The Guilt of Books

The Guilt of Books

 

Books don’t commit crimes, people do. If we are going to discuss the guilt or innocence of a given book, we need to first define and delineate what the discussion is going to be about.

 

There is no discussion about the commitment of the crime. It happened and it is still happening. People are still using the canards of the Christian Scriptures to delegitimize, dehumanize and to create an unjust negative image of the Jewish people and their beliefs. This is not open to discussion, this is a fact of history and it is a fact of life.

 

The question that is being discussed is the question of the intent of the authors of the Christian Scriptures. If the authors of the Christian Scriptures had no malicious intent then we cannot rightly accuse them of criminal activity. Perhaps they were negligent, perhaps they were foolishly naïve, but in order to determine that they were participants in the crimes of Christian Europe we will need to demonstrate malicious intent.

 

There are a few concepts that need to be set aside before this discussion can take on any meaning. For those who are convinced that the origin of the Christian Scripture is divine, then this discussion can have no meaning. For those people, and for many centuries this was the outlook of Christian Europe, virtue and sin is defined according to the Christian Scriptures. So if the Christian Scriptures dehumanize the Jew, then it is virtuous to dehumanize the Jew and it is sinful to consider the Jew human. If this is the outlook then there can be no discussion about the guilt of the Christian Scriptures.

 

Fortunately, we live in an age where most people recognize that if the Christian Scripture had an intentional hand in the crimes committed by Christian Europe toward the Jewish people, then that book cannot be divine. This then is the basis for our discussion.

 

Another concept that needs to be defined if not set aside is the idea of seeing a book as an entity that stands alone. Until the Protestant Reformation, no one saw the books of the Christian Scriptures as the sole authority on Christianity. It was understood and accepted that the attitudes and teachings passed on by the body of believers in Jesus were the heart and soul of Christianity. The books of the Christian Scriptures were part and parcel of the total outlook, but no one dreamed of seeing them as an entity that stands apart from the community that birthed them.

 

With the rise of the Reformation, the theoretical concept that became popular was that it is only what is written in the book that defines Christianity and no other body is authorized to define Christianity. I say that this concept is theoretical simply because it is not practiced by any denomination of Protestant Christianity. Every denomination of Protestantism accepts beliefs and attitudes from the community that preceded it, at least as they relate to the makeup of the Christian Scriptures.

 

This theory is relevant to our discussion because if Scripture alone is authorized to define Christianity then whoever it is that we are talking to can easily say that his or her interpretation of Scripture is the only accurate interpretation and therefore all of our findings are meaningless. This argument makes it that much more difficult to demonstrate the guilt of the Christian Scriptures because we now need to demonstrate the guilt of the book according to the interpretation of the individual we are addressing.

 

The fact is that the Christian Scriptures are so guilty, that even with our hands tied behind our back we can still demonstrate the guilt of this book.

 

One more concept needs to be clarified before we begin. A book is not a product of an individual it is a product of a community. Yes, individuals write books, but without the community the books would disappear into oblivion. If the community does not find in the book something that speaks to its heart, or if the community finds the book distasteful, then the book will never be copied and the future generations will never know that it existed.

 

With all of these concepts in place we can now proceed to the trial. What is the accusation that we bring against the authors and the community that birthed the Christian Scriptures? We are not accusing them of directly instructing their posterity to commit the crimes of the Inquisition, the holocaust and the centuries of cruel persecution of the Jewish people. But we are accusing them of laying the groundwork for those crimes.

 

Before Christian Europe began persecuting the Jew, they first saw the Jew as an entity that stood apart from the rest of humanity. In the mind of the Christian, the Jew was guilty of heinous crimes against God and against humanity, the Jew had a different spiritual nature than other people and the Jewish rejection of Jesus was rooted in the inherently evil nature of the Jew. The Christian also believed that all of these evil qualities of the Jew were taught by the teachers of Judaism as if they were the highest virtues. The Inquisition, the pogroms and the holocaust would not have been possible if the European would not have first believed that the Jew and Judaism were children of the Devil.

 

There is no question that this description of the Jew and of Judaism is recorded in the Christian Scriptures. This is how generations of Christian teachers understood the words of the Christian Scriptures and this is how they taught it to those who would listen to them. As the horrors of the holocaust became clear, many Christians recoiled from this interpretation of the Christian Scriptures. The modern claim is that this was not the original intent of the authors when they wrote those words.

 

Another defense thrown up by those trying to cling to the righteousness of these books is that the Hebrew Scriptures also speak ill of the Jews. Christian Europe also used the writings of the Jewish prophets to dehumanize and to delegitimize the Jewish people.

 

At this point we need to introduce another accusation against the community of people who believe in Jesus. This community usurped the Jewish Scriptures and wrenched them out of their original context. It is only when the Jewish Scriptures are read in the unnatural context of Christianity that they can be misused to dehumanize the Jew. And here is where our story begins.

 

What community was it that produced the Christian Scriptures? Who were the enemies of this community and what challenges did they face? How did this community define themselves and the world around them?

 

The community that produced the Christian Scriptures was a community that saw belief in Jesus as the most important factor in defining a human being. They defined themselves according to that belief and they defined others according to their lack of belief in Jesus.

 

Belief in Jesus means believing in him as the Messiah predicted by the prophets of Judaism. Now the Jews, by and large, did not believe in Jesus. This created an obvious problem for the community of Jesus believers. And this community was strongly motivated to dehumanize the Jew and to claim that the natural instincts of the Jew are evil and that as children of darkness they cannot come to the “light.” Furthermore, this community was motivated to teach that the Jew cannot understand his own Bible. It is only the believer in Jesus whose eyes are “opened” to the truth of the Jewish Bible. But the Jew’s heart and eyes are closed to the truth.

