The Blood of the Lamb

The Blood of the Lamb

Christians are impressed that it was the blood (!) Of the lamb which saved the Jews in Egypt. Well it was. But it means something quite different than the meaning that Christians have read into it. In fact the blood of the lamb represents the precise opposite of the Christian claims for Jesus. It is the Jewish rejection of Jesus together with their rejection of all idolatry that saves the Jewish people.

We must ask ourselves. What did the blood mean to the Jews in Egypt? Why was the blood meaningful to God? And how did it save the Jewish people?

Answer: The Egyptians venerated the lamb. They couldn’t associate with anyone who herded sheep for the purpose of eating them (Genesis 43:32, 46:34, Exodus 8:22). For the Jew to slaughter the lamb it was an act of faith. Not in the lamb; but of faith in God. It takes courage to be different. First the Jew had to disengage from the Egyptian influence in his own mind, and then the Jew had to overcome his fear of the local population which would not take lightly to his slaughtering of their object of veneration. But if God commands, the Jew obeys. And God in His infinite mercy rewards our obedience even though it belongs to Him before we gave it to Him.

The blood of the lamb on the doorpost was a statement. The blood was a declaration that when you pass this doorpost you will no longer be in Egypt. Perhaps the geographical address is still Egypt, but the ideological location is far removed from Egypt. The blood on the doorpost proclaims that the people in this house have faith in God and in God alone. The destroying angel went through Egypt, but the homes with the blood were not “Egypt”.

So that’s the Passover lamb.

Today it is the Jew’s Mezuza that is the symbolic equivalent of the blood of the lamb. Wherever you see the Mezuza on the doorpost you can be sure they don’t worship the lamb in there. The Jewish home remains a bastion to faith in God and loyalty to His Law despite all of the extreme pressures that the worshipers of the lamb brought to bear in an effort to get the Jew to abandon his faith in God.

Ultimately, our rejection of the idolatrous influences of the nations around us will pay off. Those who hope to God, trust in Him, and in Him alone, will not be shamed (Isaiah 49:23).

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Thank You

Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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614 Responses to The Blood of the Lamb

  1. Thomas says:

    Great post (and the last one, knock knock, was breathtaking in its clarity).

    Just a small typo on this article:

    “And most Orthodox Jews would agree that the blood of the Passover lamb was a foreshadowing of Jesus’ blood.”

  2. Hi Thomas
    Thanks for the compliments
    that sentence is not a typo. The blood of the lamb represents not what the Jewish people worshiped but what they rejected – be it the forces of nature, Jesus, or any other idol that the populace around them had devoted themselves to. The blood of the lamb showed loyalty to God – and a rejection of the concept that we are subservient to the lamb. So yes – the blood represents Jesus together with all the other idols that Israel rejected throughout history in her loyalty to God.
    Thanks again
    Your Pharisee Friend

  3. uriyosef says:

    Powerful!!!

  4. Melissa Anderson says:

    Interesting that you parallel the Jewish rejection of Egyptian pagan practices with the Jewish rejection of x-tian idolotry. Apparently there is a lot borrowed from Egyptian mythology that seems to have a direct influence on x-tian theology. See http://paganizingfaithofyeshua.netfirms.com/no_1_original_saviour_gods_orisis.htm

  5. I beg to differ. The concept of “Foreshadowing” implies a certain legitimacy and credance to that notion. That there is such a concept, where is there such a concept that a certain mitzvah “foreshadows” a future event? What does foreshadow mean? that its going to happen? No. Nobody says that its going to happen. Additionally, as far as Jesus’ is concerned, I think it is a huge mistake to give him any particular credance, idolatrous or otherwise. Did he exist, did the events in the NT take place as they are described? I strongly disagree. If that is true then the very fact that anything can foreshadow a fictional account is rather ludicrous. That said, I think the statement on its own terms is very misleading. Idols are inanimate objects, at best, at worst they are living entities. However, from a western, Christian stand point, you basically said that all of Orthodox Judaism agrees with a fundamental doctrine of Christianity. Yes, you’ve explained it, but on the surface that is not what you said. I took three double takes, and re-read the sentence about 6 times. Its misleading, even if your meaning is explained.

  6. Daniel
    Jesus is fictional but the Christian faith in him is not – it is a reality – a reality that exerted itself with murderous force against our people to move us from our faith in God. Our loyalty to God will ultimately save us – and it is this loyalty to God – which includes rejection of Jesus together with the rejection of every fictional claim of the idolaters – that is “foresahdowed” in the blood of the lamb. In any case – I changed the wording on the basis of your criticism – thanks and Chag Sameach

  7. David Rasbold says:

    With all the prophecies in the Bible, from Genesis to the prophets, about the messiah coming and the details of each prophecy so clear, what makes you believe that this Jesus could not be the messiah? I am very interested to read your answer.

  8. danielpaulk says:

    Jesus could not be the messiah because of the following :-

    Main function of Messiah is to bring everlasting peace prophesied in scriptures. To make it clear that Jesus is not the messiah Jesus said to the Jews,” “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Mathew 10:34) Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” (Luke.12:51) The person who says I have come to bring division, I have come to bring sword the messiah? Or was Jesus telling a lie while he was really the messiah?

    First he divided Jews into two group, (i) Jews who remained Jews who worship only Yahweh. (2) Jews who worship Jesus also as God along with Yahweh. Then he divided this Christians into innumerable denominations/fractions, to our astonishment even the Christians don’t know how many denominations/fractions they have. And each fraction of Christianity says all other fractions are wrong, fraud. Some Christians even says Pope is the Antichrist.They themselves don’t know which fraction is the right one? Can you say which fraction is the right one? On what basis do you say this Jesus is the messiah?

  9. ‘The Egyptians venerated the lamb.’ Evidence apart from Rashi please?

    We know they worshipped the ox and heifer forms, and virtually every other creature under the sun. We also know that ‘every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians’ which is a somewhat different, and that Moses warned ‘for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians’ – that doesn’t necessarily imply veneration, perhaps strong distaste.

    Second, Egyptians frequently ate the meat of the animals they worshipped.

    Third, why would the sacrifice of a bullock or goat (both also revered) have been any less iconoclastic?

    The great god being slain in the 10th plague was not a sheep god, it was Horus – the god of succession.

    • Sharbano says:

      Reading the comments I came across this statement.

      “Second, Egyptians frequently ate the meat of the animals they worshipped.”

      Rather sounds like “this is my body”, “this is my blood”.

  10. Charles
    Whether the Egyptians venerated the lamb or not is not relevant to the thrust of my argument. This much is clear from Scripture – that slaughtering the lamb was something that the Egyptians could not tolerate – either for cultural reasons or religious reasons – Exodus 8:22. Slaughtering the lamb in Egypt was a departure from the Egyptian mindset – and putting its blood on the doorpost was statement to that effect. It certainly stood as a statement of obedience to God – which was also apart from the Egyptian mindset who would obey others but not the Creator of all,

  11. Charles
    Do you have Scripture to back your assertion?

    • One example of many.
      There was no lack of repentance in Hezekiah’s day, but by itself it was insufficient to forgive sins.
      ‘And the priests killed them, and they made reconciliation with their blood upon the altar, to make an atonement for all Israel: for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel.’ (2Ch 29:24)

      • Charles
        N one disputes that with the availability of a Temple we ought to express our repentance with the act of offering – but where do the Scripture state that without a Temple a blood offering is still required?

        • Yeshua the High Priest stood before the Angel of the Lord, Satan accusing him of the sins that soiled his garments. (Zech.3)
          The Temple foundation had been laid, but not yet completed. (Zech.4)
          It is the LORD (who through the mouth of the Angel) rebukes Satan – the basis of the laying of another Temple stone – one by which all the land’s iniquity would be cleansed – lies in the future. So it is with all the animal sacrifices, they represented a hope for something effective in the future.
          Only through a Priestly King, who sits on His throne in an effective Temple, may sins be remitted. (Zech.6)
          Only those who have entered covenant with the Most High (and covenants were ‘cut’, indicating blood shed) may stand in His presence. (Ps.50.5)
          This of course included all the holy ones like Daniel who looked forward to the unique consummating atonement described in chapter 9.24-6.
          Why else has God withdrawn the heart of Yom Kippur for 2,000 years, and left a blank wall for those who reject His gracious provision?

          • Sharbano says:

            Zechariah 3 does Not say Yeshua, at least Not in the Hebrew.

          • True, I don’t wish to mislead, but Yehoshua/Joshua and Yeshua are both used of the son of Nun.

          • Charles
            So the “heart” in your dictionary is the physical blood or the belief in the blood. Well Charles – I’m not sure if I could have proven my point any better than you have. The heart of Scripture as a whole and of every component part, including the Yom Kippur service, is the relationship between God and His people – and He promised us that we are never left with a “blank wall” – He is always there for us – Ezekiel 11:16 and His promises hold true.

          • I do wish that last statement were true, but as it stands it’s a delusion, our relationship with Him can only be founded on a solid atonement. ‘When I see the blood, I will pass over you,’
            Here is the watershed between life and death.

            Yes, the blood of the Lamb is central, without it there is no seeing the pledge of God’s love, the vindication of His justice, the accomplishment of His Law and the sight of just how much He was prepared to give for us, first Jews and then Gentiles. It is not like the blood of Abel, it cries out for better things…

      • your assertion that Israel cannot atone for sin without “jesus blood” couldn’t be farther from the truth…Nowhere in the Tanach does it even hint that “jesus blood” is needed for Israel to receive forgiveness of sin from Hashem.

        The prophet Daniel stood righteous before Hashem without a Temple. He didn’t need “jesus blood” or jesus in any fashion on order to stand righteous before Hashem.

        Ezekiel 14:14 even if these three men–Noah, Daniel and Job–were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign LORD.

        You see, Daniel received forgiveness for his sins INDEPENDENT of jesus during the first exile. He did this by praying and sincerely repenting before Hashem. Daniel 6:11 states that he even did this in the face of death! Clearly, Daniel knew that his sincere repentance to Hashem brought him back to righteousness.

        He was simply following the words of Jeremiah!

        The context of Jeremiah 29 concerns what G-d expects of us during the exile in order to merit the rebuilding of the Holy Temple. Consider what is said in Jeremiah 29:12-14

        Jeremiah 29:12. And you shall call Me and go and pray to Me, and I will hearken to you.

        Jeremiah 29:13. And you will seek Me and find [Me] for you will seek Me with all your heart.

        Jeremiah 29:14. And I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will return your captivity and gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will return you to the place whence I exiled you.

        G-d expected that the Israelites would pray to Him while in Babylon. The result of their prayers and repentance allowed them to return to the land and rebuild the Holy Temple.

        This is precisely what Daniel did…

        And this is precisely what Orthodox Jews do today! Hosea gives us a similar message:

        Hosea 3:4. For the children of Israel shall remain for many days, having neither king, nor prince, nor sacrifice, nor pillar, nor ephod nor seraphim.

        Hosea 3:5. Afterwards shall the children of Israel RETURN, and seek the Lord their God and David their king, and they shall come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness at the end of days.

        How do we return to Hashem if we do not have any sacrifices? Hosea tells us in Hosea 14:2-3!

        Hosea 14:2. RETURN, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have STUMBLED IN YOUR INIQUITY.

        Clearly, the subject of the next verse explains HOW Israel is supposed to RETURN to Hashem so that OUR INIQUITIES WILL BE FORGIVEN. Of course, the next verse explains just that!

        Hosea 14:3 Take WORDS with yourselves and RETURN TO THE LORD. Say, “YOU SHALL FORGIVE ALL INIQUITY and teach us [the] good [way], and let us render [for] bulls [the offering of] our lips.

        Even though we have stumbled in our iniquity and have been put into exile, we still have a means of returning to Hashem though our sincere PRAYERS. We take our words and return to Hashem by saying; “FORGIVE ALL INIQUITY.” Nothing in Hosea 14:2-3 indicates that we need the blood of animals in order to atone for our sins during the exile. And most importantly, NOTHING in Hosea 14:2-3 says we need the blood of jesus!

        This is why Daniel was able to stand righteous before Hashem, praying three times a day, despite the fact that he knew he would be thrown into a pit of lions if he continued to do so. Yet he continued to do so in the face of death! (Daniel 6:11)

        If the Jewish people did not need “jesus blood” to merit the rebuilding of the Holy Temple during the first exile, then why would we need it now?!

        Hebrews 9:22 is a false statement. It erroneously claims that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.”

        Lets take a look at II Chronicles 30:16-20 where it is HEZEKIAH’S PRAYER and NOT BLOOD which ATONES for the sins of the people…
        


        II Chronicles 30:16. And they stood in their station as was their custom, according to the Torah of Moses, the man of God; the priests sprinkled the blood from the hand of the Levites.
        


        II Chronicles 30:17. For there were many among the congregation who had not consecrated themselves, and the Levites were in charge of the slaughter of the Passover sacrifices for everyone who was unclean, to make it holy for the Lord.



        II Chronicles 30:18. For a multitude of the people, many from Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not purified themselves, for they ate the Passover sacrifice not as it is written, for **Hezekiah had PRAYED**for them, saying, **”MAY THE GOOD LORD ATONE FOR**
        


        II Chronicles 30:19. anyone who has set his whole heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his forefathers, though [he be] not [cleaned] according to the purity that pertains the holy things.”
        


        II Chronicles 30:20. **And THE LORD HEARKENED TO HEZEKIAH and HEALED the people.**



        The Hebrew word יְכַפֵּר is used in verse 18. It means ATONE! Here we see that in the case of Hezekiah’s passover, many of his Israelite guests DID NOT cleanse themselves with BLOOD according to the Law of Moses. In order to ATONE for the sins of his people, King Hezekiah PRAYED TO HASHEM that he should grant ATONEMENT for all those in his Kingdom who truly turned their hearts to Hashem. 

Now, to further expand on this…In verse 16, it clearly states that the Levites were in charge of sprinkling BLOOD to purify Israel as it is stated in the Torah of Moses…Now, verses 17 and 18 say that there were many in Israel WHO DID NOT PURIFY THEMSELVES WITH THE **BLOOD** AS IT IS WRITTEN IN THE TORAH! 

When someone disobeys a Law in the Torah, what do we call that? We call it a SIN! Here, there were individuals who SINNED by NOT being purified by the LEVITICAL PRIESTS OF THE HOLY TEMPLE with BLOOD! Now, according to Hebrews 9:22, the only way to ATONE FOR SIN is through BLOOD! But here, the sin that was committed was that they DIDN’T use blood for atonement…So how is this sin atoned for?

        According to Hebrew 9:22, it has to be blood! But is that how this sin was atoned for? NO! Their sins were atoned for in this manner:



        II Chronicles 30:18 **Hezekiah had PRAYED**for them, saying, **”MAY THE GOOD LORD ATONE FOR**
        


        II Chronicles 30:19. anyone who has set his whole heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his forefathers, though [he be] not [cleaned] according to the purity that pertains the holy things.”



        II Chronicles 30:20. **And THE LORD HEARKENED TO HEZEKIAH and HEALED the people.**

        

The sin of those not purified with the blood was atoned for through PRAYER!

 Thus, Hebrews 9:22 is an inaccurate statement…

        And if you are still skeptical about atonement without blood, The Hebrew word יִּרְפָּא is used in verse 20 for the word “healed.” The root of this word is רְפָּא which means heal. Amazingly, this same root is used in Isaiah 53:5
        Isaiah 53:5. But he was pained because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his wound we were **HEALED.**

        The Hebrew word נִרְפָּא is used in verse Isaiah 53:5 for the word “healed.” This shares the SAME ROOT with יִּרְפָּא as shown above. In both cases, (Isaiah 53:5 and II Chronicles 30:20) a form of the word רְפָּא is used for the word “healed.”
        Clearly, there are circumstances in which atonement can be made through PRAYER, particularly when blood sacrifice is not immediately available…

        II Chronicles 33:9-13 demonstrates this same principle:

        II Chronicles 33:9-13: “And Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray to do what was evil, more than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed from before the Children of Israel. And the Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they did not listen. And the Lord brought upon them the generals of the king of Assyria, and they seized Manasseh with hooks and bound him with copper chains and brought him to Babylon. And when he was distressed, he entreated the Lord his God, and he humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And he PRAYED to Him, and He accepted his prayer, and He heard his supplication and He restored him to Jerusalem to his kingdom, and Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.”

        Here we see that Manasseh used PRAYER to receive forgiveness of his sins as well. We see that when blood sacrifice is not available, prayer is a valid method of atonement for sin. Also keep in mind that under Manasseh’s rule, the kingdom of Judah was more idolatrous than it had ever been in the past! Clearly, Manasseh’s prayer served as a means of forgiveness/atonement without blood sacrifice and most importantly, without jesus!

        Here we have a cause and effect: King Manasseh says a prayer asking for forgiveness and G-d accepts his prayer and restores him as King of Judah. No blood sacrifice was used to atone for King Manasseh as there is nothing in the text that would indicate such.

        This proves that Hebrews 9:22 is a false statement. Blood sacrifice is not the only way to atone for sin. Your jesus has nothing to with our atonement.

        Shalom

        • Dina says:

          Yehuda Yisrael, it’s like what Rabbi Blumenthal says, the Tanach is the best countermissionary book ever written.

          Excellent comment, as usual!

  12. Dina says:

    Just following. Thanks!

  13. Charles
    Yes – the blood of the lamb is central – inasmuch as it represents rejection of faith in the lamb and it represents faith in God and loyalty to His commandment – to see who is delusional – just see how many times the word “atonement” is associated with the Passover offering

    • cpsoper says:

      Some blood sacrifices indeed do hold especial primary reference to making atonement, primarily the sin and trespass offerings (Lev.4.20.26,31,35; 5.6,10,13,16,18; 6.7; 7.7), whilst the burnt offering is often linked to atonement (Lev.1.4, 16.24). Of the 15 mentions of atonement on the great Day, most are tied to the sin offering, only one explicitly to the burnt offering.

      The Passover is itself primarily a sin offering. The analogy to the Lord’s appointed destroyer is manifest in Ezekiel 9, and in 2 Samuel 28.16 This avenger requires and demands satisfaction for the violated Law, and it is by this right he has claims not only all of Egypt, but also all of Israel. Only those covered by the blood sacrifice, and who remain within the lintels of the household covered are protected from his just execution.

      Beware all who read, if you rely on an inefficacious, bloodless atonement, ‘when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you’. You live unprotected, and the sword of Divine justice is stretched out above you.

      David upon seeing that Divine blade poised over Jerusalem, ran to what is now the Temple Mount. Once there he offered burnt and peace offerings. He did not offer an sin or a trespass offering. He said something else which foresaw the fusion of the monarchy and the priesthood, and which alone could take away the iniquity of the land in a day.
      ‘Let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house.’

      הַדָּם הוּא, בַּנֶּפֶשׁ יְכַפֵּר

      • Tsvi Jacobson says:

        Charles: The many verses that show God forgiving his people without a blood offering. Daniel in exile , Hosea 14, Leviticus 5 the poor who only offered flour speaks loudly against Hebrews 9:22 “Without the shedding of blood is no remission” You just cannot prove your contention only using Tanakh. You know this as it stares you in the face. You need your New Testament. But you fail to recognize that to us as a Jew we cannot just accept as Messiah one whose writings contradict our tanakh. The only Jews that accept your savior are those who either emotionally are swayed or are ignorant of the few fact I just presented in my reply. I know of whom I speak. Tsvi

        • cpsoper says:

          I see I’m not alone in finding Rashi’s thesis that Passover was primarily a feast of Egyptian iconoclasm dubious and unhistorical http://frumheretic.blogspot.com/2009/03/sheep-worship-in-ancient-egypt.html

          Daniel looked for the sevenfold fulfilment spoken of at the end of chapter 9, six of which are found in verse 24, all of which are predicated on an unprecedented and perfect atonement: לְכַלֵּא הַפֶּשַׁע ולחתם (וּלְהָתֵם) חטאות (חַטָּאת) וּלְכַפֵּר עָו‍ֹן, וּלְהָבִיא, צֶדֶק עֹלָמִים; וְלַחְתֹּם חָזוֹן וְנָבִיא, וְלִמְשֹׁחַ קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים.

          Hosea 14.3 speaks of a thank offering, not atonement or redemption.

          None of the offerings in Leviticus 5 suffice to atone adequately – how can animal blood actually stand in for or cleanse human sin? They are but pictures of a real propitiation, and flour is the poorest picture of all.

          Only the Suffering Servant of HaShem can take away our guilt, only His stripes heal us, only His chastisement purchase our peace, and for this the Messiah must be cut off, Joseph rejected, David go into exile and by His experience justify us. All other hopes apart from our Redeemer (גֹּאֲלֵנוּ) must perish.

          • Fred says:

            I will ask you, like I have the others, to show me from Tanakh where it says that the sacrificial system “pointed to” or “foreshadowed” a future human sacrifice.

            There is a reason why flour was a “poor picture” of a human sacrifice. Because it wasn’t supposed to be a picture of a future human sacrifice. The sacrificial system was very complex. If it were meant to exist for the SOLE purpose of “pointing to” a human sacrifice, then it would have been much simpler, and again, would have been clarified by God as a foreshadowing. But God gave no such warning or even hinted that the sacrifices pointed to a human sacrifice, something he condemned as a grievous sin. Instead, God gives us plain pictures of the Messianic Age and the Messiah, and is CLEAR that this is what he is showing us in Ezekiel and Jeremiah, among others. Yet, you and other Christians ( or fake Christians as are common to this blog) choose to ignore the plain prophecies given by God and instead read prophecy into texts that are not given as prophecies. Eisegesis is the worst of all interpretational transgressions and a guarantee that you will not get the true meaning of the text or the bigger picture.

            >>>>None of the offerings in Leviticus 5 suffice to atone adequately – how can animal blood actually stand in for or cleanse human sin? <<<

            How is human blood any better? Humans are not even kosher as animals, let alone proper for atonement. Maybe that is why repentance has always been the preferred means of atonement. I suggest you read Hebrews again and come back and tell me how you believe Christianity has done in fulfilling the message, method and promises proscribed by that book.

          • cpsoper says:

            No Fred a poor picture of blood sacrifice.
            As to the issue of human sacrifice, why have you never read Numbers 25.13, or the inadvertent sacrifice of Numbers 16.37-38? Why did HaShem command Abraham to offer up his son, if it was never intended to be a burnt offering? What about Jephthah’s offering of his own daughter?
            What dreadful judgement is depicted in Ezekiel 39.17 and 18 as a sacrifice? What is intended by dark side of the Lord’s redemption in Isaiah 63.3-4?

            Atonement is about the meeting out of justice, and full justice involves punishment. If it is not met in our substitute it must be met in us.

        • Hebrews 9:21-22
          “Moreover, he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vesseles of ministry, and almost all things are BY THE LAW purged with blood, and without shedding of blood is no remission”

          To me, this seems not to be a brand new Christian theology of atonement, rather it is an faithful interpretation of the LAW because already Leviticus 17:11 says, “for it is the BLOOD that makes an atonement for the soul”

          Of course, the blood itself on the door post has no power, it is just expression of courage, obedience, and faith in God (good reminder, thanks), but one of the reasons why Messianic gentiles believe the blood of the lamb has connection with the afflicted Messiah is based on Isaiah 53:7 “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth, he is brought as a LAMB to thr slaughter and as a SHEEP before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth”

          I thank my fellow Jews who initiated to slaughter the lamb of God on the cross to make atonement for such a sinful gentile like me. You are truly Priest Nation.

          • robert2016 says:

            Leviticus 17:11 says, “for it is the BLOOD that makes an atonement for the soul”

            Isaiah 53:7 “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth, he is brought as a LAMB to thr slaughter and as a SHEEP before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth”

            but one of the reasons why Messianic gentiles believe the blood of the lamb has connection with the afflicted Messiah is based on

            …………………..
            there is no blood atonement in is 53:7
            oppression and affliction may cause feeling sorry for the persons, but open wounds and blood pouring out has no atonement in it. no ritual sacrifice in is 53

          • Yes, there is no direct mention of “blood atonement” but i am wondering if anyone can say ISAIAH 53 has nothing to do with atonement and blood image:
            5. ..He was wounded for our transgression, he was bruised for our iniquities…
            6. … the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all…
            8. …for the transgression of my people was he stricken…
            10. …when thou shalt make his soul (life, blood) an OFFERING FOR SIN (antonement)
            11. …. for he shall bear their iniquities
            12. … He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressions.

          • Sharbano says:

            The correct translation is “He was pained Because of our rebellious sins and oppressed Through Our iniquities”.

          • Ok, thank you Sharbano.

          • robert2016 says:

            “10. …when thou shalt make his soul (life, blood) an OFFERING FOR SIN (antonement)”

            his death, blood, flesh and life is not a ritual sacrifice.
            the only thing verse 10 seems to be saying is that he risked his life , not that he died.
            “my soul is deeply troubled even unto death”
            no death here
            there are other ways to make soul offering for sin without dying

            quote:
            Despised and rejected by men, a man of pains and accustomed to illness, and as one who hides his face from us, despised and we held him of no account.

            Indeed, he bore our illnesses, and our pains-he carried them, yet we accounted him as plagued, smitten by God and oppressed.

            But he was pained because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his wound we were healed.

            seems like the verse you quoted is linked back to the 3 verses i just quoted.

            other translations

            10And the Lord wished to crush him, He made him ill; if his soul makes itself restitution, he shall see children, he shall prolong his days, and God’s purpose shall prosper in his hand.

            he has to acknowledge his own sin . this translation gives the impression that the servant is a sinner. no animal type of offering can be derived from verse 10.

          • robert2016: you said
            “the only thing verse 10 seems to be saying is that he risked his life, not that he died” ?

            Yes, “risking life” is in this verse but it says “though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering”! ‘guilt offering’ is not half dead or 99% dead, it is “Dead”! Doesn’t the context also say that? “for he was CUT OFF from the land of the LIVING”(v.8) ,
            “with the rich in his DEATH”(v.9)

            you said “he has to acknowledge his own sin” ??
            then how do you understand verse 11 “… by his knowledge my RIGHTEOUS servant will JUSTIFY many”?

          • robert2016 says:

            “Yes, “risking life” is in this verse but it says “though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering”! ‘guilt offering’ is not half dead or 99% dead, it is “Dead”!”
            ………………………………………………..
            you are viewing this in light animal sacrifices. you really think a human is a guilt offering? the text does not say that the death = atonement or that the soul /life/whatever died for atonement. it doesn’t even say it died.
            was jesus a sin offering or a guilt offering?

            “Doesn’t the context also say that? “for he was CUT OFF from the land of the LIVING”(v.8) ,”

            assuming “cut off ” means “death” where does it say that its death = atonement for sins? where does it say that it’s death saves/atones?

            “with the rich in his DEATH”(v.9)

            NOTHING about atonement

            …………………………
            you said “he has to acknowledge his own sin” ??
            then how do you understand verse 11 “… by his knowledge my RIGHTEOUS servant will JUSTIFY many”?
            …………………………………………………..
            how come it doesn’t say that the DEATH /offering will justify many?
            why is it knowledge which will save ? why did you capitalize “righteous” ? don’t you know that even righteous noah, daniel and job sinned according to christianity?

            here is the jewish understanding

            http://judaismsanswer.com/Isaiah%2053%20Part%202%20-%20Gods%20View.htm

          • Yes, the text does not literally say, “his death will atone,” But the natural reading of the chapter leads me that way, i am sorry I can’t deny. However, I understand ‘the atonement through human death
            ‘makes no sense to Judaism. How can a dead man save anybody? I see your frustration.

            But the Biblical and original Christianity does not teach that way. Atonement should be differentiated from salvation. Atonement, as you know, is to come nearer to God, to gain access to the presence of God. So Hebrews 10:19-20″Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jeshua, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body”

            I understand the salvation is eternal life, and Jeshua defined in John 17:3″ Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the ONE true God and Jeshua Messiah, whom you have sent.” So, i understand that salvation is to have holy and intimate fellowship with HaShem and the Messiah forever.

            I think Christianity might have impressed unfortunately that the crucifixion itself saves people, but it is not what the New Testament teaches. His death atones and reconciles sinners, and His resurrection saves and justifies by indwelling of His righteous and holy Spirit in us.

            Romans 4:25″He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
            Romans 5:10 ” for if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His LIFE!”

            Salvation does not come by watching and believing crucifixion, rather by living relationship with HaShem and actions with faith in what HaShem has done through Israel, the first born son of God, and Jeshua, the first born Son of God.

          • Sharbano says:

            The image of a lamb doesn’t really fit with a messiah. The image is more reflective of the holocaust. What you are reading is a history of the Jewish nation.

          • Yes, you are right. The Messiah should be as Davidic figure who is a king and warrior. Isaiah 53 seems unfit to that. However, The crucifixion is the Messiah’s humbleness and emptying of his power. We see the same character in David’s life.

            New Testament reports that Jeshua actually had the power and authority but he did not use it for the purpose of atoning task on the cross.

            Examples: when Peter struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear , Jeshua said,”Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” (MT 26:53)

            When the people looked for Jeshua to seize on the Mt. OLIVES, Jeshua asked, “who is it you want?” They replied “Jesus of Nazareth” At the word of Jeshua saying “I AM HE!” They drew back and fell to the ground. (JOHN 18:6) — you remember the SAME thing happened in 1 Samuel 14:13 , right? “Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor bearer followed and killed behind him.”

            Luke 4:17 reports that Jeshua preached in the synagogue in his home town Nazareth, quoting Isaiah 61:1-2, and he stopped at “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s FAVOR.” and he rolled up the scroll. Why did he omit the next sentence, “and the day of VENGEANCE of our God.”? Because he would fulfill the prophecy of atonement through His death. Then when He will fulfill the Vengeance part? On His second coming! The Revelations 19 prophesy that Jeshua the Messiah will come again as the conquering King, the Lion of Judah and execute the judgement upon all the enemies of God’s people!

          • Sharbano says:

            To suggest humbleness because of a crucifixion is nothing but a ‘throw out there’ statement. It has no basis in reality. Xtian will say literally anything to make Isaiah 53 work for them. No matter what, the context just doesn’t support the case.

          • robert2016 says:

            “Atonement should be differentiated from salvation. Atonement, as you know, is to come nearer to God, to gain access to the presence of God. So Hebrews 10:19-20″Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jeshua, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body”

            why does anybody need jesus’ blood before one speak to god? why need blood from anything? christians say people are going to be burned in hell . shall i watch burning ritual and use it to speak to god? is there a time when no shedding of blood is required and forgiveness is pure and free of blood?

          • Thank you for your reply. I hope there is an open door for us to speak directly to God but unfortunately since Adam sinned and hid himself from God while God searched for him, there has been wall- flaming sword (Gen.3:24) between G_d and us.

            Why HaShem warned and put limits between Him and the Israelites in the Mt. Sinai? Why He required the priests who approached the Lord to consecrate themselves? (Exodus19:21-25) Let us not forget this happened even before the Law was given!

            “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear”(Isa.59:2-3) My personal life proves this. No one accused me of my secret sins, nevertheless I did not search for God, I did not want to call Him. I know it is because of the sin in me.

            Yes, God can speak to people without requiring blood atonement, actually I think He always does so because He always wants to have relationship with us. But the problem is WE who do not want to come to the Light and talk to Him because we want not our darkness to be disclosed.

            We want to assure that our sins are forgiven but self-assurance cannot make us believe that we are truly forgiven. There is always doubt in us.

            Let’s say, one day a criminal who has been sentenced to death set free and discharged from the prison and sent immediately back to home. Would he enjoy the new life?
            Maybe not. He would search for the evidence or documents that legally prove the dismissal of his case!

            From the infinite mercy and love of our G_D, He provided the “once and for all” legal document sealed with the blood of the Son of G_D so that anybody could come to Him with confidence. G_D INVITES, not require to the table of the atonement so that we enjoy abundant life with Him.

          • Gean Guk Jeon God Himself is capable iof forgetting our sins and wiping them clean without the services of a human body and we trust God on His word – if you need a document you have Ezekiel 18 and 33 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • cpsoper says:

            Can God break His own Law? Can He lie? The soul that sins it shall surely die.
            Repentance and sincere intentions alone will never, ever justify, only appointed redemption and a Redeemer can accomplish deliverance from the snare of our sin.
            What is the missing Temple all about if not the price of atonement?

          • cpsoper I suggest you take up your argument with Ezekiel and Isaiah

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • cpsoper says:

            I respectfully suggest both aver as strongly as Moses the necessity for a blood atonement to justify. Isaiah received his commission in a vision of the place of blood sacrifice before the enthroned High Priest, Who is our Righteousness, and Ezekiel’s prophecy concludes with a vision of the Sanctuary in which the sacrificing Prince is central, 45.22.

          • cpsoper So as is your way – you’ll ignore their explicit words and find solace in any metaphor that you could find so that you can hang on to your man-made theology 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • cpsoper says:

            Whether the passages cited are wrenched or properly explained I am content now to let others weigh carefully, though I too have studied them carefully and their significance to the question. However to conclude that the bare mention of repentance in Ezekiel 33 and Isaiah 55 indicates that it alone is sufficient for atonement is reckless and dangerous exegesis, especially given the many references to blood atonement in adjacent passages in the same books. Both prophets would repudiate such a blinkered position, it belies God’s justice and fails to vindicate His vengeance. Good deeds, even if we could perform them, will never, never atone for bad. True repentance looks and longs for the Divine gift of righteousness, buying milk and wine without money and without price. The enduring Divine covenant which alone brings mercy is void without a surety.

          • cpsoper God’s word is surety enough 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • robert2016 says:

            “Thank you for your reply. I hope there is an open door for us to speak directly to God but unfortunately since Adam sinned and hid himself from God while God searched for him, there has been wall- flaming sword (Gen.3:24) between G_d and us.”

            but i don’t think there is a flaming sword between god and sincerely repentant who sincerely seeks god. if god hears and sees and is close then jesus becomes redundant.

            “Why HaShem warned and put limits between Him and the Israelites in the Mt. Sinai? Why He required the priests who approached the Lord to consecrate themselves? (Exodus19:21-25) Let us not forget this happened even before the Law was given!”

            but i don’t think one require intermediaries to speak to god. if god hears and sees and is kind , then he does not require human blood before he can answer.

            ““But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear”(Isa.59:2-3) My personal life proves this. No one accused me of my secret sins, nevertheless I did not search for God, I did not want to call Him. I know it is because of the sin in me.”

            your personal life does not prove to me that blood is required before god speaks to anyone.

            “Yes, God can speak to people without requiring blood atonement, actually I think He always does so because He always wants to have relationship with us. But the problem is WE who do not want to come to the Light and talk to Him because we want not our darkness to be disclosed.”

            but i do want to talk to the creator and i don’t think a human sacrficial ritual is required before i talk to him. how close or intimate is conversation with god if one has to think of ritual human sacrifice?

            “From the infinite mercy and love of our G_D, He provided the “once and for all” legal document sealed with the blood of the Son of G_D so that anybody could come to Him with confidence.”

            infinite mercy and love of god ? god couldn’t escape from sacrificing himself so where is infinite mercy and love?
            does mercy and love really require a god to come down and do ritual animal sacrifice to himself? if yes, then doesn’t love mean that it is dependant on ritual killing?
            tell me why are sincerely penitent heart cannot speak to god and if god is infinite in mercy and love he can’t answer without ritual killing?
            how close is your relationship with god if one always has to go through “sealed blood document” ? why not god see his own bloodless mercy ?

          • I agree with you that sincerely penitent heart can speak to God and there are cases when God forgave the penitent heart without blood atonement. BUT penitence is enough for us and for God? Would you forgive the IS terrorists and criminals who are responsible for Holocaust when they truly cry and repent? There might be some who ran away from prosecution and enjoyed the rest of their lives and died. Where is the vengence? Where is the justice of God? Brother… Hell is needed!!

            To me it is not psychological, emotional and verbal penitence that renew our heart, it is “paying the price” that really set us free from the bondage. God wants to pay the price to be JUST God and FAITHFUL to keep His words.

            1. “For when you eat of it you will SURELY die” Gen.2:17 Adam died because he did not truly repent?
            2. The Law reveals the justice of God. Repentance is just a small part of qualifications to be forgiven. Isn’t the “Paying the price” the pervasive idea in all the law? LEVITICUS 17:11 “it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life”
            Let us look carefully how the Law says “it is the BLOOD (NOT animal blood) that atones”
            3.Although David poured out his heart, truly repent, fast all day lying on the ground, he had to pay the price; God struck his new born son.(2Sam.12)
            4. “

          • Gean Guk Jeon So you think God was making a joke in Ezekiel 33? -and would you be happy if an Isis terrorist or Hitler got away with killing a lamb? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • My pharisee friend! I like your passion for the word of God. I hope to learn from you and find the Truth together through our conversations.

            I dont think God was joking. I think you are right in Ezekiel 33 God saves those who repent and do righteousness without blood atonement. But I also think we need to look through briefly the whole Tanakh how God revealed the way of life and salvation.

            In the Garden of Eden, not to eat of the tree of good and evil was the way of life.
            To Cain, to receive the mark from the Lord was the way of life.
            To Noah, to build an ark and enter it was the way of salvation.
            To Lot, to get out of Solomon was the way.
            To Moses who was at a lodging place on the way to Egypt, Zipporah’s cutting off her son’s foreskin and touch Moses’ feet.
            To Hebrews in Egypt, to put the blood of the lamb on the doorpost.
            When got snake bites in the wilderness, to look at the bronze snake on a pole.
            In the land of Israel, to listen and obey the Word of HaShem.
            In the tims of prophets like Ezekiel 33, social justice and obedience to the law.
            In Malachi, bringing the whole tithes and the prophet Elijah turning the hearts of fathers to children and children to fathers.

            God spoke in different manners in different times. We can’t impose Ezekiel 33 as one way of salvation upon all the biblical history. We must hear up to date voice of the Lord.

            Hebrews 1: 1 ” In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe”

          • Gean Guk Jeon
            There was always one way and that is obedience – to God, not to anyone else

          • Amen to that! If I lived in Israel 570 B.C.E. I would listen and obey the Word of God through prophet Jeremiah. If I lived in Israel 30 C.E. I would obey the Word of God through Jeshua, Now I do my best to obey the Revelation of God through 66 books of the Bible. That is why John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”

          • Dina says:

            Gean, you wrote, “God spoke in different manners in different times. We can’t impose Ezekiel 33 as one way of salvation upon all the biblical history. We must hear up to date voice of the Lord.”

            At this point, 2000 years ago is not very much more up to date than 2500 years ago and so on.

            The first few examples you give are not relevant because they apply to individuals or to a specific national crisis. The last three examples are more general and they apply as much today as they did then. It’s obvious this is so when you read all the examples in context.

            Search the Hebrew Bible and see how many times the phrase “eternal covenant” appears in conjunction with a particular commandment. I think you will find this exercise instructive.

          • Thanks for the comment. When I said, “Up to date” i meant “contemporary” Whatever God says in particular times and places, we must obey.

            I believe that the Old Covenant with Israel is still valid as the New Covenant with church. Yes, since God is eternal and foresees from the beginning into eternity, His words and covenants are eternal.

            Do you mean, because He makes “eternal covenant,” His rule of salvation is eternally same in all the ages and places?

          • Dina says:

            Hi Gean,

            I’m not sure I understand your question, but I will try to clarify. If God commands something and says it is eternally binding, then what other language would you want God to employ to be more clear? God disagrees with you that His commandments apply only in certain times and places.

            Here’s a relevant example, since we’re in the midst of celebrating Passover. God commands the Jews to keep this holiday, to eat matzos, and not to eat leavened bread. In this passage from Exodus 12:14-20, God uses the terms “eternal decree” twice, “for your generations” once, and “that soul shall be cut off from Israel [regarding one who eats leavened bread]” twice.

            In the passage in Exodus 13:3-10, the term “from year to year” is not given an expiration date.

            God could not be more clear that He expects us to observe Passover every year, forever, eating matzos and refraining from eating leavened bread.

            The clear teachings of the Torah are eternal and apply to every time and place that we find ourselves in.

            I hope this helps!

          • Shalom Dina. Sorry for the late response. Your argument really helped my understanding of the concept of “eternal covenant.” I put my new thought and discovery about this issue on my blog because it is too long to post here. I humbly invite you to see it on my blog. https://shalomshalomisrael.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/the-progressive-revelation-of-passover-%ec%9c%a0%ec%9b%94%ec%a0%88%ec%97%90-%eb%8c%80%ed%95%9c-%ec%a0%90%ec%a7%84%ec%a0%81%ec%9d%b8-%ea%b3%84%ec%8b%9c/
            The title is “The progressive revelation of passover” under the category of “the mysteries of Israel in the Bible” you are more than welcomed to comment. Thanks.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Gean,

            I limit myself to one blog of this sort because of my time constraints. May I trouble you to summarize your main points here?

            In the meantime, I must reiterate that the word “eternal” as in “eternal covenant” and “eternal decree” means just that. God could not be more clear. He also made it clear that He does not change His mind regarding His promises (Numbers 23:19).

            I would encourage you as well to study Deuteronomy 4 and 13, which teach, respectively, that we must never associate God with a physical form and that if a prophet produces a sign and then teaches a new type of worship unknown to our fathers, then we must reject him as utterly false.

            Christians associate God with a physical form, Jesus. Furthermore, Jesus taught a new type of worship that was unknown to our fathers. What more need be said?

          • Jeremiah 14:20ff says,” O Lord, we acknowledge our wickedness and the guilt of our fathers; we have indeed sinned against you… Remember your Covenant with us and do not break it…”
            15:1 ” Then the Lord said to me.
            “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people…”

            I am a type of PROPHET Jonah. I can’t understand why God forgave such a wicked nation as Assyria when they repent? The penalty of cruel peeling off human skins for long years just vanish away when they repent?

            I would not believe or follow the unjust God of Israel unless HE said ” I poured out THE wrath upon my Son on the cross.”

          • Gean Guk Jeon Jonah KNEW that God is a merciful God and that he will forgive 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Yes, you’re right. He knew that. But the question is why he would rather die than go to Nineveh? What do you think?

            God could have raised up a Gentile spiritist or religious priest to declare the simple message- “Nineveh will fall down in 40 days” and make the citizens repent and be saved from the calamity. Nothing is impossible with our HaShem!! Amen?

            But why God had to send him and to put him physically there and to make him walk and preach the message? I think because God knew that the citizens would not repent if they hear from a fellow citizen however serious, religious or passionate he was.

