Isaiah 53, Micah 7 and Isaiah 62

Isaiah 53, Micah 7 and Isaiah 62

 

Isaiah 53 (52:13 – 53:12) describes the servant of the Lord who shocks the world with his unexpected exaltation. The prophet presents us with the shocked words of the onlookers as they express their astonishment. From these words we learn that the onlookers were intimately familiar with the servant long before his exaltation. But they knew him as a wretched sufferer. The exaltation of the servant will cause them to reevaluate all of the theories that they had been propounding to explain the suffering of the servant.

Who is this servant?

I propose that in order to discover the identity of the servant we search the Scriptures to see who it is that will be exalted in the Messianic era and who it is that will be shocked and shamed when the Messianic era unfolds.

We do not need to wander very far to discover who it is that will be exalted at the time of the final redemption. Throughout the same book of Isaiah we learn that it is Israel who will be exalted and vindicated on that day and her enemies that will be shamed (Isaiah 26:2; 29:23; 30:26; 34:8; 41:11; 54:17; 60:2,14,15; 62:2;).

Micah 7:9,10,16, also describes the shame of Israel’s enemies when Israel is ultimately vindicated. Micah speaks of Israel’s enemy who taunted her with the words: “where is the Lord your God?” This seems to indicate that the shame that Israel’s enemies will experience will be a result of their own rejection of God. Isaiah, on the other hand, seems to focus on the revelation of Israel’s righteousness (62:1). According to Isaiah, it is the nation’s malicious evaluation of Israel that will cause them to be embarrassed when they see her righteousness shining bright.

So what is it that will bring shame upon Israel’s enemies? Is it their rejection of God? Or is it their vindictive attitude towards Israel?

My understanding is that these two are actually one and the same.

Throughout our long exile, we have been accused of many wrongdoings. But there is one “sin” that, in the mind of Christianity, towers above all the others – and that is our rejection of Jesus. According to the Christian Scriptures, it is only a child of the devil and an enemy of truth itself that could find it within themselves to reject the claims of Jesus (John8:44). In the eyes of the Christian, all of the suffering that the Jews experienced is the just consequence of this “sin”.

When that great day comes, and God alone is exalted on that day (Isaiah2:11), Christendom will realize that God is God and that Jesus was just another one of His subjects. They will recognize that their devotion to Jesus was – to put it mildly – misplaced. At the same time they will realize that what they had considered to be the greatest “sin” of the Jewish people was actually their greatest virtue. It wasn’t a rejection of Jesus as much as it was a fierce loyalty and love for God. They will realize that in a world steeped in idolatry, Israel, with all of her faults, maintained her loyalty to God – through fire and water, through the Crusades and the holocaust. This is the righteousness of Israel that will blaze brightly to the eyes of the whole world.

Israel’s enemies will realize that their vindictive assessment of Israelis rooted in their rejection of Israel’s God, and both of these will bring them shame together.

Israel’s exaltation is not something separate from the exaltation of God. When God is exalted, it will be evident that those who had hoped to Him and maintained their loyalty to Him were truly His representatives on this earth, and they will know no shame (Isaiah 49:23).

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752 Responses to Isaiah 53, Micah 7 and Isaiah 62

  1. Shomer says:

    You ask the question; “Who is this servant?” I know that the Messiah is predicted as a son of king David, thus he is a Jew.

    In Christianity it is widely believed that “Christ” is the Messiah. I personally cannot immagine an incarnated carven image on a crucifix ruling the earth on king David’s throne.

    Quote: Christendom will realize that God is God and that Jesus was just another one of His subjects.

    I personally distinguish YHVH from “God”, Yeshua from “Jesus”, Jerusalem from Babylon. E. g. Yeshua: He was a Jew and if his Genealogy in Matityahu chapter one is authentical, he was David’s son. On the other hand “Jesus” is a Roman Catholic divinity, a carven image, a Trinitarian pagan semi-god, son of the holy virgin and an idol, so to say. Reports about Yeshua have been transferred to “Jesus” by the church but from a Christian perspective no-one is able to see the Jewish points in “Jesus'” life. The “NT”-Jesus is a syncretistic figure that definitely must be discerned.

    • Birthe Jensen says:

      I agree the Greek Jesus is not Yeshua. Yeshua was a Rabbi and the Greek version has nothing to do with him. He was a man and not a god.
      Paul tells us straight out that the god he is worshipping is “The unknown god” (In Athen on Marshill). The deity is call “unknown god”, not because no one knew him, but is was his name. This unknown god told to move Serapis to Alexandria. The followers of Serapis were call christians and their leaders bishops. (Hadrians letter to Caesar). I think this is the reason why Paul and those who followed his teaching also were called christians. The gathering in Jerusalem, lead by James was called “the way” because they were jews and lived according to Torah, as Yeshua did.
      Christianity is not followring the words of Yeshua – then they would live like jews – they follow Paul who was an enemy of the gathering in Jerusalem. (many sources incl. NT)

      • Yedidiah says:

        Don’t fool yourself. The only way you even know about a “rabbi Yeshua” is by first reading the “Greek Jesus”. And then deciding you like certain verses better than other verses by the same “spirit filled” writers. Yeshua & Jesus are 2 “peas in a pod; mirror images of each other, despite the “semantics game” same folks want to play. Divided, Jesus-Yeshua’s house falls. “Both said the exact same words & did the exact same things. Most of the time Matthew says exactly what Paul says and James or Yaakov (who teaches Greek Stoicism & quotes Stoic writers & philosophers) often says just what Peter says which is often what John says which is often what Paul says. And what you all seem to be saying is that you can drop a “kosher sandwich” (the Hellenistic rabbi Yeshua’s words) into a “toilet bowl” (the collection of the Greek rabbi Jesus’s words) and you can “fish” it out, wipe the “corruption” off, and then continue eat your “kosher sandwich”?

      • Birthe Jensen says:

        Thank you very much for your answer.
        I do not agree that Yeshua and Paul agree on the message. They do not agree at all. When I discovered the enmity between the 2 groups, I knew something was wrong and started to investigate. Found out that NT and the gospels are rewritten, overwritten and twisted beyond any imagination. If we look at Q1, Q2 and Q3 (oldest manuscripts) we see a development in the person described (Yeshua) from ordinary person and via wise person became the divine person called christ, and under the influence of paulinians he became god manifested in the flesh and suddenly the trinity is introduced. All lies. There is only one Father.
        I found out that we have inherited lies from the generations before us. So now I am an ekschristian. Christianity is sun-god worship as many other religions are, only the names are different.
        To your mention of kosher sandwich: my husband and I do not know enough about kosher food yet. We have contacted the chief Rabbi here in Denmark for guidance ect.
        We now live according to Torah the best we know.
        We are very pleased to have found a forum where many of the questions we have are being discussed, and so we get the answers.

        • Castalia says:

          I am so happy discovering I am not alone in this world that is on the point of leaving christinaity (understanding the great lie of trinity) and getting close of Judaism.

      • Yedidiah says:

        Q1,2, & 3 are not actual manuscripts, but are part of a theory to explain what is common between Matthew and Luke and Mark. It doesn’t explain why John differs from these “synoptic” gospels nor why Luke & Matthew contradict each other (when they are not Q). It doesn’t explain why ideas that are called “Pauline” ideas are also a large part of Mark, Matthew, & Luke. Part of the reason is that scholars believe that the gospels where all written more than 20 years after the “true” letters of Paul (which is also only a theory). In others words, they believe Paul came first and then the gospels, which means that the Christians, influenced by Paul and believing in Yeshua, were the ones that wrote the gospels. First came the belief in the different Christian “communities” and then these communities each wrote their own gospels.

        Jesus is only an English word that is used when translating Yeshua or Yehoshua or the Greek name Iesous into English. There are NO early manuscripts about an Yeshua. No stories about someone who was not also the “Greek Iesous”. The NT & the earliest Christian fathers called other believers in “Jesus”, Judaizers. In other words, “Jesus” came first and then only later did some Christians try to make Jesus more Jewish – to “Judaize” Jesus. Modern Christians have invented “Yeshua” in an attempt to make “Jesus” more Torah-like. It is an attempt to rewrite history. But if there was no “Jesus” or no “New Testament”, then we would have absolutely no “Yeshua”, no history. If Jesus is a lie, then Yeshua is a way to re-invent Jesus – to hold onto Jesus. It is a new lie so that people can still hold onto the old “lies”. If you take a “scissors” to the NT, you have nothing left. Any “Yeshua” you find in the scrap of pages all cut up, is a new god you are creating in your own image.

      • Birthe Jensen says:

        I agree. The Qs do not mention Yeshua, the person is called “he”. But they show how the false god Yeshua or Jesus developed and became “god manifested in the flesh”. Like for an ensemble also Krishna.
        Still there were 2 groups who did not get along. Paul´s letters show this.
        I do not know who came first, Yeshua or Paul, the scholars disagree.

        Thank you very much for the information.

      • Yedidiah says:

        The “unknown god” was the “God of Yeshua” & of Paul (or “Rav Schaul”) and Peter and of Abraham. The “unknown god” was a god unknown to the Athenians (including the followers of Serapis), the God who was not an idol and a God who was a Creator of ALL things (not just Jews & Israel). The “unknown” God was a creator of Adam & Eve and the God of Abraham. Paul speaks very much about Abraham. And you throw all those words of Paul away by providing us when one verse of Paul that is distorted and twisted all out of context. So you prefer Hadrians world view & his “evidence” over Peter’s & James’s (the “Jerusalem Church’s”) beliefs & “evidence”??? Neither James nor Peter nor John (the “Pillar” of Yeshua) believed Paul was preaching a “new God”. So throw all those words away because of modern distortions in an effort to dismiss Paul. when you dismiss Paul you dismiss ALL OF the New Testment, ALL of your reason to cling to either your Jesus or your version of “Yeshua”. Which is alright, since there is not only no evidence of a “Yeshua” (at least no one worth following if you strip all of him away), there is no evidence that a Paul or a Peter or a James or a John existed outside of the NT. Why base belief in an “unknown god” named Yeshua, when you believe your evidence for that faith is filled with lies or based on lies? Who determines which verse is lie or the “word of God”?

      • Yedidiah says:

        The “Old Testament” or the Jews show that we can know God without reading either the NT Jesus or the modern new-age version of Jesus called “Yeshua”. That God remains unknown to most who profess to believe in Him.

      • Birthe Jensen says:

        Of course I dismiss the NT, that is my point. You cannot trust the gospels, because they are altered beyond any imagination – Q is the proof. Paul is a lier, so what do you have left? Nothing, since we found out – we only read Tanach.

      • Yedidiah says:

        My point is that one is not truly an “ex-Christian” unless they are also not a follower or believer in “Yeshua”. If you can’t say that Yeshua is the same as Jesus, then you are still Christian. If you still hold on to some major beliefs of Christians, then you are still Christian. If you are a follower of “the way” or James or Yeshua, then you are only at step one at being an ex-Christian. I am at least at step 2.

        If a person can’t say either that Yeshua never existed or that his existence over 1900 years ago matters no more than any other nameless rabbi of the 1st century c.e., then that person is still a “Christian” although one might call themselves something else. Jesus or Iesous is 100% Yeshua, or vice versa, at least to the authors (or later redactors) of every NT book. It was Christians who wrote every word in every book of the NT (and Christians who wrote almost every non-canonical book about Jesus, who is also called Yeshua). It was Christians who assembled and preserved certain books into a “canon”, the whole NT that we have today, and they believed in ALL of it. It was a Christian who wrote, & it was many early Christians who accepted, the genealogy in “Matityahu” chapter one as authentic, just like Shomer, who made the 1st comment above, accepts it although he seems to want to reject other Christian writings because they are “Christian”.

      • Birthe Jensen says:

        To be honest, I do not understand why you think I am a believer or follower of Yeshua/Jesus. Perhaps my English is not good enough. I believe that 2 grubs existed and that they disagree on important issues. The one group lived – but not quit – like jews. The other group had a more Greek-like mind. But both were wrong. So I read only Tanach, translated by Jews. Because I discovered that even Tanach has been tempted with (a famous scr. in Jer. )

        I do not believe the coming King has been born yet.
        I believe the Jews are right and that I have inherited lies:
        Like many religions are built up after the same pattern, a god gets a son – a hybrid between him and mankind – born of a virgin and sacrificed for everyone. They all believe in a trinity. So is christianity. And I believe they are wrong

        That is why we have contacted our Chief-Rabbi (in Danish Overrabbiner). Where else can we go? The Jews have the truth.

        • Tsvi Jacobson says:

          Don’t you be concerned. You made ilt quite plain what you are and what you and your husband believe. Your English is fine, I understand you clearly. The one questioning you is just being argumentative.

          • Birthe jensen says:

            thank you, I am happy I was able to make my self clear. Have a nice day. KH. Birthe

      • Birthe Jensen says:

        I forgot to say, that I agree the god in NT is very different from the Almighty Father, Creator and only God in “OT”. The “jewish group” is a mix of Greek and Hebrew mindset. The other group is much more Greek.
        None of 2 versions of “christ” is true, he has not been born yet.

  2. Gavin says:

    If his genealogy is correct, then he is not of the house of David.

    because…..

    In Judaism, as in most religions, the father determines the lineage. ALL of Christendom claims that he was born of a virgin, therefor Joseph (who was of David’s lineage) was NOT his father and by virtue of this fact, he cannot possibly be/have been the messiah.

    Q.E.D.

    • Xander says:

      “In Judaism, as in most religions, the father determines the lineage. ALL of Christendom claims that he was born of a virgin, therefor Joseph (who was of David’s lineage) was NOT his father and by virtue of this fact, he cannot possibly be/have been the messiah.”

      Actually your wrong as the Mishna states it is through the Mother’s line. This is still observed by the Orthodox Jews as well.

      • Xander
        Tribal and royal lineage always goes through the father – in the Mishna as in Scripture

      • Xander says:

        I have not seen that, but assuming you are correct that would mean that if no male was born to a king then the throne would be given to another relative other than through the son of his daughter?

        • naaria says:

          It wouldn’t matter. It wouldn’t apply to Jesus anyhow. None of Jesus’ “parents”, grandparents, or great-grandparents were kings or queens. And who knows how many thousands or tens of thousands could claim to be of “royal lineage” and much more suited for leadership. Now the non-Jewish Roman senate had “elected” Herod I as a “king of the Jews” and according to the NT, the non-Jewish Roman P Pilatus named Jesus “a king of the Jews” (without any authorization from the Roman government). But Jesus was never legally made a leader nor was he ever anointed by anyone. So I guess anybody can make any claim they want to make and some people will accept it as true or valid just because they want to.

      • naaria says:

        I forgot to mention that it is only speculation or apologetics that the NT writer of “Luke” wrote of “Mary’s” instead of “Joseph’s geneaology”. Now according to the NT, Joseph did have sons (brothers of Jesus or “cousins”), either older or younger than Jesus, who also could claim to be “royalty”. And according to Luke, Mary’s cousin was Elizabeth, who super-naturally, miraculously gave birth to John a “baptizer”, who could claim the “throne” or the “title of messiah”. In fact, in the earlier NT texts of Luke, it is not Mary’s song but it is Elizabeth’s song about her “special son” John.

      • Xander says:

        @naaria

        I agree that anyone could claim a lineage and it would not necessarily be true, but you would think that since the claims of his lineage back to David were being circulated while the records that could disprove him were actually around that someone would have stepped up and said there is no way by birth this man could be the messiah. Oh well. Guess they did not think of that way to discredit the false messiah. There could have been a plethora of people who were of the Davidic line, as long as it was not from Solomon since he messed up his chances for the lineage of the messiah.

        Yes, Herod I was a Jew and made king by the Romans. He even entered the holy of holies to see what was there and came out alive.

        Latin really messed up both the Greek and Hebrew, so I understand why some copies had listed Elizabeth instead of Mary in Luke, but the Greek copies that are available cleared that up. All of Joseph’s sons would have been younger than Jesus, but they decided not to claim to be God. If Sarai can super-naturally become pregnant after having sex with her old husband, surely it I not wrong to think it could happen to Elizabeth as well? I guess John could have claimed to be the messiah, as others did before and after the time of Jesus, but he declined and rather proclaimed Jesus as that one.

        All rather interesting but originally talking about lineage and how it was determined through which gender.

        • naaria says:

          Which reports were being circulated while which records that could disprove him were actually around? None of the “messiahs” mentioned in the works of Josephus appear to claim “lineage” as “proof of their messiahship” nor are none discredited because of it. They were discredited for what they failed to do. There is no great argument between Jews, recorded by Jews nor the early church fathers, about who or what Jesus was. Rather, Jews in the 2nd century, seemed very baffled about even an aledged existence of a Jesus (aka Yeshua). None even seemed to be aware that a Jesus even existed, so how could they either accept or reject his claims? What happened to all his “Jewish followers” during or after the “first war” against Rome? There are no contemporary Jewish writings (negative or positive) and no Christian writings (until 150+ c.e). There is one legend (& only a legend) about his followers going to “Pella”, but then a deafening silence again.

          Antiochus & his men, Greeks and not Jews, stood in the Holy of Holies as did the non-Jew Roman, Titus and they also remained alive. So what is your point about Herod? Jesus went to “cleanse” the Temple and vandalized it instead, but he did not leave to long after that and he withered like a cursed tree. So?

          The earliest copies of the NT texts are Greek and not “messed up” Latin. It was Jerome, in the 4th century, who said that the copyists of the original Greek manuscripts were “more asleep than awake” while on the job copying the texts, so why shouldn’t he change them or correct them and “make them more suitable for Christians?”. Did John always know who Jesus was? And why Josephus reads John lived years after Jesus and even after Pilate, unlike what the gospels make it seem like. So some of the earliest Greek & Coptic texts shows John being exalted, not Jesus.
          And it depends upon which early Christian canonical & non-canonical writings or “early church fathers” you would rather agree with, but Joseph is usually depicted as an elderly man and James is older than Jesus. But some believe brother & sister really means cousin, which is calling the NT writers liars.

          If Solomon “messed up his chances for the lineage of the messiah”, why is Matthew even wasting our time going over this worthless genealogy?

    • Molly Lyda says:

      Right, but then who could ever be proven to be of the lineage of David if in fact there is to be a miraculous virgin birth? So, whether it is Jesus or someone born next week who the Jews do believe is the messiah, how will lineage ever be proven? I believe that the way the Christian’s have proven lineage by both mother and earthly father, Joseph is about as good as it will ever get. God is the Father. We all have a heavenly Father and an earthly father.

    • Adrian Vink says:

      How true is your statement in that if there is no natural human father in the linage then he cannot be from the house of David.

      • A link From Davidic dynasty website to the following article

        http://www.jewishgen.org/rabbinic/journal/descent_part2.htm

        Careful examination of all available sources leads to the inescapable conclusion that there is no complete, reliable and positive proof of claims of descent from King David, whether via Rashi, Judah Loew the Elder, or any of the other families claimed. There are at present no known sources that could fill the gaps or set the record straight. It is possible that there may be actual descendants somewhere, but at present, no one can produce sufficient and unquestionable proof of this claim.

        • If I’m not mistaken, there are sources that state that Elijah will have to come with the Holy Spirit to disentangle the issues about genealogy for priests and the messiah.

          • Dina says:

            Let’s say it’s impossible today to ascertain one’s genealogy. How is that relevant to the fact that Jesus could not possibly have been a descendant of King David on his father’s side according to the Christian claim that he had no human father?

          • As I see it, there are two possibilities. Either Jesus did have a human father named Joseph, or the authors were so sure that the genealogical requirements couldn’t be met properly by any potential candidate, that they said a miracle had happened, to make it occur, as many people did in antiquity. The point is, Nobody from antiquity or today has the legally relevant demonstrable genealogical background, but this hasn’t stopped the potential for messianism, because there is more to the role. The Ebionites believed Jesus’ biological father was Joseph, and we have Church traditions about his family having leadership positions in the Church, and they were said to be of davidic descent. When Jesus was presented at the temple, and throughout his life, the text says Jesus (as was assumed) the son of Joseph. So, the virgin birth (assuming it happened at all) didn’t give anyone any pause about his lineage. We also know that accusations of improper bloodline were common in biblical and extra biblical sources. (Such as David having Ruth as one of his ancestors.)

          • Dina says:

            Concerned Reader, lineage has nothing to do with the messianic role but with the qualification to be king of the Jews in fulfillment of the Biblical promise that the kingship would continue through David’s son Solomon.

            Every messianic claimant was rejected for one reason or another, so I don’t understand your bringing them as proof of anything. A claimant’s lineage may have been unknown, but you can be sure that if we know someone is definitely not a Davidic descendant, we know for sure he is not the Messiah. For example, no Kohen or Levite is ever going to be taken seriously if he claims to be the Messiah.

            According to the Christian understanding, Jesus had no human father. That means he was definitely NOT qualified to sit on the throne of David.

            If Joseph was his natural father, then the genealogies in the gospels present huge problems. They contradict each other, one is fifteen generations longer than the other (a gap of about 300 years), one is through David’s son Nathan, and so on.

          • Xander says:

            I understand why the messiah must have have lineage through David, but I don’t think Christians (generally speaking) are as stuck on the notion that he must have a male descendant of David. I guess that would go to the notion that Christians don’t see Christ setting up an earthly kingdom over Israel as Judaism holds too.

            Not being a descendant of Solomon is a nonissue as well seeing how Hashem himself took away Solomon’s descendants right to rule over all of the tribes when Solomon rejected him, unless I am missing something.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Xander,

            Jews are “stuck” on the notion that the Messiah will be a descendant of David (especially through his son Solomon) because that is the promise of Scripture (Genesis 49:10; 2 Samuel 7:12-14; 1 Chronicles 22:9-10).

            You wrote that “Hashem himself took away Solomon’s descendants right to rule over all of the tribes when Solomon rejected him” and therefore “Not being a descendant of Solomon is a nonissue.” Please cite Scriptural support for this statement.

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Xander says:

            Sure thing Dina

            The LORD was angry with Solomon because he had shifted his allegiance away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him on two occasions and had warned him about this very thing, so that he would not follow other gods. But he did not obey the LORD’s command. So the LORD said to Solomon, “Because you insist on doing these things and have not kept the covenantal rules I gave you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. (‭1 Kings‬ ‭11‬:‭9-11‬ NET)

          • Dina says:

            Hi Xander,

            You stopped short of the following two verses:

            “In your days, however, I will not do it, because of your father David; from the hand of your son will I tear it away. Only I shall not tear away the entire kingdom from him; one tribe shall I give to your son, for the sake of David My servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen” (1 Kings 11:12-13).

            This is in fact what happened. After Solomon died the kingdom split into the Kingdom of Judah, which consisted of Judah and Benjamin, and the Kingdom of Israel, which consisted of the remaining ten tribes who were exiled by Sennacherib and never heard from again.

            I’m looking for unequivocal Scriptural support that God took away the kingdom from Solomon’s descendants.

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Hi Xander,

            I missed your qualifying statement that God took away the right from Solomon to rule over ALL of the tribes. As you know, the ten were lost. However, God will restore His scattered people at the end of days when a Davidic king will once again rule over all, as described in Ezekiel (34:11-end of the chapter).

            So I think that contradicts your statement about the Davidic line through Solomon being a non-issue.

  3. naaria says:

    Sons of David? Amnon was one & a Jew. So was Absalom, “father of peace” & leader of a major rebellion that temporarily dethroned King David. A “king of Israel” who later was “reconciled’ to his Father, who still loved him despite his rebellion. Sounds familiar. “From a Christian perspective no one is able to see the Jewidh points” of the Sadducee’s nor of the Pharisees that matter. Nor the Jewishness of the Jewish prophets, who are quoted a few times in the NT & the Church of Yeshua, as if they were Christian prophets.

    A house (NT) divided (by whatever method of “discernment”) can not stand. Who is the “wolf” in disguise and who is the “lamb” that is the disguise? Which one do you personally distinguish Jesus as?

  4. What?
    Christians say you’re suffering for rejecting Messiah?
    The Jews suffered over the years because of *their sins against God* — and then, on top of that, rejecting (those who did reject) Messiah.
    Don’t try to pass the buck; the Law says you must pay for your sins, and God was “punishing you 7 times for your sins”, etc.,.

    • naaria says:

      Since no Moshiach (as defined by the Hebrew/Jewish Bible) has yet come (as promised by the Prophets of Israel/Judea), whose “messiah” did Jews reject?  I see no evidence that Jews have suffered or died because of “punishment by God” (which is a matter between God and those individuals and which is not determined by biased or ignorant, sinful judgmental people who have no authority to speak for God).  During WW2, Jews were “punished” along with, and sometimes no more than, many millions of non-Jews.  Non-Jews  who suffered, died, & were “punished”, although they had accepted “their messiah/Christ”!   

      Rather, many Jews have often suffered and have been persecuted by the hands of ordinary humans, who have accepted a messiah and truly believed they were doing the “work of the lord”.  “Since the days of John until now the Kingdom of God has suffered violence….” and it’s people has suffered at the hands of the violent.   Was Hitler & the Nazi’s evil or misguided individuals or were they, as you seem to suggest, just being agents of justice sent by Yeshua/Jesus to carry out the “7 times punishment” “required” of all those who “rejected the messiah” of peace & love?  But is it not better to suffer than to persecute & cause the suffering; better to be killed than to kill?   Did Abel suffer and die and was he “punished for his sins” or was it because of Cain’s sins?    

      • Linda says:

        WOW that is so powerful a response …thank you for your spirit filled insight ..
        .Now backwards spells WON
        I for one am trying so hard and in much prayer and study…to understand this very subject

    • Tsvi Jacobson says:

      Bilodeau: Read the end of the story Where we are vindicated. Yes we were punished for our sins. hmmm what about Christians? As I compare the two I find that God punished us for breaking the sabbath etc etc. What about Christians who killed us by the hundreds of thousands. What about Luther who said Burn their Talmuds and synagogues.? He was a genuine Christian Tsaddik (ahem Righteous one) I guess they will get it in the future. We Jews write about our own sins. While Christians write about everyone elses. Take a look inside it only hurts for a little while when it brings forth repentance.
      Tsvi

  5. Xander
    Yes – the throne would pass to a brother or cousin

    • Xander says:

      How does it work in 2 Samuel 21, where the Gibeonites are asking for male descendants of Saul and the boys are traced through their mother’s lineage? You would not think it would pertain since Saul only had one son, and his son could never have led the nation.

    • Mitch W says:

      Interesting discussion- what do you think rabbi?

  6. Xander
    In 2 Samuel 21 the Gibeonites were not looking for heirs to Saul’s throne. Saul’s kingdom had already passed to David in an irreversible move (2samuel 7). The Gibeonites wanted to “punish” Saul posthumously – this was accomplished trhough the death of his descendants – any descendant would technically qualify. This is similar to the process which was repeated throughout the book of Kings whenever one dynasty replaced another – everyone related or even remotely connected to the previous dynsaty would be killed (e.g. 1Kings 14:10). The reason they picked on males as opposed to females is because of the public aspect of this execution – it would have been inapropriate to the leave the bodies of women hanging the way these people were hung.

  7. Xander says:

    I need help understanding lineage. Reading Ruth, Obed was given to Naomi to carry on the lineage of Mahlon, but in the lineage in chapter 4, it says he was the son of Boaz. Is Boaz in there to honor him or is Obed considered to be of his lineage and not Mahlon’s?

    • naaria says:

      I am no legal expert, but Obed would not have existed unless Boaz was his father. Obed therefore will stand to inherit everything Boaz owns (in the future, and who knows how many brother Obed might have in the future). Obed is Boaz’s son and so his lineage is Boaz’s lineage. But there is still property around that belonged to Mahlon or Mahlon’s father. Ruth can “hold” (have temporary custody of) the property (in Mahlon’s name). But a near kinsman can marry her and keep the property “in the family”. Otherwise, Ruth must sell the property to strangers or outsiders and the property loses any and all connections to Elimelech and Mahlon. Any buyer who is a stranger will have no sentimental attachment to the land, no historical connection. Such a buyer might not know Mahlon, Naomi, Ruth, or any of Mahlons ancestors or history, and could care less about Mahlon, Mahlon’s name, Mahlon’s family and history. But if Ruth has a child with a close relative of Mahlon and Naomi or Naomi’s husband, that man will remember Mahlon and his family. Mahlon’s property will be inherited by Ruth’s son. A Ruth’s son will remember Ruth’s connection to her dead husband and also Naomi. But, Obed is not of Mahlon’s physical lineage. Obed is the son of another husband of Ruth. Obed has a direct connection to Boaz’s history and lineage, but only an indirect connection to Mahlon’s history and name. But he and his family will be remembered until who knows how many generations in the future. Well, I guess his name is even remembered up to today, or else his name would have “gone to dust” over 3000 years ago.

      • Xander says:

        But if you look at the story of Judah and Tamar, it says that Onan would not put his seed into Tamara because he knew the child would not be considered his. The offspring would be considered his brother’s. We remember the lineage and that Judah acted as the surrogate father for Er, but I wasn’t sure if Perez or Zerah would be considered to be Er’s child. When the lineage is laid out, you don’t see it mentioned, but the stories reflect back to that. 1st Chronicles says that Judah had 5 sons total, but also makes a point to mention that the last two were with his daughter-in-law. Why denote that?

        With Ruth, the closer relative passed on fulfilling his role as redeemer after he learned that he had to take Ruth as a wife. He was willing to buy the parcel of land, but not marry her. I wasn’t sure if it was because she was a Moabite and their offspring are forbidden from entering into the assembly of the Lord. This would make sense as he said he could not afford to impair his own inheritance, as any additional children he had with her would not be able to inherit the land. So, Boaz would have been the father of Obed naturally, but the inheritance he received is that of Mahlon’s.

        • naaria says:

          And of course, Obed would receive an inheritance from Boaz, which would be a greater inheritance (after Boaz dies, which is after the ending of the book of Ruth).

  8. Adrian Vink says:

    Was Jesus Christ the expected Messiah as fortold in the Torah and the Tanach? There seams to be much debate about this topic on this post, so I hope that my statement below will help clarify any confusion on the topic.
    A major objection concerns the two genealogies of Jesus that are claimed by the Christian Greek Scriptures (the New Testament) and Christian theology in general. Matt. 1:11 shows Jechoniah (spelt Jechanis in KJV) as an ancestor of Joseph and therefore of Jesus. Trouble is that Jechoniah’s line is cursed never to inherit the throne of David (Jeremiah 22:24-30). Jechoniah was deposed and none of his descendents were ever kings. The throne passed to Zedekiah, Jechoniah’s uncle because of Jechoniah’s wickedness. Then Matthew undoes the lineage by claiming a ‘virgin birth’ for Jesus, annulling Joseph’s line entirely. The lineage given at Luke 3 fares no better. Here Nathan is listed as the son of David through whom Joseph was descended, not Solomon through whom the Messiah must descend (1Chron. 22:9 et al).
    As for the ‘virgin birth’, without a human father, no-one can claim to be Messiah as this means that GOD took the throne away from the house of David, violating GOD’s own oaths, something which GOD NEVER has done and NEVER will do. Clearly, both genealogies disqualify Jesus from being Messiah, as does a ‘virgin birth’ which itself is based on a (deliberate?) mistranslation and interpretation of Isaiah 7:14 which is not a messianic prophecy anyway.
    Some of the things that the true Messiah will achieve are:
    World peace – Isa 2:4; 11:6, Universal knowledge and recognition of GOD – Isa. 11:9; Jer. 31:34, General resurrection of the dead – Isa. 26:19; Eze. 37:12, Bring all the Jewish exiles back – Isa. 11:11, 42:5, Jer. 22:8; Building the Third Temple – Eze. 37:26. Not even the most enthusiastic of Christians can claim that Jesus did these things. The opposite is true, the world became much more violent and godless after Jesus’ time, especially once Christianity became the Roman State Religion. A dark age ensured from this time. I hope this will clear up any mis-understandings about who can or can not claim to be messiah.

    • Linda says:

      And it would seem that the enemy of the Lord of Hosts would work to do the opposite…not want world peace, not want knowledge or recognition of the Lord or want Jewish exiles at all ; let alone brought back nor the 3rd Temple to be built. But on the other hand the antichrist does mean against christ, so how is it thought as posing as if he is christ???

  9. Yedidiah says:

    You write very good English. And your last couple of comments are very clear about where you stand as an ex-Christian (what I might call step 2). Where you go from here is difficult to say. In America, non-Jews who follow Torah & Tanach only (who call themselves Bnei Noach -Children of God’s covenant with Noah and all his descendants – non-Israelites, non-Jews), might meet in small groups for prayer, worship, etc.

    My focus is on providing information to readers on this blog (hopefully all true & unbiased) from the “ex-Christian”, non-Jewish point of view. I see that you do understand that there were 2 major groups who followed Jesus in the earliest years (actually, we could say there were several more). You see that the “Jewish group” was a mix of both “Hebrew & Greek” world views (Hellenistic Jews). Some people don’t see their error when they say “Jesus – or Yeshua – was “Jewish””, as if all Jews thought alike back then (except, for their so called “hypocritical” leaders). Or, as if “Jewishness” validated Jesus or any other person.

    When many people (ordinary Christians or those in the “Hebraic Roots” movement) say the name “Yeshua”, they see it as just another name for Jesus. Many who say “Yeshua” hate the names “Jesus” or “Christ” because to them those are “pagan” names. But these people are Trinitarians & their beliefs are 100% Christian, only Judaized, because the “real” Jesus was a Jew and not a “Greek”. Some who say Yeshua, see that the only error in the Church was that brought about by Constantine or by the Catholic Church. They may actually hate Catholics, because they aren’t real Christians like the Protestants or “messianic” believers. Some who say Yeshua, disparage and even hate Paul, because they speculate that he “invented Christianity” and he “corrupted” “Yeshua’s original” teachings. Some Christians now say they only read Torah & Tanach, but they hold on to much of their Christian beliefs and see Yeshua as YWYH or the “One God”. They may be virulent anti-Trinitarians but Jesus -Yeshua is their God or their messiah or a prophet or messenger of God. They may have several different “sacred names” of the “One” they worship (e.g., Yeshua, Yeshua Messiah, Yahwehshua, Yhvh, Yahshua, Jehovahshua, Yehoshua, etc), but they are all just Jesus.

    So arguments or debates about alleged differences between Paul and Jesus or “Rav Shaul” and Yeshua or the “Greek Jesus” vs. the “Hebrew Yeshua”, is all irrelevant. Except for the fact of how Christians or non-Jews interact with Jews, to the Jews (and really also to non-Jews) it doesn’t really matter whether Yeshua & Jesus are 100% similar or 100% dissimilar, it doesn’t matter if Paul & Jesus taught the same basic messages or if Paul taught the opposite, and it doesn’t matter if you see Jesus as a divine son, or a tri-partite personality of God, or God, or a messiah or only a Prophet or only a messenger or whatever. It matters to different Christian groups and they (like all my family, friends, & co-workers) can believe whatever they want about Jesus. But whatever non-Jews think about Jesus or a man from “Nazareth”, he isn’t a part of Judaism, nor does he play any part in their relationship to God/YHWH.

  10. Pingback: Response to Line of Fire 11 | 1000 Verses

  11. Eric Krakofsky says:

    For those who believe Isaiah 53 is talking about the nation , please explain based on what conclusion is Israel excluded from the following words of Is53 v 6 ” we all like sheep went astray each of us turning his own way (…)” Also very important question’ how does the nation you fulfill the words of v 4-6??
    especially v5 (..) the chastisement upon him was for our benefit and through his wounds we are healed.” How is the world healed by Israel’s suffering???????
    Also the character of the servant as innocent and sinless ( v.9 ) how does it fit with the nation? And the other point; why does the servant have to acknowledge the guilt ( v10) and at the same time not belong to those who ” went astray like sheep..” ???? how does it fit together???
    Also v.10 Why would God desire to oppress the nation???

    It is not a secret that God will redeem Israel one day. Isaiah is talking about it so it is not a hidden fact to make assumption that the whole would will be shocked by this. More shocking will be seeing the one who was despised and killed ( Yeshua) who will be coming back in glory to establish God’s kingdom. At the Messiah coming the righteous dead will be resurrected and also Israel will be redeemed. All these events go together.

  12. Eric
    Thank you for your questions
    Isaiah 53 is talking of the righteous remnant of Israel – the one’s who will be described as such as Isaiah prophesied (26:2) – in contrast to the nations around them they have not gone astray
    The world is healed through the suffering of the righteous remnant because it is in their merit that God preserves the world as we find in Genesis 18:32 that in the merit of ten righteous men – God stays His hand
    Verse 9 does not say that the servant is sinless – it simply says that he is not guilty of the crimes that he has been accused of – namely murder and deception
    the servant needs to acknowledge guilt because he is not sinless – he needs to focus on what he needs to repair
    But still and all – compared to the nations around him – he has not gone astray
    You say that the world will not be shocked by the exaltation of Israel – but they will be shocked by the exaltation of Jesus
    Which world do you live in? How many people do you know that think that Isaiah 53 is talking about Israel?

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      yourphariseefriend,
      This is not a convincing answer. They have not gone astray buy have to acknowledge sin. So what does it mean to have gone astray? It means to go away from the path God gave people, to miss his words, or disobey them and follow your own way, which simply we call sin. If the ‘righteous remnant ‘ indeed has to acknowledge sin he also belongs to those who have gone astray, no difference.
      From what I understand you see the world being healed because God is going to preserve it through the suffering of the righteous remnant. I see it differently how the suffering of the righteous servant can heal the world.
      Preserving the sinful world is not a healing to the people. The world has been ‘going on ’till now and the world is getting worse and worse. Only turning to God is what brings healing to people God wants EVERY PERSON IN EVERY NATION to acknowledge guilt and repent , there are no exceptions. Then the healing comes to a repenting person not just the sinful world .

      If we want to focus on the number of people through whom God could achieve His purpose we have another example in Ex 32;10 .
      God could fulfill his promises for Israel through a single Jew. This would have been the case if God had carried out his threat to destroy the entire nation in the wilderness and leave only Moses – and then to form a new nation out of him (Exodus 32:10).
      God gave the testimony about Yoshua being righteous and free of sin by raising him back to life.
      Messiah ( Yoshua) is therefore ’the hope of Israel’ – the hope being that God will fulfill all His purposes for Israel through him. Isaiah foresaw that Messiah would not only gather the lost sheep of Israel, but would also fulfill its prophetic destiny – by achieving the blessing that Israel was destined to bring to the nations, by taking the knowledge of God to the ends of the earth.

      “And now the LORD says -he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength –he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation (ישׁועתי)to the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 49:5-6

      How many people already found God thanks to Yeshua’s call to repentance? You find people in almost every nation.
      Very important question ; How can a nation carry peoples iniquities( v.11) and make them righteous ? If there is no personal need for repentance , you can’t make others righteous.

      You are asking “How many people do you know that think that Isaiah 53 is talking about Israel? ”
      The world consists of so many unbelievers that they have no clue what book of Isaiah is talking about at all. Not only chaper 53. Most people don’t even believe in resurrection. Most Catholics who call themselves Christians don’t take the resurrection seriously and neither Jesus’ return. It is not that the whole world is expecting return of Jesus the Messiah. Only believers CAN’T be surprised either by Jesus nor Israels redemption as I said it is not a hidden fact to believers who study the scriptures. Even Jesus said to the Jews about times when their redemption is coming. But it not all what Isaiah is focusing on. Redemption is connected with Messiah’ coming, and chapter 53 describes how the sinful world is turned back to God through him and how our sins are dealt with , why our restoration is possible.

      You focus only on redemption of Israel . What about focus on Divine intervention ? That will be indeed shocking to people .
      Also don’t you think the Messiah doesn’t deserve less exaltation and glory ( Isaiah 11) by the fact he will keep the world in perfect peace and rule it righteously with iron rod and deal with the wicked ones of the world ?
      v.10 says the nations WILL SEEK HIM – THE DESCENDANT OF JESSE who will stand as a banner for the peoples ( compare with the v.1 Isaiah 11) . The spirit of God; the spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel strength and knowledge of God will rest upon him. In his days God will acquire the remnant of His people and gather them from four corners of the earth. Isaiah 11; 11-16 .
      You see that the redemption of Israel is not the only theme Isaiah is dealing with, but also is showing greatness of God’s intervention and Messiah’ glory . ( also in Psalm 2 ) .

      • Yedidiah says:

        Most Catholics do call themselves Christians, but many might disagree with some of your beliefs and might think you have strayed. After all, Jesus helped to grow them the past 1500 years, or so, as his servants. “Many people may have already found God” thanks to them carrying the message of Jesus to the nations. And most Protestants also consider themselves Christian, and many might disagree with a bit of what you might believe. If there are so many “unbelieving” “believers” in the world, many outside the church might believe that there might be something wrong with the messenger’s message. Especially when the focus is on the messenger instead of on God who sent the messenger. Beside the message maybe having been so corrupted, that “urgent” message, promised to soon arrive so soon, also seems to have been so slow in materializing. In the meantime, many Jews, pagans and non-believers, and “believers” have been victims of violence or persecution in his name by servants of Jesus.

        But what message might you see in some parables by Jesus that did not fit standard Christian ideas of a messiah or forgiveness or repentance, such as the “prodigal son”? A father who was willing to see his beloved son leave him and try to make his way in the world and not truly “dead” in more ways than one. And a father who supposedly didn’t know if his son was coming back to evict him from his farm, or steal from him, or maybe even kill him. A father who didn’t know what was in his son’s heart or mind, in fact, a son that wasn’t really interested in truly repenting or seeking or even desiring forgiveness. No blood was necessary. No action except one based on mainly selfish interests, a decision made just because of his dire circumstances due to “bad luck”.

  13. Eric
    Thanks for taking the time for this conversation
    You seem to assume that all sins are equal – they are not. Some sins – such as idolatry are much worse than others. In a world filled with idolatry – a group of people who is loyal to God can be said to have not gone astray although they still need to acknowledge sin. According to you – who is the righteous nation spoken of in Isaiah 26:2?
    I recognize that God wants every human being to be close to Him – But your insistence that “healing” needs to refer to total healing is not consistent with the passage – these people have obviously gone astray – yet they have already been healed by the stripes of the servant. The fact that God grants life is healing – as long as we live we can repent and do good.
    Isaiah 49 is speaking of the prophet and of the righteous remnant – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/1282/
    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/armor-bearers-isaiah-5211/
    The servant makes people righteous through his knowledge – and he bears the people’s sins by praying for their welfare and serving as a balance for God’s judgment
    You say that “believers” won’t be shocked at Israel’s exaltation? Just read what “believers” believe about Israel.
    You accuse me of focusing only on the redemption of Israel – That is what Isaiah 53 is talking about – there are other chapters – many others which speak of God’s exaltation such as Isaiah 2 – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/isaiah-222/
    and some which speak of the exaltation of the Messiah such as Isaiah 11 as you point out. Did you notice that the Messiah will be granted a spirit of wisdom and strength – these are not things that belong to him intrinsically?
    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/yearning-for-the-messiah/

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      Yourphariseefriend,
      You say that sins are not equall but they all result in our death, no matter what sin. Unless you don’t believe in that fact ? Adam’s wasn’t idolatry but still it brought him death.
      Also your words; ” In a world filled with idolatry – a group of people who is loyal to God can be said to have not gone astray although they still need to acknowledge sin.”
      How can you judge that all other nations are involved in idolatory and there is no single group among the people of other nations that is loyal to God?

      Regarding the righteous nation spoken of in Isaiah 26:2? Also Is 49.
      The fact that there will be people who turn to God and will be trusting Him doesn’t mean they will carry the sins of others Isaiah 53 is talking about . The book of Isaiah 49 is talking about people both from the nation of Israel and from other nations that will be restored by the servant who will be light for them Is 49 5-6 The servant will rise up the tribes of Jacob and restore ruins of Israel. So yes, Isaiah is not denying that Israel will be restored and will be called righteous , when it will turn to God. But Israel as a nation is not the servant lifting up others in
      Is 49, to carry others sins as he himself needs restoration.
      Second, when God picked his servant , Israel started with one person called Jacob. God is able to acomplish His purposes through a single person while others fail. He picked a single servant Moses to lead all people to the Promised Land. Just two of many many examples.

      Refering to your explanation about how the nations are healed by Israels wounds, I don’t see what you mean by total or not total healing . Those who have gone astray can be healed if there is personal repentance, if they will turn back from their crimes , not because somebody just suffered.
      The world is not healed right now just because it still exists. I wouldn’t call it a healing if there is no spiritual healing. Crime and hate is everywhere. People being killed every day. You have restored relationship with God , then you are really healed. So that ‘healing’ interpretation in Is 53 of yours doesn’t speak to me. Only those are healed who repented and turned to God..

      You say ” The fact that God grants life is healing – as long as we live we can repent and do good. ”
      But not everyone makes that choice no matter how long he/she lives. We call it ; giving people a chance to change rather than healing. You may live 100 yeas and still die wicked. Giving people a chance can’t be called the healing .
      Also God doesn’t need to bring on others suffering so that he woould give life ( longer or extended) to others. He gives life by His grace and time to repent without anybody’s merit.

      You said ” The servant makes people righteous through his knowledge” How????? How are the other nations made righteous nowdays ?
      It is said the servant will make many righteous , it is that their punishment that he bears. v. 11
      People who sufferend from the hands of others didn’t bear their punishment so that others would be called righteous. Would you call the Crusaiders righteous because somebody prayed for them???? According to your thinking they should be healed… but how??? Neither by praying , not by your nation suffering. Unless they repented at the end and turned to God giving up their crimes, they are not healed!! The same with others. The oppressed people may have prayed for their oppressors so that God would’t count their sin for the oppression, but the wicked ones will still remain wicked if they have no desire to change and will die for their own sins. I may pray for a thief who came to steal my money and ask God to forgive him for that stealing, but the person still remains a thief if he keeps stealing. So my suffering, my praying won’t make him righteous, nor can I bear his sins.

      What do I mean by your focusing on redemption of Israel ? I am not accusing you of anything. I am just saying that because Is 53 exalts a certain servant , it doesn’t mean that by this fact it suggests the whole nation in this chapter , as the mission carried by that servant in Is 53 is the mission no nation can carry, except a sinless person. And Yeshua exactly did it all.

      You also said “Did you notice that the Messiah will be granted a spirit of wisdom and strength – these are not things that belong to him intrinsically? ”
      But what does it have to do with anything? Of course it is only God who has everything from th e beginning, and everything we get, we get from Him. So what’s wrong with the Messiah getting all the wisdom and strength from God? Matthew 3;16 records the spirit of God came on Jesus when he was baptized.

      • Eric
        You say that all sins bring death – what is your source for this? The Bible clearly dishes out different punishments for different sins. Not every sin gets the punishment “the soul shall be cut off from its nation.” Just because some sins merit death doesn’t mean that every sin merits death.
        The Psalmist speaking on behalf of the righteous remnant explicitly speaks of “our feet not straying from your (God’s) path” (Psalm 44:19).
        You ask how I can say Israel is a nation that stands apart from others in her loyalty to God – OK – so how do you read Isaiah 60:2? How do you say that “believers” will not be shocked at Israel’s exaltation? Do you deny that Israel has been appointed by God to accomplish a given mission of testifying to His truth?
        You assume that “healing” (in Isaiah 53) MUST mean complete and total spiritual healing – that is your assumption – there is no Scriptural basis for your assumption.
        Verse 11 explicitly says that it is through his knowledge that the servant renders many righteous – read it
        Who told you that the servant of Isaiah 53 needs to be sinless? That’s another assumption of yours that has no Scriptural basis.
        You claim that God can accomplish His purpose through a single person – agreed – but He appointed a witness nation for a reason – and they too have a purpose to accomplish.
        Isaiah 51;16 tells us that God planted His word in the mouth of the nation to accomplish his purpose – how do you read this?

        • Yedidiah says:

          But isn’t Jesus a “nation”, a principality, and not an individual “servant”, because there are several places in the letters of Paul that all believers and even the “one” Church (of many denominations of many members each and from many different nations) are considered to be the “body of Christ”? Such as in Romans 12:5 “so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another”, or 1 Corinthians 12:12 “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ,” and 1 Corinthians 12:27 “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it”. According to Romans 12:1 each believer is commanded to “… present your bodies as a living sacrifice”, so Jesus was not the only body and not the only sacrifice, and therefore not the “only servant”. So all verses that would exclude the nation of Israel would also exclude the “nation of Jesus” or “Christ”?

          • To go along with what Yedidiah has said, Paul’s point about presenting ourselves as living sacrifices, shows that indeed Paul was not opposed to deeds of righteousness, and nor is Jesus some kind of vaccine, that once you accept it, that’s it. Christians can stand to learn so much from our brothers and sisters to be living examples of what G-d expects. Judaism doing what it has done, being faithful to the Torah, is what is needed for a faith that doesn’t lose it’s vigor, salt that doesn’t lose it’s bite. Faith without works is dead after all right? The whole body of the righteous (Jews and Gentiles) can be good servants, and show what it means to be religious.

            Someone once asked me, why I was so lax on emphasizing Jesus. I remember saying that’s not the point of his message. If the whole world believed in Jesus, but not one person lived his mode of life, his life and coming had zero meaning or purpose. The whole impetus of the Bible is to teach you to value life, love G-d, love neighbor, and to show you that life is laden with purpose, meaning, and intrinsic value.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Yedidiah, I will go back to your comments later when I have time,

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            yedidiah, To your words about ” So all verses that would exclude the nation of Israel would also exclude the “nation of Jesus” or “Christ”? ”
            You are not getting it right ‘ the body of Christ’ in refering to believers in Rom 12;5 didn’t exist untill Jesus died on the cross and then later the spirit was given to the believers . Then these people became God’s servants and not to be self suficient but needing each other completing each other while serving each other with different talents. That is what we call it ‘a body’.
            So there was no body of Christ as a nation ( or a group of people ) to do the mission in Is 53 but Jesus did it himself. Believer weren’t dying for sins of others or carrying on their iniquities. Does it make it clear?

        • Eric Krakofsky says:

          yourphariseefriend, To your question ” You say that all sins bring death – what is your source for this?”
          I am not talking about imediate punishments that were applied to a person commiting certain sin described in leviticus. But I am stating that our final ‘end of life’ is due to our sinful nature. How many sins did Adam commit before God told him that he would die? Just one disobedience. Would that be different with us? Adam’s death wasn”t applied immediately. We die one day on the same basis. Last verses in Gen 3 tell us that since that time God made sure to guard the way to the tree of life from which if Adam ate he would live forever. Other verses confirm that as well ; ( sin brings death)
          Deut 24;16 , that tells you we don’t die for each other sin but each will die for their own sin “, 2 kings 14;6 , Jeremiah 31;30.

          Back to Isaiah;

          You ask how I would say Israel is a nation that stands apart from others in her loyalty to God – how do I read Isaiah 60:2?
          Standing apart means being entrusted with the oracles of God.. But it has nothing to do that the nation will remain loyal to God or not and the reason to exclude yourself from those ‘who went astray..’. People can know God’s word and still stary away. Being entrusted with oracles of God doesn’t make them better than others.
          Before focusing only on v 2 I am looking at the sourounding verses. v. 21 says that the people will be ‘ all of them the righteous’. But we know not everyone is just righteous because he/she is Jewish. From the scriptures we know that the righteous is the one who trusts God and does His will. Also looking earlier at chapt 59; 20 says when it all will come to pass; “A redeemer will come to Zion and TO THOSE of Jacob WHO REPENT from willful sin.” It is about Messianic times when the Messiah will come as a redeemer. and times when Jewish people will be gathered from all parts of the world. v.4 These events don’t prove Is 53 to be a nation . Is 60 talks about Israel’s redemption.
          Also Is 60 shows that God is still waiting till the people of Jacob repent, so how can th e Israel be better than others and fit in the mission described in chapter 53?

          I also showed you in Is 49 the servant will help to lift up both the Jacob’s tribes and gentiles. The truth of Israels’ redemption is one thing, – it is all metioned , but the servant’s mission to justify others by bearying their sins is the other thing. God is showing his mercy to Jewish people because of His grace that He shows to everybody who wants to go back to Him. The promise about israel’s redemption is a great news but still doesn’t prove the nation is the servant in Is 53

          You ask ” How do you say that “believers” will not be shocked at Israel’s exaltation? ”
          Why would theose who expect these events to happen be shocked? Rather those who weren’t expecting these things and also weren’t expecting messiah’s coming ( because it is at his coming that the redemption will take place).
          Also if you want to stay by your position that the nations are to be shocked by the glorified servant ( Israel) in Is 53, it still doesn’t exclude Jesus of being glorified as he is part of Israel , one among the servants if you want to consider all Jewish remnant as servants. You may not want to believe that one of God’s people suffered for a specific reason because he willingly took upon himself the quilt of our sins ( carried our iniquities) , bore the sins of the multitudes and died for it, but I have enough reason to believe it.

          You disagree with me that “healing” (in Isaiah 53) means complete and total spiritual healing – Can you give some reasons to support ‘ the partial healing idea?
          How any wicked person on this earth is healed spiritually but just ‘partially’ or ‘ not completelly’ by Israel’s wounds???? How are the Muslim healed , how are Christians healed????

          In Verse 11 can you explain how through his knowledge that the servant renders many righteous ????
          verse 11 continues giving the resason; it is their iniquities that he will carry.
          You can have no matter how much knowledge , you can’t make others righteous unless they themselves repent and come to God .
          Jerusalem translation puts it more clear; ” out of his anguish he shall see IT, he shall enjoy IT to the full through his devotion.” . The question is ; WHAT shall he see, what shall he enjoy? The answer is referting to the previous thought in v 10 ” that through him the Lord’s purpose might prosper.”
          So another words ;the servant -although in his anguish- he will see /KNOW/ understand the Lord’s PURPOSE of it. ( of his suffering). Then it follows explanation ; what is the Lord’s purpose; that the servant will make th e many righteous , it is their punishment that he bears.” That is exactly what Jesus/ Yeshua did.

          As far as Isaiah 53 servant being sinless.
          It says he is righteous, no iniquity inflicted upon him for his own sins. He dies for other people sins not his own . You can’t bear sin of others if you are guilty of anything wrong yourself.
          I also I will add God confirmed His servant’s righteousness by raising him back to life. There was no sin of his own to keep him dead.

          To your question about Isaiah 51;16 , and God’s witnesses (Isaiah 43:10)and that Israel has been appointed by God to accomplish a given mission of testifying to His truth. ( I am answering it all with the questions from the other post.)
          Of course I agree that God appointed a witness nation for a reason .
          God appointed the witness and like I said Israel was entrusted with oracles of God and we read about them in the OT. Then we know that people although entrusted with God’s words, didn’t follow God.
          Then when it comes to the mission of the suffering servant the witness splits two ways; Jews testifying that Jesus is God’s servant and Jews who don’t. Now you choose the path which one to follow. To me the testimony of Jewish witness doesn’t end with OT but continues with the witness of the events recorded in NT. Yeshua is not gentiles solution , the testimony comes from Jews. The reason I follow this testimony is – I have enough proof in my own life and in the scriptures that his testimony is true.

          Another thing is that also people who come to God today and know him and follow him are becoming his witnesses of todays. His wintess doesn’t end with the past events but God speakes to peoples hearts nowadays too.
          Also that specific mission one of God’s servants does described in Is 53 is being fulfilled in the vords of Is 49. He is lifting up the tribes of Jacob and he is the light to gentiles bringing people all over the world to repentance and to God.

          • Eric
            Just because one sin (Adam’s) brought death doesn’t necessarily mean that all sins bring death. In any case – the point I was making is that not all sins are equal – and since the speakers in Psalm 44 are a plural entity – they are not sinless and yet they tell God that they did not stray from His path (psalm 44:19) – so it is clear that one could sin and still be on the path
            Isaiah 60:21 is indeed talking about the time after Israel’s restoration – but the point I was making is that there is a righteous remnant who is loyal to God and who had hoped to God throughout the long exile as is obvious from Psalm 44, Isaiah 26:2 – the nation is described as one “who keeps the faith” – see also 25:9, 49:23 which give us to understand that Israel 9teh righteous remnant) has been hoping to God throughout the time of their suffering
            Why do you insist that healing needs to mean total spiritual restoration? why can’t it mean simple physical protection?
            Verse 11 explicitly says “with his knowledge my servant shall justify many” – how do you explain this?
            You decided that one cannot bear the sins of others unless they are sinless – this concept is non-Scriptural – see Numbers 18:1and Ezekiel 4:4 – see also Isaiah 64;4
            Israel is God’s witness to the truth of His sovereignty – not to the effect that some miracle worker is the “real thing” – read Isaiah’s words in context (43:10,12; 44:8)
            And Israel’s message is the hope of mankind – did you notice – they put Isaiah’s words on the side of the UN building – not Jesus’ words – and there is a reason for it. Isaiah’s words are God centered and Jesus’ words are not

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            yourphariseefriend,
            There are two different things in the bible regarding sin; one is showing origin of our mortality , that it is through our sinful nature we were not to live forever , second thing is that our sinful actions are not without consequences in our life as long as we live. This is what you call different sins and different punishments.
            The answer to why we were not to live forever , is in Gen 3. How many sins did it take Adam to hear from God that he would die???? Also that didn’t mean he was to die immediatelly but Gen 3; v 22-24 tells you he was banned from living forever.

