Forms of Communication

Forms of Communication

There are different methods that can be used to communicate ideas from person to another. Some of these modes of communication are more effective than others. Some forms of communication are more prone to error and failure than are other forms.

Speech is one mode of communication. The written word is another, similar, form of communication. A living demonstration of the concept that is being conveyed is yet another form of communication.

These forms of communication can be further subdivided and categorized in varying measures of efficiency. A direct statement is a more effective way of communicating than is a subtle hint. A statement worded in the format of a command packs a more powerful punch than does a narrative.

One who communicates through the written word has several tools at his or her disposal to empower the communication and to make it more effective and less error-prone. Repetition of the same concept several times and with different words is one method that an author can use to accentuate and to clarify a communication. Another literary technique that an author may use to highlight a particular concept is by having the storyline build up towards the intended message.

We can imagine that a wise communicator will carefully consider his or her options as to which form of communication to use and which level of effectiveness to choose for the intended delivery of a message.

Now, both Jews and Trinitarian Christians see themselves as recipients of conflicting messages from the same God. According to the Jewish people, directing veneration towards one who walked God’s earth and breathed His air is the deepest violation of our relationship with God. Trinitarian Christians counter with the claim that a relationship with God demands veneration of one who lived and breathed as we do.

It is obvious that these claims are mutually exclusive. Only one of these belief systems can be right. In other words – at least one of these two groups of people have misunderstood God’s message. There HAD to be some failure in communication between God and one of these two groups.

Let us examine each group’s respective claim that they are the intended recipients of an accurate message from God.

I will begin with the Christian. The Christian points to the Jewish Bible and contends that it is through this book that God communicates to mankind that when one comes along and claims to be an incarnation of the divine; that he is to be heeded and to be worshiped. No, not exactly anyone, but one who fulfills certain ambiguous prophecies.

Let us step back and gauge the method of communication that was used and its relative effectiveness together with its tendency for error.

Here we have a book that contains about 30,000 verses. Not one of the passages that the Christian points to as a support for this doctrine is presented as a direct teaching on the correct method of worship. Not one of the passages that the Christian points to as a support for this doctrine is presented as a command. Even according to the Christian interpretation, the doctrine of the trinity is not spelled out anywhere in the Scriptures in a clear and comprehensive manner. It must be pieced together from bits and pieces from all over the Scriptures.

How much room is there for error? Is this the way God communicates something that is important to Him?

Let us now turn to the Jewish claim. According to the Jewish people, God utilized several forms of communication in order to impart the foundational truth of Judaism – that there is but One God and that all worship should be directed to Him and that no worship be directed to any inhabitant of the earth.

God spoke directly to the nation. He introduced Himself to them and warned them against worshiping any other entity. This teaching was presented directly and in the form of a command. This commandment was accompanied by a live demonstration as described in Deuteronomy 4:36. God also utilized the written word to communicate this message. Throughout the Bible God repeats and emphasizes that we are not to worship anyone aside from the God that we know from the exodus experience. God used every literary tool to highlight this teaching. These passages are direct. They are comprehensive. They are presented as the climax of the exodus story (Exodus 20:2) and as the core of our covenant with God (Deuteronomy 4:31-35). This concept is presented as the climax of all history (Isaiah 40:5-8, Zechariah 14:9) and the preservation of this truth is presented as Israel’s calling before God (Isaiah 43:10).

How do these two claims compare? The Jewish claim relies on the most direct and effective methods of communication while the Christian claim leans on the decoding of a complicated, indirect message from a lengthy series of books. Is there a comparison?

But, the Christian responds, there is no contradiction between these two claims. The Christian contends that Jesus is “one and the same” with the God of Israel.

My question to the Christian is: How did you come into possession of this earth-shattering knowledge? How do you know that a man who lived and died is “one and the same” with the God of Israel?

The Christian’s response? – “I got this information from the Bible”. How did the Author of the Bible communicate this information to you? Was it direct? Was it comprehensive? Is it highlighted in anyway? What is the room for error in this method of communication?

To illustrate the absurdity of the Christian claim I present the following parable.

