The Pharisees

The Pharisees

 

You would expect that the authors of the Christian Scriptures would attempt to teach the doctrines of Christianity. Indeed, the theology of Christianity can be found by reading the letters of Paul. But the writers of the Christian Scriptures did not stop at presenting their own theology; they also found it necessary to give their readers a perspective of Jewish theology. It seems that believing certain things about Jews and Judaism is part and parcel of Christianity.

 

The word “Pharisee” appears 100 times in the Christian Scriptures. Who were the Pharisees? The Pharisees were the leaders of those Jews who believed in the national testimony of the Jewish people. The Pharisees were the leaders of the Jewish people and their philosophy and teachings is known today as Orthodox Judaism.

 

A popular thesaurus equates the word “Pharisee” with: “hypocrite”, “fraud”, “deceiver” and “pretender”. A typical Christian study Bible describes the Pharisees as: “self-righteous”, “avaricious”, “fond of distinguished titles”, “oppressive” and “cruel”. This view of the Pharisees is rooted in the writings of the Christian Scriptures. Every other historical document that we have that describes the Pharisees does not support this negative judgment of the Pharisees.

 

The writings of the Pharisees themselves preach against all of these vices. Not only do they preach against these vices but they also provide stories from real life that provide illumination in humility, kindness, honesty and selflessness.

 

If we would be alive in the times of the writing of the Christian Scriptures we can perhaps have an argument as to which path it is that leads to humility – is it the path proposed by the writers of the Christian Scriptures or is it the path mapped out by the Pharisees. But today there is no room for such an argument. We have 2000 years of historical data in front of us. Were there any hypocritical Jews in the past 2000 years? Of-course! Did the Jews sometimes have leaders who were frauds and deceivers? Yes, they did. I am not trying to deny that. What I am saying however is that the community who walked the path mapped out by the Pharisees fared so much better than the community who followed the path mapped out by the authors of the Christian Scriptures. The authors of the Christian Scriptures did not provide their community with the spiritual leadership that it needed while the Pharisees did.

 

When presented with the historical record of the community who respected the Christian Scriptures missionaries often respond with the slogan: “they were not real Christians”. This assertion rings very hollow in my ears. So many students of history have concluded that to disassociate the Christian Scriptures from the Inquisition and the holocaust is like trying to disassociate smoking from lung-cancer. But it is not necessary for me to expose the empty rhetoric of the missionary here and now. All I need to say to the Christian is that if you want me to judge the authors of the Christian Scriptures on the basis of their moral teachings and on nothing else then I ask you to be consistent. Don’t judge the Pharisees by what their theological enemies have said about them. Judge them by their moral teachings or don’t judge them at all.

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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243 Responses to The Pharisees

  1. Paul says:

    Hi
    Without sounding realy dumb here, but where is the evidence that you speak off in regard to the writers of the NT as being lacking spiritualy in there community.They went into the community, preached the good news, as they were told to do so. They were never told to infuence or overtake a community. And of course all but most were killed for there faith. Also the statement made by believers ” Not real christians” I understand your/theres comment, but these( “Guilty”) ones were never quoted as being the writers of the NT, followers maybe?? but not authors. Unless you can show me evidence.
    You forget that Paul/Saul was a trainee rabbi. Of course he wrote a good percentage of the NT. He had a pretty good insight to the culture of the day. More than you and I. He was there when Stephen was stoned to death.
    Yes I agree with you that NT doesnt always paint the Pharisees in a great light, but when your compare the writings of the prophets you do not get a very good picture either. Lamentations and the book of Malachi are always a good viewepoint of what the God of Israel thought of the priests and the temple service which they had profaned. In fact the closing parts of Malachi are not excatly a good day for the pharisees etc. So 400 yrs later things would not have got much better. Especially when God is so silent. Israels leaders were not listening to God when He was talking, rebuking/reminding/warning Israel. Mankind without God goes further downhill. Im sure you would agree?
    So just remind me again why the Lord God never had positive things to say about the leaders in Malichi.
    Was it God who took away your temple and drove you to the four corners of the earth, or was it those hypocrictical christians who were led by weak leaders. Well im sure if it was these followers of this pagan/god man that drove you out etc, it raises the question why the Lord God never stopped it?
    Where are the pharisees today that are infuencing the communties of Israel. No temple. Not a very good influence in my mind. At one point in Israel, Jewish women were eating there own children. Ah yes! the community spirit the fared better because of the pharisees and leaders. The good old days! And yes it gets so much better, yes in AD70 God destroyed the temple just as Jeshua said He would.

    Or is because the average non believing Jew wants to blame someone else for there own punishment that they have brought on themselves. Stop please with the bleeding heart (” we are so persecuted”) banner!!!!!!!!!! Yawn! Its about time, son of Abraham that you awoke to the truth. Stop feeling sorry for yourselves and stop blaming the church for the fire that you went through. You actually blame the church for stuff in the same sense that the nazis blamed the jews for things. I could give you a list when murders were done in the name of Moses. But I dont go round blaming all jews for these. When are you going to discuss scripture in a mature manner and not just with your own personal anti christian agenda?

    X

    • Annelise says:

      “So 400 yrs later things would not have got much better.” ? They really could have. Anyway, those prophecies were making a general statement… it doesn’t mean every leader was corrupt… but the Christian view of Pharisaic Judaism is usually different. Most Christians don’t just claim that some of the teachers who happened to meet Jesus were hypocrites… they actually believe that the Pharisaic approach *in and of itself* is hypocritical.

  2. David says:

    Regarding the conclusion of your post about judging Pharisees and Christians, why not judge actions and speech regardless of who or where it comes from? As far as judging Scripture, judge that too. But keep in mind anyone can twist anything. Just because someone claims to follow this or that doesn’t make it so. Jesus called out hypocritical behavior on the part of some Pharisees which was prevalent in his day, and a hypocritical twisting of Scripture. The same argument can and should be made of the Christian Crusades as you have pointed out. So let’s agree to call them hypocritical Christian Crusaders. I guess I would then also say that neither the hypocritical Pharisees nor the hypocritical Christian Crusaders were children of God.

    So does that mean that the hypocritical Pharisees were not true Jews and likewise that the hypocritical Christian Crusaders were not true Christians? Yes, on some level, because both were acting out of a twisted and corrupted manipulation of scripture for personal gain, distorted and completely removed from the original intent of God. But it becomes kind of cumbersome in language to say hypocritical Pharisee (who is not really a true Jew) and hypocritical Christian Crusader (who is not really a true Christian). Hence many chose shorter versions such as Pharisee and Christian Crusader which is unfortunate for those Pharisees who were not hypocrites and Christians who were neither crusaders nor hypocrites.

    I don’t look upon the bible so much as part Judaism and part Christian as in the OT and NT for example. I look at it more so as just God’s word; all of it. All of it is good, and God breathed. I don’t pit one part against any other part. All of it makes sense as a complete body of scripture.

    I see the bible as one long progression of God’s teaching on multiple levels. I see that God had a plan from the beginning. The writings, all the writings including the later writings of the bible were known to God from eternity past. For me as a Christian, the NT supports the OT just as much as the other way around. And Christianity supports Judaism just as much as Judaism supports Christianity because God had all of this planned out before hand.

    • Annelise says:

      David, I think it makes sense to say that an equal standard should be used for judging Christianity and Pharisaic Judaism. I think Rabbi Yisroel was saying a similar thing when he said “if you want me to judge the authors of the Christian Scriptures on the basis of their moral teachings and on nothing else then I ask you to be consistent. Don’t judge the Pharisees by what their theological enemies have said about them. Judge them by their moral teachings or don’t judge them at all.”

      • David says:

        TheTheir corrupt motivations, attitudes and behaviors have already been judged by Jesus. And if what Jesus said about them is true, then we should all accept that they are indeed hypocritical.

        The only question then is what Jesus said about them true. And I do believe Jesus rather than any claims to the contrary because I believe Jesus speaks for God, just as you may believe that Moses spoke for God.

    • Yehuda says:

      Hi David,

      You wrote:

      “So does that mean that the hypocritical Pharisees were not true Jews and likewise that the hypocritical Christian Crusaders were not true Christians? Yes, on some level… But it becomes kind of cumbersome in language to say hypocritical Pharisee… and hypocritical Christian Crusader….Hence many chose shorter versions such as Pharisee and Christian Crusader which is unfortunate for those Pharisees who were not hypocrites and Christians who were neither crusaders nor hypocrites.”

      Except that for some reason your suggested shorthand drops the qualifiers entirely from the word “pharisees” at the expense of non-hypocritical pharisees, but leaves the “crusader” attached to christian. Is a two-word descriptive more cumbersome for the Jews than it is for the Christians?

      Why not be consistent and stick with “corrupt pharisees” and Christian crusaders”?

      Alternatively, if you feel that the “Pharisee” is itself so self-defining,perhaps we should balance that with an agreement to allow Christian” itself,, even without “crusader”, to self-evidently equate with “marauding murderer of Jews”.

      If you fail to see how your suggestion ignores this imbalance then,you completely missed the Rabbi’s point in this post.’

      • David says:

        You’re missing my point which is to judge each action, speech, and writing on it’s own regardless of where it comes from. Whether you think someone is a true this or a true that is not really a central issue for me. I only addressed it because your Phariseefriend noted that Christians often say the the crusaders were not really true Christians. I’m willing to call them true Christians and the Pharisees of Jesus’ time true Pharisees as long as we’re consistent in our language. But again that’s not really an issue for me. What ever you want to call it, call it. My point is again, as stated above.

        • Yehuda says:

          “…Christians often say the the crusaders were not really true Christians. I’m willing to call them true Christians”

          I suspect you are very alone out there on that one. I invite other Christians here to comment.

          • Shomer says:

            “…Christians often say the the crusaders were not really true Christians. I’m willing to call them true Christians”

            Dear Yehuda, I totally agree.
            I was brought up as a Christian and thus I had hated ELOHIM according to the second commandment in Shemot 20. During the last ten years I repented and now I love ELOHIM according to Davar 6:4&5.

            There are Christians that do not believe in the Holy Virgin Mary, but they believe in the virgin birth doctrine of their semi-God Jesus. This is but one contradiction in Christians minds. The other one with the crusaders is another one or the statements regarding Jesus HaMaschiach and Yeshua Christ the next one – shall I continue? I decide to stop here, otherwise it might blow the storage capacity of this server….
            Shomer

        • Adam says:

          I think we really need to see who the Crusader were. While by the end of the Crusades the Crusaders did a lot of harm to Jewish communities and to other Non-Christian communities. But when the Crusades began they were not about conquering or raiding. The original intent of the crusades were to protect Christians who were making pilgrimage to Bethlehem and Nazareth who were being raped and murdered by Muslims. While it is a shame on the church that the Crusaders once they defeated the Muslims turned their blood thirst on innocent Jews. That was not the intent of the Crusades it was to protect travelling Christians against Islamic Terrorism.

          • Yehuda says:

            Adam,

            You wrote: “But when the Crusades began they were not about conquering or raiding. The original intent of the crusades were to protect Christians… ”

            Well, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

            Your history is faulty. Do a little research and you will find that the atrocities committed against the Jews of the Rhineland were among the very first things perpetrated by the bloodthirsty rabble that comprised the first crusade. This took place in May and June of 1096 barely a month after the murderous hoard first set out – at this very time of year around the Jewish Holiday of Shavuos. Not only that, but they went out of their alleged way, since Jerusalem was southeast of their point of origin, while the holy crusaders made their way north up the Rhine river killing every Jew they could get their hands on and literally decimating entire Jewish communities. The reasoning was fairly compelling. Why risk dying of disease and starvation while trekking hundreds of miles to Jerusalem to fight Muslims, when we can set upon the “enemies of the Lord” right here in our own backyard and thereby guaranty our place in heaven?

  3. Annelise says:

    Paul, please don’t write like that that about these events. Even if you think that Jewish people deserve the things that have happened to them, some of the things you said are like finding a hurting vulnerable person who has been attacked on the street and then shouting at and beating them yourself. I don’t think you can really understand the horrific way in which the ancestors and friends of people you’re writing to here have been attacked both physically and emotionally for countless generations. Nearly every Jewish family I have met here in Sydney has been affected by the Holocaust and by current anti-Semitism in a significant way, there is a lot of trauma in people’s families and identities and a feeling that a lot of the world would let it happen again. That kind of thing impacts your psyche at a deep level, it breaks families, it causes people to be treated cruelly even worse than animals and there are no words that are enough to comfort such a crime. Even if you completely separate Christianity from the events, I believe it is evil to add insult to injury. It reminds me of Job’s friends trying to tell him that he was suffering from his sin when in reality what he needed was their compassion. I know that God said that Israel would suffer for sins, but how can other nations judge that what we are even worse? And how do you know that some or a lot of this suffering was not just in punishment but for other reasons that we can’t understand? How can we dare to comment when so many Jews love God very deeply with their hearts and their actions, as they were taught by their parents and their parents before them, and their parents before them, to give every minute of the day in devotion to God as well as they know how. How can you answer the question of how people like that can be caught up in the suffering… Even when under persecution they pay a big price to continue obeying God in the way that they believe He has given them to do? You would never look at Christian martyrs in this generation as if they were complaining too much and being punished for their sins. You would never look at a young girl who had been abused and was crying on the streets at night, even if you think she played a role in what happened to her, you would never look at her and start insulting her. So please speak gently, with humility, sensitivity, and an awareness that what has happened and what is happening is part of a personal relationship between God and Israel that is not for you or me to judge.

    If you feel that this suffering is being used to manipulate the theological conversation, or to make it seem that the Jewish people are the innocent victims and have never been in the wrong… Then it is right for you to express that opinion. It would be wrong to ignore important aspects of theology simply because you are trying to be sensitive to other people’s pain. But I really believe that you can say that point and leave it there without going on to abusive, anti-Semitic comments where you essentially say that what people have done to the Jews was not undeserved.

    I really look up to a lot of the leaders and friends I have met in the Jewish community these days. I know that are real flaws in the leadership and the people, just like there are in any community, but there are also countless people who live their lives surrendered to God and coming closer to Him. These people pray with sincerity, they try to be honest about pride and selfishness so as to become more humble and serving, they make difficult choices every day and they put their strength into obedience. They say and write things that really encourage other people in their walk with God. These writings exist from throughout Jewish history, and these people are everywhere today if you really get to know the religious Jewish community. They see themselves as part of a precious marriage covenant with God that they would die rather than letting go of, and it is painful but most of the Christian community around them believes that their relationship with God is legalistic, shallow, or non-existent. Sometimes they are silent to this misconception because their relationship with God is so personal and precious, they don’t want to flaunt it in the attempt to try to prove it. But when you say that God took away the Temple and still hasn’t restored it because of their sin, you’re speaking to people who feel a lot of pain about that fact, who pray every day that the Jewish people as a whole will come to know God as they do and much more, and who yearn for one of David’s descendants to be king again in a world where there is peace and knowledge of God and they can obey God in His Temple. To use harsh words as if they don’t know how much has been lost is very painful.

