Song of Solomon 5:16 vs. Three Masters of Persuasion

Song of Solomon 5:16 vs. Three Masters of Persuasion

The heart of Israel is bound up in a covenant relationship with the One Creator of heaven and earth. Throughout the Scripture this relationship is compared to a marriage. How can I explain love? How can I put Israel’s yearning for God into words? David said: “Whom do I have in heaven? And aside from You I desire none on earth” (Psalm 73:25). Solomon wrote on behalf of Israel: “This is my Beloved and my partner” (Song of Solomon 5:16). There is no room in Israel’s heart for another. And the fire of this love is seared onto every page of Israel’s history with her very life blood.

Israel’s refusal to consider the attempt of the Church to divert their heart towards Jesus is rooted in this love. The story of Israel’s rejection of Jesus is a story of loyalty to the Creator of heaven of earth; it is a story of love and loyalty.

The masters of persuasion could not allow the world to recognize this truth. It would not look good for their missionary campaign.

They simply turned the story on its ear. Instead of a story of loyalty and love they invented a story of treachery and hate. In the very place that Israel’s loyalty to God shines so brightly these propagandists painted a picture of pure evil.

I present here the arguments of three of Jesus’s promoters; John, Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum and Dr. Michael Brown.  Each of these provides a “commentary” on the Jewish refusal to direct devotion to Jesus.

John 8:42-47

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But, because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

According to John it is simple mathematics. If you reject Jesus; this then “proves” that you are a child of darkness.

Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum – The Three Messianic Miracles

“Some time prior to the coming of Yeshua (Jesus) the ancient rabbis separated miracles into two categories. First there were those miracles anyone would be able to perform if they were empowered by the Spirit of God to do so. The second category of miracles were called “messianic miracles,” which were miracles only the Messiah would be able to perform. Yeshua did miracles in both categories: general miracles and also messianic miracles. So because of the rabbinic teaching that certain miracles would be reserved only for the Messiah to do, whenever He performed a Messianic miracle it created a different type of reaction than when he performed other types of miracles.”

Fruchtenbaum goes on to describe an elaborate procedure of “investigation” of these “messianic miracles” and he tells us that although Jesus successfully passed all the “messianic requirements” he was still rejected by the corrupt leadership of Israel.

Needless to say Fruchtenbaum has spun this tale out of thin air. There is not one source in the Bible or in the traditional writings for the concept of “messianic miracles” and the elaborate procedure that he attributes to the Sanhedrin that was activated upon report of these Messianic miracles is a figment of his imagination. This is just another attempt to slander the Jewish People.

Dr. Brown – Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, Volume 1, Page xx

 “Sadly enough, the more religious a person is and the more time that person spent learning in a Yeshiva (a school for traditional Jewish studies), the more biased and distorted that person’s views will be concerning who Jesus is, what he taught, and how he and his followers lived.”

Here Dr. Brown is complaining that the study of Judaism in a Jewish context will distort a person’s views towards Jesus.

The fact of the matter is that Jesus is hardly mentioned in the writings of traditional Judaism. In all of the 2700 pages of the Talmud there are three paragraphs which some scholars understand as questionable references to Jesus. In all of my years in Yeshiva I never heard one lecture about Jesus. Jesus is a non-issue for most Jews loyal to God. Contrast this with the inordinate amount of time that the Christian Scriptures spend denigrating Judaism and her leaders to their reading audience.

So these are the tactics of the masters of persuasion. They first announce that anyone who disagrees with them is a child of the devil. They then go on to spin a tale about the corruption of their opponents. And finally; they complain about the negative rumors that their opponents are spreading about them.

With time the truth is revealed. The day will yet come when all of the world will see the righteous love of Israel towards her God (Isaiah 62:2) and they will identify her as the nation who remained loyal to her Divine Lover (Isaiah 26:2).

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

  

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245 Responses to Song of Solomon 5:16 vs. Three Masters of Persuasion

  1. Thank you. I am having a discussion of what JC means to me, and to knowledgeable Jews in general. it helps.
    Yechiel

  2. Annelise says:

    Mm… when I was looking from within Christianity I thought about the passage from John 8 sometimes. I think I believed that it was not anti-semitic or even anti-rabbinic because Jesus was only speaking to some individuals; what if he was right about them in particular? But what you’ve pointed out here makes sense. Jesus, as described in the chapter, was calling people evil because they disagreed with him. Most people only read the New Testament because it tells the Christian story, so they wouldn’t be thinking about the Pharisees as people with their own experience of God and relationship with Him, or even perhaps people who were right in their relationship with their God.

    As to Michael Brown’s statement, it’s interesting that he feels the need to explain what a Yeshiva is to some of the readers while speaking about people being ignorant of others’ beliefs. And I really see and agree with your response to it. From what I’ve known of Jews, those who are closer to the heart of Jewish prayer and learning and community are in a better place to think seriously and properly about the Christian claims. I feel sad for people who are outside of the heart of that community and who then come across the ‘Hebrew Christian’ message. That said, Dr. Brown is expressing something that he feels he has observed about religious Jews’ handling of historical data that he thinks is sound. I don’t believe that this is entirely circular, even though on some level his book is preaching ‘to the choir’ there.

    • Annelise says:

      I haven’t read the book of John for some months. I’m looking at chapter eight and there are some very strange things in it, which I haven’t noticed before.

      It would be interesting to hear from a Christian familiar with Judaism… what is happening in verses 13 to 19?
      “The Pharisees challenged him, ‘Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.’
      “Jesus answered, ‘Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.’
      “Then they asked him, ‘Where is your father?’
      “’You do not know me or my Father,’ Jesus replied. ‘If you knew me, you would know my Father also.'”

      I wonder… what was wrong with the objection that the teachers were trying to bring here? Jesus is described as talking about things and not giving any reason from the Torah for people to accept his claims. When the Pharisees (according to the story) challenged him with a thought from the system that God had put in place for them to test things with, Jesus said something vague about how it didn’t matter that there weren’t two witnesses because, despite their ability to hear it, God was a witness. But that clearly doesn’t fit with the intention of the law regarding witnesses. This law existed to allow humans to judge about a matter that God knows about but that a human court was still trying to gain fair evidence about. To claim your father as a witness is problematic enough, but to claim that God had affirmed you and others hadn’t heard it? On the one hand I get it; it’s a very pointed way of saying that God is speaking and that some people can’t hear Him. Which is a harsh attack on things that seem to have been of deep value to the teachers of that time. But really, it has no respect for the plain meaning and purpose of such a law, and it shows an attitude of ‘not needing valid evidence’.

      By the way, even though I wasn’t there and don’t know exactly what happened, I want to be clear that I’m talking about the story in the gospel narrative here. I’m not trying to speak unfairly about the real historical man Jesus if he didn’t actually say the things recorded in his name in John. Nor am I taking it for granted that the Pharisees said those things to him. But it is interesting to go back and read things that I have never understood until now in this particular light.

      • Yechiel says:

        Dear Annelise;
        Thank you for your comments. They help to shed some light on how these verses can be viewed. I have to keep in mind,though, that there was the custom then of inserting one’s ideas into a known author, so your ideas could get some public reading.
        I read two Jesus in the Gospel, one positive, the other negative. I think the negative was inserted as a bald-work against Romes’ attacks on suspected traitors. Like the trinity, show both sides; a multiple divinity so they did not feel uncomfortable with the Nazarene, and it based on a unity, so the original followers of Jesus would not depart the sect.
        As for the legality Jesus is supposed to have practiced? The writer showed less competence than we would expect from one who showed such promised at age 12. But, he had to put his two lira worth in.
        More on the inserting needs to be done, so we can know the real Jesus, as compared to the Roman version. Thank you;
        Shalom;
        Yechiel

      • Larry says:

        The statement. “’You do not know me or my Father,’ Jesus replied. ‘If you knew me, you would know my Father also.’”. This is clearly telling those he is talking to that they worship the wrong g-d. Out with the old in with the new improved savior.

    • Annelise
      The idea of “religious Jews handling of historical data” – I presume you mean the way religious Jews view the writings of the early Church (including but not limited to the Christian Scriptures) – try putting that in context of the way religious Christian “handle” the belief system of Judiams which is not “historical data” but alive and well today – the ease with which they dismiss Judaism on the basis of this “historical data” that Dr. Brown believes is sound – just compare these two attitudes (Christian of Judaism and Jew of Christianity) – and you can see what I am talking about

      • Annelise says:

        Yechiel, those are some interesting thoughts. It’s hard to speculate about the distant past and I’m cautious about stating alternative theories (even likely ones) as if they were the only possibility. But what you said about the account of Jesus at age 12 in comparison to the description of his teaching is interesting.

        Larry, I agree with that. In this story, Jesus was telling certain Jews that they had a fake relationship with God.

        Rabbi Yisroel, I meant the other things that Dr. Brown wrote on that page in AJO… his opinion that religious Jews don’t understand the basics of Christianity and that rabbinic Judaism only began a few hundred years before the Mishnah. I wasn’t saying I agree, because there are Jews who well understand Christianity and don’t accept it (Michael Brown knows this), though he’s right that many Jews don’t know all the details of Christian belief. And I don’t think that it’s historically sound to make a blanket statement about the formation of things in a period where so little is recorded in writing. But I was only trying to say that his rationale isn’t circular name-calling, at least on this level, because he does offer some things that he believes are actual evidence; things that are part of what holds him to his beliefs.

        If you reply, I can’t reply for a while… I’ve got some pain/tiredness in my wrists, which I think is RSI (I’ve been typing more each week because of a new job) and am trying to type as little as possible for at least a week. This message I typed slowly… but anyway, i will try and remember 🙂

        • Annelise says:

          But Rabbi Yisroel, you’re right… I can see what you mean. It is hard because without taking down the walls and being part of what a community has experienced, you don’t get to see what is really experienced and held by it. But without having their faith challenged by something more accessible to them where they are, loyal Christians and loyal Jews can both not go into each other’s context with the belief that something fundamentally true is being deeply known.

          • Annelise says:

            i.e. Jews would feel a huge aversion to the worship of a human and the ignorance of the Jewish covenant testimony, and Christians would feel a rejection of Jesus that they weren’t willing to consider as maybe true.
            talk more later maybe

        • hyechiel says:

          Dear Annelise;
          Sorry about yhour wrists hurting you. Hope it is short time and you shall be OK.
          To put what I post in perspective; for 55 years I have studied some form of Christianity, from the Gospel to the texts of the Chursh Fathers.
          Way i came about this interest is from being approached by peers to convert, Not always those who knew me, but the usual order of soul savers. They would bring up questions, I would research them, get to the basic what it is. So I have my knowledge rom what was written, and the re-writes.
          I am not boasting but i made some soul savers upset with me, when I would use their Gospel book to show where i am right, or at least, where -d said what I shared, and they could not argue with me. After all, I was using the word of Jesus, his Descipes or Paul, and showing where they were the same, and where they were/are different.
          One walked off in a huff, saying; “Well! It should not have been written like that!” A minister who approached me got the same treatment from his heros, and also was angry.
          The next Sunday I saw him and went up to him to wish him a good Sunday. You should have seen the look in his eyes! Must have thought I was going to Circumcise him?
          So I have a decent background, thanks to all the questions (which have been repeated by different persons) over the years. More I studied, the more I realized the Gospel was a mishmash, and unreliable as history, and also contradicted the Tanach in hundreds of places. G-d, for example, has His Moshiac bring peace, JC a sward. Hummmmm
          So have a good day, and I hope alls well the wrists well.
          Shalom;
          Yechiel

        • Larry says:

          “In this story, Jesus was telling certain Jews that they had a fake relationship with God”. I’m not sure you can water down “know my father” with “had a fake relationship with g-d. If you asked one on the Pharisee he was talking to the question, who is g-d, what do you think they would say? You could ask them do you know who g-d is. I imagine Egypt, Sinai, Torah would come up. That’s why when the idea he was g-d came up he was rejected. Ask any Christian if Christ claimed to be g-d. They will back it up with lots of scriptures and they are quite convincing to anyone who does not know Judaism teachings. Just like when Paul taught the Gentiles. It is still going on today, half truths, miss quotes, scripture taken out of context, original teachings never even understood or learned the way it is supposed to be, the original way.

  3. Jesus is the most misunderstood person who ever lived on earth.Jesus didn’t say anything against Judaism didn’t does any thing against Judaism. The Jesus you see in the Gospels, the meaning you see for the words and deeds of Jesus in the gospels are the Christian version. It is not Gentiles who presented such a Jesus in the gospels, it is some of the Jews who did that.What was its result for Jews and Judaism? “The story of Israel’s rejection of Jesus is a story of loyalty to the Creator of heaven of earth; it is a story of love and loyalty.”. Christianity removed Jews who were not loyal to their God from Judaism . This was what apostles of Jesus did . What do you think? If this was the work what Jesus entrusted to his apostles why do you blame Jesus instead of appreciating Jesus ? Why can’t you accept the truth that apostles of Jesus did the work Moses foretold ” Duet.13:3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Before going to conduct this test upon Jews, Jesus told the Jews to pray to their God ” do not lead us into the test “. When Jews reject Christianity they are right but when they reject Jesus who claimed he is only a messenger of their God and not God or son of God as the Christians preach the Jews are doing a great blunder.

    • naaria says:

      But “the Jews” did not reject “the Jesus” who taught what “the Jews” were taught from God’s Torah. You say also that he did not speak “against Judaism”or do anything against “Judaism” so how could they reject him? They only rejected the “Christian Jesus”, who spoke of the unkosher and ungodly “drinking his blood & eating his flesh”. Remember how they loved “the Jewish Jesus” & “swarmed around him so he found it difficult to be alone for a few minutes to pray to their God”, UNTIL the Christian Jesus appeared on the page? That is the only “real Jesus” you see in the “Christian Gospels”. You have not yet read about him in “the Jesus Gospels” or in Jewish writings. All of what you have read about Jesus in the “Gospels” that you have & most of what YOU understand about Jesus is the “Christian Jesus” who pagan Tyre & Sidon” could follow. It is a 2 or 1 dimensional, very foggy & barely visible, “Jewish Jesus” that you have found in a very few verses of the “Christian Gospels”. A few lines here & there to make Jesus look Jewish & therefore the Roman Church thought he might be made acceptable to “the Jews”. That “Jewish Jesus” is the Jesus that the Gospels showed that they followed up until “another Gospel” was taught which “was too difficult” for them follow because it was the words of pagan or Christian Jesus, who was the Jesus of Tyre & Sidon & Babylon & Rome. Keep researching for the Jesus who appears OUTSIDE of the Christian, Roman approved gospels, and then you will understand the pure, kosher, uncontaminated “real Jesus”.

      • hyechiel says:

        Dear Naaria;
        Jews formed the original Nazarine congrecation, with many G-dfearing Gentiles. Then, the Church in the third and fourth centuries Gentilized the faith, distroyed the Jewish componate, and hipocratically turned to us and on us, to accept their god.
        I accept the Jewish Torah, not the Pagan Jesus. That is the bottom line.
        Shalom;
        Yechiel

        • naaria says:

          The writings of the Gentile church was in the middle of the 2nd c.e. Those writers knew of no Jews who believed in Jesus. The Nazarenes came later than that. And according to Church historians, the Ebionites were both Gnostic & non-Gnostics who “kept some of the rituals/laws & some of the holidays””of the Jews”. That did not mean that they were Jews, but that they practiced some things that Jews practiced, just like many non-Jewish Christians in “Hebraic Roots churches” today eat kosher food, sing songs in Hebrew, wear tallits & kippas, and celebrate Passover, Shavuot, the 10 Days of Awe, Sukkot, etc along with Christmas and “Resurrection Day”. That does not make them Jews.

          • naaria says:

            I was one of those Christians who tried so hard to find the “Jewish Jesus” in the NT book of James, the non-canon gospels or other writings of James, Peter, the Ebionites, the Nazarene, the pseudo-Clementine writings, etc. I found no truly 1st c.e. writings and sparse 2nd century c.e. writings (I question much of those writings as well).

          • hyechiel says:

            Dear Naaria;
            The first followers of Jesus had to be enough knowldegable to understand the language and symbols used. Whom do you concider the best candidates?
            To help you, I am posting one of many websites which discribed the first ones to concider Jesus someone to follow, as opposed to the many other messianic pertenders. (There were 40 who were crusified by Rome). I hope this helps.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Christianity
            Many others also fell for the error, as because some who came after Jesus and his first disciples died, inserted anti-Jewish material to show they were in Rome’s ball park, not Jerusalem (which in the 70’s was destroyed in the rebellion.
            When I post something, I try to contain myself with the writings of the period, or if no writings, then, what are the closest.
            Shalom;
            Yechiel

        • naaria says:

          A little better website than the Wikipedia site, which has numerous errors, speculations & non-scholarly work (folks singing to the choir) is the website http://earlychristianwritings.com/. Most perceptions about the NT and early Christianity are based on accepting the modern canonical texts as true, unbiased history. Just as one searches for hints or clues of Jesus in the Torah, some seek a “Jewish Jesus”, a “pre-Christian or non-Christian Yeshua” in those same “Christian writings” they reject as untrustworthy. The more one searches for the “historical Jesus” the less historical Jesus appears. In the site above, the first couple writings are not actual texts and many others have dates which are guesses and are not based on found relics (for instance there is no known existing writings by Paul until the after about the middle of the 3rd century c.e.). Some are guesses have a range of a couple hundred years, with the early years being the most speculative. One must take into consideration that many Christian scholars (who have studied early Christianity & its texts in more depth than I have) believe only 7 of 14 Pauline writings are “authentically Paul’s”. Of course, Paul himself may not be a historical person. And according to Marcion, a Christian bishop of the 2nd century c.e., Jesus did not have a Jewish father or mother. The book of acts is believed by most scholars to be written long after the “authentic Pauline letters”. Acts also is much shorter today then it once was, and it most likely was written by at least 2 different authors (the 2nd part is almost exclusively pro-Paul, yet disagreeing with Paul’s letters in quite a few ways). Some believe “Luke” wrote Acts & they also believe that he was not Jewish (Theophilus was also much later than the 2nd century), so the first part of Acts contains some lack of knowledge of Torah or history, some ignorance of Jews, their culture & rituals, and has an almost anti-Jewish viewpoint (at least of those Jews who were not “Christians”).

          Some of the many theories of who Jesus was or how Christinity started can be found at the above website, http://earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html. For a more in-depth & scholarly study of early Christianity, go to ccel.org (Christian Classics Ethereal Library) and check out the 10 volumes of ante-Nicene writings, in particular Volume 1 which contains works by Clement, Polycarp, Ignatius, Barnabas, Papias, Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus. A couple of them may not have been historical people, but more so than the truly speculative theories of “1st century Jewish Christians” and their non-existent writings.

          For a little more on that we have the “Jesus Project” initiated by a historian of religion in 2007, (members came from either believing or skeptic viewpoints). They sought to improve upon what was seen as the failure of the earlier “Jesus Seminar” to determine what could be recovered about Jesus, using the highest standards of scientific and scholarly enquiry. After the project was terminated, the chairman, a believer in Jesus, argued that NT documents, particularly the gospels, “were written at a time when the line between natural and supernatural was not clearly drawn, and concluded that further historical research was not realistic”. “No quantum of material discovered since the 1940’s, in the absence of canonical material, would support the existence of an historical founder,” he wrote. But he also believed that nothing in the canon or church doctrine denied the existence of a “founder”. From “Jesus to Christ” (Jewish Jesus to gentile Christ) or “Christ to Jesus”, or both Jesus/Yeshua & Christ from the very beginning (whenever that beginning really began) could not be answered. Some (many) of the most convincing articles on the forum would argue against a “Jewish Jesus” with “mainly Jewish following”. That is why Josephus, Philo, & non-Jewish writers in the 1st century know nothing about anyone even closely resembling a “Jesus” – at least no one more influential than a Gamaliel or a ben Zakki. No story or written account about a Jesus seems to emerge until perhaps the middle of the 2nd century c.e. and those stories come from non-Jews. Marcion (& “Paul”) in his/their opinion, called some of his fellow believers, “Judaizers”, which indicates that it is probable that some were trying to make Jewish some person, spirit, belief, or idea, Jewish which started out not-Jewish (the “from Christ to Jesus/Iesous/Yeshua” theory). After the destruction of the temple (“God’s House”), when the “Jew’s God was also destroyed” as Titus & many other Romans believed, a new god could be offered. It is believed that Rome had over 30,000 gods, many which came from the people’s that they defeated in battle & rewritten. A new replacement god for a defeated people & their defeated God, but Rome was surprised that the Jews would not except “their new messiah” & still would not worship the god Caesar like good citizens (& those who were made slaves) should.

    • Larry says:

      “When Jews reject Christianity they are right”.. There is no but. Whether in truth Jesus claimed to be god or not , that is what is presented in the new improved testment. Chritians believe he is god because in their bible he claims to be. The OT “original” testment, if you study it from a Jewish perspective, rejects even the idea of a g-d man. There is no honest search for Jesus in the OT, original testment from a Christian point of view. You must go to his chosen people, who He taught, and trusted to teach his ways.