            So now tell me where in the scriptures does it say we are not under the same conditions???? How, my disobedience , even one against God would not also result in the same what Adams??? We are not dying because we were designed for that from the beginning Gen 3;22-24 tells you that. There is no other reason shown in the scriptures of our mortality.
            Also Jer 31;30 tells you that everyone will die for his own sin. These words are not about an immediate punishment for sin.
            Now when in comes to ‘different sins and different punishments’ – our life is not free from the consequences of our sinful actions now although we won’t die right away. Daniel didn’t die right away from his crime yet he carried the pitiful results out of it for a long time. God is not leaving us to do whatsoever with sin not impacting our lives. Some evil actions might end our life quicker , some mess up the quality of it really badly. Some may bring more consequences than the other. You are speeding, you get a seeping ticket, you kill a person, you go to jail. So it is normal you have different consequences for different actions. These different ‘punishments’ in the bible for sin were giving people a ‘push’ to change their lives, to turn from evil and turn to God. They were lessons to learn to obey God. They were teaching you that it doesn’t pay off to disobey God. Or else everybody would be doing whatever they wanted to not seeing the reason for living for God.
            You say that based on (psalm 44:19) – so it is clear that one could sin and still be on the path. One thing is they couldn’t say that when they were in their sin – they were on the path, only after they stopped and were aware of their sin. What is clear by words ‘ they didn’t strayed from your path is that they still trusted God and have not forgotten their God .
            This can be said about anybody. We all are not free of sin but still want to trust God and know Him.
            But the servant in Is 53 is specificly dealing with people’s sin, not with the issue of those who trust God or not.
            And that mission finds no explanation to fit the nation.
            I already gave you an explanation to this one Verse 11 “with his knowledge my servant shall justify many” That was my question how will you explain it? You focus only on the first line but v11 gives explanation in 4 lines; I said the following;
            You can have no matter how much knowledge , you can’t make others righteous unless they themselves repent and come to God . Jerusalem translation puts it more clear; ” out of his anguish he shall see IT, he shall enjoy IT to the full through his devotion.” . The question is ; what shall he see, what shall he enjoy? The answer is referting to the previous thought ( based on context) in v 10 ” that through him the Lord’s purpose might prosper.”
            So another words ;the servant -although in his anguish- he will see /KNOW/ understand the Lord’s PURPOSE of it. ( of his suffering). Then it follows explanation – the last 2 lines in v11 ; what is the Lord’s purpose; that the servant will make th e many righteous , it is their punishment that he bears.” That is exactly what Jesus/ Yeshua did.

            To your words in Isaiah 26:2 – “the nation is described as one “who keeps the faith”.When we look at Is 26 , it starts with the words; On that day the song will be sung in the land… and the previous chapter tells you of the future events of the redemption time, destruction of death etc. God called many people righteous in the past despite their sin, He calls many righteous now and He will call them in the future those who will still keep their faith. But that still doesn’t justify that Jewish nation carries on the mission in Is 53. Is 53 has a specific mission to deal with all people’s sin.
            You are showing me Is 25:9, and 49 ;23 and it talks about Israel’s redemption because God wants to have you all back, you were the nation entrusted with His oracles and He wants to keep His promise to have you all in your land redeemed and saved.

            You say ; why healing in Is 53 can’t mean simple physical protection? Do you see more physical protection in the world now than before because if israel’s suffering? The whole chapter 53 tells you the healing refers to dealing with sin that others are justified and made righteous not physical protection.
            Can you explaine verse by verse how you ( as nation) fulfill the words in that chapter?
            The examples of people carrying the sin of others you are showing are not to set people free from death.
            Jesus did it because he didn’t have to die for his own sin, but choosing to carry on sins of others and die willingly , he made our sins die with him. Another words God judged our sin on him .
            The context in Isaiah tells you that Redeemer comes when your hearths will be ready. Is 59;20 That would mean his coming should already be now and redemption should be taking place now. I don’t call Jesus ; some a miracle worker’ but a servant fulfilling of Is 53 mission God gave him, also Is 49; 5-6 the one who will lift up the tribes of jacob and restore the survivors of israel also the light to the gentiles.

            The example with words on UN building – you are giving- is not proving anything. We might say the same way about anybody; Moses words are not there so he wasn’t God’s man? Micah’ words are not there, was then he any less important?

        • Eric Krakofsky says:

          ypfriend, Just finishing reading your link. I see there is a need to clarify the ‘ thing’ we are going around which is ‘the servant bringing the word to the nations’, light to gentiles etc.
          Whether Israel is God’s witness or not ( as a nation) it is not to argue about/ it is not an issue but WHAT witness are are looking at.

          Messianic Jews who believed the Messiah come ( as Yeshua) and those who witnessed him 2000 years ago can bring up all the verses of Israel’s witness and fully agree with them too. So wil I. And both them and I would agree th e witness of God comes from Jews
          Also we can agree upon that when Israel is restored and will prosper it is all in the Messiah’s time, who will make it possible to sustain peace and justice within Israel and other nations around the world. He will be like the ‘lighbulb’ giving the source of ligfht for the while Israel to shine, because his sourse of light will be God, and he wil be also very close to Him

          ( Jer 30;21) ” I will bring him close and he wil be able to approach Me, for who would embolden his heart to approacv h Me?”)
          so that other people who still don’t know God could come like to the light.

          Is 11;10 clearly says how the nations will be enquiring of him and his knowledge ( as the wonderful cancelor etc Is 9;5-6)

          So using arguments that Israel is a witness and will be even better in the future doesn’t eliminate the need for the Messiah so many Jews recognised in Yeshua and not only based on NT or Is 53 but based on the description of the Messiah in psalms and prophets . His mission of suffering and bringing the spiritual healing is not on the way/ against for Israel to be a witness. Second , comparing chapters 42;1-7 with all the servant’s songs ( I wrote you in the last email) wil easily lead you to the fact that the Messiah had to share in sufferings and exaltation also. Even skipping Is 53, the message of suffering and exaltation is there; 42;6-7 set for covenant to the people, light to the nations, leading prisoners out- is the same servant who is sharining the same mission and is despised in 49;7 .

          I am not focusing on Jesus here but on the character Messiah himself based on psalms and Isaiah & Jeremiah that him being also despised and sharing in future glory is not the creation of NT or wrong interpretation of is 53..

          You mentioned priests bearing sins to justify the right for the nation as those suffering and you belive they literally are ‘bearing others sins in Is 53.

          If you read Ps 110 ;4 you will see that the Messiah is going to be a priest forever. If the nation that is called ‘ kingdom of priests’ ( which is not literal priests performing duries in the temple, but to be examples of service to God) and can bear peoples sin ( according to you) , so can definitelly the Messiah .

          One last thing, you said new heavens and new earth is attributed to Israel and brought up
          Is 66;22.
          I recoment to read it again ; ‘ just as th e new heavens and th e new earth that I will make endure before Me- so will your offspring and your name. ” Which is about God’s promise to your name and people endure and not anybody’s attribution to new heavens .

          Then read Is 48;6-11 (…) for sake for My sake I will do it..I will not cede my glory to another ” and then Is 59;16-17 ” but he saw there was no man and he was astounded…so His ARM wrought SALVATION to him and it was His benevolence that was HIS SUPPORT .”

          • Sharbano says:

            Eric,
            I would interject here regarding Is 42. When the verse says “Thus said Hashem… it is using that phrase to signify a new thought. That is why 5 changes the focus from one to another.

            By the way, the reference to Malki-Tzedek (Shem) was not a Kohen and therefore doesn’t imply David will be a priest. Also, he erred when he praised Avraham Before Hashem and lost standing. As Torah states ‘you are a kingdom of priest’, i.e., a light to the nations.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Sharbano….. you say that brings new thought… but does it bring a different ‘object’ being described? well, who is then talking in verse 1-4? Hashem! And who is talking in v5-7 ? Hashem as well.
            v.5 tells you what God said ( reported by the prophet) so it is in the 3rd person.
            Then v.6 continues the message about what else God Himself says about that servant..
            If the v.6 says ; “…I called YOU, then grammatically and logically YOU refers to the subject described above.

            If I am a school principal and say; you Mr Jones are going to teach 2 grade this year. Then somebody says ” school principle said so. Then I continue; you will do this and this…. I am still talking about Mr Jones.

            If you suggesting a new servant because of ” so said Hashem” notice that between Is 49;1-7 and v8 you have the same situation and in v.8 ” so said Hashem ” ( and even with the space between verses) doesn’t suggest a new servant.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Sharbano, today most Jews don’t refer Ps 110 to the messianic they think it relates to another king, but there has never been a king to whom God said to sit at His right hand till He would put enemies under the king’s feet. then .dispatching his ( king’s) staff of his strength FROM ZION, rule amid his enemies! at the same time called as king of righteousness ( Is 11;4 ) and a priest FOREVER.
            v5. Th e Lord is at his right crushing kings on the day of His anger ( vengeance day) compare to Zeh 14.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            Just wanted to let you know that I’m still working on your many responses on Isaiah 53. I printed out a bunch of them and I have over ten pages of single-spaced text! So I am getting through it slowly, as I wanted to also read yet again chapters 43 to 66 and take notes.

            Thanks for your patience!

            Best wishes,
            Dina

  14. Dina says:

    Eric, thanks for sending me to this page. I just finished reading through all the comments. I’ll get back to you either end of this week or beginning of next, God willing.

    Be well,
    Dina

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      Dina, It is good to look at the surrounding chapters to have a better picture.
      My question is on what do you conclude that God is addressing Isaiah as servant in cht 49? I have objections to that for the following reasons; To my observation v.1-3 God is talking about Israel, then you don’t mind that all of a sudden there is a swich of the servant? You didn’t like that about Is 53 but anyways we can see indeed that God is addressing a different servant in v 5-7 because of a CHANGE of DESCRIPTION of the MISSION. Then we don’t insist on the context. The same happens when talking about Is 53, ( the different mission tells you of a different servant) but I will get to it later. I just want to focus first on the thing why I don’t believe God is talking here about prophet Isaiah in ch 49.
      First of all Isaiah is a messanger/ prophet speaking ABOUT the servants, not a servant carrying a mission of restoration himself. The book of Isaiah is referring to Israel about their ‘ ways of going astray’ and call to repentance and coming back to God and the promise of redemption. Then v7 explains; who is God talking to; He is talking to the despised soul, to the one loathed by nations, to the servant of the rulers. Kings will see him ( servant) and arise, officers will prostrate themselves ( because of God ) who has chosen you.
      Definitelly from that description Isaiah doesn’t fit here, he is not a despised soul, not loathed by nations, and kings won’t bowe down before him.
      Also based on v5-6 tells me the servant can’t be either Israel ( that the Stone edition is proposing) as he is going to lift up the tribes of Jacob and restore the ruins of Israel and will be light to gentiles. He is neither the nation , neither Isaiah but a servant who will take an important action of restoration of people ( all people). I believe it is about Yeshua./Jesus, That servant is matching the servant in is 53. The same way the servant in Is 53 will bring healing to the nations , the same way he will lift up tribes of Jacob in ch 49.
      The servant is mentioned to be honored by the nations and leaders in ch 49, the same way the servant is exalted in ch 53. By the way the fact of Israels redemption in the future and God’s intervention and restoration of the nation where Messiah will be living in the midst and all that glorious time doesn’t exclude the other servant’s mission and exaltation by God.

      You say ; ch 52 ” when the nations of the world are mentioned and described as being shocked, Israel is not included. Definitelly the remnant at that time can’t be shocked by God ‘s intervention and redemption because they will expect it and are looking forward to it. Second thing that is good to look at Is 59;20 that tellls you when the redeemer will come; when the peoples HEARTS WILL BE READY ” the redeemer will come to THOSE of Jacob WHO turn back from sin.” Then from Zah 13;9 we know that there will be 1/3 remnant left whom God will purify .
      Also Zah 12 tells you that people will be humbled and mourning over a certain fact in a VERY specific way although it is said that God will give victory to the tents of Judah, He will shield the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the feebles of them shall be in that day like David. That would be the reasons for joy.
      The Talmud at Sukkot 52a,cites a prophecy from Zechariah 12:10 –They will look on Me, whom they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

      About chapter 40 , especially v 5 and v10 it is messianic. The glory of God will be revealed , or Jerusalem translation says ‘ the presence of the Lord shall appear and ALL FLESH as one SHALL BEHOLD /SEE and
      v 10 talks about coming of God. So definitelly the redemption will include God’s visible intervention that I believe will be part of people’ astonishment, it will include God’s servant’ exaltation ( the Messiah) and exaltation over restoration of His people and glorification of the place ( Zion) where the glory of God will dwell.

      Do you know that gentiles ( believers) will also be part of God’s people ? Zah 2;14-15
      “Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” declares the LORD. Many nations will join themselves to the LORD in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you. “

      • Dina says:

        Hi Eric,

        I do think it’s appropriate to take up our conversation under this post, as the topic is Isaiah 53.

        Before I continue, I’d like you to know something. I’m not trying to win a debate or prove you wrong. I’m interested in the truth.

        The view of traditional Jews when studying our Scriptures is that context is indeed important and that the plain meaning of the text is its primary meaning. While we learn and appreciate additional layers of meaning and deeper insight, such as those provided by the Midrash, these do not replace or supersede the primary, plain meaning.

        So when you say context does not apply in identifying the servant, then I must disagree with you.

        I don’t have time to respond to all your points, so I will show you how context identifies the servant in Isaiah 49. Then in my next comment, God willing, I will show how the Jewish interpretation based on context really does make sense. I do not have as much time as usual this week, so I don’t know when I will get that out to you.

        In the first verse, the prophet addresses the people and says, “Hashem summoned me [Isaiah] from the belly etc.” In the second verse, he says, “He [Hashem] said to me [Isaiah]: You are my servant, Israel, in whom I take glory.” (Isaiah, God’s servant, represents Israel, according to the very plain meaning and context.)

        God tells Isaiah his task is to restore Israel to him. The context of Tanach shows that this was the task of every prophet, to return the people to Hashem. Needless to say, as Tanach records it, they often failed in this task. Isaiah expresses his frustration over this when he says in verse 4, “But I have toiled in vain and used up my strength for nothingness and naught.”

        Going back to the context, Hashem nevertheless says that though his servant is despised by all the nations He will protect him; then the context identifies this servant as the people of the covenant.

        7: Thus said Hashem, the Redeemer of Israel and their Holy One, to the despised soul, to the one loathed by nations, to the SERVANT of rulers: Kings will see you and arise, officers will prostrate themselves because of Hashem…Who has chosen you.

        8:…I will protect you, and I will make you [the servant] the people of the covenant.

        The parallel to Isaiah 53 of a loathed and despised servant who will be exalted–and who is explicitly identified as the people of Israel–is a point I will discuss in a future comment, God willing.

        The context of Isaiah chapters 43-55 clearly identifies the servant as Israel. Therefore, the Jewish position that the servant in Isaiah 53 is Israel is logical, consistent, and makes sense. I am not asking you to accept our position. But I do think you can understand it even as you disagree.

        My last point: this reading is not the result of my personal bias but conforms to the plain, contextual meaning of the Book of Isaiah. Some Christian bibles agree and also identify the servant in Isaiah 53 as Israel: The New Interpreter’s Study Bible, The HarperCollins Study Bible, and The New English Bible Oxford Study Edition, for example.

        • Dina, Eric. I think it is safe to say, that the pshat of Isaiah 53 is that the servant is the righteous and humble remnant of Israel, but that context also allows (as was the case concerning Isaiah the prophet that Dina mentioned) the messenger who represents the whole, to bear the title servant, on behalf of Israel. The reason there are midrashim which speak of messiah, and Israel, is because both and, Israel and messiah (the head representative,) can be present in the plain meaning.)

        • Eric Krakofsky says:

          Dina, I will go back to you with delay, I have too many messages and little time. It’s vacation time for me.

          • Dina says:

            Okay, thanks for letting me know and enjoy your vacation.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Dina, I am doing some research on Jewish old texts and interpretations of Is 53 and there are lots of interesting facts to solve the puzzle for both sides. I will go back to emailing hopefully after the weekend or around it- we will see whenever I find more time.
            thanks for patience. I still have in mind the points I haven’t answered that I will do later.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, that’s great! Do you mind sharing what texts you’re examining? Just curious…

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Dina, yourphariseefriend,

            The history of Jewish interpretation on Isaiah 53
            A ) confusion and introducing two messiahs
            B) references to older Jewish sources pointing to the Messiah

            Ancient Jewish commenraties say that Is 52;13 and Is 53 were recognised as refering to the Messiah, so long before any christian influence. Many commentaries saw only some verses refering to the Messiah. Those who saw similarities to the nation also saw distinctive details speaking for an individual carrying other responsibilities among the nation. Similarities didn’t have to suggest the same subject as there are so many examples of that in the scriptures.( like Is 53 and Jeremiah 11; 19 ) Similarities also mean that 2 subjects might be sharing something in common but introduced distinctive details about one of them makes the other subject stand out as he carries some other responsibilities. That is how many ancient Jews saw both Israel and the Messiah in reference to Is 52;13-53.

            1) One of the facts speaking for the evidence that the suffering of the Messiah was ever recognized by Jews , was introducing by a concept of having two messiah long before Christian influence.

            The concept of 2 Messiah was simply result of not seeing how to put all the puzzles together – about the Messianic details found in the scriptures that seemed to contradict each other. Definitelly suffering of the Messiah didn’t seem to go together with the conquering hero and redeemer. The picture of 2 characters of Messiah ; one ,humble and suffering , the other conquering – was also influenced by daniel 7;13 which found its solution in th following Jewish conclusion ( talmud) ; If Israel is worthy , the Messiah will come in the clouds of heaven, but if not worthy he will ride in on a donkey ( based on Is 9;9). They presented two ways of his coming; one as a humble man , the other coming in clouds of heaven to conquer and rule . That was still before any Christian influence, and not based on any distorted christian translations, nor made up stories by Christian missionaries.

            B) references to antient sources pointing to the suffering Messiah.

            Prior to Rashi many rabbis frequently interpreted Isaiah 53 in reference to the Messiah.
            The Talmud, likely influenced by Isaiah 53, describes the Messiah as the “sick one,” or the leper scholar (San 98b). Targum Jonathan ben Uziel recognizes the Messiah in Isaiah 53, although it emphasizes Messiah’s victory and not his suffering. Ruth Rabbah also interprets Isaiah 53:5 with reference to the Messiah. Midrash Tanchuma says the servant’s exaltation describes the Messiah.

            The ancient Targumim, was refering Isaiah 52:13-53:12 to both Israel and the messiah among them.
            The ancient Targumim from 2nd temple , particular 52:13 was interpreted as referring to mashiach.

            “Behold, My Servant the Messiah shall prosper.” Targum (“Targum Jonathan”) to Isaiah 52:13, various editions (such as Samson H. Levey, The Messiah: An Aramaic Interpretation; the Messianic Exegesis of the Targum.” Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College, 1974, p. 63).

            “We know that messianic homilies based on Joseph’s career (his saving role preceded by suffering), and using Isaiah 53 as the prophetic portion, were preached in certain old synagogues which used the triennial cycle…” Rav Asher Soloff, “The Fifty Third Chapter of Isaiah According to the Jewish Commentators, to the Sixteenth Century” (Ph.D. Thesis, Drew University,1967), p. 146.
            Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 98b
            “The Rabbis said: His name is “the leper scholar,” as it is written, Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of God, and afflicted. [Isaiah 53:4]. — Soncino Talmud edition.
            “By the words “surely he hath carried our sicknesses,” they mean that the pains and sickness which he fell into were merited by them, but that he bore them instead. . . . And here I think it necessary to pause for a few moments, in order to explain why God caused these sicknesses to attach themselves to the Messiah for the sake of Israel.” The Karaite Yefeth ben Ali (10th c.)

            Lekach Tov (11th c. Midrash) And let his [Israel’s] kingdom be exalted,” in the days of the Messiah, of whom it is said, “Behold my servant shall prosper; he will be high and exalted, and lofty exceedingly.”– Driver and Neubauer, p. 36.

            Nachmanides (R. Moshe ben Nachman) (13th c.) “The right view respecting this Parashah is to suppose that by the phrase “my servant” the whole of Israel is meant. . . .As a different opinion, however, is adopted by the Midrash, which refers it to the Messiah, it is necessary for us to explain it in conformity with the view there maintained. The prophet says, The Messiah, the son of David of whom the text speaks, will never be conquered or perish by the hands of his enemies. And, in fact the text teaches this clearly. . . . And by his stripes we were healed — because the stripes by which he is vexed and distressed will heal us; God will pardon us for his righteousness, and we shall be healed both from our own transgressions and from the iniquities of our fathers.”– Driver and Neubauer, pp. 78 ff.

            Yalkut ii: 571 (13th c.) “Who art thou, O great mountain (Zech. iv. 7.) This refers to the King Messiah. And why does he call him “the great mountain?” Because he is greater than the patriarchs, as it is said, “My servant shall be high, and lifted up, and lofty exceedingly” — he will be higher than Abraham, . . . lifted up above Moses, . . . loftier than the ministering angels.” Driver and Neubauer, p. 9.The same passage is found in Midrash Tanhuma to Genesis (perhaps 9th c.), ed. John T. Townsend (Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1989), p. 166.

            R. Mosheh Kohen ibn Crispin (14th c.) “This Parashah the commentators agree in explaining of the Captivity of Israel, although the singular number is used in it throughout. . . .As there is no cause constraining us to do so, why should we here interpret the word collectively, and thereby distort the passage from its natural sense?. . . As then it seemed to me that the doors of the literal interpretation of the Parashah were shut in their face, and that “they wearied themselves to find the entrance,” having forsaken the knowledge of our Teachers, and inclined after the “stubbornness of their own hearts,” and of their own opinion, I am pleased to interpret it, in accordance with the teaching of our Rabbis, of the King Messiah, and will be careful, so far as I am able, to adhere to the literal sense.” — Driver and Neubauer, pp. 99-100.

            Another comment from R. Mosheh Kohen ibn Crispin
            “If his soul makes itself into a trespass-offering, implying that his soul will treat itself as guilty, and so receive punishment for our trespasses and transgressions.” — Driver and Neubauer, p. 112.

            R. Sh’lomoh Astruc (14th c.) ( those who saw Messiah and Israel as suffering servant)
            And the prophet calls the King Messiah my servant, speaking as one who sent him. Or he may call the whole people my servant, as he says above my people (lii. 6): when he speaks of the people, the King Messiah is included in it; and when he speaks of the King Messiah, the people is comprehended with him. What he says then is, that my servant the King Messiah will prosper. — Driver and Neubauer, p. 129.

            Midrash Rabbah interprets 53:5 with reference to the Messiah .
            While Rashi, Ibn Ezra and Radak all interpreted the passage with reference to Israel, other equally prominent leaders, such as Moses ben Nachman (called Nachmanides or the Ramban) felt compelled to follow the weight of ancient tradition and embrace the individual, Messianic interpretation of the Talmudic rabbis (found in the Midrash, despite his belief that the plain sense of the text supported the national interpretation). Noteworthy also is the oft-quoted comment of Rabbi Moshe Alshech, writing in the sixteenth century, “ Our rabbis with one voice accept and affirm the opinion that the prophet is speaking of the Messiah, and we shall ourselves also adhere to the same view.”

            Followers of Menachem Schneerson (1902-1994), the Grand Rabbi of the Lubavitcher Hasidic movement, apply Isaiah 53 to him as an individual, believing him to the Messiah who suffered.

            The Aramaic translation of chapter 53 , ascribed to Rabbi Jonathan ben Uzziel, a disciple of Hillel who lived early in the second century C.E., begins with the simple and worthy words:
            “Behold my servant Messiah shall prosper; he shall be high, and increase, and be exceeding strong: as the house of Israel looked to him through many days, because their countenance was darkened among the peoples, and their complexion beyond the sons of men. “(Targum Jonathan on Isaiah 53, ad Iocum)
            Babylonian Talmud:
            The Messiah—what is his name?…The Rabbis say, the leprous one; those of the house of Rabbi say, the sick one, as it is said, “Surely he hath borne our sicknesses.” (Sanhedrin 98b)

            In the Midrash Rabbah, an explanation of Ruth 2:14:
            He is speaking of the King Messiah: “Come hither” draw near to the throne “and dip thy morsel in the vinegar,” this refers to the chastisements, as it is said, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities.”

            Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Itzchaki, 1040-1105) and some of the later rabbis, though, interpreted the passage as referring to Israel. They knew that the older interpretations referred it to Messiah. However, Rashi lived at a time when a degenerate medieval distortion of Christianity was practiced. He wanted to preserve the Jewish people from accepting such a faith and, although his intentions were sincere, other prominent Jewish rabbis and leaders realized the inconsistencies of Rashi’s interpretation. They presented a threefold objection to his innovation. First, they showed the consensus of ancient opinion. Secondly, they pointed out that the text is in the singular. Thirdly, they noted verse eight. This verse presented an insurmountable difficulty to those who interpreted this passage as referring to Israel. It reads:
            He was taken away from rule and from judgment; and his life who shall recount? for he was cut off out of the land of the living; through the transgressions of my people was he stricken.
            Were the Jewish people, God forbid, ever cut off out of the land of the living? No! In Jeremiah 31:35-37, God promised that we will exist forever. We are proud that Am Yisrael Chai—”The people of Israel are much alive.” Likewise, it is impossible to say that Israel suffered for the transgressions of “my people,” which clearly means Isaiah’s people. Surely Isaiah’s people are not the Gentiles, but the Jews.

            The commentary of the great Jewish educator, Herz Homberg (1749-1841), who says:
            According to the opinion of Rashi and Ibn Ezra, it relates to Israel at the end of their captivity. But if so, what can be the meaning of the passage, “He was wounded for our transgressions”? Who was wounded? Who are the transgressors? Who carried out the sickness and bare the pain? The fact is that it refers to the King Messiah.

            One of the greatest Jewish religious poets, Eliezer HaKalir, paraphrased this chapter in the 9th century into rhyme and metric poetry. It is recited in the Yom Kippur prayer of Kether:
            “Messiah, our righteousness, hath turned from us: we are in terror and there is none to justify us! Our Iniquities and the yoke of our transgressions He did bear for He was wounded for our transgressions: He carries our sins upon His shoulders, that we may find forgiveness for our iniquities and by His stripes we are healed. O eternal One the time is come to make a new creation: from the vault of heaven bring Him up, out of Seir draw Him forth, that He may make His voice heard to us in Lebanon, a second time by the hand of Yinnon. ”
            – The words of the prophet Isaiah are words of hope. We have a glorious future and an abundant present if we appropriate the salvation made possible by the One who “was wounded through our transgressions and bruised through our iniquities.”

            Quotes from: Driver, S.R. and Neubauer, A. The Fifty-Third Chapter of Isaiah According to the Jewish Interpreters, Ktav Publishing House, New York, 1969.

            Other facts about the Messiah;
            According to Ps 110. he will be a priest forever.
            Psalm 2;8 ; Nations will be made his inheritance and th eends of the earth his possession. ( There was no king over Zion ever to whom God made that promise
            Jeremiah 30;21 – very close to God, able to approach Him.

          • Dina says:

            Hi, Eric. I’ve saved over thirty comments from you and others to review and respond to. Goodness me, I don’t think I’ll get to them all! I’ll start answering them as I have more time, but I want to thank you for staying with me in this conversation. No one else has lasted as long as you have in such a discussion with me. What that says about me I will leave you to conclude :)!

          • Dina says:

            Eric, I didn’t have time to read this whole comment, but I read about half of it, so I will respond briefly:

            The Midrash does not replace or supercede the plain meaning of the text. The Talmud offers a Midrashic explanation but also accepted the plain meaning. Also, the two explanations are not mutually exclusive. Insofar as the Messiah is part of the righteous remnant of Israel, he suffers along with them.

            Furthermore, a lot of Christians, like Concerned Reader for example, are under the impression that the Talmud was written in response to Christianity. Or else they believe that it was heavily influenced by Christianity. If the rabbis were trying to subtly sneak in anti-Christian arguments into a text that lacks mention of Christians, why not make the very obvious argument that Isaiah 53 refers only to Israel?

            You wrote that ancient texts show that Jews accepted the Christian interpretation of Isaiah 53 but not the modern Jewish one–but you provided texts that post-date, not pre-date, Christianity.

        • Eric Krakofsky says:

          Dina,
          When I said that context does not apply in identifying the servant I was pointing to your way of explaining the servant of Is 49; 5-6, according to the context it would still talk about Israel like it was in v.3. Because the subject of servant is not named clearly or given another name and we would not see the reason why it changed, it would still remain the same like in v 3. But the description of him and his mission is so different that we know the subject of servant changed. That’s what I meant.
          That conclusion that God tells Isaiah that his task is to restore Israel to him can be debatable. It can be read both ways that it is Isaiah or Isaiah passing on God ‘s words about the servant who will restore tribes of Jacob. . So Isaiah- restorer or just Isaiah spokesman about another servant who belongs to the people of the covenant.
          The same way like prophets were talking about the Messiah and his mission.
          But why the second option speaks to me more is the description of him in v 6 b-7.
          I don’t have to compare it to any other chapter but definitely being loathed and DESPISED BY EVERY NATION doesn’t fit to Isaiah here… Neither being light to gentiles as Jewish prophets were mainly speaking to Jewish nation.
          Despised by all nations fits perfectly to Jesus where majority of unbelieving gentiles use his name in a curse, and treat the fact of his submission to death as an act of weakness.

          You are saying the context of Isaiah chapters 43-55 clearly identifies the servant as Israel. But then we have situation when the servant is different and singular like in Is 49;5-6 . So that shouldn’t deny the possibility of a singular servant spoken in Is 53.
          You know about that what you said ; ‘ Some Christian bibles agree and also identify the servant in Isaiah 53 as Israel: ” the same way I am finding Jewish sources from ancient Jews that do the opposite because they saw the Is 53 as Messianic or say it was at least partly messianic.

          Again in what I am saying – I want to make sure- I am not denying Jews are God’s servants and will be restored in the future. God’s servants in Isaiah are shown as those who failed and those who are faithful. What I am saying is that the mission in ch 53 doesn’t fit to the nation or any group of people despite of sharing the suffering. It was done by one of the servants ( I believe Yeshua) .
          The same way like for you the suffering of Jesus seems not needed to “heal’ people, the same way we don’t see the nation’ suffering as a purpose of restoring the world; that means healing, make others righteous, or coming to the knowledge of God. The future tells you that time of God’s presence dwelling with His people – its the best testimony for many unbelievers to see God, ( it’s not the need of suffering).

          • Dina says:

            Eric, the reason I cited those Christian bibles wasn’t to prove that my position is correct. I agree, that would be silly. I cited those Christian bibles to show that even if you read Hebrew Scripture with a Christian bias you can still see that Isaiah 53 when read carefully in context is the nation of Israel.

            My point is that the Jewish position that the context identifies the servant is not unreasonable. You think it’s ridiculous. I’m trying to show you why it’s not ridiculous, even if you disagree.

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Dina, As far as the issue of context– locally and globally, that identifies the servant according to you , you make your identification based on th e future promised restoration of Israel . So lets say God is exalting the righteous servants from A to…. Z, but what you do is the servant Y has no place in His exaltaion.
            Why? Because you don’t know if he ever existed? Well, if he did he will be exalted whether you believe or not.
            Do I know who exactly were the righteous ones to believe there was some remnant that the songs of servant are talking about???
            Future restoration of Israel and ‘ healing ‘ of people doesn’t mean you had to contribute to that with your suffering. God says he will restore you because He is merciful , for the sake of His name not because of the sake of the nation’s suffering Is 48;9-11

            As far as your context based on th e words Is 52;15 doesn’t have to indicate the next chapter is the nations report in the future. My objection to your points was the fact that many christians believe in israel’s restoration so it is not matching the description in Is 52;15 ; there is th e news they have never heard before , they will see something which had not been told to them. Many books about prophecy are talking about Israel’s restoration!!!!

            Another thing is, if half of Israel that is not called the righteous remnant it has to have it’s place in th e description in Is 53. If they don’t identify with the righteous, they would have to identify also with th e words of those who went astray like sheep. v 6 Then the nations are not the only ones speaking in that chapter. Then Israel is suffering on also on behalf of Israel. Then whose suffering brings healing? There are the righteous Jews who never had to really suffer, they are the bad ones who really suffered. I wrote before that th e description of the servant is simply not matching any group of people. Can you identify yourself with all th e words that relate to that servant? Are you annointed one with th e Spirit of th e Lord upon you? Is 61;1, Are you in ‘ his ‘ death with the wealthy? Is 53 Are you taken away by oppresive judgement? Are you cut off from the land of the living? You don’t live in Israel but what about those who do? The only person that matched all verse by verse description in Is 53 was Yeshua, not even mentioning the facts written about him from other verses so called ” songs of the servant’ that are happening now and will be also done in th e future during the Messiah ‘ coming. Matching the identity of the Messiah.

            Another thing is ; The healing according to you (iIn Is 53) and justification would relate only to people in the future after Israel suffered. But we see that God worked with th e mankind on the same terms and conditions of showing His unmerited grace to all long before Israel came into existance, which didn’t include a nation to suffer on behalf of others.
            The best example is Cain. God is ‘protecting ‘ th e man despite his crimes, He is protecting th e killer giving him time to repent and change. So does God nowadays.

  15. Yedidiah says:

    It is hard not to be confused by Christian eschatology (“last things”, or death, the end of the world, the judgement & ultimate destiny of humanity) since there are several major branches of thought and numerous sub-branches or differences in the details. There is amillennialism (the mainstream Christian end-times theology which rejects the theory that Jesus Christ will have a literal, thousand-year-long, physical reign on the earth). Then there is postmillennialism (which sees Christ’s “second coming” as occurring after a “Millennium”, or Golden Age in which Christian ethics prospers). And there is
    Premillennialism (belief that Jesus Christ will literally and physically return to the earth and take the righteous back to heaven with him, often called the Rapture). The last one is the most common belief in fundamentalist Protestant churches (the one my pastor usually seems to accept, except he alters it a bit in his discussions of “the end times” and “the world to come” with his Orthodox Rabbi friends). Differences occur, or are sometimes subtle” based on how literal or figurative or symbolic one takes the text and whether one favors the texts of the gospels or Paul’s letters, or John’s revelation.

    There are other ideas in interpreting the texts. Some people are Preterists; Preterism is a view that interprets prophecies of the Bible as events which have already happened. One can be a full or a partial preterist. Preterism holds that Ancient Israel finds its continuation or fulfillment in the Christian church at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. There are other Christians who take the non-literal or the “spiritual or allegorical” approach in the interpretation of the Book of Revelation and they see all of the imagery of the book as symbols. Most Christians, at least “fundamentalists”, probably interpret all or portions of the books of Revelation and Daniel, and other prophecies, as future events in a literal, physical, apocalyptic, and global way. There are different ideas that deal with the concepts of resurrection and retribution and of grace and judgement of all persons.

    Beliefs about Christian eschatology (like several other Christian beliefs) inherently have problems. This is not meant to be a complete list, but first, the NT text itself does not present one single coherent belief about this or other issues. Second, because there is no one single authority determining what is orthodox, which compounds the problem of the text. Third, the text of the Tanach did not anticipate nor speak clearly anything about “a Jesus” and one needs to parse its text carefully and interpret it in a pre-deterministic way in order to “read Jesus into its text”. Next, the Jesus “you found” in the Tanach, now has to be re-shaped a bit to remain in compliance with the Jesus found in the NT and the Jesus of the “end times” that is preached differently in different Churches. Jewish eschatology is different from Christian eschatology, although both claim some text as foundational (Tanach should supposedly be foundational to Jesus).

    So, Jesus said he was coming back soon. Many of his “Jewish followers” left him before his arrest and more left soon after that, if we can trust the gospel accounts, and apparently most of the other followers died before or during the first war with Rome (or later), and he did not come then nor soon after that. Now what is confusing (based on how I read Eric’s posts above), Jesus is supposedly coming again to Zion or Jerusalem and then after the Jews accept Jesus, this 2nd time, then “many from the nations” will see that and will come to worship with the Jews. These non-Jews won’t believe Jesus, because they are already Christians and need confirmation from Jews believing Jesus? Or they are non-Christians and Christians can convince them of Jesus and only believing Jews can do that? I don’t understand his arguments, which seems to put the “cart before the horse”.

    • Yedidiah says:

      The 2nd to last sentence should have read, “Or they are non-Christians and Christians can’t convince them of Jesus and only “believing” Jews can do that?”

      Jesus’ arrival didn’t convince these non-Christians? Perhaps, as the gospels say “Jesus can come as a thief in the night”.

      • Eric Krakofsky says:

        Yedidiah, I don’t understand where you took that argument you are writing about- you are confusing yourself – maybe you didn’t read my post carefully if you say it was in my post because I didn’t say anything like that. First of all where do you take that idea’ ” These non-Jews won’t believe Jesus, because they are already Christians and need confirmation from Jews believing Jesus????”
        When the Lord comes to Zion those who will be with him are both believing Jews and gentiles. Zah 2;14-15
        “Sing and be glad o daughter of Zion For behold I am coming and will dwell in your midst. Many nations will join themselves to Hashem on that day and they will become people unto Me and I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that Hashem the Master of Legions has sent me to you.”
        That doesn’t mean all gentiles in the world will be believers.
        So where is the problem?? Nobody will be convincing anybody at that time , the rest of the world will see where God’s presence is ” Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” Is 2;3 but that doesn’t mean all will want to follow God or how you say that: ‘Jesus’ arrival didn’t convince these non-Christians?” Just knowing who Messiah is doesn’t change anything if you don’t want to obey God. ( read Zehariach 14;16-19 .) especially v.17 It talks about those events after time of redemption; “If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain.”

        You mentioned the fact that Jesus didn’t come yet although expected in any time in the history, the same question I can ask why the Messiah Jews expect – has not come yet to fulfill all the words prophesied? God gives people time to repent. The Messiah’ coming is called also the great Day of The Lord in which God will judge many wicked who never repented. Those who are right with God are looking forward to him, those who don’t want to follow God – they won’t like the day of His arrival.

  16. Yedidiah says:

    Are there different levels of sin according to the NT? According to Matthew 5:19. “So anyone who breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever obeys them and teaches others to do so will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” So there is a ranking system or at least levels of reward in heaven based on your level of sin on earth. Note that there must be some people who do not break even one of the least of the commandments or else all are the least.

    Matthew 11:11, “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater.” If Jesus was greater than John, then he is among the least or the least in heaven. If he was sinless, you must consider that he was the least on earth, and among other people who are great in heaven.

    • LarryB says:

      Just want to follow this

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      yedidiah, You mentioned different levels of sin according to the NT Matthew 5:19. is talking about those who will find themselves in the kingdom of heaven! Are you aware that not everybody wil be there ? Why some won’t have to die eternally??? What makes them immortal ( although they sin) contra those who won’t see resurrection?
      What’s wrong with the levels of reward in heaven based on your actions on earth? Don’t parents reward their kids for good or punish for bad ?

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      yedidiah, To your words in Matthew 11:11, “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater.”
      Another words the least in heaven will be greater than the greatest on earth.

      Notice that it is Jesus saying these words , he is above John as he is Son of God not only a prophet. John the Baptist is called great because he was preparing the way for Jesus.
      What Jesus was saying by these words is to describe the greatness of heaven( kingdom of heaven) that even the least in the hierarhy in heaven is considered greater than John. ( who is on earth) That means the least ones will be on higher level than John being on earth preparing the way.. Hierarhy in heaven is above this one on earth

      • Yedidiah says:

        Right, earth and heaven are 2 different places. But remember Jesus is talking to people in one of those places and it is wise not to confuse the two. So was Jesus not born of a woman, or of those “born of women”? Can Jesus not praise another, even above himself? Or was that spoken in a moment of humility, unlike much of what is found in the gospel of John? And what sort of entity is a “Son of God”? Are you talking about human Messiahs and Son of God, like King David or Saul, or are you promoting some sort of polytheism? How can one tell one Son from another Son (when they said the same words and did the same deeds), except as some wish to believe, from reading the words written, and often edited, by ordinary, fallible humans promoting a type of god-man Son?

        I hope that this is not taken harshly. But, remember some people whom you address, do not believe what you believe. They read their texts without your bias and closer to spirit and context of the original authors of the text.

  17. There are indeed levels of sin expressed in the NT! Peter denies Jesus three times, and has ample chances to stand up for him, but he doesn’t until later. He becomes one of the three prime disciples. Judas does the same, hands, Jesus over, and then kills himself! Most early Christians considered him lost, possibly with the ability to receive reconciliation at the end. Before Augustine and Anselm, before Protestantism, all Christians believed that believing in Jesus meant obeying his mode of life, not just confessing him. Paul says if you believe in your heart that G-d raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. The heart in the ancient world was regarded as the seat of reason, and emotion. If you truly believe with your heart, it means you are devoted to the whole message, not just the name. Many have asked on this blog, how it is possible that I have maintained that believing in Jesus isn’t all that we need. Jesus said as much himself on several occasions. If you love me, you will keep my commandments. You say that you love me, and yet keep not what I say? None of his parables make any sense, if he didn’t want people to live righteously. None of the ethical or praxis oriented strata of the NT make any sense if you hold that all you need is belief. A savior cannot save one who does not want it, and because we have free will, we have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Why would Paul say that if your deeds didn’t matter? People can live righteously according to the Biblical narrative.

    • Yedidiah says:

      You are slowly coming around. Except you still have have a simple or misguided understanding of protestant beliefs. It might help if you would respond to Protestants on this blog, so that they can clarify their positions on certain issues. Some are just as knowledgeable as you on the NT. But be careful about making unsubstantiated or unsupportable claims such as “Before Augustine and Anselm, before Protestantism, all Christians believed that believing in Jesus meant…” If they don’t see it as ignorance, they may see it as a strong bias.

    • Yedidiah says:

      Judas was a suffering servant. He was greatly despised for being sent out to carry out his mission. A sacrificial lamb and an essential element in the story.

      • Eric Krakofsky says:

        yedidiah, can you explain here what you mean about Judas as a suffering servant and what mission are you talking about of him being sent out? Who did his suffering serve???
        I would be glad to respond if I knew what you mean…

        • Yedidiah says:

          Judas was a trusted servant of Jesus and he suffered and he was despised. Take Judas out of the gospels and there would be no gospels or else Jesus would have to have another scapegoat or else the story would have to be altered some bit. What you are implying is that Jesus was ignorant, despite his words and deeds at the “last supper” (and before and after). “All shall fall” and Jesus even knew details denial by Peter. You appear to be implying that Jesus was ignorant, unless we should assume that the ignorance is on your part.

          John 13:2-3, “The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simonʼs son, that he should betray Jesus. Because Jesus knew that the Father had handed all things over to him….”
          Luke 4:6, “And he said to him, “To you I will grant this whole realm – and the glory that goes along with it, for it has been relinquished to me, and I can give it to anyone I wish.”

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            yedidiah, I don’t see where are you going with bringing up a subject of judas and him being a servant. The reason we are discussing the subject of suffering servant in general was to show if jesus was the one fulfilling the mission described in is 53. So Judas story doesn’t really fit here but if you want to discus him I let you know; Yes Judas was Jesus servant till the time when he decided to serve somebody else, that means the devil and he betrayed his master for 30 silver coins. Again, you are adding some thoughts to my messages that weren’t there. There was no implying of mine that Jesus was ignorant in anything I said. Maybe you are refering your answers to somebody else ..
            As far as Judas’ suffering and being despised – it was not as a result of serving God but making a wrong choice resulting in his suicide..
            And God can make good use of everything and use our mistakes to accomplish His purposes because He knows ahead what’s coming. That is a big difference to what yoiu said. Also , first you have to have Jesus as a servant to point to Judas as a servant because he had his master to serve to. But where is your connection to Isaiah with it ?

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      Concerned reader, I agree with your observation that believing in Jesus isn’t all that we need.
      I thought everybody realized that here that Christians are not talking about believing in terms of ‘ knowing of someone’s existence.’ Even rebellious angels know about God’s existence but that doesn’t make them any better. I just thought I would mention that.

  18. Yedidiah, when I use the term Protestants, I mean those Protestants who hold to a sola fide approach, who do not believe works or deeds matter for salvation. For the record, the idea that G-d is mad at us, and needs to satisfy his wrath through the death of Jesus (in its current form of emphasis and popular western understanding) indeed comes from Anselm of Canterbury, in the light of his reading of Augustine. I myself was raised Protestant, so if I seem harsh, I apologize. I mean no offense. There are so many denominations, it is difficult to represent them all in their details. My understanding of Protestantism is not simple, and I will amend my statement regarding all Christians, to prominent orthodox Christians before Augustine and Anselm had different ideas, mostly in eastern Churches. Is that specific enough?

    • Yedidiah says:

      Many of them (I am not speaking for myself), will say the term salvation stands for one thing, perhaps one point in time. There is a “before” (seeking forgiveness, repentance, salvation prayer, etc.,) and an “after (joining a church family, attending services, etc). Somewhere in-between is baptism and maybe being-filled-with-the-holy-spirit and maybe speaking-in-tongues, etc. Some believe, that unless one assumes the Holy Spirit or Jesus is weak, then “once saved-always saved”, unless one was never really saved, but “were never repentant and stayed in their sins”. Others believe anyone can “fall from grace”, can “back-slide”, be “tempted by the devil” in their weakest moments, etc. Some believe you can be “saved without belief in Jesus” and some read scripture as saying that “Jesus died for everyone’s sins and therefore all are saved”.

      Some will say that you are ignoring or minimizing (as a “liberal”) all the terms or ideas in the NT such as wrath (especially in Revelation), cup, blood, “cut down and throw in the fire”. A lot of people do get their theology from whatever their pastor tells them, but many believers get their belief straight from what they read without prejudice. That is where a lot of those pastors got their beliefs from as well, and if some even heard of Anselm or even Augustine, they would reject most of the teachings.

      • That’s the problem Yedidiah. People are just reading scripture on its own, and a lot of context (time,place,original audience, etc. ) are missed when these preachers interpret, that’s why there are so many denominations. One very important reason that people are confused about “saved” and what it means, is that they think that salvation is more a recognition of some theological concept, some doctrine, rather than simple righteousness and justice. I’m not minimizing wrath, I just pay attention to the plain ethical teachings first, and only read theological homiletical points second. The NT teaches plainly and in unambiguous terms, that the saved clothe themselves (in thought and deed) with the example of Jesus. Wrath is for those who are genuinely bad people, not the person who is attempting to live the message. I also realize that a central aspect of Jesus’ teaching is an emphasis on an avoidance of pride and self importance. When I hear a Christian say that they are saved, and a non Christian isn’t, it makes me sick. Are these people G-d? Do they know judgement beforehand? The one who is last shall be first, those who serve, shall be served, etc. Even if I take a common Protestant reading that says that nothing I do means anything in terms of salvation, and salvation is a free gift, that means to me, that I have no right to boast over people who haven’t accepted my religion. It is the height of Hubris for people to say that G-d gave me a gift, and now I can speak to someone as if I am better than them because of it. I don’t care if someone says I’m liberal, that’s fine, I would say these people are confusing faith and politics. The main problem is judgement against others without even knowing other perspectives. You can’t be a righteous judge, if you don’t give all views a fair hearing.

        • Yedidiah says:

          You would hope that reading the plain words is all that many people would need (for those who want more than only the “sound bites” or want to be “spoon fed”). Don’t forget that there are many others who are taught “time,place,original audience, etc.” and who do teach and who do life-long study. And some of the best or better scholars do produce translations & versions that are easier for the “normal person” to understand and that are acceptable to “all”. There are more & more “study bibles” (so many now that many are “pop bibles” telling the “customer” what they want to hear). Five or so years ago, quite a few people were truly excited when the “Orthodox Study Bible” came out since it was “ancient Christianity speaking to today’s world”.

          I don’t really agree with the idea that people (at least most of those that I am acquainted with) think of salvation as some “theological concept” or “doctrine”. But then maybe even using terms like “righteousness and justice” will appear to be too “bookish” or too much like theological concepts for their taste. They would agree with looking at the ethics or the morality first (do into others, love, etc). In fact, many would be bored or “turned off” by “too much theologizing”. Some only want to be lead into “jumpin & shoutin”. Many people do feel justified to be pleased when the arrogant or boastful, judgmental “saved person” falls. The “unsaved” will say “see, they weren’t any better than me”; they admire the humble, confident, and pleasant Christian.

          • What I mean by ethics is not simply love, but practices, actions, ritual, and liturgy. There are many study bibles, that’s true. I have the orthodox study bible, it’s very hard to have an orthodox study bible, since the tradition has so much volume. One of the reasons I emphasize deep academic peer reviewed study, as opposed to plain reading of sacred texts is because it gets to the meat of the second temple context, the fact that these documents arose from a halachic culture. Getting to that level of understanding is very important, as it dispels anti-Jewish and anti Semitic readings of Christian literature, and puts them in a clearer context. If a person realizes that love of G-d and neighbor was in the Torah first, realizes that Jesus fits within the milieu of 1st century Judaism, they don’t need to see Judaism in a negative light. Jesus was not just a Jew, he was a Jew who was observant of the peculiars of the law in his day, and he argued from within that context. A preacher who “studies” and yet speaks of the new things Jesus did, doesn’t in fact understand Jesus very well. When he said I come to fulfill, to him this did not mean a new law, but the proper interpretation of the law of Moses. I don’t emphasize the need for scholarship to be boastful, or to indicate superiority, but to illustrate that much information in the text can not be properly understood simply by reading, even if it’s a good bible. Take the horrible evils spoken in John’s gospel about Jews. If you go to school, read academic journals in biblical studies, histories from non Christian scholars, you will learn a much broader context that gives deeper understanding.For instance, knowing John’s gospel was being written in 90 ce likely by a Jewish Christian with Hellenistic inflluence, who lived post destruction, in a community at odds with the Synagogue, illuminates the rhetoric in the text in a way that disarms it’s vitriol better than a church bible study ever could. “Sounding to bookish” or going too deep, there is no such thing. If people feel that study gets too deep, they probably shouldn’t be going around shepherding people, don’t you agree? These books are thousands of years old, we can’t read them as if they were the NY times, or a simple book, for simple folk. These books have authority structures, interpretations over centuries, unstated assumptions for the original readers, contemporary cultural insights, etc. all things that a plain reading does not divulge.

  19. Eric
    The point I was trying to make about sins being different is that it is possible for a person not to be sinless yet the Bible will still refer to him as “someone who has not gone astray” – Psalm 44:19 confirms my position.
    Therefore – your argument that the servant of Isaiah 53 (who has not gone astray as did those who are looking at him) cannot be the nation is simply non-Scriptural.
    You distinguish between two types of “not gone astray” – you say that there is a general one for people who trust in God and a more specific one that gives someone the ability to deal with other people’s sin. This sir, is your own speculation.
    Now verse 11 explicitly says that through his knowledge the servant will render many righteous – this is a parallel to Zechariah 8:23 where the nations want to walk with Israel – to learn from them – after all – this nation (the righteous remnant) carries God’s Law in their heart (Isaiah 51:7). So the teaching of God’s ways will help the nations become righteous – through their own repentance, of-course, but with guidance from those who walk with God.
    Yes, the servant sees God’s purpose succeed through him – this includes his suffering and what he will do in the future (teach the nations).
    I showed you Isaiah 49:23 to demonstrate that Israel will be rewarded for having hoped to God throughout her exile – that means that in a certain sense Israel (again the righteous remnant) is righteous even before the restoration – at least as they hope to God. We also see in Isaiah 65:8 that for the sake of the righteous servants (plural) God has compassion on others as well.
    The “healing” is spoken in past tense – it has been done already – so I understand this to be referring to simple physical protection. The rendering righteous is spoken in future tense – therefore I understand this to be a Messianic prophecy that has not yet been fulfilled.
    You argue that the examples I used to show how people can bear other’s sins (Numbers 18:1 and Ezekiel 4:4) are not referring to redemption from death – neither is Isaiah 53. The rendering righteous is done through the servant’s knowledge in a future time and is not accomplished through his suffering.
    You request that I show you verse by verse how Isaiah 53 refers to the righteous remnant of Israel – I hope to put up an article on that soon – it’s a fair request.
    My point about the words on the side of the UN building – I see this as a fulfillment of Isaiah 49:6 where the servant is told that through him the salvation of God will reach the ends of the earth – it was Isaiah and the Jewish people who carried his universal message that gives hope to the world – and not someone who gives a very exclusivist message.

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      yourphariseefriend,To your words; “The point I was trying to make about sins being different is that it is possible for a person not to be sinless yet the Bible will still refer to him as “someone who has not gone astray” – Psalm 44:19 confirms my position.”
      That would mean anybody can put himself in the same position considering himself the one who has not gone astray, no matter what sin he commited as long as he looks and trusts God. Second; since anyone can be called righteous as long as he hopes in God , there is no need for others to suffer to make them righteous like Is 53 . 11 says.

      There are NO 2 types of “not gone astray” – if anyone who is with God can be considered; ‘ not gonen astray’, the one with the mission of dealing with other people’s sin is included in the same position-privillage ‘ not gone astray’ .
      As far as Zechariah 8:23 where the nations want to walk with Israel this refers to the future events of restoration , times in which also gentiles are joned to the Lord as His people . ( zeh 2;14-15) You are trying to fit Is 53. 11 with the words “through his knowledge the servant will render many righteous” to these events with your own interpretation. I don’t deny there will be people in the nations at that time who still won’t know God and will be looking for guidance, but v.11 applies to completly another mission. v.11 clearly states that the servant will carry peoples’ iniquities. It doesn’t explaine the future events of the nations learning from Jews. Is 53 talks about the mission is ACOMPLISHED THROUGH THROUGH THE SERVANT’S SUFFERING.
      Suffering of Jews is not needed for others in order for them to come to the knowledge of God. And the servant in that chapter is suffering by God’s desire.
      It is said the suffering of the servant was to our benefit v5 So tell me who is included in that beneficial group?All people? Then how did Nazis or Cricaders benefit from causing Jews to suffer? How were they healed/ physically protected? That wouldn’t make any sense.
      You say ” The rendering righteous is spoken in future tense – therefore I understand this to be a Messianic prophecy that has not yet been fulfilled.”
      But you state that we can call people righteous as long as they hope and trust God ( like the righteous remnant) . On that base you consider your nation righteous now , why the gentiles who hope in God can’t and have to wait till the guidence in the future?
      If there are gentiles joined to the Lord at the time of restoration ( to dwell together where the kingdom is set) as His people, how did they become righteous? ( Zeh 2;14-15)
      In Isaiah 49:23 Israel will be rewarded for having hoped to God – no problem- but it is said that redeemer will come to Zion when the hearts will be ready. He will come to those of Jacob who repent . ( Is 59;20) If God is waiting still for the remnant to repent and for gentiles to repent, everybody is on the same path.

      You are saying that in Isaiah 65:8 ” for the sake of the righteous servants (plural) God has compassion on others as well.”
      The verse says; ” Thus said Hashem . Just as when the wine is found in a cluster and someone says. Do not destroy it, for there is blessing in it, so I will do for my servants, not to destroy everything. I will bring off offspring of Jacob and from Judah the heir of My mountain, my chosen ones will inherit it and my servants will dwell there.”
      From what I see God is talking about offspring of Jacob to have compassion on. So for the sake of righteous servants God will bring off Jacobs offspring. He is not talking about the nations that because Israel suffered , now God is merciful to other nations. Then is says that those whom God called and didn’t answer and have forsaken God, He will consign to the sword. ( another words they will be destroyed)v.11-12.
      Did you also notice that when Isaiah talks about God’s servants ( whole book) it doesn’t mean they all were doing what God told them to do? There are no words in Is 65;8 that God is talking about righteous remnant. He calls Israel His servants and says He is not going to destroy everything ( refering to them) . He knows there will be offspring from Jacob that will listen to Him. That is what Is 65;8 is talking about. So it is not supporting the mission in Is 53.