    I’ll show you a few quotes that I really like, straight from the tradition of the Pharisees, from the Mishna. I know this was written down a bit later than the time of Jesus and Paul and Stephen, but you should still see the heart within the teachings of leaders who did live before and during that time.
    “Do not be as slaves, who serve their master for the sake of reward. Rather, be as slaves who serve their master not for the sake of reward. And the fear of Heaven should be upon you.”
    “Let your home be a meeting place for the wise; dust yourself in the soil of their feet, and drink thirstily of their words.”
    “Love work, loath mastery over others, and avoid intimacy with the government.”
    “Be meticulous with the reading of the Shma and with prayer. When you pray, do not make your prayers routine, but [an entreaty of] mercy and a supplication before the Almighty, as is stated “For He is benevolent and merciful, slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness, and relenting of the evil decree” (Joel 2:13). And do not be wicked in your own eyes.”
    “Give Him what is His, for you, and whatever is yours, are His. As David says: “For everything comes from You, and from Your own hand we give to You””
    “One whose deeds exceed his wisdom, his wisdom endures. But one whose wisdom exceeds his deeds, his wisdom does not endure.”
    “Be very, very humble, for the hope of mortal man is worms.”
    “One who learns Torah in order to teach, is given the opportunity to learn and teach. One who learns in order to do, is given the opportunity to learn, teach, observe and do.”
    “Be first to greet every man. Be a tail to lions, rather than a head to foxes.”
    “Delve and delve into it, for all is in it; see with it; grow old and worn in it; do not budge from it, for there is nothing better.”
    “Whoever studies Torah for Torah’s sake alone, merits many things; not only that, but [the creation of] the entire world is worthwhile for him alone. He is called friend, beloved, lover of G-d, lover of humanity, rejoicer of G-d, rejoicer of humanity. The Torah enclothes him with humility and awe; makes him fit to be righteous, pious, correct and faithful; distances him from sin and brings him close to merit. From him, people enjoy counsel and wisdom, understanding and power, as is stated (Proverbs 8:14): “Mine are counsel and wisdom, I am understanding, mine is power.” The Torah grants him sovereignty, dominion, and jurisprudence. The Torah’s secrets are revealed to him, and he becomes as an ever-increasing wellspring and as an unceasing river. He becomes modest, patient and forgiving of insults. The Torah uplifts him and makes him greater than all creations.”
    “One who learns from his fellow a single chapter, or a single law, or a single verse, or a single word, or even a single letter, he must treat him with respect. For so we find with David, king of Israel, who did not learn anything from Achitofel except for two things alone, yet he called him his “master,” his “guide” and his “intimate,” as is stated (Psalms 55:14), “And you are a man of my worth, my guide and intimate friend.” Surely we can infer a fortiori: if David, king of Israel, who learned nothing from Achitofel except for two things alone, nevertheless referred to him as his master, guide and intimate, it certainly goes without saying that one who learns from his fellow a single chapter, a law, a verse, a saying, or even a single letter, is obligated to revere him. And there is no reverence but Torah, as is stated (Proverbs 3:35; 28:10), “The sages shall inherit honor” “and the integral shall inherit good”; and there is no good but Torah, as is stated (ibid. 4:2), “I have given you a good purchase; My Torah, do not forsake it.””
    “Do not seek greatness for yourself, and do not lust for honor. More than you study, do. Desire not the table of kings, for your table is greater than theirs, and your crown is greater than theirs, and faithful is your Employer to pay you the rewards of your work.”
    “Everything that G-d created in His world, He did not create but for His glory. As is stated (Isaiah 43:7): “All that is called by My name and for My glory, I created it, formed it, also I made it.” And it says (Exodus 15:1): “G-d shall reign forever and ever.””

  4. Teresa says:

    I was reading in Ezekiel earlier today and it is written about Ammon who gloated over the punishment Israel experienced and Moab who compared her to other nation’s wickedness. (Ezekiel 25:3) King David wrote many times in the Psalms asking God not to let his enemies gloat over him. In Proverbs 24:17-18 it’s written not to gloat when your enemy falls or God will see, disapprove and turn His wrath away from them. In the Christian scriptures it says to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15). When people observe a Christian being anything but loving it is a shameful thing. We are called to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and love our neighbor as ourselves. If God punishes His inheritance Israel with such fury, how much more will He punish those who are not His chosen inheritance? May He have mercy on us because we are weak and easily led astray.

    • Annelise says:

      That’s beautifully said. I don’t think that we have a right to comment on what is a punishment because we don’t know and it is not about us either. Personally I am extremely grateful and humbled about the gift that has been given to me by Jews who have been scattered to the country where I live and who have preserved a message about knowing God with their lives until this time. Also I think that as God’s servant, there’s an experience that looks exactly like this:
      The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue,
      to know the word that sustains the weary.
      He wakens me morning by morning,
      wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.
      The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears;
      I have not been rebellious,
      I have not turned away.
      I offered my back to those who beat me,
      my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
      I did not hide my face
      from mocking and spitting.
      Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
      I will not be disgraced.
      Therefore have I set my face like flint,
      and I know I will not be put to shame.
      He who vindicates me is near.
      Who then will bring charges against me?
      Let us face each other!
      Who is my accuser?
      Let him confront me!
      It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me.
      Who will condemn me?
      They will all wear out like a garment;
      the moths will eat them up.

      It’s better to be silent and not to presume to understand, but to bring kindness wherever it is possible. Thanks for what you wrote.

    • Teresea
      Thanks for what you wrote as well – I would say that when we observe ANY human being being anything but loving honest and kind it is a shameful thing – after all weren’t we all created in His image?

      • David says:

        Do I understand correctly that Jews in general believe that “created in His image” also mean the He has emotions like we humans, that He changes His mind based on changes “on the ground”.

        And along that line of thinking, am I correct in my understanding that Jews believe that God is inside of time? The above paragraph (as I understand the term) would be “inside of time” or the “open view” of God. Another view which is held within Christianity to some degree today and has been for centuries is that God is “outside of time” or the “closed view”. In that view, since it is believed that God knows all things from eternity past to eternity future, it is impossible for Him to change His mind, or to have emotion, regret for example; because he knows all things how could He regret, is the logic. He doesn’t change his mind since he knew all the events before they happened. The words in the bible which point to human emotion so goes the theology is so that we can get to know Him better, but in fact God doesn’t have real regret.

        I should state that not all Christians believe this aspect of the closed view even if they believe that God knows all things from eternity past to eternity future; most probably don’t even think about it one way or the other.

        I have come to understand (recently) that the closed view is erroneous and unsupported by the bible.

  5. Shomer says:

    From a Jewish source I learned that Yeshua was a Pharisee himself and member of one of seven Pharisee sects known.

    “The kingdom of God is within you”, is a well known statement of a Christian Jesus that Christians love to believe. But if we consider the context we will be amazed who the Jew Yeshua was talking to really;

    Luk 17:20-21 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. (KJV)

    As a matter of fact he taught that the kingdom of God was within the Pharisees! But the Christian faith does not permit a correct understanding even of the “New Testament”. The mind set; “We Christians are the good ones and the Pharisees are the evil ones”, is a fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which bares the death. But Christians can’t and won’t heed. They otherwise would not be Christians any more which would be fatal because they believe they will be punished in Hell forever.

    • Annelise says:

      I think that when it says it is ‘within’ them, the Greek could be translated to mean that it is ‘among’ them… That is, not in their hearts, but within their grasp in that day and place. Or it could mean that he thought the kingdom will not come visibly at first, but that it should be or ‘ideally is’ in people’s hearts. I don’t think that Jesus in this passage was saying that the Pharisees had the answer to the kingdom that he was speaking about.

      • Shomer says:

        The fact is that the Kingdom of ELOHIM is NOT within (or amongst or whatever) the Christians (that were not existing at that time) but in, within amongst (or whatever) the Pharisees.

    • David says:

      The correct reading is that Jesus ushered in the Kingdom of God with the new covenant. The Kingdom of God is within Jesus because God put it there. If you want the kingdom of God there is only one place to get it ultimately and that is from God, and God says look to my Son with whom I have given all authority. So therefore you can’t bypass the Son thus violating God’s will and assume you have God. If you have the Son you have God and if you have God you have the Son. To reject either is to reject both, because that’s the way God set it up. Obviously, I know you don’t agree with that. I’m just giving you my point of view which I get from the same Scripture.

      • Shomer says:

        If you would thoroughly read Jeremia Ch. 31 you would realize that there has no new covenant come yet. The paper called “New Testament” have never been written on the hearts of the house of Israel and the House of Yudah. The “New Testament” calls YHVH a liar but according to the brit chadashah the opposite of the “New Testament” will happen;

        Jer 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know YHVH: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the YHVH: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

        “LORD” is a misstranslation since only Ba’al has to be translated “Lord”. Jesus has nothing to do with a new covenant since he never was the annointed one. Or could you Show me the scripture where Jesus was annointed by the Cohen Hagadol according to the Torah with sacred ointment produced according to the Torah? Please, David, never call Jesus “Mashiach”, you otherwise had to call Yeshua “Christ”.

        I then would like to ask you one more question: Which God do you talk about? Do you talk about the Hebrew “ELOHIM” or do you talk about the Greek “Theos”?

        • David says:

          Thanks, my answer to your first part is stay tuned. Where is it written that all prophesies have to be fulfilled in an instant simultaneously? For that matter where does it state that God has ceased revelation to us? The new covenant is upon us but is not completed. Read revelation and you’ll see what I mean.

          The first covenant was among other things instituted to prepare the way for the new covenant.

          Just as the 1st covenant was a process. First Moses brought forth the Israelites from bondage, the beginning of the 1st covenant “with blood; no exceptions.” But can go back before that all the way to Abraham to the prophesies and promises. Then after the exodus from Egypt the covenant at Mount Sinai with inaugurating blood because there is no forgiveness without the inaugurating blood of the covenant which is a precursor to the inaugurating blood of the new covenant. Then additions to the covenant with later writings soon after. It’s all part of the first covenant even though it happened over time. By the way, do you know why you have inaugurating blood with the first covenant? To show symbolically, prophetically reveal the eventual inaugurating blood of the new covenant. The reason why the first covenant can forgive sins is because of the new covenant, not the other way around. Animal blood forgives nothing. Only the blood of a perfect human. So to recap, it is the new covenant’s blood which forgives all sins from Adam up through the first covenant and the new covenant. Amazing isn’t it? How can something from the future affect something from the past? The short answer is that’s how God planned it.

          Did God create the universe in one day or 6? Why only 6, why not 10 thousand million? Or why not one second? It doesn’t matter. I say God can take as little or as much time as He wants.

          So you are holding God and the new covenant to a standard which was not even used in the first covenant. The first and new covenants are not isolated covenants. Everything in the first speaks of the second. So God can take as little or as much time as pleases Him.

          As far as your third paragraph, what are you trying to say?

          As far as your last paragraph, I believe in the living God of the bible. And the bible for me is the NT and OT. I believe that the God who commanded Adam is the same God who commanded Jesus. Adam failed Jesus did not.

  6. alide1 says:

    Hmmmm. interesting article, but it doesn’t match the bible. God did describe the ones who were supposed to be godly leaders in the Tenach (and weren’t), and His definition is the correct one. and the Pharisees were in a time of exile so obviously at least the majority weren’t shining examples of godliness. I’m sure the ones of the prophets’ days also would have describe themselves in shining terms but it’s what God says that counts.

    • Adam says:

      The Pharisee’s were not during the time of the exile. Pharisee’s were the rabbinical leaders of those Jews who had returned to the land of Israel.

  7. Alide
    First of all the Pharisees that the Christian Scriptures slander were not in a time of exile
    Second – I did not say to judge them by the way they described themsleves – and incidentally – they do not describe themselves as perfect, sinless or infallible
    Third – There is no question that we are in exile because of our sins – furthermore – there is no questions that our leaders could be better – in fact we pray three times a day that God restore our leaders as they were in days of yore (Moses and David)
    But that being said – you cannot deny the record – the moral guidance that they provided for their community – with all of its faults – was on a completely different plane than the moral guidance that the people of Europe found in the pages of the Christian Scriptures

  8. Teresa says:

    Not all of the “Pharisees” were hypocritical or judgmental. Take Nicodemus for instance. He didn’t join in with the ones who condemned Jesus as far as we know, but he also didn’t publicly take his side as far as we know either. There is nothing that states ALL of the Pharisee’s were against Jesus, neither does it give a list of those who were for Him. We all know you’re right about the word “pharisee”, no thanks to whoever it was who decided to make that mean something else. Then again, look at the words “Judas” and “Benedict Arnold”, those mean a betrayer, or traitor now too. Idioms are a natural thing, be it positive or negative when they are based on an actual person. People, countries, beliefs have all been associated with negative idioms, even in the Jewish Scriptures. Anyone who is used as a negative idiom will obviously be offended, because no one wants to be seen as a by-word. Interestingly, however, it’s prevalent in today’s society for people to use “Jesus”, “Jesus Christ” or variations of it as a type of curse word. Personally, when it is used in a media format there is nothing I can do about it. There are no amount of letters I, or anyone, could write that would stop His name from being used thus. But in my personal life, if someone says that, I politely ask them to please not say it out of respect for me because that is my God’s name. That usually works, but if it doesn’t I leave judgement and any vengeance up to Him. It’s not like He can’t defend Himself if He wills it. That just goes back to the teaching of Jesus that we must accept there will be people who hate Him, and us by association. It’s sad but a part of this fallen world.

    • Teresa says:

      In fact, Jesus Himself twice referred to Gentiles as “dogs”. Am I offended by this? Of course not. Because He was only saying that Gentiles were “impure” and “unclean” because we are NOT Jews. It’s the truth and who am I to argue with my God? 🙂

  9. David says:

    Shomer said:I was brought up as a Christian and thus I had hated ELOHIM

    I was never taught to hate ELOHIM.

  10. LUX says:

    I find it strange that in a discussion on who the pharisees actually were you do not explain their name. A Pharisee is one who is “set apart” due to their religious understanding

  11. Lux
    The name Pharisee does indeed mean “set apart” – but the way it is used in this article is as a reference to people who believe a certain way – I hope to explain at length at a later time

  12. Lux
    The Pharisees were “set apart” because they kept a stricter standard of ritual purity as an expression of loyalty to God – (When Josephus speaks of 6000 Pharisees – he is referring to those who kept this standard) – but with time the name “Pharisee” came to include all of those who accepted the national legacy of Israel as a context for Scripture (regardless of their standards of ritual purity) as opposed to the Sadducees who did not accept certain aspects of Israel’s national legacy – it is this broader definition of Pharisee that I speak of in this article

  13. hyechiel says:

    Dear Friends;
    First of all, according to the manuscripts have, if it was not for the Jewish followers of Jesus, we could not be haqving this discussion. Some other religion would be in place of Christianity.
    The Nazarine was the first, and almost the only follower of Jesus for at least a century, when more Gentiules begain to join the sect-still Jewish and still not knowing or believing in a divine son (“I have no son!” G-d said in the Tanach.)
    As for the “Golden Rule”! I challenge all to prove which of the two were first. Hillel is reputed to have said to the Gentile who challenged him to tech the whole Torah, while he stood on one foot; “That which you find objectionable to have done on you, do not do unto others.”
    Jesus is reputed to have said; “Do onto others as you would have done onto you.”
    Problem we have is that several manuscripts from the mid-century, CE, show one or the other version, for one or the other man. Finally, it was decided (in an inter-Jewish conferance, as there were few Gentile followers of Jesus, then) to abscribe one to one perosn, the other to the other person. Hillel got the Negative version!
    Constatine wante a united people in his empire, so he called for a conferance of the “Nazarine” sects, to iron out their differences. This was when the followers of Jesus finally became an atominous faith. Also-again to the manuscripts from this period- agreement as to how to view the Jews, who gave Rome a tough time in 70m CE and 150+/- CE. So divine son and bad, bad Jews became part of the Christian culture to be, and the movement to “save” our sould. So the Romans-Pagan- share the credit for the negativity.
    Jumping ahead a few centuries; the Knights of the Crusades wo reached Jerusalem goofed. All the Jerusalmites came out to prase G-d for their deliverence from the Momgol plague; Jew, Christian and Muslim.
    The brave crusaders could not retain their patience, looked on these people as all being Muslim, and slaughter them. As a fact, there have been many times in history when Jew and Christian were good nieghbors, but this was not politically correct. Spain is a good example; they expelled their Jews who would not accept the cross. many went to Portegul, as a refuge. Spain threaten to distroy the Portigul kingdom if the King persisted to protect them, so they suffered there as well.
    Christianity is not the cause of Jewish persecution; power hungry governments and the men and women who control them were the cause. When we went to other lands, we were usually treated as anyone else; except when the Crusadres or the Muslim version took control. India, for example, we even had a small kingdom there for many years.
    China and Japan treated us fairly. The first Japanise alephbet is anceint Hebrew, and they have many Hebrew words in their language.
    Today, there are the sellers of Christianity (Hebrew-Christians) who are working to distroy our faith, and Christians who are honest, have read the Bible with open eyes, and we get along as G-d intended, with good results. My partner is a Christian and through me has learned more bout Judaism. She even contributes to help Jewish poor each month.
    The possibility of all people coming together in our generatioin is an open question; how free are these Christians going to be, to continue to show love and respect for us, as we do for those who are, well, Christian?
    Shalom;
    Yechiel

  14. naaria says:

    Bottom line is what was written in the 1st paragraph: “You would expect that the authors of the Christian Scriptures would attempt to teach the doctrines of Christianity…. But the writers of the Christian Scriptures did not stop at presenting their own theology; they also found it necessary to give their readers a perspective of Jewish theology. It seems that believing certain things about Jews and Judaism is part and parcel of Christianity.”

    Why is one’s theology – belief about the nature of God and YOUR relationship to God – have to do with what other people believed or how other people acted 1900 years ago? Why did Jesus not discuss and judge much more harshly the greater sinners who were the Romans? The Romans were the 1st & utmost oppressors of the poor Jewish people who supposedly were the audience of Jesus, so why was their evil virtually ignored, and why are the “cruel taskmasters” & rich, foreign landlords even pictured as the “hero” in several NT parables? Why were they not condemned by Jesus, who supposedly was offering hope to the oppressed Jews? Why were not the Herodians condemned by Jesus, since they as well, were the real enemies of the people, the Jews? Why are Jews pictured as the real or primary or only enemies of the Jews? And how does the hate of Jews (Pharisees) show love & why is that necessary for one’s theology? Sounds like Roman propaganda designed to destroy the Jews spiritually as well as physically, since the destruction of the Jewish Temple did not destroy the Jewish people or their belief in the God of Israel and the Torah upheld by them/Pharisees?