 

These were the teachings of the early community of believers in Jesus concerning the Jew and this is reflected in the writings of that community, including the Christian Scriptures. The criticism of the Jew in the Christian Scripture was never read as an internal self-criticism of the community of Jesus believers. It is still not read in that sense, even by those who would disassociate the crimes of Christian Europe from this set of books. Until today, the negative words that the Christian Scriptures has for the Jew are read as an explanation for the Jewish rejection of Jesus.

 

The criticism of the Jewish people that is found in the Jewish Scriptures was also read by the Christian community as a criticism of their theological opponents. Even when the Church taught that the Christian had replaced the Jew in the covenantal relationship with God, still the Christian never read the censure of the Jewish prophets as a criticism of the Christian community. The Christian always read the criticism of the Jewish prophets as a declaration of the evil of those who stand on the other side of the divide; those who don’t believe in Jesus.

 

The true context of the Jewish scriptures is entirely different. The prophets themselves declare that the Jewish Scriptures were given to the Jewish people to the exclusion of any other entity (Psalm 147:19,20). The Jews have always read the censure of Isaiah and Jeremiah as internal self-criticism and they still read them that way. They never read these words as a description of their theological enemies.  To compare the criticism of the Jews found in the Jewish Scriptures with the caricature of Jews and Judaism found in the gospels is to compare good with evil. The one was always read by its target audience as self-criticism while the other was always read by its target audience as the dehumanization of their theological challengers.

 

But it didn’t have to be like this. The early community of believers in Jesus was faced with a challenge. The theological doctrines that they held most dear were rejected by the Jewish people and this rejection was not easily dismissed. After all, it was the Jewish people who were waiting for the Messiah so why did they reject the Messianic claims of Jesus? The community of believers in Jesus needed to formulate some type of response to this Jewish rejection. They needed to explain to themselves as well as to others why it is that the Jewish people could not agree that Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophecies.

 

At this juncture, the followers of Jesus had several paths open to them. They could have simply ignored the Jewish people and their claims and remained silent (“turn the other cheek”). Or they could have restated their case for the Messiah-ship of Jesus with greater clarity, attempting to assess what it is that the Jewish people don’t understand about their claims (“do unto others as you would have done unto yourself”). If the followers of Jesus had chosen either of these paths then the history of the Jewish people would have been that much different. There would have been no holocaust, no Inquisition, and the life of millions of Jews would have been so much more peaceful.

 

But the community of Jesus believers took a different path. They took the path of hatred and slander. They came up with fantastic theories that delegitimize the Jew’s opinion and discount the arguments of the Jew before they can be heard. The Jesus centered community taught their followers that the God centered community loved lies and hated truth. That they enjoyed murder and their religion was legalistic, cruel, hypocritical and arrogant. As blind children of darkness and the devil, there is no reason to take the arguments of the Jew seriously. This then was the path chosen by the community of Jesus believers; the path of delegitimizing and hating their theological opponents.

 

Hatred of the Jew and Judaism remained a hallmark of the community of Jesus believers. The subsequent writings of that community are all laced with deep antagonism towards Jews and Judaism.

 

So this is the situation. We have a community that had a vested interest to delegitimize and dehumanize the Jew. This community produced a series of books that contain precisely this sentiment. And we are to assume that this is a wild coincidence? That the authors and editors of the book were not guided by the base hatred that saturated the hearts of the rest of the members of the community? If you look at the history of the community that produced this book, you cannot but conclude that this book reflects the petty hatred of that community.

 

So when John’s Jesus “explains” that the reason that people don’t believe in him is because they love darkness and/or because they are children of the devil, it is a reflection of the hatred that festered in the heart of the community that authored and edited the book of John. This is precisely what that community wanted to believe; that they are children of God and children of light while their theological opponents are incapable of loving the truth because they are inherently evil. This saved them the trouble of considering the arguments of their enemies.

 

When Paul teaches his audience that the Jews have a veil over their eyes when they read the Torah and that they are blinded from seeing the truth of Scripture, he was setting the Jew apart from the rest of mankind. With these arguments Paul and the editors of his writings avoided the inconvenience of seeing the Jew as a human who has the capability of discerning right from wrong.

 

When Matthew’s Jesus describes the Pharisees as a brood of vipers and as a people steeped in hypocrisy, he was teaching his community exactly what they wanted to hear; that the Jewish concept of virtue is precisely the opposite of true virtue and there is then no need to take the Jewish rejection of the claims of the Jesus centered community with any seriousness.

 

Perhaps you are still unconvinced. Perhaps you think that is a complete coincidence that the community that was so motivated to delegitimize the Jew produced a work of literature that does precisely that. You still want to cling to the belief that the Christian Scriptures say nothing negative about Jews who don’t believe in Jesus, and all of this negative talk refers to a very limited group of people or that it refers to all who don’t believe in Jesus without singling out the Jews in any way shape or form.

 

In case that is your belief, then I have a question for you. Why is it, that until today, people from the Jesus centered community find it difficult to acknowledge that the reason Jews cannot accept their claims for the Messiah-ship of Jesus is because they love God? Why is it so difficult for them to acknowledge that it is a loyalty to God and to His goodness that does not allow Jews to accept Jesus? Why can they not admit that they have yet to provide a convincing case for the Messiah-ship of Jesus to the Jew who loves God and who loves His word?

 

Is it perhaps because of the teachings of the book that they hold so sacred that prevents them from acknowledging this simple truth?

 

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71 Responses to The Guilt of Books

  1. Dina says:

    Comment from the Mutual Admiration Society (my indebtedness to Jim for coming up with that moniker): This is mindlblowingly awesome.

    What I mean by that is this article clarifies one of the biggest inherent problems of Christian scripture.