      • hyechiel says:

        I understand Jesus perfectly well. There is his version, and the Gentile version.
        How do I distenquish between them? Easy; the positive Jesus is compatible with the Tanach, the negative Jesus is not. End of story. Anyway, he was one of over 40 messiahs whom the Romans crusified. But, he had Paul, whose writings are the basis for the negative Jesus. Read them, not argue, and you shall see that I am right.
        Besides, why would he condemn his followers to hell-which Jews do not believe in-including his mother?
        And, the biggie! Would your Jesus believe all who never heard of the Torah, but still lived Moral and Ethical lives be condemned? What charge? If you are right, you prove Jesus is not Kosher.
        Shalom;
        Yechiel

    • Larry says:

      So you have an even newer religion. It rejects Christianity as not being true, it rejects Judaism by giving their own explanations of what is written by them 1000’s of years ago in the Torah. Thank g-d for picking a nation to protect his teaching.

  4. Larry says:

    What’s Jesus version? Since everything he supposedly said was written about what 80 years later. What’s the gentile version, what translation do you use? Jesus is compatible with the tanach, eat my body drink my blood, human sacrifice etc. ? By the way I have read them, I was christian most my life. It’s very hard to understand your questions.

  5. hyechiel says:

    Dear Larry;
    You stated the answer to your question; >>>Jesus is compatible with the tanach, eat my body drink my blood, human sacrifice etc. ? By the way I have read them, I was christian most my life. It’s very hard to understand your questions.<<<
    Not questions, but acceptance of the writer of the wy he sees the beliefs of Jesus. These are not compatable with the Tanach, thus we affirn G-d by afirning His word as true and the only word we guide our lives by.
    Thank you for your comments; they help to bring up immportant items that we each look at, but through the prism of each one's faith.
    Shalom;
    Yechiel

  6. Larry says:

    hyechiel;
    Sorry, about the comment, I thought you were a jews for jesus type, then I found out I misunderstood you.

    • hyechiel says:

      Dear Larry;
      I am neither prejudice, nor a Goy. G-d said some things He meams for us to take seriously. I do. But where I grew up, there are the usual soul savers. I learned at an early age to take what they said to me, and to track it down. The more I did, the stronger my ties to Torah and to HaShem became. I know from what is writen what is and what is not.
      The post JC writers show that they did not, or try to sell us a bill of goods. Some bought, but must read the fine print and even at the cost of our lives, stay true to Him.
      Thank you for checking it out. You meant no harm, and now, B”H, I have another witness besides the poor dudes on AOLA that I am a hard-headed Jew.
      Shalom;
      Yechiel

  7. CP says:

    R’B,

    Thank you for reblogging the above post, your post and the ensuing comments were very thought provoking. From the comments it appears things haven’t changed much in 3 years; the dichotomy of the Christians rages on (Yeshua vs Jesus). And after 3 years Larry is still here!

    R’B,
    If I may ask for some clarification on a few portions of your blog:

    You wrote:
    “The heart of Israel is bound up in a covenant relationship with the One Creator of heaven and earth. Throughout the Scripture this relationship is compared to a marriage….. There is no room in Israel’s heart for another.”

    >I agree whole heartedly!

    However I must ask; since there is room in a healthy marriage for children, inlaws and parents without usurping the proper place and love of the husband. Wouldn’t your statement; “no room….for another” taken to strictly would rule out (contrary to Torah) love for our fellow Jews, our foreign neighbors and for Messiah himself?

    I find it rather ironic that I should ask this question of you because you appear to be in 100o% agreement with Yeshua when he said:

    “While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him.Someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.”But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?”And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers!“For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

    And…..

    “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”

    (Apparently Yeshua would not take any as his Talmudim who were not fully devoted to and wholeheartedly in love with God)

    R’B, you wrote;
    “Israel’s refusal to consider the attempt of the Church to divert their heart towards Jesus is rooted in this love. The story of Israel’s rejection of Jesus is a story of loyalty to the Creator of heaven of earth; it is a story of love and loyalty.

    The masters of persuasion could not allow the world to recognize this truth. It would not look good for their missionary campaign.”

    >Again I agree wholeheartedly IF you are referring to the Gentile Romanized Jesus. But the Jewish Yeshua IS a story of loyalty to the Creator of heaven, of earth; its a story of love and loyalty even to death.

    Therefore, I am wondering if you support a distinction between Yeshua and Jesus?

    R’B, you wrote
    They simply turned the story on its ear. Instead of a story of loyalty and love they invented a story of treachery and hate. In the very place that Israel’s loyalty to God shines so brightly these propagandists painted a picture of pure evil.

    >I am curious how you support such a statement (“Israel’s loyalty to God shines so brightly”). Not to be smart, but have we been reading the same Tanach? I will be the first to defend Israel always having a righteous remnant. But as history and human nature shows; generally the wrong kind of people gravitate to leadership and eventually the result is a corrupt leadership. We know from Tanach, Israel was not immune to such things. Even in Yeshua’s day; the Pharisees were trying to fix things and opposed the corrupt Sadducees. The Essenes thought the system to corrupt to save, so took off for the desert to wait for Messiah to come and fix things.

    Therefore my question is; Why do you think Israel was shining brightly in Yeshua’s day?

    • CP What I meant with “no room for another” is no room for another marriage partner – of-course since God is a God of love and kindness our love for Him flows out to encompass His people, His word, His creations – but as co-creations of God – not as deities themselves. So I don’t like Jesus’ teaching on hating your own parents – if you are supposed to honor them I would imagine that includes feeling positive about them.

      You ask if I see a distinction between Yeshua and Jesus – Yeshua is dead, buried and forgotten – I see no gain in trying to reconstruct his teachings – if he said anything positive – take it – just as I would take anything positive and Godly from a pagan – after all we are all created in God’s image and all of us have insight into right and wrong and you could learn from everyone.

      My point about Israel’s loyalty to God shining brightly was not a blanket statement about all Jews – it was a statement about the Jewish rejection of the man-god Jesus

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • edward says:

        ” So I don’t like Jesus’ teaching on hating your own parents – if you are supposed to honor them I would imagine that includes feeling positive about them.”

        Dr Hector Avalos in “the bad jesus the ethics of new testament ethics”

        on page 51
        “the hateful jesus” luke 14:26

        completely demolishes the belief that jesus meant “hate x = love Y more than X”

      • CP says:

        R’B,

        Thank you for answering so thoroughly!

        Sometimes I hesitate to plainly ask for risk of offending. However this can sometimes mute any useful discussion. Therefore if I my be respectfully blunt concerning my current beliefs:

        If we can categorize the normal Christian errors to “Them” rather than to me for a moment, I like to ask;

        I absolutely 100% agree with you; There is only One GOD, period! (I’m not a Trinitarian)
        However, I do see in Scripture; spirits, angels of different classes and ben elohims. Therefore GOD is not alone in the sense of agents submitted to HIM to do HIS will as exemplified throughout Tanach.

        Torah clearly, plainly and absolutely rules out Messiah as GOD. However it does clearly, plainly and absolutely rule in Messiah as an agent of GOD.

        I have noticed when I read the recorded words of the human Yeshua in the light that perhaps his soul was that of a pre-existent ben elohim, his words make much more sense and all previous contradictions and suspicions vanish. I know such a thing is not mainline Jewish thought, but from what I’ve researched it is fringe material within Jewish thought. As a Rabbi I thought you might have some insight into this that you would be kind enough to share. Please?

        What if the Talmud Rabbis were right about the concept of Moshiach Ben Yoseph, but wrong about speculated individual details? What if Yeshua was this messiah (ben yoseph) and the Kingdom to come was dependent on the repentance of Israel? After all, Yeshua did come preaching repentance, never formed a army, wrote a book or even had a scribe. From what I can gather he fulfilled the messianic prophecies he could, but left the rest to GOD to act conditionally upon Israel’s repentance.

        We know he was killed for his efforts. But perhaps rather than failure, it was unfortunate but necessary step in GOD’s plan. There is an interesting verse which speaks of gentile dogs eating the crumbs from their masters table. However in rejecting Yeshua’s message to repent, it wasn’t just crumbs that were given to the dogs, but the whole plate. Although the Gentiles have profited greatly from the full plate, they do what dogs do; tear stuff up.

        What if ALL Israel would of repented? And GOD acted?! (I think the Kingdom would of come). From the recorded writings; those Jews who did repent received a taste of what ‘could of been’ as a promise for ‘what will be’ when Moshiach Ben David comes.

        R’B,
        I wish not to offend, but to avoid offense at the cost of truth is an offense. Strip away all the christian rhetoric, idolatry, Pauline theology and error and it seems to me we had a chance at the Kingdom but blew it, but not forever, just until Messiah son of David comes. And I speculate this is when Contemporary Christianity will have their chance, but they will blow it just like we did the first time. We won’t make the same mistake twice, we will repent at the coming of Messiah, who will rule the world from Israel.

        Well, there you have my opinion, I would appreciate, would love, to hear your comments, even if, especially if you think me a cracked pot.

        Is there any merit in this?

        • CP
          The concept that when Israel repents the redemption comes is clearly articulated in Deuteronomy 30:1-10 – what exactly are you adding to (or subtracting from) that? I would point out that the prophecies in the rest of Scripture were spoken in context of this foundational prophecy

          • CP says:

            “It will be that when all these things come upon you — the blessing and the curse that I have presented before you — then you will take it to heart among all the nations were HASHEM, your God has dispersed you;”

            R’B,
            Some things jump out at me from this verse;
            * The phrase “It will be” declares certainty. There is no “If” or “maybe” being stated.
            * “all” ; one doesn’t have to wonder ‘which’ things, it says “ALL these things”.
            * “the blessing AND the curse” ; there is no “either/or” here, it is BOTH.
            * “nations” meaning more nations than just Babylon.

            One certianly doesn’t need to be a prophet to see this coming. Even though keeping the Covenant is not to hard and many individuals were able, an entire Nation continuing to keep the Covenant as one man, would be something to bet against.

            So here we have it told beforehand, in time, both blessing and cursing is coming to Israel.

            I see the Covenant with Israel beginning with Abraham. As I’m sure you remember it was a blood covenant where animals are cut in two and walked between reciting; If I fail to keep this covenant may I be like these animals”.

            Do you think it a coincidence Israel was cut in two before the destruction of Solomon’s Temple and her exile?

            When they returned 70 years later they were embarrassed of the Temple they built, ten tribes were still scattered among the nations and their land full of foreigners. The curse obviously had not completely lifted yet. Even till the time of Hillel a Messiah was needed.

            Now here something really odd happens. There appears a man claiming to be Messiah who curses a fig tree which had leaves but no fruit. The tree withers, and the man declares; ‘no one will eat your fruit until the end of this age’. A person telling of this incident mentions; ‘It was not the right time for figs”

            Assuming the man was Messiah, the fig tree representative of Israel and it’s withering her destruction until the end of this age, the obvious question is; How can Israel be blamed for the Messiah’s poor timing? We could blow the whole thing off as kooky, but it did happen to Israel as predicted, therefore it deserves a closer look.

            A real Messiah generally doesn’t have bad timing, so what could explain the timing of this incident? Perhaps the key is in the above verse (Deut 30:1). Judah had come back from exile in another nation, but the verse says nations. The other tribes are still missing, they hadn’t come back. Are they ever going to come back on their own? Is anyone going to get them? Maybe rather it was our timing which was bad.

            According to Deut 30 two things had not happened yet; repentance and return from the nations. It wasn’t the right time, but nevertheless these things still needed to happen. So what if the Messiah were to be rejected so that he and Israel can be scattered (sent) to the nations to prepare those who are lost among the nations for the coming of Moshiach Ben David?

            The two sticks have to be brought back TOGETHER.

          • CP How does a man claiming to be the Messiah impact the fulfillment or non-fulfillment of Deut. 30? Repenting means returning to God by obeying the Law that He set down through Moses – that never changes

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • CP says:

            R’B,
            Just because many in far away lands claim this man said; ‘away with the old and bring in the new’, doesn’t make it so. In fact a careful reading of records closest to this man’s time and place reveal he taught repentance; returning to God by obeying the Law GOD set down through Moses and taught this would never change until the heavens and earth passed away.

            Whether this man is messiah or not, he is still a Jewish man who taught and practiced Torah observance. He called his fellow Jews, irrespective of social class, to repentance. He didn’t kiss up to leaders to advance himself, but was harsh with them when he thought they were leading GOD’s children astray. Nor did he force his way through violence or gathering an army. Rather he fulfilled the things he could which were Written about Messiah and left the rest to GOD to fulfill. Israel refusing his message of repentance cost him his life.

            If this man is not messiah ben Yoseph, he at least, should be considered a Jewish hero for doing everything he possibly could for Israel without stepping outside the leading of GOD. Perhaps the secular looking for armies or politics to force their will and timing would consider him a failure, but among the religious he should be hailed as a hero of the Jewish people.

            R’B, let’s face it; is today’s Israel going to just spontaneously repent without something (probably bad) happening? What about those fat and happy lost among the nations, why would they repent without something (probably bad) happening? This man has set the stage in not only in the world, but also in Israel; like him or not, everyone knows his name.

            Jewish populations have been conditioned to reject this man as Messiah, but they all know his name and he claimed to be Messiah. Christian populations envision this man as a meek and mild fluffy lamb, not as one who will rule from Israel with a rod of iron, enforcing the Law, but they all know his name and he claimed to be Messiah.

            The problem with the world and Israel accepting a Messiah right now is most don’t need one bad enough to overcome their preconditioned religious vision of Messiah. Some repent just at the hearing of truth, others repent feeling unworthy for overwhelming blessings, however most repent only when things become unbearable. I fear this is what must happen not only to Israel but the nations who house descendants of Abraham through Isaac, to fulfill Deuteronomy 30.

            So what does this have to do with a 2000 year old failed messiah from Israel? First we should consider if he failed according to our expectations or GOD’s expectations of him. We wanted and expected a Davidic Messiah, when we didn’t get what we wanted and expected we declared the whole thing a failure. But what if God had plans other than what we expected? Plans to spread the knowledge of Israel to the nations; namely the Torah and the concept of Messiah. The nations would know next to nothing if were not for this failed messiah from Israel. They would not even know the ten words or know what a messiah is, let alone be expecting one — if it were not for the actions of this one Jewish man from Israel. So how could they “repent”? What would they turn to?

            Through the actions of this one Jewish man obediently following GOD’s leading, the knowledge of GOD and Torah have been spread to the nations so our lost brothers and any who wish to join us are now equipped to repent and fulfill Deuteronomy 30.

            How can this man not be Moshiach Ben Yoseph? Seeing he has prepared a way in all the world for the coming of Moshiach Ben David, a return to Torah and most importantly to HASHEM Himself?

          • CP You missed my point – where does it say anything in the law of Moses about accepting a Messiah? What sin is it if a hero arises and we don’t acknowledge him as such? And if it is a sin – do you know that our nation had many heroes calling to repentance and inspiring repentance? Do you acknowledge all of them?

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

        • CP says:

          R’B,
          You wrote:
          “CP You missed my point – where does it say anything in the law of Moses about accepting a Messiah?”

          >Deuteronomy 18:19
          ‘It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.

          “What sin is it if a hero arises and we don’t ignore acknowledge him as such?”

          >The same sin those committed who refused to listen to Caleb and Jousha

          “And if it is a sin — do you know that our nation had many heroes calling to repentance and inspiring repentance? Do you acknowledge all of them?”

          >Yes, I do, and I do acknowledge them. Yet one stands above the rest as his obedience to GOD and Torah resulted in a message of repentance being spread to the utmost ends of the world. Which other hero accomplished this? Should not this Jewish man’s name be honored above the rest?

          • TRM says:

            Deut 18:19
            I think I have heard that argument a thousand time, and in the end, none would listen to the other. If each of you have your own set of beliefs and each want to prove his point of view by showing verses that includes his own interpretation. And yet, you hope that the other will just believe that interpretation as fact, just as you believe it to be the true interpretation. No wonder why it is not working. Don’t you know that Deut 18 has his own interpretation as per the New Testament and his own interpretation as per Judaism. The only thing that we could both agree, (and that I even doubt it) is that Moses did not specify who was that prophet. If he did not specify who was the prophet, then it becomes to the hearer’s mind to interpret that passage as he pleases. If he wants, he can conclude it was Joshua, many prophet, Yeshua, Mohammed or Joseph Smith depending on his own heart’s desire. This proves nothing in and out of itself except for the one who is convince his own interpretation is right.

          • CP says:

            TRM,

            I admit I’ve plucked a phrase of yours out of a sentence, however not out of context.

            “…..Moses did not specify who was that prophet. If he did not specify who was the prophet, then it becomes….”

            I agree with the analysis resulting from ‘your’ interpretation. However……

            …… let us suppose Moses didn’t specify for a reason, (which is the most likely supposition). This would mean Moses/Torah is and is not talking about a specific individual, but rather teaching a principle applicable to all sent by GOD, with an ultimate fulfillment in a specific individual, commonly identified as Messiah. This Messiah is most commonly thought of as Moshiach Ben David. However this does not release us from the Torah principle to listen to those GOD sends, therefore we are not released from the responsibility to listen to Moshiach Ben Yoseph.

          • CP Two questions – one which commandment of the prophet are we ignoring? and two – the fact that this particular person’s message got so corrupted (if this is indeed a corruption) that it resulted in massive idolatry massive cruelty – so why does he stand above the rest? Wouldn’t a person whose message remained loyal to God such as Hillel be a greater hero?

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • TRM says:

            Let us say that the messiah is also one of the prophet that Moses told us to listen. Most Jews would probably agree with that. The only problem, the messiah will not require us to worship him, bow to him and pray in his name. And that’s how we can now that the prophet was not sent in the name of G-d. But as I said, you will not agree with that and I don’t expect you to agree with that, because it will contradict your beliefs that Yeshua is the messiah. And thus, I also speak in vain because, even if I am aware of it, your understanding of the Hebrew Bible is based on the belief of the books of the new testament or parts thereof!

          • CP says:

            R’B,
            You wrote;
            CP Two questions –

            “The fact that this particular person’s message got so corrupted (if this is indeed a corruption) that it resulted in massive idolatry massive cruelty – so why does he stand above the rest?”

            >I don’t think we can judge a man’s message by the evil inclination of others. In fact it seems more often than not, when evil inclinations are yielded to, there is a propensity to pervert that which is good in order to justify the evil being done. In fact the evil inclination is not content to do merely what is evil, but seems predisposed to pervert that which is good; which is the greatest evil of all.

            “Wouldn’t a person whose message remained loyal to God such as Hillel be a greater hero?”

            As I’m sure you well know, many of the teachings of the man we are discussing came from or have equivalent teachings in Hillel. Hillel was great indeed and probably under appreciated by most. However did his teachings make the existence of Torah known to almost everyone on earth? Did his teachings reach to our lost brothers into all nations?

            Have you ever heard of a “carrier wave”?
            It is when a electromagnetic high frequency wave is broadcast with another modulated wave containing information imposed on it. Christianity is the carrier wave, ie; the contemporary christian gospel. Yet, GOD, Torah and Messiah are the information contained in the modulated wave which are extracted from the carrier wave by those given a heart to do so.

            Or perhaps another way to think of it is a computer program embedded with a virus. The computer program has gone viral; everyone is downloading it. Yet after downloading the program “some” realize they downloaded more than they previously thought; an embedded message of Torah!

            I’m getting off track, what I’m saying is even though what we see in Christianity isn’t Torah, a closer look reveals within it a trail of bread crumbs leading to Torah. If this is GOD’s doing, then wouldn’t it be wiser not to fight against it, but rather work to expose the trail of bread crumbs for those whom GOD is calling home.

            “Which commandment of the prophet are we ignoring?”

            >(I moved this question to last, because my wish is to answer with the greatest respect without watering down an answer).

            I see two commandments being ignored:

            1) Making Talmudim in all nations.
            Contemporary Christianity is leading many astray and away from Torah. R’B, your desire to rectify this is commendable, (permission to speak freely) however you go at it head on; like a sparrow trying to stop a moving car with it’s body. You may get some people to stop and look, but most christians are going to keep driving. For some unknown reason the majority of Christians view Rabbis with a mysterious awe. This puts you in the perfect position to help them see the trail of bread crumbs leading to Torah in their own religion.

            2) Adding/subtracting to Torah though an over emphasis on Oral Torah.
            There was a time when I was the first to chant “Sola Scriptura” and reject traditions, i thought the Karaites were awesome, however as I tried to put Scripture into practice I soon realized this was not practical. What really opened my eyes is when I realized the man we are discussing kept an Oral Torah and instructed other to do so. Ouch!
            GOD through Moses made it clear Torah is to be a blessing and not overly burdensome. I think to much emphasis on Oral Torah takes attention away from GOD and creates a situation where a person can just keep rules thinking it is a relationship with GOD.

            What kind of spouse would you like?
            1) One that doesn’t cheat because its against the rules
            2) One that doesn’t cheat out of fear of getting caught and retaliation?
            3) One that doesn’t cheat because they love you?

            Why should it be any different with HASHEM?

            Forgive me if I’ve come across as ‘preachy’, that is not my intent, however I’ve tried to answer as clear and honestly as able.

          • CP My point about the message getting corrupted was that God didn’t see fit to preserve it and the preacher didn’t have the foresight to see what might happen to his message.