  15. Dina says:

    There is something else to consider about the negative portrayal of the Pharisees in particular and the Jews in general in the Christian scriptures. These texts were written during and shortly after the destruction of the Temple, a time of great devastation for the Jews living in Israel. The Zealots were slaughtering each other and the Romans were slaughtering everyone else or carting them off to be sold as slaves. How could anyone, during a time of such mayhem for the Jews, keep beating on them? Bad enough to whip a horse, but the cruelty of continuing to whip a horse after it’s been brought to its knees…

  16. CP says:

    Dina,
    Hopefully you see this here. Look, I do love you, you frustrate me sometimes because I feel you don’t listen and when you do it is only to look for chinks and cracks to exploit. I’m all for meaningful discussion, but we are talking past each other; you are focused on tearing apart Christianity and proving it wrong. I have no interest in that whatsoever, I already know mainstream Christianity is wrong, therefore my search for the historic Yeshua. Where else to look but to the people he came from. I know you challenge my Jewishness, all I can say its not my fault that my great grandparents assimilated. You want to hold that against me that’s up to you.

    R’B has been kind enough to let us use his Blog as a type of Forum (thank you R’B! if your reading this). You’ve challenges and arguments scattered all over, I know some I haven’t seen. The conversation thread is so big, half the time my iPad trying to load it cuts out and goes back to home screen. As I said be before; its not about winning arguments but about deciding what to argue about. So if you can pick what things are important to you, I’ll be happy to discuss, (I’m tired of arguing) discuss what you think is most important.

    Dina, this is what I believe, I ask if you want to engage me, please do along the following lines: Yes I believe it was wrong for the Greek Roman Church to take a Jewish Rabbi and turn him into God. But I do believe God took a Jewish Rabbi and exalted him to Messiah who is to come. Knowing you don’t believe this latter statement and I do, I’d suggest this is where you start.

    I also get the feeling you are aghast at my considering conversion to Judaism while believing God exalted a Jewish Rabbi to Messiah. I see no conflict with Judaism, however you an Orthodox Jew are beside yourself. Perhaps you can explain your reasons. Anything else you important to you for me to answer, please move it here where I’m able to navigate. Btw, I was able to read your Jesus/Talmud post, I remember it now, there are a lot of disparaging remarks mixed in. From what I’ve studied in the last three days is Yeshua a Torah/Talmud observant Rabbi, your post strains at gnats to disprove this and where it is not disproved he is termed a copy cat, therefore there is just no winning.

    Dina, I do appreciate your tenacity and the testing of my faith and consider your interjection a valuable tool for seeking truth.

  17. CP says:

    Dina,
    We’ve discussed a few time the destruction of Jerusalem. Look what I came across:

    Babylonian Talmud – Bava Mezia 30b – “…R. Yohanan said: ‘Yerushalayim would not have been destroyed, save that they judged Din Torah (by the Law of the Torah).’ Should they have judged by the brutal laws?–rather, they insisted upon the law, and did not practice Lifnim miShurat haDin (beyond the letter of the law).

    • Dina says:

      CP, you would not so gleefully cite this if you had any idea how traditional Judaism understands and applies the phrase “lifnim mishurat hadin.”

      A word to the wise: you know too little about Jewish tradition to quote from the Talmud. In every instance that you quoted from it trying to prove something good about Jesus, you were wrong. So my advice to you is: stay on safe ground and look to Tanach as your guide for now.

  18. CP says:

    After reading R’B’s Pharisee Blog I did some more study and realized the major problem isn’t so much the text of the Christian Scriptures regarding the Pharisees, but is pulling it out of its cultural and historic context. The whole thing is has had atrocious consequences no doubt, but can the 1st authors be blamed?

    Here is a sample I found which reflects my point:

    The main point is that Yeshua’s comments are within the framework of Pharasaic discussion. Unfortunately, the term “Pharisee” has a totally negative meaning today, even though many Pharisees were Godly men and some followed Yeshua – (i.e., Paul, Nicodemus, and the factions mentioned in Acts 15 and Luke 13:31). As uncomfortable as many would find hearing this — Yeshua Himself would have been regarded as a Pharisee. When the Pharisees went out to question John the Baptist about who John was, he said that one among THEM (the Pharisees) was the Messiah to come (John 1:26-27).

    The Pharisees themselves were highly critical of one another, saying there were “seven kinds of Pharisees,” and not all were good. (1) The disciples of Hillel went so far as calling those of Shammai, “sons of Satan,” in a similar fashion to what Yeshua called some of them. (2) When we see Yeshua rebuking the Pharisees, it is very much a “family argument,” and needs to be understood as such.

    In verses 21-48, Yeshua brings up a number of issues surrounding actual commandments. As we will see, he often quotes directly from the Talmudic writings of the Pharisees. He is addressing the “fences” (safeguards) placed around the Torah — in some case supporting the ones the Pharisees put in place — in other places he offers His own “fences.”

    • CP The disciples of Hillel calling the disciples of Shammai “sons of Satan’?! – where did you pick that one up? I never heard it – the Talmud reports that they loved each other

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • CP says:

        R’B, I’m sure they loved each other, but you know how family disagreements can get carried away verbally. But to be fair, I briefly looked for supporting evidence and did’nt find any. But this is where I found the statement:

        http://www.yashanet.com/studies/matstudy/mat6c.htm

        • Dina says:

          CP, may I suggest switching your work over from an iPad to a desktop or laptop computer? I work off of a desktop computer. Each time Rabbi B. posts a new article, I subscribe to the article. I do this by writing a comment. Then, before clicking “Post Comment,” I click on the box that says, “Notify me of new comments via email.” This way, I rarely miss a comment (very occasionally I do; the system is not foolproof). This means that someone can write a long, thoughtful, well-researched comment to me, and it won’t be for nothing because I will see it.

          • CP says:

            Dina,
            I’m considering purchasing one. The main reason I haven’t is I don’t want to be tied to it 24/7 which I know might happen. Even now a multitude of projects and responsibilities are in disarray for my time spent here and researching. If it is any consolation to you I’m appreciating Judaism more and more every day despite our disagreements. Currently I’m spending a disproportionate amount of time trying to come to an understanding of the truth. The truth I’m finding is setting me up to be alone in a desert as I live in an area with almost no Jews, and no Orthodox Jews within a four hour drive.

          • Dina says:

            I’m sorry it’s so tough for you, CP.

            The way I make sure not to be tied to the computer is I made a promise to myself that I would only follow this one blog. As it is, yes, I do spend a lot more time than I should, so I take your point.

    • Dina says:

      Once again, you cite from a source containing much misinformation. Sons of Satan is made up. Why do you still read these guys so trustingly?

      Yes, the first authors are much to blame. They were writing to a non-Jewish audience (especially John). That’s why the intra-family apologetic doesn’t work. They should have known that nothing good will come out of slandering Jews to non-Jews.

      And if it was all Divinely inspired, then they are even more to blame, because with their prophetic insight they would have known the consequences of their words.

      • CP says:

        Dina,
        Whoa, whoa, whoa. First off you’ve pulled one little thing out which I agree is suspect. Why do you demand perfection from others while admitting the Jews aren’t perfect but God uses them any way?

        Second, you’ve assumed much about John. John portrays a highly developed theology. This has been attributed to his students or students, students collating Johns writings. These students would be converts from a already antisemitic Roman society. I’m sorry, but I see you take Christian scripture at face value resulting in erroneous opinions. The Christians do likewise as you’ve pointed out. I think you’d agree Torah exhorts us to dig for the truth and to look for the good in others. This is why I dig past many of the face value things which give you pause, knowing through study why and how they are there. People keep telling me; ‘the historic Yeshua can’t be found’. Believing all things are possible with God’s help, trusting He will guide me to the truth, am certainly pleased I didn’t listen to the nay sayers. I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but my search for the historic Yeshua has brought me closer and closer to Judaism. You’d think this would be obvious, but it’s one thing to know the concept in your head, quite another to know it in your heart.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Yashanet is wrong about Hillel and Shammai’s schools. The only texts to call Jews “sons of Satan,” are the New testament, and the Dead sea scrolls sectarian literature.

        The Dead Sea scrolls speak of the sons of Darkness and of those “of the lot of Belial,” in the context of the war scroll, where betrayers of the covenant are grouped with the kittim, (scholars believe kittim refers to Romans.)

        So, while there are inaccuracies about which group said what to whom, there were Jews in second temple times who said this horrible stuff about other Jews, not just Christians.

        That said, is this kind of language praiseworthy? Is it given in a spirit of instruction and peace? No. Carling someone a son of Satan is dismissive of their humanity, a way to dismiss as worthless someone’s perspective. The fact that Yeshua called Peter this for hoping he didn’t die, says it all.

        • CP says:

          Concerned Reader,
          I think you prematurely dismiss a probable cultural context of the era in favor of malice. I’m around large numbers of students, they routinely call each out the “N” word. Yet in other contexts this word is totally unacceptable and revolting. Granted this is not an analogy, rather an example how context should be of paramount importance when considering the act of calling someone a ‘son of satan’.

          On a side note: it is interesting to consider this phrase in light of modern Judaism’s view of Ha satan.

  19. Dina says:

    The point is, I submitted parallel rabbinic teachings to Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. Just because you don’t like my tone, or you don’t like other points I made, is not a valid reason to dismiss what I wrote. At the time you couldn’t care less what the Talmud had to say about these teachings. Well, better late than never, I suppose.

    There are so many challenges you didn’t answer. You’d like me to choose one. Okay, let’s start with this.

    You wrote: “I also get the feeling you are aghast at my considering conversion to Judaism while believing God exalted a Jewish Rabbi to Messiah. I see no conflict with Judaism, however you an Orthodox Jew are beside yourself. Perhaps you can explain your reasons.”

    The fact that you do not why this is incompatible with Judaism means you have ignored months of writing on the subject. It seems futile to bring this up again, when you are not listening. But I will nevertheless try. I’m an optimistic sort!

    Following Jesus is incompatible with traditional Judaism because traditional Judaism holds that Jesus was a false messiah and a false prophet (and for those who believe he is God, a false God).

    Jesus failed the false prophet test in Deuteronomy 13 and 18. Per Deuteronomy 13, he introduced a new way of worship not known to our fathers (“I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but through me” as well as the theology of belief in the messiah). Per Deuteronomy 18, he gave signs that failed to come to pass (the stone-on-stone prophecy, the back-in-his-disciples’-lifetime prophecy, the “sign of Jonah” to the Pharisees).

    You often say that I misunderstand Jesus’s famous statement, that it really means that the Torah is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one comes to the Father but through the Torah. You accused me of making this about Jesus to give myself grounds to reject him (as if we have not shown you that there are sufficient grounds to reject him otherwise). However, I did not make this about Jesus. Jesus made this about Jesus. He did not say that the Torah is the way, the truth, and the life and that no one comes to the Father but through the Torah. He said Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one comes to the Father but through Jesus. No matter how much you might like to replace “I” and “me” with “Torah,” it won’t work because that’s clearly not what Jesus said.

    Jesus also taught that belief in the messiah is needed and that one who does not “submit” will be “destroyed” (your words in quotes).

    Please support these three teachings from the Torah in order to rebut the Deuteronomy 13 argument. Please use proper citations–correctly translated and not ripped out of context.

    Please prove that Jesus fulfilled all three prophecies listed above without relying on CP-issued proclamations from on high but by backing everything you say with verifiable, historical fact (Christian scripture does not count as a reliable historical source).

  20. CP says:

    Dina,
    the stone-on-stone prophecy, =
    simply put; Yeshua said the temple would be destroyed, it was destroyed in the lifetime of the generation he told. You want to cling to a technicality that a part of a retaining wall supporting and surrounding the patio around the Temple is left standing, I can’t help you there, we are at an impasse.

    the back-in-his-disciples’-lifetime prophecy,=
    this is a common misunderstanding; Yeshua in fact predicted the death of the disciples and made no such claim. However he did promise they would see the kingdom of heaven come with power, which did happen.

    the “sign of Jonah” to the Pharisees =
    Acts 6:7 says a “large number” of priests believed after the resurrection. This implies the sign was given to a large number of priests. The Talmud is suspiciously silent on the Yeshua of +-30 ad. However all that aside, the sign was given, the disciples said he rose, if the Pharisees wanted to disprove this, all they had to do is produce the body.

    “Jesus also taught that belief in the messiah is needed and that one who does not “submit” will be “destroyed” (your words in quotes).”

    You’ve this so mangled up I’m not sure where to start. First off; Tanach teaches Messiah will rule with a rod of iron. This implies destruction to those who come agaist him. This is a prophecy to couched in the end times, not the second Temple era. Secondly; you confuse what it means to believe in Messiah, like you have to worship him as God almighty. I’ll explain in terms you can grasp; although most everyone ‘believed Moses’, if your immediate ancestors did not, your children would today be little Muslims. To believe in Messiah is to believe God anointed him to do a special work; atonement and return to Torah.

    • Dina says:

      CP,

      I did ask you to respond to my challenges with verifiable fact and not proclamations from on high.

      Yet you responded at least in some instances with proclamations from on high.

      The stone prophecy? Big problem: the Western Wall does not lose its status as part of the Temple just on your say-so. Another problem for you is that in Mark 13, Jesus doesn’t talk about the Temple only, but also “all these great buildings,” remains of which are still around today. You need this prophecy to have come true, CP, but you can’t prove it.

      The back-in-their-lifetime prophecy? You have to be kidding. In Mark 13:30 and Luke 21:32 Jesus tells his disciples that their generation will not pass away until all these things happen. He has listed all these things for them in the previous verses:

      In Mark: false messianic claimants, natural disasters, world wars, persecution of the disciples, etc., the “son of man” coming in the clouds, his angels gathering “the elect” from all corners of the world, uh, yeah.

      In Luke: same, same, same, etc., with the addition that not a hair on their heads will “perish” despite the persecution.

      In Matthew, Jesus promises them that they will see him coming into his kingdom.

      Before the disciples died, they did not see Jesus coming in on the clouds or his angels gathering all the elect. It’s pretty simple, and a very big problem for you.

      In these chapters I didn’t see him promise that they would see “the kingdom of heaven come with power,” whatever that means. And that is so vague, I don’t know how you can prove the fulfillment of that. But that is beside the point: see above.

      The sign of Jonah to the Pharisees? The Pharisees don’t have to disprove anything, Jesus simply has to appear to them. He didn’t, you cannot deny it, end of story. (The priests were not Pharisees.)

      The fact that the Talmud is so silent on this story and on Jesus in general should trouble you. The fact that all of Jesus’s contemporaries outside of the “New Testament” were virtually silent about his existence should trouble you. Because it means that he was a non-entity when he was alive, and likely almost every story written about him in the gospels are not, well, the gospel truth. The conversations we are discussing between Jesus and his disciples and between Jesus and the Pharisees never actually took place.

      Jews are notorious for writing about their failings. There is a huge amount of literature about other failed messiahs like Bar Kochba and Shabbetai Tzvi but nothing about Jesus? You know what kind of conspiracy you need to squash every prolific Jewish writer from writing about Jesus, from Josephus and Philo to the tanaim and amoraim? A very crazy one! The truth is so much simpler. Messianic claimants during his time were a dime a dozen, which is why he was such a non-entity. The only reason we know about him today is because of Paul.

      Last word, about the rod of iron–sorry, but that doesn’t cut it. Give me a clear teaching. You said that “submit or be destroyed” were not your words but the prophets. Show me where the Torah teaches that if you don’t submit to the messiah you will be destroyed. Not an implied teaching, please, which is subjectively your own interpretation.

      I explained about believing in Moses in another comment today. I hope you will read it.

    • Jim says:

      CP,

      Regarding your comments on the sign of Jonah here: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/the-pharisees/#comment-32469 .

      You write: “Acts 6:7 says a ‘large number’ of priests believed after the resurrection. This implies the sign was given to a large number of priests.” While the first of these two sentences I have quoted from you does imply this, Acts 6:7 does not. You have misread Acts 6:7, and interpreting it for the reader, you have badly misrepresented it too. While I am sure that this misrepresentation is unintentional, nevertheless, you have altered the meaning of the text by representing it the way you did.

      While the events of Acts 6 are after the resurrection, Acts 6:7 does not link the belief of some priests to the event of the resurrection. Nothing in the text implies that they saw Jesus. In fact, because this is so long after the resurrection, such an interpretation should be viewed with the greatest suspicion. Such a note would be out of place. If that were the intended meaning of the text, it would likely have appeared chapters earlier in the text, or better yet, in one of the gospels.