  2. paul says:

    The christian and the christian scriptures that are constantantly blamed for Israels persecutions are, ironic and a complete prophetic unveiling of Gods promise to a disabiedient nation. There is no better place to hide oneselfs own guilt, but to blame the innocent of ones own just punishment.
    The aged old moanings and grumbling of ” we are innocent” finds its roots way back in the beginning in the garden of eden. Eve blamed the serpent, Adam blamed God for the woman that He provided. So there is nothing new under the sun.

    Being the “innocent victim” is a very common and unfortunately the default mechanism that ee all use in trcky situation’s. Whenever a non beliver rejects the idea that Jesus Christ is The Son of Man, was crucified to pay the penalty of mans sin, the simple reason of that rejection is, 1. They dont actually believe in God anyway, and 2. The individual doesn’t see that they are sinners that needs forgiveness.

    A Jew or gentile can give 100,0000000000,0000000 excuses to reject Christ and the scriptures. But the simple truth is the rejection of the God of Israel Himself.

    If the average non beliving Jew would, for a minute take off there hate veiled glasses and read the scriptures again, thats the OT scriptures, then coupled with a uncircumcised heart then Christ Jesus God and King can be clearly seen.

    House of Jacob, you were warned time after time after time, not to worship false gods and to walk in Gods statutes. You perception of christian persecution is not a punishment from Christs church, but a devine reprimand from the Father for your ways. There is only One creator who can, punish you so severely and at the same time, preserve you also.

    Try looking a bit closer home to see why things have turned out so terrible for you. Imagine the concept that the murder of millions of innocent Jews could have been avoided??

    All men will stand before God and give an account on why they rejected Him.

    • LarryB says:

      At least your consistent.

    • Dina says:

      Paul, you are a model of Christian love, the kind of Christian love we have received from Christians for nearly 2000 years. You could not have proved the rabbi’s point better if you tried.

      Thanks for the clarity.

      Peace and blessings,
      Dina

      • Tov Tov says:

        The Book of D’varim (Deuteronomy) 28:45 And all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou didst not hearken unto the voice of HaShem thy G-d, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded thee.

        46 And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever;

        • LarryB says:

          I ACCEPT YOUR DEUT 28:45 AND RAISE YOU A NUMBERS 23:19

          • Tov Tov says:

            The Book of Vayikra (Leviticus) 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that maketh atonement by reason of the life.

            John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth,

            Romans 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore NO ONE WILL BE DECLARED RIGHTEOUS in God’s sight BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW; rather, THROUGH THE LAW WE BECOME CONSCIOUS OF OUR SIN.
            21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for ALL HAVE SINNED and FALL SHORT of the GLORY of God, 24 and ALL are JUSTIFIED FREELY by his GRACE through the REDEMPTION that came by Christ Jesus.

            Galatians 3:10 For ALL who RELY on the WORKS of the LAW are under a CURSE, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” 13 Christ REDEEMED us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

            The Book of Bereishit (Genesis) 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’

            How are the families of the earth blessed through Abraham? What one event in history led to the knowledge of the God of Israel going out to the nations? I ask, is God the God of the Jews only?

          • LarryB says:

            Numbers 23:19. Is very prophetic. 19″ God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? This covers those who believe Jesus was god, and those who believe he was the son of god, born of a virgin, the son of man, the trinity. Coincidence? How many things did Jesus say that did not come true? Even one would disqualify him. That covers his second coming to. your left with the fact that numbers 23:19 predicts Jesus, but Jesus does not fulfill any of the messiah prophesy.

        • Dina says:

          Yes, Tov Tov, I said that we are in exile because of our sins, but that is not the “sin” of “rejecting Jesus.” Read the passage you just quoted again. Also read Deuteronomy 30. You’ve got to read it all. And you’ve got to read it in context.

          • paul says:

            Hello Dina

            Is the exile that you speak of, post or pre any said event? After the Deut text Israel have had times of punishment and blessings. Babylon came and went etc. Looking at history are you stating that Israel were in exile pre AD30, or post AD30, or would you say that AD70 was the turning point of Israels exile, or is the turning point at another point of time?

          • Dina says:

            Paul, exile is defined as being expelled from the Land and losing our Holy Temple. I’m not sure why the dates are important to you. Do you have a point to make about that, or are you seeking information? If the former, please state your point.

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • paul says:

            Hello Dina

            Well the dates that I used are purely from a NT perspective. I was trying to pinpoint some time scale. ie, was Israel in the exile while Jesus was alive. However you have said that the exile occurred post Jesus, plus the destruction of the temple. Of course Jesus did predict this event. Many times He mentioned His imminent death, ressurection and the temple destruction.
            I just wondered why you dont believe in such?

          • Dina says:

            Paul, you are wondering why I don’t believe in what, exactly? Can you be more specific?

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • paul says:

            Hello Dina

            About not believing in what Jesus said about His life, death, ressurection and the temple destruction.

          • Dina says:

            Right. You see, I have no reason to believe that the gospels weren’t written after the Temple’s destruction, when it would have been easy to put this prophecy in Jesus’s mouth. But the gospel writers got even that prophecy wrong. Jesus said he would destroy the Temple himself. He did not; it was destroyed long after he died. He said he would rebuild it in three days; he did not. The Third Temple has yet to be rebuilt. He said no stone would be left standing on the other. The Western Wall still stands.

    • LarryB says:

      Paul
      you wrote that number wrong, I believe it should be 10,000,000,000,000,000,000.
      That would be 10 quintillion. I can see how you’d get that wrong.

      • Dina says:

        LOL, Larry!

        • paul says:

          Of course silly me. Trust you to see that detail and then miss the very Jewish Messiah Jesus, that presented Himself in detail. LOL!