      To understand what type of redemption is Is 53 referring to , you have to know what type of healing it is bringing and what type of benefit. But because we disagree on our interpretation , my words won’t be speaking to you. It would require us to go the scriptual base for sin-death relation in Gen 3 to understand the reason of mankind mortality. Then looking in the future promise of no death Is 25. Then you will see why Jesus’s suffering by bearing our sins and dying for them – make sense becoming our substitute punishment – so that death doesn’t have to hold us. God proved that by Jesus’ resurrection. More , it is said everybody will be resurrected through him. It will be his voice that God will call us. God proved it raising also Lazarus from the dead through Jesus. Nobody gets raised to life sooner untill at the Messiah’ coming. ( Ezekiel) You may doubt it but there is nothing in the scripture to deny him as God’s servant.
      Don’t get me wrong, Jews are God’s people and His servants ( some failing, some true) and they suffered , but they – as a nation- are just not doing the mission in Is 53 of bearing peoples sins to others’ healing. One of God’s servants did on behalf of everybody..

      • Dina says:

        Didn’t read this whole comment, just wanted to point out that “not gone astray” does not mean “sinless.” That’s all.

        • Eric Krakofsky says:

          Dina, I have already put my point about ‘sinless’ and ‘not gone astray’ in response to
          ypfriend. I think we are clear about it now.

      • Eric
        You say that my position about “not gone astray” has that term apply to too many people. You say that anyone can trust in God – no matter what sin they committed – and the Scripture will refer to them as “not gone astray.” Yu further ask, that if anyone can be considered righteous through repentance then why do we need the servant to suffer.
        Allow me to clarify my position and to try to answer your questions. I don’t believe that all sinners can say about themselves that they have not gone astray – but I do believe that all sinners can be rendered righteous through repentance.
        Those in Psalm 44:19 who have not gone astray maintained a basic loyalty to God through a period of suffering – they did not worship idols and in this sense they did not go astray. Furthermore, they speak of not been unfaithful to the covenant that they shared with God. This cannot apply to just anyone who doesn’t worship idols (which is a more limited group than you seem to think) – but it needs to apply to those people who share a covenant with God. So Psalm 44:19 doesn’t just refer to anyone who trusts in God – it refers to those righteous people from amongst the Jewish nation who did not worship idols and remained loyal to God in a general sense.
        Now when it comes to repentance – the path is open to everyone on earth – and through repentance anyone can be called righteous. This is explicit in Scripture (Ezekiel 33:16). So you ask- if anyone can become righteous so why do we need the suffering servant – good question. The answer is because for the most part – many people do not choose the path of repentance. They go their own merry way – or they walk down the path of false ideologies and with this they call down God’s wrath on themselves. But it is because of God’s righteous remnant that judgment is not executed – and this is the healing spoken of in verse 5.
        I understand that there are two different era’s for the servant’s mission – the first is before he is recognized as God’s servant – and at that time he doesn’t render anyone righteous – he just bears people’s sins and provides healing in the sense of general blessing from God instead of wrath and judgment. (In this time period the servant also heals by setting an example and by bearing the torch of truth – but this is still not the future role of the servant). This is spoken of in verses 4,5,6 and 8. In verse 11 a new aspect of the servant’s mission is introduced and that is futuristic – after the onlookers already recognize the servant’s status – then the servant will teach (render righteous through knowledge) and bear sin in the sense that the priests bore the sins of the people (Numbers 18:1 – Isaiah 61:6) – that it is their responsibility to teach the people right from wrong and the burden of separating the people from sin and praying for them when they fall short is on the shoulders of the servant.
        I hope to work on a verse by verse explanation of this chapter as you requested – but it will take me some time so please be patient. And thank you for your ongoing questions – although you differ with me and you speak your position firmly – you do so with respect and that is appreciated.

        • Eric Krakofsky says:

          yourphariseefriend, You say ;” I don’t believe that all sinners can say about themselves that they have not gone astray” – and to your explanation based on Ps 44;19 – I have a strong objection to that. The phrase ‘ going astray or not going astray ‘ has not specific meaning or an implication of refering only to Jews.
          Just because those in Ps 44;19 are shown as people of the covenant ( because psalms are recording Jewish peoples prayers) who didn’t forget their God, doesn’t mean ‘ not gone astray’ can’t apply to anybody else who decided to stay on the path with God. The same phrase can be expressed by anyone who knows he has not gone away from God.
          But anyways Jesus was Jewish , so applying the above conclussions no matter how ( your or mine way) it doesn’t exclude him from being a servant.

          You say that many people do not choose the path of repentance. “But it is because of God’s righteous remnant that judgment is not executed ” and that ” he provides healing in the sense of general blessing from God instead of wrath and judgment.”
          Another objection to that. I am sure you are familiar with so called the Day of the Lord for all the unrepenting wicked people. Amos 5;18 That doesn’t indicate any healing…. however you interpret it. God has always given people time to repent no matter what, whether somebody else suffered somewhere or not. Do you have an idea how the wicked people persecuting Jews benefited from their crimes?? I don’t. Did God ever bless the oppressors of Israel
          ( Babilonians etc) just because they were oppressing Israel unrighteously?

          You say ” I understand that there are two different era’s for the servant’s mission – the first is before he is recognized as God’s servant ” I don’t know how you get it that way but he is mantioned to be a servant from the beginning. Of course he can’t render anybody righteous righ away untill his mission of suffering and death is accomplished. Also people have to repent first before they can be even called so. You can’t make other s righteous in the eyes of God if they keep refusing God.
          You pointed to the words in Numbers 18:1 that the priest was bearing sins of others They were in charge of the Sanctuary , and we know that priests In the OT had to offer first a sacrifice for themselves before they could offer it for the iniquities of the people, before they could even enter the presence of holy of Holies. Also priests didn’t have to suffer to bear peoples sin ( in the sense like Is 53 shows) and offer their soul to death willingly, they didn’t have to be oppresed by God because He desired that . Their duties completly differed comparing with the servant In Is 53. Also priests in Isaiah 61:6 is not about the priests doing the sanctuary duties.
          You are trying to show me how the nation can fit here that consists from multiple righteous servants ( the number might be 1000- 5000, less or more ) but there is a Jewish servant Y among all of them who literary fulfills the words in that chapter without needing to speculate of adjusting his life to the words in Is 53, and you can’t find a reason that his mission might have a purpose, literal purpose like the words say.?
          If God did such a thing in the past like telling Israelites to apply lamb’s blood on the door in order for the angel death to pass over you, I don’t see anything strange in the fact that God used his servant’s sacrificial death ( his blood) to cover for our sins.

  20. Yedidiah says:

    To Eric; Where am I going with “Judas” and Isaiah? Below is a partial answer.

    So, being used by God is indeed a mission. Judas, like the righteous servant, was vilified and yet ignored, “considered insignificant” in a large part of the NT. Did Judas bear the sin of Jesus that we see of him in the gospels? The scapegoat for Jesus? And, just who is this “devil” character? In the Tanach, haSatan (not the same thing as our Christian devil) is not an evil power outside the control of God.

    Isaiah 53:3-5, “He was despised and rejected by people, one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness; people hid their faces from him; he was despised, and we considered him insignificant. But he lifted up our illnesses, he carried our pain; even though we thought he was being punished, attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done.” So, even though you thought Judas was “being punished, depressed into “suicide” “for something he had done”, that might not be the case.

    Isaiah 53:10-11, “Though the Lord desired to crush him and make him ill, once restitution is made, he will see descendants and enjoy long life, and the Lordʼs purpose will be accomplished through him. Having suffered, he will reflect on his work, he will be satisfied when he understands what he has done.”. So, judas did reflect on what he done (did Jesus have these types of doubt and anguish of a “sinful” human?). After the restitution (likely of Judas, but not what we would expect of Jesus), he will see descendants (judas or Jesus will beget human babies?) and live a long life (Jesus is gonna be an ordinary man again?). If God used Judas for a purpose, we will see what the real purpose was. And almost assuredly, many, many people will be surprised.

    Isaiah 53:12, “So I will assign him a portion with the multitudes, he will divide the spoils of victory with the powerful, because he willingly submitted to death and was numbered with the rebels, when he lifted up the sin of many and intervened on behalf of the rebels”.

    Do you see Jesus “being assigned a portion with the multitudes” and sharing with them and “the powerful”, or do you see him instead doing the assigning and the ruling?

    • Yedidiah says:

      Since you brought up “suicide” is that not “willingly submitting to death” and being “numbered with the rebels”? Sort of the “chief rebel”, giving his life so that no others could “march” with him?

      • Eric Krakofsky says:

        yedidiah, did you ask yourself a question how was Judas- after committing suicide , ” giving himself willingly to deaf ” as you called that , going to ;”divide the mighty as spoils’ after killing himself and being dead?
        That’s why I see your Judas’ suggestions pointless to discuss.
        Also Matthew 26; 24 might be a hint . “The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.”

        • Yedidiah says:

          The “gospel of Judas” is one early Christian writing that explains Judas” betrayal in such a way that Judas was the truest disciple of Jesus; he is the “13th” disciple, since he will one day have authority over the other 12. Jesus revealed great “secrets” to him that he did not reveal to the others. Just as much as he revealed “mighty, powerful secrets” to Thomas in the gospel of Thomas and other books. Just as he revealed secrets to some of the other disciples in other non-canonical writings. Just as he revealed some things in our current gospels to only a few of his “other” closest disciples. Just as Jesus spoke to Paul. I am not agreeing with them; just saying what early Christians wrote.

          And as “silly” as you think Judas is to being a righteous servant (after his restitution and 2nd coming), others think it is not to much more absurd and pointless to “shoehorn” Jesus into Isaiah 53 (and using the NT to prove other parts of the NT, as you do by quoting Matt 26:24 is invalid, circular reasoning). Early Christian writers did use selected verses from the Hebrew sacred writings to “paint Judas as the villain”, the “guy in the black hat”. He was “fulfilling prophecies”. Likewise, they intentionally selected a small number of other verses to paint Jesus as the “good guy”. But objectively speaking, many (all) of the verses would apply to Israel/Judah (their people and legitimate human leaders), exactly what Isaiah had meant to write. You could loosely interpret some to other humans or maybe even angels. Certain verses even apply much more to Judas then to Jesus (as I demonstrated with little effort). And those, if you apply them to Jesus, negates a good portion of what the NT is trying to show about Jesus. The Romans didn’t need anyone (who did not know exactly where Jesus went to after supper) to help them find Jesus. In fact, Jesus did not need to be arrested in the middle of the night (unless his enemies, “THE Jews” did protect him), Nor did the Romans
          (approx 600 soldiers marching noisily in the dark) need to arrest him in the middle of the night, giving him a very great chance of escaping, as did all his other disciples. The verses minimize the power of Jesus. They make absurd his deeds and words. For example, some people see Jesus’ death as planned; no martyrdom, but clearly as much a suicide as some modern terrorists claiming sacrifice & martyrdom do. And, some people see that without Judas, then no “betrayal, no crucifixion, no salvation”. Or, as we definitely see in the gospels, Jesus was sinful, so if he became sinless after that did anyone “bear his sins, if sins HAVE to be borne by some other person- since God doesn’t need a person to save Jesus or you. Jesus supposedly didn’t need anyone or anything to prolong his life, have children, etc. Those verses make Jesus appear to be a character in an absurd fictional novel or dramatic play. A “devil” or an “anti-Christ” might read Jesus into Isaiah 53. Of course, the NT contradicts itself quite often, so apologists, sophists try hard to reinterpret the words to fit a few of the claims or “proofs” for Jesus.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            yedidiah, I have no time this week to read all the comments and respond to them so I will go back to them later. I am trying to respond to a few of your old questions;
            You asked ” Do you see Jesus “being assigned a portion with the multitudes” and sharing with them and “the powerful”, or do you see him instead doing the assigning and the ruling?”
            You know all translations very so much and translate the following passage so differently; ” portion from the multitudes, with the multitudes, or ” portion of the multitudes.” Each one makes huge difference in interpretation. Seeing mistakes in Stone Edition the JPS looked the closest to the original text;
            JPS (Jewish Publication Society) version:
            Assuredly, I will give him the many as his portion,
            He shall receive the multitude as his spoil.
            The speaker here is God, and the Servant is not just “among the great.” He’s being given the multitudes. He’s not dividing his spoil with others ( it is not about dividing material things, although it may include it too) —the people are actually the ones who are becoming his. Psalm 2 might be helpful to see if that situation is prophesied;
            “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain….
            Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance,
            the ends of the earth your possession.”
            (Psalm 2: 6, 8)
            Psalm 2 is a messianic prophecy in which God announces that he has anointed his true King, the Messiah. As God’s king is appointed to reign, he is “given” the nations.

            V10.” he would see offspring and live long days ” offspring doesn’t relate to having babies but children of God .
            The servant gets killed in Is 53, he goes to the grave , he is cut off from th e land of living, he is mentioned to be “…in his death”, he poured out his soul to death . He is not mentioned to be hardly or barely surviving or almost vanished but still there.

        • Yedidiah says:

          How was Jesus, after committing suicide by giving himself “willingly to death”, “going to divide the spoils of victory with the powerful”. Based on the NET bible translation (among others), we have the servant being given a portion (not all) as a reward as any warrior would (with the multitude) & he then shares these “spoils” with “the powerful”. Different bibles translate verses differently, but good ones give good reasons why they translate verses the way they do.

          • Yedidiah says:

            Along with my Christian bibles, I do use the New JPS version most often, along with its Jewish Study Bible Notes. The JSB Notes looks at several different interpretations (be cautious when taking very poetic texts literally, especially when you take them out of the authors’ truth & their historical context & apply them to other circumstances 100’s, 1000’s of years later). Commentary is commentary.

            The JSB Notes state that some hold to the theory that the servant is a specific individual, but “that is unlikely, since nowhere else does Deutero-Isaiah refer to the Messiah, and the absence of a belief in an individual Messiah is one of the hallmarks of Deutero-Isaiah’s outlook (in contrast to that of First Isaiah). Because of marked similarities between the language describing the servant and Jeremiah’s descriptions of himself (see Jer. 10.18-24; 11.19), Saadia Gaon argued that the text refers to Jeremiah, while the Talmud (‘b. Sot.’ 14a) records the opinion that it describes Moses. Both opinions have been echoed by modern scholars”. But the JSB Notes also explains that, “…many passages in Deutero-Isaiah view the prophet Jeremiah as a model for the nation as a whole without equating the nation and that prophet”.

            Others hold to the view that the servant is a righteous minority of the Jewish people. Many argue that the servant symbolizes the entire Jewish people. According to the JSB Notes again, “The passage, then, describes the nation’s unjust tribulations at the hands of the Babylonians (and later oppressors) as well as the nation’s salvific role for the world at large”.

            Some Christian texts were written with the agenda of making Jesus “the servant”. So, a big problem is that NT texts could likely be fiction or polemics, since there is no evidence if it’s characters or events outside of those Christian texts. Since some early Christians did not believe Jesus existed as a flesh & blood human, while others believed he was no more than just a human prophet, it could be Jesus was no more than “midrash” and the gospels only as allegory. The real issue is really not how close certain verses in the NT seem related to verses in Isaiah or other Jewish sacred writings, but who in the NT (and non-canonical Christian writers and church “fathers) uses or knows about these “proof texts” and who ignores them for some reason or is ignorant of them. The issue is how do verses in the NT contradict those verses in the Tanach or how do they make the actors or events irrelevant, meaningless, and absurd as they present their different versions of Jesus or the Christ as reality.

  21. Dina says:

    Concerned Reader,

    I saw a comment of yours about the need for deep study of Scripture in order to explain away anti-Semitic passages. I’m responding here because I can’t find that comment. I wanted to reread it before responding, but if my memory serves me correctly, you wrote that a plain reading is not enough. The historical context, the understanding that John was a Hellenistic Jew addressing Jews, and such ideas eliminate the vitriol from the text and allow for an understanding that is not anti-Jewish.

    That sounds reasonable until you consider that it took 2000 years or so for (some) Christians to arrive at that understanding, even scholars who delved deep. The second-century Church fathers who were about ten times closer to that historical didn’t read it that way.

    There is also another problem. Scripture should be available to the understanding of all mankind, from child to adult, from brilliant scholar to simple farmer. While we appreciate the many deep and deeper levels of understanding that can be attained through careful study, we also understand that the Torah can be understood on a simple level that is not incorrect.

    A man with a huge brain like Maimonides understands the Torah in a way that I with my wee little brain cannot even begin to grasp. Yet when I read Scripture with my unsophisticated understanding is still correct.

    It’s a big problem when the understanding of a sacred text of a religion is only available to people who know words like “hypostatic” and “simplex.” Is Christian scripture only for elitists, who are the ones who will instruct the unwashed masses?

  22. Eric
    Indeed, the words “not gone astray” in and of themselves can refer to anyone who maintains a basic loyalty to God. My point was that those words in Psalm 44:19 refer specifically to the Jewish people. That’s all I was saying
    It seems that you are hung up on the idea that the healing of Isaiah 53:5 must be referring to a healing such as the one spoken of in Hosea 14:5 – in other words a total and complete spiritual healing. But there is no contextual evidence for this position. The healing can easily mean a physical healing such as in Jeremiah 51:8
    The two missions of the servant do not mean that the servant is not the servant throughout – but up until the onlookers recognize that he is the servant (at the time of his public exaltation) – the prophet says nothing about rendering people righteous. This aspect of his mission only begins after he is recognized by the world as God’s servant (in verse 11 – which speaks in future tense as opposed to the previous verses which speak in the past tense)

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      yourphariseefriend, You know I am ” hung up” on the idea that the healing of Isaiah 53:5 must be referring to a healing such as the one spoken of in Hosea 14:5 – You are ‘ hung up’ on the other as referring the physical healing such as in Jeremiah 51:8 – but can you defand your conclusiion and show me how does it apply in todays world and also via the Day of the Lord Amos 2;8 that clearly states that God will judge the wicked? How did the oppressors of israel ‘ benefited from Israel’s wounds ? I would at least see the reason why you are abiding by your statement of which I don’t see any fulfillment in today’s world.
      You mentioned the fact that the servant is not recognized right away . That is correct. “This aspect of his mission only begins after he is recognized by the world as God’s servant ” I don’t know if you noticed that was a case with Jesus that after his mission was done and God rose him back to life that people understood the purpose if his death. Not really sooner.

  23. Eric
    Israel’s oppressors benefited from her suffering because Israel’s suffering kept her close to God and her prayers protected even her oppressors – as per Jeremiah 29:7
    – for your second point – when Jesus “rose from the dead” he was only seen by people who were already fully devoted to him. This has nothing to do with the exaltation of the servant described in Isaiah 53;1 which is clearly an instantaneous international revelation as is described in 52:10

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      yourphariseefriend, of course the exaltation of Jesus didn’t relate to him being risen from the dead, but him being sat at the right hand of God and coming in power and glory when the redemption time comes . God is giving people time to repent before His judgement time comes and that includes Jews as well to repent. Is 59;20 .
      You can pray for peace any time but that doesn’t have to involve your suffering. That’s why this explanation you are showing is not speaking to me.

  24. Eric
    But suffering humbles a person and brings that person closer to God – thus his prayers are more readily accepted – Psalm 25:18; 34:19; Isaiah 66:2

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      yourphariseefriend,
      These two psalms you listed are simply showing the prayer of those who are in need and their trust in God’s help. That is not justifying your interpretation of suffering and it’s purpose in Is 53 Your whole concept means that God made Israel to suffer so that Israel’s prayers would be more accepted. Not much sense in it.
      God would listen to the righteous one who intercedes with heart for others without a need to make anyone to suffer . God didn’t have a need to cause Moses to suffer in order to listen to his prayers on behalf of the whole nation and saving the whole nation that one time when Moses interceded for his people. Being close to God and having love for others that is what God respects. ( also Elisha’s example)
      You are simply presenting a picture of a Father who inflicts his children with suffering so that He would have pity on them and thus have pity on others around and heal them ( protect them). Very interesting concept, indeed.

      The servant in Is 53 makes himself as guilt – offering for others. He doesn’t have a mission of prayer but a mission of ‘undeserved suffering’ and interceding and sin -bearing that results in many healed and many justified.
      If Jesus prayed for me and interceded before God on behalf of me and even offered his soul to die for me, I can be sure of God responding to his prayer no less than he responded to Moses at his time and no less while having any suffering group who believes their suffering and prayers will benefit others. And my real ‘benefit’ and ‘healing’ is when my sins are ‘covered’ and peace with God.

      • Dina says:

        Eric, you wrote:

        “You are simply presenting a picture of a Father who inflicts his children with suffering so that He would have pity on them and thus have pity on others around and heal them ( protect them). Very interesting concept, indeed.”

        Why is this such an interesting concept to you? Let me paraphrase what you wrote: You are simply presenting a picture of a Father who inflicts his child–who did no wrong!–with suffering and death so that others will be healed.

        Aren’t you?

        (Although, Rabbi Blumenthal, please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Eric is misrepresenting your argument.)

        • Eric Krakofsky says:

          Dina,-You are trying to show me that according to Christians the Father does something really weird by inflicting his child who did no wrong with death for our healing. But are you realizing that the suffering servant in Is 53 according to you being a righteous remnant ; he is not just suffering from minor bruises but thousands of Jews killed? …for our healing?? Which one makes more sense? Isn’t one righteous person not enough to God ? Look at examples of Moses and Elisha and their prayer how one righteous Moses intercession saved the whole nation. Exodus 32;9-14.
          Also there is a question what type of healing are we expecting as a result of the servant’s suffering?
          According to rabbi B it is physical protection… I can guess you are believing the same, so lets see how the Holocaust and Crusaders ( the worst oppressing factors in the history) benefited the nations around the world resulting in their protection… Look around at the world filled with wars and hate throughout the history where many simple innocent people are dying. So this theory doesn’t make much sense.
          Another example ; God gave time to Ninivah to repent not because any other nation merited His grace toward the wicked people. The same chance to repent is given to all people no matter whether there was a Holocaust or not. Johan didn’t like that that God would have just mercy over the wicked who seemed not to deserve anything. The same is today that time to repent is given to all as a result of God’s love and his long-suffering.

          You mentioned Jews can pray for each other and also that someone who is close to God might have a better chance of being heard. It is all true. But then you say we don’t need anybody special. If that was a case you wouldn’t need a High Priest in the temple either, as the each others prayers should fix all the problems.
          The thing why we see Jesus intercession as needed and important is the promise in the scriptures that the Messiah will be very close to God and will be able to approach Him. Jer 30;21, also he is promised to be a priest forever, that means his priestly duties will be carried on our behalf forever. Ps 110;4 ( Our NT Hebrews 5-7 are explaining that but since you don’t believe it – I can’t add much)
          Another thing; a person close to God can pray for you in the situation you may not even realize that you need a prayer. One example; did the nation know that God would want to wipe them out on the desert because they were complaining?
          None of the people decided to pray to God but were just complaing, just one Moses paryed on behalf of them to save them.

          Back to the servant’s “analysis”
          Your interpretation also doesn’t fit the description presented in Is 53. The servant carries the sins of others.
          Imagine I carry your heavy suitcase , does it mean do you still carry it or your hands are free? Then I take it with me and disappear. Your suitcase are your sins, my disappearing with it – is Jesus dying on the cross taking your sins with him to the grave. That is how the Father made your sins ‘disappear’ in the grave so that you might have eternal life that God promised to those who trust Him. That what is our obligation is just trust and repentance. There is no just belief in the Messiah what saves us. It is all about believing the Father that He can save us and He is showing you how He dealt with our sin.
          Second, our believing in Jesus – doesn’t mean I consider just the fact of his existence. That doesn’t do anything! If the whole world just knew about him but didn’t repent, that knowledge about him wouldn’t bring any salvation to anybody.

          • Dina says:

            For the record and for the sake of clarity, Eric, please know that when I say that you need to believe in Jesus in order to be “saved,” I mean that you need to accept him as your lord and savior.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Dina, just a quick question , do you agree the audience ( I mean including those who are speaking) of the Hebrew Scriptures are only Jews?

          • Dina says:

            Yes, Eric, and I explained that over in “Seeds of Auschwitz.”

      • Eric

        You are making several critical mistakes in your approach to Isaiah 53. First; you seem to assume that this chapter is the answer for the universal problem of sin and guilt. It is not, and the Author never presented it as such. Ezekiel 33:10-20 is presented by the Author as a central teaching on this subject.

        Second, you misinterpret the meaning of the Hebrew word “asham” in verse 10. The word means an acknowledgement of guilt on behalf of the one offering it. In other words, the verse is explicitly saying that the servant needs to acknowledge his own guilt and not walk around thinking how he is suffering on behalf of others.

        Finally, you misunderstand the Jewish position. – but perhaps I’ll hold off on that until I can do the verse by verse interpretation that you requested.

        By the way – I presented three Psalms – not two. The first showing how suffering renders the sufferer righteous – thus giving him/her more of a chance of staying God’s hand of judgment against the community as a whole

        • Eric Krakofsky says:

          yourphariseefriend, I don’t say that chapter 53 is the answer for the universal problem of sin and guilt. A problem of sin and guilt won’t solve itself unless a person is willing to submit to God and repent. The ‘audience’ that is speaking in Is 53 doesn’t say ‘ by his wounds the WORLD is healed” No, but it says ‘WE’ those who also admit that sinned , ‘we’ who know that are guilty and recognize that the servant carried our iniquities, NOT THE WORLD’S .
          An unrepenting person doesn’t benefit from these words if he is not aware of his sinful state or condition , thus he has no need for his sins to be ‘covered’.

          You brought Ezekiel 33:10-20 Yes, it is telling you how you can live by turning away from your sin, which means by repenting. But Is 53 tells you how God dealt with our sin of those who trust God. How He removed our sins. Placed them on an innocent and carried away with his death. They are simply gone and buried. He removed our sins as far as possible.; as east is far from the west . like Ps 103 ;12 says.

          Another picture paraphrazing Ezekiel would be; The Father tells you to get out of mud and wash yourself then you will be clean so you can enter His house. Is 53 tells you how He disposed of that dirty water. ( that is our sin)

          You mentioned that the words in v10 mean an acknowledgement of guilt on behalf of the one offering it.
          How can you say a guilt can be offered??? If you are guilty you admit you are guilty, you are not offering anything. It is your obligation to plead guilty if you want to be called righteous. ( not an offering)
          You say ; “the servant needs to acknowledge his own guilt and not walk around thinking how he is suffering on behalf of others” But Is 53 doesn’t say that the servant has to acknowledge HIS OWN GUILT but his suffering is because of those who deserved it. v.8. There is not even a single mentioning of him suffering for sin own sin. The whole chapter is talking only about the guilt of others.

          – As far as psalms you gave me; Psalm 25:18; 34:19; and Isaiah 66:2
          Ps 25;18 see my afliction and my toil and forgive my sins”
          Ps 34;19 ” God is close to the brokenhearted and those crushed in spirit, He saves.”
          Is 66;2 “(…) but it is to this that I look ; to the poor and broken -spirited person who is zealous regarding my word.”
          You say the first one renders the sufferer righteous. From what I see it simply says God renders the repentanat one righteous, the one who asks for forgiveness. That is very true. But is not the suffering itself that makes him righteous unless there is repentance.
          Ps 34;9 and Is 66 ;2 says He saves or looks to those of a humble spirit ( brokenhearted and crushed in spirit). There is nothing here that you have to suffer for your own salvation or in order to bring it to others. Your broken heart is enough. Moses was an example of a humble man. God didn’t have to inflict him with suffering in order to have mercy over the entire nation.

          Also it is not enough that the servant just prays on behalf of others but he has to die.
          God desired to oppress him that means allowing his suffering and including his death. That makes a huge difference. He is mentioned to be in his death and in his grave, not as barely surviving, not almost vanished but still there. He bears and carries ‘our’ sins to his grave.

          • Sharbano says:

            I compiled this years ago and post it here.

            Let’s go back a little ways to see the groundwork that is laid. If we start in Is 52:3

            “For thus says G-d. You have been sold for nothing and shall be redeemed for free”.

            The Jewish people were Not “sold ” into captivity but were sent there because of their sins. Thus, ransom is not needed to buy them back -only repentance can set them free.

            (52:4) For thus says the L-rd G-d: Originally, My people went down to Egypt to sojourn there and Assyria oppressed them for no reason.

            The Egyptians had no justified cause to enslave the Jewish people, who had only come to sojourn in the land. But even if their very presence as foreigners sparked prejudice, what excuse did the Assyrians have. They came from far away to oppress the Jews, simply out of maliciousness.

            52:9-12) Break out in song, together, ruins of Jerusalem! For G-d has consoled His people and redeemed Jerusalem! G-d shall reveal His holy arm before All The Nations and All Ends of the Earth shall see the salvation of our G-d. Get away, Get away Get out of there! They are defiled – do not touch them! Get out of their company, purify yourselves, you who bear G-d’s vessels! But you shall not leave in haste, nor go in flight, for G-d is going before you and the G-d of Israel is your rear guard.

            We are seeing the final stage for what is being brought down in ch 53. All will then see that Jewish salvation was only a supernatural “holy ” act of G-d. Those nations remaining, the “ends of the earth “, having endured the pre-Messianic era, will take part in the Jewish salvation. They are told to move on quickly, leaving the exile, to get away from the “defiled nations “, to purify themselves of the gentile culture and values, for the “vessels ” are G-d Teachings and prayer. To purify the hearts of all foreign beliefs as to prepare to approach G-d. Even though they go out quickly they will not leave as escapees, as when leaving Egypt. Then it was the Egyptians who pursued them. But when the nations left accept G-d, they will, instead bring them to Him as their “tribute “. There will be no need for haste, as in Egypt, for His Presence will be evident in your “fore and your rear “. It will be manifest throughout the world.

            52:15) so shall many nations talk about you and kings will open their mouths, for they shall see more than what was told to them and witness what they never heard.

            And as the nations were once stunned by the Jewish people’s degradation, some even questioning their humanness, shall they all be stunned by the Jewish people’s ascension and will all be talking about it. Even kings will open their mouths in amazement, not believing what they see with their eyes, for they shall witness that Israel’s greatness is even more than what the prophets foretold. The Groundwork has been laid, and NOW we have a speaker who is Now talking.

            53:1) Who would have believed what we heard and for whom G-d’s arm was revealed?

            The nations shall witness “things not told to them ” 52:15, for who among them would have believed it anyway, even what they were told, they disbelieved. And who would have believed that G-d would “reveal His arm ” (as done in Egypt) to bring down the mightiest nations in favor of such an insignificant people?
            Who would have believed that the Jewish people, so downtrodden in this world, would merit the redemption of G-d’s arm? But who would have believed that they would have ever left Egypt, when they were in a similar situation.

            53:2) He sprouted before himself like a shoot, like a root in arid land, having no form or beauty. When we beheld him without appearance, how could we have found him pleasing?

            Who would have believed that the Jewish people would sprout so instantaneously, “before themselves “, before they themselves were ready – like a shoot taking root in the desert. It is as ifone minute they are in exile’s desert and the next, flourishing.

            Who would have believed that the Jewish people, who had been so uprooted from their Land and cut off from their source of sustenance, would suddenly begin to grow once again. Their existence in exile has Not been in G-d’s grace, say the nations, but out of their (the nations) own good will. They were as vulnerable as a shoot in the desert.

            53:3) Despised and shunned by men, a man of suffering, and plague-stricken. We hid our faces from him; contemptible, we did not regard him.

            The Jewish people were so despised by the nations that no one wanted to be near them. Their company was shunned by all. They were chased in exile from one place to another because no one wanted them near. They were looked upon as less than human and no one even wanted to behold them. They were avoided as if they were plague-stricken. The Jewish people, indeed, became ill from maltreatment, but received no mercy from their beholders, because they were so despised. All a person needs to do is read the history of anti-Semitism throughout the centuries and this is evident.

            53:4) But, indeed, it was our illness which he bore and our pains that he suffered, yet we considered him afflicted, G-d stricken and tortured.

            (The nations and their Kings are Still speaking here) But when the nations will come to realize what falsehoods they believed in, they will attribute Jewish suffering to gentile sins and not to those of the Jewish people. They sinned in their treatment, as did the Assyrians. Instead of seeing the Jewish people as G-d stricken, (which is how the church saw Jews until Israel came into existence), they will see them as their scapegoat.

            Whereas they once saw them as lacking in human qualities, in wisdom and ethics, they will now see that this character “illness ” was not inherent (as Germany thought) but imposed by circumstances, the circumstances which they, the nations, imposed upon them. And whereas once they tortured them “in G-d’s Name “, claiming they are G-d stricken, now they will admit that the torture was, indeed, all gentile imposed.

            53:5,6) He is afflicted by our transgressions, oppressed by our sins. He was chastised so that we should have peace and with his wound we shall be healed. We all went astray like sheep, each one going his own way. But G-d met the sins of us, all upon him.

            All of the earth’s nations (who are left) will then admit how they have strayed from the truth. Each of them may have gone his own way – Western civilization, Eastern civilization, and within them, each nation unique, but on persecuting the Jewish people they all agreed. Each of them claimed their religion was “The Truth “, as did each of each religion’s countless sects. But whereas once they all invalidated the Jewish faith, they will all now proclaim the falsehood of their former beliefs. They will proclaim how they all persecuted the Jewish people, following the dictates of their leaders like sheep. Yet, this will not absolve them of responsibility, for “each one went his ‘own’ way “, acting for his own benefit.

            53:7) Oppressed and afflicted, he does not open his mouth; Like a lamb brought to the slaughter does not open his mouth, like a ewe is dumb before her fleecers.

            The Jewish people were oppressed bodily, like a lamb being taken to the slaughter. One doesn’t have to stretch the imagination but only look at the images of the Holocaust to see it clearly. They were afflicted and fleeced like a ewe by the confiscation of their belongings. But both things they endured silently, as do the sheep and the ewe.

            They also endured the gentiles’ religious torments, the “debates ” sponsored in the ‘name of truth “. But whereas the gentiles were backed by authority and power, the Jew was silenced even when he proved himself right. Who can argue with authority. This, too, they accepted with silent endurance and went to the stake with the faith on their lips.

            53:8,9) He was taken from confinement and from judgment – who can speak about this generation? He was cut off from the land of the living, the sins of my people have brought a plague upon them. He accepted burial among the wicked and in his death among the rich, although he had done no violence nor spoken any deceit.

            Who can speak about what each generation went through in the confinement and judgment of exile. The Jewish people had always been ready to give up their lives for G-d, to accept whatever devilish “deaths ” the powerful “rich and wicked ” decreed upon them and to buried wherever they would be thrown. Accused of being wicked themselves and of amassing wealth unscrupulously, they were slaughtered mercilessly as the wicked would be slaughtered and their riches looted in their deaths. Even in death, their graves were desecrated and dug up in search of buried treasures. But they had done no violence to deserve such fate, their only ‘sin’ was that they refused to apostatize and speak a faith of deceit.

            53:10) But G-d chose to crush him and make him ill. If he considers himself culpable, he shall see offspring and live long. G-d’s cause will prosper through him

            Although the Jewish people in exile maintained their faith, they were not free of sin. So they suffered and were “crushed ” to atone for their sins. It was G-d who made them ill. Yet, G-d’s intention was not to destroy them only to make them ill. His intention was that they seek Him from their pain and merit to hasten Redemption. But to do this they must confront their sins, to “consider themselves culpable “. They will then “see their offspring ” return to the Land and remain there for a “long time “. They will never be exiled again. All nations, then, will also serve G-d, when the Jewish people’s mission, G-d’s purpose, will end in success. The mission to proclaim G-don earth.

            53:11) He will see the fruits of his misery and be satisfied. My righteous servant, with his wisdom, will make many righteous and will bear their sins.

            In the End, the Jewish people will see the meaning of all that they went through, the “fruits of their misery “. They will see how it all was for their refinement and this knowledge will satisfy them. And with this knowledge, this wisdom, they will teach many nations and bring them all back to G-d.

            And the truly righteous among them will see fruit in their misery even while still in exile: Their faith in the Future allays all pain in the present and satisfies them even now.

            But the greatest misery that they suffer in exile is the burden of their own sins. This they see and realize themselves. But despite their own sins, they remained faithful to G-d and that very faith brought deep satisfaction, even though they were materially wanting. It helped them remain righteous to G-d even when they were burdened with the nations’ “sins “, their torture.

            53:12) Therefore I shall give him a portion with many and he shall split booty with mighty ones. For he exposed himself to death and let himself be counted among transgressors, whereas he bore the sins of many and prayed for the transgressors.

            Because the Jewish people were always ready for martyrdom, to “expose themselves to death ” because they bore the nations’ branding of them as “transgressors ” when, in truth, they bore their sins and prayed for them. G-d will return their Land to them, giving them rule over “many ” and the booty of “mighty ” nations.

            There’s a story about when the Jews were under a terrible dictator and suffered greatly They poured out their soul and prayed to G-d to rid them of this dictator. Their prayers were answered and they rejoiced. The person who replaced him was much much worse of a dictator then the previous was. This time their prayer was that this man live a very long time.

            Isaiah then continues on with ch 54 when the Redemption is taking place.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Sharbano, Thanks for your long explanation.
            You are looking at one side of the story , I would recommend to also look at the other important details. Starting with background I would go to Is 42 where a servant is prophesied to be ” set for a covenant to the people and light to the nations” v.6 . Then to the contrast v18-24 talk about blindness of Israel, being given out to plunder by God against whom they sinned.
            Till chapter 53 there is a call to repentance along with presented Israel’s fallen condition of being in the need for redemption and the promise of that redemption and then to the contrast there is a righteous servant set forward with whom God is pleased.
            Is 48;6 says God is going to inform you about the NEW EVENTS, hidden things that you didn’t know about. v. 8 You have NEVER heard nor have you known , nor was your rear open to them before. (…) for I know that you have been called a rebel from birth. For my name;s sake I shall restrain my wrath … not to cut you down.”
            Then we have Is 49 – again the servant with whom God is pleased to be light to gentiles and who will lift up the tribes of Jacob, the same servant from chapter 42 that is to be set for a covenant to people. Definitely it is not the Isaiah as the Isaiah wasn’t spoken about in chapter 42.
            Is 50;1-2 tells you Israel is sold because of his own guilt.
            “Why it is that I have come and there is no man? Why it is that I have called and there is no one who answers” ? says the Lord. Then again we have a contrast ; a righteous servant that God is pleased with is presented in v4-10 a servant who is understanding and listens!!!

            Is 52 ;10 there is a promise of Redemption by God’s holy arm that is revealed in Is 53 , how it is possible that the redemption comes to pass and that God doesn’t have to hold our sins against us. So now I will go back to the points you mentioned; starting with the words ;” you are sold for nothing, so for free you will be redeemed.” Just think ; what it means FOR FREE, that means you are NOT PAYING, that means you are not paying with suffering nor death for your redemption! The only thing God wants from you is repentance!
            Yes indeed , all nations will see the salvation of the Lord , accomplished by His Holy Arm. They are already seeing it now as many people are coming to God through His righteous servant
            ( Yeshua)

            Now ; who is really speaking in Is 53. ? Nations or Israel?
            We have the following words’
            “(…) they shall see what was NOT told to them and witness WHAT THEY NEVER HEARD.” 52;15 then we have Is 53:1) Who would have believed WHAT WE HEARD and FOR WHOM G-d’s arm WAS REVEALED?
            Now ask yourself a question how the nations can be shocked by the message they are already proclaiming ??? How they can be at the same time as those who HAVE NEVER HEARD ABOUT that message and at the same time being those who ARE PROCLAING THE MESSAGE AND “HAVE HEARD AND TO WHOM GOD’S ARM WAS REVEALED” ?
            They say clearly” Who can believe what we have HEARD?” They KNOW the message. Do the nations know it??? All messages that God revealed to people He first revealed to the Jews! Not to the gentiles! So do you still think the ‘we’ are gentiles speaking???
            I thought for a while so that it was nation but then studied it deeper and now I see it isn’t.
            Does A and B = A?? To my observation there are two different subjects.
            Since when gentiles would be prophesying future in the Jewish book??? There is no evidence that Isaiah even ‘switches’ to gentiles in referring to the following words ‘ for the sin of my people he was cut off from the land of the living.’

            There are so many other facts testifying for the speaker being Jews and that fact itself changes everything how you see the redemption in Is 53. Then you know that all words ‘we’ ‘our’ refer to Jewish people, that the servant is suffering FOR THEM . It doesn’t mean we ( gentiles ) are free of sin, I am saying the speaker is aware of the fact that the servant is suffering for them, not you all suffering for others. The same servant who is lifting up the tribes of Jacob in Is 49. The same servant who will be a light to the nations- a light to me.
            Remember you are redeemed FOR FREE.!

            Now going through the verses;
            v.1 as far as expression ‘sprouting’ or ‘ like a tree trunk , like a sapling, like a root out of a dry land ‘ – you have the same comparison in Is 11;1 “ A shoot shall grow out of the stump of Jesse” which refers to the Messiah. A stamp of Jesse who has been dead for so long out of which life start to grow , sprouting “ a shoot” .
            Also Jer 23;5 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up for David a RIGHTEOUS BRANCH, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.”
            Jer 33;15 “I will make a righteous Branch SPROUT from David’s line” – all referring to the King Messiah.
            You want to compare the ‘shoot’ to the people , I see it in the scriptures , it is the Messiah.

            As far as 53:3) Despised and shunned by men, a man of suffering, and plague-stricken. We hid our faces from him; contemptible, we did not regard him.
            The fact of sharing something in common doesn’t mean you are the subject. Even Jeremiah shared the same words of being led like to the slaughter Jer 11;18-19 . The suffering is also expressing the righteous servant in chapter 50; 4-6 which word by word was fulfilled with Yeshua ( Jesus) . No metaphor needed.

            53:4) But, indeed, it was our illness which he bore and our pains that he suffered, yet we considered him afflicted, G-d stricken and tortured.
            There is no way I can say the nations are speaking here. I already explained that above. I am not saying the nations are free of sin, I am just saying that it is Jewish people admitting here in Isaiah that the servant is bearing their sin and suffering for them. You didn’t suffer to bring redemption to others , you suffered because of your own sin. Nowhere in Tanach Israel had to suffer to bring redemption to others, except suffered for their own mistakes. . It is for free you are redeemed , by God’s arm. So are other nations.

            53:5,6) He is afflicted by our transgressions, oppressed by our sins. He was chastised so that we should have peace and with his wound we shall be healed. We all went astray like sheep, each one going his own way. But G-d met the sins of us, all upon him.
            You completely skipped explaining the second line; how by your wounds anybody gets healed??? How are the oppressors of Israel healed???? Crucaders, Nazi, Hamas?????

            How do get people healed by Yeshua? By his call to repentance and message of God’s forgiveness that God’s righteous servant took our punishment. That’s how we know we have peace with God .
            Healing doesn’t come to a person unless a person repents and turns to God himself. The nation’s suffering can’t merit it. How did God bring the healing to Ninivah??? People ‘s response to God and repentance.!
            More explanation is here; https://sites.google.com/site/nakdimonspage/isaiah-53-part-1

            53:7) Oppressed and afflicted, he does not open his mouth; Like a lamb brought to the slaughter does not open his mouth, like a ewe is dumb before her fleecers.
            To that I will say; Yeshua was tortured and died for you on the cross.

            Notice that suffering described in Is 53- is to bring you peace and healing and justification. It is not to be refered to the nation suffering for their own iniquities. It is not a description of Israel’s suffering for their own sin. That description we have in other chapters also in the book of Jeremiah.

            53:8,9) being “cut off from the land of the living” , buried among the wicked and in his death among the rich, although he had done no violence nor spoken any deceit. 53:11) My righteous servant, with his wisdom, will make many righteous and will bear their sins. ”

            No metaphor needed here either. It is clear like it is; a righteous servant dies and is buried. Did the whole nation die??? Where those who die all righteous? The verse is not speaking of a stage of partial vanishing, but total death.
            Was the nation buried all ??? Also being “ in his death among the rich” there is a really poor explanation trying to match it Jews being robbed out of their wealth. You wouldn’t even say a person is buried among the rich that way. It is buried poor and robbed!
            Now skipping for a moment to v 11, if the servant is dead how by his wisdom he can teach anybody??? How are we learning from those who were killed??? You are trying to find a way how the servant makes many righteous by referring to his wisdom ( putting aside the fact that the servant is dead) , but the words in v.11 tell you the way; “ my righteous servant makes the many righteous- IT IS THEIR OUNISHMENT THAT HE BEARS.” Another words he bears your sins and your punishment. He is punished instead of you!

            53:10) But G-d chose to crush him and make him ill. If he considers himself culpable, he shall see offspring and live long. G-d’s cause will prosper through him .
            Stone edition says” God desired to oppress him and He afflicted him, if his soul would acknowledge guilt he shall see offspring…. or JPS “ if he made himself an offering for quilt…”
            God was never requiring you to make yourself offering for quilt. He required only repentance.
            God didn’t desire you to suffer in Holocaust and being oppressed. Ever! He is not God who
            rejoices over people’s suffering that comes on them due to their disobedience and sin.
            Also ‘offspring’ refers to people of God, all those who trusted God and follow him.

            How did Jesus fulfill these words in v10.? He made himself an offering for our quilt. He endured the suffering by the joy that was before him which is seeing redemption of his people. He accomplished God’s will by his obedience.

            53:12) Therefore I shall give him a portion with many and he shall split booty with mighty ones. For he exposed himself to death and let himself be counted among transgressors, whereas he bore the sins of many and prayed for the transgressors.”

            How did Jesus pray about those who were nailing him to the cross was; “Father forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing.”
            Daniel 7;13-14 talks about Messiah’s exaltation by God.

            Is 59;20 tells you when the redemption will take place; A redeemer will come to those in Jacob who repented. The question is why is not redemption taking place now??

            God will redeem all those one day who repented. These will be His people a glorious nation when He will live in the midst of them. Their light will attract all the others to God – in the Messianic kingdom. All will see His salvation. Many nations will join God on that day and be His people. Zeh 2;14-15

          • Dina says:

            Eric, if you want to appeal to context, as you have done in this comment, then you have to accept my appeal to context. You cannot have it both ways.

            This is a very long comment, so I don’t know when I will have time to respond. In the meantime, I hope you read the explanation I wrote and posted for you online.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Dina, If you carefully read my response to Shabrano you would find many points answered. So now I will focus again on the context to show why we don’t believe Is 53 is speaking about the suffering nation.
            Going through the verses is actually Jewish week point as you people come up with so many imaginary ideas trying to fit it to the words in Isaiah and the arguments are really poor to be accepted. So what about the context? To you it seems like a strong argument that the context is indicating the nation and the speaker ( voice through Isaiah – the nations,) but here is why we can’t accept it;

            These are the following arguments why the servant is different than the nation based on the context;
            1) The greatness of the servant and God’s favor over him in chapters 42, 49, 50;4-10 , 53 is far beyond the condition of the sinful nation which needs redemption. ( Is 50 , Is 42;18-24) The righteous servant is not identified as a group at all.
            2) Is 48;6 God is going to inform you about the NEW EVENTS, hidden things that you didn’t know about. v. 8 You have NEVER heard nor have you known , nor was your rear open to them before. (…) for I know that you have been called a rebel from birth.” Redemption and exaltation/vindication of the remnant is already known together with other prophets. So what is the NEW things you will be hearing?

            3) In Is 42 ;6 a servant is prophesied to be set ” for a COVENANT to the people and for the light to the nations”
            The nation ( neither righteous remnant )was ever to be a covenant TO the people.
            If the servant is set for the covenant promised to Israel, then he CAN NOT be equated with Israel and at the same time serve Israel this way.

            4) The condition of ALL people is described as sinful, not pleasing God ;
            Is 50;1-2 tells you ALL people of Israel is sold because of his own guilt. ( righteous people would have God’s protection according to covenant’s promise)
            “Why it is that I have come and there is NO man? Why it is that I have called and there is NO one who answers” ? says the Lord.
            5) Is 59;14-16 no righteous remnant mentioned. God and His Arm ONLY mentioned in the process of redemption of the people who repented in Jacob.
            6) Is 49 – prophet Isaiah is not fitting the description of the servant being the light to gentiles ( he was a prophet to Jews) neither is he fitting to being despised by nations . At the same time he will lift up the tribes of Jacob- matching the same servant from chapter 42 that is to be set for a covenant to people. So neither Isaiah nor the nation , for in that case ( as a nation) you would be acting on themselves rather than receiving the promised deliverance .
            That case applies also while believing ( by you) that your righteous servant is justifying , healing others by his wounds , that means all those who went astray that includes also the rest of Israel described in Isaiah ( as their sinful condition doesn’t indicate to be called righteous Is 42;18-24) . You ( righteous servant ) suffering would be suffering on behalf of the rest of sinful Israel throughout the ages as well. You would be ‘cut off of the land of the living ‘ for the sake of the rest of sinful Israel.
            Isaiah doesn’t differenciate between those who oppressed Israel and those who didn’t but mentions all who ‘went astray’ for whom the servant suffers.

            7)The verses so called ‘songs of the servant’ are clearly distinguishing between the servant and the repentant remnant of Israel TO WHOM the servant MINISTERS!

            8) All the expressions ‘sprouting’ , branch, ‘ like a tree trunk , like a sapling, like a root out of a dry land ‘ found in Is 53;1 – all are linked to the Messiah throughout the scriptures in Is 11;1 , Jer 23;5 , Jer 33;15 , Zech 3;8

            9) Arguments against the nation as the servant in Is 53 -Based on the message in Is 53;
            One has to really allegorize the words of Isaiah in order to make them apply to the nation.
            The words in Isaiah are not fulfilled by the nation ; Israel, the remnant is not a silent sufferer, Israel/ the remnant never died, never was in his death with the wealthy, etc. He is NOT mentioned to suffer for his OWN sin, he is NOT acknowledging his OWN guilt! The word ‘ OWN ‘is not even there. More about the verses I already discussed in previous emails.

            10) my last argument ; Yeshua- Jewish God’s servant came and fulfilled all the words in Is 53. His death is the fulfillment of the Passover.

            Your interpretation of the Is 53 as the nations and kings reporting the words in chapter 53 to you as the audience ( to your nation) at the end of days is very illogical. Especially v 10 is spoken in the future tense. In order to make sense for that message to be spoken in the future , you would have the action already completed. Even speaking to ourselves nobody would report it like that.
            What about also the Jews who are atheist and don’t care about God? Shouln’t they also be shocked by final intervention of God if they don’t trust Him like those in Zephaniah 1;12 ?
            Your interpretation like that is actually the first one I met. It is rather illogical to have a report of the gentiles in your scriptures ( with Isaiah’s voice) If they are to see and hear something they never heard and seen , why would you have words revealing what they will hear and see right after these words?? Very illogical.
            The fact that any message from God came first to the Jews before it came to gentiles speaks for the Jews to identify with the words ‘ for the transgressions of my people he was crushed”, before we can identify with these words as well.
            So you have a servant who is beneficiary to your nation, as he dies for the sins of the nation to make you righteous.

            Also I will say; the redemption and deliverance of Israel is not a secret to surprise us. Many prophets are speaking about that. Also we are aware that the redeemer will comes to those who repent.

          • Dina says:

            Okay, Eric, I will try to find the time to examine your response to Sharbano as well as what you’ve written here. I’ll need some time.

            Thanks as always for your willingness and patience to hash this out.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Dina, I will be looking forward to your response , no rush. I have already repeated many things what I wrote to Shabrano while responding to your emails. One question, who is speaking according to you in Is 61;1-3. Of course we are skipping the fact Isaiah’ ‘narratorism’ . My question is who is he talking about in verses 1-3 ?

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            Thanks for your patience. I have saved all your comments. I need to look up all the references, and that will take some time.

            Talk to you soon,
            Din

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Dina, my response to your link about Is 53.
            You are saying that half of the population will not be shocked because they already believe in Jesus return so the words in Is 52;13-15 can’t be talking about Jesus. ‘ because they will see things which had never been told to them and perceve things they have never heard.”
            So this is your counter- argument to mine, but are you realising that most christians are aware of Israels future restoration and exaltation? Almost every book I have about the prophecies in the old testament is talking about that which is an encouragement to everybody to see that God keeps his word. So how these words in Is 53 ;13-15 can relate to something we believe, we heard about it and we can read about it????
            The difference is we know that your future restoration doesn’t exclude Jesus ( Yeshua) and actually all will be possible thanks to what he did by (washing our sins away). The other thing is we believe in your future restoration based on the scriptures but chapters Is 53 , 42, 49, 50;4-10 , 61 are clearly showing Yeshua’s merits to minkind’s restoration in the future

            Back to your arguments based on Is 52;13-15 there are some other things that have to be considered Before all that redemption and exaltation happens the scriptures are talking about the Day of the Lord coming which is God’s judgement to all rebelling people. The situation
            in the world will look completly different than we see it now;
            There will be many unbelievers and lots of people judged and killed, Is 13;6-13., Is 2;10 Zeph 1
            God will gather the humble ones and lowly , he will purify his people , Zeph 3;12-13, Zehpeniah 1;8- 12,
            “I will search Jerusalem with lamps, And I will punish the men Who are stagnant in spirit, Who say in their hearts, ‘The LORD will not do good or evil!’
            THE LORD WILL BE EXALTED ALONE ON THAT DAY Is 2;10-11, Is 2;17 BEFORE He exalts his gathered humble people and those who call upon His name.
            Ps 46;111 ” Desist and know that I am God , I shall be exalted among the nations, I SHALL BE EXALTED upon the earth.”
            Is 2; 17 And the loftinesse of man shall be bowed downe, and the hautinesse of men shalbe made low: and the Lord ALONE shalbe EXALTED IN THAT DAY
            Is 2;10 ” The proud look of man will be abased And the loftiness of man will be humbled, And the LORD alone will be EXALTED IN THAT DAY. “
            Zeph 3;12 ” For then I will remove from your midst Your proud, exulting ones, And you will never again be haughty On My holy mountain. 12″But I will leave among you a humble and lowly people, And they will take refuge in the name of the LORD.”

            So what is the thing the nations can be so schocked because something happened that they never considered?
            The fact that God will gather and be merciful to all his humble people and and those who will call upon His name will be delivered and the wicked will be punished???
            It is all about God’s intervention. But first it is written the Lord will be exalted himself ALONE. Would the nations be shocked first af all by seeing exalted God or exalted nation???

            Second thing against your arguments I would say is the fact that not all people in the world are despising and oppresing Jews. And many those who keep helping them believe in God’s coming redemption. So how can they be shocked? They can’t say they have never heard about exalted Israel, because they have!

            You are saying the servant was innocent of th e crimes for which he had been punished. You are sooo close!
            You would agree people can be punished for other people’s crimes and that punishment would benefit the world somehow , but denying that an individual suffering for our crimes might bring any benefit and you are denying that his suffering and death would have any meaning…. See, no base to accept one and reject the other . If suffering of sinful people can benefit others , so more would bring suffering of an innocent one. Would you agree?
            If God wanted to exalt the sinners who suffered unrighteously , He would have more reason to exalt the innocent person who suffered the same way.

            You are believing that Jews are punished because of people’s crimes? Look around at the world and see how many ‘innocent’ people among all nations are suffering as well because of people’ s wicked crimes and are dying every day. There were 60 million( estimated number) of all people killed in the 2 world war . You are not the only victim and your suffering is not making the world better.

          • Sharbano says:

            Well, as for me I am not interested in Your ideas of what the text is speaking of. You can believe what you want but Mine was taken from Jewish sources. What, pray tell, is Your source. If from your own thoughts then sorry, they are without merit and insignificant. Should I rely on your opinion to understand, for example, the Chinese culture and writings by reading only a single volume. I think not. It is the same here. It is too bad, but you bring nothing to the table as an understanding of the Jewish perspective, which, by its own nature, is the context and source. Many have concluded they understand “Jewish thinking” but without that there can be no true understanding. This is why the failure continues.