            God had to send His servant from far away, who has blazing eyes, blunt face, and serious voice, like a man who came back to life from dead and tell the truth at the expense of his life. Actually Jonah was such a man. So was Jeshua.

            In The book of Jonah, we see God continued to try to kill his servant physically, emotionally, and logically (by sending storm, being thrown into the water, making him preach the provocative message in the dangerous land, sending worm which chew the vine over his head, sending scorching east wind with sun blazing, and talking to him like the God of Israel is on the side of enemy of Israel) in order to save many lives.

            It was the Lord’s will to crush His Son and cause him to suffer to save you and me.

            Crucifixion is not a separate program of atonement apart from repentance. Crucifixion is God running into our Nineveh to MAKE us repent and come back to Him!

          • Gean Guk Jeon Jonah never claimed sinlessness or divinity and God’s true servants follow suit. The righteous of Israel are God’s servant and His witness and some obey while others don’t 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • robert2016 says:

            humans are limited and need to give up their lives . they are forced into a corner. why does the creator of life and death and giver of life and death need to be cornered and sacrificed ? does god think like man? is his ways like man? man has been appeasing mans emotions by cutting neck of children to appease the gods.

            in christianity, god damns everyone because every one he created “born in sin” then when one wants to speak to god, god says , “hold on, let me go and brutally murder myself before i speak to you”

            1. he makes man born in sin.
            2. man cries out to him day and night, “please answer me god, answer me”
            3. god says , “because i made you born in sin and you are spiritual wreck, i need to sacrifice myself and you need this ritual of sacrifice between you and me

            this is not “infinite mercy and love”

          • robert2016 says:

            “I agree with you that sincerely penitent heart can speak to God and there are cases when God forgave the penitent heart without blood atonement. BUT penitence is enough for us and for God? Would you forgive the IS terrorists and criminals who are responsible for Holocaust when they truly cry and repent? There might be some who ran away from prosecution and enjoyed the rest of their lives and died. Where is the vengence? Where is the justice of God? Brother… Hell is needed!!”

            you are asking me what i would do and many people do forgive without harming themselves later on but gods ways is not like our ways.
            If God knows the human is weak then why can’t forgiveness be part of his justice, why can’t he warn? isn’t that what he does in the bible? is hell needed for sincerely repentant who sincerely seek the face of god?

            “To me it is not psychological, emotional and verbal penitence that renew our heart, it is “paying the price” that really set us free from the bondage. God wants to pay the price to be JUST God and FAITHFUL to keep His words.”

            god “pays” the price through his fairness, kindness and mercy. he see his own righteousness in his own attributes. i am sure god would not require a murder ritual before one talks to him i am sure of it.

          • robert2016 says:

            “There might be some who ran away from prosecution and enjoyed the rest of their lives and died”

            god can punish anytime he wants. he can even cleanse the person by punishing him. but what you say is the christian line. christians sin from monday-friday and they tell themselves that they are free from divine wrath.

            tell the truth. when the prophets in the hebrew bible REPENTED did they acknowledge that God could bring his wrath anytime?
            so clearly prophets of the old repented with fear of Gods punishment, but christianity teaches the opposite. it says “no more punishment if you wash yourself in jesus blood”

          • robert2016 says:

            “Repentance and sincere intentions alone will never, ever justify, only appointed redemption and a Redeemer can accomplish deliverance from the snare of our sin.”

            by punishing himself is god telling humans that he quit?

          • robert2016 says:

            “In The book of Jonah, we see God continued to try to kill his servant physically, emotionally, and logically (by sending storm, being thrown into the water, making him preach the provocative message in the dangerous land, sending worm which chew the vine over his head, sending scorching east wind with sun blazing, and talking to him like the God of Israel is on the side of enemy of Israel) in order to save many lives.”

            did jonah say that one comes to god through the suffering of jonah? did jonah focus attention on himself/did god?

          • Good question. The text doesn’t say that one comes to God through the suffering of Jonah. Neither it says that one comes to God regardless of the suffering of Jonah. We do know that the repentance from iniquities is not free. Somebody has to go and cost time, energy, even life to tell the truth and the coming judgement of God. Ask Moses, ask Jonah, ask Jeremiah, and ask Jeshua.

          • robert2016 says:

            “Crucifixion is not a separate program of atonement apart from repentance. Crucifixion is God running into our Nineveh to MAKE us repent and come back to Him!”

            but you tell yourself that your god saved himself and his now enjoying heavenly rewards and is living a peaceful life. doesn’t that effect your repentance? don’t christians after their repentance celebrate in church the resurrection of their god ?
            its like you have to beat up jesus in your mind, then tell yourself he has fully recovered from the beating and then celebrate his recovery . what is the point of this?
            since none of the beating changes a christians sinful nature, why not ask god to forgive without jesus?

          • Sorry for the late response. I hope you had a wonderful Passover. Your words really make me reexamine my spiritual life. Frankly, you are right. i am, as a Messianic gentile, confused whenever i face passover week because there are totally different moods within the week. For example, i force myself to focus on repentance from my sins as i approach the day of Crucifixion, (pre-rejoicing of the resurrection during the suffering week make me feel guilty ^^) and encourage myself to create a joy in me of the resurrection after the Good Friday although there is not much to rejoice in my life circumstance. This is a little awkward practice of my faith every year.

            I have a question. In Deuteronomy 16, there are specific commandments in each feasts: Passover, Festival of Weeks, and Festival of Tabernacles.
            God commands “rejoicing” in the festivals except the Passover. During Passover, God commands “eating the bread of affliction (bitter herb? i don’t know)” Seems to me that the Passover is for remembering affliction? but my question is this; “Isn’t that a season of great joy when Hashem liberated Israelites from slavery? then, why eating bread of affliction?”

            Secondly, 2 Chronicles 30:13-27 tells us that they celebrated the Passover with great joy! and they agreed to extend 7 more days! Praise Adonai Eloheinu! Even though the observing the Passover did not start smoothly at first, God healed and they could not calm down their excitement. I love this… So question is “during the Passover, aren’t they also breaking the law by uncleanness of some tribes, repentance and bitterness and joy mixed together?” I don’t know i just see similarity between this joyful awkwardness of these two group of people^^

          • Gean Guk Jones Excellent question All of the holidays are times of joy – the bread of poverty reminds us of the suffering we were saved from – and it also reminds us of the poverty of all creation before the Creator which is joy – not sadness. Joy is recognizing His love and our poverty – 1Chronicles 22:14; 29:14-16 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • ok. thanks for the explanation. i just wondered why then God omit saying “rejoice” in passover, wheras He mentioned in the other feasts.

          • Gean Guk Jeon In Deuteronomy 15:14 it says “rejoice in your “chag” – the word “chag” is a word used to describe all three holidays

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Gean Guk Jeon, Lets take a closer look at II Chronicles 30:16-20 where it is HEZEKIAH’S PRAYER and NOT BLOOD which ATONES for the sins of the people…
            


            II Chronicles 30:16. And they stood in their station as was their custom, according to the Torah of Moses, the man of God; the priests sprinkled the blood from the hand of the Levites.
            


            II Chronicles 30:17. For there were many among the congregation who had not consecrated themselves, and the Levites were in charge of the slaughter of the Passover sacrifices for everyone who was unclean, to make it holy for the Lord.



            II Chronicles 30:18. For a multitude of the people, many from Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not purified themselves, for they ate the Passover sacrifice not as it is written, for **Hezekiah had PRAYED**for them, saying, **”MAY THE GOOD LORD ATONE FOR**
            


            II Chronicles 30:19. anyone who has set his whole heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his forefathers, though [he be] not [cleaned] according to the purity that pertains the holy things.”
            


            II Chronicles 30:20. **And THE LORD HEARKENED TO HEZEKIAH and HEALED the people.**



            The Hebrew word יְכַפֵּר is used in verse 18. It means ATONE! Here we see that in the case of Hezekiah’s passover, many of his Israelite guests DID NOT cleanse themselves with BLOOD according to the Law of Moses. In order to ATONE for the sins of his people, King Hezekiah PRAYED TO HASHEM that he should grant ATONEMENT for all those in his Kingdom who truly turned their hearts to Hashem. 

Now, to further expand on this…In verse 16, it clearly states that the Levites were in charge of sprinkling BLOOD to purify Israel as it is stated in the Torah of Moses…Now, verses 17 and 18 say that there were many in Israel WHO DID NOT PURIFY THEMSELVES WITH THE **BLOOD** AS IT IS WRITTEN IN THE TORAH! 

When someone disobeys a Law in the Torah, what do we call that? We call it a SIN! Here, there were individuals who SINNED by NOT being purified by the LEVITICAL PRIESTS OF THE HOLY TEMPLE with BLOOD! Now, according to Hebrews 9:22, the only way to ATONE FOR SIN is through BLOOD! But here, the sin that was committed was that they DIDN’T use blood for atonement…So how is this sin atoned for?

            According to Hebrew 9:22, it has to be blood! But is that how this sin was atoned for? NO! Their sins were atoned for in this manner:



            II Chronicles 30:18 **Hezekiah had PRAYED**for them, saying, **”MAY THE GOOD LORD ATONE FOR**
            


            II Chronicles 30:19. anyone who has set his whole heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his forefathers, though [he be] not [cleaned] according to the purity that pertains the holy things.”



            II Chronicles 30:20. **And THE LORD HEARKENED TO HEZEKIAH and HEALED the people.**

            

The sin of those not purified with the blood was atoned for through PRAYER!

 Thus, Hebrews 9:22 is an inaccurate statement…

            And if you are still skeptical about atonement without blood, The Hebrew word יִּרְפָּא is used in verse 20 for the word “healed.” The root of this word is רְפָּא which means heal. Amazingly, this same root is used in Isaiah 53:5
            Isaiah 53:5. But he was pained because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his wound we were **HEALED.**

            The Hebrew word נִרְפָּא is used in verse Isaiah 53:5 for the word “healed.” This shares the SAME ROOT with יִּרְפָּא as shown above. In both cases, (Isaiah 53:5 and II Chronicles 30:20) a form of the word רְפָּא is used for the word “healed.”
            Clearly, there are circumstances in which atonement can be made through PRAYER, particularly when blood sacrifice is not immediately available…

            II Chronicles 33:9-13 demonstrates this same principle:

            II Chronicles 33:9-13: “And Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray to do what was evil, more than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed from before the Children of Israel. And the Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they did not listen. And the Lord brought upon them the generals of the king of Assyria, and they seized Manasseh with hooks and bound him with copper chains and brought him to Babylon. And when he was distressed, he entreated the Lord his God, and he humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And he PRAYED to Him, and He accepted his prayer, and He heard his supplication and He restored him to Jerusalem to his kingdom, and Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.”

            Here we see that Manasseh used PRAYER to receive forgiveness of his sins as well. We see that when blood sacrifice is not available, prayer is a valid method of atonement for sin. Also keep in mind that under Manasseh’s rule, the kingdom of Judah was more idolatrous than it had ever been in the past! Clearly, Manasseh’s prayer served as a means of forgiveness/atonement without blood sacrifice and most importantly, without jesus!

            Here we have a cause and effect: King Manasseh says a prayer asking for forgiveness and G-d accepts his prayer and restores him as King of Judah. No blood sacrifice was used to atone for King Manasseh as there is nothing in the text that would indicate such.

            This proves that Hebrews 9:22 is a false statement. Blood sacrifice is not the only way to atone for sin. Your jesus has nothing to with our atonement.

            Shalom

          • Nice to meet you Yehuda. Thank your for your comment. i see your point and i agree God atones without blood sacrifice. And i want to add, “God also atones with blood” because the Law says so! Leviticus 17:11 !!

            This is my understanding of Hebrews 9:22, “In fact, the Law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood AND without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” This verse is not talking about Christian doctrine of atonement through blood. This is a statement of observation of what the Leviticus 17:11 says within the scope of the whole Torah.

            Let me rephrase it; “NEALY everything is atoned by blood according to the LAW AND there is nearly no forgiveness without the shedding of the blood according to the law ” that is what it says.

            i think you brought good textual supports. Atonement or forgiveness through prayers of two KINGS. Yes, i agree. i want you to know that crucifixion is not all about shedding blood. it is also about shedding water, shedding sweat, bruise, piercing, hanging, woundeness, chastisement, mockering, shame, condemnation… and PRAYER!

            On the cross, Jeshua prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

            God forgives and atones through blood according to the Law.
            God heals through his wound according to Isaiah 53.
            God forgives through proclamation of the coming judgment according to Jonah.
            God forgives through prayer according to Hezekiah and Mannasseh.

            Jeshua did all of them on the crucifixion. (Jeshua’s proclamation of coming disaster is found in Luke 23:30).

          • robert2016 says:

            “Yes, i agree. i want you to know that crucifixion is not all about shedding blood. it is also about shedding water, shedding sweat, bruise, piercing, hanging, woundeness, chastisement, mockering, shame, condemnation… and PRAYER!”

            just so god can forgive?
            i believe you can rise up today because you can seek god without bruise, piercing , slitting throat, wounds, shame, i believe it is possible that you can do it without the stuff you mentioned in your list. do you really think god wants to tell man to put trust in your list before he answer the phone? children are dying this minute. blood is pouring down the streets. suffering . we must change our thinking and forget depending on finite sacrifices.

  14. Cindy says:

    “The Arizal teaches that the whole concept of Passover provides the Jews with a method of rectifying Adam’s sin.” (Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, “Passover Thoughts: The Rectification of Adam’s Sin,”from “The Aryeh Kaplan Reader” p. 112, Mesorah Publications 1985.)

  15. Bene Noach says:

    Reblogged this on Bene Noach Society and commented:
    Shalom everyone! The following is an article by Rabbi Yisroel C. Blumenthal of Judaism Resources about the true meaning of the “blood of the lamb” in the festival of Pesach (Passover). This has nothing to do with the idolatrous Christian claim that the blood of their human god, Jesus, can atone for sin. The blood of the Passover lamb, an animal HaShem authorized to be sacrificed, was a statement by Hashem to Egypt that He had power of all their deities. In ordering the Children of Israel to sacrifice the lamb, one of Egypt’s supreme deities, HaShem taught the Children of Israel to trust Him and not to fear any earthly power.

  16. Blessings in the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel.

    I’ve read through these posts, and there are a number of accurate observations about what is in the text of Torah (and Nabi’im and Kethuvim.) Yet, it seems to me that many comments are focusing on the exceptions, a few trees on the margins, and failing to see the forest.

    I see that the requirement to give God a “clean, righteous, good blood sacrifice without blemish” is woven throughout the Law and the Prophets, from the beginning, starting with God in the Garden of Eden Genesis 3:21.

    Abel “brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD Yahweh looked with favor on Abel and his offering….” Genesis 4:4

    Pairs of “clean and unclean animals” came to Noah ….. Genesis 7:8
    After the flood, “Noah built an altar to the LORD Yahweh and taking some of all the CLEAN animals and CLEAN birds, he sacrificed burnt offering on it. The LORD Yahweh smelled the pleasing aroma…..” Genesis 8:20-21

    In the word of the LORD Yahweh to Israel through the Prophet Malachi
    God admonished the priests for bringing Him blemished sacrifices.

    “When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong?”
    “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemish animal to the Lord.” Malachi chapter 1

    The idea that a lamb represents a detestable Egyptian idol, and we should kill it to show we reject it, is something I just don’t see in the text of Torah……

    • Sharbano says:

      Your man was Too blemished to even be a sacrifice. Xtians use Isaiah 53 as a proof-text. This speaks of one who is “Diseased” and again, is therefore invalid.

  17. Sharbano says:

    v8 is thus “Now that he has been released from captivity and judgment, who could have imagined such a generation? For he had been removed from the land of the living, an affliction upon Them that was my people’s sin.”

    It speaks of a generation of people who were captives, and the affliction upon That generation was the sin as told by the kings who stand in astonishment. They were the sinners spoken of.

  18. in the Torah, Genesis chapter 22, we see the story of God testing Abraham.
    Abraham said:
    “God himself will provide the lamb for the burn offering, my son.”
    But then,
    God provided a RAM (not a lamb) which Abraham sacrificed as a burnt offering.

    So could you tell me please what this means?
    .1) Abraham was wrong – it was a RAM not a lamb that God would provide?
    .2) This was a prophecy about the future, and was still awaiting fulfillment even after Abraham sacrificed the ram? In other words, the ram may have been a partial fulfillment, but the complete fulfillment was yet to come?

    “So Abraham called that place “Yahweh will provide.” And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of Yahweh it will be provided.'” [Genesis 22:14]

    Isn’t Mount Moriah the same place as Mount Zion, or Jerusalem, where Yeshua was sacrificed?

    • robert2016 says:

      which mountain in moriah? which place on which mountain?
      why wasn’t it a prophecy of the temple which would be built for different sacrifices?
      i just don’t see how abraham is thinking to himself that god would kill himself for sins of mankind. none of this makes any sense.

      • Robert2016,
        Before we discuss what you “don’t see”
        Do we agree that
        This was a prophecy about the future, and was still awaiting fulfillment even after Abraham sacrificed the ram? In other words, the ram may have been a partial fulfillment, but the complete fulfillment was yet to come?

        • robert2016 says:

          “Do we agree that
          This was a prophecy about the future, and was still awaiting fulfillment even after Abraham sacrificed the ram? ”

          doesn’t seem like future prophecy. i just read the text.

        • Sharbano says:

          That is a common Xtian assumption and doesn’t make it true. Xtians developed “This” technique because the words just did Not “fit” the assumption. What we DO know is G-d does Not speak in riddles but declares to his prophets his true intention.

    • robert2016 says:

      “.1) Abraham was wrong – it was a RAM not a lamb that God would provide?”

      unless he thought he was going to kill his YOUNG son instead of young animal?

    • LarryB says:

      Matthew
      Why would Abraham prophecy to a child? Is there any other instance in the Torah where this is done?

    • LarryB says:

      Matthew
      Believing that Abraham was making a prophecy to his son is about as believable as a young girl getting pregnant and then claiming God impregnated her and not some young man.
      Very believable. Even you don’t know what Abraham was thinking. Do you talk to your kids the same way you talk to an adult?

  19. robert2016 says:

    “.1) Abraham was wrong – it was a RAM not a lamb that God would provide?”

    it could be 2 groups writing their version of how they found the sacrifice to be
    are you inerrantist?

  20. Sharbano (and Robert2016)
    I’m sure you have had a lot of “inerrantists” preaching PAAL at you…(Paul the self-appointed Apostle to the Gentiles)…. and insisting that the word of Paul is “the Word of God”, which is it not….

    I’m assuming by “this technique” you mean the idea of “multiple fulfillments of prophecy.” And I agree with you that there are many self-described “Bible-believing Christians” who abuse and overuse “this technique” and make things up. They read PAAL’s ideas, or their own ideas, into the Torah, rather than letting the text of Torah shine forth itself. They will claim that basically every verse of the 66 Books of the Bible points to Jesus. Some of them have good intentions, others no – but either way, this is a ridiculous claim.

    For example, the Book of Esther doesn’t even mention God one time. It’s part of Jewish history and tradition and culture, which is fine – but Purim is no more a “Feast of Yahweh” for Torah Observant followers of God than George Washington’s Birthday is. It’s a completely secular holiday for a particular people group, without God, (even if some followers of God participate….)

    So in the case of Genesis chapter 22, lets drop the idea of “multiple fulfillment” of prophecy and look at the text of Torah in it’s most basic form – a prophecy which was not fulfilled yet. Abraham declared something God would do in the future, and then reconfirmed his statement twice, naming the physical place, and creating a common saying among God’s people.

    Abraham said:
    “God himself will provide the lamb for the burn offering, my son.”

    But God did NOT provide a lamb for the burnt offering – YET.

    “So Abraham called that place “Yahweh will provide.” And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of Yahweh it will be provided.’” [Genesis 22:14]

    How is this not a prophecy looking forward to some future fulfillment?

    • Dina says:

      Matthew, what makes you think Abraham was making a prophecy when he made that statement?

    • Sharbano says:

      My response stands.

    • robert2016 says:

      “naming the physical place, and creating a common saying among God’s people.”

      “Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place “The Lord will provide”;[b] as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”[c]”

      “Father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.”

      do you mean the lord will provide a future burnt offering?

    • What makes you think Abraham WASN’T making a prophecy? Why not be “Torah Observant” and give some backup to support your ideas? A man declares in 3 different ways that God will do something in the future, and it hasn’t happened yet. if that isn’t prophecy, what is it?

      Robert, you wrote above, QUOTE:
      “why wasn’t it a prophecy of the temple which would be built for different sacrifices?”

      ANSWER:
      “Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on in.” [Genesis 22:9]

      God didn’t say He would provide the altar or the wood – just “the lamb.” Not a generic “holocaust” or “sacrifice” or “atonement” or “offering” or “ram”, – but a “lamb”. Abraham had to build the place to sacrifice it by himself – like an altar / temple.

      • Dina says:

        Matthew, you have got to be kidding.

        As far as Abraham knew, he was going to sacrifice Isaac–and not an animal–on the mountain. If he could see through prophecy that he would sacrifice an animal, there would be no point to the test. Ergo, he wasn’t making a prophecy.

        It’s obvious from the text that the ram was a complete surprise, because Abraham was holding the knife and about to slaughter Isaac when the angel commanded him to stop.

        Furthermore, it’s obvious that Abraham was just saying this to soothe Isaac. Here are father and son walking along to the mountain to sacrifice to God, and no animal is in sight. Isaac says, Hey, Dad, I think you forgot something! Where is the lamb for the sacrifice?

        Well, Abraham isn’t about to say, “Heh, heh, you are the sacrifice!”

        So he acts all innocent, as in, Gee, I don’t know, I guess God’ll provide one. I mean, what would you say?

        There is no evidence in the text, not a shred, that Abraham was prophesying that God would provide a lamb or any sort of animal.

        The only reason you see this as some sort of prophecy is that you approach the text with a preconceived notion about Jesus. Drop the bias–if you can–and you will see how absurd your argument is.

        • Dina
          you have not quoted a single shred of Torah – just your opinions about what YOU THINK Abraham was thinking, or knew, or didn’t know, etc. You don’t face the text of Torah.
          Prophets were “all-telling”, NOT “all knowing.” For you to imply that if a prophet didn’t know exactly all the details of the fulfillment, it would not be true prophecy, is beneath you. You know better than that. I’ve even typed out relevant verses, and you have ignored them.

          • Dina says:

            Matthew, I most certainly did refer to the text, and there is nothing to support your contention that Abraham’s statement was a prophecy. Prophets absolutely knew when they were making a prophecy. God gave them a vision or dream in which he delivered a message, and then they repeated it. To say that prophets had no idea they were making a prophecy when they spoke is beneath you, Matthew, because it is something that has never occurred throughout all of Scripture.

            God did not appear to Abraham and tell him He would provide a lamb. Abraham had no idea that he was going to do any more than sacrifice Isaac. Where is your textual evidence that Abraham was making a prophecy with that statement? Where does it say anywhere that God gave him this message?

          • Dina
            Again your opinions about “what Abraham was thinking” – and no Torah text to back it up.
            So you think Abraham was wrong about his claim of what God would provide him, and you ignore what Abraham repeated in 22:14…. Shouldn’t we be more “Torah observant” ?
            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/the-blood-of-the-lamb/#comment-27572

      • robert2016 says:

        “God didn’t say He would provide the altar or the wood – just “the lamb.” Not a generic “holocaust” or “sacrifice” or “atonement” or “offering” or “ram”, – but a “lamb”. Abraham had to build the place to sacrifice it by himself – like an altar / temple.”

        how does “god will provide” mean that god will provide specifically a lamb?
        he didn’t say again that god will provide a lamb, you are reading lamb into “god will provide”

        • robert2016 says:

          “Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place “The Lord will provide”;[b] as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”[c]”

          “Father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.”

          quote :
          God didn’t say He would provide the altar or the wood – just “the lamb.”

          abraham said “for a burnt offering”
          so do you mean:
          “god will provide the lamb for a burnt offering”
          ?

          • Sharbano says:

            What is missing in the analysis is the entire purpose. This was a TEST. What IS a test. He was promised by G-d a certainty something would come about. And What was that. That his offspring, a great nation, would come from one man, Isaac. Naturally Avraham believed G-d because HE promised it. But NOW this same G-d is asking Him to offer his son, the Same son who would father nations. So, either G-d would lie or he would “provide”. And once again Avraham Trusted G-d. It no more difficult than that.

          • Robert2016
            Abraham said:
            “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”
            Did God do that for Abraham, yes or no?
            Why not open your Torah and show me the text?

      • robert2016 says:

        “What makes you think Abraham WASN’T making a prophecy? Why not be “Torah Observant” and give some backup to support your ideas? A man declares in 3 different ways that God will do something in the future, and it hasn’t happened yet. if that isn’t prophecy, what is it?

        Robert, you wrote above, QUOTE:
        “why wasn’t it a prophecy of the temple which would be built for different sacrifices?”

        ANSWER:
        “Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on in.” [Genesis 22:9]

        God didn’t say He would provide the altar or the wood – just “the lamb.” Not a generic “holocaust” or “sacrifice” or “atonement” or “offering” or “ram”, – but a “lamb”. Abraham had to build the place to sacrifice it by himself – like an altar / temple.”

        “as it is known till this day”. which day was that? in his day what was he looking back at?
        you said “just the lamb”

        B Abraham sees (::::::) the place (::::::) of sacrifice (22:4)
        C Abraham asserts God will see/provide (22:8)
        C’ Abraham sees (::::::) God’s provision (22:13)
        B’ Abraham names the place (::::::) “God sees/provides” ( 22:14a)

        abraham did not see his God as an animal.

    • LarryB says:

      Matthew
      According to Matthew Henry Commentary, Isaac was the lamb. God did provide Isaac.

  21. robert2016 says:

    “Did God do that for Abraham, yes or no?”

    yeah, he provided a male sheep which is father of lamb

    • Robert2016
      So your god can’t distinguish clearly between a “ram” and a “lamb” like we can in Hebrew and English….. ????

      I worship Yahweh the God of Abraham Isaac and Israel, revealed in the Torah and the Prophets, and He is smarter than that. And I believe the promises given repeatedly through Abraham,
      “So Abraham called that place “Yahweh will provide.” And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of Yahweh it will be provided.’” [Genesis 22:14]

      Mount Moriah = Mount Zion, the location of Jerusalem, where the Temple Mount is, and also where Yeshua was offered as a sacrifice on wood that He carried up the mountain, as Isaac had done. (The Cross, namely.) Fortunately, that is only a small part of the story – (thought extremely important.) Yeshua rose from the grave and conquered death, according to 12 Jewish eyewitnesses who knew Yeshua personally. Three of those wrote Scripture – the Apostles Matthew, John, and Peter.

      • robert2016 says:

        “So your god can’t distinguish clearly between a “ram” and a “lamb” like we can in Hebrew and English….. ????”

        so when your god said “baby lamb” he meant himself? isn’t it that your god can’t distinguish between animal and himself?

        was your god going to be a future burnt offering in which he would be set on fire?

        where is moriah and which mountain on moriah?
        Samaritans believe it was in another place.

        your god tripped on the way and had to give the heavy burden to one of his assistance nearby . god had assistance ?

        does the donkey who carried the wood symbolise your gods assistant?

        the wood was used for the ram instead of isaac

      • Southern Noahide says:

        “Three of those wrote Scripture – the Apostles Matthew, John, and Peter.”

        I’m curious, why do you think they wrote anything? According to the NT, John and Peter were ignorant and illiterate. Example:

        “Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”

        According to the Strongs Concordance explanation of the Greek:

        1) unlearned: illiterate, unlearned – Strongs G62
        2) ignorant: an unlearned, illiterate, man as opposed to the learned and educated: one who is unskilled in any art – Strongs G2399

        It doesn’t sound like they were capable of doing too much writing.

        • Southern Noahide,
          You bring up an excellent point. (Since Matthew was a Tax Collector, it seems we agree it would be normal for him to be literate.)

          In Peter’s “first letter” it says:
          “With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly….”
          [1 Peter 5:12] So this confirms that yes, Peter was pretty much illiterate, but he relied on the help of others. We cannot say conclusively, but there are a few hints to suggest that the Gospel of Mark was “written” in a similar way, penned by Mark with a lot of input from Peter. By the time Peter’s “Second letter” was written, late in Peter’s life, it seems Peter had learned to write somewhat, and he probably composed it himself. People can learn new things even later in life, if they have a good reason to do so.

          As for John, we don’t know. His father had other “hired men” working for him, so it appears John was the son of a small business owner, and he may have had more access to education than Peter. In any event, John’s Gospel and Revelation appear to have been written considerably later than some other books, probably 30+ years after Yeshua walked with him, also giving John time to learn to write if necessary.

        • robert2016 says:

          “You bring up an excellent point. (Since Matthew was a Tax Collector, it seems we agree it would be normal for him to be literate.)”

          counting and giving out change does not imply literacy . neither does it imply enough literacy to compose greek scripture.

      • robert2016 says:

        “Yeshua rose from the grave and conquered death, according to 12 Jewish eyewitnesses who knew Yeshua personally”

        nobody saw jesus rise from the grave. no body saw him exit the tomb. nobody knew that he may have been in temporary coma . each gospel writer is trying to push forward the idea that crucified human came back to life. this is each writers agenda and each writer is changing the story. how do you know he didn’t raise from coma? john is the only gospel which has him pierced the earliest has a surprised pilate who says “he is dead already?”
        the ones who doubted clearly did not know him personally .

        • Dina says:

          Why is the resurrection even relevant? According to Deuteronomy 1-5 we must reject anyone who introduces any gods we did not previously know no matter what kind or miracles they perform or don’t perform. Jesus falls into that category.

          • Dina says:

            Matthew, the above comment is directed at you. Since you apparently care so much about what the Torah says, why does this not trouble you?

          • Concerned Reader says:

            excellent point Dina. Arguing over whether said miracles happened is beside the point of the core objections entirely.

            I am curious in light of the Tanakh’s doctrine of the agent, how exactly Jesus really advocated a service truly unknown to the fathers, especially considering that many don’t pray to him. It seems to me, if Jesus highlighted that he was sent by the father, that his role was to obey the father, and to hand the kingdom up to him, etc. and when he stated that humans were obligated in basic rules of godliness, (Acts 15) then he taught something old and known.

            some of his more “blasphemous” remarks, might be regarded as him speaking as an agent as many angels have. I mean, if we say, “he wasn’t at Sinai, ergo, its a no go,” how can we give any credence to any messiah claimant, including the Jewish one who also wasn’t there? Judaism has had time periods where there was national sovereignty, a ruler, and a temple in Israel, but still no “messiah” in the sense of the messianic age or the world to come. So, how are we supposed to truly know which guy is the guy when even others (who weren’t THE Moshiach,) superficially fit the category of being A Moshiach. IE king David was clearly A Moshiach, but not THE eschatological end og days, world to come transitioning Moshiach.

          • Dina says:

            Con, if Jesus’s followers would have left it at that, he would have died an unknown preacher and no one would have ever heard of him. But his followers deified him and spread that idea of a deified man to the gentile world. So you’re right, it might not be entirely accurate to say that Jesus claimed to be God–but he did introduce a new type of worship in the sense that–at least according to the report of the gospels–he often pointed to himself as the object of faith.

            While you keep making comparisons between Jesus and agents in Tanach, you keep missing that God’s agents never commanded anyone to believe in them, and they never insisted anyone accept their word on faith but were always willing and eager to provide signs.

            (Even God Himself did not expect the Jewish people to take Him on faith [Deuteronomy 4:35], but that is another topic.)

            The bottom line is, if anyone tells us to worship Jesus as God (as the vast, overwhelming majority of Christains have worshiped him throughout history) then we must reject that as foreign worship. It is also foreign worship to make a man the center and focus of your religion even if you do not believe he is God (such as Unitarians).

            You keep arguing as if most Christians agree with you. But since they don’t, your argument here is largely irrelevant, forgive me.

          • robert2016 says:

            “The New Testament does not agree with the rabbinic explanation that the angel/agent from Torah can be created and bear G-d’s title and authority even metaphorically, and therein lies the whole argument between the two. Anything that bears the title, must have an ontological connection.”

            two of gods essential attributes are all knowledge and power
            when the agent is limited in knowledge does that mean it has to seek permission to gain access to its own knowledge? the father gives authority
            when the agent say he doesn’t know the mind of his father does that mean that in the ontology limit has been created?
            or does that mean that the agent cannot sustain his all knowledge when he enters time and location?

            if god is perfect in his knowledge and is maximally the perfect in all his attributes, how is it that when one of him is held by creation he doesn’t know his own mind? does that mean divine being created “divine limit” ?

        • When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, after 4 days in the tomb, no one denied that He had done it. Rather, the religious leaders made plans to kill both Jesus and Lazarus….. rather than admit they were wrong, and put their jobs at risk…….

          • Concerned Reader says:

            You keep arguing as if most Christians agree with you. But since they don’t, your argument here is largely irrelevant, forgive me.

            They do agree with me in a certain sense, (doctrinally) and that’s the point. Its not entirely irrelevant, because even though Christians call him “G-d” his role as “G-d” is strictly understood within the bounds of something similar to that of an agent sender relationship, even within the dynamics of trinitarian Christianity.

            John 5:19
            John 10:29
            John 14:28
            John 17:3 (says Jesus is the one who is sent)
            Philippians 2:6-8 (he doesn’t consider equality with G-d a thing to be grasped but made himself nothing.)
            Mathew 4:9-10 (Jesus says worship the lord only.)
            1 Corinthians 15:24 (Says Jesus will hand the kingdom over to G-d the father.)

            The Christians have their “antichrist” figure in revelation 13 who is described as lawless, who seeks his own glory, seeks universal worship of himself, and who exalts himself to the status of deity and higher than hashem, in direct contrast to how Jesus is described in 1 Corinthians 15:24 and elsewhere as obedient to the father and his commands.

            In Syriac Christian sources Jesus was called Shliya Kadmaya IE the primordial messenger (hence the constant ancient and modern Christian allusions to the “angel of the lord” as if it was a “pre incarnate” Jesus” angel.

            Fred said something quite apt a long long time back concerning Christology. He said,

            “What is ironic is that while Christianity flies directly in the face of the Tanakh, the Tanakh is responsible for one of the main doctrines of Christianity- the deity of Jesus. In Tanakh, G-d says, “I, even I am the Lord and besides me there is no savior” Isaiah 43:11. This text alone necessitated a divine Jesus, and Christianity wasted little time in presenting one. ”

            The idea of the “deity of Christ” being a necessity to Christians arises from the Torah’s own internal dynamic, because otherwise, you are saying the Torah considers it ok for an agent, (who is clearly not G-d the father,) to bear the title and authority of G-d, (as a mouthpiece.)

            In any situation outside of a halachic context, THIS WILL CAUSE MONOTHEISM TO BREAK DOWN. That’s why Christians find the doctrine so essential.

            The New Testament does not agree with the rabbinic explanation that the angel/agent from Torah can be created and bear G-d’s title and authority even metaphorically, and therein lies the whole argument between the two. Anything that bears the title, must have an ontological connection.

            John 3:13 “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven–the Son of Man.”

            In Christian sources, a text like Genesis 31:13 cannot possibly be about a created agent bearing the name of hashem, because, (it is argued,) that if that agent is only a created angelic creature, then monotheism breaks down on every level. IE something is being called god metaphorically that isn’t actually really god. That’s a problem.

            To the Christians, that angel of the lord in Torah is believed to be an eternal manifestation of G-d that took on humanity when Jesus was born. The humanity is not divine.

            Christians view the “angel” as a messenger only in the sense of his role, but not in the sense of his ontological status. They identify the angel/agent from the Torah with the logos of G-d, the wisdom of G-d, IE an eternal expression of G-d that always existed (based on proverbs 8.)

            An agent like Moses was only able to speak interchangeably as a mouthpiece because (in Christian sources and terms,) he had the highest concentration of the holy spirit, (which is G-d’s spirit) resting on him as prophet.

            Texts like Genesis 48:16 imply to Christians that this angel MUST BE G-D in some sense, because It is being addressed by Jacob in the context of a prayer to G-d the father. You may say that he is not praying TO the angel, but then why on earth is the angel being mentioned by Jacob in the context of his prayer at all? If this angel is just an angel, it should not be entreated in this context.

            Its like Fred said, the Christians have made interpretative choices (in light of the Torah itself) that they think makes the text more internally consistent. If a being is bearing G-d’s name, his authority, etc. then simply, it must be G-d and no less, otherwise monotheism has no real meaning.

            Rabbi B has said that worship is a matter of heart and of relationship. I know that many Christians have a heart and relationship with G-d, even though Jesus is mentioned in their prayers. They know who the father, the true G-d is, and they know how Jesus relates to G-d. Jesus’ life expounds G-d for them, that’s true, IE they find reason to believe in G-d and the Bible through Jesus’ life and teaching, but this does not make them idolaters.

          • Concerned Reader You are arguing about this as if this were an exercise in philosophy or mathematics – it is not. God is not a philosophical abstract He is our partner in a relationship – a relationship compared to a marriage. In order to have a relationship with an invisible God – Israel needs to be able to identify that God. Marriage means that the two relevant partners open themselves up to each other in a way that they open themselves up to no one else – How did God open Himself up to His partner? And there has to be a reason for the relationship – not a logical reason – we are talking about love and love is not logical – but there has to be an appeal, an attraction a magnetism – what pulled the heart of Israel towards God?

            It was the experience of exodus and Sinai which gave Israel to feel what it is like to give your heart to the One who created it in the first place – Israel is missing nothing in that relationship and nothing can be missing in that relationship – you see – you cannot add anything to God.

            No matter what philosophical or mathematical argument Christianity is proposing – they are talking about a different motivation. a different appeal and a different magnetism – = a different god

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Dina says:

            Con, the simple fact of the matter is, quotations from Christian Scripture notwithstanding, Christians believe Jesus is God (you know, co-equal, of the same substance, etc.)

            No agent in the Torah ever demanded the kind of recognition that Jesus demanded. No agent ever said anything remotely resembling, “I am the way, the truth, and the light and no one comes to the Father but through me.” That is avoda zara. It is a new type of worship and thus forbidden.

            Monotheism only breaks down when a group of people revere a human being to the point of wanting to deify him. This unhealthy adulation of a human is common to all religions and cultures (such as the those obsessed with Elvis Presley who believe he’s still alive) because a lot of people are susceptible to these types of psychological phenomena. That is not the Torah’s fault. That is the fault of humans.

            Once this unhealthy obsession takes hold, then and only then do people find support for it in the Torah. That is why Orthodox Jews scratch their heads when Christians present them with the so-called theophanies–it never occurred to them to understand those passages the way Christians do.

            I remember my utter astonishment the first time I heard of such a thing–it was (and still is) so absurd to me.

            People don’t study the text and say, oh goodness, God appeared as a man here! Gee, I better find some nice-looking dude to worship! Guess what? That never happens!

            Because you were raised as a Christian it’s hard for you to drop your preconceived notions and read the text with the same understanding of a Jew who gives zero thought to other deities.

          • Dear Pharisee Friend,
            Your lengthy comment here makes excellent points that I agree with.
            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/the-blood-of-the-lamb/#comment-27647

            You wrote QUOTE:
            “God is not a philosophical abstract He is our partner in a relationship – a relationship compared to a marriage.”

            Amen.
            Throughout the Torah, the Prophets, and the Gospel writers Matthew Mark Luke and John (John wrote Revelation), God’s people are God’s BRIDE……
            (Not his “body.”)
            One could say we are the body of the bride I suppose. But the teaching that the church is “the body of Christ and Christ is the head” comes from the false apostle Paul, and in the Scriptures Paul is alone in his viewpoint.

            This language and imagry are so pervasive in “Christian churches” that it’s difficult not to lapse back into that expression – even for me, and I know better. I’ve had time to think it through. But old habits are hard to break. Messianic Jews call themselves the “Body of Messiah”- same thing. It’s a step toward setting ourselves up as “god” practically speaking, as in: “Well I’m part of the Body of Christ and I am following God so if you follow me and obey me, that means you are following God and obeying God.” This is exactly what Paul the false apostle taught in his letters, falsely claiming they were “the word of God.”

            I believe that marriage with God should not be entirely focussed on one act that God carried out on behalf of His people. We should not “resolve to preach nothing but Christ crucified” like Paul did. Likewise, “the experience of exodus and Sinai” was an essential, critical event – really a series of events over 40 years- which are important and should be remembered. Yet, that’s not the main thing. God Himself is the main thing. God is revealed through His works, but we should not just remember one of His works and forget about Him.

            If God didn’t create us in the first place, we wouldn’t need the exodus or the cross. And if God somehow “lost his mojo” so to speak, and now He still loves us but He’s basically retired and can’t really do anything to help us now, that isn’t a message of hope for us now. The one true God is Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.

          • Matthew Perri And the One true God is One 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them……”
            So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female the created them.” [Genesis 1:26-27]

  22. Abraham made a statement of what God will provide in the future – a lamb, not a ram – which remained unfulfilled in Abraham’s lifetime. Since Genesis 22 so clearly points to Yeshua as a promise about the future, or prophecy, and you don’t want to admit that, you have to say that a “ram” and a “lamb” are the same thing.
    Why not open your Torah and read Genesis 22?

    • LarryB says:

      Matthew
      you said there was three things Abraham prophesied about. What were they? I only find potentially two to your standards.

    • Sharbano says:

      As with most Xtians you are employing eisegesis to prove your point which is highly questionable.

    • Southern Noahide says:

      “…… you don’t want to admit that, you have to say that a “ram” and a “lamb” are the same thing.”

      Matthew, I’m a long time reader of this website, but this is my first time posting. First let me say that is it always best to go to knowledgeable jews for an explanation of the Hebrew scriptures, after all, it is their books, their language. But since your debate centers around the English words “ram” and “lamb”, I would like to share some information that might help you better understand the use of the words ram and lamb in English.

      Many years ago I spent some time working in the livestock industry. It was there where I learned the correct terminology of various livestock.

      In reference to sheep, the correct terminology for a young male sheep is a “ram lamb”. A young female sheep is a “ewe lamb”. In other words, lamb describes the age group, a young sheep. Ram simply describes it as being a male.

      Abraham had tremendous faith and trust in Hashem. You can see it in Genesis 22:5 (And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go yonder, and we will prostrate ourselves and return to you.”). Abraham knew Hashem would provide, which He did. No mystery, no pointing to any future human sacrifice (G-d forbid), it was simply a test for Abraham, which he passed with his unwavering trust in G-d.