          • LarryB says:

            Paul
            I just wanted to point out how you get things out of order.
            If you would take the time to learn the basics, you wouldn’t make so many mistakes
            And hey sus would be a thing of the past. Lol

      • paul says:

        Hello Larry

        Ref the Numbers ch 23 v19 text.

        Are you saying that this passage doesnt, cant be speaking about Jesus, because it says God is not a man?

        • LarryB says:

          Paul
          I believe you lose every conversation you have. Why would you want to have a conversation with me? So you could win? Debating a low level bottom feed debater might make you feel smart, I don’t know. I’ll decline since I’m not as knowledgable as the others here, and you really are not qualified to discuss the Old Testament as it was meant to be taught.
          Peace!

          • paul says:

            Hello
            Thats fine Larry. Its not about winning or losing though, its about teaching truth. I hope one day you can find yourself in a postition to engage.

            x

          • LarryB says:

            Paul
            One place that might help you learn the truth, google this— “rabbi michael skobac why jesus didnt have to die” this guy has a 12 part 1 1/2 hour videos that are so exciting. Also, check out the one he did on the jewish alphabet, incredible.

          • LarryB says:

            Paul
            P.S. its better just to ignore me, at best i’ll just irritate you.

          • Sharbano says:

            Paul isn’t about to listen to a Rabbi in order to gain true knowledge. It is strictly forbidden for Xtians to “learn from the Rabbis”. That is why the church made such an effort to suppress the knowledge by burning Jewish books.

  3. paul says:

    Well of course, you see, in the blind mind set of yours you can still only see your incorrect precieved notion of your ideaology. Ive just quite clearly stated that it isnt the Christian message or Christians that have caused your own punishment, but you yourselves. But what I did quite clearly say is that you have brought on your own calamity. But of course the very idea that you are guilty is to much to bare. Read your scriptures again, and see what the Lord PROMISED that He would do, if you walked contrary to Him. Only a fool would state that you havnt been persecuted in history, but a bigger fool cannot see why.

    Simply put, God promised Israel blessings, peace, and secruity if Israel loved, and followed Himself, according to His ways. He also promised recompense to all those who touch the apple of His eye.

    1. Has Israel enjoyed the blessings of God, say since AD70? Y/N.
    2.. Has Israel been persecuted since AD70? Y/N
    3. Does Israel have a Temple, priest, King? Y/N
    4. Does any of the above describe what Christ said would happen to Israel if they reject His Father/Son?
    5. Why doesnt Israel TODAY repent, and build the 3rd temple. Instead of procrastinating and blaming others for there wondering?

    This is not antisemitic wording, but anti athiest and God rejecting wording.

    Read your scriptures and dont cherry pick.

    x

    • Dina says:

      Paul, if you follow your own advice and read OUR scriptures without cherry picking, you will not find a single instance that teaches us that we are suffering in exile for the sin of rejecting the messiah, specifically the one you think is the messiah. You will also not find a single verse that tells us that our punishment will cease and the Third Temple will be rebuilt if we accept him. The Torah tells us exactly what will happen before God gathers in all the exiles and restores us to the Holy Land. Read Deuteronomy 30.

      You know, Christians like you scare me. You are exactly what this article is talking about. You do not see us as human beings but as hate-veiled, spiritually blind children of darkness. You have dehumanized us, and you learned to dehumanize us from your scripture; you didn’t learn it from ours.

      Your trying to make us out like we’re playing the innocent victim is disgusting and dishonest. We have told you many times that we know we are punished for our sins–but those are the sins described in Tanach. To accept your messiah would be the greatest sin of them all. Furthermore, we know that the Christians who persecuted us will be punished by God. Read Deuteronomy 30.

      Finally, you are like the rapist who blames his victim for wearing a short skirt.

      Yup, Christians like you scare me.

      • Tov Tov says:

        The Book of Yichezkel (Ezekiel):36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
        This day for you hasn’t come yet. So you don’t have the Spirit of God within you. YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN. That’s why Messiah came. Believe on the Lord Jesus and be free from the curse of the LAW. Once the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within you, you will be telling everyone you know that Jesus is Lord! And this is how the God of Israel came to be known throughout the world. Amen!

        • Dina says:

          Tov Tov, since the only Scripture we both hold to be authoritative is Hebrew Scripture, it would be helpful to stand on our common ground when we debate. Thanks!

      • paul says:

        Hello Dina
        You keep on saying, time after time that I keep demonising you and Jews for not believing in Jesus. IF you can find such a statement then I will be more than happy to apologise. However if you cant find one then I expect the same apology will be sent my way.

        Only because we dont agree on subjects doesnt make either of us demonic. But for some reason you find it agreeable to state such.

        It does state however, which you are in error is thus, The Angel of The Lord said, follow my ways etc. If not, etc etc will follow. Now I know you do not believe in the Angel as being the 2nd person, pre incarnate, but thats because you dont believe in what it says. That doent make you evil, or I, but the difference is Faith and seeing what is written. Just like all others who dont see. There was then, and today who do see Jesus, acvording to scriptureas the Messiah. Just because you do not, doesnt make it not.

        When the word Evil is used, by you, you see it as a devil with horns, baiting with a salavating mouth wanting death for his victims. Try looking at a concordance with greek, hebrew meanings. The words used are yes, negative in context but not as you think you see it.

        Ps I never said, nor does the scriptures state that the 3rd temple will be rebuilt if you except The Messiah. It does state the temple will be built, Then Messiah will come at some point after.

        • Jim says:

          Paul,

          When you write to people with the contempt that is evident in your writings, you cannot be surprised when they feel attacked. You constantly misrepresent their positions to prop up your own. How can you not understand that when you show them such disrespect, it does not appear to be a disagreement but an attack on their character?

