t realize the full comprehension of who Jesus really is, and we do not blame Jews for killing Jesus, because our New Testament in 1 Corinthians 2:8 tells us it was Satan and his demons who kill Messiah.
I am not a rabbi, nor am I even Jewish, but I must say, with respect, it seems you have made some serious errors in reasoning here, and I think they go to the heart of the problem with Christian interpretation. You quote Ezekiel 18, but one wonders if you actually read the whole chapter. If you had, then you should have noticed how the chapter refutes the arguments that you make.
First, you would recognize that you cannot by God’s justice be put to death because of the sin of Adam, for as you point out: “the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” This means that you could not die because of Adam’s sin. I recognize that you will say that everyone sins, and therefore merit death themselves, but then bringing Adam into the conversation is irrelevant. We did not inherit his misdeed, as Ezekiel 18 clearly shows, contrasting the righteous parent and the wicked son and the vice versa case. The man who is wicked shall die, not his father and not his son. You nor I die for the sins of Adam. “Yet you say, ‘Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is lawful and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. The person who sins shall die. A child shall not suffer for the iniquity of a parent, nor a parent suffer for the iniquity of the child; the righteousness of the righteous shall be his own, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be his own” (18.19-20).
Second, this also means that Jesus cannot have died for anyone else’s sins. God is not looking for such a sacrifice, for His justice punishes the guilty, not the innocent. Again, as you pointed it, the person who sins dies. And if you might think that is backward, that a perfectly just God should be able to forgive sins without the death of the one innocent man, I refer you to verse 29: “…are my ways unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair?”
Most importantly, you ignore the terribly obvious point that God does not call for a sacrifice at all. He calls for repentance. He says that if the righteous abandon his ways, he shall be punished for their wickedness and not saved by their former righteousness. And likewise, the wicked that abandons his way and becomes righteous: “None of the transgressions that they have committed shall be remembered against them; for the righteousness that they have done shall they live” (v. 22). According to Christian theology this would be impossible. But who shall we believe, the prophet or the Christian?
Without meaning to, you have drawn attention to why Christianity is not true, and to the problems inherent in it as a faith structure. It contradicts the revelation given by God. With good intention, I’m sure, you fall into the same errors as the NT and the missionaries quoting one verse out of a chapter and ignoring its context. For the chapter refutes your very arguments. It is not a chapter about each and every one of us dying for our sins. Rather it delineates that those who are to be punished will be punished for their own errors. And the path to restoration with God is by changing one’s ways and practicing His Law. One last point, the chapter also implies that such a path to repentance is possible, whereas in Christian doctrine such a thing would be impossible.
I am sorry you misunderstood what I wrote. I did not say we die because of Adam’s sin, but as the seed of a father passes to a son, if we keep going back in our genealogy, we would eventually wind up back at Adam. We cannot get to God, because Adam’s sin separated us from God. Therefore, we all have inherited a sin nature from Adam (not die because of Adam’s sin). As you noted in Ezekiel 18, each of us are responsible for his or her own sins. Yet, there is a difference between the Jew and the Christian. The Jew is justified by God through his righteousness in keeping the law and circumcision by faith, whereby the Christian is justified in Christ’s righteousness and Christ’s fulfillment of the law through faith.
Verse 18:30 declares for the Jew to repent and turn from all his transgressions and to fulfill his own righteousness. Howbeit, the Christian also repents and turns from his transgressions, but turns to Jesus who becomes the fulfillment of his righteousness. He makes Jesus the Lord of his life from that day forward and endeavors to follow Him all the days of his life. The Jew is righteous by keeping the law – the Christian is righteous through Christ who fulfilled the law.
What Jesus did by dying on the cross, means in the New Testament that we are living under the time of grace. That grace is God’s love and mercy extended to all – Jew and Gentile alike, but the time is soon coming where God puts an end to the time of grace and returns His focus upon His chosen people (the Jew) again, whereby all Israel shall be saved.
Forgive me for pressing the point further, but you seem once again to be in direct conflict with the prophet. If you cannot be condemned for the wickedness of another, nor can you be “justified” by the righteousness of another. Even if Jesus was righteous, it could have no possible bearing on how you are judged by God. The goodness of another cannot be attributed to you, nor me, nor anyone else. I would ask you to read Ezekiel 18 again.
I would ask you also to consider that you interject an unnecessary step into the process of forgiveness. If we both agree that one needs repentance to become right with God, then it is an extra step to add the sacrifice of Jesus into the mix. Again, by the chapter you quoted, repentance needs nothing further. Ezekiel does not say, “repent and bring a sacrifice.” Your theology removes you one step from God. It does not bring you closer.
What you say here, George, doesn’t even make sense! So…..if a Jew decides to believe in jesus as his savior and becomes “saved” what does that make him since he was supposedly justified already by G-d through his righteousness in keeping the law and circumcision by faith? An idol worshipper? Practicing Jews that were raised in Judaism are not taught about jesus as a savior, to believe in jesus would be considered to be an idol worshipper. It totally goes against their being. It SHOULD make them feel sick. I’m pretty sure that the only Jews that have become c-hristians are uneducated. They really don’t know their roots.
Lynn, I am not advocating that I know everything regarding how God deals with the Jew as opposed to a Christian. I have studied Scripture for nearly 40 years. I understand the Virgin Birth, I understand the full comprehension of the Trinity and the Born-again experience, but how God chooses to deal with the Jew escapes me. However, I see the Jew as of the nations, which is of an earthly nature. I see the Christian as of a joint heir with Christ, making him of a heavenly nature. Because the Jew rejected Jesus as their Messiah, God opened the door for the Gentile to be saved. The New Testament projects that the time from Jesus unto the present time, is as a time of grace for everyone. A time for both Jew and Gentile to come into the Kingdom of God and become a part of that heavenly realm appropriated by grace through faith in Jesus. Then, at sometime future, (and possibly near future), when nations seek to destroy Israel, those Jews and Gentiles who had became Christians during the time of grace. will be taken out of the way, and God will return to His chosen people – to the nation of Israel. I believe all Jews will return to Israel. There will be no more Christian or Church on the earth thereafter until the Messiah returns to earth to reign He and splits the Mount of Olives as in Zechariah 14:4. The Church will be a part of the heavenly Kingdom as I mentioned. From thence, the Jew (all Jews) will (at some point) all turn their hearts back to God.
Now concerning the Jew as we see him today and to reply to your query.
As you say, the Jew is supposedly justified by G-d through his righteousness in keeping the law and circumcision by faith. What I advocated from the beginning is who can keep the law? What Jew has never ever commited sin? What Jew has not either taken G-d’s name in vain? Or told a lie or any of the other laws G-d has commanded of the Jew? There is no Temple. There are no more priest making atonement. There is no more sacrifice for atonement of sin. How does a Jew justify becoming fully righteous with G-d even when he continually sins? And what Scripture justify that righteousness? What about the wicked and unrighteous Kings of Judea and of Israel? They led their people to idolatry – were they justified? How did G-d deal with them while they were alive and how did He deal with them after they died – (if you believe in afterlife)? So perhaps you do not believe in an afterlife, then the passage in Ezekiel 18:20 (the soul that sinneth, it shall die) is meaningless; because, we shall all die physically. But what about spiritually (in the afterlife) if you believe in afterlife? Will G-d continue to deal with the Jewish idolater in the afterlife, or will G-d forgive that one even if that individual desires to continue to worship idols instead of G-d? Maybe you have some answers, I would like to hear.
I appreciate that you have studied what you consider the scriptures very thoroughly. But I would ask you to study them in another way. From your comment, it seems that you have only ever studied them with the understanding that the NT is true, and therefore you’ve never tested to see whether or not it is true. But, the NT bases itself on the Torah. So you should first test it in light of the Tenach. Only then will you be able to see if the NT is true or false.
This acceptance of the NT seems to cause you to ignore the vast majority of the chapter from which you quote. Ezekiel has stated clearly that one can be righteous, and that if one is unrighteous, he need only repent to become righteous. The chapter denies both the absurd standards of the NT and the necessity for blood. Moreover, the very verse you quote again, which says that the soul that sins shall die, denies the vicarious atonement of the NT. Read it in context, not through the lens of the NT. It’s not talking about hell. It’s says that the soul that sins shall die, rather than one who did not sin. When reading the NT, you should realize how they do not accord with those of the prophets. And then, you will know that what it says is false, absurd even.
Thank you Jim for clearing that up. I can sin as much as I want and all I have to do is repent. Seems easy enough. So, there is no need for atonement as the Torah states in Leviticus Chapter 17:11. And, could it be as you say, because the NT bases itself on the Torah, Leviticus is invalid?
Jim I don’t mean to be disrespectful or even disagreeable, but Jesus quoted much from the Tenach. You may want to read the NT yourself sometime.
In fact, I am quite familiar with the NT, having been a Christian for the first 31 years of my life. However, it is rife with contradictions and errors, so I knew that I was following a false path. You point out that Jesus quoted from the Tenach. So did Joseph Smith. Should I follow him?
Your sarcasm is not directed toward me, but toward God. It is God who gave Ezekiel the message you continually misrepresent. And the repentance there is no small thing. It is a changing of the ways, a return unto God, not a mere apology. But if you don’t like repentance as the human action that restores him to God, you should like even less that all you have to do by Christian standards is believe. Or nothing, depending on who you talk to.
It’s good that you bring up Lev. 17:11, because it illustrates how you have learned not to read Torah for what it says, but what the NT tells you about it. Lev. 17:11 does not say that sin cannot be forgiven unless a sacrifice is brought. It says you can’t eat blood, because it’s designated for atonement. Those aren’t the same thing. But because you are influenced by Hebrews, you did not realize this.
Actually, George, from this side of the fence it looks like you can sin as much as you like and all you have to do to be saved is believe in Jesus. So for example, all Hitler would have had to do before he died was accept Jesus as his savior and go to heaven, while his six million victims go to hell. Why isn’t that a crazy theology?
Hi George, This sentence, (Will G-d continue to deal with the Jewish idolater in the afterlife, or will G-d forgive that one even if that individual desires to continue to worship idols instead of G-d?) The idol I’m talking about the Jews worshipping is jesus. About the only Jews I’ve seen think they have to be saved through jesus is the ones that don’t really know their heritage. That weren’t raised Jewish.
Hi again Lynn, What I wrote was merely raising a question regarding how G-d deals with idolators in the Jewish faith. The OT mentions many times those who have broken the 1st Commandment. If a Jew desires to keep worshiping their idols instead of obeying the 1st Commandment, does G-d turn His head as though He does not see it? Or, how does He punish the idolator? Does He only punish them in this life, or (if you believe in an afterlife), does He forgive them in the afterlife or continue to punish them?
As far as the idol some Jews worship, who is named Jesus, I can understand your view in that regard. It could be hard for someone to believe that a man who claims to be G-d in the flesh and also made a claim He is the Messiah in John 4:25-26, and then to go and back up those claims with healings and miracles such as is written of Him to be a true fact. And to add to the claims – before He ascends back into heaven, He makes a promise to prove everything to the believer that what He said and did is true by sending G-d’s very own Holy Spirit into their spirit to verify that He is who He says He is – that definitely would be hard for anyone who has not experienced it to believe – I get that.
If you are content being a Jew, I am happy for you. We are the only religions who worship the same G-d – the G-d of the Bible (OT) although we also have the NT. And that is what the New Testament is – a New Covenant, which is making covenant with G-d such as Abraham did to honor, love and serve Him for the rest of our lives. In return, G-d’s part was to send His Son (which was made from His own Word, not from the dust of the ground) and made as a man to redeem us from the death we were deserving of, by dying upon a cross. This is not just some earthly man, but G-d who is manifested in the flesh by the only means that could save us. I can understand your belief that all this is a myth and I would never attempt to convince you otherwise. I just want to say that all true Bible believing, Born-again Christians love the Jews and Israel and I doubt if you can find another religion who loves the Jew more than us.
And by the way, there are some who say they are Christian, but never made that covenant with G-d through Jesus. They thought being a Christian was merely because their parents were, or because they went into a church building, or like other religions such as (Bud-hind-lums) whereby you merely tell someone you want to join them and they send you to their priest or other leader and he confirms the fact. A true Christian has made the covenant with G-d through faith in the Messiah and it is an everlasting covenant. Don’t confuse the true-believer with a make-believer Christian. One (the true believer) has made a binding covenant with G-d, the other only made a one-sided covenant. G-d bless you Lynn.
Sorry I have been away for awhile. You are right about what Ezekiel says. But, does not the Jews require a sacrifice for sin in the Old Testament?
Consider Ezekiel’s requirements anyway. It does require one to keep the law to be righteous. If that be so and you keep those things mentioned – you have saved yourself from death. How long will you stay righteous? Have you ever taken God’s name in vain? Have you ever stole? Have you ever coveted for another’s goods – the things they have that they have that you wished you had? Have you ever lusted after another’s wife? Have you ever had something you loved more than God – perhaps a house, car, sports, or even money? Have you ever told a lie? If so, and you were righteous, are you still righteous after committing one of these things? Then after you become righteous again, will you be able to stay righteous?
A Christian doesn’t depend upon his or her own righteousness, because we cannot keep the law. Only a perfect Being can and there are no perfect Beings around that I know of, except God alone. Jesus, who is God’s only begotten Son (Psalms 2:7), became a man through the Virgin Birth, (Isaiah 7:14) to take away the sins of the world for you for good if you so desire. Thus, there is no requirement on our part, but to quit making ourselves our own god, and make Him (Jesus – God in the flesh) Lord of our lives. What is so difficult about that? If you so desire to be your own god and keep the law yourself, (which no one has ever been able to do) – that is up to you. I cannot be righteous of myself no matter how I try. Jesus however, has written the law in my heart (Psalms 40:8).
I know you think someone who has experienced these things are just trying to justify themselves for sin or something, but for someone who has not experienced it, they can never know nor understand.
If you cannot keep the law then you are not of the Messiah and God,since He says that those who love Him keep His Commandments(Laws).The Law we can not keep is the Temple and Sacrificial Laws since the Messiah was our lamb and now our High Priest.We are now the Temple.But as for the rest of the Laws we can keep if they apply to us.
YHVHS is a Canaanite god and his wife is asherah. The serpent hanachas is the serpent god of rebirth from India 8,000 years ago known as “nagas”…..
I don’t want to get into the discussion about all the supposed errors and evilness of Christianity. I do want to know from a Jewish perspective, what or who is the Messiah, how will they know, and what will the result be after the Messiah is revealed. I am not baiting anyone, I just want to know why they rejected Jesus as their Messiah and am still looking. I am not theologically schooled enough to get into the discussion, but I hope to be soon.
Hope that all made sense. I’ll clarify if needed.
Lynn, I hear that you are mad at this person, but you should not have posted this, it is way too offensive, and I hope the rabbi deletes it. Your cousin obviously has serious problems. I think it is fair to say that most Christians would be as horrified by this as you are (and as I am). In fact, the Christians who are my friends would condemn this type of speech unequivocally.
It isn’t fair to judge any group of people by the troubled souls who belong to it.
It was in reply to what George said to me. I wasn’t aware that the whole population would see it and I will delete it myself if I’m able to and can find its origin. Yes, appalling isn’t even a strong enough word for this type of behavior from anyone. I am sorry that you saw it and ask you to forgive my stupidity.
This is a public forum; nothing that you write here is private. Only the moderator can delete comments once they are posted (I think).
I am sorry your son had to experience being the target of such hateful invective.
I figured that much and he must have deleted it because I’ve spent a while trying to figure out where it is. Thanks Dina, I will try not to put offensive things on here that would hurt others.
Oh, that’s good, thanks, Lynn!
Not Bad Rabbi, however, your whole understanding of Christianity is based on the notion that Jesus was just a mere man so I see your logic in your critique. Nonetheless, your entire critique of Christianity can be easily refuted by simply acknowledging Jesus in his proper context. What context is that, well, it’s the fact that Jesus is viewed as the Messiah which by the way was propagated to the gentiles by no other then, guess who…the JEWS. Yes, it was first century Jews (i.e., John, Paul, Peter, etc) not Christians, not Catholics, not Baptist who persuaded the gentiles to embrace this idea. But that’s a whole other subject. Back to my point about refuting your entire critique. All I need to do is replace the word Jesus in some of your critical statements with the word Messiah and you’ll see and hopefully admit that the Christian view of the Messiah (as opposed to just plain old Jesus) is in line with the Judaism of the first century.
Here’s an example taken from your second paragraph under “The Universal Principles of Justice and Charity.” By simply replacing the word Jesus with Messiah, you’ll see that there’s nothing wrong with Christian point of view. Here it is”
The underlying theme of the book of Matthew (and Christianity as a whole) is the exaltation of Messiah and the emphasis of humanity’s “need” for Messiah. The author of the book of Matthew presents the Sermon on the Mount not so much as a teaching on how to live a moral life but as an argument for the superiority of Messiah. Immediately after the Sermon (Matthew7:28,29) the author tells us how the crowds were amazed at the teaching; not because of the beauty of the truths they contained, but because Messiah spoke with incomparable “authority”. Key segments of the Sermon are introduced with the phrase: “You have heard that it was said to them of old time” and contrasted with “But I (Messiah) say to you”. This literary device accentuates the fictitious notion that Messiah is the originator of these universal truths and that they were unknown to mankind until Messiah uttered them to his audience.
You see, once you view Jesus as Messiah (which is his proper historical context) then all of your critique of Christianity fall apart. Why? Because then you would be arguing with doctrines found in Rabbinical ligature out dating Christianity itself. Hence, you would essentially be arguing and critiquing your own rabbinical fore fathers. Need I say more, I think not. Therefore, I rest my case.
Le Chaim Rabbi, Le Chaim!
I am sorry – No Jewish teacher ever taught that the end-purpose of mankind is to exalt another human being as a deity – no matter what you call this human being – be it Messiah, Jesus or Yeshua. This idea is the very antithesis of Judaism.
Again, your presupposition is that Jesus was a mere man, hence, the crux of your argument. But all I need to do is show how Jewish teachers of the first century expected a divine messiah and like I said before, you’re whole critique is nullified.
Moreover, to further illustrate the point about the messiah being divine, we not look further the. Our own backyard and observe the late Lubavitcher rabbi, Mendel Shneerson who at this very moment has followers professing him to be Adonai. Although this might be a small minority, nonetheless it proves my point that Jews viewing messiah as divine is not a Christian ideas but rather a Jewish one.
No Jewish teachers expected a “divine Messiah” in any century – as I said the concept is the very antithesis of Judaism
As it relates to the Lubavitcher Rebbe – do you think that those who have deified him have done so after serious research into Judaism or was the deification a result of their feelings for the Rebbe?
Every respected Lubavitcher teacher rejected those deifiers as heretics.
Fair enough Rabbi, I respect that this is your perspective but we now live in the Information Age and anyone can easily find ancient rabbinical literature to counter your view. Furthermore, thanks to Karaite Jews, the lid has been blown off on how the rabbinical Judaism of today is corrupt and has lost it’s credibility regarding Jewish doctrine. This is not to say that Karaites support my position of a divine messiah; nevertheless, it makes me be very suspicious of rabbinical positions held in this very age.
Peace out Rebbe, it’s been great chatting with you.
As you say – we live in the information age – do your research.
About the Karaites… Deuteronomy 17:8-13 says,
“If a judicial decision is too difficult for you to make between one kind of bloodshed and another, one kind of legal right and another, or one kind of assault and another—any such matters of dispute in your towns—then you shall immediately go up to the place that the Lord your God will choose, where you shall consult with the levitical priests and the judge who is in office in those days; they shall announce to you the decision in the case. Carry out exactly the decision that they announce to you from the place that the Lord will choose, diligently observing everything they instruct you. You must carry out fully the law that they interpret for you or the ruling that they announce to you; do not turn aside from the decision that they announce to you, either to the right or to the left. As for anyone who presumes to disobey the priest appointed to minister there to the Lord your God, or the judge, that person shall die. So you shall purge the evil from Israel. All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not act presumptuously again.”
Without obeying the rulings given in the Talmud, it is actually impossible for Jews today to follow the rulings given b the priests and judges to Israel about how to follow the Torah commandments. It is true that by the time the Talmud was compiled, there were many conversations and discussions among the rabbis about how to best follow those rulings. Even so, that conversation is a healthy one, and according to Judaism it carries within it the authority of the observant, testimonial nation, and of the later authoritative judgments.
Even the original written Torah has to have been connected to tradition that would presumably be followed for all generations, being actually from Sinai and not a custom or fence (though these also can be good/needed). Saadia Gaon wrote about how some laws in Torah must have been given with reliance on additional understandings:
“[The Bible] usually deals with the subjects in an ample way and explains them in detail… In view of such method, it is highly improbable that the law about the Running Issue זיבות (Lev. xv) should have been formulated without explanation, or that the law regarding the leap-year should have been limited to the single word אביב (Exod. Xxiii.). It is obvious that a sufficient explanation must have accompanied all these ordinances; and as we do not possess such in writing, it was given by word of mouth.”
After comparing the detailed explanation of the burnt offering in Levitcus 1 with the brief discussion in Numbers 18:11, he wrote,
“…it is impossible for a law to be dictated in the first instance by a mere allusion. Such mere allusions as, for instance, to prayer as conveyed by the words הוא תהלתך (Deut. x. 21), or to civil jurisdiction by the words ונתן בפלילים (Exod. xxi. 22), and others, are only possible when a full explanation by oral tradition preceded them.”
Other examples include Deuteronomy 12:21, referring to the method of kosher slaughter that God had shown, but which are not written down; Deuteronomy 11:28 speaks about only worshiping the God whom they and their fathers have known.
Judah HaLevi made the point in the Kuzari that Moses’ text was written without vowels or accents, and remembered by the priests, kings, judges, and others as commanded in the Torah itself.
“If the consonantic text of the Mosaic Book requires so many traditional classes of vowel signs, accents, divisions of sentences and masoretic signs for the correct pronunciation of words, how much more is this the case for the comprehension of the same? The meaning of a word is more comprehensive than its pronunciation.”
In other words, the text would be lost if its vowels were not remembered by tradition, but in many cases the actual meanings of words also had to be remembered.
He also focused on the prohibition of work on the Sabbath, where Karaites could not give a reason for a judgment as harsh as death to be given to a knowing violator of the holiness of the day. HaLevi suggested that if the Karaite philosophy regarding the Torah prevailed, then each person would be bound only to the code of his or her own opinions; to a new tradition of speculation, rather than the known tradition from the judgments of the prophets.
Regarding the tradition to ‘worship Yeshua’… This is not a tradition of the people who have kept the Sabbath throughout generations and known its testimony from father to son, mother to daughter. How can you be a part of the community spoken of in the Torah?
“You yourself are to speak to the Israelites: ‘You shall keep my sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, given in order that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you.'”
Anyway… anyone can easily find made-up or out of context rabbinic perspectives to support their view…
To my Jewish friends,
Regarding your introductory statement, (copied below,) the words “Christians” or “Christianity” appear 6 times. If you basically substitute “The Bible” in these 6 places, I would agree with you.
I will make another introductory statement. I recognize full well that Christians have done much good for mankind and that Christianity has incorporated much that is holy. I recognize also that throughout history and until today there were many truly righteous Christians; sincere men and women whose lives reflected sheer Godliness. I do not deny these facts and I cannot deny them. I will however remind you that the tree that brought death to this world was not the tree of evil. It was the tree of good and evil. It is the mixture of good and evil that is so deadly. Yes; there is good in Christianity, and yes; many people have built their lives on that good and have lit up the world with righteousness. But so many more have focused on the evil side of Christianity and filled the world with pain, darkness and death. It is that evil side of Christianity to which I draw your attention in these paragraphs.
Thank you, Rabbi. I find this very enlightening. I was raised in christianity, but have drifted from it over the years. I do come back to the bible, because I feel that it does has something to say to me. The one thing I have always found sorely lacking in christian thought is any serious attempt to include Jewish voices. Obviously there would be little agreement around the story of Jesus, but the characterization of Judaism by Paul I have learned to be very misleading over the years, and when it comes to the Torah and the Prophets it seems the height of arrogance to not even consult those to whom the scriptures were given. I have rarely seen a Jewish critique of the christian church, so it is very interesting to see one so detailed here.
It is unfortunate that the truths Jesus taught were corrupted by the influx of pagan ideas into the basic teachings of Christianity, because it has clouded our view of what He actually taught. There are numerous branches of Christianity which each teach different things about who and what Christ was, and the falsehoods taught by the mainstream church are not representative of Christ’s true teachings. The New Testament scriptures themselves teach that this corruption of truth would be the inevitable result when false teachers came in as ravening wolves devouring truth and presenting instead a perverse misrepresentation of those truths, turning people aside from them in favor of half truths and lies that wrest their true meaning. However, despite your characterization of Christ as one who sought to exalt himself, Christ did in fact always give credit to His Father Yahweh for His works and miracles, citing Him as the source of these deeds and of the truths He taught. The fact that Jesus taught certain basic truths, such as those given in the Sermon on the Mount, is not an indication that He was claiming to be the originator of those truths. When Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the Life” He was saying that He was the example to follow, and that through imitation of Him salvation could be obtained, and that to live in opposition to the principals He taught was the way of death and destruction. Claiming to be the example to follow, and that God His Father had set Him up to be that example, is a long shot from claiming to be the source of truth itself, which is Yahweh and only Yahweh. Jesus is God’s human Messiah, not God Himself, or a second person of God, and the Holy Spirit is simply the spirit of Yahweh Himself, or His power working in Christ and all believers for the advancement of His plan.
It is a false claim to say that Jesus taught that man was inherently evil. What Christ taught is that mankind is inherently imperfect and sinful. In other words we are prone to error and the making of wrong choices when left to our own devices. We need a guide to pattern ourself after and Christ was that guide. He was the pattern for a righteous life. Through perfect communion with and obedience to His Father, He lived a sinless life and earned the right to be our mediator before God, because despite being born a man, tempted in all the ways men are tempted, He resisted temptation and remained faithful even unto a brutal death.
“The teachers of Christianity have highlighted the negative side of the history of man, the wars, the cruelty and the immorality in order to establish her teaching that man is bad. According to the Church, it is only acceptance of Jesus into one’s heart that can alter this sorry state of affairs.”
All one has to do is look about them to see how inherently imperfect mankind is. Man (Adam) was created in Gods image, but fell from that perfect status and passed his imperfection to all of His descendants. Man now falls short of that perfection. That mankind received a death sentence when He fell into sin is the teaching of your own scriptures. In Genesis it says:
“Of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou dost not eat of it, for in the day of thine eating of it — dying thou dost die.”
When Adam ate of the tree, immediately, in that day, he began the process of dying. Nothing in scripture says that he would have died anyway. What it does say is that death was the consequence of his sinful actions. So for the New Testament scriptures to make men aware of their death sentence and how they can avoid it, hardly seems like focusing on the negative, but instead on the positive fact of salvation being provided.
Though prayer and the guidance of scripture and through Christ’s example and the teachings He received from His Father, Men can live essentially righteous lives and ask the Father for forgiveness for their failings. Left on His own, however, mankind, no matter how well meaning, will always fall short of pleasing God. It is our intent to live righteously through faith in God that allows us to be reckoned as righteous in the sight of God, but we are yet sinful (not evil), regardless of our efforts. Only by living our lives in accordance with the pattern set by Christ, not in perfection, but in righteous intent, Just as with Abraham, are we reckoned as righteous and saved through God’s grace.
While some Christian teachers may focus on the negative aspects of the Hebrew scriptures, this is not the outlook of Christianity at all. The Gospel is the “Good News” of salvation through faith and observance of Christ’s teachings, and once again these teachings were not all new ideas. Salvation by grace through faith was always available to the OT saints. Looking ahead to their promised Messiah was part of their faith. Christianity does not state that OT saints were not saved because they did not know Christ. Their faith was in God’s coming Messiah, and living according to the values of God’s Law was always reckoned as righteousness. True Christianity does not see the Church as a replacement of Israel. In fact True Christianity sees the Church as being grafted into Israel through faith in the Jewish Messiah, and all of the first Christians were Jews who did not see themselves as being separated from Israel or practicers of a new foreign faith. They were merely Jews who accepted Christ Jesus as their promised Messiah, and they worshiped in synagogues alongside other Jews .
“Christianity asserts that man is evil until he bends his heart towards Jesus. Faith in Jesus, it is taught, generates a “new birth” that produces a “new person” who is now inherently inclined towards righteousness and holiness.”
This is a false statement that misrepresents Christian belief. Man being inherently “sinful” which is the true Christian belief, is not the same as being evil. Being sinful is our nature as imperfect beings, and it speaks only of that imperfection. Evil, however, is an intent of the heart, and something else entirely. “New birth” and “new person” are metaphoric language and speak only of the intent of the heart of any true believer. Christians are not “inherently” righteous, or righteous by default. We have to work at it or we fall into our old sinful ways. so it is about the intents of our hearts being changed, not about being suddenly inherently righteous by nature.
“This false teaching affects the Christian mind in two different areas; in the way Christians view non-Christians and in the way Christians view themselves.”
This is a false characterization and generalization that no more fits all or even a large portion of Christians than any such characterization fits any whole group of people. Self righteous arrogance is a human trait, not a Christian one, and in making this statement, you as a Jew are guilty of the very thing you are accusing Christians of. You are raising yourself as a Jew above all Christians who you believe are “self righteous,” while you in your Jewishness are free of such wrong thinking. You my friend are a giant hypocrite.
“It is no coincidence that the same institution that denied the Biblical truth of the second half of Genesis 9:6 is the same institution that most often violated the commandment expressed in the first half of that same verse.”
First of all, Christianity is a faith, not an institution. Christ said “love thy neighbor” and “turn the other cheek.” He taught to return hatred with kindness. He never once committed violence against any man or instructed violence or hatred as a response to evil, and you are a liar to suggest that it is in any way Christian to commit such acts. Those who commit such atrocities are in no way Christian, and if they do not repent of their heinous sin they are bound for destruction. not eternal torment, but annihilation, because God, unlike many self righteous men who hide their cowardly treacherous and murderous acts behind religion, is not a terrorist. For you to suggest that being Christian has led to people being of murderous intent is a base lie and the worst kind of slander.
“All of us have a capacity for Godliness and righteousness; it is a gift that God has granted all of humanity. Many people fail to actuate this gift but we all possess it. There are many strategies that can be used to bring forth man’s inherent capacity for goodness, and under certain circumstances, belief in Jesus can serve as this trigger. But the historical record has demonstrated that belief in Jesus can just as easily be used to bring forth man’s capacity for evil and destruction. The fact remains that the Godliness that is innate to every human soul is in no way related to belief in Jesus, rather it is part and parcel of the original creation of all men. The claim that belief in Jesus is what produces this capacity is simply a strategy that has been used by the Church to control the hearts and the minds of her followers.
Once again you completely mischaracterize Christian belief. It is not in any way a teaching of the Christian Church that any man is incapable of Godliness and righteousness, but only that service of God and Christ leads to goodness. It is not belief in Christ that leads to Godliness, and Christianity does not teach this, even if there are ignorant men who will make this claim. To be in service of God and Christ (Living by Christ’s teachings) means to be in service of others rather than always being in service of self, which is the natural inclination of Men. Simply believing (whatever that means) in Jesus doesn’t lead to anything good or bad. Only having faith (i.e. putting your trust in what He taught and living by it.) can have an effect on ones character, and it is impossible for his message of absolute non violence to lead to evil and destruction. For you to say that “the historical record has demonstrated that belief in Jesus can just as easily be used to bring forth man’s capacity for evil and destruction” is absolutely idiotic. You are fully aware that following Christ’s teachings cannot lead to evil and destruction. You are making your irrational hatred for Christians very plain here.
I wish I had time to answer this hateful diatribe point by point, but I don’t , so suffice it to say that the Church does not replace Israel, it is in fact rather, grafted into the rootstock which is Israel, nor does it steal the scriptures away from it. They are still the Jewish scriptures. Christian acceptance of those scriptures does not constitute theft. The promise to Abraham was that He would be a blessing to all nations. He cannot be a blessing to all nations if the Jewish scriptures are meant to be held hostage by the Jews. You speak of a Messianic Hope, and yet make the curious statement that it shouldn’t be limited to belief in one individual or another. How do you have a Messiah that is not one individual or another?
You are right about one thing, and that is that the mainstream Christian Church has been corrupt nearly from its inception due to its marriage to the Roman State in its infancy. the Roman Church was and is an evil organization, and its doctrines are false because it has used its own interpretations of both OT and NT scriptures to produce such abominations as the doctrine of the Trinity, the doctrine of immortality of the soul and its corollary of eternal torment in Hell fire for the wicked and others. Christ never taught any such things. He taught the Shema, conditional immortality, and the destruction of the wicked. He also never claimed to be God Almighty.
How dare you accuse the rabbi of irrational hatred of Christians and making idiotic statements in light of nearly 2,000 years of Christian persecution of the Jewish people? You have no moral standing to preach to us of love, sir. None at all.
It’s too bad that you weren’t around to inform John Chrysostom and Martin Luther of the correct interpretation of Christian scripture. You reveal your ignorance of the history of Christian-Jewish relations in this comment. But that is easily remedied, sir. Just get some books and start reading.
Hateful talk such as what he has used here deserve an answer. I dare to call him on it because he is not above criticism. What he wrote was very hateful. He does not get a free pass at speaking hatefully simply because he spoke some disclaimer before initiating his diatribe. Carrying the title rabbi or teacher does not give one license to do so. Being a Christian certainly does not give one a lack of moral standing, and I know hate speech and arrogance when I hear it.
As far as persecution is concerned. the early Christians were persecuted by Jews so just come down off of your pedestal. As far as the later Church under the Roman State is concerned, I have no defense of their murderous behavior, and I don’t consider this state Church to have been truly Christian anyway. They persecuted and killed true Christians whenever they found them. I certainly have no respect for the writings of the so called Church Fathers, who were mostly Pagan converts who were responsible for abominable doctrines such as the Trinity, nor do I have much respect for Martin Luther. Although He did take the Protestant Church away from Many of the errors of the Roman Church, He also carried many of them over into Protestantism. I am not ignorant of the relations of the mainstream Church with the Jews, but this is not the true Church and regardless, Christ is not responsible for anti-Semitism. Christ was after all a Jew, and His religion was Judaism. He kept the Law until his death, and he sought to teach the spirit of the law, not just the letter. I am also far more well read and educated than you are obviously aware, so don’t make assumptions.
“Hateful talk such as what he has used here deserve an answer. I dare to call him on it because he is not above criticism. What he wrote was very hateful. He does not get a free pass at speaking hatefully simply because he spoke some disclaimer before initiating his diatribe.”
I agree no one is above criticism, but you have no right to call someone hateful simply because you disagree with their statements. Do you see me or anyone else calling you full of spite and festering hate because you are a Christian? No, because like any good debater and commenter I treat people in good faith instead of letting of petty tantrums. It is detracting and is the sole reason for half of the world’s problems. If you don’t like what is said take it like a man and deal with it in a civil manner. Don’t come blundering in because someone says boo.
I wrote – “the historical record has demonstrated that belief in Jesus can just as easily be used to bring forth man’s capacity for evil and destruction” – you can see no source for this statement outside of hate and bias. I suggest you study some history. You can read Holy Hatred, Constantine’s Sword, A Moral Reckoning, and many more – Please read them before dismissing them.
If you expect me to identify any Jew-hating Christians as “false” Christians simply because Jesus taught turning the other cheek, then I will point you to the many scholars of Christianity who believed with all of their heart in the principle of turning the other cheek and still hated Jews – its not a contradiction.
I’m sorry, but it is a contradiction. Saying that one beliueves with all their heart means nothing. You can say anything you want, but when the rubber meets the road, you demonstrate what you truly believe by what you do. If someone says they believe in the message of non violence and turning the other cheek, which includes not hating, then they demonstrate this belief in their actions. What you are demonstrating is not that Christ’s message was hateful or wrong, but only that hypocritical people who hate and act violently also claim to be following Christ’s teachings which is a lie. This does not make Christ’s message wrong, nor does it make their actions representative of Christs message. Anyone can claim Christianity, and live in opposition to its message. This is human hypocrisy, not an example of Christ’s message in action. I have studied oplenty of history, and it is full of such hatred and hypocrisy. This cannot be laid on Christ’s message, but on the refusal to actually follow it.
So you characterize Jesus’ message as “non-violence” – I would say that “non-violence” is but a minor detail of his overall message which is “believe in me”
Throughout history people who loved Jesus with all their hearts and who practiced non-violence toward other Christians still hated Jews. They believed that Jews are children of the devil and as such are not included in Jesus’ “love everybody” teaching – I mean – did Jesus expect his followers to love the Devil?
As you point out – teaching non-violence while failing to practice it is part of human hypocrisy – but what makes you think that Jesus’ message is free from human hypocrisy? – he was a man after all.
You read very selectively. I never said that non violence was the totality of Jesus message. What’s more you realize i never said that it was. I guess that’s the “Modus Operandi” of those looking to show fault where it does not exist. Jesus message was definitely not “believe in me,” but believe in what I am teaching about my Father. He gave credit to His father in all things, and your attempt to make it seem the message was about himself simply because he said “but I tell you” to expand on a teaching is pathetic. He did this to teach spiritual understandings that are implicit in the original teachings and yet not every person considers, particularly if they are overly concerned with the letter rather than the spirit of the Law. He was not teaching anything new and taking credit for it. Jesus taught love of humanity I.e. love your neighbor, so your pathetic attempt to twist his words and message does not work as applied to the Devil. It’s interesting that you speak of how much Christians hate Jews, and yet you are the only one using hate speech. Christians do not teach the Jews are “children of the Devil.” This is a hateful lie. Anyone who teaches such a thing is definitely not a Christian. If Jesus ever committed or taught violence, then you might have a reason to call him a hypocrite. As it stands, however your only justification is your irrational hatred of the man based on what false Christians have done in his name, but not according to his teachings.
“Jesus message was definitely not “believe in me,” but believe in what I am teaching about my Father.”
Read John 11:25 and then think for a moment of what you just stated here how this has any tenability in reality.
“As it stands, however your only justification is your irrational hatred of the man based on what false Christians have done in his name, but not according to his teachings.”
How is it irrational to hate the evil things man has done in the name of Jesus ? I would not like Jesus either if people say he commanded that Christians should do (insert evil here) others.
Yahisgood, very good comment and explanation.
Eric, Yahisgood’s comment is full of errors. It seems like a hopeless task to untangle them all, but I will take a stab at one of them, at least for now.
Yahisgood wrote: “Left on His own, however, mankind, no matter how well meaning, will ALWAYS fall short of pleasing God.” (emphasis added)
Here is a short list–by no means exhaustive–of men who sinned but were pleasing to God:
The righteous remnant of Israel, collectively called God’s servant (read Isaiah from chapter 40 until the end)
Eric, here are more errors:
Yahisgood wrote: “However, despite your characterization of Christ as one who sought to exalt himself, Christ did in fact always give credit to His Father Yahweh for His works and miracles, citing Him as the source of these deeds and of the truths He taught.”