      What one might find disturbing is the cavalier manner in which you quote from the verse. You do not quote the most salient point, and in so doing you have misrepresented the text quite badly. You quote the words “large number” to bolster the credibility of the resurrection event and then imply something not in the text, that the priests believed because they saw a resurrected Jesus. If you quoted the first part of the verse, however, it would have been quite obvious that this is not the reason they believed and it would not lend any credibility to the resurrection claim. The verse reads: “The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.” It is apparent from reading the whole verse that the reason the priests believed was because of the disciples’ preaching. They did not believe due to witnessing the resurrected Jesus.

      Though I am sure it was unintentional, you distorted the text. You forced a meaning upon it that is not natural. You emphasized the number of priests to find credibility for the resurrection, but ignored that these priests believed due to the word being spread. Nevertheless, by saying they “believed after the resurrection,” you subtly altered the text. You believed after the resurrection too, but not because you saw a body. Your inference that the “sign was given to a large number of priests” is unjustified. They heard the preaching, but they did not receive the sign of Jonah; they did not see a resurrected Jesus.

      I understand your desire for the resurrection to have credibility. Distortion of the evidence, however, diminishes its credibility further. It suggests that the resurrection cannot be established without manipulating the evidence.

      Jim

      • Dina says:

        Thanks, Jim, I missed this because I forgot not to trust Christians when they quote things, because they so often take things out of context and misrepresent them out of a desperate need to support their impossible theologies. Also, my unfamiliarity with the NT doesn’t help.

      • CP says:

        Jim,
        I don’t disagree I’ve read into the text for the “reason” a large number of priests believed. But being priests it is not unacceptable to assume they were exposed to a little more than the teaching of the disciples.
        As to your contention concerning the word “large”. I have absolutely no idea where you could be coming from. I’ve more different paper translations than I know. Checking a number looking for evidence of your statement i could find nothing. Why I even had the thought you might of been at one time a King James Onlyist. I even went and checked my 1611 King James, nothing, checked my Geneva Bible (proto 1611 King James) still nothing. Where are you getting this? Surely you not just making stuff up.
        Anyhow, here’s the Greek;

        a great g4183
        πολύς polys

        many g3793
        ὄχλος ochlos

        of the priests g2409
        ἱερεύς hiereus

        • Jim says:

          CP,

          I did not dispute the word “large”. I disputed that that is the important part of the text. You quoted that but not the reason they believed to make the resurrection appear credible. By referencing the number of priests, it gives superficial plausibility to the resurrection. But since they do not believe because they saw a resurrected Jesus, their number is not relevant. You quote the least relevant part of the verse and then reinterpret the rest.

          Jim

        • Dina says:

          CP, you’re admitting you read something into the text to try to destroy one of my arguments. Tell me why I should trust you in the future. That’s appalling.

          • CP says:

            Dina I’m discussing, learning and sharing ideas and views. If I wanted to destroy your argument I would of already done so. This flavor of interaction is wearying to me, so let us dispense with this one right now:
            “Absence of evidence does not constitute absence of evidence”
            There being no extant evidence explicitly stating Yeshua appeared to the Pharisees doesn’t prove he didn’t. Granted it doesn’t prove he did. We are at an impasse, case closed. I suggest you want to argue, moving on to something you can actually prove.

          • Dina says:

            CP, if someone is accused of a crime, lack of evidence exonerates him. Lack of evidence is everything. No evidence, no story.

            Deuteronomy 18 teaches us that we will know a prophet by his signs coming to pass (among other conditions, see Deuteronomy 13). If we can’t know whether or not his signs have come to pass, then he is a false prophet. Every single Hebrew prophet in the Hebrew Bible who gave signs for the immediate future, those signs are recorded as having been fulfilled.

            It would be stupendous for Jesus to appear to the Pharisees and for the gospels to neglect to record this momentous event.

            Yes, the case is closed and the verdict is in: Jesus gave a sign that did not come to pass; hence he is a false prophet.

          • Dina says:

            Shamefully, you got caught in a lie, and you change the subject to this “absence of evidence” argument, which holds no water.

          • Jim says:

            CP,

            Continuing to answer your comments on the “sign of Jonah” here:

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/the-pharisees/#comment-32469 .

            You write: “However all that aside, the sign was given, the disciples said he rose, if the Pharisees wanted to disprove this, all they had to do is produce a body.” I do not mind going over this again, if it will benefit you. You have confused whose responsibility it was to produce a body. And you have misunderstood what constitutes a sign.

            Let us say that Roger has seen too many George Romero films and he has become convinced that zombies are real. And he is certain that his friend, Walter, has become a zombie. Roger comes to you and he says that the two of you must get yourselves ready for the outbreak of zombie attacks sure to come. I suspect that you would want proof that Walter is up and eating brains. So, Roger takes you to the gravesite, and lo and behold, Walter is not there! Does this mean that Walter is a zombie?

            No.

            An empty grave does not mean that a zombie is up and walking around. And, in fact, the claim is of such a nature that it should only be believed by viewing a zombie. However, this Roger does not show you. He shows you a thing that could have multiple explanations, any more likely than a zombie. The only thing that Roger could show you that would make you believe that Walter is now among the walking dead (hopefully) is a zombified Walter. Otherwise, any of the other explanations are as likely, even more likely.

            The logic of the empty grave (implied by the Pharisees not producing a body) is faulty. It goes like this:

            If a man rises from the dead, his grave will be empty.
            A man’s grave is empty.
            Therefore, the man rose from the dead.

            This is a logical error, arguing from the consequent.

            Of course, it is not even known that the tomb was empty. This has never been substantiated. But even if it were, that would not mean that Jesus had been resurrected. That conclusion would be logically fallacious.

            The way to prove that Jesus rose from the dead would be for a resurrected Jesus to present himself. It was not the responsibility of the Pharisees to provide a body. That was the responsibility of the resurrected man. However, he was nowhere to be found at the time that his resurrected was announced. He is supposed to have floated off into the clouds.

            Moreover, no body would have been sufficient if brought by the Pharisees. The disciples did not publicly claim Jesus rose from the dead until 50 days after his death. If we assume that the body was available, it would be unrecognizable. This would have been no proof, whatsoever. The disciples could claim that the Pharisees exhumed the wrong body, either by accident or dishonestly—probably the latter, consider the track record of the gospel writers. The dead body would have constituted little proof.

            But a live body would have been an extraordinary proof. And the disciples did not produce one. They failed to substantiate their claim.

            Moreover, their claim does not constitute a sign. A sign is something visible. The claim is mere assertion.

            Imagine a man comes to you and says that he needs to commandeer your car. He tells you that he is a police officer and it is an emergency situation. But, when you ask him if you can see his badge, he tells you that it is in his pocket. Of course, a badge is a sign of one being a police officer, but if he expects you to take his word for it, you have not seen the sign. His mere assertion is not a sign. I suspect that you will not willingly surrender your vehicle to one that does not produce the expected sign.

            The sign promised by a prophet is no different than the badge in this respect. If the sign is out of sight, it is not a sign at all. Because Jesus did not present himself to the Pharisees, he did not fulfill the sign. A report long after the fact and with no evidence does not constitute fulfillment of the sign. The fact that you have had to misrepresent Acts 6:7 is a sure proof that no sign was given. If it had, you would not have to manufacture one.

            Even the NT admits that Jesus did not fulfill the sign. The authors just did not realize that this would make Jesus a false prophet. For 2,000 years the Church has attempted to shift the burden of proof onto the shoulders of the Jewish people. However, one cannot so easily divest himself of the burden of proof. It was not the responsibility of the Pharisees to produce a body; that was Jesus’ responsibility. By not coming to the Pharisees, Jesus failed to produce the sign. He failed to keep his promise. Hearsay is a poor substitute for an actual sign.

            Jim

          • CP says:

            Jim,
            As I told Dina “abscence of evidence doesn’t constitute evidence of abscence. But you seem to want to discuss this, very well.
            1) Although I appreciated your Zombie story being done very well, it leaves out an important factor: the evil inclination of man. Just as there can be many plausible explanations for an empty grave (aside from fact it was guarded) so there can be a plausible explanation for covering up a resurrection. The Zombie story fails to address this factor.
            2) Currently my interests lying elsewhere (Talmud)/Yeshua) I’ve just been winging this Jonah sign. So I just looked closer at the text. It does not say what you imply it does. You imply the sign was promised to the Pharisees, in all four accounts (except one, see below) it is promised to an evil generation. Therefore you’re assertion the prophecy failed because he did not appear to the Pharisees is false on the grounds it was never promised.
            3) It is of interest one account specifically says no sign will be given. This being the earliest account could suggest the sign is an interpolation developed later.
            Mark 8:11-12
            The Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him.
            Sighing deeply in His spirit, He says, “Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”

            When its all said and done, it was 2000 years ago, it was taken as a fulfillment of Messanic prophecy. All we have is a few written accounts of some who witnessed it. Therefore at this point it’s just a matter what one chooses to believe.

          • CP says:

            Dina, you’ve inserted upstream some where something to the effect is shameful that I change the subject cause I’m caught in a lie. And you still do not understand why you are irritating? I’ve gone ahead and discussed this with Jim, no sense repeating, you can read it right above.

    • edward says:

      “Yeshua in fact predicted the death of the disciples and made no such claim. ”

      truly i tell you , yeshua made false predictions

      quote:
      Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

      he was telling his close pals to raise their heads . no redemption came. nothing came.
      they died leaving their heads raised.

      they had to flee to the mountains. an instruction. they had to flee from persecution.
      they should not worry if they die because in THEIR time they would be BROUGHT back to life.


      However he did promise they would see the kingdom of heaven come with power, which did happen.”

      in christian imagination.


      the “sign of Jonah” to the Pharisees =
      Acts 6:7 says a “large number” of priests believed after the resurrection.”

      paul also boasts about converting hellenized jews. paul did a greater job than the resurrected man-god.

      where is the hidden jesus who was teaching his friends for 40 days somewhere in private?
      what did he teach for 40 days ?


      This implies the sign was given to a large number of priests.”

      hearing about something does not mean seeing
      we don’t know how much of these texts are exaggerated

      ” The Talmud is suspiciously silent on the Yeshua of +-30 ad. However all that aside, the sign was given, the disciples said he rose, if the Pharisees wanted to disprove this, all they had to do is produce the body.”

      the friends of jesus should have brought out jesus instead.
      producing a body means nothing because battered bearded corpse look the same and christians would argue “that isn’t jesus”

      would such an argument have even taken place back in those days?

      the kid said 1 month later :
      “hey dad, the tomb is empty…”

      would the dad have gone to check the tomb ?

  21. Jim says:

    CP,

    Your comments on the evil inclination of man are irrelevant. The point of the zombie story is to illustrate what constitutes proof. Your comment is not to the point.

    Your comment that the grave was guarded is smoke and mirrors, just as it was when Matthew made the false accusation of cover up in his final chapter. The claim of the resurrection was not made on the third day after Jesus’ death. It was made on the fiftieth.

    That you now wish to argue that Jesus never offered the sign of Jonah is just an admission that he did not fulfill it. In attempting to exonerate him of the need to fulfill this sign, you implicitly admit that he did not fulfill it. If he had fulfilled it, then you would certainly maintain that he gave this sign. Since he did not fulfill it, you lower expectations.

    At the same time, you claim to have eyewitness testimony of the resurrection. Well, Matthew is supposed to be one of those eyewitnesses. Matthew reports that Jesus made this promise to the Pharisees. If the promise was redacted, maybe the resurrection was redacted also.

    It is quite disingenuous to say that the sign was not given to the Pharisees but to an adulterous generation. The Pharisees were the ones asking for a sign. That Jesus addressed them in an insulting fashion does not mean that they were not his audience. However, if you wish to maintain that he promised the sign to the generation and not to the Pharisees, you have created an even bigger conundrum for yourself. Such language would demand that Jesus not present himself just to the Pharisees but publicly. But of course, no such public reveal happened. Instead, it had to be announced after he was supposed to have disappeared.

    Regarding your interest in the connection between Jesus and the Talmud, I would urge you not to study in the manner that you are. You go to dishonest sources and get their interpretation of things. You read the words of the rabbis in order to find Jesus’ teachings. You care not for what they said or meant, only how it might legitimize Jesus. This is terrible.

    Jim

    • quote:
      Your comment that the grave was guarded is smoke and mirrors, just as it was when Matthew made the false accusation of cover up in his final chapter. The claim of the resurrection was not made on the third day after Jesus’ death. It was made on the fiftieth.

      cp, the grave being guarded doesn’t make any sense to me and it seems like useless piece of information. you have ALL these witnesses openly proclaiming to see the man alive, what need is there for the information about grave being guarded?

      if he was seen alive and walking around, why would matthew need to mention this stuff? even if someone said the body was stolen , it could have been countered with

      “but they all seen him and talked to him and even poked him ”

      what is the relevance of the grave being guarded?

      the only relevance i can think of is that

      1. no witnesses
      2. story was getting debunked

      • CP says:

        mrheathciff,
        From what I gather by critically reading the resurrection accounts is even the witnesses were at times puzzled, like there was something different. They said it was him, but then say some doubted. Therefore your contentions do not fall on deaf ears. Yes there was something odd, but the final general consensus is he rose. There is not enough evidence 2000 years later to make this a point of paramount pivotal importantance in deciding what to believe. However the Messiah was expected to conquer death. But even if someone recorded a DVD of it, the next argument would be how it was faked.

        • quote:

          Speaking of the resurrection, a story in Luke that has always caught my eye takes place on the day of Jesusʼ resurrection. No time of day is specified, could be late afternoon or evening, doesnʼt say, and the apostles are merely “assembled together” (not cowering behind a “locked door” as in Johnʼs later version), when “Jesus himself stood among them,” and proves he is “not a spirit” but has “flesh and bone,” by eating a piece of fish. The story in Luke continues by claiming that Jesus “led” the apostles out of the city of Jerusalem to the town of Bethany.

          I mention this story in Luke because I understand the earlier stories in Mark and Matthew in which Jesus goes ahead of the apostles to Galilee to be seen there, and how it would take the apostles some time to get to Galilee and how some sort of vision could take place out in Galilee, something out of the public eye, away from the big city of Jerusalem. Mark supplies no details at all, just a promise of seeing Jesus in Galilee, while Matthew features a short tale about a sighting in Galilee—but nothing about Jesus trumpeting his physicality, nor boasting about being “flesh and bone” and eating fish—instead, Matthew features a few short words of the risen Jesus, ending with, “but some doubted.” In comparison with the earliest two Gospels (Mark and Matthew) the later Gospels (Luke and John) add more sighting episodes, more elaborate descriptions, more words of the risen Jesus (over a hundred more), and allude to speeches delivered by the risen Jesus, though neither Luke nor John provide them for us to read. After Luke and John there came further stories about Jesus,—the Gospel of John ends by alluding to great numbers of stories then circulating about what Jesus did, “which if all written down I suppose the world could not contain all the books.” Iʼve mentioned this legendary-like development in resurrection stories before, here.

          But letʼs take another look at the story in Luke about a resurrected Jesus who was “not a spirit” but “flesh and bone,” and who “led” the apostles out of the city of Jerusalem to the town of Bethany. I assume Jesus was walking and not floating nor spiritually leading the apostles. A walk through Jerusalem, the same town where he was crucified. Was Jesus tempted to walk past the high priestʼs home, past Herodʼs palace, or Pilateʼs? Did the little group walk within sight of the tall Roman garrison building next to the Temple?

          /////////////

          you see that last paragraph?
          why weren’t the disciples making a party and celebrating? why all silent ?

          if you had a DVD, people would assume that he escaped punishment or he didn’t die on the cross.

          but ehrman believes that he did die, was not taken off the cross straight away and then chucked into a grave with other bodies in it.

          and then some of his disciples had visions in galilee .

        • CP says:

          mrheathcliff,
          This is just my opinion subject to change as I learn more. The Gospels weren’t written down straight away. There were probably various notes and short stories similar to the Gospel of Thomas kept by the early Nazarenes, Ebionites and others. The larger portions were at one time traceable to the named authors. The apostles starting to die off and Gentile Church membership exploded through Paul’s writings spurring a huge demand for texts and more information about the one who actually started everything, the Messiah. This is when texts started to get collated into a form similar to what we have today. All that to say; I think one can put to much faith into the details when the basic message is that Yeshua rose from the dead physically. Beyond that, I don’t think much can be known.

  22. Concerned Reader says:

    Why does the New Testament stress how many Jews believed in the early days of the Jesus movement?

