Joy and Repentance

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Joy and Repentance

The holiday of Sukkot (Tabernacles) follows immediately after Yom Kippur, a day dedicated for repentance and forgiveness. Sukkot is called “the time of Joy” and it is understood that the connection between these two holidays is that the forgiveness from God that we merit on Yom Kippur gives us the joy that we celebrate on Sukkot.

This is certainly a true sentiment but there is much more to the joy of Sukkot and there is much more to the connection between joy and repentance.

Although repentance is generally associated with grief and regret but repentance is also intimately tied up with joy. Repentance means reentering the service of God after having left it. It means regretting specific actions of violation of God’s will and it means regretting a path of life that was not in conformance with God’s will.

There are different aspects of regret. One could…

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Kol Nidrei

1000 Verses - a project of Judaism Resources

Kol Nidrei

It is an interesting way to open up a day dedicated to repentance. The day that is designated for atonement and returning to God opens with the recital of “Kol Nidrei”. “Kol Nidrei” is not a prayer or an appeal to God. “Kol Nidrei” is a declaration. We declare our intention to annul any vows that we have made. Furthermore, this declaration has almost no practical effect (- this declaration has no effect at all as it relates to vows that were made towards other people; and even as it relates to vows that were made towards
God, the declaration only has a limited effect for future vows.) So what is the
point? Why do we start the services of this holy day with a declaration of
annulment of vows?

What is a vow? A vow is when we infuse our own will with the power of God’s…

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Trust and Repentance

Trust and Repentance


Rabbi Shlomo Ibn Gabirol describes the process of repentance as escaping and fleeing from God to God. When we realize the weight of God’s judgment and the evil of sin we recognize that we need to escape. But there is only one place to run and that is to take shelter in God Himself. And God promises to protect and preserve those who trust in Him and only in Him (Nahum 1:7; Psalm 18:31).


Trusting in God means trusting in no one and in nothing else. Not in our works, not in our merits, not in our strength or wealth, not in the blood of any sacrifice and certainly not in the works of someone who claimed to be sinless. God told Moses that he will have compassion on whom He will have compassion (Exodus 33:19). If someone looks to God and to God alone for compassion then that is where God’s compassion will be found. If someone looks elsewhere for compassion – such as to the claims of a “perfect sacrifice” or to the works of a person who walked God’s earth and breathed God’s air like you or me – then God will tell you to go to that person to find your compassion. And anyone who breathed God’s air is just as needy for God’s compassion as you are (Isaiah 2:22).


In this spirit and as part of Eternal Israel’s worship we address God with the following words in the Yom Kippur liturgy:


“We are Your nation and You are our God.

We are Your children and You are our Father.

We are Your servants and You are our Master.

We are Your congregation and You are our portion.

We are Your inheritance and You are our lot.

We are Your sheep and You are our Shepherd.

We are Your vineyard and You are our Keeper.

We are Your handiwork and You are our Creator.

We are Your spouse and You are our Beloved.

We are Your treasure and You are our God.

We are Your nation and You are our King.

We are Your distinguished ones and You are our Distinction.

We are brazen-faced and You are merciful and gracious.

We are stiff-necked and You are slow to anger.

We are filled with iniquity and You are filled with compassion.

We – our days are like a fleeting shadow and Your years will never end.”



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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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Sabbath vs. Jesus, Excerpt from Supplement to Contra Brown

If we focus on what God teaches us about the Sabbath in the Jewish Scriptures it will become obvious that not only did the followers of Jesus do away with God’s Sabbath (something that they never tried to hide), but that the belief system built around Jesus is the very antithesis of God’s Sabbath. It was through the Sabbath that God empowered and encourages the Jewish people to reject the claims of this self-proclaimed god-man.

The Sabbath is the sign that God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh (Genesis 2:1-3, Exodus 20:8-11, 31:12-17).