You are brought into a room. Not just any room, but the room from which the nuclear ICBM missiles are launched in case of war. You are told – See the buttons on that wall? DON’T PRESS ANY BUTTON!!!! You are presented a book of instructions. Throughout the book you find the words; “DON’T PRESS ANY BUTTON” repeated again and again. The general in charge of the facility takes you on a tour of the wiring panels behind the buttons and you are given to understand the serious consequences that will result with the pressing of any one of the buttons.

Then one of your fellow soldiers takes the instruction booklet and tries to demonstrate to you that the general in charge of the facility actually wants you to press one of the buttons and that if you don’t, you will be dishonorably discharged from the army. The basis of his claim is that he has found some inferences throughout the instruction book which seem to indicate that one of the buttons is wired differently than the rest of them.

Would you consider this claim with any level of seriousness? If the general wanted you to press a button, he could have made it so much clearer. Why would he so strongly emphasize the seriousness of NOT pressing any buttons? The whole story doesn’t begin to make sense.

In case you didn’t get the meaning of the parable – here it is. God told Israel – DON’T WORSHIP ANY ENTITY ASIDE FROM ME. He repeated this message and emphasized it in so many ways. Now the Christian theologian comes along and wants you to believe that God really does want you to worship an entity that you see as separate from God on the basis of the theologian’s inferences from the very book which emphasizes the prohibition against idolatry.

The claim doesn’t make sense. The communication of the one message is loud, clear and commanding while the communication of the other is so vague, disjointed and prone to error.

If you were the soldier in that room filled with buttons – what would you do?

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46 Responses to Forms of Communication

  1. Thomas says:

    Great analogy!

  2. Shomer says:

    Here we have a book that contains about 30,000 verses. Not one of the passages that the Christian points to as a support for this doctrine is presented as a direct teaching on the correct method of worship. Not one of the passages that the Christian points to as a support for this doctrine is presented as a command. Even according to the Christian interpretation, the doctrine of the trinity is not spelled out anywhere in the Scriptures in a clear and comprehensive manner. It must be pieced together from bits and pieces from all over the Scriptures.

    I recently met a couple from a village somewhere between Tel Aviv and Haifa. They considered themselves as messianic Jews. I referred to the following scripture in the “New Testament”: As a matter of fact, we do not only miss a clear statment in the aprox. 30,000 verses but we even find some clear statements contradicting the Trinity doctrine, even in the “New Testament”.

    > Mar 12:29-30 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is ONE Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. <

    The couple from Israel told us politely that they believe in Trinity according to a Jew called Fruchtenbaum. This man teaches that even "echad" means: "three in one" (or so) despite neither Moshe nor Jesus ever had taught such stuff. Another point is that the "Shma" has been twisted in order to make it suitable for a triune pagan divinity called "God" and "Lord".

    On the other hand, I discovered that in the quoted passage from Mark 12, the "second Person of the holy Trinity" teaches the "Shma Israel". It's simply jaw dropping and mind blowing – isn't it?

  3. Thomas says:

    Many (perhaps most) sophisticated Christians will say that God did not explicitly lay out Jesus’ divinity for Israel to see. I have seen Christians refer to God’s hints as “bread crumbs” pointing to the divinity of Jesus. That might (in theory) work if there is no alternative, but the fact is that the Hebrew Bible seems to go out of its way to make Israel’s focus of worship clear and direct for them to understand. It was not a philosophical discussion or a theological debate- it was a simple reality. By claiming that God merely provided “bread crumbs” pointing to the divinity of Jesus, it is implied that the support is not very good. But it gets worse once one looks at the Hebrew Bible, and the polar opposite teaching from God there.

  4. Bazil says:

    When you’re referring to an omnipotent, omniscient and perfect creator of everything, why wouldn’t the simple and unquestionable awareness of It (and all It truly desires you be aware of) be inherent and irrefutable? Compared to verbal or written records, that would be perfect communication.

  5. Bazil
    That is an important question – touching on the purpose of life. God could have created us without temptation at all – we understand that the purpose of life is so that we can create our own meaningful expression of loyalty – necessitating the possibility of disloyalty – necessitating the hiddenness of God’s presence
    On the other hand – if we tune in to ourselves – the deepest knowledge we have is the knowledge of our dependance on a higher existence

  6. Bazil says:

    Without punctuation I find it difficult to understand your reply. Are you suggesting that an unquestionable awareness would nullify free will? That it would result in automatic submission? I would disagree with that assumption.