    When the New Testament writes about Jesus’ resurrection, it writes about how popular he was among the common Jewish people. He was so popular that the leaders plotted to frame this one who stole their thunder. He was popular in Judea, he spoke in Samaria, but he was unpopular in his own town.
    After raising from the dead, it is said that Jesus preached for 40 days prior to the ascension. The New Testament claims that many Jews were zealous for the Torah because of him, and many of the priests also believed in him.
    The culmination of the resurrection claim is the holiday of Pentecost, IE Shavuot, where it is said that the spirit fell, and the illiterate disciples spoke the word of G-d in different languages, and the gentiles received the spirit too, although it was later.
    But again, I ask. Why are the authors of the New Testament so adamant that so many thousands of Jews believed in Jesus, and even among the priests? It is because, to the original Christians, the original purpose of Jesus’ movement was a Mosaic covenant renewal.
    The Jerusalem Christians with their believing levites, and their believing israelites, with their interpretation of the Torah given by Jesus, are viewing themselves as a non backslid, true, righteous, remnant guided by G-d’s providential presence.

    Jesus appoints 70 Jewish disciples, as Moses appointed 70 elders. Moses’ brother Aaron ran the priesthood, and so Jesus has many from among the Levites and Kohanim who joined his movement, maybe even some of John’s relatives.

    The point? The New Testament resurrection narratives are establishing that this movement is true Israel for true Israelite people. Never in 1000,000 years had they seen it as important to say that there would be a gentile religion, with gentile leaders.

    This movement saw itself as fully Israel, governed by Jews, for the betterment of mankind under the law as interpreted by their teacher. The kingdom of priests, a holy nation.

    It was important to the Church under James the brother of Jesus that Jesus’ movement be a true remnant of righteous Torah Israel, intact, Torah observant, and operating. But why? Because, if the movement were maintained as a movement with priests, Levites, and laymen under the Torah’s structure, they could claim legitimacy to being the true favored leaders of Israel.

    Gamliel recognized this. He said, “leave these men alone.” As long as the Jesus movement maintained its covenanted structure, (which the gospel authors took pains to point out they did,) it was in the running as a candidate to be the righteous remnant. The same pattern held true for the covenenters at Qumran also. As long as they maintained the national covenant structure, they could also lay claim to being the apple of G-d’s eye, the Israel of G-d.

    What happened to the Jesus movement was tragic. By the time of Polycarp (the second generation student of John,) the Church of Jerusalem was under the guidance of its 1st gentile Bishop, Markus of Jerusalem. Prior to this point, the Church of Jerusalem bishopric was under the control laregly of Jesus’ own family. After the Jewish Roman war, when Markus became Bishop, the Church was predominately gentile, and looked down on the Torah observant members of the Jesus movement with unease and derision.

    The same movement earlier laying claim to direct guidance by G-d, with its Jesus believing priests, its Jesus believing Torah observance, and its Jesus believing halacha was now on the run.

    • Dina says:

      Con, the problem with your scenario is assuming the gospel accounts are true. If Jesus was so hugely popular, why do contemporary Roman and Jewish writers not mention him, or barely if they do?

      • CP says:

        Dina, you keep saying this over and over, sometimes with the little caveat at the end, tipping me off that you already know of Josephus and Tacitus and hoping not to get caught, but if you do you’ll can fall back on your stipulation that it wasn’t much so it doesn’t count.

        • Dina says:

          CP, I’m not afraid of getting caught because I don’t tell lies and the truth has nothing to fear. What exactly is it you think I’m hoping not to get caught in?

          Most Christian scholars of the nineteenth century and on reject the Testimonium Flavianum as a deliberate Christian interpolation. Unlike your inconsistent redaction theories that are based on what fits with your image of Jesus, this is easily proved, with many scholars pointing to Eusebius as the culprit. I won’t go into it now. You can Google it and find arguments pro and con and make up your own mind based on your own biases. Suffice it to say, Josephus wrote reams of words about other completely not famous Jesuses of the time period, he devoted chapters to complete non-entities–it is inconceivable that he wouldn’t mention Jesus, or mention him in one little paragraph if you actually believe he wrote it, when his own parents would have lived through the time period when Jesus was supposedly so hugely popular.

          I do not know why the virtual silence on Jesus in all contemporary writers, both Roman and Jewish, when he was supposed by the gospels to be so well known, does not trouble you. It would take a conspiracy of gargantuan proportion to silence all these writers. And conspiracy theories, well, you know…

          Instead of confronting head on this very inconvenient fact, you try to deflect by turning it on me and pretending I have something to hide. But that won’t work for you because I tell it straight.

          • CP says:

            Dina, I already know all about it (you forget what I’ve been searching for years)’ and what you were going to say before you said it. How did I know you’d take the extreme view but unlikely view which favors your opinion. The truth is most likely it was added to, rather than added.
            The bottom line is the historical Yeshua lived, sorry he wasn’t as famous in his own lifetime as you think he should of been. As far as the world thought, he was just another Pharisee Rabbe turned failed Messiah who founded a sect of Judaism. He didn’t get famous (worldwide recognition) until the “Good News” went viral in Rome over 100-200 years later.

          • Dina says:

            No, CP, he wasn’t as famous in his lifetime as your scripture makes him out to be. And that’s important because of your contentions that the Temple was destroyed because the leadership rejected him. He was a nobody; the leadership didn’t even know about him.

            That’s why there’s so little about him in contemporary writings and the Talmud–it’s not because of the nefarious reasons you impute to him.

            By the way, my view is not an extreme view but a popular one. I’m also open to the view you mentioned. Neither one shakes my worldview.

          • LarryB says:

            CP
            There are many questions to ask you but I must say hands down you are the most arrogant I have ever seen here. You knew what Dinah was going to say before she said it? Apparently you have nothing left to learn because you have thought of it all. I’m impressed. It’s one thing to have a thought but quite another to purposely put another person down, especially as you have so repeatedly. Your Jesus has taught you well.
            What’s left to ask you? What’s left to discuss?

          • CP says:

            LarryB,
            I do not have the time nor inclination to post a list of derogatory remarks made by a certain individual. This little tid bit has been repeated dangled as bait before me, knowing it had a hook, I ignored it, but sometimes just as a trout will strike the bait out of irritation, I thought I’d dispense with it. Guess what, I was right, the reply was textbook, probably from some atheist site.

          • LarryB says:

            CP
            As usual Sweet Pea you make no sense. Now you even know what trout think, impressive.

          • CP says:

            LarryB, I was wrong (see that, I can admit it) I thought I was discussing with someone who knew what I was talking about. I forget other people live in cites.

          • LarryB says:

            CP
            Think nothing of it sweet pea, your dishonesty precedes you. Even us cites folks can see that.

          • Dina says:

            CP, do you have any idea why Larry is calling you Sweet Pea?

          • CP says:

            Dina, I’m sorry if you took “Sweet Pea” as a derogatory term, I forget other people live in cites. Out here calling somebody a liar is considered derogatory, sorry for taking offense if that’s acceptable where you live.

          • Dina says:

            Saying, “Listen here, sweet pea,” is condescending. And please note, I’m the only one you’ve called that. Will you call Jim or Rabbi B. “sweet pea”? I’d like to see you dare. You’ve also called me dishonest, hateful, irritating, and other choice things. Take the beam out of your own eye before taking out the splinter in mine.

          • CP says:

            Dina, this has been clarified twice to you personally already, why do you insist on misquoting my meaning? It is dishonest and a waste of everyone’s time. The Talmud says why the Temple was destroyed and I agree (I quoted it for you). For the third and last time: Yeshua’s murder was a result of ongoing misjudgment, the Temple destruction was the consequence of ongoing misjudgment.

          • Dina says:

            You misunderstood the Talmud. Do you know what lifnim mishurat hadin means? It means going beyond the letter of the law to be even stricter than the law. The people were trying to get away with the bare minimum, the letter of the law, when they should have been enthusiastically building more and more fences. That’s assuming you quoted the Talmud accurately, that’s Rabbi B.’s department. I’m not good at that.

            Furthermore, I am not misquoting you. You are simply changing your argument because it was shown to be untenable. It is quite rich for someone caught lying twice in the past two days to throw out the dishonesty label. Here are your own words:

            “Yeshua came calling for repentance, the religious leaders apparently for what ever reason rejected the call and were destroyed.”

            Again, I don’t have time to review all the threads, but I have a pretty darn good memory, and you did say more than once that the Temple was destroyed because of the corrupt leadership and because the leadership rejected Jesus.

            It’s fine with me if you change your mind, but at least admit it instead of calling me a liar.

          • CP says:

            Dina, don’t try to be sneaky, it’s not fitting. Yes I posted that, when you protested, I explained in detail twice. If you insist on going to older posts to maintain a misunderstanding of my position so you feel justified in accusing me of lying go right ahead, but I won’t be coming with you.

          • Dina says:

            Just to clarify: are you saying that the destruction of the Temple was not related to the corrupt Pharisees or to the rejection of Jesus? If it was related, to what degree, and how do you know this?

            Do you maintain that the Pharisee leadership was destroyed because of rejection of Jesus?

          • CP says:

            Dina says:
            January 4, 2017 at 11:14 pm
            “Saying, “Listen here, sweet pea,” is condescending. And please note, I’m the only one you’ve called that. Will you call Jim or Rabbi B. “sweet pea”? I’d like to see you dare. You’ve also called me dishonest, hateful, irritating, and other choice things. Take the beam out of your own eye before taking out the splinter in mine.”

            So now am I supposed to post all the things you’ve called me? Do you really want to go there?
            Tell you what;
            I apologize for every offense I’ve given you, you’re right I indirectly called you a number of hateful things. I’m sorry, and to prove teshuvah I won’t do it again.

          • CP says:

            Dina, just because someone is a Pharisee, Sadducee, Essene or Zealot doesn’t make them automatically evil. Generally speaking the leadership was corrupt in 1st century Jerusalem. Although the Pharisees formed earlier, it was in opposition to corrupt leadership. To put it in as plain words as possible: The Temple destruction was allowed by God for whatever reason (fill in the blank) but it wasn’t a good reason it was a bad reason. Whatever God was judging; that bad thing also caused Yeshua’s death.

            My interpretation of the Talmud passage isn’t that they weren’t being strict enough, but rather to strict, placing judgement over mercy.

          • Dina says:

            CP, what is your evidence that the Pharisee leadership (I exclude the others because the Pharisees are the most vilified in your scriptures) was corrupt? What is your evidence that the destruction of the Temple is related to the crucifixion? Maybe Jesus was punished for personal sins that had nothing to do with the generation’s sin. All you have here is speculation.

            Please provide verifiable historical facts or Scriptural citations (Christian scripture need not apply).

            Finally, you do not have the right to personally interpret the Talmud and neither do I. The term lifnim mishurat hadin has a specific meaning in Jewish tradition and that is the meaning in this passage (if you quoted it accurately).

            It does not mean placing mercy over judgment. You were not raised in the Jewish tradition, so I wouldn’t expect you to know that. But to impose your own meaning on a Talmudic text to justify your version of history is just plain wrong.

            Lifnim mishurat hadin does not mean what you think, or what you wish, it means.

          • CP says:

            Dina,
            We’ve been over this a number of times. You seem hung up on the idea that I’m asserting the Temple was destroyed because of the unfair trial and execution of Yeshua. This is not my assertion. Perhaps a biblical context outside Yesuha and Jerusalem will enable you to see my view.
            Suppose the people of Nineveh rather than repenting instead killed Jonah. Nineveh is then destroyed as Jonah said God would do. My question to you is: Was Nineveh destroyed because they killed Jonah or because they refused to repent?

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Dina, my point in my post was that his movement did not stay Jewish, ie it did not maintain the Jewish national structure that it tried to pattern itself on. It failed to survive even the 1st generation as a Jewish movement. It did not keep alive the blessings of the law.

        As to why Yeshua is not in contemporary sources, I dont know.

        That said, The relevant historian who does mention him, (Josephus) doesnt even mention Hillel, Shammai, or their schools of thought. So, im not really surprised that an obscure Galilean wasnt mentioned, when those of higher caliber weren’t either.

        • Dina says:

          Exactly, CP, that’s the point. An obscure Galilean wouldn’t be mentioned because he was obscure. In other words, he was not as well known or as popular as the NT would have us believe.

    • CP says:

      Concerned Reader,
      Excellent! I totally agree. You mentioned numbers; 3000 perished at the giving of the Law, at Shavuot 3000 were redeemed.
      From what I can tell, no one saw the big picture in advance, perhaps not even Yeshua. I am thinking more and more this is all about taking the light to the Gentiles in preparation for Messiah.

  23. Dina says:

    CP,

    I used to work with addicts, and I presented one and only one condition that they had to stick to if they wanted to receive my counsel. They had to be honest with me. I told them I would never, ever judge them or chastise them for anything they’d done, they just had to come clean. If they lied to me, it was over. I could not help them if they could not be honest.

    In general, whether one suffers from addiction or is trying to overcome a personality flaw like a quick temper, he has no hope for recovery or progress if he lacks the ability or will to be honest with himself and others.

    Twice in the last two days you lied, once to me and once to Jim. You willfully misrepresented Acts to make it sound like the priests had seen the resurrection. You told Jim that Jesus did not give the sign of Jonah to the Pharisees although the context makes it clear that Jesus was addressing the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

    If that were not enough, whenever you are backed into a corner you either change the argument or decide that something was added in a later redaction, a dishonest tactic.

    For example, at first you explained the “I am the way” statement to mean “the Torah is the way.” When that position became untenable, you fell back on the redaction theory.

    For another example, first you said the sign of Jonah prophecy was not Jesus’s responsibility. It was the responsibility of the Pharisees to produce a body. When that didn’t work, you misrepresented Acts to say that large numbers of priests saw the resurrection. When that didn’t work, you fell back on the redaction theory.

    When Jim pressed you on the spirit that enters those who accept Jesus leading them into idolatry, you argued that he couldn’t get past a little imperfection. Then you finally conceded that they couldn’t have the spirit of truth if they worshiped a man as God. You wouldn’t admit to having said the exact opposite, though Jim showed you a quote of yours where you said that Dr. Brown possesses this spirit although he worships Jesus as God.

    When I asked you why you keep going to websites that quote the Talmud that obviously traffic in lies, you asked me why I seize on such a small distraction. This tells me that to you a lie is a little thing.

    A LIE IS NOT A LITTLE THING.

    How much of your integrity are you willing to sacrifice for Jesus? How many lies are you willing to tell to justify to yourself and the world your blind devotion to a creature of your imagination?

    Have you no shame?

    • CP says:

      Dina,
      Thank you for the opportunity to practice teshuvah. However it is not wrong to say this post hurts me. I suppose you did not read what I wrote to Jim? I told him; being busy with other studies I had been winging it with the Jonah Prophecy until it was obvious he really wanted to discuss it, at which point I went to the Text. AFTER going to the text I concluded, Yeshua, although speaking with the Pharisees did not say THEY would be given a sign, but the evil generation would be given the sign. Gospel of Mark says no one is getting any sign.

      Therefore I am puzzled where you feel I’m lying.

      • Dina says:

        I commend you for taking this well. But if you can’t see what you did wrong after both Jim and I pointed it out, then I don’t know what else to say.

        My objective is not to hurt you but I believed that at this point such a rebuke was necessary. Forgive me for hurting your feelings.

  24. Dina says:

    CP,

    So getting back to the three false prophecies.

    This topic began with your question. You asked me what my objections are to converting someone to Judaism who insists on clinging to foreign worship (avodah zarah), specifically Jesus. I explained to you that Jesus is a false prophet based on Deuteronomy 13 (introducing a new type of worship, i.e., you need a man to get to God, which you now say he never said but was added later, which makes honest dialogue truly difficult). He is also a false prophet based on Deuteronomy 18 because the signs he gave failed to come to pass.

    You responded, and I replied. Your reply is here: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/the-pharisees/#comment-32469

    I am certain you missed my reply, which was several days ago, so for your convenience I am pasting it below.

    I did ask you to respond to my challenges with verifiable fact and not proclamations from on high.

    Yet you responded at least in some instances with proclamations from on high.

    The stone prophecy? Big problem: the Western Wall does not lose its status as part of the Temple just on your say-so. Another problem for you is that in Mark 13, Jesus doesn’t talk about the Temple only, but also “all these great buildings,” remains of which are still around today. You need this prophecy to have come true, CP, but you can’t prove it. You can’t prove it because you would have to say that the remains of buildings in the Temple area were not what Jesus was talking about, but you would just be saying.

    The back-in-their-lifetime prophecy? You have to be kidding. In Mark 13:30 and Luke 21:32 Jesus tells his disciples that their generation will not pass away until all these things happen. He has listed all these things for them in the previous verses:

    In Mark: false messianic claimants, natural disasters, world wars, persecution of the disciples, etc., the “son of man” coming in the clouds, his angels gathering “the elect” from all corners of the world, uh, yeah.

    In Luke: same, same, same, etc., with the addition that not a hair on their heads will “perish” despite the persecution.

    In Matthew, Jesus promises them that they will see him coming into his kingdom.

    Before the disciples died, they did not see Jesus coming in on the clouds or his angels gathering all the elect. It’s pretty simple, and a very big problem for you.