The one truth that is the underlying principle of the Jewish Scriptures is the fact that God is God and everything else are but His creations. This truth is stated explicitly in the first verse of the Bible, and is the implicit message of every verse that follows. This foundational truth: that God is the One Master of all, was made known to the Jewish people through the miracles of the exodus and through the Sinai revelation (Deuteronomy 4:35). God’s absolute sovereignty is brought home to the hearts of the Jewish people through the observance of Sabbath, and the Jewish people testify this truth to the world through the observance of Sabbath.

The heart of the Jew’s calling before God is that we stand as witnesses to the ultimate truth: the fact that God alone is Lord (Isaiah 44:8), and it is through observance of the Sabbath that the Jew dispenses his calling before God. It is for this reason that the Sabbath is the covenantal sign between God and His people, and it is for this reason that commandment to observe the Sabbath is situated together with the commandment against idolatry and the injunction to honor our parents (Exodus 20:1-12, Leviticus 19:3-4).

The commandment against idolatry is based on our understanding that God is the only one deserving of our devotion to the exclusion of everyone and everything else. The commandment to honor our parents reminds us, as does the Sabbath, that our own existence is not an intrinsic truth but rather a gift that God chose to grant us through the medium of our parents.

God granted man control of all of creation (Genesis 1:28, Psalm 8:7). With the mastery of the earth placed in his hands, it is very easy for man to forget that he is a servant and fall into the illusion of thinking that he is master. By relinquishing control of the world once a week, the Jew reminds himself and testifies to all who care to hear, that we are not the masters, but rather, that we are all servants of the One Master.

Observance of the Sabbath gave the Jew an unambiguous and explicit perspective of reality. When the Jew encounters a rock, a plant an animal, a fellow human or an angel – the Sabbath tells the Jew – this form of existence is not your master – it is a creation of your God just as you are. While the populations around them were enslaved to the beliefs that they are subservient to forces of nature or to people who were born into a higher station in life – the Sabbath set the Jew free. The truth of the Sabbath gave the Jew the clarity to see through the intimidating posture of those who claimed to be the masters of men. The Sabbath reminded the Jew that there is but One Master, and that all are equally subservient to Him.

When the Christian missionaries presented Jesus as “man’s lord” (page 229), the nations who did not know the message of the Sabbath were taken in. They accepted this false teaching and believed themselves to be under the mastery of this Jesus.

The Jew, however, who had absorbed the message of Sabbath was enabled by the Sabbath to identify this teaching for what it is – a call to idolatry. The Sabbath taught the Jew that no-one but the One Creator of heaven and earth can lay claim to the title of: “Master”. When any one inhabitant of God’s creation claims to be the master – the Sabbath tells us – he is but a servant like ourselves.

The Sabbath is the very antithesis of Christianity. It is no wonder then that the followers of Jesus developed such a hatred and scorn for God’s holy day. As for us, we will walk in the light of God’s holy Sabbath until the darkness of Christianity is dispelled and all flesh will recognize that God alone is king (Zechariah 14:9).

“Observance of the Sabbath has been the hallmark of the Jewish people, separating us from other nations and identifying us with the covenant of God. Since Christianity changed the Sabbath, Christianity is obviously not for the Jewish people.”

Brown responds to this Jewish objection by pointing out that the gentile Church, who changed the day of rest from Saturday to Sunday, was not following Jesus. Jesus himself did not teach that the day of rest be changed. Brown therefore argues that one can believe in Jesus and still observe the Sabbath.

The question that Brown does not address is: Why did the later Church change the day of rest? Why did the gentile Church develop such a negative view of this covenantal sign? Is it merely a coincidence that those who deified a human chose to abandon the commandment that serves as a reminder that everything, including Jesus, are but God’s creations?

There is another message of the Sabbath that is antithetical to Christianity. The Sabbath serves as a testimony that God sanctifies Israel (Exodus 31:13). The Sabbath confirms that Israel was chosen by God to serve as His witness nation. Their role is to testify to the world that everything that exists is but a creation of God.

Christianity rejects this message of the Sabbath as well. Christianity denies Israel’s role as God’s witnesses. If they would have any respect for the message of the Sabbath they would pay heed to the witnesses that the Sabbath authenticates.