      • Southern Noahide,
        your points are well taken.
        My American Heritage Dictionary gives the primary definitions of
        “ram” as “a male sheep”
        and “lamb” as “a young sheep.”

        I don’t think it’s different in Hebrew. On the streets of the United States, you can see the line of Dodge Ram pickup up trucks that are “Ram tough.” The symbol is a Big Horn Sheep, which is certainly not a “lamb”
        and
        “Abraham looked up and there in the thicket he saw a ram caught by it’s horns.” [Genesis 22:13]
        Lambs don’t have horns.

        • Southern Noahide says:

          “Lambs don’t have horns.”

          Actually, yes they do. Their horns start growing right after birth.

          • Would they be big enough to get caught in a thicket do you think?

          • Southern Noahide says:

            Matthew, you asked:

            “Would they be big enough to get caught in a thicket do you think?”

            Yes! The most vigorous growth of the horns occurs during the first few years.

            Here’s a photo of a 60 day old ram lamb:

            Here’s the same ram lamb two months later, at 120 days old:

            I hope this puts your mind at ease. Abraham trusted Hashem and Hashem provided.

            (I don’t know how to make links in the text here, so you may need to copy and paste the links into the address bar of your browser.)

          • Southern Noahide,
            Very interesting pictures. Although they still don’t look big enough to me to get caught in a thicket, they certainly are much bigger than I was thinking they would be. Thanks for the insight.

            So why do you think two different words are used, in Genesis 22:8 for “lamb” and Genesis 22:13 for “ram”?
            And then why in Genesis 14 twice about what Yahweh WILL provide?

          • Are you sure these are lambs and not goats? I’m not a herdsman, but I don’t recall seeing lambs like this before.

          • Southern Noahide says:

            Matthew asked:

            “Are you sure these are lambs and not goats?”

            Yes, it is a ram lamb belonging to Waving Pines Farm, a sheep farm. (If you need a link to the farm’s website for proof, I will be happy to provide it.)

            You seem to be getting side tracked here. I only brought up the information about the sheep in hopes that it would give you a better understanding of the text pertaining to the lamb. However, after reading what your wrote at May 5, 2016 at 7:05 pm, I must agree with the rabbi’s response to you where he said, “This conversation doesn’t seem to be very fruitful”. He’s right.

      • LarryB says:

        SN
        So what your saying is that Abraham did not specify what type of lamb? If he would have said ram we would know it was to be a male lamb. If he said ewe we would know it was a female lamb. Without him specifying what sex of the lamb it could be either one? No need for a future lamb.

        • LarryB
          You can read Numbers chapter 7.
          12 times the phrase appears
          “one ram and one male lamb a year old.”

          • LarryB says:

            MP
            That only works if you believe it is a prophecy. I do not. Nothing you have pointed out, nothing I have read points to it being a prophecy. Do you believe everything Abraham said was prophetic? Why?

            7And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, and he said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Here are the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
            8And Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And they both went together.

          • LarryB
            You wrote, QUOTE:
            “Do you believe everything Abraham said was prophetic?”

            No, I don’t.

            Do you agree that in the Text of Torah, including Genesis 22:8 , Genesis 22:13, and Numbers chapter 7, God clearly distinguishes between a “lamb” and a “ram”?

          • LarryB says:

            Matthew
            I’ll answer your questions if you answer Dina’s questions. I have gone through all your comments this morning and you seem to wanna pass on the tough questions. What say you?

  23. robert2016 says:

    abraham couldn’t have thought that god would be sacrificed as an animal for sins of people because the same abraham tells god to save a city if ten righteous people are found within it.

    so it doesn’t make sense that abraham thought “the baby lamb” symbolized yhwh incarnate

    “you have to say that a “ram” and a “lamb” are the same thing.
    Why not open your Torah and read Genesis 22?”

    “Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.”

    how do you know “god will provide” does not mean alternative to human sacrifice?

  24. I notice that I am the only one here actually quoting the TORAH. Your opinions about what “abraham couldn’t have thought” are not TORAH, they are your opinions.

    Before we jump ahead and debate whether Genesis 22 is a “Messianic Prophecy,” and then whether Yeshua fulfills it, we need to step back and wrestle with what Abraham’s words mean to see if they are an unfulfilled prophecy or not.

    Abraham said:
    “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”

    But God did NOT provide a lamb for the burnt offering – YET.

    “So Abraham called that place “Yahweh will provide.” And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of Yahweh it will be provided.’” [Genesis 22:14]

    I say this was Abraham speaking a promise of Yahweh about the future, that Yahweh would provide something , and this promise was not fulfilled in Abraham’s lifetime.

    One man’s opinion is that since Yahweh doesn’t recognize the difference between a ram and a lamb, the promise WAS fulfilled with the ram. I don’t agree- I maintain that the promise was still not fulfilled in Abraham’s lifetime.

    What about the rest of you?

    • Sharbano says:

      You do Not quote Torah. Instead you “imply” a meaning that is not there. I’ll quote a Torah that is much more explicit than what you have cited. Torah speaks against “wood and stone”. You can find this for yourself. These are in reference to Xtianity and Islam. Wood (cross) – Xtianity and Stone (Mecca) Islam. In both instances the sins of the people are placed there.

      • “Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac….” [Genesis 22:6]

        “Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood…” [Genesis 22:9]

    • Dina says:

      Matthew, I say it’s not a prophecy.

      If want to be true to Scripture, you will find that prophecies always work the same way. God reveals a message in some form or another to a prophet.

      There is not a shred of Scriptural support that God revealed to Abraham that He would provide some kind of animal for the sacrifice.

      Oh, and by the way? Jesus was not a lamb. He was a human being. Just a tiny little detail you left out.

    • Dina says:

      And if you want to say that “lamb” means “Jesus” then you can’t deny that you are attributing a meaning to the text that simply isn’t there, something you are fond of accusing everyone else of doing.

    • robert2016 says:

      “One man’s opinion is that since Yahweh doesn’t recognize the difference between a ram and a lamb, the promise WAS fulfilled with the ram. I don’t agree- I maintain that the promise was still not fulfilled in Abraham’s lifetime.”

      this is not my view. this is the view of scholars

      quote:
      The various uses of !: in the story form a chiastic structure, centered about Abraham’s faith in God’s provision for a substitute for his son, and his discovery of that provision.

      A God announces the name of the mountain (:!): land of “the place of seeing” (! šQ :/, “Moriah,”
      22:2)

      B Abraham sees (!:) the place (-L9 š/) of sacrifice (22:4)
      C Abraham asserts God will see/provide (!:, 22:8)
      C’ Abraham sees (!:) God’s provision (22:13)

      B’ Abraham names the place (-L9 š/) “God sees/provides” (!:, 22:14a)

      A’ Narrator announces maxim about the mountain (:!): where “God will be seen” (!:, 22:14b)

      end quote

      so why do the scholars see that the ram in verse 22:13 was gods provision but you can’t?

    • robert2016 says:

      quote:
      Despite these Christocentric assertions, ancient and modern, Moberly makes
      it clear that ***, translated “lamb” in Gen 22:7, is “a generic term for an animal
      from a flock.” Indeed, even the LXX of Gen 22:7 has IJ•;:MGF (and not the
      Christological “lamb [zEF¾K]” of John 1:29 that one might expect). The precise
      Hebrew word for lamb is g V (as in the “lamb” of the “continuous” offering, Exod
      29:38), and not ! g; thus there appears to be little basis for drawing out any ovine
      typology from Genesis 22.19
      end quote

      • Robert2016,
        This quote that you copied from somewhere
        .1) dodges the issue by quoting 22:7, and
        ,2) must be a typographical error quoting 22:19, which has nothing at all about any animals of any kind.

        22:7 has the word of ISAAC translated “lamb.”

        But the issue is to contrast the word of ABRAHAM in 22:8 translated “lamb” with the word in 22:13 translated “ram.”

        The words for the animals respectively in 22:8 and 22:13 are NOT the same. Even if one cannot read Hebrew, or does not know the most accurate meaning, one can still see that the words are NOT the same. So 22:13 is clearly NOT a complete direct fulfillment of 22:8. Lamb does not equal ram in Genesis 22.

        • Matthew Perri This conversation doesn’t seem to be very fruitful – but how do you explain the word after “lamb” it is “burnt offering” – was your god ever burned? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Dear Pharisee Friend,
            I am very thankful for your “internet hospitality.” Finding a place where one can have open and substantive discussion about the Torah is rare. Being that this is your site, I believe it is incumbent upon me to respond using the Torah in a way that gets to the heart of what I believe is your question.
            (I had been discussing the underlying question of whether or not Abraham was making a kind of “Prophecy” in Genesis 22 which remained unfulfilled in his lifetime. I say yes, a couple people here say no, but I don’t think we have fully covered the topic. You question sort of jumps over this, leaving it unresolved – but that is fine. )

            Your first question was QUOTE:
            how do you explain the word after “lamb” it is “burnt offering” ?

            Abraham said:
            “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” [Genesis 22:8]

            A lamb that was “provided for a burnt offering” was bound, placed on wood, and killed. Yeshua was bound with nails and placed on the wood of the cross, and killed.
            This was the situation of being ready to make the burnt offering. Abraham didn’t say that the lamb God himself provided would be consumed as a burnt offering, only that it would be ready to make a burnt offering.

            Your second question was QUOTE:
            was your god ever burned?

            Yeshua fulfilled the requirement to be ready as a burnt offering, so He did not need to be burned.
            In addition, it is possible that Yeshua visited Hell during his 3 days and 3 nights buried in the earth, so He may have been “burned” there, spiritually speaking. I am not taking a strong stand on this. I don’t think about it much. It’s not an essential doctrine. But it is an idea that has been around in some church circles for a long time, even in some doctrinal creeds, and it sort of makes sense.

            I hope this answers your questions for now….
            Yevareheha Adonai veyish mereha

          • Matthew Perri Not everyone who is tied to wood is “prepared for a burnt offering” Only one who is tied to wood for the purpose of being burned.

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Unlike the abominable worship services of Baal or Molech, where they would burn babies alive, the burnt offerings to Yahweh would need to be killed on the wood first, not just bound, right? Otherwise, they would not be completely prepared for the burnt offering to be made, I believe

          • Dear Pharisee Friend,
            Here’s a more direct answer to your question
            QUOTE “was your god ever burned?”

            He [Yeshua] descended into hell. But probably the fires of hell did not burn him, since He was without sin, so they had no power over Him. That is about as specific as I can be.

            Apostles’ Creed

            1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

            2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:

            3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:

            4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:

            5. The third day he rose again from the dead:

            6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:

            7. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:

            8. I believe in the Holy Ghost:

            9. I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:

            10. The forgiveness of sins:

            1l. The resurrection of the body:

            12. And the life everlasting. Amen.

          • Matthew Perri Interesting – you expect people to buy this? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

        • robert2016 says:

          “But the issue is to contrast the word of ABRAHAM in 22:8 translated “lamb” with the word in 22:13 translated “ram.”

          quote:
          The various uses of !: in the story form a chiastic structure, centered about Abraham’s faith in God’s provision for a substitute for his son, and his discovery of that provision.

          A God announces the name of the mountain (:::::): land of “the place of seeing” (::::: “Moriah,”
          22:2)
          B Abraham sees (::::::) the place (::::::) of sacrifice (22:4)
          C Abraham asserts God will see/provide (22:8)
          C’ Abraham sees (::::::) God’s provision (22:13)
          B’ Abraham names the place (::::::) “God sees/provides” ( 22:14a)

          A’ Narrator announces maxim about the mountain (::::::) where “God will be seen” (!:, 22:14b)

          after abraham sees what god provided why didn’t he name the place “god will provide the lamb” ?

          • Robert 2016,
            You wrote QUOTE:
            “after abraham sees what god provided why didn’t he name the place “god will provide the lamb” ?”

            Because Abraham was prophesying about something in the future, something more than simply an actual “lamb”……. A prophecy about something specific, in a specific place, (Mount Moriah / Mount Zion), that would be provided …..

          • Sharbano says:

            I’ve already proved you Wrong on this.

          • robert2016 says:

            let me try to understand
            are you telling me abraham had in mind the nt’s
            christological lamb which is found in john but deliberately named the place

            “god will see”

            leaving everybody guessing?

          • Your opinions, or my opinions, about what “abraham had in mind” are not the issue.
            The issue is, what is written in the Torah. Prophets are “all-telling”, not “all-knowing.”

          • Matthew Perri I find it interesting that followers of Jesus point to Calvary and not to Zion or Moriah as the special place. I also find it interesting that you invest so much effort into an ambiguous interpretation when Scripture makes so many things clear to you – yet you have no problem violating them – such as the prohibition against worshiping idols 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Dear Pharisee Friend,
            While I’m not dismissing your observations here as inaccurate, it appears to me that you may be relying on an “exegesis” of your experience with professed followers of Yeshua / Jesus to determine whether or not He is really the fulfillment of some prophecies in Torah, such as here in Genesis 22 or The Prophet in Deuteronomy 18. I am suggesting rather an examination of the text of the Torah.

            It seems there are some different ways to interpret the following 3 sentences in Genesis 22, which can change the meaning somewhat. Nevertheless, taken together, in their context, they seem to be a prophecy given through Abraham which remained unfulfilled in Abraham’s lifetime. We see “will” “will” “will”, pointing to the future, not pointing backward as “reminder.” Do you see that?

            Abraham said:
            “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”
            “So Abraham called that place “Yahweh will provide.” And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of Yahweh it will be provided.’” [Genesis 22:14]

        • robert2016 says:

          “Yeshua was bound with nails and placed on the wood of the cross, and killed.
          This was the situation of being ready to make the burnt offering. Abraham didn’t say that the lamb God himself provided would be consumed as a burnt offering, only that it would be ready to make a burnt offering.”

          so what did the binding of isaac represent?

          quote :
          “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

          8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

          9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
          end quote

          the fire and the wood are here? what does that mean?
          did abraham think that he was going to burn his son into the fire that was already there?

          • Not every single element of every story has prophetic significance. Not every word Abraham said, and every action he did, necessarily “foreshadow” something. People on this site have noticed that many self-proclaimed “Christians” tend to read things into Torah which are not there – it is a valid criticism. So let’s not continue doing the same.

            Naming a mountain, and creating a related saying that was passed down for generations, are significant. Do you agree that these are “Prophecy” about “something” that would be provided on that specific mountain? If not, why not?

          • robert2016 says:

            no, i think it may function as reminder but not prophecy.

        • robert2016 says:

          “Yeshua visited Hell during his 3 days and 3 nights buried in the earth, so He may have been “burned” there, spiritually speaking. I am not taking a strong stand on this.”

          very funny.
          god’s punishment law requires that god “spiritually burned” himself by visiting hell ?
          god designed hell so he can pop in it from time to time?
          you can find all of this in abrahams ritual?

  25. Dina says:

    Matthew, I’ve already shown you that your argument is absurd on its face, and I’m content to let the audience decide who is being more faithful to the text, you or I.

    But I’ve gotta say, you have some nerve lecturing me about Torah observance when you are living in violation of the Torah’s most important precept, the worship of the one true God of Israel. Instead you commit the sin of idolatry, the greatest crime against God.

    • Dina,
      You “say it’s not a prophecy.”
      What exactly is “not a prophecy” and why not? Your last 3 posts here don’t quote Torah at all.

      Abraham said:
      “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”…….
      “So Abraham called that place “Yahweh will provide.” And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of Yahweh it will be provided.’” [Genesis 22:14]

      Isn’t this Abraham speaking a promise of Yahweh about the future, that Yahweh would provide something? Said 3 different ways? That isn’t Prophecy? I said provide “something” – why don’t we start with that, before jumping ahead to Jesus?

      • Sharbano says:

        Actually you are wrong in what the text says. Avraham called the name of that site Hashem Yireh, Hashem will see. Previously it was named Shalem. Hence the name became Yerushalayim.
        Furthermore G-d did NOT say slaughter him, but only that he be brought up to the mountain and be “prepared” as an offering.

        • Sharbano
          I think you are on to something. I was thinking that preparing the lamb for the “holocaust” would mean putting the lamb on the wood and killing it. Then it would be “prepared” to make the burnt offering. But even if it was thus “prepared”, the actual burnt offering was another step. Does that match with what you are saying?

          • Sharbano says:

            That makes Absolutely NO sense and has Absolutely NOTHING to do with my statements.

      • Dina says:

        Matthew, before I answer the same question for the umpteenth time, could you please answer my challenge on the simple fact that Jesus was not a lamb?

        • Dina
          Are you saying now that there IS a prophecy, and only a lamb can fulfill it,
          so since Yeshua was not a lamb He did not fulfill it? So Yeshua is disqualified from completing this prophecy because He is not a lamb?

          • Dina says:

            No, Matthew, that is not what I am saying. I am saying that if this were a prophecy–which it isn’t–but if it were, then it can’t be about Jesus because it would be about a lamb. You’re deflecting, aren’t you? Let’s see you answer the tough questions, as Larry suggested.

          • Dina, you said QUOTE:
            “I am saying that if this were a prophecy–which it isn’t–but if it were….”

            Well if “it isn’t” what difference does it make? Why bother discussing it? I don’t have time for frivolous hypothetical questions if you can’t give me a reason why the answer matters.

          • Dina says:

            Because, Matthew, if the lamb isn’t Jesus then you have to admit you’re wrong and close the argument. So that’s not at all hypothetical.

            If you were interested in the truth and not promoting your agenda you would face the challenge. It’s a serious challenge. Man up!

          • LarryB says:

            Sorry
            Matthew,
            I remember it was you who came here asking the questions…..
            “”could you please tell me what this means”? .1) Abraham was wrong – it was a RAM not a lamb that God would provide? .2) This was a prophecy about the future, and was still awaiting fulfillment even after Abraham sacrificed the ram? In other words, the ram may have been a partial fulfillment, but the complete fulfillment was yet to come?”
            Then “You then mention that Abraham called the place will provide. You then ask-“Isn’t Mount Moriah the same place as Mount Zion, or Jerusalem, where Yeshua was sacrificed?”
            You ASK if “we” agree that “This was a prophecy about the future, and was still awaiting fulfillment even after Abraham sacrificed the ram? In other words, the ram may have been a partial fulfillment, but the complete fulfillment was yet to come?”
            To now quote Dina ““I am saying that if this were a prophecy–which it isn’t–but if it were….” and then say
            “Well if “it isn’t” what difference does it make? Why bother discussing it?” and “I don’t have time for frivolous hypothetical questions if you can’t give me a reason why the answer matters.” is outrageous. You ask questions and got serious answers and apparently since it doesn’t fit your narrative its frivilous? You need to apologise to Dina sir.

  26. Yehuda Yisrael says:

    Matthew Perri, quite frankly, thr Pesach offering of the lamb (or goat) described in Exodus 12 fits you search for this supposed foreshadowing of another lamb, as at least the lamb (or goat) to be eaten on Pesach was supposed to be burned. So if you are going to assume that Abraham’s answer to Isaac was a foreshadowing of anything, it would be the actual animal lamb that was to be burned and eaten in Exodus 12! Even your farfetched foreshadowing explanation of Genesis 22 and this lamb fits Exodus 12 better than your false messiah/god, jesus!

    • Dear Yehuda,
      I understand that from a “Western” perspective, like the Americas for example, the Hebrew language is “read backwards.” Of course since Hebrew is God’s language, maybe it would be more accurate to say that I am the one who is “reading backwards.”…..

      Maybe I’m missing something yet, I don’t quite see how something in Genesis 22 can foreshadow something in Genesis 12.

      • cpsoper says:

        I’d forgotten why I cancelled follow up email till now, my inbox has been crammed with this discussion!
        However Yehuda has a good point, Matthew, and it’s well worth considering more carefully,as it furthers your solid argument. The Passover lamb was 430 years exactly after the covenant was cut with Abraham, and is of course a much fuller picture of what would happen later.

        It helps address the needless and somewhat blinkered insistence on the provided lamb being literal, not an ordinary prophetic figure.

        As to the continued focus on strange gods, Rambam’s god is much closer to Plato and Plotinus than Abraham’s, and often the rabbinic have followed the former much more closer than the latter, denial of unique Divine Son being chief case in point. People who live in glass houses,….

        • Cpsoper if you identify a deity by teh motivation of worship you will see that Maimonides God is David’s God while yours is Pharaoh’s 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • cpsoper says:

            I’d be grateful for some clarification of this opaque statement.
            David followed Tenach, except in his lapses, Maimonides often departed from it, though not always, to follow the Greek philosophers rather than Tenach, Pharaoh rejected the Tenach completely without even paying lip service.
            Who is without sin? But the greater sin is that not against clearer light?
            Does not idolatry frame the god it wishes to worship, even if as with the golden calf, its name is sacred, rather than the One Who revealed
            Himself first at Sinai to Moses
            ? Was not Rambam also in danger of doing exactly that with his studious synthesis with the unknown god of Greek philosophy, one which Islam had embraced and extrapolated in the sterile notion of the Tawhid?

          • cpsoper
            Idolatry is a worship that is rooted in anything but the recognition that our worship already belongs

  27. Concerned Reader says:

    Rabbi, redemption from suffering (Egypt) and an established covenant of love (Sinai) are concepts that are literally paralleled for the Christians in their own historical experience in a sense. Their ancestors went from polytheism to monotheism, and from having no notion (by and large) of a providential G-d who cared for them in their cultures, to the notion that G-d cares for what humans do with their lives, needing them to live ethically. From a relationship standpoint, it seems to me, the magnetism there is very similar. Not too mention, this nefarious man J actually gave his movement a Jewish Bible to revere.

    I’ve pointed out to you before that Christian sources understand G-d’s invisibility, his omniscience, omnipotence, etc. When I was little, there was a Christian cartoon series I used to watch, called Greatest Adventures, Stories from the Bible. My favorite episode was the Exodus episode. I got a sense of a G-d of covenant and promise, of a spouse and partner, and I could relate, though it was in Christian terms through Jesus to my personal experience. Other religions in this world cannot even relate to a notion of G-d like that, let alone share it. They simply don’t see G-d as the groom and the community as Bride, or even G-d as father. They don’t even have a situation where that relationship description can fit.

    I don’t stress over this to be a broken record, but literally because you are charging them with the greatest charge imaginable. If there is even an inkling that their ideas can be understood from within the context of the Bible or Jewish history by itself, then this should be considered as an option for them, though I agree not for you. You are charging them with a sin that carries death as its penalty. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable by examining both sides of the issue very closely.

    I look at statements of Jesus in the Christian Bible, and I don’t see an evil man who is at war with the Torah or with G-d, I see a man who taught from it in the context of the many opinions in his time period. The practices which gentiles learned to embrace from the Christian movement are essentially noachide as their discipline manuals show. I have not met a person yet who could not defend your faith position and commitment to the law using Jesus’ own words. That to me suggests fallible people and poor interpretations among most other Christians, rather than an evil Jesus who sought to destroy his native faith.

    Also, even Paul who speaks disparagingly of “works of law” does it in the context of speaking to non Jews whom this law does not apply to in the first place. Paul simply told non Jews not to rest all their faith cards on something (on an experience) that was not given to them and their ancestors as their inheritance.

    The Christians said, non jews should not observe the sabbath as a Jew does, (rabbis say the same.)

    The rabbis said, a non Jew does not need to become circumcised, (the Christians said the same thing.)

    Dina once said, the Torah does not make a person good or bad, it merely tells them what is good and bad, and gives them a choice to make. Paul and Jesus said the same thing.

    • Concerned Reader I don’t disagree with most of what you wrote but what you are missing is that the excitement generated by the encounter with the character of Jesus in the pages of the Christian Scripture is identified by the Church as an appropriate motivation for the complete submission of worship and devotion – this is idolatry 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  28. robert2016 says:

    hindus believe the one god can take on many forms at the same time.
    god is not limited to father persona in hinduism, he is unlimited in the forms he takes.

    “This gets to the core of a common misconception about Hinduism. Although there are countless “gods”—whether Shiva or Vishnu or Ganesha or Parvati or Hanuman—they are commonly understood by Hindus to be representations of (the) God, whom or which we cannot fathom. This is why one Hindu can worship Shiva, while another worships Kali or Ganesha. Although each person seems to be worshiping different gods, the person is really only worshiping the one God who is manifest through Shiva or Kali or whomever.”

    simply 3 different persons which belong to the same being/divine nature.
    each person playing its own role

    quote:
    In this blog, I will discuss another myth many people believe about world religions: Hindus believe in many gods. According to many calculations I have seen, there are 330 million Hindu gods. This clearly gives the impression that Hinduism affirms many deities! Yet the truth is that Hindus are more monistic (believing that all existence comes from one God) than they are polytheistic (believing that there are many gods).

    A few years ago, I distinctly remember having a conversation with a group of Hindu believers at a Hindu temple when I asked how many gods there are. Without blinking, they responded in unity: “We believe in one God!”

    “Then how,” I rejoined, “are there so many different gods in Hinduism?”

    Again in unity, they replied: “There is one supreme God that cannot be fully known or understood. The gods we talk about on earth and give devotion to are simply manifestations of that one supreme God.”

    This gets to the core of a common misconception about Hinduism. Although there are countless “gods”—whether Shiva or Vishnu or Ganesha or Parvati or Hanuman—they are commonly understood by Hindus to be representations of (the) God, whom or which we cannot fathom. This is why one Hindu can worship Shiva, while another worships Kali or Ganesha. Although each person seems to be worshiping different gods, the person is really only worshiping the one God who is manifest through Shiva or Kali or whomever.

    How do you decide which “god” to worship? It depends. Some people worship specific gods due to the town or village in which they live or due to their family background or place within society.
    end quote

    quote
    Although Hinduism thinks very differently than Christianity in many ways, the two religions align in their common conviction that only one God exists who has been manifested in different ways. While for Christians this means that God has revealed himself most fully through Jesus Christ, for Hindus God reveals himself (or itself) in countless ways through divine incarnations and other living things.
    end quote

  29. Concerned Reader says:

    Because you were raised as a Christian it’s hard for you to drop your preconceived notions and read the text with the same understanding of a Jew who gives zero thought to other deities.

    Dina, it actually isn’t a preconceived notion on my part, and I’ll tell you why. If I took the NT, ripped it up, and erased Jesus and Paul and Christianity from history, I could still look into history and see that Judaism has replicated and given birth to such ideologies or thoughts more than once. I look in the Tanakh and see a being that is not G-d saying “hi I’m G-d.”

    The Christians don’t even have to be a factor in the discussion. They don’t have to exist for this construct to exist. It existed before they did.

    Elisha ben Abuyah saw an agent of G-d, doing things that only G-d could do, and he (of his own accord) and without Christians present said, “surely there are two powers in heaven.” Do you think that Acher really thought of two divinities existing, or do you think he saw that agent as somehow connected to G-d essentially/ontologically, (but acting in the role of an agent/scribe/regent of G-d?)

    You keep saying, “it would never occur to you to read the text that way.” I know it wouldn’t. But, just as you are asking me to see it from an outsider cultural perspective, you can try it too. Christian theology came out of a theological system very close to your own system initially. Something happened that made Christians consider J as G-d.

    Jews say they are monotheists, and say that they are distinct (spiritually speaking,) from every other culture. Judaism says that its notion of G-d is truly unique and without parallel.

    If you said this to any old world gentile polytheist, they would disagree very emphatically because, your own Bible is chalk full of mortal and immortal agents that have divine characteristics and do divine things, just like any other lowercase g god in any world religion.

    Your religion has a caveat that says, “I don’t pray to them.” The thing is, you don’t have to pray to something to be treating like a deity, you have said this before concerning unitarians and Jesus.

    See many other religions around the world for real life examples of people who don’t “pray” in the way you conceive of prayer.

    Its like Fred said, co-equal was the only option for Christians when they actually interacted with the rest of humanity and tried to explain one deity.

    When all the nations treat their malachim as gods, someone coming and saying “its only a malach that I don’t pray to” has no real meaning, because those people may not even pray to their given ideas of divinity.

    The Christian deification of Jesus is defined by biblical texts and interactions. We clearly see something in Tanakh called G-d that clearly isn’t the father. This is reasoned to have to be literally a manifestation of G-d, because If its not literal, then this being, (and its presence in scripture) is just like the “gods” of every other nation.

    Robert 2016 lots of good info and quotes about hinduism there, I like it, and your right. There is one thing that’s very important. Brahman does not have the characteristics of G-d as defined by the Biblical literature, and neither do other religions.

    For one, Brahman is not super substantial, IT is a euphemism. Brahman has a lifespan that operates on a karmic cycle like everything else in the cosmos, because Brahaman is the totality of the cosmos which is only an illusion. Brahman himself dissolves and is reborn on a cycle.

    Brahman is not necessarily an intelligent agency that creates, it is a euphemism for a cycle of nature and all that this entails, including intelligence. So, as your quote said, saying “IT” as opposed to him is most common.

    IE it is source of intelligence, but Brahman does not necessarily have a will or mitzvot. Hindu sects in fact disagree sharply about whether Brahman is personal or not, ergo whether it is a theistic system or not, and whether it is monotheistic or not. If you are in the states or Britain, most Hindus will say “God,” but the word in Hinduism does not carry the baggage of western definitions.

    When you said that they see Brahman as the one “who cannot be fully understood,” to many Hindus this illustrates in fact that we can’t anthropomorphize it at all, not even to call it a first cause, a providential being, an agency, an intentional creator, or apply omni terms or covenant concepts to it at all. Chosen is a misnomer in that belief system, because Brahman embraces everything. Rather Hierarchy (like the caste system) was a natural state as opposed to an expression of will, (if that makes sense.) The caste system is actually not in the earliest Vedic texts, it was more egalitarian.

    Brahma Shiva and Vishnu are names for creator, sustainer, and destroyer that’s true, but its largely in the sense of forces, not necessarily persons. Again, Different Hindu sects have very different opinions. Buddha for instance refers to Brahman in the Pali canon, (before there was a Hinduism in the modern sense of the term,) but not in a theistic sense at all. Again, its a euphemism for the great ALL. Also, all existence in Hinduism is believed to be only an illusion. IE even the soul comes and goes. The Bible is simply an entirely different framework for the idea of divinity, so parallels don’t work well.

    • robert2016 says:

      “Brahma Shiva and Vishnu are names for creator, sustainer, and destroyer that’s true, but its largely in the sense of forces, not necessarily persons. Again, Different Hindu sects have very different opinions”

      Guru A C Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada believes that there is supreme personality in the god head.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Notice that I said, its not necessarily persons?

        Different Hindus believe very different things, and they are all ok with that fact. As I said, since Brahman is seen as a totality there are some who it as “supreme” personality (in the form of Vishnu most often ie Vaishnavism,) and many who don’t see it that way.

        so this Guru clearly lives according to Vaishna Dharma.

        As I said though, even if there is a view of Vishnu as the personality, it is still only one possible Dharma among many equally valid forms of Dharma, so its not a covenant notion or biblical idea of divinity or divine command. Its very different, very pluralistic, ie this Guru may believe other Dharmas and devotions are valid as well, but merely chooses Vaishna Dharma. Also, Hinduism is very metaphorical with different levels of understanding, so while some people devote themselves to Vaishnavism, or Shaktism, (Hindu groups with monotheistic overtone,) many Hindus in rural areas devote themselves to the Devas (something partially akin to angels/spirits,) and not the larger Dharmas. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deva_%28Hinduism%29

        What I’m saying is, you can draw paralells all you want between any religion and any other, but you are missing the forest for the trees. Different cultures and worldviews are exactly that, different.

        • “Here am I, and the children Yahweh has given me. We are signs and symbols in Israel from Yahweh Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion. When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.”
          [Isaiah 8:18-20]

  30. robert2016 says:

    “For one, Brahman is not super substantial, IT is a euphemism. Brahman has a lifespan that operates on a karmic cycle like everything else in the cosmos, because Brahaman is the totality of the cosmos which is only an illusion. Brahman himself dissolves and is reborn on a cycle.”

    isn’t this similar to what paul says about his god leaving old flesh behind and putting on new heavenly flesh? the ghost or spirit within it isn’t reborn is it?

  31. Concerned Reader says:

    Its not similar at all to Christianity or to Judaism. Brahman dies and is reborn. The Cosmos dies and is reborn ie it and cosmos are identical. He ceases to be totally. No resurrection, new body, etc. those are ideas that are in the Bible.

    Brahman is not directly addressed in the Vedas as an entity, (in personal terms,) because it isn’t a personal divinity in those texts. It is an unknowable source or force, yet it is one that flows and then is extinguished and then restarts, which constitutes the trimurti. Simply speaking, it is nothing like G-d as biblical literature understand it, its a different culture.

  32. Concerned Reader says:

    One other thing is that the idea of Mitzvah does not exist in Hinduism as command, but instead Dharma. Dharma is the principle of cosmic order. So, there can be different (mutually exclusive) types of Dharma in different cultures, but they are all lead believed to lead to the source. If someone says Brahman is one, he has already reduced the notion of Brahman to a category, just like if we speak of commandments, it is a reduction of the idea of Dharma. Hinduism is very symbolic, and very diverse, and its OK with being very diverse.

    • Dear Concerned Reader,
      What exactly are you concerned about? I think we SHOULD be concerning ourselves with obeying the Shema, loving Yahweh the God of Abraham Isaac and Israel, who revealed Himself in the Law and the Prophets, with all that we have and all that we are.

      Your writing here seems like the fruit of spending huge amounts of time involving yourself in pagan religions. You and I exchanged posts a little while back about Marcion. You were using Marcion, who you even admit was a Gnostic, as a witness to authenticate Paul the false apostle, the self-described Apostle to the Gentiles. One early “Church Father”, I believe Tertullian, said Paul was the “Apostle to the Heretics.”

      Here is more on Marcion the Second Century heretic, creator of the first “New Testament” which contained nothing but 10 of Paul’s letters and an abbreviated Gospel of Luke.
      http://www.jesuswordsonly.com/recommendedreading/56-marcionism.html

      The headline of the Jesus Words Only website is:
      Much contemporary preaching proceeds as if all that counts is selected sections or verses of the apostle Paul and the cross of Jesus. (Minister Anthony Buzzard, 1998)

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Mathew Perri When did I mention Marcion? I only mentioned the fact that he is the reason Christians have a codified book called the New Testament that they distinguish from an “old” set of books. He was the first person to actually compile a set of Christian texts, put it in some order, and call it a New Testament while he bashed the Torah. Read Tertullian.

        Before Marcion, there were just individual gospels, and epistles in various Christian communities with various disciplinary manuals that the Churches used along with liturgical traditions that wove things together.

        I don’t support Marcion, or polytheism. I’m illustrating the extreme differences between monotheistic religions and cultures and polytheistic ones, because many people are obsessed with attempting to draw parallels between Christianity and Polytheism which are not based on anything real, but are based on our own preconceptions and misconceptions.

        My point to you was that if you call Paul a false apostle, you can’t possibly rely on any Christian texts written about Jesus, because all of the gospels and epistles were written and transmitted by largely gentile Greek speaking and Greek writing students of a Pauline form of Christian theology. Paul’s epistles are the earliest Christian literature that exists. The gospels were written after Paul died, so if Paul is false, everything written after him is also suspect.

        The only reason you know how to put a community together with Bishops, deacons, etc. is because of material written by Paul of Tarsus. Jesus never mentioned any of that stuff. Because the gospels were written by Pauline Christians, (and these gospels contain information about Jesus’ Judaism,) its likely that the later Church altered Paul’s original teachings to make him much more anti Judaism, just like they (and gnostic groups like Marcionites) did with Jesus.

        As I understand Paul’s teachings, he made the observation that the Torah only teaches you what godliness is, it gives you a choice to be godly or not, but it cannot by itself make a person behave in a godly way one way or the other. It exists as a tool to discern good behavior from bad.

        For example, Abraham who was a noachide (who happened to observe more Torah laws also though they were not required of him,) was holy, while someone like Korah who was under the full authority of the Torah from Sinai (and observed it wrongly,) was not righteous.

        So, Works of law did not make these men holy, rather faith and actual godly behavior distinguished them. The community did not make them godly or ungodly. The covenant did not make them godly or ungodly.

        Ergo, the works of Torah themselves will not make you just before G-d, only doing the work will justify you, and you don’t need to be Jewish to do that work.

        Paul also argued that Torah is Israel’s unique inheritance, so Paul argued that it does not belong to non Jews. Paul argued (based on theTanakh) that G-d would cleanse the gentile peoples himself, and so, conversion to Judaism by them wasn’t necessary, although to be living a godly life was necessary for them, though it was not through Sinai. (Romans 2:13)

        So, his argument with James and Peter was, “why would you make the gentiles become Jews, when it may not make them behave any better?” Why not let them learn about the messiah directly, let them keep the basic rules of godly living that god fearing non Jews keep, and we will keep living in our way of living,” knowing that man is not justified by the works of the law.

        Its clear that Paul set up a defined wall in all of his congregations that later Christians tore down, IE 1 Corinthians 7. (people should remain wherein they are called.) If you were born a Jew, you should stay one, if a gentile you should stay one. If someone is not on your purity level, (lets say a noachide can’t shake eating his bacon,) you shouldn’t chastise him for it, because as long as he knows from whom it comes, there is no sin for him.

        IE I don’t even believe Paul wanted people to leave Torah. If he did, his ethics (which are based on laws and norms for G-d fearing gentiles) make absolutely no sense. There are 3 rules in Acts 15 alone about proper food. If Jesus or Paul abolished kosher, why on earth do they both stress not consuming blood or eating meat from idolatrous sacrifices? Also, much later Church manuals maintain these norms too.

        • Who appointed Paul an apostle, and when? Who gave Paul the title “Apostle to the Gentiles”? Quote me 2 witnesses in the Bible text. (“Paul said so” is only 1 witness, regardless of how many times Paul made that claim.)
          If you can’t produce another witness to back up Paul’s claim, then admit it. I will interpret silence as an admission that you have no second witness.

          “What is an Apostle?”
          Here is the answer based on the original sources:
          The words and actions of Jesus and the Original Apostles in the text of the New Testament.

          .1) Gospel of Mark – time lag between being appointed and being sent
          “Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with him…” [Mark 3:13-14]

          Three chapters later,
          “Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.” [Mark 6:6-7]

          .2) Gospel of Luke – time lag between being appointed and being sent
          “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon…..” [Luke 6:12-14]

          Again three chapters later,
          “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” [Luke 9:1-2]

          .3) Gospel of Matthew – which is organized by theme, not necessarily in chronological order.
          “He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon…” [Matthew 10:1]

          Without any clear time reference, continuing on the theme of the Apostles, Matthew does record “These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions…” [Matthew 10:5] Matthew never said that the Apostles were “sent out” immediately after being appointed. If we didn’t also have the clear records in Mark and Luke, it would be a fairly logical assumption that Jesus sent them out right away, but it would still be just an assumption. In this case, that assumption would clearly be wrong. The Twelve Apostles were absolutely NOT sent out right away after being appointed Apostles, according to Mark chapters 3 through 6, and Luke chapters 6 through 9.

          So being an Apostle of Jesus involves being sent by Jesus, yes. But that isn’t the only meaning, or even the first and primary meaning. The first thing was “that they might be with Him” personally, together, for His entire earthly ministry, from the time of John the Baptist until Jesus rose to heaven. Jesus poured his life into the 12 Apostles for 3 ½ years very personally training them to be the leaders of the church, and Jesus chose Peter as first among equals.

          The NIV translation inserts the heading “Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas” for the passage Luke wrote in Acts 1:12-26]. The NIV headings were not part of the original text, and sometimes they can be misleading, but in this case I believe the heading is right on.

          Jesus and the Original Apostles knew what an Apostle is better than anyone else in the world. Why is this a strange idea? Why do so many people frequently attack and tear down and dismiss the Original Apostles, particularly Peter, as if they were all incompetent, stupid, and wrong in so many ways, and they didn’t even know what an “Apostle” was? The answer to that question is, they have been listening to the voice of Paul, rather than the voices of Jesus and the Original Apostles.

          As we consider the question “what is an Apostle”, we should carefully listen to the words of the leader that Jesus personally appointed as first among the Apostles, and trained personally for 3 ½ years, Peter.

          “It is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” [Acts 1:21-22]

          Neither Paul, nor James, nor Luke were with Jesus and the Apostles the whole time, so they were not qualified to be a “witness with the Apostles of Jesus’ resurrection”, which is what it means to be an Apostle. Matthias was qualified, appointed, and later recognized as part of The Twelve. No one except Judas ever lost his apostleship.

          Responding to a question from Peter,
          “Jesus said to them:
          …you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” [Matthew 19:28]

          We cannot prove that Judas was present at that time, and we cannot prove that Matthias was absent at that time when Jesus spoke those words. Even if Judas was physically present, as we all realize now, he was not a true follower of Jesus. And even if Matthias was physically absent at that particular occasion, Jesus is still establishing the basic qualification for having one of the twelve thrones as being “you who have followed me,” not someone who will follow Jesus in the future, like Paul, James, Luke or anyone else in the world.

          At the Last Supper, Jesus said to His Apostles:
          “You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred on one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” [Luke 22:28-30]

          Was Judas present when Jesus spoke those words? Even if someone wants to be argumentative and say we can’t prove that Judas wasn’t there at the time, we certainly can’t prove that Judas WAS there. Judas obviously didn’t stand by Jesus in his trial, as the whole world knows. But that was the requirement Jesus gave to “sit on thrones:” “You are those who have stood by me in my trials.” “You”, speaking to His 11 Apostles who had been walking with Him faithfully for 3 ½ years. Not others in the future who will follow the risen Jesus Christ. Notice that at the Last Supper, when Judas lost his throne and Matthias was definitely absent, Jesus chose to speak of “thrones” rather than “twelve thrones” as he had previously.

          The Apostle John recorded about the New Jerusalem,
          “The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” [Revelation 21:14]

          The Apostles are 12 faithful eyewitnesses who walked with Jesus during His entire earthly ministry, and Matthias is the 12th. That’s the short version of my definition of “what is an Apostle.”

      • Matthew Perri Did you ever wonder why the words here are the same as in Exodus 23:17; 34:23; and Deuteronomy 15:16? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

        • Pharisee Friend,
          I see the first two plus Deuteronomy 16:16 all seem to be pretty much the same. But I confess I never thought about why, and I don’t quite understand your point. Yet I am ready to listen….