          • Sharbano says:

            Oh, and by the way, the link you post is another example of my reply. I simply do not waste my precious time looking at sites on the internet for any answers. My library consists of about six large bookcases filled with seforim. These are the True sources and whatever anyone else brings is meaningless.

  25. Eric
    The interpretation of Isaiah 53 as a reference to the righteous remnant is as old as the Messianic interpretation. I documented this in Contra Brown. I also demonstrated how these interpretations are not mutually exclusive at all.
    The concept of two Messiahs is not born out of a struggle between a suffering Messiah and a conquering Messiah as you allege. The rabbis saw the son of David as the suffering Messiah quicker than the son of Joseph. The idea of two (or more) Messiahs is built on the verse in Obadiah (1:21) which refers to a plurality of redeemers together with a reference to the involvement of the house of Joseph (1:18). There are other Scriptural references that would indicate a role for Joseph in the Messianic scheme but this is the most direct.

  26. Eric, I think the point to the interpretation of the servant song in 53 that rabbi B is offering needs to be taken in the totality with other interpretations, such as Judaism’s understanding of sin, and even other Christian views. Sin needn’t be seen as a wholly non providential thing. G-d uses the free will choice to do good or to sin as a chastening rod if the latter choice is made. It’s not like the concept of Augustine or Anselm where a single violation is all that is required for G-d to cut us off. Original sin and the fall needn’t be seen as an original guilt inspiring wrath, but as a confused carnal condition Adam and we inherited resulting in death that holds people captive in the sense that we seek our own pleasure and not G-d’s. G-d told Cain that he could master his evil inclination. Even in Christianity, such as among the Eastern Orthodox, there are traditional perspectives on the fall and atoning death of Jesus that do not require That G-d kill Jesus because he needed to satisfy his wrath. Rather, it is the obedience and submission of the servant Jesus, or Israel, to G-d’s will in a sinful world that is to G-d as a precious Jewel. The second Adam succeeds where the first failed.Take Noah. Noah, scripture says was righteous in his generation. He wasn’t perfect, but he was righteous for his generation. As where by one disobedience death enters the world, so by the perfect obedience unto death, a path is opened to life, if we respond to the call, and work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Jesus’ obedience is the source of the atonement. Making your soul an Asham, can mean presenting yourself as a living sacrifice. It doesn’t need the penal substitution emphasis of Augustine. When you see Jesus on the cross you think. He didn’t deserve that, it should have been me up there. This produces contrition in you, which produces a reformed life of repentance, which leads to eternal life. Jesus and Paul never said not to do things, or that just being Christian gets you in, they said that community affiliation does not get you in automatically, only a G-dly life.

  27. Eric
    Verse 10 teaches that the servant needs to offer his own soul as an acknowledgment of guilt. This is the Scriptural usage of that Hebrew word (see for example Numbers 5:8, Judges 6:4). So yes, here the chapter (Is 53) refers to the servant’s own guilt.
    Psalm 25:18 teaches that suffering is part of the cleansing process.
    I am presently working on a verse by verse rendition of Isaiah 53 so I will hopefully answer the rest of your questions there.

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      yourphariseefriendI, I only wonder what type of quilt does the servant have to acknowledge that requires offering his own soul ( I am curious how do you understand that by words ‘ offering his soul’ , and second I don’t see much difference now between that servant ( righteous one who needs to offer his soul to acknowledge his guilt and is still called the one who didn’t go astray and between the rest of the nation ( who went astray ). The difference seems to be in your opinion thus the words in Isaiah show there isn’t any! ( of course I am excluding one righteous – Yeshua)

      • Tsvi Jacobson says:

        Eric How sad: First of all it is guilt not quilt. Looks the same but a slight difference. Now it is also interesting that Christians are seriously using a Quilt to cover up all the years that the followers of Jesus slaughtered your own brethren and stole our property as we went nation to nation to escape their fury. Now to answer your question. The verse reads: “to see if his sou shall make an offering for sin” (that is from the Old King James
        Cameo Edition….of course center column reference in small print). If you look up the word Asham in your Strongs (Christian) concordance) you will find that it is always I say always the individuals sin. Never for others as Ezekiel 18 and 33 shows us. Eric take the blinders off. Yes Jesus among Evangelicals and Messianics is a love story, with sweet music…..but like the Movies Not True. It was once asked an old Rabbi who had a shteitala shul and at Mincha he banged his hand on the bima put his cigar in an ash tray on the bima. Rabbi when I go into a church it is clean respectful, quiet etc etc. but when I go into a shul people are loud, a cigar on the bima. Why: The Rabbi answered him in his European accent: “Because our God don’t got a momma” Forgive the humor I cannot escape my past. But seriously Your faith in Yeshua is based on a love story that never happened. The Tanach alone is your (and my) answer and it speaks quite differently about God, Messiah, The Law and life itself. Reconsider your decision. We love and need you back
        Tsvi Jacobson

        • Eric Krakofsky says:

          Tsvi, Thank you for your expressed compassion. Not needed really. I would recommend the same ; pray to God to open your eyes and reading Isaiah 53 by Mitch Glaser might be helpful too.

          • Yehuda Yisrael says:

            Eric, I posted this challenge to Mitch Glaser on his person blog. Instead of answering my challenge, he immediately deleted my challenge from his wall. Let’s see if you do any better…

            And Mitch, concerning Isaiah 53, I challenge you to show me one reference in the entirety of the servant songs where the servant is referred to explicitly as “David” or “the stump of Jesse” or any other Messianic specifier used in other passages throughout the Tanach…

            The fact is, the “servant” of Isaiah’s servant songs is referred to as Israel and Jacob multiple times. But where is the servant referred to as being “David” or “the stump of Jesse”?

            Jews and Christians can agree on other passages referring exclusively to the Messiah! Here are a few: Isaiah 11:1, Ezekiel 37:24, Hosea 3:5, Jeremiah 30:9…

            There is one thing all of these verses have in common: They all use a “Davidic qualifier,” meaning that they all exclusively refer to the Davidic dynasty in some fashion. This is why Jews and Christians can all understand that these future prophesies refer to one person: Moshiach ben David.

            However, Isaiah 53 makes no mention of this servant having any exclusive association with the kingdom of David. This is why we understand it as referring to a collective group of individuals, namely the righteous among Israel!

            Shalom and G-d bless!

          • Dina says:

            Wow, Yehuda Yisrael, did you ever follow up and ask him why he did that? I’m so curious about what he would have answered! Truth has nothing to fear!

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            yehuda, I am away on vacation now so I go back to you when I can and have access to th e computer, thanks for asking questions
            .eric

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Yehuda Yisrael,
            Is 53;1 doesn’t mention ‘David’ or a stamp of Jesse” but you have clear similarities; all th e verses talking about the Messiah referring to him as him as a ‘sprout’ or sapling.
            Is 11;1 “mentiones a stamp of Jesse and a shoot that will SPROUT from his roots”
            Jer 23;5 talks about a righteous SPROUT of David.
            Jer 33;15 calls him a SPROUT of righteousness that will sprout of David
            Is 53;1 He grew like a SAPLING or like a root from arid ground. ( no David or Jesse mentioned but there is the same thing that characterises them all’ something that GROWS out of the thing that was LONG DEAD ; like a root of dry land, shoot from Jesse’s roots that were long dead as there has been no king reigning for so long.

            Second ; NOT ALL verses that mention Messiah are mentioning David or Jesse. Jer 30;21,
            Mic 5;1-3
            Any other Messianic specifier’
            1) Is 11;1 describes him “with the spirit of God resting upon him” ‘ annointed one” so does
            Is 61; 1 and 42;1
            2) Is 11;11 says the nation will enquire of him ( root of jesse) Is 42;1, 4 islands longing for his teaching!!
            3) Is 11; 10 standing as a signal to the peoples Is 49 , Is 42;6 ( light to the gentiles)
            4) Is 11;1-5 ( ruling with justice) and Is 42;4 setting justice in the land
            5) Is 11;5 and Is 53 his properties of righteousness mentioned.
            6) Is 11;11 on that day ( of his reign) the remnant is recovered from many places. Is 49;5 he is to bring back Jacob, restoring the survivors of Israel.
            7) Is 11; 4 he wil strike the wicked of the world with the rod of his mouth, Is 49;2 His mouth is like a sharp sword,
            8) Is 53;12 he is given the many as his portion, receiving the multitude as his spoil.
            ( Future) Ps 2; 7-8-9 ” ask of Me and I will make nations as your inheritance and the nds of earth your possession. You will smash them with an iron rod..”
            Zeh 3;8 A Branch identified with the servant of God . ( according to Targum this verse recognised as refering to th e Messiah)

            You mentioned Hosea 3;5 . That is very good.
            It says ‘ afterwards they will return and sick out their God and David their King. If Messiah ( ben David) is to be your King and you are already in the time that he can be found, that means Messianic times, messianic reign – why would you be looking for him????? Th e earth will be already filled with the knowledge of God. The scriptures say that His dwelling will be famous. You won’t have to look for him. It only makes sense to seek him out before the messianic kindgom on earth. That means he has already came once Also at the time when they wil be seeking out their King, they wil be seeking out their God. But at th e Messianic kIngdom God will be well known, still no need for you to see him out at that time.

          • Yedidiah says:

            The last few sentences depends upon whether one is an Amillennialist, Postmillennialist, Premillennialist Christian and whether one believes in a Prewrath Rapture, Posttribulation Rapture, or Dispensationalism. People could start to get “their act together” and no messiah would be unnecessary. Since there is no evidence that any messiah has “already come” (except for those who base their hypotheses on highly unsupportable and rather spurious claims), many will be deceived & many will later see that a minority was right all the time.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Yehuda Yisrael, Is it my interpretation of the healing? This is the final healing ( remedy and cure) that makes a difference described in Jeremiah 33;6-8 , not the healing of ‘temporary protection’ you all keep bringing up that has no fulfilment in this world. I say ‘temporary protection’ as there is a Day of the Lord coming before the Messianic time of peace.

            The healing that people ( who come to God believing Him about Jesus) experience in their hearts; is repentance and cleansing from their sins resulting in peace and reconciliation with God. It comes from believing God that includes believing that His Son Yeshua took our punishment ( not the nation) .
            It doesn’t mean you will never sin again but that death has no power to keep you because of your sin. Penelty is paid, and the more you know how God cleansed you to set you free, the more you want to obey Him.

            You are bringing up the servant in Is 49. I will tell you why the servant in this chapter and also 42 ,53, 61;1-3 , 50;4-10 , 49;5-7 is not considered by us to the nation ( remnant). The nation simply doesn’t fit the description of the mission the ‘ righteous servant’s chapters are giving. If you want to call yourself the righteous servant , you may believe you are the servant who is lifting up the rest of tribes of jacob ( Is 49) , but how did the people in the past do that? God was still saying there was no man to listen.
            Is 50;2 “Why was there no man when I came? When I called, why was there none to answer? ”

            What about Is 53, are you suffering like him? Are you dying like he is dying, ? Are you with the rich in ‘your’ death? Are you taken away by oppresive judgement ? Are you cut off from th e land of the living? Th e list can go on and on, In Is 42;6 are you set for a covenant to the people? In Is 61 are you the one the Spirit of God is upon you? Are you the annointed one He is talking about?
            The only person that fulfilled all words verse by verse without of need of paraphrasing the text in Is 53 was Yeshua. So are many other aspects I mentioned in th e previous email .

            Next thing; if half of the Israel is not called the righteous remnant and they are going to be ‘healed’ that means Israel is acting on behalf on himself. That means that half of israel can indentify with the following words’ we all went astray like sheep’ . Then you don’t have just the nations speaking in Is 53. Second, even unrighteous Israel suffered, so one group would be bringing the healing by their suffering and the other not? That would have little sense because not even all good Jews ( righteous) suffered with the things described in chapter 53.

            All the verses about the future restoration in th e OT are true, but the ‘happy end’ won’t just happen by the merits of the suffering nation, but one suffering servant that is matching all words spoken about him.

            Is 51;4-6 , Is 52;10 tells you that when God is talking about salvation and redemption , He is not just talking about deliverance of Isreal’s people from the enemies of the hating nations. That is one thing but He also is talking about eternal salvation that the far lands / island are looking forward to. Although the inhabitants of the earth are going to die, His salvation is to last forever. That means He will raise ‘ the righteous ones back to life’ everlasting life Daniel 12;2. And the nation of Israel is not contributing to the eternal life but it is God’s dealing with the consequences of sin that brough death – we read about in Genesis 3.

            Many keep mentioning that verse against us in Jeremiah 16:19. You are forgetting th e words’ can a man make gods to himself’? It refers to the gods people can make for themselves whatever materials they used. Christians don’t have a need to make themselves gods, they have One God in heaven.

          • Yehuda Yisrael says:

            Eric, your “root” comparison doesn’t hold. Are you aware that the “stump” of Jesse uses the Hebrew word “netzar” to describe the Messiah in Isaiah 11? That’s a completely different Hebrew word than the word used for “root” in Isaiah 53:2. It uses the word “shoresh” for the word “root” in Isaiah 53:2. So your “comparison” isn’t so clean cut…This is actually the same word used in Isaiah 5:24 for “root.” (Shoresh)

            Second, I never said that ALL verses specific to the Messiah have those criterion. I simply pointed out examples that both christians and Jews agree refer to ONLY the individual of Messiah. Isaiah 53 does not have such a “Messianic qualifier,” and that is why Jews understand it as referring to not simply JUST the Messiah, but the collective Israel! Contextually speaking, our interpretation fits more consistently with the servant songs which explicitly identify the servant as Israel. Your interpretation is 100% based upon your presuppositions about who you believe the messiah is. Ours is based upon the fact that previous chapters explicitly say “Israel/Jacob My servant.” Nowhere does it say “David my servant” and certainly not “jesus my servant”!

            Zechariah 6:12-13 mention the same “Branch” as Zechariah 3:8…Interesting that this “Branch” is described as BUILDING THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD in those verses…This is something jesus never did…Thus, he is not the “Branch.”

            My mention of Hosea 3:5 should be a wakeup call to you and all other christians who wish to claim that the Messiah is “divine.” Notice the separation between the Messiah and G-d in the verse:

            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.

            If we were to interpret this verse to your liking, Eric, then the verse would have said that we will return to “David our god.” (Chas V’Shalom.) In other words, Jews and christians both can agree that the title “David” refers exclusively to the Messiah in this verse. However, christians erroneously claim that this verse refers to a “divine messiah,” when there is a clear distinction between G-d and “David/Messiah.”

            And as to your absurd interpretation that this verse implies that “the messiah already came,” I suggest you look at the context and you will find that you couldn’t be any more wrong!

            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.

            This verse refers to the current exile. It does not say “David/Messiah already came as king but you just missed him.” NO! It says that we will NOT have a KING for many days. It does not say that this “king” is simply waiting for us to acknowledge him as our “lord and savior.” We are living in this period of time WITHOUT A KING AND WITHOUT SACRIFICE. According to your interpretation, we have a “king” (jesus) and we have a “sacrifice.” (jesus) According to G-d, we don’t have either now…

            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.

            This verse refers to when the truth coming of Messiah happens after our true repentance takes place after the ingathering of the exiles as described in Deuteronomy 30.

            You also keep claiming that jesus supposedly fulfilled Isaiah 53 “word for word.” I have news for you. He didn’t. I can apply the same hyper literal standards and you just to reject jesus as the Messiah. It is a fact that jesus DID open his mouth as he was “taken to the cross.” It is a fact that Isaiah 53:10 says that the servant will “see offspring.” Of course, you believe this refers to “metaphorical offspring.” I guess jesus didn’t fulfill this so “literally” anymore eh?

            The fact is, our interpretation has the advantage of having something that is truly scripturally consistent. Your interpretation is completely eisegetical and dependent on your subjective understudying of your supposed “personal healing” by simply believing that some guy “took away your sins” and all you have to do is “believe in him as your lord and savior.” That’s not the message of Isaiah 53 at all. That’s the message of the NT.

            And Eric, are you aware that G-d forbids the worship of ANY FORM, be it man made or not?

            Deuteronomy 4 makes this abundantly clear. Lets start at verse 9, shall we?

            Deut 4:9. But beware and watch yourself very well, lest you forget the things that your eyes saw, and lest these things depart from your heart, all the days of your life, and you shall make them known to your children and to your children’s children,

            Here we see that G-d is commanding Israel to teach these things throughout their generations. G-d is directly telling Israel to teach their children about the things they saw and the things on their hearts. What are these things you ask? Lets continue reading:

            Deut 4:10. the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when the Lord said to me, “Assemble the people for Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.

            Deut 4:11. And you approached and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire up to the midst of the heavens, with darkness, a cloud, and opaque darkness.

            Deut 4:12. The Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of the words, but saw no image, just a voice.

            Here we have G-d explaining to the children of Israel what they “saw.” Notice that what they “saw” was no image according to G-d Himself! Moving on…

            Deut 4:13. And He told you His covenant, which He commanded you to do, the Ten Commandments, and He inscribed them on two stone tablets.

            Deut 4:14. And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances, so that you should do them in the land to which you are crossing, to possess.

            This verse is important to read in context with the next few verses because it reiterates the fact that these commands are not just a “one time deal.” Rather, G-d is commanding Israel not to acknowledge Him in any form throughout all our generations! With this in mind, lets continue reading:

            Deut 4:15. And you shall watch yourselves very well, for you did not see any image on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire.

            Deut 4:16. Lest you become corrupt and make for yourselves a graven image, the representation of ANY FORM, the likeness of MALE or female,

            Deut 4:17. the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the heaven,

            Deut 4:18. the likeness of anything that crawls on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters, beneath the earth.

            Deut 4:19. And lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, which the Lord your God assigned to all peoples under the entire heaven, and be drawn away to prostrate yourselves before them and worship them.

            So Eric, from this we see two explicit themes:

            1. G-d is explicitly commanding Israel not to acknowledge Him in any form. (Deut 4:16)

            2. G-d is explicitly commanding Israel to teach this to their children and their children’s children, even after they come to the land of Israel. (Deut 4:9-14)

            It is important to note that this is not simply explicit to “man made forms.” Did G-d create Adam, the first man? Yes…But WOULD G-d appear in the form of Adam? Of course not! Same thing with the “first lizard,” or the “first fish.” How do we know this? Deut 4:16! We are not to worship G-d in ANY FORM.

            Note that I am not saying that G-d CANNOT take on the form of a man. G-d can do anything! I am simply saying that G-d WILL NOT take not the form of a man because he explicitly forbids the worship of ALL FORMS. That includes man!

            Shalom and G-d bless!

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Yehuda Yisrael, Your issue with ‘stamp ‘ or ‘root’ and the hebrew words for that doesn’t change anything as throughtout the scriptures God is using different words to describe the same things.
            You can keep saying that your interpretation fits more consistently with the servant songs yet there is no way to see how you are fulfilling the words in thoses ‘songs’ . I still haven seen your answer how you are fulfilling them to match the servant- nation.
            No way untill you start paraphrasing making it fit but it doesn’t! You rely on the fact that previous chapters explicitly say “Israel/Jacob My servant.” but you are not realising that the nation consists of people and the same way like not everybody is God’s servant ( serves God) the same way you can’t say how many are ‘creating’ that good servant. Especially readying first part of Isaiah , you can start excluding the groups that are not matching the perfect description and then finally you come to the servant who fulfills all the aspects. And he is still Israel, if it was even one person obeying God, He would still call that servant; Israel. ( an example with Jacob)

            You brought up the fact of the temple building. Does it mean he can’t ever do what he said if he lives forever? Have you ever thought that not all things are going to happen immediatelly? The temple will be built definitelly for God ‘s presence to dwell among the people when the peoples hearts finally will be ready ! The same way like it is said that rhe redeemer wil come to those in Jacob who repented. Is 59;20 Why didn’t he come now yet??? Doesn’t mean he won’t ever??? Should I stop believing because things didn’t happen yet like I desire? God doesn’t want to dwell among people who are disobeying Him. And knowing that Jesus lives forever I am sure he will still have time to accomplish what is said to take place during the time of Messiah’s ruling on earth.

            Hosea 3:5 is not my wakeup call because to me God is God and Jesus is Jesus. King is King , God is God, is that enough to clarify??? So you don’t need to destruct yourself on the points that I have not even mentioned! And I am aware of the context that the children of Israel shall remain for many days, **HAVING NEITHER KING,** nor prince, nor sacrifice, nor pillar, nor ephod nor seraphim. And the fact that it is not about looking for David the king who ruled before , it apply to th e Messiah.
            You either don’t see what I am saying or you ignored the message. My point was that during the Messiah’ time you won’t have to look for him as he will be already well known and ruling from Jerusalem. if you were to look for him , you would have to look before.

            You are bringing the fact that jesus DID open his mouth as he was “taken to the cross.” You are not realising what you are bringing are the agruments against the remnant ( the nation to be the servant) more than Jesus. I can ask you the same way; did all Jews went silently to death or ever never said any words while persecuted or being killed??? Do you see how radiculous this is??? ‘Opening the mouth’ was not about you whether you said a word or two or nothing. What Jesus did, was he didn’t protest, didn’t complain to his oppressors, he let it all happen, submitted himself to th e will of his Father in heaven that he had to die. He didn’t beg for freedom, for mercy , for anything. He even stopped Peter from fighting with sword for him. If you want to insist on your version of ‘not opening mouth’ you would have to also apply it to th e nation and tell me how it worked.

            About “seeing offspring.” It refers to the children of God, not Jesus children as he wasn’t married!
            Trying to apply it to the nation? Did all Jews who died had kids so that thery could see their offspring/children after resurrection ? Now, we might say, it was about seeing the next generations who are children of God ( because they obey Him). The same way Jesus’s offspring iis about seeing again those ALIVE who are doing God’s will ( because they will be resurrected one day.)

            The message of is 53 is not to accept ‘some guy’, who took our sins away, etc. It is about trusting and believing GOD for what He did on our behalf, because Jesus didn’t sent himself
            ( Is 53 is not talking about a suicider crushing from his own will) but it is said all was God’s will what happened to him in order to accomplish God’s purpose.v.10 ” God desired to oppress him (…) the desire of God would succeed in his hand.”

            You are trying to radicule our belief that God would want to sent a person to die for our sins to heal us, to justify us, to cleanse us from sin and thus free us from ‘ everlasting death penelty. So I wil tell you that to me it is more radicule to keep a belief that God would want to oppress entire nation and let them suffer so much for centuries so that He would be merciful to all the sinners in the world. ( as if He wasn’t before without anybody’s merits; Cain , Ninivah’s people, etc ) First of all you can’t make a sinner repent untill he decides himself to repent, you can’t make an evil person better no matter how much you suffered. And it is not the NT idea that God used blood to ‘cleanse’ the altar and that the access to His presence was only by shedding blood. Levit 16. Could ever any High Priest just get right into the Holy of Holies just because he wanted? He would end up dead. Wouldn’t he? And I don’t think that the ‘bloody ceremony’ was just the result of not having any other idea for a cleanser in those old times. …

            People create for themselves lots of problems to use them as an excuse for rejecting Jesus.
            Nobody is asking you to worship Jesus as God. You won’t even honor Jesus as the king and respect him for His obedience to the Father in heaven.
            Christians can recognise God’s spirit in Jesus, that’s why many say that seeing Jesus they see God ( that means WHO God is) . By saying ‘WHO’ I don’t mean they think God is a man, but they see His CHARACTER of being merciful , forgiving and ready to save His children by all means what it takes. That’s spiritual ‘image ‘ we see in Jesus.

            What God wanted His people to learn by not making any image of Him was to learn that He is not limited to the material image, which would mean God is not limited to any man made object ( wooden, golden, silver etc) God is bigger than any object we can create that’s why you don’t make any images. But God’s character ( who He is) can be reflected in a person that follows Him. Then you can say; you see God in that person, but it doesn’t mean you see the shape of God because if that!
            You will have God’s presence and the king ( the Messiah ) in the Messianic kingdom. To your last points about God’s image; even Jesus didn’t acknowledge Him in any form because he said God is a SPIRIT ( and we don’t see spirits) . Jesus himself said his Father in heaven ( God ) is bigger than him.

          • Dina says:

            Yehuda Yisrael, Eric is a Unitarian Christian, so he doesn’t believe Jesus is God. It’s confusing arguing with Christians because they hold so many different beliefs regarding the very foundations of their religion.

            Still, I say that having a man at the center of your religion if you call him a man and not God is idolatrous because it is giving a man what belongs to God. Trinitarians are like a woman who commits adultery and says that her adulterer is her husband. Unitarians are like a woman who commits adultery and says that by so doing her adulterer brings her closer to her husband. Both are committing adultery whether they call the spade a spade or something else.

            To Eric, you might find Rabbi B.’s articles on this subject illuminating if you read them again more carefully (he addresses your challenges):

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/isaiah-53-a-verse-by-verse-exposition/
            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/armor-bearers-isaiah-5211/

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            yourphariseefriend, Taking a bit of your message at a time, I wanted to say your concept of Is 42 is very interesting..
            I am impressed that you saw the Messiah at least in the first 4 verses of Is 42. It is also very interesting that the servant has to change in (verses 5 thru 7) to the prophet because he brings God’s word to accomplish God’s purpose here on earth while th e Messiah is in verses 1-4.
            It is as if the Messiah had nothing to do with accomplishing of any of God’s purposes and couldn’t bring God’s word to the people. Then I wonder why in Is 11;10 the nations will want to seek Him so much.
            It doesn’t say they will be ‘craving’ for Isaiah.
            So where is that plain meaning of the text in the whole chapter 42??? It just ‘fades’ , but the context of verses 1-7 is as plain and consistent within the whole chapter as much as possible. Whether being referred to in the 3rd person and then first , it doesn’t disturb the plain flow of the text speaking for ONE THE SAME servant. And th e main argument you brought ; the second servant is bringing the word to the people.

            You are saying that chapter 42 v.6-7 is not anymore about th e Messaih and it has to refer to the other servant because he will also be the light to the gentiles ( by the way I don’t know of any person among gentiles who would ever say he/she were ‘enlighted’ by Isaiah.
            To your information in case you overlooked it also Is 11; 10 which is refering to the descendant of Jesse ( the Messiah) says he will be standing as a banner for the people and nations will seek HIM.

            Also ; another points ; notice
            that in Is 42;7 ( chapter that started with refering to the Messiah’ and has no logical base to say it doesn’t continue) the servant is ‘removing PRISONER from confinement ,
            also 49.9 the servant is “to say to PRISONERS; go out” and
            in Is 61;1 the ANOINTED ONE ( the Messiah) is proclaming freedom for captives releasing from bondage for the IMPRISONED. Just in case you didn’t notice. .
            Then you may see that it is NOT IMPOSSIBLE for the same servant in Is 42 ( who is not the nation ) to share the same ‘attributies ‘ to be despised 49;7 and being also exalted or honored by kings, 49;7 .

            Compare his humble attitude; Is 42;1-4 and Is 53.” he will not shout , nor raise his voice..”

            Also Is 49;8 the same servant who is the light to gentiles , who is despised , who is saying to the prisoners ‘go out’, he is to INHERIT desolate heritages.
            compare to Ps 2;6-8 about the Messiah;
            “I have ·appointed [installed; set] my own king over my holy mountain, Zion (…) He said to me, “You are my son. (…)  Ask of me, I will give you the nations as your inheritance”

            Other helpful verses to compare;
            1) Is 11;1 describes him “with the spirit of God resting upon him” ‘ anointed one” so does Is 61; 1 and 42;1
            2) Is 11;11 says the nation will inquire of him ( root of Jesse) Is 42;1, 4 islands longing for his teaching!!
            3) Is 11; 10 standing as a signal to the peoples Is 49 , Is 42;6 ( light to the gentiles)
            4) Is 11;1-5 ( ruling with justice) and Is 42;4 setting justice in the land
            5) Is 11;5 and Is 53 his properties of righteousness mentioned.
            6) Is 11;11 on that day ( of his reign) the remnant is recovered from many places. Is 49;5 he is to bring back Jacob, restoring the survivors of Israel.
            7) Is 11; 4 he will strike the wicked of the world with the rod of his mouth, Is 49;2 His mouth is like a sharp sword,
            8) Is 53;12 given the many as his portion, receiving the multitude as his spoil.. Ps 2; 7-8 ” ask of Me and I will make nations as your inheritance and the end of earth your possession.”
            9) Zeh 3;8 A Branch identified with the servant of God . ( according to Targum this verse is recognized as referring to the Messiah)

            I am glad that you are actually allowing a servant to be just an individual whether you see him as a prophet or the Messiah in that chapter 42 v-1-4 . No insisting anymore on having a servant being refered to the nation like mentioned in Is 49;3. That can open the eyes of others whose the most famous argument against christian view of Is 53 is that it can’t refer to the individual because of verse 3 , Is 49 that decides for all.

            I don’t remember who brought that up before; that Is 53 can’t be about the Messiah because it doesn’t start with ‘ my servant Messiah” or ‘me servant David” To your information Is 42 doesn’t start with that either, yet rabbi B , noticed the verses referring there to th e Messiah.

        • Paul Summers says:

          Hello Tsvi

          The very long and misused arguement against the Messiahship of Jesus, is not based on Who is was, rather on what acts of criminality were done in His Name, post resurrection.

          John Hyracanus became a ruler of Israel in the post maccabean period. During the then struggle of independence, one of johns war acts was to murder any individual who oppossed Israel, and who wouldnt concert to Judaism.

          The entire edomite nation, then known as Idumeans were forcefuly converted to Judaism.All done in the name of Judaism. As Moses could be said to be the father of Judaism, all the atrocities could be levelled at Moses feet.

          However, logic, common sense and moral decency, would never blame such terrible acts at Judaism and Moses, because Judaism DOESNT teach such. The only person to blame would be John Hyracanus.
          A orthodox Jew assinatated Yitzchak in name of Judaism, shall we blame Moses for the crime? Certainly not.

          Your arguements are based on what crimes have been committed in a name. But that doesnt mean, in this instance that Jesus the Jew, His Jewish diciples, and the infant Jewish Church were antisemitic. Nor does the NT teach such views, in fact it makes very clearly the oppersite.

          What happened to Jews can never be blamed on Jesus or the NT. Murdering antisemitic men yes, but not followers of the Lamb.

          Personally speaking I think that non believing Jews would prefer the church of Jesus Christ to be antisemitic, so the arguement that you hold justifies your rejection of your God and King Yeshua Messiah. Hiding behind this pretence is your justifiable smoke screen for rejecting the God Adonai of Israel, just like your fathers always did. Just as the Torah said you would.

          • Yedidiah says:

            Your view of history is quite skewed. Before Hyrcanus, there was a long history of ill-feelings & hostilities between Edom or Idumea and Israel and Judea since Moses. Edom was also at war often with Assyria and Syria. Idumea helped Babylonia in the conquering of Jerusalem and destruction of the Jewish temple in about 586 c.e., and for a time Idumea ruled over southern “Palestine”. Read about the Idumean Antipater and his son “Herod the Great” and their connections to Rome. Herod married into the Hasmonean family & he became the “king of the Jews”, a title that is also given by non-Jews to Jesus. We don’t see much anti-Roman or anti-Herodian rhetoric in the NT gospels or other writings for a reason. But if many Christians, like me, can see very strong anti-Jewish sentiments in the NT and are repulsed and sickened by it, it is understandable that Jews are not unaware of the anti-Jewish nature of some of the gospel’s message.

            You yourself have nullified your argument by your final (hopefully final) words ” Hiding behind this pretence is your justifiable smoke screen for rejecting the God Adonai of Israel, just like your fathers always did.” If that is not a very outrageous anti-Jewish sentiment, I don’t know what is. Their rejecting “your Christ” as a messiah is not a pretense. Jesus utterly failed as a messiah, especially by their definition of a messiah. They definitely did not nor DO NOT reject their God, how absurd & how arrogantly hateful!!! How do you even know about the God of Israel if “their fathers” rejected God??? And that relationship is between God and them – you are not God, nor a credible or valid spokesman for their God. You are an outsider. You can be an enemy and curse them if you want. That is not Godly and it is evidence that your Jesus is not in you anymore than it was in the anti-Jewish Christians of history that you try to deny as having existed or only “acted in the name of Jesus”.

            Yet, you probably believe there is a “power in the name of Jesus”. You might end each prayer in “the name of Jesus (or aka, “Yeshua”). Mark 9, spoke of those who were not disciples of Jesus, but who did miracles in the “name of Jesus”. Jesus said let them for they can’t do wrong long and “whoever is not against us is for us”. So “much of what happened to Jews can” definitely “be blamed on Jesus or the NT”. See what the “lamb” is like in the last book of the NT. Those who did wrong the last almost 2000 years were some of the “realist” of the “real Christians” who not only did deeds in the name of Jesus, but in the very philosophy of Jesus (found in Matthew, John, all the hellish words & acts found in the book of Revelation, or in the concept of eternal punishment in hell for “sinners” and those who can’t believe in a “loving” Jesus).

            Almost 2000 years, there were all sorts of beliefs that followers of Jesus had about who Jesus was and what he did and said. Some are contradictory. He might have been a man or he never was flesh-and-blood; he was a Jew or he definitely was not a Jew. So, Jesus is what people made of him, then and now. Lion and lamb. Warrior or peacenik. Wandering, poor, ascetic communist or the advocate for modern prosperity churches. Of course, there is little credible evidence that Jesus (of the NT) even existed, which is why some apologists spend an enormous amount of time and words trying to “prove him & his messiahship” by selecting a relatively few selected words or verses taken out of context from the Tanach. Like the gospels take images & copy words from Isaiah 53 to “prove Jesus”. All they show is poor copying or fictionalizing skills. You can’t proof as fact, persons that rely so heavily on midrash and imaginative story-telling for their existence.

            But the synagogues of the 1st century c.e. and the early church up to and after the 4th c.e. are not the synagogues and churches of 200 years ago and those synagogues and churches are not those of the 21st century. There are many valid reasons in the Tanach and in Judaism for Jews not to believe in Jesus, plus they also have the many valid reasons that non-Jews have in not believing in Jesus.

        • Yehuda Yisrael says:

          Mitch Glaser obviously didn’t have an answer for me. He kept some of my original responses to him on his blog though. However, eventually he started deleting my posts almost as soon as I could post them! (I took screen shots of them and others could see them through E-mail, so I have a record if you’re interested.)

          You see, Brian Crawford aka “Lev.Tahor” is a user on the Isaiah 53 forum website. I used to be a regular poster on that forum since him and the other CPM people insisted on debating there instead of Facebook. I decided to play their game, so I took my arguments to their forums. As expected, the only purpose of them debating from the forum was to “moderate” me…In other words, they censored my responses. I will give them some credit for not editing all my posts. However, it would take them nearly a week to “moderate” some of my posts, just to find out that it was rejected for being “off topic” or some ridiculous reason.

          I abided by their rules on the forum, but I was criticized for having an “attitude.” By the time I started posting on Mitch Glaser’s blog, I was pretty much banned from the Isaiah 53 forums. After Mitch made a theological post on his blog, I decided to respond to it.

          You can see his blog and comments of me responding to him here:

          http://drmitchglaser.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/orthodox-jewish-group-opposes-chosen-people-ministries-brooklyn-messianic-center/#comments

          You can see a few of my comments…All of them unanswered by Mitch…So instead of answering my questions, what does he do? Mitch posts another blog post entitled “Let’s Keep the Discussion Going.” In other words, he was opting out of answering. You see, Mitch wanted to “keep the discussion going” on the Isaiah 53 forum…You know, that same Forum that I was banned from for “having an attitude”…(Also, Mitch does not interact with anyone on the Forum to my knowledge. The most active user on the Forum is “Lev.Tahor” aka Brian Crawford, and he works for Mitch…) Essentially he was letting his right hand man, Brian Crawford, take care of the dirty work for him on the Forum. As you can see, I’ve had quite lengthy discussions with Brian Crawford aka “Lev.Tahor” on the Forums! Here’s just one example. Notice how at the end of the discussion, the Isaiah 53 “moderator” had to step in so that we could get back “on topic.” (By the way, Brian Crawford is a self professed “moderator” himself, so I would be surprised if he was the one censoring me directly…) Read through the discussion. I’m sure you’ll find it an interesting read!

          http://isaiah53.com/forums/Evidence-that-Psalm-110-is-Messianic-146

          Clearly, Mitch has no answers. Nor does Brian Crawford.

          Shalom and G-d bless!

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      yourphariseefriend, You said the servant of Isaiah 53 acknowledges his own guilt and that this concept emerges from the words of the prophet. But the prophet doesn’t say that the servant needs to acknowledge His Own sin. Sorry but here is nothing mentioned about his own sin at all.
      In the words ‘ if his soul would acknowledge guilt..” there is no indication he has to acknowledge His own iniquities as they are not even mentioned, not even slight sin! Neither in ‘servant’s songs’
      Then you said” Christianity teaches that if someone is guilty on one point of the Law it is as if he violated all of the Law. But this is not the teaching of the Jewish Bible.”
      My question is again; how much did it take for Adam to bring God’s curse of death and all that curse we read in the last verses of Genesis?
      You showed examples of David and that he is still God’s faithful servant whose merit can protect others. I would complete the fact that his sin was not without the influence for the future.
      2 Sam 12;10” Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.”
      You say; “The servant of Isaiah is no different” No, he is VERY different as his mission is completely not David’s. It is not about attaining his spiritual level of closeness to God through trials and tribulations. The servant in Is 53 , 42, 50;4-10 , 49 is already very close to God , with whom God is very pleased , without even one sin , no a single offense against God is mentioned.

      I completely disagree with your argument that God wanted David to protect all of Israel that God brought him through so much suffering. The whole story of David testifies he suffered because of his own sin and mistakes, never for any other reason! God didn’t need ever to oppress any king to protect his people. A righteous king didn’t have a need to suffer, his obedience to God would be the best example the others to learn. About the blessings of obeying God’s covenant we read in (Deuteronomy 7:12-15; 28:2-12)

      We have a different mission in view. Your suffering and repentance is not a key to save the world. There is a servant who is setting people free from bondage of sin while they repent. He restores them back to the fellowship with God. Back to righteousness. ( Isaiah 61 ;1-3) The servant is binding up the brokenhearted , proclaiming freedom to captives, releasing from bondage for the imprisoned, proclaiming a YEAR OF FAVOR unto God ( fulfilled) and a day of vengeance ( still to come) to bring about for the mourners of Zion, to give them splendor and instead of ashes. ( still to come) “ The servant is clearly to a benefit of those in Zion, so it is not a nation. The same servant speaking in Is 49;8 .

      It is clear in Is 61 that it is by that servant’s contribution , that all the blessing is possible. Proclaimed freedom of captives is not about releasing prisoners but setting people free from bondage of sin. A year of favor of God is not a literal 12 months , but amount of time God gave to show his grace; time to repent, proclamation of a good news of salvation. v1 ” He ( God ) has sent me as a herald of joy to the humble” JPS translation or Stone edition” because God has anointed me to bring tidings to the humbled.”
      Does it look like a merit of a nation???? Is 61 says ; you are benefiting from him!!!!!!

      Based on that in Is 61 God’s purpose in not just a healing/protection brought to the nations by suffering Israel . Second argument t is ;here is a Day of the Lord coming with God’s judgment to all who didn’t repent; Zeph 1;12-18
      Why the servant is not a nation of Israel but Yeshua I answered in my last email to Dina in;
      https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/isaiah-53-micah-7-and-isaiah-62/#comment-13526

      • Sharbano says:

        You’re really hung up on this Isaiah 53 thing. A person would think your entire religion is based upon this one chapter. I gave you a verse by verse exposition by Jewish Sources but you haven’t revealed where your sources are from. If this is suppose to be about your god then G_d would have made mention of some reference to the real Messiah. You take what is vague and attempt to assign meaning to it without the totality of knowledge that encompasses it.

        It is interesting that G-d would create a Torah with all the subsequent knowledge and decide to change and pattern it after virtually all the previous pagan belief systems of the nations. Shouldn’t a person question the merit of a religion that has a lamb of god, 12 disciples, a virgin birth and other similarities to those same pagans of ancient times. Why would G-d give the Israelites a Torah, unique to any other natoin, and then say “well these pagans must know better so I will pattern the redemption after their beliefs”.

        I know Xtians Really want to believe in all this but you don’t realize how silly and nonsensical it all sounds to us. But you and others want to take “comfort” in believing we are blinded but if you were to truly analyze how you come to your conclusions it would be obvious that it is nothing less than reading something that is not there. How can anyone be blinded by something that is not there. A person cannot be blinded by the sun when it is not shining. Xtianity has no light therefore a person is not blinded by it. On the other hand the Torah IS Light and that is where the truth lies. Once a person ceases to read INTO the text, invariably they leave Xtianity.

        • It is interesting that G-d would create a Torah with all the subsequent knowledge (that took time and struggles of its own to develop don’t forget) and decide to change and pattern it after virtually all the previous pagan belief systems of the nations.

          Sharbano, with respect, no ancient polytheists believed in anything like Christianity beyond an albeit real superficial similarity. If I told you that the epic of Gilgamesh had a serpent and a flood story, and that this “proved” the Torah to be a copy of pagan belief, you would disagree, again with due respect.

          You say Christianity sounds nonsensical and silly to you. Have you ever seen a man created from dust? A sea splitting from a source you don’t believe in already? A serpent having a chat with a woman? A whole nation taken out of a country while not leaving a shred of substantial physical evidence of ever having been there? You have exegetical reason to believe that the servant is Israel, I understand. At the same time, those verses teach something more. I raised the point to rabbi B that we have seen Israel established in our days, and we have heard of its destruction and exile from times past, but this reestablishment has not produced the fruits of repentance and knowledge that your reading of the servant song speaks of. Rabbi B says it will be that something more will happen. Some great miraculous exaltation will happen to the entire righteous remnant. Forgive me, but it seems as though Christians claimed a renewal of love and service to G-d in similar fashion, something not experienced by Gentiles before that. Christianity May sound silly, but a lot of people think of the entire holy book as silly. So, respectfully, while you can say Christians have no sources, they have the fact that they believe in Hashem. There are also notions of suffering producing atonement and contrition, being uplifted by someone else’s merit (or the example they set for others etc.) Judaism has a messiah who dies in a war, why not one who died for his faith?

          • Sharbano says:

            If Xtianity had merit and/or authority there wouldn’t be these discrepancies and divisions. Instead Xtianity is antithetical to Judaism. There is no continuity with Xtianity. It is Not what our fathers have known and ergo is nonsensical.

          • Every religion, including Judaism has its sectarian divisions Sharbano. As for statements that Christianity is totally antithetical to Judaism, how is it that all of its ethical teachings are based on ethics for G-d fearers? How could Christianity have started and taken off? I mean, what more could have been done to eliminate it? The Romans killed Jesus, their government had his followers executed, declared the movement illegal, etc. for at least 200 years. This little nonsensical belief system, if it did not bear resemblance to Judaism of the past, would never have existed at all. Granted, that doesn’t mean it’s true, but to maintain that it bears no resemblance to Judaism of the past is somewhat inaccurate. With respect.

          • Sharbano says:

            How could something as Buddhism taken off and survived even longer than Xtianity. It too has many ethical teachings.

            There is a vast amount to Judaism that cannot be covered here but basic ideas as “the devil”, Hell, are two that are antithetical to Judaism. The entire premise of the Satan has been distorted. There is no scriptural basis for these ideologies.

          • Dina says:

            Concerned Reader, this brings us to the one question you refuse to consider. Jews say Jesus cannot possibly ever have been, nor can he possibly ever yet be, the Messiah. Christians say Jesus in the only one who can possibly ever have been, and who will once again yet be, the Messiah.

            We cannot both be right! It’s impossible, don’t you see? According to Judaism, it’s a grave error for ANYONE to accept Jesus as the Messiah. According to Christians, it’s a grave error for ANYONE to reject him (with the exception of one Concerned Reader, who holds that it’s totally fine for Jews to reject him).

            If that’s the case, it behooves us to discover who, if any, is right.

            It’s not a question of overconfidence and certitude; it’s a question of seeking and hopefully discovering the truth.

          • Dina says:

            Concerned Reader, when the Jews introduced the idea of ethical monotheism, it was brand new and radical. In other words, it was unique. Jesus did not introduce anything unique. His teachings of ethical monotheism? Plagiarized! His focus on himself? Nothing new there! Virgin birth, dying and resurrected savior man-god? We heard of those before!

            So what if the resemblance is only superficial?

            At least the Jewish claim had lots of unique angles :).

        • Eric Krakofsky says:

          Shabrano, Yes, the reason I ‘am hung up’ on that chapter is because this is the main chapter that talks about the servant suffering and it’s purpose since you all reject NT. You said you gave me a verse by verse exposition by Jewish Sources but I haven’t revealed where my sources are from. That’s what we call blindness… because the references I put there are all from Isaiah I guess starting with chapter 42.
          Apart from the verses themselves your explanation is a pure speculation based on your supposition ( no support in the scriptures to most of the points ) and the message I responded with- are questions how would you defend your point of view toward all you wrote which to us is as much a farry tale as Jesus to you. I addressed your explanation with the questions. Are you able to answer them?
          How is the world healed now by your sufferings, how were the Jews with the wealthy in ‘his death’? I gave you a reason why your answers didn’t make sense. The list can go on and on, so I hope if you look at your explanation closer you will see how little sense they bring.

          You would make a big deal of accepting the ‘ healing ‘ a righteous person that brought us through his suffering and substitution death, but instead , you want us to believe your suffering is a key to ‘fix’ the world… Far from the truth as God shows throughout the scriptures that His grace is unmerited and time for repentance given to everybody and other people’s suffering can’t make you come to God unless you respond.
          Second you want us to reject God’s atoning that in in the blood.

          You are making a big deal of Jesus being called the lamb of God , rejecting the message he brought and the meaning of his blood shed, yet you don’t see God already foreshadowed a lesson for you thousands years ago at the Passover.
          I am sure the lamb’s blood marked on the door of the Israeli ties’ houses seemed as silly as Jesus to you now, yet it saved the people from the death.

          • Sharbano says:

            To start with, what does Is 42 have to do with Jsus. One verse states Ani Hashem. It doesn’t say Jsus or messiah. Furthermore it says Hashem does Not give his glory to another. Therefore Jsus is not in the picture.

            What does Pesach and the lamb’s blood on the doorpost have to do with Jsus anyway. Did the people of his time spread His blood on their doorposts. Talk about Not making any sense. G_d doesn’t speak in foreshadowing riddles as you would have us to believe. If Jsus was to be a sacrifice for sin it surely wouldn’t be about Pesach, which has absolutely Nothing to do with sin. And You think Jews are blind.

            Now here’s a foreshadowing for you. It says in Matthew that Jsus told his people to go and find a donkey so as to fulfill a prophecy. Jsus looked at what he thought was a prophecy and contrived to make it happen. This shows a foreshadowing of everything in the Xtian text, that is, a contrivance of prophetic fulfillment. Foreshadowing is Not from G-d but rather a Xtian invention to fool Jews. Matthew thought he could pull it off but it didn’t work. If Jsus wanted to truly fulfill prophecy he would have done that which the real Messiah would do, namely bring peace to the world so Jews could keep Torah in peace. This is the entire sum of it all.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Sharbano, What does Is 42 have to do with Jesus? . The same what the other chapters 49;5-7 , 50;4-10, 53, 61.You have a suffering servant and his mission described. How does Is 42 start?v.1 Behold my servant (…) I have placed my spirit upon him…v.6 I will set you for a covenant to the people, for a light to the nations.

            Are you as the nation set for a COVENANT to the people? Did God place His spirit upon you ?
            This is the same servant mentioned in Is 49;5-7. So are you the one who is RETURNING Jacob to God? Are you that servant who is RAISING UP tribes of Jacob and RESTORTING the RUINS of Israel???
            In chapter 61 are you the servant upon whom is the spirit of God ? Act2 tells you when the spirit was given upon people.
            Did God sent you to proclaim freedom for captives and release from bondage for the imprisoned? To proclaim a year of God’s favor, -and you know the same servant will proclaim in the future a day of vindication by God,v.3 He will provide for the mourners in Zion to give them joy instead of mourning.
            You see the nation doesn’t fit the description so that’s why it is not in that picture but Jesus who is fulfilling the words. ( and sorry not all overnight).

            God doesn’t have to give His glory to another . The same way He promised to exalt Israel, the same way He will exalt His servant Yeshua who suffered for us by taking our sins upon himself.
            You are asking what does the lamb’s blood on the doorpost have to do with Jesus? Of course it has nothing to do with spreading His blood on their doorposts. The same way like with the offered lamb in the past – It was offered so that people would have life. As atonement is in the blood. The same way Jesus offered his life so that we would have eternal life.

            And Jesus is not called a lamb because there is something about lambs that God desires them to atone for our sins. A lamb simply symbolizes an innocence . The same way like a lamb was offered ( had to be killed) before the deliverance of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt the same way Jesus’ sacrificial death is for our deliverance from the bondage of sin.

            You are saying that Jesus looked at what he thought was a prophecy and contrived to make it happen. Wow, he must have been really smart to decide about his place of birth and decide to be born in Bethlehem ( or Bethlehem area, or among the Bethlehem people, depending how some interpret it.) Then he had to be not only smart but have supernatural power to raise himself back to life after being killed. As Is 53 says a servant died was buried and was to be alive again in order to ‘ receive the multitude as his spoil.”v11, I would rather doubt a persons ability to return himself back to like , as these things are up to God and definitely he would not raise back to life a liar.
            Talking about blindness Is 6; 9-10, , Is 48;7-8 Are you sure you listen?
            Where does it say the Messiah was going to bring peace to the world right away ? How do you imagine peace brought by him? Like a magic trick that at his coming all the nations will just give up fighting? Every nation will just decide to be nice to each other knowing that since the ages they had been fighting against each other with a little bit of break ? People have to first repent and turn to God in order to change. And Jesus brought the call to repentance and a good message of God’s forgiveness before the final God’s intervention with His judgment when He will deal with all those wicked who didn’t repent and leave on earth the humble ones and rule among them.

          • Sharbano says:

            Eric; does your bible include Isaiah in its entirety. If so, I suggest you begin from Chapter 1 verse 1 and read through Chapter 66. There are a number of places where it specifies this servant, many are explicit references to Jacob, My Servant. There are others that Isaiah is speaking of himself as the servant. Now, show me one single passage that says Jsus or even The Messiah is the servant. Otherwise you are just inserting Jsus where he is not there. Sorry to burst your bubble but you are just making things up as you go.

            If this Yeshu is taking the sin upon himself why are there sin sacrifices performed in the Third Temple as written in Ezekiel. So apparently Jsus isn’t able to complete the task. As was said before the Pesach lamb is NOT a sacrifice for sin. This is just another made up idea that doesn’t fit the facts. If he were a sin sacrifice it would be more appropriate to have it related to Yom Kippur. Oh wait, that one isn’t a sacrifice at all. It is let go. Once again we have some faulty logic of Xtianity.

            Decide to be born in Bethlehem? Where do you get this from. Doesn’t it say he was a Nazarene, according to prophecy. Oh wait, where is that prophecy recorded. I’m unable to find any reference to Nazareth.

            Any references to Isaiah 53 have been dealt with by the last post, a verse by verse exposition. As a side note, what kind of bible are you reading. If you were able to read Hebrew you would fully realize why it looks like utter nonsense. Maybe That is why Xtianity cannot convince an educated Jew to turn to Xtianity. No wonder Xtians have to resort to accusing Jews of being “blind” to their own scriptures.

            A “good message” What good message. We’ve experienced the Good Message and it hasn’t been a pretty site. We do not and have never needed any Jsus in order to be close to Hashem. He is the One and Only. As was previously stated, He gives His Glory to no one else and this includes any Jsus. It is also written that His Name will be One, and not two nor three, among the nations. This will occur when the nations will proclaim they have inherited lies from their ancestors.

          • Dina says:

            Sharbano, you made an excellent point about the vagueness of the Christian proof texts. The most powerful proof text for the Christian is Isaiah 53, and nowhere does the text identify the servant as the Messiah (and certainly not as Jesus). Your other points are worthy of consideration as well.

            To Eric, Christians ignore the context which repeatedly identifies the servant as Israel or Isaiah, depending on the immediate local context, which I have already pointed out to you. You cannot accept this because according to your understanding of Isaiah 53 it cannot be talking about the righteous remnant of Israel. This is despite the high level of corroboration throughout Tanach for the Jewish interpretation. I also provided the sources of those instances of corroboration to you in that link.

            I have about six comments of yours now that I need to examine. Don’t worry, I will get to them, God willing.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            D, I also provided you with sources that disqualify the nation to fulfill the words in the chapters 42, 49;5-7 , 50;5-10, 53, 61;1-3 and there is just lots of talking but so far nobody defended his points logically to prove your superior mission of healing the world and reasons to prove the right of putting your righteousness above Yesuah’s and disqualifying him of any merits to mankind through his suffering.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, you provided a lot of sources without directly responding to my points. Nevertheless, I haven’t responded yet because I need more time to look up all your references. I ask again for your patience.

            I have to disagree with you that no one has logically backed up their refutation to the Christian interpretation of Isaiah 53. I have read Sharbano’s comments–they are logical. I have read Rabbi B.’s comments and his verse-by-verse explanation–they are logical. Furthermore, if I may so myself, the link I posted written by yours truly is impeccable :).

            You continue to ignore context, and that is a big problem.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Dina, There is so much information in many emails , so of course I might have missed some of your points. Just remind me next time . I may go back to them.
            You know all your interpretation of yours will be logical to you because you don’t see the need for Jesus and will see that the world will just fix itself by your nation’s suffering. So you are putting all the puzzles but skipping some to create the picture that seems to fit your picture but I see it doesn’t. I brought you some points to show you why the nation can’t be fulfilling the words in certain chapters about the servant ( that ‘he’ is not matching any group of people, I gave you examples so if you go through them we can discuss it) and that Isaiah is clearly distinguishing between one failing and the other impeccable, perfect pleasing God, servant that doesn’t fit any remnant ( although there will be people in the future saved, redeemed , exalted etc) We know it! You are mainly relying on the words Is 52 last verses and the references of the future restoration.

            What I meant by saying that your clarifications verse by verse are not satisfying, you explain it all in metaphors while it all was written as literal and it was clearly done and fulfilled by Yeshua. Trying to apply it all to the nation simply doesn’t fit.
            We have also different understanding about redemption. That makes a difference in what type of servant we are expecting, what type of healing and justification.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            I was specifically referring to the points I raised in that link I posted to the article I wrote and published online. These are the basic points:

            1. The issue of context–the context, locally and globally, identifies the servant.
            2. The shock of the nations of the world–what will shock the whole world during the messianic era?
            3. The suffering of the Jewish people–the oppression of Israel is consistent with the description in Isaiah. You say the suffering of the Jewish people is not unique (anti-Semitism is not unique? It is unlike any other kind of racism!). You fail to explain how you reconcile that with the fact that the prophets mentioned this phenomenon often (Isaiah 60:14-15; Lamentations 1:11; Ezekiel 34:28-29, 35:5-6, 16:5; Isaiah 49:13, 54:11,14-15,17).
            4. The high level of corroboration–the Jewish themes of Isaiah 53 are corroborated throughout Tanach. I provided that information in the link (here it is again if you want to take another look: http://www.scribd.com/doc/236071979/Isaiah-53-for-Eric?secret_password=j7aBQGm31UgkYmFeeqZt). You have failed to refute that and to counter it with corroboration of the Christian themes (the Messiah will suffer and die for the sins of mankind, the Messiah will be hated and rejected by his own people, etc.).

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Dina, I read your online explanation again;.
            Th e first dispute is about who will be shocked and why. We all know israel wil be exalted. But that is not the fact excluding Jesus’ exaltation. You are bringing up th e argument that many Christians already expect that so they can’t be shocked or they may be shocked because seeing is different that just hearing about something. There is another thing that has to be considered; in the last days there wil be very few righteous people left and most of the world is described as becoming really bad that will bring finally God’s judgement. ( I gave you that description in verses about the Day of the Lord) You are then left with multitudes that can be shocked by God’s intervention. You said the people will be shocked because they never considered the fact of your restoration, but the words in Is 52;15 are not about considering or believing but about never hearing nor being told!! Never hearing person or never told one is the one who never read the scriptures or heard them. Because even Christians know th e prophecy and are not denying Israel’s restoration.