If a Jew accepts the doctrines of Christianity, he or she will have to turn their backs on the Sabbath. Yes, they can continue observing the Sabbath, but it will be a dead observance.

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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Still Unanswered, Questions that Dr. Brown Continues to Avoid

Still Unanswered, Questions that Dr. Brown Continues to Avoid

A few weeks ago, I made a presentation entitled “Unanswered, Questions that Dr. Brown Has Failed to Address.” Dr. Brown responded with a video of his own entitled “Dr. Brown Answers Rabbi Blumenthal’s Questions.” As disappointed as I am with Dr. Brown’s video, I will thank him for engaging. By putting his thoughts on the table, the conversation which has stalled for 10 years can now proceed.

As I stated in my previous video, if you have read Dr. Brown’s 5 volumes of Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus and you have read my written critique of his work, then you don’t need these video presentations. Each of the questions that I raise on the video deserves so much more than a few minutes. And in my writings I attempt to do justice to these questions by illuminating them from different angles. So if you have read Dr. Brown’s books and my written work then you have all the information you need to make an informed and educated decision. The purpose of my talk is to encourage you to study the matter more deeply and to learn. I encourage you to overcome your reluctance and read the relevant material, study and analyze.

In my previous video I shared a brief segment of my comprehensive critique of Dr. Brown’s 5 volume series, “Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus.” I wanted to put these questions on the table and my primary goal was to demonstrate you that my critique of Dr. Brown presents a serious challenge to his writings.

So I only asked three questions, three basic questions. Dr. Brown took 28 minutes of your time. Did he give you the answers to these questions? I will repeat my questions and I want you to go back to his video and ask yourself, what are the answers? This is supposed to be about education, were you educated?

He filled his video with diversions and distractions and I have responded to those diversions and distractions in the format that we agreed upon 15 years ago. We agreed to answer the challenges that we present to each other in writing. For 15 years now, I have been keeping my end of the deal and I hope to be able to continue to do so. If you want responses to all of his distractions, go to my blog, you will find my responses.

On this video I will repeat my questions. In case you haven’t understood them, and perhaps Dr. Brown did not understand them, I will try to articulate and clarify. Maybe this is my fault? Perhaps I was not clear.

So, to remind you, my three questions were about Dr. Brown’s reader’s guide to the Bible, the Jewish devotion to God and the contradictions that are inherent in Dr. Brown’s presentation of the Messianic prophecies.

Reader’s Guide to the Bible, Dr. Brown vs. God

Jews and Christians read the same Bible. And each of them comes out of this book with a completely different theology, world-views that are polar opposites. Only one of us can be reading this book right. The other one is misusing the text or should I say, abusing the text. One of us allows the text to speak for itself while the other tries to get the text to say something that it does not.

Both Jews and Christians acknowledge that Scripture has a structure to it. Some passages, some concepts are like the central pillars of a building or like the trunk of a tree, while other passages are like the bricks and paint of the building or like the branches and leaves of the tree. But the set of passages that Jews see as central to the narrative of Scripture is not the same set of passages that the Christian is pointing to. One of these two belief systems is looking to the Author of Scripture, to the literary context of the passage in order to make the determination as to whether a verse is indeed foundational and the other belief system is not. This belief system looks to its own theology in order to make that decision. If the verse says something that could be manipulated to be read as supportive of the theology that is being promoted then it becomes “foundational.”

So which is it? Which of these belief systems is looking to the context of Scripture and to the cues of the Author to determine the centrality of a given verse and which belief system is violating the intent of the Author to make this determination? Is it Judaism or is it Christianity?

Dr. Brown makes this very easy for us. Let us read his words. In The Case for Jesus, page 199, when Dr. Brown wants to highlight the priestly role of the Messiah he tells us that Zechariah 6 is “the most overt passage in the Bible where a human being is explicitly identified with a Messianic figure.”

Dr. Brown is telling us that the Divine Author is drawing our attention to this passage. According to Dr. Brown, identifying a human figure with the Messiah is the Author’s way of telling us, “I am about to present an important teaching about the Messiah.” It’s as if an arrow is pointing at this passage with the words “an important teaching about the Messiah” inscribed on its shaft. Fine and well.