            I would say that Christianity rode the wave of Judaism to get their message out – or let me say to hijack the message of Judaism and claim exclusivity – imagine if Jesus wouldn’t have been born – people would hear the message of Judaism – in a completely different light

            Making Talmidim in all nations – we do it by being who we are – sadly the world thinks it “knows” us because the followers of Jesus “taught” the world all about us

            Yes – a person can keep rules an replace relationship with rules calling the rules relationship – but there is a real love for God in the community that lives by the Law – letter and spirit

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • TRM says:

            And yet, you ask 99.9% of Christian what meat is prohibited and they won’t know. This is the “old” testament. CP, you magnify Yeshua, saying that he made know the Torah to the rest of the world, but I would disagree with that. Who is really responsible for the torah (old testament) to be known, Yeshua who had 12 disciples, his dispiples and Paul or the Constantine the “great” who decided to use Christiany as mean to unify his kingdom of Rome? We all know that if we want a kingdom to last you need to have an identity as a people, and what greater mean than an unified religion. Could Constantine has chosen a better religion? A religion who ask his follower not to doubt, who condemn the rest of the world to unquenchable fire and who would have been a great lure for the Jewish people, who did not want to participate in the other pagan religions? As you know, Yeshua never shared the gospel to the gentiles, was it really his intention that his teaching would reach the rest of the world? That depends on which book you consider holy…

          • CP says:

            TRM,
            I agree! I agree!
            (except that one part where you say you disagree, lol)

            I think perhaps I’m not explaining myself well enough. Although I disagree with Contemporary Christianity, I Do believe GOD is sovereign and takes a interest in the affairs of man. Therefore I look at Contemporary Christianity and ask either; What is GOD doing? Or Why would GOD allow this? Knowing from Tanach GOD’s love for HIS people, the desire to keep HIS promises and the lost brothers among the nations. I look for GOD’s hand in a way that is consistent with HIS revealed nature in Tanach.

          • CP says:

            R’B,
            You wrote;
            “CP My point about the message getting corrupted was that God didn’t see fit to preserve it and the preacher didn’t have the foresight to see what might happen to his message.”

            > Or GOD did have the foresight to see what would happen to the message and used it to His advantage. As far as the preacher, it is not up to him what happens to the message, his responsibility is to be obedient to GOD.
            ———–

            “I would say that Christianity rode the wave of Judaism to get their message out – or let me say to hijack the message of Judaism and claim exclusivity – imagine if Jesus wouldn’t have been born – people would hear the message of Judaism – in a completely different light”

            > I do agree Christianity capitalized on the reputation of Judaism, however Judaism would of never spread like Christianity, the ante is to high for most folks. This is perhaps the reason Christianity spread so fast; it offered Judaism without circumsion, no diet limitations, a sabbath conveniently placed on a day everyone was already Worshiping the sun, etc…..
            ————–

            Making Talmidim in all nations – we do it by being who we are – sadly the world thinks it “knows” us because the followers of Jesus “taught” the world all about us

            > Sadly you are correct about being made known to others by Christians, but all the more reason to make yourself known. I think the advent of Internet is going to produce great changes in this arena.
            ———–

            Yes – a person can keep rules an replace relationship with rules calling the rules relationship – but there is a real love for God in the community that lives by the Law – letter and spirit

            > I don’t doubt you, however in my opinion, when every tiny thing isn’t already figured out for a person; it forces them to seek the face of GOD for the answer. To me this kind of thing makes for a good relationship.
            However I will say keeping a stricter Sabbath has taught me lessons about this life and the olam haba; using my time wisely to get ready ahead of time because when Sabbath gets here it to late to do anything; good weekly advice or good advice for a lifetime!

            Thanks for taking time for me R’B.

          • CP When I said Judaism would have spread – I mean the knowledge of God – the Judaism that is relevant to gentiles – this was happening at a rapid rate before Christianity and still happens where Jews are known and Christianity hasn’t poisoned the minds of men

            and the main thing that Sabbath is supposed to teach you is that your actions do not belong to yourself

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  8. Concerned Reader says:

    (Apparently Yeshua would not take any as his Talmudim who were not fully devoted to and wholeheartedly in love with God)

    Not in love with G-d CP, but he wouldn’t take those who weren’t devoted to and in love with HIMSELF. The man who buried his parents rather than follow Jesus was a good and upright person, and Jesus mocked. Jesus said, “let the dead bury their own dead.”

    The Torah teaches you to honor your parents, and mourning those who have passed is an extremely important aspect of that honor. Would Jesus have mocked those who carried the bones of Joseph out of Egypt?

    • CP says:

      Concerned Reader,

      “Let the dead bury their own dead”
      I’m sure you agree we do not know the exact circumstances surrounding this event. However this phrase can be interpreted as a hebrewism for staying home until your parents pass away.

      As far as loving “himself” before GOD, I don’t read it that way. I can’t read it that way and accept Yeshua as anything else but a false prophet. Even it said it plainly, I would look for a redaction or editing from a later hand. However if this was a clear common unedited thread through out the Gospels; it would cause me grave concern and possibly a crisis of faith.
      However, the common thread I do see is Yeshua pointing to the Father.

      • TRM says:

        Dear CP. It seem like there is always a reason to explain inconsistencies and from the faith of their follower. What did Yeshua mean? Yeshua would have been too cruel to mean what he said. So it must mean that his father was still alive and that he was greedy for the gain of his poor father’s inheritance. I am not saying that it is an impossibility to arrive at that conclusion, and quite impossible to arrive with a definite explanation of the thoughts of Yeshua, weather good or bad. As you said, it is quite convenient that the circumstances surrounding this event are not known, but looking at the first meaning of the text, it is only normal to suppose that the father of the poor man was actually dead. Even the people following Jesus would not have necessary known the circumstances of the event and they could have arrived to the same conclusion. It is not surprising that two people can arrive at the exact opposite conclusion, depending if they take the saying literal or not. We can see that with the sayings of Paul when some take what he says literally and do not follow the Torah and some do follow the Torah and say that the text does not contradict the rest of the scriptures.

        I could even go father and some muslims would tell you that it is wrong to be a martyr and their “holy” quran never condone such an atrocity, wile other would take the meaning more literal and blow themselves up for their faith.

        It is only when you look at the number of “contradictions” that you can conclude or not if the New Testament has contradictions. It’s easy for someone who is not a believer to see those contradictions, but could such an interpretation explain that contradiction. Could we do the same if there is 20 contradictions? How far can we go to rationalize those contradictions and is the new testament G-d breathed? I do not seem to be able to prove that the new testament is not inspired, even if I have so many examples of those contradictions nor is it possible to totally prove the validity of the new testament. We find ourselves only bent to whatever our hearts desire. Maybe that is the reason why it is called “faith” and we have only the duty toward G-d to try our best to understand. Only could we have an unbiased eye. How and when can we decide that a Religion is truly the true religion? I mean, I am not unaware that Judaism has also such “contradiction”, even if I feel that they are less than the New Testament. Can we say that those contradictions have explanations, but that the one from the new testament is not? Where can we draw the line and say without a doubt that a religion is false?

        • CP says:

          TRM,
          Nice to meet you, thought I would comment on your last question;

          “Where can we draw the line and say without a doubt that a religion is false?”

          I think we can draw the line where a religion contradicts, mis-defines or perverts the revealed Nature of GOD.
          The Nature of GOD is revealed to us in creation and Israel, but more specifically in Torah, The Prophets and The Writings.

          Therefore Contemporary Christianity fails the test, however Yeshua passes, but then again Yeshua is not a religion.

          • CP
            I think we agree. “Torah, The Prophets and The Writings”…. in descending order of priority, authority, accuracy and importance, as was the original intention.
            (Why else would Kings be in The Prophets, but Chronicles be relegated down on The Writings with Esther, which never even mentions God in any way?)
            And,
            Yeshua of the Gospels, and His teachings revealed through His chosen Apostles who sat under His teaching for over 3 years – Matthew, John, and Peter (using Mark as his scribe.) Yeshua is not a religion – AMEN.

          • TRM says:

            Really? Or can I say it failed the test in my opinion. And again, we can arrive at two different conclusion. Look at Hebrews 1, where Jesus is the express image of the Father. Isn’t that the exact warning of Exodus 20? You should not make for yourself an image of the L-rd, or in heaven above, nor on earth beneath? How could Yeshua be G-d who became a man? Would that not contradict the exact nature of G-d? Wouldn’t it contract the fact that G-d said at Horeb that He has not shown Himself under any form and that we should be mindful not to depart from what the Jewish people saw there, that is “no form”? If He warns not to make a molden image nor worship His created things, how could we say it is fine to worship a man, who claim to be G-d without the slightest proof. Yeshua said that unless you believe in him and worship him and bow down to him as master and lord we should not have the slightest chance of escaping the torment of below, but would G-d, who created all things be please for us to show such a devotion to a being created? I cannot resolve to find a reason why I should bow to him, even if his warning is so great!

          • CP says:

            TRM,

            Please allow me to respectfully say you’ve unintentionally partaken of the koolaid.

            To explain; “Christianeese” purports Paul as claiming ALL Scripture is GOD breathed. The problem with this is there were no Christian Scriptures yet in existence. Therefore Paul wasn’t referring to the Book of Hebrews or any NT Book. Furthermore it was a group with anti-Semitic tendencies under the direction of a sun worshiping Roman Emperor who 400 years later “canonized” a collection of supposed Christian writings making them equal or greater than Tanach.

            Therefore, I don’t think one can argue the merits or lack of, Yeshua as a messiah on the Books of the NT, (excepting a critical look at the Gospels, James, Jude, & possibly John and Peter) However I do think you can rightfully argue the acceptance or rejection of Contemporary Roman Christianity from the Books of the NT.

          • TRM says:

            I guess pick and choosing the Books that we want holy is a personal choice. Can you say that Yeshua is the messiah if his “holy” books are false? Would G-d allows to put false books in his Holy Book to make it even hard to guess what is the truth? Or the Hebrew Bible is true, or the whole Christian Bible is, or the Catholic Bible or nothing. If you want to say that the Book of Hebrews is not inspired, then how do you know that Matthew is? Or, maybe it would take a bunch of scholars to determine what saying may or may not be true and colour code them. Then, maybe you decide to include it, and I may not,… which would render Yeshua as Santa Claus in my definition of things. A nice merry man saying HOHOHO and pardoning sins, if of course you are good and gave him enough cookies (catholic) or accept you are a sinner and unworthy of his gifts. I guess we won’t resolve the issue and it only makes it harder if we have to decide ourselves what books or sayings are right. Don’t we have enough already with the translations and proper renderings of Hebrew/Greek words that actually could have an obscure meaning. And even if the meaning is crystal clear like Almah, we could still argue over it, because we may choose it to be different just because it would fit better with our own biased opinion. Then everything crumbles and our faith is just the fruit of our imagination, just as the merry red gentlemen who will give me my gift passing through my imaginary chimney!

            Pardon the sarcasm, but seriously, how could one be certain of his faith when so many interpretations, and choices are just before our eyes. It is no wonder why so many believe in Yeshua, believe without seeing and trust without asking questions. It is way too easy for the commoners to have only to believe, but asking questions can render someone quite confused and nuts. I lost the enchantment of Christianity, when they tried to feed me with a pre-digested version of the gospel, which, when you actually read the book makes no sense. But the real gospel, if such a thing can be understood with so many conflict does not in any way prove to be easier to understand nor has less internal contradiction with the Hebrew Bible. And again, with so many parameters in view, how can someone be sure of his faith in Yeshua? In the end, it does at least feel like there are less contradiction in the Hebrew Bible, even if I am doomed to eternal torment in the abyss for my fault of not understanding those difficulties!

          • TRM, if you could only hear what CP is saying….. QUOTE:
            “To explain; “Christianeese” purports Paul as claiming ALL Scripture is GOD breathed. The problem with this is there were no Christian Scriptures yet in existence. Therefore Paul wasn’t referring to the Book of Hebrews or any NT Book. Furthermore it was a group with anti-Semitic tendencies under the direction of a sun worshiping Roman Emperor who 400 years later “canonized” a collection of supposed Christian writings making them equal or greater than Tanach.”

            You are going on with the same mindset as the “Paul worshippers” without realizing it, based one Paul’s mantra “all scripture is God-breathed.” Not only is it impossible that Paul was referring to the “New Testament” or “The Bible”, but also no one else in the pages of “The New Testament” or “The Tanach” ever said that besides Paul. And no one ever said all scripture is equal.

            The challenge is to stop thinking of “One Holy Book” that is all equally “Scripture” and equally “inspired” and “the Word of God.” We need to understand the Tanach for what it is, namely a collection of writings in 3 levels of authority. Not “One Bible”. Then we can look at the “New Testament” texts in a similar manner……

          • TRM says:

            Matthew, part or the whole makes no difference… You may pick and choose whatever you want, if you consider Yeshua as divine, or if you put your trust in him to forgive your sins, or if you love him as your personal savior, then you are a follower of a false god. You do not need the whole book. But why do I speak, there was a reason why I stop going to this blog… As I say, I am not trying to convince anybody of their folly and I have better things to do… Farewell!

          • CP says:

            TRM,

            It has been a pleasure discussing with you like men of old sitting at the city gates. I’m sorry to see you go, you seem like a nice person. Perhaps you can come back sometime when you have the time.

          • TRM says:

            Thanks CP, I appreciate your comments. I would like those conversations to go somewhere, but unfortunately religion seems to hard of a subject to be able to speak and come to a mutual understanding and it usually finishes in arguments. Or sometimes, people just like to post their thought and care very little for what the other person wrote. I did that for too long without every seeing someone changing his opinion. The only exception would be Concern Reader. I am not an expert in divinity and know very little (to none) Hebrew. I can add next to nothing to the conversation, I only observed what people said. If you tell me a passage, I can tell you what the Christian will say, and what the Jews will say. It is usually more compelling for me to follow what the Jews say, even if I am not a Jew and still go to a messianic congregation. I do not follow the “Christian” religion, but if the New Testament (or part thereof) is inspired, Yeshua is definitively not the Three gods-in-one, but no other explanation seem to be convincing either. In respect to the law, I do believe that Paul view is quite hard to pin-point. In my opinion, Paul talks to gentiles and he says that the Law is not binding to them. I think that Paul still thought that Jews should follow it. But again, there is no proof for my point of view and Christians have all the reason to believe that the law was a shadow of things to come and that Jewish believers in Jesus could eat pork if they want to. It’s hard when you can derive any conclusion your heart desires, but never can have proof if what you think is really what it is meant to be or just the complete opposite!

          • CP says:

            TRM, you’re back! Hurray!

            Enjoyed your post, wanted to comment on a few things:

            “…….religion seems to hard of a subject to be able to speak and come to a mutual understanding and it usually finishes in arguments. Or sometimes, people just like to post their thought and care very little for what the other person wrote. I did that for too long without every seeing someone changing his opinion.”

            > I post not to change other people’s opinions, but to give them the opportunity to change mine.

            ——————-

            “……Yeshua is definitively not the Three gods-in-one, but no other explanation seem to be convincing either.”

            > Amen Amen!
            However I think there is another explanation. I don’t think you’re going to find much info on it because no one it talking about it that I know. But probably for good reason; Jewish or Christian camp wouldn’t matter, peer review would sink their career. Since I don’t have to worry about that sort of thing I’ll share with you.

            There is a fellow (Dr. Michael S. Heiser) who has written a few books. Unfortunately he claims to be a Trinitarian, but he is so out of the box already that if he denied Trinitarianism I doubt anyone would even publish him or take his work serious. The books you want to look for is “The Unseen Realm” or edited down version; “Super Natural”.

            He reveals a divine council in heaven, a council of gods (big emphasis on little “g”) who are subject to GOD yet are higher than angels. These are the “Ben Elohim”. He doesn’t make the connection I’m about to, but he certainly lays the ground work for it!

            So taking Heiser’s information on the Ben Elohim and adding to that the Rabbis speculated Messiah would be a human with the soul of an angel, but changing their speculation from an “angel” to a Ben Elohim.

            I know this seems far out, but you’d have to read Heiser first to understand the divine council, then it all makes sense. It especially makes those statements Yeshua made which imply a pre-existence completely understandable.

            ————-

            “In respect to the law, I do believe that Paul view is quite hard to pin-point”

            > Paul is to hard to pin-point; so I leave him alone for now. Someday I might try again, or not.

            —————-

            ” In my opinion, Paul talks to gentiles and he says that the Law is not binding to them. I think that Paul still thought that Jews should follow it. But again, there is no proof for my point of view and Christians have all the reason to believe that the law was a shadow of things to come and that Jewish believers in Jesus could eat pork if they want to. It’s hard when you can derive any conclusion your heart desires, but never can have proof if what you think is really what it is meant to be or just the complete opposite!”

            >TRM,
            The Torah, Prophets and writings take precedence and should be used to judge the truthfulness of Christian Writings.

          • TRM says:

            CP
            Let just say that Yeshua is a Ben elohim… a supernatural being that was sent from YVHV to provide atonement for our sins. I think this is the only logic we could bring forth from the new testament. As it is written: “For, He (G-d) put all things in subjection under his (Yeshua) feet. But when he saith, All things are put in subjection, it is evident that he is excepted who did subject all things unto him.”

            It still does not make sense, at least in my opinion, that G-d would share His glory. If G-d is all powerful, He is the one that forgive sins, His Glory, He won’t share with another and He warns so much against elevating anybody else but Him, why did He send someone else to save us. Basically, G-d warns the Jewish People so much that, with all those warnings, he actually caused them to reject their only savior. In my mind, this cannot be. Would G-d trick His chosen people into rejecting their only savior? God would have send them a “king” whom the Jewish people would have had no way on being sure that what he said is true. As all the Christian Prophecies can be interpreted in another way, the only thing we can do is to accept that man by faith, and by doing so, cause G-d’s anger if what he claimed is not true.

            As many Jews rejected Yeshua for zeal of G-d, (and often die because of it) they were actually wrong to do so, and rejected their only mean to escape the unquenchable fire. All because G-d warns them and they took those warnings seriously? How can I accept such a thing? Yeshua is quick to condemn those who don’t believe in him, but didn’t they have a good reason to doubt? They were careful not to elevate anybody that claimed to be messengers of G-d, especially with the claims he made. I think they were right to doubt even with all the miracles the NT claims he made. Those miracles who are totally unverifiable today…

          • CP says:

            TRM,

            Rather than picking a multitude of various points in your post; I notice the have a common theme, do I’ll comment on that instead.

            If as supposed the human Yeshua had the soul of a Ben Elohim, in no way does this separate him from submission to GOD. All it does is make the human Yeshua a supernatural agent of GOD, but it does explain many of his sayings.

            About sharing glory with another. I think we need to look at this closer before assuming particulars. For all around us in creation and each other is the “glory” of GOD is manifest.

            If by any chance you are looking for a correct view of Yeshua? I can only suggest like anyone else, but I view Yeshua as a type of Moshiach Ben Yoseph. He was a rightful heir to the throne of David and would of ruled if Israel had listened to him and repented. But they didn’t, that doesn’t make him any less a true King of Israel, but only a rejected King. However he promised a return and acceptance by Israel in the future, not only as King of Israel (Moshiach Ben David) but of the World. There will be those who fight against him to their own destruction, for he will rule with a rod of iron.
            (He has the same attitude of the Jews after the holocaust; NEVER AGAIN!).

            In short & simple: Give GOD the honor and worship due to GOD.
            And give Yeshua the honor due to a King placed by GOD on the throne of Israel.

            Oh, as a side note: Paul is the one who preached justification by faith.
            Yeshua preached the Kingdom of GOD.

          • TRM says:

            Many claimed to be the messiah. It’s even harder to prove that Yeshua was a rightful descendent of David. CP, you may not be worshiping a false G-d nor be far from the truth. Regardless if Yeshua is the rightful king of Israel or not, accepting a false king as king in the hope of fulfilling G-d’s promises is not idolatry. I still do not see any reason why I should necessary believe he is the real king of Israel. He is dead and see no point on accepting him at the one who should reign just because some claimed they saw him flying to heaven. I would not disagree to accept him as king if he is put on the throne of David when he comes back and is anointed as such. But to accept a man dead since 2000 years as the rightful king, you need some specific reason why I should do so. Maybe you will disagree with me, but what are the benefits of accepting him as the rightful king instead of waiting for the rightful king to be actually anointed?

      • edward says:

        “I’m sure you agree we do not know the exact circumstances surrounding this event. However this phrase can be interpreted as a hebrewism for staying home until your parents pass away.”

        And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men’. And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little
        farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and followed him (Mk 1.16-20)

        what is the “hebrewism” for “they LEFT their father”

      • ….”this phrase can be interpreted as a hebrewism for staying home until your parents pass away.” perhaps JUST SO THAT YOU CAN COLLECT THE INHERITANCE…..??

      • CP says:

        TRM,

        Good questions and sarcasm overlooked, as I struggle constantly with keeping sarcasm under control in my own life. It would not be so hard if I didn’t enjoy it so much! But the Rabbis say I have special blessings promised for overcoming such a temptation specific to my personality. I hope they are right, I’d hate to miss out on all these good opportunities! Haha. However seriously, GOD’s instruction is always best, therefore I trust HIM.

        You’ve rightly pointed out the difficulty in knowing what to accept or reject in the NT. My rational is from Torah. It says gold and silver, like truth are not just laying around to causally pick up, but one must dig for them.