Jesus did point people to himself, by saying things like “for my sake.” For HIS sake? What kind of arrogance is that? All the Hebrew prophets never once said “believe in me” or “do such and such for my sake” but rather they pointed the people to God and God only.
Can you imagine Moses, the greatest prophet of them all (Deuteronomy 34:10), saying such a thing?
He wrote: “The fact that Jesus taught certain basic truths, such as those given in the Sermon on the Mount, is not an indication that He was claiming to be the originator of those truths.”
When Jesus said “You have heard it said of old” and then added “But I say to you,” the simple reading of the text means that he is originating the teaching he is about to expound upon. That is a perfectly fair way to read and understand the text. Just because Yahisgood says that’s not what it means doesn’t mean that’s not what it means.
Yahisgood wrote: “When Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the Life” He was saying that He was the example to follow.” Seriously! That does not follow the plain meaning of the text, which is a stunningly arrogant statement for a mere human to make, but also ignores the rest of that very verse: “No one comes to the Father but through me.”
Yahisgood wrote: “When Adam ate of the tree, immediately, in that day, he began the process of dying. Nothing in scripture says that he would have died anyway. What it does say is that death was the consequence of his sinful actions. So for the New Testament scriptures to make men aware of their death sentence and how they can avoid it, hardly seems like focusing on the negative, but instead on the positive fact of salvation being provided.”
Adam introduced PHYSICAL DEATH into the world by eating of the forbidden fruit. (A plain reading indicates that Adam was supposed to physically live forever.) Nowhere does the text say that he brought ETERNAL DEATH into the world. Nor does Hebrew scripture say anything about the need for God to redeem us from eternal death by sacrificing his son (it makes me feel ill to type these blasphemous words).
He further wrote: “He never once committed violence against any man or instructed violence or hatred as a response to evil, and you are a liar to suggest that it is in any way Christian to commit such acts.”
Yahisgood has forgotten some of his own scripture. Shall I remind him of Matthew 21:12, John 2:15, Luke 19:27, Matthew 10:34?
Yahisgood wrote: “For you to say that “the historical record has demonstrated that belief in Jesus can just as easily be used to bring forth man’s capacity for evil and destruction” is absolutely idiotic.” Ah, how I wish that were true! The only thing I can do is suggest again that Yahisgood read some history.
Yahisgood also wrote: “You are fully aware that following Christ’s teachings cannot lead to evil and destruction.” With this statement, Yahisgood is following in the time-honored tradition of accusing Jews of fully knowing the truth but rejecting it out of pure malice and hardness of heart. With this hateful statement he reveals his own hypocrisy, as he dares to preach of love while practicing hate. He needs to do some serious soul searching, that much is clear.
There is a lot more, but it’s too depressing to do all at once.
Really? You assume that my statement means that I think that no man has ever done anything that pleases God? If man could never do any good, there would be no reason for God to want to salvage mankind. Obviously this is not my meaning. Sinning falls short of pleasing God. When we sin we are not pleasing to God. Or do you think that god just winks at our sin? Saying that man will always fall short of pleasing God simply means that we will never be completely free of sin. Does this mean that men are always sinning? Obviously not! That is a ridiculous assumption to make.
There will always be those who choose to serve God, and those who do not, but even those who serve God still commit sins, because it is not possible for imperfect men to NEVER sin, and in this sin we fall short of pleasing God. Quite obviously it does not mean that because we sin, we therefore never please him. Bye the way, when we are trying to please God, we are not “left on our own,” because we are living by the spirit of God and according to His will. When we are living for Him, His spirit is within us doing its work of sanctification. “Left on our own” refers to men’s behavior when they are following their own wills and living according to their own desires, and this falls short of pleasing God, so please don’t go out of your way to take my words out of their very obvious context to try to discredit them.
As for “untangling” my errors. There was nothing complicated about any of my statements that should make answering them difficult for you. I was pretty straight-forward. You don’t have to agree with me, but if you have a rebuttal, then please give it rather than just calling my statements “in error.” which you have in no way demonstrated. Your singular example of my “error” given here does not hold up at all, because you have taken my words far outside of their very obvious context.
Read Romans 3:11-18
Please note the capped words of this verse.
ALL have turned away,
they have together become WORTHLESS;
there is no one who does GOOD
“If man could never do any good, there would be no reason for God to want to salvage mankind. Obviously this is not my meaning. Sinning falls short of pleasing God.” True, but this is what Paul is saying, and he says clearly that man is worthless.
“Does this mean that men are always sinning? Obviously not! That is a ridiculous assumption to make.” Is not man by nature sinful, how is it then that it is a ridiculous assumption that man is always sinning ? I agree that man is not sinning all the time, but if he has a sinful nature he can never do a good act only imitations of it. A dog can attempt to stand on two legs, but he can never walk like a man.
Dina, to your comment on ‘ “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart
Is it such a crime to expand the words into the area where they also keep thier meaning? By saying ‘you shalll not.’.. into what Jesus said above?
There is a difference between adding to something and then contradicting the given truth .
I guess there was a need to clarify to some individuals that adultery doesn’t relate only to phisical .
As for “for my sake ” if you read carefuly the message he said it with and know his entire life then you will know that it referres to following his example and sharing good news about God’s salvation. Following his life which was love for God and love towards other people, seeking other’s needs met before yours, showing kindness and helping those in need. All this what the world hates as peoples priorities are ; self seeking, my needs first, me first, and hope in the things of this world. You loose that junk ‘for me’ , you will gain a better life ( eternal life).
That’s how by ‘losing our life for him ( for his sake) , we will save it ” by giving up what the ungodly world is looking for, and instead of we are looking for what pleases God. For his sake means – for God’s sake, as Jesus principles and God’s principles.
Nobody reads arrogance in these words.
I go back to that later , I am working now.
Eric, I don’t think you understood what I wrote regarding “But I say to you.” When Jesus said “But I say to you” he implied that he was about to introduce a brand-new teaching. In most cases, he simply repeated something from Tanach or from the rabbinic teachings. This is dishonest. I wrote about that in my notes on the Sermon on the Mount. You can read it here:
As for your counter to my argument about “for my sake,” you are proving my point. You wrote: “For his sake means – for God’s sake.” Exactly! Jesus equates himself with God. No Hebrew prophet–even the great Moses–talked like that, although they were bringing God’s principles to the people.
Dina, These are my words, my explanation; ‘for his sake means for God’s sake, His principles are God’s principles’ They are not quotes from the NT. Let’s say I am trying to live according to God’s principles so I will say to others; my principles are God’s one or I will say that about the other person who does that. Does it mean I am making myself equal with God?? Or rather I am implying I chose the way of life that pleases God? Your accusing arguments have no moral base. Also it seems that it bothers you more the way Jesus spoke than the message itself he communicated. Does it upset you so much that Jesus didn’t communicate anything new while having the teaching on the mount? Is the reminder of God’s truth such a crime to be so upset?
The sermon on the mount doesn’t start with any unusual words; he saw the crowd and started speaking to them.
Also I don’t see anything wrong with the words he used ‘ But I say to you. If that implies to you a new teaching then study his teaching to see if that is a NEW DISCOVERY in his words when he explained to others that evil thoughts in your heart are the same as if you did actual crime/sin.
So was his explanation about adultery, the love for enemies, and about keeping from anger with your brother – which was not a new teaching as you find it in Levit 19;17-18
You ‘re right no prophet before used the words Jesus used. For you it is not understandable as you deny him for whom he really was; Christ, the Son of the living God and sent by God.
Deuteronomy 34:10. says ‘There arose not a prophet since — like unto Moses — And yet it is said (Deuteronomy 18:15) that God would raise up a prophet, from the midst of Israel, like unto Moses. It is shown , that this promise was not fulfilled either in Joshua or Samuel, and the best of many confess that it should not be fulfilled till the Messiah came. From these words it plainly appears that this chapter, at least this verse, could not have been written till long after Moses’s death, when a great number of prophets had been known in Israel, yet the one of whom Moses spoke is not mentioned there.
God gave Jesus great authority; giving him everything into his hands; John 3;35, John 5;19-29 ., John 6;27, John 6;32-35., John 6;37;39
Eric, I address some of the points you raised in my latest comment on “A New Set of Feelings.” For the sake of simplicity, I recommend that we pick up the thread over there, if that’s okay with you. Otherwise, we can continue here.
Sorry, I just want to address over here the difference between Deut 34:10 and 18:15, by putting them in context, and then I’ll move over to the the other thread.
Deuteronomy 34:10-12: Never again has there arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses whom the Lord had known face to face, as evidenced by all the signs and wonders that the Lord sent him to perform in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh and his courtiers and all his land and by all the strong hand and awesome power that Moses performed before the eyes of all Israel.
In other words, no other prophet ever spoke directly to God like Moses or performed miracles against a whole country before an entire nation and on such a grand scale.
Deuteronomy 18:14-18: If you read all these verses, you will see that Moses is telling the people that unlike the nations whose land they will possess who are led by astrologers and diviners, God will establish for them prophets. This is because when God spoke to them directly, they couldn’t bear it and asked Moses to relay His messages instead. This was good in God’s eyes, so He will send them a prophet to relay His messages and to lead them, like Moses did. (Sorry, it was too long to type out; the translation I’m using is not available online for cutting and pasting.)
In both instances, the context clarifies what is meant by “like Moses.” You have wrenched these verses out of context.
Of course Deuteronomy 18:15 is talking about Joshua and the others. Moses is comforting them that they won’t be without a leader when he dies. How is a leader who won’t show up for another 1400 years supposed to reassure them?
Context is key!
Dina, And how is not to have a leader any more after 1400 years at all to reassure them?
If you think Deut 18 includes all prophets I don’t see the reason for eliminating Jesus from it.
The rest of the answer I will put in ‘new set of feelings;
Please forgive me for addressing my comments to Eric rather than to you. I thought you had left the conversation. Thanks for clarifying what you meant about pleasing God, although now I’m not sure what your point is. As for the rest of what I wrote, I do think I showed how you are mistaken in my other comments. If you have the time and inclination, I would love to hear from you why you think I did not in fact accomplish this.
I am taking a break for the holiday of Shavuot but I will be happy to continue this conversation with you next week if you so desire.
Peace and blessings,
My explanation was in regards to your criticism of my answer to your rabbi, which was in answer to his statement that Christianity teaches that man is inherently evil, which is false. This is in answer to your original criticism written to Eric. I will get to your other comment when I get the chance.
” which was in answer to his statement that Christianity teaches that man is inherently evil” If sin is evil and rebellion, and man’s nature is inherently full of it how is it that man is then not inherently evil and rebellious.
Yahigood, I don’t have time this week to write much, so I will pick up again next week. In the meantime, I would appreciate if you would pinpoint exactly what you found hateful and please show why it is not true. As David often reminds me, something isn’t racist or anti-Semitic if it’s true. (For example, since we Jews really are hard-hearted and spiritually blind and children of the devil, then it’s not anti-Semitic to say so). What did the rabbi write that is not only hateful but also false, and how do you know this?
Please support your statement that Jews persecuted Christians, and show me whether it matched the scale of nearly 2000 years of Christian persecution of Jews.
Finally, prove that the Christians who engaged in persecution of Jews were not real Christians.
I will have time to respond more next week, God willing.
It is quite apparent that you do not understand what true Christianity is, but then I wouldn’t expect you to since most professing Christians don’t know either. Those who understand the teachings of Catholicism, or Orthodoxy, or even the mainstream protestant Churches as being representative of true Christianity as taught by the apostles of Christ, are sadly, truly sadly mistaken. True Christianity as taught by the apostles teaches a concept of God that is much closer to that of Judaism than it is to what is taught in the mainstream Church. The Apostles were Jews and worshipped alongside other Jews in the synagogues. Their concept of who God is did not radically change as it is taught in the mainstream Church, which teaches much that is not truly Christian. These are the teachings of the harlot Church that is spoken of in the NT scriptures. The true Church did not see Jesus as Almighty God. They saw Him as elohim, or theos, in the same sense as with Moses, the Judges, and the leaders of Israel (though of even greater authority as God’s promised Messiah or earthly King). They saw him as God’s representative on earth, the Messiah. They saw him as a mighty one to be sure, but they did not see him as the Almighty creator of the universe. Thomas referred to him as “my god,” not as “my God,” but I digress.
You wanted to know “What did the rabbi write that is not only hateful but also false, and how do you know this?, so here ya go!
“This then is the modus operandi of Christianity; it has exploited the truth for the advancement of the lie.”
Modus operandi, is a Latin term that translates approximately as “method of operation” is most often and most recognizably used in the context of criminal investigations to refer to the methods a criminal perpetrator uses to commit his crimes. Your “rabbi” here is purposely using a term, that would most readily be associated with criminal behavior, to refer to Christians. This was calculated hateful speech. He said we exploit truths to advance lies no less, a lie being the knowing advancement of a known untruth. So in His eyes, Christians do not merely teach what they have been fooled into believing, no, we purposely spread lies in the face of God, but this isn’t hateful speech right?
He then goes on to slander the name of Christ by mischaracterizing him as trying to pass himself off as the originator of basic truths. Never mind that his premise is ridiculous and a lie.
He then contends that Christianity teaches that Man is inherently evil, which is a lie that hatefully and falsely characterizes Christian belief. Nearly everything he says on this subject not only twists Christian teaching, it out and out falsifies it, turning the concept of regeneration and sanctification, which is a lifelong process, into an instantaneous transformation from complete evil into holiness without any struggle. This is a perverse lie. His understanding of Christian teaching is hopelessly confused. He said:
“The capability for righteousness is an integral part of every human soul.
Christianity has set itself up in opposition to this truth but at the same time it has exploited this truth in a deep and insidious way.”
This is also a hateful lie. Christianity in no way teaches that man is inherently evil and incapable of righteousness. Christianity teaches that man is inherently sinful, not evil. We are sinful because of our imperfection, which is what caused Adam to sin in the first place. Because of mans tendency towards sinning, he needs an example to follow to pattern his life after. Christ, having lived a sinless life, is the perfect example to follow. When left to follow his own desires which are often sinful, and without the concerted effort to live righteously in imitation of Christ’s example, man leads himself down a path of self service towards evil. Man is not inherently evil. Evil is a choice. Man, however, will head down that path without the conscious choice to follow the higher path that requires sacrifice and constant vigilance. I’ve heard it said that evil is malignant, while righteousness and goodness are benign. I believe this is true. All that it takes for evil to prosper is for good men not to resist it. Evil will spread without any conscious effort. This is true because sin is self service. It is the easy path. and sin unchecked leads to evil. Goodness, however must be spread by conscious effort and constant vigilance. Self service is easy. Sacrifice and service of others requires hard work and setting aside our own desires. This is the true message of Christianity in opposition of your rabbi’s hateful characterization of its supposed evil intent. Your rabbi’s words “The claim that belief in Jesus is what produces this capacity (this is not the teaching of Christianity) is simply a strategy that has been used by the Church to control the hearts and the minds of her followers.” are a slanderous lie.
Your rabbi then speaks of the “The Inherent Godliness of Mankind” as the antithesis of Christian teaching. Since I’ve already made it plain that Christianity does not teach that Man is inherently evil, as your rabbi has lyingly stated, I will not repeat myself, however, to say that man is inherently Godly is also a lie. Man is neither inherently evil nor inherently Godly. It is our choices that make us what we are. Having a capacity for Godliness, does not make us inherently Godly. We have to choose to be Godly. We can choose Godliness, or we can choose evil, however, of the two, evil is the easiest choice. Evil only requires that we serve ourself. Godliness requires that we serve others, and requires concerted effort on our parts. The only thing that is inherent in us is our imperfection, which is why we must make an effort to be good. Once again your rabbi has falsified Christian teachings in order to make Christians and Christianity look bad, which is hateful.
Your rabbi then goes on to speak of “The Testimony of the Jewish Nation” in glowing terms while slanderously lying about the claims of the Church and blaming it for all its woes. He speaks in grandiose terms of the “eternal Jewish community” as if anything human is eternal having no beginning or end. he speaks of replacement theology, which is an aberration in Christian theology as if it were taught in scripture rather than the true teaching that the Church is grafted into the olive tree that is Israel. The early Christians were all Jews, and remained Jews, and the gentile Church (Christians that are gentiles or of the nations) are accepted into Israel by God. It is regrettable that a pejorative meaning has been attached to the word Pharisee. This has come about as a result of ignorance, and not because the Church has specifically taught this. I cannot defend any ignorant Christian pastors or teachers that have advanced such a teaching, but this is not taught in scripture. Christ did not teach that all Pharisees were hypocrites, he spoke against that group of Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes (lawyers) that sought to kill him and stamp out his message. He also taught that the Pharisees were the rightful leaders of Israel, and it is highly likely that he was a Pharisee himself although this cannot be proven. As far as pejorative terms are concerned, the name “Christian” was originally a mocking pejorative spoken of the followers of Jesus in Antioch. Christians did not originally refer to themselves by this name. They spoke of themselves as followers of “the Way” taught by Christ. Jesus never taught that the Jews were the “Children of the Devil.” This is a slanderous and hateful lie, nor has Christianity discredited the testimony of the Jews except in their rejection of their Messiah whom we believe was and is Jesus of Nazareth. I can personally say that in all my time in the Church, I have never heard Israel or the Jews spoken of in the terms that your rabbi tries to show as the normal Christian attitude. As for Christians having supposedly changing the literary landscape of the Hebrew scriptures, I wouldn’t expect you to accept that they speak of Jesus, since you reject him, but other than in regards to that one issue, Christians pretty much accept the scriptures as they have always been taught, but with additional meaning as regards Christ. This does not steal the scriptures from the Jews!
Your rabbi says “There is not one verse in all of the Jewish Bible that can be misconstrued to read as if the glory of the Messianic future is limited to those who have faith in one individual or another.” This is a statement that is made only because as jews you have not recognized or identified any individual as your Messiah, and yet if Jesus is not your Messiah, then there will yet come a time when you too will have to accept one individual as your Messiah, and then will you still make this claim?
In speaking of “The Relationship That Man Shares With God” your rabbi further uses his misconceptions about the teachings of Christ to illustrate how being Christian destroys ones relationship with God, as if there are no Christians who have one or who can. This is just more of the same hate speech. He twists the true meaning of Christian teaching into something perverse that in no way resembles the true teachings of Christ. The rest of his diatribe is just a repeat of the same hateful twisting of Christian teaching. All of it lies. How do I know this? Because I understand the true meaning of those scriptures that he has falsified in his attack on Christians and Christianity. As for what is taught in mainstream churches, you will get a different story depending on which church group or denomination you choose to survey. The true teachings are in the scriptures themselves, not in the extra-biblical creeds used by most denominations to explain (change or add on to) scripture the way they want it to be understood. If your understanding of scripture comes from a doctrinal creed written hundreds of years after the fact, your understanding is skewed.
To answer your question about the early persecution of Christians by Jews, there is much written on the subject and I could find many sources of information, but for lack of time or the inclination towards working that hard to show what is after all commonly known I give you a quote from Wikipedia.
“Dissension began almost immediately with the teachings of Stephen at Jerusalem (unorthodox by contemporaneous Jewish standards), and never ceased entirely while the city remained. A year after the Crucifixion of Jesus, Stephen was stoned for his alleged transgression of orthodoxy, with Saul (who later converted and was renamed Paul) looking on.
In 41 AD, when Agrippa I, who already possessed the territory of Antipas and Phillip, obtained the title of King of the Jews, in a sense re-forming the Kingdom of Herod, he was reportedly eager to endear himself to his Jewish subjects and continued the persecution in which James the Greater lost his life, Peter narrowly escaped and the rest of the apostles took flight.
After Agrippa’s death, the Roman procuratorship began (before 41 they were Prefects in Iudaea Province) and those leaders maintained a neutral peace, until the procurator Festus died and the high priest Annas II took advantage of the power vacuum to attack the Church and executed James the Just, then leader of Jerusalem’s Christians. The New Testament states that Paul was himself imprisoned on several occasions by Roman authorities, stoned by Pharisees and left for dead on one occasion, and was eventually taken as a prisoner to Rome. Peter and other early Christians were also imprisoned, beaten and harassed. A Jewish revolt, spurred by the Roman killing of 3,000 Jews, led to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the end of sacrificial Judaism (until the Third Temple), and the disempowering of the Jewish persecutors; the Christian community, meanwhile, having fled to safety in the already pacified region of Pella. The early persecution by the Jews is estimated to have a death toll of about 2,000. The Jewish persecutions were trivial when compared with the brutal and widespread persecution by the Romans.
Of the eleven remaining apostles (Judas Iscariot having killed himself), only one—John the Apostle, the son of Zebedee and the younger brother of the Apostle James—died of natural causes in exile. The other ten were reportedly martyred by various means including beheading, by sword and spear and, in the case of Peter, crucifixion upside down following the execution of his wife. The Romans were involved in some of these persecutions.
The New Testament, especially the Gospel of John, has traditionally been interpreted as relating Christian accounts of the Pharisee rejection of Jesus and accusations of the Pharisee responsibility for his crucifixion. The Acts of the Apostles depicts instances of early Christian persecution by the Sanhedrin, the Jewish religious court of the time.”
What would a Christian be to you? Apparently anyone within the Empire that sought to be in the “good graces” and with the protection of the “Christian” Emperor, or the Pope by proclaiming orthodoxy would be a Christian to you. Of course, anyone openly proclaiming to be anything else was opening themselves up to persecution or worse, and certainly had no power to persecute anyone. I’m sorry to put a wrench in your little thesis here, but true Christians during this period during which the Jews were also persecuted, were under heavy persecution from either Rome of the Empire (as dissidents), or from the Roman state Church (as heretics), and were not in any position to persecute anyone. As I have stated, if you engage in actions that go against the teachings of Christianity, such as murder, persecution, or bearing false witness, you have no right to claim Christianity. Simply claiming the name does not cut it. You cannot be a Christian and a murderer at the same time. These are mutually exclusive terms. This of course does not prevent one from engaging in such evil acts and CLAIMING to be Christian or acting in the name of Christ’s Church. This is what men do.
You too believe that there is a criminal organization that goes by the name “Christianity” – you call it the “harlot church” – People who push idolatry in the name of monotheism are going to be spoken about with the language reserved for criminals
You argue that your interpretation of the message of the Christian Scriptures is “obviously” the accurate one so any criticism voiced against those who have interpreted the same book differently is misplaced.
I have a question for you – who do you consider yourself closer to in faith – a Jew who does not accept Jesus at all or do you consider yourself closer to a person who believes that Jesus is the Messiah but also deifies him?
You take issue with my usage of the words “eternal Israel” – God promised that we will bear His message forever – so the Scriptures that you revere justify my usage of that term.
You obviously do not understand the meaning of the term eternal. Eternity exists as far backwards as forwards, so if someone born today were to live forever from this point on they would still not be eternal. Israel, therefore, is not eternal. No I do not believe that the mainstream church is a criminal organization. I believe they are deceived on a number of issues. There is a great deal of distance between being deceived and being criminal, so your language is not deserved, and is definitely hate speech. My interpretation of the NT scriptures is based on the totality of scripture without the use of extra-biblical creeds that are used by the mainstream church to introduce doctrines such as the Trinity. i also never used the word “obviously” to describe my understanding of scripture being correct, so please don’t misquote me. You cannot justify your hatred of Christians to me, so don’t even try. Hatred is hatred and you cannot cloak it in righteousness. Christianity is not a criminal organization. As to your question ogf who i am closer to in faith, I will not make this judgement. I am in agreement where I am in agreement and disagreement where I am in disagreement in regards to any believer. I will, however tell you that I am in complete disagreement with your pathetic understanding of the teachings of Christianity. On this issue you are highly confused.
You seem to agree that those who systematically killed Jews were part of a criminal organization. You would also agree that those who inspired these killings, incited the mobs and justified these killing were part of the same organization. Your only difference with me lies in the fact that I insist on calling these people Christians and you consider it an abomination to consider them Christians.
The fact that they considered themselves Christians means nothing to you. The fact that the books of these criminals still adorn the libraries of almost every denomination of Christianity means nothing to you. The fact that no one calls them “fake Christians” outside of the context of a debate with Jews about anti-Semitism means nothing to you.
You also seem to be under the impression that Jesus taught nothing about believing in him. At the same time you tell me that you cannot make a declaration that people who don’t believe in Jesus but do not worship any idols are closer to you in faith than people who deify Jesus. Do you not see the inherent contradiction in your position?
I’m simply telling you the truth that you cannot lump all people identifying themselves by any name, be it Christianity, Judaism or the Rotary Club, into one boat. Christ knows who are his, and those who use his name to justify their misdeeds will not prosper in the end. You cannot throw out the baby with the bathwater. Christ himself said that the weeds would grow up with the wheat, and that only at the harvest would they be separated and the weeds burned up in the fire. You are correct to say that the fact that some faithless men call themselves Christians means nothing to me, even though they be in the majority, because I am not fooled by them. Their deeds expose them. The fact that they misuse a name is of no consequence. It will bring them no lasting solace. I will not allow their masquerade to produce hatred in my heart, so that I spew out vitriol against them which only harms me while leaving them unscathed. Matthew 15:11 “It’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”
By the way, Jesus did not teach in English, so the words “believe in me” in the English text do not have that precise meaning in the Greek originals. I believe in president Obama, I know He exists, I’ve seen pictures of him, I know he is real, but I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him. Here is a better perspective on the Greek word pistevo translated “believe.”
The Greek word, which is translated as faith, is pistis (noun) and believe, is translated from pistevo (verb). The word believe (Greek verb “pistevo”), according to Strong’s Greek Dictionary, means: to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust, (especially one’s spiritual well-being to Christ.) believe, commit, (to trust), put in trust with. “Pistevo” comes from the Greek noun “pistis” which means: persuasion, i.e., credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself; assurance, belief, believe, faith. Notice the subtle shades of meaning which are unlocked in the amplified translations:
Jesus was not God, but God’s representative. He was a teacher about God and therefore when we put our trust in him, meaning that we trust that what He says comes from God through him, we must put our trust of what he has taught us into action. It is implicit in being a true Christian that one is persuaded by and trusts that what he said about God and how we should live our lives, is what is pleasing to God and therefore if we truly are convinced of the message of the Gospel we will show it in how we conduct our lives and give witness to the truth he spoke. A teacher need not be the originator of truth, in order to be trusted. Saying the words “but I say unto you” while expounding on a truth from the Law, and teaching its full implication that may not be fully grasped by every believer, does not imply that one is the originator of that truth. This is a ridiculous assumption.
You charged the rabbi with calculated hate speech and deliberate lies. These are serious charges. You further charged the Jewish people with the persecution and murder of early Christians (up to 2,000, in a Wikipedia article you cited). This, too, is a serious charge.
If these charges are false, then you are guilty of what you are accusing the rabbi of: slander.
Therefore, I asked you to bring evidence as support. I should have been more clear. As evidence, I did not mean repeating your assertion that the rabbi is a liar and a hater. I meant, real historical evidence and Scriptural citations.
To show you how this is done, I am taking some of the rabbi’s statements that you highlighted and supporting them, with what is in my view, evidence for the statement. Let me be clear. This is my way of understanding the statements and not necessarily what Rabbi Blumenthal intended.
I shall also take some of your own statements and refute them using Scriptural evidence as well.
I am not sure you are willing to hear me out. You already believe that the rabbi is a liar and a hater (and perhaps by extension you believe that of me as well). Who takes the arguments of liars and haters seriously? Nevertheless, I will try.
Before anything else, I will address your charge of early Jewish persecution of Christians. You could not find the time to document that, pointing instead to a Wikipedia article on the subject.
For the claim that the Jews murdered up to 2,000 Christians, Wikipedia cites as its source a book written at the end of the 1800s by a Catholic priest named John J. Burke. How Burke came about this information is a mystery, as this is undocumented elsewhere. For many other claims, the only source is Christian scripture itself. Although we have extensive extra-biblical documentation of Roman persecution of Christians, I have not found such documentation of Jewish persecution of Christians.
You say that you don’t have the time to back up this well-documented fact. If you make such a charge, you had better find the time, sir, or you are guilty of slander. If you cannot, then you owe the Jewish people an apology.
Following are the quotes you selected, and my support for them.
“This then is the modus operandi of Christianity; it has exploited the truth for the advancement of the lie.”
Although Rabbi Blumenthal explained exactly what he means here with a discussion of the Sermon on the Mount–which you have not refuted–I will show you why it’s true for other reasons.
The Christian scriptures have exploited the truth of the Torah for the advancement of its false doctrines by quoting out of context, mistranslating, or fabricating quotations. (By Torah I mean all of Hebrew Scripture).
Here are several examples just from the beginning of the Book of Matthew.
1. In the first chapter, the genealogy of Jesus raises several problems:
A. It contradicts the genealogy of Luke.
B. Matthew’s genealogy is 15 generations shorter than Luke’s. If every generation is about 20 years, then Joseph would have been born about 300 years earlier than the Joseph in Luke’s genealogy.
C. Jesus cannot be descended from David on his father’s side if Joseph is not his biological father.
There’s more, but that’s enough to get started.
2. Matthew 1:23 mistranslates Isaiah 7:14 as well as quotes it out of context.
3. Matthew 2:6 mistranslates Micah 5:1.
4. Matthew 2:15 quotes Hosea 11:1 out of context, carefully lopping off the first half of the verse.
5. Matthew 2:17-18 misrepresents the words of Jeremiah 31:14-16 to make it appear to fit his storyline.
6. Matthew 2:23-24 fabricates a prophecy out of whole cloth: “He will be called a Nazarene.” Not only is such a prophecy not mentioned by any of the prophets, but also the town of Nazareth is not even mentioned anywhere in Tanach!
You can call me a liar, sir. Or you can try to refute this with a real argument.
““The capability for righteousness is an integral part of every human soul. Christianity has set itself up in opposition to this truth but at the same time it has exploited this truth in a deep and insidious way.”
It is unfair of you to say this is a lie when so many Christians on this blog have argued that man is inherently evil. To support this, they quote Genesis 8:21, Psalms 14:1-3; Ecclesiastes 7:20; and from your own scripture, Romans 3:9-20.
Perhaps you believe your interpretation of Christianity to be the only true one, and all other interpretations for the last 2,000 years up to the present to be false. But why should we accept your authority in this matter? If someone tells us he is Christian, we believe him. If you want to charge that the Church is false and you know best, that’s fine for you. But you can’t expect us to take that seriously.
You wrote this: “Your rabbi then speaks of the ‘The Inherent Godliness of Mankind’ as the antithesis of Christian teaching.” You said this is also a lie. See Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 9:6. You may disagree with the rabbi’s interpretation, but to call it a lie is a big stretch.
Everything you have written in this very long paragraph is your opinion, not supported by any Scriptural citations or historical evidence.
I will cite one example, for the sake of brevity in a comment that is already overlong. You wrote that “Jesus never taught that the Jews were the ‘Children of the Devil.’ This is a slanderous and hateful lie.” Please see John 8:44. In this verse, Jesus addresses the Jews and tells them “you are of your father the devil.” I’m glad you don’t see that this means what it plainly says, for my own personal sake, but for hundreds of years Christians took this verse at its plain meaning. You are free to disagree with them, but you need to apologize to the rabbi for telling him this is a lie.
You wrote: “I can personally say that in all my time in the Church, I have never heard Israel or the Jews spoken of in the terms that your rabbi tries to show as the normal Christian attitude.” Did the rabbi say that this is the normal attitude among modern Christians? His point is, rather, that for most of Christian history the overwhelming majority of Christians saw it this way. To deny this is to ignore the crushing weight of historical evidence. Anti-semitism was a respectable institution until after the Holocaust. Only then did Christians finally come to their senses and see what their hatred had wrought–and changes began to take place for the better. Thank God for that, and please God, may it continue. But you falsely accused the rabbi of trying to portray the majority of twenty-first century Christians as anti-Semites.
You must surely understand that a half century of good will is not yet enough to wipe out nearly 2000 years of unspeakable atrocities.
You wrote: “Your rabbi says ‘There is not one verse in all of the Jewish Bible that can be misconstrued to read as if the glory of the Messianic future is limited to those who have faith in one individual or another.’ This is a statement that is made only because as jews [sic] you have not recognized or identified any individual as your Messiah, and yet if Jesus is not your Messiah, then there will yet come a time when you too will have to accept one individual as your Messiah, and then will you still make this claim?”
Our Scripture says not one word about having to accept the Messiah because when he comes it’s going to be so obvious. World peace? Check. Universal knowledge of God? Check. Third Temple rebuilt? Check. Exiles ingathered and restored to the Land? Check. Our enemies and oppressors punished? Check. Our people exalted in the eyes of all the nations? Check. Now all we need to do is see who is sitting on the throne of Judah. It really is that simple.
Finally, to me a Christian is anyone who accepts Jesus as his lord and savior. I don’t differentiate between real and fake Christians, as you presume to do. So that includes, yes, Christians who killed Jews or oppressed them.
So you have a choice. As Christians have been doing for centuries, you can call me a liar and refuse to take my arguments seriously. Or you can decide to search for the truth and see if you can refute them.
But please understand that when you resort to attacking your opponent’s character, you have already lost.
May God Who is the Father of us all lead us in the light of His truth.
Peace and blessings,
We use the word “eternal” in the sense that it is used in Hebrew scripture. See for example Exodus 12:14, 12:17, 12:43, 27:21, 28:43, Leviticus 3:17, 7:36, 10:9, 16:29, 16:31, 16:34, 17:7, 23:14, 23:21, 23:31, 23:41, 24:3, Numbers 10:8, 15:15, 19:10, 19:21, 18:23, 35:29, Deuteronomy 29:28.
Scripture was not written in English, therefore the word eternal is not found in scripture. if you use a modern English word incorrectly, or imply that a scriptural word has the meaning of that modern word. I will call you on it. The word eternal implies the totality of time and therefore it is a poor translation of the scriptural term, and particularly does not apply to anything human.
You wrote: Jesus message was definitely not “believe in me.”
Your personal beliefs are irrelevant; the overwhelming majority of Christians believe that you are eternally damned if you do not accept Jesus as your lord and savior, no matter how well you practice the commandment to love your neighbor.
My beliefs are not irrelevant. The teachings of Christianity are not defined by what any one believer believes, including me, nor are they defined by what any group of Christians say that they believe. We each have freedom to believe what we choose. What defines the teachings of Christianity, however, is what the NT scriptures actually say and mean. A cursory study of the biblical word translated as “believe” in English reveals that it has less to do with what one believes or thinks, and more to do with whether or not they trust the LORD in their lives, and have faith in His word. To trust in what Christ said about his Father and show it by living your life accordingly, is to trust in him, and this is what that word refers to. If, having all the facts, one knowingly rejects the light he brought out of hatred of that light, they will be condemned. Christ himself said:
“Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, Christ’s Father Yahweh, and this statement makes it abundantly clear, as do many of his statements, that it is not about him, but about his Father.
Okay, if you follow the plain meaning of Christian scripture (hereafter referred to as CS), you have a lot of problems.
For starters, CS is riddled with scriptural errors. If you are interested in pursuing this line of debate, let me know, and I will show you.
In CS, God rarely speaks compared with HS. Unlike other Hebrew prophets who spoke in God’s name, Jesus speaks on his own authority. You don’t have verses like “And the Lord spoke to Moses saying” or “so says the Lord” or “the word of the Lord.” So the large absence of God’s voice is strange to a Jew versed in HS.
In HS, the prophets never pointed to themselves with phrases like “believe in me,” “do it for my sake,” or “I say to you.” Rather they pointed to God. They existed solely as God’s mouthpiece.
What struck me the most (and I have so far only read Matthew, Mark, and part of Luke) is the vitriol directed against Jews. The fact that Christians are oblivious to this is very disquieting to me.
Most Christians are ignorant of the real-life consequences such passages have had on Christian attitudes toward and their treatment of the Jews in their midst. Today great strides have been made in Christian-Jewish relations, but I fear that unless Christians confront this honestly, the improvements will only be temporary.
Having said that, I am truly grateful that Christians like you understand and interpret your scriptures differently from your spiritual ancestors and I pray that this continue.
Peace and blessings,
“The teachings of Christianity are not defined by what any one believer believes, including me, nor are they defined by what any group of Christians say that they believe.” So what is your problem with so called apostate church then ? You are being very contradictory.
“We each have freedom to believe what we choose.” Sounds like liberal theology to me. But I disgress.
” What defines the teachings of Christianity, however, is what the NT scriptures actually say and mean.” Or what other people believe scripture says. Hence denominational-ism. Scripture actually says nothing, you interpret what scripture means. Question is, how do you know if your interpretation is correct ?
““believe” in English reveals that it has less to do with what one believes or thinks, and more to do with whether or not they trust the LORD in their lives” No one here disagrees with that statement, however Jesus asked that Christians should put there trust in him as well. That is where the controversy is.
Hey, if you want to continue carrying on this debate in Biblical Hebrew, that is fine with me. Just give me the word.
I spoke of the meaning of an English word and its lack of applicability to anything human. I’m not sure what that has to do with conducting a debate in Hebrew!
Show me where the term “eternally damned” is found in scripture! Good luck! The majority of professed Christians also believe in a Trinity, but this does not define what Christianity is. Nobody’s beliefs are irrelevant. They shape our lives and define our destiny. The LORD judges the heart. He will not condemn those that act in ignorance. If, however, you knowingly reject he whom you know to be your Messiah and God’s representative you are in affect rejecting the LORD. This will not be forgiven. Paul persecuted and had Christians killed in ignorance, and it was forgiven him. When he realized his error he repented. He paid a price in this life however, and was killed for his beliefs.
“Show me where the term “eternally damned” is found in scripture!” In what language and Bible translation, otherwise you will change goal posts.
“The majority of professed Christians also believe in a Trinity, but this does not define what Christianity is.” How so ? What about John 1?
2 Thessalonians 1:8-9, Revelation 21:8, Mark 16:16, John 3:36
Eternal damnation, in the sense it is normally used, refers to one being eternally tormented in Hell, which is a concept not taught in the NT scriptures. Damned simply means condemned and refers to destruction or annihilation, not ongoing conscious torment. Those who do not trust in the Truths about God that Christ taught, or who knowingly reject the one they know to be God’s Messiah will be condemned. God will not condemn those whom out of ignorance do not believe that Jesus is that Messiah. What is important is what is in the heart. Paul was not condemned by God because he persecuted and had Christians killed in ignorance. He, as well as all believers, will be judged according to the light we are given. Those who lived in Jesus day, and heard his words, and witnessed the miracles and yet rejected him because of their hatred, will be condemned.
I used the term eternal damnation as I understood it from the verses I cited from your own scriptures. Your explanation, which is your interpretation, does not flow from these verses, whose meaning is plain.
How you understand the words is fundamentally flawed.