    That aside, It could have made us inherently aware of many physical/natural concepts that would mitigate human suffering and render us less prone to harboring harmful superstitions all the while not necessarily betraying Its presence.

  7. Bazil
    I apologize for the lack of clarity
    Yes I am suggesting that an unquestionable awareness would limit free-will.
    The point that you are making in this recent comment – arguing that God could have provided knowledge that would mitigate suffering – I think that part of God’s plan is that we encounter suffering – including suffering that could have been prevented by knowledge. My understanding is that the book of Job was written to help us get a grip on these issues.

  8. Bazil says:

    Limit free will not negate it? Seems to me it would result in an informed choice.

    And what knowledge prevents suffering? An understanding of the mechanics of the natural world? Or are you referring to a state of mind brought about by a belief in the supernatural? Maybe I’ll brush up on Job but I was referring to human suffering based on our ignorance of how the natural world functions not a lack of or steadfast loyalty to its creator.

    At any rate, this writing addressed forms of communication and my point was, god chose the least effective means at its disposal. You appear to be in agreement with that statement and say that it was intentional implying that it’s hiding from us. “…hidenness…”

    However, this seems contradictory when you claim “…the one message is loud, clear and commanding…”. The one message is still from the lips of men and if this omnipotent being wished to effectively communicate it, it would merely need will an awareness of this rule. Not impose compliance but inform directly rather than tell Tom to tell Dick to tell Harry…

  9. Bazil
    My point in the article was that between the two forms of communication proposed by Judiasm and Christainity resepctively – it is Judaism that is presenting the more credible claim
    Your question is why did God not choose a more effective/credible/reliable means of communication since He has all means of communication at His diposal
    My answer to you is that had he chosen the communication that you propose – that would limit or negate free-will
    Furthermore – the goal is actually to arrive at the communication that you propose – where every blade of grass, every heartbeat, every wisp of wind tells you “Creator” – but to get there through our own free-will – having followed our sense of honesty

  10. Bazil says:

    You’re right. I was looking at your article with the bias of my search criteria. My apologies.

  11. Pingback: Response to Gil Torres | 1000 Verses

  12. cazastro says:

    God is one, meaning not devided. There is carnal and spiritual. Carnal laws enslaves the flesh while spiritual law frees both the spirit and the flesh. Jesus came with the spiritual law for the provision of real life and this is the time he becomes the way the truth and the light. Nobody can know the exact nature of G’d else this would elevate us above G’d and without this knowledge its difficult to explain why Jesus can’t be one with G’d. Jesus doctrine changes a robber into a generous giver a feat that supports his claim of being one with G’d. Jesus remains the only teacher who advocates for 100% non violance giving us genuine rest. The world is in a quagmire of war and discontent because they have failed to acknowledge this peace.

    • Sharbano says:

      Advocating non-violence? Didn’t this Jsus tell his followers to bring those who wouldn’t submit and slay them in front of him. This is what the Xtian text says.

  13. Concerned Reader says:

    Cazastro it is true that Jesus taught non violence, Torah observance for Jews, and other very godly things, but scripture shows that even godly things and people can be used in ungodly (and therefore idolatrous) ways. This is what has happened with Jesus. Remember the story of the brazen snake? G-D himself told moses to construct this object, and to have all ISRAEL gaze upon it to be healed from snake bites. It was a great commandment of G-d, and people justly followed it.

    In 2 kings 18 however, the new King Hezekiah had to have the brazen serpent destroyed because some people in Israel made it the central focus in their walk with G-d, to the point of alienating other Isralites who did not share their beliefs. Idolatry needn’t be worship of the wrong G-d, but worship of the right and true G-d practiced in a way he does not want.