            You mentioned manifestation of God’s arm as refering to physical salvation In all th e verses you gave me God’s arm was God’s intervention . So you should see it the same way while refering to Is 53 where God’s arm is revealed. He is bringing you freedom of guilt, he is showing you how your sins are taken away.
            As far as the other verses about Israel’s wounds because of suffering, God is talking about your healing of the wounds because He is going to be merciful and restore you , but the verses are not mentioning any healing brought to the nations because of them.!!

            The fact that many people will be coming to hear about God in Jerusalem is the result of God dwelling among His people again, not because of the nation’s suffering!

            Similarities you find everywhere , even Jeremiah is mentioned as the one led to the slaughter, but that doesn’t show he is the subject of Is 53 because of that. He wil also be exalted while living in restored Isreal in the messianic times if he gets resurected, but that doesn’t mean he is the servant in Is 53.
            Here are my references to the Messiah in connection to the songs of the servant.
            Is 11;1 “mentions a stamp of Jesse and a shoot that will SPROUT from his roots”
            Jer 23;5 talks about a righteous SPROUT of David.
            Jer 33;15 calls him a SPROUT of righteousness that will sprout of David
            Is 53;1 He grew like a SAPLING or like a root from arid ground. ( no David or Jesse mentioned but there is the same thing that characterizes them all’ something that GROWS/SPROUTS out of the stage of being DEAD FOR LONG ; like a root of dry land, shoot from Jesse’s roots that were long dead as there has been no king reigning for so long.

            1) Is 11;1 describes him “with the spirit of God resting upon him” ‘ anointed one” so does Is 61; 1 and 42;1
            2) Is 11;11 says the nation will inquire of him ( root of Jesse) Is 42;1, 4 islands longing for his teaching!!
            3) Is 11; 10 standing as a signal to the peoples Is 49 , Is 42;6 ( light to the gentiles)
            4) Is 11;1-5 ( ruling with justice) and Is 42;4 setting justice in the land
            5) Is 11;5 and Is 53 his properties of righteousness mentioned.
            6) Is 11;11 on that day ( of his reign) the remnant is recovered from many places. Is 49;5 he is to bring back Jacob, restoring the survivors of Israel.
            7) Is 11; 4 he will strike the wicked of the world with the rod of his mouth, Is 49;2 His mouth is like a sharp sword,
            8) Is 53;12 given the many as his portion, receiving the multitude as his spoil.. Ps 2; 7-8 ” ask of Me and I will make nations as your inheritance and the end of earth your possession.”
            9) Zeh 3;8 A Branch identified with the servant of God . ( according to Targum this verse is recognized as referring to the Messiah)

            The salvation that God is bringing is described also in Ps 102, especially v 20- 21
            “For He looks down from His Holy height, the Lord beholds the earth from heaven to hear the groans of the prisoner to release those CONDEMNED TO DEATH that the name of the Lord may be recounted in Zion, His praises in Jerusalem.” matching the description in Is 61;1-3 , matching Is 53 mission of setting us free from sin consequences that brought death. Matching the healing described in Jer 33;6 which talks about cleansing from sin. Speaking for the fact that God will eliminate death forever Is 25;8-9 (…) let us exult and be glad in His salvation”

      • Eric
        Who are the “Armor Bearers” of the Lord?
        Applying Isaiah 61 to Jesus is the height of audacity – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/a-letter-from-the-past-still-looking-forward/
        And here is my verse by verse exposition – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/isaiah-53-a-verse-by-verse-exposition/

        • Eric Krakofsky says:

          Ypfriend, the height of audacity? Really? Then prove your point of view to the three first verses I described and tell me how you are fulfilling them. Definitely looking atJesus’ life he is more righteous than you, so I don’t have to have doubts about him being exalted , knowing God can even exalt sinful people.

          • Sharbano says:

            Are you aware that Isaiah wrote Isaiah, as opposed to many books of the Xtian text that do not claim an author. Does Ch 61 say this is Jsus or does it say it is The Messiah. What is More direct is the post I made regarding “The Warning from Isaiah”. It quotes directly from the Xtian text and how Xtianity has turned against the prophet.
            Maybe it’s about time you find yourself a teacher Eric.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            S, just go back on the truck and answer the questions directed to you instead of discarding them and replacing with lots of talking. The questions were very simple , I am giving you just 3 verses how do you fulfill them as th e righteous remnant?

          • Eric
            I am not sure which 3 verses you are talking about – but Jesus mocked the mourners of Zion and never comforted them
            About Jesus being more righteous than others – claiming sinlessness is a pretty serious crime and so is demanding devotion that is due to God. Most people, even sinful ones don’t go this far.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Ypfriend, I meant Is 61;1-3 do you see yourself there? I once wrote my comments on these 3 verses in the previous email. ( a week ago)
            As far as Jesus and him claiming no sin, I guess he had a reason to ‘go that far’ and his resurrection didn’t show God took it as a crime.

        • Eric Krakofsky says:

          ypfriend, Referring to the link you shared “ still looking forward’ You are saying
          “ They ( you mean the remnant) are being praised not for something new that is given to them but for the faithfulness towards God that they maintained throughout the exile. (Contrast this with the exaltation of the Messiah described in chapter 11 which will be for new qualities that will be granted to him at that time – not for qualities that he possessed before then.”

          I understand you mentioned Is 53;11 there. Interesting that you see new qualities that will be granted to the servant ( as Jesus) , that he will be praised not for qualities possessed before and you make that observation and are referring it to Jesus – contrasting him with the praise of the nation in Is 26;2, Jer 8;23., yet if the chapter 53 talks about your nation – that observation of yours should also apply to the nation; that you will be praised for the new qualities that will be granted to you. So that comparison doesn’t make sense and doesn’t put Jesus contra the remnant on the opposite ‘priaise ‘ hierarchy.

          Next; do you know when they are praised in Is 26;2??? Definitely not from the time of the exile! It says; “ON THAT DAY” and chapter 25 before tells you it is at the time of God’s intervention and redemption of the people.
          From other verses we know God will save and gather all humble and those who repented. Zeph 3;12-13, Zehpeniah 1;8- 12,
          Also Jer 8;23 talks about the future! That’s time of Messiah’ reign on earth when everything will be renewed.
          By the way how it is possible that the many from the nations will join the Lord on that day and will be His people? Zeh 2;14-15?

          • Sharbano says:

            You’ve cited quotes that give praise to Hashem. Isn’t it ironic that nowhere in Tanach, not in one single instance is The Messiah ever given any praise. If Jsus is this “savior” why isn’t there any acknowledgement or any type of praise given to him. It’s always written as Hashem/Elokim. Certainly if the greatest man of all time is doing Sooo much for mankind he would get at least a little recognition. In All of Tanach there is so little mentioned that miniscule is too great a term. Yet, in the Xtian text it is ALL about the man. It causes a person to wonder, how many times is G-d mentioned in the Xtian text, either as Hashem or Elokim. Considering this; who, then, is more focused on G-d and who is focused on man. It sounds like the age old Yaakov vs Esav / Edom / Rome being played out to the end.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Sharbano, You missed the point . I was responding to Ypfriend’s references in Is 26;2 who brought up the verses of the PRAISED NATION Is 26;2 and Zeh 8;23 ( sorry I typed Jeremiah 8;23 maybe that confused you)
            You said the Messiah is not given any praise. The thing is; part of that is that you replaced his praise with yours ( by your sufferings), second read Ps 2, 45, 72, 110, Is 9;7, Is 11, , Hosea 3;5, ( you will be looking for him )
            The Lord will be the king and the Messiah will be a king. The Lord will rule through His anointed One, so that His ( God’s ) name will be glorified.
            The Messiah is not on God’s way.

          • Eric
            I meant Isaiah chapter 11 where the Messiah is being exalted AFTER a spirit of God comes to rest upon him.
            Isaiah 26:2 tells us that at the time of the redemption Israel will be praised as a nation who guards faithfulness – this doesn’t make sense if they haven’t being doing this (guarding faithfulness) during the exile.
            Zechariah 2:14 speaks of many nations converting to Judaism – God will still dwell in YOUR midst – that is in Israel

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            ypfriend, By the way chapter 11 and any other about the Messiah doesn’t say WHEN exactly a Spirit of God comes to rest upon him. So saying AFTER doesn’t make him ‘ starting later’ than the nation or it doesn’t mean he wasn’t faitful to God before that ( or less faithful) . The nation will be exalted when God will live in the midst of you and will have all those who liten and obey Him. The fact He is not living there yet is that not everybody repented.

            I also listed to Dina all the verses that talk first of God’s exaltation. Al what will be accomplished it will be by His merit; Is 2;11, 17 , Ps 46;11
            About Is 26;2 . You mentioned those faithful at the exile. They are dead by now so ‘streatching’ their faithfulness till the end times doesn’t look logical. You might have lots of unfaithfull people inbetween.
            It should be more measured individually who is a faithful servant rather than taking the whole group from the past till the last days.
            Zeh 2;14 and your comment about converting to Judaism… that is your idea. It is said they will join the Lord and become His people , not the nation or their religion.

          • Eric
            Isaiah 61:1-3 is talking of Isaiah directly and in an indirect way it is talking about those who carry Isaiah’s words to the world without eclipsing them with something else.
            Isaiah was comforted to know that he was the man chosen by God to bring the news of God’s ultimate plan for mankind to the world. The Jewish people in exile were comforted to know that they bear the good news of God’s ultimate plan for mankind to the world and they do this by remaining loyal to Isaiah’s teachings.
            About becoming God’s people – who are God’s people? its not about joining a race or “religion” its about joining a covenant relationship. The core of our covenant with God stands on our testimony that God is One and that there is no other (Deuteronomy 4:35). It stands on our heart for God (Psalm 44:18-21). those who ridicule our heart for God and claim that our testimony is false, shallow, and hypocritical – can be sure that they are not part of the covenant

        • Eric Krakofsky says:

          ypfriend, you say “ Jeremiah 51:9 which actually proves my point – the healing of the nation is not some spiritual gift – but material blessing here on earth.”
          Jer 51;9 doesn’t even talk about any material blessing here .And according to your words Babylon should have been healed by your wounds. So why isn’t he??Mission failure?

          • Eric
            Do you really believe that there is no other meaning to the word “healing” other than complete spiritual rectification?

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            ypfriend, read the NT and see what type of healing he brought.
            You know I am not trying to deprive you of the future hope that is in the OT and we all believe in the redemption of israel . To us you are just missing a point of all what the righteous servant brought to the mankind rather then a blessing in a form of protection because they prayed or suffered. That blessing was promised already long ago without involving any suffering. Prayer for others was also known as a blessing without having to involve a suffering. I was trying to show you that the servant did something also on behalf of your nation, so if you saw yourself also as those ‘who went astray’ it would be clear to you what type of justification and healing he brought.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            ypfriend, It is not just about the ‘healing’ but the justification that he brought.
            You are holding on to the line ‘ by his knowledge’ , ( we will be justified) we are holding on to the fact ‘ it is that their punishment that he bears.”
            A servant of God Yeshua came, did it and proved it. So many people in the world came to God through him and were brought to repentance.

        • Eric Krakofsky says:

          Ypfriend, instaed of Jer 8, 23 I meant Zeh 8;23 so that’s what I commented it talks about the Messianic time. You know mistypings happen especially writing at midnight. Goodnight.

          • Yehuda Yisrael says:

            Eric, you demand “healing” in a tangible sense from Israel concerning our interpretation of Isaiah 53, yet you seem content with a supposed “spiritual healing” through jesus according to your interpretation…

            Let me ask you something Eric. Do you sin? Do have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen something?

            If the answer is yes to any of those questions, then what “healing of sin” did jesus actually do? It’s a double standard for you to demand us to show you “tangible healing” when your jesus didn’t even do it himself! You can claim “I am healed in spirit” all you want but it doesn’t change the fact that your experience is subjective and intangible…Your claims about jesus “healing you” hold the same weight as a muslim claiming they are “healed in allah through the prophet muhammad,” or even a mormon claiming they are “healed in jesus through the prophet joseph smith.” There is no difference!

            How about this Eric: The servant of Isaiah 53 refers Israel, as Isaiah 49:3-6 explicitly states:

            Isaiah 49:3. And He said to me, “You are My servant, Israel, about whom I will boast.”

            Isaiah 49:4. And I said, “I toiled in vain, I consumed my strength for nought and vanity.” Yet surely my right is with the Lord, and my deed is with my God.

            Isaiah 49:5. And now, the Lord, Who formed me from the womb as a servant to Him, said to bring Jacob back to Him, and Israel shall be gathered to Him, and I will be honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God was my strength.

            Isaiah 49:6. And He said, “It is too light for you to be My servant, to establish the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the besieged of Israel, but I will make you a light of nations, so that My salvation shall be until the end of the earth.”

            This is a two step process:

            Step 1: The righteous remnant of Israel gathers in the rest of Israel back to righteousness. (Isaiah 49:3-5)

            Step 2: The future restored Israel serves as a light unto the nations, ultimately bringing back the entire world to Hashem’s truth! (Isaiah 49:6)

            Israel has not been fully restored yet, so this is a future prophesy concerning the “healing” and “restoration” of the nation. Ultimately, you will be healed in knowing the truth of Hashem’s Torah and you will recognize the spiritual poison you inherited form your forefathers:

            Jeremiah 16:19. O Lord, Who are my power and my strength and my refuge in the day of trouble, to **You nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, “Only lies have our fathers handed down to us, emptiness in which there is nothing of any avail!**

            It will be at the end of days when the Temple stands that you will flock to the Holy Temple and acknowledge the one true G-d of Israel.

            Zechariah 8:22. And many peoples and powerful nations shall come to entreat the Lord of Hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.

            Zechariah 8:23. So said the Lord of Hosts: In those days, when ten men of all the languages of the nations shall take hold of the skirt of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”

            This is a future prophesy which has yet to be fulfilled unfortunately…Zechariah 14 also speaks about the nations who will wage war against Jerusalem in the future:

            Zechariah 14:16. And it will come to pass that everyone left of the nations who came up against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to prostrate himself to the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to celebrate the festival of Tabernacles. (Sukkot)

            Zechariah 14:17. And it shall be that whoever of all the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to prostrate himself to the King, the Lord of Hosts-upon them there shall be no rain.

            Zechariah 14:18. And if the family of Egypt does not go up and does not come, it shall not [rain] upon them. The plague [on Egypt] will be [the same as] that with which the Lord will plague the nations who do not go up to celebrate the festival of Tabernacles. (Sukkot)

            Zechariah 14:19. Such will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the festival of Tabernacles. (Sukkot)

            None of this has come to pass in jesus. It’s no secret why we reject your jesus as Moshiach Ben David. May the TRUE Moshiach come speedily in our days!

            Shalom and G-d bless!

  28. Dina says:

    Hi Eric,

    I have published an explanation of Isaiah 53 for you online. It is very long, so I didn’t want to post it as a comment.

    Here is the link:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/236071979/Isaiah-53-for-Eric?secret_password=j7aBQGm31UgkYmFeeqZt

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      Dina, all my comments about that chapter are in the response to Sharbano.

      • Dina says:

        Hi Eric,

        Did you read what I posted? Your reply to Sharbano does not seem to directly address my arguments.

        If you haven’t read it yet, please take your time. It’s long, and I don’t expect you to respond right away.

        Thanks,
        Dina

        • Dina, I did read what you wrote. While it is true that Gentiles have treated the Jewish people with unbelievably horrific treatment, and I accept that the servant can and does refer to Israel’s righteous remnant btw (see Luke 1:47-55, Romans 11) surely few Gentiles knew of Israel’s G-d when Isaiah wrote, but if you want to say that Christians have not known your report, etc. then this can’t be right. Christians have heard of Israel’s G-d, or have you not noticed the Christian obsession with biblical prophecy, and or bothering Jews with questions and comments about the bible ? If there are Gentiles out there who have a serious potential to be taught and potential interest in noachide law, or biblical values, surely it is those who share the Torah text with you? I’m not saying that Christians aren’t extremely pompous, arrogant, and sure of themselves, (and that this harms them) they sure as day are, but I would say that this is a human quality we could all stand to improve on. As for laws in Christian Kingdoms in medieval times placing Jews in ghettos, (such as in Rome,) prohibiting holding of political office, prohibiting intermarriage, etc. in medieval times, put forward by you as proving Israel is the suffering servant, (forgive me, but aren’t their laws like this towards Gentiles and even apostates in the Torah, just without the horrid extremes?) Death penalty for apostates, or charges for practicing the wrong idolatrous religion in times of direct threat to the cohesion of Israelite society in worship are punished. Right?) I’m not excusing this behavior by Christians G-d forbid, nor endorsing it, (it was as evil as possible) but laws against intermarriage and strangers holding political office, or too much societal sway prior to conversion. are indeed prohibited in the Torah so far as I know, to preserve the purity of Jewish solidarity in worship, if I’m not mistaken? Again I’m not saying I agree with this behavior at all by any means, just seeking clarification. It seems to me that who the servant is, is, both Israel and Moshiach. I say this because, even if Jesus were the messiah, those who truly live the way he did are the ones rightly called children of G-d. He lived an observant life, in good faith, so do pious Jews, and Muslims, and all righteous people. The problem I see in Christianity is too much emphasis on accepting the person, and theology, but not his teaching, or the deeds and meaning. If Christians put more stock into how Jesus lived, what he expected from his students, etc. they wouldn’t be so quick to treat Jews poorly. I see it as less a symptom of beliefs, but more about arrogance in beliefs, and lack of in depth knowledge if that makes sense? Religious people tend to not question what they hear in their houses of worship, and don’t search for more, or investigate, once they “know” the “truth.”

          • Sharbano says:

            Most Xtians have Not heard the report. Those who have heard deny the report. We also have the text speaking of the leaders. If we look at all the nations in this current conflict it is quite certain they do Not believe they are the guilty in the way of treatment of the Jews. Just look at the support from virtually everyone for Hamas. Look at the UN and its Human Rights commission which has an agenda Against ONLY Israel. Then we have the Muslims who fit the scenario quite accurately. The text does Not say everyone is blinded by their hatred at all times in this history. But those who were the perpetrators certainly did Not understand this reference. Otherwise those nations would have acted differently.

            It is quite clear the text has to be speaking of quite a length of time. What is written of Yeshu does not reflect what Yeshayahu wrote of. Xtianity has taken what is vague and attempted to apply it. If a religion is going to take everything that is vague to create such a religion then the religion itself is vague and has therefore little merit.

            To insinuate that Israel has done the same thing “according to Torah Law” confirms what David write in Tehillim, in that the non-Jews cannot understand Torah Law because they aren’t given the understanding in order to do so. It is Only given to the Jew. When have you heard of any of these punishments handed out to the Gentiles.

          • Well, not everyone supports Hamas, or ISIS, or Alquedia, and the evil horrific types of things they do. Many many people support Israel, it’s hardly nobody. Not knowing the Torah (being ignorant) is to be expected, when the 30 to 70 some laws of Noah are all that non Jews have been given to understand, with very little effort made to spread those teachings among Gentiles being made by authorities. If I’m not mistaken there has been very little effort to organize existing noachide movements, to provide codified sources, etc. So, surely Christianity isn’t perfect, but it’s hardly groundless, or accomplishing nothing, with due respect. Also, Muslims supposedly have much more in common with your religion. They are halachic monotheists in every traditional sense, and Sharia has many parallels with Torah law. So, according to your understanding Non Jews are just out of luck and incapable of understanding your views? Forgive me if that sounds very Gnostic of you. Only you can understand the Bible, is that he gist?

          • Dina says:

            Hi Concerned Reader,

            I would appreciate clarification of two points.

            I do not understand the relevance of your point that Christians recognize the God of Israel to the traditional Jewish explanation of Isaiah 53.

            I also do not understand what bearing laws against intermarriage and apostates in Judaism have on the prophet’s description of the suffering of the Jewish nation throughout the ages, a topic that is mentioned often by the prophets.

            If Christians should be paying attention to the ethical and moral teachings of Jesus, rather than to his person or to what he taught about himself, then I do not understand the point of Christianity, since all his ethical and moral teachings emanated from Judaism. So if Christians like those, they can discard Jesus and become proper Noahides–doesn’t that make sense?

            I have a request: if it isn’t too much trouble, to please break up your comments into paragraphs. It’s hard for me to follow large blocks of text. Must be that old ADD of mine rearing its head :). Thanks!

          • Virgin birth, dying and resurrected savior man-god? We heard of those before!

            Polytheists do not believe in these things in a way consistent with Christianity, your parallels are skin deep, and or inaccurate.

            1) virgin birth: No pagan sources that are pre Christian teach a unique creative act of G-d in an effort to save humankind from sin. Virgin births in paganism are often allegorical, or indicative of a lustful liaison between a god and a mortal woman. There is a virgin birth story of Buddha in Mahayana sources (2nd century, and thus post Christian.) We know that the earliest Buddhist writings show the two parents of the Buddha. G-d did not have intercourse with Mary. Christians understand the virgin birth to be the incarnation of the second Adam. Adam was created from dust. The human nature of Jesus began to exist, through only a woman, because the source of the first transgression (the woman eve) served as the source of rectification in the woman Mary. No pagans conceived of their ideas this way.

            2) Dying and rising gods: G-d did not cease to exist when Jesus died. G-d brought human beings back to himself through the effect and impact of Christ’s death. In this sense, G-d died, ie experienced the suffering and death in Christ. Not literally! Pagan rising gods were agricultural allegories, natural forces, not the Christian view!

            3) Man-god: Pagans teach that full humans with natural parents (mothers and fathers like Buddha or Caesar or Pharaoh) are intrinsically “divine” as mere human beings. They acknowledge gods are just mortal, even if transcendent. Man god for them means a divine humanity, where all men of power or any human souls are all intrinsically divine. Christianity teaches things entirely differently. Jesus’ humanity is not divine. His word/person (that aspect that is him, but also the perfect reflection of G-d’s incorporeal will) is what we call divine. Not the human mind body or soul of the flesh and blood Jesus. Learn to understand that this distinction is vital to how we understand things. Judaism sees this as being excuses and plagiarism from Jewish ideas to make things consistent with Judaism. This is an imposed assertion by Judaism, not what Christians believe about themselves. Please try to understand that Christians believe sincerely.

            As you say Dina, the ethics of Jesus are “plagiarized.” He was a Jew who taught Jewish ethics, what’s wrong with that?

            Finally, you said, if accepting Jesus is unimportant, why aren’t Christians just noachides without Jesus?

            “Ethical monotheism” as propounded by noachide law does not require a deep positive commandment of love of Hashem, or an experienced redemptive event like Sinai and exodus based on first hand knowledge. The seven laws are rules for any human society. Islam is a noachide faith. Islamic faith does not require the Torah to be a part of its understanding at all. G-d in Islam is not one who speaks face to face, or one who inspires redemption. He says, and you do.

            Jews at Sinai learned not only to obey G-d, but to love G-d through the unique redemption they experienced from Egypt, through trial and tribulation, and the love G-d showed for the fathers that they inherited. Jesus through the sum of his life’s impact delivered this uniquely Jewish kind of experience (a loving redemptive experience) for Gentiles at cavalry. Only Judaism and Christianity can claim this kind of experience of G-d. When a Christian thinks of the knowledge Jesus brought, it’s not just the ethics. Ethics go together with the love of G-d the Christian experiences knowing that G-d is intimately interested in our lives, and the outcome of our lives. The statement, “for G- d so loved the world, etc.” embodies for Christians the thrust, the reason d’être for the love that grows for the ethical side of things, producing action.

            Noachides experience an involvement in Israel and Judaism, in its liturgy, practice etc. but they do not have the shared experience or heritage unless they convert. This is the real importance of Jesus.

          • LarryB says:

            C.R.
            You make a good point of the real importance of “J”. The laws themselves–six out of the seven–are prohibitions. There’s little or no active spiritual life, no prescribed ritual and liturgical life for Noahides. I read This is changing though. “Many people are working to give structure and clarity to Noahide life. Chabad and other rabbis, together with Noahides, are creating a Noahide siddur (prayer book) to standardize prayers, and a liturgy of lifecycle rituals, such as funerals and baby-naming ceremonies. Also in the works is a Noahide Shulhan Arukh, a comprehensive book of law pertaining to non-Jews, which will spell out specifically how Noahides should live, which mitzvot are acceptable for them, and which aren’t. There are also numerous Noahide organizations popping up, aimed at uniting Noahides, providing support, and spreading their teachings”.

          • LarryB says:

            That would be of the Noahide laws 6 of the seven, are …..

  29. Sharbano says:

    This document is from an unknown source but certainly is applicable to Xtian reasoning.
    Using Xtian “logic” and polemics we can determine the following.

    A Warning from Isaiah:

    Isaiah 24:1
    Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.

    Isaiah 24:2
    And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.

    Isaiah 24:3
    The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word.

    Isaiah 24:4
    The earth mourneth [and] fadeth away, the world languisheth [and] fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.

    Here we have a future description of what has happened to the earth. The very next verse tells WHY this has happened with descriptions of a world wide false religion and what it does. Verse 12 then takes us to the descriptions of the very beginnings of this false religion and the ending of chapter 24 gives us timeline. The false religion will be done away with in the end times.

    Isaiah 24:5
    The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.

    Transgressed the Law:

    Galatians 3:13
    Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree

    Galatians 3:24
    Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

    Galatians 3:25
    But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

    Romans 7:6
    But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not [in] the oldness of the letter.

    Galatians 5:18
    But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

    Hebrews 7:12
    For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

    Changed the Ordinances:

    Ephesians 2:15
    Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace;

    Colossians 2:14
    Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

    Colossians 2:20
    Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

    Broken the Everlasting Covenant (which one to choose?):

    this one?:

    1 Chronicles 16:17
    And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, [and] to Israel [for] an everlasting covenant,

    Or this one?:

    Leviticus 24:8
    Every Sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, [being taken] from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant.

    Colossians 2:16
    Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath [days]:

    OR this one?:

    Genesis 17:13
    He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.

    Galatians 5:2
    Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

    Romans 4:13
    For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, [was] not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

    Romans 4:14
    For if they which are of the law [be] heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

    Romans 4:15
    Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, [there is] no transgression.

    Romans 4:16
    Therefore [it is] of faith, that [it might be] by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

    Maybe even this one?:

    Numbers 25:13
    And he shall have it, and his seed after him, [even] the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.

    Hebrews 7:12
    For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

    Isaiah 24:6
    Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.

    Isaiah 24:7
    The new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the merryhearted do sigh.

    New Wine and Vine, who on earth goes by those names?

    Luke 5:37
    And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.

    Luke 5:38
    But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.

    Luke 5:39
    No man also having drunk old [wine] straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.

    John 15:5
    I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

    Isaiah 24:8
    The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth.

    Them that Rejoice:

    1 Peter 1:8
    Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see [him] not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

    1 Peter 4:13
    But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

    Merryhearted’s harp:

    Ephesians 5:19
    Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

    James 5:13
    Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

    Please note, the Greek term for sing and singing is “Psallo”(#5567), and it means to play a stringed instrument or to sing to the music of a harp.

    Isaiah 24:9
    They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it.

    Isaiah 24:10
    The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in.

    Isaiah 24:11
    [There is] a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone.

    Isaiah 24:12
    In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction.

    Jerusalem 70CE, perhaps? This verse is directly tied to the next verse with its new line of descriptions that date back in time to when this religion had its beginnings.

    Isaiah 24:13
    When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, [there shall be] as the shaking(striking off) of an olive tree, [and] as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done.

    Although the KJV uses the word “shaking” for the Hebrew word “noqeph”(#5363), its definition is “striking off” and root meaning is “to strike off”. Any religion on earth teach the “striking off” of an olive tree? Here is your answer:

    Romans 11:17
    And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

    Vintage is done:

    John 19:30
    When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

    Christians and especially Messianic Jews like to say that Christianity was really an offshoot or fell out of Judaism and v.24:13 backs up that very claim that it was “gleaned” from out of Judaism .

    Isaiah 24:14
    They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the LORD, they shall cry aloud from the sea.

    Isaiah 24:15
    Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires, [even] the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea.

    Glorify the Lord, Singing, Fires, and “isles of the sea”:

    Acts 4:24
    And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou [art] God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:

    Hebrews 1:7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

    Romans 15:9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for [his] mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.

    This religion “gleaned” from Judaism will not rise in Judah nor Jerusalem, but outside of it from among the nations. See the following for a definition of the relationship between Gentiles and isles/isles of the sea are:

    Genesis 10:5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.

    Isaiah 40:15 Behold, the nations [are] as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.

    Jeremiah 31:10 Hear the word of the L-RD, O ye nations, and declare [it] in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd [doth] his flock.

    Zephaniah 2:11 The L-RD [will be] terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and [men] shall worship him, every one from his place, [even] all the isles of the heathen.

    Ezekiel 26:18 Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall; yea, the isles that [are] in the sea shall be troubled at thy departure.

    Isaiah 24:16
    From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, [even] glory to the righteous. But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.

    Glory to the Righteous:

    Hebrews 2:10
    For it became him, for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings…

    …Hebrews 2:12
    Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

    The beginning of Is.24:16 shows that this religion will become a world wide religion. Isaiah calls their leaders “treacherous dealers” (i.e. this is very much a false religion)

    Isaiah 24:17
    Fear, and the pit, and the snare, [are] upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth.

    FEAR:

    Luke 12:5
    But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

    Matthew 10:28
    And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

    AND THE PIT:

    Mark 9:45
    And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

    Revelation 9:2
    And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

    Revelation 9:11
    And they had a king over them, [which is] the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue [is] Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath [his] name Apollyon.

    THE SNARE:

    Mark 1:16
    Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

    Mark 1:17
    And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

    Luke 5:10
    And so [was] also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.

    Isaiah 24:18
    And it shall come to pass, [that] he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake.

    Jude 1:23
    And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

    Jude 1:24
    Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

    Mark 1:10
    And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:

    Matthew 27:51
    And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

    Hebrews 12:26
    Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven

    Isaiah 24:19
    The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.

    Isaiah 24:20
    The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.

    Isaiah 24:21
    And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones [that are] on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.

    HIGH ONES IN HIGH PLACES:

    Ephesians 2:6
    And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:

    Isaiah 24:22
    And they shall be gathered together, [as] prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.

    Isaiah 24:23
    Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.

    Lastly, we’re are given the timeline when this religion will end, it is in the end times.

    Here is more on this same false “Snare[Is.28:13]” religion:

    Isaiah 28:1
    Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty [is] a fading flower, which [are] on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!

    Isaiah 28:2
    Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, [which] as a tempest of hail [and] a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.

    Isaiah 28:3
    The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:

    Isaiah 28:4
    And the glorious beauty, which [is] on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, [and] as the hasty fruit before the summer; which [when] he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.

    Any religion we know speak of a ףcrownפ that has ףglorious beauty on the head of the fat valleyפ that the Creator through Isaiah contrarily says indeed WILL fade away? Yes, but first please look at these supporting scriptures to know what the “fat valleys of them overcome with wine (i.e. the sheep)” are speaking of, and know the “head” of the fat valley is a shepherd, which is what the drunkards of Ephraim/ the priests and prophets/treacherous dealers are acting as. They err through wine, “feeding” false information to the people.

    1 Chronicles 4:39
    And they went to the entrance of Gedor, [even] unto the east side of the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks.

    1 Chronicles 4:40
    And they found fat pasture and good, and the land [was] wide, and quiet, and peaceable; for [they] of Ham had dwelt there of old.

    1 Peter 5:1
    The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

    1 Peter 5:2
    Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

    1 Peter 5:3
    Neither as being lords over [God’s] heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

    1 Peter 5:4
    And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

    Isaiah 28:5
    In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,

    Isaiah 28:6
    And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.

    Isaiah 28:7
    But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble [in] judgment.

    Isaiah 28:8
    For all tables are full of vomit [and] filthiness, [so that there is] no place [clean].

    Erred through wine on an unclean table:

    John 6:55
    For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed[see Lev.17:10/Deut.12]

    Isaiah 28:9
    Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? [them that are] weaned from the milk, [and] drawn from the breasts.

    The ףweaned from the milkפ Teachers of knowledge and doctrine:

    1 Corinthians 3:2
    I have fed you with milk, and not with meat[see also Is28:10,13]: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it], neither yet now are ye able.

    Hebrews 5:12
    For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which [be] the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

    Hebrews 5:13
    For every one that useth milk [is] unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

    Hebrews 5:14
    But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

    Hebrews 6:1
    Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

    Isaiah 28:10
    For precept [must be] upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [and] there a little:

    Isaiah 28:11
    For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

    1 Corinthians 14:2
    For he that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth [him]; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

    Greek would also qualify as another tongue and is what Christianity was spread by (see Genesis 10:5) Next, see the most interesting identification:

    Isaiah 28:12
    To whom he said, This [is] the rest [wherewith] ye may cause the weary to rest; and this [is] the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

    Rest for the Weary:

    Matthew 11:28
    Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

    Isaiah 28:13
    But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [and] there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

    John 18:6
    As soon then as he had said unto them, I am [he], they went backward, and fell to the ground.

    The writers of John 18 sees their claim (subtlety “I am”= a claim to being God) as having the ability to make people fall backward. They also take the Hebrew scriptures and use a little here and there from it to snare people into their false worship. Who on earth takes a little here and a little there from the Hebrew scriptures for their religion?

    Isaiah 28:14
    Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which [is] in Jerusalem.

    Isaiah 28:15
    Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell(the grave) are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

    Covenant with Death, Agreement with the Grave:

    Hebrews 9:15
    And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament(covenant), that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions [that were] under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

    Romans 7:4
    Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, [even] to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

    Colossians 2:20
    Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

    Romans 6:3
    Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

    Romans 6:4
    Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

    Escape the Scourge, Refuge, & Hid:

    Hebrews 2:3
    How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard [him];

    Hebrews 6:18
    That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

    1 Thessalonians 1:10
    And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, [even] Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

    Colossians 3:3
    For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

    Isaiah 28:16
    Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

    Isaiah 28:17
    Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.

    Isaiah 28:18
    And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

    Isaiah 28:19
    From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only [to] understand the report.

    Yes, when these nations and their kings hear what they have not been told, they will shut their mouths and try to understand it and say “Who would have believed this report?” [see Isaiah 52-15-53:1]

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      Shabrano,I don’t know why are you coming up with all these long stories, but failing to address the points I addressed in response to your explanation of Isaiah verse by verse. It is very easy to just say to anybody ; your interpretation is made up or a fairy tale. But it takes an effort to try to address the points and defend your opinion which you failed to do.

  30. Pingback: What’s the Difference? | 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources

  31. Paul Summers says:

    Hello
    I dont disagree with you on the points that you raised concerning Jesus, His resurrection, life family linage etc. These are are true points raised about Jesus and whom He is. That doesnt mean that who He is, is false. For every argument for, there is one against.

    However having said that, once someone is convinced that a said statement if false, that individual probally will never be in a place to accept the truth.

    There are hundreds and hundreds of prophecies, like for like and factual historic elements that Jesus authenticated, then, today and still future. With aligninment to all sciptures, this is quite clear.

    Not one Man in the entire universe, from Adam until now, can and will be, ever, become to be close to this One Person, who from your viewpoint has caused so much misery. This One Man has become suchh a stubbling stone for you. A innocent Man, just wandering through life, caught up in the affairs of Israel, a mere Man, sent with his own deceptive will, to cause harm to Israel??? Who unknowingly had a life so complicted that somehow He managed to get His life mixed up with references to Israels life, Feasts and prohets???
    A nobody that didnt even excist, so for the last 2000 yrs the worlds calendar has been aligned with a person who didnt excist??
    If Jesus wasnt Messiah I would like to see in scripture evidence that He wasnt, and a warning to Israel not to listen to Him. Because all I can see is a promise of suffering for not following Gods servant, and a time of blessing if you do. Your factual history tells a factual story of Curses, pain etc, Does this factual history make God a liar? Gen ch 12.

    To accept Jesus as the substitutional lamb offering to atone sin, one must see that he himself(me) is a sinner, that needs to be forgiven. Until then the arguement will go and on. Its nots bases on scripture evidence per se, its basesd on the convicting fact of Yeshuas death and ressurection according to Gods Devine will.

    • Sharbano says:

      More importantly,YOU have to show that Yeshu was Mashiach without the vague references that comprise the totality of Xtianity.

      Show me where in Torah where it says a male lamb atones for sin.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Paul,

      You wrote, “However having said that, once someone is convinced that a said statement if [sic] false, that individual probally [sic] will never be in a place to accept the truth.”

      I hope you realize that this statement applies to you as well as to anyone else. We must all pray for guidance and openness to the truth.

      I would also like to point out two other statements of yours:

      One: “There are hundreds and hundreds of prophecies, like for like and factual historic elements that Jesus authenticated, then, today and still future. With aligninment [sic] to all sciptures [sic], this is quite clear.”

      Two: “Its [sic] nots [sic] bases [sic] on scripture evidence per se, its [sic] basesd [sic] on the convicting fact of Yeshuas [sic] death and ressurection [sic] according to Gods [sic] Devine [sic] will.”

      Do you see the contradiction?

      Be well,
      Dina

  32. LarryB, I didn’t mean to sound as if I was disparaging the noachide path, merely noting that it doesn’t offer the first hand redemptive experience that Judaism does. There are indeed many sites I’ve seen that are putting forward prayer books, codified law books, etc. but at that point, conversion is usually the better option. I mean, if your a non Jew keeping a kosher kitchen, choosing more observance, and almost becoming entirely observant anyway, it makes sense to want to convert to truly be a member of the community. Staying outside (or having a unique newly developed or clarified liturgy isn’t the same.)

    One of the main reasons I don’t consider Christianity idolatrous is not to be contentious or rude, but because Christianity provides this biblical experience that is otherwise unique to Judaism. I don’t think Hashem would allow for the whole earth to be deceived by creating the means in history for an idol to exist that is wholly different than any other form of idolatry, just to make a point. Christians need to learn more about the diverse perspectives within their own tradition, realize the fact of Jesus’ Judaism, and learn to grow with it. Many Christians (ancient and modern) simply did not know, or care to know about Judaism, or were simply so sure that they knew truth already, that they never bothered to ask questions.

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader, is that the basis for choosing a religion, how satisfying you find the “redemptive experience”?

      Rather, should you not search for what is truest, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you feel? (As it happens, nothing is more liberating or empowering or “redemptive” than truth seeking.)

      You wrote that you don’t think God would allow the whole world to be deceived just to make a point. There are several things wrong with this statement:

      1. Only one third of the world population is Christian. While that is a lot of people (two billion or so), it is hardly the whole world.

      2. Basically, you are arguing that there is safety in numbers. So many people can’t be wrong! God wouldn’t allow it. So what about the other non-biblical two-thirds of the world population (7 billion or so people, okay, minus 1 billion Muslims and a few million Jews)? Would God allow them to be deceived? According to such logic, they must also all be right.

      3. Way more than a third of the world population hates Jews. I don’t know the statistics, but watching what’s going in the world today is scary! So a lot of people are deceived about the Jews (meaning, there is no good reason to hate us). Therefore, by your logic, God wouldn’t allow the “whole world” to be deceived just to make a point. Anti-semitism must therefore be legitimate. I am not saying you said that, God forbid! I am just showing you the flaws in your reasoning and where it could go.

      4. Rather than God allowing people to be deceived, God allows people to make choices. He sends us challenges, to be sure–Deuteronomy 13 teaches us that he deliberately sends us false prophets to test us–but people are more than willing to allow themselves to be deceived, for various psychological reasons.

      You also wrote why you don’t consider Christianity idolatrous. What you consider or don’t consider is irrelevant to those who accept the truth of the Torah and who take it very seriously. The Torah tells us that any type of worship that was unknown to our fathers is idolatry. According to that definition, Christianity is idolatry even if you think its resemblance to idolatry is merely superficial and can be explained away.

      You have argued that Christian worship of Jesus is not a new type of worship because of its resemblance to the intercession of Moses on behalf of the Jews. As I have demonstrated elsewhere, this is self-evidently and laughably absurd. I know that sounds disrespectful, and I apologize for that.

      Jesus talked about himself in a way that no prophet, including Moses, would ever have dreamed of doing. What he taught about himself was unprecedented.

      • As I’ve noted to you Dina, the way Philo speaks about Moses, the way Maimonides speaks about Moses, and the way others have leads me to draw the comparison.

        • Concerned Reader, is that the basis for choosing a religion, how satisfying you find the “redemptive experience”?

          Satisfying? Is that what you think Christianity is about? If you mean fundamentalist evangelical once saved always saved, I’m not worried about my actions, sing and dance churches, I could see satisfying as a possible view you mat have, but Christians don’t find satisfaction in unholy things. Ok, we eat bacon, guilty as charged, but as long as we cause no harm to a living animal, or any human being, have we sinned? we hardly find the fear of punishment for sin put into us from childhood to be a comforting experience. I don’t know how many modern Gentiles you have met outside of this blog, but we are not all bad, and most have never met Jews, let alone hated them. When you say most Gentiles hate Jews, that is quite a statement. I personally don’t know enough people to make that kind of claim.

          • Dina says:

            Concerned Reader,

            I was responding to this: “I didn’t mean to sound as if I was disparaging the noachide path, merely noting that it doesn’t offer the first hand redemptive experience that Judaism does.” You seem to make a big deal about the importance of this redemptive experience that only Christianity provides (not true; a lot of religions claim redemptive experiences). That’s why I wrote what I wrote.

            Second, you seem to imply that the whole world is the United States of America. This is the second time you implied that! Are you not aware of how hated Jews are around the world? What world do you live in? Have you been following the news lately?

            The US is a small island of tolerance for Jews in an insane world (although there are signs that is changing).

          • Dina says:

            Concerned Reader, check this out:

            http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/143487/academic-anti-semitism

            And this:

            http://www.jta.org/2014/05/13/news-opinion/world/survey-more-than-a-quarter-of-the-world-hates-jews

            By the way, the Christians that I do know in real life are American. They are wonderful. They do not hate Jews. But do you know that Jews are fleeing France in droves? This year saw the largest mass migration of French Jews to Israel. While many are escaping economic hardships, they also cite anti-Semitism as a factor.

        • Dina says:

          And I have noted back to you that Philo, as a Hellenist Jew, is not a part of Jewish tradition. There is a reason Christians love to quote him, while most Jews never heard of him. He has influenced Christian doctrine but not Jewish, that’s for sure.

          You cannot deny that what Jesus taught about himself in the gospels has no precedent anywhere in Tanach. As such, it constitutes a new type of worship that was unknown to our fathers; hence it is idolatry. Since the gospels are your scripture, quote my scripture back to me to show me that there is a parallel. Philo is not scripture. Maimonides is excellent, but he is also not scripture.

        • Dina says:

          By the way, Concerned Reader, can you show me where Maimonides says anything about equating Moses with God? Just curious…

          Thanks,
          Dina

    • LarryB says:

      C.R.
      I think I know what you meant, and I look forward to any book that would give some guidance. I do miss some of my previous routines. But obviously the experience is not what matters to me the most. Like Dina says below, its the truth, and idolatry is idolatry no matter how many P.H.D.’s you stuff behind your belief.

  33. Dina, I’m not saying Christians can’t be wrong, clearly I have stated otherwise. It’s not an issue of numbers, it’s an issue of claiming that G-d would allow 2 billion to hear about his name and the concept of redetion through what you see as an idol.

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader, claiming that God would allow any number of people to believe anything proves nothing. You are not responding directly to what I wrote.

      • Yedidiah says:

        There are several statements in the NT which have Jesus or others stating that “the many” will be deceived. Now, some will say that the deception is from “the anti-Christ” or the “devil”. But what sort of being is a “devil”? So, God either “allows” or “allowed” those entities to deceive “the many” or else their God is not in control of “these enemy beings” or else their God is “not the Father” or else ____ or ____ or ____. There can be small variations in each of those options, but I would be most inclined to believe one of the latter, unspecified options. The NT states that some early followers or believers of the Christ Jesus were heretics and were deceived. So deception of “believers” is not only not exceptional in Christianity, but it is even expected to be part of “the plan”. There were “anti-Christs” and deceivers in the earliest days of the Jesus movement, as we see in the Church history and as we read in the NT. We have even seen that a few nations or areas in the world, that were once Christian, have become non-Christian. I wouldn’t want to state that God allowed those “deceptions” or that it was a part of “God’s plan”, but it is difficult to accept some Christian’s explanations for those changes.

  34. Yedidiah says:

    Some “Messianic” Jews”, followers of Jesus, also may consider “Christians”, especially “Trinitarians”, as participating in idolatry. From reading some of their blogs, I have seen the argument being made by some “MJ’s”, who were “gentiles” or not born Jewish, that they were more “torah observant” that than the Jews who converted to belief in Jesus. Some non-Jews in Messianic churches seen becoming a “Messianic Jew” as a path to what they “considered as becoming a true Jew. Some of these non-Jews became disappointed with their “Jewish brother believers in Yeshua” and left the messianic church (sometimes the majority of the “messianic Jews” are non-Jews). A few non-Jews finally did decide to convert to Judaism, rather than be an “outsider”. A few Noachides also see themselves converting eventually to Judaism.

    As someone mentioned, they see Noachides as “having a unique newly developed or clarified liturgy”. Well, the same is true, in “messianic Jewish” congregations. They both do that because “Christianity” doesn’t offer them Torah or the Lord”. I’ve seen the same as true in Christian churches “returning to their Hebraic roots”. We develope new songs, new liturgies, new “Haggadahs” glorifying “Yeshua”, aka Jesus. As one pastor says, Christians either chose the “church of Babylon” or the “Jerusalem church”. They say that the “return to their roots” is another “great movement by God” (maybe, but most likely not the way that they think?). Many Christians see both “MJ’s” and “Hebraic Roots Churches”, as “heretics” to Christianity. It is hard not to see that the “Babylonian or Roman roots of Christianity” is often more dominant than it’s “Hebraic roots”.

    • Yedidiah says:

      Some of this idea that Jesus and/or Christianity arose out of “1st century Judaism” (references to Philo, “prophecies”, some similarity of the Jesus story to Isaiah 53, etc) is part of a “Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc” fallacy (basically, some of what came before defines or determined what came later). The “Babylonian, pagan roots model” is stronger than the “Jewish Jesus model”. Which helps to explain a term like “Judaizer”, a being like a devil, a person like Marcion, a belief in gnosticism, and several other beliefs in early Christianity, etc. It helps to explain why “gentiles” found Jesus more acceptable than Jews did and why both Josephus (pro-Roman) and Philo (Hellenistic Alexandrian) were acceptable to Christians and virtually ignored by Jews (& even “disowned”). Philo influenced Christians such as Clement of Alexandria, Christian Apologists like Athenagoras, Theophilus, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, among others. According to the “Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy”, “Philo’s philosophy represented contemporary Platonism which was its revised version incorporating Stoic doctrine and terminology via Antiochus of Ascalon (ca 90 B.C.E.) and Eudorus of Alexandria, as well as elements of Aristotelian logic and ethics and Pythagorean ideas.” Hardly typical of the logic & theology found in the “Yerushalmi” (Jerusalem Talmud) and several other Jewish writings about 2000 years ago.

      • Yedidiah says:

        The “therefore fallacy” (A occurred before B, therefore A definitely caused B), may occur because we make unfounded assumptions of cause and effect or of relationships based on perceived similarities or correlations. Event “A” happened (or was written) before “B”, therefore A caused B (or A was a prophecy of B or B “fulfilled A”). If there are a few similarities between B and A, that may be merely coincidental. If there are many similarities, there may be plagiarism or some intentional plan by the “actors”, especially if there is very little evidence provided by the actors or if there are few or no corroboration provided by non-biased witnesses.

      • All Jewish philosophers have had influences from and been influential in the wider non Jewish culture. Philo and Platonism, Rambam and Saadia with Aristotelian influences, the kabbalists with a variety of influences, etc. post hoc reasoning goes both ways when people say either “this was or wasn’t influenced or caused by that,” as if there is only one black and white possibility. If you have a religious tradition, (I don’t care which one) you will always have some outside influence, and always have a level of diversity. Philo’s conception of the Logos as the creative speech of G-d, does not fit in a Hellenistic thought process, or any Hellenistic mythical framework. Though the terms and allegorical method Philo uses are borrowed from Hellenism, stoics, and platonic philosophy included, what these terms mean to him, how he uses them, and the ideas he espouses using those terms are not Hellenistic at all, but biblical, and found in other Jewish literature. The logos is not for Philo the impersonal plan that is the good in the realm of ideal forms that it was for Plato, it is not primal matter as it was for the stoics, it is the active providential will, even the agency, and providence of G-d. Sure Philo and Christianity used Greek learning, but the teachings do not impart Greek conceptions.

        You say that it is a post hoc fallacy to claim that Christianity came from Judaism, maybe you are right, but we both know that you are at least partially wrong. Posts on this blog are not shy about saying that Jesus’ entire system is “plagiarized” from Judaism. So which is it, Pagan or Jewish? It is also a post hoc fallacy to claim that Christianity copied polytheism. I could see merit for your drawing points of similarity to polytheism if Christians had taken Jesus as a sage only, and deified him as such, like happened with therevada veneration of Buddha. Deification for an ancient Roman, ancient Egyptian, ancient Chinese, ancient Indian, etc. was based on the fact that these were rulers or men of wisdom who held terrestrial power or great sway with people. They understood that these people were just people, but special people. Deification in these systems is not about the one infinite G-d who comes to redeem men from some wrong, but is about honoring the accomplishments, power, and prowess, of the individuals. For instance, If Pharaoh were considered as divine man/god as people allege Christians copied from polytheism, why did Pharoah have to be given storage for food, weapons, wives, pets, etc. in his tomb? G-d does not need food. G-d is without need, without body, without cause. Polytheists saw their gods differently. They were deemed a part of the cosmos like anything else, including humans. Truth is abstract and mailable in their view, not dictated by a will of G-d in these belief systems. The problem I find with pagan parallel arguments, is not so much that no mythic parallel exists, but it’s that these arguments fall apart when you take polytheistic world views in to account, not just their stories. Sure polytheists called the king a god, a son of god, or son of heaven, but what do they mean by these terms?

        • Sharbano says:

          If there is no correlation then why is there a day called “Easter”, why does Xmas fall on Dec 25.
          Just because it doesn’t take the form in its entirety doesn’t mean there was not a strong influence. There is also the link to Mithra and Zoroastrianism.

        • Yedidiah says:

          “Concerned(?)”, but I don’t know about how “careful” your reading. I don’t always follow the rules for the proper use of quotation marks (or other punctuation marks), but when I am not quoting other people’s words, I may use parentheses & quotes to set off words and sometimes to separate what is not to be taken literally, such as if I write “plagiarized”, that is not to be taken literally as an accusation of a “crime”. I will discuss “plagiarism” below.

          Where there are similarities, there are also dissimilarities. Some people believe that you can’t know what something is unless you first know what it is not. Ba’alist were Israelites, but their beliefs differed from other Israelites. Some Israelites worshipped God before a gold calf or they worshipped the “golden snake on a stake”; but others didn’t. Some people believe a human can be a suitable sacrifice; others consider that an abomination before God. Nebuchanezzar’s view of a “son of god” differed from the Jew’s view. The Roman soldier who stated that Jesus “surely was a son of god” had little in common with most Jews all around him, although the soldier is portrayed as a witness and what he said is used as testimony and “evidence of Jesus” as a divine being. There are influences, and there are resistance to and rejection of influences. It appears the crowd rejected the influence of mighty Rome. But that soldier and all the Romans around him saw nothing newsworthy in the day’s events; if those events were real and not imagined.

          About influences, again, I was raised Christian, studied as a Christian, all of my relatives are Christian (more or less) and of various denominations, and at least 3 are ministers or pastors. Christianity is one of the major influences of my life. I’ve spent countless hundreds or thousands of hours in Christian services (zero in synagogues), untold hours celebrating Christian holidays (zero hours participating in Jewish holiday services), untold hours in formal Christian studies (zero in Judaism), and untold thousands of hours listening to Christian sermons or non-musical Christian programming on the radio. And while I was in Saudia Arabia, I spent several hours listening to a daily 30 minute program where a portion of the Quran was read/chanted in Arabic, which was then followed by an English translation and an explanation or commentary of the portion. But I don’t recall even hearing a single minute of a Jewish prayer on a radio. So, my thoughts, my world view are mostly influenced by Jesus. How important is influence? Most Jews in many parts of the world (now & for a lot of the last 2000 years) are or were almost assuredly more influenced by Christianity, than Christians were by Jews or Judaism. Many Jews and non-Jews can see what is wrong with not only Christianity and the NT, but with Jesus, despite the strong influence upon them to believe otherwise. Perhaps you would be less biased, if you were a true academic and scholar?

          So many, if not all Christian philosophers have (also?) been influenced to some degree by Plato, Aristotle, and pagan philosophers and by pagan and polytheistic religions in their part of the world. That is plainly obvious to any true scholar. It is discussed in much detail by many of the “pre-Constantine church fathers”. Read what those early Christians that I mentioned above, that were influenced by Philo & Plato (more or less), believed, and don’t keep shying away from what they wrote about what they believed about Jesus. But don’t take them all that literally (as “gospel truth”), for they were apologists for their beliefs and they were opposed to other beliefs, including that of the Jews of their time. It is absurd to suggest that those differences that they had with Jews didn’t matter (unless you believe they lied?). Perhaps you may need to read Philo or the Gnostics a century before and after him, if his concept of the Logos did “not fit in a Hellenistic thought process, or any Hellenistic mythical framework”. It is doubtful that those early Christian fathers misread Philo and did not understand what Plato and other Greek and Roman philosophers thought. A couple of scholarly books that might help you to see Greek or Hellenistic ideas as Greek or Hellenistic, instead of as Hebraic is 1 by Thorlief Boman, “Hebrew Thought Compared to Greek” and another by E.J. Bickerman, “The Jews in the Greek Age”. Dr Avi Sion wrote “Judaic Logic” which might help to clarify what Jews think about Jewish thought and why they think a little differently from me and you.

          I brought up the “post hoc” and other fallacies because it is definitely visible in Christian apologetics, as evidenced by some re-reading of Isaiah above to fit Jesus. Links can be shown and quantified when I tried to show links between early Christianity and pagan or Hellenistic beliefs, unless they lied about what they thought (I have several unfortunate quotes from early church fathers calling their fellow believers “liars” and “not saying what they really believed”). Dr. Sion wrote this about prophecy (not against Christian writings) and the 2 types of “knowers”: “It is all too easy to project whatever one wishes into the past, to ex post facto reorder events as one sees fit, to invent legends, to find in subsequent events the concrete realization of vague and ambiguous earlier predictions. How reliable are word-of-mouth or even written traditions, anyway? Witnesses, even assuming they witnessed something, may have been gullible, superstitious, easily fooled, because lacking scientific methods and knowledge”. I found that appropriate to these many words about Isaiah 53 and to the whole Jesus story as well.

          I never said idolatry, paganism or polytheism was either bad or good. My personal beliefs (whatever they are or are not) are not on “trial” here and I have no need to defend myself, get angry nor hurt others. I don’t care what the source of my beliefs were. What others wrote was what they wrote & what I favor doesn’t change texts that others wrote 2000 years ago. So, have you ever heard of syncretism as it relates to Christianity? All polytheism is not the same (and your model of the “Pharaoh”, which is a title and not a name of a person, was not the only model of the gods in Egypt). For a time, monotheism was practiced in Egypt and it was practiced in a few other places as well. “Plagiarism” can be from several different sources (from the Hebrew Bible or Greek-Roman religion & philosophy). Have you read the footnotes in a good study NT and seen where much of the text came from? Did you see the miraculous deeds and events in one place and then find them met or exceeded in another place where they seemed so imitative, so out of place, so contrived? How did someone come up with a “new Adam”, a new “Moses”, a “new Elijah and new Elisha”, a “new David”? And why all this “newness” in the “middle of the story”? Isn’t the climax usually near the end of the story and not in the middle where it is followed by an anti-climatic dullness? A routine (actually a long dark age when some preached that light had already come) that is interrupted every now and then by self-proclaimed “prophets” claiming that “the end is near”. Have you ever read the several well-intentioned, scholarly (Christian) works claiming Jesus was a Stoic, a Cynic, a zealot rebel, a “good” Pharisee, a pacifist, a law keeper and a “law ender”? I first read about the significant similarities between Mark and Homer’s epics in articles written over 15 years by staff at the conservative Dallas Theological Seminary. Read Dennis R MacDonald’s book “Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark” (Yale University, 2000). What similarities are real similarities? Why did believers then and now see different images? Or are they holding up a mirror and see whatever they want to see? You keep forgetting (or just plain keep denying) what different Christians believed about their Christ.