…Though He causes grief, Yet He will show compassion. According to the multitude of His mercies. For He does not afflict willingly, Nor grieve the children of men.
Although the English word “damned” meaning “condemned” is found in at least one of the verses you mentioned (depending on the translation), the word combination “eternally damned,” and what it implies, is not found in scripture. It is not an interpretation to say that the words do not exist in scripture. It is a simple fact. The concept of eternal torment cannot be drawn from the words of scripture unless one goes in with that understanding. Destruction means just that, to be destroyed, not eternally tormented. Destruction is death, and without resurrection, it is eternal. Eternal torment is not death. It may be a really crappy life, but it is not death or destruction. What I believe DOES flow from the verses.
What is your point here ? That false Christianity is false ? Good for you, the rabbi has pointed that out all ready.
חקת עולם translates to “eternal decree” or “lasting decree.” How else to translate it? If you don’t think that word is accurate, then we’ll need to carry on in Hebrew, no?
Are you nitpicking because you can’t refute anything I wrote? You made some serious charges. Back them up or apologize.
Eternal decree is a bad translation, lasting decree is acceptable, but either way, what is spoken of God can be eternal. what is spoken of man including the Jews is not. It is not nitpicking when a word completely changes the meaning of scripture as the English word eternal frequently does. As for answering your longer replies, I will get to them when time permits, and I wouldn’t expect any apologies. Your rabbi has freely admitted to his hateful intent. There is hardly a distinction between “speaking ill” of Christians and speaking hatefully. He said, “People who push idolatry in the name of monotheism are going to be spoken about with the language reserved for criminals.” The fact that I agree that the Trinity amounts in reality to polytheism, does not mean that I can or will agree with them being called criminals. Trinitarians, as twisted as their logic may be, believe they are practicing and teaching monotheism, and therefore to call them criminal is not only a stretch, it is hatred.
“The fact that I agree that the Trinity amounts in reality to polytheism, does not mean that I can or will agree with them being called criminals.” Yes, some may be ignorant of their error but are they not still breaking the law of the first commandment ?
“Trinitarians, as twisted as their logic may be, believe they are practicing and teaching monotheism” But they aren’t are they. If Paul was rightly accused by Jesus to be persecuting God’s people (to top it off Jesus himself) despite not knowing it, why is it wrong of the rabbi to accuse the Trinitarians as law breakers even if they don’t realize it.
“lasting decree is acceptable” So there is no eternal death as punishment ?
According to the Webster’s dictionary “eternal” can refer to something that has no end although it had a beginning – http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eternal
The fact that a word “may” be used in a specific way does not mean that it should, and the word eternal has frequently confused the intended meaning of the passages it has been linked to through bad translation.
You believe in universalism ! Welcome to the club. 🙂
I pointed to the author of the book of Matthew’s literary strategy in presenting the Sermon on the Mount – the point of that chapter in the book is not so much to introduce morality but to exalt Jesus and to present him as an originator of universal truths – read what I wrote
Jesus does not attempt to make himself the author of eternal truths either in the Sermon on the Mount or elsewhere. This is your biased and twisted opinion. I read what you wrote, and Matthew’s literary strategy has no such purpose. Matthew has one purpose, which is to show Jesus to be the Jewish Messiah presenting God’s message, not his own, which he very specifically says numerous times and which you purposely ignore to push your own agenda.
When I read Matthew and saw the words, “You have heard it said of old…but I say to you,” I understood it to mean that Jesus was saying that he was now going to present a new teaching. This is the plain meaning of the text. He could have simply said, “I am going to repeat the eternal truths of the Torah to you.” Did you know that the Sermon on the Mount is lifted wholesale from the Tanach and the teachings of the hated and much-maligned Pharisees?
Are you sure it isn’t YOUR biased and twisted assumption that we are reading this in a biased and twisted way? I don’t think you’re playing fair. Just because you say something doesn’t make it so.
You are quite wrong. It is not the plain meaning of the text. it is the meaning you are trying desperately to assign to it, and which is quite easily seen through. No matter how many times you repeat it, it is a lie. Any teacher might use the same words when giving an expansion on a teaching, bringing its implications into sharper focus. They were not new teachings, but each an expounding of the very teaching referenced. To say that to commit adultery is one teaching and that not lusting after a woman is a new and separate teaching is absolutely ridiculous and desperate on your part. Lusting is exactly what sends one down the road towards committing adultery in the first place, so teaching people to banish such thinking from their hearts and therefore prevent the committing of adultery is the very heart of the teaching against committing adultery. In your desperation to make Christ a liar, you are going way out of bounds and being absolutely ridiculous. You say the teachings were lifted from the Tanach, as if that is their source. But that is not true. They are from God, which means they have always existed as basic truths, and expounding on those truths either in the Sermon on the Mount or in the Tanach is not theft. It is in fact what we should all be doing. Truth is not something owned by one people or another. It is for all mankind, and by saying that truth came from the Jews you are perpetrating a hoax. And yes I am absolutely sure that it is you that is twisting the meaning of Christs words in order to push your agenda against Christ, Christians, and Christianity. What i say has nothing to do with it. You are not attacking me alone, but all Christians in general.
If one prefaces words of truth with the words “but I say to you”, he implies the the teaching is his own. By not citing the source, but treating his teachings as original, Jesus is practicing a theft.
Jeremiah 31:31-34, where it is clearly stated that God would write his Torah within our inward parts and write in upon our hearts:
Immediately after saying these things, Jesus goes on to explain what He meant by saying that our righteousness was to exceed that of the scribes and the Pharisees. “You have heard that it was said to those of old… but I say to you…” (Matt 5:21-48). But note that in each case Jesus takes the p’shat (outward meaning) of the commandment and moves it inward, to the “inward parts,” by “writing it upon our hearts”:
Old (written upon tablets)
New (written upon the heart)
No Murder (Ex. 20:13; Deut 5:17)
No Anger / resentment (Matt 5:21-4)
No Adultery (Ex. 20:14; Deut 5:18)
No Lust (Matt 5:22-32)
No False Witness (Ex. 20:16; Deut 5:20)
Simple Honesty (Matt 5:33-7)
Eye for Eye Justice (Ex. 21:24)
Forgiveness (Matt 5:38-42)
Love friends; hate enemies (Lev 19:18)
Love all people (Matt 5:43-48)
Inner Righteousness (Matt 6:1-4)
Secret Prayer (Matt 6:5-6)
Secret Fasting (Matt 6:16-18)
Inwardness (Matt 7:12)
CP to say that the Tanach does not encourage inner righteousness is simply false
1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
CP, regarding your comment https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/christianity-unmasked/#comment-29186, this is your own interpretation and it contradicts the plain meaning.
It also doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, and I will use your examples to show you why.
No murder is in the Torah, but anger and resentment are not? Please see Leviticus 19:17-18 (as in not hating someone in your heart, not seeking revenge, not even bearing a grudge).
No adultery is in the Torah, but no lust is not? See Exodus 20:17 (as in not coveting your neighbor’s wife). See also Job 31:1; Genesis 39:7-9; Numbers 15:39.
No false witness is in the Torah, but simple honesty is not? See Exodus 23:7 (as in keep far away from a false matter) and Leviticus 19:11 (as in do not lie, do not steal, do not deceive one another).
Eye for eye justice is in the Torah? Matthew completely misrepresents what the Torah actually says. If you read those verses in context, it talks about monetary compensation decided by a court of law for redress of grievances, not private revenge to literally take an eye for eye (private revenge is expressly forbidden, see above). No Christian society has ever taken this particular teaching to heart because it would upset the social order and chaos would ensue. Do Christians think it’s a terrific idea not to report crimes to the police? The Torah teaches, don’t take the law into your own hands, but don’t ignore things like theft or assault and battery.
Your next example is love friends, hate enemies. An amazing example of an outright lie. Show me one place in the Torah where we are instructed to hate our enemies. Just one, CP. And if you can’t, you should be deeply troubled. Rather, the Torah tells us to help our enemies. See Exodus 23:4-5. Also in the later writings of the Hebrew Scriptures and many centuries before Jesus, we see an example of what our attitude to our enemies should be (Proverbs 24:17).
So Jesus (or Matthew) had to make up a lie about what the Torah says so he could present a superior teaching that’s already in the Torah. Nice tactic!
I’m not sure what you mean by outer versus inner righteousness. We can’t know what’s in others’ hearts, we can only see how they behave. We can see if they act kind and humble, for example. The historical record of the Pharisees presents them as pious, humble, mostly poor–a completely different picture than the ugly, vicious caricature painted in the Christian scriptures. Furthermore, the prophet Micah well before Jesus exhorted us to walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8).
The exhortation against formulaic prayer is ironic given formulaic Christian liturgy and public prayers in church for centuries and up until the present day.
Outwardness versus inwardness I addressed above regarding righteousness. Nevertheless, now is as good a time as any to mention that the Church has encouraged public alms giving. So apparently Jesus’s own followers didn’t find his teachings very practical in the real world.
So there you have it, my friend. Matthew the ignoramus and/or liar and/or distorter abused the teachings of the Torah to present an allegedly superior teaching that is either already in the Torah or is not superior.
But I’m not done yet. You prefaced your comment with a prophetic statement from Jeremiah regarding a new covenant. If you read that prophecy in context, you will see that Jeremiah delineates exactly how the new covenant will differ from the old and exactly with whom that covenant will be forged. And then you will realize that this prophecy has not been fulfilled yet.
May it happen speedily in our days!
My Phariseefriend & Dina,
Wow! Your responses were real eye openers for me! I did not realize exactly how much a different perspective can change things.
I never said nor implied the Tanach doesn’t encourage inner righteousness. Rather my post was to simply point out Yeshua taught Torah correctly as Dina so proficiently pointed out in her response.
However Dina did imply Jesus or Matthew pretended this was a new teaching and took credit for it.
I don’t see it that way at all.
Jesus lived in a time when the average person did not own their own copy of the Torah. Most were not that educated in Torah but knew by oral tradition the main mitzvahs. All Jesus did was to expound what they knew orally by teaching deeper truths found in the written Torah. Obviously he didn’t quote chapter and verses. Even if chapter and verse numbers existed, people didn’t have personal scrolls to look them up, or even paper and pencil to take notes!
Basically I feel you are faulting Yeshua for his “teaching style” from a 21st century perspective. Hardly what one would call enough evidence to warrant complete 100% and total rejection.
Dina, you wrote;
“Your next example is love friends, hate enemies. An amazing example of an outright lie. Show me one place in the Torah where we are instructed to hate our enemies. Just one, CP. And if you can’t, you should be deeply troubled.”
*Sadly, here is your answer: Psalm 137:9
“A blessing on anyone who seizes your babies and smashes them against a rock!”
(*Psalms; ‘technically’ not Torah)
As for Jeremiah 31, I agree, this is yet future, this is the annioted work of Messiah son of David, however we see a taste, just a taste of the new covenant in the annioted work of Messiah son of Joseph.
CP But at the time of Jesus the Torah and prophets were read regularly every Sabbath. Furthermore, we know what the Pharisees were teaching at the time. Their teachings are recorded and we have the stories for which the leaders of the Pharisees were considered heroes by the populace and these are stories of justice, mercy and truth.
1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
So, you wrote, “I don’t see it that way at all” regarding Jesus’s “You have heard it said of old…but I say to you” teachings.
Well, I can’t help you see what is so plainly obvious that it pains me to have to point it out. If you do not know the meaning of the word “but,” then I suppose I must enlighten you. The word “but” means “on the contrary.”
So for example, when Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment” (Matthew 5:21-22), he is simply saying, “The Torah says you shall not murder etc. On the contrary, I, Jesus, tell you etc.”
In other words, Jesus is contrasting the teachings of the Torah with his own. But they are either not his own or they are wrong/impractical as I have shown you.
This is the plain meaning and any other explanation on your part is wishful thinking.
I challenged you to show me one place in the Torah that teaches us to hate our enemies. Your response is shocking but not surprising for a Christian.
Did you read the whole Psalm? This psalm is an expression of the great anguish suffered by the Jews upon their exile from the land. The last verse that you quoted is the cry of pain of parents who have witnessed unspeakable tortures and horrors visited upon their children. Would you judge a man who saw, as verse 8 implies, his own child’s brains dashed out on a rock, wish the same upon those who committed this heinous act?
It is sick and twisted to take this a teaching to hate your enemies. Have you no shame?
If you want to find the truth, you have to stop trying to find proof to support what you want to believe (this is called confirmation bias) and follow the evidence.
I agree 100% with you, however you of all people know it is not the same as having the complete text in your living room as we have today.
As for the “You’ve heard it said, but I say to you” sayings of Yeshua:
How would it be any different you as a Orthodox Rabbi speaking to a reform Jew?
You might say something like: ‘You’ve heard your Rabbi say such and such, but I say to you…..’
If you throw out individuals sharing deeper interpretations and explanations of Torah by exclaiming they chang the laws and set themselves up as G-d or a god then how do justify the Misnah and the Talmuds? How do you justify your own interpretation of Torah when teaching others who are not as educated and following suspect teachers of the Torah?
Surely you wouldn’t apply the same judgement for yourself as you do to Yeshua?
Respectfully please explain this ^^^
CP First of all there is a difference when preaching to a local congregation as opposed to teaching a world-wide audience over many generations – the speaker must calculate – how will they hear the message? Second – I never “throw out” deeper interpretations – what I am “throwing out” is the false maligning of righteous people and of a holy text Third – when I teach – I don’t see any need to knock false teachers – if there is truth in my teachings – the truth can do it for me – it is stronger than me
1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
Just had to say one thing, CP, about your false equivalence here. It would be one thing to say–and I can’t imagine saying something like that but be that as it may–“your rabbi says this but I say that.” But Jesus is contrasting God’s teachings with his own (which he plagiarized from God anyway).
A proper equivalence would be for Rabbi B. to say (God forbid) to another Jew, “The Torah teaches this, but I say that.”
I showed you from the plain meaning why your interpretation of Jesus’s words is wishful thinking, so I won’t go into that again (at least not just yet 🙂 ).
My Phariseefriend & Dina,
Sure, if Yeshua came and said; “I’m changing the Shabbat to Sunday, y’all can make some statues of me if ya want, oh and don’t forget to celebrate my birthday on the birthday of the sun cause were totally takin that holiday over and the holiday of whats her name, the fertility goddess, that’s going to be fat juicy ham day! Oh all them other feasts I told y’all to keep forever, y’all can forget about those now that I’m here, in fact, Moses bless his heart, a little grumpy but a great guy, we tried things his way for awhile and it didn’t work out, so we’re throw’n all that stuff out
and starting over. Let’s party!
Yeah, if Yeshua said anything like that I’d be sitting at your feet. However in all fairness, give me some time to try to understand how your saying his teaching is so anti-Torah because I see it as he went to the heart of the matter, the spirit of Torah. I know Rabbis have teachings that other Rabbis disagree with but I don’t see them throwing each other under the bus like they do Yeshua.
I’ll look closer at “you’ve heard it said, but I say to you”.
Feel free to direct me to a particular site if you think it will help me understand.
Take your time. Rome wasn’t conquered in a day :).
One more point- you seem to have a problem with my lumping all Christians together. I understand your concern – I prefaced my words with the acknowledgment that there are many Godly Christians. Where does Matthew’s Jesus make a parallel statement about Godly Pharisees/ or where does John’s Jesus speak of Godly Jews?
Making a politically correct disclaimer, before proceeding to hatefully characterize Christ, Christianity, and Christians in general is hardly a point in your favor as you effectively contradict your statement throughout what you have written. For Christ to go out of his way to speak in precise language about Godly Jews, would be redundant as the Hebrew scriptures that He upheld spoke of them often. The point of the NT was to introduce the Messiah, and give the good news of the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God. Salvation and how it was to be attained was a primary focus. He spoke of the need for repentance, and in so doing outlined the crimes being committed amongst the people that outlined this need. He did not speak against the Jews as a people, but he did speak of wrongs being perpetrated amongst the people, focusing predominantly on the leadership of Israel and those amongst them with evil intent. His intent was not condemnation, but to bring them to repentance, just as the prophets before him had attempted to do with their dire, yet conditional prophecies. To say that he simply hated his own people and wanted to see them condemned out of hatred for them, completely ignores the message of the NT scriptures.
I think Christians need to ask themselves some really hard questions:
How is it that most of the followers of Christian scripture understood the anti-Jewish passages as a just cause to persecute the Jewish people? How is it that so many got it so wrong for so long? How is it that anti-Semitism among most Christians was the default–and even respectable–position until the 1960s?
How can it be that Christianity, which promised to lead its followers down a morally superior path to Judaism, failed so spectacularly? And I don’t mean just regarding persecution of Jews. I’m also talking about the bloodshed in internecine religious wars, overly harsh punishments for petty criminals (like hanging for stealing a loaf of bread), thousands of people tried and killed during the witch trials, and so on.
And while all this was going on, the Jews were quietly praying for those that persecuted them (like the Russian Jews who famously prayed for the anti-Semitic czars), turned the other cheek (as they meekly allowed themselves to be shoved into ghettos, forced out of every profession, expelled over eighty times, and forced to pay impoverishing taxes), and took care of each other with acts of loving kindness.
How? How is this possible?
Those are theological problems for Christians. I mean no disrespect, sir, truly I don’t.
May God Who is the Father of us all lead us in the light of His truth.
Peace and blessings,
Allow me to hang you by your own words. You said:
“How is it that most of the followers of Christian scripture understood the anti-Jewish passages as a just cause to persecute the Jewish people?”
Nobody that is actually following the Christian scriptures persecutes anyone! If you are persecuting anyone, you are going against the teachings of Christ. Now are there those who lie about their fidelity to the scriptures and commit such acts? Of course there are! This is not behavior that is restricted to those who are merely nominal in their Christianity. It is the behavior of large swaths of humanity from all walks. You cannot blame Christ or the teachings of Christianity for this. People will justify whatever they choose to do, with whatever they think sounds best. Anti-semetism may have been a cultural norm among the peoples of Europe starting with Rome and spreading throughout the Empire, but only a very twisted take on the scriptures can be used to justify such attitudes, so just come down off of your morally superior high horse and realize you are just as human as the rest of us and not of any inherently pure nature. We’re all in the same boat! You are absolutely blinded by hatred, and you do mean disrespect. There is no way to make the accusations you make with respect, and your little nice nice sign off doesn’t hide your intent.
Are you really going to talk about unfair punishment as if the Jews were free of it?
In ancient Israel “the following offenses merited the death penalty… cursing your parents; committing adultery; making love to your stepmother or your daughter-in-law; homosexuality; marrying a woman and her daughter; bestiality (and, to add injury to insult, the unfortunate beast is to be killed too). You also get executed, of course, for working on the Sabbath: the point is made again and again through the Old Testament.”
So much for taking care each other with loving kindness. You are nothing but a hypocrite.
I read through all your comments just now and was in tears over your personal attacks on my character. As painful as it was to me to read your comments, it shed a lot of light on the 2000-year history of the relationship between Christians and Jews.
The way you feel about me–a liar and hypocrite who deliberately twists the truth in order to desperately push my agenda–is the way Christians have felt about my people since the beginning.
How can you love me if you believe me to be such a despicable human being? And since the overwhelming majority of Jews would take my side, then by extension, how can you love them?
Not only does this hurt, this frightens me. A few more Christians who feel the way you do, and who knows what the future of my people will look like?
I know this is an emotional response to your emotional attacks. I am too sad to work through your arguments and try to respond to your points in a purely intellectual and detached way right now.
You are a liar to say that using the phrase “but I say to you” when illucidating or “shedding light” on the full implications of a word of truth means that a person is claiming to be the author of that truth. expounding the full implications of a word of truth is in NO WAY a new statement of truth, and therefore if it is the same truth merely broken down to its obvious and yet frequently ignored full implications, It cannot be said to be some new truth that the speaker is claiming as his own. This is a baseless lie posited for no reason other than to defame the name of Christ. It is not only a dishonest claim, it is also a ridiculously idiotic one, that only someone of similarly malicious intent or the inability to think critically would ever assent to. Universal truths can always be broken down and expounded upon. Any intelligent person is aware of this fact and only a truly dishonest man would ever attempt to make such a claim in hopes that the reader is too dull to pick up on the obvious logical fallacy.
YSG, can you read “Christianity Unmasked” again and show me what is hateful and what is a lie? I am asking you to support your statements with hard evidence (Scriptural and/or historical), since merely asserting that someone has lied without evidence is an injustice. Also asserting that someone has engaged in hate speech without proof that he is a hater is an injustice.
I want to try to understand where you are coming from.
For example, a lot of Christians have told me that Orthodox Judaism, which I practice, is a cold and legalistic institution devoid of love and joy and worship of God, a system that follows the letter of the law and ignores the spirit of the law. Is this a lie? And are they haters for saying it?
And I’d like to ask you to try to understand where we are coming from. The Jews have suffered under Christian rule unspeakable misery, which they endured for close to 2000 years. It may sound unbelievable to you, but we have suffered more at the hands of Christians than any other religion or culture in our history. If you read a general history of the Jews you will see that this is statistically correct.
A half century of good will toward us is not long enough to wipe away this memory. If you understand this, you would be able to approach us with greater compassion and sensitivity, rather than with this harsh tone you have taken from the beginning (certainly not an example of Christian love and all that).
Peace and blessings,
You are just going to have to wait. I have barely had time to fully answer your shorter posts, so your longer ones are just going to have to wait. If you keep giving me more posts to answer to, I will continue having to put off answering your longer posts because I simply do not have time. So please, just Chill. I do have other things to do besides cater to your demands.
I’m not in a hurry, take your time. You are under no obligation to me, sir. You do not have to answer any of my comments unless you wish to.
Dina does not deserve your disrespectful tone. Nor does R’ Blumenthal. Haven’t you any civility?
She and the Rabbi completely disrespects and tells lies about the founder of my faith and my Lod and savior, and I suspect you are about to do the same. don’t expect not to answered in kind.
Well you to them you are telling lies about the one true God, the maker of heavens and earth, about His law, and His people. So what is it going to be. Mister I can’t take criticism and have to be an moron to demonstrate my point. Why should I show civility for your lies.
YSG, surely you know the English language is highly nuanced, and one word can have several shades of meaning. But if you prefer, we can use the word “forever.” I speak Hebrew, and that to me seems to be the most precise translation.
Unfortunately, you can’t say “a forever decree” in English. But I don’t mind breaking that rule for you :).
Are you really going to explain to me about nuances and shades of meaning? The arrogance is getting pretty thick. Eternity or eternal and forever also do not have precisely the same meanings. Lasting decree is both grammatically correct and precise. No, one would not say “forever decree.” They would say a “decree forever,” which is the same thing. Regardless my objection was to the use of a word as applied to human beings, which should be reserved for God. You can disagree. I don’t really care. I’m done discussing this. Take your sarcasm and file it in the proper receptacle.
So you believe in universalism and not conditional immorality. Who’s the big fat lier now.
YSG, when I read this article, I did not come to the conclusion that Rabbi B. was trying to say, or even imply, that all Trinitarian Christians are criminals. I believe you are misreading this.
What he said had exactly that meaning. Shall I remind you?
“You too believe that there is a criminal organization that goes by the name ‘Christianity’ ”
Then He said:
“People who push idolatry in the name of monotheism are going to be spoken about with the language reserved for criminals.”
By “People who push idolatry” he is referring to Trinitarians.
I used the word Harlot Church because the Harlot in Revelation refers to a false religious movement that would come out of Christianity. It is called a Harlot because it has not held to, or kept fidelity to the original teachings of Christ and his Church which were not originally Trinitarian. This refers most specifically to the Catholic Church or even more specifically to its priesthood from which such false teachings as the Trinity arose. This does not mean that these Christians are criminals. It means they are deceived. I will not use such hate language of them or allow you to without calling you on it, and I most certainly won’t allow you to brand Christianity in general with such a label. I have not misread anything.
Ok, then. What about the Jews then. Are they not deceived also ? Then why to call these objectors here liars ?
Would you say that those who killed Jesus were not “criminal” because they thought they were killing a blasphemer?
Would you not say that an institution that encourages hatred of innocents is “criminal”?
Don’t you realize that until the relatively recent past almost every denomination of Christianity was saturated with hatred of Jews? Don’t you realize that the works of these hatful people still adorn the libraries of most denominations of Christianity and these men are still called teachers of Christianity? Are you willing to say that Martin Luther was not a Christian?
One more thing – please read this article – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/the-guilt-of-books/
You see, this is exactly how you twist things to make it seem that people say or intend things that they never said at all. Never once did I say anything even vaguely close to what you are insinuating. Never did I say that those who killed Jews were not criminals. I can go back and quote my words exactly and there is nothing similar to that. What you said had nothing to do with killing Jews. Your comments said that Trinitarians (those whom you call idolaters should be referred to with the terminology reserved for criminals (which is the same as saying that you believe they are criminals) simply for what they believe. You can’t equate hating Trinitarians for what they believe with murdering Christ. I would say that any organization that teaches hatred of other human beings, such as the KKK, is criminal. But for you to equate the Christian faith with such an organization when there is nothing in its teachings that justifies any such thing, is purely hateful scapegoating. To you, if someone or even a group commits a crime against people and they “CLAIM” to be Christian, then in your mind, they are Christian, regardless of whether they follow its teachings or not, and every Christian carries guilt for their crimes. By this same logic, I as a white American am guilty of enslaving black people, and killing off the Native American population! Yes for being anti-Semitic, Martin Luther was not living by the teachings of Christianity and is guilty for any teaching he did that encouraged such thinking. John Calvin was guilty of the murder of Michael Servetus and who knows who else because of his hatred of non Trinitarians. The perpetrators of the Spanish inquisition are guilty of killing countless Jews and true Christians. The Roman Church and its Popes are guilty of God knows how many murders and other atrocities. Countless numbers of both Jews and true Christians were killed, maimed, tortured, and persecuted at the hands of the State Church of Rome. The Waldenses were nearly completely exterminated at the hands of the leaders of this state “Church.” What you refuse to acknowledge is that countless thousands of true Christians were persecuted and murdered by these men as well. It was not Just the Jews. This is the Beast. This is what you get when you marry religion to a warlike State such as Rome. Oppression is inevitable. It was never about killing the Jews. It was about exterminating anyone that did not agree with their particular teachings. Anyone, anyone at all that believed differently than they did and gained a foothold in the Empire was dealt with at the edge of a sword.
The problem is that you want to make Christianity itself guilty for this. The Roman Church was never true Christianity, it was and is a perverse parody of Christianity. It never followed the Christian scriptures. It in fact made its own perverse teachings of equal standing with Holy scripture which it, in more than one instance altered to accommodate the doctrine of the Trinity.. It is a sad fact of History that the name “Christian was Hijacked in the fourth century by the nominally Christian, but thoroughly pagan and murderous Emperor Constantine, and the public face of Christianity was altered by the unholy marriage of Church and state. It was not long until this rogue priesthood (true Christianity has no priesthood) that married the ailing Roman Empire, became a worse beast than the pagan Empire ever was. This is the same Organization, still a government unto itself with immense political power, that Adolf Hitler signed a concordat with in WWII. That’s right, the Catholic Church was in league with the Third Reich.
The truth is you know nothing of true Christianity, which was driven back underground for centuries. You know this sick organization which is nothing but the Roman wolf in sheep’s clothing as Christianity, and therefore attempt to lay its crimes at the feet of Christ who had nothing to do with them, and who’s teachings are wholly against the crimes mentioned here.
Thanks for proving the rabbi’s point that you believe the false church is a criminal organization. Game over.
I notice the reply function has been removed from your melodramatic post above. I’ll try not to read into that. This is so over the top, I don’t even know how to respond. You said:
“I read through all your comments just now and was in tears over your personal attacks on my character.”
Really? you engage in a debate where you are deliberately slamming another person’s faith, calling the followers of that faith, both those who truly follow it, and those who do not follow it but merely misuse the name, persecutors, but you don’t think it’s fair that I call you a liar when you say this? You actually think it is fair to lump an entire group of people that follow a certain faith together as being haters of another entire group? get real!
“The way you feel about me–a liar and hypocrite who deliberately twists the truth in order to desperately push my agenda–is the way Christians have felt about my people since the beginning.”
Tell you what. You don’t insult my faith, and lump true believers and followers of my faith together with hateful hypocritical liars who pretend to be Christian while demonstrating in their behavior what completely contradicts the teachings of Christ, and I won’t call you a liar! If you don’t push your hateful mischaracterizations of the words of Christ, which in no way represent his intent, as being factual representations of his purpose, and I won’t say you are twisting the truth! As for what your agenda is, that is written all over this site, bashing Christ and Christianity. So please, don’t try to link my words with some historical conspiracy bent on persecuting the Jews. My words are in response to your words, and the only history behind them is the history of my having read those words. Everything you say here is an attempt to make me look like a Jew hater, when the truth is it is I who is on the defense against your attack of Christianity, and my words are in response to your words, and not an attack on your person or race. Do not try to pull the anti Semitism card here!
“How can you love me if you believe me to be such a despicable human being? And since the overwhelming majority of Jews would take my side, then by extension, how can you love them?”
This is so over the top it is pathetic. I never called you a despicable human being, nor implied such. I have responded to your words that have hatefully mischaracterized both Christ and Christianity. If you don’t like being called a liar then don’t say things that cast my beliefs wrongfully as being the cause of all of your peoples suffering. As long as you do so, you will receive more of the same, and I think you are greatly over estimating the support of the Jewish community for your attempts to cast Christianity as a criminal organization bent on destruction of the Jews.
If you are frightened by words on a page then you have no business conducting a debate such as this where you put people immediately on the defensive for merely having a particular faith. You get as good as you give!
Are you ignorant of the reason for the existence of this blog? It is a bulwark against Christian missionaries. If the Christians kept to themselves, I doubt this blog would exist.
And unfortunately, Christian missionaries have misrepresented the meanings of both the Jewish scriptures and the meaning of Jewish practice. Now you may not be a part of that, and so to you, it appears as if these criticisms come out of nowhere. But they are not motivated out of hate. They are a defense against the dishonest tactics that those in Christian circles have employed. You may say that they are not real Christians who use such tactics, but what other name have we to identify them?
If you do not think that those who use these tactics are real Christians, however, you will run into a real problem. By the time one gets through the second chapter of Matthew, he has misrepresented four different passages from the Jewish scriptures and invented a fifth. Paul similarly misrepresents the Jewish scriptures. These practices are dishonest and have led many astray to follow after their own imaginations, worshipping a man rather than God.
Now, if anyone wants to worship this man, that is his business. But if he comes knocking on the doors of others, trying to share with them what he thinks to be good news, then he must be answered. If the misrepresentations of the Church are allowed to stand, then those with little understanding will turn away from God and follow instead a man. Blogs like this one are necessary because of Christian proselytizing. The goal is not to bash Christianity, but educate.
I don’t care about your claimed reasons for the existence of this blog. I only care about the motivation behind it which is hatred of Christ and all things Christian. You speak of the need for Christians to keep to themselves. And you claim not to be motivated by hatred? You can say whatever you want, but Christians should remain quiet? What Good is a Gospel that is never spoken? Jews certainly proselytize, do they not? Oh yeah its OK for you to preach hatred of Christianity, but let a Christian speak of the love of Christ, and “off with his head!”
I don’t care what you think of abuses committed by those who would call themselves “Christians” while not living according the principles Christ taught. I hate such abuses as well, and my spiritual ancestors also died at the hands of such men. There’s no reason to support such behavior, but when you blame Christ for those abuses as if he instructed such behavior, and then mischaracterize his words to portray them as meaning something they do not mean in order to try to justify your suspicions, in other words, to lie so as to paint a false picture of Christ. You go too far.
I really don’t care about your theological suspicions. You may believe whatever you like, but when you say Christ taught hatred of the Jews or that they are children of the devil, you are lying. There are no such recorded words of Christ. Jesus never spoke the words “the Jews are the Children of the devil,” or anything equivalent. He spoke to and of a group of Jews who were seeking to kill him and said:
“You are of your father, the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and doesn’t stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks on his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
Why did he say the particular words, “you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning” to this particular group of men? Obviously because THEY whom he spoke to, were trying to kill him, and therefore doing the devils work! It was appropriate that they hear these words! These words literally applied to them. He did not say “you Jews” or “the Jews” are children of the devil! He was not speaking to “the Jews” as a whole, nor was he speaking about them. His conversation was with this one murderous group, and they absolutely deserved the characterization Christ made of them. Another point that you fail to grasp, is that Christ is speaking of spiritual Children, not literal ones. Spiritual children are begotten by their own spiritual values, or lack thereof, not by blood descent. Being of a particular nationality would not make any person a child of the devil, so Christ would not mean that the Jews are Children of the devil. This is an absolutely ridiculous assumption. Particularly since Jesus was himself a Jew!
Funny how worried you seem to be about supposed Christian misrepresentations, while going out of your way to do so yourself.
How do you know what is in my heart? (in other words – why are you convinced that the motivation for my writing is a hatred for Jesus)?
I have one more question for you. According to your understanding of John’s Jesus, if someone hears Jesus’ message and does not accept it – what does that tell you about this person?
I don’t need to know your heart to know that your assessment of the sermon on the mount is ludicrous, as is your accusation that Jesus taught that the Jews were Children of the Devil! A reasonably intelligent person, without an axe to grind and possessed of even a passing understanding of the NT scriptures, would never come to the hateful and false conclusions you have drawn. Hatred for Christ and Christians is saturated throughout this site.
Not accepting Christ’s message simply means one is a non believer. Lying by purposely misrepresenting Christ’s words to imply that they mean what they most certainly do not mean in order to further your agenda is something else entirely. If you want to prove your point about Christ claiming credit in place of God in the Sermon on the Mount, then do it. You certainly have not done so so far. All you have done so far is slander his name by positing a negative and false implication as to the motive of his words. A motive in direct contrast to his stated purpose to point and give all credit to his father Yahweh. You also lie in stating that Christ taught that the Jews are the Children of the Devil. Jesus was not speaking to, nor was he speaking about the Jews as a people. He was speaking to a specific group of Pharisees and scribes who were trying to kill him. Any honest reader of John would see this immediately. It is written all over the chapter. The only reason anyone reading this chapter would miss this point is if they are actively and purposely ignoring it so as to push their agenda which is to slander Christ’s name.
“Really? you engage in a debate where you are deliberately slamming another person’s faith, calling the followers of that faith, both those who truly follow it, and those who do not follow it but merely misuse the name, persecutors, but you don’t think it’s fair that I call you a liar when you say this? You actually think it is fair to lump an entire group of people that follow a certain faith together as being haters of another entire group? get real!”
No, you get real. Bigot. How was she suppose to know that your Christianity is different from the other kind. It’s like beating someone up from confusing North Korea with South Korea, when the person didn’t know they split last week. Eat some humble pie, sir humpty pompous butt. (Apologies to the host for my language, but this guy is on my nerves).
I have been debating with Christians for a long time and have never been subjected to such incivility, even when discussing Christian anti-Semitism. Even when passions have run high and sharp words have been exchanged, I have never seen such nastiness. No one has ever called me a liar or a hypocrite for defending my views which they disagree with.
The Christians in my personal life would hasten to assure me that you are not a true Christian, reminding me that just because someone claims he is a Christian doesn’t make him one.
So I am happy to say, now that I have calmed down, that most Christians don’t say we are liars because we disagree with them.
Having said that, I think I am beginning to understand the source of your rage. You are seeing this as personal attack on you and are responding in kind. Obviously, Jews believe–and have believed so from the beginning–that Christianity is riddled with lies and its founder a deceiver. If we didn’t believe that then we would all embrace Christianity. That’s just logical, isn’t it?
We believe the same about Mohammed, polytheistic religions, and other religious systems.
Fact is, Christians believe we are deceived as well. Nothing new here.
If you believe we are spreading misinformation, it would better serve your cause to correct it than engage in personal attacks. You tell me I get as good as I give, but I believe I have treated you with greater courtesy (what you accused me of pretending to be “nice-nice”). I have not attacked you personally. If I have called you names, I ask for your forgiveness. It would have been wrong of me to do so.
You may ask, if we believe this of all religions, why the focus on Christianity? This website was conceived in response to Christian missionaries targeting Jews for conversion. It is intended to reach Jews that we believe have been misled (not deliberately, but sincerely) by well-meaning Christians concerned for the fate of their souls. As it happens, Christians stumble on this website and challenge our views. We respond for the sake of the Jews in the audience who follow these threads and not to try to persuade the Christians we are talking to. We are perfectly happy for Christians to remain Christian, for Muslims to remain Muslims, and so on–just so long as they leave us alone.
Therefore, I can’t accept your deal because you are basically saying that you won’t call me a liar if I submit to the claims of Christianity. This does not serve the cause of truth.
In my debates with Christians, we usually present a view supported by Scriptural citations and/or historical evidence. We try to steer clear of opinions and interpretations. While we rarely agree, this exercise provides greater clarity to each of us regarding our respective positions.
So I will make a different deal with you. Let’s both tone down our rhetoric, disengage from any and all personal attacks, and respond only to arguments with rebuttals backed up with evidence.
It’s the only way I can continue because otherwise this is too rancorous.
What say you?
Your idea of evidence, is to make broad sweeping generalizations about Christians that have no basis in fact. Little of what you have written to me is free of opinions or interpretations. your entire take on the Christian religion is an opinion and an interpretation. You take the opinions of “some Christians” as being representative of what Christianity teaches. The fact is there is only one place to find what Christianity teaches, and that is in the Christian scriptures, correctly understood and not bent to match extra biblical creeds that falsify its teachings. The truth is you know very little about the Christian scriptures and only present that which you feel there is opportunity to criticize, and all of those criticisms come from your personal viewpoints, misinterpretations, or a lack of understanding of what the writers actually are referring to.
“The Christians in my personal life would hasten to assure me that you are not a true Christian, reminding me that just because someone claims he is a Christian doesn’t make him one.”
Yes, you are correct about how they would Identify me. And they are right that identifying oneself as a Christian does not make one a Christian. Neither does identifying oneself with the majority opinion (Trinitarianism) make one a Christian.
I have not said you are a liar because you disagree with me. I said you were a liar because you have made broad unfair and untrue generalizations about Christ and Christianity that come from your biased personal opinion rather than from fact. Saying that Christ attempted to make himself out as the originator of basic truth, is an opinion based on your desire to discredit him. You have no way of knowing this to be true, and it glaringly contradicts every statement He made regarding the source of his teachings being his father Yahweh. If you present your biased suspicions as fact in order to discredit Christ and my Christian faith, I will call you a liar. This is not an attack on your person, it is an attack on your words which are untrue. You seem to think you are somehow above other people morally, believing that you would never lie. You are no better than me, and you are not above lying. There is not a single human being that is, so it is not some attack on your moral high standing to say that you are lying in presenting your opinion as truth. you are just as human as the rest of us, so come down off your moral high horse.