        • Actually Exodus 23:17 and 34:23; seem almost identical,
          and Deuteronomy 16:16 is a bit different – but still pretty close to the main idea.

          When you say “the words here are the same”, are you referring back to something that I or someone else posted earlier, and comparing these 3 passages back to that?

          • Matthew Perri The words are the same in these verses as in Genesis 22:14 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Dina says:

            Matthew, look at the verses:

            In Genesis 22:8, “E-lohim yir’eh lo ha-seh” is translated as “God will provide the lamb” but literally means “God will see to it the lamb.” A more accurate translation therefore is, “God will see to the lamb,” i.e., God will see to it.

            God had already promised Abraham that Isaac would continue his line. Right? The text says so, right? Abraham trusted that God would fulfill His promise somehow.

            Verse 14 says: “And Abraham called the name of that place the Lord Will See as it is said today On the Mountain the Lord Will Be Seen.”

            If you really want to be true to the text, perhaps you should learn a little Hebrew, eh?

            Your problems are mounting, Matthew.

            1. Jesus was not a lamb.

            2. The statement is not a prophecy.

            3. The text doesn’t even use the word “provide.”

          • Dina says:

            Matthew, I seem to remember you doing this the last time you were here. As soon as the questions got tough, you pointedly ignored them, acting as if I didn’t exist. Fascinating.

          • I’m accepting the translations given here, QUOTE:
            Verse 8 “God will see to the lamb,”
            Verse 14 says: “And Abraham called the name of that place the Lord Will See as it is said today On the Mountain the Lord Will Be Seen.”

            So in these 2 verses, we see
            “God will”
            “The Lord will”
            “The Lord will”

            Do you believe these 3 statements points to the past, the present, or the future?
            If you believe “The statement is not a prophecy”, can you please elaborate why not?

          • Dina says:

            Matthew,

            The first example is not a prophecy. It’s a statement of Abraham’s expectation in his immediate future.

            The second two are not statements; they are the name of a place.

            What about Jesus not being a lamb, eh?

          • Dina
            Well, we agree about the second statement in a literal sense, that it’s “the name of a place”….. but there is obviously a reason for naming it that. So it could also could be part of a prophecy, could it not?

            You wrote, QUOTE:
            “The first example is not a prophecy. It’s a statement of Abraham’s expectation in his immediate future.”

            ….:) What exactly is a “prophecy” in your view? Are you saying that a statement about something expected in the immediate future COULD NOT be a prophecy? You have given me a good laugh – thank you.

            The third statement is clearly NOT the name of a place. Could you explain please why this is not a prophecy?

          • Dina says:

            Matthew, do you think it’s fair that you get to ask all the questions but answer none of them? That’s a rhetorical question. Of course it’s not fair. It’s the way Christians have treated Jews for the past 2000 years. They challenged the Jews, they mocked them, but they did not allow them to challenge back. You’re following in a fine tradition. At least you guys don’t kill us anymore or force us to convert.

            You refused to rise to my challenge about Jesus not being a lamb. Nevertheless, I will answer you on prophecy. Please consider the following examples of prophecy from Tanach.

            Genesis 17:19: “And God said, ‘Your wife Sarah will bear you a son and you shall call his name Isaac.’ ”

            Exodus 8:16-17: And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Arise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh. Behold, he goes out to the water. And say to him, So said the Lord, send out My people that they may serve Me. For if you do not send out My nation, I shall incite against you, your servants, your people, and your houses, the swarm of wild beasts, etc.’ ”

            Isaiah 19:1: “A prophecy concerning Egypt” (hint: the word “prophecy” tells us this is a prophecy).

            Jeremiah 18:5: “The word of the Lord came to me, saying.”

            The Hebrew Bible is pretty clear when a prophecy is being made. The expression of an expectation is simply not a prophecy. In your example, I would accept it as a prophecy if the text said something like “And God said to Abraham, I will see to the lamb,” as in the above examples.

            You’re speculating that it could, possibly be a prophecy–but speculation is out, according to your strict standards of understanding the text.

            Since the text is so clear concerning prophecies (and future tense does not a prophecy make), then you are the one who is fact being unfaithful to the text by trying to turn Abraham’s statement into a prophecy.

            Having said all that, it makes the most sense to say that the name of the place “On the Mountain the Lord Will Be Seen” refers to the Temples that were built on that very mountain in which God revealed His presence to the Jewish people and sacrifices were brought here. However, since that is the sort of interpretation you shy away from, I think we should not discuss it. I am only pointing it out to show you that other, more plausible interpretations exist. However, for the purposes of our argument I am pointing strictly to the text.

            NOW will you answer my challenges?

          • robert2016 says:

            “3. The text doesn’t even use the word “provide.”

            yes i realized that after i seen that it shares the same cognate with an arabic verb “to see”

          • “The first example is not a prophecy. It’s a statement of Abraham’s expectation in his immediate future.”

            This car isn’t “used” it’s “preowned”.

            I’m not a salesman, I’m a “counselor” and I’m just here to help you make an informed decision.

            OK officer, here are my license and registration. No I don’t know how fast I was going. I have no idea why you pulled me over. But I had a strong urge today to make an anonymous cash contribution to the policeman’s benevolent fund. Since I didn’t know how to do that, I’m really thankful you pulled me over. Perhaps you could help me out? Here are some “Ben Franklins” that need to go to a worthy cause……

          • Dina says:

            I have bowed out of this discussion, but if anyone else has the patience and kindness to respond to this silly post, be my guest.

  33. Concerned Reader says:

    Mathew Perri, you need to read up more on how your text was compiled, and by whom it was compiled and transmitted. The gospel texts are not eyewitness accounts, they are ancient biographical accounts. We only know the texts as “down from Mathew” or “down from Mark,” so We do not really know who wrote the books, and we have no autographs. Because of dating of manuscript evidence, and because of internal cues present in NT texts, we know that Paul’s epistles were written first, and that the gospels were written later. I don’t blame you if you don’t trust Paul, but if you don’t trust Paul, then you cannot know anything about Jesus’ movement, because it was Pauline Christians who brought down to us the texts from antiquity.

    I honestly don’t think you understand what I am saying to you, but that’s ok.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      “What is an Apostle?”
      Here is the answer based on the original sources:
      The words and actions of Jesus and the Original Apostles in the text of the New Testament.

      The New Testament gospel texts (Mathew mark Luke and John) were written from the late 60s-90s CE after Paul’s death, so they are a post Jesus redacted text that comes down from people who did not know him personally, and who were followers of Paul.

      So, If you don’t trust the man from Tarsus, why on earth do you trust the gentiles he converted who wrote you a Greek NT?

      The NT tells us that the disciples were illiterate, so we know that others (who spoke Greek,) wrote books for them. The only one source who wrote about Jesus earlier than the 60s CE was Paul of Tarsus. So, if Paul was false, you cannot know with any certainty what is accurately attributable to Jesus in your NT text. Your NT is already looking at Jesus through the lens of time and bias from later people’s experience.

      Here is a link of the dates of the books in your New Testament.

      http://www.biblestudytools.com/resources/guide-to-bible-study/order-books-new-testament.html

      • The next time you hear someone say “All Scripture is God-breathed” and quote Paul in
        2 Timothy 3:16,
        Tell them to skip ahead about a chapter and read
        [2 Timothy 4:13]
        “When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpas at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.”

        Is that “The Word of God”, or
        An arrogant traveling Boss ordering his secretary to pick up his personal laundry, and grab a box of the Boss’s personal files from the office, to bring them to their next meeting……

        • Concerned Reader says:

          Those scrolls of Paul’s that he says to pick up, might just possibly be books from your revered NT sacred texts that you follow, or did you not think of that? As I’ve asked you before, why is your NT written in Greek, and not in Aramaic, (Jesus’ and the apostles native language?) Its funny that you bring up that verse, because we don’t have gospel scrolls from antiquity, but we do have parchments.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Paul and that “secretary” are the only reason you have a New Testament at all. LOOK UP THE DATES WHEN YOUR BOOKS WERE WRITTEN.

          • cpsoper says:

            Con, Simon Peter himself wrote 2nd Peter, or its Divine author is a liar, and he has this very position of yours under his microscope, as with that of so many other religious unbelievers, ‘As also in all his [Paul’s] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.’

            The Apostle Simon Peter wrote, ‘For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.’ Then he describes the superiority of inspired written revelation to the experience of the Transfiguration and a personal encounter with both Moses and Elijah.

            Even Clement’s uninspired letter is witness to that, as he cites 2 Peter possibly before the destruction of the Temple, but certainly early in Christian history. Be careful otherwise you may see and read these things, but not partake of them, the tragic fruit of vain unbelief.

            Matthew, please don’t forget that comment about Yehuda’s valuable suggestion.

          • cpsoper
            ……”speaking in them of these things.”…….

            Which things, specifically? Everything Paul ever said and wrote? Everything Paul claimed about himself? Everything Paul taught, even when it directly contradicts Jesus?

            (And if it’s “hard to understand”, that means it’s superior to Peter and everyone else, including Jesus, because Paul is “special”? Peter never said Paul was “an apostle.” And neither did anyone else in the pages of the New Testament, except Paul himself. That’s a fact.)

            No. Peter chapter 3 is mostly about “the Day of the Lord”- the end times. If you are not bound in spirit, you can see that is what Peter was referring to as “these things.” God gave carnal King Solomon some wisdom and he wrote proverbs, God gave carnal Pharisee Paul some wisdom and he wrote some letters.

            Peter never said his own words, or Paul’s words, were “the Word of God.”

            2 Peter 3:2 gives us the correct priority in Scripture.
            The Prophets, and the commands of Jesus given through Matthew and John, who were Apostles. Peter didn’t point to himself or his own words and say “listen to me, follow me.” Neither did he say “follow Paul”.

          • cpsoper says:

            Here is not the place for such controversy, so I will end with this,
            Paul in the scriptures Peter commends wrote, ‘For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.’

          • cpsoper says Paul’s words are the words of God because Paul said so.
            That is the recipe for a cult or false religion.
            He thinks Paul doesn’t need a second witness, and anyone who disagrees with Paul is a heretic. According to him, we can ignore the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the words of Jesus in the Gospels, and simply listen to PAAL instead.

            So, cpsoper uses the classic tactic of the “cult of Paul” – preach one-way from the pulpit that “Paul said so” and then cut off the conversation. No discussion, no conversation, no second witness from Scripture, won’t even listen to a response. Just “Paul said this, so you are wrong, end of discussion.”

            Did Jesus ever say Paul’s words were “the word of God”? NO

            Did any other New Testament writer ever say that Paul’s words were “the word of God”? NO

            Did any other New Testament writer ever write about his own words and claim they are “the word of God”? NO The Apostle Peter never claimed that his own words were “the word of God” and he never said that Paul’s words were either. All the “Paul worshippers” have is “Paul said so.” And if you are really following Yeshua the Jewish Messiah of the Torah and the Prophets, “PAAL said so” is not enough.

    • “I saw this repulsive thing:
      They prophesied by PAAL and led my people Israel astray.
      [Jeremiah 23:13]

  34. Concerned Reader says:

    What I’m saying is, if you don’t believe Paul to be anyone, that’s fine. However, take all the books out of your New Testament with the exception of the book of James. That is the only source that you could possibly view as being written before Paul’s influence. All the other NT texts bear Pauline influence to one degree or another.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Not even the text of James is a sure thing, because James, (like Jesus) did not have an education, which means someone else wrote a text in Greek for him that we now possess today.

      • cpsoper says:

        What evidence do you have many Galileans didn’t speak (and some write) koine Greek, as well as Aramaic? The Temple inscriptions for Gentiles were in Greek. Inscriptions in some of the excavated Galilean synagogues abounded in Greek motifs (http://uncnews.unc.edu/2015/07/01/new-mosaics-discovered-in-synagogue-excavations-in-galilee/)

        • Concerned Reader says:

          CP, I’m not saying its impossible, but many New Testament books are written in a very fancy form of Greek, and are unlikely to have been written by Galileans. It would be easier if we had Aramaic texts of these books that were not translated from Greek, but we don’t. My point was that if Mathew Perri throws out Paul of Tarsus, he erodes his own books foundations.

    • “Their fathers forgot my name through PAAL worship….”
      Jeremiah 23:27

      • Dina says:

        Matthew, your own standard of hyper literalism and rejection of attributing meanings, even logical and obvious ones, should compel you to confront the fact that Jesus is not a lamb.

        Your silence on this issue is thunderous. It tells us all we need to know about your real agenda.

  35. Fred says:

    Dina, if Christians consider statements made in the past tense, or present tense as future prophecies,and they do, then how much more anything that points to even one hour into the future? As one poster pointed out, it is a game called “find Jesus”, where you read Jesus into every text you possibly can….while ignoring anything that would correct your eisegesis. I had a friend at church who would literally have “Find Jesus” sessions at his home after church, where they would go through the “Old Testament” and see how many things pointed to or represented Jesus. Amazingly enough, the kind of eisegesis method that Christians use to “find Jesus” in the Tanakh is the very same kind they condemn other Christians using to support Christian doctrines they disagree with.

    In the end, the answer will always be the same for them, no matter the topic, “The holy ghost will tell you the truth…and then you will agree with me. And if you don’t agree, it is because you do not have the holy Ghost.” Or the ever-popular, “The devil is influencing your thinking or you would see it my way”. With Jews it is usually, ‘You are blinded by ___________” . In the end, it always boils down to these.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Amazingly enough, the kind of eisegesis method that Christians use to “find Jesus” in the Tanakh is the very same kind they condemn other Christians using to support Christian doctrines they disagree with.

      Yep, and Oi Vey.

    • Fred,
      You wrote mockingly about “one hour into the future”……

      Are you saying that there needs to be a long time period involved, or it isn’t prophecy? If so, how long exactly, and what is your basis in Torah or the Prophets for that belief?

      In 2 Kings 6:30-33
      We see the words of the Prophet Elisha:
      “‘Don’t you see how this murderer is sending someone to cut off my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and hold it shut…..’
      While he was still talking to them, the messenger came down to him.”

      There is only a time lag of seconds here between when the words left Elisha’s mouth and when what he said came to pass.

      Granted, not all prophecy is “fore-telling” the future, often it’s simply “forth-telling” God’s Word.
      But do you consider these words of Elisha “prophecy” and if not, what would you call this exactly?

      • Fred says:

        Apparently you misunderstood my point. I was not saying that prophecy had to be “distant future”, I meant that Christians will use a prophecy directed at the near future, as your example with Elisha, and put it hundreds or even thousands of years into the future to apply it to Jesus.

        The Christian method would be to read 2 Kings 6:33 and say, “Look, Elisha was prophesying messengers coming to warn us that there would be attempts made on baby Jesus’ life. Didn’t Herod send out killers to find and destroy baby Jesus? Elisha was making a messianic prophecy about Jesus! Herod/Jesus fulfilled Elisha’s messianic prophecy!”

        That is the nonsense to which I refer. And it is found throughout Christian apologetics. Find one of those study Bibles with the “messianic prophecy” stars; hollow stars for the “OT messianic prophecy” and blackened stars for the “fulfillment in the NT”. You will see that I am not even exaggerating.

        • Fred, It’s true, there is a lot of nonsense out there – in Christian apologetics and elsewhere. I saw one Jewish site claiming that the Book Ecclesiastes was really the most important book in the Hebrew Scriptures…..

          One quick point to ponder….
          If we are to just take all of Genesis 22 literally at face value with no “prophetic” or symbolic meanings……
          Why did God say, “Take your son, your ONLY son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there…..” [Genesis 22:2]

          when Isaac was NOT literally Abraham’s only son at the time? Abraham already had his son Ishmael…..

          • Fred says:

            >>>>> I saw one Jewish site claiming that the Book Ecclesiastes was really the most important book in the Hebrew Scriptures…<<<<<

            For a human being trying to figure out life it very well could be. It is the best starting place for the truth-seeker and anyone contemplating the meaning of life and existence. Ecclesiastes is the one book of the Bible that I suggest atheists read first. Powerful book, for Jew or Gentile.

          • For those who want to ponder “hard questions” from Genesis chapter 22 like “was Jesus a lamb” or “was Isaac really Abraham’s ‘only son’ like God said”….

            Here are some “answers” – not my words, but the words of the Prophets.

            “Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on the same day.” [Genesis 17:26]
            “The next day John (the Baptist) saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29]

  36. To my Jewish friends,
    Since the Second Century the priests of PAAL have been preaching Paul the false apostle at God’s people, based on the creation of the Second Century heretic Marcion- namely his “New Testament”, which contained nothing but 10 of Paul’s letters and an abbreviated Gospel of Luke.

    In a nutshell, Marcion claimed the God of the Hebrews was bad and their Scriptures were the “Old Testament” which should be ignored, and the Apostles Jesus appoined were a bunch of boneheads who had “Judiazed”, which was bad. Therefore, the true god, the “god of love”, had to bring in Paul to straighten everything out. I posted a link about Marcionism recently – you can check it out.

    I want to “see to it” that you understand who Yeshua of the Gospels really is, who came to full the Law of Moses and the Prophets – not the Christ of false apostle Paul, who hereticly claimed that Yeshua “abolished the Law.” I think you “will see” the truth in the Torah, so in the end the truth “will be seen.”

    How about we occupy ourselves with putting Psalm 119 into practice, examining the text of YOUR TORAH.

    In Genesis 22, I’m accepting your translations, QUOTE:
    Verse 8 “God will see to the lamb,”
    Verse 14 says: “And Abraham called the name of that place the Lord Will See as it is said today On the Mountain the Lord Will Be Seen.”

    So in these 2 verses, we see
    “God will”
    “The Lord will”
    “The Lord will”
    Granted, future tense does not a prophecy make. But, can we agree that these 3 statements all point to the future, not the past or present?

    Granted, not everything Abraham said and did was “prophetic.” But, can we agree that Abraham was a prophet? Yahweh said he was.
    “Then God said to him (Abimelech) in the dream…..”Now return the man’s wife (Sarah) for he (Abraham) is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live.” [Genesis 20:6-7]

    • Dina says:

      Matthew, you’re repeating your arguments over and over again without considering the counterarguments at all.

      You’re not answering the tough questions. I don’t see the point of a dialogue where one person insists on preaching at the other person, refuses to engage, insists on having his questions/challenges answered, but refuses to answer the other person’s questions/challenges.

      For this reason I am leaving the discussion.

      Have a nice life,
      Dina

      • Dina,
        I believe that you and many others here are to be commended for diligently battling the prophets of PAAL for many years. ( That is, Paul the false apostle, the self-appointed “Apostle to the Gentiles”, who is in the center of what today is called “Christianity.”)

        You are used to winning your arguments – because “Paul worship” won’t stand up to a serious discussion among people who know the Scriptures, and you are willing to discuss points in detail. But know that I am not coming in the name of Paul or “Christianity” as currently defined, and I am not an enemy.

        You asked me a pressing question, and I’ve given you a direct, specific answer, quoting a prophet. If you want my answer in my own words, you can get that anytime you choose – it’s the same as YOUR answer to the question “Was Isaac Abraham’s only son?” If you say, “yes,” then “yes.” If you say “no,” then “no.” If you say “No, but…” then my answer is “No, but…” If you say it’s not a yes or no question, I would agree with you.
        Blessings following the Messiah of Yahweh, revealed in the Torah and the Prophets

    • cpsoper says:

      Not for the first time, I agree with the lady, Farewell with this comment.

      On another point, it’s strange, how the Council at Jerusalem, Peter and Luke were coopted to serve this dubious Ebionite thesis of yours, Matthew, and so early that the degree of fabrication you claim is just not plausible.

      Con, I take your last point, and I confess I misunderstood you in part, my apologies.

  37. This morning God showed me something I never noticed before.
    In just one chapter of the Torah, Genesis 22, Yahweh, or the angel of Yahweh, tells Abraham something.
    Not just once. Not just twice. But three times. 3.

    “Then God said: ‘Take YOUR SON, YOUR ONLY SON, Isaac, whom you love….” [22:2]

    “The angel of Yahweh called out to him from heaven,……’you have not withheld from me YOUR SON, YOUR ONLY SON,'” [22:11-12]

    The angel of Yahweh called to Abraham from heaven a second time, and said, ‘I swear by myself, declares Yahweh, that because you have done this and have not withheld YOUR SON, YOUR ONLY SON, I will surely bless you. [22:15-17]

    Do you think Yahweh lied about this? Or…… possibly….just maybe… Yahweh was pointing to something else symbolically and prophetically?

    In the previous chapter, it says:
    “Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar had borne to Abraham was mocking…” Genesis 21:9]

    • Jim says:

      Matthew,

      Why does God call Isaac Abraham’s only child?

      Isaac is Abraham’s inheritor. In Genesis 15, Abraham asks God “what will you give me, for I continue childess…?” He believes that his servant will inherit him. God responds: “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir”. Then, later, when Abraham has a son in Ishmael, this is not the son that shall inherit the promise made to Abraham. In Genesis 17, Abraham says: “O that Ishmael might live in your sight!” But God says: “No, but your wife Sarah shall bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac. I will establish him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him.” Ishmael is granted to become a father of nations, as well, but he is not the inheritor promised to Abraham. He will not be a patriarch of the Jewish people. His descendants will not inherit the land of Israel or the mission of that blessed people. Through Isaac’s seed and not Ishmael’s, will all the nations of the earth be blessed. And it is the Jewish people, not the Ishmaelites that will be a nation of priests. In this way, Isaac is Abraham’s only son.

      Jim

    • Jim says:

      Matthew,

      It is inadvisable for you to claim that God showed you something. This is presumptuous. Noticing something that you had not noticed before does not mean that God drew it to your attention. Or else you will have to say that even those that follow Paul are inspired by God, as every time they notice something they had not before that it was God showing it to them.

      Alternatively, if you are claiming to be a prophet, you should demonstrate to us that you are a prophet, assuming you wish us to take such a claim seriously. You could offer us a sign. But what would be the point? You have already failed the test of Deuteronomy 13.

      Jim

    • Matthew Perri Did you also notice Genesis 21:12? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • Pharisee Friend and Jim,
        Yes I noticed 21:12, and your comment “In this way, Isaac is Abraham’s only son.”
        Yes, “In this way….”
        You have to qualify it like this, because obviously, Isaac is not LITERALLY Abraham’s “only son.” Genesis 22 makes no mention of Sarah at all – so even though Isaac is literally Sarah’s “only son”, that is not true for Abraham. God didn’t say “your only son by Sarah” – that would be reading something into the text of Torah that is not there.

        It makes an equal amount of sense to say:
        “In this way, Isaac is Abraham’s only son” as it does to say
        “In this way, Yeshua / Jesus is a lamb.”

        Jim, as to your comment to me “It is inadvisable for you to claim that God showed you something…”

        I quoted you 3 short passages from the Torah, [Genesis 22] not my own words…
        And what do you do with these words of the Prophet Isaiah?
        “Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people.”
        [Isaiah 28:11]
        “To the Law and to the Testimony!” [Isaiah 8:20]

        • Matthew Perri We have god’s interpretation of the “only son” of Genesis 22 (it is found in Genesis 21) and we have Matthew’s interpretation – which one should I choose? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Pharisee Friend
            I am not disagreeing with the interpretation in Genesis 21:12 – what you refer to as “God’s interpretation.” Rather I agree with it, and therefore I agree with you and Jim.

            I am simply noting that it is not a Literal interpretation, but rather needs to be understood “in this way” as Jim described. And I have observed some things which are present in Genesis 22, and some things which are not. I have not given my own different “interpretation.”

          • “The lion has roared – who will not fear?
            The Sovereign Yahweh has spoken – who can but prophesy?”
            Amos 3:8

            “I will be like a lion to Ephraim
            like a great lion to Judah.”
            Hosea 5:14

            Is God literally a lion?

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            Do you mean to say that the great revelation that you received from God this morning is that Tanach contains figurative language? If you did not understand this until God showed it to you this morning, then I do not know how you possibly feel qualified to interpret scripture. The first time I remember you on this blog was about two years ago. In all that time, you have been understanding everything literally? Only this morning, when you received prophecy, did you understand this basic principle that even a baby like me knows? Well, I guess you have at least two years of study to reevaluate. Good luck!

            Jim

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            You have on several occasions denigrated those on this board who disagree with you as not being Torah observant, because in your view, they did not quote Torah enough. Let us examine the evidence.

            You have asserted with no proof that Abraham was prophesying to Isaac that God would provide a lamb. Dina has argued from scripture that this was not a prophecy. Torah does not say that God spoke to Abraham, promising him a lamb. Abraham says nothing to indicate that God gave him a message. Dina listed examples of what prophecy looks like in Tanach. You offered nothing but your opinion. And in fact, in the context of the chapter, Isaac asks where the lamb is, and Abraham responds that God will provide the lamb. That is to say, he answers in the language natural to the question. Nothing indicates prophecy. You owe Dina an apology.

            Sharbano explained the entire context of the chapter. He did it by discussing the chapter generally. It is clear that he is familiar with the chapter and expects the reader to be familiar with the chapter as well, or to look up the passage in question. On the other hand, you quote verses out of context and seize upon a word here or there to support your theology, ignoring the bigger picture. In that vein, you ignore that the offering up of Isaac is a test and has nothing to do with atonement. Isaac is not dying for the sins of Abraham and there is no similarity between his situation and that of Jesus. Sharbano relies upon context and Torah knowledge while you rely upon innuendo. You owe Sharbano an apology.

            Yehudah offers a more reasonable foreshadowing than the one you do. The lamb that was to be provided in Isaac’s stead is more reminiscent of Pesach than the crucifixion. That lamb dies instead of the first born being taken. You ignore the obvious parallels because it does not suit your theology. The only similarity you can draw between Jesus and the lamb spoken of by Abraham is that Jesus was called a lamb. This is a superficial comparison. Yet you ignore the compelling arguments of Yehudah. You owe him an apology.

            It is because of you that Robert addressed the notion that Jesus is not a lamb. Your entire argument that the ram offered was not a fulfillment of Abraham’s supposed prophecy is that it was not a lamb. But if you will say that, you will also have to admit that a man is also not a lamb, whether one man called him one or not. You owe Robert an apology.

            R’ Blumenthal has answered your question and in so doing showed you the proper method for interpreting scripture. Whereas you rely upon innuendo and eisegesis, R’ Blumenthal argued from Torah. He showed how Isaac could be called God’s only child by appealing to Torah. The difference between him and you is that you take figurative language and believe it gives you carte blanche to make a passage mean what you will. R’ Blumenthal studies Torah to understand its figurative language and uses the Torah as source for his answers. You owe R’ Blumenthal an apology.

            Worst of all, you treat yourself as the ultimate authority on Torah. You appeal to your own personal divine revelation. You make up your own rules of what is authoritative and what is not, declaring Genesis to be more authoritative than the other books of the Torah by virtue of appearing first. This is folly of the highest order by itself. But then you declare yourself to be the final arbiter of what is scripture altogether. It is bad enough that the Church has arrogated to itself the authority to define what is and is not scripture. (This is like Chairman Mao defining the U.S. Constitution and appending his own propaganda to American works and calling the whole thing the basis for American law.) You do not even accept the arrogated authority of the Church but make yourself the sole arbiter of scripture. Where in Torah are you granted authority to make your pronouncements regarding what is scripture and what is not, who is a prophet and who is not? You owe the Author of the Torah an apology.

            Jim

          • Dina says:

            Jim, as a member of the MAS, I congratulate you on this excellent post enumerating all the people Matthew ought to apologize to. It gets to the heart of the matter, is accurate, and is beautifully written.

          • cpsoper says:

            Dear Jim, I’m not out to defend Matthew for his own sake, nor will I re-enter discussion with him here, he has already condemned himself quite enough, but the balance of truth matters.

            You claim the offering of a ram at Moriah was not an atonement nor a prophecy. Matthew is correct that promise of a lamb, however taken, was not fulfilled in the ram. they are quite distinct, Num 15.11 and Ezek 34.17.

            Yet you also properly support Yehuda’s suggestion, whilst misspelling his name, that it is a depiction of the Paschal (Passover) Lamb, a redemptive and substitutionary blood sacrifice, and therefore by the same logic plainly prophetic.

            Your own position is inconsistent, do you not also owe Matthew an apology?

            Johanan’s first, simple word of introduction to the Messiah was ‘Behold the Lamb of God’, for good reason.

          • cpsoper says:

            But I ought to correct myself, whether others do or not. In Ezek. 34.17 and context, it is evident from ‘בֵּין-שֶׂה לָשֶׂה’ that the term שֶׂה can carry a general sense as well as a distinctive sense, vitiating Matthew’s general assertion. My inaccuracy on this point however does not excuse your inconsistency, an apology is still due.

          • Jim says:

            Charles,

            You have badly misunderstood my reprimand to Matthew Perri. This has caused you to defend him senselessly and indict me with even less sense. Please attend to my first paragraph where I identify the fault for which I take him to task. He has denigrated his opponents by constantly saying that they are not Torah observant, because, in his opinion, they did not quote Torah enough in their opinions. Meanwhile, all of them have supported their views with Torah, even when not quoting it directly.

            My point is not that he is wrong, though he is. It is not even that he has not supported his opinions well from the text, though he has not. It is that, while he cannot support his ideas from Torah, he claims his opponents have not referenced it enough. He proudly announces that he has quoted three verses and challenges his opponents to do the same. He insinuates that they are hypocrites, claiming to be Torah observant but afraid to quote the book. The charge is ugly and should be withdrawn. And not only does it show that Matthew Perri does not know what Torah observance is, it does not comport with the facts.

            That you think I have been inconsistent in granting more credence to Yehuda’s suggestion, shows that you have not followed what I wrote at all. My point is not that I think Yehuda is correct; it is that he can support his argument from scripture much better than Matthew can. That being the case, Matthew should be more respectful and stop denigrating his opponents. Therefore I am not inconsistent, nor do I owe Matthew an apology.

            And I apologize for misspelling Yehuda’s name. My schedule does not permit me to write as much as I would like, and I have greatly had to curtail my writing here. And I am often writing quickly, without much time for editing. However, I would point out that such pedantry does make one appear petty. Please, feel free to carry on.

            Jim

          • Jim thanks for your comments – they are a breath of fresh air 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • cpsoper says:

            Jim, as always you make a robust if prolix defence, but you’re hiding serious problems with your own contradicting statements, not quotes from others, two example suffice:

            A. ‘Nothing indicates prophecy.’ If this is simply a statement of Dina’s position, it is opaquely expressed.

            B. ‘You ignore the compelling arguments of Yehudah’, are they indeed compelling to you, even if they describe a prophecy?

            A. The offering of Isaac ‘has nothing to do with atonement’

            B. ‘You ignore the obvious parallels because it does not suit your theology.’ So does the offering of Isaac have ‘obvious parallels’ with the blood sacrifice of the redeeming substitute in the Passover or not?

            Forgive my pedantry, but I leave the general reader to draw his or her own conclusions. Matthew may not be worthy of your apology, though you owe one to him, and denigration of persons here we all agree is off limits, but your statements seem to have more to do with a defence at any cost, than a serious enquiry into the truth wherever it leads. I too must rush…

          • Dina says:

            Charles, disagreement does not equal denigration. Jim has been unfailingly respectful. I know you don’t like that he called you out on your spelling correction, but I, too, when I read your comment, thought it was beneath you.

          • What I’m hearing from core members of this site is:
            “No no no, it’s not a prophecy, it couldn’t be a prophecy. But even if it was – which it’s not – it would have to be about the nation or Israel or King David or something like that. It couldn’t possibly be about your Jesus….”

            Which “Jesus”? You have done well to reject the “Christ of Paul” the false apostle of the “New Testament” who blasphemously claimed that Jesus “abolished the law.” I reject Paal’s false teaching too.

            However, I am not here to push Paal’s false “Christ” which is at the heart of what today is called “Christianity.” I am a follower of Yeshua (Jesus) of the Gospels, who came to fulfill the Law of Moses and the Prophets, not abolish them.

            This Jesus (Yeshua) can be found in the writings of His Apostles Matthew and John, followed closely by Mark, and lastly Luke- the 4 Gospel writers. My belief is like that of the followers of Yeshua (Jesus), “the Way and the Truth and the Life.” in the Book of Acts chapter 8. (Before “Paul,” “Christianity,” and the “New Testament.”)

          • Jim says:

            Charles,

            Let us say that I were inconsistent. I do not know why that would warrant an apology to Matthew. I certainly would acknowledge my error if I perceived one, but I do not see how my error should be an offense to someone else.

            But I must apologize for taxing you with four paragraphs. Certainly wading through such an insurmountable wall of text must be wearying. I thank you for making the effort, despite the difficulty.

            I do know that it is difficult for you to read even one paragraph. After all, you have thoroughly misunderstood and misrepresented Yehuda’s single paragraph on this issue. He did not write that the lamb was a foreshadowing or Abraham’s words were a prophecy. To the contrary, he called it a “supposed foreshadowing” and a “farfetched foreshadowing”. He wrote that if one were to “assume” that the lamb was a foreshadowing, that it would have to be burned and eaten. His point was not that Abraham prophesied the Passover lamb, but that if one insisted there was some foreshadowing, it would be to Pesach. The parallels he draws do not apply to Jesus, which was his point. His argument is compelling in that he shows that if one insists on it being a foreshadowing, it does not fit Jesus at all. At best it fits the Pesach lamb. Of course, you missed his point, because you were too ready to pounce on the idea that Jesus is the Pesach lamb. You missed that Yehuda was illustrating the differences between Jesus and the Pesach lamb. And you missed that he did not affirm that it is an actual foreshadowing. But, at least you spelled his name correctly.

            When I wrote that his arguments were compelling, I assumed that Matthew would understand the context. He could go and read Yehuda’s comments if he’d forgotten. My point was not that Genesis 22 is a prophecy or foreshadowing. I only mean, like Yehuda, that IF one were to insist that it was foreshadowing, the case for linking it to Jesus is shallow, relying only on the fact that John called Jesus the lamb of God. But there is no similarity between the sacrifice of Genesis 22 and Jesus.

            You obviously recognize this because you want Genesis 22 to be a foreshadowing of a foreshadowing. It foreshadows Pesach, according to you, which then foreshadows Jesus. This is obvious silliness, but it is unavoidable for you. If you want to link John’s statement that Jesus is the lamb of God to Genesis 22, you have an enormous problem. When you quoted John—I’m sorry, Johanan; I forgot that we are hebraicizing the NT now in the interest of propaganda—you omitted the rest of the quote: “that takes away the sin of the world”. Of course, this would have no link to Isaac or the ‘lamb’ that was supposed to take his place. Isaac was being offered as a test, not as an offering for the sins of the world. You need an extra step, so you accept Yehuda’s explanation, sort of. You distort it and make of it what you will.

            In so doing, you ignore that the Pesach lamb was also not offered up for sin. You have missed the entire point of the Pesach lamb, but since John—Yohanan, whatever—calls Jesus, you will insist that Jesus is somehow that lamb. I am sure that R’ Blumenthal has an explanation of the Pesach lamb on his site somewhere. Perhaps you should read up on the topic. It certainly does not serve the function that you would like it to, which was Yehuda’s point. I would explain it, but I have just passed six hundred words, and I do not wish to tax you overly much. It is perhaps too much to hope that you made it this far.

            Jim

            P.S. For those confused why I should mock the use of “Yohanan,” one will notice that Charles and other Christians usually do not Hebraicize names in Tanach. For example, he calls Yitzchak, “Isaac”. He does not need to make the Torah sound Jewish. It IS Jewish. The struggle he has is making it sound Christian. But his struggle with the NT is making it sound like a Jewish book. He wants to make it palatable to the Jewish reader. So suddenly John is “Yohanan”. See: Jewish. Christians somehow think that Jewish blood alone credentials one to write with divine authority. What folly.

          • Dina says:

            Well done, Jim. But you have been careless with your spelling again. I fear Charles might take exception to your spelling of “Yohanan” as opposed to “Johanan.”

          • Jim says:

            Charles,

            An additional note, lest you continue in your confusion:

            My point is reprimanding MP is not that MP is wrong and Dina is right. Or Sharbano is right. Or Yehuda is right. My point is that all of them rely on Torah for their arguments while he accuses them of not being “Torah observant” because they do not count aloud their quotes as he does. Nor do they always even quote, because they expect the reader knows what they are talking about. For this he owes them an apology, not for disagreeing with them.

            Jim

          • Dina says:

            Or the Bugs Bunny reference to a maroon…not sure they have that cartoon in England where Charles lives.

          • Jim says:

            Dina,

            I cannot believe I misspelled “Johanan” after being so careful to adopt Charles’ spelling the first time. I was really worried that I would use the transliteration “Yochanan” as I’ve seen it elsewhere, and took careful note not to do that. And then I still changed Charles’ J to a Y. Sometimes I am such a maroon. At least I was careful to omit the c. I think.

            Oh well,

            Jim

          • Dina says:

            Jim, I think you meant to say that you’re a moron, not a maroon. But I have to disagree with your assessment🙂.

        • Jim says:

          Matthew,

          The reason that God does not call Isaac Sarah’s only son is because that does not emphasize the difficulty of the task that God is asking of Abraham. God specifically promised Abraham a son through Sarah that would inherit Abraham. God is now asking for that son, the inheritor. Sharbano has already explained this. Review his comments.

          Regarding, your poor phrasing that God showed you something this morning, that is not the same thing as quoting the Torah. Surely you are able to comprehend the difference between those two things. God did not deliver the Torah this morning. You cannot retreat to your high horse of claiming that you only quoted scripture. In fact, you claimed that God “showed you something” which is not the same thing as merely quoting scripture.

          It is absurd for you to then turn this into another opportunity to imply that only you quote scripture, while the so-called Torah observant Jew does not quote scripture one time. Your constant attempt to grant yourself the moral high ground is as tiresome as it is ludicrous. And it bears no resemblance to reality when you seize upon a word here or there as an opportunity to read your own theology, using the Torah as your puppet.

          R’ Blumenthal and I also quoted scripture, but neither of us pretended that it was a special revelation from God granted us this day.

          Jim

          • Dina says:

            Applause from the MAS!

          • LarryB says:

            Dina
            thats twice I have seen you mention MAS. what is it?

          • Dina says:

            Larry, some time ago, Paul expressed irritation at the way we on the side of Hashem and the Torah congratulated each other on our brilliant, incisive, and witty posts. Jim dubbed us therefore the Mutual Admiration Society, hence the acronym. You are, of course, a longtime member, although you didn’t know it🙂.

  38. Concerned Reader says:

    Mathew, respectfully, Deuteronomy 4 teaches Israel not to worship “the whole host of heaven,” and the word host is “Seba.” Its the same word that we find used in Joshua 5:13-15 for the captain of the lord’s “host” / the angel of the lord that most Christians think is a Jesus type, a son of G-d type, or maybe even the pre-incarnate logos.

    I am sure you have heard of this verse in most Christian translations?

    Genesis 6:2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.

    We all know from both Jewish and Christian traditions that these “sons” are either angels of G-d, or they are mighty/noble people. Either way, these “sons of G-d” are part of the “whole host of heaven,” and so Jews are forbidden to pray to them by G-d himself in Deuteronomy 4.

    In other words, the thing is, Jews are expressly prohibited by the Torah to pray to any being other than G-d the father, especially his entourage, “sons” angels, any angels, even any idea of the Logos.

    The big issue that Jews have with Christianity is that the religion asks and or tells everyone that Jesus is divine and should receive service that belongs exclusively to G-d the father.

    Christians have said that the Logos is a theophany like the burning bush, or like the spirit in the temple. However, nowhere in scripture will you find that anyone prayed to the burning bush, or prayed to G-d while invoking the burning bush. G-d explicitly says “my glory will I not give to another.” (Isaiah 42:8)

    So, Jews do not find these “hints” that they should serve a “son of G-d,” in fact, Jews want to deal with the father only. cf. Exodus 33. No hints can override clear law, namely that G-d is one, and he says “worship me alone.”

    Do not establish doctrines because of hints, that is what Paul of Tarsus would do.

  39. Enough of “hard questions”…
    Here’s an easy one – multiple choice, with the answer. [2 Chronicles 26:16]

    King Uzziah “reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years.” “He did what was right in the eyes of Yahweh.” [26:3-4] But late in life “he was unfaithful to Yahweh his God” [26:16], Yahweh struck him with leprosy, and after that, “King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died.” [26:21]

    How specifically was King Uzziah “unfaithful to Yahweh his God?”

    A) Baal worship
    B) Murder
    C) He lied to Yahweh
    D) Adultery
    E) he “entered the temple of Yahweh to burn incense on the altar of incense.”

    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/a-story-and-a-song/#comment-27800

  40. Concerned Reader says:

    Here is a little joke read for everyone

    The Dig: Findings From the Year 4035

    In a remote part of the world, in a place now believed to be holy by many, a site was uncovered that finally unearthed the secrets of a bygone civilization. From what some scholars can tell based on findings at the site, the people here practiced ritual sacrifice and were constantly engaged in the magical arts.

    Our hypothesis is based, largely on finding a bed that casts ultraviolet light on its victims, thereby killing them slowly with cancer. “There is no other possible explanation,” claimed Dr. Brown from the university of New London. “Like the founder many were willingly sacrificed using a bed of ultraviolet light.” “Death, by our estimation took place after about 40-60 years. It must have been very painful.”

    Apart from the sacrificial bed, was found a magical device. According to the descendants of the ancient inhabitants, you would ask the orb a question, shake it violently, and then receive some providential answer, scholars presume from the formerly violent deity who requires its victims to suffer.

    As all modern inhabitants of the year 4035 know, sacrifice is no longer necessary, having been paid once for all, by our providential deity who is above all. Our deity provided the ultimate sacrifice.

    Upon publication of this document, the descendants of the ancient inhabitants at the site are outraged and demand a retraction.

    “our ancestors never sacrificed anyone on a bed, its called a tanning bed! Our ancestors used this site for recreation!”

    “The magical ball you found is not magical at all, its called an 8 ball!”

    “Its an ancient children’s toy!”

    “The site was called Tony’s Tanning Salon, and when he died 2000 years ago, his former customers couldn’t handle it, so they created a religion about him.”

    “The 8 ball belonged to Tony’s son.”

    As of this report, findings are still inconclusive.