          For example, you write above that any who don’t believe that Jesus Christ is “The Son of Man” and that he died to pay for everyone’s sins, that person obviously doesn’t believe in God. This is at odds with the facts, however. The Jewish people here obviously believe in God and keep his Torah precisely because it was commanded by Him. To label them atheists is factually inaccurate and disrespectful. Meanwhile, the very fact that a dichotomy exists wherein one can adhere to the God of Sinai and not to Jesus is a clear proof that Jesus is not divine; nor does belief in Him make one close to God.

          You continue to misrepresent the position of the Jewish people here who object to the worship of Jesus, when you say that they don’t believe sinners do not need forgiveness. They have not denied that sinners need forgiveness, only that an innocent man should be killed for forgiveness. As indicated in this very thread by Dina, one needs to repent (which is not merely apologizing). She directs us to Ezekiel 18 and 33. This is not a denial that one needs forgiveness. It is a denial that one needs a human sacrifice to achieve it.

          Truthfully, you ignore all the evidence presented to you that shows the Christian faith to be misplaced. And you call those who do not adhere to it on some occasions idolaters on others atheists. You have called them blind. You have constantly misrepresented their positions to prop up your own. You are dismissive of their arguments, not answering them with support for your position, but explaining why they just can’t see the superiority of their faith.

          And you have excused the behavior of the Church by saying that the Jews deserved it. Perhaps you should read Isaiah 53 again. There the kings of nations say that they were sure that the servant–the Jewish people–were being punished for their own sins, but it turns out they were suffering because of the nations of the world. The Church cannot be excused for its abuse of the Jewish people by saying they deserved it. I cannot remember the passage, but I believe in Isaiah God says that He was angry with His people a little, but the nations did more to them than they deserved. And He will recompense them according to the evil they have done. Such words should make you tremble at the crimes of the Church, not excuse them.

          It is true that Israel is in exile as a punishment. Even today, there are many of that blessed people who do not keep Torah. But when you look at the reasons listed in Deuteronomy for the exile, you will not find among them that they receive it for rejecting the worship of a man. Such an idea is foreign to the Torah. Nor will they be brought out of exile by accepting their messiah and his sacrifice. To the contrary, they are told to repent, to come back to God and obey His commandments. To put Jesus into the text is to squeeze in a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit.

          Jim

        • Dina says:

          Hi Paul.

          You wrote, and I quote: “You keep on saying, time after time that I keep demonising you and Jews for not believing in Jesus. IF you can find such a statement then I will be more than happy to apologise. However if you cant find one then I expect the same apology will be sent my way.”

          I never said that. I said that you dehumanize. Those two words don’t mean the same thing.

          Here are examples of dehumanization:

          In your comment http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/the-guilt-of-books/#comment-11882, you wrote, “If the average non beliving [sic] Jew would, for a minute take off there [sic] hate veiled glasses…” The dehumanizing terms are “non-believing Jew” (religious Jews do believe in God, you know that) and “hate-veiled glasses.”

          In your comment http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/the-guilt-of-books/#comment-11890, you wrote, “Well of course, you see, in the blind mind set of yours you can still only see your incorrect precieved [sic] notion of your ideaology [sic].” The dehumanizing term here is “blind mind set.”

          You see, if you keep calling us these things, we become less than human. Why take the arguments of spiritually blind, hate-veiled unbelievers seriously? You thus absolve yourself of the responsibility to discover whether our position has strength or not.

          So, will you apologize? Or will you say that you don’t have to apologize because what you wrote is true?

          You wrote, “Only because we dont [sic] agree on subjects doesnt [sic] make either of us demonic. But for some reason you find it agreeable to state such.”

          No, I did not say, nor did I even imply, that by disagreeing with us you dehumanize us. I am saying that by calling us names or attacking our character you dehumanize us, as you can see by the aforementioned examples.

          You wrote, “When the word Evil is used, by you, you see it as a devil with horns, baiting with a salavating [sic] mouth wanting death for his victims.” I don’t know how you got this notion, since I don’t believe there is such a thing as the devil. The devil is a Christian creation, not a Jewish one.

          You wrote, “I never said, nor does the scriptures state that the 3rd temple will be rebuilt if you except [sic] The Messiah.” You did write that we are suffering in exile for the sin of rejecting Jesus. I am just showing you that the Torah tells us clearly why we are suffering and what we can do to end our suffering in exile–and accepting Jesus as our Messiah is not it (Deuteronomy 30). That was my point in presenting this fact.

          You wrote that the Messiah will come AFTER the Third Temple is rebuilt. What is your source for this?

          Thanks,
          Dina

    • Sharbano says:

      How much More so are the Xtians guilty then, by your logic, of going against G-d. There are Xtian teachers who speak about all the martyrs Xtianity has endured and all the Xtians killed over the years. But, once again, the Xtian uses twisted logic to explain the situation. It is evidently taught that the culprit is the “Devil”. Additionally, it is said there were many Xtians of the early church who were killed also. Would this also be judgment from on High, or was this also “of the devil”. The twisted logic of Xtianity should be self-evident. I would say it was the advent of Xtianity that caused the calamity of that time and Not the rejection. This is proved by the mere fact of history of the church.

      • paul says:

        Hello

        Not quite sure what you are saying here?
        Basic history teaches that the early church was under pressure from there non beliving nation, plus persecution from rome,
        Round about AD68 the Jewish revolt against Rome was initiated by the Non beliving Jews of occupied Israel and surrounding areas. Not by the church. Once the revolt was finally thwarted, Israel had lost virtually all she had.

        The main thrust of the Jewish epistles are thus, Followers of Christ, get out of Jerusalem, Do not go back into Judaism (because of their oppression from fellow jews), and publicly severe yourselves by the means of water baptism.
        Why? Because the Judgement of AD70 is coming, as spoken of by Jesus, because of the rejection in Mathew ch 12. (The turning point for Israel).