    This is why in Hebrew the word for idolatry is Avodah Zerah. It literally means, “service that is strange.” When a christian tells a Jew that Jesus brought a newer and better, more spiritual law, it advocates a strange service of G-d. The hebrew bible says that the law is eternal, as does Jesus. Christians often point to Jeremiah 31 as evidence of a law that supersedes that Of Moses. This is not possible if you read Malachi 3 and 4 together with it. Israel is clearly told that the Levites will be purified , and ISRAEL is to remember the law of my servant Moses. its fine if you believe in Jesus as a human being, if you don’t make him the center of your walk,bbut if he changed the law, or broke the covenant, he can’t be from Torah. See Daniel 7:25.

    • cazastro says:

      We agree on the meaning of idolatory and that Jesus warned against breaking even of the least commandment. One issue outstanding remains the devinity of Jesus and i stil wouldnt dare to limit G’d to my human limitations. Angels refused to be worshiped but Jesus recieved worship while he walked the earth.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        You would agree though I’m sure that worship shouldn’t be of Jesus as a man? Or Jesus only? (Ie a person fawning over or dwelling on his human nature?) To put it another way, do you believe others can live a life pleasing to G-d, or must they become baptized Christians first?

        FYI it wouldn’t be a limit on G-d’s nature to say that he wouldn’t (as opposed to couldn’t) incarnate himself. He could clearly do that if he wanted to. The issue with an incarnation would be what people do in such a circumstance. To illustrate the problem by way of parable:

        Let’s say hypothetically that G-d is by nature a boundless ocean. (The father) One day G-d decides to rest in a plastic bottle (an instance of incarnation/hypostatic Union thereby taking on the nature of this bottle.) So there sits this bottle filled with water that is acting as the new tabernacle of G-d. One day, a believer comes and picks up the bottle and goes to various people saying “if you want to drink of this holy water, you must do so through this bottle which I posess by grace and hold dear.” Would you see an issue there?

        • Concerned Reader says:

          To describe further. If Jesus is truly G-d, then his designation as a mediator in Jesus of Nazareth as the human being becomes irrelevant (not to be rude, disrespectful, or unkind, or confrontational in any way.) If you say he is G-d, then (the Jewish religious path sans Jesus must be equally valid, as it was also given by G-d.) The effort of every person to be righteous should count in G-d’s eyes, as this is what G-d said to Cain, and through Moses, and Ezekiel too. G-d saved people in the flood without blood, he saved the Babylonian exiles (without a temple and thus without sacrifices,) and Scripture elucidates that even if you have blood, it will do nothing for the unrepentant.

          • cazastro says:

            I am impressed by the level of command with which you handle these issues. That brightens my day.

            Ok. In John 16:26 Jesus is telling his desciples that he will not pray to the father on their behalf but that the father loves them such that they can directly connect to the father by prayer. So Jesus does not claim to be both the son and the father. What is evident is that he commands more authority than the angels and that he is the way to the father. Now this squares up everything.

            According to the episttles of the desciples you can be saved without baptism by water first as the people they preached to would first recieve baptism of the holy spirit.

  14. Concerned Reader says:

    Deuteronomy 18 illustrates that a prophet can speak in G-d’s name, presumptuously (ie he says things in G-d’s name which G-d did not tell him to say,) or he can speak in the name of a false G-d. Either of these phenomenon means that a prophet is false.

    For instance, the prophet Hananiah prophesied peace in a time when Jeremiah and other prophets foretold doom. If Israel repents, good can come, but this wasn’t happening when Jeremiah preached, so they knew Hananiah was a false prophet.

  15. Concerned Reader says:

    The point is, if we can go to the father directly, why Jesus? See what I mean?

    • cazastro says:

      Jesus is not just Jesus, he is the doctrine he preaches, that word coming from him when you believe it, it directs you to the father. That word is life, the very life of G’d. He opens us the way into an intimate understanding of the father. Thats why we cannot afford to be without him.

      Why not give me your facebook tweeter adresses and allow me to follow you n see how much more you are saying on this subject and many more?

  16. Concerned Reader says:

    He opens us the way into an intimate understanding of the father. Thats why we cannot afford to be without him.

    The Torah of Moses delivered by G-d to Israel from Sinai was serving this function thousands of years before Jesus existed. If you check any number of blogs, you can see my thoughts on various things.