You are entitled to think whatever you please, but when you speak those beliefs as an attack on everything I stand for, you can expect an unpleasant response. There is no rage here. I’m just as calm as I can be, but I will not mince words. I call it like I see it. As a Christian, I obviously believe that you have rejected your Messiah, but that’s as far as it goes. Your choice affects you and only you. I have no reason to be offended by it, or to be bothered by your choice. You, on the other hand take offense to my beliefs and see it as something that must be attacked and destroyed, and yet you will pretend that there is civility in this. You cannot attack my beliefs without attacking me, and there is nothing civil about it. Were it merely for your personal choice to reject Jesus as your Messiah, I would have no problem. This takes nothing from me. You could take the same attitude and realize that my acceptance of Christ takes nothing from you, but you don’t do that. You instead make every effort to shatter the faith of all Christians, and not merely by presenting scriptural evidence, but by attempting to lay the crimes perpetrated on your people at the feet of Christ, and label Christianity in general as hateful in intent, and desiring to accomplish the extermination of the Jewish people. Well guess what! The Roman armies that desolated Jerusalem and scattered its people in AD 70, were not Christian and whatever Christian Jews were living there were killed and displaced as well. Adolf Hitler attempted to exterminate the Jews in Europe, and guess what! Adolf Hitler was not a Christian, and there are many reports of his being part Jewish. You cannot blame his psychopathology on Christianity. The Roman Church, was merely an extension of the bloody Roman Empire wearing a new religious mask, and the same persecution of the Jews and true Christians that Rome perpetrated before its perverted brand of false Christianity was made legal in the Empire, it continued after it was.supposedly converted. Roman “Christianity” was a purely political body, and a bloody one, that hid behind the false cloak of Christianity, in order to pacify the people and achieve its political agenda, and it never ever followed the teachings of Christ. The majority of both Nominal and true Christianity from the Protestant Reformation forward saw the Roman Church as the Harlot that rode the Beast of the Empire, and many believed that one of its Popes would be the Antichrist.
The crimes and false teachings of this Church were well known in Christianity, and true Christians were persecuted and killed by it right along with the Jews, so for you to lump all Christianity together as a single evil entity is just plain wrong, and your demeanor towards me has in fact been far less than courteous. I called out your “nice nice” sign off because it was in direct contradiction to nearly everything you wrote which simply attempted to tear down my faith. You cannot expect Christians that read the attacks on Christianity perpetrated on this site to just “leave you alone” to tear their faith apart. Nobody expects you to “accept the claims of Christianity,” but if you misrepresent our faith and blame all the woes of the Jewish people on Christians and the teachings of Christianity, then those of us Who “stumble upon” your site and are up to taking the attacks they will inevitably receive, will endeavor to correct you.The fact is that your agenda is what does not serve the cause of truth, and I must say that I doubt your ability to dispassionately present facts free from opinion. You certainly have not done so so far.
“I have not said you are a liar because you disagree with me. I said you were a liar because you have made broad unfair and untrue generalizations about Christ and Christianity that come from your biased personal opinion rather than from fact.”
They are the same thing dufus. If I say Jesus was wrong, and you call foul and scream out I’m a liar then I have no reason to take you seriously or your position. Might as well call them Satanists with your name calling because they are unwilling to listen to you.
I’m sorry we cannot have a civil debate.
Good luck and have a nice life,
The “reply” feature only works for a set number of responses (5) – this is automatic. I encourage you and all who leave responses to leave your responses in the bottom box and not use the reply button unless you are posting a response to a comment that is buried too far away from the bottom of the page.
I hope to get to the rest of your comments later today.
Thanks for the info, and I’ll give whatever responses I feel necessary when and if I get the chance.
Dina, your idea of a civil debate is where you can say whatever you feel about the Christian and about Christ, despite it being impossible to substantiate, and we should have to just take it from you. So have a nice life, but I’m not going to wish you good luck in your present endeavor.
“your idea of a civil debate is where you can say whatever you feel about the Christian and about Christ” And yet you are doing this with Judaism. So who now is the hypocrite.
Dina, What does it mean ‘believe in me ‘?. Are they such a scary words? What they can mean is either believe in me ;”I exist” or also ‘ I exist , I am he whom I say I am , I am able to do what I came for to do / to accomplish.
Jesus said believe in God and believe in me. He is not pushing God aside or taking His place.
By saying many times believe in me he means to trust him about the purpose Father sent him for.
If I am a fireman and I would say to somebody believe in me , it doesn’t mean I am becoming somebody’s god but I am saying that by believing in me – you can trust I will take care of the burning building so that nobody would get hurt. The same is with Jesus. He is saying trust me/believe in me that I came from the Father, I came because of Fathers love , I came to accomplish His purpose , I am giving my life for many.
I’m so sorry, I owe you a lot of answers! As you can see, I got sidetracked on this page with a conversation and also another one with Concerned Reader on two other pages.
You make a good argument, so I’ll need to clarify what is offensive to Jews in these words–not scary, but just plain wrong.
Imagine a Jew living in first-century Palestine. The only Scripture he has ever studied is the Tanach. The understanding of a messiah being the literal son of God who dies to atone for the sins of all mankind is as yet an unknown concept.
Our Jew, who has learned about the Prophets from reading his Tanach, is used to them speaking in God’s name only. He has never heard new and unusual claims backed by commands to “believe in me” and damn you if you don’t. He is used to hearing about prophets who preface or end their words with “God said to me” or “so said the Lord” or something like that.
He knows that Moses is the only prophet who transmitted God’s Law to the nation of Israel, and that no one else, absolutely no one, is allowed to add to it or subtract from it.
Imagine that this Jew listens to Jesus preach. And he hears Jesus claim that he is the only way to God; to get to God you must believe in him. This is totally new! To this Jew, “believe in me” and do it “for my sake” rather then “believe in God” and do it “for the sake of heaven” sounds arrogant beyond belief. Our Jew is speechless.
Worse yet, when the leaders ask for a sign, Jesus refuses to give them one, except for the resurrection–which he doesn’t fulfill because he doesn’t appear to them in his resurrected body. (We’ve argued about this many times :).)
Jesus expected people to believe in him even before his supposed resurrection. This is a lot to expect of a people who don’t take the claims of self-proclaimed prophets on their word or on their ability to perform miracles, as we discussed on other threads. We have specific criteria for knowing who is a true prophet, again, as we discussed.
This is especially true when that self-proclaimed prophet changes the Law of Moses. That would be the first thing that would immediately discredit him in the eyes of the Jews. He changes the Law of Moses, so when he says “believe in me,” he loses even more credibility. It’s kind of like “the lady who doth protest too much.”
It’s not like a fireman saying, “Don’t worry, trust me,” which is reassuring, because Jesus’s “Believe in me” came along with a threat–if you don’t, you are condemned. That’s not reassuring.
You wrote: ” I would say that any organization that teaches hatred of other human beings, such as the KKK, is criminal. But for you to equate the Christian faith with such an organization when there is nothing in its teachings that justifies any such thing, is purely hateful scapegoating.”
Let me say this to you – many forms of Christianity preached hatred of Jews as an essential part of Christianity. according to your own assessment, these forms of Christianity are criminal. The teachers of these Christains read this attitude in Jesus’ words. You claim that they are misreading his words. That is your claim. These people (such as Martin Luther and Thomas Aquinas) loved Jesus with all of their heart, these people dare I say were much more learned than yourself in the writings of the Christian Scriptures – and they saw a different Jesus than you do. Why should I accept that your Jesus is the authentic one and theirs is not?
What right do you have to accuse me of lying when so many scholars consider that the Jesus of the Christian Scriptures taught that the Jews are children of the Devil?
Tell me what “forms” of Christianity taught these things. Who spoke or wrote them, and if so, how were they speaking for Christ? I don’t have to claim anything! all I have to point to his words in context , because he never said such things. Your only means of defense is to lift his words out of context and mischaracterize them. Don’t tell me about how learned such men were. And how they disagree with me. They were only men. There are very learned men both living and dead who absolutely agree with me, including those who died defending their beliefs against men such as those you cite. People can be very learned in falsehoods.
I have every right to call you a liar when you speak your hateful opinions that you cannot prove, and speak only for the purpose of slandering the name of the man who gave his life to save all men. I don’t care that you don’t believe this. slander is slander. You don’t have to accept anything. I don’t care what you believe. Please tell me the names of the scholars that teach that Jesus taught that the Jews were children of the devil. What are their credentials, and what have they said in support of your claims? How do their opinions outweigh the overwhelming majority of scholars that have never said any such thing?
You asked which scholars of Christendom taught that Jews are children of the Devil based on John 8:44
Almost every teacher of Christianity that existed up until 70 years ago.
Here is a partial list. St. John Chrysostom, St. Anselm, St. Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, and all those that consider these criminals saints and scholars
First of all, I never said no Christians ever taught such a concept. I have asked you to not just give the names, but the quotes themselves. i asked you to show support for your claim that
“many forms of Christianity preached hatred of Jews as an essential part of Christianity. according to your own assessment, these forms of Christianity are criminal.”
The names you gave do not represent “many forms of Christianity.” And I never “assessed” that many forms of Christianity are criminal. You are putting words in my mouth. I spoke of ONE form of Christianity in which Criminal acts were the norm, and that my spiritual ancestors were slaughtered along with the Jews by these criminals. True Christianity never died out during the heyday of this false Church; it went underground, and escaped and survived by retreating away from large metropolitan centers where this church expressed its dominance and oppression. There was no systematic practice of hatred and oppression in the Churches that broke from this Church because of its abuses, and certainly none in the Eklessia that went underground and escaped into the wilderness long before the Protestant reformation. Abuses did occur as a result of rogue teachers who set themselves up as civil authorities with large constituencies. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Michael Servetus, one of the most learned men of his day, was burned at the stake for teaching non-Trinitarian Christianity and publishing books on the subject. Michael Servetus was a peaceful man who was proficient in most of the academic and scientific fields of his day, including theology, Biblical languages, and most particularly medicine, being the first man to accurately describe the human circulatory system. He died asking God to have mercy on his soul refusing to recant his faith in one God in order to save his life or to at least end it mercifully. His betrayer John Calvin died never having recanted this brutal act of murder.
You fall far short of showing that the majority of Christian teachers taught hatred of the Jews or that they are children of Satan. In fact the majority of Christianity has always rejected such teachings. Please produce quotes which show conclusively that the majority of Christian teachers taught that the Jews were children of the devil. Do not give me writings of the Catholic Church fathers who produced many false doctrines. Christians can be thankful to Martin Luther for one thing, that is, the rejection of the Pope and Catholicism, however, he was well known for his anti Semitism, and his words on this subject are not taught even in the Lutheran Church.
“And I never “assessed” that many forms of Christianity are criminal. You are putting words in my mouth. I spoke of ONE form of Christianity ” OH, <#$%^$@E$* !
"You fall far short of showing that the majority of Christian teachers taught hatred of the Jews or that they are children of Satan. In fact the majority of Christianity has always rejected such teachings." WHERE IS THE SOURCES FOR YOUR OUTRAGEOUS CLAIMS ?????
When you claim that the Jewish writers here (and I am not one, but I support them) make sweeping generalizations about Christianity with no evidence, I refer you to the NT. This is of course its characterization of the Jews. It calls Pharisees hypocrites and vipers. It says that by their proselytizing they make sons of Satan twice as great as themselves. It calls Jews murderers and sons of the devil. All of these generalizations you have rationalized, but they are generalizations and unfair ones at that.
How so, unfair? The NT misrepresents Pharisaic teaching, and you through your lack of familiarity with Talmud and apparently the “Old Testament” have no problem with that. You take it as gospel. The NT paints a picture of Jewish teachings which don’t match up with actual Jewish teachings. It is a total misrepresentation. I recommend you protest the NT.
Now you might not agree with the characterization brought by R’Blumenthal, but you must admit two things he does that the NT does not do. 1. He actually quotes the NT and Christian teachers. The NT does not quote the Pharisees’ teachings, nor does it actually identify them for the most part. They are faceless enemies. 2. While you might not like the interpretations of those “Christians” who R’ Blumenthal is answering, those interpretations exist and have existed in the Church for hundreds of years. He is not inventing meanings that Christians have not taught.
Once again, I recommend you protest the NT.
An example of sweeping generalizations is when one takes words spoken to certain members of a group and applies it as having been spoken to the entire group, both the guilty and the not guilty. The NT is not a person and does not speak. Jesus on the other hand spoke of the group of pharisees who were trying to kill him, and he spoke of the hypocrisy and corruption that was rampant among the leadership of Israel in His day. Does this mean they were all corrupt? Of course not, but Jesus was delivering a strong message to the leaders of his day. Clean up your act! Does this mean they were worse than the leaders in any other period before them? Not necessarily, but the message does not change because all were not guilty. Those who were not guilty had no reason to feel guilty. Any Christian of today who thinks that Jesus would be any more complementary to church leaders of today are fooling themselves. Were Jesus to speak to Martin Luther, John Calvin, the vast majority of the Popes, Or any common ordinary Priests and pastors who preach one thing and live another, he would surely be utterly enraged. Jesus taught us to be kind and loving and forgiving to one another, but he never told us to turn a blind eye to evil, corruption, and unrepentant sin. The word teaches that God chastises those whom he loves, and God’s representatives also do not permit these things to go unchecked. The Prophet Malachi bears witness of the corruption that came into the Old Covenant Church of God. and the New covenant Church is no different. Why? Because it is made up of sinful human beings. here is not a denomination in the entire Church today that would hire Christ as a preacher were he to come back today. They would throw him out on his tukas (tuchas?), before he was five minutes into his message. In all walks of life, in all times, power has corrupted, and first-century Palestine of Jesus day was no different.
“Alas for you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you scour sea and land in order to win one convert–and when he is gained, you make him twice as much a son of Gehenna as yourselves.”
Just as today there are high profile preachers and teachers that put on a show to impress those they hope to convert and from whom they will reap benefits, while living lives of greed and hypocrisy, and when their converts witness this behavior they learn it is alright to preach goodness and charity, while practicing just the opposite. This is what Christ spoke of. It would not matter who the leaders were. Their hypocrisy would have been spoken of in the same way. The Jews and pharisees of Jesus day were no different than any other people and they had their hypocrites and high profile evil in high places. Jesus called attention to this
You say the NT calls Jews murderers and sons of the devil. This is false. No castigating generalizations were spoken against the Jews as a people. If you read John carefully, and with honesty, you’ll see that Jesus was not speaking to or of all the Jews when He said what you are misquoting badly. He was speaking to a small group of Pharisees and scribes who were enemies trying to kill him, and they ultimately succeeded as he knew they would. There is absolutely no way you can honestly make the charge that Jesus spoke to or of the Jews as a people who were children of the Devil.
Yes, I’m sure you believe that Jesus misrepresented the teachings of the Pharisees, because obviously all the pharisees taught exactly the same thing about all things unanimously, and none of them were hypocrites without any greed or evil intent. Absolute angels they were! You know what you can do with your recommendation.
I really don’t care that there are nominal Christians that make false claims about Christ. You cannot make sweeping generalizations about Christian teachings based on the opinions of a few misinformed people. You say I do not know the Talmud. You my friend know next to nothing about the NT scriptures. Christians have taught all kinds of strange things. Using a name does not make one knowledgeable. Christianity is learned from the scriptures, not ignorant men no matter what they call themselves. Once again you know what you can do with your recommendations.
Dina, How did Jesus change law of Moses???
Lets say ; we are back in Moses times. He says the Israelities of the way out of Egypt. Whether he has to say to them on the first encounter to trust him that God sent him for that or not , I am sure before any signs in the form of miracles came on the scene , Moses might have spoken such words to trust him ( and they were no magic words, no offensive words, no anti-God words). Maybe he didn’t have to say them- it doesn’t matter. The fact is that if somebody didn’t trust Him, actually never made into the Promised land. Examples ;many of those who rebelled, who didn’t trust him that they will ever make it and complained. Just starting with the trip ; If somebody didn’t listen to apply the lamb’s blood on the door, their firs- borns wouldn’t even make it alive till morning.
If I believe Jesus is from God , trusting Him plays the same role like it was with listening to Moses.
The same way like not listening to Moses = not listening to God , not listening to Jesus = not listening to God.
I recommend focusing on Jesus’ life to see who he really is.
You still mentioned the fact of ‘ not appearing to the leaders after resurrection. He had no obligation, they wouldn’t believe him, as they didn’t believe the witnesses. Second they decided to pay the soldiers to keep up a lie of Jesus body being stolen rather then going to Galelee to see him ( according to Jesus words said to his disciples that they would see him there.) Matthew 28;10-15
I’m not sure what you mean when you ask how Jesus changed the Law of Moses. The reason for my confusion is that you must surely know that Christians–and especially Jewish Christians–don’t keep the Law of Moses. Certainly, they do not practice Judaism as it was practiced in Jesus’s day and before then.
But I will answer the question directly, nevertheless.
Jesus’s most fundamental change to the Law of Moses was to the nature of our worship, making him the center of worship. This was a brand-new concept to those practicing a God-centered religion. Jesus proclaimed, “I am the way, the truth, and the light, and no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). This was a radical departure from Jewish worship, where no intermediary is required in order to have a relationship with God.
Secondly, the idea that only through faith in the messiah could one achieve eternal life was also a brand-new idea, since the Torah does not talk about eternal life, needing to be rescued from eternal death, and so on. As you know, Jews managed without Jesus for 1400 years, even during the Babylonian exile when they could not bring sacrifices at the Temple. So again, this was a brand-new idea.
When you say that the “prophecies” about these things were only clear after they happened–then you are admitting that these are new ideas, because no one reading the Bible understood them that way.
The list is long, so I will mention just a few more changes Jesus made to the Law of Moses.
Jesus abolished the kosher laws (Mark 7:15-19).
Jesus changed the law about taking the name of the Lord in vain. Matthew 5:33-37: Whereas God says not to swear falsely or take His name in vain, Jesus says “Do not swear at all.”
You compared belief in Jesus to belief in Moses. Moses came to save the people if Israel from tyranny and oppression. He didn’t exhort anyone to believe in him. He didn’t need to. After nine plagues, only a fool with a death wish would have refused to follow his instructions from being passed over.
But you know what? Even after the Ten Plagues, and the splitting of the Red Sea, and leading a whole nation out of slavery to freedom, that still wasn’t enough. God said he would speak to Moses out of the cloud in front of the entire whole nation in order for the people to believe that he was truly God’s messenger (Exodus 19:9; Deuteronomy 4:35).
So if someone is going to come along and claim he is superior to Moses and wiser than Solomon and literally the son of God to boot, we should expect at least the same standard of evidence. Not higher, not lower, just the same.
And that’s why your defense that Jesus was under no obligation to the Pharisees because they would not have believed him anyway does not hold water. For such a humongous, earth-shattering claim, Jesus was under a serious obligation to the entire people of Israel (who were already scattered; large numbers were in Babylon). They would not have believed him anyway? That’s irrelevant. He made a promise. He had to deliver. Then they would have had a choice to believe or not to believe.
Although anyone coming to change the Law could resurrect himself a million times and it wouldn’t make a difference (see Deuteronomy 13:1-6), at least Christians would have something to argue about had Jesus kept his word. But no, he didn’t show up because they wouldn’t believe anyway, then he damns them for not believing.
If you read this article you will see what I meant when I said that Matthew claims that Jesus was original; https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/%ef%bb%bfclaiming-originality-excerpt-from-supplement/
About Children of the Devil – Martin Luther wasn’t stupid and he understood that this is precisely what Jesus meant – as I told you – many scholars throughout history understood it this way as well.
They understood that Jesus is teaching that there is no middle ground – if you don’t accept Jesus’ message that means that you want to kill him and that you are a child of the devil
Try this article as well – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/judge-not/
I don’t care about your lying article and won’t waste my time on it. I have already shown that what you say is nothing but your hateful opinion and your article cannot possibly prove your opinion anymore than you have. There is no way you can show your opinion to contain any truth. All you can do is insinuate, which you are very good at. You certainly can’t use Martin Luther’s hateful diatribes to prove that Jesus hated his own people whom he was trying to save. The fact that Martin Luther misapplied Jesus’ words to push his own anti Semitic agenda does not in any way show those words of Christ to be of such intent. Anyone can misuse another person’s words by lifting them outside of their context, but any honest reading of John and the NT will show this opinion to be a lie. No matter how many times you try to sell this point, anyone reading Christ’s words in the context of Johns gospel and in honesty will see that your point has no basis in truth. You can say all that you want about “many scholars throughout history” who’s words, by the way, you have not produced, but any words they might say to support your position would be more opinion, and far more scholars than you might cite would disagree with those scholars. There is absolutely no way to prove the point you are trying to make, because it is a lie. It is only the men who sought to kill Christ and silence his message that he was speaking to the day when he spoke the words you are trying to misapply as a curse on all of the Jewish people, and those men ultimately succeeded in their murderous quest, just as he knew they would. To say that Jesus meant that anyone who disagreed with him was out to kill him is a pathetic stretch that has nothing to support it.
Jesus’ Sermon on the mount was a discourse on the gulf that existed between keeping the letter of the law and living according to its intent which is true righteousness. This was not a new teaching. Any teacher of the Law could have at any time given the same discourse, but were they doing that? If so I’d be interested in reading it. Regardless, whether they did, it would not show that Christ was “stealing ideas” from the Jews. He was a Jew, and had every right to teach these things, and even to use the words “but I say to you” when expounding on the intent behind the letter of the Law without it being taken as a claim to authorship of basic truth. If what he spoke was so revolutionary, and so offensive to the Jewish ear, then why was there no uproar amongst the people listening to him that day? No this is just an outlandish claim you are making.
Since you “don’t care” I don’t see the point in responding to you. But since this conversation is on a public forum I will respond for the sake of those reading this who do care.
How did Martin Luther come to the conclusion that Jesus was calling Jews “children of the devil”? It is very simple. You first need to ask yourself the question – who is guilty for killing Jesus according to the authors of the Christian Scriptures. If you read John 8:31-47; 3:19-21 and you can see that according to John’s Jesus, if someone hears Jesus’ message and doesn’t believe it – then this proves that something is evil about him. Not just anything, but that he is a child of the devil and a murderer. The conclusion that Martin Luther came to was that every Jew who hears Jesus’ message and doesn’t accept it would kill Jesus if he only had the opportunity. If Martin Luther still had any doubts if his interpretation is correct he would have read Matthew 21;43 where Jesus speaks of the kingdom taken from the leadership of Israel and given to a different nation as a result of the guilt of Israel’s leadership in his death – in other words – Jesus’ death is not seen as an act of individuals – but an act that is representative of all of Israel’s leadership – and the nation deserves to lose its standing on this basis.
Martin Luther was evil – but he was not stupid.
Hatred doesn’t need a reason. It never has needed one. Hatred creates its own twisted rational that has no connection with reality. It uses its own warped logic. Its very simple. Christ was speaking to a specific group of angry hateful men who wanted to put an end to Christ’s message by killing him, and they succeeded. He was not speaking to a reporter or a TV camera that could broadcast his words to all the Jews, and he never, I repeat, never said the words “the Jews are the Children of the Devil.” He spoke to those men who were there opposing him, and who had been there throughout Johns narrative. It was an ongoing conversation with the same men. This is made clear in the text. You purposely ignore this very obvious context to push your own agenda. What you say is clear is only clear to someone who desires to see things in this way. There is nothing in Jesus’ words that warrants such an understanding. It comes from within you! You see what you want to see. It’s simply amazing that you think that anyone reading John 8:31-47; 3:19-21 could see things that are not written or in any way implied. It’s also interesting that you never quote the words you think prove or imply that he was speaking to all the Jews in this passage. Do not give me the words and opinions of other hate mongers. Show me the words in the text and why they must mean what you say they do. You can’t. The words are not there. The words that show he was speaking to a specific group are unavoidable.
John :19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Does this say anything about people being evil as a result of not accepting Jesus? No it speaks of those who ARE already evil not wanting their evil to be exposed by having light shined upon it. It also says that those who seek truth are not afraid of the light and seek it out because they are not trying to hide anything. Now that pretty much makes your statement a lie! Jesus shined that light which exposed these men’s deeds and desires, and for that reason they wanted him dead. Jesus never said the things you are claiming he said to the Jews. He spoke them to a group of evil men with murderous intent. You read things into Christ’s words that are never spoken or intended. You my friend are nothing but a liar. You never show any actual evidence to justify your cowardly attacks. You simply heap innuendo on top of innuendo. To justify your own lies you use the ideas of other hateful people such as Martin Luther in order to paint the picture you wish to portray Christ and Christianity by, and then you have the nerve to ask why I would be convinced that your motivation is hatred of Christ. This is obvious to anyone but those of a similar mindset.
By the way, Israel’s leadership WERE responsible for his death. He was brought before the Sanhedrin council who are the ones that had him arrested in the first place, and they brought him in at night through the actions of a traitor, without calling the majority of the council, many of whom would certainly have objected. Essentially only the men on the council who were already against Jesus, and were responsible for arresting him on trumped up charges and bringing him before the council at night were present. Their actions were entirely treacherous.
Also, you don’t read very carefully. I never said that Jesus’ death was at the hands of any individuals, I said it resulted through the actions of a “group” of individuals and the fact is that the top levels of leadership were part of the conspiracy against Christ. The totality of Israel’s leadership is still made up of individuals, as are any group of them, but when they act as a group they are not acting as individuals are they? The destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple was foretold by the Prophets as a result of their collective infidelity. The reasons for God’s judgements are always based on the nation’s collective faithfulness. Killing Christ was just the last straw. The twisted logic behind the statement that Martin Luther was not stupid, and therefore his warped conclusions about Christ’s supposed hatred of the Jews must be true, is truly asinine. Hatred causes otherwise intelligent people to do and say some really idiotic things. Your conclusions and statements are proof enough of that.
I find it interesting that you care enough to argue with me but not enough to take the time to understand what I am saying. Did I say that the Christian Scripture teach that someone is evil as a RESULT of rejecting Jesus? No – that is not what I said. I said that the Christian Scriptures teach that rejecting Jesus is proof that the rejecter is already evil, a child of the devil and would kill Jesus if he or she had the opportunity. Is that not how you read John 3:19-21; 8:31-47?
I understand you perfectly, and no, that’s not what you said. What you said was, “if someone hears Jesus’ message and doesn’t believe it – then this proves that something is evil about him,” and this directly contradicts what Jesus had to say about accepting him: “And whoever shall speak against the Son of Man may obtain forgiveness; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, neither in this nor in the coming age shall he obtain forgiveness.” Not only will not accepting him be forgiven, but speaking in opposition to him will also be forgiven. If, however, you speak against his Father, the Holy Spirit Yahweh, knowing full well whom you are speaking against in utter defiance, then you will not be forgiven. Or do you actually think that God will forgive those of evil intent? Not believing in Christ’s message is not evil in and of itself, and it does not mean that one will not be forgiven. Rejection of Christ must be willfully committed, knowing full well what is being rejected before it becomes an unforgivable sin. If you reject Jesus knowing who he is, and whom he represents, it is the same as rejecting His Father, and this is the unforgivable sin. It is blasphemy or grieving of the Holy Spirit. Who would knowingly reject God and his representative being fully aware of who they are? Only one who is truly evil would do this!
Only someone with a really twisted mindset would read these passages of John the way you do. You’re desperately reaching to say that these words mean that anyone who doesn’t believe Christ’s message wants to kill him. This is truly laughable. What you are suggesting here is a logical fallacy. To say that someone who is evil will reject Christ, does not mean that all who reject Christ are evil. All apples are fruit. All fruit are not apples. Jesus spoke to some Jews (everyone around him was a Jew. This was Israel after all!), and these particular Jews were seeking a way to kill him. they rejected what he was telling them because they had evil in their hearts. This does not mean that every Jew that rejected him was trying to kill him, or that they were children of the devil. This is the sloppiest logic possible!
Show me where in the Christian Scripture does it acknowledge that the moral position of someone who hears Jesus’ message but is not convinced – is to avoid committing themselves to Jesus? The Christian Scriptures leave you with no middle ground – either you accept his message and your good or you don’t and your evil – show me where the book acknowledges a middle ground
You need a little more clarity in your sentence structure here. I can hardly make heads or tails of what you’re saying. Christ’s words are clear enough. There is no judgement for not being able to wrap your mind around Jesus being who he is. He came to glorify the Father. If you’re right with the Father, then you’re right with the Son, regardless of whether you know anything about the Son. You’re only judged by the light you are given. Rejecting the Son in ignorance does not condemn a person. How clear a statement do you need? There is no condemnation for those who reject or speak against the Son. His words make that very clear. Condemnation comes from rejecting the Spirit of the Father within you. If the Spirit comes and reveals the Son to you, there is no reason to reject him. If you reject him under those conditions, then you’ve got a problem, because you have rejected the Spirit. What you’re rejecting absolutely matters. It is the heart that is judged, so what you’re saying is false.
“Christ’s words are clear enough.” Then the person who rejects his teaching should know full well who he is rejecting. Or is Jesus not clear about who he is ? You are very inconsistent.
Your interpretation of Luke 12:10 and Matthew 3:29 doesn’t hold water. In Matthew it is clear that he considered the accusation that he is working with an unclean spirit to be a blasphemy against the “holy spirit” – There is nothing to indicate that the Scribes and Pharisees “knew who Jesus was” and still rejected him – Jesus presented no evidence for his fantastic claims
Yes, it is true Christ was warning The Pharisees against committing blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. They were witnesses to the miracles performed by the Holy Spirit Yahweh through Jesus, and if they knew that only Yahweh could perform such miracles then by saying they were being done by an unclean spirit they would be blaspheming God who is that Holy Spirit. There was nothing evil in any of Jesus’ miracles to indicate the workings of an unclean spirit. Unclean spirits do not make the lame walk and the blind see, Nor can they feed 5000 or 4000 people on a few fish and a loaf of bread. These were clearly miracles of God, so accusing them of being performed by a devil spirit would be blasphemy against the Holy Spirit working in Christ. If they rejected who Christ was after witnessing such things, then they were truly blind and ignorant, and would not be held accountable. If, however, they did so knowingly, then they were guilty of that unforgivable sin. There is EVERYTHING to indicate they had all the information necessary to recognize who Christ was, so I think my interpretation holds an ocean of water.
Miracles cannot over-ride what we received from Moses – just read Deuteronomy 13:1-5. A miracle can be a test from God. The Pharisees – even assuming that they actually saw miracles – were acting responsibly in their capacity of leaders of Israel telling the people not to be swayed by miracles. Furthermore, the prophets clearly delineated the role of the Messiah – and Jesus did not fulfill it – miracles cannot overturn the explicit word of God
Who said anything about overriding Moses? You’re actually going to use Deuteronomy 13:1-5 as a defense. Let’s see what it says.
1 “If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer.”
Christ claimed Yahweh the God of Israel as his Father and his God. He vehemently opposed accepting other Gods, and pointed to his Father Yahweh as the one who did the works (the miracles) he performed. God worked through him just as he did through the prophets before him. He recognized the Sh’ma as the oath of all believers. Not recognizing miracles that did nothing but good, and which were proclaimed as of Yahweh, do not fit what is described in this cautionary verse AT ALL. There was absolutely no justification for this group of Pharisees and scribes to accuse Jesus of proclaiming other Gods or doing miracles by the power of unclean spirits. You are a liar! There was more than one role to be played by the Messiah, and suffering servant was one of them. Do you really believe that God bring His son the Messiah into his role as conquering King while Israel’s leaders were trying to entrap and kill him? Christ always spoke of his return. Not fulfilling all of his roles in one particular period of history doesn’t mean they will not be fulfilled. When Christ returns as conqueror Israel (true Israel) will be gathered from the nations, and dead believers will be raised to newness of life. Do you actually believe that because God did not reveal all of his cards to us that this means that nothing that was not specifically foretold can be true, or that the events of prophecy must unfold exactly as we demand that they should? Israels leaders in Christ’s day wanted a conqueror when they wanted one and would not accept a Messiah that did not acquiesce to their expectations. None of Christ’s miracles overturned the word of God in any way, so you are lying!
If Jesus was advocating a trinity as most Christians assert then he was advocating worship of another god. But even according non-Trinitarians – he was advocating an abandonment of the Torah that Moses taught – at least as it pertains to the priesthood as per the book Hebrews. But in any case – why do you say that the Pharisees were looking for “their” version of the Messiah? They were demanding God’s version of the Messiah – and Jesus did not deliver. The suffering servant passages are completely irrelevant – because at that point Jesus had not yet suffered – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/response-to-th-line-of-fire-9/
That is one exceptionally large IF!!! There is nothing in the NT scriptures that speaks of a Trinity, and the only verses that might seem to suggest such a thing, first of all, do not spell out a Trinity of Godhead, since mentioning three “names” in one place does not make them one being, and second, these two verses have been conclusively shown to be spurious insertions not written by the original author, but added centuries later by Trinitarian scribes in attempt to bolster their false doctrine. Anyone who studies the history of these verses can very easily see how and when they came to be in the text and that they are inauthentic. Certain aspects of the Law that were tied to the nation of Israel and to the Temple worship as well as the unwritten rules added by the Pharisees to build a “hedge” around the written Law went away, but as to the Law in general Here is what Christ said:
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18″For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke (jot or tittle) shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19″Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.…”
The Pharisees rejected Jesus role as a suffering servant and would only accept a conqueror. They did not like God’s timing. Jesus did not fulfill those aspects of prophecy that they wished to be fulfilled when they wanted it to be fulfilled, and so they rejected Christ. So yes they WERE looking only for their version of the Messiah as if these aspects of the Messianic King were all there was of him. You say, “They were demanding God’s version of the Messiah.” This is not true. They were looking for the Messiah to service their desires, not just in what they wanted, but in when they wanted it! They would not accept God’s timing. It was their way NOW, or the highway NOW. They believed they knew better than God.
“Jesus did not deliver. The suffering servant passages are completely irrelevant – because at that point Jesus had not yet suffered.”
Interesting choice of words, but very descriptive of their attitude. To them Christ was there to “deliver” what they wanted, when they wanted it. Fulfilling their agenda was all that mattered, and if Christ would not deliver according to their timetable, then he must die. Typical that you would say that the suffering servant passages were irrelevant. This is exactly the attitude of the Pharisees Jesus was dealing with in his day. First of all you are wrong that Christ had not suffered. He had been utterly rejected by his own people, and the leadership of Israel were seeking to kill him. Does this not qualify as suffering in your book? Second, he spoke throughout his ministry in the full knowledge of what was going to shortly occur, and still he worked without ceasing to fulfill God’s word regarding him, and to teach about the coming Kingdom, knowing that very soon he would suffer a horrifying death. Who are you kidding about him not suffering?
You don’t seem to realize that if someone presents a claim to the Messiah-ship of Israel – that we are duty bound before God to examine the claim with care and not accept it hastily. Accepting a false Messiah is at least as bad as rejecting the true one.
Now YSG – give me the chapter and verse in the Jewish Bible that Jesus fulfilled before the crucifixion that the Pharisees and scribes could have known conclusively that he is the Messiah.
One can hardly accuse the Pharisees have committing blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. After all, according to the Christian narrative, they asked Jesus for a sign, and though he spoke to them in a temper, he offered them one, the sign of Jonah, that after three days and nights he would be raised from the dead. This sign, according to the Gospels, he never fulfilled. After offering this sign “to an adulterous generation” he never presented himself to the Pharisees after the resurrection. Inasmuch as he did not fulfill the only sign he ever offered them, it is perfectly reasonable that they should reject him as a false prophet.
I wonder that you do not find the NT account dubious, while readily accusing the rabbis of the time of willfully rejecting the truth. Do you not note how convenient the secret revelation is? Jesus is supposed to have been attested to by God and conversed with Moses and Elijah, but only three of his disciples witnessed this event and he forbid them to tell anyone until after he was gone. Does this not strike you as questionable?
Or, if you reflect for a moment on the story of the NT, are you not troubled by the dubiousness of the resurrection claim? Consider, if you will, that according to the NT, Jesus is supposed to have declared that he would rise after three days and nights in the grave. After three days, he rises and appears, not publicly, not to the Pharisees who asked for a sign, but privately to his disciples.
Imagine if you can, that you were alive during that time. You are not in the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples. You are an interested party, waiting to see if he fulfills the promised sign. Three days pass, and as far as you know, nothing happened. Oh well, I guess he is not the Messiah after all. I guess he was just another false prophet.
But then, fifty days after the crucifixion, his followers come boldly forth to declare that indeed! Jesus did rise from the dead, just as he said. Do you not find this claim suspect? Well, you might just not have heard the news. So now you are willing to follow him. You cannot wait to see him. What a miracle! Only, when you ask where he is, they tell you that he was there, but ten days ago he rose to be with God in heaven. But he’ll be back; he promised. Do you not find this dubious?
It is no wonder then that John has Jesus tell Thomas that it is better to believe from a state of ignorance than from a state of knowledge. Those who believe without proof are blessed. Certainly, one can understand why. No proof was given, even according to the story as told by the NT. One can hardly accuse the Pharisees of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, after all. One is not supposed to believe because he has evidence. It is better to believe without it.
And how could any of the rabbis or Torah knowledgeable accept the testimony of the Gospels after the way they abuse the Torah and Prophets, misrepresenting prophecies to prove that Jesus was the Messiah. The very first prophecy made use of by the Gospel placed first in the NT not only ignores the context of the verse, but alters the verse to find a way to apply it to Jesus. After all, not only is it not Messianic, and not only does it not talk about a virgin, it does not say that “they” shall call him “Immanuel”, as Matthew writes. It says that she shall name him “Immanuel”. So that, even if Jesus had been born of a virgin and that was the prophecy Isaiah had given, Jesus still wouldn’t have fulfilled the prophecy, because Mary didn’t name him “Immanuel”.
And virtually every time the authors of the NT quote the “OT”, they misrepresent it. This being the case, who could be considered guilty of the crime of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. As far as I can tell, not any who rejected Jesus’ claims, made either by himself or the authors of the NT. He never fulfilled the only sign he promised to people, making it incumbent upon people at the time to reject his claims. Nor those who read the works of the Gospels can be accused of such a crime, for the evidences offered by the NT authors are no evidences at all.
“One can hardly accuse the Pharisees have committing blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.”
What a laugh! I am not accusing the Pharisees of anything. I am simply quoting the New Testament scriptures which clearly record Christ warning the Pharisees and scribes who were speaking with him and accusing him of casting out demons by an unclean spirit, that it was not him they were accusing, but the holy spirit of Yahweh their God, because He was the one performing the miracles through Christ. You make the assumption that their accusations were true and that Christ’s warning was therefore unfounded. This is a very faulty assumption, and quite a stretch given that there are no recorded incidences of evil spirits having produced such beneficial miracles that showed no signs of the presence of evil. By the way, it is truly asinine, and yet characteristic of your dishonesty, that you mention that Christ “spoke with a temper.” How casually you overlook that these wicked men had repeatedly tried to entrap Christ with questions designed to, so they hoped, paint him as an evil man, though he had committed no sin, and that they were trying to kill him. How dare he speak with a temper over something so trivial right?