        All non believers were killed by Rome, not by Jewish believers in the church. The church, as pointed out, listened to the words of the epistles, and were long gone into saftey. Not one believer was ever killed.

        Zechariah ch 11. Teaches the point.
        Rejection of the True Shepherd, Christ Jesus.
        Acceptance of the false shepherd. Simon bar kokhba.

        • Sharbano says:

          Simply put, Xtians want to accuse the Jew of non-belief and this is the cause for all the persecutions. It’s more likely just the opposite. Those who followed the idolatry of Xtianity were the root cause of the nation’s suffering. How ludicrous is it to say that G-d requires a “belief in messiah” in order to have a salvation. There was no “disbelief” in G-d at that time, only in a man.

          Your history is faulty. It was the Xtian zealots who fought against Rome. The Rabbis of that time tried to prevent it. They knew Rome would not be defeated. Those Zealots, Judas being one, hence his name, destroyed the store houses in order to force thee people to fight. Instead, the result was the final end.

          “Do not go back into Judaism”? This certainly follows with Xtianity’s roots, which are Greek in origin. The Greeks were the first in the attempt to remove Judaism from the Jew. This is quite evident in all of Xtianity, from the origin and to this day. It is why No Xtian will ever make the effort to learn what Judaism really is. Of course they read their bibles and “assume” they know what it is all about, but in reality have no concept whatsoever. The Xtian bible certainly proves this. Even the “son of man” made errors in Torah knowledge, once concerning who the priest was at the time of David and then using the straw man argument, ‘you’ve heard it said”, when, in fact, it was never taught. Even the holy spirit of Xtianity couldn’t get the facts straight. How many errors did Stephen make, when guided by the spirit, when speaking to the Sanhedrin. I recall at least three major ones.

          If you were to Really and truly study the Scriptures you would find, not Jsus, but teachings on just the opposite. You would learn how the nations would finally go to Israel and admit they inherited lies. You would learn the condemnation for the nations who worship Hashem and swear by Their king. You would learn that those who tried to convert the Jew would be better to learn the ways of “my people, Israel”. You would learn that the Jew will be vindicated by G-d at his true witnesses.

          • paul says:

            Hello Sharbano

            I would like to hear your thoughts in full on the errors that you mentioned.

          • Sharbano says:

            Paul;
            Your only response is regarding the errors? Obviously it hasn’t occurred to Xtians to do a critical analysis of what is written. I suggest study. From what I’ve heard there are so-called Xtian “study bibles”, which cross-reference the Xtian text to Tanach. I suggest you use this and read what Tanach says in comparison to what Stephen says. You may be left in shock.

          • paul says:

            Hello
            Ok, I was hoping you had this info ready to defend your postition. You do state that you have heard, but have you seen for yourself? If, however you have more, then please forward all relevant info.

          • Sharbano says:

            Are you telling me you don’t have Any access to a Xtian study bible. I have read Acts 7 and the mistakes are so Very apparent that even a young Jewish child would see it. If you are not “willing” to find out for yourself then what is the point. It would be clear you are not the least bit interested in finding out what is truth and what is false. I have no need to defend Torah. On the other hand you have to defend Stephen’s mistakes. All you have to do is simply read and compare what Stephen says and what Torah says. This should not be difficult by any means.

            This is not the first time I have pointed to out this discrepancy and each and every time the person ignores that discrepancy. But this is not new. It is said by the prophets that the nations have a veil over their eyes and it is displayed by the nations not seeking truth but following blindly what they believe, i.e., blind faith.

          • paul says:

            Hello Sharbano
            I appreciate your statement, but I have read the texts, I dont see any faults or discrepancies. I cant say anyother. If you see a fault, then its your place to show such. You mentioned a fault, then please show it. Surley showing my error in studying would be your priority to expose my error and for you to guide me in truth.

          • Dina says:

            Stephen says that 75 souls descended to Egypt, whereas Hebrew Scripture says 70.

            Compare Acts 7:14 to Genesis 46:27, Exodus 1:5, and Deuteronomy 10:22.

            There are other errors, no time for that now. If you have checked your references before, and not found them, perhaps you weren’t checking carefully.

          • paul says:

            Hello Dina
            Yes I see the differences in total numbers as stated, but Stephen would have been using the Septuagint. The then translators took into account the Genisis statement of wives not being counted. 9 wives are included not 12 because the wives of Simeon and Judah had previously died and Joseph s wife was already in Egypt.

            The statement is 66 accompanied Jacob to Egypt. 66 plus 9 = 75.

            Thats all I know.

          • Dina says:

            Why rely on the Greek translation when you can use the original? I believe the original. The Greek translation is not authoritative. If the original states THREE TIMES that seventy souls went down to Egypt, then seventy it is.

            Here’s another mistake. In Acts 7:16 we are told that Abraham purchased a tomb from the sons of Hamor in Shechem, when in fact Genesis 49:29-30 and 50:13 tells us that he purchased the tomb from Ephron the Hittite in the Machpelah field facing Mamre.

          • paul says:

            Hello Dina
            When you say, you have the original scriptures, are referring to the dead sea scrolls?If not what are your sources. What copies of Hebrew scripture do you use.

            Stephen hasnt got it wrong, what he is doing is just explaining in more detail what the scriptures state in regard to the wives. The numbers and facts add up, so wheres the discrepancy. Thats like Gen ch 1 and ch 2 being argued as being in conflict. One is just a summary and the other in more detail. So Stephen is just using the same example. He is not quoting Genisis word for word, but explaining the text in more detail.

          • Dina says:

            So you say. Did you know that the Septuagint is a Greek translation from the Hebrew? Does it mean anything to you that the Hebrew mentions this three times? What about the other mistake that I mentioned? What about all the mistakes in Matthew?