        You used a statement I’ve heard many times: “Would GOD allow ____?” In this case you you filled in the blank with “false books”. I could try to answer that, however I hesitate to make the same error as Job, before GOD corrected him. I could venture some guesses; perhaps by allowing some imperfection prevents “Holy Books” from being idolized and honored more than GOD himself? (although this hasn’t stopped everyone). Another guess would be if it was most clear, plain and easy to understand; it would defeat the very purpose it was given; to foster a loving, trusting, dependent relationship on GOD. For the only way to truly understand Scriptures is through a loving, trusting, dependent relationship on GOD.

        I don’t think it is about getting to GOD.
        I think it is a journey meant to be walked hand in hand with GOD.

        • TRM says:

          With the same standards, I came to the conclusion that none of the New Testament book could have been inspired 🙂 You’re not too far, just drop the rest of it, it also contradict the Torah!

          • CP says:

            TRM,
            I have not ruled out that possibility for fear of being closed minded. However currently I’ve a good reason to think there is still a baby in the bath water.

          • TRM,
            What is your standard for “a book” to be considered “inspired” ?
            Does that mean every word written in it is the very word of God, written by the hand of God?
            If that is your standard, the only “book” in history that meets it is the first version of the 10 commandments written on stone by the finger of God – which Moses smashed to smithereens.
            (Maybe that is why there is a slight difference in the wording of the 10th commandment between Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5…….?)

          • Yedidiah says:

            It is a little harder for some of us who accepted the idea that “God was created in the image of a man” to give up that man. Some can’t see themselves as sons or dsughters of God, so we rely on some other man to be God’s son so that we can indirectly get to our Father, because we were taught by the words supposedly spoken by a man that we can’t get to “the” Father except through that one man. Never mind that the man supposedly said “Our Father in heaven…”, meaning God is our father even if that man was never alive. Meaning the best path to a relationship with our Father is a direct one to one relatationship without the middle man.

        • Yedidiah says:

          So going back to the “carrier wave” example, was it Jesus alone that was the carrier to the nations, or did he require Paul, through Constantine, to take him to the nations so that he could leave & deposit bread crumbs of Torah?

          • bible819 says:

            The Work of the Holy Spirit

            26“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

            Jesus paid for the Spirit for all flesh. I have the Spirit of Jesus.

            Yedidiah do you have the Holy Spirit of God?

            Or is the Law of God understood by a mere man to follow?

            Or is the Spirit only for Moses and the Prophets?

            How does the Law of God travel?

            By the Spirit or by Man?

            The Prophets(flesh= knew Gods Word.,Through the Spirit of God

            The Carrier of Nations is only by Spirit. not by Constantine or Paul.

            Christianity spread through the Spirit of Christ.

            Or better said, We talk,walk, and act through the Spirit of Yeshua.

          • CP says:

            Yedidiah,

            It was just a analogy, no more that that.
            If you are wondering what the carrier wave represents; I wrote it plainly (the gospel of contemporary Christianity) so that anyone could understand unless they wished to misunderstand.

            In retrospect I probably shouldn’t of used a technical analogy.

          • Yedidiah says:

            CP: it wasn’t bad for an analogy, but only if one accepts Paul’s teachings as apostolic and all of the NT canon as it was brought to most Protestants & Catholics today. It is not a matter of that it was of a “technical analogy” and it is not a matter of misunderstanding. But it can be argued that bad ideas & heresy almost can be carried out though the world and be accepted as “truth” and as good or holy.

          • Yedidiah says:

            bible81 9: BP, in your 22 Nov reply to my comment: Your bible tells you that the Holy Spirit existed and was a concept before Jesus was “born” (and supposedly was necessary for Jesus to be born). So people were able to have a relationship with God centuries or a couple of millennia before Jesus. Why couldn’t our Father have continued to send “the spirit of truth” or why didn’t he have the power to send your advocate directly? As the verse you quoted said, “the spirit of truth goes out from the Father”, so why did it need to add the first phrase “whom I will send to you from the Father”? A person who claims they are speaking for God could be speaking lies & those lies would be testifying that a lie was truth. The satan or a devil was also supposedly sent to earth by God according to some gospels, yet it tempted Jesus (and there are verses in the gospels that suggest Jesus failed & so Jesus’ Father might be the devil)?

            Since God is merciful & just, as was repeated often in the “OT”, and since God much earlier stated in his teachings that we could & should be Holy as He was Holy, what can you possibly mean by “Jesus paid for the Spirit for all flesh”?
            Do you have the Holy Spirit of God or do you have the spirit of a man that claimed that he was sent like the devil claimed that he was sent & anything or any power or glory on earth was his to give? Are you following the Law of God as previously given to Man or do you follow a mere man who he & a few of his followers claimed was something more than a man (100% man)? Some say (as some of the commentators above claim) that Constantine and Paul corrupted the words of Yeshua and essentially made him into a new man, Jesus the Christ, and so the Christianity that spread was corrupted & was of a false spirit & that modern believers talk, walk, and act through that corrupted spirit.

          • Yedidiah says:

            Without a spell/grammar checker my “auto-correct” can mess my words up. The word ‘almost’ should have been “also”. So, “But it can be argued that bad ideas & heresy also can be carried out though the world and can be accepted as “truth” and as good or holy”.

          • bible819 says:

            Yedidiah:

            Thanks for your insight and intelligent response.

            Consider when God shared the spirit on Moses with the elders(Numbers 11:16)

            The limitation was 72. The reason why God came down to earth was to share the 1 Spirit with 72 others.

            Why: The elders had no understanding.

            Why: The burden was to heavy for Moses.

            His Response to Joshua: Are Jealous for my sake. I Wish all people were prophets and had Gods spirit.

            Understanding and the Spirit work hand in hand.

            I.E Solomon didn’t have wisdom until God gave it to him

            But Eventually (knowledge puffs up), Solomon turned away from God to worship other gods and wealth.

            Point being, with out the Spirit you can not understand the Spirit.

            Israel had the Law but turned away. The Law has brought nothing but punishment for Israel.

            The Spirit brings understanding in which Moses had but the elders didn’t so God gave them the Spirit.

            Evidence: They Prophesied. But didn’t again.

            Evidence: Saul laid naked in front of Samuel. They asked if Saul was a Prophet.

            The difference between The Spirit and a Man’s knowledge is substantial.

      • Dina says:

        CP, I do not understand your defense of Jesus’s contempt for the Fifth Commandment.

        The plain text speaks for itself, and your explanation that this is a Hebrew expression for staying with your parents until their deaths is bizarre. It is bizarre because as someone who is fluent in both Biblical and modern Hebrew, I have never heard of or seen such a “hebrewism.”

        I think it would like arguing that Jesus’s statement that whoever doesn’t believe him, take them and slay them in his presence, is a “hebrewism” for saying that he wants to get together with his buddies and slay them with jokes.

        Of course, if your defense of his behavior fails you can always fall back on your old and extremely convenient argument that it’s “a redaction or editing from a later hand.”

        • CP says:

          Dina,
          You are 2000 years removed and perhaps a continent removed from the culture that used this hebrewism and yet you are surprised at this because you are fluent both Bibical and Modern Hebrew? All I can say is do some research and you’ll find I didn’t just make this up.

          Since the “slaying” parable has you baffled I can only assume you are again unfamiliar with the culture of that time. However for one such as yourself fluent in Biblical Hebrew and the Tanach, I’m surprised you’d even raise an eyebrow considering similar content is found in Tanach (except they’re not parables).

          Dina, given your intelligence, I can only assume you chose misunderstand because you like to argue.

          As for editing by a later hand; given the early Roman Catholic’s stance on celibacy and another a teaching from Yeshua which directly opposes your literal interpretation it could be possible, but I highly doubt it. Only one unfamiliar or with a predisposition would misunderstand the verse under discussion.

          Let’s see if you have a double standard?
          How do you interpret this verse?:
          To fear GOD is the beginning of wisdom.
          (Remember; you’re the literalist!)

        • Dina,
          Do you think that The Fifth Commandment is “the FIRST commandment with a promise” like Paul taught [Ephesians 6:2-3] ?

          Or can you read for yourself that the first 4 commandments contain 3 other promises – so that The Fifth Commandment is really the LAST commandment with a promise?

          • Dina says:

            What’s your point, Matthew P.?

          • I want to see if you believe Paul’s lie, like I did for over 20 years. I allowed Paul’s lie to blind me to the text of the 10 commandments. We can read for ourselves, and see the truth- if our eyes are open.

          • Dina says:

            I don’t understand your question, and I haven’t studied Paul. Being an Orthodox Jew, I have found him irrelevant to my life.

          • Dina says:

            Perhaps this will help: I take the commandment to honor my parents as a commandment from God. I take all of His commandments seriously. I often fall short of the ideal, but I hope I do my best.

            I guess I don’t understand your question because I’m confused about the promises. Why is that even important?

            By the way, they’re all liars. Jesus too, if he actually said what is claimed he said. The lies are mixed with truth, of course. That’s why it is said of the New Testament that whatever is new isn’t true and whatever is true isn’t new.

          • Dina, OK, let’s forget about Paul.
            This is question of observation of fact about the text of the 10 commandments.

            I see that the first 4 commandments contain 3 promises – and so that The Fifth Commandment is really the LAST commandment that contains a promise in it.
            Do you see that?

          • Dina,
            To phrase it another way, I’m asking you to read the 10 commandments and confirm for me something I just noticed, after missing it for 20 years.
            #2 has 2 promises
            #3 has 1 promise
            #5 has 1 promise.
            That’s it.
            Do you see that?

          • Dina says:

            By promises do you mean rewards and punishments? And why is this so important to you?

          • Yes.
            I just explained why it’s important in the previous comments. Paul lied. I believed Paul’s lie for over 20 years. Now I know the truth.
            So do you see it?

          • Dina says:

            I have no idea what you’re talking about and you’re confusing me. So maybe we should just let the matter rest.

          • …..”but showing love to a thousand generations of those who LOVE ME AND KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.” [Exodus 20:6]

          • Dina says:

            Matthew P., I do not how to explain to you that I do not understand what you’re getting at, why this is important to you, and what this has to do with any position I have put forth on this blog. I think you must be having an argument with someone else and think he is I.

          • Dina,
            Do you see [Exodus 20:6] as a “promise” of “reward” ?

          • Dina says:

            Yes, I suppose so, although it seems to me more of a natural consequence. Like if you eat healthy and exercise, you’ll have a better quality of life and also possibly extend it. But if you drink too much, eat too much sugar, and lead a sedentary lifestyle it won’t so well with you healthwise and you might die young of an obesity-related disease.

          • Ok Dina,
            and do you also see Exodus 20:5 and 20:7 “promises” of “punishment”,
            and
            Exodus 20:12 as a “promise” of “reward” ?

          • Dina says:

            Yes, but so what? Reward for obedience and punishment for disobedience is a consistent Biblical theme.

          • Dina,
            I’m glad we both see the truth about the 10 commandments. Christian “Paul worshippers” (or PAAL worshippers one might say….) listen to Paul’s false teaching that The Fifth Commandment is “the FIRST commandment with a promise” [Ephesians 6:2-3].
            That is a lie of Paul the false apostle.

            Eve in the Garden of Eden forgot about the first tree, the tree of life. Instead, she was consumed focusing on the second tree, thinking of the second tree as “THE tree in the middle of the Garden”.

            Paul did the same sort of thing, claiming the entire law is summed up in a single command – Leviticus 19:18. That is false. That’s “Love” without God.
            Paul’s false teaching in [Ephesians 6:2-3] is pushing the same agenda, ignoring the 3 promises of God contained in the first 4 commandments. (namely, the 4 commandments that deal with how specifically we are to Love God, summed up in Deuteronomy 6:4-5). That’s Paul’s false agenda – earthly rewards without loving God and obeying God’s commandments.
            .
            So in truth, The Fifth Commandment is really the LAST commandment with a promise- not the first one with a promise as Paul falsely claimed. Because, God is first. And the Love of God, and for God, is first. The love of people is second.

          • Dina says:

            I don’t really care what Paul says; you know that by now, don’t you, Matthew P.?

          • LarryB says:

            Matthew
            So now there are only 5 commandments?

          • CP says:

            @LarryB
            Although I haven’t the time now to research out Matthew Perri’s assertion, your comment begs the question;
            Do you think GOD put the commandments in a particular order or are they an arbitrary ordered set of ten?

          • edward says:

            hello mat
            one thing i just realised about paul is that when he is interrogated by the authorities he pretends to be a good jew keeping law and invoking god alone.

          • LarryB says:

            CP
            I don’t think my opinion matters on this one. It’s 10 commandments not 5 and in his order. i have heard fasinating theories on how the second half mirror the first half differing only in relation to God or man. And many other things that are so amazing.

        • Yedidiah says:

          One NT reference book says that “Jesus’ words challenge the traditional and honorable duty to bury one’s parents” and then it references chapter 4, verse 3-4 of Tobit, a non-canonical pre-Jesus Jewish writing

          The “New Interpreters Study Bible” states that “To not bury a body was to dishonor it (Deut 28:25-26). The commandment to honor parents (Exod 20:12) upheld family obligations. Jesus shockingly overrides such religious and social obligations by calling this disciple to an alternative way of life based on commitment to him. Some other religious and philosophical groups subjugated family ties to religious commitment. Doing God’s will, not birth, constitutes Jesus’ alternative households (4:18-22; 12:46-50).”

          So the NISB supports Dina, but it also be taken in some cases to support CP, when it states that “Some other religious and philosophical groups subjugated family ties to religious commitment”.

          • Yedidiah says:

            So, it can suggest that Jesus was a cult leader who required his followers be committed to him and not necessarily a commitment. Caused it to be to traditional or to Torah. But the gospels also show that the disciples at times did not understand Jesus nor were they all totally committed all the time, especially with Peter’s denial & Judas’ betrayal (but that can’t really be called denial & betrayal since Jesus supposedly knew about it & allowed it or caused it to be as part of his plan).

          • Yedidiah says:

            So, it can suggest that Jesus was a cult leader who required that his followers be committed to him and not necessarily be committed to tradition or to Torah. But the gospels also show that the disciples at times did not understand Jesus nor were they all totally committed all the time, especially with Peter’s denial & Judas’ betrayal (but that can’t really be called denial & betrayal since Jesus supposedly knew about it & allowed it or caused it to be as part of his plan).

  9. Dina says:

    Following.

  10. edward says:

    “You are 2000 years removed and perhaps a continent removed from the culture that used this hebrewism and yet you are surprised at this because you are fluent both Bibical and Modern Hebrew? All I can say is do some research and you’ll find I didn’t just make this up.

    Since the “slaying” parable has you baffled I can only assume you are again unfamiliar with the culture of that time. However for one such as yourself fluent in Biblical Hebrew and the Tanach, I’m surprised you’d even raise an eyebrow considering similar content is found in Tanach (except they’re not parables).”

    can you show me this “hebrewism” so then i can check it with
    https://www.reddit.com/r/AcademicBiblical/

    • edward says:

      just need to see some examples that “let the dead bury the dead” does not mean leave his dead father like zebedee was left here :

      and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and followed him (Mk 1.16-20)

      • CP says:

        edward,

        Idioms in the Bible Explained and A Key to the Original Gospels by George M. Lamsa HarperSanFrancisco (1985) As an example from the book: 21 And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. meant“take care of my father until he dies.”

        This is interesting: (Stack Exchange)

        First-Century Jewish Burial Practices

        After a body was placed in a burial cave, it was left to decompose. The family mourned for seven days. This initial mourning period was followed by a less intense 30-day period of mourning, called shloshim. However, the entire mourning period was not fully over until the flesh of the deceased had decomposed, usually about a year later. The Jerusalem Talmud states: When the flesh had wasted away, the bones were collected and placed in chests (ossuaries). On that day (the son) mourned, but the following day he was glad, because his forebears rested from judgment. The final act of mourning, the gathering of the bones into a bone box called an ossuary, was called ossilegium, or secondary burial. According to the Rabbinic sources, the decomposition of the flesh atoned for the sins of the dead person (a kind of purgatory) and the final stage of this process was gathering the bones and placing them in an ossuary (Meyers 1971: 80-85). Jesus confronts this contrary theology. Only faith in Christ’s redemptive work on the cross can atone for sin, not rotting flesh or any other work or merit of our own (Heb. 9:22, 26; Acts 4:12; Eph. 2:8, 9). Jesus may have rebuked the disciple rather harshly because they were following the corrupted practice of secondary burial.

        The setting of the saying:

        The Gospels record two incidents where disciples approached the Lord to request a leave of absence from following Him. The first request is recorded in Matthew 8. Jesus was about to take the Twelve across the Sea of Galilee to the Decapolis city of Gadara. Chronologically, this trip is the first recorded journey of Jesus to minister in Gentile territory. Maybe the disciple hesitated, probably because he did not want to go to those Gentiles so he made an excuse: Let me first go and bury my father.

        He most likely appealed to the Jewish burial practice of ossilegium, or secondary burial, which would remove him from following the Lord for up to eleven months. Jesus saw this as an excuse not to minister to the Gentiles. As a result He rebuked him with a statement of irony and challenged the disciple to follow Him. I got most of the information from LET THE DEAD BURY THEIR OWN DEAD.

        • CP says:

          Dina,
          It took all of about 2 seconds to come up with the info I posted to edward,

          • Dina says:

            CP, some guy named George M. Lamsa claims that “let the dead bury their dead” means what he speculates it to mean and that settles it for you?

            There is no such expression in Hebrew, Biblical or modern; I challenge you to find this “idiom” anywhere in the Tanach or other Hebrew writings such as the Talmud.

            By the way, note how much speculation is in that post. I refer to words like “maybe,” “probably,” and “most likely.”

            Also, I have to check with Rabbi B. about the burial practices. When Christians try to explain Jewish rituals, especially when they start quoting from the Talmud, they rarely get it right.

          • CP says:

            Dina,
            You bring up a good point. Perhaps people have speculated it was a hebrewism or idiom when perhaps it is a clever twist on words original to Yeshua. However, all that aside, Yeshua’s direct teaching on honoring one’s parents flatly conduits your interpretation of the phrase under discussion.

          • Dina says:

            CP, perhaps Jesus contradicted himself.

            He may have taught to honor your parents.

            But he ordered the men to leave their dead parents for someone else to bury.

            He said you can’t serve him unless you hate your parents.

            He dismissed his own mother when she searched for him after he went missing.

          • Dina says:

            I appreciate your concession that perhaps you may have been wrong to speculate on the meaning of the words. You are still unwilling to concede that what Jesus said was horrific.

          • Dina says:

            CP, I was wondering if you wanted to take up my challenge on another thread to discover the remnant of Torah observant followers of Jesus throughout history? Also if you would answer my questions on Sabbath observance? Many thanks!

          • CP says:

            Dina,
            You want to think Yeshua’s words are horrific, so you do. Most everything can be twisted one way or another depending on what you want it to say. Recognizing this is an area where I may have more experience and therefore expertise than you. One simple question will prove my statement;

            How many religions or doctrines you once thought were true have you walked away from?

            The first one I was raised in from infancy I walked away from under threat of eternal damnation in hell. I walked away from two other religions and have rejected more doctrines I once adhered to than the number I currently believe. None of these departures were on a whim, they were a product of study, prayer and GOD’s leading.

            Therefore, by now I can usually and fairly quickly recognize when a preconceived bias is clouding the issue? Of course with statements like “what Jesus said was horrific” makes it way to easy! Lol.

          • Dina says:

            CP, I no longer wish to get sidetracked on this point, as I’d like to bring us back to our other threads, if you are willing.

            I am content to let the audience decide which one of us wishes Jesus’s words mean something other than what he plainly said.

            As for your question about my religious journey, I have already discussed this with you on a different thread.

            I very much would like to return to my questions/challenges that I posted to you recently.

          • CP says:

            Dina says:
            November 23, 2016 at 10:52 am
            CP, I was wondering if you wanted to take up my challenge on another thread to discover the remnant of Torah observant followers of Jesus throughout history? Also if you would answer my questions on Sabbath observance? Many thanks!

            >Dina,
            I must respectfully deny your challenge, at least for now due to time restraints. Also the information I’ve dug up in the past is sketchy and easily called into question, therefore the exercise would be pointless unless you were just curious about the subject.

            As for the Sabbath observance question; ask away. I seriously doubt I could easily find the post you’ve referenced, remember I’m on a small iPad and iPhone.

          • Dina says:

            CP, thanks for getting back to me.

            My historical challenge was in response to your assertion that there had always (your word) been a Torah observant remnant that followed Jesus. If ” the information [you’ve] dug up in the past is sketchy and easily called into question,” how can you assert this with such confidence? I submit to you that there is no evidence for a continuous, historical presence of Torah observant Jesus followers.

          • Dina says:

            Also, CP, here is the link to my comment containing questions about Sabbath observance:

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/conversation-a-note-from-jim/#comment-30680

        • edward says:

          “Maybe the disciple hesitated, probably because he did not want to go to those Gentiles so he made an excuse: Let me first go and bury my father.

          He most likely appealed to the Jewish burial practice of ossilegium, or secondary burial, which would remove him from following the Lord for up to eleven months.”

          or maybe it means what it plainly means “leave your DEAD father ” ?

          “made excuse”

          “appealed to jewish burial practice”

          how many jewish burial practices were there other than ossilegium?