“After all, according to the Christian narrative, they asked Jesus for a sign, and though he spoke to them in a temper, he offered them one, the sign of Jonah, that after three days and nights he would be raised from the dead. This sign, according to the Gospels, he never fulfilled. After offering this sign “to an adulterous generation” he never presented himself to the Pharisees after the resurrection. Inasmuch as he did not fulfill the only sign he ever offered them, it is perfectly reasonable that they should reject him as a false prophet.”
First of all these men had already long since rejected Christ, which is why their demand for a sign was absolutely rejected. They were not interested in a sign, only in trying to discredit Jesus. If He could not do a sign for them, they could expose Him; if He did one, they could discredit Him. These were evil calculating men to be sure.
Second, Christ did not “offer them a sign.” You need to read the text a little more carefully! Christ’s words make it plain that they would not receive the kind of sign that they were demanding. The only sign that would come would be one that they did not want, and for their wickedness and disbelief it would be highly presumptuous for them to expect Jesus to present himself, following his resurrection, to the very men who not only tried, but eventually succeeded in having him killed. Their demand for a sign was quite telling. It was not a search for truth. They were mocking and showing contempt for him. Miraculous signs are for those who have not already rejected God’s word and therefore stand a chance of believing. After being given all the evidence they needed in order to believe, after they rejected every miracle he performed which showed him to be of God, these men still sought to discredit him, not because they had evidence of sin against him, but because he did not fit their ideal of a conquering Messiah, and because he exposed their wickedness. God does not waste signs on such men. The sign of Jonah, Christ’s resurrection, would give all unbelievers a chance to believe, but it was not offered as a proof to the Pharisees and scribes. That demand of theirs was utterly rejected!
“Jesus is supposed to have been attested to by God and conversed with Moses and Elijah, but only three of his disciples witnessed this event and he forbid them to tell anyone until after he was gone. Does this not strike you as questionable?”
You are highly confused about the purpose and nature of the Transfiguration! First of all, it was not a literal physical event, but a vision, and Moses and Elias were not literally present. They were a part of the vision as symbols representing the Law and the Prophets so as to show that these things were subordinate to the Messiah and God’s word spoken through him. I really don’t care whether you believe that word. Such is to be expected. In the vision Jesus was transformed into his future form in the coming Kingdom, and the purpose was to cement the idea of who Christ was in the minds of his closest disciples and prepare them for their work in spreading the Gospel. The three disciples present were told not to reveal what they had seen for the same reason that Jesus taught in parables. The parables taught truths to “those with ears” (mostly his disciples) so that they would gain greater understanding while keeping these truths from those enemies who were out to destroy him and his message. Christ’s purpose was to prepare Apostles to spread the Gospel after his death, not to spread it himself. Jesus brought the Gospel to establish the Church of God, not to try to convert the world single handed. Christ never revealed his teachings in a direct manner, because to do so would have worked against what he was here to accomplish and it would have brought his death before it was meant to occur, so no, it does not strike me as questionable. What is highly questionable is your motives here. As I have already stated, there is nothing dubious about Christ not acquiescing to the demands of those who virulently opposed his message and had him killed! Christ owed nothing to those that had rejected him. As Christ said to the Scribes and Pharisees “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign.” He also said “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe.” In Christ’s telling of the parable of Lazarus and the Rich man, Abraham makes the point that “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” Faith is not built on being given a sign. Those who demand a sign, have no faith. Yes, despite your disparagement of the concept, those who believe the Word of God without demanding a miraculous sign DO have greater faith. This has nothing to do with an indictment of the acquisition of knowledge as you try so hard to suggest. Seeking knowledge is commendable. Demanding a sign is not. It is a simple fact that believing without needing miraculous signs in order to believe is a sign of greater faith. For you to twist these words to mean what you are suggesting is very telling as to your motives.
As to the “Abuse” of the Law and the Prophets, you speak nothing but your opinion, and what you have been taught. You and your Cohorts are not the last word on the scriptures, and your understanding of the NT scriptures is absolutely pathetically misinformed.
By the way, nobody blasphemes the Holy Spirit by how they interpret scripture. Once and for all Christ rejected the Pharisees demand for a sign, and he made it clear that those who truly believed did not do so because of a sign they were given. Christ never said that the Pharisees or any other particular people would be witness to his resurrection. If you read the passage carefully it’s apparent that the sign of Jonah was not given for proof, but to be used as witness against an adulterous generation at the judgement. That is why Christ very specifically made a distinction between this sign, and the type of sign they had asked for.
Did they know Jesus was the Messiah yes or no ?
Did they put Jesus to death knowing he was the Messiah yes or no ?
“You don’t seem to realize that if someone presents a claim to the Messiah-ship of Israel – that we are duty bound before God to examine the claim with care and not accept it hastily. Accepting a false Messiah is at least as bad as rejecting the true one.
Now YSG – give me the chapter and verse in the Jewish Bible that Jesus fulfilled before the crucifixion that the Pharisees and scribes could have known conclusively that he is the Messiah.”
You my friend are nothing but a hypocrite. One moment you are claiming Deuteronomy 13:1-5, a verse that has nothing to do with Christ since he never claimed any Gods but Yahweh or instructed anyone to worship any other Gods, and failing in that, now you try to justify it by saying that He deserved to die because he refused to give a group of evil men, who’s only purpose was to kill him, some special sign after they had already rejected every sign they had already been witness to. There was no search for truth in their actions. They had murder in their hearts, and they accomplished their goal, just as Christ had predicted they would.
Now hypocrite. You give me the verse that said Christ was bound to acquiesce to their evil demands after their having already completely rejected him and all his works as being produced by unclean spirits? Is this how you believe God works? Is God obligated to perform wonders to satisfy evil men? I believe this would truly qualify as casting pearls before swine.
Let me give you a little clue. Christ was not obligated to convince the Pharisees of anything. In fact he taught in parables so as to prevent them from knowing his teachings. Why? Because they were searching for any and every excuse they could find or imagine to discredit him so they could murder him with some semblance of justification, no matter how false. He knew they were going to accomplish their task anyway. Why would he help them to accomplish it? God is not obligated to perform for the Pharisees, or for the Jews, or for Christians or anybody else! He brings prophecy to pass on his timetable not the pharisees’. Scripture nowhere says that prophecy must come to pass when any man demands it, and the Pharisees demands will not move God to dance when they say dance.
“Let me give you a little clue. Christ was not obligated to convince the Pharisees of anything. In fact he taught in parables so as to prevent them from knowing his teachings.”
Why, because they knew he was the messiah ? If so, they committed the unforgivable sin. If not, they are not murders but then why was not Jesus trying hard enough to convince them?
If someone were to come to you today – and tell you that he is the Messiah come for the second time – he will come the third time in an unspecified future date – are you telling me that if his followers claim that he performed a few miracles that you would accept his claims?
What do you mean that he is not “obligated to convince”? We should just take him at his word and throw out what the prophets taught us?
They were evil men, and Christ had absolutely no desire to continue haranguing with them, or catering to their arrogant demands. They didn’t simply hear about his miracles from his disciples, they witnessed them, and heard of his others from many people who were witnesses. If I were witness to what they witnessed Christ do, there’s no way I would ever conclude these miracles were performed by evil spirits. Every miracle He performed convinced many people that He was from God. You like to twist my words to make them seem to say what they do not say. I did not ever say he made no effort to convince ANYONE that He was of God. He simply did not have to perform on command to convince anyone. Those who were interested in knowing the truth followed him and learned it. The miracles of healing he performed could not help but impress large numbers of those who witnessed them, and convince them he was of God. Christ did not come to struggle to convince those who would not accept him no matter what deeds He performed, or what words he spoke. The Pharisees and scribes who followed Jesus and took every opportunity to try to entrap and discredit him, are the last people on earth he felt any obligation to. He would not cater to the whims of evil men who lied calling his wondrous and compassionate to be works of the devil. There was no evil in the works he did, and there is absolutely no justification for making that claim. He didn’t HAVE TO impress anyone on command. Since when has God ever been obligated to perform at the whims of evil men?
So you do believe they committed the unforgivable sin. You lie again Yahisgodd.
You don’t seem to understand. God taught us that the definition of Messiah. This is not something that we made up – He spelled it out clearly in His Scripture. If someone comes and claims to be the Messiah – but doesn’t fit the criteria that God Himself set down for the Messiah – then it is our duty before God to reject this man – no matter how many miracles he does. Deuteronomy 13 teaches us that miracles are NOT a sign that should have us go against what God already taught us.
Here are the Scriptural criteria for the Messiah
Jesus fulfilled none of it.
God quite apparently didn’t teach you anything. You must interpret scripture the same as anyone else. God did not speak in your ear. It’s simply amazing to me that everything you spoke of is exactly what Christ will do in the Kingdom of God. All of these things are mentioned in the New Testament, including that righteous men will rule with Him. The Christ is meant to rule through the ages, and there is nothing in the OT that demands that the Christ (Messiah) needed to fulfill all the prophecies spoken of him, or even a large number of them, within the time frame of the few short years (or possibly less) that he had in the public ministry of his first coming before he was murdered as a result of the actions of the Pharisees and scribes that had followed him about seeking to destroy him and his message. His first coming was not for this purpose. He had no intention of initiating his Messianic role as King and conqueror in his first coming. This is why he did everything in his power short of outright lying, to prevent the Pharisees from knowing and understanding his teachings. He knew they would expect and try to force this role that was not intended for that time. The only purpose of his public ministry was to teach those who would establish the Church of God.
You speak of “rejecting this man,” but your rejection is of no consequence to God. Murder is. The Pharisees did not simply reject Jesus. They had him murdered. God does not bend his standard of righteousness to allow such things.. What would be murder if done today, was murder then as well. Christ’s torture and Crucifiction was one of the most gruesome hideous acts ever committed against a man. It was horrid even by the standards of crucifiction in Jesus day. Had he been allowed to live after his torture prior to the cross, He would have been horribly disfigured, and the truth is that this torture alone would probably have been enough to kill him in the long run even without crucifiction, though it would have been a slow lingering death. You can call this an execution all you want, but the truth is Christ committed no crimes and in fact went out of his way to help those who were suffering. There is nothing you can say to justify what was done to him. Your religious zeal does not justify murder and savagery. You speak of “rights” and “obligations” God did not give you. God does not sanction murder and torture, and you cannot justify it by Him.
If the Pharisees thought Jesus was a false prophet, then they did not murder.
Who is trying to justify murder? Let’s agree – there is no room to negotiate with murderers. But what about the healthy skeptic – the one who loves God’s word and realizes that it gives a very clear description of the Messiah – it says nothing about a “first coming” and a “second coming”. On what basis should a lover of God have accepted Jesus’ messianic claims? Miracles cannot overturn what God explicitly wrote in His word.
You have been justifying these men all along. You Defend their actions right up until the point where they actually carry out what they had always intended to do. Christ’s murder was the intent behind everything they did and said as they followed him around accusing him and trying to entrap him with their words which were designed to cause an uprising of the people against him. They weren’t defending their beliefs. They were defending their entrenched positions of leadership which were threatened when he exposed their corruption.
Nothing Christ did contradicted God’s word. Your complaint is based solely on what he did not do. He didn’t fulfill the prophecies the Pharisees demanded that he fulfill, when they wanted him to fulfill them, but these demands were nothing but a smokescreen designed to draw attention from their own corruption that Christ exposed. The last thing they wanted was to see Jesus fulfill prophecy while he was exposing their misdeeds. This would result in a loss of their privileged status, so to protect their own interests, they had him killed to prevent this from happening, or so they thought. God had other plans. In their hypocrisy they said: “Hey Jesus, you didn’t do the things we wanted you to do within the time frame that we wanted you to, so were sorry, but you must die now! Then once they killed him, they said “Gee, that Jesus must not have been the Messiah, because instead of fulfilling these prophecies we demanded him to, he died! I guess it’s a good thing we killed him before he could use evil spirits to heal any more people! Yeah, that would have been a disaster! Everybody knows that there’s nothing evil spirits like better than healing people!”
Healthy skeptics, the ones that really wanted to know truth and had not already closed there minds against it, followed Christ and learned the truth. Those who demanded the things the Pharisees demanded of Christ were in essence demanding Christ to make God to perform for them. This is quite far from healthy skepticism, and God does not respond to such demands, nor would Christ ask him to. There was no justification for accusing Christ of healing people by Evil spirits. Where is there evidence in scripture that unclean spirits ever perform miracles of healing? Better yet, when did they ever do so while proclaiming their power to be from the Father Yahweh the holy one of Israel as Jesus did? So in answer to your insincere question, any person that had doubts could follow Christ and have their doubts dispelled. Those who called mockingly from out of a crowd with no purpose other than to cause dissension were not merely skeptical, they were muckrakers who were not there in a search for truth. God had his plan of action and it was not going to be altered by those who wished to force it according to their own timetable. Nothing in God’s word had to be overturned in order to accept Christ, and prophecy not being fulfilled according to our timing is in no way an indication of deception. When you take all that Christ did in his ministry, there is no justification for seeing it as the product of evil. God is not obliged to reveal every detail of the unfolding of his plan. There were many things that occurred in Biblical history that were not specifically foretold, and Christ’s second coming is no exception,. It in no way contradicts scripture merely by not being specifically mentioned, so this is a weak argument against Christ’s Messianic claims.
Let us say that you were there in that generation – and someone asks you the following question. Hey Marvin! You surely realize that we can’t just accept anyone who claims to be the Messiah – because accepting a false Messiah is as bad as rejecting the true one – so on what basis should someone accept the Messianic claim of Jesus?
Is this not a fair question? How would you answer it?
Read the New Testament without your prejudiced viewpoint and it is very easy to tell that Christ was of God. To make the accusation that he was evil has absolutely no foundation whatsoever. Nothing he did was evil. Nothing he did contradicts scripture. He simply didn’t meet up to your expectations, because your expectations for the Messiah were not for that time. This does not mean that they will not be fulfilled by Christ in the future when the fulness of time has arrived. The Jews were by and large expecting their Messiah in Jesus day, but when he came, they expected a conquering Messiah. They expected him to overthrow the Romans and all of Israel’s enemies, but that did not happen either through the actions of Christ, or anybody else. Their expectations were ill timed, and that’s all there is to it. The enemies that Christ was to overthrow were not the Romans or any people of that day. These enemies will be not simply the enemies of the Jews, but the enemies of God and of all mankind, so the fact that Christ made an appearance in first century Palestine does not in any way affect what he will do in the future at the proper time. It’s understandable that the Jews were expecting someone to liberate them from the Romans, but the Romans were not their First enemy, and they weren’t the Last. True Israel (the sum total of all believers grafted into the rootstock of the OT Church) will face a much greater enemy in the future, when we will rally around Christ and rule with Him in the Kingdom.
So you cannot point to a Scripture that Jesus fulfilled that justifies his messianic claims. That being the case – according to your own measuring stick – we ought to reject those messianic claims.
God gave us a very clear description of Messiah in the Scriptures – we may not discard what God taught us because it seems that someone is “of God”.
I asked you a question – if someone tells you that he is the Messiah come a second time – and will yet come a third time – what will it take for you to accept such a claim?
I gave you no measuring stick liar. Jesus does not contradict ANY description of the Messiah liar! There is a HUGE distinction between prophecies that are meant for the future not having been fulfilled YET and the lie that he contradicts descriptions of the Messiah. The fact that not all Messianic verses were fulfilled before your leaders murdered him, does not mean he doesn’t match descriptions of the Messiah! He simply doesn’t meet your time demands, and that is what you focus on. Nothing God taught needs to be discarded in order to accept Christ. That is a lie! Scripture not having specifically mentioned Christ’s second coming does not disqualify Christ. The things in Biblical history not specifically mentioned before hand are too numerous to count, and you know that, so your insinuations are dishonest. God does not announce everything he does, and as haughty as the Jewish leaders had been with people of the nations (gentiles) as perfectly exemplified by the attitude of the Prophet Jonah who did everything he could to defy the wishes of Yahweh regarding warning Nineveh, because he did not want God to spare the inhabitants of Nineveh, it is not surprising that he kept his plan to offer salvation to the Gentiles by bringing His Son to offer redemption that the Jews believed was only meant for them, a secret until it was accomplished. The Gospel of salvation by grace through faith for all people regardless of national descent was a sacred secret, as was all of Christ’s redemptive work regarding it. It was always God’s intent to offer salvation to all men, but the world by Abraham’s time had become wholly corrupted and unreachable. God’s redemptive plan began with Abraham. One man from out of humanity was chosen by God for his willingness to be obedient. God’s promises to Abraham would be extended to his descendants, first the blood descendants, and then all of his spiritual descendants, both Jews and Gentiles.
Despite your mocking comment, Christ didn’t merely SEEM to be of God. Either his words and deeds were Godly, or they were not. There was nothing ungodly in anything Christ did or said, so the accusations of the Pharisees saying he did miracles by unclean spirits were baseless lies. What is truly ungodly is your false hateful accusations that are based, not on Christ failing to match descriptions of the Messiah, or on doing or saying anything evil, but merely because he didn’t fulfill the verses describing a Conquering King. The fact, however, was that scripture described two entirely separate Missions of the Messiah. The descriptions were contradictory enough that Many Jews had believed that there would be two separate Messiahs, however there are not two Messiahs, but only one with two separate missions at two different times. You cannot reconcile the suffering servant Messiah, with the Conquering King Messiah. When Christ came the first time, he was the suffering servant. He never tried to initiate acts of warfare. He never set out to conquer. It was the wrong time for that. That time will come in the future. However, the time for the advent of the Messiah as described by Daniel has passed, so there will be no future Messiah unless he has already come.
To answer your ridiculous question, Christ spoke of his second coming. He never spoke of a third, so your question is a complete joke, and I have already accepted Christ’s claims so your other question is redundant.
As for Christ not fulfilling any scriptures, that is a lie. He fulfilled many scriptures. He simply didn’t fulfill those that pertain to his reign as a conquering King that will usher in the Kingdom of God.
You contradict yourself – you chastise me by telling me that “God does not announce everything He does”; yet you are convinced that there won’t be a “third coming” because Jesus didn’t say that he is coming twice. Will you perhaps explain your double standard to the interested readers?
You still didn’t point to one single verse that Jesus fulfilled at the time that he was demanding that people believe in him.
You seem to be wondering why I say that Jesus contradicts the predictions of the prophets about the Messiah. You also seem to be wondering how it is that I see Jesus’ alleged miracles as “not from God”.
Both of these questions are answered with the same answer. Jesus’ supposed miracles were produced to glorify no one but himself. No one learned anything new about God’s mastery of the world through Jesus’ supposed miracles. People learned to love Jesus and perhaps through him, come to some type of complicated relationship with God. Contrast this with the miracles of Moses. The Scriptures testify that these miracles showed Israel that there is no power aside from God (Deuteronomy 4:35).
And by the way – Daniel says nothing about a time for the coming of the Messiah that has passed.
Can you give a single “fulfilled prophecy” that should make us think that Jesus is the Messiah before the crucifixion?
No, I most certainly have not contradicted myself. I simply state a fact. God does not need to specifically announce the way that he is going to accomplish everything that he does, particularly when he has good reason to keep his plans a secret. God is sovereign. He doesn’t have to ask man’s permission for His actions, not even of the Jews. He does, however, announce His judgements. As scripture says:
“Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, UNLESS He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)
Does this mean that in all contexts, whenever God gets ready to do something, He will always reveal to a person or His people what He is going to do? Certainly not! For example, when Israel was delivered from the treacherous intrigues of Haman the Agagite (descendant of Agag the King of the Amalekites) in Esther, there’s no record of God revealing that He would create the circumstances in which Esther would become queen and be in the position to be the instrument of God’s deliverance of Israel from the wrath of the Amalekites. In fact, in the Hebrew version of this text, God isn’t explicitly mentioned at all. In this situation, the Jews didn’t need to be aware of God’s plans, ahead of time. On the contrary, advance knowledge of this situation might have caused the people to act on their own, thus detracting from God’s glory by relying on themselves rather than God, and possibly making the situation worse. No, they simply needed to trust God.
So what does this passage from Amos mean? It means that, before carrying out any national judgment for wickedness, God always revealed (to a prophet) His plan to justly punish the nation, thus providing it with the opportunity to repent of its sins and return to Him, and by way of this repentance, avert catastrophe.
My saying that I am sure there will be no third coming is in no way a contradiction to my statement of the FACT that God does not announce everything He does. You know very well the reasons there would not be a third coming, and you also know that it has nothing whatsoever to do with not having announced it ahead of time. So, again, you are being dishonest. The reason there cannot be a third coming is that it would contradict everything that scripture has to say about the second coming and the Kingdom of God. It’s not about what God didn’t say about a third coming. It’s about what he DID say about the second coming that makes any such consideration an absurdity! Therefore, again you are using a dishonest ploy to make it seem that I have used a double standard when I have certainly not done so. I’m quite sure the “interested readers” are intelligent enough to see this!
Let’s face it, the only verses you and your ancestors would ever have accepted regarding Messiah have nothing to do with the purpose of Christ’s mission in his first coming. The Jews were under the oppression of Rome. Their nation had become the occupied territory of the Roman Emperor, and they awaited a leader to arise to rescue them. It’s not that Christ failed to fulfill these prophecies describing a conquering King. On the contrary, he made it very clear that the mission of his ministry was not to be a conqueror of the Romans, but to bring the Jews to repentance. Why would God set about conquering the enemies of the Jews when they refused to repent? The prophecies regarding Messiah vanquishing the enemies of Israel regard the Nation in their future role of repentance and reconciliation with God, and not their condition in the time of Christ’s first coming. Not only did Jesus make no attempt to fulfill those prophecies regarding conquering the enemies of the Jews, but he made it clear that because they had rejected his message of repentance and reconciliation with God, just as they had rejected Jeremiah, Jerusalem and the Temple would be razed to the ground and the people dispersed. This time it would not be a short exile, but an ending of the nation in their own land until the far distant future when they would be brought to repentance.
The Jews of Christ’s day were so focused on the hope of a Conquering King that they overlooked the prophecies of a Suffering Servant. You unfortunately make the same mistake today. Because they would not listen and obey, God’s wrath came down upon them. On the 10th of August, in A.D. 70 — the 9th of Av — in Jewish reckoning, the very day when the King of Babylon burned the Temple in 586 B.C., the Temple was burned again. Titus took the city and put it to the torch, burning the Temple. You would say this occurred, even though Israel was right with God. Was this not an act of God? Was it just a coincidence that God decided not to protect His people from their enemies and just let them lose the land promised them? You imply Christ fulfilled no prophecy’s regarding the Messiah’s role. This is untrue. He fulfilled all those prophecies that pertain to that period in history. They just weren’t the ones your ancestors wanted him to fulfill.
“Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted,
who ate my bread, (see Matthew 26:21-26)
has lifted up his heel against me.”
“So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.
And the LORD said to me,
‘Throw it to the potter’ –
that princely price they set on me.”
“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”
“The Redeemer of Israel, their Holy One,
To Him whom man (the world) despises,
To Him whom the nation (Israel) abhors.”
“He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”
“And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;”
“He was despised,
and we did not esteem Him.”
So His appearance was marred more than any man”
“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes (whip lashes) we are healed.
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity (sin) of us all.”
“He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.”
“All My bones are out of joint . . .
My tongue clings to My jaws;
They pierced My hands and My feet,
They look and stare at Me.”
(Psalm 22:14, 15, 16, 17)
“And someone will say to Him,
‘What are these wounds in your hands?’
Then He (Messiah/Christ) will answer,
‘Those with which I was wounded
in the house of my friends.’”
“A reproach of men and despised of the people,
They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying
‘He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him;’”
“They divide my garments among them,
and for My garments they cast lots.”
(Psalm 22:18 . . . see Matthew 27:24))
“And it shall come to pass in that Day,” says the Lord GOD, (The “Sun of Righteousness”… Micah 4:2)
That I will make the Sun go down at NOON, (see Mark 15:25 … “the third hour” was noon)
And I will DARKEN the Earth in broad daylight; (see Matthew 27:46 … “the sixth hour” was 3 PM)
I will turn your feasts into mourning,
And all your songs into lamentation;
I will bring sackcloth on every waist,
And baldness on every head;
I will make it like mourning for an only Son,
And its end like a bitter day.”
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?”
(Psalm 22:1 . . . also see Matt 27:46)
“Then they will look upon Me whom they have pierced;
they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son,
and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”
(Zechariah 12:10 . . . this is also a prophecy of His Return)
“He was buried like a criminal in a rich man’s grave;”
“But He (Messiah … Christ) had done no wrong,
and he had never spoken an evil word.”
“For You will not leave my soul in Sheol (The Grave),
NOR will You allow Your Holy One (Messiah!)
to see corruption (decompose).”
(Psalm 16:10) (King David also knew Messiah would be Resurrected … raised from the dead.)
“I will ALSO give You as a light to the Gentiles (non-Jews),
That You should be My Salvation
to the ends of the Earth.”
“And He bore the sin of many . . .”
“Yet it was the Lord’s good plan to bruise him;
put Him to grief,
make His soul an offering for sin . . .”
(Isaiah 53:10, KJV paraphrased)
Because of the inconsistencies of these prophecies with the conquering king passages, the chances of these very opposite prophecies about the person of Messiah referring to the same time in history is unlikely. Jews have attempted to get around this by postulating two different Messiahs. This is an incorrect assumption. Messiah performs two separate roles. The Suffering Servant who points Israel towards repentance and is rejected, and the Conquering King who acts on behalf of a repentant Israel in the future.
When Jesus made it clear that he wasn’t there to fulfill the Jews, and in particular the Pharisees expectations regarding a conquering King, they set out to kill him. It’s funny how Christ was killed for not fulfilling these expectations, even though he had made it clear he had no such intentions, and yet your people willingly followed a number of false Messiahs who did try to fulfill these prophecies, failing miserably, yet nobody brought them to trial accusing them of witchcraft, despite the fact that they drew many of these zealous believers with them to their deaths. Tell me, if your people were so well educated in recognizing the “true” Messiah, why did this happen?
The truth is that Jesus’ mission in his day was similar to that of the prophet Jeremiah in his day. He was there to warn the people to repent, and thereby avoid judgement and attain the Kingdom of God, not to preserve the earthly Kingdom of Israel. The majority of his ministry was spent speaking of the coming Kingdom of God. Had the Jews accepted this teaching and repented, they could have been saved from their fate, but they would not listen, just as they would not listen to Jeremiah. Their stubbornness brought them the same fate as before, which was the destruction of their Holy City and Temple and their exile from it.
Bye the way, Christ never demanded anyone believe anything. He merely showed the way to repentance and reconciliation with God. It was their choice which they were free to make.
You say Jesus’ miracles were to glorify himself, and yet he always gave the glory to His Father, and credited them as being not his doing, but the work of the Father through him. The scriptures are careful to mention this, so again you are lying. All of His miracles show both God’s power and his mercy. Your right that people learned to love Jesus, because he pointed them to a right relationship with God. What’s not to love about this? This takes nothing from God. Loving Jesus for what he did for us as our elder brother, is not the same as the worship owed to God, and when you try to equate the two you sound awfully silly. You want to compare the miracles performed by God through Moses to those performed by God through Jesus? You say those performed by Moses showed there is no power besides God. This is a redundant statement given that all power comes from God including the power exhibited through Jesus which he was quick to acknowledge. There is no other source besides Yahweh, which makes the Pharisees accusation of doing miracles by the power of Beelzebub a little silly. God is the source of everything. All power is from Him. Any power accessed by demons ultimately comes from God, but a demon would not acknowledge the source of their power being God, for fear of His mighty retribution. To say that Christ accessed the power of demons while claiming the source of that power to be God is absolutely unwarranted and ridiculous. To say that Christ was seeking to glorify himself while claiming God as the source of His miracles is equally ridiculous. You say what you wish to be true, but everything Christ said about his mission and the source of his miracles shows there is no basis for your accusations. Christ’s own words show the truth of his ministry to be contradictory to your claims.
I replied to you over here – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/08/03/an-open-response-to-ysg/
Marvin and YSG,
You both appeal to the miracles of Jesus as some sort of evidence to his being the Messiah. This argument fails on two counts. The first is that you do not credit every religion with the miracles they claim. The second is that you differentiate miracles in a way that is not supported by either the Torah or even Jesus himself.
Regarding the first point, I doubt that you ascribe actual miracle working power to all of the miracle workers throughout history, not even to healers. When Augustine writes that people are being healed at the shrine of Stephen, do you consider that a creditable account? He claims that many people witnessed various healings, the sort that he expects prove the Catholic faith to be the true faith. And he attributes these all to the power of God, not the bones of Stephen. They are to give glory to God. But I suspect you are neither one of you Catholic. And I suspect that neither of you accepts his account of miracles. It is quite strange then that you expect that we should accept the NT’s account that Jesus performed amazing healings that can be attributed to no power other than God.
Similarly, today many different branches of the Church claim that healings happen in their midst, or if not in their midst, in the midst of someone they know. But those are not the only groups to claim faith healings. New Agers claim to experience healings. Some claim healing through the power of positive thinking. The claims of the NT, that Jesus was a miracle worker are not unique and are not especially credible.
Regarding the second point, when the Torah (in Deuteronomy) tells us that false prophets may be able to produce signs, it does not categorize the signs of the false prophet. It does not, for example, say that one can recognize a true prophet because only he will be able to perform healings. The distinction it makes is in regard to his teaching. And it tells us that the signs of the false prophet are a test.
How so, a test? Well, one might be inclined to follow a wonder worker. Those who perform signs amaze us. They also seem to be more spiritual. Moreover, it would seem that we could profit from associating with them, either learning the method of healing ourselves through their doctrines or being healed by them. But we are not to follow signs, per se. We are supposed to adhere to the Torah as already given through the publicly verified prophecy of Moses. Any deviation from the Torah shows that the prophet is false. Following such a prophet, shows that we seek gain, not truth.
If Jesus accepted worship to himself, then he was a false prophet. At that point, he taught a different understanding of God than experienced by the people at Sinai. But that experience at Sinai is the objective standard by which the claims of a prophet are to be judged, per Deuteronomy. His miracles, healings or not, are no longer relevant at that point. He could only serve as a test to the Jewish people. He could not be the Messiah.
Even according to the NT, which introduced the idea that devils exist (something you certainly don’t find in the Torah) and can do miracles, there is no special status ascribed to healings over other miracles. When Jesus warns his disciples in Matt. 24 that false Messiah will come on the scene, he says that they will perform signs and wonders that would almost be able to convince the elect. (He seems to say that that isn’t an actual possibility.) But he does not differentiate between kinds of signs and wonders. He does not tell them that they need not heed one that cannot perform a healing, as differentiated from other miracles.
And the reason is obvious. Healings are supposedly proliferated among many of the world religions, if not all. You take it for granted that the healings reported by the authors of the NT are real, but they are no more credible than those of New Agers, “false” Christians, Mormons, Hindus, or any other group.
It’s a shame that you accept these miracles so readily, because creates for you a picture of the Pharisees that makes them to be murderers. You have inadvertently made them into straw men. You take for granted that they saw miracles to which no other source could be attributed than God and echo the condemnation of those books. You are victims of the propaganda of the NT. It is easy to take for granted that the Pharisees objected to Jesus on whatever grounds the NT says they did, without having their testimony. You have been told that they were evil and that Jesus was good, and so you continue to call them murderers. But you are only getting one side of the argument, which sets up the opposition as straw men and then furiously blows them down with hot air.
I urge both of you again to consider whether or not the Gospels are trustworthy. YSG, you said that the transfiguration was only a vision (which is merely your interpretation). That makes it no more credible than if it was supposed to be a real event. The three men who are supposed to have had the vision were told not to report on it until Jesus was gone. Worse, it is a claim that cannot be tested. I don’t know that they didn’t have this vision. But I also can’t know that they did.
It is highly suspect, however, that they only reported on this much later. (And actually, we don’t have their report.) What is worse, they don’t report that Jesus is back from the dead until after he is gone. This is not a credible story. That doesn’t mean it isn’t true. But we can’t know it’s true. It would be a mistake to accept it too readily.
But, and I’m sorry to be repeating myself, but one need only examine the way that the NT employs the Torah and Prophets to see that the authors of the NT are untrustworthy. YSG, you say that this is only a matter of opinion, based on what I was taught. You are in error. I was taught that the NT is a fulfillment of the Torah and the Prophets. But I am forced to reject that teaching, not based upon opinion, but based upon fact.
It is a fact, for example, that Matthew misrepresents the Prophets. For example, when teaching about the “virgin” birth as prophesied by Isaiah, he not only changes the context, he changes the words. For example, avoiding the issue of whether or not it says “virgin,” he changes “she will call his name Immanuel” (meaning that the mother will name her child Immanuel) to “they will call his name Immanuel” (meaning that they will recognize that he is “God with us”). When he quotes Hosea 11.1, he doesn’t quote enough to show the context. The fact is that Hosea is talking about Israel. It says it directly in the verse. Matthew quoted just enough of the verse to make it sound like it is talking about Jesus. But when God says that He called His son out of Egypt, He is referring to the Exodus. These are facts.
What would be opinion, would be to say that these passages have a double meaning. That Hosea is talking about Israel is undeniable. That he might also be talking about the Messiah in some fashion is opinion. That Isaiah is referring to the Messiah, which does not fit the context of the passage, is an opinion. And that opinion is based on Matthew altering the text.
I ask you both to carefully consider this when you accept so readily the malicious testimony of Matthew and the other Gospel authors regarding the Pharisees. Consider whether or not you will trust a man who so readily turns the Torah and Prophets away from their meaning to suit his agenda. If you knew such a man in real life, would you listen to him? Would you vote for a politician who misrepresented the facts regularly to suit his agenda and paint his political opponents in a negative light? Would you trust such a man to honestly represent the position of his opponents?
In light of the way the NT portrays the Pharisees, it is understandable that you see them as hateful murderers. But remember that you do not have their testimony. You have not heard their side of things. Also, remember that the miracles to which you give credence as related by the authors of the NT, you would not so readily believe when claimed by other sources. Remember also that the claims of the NT are doubtful, in light of the way the NT authors abuse the Torah and Prophets. I write this, not taught to hate the NT, but as one who has examined its claims and found them in contradiction to the Torah and Prophets it claims to fulfill. It is easy for the NT to claim, in a vision or not, that Jesus was attested to by Moses and Elijah as representing the Torah and the Prophets, but an investigation into the claims of how those things are fulfilled leaves one with the inescapable conclusion that such a vision is nothing but the imagination of the NT authors. When you consider these things, I hope that you will be more careful in accepting the accusations of the NT against those who upheld the Torah.
I’ve been thinking about some of the terminology that you employ in writing to R’ Blumenthal. You have used the term “hypocrite” and “liar”, both of them multiple times. I’m not interested in whether or not those are civil terms or not. I understand that you feel that your faith is being unfairly attacked, or if not your faith, your lord. And that is bound to offend. Nor are you the first Christian here to use the terms. But I would like to examine whether or not those terms are fairly applied.
The way you use the word “hypocrite” I take to mean as “one who has a double standard”, rather than “one who does not live in accordance with the philosophy he espouses”. You very readily employ the term. But I wonder that you are not similarly accusatory toward the authors of the NT.
You have berated those who have objected to certain teachings of Jesus, because they have not properly understood his words. They have misinterpreted them to fit their agenda, an agenda that, according to you, is fueled by hate. But you do not apply this same standard to the authors of the NT. You do not so readily defend the words of the Torah and the Prophets against the baseless interpretations and misapplications by the authors of the NT. And you are not the first Christian here to have made this error.
I have recently given you some examples from Matthew. Let me reference another author, the author of the book of Hebrews. The author of Hebrews, quoting the prophet Jeremiah, writes that God will establish a new covenant to replace the one that Israel broke, and he quotes: “…and so I had no concern for them, says the Lord” (Hebrews 8.9). But he has rewritten Jeremiah. Jeremiah did not write that God had “no concern for them” but instead “though I was their husband, says the Lord” (Jer. 31.33). The author of Hebrews misquoted Jeremiah, either through ignorance or malice. These are facts.
So, now I have to ask, and you are not the first person to whom I’ve brought up this passage or others, why are you not so zealous in defending the words of the Prophets from these authors? You have been quite demanding in your insistence that every word of Jesus be read in context. And yet the NT constantly takes words out of context. Not only that, it literally changes the text of the Torah and Prophets to fit its agenda. This is something you consider intolerable from those that do not readily accept the claims of the Church. Why do you tolerate it when the Church does it, then?
This is a double standard. I don’t think it makes you a hypocrite, however. In all likelihood, you came to the Torah and Prophets, because you believed in Jesus. Because the Church claims the Torah and Prophets as their foundation, you began to read them in that context. It is all you knew. I find it unlikely that you spent a lifetime devoted to reading the Torah and then discovered Jesus within its pages.
So what has happened is that the Church has shaped your understanding of the Torah and Prophets. You read those books with Jesus-colored glasses on. But I would ask you to apply the same standard you demand of those who you claim misrepresent the words of Jesus to the Torah and Prophets. I would ask you to take up their defense against all misrepresentation. I would ask you to read Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, the Psalms, and the Torah, without the bias of the Church. And then compare the two. When the author of Hebrews alters the text, I would ask you to defend the words of Jeremiah from such perversion.
Note that the passages that I’ve brought up do not rely on interpretation. I am not asking you to accept one opinion over another. I ask you instead to review the facts. If Isaiah 7.14 is a prophecy about Jesus, it should not need to be altered by Matthew. However, Matthew alters it. That the author of Matthew altered it is not conjecture. It is fact. And I ask you to defend the words of Isaiah from such clear malfeasance in the way you would defend the words of Jesus.
The zeal with which you defend the works of the NT, if the words of the Torah and Prophets are the works of God, should also apply, even firstly apply to those books. As the primary works, both temporally and foundationally, they deserve your first consideration. Your duty is to defend them first.
I do recognize that this will put you in a difficult position. You will be no longer able to accept the testimony of the NT authors regarding Jesus. When I first determined that the NT could not logically have come out of the Torah and Prophets, that it was really in opposition to them and regularly abused them, it was difficult. I was denying the faith to which I had held my entire life, a faith I regularly shared with others, the one with which I had been raised and had been a part of me from childhood. But I had no other choice but to follow the truth.
If you are also concerned with truth, I ask you to apply your standard fairly. If you consider R’ Blumenthal a liar and hypocrite, turn the same standard to the writers of the NT. You will find that they are either liars or ignoramuses, quite possibly both. But at least defend the Torah and Prophets from the misrepresentations, misquotes, and misapplications of those men. Apply the same standard you apply to R’ Blumenthal to them. Value the words of God at least as much as you value the words of Jesus as reported in the Gospels.