    • cazastro says:

      There is the question of obedience. G’d promises to give Israel a deliverer who will return the hearts of the children to the father. When such an leader cometh and you fail to recieve him in the name of G’d, how else do you expect G’d to help you?
      There is a question of sacrifice. G’d prrovides for you a sacrifice that is undoubtedly 100% without blemish to cleans your sins once and for all and for both past, present and future. This is the kind G’d is certain he would never refuse at any point in time. If you reject the ultimate sacrifice, how else would you like G’d to help you?

      If Moses was the entire perfection, G’d would not have afterwards promised us the messsaih. Besides what purpose would the messiah serve if perfection already existed?

      • Sharbano says:

        You come with false assumptions. It is evident by Scripture that this “deliverer” will not come with a failure to “receive him”, instead, as per Isaiah, it is the nations who will come to realize the true Redemption.

        Another false assumption is a sacrifice for sin once and for all. As written in Ezekiel, there will be sin sacrifices in the Third Temple. Obviously you are ignoring the what the prophets of G-d have to say in the matter.

        Where did you learn of Moshe being the entire perfection. Your concept of a Mashiach is contrary to scripture. The purpose of Mashiach is to allow the following of Torah without hindrance from those of the nations. At that time there will no more be Xtians telling Jews how to approach Hashem. Instead the nations will turn to the Jew to learn His ways and the ways of His people. THIS is what scripture teaches.

        • cazastro says:

          It is written that with a people of another tongue will i cause Israel to be jelous. And if its the hand of G’d that raised the gentiles, it remains to be seen who shall plack them out of his hand. And there is non mightier than G’d.

          G’d loves the Jews, they are the apple of his eye, else why would he mind making them jelous. How would he made them jelous, unless he left them for some time to dwell among the gentiles? All this is no mistake, its by devine providence.

          The messages of G’d’s prophets do not contradict one another unless one tries to use scriptures to backup private theories. They are from the same source. And the theme that we hold onto dearly is that G’d is the same yesterday, today and forever.

          The scriptures say that knowledge of G’d will abound such that they will be no telling of one’s neighbour to know G’d, not that people will turn to the Jews to learn of G’d unless of course if you can cite this claim from the prophets. Not meaning that we are not learning from the Jews. Personally am also studying Hebrew.

          Lastly its not clear which nations are currently hindering the Jews from worshiping G’d.

          • Sharbano says:

            All one has to do is read Jeremiah 12.

            There is considerable evidence how the nations strive to keep Jews from Torah. One only has to look at the events across the world. Even the US is not immune with the increase in anti-semitism. There are even those in government who wish to ban and restrict bris milah. There are many here and across the world attempting to end Shechitah. The Rubashkin case is Prima facie evidence of how utterly despicable a government can be. To say it is unclear “which nations” are a hindrance is to literally ignore everything around us. These are examples of the most egregious but there are countless cases that don’t rise to this level, but are still a hindrance nonetheless. I would count among these cases the installation of missionary centers within Orthodox communities. All these examples show that the Jew isn’t able to keep Torah in peace.

  17. adi1957 says:

    What a great analogy within this article, and l couldn’t agree more with it and the out-comes. But you know what? Based on my experiences as a Lay Minister when l was within the Christian Church, most Christians just can’t seem to see the connection between the two, that is to say that they just don’t see that they are in error. Why? They need more time to grow in the knowledge of G-d and how he works. If their eyes are still shut, no matter how hard you try to pry open their eyes – they just can’t see their error. So how do we do it? That is the million dollar question.

    In my case, l wait upon the Spirit of HaShem to guide me when it is time to speak to them about the truth’s of Scripture. Why? Then the timing is right and they are ready. When the timing is right – it is like picking the apple off the tree. It just happens. Why? G-D’s timing, not ours. How? Step by step – in bit size pieces that they can digest. If you give them more than they can chew, they will spit the dummy and reject you and your message and you may not ever have another opportunity to speak with them again.

    From there, I teach them the ways of HaShem using both the Tanach and the Christian Bible and point out the connections between the two, steering them ever more into the Tanach, and at times use every day life examples to hone in the Truth.