  41. Jim says:

    Matthew,

    In regard to your comments here:

    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/the-blood-of-the-lamb/#comment-27887

    I can understand the desire to reframe the objections of “core members of this site” as merely anti-Pauline and not anti-Jesusian. It must be quite distressing to have others deny the divinity of your god, especially among the Torah observant. I am sure it creates quite a fair amount of cognitive dissonance. And, because you have an agenda against Paul, it must comfort you to find others who deny any validity to his teachings and tempting to make all their objections to Jesus be only a result of the confusion sown by the teacher you reject. However, it is still wrong of you to recontextualize the conversations that take place here to suit your agenda.

    I will not write for the others, but I can say unequivocally for myself, that even if the teachings of Paul did not exist, I would reject the false teachings of Jesus. I certainly would not worship him as divine, a practice clearly forbidden by the Torah. (And to those who will say that Jesus did not claim to be divine, Matthew believes Jesus is divine, so that is the question under consideration. Whether or not Jesus claimed to be divine or not is not relevant at this time.) I would not accept the obviously false claim that Jesus is the way, truth, and life and that no one can come to the Father except through him. And I certainly reject the notion that God sent someone to die for the sins of humanity. These notions are foreign to Torah, and for that reason alone one must object to Jesus’ teachings. Paul need not enter the equation.

    Recasting our objections as anti-Pauline is self-serving. You imply that we have a knee-jerk reaction against Jesus, a bit of Christian condescension. As a former Christian, I certainly did not grow up being taught to reject Jesus. If you read the arguments that have been made against your claim that Genesis 22 prophesies about Jesus, you will see that they are not knee-jerk responses. They are criticisms based on the lack of support you bring. Nothing in the difference between the lamb and ram implies that Abraham was bringing a prophecy. As Charles showed, in fact the word for lamb in Genesis 22 can be used as a general term. In the context of Genesis 22, where Isaac asks where the lamb for sacrifice is and Abraham answers in the same language, nothing suggests a prophecy. The passage most naturally reads with “lamb” being used as a general term in the question and answer. Yehuda’s answer pointed out the lack of connection you can make between a lamb and Jesus. The connections you wish to draw are labored and unsubstantiated. None of this is knee-jerk. On the contrary, you rely upon one word to find Jesus in the Torah and can offer nothing of substance in support.

    I hope, if I can find the time, to explain in the next few posts why one ought not follow Jesus, regardless of Paul’s teaching. Let me begin right now by speaking to your scriptures.

    Matthew, John, Mark, Luke, and Peter are not prophets. Their books are not scripture. There is no reason to believe that they are. They were not submitted to the Jewish courts to verify them, and the people who did canonize them had no authority to do so. As I wrote the other day, the Church canonizing the NT is like Chairman Mao ruling on what books constitute American law, appending the books of his Cultural Revolution to the U.S. Constitution. These books are not part of Tanach.

    You are in a particularly difficult position if you want us to accept Matthew and John and not Romans or Phillipians. You have no greater right to canonize scripture than those who canonized the NT. You have set yourself up as a tribunal of one, but this is presumptuous. (I am sorry. Saying this is not nice, but the truth is not always nice.) If you reject the authority of the Church to canonize the NT you are in something of a pickle. You have set yourself up as the sole arbiter of what is and is not scripture. I cannot imagine from where you derive the authority.

    Nor can I imagine why you think we should take Matthew or John seriously. Setting aside for the moment their horribly Jew-hating passages, their disrespect for the Torah and the Prophets makes them impossible to consider as legitimate sources of divine knowledge. Matthew cannot make it one chapter without misrepresenting Tanach. You have attempted to defend his use of the word ‘virgin’ but that does not even begin to address the greater problems of context and the way he truncates the prophecy so that he can imbue it with his own private meaning. John does the same to the words of the Sweet Singer of Israel. To find Jesus in the scriptures, Matthew and John had to distort Tanach. They replace the voice of God with their own voices, speaking over Him and creating a cacophany.

    These are not Pauline objections, although of course, Paul also misrepresents scripture. But even if he had not, I would have to object to the abuse of scripture Matthew and John practice. It is clear that they did not hear the Word of God in the Prophets. Perhaps it is because they were too busy talking.

    Jim

    • Hi Jim
      You wrote QUOTE:
      “You are in a particularly difficult position if you want us to accept Matthew and John and not Romans or Phillipians. You have no greater right to canonize scripture than those who canonized the NT. …….. I cannot imagine from where you derive the authority.”

      “canonize” “scripture” and “NT (New Testament)” are all loaded terms, two of which do not appear anywhere in the Bible, and all of which can have different meanings and their meanings have changed over the centuries. It’s like debating “what it means to really be a ‘Christian”- that word was invented at the church in Antioch in Acts chapter 11. It would be a fruitless debate about some word that someone made up – probably Paul.

      But the basic thrust of your challenge is well taken and I will respond here with substance.
      First, an observation of fact.
      The Hebrew Scriptures are in 3 sections in order of importance and authority – Torah, Nabi’im and Kethuvim. And despite heresies that came later, the Eastern Orthodox Church even today after 2000 years holds the 4 Gospels up above the rest of the “New Testament.” So this is not some “new idea” that only I believe in. Nowhere in the pages of the Bible does anyone say that all Scripture is equal in importance or authority.

      Where do I get the idea of elevating the writings of the Apostles Matthew, John and Peter, and the words of Jesus in the Gospels particularly over all, about the rest of the New Testament? Jesus did not write any Scripture. And of his chosen Apostles, only Matthew, John, and Peter did directly “write” Scripture.

      John 17:6,-9,20
      Matthew 28:16, 20
      Matthew 19:28
      Acts 1:20-26
      Luke 22:28-30
      Revelation 21:14
      2 Peter 3:2

      The message of Jesus we should listen to is the message that came through His Apostles, who were his witnesses to testify accurately about Him. (Not the false teachings of Paul the false apostle.)

      • Dinah Bucholz says:

        You know, Jim, what Matthew fails to realize is that order of importance and authority in Scripture is an idea that is also not found in Scripture. Or that Scripture itself does not record which books are authoritative and which not.

        His argument is entirely absurd. Scripture doesn’t record a process of canonization because it occurred after Scripture was written and the decisions were made which books to include as part of Scripture and which not.

        Sometimes when I read Matthew’s comments they seem surreal to me.

    • LarryB says:

      Jim
      “I am sure it creates quite a fair amount of cognitive dissonance. And, because you have an agenda against Paul,”
      After reading all of Matthews comments I’m not so sure he has an agenda against Paul, in fact he thinks of him as a hero, although an imperfect one. I believe concerned reader alluded to this earlier.

      • LarryB says:

        Heres why:
        “We want to bring glory to God, not ourselves or any other mortal man who ever
        lived, not even imperfect “heroes” like King David or the Apostle Paul, even
        though the scriptures written by their hands are inerrant and apply to everyone
        including them.”
        “we will demonstrate in our lives the Fruit of the Spirit that Paul taught us
        about: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
        gentleness, and self-control”

        You also continualy call Paul The Self Appointed Apostle in a negative sence but
        in your writings you say something quite differently.
        “Yes, Paul was a great man, anointed by God as an apostle to the Gentiles
        primarily.

        The truth is you see Paul as an apostle who was a sinner but who’s teachings
        were inerrant and was one of your imperfect heros. You also wrongly believe
        people should be like “imitate” jesus instead just being themselves.
        ———-
        There is something more that bothers me though. In your writings you speak of
        Jewish beliefs as a cult.

        “Even sincere religious people have a tendency to raise other religious figures
        to the level of Jesus, and that is often how cults are formed. But God says NO!
        Not Moses or Elijah (for Jews), David (for Branch Davidians), Mohammed (for
        Muslims), Mary (for Catholics), Paul (for Evangelicals), “Saints”, angels,
        Joseph Smith (for Mormons), Mary Baker Eddy (for Christian Scientists), Charles
        Taze Russell (for Jehovah’s Witnesses), or any other gods or people.”

        Question: where does being Torah observant fit in here?

        Just to make things clear you say in another post
        “As a Christian, there is only one answer that is 100% true all the time. If you
        try to be like Mary, you’re “Marian”. If you try to be like Paul, you’re
        “Paulist”. If you try to be like David, maybe you’re a “Branch Davidian”.

        All of this is on your blog.

  42. Jim says:

    Matthew,

    Continuing my response to your comments here:

    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/the-blood-of-the-lamb/#comment-27887

    In your comments, you attempted to contrast Jesus with Paul. Paul teaches that Jesus “abolished the law” while Jesus fulfills it. Addressing this latter portion is going to take me a few comments. I am disinterested with the former part. I will address what Jesus meant by fulfilling the law in a later comment and why such a claim is presumptuous. But one thing we can say is that Jesus did not fulfill the law according to the idea that some Christians have in that he taught it and kept it perfectly.

    Your namesake tells us how Jesus allowed his disciples to break the Sabbath, because they were hungry (Matt. 12). One wonders why they had not eaten before walking through the field. Why had they not prepared for the Sabbath? The Pharisees ask Jesus why he allows them to violate the Sabbath and Jesus babbles some nonsense that shows he clearly has no respect for the Sabbath. He equates their non-emergency situation to the emergency of David in eating the showbread. And then he attacks the Pharisees as if their question is a sin, while his disciples stand there breaking the Torah. Of course, Matthew is careful to avoid having Jesus break the Sabbath, himself.

    But John is not so careful. He has Jesus directly breaking the Sabbath, in chapter 9. There Jesus heals a blind man after spitting in to the dirt to make a mud. This violation of the Sabbath is even more egregious than that of his disciples because of its gratuitous nature. He does not need the mud to heal the man’s eyes. On the contrary, Jesus had opened many eyes without such mud. He flagrantly violates Torah.

    These are only two examples, of course. Jesus dishonors his mother in the way he speaks to her. He teaches another man to do the same when he wishes to bury his parents. And there are other offenses besides. The point is that Jesus did not fulfill the law in the sense of keeping the law perfectly. (This also means he is not an unblemished sacrifice in the way Christians mean “unblemished”.) Someone who flaunts the law the way Jesus does is not worth one’s devotion. He is not even worth one’s attention as a teacher, lest one adopt his perverse ways.

    Jim

    • Jim you wrote QUOTE
      “Jesus allowed his disciples to break the Sabbath, because they were hungry (Matt. 12). One wonders why they had not eaten before walking through the field. ”

      His disciples were not breaking the law at all, they did nothing wrong. Jesus was just toying with them.
      Please read Deuteronomy 23:25

      • Jim says:

        Matthew,

        Deut. 23:25 has nothing to do with Matthew 12. It is not addressing the Sabbath.

        Jim

      • They were eating, not working to harvest grain.
        23:24 says
        “If you enter your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat all the grapes you want, but do not put any in your basket.”

        Do you eat on the Sabbath?
        Is eating “work” that you can’t do on the Sabbath?

        • Sharbano says:

          What do you know or understand of the 39 Melachot. I suspect you haven’t even heard of them. That being the case how can you even know or understand your own Xtian text.

          • Sharbano,
            you are right, I never heard of them. But I can read Deuteronomy 23:24-25 and see that it is about the freedom to eat, not about working. DO you eat on the Sabbath?

          • Sharbano says:

            Then, you don’t have the capacity to understand those Xtian texts since the players ARE speaking in these terms .

          • Sharbano,
            Can we agree that Deuteronomy 23:24-25 is about the freedom to eat, not about the Sabbath OR about working?

            And are you saying that we can’t be “Torah observant” like Jesus was, but rather we ignore the Torah text and have to have “the experts” look up some other obscure text, which almost no one even knows about, and this is then ABOVE the Torah text?

          • Sharbano says:

            What! Your answer is to quote something irrelevant. Clearly you don’t even know the “basics” of being Torah observant, especially regarding Shabbat. And what do vows have to do with this.
            I suggest you check All the references regarding Shabbat, including Tanach, if you think it is based on some obscure text. Clearly these matters Were known. As your own text states, “do all they tell you to do”, because They followed Moshe

          • Deuteronomy 23:24-25 is about the freedom to eat,
            It’s in the Torah and it’s relevant.
            If you think I’m wrong, why not quote Torah and prove it?

          • Matthew Perri You realize that Jesus didn’t quote Deuteronomy 23 to defend his followers – he accepted that they had violated the Sabbath and only argued that in some situations this is ok – regardless of how airtight his argument is – it is clear that he agreed with the accusati

          • Sharbano says:

            So, the “freedom to eat” overrides Shabbat. Every Jew KNOWS you “PREPARE” for Shabbat. Do YOU know WHY that is and how it relates.

          • Sharbano says:

            When a person tries to find every leniency in Torah law eventually they will have a Torah with NO substance.

          • Pharisee Friend
            I must point you to the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:7 at the end of this incident.
            “…you would not have condemned the innocent.”

            So, no, I must respectfully disagree. Jesus declared them innocent. Jesus did not accept that they had violated the Sabbath. Jesus knew the Torah in Deuteronomy 23, giving them freedom to eat as they did. We are free to eat on the Sabbath, so they did nothing wrong.
            Blessings

          • Matthew Perri But Jesus also tells us WHY he considers them innocent – not because he disputed the definition of forbidden work but because he felt the situation is comparable to David’s – and you seem to agree with me that the comparison is “simply toying” – furthermore Jesus himself quotes the Pharisee understanding of the Sabbath Law in John 7 in the same way that he quotes Scripture

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Sharbano says:

            There is NOTHING there in Devarim that it is in reference to Shabbat. This is speaking about laborers in the fields. Were the disciples gathering the harvest, which IS a Shabbat violation.

          • Pharisee Friend,
            Regarding Matthew 12, You wrote QUOTE:
            “But Jesus also tells us WHY he considers them innocent – not because he disputed the definition of forbidden work but because he felt the situation is comparable to David’s – and you seem to agree with me that the comparison is “simply toying” – ”

            Yes I agree with you that the comparison is “simply toying”

            But about the reason for innocence, no, I respectfully disagree.
            Jesus does NOT tell us (or them) specifically WHY he considers them innocent.
            You are reading that into the text.

            Under the Law of Moses, Deuteronomy 23, they were innocent. Jesus knew that. The Pharisees probably knew that too, but rather than being “Torah observant” they had created their own “law” to override the Torah and deny people the liberty to eat freely on the Sabbath. Then they used their new man-made rule to harass Jesus and His disciples while they were relaxing and eating on the Sabbath, falsely accusing them of doing something “unlawful.” Jesus was not in the pulpit giving a definitive straightforward theological lecture, he was out in a field with his friends who were having a snack.

            Jim wrote to me, QUOTE:
            “You have on several occasions denigrated those on this board who disagree with you as not being Torah observant, because in your view, they did not quote Torah enough”.
            And I recall Jim saying that writers here may refer to things in the Torah indirectly, and they don’t need quote it directly, because everyone knows what they are talking about.
            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/the-blood-of-the-lamb/#comment-27869

            The Pharisees didn’t ask Jesus to quote Torah law to justify his action, and Jesus didn’t.
            Are you saying that in your view, Jesus did not quote Torah enough?

        • Jim says:

          Matthew,

          I am sorry, but you neither understand Matthew 12, nor Deuteronomy 23:24-25.

          Deuteronomy 23:24-25 is not written in reference to the Sabbath. It is giving a general permission to graze, while prohibiting one from gathering into vessels and taking away. I may not come into your vineyard with a bowl and take grapes home for myself. Once I do so, I have stolen them. However, I may eat them from the vine while I am there.

          This does not relate to the Pharisees complaint. They are not accusing the disciples of theft. They are not denying the disciples the general right to pluck grain in the fields. They accuse the disciples of breaking the Sabbath, quite probably because the disciples had to thresh the grain between their hands to remove the husk. This is a prohibited form of work, although Matthew is rather vague. He does not tell us what the specific complaint was.

          You said that it is lawful to eat on the Sabbath. This is true. But we also see that one is supposed to prepare his food prior to the Sabbath. When God begins giving manna to the Israelites, they are told, “Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord; bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning” (Ex. 16:23). One is not supposed to be preparing the food on the Sabbath.

          Melacha, work, is not defined according to its difficulty. After all, the Israelites were not meant to even pick up manna on Sabbath. When some came outside looking for manna, Moses was quite angry at their disobedience. And yet, what could be easier than coming outside and picking up the manna? It could hardly be a laborious or even time consuming act. Yet, it was prohibited.

          As R’ Blumenthal pointed out, Jesus did not claim that the disciples had not violated the Sabbath through threshing the grain. He did not dispute the law. Instead he made a bizarre attempt to justify the breaking of the Sabbath, not by quoting Torah law to show that picking, threshing, and eating is lawful on the Sabbath. On the contrary, he shows his ignorance by comparing his situation to David fleeing for his life. This argument is absurd and irrelevant. The disciples were not starving, nor were they in any state of emergency. This is not a serious mind at work. If you wish to say that he is toying with the Pharisees, then you are saying we ought not take Jesus seriously, because he will spout absurd nonsense rather than give serious answers due to his superiority complex.

          After his initial defense, he continues with absolute foolishness. He says that the “priests break the Sabbath and are guiltless.” But the priests do not break the Sabbath. The acts that they perform are not prohibited on the day. That is to say, Sabbath law sanctions their actions. Jesus’ argument is plainly untrue and betrays that he is no scholar and has not even a basic understanding of Torah.

          Really think about his argument. What could not be justified by such a simple-minded argument? What work could not be justified? If you lit a fire, which is clearly prohibited by the Torah, you would just say, as Jesus said, that the priests break the Sabbath and are guiltless and so are you. No violation of the Sabbath, or Torah in general, would ever be counted a crime. If one committed murder, he would use a similar defense. He would say, “Do you not know that armies go to war and are counted guiltless?” This argument is to make the law meaningless. It is not only false, but it makes a mockery of the Law.

          As Jesus concludes his inept and rather bizarre tirade, he declares himself “Lord of the Sabbath”. This act of grandiosity and pomposity is not worrisome to you, because you are accustomed to thinking of Jesus as righteous. It has probably never occurred to you to actually evaluate his actions. But imagine for a moment that any other human being violated the law and then declared himself able to do so because he is lord of the law. Such self-aggrandizement would likely horrify you, as well it should. It is a particularly stunning claim after his incoherent defense of the disciples’ actions and his denigration of the Torah. He culminates his incompetence with a declaration of superiority.

          And yet, we are to believe that Jesus fulfilled the Law. It is clear he did not even understand the Law. Nor did he hold it in any regard. He casually allows his disciples to violate it and then makes a mockery of it. He came not to fulfill the law but to desecrate it.

          Jim

          • LarryB says:

            following

          • Jim says:

            A parable:

            A man was on his way to watch a football game at his friend’s house. Eager to arrive, he found himself doing 60 mph in a 35 mph zone. Shortly, a police officer pulled him over.

            “Do you realize that you were speeding?” the police officer asked.

            Incensed the man began railing at the officer:

            “Have you not heard how a husband sometimes rushes his pregnant wife goes into labor? Or are you so ignorant that you do not know that a fire truck breaks the speed limit and its driver receives no ticket? I tell you that I am greater than the fire chief! But if you had known that a warning is preferable to a ticket, you would not have harassed an innocent man. For I am lord of the roads!”

            As the man was arrested, one could hear him shouting: “Speed limits were made for man, not man for speed limits!”

            Jim

          • Jim says:

            Oops, I say R’ Blumenthal beat me to the punch. Sorry.

            Jim

          • Dinah Bucholz says:

            Ha! So funny that you both thought of the same analogy.

      • Sharbano says:

        This is Literally Unbelievable. THIS is what your argument is reduced to, “toying”. The Ultimate Xtian response here.

    • Jim, you wrote:
      “Jesus heals a blind man after spitting in to the dirt to make a mud. This violation of the Sabbath is even more egregious…..”

      Are you for real? Jesus heals a blind man, and you are outraged because He did it on the Sabbath? That was the response of the Pharisees in Jesus’ day too, but…. I’m speechless.

      • Jim says:

        Matthew,

        I can see your confusion. It is not the healing that is the offense. It is the making of the mud. I apologize for being unclear. This is why I mention that he does not even need the mud to heal the man’s eyes. But I did phrase it poorly.

        Jim

        • In John chapter 5 we read that Jesus healed a man who “had been and invalid for thirty-eight years.”
          How did the Pharisees react?
          John 5:16-18

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            I will happily discuss John 5, except right now you are using it to dodge the issue. Jesus broke the Sabbath willfully in John 9. He did it for no purpose other than to break the Sabbath, showing his contempt of the Torah and its Author. You claim Jesus came to fulfill the Law. This is not the case, as he disregarded it openly, flagrantly, and without purpose.

            Jim

          • The Sabbath is a day set apart to honor God and spend time with God.
            Yeshua / Jesus is God. He claimed that, the Pharisees understood He was claiming that, and a number of other people in the pages of the Gospels stated they believed that. So Jesus is “Lord of the Sabbath.” [Matthew 12:8]

        • Dinah Bucholz says:

          Jim, you did not need to apologize for being unclear. I had read your comment and it was crystal clear that you meant that Jesus made a poultice on the Sabbath that was entirely unnecessary–not that he healed someone.

          It seems that Matthew’s willingness to think that everything you write is ridiculous is preventing him from reading what you actually wrote, and he is seeing what he wishes you had written.

          • So Jesus healed a blind man….. but because “Jesus made a poultice on the Sabbath that was entirely unnecessary” when He did that healing, you are outraged – because Jesus “broke the Sabbath” ??

            This is surreal – I believe you are actually serious. Wow.
            Of course, if Jesus was going around killing people, or worshipping idols, or sleeping around, or using foul language, etc. there could be cause for outrage.
            But “Jesus made a poultice on the Sabbath that was entirely unnecessary” to heal a BLIND MAN and you are outraged ??
            Please tell me you are joking.

          • Matthew Perri Would you be outraged if someone gathered sticks on the Sabbath? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Sharbano says:

            So, you don’t KNOW what being Torah observant is.

          • Pharisee Friend
            I am aware of the case you are referring to, where God was outraged yes.
            It is not completely unrelated. However, for many reasons, it is very long stretch to connect that with Jesus healing someone on the Sabbath using some mud. Again, I believe Jesus is God, and the purpose of the Sabbath is to be with God, so Jesus was demonstrating that He is Lord of the Sabbath. There are numerous times when Jesus clashed with the Pharisees over healings on the Sabbath, as you know.

          • Matthew Perri I don’t know – because I don’t trust any of the gospel writers. But in any case – even according to those propagandists Jesus never defends himself by disputing the Pharisee definition of the work that is forbidden on the Sabbath – so Jesus disregarded God’s holy day – the arguments he presented to explain himself are unacceptable to anyone who respects God and His Law – so you cannot claim that he was Torah observant – this according to his own propagandists 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Dinah Bucholz says:

            Matthew Perri believes Jesus is God in defiance of Deuteronomy 4 and 13. Now that’s outrageous.

            I also would like to see Scriptural support for the assertion that the purpose of Sabbath is to be with God.

            God gave the Sabbath to the people of Israel as an eternal sign. The community of loyal Sabbath observers from generation to generation are God’s true witnesses. I think Christians have a problem with the word “eternal.”

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            What I am about to write is going to sound crazy, at least at first. Please bear patiently with me, and read the whole comment, or else you will not understand my argument. If possible, please withhold judgment until you get to the end and you understand my point exactly.

            I can understand why it might seem strange to you that we would complain about Jesus making a poultice for a man’s eyes on the Sabbath. Jesus healed a man, and so it would appear that we are merely picking nits. I am sure many Christians would say as you have that Jesus was not murdering, or worshipping idols, committing adultery, or the like. If he committed a crime, it seems to be a very minor one. However, his crime is much worse than any of these, much worse than it appears.

            The first mistake Christians make when looking at these passages is being overly awed by the miracles. They tend to think that miracles sanction any act or teaching, but this is not true. Deut. 13 explains that it is quite possible for a man to produce signs and wonders, but teach something even as bad as idolatry. And why? Why should God allow someone whose teachings are false to perform signs and wonders? He “is testing you to know whether you love Hashem, your God, with all your heart and with all your sould. Hashem, your God, shall you follow and Him shall you fear; His commandments shall you observe and to His voice shall you hearken; Him shall you serve and to Him shall you cleave” (Deut. 13:4-5). Our loyalty ought to be to our Creator. Miracles arrest the attention, but they must not draw us away from Hashem. They do not justify any and every teaching. Those teachings must be tested by Torah, not by miracles.

            Since the miracle cannot justify the act of breaking the Torah, one must not then point to the miracle as justification of any act Jesus committed or teaching he gave, and in this case that is particularly true. The act, being unnecessary to the miracle must be considered separately from the miracle itself. That is to say, the poultice was completely unnecessary for the miracle. First, we know that Jesus can heal eyes without making such a poultice, or at least he can according to the gospels. I do not mean to affirm that he had any such power actually, only that the gospels claim he did. Nor do mud and saliva have any restorative qualities. So, he did not need the poultice to do the healing. If he had, we might grant that his breaking of the Sabbath had some purpose. But it does not even have that, and that is what makes the act so egregious.

            When a man murders someone, usually his direct aim is not the violation of God’s law. Yes, his act does violate the law, but he does not do it to violate the law. He does it out of anger, hatred, jealousy, or some other passion. It is a horrible crime. It is a capital crime. But the person who does it seldom acts merely out of rebellion. Those few who do—those who kill others just to show that they are not restrained by the law—are especially horrifying.

            And you will find this true of the other crimes you mentioned: they are usually motivated by some passion. Stealing is a violation of Torah, but it is seldom performed with the sole aim of violating the Torah. It is motivated by covetousness or hunger, desire of some variety. Adultery is motivated by desire, usually, as well. When people perform these crimes, though crimes they be, their goal is not to flaunt the law.

            Terrible wrong-doings are not always the worst. A minor violation may surpass it. When Jesus makes the mud for the man’s eyes, the act itself is relatively minor. It does not seem important at all. And yet, this crime is much more horrific than it seems at first glance. Jesus’ poultice serves only to break the law; it is lawlessness for lawlessness’ sake. It is not motivated by the passions. It does not even contribute to the healing. He breaks the law only to show that he has no respect for it. When he spits into the mud, he is really spitting upon the Torah. This is an act of rebellion.

            Imagine if you will a man who came into a synagogue. His life had become unbearable to him. His wife and children had died. He lost his job. He felt hopeless, lost, and abandoned by God. He comes into the synagogue and he throws the Torah upon the floor. Just the thought makes my heart catch in my throat. But the man is motivated by the pain and confusion he feels.

            But imagine another man, a man basically content with life. He has no more troubles than are common to humanity, perhaps even less. He comes into the synagogue and he takes the Torah, and he casts it upon the floor, not out of pain but to say: “This Torah has no authority over me. I will do as I please. I do not submit to Hashem.” As bad as the first situation was, this second is horrifying in a greater degree.

            Jesus is this second man. When he broke the Sabbath purposelessly, it was as if he cast the Torah down. I can hardly imagine a more horrifying crime, not because the nature of making mud. By itself that would be nothing, not a crime at all, nothing like a murder. But by doing it on the Sabbath, without need or provocation, Jesus was declaring the Torah to be worthless. Even now, just thinking about the event, my heart aches within me.

            You have told us that Jesus fulfilled the Torah. But, no. He did not fulfill the Torah. He showed it the greatest disrespect. He spat upon it. He exalted his own opinion above it. He exalted himself above God. This small act is much worse than it appears. From this one moment alone we can see that Jesus did not come to fulfill Torah. He was lawless, and we must not heed his call.

            Jim

          • Dinah Bucholz says:

            Well-reasoned and eloquently expressed.

          • Jim,
            I read through your long post here, and I think I understand your point better, regarding this particular incident of “making a poultice with mud on the Sabbath.” And yes, miraculous signs by themselves do not necessarily prove that something is from God, it must be tested through God’s Word in the Torah, I agree.

            However, there were numerous other incidents of Jesus healing on the Sabbath where the Pharisees clashed with Him, where He didn’t use mud.. And the other discussion ongoing here now is about Jesus’ disciples eating heads of grain on the Sabbath, which was supposedly “unlawful.” So the mud poultice thing is not really the fundamental issue, I don’t believe.

            It’s more about who is Jesus, what authority does He have, what is the Sabbath and how should we observe it, and who gets to decide that. Can we be “Torah observant” and read Deuteronomy 23 and see we have freedom to eat? Or do we have to go through some “special experts in the law” who reinterpret the Torah so that we have no freedom to eat? Is it lawful for God to heal someone on the Sabbath?

          • Matthew Perri You accuse me of reading into the text something that is not there. Amazing! Jesus attempts to justify the actions of his followers by pointing to David’s eating of the showbread and the priests performing the service in the Temple on the Sabbath – both of these activities involve an action that would be a violation of the Law if performed under a different circumstance – so Jesus is agreeing that whatever it was that the disciples did it was the type of action that is a violation of the Sabbath – his argument is just that under certain circumstances the Law is different – but anyone with a brain in his head can see that his application of this argument is ridiculous Just so that you can get a context – imagine if someone is stopped for speeding and he justifies his actions by telling the policeman that ambulances also violate the Law. One thing is clear – this person accepts that the Law which prohibits speeding exists – he is not disputing the validity of the Law.

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Dinah Bucholz says:

            Oh Matthew, deflection, deflection.

          • Dinah Bucholz says:

            Jim, instead of responding to your point, which should be keeping Matthew awake at night, he deflects to other incidents to avoid answering the challenge.

          • Pharisee Friend
            You wrote QUOTE:
            “Jesus attempts to justify the actions of his followers by pointing to David’s eating of the showbread and the priests performing the service in the Temple on the Sabbath ”

            No I respectfully disagree.
            You are reading into the text that “”Jesus attempts to justify the actions of his followers” by bringing up David and the Priests, Jesus’ motives, purposes or intentions are not clearly stated – you are making an assumption which is not in the text. I think we agree that Jesus was playing with them. Neither did Jesus state clearly why they were innocent. If we are Torah observant, we know it’s because of Deuteronomy 23.

          • Matthew Perri I don’t agree that Jesus was “playing with them” – read Jim’s parable about the speeder and try to convince yourself that the speeder argues about the fire-engine with no intention to justify himself 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Dinah Bucholz says:

            Aha! I sniff a double standard. One standard of interpreting the text for thee but not for me.

            When it suits your purposes, nothing can be “read” into the text even when logic demands it if it fails to support your argument. However, if something is clearly in the text or missing from it, something which you need to support your theology, then you and only you are allowed creative interpretation.

            For example, “he shall be called a Nazarene,” an outright fabrication, you defend by saying Matthew was having fun with words. If anyone else here tried anything like that, you rush in with your ridiculous accusation that he’s not being Torah observant.

            That is putting aside the ludicrousness of an idol worshiper telling God worshipers that they are not Torah observant.

          • Dinah Bucholz says:

            I really hate dishonesty, intellectual or otherwise.

          • Pharisee Friend
            You are being logical and reasonable in the assumptions you make about the intentions motives and reasons of Jesus in this case. Your viewpoint is extremely common. I am sure that the overwhelming majority of “Christians” you have interacted with would agree with you wholeheartedly – because they preach the false Gospel of PAAL. It’s Paul Paul Paul, Grace Grace Grace, and the good news is that Jesus abolished the Law – because Paul said so. So you are used to winning your arguments against people who think the Torah is something evil, and don’t know it anyway. But I’m not preaching Paul.

            I’m observing in the Torah, as Jesus did, that based on Deuteronomy 23, his friends eating heads of grain on the Sabbath were innocent- and Jesus said so. Jesus didn’t state explicitly this is the reason they were innocent- He didn’t need to, and wasn’t asked. It’s up to us to be Torah observant and know that.

            The bottom line is, Jesus’ disciples were NOT “doing what is unlawful of the Sabbath”. They were falsely accused, and Jesus defended them from the religious bullies who were harassing them.
            Blessings,

          • “Jesus made a poultice on the Sabbath that was entirely unnecessary,,,”

            In the interest of addressing points adequately, I confess that I don’t know – where is this prohibition written in Torah?

    • Jim you wrote QUOTE
      “Jesus dishonors his mother in the way he speaks to her. He teaches another man to do the same when he wishes to bury his parents”

      I do not see that Jesus “dishonors his mother”, yet as a 30 year old man, he was not a “mama’s boy” either, and he put a certain appropriate distance between them after He started His own ministry. He also made the point that He was creating a new spiritual reality, where people were brothers and sisters in the family of God, with God as their Father, regardless of who their earthly parents were. And Jesus’ words also take away from Mary any special role or special access to get to Jesus or God through her. (If only Roman Catholic Mary worshippers would listen to ALL of Jesus words to Mary, not just “the wedding at Cana.”)……

      I believe that the man’s wish to “bury his father” was a euphemism for “collect his inheritance.” But there is not really much context. I don’t have a firm answer for you on that one.
      It reminds me somewhat of Elijah’s call to Elisha – “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?” [1 Kings 19:20]

      • Southern Noahide says:

        Matthew wrote:
        “I do not see that Jesus “dishonors his mother”, yet as a 30 year old man, he was not a “mama’s boy” either”

        A momma’s boy???? You equate showing respect for your mother with being a momma’s boy???? Unbelievable. I’ve heard people make excuses for yeshu’s attitude and arrogance, but this one wins the prize for most outlandish excuse.

        • Dinah Bucholz says:

          SN, it’s also strange because it Matthew seems to be forgetting that this also happened when Jesus was twelve. According to Christian scripture if I remember correctly, when Jesus was twelve his parents were looking all over for him, and he thought it was just fine for him to disappear without telling him where he was going. My kid would be grounded for a week for doing something like that.

          • Isn’t twelve the age when Jewish boys have their Bar Mitzva, and then cease to be “kids” but rather are counted as “men” and members of the synagogue with the rights and responsibilities thereof? I don’t see how Jesus dishonored his mother at age twelve either – can you explain?

          • Dinah Bucholz says:

            No, that age is thirteen, and the commandment to honor your parents doesn’t come with an expiration date. If you can’t see why what Jesus did was naughty and disrespectful, well, then, I can’t help you. Suffice it to say, my kids know better than that.

            Also, you shouldn’t believe that at a particular age a boy is considered a man, because it’s not in the Bible. I thought you don’t rely on anything that’s not in the Bible?

          • Dinah Bucholz says:

            See Luke 2:41-49, or is Luke one of the books you consider not authoritative? Sorry, I can’t keep track. Instead of getting a thorough scolding like he deserved, “his mother treasured all these things in her heart” (2:51). No wonder he turned out the way he did.

          • Southern Noahide says:

            Dinah,

            And then there was the time, when he and his mother were at a wedding, where his mother expressed concern that they had run out of wine. His callous response to her was “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me?”

            That guy had some serious attitude issues, to say the least. I would have no respect for a man who spoke to his mother in that manner.

          • Dinah Bucholz says:

            Same here. If his parents had punished him instead of indulged him, he might never have come to regard himself so highly.

          • Here’s information about Bar Mitzva
            http://www.jewfaq.org/barmitz.htm
            Has it always been age 13 for boys? I went to my friend’s Bar Mitzva way back when, and I sort of thought he was 12 at the time – but I’m not sure…..

        • How specifically do you believe that Jesus “dishonored his mother” ?

        • Southern Noahide,
          Although it is hard for mothers to accept it, the Torah tells us
          “…a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife…” [Genesis 2:24]

          True, there is no expiration date on honoring both your father and your mother. But the way that an 11 year old boy honors his mother SHOULD be different than the way that a man in his 30’s with a fiancé or wife does…. don’t you think?

          Pharisee Friend noted that the relationship between God and His people can be likened to a marriage – and he is right. At the Wedding of Cana, we see Jesus the self-described “bridegroom” beginning His new relationship with His fiancé, the church.

          For a newly widowed single mother like Mary, with 7 children, [Mark 6:3] it would be hard to see her 30 year old virgin first-born son, who “was obedient” [Luke 2:51] to her and his father suddenly break out on his own and find a new love. Jesus would have been functioning as “the man of the house” and working in the trade his father taught him [Mark 6:3] to provide for the younger ones. She needed him! They have no wine! You need to do something! And in this case, as a way of honoring His mother for the last time in the role of an “unmarried child”, Jesus DID do a miracle for Mary, and make some wine from water. Even so, Mary may have felt that Jesus had an “attitude problem”…..

          • Dinah Bucholz says:

            Ignore, deflect, ignore, deflect. Respond to my challenges honestly, why don’t you?

      • Matthew Perri
        Your belief that Jesus brought up the situation of David and the priests in the Temple – not for the sake of justifying his disciples actions is ridiculous. You might as well say that no written words have any meaning – when it says “don’t lie” you can read it “don’t” and I am not telling you what you should not do but if you are “Torah observant” you should understand that your not supposed to tell the truth – and in case you don’t believe me look at the next word – it says “lie!”

  43. mrsonic says:

    “Johanan’s first, simple word of introduction to the Messiah was ‘Behold the Lamb of God’, for good reason.”

    jtb has already become a christian in johns gospels. i note that john the baptist does not baptise jesus in johns account. it seem that the teacher and master of jesus, john the baptist, was being portrayed as christian in johns community.

  44. Jim says:

    Matthew,

    You have made the claim that Jesus, being the Lord of the Sabbath (ie God), is not restricted by the laws of the Sabbath. Obviously any such claim that Jesus is divine must be rejected, according to Torah. But for the moment, I will put that aside and just consider this claim, by itself. If you say that Jesus is divine, then you are saying that you he might perform any crime for he is not bound by the law.

    Earlier you wrote that when Jesus broke the Sabbath, it was not like he killed somebody, stole, used foul language, or was sexually promiscuous. (Of course you do not know that he did none of those things, but let us leave that aside.) By saying this, you acknowledge that if Jesus would have done any of those things, it would have been wrong. Though you believe Jesus to be divine, you obviously hold that when he entered the world as a human being, then he became subject to the law. In fact, Christians say that he kept it perfectly, although you in your own particular brand may not hold that.

    If he was subject to the law when he entered the world, then he was subject to the whole of the law, just as any other human being. For a ben Noach like myself, that would mean that he would be bound to keep the Seven Laws. But, Jesus entered the world as a Jew and must keep the 613, which includes the Sabbath. He certainly cannot pick and choose.

    And since he violated the Sabbath, which he was bound to keep, he broke the law. It is that simple.

    If you wish to say, as you are arguing, that Jesus, being God, is not subject to the Sabbath, then you must say he is not subject to any of the laws. So, if Jesus had killed someone, you would just say, “Being god, he created that person; that person belongs to him. He is not bound by a law prohibiting murder. So, he did nothing wrong. He acted perfectly rightly for a god.” And the same will go for any other crime. If he steals, you will say that as the one bestows good things upon all people, he can remove them at any time he wishes to do so: “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.” It is all right for Jesus to steal for he owns the cattle on a thousand heals. Etc. etc.

    And so you have found a way to justify any wrongdoing that Jesus has ever done or ever could do, but in so doing you have taken away your argument that he fulfilled the law. You have only established that in your opinion, Jesus cannot sin whatsoever. (But then, with what was Satan tempting him upon the mount?) You have established that Jesus did not fulfill the law, because it did not even apply to him. He only kept the parts he felt like keeping. The rest he ignored.

    Jim

  45. Jim,
    regarding your post buried above
    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/the-blood-of-the-lamb/#comment-27955

    Are you saying that if God decides to do a miraculous supernatural healing, He has to do it YOUR WAY or it’s not valid, and if He prescribes a particular medicine or cure for treatment, you refuse to fill the prescription?

    Naaman thought that way too – until he wised up.
    2 Kings 5:11-12

    • Jim says:

      Matthew,

      This obvious distortion of what I wrote is beneath you.

      Jim

      • Jim,
        Which of the 613 laws was it?
        You and Dina spoke with such conviction and passion that I let you sort of “beg the question”…..
        We’ve never named the law in question, so how can we state that Jesus “broke it”?
        The word “poultice” only appears twice in my Bible, Isaiah and 2 Kings, about Isaiah applying a poultice of figs.

        Can you name the law you say Jesus broke by making a poultice of mud on the Sabbath (to heal a blind man) ?

        • Matthew Perri Which law was violated in Numbers 15:32? where does the Torah say anything about sticks? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • “Six days you shall labor and do all your work” Deuteronomy 5:13
            Gathering firewood was part of normal daily routine labor or work for everyone, as gathering their daily bread, the Manna, was. Everyone would know that.

            Supernaturally healing a blind man was not normal daily routine labor or work. And God’s method for carrying out such a miracle is not for me to judge, as I noted in the case of the healing of Naaman.

          • Sharbano says:

            As Jim pointed out you are putting your OWN interpretation on Torah Law. Your own leader even said the Pharisees sit in Moshe’s seat and to do ALL they tell you. He just didn’t want to have it apply to himself. But this is the manner in which ALL cultist leaders act so it isn’t much of a surprise.

        • Jim says:

          Matthew,

          You ask what law Jesus violated by making a poultice on the Sabbath. The very basic answer is that Jesus violated the fourth commandment: “Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it” (Ex. 20:8-11). But I suspect that this answer does not seem an answer to you at all. And that is because the word ‘melachah,’ usually translated ‘work’ as in the translation I have quoted is a poor translation.

          The word ‘melachah’ does not mean ‘work,’ exactly. It refers to an act of creative work. On the Sabbath, a Jew is prohibited from creating, of making something new in the world out of something existing. By so doing, he brings to mind that God is the Creator and that he relies upon God.

          Work, melacha, is a general category, and it is obvious that this must be so. It lacks specificity. It begs the question, what tasks are prohibited and which are allowed? What qualifies as melacha? This is not a matter of private opinion, just as no law can be. The prohibition to work on the Sabbath is a capital offense:

          “The Lord said to Moses: You yourself are to speak to the Israelites: ‘You shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, given in order that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you. You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you; everyone who profanes it shall be put to death; whoever does any work on it shall be cut off from among the people. Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. Therefore the Israelites shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he was rested, and was refreshed.” (Ex. 31:12-17)

          It is obvious that the details of the law must have been given to the Jewish people. One cannot enforce a law, especially a capital law, according to one’s private opinion. How would one correct his fellow? He might warn someone that the task he is about to perform is forbidden on the Sabbath. The other will just say that he does not find it to be melacha.

          We see that the details are not spelled out in the written Torah because there is no prohibition to collect sticks on the Sabbath. Obviously, however, the people knew that this was not allowed, because they stopped him. The man never asks them why they are stopping him. He does not say that they are not Torah observant because the Decalogue says nothing about carrying sticks, specifically. It is known that he should not be carrying sticks. And so he is put to death. And yet, when the commandment not to work was given, nothing about gathering sticks was mentioned.