Nor are you the first to fall prey to your own unique brand of mistake; that of ignoring textual criticism of the Masoretic text. The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Septuagint argue for the existence of one or more proto Masoretic texts. This does not disprove your theory of ignoramus’ and liars but it does add a third more respectable choice.
The question also is what YSG means by the word liar. A liar is someone who lies habitually; otherwise we are all liars. Furthermore, to tell a lie, you have to knowingly misrepresent the truth. For example, if you tell your customer that the product you are trying to sell is the most popular in its category but you know full well that no one is buying it because it doesn’t work–but you say that because you want to move the stock off your shelves and put money in your pocket–then you are telling a lie.
However, let’s say you repeat a rumor that you believe to be true. You tell your neighbor that the grocery store around the corner is selling tainted meat, but it is doing nothing of the kind. Have you told a lie? Of course not. You have unknowingly spread misinformation. Now, you may be irresponsible, gullible, misinformed, misled, misguided, even unintelligent. You might be one or some or all of the above. But you are not a liar.
By calling us liars, YSG is suggesting that we know perfectly well that the NT is true and we know perfectly well Jesus is the messiah, but out of pure malice we misrepresent and twist Christian scripture.
That is what being a liar means.
If YSG believes we are simply misinformed, misled, or misguided, then he ought to apologize for calling us liars.
If, on the other hand, he believes we are knowingly misrepresenting the truth, well then. There is a word on the dictionary for people who believe these things.
Sorry, there is a word in the dictionary, not on the dictionary.
Your point is well-taken. I should have spent time defining “liar” too. But my over all argument is not that YSG is being unkind or uncivil, or that he ought to apologize. My argument is that one cannot demand “proper interpretation” of Jesus’ words while ignoring that the NT freely rewrites the words of Tanach. It is inconsistent.
The word “liar” should therefore be considered as one the NT authors have earned for themselves, rather than you and R’ Blumenthal. Their manipulations of scripture seem to be intentional, inasmuch as there are literal alterations to the text. Those actual changes are harder to ignore as mistakes, accidents by men who just didn’t know any better. They appear intentional.
For YSG to be consistent, then, he ought to apply the term “liar” to the authors of the NT. Their fabrications are plainly evident, whereas the differences we hold with YSG can be at best said to be about interpretation, rather than blatant misrepresentation. And I cannot imagine that either you or R’ Blumenthal would ever intentionally rewrite a bit of the NT to make its message into something you can disprove. Proper application of the word “liar” would tend toward Matthew, not R’ Blumenthal.
Thank you for correcting my omission.
I wholly agree, Jim. I was not trying to correct you, just wanted to add on something I’d been thinking for a while.
Dina, Just a few of your points to discuss before I will be able to go to all of them.
You say that Jesus most fundamental change to the Law of Moses was to the nature of our worship, making him the center of worship. You read it like that but our center is God who sent Jesus. Jesus never put himself above his Father and wasn’t teaching anybody to worship him instead of giving thanks to God. Whatever he did for somebody ( like healing) he told people to give thanks to God. He himself said he was not looking for the glory .
You may be confused by many Christians’ teachings but read the gospels for yourself.
Also these words “I am the way, the truth, and the light, and no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6) are confusing to Jewish people who don’t know Jesus. They refer to Godly lifestyle and walking with relationship with God like Jesus did – that’s the way that leads us to God. John 14;6 refers to God’ s forgiveness that it is through Jesus’ sacrifice for us that God won’t count our sins to those who trust Him. What else – very important- what they mean as Jesus our mediator, that Jesus is in the role of our High Priest interceding for us , the one who enters the presence of God ( also like the mediator Moses was , who was speaking to God face to face on behalf of all Israeli ties and there was nothing unusual in it). That is what Jesus ‘ mediator role means for us!!! It doesn’t mean you can’t pray straight to the Father. Jesus was teaching people how to pray and it was starting with ‘ words ” Father in heaven” and that we can pray in his name and Father will consider that.
So nothing new to Judaism that wasn’t known before to have somebody speaking to God on behalf of his people.
Jeremiah 30;21 ” His leader will be from his midst and his ruler will emerge from with him. I will bring him close and then HE WILL BE ABLE TO APPROACH ME- the word of Hashem. You will be a people unto Me and I will be a God unto you.”
Really, Eric? Jesus introduced nothing new? Then what do we need him before? We can worship God and follow the Torah as Jews did before Jesus, if nothing new was introduced.
If Jesus is needed then he introduced something new to Jewish worship (like died for your sins, or became the only intercessor, the only way to God).
Dina, I am also not trying to convince anybody with what I am saying or win a debate but clarify some points that are unclear for Jewish people about christian beliefs .
Back to your questions; We are saved not just through faith in the messiah but through trusting God , and because we believe Jesus was sent by God – that for us includes trusting the one whom He sent. If somebody doesn’t believe Jesus is from God – I have no answer to that. God knows the heart and our motivations. I am leaving it up to Him.
Also many Christians say that they are saved in trusting the Messiah, but there is nothing wrong with that statement because trusting him they know they trust God ( because they believe God sent him for our sin, and his words are God’s words.) I am saying that so you can see the Christian perspective.
You say Torah doesn’t talk about needing to be rescued from eternal death but we know in order for people to live again they have to be risen from the dead by God. You say Jews managed without Jesus for 1400 years but they all are dead by now who lived long before us. Animal sacrifice wouldn’t bring them immortality either. All are dead ones from Adam, even those who were offering animal sacrifices are not alive today!.
Jesus is the way God judged our sin and dealt with, so that at the Messiah’ coming He can call us back to life those who trusted Him. No sooner will we be alive again until at the Messiah’ coming. Jesus said the same words that through him God is giving us everlasting life because on him He judged our sins. That substitution- payment is for all people who trusted God who even lived before Jesus.
God proved the truth of Jesus words ( that through him He will raise people to life ) by raising Lazarus from the dead . John 5;27-28 tells you more about it that it is through him God will call us back to life.
No prophecy was ever completely clear until it happened- so I am not making a big deal out of it. Lots of events are not done yet described in Daniel or relating to the Day of the Lord and titillation times, so Messiah wasn’t the only one. ( I will explain that more the other time)
You say; Jesus abolished the kosher laws (Mark 7:15-19). See Acts 10;11-15 how God explained it to Peter
“He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”“Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
Jesus said “Do not swear at all.” because people weren’t keeping their word to God. He explains what matters ; to keep your word yes- if you say yes, no- if you say no. Keeping your word is above swearing that you might break/ give up. There is nothing wrong with what he said.
About Moses and his testimony; Although people had such testimony of hearing God’s voice
( all people at once) out of the cloud , they still rebelled. They knew Moses was God’s messenger but despite that knowledge they stopped trusting him. They stopped trusting to the point that they would ever get out of the desert and make it to the promised Land . So that lessons tells you – it is not about how you convince people about God’s messenger, but whether they will want to trust him or not. If the standard of evidence with Moses didn’t work to trust God that He will keep His words , no matter of standard of evidence with Jesus would do the same way. Many people among gentiles believe he is Son of God, a man sent by God but they don’t care about his words because loving God doesn’t seem like desired thing to do in life. I know personally many like that. They think you are a looser if you live for God.
About your proof to Pharisees; read Matthew 28;10-15 the leaders were told about his resurrection and his words by the witnesses whom Jesus said the following; “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” and what was their response? v.12-13 “When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’
Where did they get this idea from?????? Who told them to make such conclusion?
Your words ” Although anyone coming to change the Law could resurrect himself a million times and it wouldn’t make a difference ” they don’t find support in Deuteronomy 13:1-6 as that prophet was going to die v.6 . Second Jesus is not leading us to another God but to the creator of this universe who is our Father in heaven.
Also , if you are dead- you are not resurrecting yourself, except God who will raise you back to life. Nobody ever in the history managed to resurrect himself.
There are still more points to answer but I will get to it later this week.
Dina, Nothing new I mean by referring to having the mediator that I explained you in my email comparing Jesus with Moses and High Priest how they were interceding for people before God. I was saying that having the mediator is not a ‘new job” introduced to accuse Jesus of introducing it by saying he is the way. etc Read my email once again maybe it will be more clear.
Dina, becoming the intercessor, the only way to God- was explained in my last email what it means . are you sure you had a look at it?
Yes, I did, Eric, and the way you explained it has nothing to do with Jewish worship. While Jews ask others to pray on their behalf (and you can ask anyone, according to our tradition), we have never accepted that you need an intercessor but that we can speak to God directly. Moses was never the kind of intercessor that Christians view Jesus as, and therefore it is a false comparison.
Eric, I am going to state a fact. It is a fact that before Jesus, Jews did not have a notion that you must have an intermediary before God. They did not have a notion that a sinless human being must die to “cover” their sins and “save” them from “death.”
Even if you think you can find Scriptural support for these ideas, it is a fact that Jews never understood their Scriptures that way.
It is therefore a fact that this is a new type of worship that was unknown to our fathers and thus is idolatry according to the definition given by the Torah.
It is the height of absurdity to say that following Jesus would be the same as the worship of Jews before his advent. So absurd, that I cannot believe we are having this conversation. It feels surreal.
I don’t mean to be disrespectful, and I’m sorry if I offended.
Eric, after all your arguments, the Torah still doesn’t tell us that we need a sinless human being to die for us in order to be rescued from eternal death. Not one word. Not one clear teaching.
If you reread your own comment, I think you will see that you simply provided more support for my argument that Jesus changed the law of Moses.
The standard of evidence for Moses worked, of course it did. That’s why Jews today still observe the Law of Moses. Those who rebelled died out. Those who followed Jesus died out. The same fate meets every Jew who rejects the law of Moses and accepts a type of worship that was unknown to our fathers.
You did not offer a defense that Jesus did not keep his word to the Pharisees. He did not appear in resurrected form to the Pharisees. I don’t see how bribing the guards to keep quiet could stop Jesus from appearing in resurrected form to keep his sign to the Pharisees.
You said that Deuteronomy 13 does not apply to Jesus because they were going to die. I don’t know what you mean by this. The Torah warns us that if a prophet performs signs or wonders and then encourages us to worship in a way unknown to our fathers, then he is a false prophet. Period, end of story.
You wrote, “Nobody ever in the history managed to resurrect himself.” That is correct. Neither did Jesus. How do I know? Because I am a descendant of the Pharisees, and they did not see his resurrected body.
Dina, The thing I am pointing to ( comparing them ) is that Moses and Jesus – they both could go in the straight presence of God , while you couldn’t . They both had a job of intercession on behalf of entire nation, they both spoke to God on behalf of all people. If not Moses ‘intercession God was going to wipe them out for rebelling all the time and for lack of trust. Try to see for now at least that little.
“They both spoke to God on behalf of all people”? Then why doesn’t Christian scripture record any conversations between Jesus and God at all, especially dialogues of Jesus discussing with God the fate of the people of Israel?
But that is a side point. My point is that Jesus introduced something entirely new into Jewish worship. That is the notion that you need an intermediary to get to God (as well as the notion that you need a sinless human being to “cover” our sins so we can be “saved” from “death”). I don’t need Moses to have a relationship with God. Moses the person is not a part of my daily religious life. The personality of Moses or any Hebrew prophet is completely irrelevant and unimportant to our worship of God. Can you see why for a Jew this emphasis on a human being is so strange and foreign?
Can you see why from a Jewish perspective Christianity is Jesus-centered while Judaism is God-centered–and therefore this is very problematic in terms of strict monotheism?
Dina, could you clarify what you mean by these words ” Those who rebelled died out. Those who followed Jesus died out. The same fate meets every Jew who rejects the law of Moses and accepts a type of worship that was unknown to our fathers.”
What type of ‘ died out ‘ you mean that differs from a death in general? Also ‘ those who followed Jesus died out” – it is not clear as you see I am still alive 😉 but I am not expecting Jesus’ 12 disciples to celebrate their 2000 years birthday today with me.
Eric, allow me to clarify. The original Jewish followers of Jesus died out or assimilated so completely that they quickly lost their Jewish identity. That’s why I wrote that the standard of evidence for Moses worked. The Jews who remained loyal are still around today. The ones who did not remain loyal are not around today.
Every single group throughout history that splintered off of traditional Judaism did not survive throughout the generations. Did you know that every Jew alive today (except for converts) is a descendant of the original Pharisees? That’s because the Pharisees were the only ones to survive persecution and assimilation.
God promised he would protect and preserve His loyal remnant–those who kept His Torah and remained obedient to His word to the best of their ability. This loyal remnant keeps surviving into each generation, a sheer miracle given our scattered and weakened state and the enormous pressure that has been applied to make us disappear. Today, we see the same tragic story happening all over again. We are losing non-Orthodox Jews to assimilation through an intermarriage rate of 71 percent (I suspect that for Messianic Jews or Jewish Christians the rate is much higher). Orthodox Jews rarely assimilate. With a birthrate that is many times higher than the non-Orthodox and a near-zero assimilation rate, it’s the Orthodox Jews who will survive into the future generations.
Even Christian writers of Jewish history such as James Carroll and Paul Johnson acknowledge that rabbinic Judaism is the only viable form of Judaism. It is the only type of Judaism that can survive in the long term.
So when I said that those who rebelled in the desert died out, and those who broke away from the Jewish nation died out, I wasn’t talking about you but about Jews who rejected the law of Moses OR who accepted a new type of worship. Does that make it more clear?
Dina, I said ” Nobody ever in the history managed to resurrect himself.” You say ; Neither did Jesus. (…) because you are a descendant of the Pharisees, and they did not see his resurrected body.
You can make your conclusion based on a choice of a group of people you want to, those who didn’t see him, or those who did. You are using the argument to support your right to doubt his resurrection based on the group of people who didn’t see him, but are you seeing them as people who had no chance to know the truth? Also can you answer the question what brought them ( pharisees ) so quickly to such a conclusion that his body was stolen without checking the place he was put in and not interrogating even the guards who also witnessed supernatural event of angels rolling off the stone from the grave ? This is reliable testimony for you from pharisees who gave their judgement based on their quick conclusion without any support of any kind of investigation- that’s ok for you. I am not trying to make you believe. But can you look the same way at the other group of witnesses and give your opinion why their witness would be false? You would have to stretch your study to the book of acts that tells you more about the events after crucifixion.
You do realize that I do not believe that any part of this story is true? I am simply showing you from your own scripture why the Pharisees would have had good reason to reject Jesus–because like the false prophet in Deuteronomy he gave a sign and failed to fulfill it. Therefore, the story of the bribing of the guards (even if true, which it isn’t) is completely irrelevant. Do you see why it’s irrelevant? Either Jesus fulfilled his sign or he didn’t fulfill his sign. According to your scripture he didn’t fulfill his sign.
Why do I trust the Pharisees over the other Jews who supposedly saw Jesus’s resurrection? Those other Jews didn’t make it. There is not a single descendant today of those original so-called witnesses who can testify that their ancestors saw the resurrection. Even the gospel stories are second-hand accounts. But there are descendants of the Pharisees, like me, who testify that our ancestors never saw anything like it. My ancestors were God’s chosen witnesses who decided which Hebrew prophets to accept, like Isaiah and Samuel and the rest, and which to reject, like Jesus.
Eric, how do you know Isaiah was a true prophet? Or Samuel? Or all the rest of the Hebrew prophets? These prophets are accepted as true prophets because the loyal remnant of Israel, God’s chosen witnesses, testified that they are true prophets.
If you accept that the testimony of my people is accurate regarding all the Hebrew prophets, then you have to be consistent and accept their testimony all the way–including the falseness of Jesus. It doesn’t make sense to say that we were right all the way up until Jesus–and then, oops, God made a mistake about choosing us as witnesses and we suddenly lost our reliability.
If my ancestors were wrong about Jesus, then be consistent and say they were wrong about all the Hebrew prophets.
Dina, Clarifying Deuteronomy 13 about prophet death;
Deut 13 says that the falsh prophet shall be put to death, so it is understandable that it didn’t mean he was to be risen back to life unlike Jesus. So to us Deut 13 doesn’t qualify Jesus to be false. To the rest of your questions I hope maybe you re-address them to Concerned reader, he seemed to have a deeper insight in the matter- maybe he will be a better help.
Dina, I can’t agree with your statement that ” the Jews who remained loyal are still around today. The ones who did not remain loyal are not around today. ” That sounds like absurd to me. Buy this statement you are saying those Jews who are alive today are all loyal . Those who don’t practice Judaism like thousand years ago – don’t mean they just died out! I don’t know if you realize what you are saying but both groups loyal or not loyal of Jews are still present today. The world is filled with unbelieving Jews , as much as other unbelievers, you would call the “not loyal ones”. And the fact that followers of Jesus are still living today is because their standard of evidence of Jesus ‘ righteousness is as strong as Moses was to the first Jews.
Dina, It is getting tougher and tougher to discuss anything. You said “There is not a single descendant ” of those who witnessed Jesus. That is another absurd to me. How can you make such a conclusion? Does truth is truth ONLY the truth while being passed on by the family members??? Just because nobody kept record through 2000 years of each others descendants , doesn’t mean they all died out!! You know I don’t even have a clue whose were descendants of my grandfather; whether they were Scandinavian or Slavic people . Nobody kept any record- but that doesn’t mean there are no descendants of mine living around that I even have no clue about. So was with Jesus witnesses. If all witnesses die out , there would be nobody to pass on any teaching to further generations. Once information dies with people and gets buried nobody would ever speak about it. Especially those who wanted to wipe it off, wouldn’t care to preserve it.
Dina, About your words regarding the intermediatry and your statement “Jesus introduced SOMETHING ENTIRELY NEW into Jewish worship.” That’s a wrong conclusion because according to NT it is God who introduced “THAT SOMETHING ENTIRELY NEW” for us. And that “entirely new something” was never known to Jews before that is to have someone speaking before God on your behalf? Putting that ‘ new worship’ apart into pieces shows you it is about God giving you help rather than obstacle in the relatioship with Him.
You say you don’t need Moses, ok, he is not there anymore but if you lived in his time and were with the Israelities on the desert I am sure it would be rather beneficial to have him to speak on behalf of you than “harmful”. You know – I am sure – God was able to lead his people Himself without Moses , yet he chose him and that doesn’t mean people weren’t able to pray to God staright. But in times when your sins and complains are starting to speak against you that God wanted to wipe out the entire nation, it was really desirable to have an intermediator.
In th e time when there was none, Job ( 9;33) desired so much to have one; ” Neither is there any daysman between us, that might lay his hand upon us both.”
You don’t have to need Jesus, he is not emposing himslelf. An atorney doesn’t come with you to the court untill you ask him. More about it explains NT ; Hebrew chapters 6-7
Also Jesus is know as our High Priest before God. It is also not a new reality to have a High Priest . ( Hebrew NT explains it chapt 4;14 – chapt 7 )
Psalm 110 is talking about the one who will be a priest forever. This psalm is recognised as messianic refering to the future king that is the Messaih. Nobody can be called a priest forever unless he is to carry that duty forever.
You mentioned why we don’r record Jesus discussing with God the fate of the people of Israel? Do we have record of the discussion with God carried by prophets about every detail mentioned in the books? No, but we have words that God told them to say;
Matthew 23;37 explain; Jesus said what God is saying ; ” Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate… ”
Luke 19;41-44 ” As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.
The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you/ time of your visitation.
– If you are rejecting help God is giving you , how can you save youself from the coming fate?
I am trying to show you a bit that the things Jesus was doing are not something unknown , never spoken about or an obstacle in any way regarding the relationshiip with God.
You are understanding that wrong saying that we need an intermediary to get to God. You can pray to God as much as you want to. Intermediator is the one speaking on your behalf.
Another thing you mentioned as a foreign and new thing is the fact of covering for our sins by a human” resulting or benefiting us that we have the victory over death.
Sinless or not sinless is not a point itself here that is defined by you as the new idea but the fact itself of sin covering, sin bearing and it’s outcome. A servant carrying our iniquity who bears our sin for a reason” is not a new reality. The words are spoken in Is 53 . The issue here is about our disagreement on the words’ interpretation. A mission of bearing peoples sin , carrying their iniquities- as a need and mission that had to be accomplished for a certain purpose , serving to our benefit and righteousness and healing. We disagree on the interpretation of the healing, benefit and righteousness that these words promise and the purpose of the mission. That’s why I wanted to focus on that chapter to see how our interpretation finds it’s support in all the scriptures. But about it later.
Eric, you wrote something interesting here. You wrote that it isn’t Jesus who introduced something new, but God.
How do you know that God introduced something new, though? Because Jesus said so! Therefore, Jesus would be the false prophet, since that is the test of the false prophet. If he performs signs or wonders but then introduces a new type of worship, he is definitely not God’s emissary.
And yes, Jesus did introduce something entirely new to Jewish worship:
1. He made himself the center of the religion.
2. He made himself the only way to God.
3. He made belief in him the only way to be “saved” from your sins.
These concepts had never been known to the Jewish people.
Even if your interpretation of Isaiah 53 is true (which it isn’t), that passage does not teach that you must believe in the messiah in order to be saved from your sins.
It isn’t new to have someone pray on your behalf. You don’t need someone special to do that, in traditional Judaism. Anyone can pray for anyone. Someone who is close to God, well, his prayers might have a better chance of being heard. We have many records in Tanach of prophets arguing with God about the people, for better or worse, such as Abraham interceding on behalf of Sodom, Moses as you mentioned, Elijah, and others.
But no record is preserved in Christian scripture of Jesus interceding on behalf of his people. Ironically, the two passages you cited prove my point. These are rebukes to the Jewish people, not prayers on its behalf. You are assuming that God told Jesus these words. Unlike the Tanach, where it says things like “And God said to Moses” or “The word of Hashem,” nowhere in Christian scripture do we see such phrases.
Eric, thanks for pointing that out. I did not write what I meant clearly. What I meant to say is that God preserves through each generation the small minority of those faithful to Him and His Torah. That’s why every Jew today is a descendant of the original Pharisees–they were the only ones who survived the persecutions and assimilations and whatnot.
But does that mean that every Jew today is loyal? Of course not. In every generation or era there are schismatic groups who think they know better. History has shown time and again that they do not last and that Pharisaic (i.e., rabbinic) Judaism is the only viable form of Judaism. As I’ve said before, Christian writers of Jewish history acknowledge this fact.
Eric,what’s happening today to Jews who are not observant is obvious. It’s tragic, but it’s happening. Non-orthodox Jews have a birthrate that’s lower than two and they intermarry at a rate of 71 percent. In contrast, Orthodox Jews have a birthrate that is many times that and they rarely intermarry.
Within a few generations, secular Jews or Jews who belong to other denominations like Conservative or Reform Judaism will no longer have identifiably Jewish descendants. So which group is God preserving? The same one He has always preserved.
It’s not a big deal that Christians are still around today. Christianity was accepted in all of Europe, a strong movement that was not scattered, weakened, and persecuted as the Jews were (modern persecution of Christians in Muslim countries notwithstanding; I bring this up because inevitably someone points it out).
It’s nothing short of a miracle that there are any Jews alive today. Not a single other national entity endured the kind of pressure we did to disappear–and survived.
Dina, this week I have no time at all so I am responding only to a few points; I am not sure if the question I am responding were on this post but anyways, I am kind of in a hurry today;-)
You asked; How do you know that God introduced something new, though?
If I said God introduced something new- I don’t remember- definitely it is not new in the sense of never being prophesied. So if I said ‘new’ I am correcting myself. God doesn’t do anything what he wouldn’t before announce through his prophets. And all the words about his Anointed One are in the scriptures.
Being called a false prophet Jesus would have already earned that ‘title’ if God didn’t raise him from the dead. So that was enough testimony of his truthfulness to all who witnessed his life long ago, before and after his death . Nobody who understood he was from God had a need of raising the argument of him introducing a new worship
Your arguments are that ‘ He made himself the center of the religion. So why by every healing of a person he was giving thanks to the Father not to himself or telling the healed one to give thanks to God? . Why did he say he wasn’t looking for his own glory that was coming from the people ? John 8;50, 54
v.50 “But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges.” v.54. Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’;
You simply don’t understand that Father gave him all authority John 5;22 Jesus wasn’t a center because he knew everything he was doing was coming from his Father; John 5;19 Why asked ;” teach us to pray”- the question is why did he show the example of a prayer that is addressed to the Father?? Jesus didn’t address himself. We pray in his name because he said so that we can, but he pointed us to God.
Phil 2; 5-7 tells you why the Father lifted him so much; for him being meek and obedience to his Father. Like disobedience of one man – Adam brought us a curse, so obedience of one man – Jesus brought us God’s favor and justification. ( of those who repented, not those who just know the facts of God’s and Jesus’ existence.)
Another argument of yours; He made himself the only way to God.
I have already explained that. Definitely not the way you understand it. The only way means that only through his sacrificial life and death those who trust God can be justified. If he meant the only way to God like you understand, that would contradict the way he taught his friends to pray in Matt 6;9 His example of prayed clearly says you pray straight to the Father and Jesus didn’t put himself in-between there not even once.
Another argument of yours; He made belief in him the only way to be “saved” from your sins.
I have already discussed that in the previous email how him carrying our sins and dying for us brought us righteousness of God..
You are saying that passage in Is 53 does not teach that you must believe in the messiah in order to be saved from your sins.. Yes, it doesn’t teach us we have to believe in the Messiah, but it teaches us how God dealt with our sins and those who are speaking in Is 53 as ‘we’ are those who admitted they are sinners. So they are saying they know how God dealt with their sin and they know they are healed and justified. Along with this it is obvious they believe in the work Jesus did that it is true. Yesterday I was writing about it in my email to you and rabbi B.
You say ;These concepts had never been known to the Jewish people. But I showed you how many Jews in different centuries still believed in the words in Is 53 speaking of the Messiah. And they weren’t saying that because they were Christians but they remained Jewish and still believed. I have not looked yet at the pre- dating sources , but when I have time I will.
As far as Jesus intercession for us;
Hebrew 9;24 , explains you that Jesus entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us We can also ask the Father in his name: John 14;13-14, John 15;7 John 15;16, John 17;11, 15 , 17, 24-26, Luke 22;31-32
also Hebrew 7;21-25 via psalm 110;4
“but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’ ” 22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. 23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. “
Eric, you say Jesus is not the center of Christianity, and the veneration of him is nothing new to the Jewish people. Jim wrote a response to this in the following two comments. I don’t have anything to add to that so it’s worth a read:
Dina, Explaining why Jesus is our Lord and savior and why people say that accepting him as Lond they are saved.
It all comes from understanding who Jesus is. He is Lord to those who believe that God put him in charge. He is God’s words to us Deut 18;18. It is like having a boss at your work who put somebody as a manager in charge. The manager is put in charge so that all who want to listen to the boss will also listen to the manager. The same way we believe God put his anointed one in charge. It is the same situation like it will be in the Messianic kindgom when the Messiah will be on earth and will rule with iron rode over the nations to maintain the universal peace and knowledge of God. He will be in chagre being as God’s arm, God”s representative ruling over the nations, thus he will be peoples Lord and king whom the Father put in charge. Ps 2, 45, 72, 110, Is 9;7, Is 11, Oz 3;5 Jer 23;5-6 speak about the authority and power that God gives him . In order to rule over th e nations and sustain the universal peace God has to have people who will listen to His Messiah, not rebell against him.
I am typing just a few examples of his glory;
Ps; 72 ;11 ” May all the kings prostrate themselves before him, all the nations serve him.” v.17 may his name endure forever … and all nations will bless themselves by him, they will praise him.”
So that is why it is nothing unusuall for us to know that God’s Messiah is our Lord to obey. Psalms I listed are full with his exaltaion and expressed honor.
So why many Christians say they are saved believing in or accepting the Messiah? It depends how you define the words ‘ believing in him , or ‘accepting him’- it all means you admit he is from God , then you know God put him in charge, then you know his words are God’s words so they are true, so by listening to him we listen to God, by trusting him , we trust God , by believing him we believe what God says . Like Deut 18;19 whther it refers to all prophets or not it will also refer to Jesus if I believe he is from God ” And it shall be that the man who will not hearken to My words that he shall speak in My name , I will exact from him”
Would that be a bit strange not having any God’s messanger for the whole last 2400 years sine last Malachi?
Jesus came 2000 years ago but for us Jesus is not dead like the other prophets and is with the Father at his right hand. Ps 110 “The Lord said to my lord ( master) wait at my right hand until I make your enemies a stool for your feet,”
The first ‘Lord’ is Yahweh. The second word for ‘lord’ is adoni , meaning ‘master’ ‘owner’ and it refers here to the Messiah. There was no other king to whom God said the above word including v.2 and 4 .Also th e context of the whole ps 110 tells you these words in v.1 can’t refer to any other king in, 4 we read that the same ‘lord’ ‘ master’ will be a priest forever being a king of righteousness. Neiter salomon nor David were called that and God didn’t rule amid their enemies v.2 .
That’s why Jesus is our Lord like he will be Lord to all the in the nations in the Miessianic kingdom when he comes to rule.
Oz 3;5 says ( in the last days ) “for may days the children of Israel will sit with no king, no officer, no sacrifice, no pillar (…) Afterward the children of Israel will return and seek their God and David their king ( David refers to th e Messiah).
Dina, Jesus is a center of Christianity but not without God , not without believing that God put him in charge. Not without believing that he is God’s words to us.. He is not a center on his own but Lord by God’s authority. The same way he will be a ‘center’ during the Messianic kingdom and also not without God putting him in charge.
You can’t praise Jesus without acknowledging his leadership from God , then you are not praising God.
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I’m speechless. All is so clear. תודה לרב
Read a few paragraphs…must read more…very very good! Also: http://www.jewsforjudaism.ca/publications/books-booklets—text-only/the-real-messiah-by-aryeh-kapla
My first notes, and I have much more reading to do:
” Christianity asserts that man is evil until he bends his heart towards Jesus.”
… towards God…
led through Christ
“One who believes the Church teaching on the inherent evil of man will find it difficult to acknowledge any goodness in non-Christians”
this is an untrue statement…. any Christian I have ever known, knows that there is good and evil in all men. We look for the good, and encourage the good. God says, “I know those that are Mine”… and only God knows the hearts of men, to judge them. Christians are taught not to judge…
‘judge not, that ye be not judged’
‘for by the measure with which ye judge, so shall ye also be judged’
these are the teachings of Yshwe.
It is the people who are caught in sin that need the salvation of Yshwe.
‘for I came not to the righteous, but to call sinners to repentance’
Yshwe acknowledges that there are those righteous, but there are those that need saving.
It is actually Genesis 9:6 which requires the sacrifice of Yshwe.
“These people are lead to believe that if they abandon their faith in Jesus they will become evil people.”
No. They just know that they will go back to their struggle with sin…
but with Yshwe, ‘the yoke is easy, the burden is light’… it is no struggle…
‘in the Truth you are set free’…
They have come to understand that with Christ…. with the Word of God… they ‘can do all things with Christ who strengthens me’…
for they would not ‘trample underfoot’ so great a sacrifice which has been made for them.
For, ‘there is no greater Love than that one give his life for another’… which is what Yshwe did. He gave His will to God…. He gave His life to serve the will of the Father… to bring people to salvation through Love.
“There are many strategies that can be used to bring forth man’s inherent capacity for goodness, and under certain circumstances, belief in Jesus can serve as this trigger. But the historical record has demonstrated that belief in Jesus can just as easily be used to bring forth man’s capacity for evil and destruction.”
This is true.
however, if belief in Yshwe leads men to do evil, then they are not truly led of God… they do not know what it truly means to follow Yshwe and to belong to God… they are astray… they can not be called Christian…
Yshwe Himself said;
‘there will be many of you on that day (of judgement) that will call out, and I will say, get away, ye never knew Me’ …
‘for the way is narrow, and the gate small, and there are few that find it’
I dispute that whole third premise, i.e., the testimony of the Jewish nation.
The concept that the Goyim felt denied access to receive G_D’s Blessing by not allowing access to the message by Jesus spreading the word,,, somewhat started problems between the two religions..If we start from the beginning
And review earlier happenings we can make peace with any differences..
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>>>>>>It is the people who are caught in sin that need the salvation of Yshwe.
‘for I came not to the righteous, but to call sinners to repentance’
Yshwe acknowledges that there are those righteous, but there are those that need saving.<<<<<
Once again, another Christian that denies foundational Christian doctrine and ignores the teachings of their own book. The NT clearly says "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God", and again, "There is none good, no not one". Without this concept Christianity has nothing to offer. If people are both good and evil and can choose to do good,as Judaism teaches, then Christianity is irrelevant.
There seems to be a consistency in that Christians who comment in dialogue with Judaism make their Christianity as "Jewish" as possible, and hide the fact that orthodox Christianity teaches that ONLY the blood of Jesus saves, that ONLY the name of Jesus saves and that one is, in the words of Jesus, "condemned already" ( John 3:18) if he does not put his faith in Jesus as the only begotten son of God.
I appreciate the effort of many fringe Christians to try to reconcile the contradictions between the two religions and their holy books. I tried this myself for several years before finally throwing in the towel and leaving Christianity and coming home to Judaism, to my God and to my people. The truth is, Clynn, you cannot rationally accept both the New Testament and the Tanakh. They simply are not compatible without denying the inspiration of one or the other, or both.Or else do as most Christians do and put on your "Jesus glasses" whenever you turn to the "Old Testament" to filter out all the convicting texts that would cause doubt and prick your conscience regarding the contradictions, and poor authorship, of the NT. But to pick and choose the most Jew-compatible texts and ignore the larger message is not right.
There is no way one can read Ezekiel and honestly still believe that the "New Covenant" taught by the NT and the the church bears any resemblance to the New Covenant God showed Ezekiel the prophet that would be brought in with the Moschiac. Oh, I know Christians explain it away by saying that Israel was too naughty to deserve that covenant. But that is a self-defeating argument, since it implies that had Israel been obedient and holy then Jesus would not have been necessary. Such a teaching destroys the fundamental Christian doctrine that the sacrificial system only existed as an illustration to "foreshadow Jesus".
Anyway, lots to consider. Shalom!
Oh, I just love this point, I never thought of it:
“Oh, I know Christians explain it away by saying that Israel was too naughty to deserve that covenant. But that is a self-defeating argument, since it implies that had Israel been obedient and holy then Jesus would not have been necessary. Such a teaching destroys the fundamental Christian doctrine that the sacrificial system only existed as an illustration to ‘foreshadow Jesus.'”
Awesome. I’m filing it away for future use.
Yes, that is an excellent point and well worth filing away.
Also, what Christians fail to consider is that if the sacrificial system was in place only to foreshadow Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice, then what is the purpose of the expected restoration of the sacrificial system in the Third Temple?
Hi Pharisee Friend,
I read your detailed article to completion, as I seek to understand your beliefs. I was not offended by it, just enlightened. I’ve never really seen it from the perspective of the Jews who rejected Jesus as their Messiah. I have taken the word of those Jews who converted and started the first Church, centred on the belief of Jesus as the Messiah, who died for all and rose again. I have also believed the testimony of the Bible, Jewish and new testament together.
In light of this, it will be a huge stretch for me to deny what I have believed and accept that those who denied Jesus are the faithful believers in God. However, I am willing to consider that you are right for the sake of exploring your arguments.
One thing that I would like to know is whether or not you believe that the Messiah is still coming. Are you waiting for a Messiah, or do you think that the Messiah may have already come and gone, or do you believe that the Messiah will not come in the form of a man? I would like to know your understanding of a Messiah (and the Messianic hope), because it feels like faith in Judaism and Christianity hinges on this.
Thanks for your thoughtful response.
PS: I’d love for the blog owner (or Authour of this post, if different) to address my questions before others offer their insight. Thanks for taking note.
Ufuoma I am the host of this blog I have an article on this blog entitled “The Messiah – a letter to SY” (I think that is the title – it is filed under the category Messiah) in which I lay out my understanding of the matter
Ok I’ll look for it. However, if you’ve got a direct link I’ll appreciate it. Also, who or what is SY?
It’s a complete mistranslation. The verse reads: And I shall place hatred between you and between the woman, and between your seed and between her seed. He will crush your head, and you will bite his heel.”
In other words, the descendants of Eve and the snake will forever be trying to kill each other. And that is true till today. The snake strikes low (at the heel) and is killed by having his head stomped on.
This is in response to Fred.
So glad i am not part of that religion any more. Everything in their book makes it hard to reach the truth. But G-d said, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Christianity contends that man is inherently evil.
Did not the first humans sin? Or where they inherently good?
from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.
Eve liked what she saw….
Was this a Physically death or Spiritual Death? If so, did they die right away-
Why couldn’t they no longer eat from the tree of life?
God says to Cain
But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
Was this sin a feeling, thought, or gravitational pull-
Yes Christians contend that people are inherently evil.
Without a doubt they are.
Abraham received circumcision as a sign after he was faithful-
Christian received a baptism as a sign after we are faithful-
The Jewish Bible NEVER associates forgiveness from sin with faith in an individual.
2 Chronicles 7:14
My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Act of faith to Turn from your evil ways- pray- humble yourself- forgive their sin-
Sounds like Christianity
Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins- Faith-
If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.-
Abraham seed was Yahsha- and he is my Messiah-
Give me more of what you see untrue regarding my faith-
Especially refer to verses in the New Testament-
bible 819 So what does it mean that man is made in God’s image?
and of course faith in God brings atonement for sin that is what repentance is all about – but not faith in a man/human sacrifice – that is a Christian invention
1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
God’s image is the spirit-
The flesh and the image dies because of Adam
God has always required blood for atonement-
Life blood to be exact-
God asked Abraham to give his only son the promise-
Abraham through faith offered his son-
Human sacrifice was required for the everlasting covenant- Abraham heart’s intent was to slay his son and offer him-
Christians know that what Abraham did-
Invention are short lived-
Christianity changed the world-
bible 819 If God always required blood for atonement why did He forget to tell us about this in the Bible? And Christianity certainly changed the world – in many ways for the worse 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
You never read that blood was poured on the altar?
The blood, on the altar of the LORD your God; and the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the LORD your God,
The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt?
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities?
Being pierced causes blood?
You guys must not read about the Passover Lamb, the offerings Moses directed-
Christianity change the world for the better-
We will keep spreading the Word of God to nations that would have never changed-
We are BOLD
Bible 819 blood on the altar is not “no atonement without blood” – and no Christianity no Crusades, Inquisition or Holocaust 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
You haven’t counter anything- just opinions-
Christianity has its sins- but so does Judaism- The blue print is available for everyone to see.
* Humans are inherently evil
* Old testament talks about faith and forgiveness of sins
What else do you have?
You haven’t unmasked anything
bible819 You still haven’t explained what it means that humans are created in the image of God and perhaps while your at it can you also explain why that is a reason not to kill humans? And the Jewish Bible (“Old Testament”) does indeed speak of faith and forgiveness from sin – but faith in who? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
If you can answer these clear questions-
Abraham offered his son in his heart to God?
Killing and offering is different correct?
Abraham offered his son to God’s will-
Cain killed Abel was not Gods will-
How many animals were offered for peoples guilt, sins, and sanctification?