    But, this is just me, but it works. Feed them milk first – then the meat – all the while teaching them to do likewise, l hope. I know I have moved away some what from the essence of the article, but I felt that it needed to be said / stated for someone!

  18. Concerned Reader says:

    G-d saves people without blood atonment being required often in scripture. The exiles who returned and built the second temple did not have blood sacrifice, and yet G-d saved them. It is as much a limit on G-d’s power to require him to use Uesus’ blood for atonment as it is to say G-d couldn’t incarnate himself.

    We have example after example of people in scripture having sacrificial based blood atonement, but nonetheless living lives that G-d doesn’t approve of. So, whether or not you have blood is irrelevant, because having it doesn’t automatically mean G-d is pleased with you. The law is there because it’s what G-d expects. Nowhere in scripture does G-d ever say that he requires 100% perfection of anyone. In fact, he tells Cain that if he tries his best, G-d will accept him.

    • mansubzero says:

      The flesh of jesus was created. The blood of jesus was created. The pagan gods liked the pure , perfect and without blemish the flesh and blood of innocent infant human being. Why did the pagan gods , according to pagan worshippers, require these hard sacrifices?
      Must be something special about the infant human being,right? does God ALMIGHTY have violent pinning of flesh MORE closer to him or does he have his power to forgive, WITHOUT blood, MORE closer to him? Is the CREATED blood and flesh of jesus MORE closer to God or is gods POWERFUL attributes , which are infinite MORE closer to him?

      • cazastro says:

        What you saying is that Naaman should have refused to dip himself 10 times in Jordan river.

        You see if G’d makes a way for you and he brings this to your knowledge, it is that knowledge that judges you disobedient when you refuse to act. Your refusal would be in contravention to the obedience-is-better-than-sacrifice principle.

        Of course it is true that G’d is not limited to save whom knowledge have not yet been delivered to them as is apparant in the examples you gave. Now your sin remains if you counter a commandment of G’d and art accused of the law as disobedient.

    • cazastro says:

      What you saying is that Naaman should have refused to dip himself 10 times in Jordan river.

      You see if G’d makes a way for you and he brings this to your knowledge, it is that knowledge that judges you disobedient when you refuse to act. Your refusal would be in contravention to the obedience-is-better-than-sacrifice principle.

      Of course it is true that G’d is not limited to save whom knowledge have not yet been delivered to them as is apparant in the examples you gave. Now your sin remains if you counter a commandment of G’d and art accused of the law as disobedient.

    • Concerned Reader
      Thank you for your responses

  19. Concerned Reader says:

    This is the kind G’d is certain he would never refuse at any point in time.

    Why do you think G-d expects 100’% perfection or Jesus’ blood in order to save people? We know he refuses nobody. You don’t even have to be perfectly righteous to be considered a person after G-d’s own heart. As an example, G-d saved Noah and his family even though the bible says of Noah only that he was “blameless in his generation.” Ie he was better compared to his generation, but not perfect.

    David is likewise an example of a flawed person whom G-d cares for, even though he has flaws.

  20. cazastro
    Wouldn’t you agree that the prophets provided guidance from God as to how we receive future revelation – especially the most important revelation? – Now please read my post. – perhaps this article will also help you – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/what-would-it-take/

    • cazastro says:

      I have read it. With me Judaism and Chritianity are one and the same except that the other is the shadow of the other. In other words one of them couldnt have existed without the other. To understand this may require spiritual illumination. Ok.

      • cazastro
        The Bible is a good place to get spiritual illumination – wouldn’t you agree? – this article might interest you – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/response-to-th-line-of-fire-9/

        • cazastro says:

          When Jesus was born the best of the Jews rabbis convened an emergency council and sort the scriptures to determine when the king of the Jews would be born. They were deadly accurate that if baby Jesus was not whisked to Egypt Herod would have killed him.

          This can only mean that by then they had more volumes to reference than we have today. This makes it almost impossible to arrive at the same conclusions as they did. A lot of biblical literature has been lost but the arc of the covenant have been discovered by one called the anointed of The Most High whom G’d found worthy even to peep into the arc. They say the blood of Jesus flowed through a crack onto the arc which was hidden below the ground of the crusifix. Do you believe this?