    In these chapters I didn’t see him promise that they would see “the kingdom of heaven come with power,” whatever that means. And that is so vague, I don’t know how you can prove the fulfillment of that. But that is beside the point: see above.

    The sign of Jonah to the Pharisees? The Pharisees don’t have to disprove anything, Jesus simply has to appear to them. He didn’t, you cannot deny it, end of story. (The priests were not Pharisees.)

    The fact that the Talmud is so silent on this story and on Jesus in general should trouble you. The fact that all of Jesus’s contemporaries outside of the “New Testament” were virtually silent about his existence should trouble you. Because it means that he was a non-entity when he was alive, and likely almost every story written about him in the gospels are not, well, the gospel truth. The conversations we are discussing between Jesus and his disciples and between Jesus and the Pharisees never actually took place.

    Jews are notorious for writing about their failings. There is a huge amount of literature about other failed messiahs like Bar Kochba and Shabbetai Tzvi but nothing about Jesus? You know what kind of conspiracy theory you need to squash every prolific Jewish writer from writing about Jesus, from Josephus and Philo to the tanaim and amoraim? A very crazy one! The truth is so much simpler. Messianic claimants during his time were a dime a dozen, which is why he was such a non-entity. The only reason we know about him today is because of Paul.

    The silence on Jesus in the Talmud is not for any nefarious reasons you would like to impute to those great sages.

    Last word, about the rod of iron–sorry, but that doesn’t cut it. Give me a clear teaching. You said that “submit or be destroyed” were not your words but the prophets. Show me where the Torah teaches that if you don’t submit to the messiah you will be destroyed. Not an implied teaching, please, which is subjectively your own interpretation.

    I explained about believing in Moses in another comment today. I hope you will read it.

  25. CP says:

    The stone prophecy?
    We are at an impasse on this one based on whether or not one thinks Yeshua meant the Temple buildings or the entire Tempe Mount.

    The back-in-their-lifetime prophecy?
    This is a misreading of the text. Even Yeshua’s talmudim misunderstood. It is the generation that sees the fig tree bud that will not pass away until all these things happen. Likely 1948 or 1967 or perhaps a future date when the Temple starts to be rebuilt. We’ll have to wait and see. However, there is only a few windows of opportunity when the number of days spoken of by Daniel and Revelation fall exactly on Feast days 3.5 years apart. We are right at the cusp of the next window the end of this year for things to start.
    The disciples did see the destruction of Jerusalem as a fractal of the ultimate fulfillment in the latter days. As for the Kingdom, it has come with power, currently 2.5 billion strong. Although I admit probably most are faking it or nomial and will desert when things turn bad.

    The sign of Jonah to the Pharisees?
    We’ve covered this. The sign was not explicitly promised to the Pharisees, but to the “evil generation”. Concerned Reader address the Josephus contention. As for Messiah ruling with a “rod of iron”; my view of Tanach on this subject is in agreement with Talmud. We see it the same, while the Messiah is the Prince of Peace, he will not tolerate rebellion.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      The fact that the Talmud is so silent on this story and on Jesus in general should trouble you. The fact that all of Jesus’s contemporaries outside of the “New Testament” were virtually silent about his existence should trouble you. Because it means that he was a non-entity when he was alive, and likely almost every story written about him in the gospels are not, well, the gospel truth. The conversations we are discussing between Jesus and his disciples and between Jesus and the Pharisees never actually took place.

      Dina, i have a few problens with what you have written here. 1st, there are no grounds for a fair or balanced discussion if we believe Jesus never existed, or if we believe that none of his sayings were ever said. Nobody puts that kind of scrutiny on Judaism’s own historical giants, or texts, even though there are fewer independently attested accounts of their lives than Jesus’. I do not say this out of disrespect, but in fairness to historical accuracy

      Josephus mentioned Jesus, and his brother James, also the baptist. No scholar doubts the James or John the baptist references, only the interpolations in the Testimonium which can be reasonably corrected.

      Even if the Talmud did not mention Jesus of Nazareth in its earliest strata, it does mention Jacob of Kafar, ie the Min, a Jewish Jesus follower/sympathizer. The Talmud was not concerned with discussing gentile Christianity, but seems to have at least been aware of Jewish followers of Jesus, and their claims of healing, even some of their text.

      This does not prove Christianity’s legitimacy, but if Jesus were a made up person, it would have been stated plainly and easily disproved by those who sought to embarass Christianity.

      The fact that many of his sayings are not unique to him, increases the plausibility, not decreases it. Certain episodes are clearly later additions (due to their ludicrous nature,) but that he taught is not so easily dismissed.

      Consider that the 1st gentiles to join Churches were G-d fearers. It would be extremely difficult to snipe gentile converts from Synagogues who were fammiliar with Judaism, just 30 years after Jesus, if he were just a figment. I say 30 years later, because the one from Tarsus was active then.

      • Dina says:

        Con, where did I say that Jesus never existed or was a figment of the imagination? My point is that he was simply not nearly as popular or well-known as the gospels portray. I also highly doubt that those particular conversations took place. They are too polemical. The NT does contain fabrications, as you well know. This makes it difficult to impossible to sort truth from fiction. Therefore, the best we can say is that while the NT may contain some historical facts, it’s an unreliable document. I will be very surprised if you disagree with this.

        I did tell CP that I am open to the idea that the TF was added to and is not a complete interpolation; nevertheless, Josephus spent a lot of time on relatively unknown characters and, in all the thousands of pages he wrote, only a paragraph mentioning Jesus. All this does is tell me he was relatively obscure in his lifetime.

        • Eleazar says:

          Can’t be. I watched “The Robe” and it clearly showed the entire Roman Empire under Caligula was obsessed with Jesus and Christians. 😉

        • Concerned Reader says:

          The point is, whether someone is mentioned in a source or not is not indicative of their popularity.

          Josephus does mention some obscure people, but who he does not mention is even more baffling. The giants of Hillel and Shammai are not mentioned at all, it doesnt mean a lack of popularity.

          Certain dialogues of Jesus make sense given his time period.

          When he tells the disabled man who he cured to carry a mat on Shabbat, the question of carrying/work/definitions of private and public domain (such as the Eruv as a concept,) were actually relevant questions of halacha under discussion between sects in his day, beyond the Christian movement.

          Stories of healings were also common fare in Jesus’ day.

          You mentioned a lack of going beyond the letter, ( or a lack of fences and strictures) being a problem in the secobd temple period. Having looked at the dead sea scrolls and their very strict purity requiremments, I cant believe that lack of stricture and fences around Torah, is what lead to the problems back then.

          It seems that bloodshed, Slander, evil speech, zealotry, and Jews looking down on other Jews for bad reasons seems to be huge issues, if the arguments that we have preserved from those days is any indication of the state back then.

          • Dina says:

            Yes, I agree with your last paragraph there. I don’t think lack of fences was the problem. I was just explaining to CP what the quote he presented means. I do not know if it’s an accurate quote or not. But the sin of gratuitous hatred among Jews is much talked about in the Talmud as the reason for the destruction of the Temple.

          • Dina says:

            Con, I do think it’s worth mentioning, though, that Hillel and Shammai are described as quiet, humble people. It is not surprising that they would have been relatively unknown outside Pharisaic circles, much like the modern twentieth century Torah giant Rabbi Moshe Feinstein Zatzal is known to every Orthodox Jewish school kid but not really to anyone else. The kind of grand-scale popularity ascribed to Jesus–drawing thousands of crowds whenever he preached, thousands flocking to him for healings–is not the kind of thing that would have escaped the notice of historians like Josephus if it were true.

      • Dina says:

        Con, I think the only thing we can say with any degree of confidence about Jesus is that he was executed by Rome for a political crime, being that crucifixion was a punishment reserved for political crimes.

        Anyone declaring himself king of the Jews would have constituted a direct threat to the emperor of Rome.

        Anything else is conjecture.

        • CP says:

          Dina,
          We can know some other things with certainty. He was Jewish, a Rabbi, Controversial. After his death, without an army or personally authoring any books his message of repentance and returning to God has spread from a obscure Roman province throughout the entire world making even the knowledge of Israel known to all. Although it be attached to another Book, the Torah has spread to almost every language known to mankind.

          Tell me, who else in the history of mankind has done such a thing? How can God not be in this?

          • TRM says:

            It’s not that hard to see that when that religion is the official religion of the whole Roman Empire (the whole world), and if you did not agree with it, you could be sent to death.

          • CP says:

            TRM,
            But that is a great feat in itself. I’m not saying the Romans didn’t pervert it, but who would of thought in the 1st century the Empire of Rome would be following a Jewish Rabbi?

          • “After his death,…”

            scholars do not think that their is anything miraculous about christianities spread.
            in the first 100 years we know nothing about christianity and its pagan competitors were thriving .

            how come pagan religions were still thriving ?
            how come acts and non-canonical writings exaggerate the conversion rate and it is all going unnoticed by outsiders?

            why are not pagan sources talking about their loses to man worshiping christians?

          • cflat7 says:

            CP

            “But that is a great feat in itself. I’m not saying the Romans didn’t pervert it, but who would of thought in the 1st century the Empire of Rome would be following a Jewish Rabbi?”

            So by your analysis, the huge and growing success of Islam also has Hashem behind it? If so, are you also paying great respect to Mohamed and checking out Moslem apologetic websites?

          • in the first 100 to 200 years of christianity, which pagan sources talk about the threat of christianity or losing any of its people to any version of christianity?

          • CP says:

            cflat7, Mohammad wrote a book and had an army, if you really stop to think Yeshua had neither even to his death, these two are not even comparable. However Rambam has a opinion on the matter which might surprise you.

          • TRM says:

            It was a wise decision for the Roman to use a Jewish Rabbi. Who was reluctant to join the unified Roman Pagan Religion? The Jews. Now, how could they have convince some to join? By following a Jewish rabbi. They were not picky, the only wanted an unified religion…

          • Jim says:

            CP,

            Yes the words of Maimonides might shock some, but probably not cflat7. Maimonides calls Jesus a great stumbling block. He says that because of Jesus there has been a great amount of violence in the world, including a great persecution of the Jewish people. He writes that because of Jesus, many Jews abandoned Torah, exchanging truth for a lie. And the nations were led to worship a false god.

            A stumbling block indeed.

            Jim

          • Dina says:

            Jim, it’s funny that someone might think Mohammed wrote a book. He was in fact illiterate.

          • cflat7 says:

            Jim,

            Agreed, …and apparently a huge stumbling block for CP.

          • CP says:

            Jim,

            “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD,
            “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,
            A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.
            He who believes in it will not be disturbed. (Isaiah 28:16)

            “Then He shall become a sanctuary;
            But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over,
            And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 8:14)

          • Jim says:

            CP,

            Quoting verses irrelevant to the topic serves as nothing but a distraction. Of course, one is left to guess what you mean by quoting two verses far from one another and with no context. But it hardly matters. They are not relevant to the discussion.

            Jim

  26. Dina says:

    I find Christians in an interesting contradiction and an ugly double standard regarding the people of Israel.

    Christians point to passages in the Hebrew Bible describing Israel’s sins to prove the corruption and bad nature of the people of Israel and thus to prove that we have failed in the task God entrusted us to preserve His truth and His testimony.

    Since Jesus spread the Torah to the gentiles, they argue, the gentile nations now possess God’s eternal truth, and the testimony of the Chosen Nation can be disregarded.

    The Christian will acknowledge that at least until the advent of Jesus, the only group of people on earth to possess God’s truth was the people of Israel. In those days, they will agree, if one wanted to learn the wisdom of the Torah and how to worship God, he could not go to the pagan Canaanites, nor the pagan Assyrians, nor the pagan Babylonians, nor the pagan Persians, nor the pagan Greeks, nor the pagan Romans. If one wanted to learn about God and Torah, the only people to approach were the Jews.

    This brings us to the great contradiction. To prove the Jews’ faithlessness, Christians cite instances of rebellious behavior from the very time period that they agree was the only time that only the Jews possessed God’s truth.

    If it is not a contradiction on the one hand to acknowledge that Jews in the pre-Christian era were the sole possessors of God’s truth and then to assert on the other hand that the behavior of Jews in the same era proves that they are faithless witnesses, then what is?

    Worse still, Christians do not cite the horrific past behavior of Christians as proof that Christianity cannot be trusted to promote God’s truth. They do not cite the blood libels, mass murders, expulsions, Crusades, Inquisition, or Holocaust as proof positive that Christians cannot serve as witnesses. They do not cite the witch burnings and holy wars that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of their own brethren as a sign that one should perhaps suspect the integrity of the witness. To the contrary, if you point it out, they accuse you of spreading hate and point to the good works of modern-day Christians as proof of their faithfulness.

    If it is not a double standard to point to past Jewish behavior as proof of faithlessness and insist on Christian faithfulness while ignoring Christian behavior, then what is?

    It is worth noting that the Christian has to travel over 2,000 years into the past to find sins of idolatry and mass murder among the Jewish people, while Christian sins of mass murder have been ongoing just until last century and Christian sins of idolatry continue to the present day.

    This, my friends, is an ugly double standard indeed.

    • Dina says:

      Minor correction: to find sins of mass murder among Jews, the Christian has to travel a tad under 2,000 years into the past, not over 2,000 years. I forgot about the Zealots.

  27. Dina says:

    Hi Audience [waves],

    I wanted to address the Christian claim that the success of Christianity proves that God is behind it all.

    To this I say, ha! Do not underestimate the importance of that one little syllable. Just to emphasize, I repeat: ha!

    This argument is irrefutable [winks].

    The reason for the laughter is that God is behind everything. He controls everything that happens to us. The only thing He leaves in our hands is our own behavior. While we may live with the illusion of control, it is just that: an illusion.

    Because God has given us free will, he allows great and terrible things to happen. He allowed Christianity to spread. He allowed Islam to spread. He allowed Buddhism to spread. He allowed Hinduism the distinction of being the oldest religion in the world.

    He allowed the Holocaust to happen. He allowed the genocides in Africa to happen. He allowed communism to take about 100 million lives in the twentieth century.

    Now I suppose you know why I say “Ha!” to the Christian argument that the success of Christianity proves that God was behind it. Sure He was, but not quite in the way that Christians would like to believe.

    Yet you can roll on the floor laughing unable to speak (in texting language this is called ROTFLUTS), and when you get your breath back you can point this out to the Christian, but five minutes later–or perhaps the next day–he will come back with the same argument [shakes her head].

    No matter how many times you remind the Christian that Islam also spread monotheism and a code of ethics around the world, they will simply ignore the argument and keep on insisting that the numbers rule.

    In the pre-Christian era, this same Christian will agree that a tiny, embattled group of people, the people of Israel, were the only ones who were theologically correct. The great success of the Romans, conquering nations all over the Western world and spreading their pagan ideas wherever they went, is somehow not a good argument for the rightness of their beliefs. Same for the Greeks. And everyone else.

    King Solomon, the wisest of all men, said that there is nothing new under the sun. The French say, the more things change the more they remain the same. The Jews were in the correct minority then. They are in the correct minority now.

    Ha! Ha! Ha!

    • Concerned Reader says:

      I find that most religious traditions have a double standard to one degree or other, even when unintended. When one’s knowledge is believed to be derived from an absolute being, people are generally very unlikely to truly question assumptions that allegedly come to them from this being.

      Even though Jews believe in absolute truth, Judaism has taught the world an indirect lesson, and I don’t think many people see it.

      The belief that Judaism is the true religion from the one true G-d, carries with it the teaching that the manifold polytheistic spirituality of every other culture has been incorrect. Centuries of death, suffering, and exploitation in the history of those religions, and people still don’t question their core assumptions, even Jewish people fail to question their assumptions quite often.

      People ask for evidence that their own faith cannot provide for itself, people denigrate what they don’t, or choose not to understand.

      When I was a Christian, I was taught that because one man (Adam) thought he knew better than G-d, he sinned, and by that sin diminished the nature of all future people. People would be inclined to sin, inclined to poor and rash judgement, etc. What I learned was that this teaching of original sin, and the teaching of grace meant that I was not anyone’s judge. The history of my own faith showed me what happens when people judge with haste based on their unquestioned understanding of truth.

      Dina, Jews have killed Christians too, just not in the numbers that Christians have done. In 516 CE there was a massacre of Christians in Yemen, in the middle ages, specifically in 615 CE Jews and Christians battled over territory in Jerusalem.

      Lest we also forget, Etheopian Christians, and Etheopia’s Jews (who had political autonomy in the middle ages,) killed each other in the name of each other’s truth. NOBODY is perfect, though I do 100% agree that Jews have a better track record.

      There are no perfect servants of G-d as history so clearly shows us.