But in volume 3 of Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, page 172, Dr. Brown notices that this same passage in Zechariah tells us that this Messianic figure will build the Temple and that doesn’t fit his theology. So Dr. Brown tells us that this passage is found in only one book of the Hebrew Scriptures. The fact that this concept appears in one book is the Author’s way of telling you that this is not important. To use Dr. Brown’s own words “fringe at best” (Line of Fire February 7 2013, 33 minutes in).

But didn’t we have an arrow pointing to this verse telling us that this passage is going to be teaching us something important about the Messiah?

It is obvious that Dr. Brown is not looking to the context of the passage to tell him if the text is central or not. It is his theology that is telling him which texts to highlight and which texts to put into the background. And his non-Scriptural theology could get him to highlight and to minimize the very same text.

But Dr. Brown’s hypocrisy is only symptomatic of the 2000 year approach of the Church to the Jewish Scriptures. In order to get the Scriptures to point in the direction of Jesus the Church is forced to violate the Authorial intent and recreate the literary landscape of Scripture.

When it comes to the question of directing our worship the Church highlights texts such as Genesis 18, Exodus 24 and Numbers 12. But the Author of Scripture never associated these passages with the question of directing our worship. The Author had a lot to say about the question of directing worship and He knows how to tell you when He is going to present a teaching on the subject and he does NOT point to those passages. Instead he points to Deuteronomy 4, Exodus 20, Isaiah 44, Jeremiah 10 and to many similar passages as teachings on this question.

And guess what, these passages, presented by the Author of Scripture as teachings on directing worship is exactly where Judaism draws its theology from as it relates to this question. So which one of us is following the lead of the text and which one is attempting to get the text to follow our lead?

The same applies to the question of sin, guilt and repairing your relationship with God. From the Jewish standpoint, the central texts are Deuteronomy 30 and Ezekiel 33. Both of these are introduced by the Author of Scripture as answers to the question of sin, the former on a national level and the latter on an individual level. But from the Christian standpoint these texts are peripheral to the question of repairing our relationship with God. According to Christianity the central principle of atonement is that there is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood, a concept which appears nowhere in all of Scripture.

It is on this subject that Dr. Brown actually attempts to provide a partial answer to my question. He argues that since the word atonement appears in Scripture so many times in conjunction with the blood sacrifices, this then tells us how central and important these sacrifices are to the Author of Scripture.

You see, this is a valid point, this argument shows me that Dr. Brown agrees to the premise of my question. He is acknowledging that if the Author of Scripture wants to emphasize something, He repeats it dozens and dozens of times. What Dr. Brown is NOT sharing with his audience is the fact that I have addressed this argument at length in “You are My Witnesses” and in “Contra Brown.”

At this time I will share part of my answer with you.

So Dr. Brown is arguing for the importance and the centrality of the blood offerings described at length in the book of Leviticus. Does Dr. Brown hear what he is saying? Is he encouraging you to obey the Torah and bring the offerings that Moses commanded us to bring? When was the last time that Dr. Brown brought a goat to the Temple in Jerusalem to atone for his sins? Does he yearn to fulfill God’s commandments concerning the sacrifices as do the Jewish people? Of course not! He doesn’t care about the animal sacrifices that are described in the Torah.

But it gets even worse. Does he really believe God when He says that the animal sacrifices brought in the Temple have the power to atone? Or does he believe that Book of Hebrews which declares that the animal sacrifices never atoned to begin with (Hebrews 10:4)? Dr. Brown believes that the sacrifices described at length in Leviticus never really atoned for sin at all and that once Jesus came on the scene, they were discarded and done away with. Is this “acknowledging the centrality of the offerings”? I am sorry, this is just a mockery of God’s word.

Let’s put this whole question into perspective. How important is the Sabbath from the standpoint of a Christian? How does it compare to the “principle” that posits that there is no remission for sin without the shedding of blood? Now search the Jewish Bible, how many times do the prophets exhort our people to guard the Sabbath? Dozens of times. How many times does the Jewish Bible say that there is no remission for sin without the shedding of blood? Zero. Does God not know how to emphasize a point? Did he forget how to write?