          There were and are different theories by Christians about those other gods. They all were “copy cats” of Jesus or they all were “false christs” sent by the devil in some sort of plot to usurp Jesus to lead them down a different path or to confuse Christians, etc. Some early Christians believed those other gods were real flesh & blood people, “special human”, powerful kings, like their king Jesus who was a special human. Some early Christians were indeed polytheists and accept more than one god. I don’t want to make to much about similarities where there is no direct evidence of connections and relationships (beside eventually everything is similar & connected in some way). You bring up dissimilarities to distance Christian from pagan, yet you deny real dissimilarities of Christianity to Judaism and the “old testament”. If there was no major (or significant) differences, there would be no argument for almost 2000 years. It appears similarity is stressed for some validation purpose that may be based on traditions handed down to us. If Christianity had followed the dualistic path (father and son are 2 separate beings -which can be supported by many NT verses and in other Christian writings) or if we had received the Marcionite doctrine (OT God is either the 2nd god or “bad god” or a 3rd god or the just god), we would have no “OT”. And much more of the world might be Christian today? That way, when bible sceptics confront Christians, you would never hear “well, that was in the old testament, Jesus did away with all that”.

  35. Sharbano, you likely got this informational about Mithras from the Zeitgeist film. That movie is not based on scholarship. There are no ties to Mithras and Zoroastrianism. In fact, there is a Zoroastrian polemic against Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, which shows very clearly that whatever parallels might be drawn, they are not borrowing from them, or emulating them. I will post a link to this polemic. Likely you are referring to the Christian view of Satan when you draw this parallel? First, not all Christians believe in stereotypical views of satan as a rebellious power opposing G-d Even when Christian scripture speaks that way, we know Satan cannot do something unless G-d willed it, or gave him the free choice, or permission.

    Second, Christmas being celebrated in December has nothing to do with paganism, unless you want to say that Hannukah is also pagan because both coincide with the Roman Saturnalia. Early Christians didn’t even observe Christmas, but both of our communities have instituted observances.

    • Sharbano says:

      I see what you are doing here. Just as Xtianity has cherry picked verses to substantiate a belief the same is done here to alleviate any resemblance to paganism. I believe many scholars have determined that Jsus could Not have been born in the winter solstice. Considering the many concepts Xtianity had created did not come from Judaism it must have came from somewhere. There happened to be a PBS series on religion and the scholars there admitted these facts.

      One thing that is consistent with Xtianity is the evolution of thinking, i.e., Martin Luther among others. Many have rewritten their doctrines and in essence created that which is different. The scholar James Tabor has taken the Xtian text and organized it by the date written. In so doing he finds that an evolution of thinking had occurred during that time. It seems Xtianity has the individual determine their own beliefs. It seems you are doing the same.

      • Professor Tabor has some very strange very minority ideas that go against the prevailing scholarly perspective, as do those views of professor Price and others. His Jesus dynasty book as well as his work on the supposed tomb of Jesus are fringe ideas which go against the grain of historical scholarship. If these views had merit, why didn’t the rabbis use them against Christians in antiquity? The arguments that put forward pagan borrowing by Christians presuppose the Jesus myth hypothesis which is demonstrably false. It is true that Jesus was not born in December. It’s also true that both Christmas and Hannukah occur during the same time as saturnalia, and all 3 have some common theme. Does this imply paganism? Communities make decisions for various reasons. It is you who are reading nefarious motives into things. Dina wanted apples to apples comparisons. The Sikh religious text the Guru Granth Sahib is treated as a person, they even dress it up on occasion. A comparison could be drawn to dressing the Torah on simchat Torah. We all know that this is a sloppy comparison. There is no nefarious copying of pagan custom.

        • Sharbano says:

          Channukah is not a proper comparison. We can have Channukah at Thanksgiving time. There is no resemblance whatsoever between the two. One celebrates a man and the other celebrates a dedication. You can do better than this.

        • Sharbano says:

          For one thing Prof Taber lives now, not in antiquity. As far as antiquity you,of all people, should know what happened to Jews if they disputed Xtianity. That is really a ludicrous remark and is not befitting of someone who is suppose to be a scholar. It’s only been very recent that Jews haven’t suffered at the hands of Xtians for speaking up. Even nowadays when it does occur the Xtian complains they are being insulted. I, for one, have seen it go well past that to the point of anti-semitism.

        • Dina says:

          Concerned Reader, you wrote: “If these views had merit, why didn’t the rabbis use them against Christians in antiquity?”

          You must not be aware that the rabbis in antiquity didn’t use any arguments against Christians at all. They simply ignored Christians, much as they ignored all the other religions of their day. And they would never, ever have taken the time to study pagan myths and compare them to Christianity, repulsed as they were by idolatry.

          Did you mention you have a degree in history too? Maybe you should also get a refund for that one.

          • I’ll be honest that I have been responding to a lot of the points on this blog, such as pagan derivation claims made against Christianity with a degree of in kind rhetoric that I can see has been misunderstood. I know that comparing Hannukah and saturnalia is a poor parallel, but various people have drawn that parallel, and this blog has made equally poor parallels between Christianity and polytheism. That was the point. Not to dismiss anti semitism, or deny Christian crimes. It was a rhetorical point.

            Dina, I am very aware that the rabbis don’t make much mention of their gentile opponents ideology, or indeed have knowledge of it. The question I posed asking why they didn’t use these pagan copycat arguments against Christianity in antiquity was partially rhetorical. The point is exactly as you say. They don’t care to know what others really truly believe.

            That is an immense problem. You cannot claim to be a just judge if you don’t actually know or attempt to know anything about the thing you pass judgement against. I am not condoning anti-semitism or anti judaism, I was merely showing rhetorically the fallacy people make (by drawing supposed parallels to Judaism in polytheism) that says Christianity says x which is similar to pagan belief y, therefore x caused or influenced y. The point was to say that these arguments are weak and not based on real information.

            I know that it is only recently that Judaism has been able to stand up for itself. I support that fully. It’s the black and white one to one comparisons of Christianity to paganism and idolatry that I am objecting to. These are false comparisons that are just as ridiculous as me saying rhetorically that Hannukah copies saturnalia. It’s absurd! That’s the point. So much persecution and evil is caused by misunderstanding and in presupposing knowledge before we actually posses It.

      • Orthodox Christian tradition is the source I’m looking at, not Luther.

    • Dina says:

      A quick Internet search reveals that there is a wealth of scholarly material that makes the case that Jesus is patterned after earlier mythical figures like Dionysus, Adonis, and Mithras. Go to Amazon to see how many books are written on this subject by people who spent many hours studying comparative religion.

      I never heard of the Zeitgeist film until you mentioned it, but I had already read in other sources about the parallels between Jesus and Mithras.

      There is also a lot of material arguing against it (by religious Christians, generally).

      • Dina those internet sites are wrong. Respectfully. You can’t believe everything you read on the google machine. There are no respected mainstream New Testament scholars or historians with the exception. Of prof. Robert Price, a scholar with a minority opinion who accepts those views. The sources that cite similarities to pagan deities presuppose what is called the Jesus myth hypothesis. With respect those books on Amazon are not representative of real scholarship on comparative religions, it’s popular guff like the davinci code. If you want genuine information, get it from a university professor, or take a class, better yet read the myths for yourself. With due respect, I spent years getting my degrees in comparative Religions and history studying religions like those of the Greeks and myths like that of Mithras.

        Not even the Jesus seminar ( a very critical panel of NT scholars) holds the mythicist theory. Mithras was born from a rock, not a virgin. Mithras was a deity in Persia first, then in Rome. We only know something substantial about the latter. He was a popular deity of the roman legionaries. You can choose to believe whatever you want, but those criticisms of Christianity do not come from sources who have peer reviewed support. I’m not asking you to trust me, I’m asking that you look beyond Google, and Wikipedia.

        • Sharbano says:

          Then why didn’t you answer the Easter question. Instead you deflected it by changing subjects. THIS is a typical Xtian response to that which is contradictory to their premise. If its origin is not pagan then why name it as such. Why does Easter observance include the hunting for eggs. Furthermore, why do Xtans adorn a tree at Xmas time. Now, you may say this is not the way things were done in the outset of the religion but the religion has definitely evolved to that point. One has to ask why. Since there is no chain of transmission as there is with Judaism no one, especially any “university professors” can say with any certitude what the religion really taught. Most of Xtianity is based upon Paul’s writings, i.e., his letters. At the most we only have a one-sided conversation, unlike the Talmud, which includes All. That is not indicative of a thorough understanding of a subject matter.

          Here’s another question that when I first read it some 40 years ago left me astonished to say the least. Why would Jsus come up with a “Pesach seder” that says to drink wine which is his blood and eat bread which is his body, metaphorically notwithstanding. This is about as pagan as one can get. It certainly doesn’t come from Judaism. There is also the phrase “washed in the blood of the lamb”. How can anything being washed in blood be made white. Apparently all those commercials for products to remove blood are worthless. Or, is that lamb’s blood doesn’t stain like all other bloods. It’s looks more and more like Xtianity doesn’t follow Judaism very well.

          • I will answer it. If you shoot several questions, I need time.

          • The Easter bunny custom started as we now know it today with colored eggs, providing a lesson to children, egg hunts, etc. amongst German Lutherans, and it came to the US through immigrants like the Pennsylvania Dutch. Before that, the custom of association with a rabbit and colored eggs, or the narrative surrounding them, was unknown to Christianity in any theologically meaningful or purposeful way. Eggs were prohibited during lent, and so were hard boiled for the purpose of preservation, and for providing a simple food to acclimate the body after the fast of lent, but there was no sacral significance ascribed to a bunny, colored eggs, Ishtar etc. there still isn’t. There never has been any sacred significance assigned to Ishtar, a bunny, etc. in Christianity. Folk customs arise in every religion, right or wrong, even in Judaism, such as is the case with shlissel Challah. http://www.mesora.org/Shlissel.html

            It doesn’t mean there is an express command, or sanction, or even conscious intention to serve idolatry. It does not mean polytheism is at play.

            Here’s another question that when I first read it some 40 years ago left me astonished to say the least. Why would Jsus come up with a “Pesach seder” that says to drink wine which is his blood and eat bread which is his body, metaphorically notwithstanding. This is about as pagan as one can get. It certainly doesn’t come from Judaism. There is also the phrase “washed in the blood of the lamb”. How can anything being washed in blood be made white. Apparently all those commercials for products to remove blood are worthless.

            If you say “metaphorically notwithstanding”, you already completely misconstrue the meaning of the text, and the historical teaching of the church, and this isn’t meant as a deflection. The usage of body and blood in the New Testament, and even in transubstantiation beliefs are not advocating consumption of literal blood or flesh. Celsus thought that too. The NT strictly prohibits consuming blood in Acts 15. This prohibition is also not some mere holdover custom from Judaism, as even later Christian manuals continue the prohibition. 2 peter says that believers are partakers in the divine nature (the logos by adoption.) what is the Logos? The Christ personality. Partaking of body and blood, is clothing yourself with the “manna from heaven” which is the actions and intentions (body/soul) (or body/blood) of Christ. This is all metaphor. The life of the soul is the blood. When you sit at communion, (Eucharist means thanksgiving in Greek) you are promising to clothe yourself with the actions and intentions of Jesus. The Eucharist is that which the church has always considered and called mysterion (mystical participation in the mystical body, and blood that is participation in Christ/the Church.) Transubstantiation (stressing the literal presence) was in response to people who denied the literal existence of a real Jesus, (Docetism,) or who saw no relevance to communion customs. The idea of a real mystical presence at an event, or a real participation as sacred mystery is not unknown to Judaism. The door is open for Elijah every year, and he is believed to be among angels, and so able to be present at events. Converts are also said to be present at Sinai are they not?

          • Dina says:

            Concerned Reader,

            Here is a rebuttal to Alfassa’s poor scholarship on the origins of schlissel challah:

            http://www.vosizneias.com/127445/2013/04/04/new-york-shlissel-challah-an-analysis/

        • Dina says:

          Concerned Reader, it could very well be that you are right and that those who worshipped Mithras believed he was born from a rock and not a virgin. That wasn’t my point. My point was that there are two sides to the debate, with each side claiming scholarly research to support their views.

          So if I’m wrong about Mithras, so be it. Nevertheless, the idea of virgin births predates Jesus.

          Do university professors have the final word? Then you might want to read this book by a French (and everyone knows Europeans are smarter than Americans) university professor called Christianity: The Origins of a Pagan Religion.

          As for your degree in comparative religion, I am not impressed. You have misrepresented facts several times here on this blog and used words carelessly. I’m not talking about differences of opinion or different ways of interpreting scripture or history or even flawed logic. I am talking about solid, verifiable facts. I will give you five examples:

          1. Larry and I both pointed out to you when you misquoted a rabbi on archaeological evidence for the Exodus. To your credit, you acknowledged the error.

          2. Rabbi B. showed you how you misrepresented Lawrence Schiffman on the DDS. You did not acknowledge your error.

          3. When I pointed out your mistake in referring to Philo as a Pharisee, you grudgingly amended your statement to say that he was influenced by Pharisaic thought (did you know that the Pharisees and the Hellenists bitterly opposed each other? So your amendment is hardly accurate. Nevertheless, I decided not to press the issue).

          4. You wrote that God would not allow the whole world to be deceived about Jesus, not being aware that only a third of the world population is Christian.

          5. You wrote that few gentiles hate the Jews today, not being aware of the actual statistics, which I posted in response to that comment.

          Sloppy! If that’s how you were taught to think and write in Comparative Religion Class, and if you were not taught to carefully check your facts first, then you need to demand a refund. To err is human. But too many errors reflects poorly on your credibility.

          • 1. Larry and I both pointed out to you when you misquoted a rabbi on archaeological evidence for the Exodus. To your credit, you acknowledged the error.

            2. Rabbi B. showed you how you misrepresented Lawrence Schiffman on the DDS. You did not acknowledge your error. I did too. I know that 60% of the texts are Masoretic and have Masoretic urtexts. While it can be granted that the DSS support the Masoretic texts, Schiffman also noted in the encyclopedia Of the Dead Sea scrolls, (which I quoted) that variant readings needed to be studied on a case by case basis because despite Masoretic majority, Many textual variants are very well attested even when they contradict the Masoretic text.

            3. When I pointed out your mistake in referring to Philo as a Pharisee, you grudgingly amended your statement to say that he was influenced by Pharisaic thought (did you know that the Pharisees and the Hellenists bitterly opposed each other? So your amendment is hardly accurate. Nevertheless, I decided not to press the issue). So why do you press it now? I amended my statement. I acknowledged I was mistaken. And Philo did have Pharisaic influence. You can be influenced by people with whom you disagree.

            4. You wrote that God would not allow the whole world to be deceived about Jesus, not being aware that only a third of the world population is Christian. By “world” I did not mean the world is Christian (off course I know that.) I meant Jesus is discussed and known the world over, even by those who don’t believe. (I should have been more clear, I apologize.)

            5. You wrote that few gentiles hate the Jews today, not being aware of the actual statistics, which I posted in response

            I will check that out and amend my statements.

          • Dina says:

            Concerned Reader,

            I’m glad you acknowledged your errors. My point was–for someone who keeps reminding us of his degrees and his years in college, why so many? Why so sloppy? This carelessness makes me unable to take your degrees seriously, so it’s pointless, really, for you to point it out.

            Nevertheless, kudos to you for taking a second look and correcting your mistakes when they are pointed out. Not too many people have the humility and graciousness to do that.

            Best,
            Dina

  36. In regards to Easter, why is there a month in your calendar called Tammuz?

    • Dina says:

      Tammuz is not a religious holiday. Let’s compare apples with apples. We refer to the secular months according to their pagan names as well–and the days of the week.

    • Sharbano says:

      Just as Pesach is a remembrance of the exile of Egypt the naming of the months recalls the exile of Babylon.

  37. Eric
    In my article “Armor Bearers” I addressed the verses that you quote please read it – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/armor-bearers-isaiah-5211/

  38. Dina I am currently writing from an iPad. I don’t have access to a computer to give proper detail, clarification, and citation for every one of my statements. Things that I have said may be generalized or too quickly spoken, but it’s not like I’m saying things that have zero backing or room for discussion. The mistakes I have made, I have admitted and clarified my position on. It took so many years in school because it was two majors, I went for a teaching credential also, but finances were tight. That takes a few years even at 15 units a semester. I bring it up, not to put anyone down, but to highlight that many things are not black and white, take much more in depth knowledge, (beyond google) and are very open to diverse understanding because of various complexities. I can be wrong, I would never claim otherwise, but it should give you some pause that you have admitted that your sources don’t attempt to understand diverse ideologies, yet you can judge these views with a degree of absolute certainty. As I’ve stated before, the existence of absolute truth is one thing, whether I am qualified to judge based on limited knowledge and experience is another matter, especially given the presence of the evil inclination and the existence of free will. These two variables guarantee diversity.

    When I have made statements about various diverse perspectives within Judaism, possibly making room for a Christian theology, or rather a Christian like theology, it’s not to be rude or misleading. I’m genuinely noticing that even in Judaism today, there are discussions and disagreements among sages about foundational issues in various sources. Are kabbalistic books like the Zohar authentic or aren’t they? What is the status of noachide religious movements? What do we mean by divine unity, are there divine emanations of G-d, or is G-d to be emphasized as wholly unknowable (rational v mystical approach to understanding theology.) Different rabbis have different answers. Are the perceptual appearances to prophets of angels and G-d in scripture metaphors or realities? Is the Shekinah to be understood as a creation that manifests G-d’s dwelling ie in an illusory or indirect fashion like a vision, or is this dwelling of G-d meaning a real manifestation of some attribute of G-d himself? How many principles of faith are there really. 3 or 13, etc. The answer depends on who you asked, and who you learned from. These kinds of discussions in your own tradition imply a great deal of maliability. Since so much diversity exists in Judaism today, surely antiquity had room for much more. That is a reason I don’t immediately find arguments to the contrary very convincing.

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader,

      In order to make claims about Christianity a Jew doesn’t have to study Christianity, because all Christianity is, is a claim about Judaism. If I know Judaism and I know that Christianity claims to posses the Jewish Messiah and the Jewish way of worshiping God–and they are both different than what I know–then I know that it is false.

      • Jim says:

        Dina,

        Well said. Very succinct.

        MAS member,

        Jim

      • Yedidiah says:

        Eventually some people begin to see the irony (or heresy as some Christians might call it) that the more you equate Jesus with Jewish or Judaism’s teachings the less “Christian” he becomes. The more he is made to resemble the “old testament”, the less “new testament” he has to offer. The more Jesus is made to fit into selected verses (like selected verses in Isaiah 52-53) the less he fits into the NT, The more his words & deeds are repeats of “OT” words & deeds, the less new he becomes, the less significant he becomes, and the more false the NT becomes. The gospel author “Luke” even winds up saying (v 5:39),
        “And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is better”. Some Christians begin to cull the NT of Christian teachings they have problems with. There are several “messianic’s” and Christian websites that quite convincingly show that Paul contradicts Jesus (as he is presented in the gospels and other parts if the NT) on many issues and in beliefs.

  39. Jim says:

    Is Christianity pagan?

    Some find it difficult to call a religion that seems to have its roots in Judaism to be pagan. The supposed founder of the Christian religion is reported to have affirmed the shema, its monotheistic principle in tact. How then could anyone call Christianity pagan? Such a claim would appear merely polemical. But the fact is that Christianity, while not a wholly pagan religion, is an alloy, taking elements from Torah and from paganism to make a strange blend. Assuming the purity of the Torah system, any such addition of pagan elements is only a corruption of that pure system. So, while it might be unfair to call Christianity wholly pagan, it has elements foreign to the Torah system.

    One can easily see this in the different treatment of Moses and Jesus within the two systems. Moses is a servant of God, never exalted higher than a man. Jesus is clearly given exaltation within Christianity higher than the status of man. The elements that differentiate him from Moses are elements found in the non-Jewish world rather frequently. Jesus is the product of a divine being and a human being, even if not sexually. This element has no basis within the Torah system, causing the Church to find a prophecy regarding a “virgin birth” where one does not exist, ignoring every other element of the prophecy they misappropriated. Of course, one finds semi-divine beings within the non-Jewish world quite frequently. The fact that they are usually made sexually is less essential than the glorification of a human. The God of the Torah says that He will not share His glory with another. However, the NT system has glory being given to both Jesus and the Father. Moses would never be given this sort of treatment, even as the “Law Giver”. It is not he that delivers Israel from Egypt, but God. Moses is His instrument. But the Christian world elevates their teacher. He can be nothing less than a god himself.

    The mixture of Torah and non-Torah philosophies leads to a confused notion that Jesus is not just a teacher but God himself. He is the Son of God and the Son of Man. He is human and divine. He is God and God’s Servant. These mixed qualities allow the Christian to say that they are not worshipping any god other than the God of Torah. But they are notions wholly foreign to the Torah system. The Torah does not teach the expectation of a Son of God in the manner of Jesus. It does not teach a servant that is also the Master. These elements within the Christian system seek to reconcile their worship of a man with a worship of God. However, any such exaltation of a human is forbidden by the Torah system. It is within pagan systems that human beings are considered divine, sometimes due to their status as rulers and sometimes as teachers.

    Further corruptive elements have slipped in from the non-Torah world. The Torah does not advocate the death of the innocent to reconcile God to man. When Moses offers to take the punishment for Israel, God tells him that the guilty shall be punished, not the innocent. Note that he does not tell Moses that Moses isn’t pure enough. He does not say that He needs a sinless being to replace them. The notion that an innocent shall suffer for the guilty is not to be found within the Torah.

    Nor does God ever express a willingness to forgive the people if only they would bring a sacrifice. Never in Torah do the people repent, only to have God lament that He cannot restore them to Himself because they have not brought a sacrifice. The opposite, however, does happen. He does express that he cares nothing for the sacrifices of those whom have not repented. To be restored, He urges them to repent.

    In the pagan world, of course, the gods are appeased by sacrifices. Virgins and children could be sacrificed in some cultures because they represented innocence to those cultures. The non-Torah world imagined they could earn the favor of the gods through hecatombs. This is the opposite of the Torah system, where sacrifices are brought, but neither appease God nor earn his favor that He might bring rain, protection, or bounty.

    The sacrifice of Jesus, while often compared to the binding of Isaac, bears little in common with it. The Akeidah has nothing to do with earning God’s favor nor provide atonement for sin. Abraham is not being asked to bring an innocent on his behalf to restore him to God. Nor is Isaac accepted for this purpose. It is the pagan notion that the gods must be appeased and bribed that causes the misreading of the Akeidah as a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Jesus. The differences in their essential properties make any such comparison superficial. The sacrifice of an innocent has no correlation to Torah. It is foreign.

    This does not mean that Christianity is comprised of nothing but pagan ideas. But essential elements contradict the Torah they are supposed to fulfill. Christianity is a fusion of the pure concepts of Torah and the impurities of the pagan world. This is why one can find passages and ideas that align with Torah within Christianity. However, it contains elements that are absolutely foreign to the Torah, and these are not small matters.

    The Church is like a man who found pure gold, but throughout his life, the only gold he’d ever seen was impure. Because of this, he thought that something was missing from the brighter, cleaner gold he’d found. So, he melted it and fused it with impurities to make it look like what he was used to seeing. When he got its appearance to match his idea of gold, he fashioned it into a ring and proudly displayed it. One day, he heard people excitedly talking about the work of a jeweler who made the most beautiful work. He went to see the jeweler, and while he recognized the artistry of the jeweler, his ability to create beautiful shapes in the jewelry, he laughed at the simplicity of the jeweler in not recognizing the proper color of gold. He never bought from the man, always believing in his ignorance that his impure gold was the finer.

    Jim

    • Dina says:

      Jim, I was about to return the compliment, as a member of the MAS. Then I remembered, what are you talking about? You don’t have a degree in Comparative Religion! Go read some books by university professors and then you will see that those elements in Christianity that resemble paganism are really deep ways of understanding and relating to God.

  40. Jim says:

    Is the Trinity a Greek or Jewish Idea?

    When the Church asks us to worship Jesus as God, they claim that there are hints throughout the Tanach that reveal to the learned that the “Word was God and the Word was with God” the entire time. They want to find Jesus, as a part of the godhead, in the Torah. At the same time, they have to tell us that the reason that the Jewish people did not see any such notion in the Torah is because they were “blind”. The people who studied the Torah their whole lives, who preserved it as a nation, and to whom it was given by God, were unable to understand it. Those who could understand it were those who believed in Jesus, non-Jews who did not know the Torah and uneducated Jews. This view is obviously absurd, and is complicated by the fact that the Platonists had an idea of a Trinity, quite apart from the Torah, preceding Christianity. These facts make one question whether or not the Torah is truly a Torah idea or a Platonic idea.

    Augustine learned much about the Trinity from Platonists. He writes in the Book VII of his “Confessions” that the students of Plato knew much about the Trinity. They did not know all, of course, because at the time of Plato, Jesus had not come. Therefore, they did not know, for example, that the Word had been made flesh. But they did “know” the following facts about the Trinity and the Word, though their words were different:

    1. The Word existed before the beginning of Time
    2. The Word abided with God and was God.
    3. The Word made all things.
    4. In the Word was life, and “that life was the light of men”.
    5. The darkness could not overcome that light.
    6. The Word is both human and divine.

    Augustine finds the teachings of the NT in that of the Platonists. These teachings put him on the path to conversion to Christianity. He doesn’t get them from Torah. Later, he will find (i.e. invent) allusions to them in the Torah, but no open writing about them. These are things he will have to read into the text, hidden there from the blind Jews but open to him. Like the modern evangelical, he reads the Torah eisegetically to push Jesus into a text that does not support him.

    But the problem remains: how did Plato know this? He was not a student of the Torah. And since it is not explicitly written in the Torah, it would appear that this is not a Torah idea at all. It does not come from God; it comes from Plato, a very fine thinker, but not the Divine Source of Truth.

    Augustine recognizes the problem in “The City of God”. He has a theory that resolves this for himself, but one I do not think we need credit as true, no matter how ingenious it is. Plato had travelled to Egypt, by Augustine’s calculation at the same time Jeremiah would have been there. Augustine assumes, therefore, that they met. And Jeremiah taught Plato Jewish philosophy, and this was where Plato learned the idea of the Trinity. He learned it from Jeremiah. Of course, there is nothing of the Trinity in Jeremiah’s work, except by the manipulative way the Church reads any Jewish text.

    This is all speculation on Augustine’s part. But it is not the absurdity of the solution to which I would like to draw our attention. It is the implicit admission that the problem exists. The Torah scholars did not have any idea of “The Word” or “The Trinity”. This was an idea originated from a Greek with no known connection to the Torah world. Augustine imagines a meeting between a Jewish prophet and a Greek philosopher, but, by inventing a solution, he has admitted a problem.

    The Trinity is not in the Torah. Jesus is not in the Torah. The deification of Jesus comes as a result of mixing Torah and Platonic ideas, as well as other Greco-Roman influences. The Trinitarian notions preexisting the NT, appearing in the work of Plato and his students but not the Torah, only goes to show how foreign to the Torah those ideas are. Augustine’s solution is an admission that the ideas are Platonic in origin. They are not of the Torah.

    Jim

    • Dina says:

      Also, Philo’s idea of the Logos is entirely Greek. First, Philo was schooled in Greek philosophy. Then, later in life, he read the Bible. He liked it. So he figured out a way to make the Logos idea Jewish. His concept of the Logos is NOT to be found anywhere in traditional Judaism; neither was this thoroughly Hellenized Jew a traditional Jew in any way, shape, or form.

      Concerned Reader, you say you get your comparison of Moses to Jesus from your reading of Philo and Maimonides. Philo is irrelevant for the reason listed above. I asked you to show me where Maimonides equates Jesus with God. Can you?

    • Yedidiah says:

      In particular, Greek Stoic philosophers identified the term logos “with the divine animating principle pervading the Universe”. To many Gnostics & “neo-Platonists”, no one can get to the supreme god without going through the “Logos”. You could climb the “spiritual ladder” as a “way” from earth to “heaven’s gate”. But the “gatekeeper Logos” decided who got to heaven. Jesus, the “way”, was claimed to be that gatekeeper, that mediator, that son of god and/or judge in some early Christianities (remember there were several early Christianities) with quite different ideas about “Jesus” or the “Christ”). Later, as Jesus was equated more as God than as “the son” (or sitting on the throne, on the right hand if God), “saint Peter” became the gatekeeper at the “pearly gates of heaven”.

  41. Philo’s Logos is paralleled in Maimonides in his views of the active intellect which he views as an overflow of G-d which is how we have prophecy. His view states that Moses had the highest interaction with and served as the clearest reflection of the active intellect, and nobody ever was closer to G-d. Nobody, no other person has a clearer or a better knowledge of G-d than does Moses. This is like Maimonides using the Aristotelean version of Philo’s Logos.

    Jim, while it’s true, and I freely admit, understand, and accept, that the Logos is a very Greek concept, found in Greek sources, it doesn’t mean anything like what the concept means to the Greeks in Philo. Philo used Greek ideas (I’m not denying that, and never was) to teach concepts from the bible that the surrounding culture couldn’t understand. It’s true it’s not in five books of Torah, but it’s in the targumim, it’s in proverbs, it’s in ben Sirach, and it’s in later works by Jewish philosophers etc. The immanence of G-d is referred to as wisdom/prophecy/shekinah.

    Ancient Greeks and other polytheists had trouble with understanding the idea of the providence and will of G-d. For Plato the “good” is the highest conception of divinity and is an unknown goal humanity is constantly trying to attain, not a revealed set of mitzvot that humans already posses. The Logos of Plato is the world builder understood as a lower emanation of the ideal realm of abstract forms, an archetypal ideal concept that we continually seek to understand. To the Greeks the Jewish idea of the transcendence of G-d would in their view prevent the possibility of the otherJewish view of G-d from being possible, namely the view of G-d, as an active being seeking dwelling in the world. They would believe that if the divine were one or transcendental, this would demand that he be totally abstract, at least as far as humans can know. Revelation was meaningless to Greeks. Magic and oracles weren’t, but the idea that G-d has goals, absolutely foreign. As I’m sure you know, the Greeks believed in fate. Fate was the best way to explain transcendence. Transcendence implies the gods are unaware, inactive, and so subject to this impersonal “force” called fate that explains how the gods are not all powerful even if they are immortal, etc.

    Philo took this very Greek concept of the Logos and described to the Greeks using it, how G-d is indeed active in this world. The logos is not an abstract idea for Philo, but is the revealed word of G-d, and in Philo, we know about this “word” from its clearest reflection, namely Moses. Philo introduces the Greeks to the idea of revelation in a way they can understand it.

    So, it is true that the Logos is not found in the first five books. However, Philo’s usage is relying on the bible, and tradition, not the Greeks. If I only ride a tricycle, (Greek philosophy) and I want to ride a bike (Torah and Halacha worldview) I need an alloy as you put it, training wheels, to understand and learn how to ride a bike. This was how Philo used the Logos, and how Maimonides uses Aristotle’s idea of the active intellect. It’s true that it isn’t in the earliest books. I never said it was!

    Dina, I never called you uneducated or mocked you did I? I explained myself and clarified didn’t i? Pardon me, but you are being slightly rude mocking the fact that I’m asking you to read scholarship. Why is that a bad thing?

    • Dina says:

      It has seemed to me that it was condescending to assume that first, I do not read scholarship, and two, that the scholars I rely on are unreliable because they disagree with your scholars. I find it frustrating to talk to someone who rejects any side in a scholarly debate, whether it’s archaeological or historical, that he disagrees with, by dismissing the credentials of those scholars.

      In general, your talking to all of us (Jim, Rabbi Blumenthal, and others) as if we are all untutored and uneducated because we didn’t study comparative religion in your universities is patronizing. (You do come across this way even if you don’t mean to.)

      Nevertheless, I should have recognized that your attitude is irrelevant (and also outside my control) and focused on the debate without getting personal. For that I apologize and I ask your forgiveness.

      And I do thank you for keeping your tone generally respectful despite all this.

      Thanks,
      Dina

      • Dina, I accept your apology. I am sorry that mentioning my studies seems condescending to you, it is not at all meant that way. I am not saying that you or rabbi B, or anyone else are unlettered G-d forbid. I know the knowledge is out there, and that you are learned, and have scholars of your own. My issue is that a lot of the scholarship mentioned is used for polemical and rhetorical purpose almost exclusively. I have demonstrated that traditional Christians do not believe in a demigod concept, that we understand that G-d has no body, that we have carefully defined the precise relationship between Jesus and the father, and that we ourselves realize in our own tradition that some worship directed at Christ is indeed idolatrous. I have provided sources. I have pointed out that some rhetoric and arguments on this site present a grossly simplistic picture of Christian self understanding and that Polytheistic similarity (where it does exist) does not denote derivation. This does not prevent this straw man from being employed by Sharbano and others time and again. You yourself have admitted that the rabbis are not concerned with other ideologies, and as a result I have pointed out that they may lack some important, even crucial details when they are attempting to draw parallels between polytheism and Christianity, that in fact show weakness of the claim of pagan derivation.

        I really do fully understand that you see the Christian position (and my perspective) as doing the same disservice with your sources. I can appreciate that objection, and I apologize for any ill feeling. Both of our religions have traditional perspectives, and I realize that it is our duty to defend those perspectives. I realize that Judaism does not accept Philo, and I realize that the Dead Sea scrolls do not necessarily represent the rabbinic tradition.

        The point that I have been trying to make is that because Judaism claims a chain of tradition going back to Moses, extreme diversity of views among different groups is to be expected, and does not damage that hypothesis, it actually helps it. That’s history. Let me explain.

        Rabbi B has said that G-d has only preserved the rabbinic strain of Jewish tradition in the surviving Jewish people, as opposed to Samaritans, Sadducees, Qumran, Jewish Christians, etc. and that therefore this is the proper understanding of the promised covenant that G-d has chosen, and this then constitutes the fulfillment of G-d’s promise to preserve Torah and the people. The argument is that you are the only Torah observant perspective left in history, so yours is the right perspective. I understand that.

        The issue I have with this view is not the point that rabbi B makes that a righteous remnant (Torah observant Judaism) has been preserved, rather it is that the rejection of other sectarian groups of history, and their views that are now absent, undercuts the credibility of your claim to a reliable national revelation, and harms the claim of a historically preserved national tradition. An orally transmitted tradition (being transmitted by fallible human beings) is bound to have very diverse opinions that’s to be expected in the transmission of historical experiences. If 600,000 people go to a ball game, as a historian, I expect to see 600,000 people will have 600,000 unique perspectives on that game. If I claim 1000,000,000 people saw the game, I should find as a historian 1000,000,000 unique reports about the game. Jewish history (which includes the Samaritans, Sadducees, Pharisees, Qumran sectarians, Christians, and modern Judaism etc.) shows us this exact kind of diversity in transmission, of perspective and dialogue that historians expect to see in such a case. The problem is that you want me to ignore that information, ignore similar ideas that resonate because it is not the correct information in line with your specific traditional perspective.

        As an example: 600 people saw David copper-field make a plane disappear, a historian wishing to record the event would seek to record what really happened by speaking to witnesses, and corroborating the evidence.

        400 people said they saw the plane disappear, but they don’t believe it really happened. It was just a harmless magic trick. 50 saw the plane disappear and believed that supernatural divine agency made the plane disappear. 150 people believed that there really was no real plane and that therefore nothing really disappeared. All of these people wrote books with the help of historians chronicling their diverse views of events. The 550 (majority) who believed it was a magic trick or didn’t happen at all were able to remain indifferent to the minority because their views were so clearly false in this instance, based on collective experience of reality, and memory of events, that the belief was just cast off as harmless. Children could hear all their parents tell the story that “I saw a plane disappear.” Enthralled by the meaning and wonder of the story, they would carry it on, and on, down through generations. After thousands of years, the only chronicle left of the event, was that of the 50 person religious minority who had over time become a nation.Their tome preserved the truth that 600 people saw the plane disappear and they said “our ancestors saw this and passed it down.” The other views existed, but they were only found in scraps of partial manuscripts that didn’t reflect mainstream tradition. In fact, you could see large degrees of continuity between the scraps and prevailing tradition, even while accounting for their very diverse even contradictory views. A historian wishing to investigate the event, takes note of the fragments that do not reflect the now majority position. He sees corroboration between the scraps and the tradition in some respects nonetheless, despite such clear divergences. One thing the historian can say for sure, something definitely happened, because all the sources corroborate it. Even other people who were not at the event had heard about it. Corroboration. What the historian knows is that something happened. When he brings up the divergent positions in the scraps to the prevalent position, it is cast aside because the faithful surviving testimony is that of the tradition. The historian asks, “how can you claim 600 people experienced this event, but only listen to the few voices that you already accept?”

        I hope that didn’t come across as crass, or rude. I’m just trying to illustrate that even with wildly divergent views, the presence of the dialogue between sects serves as a verification of your claim that something happened. However, If you throw those other views out, it hurts your claim by limiting the voices to the accepted position.

        • Sharbano says:

          All your “evidence” concerning the Oral Tradition comes from a single event that occurred and how it was perceived. Many I have spoken to seem to assume what the Rabbis taught was not unlike an educational setting. The material is covered Once and then to the next material. To put it simply it was taught, originally by Moshe, over and over again. Yehoshua was instructed the most times as he was present when Moshe instructed the leaders and the people. As the Talmud states the material would be reviewed every thirty days. Another difference is that in an educational setting a person is instructed for a 4 year term and then leave that institution, whereas the Rabbis spent their entire lives in Their learning. The Talmud also gives the arguments of the various Rabbis by those arguments can be determined what is correct.
          There is also another difference in the way the Rabbis had learned. They would literally memorize all the material. As the Vilna Gaon once wrote to his wife he tells her to be sure the children Memorize the entire Torah. Not only would they memorize the entire Torah but Talmud also. I could go into the pin game if necessary. Therefore, the Rabbis went well beyond just learning from a teacher and going home for summer vacation and thus your illustration loses its merit.

        • Concerned Reader
          You have come to this blog because you are concerned that our (the Jewish) perspective on the debate between Christianity and Judaism is shallow and based on rhetoric instead of information and sober thinking.
          Did it occur to you that your perspective on these matters may be based on misinformation and astonishing shallow thinking?
          Just for an example – you compare the debate between the Pharisees and Sadducees to a debate about the foundational events of Judaism. How shallow can you get? No sect ever debated the foundational events – or their direct ramifications. All agreed that God promised to preserve His covenant in the midst of Israel – so all sects agreed to the terms of the contest – according to all the sects the survival of the Pharisee version of Judaism proves its veracity – and all of this is only relevant after we all accept the foundational events of Judaism and their direct ramifications.
          You still didn’t explain what it is that I said that made you think that I would deny the validity of Abraham’s and Elijah’s experiences – can you please explain those remarks?

          • Rabbi B. The point I was making about Elijah and Abraham wasn’t that you personally wouldn’t consider them valid, it was that the Torah doesn’t always use national revelation as the standard all the time as you claim it does and must. It uses experience too. 1 man Abraham transmitted his experiences with G-d to his descendants, so that when Moses came, the people were already predisposed to believe in supernatural agency. They were partial witnesses predisposed to the belief in question before national revelation had even occurred.) Your unique claim of national revelation then is only partially unique, because revelation existed before Sinai in the case of the claims of 1 man Avraham. Elijah while he was in front of the whole nation disproving Baal, was only witnessed by 300 people as having ascended to heaven.That’s what I was saying. The Torah does not use national revelation consistently for validation.

            Also, you asked me earlier to provide evidence of the existence of another unique claim of a national revelatory event similar to and on par with that of Israel at Mt. Sinai. You say no other such unique claim exists. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki fit the criteria for similarity to your unique claim. The first atomic bomb was detonated in the eyes of the whole nation of Japan, and even those who dropped the bomb (the perpetrators) confess that they dropped it. We are aware that this was a truly unique unprecedented event.The traditional telling of its occurrence is on the lips of the entire Japanese nation to this day.

        • Dina says:

          Con,

          You wrote, “Both of our religions have traditional perspectives, and I realize that it is our duty to defend those perspectives.” I couldn’t disagree with you more. Our duty is not to defend our perspectives; rather, our duty is to discover the truth, keeping our minds as objective as we can, as no one is free from bias, and praying to God for His guidance.

          The problem with your analogy is this: if a religious claim like the Jewish claim can arise according to your analogy, then why did this only occur within Judaism? You keep failing to answer that question, along with the remarkable prediction in the Torah that this would be the case.

          Another problem with your analogy is that divergent views arise and splinter off in practically every generation, yet it is only the Pharisaic tradition that survives. The Sadduccees and the Essenes and so on were not the only groups in history to disagree with our tradition. This has happened many times over, and we see it today with the Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, and more branches of Judaism. It’s obvious to see which way the wind is blowing with these branches. Our tradition is and has been the only viable form of Judaism–and that is not just coincidence; it’s Hashem’s promise to His righteous remnant. When a pattern keeps repeating itself for 2000 years, it’s time to connect the dots, don’t you agree?

          Our very survival is itself a miracle. According to every natural law under the sun, I should not be here tapping away at my keyboard. A weakened Israel, scattered across the globe, enduring the most incredible pressure to become extinct, driven from nearly every land she sought refuge in, has managed to preserve the Torah and Talmud. Not a single religious group or national entity has endured what we have endured and kept their culture and tradition intact.

          During periods in history where there was little to no contact between European and Middle Eastern Jews, we find that nevertheless our Torah scrolls and Talmud remained identical–so the only differences today between Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews is our accent and some minor customs. Despite everything!

          Your example of Hiroshima is an apples-to-oranges comparison. Hiroshima is not a religious experience. It is simply a disaster that occurred, and although it was caused by man, it’s similar to witnessing a volcanic explosion or tsunami that also affects a whole country. It does not compare to the totality of the Jewish claim, the details of which Rabbi B. has already described for you.

          • The problem with your analogy is this: if a religious claim like the Jewish claim can arise according to your analogy, then why did this only occur within Judaism? You keep failing to answer that question, along with the remarkable prediction in the Torah that this would be the case.

            You are building up a post hoc argument by framing the discussion as only allowing for two absolute possibilities, the truth or falsehood of your view, which is odd because the unique part of the argument you make rests on the probability that Sina is real, not whether or not it’s historically accurate or verifiable with archaeology or other studies. However, the mere fact is that you are also making a claim to a historic chain of transmission, by a literal historical people, and this opens your claims up to regular historical inquiry. The same as any real national claim about a national event. The diversity of views within Judaism’s own history past and present shows that a comparison to any other claim about a real national historical event is far from being an apples oranges comparison. You experience history the same as any other human being. That no other people has had the precise theological Jewish view about G-d, says nothing about the truth of what happened, which is why that part of your argument relies on probabilities. The thing you aren’t seeing is that saying your view is unique (which I grant) does not say anything about whether it’s true or not.

          • Dina says:

            You haven’t responded to any of my points.

          • Dina says:

            Con, I’m not sure how your response answers the question.

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Con, I answered that in another place just a few minutes ago. I hope that isn’t too confusing. Sorry for the inconvenience.

          • Dina, Judaism has a unique claim. This says nothing about the truth of your claim. It’s irrelevant whether or not a similar claim could have, did, or did not arise among other cultures. In fact, all this says is that Judaism has a unique claim. It doesn’t prove anything about whether it happened! You are using a probability argument about a historical question.

          • Dina says:

            Concerned Reader, the argument is that something that could have happened as a natural evolution of a mythology would have happened more than once–more than several times, in fact. That’s why the Christian claim has been replicated so many times by other religions which preceded and followed it.

            The very uniqueness of the claim points to its veracity. Do you not think it’s amazing that the Torah would predict that no other entity would make such a claim?

  42. I made zero comment about the rabbis dedication to their memorization, learning, or anything concerning the amount of time they spent. Christians memorize material too Sharbano, that wasn’t the point. It is a fact of transmission of any occurrence, and the descriptions of events, that there are diverse, sometimes even contradictory views of the same event. This is expected.

    • Sharbano says:

      Of course you made Zero comment and that’s why it Had to be brought up. I have yet to see any Xtian who has memorized one book let alone At Least five, the Torah. Your entire premise was that it was impossible to Accurately transmit Torah. Because it was written in Torah to hand these tradition to the next generation it wasn’t taken lightly. Since Xtianity didn’t have an Oral Tradition they are left with a predicament of maintaining the teachings. Jewish tradition didn’t suffer this predicament.. All Xtians can say is “that is not possible”. The Talmud clearly shows how this was the case. Some of those traditoins came le-Moshe miSinai, i.e., from Moshe himself. You could say it actually goes further back, the Yeshivah of Shem and his teaching to Jacob. Therefore you have to Assume it is not possible. People have brought up the comparison to the “telephone game”. There was a Rabbi who performed this test and found even when a good amount of money was involved it didn’t transmit well. He then went to a group of frum Jewish women and told them what was at sake. Needless to say virtually all of them “beat the game”. Just as those girls knew what was at stake so did the Jews of ancient times. It’s not something that is taken lightly. We can see why the nations have this attitude merely by seeing Xtans method of arguing a point. If there is contradictory evidence it is either dismissed or ignored. Of course a tradition cannot be maintained with that atmosphere. Hence, the reason Jewish Tradition has maintained its traditions because it knows what it knows and doesn’t make excuses.

  43. Concerned Reader
    So where did I say that the Torah uses the standard of national revelation ALL THE TIME – what did I say that gave you that notion?
    When I said a parallel claim for national revelation – I meant a parallel claim of an encounter with God – again the grand total of the exodus miracles, Sinai revelation and 40 years in the desert.

    • Rabbi, here you go. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_pleading

      You claim that the national revelation at Sinai is the litmus test for an encounter with G-d. I have shown that scripture has G-d appearing to single individuals, and small groups, and this did not indicate falsehood, or inferiority. The patriarchs were noachide. There was not yet a nation in order to have a national litmus test.

      • Sharbano says:

        I think you are missing the point entirely. Up until Sinai it Was individual contact by Hashem and His promise that continued to the next.

        What was it that made Sinai unique to the previous generations. Simple, it was the Matan Torah, the giving of that Torah. This would put into writing and be incumbent upon every Jew from then on, we will do and we will listen. Now, when Xtianity comes into existence we now have what is called a “new testament”, a “New Torah”. This is why a Jew cannot accept a “New Torah” because Hashem gave it to the nation in its entirety and the Entire nation had to agree to it. When Jsus roamed the earth he did not give a “New Torah” to an entire nation. In fact he didn’t give anything. It was a church that did that. That’s even more reason why it is considered invalid.

        Therefore, we see that Hashem used a national revelation in order to give a nation a Torah. In that Torah He says not to add or delete from it. When Torah says G-d called Israel His firstborn son He speaks to a Nation, whereas Xtianity is completely based on an individual experience, as you have said.

        • So according to you ” up until Sinai it was individual contact by G-d and his promise that continued to the next.” So Mattan Torah was a new experience by all accounts to the previous generations, and the previous method was a kind of old pattern. If Jesus did not change the Torah law when he came, as you said, and the gentile church patterned itself on ethics for G-d fearing Gentiles, in accordance with Acts 15, then can we really say that gentile Christianity and a “new model” is unprecedented by scripture’s account? We have according to you, a covenant before Mattan Torah that is renewed,but also amended at Sinai. What is to stop the same pattern in Christianity?

          Also Consider the fact that what you think of as Christian innovation,

          1)preserves the unity of the being of G-d despite the 3 persons
          2) defines worship of Jesus only or without the father as idolatry
          3) teaches that those who aren’t Christian can still know G-d,.
          4) teaches the sovereignty of G-d.

          • Sharbano says:

            I really don’t know what your point is here.

          • The point Sharbano, is that according to what you said, There was an “old” noachide revelation, and a “new” unprecedented revelation of Mattan Torah. Progressive revelation that does not annul what came before it.

  44. Rabbi with much respect, you say that I am being shallow in my presentation, and I admit I have used rhetoric, probably in poor taste, I apologize. Can you blame me though? On this blog, on the one hand you say that Christianity is plagiarizing from Judaism, not unique, and derivative. On the other hand, you state that it is idolatrous and entirely unknown to your faith structure borrowing from pagan influences. Which is it? I can lay the same objections on Judaism btw, they are not strong objections. You are calling the legitimacy of the beliefs of a manifold and diverse religion made up of primarily non Jews into question because it’s claims don’t jive with your specific interpretation, even though you can demonstrate from this very source of theirs that you are correct to be observing Hashem’s Torah, and that your interpretation is not unknown to it. Further, your own tradition allows various Gentile cultures to remain Gentile, and calls them righteous among the nations, based on an acceptance of one G-d, and basic morals, even if that culture doesn’t accept the Bible, or the unique description of G-d found therein. Christianity though can accept your claims and evidence as probable, because it has adopted similar claims and evidence based on experience. You have said that the first Jewish Christians believed in the validity of Sinai, as did all other Jews, and that this must then frame the discussion. That claim you make may well be true for those first Jewish disciples. However, gentile Christians who came later, who accepted the authority of the Torah through the proxy of Jesus and his students alone, and had an objective first hand redemptive experience of their own, are not tied by that presupposition. You have called that experience into question, examined the experience itself, and called it deception. At the same time, you have used the good faith acceptance by Christians of G-d and the Torah narrative to discredit their clear and unambiguous experience. How can you accept your own faith claim on the basis of the uniqueness of the claim sans the ability to test whether or not it is literally tangibly true, but call the Christians to task when they use that same standard on your belief? That sounds slightly inconsistent to me.

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader,

      You wrote: “On this blog, on the one hand you say that Christianity is plagiarizing from Judaism, not unique, and derivative. On the other hand, you state that it is idolatrous and entirely unknown to your faith structure borrowing from pagan influences. Which is it?”

      It’s both, of course. Christianity is a hodgepodge: Judaism repackaged to make it palatable to gentiles.

      You further wrote that Christians “had an objective first hand redemptive experience of their own” and that is therefore the same standard as ours; therefore we are inconsistent to dismiss that experience.

      You have said that our national experience was subjective; now you say that the Christian experience is objective. If we say the opposite is true, you call us inconsistent, but for you to say it it’s not?

      You have also yet to show us that our claim, all of it, is not unique, your comparison to Hiroshima notwithstanding. (That’s self-refuting, no more need be said.) The fact that the Torah predicts no other entity will make that claim and the fact that this prediction has turned out to be true are both facts that need to be confronted.

      Finally, you have not answered me on an earlier comment, which I will paste here for your convenience:

      In order to make claims about Christianity a Jew doesn’t have to study Christianity, because all Christianity is, is a claim about Judaism. If I know Judaism and I know that Christianity claims to posses the Jewish Messiah and the Jewish way of worshiping God–and they are both different than what I know–then I know that it is false.

      • Dina Christianity’s claims are more objective in a sense because we don’t have to rely on Christian testimony to validate certain central facts such as the existence of Jesus, his death, or the fact that the gentile world experienced a widespread prophetic move from polytheism to monotheism as a result of his life. The difference is that your evidence is the utter uniqueness of your claim, and does not rely on outside evidence. Christianity looks to the Torah and also to a degree of historical fulfillment.

        In order to make claims about Christianity a Jew doesn’t have to study Christianity, because all Christianity is, is a claim about Judaism. If I know Judaism and I know that Christianity claims to posses the Jewish Messiah and the Jewish way of worshiping God–and they are both different than what I know–then I know that it is false.

        Your right, you don’t have to study Christianity to be a good Religious Person, unless you plan to pass judgement on its adherents. When you plan on doing that, you are indeed responsible to learn how Christians themselves understand their tradition, just as I am responsible to learn yours, and keep learning. That’s the only way to be just in your examinations. You can’t pass judgement on someone based on preconceptions. I’ve never disputed that your duty is to the Torah. That is a position substantiated by all the sources. No issue there. As I mentioned to rabbi B, I have provided evidence meeting the criteria he sets of a unique national claim, but he moves on to special pleading because G-d and a desert wandering isn’t mentioned in Hiroshima. If we can’t reasonably rely on a matter of historical consensus, a nationally attested historical event (Hiroshima,) as an event reasonably similar to Sinai, in what meaningful sense can Judaism be making literal concrete historical claims about an exodus from Egypt? That’s a claim that is open to historical inquiry. Judaism claims that the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, but provides no corroborating evidence from history beyond the unique subjective faith claim that adherents of Judaism already accept as true.

        That is the height of special pleading.

        • Dina says:

          Con, you keep saying that the Christian claim is more objective because we have evidence that a man named Jesus existed and that as a result, the gentile world moved from polytheism to monotheism. We also have evidence that a man named Mohammed existed and that the gentile population moved to monotheism on the other side of the world.

          So if that’s your standard for objectivity, how about this: we have objective evidence that Judaism was already an ancient religion by the time of Jesus, and that the Jewish people introduced to the world the concept of ethical monotheism.

          Whatever gave you the impression that we are passing judgment on the adherents of Christianity? We are simply examining a claim, a claim that is made about Judaism. Since we know Judaism, we know the claim is wrong.

  45. Concerned Reader
    I never said that a national revelation is a “litmus test” for revelation – I said that it is this factor that sets Judaism apart from other belief systems. Do you see the difference?

    How does Christianity’s claim for truth much up with Judaism’s? Can you show where I have been inconsistent?

  46. You are relying on a unique claim for the plausibility of validation, an epistemological philosophical/theological explanation to account for the occurrence of a supposed concrete historical event called the Exodus and Sinai. If we cannot trust the consensus about established practices for historical inquiry to determine the truth or falsehood of your claim, how are you able to make claims about literal history, and be considered consistent? Again, the presence of a thoroughly unique claim does not say either way whether the claim is in fact true or false, it only provides a probability.

    • Concerned Reader
      Your continuous lack of comprehension of what I am saying (you are still responding to arguments that I never made) and your lack of comprehension of the “unique claim” argument is nothing short of astonishing.
      The fact that you consider Hiroshima to be a valid refutation to the exodus/Sinai/wilderness experience shows that you did not begin to understand the “unique claim” argument. (note that I did not say that your non-acceptance of the argument proves that you didn’t understand it – I said that the content of your responses to the argument demonstrate that you do not understand it)
      I don’t know where to begin with you because words seem to have no meaning – whatever I will say – you will respond to something else – but I will still keep on trying.
      I will try to explain the “unique claim” argument again.
      Many cultures and belief systems claim an encounter with God. Each of these makes some claim about practical events that occurred – that the particular culture interprets as an encounter with the divine. When we focus on the practical events that are at the root of the claim (not the interpretation – but only the practical events) they all fall into a certain pattern – Judaism’s claim about the practical events stands apart.
      The argument then is – why is this claim different? The conclusion is because it is true – the competing claims (and they are all mutually exclusive) all fit into the pattern of typical human behavior – as opposed to the Jewish claim which does not fit into this pattern.
      Its like showing you a painting amongst a bunch of stick man scribbles.
      Now Hiroshima was not understood by anyone to be an encounter with God so how did it enter the discussion? Furthermore – would it be plausible to you to consider that Hiroshima never happened? of-course not – why not? because nations do not lie about concrete events that they collectively experienced and it is difficult for them to make the same mistake simultaneously – so Hiroshima serves as an example to explain the principle of the “unique claim” argument.
      Since you claim to be a believing Christian – how would you explain the verses in the Torah – Deuteronomy 4:30-35? My presentation of the “unique claim” argument is simply spelling out these verses.

      • would it be plausible to you to consider that Hiroshima never happened? of-course not – why not? because nations do not lie about concrete events that they collectively experienced.

        (Yes nations do lie rabbi, off course they do! the whole Egyptian nation apparently did evil to Israel in the Exodus, but denies categorically that such events ever took place.) You couldn’t hide evidence of the Exodus event btw.

        What do you mean by concrete events? Do you mean Independently verifiable evidence of events occurring like every other historical event? It’s not about whether people lie rabbi, (off course people lie!) we know about Hiroshima as fact because we can check against possible lies about it from unbiased sources. The reality of the event doesn’t rely on any one opinion or testimony or chain of transmission from anyone to verify the event. There is concrete evidence. This is why I mentioned it. You can go to japan for yourself and check radiation Levels. You can speak to people who lived through the event. The people who dropped the bomb chronicled that they did it, as well as how survivors were treated. Your claim for Judaism has none of this despite seeking to demonstrate the plausibility of an actual claimed historical event based on the uniqueness of the revelation claim, (a painting among scribbles as you call it.)