        • Yedidiah says:

          Can we assume a person can cannot carry on with their life while in mourning (but then the disciple would not have been there with Jesus if his father’s death was not recent? Or would it be unkosher to be in the vicinity of non-Jews even though there were many non-Jews scattered throughout the western Galilee? The 2nd disciple (whoever he was & who knows how long he was a student) was could likely be making up an excuse since first a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” In chapter 7, there is a crowd of demon/possessed people wanting to be healed which leads to the beginning of chapter 8 where Jesus seeing the crowd wants to go to the other side of the lake (supposedly to get away from the crowd & not because he thought it was time to move on to new territory & to minister to other people) orders his men to go with him, or else the disciple did not need to ask permission to leave after Jesus talked about foxes & their dens & birds & their nest, letting the followers know they were going to forsake family & home by going wherever he went. Going over the lake was not meant to be long term. It seems these sentence are all meant to be a parable which is not clear. Do the dead bury? Does burying matter if one is to be resurrected? In Matt 8.1-9.34, we will see 10 miracles which the author may give in order to recall Moses in Egypt.

          Matthew often follows Mark. Besides the gospels using very stories out of the “OT”, they follow stories & traditions and myths of other cultures. For instance, we see allusions to actions & characters in Plato, such as Plato’s Timaeus & the gospel’s “blind bar Timaeus”. One scholar, Dennis R. MacDonald’s in his book “The Homeric Epics and the Godpel of Mark”, came up with the thesis that the Gospel of Mark, as one book reviewer put it, “is a deliberate and conscious anti-epic, an inversion of the Greek “Bible” of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, which in a sense “updates” and Judaizes the outdated heroic values presented by Homer, in the figure of a new hero, Jesus.” If one can see similarities in the gospels to “OT” & we have someone in Jesus’ time like Philo in his use of the Greek philosophers to interpret “the 5 Books of Moses” & to come up with his idea of Logos (which is used to begin John’s gospel), can we discount the many similarities to Greek writers & myth in the gospel’s? On what basis?

      • edward says:

        let me try to understand

        you are reading hebrew culture into greek words “let the dead bury the dead”

        “He most likely appealed to the Jewish burial practice of ossilegium, or secondary burial”

        so it is simply a guess which is being read into words which were written by a greek writer?

  11. CP says:

    edward,

    You wrote;
    let me try to understand
    you are reading hebrew culture into greek words “let the dead bury the dead”

    You have an Aramaic/Hebrew culture written about in Greek. “Reading Hebrew culture into Greek words” is exactly what a person seeking understanding would do.

    • edward says:

      we know that they have given up family duties
      quote:
      Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

      so maybe “let the dead bury the dead”

      means what it plainly means ?

  12. Dina,
    as to your comment QUOTE:
    “He dismissed his own mother when she searched for him after he went missing.”

    …….”If my kid did that he’d be grounded for a week”, and “if you don’t see why this is wrong, then I can’t explain it to you”…….. as you wrote to me many moons ago…..
    Yet,
    in the eyes of the Synagogue, a 12-or-13-year-old Jewish male Bar Mitzvah is NOT a “kid,”
    rather
    he is a young man, who can exercise his new rights in the Synagogue like reading Torah or perhaps discussing it…. right?

    • Dina says:

      No, a child who reaches Bar Mitzvah is now obligated to fulfill the commandments (reading the Torah is not a right; it’s an honor and a privilege but it’s also an obligation). For example, he has to fast on Yom Kippur, whereas before he did not. However, he is still living under his parents’ roof and subject to their rules (the commandment to honor your parents doesn’t have an expiration date). In fact, in Jewish tradition you are considered fully adult at age 20, when for instance, you could be punished by the courts (with the very rare and unusual exception of the Rebellious Child).

      So, yes, Jewish parents still administer penalties to their teenagers when said teenagers act out. And so yes, I would still ground my 13-year-old if he disappeared like that and then dismissed me contemptuously when I found him after a frantic search.

      Perhaps if Jesus’s parents had not let him get away with such disrespect, things might have turned out differently…

      • CP says:

        Dina,
        “Perhaps if Jesus’s parents had not let him get away with such disrespect, things might have turned out differently…”

        I wish I could sincerely convey to you how hard that made me laugh!!!!!!!
        It brought tears to my eyes!!!!!!!
        Thank you!!!!

        After such a statement who would dare question your Jewishness! Hahaha!

  13. Concerned Reader says:

    “So taking Heiser’s information on the Ben Elohim and adding to that the Rabbis speculated Messiah would be a human with the soul of an angel, but changing their speculation from an “angel” to a Ben Elohim.”

    CP, I have read Dr. Heiser, and I’ve listened to his lectures. I’ve also read Dr. Benjamin Sommer’s book, “the bodies of G-d and the world of ancient Israel.” I highly recommend that you read Dr. Sommer’s book. I understand that many midrashim, and second temple texts have speculations where a messianic figure appears angelic, but these are homilies and opinions, and not doctrine.

    Even when such notions can be found, the issue is that the Torah gives you a crystal clear instruction on how to deal with Bnei Elohim, and various angels.

    Deuteronomy 4:19 “And beware, lest you lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, ALL THE HOST of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.

    In this verse G-d tells Israel directly and explicitly not to worship the WHOLE HOST. What is the whole host? The host is the sun, moon, stars, angels, and any sons, daughters, consorts, etc. of G-d. You are commanded not to worship the heavenly council in this verse very clearly. How do I know this?

    One of Hashem’s names is Adonai Tzeva’ot (L-rd of hosts, IE G-d of all hosts/armies of any beings he created.) The word for host is Tzeva, and that is the word used in Deuteronomy 4:19. IE hashem says, “don’t worship my entourage.”

    For the record, I don’t hate Jesus or Christians. I see Christianity as the inevitable outcome of the kind of speculations that were going on when Jesus was around. That said, Jews are not wrong at all to question or doubt Jesus when the Bible gives a crystal clear warning like Deuteronomy 4:19.

    Remember that early in the Bible G-d was called El Shaddai? I’m not sure if you know that El is the name of the chief deity of the Canaanite pantheon.

    El had a son named Baal, and a consort called Asherah. So, when the prophets of Baal were saying to biblical prophets like Elijah, “its legitimate to worship Baal,” they would have said so on the grounds that G-d was the head of the heavenly council, and Baal was a son appointed to a position of honor.

    Deuteronomy 4:19 exists precisely because a person can get confused by treating a servant on the council as a master. Jews are told point blank, “Ignore the host and listen only to me.”

    • CP says:

      Concerned Reader,

      Thanks for taking the time, great post, not what I wanted to hear, but great post.
      I’ve added the Sommers book to my list.

      You’ve brought up some good points, I’m beginning to see why the Christians thought up the Trinity, lol! The premise of your post is on “worship”; the kind that is reserved for GOD only. No matter who Yeshua is, he is not to be given that kind of worship unless the triniatians are correct.

      Even the title “Son of God” is not without its problems considering Scripture tells not to put our trust in princes

      For so many following him, he certainty is quite the enigma!
      If you don’t mind me asking; what is your personal read on Yeshua?

      • CP You toss around the term “Messiah ben Joseph” as if you have a clear definition of the term – can you please share this definition/description with us? – and while you are at it can you also tell us which sources you draw your information from?

        1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

        • CP says:

          R’B,
          Yes, I suppose I’ve been using that title pretty freely. I apologize for not having specific sources at my finger tips. This is just something I studied two years ago.

          As far as I know it originated in the Babylonian Talmud. I looked it up in the Talmud when I first heard about it. If I remember correctly the specifics are not applicable to Yeshua except he dies and is raised to life, and possibly a couple more are applicable, but generally speaking the Rabbis speculation doesn’t describe Yeshua unless there was a spiritual battle with real spiritual entities we know nothing about. Then there is also the Messiah with leprosy or one changing bandages outside of Rome? He was also associated with the northern tribes. It been a while, I figure you know this better than I, so no sense looking all this up.

          What I’ve done is basically take the “concept” of a healing, suffering, dying and resurrected Messiah (Messiah Ben Joseph) along with the associated passages in Tanach such as Isaiah 53 and Zechariah etc… and see how this lines up with Yeshua. The Rabbis have already separated the Messianic prophecies into two categories. Therefore I am only looking to see how the suffering prophecies might be fulfilled because it is obvious the conquering category has not been fulfilled by anyone.

          I think a major key is the northern tribes. GOD promises to bring them back. Humanly speaking, currently, it is impossible, but apparently GOD has a plan. I think this is where Christianity fits in, not as a end but as a path.

          • CP The Talmud does not associate Isaiah 53 with Messiah ben Jospeh – in other words even though the rabbis saw ben Joseph dying as per Zechariah 12:10 – they did not see him as a suffering servant – they associated that passage (Is 53) with ben David – what they did associate with ben Joseph was war and victory over Israel’s enemies – an important verse in this discussion is Obadiah 1:18 which attributes the destruction of Esau to the house of Jospeh and 1:23 which speaks of a multiplicity of saviors working together to render judgment against Esau

            The idea of associating all the suffering Messiah passages in the rabbinic writing with ben Jospeh and all the victorious passages with ben David is a mistake that has no foundation in fact – the rabbis associated suffering and atonement with ben David – ben Jospeh dies in battle but does not experience suffering in his lifetime – so your statement that the Rabbis have already separated the Messianic prophecies into two categories is rooted in a mistake

            and the passage about the leper Messiah who changes his bandages outside of Rome is ben David not ben Jospeh

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • CP says:

            R’B,
            You’re going to make me look all this up again, lol!
            Thank you for the detailed response.
            Btw I am not saying there is a one to one correlation between the Talmud Rabbis and all the messianic Tanach passages which can correspond to two categories of Messiahs. I’ve imposed this on the writings myself by seeing “general concepts” and trying to see what they were trying to see, therefore not getting bogged down in specific detailed speculations of Talmud but looking at the general concepts presented and comparing them to Tanach passages.
            I would love to start immediately looking this all up, (perhaps Friday) but today is Thanksgiving and I have family obligations out of town. However you have me excited about doing so, this time I’ll take better notes!
            Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

          • Dina says:

            That’s a nice way of saying you’ve been cherry picking.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        CP, my personal read on Jesus is that he was a charismatic preacher, and that he was influenced by speculations about messianism, and mysticism in his own time period. None of that kind of speculation however is based on the plain simple straightforward reading of the Hebrew Bible, whether we are talking the concepts we find in rabbinic Judaism or the ones we find in Christianity.
        There are problematic texts in the Torah which both communities have speculated about, and it has shifted the focus away from the book’s original purpose.
        You don’t need to look at Jesus to see the dangers inherent in a unique son of G-d, or Tzaddik analogy/concept.
        Later Judaism has produced messianism in its history since Jesus, that has gone down very simmilar paths, and to disasterous effect.
        The Sabbatean and Franksist movements, The Breslov movement, (they don’t wrship Rebbe Nachman, but very close to it,) and the messianists in Chabad. Maimonides warned in his epistle to Yemen about people who claimed to be miracle working messiahs.

        The Hebrew Bible is concerned with the commandments. The Sinai event and the reception of the commands is the entire context of the books. That means, if someone is playing fast and loose with Jewish observances as Jesus did, (even if he had good intentions,) Jews are told to be careful/to avoid that.
        Is the irony lost on you that you have already left behind traditional Christianity entirely, and yet cleave to Jesus? That’s like drinking water out of a gas can and expecting clean water.

        I don’t hate Jesus, I don’t hate Christians, and truth be told I don’t even blame them for believing in all the things they do believe, because there are sources they can find to support their ideas. That said, those ideas are not based on the plainest simplist meaning of the Torah, and because of those ideas the commandments become an afterthought. Ergo, it breaks with the original intent of G-d appearing at Sinai.
        If we can’t view people as being “right with G-d,” even when they are doing their leve best to follow the commandments, because of ones belief in a messiah, a prophet, or some righteous man, then we are missing the forrest for the trees.

        • Dear Concerned Reader,
          You wrote QUOTE: “The Hebrew Bible is concerned with the commandments. The Sinai event and the reception of the commands is the entire context of the books…..”

          It appears to me that “The Testimony” referred to in Exodus 16:34 (well before “The Sinai event”) refers to the Book of Genesis, (which was written by the Patriarchs, starting with Adam and ending with Joseph, and was passed on to Moses in Egypt.)

          Your thoughts on this?

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Mathew Perri.

            If we go according to traditional Jewish and Traditional Christian explanations, the 1st five books were written by Moses and delivered to the people of Israel on Sinai and after Sinai before crossing into the land, IE the context of receiving the entire text (including all information about the patriarchs and their tradition, or the garden of Eden, or anything else,) was Sinai. This is why Moses says:

            Deuteronomy 4:32 Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of?

            IE Moses is saying: “Isn’t this amazing and unique that our nation has seen G-d work and speak? Now please, single file to ask me questions that I will ask G-d, and we will write it down.

          • Concerned Reader,
            Could you support this “traditional opinion” from the text of Genesis or Exodus, quoting specific verses? The passage you quoted from Deuteronomy, (a sermon by Moses 40 years after the fact by the way,) seems completely irrelevant to this question.

        • CP says:

          Concerned Reader,

          Thank you, your detailed answer helped me to see your perspective.

          I have no intent to spar with you, however would like to address a pivotal point of paramount importance enabling further personal progress in this particular enigma of religious history and those who purposefully define it.

          It appears to me your main tenet here is “….based on the plain simple straightforward reading of the Hebrew Bible”
          You’ve concluded : “The Hebrew Bible is concerned with the commandments.”
          Yet you concede there are; “problematic texts in the Torah”

          In my humble opinion while I agree a plain simple straightforward reading of Scripture is ALWAYS the best place to start, I adamantly disagree it is the ONLY way to read Scripture.

          I could prove for thousands of years it was read and understood Not in the simplest of ways. And you could prove for thousands of years it was misread and misunderstood Not in the simplest of ways. Or we could switch it up and prove it is being understood or misunderstood by reading in the plainest simplest most straightforward reading.

          However this ‘Not so simple way’ of reading Scripture starts as early as Genesis chapter one. God creates light then a few days later creates the sun. This is followed by a talking serpent then some enigmatic future promise of the serpent’s seed biting the heel of of the woman’s seed who inturn steps on its head.

          The Bible is a collection of writings written by spiritual men who claim to be inspired by ONE from another dimension; another Kingdom outside this realm. If their claim of inspiration is to be taken as fact (regardless of redaction and editing) to only read the plain simple straightforward text will always result in often times reading completely and horrendously out of context..

          This is why the Writings by design require not just a spiritual reader but a reader with the Right Spirit to understand some things in the correct inspired spiritual context, not so much the context of the author, but of the ONE who inspired. Not to discount in any way the context of the author, but to realize this is not the only context to consider. Such a built in design is what ferries people along differing paths solely dependent on who they are in relation to GOD.

          You wrote:
          ” Is the irony lost on you that you have already left behind traditional Christianity entirely, and yet cleave to Jesus? That’s like drinking water out of a gas can and expecting clean water. ”

          To answer;
          Apparently so. Because I don’t drink the water straight from the gas can. I first run it through my trusty Acme Torah water purifier made to separate out 100O and 1 heresies, including gas.

          For example everyone is all up in arms about Jesus idolatry. Not me, and why not? I set my Torah purifier setting to Deut 4 and it separates out that nonsense. But because Christianity has set Jesus into a bath of dirty water, there are those willing to throw out the Jesus with the bath water rather than run it all through the Torah.

          Let’s get a little more specific here: no matter who Jesus really is; he is not to be worshiped as GOD, period. However what he accomplished with no scribes or armies cannot be denied; it is truly miraculous. Personally I think Yeshua was anointed by GOD for a particular task. He came calling for repentance. If all Israel would of listened, GOD would have acted and all the Davidic promises would of come into fruition. It wasn’t that Yeshua failed, it was Israel’s leadership who failed to believe his message, (probably because of lucrative positions provided them from being in cahoots with Rome). But it’s not over, they’ll get another chance and this time they won’t refuse.

          In the mean time and until recently Judea and Benjamin have been on kind of a time out while GOD goes after the northern Tribes with the Paul tweaked message of a failed Jewish Messiah.

          As Hashem has said; ‘My ways aren’t your ways and My thoughts not your thoughts’

          The plan is coming together, just give it a little more time.

          • Dina says:

            CP, if you are so committed to the truth, then why do you base your faith on speculation?

            Your prefaced your speculation with the words, “Personally I think.”

            Then you listed your speculations thusly:

            1. God anointed Jesus for the particular task of calling everyone to repentance.
            2. Had Israel obeyed the call and flocked to him, fulfillment of all the messianic promises would have ensued.
            3. The leadership failed, likely because of its collusion with Rome (the collusion with Rome is true of the Sadducees, false of the Pharisees who opposed the Sadducees).
            4. God has abandoned us in exile while He focuses on gathering the lost tribes using Jesus as His tool (an anti-Scriptural idea as God promised He would never abandon us even while in exile). I assume that’s what you mean by time-out. Your lost-tribes idea is based on absolutely nothing.
            5. You are confident that it’s all coming together very soon.

            How are you comfortable basing your entire faith on these baseless speculations?

          • CP says:

            Dina,
            Dina I don’t base my faith on speculation. My speculations are a product of my faith.

            I wish you wouldn’t do such things; purposely misunderstanding anyone giving credibility to Yeshua. For example; making a “time out” equal abandon. Seriously, are my speculations so threatening you must resort to foolishness? You have children, ever put one on a time out? Perhaps we should call the Children’s Protection Agency on you for child abandonment! Good grief.

            As for God bringing the lost tribes back, being based on nothing? Sigh, really? I think you know Tanach better than that. This playing dumb is getting ummm…dumb.

            I can ask you the same question; How are you comfortable basing your entire faith on the baseless speculation GOD gave an Oral Torah?

          • Dina says:

            CP, it would be more helpful to our discussion and perhaps help us bear fruit if you would stop imputing nefarious motives to me (“purposely misunderstanding,” for instance). I spent three hours last night posting four comments in response to your complaints because I take this undertaking seriously.

            If you are able to handle constructive criticism, then may I suggest that you try to see this from my perspective–this was my plea to you in the beginning of my comment.

            To me, there is no meaningful distinction between a 2,000-year time-out and abandonment. That would be like putting my kids in time-out for the rest of their lives and their children’s lives for as long as I live. In which case you should definitely call the Child Protection Agency :).

            I showed you specifically, many times, that your faith is based on speculation and not the other way around. If I may remind you: you have consistently refused to give us one good reason to accept Jesus other than your personal emotional experience. Your claim that God sent Jesus to bring back the Ten Lost Tribes is based on nothing in Tanach. If it were, you should have no trouble presenting the Biblical evidence.

            However, to date you have not responded to these challenges unless I have missed something (which is entirely possible, and if so, I ask that you point me back to that post).

          • Dina says:

            CP, not sure if I responded to some of your points here. If your faith is not based on speculation, then prove it.

            What is your Biblical evidence that God will send Jesus with a Paul-tweaked message to the the Ten Lost Tribes? I could also ask, what is your historical evidence as well, seeing as how Paul’s message reached gentiles in record numbers; Jews, not so much. Historically, which of the Lost Tribes was brought back through Christianity?

    • edward says:

      “In this verse G-d tells Israel directly and explicitly not to worship the WHOLE HOST. What is the whole host? The host is the sun, moon, stars, angels, and any sons, daughters, consorts, etc. of G-d. You are commanded not to worship the heavenly council in this verse very clearly. How do I know this?”

      but in other posts you allow for agency to be taken as god himself.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Edward, I have not, scripture has blurred that line requiring careful interpretation. I have said that there are agents in the Torah text itself that speak G-d’s words in 1st person, and that this is the material that Christians (and 2 powers heretics) got confused about, understandably so.

        G-d does tell Israel directly not to worship the host, but in many verses these agents are treated in ways that appear at face value contradictory to that commandment, and they are not reprimanded by G-d.

        In the same way, G-d tells Israel not to make any graven images of any form, but then commands Moses to build a brass serpent for Israel to gaze at, again an apparent contradiction.

        It took Israel hundreds of years to realize that the brass serpent (which G-d commanded them to build,) had become an idol.

  14. Dina says:

    And Happy Thanksgiving!

  15. Concerned Reader says:

    “You’ve brought up some good points, I’m beginning to see why the Christians thought up the Trinity, lol!”

    Yeah, they had reasons for developing it.

    Just imagine that you were a polytheist, and you were reading the Hebrew Bible, and trying to understand it.

    The Bible screams over and over that G-d is one and alone and does not share glory.

    (Isaiah 42:8 45:5 Isaiah 43:11 Deuteronomy 4:35,39 Deuteronomy 6:4 Deuteronomy 32:39 2 Samuel 7:22 1Kings 8:60 2 KINGS 5:15 2 Kings 19:15 1 Chronicles 17:20 Nehemiah 9:6 Psalm 18:31 Psalm 86:10 Isaiah 37:16,20 Isaiah 44:6,8 Isaiah 45:21 Isaiah 46:9 Hosea 13:4 Joel 2:27 Zechariah 14:9)

    The Same Bible in Deuteronomy 4:19 tells you explicitly and clearly not to worship G-d’s entourage.

    You, being a polytheist, worship just about anything, and here is the kicker. The concept of worship may be different in your culture than in the Jewish culture, or even different than the Bible’s definitions of such.