Is the Christian looking to the Bible to tell what is important and what is peripheral? It is clear and obvious that Dr. Brown’s read on the Bible is produced by the theology he is trying to promote and that his theology is NOT produced by his read on the Bible.

So that was my first question. How could we ignore God’s reader’s guide to the Bible?

Idolatry, the Violation of a Relationship

Dr. Brown and the 2000 year old missionary campaign of the Church are not only trying to get us to believe a set of beliefs. The Church wants us to commit our hearts. The Church wants us to look at the life and death of Jesus and to get excited about what we see. The Church encourages our hearts to be overwhelmed by what we see and bend our hearts in devotion. It’s not just a matter of believing something with your head, the Church wants us to do something with our heart.

Judaism is also about our heart. Judaism is not just something that we believe with our heads, it is about something that we do with our hearts. Judaism is also about excitement, passion, joy and a deep satisfying relationship. We see God as the source of all goodness and righteousness and our hearts are drawn into complete devotion.

These are two different excitements and devotions. It is entirely possible to be excited about God, the Creator of heaven and earth and not commit oneself to Jesus. And it is completely possible to get excited and worship Jesus and not get excited about the Creator of heaven and earth.

The Church sees the heart of the Jew completely devoted to the One Creator of heaven and earth and the Church is not satisfied. It would have that heart also give devotion to Jesus. The Church would introduce to the Jew a new excitement, a new passion and a new relationship that the heart of the Jew never knew.

So I ask; what are we missing when we sense God’s endless love in every breath we take? What excitement, passion and satisfaction does devotion to Jesus have to offer to us?

Dr. Brown claims that he answered my question in objection 6.8.

I don’t know how you could answer a question without acknowledging the existence of the question. Throughout Dr. Brown’s 5 volumes he never once acknowledges that it is love for God that prevents a Jew from committing to Jesus, but let us see what he says in objection 6.8.

In that section of his book, Dr. Brown tells us about the benefits that we stand to gain if we follow Jesus. But my question has nothing to do with benefits and kickbacks, not even spiritual benefits. Love is not about benefits. Love doesn’t calculate, asking; what do I stand to gain? Love finds joy and satisfaction in the relationship itself.

So here is my question. What joy, what excitement, what passion and what satisfaction are we missing in our relationship with the One Creator of heaven and earth?

Messianic Prophecies, Dr. Brown vs. Dr. Brown

On page 182 of volume 2 (in his series, “Answering Jewish Objections”) Dr. Brown speaks about the prophecies that would indicate a restoration of the sacrificial system in the Messianic era. He tells us that “out of all the prophets whose words were recorded in Scripture, four others (aside from Ezekiel) make mention of future sacrifices.” He goes on to say that the references to future sacrifices in the books of Isaiah, Zechariah and Malachi take up a total of three verses. He concludes with the words, and I quote; “These are hardly major subjects in these prophetic books.”

Dr. Brown goes on to offer the possibility of a non-literal interpretation of these passages.

Yet in volume 3, when he notes that Maimonides states that the Messiah does not necessarily have to perform miracles he passes judgment on Maimonides and he tells us that Maimonides’ interpretation of Scripture was “no doubt” motivated by the need to “rule out” Jesus as the Messiah. Why? Because Maimonides puts forth the possibility that the Messiah does not necessarily need to perform miracles.

Why are the alleged miracles of the Messiah so important to Dr. Brown? You see, Jesus tells the Jews that if they would have believed Moses they would believe him (John 5:46). This was before the crucifixion, before the alleged resurrection and before he even rode on a donkey. So which prophecies did he fulfill up until that time? None! Unless you believe that the prophets said that the Messiah must perform miracles and you also believe that Jesus did perform those miracles. So these miracles are critical for Dr. Brown. Dr. Brown absolutely needs Maimonides to be wrong.