          It is important to note that this is not a matter left to individual conscience. Deut. 17, in the section regarding judges, tells how if a matter must be resolved it is to be resolved by the priests and the judges of the day. A matter is not resolved according to a miracle worker. The passage says that the decision of the judges must be carried out: “You must carry out fully the law that they interpret for you or the ruling that they announce to you; do not turn aside from the decision that they announce to you, either to the right or the the left” (v.11). So one must not impugn the judges by saying he fulfills the Torah according to a minority opinion of a wonder worker. (It has already been shows that miracles do not establish absolute authority.) Moreover, the next verse says that if one presumes to disobey the priest or the judge, he shall be put to death. The Torah cannot be abandoned up to private opinion.

          You have made a terrible mistake in your understanding of Torah. To justify Jesus’ incompetent teaching in Matthew 12, you appealed to a text that, not only did he not appeal to, but is irrelevant to the passage. Many things that are generally allowed are forbidden on the Sabbath. The passage you quoted contrasts how one may take from a field and how one may not. It is about theft; it does not address the Sabbath at all. In researching John 9, you have looked for the word ‘poultice,’ which was a descriptive word employed by Dina. But you have not understood the Sabbath in general. You do not know its principles.

          Worse, you have defined Torah observance according to a standard that does not exist in Torah. You say you follow the Torah observance of the one man, Jesus. This is not a standard of Torah. Torah tells you to follow the priests and the judges. By the Torah’s standard, Jesus was presumptuous, following his own private interpretation. Again, he does not fulfill the law, which says to follow the judges, but he undermines it. Matthew 12 is a great example of why one should not follow his judgments. They are rambling, irrelevant, and incompetent. He reveals his egomania, nonsensically proclaiming himself to be Lord of the Sabbath. He shows himself to be in a state of rebellion. But even if he did not, he would not have the authority as one man, miracle worker or not, to establish his own private interpretation of Torah. The Torah set up a system of courts, and Jesus was not a part of that system. He was not even a judge, let alone the sole judge.

          Jim

          • Jim, you said QUOTE: “Torah tells you to follow the priests and the judges. ”
            Please look at Isaiah 29:13

            How does “The Prophet” like Moses of Deuteronomy 18 fit into your system?

          • Sharbano says:

            Isaiah PROVES Jim’s point.

          • To my Pharisee Friends,
            Again and again, both in the pages of the Gospels and today, I hear the voice of Pharisees crying out “Jesus broke the law”. But as we look at specific incidents point by point with our Torah open, all the evidence seems to vanish into thin air. Rather, it’s just the opinions of men, not the Word of God in the Torah that you are using to judge.

            The Torah doesn’t forbid God to do a miraculous healing on the Sabbath by whatever method God chooses, or forbid eating heads of grain on the Sabbath. Jesus never “dishonored his mother.” Where is the evidence in Torah? Or in the Gospels? You don’t have any – only human traditions and human opinions.

            I can sympathize with you in a way, because you have had the prophets of false apostle Paul preaching at you for so long. So you’ve got all your ammunition ready to shoot down their false arguments. But this ammunition does not work in my case, because I’m coming with the Torah text, not PAAL.

          • Sharbano says:

            “Do ALL that the Pharisees tell you to do”. WHO said this.

          • Sharbano,
            The same man who said the previous verse
            “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees SIT IN MOSES’ SEAT. SO you must obey them and do everything the tell you.” [Matthew 23:2-3]

            So when they are NOT sitting Moses’ seat, we must NOT obey them.
            If you say we must obey them whether or not they “sit in Moses’ seat” you are guilty of idolatry. You are making the Pharisees into gods.

          • Sharbano says:

            Once again you don’t even understand your OWN bible. It is their POSITION of authority that determines whether or not they sit in Moshe’s seat. They are acting on behalf of Moshe Rabbeinu by the mere fact of that position. You may not like it but THAT is the way of Torah, From the time of Moshe.

          • mrsonic says:

            mat, what about when they are sitting on moses’ seat?

          • mrsonic says:

            i am ignoramus on what “Moses’ seat” means
            what does it mean? must be something of high status given to moses, right?

          • Sharbano,
            Their position of authority, regardless of whether not they are teaching the word of God given through Moses? That’s idolatry.

            You wrote QUOTE:
            “They are acting on behalf of Moshe Rabbeinu by the mere fact of that position. ”

            That’s like the false Roman Catholic doctrine that the pope is “infallible” when he speaks “ex cathedra” (literally “from the chair”) because he is the vicar of christ, christ’s representative on earth. That is a cult. It’s making an idol of man – something you keep saying you hate. Jewish leaders are not infallible any more than the pope, or you or me.

          • Sharbano says:

            Your problem is NOT with me, but with Torah. Those few words, Moshe’s seat, coalesce the many words of Torah regarding this issue. Jim outlined Some of those so there’s no need to identify them again. You, on the other hand, must try to destroy Torah in order to supplant it with your foreign ideology.

          • Sharbano,
            No YOU try to destroy Torah in order to supplant it with your PHARISEE ideology. It’s time to open the Torah for yourself and listen to the voice of God, rather then some man telling you his opinion of what he says it means.

          • Sharbano says:

            Listen to your OWN texts, “obey the Pharisees, do ALL they tell you”.

  46. Jim says:

    Matthew,

    Continuing to answer your comments here:

    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/the-blood-of-the-lamb/#comment-27887

    As I wrote, it will take me multiple comments to explain the mistakes you are making. I had planned for my next comment to be about Jesus’ meaning when he says he came to fulfill the law and the problem this poses, but I am going to circle back around to that (hopefully). It seems more important to address the issue of idolatry, because you have brought it up multiple times. You write that Jesus, in proclaiming himself “Lord of the Sabbath,” was proclaiming himself to be God. You also write that inasmuch as he was God, his explanations of the Torah are authoritative. But unfortunately for you, if Jesus ever did claim to be God, then he disqualified himself from being even a prophet, and all the signs and wonders in the world could avail him nothing.

    By way of introduction to the topic, I would like to bring up a verse that Christians do not like to hear quoted. Almost any time it is brought up, one will hear a Christian begin shouting about context. It is just about the only time a Christian will complain about context, and that is because the verse is highly damaging to their theology. The verse goes like this: “God is not a man that He should be deceitful, nor a son of man that He should relent” (Num. 23:19).

    This verse is incredibly damaging to the idea that one would worship a man. God affirms through Balaam that He is in fact not a man. Moreover, the verse is strange in that if God is going to come to Earth and call Himself the “Son of Man,” it is quite strange for Him to declare that He is not a “Son of Man”.

    Of course, the Christian will emphasize that God says that He is not a man “that he should lie”. He will say that the verse must not be taken out of context. God is not declaring absolutely that He cannot be a human being. He is talking about His trustworthiness. Obviously, I agree with that the whole statement must be taken. But it does not solve the problem for the Christian.

    In fact, if the Christian considered the matter at all, he would understand that the passage is even more damaging to his theology than he realized. The problem is not just that God mentions that He is not a human being. It is not even that He specifically denies being a son of man, a phrase that the Church would employ later to refer to their man-god. The distinction He is making between humanity and Himself tells reveals why one can invest Him with perfect trust and why that could never be achieved by a human being.

    The question is why should God compare Himself to humanity at all. He could have just said that he does not lie and that He does not change His mind. But He does not leave it at that. He contrasts Himself to human beings, which appears completely superfluous.

    The answer is that if someone tells you that you can trust them, that does not prove anything. A liar does not announce himself up front to be a liar. He will tell you that you can believe him. So, if God says that you can believe Him, you will still wonder if it is true. How can one testify to his own honesty? The mind can conceive of the possibility that God might not be trustworthy, and if He is not, His claim does not mean anything.

    God establishes that He is trustworthy by appealing to knowledge of His perfection. Here I do not mean moral perfection, but His completeness. God is without need; He is whole. He contrasts Himself to humanity, because human beings are not complete. They have needs. And so, a human being might lie to secure a loan that he might not otherwise receive or a job or even a date. Similarly, a man may change his mind when he discovers that a situation did not go according to his projections. He may withhold the payment he promised once he receives what he wanted. This is not so for God. God has no needs. Lying could never secure a good for Himself; He is perfect. He does not change His mind. He knows the future and He never has reason to regret the good He promised. He does not feel the cost to Himself, because there is none; He is perfect. He has no competing interest. He cannot elevate His needs above that of another being, because He has no needs; He is perfect.

    This being the case, no human being can make a claim to divinity. A human being is not perfect. He relies upon air to breath, water to drink, and food to eat. He needs protection against the elements. He may be injured. He may receive benefit. His interests may compete with that of others around him. He is limited. He is imperfect.

    No matter how great a human being may appear to be, he cannot be God. The differences between humanity and Hashem are so great that one must not imagine any similarity between them. God uses their differences to argue that His promises are inviolable. That argument hinges upon the chasm that exists between Man and the Almighty. That “God is not a man… nor a son of man” is essential to establishing one’s faith in the Creator. Rather than being taken out of context, its context firmly establishes why one must never worship a man as God. The contrast between the two is too great.

    This introduction ran longer than I intended. My apologies. When I have time, I shall show that Torah forbids the worship of a human being. It may be a few days as the weekends become hard for posting comments.

    Jim

    • Jim,
      It is correct to say we worship the Most High God of Israel THROUGH Jesus.
      Matthew 6:9-13
      Jesus has become our permanent High Priest, allowing us access to the Most Holy through Him.

      • mrsonic says:

        you want access to most high through a weaker version of most high?
        in others words god most high is telling people that he is limited to a weaker version of himself and only through it he will talk to you?

        • What do you do with Leviticus 16? You think you are special, and you don’t need a High Priest? Why is it the Law of Moses, not the Law of everybody – since all the Israelites went up Mount Sinai to receive the Law???

          • mrsonic says:

            i’m not jewish. i come here to ask jews to explain texts christians misuse.

            you never answered my question.
            god is limited in how he gets accessed? meaning doors are closed and some man god myth is required to open them?

          • Sharbano says:

            Do you EVEN read the words. NO, the Israelites did NOT go up the mount. What does it say if they DID try to.

          • mrsonic,
            I did answer your question – it’s in the chapter of Torah I referenced. If you can’t be bothered to look it up, that is your issue.

            Sharbano, yes of course you are right.
            “NO, the Israelites did NOT go up the mount.” I did not make a statement, I posed a question, to get you to think and react just as you did. It’s related to Leviticus 16. So on what basis are you thinking you can approach God?

          • Sharbano says:

            Most of your replies are non-sequiturs, as is this case.

          • mrsonic says:

            “I did answer your question – it’s in the chapter of Torah I referenced. If you can’t be bothered to look it up, that is your issue.”

            god is not limited to blood and ritual . amen

        • Sharbano says:

          That is Quite a profound statement.

    • Jim
      Proverbs 30:1-4
      It’s dangerous to take one verse of a figurative analogy out of context and construct doctrine from it.

      • Jim says:

        Matthew,

        Do you see no irony in countering a direct statement made about God (that He is not a human being) with rhetorical, figurative language in an attempt to counter the Torah, while writing: “It’s dangerous to take one verse of a figurative analogy out of context and construct doctrine from it”? Any irony in trying to build up doctrine from the word “lamb” or “virgin,” while ignoring the surrounding verses, and then accusing others of ignoring context?

        Proverbs 30:1-4 is not a teaching about the nature of God. It would be shameful for you to employ Proverbs 30 in such a way to teach that a man could be considered a god. It would be doubly shameful to do that while ignoring the clear teaching of Torah by appealing to rhetorical questions meant only to portray the simplicity of “Agur, the son of Jakeh”.

        But then, of course, you have constructed no argument from Proverbs anyhow. As is so often the case, you offer verses without relevance and expect us to understand your meaning. Or you ask irrelevant and insinuating questions without making your case.

        Jim

  47. Jim says:

    Matthew,

    Continuing with a brief (for me) discussion of idolatry in answer to your comments here:

    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/the-blood-of-the-lamb/#comment-27887

    According to you, Jesus was divine—is divine, I suppose. For all the bragging that you are Torah observant and the Jewish people here are not, you do not grasp one of the essential teachings of Torah. One would think that since God appointed them to be His witnesses, perhaps you would consider what they had to say on the matter. After all, he did not appoint you to be a witness, or your forefathers. (Nor me or mine.) You might also ask what it is they witnessed. What is there testimony? It is that God is alone, One, and not to be associated with created beings or objects, as the Torah teaches.

    One can readily compare your teaching with the teaching of Torah:

    “Let all the nations gather together and let the peoples assemble. Who among them declared this, and foretold to us the former things? Let them bring their witnesses to justify them, and let them hear and say, ‘It is true.’ You are my witnesses, says the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior” (Isaiah 43:9-11).

    God challenges the other nations, the non-Jews, to whom He did not reveal Himself, and He asks them to provide their witnesses. Can they even muster up a prophecy? Those of the NT fall into this camp, unable to explain the past properly, as Stephen fails to do in Acts 6 or the future properly, as Jesus fails to do when he says he will be coming back within a generation. They are not His witnesses; their gods are not gods. Matthew’s “Lord of the Sabbath” is no god.

    No, the Jewish nation is God’s witness, a precious light to the nations. And their testimony: God is alone. He is the only Savior. There are none besides Him.

    At Sinai, the people, terrified, heard the voice of God. Moses draws their attention to an important lesson for them. They saw nothing, no form. Moses tells them they must keep this in mind at all times, so that they do not come to associate God with a form (Deut. 4:9-20). As Moses continues, he tells Israel why God did this: “To you it was shown so that you would acknowledge that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him” (v.35). “So acknowledge today and take to heart that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other” (v.39). The witnesses learned not to associate God with a form and that He is the only God.

    He has no partner; He has no need of one: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is One. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might” (Deut. 6:4-5). Deuteronomy hits the idea again and again. One owes his devotion only to God and no other. But not only that one may not give it to another, there is no one else to give it to. God is alone.

    But now along come the authors of the NT, or whatever you call that few books you privately canonized. They tell us that Jesus is God. How could we possibly know such a thing? They point to the miracles, as you did recently. We are told that Jesus’ miracles were all the signs anyone should need, and he was only rejected because of the hard-heartedness of the Pharisees. This is not Torah.

    Torah tells us that if a human being comes along and begins doing miracles, that is not the end of the investigation. Miracles are interesting. They may be an indication of a prophet, but they are not the sole sign of a prophet. Deut. 13 tells us that if a prophet or dreamer arises, and he is able to perform miracles, but he preaches a new god, foreign to the Jewish people, then we must not heed him. This is precisely what Jesus did, according to you. He healed people and then proclaimed himself god. And yet this is not the testimony of the Jewish people, the God Who is alone; the God Who is not to be associated with any form. This was not the testimony of the Jewish people.

    At the moment Jesus declared himself to be God, he disqualified himself from being a prophet. His teachings disqualified him from being a Torah scholar. He only qualified himself as a false prophet, and one who entices others after idols.

    Torah tells us one thing; the NT another. From Torah we get: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:2). This “before me” means in God’s presence, not that they may be worshipped only secondarily. It is a deep distortion of truth to place another alongside God. He will tolerate no other god being worshipped alongside him, not the sun, the moon, water spirits or tree spirits, no animal and no man, not Nebuchadnezzar, not Caesar, and not Jesus. The NT exalts a man. It violates one of the Torah’s most basic principles.

    Whenever you appeal to the divine authority of Jesus, you participate in that great crime. When you advocate for Jesus, you act as one enticing others to idolatry. If you wish to worship a man, that is your business. When you ask others to do it, you perform a great crime against their soul. You lead them away from truth and goodness, away from the Torah you so loudly proclaim you observe and of which you so freely judge the observance of others.

    Jesus is supposed to have sent out his disciples to be his witnesses to the world before he ascended into heaven. So we have two sets of witnesses, Jesus’ witnesses and Hashem’s witnesses. We have a choice to whom we will incline our ears and our hearts. We have a choice to walk in the ways of man or the ways of God. We have a choice to follow the commandments of Jesus or Hashem. As for me and my house, we will serve Hashem.

    Jim

    • Jim, I’ve read this.
      You said QUOTE:”No, the Jewish nation is God’s witness, a precious light to the nations. ”

      While I don’t “disagree” with this statement if properly understood, I think it reflects a subtle form of idolatry among Jews. Namely, the idea that the Jewish nation functionally takes the place of the Jewish Messiah, is the “Suffering Servant”, etc.

      I’ve brought up Leviticus 16, and the High Priesthood – and no one here will touch it with a 10 foot pole . What do you do with all that part of the Torah about the whole sacrificial system? You think you can approach God directly without a High Priest?

      • mrsonic says:

        of course you can. all you got to do is trust that god sees and hears.

        • Yes “of course you can”, and “God sees and hears.”
          Aaron’s sons did – see Leviticus 16. And God saw and heard them.
          What was the result for them?
          Is that the kind of result you want for yourself?

          • mrsonic says:

            matthew, i don’t think you trust that god sees and hears.

          • mrsonic says:

            matthew , i think church is selling a lie. i don’t think i am born in sin. i think god is approachable without crucifix and piercings.

          • mrsonic says:

            i think i can be sincere without nailing human flesh. i think it is possible. i’m not born in sin. christians are lying.

          • mrsonic,
            Yes, some churches are selling a lie, and some “Christians” are lying.
            And yes, FOR YOU NOW God is approachable without crucifix and piercings- because Jesus has become our High Priest once for all, and He already did that.
            But Jesus is now the way and the truth and the life, and no one comes to God the Father except through Him. Jesus is the gate to God. You need to go through Him.

          • Matthew Perri Psalm 145:18 testifies that God is close to ALL who call upon Him with truth. No need for your god. The High Priest is necessary in the context of the Temple – but nowhere does it say that one needs a mediator to talk to God, to love God, to get forgiveness from God, to experience God’s love – except in your idolatrous book

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • mrsonic says:

            “because Jesus has become our High Priest once for all, and He already did that.
            But Jesus is now the way and the truth and the life, and no one comes to God the Father except through Him. Jesus is the gate to God. You need to go through Him.”

            so god sees, smells and hears jesus and not the penitent caller who calls to him sincerely ? god can’t be biased. god either smells, lives, tastes blood and that is the closest thing to his heart or sincerity is. you must destroy the jesus shackle you have put over your life. trust that god and hear and see you.

          • mrsonic says:

            “Jesus is the gate to God. You need to go through Him”

            what you have said is an affront to the freedom of god.

          • Pharisee Friend,
            Deuteronomy 4:29 and 30:2 are the voice of MOSES speaking ABOUT Yahweh.
            They are not the voice of Yahweh Himself.

            Where did you get the idea that the Law about the High Priest making atonement was “abolished”? Are you saying you are “not under the law”? Those were the false teaching of Paul the false apostle.

            Yahweh himself said: “The priest who is anointed and ordained to succeed his father as high priest is to make atonement.” [Leviticus 16:32] “This is to be a lasting ordinance for you”…[16:34]

          • Matthew Perri
            Did I say that the high priest making atonement was abolished? Of-course not – I said that the ritual described in Leviticus 16 is only relevant when we have a Temple and that ritual will be reinstated when the Temple returns as God promised it would. It is you who believe Paul to the effect that God cannot hear us without a blood offering.
            Now you are disputing the authority of Moses – God’s trustworthy one (Numbers 12:7) – If you don’t trust Moses then where did you get the Torah from?
            In any case God told Cain that if he improves his ways God will forgive him – Genesis 4:7 – but I guess you don’t believe that because it is only Moses who told us that God said this

          • Pharisee Friend,
            Well, we agree the Temple will return – I suppose you know about The Temple Institute in Jerusalem. As of March, I believe they now have all the implements, INCLUDING the arc, priests garments, trained priests, temple plans. I think the only things lacking are the red heifer (which they are working on) and permission to build. Is my information correct?

            However, with due respect, I must state that your assertion “the ritual described in Leviticus 16 is only relevant when we have a Temple” is flat out wrong.
            “The Tent of Meeting” is referred to numerous times, and also “the camp.” There is NOTHING about “the Temple.”

            I don’t dispute that God said Moses was “trustworthy” or that David was “a man after his own heart.” But we should not idolize either one of them. There is a difference between the words of Yahweh spoken through Moses and the voice of Moses himself. We both agree that Paul was wrong about many things. Almost any person who ever lived was at least PARTIALLY right about some things in some cases, so “what Paul believed” really is not relevant.

            Genesis 4:7, Yahweh said to Cain “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted”?
            In other words, if you offer a blood sacrifice like Abel did….. not fruits of the soil.

            Where did we get our Torah? Yes, I give Moses credit as editor. But it is obvious that the contents of the Book of Genesis were written long before Moses came along. Wouldn’t you agree?

          • Sharbano says:

            This is really getting wearisome. All I will say is, you are Wrong on Every Account. Do you even read the text, or is it just an attempt to find a corroboration for something you Already “assume” is the case.

          • Matthew Perri Let me respond to this one thing at a time – Concerning the Temple Institute – I don’t believe that the Messiah will use their stuff – and they don’t have the Ark – If in your understanding – the Temple does not flow from the tent of meeting – then the ritual described in Leviticus 16 is even more limited – it is confined to the tent of meeting. Nowhere in all of Scripture does it say that without the ritual of blood there is no atonement – that is Paul’s invention – where does it say it in the Torah? – believing Moses and David is not idolizing them – what you do to Jesus is idolizing – and finally your spin on Genesis 4:7 is amazing – it says nothing about blood – nothing had been said that would indicate that blood is “good” yet you read it into the text – and accuse everyone else of not being “Torah observant” – you are a real follower of Jesus

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Sharbano says:

            Why do you think Abel and Cain’s occupations were told. Xtians conveniently leave this out when saying it is only blood. They both brought their livelihood. Furthermore, G-d’s instituting the meal offering and its qualifications for that offering is evidence against the Xtian argument.

          • Pharisee Friend
            I agree with you that “Concerning the Temple Institute – I don’t believe that the Messiah will use their stuff.”

            Let’s forget about “Paul’s invention” and his choice of words. I’m not here to defend Paul. Let’s not get hung up on the term “blood sacrifice.” Abel sacrificed animals, and it pleased God. Cain sacrificed vegetables, and was rejected. Can we agree this is basically true?

            Yes of course the Temple DOES flow from the tent of meeting. But Leviticus 16 is certainly not limited to the Temple !! You can certainly obey these commandments without the Temple, as they did for so many years before the Temple was ever built. You don’t NEED the Temple.

            Regarding the words of Yahweh recorded by Moses vs. Moses’ own words….
            I discovered the answer to something that bothered me for many years – namely, why didn’t God punish Aaron for making the Golden Calf?

            If you read carefully, comparing Moses’ opinion of Aaron’s conduct with Yahweh’s opinion of Aaron’s conduct, you will see that Yahweh didn’t blame Aaron for creating the Golden Calf.
            Why not?
            Because Moses’ act of disobedience in Exodus 19:24 was the reason Aaron was left in an untenable position with the people, without real authority. Moses was reluctant to share authority at the highest level – with his older brother. So Moses disobeyed God, and went up alone, without Aaron.

            Bottom line: The words of Yahweh through Moses are not the same as Moses’ own words.

          • Matthew Perri What is obvious to everyone reading your words except to you is that the text means absolutely nothing to you – it is putty in your hands to defend Paul’s theology If you read the text in Genesis it clearly says that Abel brought from the first of his sheep and from their fats – when it comes to Cain’s offering it doesn’t say that – the implication is that Abel brought his finest to God while Cain did not – so the critical difference between the offerings was not that one was blood and one was not as Paul teaches. You assert that Leviticus 16 is not limited to the Temple – how interesting – because Leviticus 17 prohibits bringing offerings outside the tent of meeting. And your take on Aaron is roundly contradicted by Moses in Deuteronomy 9:20 so who should I believe you or Moses?

            Bottom line – Jesus was lying when he said that if you believe Moses you believe him – exactly the opposite is true – it is only if you don’t believe Moses that you could believe Jesus – and Jesus’ followers will teach you how to disbelieve Moses while convincing yourself that you ARE believing him – and Jesus will set the example for you of accusing everyone of what you are guilty of while expecting everyone to believe that you are as guiltless as the driven snow

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Dina says:

            Matthew, Moses recorded the Bible, so either you believe him or you don’t. You don’t get to decide which words are his own and which are God’s just to suit your own purposes. Whatever God said, Moses recorded that He said that. So why would you believe Moses in some instances and not others? How do you know? This is bizarre!

          • Pharisee Friend,
            I am against Paul’s false theology.
            I agree with you that
            “the implication is that Abel brought his finest to God while Cain did not.”
            Yes, I believe that is the most important fundamental “critical difference” of all – and the fact of it not being “of blood” was just one aspect of it not being his “finest” in accordance with God’s will.

            Even where Paul was not flat out wrong, his teachings are often distorted or incomplete at best. This is yet another example, focusing ONLY on the blood aspect, while ignoring the larger issue of the need to bring God our finest.

            Leviticus 16 is an entire chapter about the High Priesthood and Atonement. It involves a number of aspects, like the qualifications for the character, attitude, behavior, and lineage of the High Priest, his manner of dress, being clean, time, place- and yes, animal sacrifice. That is PART of the picture, but not all of it. Paul tends to distort the issue, making it all about blood and nothing else.

            I assert that Leviticus 16 is limited to the tent of meeting, (or the Temple as an extension as the tent of meeting.)
            You note: “Leviticus 17 prohibits bringing offerings outside the tent of meeting.”
            Yes.
            Tent of meeting CAN mean Tent of meeting. The text can mean what it says. “Tent of meeting” does not HAVE to mean “Temple.”

          • Pharisee Friend
            You wrote QUOTE: ….”your take on Aaron is roundly contradicted by Moses in Deuteronomy 9:20″
            Here is Yahweh’s take on what happened with Aaron and the Golden Calf:
            Exodus 32:30-35
            Who should we believe – the voice of Yahweh given through Moses,
            or Moses’ autobiographical comments near the end of his life to gloss over his failure to obey God in Exodus 19:24 ?

          • Sharbano says:

            What YOU fail to realize is the different punishments for the different actors And WHY.

          • Matthew Perri None of these verses contradict each other

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Sharbano you wrote QUOTE: “Why do you think Abel and Cain’s occupations were told. Xtians conveniently leave this out when saying it is only blood. They both brought their livelihood.”

            You are absolutely right. It is a valid criticism. And it’s because of the false teaching of Paul. A huge part of what is called Christianity today is really revived Marcionism, from the Second Century heretic Marcion. Paul is the lens they see everything through. Paul’s gospel, Paul’s “Christ”, Paul’s teachings, Paul’s commandments, etc. etc. Paul is the problem.

            But Yeshua (Jesus) of the Gospels is the solution. The Prophet like Moses, our High Priest, and Davidic King. The Jewish Messiah of Yahweh, the God of Abraham Isaac Israel.

          • Sharbano says:

            The Mashiach and the High Priest are two Different positions and are not held by the same person.

          • Pharisee Friend,
            While it’s not a blatant overt contradiction, It seems to me that the two versions really don’t match up all that well.
            DID God ever punish or admonish Aaron in any way for the Golden Calf incident? I am unaware of anything.

            Moses was human. It appears that in his testimony about his own thoughts and intentions 40 years previously, in Deuteronomy, he had a bit of a “selective memory.” This is not the commands of God, or the word of God. It’s Moses talking about what was in his own mind 40 years before. Jeremiah said something like “the heart is deceitful – who can understand it”?

            Do you agree that Moses disobeyed God in Exodus 19:24 ?

          • Matthew Perri No – Moses did not disobey God in Exodus 19:24

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Pharisee Friend
            “Yahweh replied [to Moses], “Go down and bring Aaron up with you.” [Exodus 19:24]

            When did Moses “bring Aaron up with him”?
            As far as I can see, Moses never did that – and therefore Moses disobeyed God. Please let me know if I missed something in Torah.

          • Matthew Perri You are missing tons of stuff in the Torah – start from the beginning. In any case as it relates to Exodus 19:24 – check out Exodus 24:9 – besides just because it doesn’t say every detail doesn’t mean it didn’t happen Just a quick question – how many times does one need to disobey to get censured from God?

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Pharisee Friend
            Exodus 24:9 is direct specific obedience of God’s command in Exodus 24:1.

            Its obvious that Moses was human, not divine. He didn’t want to share top-level authority with his older brother, so he didn’t “bring Aaron up”…. We should not idolize Moses the way most “Bible-believing Christians” idolize Paul the false apostle based on his autobiographical writings. Moses was God’s true Prophet yes, and brought the Law of Yahweh – but we should not automatically assume that just because Moses did something it MUST have been right.

          • Dina says:

            Jews don’t idolize Moses. It’s hypocritical of you to level that false charge when you yourself idolize the human Jesus.

          • Sharbano says:

            Do you even bother to read Anything. ONLY Moshe was “allowed” to approach Hashem.
            “Go up to Hashem, you, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel, and you shall prostrate yourselves ‘from a distance’. And Moshe ALONE shall approach Hashem, but THEY shall NOT APPROACH, and the people shall not go up with him”.

            Now, WHAT is SO difficult to understand here. You should just abandon your reading of Torah since your literacy is questionable, Especially suggesting some idolizing entering in.

          • Matthew Perri Exodus 24:1 could be a repeat of 19:24 In any case you have no evidence of violation – just the fact that you can’t find fulfillment in the text The Torah testifies that Moses was the most humble person. Humble people have no problem sharing authority.

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Pharisee Friend,
            Regarding Exodus 19:24, and my claims that
            “Moses never brought Aaron up as Yahweh ordered,” and
            Yahweh never blamed Aaron for the Golden Calf and
            never punished Aaron for it….

            I acknowledge that I am making an “argument from silence” here. I agree with you that Torah does not give us all details, many things were not written down, and Moses was a great prophet of God. And it is generally not good to make strong assertions based on “arguments from silence.” Some specifics we just can’t know for sure.

            In this situation, it’s about going up to meet with God in person – this certainly is uncommon. And it’s about “the Golden Calf” which may be the most famous example of idolatry in the world – that term has entered the general world vocabulary, even for non-religious people. But, OK, these are “arguments from silence.”

            What is of greater concern is, how we approach the autobiographical testimonies and narratives of the lives of religious writers. Muslims idolize Muhammad, and claim that he “never intentionally disobeyed god.” Most “Bible-believing Christians” subconsciously believe the same thing about Paul, practically and specifically speaking. (They would deny this theologically and theoretically course….)

            We can agree to disagree about some things, that’s fine. But saying that God’s command in Exodus 19:24 could be the same as what God said in Exodus Chapter 24 seems to be bordering on idolatry. It is basically idolizing Moses, assuming that Moses COULDN’T be wrong, so “let’s look at the text to find a plausible justification or excuse”…. That approach to Scripture is what “Christians” do all the time with their hero Paul the false apostle. Just because Moses was a great prophet of God is no excuse to idolize him.

          • Matthew Perri You throw around the term “idolize” mighty lightly – idolize is what you do to Jesus anything less than that is not idolizing 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Pharisee Friend and Sharbano,
            As I was studying Torah this morning (especially Exodus 24:1-2 and 9-14,) the narrative became more clear. Very few men who lead organizations would be willing to raise up another man to the top level of authority, who would be well qualified to “take over.” Even if “that’s really what the organization needs.” Even if God said so. But, God can still use people, and work around their obstinacy even though they have to suffer some consequences – like feeling alone and overwhelmed, as Moses often did.

            God told Moses to bring up Aaron in Exodus 19:24.
            Moses wouldn’t do it.
            So In Exodus 24 God told Moses to bring up 70 elders along with Aaron and two of Aaron’s sons. (That was less threatening to Moses than just Aaron, or just Aaron and his sons.)
            Moses did it this time- and everything was fine.

            Then in Exodus 24:12, Yahweh told Moses “come up to me.” Yahweh didn’t say come alone, but neither did He tell Moses to bring up anyone.
            So what did Moses do? Go alone? Bring Aaron up?
            NO.
            Moses brought his young unqualified aide Joshua [Exodus 24:13], whom God did not personally name to top-level authority. (It’s possible Joshua was one of the 70 elders, but that is speculation – Yahweh did not name him in that group.)

            Then Moses “said to the elders, ‘Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you’…..” [Exodus 24:14]

            So Moses pushed down Aaron and all the other people who had “top level authority” according to Yahweh. Moses left Aaron and the rest without any real authority or position or direction. Read Moses’ words in Exodus 24:14, and let them sink in.

            No wonder Yahweh never blamed Aaron or disciplined Aaron for the Golden Calf. Moses was too busy protecting his job, putting an unqualified uncalled man just under himself, but above everyone else. This certainly is not unusual in human organizations- and Moses was human. Yet, God still used Moses to bring us the Torah – praise Yahweh!

          • Matthew Perri So in short you believe that Moses was lying in Deuteronomy 9:20. God trusted Moses you don’t – you got a serious problem

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Dina says:

            Matthew, you who claim everyone should be “Torah observant” according to your definition, which is strict literal interpretation of the text, are doing exactly what you decry in others. You are reading ideas into the text that are simply not there.

            Does the text say that Moses disobeyed God on this issue? Does the text say that Moses was trying to protect his job and his authority?

            The text does say that Moses was the most humble man of all, though (Numbers 12:3).

            As Sharbano pointed out, God said that Aaron was not to go up the mountain with Moses.

          • Sharbano says:

            Your problem is you expect the text to say what YOU want it to say and when it doesn’t you concoct a premise that is foreign to what is Really written by making assumptions from your own imagination.

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            When you say that you were “studying Torah this morning” and the “narrative became more clear,” do you mean:

            1. That God revealed to you something you’d never noticed before? Or;

            2. That you, coming to the text with an agenda, were able to force an interpretation on it by ‘reading between the lines.’

            You assume that Moses did something wrong in an effort to protect his authority. If you were ‘studying Torah’ then you would know that this is an absurd charge. God never chastises Moses for any such thing. Moreover, if you’d ever read Exodus or Numbers, you would readily find multiple proofs against this silly product of your imagination.

            Of course, no one claims that Moses was without sin. Nor does anyone revere him as divine. So your nonsensical charge that people idolize him is without merit. Moreover, it is foolish for one who claims that a man is god, and sinless besides, to accuse others of idolizing another.

            Jim

          • I notice that none of you are disputing the actual Torah texts I quoted. Just as “Christians” do with Paul, you say “my man was humble – because he said so – therefore he could not have been wrong……” You will admit theoretically he “wasn’t perfect” – but when it comes to details, right down the line you’re ready with a justification for pretty much everything Moses ever did and said.

            If you look at the surrounding verses, Deuteronomy 9:19-21, it’s interesting. Regarding the sin of the people, Moses writes “Yahweh listened to me.” However, in contrast, Moses declined to state whether or not Yahweh listened to his prayer for Aaron specifically. You are reading that into the text – it isn’t there. Then in verse 21, Moses goes on speaking to the people about “the calf YOU had made.” Not that Aaron had made.

            So no, I’m not saying that Moses “LIED” in Deuteronomy 9:20. But this one verse out of context is not “proof” that overrides the surrounding verses, and other parts of the Torah that I quoted. One sentence of Moses’ recollection 40 years later of Yahweh’s opinion about someone, and Moses’ own intentions at the time, are not “The Law” that overrides the extended narrative written by Moses. which included the voice of Yahweh speaking multiple times.

          • Matthew Perri Bottom line – Matthew says Moses was a liar – just realize that that is what you are saying – only Matthew “knows” what “really” happened. God entrusted Moses with His Law – not Matthew 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Dina says:

            Matthew, either you believe Moses or you don’t. You don’t get to decide which statements of his are true and which are not. Bizarre!

          • Sharbano says:

            It’s your assumptions that are far removed. As I already stated – You want the text to be Your way. All you have done is make assumptions because it didn’t say this or that.
            Obviously your “study” isn’t very thorough. You do as a typical Xtian does, which is to overlook a word here, a word there, and therefore unable to grasp the text. Because the Torah wasn’t written for YOUR benefit you automatically assume events played out according to your imagination.

          • I’ll rest my case based on the facts I quoted recorded in Torah, what Yahweh & Moses said or didn’t say, and did or didn’t do. Not on the idolatrous presupposition that “if Moses said or did it, then it can’t be questioned or compared with the voice of Yahweh in Torah” (because Moses was “humble”….)

            Many people have their one “special person” who is somehow above the law, and they have a kneejerk reaction against anyone who would dare to say this person was “wrong”….
            false prophet Muhammad
            false apostle Paul
            Mary (the mother of Jesus the Son of God)
            Moses (the true Prophet of Yahweh the Most High God)

          • Dina says:

            Frankly, I find your dishonesty disgusting. You dare to talk to us of idolatry, you who worship idols. You level false charges as well.

            We don’t believe Moses was above the law. His wrongdoings are recorded in the Bible for all to see, and he was punished accordingly. However, we do believe that Moses didn’t write what he felt like writing. He wrote what God wanted him to write. This holds true for all Biblical writings. Whatever the prophets wrote is only what God wanted them to write. This is why the Hebrew Bible is authoritative.

            Otherwise, we would do what you do, pick and choose the passages we want, and create our own religions, as you have done.

            I’ll let the audience decide which one of is making an honest and coherent argument.

          • Matthew Perri And in your case its you who is above the law 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

        • Pharisee Friend
          Yes, King David wrote a great song, and you quoted a verse of David’s words, Psalm 145:18… Here are the next two verses, 19 & 20
          “He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
          Yahweh watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he destroys.”

          I noticed you didn’t quote the voice of Yahweh in the Torah or the Prophets, but rather the voice of David singing about Yahweh in a song in the Kethuvim. (I think we would both agree that as the head of the Kethuvim, the Book of Psalms is sort of a special case, elevated above the rest of the Kethuvim section,, and Psalms are sometimes prophetic….. right? Is that also your belief?)

          Although it is rather an exaggeration and oversimplification, quoting Psalm 145:18 is a little bit like singing
          “Hanukah, Hanukah, Festival of Lights” and saying this proves it’s a “Feast of Yahweh”. In fact, it isn’t in the Torah, the Prophets or even the Kethuvim. However, it IS in Gospel of John 10:22, and Yeshua (Jesus) celebrated it.

        • mrsonic says:

          “Let’s forget about “Paul’s invention” and his choice of words. I’m not here to defend Paul. Let’s not get hung up on the term “blood sacrifice.” Abel sacrificed animals, and it pleased God. Cain sacrificed vegetables, and was rejected. Can we agree this is basically true?”

          maybe it aint about the vegetables or the animal but about how hard one worked?
          “if thou doest well…”

          “jesus bloody glasses”? god wears them?
          swimming in blood of virgin, even god?

      • Sharbano says:

        That’s because it is irrelevant to the matter at hand. It is merely YOUR attempt to turn Judaism into Xtianity, which time after time, we have disproved. We have also shown you cannot even grasp your own texts in their proper “Jewish cultural” significance.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Mathew Perri, the Jewish people approach G-d without priest and temple in the same way Daniel the prophet did, namely contrite heart. No amount of sacrifices, animal or Jesus’ can mend a person unwilling to change. Blood has very little to do with the whole process.

    • Southern Noahide says:

      Wow Jim, you expressed my thoughts exactly!

  48. Concerned Reader says:

    Listen to your OWN texts, “obey the Pharisees, do ALL they tell you”.

    Jesus appears to say that pharisees are correct concerning content, but not in the application.

    “But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”

    • Sharbano says:

      The question IS, Which Pharisees are spoken of. Xtianity suggests anyone who followed the Pharisees are guilty by association. The majority Had no problem with the enactments of those Rabbis. What Xtianity has done was to use a statement to justify animosity towards all Rabbis as enacting overly cumbersome regulations. Isn’t it noteworthy that modern observant Jews actually have NO problems with what is Traditional.

  49. Jim says:

    Matthew,

    The claim that Jesus is the prophet of Deuteronomy 18 is without merit.

    A prophet of God may not teach worship of a foreign god. This has already been discussed in regard to Deuteronomy 13. The same idea is brought up again in 18:20: “But any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods… that prophet shall die.” As has already been shown, God is alone and there is none besides him. Any person claiming to be divine is preaching a different god and certainly cannot be a prophet of God.

    Moreover, Jesus failed to produce the sign he promised to the Pharisees. Whether or not he was obligated to give them another sign (as Christians see it), he did give them a sign, that he would be resurrected on the third day. Because he never showed them this sign, he did not fulfill it.

    I know you say that he showed himself to others, but that is not how a sign works. A police officer is obligated to show you proof of his authority, his badge. It is not enough to have his friend say that he really is a police officer, that he saw the badge at home earlier. In fact, no one even claimed that Jesus was resurrected until long after the time he had projected and by that point he supposedly ascended to heaven. So, he never showed them the sign of Jonah. A few people said they saw him later.

    Moreover, his prophecies did not come true. He claimed he would be back within the lifetime of those during his life. You may not have noticed, but he has not returned. Jesus’ predictions were no better than Paul’s, whom you openly disregard. According to Deut. 18, Jesus is no less presumptuous.

    I would say that nothing could be more apparent than that Jesus was not a prophet, but so many obviously false claims are made about him, that there are more clearly false claims. He was not a priest; he did not even have the correct lineage. He was not a sacrifice; he was not even the right species. He was not divine; he was a human being. Nevertheless, while these other truths may be more obviously true, it is no less true that Jesus was not a prophet.

    Jim

    • Concerned Reader says:

      I still have the question as to how Jesus can be said to have taught a truly foreign deity. I know the explanations on offer, but they aren’t explaining adequately.

      He taught Jews and non Jews from the Torah, not from a Quran, not from a Bhagavad Gita or some other thing.

      I think he taught the one deity in a probably heretical (though I can’t say unknown way.) There is too much evidence to suggest that Christian ideas were unknown.

      If you remove theology from the NT books, all that is left is a manual of second temple era ethics. Even the NT text itself provides strict warnings in more than one place against haphazardly accepting a given person or persons as divine. (revelation 13. and very clearly in Paul’s epistles.)

      The arch enemy in the Christian Bible (the Anti Christ figure) is depicted as one who seeks worship by all humans as a deity, and Christians are scared helpless of that person/idea.

      It is true that Jesus is worshiped as an incarnation of G-d, but as we see in the Torah, (and according to interpretations,) G-d can appoint agents who speak as his mouthpiece, and with his authority, going so far as bearing his name and speaking in first person as though they are G-d.