            Why is Stephen quoting the Septuagint? Did he not know Hebrew? Was he not divinely inspired?

            Why should I accept that the Septuagint, merely a translation, is more accurate than the Hebrew Masoretic text that I use?

          • Dina says:

            So Paul, you do need to check and recheck the references, starting with Matthew. And if they don’t pan out, even if you still disagree with us, you should at least understand why we have an issue with the credibility of Christian scripture.

          • Sharbano says:

            I knew there would be excuses. Typical. If I recall correctly, I believe it was Origen who said the “Septuagint” is fraught with errors. You can find that in many a Septuagint’s introduction. So why would anyone in their right might put credence in such a book.

            As far as Stephen is concerned he was utterly wrong on this occasion and others, as Dina has aptly pointed out. The Xtian text Did use the Septuagint as their reference material because in the Septuagint it Does say 75. So you are in error trying to justify what the Xtian holy spirit has mistaken. You don’t dare admit these discrepancies because the entire Xtian doctrine would also fall. Undoubtedly this is the veil the covers the eyes of the nations. How convenient that the Xtian text has the worst sin as being one who questions that holy spirit of Xtianity that is mistaken on basic Torah. By the way, there is a reason there are 70 that were in Egypt. Do you know what That is?

          • Sharbano says:

            I would just make one observation before ending this charade. First of all, Jews have been taught Torah from one generation to the next, without interruption, to this very day. It is typical for Xtians to regard Jews as completely ignorant of Torah, even to the point of being accused of not knowing the language of the Bible, i.e., Hebrew. I am finding this to be a complete waste of time. At least the individual who went to R’ Hillel Did have an interest in “learning”. This is nothing but a distraction from my own Torah and Talmud studies so I shall not continue here.

          • paul says:

            Helllo
            Would you also say that having no temple, priest or temple service be a continuation of the Law without interruption of the written commands given by God to Moses, say for example sin Atonement, or does 2000 yrs of history or the modern way replace the written Law?

            You seem to have so much emphasis on the Law and its contents, but totally ignore the importance of the temple and its function. People split hairs on what the NT, OT say, but fail on the central part of Judaism, which is the temple.

          • Dina says:

            Paul, why did you change the subject? We were discussing the errors in Acts.

  4. Ed says:

    Paul; Thanks for the laugh of the day. You are nothing but an ignorant a–hole that cannot even spell. I was going to ask if you knew how to read Hebrew but I doubt you even know how to read English- perfect example of a Jew-hating schmuck telling Jews they do not know how to read the scripture they gave to the world.!!!

    • Tov Tov says:

      The Book of D’varim (Deuteronomy):46 And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever;

    • paul says:

      Hi
      Sorry for not being as intelligent as oneself, I wasnt aware of the spelling of words being more important than the actuall message being spoken of. Buts thanks for your thoughts. I think using the language you used shows your intelligence. That makes us equal.

      In your Hebrew Scripture I was definitely sure it teaches that the God of Israel gave the scripture to Israel, not visa versa?

    • Marilyn says:

      Ed, showing disrespect toward Christians leaves a bad impression with Gentiles.

      • Dina says:

        I agree. Besides, ad hominem attacks show that you are unable to respond to the argument, so you must attack your opponent’s character. I also agree with the blog’s comment policy that we can gain clarity through mutually respectful discussion.

  5. Dina says:

    And I say this even though I have called Paul out on anti-Semitic hate speech.

  6. David says:

    Hi Yisroel,

    You wrote:

    “There is no discussion about the commitment of the crime. It happened and it is still happening. People are still using the canards of the Christian Scriptures to delegitimize, dehumanize and to create an unjust negative image of the Jewish people and their beliefs. This is not open to discussion, this is a fact of history and it is a fact of life.”

    Might you be referring to 2 Chronicles 24 of the Christian bible, or maybe even Acts 7 as examples of this dehumanization you speak of?

    2 Chronicles 24:
    18 They abandoned the house of the LORD, the God of their ancestors, and served the sacred poles[c] and the idols. And wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this guilt of theirs. 19 Yet he sent prophets among them to bring them back to the LORD; they testified against them, but they would not listen.
    20 Then the spirit of God took possession of[d] Zechariah son of the priest Jehoiada; he stood above the people and said to them, “Thus says God: Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has also forsaken you.” 21 But they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him to death in the court of the house of the LORD. 22 King Joash did not remember the kindness that Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, had shown him, but killed his son.

    As he was dying, he said,

    “May the LORD see and avenge!”

    Acts 7:
    59 While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice,

    “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”

    When he had said this, he died.

    • David
      The book of Chronicles is Jewish – not Christian. The Christians usurped it together with the rest of the books of our Bible and only after the Christians usurped it was the book read in a context that is dehumanizing to Jews. But the Christian Scriptures – from their inception and in the context of their target audience dehumanizes the community of Jews who love God and refuse to make a man the center of their universe.

      • David says:

        Hi Yisroel,

        Christians were Jews before they were Christians. And as such, the Hebrew Scriptures are as much Christian as Jewish. In fact there was never a time when Christians were without their Hebrew Scriptures. Sorry, those are the facts.

        Do you not see your double standard? How do you rationalize the over abundance of passages in the HS of the Christian Bible such as the below while condemning the entire NT for much less than this?

        Jeremiah 19:
        9 And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and all shall eat the flesh of their neighbors in the siege, and in the distress with which their enemies and those who seek their life afflict them.
        Jeremiah 29:
        17 Thus says the Lord of hosts, I am going to let loose on them sword, famine, and pestilence, and I will make them like rotten figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten.