But there are a grand total of three verses that could be misconstrued to read as if the Messiah must perform miracles. They appear in only one book of the prophets.

So according to Dr. Brown’s own standard, Maimonides is completely justified to offer a non-literal interpretation of Messiah’s miracles. And the fact of the matter is that the context of those 3 verses in Isaiah makes it clear that they are not talking of literal miracles.

Furthermore, in order to minimize the restoration of the sacrifices in the Messianic era Dr. Brown makes a point of counting how many times in Scripture this concept appears. But he missed 4 prophecies (Isaiah 56:7, 60:7, Ezekiel 20:40,41, Malachi 3:3,4). His count is completely off!

How does Dr. Brown explain this? The prophecies that speak of the restoration of the sacrifices take up more than double the space than do the prophecies that speak of Messiah’s miracles even according to Dr. Brown’s interpretation and even according to Dr. Brown’s sloppy count. So why is it OK for him to reinterpret the restoration of the sacrifices and allow for a non-literal interpretation but for the miracles of the Messiah, he makes no such allowance? Why the double standard?

And my question is quite simple. If Jesus is the Messiah of the Jewish Scriptures than why does Dr. Brown have to tie his argument in the knot of self-contradiction when he tries to make a case for Jesus?


All I asked was three questions. Dr. Brown responded with a 28 minute video entitled “Dr. Brown Answers Rabbi Blumenthal.” But he does not answer my questions.

Please, try to understand my questions and ask yourself if they deserve answers. If you agree that these questions are indeed valid and that they deserve to be answered I encourage you to go back to Dr. Brown’s video and see if he answered them. This is not about me, this is not about Dr. Brown, this is about you. Did his video give you answers or did they not?

And to Dr. Brown my message is simple. If you have any clarity or insight to add to this discussion, please share it with us. Answers that you carry around in your head or that are found on papers that the public may not see benefit no one. You owe it, not to me, but to the public to share your answers.

I sincerely believe that such a discussion can lead to greater clarity and will benefit the public. I have put all the clarity that I am able to muster up until this point on the table for everyone to read and see. Questions from people like you have forced me to study more deeply. These challenges have allowed me to achieve greater clarity and have forced me to articulate the position of Judaism more clearly for myself and for others. So again, if you have something to add to this discussion, please take the time and share it with us.

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

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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The Most Influential Man – excerpt from 7th Response

In any case, your lack of appreciation for Hezekiah’s career and your exaggeration of Jesus’ career needs to be put in perspective.

Assyria was the most powerful nation of the time. It was the scourge of the land. In one night the world’s greatest superpower became a banana republic. Their entire army dies in one night and the city it threatened with annihilation is saved. On the same day, the sun goes back in the sky and turns afternoon into morning. How does this compare to the healing of a few lepers and some questionable sightings of a crucified man?

“Oh, but that was in the world of objective reality – I was talking about the influence that Jesus had on the subjective minds of men” – you say.

Yes; I recognize that Jesus was the most influential man on earth, but is that something to be proud of? The Crusades, the Inquisition and the holocaust were only the apex of years of oppression and pain – is that the influence that you are pointing to? And what Jesus did to the Jews was nothing compared to what he did to the Gentiles. The Jews were physically oppressed in his name – but the Gentiles had darkness poured into their souls. The Jews suffered the holocaust – the followers of Jesus perpetrated it.

“But that was not the “real” Jesus” – you protest. The “real” Jesus loves the Jewish people.

For argument’s sake – I’ll buy your story (- just don’t try it in a court of law – the jury will never accept the argument: “that wasn’t the real me”.) So we have two incarnations of Jesus; the “fake” Jesus and the “real” Jesus. Which one of these two was more influential? For many dark centuries, no-one ever heard of the “real” Jesus. The blood-soaked pages of history should tell you that it was the fake Jesus who was far more influential than his brother.

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Matthew Admits that Jesus was Never Resurrected! – by Jim


It will take me a few comments to respond to your comment here: . In this first comment, I would like to address the supposed proofs that the religious leaders had. Peter escaping from prison and Paul remaining in prison are not proofs of the resurrection, and I see no purpose in your mentioning them. So I will only write about the priests that believed in Acts 6 and the events in Matthew.