      Further, since J is claiming to be the prophet like Moses, (whom G-d himself says must be obeyed further implying that he will require the life of them who disobey,) it doesn’t seem as if Jesus is preaching a foreign deity simply by saying, “I am the way the truth and the life.” Heretical? Sure, but can you derive such from tanakh? surely one can, and Jewish history independent of Christians, their books, and Christianity proves that.

      When Jesus clarifies by saying when accused with blasphemy that the judges are called Elohim, and further that only those who DO what he says truly follow him, and not those who confess only, he puts up a hedge against what Christians would consider heretical veneration of Jesus himself.

      Consider the way truth and life statement of Jesus in combination with 1 Corinthians 15:24, and Philippians 2:6 and it becomes obvious that Jesus, (though viewed as deity incarnate by Christians,) has a role that is that of agent to master, and he is actively contrasted with one who seeks self glory, like Nero, Hadrian, Diocletian, the Pharoahs, or any other would be deity claimer. He is called a son because he is not the father. He doesn’t hold the father’s position, he expounds the father.

      Christians don’t pray to just anyone, they believe there are unique prophetic and scriptural reasons that their J is referenced in scripture.

      It seems to me that we could only argue that Jesus taught a truly foreign deity if he hadn’t impressed on his followers that the Torah was from G-d, and venerable, and worth following. What kind of idol points you in the direction of the Torah, even going so far as to repeat its own warnings in clear language?

      To put it another way. The fact that certain midrashim and Jewish concepts (if read too literally) can and have easily given rise to Christian like movements, shows that Christianity may be foolish, but its not from some outside polytheism, nor does it need it.

      I have studied polytheisms, and the worldviews in those systems bear no similarity to Judaism, its views of deity, or its views of its sacred text.

      I hear people say “Christianity is Pagan,” it is simply not. Christianity is a Jewish heresy. It has nothing to do with Pagan gentile religion.

      One proof of this is the extent to which Christians sought to define J’s relationship to hashem. Pagans had no qualms about venerating anything. If a pagan Jesus was the aim, or the source, he would have been like Appolonius of Tyanna, Pythagoras, Plato, or Caesar. Called “divine” as an honorary title only, but so human as to be plain. If the pagans had one out, Jesus would be a moral teacher, a fable, a metaphor for a grander idea. The very literal approach of Christianity was utterly alien to the pagan mind, Just read any pagan thinker.

      • Dina says:

        Con, the Torah doesn’t require us to study comparative religion in order to understand which gods may or may not be worshiped. Instead, the Torah tells us in clear and simple language that we may only worship God according to the knowledge of Himself that He imparted to us at Sinai, that we must not associate Him with any form in our worship, that we must not listen to a prophet who will lead us to a god we did not know, that we are to worship on Creator and never the created..

        Jesus did not appear at Sinai. He possessed a physical form. He was a god we did not know. He was a created being.

        In terms of idolatry, Jesus checks all four boxes.

        The Torah defines idol worship for us, not Con’s study of different pagan cultures as compared to Christianity.

        • Dina says:

          By the way, the “I am the way, the truth, and the light and no one comes to the Father but through me” is no comparison God’s commandment to obey Moses.

          First, God spoke to Moses in front of the entire nation so they would believe him. Then He transmitted the Law to Moses who then transmitted it to the people. Therefore, one who disobeys Moses is disobeying God.

          God did not speak to Jesus in front of the entire nation so the people would believe him. And we would require at least that standard of evidence in order to accept Jesus’s outrageous claims. Moses would never have been able to impose 613 commandments on an entire people without God’s backing.

          Second, Moses never made such an incredibly arrogant statement about himself and neither did any other subsequent Hebrew prophet.

          Third, Moses or any other agent of God was never the only way to get to God. The idea that you need a human to access God was an entirely new concept.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          Judaism is always saying how adaptable it is to new situations. The Torah doesn’t mention the kangaroo, the duckbill platypus, automobiles, or any other aspect of modern life, it doesn’t mention Kabbalah, etc.. Yet, Judaism is able to make decisions about these new arising circumstances.

          The Christian movement marked a new circumstance. It was the first time that gentiles (from within their own cultural framework without being converts or on the road to conversion,) could approach the Bible, and come to respect it for reasons that made sense to their own experiences.

          That was a profound change. The Meiri had a great category for both Christianity and Islam that fits so much better than the conventional wisdom, namely, “they belong to those constrained by matters of religion.” In other words, yes, Christians have a different theology, yet it is one that can arise from the Torah independent of their existence. (various Jewish messianic and historical trends verify that.) This is not a trivial fact.

          My point is, there is so much in their Christian sources that gives them the “right reading,” or the right warnings, that they are in effect constrained by matters of true religion, just like Naamaan the syrian. It is not a small thing that they can agree with you on ethics, and that they have a self sufficient love based faith in G-d built on their own experiences.

          Only a Christian can say (for his own experiential reasons,) that he believes in the Torah. He agrees with you that G-d establishes a covenant of love with your nation, and he doesn’t even need to be a convert to Judaism in order to believe it. His own book testifies to it, yet he is called polytheist. The Church has to actively misread its own text to take away the chosen status of Jewish people.

          Other (more “monotheistic”) books meanwhile, reject the Torah text entirely, reject Israel’s chosen status entirely, say G-d has no sons, and preach a deity who does not know the people face to face.

          If Christianity is the religion that is further from the truth because of its veneration of J, then my, what a sad day.

          • Fred says:

            >>>>>The Christian movement marked a new circumstance. It was the first time that gentiles (from within their own cultural framework without being converts or on the road to conversion,) could approach the Bible, and come to respect it for reasons that made sense to their own experiences.<<<<<

            Apparently you missed where it says in the book of Acts that many Gentiles assembled at the synagogue to hear Torah. This is where the apostles gained much of their following, by "sheep stealing" Noachide Gentiles from the synagogues. So much so in fact that they had to have the Jerusalem Council to decide how to deal with them.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Con,

            I’m finally getting some clarity on where we differ. We are defending the answer to two different questions. You are asking, why is Christianity not considered a religion closer to God than polytheistic ones. I am asking, what do we say to Christians who tell us we must worship Jesus as God.

            The answer to your question is that yes, Christianity is not polytheism like, say, Hinduism. In fact, there is a discussion among the poskim whether for well-meaning but ignorant gentiles whether it is permitted or not (called avodah zarah b’shituf and always forbidden to Jews according to all opinions). I think I have that right, and please correct me if I am wrong, Rabbi B.

            The answer to my question is, we tell Christians the truth. According to the Torah’s definition of idolatry (which is the only definition worth considering as the Torah introduced the notion that worshiping entities other than God is idolatry) worshiping Jesus is avodah zarah.

            As I have argued many times, Con–and I am amazed that you ignore this–we do not dismiss sincere Christians because it’s not our business to judge them. It is only our business to defend our beliefs when Christians come knocking. Christians who mind their own business we leave to their own devices.

            For the Jew facing down a Christian, the concept is crystal clear. For the Jew, worshiping Jesus is avodah zarah as defined by Deuteronomy 4 and 13 and Exodus 20.

            I hope I have clarified this for you.

      • Concerned Reader Christians look at the heart of David as revealed in the Psalms and tell us that this is not love of Jesus – yet they encourage love of Jesus – this means that love of Jesus is not love of God – simple

        1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  50. mrsonic says:

    “I hear people say “Christianity is Pagan,” it is simply not. Christianity is a Jewish heresy. It has nothing to do with Pagan gentile religion.”

    there are scholars who believe it is a fusion of pagan and jewish ideas. where did the jews get the idea that the dying messiah was god himself? all throughout the torah can you derive the picture that god would come down as a poor galilean peasant and then stapled to a cross?

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Mr.sonic when you ask, “where did the Jews get the idea that the dying messiah was god himself?” That’s a great question, and I think we need to look at the Tanakh to answer it, and to realize that the belief evolved over time.

      I don’t believe we need to look to any form of outside polytheism at all as a source for this belief system arising.

      You will find the explanation on the blog that it is considered normal that certain agents in the Tanakh (such as the angels in Genesis 18 and 31:13) said things like, “I am the god of bethel,” or spoke with G-d’s voice, or carried his name, as though they were G-d speaking in first person, metaphorically acting as a mouthpiece of G-d.

      Judaism states very clearly that G-d alone is G-d. So, it seems we may have potential for a problem in some situations outside of a Torah context.

      In the Tanakh itself, we have an angelic agent of G-d that says “hi I’m G-d,” despite the fact that it clearly isn’t G-d, but is only an agent of G-d.

      But, what does the Torah say over and over again? It says G-d is one and only. Ergo, if something in scripture says “hi, I’m G-d,” then in some sense, it must ACTUALLY BE G-D, at least the Christians came to that conclusion in light of texts like proverbs 8, Philo, and others where G-d’s wisdom seems like a personal agency, just like that angel from Torah.

      The Christians were not the only ones to view that angel as a possible 2nd power/person. See the Jewish encyclopedia entry for Elisha Ben Abuyah or “two powers” for more information.

      How did this agent angel from the Torah get confused with the messiah, and then get confused again with G-d himself, you ask?

      Well, in certain strains of second temple and even modern tradition, the patriarch Enoch, (who was seen as the righteous head of his generation,) was believed to have ascended to heaven, and to have become transformed into an angel called Metatron.

      In a certain sense, the head of the generation is believed by some people to be the “messiah of the generation,” because his wisdom and or works are deemed “special” by some of the students.

      So, Jesus’ early students called Ebionites believed him to be the Messiah/head of his generation and to further be “like one of the archangels” just like Enoch was believed to have been in his day. BUT…He was believed very early on by these Ebionite proto Christians to be a unique angel who bore G-d’s name, and said and did things that only G-d could do.

      So, how did he go from being an angel to being G-d? Very simple. The angel in the Torah says the words, “I am the G-d of bethel.”

      I ask you plainly. Can something that isn’t truly G-d say the phrase, I am G-d with a straight face?

      No! If something can say, “I am G-d” metaphorically, then monotheism has no true meaning, and no distinction from thousands of other world religions.

      Christians by the 3rd century during the Nicean council (in the midst of the Arian controversy) realized that if Jesus was understood only as a created angelic agent who began to exist at a certain point, (and who was also called G-d metaphorically,) then there would be no real way you could actually fend off real pagan idolatry.

      So, they codified a doctrine called the trinity whereby G-d existed as Father, (Genesis 1:1 ) Son, (Genesis 31:13 )and Spirit (Genesis 1:2.)

      In short, the Torah already has in it the notion of angels that say, “I am G-d” metaphorically, and that is deemed kosher within a Torah context as you can read on this very blog.

      However, if you leave that Torah context and go out into the broader gentile world and see someone who says, “I am god” (in a metaphorical sense,) that is an everyday occurrence among polytheists.

      The Christians therefore reasoned that if something says, “I am G-d,” in the context of the Bible, that it must be literal, and not a metaphorical idea.

      Where does a dead redeemer notion come from? From the midrash, in a round about way.

      Remember the golden calf incident? Where it says Moses delayed in coming down from the mount?

      Well, the midrash says that the yetzer hara showed Israel the dead body of Moses in order to make them lose faith. Guess what! Moses wasn’t really dead was he? It was only an illusion!

      So, Messiah was believed by some to be just like Moses, namely, similar in the sense that “he only seemed dead, but wasn’t really.” Why?

      Because there is no death for the righteous!

      If you read this notion of “no death for the righteous” along with Isaiah 53, Zechariah 12:10, and Ezekiel 37:25, you get a notion of a righteous man dying, people repenting in light of it, and righteousness being brought in as a result.

      In the shortest sense possible, you can build a Christianity around any rabbi whose students believe him to be messiah. If he dies, they can claim, just like Moses, or Daniel, “he’s not dead!”

      • mrsonic says:

        i think there are too many weaknesses in this response. i still believe it is a fusion of two different ideas.

        • mrsonic says:

          i am unable to find evidence within the text that when god saves he must do it through murdering /sacrificing himself

          make note of the fact that sacrifices are made to god, not the other way round.

          “The Christians therefore reasoned that if something says, “I am G-d,” in the context of the Bible, that it must be literal, and not a metaphorical idea.”

          i don’t get how this was stretched all the way to yhwh being murdered for the sins of people. nothing is making sense. how did they make a sacrifice out of god?

          • Dina says:

            Mr. Sonic (or Mrs. Onic🙂 )

            There is another problem with Connie’s reasoning. The statement “I am God” coming from the mouth of an angel is not, in fact metaphorical; it is simply the delivery of a message. Imagine if the royal herald came into town, unrolled a scroll, and proclaimed, “I, the King, hereby command all the residents of this town to wear blue socks every Monday.” (Or better yet, the royal we: “We, the King, by the power vested in us through our birthright, do hereby etc.”)

            No one would say that the statement is metaphorical or confuse the herald with the real king. (No one would say the king is a trinity.)

            That is how people saw angelic pronouncements. It was clear and obvious.

            The only people who have trouble with this are people approaching the text many years later with a prior agenda. Acher already had an agenda, early Christians already had an agenda. Anyone who falls in love with a charismatic leader is already biased, is already consciously or unconsciously searching for ways to justify and prop up his beliefs.

            The exalting of a human leader to a god status (called apotheosis) is common to all or nearly all cultures. Connie would like to make it seem that it is unique to Judaism because of the way Tanach is written. But as someone who has studied history and comparative religions, he should know that it is not.

            It’s very easy to use the Torah, by the way, to support pretty much anything you want to believe in. This is why you should not take Con’s assertions seriously.

            As an illustration of how this literally can be done with anything, see Jim’s excellent satire here:

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/horaces-tree-by-jim/

            And also Rabbi B.’s here:

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/the-charolite-trilogy/

            (One of my favorite lines is in the comment section. A commenter asks Rabbi B. what is the significance of the name “Charlie.” After all, he says with great indignation, Jesus’s name is highly significant because it means redemption. If memory serves me correctly, Rabbi B. responds by saying that if you believe in Charlie you will be saved from being charred in hell.)

          • Dina says:

            🙂

          • LarryB says:

            Mr Sonic
            I thought you were a hedge hog.

  51. Dina,
    you wrote QUOTE:
    “Matthew, either you believe Moses or you don’t. You don’t get to decide which statements of his are true and which are not. Bizarre!”

    You sound just like a Xian! Quoting Paal, “All Scripture is God-breathed”,,,,
    My man was humble – because he said so !
    The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it.
    Either it’s all true or none of it is.
    You don’t get to pick and choose.

    Exodus 20:1 “And God spoke all these words”……
    Are you saying that Moses lied, and really Moses spoke all these words?

    Exodus 15:1 “Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to Yahweh”….
    Are you saying that Moses lied, and really Yahweh sang all these songs to Moses?

    • Dina says:

      Yup, I do believe that all of the Hebrew Bible is true. It’s either authoritative or it’s not. You have to be consistent or the whole thing’s a joke. I didn’t get your last two paragraphs. Maybe it’s a private joke between you and yourself, or maybe, like all your arguments, it’s incoherent and bizarre.

      Your way is to make up a religion based on whichever Bible passages appeal to you. You worship two idols, then: Jesus and yourself.

      • Exodus 19:23
        “Moses said to Yahweh, ‘The people cannot come up Mount Sinai….”
        Exodus 19:24
        “Yahweh replied, ‘Go down and bring Aaron up with you…..”

        So is Moses talking with himself, or is Moses having a conversation with God, and they have a slight difference of opinion about who should “come up…”

        I’m not going to type out the whole verses, anyone who has eyes to see can see for himself.
        By the way, Moses didn’t write “The whole Hebrew Bible”……. Dina, you would fit in great as a “Bible thumper”….. Blessings😉

        • Dina says:

          Did I say that Moses wrote the whole Hebrew Bible?

        • Sharbano says:

          For one thing, it does NOT say “Go down and bring Aaron with you”.
          Read it carefully. You STILL, AGAIN miss the point and also the reason you cannot understand the other references. Remember, read EVERY SINGLE word. You have to “think” when you read.

        • LarryB says:

          MP
          If you wrote it out and went point by point you might learn something. Moses did what he was told here. I will if you want. Also, I have been searching for hours trying to find
          someone who has also written about this and agrees with you. Do you have any links to someone who agrees with you?

          • Dina says:

            Matthew, here is something to consider:

            Exodus 19:9: The Lord said to Moses, “Behold I am coming to you in the thickness of the cloud in order that the people will hear when I speak with you and also in you they will believe forever.”

            So God said Moses is to be believed forever. Who should I believe, Matthew the idol worshiper, or Moses whom God said was His most trusted servant (Numbers 12:7)?

    • Sharbano says:

      You’ve really dove off the deep end. You have to follow in your messiah’s footsteps, which is destroy Moshe in order to elevate himself.

    • LarryB says:

      Matthew Perry
      You your self claim the 66 books of the bible inerrant. You cannot have it both ways.

    • LarryB says:

      Matthew Perry
      You your self claim the 66 books of the bible inerrant. You cannot have it both ways.

      • LarryB
        You are referring to my writings from 7+ years ago.
        I don’t make that claim now. I have learned more about Jesus of the Gospels, and how HIs voice is above all others in the New Testament. Jesus said “My words will never pass away” – not “Paul’s words’ or “The New Testament.”…

        • LarryB says:

          Matthew Perry
          Yes I am refering to your writings on your blog from 7 years ago. You say you have changed your mind yet you are the one who offers a link to your blog so others can read what you have written and you have not changed what you have written to reflect your new beliefs. Who would ever trust anything you say?

          • LarryB
            It’s a good and reasonable question you raise. It’s difficult to know one’s own heart. There are a number of different reasons I could give, all of which would be true. Perhaps the basic underlying reason would be “lack of interest.” In the last couple of years, besides you, I only recall 2 other people even mentioning my blog. And I have been quite active posting on many other websites.
            But dates posted on my blog are there for all to see- no one looking at that would assume it is “active.”

          • LarryB says:

            Matthew Perri
            I would assume it is active since your directing me there with the link you provide.
            I can understand why you no longer post on your blog, no one agrees with you nor do they comment and desire to talk with you. You might want to change your approach if you ever change your mind. The paul said it I don’t believe it, that settles it, probably doesn’t sit well with your christian friends.

          • This is what Yahweh says…
            The priests did not ask, ‘Where is Yahweh?’
            Those who deal with the law did not know me;
            the leaders rebelled against me.
            The prophets prophesied by PAAL,
            following worthless idols.

          • LarryB says:

            Matthew Perri
            Your last comment makes no sence and like your blog, who know what your really thinking or believe. I guess is just alot easier to just dust off your shoes, eh?

        • mrsonic says:

          you wrote:
          Jesus said “My words will never pass away”

          resp:
          but then again neither have the words papias attributes to him.

  52. Concerned Reader says:

    Fred, I didn’t miss anything. G-d fearers were gentiles who while remaining active Romans believed in G-d, but they were actively involved in the Jewish community. They still paid taxes to the emperor, and were forbidden by Rome to be circumcised. The key point is, they were involved with a Synagogue, or on their way to conversion to Judaism, (when it was allowed by Rome.)

    They were either on their way to being converts, or they found some things to respect about Judaism after interacting with the Jewish community. There were no independent solely gentile communities (who lacked major interaction with the Jewish community,) who also believed in G-d, or believed in scripture, until Christianity. That was my point.

    The Christian movement started with Jews and G-d fearers, true, but then it was able to branch out beyond the Jewish community, to be a self sustained movement among non Jews in their own cultural setting that had faith in G-d based on an experience. Noachide faith is hearing about the experiences of another people, and joining that people. The Christian movement could have non Jews teach other non Jews, and nontheless gain faith in the Bible’s G-d.

    Gentiles were able to go from polytheism to Christianity on the basis of hearing Christian teaching, without being involved in a Jewish community. Gentiles as gentiles heard the message and believed in the Bible based on that message. The god fearer was taught Torah’s message and the promise made to Israel, and grew to love that promise. Christians had an experience of G-d that was based on something that they could relate to without needing to be Jewish.

  53. Can someone point me to any Torah passage to indicate that Moses himself “wrote” Genesis, as opposed to copying and passing along existing writing of the Patriarchs that he received?

    • Matthew Perri
      Deuteronomy 31:9 – but what is the point you would say that Moses is lying – do you have a verse that says that he didn’t write Genesis? Or do you have a name for the author of Genesis? Why does your imagination take priority over Moses’ words?

      • Pharisee Friend
        You seem to be reading a lot into this one verse – Deuteronomy 31:9. I’m not saying Moses was lying. But writing something out, in the case of Genesis, could simply mean copying the existing book of the Patriarchs.

        • Matthew Perri I pointed to a verse – no you point to a verse that tells you that Moses did not write Genesis 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

        • Jim says:

          Matthew,

          This is all still a red herring. Even if the Patriarchs wrote Genesis, it does not support your argument. You are still only offering distractions. When will you address the actual issues?

          Jim

        • Dina says:

          Hey, Matthew, you asked if someone can point you to any passage that shows that Moses wrote the whole Torah. Rabbi B. provided the passage. So what’s your problem? The verse says exactly what you wanted it to say. Now you want it not to say that!

          Rabbi B. isn’t “reading” anything into it, it’s explicit. Shame on you yet again.

      • Pharisee Friend,
        You asked me QUOTE: “do you have a verse that says that he [Moses] didn’t write Genesis? Or do you have a name for the author of Genesis?”

        We have the entire book of Genesis, from beginning to end, telling us that Moses did not write it. It was written many years before Moses was born. And yes we do know the names of some of the authors or guardians of God’s Word from the beginning of the world through the Millennia until before Moses was born. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph are some of the prominent names.

        I don’t believe any of the authors of Genesis wrote in the first person (like the True Prophet Moses – or false apostle Paul or other cult leaders often did.) In this, the Book of Genesis is rather like the 4 Gospels (vs. Paul’s letters.) The Gospel writers wrote narratives and recorded the voice of God, rather than focusing on talking about themselves, and their feelings, experience, opinions, and claims to authority.

        I’m not questioning the authority or accuracy or relevance of Genesis, but rather just the opposite. And,
        I’m not talking down to anyone and asking “how can you believe Moses wrote Genesis?” In contrast, I’ve just admitted that for the past 20 years, until just very recently, I blindly believed that “Moses wrote the entire Pentateuch.” And yes, I still believe that Moses wrote it OUT, copied it, to begin the Torah.

        But I’m not going to tear down Yahweh and His prophets speaking for thousands of years since the beginning of the world, and claim that none of it was really authoritative or official or written down until Moses came along.

        • Matthew Perri And where in the book of Genesis does it say that Moses did not write it? Where does it say anywhere in Scripture that any part of Scripture was written before Moses? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.” [Genesis 2:4]

            “This is the written account of Adam’s line.” [Genesis 5:1]

            “This is the account of Noah.” [Genesis 6:9]

            “This is the account of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” [Genesis 10:1]

            “This is the account of Shem.” [Genesis 11:10]

            “This is the account of Terah.” [Genesis 11:27]

            “This is the account of Abraham’s son Ishmael” [Genesis 25:12]

            “This is the account of Abraham’s son Isaac” [Genesis 25:19]

            “This is the account of Esau (that is, Edom)” [Genesis 36:1]

            “This is the account of Esau the father of the Edomites” [Genesis 36:9]

            “This is the account of Jacob” [Genesis 37:2]

            “These are the names of the sons of Israel” [Genesis 46:8]

            “Then Jacob called for his sons and said: ‘Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come.” [Genesis 49:1]

          • Dina says:

            Genesis 2:4 is mistranslated. It should read, “These are the products.”

            The rest of your “proofs” prove nothing.

            Did you know that history could be recorded long after the events transpired? Especially if God is telling you what to write!

          • Matthew Perri This – what Moses is writing – is the account – in any case – most of the places teh Hebrew reads “these are the happenings of…” 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  54. Jim says:

    Matthew,

    I can understand why coming from a Christian worldview, you would have trouble understanding the laws of the Sabbath. What I cannot understand, however, is your defense of Jesus’ dishonoring his mother. It is not so much the attempt to defend him, but the substance of the defense that I find most bizarre. You defend him by saying that he was not a mama’s boy. (And allow me to point out that the words “mama’s boy” do not appear in the Torah.) One need only look at the difference between how Solomon treated his mother and how Jesus treated his mother to understand what it means to honor one’s mother.

    Before contrasting the two men, let us remember why this discussion matters. It is your contention that Jesus came to fulfill the law, and like most Christians you assert (with no proof by the way) that Jesus kept the law perfectly. And yet, one of the commandments listed on the tablets written by the finger of God reads: “Honor your father and mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Ex. 20:12). I mention that it was written by the finger of God, because I assume in your private canon that being written by God is rather important. In Leviticus 19, HaShem is speaking, and He says: “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. You shall fear your mother and father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God” (vv. 2-3). God has given two commandments, to honor one’s parents and to fear, or revere, one’s parents.

    What is not a command is not to be a mama’s boy. The defense you have offered is to ignore the seriousness of these commands. That one should revere one’s parents means that they cannot be treated lightly and more. And note that when giving the command to fear one’s parents, He lists the mother first.

    Solomon is an exemplar of how one should honor and fear one’s mother. Solomon’s half brother, Adonijah, who had attempted to seat himself upon the throne of Israel, requested from Bathsheba that she would ask Solomon to grant him as wife Abishag, an attendant of David in his old age. She had been called in to keep the king warm. Bathsheba agreed to take Adonijah’s request to Solomon. What is of interest to us is how Solomon, King of Israel, treats his mother. “Solomon rose to meet her, and bowed down to her; then he sat on his throne, and had a throne brought for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right” (I Kings 2:19). This is a man who reverences his mother, bowing to her, and honors her, seating her at his right. And he is eager to grant her what she asks before he knows what it is. Ultimately, he does not grant her request, because Adonijah is angling for the throne. In this way, he will please you, because he is not a mama’s boy, though he pays her the deepest respect.

    Jesus presents a stark contrast. As Dina has already discussed, Jesus is disrespectful of his parents, even as a child. At the age of twelve, he wanders off without informing them, causing them worry, so that he can teach. Luke, who tells the story, is myopically focused only on Jesus’ miraculous teaching authority before attaining adulthood. He did not realize the story showed Jesus to be callous to his parents. His mother speaks of her anxiety and he insults her intelligence (Luke 2:48-49).

    At the wedding in Cana, he is equally insulting. When she tells him that the wedding celebration is bereft of wine, he asks her, “Woman, what have I to do with you?” (John 2:4). She ignores his disrespect, apparently used to it, and tells the servants to do whatever he says. One wonders why he could not have apologetically told her that it was not his time yet, instead of speaking roughly to her. He does end up giving in, but then one must question the resistance in the first place. Either he should not be doing this yet or it is acceptable. If it is acceptable, then why speak disrespectfully to your mother. And if not, why do it at all. That question is secondary, however. We are only concerned with how he spoke to his mother. True, he is not a mama’s boy. But then, it were probably better to be a mama’s boy that to violate the commands to honor and fear one’s mother.

    I reiterate that the reason that this is important is not to malign Jesus. Every man sins. Jesus is a man like any other. But then, that is the point. He is not a perfect being, sinless, keeping the Torah perfectly. One can rest assured that Jesus, who violated basic Torah commands was not God. He was not even the Messiah. But Solomon, a true messiah, serves as an example of how one should treat one’s mother.

    Jim

  55. Concerned Reader says:

    Acher already had an agenda. Dina, what agenda could Acher possibly have had? He merely saw a figure in your tradition being exalted to a status only belonging to hashem, so he conflated the two. Philo did it too! There is a point where your agent analogy breaks down, thats what you are missing.

    The herald/royal we explanation only goes so far, it only carries so much weight. Can a herald go to my home and sleep with my wife on my behalf? No! Some parts of your tradition call that angel “lesser hashem.” If its not actually hashem, why are you calling it that? Other aspects of your tradition conflate that angel with Enoch, and 1 Enoch (the parables) conflates that angel with the messiah.

    Also, you failed to address the main thrust of my argument, though you did mention it. It was people “on the outside” of your context who made that leap, not denying that, but why did they make the leap from seeing Jesus only as an agent? The Arian Christians viewed Jesus as an agent too, so what happened?

    The answer is, the agent/herald explanation doesn’t solve (for outsiders) a central issue. If Caesar was called “divine” in a figurative way, though he was literally offered cult status by the state, how do you differentiate yourself from that? If a herald can say he is G-d, then there is no meaningful difference between yourselves and devoted pagans.

    If a herald can say, “I’m G-d” and (I guess not metaphorically, but literally,) How can you not see that as a problem when trying to teach a pagan about monotheism?

    You keep saying “in our context this is fine.” That’s the whole point. The Christians taught other outside cultures about scripture that had no notion of scripture or G-d. They had to explain how Jesus, (an agent) could be called G-d, and yet how this was different from what pagans already did and believed.

    If you told a pagan “so and so is just a herald,” they would say “great, so is Buddha, Caesar, Krishna, etc. just add Jesus to the pile.” The Christians had to say no to adding Jesus to the pile, they had to differentiate.

    • Dina says:

      Con, nothing that you said here negates what I wrote. Philo and the Book of Enoch are not part of my tradition. I am not familiar with the term “lesser Hashem.”

      You proved my point. The Christians had to differentiate, that’s why they found what they were looking for.

      You can find anything you want in the Bible.

      That’s the wrong way to approach the Bible.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        You can find anything you want in the Bible.

        See, that’s the point. Yes, you can. You say, “Philo and Enoch aren’t your tradition.” That has no bearing on this question because they were part of Jesus’ traditional frame of reference in whatever redacted form the texts existed in back then.

        The Judaism of Jesus’ time period had things like the Logos doctrine (in ebryonic form,) in it, Nazarenes did not invent it. The New Testament needs to be understood within its own context, just like your religion needs to be understood in its own context.

        Ancient pagan polemic, (and many modern critics) make the statement that Judaism is monolatry. In other words, you only worship one G-d, true, but your text applies the term and roles of G-d to several different angelic agents, making many little g divinities.

        The claim is then made, “this isn’t really monotheism.”

        That’s why Acher said there were two powers in heaven. The text already has two beings that are called G-d in it. One is an angelic agent, the other is the father. The fact is that both are called G-d.

        Acher probably heard the rabbinic explanation that Metatron was just an agent, but he realized that it doesn’t solve the polemic problem.

        Your explanation that “its only an agent,” has no explanatory power in a context like debate with a polytheist. The answer isn’t an answer. It doesn’t solve the conundrum of two entities being called G-d in the Bible. Your explanation only works in one context.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          What I’m getting at Dina is that in second temple sources, issues like the “agent angel,” etc. are muddy issues. It gets more murky when you bring the polytheistic religions into the discussion.

          Theologians like Philo, spoke of the father, and spoke of his word, who acts as his agent, bears his name, etc. to bring clarification.

          The theological construct existed before the Christians did, or at the very least was contemporary speculation with them in the Judaisms of the time period.

          The trinity as a doctrine only exists because of the problems that arise when you say that an agent can be called G-d.

          • Dina says:

            “Your explanation only works in one context.” Exactly–and it’s the only context that matters. We invented the notion of idolatry, not a student of comparative religion.

            Philo was influenced by Greek philosophy and only later in life studied the Hebrew Bible, that’s why he’s not part of our tradition. And you were the one who said that he is and cited him as if he has any authority. The Logos doctrine that influenced non-traditional Jewish sects of the time period was a Greek doctrine, not a Jewish one.

            The trinity as a doctrine doesn’t exist because of the “problems” you found in the Torah. That is 100% speculation. The trinity first existed and then apologetics were created to support it. That is historical fact.

            That’s what I’m trying to tell you. First you have to believe in whatever it is you believe, then you find support for it in the Torah.

  56. Concerned Reader says:

    The Logos doctrine that influenced non-traditional Jewish sects of the time period was a Greek doctrine, not a Jewish one.

    You are missing the point I’m trying to make entirely. Its true that A Greek doctrine of the Logos existed first, yes. However, the Greeks employed the term Logos as a euphemism only for the impersonal reason they saw as inherent in nature. Full Stop.

    They did not say Logos= G-d, vehicles or chariots, angels, or gods in any way.

    Logos (a Greek notion of impersonal reason in nature,) took on a very personal, prophetic, agent like quality because of the interaction of this concept with figures and concepts already found in the Torah.

    Maimonides too interacted with Greek philosophy. He took the Greek notion of the active intellect, and he made it into a euphemism for prophetic inspiration and in particular used it to illustrate Moses’ personal encounter with G-d. These people used what was initially a Greek concept, and applied Jewish conceptions to it totally foreign to the original Greek intent and concept.

    So, just because the concept is initially Greek, doesn’t mean the application, or content applied was Greek at all. Make sense?

    We understand that Traditional Judaism already agreed well before Philo of Alexandria that G-d posses the attribute of wisdom, and that wisdom is a euphemism for Torah and prophetic inspiration. We already see the Torah by itself speaking about agents that speak as a mouthpiece of that prophetic inspiration.

    So, Logos was merely the loosest non Jewish equivalent term used to explain things to non Jews that they didn’t believe or understand.

    When John’s gospel used the term Logos, he used it in a way totally hitherto unknown to anything in Greek usage. The sects did the same thing.

    • mr.sonic says:

      bart ehrman says :

      This is a key point to make, one that I will stress repeatedly throughout the book. We today think of the realm of true divinity, the realm of God, as completely Other and separate from our human realm. Most people conceive of the realm of God as separated from us by an unbridgeable chasm. The ancients did not see it that way. The divine realm itself had numerous strata, some gods were greater and, if you will, “more divine,” than others, and humans sometimes could be elevated to the ranks of those gods. Moreover, the gods themselves could and did occasionally come down to spend time with us mere mortals. And when they did, it could lead to interesting or even disastrous consequences, as the inhospitable inhabitants of Phrygia learned to their great discomfort.

      it seems to me that you want to argue that judaism like pagan religions believed that there was a high god and
      quoting you
      “lesser hashem”

      so you believe that jews believed that there were versions of god which were not equal to the highest god?

      • Concerned Reader says:

        so you believe that jews believed that there were versions of god which were not equal to the highest god?
        Reply

        No, G-d is described as uniquely one but he has several manifestations, and agents that are to an extent so nullified to his will/presence that they could say, “I am G-d.” Some people called this agent the lesser hashem, some called it the Logos.

        The term lesser hashem comes from the pseudopigraphical text 3 Enoch. In that text the angel Maetatron is called lesser hashem. I recommend you read this book to get an idea.

        https://www.amazon.com/Bodies-God-World-Ancient-Israel/dp/1107422264/175-4727219-3191067?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

        http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/5773-enoch-books-of-ethiopic-and-slavonic#anchor6

        I’m saying that the charge is always made against Christians that they innovated a whole theology, or ripped it off from polytheists. I am saying that this is unfounded speculation, and that all the ingredients you need for Christian theology to exist already existed in some form.

        • Dina says:

          Con, you told me in a previous comment that in my tradition God’s agents were called “lesser Hashem.” Since this is blatantly untrue, I respectfully request that you retract that statement.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            There are Jewish texts from the relevant time period that do use the term lesser hashem regarding the angel Metatron Dina, I cited it, so I will not retract anything. Its not an incorrect statement at all. The Bavli’s reaction to Acher is further proof that the rabbis felt they had to react polemically against an existing belief that there was a greater and a subordinate in heaven.

            You want me to judge Christianity’s texts through the lens of Judaism only as it exists today, (as reflected by the Mishna,) but that would be a biased way of approaching those Christian sources that were written in a different time period before the Mishna was codified.

            I explicitly stated that the term “lesser hashem” comes from the Pseudopigraphical text 3 Enoch.

            There are other sources that speak of the heavenly temple of the “youth,” Metatron.

          • Dina says:

            The pseudoepigrapha are not part of my tradition. You stated that this was part of my tradition. After I mentioned that I never heard of the term “lesser Hashem” you said it was in Enoch. But you did not concede that it wasn’t part of my tradition. I’m disappointed, frankly, that you can’t find it within yourself to retract that part of your statement. But be that as it may.

            Christianity was a non-traditional Jewish sect as were the other non-traditional sects. They are not part of our tradition and that is why they did not survive.

            I don’t care what lens you look at Christianity through as long as it is an honest one. And it is dishonest to say that the egg came before the chicken. First there was whatever belief these non-traditional sects came to believe in, through whatever foreign influences–then and only then did they “find” it in the Torah.

            Philo is a case in point. He did not derive the idea of the logos from the Torah. He learned about it in Greek philosophy. Then he read the Torah (in Greek, mind you). And then he attempted to reconcile the two, coming up with a concept that is foreign to traditional (read: Pharisaic) Judaism. And that is why his idea was adopted by gentile Christians and not by Jews.

            It’s called circular reasoning, and you can’t seem to escape it.

      • mr.sonic says:

        “No, G-d is described as uniquely one but he has several manifestations, and agents that are to an extent so nullified to his will/presence that they could say, “I am G-d.” Some people called this agent the lesser hashem, some called it the Logos.”

        you’ve lost me.
        you mean divine god is present in these manifestations or just a bit of him?
        what are these several manifestations?
        do you believe god has manifested himself as earth?

    • Dina says:

      Speculation, speculation, speculation. In 100% of cases such as Christianity and the movement of Shabbetai Zvi, first there was a belief or a desire to believe in something, then the Torah was twisted into apologetic use to support that belief.

      Before Jesus, Jews didn’t look at the Torah and see a prophecy or even a hint that God would produce a son through a mortal woman who would die to atone for the sins of mankind and would also assume divinity. Jews didn’t look at instances of so-called theophanies and wonder and agonize over how many gods to worship. (They still don’t.)

      Only after Jesus came along and was repackaged in a way that could appeal to gentiles were all these “problems” as you call them found in the Torah. And by whom? By people looking for justification.

      You’re making stuff up, Con. I don’t know why you trying so hard to justify Christian belief as arising naturally from the Torah when all you are doing is engaging in circular reasoning.

  57. Concerned Reader says:

    Let me give you an example that will clarify. Have you heard of the Navajo code talkers from WWII? They were Native Americans that the government employed to develop a secret code to stump the Japanese.

    Now, if you are one of those code talkers who has to make a secret code word, for something like “Tank,” its very clear that there will be no word in your language for Tank. Code talkers therefore had to take two or more terms from their own language to make a new word that vaguely conveyed the foreign concept of Tank.

    So, lets say the Navajo words were “Tough metal turtle.” This would be a phrase that conveyed the idea of tank, despite there not being a direct analogue to it in Navajo.

    Philo, (and John) similarly used a Greek term “logos,” but applied biblical ideas of agency, prophecy, divine wisdom, angels, and attributes, etc. The only thing Greek in Philo or John’s use of Logos, is the word Logos. It has no meaning in Greek other than impersonal reason, or rational sunstance inherent in nature.

    • Dina says:

      Logos was the term Greeks used for the divine reason they found in nature. It’s not a jump from an impersonal divine force to God.

      http://www.britannica.com/topic/logos

      • Concerned Reader says:

        It is a jump though, because the Greeks didn’t believe the cosmos was created out of nothing, they didn’t believe in a being who created or gave mitzvot.

        The Greeks’ notion of divine mind or reason is not Judaism’s idea of divine mind and reason. That’s why Philo tried to reconcile the two different worldviews, and in the process, the Logos became to him an intermediate agent, or as he called it, Deuteros theos.

        • Dina says:

          So what? It’s not much of a jump, if you’re Jewish and influenced by Greek thought. Anyway, not very relevant.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            You are dismissing the Logos idea as “Greek,” even though I’ve shown that the way it is employed by people like Philo is not a Greek way of thinking, but a way of thinking that draws on the Bible. That’s a relevant point.

            You say “these groups aren’t my tradition,” but that is not relevant when we are asking the question of what was believed when the gospel texts were written, or asking about the Milieu they came from.

            You say Torah observant Christians don’t exist, ergo full stop. BUT Christians still exist, and have existed for thousands of years.

            Your tradition is rabbinic Judaism. Ok, fair enough. Is that clarification enough? However, the Judaisms of Jesus cover a much wider gamut than what was codified in the 200s C.E.

            Your argument is essentially to ignore the available evidence because your sect ultimately survived. While I am thrilled and delighted that there are Jewish people in the world observing their faith, it is not legitimate to throw today’s Christians under a bus simply because they don’t share your group’s viewpoint, especially since they have a Milieu that can explain the presence of those ideas without their sect even being in existence.

            Second temple Jewish groups before the ascendance of Christianity had these kinds of ideas in them, and these are ideas that were pulled from the Torah.

            You can call that angelic agent Metatron (as rabbinic tradition does,) or you can call it lesser hashem as 3 Enoch does. The name of the figure does not change the fact that there was a being in antiquity closely associated with G-d, all the way to the point that G-d’s words came out of its mouth.

            The presence of the content trumps the name you call it Dina. You can say all you want that “these Jews were nuts, heretics, etc.” but they existed, they read the Bible, and they interpreted the text, just like your group does. Christians inherited many ideas that they did not invent.

          • Dina says:

            Con, some things you contend baffles me.

            On the one hand, you argue that upon closer examination, Christianity bears on resemblance to polytheism and is much more closely related to Judaism.

            On the other hand, you argue that the presence of angels in the Hebrew Bible makes the distinction between Judaism and polytheism meaningless.

            It seems like two completely contradictory statements, so I would appreciate if you can clarify.

            You also seem to say, with your defense that Christianity is a natural outgrowth of a Torah that contains angelic agents, that we really can’t defend our faith in an intellectually honest way. It almost seems as if you want us to tell Christians who try to convert us, “You know, you’re right, of course. Let’s all worship together.” It’s all very confusing, because then you say that of course we have the right to defend our faith. Sometimes it looks like you are trying to have it both ways.

          • LarryB says:

            CR
            Sorry Dina for jumping in here but, CR, I expect Matthew Perri to say something like “Throw christians under the bus”. Maybe I haven’t been paying attention. I don’t know how to say this and I’m sure I shouldn’t, but I am going to try. What’s the purpose of arguing from a false premise, “Throwing others under the bus” and defending them instead of teaching them what you believe is the correct position? does that make sence?

  58. Concerned Reader says:

    There are Jewish texts from the relevant time period that do use the term lesser hashem regarding the angel Metatron Dina, so I will not retract anything. Its not an incorrect statement at all. The Bavli’s reaction to Acher is further proof that the rabbis felt they had to react against a belief that there was a greater and a subordinate in heaven.