          So when we talk of Jesus great care and deligance must be taken lest we grieve the Holy Spirit.

          Brother thank you for your time and once more remain blessed.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Cazastro, the point I’m trying to make for you is that even if Christianity were technically correct about doctrine etc. and Jesus was indeed the prophesied redeemer spoken of by the scripture, no amount of miracles, national devotion, located arks Or sprouted rods, atonments, or anything else would serve as independent verification of his messiahship when the time comes. We both know that the Christian bible teaches about false messiahs. For example, Nero, Simon Magus, Titus, and others have all claimed to be messiahs foretold by someone to be saviors to the Jewish people. All of these men have a common thread. They all claimed to be worthy of divine worship or service to some small degree, and have “verified” these requests for devotion as legitimate via the evidence of the miraculous (whether in the form of civil projects, victory in warfare, or apparently impossible feats that defy nature.

            What sets a Jewish redeemer apart is his selfless devotion to the commands as handed down by G-d to Moses, and his success (via following these commands) as just a plain ole average human guy. Jewish Moshiach’s need no flash, no fanfare, no miracles, not even moral perfection.

            Imagine what Israel must have thought about Moses when he first showed up. This former prince of Egypt, raised by Pharoah (the head of Israel’s present enemies,) a man who killed a fellow Egyptian, and even had a speech impediment. Moses even had the Chutzpah to say to G-d, “yeah Hashem, thanks but no thanks, I’m not the guy you are looking for to save Israel, if I go to them they will kill me.” Read my latest comment on rabbi B’s latest post.

  21. Dina says:

    Wow, Con. 🙂 Way to go!

  22. Concerned Reader says:

    Of course it is true that G’d is not limited to save whom knowledge have not yet been delivered to them as is apparant in the examples you gave. Now your sin remains if you counter a commandment of G’d and art accused of the law as disobedient.

    G-d can also save people who have and know the knowledge already, but still fall short, or are on another path entirely, that’s the key distinction. King Solomon and David knew a ton about G-d, but they were not in any sense perfect, nor was Moses. G-d still loved him.

    The point Cazastro (respectfully) is that G-d even saves those who have a different religiously unaffiliated “unplanned” knowledge of him. There is such a concept in Torah, (and in the NT too) of people whom G-d saves, who even whilst knowing the path G-d has set out, can still find him though they are on a different road. Though G-d makes a covenant, he may operate beyond it.

    For instance, Noah and his family were saved by building the Ark, (a predetermined plan of G-d,) but G-d also saved Enoch before the flood, even though he planned to rescue Noah and his family with an Ark. The point is that righteousness, repentance, and G-d’s love are not confined to a specific religion, a specific community of believers, a predetermined plan etc.

    When Jesus says “no man comes unto the father but by me.” The majority of Christians think this statement means, “unless you accept Jesus as your lord and savior, you will not be saved.” They make of him the only mediator, the only vaccine for problems, the only lifeline that a “fish” can bite to have a relationship with G-d. It is this exclusivity that Judaism regards as an idolatrous devotion, just like those Israelites with the brass serpent that Hezekiah destroyed. Jesus becomes the bottle carried and mediated by any specific believer who regards himself as the sole possessor of divine truth.

    We can see in Christianity itself the danger of this devotion to the one person of Jesus. Catholics justify devotion to Mary because she was mother to Jesus, and to the Pope, because he is successor to his right hand follower Peter. As I said, even if Jesus was good, (and I believe that he was) devotion to him as the incarnate deity walks such a dangerous line, because it puts G-d into human hands. People who have claimed to be Jesus’ second coming, (reverend moon, Jim Jones, the “anti Christ” figures, etc.) all illustrate the error of worship of any person, (even if you justly think that you have cause to view such a person, (including Jesus) as G-d. See what I mean by there being a problematic situation? Jews avoid this by simply stating “ok, don’t go there.”

    • cazastro says:

      Then it means we are together in a number of issues except that i wouldnt put the blame on Jesus for people who hold the truth in error.

      Thanx for your time and stay blessed.

  23. Pingback: Study Notes and References | 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources

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