Regarding the priests, they disprove your argument not support it. If they had believed in Jesus from seeing him at the resurrection, they would not only be coming to belief in him in chapter 6 of Acts when some time has passed. They did not believe because they had “first hand evidence”. According to Acts 6:7: “The word of God continued to spread; the numbers of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.” These priests believed due to preaching, not because they saw Jesus. They had no “first hand evidence.”

But it is Matthew I would like to spend the most time on. First, we must acknowledge that Matthew is an untrustworthy author. He has no regard for the truth. His distortions of Tanach are well-documented. Consider what he does to Isaiah 7:14. He alters it. And I do not mean just with the substitution of the word ‘virgin’ for ‘young woman’. He also changes the naming of the child. Isaiah says that the young woman to whom he is referring will name her child ‘Immanuel’. Matthew changes even this to ‘they’ rather than she. This way the name sounds like an appellative, that people will be hailing this child in some special manner. If he left the verse alone, even just that change of pronoun, it would be obvious to the reader that it did not have anything to do with Jesus. His mother did not name him Immanuel. Even those unfamiliar with the actual context of the verse would be able to quickly identify that it had nothing to do with Jesus. The unethical Matthew found a solution in altering the verse.

He likes to omit the parts that do not suit his purpose, showing no regard for Tanach. When he quotes Hosea 11:1, he omits the beginning, that which tells the reader the topic. The topic is, of course, not Jesus. It is Israel. And the verse is not predictive but descriptive of the past. But I will not run through the whole list of dishonest uses of scripture by Matthew. The point is that he is not trustworthy in the first place.

But even if we did not know that, Matthew accidentally reveals to the reader that his story about the Jewish leadership trying to hush up the resurrection is a lie. The bribe itself shows that the story is a fabrication, because the leadership acts on knowledge that they did not and could not have. At Matthew 28:13, the priests and elders wish the guards to say that the disciples came and stole the body. In writing this, Matthew has just shown us that the story is a lie.

The leadership cannot at that point know what is going to happen. For all they know, Jesus is going to begin walking around the streets of Jerusalem healing people, preaching, and attracting an even larger following than before. He could show up at any moment and demand that they acknowledge him as a prophet, now that he has fulfilled his predicted resurrection. So, how is it that they bribed the guards to say that the disciples took the body? No, they did not do such a thing, because they could not know that Jesus would never show himself. This story is an invention.

Moreover, the story shows that Jesus did not show himself publicly. If he had, no such story could have been circulated. The story is built on the premise that Jesus came only to a few here and a few there, privately.

Matthew’s fabrication has two purposes. First, he wants to draft the Jewish leadership into his argument. He wants to support belief in Jesus from the opposition. To do this, he invents testimony on their behalf. And it is shocking how much Christians and general lovers of Jesus believe whatever the NT tells them about the Jews and the Pharisees. They accept the writings of the NT as if it were the direct testimony of the Pharisees, when it obviously is not. Second, he wants to vilify the Jews, especially the leadership. The Jewish people were not on board with the message of Jesus and his followers, generally speaking. This had to be explained, inasmuch as Jesus is supposed to be their Messiah. So, the Jews become the villains. And how dastardly they are, according to Matthew. He wants us to believe that the Jewish leadership knew the truth but rejected Jesus anyway. Matthew’s lies would be one of the causes of 2,000 years of Jewish persecution.

But the story was not true. It could not be, because as I pointed out, the Jewish leaders are acting as if they know Jesus will not show himself. Obviously this story was fabricated much later, after Christians started teaching that Jesus came back from the dead. And Matthew did not account for what would have been the Jewish leadership’s perspective and knowledge. That Matthew lied at the end of the book should have surprised nobody who had read the beginning. But the book, given to the Torah-ignorant gentiles was believed by them, and it caused great damage to the Jewish people. Two thousand years of suffering ensued.

Clearly, Jesus did not show himself to the Jewish leadership.


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