    You want me to judge Christianity’s texts through the lens of Judaism only as it exists today, (as reflected by the Mishna,) but that would be a biased way of approaching those Christian sources that were written in a different time period before the Mishna was codified.

    I explicitly stated that the term “lesser hashem” comes from the Pseudopigraphical text 3 Enoch.

    There are other sources that speak of the heavenly temple of the “youth,” Metatron.
    All I’ve done is to reason from what non Christian information is available Dina, and it has nothing whatever to do with Christians, that’s the whole point I’ve been making.

    1. We have the angel in the Tanakh that says (as G-d’s agent) “I am the god of bethel,”

    2. We have 3 Enoch call this angel Metatron the “lesser Hashem”

    3. According to Gershom Scholem earlier sources called the angel Metatron Yahoel, such as the apocalypse of Abraham, and he was deemed to be a guide imparting G-d’s wisdom.

    4. The Talmud contains evidence of rabbinic polemic against people who believed in a two power situation between hashem, and his subordinate, this angel Metatron.

    5. The parables of Enoch conflate that angel with the soul of the Messiah, or possibly with messiah himself.

    As you can see, I don’t need the Christians, their messiah, or their texts to come to this thesis haphazardly, with circular reasoning, or without good reason. The existence of later post Christian movements like the Sabbateans and Chabad merely further enforces the idea that Christianity is a symptom of an underlying idea, not a cause or root of those ideas in Judaism.

    • Dina says:

      This is circular reasoning par excellence. The rabbis had to engage in polemic against idolatrous notions that crept in because, remember, they were surrounded by pagans. And those notions found support in the Torah only after they took hold in the brain. Jews don’t read the Torah and come to these conclusions a priori, they just don’t.

      Chabad proves my point. First they fell in love with the rebbe, then they invented stuff to support their unacceptable devotion. They didn’t read the Torah and then say, oh the rebbe this and that.

      Like I said, you’re having a hard time escaping from circular reasoning. It’s not haphazard, though–I’ll grant you that. I think it’s ingrained.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        “The rabbis had to engage in polemic against idolatrous notions that crept in” “Jews don’t read the Torah and come to these conclusions a priori, they just don’t.”

        Hold on a second Dina. What figure is the object of the rabbinic polemic in the Talmud?

        The angel Metatron. This angel and Acher’s view of that angel are the objects of the rabbinic polemic. The angel involved in the polemic is one of the angels who visited Abraham, it’s the angel called by G-d’s name in that episode from Torah. Where it says Hashem and two angels visited Abraham, the rabbis read the “hashem” there as being that agent angel.

        IE there was a disagreement about the role and scope of a biblical figure that is a character only found in the Hebrew Bible.

        It is the Torah that has this mouthpiece agent angel called hashem in it, (the subject of the polemic) no pagans are required or involved in this polemic.

        It is this being in the Torah that speaks as a mouthpiece for G-d. There are no “polytheistic ideas creeping in” here. That is the entire point that you are ignoring/missing. This is a polemic by Jews against other Jews in Jewish sources about a Jewish Bible figure. It is a figure that has multiple sources attesting to it in the literature. I am not using circular reasoning. Circular reasoning would be using Christian sources to prove the Jewishness of Christian ideas. The whole point is, we don’t need Christians, Jesus, gospels, etc. to account for this. It is in the relevant literature.

        If paganism crept in, these people would be debating pagan things, believing in pagan ideas, found in pagan sources. The available literature that contains these notions was written by observant people, in a Jewish society, not by polytheistic gentiles.

        • mr.sonic says:

          quote :
          On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”

          as i said before, if we are to apply christian pagan ideas unto jewish texts one can lend weight to pagan ideas about incarnations and gods appearing in different forms

          using christian logic, why can’t the lord be in the sun ? think about it, we all hear joshua speak, if we had pagan christian glasses on, we would think that the sun = the lord because there is no change of speaker.

          one can justify the worship of everything.

        • LarryB says:

          Cr
          In Exodus 23:21 an angel was sent with G_d’s name in him. The big difference to me is the angel was not a man, did not claim to be G-d and G-d said he was going to do it. Also, changing what is taught in any way makes it pagan. Dinas point makes much more sence. The authors of the NT truly believed in Jesus Diety. No matter what level of Jewish belief a person had at that time, once you cross that threshold, someone-something else is also G-d, like Jim and others have shown, anyone or anything can be inserted into the picture. People in the business world do this all the time. They take someones very successful idea, tweak it a little and call it new. Bingo, now their in that business to. Christians themselves call this the New Testment.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Larry, the text I mentioned was Genesis 18 where there are three visitors, one clearly Identified as Hashem and then two angels who visit Abraham. I noted that it is commentators who say that the mention of “Hashem” in that episode refers to an angel called Metatron. The angel (the captain of the host) is explicitly called “man” in Joshua 5, but yet, its the angel.

            My only point was, there is an angelic being clearly referred to as hashem in the text of the Torah, so, if some pre Christian Jews in antiquity called that angel “lesser Hashem,” (as the text of 3 Enoch actually does,) this would not be an inaccurate reference to that angel vis the Bible, just a different appellation for the same entity that rabbis call Metatron.

            The Bible crosses the line that it sets for itself when It constantly tells everyone, “hey guys there is only one G-d, and please, do not venerate or bow to the whole host of heaven,” but then the text itself is completely OK with the RIGHTEOUS calling this angel G-d in name, and in function, and judging by righteous people’s reactions to it, it doesn’t seem to be treated like a simple angel.

            Genesis 32:30 has Jacob perceiving that he “saw G-d face to face,” despite his interaction clearly only being with this angel he wrestled with. In the same sense the burning bush employed an angelic proxy that spoke G-d’s words.

            This angel is really a secondary issue anyway though, as was the trinity because trinity was a codified belief that crystallized over time.

            The real point I’m making is, Christians didn’t need the trinity as a doctrine to do what they did with Jesus, nor did Chabad need something like the Tanya to do what they did with the rebbe, nor did the sabbateans need some esoteric form of kabbalah to raise Shabbatai Zevi. The Tanakh itself has this angelic proxy that can explain the veneration of them all to varying degrees.

            The big issue is that there were tons of Christians who didn’t have a high christology, they had a low christology, (they didn’t claim that J was god at all,)

            but they were still completely comfortable venerating, and had all the material necessary present through the examples found in the Tanakh to venerate him. As you said, “G-d said he could do that.” G-d shows and says “hey guys, I can make this make this angel my proxy, please obey him.”

            These non trinitarian Christians could and did still call Jesus “G-d” in name, could call him an angel while viewing his nature as only a created vessel or angelic being, and could still believe G-d’s words came out of his mouth, even though they were strict unitarian monotheists.

            Chabadniks are strict Jewish monotheists, and yet they could still say the rebbe had a spark of G-dliness in him (like everything does,) but that his was the clearest, best perception of G-dliness, etc.

            These people without a systematic theology could do all that venerating, just by referencing or being influenced by the examples they found in the Torah where this agent acts as a kind of proxy for G-d.

            It doesn’t strictly matter if the angel’s actual nature is deity or created, because the Bible itself is totally comfortable with treating that entity as some kind of proxy of G-d’s divine presence whether or not it is created, that’s my point.

            The Torah by its own internal examples gives righteous people the tools (and without censure) to treat something like that angel, or a messiah claimant as a proxy. What I’m saying is, its completely natural that people got confused by these texts.

            I’m saying the Bible with or without Christians has these textual issues in it. It treats angelic proxy as a norm, but then censures people for getting confused and worshiping the vessel.

            If G-d had really wanted people to not go the Jesus or rebbe route, he shouldn’t be putting some agent proxy on the ground and saying, “obey that guy who has my name.”

            People are always using the herald example regarding this angel on the blog. A herald example doesn’t work. If I saw a herald of the king, the most I could accurately say about the encounter would be, “I have heard the command of the king.”

            This “herald” in Tanakh however had people reacting by saying “I have seen the king face to face.” It has them falling down in obeisance. Its natural that Acher got confused, even granting the rabbinic explanations of this angelic figure. No crier for the king is treated in such a way.

            I’m harping on this not because of Christianity, but because this phenomenon happens without Christianity’s help in Judaism. It fundamentally doesn’t matter whether or what Christians do or believe, the issue re asserts itself.

            “Also, changing what is taught in any way makes it pagan.”

            Judaism has never been monolithic, it has undergone significant changes in its history. If “changing what was taught in any way makes something pagan” were true, Judaism could never adapt to new situations. Its simply absurd. Also, I haven’t mentioned any Christian sources in any of this discussion, so what your in effect saying is, “listen to Jews, don’t listen to Jews.”

          • LarryB says:

            CR
            Quote…..”If G-d had really wanted people to not go the Jesus or rebbe route, he shouldn’t be putting some agent proxy on the ground and saying, “obey that guy who has my name.”
            …I was thinking about all you were explaining and because of your back ground I listen to you. But then you say “If God really wanted…He shouldn’t be” Now all the sudden nothing you say means anything to me at all. Anyone who talks like this has no belief. You and many others would like to tell god how to write the bible. Imagine how important you would be.

        • Dina says:

          Hi Con,

          I hear your arguments but I don’t think you are hearing mine. As you often do, you seize upon one or two points and ignore the rest of what I write.

          What is particularly galling is your statement that “it is not legitimate to throw today’s Christians under a bus simply because they don’t share your group’s viewpoint” when I have responded to this unfair accusation of yours at least three times and maybe more.

          I argued that we are not throwing Christians under the bus. We are not judging them or condemning them. We are content to let them worship as they please, because we believe that God is merciful. Many Christians are fully sincere in their beliefs and live moral lives, and that is what is ultimately the most important thing.

          All we are doing here is responding to Christians who demand that we worship as they do. To those Christians we point out the error of their ways and why their worship is considered idolatry according to the Torah’s definition of idolatry (I’ve discussed this at length already).

          Frankly, you have some nerve to lecture Jews still living under the shadow of the Holocaust, the culmination of nearly 2000 years of horrific Christian persecution of Jews, of “throwing Christians under the bus.” Christians have been throwing Jews under the bus for centuries, and they still won’t leave us alone. We are content to live and let live–they are not.

          Returning to your core arguments, I hear your questions and they are good ones. It is fair to point out what you mentioned to me and to Larry. I would point out, though, two flaws in your reasoning.

          The first is, what does the Torah teach about how to worship God? As you know by now, the Torah contains clear and explicit teachings on whom or how to worship. In the passages that teach these matters, it is clear that the topic of discussion is “Whom and How to Worship.” In the passages that discuss so-called theophanies and angelic appearances, the topic of discussion is not “Whom and How to Worship.” They are usually a recounting of an event that happened in which a character happens to be speaking as God or is an angel. It is incidental to the story. It is not a clear teaching of whom and how to worship.

          Therefore, it is backward to try to understand the clear teachings in light of these murkier passages. You must go the other way around and understand these passages in light of the clear teachings.

          Second, you must examine the reactions of the people who actually engaged in these encounters. Did they assume the character was God and continue to worship him as such? You’re saying that they treated the character with much greater veneration than one would give to a human. But what happened next? Did they assume that this was a new part of God that, having been introduced to them, must be given a name and worshiped alongside God?

          The answer of course is no.

          Of all the people who would know, it would be these, wouldn’t it? If they didn’t act according to the way a Christian would expect–i.e, adding these characters to the pantheon–then it is beyond presumptuous to point to these encounters as proof that God is a trinity.

          Finally, a word on circular reasoning. I have argued this, again, many times, but you have ignored it. Never ever did anyone read the Bible and then discover Jesus, or Shabbetai Zvi, or even the Lubavitcher Rebbe. First they discovered Jesus, or Shabbetai Zvi, or the Lubavitcher rebbe, and then they read these characters into the Bible. That is circular reasoning. That is why I think it is disingenuous to point to pre-Christian arguments about two powers and lesser Hashems.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Second, you must examine the reactions of the people who actually engaged in these encounters. Did they assume the character was God and continue to worship him as such? You’re saying that they treated the character with much greater veneration than one would give to a human. But what happened next? Did they assume that this was a new part of God that, having been introduced to them, must be given a name and worshiped alongside God?

            I have, and I think you are unintentionally missing the point Dina. They treat this agent angel as though it is interchangeable with G-d in the text, so there is no need to address it as “another G-d,” because though it is an agent, it is just understood by the author as the same G-d.

            Judges 6 is a particularly good example of where this angel is easily treated interchangeably with G-d by Gideon. It is not always clear whether Gideon is addressing Hashem alone, the agent, or the agent as hashem, or both Hashem and the agent. His reaction to seeing the angel is “Alas, I have seen the angel,” and hashem himself says, “its OK Gideon.”

            As I say, the angel IS treated AS Hashem himself, so there is no other G-d being addressed, though two figures are clearly present in the episode.

            When I said, “you throw Christians under the bus,” I do not mean so literally. You know that I deplore the violence done to Jews by Christians.

            I mean by “throw them under a bus,” that the text itself gives the room for a theology where Hashem and an agent are both likewise called (and recognized) as Hashem, and this gives explanation of a non foreign basis to things like Christianity’s early theology and even things like Chabad’s messianism.

            I say this based on texts from antiquity and based on these biblical texts. It is a stretch to call the presence of these movements truly foreign. Heretical? Yeah. Foreign? No. This is especially true when that agent is called “man,” and is yet known to be the agent angel.

            Are Christians and messianists mistaken? Probably. However, being mistaken is not embracing a foreign deity.

            As I’ve said, Islam is considered a monotheism that is acceptable for non Jews by law, (because only allah is prayed to,) but the rabbis say that something that literally can arise within Judaism itself (based on texts from the Tanakh ) is foreign? It just doesn’t make any sense respectfully, especially when it is patriarchs that are involved in these episodes.

            I’m saying, if these ideas are truly foreign, how can we believe in a sacred preserved text? Your interpretation necessitates that foreign ideas are in the Torah’s text itself. The baseline text has foreign ideas?

            The agent who is treated as separate and yet interchangeable with G-d is found in the Torah. If that is heresy as you say, then there is heresy in the Bible.

            I hear what you are saying that clear teachings need to elucidate the unclear ones, but it is the text and righteous people in it that bring the issue up. When Gideon treats that angel as though its Hashem, he doesn’t say, “gosh, I just violated Deuteronomy 4,”

            so this to me suggests that your interpretation is one that is lacking in explanatory power.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            It would only be disingenuous and circular to apply these notions if these people like Jesus were not historical figures that were interacted with, but were only literary fictions.

            The two powers controversy was something (based on the texts) that would have been contemporary discussion during Jesus’ life, so I don’t see that as circular at all. Jesus didn’t need to exist for those notions of two powers to exist.

            Put it this way. Jesus walks around in Galilee, does miracles, etc. and then says things like, “my father and I are one.” So, Jews naturally look into the Torah, and ask. “Is there anything like this in the Bible?” Some Jews said yes, some said no. Viola Here we are today.

            At one point in the past, there was a Jesus who died by crucifixion. The only way to judge him would have been by examining him through a biblical text’s lens. Nobody added the angel of the lord to a pantehon, because he, (like the notion of the name, or the word of the lord,) was just viewed as hashem.

            If J was plugged in, or the rebbe was plugged in, they were plugged in because of some experience.

            Ie the question enters in “why did they believe?” Naturally Judaism would say “they were deluded.” Christians would say they experienced something. Modern gentile Christians might say, “Jesus is the very reason we as gentiles know about G-d at all, so if he is bad, then where is our evidence to accept the Bible?”

          • Concerned Reader
            The Tanach is a book about a relationship between God and the Jewish people. A relationship needs a magnetism, an attraction, a joy and a satisfaction. That is the heart of the relationship. When a new magnetism is introduced – that is a violation of the relationship. The arguments you present here would be similar to a woman being caught in act of adultery and justifying it because her husband sometimes sends her messages or gifts through a messenger.
            This article might help – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/heart-of-a-relationship/

  59. Fred says:

    CR, I just don’t understand why you are posting here. Honestly and no offense intended. It just makes no sense, and I can’t for the life of me figure out your motivation. You are not supportive of what the blog’s purpose is because you just try to find chinks in the Jewish apologetic armor, yet you are not here to really defend Christianity, either. You are obviously not here to learn because you only post to argue your own points.Is it just a forum to impress everyone with your vast knowledge because you’re proud of yourself? Do you just like to argue? What’s your end-game here? Don’t get it.

  60. Concerned Reader says:

    LarryB, I was not trying to be intentionally crass by saying “G-d shouldn’t have done,” I apologize. I’m making a point with that, and I was slightly frustrated. Consider the point, rather than my rhetoric. I apologize for the sense of rhetoric. Also, belief is a difficult thing to maintain as I’m sure everyone here can sympathize with.

    My point was, Rabbinic exegesis about this agent angel clearly says “do not make that captain of Hashem’s host, that angel of the lord, an intermediary, or a focus in your faith. I can see and understand that as being Judaism’s reading plainly.

    The issue and problem I have with this reading, is that it is the Bible itself (as opposed to modern Judaism’s reading,) that goes and makes this figure more prominent than it needs to be. It is Biblical figures themselves who treat it as more than just some random angel, and that is what confuses people like the Christians, and likely influenced Jews in the past who wrote books like 3 Enoch.

    For instance, take Jacob’s blessing of Ephraim and Menashe in Genesis 48. Jacob is already clearly praying directly to G-d and addressing him as the one before whom his fathers walked faithfully, he is presumably asking hashem directly for a blessing for the lads. In verse 16 however, he breaks that flow and says “may the angel who redeemed me from all harm bless the lads.”

    My point is, if your theological orthodox end goal is to focus on G-d alone, this text and others like it make waves that required polemical answer in past history before Christians were a thing.

    It should be a maxim that a clear reading doesn’t require a polemical response. The fact that the rabbis had to respond to people meant there was something WITHIN TANAKH to respond to.

    Think about it. Jacob is already praying to G-d directly, so, this fact makes any mention of that angel utterly superfluous, unless some people believed in the past that it was something more than just a random angel. IE if this angel is just a mouthpiece, it has no logical reason to be in this text.

    Why, if modern Judaism’s reading is correct, and Jacob is addressing the king, does he ask the king to send the prince to do him a favor? The king himself is already right there! Do you see how the modern agent reading is problematic in that text?

    If I am praying to G-d directly already, I can be like Abraham, or Job, and ask G-d for the favor directly. BUT this text has Jacob invoking a heavenly prince, a captain of the host, as G-d’s instrument when he needn’t do that according to the modern interpretation.

    So, my point is, certain sectarian texts and opinions of the past, (such as Acher’s opinion and 3 Enoch’s textual opinion) don’t require recourse to foreigners, their ideas, or other books, or other deities. If a person wants to say these ideas are “Pagan,” one has to go with Boyarin’s opinion that the patriarchs were overly influenced and incorporated Canaanite religion, ultimately including it in the Bible.

    As I said, the issue is in the Bible itself, Christians aren’t even a part of the question in this case.

    • LarryB says:

      CR
      I see your point. But, he is praying to God and asking him to have his Angels to protect them?

      • LarryB says:

        CR
        This is way over my head, I’ll defer to the Rabbi.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        The issue is, he is not asking for “protection,” he is asking for a “blessing” of these lads by an agent who “redeemed me from all harm,” while he is already talking directly to G-d the king, the principle focus, who is the one who is truly responsible for his redemption.

        You don’t need to invoke an agent, or ask G-d about sending angels when you are talking to him, G-d, the king, not even metaphorically. Its the equivalent of talking about someone with someone else when that person is already right there in the room with you.

        Its even worse in a way, because, He’s talking to G-d himself but still says “may the angel who redeemed me.” Wouldn’t G-d be saying, “excuse me Jacob, who exactly redeemed you? That angel works for me. I redeemed you!”

        As I said, its a problematic text. If it weren’t problematic, there would have been no reason to write polemic. You don’t write a polemic against beliefs and problems that don’t exist, but about real beliefs.

        I can give an example from real life of how an episode like this could have been simpler and more fitting with the modern interpretation. I have a friend who came stateside from Saudi Arabia. I guess he needed funds for school, so he talked directly to the king, and the king himself cut him a check, no middleman was required or invoked. One would think, “gee, why would a king do such a thing? Isn’t it beneath him?”

        He did it Because he’s the king, he is more than capable of acting without the use or necessity of a subordinate to do things for him. The fact is that the Torah uses this figure as a principal mouthpiece, so it is not beyond reason to see why people got confused. The confusion springs naturally from the narrative.

        • LarryB says:

          CR
          I worded that badly as I have other post recently. And I do understand your point. But, I will have to wait for the rabbi to weigh in here if he chooses. I would always defer to his opinion. I have read others opinions on G 48:16. As far s the rest of your point, I still agree with Dina.

    • mr.sonic says:

      “So, my point is, certain sectarian texts and opinions of the past, (such as Acher’s opinion and 3 Enoch’s textual opinion) don’t require recourse to foreigners, their ideas, or other books, or other deities. If a person wants to say these ideas are “Pagan,” one has to go with Boyarin’s opinion that the patriarchs were overly influenced and incorporated Canaanite religion, ultimately including it in the Bible.”

      1. gods could take on different faces
      2. gods could become defeated

      3. gods could have “sock puppet” /smaller gods as representative for the one “behind the curtain”

      boyarin is right.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        So, Mr. Sonic you agree with Boyarin that these ideas are not foreign to the Mileu from which Tanakh came? IE a near easyern context?

  61. Concerned Reader says:

    Fred, in all honesty, my motivation is to keep the spirit of inquiry strong when I see it lacking, which the rabbis themselves want all Christians to do concerning the claims of the Christian Bible. Inquiry and criticism shouldn’t end or be limited to just the NT. If Judaism can inquire into the legitimacy of another group’s sacred text, the same standards apply to the Torah in an intellectually honest discussion.

    I don’t have any problem with religious Jews being and staying religious Jews. Judaism is a great faith.

    I have no problem with speaking out against Christian missionaries. That said, I’m trying to show that both of these faith systems don’t just exist haphazardly or for malicious reasons. Both people in Jewish and Christian communities believe their faith has a basis, and they all have something to look to to try and demonstrate some sincere intellectual/spiritual effort at determining truthfulness of their ideas.

    As I said above, there is no reason for polemic where there are no difficult questions. When I see rhetoric that simply calls Christianity polytheism, I question it. I question it for good reasons based on Jewish texts from antiquity that cast doubt on those simple assertions. I am fully aware of what the message of the blog is, but people should be able to get a thorough sense of all the possibilities. If truth is the aim, questions cant hurt.

    Finding “chinks in apologetic armor,” is not my intent, but that’s what the rabbis do to Christian sources, so I am applying one standard to both groups.

    As I hope you have noticed Fred, I tend to provide examples that illustrate the point I am making from relevant period literature. That information to me is far more important than anyone’s apologetic agenda. Anyone can have faith in the message they hear from someone else, or from a like minded group. It takes more work than that to come to a truly good grasp. Many of us here already tried the simple faith approach. What did we learn? Simple faith is no Guarantee that beliefs are accurate.

    I personally believe that both communities have enough in common, enough basis, that they can interact peacefully and, (if proper effort and intention is present,) can appreciate each others contributions in spite of the clear differences.

    You are absolutely right that I do not bow to apologetic simply for the purpose of enforcing one group. Doing that is not sound method. A person can be a great apologist for any faith claim. That is not an indication of truth.

    I absolutely am here to learn, but I also naturally question when I feel there is merit in doing so. If you want an apologetic, type Concerned Reader into the search bar at the top. Rabbi B has already posted my articles that support the blog’s intent. The thing is though, apologetic is merely a good argument for a faith perspective, its not historical data, it doesn’t account for the passage of time, or changing circumstances. It doesn’t close questions, it merely tries to close them.

  62. Concerned Reader says:

    Rabbi, with respect, I have read your articles. I understand the explanation on offer of the agent. I understand that the Torah is about a relationship with G-d only. That’s not the issue I am having. The issue is that the agent paradigm is an explanation that is not resolving the textual ambiguities and serious issues.

    If the relationship is to be a one on one relationship with Father alone, (with no acknowledgment of intermediaries,) then why is G-d constantly having this agent with him when such a being is not necessary for the interaction with people in these situations? There are other places in Torah where its just hashem himself speaking to people, so what’s the deal with the prominence of this angel?

    Judges 6 is the best example I can find. Gideon speaks to hashem himself, but then he is made to interact with the agent angel, but it happens when G-d is still there. Then, it isn’t clear which being is being spoken to, because the agent itself speaks in first person as G-d, when its clear that hashem is right there. It seems clear to me that there is a blending of these two figures by the author of scripture far too often to be coincidental, or swept away by the agent explanation.

    You likened Christian devotion to adultery. Here is my question vis Judges 6, with your example of adultery. The metaphorical Bride (Gideon the righteous man) is in front of the bridegroom (Hashem,) but then another person shows up (the angel,) who starts speaking to Gideon as if he is the bridegroom, even though hashem is clearly present, and hashem doesn’t object. Gideon even gives hashem’s present to the agent rather than to hashem who is right there.

    It seems as if Hashem walks around with a sock puppet on his “hand” saying, “I am hashem, pay no attention to the one behind the curtain.” Not trying to be crass, just trying to illustrate what I’m clearly seeing in the text.

    • LarryB says:

      following

    • LarryB says:

      CR
      I get your point on g 48:16, but I do not see what your talking about on judges 6. Would you point to the section your talking about. I have tried 3 times to no avail.

    • Concerned Reader The whole world is His puppet. And the whole purpose of the puppet is to direct attention to the One behind the curtain. I think that Judges 6 is a good example where the agent is distinct from the One behind the curtain – the author makes it clear that these are two entities. What may not be as clear is what is exactly the role of this entity and the other entity – but it is clear that this passage is not the one given to us to help us figure out who and how to worship. Jacob’s blessing to his grandchildren also invokes the angel – but no appeal is made to the angel – Jacob is stating that he wants the angel to bless his children – this would be like Rebbecca saying to Jacob that she wants Isaac to bless him. None of this has anything to do with the magnetism, the attraction and the joy that stands at the heart of a relationship

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • Concerned Reader says:

        In Judges 6 we see clearly that Gideon interacts with the angel of the lord, but then the angel transitions to speaking the words of G-d. Then Gideon gives the sacrifice to the angel, fears that he has “seen the angel face to face” and then G-d says “its ok Gideon.”

        The point is that we have both the agent and G-d in the same narrative treated interchangeably. Gideon offers the sacrifice to a malach when hashem is right there. That angel should be superfluous to the narrative, but the author makes it an essential element.

        What may not be as clear is what is exactly the role of this entity and the other entity –

        Exactly, it should be clear but isn’t! The agent angel is the one who is offered the sacrifice when Gideon says it is for “you” IE meaning hashem. The agent is the one clearly present at the beginning of the story, is being addressed, and is receiving a sacrifice, but G-d is also right there.

        • Concerned Reader My understanding is that the offering was being given to God with the angel guiding Gideon in the process. But that is beside the point. You wrote that “it’ (the role of the two entities) should be clear. Why should it be clear? What will happen if it is not clear? There are many concepts in Tanach that are not clear – the author doesn’t bother to clarify many details of many narratives throughout Tanach – so why do you insist that THIS should have been clear?

          1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Why should it be clear?

            Your whole interpretation hinges on the supposed crystal clarity of belief that Deuteronomy 4 is the guidepost for the proper human interaction with G-d in all circumstances.

            However, time and again, we have examples of interaction with, and a fear and reverence of an agent, even when this agent is allegedly a superfluous element.

            Gideon says, “Alas for I have seen the angel of the lord,” then G-d says, “relax you will not die.”

            This episode from Judges is problematic on many levels because it is like this.

            A man is walking and he sees an Elvis impersonator. He says “oh wow, you are an Elvis impersonator.” “This is exciting! So you love Elvis huh? (Gideon speaks with the angel about hashem.)

            The impersonator says, “sure do.” As this whole encounter is happening, the real Elvis actually walks up.

            “hey, I’m Elvis.” the man is stunned beyond belief and says, “wait here Elvis, I’m going to bring you a present.”

            The man brings the present, and while the real Elvis is standing right there, the man gives the present to the impersonator.

            The man after giving the gift to the impersonator “Elvis,” is so overcome with emotion he’s saying, “I might just Die! I just gave “Elvis” a present!”

            Meanwhile the real Elvis says, “relax kid, you are not going to die.”

            Rabbi, respectfully, if G-d seeks clarity of teaching vis Deuteronomy 4, and he alone is G-d to be revered, then why this agent?

            The agent doesn’t strictly need to be in this narrative if your interpretation is the correct one. But, the agent very clearly isn’t treated as a trivial element of the story. Gideon has a reaction of fearing for his life due to interacting with the agent. Why in heavens name isn’t he having that reaction towards the principle element, where is he saying “OH MY GOSH! G-d! You are here!”

            If your interpretation is true Gideon shouldn’t be freaking out to the KING that “I’m afraid I might die because I’ve seen the PRINCE.” That is what makes this episode puzzling.

            Episodes like this are why Segal, Boyarin, and Sommer, among several other scholars believe in a divine fluidity model in ancient Israelite religion. They believe G-d can have theophanic presence in more than one place through more than one entity based on Tanakh.

            These scholars believe that this phenomenon explains many of the mystical notions we find in Judaism and in Christianity.

            It is true that they see Canaanite influence here, but that is because in scholarship, ancient Jews are basically seen as a subset of Canaanites, (with the difference being that they didn’t eat pork.)

            Scholars never treat the Tanakh as a text existing in a Vacuum. If you say “scholars say Christianity is Pagan,” they say the exact same thing about Judaism’s early development.

            So, the rhetorical “Christians are pagan” argument holds as much water as the “Judaism is pagan” argument.

          • Concerned Reader Seeing an angel is frightening – and you can’t see God – but again this is completely beside the point. The point I am trying to make is – did anyone ever read this passage in Judges 6 with the understanding that here is where the author of Scripture is trying to guide us about who to worship? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  63. mr.sonic says:

    shapeshifting gods

    Polymorphic Christology

    quote :
    Let’s establish some terminology. It was common in ancient literature for both gods and humans to undergo metamorphosis, changing form from one to another. Baukis and Philemon becoming trees in Ovid’s Metamorphosis is one example. Lot’s wife turning to a pillar of salt would be a biblical example.

    Polymorphism is a special category of metamorphosis. In Greco-Roman literature, it was the ability of divine beings to change their own form. (Not all scholars use this definition, but it seems the most suitable one for this article. See Lee, p. 177.) A polymorphic god can change forms sequentially, or even appear in different forms to different people at the same time.

    So how does this apply to Jesus? There’s a clear example of metamorphosis in the Gospels that should immediately come to mind: the Transfiguration.

    After six days, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he metamorphosed [Greek: metemorphothe] before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. (Mark 9:2-3)

    After six days, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John, and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he metamorphosed before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. (Matt. 17:1-2)

    And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. (Luke 9:29)

    Mark explicitly tells of Jesus undergoing a metamorphosis for his three closest disciples, though he mentions only the changing of Jesus’ clothes as far as details go. Matthew and Luke both add that the appearance of Jesus’ face also changed. (John does not mention the Transfiguration.) This story seems to be based in part on Moses’ encounter on Mt. Sinai in Exodus 24 and 34, and its many parallels include the six-day waiting period and the shining face. However, Moses himself is not said to metamorphose in Exodus.

    https://isthatinthebible.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/jesus-the-shapeshifter-in-early-christian-tradition

    quote:

    Polymorphism in Resurrection Appearances

    In Luke 24, we have a curious story about a post-resurrection appearance of Jesus. Shortly after a group of women find Jesus’ tomb empty, Jesus himself appears to two of his own followers (Cleopas and an unnamed companion) while they are walking to Emmaus. Jesus joins them and engages in conversation about the interpretation of the scriptures while they walk, and yet they fail to recognize him until they reach their destination, at which point Jesus vanishes. Whether metamorphosis is involved is ambiguous, since v. 16 simply says “their eyes were kept from recognizing him.” Jesus’ vanishing act, however, implies that his body was not that of a normal human.

    Furthermore, the long ending of Mark — which was not original, but still dates most likely to the second century — explicitly describes the encounter as polymorphism:

    After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. (Mark 16:12)

    John implies a similar change in Jesus’ appearance. During his first appearance to Mary Magdalene at the tomb, she mistakes him for the gardener (20:14). John’s Jesus also seemingly has the ability to change his body’s physical properties², for he twice appears to the disciples while they are in a locked room (John 20:19-29) — a miraculous act that is also briefly recounted in the aforementioned long ending of Mark. Then, in ch. 21, he shows up in Galilee while several disciples are fishing, and only “the disciple whom Jesus loved” recognizes him — probably an editorial addition, since this disciple is not mentioned in v. 2 (Bultmann, p. 702). The statement that the disciples “did not dare” to ask Jesus who he was (v. 12) implies something strange or unrecognizable about him.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Mr. Sonic. We can see a Mediterranean religious frame of reference in the Hebrew Bible, but its a native biblical idea.

      You should buy this book.

      http://www.amazon.com/Bodies-God-World-Ancient-Israel/dp/1107422264

      • Concerned Reader says:

        The Tanakh has metamorphosis narrative in it all by itself, no need of other sources. Moses undergoes a metamorphosis when he is glowing after being on the mountain.

        Enoch and Elijah are both regarded by the period literature as undergoing metamorphosis. My whole point is, you don’t need to pull foreign culture into the equation, even though it is present due to the era we are talking about.

        insisting that Christianity is “pagan” is like arguing over who exactly invented the printing press. What do I mean by that? I mean that it is possible that two distinct groups can have similar ideas in both form and function without direct contact being an absolute necessity. Both the Chinese and Europeans created a version of printing. We don’t need to say that one group borrowed or pilfered from the other.

        You don’t need to look at Greek thought to explain why Christian literature is the way it is, because Jewish thinkers were just as capable of developing similar concepts alone. Off course there are mythical similarities between the different peoples of the Mediterranean. Have you read the epic of Gilgamesh or the code of Hammurabi?

        • mr.sonic says:

          “insisting that Christianity is “pagan” is like arguing over who exactly invented the printing press. What do I mean by that? I mean that it is possible that two distinct groups can have similar ideas in both form and function without direct contact being an absolute necessity. Both the Chinese and Europeans created a version of printing. We don’t need to say that one group borrowed or pilfered from the other.”

          this is not what the scholars say.
          we look for common themes

          did the greek pagans talk about shape shifting gods?
          did the greek pagans have meals with the dead?
          did the greeks believe gods could be DEFEATED?
          did the greek pagans believe in dying and rising gods or humans?
          did a ” meat puppet” god receive exalted names in greek religions?

          did the chinese believe in dying and rising gods or humans?
          if not, how come the jews are the only ones to think of dying and rising god and no greek or chinese ever did?

          but the greeks did think of dying and rising gods

          https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=tQUDAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA84&lpg=PA84&dq=david+litwa+pagan+gods&source=bl&ots=n9LLTmX5ro&sig=JmDPHddL2GzLdpY8_kBSncLrGpI&hl=en&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwiAweCflZTNAhUJI8AKHfKICMAQ6AEIIjAB#v=onepage&q=name%20above&f=false

          when did the jews start to believe that invisible powerful god could become defeated by human powers? which scholar says that they came up with these ideas with “no direct contact” of ideas in different cultures?

          one need to prove christianity from the torah without bastardizing and atomizing torah text. it doesn’t seem like you have done so.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            If you listen to the scholars, the Hebrews did this stuff too! Look at that book link I posted. You are treating the Tanakh as though it is literature that exists in a vacuum and doesn’t interact naturally with the world around it. All the commonalities you see between the gospels and Greek thought, the Tanakh has with the thoughts of its neighbors. Greek thought interacted with Judaism for some hundreds of years before Jesus even existed. There is interaction, but nothing happens in a vacuum.

  64. Fred says:

    There is a definite pagan Greek influence in the NT. The “Rich man and Lazarus” parable is full of Greek mythological themes. John 1:1 is the melding of Greek mythos/philosophy and Genesis. The NT version of the devil is from Greek mythology , as is the concept of the ever-burning torture in Hades. And these are from books WRITTEN IN GREEK! And this is before the pagan Roman influence in the church in general.

  65. Concerned Reader says:

    Rabbi, maybe I’m not being clear. I understand completely the point you are trying to make about scripture not directly saying about the agent, “worship this guy.” My point is, If that is the correct intent, the presence of this angel again and again in scriptural verse as agent makes no sense.

    Consider my Elvis impersonator analogy from above. If this being is not supposed to be a focus of the story, then it has no reason to be in this text. The author of the Torah however makes a point about making this angel important many times.

    Consider how you understood the text. You said, “Concerned Reader My understanding is that the offering was being given to God with the angel guiding Gideon in the process.”

    Your contention is that the angel was needed only as a guide.

    Look at verses 25, 26, and 27 though. They say,

    “Now it was on that night, that the Lord said to him, “Take the bullock that your father has, and the second bullock, seven years. And you shall destroy the altar of the Baal which belongs to your father, and the Asherah which is next to it shall you cut down. כהוַיְהִי בַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ יְהֹוָה קַח אֶת פַּר הַשּׁוֹר אֲשֶׁר לְאָבִיךָ וּפַר הַשֵּׁנִי שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים וְהָרַסְתָּ אֶת מִזְבַּח הַבַּעַל אֲשֶׁר לְאָבִיךָ וְאֶת הָאֲשֵׁרָה אֲשֶׁר עָלָיו תִּכְרֹת:

    26And you shall build an altar to the Lord your God upon the top of this rock, in the proper place. And you shall take the second bullock, and offer a burnt-offering with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down.” כווּבָנִיתָ מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ עַל רֹאשׁ הַמָּעוֹז הַזֶּה בַּמַּעֲרָכָה וְלָקַחְתָּ אֶת הַפָּר הַשֵּׁנִי וְהַעֲלִיתָ עוֹלָה בַּעֲצֵי הָאֲשֵׁרָה אֲשֶׁר תִּכְרֹת:

    27And Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the Lord had spoken to him. Now it was, because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city, to do it by day, that he did it at night.

    These verses clearly say that Hashem himself came to Gideon later and guided him in how to perform another sacrifice by himself alone, and with no angel mentioned. The previous verses had G-d, and an agent angel together (the angel is largely treated as interchangeable with G-d being called “him” ) in the text.

    Consider this part of verse 19. “And he brought it out to him under the oak and presented it.”

    The “him” here who is under the oak is clearly the agent, not G-d. The one standing under the tree is the agent. As I said, the previous text has Gideon say, that he wants to give hashem a gift, but then he gives the gift to the agent.

    You claimed that the angel was only there as a guide to help Gideon, but the next verses state clearly that G-d needs no angel to guide Gideon, G-d can do it himself.

    “Concerned Reader Seeing an angel is frightening – and you can’t see God –”

    Again, you are missing the issue I’m having here. seeing an angel may well be a scary interaction. The point is, how much more frightening is it talking to Hashem directly?

    The point is, Gideon is expressing fear that he might die to the wrong entity! If you are talking to the king, you shouldn’t be saying to the king, “oh my! is that the prince?” I just might faint.” Gideon should be talking to an agent about how intense it was talking to hashem directly. You don’t gush to G-d about how intense his errand boy was, if the errand boy is simply a nobody.

    Do you see how in Judges 6 the author himself is putting a lot of focus on this agent angel all by himself?

    • Concerned Reader If you noticed in verse 26 it does not say “build an altar to me” but “to the Lord your God” throughout Scripture we find that an encounter with an angel is a frightening experience while speaking to God is generally not a frightening experience – it is almost natural (the one exception is when the nation heard God’s voice at Sinai) But again this is all beside the point – the point is that no one in his right mind every thought that the author’s purpose in the Gideon narrative is to give us clarity on the subject of directing our worship.If this passage leaves us confused about the role of the agent and his interchangeability with His Master – which it does to some degree – it has no bearing on our discussion. By no stretch of the imagination was this text written to guide us on this subject – other texts were written to guide us on this subject and clearly and unequivocally so

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Concerned Reader If you noticed in verse 26 it does not say “build an altar to me” but “to the Lord your God”

        Yes, but the one who receives the sacrifice is the one under the oaks, namely, the angel of the lord. Off course the sacrifice is for hashem. That isn’t the point. The point is two entities who are treated as interchangeable, even though (with your interpretation,) the one who is receiving isn’t G-d.

        Rabbi, it has extreme bearing on the question of the fabric and beliefs in Judaism of Jesus’ time. The Torah has an agent who is “interchangeable with his master.” Early non trinitarian Christians had “an agent who was interchangeable with his master.” Trinitarians still today see Jesus’ relationship to the father as one of father to son.

        Its extremely relevant, because it shows that the notions like two powers, a greater and lesser agent entity, etc. were all well known in Jesus’ time, and earlier. Your whole viewpoint is that Christians are doing something foreign to a biblical worldview. We have all the ingredients to bake a Christianity pie right here.

        • Concerned Reader My point is that you only have the ingredients if you want to bake the pie and you are looking for ingredients. The Bible itself never points to these narratives as ingredients to the pie. In fact – right in the beginning when it says “let us make man in our image” you have ingredients to the pie IF you are looking here for those ingredients. But the author of the Bible did not put these narratives in the section of the store which carries baking ingredients – if you go to where the author of the Bible directs you to go for ingredients to this pie you won’t find any confusion. 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  66. Concerned Reader says:

    Mr. Sonic here is something about the thesis in Iesus Deus: The Early Christian depiction of Jesus as a Mediterranean god.

    ‘Litwa does consider Judaism to be the primary matrix of early Christianity, but contends that “certain ‘Greco-Roman’ conceptions of deity were PERCEIVED BY EARLY JEWS and Christians as proper to their own traditions.”

    i HIGHLIGHT PROPER TO THEIR OWN TRADITIONS

    If there are “Greco Roman” motifs, they are more properly understood as near eastern motifs shared across many of the cultures of the Mediterranean. IE the Bible has its own internal analogues within the host culture of ideas similar to their near eastern neighbors.

    http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/reviews/iesus-deus/

    Even in low Christology (where Jesus is not considered as G-d,) he bears the name of the deity, and acts in function as his representative. We can and should speak of Greco-Roman influence, but we have to realize that the Bible has its own internal motifs where an agent like figure bears G-d’s name, and carries his authority. We also have to consider that hellenic trends were already nativeized by the time Jesus showed up.

  67. mr.sonic says:

    few questions

    are you saying that yhwh exists as an angel in his being?
    so is angel of the lord an angel being? is this angel being god himself?
    so one could say god is an angel?