Turning from your sins and repenting is faith or is it not?
If you do not stand firm in your faith,
you will not stand at all.’ ”
Offering by animals were only a shadow until redemption came-
I have answered your questions-
God did offer his Son- Abraham offered his son- The promise
Matthew Perri Your questions are not clear but I’ll try offering and killing are not the same turning from your sins and repenting is faith indeed
1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
sorry that last one was for Bible 819 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
How do you understand when God asked Abraham to offer his son?
Abraham offered his son in his heart.
That alone makes The Way of Christ substantial.
How could God asked someone to do something with out him willing to do it himself?
bible 819 Who do you think God hurts more for? A child killed in the holocaust? or a “divine human” who dies for three days? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
You didn’t answer my question-
Bible, if you read the text that is not what it says or even implies. The text shows us that God tested Abraham to see how much he feared God. Did he fear God so much that he would even offer his son if God commanded him to? God said: yes, I see that you are a God fearing man–now do NOT kill your son. (I am paraphrasing, of course.)
Nothing to do with Jesus! The story teaches the opposite lesson that you want to learn from it. It teaches that, at a time when human sacrifice was all too common, the God of Israel rejected it as a form of worship or as a form of expressing love and awe toward the divine.
This is very obvious to anyone who reads the text without the Jesus bias.
You gave me all opinion-
The Text says-
Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
He slayed his son in his heart- An OFFERING TO GOD- human sacrifice in his HEART- Without a doubt! You can’t despite that What Abraham did!
I am Abraham’s offspring-
I believe in God’s son his only son which he did not withhold from me.
Bibs, you are the one relying on opinion and I am the one relying on the text–and I will prove it to you.
Genesis 22:1-18 clarifies my argument. The very first verse says that “God tested Abraham” (22:1). God delivers the test result in verse 12 (“Now I know that you are God fearing”). So you see that God aimed to test the extent of Abraham’s fear of God. God proclaims His rejection of human sacrifice in the same verse with the words “Do not send your hand against the boy and do not do anything to him.”
In verse 16, God praises and rewards Abraham for not sacrificing Isaac, further underscoring God’s abhorrence of human sacrifice. In verse 18, Abraham is rewarded for obeying God. No mention of heart slayings is to be found in the entirety of this passage.
Therefore, your statement that Abraham “slayed [sic] his son in his heart- An OFFERING TO GOD- human sacrifice in his HEART” is not based on the text. That is your opinion, biased by your prior belief in Jesus. If you could drop your preconceived notions about Jesus (which may be difficult to impossible for you to do), this would become clear to you.
It might also be instructive to note the following Biblical sources on the abhorrence of God toward human sacrifice:
Jeremiah 19:4-6 (where God says it did not even enter His mind to command such an act)
You have not withheld your son- What does that mean Dina?
That means Abraham did not withhold his son- He gave his son to God-
What did God ask Abraham to do?
Offer his son.
He did not withhold his son-
I made a mistake in translation. I consulted the Hebrew text and confused the future and past tense, an easy mistake to make given that the conjugation is exactly the same but changes based on context. So, in this one small detail, you are correct that Abraham is praised for obeying God and not withholding his son.
Having graciously conceded my error 🙂 I now will point out that you failed to address the other items in my post.
1. The text clearly says this was a test of Abraham’s God-fearing-ness.
2. Abraham is forbidden to harm his child in any way in service to God. “Do not send your hand against the boy” was not enough; God also added, “do not do anything to him.” God doesn’t even want a nick of the blade as a sign of Abraham’s love!
3. The obvious lesson in this story is opposite the one of your conclusion. God hates human sacrifice. This was merely a test. (By the way, in a time when human sacrifice was common to all pagan religions, God’s rejection of human sacrifice was earth-shatteringly revolutionary.)
4. The text makes no mention of heart slayings or that we should follow Jesus because he was a human sacrifice. There is simply no connection between the two.
5. You also failed to address the four sources for God’s abhorrence of human sacrifice that I cited.
So how about that, eh?
1. The text clearly says this was a test of Abraham’s God-fearing-ness.
2. That doesn’t change the fact that God examines the heart.
arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10.Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
You noticed that Isaac was an offering-
Abraham did indeed raise the knife-
The lesson was that Abraham with out doubt was obedient to God- His son was the subject that God used.
To not withhold- is to give. He believed in his heart to give his son to God.
Obedience= Faith+Heart’s will= Righteousness
With out your heart’s will to do something you can’t have faith to produce the action, and without faith you can’t produce obedience-
and without obedience you will never have Righteousness.
Abraham did have a test. A hard pill to swallow is that God did ask Abraham to offer his son.
You either believe Abraham did or did not withhold his son-
I believe that he did not withhold son-
Why would God ask mere human being to do something he was not willing to do?
We are not speaking of human sacrifice but the righteousness of God.
My messiah said he was the Son of God.
We believe that God (allowed) him to be a Lamb to the slaughter.
Not that we offered him be he was rejected by man kind.
In our sin we killed him.
Gods glory raised him up because he was obedient unto death.
4. God- not withholding his Son- he was obedient unto death
Abraham-not withholding his son- Abraham was obedient unto death.
Isaac did what his dad asked him to do. Abraham did exactly what God asked him to do.
My messiah did exactly was his Father told him to.
Consequently, he was nailed to a cross by the Romans and Jewish persuasion.
5. You also failed to address the four sources for God’s abhorrence of human sacrifice that I cited.
They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.
What Abraham did was not in reverence to their gods.
Me, the Romans and the Jews nailed my messiah to the cross. Not because he did anything wrong but because he pointed out sin and hypocrisy.
No fire was included nor were sons and daughters sacrificed to other gods.
Jeremiah 19:4-6 (where God says it did not even enter His mind to command such an act)
Israel was warned in (Deuteronomy 12:30-31) but have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal
My messiah was with Our Father…….not baal. No fire included-
Israel took your their sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols.
My Messiah was not sacrificed for food to idols.
Lord kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.
My Messiah drank the cup that Israel and the rest of world sins.
Israel had turned away, the world was ugly.
( God saw all the evil that was happening, if it weren’t for My messiah, God would have wiped everyone out)
Like Abraham it was one righteous act.
But as my Messiah said when he returns-
Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man: 27People were eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.
Bibs, you’re forgetting a relevant detail. Abraham did not withhold his son, but he also did not in fact sacrifice him.
God did not want Abraham to sacrifice his son. It was only a test.
Another detail: Isaac was not a sin offering.
Now let’s see what you wrote in response to the sources I cited.
If we follow your logic to its conclusion, you are saying that God is okay with human sacrifice…as long as fire is not involved, idols are not involved, and the sacrifice isn’t used as food.
So if someone wanted to offer their children to God as a sacrifice (heaven forbid!) it would be okay if they crucified them. Just don’t burn ’em, offer ’em to idols, or eat ’em.
That’s how you justified to me the idea of Jesus’s human sacrifice, a morally repugnant idea.
I went along with the scriptures you provided. All of them were warnings to Israel in the event they followed other gods. They did and burned their sons in reverence to baal.
To compare what Abraham did with his son.
Has direct irony with what the Father did with his Son.
Is not in reverence to other gods such as baal.
The Father did ask Abraham to offer his son-
The Father did allow his Son to be murdered on the cross.
But to our astonishment we can’t find his body.
Because The Father did not allow his Son to see Decay.
My conclusion is this
If God asked Abraham to offer his son the promise
How much more would God offer his son?
The only difference between you and I is that I believe Israel was lost after the writting of Isaiah.
Therefore to bring Israel and all nations to the Father he made his inheritance an example-
The suffering servant came to take Gods wrath on earth so that we could escape the wickedness of Israel and rest of the world.
Bibs, the first time I encountered you I asked you if you are interested in having a real debate, really hearing us out and responding to our arguments, or if you just wanted to preach at us.
In this comment you did not offer a counterargument to anything I said. You preached at me.
I showed you that the parallel between Isaac and Jesus is wrong because Isaac wasn’t ever killed, that God didn’t want him to be killed, whereas Jesus was killed and Christians believe that God wanted that death as a sin sacrifice.
I cited passages that show that human sacrifice is abominable to God, yet you defended the human sacrifice in your religion because it did not involve other idols and fire and wasn’t used for food. You did not answer my challenge, which was: do you mean to say that God accepts such human sacrifices? If such a sacrifice was okay in Jesus’s case, why can’t anyone who is killed be considered such a sacrifice? Hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed by the Romans; why don’t they qualify?
Why are you ignoring the fact that God didn’t want Abraham to actually kill Isaac and that it was only a test–a test because God had promised Abraham that his line would descend through Isaac?
There is another problem and that is the last things you wrote. You wrote that Israel was lost after the writing of Isaiah. That is unbiblical. The Bible that you claim to believe in proclaims that the gentiles will come to the Jews at the end of days to learn the truth (Zechariah 8:23), that God appointed the Jews as His witnesses (Isaiah 43:10), that God’s Word would never leave us or our descendants forever (Isaiah 59:21), that no matter how far we stray we would preserve God’s testimony (Psalm 78).
Your beliefs mean you don’t take God seriously.
My validity to my argument is explained.
You cited many verses that only have to do with Israel human sacrifice to baal and burning their kids in reverence to baal-
My counter argument is that (God asked Abraham to offer his son to him) No doubt-
How much would God offer his own son- You have had no counterargument-
If you refer to verses that give a soggy correlation of human sacrifice at least understand
what the verses are talking about-
what (offered their kids to baal)
Did God ask Abraham to offer his son?
Did Abraham bound Isaac to offer him as human Sacrifice?
If it were abominable why did God ask him to do it?
It just so happens that miracles were performed, followers believed in his name, and the Romans couldn’t find the resurrected body.
This why no one history has qualified-
Human Sacrifice is not what Christ is to us.
But God did allow us to kill him.
Isaiah 53:8 (ASV) By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who [among them] considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke [was due]?
But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. I did not know it was against me they devised schemes, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.”
26″Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.
In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.
2″He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him.
2000 years of being exiled and you think God wrath has not occurred for Israels transgressions?
Bibs, here are the answers to your questions.
“Did God ask Abraham to offer his son?” Yes.
“Did Abraham bound Isaac to offer him as human Sacrifice?” Yes.
“If it were abominable why did God ask him to do it?” BECAUSE IT WAS A TEST!!!!!!
Sorry for shouting, but you are simply not hearing me. GOD DID NOT WANT ABRAHAM TO KILL HIS SON. Otherwise, He wouldn’t have stopped him.
You’re still not answering me on my other challenge. You said that my examples show that human sacrifice is wrong if it’s in reverence to idols and if the object is burned. Are you saying that human sacrifice is okay if it’s in reverence to God and other methods of killing are used? Why is this not a relevant argument?
You wrote: “It just so happens that miracles were performed, followers believed in his name, and the Romans couldn’t find the resurrected body.” Miracles and resurrections are irrelevant in light of Deuteronomy 13:1-5.
Your remaining citations are already addressed on this blog in various articles and show clearly that you are quoting wildly out of context. If you are interested in truth seeking and are not here merely to promote an agenda, I highly recommend you read those articles. In fact, I would be most interested in hearing your thoughts on them.
Dina, no doubt it was test.
The question is- would he do it- The answer is yes.
You still nullify the faith aspect of Abraham.
To pass a test you have to carry it out to completion.
Whether God intended for him to do it was not the test-
The fact is (that) Isaac was bound and put on the alter to be the sacrificed.
Are you saying that human sacrifice is okay if it’s in reverence to God and other methods of killing are used? Why is this not a relevant argument?
You would have to ask Abraham our Father- He thought it was necessary to not withhold son.
Do I personally feel that God want humans sacrifice. Nope.
But I believe in obedience. I know Abraham went all the way to the point of death in his heart.
My messiah believed in his Father to the point of death.
In that obedience Abraham blessed all nations.
In that same obedience My Messiah became my righteousness.
As we know, Israel showed that the Law was forsaken as they were exiled.
I don’t understand why you think that the Law is applicable if the last thing God spoke through the prophets was the complete failure of Israel-
God would have to make a Provision- Knowing that Israel couldn’t sustain The Law.
How do you Interpret Daniel 7:13?
Lastly, Do you believe that Abraham did not offer Isaac in his heart?
Bibs, you’re asking all the wrong questions.
The question is, does God desire human sacrifice? The answer is NO. Read Genesis 22:12 on rejection of human sacrifice.
The question is, does God require human sacrifice to atone for sins? The answer is NO. Read Ezekiel 18 and 33 on atonement.
The question is, does God require us to worship Him alongside a human being? The answer is NO. Read Deuteronomy 4 on idolatry.
The question is, does God break His promises? The answer is NO. Read Numbers 23:19 on God’s trustworthiness.
The question is, did God forge an eternal covenant with the people of Israel? The answer is YES. Read Deuteronomy 4:30-36 on God’s promise of eternal covenant with Israel.
For your edification, below is pasted an excerpt from the article “1000 Verses” on this most excellent of blogs:
The following list of verses teaches us how God’s promises to Israel, to Israel’s priests and concerning the Land of Israel are irrevocable.
Genesis 9:27, 12:2,7, 13:14-17, 15:5,7,18, 17:7-14, 18:18, 22;17,18, 25:23, 26:3-5, 28:13,14, 35:12, 48:4,16,20, 49:10, 50:24, Exodus 2:24, 3:8,17, 4:22, 6:4,8, 8:19, 11:7, 15:16,17, 19:5,6 24:8, 25:8,22, 29:43-46, 31:12-17, 33:1,16, 34:10,27, Leviticus 11:45, 15:31, 19:2, 20:3,24,26, 22:33, 26:44, Numbers 15:41, 22:12, 23:21, 24:9, 33:53, 35:34, Deuteronomy 1:8, 4:7,20,31-39, 6:10,18, 7:6-8, 8:1, 9:5,26,29, 10:11,15, 11:12,31, 14:1,2, 21:8, 23:6, 26:15-19, 27:9, 29:11-14, 32:9-12, 33:28,29, Joshua 1:6, 5:6, 21:41, 1Samuel 12:22, 2Samuel 7:23,24, 1Kings 8:13,51-53, 9:3, 10:9, 11:36, Jeremiah 2:2,3, 10:16, 12:14, 14:9, 31:2,8,34-36, 33:19-26, 46:27,28, 50:33,34, 51:5, Ezekiel 11:16, 16:60, 37:28, Isaiah 41:8-16, 43:1-21, 44:1-8,21-23, 45:4,14-17, 46:3,4, 48:12, 49:14-16, 51:7,15,16,22-52:12, 54:10, 55:5, 59:21, 60:1-3,12,21, 61:6,9, 62:1-12, Hosea 2:1,21,22, Joel 4:17,20,21, Zephaniah 3:20, Zechariah 2:12, 8:20-23, Malachi 1:2, Psalm 28:9, 29:11, 38:12, 44:18, 47:4,5, 48:9,15, 50:7, 68:35,36, 74:2, 78:5,69, 79:13, 89:16, 94:14, 95:7, 98:1-3, 100:3, 105:8-45, 111:4-9, 125:2, 132:13-18, 133:3, 135:4, 144:15, 147:19,20, 148:14, 149:2,4, Nehemiah 1:10, 9:7,8, 1Chronicles 15:2, 16:15-22, 17:21,22,24, 23:13,25, 2Chronicles 6:6, 7:16, 9:8, 20:7
Bibs, this blog addresses all the popular proof texts that Christian missionaries like to shove under our noses in their attempt to prove to us that they are right. If you type the relevant chapter and verse into the search button, you are likely to find the refutation of that proof text on this website.
Because I’m such a considerate person, I did the legwork for you. Here is Rabbi B.’s article on Daniel 7:13:
Your didn’t answer my question. You avoided it.
Which question, Bibs?
You didn’t answer any of my challenges, by the way. Just sayin’.
But as I’m a generous soul, tell me which question I avoided and I will answer it.
Do you believe that Abraham offered Isaac in his heart?
What I believe, Bibs, is irrelevant. It’s what the Bible says that counts.
The Bible says that God commanded Abraham to bring his son as a sacrifice and Abraham obeyed. Abraham was rewarded for his obedience to God. The text does not inform us of what went on in his heart and whether he slew him in his heart.
I answered your question. Now will you answer mine?
Why is that so important to you?
It’s much more important to recognize that God rejects human sacrifice. He did not want Abraham to kill his son. Do you agree?
Do you also agree that God does not require a human sacrifice for atonement of sin, as per Ezekiel 18 and 33?
Do you agree that God forbids us to associate Him with a physical form or to worship Him alongside a human being, as per Deuteronomy 4?
Do you agree that God does not break His promises, as per Numbers 23:19?
Do you agree that God forged an eternal covenant with the people of Israel, as per Deuteronomy 4:30-36? (By the way, eternal means forever.)
Do you agree that God’s promises to Israel are irrevocable, as per the very long list of citations I provided in my previous comment?
Do you agree that by introducing a new type of worship, Jesus was a false prophet as per Deuteronomy 13:1-5?
You should ask the Rabbi- If you don’t believe obedience comes from the heart-
I now understand how you read it.
Everything becomes a rule.
Do this do that a little here and little there.
Because I now can read it like you do-
No I don’t believe in human sacrifice.
I do believe that Gods love demands a certain degree of obedience.
Human sacrifice is was not what my Messiah Yahsha the Hebrew was.
He was offered to us as an example of Gods love but we killed him and God allowed it.
His blood was our atonement. But we did kill him.
Human sacrifice is what Israel did with Baal.
Not what the Jews and Romans and me did to My Hebrew Messiah.
I didn’t form Yahsha with my hands. God formed Yahsha in the womb.
Do you agree that God does not break His promises, as per Numbers 23:19
Gods word does not fall to the ground.
Israel is Gods inheritance.
Now, my question to you is this?
Did Israel break the covenant?-
What covenant did they break?-
Gods promises/words are God.- There is no separation from God and his words-
I completely agree that you should not worship anyone but the Lord your God.
Also, Deuteronomy 18
‘It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.
*God would take an Individual who would come in his (Name) and (speaks his words) and that he would be( required of him)
My Messiah said that he came in his Fathers name, spoke his words, and that is was required of him-
If indeed this happened-
You are rejecting Gods Messiah.
Lastly, How did people know that God spoke through prophets?
Did they accept the Word of God?
Or did they fail to believe the Prophets-
How accurate were they of noticing God’s Prophets- 10% out 100?
How much more the Messiah.
Obedience can come from the heart–or not. You can do the right thing because you know it’s the right thing to do even if you don’t want to do it. I happen to believe that Abraham’s obedience came from the heart, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that he slew his son in his heart. God did not want Abraham to actually kill his son, so killing him in his heart–whatever the heck that means–would have been contrary to God’s will.
I also think that this part of our conversation is entirely irrelevant to the question of whether Jesus worship is idolatry or not, and I cannot understand why you are so hung up on it.
You wrote that Jesus was not a human sacrifice. In that case, why do you guys keep quoting Leviticus 17:11 at us? Answer me that! You’re talking out of both sides of your mouth, sir.
Your answer on Deuteronomy 4 shows that you read it carelessly. In this chapter, Moses sternly reminds the Jewish people that they saw no image on Mount Sinai when God revealed Himself to the Jewish people. The passage teaches us that we are to worship God only as He appeared at Sinai. Any entity that did not appear there–such as Jesus–must not be worshiped. The whole point is: we worship only the Creator, never the created. Yet, you wrote that since you didn’t create Jesus but God created him (hence he is a created being) then it’s okay to worship him. Well, my friend, that not only flies in the face of Deuteronomy 4 but is also justification for every single form of idolatry that you can imagine. As long as you don’t make an image of it, it’s okay! God created it, not you, so it’s fine! Are you for real?
You ask if Israel broke the covenant, and if so, which one? How many covenants did God forge with the Jewish people? And did all of them break it, or did one righteous remnant remain loyal to God? You would know the answer to this question if you read Scripture without the desperate desire to find only evil and wickedness in Israel (a highly anti-Semitic predisposition a disconcerting number of Christians possess).
Let me ask you this: before Jesus, which group of people were the only people in the entire whole world who possessed true knowledge of God? All Christians agree that the answer is the Jewish people, the very people that you think broke the covenant and that the prophets harshly criticized. This is the very people that accepted the books of the prophets as authentic and included them in the canon of the Hebrew Bible–which is the only reason you have them today.
So you have a problem. Wicked Israel who broke the covenant preserved the books of the prophets that they claim to be true. Why on earth would you believe them? Also, if they were so very wicked, why would they preserve such damning evidence against them? Why not burn the books along with the prophets your Christian texts falsely claims they killed?
You did not answer my question on Deuteronomy 13:1-5, which states that if a prophet should arise and produce a sign, yet tell you to worship gods you do not know, then he is a false prophet even if the sign comes to pass. Jesus is a god our fathers did not know, ergo he is a false prophet. I’m glad you agree that we should not worship anyone alongside God. Why then do you persist in worshiping Jesus?
You did not answer my challenge on Deuteronomy 18:22. God says that if a prophet’s sign fails to come to pass, then his words are not from God. Jesus made a number of false predictions, including the sign of Jonah that he gave to the Pharisees. Yet he failed to appear to them 3 days after his death in accordance with his promise to them. Therefore he is a false prophet.
Finally, you asked how accurate were the Jews in assessing who were God’s prophets. If you don’t trust their assessment, then you ought to be consistent and reject the Hebrew Bible.
Not withholding your son- means he gave his son to God.
He didn’t know the mind of God.
God did not makes his intentions known until the Law was given.
In fact, before the Law sin was not charged to any body because rules had not been put in place.
God’s will was to see if Abraham would be obedient to what God asked him to do-
Abraham followed through.
You keep bringing up human sacrifice as if that is what I see Christ as.
As regard to idolatry, if you don’t believe that God is the only savior
and the servant spoken about in Isaiah 53 is the Holy One of Israel-
Then yes it would be idolotry-
The truth is that I know that God is the only savior. The messiah must be the Father.
That is who my Messiah said he was.
As far as Leviticus 17:11- I didn’t mention that at all.
But since you brought it up-
” Life is in the blood” I agree with that a hundred percent!!!
You gave Deuteronomy 4-
My point was that- It (only) refers to making something
But it doesn’t say God couldn’t come to us as a Man-
In fact Later prophecy talks about God sending a Messiah-
You say that he will only be a man
I know only God is the Savior-
If you read, you would know this-
You must degree with God.
I wouldn’t know of God’s inheritance if it weren’t for my Hebrew Lord.
Plus, I only disagree with you-
Lastly, no one is righteous, not even 1. All are evil.
Lets Break this Down-
No person is innocent under the Law-
Israel did break the covenant-
Yes Israel was entrusted with the Truth.
Israel couldn’t keep the Law-
If you believe they did keep the Law, please provide scripture as to why they were exiled?
If they listened to the Prophets why would God call them adulterous?
God will always have a righteous remnant as he had those who didn’t bow down to baal-
1- My book says That Israel comes before Gentiles into heaven-
But also says- That Israel turned away from God so he has used their Disobedience to bring all nations to him until the proper time to make Israel envious.
( I find this easy to believe)
But Yes Israel is the promise-
My Lord is Hebrew-
The 1 you call Jesus is the Father- The Messiah can be no one else other then God himself-
Everything My Lord said came to pass-
My Messiah Said he and the Father are 1-
The God Israel knew was the Father-
The Sign of Jonah was him being down in the grave and raising again-
His body is Heaven, -now who he met with- ( How would you know?)
What other failed predictions do you have?
Certainly you have more weight than that-
The biggest assumption you make is that Israel only knew the Father as God-
My Messiah said he was the Father-
He didn’t claim to be anyone else other than the (Father)
If you can’t produce a body- you have no proof as to who he appeared himself to-
( Give a more specific promise that you can actually prove)
God used David who was sinful. God used King James who was a homosexual.
God Words don’t depend us.
Bibs, I’m sorry for the delayed response. I kept your comment in my email folder and forgot about it!
I don’t see much point, though, in responding because I already addressed a lot of these points in my previous comment and all you did is repeat your earlier arguments to which I was responding.
When you first came here, I asked you if you wanted to preach or to really listen. An fruitful dialogue is only possible when both sides engage, truly hear each other out, and confront the issues head on.
Therefore, I respectfully request that you read my earlier comments, try to understand what I was saying, ask me for clarification if you don’t, and address my points directly.
The Rabbi and I have agreed on certain topics.
You on the other hand, read the Bible as if it were a history book.
You haven’t answered anything I said.
I go through each of your sentences and respond to every emotion you displace.
Talk about fruitful. You still believe Abraham didn’t act in faith. But went through the actions with out the intent to hand his son over to God.
Preaching would be me telling you about my Book. But you haven’t read it– so there is nothing to dispute.
Lastly, I rather enjoy our dialogue.
Okay, here is a thought experiment, Bibs.
You say you respond to all my points.
You argued that per Deuteronomy 4 it’s okay to worship Jesus because God, not you, created him.
I responded to that argument.
In response, you said it’s okay to worship Jesus because God, not you, created him.
Can you tell me in your own words what my response to that argument was?
You said that you only Worship the Creator rather than the created because you saw no form-
We will disregard everything I said in the past and just focus on (Deuteronomy 4)-
Lets go into depth-
Form- Creator- Created-
Does God have a form? Yes- Did Israel see his Form? No
Did Moses see God? He describes God to have a back, as he asked to see his Glory-
Now we are talking-
Ezekiel 1:26-28 To have a figure of a man=”Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness Genesis 1:26=Isaiah 45:11 “This is what the LORD says– the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: 1+1=2=1
If the Lord has a Maker- Its getting really interesting!!!!
What did Daniel See-
I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.
If you can take the Scriptures and provide an explanation to what I said-
DONT give a link or a bunch of old posts- Describe in your OWN words-
Bibs, I’m not following your line of reasoning, but I should point out that you didn’t quite get my argument and that is why I wanted to see if you could put it in your own words.
The first thing is that we are to worship God only as He appeared at Sinai and that we are not to associate Him with any form.
The second thing is that we are not to worship any being that was created.
You agree that we saw no form at Sinai, ergo it is forbidden to associate God with a form.
You agree that God created Jesus, ergo you ought to agree that it is forbidden to worship him.
This is not the only clear teaching on how and Whom to worship. There are dozens. There is the Second Commandment, for instance (‘You shall have no other gods before me etc.”). There are teachings like those in Isaiah 43:11 (“I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from Me there is no savior”).
Here are a few more: Exodus 20:2-5, Exodus 20:11, Isaiah 42:5, Numbers 23:19, Deuteronomy 6:4, Deuteronomy 6:14, I Samuel 15:29, 1 Chonicles 8:60, Isaiah 40:25, Isaiah 42:8, Isaiah 44: 6-8, Hosea 13:4
The problem with the verses you cited is that they are not clear teachings on Whom and how to worship. You can’t just cite these verses and then pretend that the clear teachings against your theology don’t exist. You need to understand these verses in light of the clear teachings, not the the other way around.
How do you look at the clear, direct, compelling verses I presented and dismiss them out of hand because you can find some vague hints in other passages that only superficially appear to support your theology (never mind the Scripture twisting you engage in when you quote out of context, as you do with Daniel 7:13)?
But I’ll take a quick look at some of the verses you presented and the rest when I have more time:
“Let us make man in our image”: so let me ask you, if it was a physical likeness, then as you know, there are some primates that look remarkably like human beings. Are they also created in God’s image? Of course not.
What does it mean, then? We are like God (likeness) in the ways that we are distinct from animals. How are we distinct from animals? We have free choice, the ability to reason, and the ability of speech. That is what makes us more like God than like animals.
“Let us” in the plural: in Hebrew this reads like the royal “we.” Or you could say that God was addressing the heavenly court–we know, for example, that angels were already created, such as the ones a short while later who are sent to guard the Garden of Eden.
The Holy One of Israel and its Maker–I don’t understand what you’re saying here. God is the Holy One of Israel and he is Israel’s Maker. Do you really mean to say that because He is the Holy One and He is the Maker He is two entities? You expect me to take that argument seriously?
I answered you on Daniel 7 so it’s really annoying that you’re bringing it up again as if I never said anything. But as I’m feeling generous, I will explain it to you here. Daniel asks the angel to explain his vision. In verses 7:18 and 7:27 the angel references the son of man to Israel. (He explains that the four beasts represent the four kingdoms and dominion over them will be given to “the nations of holy ones,” i.e., Israel).
You know, it’s dishonest to rip things out of context like that. I expect better from you.
Israel is going to come in the clouds. And the books will be open.
bible 819 Daniel 7:13 is one of the only places in Scripture where we get a commentary from Scripture itself – and Christians insist on their own commentary – and then they expect us to take them seriously
1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man,a coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
How in the world would think that Israel would come in clouds?
You didn’t get the Scriptural explanation at all, did you? Everything in this vision was metaphorical; that’s why Daniel didn’t understand it and had to ask the angel for an explanation.
Metaphorical means not literal.
I took the time to present a serious counterargument to your contentions, and this is the best you can do?
“I approached one of the standing ones, and I asked him for the truth concerning all this. So he spoke to me, making the interpretation of the matters known to me: These immense beasts, which are four: Four kingdoms will arise from the earth. But the holy supreme ones will receive the kingship, and they will inherit the kingship, forever, forever, and ever….
“And the kingship, the dominion and the grandeur of the kingdoms under all the heavens will be given to the holy supreme nation. Its kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will serve and obey it.”
The second half of the chapter provides an explanation for Daniel’s metaphorical vision.
The four beasts = the four kingdoms
The one like the son of man = the holy supreme nation that will receive the kingship
The clouds = dominion
Which part of the word “metaphor” do you not understand?
Okay, I answered this question three times already. You have not only failed to refute this in any serious way (“wow” is not a serious argument) but ignored all my serious and devastating counterarguments to all your contentions.
Yes we know the Kingdoms— But —
The Son of Man, The Holy People- And the Most High
Let me teach you-
Yes the HOLY PEOPLE will be given the everlasting Kingdom.
“The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.”
They need to be delivered!!!! BY WHOM> The Son of Man coming in the CLOUDS-
Son of Man is a Human Being- The Holy Remnant and those who believe in the Mashiach-
and all rulers will serve and obey it—–NO
All rulers will serve and obey HIM—
bible 819 just realize that verses 15 thru 27 are the Scriptural interpretation of verses 2 thru 14. How many times does it mention the holy nation in the interpretation? how many times does it mention the Messiah? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
Then who is—— Head was white as Wool?
thrones were set in place,
and the >>>>> (Ancient of Days took his seat.)
His clothing was as white as snow;
the hair of his head was white like wool.
His throne was flaming with fire,
and its wheels were all ablaze.
In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man,[a] coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the———– >>>>> (Ancient of Days and was led into (his) presence.)
until the>>>>>>>>>>>>> ( Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the (Most High) RESCUED by
>>>>>>>> ((handed)) (over) >>>to the holy people<<<< (of)the (Most High.) (His) kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and (all rulers will worship and obey him).
The Son of Man will come on clouds into His kingdom for those who are Holy to Serve the King!
bible 819 You should call yourself “imagination 819”
1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
Who is the Ancient of Days? God
Son of Man? Messiah
Holy People? Israels-Holy Remnant- and Abraham’s blessed offspring!
I can’t wait see him come back in the clouds.
bible 819 That’s what you say not what the bible says 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
Can the Son of Man be a single human being?
Your statement is Thwarted-
The Bible= Son of Man being a Human Being.
Bibs, can a beast be a kingdom? Do you understand the meaning of the word “metaphor”?
Bibs, I gave you a comprehensive answer to several of your challenges. You picked on one passage and went off on a deluded rant about what it means, contradicting the Scriptural explanation of that very passage. You can’t defend what you wish it meant in any serious manner. Now I await your response on the rest of my answer.
You give the obvious.
What version are you reading?
Remember God is the only 1 we serve and Obey (HIM)- Not it<<<<<<
Bibs, I don’t understand this response. Can you clarify? Also, please can you respond to my arguments? Thanks.
But in response to your question about what version I read, I usually read the original Hebrew. However, parts of Daniel are written in Aramaic, including chapter 7. I do not understand Aramaic and so relied on the translation by Artscroll, the Stone Edition.
For your convenience, Bibs, the comment I would like you to respond to is here:
My point was that-
A human Being has been refereed to as the Son of Man more often than Israel as a Son of man?
Do you Agree?
A simple yes or no
Ezekiel is referred to as the son of man. A human Being-
– 1st Point- the Son of Man will be a human being coming in the clouds
– 2nd Point God has the form of a Man— Gods-> own image
-3rd Point God has many servants- Isaiah 53 is not Israel- but indeed a different afflicted One who didn’t speak any deceit.
-4th Point Abraham didn’t withhold his Son
-5th God sustained his own Righteousness
-6th Faith and Forgiveness work hand in hand
-7th You can’t prove anything Christ said was wrong
-8th Christianity was made by Hebrew people and not any other race-
Final Point- You can’t Unmask Christianity- God ordained it. We spread his Glory to every region in the world.
Israel is God’s inheritance, and the gentiles have accepted Gods word.
I don’t understand your question at all, Bibs. Ben adam, literally translated as son of man, is just the Hebrew word for human being. Son of man in Hebrew means human being.
Do you agree that not knowing Hebrew is a problem for you? A simple yes or no.
Do you agree that you’re ignoring all my arguments? A simple yes or no.
Do you agree that you are pretending that Scripture didn’t provide a simple and clear explanation of Daniel’s vision that has nothing to do with your fantasy? A simple yes or no.
Ezekiel is referred to as the son of man. A human Being-
– 1st Point- the Son of Man will be a human being coming in the clouds
– 2nd Point God has the form of a Man— Gods-> own image
-3rd Point God has many servants- Isaiah 53 is not Israel- but indeed a different afflicted One who didn’t speak any deceit.
-4th Point Abraham didn’t withhold his Son
-5th God sustained his own Righteousness
-6th Faith and Forgiveness work hand in hand
-7th You can’t prove anything Christ said was wrong
-8th Christianity was made by Hebrew people and not any other race-
Final Point- You can’t Unmask Christianity- God ordained it. We spread his Glory to every region in the world.
Israel is God’s inheritance, and the gentiles have accepted Gods word.
Do you agree that not knowing Hebrew is a problem for you?
God word is spirit. Not secluded to a single language. But I would love to learn Hebrew
Do you agree that you’re ignoring all my arguments?
I feel that you make statements that I respond to. Then I make statements you respond to.
Do you agree that you are pretending that Scripture didn’t provide a simple and clear explanation of Daniel’s vision that has nothing to do with your fantasy?
If you could refute my statements maybe then we could go into fantasy land.
Just type 1 question and I’ll respond and I’ll do the same following with a question.
Say it with me…H.E.B.R.E.W. Is the language of G-D’s people THE JEWS.
Silly,silly xtian. ..You poor soul. HaShem gave TORAH to whom??? The JEWS LOOOOOOOOONG before pagan xtianity was even thought of. NOW, wouldn’t G-D have told moshe about jebus? Doesn’t it say in Devarim that human sacrifices are an ABOMINATION? ??
I am almost ashamed to have been associated with xtians. I started questioning the basic tenants of xtianity,(I NO LONGER follow jebus), and was ironically told that I was “following” satan which I KNOW is a lie. I started reading Rabbi Tovia Singer’s “lets get biblical” books, following Jewish pages on FB, etc and I am SO,SO very glad that I did so. THANK YOU, THANK YOU,THANK YOU HaShem!!!!!
I think that there’s something very fishy about Rabbis working with the pope. Judaism claims that Rome is the enemy, yet there are chief rabbis working with/for the pope. Hmm I wonder why?
Both Isaiah and John in the book of Revelation agree that the ONE GOD has a NEW NAME. To those who believe he has revealed himself to. Isaiah 62:2; Rev 3:12
God is not partial to race, gender or ancestrial birthright. Both Esau and Jacob had the same parents and ancestry. All Noah’s sons had the same ancestry. We all came from Adam. Jacob was a gentile. Gen 25:23. The Hebrew word is ‘goyim’ and means ‘nation.’ Two nations/goyim were in Rebeka’s womb. The same word is rendered in several ways in the KJV (16th century established doctrines) but should always be ‘nations.’ There was never any ethnic ‘Jew.’ There was the nation of Isrealites and the other nations. Jerusalem was an international city where foreigners came and worshipped the one true God. There is no ‘favorites’ with God. We are all brothers and sisters and should not call anyone by a title of authority over us. Matt 23:8-10.
“Both Isaiah and John in the book of Revelation agree that the ONE GOD has a NEW NAME. To those who believe he has revealed himself to. Isaiah 62:2; Rev 3:12”
Please read the whole chapter of Isaiah 62. You will see that “God doesn’t have a new name” but that JERUSALEM will be called a new name. Please read the whole chapter.
12 And they shall call them the holy people, The redeemed of the LORD; and thou shalt be called Sought out, a city not forsaken.
Anna, am I understanding you to say that God did not choose the Jewish nation for a special mission? (Please see Deuteronomy 7:7, Exodus 19:6, Psalm 147:19-20.)
Am I understanding you to say that there is no such thing as a Jewish people? If the Hebrew Bible means anything to you, what does the designation “Jews” in the Book of Esther mean to you? (See Esther 3:6, 10, 13; 4:3, 7, 13, 14, 16 etc.)
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It breaks my heart to hear such dissension among those who say they love God. Should we not be learning from each other instead of discrediting each other? Should we not be sharing the light we have been given that we might glorify Him?
I think that there’s definitely a place for disagreement about serious theological matters. Untruths stop us from seeing clearly, or doing what’s right to the best level we could.
Though, you’re right that we should remember kindness, and what we have in common, always.
Thank you Rabbi Blumenthal, that touched the core of my heart in a very deep deep deep way.
Shalom Rabbi Blumenthal,
Good day .
This perhaps will be the last time that I will be commenting on your blog. I understand that you want those who comment on your blog to respond to the main point of the articles and contents posted here. I am not sure if what I am about to comment is directly related to your article. Forgive me if it is not.
I have been following your blog for 6 years now. Your article , “Christianity Unmasked” , is the one of the first articles that I read here . This article and a few other articles-“The Guilt of Books”, has really had an impact on me . I learnt through your writings that the Church was evil. I learnt the Christian scriptures is responsible for the suffering of the Jewish people, which led to the holocaust. I learnt that as a Christian, I am engaging in a false relationship (worship) . I learnt that the God the Jewish people pray to is the God who hears all prayers and is close to those who call on Him in truth.
In addition I was intrigued by the name you go by in this blog “yourphariseefriend”. I thought I was wrong about the Pharisees and publicly repented of my error in this blog .
I took the risk and left my faith to follow your God. I delved deeply into learning about Christian antisemitism. I spent money-purchasing books on the subject and visited historical sites where acts of terror against the Jewish people took place. I followed Jewish websites like Aish.com, Jews for Judaism and YWN.I started donating to Jewish run websites that propagate Torah knowledge. I followed the articles in your blog and studied the scripture references therein. I participated in the discussions on your blog.I fought sleep to be able to follow online classes on the Talmud late at night these few years.