      • Dina says:

        Con,

        I have read loads and loads of books of Jewish history and haven’t come across the events you describe. However, I can’t dismiss it entirely because your historical facts, I have found, are pretty reliable. But even granting that these events transpired as you described, it’s not like Jews have a better track record. While every single innocent life lost is a tragedy, the comparison between Jews and Christians is negligible.

        It’s possible that we also operate a double standard, I don’t see it. But we don’t try to force our beliefs on anyone in the name of our double standard, nor do we judge Christians for their worship. We just want to be left alone. People come here professing to learn, yet judge us by a double standard and preach at us. Worse, they tell us that if we agree with them we are honest and if we disagree we are dishonest.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          I know Judaism doesnt force its beliefs, which is great. I’m not trying to insult Judaism at all, just noting that everyone is human.

          Nobody should be surprised that Christianity has spread by horrific means. It is a belief founded upon rather extreme premises. The idea of love expressed through suffering and death is not what most consider a natural extension.

    • CP says:

      Dina,
      If I may correct your comment. You’ve stated “half-truths” in support of your view resulting in a ‘half right view’. This is to be expected. However I will post the full truth. You can either accept, or you can keep posting the same erroneous information repeatedly. This will depend on your level of integrity, character and how much of Torah you’ve taken into your heart.

      1) The assertion is not that God “allowed” but that God supported the rise and spread of Christianity.

      2) The rise and spread of a unknown Rabbi in an obscure Roman province, without writing any books, amassing no army, is what differentiates Christianity from Islam and the other religions you posted.

      3) The historical fact that both Christians and Jews have failed at times along the way proves what? Unless you insist on a double standard, it only proves God’s patience and compassion. The fact that those who failed were not keeping to their teachings, therefore how can you judge the teachings?

      • LarryB says:

        Never settle for the path of least resistance

        “You can either accept, or you can keep posting the same erroneous information repeatedly. This will depend on your level of integrity, character and how much of Torah you’ve taken into your heart.”

        Diasgreement now includes no integrity, character and Torah teaching is nothing more than lip service to you. Sorry professor but I’m gonna have to drop your class!

        • CP says:

          LarryB, allow me to break this down for you:
          1) person A announces what person B believes
          2) person B repeatedly corrects person A, stating this is not their belief
          3) person A continues to announces in error what person B believes even after being corrected multiple times.

          Is this not a matter of integrity and character?

    • “People would be inclined to sin, inclined to poor and rash judgement, etc.”

      you needed the adam and eve story, but the man you were worshipping didn’t cause you to think what a rude and ethnocentric person he was?

      a poor and humble non-jew approaches him for a few scraps and then he calls her and her ill daughter dogs which feed off the floor near peoples feet.

      jesus in the new testament is the biggest hypocrite and bad mouthed person. funny thing is that he told his pals to watch what goes out of their mouths and then in front of them referred to a humble woman and her daughter and her people ANIMAL.

      this is called pathetic judgement.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        you needed the adam and eve story, but the man you were worshipping didn’t cause you to think what a rude and ethnocentric person he was?

        The gospels as documents are as much about teaching lessons aided by Christian interpretations as the Jewish Bible is guided by rabbinic interpretation to teach lessons. Jesus’ life is to the Christian the life of G-d on theicrocosmic scale.

        When Hashem commands the death of countless women and children in the Tanach, do you automatically call him a sociopath? No. You realize as a reader the text is teaching a lesson.

        Because the Christian believes Jesus is a unique son of G-d, or G-d, the motives imputed to Jesus in episodes like that are interpreted to give life lessons. IE a christian would say Jesus was testing the faith of the gentile, (if she would turn the other Cheek when he was rude.)

        Remember the other time when he was asked by a Jew to help this person’s gentile friend? Jesus wouldn’t, and then he found out that the gentile man had built the people a Synagogue. Its obviously exagerrated narrative used to a purpose.

        We cant forget that Jesus is harsh to his own stufents as well as outsiders.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          What I’m saying is, you are asking people to be self critical of a document that they believe is divinely inspired. They will defend their books with just as much fervor as a Jew defends the Torah.

          For an outsider, It takes a lot of selective interpreting to pull godly or moral lessons out of the lives of guys like David, or Samson.

          Both those men have blood and sexual misconduct on their hands in spades, and yet that doesnt stop Jews from finding moral lessons within their lives.

          How much more is it possible to look past Jesus’ flaws, a man who killed nobody?

          • jesus thought that he was going to come back in his disciples life time to make party with the disbelievers? do you know what is deferred violence?
            jesus was all for killing mate.
            jesus dreamed of killing everyday
            the guys parables are loaded with killing

          • “if she would turn the other Cheek when he was rude.”

            jesus said

            ” And he said unto her, For this SAYING go thy way….”

            quote:

            And Jesus’s initial rejection of her request is not merely prejudiced. It is cruel. And evil.

            This is a woman who is desperate. Her child is severely ill, in a way that was not understood at that time. She believed her child to be not just physically ill, but possessed by evil spirits.

            Any interpretation of the story that suggests that Jesus was using this woman to illustrate a point requires recognizing that he considered making a point to be more important than the welfare of a desperately ill child.

            It requires recognizing that Jesus considered making a point more important than basic kindness and good manners to a woman asking a favor.

            Scoring points in a debate can never be more important than kindness and caring for actual human beings.

            Imagine being desperate to find a cure for your sick child. You muster your courage, and approach a doctor well-known for being able to cure conditions that others find impossible to treat.

            And that doctor calls you a dog, who has no right to take treatment that might be given to real people.

            That doctor is, at best, a prejudiced *****. At worst, he’s advocating a sort of low-level genocide, providing medical care to worthy people but leaving those of a lesser race to die.

            And in situations of great oppression, there are always many stories of oppressors showing occasional acts of small kindness to this or that oppressed individual.

            And then using those occasional small acts as a way to tell themselves and others that they aren’t really oppressors, because there is this or that lone individual among the many they oppress to whom they’ll give an occasional and small bit of kindness while still treating them badly in the larger picture.

            end quote

        • “IE a christian would say Jesus was testing the faith of the gentile, (if she would turn the other Cheek when he was rude.)”

          any excuses to excuse

          “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

          don’t give dogs what is sacred because they won’t believe in the jewish God/have respect for sacred things?

          ‘It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.’

          sacred stuff should not be cast at the dogs, the dogs have no respect for the sacred.
          if my understanding is correct, why then do christian apologists say that “jesus was testing the womans faith” when jesus seem to be giving the impression that dogs should not be given that which is sacred?

          it is as if jesus did not think that “gentile dogs” were capable of having faith or give a clever answer

          and this seem to be very unneighbourly behaviour

          jesus’ ethnocentrism didn’t give a damn that a young girl was suffering from an illness.
          one can learn that shamelessly accepting you are a dog might help you win an argument and get yourself some crumbs for your sick daughter.

          this story teaches how to best jesus in a clever way.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Mr. Hearhcliff, while I dont disagree with viewing Jesus’ apathy as very evil, these kinds of issues and points are theodicy problems that every religion deals with in its sacred text in relation to its deity.

            Jesus was not the only man to look down on non Jews in his time period.

            Scripture itself likens gentiles to wolves and ferocious lions. Many gentile women are portrayed as promiscuous, decietful, and a snare to good Jewish men.

            Lest we forget the pajorative term Shiksa, still commonly used today?

            There are literally less then 20 gentiles in the Tanakh (after Sinai) that are designated by name in scripture as righteous people. (Exluding Nineveh) We dont find non jews regularly praised.

            In fact, the Talmud has debates about whether the noachide will even have ressurection. (Olam Haba which he has, is not the same as ressurection.)

            How could Jesus show cruelty by not healing the woman and her daughter?

            Why was G-d willing to make Job and his family suffer horribly to make a point?

            Why do babies die of cancer?

            Isnt there a degree of apathy there or is the suffering a consequence of something? This is the religious dillema.

            You dont believe Jesus is G-d, but G-d appears to act with apathy in the same way as Jesus does, and we excuse it in the name of deep moral lessons and divine foreknowledge. If you believed J was G-d, you could excuse him with a simmilar rationale.

            One of the things that makes the Christian narrative most interesting from a moral/theodicy standpoint is that we see Jesus not exercising alleged godly power to heal the woman’s daughter,

            (something of a normally supernatural healing, and something out of the everyman’s control,)

            but he commonly does the healings that are always within human power to carry out, but is labeled evil thereby.

            In the realm of the human ability to relieve suffering, Jesus does illegal healing, if there is such a concept.

            If you really wanted to demonsteate moral outrage at human injustices, it might not be best to be outraged that Jesus didnt use G-d powers, but to be outraged that humans dont use a G-d given ability to heal.

          • Dina says:

            Con, your comparisons are wildly unfair. The comparisons to wolves and lions are specifically to those nations who oppress us. Hebrew Scripture does not call gentiles dogs or other nasty words because they are so just by virtue of being gentiles, God forbid!

            Your comparisons to David and Samson are wrong because these men are not celebrated or excused for their sins. Instead they are criticized and punished. We do not learn good moral lessons from their sins. We learn that someone who sins can repent and be forgiven.

            David was punished for his sin, did you forget that? Samson was punished–quite horribly–for his sin, did you forget that?

            When Jesus calls a gentile woman a dog–which is deplorable–he is not criticized for it. His followers defend his every action. Whereas we don’t defend every action of every Jewish leader. We recognize their sins as sins and their good deeds as good deeds.

            Why is the fact that some Jews use racial slurs (such as Shiksa) relevant? It’s as irrelevant as the fact that some Christians use racial slurs such as the “n” word. (This is not to minimize the ugliness of the act. I do not condone the use of epithets.)

          • “Jesus was not the only man to look down on non Jews in his time period.”

            the gentile which approached jesus did nothing offensive to jesus. she did not have any control over where she was born. jesus “prince of peace” and “jesus loves all”
            insulted her and her ill daughter in her face

            rajini wickramatra rebera :

            many scholars, theologians and preachers attempt to MINIMISE the impact of jesus’ response to her, since the image of jesus one sees in this incident does not fit the inherited image we have of him as the ‘kind , understanding , ever-helpful savior’

          • “How could Jesus show cruelty by not healing the woman and her daughter?”

            well because christians say jesus is “prince of peace” and “jesus loves all” and jesus came to guide non-jews.in this story we see that jesus was not even interested in guiding her , he did not say, yes, welcome “i have come to die for you ”

            we see the REAL face of jesus.

            any other human who would see a woman begging like that would help her out, but jesus needed an acceptance of his claims about her before he helped her out.

            this “prince of peace” said earlier in that story

            quote:
            Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.

          • CP says:

            mr.heathcliff,
            You HAVE TO make a number of assumptions about circumstances that aren’t told in the account in order to condem Yeshua. Was Yeshua addressing something spiritual or a deficiency in attitude? Who could know these things? The bottom line is Yeshua healed the women’s daughter. I’m sure in light of this fact, this woman herself would rebuke your glass half empty attitude

          • Concerned Reader says:

            He did ultimately heal the daughter Mr. Heathcliff, so moral outrage should be towards a dismissive attitude he displayed, not his actions. FYI its this kind of polemic that Christians feed on.

  28. Eleazar says:

    1) The assertion is not that God “allowed” but that God supported the rise and spread of Christianity.”

    “The rise and spread of a unknown Rabbi in an obscure Roman province, without writing any books, amassing no army, is what differentiates Christianity from Islam and the other religions you posted.”

    Few problems here. First, Christianity did in fact amass an army and even recruited on the guarantee of heaven if they fought for the pope. Christianity grew militarily, then by the threat of burning at the stake, and then hellfire and brimstone apologetics aimed at the uneducated masses after that. Christianity had/has more books than any other religion in the world, and grows on the strength of those polemic/apologetic books. Finally, the “unknown Rabbi in an obscure Roman province” did not rise and spread. The religion that you yourself call false, Pauline Christianity, rose and spread. Jesus as the “unknown Rabbi in an obscure Roman province”, was irrelevant within a few decades after his death.

    Jesus as one third of God, a member of the pagan-influenced trinitarian godhead, is what grew and spread. So to use your thinking, God supported/caused the rise of the hybrid pagan Christianity and is using paganism and lies to spread His truth and His Torah. Even if you bring up the Waldenses or Albigenses , both eventually adopted the basic doctrines of Orthodoxy and assimilated into orthodox Pauline Christianity. Same with The World Wide Church of God, and the SDAs. Both adopted the neo-pagan trinity doctrine.

    What you are doing is taking the popularity and rise of the religion you believe is false, Pauline Christianity, and then applying its rise to credit your own hybrid religion that never rose or became popular…and was essentially gone by 100 CE. Your “unknown Rabbi in an obscure Roman province” is still irrelevant, since as has been pointed out here, brought nothing new to the table. That is why neo-pagan Christianity had to create the “full deity” Jesus, for the real one had nothing to offer that was not already available.

    • CP says:

      Eleazar,
      Although it is more than unfortunate the neo-pagan trinity doctrine has been adopted by the majority of Christianity, it was not meant to stand forever.
      Yet the facts still can’t be denied; this was all started by an unknown Rabbi in an obscure province, never writing a book or amassing an army. Now copies of Torah are in almost every household in the western world and printed in almost every language of humanity and Israel is no longer obscure.

      These facts are incontestable.

      • “Yet the facts still can’t be denied; this was all started by an unknown Rabbi in an obscure province, never writing a book or amassing an army”

        singer would say this is very sad. if the pagans converted to judaism, they would have brought their kids up learning hebrew, right? how many christians bring their children up reading the jewish bible in hebrew? singer says hardly any.

        never amassing an army? what was all that kingdom of god talk and jesus bringing his heavenly army to destroy the disbelievers? it never took place and constantine did him a favour by doing what jesus never could do.

        you should be cheering constantine .

        quote:
        In the near future, I also plan to challenge more thoroughly one of the most important myths in Christian historiography—Constantine the Great (ruled 306-337) was where imperialism began in Christianity. Constantine, therefore, represents a corruption of Jesus’ teachings in this view.

        The placement of the start of Christian imperialism in Constantine’s reign has served to deflect attention from the fact that imperialism is inscribed in the New Testament itself. Constantine only put into effect an ideology that was already there from the beginning of Christianity and one that reaches back into what Christians call “The Old Testament.”

        http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/jesus-was-not-against-imperialism.html

        • CP says:

          mr.heathcliff,
          Tovia Singer? Yeap, listened to hours and read bunches.

          Why do you keep going back to what Christians did later rather than admitting who started it with no books and no army? You act as if you admit a truth about Yeshua you’ll get some christianity on you, hahaha it doesn’t work like that.

  29. Eleazar says:

    “Although it is more than unfortunate the neo-pagan trinity doctrine has been adopted by the majority of Christianity, it was not meant to stand forever.”

    You are missing the point. The point is without the neo-pagan trinity, you would not even know who Jesus was. You would never have heard of him because without the trinity doctrine, and unless he was God incarnate as Rome teaches, he was irrelevant and his teachings would have died with him. Your Jewish rabbi Jesus died in 33 CE and was largely forgotten about within a few decades. The fictional neo-pagan, pseudo-Jewish Christ is what lived on in history and rose up into a huge world religion.

    Your theory that Christianity was raised up by God to spread Torah to the world, and that is has, is proven fictitious by the fact that you still do not accept Torah and neither does ANY sect of Christianity. Having “the Old Testament” attached to their books is not the same as believing in Torah, or even having Torah. 99.999% of Christians believe and teach that “The Old Testament’s” ONLY purpose is to “point people to Jesus”. If they did not believe that they would not have included it. Your claim that Jesus has led Gentiles to Torah is as false as the claim that he was messiah or divine.

    Also, one could only speculate that any who have come to Torah would not have done so without Jesus and the church. if that is true, then how did Gentiles convert to Judaism before Christianity?

  30. the christian god
    “prince of peace”
    “jesus loves all”
    “turn thy cheek”

    healed her only after he extract from her verbal confirmation that she is indeed a little b*tch/dog and her ill daughter who has masters who control her

    “woman, great is thy faith”

    woman , “for that saying…”

    notice that it is a clever saying in mark which rocks jesus’ boat?

    i quote :

    In this story, Jesus never agrees to the equality of gentiles, or the equality of women, or the equality of gentile women with Jewish men. Jesus called the woman a dog. And she made her point by agreeing with him, not saying that she deserved equality or fairness, but merely begging for crumbs.

    It is a very, very common thing for someone who is oppressed to have to placate and pretend to agree with the oppressor in order to gain some small benefit. And that’s what we see happen here.

    Once she had admitted to and agreed with his understanding of her place in the world, a dog who can at most expect crumbs, Jesus gave her what she begged for.

    It does him no harm to show a bit of kindness to a lesser person who acknowledges their subordinate nature.

    But there is no evidence that his behavior patterns changed in the long-term to reflect a change in belief and a letting-go of prejudice.