        Again, I’m not misunderstanding you, you are engaging in special pleading. I provided a nationally attested event witnessed by a whole nation. That it is not a claim about G-d, a desert wandering, or an exodus, exactly like your claim, is special pleading. just because the claim you Make is one of a kind, or doesn’t fit the pattern of human behavior, doesn’t speak to its validity or truth, this is true of both Judaism and Christianity. If all other spirituality is one way or type and Judaism is another that stands apart, that’s well and good, but it doesn’t make the claim or event true.

        In one of your writings refuting Jesus’ resurrection you said “Who wrote these books? Who determined that the authors were trustworthy people? What criteria did the early Christians use to determine that these writings should be considered holy? What assures us that the early Christians who had these books, really believed every word that these writings contained in a literal sense? Since there is no direct chain of tradition concerning any of these matters, then there seems to be no definite way to answer these questions.”

        Christians did have a chain of oral transmission (where we ultimately get the texts from.) The same arguments you are making here can be said of the Jewish Bible. You have a claim about oral transmission, but you exclude all data and diverse voices that can substantiate your claims to transmission because these views don’t match your authoritative interpretation. You claim an oral tradition that has other views in it, but speaks with one authoritative voice. We know that oral traditions don’t work that way from various historical sources.There is unavoidable variety in oral transmission. Jewish history gives us direct evidence of this diversity whichbyoubsaybisntbyourvtradition, and should be ignored.

        Who cross checked your claims? The same can be asked of your tradition.

        In the same writing refuting the resurrection claims of Christianity you said “Another interesting factor that comes to light when examining the various sightings of Jesus, is the point that the only ones who testified that they saw him were people who were already totally devoted to him. Even among the devotees, the Christian scriptures report that there was an element of doubt concerning the truth of the resurrection.”

        This objection fits with the Torah too. Israel (a nation of one man’s descendants) was devoted to G-d and their beliefs way before the Torah was given on a national scale. Way before the exodus, before Sinai. Small numbers of related individuals with shared beliefs like Noah and Abraham received revelation, with no means of cross examination from beyond their group. Doubt entered the nation of Israel immediately after the reception of the Torah as shown in judges. According to your own standard presented, the data provided cannot be relied upon with certainty.

        You have said that Christianity already accepts the Torah, infallibility of scripture, and thus needs it, making my objections inconsistent. While this may be true in part for the sake of argument, you have been the one to cast doubt on Christianity’s validity, disturbing the very ground on which the gentile Christian stands to be able to accept your premises. The Torah by extension Is damaged through your own standards. You accept a unique faith claim on the basis of its uniqueness. gentile Christians accept their faith claim through history, prophecy, and the unique claim, not just one or the other. You can say that the Jewish disciples accepted this claim of Judaism in good faith, that’s true, but this does not have bearing on those Gentiles who came to faith in G-d without the presupposition of the unique claims of Judaism. It’s your own standards you are applying to Christianity compelling me to apply the same to your claim.

        • Concerned Reader
          I’ll start by thanking you for your tone despite the content of your message – your tone is hard to come by these days so I thank you for that.
          Now for content
          When I use the words “concrete events” in the context of “unique claim argument” – I am talking about a claim of concrete events – not necessarily independently verifiable concrete events. I thought that was obvious – but I guess with you it needs to be spelled out.
          Next – do you really think that I am not aware of events with national impact? Do you think that I never heard of the holocaust? How stupid do you think I am?
          The point of the claim is that people have a tendency to believe that they encountered the divine – the proof to that is that so many people came up with this claim. All of these claims fit a certain pattern while one doesn’t – instead it fits into a different pattern. All the claims focus on events (again not interpretations or philosophy – events) that would not leave corroborative evidence on a wide scale even a few years later – such as faith healings, post-death sightings, and revelations to individuals. Only one claim for an encounter with God focuses on Hiroshima, holocaust type events.
          This lends great weight to the validity of that claim. That’s all. is that so hard to understand? what does this have to do with special pleading?
          When you say that nations lie about concrete events on the basis of Egypt denying the enslavement – 1000 years after the enslavement it was still in the national memory of Egypt as documented by Josephus in Contra Apion
          You completely misunderstood my arguments about the honesty of the gospel writers and about the bias of the witnesses that preceded the revelation claims – but I’ll leave that for another time.

        • Dina says:

          Con,

          I’m looking at this paragraph that you wrote:

          “(Yes nations do lie rabbi, off course they do! the whole Egyptian nation apparently did evil to Israel in the Exodus, but denies categorically that such events ever took place.) You couldn’t hide evidence of the Exodus event btw.”

          My mind is so boggled I hardly know what to say. I think for sure I’m missing something or I am misunderstanding what you wrote here. First you say that of course a whole nation can lie, and you bring Egypt as an example: Egypt denied that the Exodus ever took place. Then you say that they could not possibly have hidden the evidence of the Exodus, which implies that the nation of Israel is lying about the Exodus. Which is it, then?

          If you do not accept the Exodus because it’s impossible to hide such an event in history, then you have wiped out the foundation of Judaism. And if you have wiped out the foundation of Judaism, then you have wiped out the foundation of Christianity, do you realize that?

          If you want to say the Exodus isn’t true, then be consistent and say that both of our religions are false. But to say that Christianity is truer than Judaism makes zero sense.

  47. Yehuda Yisrael says:

    “Concerned Reader,” you do realize that the entire foundation of your christian understanding of scripture is dependent on the infallibility of the Tanach, correct? Your NT writers didn’t “question” the Exodus before jesus came on the scene…They had full faith that there WOULD be a Messiah and that is why they quoted from the Tanach in order to “validate” their messianic claims about jesus. Of course, their claims were false, as jesus did not fulfill the Messianic prophesies of the Tanach…

    I always find it amusing when christians try this approach to apologetics. I call it “The Suicide Bomb Argument.” When Jewish people start to question the supposed “historical jesus,” the christian reaction is always to say, “Well there is less ‘historical evidence’ for the Exodus than there is for jesus.” In other words, the christian is putting on his “academic hat” in order to “discredit” the Torah. The problem is, without authenticity of the Exodus, there would be no basis for believing in the Messiah of the Tanach. There would be no basis for believing the words of Isaiah. There would be no basis for believing the words of Daniel, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel either…And of course, there would be no basis for believing the words of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, all of who extensively quote from the Tanach…

    So Concerned Reader, are you willing to accept the authenticity of the Tanach without demanding your subjective standard of so called “historical evidence”? (By the way, the bulk of academia rejects the supposed “resurrection of jesus” to be historical fact. You can quote William Lane Craig all you want, but it doesn’t change the facts…) All this shows is that you have run out of steam when it comes to defending the theological inconsistencies between the NT and the Tanach. Do you honestly think attacking the authenticity of the Tanach does your NT any favors? The original NT writers would be appalled by your flippancy for Hashem’s word!

    I already know where this conversation is going, Concerned Reader. You are convinced that the supposed “resurrection of jesus” is “historical fact” and that this supposedly “proves” jesus’s supposed messiahship and deity. Well I have news for you: The majority of academia overwhelmingly rejects that the resurrection is “fact.” Moreover, I suggest you read this article by Rabbi Blumenthal concerning the supposed “resurrection of jesus.” William Lane Craig isn’t a prophet…Let’s put it that way!

    http://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/articles/scriptural-studies/blumenthal/resurrection/

    Shalom!

    • Actually Yehuda I haven’t mentioned the claims of historicity of Jesus’ miracles or resurrection, certainly not William lane craig?? even once because your method and mine do not see miracle as a standard qualified for answering this question.

      Christians do have faith in the Exodus, and accept the plausibility of the events described (through the lens of their experience and knowledge.) it wouldn’t be necessary for Christians to doubt Exodus at all if the common arguments from Judaism weren’t taking a page from Hume or Paine (the arguments put forth) to discredit Christianity.

      Hume and Paine said

      “Revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication – after this, it is only an account of something which that person says was a revelation made to him; and although he may find himself obliged to believe it, it cannot be incumbent on me to believe it in the same manner; for it was not a revelation made to me, and I have only his word for it that it was made to him.”

      Judaism says “we and our fathers did not experience X at Sinai, therefore we cannot accept Christian view Y.” That’s a variation of the same argument from experience as above.

      A Christian regardless of the miracles knows verifiably as real history that his ancestors used to worship Zeus, Thor, etc. and that now they worship the G-d of Israel, and not merely by saying that he is one, but by having the unique biblical knowledge of the face to face relationship, and the unique covenantal understanding of commandment and redemption. That is prophetic, providential, and not a miraculous sign. Only Judaism and Christianity view G-d in this biblical way. Our books also show that the anti Torah view (replacement theology) is not the forgone conclusion of our text. This goes back to what I said to rabbi B. Being a halachic noachide doesn’t by necessity mean you will see G-d in that way.

      We have a difference of interpretation with Judaism, but we accept the same sacred text, and can even learn to appreciate your own commitments. When you call that into question, you can’t blame us for requesting that standard of the Torah.

      • Sharbano says:

        However much you try you simply cannot convince a knowledgeable person the validity of Xtianity from Jewish sources. There is no interpretation when it is contradicted by the source. After studying the Xtian text for a couple of years some 4 decades ago I couldn’t help but to conclude the writers of those texts were unlikely to even be Jewish. I could easily assume the people of that time had enough of a basic rudimentary knowledge of Judaism and with the popularity for the morality of Judaism used their limited knowledge to interpret it in the way they did. For this reason we find so many many errors in that text. No authentic Rabbi would have made so glaring of errors as those writers have done. Apparently this Jsus wasn’t the only one of his time as their was the person named Apollonius of Tyana.

      • Sharbano says:

        It seems strange to me that one who considers himself a scholar is as blind as most Xtians when it comes to the countless errors and mistakes written in those texts. Maybe this is why the religion keeps evolving generation after generation. Each of these evolutions have the people believing they have finally found the truth. In my own lifetime it was believed that Israel was completely done away with and the church was the New Israel. This was the predominate thinking as I was growing up. Now the masses will Israel is still chosen but only those remnant who believe in a man.

  48. Sharbano, all religions evolve, even Judaism. History has demonstrated that. I’m not trying to take you away from your religion, and definitely have never said you were blind in any way. I’ve just been trying to see the logic in certain aspects of your understanding. Does a person have to be a rabbi before they can undestand the subtleties in your arguments?

    Be well

    Concerned Reader

  49. Im sorry you find it necessary to resort to ad hominem attacks calling me blind when your foundation is to make a claim that is so subtle in its nuances that it can’t be investigated by everyday people through appeals to any other nationally attested event from history. I’ve not bashed your traditional readings, I’ve read many arguments, but I’m blind because I don’t fully understand the subtleties? When parallels to polytheism have been drawn, I’ve noted the shallowness of the similarities, because I’ve studied those myths. It’s already been said that Judaism isn’t interested in knowing details about other ideologies, so how can you actually know?

    You have made up your minds to judge Christianity based on your perceptions of it, not their own understanding. Tell me how this is any better than how Christians have falsely prejudged Judaism?

    • Dina says:

      I’m sorry about the ad hominem attacks, too, Con, but don’t you see the logic in the argument? If I know my family, and someone makes a claim about my family, who better than I is in a position to just know, without investigating the claim like a lawyer, whether the claim is true or false?

  50. Yehuda Yisrael says:

    Concerned Reader, the argument that Judaism says “we and our fathers did not experience X at Sinai, therefore we cannot accept Christian view Y,” is actually found in the Torah itself! At Sinai, Hashem explicitly warned the children of Israel *NOT to worship Him in ANY FORM.* Not only that, He explicitly told them to TEACH this to all future generations!

    Deut 4:9. But beware and watch yourself very well, lest you forget the things that your eyes saw, and lest these things depart from your heart, all the days of your life, and you shall make them known to your children and to your children’s children,

    Here we see that G-d is commanding Israel to teach these things throughout their generations. G-d is directly telling Israel to teach their children about the things they saw and the things on their hearts. What are these things you ask? Lets continue reading:

    Deut 4:10. the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when the Lord said to me, “Assemble the people for Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.

    Deut 4:11. And you approached and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire up to the midst of the heavens, with darkness, a cloud, and opaque darkness.

    Deut 4:12. The Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of the words, but saw no image, just a voice.

    Here we have G-d explaining to the children of Israel what they “saw.” Notice that what they “saw” was **NO IMAGE** according to G-d Himself! Moving on…

    Deut 4:13. And He told you His covenant, which He commanded you to do, the Ten Commandments, and He inscribed them on two stone tablets.

    Deut 4:14. And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances, so that you should do them in the land to which you are crossing, to possess.

    This verse is important to read in context with the next few verses because it reiterates the fact that these commands are not just a “one time deal.” Rather, G-d is commanding Israel not to acknowledge Him in any form throughout all our generations! With this in mind, lets continue reading:

    Deut 4:15. And you shall watch yourselves very well, for you did not see any image on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire.

    Deut 4:16. Lest you become corrupt and make for yourselves a graven image, the representation of ANY FORM, the likeness of MALE or female,

    Deut 4:17. the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the heaven,

    Deut 4:18. the likeness of anything that crawls on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters, beneath the earth.

    Deut 4:19. And lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, which the Lord your God assigned to all peoples under the entire heaven, and be drawn away to prostrate yourselves before them and worship them.

    So Concerned Reader, from this passage we see two explicit themes:

    1. G-d is explicitly commanding Israel not to worship Him in any form. (Deut 4:16)

    2. G-d is explicitly commanding Israel to teach this to their children and their children’s children, even after they come to the land of Israel. (Deut 4:9-14)

    I would like to emphasize the fact that these commands put limitations on how Israel is to WORSHIP Hashem. It does not put limitations on Hashem Himself. Could Hashem take on the form of a man? Of course! G-d can do anything! But WOULD Hashem WANT us to worship Him in such a form? Absolutely not! Likewise, could Hashem take on the form of a golden calf? Of course! G-d can do anything! But WOULD Hashem WANT us to worship Him in such a form? Of course not! How do we know this? Deuteronomy 4:16! Any form means just that…ANY FORM!

    I’d also like to emphasize the fact that the prohibition of “making” a form for worship is not limited to “man made forms.” Hashem “made” the first man, Adam, yet somehow we know that Hashem would never take on the form of Adam and expect us to worship him…Likewise, Hashem “made” the first lion…Yet we know that Hashem would never take on the form of a lion and expect us to worship Him in such a way…How do we know this? Once again, Deuteronomy 4:9-19!

    This leaves no room for “jesus worship.” Clearly, jesus was a form and is thus disqualified from being worthy of our worship. According to Deut 4:9-19, jesus was not, is not, and never will be Hashem!

    Shalom and G-d bless!

  51. Jim says:

    Con,

    Regarding the “redemptive experience” of the Christian world, there are multiple faults with your argument. I hope over the course of today or perhaps the next couple of days to show why it is an argument without merit.

    If Jesus is to be credited with such a redemption you will have to ignore the following:

    1. If Jesus is to be credited with taking the Gentile world away from pagan gods, then we will have to make him also responsible for their anti-semitic acts done by the Church. You cannot credit him with the one and ignore the other. (See, Jesus did not perform any specific act of redemption for the Church. The preaching done to the gentile world was done in his name, but not by him. Therefore, the oppression of the Jewish people, also done in his name, must be credited to him as well.)

    2. Christianity isn’t the only religion to have this redemptive experience. Islam also has taken much of the world away from paganism. Therefore, it has the same claim to legitimacy that the Church has.

    3. It is not clear that the Church has truly had this redemptive experience, inasmuch as it has incorporated many pagan practices to accomodate its adherents, while the same time distancing itself from the Torah prescribed practices that would have been the way of life for its supposed founder (i.e. the replacement of Pesach with Easter and its attendant un-Biblical imagery.)

    If the Church is a truly redemptive experience, it should not have led to the oppression of Torah scholars. A similar redemptive power should not be found in a religion that denies one of Christianity’s main tenets. And it should not be have replaced practices prescribed by God with those of the pagan world.

    Jim

  52. Jim says:

    Con,

    If we are to test the truth of Christianity, we will not be able to do so based on the “redemptive experience” of Christians. Why not? Because the very first Christians could not have based their belief in Jesus on the redemptive experience upon which your faith rests. This is especially true because you have defined the “redemptive experience” in terms of the gentile world abandoning their paganism and coming to a true belief in god.

    For now, I am going to ignore whether or not Jesus did such a thing or not. We have good reason to say the he didn’t, but for the moment that is not our concern. Our concern is whether or not the gentile rejection of paganism could be a proof for Christianity.

    We must go back to the beginning, to the first gentile. Up until he heard the gospel, he was worshipping, as you say, Zeus. And then he hears the gospel. So, what is that that compels him to follow Jesus instead of Zeus? The answer cannot be that Jesus has created a redemptive experience for gentiles, taking them out of paganism. First, that hasn’t happened yet. Second, this man is still a pagan worshipper of Zeus. Only when he accepts Jesus will he think of this as a “redemptive experience”. Therefore, there must be some foundation prior to the “redemptive experience” that proves the truth of the gospels.

    The gospels provide a further objection. If the “redemptive experience” the Church offers were that the pagan world would abandon their false gods, then that work was already being done. The gospels mention “god fearers,” often understood to be Noahides. Clearly, if you had people who once worshipped Zeus, etc., now acknowledging the One True God, such redemptive work was being performed prior to the Church and without deifying a man. It was done without the redemptive work of Jesus.

    Moreover, since it was already being done, without Jesus, then any doctrine involving Jesus to get it done is unnecessary invention. For the gospels to be bringing people to Jesus, when they were already being brought to God, adds unnecessary elements to the redemptive process. That is to say, one could already worship God without worshipping Jesus, even as a non-Jew. Any addition by the gospels is a corruption, therefore. It redirects the non-Jew from having a direct relationship with God to a relationship with Jesus, whom he imagines to be divine. Either belief in Jesus adds nothing, or it adds corruption. But it cannot add any perfection.

    Thus, the foundation of Christianity cannot be the “redemptive experience” of which you write. Some truth had to precede that experience to convince the first gentiles. Moreover, it was unnecessary. God-fearing gentiles had already had the “redemptive experience” of which you write. Any elements that Christianity added could only detract from God. And in fact, while much of the pagan world stopped worshipping Zeus, they did not worship God truly, but a man they imagined to be God. From that they would need another “redemptive experience”. If I were to adopt your language, I would be one of those who had a “redemptive experience” away from the false god of the imagination, Jesus, and called to Hashem.

    Jim

  53. Jim says:

    Con,

    A third point I would like to make regarding the “redemptive experience” of the Church is that it is falsely attributed. That is to say, Jesus had nothing to do with your “redemptive experience” or that of the gentile world in general. The best you could say is that Paul gave you a “redemptive experience” and even that would likely be stretching it.

    Jesus did not carry a message to the world, even if he preached a universalist message. According to Matthew, Jesus was sent only to “the lost sheep of Israel”. And while he was on the earth, his disciples were sent only to Israel as well. Jesus did not go overseas looking to make converts. He speaks disparagingly of the Pharisees who did make converts, saying that they make converts who are even worse children of hell than the Pharisees are. (According to you, the Pharisees should be giving the gentiles a “redemptive experience by bringing them out of paganism. Meanwhile, Jesus was doing nothing of the sort.) Jesus, himself, did not carry the message of One God to the gentile world.

    Nor does his death help to accomplish this. Already there were god-fearers. And besides that, some were coming to Judaism. Both are examples of people coming out of paganism without the death of Jesus. His death is not a necessary factor to delivering people from paganism.

    After his death, it was not a priority of his disciples “to go and preach the good news to all the nations.” Peter has to be compelled in a vision to dine with the gentile Cornelius. The apostle to the gentiles is Paul, a man who never met Jesus and did not spend time with his disciples to learn his message. He writes to the Galatians that he got his message from no human source, but from “a revelation of Jesus”. He went to Arabia, rather than to Jerusalem, after his conversion. He is making clear that the message he is teaching is not that of Church in Jerusalem. It wasn’t until three years after his conversion that he spent two weeks (and a day) with Peter and met with James. He is insistent that he met no other apostle. Fourteen years late he went back to Jerusalem, and he has contempt for the leadership there, claiming they “contributed nothing to me.” He has had his own special gospel revelation. Peter is fine for the Jews, but Paul carries the gospel for the gentiles. It is no wonder then how little of Jesus’ words appear in Paul’s writings. (By little, I mean none, other than the Eucharist.)

    (I should mention as an aside, that we must face again the problem that you previously side-stepped. Paul does not have a vision from God. He has a vision of Jesus. You have compared Jesus to Moses, but we see that such idolatrous notions do not revolve around Moses. What prophet ever had a vision of Moses? Who ever talked about the redemptive power of Moses? Who ever talked about the exaltation of Moses? All of these are foreign concepts to Torah monotheism. One can readily see that any comparison between Moses and Jesus is specious. The Church has claimed that a man is god.)
    This redemption for the gentiles then, cannot even be properly traced to Jesus. It is not clear how much of Jesus’ teaching has made its way to Paul. He is at odds with the Church in Jerusalem, run by Jesus’ brother. He feels he has a superior message. Before long, the Church in Jerusalem would be crushed under the Roman boot heel. And after that, it was the gentile Church that would define the doctrine of the Church.

    So I am left with the conclusion that the “redemptive experience” of the Church is not truly attributable to Jesus. He taught primarily to Jews. His disciples taught primarily to Jews. The man who carried the gospel proudly announces that he has his own gospel, given to him personally through a revelation of Jesus. He did not consult the disciples, seeing himself superior to them. He did not go and study at the feet of Peter or John. The chain of transmission between Paul and Jesus is non-existent. At best, you owe your experience to Paul. Even that I’m not sure I would say, however. The first domino does not knock down the last.

    Jim

    • LarryB says:

      Spock has nothing on you.
      Just posting to follow,

    • Yeah Jim and your sacred experience is more direct and obviously closer to G-d than mine. Please.

      • Dina says:

        Con, why the sarcasm and derision? Jim did not hold up his experience as proof, just as an example of a rational point he made. All of Jim’s arguments are purely rational–even if you disagree with his conclusions. I think you are capable of a more thoughtful response.

  54. Jim says:

    Con,

    Because Christianity bases itself on Judaism, you have things all mixed up. You have indicated that people here have too superficial a view of Christianity. Dina has countered that because she knows Torah, she doesn’t need to know Christianity all that well to judge its claims. From your response to her, it seems to me that you don’t understand the point. And I would ask you to consider that you too hastily accepted Christianity. You also too hastily accepted Torah, and in fact only accepted it in a limited fashion, not according to its content, but according to your biases based on your Christianity. I ask you to consider that your view of Torah is superficial, and that you were unqualified to accept either Torah or Christianity at the time that you did.

    I am certain you understand that in evaluating the truth of the claims of Torah and the claims of the Church, there are only three valid outcomes, logically speaking. And these are related to the claims of Torah, because the Church has claimed that it fulfills the Torah. Therefore, our outcomes look like this:

    1. Torah is true, and Christianity is true.
    2. Torah is true, and Christianity is false.
    3. Torah is false, and Christianity is false.

    There is no outcome that reads: “Torah is false, and Christianity is true”; because Christianity affirms Torah. If Christianity is true, Torah is true. So “Torah is false, and Christianity is true” is an impossible outcome.

    Because this is true, one can investigate the claims of Christianity in a limited fashion to determine if it is true by comparing the claims of Christianity in light of Torah. I call this “limited,” because this can be done without knowing if Torah is true. But it won’t necessarily tell us if Christianity is true, only that it is possible. If I check Christianity’s claims in light of Torah, they might match up, but unless I know if Torah is true, then I cannot know if Christianity is true. But if they don’t match up, I already know that Christianity if false. I still won’t know if Torah is true or not.

    Even a limited investigation reveals that Christianity cannot be true. It simply is a different system than Torah. It appropriates some of Torah; it rewrites other parts. It demands sacrifices not demanded in the Torah. It asserts a divine man in contravention of the Torah. It is a different philosophy, disguised as Torah, a wolf in sheep’s clothing if you will. And because this wolf has covered itself in a wool shawl, anyone who points to it greedy fangs is referred to its outer trappings. “But Jesus supported the law. Not one jot, not one tittle. He affirmed the sh’ma.”

    Of course, the system of the Church has to be different than the Torah in some regard, or it would be absolutely unnecessary. Some might tell us that the NT was for the gentiles who did not have a Torah, but you and I know that this is silliness. Jesus was sent to “the lost sheep of Israel”. Moreover, the additions of the NT, based in the killing of an innocent man on behalf of the guilty is an idea foreign to God’s justice, a point which relates equally to Jew and non-Jew.

    The Church has had to invent ways to reconcile its innovations with Torah. Grasping at straws, they look for types and shadows. They denigrate Jewish learning of their own Torah. The impress meanings on passages that often directly oppose the meanings of the passages they quote. And this is no modern practice. You know as well as I that the same Augustine and Aquinas to whom you have appealed as great thinkers beyond the Strobel’s and McDowell’s of today, allegorized the Torah to press Christian doctrine upon it. They try to wrap that shawl around themselves, but you can see their real hide through the holes.

    Because the Church has so roundly abused the Torah to support its theology, one can see readily that Christianity is not true. It does not accord with Torah. It does not fulfill it. It abuses it horribly. It violates the philosophy of Torah. It pays lip service to Torah, but that is all. Mostly it warps Torah to fit its own agenda.

    This is why Dina does not need to study the contradictory (or, if you prefer, “nuanced”) writings of this or that Church father. She does not need to study Greek mythology and read deep analyses regarding the differences between Greek myth and Christianity. Christianity claims it fulfills Torah, with which she is intimately acquainted. She can see the differences between those two things quite clearly. She knows it can’t be true.

    Please consider that you accepted Christianity too hurriedly. Consider that you did not understand the Torah system before coming to the conclusion that Jesus was a part of it. Perhaps your own opinion was too hasty. Your superficial understanding of Torah allowed you to accept what you could not possibly have known.

    Consider also, that you put things out of order. You accepted Torah because you accepted Jesus. But that is to have things backward. You now have fallen into the trap that the Church has set itself. You cannot understand Torah, because you have to have it defined within Christian parameters. But Christianity is based on Torah, not the other way around. Determining Christianity is false does no damage to the credibility of Torah. It was either true or false years before Jesus was on the scene.

    You have not truly accepted Torah at all. You have accepted a dressed up wolf, and no matter how fetching that shawl may be on him, it isn’t a real sheep. You have accepted an imitation Torah, not the Torah itself. You will only be able to accept that once you investigate its claims independent of the claims of Christianity upon which it does not rely.

    Jim

  55. Concerned Reader, the argument is that something that could have happened as a natural evolution of a mythology would have happened more than once–more than several times, in fact. That’s why the Christian claim has been replicated so many times by other religions which preceded and followed it.

    Yes Dina, again I understand the argument. Again, it’s not that I don’t get it, it’s that the premise that says something that could have happened as a natural evolution of a mythology would have happened more than once–more than several times, is not a necessary conclusion, or a necessarily true premise. The same is true for your second premise about uniqueness of Christianity. Who says that a claim needs to be made more than once to make it susceptible to myth generation? Nobody ever in the history of the human species has ever believed in or replicated the belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, (yes that’s an actual religion btw lol) but that does not by any means tell us whether it’s true or not, or whether such a belief has veracity. You could say that this argument makes your claim more plausible or probable, but that’s an argument for probability of truth, not the same as demonstrating truth itself. See the difference?

    That the Torah is making a definite historical claim, (saying that an actual event called the Exodus occurred,) opens your argument up, and mine too, to historical inquiry. In historical inquiry, multiple attestation and replication is a good thing, not bad. Take all the myths that have stories of a global flood as an example. If 88 separate myths from different places all tell a similar story, we can reasonably infer that something (we don’t necessarily know what exactly,) might have happened in history. The problem with the argument is that the Torah isn’t just saying, this is a probable thing, the Torah is claiming that an actual event happened in this world’s history. If that’s a true, then we need more than an argument that says whether such an event was probable.

    I’ll get back to Jim’s statements, there is just so much to respond to. BTW I wasn’t meaning to imply derision towards him when I responded the way I did, it was just that his saying that Paul is the source of the Christian redemptive experience, and not Jesus, would be like saying, that the rabbis (those who transmitted the message of Torah to your ancestors, and your generation post Sinai) are the real source of your experiences, and not G-d. Nobody would argue that you were literally alive during Sinai, or that you Dina, or I, were alive thousands of years ago during the Exodus. We know we have things by received traditions, and that there is a degree of faith.

    • Dina says:

      Con, if you reread Jim’s comments you will see that his arguments are based purely on reason and have nothing to do with faith. Also, if you read them more carefully, you will see that your statement that “his saying that Paul is the source of the Christian redemptive experience, and not Jesus, would be like saying, that the rabbis (those who transmitted the message of Torah to your ancestors, and your generation post Sinai) are the real source of your experiences, and not G-d” is patently absurd.

      If upon rereading you do not see this, please let me know and I will clarify (or perhaps Jim will if he has the time and inclination).

      Best wishes,
      Dina

    • Dina says:

      Con, don’t be silly, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a parody religion, a satire, to show why religion in general and Christianity in particular is stupid. The satire is funny, I’ll grant you that, but satire about religion has been replicated loads of times. Nothing original here. This is not an actual religion.

      (I know its adherents insist it’s a real religion, but everything their “prophet” Bobby Henderson says is obviously tongue-in-cheek.)

      It’s getting hard to take you seriously, Con!

      • You are judging as patent absurdity things which you don’t already believe and hold as true. You are judging as satire something which people say they believe. If you can’t actually listen to or accept at face value what people say or explain that they believe, that’s called Self validation of your belief and judging others with preconceived notions. There is nothing illogical about my comments about what Jim said. The only generations that can claim to know with 100% certainty the facts of a revelation claim are the ones who witnessed it first hand, that’s why we today are only able to call our beliefs faith claims. All the rest believe at best in the plausibility of the truth that the revelation occurred. It’s hard to take you seriously because your arguments rest on non testable, non verifiable, evidences which you say it is absurd to compare to anything that doesn’t precisely conform to the exact nature of your unique claim. Contra your assertions, it is not illogical to compare the national exodus Sinai claim (a historical event) to any other nationally experienced historical event. To suggest otherwise is to beg the question.

        The NT does not say anywhere that James, John, or Peter,(the actual disciples in authority over the community) saw Paul as a false teacher, or doubted his revelation experiences. Rather it says that SOME people from among James’ congregation doubted Paul. The text notes issues were resolved after the council at Jerusalem. The issue around Paul’s message was the question about whether gentiles had to convert to Judaism or not. Some later Jewish Christians among the Ebionites were sure that Paul was false,because they held the necessity of full conversion of Gentiles to Judaism before Knowing and believing in Jesus but Paul was only a conveyer of Jesus’ teachings, who told people about his life, death and resurrection. The text says that Paul received revelation, and then went to Jerusalem to check his message and revelation with those who were disciples and did literally know Jesus. Paul also stayed observant (as evidenced by his vow.) I’m not taking Jim’s statements seriously because he is cherry picking to discredit the text and acting like Jesus did nothing because Paul was the messenger. I responded in kind by noting that he wasn’t at Sinai, how does he know? It’s unkind, and an extremely biased reading of the text, that presupposes the falsehood of all Christian experience beforehand. Not too mention his extremely rude judgement of my motives for believing, questioning my sincerity, etc.

        I’m sorry Dina if you find my responses objectionable.

        Concerned Reader

        • Sharbano says:

          I would contend that Thanksgiving never existed. It’s was made up a couple generations ago.

        • Jim says:

          Con,

          I do not recall calling you insincere, nor judging your motives at all. I have only evaluated the truth claims of the Church and your specific claims regarding a “redemptive experience”. The fact that you sincerely believe what you believe does not make it true.

          I know a woman who sincerely believes that she has had past lives, which she has reexperienced through hypnosis. She “knows” that these past lives are true, because she gets goosebumps. The fact that she is sincere does not mean that the goosebump test is a valid way to test truth. I recommended she look into whatever records she could find that might support her claim (for example her previous life was in Kansas, so records might be possibly extant). Of course, she didn’t care to check. She knew her “experiences” were true. That’s fine. That’s her business, not mine.

          The same goes for you. If you don’t care to hear that the Christian faith is not true, I won’t come to your door and tell you. No evangelist, I. However, if you are here, you are entering an arena where the truth of Christianity is being discussed. Here you must expect an honest criticism of that faith system, particularly since it so abuses the Torah.

          (I do not know what Sinai would have to do with this at all. I made no claim to a “redemptive experience” at Sinai. I, accepting your definition that the “redemptive experience” of the gentile world means being taken away from false gods and becoming devoted to the One True God, have only stated that my “redemptive experience” is coming away from Jesus and being directed to God. I am only adopting your term. It is not one I would employ.)

          Nor do I see any cherry-picking. But even if I were cherry-picking, I do not know how you or any Christian can complain. You have justified the cherry-picking of the Church many times, constantly appealing to sects to whose philosophy you do not hold. If I have cherry-picked (and your assertion does not make it so), I am no more guilty of it than the Church. Inasmuch as your own theology is built upon removing the words of the Torah and Prophets from their context, I see no way in which you can complain.

          Everything I wrote was from Paul’s own testimony. I didn’t misrepresent anything he wrote. I did not alter the meaning of his words in any instance that I am aware. Nor did I purposely massage the text to make my point. If I erred, it was an honest error.

          Jim

        • Dina says:

          Hi Concerned Reader,

          You wrote, “You are judging as satire something which people say they believe. If you can’t actually listen to or accept at face value what people say or explain that they believe, that’s called Self validation of your belief and judging others with preconceived notions.”

          If you can’t tell the difference between a joke and a real religion, then I don’t know what to say! The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a joke, it’s not a real religion. Are you being serious?

          http://spaghettimonster.com/bobby-henderson/

          Just a small excerpt to demonstrate:

          “The Flying Spaghetti Monster gave Captain Mosey the stone slabs containing the “Ten Condiments” in Mt. Salsa. However, the Pirate Captain dropped two of slabs on his way down, leaving only eight I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts” that we know now. These commandments are the ultimate guide in living how a true follower of the Spaghetti Monster should live. They address issues of everyday behavior, sexuality, and dealing with people who don’t believe in the Spaghetti Monster. Bobby Henderson used these commandments to summarize his criticisms of extreme and closed minded religiosity.”

          You really think that the fact that I see this as satire means “self validation of [my] belief and judging others with preconceived notions”? Seriously?

          !!!

          I’ll try to respond to the other stuff later, if I have time, but I just had to write and say, really, sir!

          • Dina, :) i know it’s a satirical joke religion, no worries. The honest reason I posted that response to you was to illustrate a point, and I think I made it. I blasted many unfounded knee jerk statements, and pointed to a skin deep definition of faith failing to distinguish between honest faith and satire. All the while, apparently judging your intentions, and comparing a well meaning well thought out rational religion to a joke religion. You then went out of your way to go learn the deep difference to show the real difference between the serious grounded spirituality and the joke religion by posting, and no doubt reading about the real difference.

            When Judaism says Christianity is a hodgepodge of Judaism and polytheism it says “how silly and irrational these Christian people must be. They are joking right? Do they believe this? I know Torah, I don’t really need to know in depth what the Christian faith really means when it says things.” “They accept my position as true, therefore the dialogue starts and ends there.”

            As you can no doubt tell, we jump to cheap conclusions and character judgements when we do things like that. A superficial similarity is just that, and nobody can rightly judge anyone as insincere based on a cursory understanding.

            Be well Dina, sorry if that was too traumatic or theatrical, just wanted you to get a sense of the feeling I get when I hear things like “I don’t really need to learn this.”

          • Dina says:

            Concerned Reader, it wasn’t traumatic or theatrical–it was dishonest and beneath you. You disappoint me.

            But be that as it may. You have actually confirmed my point about rejecting the Christian claim. You mentioned a joke religion. I looked it up and saw at once that it was a joke religion. I did not need to study it and examine its proof texts and try to understand all its nuances. It was so immediately apparent that it was a farce.

            The same with Christianity. A cursory examination reveals that its claims are false. Since its claim is about Judaism and I know Judaism, then I know at once it’s false without a careful, deep study.

            You accuse me of jumping to cheap conclusions. Jim told you yesterday that perhaps your own conclusions were hasty; you were not okay with that. You think it’s fine to say that we are shallow and superficial in our thinking, but we can’t say that you are. Methinks I see a double standard.

          • Dina says:

            Con, you have still not responded to Rabbi Blumenthal or Jim in a direct and meaningful way. You have also not addressed many of my points.

            Looking forward to your responses,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Con, one more thing. You wrote that “we [read: you] jump to cheap conclusions and character judgments.” I have said this to you before and I will say it again: we are not judging anyone’s character. We are simply examining your claim. Stop taking it so personally!

          • Yedidiah says:

            Jesus, according to the NT, accepted the revelation at Sinai and much of the Hebrews writings, considered as sacred writings by both Jews and Christians, after that. Was Jesus knowledgable about the events at Sinai and the Exodus or did he just accept it on faith? Either way, any claims that he made contradicting or adding to Torah, would require as much or greater evidence than what Torah provides of its events. Any claims that he made would have had to have been justified with extraordinary evidence. Enough evidence or reasons to satisfy the majority (at least a large minority – much more than the very few that the NT claims, insufficiently, were convinced by his words and deeds) that he argued with or presented his claims to. Otherwise, his claims can justifably be ignored. In fact, to reject his claims (or other’s claims about him) is required by Torah.

            If Jesus could read Torah (and if he accepted it as valid), he most likely could write (perhaps better than some ordinary tax collector or itenerant physician or others that the NT claims wrote some other writings about Jesus). Did he write anything? If not, why not if he wanted a better quarantee that his words would last (if he felt them worthy enough to last) and not be corrupted? Why would he haphazardly leave his words to be little more than hearsay or rumor or gossip by unknown chroniclers writing with questionable motives at untold years, decades, or even centuries later?

            If he knew Torah, as it is claimed by faith, did he provide adequate justification from the Torah for unknown individuals to claim a seemingly unholy or pagan birth for him (or why hasn’t the writer justified his claim)? If he or others claimed that God became man, have they adequately justified what is an apparent contradiction (and perhaps a blasphemous claim?) of the Tanach (God saying that he is not a man)? Did Jesus or some later unknown author claim that drinking human (or god?) blood and eating human flesh was not only valid, but promoted by Torah (even if only symbolic, it promotes what many reasonable people would consider a disgusting or absurd ritual). Some people feel sacrifices of animals is wrong, is it not more morally repugnant to suggest a human die as a sacrifice (beside being an idea that Torah/Tanach rejected as unholy)? There is little if any credible evidence that the Jesus of the NT existed, so it is more appropriate that the claims in the NT be rejected until greater justification, than a desire to believe, is presented to overcome it’s problems.

        • Eric Krakofsky says:

          Concerned reader, good points C !

    • Dina says:

      Okay, Con, let’s examine the proof the Torah offers versus the proof that Christianity offers.

      The Torah in Deuteronomy 4 tells us that the uniqueness of our claim points to its truth and predicts that no other entity will make that claim. Whether you agree with the Torah or not that the uniqueness points to its truth (astonishing that you don’t, given that Christians are supposed to accept the Torah as the word of God) is irrelevant. It is undeniable that our claim is unique and that no other religion has made such a claim. So at least that much we know is true.

      Christianity points to the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus had promised his resurrection as a sign to the Pharisees yet he failed to appear to them. Furthermore, resurrection is not a terribly impressive event. It occurs several times throughout Tanach, which also promises a mass resurrection of the dead at the end of days. Therefore, the resurrection of Jesus is not undeniable, nor is it unique. So at least we can’t know for certain whether the resurrection happened or not.

      I made so many points that I can’t keep track of them! You didn’t respond to my point about the Exodus. Or my point about the very low standard you have for Christianity that is at least matched by Judaism, if you won’t accept the Torah’s standard.

      • Again Dina, Christians are not accepting the Torah for the same exact reason as you are, ( an acceptance based on the uniqueness of the claim supposedly pointing to its truth.) We know that Nations rise and fall all the time.

        The notion that a group of suffering or enslaved people get set free from slavery and become a nation is not odd or unprecedented at all. That such an occurrence is likened to some kind of providence or favor of G-d by those who it happens to, is also not unique at all. (In fact such an occurrence may have been plausible because similar events have happened before though not alike in detail.)

        As rabbi B mentioned, he couldn’t accept the statements of Jesus’ students regarding his supposed resurrection, because the only witnesses were those who were already devoted to him beforehand. Israel as a nation was already devoted to belief in G-d well before the the giving of the Torah, so according to rabbi Bs own reasoning the Torah is subject to this objection too, and we should at least suspend judgement on the truth or falsehood of the claims made, until such time as it is demonstrated as true.

        I have no doubt that Jesus and his students believed in Sinai by faith, but if you use one standard on a book that claims to be authoritative like Torah (the gospels), the same standard applies to your claims and the claims of Torah. Rabbi B and yourself have said that the unique unrepeated non replicated Jewish claim of national revelation, and the promise the Torah makes that it will stay that way, shows likelihood that it is true. There have been similar events in history, though not similar in every detail. You say that those events cannot be likened to Sinai, may I ask why? Those similarities with real concrete historical events like Hiroshima, may serve to reinforce the plausibility of your claims as opposed to discredit them.

        I hope for a better explanation offered than that those claims aren’t identical in every detail. The Torah is making very real claims about very real history, so I’m not wrong in questioning both the Torah and new testament from that standard am I? What is inconsistent about that? You are assuming as part of your claim that the chains of traditional testimony about the events are trustworthy, as rabbi B said, nations don’t lie about national experiences. Please Demonstrate that this is true, I would say it isn’t.

        Christians accept the Bible, but they don’t rely on the unique national claim that you do exclusively to believe that such events as Sinai happened or are plausible. We examine Torah’s claims in the light of wider history, prophecy, and shared experience. Jews in second temple times did not have one agreed upon theological notion about G-d, (this is historically certain) it is then likely that they also had several different approaches for judging the truths of history, just as we do today. National revelation is a claim Torah makes, but you wouldn’t just accept that claim if you didn’t already believe it. You would request demonstration of validity, just as you do of the New Testament. It may well be likely that both books are false, I’m not certain, but I need more than just a unique claim made by the people who already believe as true the claim they are seeking to prove.

        • Sharbano says:

          ” It may well be likely that both books are false, I’m not certain, but I need more than just a unique claim made by the people who already believe as true the claim they are seeking to prove.”

          This is Not the premise you are trying to convince us of. We are examining a comparison, Torah vs Xtianity. The entire premise is because of what is written in Torah, that No nation throughout history will claim a “national revelation”. That should be a preposterous claim to make, especially to say, No Nation will ever do so. Because it is written in such a way it requires the nation of Israel to use This as a guide to determine whether or not any religion upcoming is valid or not. Whether You believe a national revelation is of no consequence since it is directed to the Jewish nation. It is why No Jew should Ever follow Xtianity. Otherwise they have forsaken Torah, which time after time the prophets spoke against.

          • So Jews must only listen to Jews about what Jews believe to be historically accurate? Isn’t G-d able to speak directly to all nations, and all nations able to call on him without the necessity of your mediation?

          • Sharbano says:

            Yes, that’s the purpose of the Rabbis. As David HaMelech wrote, G-d did not give the understanding to any other nation.

        • Dina says:

          Con, you are not responding to anything I wrote, just repeating the same arguments you made in the past.

          If I have the time, I will try to explain again the argument because although you say you get it, based on your response and your comparison to Hiroshima, I can see that you don’t understand the argument. Rabbi B. responded to your Hiroshima comparison already.

          In the meantime, I’ll just say this:

          Let’s say I agree that our claims need outside sources for verification. I don’t, but for the sake of argument, let’s just say.

          You offer as proof the historically verifiable facts that Jesus existed and was crucified and that the pagan world moved away from polytheism.

          In so doing, you pretend that Judaism has no historically verifiable facts, like the fact that a Jewish nation existed many centuries before Jesus and which introduced ethical monotheism and belief in an invisible God to the world, a radical belief held by no other culture, at least no other culture that they came into contact with.

          I don’t think we need to rely on historically verifiable facts to support our claims, but since you do, then, yes, it’s inconsistent to assert that Christianity’s claim is stronger because of outside facts when the same standard can be applied to Judaism. It’s a very low standard, by the way. For example, it’s historically verifiable that Mohammed existed and that he moved a different side of the world away from polytheism (a point you have yet to counter).

          Finally, if you think the Exodus never happened, could not have happened, you have wiped out the foundation for both of our religions–another point among the many you have yet to address.

          • Dina I have countered your continual bringing up of Muhammad several times.

          • I never said that the exodus didn’t happen, I said that your argument for it and national revelation can only demonstrate a probability that it happened, and that this is not the same thing as proving that something did happen in history. You don’t have other evidence like you would for other real historical events. It’s your prerogative to say you don’t need it, but that means your arguing from personal faith. I understand your argument that if Sinai was just a myth then the whole claim would have been replicated elsewhere, but I find it unpersuasive, that’s not the same thing as denying the event. There is no knowing that this unique claim couldn’t arise, (whether it did or not, it would only demonstrate that the claim is unique, not that it’s true.

          • Dina says:

            Which is more probable, that the entire nation fabricated a revelation from God or that a few men fabricated the story of a resurrected Jesus which they reported 47 days later than the event was supposed to have been transpired with no resurrected savior to show for their efforts?

          • Dina says:

            Con, instead of repeating myself, here’s Rabbi B.’s comment to you about this:

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/isaiah-53-micah-7-and-isaiah-62/#comment-13783

  56. Concerned Reader
    In your response to Jim you wrote (and I assume that you were describing my attitude because Jim hasn’t really discussed these issues) That I reject your comparison of Sinai to Hiroshima because it doesn’t “precisely conform to the exact nature of your unique claim. Contra your assertions, it is not illogical to compare the national exodus Sinai claim (a historical event) to any other nationally experienced historical event. To suggest otherwise is to beg the question.”
    May I humbly request that you try to understand what I am saying before shooting back. I heard your arguments and I responded to them – please read and consider what I wrote. I appreciate that you have studied this subject for many years – so have I.
    I will give you a little parable to help you see why your comparison is invalid – imagine a group of people claiming that they met the president – 10 of them say that they received a private phone call from the president and one says that he met the president in a nationally televised ceremony – you know for a fact that only one can be telling the truth – I come to the conclusion that the one claiming the nationally televised meeting is more likely to be telling the truth (or he is a more audacious liar) without getting into the question as to whether my conclusion is correct or not please bear with me – would it be appropriate for you to disprove with my conclusion by showing me that there are other nationally televised events?
    Do you understand what I am trying to say?

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      ypfriend, I don’t know what you wanted to suggest by asking who are God’s people? But
      Zeh 2;14-15 tells you that many nations will join themselves to Hashem and they will become people unto Him.
      Also you didn’t answer the question how according to Is 61;1 the spirit of God is upon you and has anointed you…

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      ypfriend, you mentioned in your article verse by verse that that the sufferings and persecutions are God’s will for Israel ( for whatever reasons you mentioned) , that God chose to pour His wrath on you ( the servant) . If it is God’s will according to you, why blaming anybody else for anything ?? The servant in Is 53 submitted himself to God’s will, didn’t complain ( didn’t open his mouth) he knew it had to be done. You are not matching the description. Is 53 is simply not about you. No disrespect , just clarifying.

      • Sharbano says:

        You keep making the mistake by trying to apply it to a single individual at a single point in time. The reason the nations are going to be astonished is they will understand this encompasses generations. Tell me the Shoah wasn’t people being led to a slaughter and didn’t say a word. Six million certainly isn’t insignificant. There was one thing said at the Wannsee conference.It was a question of why it was all necessary since the Jews were assimilating at such a rapid rate that in a generation or two there wouldn’t be any more Jews left. Out of that situation has came an explosion of Torah Jewry. During the time of the Six-Day war there were many leaders who didn’t expect Israel to survive. They even mentioned that they would take in the few remaining that Did survive. They were wholly astonished when it became the Six-Day war. Without the knowledge of Jewish history it is impossible to understand the context of Isaiah 53. Have you ever seen the anti-semitic pictures that have been drawn over the centuries, or even the ones during Germany’s time. They show images of a marred, ugly person. The Arabs use these images consistently when depicting Jews. Xtianity is so obsessed with painting Jsus into the picture they cannot see beyond that. If this was such an important time in history why wouldn’t G-d be more explicit in his words to the prophets as Amos 3 and revealing such.

        As we have seen during the War No doubt this is one of the reasons G-d dispersed the Jews after the Romans came into power. He certainly knew that the Gentiles would be ever vigilant in their attempts to extinguish the Jewish nation (Am Yisrael Chai).

        • Eric Krakofsky says:

          Sharbano, Ok, let do it the other way. We don’t expect all ‘servant’ were to fulfill all the verses in Is 53 and other songs of servants. But the facts were listed in Is 53 verse by verse and had to happen because they were written to IDENTIFY the servant. So we have a servant A fulfilling verse 7, a servant B experiencing disaster in verse 8, maybe a group of servants together CDEF went through the events in v9, G was praying according to v 12, maybe H was dying with the criminals and the wealthy in his death, BUT upps … servant Y ( Yeshua ) looks weird and has to be excluded as he claims to bring a different healing we expected, and well still I don’t know who is the anointed one in Is 61;1, ??

          • Sharbano says:

            Oh come on now, give me a break. You’re just being ridiculous now. They weren’t written to IDENTIFY the servant. Jews Know who the servant is and have known.
            To put this to rest Isaiah 53.8

            “Now that he has been released from captivity and judgment, who could have imagined such a generation? For he had removed from the land of the living, an affliction upon THEM that was my people’s sin.”
            THEM is used along with HE. Is Jsus a “Them” or is this them the trinity and all three were on the cross.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Sharbano, As far as the v 8, even Tanakh Jerusalem translation doesn’t put that verse in plural along with many others . And the other translations even using plural word from didn’t apply it to the way Stone Edition is putting.

            You are discarding my saying that the servant is IDENTIFIED, well if there were no ‘distinctives’ about him, we might as well put the whole nation for doing the mission in Is 53 .
            The words in servant songs are for a reason and many are not matching the nation. If the servant is described as suffering he had to go through the ‘suffering’, if he is described as ‘cut off from the land of the living, or dead , he can’t stay alive, if he was to be put with the transgressors, he was not to be put on the list of honored ones, etc, so are all other points to be met including Is 61;1.

          • Sharbano says:

            To which translation are you referring. This is my point in another post. In some ways it may attributable to laziness, or maybe someone was attempting to make the text more uniform using the singular. It really does a disservice to anyone who doesn’t understand Hebrew and is left with only a translation. The word used there is (למו ) which is them. So, it doesn’t matter what a translator wants to use but the Hebrew word is what it is.

    • Yes rabbi, that parable would be convincing except for one important detail. The group that says that they saw the president during a nationally televised ceremony, when pressed by others who didn’t see it, to produce the film demonstrating the reality of their claims, is saying “we are the only ones ever to be uniquely claiming that we met the president on a televised broadcast, we don’t need to give you the tapes. You accept that the president goes on TV don’t you? The uniqueness of what all of us together are saying demonstrates that our claim is plausible enough to be true because we wouldn’t lie.”

      If you could produce outside unbiased evidence, (the tape) then your comparison of Sinai to meeting the president on nationally televised broadcast would have some merit. I can go to any library to demonstrate the reality of any claim to meeting the president on national TV, because that claim is verifiable, and does not rely on private testimony. Such claims are open to cross examination. One televised broadcast is no different from any other. I can study many different national televised broadcasts to determine the consistency.

      • Sharbano says:

        Lawrence Kelleman has an interesting argument regarding this.

        • Dina posted this lecture already and I responded to it. Here is my response.

          Below is a paraphrase of some of rabbi kellermans main points with my responses interspersed throughout.

          G-d spoke to one man, Abraham. (I thought to myself, ok this is classic revelation narrative.) Then G-d spoke to one man, Isaac, (ok classic myth.) Jacob, etc. then I read Exodus, parsha yitro. 600,000 male Jews heard G-d speak. (600,000 people who already believed in the existence, revelation, and providence of G-d.) This is the first problem with rabbi kellerman’s argument. According to apple white theorem, people with charismatic leaders will believe anything, (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.) even if in every other area, they will behave rationally.) The argument isn’t G-d forbid that the Jewish people were somehow idiots, the issue is that they were already prone to accept belief in the very concept in question. They are already saturated with a traditional belief, even a family oriented belief, a belief which according to rabbi kellerman’s own words initially started with one man.

          “Every single member of the heavens gate cult had an undergraduate degree” People are gullible, especially given a charismatic leader. People will BELIEVE ANYTHING, AS LONG AS THE LIE CANNOT BE CHECKED. (Here is where the second problem lies. We do not have independent evidence demonstrating the veracity of the events that the Torah describes. (Such as archaeology, impartial records, etc.) Therefore, the claim cannot be checked independent of Jewish testimony.

          Rabbi kellerman also assumes from the start that the national revelation claim arose all at once without discord either in the past, the present, or the future. He says the theory can go one of 3 ways. Your ancestors (the nation) heard G-d speak, You heard G-d speak, or you will hear him speak. The fallacy is in assuming a once in time linear progression or occurrence of this claim. There is no knowing for sure whether or not the claim of national revelation arose all at once. Rabbi kellerman even admits that the past theory, and to a lesser extent present theory, could theoretically account for Judaism ‘s existence, though he believes this is unlikely.) Further, the Torah itself shows the likelihood, and even the fact that the entire nation as a whole rejected the claim, and only a faithful remnant accepted it.

          Further, it states that they later forgot, and only still later, a faithful king and remnant restored it to glory. Ezra also had to do the same with the exiles. Rabbi kellerman counters this objection by noting the clear chain of transmission with a rather impressive list of teacher to student relationships. He says there is no other view. I would counter his point by saying that an oral transmission carries with it all the elements of human discourse including disagreements, and we have clear unambiguous evidence of these other perspective traditional claims in the Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes, Nazarenes, etc. we have documented historical disagreements between Jews about fundamental issues of law and authority.

          The other issue, as I pointed out, was the intermittence of national revelation. Not all prophecy was validated that way all the time consistently according to scripture. The final issue I’ve noted is with the claim itself of one national unbroken chain of transmission and thus the implied authority of one group of interpreters. The problem I have with this claim is that the Sadducees and priests made this exact same claim to being the authoritative biblical interpreters in the late Hasmonean and on into the rest of the second temple period. They were roundly criticized and refuted by the Pharisees on this exact issue of whether anyone holds that kind of authority over the people of Israel.

          Finally, Rabbi Kellerman rests his acceptance of the Torah, “what he calls the bomb” on the unique nature (and so therefore supernatural) nature of the claims of Judaism. If the claim were just natural, it would be repeated. Christians claimed the experience of G-d speaking to them in a clearly defined unique supernatural and personal way, to communicate his will. Jews have attempted to show pagan parallels and thus the non uniqueness of Christianity, parallels which I have shown elsewhere to be based on a skin deep understanding of what we teach, and an understanding which does not account for or take seriously how we understand and define what is stated by us. In regards to data, the only religion to make claims even approaching similarity (beyond skin deep resemblance) is Judaism itself. When all the data is considered, and people call Christian or Jewish religious experience into question, it invariably damages the credibility of both claims substantially.

          • Sharbano says:

            Then by default, Xtianity has even Less claim to validity.

          • Sharbano says:

            “Christians claimed the experience of G-d speaking to them in a clearly defined unique supernatural and personal way, to communicate his will”

            This is a non-sequitur when comparing an event to a feeling. This experience claim is Not unique. Many religions speak to experiencing something. Why not follow Yoga then. It is considered very uplifting.

            This begs one question. Why? What is the purpose of accepting such a religion. In order to answer that a person has to depart from Torah, hence Xtianity and Judaism do Not coexist.

          • Sharbano says:

            Another matter. How can Xtianity be based upon Torah when any observance of Torah has been removed. Does Xtianity keep Shabbat. This was an eternal Sign between Hashem and the Jewish Nation, never to be abrogated. Xtianity has made swine flesh kosher. Xtianity says sacrifices have ended but then does Yechezkel reinstate them, sin sacrifice and all. The list can go on and on. So, how can Anyone say Xtianity is “based” on Torah. It does nothing but nullify it.