    So, lets say for example that you live in a culture that practices ancestor veneration. Your culture does not believe in any concept of gods (let alone the biblical concept of G-d,) but your culture venerates deceased loved ones with a shrine, and with meditation.

    So, you are reading the Torah, and it screams G-d is one, and that he doesn’t share glory.

    But then, the same Bible has agents (of both heavenly and earthly natures,) that speak as mouthpieces of G-d, (sometimes in 1st person as though it was G-d speaking,) and these agents are given full authority by G-d.

    (Gen. 32:24 – 30 Gen. 31:11-13 Gen. 19:1-24 Gen. 16:7-14 Exodus 3:2 Exodus 7:1 Exodus 3:12 Exodus 23:20-23 Judges 2:1-3 Judges 6:11-24 Judg. 13:3, 6 and 21 Deuteronomy 18:15-19 Jeremiah 23:6 Isaiah 9:6 Deuteronomy 11:15 Deuteronomy 17:11 Deuteronomy 28:14)

    In the absence of any other knowledge, what would you think up?

    You even see the case in the Torah where Caleb goes to pray at the graves of the patriarchs. Is it still ok to go to your ancestral shrine at home?

    If you are a gentile convert to Christianity from polytheism, you have to explain how G-d is one, even when he creates a sock puppet that does his will, and promotes the reactions you find in encounters like the one from Judges 6.

    You also have to deal with the internal struggle that your own culture venerates the dead, (and that is sinful,) but when it happens in the Bible it isn’t.

    Something that I think is unfair to both Jews and Christians, is that the Jesus movement created a paradigm shift the world wasn’t ready for in terms of cultural interaction.

    The Hebrew Bible sets a status quo in the world where you have Jews, Converts, Noachides, and the Polytheists. The Torah text was content with those who are outside of the covenant remaining pagans or becoming converts. The Bible did not describe a paradigm where polytheistic societies would get a copy of the Bible in their own language and try to study it for themselves.

    Christianity came along and said you could go directly from polytheism right into being a full member of the Church.

  16. Concerned Reader says:

    Mathew Perri. There was no scriptural text before Moses delivered it. What is hard to grasp there? (with all respect.)

    G-d says to Moses at the burning bush that he was to go to the elders, (they would verify that he came from G-d.) After coming out of Egypt, the Jewish people would be brought to Horeb to worship G-d, and they would see it and believe in Moses forever, and that’s when they received the Torah. The Torah assumes that the “testimony” is tied to the witness nation, not a text alone as Deuteronomy 4:32 alludes.

    • Concerned Reader,
      What do you do with “The Testimony” referred to in Exodus 16:34 (well before “The Sinai event”),
      and
      These words written in Genesis 5:1:
      “This is the written account of Adam’s line.” ?

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Its not before the Sinai event MP, putting the tablets in the Ark is after Sinai. You are reading the Torah like a text book. Do you accept the documentary hypothesis, or do you believe the Torah came down as a book in chronological order?

        • Obviously the term “The Testimony” in Exodus 16:34 does NOT refer to the tablets in the Ark. This is obvious if you read the surrounding text. We cannot assume that every time the term “The Testimony” appears in the Torah, it must be a reference to the tablets.

          And what about Genesis 5:1 ? If you sit down and read Genesis, it seems fairly obvious that it was sort a running “family diary” or history of the Patriarchs. There is no good reason from the text to believe that none of it was ever written down until Sinai. This is showing disrespect for the contributions of the Patriarchs, and elevating and really idolizing Moses beyond measure.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            I am not interested in idolizing Moses, nor in disparaging the patriarchs.

            CP said: “If you sit down and read Genesis, it seems fairly obvious that it was sort a running “family diary” or history of the Patriarchs.”

            When and by whom was this running family diary codified and placed in a scroll and why was the decision made to put it where it was in this scroll?

            I don’t want to give the impression that I am misquoting anything, so here is the text according to the Christian NIV.

            Exodus 16 32 NIV The people of Israel called the bread manna.[d] It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. 32 Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.’”

            33 So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put an omer of manna in it. Then place it before the Lord to be kept for the generations to come.”

            34 As the Lord commanded Moses, Aaron put the manna with the tablets of the covenant law, so that it might be preserved. 35 The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan.

            Notice that this Christian translation acknowledges “tablets of the covenant law” as the most likely translation because it makes no sense to place something before an abstract concept like a “testimony.”

            Here is Rashi on verse 33: And Moses said to Aaron, Take one jug and put there an omerful of manna, and deposit it before the Lord to be preserved for your generations לגוַיֹּאמֶר משֶׁה אֶל אַהֲרֹן קַח צִנְצֶנֶת אַחַת וְתֶן שָׁמָּה מְלֹא הָעֹמֶר מָן וְהַנַּח אֹתוֹ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה לְמִשְׁמֶרֶת לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם:
            jug: Heb. צִּנְצֶנֶת, an earthenware jug, as the Targum [Onkelos] renders. — [from Mechilta] צנצנת: צלוחית של חרס, כתרגומו:

            and deposit it before the Lord: Before the Ark. This verse was not said until the Tent of Meeting was built, but it was written here in the section dealing with the manna. —

            Do you see MP that it doesn’t make any sense contextually to refer to PLACING SOMETHING before the lord or saying “the testimony” if Sinai hasn’t occurred yet, or to make reference to placing things before G-d if he has not yet designated a meeting place?

            Its important that the Bible views itself as being tied to the witness nation. Is there pre mosaic tradition? Sure. Where is it preserved, and who preserved it? The Jewish people under the covenant of Sinai.

          • Concerned Reader, you said QUOTE:
            “Notice that this Christian translation acknowledges “tablets of the covenant law” as the most likely translation because it makes no sense to place something before an abstract concept like a “testimony.””

            I was quoting the NIV. I have a copy in front of me. It says “Testimony.” I don’t know what you are looking at.
            Anyway, “Testimony” is not an “abstract concept” necessarily. I understand that Jews don’t even have a separate name for “Genesis”, and rather simply call it by the first few words “in the beginning’…. right?

            On a less technical level, Genesis is basically a narrative. Although there are exceptions, obviously what happened in Exodus 16 is before Sinai in Exodus 20….. right? If you read those chapters, say 16-20, anyone can see.

          • Concerned Reader,
            How about the more simple, obvious statement here, which doesn’t fit your current paradigm?
            These words written in Genesis 5:1:
            “This is the written account of Adam’s line.” ?

        • To say that the term “The Testimony” in Exodus 16:34 really means “The tablets of the 10 commandments” is essentially the same sort of technique I heard a Christian pastor preach on
          Joshua 1:7 – 9.
          “Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you……Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night…..”

          The pastor’s application? The church should spend a month reading and meditating on the letter to the Romans, (written by Paul the false apostle in the “New Testament”.)…….. Because this pastor equated the terms “Book of the Law” with “The Bible.”

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Do you believe that the Church had no oral traditions about how to read the Bible? You seem to me to be a sola scriptura protestant who is trying to ditch some and keep some, and I would note that neither Judaism nor Christianity could function adequately if not for a traditional view of how the Bible should be read.

            Riddle me this. Where did Christians get their interpretations from? How did men like Jerome learn Hebrew? Answer: They had to talk to Jews.

            The Church changed the date of Easter so that they didn’t have to go ask the Jewish people for the proper calculations of time anymore.

            Its very well documented that Christians in most of their translations lean on Jewish understanding when they have to, or when it suits them, because without it, you couldn’t make any sense of anything in the Bible.

            You are trying to read the Bible as if it has always been a 1611 king James book written in English. (no offense meant.)

            The Hebrew Bible does not have vowels (as you should know,) so things written in it always need a context sensitive interpretation that makes the most sense out of the words. Not having vowels also means its going to be a text tied to the people who allegedly experienced the events and know how a given text should be understood in light of those events.

            That “testimony” in 16:34 refers to the tablets is not controversial, and it fits best contextually to say this verse was written after Sinai. So, you have this textual source, and then you have the component of this verse as understood by the witness nation.

            Even the Christians agree that 16:34 has to refer to the tablets.

  17. Concerned Reader says:

    Mathew Perri the Torah is a scroll, not a book, so the very idea of chapter and verse is imposed on the text.

    • “So the field and the cave in it were DEEDED to Abraham by the Hittites as a burial site.” [Genesis 23:20]

      I also was trained in seminary that “Moses wrote the Pentateuch”, and I simply believed that without thinking about it for almost 20 years. Yes, I believe Moses was the primary curator or editor of the 5 Books, and that he was largely responsible for writing 4 of them. Yes I believe in a unique, very important role for Moses, and the Jewish nation, in history, today, and in the future. Yes I believe Moses copied “In the beginning” onto a scroll before he started his own story.

      But for one to state flatly “There was no scriptural text before Moses delivered it.”…….
      Really?
      So All the Patriarchs, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Israel, down to Joseph Prime Minister of Egypt, were a bunch of illiterate baboons who never wrote down anything about God, themselves, their family history and the Table of Nations, etc. ?

      Where exactly did God say, or did Moses say, that God gave Moses and Moses alone the one authoritative “history of the world” that occurred before Moses was born? I don’t see that- in Deuteronomy or anywhere else. That would make “In the Beginning” (Genesis) into more of a fictional symbolic mythology or fairytale, rather than what it really is – namely, a real written historical record made by real men through history since the beginning.

      • CP says:

        Matthew Perri,
        I agree there was likely a running record passed down which is lost to us. Due to the lenghty life spans we forget Shem, Noah and Abraham lived together for 39 years. Theoretically Noah could have placed clay tablets he carried on the ark into the literal hand of Abraham!

      • Concerned Reader says:

        I see your point Mathew Perri, but this is why Israel is designated the witness nation that experienced something unique. If there were pre-Mosaic traditions, they were reinforced and not abrogated by the Sinai covenant. After all, the Torah itself says not to abhor the stranger, and states that G-d’s covenant is a covenant of love.

        I don’t see how any of this relates to Jesus, unless you are trying to state that Sinai itself abrogated earlier patriarchal traditions now lost?

        Also, I was never in Seminary, I have a degree in history and in comparative religions.

        • Dear Concerned Reader,
          Rather than a “prosaic” response, I start with this, to generate thought and discussion.
          Which side of the debate would you find yourself on – with Moses, or with the elders of Israel?

          A parable
          Moses explains “if it’s true it isn’t new”

          After Moses met Yahweh at the Burning Bush, he went to tell the elders of Israel.
          Let’s listen in…………….

          MOSES: Yahweh the God of your fathers – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – appeared to me and said,…..[Exodus 3:16]

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: Stop right there, in the name of Elohim God of Heaven and Earth! What was the name of the god you said?

          MOSES: Yahweh.

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: Who is Yahweh? That name doesn’t appear in our Holy Scriptures passed down to us by our fathers. Why are you following some new god that our fathers never knew?

          MOSES: Yahweh IS the God of your fathers.

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: Who said that?

          MOSES: Yahweh….

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: How convenient.

          MOSES: But, let me explain…..

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: The God of our fathers is Elohim [Genesis 1:26].

          MOSES: But our God is infinite, and this One True God is now manifesting Himself in a new way using a new name, to reflect a new kind of relationship with people.

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: If it’s new it isn’t true – and if it’s true in isn’t new.

          MOSES: Throughout the Scriptures, God progressively revealed more of Himself using different names, didn’t He?

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: So you believe in “Progressive Revelation”? That the One True unchanging God somehow “changed” through time?

          MOSES: God is like a husband, and his people like his bride. But just as in any relationship, we don’t immediately know everything about our partner. We progressively learn more as we grow in relationship together.

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: Why would God suddenly be using a “new name” other than Elohim?

          MOSES: He has done this before, recorded in the Scriptures.

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: Where?

          MOSES: El-Shaddai, “The Almighty God” [Genesis 17:1-2] [Exodus 6:2-3]
          And before that, Abraham met Melchizadek, King of Salem and priest of El-Elyon, “The Most High God” [Genesis 14:18-20]. And after that, Abraham called upon the name of El-Olam “God the Everlasting One.” [Genesis 21:33]

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: Well, according to the Scriptures handed down to us by our forefathers through thousands of years, we have to agree you have a point here. El-Shaddai is a “new name” for Elohim, the One True God that we worship.

          MOSES: Right – and Yahweh is a “new name” for El-Shaddai.

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: Because Yahweh said so. And you believe that? Why?

          MOSES: Because I can turn this stick into a snake.

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: Pharaoh’s pagan magicians can do that too. Can you pull a rabbit out of a hat? Signs and wonders don’t prove that you are following Elohim, the One True God.

          MOSES: I can also make my hand leprous, and pour some water on the ground and make it turn to blood.

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: Can you do anything that is actually useful, helpful, positive, or constructive- like bring us some food? Or something really dramatic, like raise a dead man to life after he’s been in the grave for 4 days, or heal a man born blind?

          MOSES: Yahweh told me that He will do even greater things, so that His glory will be displayed on a grand scale, and you will be His witness nation as His covenant people. Yahweh said: “I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them.” [Exodus 3:20]

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: Which would be a grander scale – killing every single man, woman, child and animal in one country, Egypt, and obliterating every building in Egypt, leaving nothing but dust – or the flood in the time of Noah?

          MOSES: Hmmmm. I see you point.

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: So we already are a witness community of people, under Elohim’s covenant with Noah, according to the Scriptures. Elohim is the God of our fathers.

          MOSES: But Elohim, El-Shaddai, and Yahweh are all the same God.

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: Because Yahweh said so….. how convenient. If you want to talk about destruction on a grand scale, anything Yahweh would do in Egypt is mere child’s play – compared to destroying the entire world and all it’s inhabitants in a flood, except Noah’s family and the animals in the ark. That takes the cake.

          MOSES: But I’ve spoken with God personally. He will be with us.

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: You spoke with A “god” personally. That doesn’t mean that your “god” is really Elohim, the God of our fathers according to the Scriptures.

          MOSES: So the amazing signs and wonders that Yahweh will do here in Egypt would not convince you?

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: Even if Yahweh did them, they would be relatively unimpressive compared to the grand scale of the flood in Noah’s time. And we already know the God of Noah, Elohim. What do we need Yahweh for, assuming he really exists, and is not a demon or a figment of your imagination? We don’t need a new god. If it’s new it isn’t true, and if it’s true it isn’t new.

          MOSES: But God wants to save you! God appeared to me, and told me to tell you this: “I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt….. into a land flowing with milk and honey.” [Exodus 3:16-17]

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: We are loyal to the God of our fathers, Elohim, or El-Shaddai, according to the Scriptures they passed down to us over thousands of years. Yes, there was a slight name change there, but it’s still related, and it’s in the Scriptures. On the other hand, there is nothing at all about your god Yahweh, or about you Moses. Who do you think you are, telling us to go run off after a foreign god that our fathers have not known? Just because your god can perform a few magic tricks and maybe do some signs and wonders, which pale in comparison to Noah’s flood?

          MOSES: But it’s the same God – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel – just a new name, to reflect a new covenant relationship with the nation. Just like the new name of El-Shaddai reflects the new covenant relationship of Elohim with Abraham and his descendants.

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: If it’s new it isn’t true, and if it’s true it isn’t new.

          MOSES: But isn’t it true that in the Hebrew language, the term “new” has more the sense of “renewed” or “refreshed”, rather than a western industrial technological mechanical assumption of “new” meaning something “brand new…”? Isn’t that right? Sorry, after 40 years in the desert as a shepherd, my Hebrew is getting a little rusty…..

          ELDERS OF ISRAEL: We love Elohim the God of our fathers with all our heart and all our soul and all our strength, in agreement with the Scriptures. You have forgotten, or maybe you never knew, what it means to be a Jew! You want to rip the heart out of Judaism, remove Elohim or El-Shaddai, and replace Him with a new god, Yahweh!

        • Concerned Reader,
          You wrote QUOTE: ….”Israel is designated the witness nation that experienced something unique.”
          YES! TRUE!
          and QUOTE “If there were pre-Mosaic traditions……”
          IF?
          There clearly WERE pre-Mosaic traditions. I would love to hear your response to the preceding parable…. 🙂

        • Concerned Reader
          When you say “pre-Mosaic traditions”……
          are you really implying PREHISTORIC traditions- as in legendary, mythical, imaginary, shrouded in mystery and uncertainty, since only ignorant illiterate “cave men” were living “way back then”…. ???

        • Vision in the clouds November 29

          Yesterday I took a short trip. While was sitting at the dock waiting for my ship to arrive, I wasn’t wasting time. I was staring at the clouds, trying to spend time with God. Suddenly, I noticed that the clouds had formed into a very accurate likeness of the State of Israel. There were the distinctive, perfectly straight border lines in the South, angling down to a point at the Gulf of Aqaba. The West Bank section was distinctive, because the clouds were thinner there – still all solid, no holes or gaps, but the clouds were not as thick there, they were more transparent.

          • Dina says:

            Wow, that’s really…something.

            Anyone who sees significance in cloud shapes does not have a lot of credibility, did you know that?

          • CP says:

            Thank you Dina for doing your part to help instill a love for Israel and her people in others.
            Kudos!

          • Dina,
            And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.”
            In the Beginning, [Genesis 9:12-15]

            Dina, this is the God I worship and serve. Could you tell me from the Hebrew in this passage, what is His name? Is it Elohim, or El-Shaddai, or something else?

          • Dina says:

            Could you tell me what’s your point?

          • Dina,
            I observe in the text of Torah that this God brings clouds on the earth and uses them to give people significant meaningful signs…….. so He sees and communicates significance in the midst of certain clouds at certain times…..
            What is the name of this God? You know Hebrew – I don’t. Can you tell me?

          • Dina says:

            No, He doesn’t. Just the rainbow, which is a specific sign of a specific promise. Where do you read in the text that shapes in clouds are significant?

            This argument is surreal. Are we really talking about this?

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            Thank you for exemplifying the ease with which a Christian misreads Torah. Your misreading of Genesis 9 to find therein the practice of cloud reading is one of the most clear examples of Christian misinterpretation for which one could hope. The fact that the clouds are not the sign but the rainbow is right there in the text. Moreover, the sign of the rainbow is not open to any interpretation, but its meaning is given in the text. Nevertheless, you find support for cloud reading from the text. Dina rightly calls this surreal, but it is no more surreal than what the Gospel of Matthew does with scripture. Thank you for lending us this example.

            Jim

          • Jim and Dina,
            In this passage from the Torah,
            “In the Beginning,” [Genesis 9:12-15]

            Could you tell me from the Hebrew in this passage, what is the name of this God, who said, “I have set my rainbow in the clouds”?
            Is it Elohim, or El-Shaddai, or something else?

            I don’t know Hebrew, you do. Just simple question – no need for a surreal answer.

          • Dina says:

            Why do you want to know? What point are you trying to make? I don’t like playing games. Please be upfront with me.

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            If you need help with your research and cannot afford a concordance, you can go to blueletterbible.org for an online concordance. It is a Christian concordance, so it has flaws, but I am sure it will serve your purpose.

            Jim

          • Jim and Dina,
            You can correct me if I’m wrong here.
            Elohim never said specifically that He would appear and speak under other names in the future, like El-Shaddai, Yahweh, ….or Yahshua.
            Likewise,
            El-Shaddai never said specifically that He would appear under other names in the future, like Yahweh or Yahshua.
            In the same manner,
            Yahweh never said specifically that He would appear under another name in the future like Yahshua.

            I think there is grammatical word in English for the rhetorical mnemonic device of using the same letter to begin both names. Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse….
            Hmmmmm.
            Elohim, El-Shaddai, …..Yahweh, Yahshua…..
            No I’m not saying God is a cartoon character. God is real. How God speaks and reveals His character in Torah is something we should give careful attention to. Wouldn’t you agree?

            God -Yahweh- speaks in Exodus 6:2-3 giving us a clue about how He progressively revels Himself in time……

          • Dina says:

            It’s called alliteration and this is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.

            Why don’t you read Deuteronomy 4? It should give you a good idea of how God expects us to worship Him always and forever.

          • Dina says:

            Also it’s not a grammatical word but a literary device.

          • Dina,
            Which God is speaking in Deuteronomy 4 – Elohim, El-Shaddai, or Yahweh ?

          • Dina says:

            What’s the difference? These are all names of the same God.

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            Do you think Elijah and Elisha were divine too, because their names began with “el”? I trust you understand the point.

            Jim

          • Jim and Dina,
            Jesus, Yeshua, Yahshua, Yahweh, El-Shaddai, Elohim…..
            What’s the difference? These are all names of the same God.

            You know that Deuteronomy 4 is all about Yahweh, telling how He should be worshipped. There is nothing at all about the God of our Fathers Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, namely Elohim or El-Shaddai.

            You are warned against someone who “entices you, saying ‘Let us go and worship other gods’ (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known.)…” {Deuteronomy 13:6]

            Your fathers didn’t know “Yahweh” – at least not by that name.

            You believe Yahweh is the same as the God of our Fathers because Yahweh said so, recorded by Moses. I agree, He is. But if you sit down and carefully analyze why YOU believe this, it may dawn on you that the same line of reasoning you use to reject Yahshua could be used to reject Yahweh.

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            Yeshua is not a name of God. Deuteronomy 4 teaches that one may not worship a created thing, such as a human being is, such as Jesus was. The problem is not with Jesus’ name but with his nature. When God spoke at Sinai, He made sure that no form could be associated with him. To worship Jesus is a violation of the command of God. To argue about names rather than things themselves is vanity.