        • David
          You claim that because the first Christians were Jews and you consider yourself a follower of those Jews so the Hebrew Scriptures belong to your community just as much as they belong to my community.

          The Scripture disagrees with your argument. Exodus 31:12-17 testifies that an eternal sign of the covenant community is the observance of the Sabbath. Since your community does not observe the Sabbath – so your community is NOT the covenant community spoken of in the Hebrew Scriptures. Throughout the Scriptures sinful Jews are threatened with the punishment of being cut off from their nation. This was fulfilled against the early Jewish Christians when they left no posterity that identified themselves as Jews.

          Furthermore, you have no idea what it was that the first Jewish Christians believed. Church historians claimed that the early Jewish community of Jesus-believers had their own gospel of Matthew that was written in Hebrew and that it differed from the Greek Matthew. No copies of that book survived.

          Either way, until a community arose that made a person into the central focus of their lives – no one read the censure of the Hebrew Scriptures as an indication that the Jews are less than other human beings – Jews read it as self-criticism and pagans read it as Jewish self-criticsm. It was the community that made Jesus the center of their lives that taught the world to read these passages as if they were teaching that the Jews are somehow less than other human beings.

          • David says:

            Hi Yisroel,

            As you can see as per the NT itself, the first Christians were Jews in every sense of the word. If the Scriptures belonged to Jesus, then they also belong to me. And not only did they belong to Jesus but the apostles and first Christians as well. I think I have standing to claim them as my own. Regarding the Sabbath, as you can see all first Christians kept it. The fact that now some today regard this day or that day as the Sabbath has no bearing on to whom the HS belong to.

            Acts 2:

            5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem.
            22 “You that are Israelites,[a] listen to what I have to say:…
            41 So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

            Acts 3:
            One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon….

            Acts 5:
            42 And every day in the temple and at home[f] they did not cease to teach and proclaim Jesus as the Messiah.[g]

            Acts 8:
            That day a severe persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria.

            Acts 13:
            44 The next sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.[j] 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy; and blaspheming, they contradicted what was spoken by Paul. 46 Then both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you reject it and judge yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life, we are now turning to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying,

            ‘I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles,
            so that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

            Acts 15:
            19 Therefore I have reached the decision that we should not trouble those Gentiles who are turning to God, 20 but we should write to them to abstain only from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from whatever has been strangled[e] and from blood. 21 For in every city, for generations past, Moses has had those who proclaim him, for he has been read aloud every sabbath in the synagogues.”

            Acts 16:
            13 On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer

            Acts 17:
            17 After Paul and Silas[a] had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three sabbath days argued with them from the scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Messiah[b] to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This is the Messiah,[c] Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you.”

            Acts 18
            4 Every sabbath he would argue in the synagogue and would try to convince Jews and Greeks.

          • Dina says:

            In logic, your first paragraph can be summed up thus:

            If a = b and b = c, then a = x.

        • Dina says:

          David, the target audience of Hebrew scripture is the Hebrew people. In other words, Jews. You are not a Jew.

  7. David
    Let’s try this slowly.
    1 -Do you acknowledge that there is such a concept of a given writing addressing a specific audience to the exclusion of others?
    2 – Do you acknowledge that the Jewish Scriptures are such a writing?

  8. R Vogel says:

    Rabbi,

    I have learned quite a bit from reading your blog. Thank you very much. I was raised in the Christian faith, although I no longer identify as such. It is important to me to raise my son without the biases with which I was raised and I see this site as instrumental to that end.

    I am wondering if I might ask an honest question? I fully acknowledge and accept the anti-Jewish polemic in the Christian scriptures. I do not seek to make any excuse for or justify it away. I am wondering if you think there is anyway to be a follower of Jesus that is not an affront to the Jewish people? One that acknowledges our terrible past, but seeks to forge a new future? Is the story of Jesus, if it is not viewed as a revelation for the Jews, still offensive? This may involve rejecting or significantly reinterpreting the obvious anti-Jewish parts of the Christian scriptures, necessarily acknowledging the anti-Jewish intent and interpretation of the last 2,000 years. But is it possible? Is it possible for me, someone of raised in the Christian tradition who continues to be interested in it for various reasons, to speak of the faith in which I was raised in a way that respects G*d’s first born?

    • R Vogel
      This is an interesting question. If you are willing to reject parts of the Christian Scriptures – then you can build your own Jesus (people are doing this all the time without rejecting the Christian Scriptures – but if you reject it – then you certainly have a free hand). Perhaps the name Jesus itself is so deeply associated with negative history that some Jews will always be offended.
      Practically – I would venture a guess that the historical Jesus had very little to do with the portrayal presented by the Christian Scriptures.
      I wonder however why you ask this question. Who cares if Jews will be offended? You owe it to yourself to discover the truth about the relationship between yourself and your Creator.

      • R Vogel says:

        If I believe that the best way to build a relationship with my Creator, as you have put it, is to love my neighbor, than I should care if I wantonly or callously offend anyone. Obviously not all offenses can be prevented, but those that can be should be in my view. How much more so for G*d’s chosen people who have suffered so greatly at the hands of followers of Jesus?

        As I contemplate and meditate on the faith of my youth, I can only think that my knowledge and insight would be all the richer by listening to and engaging with Jewish voices. Voices that were sadly missing from my education. But in doing so I don’t wish to simply repeat the offenses of the past.

    • Dina says:

      R Vogel, I hope you don’t mind my jumping in here. I can’t help thinking that the question of how you can continue to remain a Christian without offending Jews is the wrong question (although it’s an empathetic one). I think it’s better to ask, what is the truth? What does God want from me?

      “The Lord is close to all who call to him, to all who call to him sincerely” (Psalms 145:18).

      May God Who is the Father of us all lead us in the light of His truth.

      Peace and blessings,
      Dina

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