          • Do noachides observe Shabbat Sharbano? Your own religion shows and posits the existence of righteous people of many nations who are not affiliated to the Torah narrative or Sinai or Judaism at all. I’m not saying no revelation from Sinai was possible, that it didn’t happen, I’m saying that its truth does not depend exclusively, nor should it, on the claim as Judaism presents it. It goes together with historical experience, prophesy, etc . The religion existed before Moses, before Sinai. Many different things work together in scripture to show the message as true. According to this site, the Christian bible does not present Jesus as against Torah observance. In that case, why can’t he be trusted (at least by Gentiles) in light of the fact that through his teachings we left polytheism? Before you say Muhammad did the same, I would respond that Islam’s entire perception of G-d presupposes that he is not directly involved, but only his angels. Our text believes in the Torah and supports your duty to observe it, but doesn’t confine it’s veracity to the unique claim argument.

            Why not keep Yoga? Yoga doesn’t even involve a divinity. Why not hinduism? Because hindium supposes that oneness negates a notion like divine will or commandments. I’m not trying to tell you to leave Judaism, I am defending the fact that I read a bible and follow a faith that is not necessarily against your position, but you want to see it gone! You want me to be a halachic noachide,without Jesus, but that would be a step backwards.

          • Sharbano says:

            What??? Noachides are Not Jews nor are they Xtian. But your contention is that Xtianity is based upon Judaisn and furthers it and doesn’t abrogate it then Xtians should be adhering to Torah. But Shabbat Was given as a sign between Hashem And the Jewish nation alone. Isn’t it interesting that Xtianity forsook Shabbat for Sunday instead. The Muslims have taken Friday for their Shabbat and now we have the Jews alone with Shabbat between two other religions. As Hashem said,, it is a Sign. If Xtianity and Judaism were basically “One” they would have the same Shabbat, but early on they split, and Did they ever split. It is a “Sign” that Xtianity and Judaism are separate and unequal.

            “I’m not saying no revelation from Sinai was possible, that it didn’t happen, I’m saying that its truth does not depend exclusively, nor should it, on the claim as Judaism presents it”

            You are dismissing the importance of that revelation. Torah defines its importance. Moshe said the people would not believe him. G-d says THIS is how they will believe that G-d sent Moshe. It is one of thee most important events in Jewish history. It is when the “Nation” said with One voice, we will do and we will listen. If it weren’t for that there would be no Torah today.

            If you want to assert Xtianity left polytheism, but maybe not idolatry I assert, then at what cost. To the death of millions of Jews. What does it say about the faithful Xtians of today that are anti-semitic. Before you say “it’s not all, or a majority” so it has been in the past. Countries throughout history have wooed the Jews and then turned on them and it was predicated on Xtian writings. If G-d would sanction a religion why would it not be explicit in Not doing such acts. We have learned it takes very little to inflame public perceptions.

            Since Hashem worked with the prophets there should be evidence that Gentiles would bring righteousness to the nations. It Does say in Isaiah that it is the dispersed of Israel who will bring “My glory to the nations”.

  57. Jim

    Con,

    Because Christianity bases itself on Judaism, you have things all mixed up. You have indicated that people here have too superficial a view of Christianity. Dina has countered that because she knows Torah, she doesn’t need to know Christianity all that well to judge its claims.

    If details of how Christians read scripture and understand scripture are ignored in favor of rhetoric, then you do need to know more.

    From your response to her, it seems to me that you don’t understand the point. And I would ask you to consider that you too hastily accepted Christianity. You also too hastily accepted Torah, and in fact only accepted it in a limited fashion, not according to its content, but according to your biases based on your Christianity. I ask you to consider that your view of Torah is superficial, and that you were unqualified to accept either Torah or Christianity at the time that you did.

    You assume Jim that I have not studied the halachic perspectives, Jewish history, Jewish philosophy, etc. assumptions of which are all unfounded and incorrect. I have sometimes made errors, which I have retracted.

    I am certain you understand that in evaluating the truth of the claims of Torah and the claims of the Church, there are only three valid outcomes, logically speaking. And these are related to the claims of Torah, because the Church has claimed that it fulfills the Torah. Therefore, our outcomes look like this:

    1. Torah is true, and Christianity is true.
    2. Torah is true, and Christianity is false.
    3. Torah is false, and Christianity is false.

    There is no outcome that reads: “Torah is false, and Christianity is true”; because Christianity affirms Torah. If Christianity is true, Torah is true. So “Torah is false, and Christianity is true” is an impossible outcome.

    Because this is true, one can investigate the claims of Christianity in a limited fashion to determine if it is true by comparing the claims of Christianity in light of Torah. I call this “limited,” because this can be done without knowing if Torah is true.

    Because The NT teaches Torah is true, Torah can indeed be used as a guide to determining truth, this is true. The problem is though that the Torah itself is a text which can and does accommodate several very different meanings while still not betraying the spirit and content of the text.

    But it won’t necessarily tell us if Christianity is true, only that it is possible.

    I call this “limited,” because this can be done without knowing if Torah is true.

    All of the biblical claims (Christian or Jewish) can only be demonstrated as possible, or probable, because of the way the claims and proofs are structured, they only demonstrate probabilities of events occurring or having occurred. We weren’t there we don’t know accept through hearing. We don’t rest on archaeology alone.

    If I check Christianity’s claims in light of Torah, they might match up, but unless I know if Torah is true, then I cannot know if Christianity is true. But if they don’t match up, I already know that Christianity if false. I still won’t know if Torah is true or not.

    If Christianity turns out to be false as you say, even though it is closer to the present, and taken along with the evidence that It does reasonably have (such as evidence of Jesus’ existence, death on a cross, and formation of a faith movement,) what is the likelihood that an even grander claim of grander scale, further back in time is true, given that it is more difficult to cross examine as you have cross examined christianity?

    Even a limited investigation reveals that Christianity cannot be true. It simply is a different system than Torah.

    It appropriates some of Torah;

    Such as Ethics for god fearing Gentiles
    The Shema
    Jesus’ halachic disputes fit within a framework of second temple Jewish life.

    it rewrites other parts.

    It interprets other parts. Rewriting suggests nefarious intention which is entirely speculative.

    It demands sacrifices not demanded in the Torah.

    This requires interpretation, as sacrificial language in the NT is very often figurative. Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant churches have various understandings, The death of the righteous, as well as their service is often likened to sacrifice In Torah. Bread or meal could be brought as a sacrifice (the Eucharist is figuratively or mystically, never literally (in terms of human flesh and blood) applied to Jesus.

    It asserts a divine man in contravention of the Torah.
    No! That is your rhetorical perception you are imposing. Jesus in Christianity has a fully human (limited) existence, and a fully divine unlimited (expressed as incorporeal word or wisdom or personal revelation of the father) existence. Christianity understands and values incredibly the distinction between human and divine nature as essential to a proper theology.
    As an example
    Mormon corporealism is heresy
    Worshiping Jesus without reference to the father is heresy
    Treating Jesus as only human but invested with divine authority which only G-d can rightly be said to posses is heresy.
    Worship of saints or angels is heresy. (Even in Catholic doctrine.)

    It is a different philosophy, disguised as Torah, a wolf in sheep’s clothing if you will. And because this wolf has covered itself in a wool shawl, anyone who points to it greedy fangs is referred to its outer trappings.

    If it is disguised as Torah, you are presenting an is seems dichotomy, and you then prejudge assuming nefarious intent.

    “But Jesus supported the law. Not one jot, not one tittle. He affirmed the sh’ma.”

    Yes, yes he did. This eliminates to a degree your case for nefarious intent.

    Of course, the system of the Church has to be different than the Torah in some regard, or it would be absolutely unnecessary. Some might tell us that the NT was for the gentiles who did not have a Torah, but you and I know that this is silliness.

    It was silliness to a degree, until the faith spread to Gentiles and it was determined by the movement that full proselyte conversion to Judaism would not be required.

    Jesus was sent to “the lost sheep of Israel”. Moreover, the additions of the NT, based in the killing of an innocent man on behalf of the guilty is an idea foreign to God’s justice, a point which relates equally to Jew and non-Jew.

    The innocent suffer, prompting the contrition and subsequent reformation of the wicked. This is how the death of a righteous person atones.

    Augustine introduces the concept of ancestral guilt transmitted through generations, and Anselm the idea of Jesus’ death satisfying otherwise unquenchable wrath. Paul while using similar language maintains the importance and necessity of identity, maintaining societal roles, justice, and good deeds, as opposed to works (which clearly signify for Paul community membership such as forcing Gentiles to become Jewish.) He clearly views righteousness and action as necessary for salvation.

    The Church has had to invent ways to reconcile its innovations with Torah. Grasping at straws, they look for types and shadows. They denigrate Jewish learning of their own Torah. The impress meanings on passages that often directly oppose the meanings of the passages they quote.

    Aggadah often does the same thing to scripture in terms of ignoring context. Since Paul was preaching, and the gospels are for preaching, this is hardly odd.

    Is it possible that rather than nefariously inventing parallels and creating justifications, Christianity merely moved through a natural development from a halachic culture and context to a gentile context that necessitated describing certain unknown Jewish concepts in a way understandable and consistent with broader cultures?

    And this is no modern practice. You know as well as I that the same Augustine and Aquinas to whom you have appealed as great thinkers beyond the Strobel’s and McDowell’s of today, allegorized the Torah to press Christian doctrine upon it.

    This method was used by Philo who was himself an observant Jew.

    They try to wrap that shawl around themselves, but you can see their real hide through the holes.

    Speculation and prejudging

    Because the Church has so roundly abused the Torah to support its theology, one can see readily that Christianity is not true. It does not accord with Torah. It does not fulfill it. It abuses it horribly. It violates the philosophy of Torah. It pays lip service to Torah, but that is all. Mostly it warps Torah to fit its own agenda.

    This is why Dina does not need to study the contradictory (or, if you prefer, “nuanced”) writings of this or that Church father. She does not need to study Greek mythology and read deep analyses regarding the differences between Greek myth and Christianity. Christianity claims it fulfills Torah, with which she is intimately acquainted. She can see the differences between those two things quite clearly. She knows it can’t be true.

    Please consider that you accepted Christianity too hurriedly. Consider that you did not understand the Torah system before coming to the conclusion that Jesus was a part of it. Perhaps your own opinion was too hasty. Your superficial understanding of Torah allowed you to accept what you could not possibly have known.

    Please consider that I have studied Judaism quite a lot, attended services, and even considered conversion at one point. Keep your judgements for yourself.

    Consider also, that you put things out of order. You accepted Torah because you accepted Jesus.

    I did not place anything nefariously out of order. I walked through the door I had accessible to me to learn about scripture. I love the bible, and I also support the duty of Jews to the Torah.

    But that is to have things backward. You now have fallen into the trap that the Church has set itself. You cannot understand Torah, because you have to have it defined within Christian parameters. But Christianity is based on Torah, not the other way around. Determining Christianity is false does no damage to the credibility of Torah. It was either true or false years before Jesus was on the scene.

    You have not truly accepted Torah at all. You have accepted a dressed up wolf, and no matter how fetching that shawl may be on him, it isn’t a real sheep. You have accepted an imitation Torah, not the Torah itself. You will only be able to accept that once you investigate its claims independent of the claims of Christianity upon which it does not rely.

    • Sharbano says:

      If the church has erred in so many ways are you saying it is only you who have determined the truth. One question would have to be asked. Have you studied the entire Talmud or, have you studied Torah in the original Hebrew.

      How can Xtianity be based on Torah when Paul himself claims it to be old and defective.

      • I’m not claiming any absolute knowledge for myself. None of us can claim that, since our proofs and arguments themselves are based mainly on probabilities of the truth to begin with. As I mentioned to Dina, the existence of absolute truth, does not mean we humans posses absolute knowledge. The only one who does posses it is Hashem, and he’s the one who decides what he tells us, so even that knowledge of G-d received by revelation that we do posses is a relative knowledge of G-d.

        Paul claims the enmity between Jews and Gentiles embedded in the works of the law (not the commands of the law themselves) are old and defective. He preserves the covenant identity markers, Prohibitions, and G-d fearing ethics in all of his communities. He tells Jews to remain circumcised and in the station in which they were called (to maintain observance.) He says humans (Jews and gentiles are justified through faith, and faith is not just belief, or community membership, but faithfulness to G-d’s call.) Faithfulness to G-d does not necessitate being Jewish, or as Christians have forgotten, being Christian. A person can be righteous in any community that G-d finds him in.

        1 Corinthians 3 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk,(basic rudimentary things to do) not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?

        5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

        Paul tells Christians in the Corinthian letters that they ought not be arrogant or sure of their favor because they have been disobedient of rudimentary commands and guilty of acting like squabbling children. A clear reading of Paul shows that doing the deeds of Jesus faithfully is what Paul means by faith in Jesus.

        Whether knowledge of Hebrew is necessary or not is irrelevant as Hebrew itself is a context sensitive language where one word can have several different true primary meanings dependent on context. For example the difference between Adonai and adoni is all determined in the vowel pointing and context of verses. Texts with vowel points are already an interpretation done to the best of our ability. Elohim is another word with several correct primary meanings and things it refers to. I have studied portions of Talmud, I know it’s not simple or easy, and shouldn’t be studied without guidance. The same is true of Christian sources I would argue.

        • Sharbano says:

          You use a typical straw argument that is indicative of Xtianity. By using the word “absolute” it deflects from the original point.

          Paul says in Galatians that the law was a guardian and we are no longer under a guardian.

          I don’t see how a person can say an original language is irrelevant, because, it has allowed the variety of Chumash, whether Rashi, Ramban, Baal HaTurim, R’ Hirsch, among the ones I have, to show how encompassing Torah is. It is nothing like the Xtian text. Because Hebrew is truly a Living language, by its very ‘nature’, the words and letters spell much more than mere words alone. I rather like the way Rabbi Akiva Tatz describes it. The Torah doesn’t reflect reality it Creates reality, simply because it is Hebrew. This is a much deeper subject not possible to discuss here.

          Finally, those vowel points are there Because of an Oral Tradition. In fact you wouldn’t even be able to read it without an Oral Tradition.

          • Why can’t you discuss it here? It’s a fact that there are substantial differences in how Hebrew can be read by various rabbis, without any malicious towards the text. Your position is that a person can’t understand without Hebrew, my point was merely to note that even with Hebrew, or Greek for that matter, there are several possible extremely diverse readings, that do not betray the text.

          • Sharbano says:

            I Said why I can’t discuss it here. It’s a Very deep subject and without Torah knowledge IN Hebrew it cannot be understood.
            What substantial differences in the way Hebrew is read. In that respect it’s no different than any other language. A vav is a vav. If you are speaking of what the Rabbis bring down that was exactly my point in the various Chumash that I have. Without knowing Hebrew you cannot see the totality of Torah. This is why Xtianity has a superficial understanding of Torah. A Translation cannot capture all of that.

          • Sharbano that’s a copout. What do you mean incapable? Come on! Different rabbis translate the same Hebrew words in different ways in different Chumash. There is nothing mysterious about it.

    • Jim says:

      Con,

      I in no way indicated that you are totally ignorant of Torah. I wrote about the time and the manner in which you determined that Torah is true i.e. by accepting Jesus first. Where did I get such an idea? By your own testimony. That does not mean, of course, that you haven’t learned much Torah, history, Jewish philosophy, and what have you. But you have not started at the beginning, and so your understanding is confused. You have not built upon first principles.

      Any reading of Augustine and Aquinas will show that they suffer from the same problem. These are men who had to rework Torah to fit their theology. It is the method of the Church. I have already shown areas in which they show their faulty understanding of Torah. (Perhaps I am not so prejudicial as you assert.) As you know, the Torah was a big sticking point for Augustine in converting to Christianity. He just couldn’t believe that the Torah, which he saw as a rather backward book, could be true. The NT with its likeness to Platonism was much easier for him to accept. The teachings of Ambrose made the Torah more palatable to him. And then he had his big “redemptive experience,” which I would argue was nothing more than an emotional outburst brought on by a massive guilt complex instilled in him while he was young, and he came to Jesus. Now, he quotes the Torah all the time, but he only accepted it through the lens of the NT and the teachings of Ambrose. He did not have a good understanding of it from the start. He does not operate from first principles and so his understanding of the Torah is confused. Even as a Christian, his constant desire is to allegorize the Torah, because he could not see much value in it otherwise. He accepted by faith, because of his belief in Jesus, that it must have value, but he couldn’t see it himself. And therefore, one can say that regarding Torah, he was an ignoramus, though he could quote huge portions of it, because he had no real understanding of it.

      You think that I am prejudiced against Christianity. But I began as a Christian. I am not ignorant of Christian doctrine. I am not ignorant, for example, that Jesus is said to have a wholly human nature and a wholly divine nature. I never said otherwise. But Jesus was a man who walked on earth, not a divine being. The assertion by the Church that he was divine is a flight of fancy and a violation of Torah. As Dina has pointed out many time, and which you have regularly ignored, Jesus was not what the Jews experienced at Sinai, and worshipping anything not in line with that experience is avodah zara. I am fully aware of Christian “nuance” when it comes to its doctrines meant to justify their worship of a man. However, these are all confused notions meant to justify and explain the unjustifiable and the inexplicable. I know that the Christian does not worship Jesus qua man. But he was a man. The Christian asserts that he was divine, but that assertion is incorrect. They are no different than the man who worships an idol. The man does not bow to a statue qua rock but because he imagines some other spiritual power behind it.

      You say that you have retracted your errors. However, you have not retracted to my knowledge any of the following:

      1. You asserted that Jesus is just like Moses. I have shown that the exaltation of Jesus makes him completely unlike Moses. You did not retract.

      2. You corrected Devorah regarding the imminent return of Jesus. I showed that your interpretation neglected that Jesus said he was coming to judge. You did not retract.

      3. You misrepresented Maimonides in the same comment to Devorah, saying that he did not doubt that Jesus brought knowledge of God to the world. I showed that to be false. You did not retract.

      4. You have asserted that one cannot compare the modern Evangelical in their simplistic understanding to the great thinkers of the Church’s past, including Aquinas and Augustine. I have shown that neither has a sound understanding of Torah, including the absurd point Aquinas makes regarding the Torah’s ceremonial laws, which he tries to understand through the Roman goddess, Ceres. You did not retract (or counter).

      5. Dina has shown over and over that worshipping Jesus was not prescribed as Sinai. Any worship ascribed to him is a violation of the laws of avodah zara. You have not only not retracted; you have mostly ignored the point. (Do you think that we find the definition of avodah zara from the Torah or from studying pagan religions and looking for similarities?)

      6. You have argued that Jesus never drew attention to himself, but only to God. I showed that not only did he draw attention away from God to himself, but he overwrote Torah commands meant to commemorate acts of God to commemorate himself. You did not retract.

      Moreover, you have constantly cherry-picked your sources. You grab from Philo only because it fits your agenda. I may be mistaken, but I believe you even called his works a “tradition,” which is absurd. His writings are his opinions, his interpretations based on his hellenization. Opinion and tradition are two different things. You bring up the Dead Sea Scrolls ad nauseaum, not because you come from their tradition, but because you can turn them to your agenda. (As I write this, you might perceive it to mean that you do it with an intention to dishonesty. I do not. I mean that you argue incorrectly but not insincerely.) You appeal to their existence as if that implies their rectitude, which it does not. Your method isn’t sound. And when it has been shown that the abuse of scripture is not a sound practice, whether done by Essene or Christian, and that in fact you cannot tolerate such a style yourself for interpreting the NT or the writings of the Church fathers, you ignore such arguments only to hearken back to the existence of such works. Such appeals to authority are without merit.

      With respect,

      Jim

  58. Jesus, according to the NT, accepted the revelation at Sinai and much of the Hebrews writings, considered as sacred writings by both Jews and Christians, after that. Was Jesus knowledgable about the events at Sinai and the Exodus or did he just accept it on faith? Either way, any claims that he made contradicting or adding to Torah, would require as much or greater evidence than what Torah provides of its events. Why is that? Any claim should be subject to the same level of inquiry.

    Any claims that he made would have had to have been justified with extraordinary evidence. Enough evidence or reasons to satisfy the majority (at least a large minority – much more than the very few that the NT claims, insufficiently, were convinced by his words and deeds) that he argued with or presented his claims to. Otherwise, his claims can justifably be ignored. In fact, to reject his claims (or other’s claims about him) is required by Torah.

    Since when in the bible or history does the majority ever get things 100% right or judge righteously? Jesus did not violate the Torah, he supported it by your own words, was defended by Pharisees from Herod antipas, but was handed over to the Romans for execution by a group of pro roman priests without the proper procedures for his trial being met or followed.

    Yedidiah, it’s true that Jesus accepted and taught the Torah. We cannot jump to the conclusion however that he agreed in all the details with what is the modern Jewish interpretation in the way it is presently understood. We cannot retroactively inject teachings and claims found in the 2nd century redaction that is the Mishna into second temple religious life. There is no evidence that there was any agreement among Jews about the exact nature and authority of the oral Torah in the 1st century. (including the claims of one group’s authority that go with it.) Jesus supports pharisaic authority, that’s true, but we don’t know for sure what that acceptance meant for him or others at the time.

    • Yedidiah says:

      Yes, I agree, in this case the majority is & was wrong since Jesus did violate the Torah (according to his words or deeds the NT writers claim). Since Jesus (if he existed) did not write anything (that can be verified as his), “his own words” are based on speculation by unknown authors writing at unknown times. And these unknown authors often disagree, even when they supposedly use the other as a source (according to various hypotheses attempting to explain the “synoptic problem”). Since your arguments are often more probabilistically based on bias and personal prejudice, because of your faith, rather than on logic, reasoning, or common sense, it is not surprising that you choose to “side with” such a man as Herod Antipas” and perhaps even Pilate rather than with Pharisees and other Jews. There were indeed pro-Roman priests, who sided with Herod and Pilate. But according to Luke 23 (what are the other gospel verses that confirm this), Herod Antipas was glad to see Jesus (who he once thought was the resurrected John that he once so “reluctantly” beheaded). so it was strange that he would deliver Jesus back to Pilate to be executed. And strange how Pilate was so willing to relinquish his authority (maybe so he could later gain sainthood in the church). Strange how Romans & Herodians (enemies of Jews and Torah observant Pharisees or of God) come out “smelling like roses” in the NT, while “Jews are sons of the imaginary unJewish devil). Whitewash.

      So you speculate that Jesus accepted and taught the Torah. Then why does parts of the NT clearly reject what he and Torah taught? Maybe we can jump to the conclusion that the NT is anti-Jesus and the “real Jesus” was obfuscated by their propaganda. Based on “Rome’s” history of rewriting the stories of the gods and heroes of the people they conquered or ruled over.

      So Jesus agreed in all the details with the modern Christian “interpretation in the way it is presently understood”. “We cannot retroactively inject teachings and claims found in the 2nd century redaction” or initial writings of the Christian and non-Jewish and perhaps anti-Jewish writings into second temple religious life (it is worth remembering that there were several wars between Rome and Jews before 140 c.e., so it is not easy to assume that Roman Christian writings were not biased against Jews). There is no evidence that there was any great agreement among Christians about the exact nature and authority of Jesus in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th to 21st centuries c.e. Jesus, if he existed, supported pharisaic authority, so what that acceptance (or his disagreement with it) meant for him or others at the time is not totally speculation.

      Sorry, if I used too many of your words, since so very many of your arguments are more applicable to yourself than to those you argue against. Just change a few nouns around.

      • Your misunderstanding what I wrote Yedidiah

        • Yedidiah says:

          Maybe. Or maybe not. More and more I am beginning to believe that you misunderstand other posters who disagree with you, since I am able to understand most of what most of them say most of the time. Usually, besides thinking “with their heart”, they “think with their head” and make logical and reasonable arguments. But it seems not only do you misunderstand them, you misunderstand (or else try to deny) what the NT texts say and what some early Christians wrote what they felt about who Jesus was and what he meant to them.

          I believe you studied comparative religion (and what books you studied or where you took classes might give us a better idea of “where you are coming”), but it did not seem to give you a greater appreciation or understanding of those religions. I sense that you have quite a bit of hostility to “noachides”, Protestantism (especially “fundamentalism” especially if it’s adherents claim orthodoxy), Islam, and a Judaism which rejects what you want to claim as “2nd temple Judaism”. You did make me think that I had misread 10 years back (or had forgotten the essence of) Philo. But reviewing him again, no I did not misunderstand his philosophy. Philo was a hellenist and he did not influence Jews or Judaism much (except in Alexandria, later) and he could not have been influenced by Jesus nor would Jesus have been influenced by him. It might help you to review again the etymology and the history of the usage of such terms as “hellene” and pagan (as used by Jews) or “paganus”. One of the things you seem “hung up on” is polytheism. Monotheism is not the most important concept in later Hebrew or Jewish thought. And technically the concept of a “father in heaven and a divine son” is not monotheism, but we try to define those ideas as such.

          • Yedidiah, if I’m misunderstanding, it’s not intentional. I’m not misunderstanding purposely, But in some instances, I have reason not to accept certain premises of the arguments posted by others. I’m not so much dismissing the negative things that early Christians believed about Jesus, or what they said (such as replacement theology,) I’m noting that their rhetorical negative reading of Judaism is not a forgone conclusion, especially if Christians can separate the rhetoric from the ethics they are supposed to hold to as found in the text. Heaven forbid that I am saying that Christians have done no wrong, I would never say such things. I’m also not advocating an uncritical acceptance of everything Christians have ever said.

            I’m not hostile to Noachides, but have noticed that most of the seven mitzvot are prohibitions. This pointed out to me that noachide laws may not be the best option in terms of community that Judaism offers. I grant this is my perception, maybe misperception, but it seems difficult to find an active liturgical life in noachide communities. Dina has said that Islam is not noachide, but I don’t quite see where it lacks adherence to those seven commands. It is fully monotheistic, establishes courts, doesn’t advocate immorality, etc. in a cursory sense, it is noachide despite rejecting Torah. Christianity can understand the drive to serve G-d, and the impetus for the commands (love of G-d and the notion of one on one covenant.) I do not hate anybody. I was raised Protestant, but I do have a problem with any position that is not willing to evaluate, I can be wrong about many things, but I’m not doing it intentionally, and I’ve read the posts several times to understand.

          • Yedidiah says:

            Well, it seems pointless when one just go around in circles. You started off by seemingly promoting better inter-faith relations and “non-orthodoxy” (everyone thinks they are right and that’s wrong). But you soon were promoting Orthodox Christianity or what seemed like a modern, slightly more liberal version of orthodoxy. You had me defending protestantism & I suggested that if you had problems with them speak to them, not Jews. When Jews countered your views of Judaism with what they really believed, you essentially said that you knew better because they didn’t agree with the points you wanted to make about your faith’s foundation. I felt I knew what points you were trying to make with the issue of polytheism, various beliefs among Jews in the late 2nd temple period, DSS & Philo, etc. because I heard them often enough & used them, believed them myself before. I tried to show you why and where they were invalid (as did Jim) but I failed (maybe not). I even tried to point out where arguments that you were making were more applicable to your own claims than to those you were arguing against. To make certain points, you even brought up arguments made by bible sceptics and atheists about the Sinai experience, even though that means totally invalidating any claim about Jesus. Only until you could use it to validate some other point you were trying to make, did you say something like “that type of argument hurts Judaism & Christianity”. I don’t know how to say it, but perhaps substance is not as important as image. The Torah writers made extraordinary claims, but presented them in “epic proportions” before 2 “nations”. One must remember the differences between the places & times when the NT writers made extraordinary claims of deeds or miracles (and the text emphasizes witnesses, testimonies, etc), but often only before a very few (Mark often emphasizes secrecy -“tell no one”). Testimonies (like a ascension to heaven) before several of your “enemies” helps your cause more than trying to keep it hush-hush and only newsworthy before your friends & maybe a few bystanders. Someone asked “Why were gospels needed?” Feeding a few thousand people with only a little would have been news that would have spread like wildfire and remembered. A Roman Procurator (who had to see that food, water, clothing, medical care, etc were procured for several thousand Roman soldiers) would have been very, very interested in “hiring this guy and his guys” & protecting them.

            I don’t know much about noachides, but I occasionally visit a website or blog like http://noahide-ancient-path.co.uk. Most Noachides seem to like being noachides, just like quite a few Christians don’t go to Church (some say “Jesus didn’t start no church” and “he didn’t come to found no new religion”) and they don’t need liturgies and rituals. Reading and studying the bible as individuals or in a family or small communal group is “all God wants” they feel. Modern Noachide movements are modern and sometimes promoted by Jewish groups, so it wouldn’t apply to traditional Muslims. But what Muslims believe is not too far from what Christians believe (except for the Jesus thing, although there are Messianic Muslims, believers in Yeshua/Jesus). Liberal Muslims sometimes quote Surah 2:62,256[19] – “Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve…let there be no compulsion in religion”. They believe that all monotheistic religions or “people of the book” have a chance of salvation, which is what Orthodox Christians believe, I read somewhere.

  59. Jim says:

    Con,

    I can see no way in which following the Noachide Laws could be a step backward from Christianity. You are in a total contradiction. According to you, the point of Christianity is to bring the gentiles back to God. But the Noachide has already returned to God. He didn’t need Jesus to help him do that.

    And as I have pointed out repeatedly, Christianity distracts from God. One exalts a human being (not qua human but qua imagined divinity), worshipping him as God. This is a step backward. As has been shown, practices intended to draw one’s attention to God are overwritten with Christological meaning and emphasis. Christianity directs one to Jesus, rather than God, a step backward.

    And if we take the NT as progress forward, we might imagine another revelation to come as well. Perhaps the Law of the Spirit will be the next one, and we will learn it from Horace’s Tree. (Of course, I remind you that when Horace worships his tree, he is really worshipping the Holy Spirit and not the wood and sap of the tree. He would do nothing so gross.) And perhaps there will be another revelation beyond that one, teaching us that God is not a triune Being, but a Quadrinity, or a Quintinity, etc.) And anyone who worships one of these avatars of God will not be worshipping the human, tree, mountain, rock or what have you associated with it; he will really be worshipping the One God of the Multiplinity.

    We must also imagine that Aquinas is a step forward from Abraham, as assertion I doubt you’ll affirm. But if Christianity is the way forward and following the Universal Laws of God is a step backward, then we must make Aquinas the greater and Abraham the lesser.

    Along these lines, we can posit two people alive at the time of Jesus, both non-Jews. One hears of the God of Israel, studies the matter, and abandons his false gods. He is a God-fearer. Another, hearing the same message, rejects it. Years later, he joins the Christian movement and abandons his Roman gods. According to you, the first man has taken a step forward from paganism, but not as far forward as the second man. But this is absurd.

    I see no way that Noachidism could be considered a step backward from Christianity. The biggest sticking point is that the Noachide worships God already, and does not need to add the worship of Jesus. It is clear that his practice is the more pure.

    Jim

    • Dina says:

      Con, I would add this to what Jim has said about Noachides: you have in the past confused a true halachic Noachide with someone who happens to be a monotheist and who happens to be moral. You have for example said that Islam is a Noachide faith. It is not. A halachic Noachide is someone like Jim who accepts the truth of the Torah but stops short at conversion; in short, a Biblical, ethical monotheist. How is that a step backward?

      (Islam is a bad example because it practices bloodshed with abandon, so it’s not even close to Noachide.)

    • LarryB says:

      Jim
      May I ask you a question off topic?
      glarryb@gmail.com

  60. Jim says:

    Muddying the Waters

    One of the Christian’s favorite techniques is to introduce confusion into the mix. If he can say that none of us is sure about anything, then one interpretation is no more or less acceptable than any other. The Christian does not operate from the beginning and build his interpretations that way. He is left with no other option than to obliterate starting principles.

    Listening to an introductory lecture to a series for countering the counter-missionaries, the counter-counter-missionary (CCM) had six principles for understanding Messianic scriptures. (I suppose now I am acting as a counter-counter-counter-missionary, or CCCM.) I was quite struck by the first of the principles which was that Messianic prophecies are not clearly identified as such. What strikes me so much is that this is not a principle, per se. It is true, but it does not tell you what makes a Messianic prophecy. And he says that he’ll be talking to a Jewish person and they will say that the Messiah must perform X, Y, and Z. And he says, “Hold on a minute! Where does it say ‘The Messiah’ will do this?” Of course, the answer is nowhere.

    Now there are two problems with his objection. One is that he affirms that the Messiah will do X, Y, and Z himself, so it is disingenuous to raise the objection. He only holds that the Messiah will do them later, and the real question is: where does it say he’ll do them on the return visit? The second problem, and it is the greater is that he gives no principle for identifying Messianic scripture; he hasn’t given a principle for identifying Messianic scripture. How does he know that the Messiah will perform X, Y, and Z, which he does hold like the Jew? This he doesn’t tell us. That is because he is more interested in tearing down foundations for knowledge than building them up.

    It is a clever tactic he has discovered. By introducing doubt, one cannot object to his missionary position. His position as a counter-counter-missionary is not to establish principles for clear understanding. It is merely to erode any objection to his evangelistic claims. He works to destroy understanding.

    How can the CCCM (me) respond? I too will admit that Messianic prophecies are not clearly identified as such. So how do I know what is Messianic?

    First, we must direct the question at him this way: Certain prophecies were clearly understood to be messianic before the birth of Jesus. The Jew and the CCM usually agree on these. Other prophecies only were understood after the time of Jesus’ supposed fulfillment of them. These the Jew and the CCM usually do not agree on. So we see that two different principles must be at work. What is the principle for identifying the scriptures to be fulfilled in the future? What is the principle for understanding those that Jesus already fulfilled?

    Once we have identified that the two sets of prophecies must be operating according to two different sets of principles, I think we can ask what principles make the agreed upon set, that which is identified as relating to the future. There, we will see that we have a promised king to reign in the future from the line of David. We will look for all the qualities those principles have in common, which is not the topic of this comment. (This is about method, not doctrine.) In fact, all of those prophecies bear certain characteristics that indicate a particular person whom we call the Messiah, but is not called the Messiah in Tanach.

    The second set of prophecies do not share these characteristics. That is why they could not be identified ahead of time. Consider, if it was the common understanding that the Messiah must die for the sins of the world, would we have so many contenders for the title? Not likely. Clearly, this idea which is not linked to the future set does not share the common properties of the future set.

    So what properties do the second set have? Only that they were abused and misshaped to sound Christological. The fact that they are only identified as Messianic prophecies after the fact, out-of-context, by those who already believed that they related to Jesus makes them highly suspect.

    We have before us two sets of Messianic prophecy. One set is universally agreed upon. The other is not. It does not take much speculation on our part to see why the CCM wants to muddy the waters. He does not give a principle, because there is no clear principle for the second set, other than his faith tells him it relates to Jesus. Read in context, he wouldn’t come to that. Read before Jesus, he wouldn’t even know it’s Messianic. He makes them out to be Messianic after his belief. And for that reason, he has to deny all foundation of knowledge. He has to point out that Messianic scriptures are not identified, but not tell his audience how to identify them. He has to muddy the waters.

    (What this has to do with the current conversation, I will leave to the reader to contemplate.)

    Jim

  61. Sharbano says:

    Eric you say “Your issue with ‘stamp ‘ or ‘root’ and the hebrew words for that doesn’t change anything ”

    I really cannot believe anyone would say such a thing. If that is the case then are you saying that both G-d and L_rd are essentially the same.

    It’s been said over and over again that the servant (Nation) is collective and spans generations. It doesn’t mean that every individual in all the generations this would apply to. Because it refers to the nation it is how the nation is perceived and This fits the narrative And history. Just as the Egel Hazav (the golden calf) wasn’t worshiped by all Israel, but because of the Erev Rav who did G-d told Moshe he would destroy them all.

    “About “seeing offspring.” It refers to the children of God, not Jesus children as he wasn’t married!”

    This relates to the beginning and Why Hebrew is so important. Children of G-d is NOT what Isaiah is speaking of. The word for seed here is Zera which is Literal offspring. If it were “Children of G-d” it would have used the word Bnai. So Hebrew IS critical in understanding the text.

    If Jsus said G-d is a spirit then he is completely wrong. G-d is NOT a spirit. I’ve made the point in the past that if G-d were to manifest Himself in mortal flesh the result would be the entire Universe would collapse into a singularity. This is why He cannot take on any form, or even be present on the earth. He cannot become Anything.

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      Sharbano, do you even know what the spirit is? You reacted as if I meant this kind of a spirit kids imagine that is coming out of a dark closet at night;-) When I said He is a spirit that means He is not in any material form. His spirit doesn’t have ‘borders’ that means He is not limited to any size- form .

      • Sharbano says:

        The “spirit” is what is within every living creature. One cannot describe what G-d IS. One can only say what He is Not.

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      Sharbano, I wonder how you relate that literal offspring to the nation in regarding what was said in Is 53.
      Did you mean the Jews will see their kids who died when they get resurrected or you meant simply the next generations coming to life?

      • Sharbano says:

        The text is quite explicit. I says he will live and in so doing he will see his children being born.

        • Eric Krakofsky says:

          Sharbano, Whose children??? next generations having children? What is the problem with the fact that. Jesus’ offspring were to be next generations to stay alive?

        • Sharbano says:

          I’ve never heard anyone assert Jsus had any children.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Sharbano, One thing the servant in Is 53 clearly dies . He is in his death , he is in his grave, One has to be really blind not to see it. So if the servant is going to see offspring, he has to be resurrected, also the offspring HAS TO be resurrected too.
            What message is in that? Only through submitting himself to God’s will by making himself an offering for guilt ( v10) the servant can be resurrected and see offspring. So will the offspring ( children of those who ever lived and their children, simply next generations ).

            Back to the ‘root’ and ‘branch’ in Is 53;1 Isaiah uses 2 different expressions to describe him; a sapling and a root. According to your theory we should have a problem as sapling in hebrew is definitelly different word that ‘root’ but they are describing the same ‘subject’.

          • Sharbano says:

            You really need to read each and every word. The keyword is “IF”. IF he would acknowledge guilt. So how do you see a Need for resurrection.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Sharbano, it would be good if you put my name if you are addressing messages to me, as I would be quicker to find what relates to me- I don’t always have time to read everybody’s comments.
            You brought the word ‘if’ I am aware of it- it gives you a condition, if one action doesn’t happen , the other won’t either. So what I was saying will be clear to you if you notice the servant DIES, it is not about the nation barely alive, with a few survives, almost vanished but still there, but the servant is literally dead ( in Is 53). If the servant met the condition of ‘ him acknowledging guilt… , he was to see offspring, but that can’t happen until he is back to life. That’s what I meant he brings resurrection.

            If you see the servant in this chapter as the nation, you don’t take the servant as literally dead.
            Then your ‘seeing offspring’ refers to just new generations being born, while the previous died or keep dying.

          • Sharbano says:

            Eric,
            Sorry about that. This format leaves me not considering the need. You might say I just want to get to the point because a flood of thoughts come to mind and unable to write fast enough.

            I’m looking at that verse, 10, I think, grammatically in a logic sense, not unlike digital logic. If it were a programming statement it would be If ( x then y. ). You can also have If, then, else. This applies to the science of logic but also applies in applications such as this.
            Therefore it says It pleased Hashem… (:) Then it goes to the if. After the if all these good things will come to pass and Then shall be satisfied (;). Then the subject matter goes to something different.

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      Sharbano, I don’t mean God and Lord are the same words, but what I meant is God used different COMPARISONS to describe a situation or a person. Just like He calls His ‘Branch’ with different names throughout the prophets.

      • Sharbano says:

        As the saying goes, words mean things and the language used determines its meanings. You may want to “make comparison” but that is You. When you try to understand something based upon a translation that invariably introduces misconceptions. As Josephus said, he used the word “Law” for the Hebrew word Torah. It’s obvious to anyone that Torah does NOT mean law. But Josephus was left with a predicament of conveying a principle. In order to make a certain point the choice of that word worked for the purpose intended. But that in itself introduced a “distortion”. This is why your associating two words as being synonymous is a distortion. This is why I mentioned the two references, G-d and L-rd. They may represent the same but the meanings are Not the same.

  62. Jim says:

    Con,

    When you assert that Mormon corporealism, worshipping Jesus alone is heresy and whatever other Christian sect’s creed is heresy, because it does not conform to your Christianity, you violate the spirit of inclusionism you are trying to impose here. If one of us says that the DSS or Philo are not legitimate interpretations of Judaism, you deny us that claim. But here you are choosing which Christian creed shall be accepted and what rejected. It seems that you are the final arbiter on what is Christian and what is Jewish.

    Jim

  63. Jim, I’m not meaning to suggest that those divergent Christian positions such as Mormonism, adoptionist views, or Gnosticism don’t exist, or that they couldn’t possibly fit the NT text at all, merely that the Orthodox catholic and mainline Protestant denominations don’t understand the text that way.

    You are perfectly and consistently able to say that your traditional position doesn’t accept Philo, or the DSS, or their exact methods (though there are some similarities and resonances.) I am meaning to suggest that such diversity of interpretations, even when those interpretations seem to be mutually exclusive, nonetheless would be consistent with the hypothesis of a transmission of teaching over thousands of years in diverse situations.

    I don’t mean to suggest a direct teacher to student line of transmission in a one to one fashion between groups, but rather transmission similar to how we find such situations present in various fields of knowledge and everyday life situations. A Milieu if you will. Take the claims found in various different groups to being the exclusive interpreters of scripture. The rabbis make this claim in modern times. In second temple times, we know that the Sadducees made this same exact claim, and that the two schools of thought (which had some mutually exclusive interpretations unique to themselves) argued about who if anyone in fact had that authority legitimately.

    Modern manifestations of Judaism arose from the climate of those kind of discussions, as did the Churches. We see typical struggles for power and authority in this situation, telling us and showing us clearly that there indeed was a living breathing non monolithic community, or communities.

    You can surely make the claim to hold the authoritative view, that’s fine, but to confine either Christian or Jewish tradition to say, this is the only correct reading, inevitably limits claims of historic continuity. In other words, part of what constitutes being the official “true” position includes the role of dialogue and disagreement with the fringe groups, and the role that this discussion plays in ones own identity formation.

    Nobody would say for instance that Mormon corporealism, gnostic, or adoptionist (full Unitarian perspectives) are not a part of the broader Christian historical experience at all, but we would note that the tradition and dialogue over time has lead to what we consider today and back then as the correct position.

    You have said that it is disingenuous to quote from something like the DSS or Philo because the Church was not an inheritor in the direct line of the tradition or the given person’s opinions. We know from everyday life though that community and identity, ideology, etc. forms out of a constant dialogue and mixing of ideas in society (sometimes without intention.) do you see what I’m trying to say?

    You don’t always need in life or traditional transmission to have a one to one direct line. It’s sort of similar to how two geographically distinct places can have two very similar ideas without having had any contact. The Chinese and Europeans both “invented” printing, but there was no one to one contact.

    My parallels drawn from Philo and the DSS were only meant to show the possibility that these ideas had a place in the literary culture, and so might, and I stress might, have been common literary practice. I was not meaning to draw a 1 to 1 this is “absolute proof” kind of comparison. I hope that clarifies my intentions a bit?

  64. Also, I’m willing to accept that Jews don’t see those texts in DSS or Philo as authoritative or representative of Judaism, as Christians don’t see Mormonism as legitimate, or representative of Christianity, but I would say that taken as a whole, I cannot be consistent in claiming a historic chain of Christian tradition, if I don’t understand those other “heretical” views as authentic expressions of the religious dialogue that stimulated identity formation. Let me know if you understand what I’m trying to say.

    • Sharbano says:

      If you are going to claim an oral tradition in Xtianity then you should be able to name those people IN that transmission. Let’s see the list.

  65. There is a list of the succession of the bishops in Rome from Eusebius, but you wouldn’t necessarily accept that as evidence of preserved transmission, so I don’t see the point in posting it. I could if you still want me to. If I am going to be honest with myself, I have to say, that that kind of proof is as cheap as proof texting. We have faith that Moses delivered the Torah, and (for Christians) that witnesses wrote the gospels, but making the claim that this is so, is not the same as knowledge that this is so. Names in a book are just that, unless we can check, and we’ve already established that the claims made are unique and both aren’t subject to the same kind of checking that every other event in history is subject to. So I don’t see the point.

    • Dina says:

      Con, the gospels frequently engage in proof texting. Why do you dismiss it as cheap?

      • Dina, Just because Christians today, or in the 4th century read the gospel usage of say Isaiah 7:14 as meaning virgin as a “proof” that Isaiah meant to say virgin originally, doesn’t mean that the author of the text, whoever wrote Mathew, meant it as a literal proof text in the way we think of such today. There is evidence (note I’m not saying proof) but evidence that a literary usage like fulfillment literature (this was spoken in order to fulfill that) could be used to speak about contemporary historical events or recent traditions through using that prophetic language. So, for instance, Matthew’s author may have received through his own community tradition, that Jesus was born of a virgin in some sense. So when he wrote his gospel he said, “thus it was spoken by Isaiah he shall be born of a maiden/virgin. It’s not necessarily the case that the author of Mathew actually thought Isaiah meant what he (Matthew’s author) was saying literally, maybe the author of Mathew was communicating what he personally received contemporaneously using the themes found in the prophetic books, such as the birth of a person who served as a miraculous sign of deliverance. See what I mean? There is a plugging in of verses from the Prophets, but it doesn’t mean that the author was transmitting what he believed Isaiah actually taught. He may be using the themes to communicate his own received history.

        • Dina says:

          Con, you’re using words like “could be,” “may have,” “not necessarily the case.” I’m not interested in speculation. We don’t know Matthew and we can’t ask him what he may have meant. All we have is the text, and the text is quite plainly using proof texts, say what you will.

          You wrote: “Just because Christians today, or in the 4th century read the gospel usage of say Isaiah 7:14 as meaning virgin as a “proof” that Isaiah meant to say virgin originally, doesn’t mean that the author of the text, whoever wrote Mathew, meant it as a literal proof text in the way we think of such today.”

          This is stunning. You are implying that Christians have misunderstood the gospels’ use of Tanach pretty nearly from the beginning. You are implying that Christians even today misunderstand it. But, you, Con (and a handful of modern day scholars, I suppose), do understand it. You know what billions of Christians preceding you for nearly 2000 years did not know. I know you don’t mean to come across this way, but I think it takes a lot of hubris to believe that.

          My point still stands. Your dismissal of proof texts makes no sense in light of the gospels’ clear and plain usage of it.

          Furthermore, it is cynical to dismiss the proofs in the gospels this way. One way to evaluate the claims of the New Testament is to compare it to the Torah from which it claims its authority. Every time a Jew will point to an instance in the NT where a verse is mistranslated, quoted out of context, or fabricated, you can always dismiss it by saying, “Oh, you superficial reader, that’s not what the NT means. The NT is not using these verses as proof, you person who hasn’t studied the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Pseudepigrapha. The NT authors may be conveying ideas they received using themes from Tanach!”

          Why is this not at least as self-serving as you have said some of my arguments are?

          • I’m not saying Christians are or have been misusing or blithely misreading, the gospel teaches clearly that Jesus was virgin born and other things, though some early Christians disagreed. I was criticizing the (case closed) common modern understanding of the idea of a “proof text.” Scholars don’t claim absolute knowledge, they seek a higher level of inquiry than the average reader, and that scholarship has been going on for a long time. Sometimes a degree of “speculation,” or more accurately, reasonable guesswork is all modern people can do when a text is thousands of years old. Doesn’t it seem slightly more likely that the author was drawing a themeatic parallel as opposed to an intentional misquote? I always hear how Christians twisted contorted, mistranslated, ruined, etc. When your literature does the same things you call it deep wisdom, secrets of Torah, issues too deep for those who don’t know Hebrew to understand. It’s all a matter of your perspective, respectfully.

            Why are you getting so defensive? There are a great many religious NT commentaries that say things exactly like what I’m saying, not just critical scholarship. You have every right to your perspective, and I’m not doubting that.

          • Dina says:

            Con, our literature does not do the same thing because in our tradition the plain meaning of the text is the primary meaning. Any additional layers of meaning, such as Midrash, yes, we do consider deep and wise–but we do not say that the plain meaning doesn’t mean what it plainly says.

            Yet that is what you are asserting–that the gospels use of Tanach is not meant to be used as proof–although the plain meaning contradicts your assertion.

            Then you give me two options: either the author is “drawing a thematic parallel” (what thematic parallels you see, I do not), or the author is intentionally misquoting. To you option one makes more sense.

            There is a third option: the author was so enamored of Jesus that he read him into the text; if he had been more objective he would not have done this. Jim has shown, in Horace’s Tree, how it is possible to read almost anything into Tanach, with the best and sincerest of intentions.

            Along with the third option is that the author did not speak Hebrew and had to rely on a second-hand source–the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures.

            Finally, you did say that Christians both ancient and modern (fourth-century Christians were not relying on a thousands-year-old text) were not necessarily correctly understanding the use of Tanach by NT authors. It’s frustrating to me that when I respond to what you wrote, you say that’s not what you said. You wrote that when these Christians see the virgin birth prophecy quoted by Matthew as proof, that’s not necessarily what Matthew had in mind. That’s what I was responding to. That point still stands, unless you want to retract this.

            Furthermore, Matthew does say that Isaiah says the child will be born of a virgin. I don’t see how you can around the fact that this is a scriptural error, no matter how you slice it. And what about “And he shall be called a Nazarene,” found nowhere in Tanach?

          • Sharbano says:

            ” I always hear how Christians twisted contorted, mistranslated, ruined, etc. When your literature does the same things you call it deep wisdom, secrets of Torah, issues too deep for those who don’t know Hebrew to understand. It’s all a matter of your perspective, respectfully.”

            I’d say you are over-simplifying the comparison far too much. You may assume that about Hebrew but since Hebrew defines the essence it allows for greater depth. It’s the reason G-d doesn’t have a “name”. A name would define the essence and that endeavor is not possible. The Torah wasn’t written merely to pass on information. If it were the information would have taken volumes. Instead, it was written in such a way that when read causes a person to ask questions. As a result those questions would require answers. In that way an Oral Tradition takes on a life. By reading that pasuk it makes it easier to remember the explanation. Xtianity, on the other hand, has no such tradition. Xtianity, invariably, says the scripture must be read literally. When the text references a place in Tanach it surely is making a direct connection. When speaking of deep secrets, Pardes, this doesn’t discount the pshat. Pshat is much what the Talmud discusses. In other words there’s just no way to compare Xtianity and Judaism.

    • Sharbano says:

      What then is That oral tradition. Within Judaism it was Strictly oral until Yehuda HaNasi, when he realized it wouldn’t sustain itself in the events of the time. It then became Written, and thereafter there has been written copies. The question remains, where and what is this oral tradition of Xtianity. And if you want to dismiss it as irrelevant to any evidence of transmission then you would have to conclude that every written document throughout history is a lack of evidence. If you are going to suggest This, then why bother with ANY study of “comparative religions”. You have thus left the scholastic and ventured into the antagonist. I have to wonder if this is the methodology of scholastic endeavor to continuously dismiss any opposing ideas. I suspect you simply do not want to Accept the Jewish narrative and will use any means of dismissal.

  66. Groups were writing down there group’s unique views of Halacha before the Mishna Sharbano. The apocrypha, Dss, and pseudepigrapha, show some evidence of that as early as 1 century BCE.

  67. Sharbano, what exactly does Hebrew define the essence of? G-d has many names, only one of which (Hashem) can denote in any way what he is as it relates to us, the rest tell us how he relates to us. What do you make of it though Sharbano when people understand the plain sense differently? There are times when different rabbis read it differently.

    • Sharbano says:

      It started when Adam came to name the animals. Each letter and parts of letters have a meaning and he used that to construct a name for the animal that matched its essence. It is reflected in the fact that the word in Hebrew for a “word”, and the word for a “thing”, are the same word, Davar. In English “word” and “thing” are different.

      When G-d uses a “Name” or His name is written it is telling us what attribute is being employed. When Moshe asked His name G-d says Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, I will be what I will be. In simple terms he will be “this” at such and such a time, and something else at another time. The two main usages, G-d (Elokim) brings about strict justice whereas Hashem, the Tetragrammaton, the ineffable name, brings with it mercy. If it says L-rd G-d then we can say a measure of justice with mercy is brought. So, when Moshe asked for G-d’s name he is asking in what merit does He come. Does He come bringing with Him strict justice or will He come with mercy to the nation.

  68. Jim says:

    Con,

    Sometimes people look for more to serving God than is necessary. They want special rituals, a formula, something to raise their emotions and make them feel closer to God, whether or not they are actually closer to God. The desire to fulfill this religious emotion has led to great errors. People replace truth with “spirituality”, and invest themselves in all sorts of false practices that make them feel spiritual, closer to the divine, or “one with the universe”. Instead of getting closer to God, however, most of these practices take one further from God and into serving the product of one’s imagination.

    This is a difficulty for many people. I have met Noachides who do not feel that there is enough service to God in obeying his commands. The fact that the Universal Laws are mostly, although not entirely, prohibitions, leaves some Noachides with a sense that they count less than the Jewish people, who have been given specific practices. The restraints placed upon their lives do not feel like service to them, and some have been tempted to create their own forms of worship. However, doing so does not bring one actually closer to God; it only placates the religious emotion. Sadly, they have not understood that adherence to the Universal Laws is service to God.

    One may keep the Laws in one of two ways, incidentally or intentionally. When one keeps them incidentally, he does not observe the Laws because they are God’s Laws, but because society accepts them, or he fears reprisal if he breaks them, or he finds them sensible. He may, for example, refrain from stealing, because he understands that no society can exist when people do not respect the property rights of others. This self-restraint he practices is good, but he does not do it to keep God’s Law. He has only kept God’s Law incidentally.

    One keeps the Laws intentionally when he does so because they are God’s Laws. Keeping the Universal Laws takes on the character of obedience to God. His self-restraint takes on the character of righteousness. And when he reflects on the Laws and sees that his actions submit him to the expressed will of God, he does not need to invent a service to perform for God. He is not seeking to titillate his own emotions; he is seeking to follow the Command of God. Such a man will not denigrate them because they are prohibitions. He knows that no Law authored by God is inferior.

    On the other hand, some will feel that because they already do not steal that there is nothing special in not stealing. These have not avoided theft because of God’s command. Their actions are not devoted to God. Their self-restraint is not an act of devotion to God. They have not spent time thinking about these acts as obedience. They are too busy looking for something they can perform for God. What they do not realize is that God needs nothing, and there is nothing they can do for Him. They can only do what He has required.

    Such people are like a husband who knows that his wife would appreciate him not leaving wet towels on the floor, taking off muddy boots before he comes in, and the like, but he does not do these small things that would show consideration of her feelings. He is always looking for some big gesture that will make him feel pleased with himself for his grandiosity. It is not her feelings with which he is concerned; it is his own.

    Such people sometimes look to emulate the Jewish people. They feel that they have been denied something in lacking practice. They adopt Jewish practice, and it makes them feel good. And it is easy, because it is not required of them. They do it because they want to do it. But if it were to become a command to them, they would become rebellious. Once it becomes a requirement, the natural human propensity to resist command kicks in. They do not find themselves so pleased by the same actions as when it was not required.

    If only they had sought to please God and not themselves, they would have been enriched by His Commands. They would become mindful of even minor violations. They would avoid taking extra ketchup packets from fast food restaurants when they have none at home, because they wish to obey God. To guard themselves, they would study the details of His Laws, and be mindful of them at all times. Their minds would be turned to God constantly. If they take on more commands later, it will be with wisdom, studied and thoughtful, mindful of their God, not attempting to please themselves. They would seek to understand His Torah, and not look for an interpretation that fit their philosophy. They would submit their judgment to His.

    Such being the case, they will find that the prohibitions of the Universal Law are fulfilling. They are not without power to bring one close to God. Those Laws allow humanity to honor God daily. They may not give one an ecstatic experience, but they are the mark of devotion. And no Noachide who truly keeps the Seven Laws need ever feel like they are lesser children.

    Jim

    • Dina says:

      Con, I would like to add something to this excellent comment by Jim. You disagreed with me that Islam is a Noachide faith. There is no such thing as a Noachide faith, because a Noachide accepts traditional Judaism as the only truth. Islam does not. Furthermore, Islam condones, in fact encourages, bloodshed–one of the prohibitions included in the seven Noachide laws.

      Again, there is no such thing as a Noachide faith. There are only Noachides.

      I also challenged you on the notion that gentiles