            Jim

          • Dina says:

            What about Yehoshua? Is that also a name of God?

          • Jim,
            Yahweh spoke at Sinai. Not Elohim or El-Shaddai, the God of our fathers.
            There is nothing at all about “Yahweh” “In the Beginning” in Genesis.

            A “new” God with a new name and new revelation given through one special man, recorded in 4 special books. This special man’s teachings speaking on behalf of his “God”, and his actions, are the focal point of these 4 special books. This special man asserts forcefully that he is in agreement with the pre-existing Scripture. He arrives on the scene among the Jews after hundreds of years of silence.

            This profile could fit both Moses and Jesus! Just 4 different books.
            Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
            Matthew Mark Luke John

          • Dina says:

            Signs in the clouds…

          • and yet Dina, you can’t open your Torah and admit that the name “Yahweh” is absent, “In the Beginning” in the Book of Genesis. You don’t want the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, you don’t want Elohim or El-Shaddai – you want your “new” God Yahweh. Is that right?

          • Dina says:

            What the heck are you talking about? Do you think there is a trinity in the Hebrew Bible? Every name of God represents another person? Do you realize that all these names belong to one entity?

            Let’s say my mother’s name is Ann. Let’s say her full name is Ann Smith. Let’s say I call her mommy.

            That’s like saying “You don’t want Ann or Ann or Ann Smith to be your mother. You just want your new mother, mommy.”

            I mean, is this logic?

          • Dina says:

            Sorry, I wrote “or Ann” an extra time by mistake.

          • One entity, yes.
            You know that Elohim is plural. 😉

          • “Whenever the cloud lifted from above the Tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped.” [Numbers 9:17]

            Signs in the clouds…..

          • Dina says:

            Okay, this is too unserious for me. I can’t tell if you’re just having a laugh or if you actually believe what you say, and frankly each option is equally disturbing. Others can take up this thread if they wish.

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            What do you mean by saying that the tetragrammaton does not appear in Genesis. It appears many times. I am confused. Do you mind clarifying?

            Jim

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            God attested to Moses. He did not attest to Jesus.

            I have already shown that Jesus, being a created being, is not to be thought of as God. So your two comparisons, that Jesus is like God and Jesus is like Moses fail.

            Jim

          • Jim
            Yahweh attested to Moses – not Elohim or El-Shaddai.
            I asked you
            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/song-of-solomon-516-vs-three-masters-of-persuasion/#comment-31171
            and you dodged the question.

            Now you say the tetragrammaton appears in Genesis many times.
            Where specifically?

          • Jim
            I’m sorry for imputing bad motives to you for dodging the previous question. I realize now your reason was innocent – you don’t know Hebrew any better than I do ! On the other hand, Dina does, and that is why she bailed out of this discussion.

            The tetragrammaton YHWH first appears at the Burning Bush with Moses, Genesis 3. There is nothing about YHWH or Moses in Genesis. No one who knows Hebrew here is denying this obvious but awkward fact. English translations of names including the word LORD mask the underlying Hebrew names……
            🙂

          • Dina says:

            Matthew P.,

            The Tetragrammaton makes its first appearance in Genesis 2:4 and several times thereafter (see for example 2:6, 2:8, 2:9 and so on and so forth).

            I did not bail out of the discussion because I was intimidated by your challenge. I left because I felt that it was fundamentally unserious.

            So have a nice life!

            Dina

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            As Dina wrote, the tetragrammaton appears in Genesis 2. But it also occurs throughout the book of Genesis. Blueletterbible.org lists 141 appearances of the tetragrammaton in Genesis. I am sorry, but you are confused.

            The reason I do not answer your question is not because I am dodging, but because I do not find the comments section of a blog conducive to dialectic. People have jobs and other life responsibilities that make leading questions a difficult form of argument. Questions can go by without being answered for a long time and points easily lost. In my opinion, it is better just to make an argument.

            Moreover, your question rests on nothing. What you call an “obvious but awkward fact” is plainly untrue. It is obvious also, that you are not looking to learn from Torah its teachings, but to see if you can justify with Torah your belief in Jesus. You use it as a tool. So, while Torah tells you not to worship created beings or to associate God with anything in creation, you ignore this and look for a way to justify believing that Jesus is divine through word games.

            While it may be hard for you to consider this, I ask you to examine the passages you take to mean that one should take clouds as signs. None of them says any such thing. You did not even acknowledge that Gen. 9 does not say that clouds are the sign but that the rainbow is, and that the meaning of the rainbow is given in the passage. It is not left to individual interpretation. Ignoring this, you just continued to press your questions.

            But you should consider this. It should tell you something about the way you are reading the text. You are reading into it, and you are ignoring the facts that do not fit your thesis. If you reflect on this, you will give yourself a chance to read scripture for what it means and not for what you can make it mean.

            Jim

          • Dear Jim and Dina,
            My writings are not inerrant, they are a mixture of truth and error – sometimes more of one, sometimes perhaps more of the other. Since I don’t know Hebrew, I am at a disadvantage. If your motive is to “win the argument” rather than discover the truth, you can use my weak point there to your “advantage” to “ignore the facts that do not fit YOUR thesis.”

            You said QUOTE:
            “The Tetragrammaton makes its first appearance in Genesis 2:4”

            Taking your word for that and building from there, I will state some facts that do not fit YOUR thesis, which you have ignored.
            .1)
            The first name given by God, Elohim, is given in Genesis 1, (Before YHWH) and it is a PLURAL form of deity.
            .2)
            God appeared to Abraham and revealed Himself using a new name – El-Shaddai. [Genesis 17:1]
            .3)
            God appeared to Moses and revealed Himself using another new name – “I AM”
            “God said to Moses,’I AM WHO I AM.’ This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM’ has sent me to you’” [Exodus 3:14]
            Not YHWH, not Yahweh, although it sounds like that in Hebrew -Sort of like Yahshua sounds like Yahweh 🙂
            I AM is a new name, which never appears in the existing Scripture of the day, namely “In the Beginning”, the Book of Genesis.

            You believe in the God with this new name of I AM simply because Moses said so in the new scriptures, his four new books, which were added to the existing Scriptures from thousands of years prior.

            By the way, if I see half a chapter of the Torah that describes the daily working relationship of God and His people, [Numbers 9:15-23] I don’t simply ignore it.

          • Jim says:

            Matthew Perri,

            Regarding your practice of cloud reading:

            It is not of Torah.

            It was not in Genesis 9 and it is not in Numbers 9. There was a particular time when the Jewish people were led by a cloud. This is not a teaching on clouds in general, and certainly not that God resides within clouds. Nor does the chapter say anything about clouds being given as signs, nor that one should study them for messages from God. You say that you do not ignore the teaching of Numbers 9, but it is clear that you do, because you insert into the text what is not there.

            I would steer clear of such things if I were you. Practicing divination is prohibited. Looking to the clouds to find messages from God flirts dangerously close to divination if it does not violate it altogether. In any case, the practice is not taught by Torah and you have abused Genesis 9 and Numbers 9 in representing them this way.

            Jim

          • Jim,

            “I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north – an immense cloud with flashing lightning…..” [Ezekiel 1:4]

            O, silly Ezekiel, seeing “visions in the clouds”…..

            “Then Yahweh will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke…..” [Isaiah 4:5]

            What in the world was that wild man Isaiah thinking? Doesn’t he realize clouds are meaningless to God? Only the rainbows matter – if only he would read Genesis 9 he would know that. He must be a false prophet…..

            “O the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle of the Testimony. Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran.” [Numbers 10:11-12]

            Those Israelites were practicing divination! They were doing “cloud reading” every day for 40 years, making decisions on when and where to travel based on looking at a cloud…. How could they be so foolish?

          • Dina says:

            Jim, I don’t think Matthew is serious and he’s having a laugh at our expense.

          • Do you think Moses, Isaiah, and Ezekiel were serious in the Torah and the Prophets? I quoted them accurately, and directly “on topic.”

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            I am sorry that someone has so badly misled you as to make you believe that the name Elokim suggests that God is plural. This person has preyed upon your ignorance of Hebrew and your ignorance of the Jewish tradition, of Torah. You and I must both be extra cautious in this arena, being non-Jewish and neither of us being conversant in Hebrew. God is not a plurality.

            The person who told you that Elokim means a plural form of deity omitted an important fact. The verbs that accompany Elokim are not in the plural form when referring to God. For example, in the very first verse, the very first appearance of Elokim, the verb used in conjunction with the subject “Elokim” is “bara” (“created” in English). “Bara” is in the singular, not the plural. “Elokim” does not indicate a divine plurality.

            Whoever told you that it did is ignoring some of the most important passages on the subject. (And you have steadfastly done the same.) In selling you Jesus, he has neglected to mention that one is not to associate God with created objects or beings, as in Deut. 4. Nor did they draw your attention to Deut. 4:35: To you it was shown so that you would acknowledge that the Lord is God; there is no other besides Him.” Or Deut. 4:39: “So acknowledge today and take to your heart that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.” These verses indicate the singularity of God, not His plurality. Indeed, they tell us that this is the way God is to be understood.

            I suspect that whoever has told you that God is a plurality has told you also that the shema indicates a compound rather than an absolute unity. Considering the context of Deuteronomy, one can see that this is a vain argument. Only two chapters prior to the shema, the unity and uniqueness of God—there is none besides Him—is impressed upon the people. It is in this context we must read: “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.” To make “echad” (one) indicate plurality is to do violence to the text. It is to ignore the rest of Deuteronomy, indeed the rest of Torah.

            It is also to ignore the testimony of his witnesses. Note that Deut. 4 identifies the Jewish people as God’s witnesses. They are to teach the world about God. And what is their testimony? That He has no form; He is not to be sought among created beings or objects. And He is one, alone and unique. He revealed this to the Jewish people that they might carry the knowledge to the world.

            Some have attempted to usurp the role of God’s witnesses. And they have exchanged the testimony given them for one of their own imagination. They ignore the message given to His witnesses. They teach that God became a man. They teach that He is a plurality. They select a verse here and there from which they can construct a support for their vain ideas. They build them up verse upon verse, a temple to the god of their own understanding. But they speak nonsense. These usurpers have misled you. Go back to His witnesses. Ask them what this Torah means.

            Jim

          • Jim,
            I appreciate your sincerity. You don’t simply dismiss Ezekiel, Isaiah, and parts of the Torah as a joke, but rather you take God’s Word seriously through His prophets.

            Yet I notice that you are only quoting Deuteronomy 4 here, regarding the nature of Elohim.
            Genesis 1, the beginning of everything and describing God, is a grand and somewhat mysterious subject. There is some ambiguity hidden in the words and Hebrew grammar, and I believe this is intentional on God’s part.

            Let US make man in OUR image, in OUR likeness…… male and female…..
            It’s not that easy to explain some things.

            What about my other points?
            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/song-of-solomon-516-vs-three-masters-of-persuasion/#comment-31270

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            When I have time, I will address the passage: “Let Us make man in Our own image.” But before I move on to that subject, I would like to clarify the purpose of names. It is important that one understand that a multiplicity of names does not imply a multiplicity of objects or persons.

            A person may have many names. He may be called “man.” He may be called “father.” He may be called “accountant,” “author,” or “soldier.” He many be called by either his first name or his last, or, if being called by his mother, first, last, and middle. He may be called by his wife a term of affection and by his co-workers a nickname that serves to tease him in some fashion. These names do not indicate that the man is really two or five or ten men. They indicate that people relate to him differently.

            The same man may be called by different names at different times but by the same person. He may be called by his wife at one time “husband” and another “darling.” (And at another time, “You jerk!”) Different names introduces sometimes subtle nuances as when a child calls her father either “Dad” or “Daddy,” the difference of those two letters introducing even greater intimacy. Yet, for all that, he is not changed.

            God is also described by multiple names, not indicative of a plurality of persons, for He is one and there is none with Him. Rather they indicate a particular quality of an interaction. “Elokim” indicates our relation to the one who orders the universe and the strict attribute of justice. “HaShem” (the tetragrammaton) indicates a more personal relationship, the God who cares for humanity and extends them grace and mercy. “El Shakkai” indicates that God’s is the provider and sustainer of all, that He is sufficient and one need look to any other source or power. These are not three persons in a godhead. In fact, “Hashem” and “Elokim” are often linked together as in Genesis 2.

            In your study, you missed a question that is of some interest to this topic. Exodus 6: 1-3 reads: “God spoke to Moses and said to him, ‘I am HaShem. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as El Shakkai, but with My Name HaShem I did not make Myself known to them.” (I assume this is what brought you to the conclusion that “HaShem” never appeared in Genesis.) But in Genesis, the name “HaShem” is used when Abraham is commanded to depart from his home (12:1). It is the tetragrammaton there. In v. 7 of the same chapter it says that “HaShem appeared” to Abraham (then Abram) and that Abraham built an altar to “HaShem Who appeared to him.” The question is not how God could introduce a new name in Exodus. The question is: “What does it mean that God did not appear to Abraham as HaShem when Genesis clearly says He did?”

            I am but a baby in Torah, but my understanding of this is that God did not work great miracles for Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob. Generally speaking, the things He did for them were not open miracles; they could be explained away as other causes. They only experience Him as the One Who Is Enough. This does not mean they had no knowledge of the power of God, that they did not know intellectually that He, as Master of the Universe, could perform great wonders. But they were not witness to anything like the plagues, manna, or the Sinai event. They knew God clearly, but they did not experience Him as HaShem, Who directly affected the natural order on their behalf. But Israel in Exodus 6 is about to have that direct experience. They would see God’s direct involvement in the affairs of humanity through great and undeniable miracles. They would not merely know theoretically that God is HaShem, they would have first hand experience.

            With this in mind, one may begin looking to understand “I will be what I will be” (not “I am that I am.”) Matthew, I exhort you not to let those who have misled you do so any longer. They have introduced empty notions, reading the Torah for a means to put Jesus in there. This brief reflection on names is a beginning point for contemplating the difference between a name and a thing itself. As the Bard of Avon once wrote: “A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.” Those who have focused you on the idea of progressive revelation have distracted you from real and meaningful issues.

            The difficulty with Jesus is not that his is a new name. It is that by nature he is not divine. They would have you ignore the obvious passages where God tells us how we are to understand Him and how we are not. Instead they read the Torah with an agenda. They take these passages, the meaning of which is not immediately apparent, and they use them to give themselves license to read a man-god into the passage. They gravitate to the ambiguous, because it is easier to put one’s own agenda into an ambiguous passage than a clear one. This is why they attempt to downplay the significance of Deut. 4, which specifically addresses how one should understand God.

            I ask you to please consider their logic, as well, because it is deeply flawed. They would have us believe that because there are subsequent revelations of God’s name, one cannot eliminate Jesus as a candidate for divine entity. But their logic means that no person or object could be known to be divine or not. Consider the case of Horace’s Tree. He worships it, claims it is a manifestation of God. The Christian tells him that a tree is not divine. He tells them that this is just a new revelation of God. Just as they accepted all the previous revelations they must accept this one. He calls it Lum Lum, and says this is just a new expression of God’s name. He says that just as no one knew him under the name Jesus until 2,000 years ago, so no one knew him by the name Lum Lum until now. The logic of those that misled you is empty.

            Moreover, they make the admonition of Deut. 13 empty. The phrase “gods you did not know” will evaporate before those who introduce foreign worship. They will always be able to claim: “This is not a god you did not know, but a name under which you did not know him. It is a subsequent revelation.” Because they ignore the passages where God directly addressed how he is to be understood, they take license to call him whatever suits their fancy. They argue about names rather than actual things and ideas, because talking about names suits their theology—their theology, not HaShem’s Torah. If they worked within the limits of Torah, the false notions to which they cling would be eliminated.

            The study of the names of God can be a fruitful one. But it must not be done with an eye to supporting one’s preconceived notions. It is not through such means that one discovers truth but distorts it. These people who have misled you have diminished the Word of God, replacing it with their own notions. They distort the purpose of names and argue according to empty logic.

            Jim

          • Jim, you have unearthed the key misunderstanding of one sentence, poorly translated, out of context, which contradicts various other parts of Scripture. This has caused so much confusion for me and many others- namely Exodus 6:3.

            This illustrates the danger of “cherry picking” isolated verses and demanding a detailed explanation, isolated from the context – either here, or elsewhere – for example, Jesus’ one solitary statement about being “perfect”, buried in the middle of a 3 chapter sermon. ( I see the Sermon on the Mount as very practical, with daily life application. But I don’t see it as a new “rule book”. It’s more of a vision of a new kingdom lifestyle, idealized somewhat.)

            Jim, you wrote QUOTE:
            “In your study, you missed a question that is of some interest to this topic. Exodus 6: 1-3 reads: “God spoke to Moses and said to him, ‘I am HaShem. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as El Shakkai, but with My Name HaShem I did not make Myself known to them.” (I assume this is what brought you to the conclusion that “HaShem” never appeared in Genesis.) But in Genesis, the name “HaShem” is used when Abraham is commanded to depart from his home (12:1). It is the tetragrammaton there. In v. 7 of the same chapter it says that “HaShem appeared” to Abraham (then Abram) and that Abraham built an altar to “HaShem Who appeared to him.” The question is not how God could introduce a new name in Exodus. The question is: “What does it mean that God did not appear to Abraham as HaShem when Genesis clearly says He did?” ”

            Yes, you are right.
            I think step one is to keep reading a little further. Don’t stop at verse 3.
            Exodus 6:2-5 (and following)

            We tend to assume that every word God says is a simple, straightforward command or statement of propositional truth, when this is not the case. (Like Jesus saying “be perfect…”)

            ….but with My Name HaShem I did not make Myself known to them ???”
            spoken with a rising intonation is not a statement of fact, but rather a rhetorical question. The implied answer is, OF COURSE He made Himself know to them by the name of Yahweh (Hashem.)

            The NIV Bible footnotes actually have this:
            “…or Almighty, and by my name the LORD did I not let myself be known to them?”
            “DID I NOT?” A rhetorical question.

            If you read Exodus 6:2-5, you see a progression of proofs God is giving.
            I appeared as El Shaddai….
            I DID make myself know as Yahweh….
            I also established…..
            Moreover I have heard….

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            Before discussing Genesis 1, it appears to me important that I comment on your methodology, though I fear that you may find it insulting. It is not my purpose to insult you. In fact, I think you can hardly be blamed for adopting the bad methodology that you have. You have been taught it by the Church, whose bad methodology begins with the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew and continues throughout the NT and the subsequent works of the Church. You begin with the conclusion and then look for the evidence, ignoring all the evidence that does not support your preconception.

            To even the casual reader, it must be apparent that something is wrong with your methodology. At one moment, you argue that the tetragrammaton does not appear in Genesis. You refer the reader to Exodus 6:2-3, the appeal of which is obvious: without context, it appears that the patriarchs did not know the tetragrammaton. You argued that HaShem never spoke to Abraham but only Elokim. But you were wrong on all counts. Ignorance is, of course, forgivable and can be remedied through education. But what one must note is that if you derived your doctrine from this misunderstanding, when you learned the truth, the doctrine should have evaporated. However, instead, you just looked for another source for your doctrine. Torah is not the source for your ideas; you use it as a justification for your ideas.

            And the new justification is not nearly so neat. You have found a name that does not appear prior to Exodus 3, though you consistently mistranslate it. But the passage does not have the appeal of Exodus 6. The passage does not imply that the patriachs never heard it. Nor is it the name that is used at Sinai, a name you greatly emphasized until it did not suit your purpose. You just emphasize a different name. Your agenda tells you what to emphasize. Your doctrine precedes your Torah reading.

            And yet, you continue to ignore the counter-arguments. That a second name does not imply a second person, you have not answered. That we are taught that God is alone, you have not answered. That we are taught not to associate God with any created thing, you have not answered. These facts are thrust aside by you, somehow unimportant.

            One might be impressed, however, by the way you turn the passage that you did not understand to your advantage so quickly. Bizarrely, you accuse me of misreading Exodus 6:3, going so far as to accuse me of cherry picking. You treat it as a rhetorical question. Yet just a few days ago, you clearly did not consider it a rhetorical question. You are literally arguing that the verse means the exact opposite of what you held a week ago, but are accusing me of abusing the scripture. Those that find mirth in irony will be greatly amused, I am sure. The verse that showed that God did not go by the tetragrammaton now indicates that He did. Dizzyingly, your conclusion still stands.

            But your current use of Exodus 6 is just as bad as the first. Strangely, you use it in an attempt to discredit me. You leave the main point of my argument unanswered. But you rely upon the NIV to make the verse into the opposite of what you affirmed mere days ago. Exodus 6:3 is not a rhetorical question. Nor would the rest of my argument fall by your trying to rewrite it. Please do not confuse the NIV with Torah. They are two different entities.

            It is from sources like the NIV that you learn this methodology. The NIV must not know what to make of Exodus 6:3, so they altered it a little. They had a question, and they put their interpretation of the answer on the page. This is what you have done, noticing an anomaly in the text and seeking to use it as pretext to put Jesus into the text.

            But this practice long predates the NIV. And you cannot be wholly blamed for employing it. It must seem normal to you after years of reading the NT. Just see how Matthew rewrites Isaiah 7:14. He makes use of scripture to find Jesus in it, though it clearly had nothing to do with Jesus. Because you have been taught that this is a legitimate way to read scripture, it appears normal to you.