The results? Instead of calling my God “Father”, I am only able to call Him the “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”. I learnt that God hears the prayers of the Jewish people directly, the prayers of the nations via intermediaries. As a non Jew and a woman , I encounter blessings Jewish men recite for not being created a “Gentile, Slave or a Woman” as I recite prayers to your God from the Jewish Siddur every morning. I encountered problematic texts written by Jewish luminaries like “Derech Hashem”, which further alienates me from God. I learnt that a Gentile is not allowed to learn the Talmud (gemara), after I have been following classes on the Talmud for more than a year. I learnt about major Jewish festivals and observances, but I am forced to treat these days as normal days as I am not Jewish.
I thought I was wrong about the Jewish people. I sought to learn and interact with the Jewish communities and individuals like yourself.I have come to encounter a people so deeply insular about themselves and their relationship with God. Its as though I am being led to worship a national deity, not the God of the Universe. When an observant Jew talks about God, it is only within the context of the Jewish observance even though this Jew knows non Jews form part of his audience. I feel like an poor kid who has to peer through the window in order to listen to a lesson by the teacher, because I cannot afford to go to school . Nobody knew I was standing outside in the cold.
I also encountered a people who want their audience to acknowledge the evils of the Church and the Holocaust. Yet, these same people are not willing to look at problematic texts which disparage those outside the fold of the Covenant. I encountered a people unwilling to acknowledge that there are individuals whose moral compass is able to withstand the negative ideologies prevalent in their communities. I encountered a people unwilling to acknowledge the efforts made by institutions which harmed them in the past , to atone for their mistakes.
Surprisingly, I receive a warm welcome from Messianic Jews when I visit their websites or listen to their presentations. They acknowledge and appreciate Gentile followers of Jesus. They do not have the same hang ups that you have-even though their ancestors has undergone the same level of persecution as yours.
I was robbed of a fulfilling relationship I had when I was in the “false relationship”. There is no promise of salvation, forgiveness and eternal life-which is what the “false relationship” promised in its Scriptures. I grew detached from God’s word- the Bible. I used to be able to draw inspiration from God’s Word. Now this Book is meaningless to me. It is a Book written for the Jewish people alone.
I was disappointed and angered at your empty promises as described in your article “Christianity Unmasked” and in most of your writings. This is reflected in my comments throughout your blog. Where is the God who hears all prayers as you proclaimed in your writings ? I don’t want another non-Jew to fall into the same trap that I did.
In addition, you are presenting Judaism , not as how Jews see it, but in the context of Judaism which refutes the teachings of Christianity. I find a big disparity between the picture of Judaism that you present in the blog and Jews for Judaism youtube videos, with the actual Judaism I come to know through learning the Talmud and following other Jewish websites. Are you presenting an accurate image of Judaism to your audience? I wanted to address this in your blog, but I am not able to do it effectively as most of your articles are touching on Christianity. My comment, based on your policy is not “directly related” to your articles.
I thought Pharisees are bad people. Upon following your blog and interacting with you, I realized I was wrong. However, based on my experiences these few years, I have come to realize that I have been wrong again- you have shut the door of heaven at my face. You do not enter heaven, nor do you let others enter. These are the words Jesus used to describe the Pharisees of His generation. These words are harsh indeed. However, to be honest, I find these words accurately sums up my experience thus far.
I thank you for the opportunity given to me to share my thoughts in your blog these few years . My apologies if this comment offends you. Nevertheless I hope you will allow this comment to remain and not delete it. I hope non Jews who read this article is able to read this comment as well and discern accordingly before they decide on their spiritual destiny. Thank you.
I feel that we’ve talked about some of these things before and I agree with some of the things you wrote. For me though, the question with the church isn’t, “Is it more inclusive?” I can’t accept that there’s enough evidence to be sure that Jesus was God. And if he wasn’t God… then how could the Jews of the Middle Ages have accepted him as the Messiah if he was only really presented to them as a false god? So he couldn’t be the Messiah either.
So to me, he couldn’t be more than a historical teacher of some good ideas. How could he be what Christians say he is?
I’m not convinced either way about whether the Torah is really from God, and I’m not sure if God exists. I’ve learnt so much from aspects of the Jewish tradition and community, but can’t really find the evidence for religion. However, it so happened that one thing that Judaism introduced to the world, and Christianity and Islam spread far and wide, is the concept of monotheism in general: the idea that all things that exist are sustained by one Creator. All three religions have built up their understanding of this together, really, through interfaith discussions over the centuries. And whether one or none of these faith communities is really right in their doctrine, there remains this idea that we may all be made by a loving Creator.
I’d rather hold onto that possibility than try to find acceptance by rejoining the Church, since I find a problem with the evidence base underlying the worship of a man. I’d rather just live without religious words or rituals, and embrace the goodness in the world and in human kindness, knowing that maybe I owe gratitude to God if He is here bringing about all the things that give me joy and strength.
Most Christians would say that’s not enough for salvation. Most Orthodox Jews would say it’s a good step. It doesn’t really matter what they say though; all we can do is ask God to hold and guide us, and then use all the resources we’ve been blessed with, to live as wise and meaningful lives as we can.
Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I know our conversations in this blog as not always been smooth. I sincerely apologize for causing you pain and caused you to refrain from sharing wisdom , knowledge and insight here in the past. I am glad you are continuing to share your wisdom , words of peace and insight in this blog. I have learnt a lot from you. Please continue to shine your light here.
Hi Sharon, thanks for your kind words. I guess we were both reactive due to past pains that we didn’t choose to have in our lives, we can only walk forward in healing 🙂 And support each other’s journeys. All the best with yours.
I think it’s been said before, but no one is infallible in any faith tradition. We can try to glean wisdom from people and communities even when not everything they say seems true.
The other things you mentioned about whether the religious Jewish tradition genuinely promotes the idea of non-Jews being close to God, we’ve talked over before and I won’t bring it all up again. But just one other thing to respond to what you wrote is that I heard that public Talmud classes are ok for anyone to attend; the teachers tailor them to the audience.
I’m just thinking also that the quest of searching for the most inclusive religion can relate to a yearning to be accepted by God. Many of us struggle with the fear of abandonment and rejection. And the apparent silence of God can amplify this.
I think something that helps, in the experience of unknowing, is to hold on to the idea that if there is a loving God, He won’t abandon anyone. Because whether a person is in clear agnosticism or in struggling with doubt while religious, it can be a tumultuous voyage through this question of whether God cares.
This is also where it helps to know that there is kindness and respect all over the world, in every culture and community, and growing in all of us however imperfectly.
Thank you for sharing your perspective on God and how we can relate to Him. You are right, like everyone else, I too yearn for God. I think we can remember the times when we were part of a church or a fellowship . I remember the warmth, acknowledgement and of being accepted for who I am.These are the times when I feel close to God.
Unfortunately I find non Jews either receive limited or no acknowledgement from our Jewish teachers or presenters. I understand if the Jewish teacher is unaware of who is watching his/her content. However on most occassions I find the Jewish teacher is not really engaging with his/her non Jewish audience ,even though the teacher is aware there are non Jews among the audience.
I want to believe in a loving God. However if the Jewish teacher /presenter, i.e God’s representatives for they teach Torah, does not acknowledge me as a person , how then is it possible for me to believe that God love, let alone acknowledge me?
This whole experience affected my belief in a loving God. For the first time in my life, I am not able to pray to God, even during the times when I need Him most. I had never thought that I will come to the point in my life that I cannot pray to God at all . I do not wish for anyone to experience this, which is why I had to speak out.
I will also not rule out the possibility that my background and environment is the reason why I strongly seek out an inclusive religion. I always see myself as a “non XYZ” depending on the situation -a non Muslim, a non Jew. The word “non” is defined as a negation/absence – that I don’t belong to this group.Unfortunately this word has become my identity , like my name. Perhaps this is why inclusivity is so important to me.
That makes a lot of sense. I’ve heard some Orthodox Jews, including Rabbi Blumenthal, say that the community has a long way to go in welcoming people who haven’t converted… and even converts. It hasn’t been so common in the past to have people from other nations join their community meetings.
There are obvious historical reasons for why Jews have been suspicious of people from other nations and religions. I think the terminology ‘non-Jew’ has possibly come into use in a way that was intended to be positive, not negative. It’s an alternative to gentile/goy, trying to avoid giving an individual like us the connotations of persecution, immorality, and exclusion that unfortunately are part of how the nations (goyim) have often appeared to the Jewish community. Or sometimes it’s a reference to not needing to keep specific laws.
But it is a word framed in the negative, and there’s no reason to use it as your identity if that doesn’t serve its intended purpose of being a more positive word. Gentile can be a fine identity if we carry it with more kindness and wisdom. Noahide is a positive name that I think actually is held with respect (and curiosity) by the Jewish community, as long as they perceive that their culture is being respected too. And simply one’s own ethnicity can be used to express identity.
When it comes to identity, there are so many social markers, but deeper than that facade by which we connect with people are these things: the fact that we are each a person, with conscious emotions. The things we value, the connections we have, and the beliefs that form our outlook are all important for our sense of self, but that ‘being a person’ with emotions is a more underlying reality about ourselves… and we all have that in common.
Also, I’m just thinking of something about my dad’s parents. My grandfather was reclusive and said it was he was disappointed in people. My grandmother was so accomodating that she never openly disagreed with him. They were both kind, fun, and loving in their own ways, too; despite the often-controlling environment, they were trying to be safe and keep their family safe.
I need to learn from their experiences. There needs to be more of a middle way, where we have good boundaries but don’t shut everyone out; where we are open to people, but not excessively submissive to gain their approval.
The local Jewish community has been kind and welcoming to me, and that has shaped my outlook on your question. But in truth, many gentiles, including myself, have tended to try to be accepted by being helpful and fitting in.
Why do we do that? Is it because of a sense of nationalistic superiority? Is it because of our own insecurities? Or is it a normal ‘migrant’ response to being a from minority group in that setting, and wanting to show that we can be included?
I’m thinking it may be a bit of each. But to the extent that it comes from the Jewish community claiming superiority, their are two sides to that too. One is dominant nationalism and that is a harmful mistake wherever it appears in the world. But the other motivation is more innocent: they genuinely believe that the Torah is a treasure and that it has preserved and enriched their nation in a supernatural way, which they don’t claim credit for. In that sense, they are just saying that they have been blessed with a precious commodity and want to share it, much like a country with abundant harvests might want to do during a global famine.
Maybe I could have been clearer with the use of the word facade… I didn’t mean it in the sense of being fake, but just to say that we construct identities to help people see how we want to be related to. These can really reflect who we are. But underlying that is something that is even more ‘ourselves’: just our emotional experiences.
And we can connect with others on that level, too; with good boundaries and respect (to avoid being enmeshed in each other’s emotions), we as mammals really do intuitively pick up and respond to each other’s emotional experiences. And we use language and metaphors for that too. The main thing is just to see and respect each other as people, even while at the same time there are individuating elements of our social identities and personal memories/values.
I think that you will find there are lots of instances of genuine respect for other humans in the Jewish community.
But in the end, we are all humans, and if God is here then His love isn’t limited to our level. Even if He speaks through the Jewish nation and their history, He would not be limited to the mistakes of individuals or groups. And they aren’t advocating the worship of a national god; they’re just pointing beyond themselves to the Creator, the same God as all monotheism points to.
Thank you for sharing the Jewish community understanding of the term “non Jew”. Although it is framed in the negative, it does not mean I should see it as a negative.I appreciate your spirit of inclusivity. I too hold that we should appreciate Christianity and Islam as spreading the concept of monotheism to a wider audience.
I think its best that we address the main points of “Christianity Unmasked” in our comments . This article is displayed prominently in the blog.It is a jarring and eye opening article . I am not sure what was Rabbi Blumenthal’s motivation when he wrote this piece. He stated in the article that he is a Jew and his religious background gives him a unique perspective of Christianity. Did he wrote this article primarily to take revenge on an institution that had shut the mouth of the Jewish people? Or is this article written to educate his readers about Christianity?
I don’t deny the truth he is conveying to his audience, however there is a big difference between speaking truth in love or out of spite. The manner in which the message is conveyed is equally important as the message itself as this will evoke a different set of response from the recipient of the message . I can’t help but sensing a spirit of vengefulness behind the words of this piece the first time I read it-which is very obvious from the article’s opening statement.
This article has a huge impact on me and it framed my outlook on Christianity and the Jewish people.However I have come to realise that this article does not describe these truths in full. Rabbi Blumenthal focus on the evils of Christianity and did not delve on what Jewish tradition actually teaches about the elements which he disavow in Christianity. As a reader, I had to learn these things on my own .
I come to learn that yes, Jewish tradition basically upholds that we are created in the image of God- but there are distinctions in the soul of the Jew vs the non Jew. The Jewish Scriptures does proclaim that God is able to forgive without a blood sacrifice- however there are more detailed nuances and distinctions about this in Jewish tradition, with atonement being largely achieved through the life blood of sacrificial animals when the temple was standing . Jewish tradition states that a non Jew is indeed judged on Rosh Hashana, but there are no opportunities available for the non Jew to appeal for a lenient decree.
Rabbi Blumenthal stated that the Church exploited man’s longing to connect with God, when the Jewish Scriptures clearly state that God is approachable. However, again there are many nuances about this in Jewish tradition. The Jewish tradition focus exclusively on the relationship between the Jewish nation and God. There are no clear teachings on the nature of relationship which is possible between man in general and God.
Rabbi Blumenthal wrote about the Church neutralizing the Jewish Scriptures , ignoring its literary structure and presents its own version on the highlights of the Jewish Scriptures. This is true. However I am confused with the Sages deriving rulings by associating a word or phrase in one verse with another. I find that the Sages (Tannaim/Amoraim) interpretation of verses in Scripture differs significantly from the plain meaning of the text. As a result , I have come to rely more on the meaning of the verse as expounded by the Sages over its plain meaning in Scripture. I hold the words of men about a verse in Scripture as more important than what God is saying to me in the same verse.
It seems Rabbi Blumenthal is concerned about the power of words to inspire hate. He is critical about the Church teaching non Jews that Jews are God killers and liars. I fully acknowledge that this myth has brought harm to the Jewish people.Perhaps Rabbi Blumenthal is not aware of efforts made by the Catholic Church to rectify its mistakes- such as reviewing its liturgy and removing communal prayers that disparage the Jew.
I wonder why the Rabbinical authority does not review the wording of blessings that bless God for not creating one as a Gentile, slave or a woman. The non Jews of today are far more civilized and God fearing than the non Jews the Sages interacted with 2000 years ago. Slavery has been outlawed. The status of women generally has been elevated compared to the era of the Jewish sages. Perhaps Rabbi Blumenthal should look into this.
I don’t deny the truth of the message Rabbi Blumenthal is conveying in “Christianity Unmasked”. However I am concerned that Rabbi Blumenthal is speaking these truths more out of spite than out of love . Through my journey of Judaism, I have come to realize that there is more to the truths that Rabbi Blumenthal is conveying in this article. There are distinctions and nuances one should consider , which in itself is important.
I can only write a quick reply at the moment… I haven’t read this article lately.
I can’t really speak for R Blumenthal either except to say that I don’t believe he is only opposing Christianity because of past persecution. And it isn’t merely out of spite. The way I understand his main reason for opposing Christianity is that the worship of Jesus can obscure our experience of the Creator. He believes that clarity in this issue brings light to people’s awareness of reality.
If you travel around the Jewish communities of the world, you will find imperfection and have disappointing experiences; you’ll find people who are wary of you or forget to include you; you’ll hear ideas that imply that Jews are more important than Gentiles. But you’ll also find people who welcome you and want to learn from you; people who remember (either personally or collectively) the experience of being in a minority group, and consciously support you because of that; people who believe wholeheartedly that we are all equal. You will find experiences of warm and inclusive community.
No one is perfect, not ourselves and not others, but you will certainly find welcome and equality among both Jewish communities and Jewish traditions.
The blessings of not being a women, Gentile or slave are, according to one opinion, about gratitude for the freedom to be responsible for more mitzvot. And they are phrased in the negative so they don’t come across so proudly.
Something else… Christians believe that everyone who doesn’t convert to their religion is in darkness. Judaism doesn’t teach that. They have a concept of righteous Gentiles, even among those of other religions. It is actually a compliment that Jews believe not everyone needs to convert. They may see righteous Gentiles as an exception to the norm in their experience, but they also see people having a close connection with God even outside their community, even without knowing or sharing their beliefs.
And there’s another motivation for this blog, in that it is anti-missionary; it’s a response to the (often obfuscated or dishonest) attempts of Christians to convert Jews.
The Church now has many people who are a lot less antisemitic and can see some of the horrible things that have been done in the name of Christianity. They now teach that both Israel and the Church are important. But they still see religious Jews as opposing God, they still teach about ‘spiritual blindness’, and these beliefs can kindle a new kind of antisemitism too. One in which ‘the Jews’ are loved sentimentally seen as supernatural/exotic/special in a way, but also at the same time their culture and their teachers are seen as enemies of God. And then massive efforts are put into emotionally-driven evangelism, particularly targetting vulnerable people. Jews for Judaism as an organisation exists because they believe that when Jews are converted to Christianity, it causes a lot of pain: spiritual harm, taking them away from their community, and removing their descendants from their heritage.
This isn’t spite, it’s an emergency response.
But I’ve found most often in these writings the feeling of wanting to be able to share the light of seeking God without having a false incarnation claimant in the way.
The idea that God was personally present in one man’s personality, in a way that was more ‘God with us’ than anything else in the world, actually decreases our sense of God being personally and sustainingly present in all things.
Judaism does teach that the revealed experience of His presence is especially focused in certain places and events. But the incarnation claim of Christianity is different: that God’s presence in Jesus was a personal closeness not experienced anywhere else. The Church came to see in Jesus not just God’s hand acting miraculously in events, or His glory being expressed, or His words, or the ‘breath’ of Him drawing personally near. Instead, many Christians say that an incarnation of God meant that God was relationally present in him differently from anywhere else.
How about our hearts though? According to monotheism, everything including our deepest consciousness clings and rests directly on our Creator for continued existence. That’s the understanding R Blumenthal wants to share. But it’s obscured by the idea that God Himself (not just His revealed presence) was uniquely present in a historical person and his relationships with the people who met him. If this teaching isn’t true then it hurts us, by making us feel that the world is more distant from God, and by turning our worship of Him towards a particular person… instead of away from all things in the earth, sea, and sky, which is the main message Judaism brought to the world.
I’ve heard one Christian say that ‘waiting for Jesus to return’ does not mean waiting for God to be more present in the earth than He is via the Holy Spirit. Maybe this person doesn’t believe that Jesus’ physical body or the finite aspects of his personality were ‘fully God and fully man’. But I’m not sure that fits with normal Christian beliefs, nor does it seem possible for a Christian to really believe that on an emotional level. And believing that the finite aspects of a human body and personality /were/ God, rather than believing that they were a vessel for God’s presence, is something that dims our perception of how close God’s presence /through/ the finite world can really be to us.
Thank you for responding to my comment. I understand that you and I have different spiritual journeys and we see God differently. It seems you have a more positive journey in understanding Judaism and Jews than I.
You shared that Judaism have a concept of righteous gentiles. I think we need to define clearly what is the definition of righteous gentiles. Does Judaism recognize an upright person who happens to be an idolater as a righteous Gentile? I don’t think Jewish tradition recognize this.
Recently I attended the Catholic Mass .I invoked the Trinitarian formula, pray to Jesus, recited the Nicene Creed and bowed before the Eucharist. I listened to the word of God. I know that this worship is not ideal , but I find a kind of peace which I had not experienced in a long time. Am I condemned for knowingly engaging in a false worship even though I am an upright person?
If Judaism indeed holds that a person is considered a righteous gentile by his/her deeds alone regardless of belief, then why the need for Rabbi Blumenthal to write this article?
I think it’s true we’re seeing from different perspectives, but I’m not defending Judaism or Jewish communities as perfect or true or ideal. I just feel that we can’t throw all the wisdom of their tradition out when we question parts of it… and that includes the their assertion that worshiping a man as God incarnate is hurtful. I may not be convinced about any religion, but I’m also not convinced by the huge negations made by scientific materialism. The monotheism of Israelite religion (and reflected in Christianity and Islam too) gives us, at the very least, important reminders, such as that
-the supernatural may be so close to us that we can’t see anything except in and through it;
-all people and things in this world are equal, regardless of their size or splendour;
-we can freely enjoy all wise expressions of beauty and goodness in the world, while also remaining humble that the bigger picture is more than we know.
Judaism helps make monotheism clearer, and in that way, I find it lets light in to my searching. There are also other wisdoms in the tradition that are worth valuing.
As well as that, I feel this conversation is important to work through because in the context of history, antisemitism is so easily stirred up that we need to really avoid the practice of either idealising or anti-idealising Jewish people or communities. In bushland where I live, you can’t leave broken glass lying around because on a hot, windy, summer day, even a small piece glass can start huge bushfires. No teaching is beyond our questioning or disagreement, but we need to be careful not to cast anyone as a perfect ‘other’ opposite ourselves, either in glorifying or vilifying them.
Christians haven’t been given the title of righteous Gentiles in the context of discussing whether Jews can drink wine handled by them, for example, in order to avoid contact with idolatry. But Christians have been formally recognised by the Jewish community more broadly as righteous for their help in WW2, for example. Judaism doesn’t teach original sin, so it teaches that everyone can naturally access goodness and turn to God. Even the Hebrew wisdom tradition, where wisdom is seen as a partner of God in leading people in the right path, is derived largely from other nations’ wisdom traditions. That said, even though they haven’t felt safe to proselytise for many centuries, they still believe the world can learn to know better and thus do better.
I’ll reply later to the feeling of peace that you described in church, I can’t keep writing now. Thanks for sharing that experience, I can relate to it too in many ways. and have a few thoughts that you may or may not find relevant.
Hi Annelise ,
Please ignore the above comment. We have had these discussions before and it did not end well. I don’t think we want to go there again.
I do acknowledge that you and other commenters in the blog , including Rabbi Blumenthal had addressed my concerns in other discussion threads in this blog. There is no basis for me to bring these concerns again. My apologies.
I would like to move forward from this, hence I am taking steps to return to the Catholic faith. I would like to reconnect with God as how I used to understand Him and to connect again with the Bible. I understand that this is not the ideal way, but it is the best option available.
Thank you once again and all the best.
Hi Sharon, I’ll just share what I was going to write at the end of my last comment.
I think that sometimes the logical parts of our brains can be so authoritarian that the emotional and intuitive parts of ourselves feel trapped and stifled. We do this to protect ourselves from pain, but it ends up in a rebellion from the emotional side and we find that the heart and mind can’t work together.
Something that I’ve learnt about recently that really helps is to take less of a top-down approach, and work more to settle the undercurrents of our thoughts. It is helpful to tell ourselves logical ideas that seem wise and balanced, and rationality does have the job of guarding and leading the heart. Yet at the same time, often the turmoil is happening in the nervous system and the emergency centres of the brain. So instead of just thinking about what to do, we need to take our distress as a cue to find ways to settle and care for ourselves.
Sometimes, we need a distraction (ideally a healthy one). Sometimes, we feel able to weather out the emotions and process them. To support that, anything that helps with sensory and emotional regulation of the nervous system can be what we need to focus on bringing more into our lives. And this can bring us to a state where our logical and emotional parts are cooperating more peacefully.
When I was a Christian, one of my favourite authors was C. S. Lewis. He was a colleague of J. R. R. Tolkien and I loved the way they used the imagery and atmosphere in a story to express theological and philosophical ideas. He described his experience of returning from WW1 to university in England, at a time when Modernism was popular, and the academia around him believed nothing but atoms and evolution were truly real. He wrestled with the validity of the vast emotions he felt while reading poetic and mythological literature, and he found it hard to believe that the medieval European tradition should be thrown out part and parcel. I think this is part of why he turned to Christianity: because it had a better balance of valuing rationality and emotion.
He seems to have symbolised this in his most well-known story, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The ice queen had made it always winter and never Christmas in this world, and she was punishing people by turning them to stone. By the end of the story, the lion (representing Jesus) travelled around joyfully breathing warm air on everyone and bringing them back to life and colour and springtime. This was preceded by Father Christmas arriving with festivities and gifts, even before it was safe for him to do so. C. S. Lewis felt that Christianity represented liberation from the cold rigidity of believing in science alone, yet without ending up in shifting sands of hedonism or apathy either.
With Judaism it’s different, there is a rich tradition where both logic and emotion can be valued and validated in many ways. But there’s still a sense of prohibition, both in the laws and in the ideas, that can stir demand avoidance in us. More so if our previous religious values were so deeply entwined with the most treasured experiences we’ve had of community, culture, and imaginative or emotional significance.
For me, leaving Christianity was extremely hard because of the anxiety that I might be wrong, and the way my friendships changed. But realising I couldn’t be sure enough to convert to Judaism either has been harder. I’ve been able to let go of attachment to Jesus, and see the possibility of God, redemption, kindness, and beauty as being able to be found outside the Church. But not feeling certain about being able to pray is really hard, and not having the foundation of a religious language, community, culture and history to stand on is something that makes me feel sometimes extremely constrained by responsibility to logic.
At these times, I need to give myself space for the very difficult feelings of sadness about loss, both for the things that are clearly lost and the yearnings that are so ambiguous as to whether they will ever be fulfilled. And realise that the moments of most anxiety and distress don’t last forever… and that over time, we can heal and find more glimmers of peace settling in our outlook, and anchoring us.
The Christian community can be beautiful, but sadly we aren’t included the same when we aren’t part of their unified voice and mission. Loneliness is painful. Also, Christianity has these messages of God understanding our suffering, and the redemption of the world having already been completed in one sense, and set in motion in another. These ‘myths’ work on the human imagination at a deep level, especially when they are part of our upbringing.
You don’t need to chain up your heart, though. I believe that there is so much goodness to be found outside the Church that our hearts can be enticed by what is wise and truly full, like a moth that has recognised real moonlight; even more than by what is alluring yet empty. We don’t have to try to drive on an empty task. This world is an amazing place, and in the big picture, alongside the pain there is also joy. This can include friendships with Christians, and learning from them, but without agreeing with all their theology. That’s really a boundary that true friends need to be able to respect.
In the end, you can forge your path in the way you need to. Naaman was forced to go to the temple of Rimmon and bow down, but he didn’t worship. Perhaps your middle ground for now is attending church just as an observer. I don’t know what your road is, but I really wish you the peace that you’re searching for so earnestly. For me, I still like to find the parts of the Christian tradition that don’t specifically reference Jesus, because there’s a lot of depth in all those people’s experiences and they are my ancestors as well.
PS I didn’t mean that God understanding our suffering is a myth. I just meant the Christian explanation that He knows because of having been a human too. That’s an emotionally resonant story, but myths can conceal just as well as they can reveal.
No one can answer the question of why there is suffering if God loves us. But I think God could understand our pain just by being the One who made us. It is a harder answer. But there is still comfort, love, and light.
Shalom Rabbi Blumenthal,
My apologies for posting the above comment. I deeply regret my statement accusing you for shutting the door of heaven at my face. My deepest apologies.
I acknowledge that you have addressed my concerns in the above comment in our conversations throughout the blog. I apologize for bringing up these concerns again in this thread.
Thank you for your patience and all the best
Sharon, in your writing, I hear a lot of pain. Your journey has taken you on a roller coaster of emotions, and I can imagine what it must be like. I too have had to question some of my deeply-held assumptions; and, yes, this has resulted in a cooling of relations among those I still consider to be dear friends. I yearn for the easy camaraderie we had in the past, but it will never be the same.
It saddens me that in your search you have drawn the wrong conclusions. Annelise rightly pointed out that over-idealizing the Jewish community creates pitfalls that lead to anti-Semitism. The Jewish community is not perfect, and Jews are humans like everyone else. Some of the Jews I know are the kindest, humblest, most loving, and gentle people you’ll ever meet. Some are plain jerks. And the rest are everything in between. Everyone in my family and nearly everyone in my social circle is Jewish, so I know of whom I speak. I suspect that most of your acquaintances–not your online acquaintances but real-life, flesh-and-blood acquaintances–are not Jewish. This might make it easier to fall into the trap of either romanticizing or othering Jews.
I must express my bafflement, however, that your objections–which apply to Christianity to an even greater degree–have led you right back to Christianity.
Although I have addressed your concerns many times, I will review some points that are important to consider. These are sensitive issues, and if what I write angers or hurts you in any way, I ask your forgiveness, for that is never my intent. I wish only to understand and to clarify.
Let us compare the writings of Christians to the writings of Jews within their historical context.
To start with, the Christian New Testament vilifies the Jewish people in a way that cannot be compared to any criticism of gentiles in any holy book of the Jewish people, Scriptural or otherwise. If unkind words about gentiles in Jewish writings disturb you, how much more so should you be disturbed by the vicious invective that Christians have poured out against the Jewish people–an invective that bore poisonous fruit whose ill effects are still felt today. You have read about the horror borne by those fruits. And you know that in return, the Jews have, over and over again, turned the other cheek.
From the early Church Fathers to Martin Luther to the twentieth century, Christian writers have used gallons of ink to demonize the Jews. The Jews had never wronged them, yet the bile flowed. Conversely, while the Jews had suffered enormously and continually at the hands of Christians, there is very little criticism of Christians in Jewish writings. To call this restraint would be to understate the case. It is quite remarkable. If nothing else, that should elicit your admiration, not your condemnation.
Over the centuries, while Jews witnessed Christians persecute each other and suffered persecution themselves, they could be excused for pulling inward toward insularity (though Christians helped by forcing them to live apart in ghettos). Please remember that the last great tragedy of the Jewish people occurred a very short while ago, and there are people still alive today can testify to it. With anti-Semitism rising again all over the world and even in the United States (the hostage crisis in Texas less than a month ago, for example), insularity is an all-too-human reaction.
It is not true that Jews ignore the steps toward reconciliation that the Christian church has taken–but with one in every four Jews experiencing anti-Semitism, can we not be forgiven for allowing our fear the greater expression? That said, we express gratitude for Christian help and support in many ways, such as the many monuments and commemorations celebrating the efforts of Christians and others to save Jewish lives during the Holocaust. For example, read about the undertaking of Yad Vashem to honor them (https://www.yadvashem.org/righteous/about-the-program.html?gclid=CjwKCAiAo4OQBhBBEiwA5KWu_35xH4XzIbZXjJtdMe1sZAhnp0s8ZnYGovUYq4If64kgJd5PvdQqsRoCVfQQAvD_BwE).
Another of your complaints touches on the particularism of Judaism. Your error here is profound. Judaism is the only one of the Abrahamic religions that does not require conversion to Judaism or acceptance of our specific belief system in order to gain access to heaven, thus making it the most universalist of all the biblical faiths. In Christianity, no matter your personal conduct, no matter your belief in God, you are going to hell unless you accept Jesus as your lord and savior. According to this belief, the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust are all in hell now, along with victims of the Inquisition and other atrocities. On the other hand, the Christians who inflicted these deaths are all in heaven.
Whatever you have seen about the Jewish view of heaven, surely you know that there isn’t general agreement on this matter, because what exactly happens in the afterlife, who gets to go there, etc., is simply not important in Judaism. We believe that God will sort it all out. We also believe that He is compassionate and merciful as well as just, so if you do the right thing as best as you know how, even if you are wrong, He will take all that into consideration. We don’t believe we get to decide who gets into heaven.
That said, there are many positive Talmudic teachings on this topic. I will try to find them and post them below.
Finally, it is simply not true that Judaism holds that the nations of the world can pray to God only through an intermediary. In fact, that is a direct contradiction of Jewish belief. It is called avodah zarah b’shituf, which is the label applied to Christianity. Judaism holds that this type of worship is forbidden to gentiles but it is a lesser sin than pure idolatry. Gentiles pray directly to God just as well as Jews.
In rejecting the views of a religion that gives different roles to Jews and gentiles in worshipping God and that offers teachings that might be mildly offensive to gentiles who persecuted its followers, you find peace in a religion that damns the souls of five billion inhabitants of the planet and whose Scripture and other revered writings viciously tear down a people that has done it no harm. Where is the sense in that?
I believe, Sharon, that while you may have docked your boat, your journey is not yet over.
Here are some of the teachings I promised above to post:
The righteous of all nations will have a share in the world of eternal bliss (Tosefta Sanhedrin, XIII:2).
If a pagan prays and evokes God’s name, Amen must be said (Jerusalem, Berachos, 8).
Antonius once asked Rabbi Judah the Prince, “Will I have a share in the world to come?” To which the latter replied, “Yes.” “But is it not written, ‘Nothing will remain in the house of Esau’?” “True,” Rabbi Judah answered, “but only if they do the deeds of Esau” (Avodah Zarah 10b).
No one can become a Kohen or Levite unless he is so born. But if anyone wishes to become a holy and religious man, he can do so even though he is a pagan. Kindness, holiness, and piety are not hereditary and are not the possession of an exclusive race or nation. Justice and piety are acquired through one’s own deeds (Numbers Rabba, 8).
Heaven and earth I call to be witnesses, be it non-Jew or Jew, man or woman, man-servant or maid-servant, according to the work of every human being does the holy spirit rest upon him (Yalkut, Section 42).
Whether Israelite or heathen, if he only executes a righteous deed, God will recompense him for it (Tanna Devai Eliyahu, Section 13).
Thank you for sharing your thoughts about my recent comments.
I understand you may be disappointed and saddened that I am taking steps to return to the faith whose scriptures vilifies the Jewish people, even though I am aware of it. However , my decision to return to the Catholic faith is not because of my grievances with Jews or what I learned in Judaism. Rather , I realize I have judged Jesus solely based on what Jews and Muslims have to say about Him . I have not listened to the voices of Christians and the Church. When I started listening to these voices, I realized that there is a logical basis to why Christians worship Jesus . I found similarities in Jewish observances and Catholic rituals , which makes me appreciate the Catholic faith even more.
In addition , I realize that there is something lacking in my relationship with the God that the Jewish people are praying to-and this lack is due to factors beyond my control. I can choose to accept the state of my relationship with the God of the Jewish people, or I can choose to look at Jesus. I have ignored Jesus all this while. Perhaps I should emulate the characters of the Gospels who look to Jesus to heal them of their sicknesses/infirmities .
You stated that Judaism is the only one of the Abrahamic religions that does not require conversion to Judaism or acceptance of your specific belief system in order to gain access to heaven. You stated that avodah zarah b’shituf is a label applied to Christianity , which is a lesser sin than pure idolatry. However at the same time you are concerned that I find peace in my faith. It seems all faiths are acceptable in your view except for Christianity. I understand the harm Christianity has done to the Jewish people. What I don’t understand is why a non Jew like me should not seek solace in this faith. Perhaps you can clarify.
I’ll guess that Dina would be just as concerned if you decided to worship idols of any religion while saying that you know they aren’t really deserving of that worship. I don’t think she’s describing an attitude that’s only against Christianity, but against any idolatry.
I think we all just want to say that it’s helpful to try and keep our beliefs and our choices aligned.
If you feel certain enough that Jesus was God, then the consistent choice is to follow Christian worship. Maybe you do feel that Christianity makes enough sense to follow it as truth, and if that’s the case then the rest of this comment isn’t relevant.
But you’ve said a few times that you want to worship Jesus even while not thinking it’s the right way to worship God. That’s a very truthful thing to say, in a way… because it would be easier to just pretend from the outset that your beliefs fit the path you want to take. Many people do that, and it’s convenient to mould our doctrine to our emotions.
When we feel unbearably trapped by logic, we may choose not to follow it. I think it’s more honest to admit it if we’re doing that, rather than forgetting or ‘adapting’ logic altogether.
Still, if you consider all the pros and cons of false worship, I think you may feel that the costs outweigh the benefits. And if what you’re saying is that you’re willing to worship someone as God who isn’t God, because the emotional relief of practicing the Christian faith makes it worthwhile, then that isn’t really Christian belief anyway. Christians only advocate worshiping Jesus in context of their belief in the incarnation.
That said, I think you still have multiple options that don’t involve worshiping a man as God if you don’t believe he’s God. It’s totally up to you to consider whether any option is enough for you.
You can try to find inclusiveness, friendship and community in other ways, even in non-religious friendships, community events, or volunteering. Some of the aesthetics of church you can find in other settings, such as music performances.
If that isn’t bearable, it is technically possible to attend church without worshiping. Thousands of religious Jews have done this over the centuries, because they were hiding their Jewish faith to save their lives and/or they were considering joining Christianity. Even though friends at church will hope you will accept Christianity, and express a lot of joy and welcome towards people who do, so and there will be a lot of emotional incentive to do so… you still don’t have to if you don’t believe it’s rationally accurate. You can still be their friend and even attend/observe their services without professing Christianity.
It is also possible to have love for Jesus, Mary, and the Catholic saints while seeing them as humans without worshiping any of them as God. Even speaking to them in heaven is not precisely the same as praying to them as God.
If all other options feel utterly impossible in your circumstances, then being part of a Christian community, finding peace in a church service, etc. are possible to do without actually professing Christianity. To an extreme, I would even say it’s possible for your body and words to go through the motions of Catholic worship yet without your heart worshiping Jesus. I wouldn’t recommend that at all, but I’m trying to sift the options down to the micrometer level. I think that because of the situation you’re in, it’s important to know this: that if you are doing or saying the actions and words of a Catholic service, you can technically still, at the same time, not be worshiping Jesus in your heart. And you can technically adore the Eucharist as something you find beautiful or awesome, yet without worshiping it as God.
Obviously it would be very easy to cross the line to false worship if doing these things. It’s the opposite of having fences to guard from crossing fences. It isn’t something a religious Jew would advise anyone to do, and I wouldn’t advise it either. But I think it’s infinitely better than choosing to worship Jesus without believing him to be God, so if (and only if) you’re totally sure you’re going to participate in Catholicism… then I personally think these are some options you can keep in mind if you find them helpful. Only you can weigh the pros and cons of each one for yourself.
I should actually be clearer that I think some of these options are harmful in numerous ways, both definite and potential. But if someone absolutely decides to go along with a Christian worship service for whatever reason, then refraining from the worship at a heart level is less harmful.
It hurts us at the deepest level if we submit to another human, or a human-made philosophy, as if they have ultimate authority over us.
That’s what worshiping Jesus (or any other person or thing) involves doing, if he isn’t actually a literal embodiment of God.
Hi Dina & Annelise,
I would very much like to put this conversation to rest. Kindly ignore my earlier comment.
That’s fine Sharon, all the best.
Sharon, I’m not sure how you reached the conclusion that I’m fine with all faiths except Christianity. I focused on Christianity because that is the religion under discussion. That said, the point of my comment was that your complaints about Judaism apply much more strongly and intensely to Christianity, so how can that bring you peace? I think we’re not quite understanding each other, and that’s okay.
I respect your request to end the conversation here and wish you luck on your journey.