            But it is not a legitimate way to read scripture or any other work.

            You have selected the facts that seem to support your doctrine. When those facts changed, your doctrine did not. It is clear then that you have not read Torah to understand what it means. You have, like your namesake, read it to find support for your prior held beliefs. Matthew put his own words into the mouth of God, but you do not have to emulate him. You can study the Torah for what it says, not what you can make it say. I urge you to do so.

            Jim

          • Jim,
            My methodology is that I seek the Living God with all my heart and soul and mind and strength, even though I DON’T KNOW HEBREW.
            When I am clearly wrong, I admit it, learn, grow, change my mind, and move forward.

            On the subject of “Yahweh”, the Christian sources I looked to consistently pointed to the Burning Bush in Exodus 3 first, never mentioning anything before. So I had biased sources. Probably, this was the work of “inerrantists” who look at Exodus 6:3 out of context and use it to override and ignore everything that came before. So I learned something.

            Yet this doesn’t change a number of valid points I’ve raised, which you don’t want to really face. God DOES reveal Himself using a new name at the Burning Bush. Why do you have to dodge this fact?

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            This is a fundamentally unserious response.

            Sincere desire to grow close to God is not a methodology. You confuse means and ends. No one questions your sincerity, but what can be sincere and be wrong nonetheless.

            You claim to learn from your mistakes, but that is not what you display here. Even though you get your facts wrong, you are certain of your conclusions. If one verse no longer serves your purpose, you just call up another one, demanding an answer to another challenge.

            The indignancy with which you challenge us is out of place. Here you are challenging me again: why have I not responded to “I am”. If you learn so much from your mistakes, then you ought to stop demanding answers as if no one can stand before your mighty arguments. This was the line you took with Dina and me regarding the tetragrammaton, implying that we just could not stand up to your challenge. ‘Why will you not answer me?’ The demand was obviously misplaced. A little humility might be in order before issuing such unanswerable challenges again.

            A little humility might serve you better in this conversation. You admit that you do not know Hebrew, but you assert your rectitude. You continue to use the sources that you know might mislead you. It would be better to come to the Jewish people, God’s witnesses, and, instead of telling them what the Torah that you cannot read means, asking them to teach you. What good is your sincerity if you continue to study with those that you know mislead you? What good is your sincerity if you ignore the testimony of those appointed by God to be a priestly nation?

            Moreover, it is unreasonable for you to demand that I answer each of your challenges even as you ignore mine. What—should I reply: “Oh yeah? Answer my challenge about there being none besides God.” And then we could just stand nose to nose demanding the other answer our challenge? The fact is that you have ignored not me but the Torah. You have treated Deuteronomy 4 as if it does not count in some way, because it does not fit your theology.

            And in fact, your demand that I answer “I am” is misleading. I have already written that names describe how we relate to God. They do not imply multiple persons. They do not even imply multiple revelations. The principles I wrote about in writing about names in general apply to “I will be what I will be.” It does not require any separate explanation.

            Being sincere does not make you right. Nor does your unfounded assertion that you are correct. Nor is sincerity a methodology. Giving your mind over to those that have misrepresented the Word of God for 2,000 years is counter-productive. The ideas that come out of such error are obvious. If you wish to know the truth, go to those to whom it was entrusted. Study at their feet. Zechariah writes that 10 men will latch on to the Jew, realizing finally that God is with the Jewish people. Why wait? Abandon your former teachers and grasp the Jew now, saying, “Teach me.”

            Jim

          • Jim,
            Other than your lengthy exegesis and analysis of the name “Elohim”, which I appreciate, you really have been dancing around the valid points I’ve raised in Torah. Yes, “I will be” is probably a better translation than “I AM,” but this information does not invalidate the facts I’ve presented. Where I’ve been clearly been wrong, I’ve admitted it, and changed my mind.

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/song-of-solomon-516-vs-three-masters-of-persuasion/#comment-31270

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/song-of-solomon-516-vs-three-masters-of-persuasion/#comment-31285

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/song-of-solomon-516-vs-three-masters-of-persuasion/#comment-31403

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            It is not changing one’s mind to maintain his rectitude when confronted with one’s ignorance. You still assume conclusions when the facts upon which they are supposedly built are demonstrated to be false. When those facts are shown to be incorrect, you admit they are wrong but you do not examine their role in the argument you were building. You just misrepresent another scripture and continue to exclude from the argument data that contradicts your conclusion. This is not changing one’s mind.

            Jim

          • CP says:

            Matthew & Jim

            I’ve been watching with interest where the “Name” discussion was going. Yes, ‘I will be what I will be’ is the better meaning. Interestingly enough the ‘I AM’ seems to play into Judaism’s view of GOD as if GOD can do nothing different than what happened at Sinai. Where the ‘I will be what I will be’ favors a suffering Messiah view and makes short work of the I AM passages in John.

            GOD is GOD, HE will do as HE pleases, even if it is sending HIS own to HIS own at a great cost so some might repent and be saved. HIS thoughts are not our thoughts, nor HIS ways are ways.

            Who are we to decide what GOD’s hand is in and what it isn’t?

          • Jim says:

            CP,

            Thank you for demonstrating for us the very problem at hand. Here is Matthew making of the scripture whatever he will, reading into it whatever comes to his mind. Then you come along and do the same thing, illustrating for us the ease with which one might push his agenda onto the text.

            “I will be…” is no more accommodating to your version of Jesus than it is Matthew’s. It has nothing to do with a messiah, suffering or otherwise. Instead of discussing what the passage means, you adopt the deeply flawed methodology that Matthew uses, turning the verse into an opportunity to push your theology onto the text. Both of you are so Jesus-focused, it does not occur to you to read it as is. You have to turn it into a discussion of your version of Jesus. And of course, it has nothing to do with him at all.

            Neither of you attempt to read the verse for what it means. You read it for what you believe you can make it mean. These are like images one reads in the clouds, empty products of the imagination, quickly dissipating.

            Jim

          • CP says:

            Jim,
            Let’s take stock of our current surroundings, the context in which we discuss. You make it appear as though you are discussing whether a certain breed of dog is good for hunting and Matthew and I are trying to talk to you about cats.

            Btw, I never said the passage was Messianic as you implied. The only MEANING I intended was a static view of GOD does not favor the idea that HE might do something new and unexpected, such as a suffering Messiah.

          • CP
            ….”a static view of GOD does not favor the idea that HE might do something new and unexpected…”

            Like form a special relationship with a particular nation, or dwell above a new little shrine, a portable wooden box that four men could carry around the desert, and put in a special tent……

          • Jim says:

            CP,

            Are you being purposely funny here? I cannot always read tone through a screen, particularly from those unknown to myself. Of course, I did not imply that you made the passage messianic but used it as an opportunity to talk about an unrelated concept, about your view of the messiah. I assume by doubling down you are being ironic, but it’s hard to tell without hearing tone.

            Jim

          • Jim says:

            Matthew,

            Regarding the passage containing, “Let Us make man in Our image…”:

            While the Christian may use the passage to grant himself license to read a multiplicity of persons into the godhead, the passage indicates no such thing.

            The first object of consideration is the context. Genesis 1 is not a teaching about the nature of God. It is incredibly silent on what God is like when one considers that this is the opening passage of the Torah. In Genesis 1 nothing is said of what God is like. Not even His motivation for creating is given. The chapter describes God’s action but not his nature.

            This carries into the end of the chapter and the creation of humanity. The topic of verse 26, where God says, “Let Us make…” is the creation of the human race, not the nature or again, even the motivation of God. The passage is given to tell something essential about humanity, not its Creator.

            One cannot help but notice that when a chapter announces specifically that its topic is how humanity is to understand God, the Church ignores and downplays it. The Church turns its face away from Deuteronomy 4, a chapter that directly addresses how one is to understand God. The chapter precludes a trinity, and it precludes a man being worshipped as God. Nevertheless, the Church teaches both forbidden doctrines. It instead relies on passages where the meaning is not immediately obvious as in Genesis 1:26-27 and where the topic is not God.

            Even within the passage, the Church picks and chooses the facts to suit its doctrine. While before creating humanity God does say “Us” and “Our,” when He does the actual act of creation, the verb is in the singular. Multiple persons do not create humanity but One.

            Moreover, the Church will not likely draw attention to the fact that God refers to Himself in the first person singular in Genesis 9 and Genesis 17 and elsewhere. This is noteworthy because the name of God in the passage is Elokim, which is supposed to denote the plurality of godheads to the Christian. When the first person singular is used in conjunction with the tetragrammaton, the Church could argue that this refers only to one person in the godhead. But the first person singular is used also with the term that is supposed to illustrate the plural personhood of God. The Church makes much hay of God referring to “Us” but ignores that He more often refers to Himself as “I”.

            The Church is good at ignoring facts. Kavi recently wrote that the trinity is all over Tanach. But this can only be stated by ignoring Christians’ own proof texts. The Church tells us that God is one in the way that Adam and Eve are one. In Genesis 1, when God makes humanity in His image, He makes them male and female. This is two persons, not three. The trinity cannot be located in this important passage. If the Christian were honest, he would have to admit that Genesis 1 teaches a duality. But what has happened is that the Church uses the passage only to read a multiplicity into God. Once they ‘establish’ the multiplicity, it then attempts to define it in its own preconception, not through its actual proof text. The Church ignores the facts and details that do not suit its pre-ordained conclusions.

            For nearly 2,000 years the Church has misrepresented Torah. It has sought to push its man-god into a text that denies the very premises of its religion. This is a crime. Genesis 1 is not to be used as an excuse to support a doctrine in direct contradiction with the Torah’s teaching on God. The chapter is not about the nature of God. The Church has had to ignore the times God (Elokim) refers to Himself as “I”. It has had to ignore the verbs associated with the passage and even its own usage of the passage. The Church has shown itself to be incompetent in reading the Torah. Why should anyone heed the Church on this matter—so that one may give his devotion to another member of creation? Let the devotion due God be reserved to Him and to no man.

            Jim

          • CP says:

            Jim,
            No, I wasn’t being ironic. The meaning I wish to convey is the perceived tendency of Orthodox Judaism to contain God in the Mt Sinai box. A lot has happened since then; annihilation of the wilderness group, failure to conquer all the land, divided kingdom, northern kingdom exiled and dispersed, southern kingdom exiled and returned 70 years later only to be exiled again for 2000 years, and now LBGT parades are held in Jerusalem and the rich have a monopoly on the real estate.
            The Mt Sinai box isn’t working so well for us, not because of God but because of us, we need help. You think if we keep hammering away its eventually going to work? Do you think God is going to sit idly by watching us fail time and time again and do nothing? Jim, I’m just encouraging you to think outside the box. For example; how do you think God is going to bring the northern tribes back at this point as promised? Does your Sinai paradigm have a plan for that? Or is it perhaps outside the perceived box?

          • CP
            ” the perceived tendency of Orthodox Judaism to contain God in the Mt Sinai box. A lot has happened since then….”

            Yes- and a lot has happened BEFORE then too- the creation of the world and 2000 years of recorded human history, in the beginning, leading up to the creation of national Israel…..

          • Dina says:

            CP, the Torah teaches us that all God wants from us is to fear God and to walk in His ways, to love Him and to worship Him with all our heart and all our soul (Deuteronomy 10:12). The Torah does not teach us that it is our duty to figure out how to help God fulfill His promises to us.

            You’re not the first person to preach to us how to serve God. The “Sinai box,” whatever that means, is outdated (or your version, not working)? That’s one of the oldest arguments in the books. The Greeks were already telling our forbears that they should get with the times 2000 years ago.

            They’re gone…we’re still here…

          • LarryB says:

            CP
            I know you have your version of Jesus, that lone voice in the wilderness. But hey its almost christmas, and to lighten things up here I thought I’d post ” The real meaning of christmas” for those who think outside the box.
            http://www.simpletoremember.com/authors/a/rabbi-lawrence-kelemen/
            Just pan down to the audio video section, its towards the top. Enjoy!

          • LarryB says:

            OOOPS. Its called “The real story of christmas”
            http://www.simpletoremember.com/authors/a/rabbi-lawrence-kelemen/

          • Jim says:

            CP,

            It is easy—too easy—to mischaracterize others, and it is to be avoided. While you may derive comfort from your belief that your interlocutors put God in a box, such misrepresentation of others disallows you to understand them. Nor does it contribute to the dialogue.

            Jim

          • The people of God confront the idol worshipper

            For 2000 years now, people like you have been trying to lead us astray, to follow a “new god” and “get with the times.” We don’t need a new god. We know the God of our fathers, and we know His Holy Name – Yahweh. It’s in our Scriptures. Stop trying to take part of our God’s name, twist it to make a different, new name, and then claim it for your own “new god” – and tell us it’s really the same God as the God of our fathers. We know better, and we are still here after more than 2000 years. Who do you think you are, Moses, coming to us with your new god “I WILL BE”…. that you supposedly saw in a “burning bush”…?.

          • Matthew Perri Do you think that the people that God chose as His covenantal partner cannot identify Him?

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Pharisee Friend,
            “Then they said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
            [Exodus 32:4]

            So in a word, frequently, for the majority (like 10 spies out of 12),
            No.
            I believe that many people who are nominally part of God’s Bride often DON’T recognize their God, based on what I see in Tanach.
            But the righteous remnant, the true believers, the real chosen people of God, yes.

          • Matthew Perri
            So would you expect someone from outside the “bride” community to be able to identify God better than the bride community itself?

          • CP says:

            Jim,
            I think you misunderstand what I’m sayin about the Sinia box (paradigm). The point is is not to dismiss any of Sinia as others here wrongly and repeatedly falsely accuse me of. But to say there is more, even Moses said so. I understand why they don’t believe me, but why would they not believe Moses?
            For 3500 years we’ve thought we needed someone to save us from our enemies, when what we really needed was someone to save us from ourselves.

          • Pharisee Friend,
            The True Apostles Matthew, John, and Peter,
            Peter’s scribe Mark, John the Baptist,
            Sanhedrin members Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea ,
            and Yeshua were all part of the bride community.

          • Matthew Perri What tells you that these were the “righteous” remnant? Maybe they were the wicked?

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Pharisee Friend,
            Do we agree that God does, with considerable frequently, work through a “righteous remnant” or prophet rather than the “majority opinion” of the leaders of Israel?

          • Matthew Perri God works through the leaders of those in Israel who are trying to remain loyal to Him – preserving His truth in their midst – miraculously and consistently – and those who stray – He cuts them off from the nation within a few generations – be they the minority or the majority – also miraculously and consistently

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Pharisee Friend,
            I agree with your statement here.
            Additionally,
            what you think of Isiah’s words in Isaiah 28:11, who he was speaking to in 28:14, and Yahweh’s message in 28:16 ?

          • Matthew Perri Isaiah 28:11-14 is talking to a corrupt leadership – they see God’s words as a difficult complicated law that can only be comprehended one tiny detail at a time instead of seeing it as one cohesive whole that is simple and forthright – give peace to the weary – verse 16 tells us that the events will winnow out this corrupt leadership

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Pharisee Friend,
            Yes I agree with you on this too.
            Although I also read something (or should I say someone 🙂 into the text that you probably don’t…..

          • Dina says:

            Your honesty in admitting that you read him into the text is refreshing.

  18. KAVI says:

    Jim and Matthew,
    What is not rhetorical is that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob VISIBLY SAW G-d in Exodus 6.

    Knowing that it is impossible for man to see the Ancient of Days and live– a person can come to a reasoned, logical certainty that it was the L-rd Yeshua with whom the patriarchs saw, spoke, and/or even supped.

    Yet these few verses form only a small portion of how Elohim consistently testifies to His complex, Tri-une uniqueness throughout the Tanakh. And just to be clear, although G-d exists as an Echad, Tri-une Being, He is not what some define as “tritheistic”.

    As an Echad, Tri-une Elohim, He can readily use both the plural “US” and singular “I AM” as found in Genesis 1
    [*] “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. . . ” AND
    [*] “. . . male and female He created [bara] them.…”

    And, in like manner as Adam/Chava were made “echad”– i.e., “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” — so G-d Himself gives mankind a tiny glimpse of His own Echad “Image”.

    __________________________________

    • CP says:

      KAVI,
      I think a “reasoned logical” approach is the Entity seen as GOD, is in fact the Agent of GOD and there is no special reason to think it is the same Agent who called Israel to repentance just before the destruction of the second Temple.

      (Just my two cents)

      • KAVI says:

        CP,
        Fair enough– I understand what you’re saying and recognize there are adherents to that line of thought.

        For others, we see the Agent of G-d identified by the Tetragrammaton and come to an alternative conclusion- just some examples,
        [*] The L-RD (Yeshua), G-d of Israel, was visibly seen in Heavenly Splendor by Moses, Aaron, and the 70 Elders while they ate at a distance [Exodus 24]
        [*] The L-RD (Yeshua) spoke with Moses face to face [Exodus 33]
        [*] The L-RD (Yeshua) came down and stood by Moses as the L-RD (Ancient of Days) passed by [Exodus 34]

        We also come to see that,
        [*] Yeshua is the Visible Temunah [Form] of the L-RD who speaks not as an agent, but as G-d,

        “When there is a prophet among you,
        I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions,
        I speak to them in dreams.
        But this is not true of my servant Moses;
        he is faithful in all my house.
        With him I speak face to face,
        clearly and not in riddles;
        he sees the Form [Temunah] of the L-RD.” [Numbers 12]

        ________________________

        When I first came to this blog about a year ago– I raised questions and issues like the ones above and was surprised that Rabbinic Judaism had no meaningful, consistent answers. Since that time, reading this blog has only led me to further study and discovery of even more reasons to believe that L-rd Yeshua is the original Genesis Promised Kinsman Redeemer.

        If Orthodox Judaism chooses to find redemption in obeying a list of commands– ok, so be it– however, reading Rabbi Blumenthal’s dialogs [along with others] has done me a great good by bringing me to a far greater understanding as to “why” such a belief is held– even if the teachings in Tanakh disagree.

        And although your faith disagrees both with followers of “The Way” as well as with Orthodox Judaism– it does have a purpose of providing a platform for both Faiths to examine and be challenged and broaden our perspectives.

        ________________________

        • Dina says:

          Kavi, you are misunderstanding those passages, but let us say for argument’s sake that God really did appear in some sort of physical form in all those passages (I won’t get into the discussion that you still can’t prove it was Jesus).

          Let us say God appeared as a man on every page of Tanach. (He did not, but let us say for argument’s sake.)

          We still are forbidden to worship Him as such based on His teachings in Deuteronomy 4. How do you ignore such a central and strong teaching, that is re-emphasized throughout Tanach? (I don’t have time right now to supply the supporting Scriptures but will try to get to it tomorrow).

          We understand the whole Torah in light of God’s revelation to us at Mount Sinai and how He taught us to worship Him. We interpret these passages according to Deuteronomy 4; you interpret these passages according to your belief in Jesus and ignore Deuteronomy 4.

          Finally, God appointed us as His witnesses (Isaiah 43 and 44) and promised that we would preserve His testimony forever (Psalm 78 and Isaiah 59:21). God revealed His word only to us; the other nations do not know His laws (Psalm 147).

          How do you dismiss with such confidence the testimony of God’s witnesses, the testimony of those appointed by God to preserve His truth forever, who testified throughout the ages with great personal courage and at great personal risk even unto death that Jesus is a false messiah and a false prophet?

          • KAVI says:

            Dina,
            You’ve raised a number of interesting thoughts and I would like to pursue them later today [or, at least the reference Deuteronomy 4:15-19]

            But for the time being, let’s say that G-d theoretically appeared as a man on every page of Tanakh. If so, then it would seem the modern Orthodox understanding of Deuteronomy 4 would be errant.

            Such an errant reading would require a lengthy discussion something on the order of the L-RD saying,
            “Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and ordinances whereby they should not live.” [Ezekiel 20:25]

            PS> Sorry for the double post– the reference should be Ezekiel 20:25 and not just “25”.

  19. KAVI says:

    Dina,
    You’ve raised a number of interesting thoughts and I would like to pursue them later today [or, at least the reference Deuteronomy 4:15-19]

    But for the time being, let’s say that G-d theoretically appeared as a man on every page of Tanakh. If so, then it would seem the modern Orthodox understanding of Deuteronomy 4 would be errant.

    Such an errant reading would require a lengthy discussion something on the order of the L-RD saying,
    “Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and ordinances whereby they should not live.” [Ezekiel 25]

    ______________________

    • Dina says:

      Kavi, the understanding of Deuteronomy is not modern and history attests to the fact that we lived by it, suffered by it, and died by it at Christian hands for 2000 years.

      Do you realize that you cited Ezekiel 20:25 out of context? I, on the other hand, did not cite Deuteronomy 4 out of context, and I promised to provide supporting Scriptures that prove my point. The so-called theophanies of Scripture are not teachings on how to worship God; the following citations are:

      Exodus 20:2-5, Deuteronomy 4:35, Deuteronomy 4:39, Ibid 6:4, Ibid 6:14, 1 Chonicles 8:60, Isaiah 40:25, Isaiah 42:8, Isaiah 43: 10-11, Isaiah 44: 6-8, Hosea 13:4

      So now that we cleared that up, how about you answer my challenges?

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