    Jesus did not then reach out to other Gentiles in his lifetime. He did not, in his lifetime, work to send apostles to Gentile communities.

    This incident was an aberration in his behavior, a single time when, on a whim, he decided to indulge an inferior person who amused him with her clever response but did not challenge his privileged world-view.

    The woman may have bested Jesus in this argument, in the sense that she convinced him to give her what she desperately needed.

    But she did not best him by arguing for her equality. And she did not best him by convincing him that she was equal. She did not best him by arguing for fairness. She did not convince him to treat gentile women, as a group, fairly.

    Saying that a dog may claim crumbs that fall from the table is a very, very different thing from saying that a dog is equal to a human child eating at the table. She used the time-honored technique of the oppressed and enslaved of flattering their oppressor in order to gain favor.

    /////

    lesson to be learned

    do not use jesus’ approach when helping someone out especially when you know a kid is dying of illness.

    • CP says:

      mr.heathcliff,
      Aside from the obvious fact you refuse to approach this with a balanced attitude. You are reading and interpreting from a 21st century western mind set not understanding the cultural and religious tensions or vernacular of the time. Not aside from and because of the former obvious fact, it would be pointless to explain these things to you since your mind seems to be made up. This is not a matter of intellect or knowledge, this is a matter of the heart.

    • cflat7 says:

      CP,

      I find this amuzing as your mind seems to be stubbornly made up about Jesus come “hell or high water”. 🙂

  31. Eleazar says:

    The most common explanation for this text by Christians is that “Jesus was simply reflecting the condescending attitude of the Jews of that time toward Gentiles.” I know because I have attended plenty of discussions in churches where this text was raised.

    • quote:
      But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.

      to my surprise some greek experts have said that jesus’ disciples are imploring him to help her so she goes away. they say that the greek can be rendered to mean that jesus should help her.

      it was jesus who said to her directly :

      “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

      then :
      “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.”

      • CP says:

        Mr.heathcliff, the verse you quoted begs the question.
        ““I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
        If Yeshua’s is following orders from God, then your beef is not with Yeshua, but with God.

      • Eleazar says:

        I agree, Heathcliff. If we can’t easily figure out what Jesus meant by this, then how can we know what he meant by anything he said?

        • he has already made his view clear about gentiles even when gentiles are not around.
          the woman repeatedly begs jesus, but his pals show some mercy by imploring jesus to help her out . they can’t take her begging and pestering any more

          jesus breaks his silence and addresses her directly
          by this point she is already begging like a dog.

          jesus is toying with her in front of his pals.

          he is going to show them how to handle the gentiles. jesus did not think she was capable of faith or that she was possessed with “great faith”

          jesus wanted to demonstrate his opinion of gentiles by proving that the dogs should not be given anything holy or “special bread”

          when she utters a clever rebuttal he is impressed that she agrees with his views about her .

          jesus was toying with her in front of his pals .

          the christians who are trying to say that he was “testing her” forget what jesus’ VIEWS about gentiles are. he considers them unclean, unholy and as animals.

          note that when a jew approaches jesus for help, he never creates such “testing”

          when you have power over someone you can have a bit of fun to show your pals how to extract verbal confirmation

        • the sad part of this all is that even ill gentiles are considered dogs in jesus’ view.
          christians are ashamed of jesus and here is a sri lankan scholars view

          rajini wickramatra rebera :

          many scholars, theologians and preachers attempt to MINIMISE the impact of jesus’ response to her, since the image of jesus one sees in this incident does not fit the inherited image we have of him as the ‘kind , understanding , ever-helpful savior’

          /////

          the guy was clearly a supremacist. think about it. if we did not have the ending in matthew, his mission and love would be for the lost sheep only.

        • eleazar

          notice that she agrees to her status in the world and also agrees with jesus that he is only sent for the lost sheep

          notice that she says she will benefit from the WASTE or LICK

          she clearly acknowledged that she was ONLY for the jewish people

          she received no guidance and went away with waste . she got a lick from the “kingdom of god”

          i just don’t get how people could spin all of this and attempt to rescue jesus by saying that he was “testing her faith”

          you test a womans faith when she is begging on her knees and then you tell her that she, including her ill daughter are WASTE collectors ?

        • she clearly acknowledged that jesus was sent ONLY for the jewish people

        • TRM says:

          “If we can’t easily figure out what Jesus meant by this, then how can we know what he meant by anything he said?”

          There nothing new under the sun… To be honest, if we are… We could easily say that Mustlims do the same with the Quran. If a text is too hard or to inhumane, they interpret it to excuse their god. Christians do the same with hard sayings of Jesus. What about Jews? What about the daughter of Jephthah or G-d hardening Pharaoh’s heart?

          If we are ready to throw stones at Christians, we should make sure we do not throw them at ourselves in the same time. Are we using two standards? One to judge other’s beliefs and one for ours?

  32. Dina says:

    Hey folks,

    Allow me to bring to your attention the delightful confirmation of the whole point of my post about the comparison of the spread of Christianity to the spread of Islam. The response proves my point better than any argument I could have made. The answer did not address my points directly, misrepresented my arguments, and came back at me with the same old argument. Less than a day later, just as I predicted! I do believe I am beginning to develop my prophet credentials.

    The best of it all is the “heads, I win; tails, you lose” scenario. If I agree with CP (College Professor?) then I have integrity and good character and have absorbed the Torah’s teachings. If I disagree, then I lack character and integrity and have not learned the lessons of the Torah.

    Apparently, our educated College Professor has never encountered the idea that good and honest people can disagree and/or see things differently. And this, from the man who unrepentantly and repeatedly keeps posting fake rabbinic and Talmudic quotes! What a delicious irony.

    Tell me, my dear friends in the audience, did I ever say that Christians assert that God allowed Christianity to spread? No, indeed. I am sure you will agree that you never heard me say any such thing. Christians say that the spread of Christianity was driven by God. I was the one who asserted that God allowed it to happen.

    If God supported the rise of Christianity which included horrific amounts of bloodshed and nearly universal idolatry, then He also supported the rise of Islam, Buddhism, communism, Nazism, and everything else.

    Hilariously, our dear College Professor believes that the lack of a book and an army makes the spread of Christianity somehow more worthy.

    This idea is hilarious for a number of reasons.

    First, I agree with him that Jesus was an obscure preacher. Right-o! He was not nearly as popular nor as well known as the gospels portray him.

    Second, I disagree that Jesus spread Christianity to the gentiles. It is a historical fact that Paul brought Christianity to the gentiles through a series of letters that form the basis of the Christian New Testament–which, as I am sure you know, being reasonable people, is a book.

    Third, it’s a wondrous thing when a College Professor thinks that Christianity spread peacefully on its own without a book and without an army. Truly, what are they teaching in colleges these days? Christianity in its early days developed a canon of scripture. Also, Christianity was a minority religion in the Roman Empire until the fourth-century Emperor Constantine converted. And then he imposed Christianity by force on the entire European continent. In time, the Druids, the Norsemen, the Picts, and also heretical Christian sects were brutally stamped out. (They also tried to brutally stamp out the Jews but did not succeed. Now, that’s something to think about.)

    And that is beginning of the beautiful, inspiring tale of how Christianity spread truth and knowledge of God and love and peace throughout the world.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Dina, Jesus was a messiah claimant living in Israel under Roman oppression. His cousin John killed by Herodians who loved Roman rule. He may even have had followers among zealots. Im not condoning his actions, but using that pejorative language wouldnt have been unknown, thats my only point, not in that context.

      The rabbis don’t excuse the sins of the patriarchs or downplay them to make them appear somehow less sinful? With respect, it doesnt look that way judging by what is in the commentaries. Im not saying that to be mean, just to be clear

      Do the rabbis not call Samson “A Nazarite like Samson” in an effort to lessen the p’shat that he broke every single rule of the Nazarite?

      Doesn’t David get by on a halachic technicality for eating the lechem ha panim, even though by eating he knowingly caused the deaths of the priests at Nov?

      Wasnt sleeping with Uriah’s wife an act of providence, and not a sin because oral Torah says she got divorced from Uriah 1st?

      This interaction is illustrating what I was talking about. We indirectly have one standard for judging people in the Nach, and another for judging the Christian Bible.

      There are so many superior ways to discredit Christian messianism that don’t have to rely on shaky ground. I just stick to those.

      • Dina says:

        Con, I don’t entirely agree with you. The plain text always takes precedence, but I do hear your point and I think it’s fair enough to say that we don’t even need to go there.

        (In fact, I wasn’t planning to go there–you raised the comparison and I felt that it was an unfair one.)

    • CP says:

      Dina, since you won’t believe me, will you believe Maimonides?

      Laws of Kings, Laws 11:10-12 (Capach Edition): “[10] …Can there be a greater stumbling block than this (Christianity)? That all the prophets spoke that the Messiah will redeem Israel and save them, and gather their dispersed and strengthen their Mitzvot, and this (one, i.e., Jesus) caused the Jews to be destroyed by the sword, and scattered their remnants and humbled them, and exchanged the Torah, and caused the majority of the world to err to serve a god other than the Lord. [11] Nevertheless, the thoughts of the Creator of the world are not within the power of man to reach them, ‘for our ways are not His ways, nor are our thoughts His thoughts.’ And all these matters of Jesus of Nazareth and that of the Ishmaelite who arose after him are only to straighten the way of the king Messiah and to fix the entire world, to serve God as one, as it is stated (Zephaniah 3:9), “For then I will turn to the peoples (into) clear speech, to all call in the name of G-d and serve Him unanimously. [12] How (will this come about)? The entire world has already become filled with the mention of the Messiah, with words of Torah and words of mitzvos and these matters have spread to the furthermost isles, to many nations of uncircumcised hearts, and they discuss these matters and the mitzvot of the Torah. Some say: “These mitzvoth are true, but were already nullified in the present age and are not applicable for all time.” Others say: “Hidden matters are in them (mitzvos) and they are not to be taken literally, and the messiah has already come and revealed their hidden (meanings). And when the true Messiah stands, and he is successful and is raised and exalted, immediately they all will retract and will know that fallacy they inherited from their fathers, and that their prophets and fathers caused them to err.”

  33. Dina says:

    My friends,

    It is delightful to see people quoting what they think supports their argument when in fact it supports their opponents’.

    Let’s talk about the Maimonides’ quote.

    So first off, I said two things. I said that God is behind everything that happens. He is running the show, and the Christianity, Islam, communism, and Nazism (and I do not put these together to show that they are comparable, God forbid) are all part of His plan, whatever that is. This means that He both allows things to happen and these things are part of His plan. How is the Holocaust part of His plan? I don’t know. Unlike some other people here (polite cough, not naming names), I don’t claim to have direct knowledge of God’s motives.

    Second, Maimonides holds that both Christianity and Islam serve the same purpose in God’s plan. This is what is so amusing when Christians see this quote or when Islam is mentioned–they gloss over it. They want to pretend it doesn’t exist. Or if they acknowledge its existence, they make up bizarre reasons why Christianity is more worthy. Oh, I don’t know, something about books and armies and such stuff and nonsense.

    Third, Maimonides wrote quite a lot of negative things about Christianity in that quote. He is trying to figure out why God would allow such a movement that proved to be such a stumbling block to so many and caused the death and suffering to so many more. Therefore, he offers his speculation as to why God allowed this movement so much success. The reason he gives is that though the gentile nations are discussing Torah and mitzvos from the completely wrong perspective, it will be easy for them to see their error when the Messiah comes. This last seems to escape the notice of Christians.

    Fourth, I mentioned the speculation of Maimonides. It might shock some Christians to hear me say this, but Maimonides isn’t Scripture. He is a human, fallible rabbi. A very great one, to be sure, but human and fallible nonetheless. I am not saying he is wrong. I am not even saying I disagree (in this case I don’t). But you guys should know that traditional Judaism does not hold by exactly everything Maimonides said and we certainly don’t hold him up to the level of Scripture.

    Fancy that!

    If you want to make a really good case for your arguments, Christians, try to support them with Scripture. How about that?

  34. Dina says:

    Beginning in the latter half of the twentieth century, Christians hit upon an innovative way to lure susceptible (read: uneducated) Jews to Christianity. Even Jews with little connection to Judaism would balk at the notion of converting to this foreign religion, a religion which leaves a bad taste in their mouths (sorry, it’s all about history, folks). Christian missionaries therefore began to assure Jews that by accepting Jesus, they were not leaving Judaism. By accepting Jesus, they would become more fully Jewish–they would become “completed Jews” or “fulfilled Jews.”

    Occasionally, we see this happen in reverse. Christians want to convert to Judaism, but they want to bring Jesus along with them.

    When we say no deal, they get upset. Why? They ask. To which we respond, because he was a false prophet and a false messiah (and a false god if the Christian is Trinitarian). When they say, prove it, we show them some failed prophecies. Then they argue, but you just don’t understand!

    Let me be very clear. It is irrelevant if we “misunderstand” the prophecies. If Jesus is a false prophet from our perspective, rightly or wrongly, then we would be really weird for converting people who we believe are following a false prophet. You have to at least concede that much.

    As it happens, it’s easy to prove that Jesus is a false prophet and false messiah.

    Per Deuteronomy 13, if a prophet performs miracles but encourages a new type of worship, then he is a false prophet. “I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father but through me” is a new type of worship. Someone in these pages argued that this means the Torah is the way. He also raised a redaction theory. He finally said that I simply don’t understand this teaching.

    Folks, I think it’s fair to say that I am reasonably intelligent. I am not misunderstanding anything. This person is confused and is offering an incoherent justification for this odious statement. That much is very clear. If that were not the case, it would be easy to understand. Especially for a decently educated and intelligent person. (I am not the smartest person in the room by far, but I have enough intelligence to be able to grasp basic concepts.)

    Per Deuteronomy 18, one way we are given to identify prophets is if they give a sign and it comes to pass. Jesus gave several signs that didn’t come to pass. He said that all the buildings in the Temple area would be destroyed so utterly that not one stone would be left upon the other. The fact is that beside for the Western Wall, the remains of other buildings from the area still stand today.

    Jesus gave the “sign of Jonah” to the Sadducees and the Pharisees (or, as some prefer, the whole generation) but did not appear in resurrected form to the Sadducees and the Pharisees (or the whole generation).

    Jesus promised his disciples that before they died they would see him coming in on the clouds and gathering the elect. They died. It still hasn’t happened.

    Now, a Christian might argue as follows: in the first prophecy, you don’t know which stones and/or buildings Jesus was talking about. The prophesy has to be true, so he couldn’t have been talking about the Western Wall, or the Western Wall can’t be part of the Temple, or the buildings have to not have been the ones he happened to see when exiting the Temple (this is called circular reasoning, by the way).

    In the second prophecy, the Christian might say that just because the gospels don’t record the fulfillment of this prophecy doesn’t mean it wasn’t fulfilled. Or maybe this prophecy was a later interpolation (ah, how I love these convenient arguments!).

    In the third prophecy, he might argue that we just “misunderstand” what Jesus said and try to interpret it in a way that means what Jesus clearly did not say.

    None of this matters. The Jew has a standard of how to judge a sign coming to pass. The Hebrew prophets before him showed the way. Let us examine two examples from the Hebrew Bible:

    Prophecy: Exodus 7:17: …Behold, I will smite with the staff that is in my hand upon the water that is in the Nile, and it will turn to blood.

    Fulfillment: Exodus 7:20: …He raised the staff and struck the water that was in the Nile before the eyes of Pharaoh and before the eyes of his servants, and all the water that was in the Nile turned to blood.

    Prophecy: 1 Kings 21:19: Thus said the Lord; “In the place that the dogs have licked the blood of Naboth, shall the dogs lick your blood, even yours!”

    Fulfillment: 1 Kings 22:37-38: And the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried the king in Samaria…and the dogs licked his blood…

    The standard is clear: the prophet says something will happen, and it happens. It is so clear that centuries later neither we nor Christians argue about whether the sign was recorded as having been fulfilled.

    If we follow the tradition of the Hebrew prophets, we can see with crystal clarity that Jesus did not fulfill the signs that he gave.

    It is easy to destroy the argument that Jesus was the messiah, as well.

    The messiah must be a descendant of King David through Solomon on his father’s side who will reign during a time of a national resurgence of Torah observance, universal knowledge of God, universal peace on earth, restoration of the Jewish people to their land, ingathering of the exiles, punishment of the oppressors of the Jews, vindication of the Jews in the eyes of the nations, and restoration of the Temple and the sacrificial system.

    Following is just a small sampling of sources so you all know I’m not making this up.

    2 Samuel 7:12-14; 1 Chronicles 22:9-10; Isaiah 11:1-10; Jeremiah: 23:5-6, 30:7-10, 33:14-17; Ezekiel 34:23-30, 37:24-28; Deuteronomy 30:3-4; Isaiah 11:12; Isaiah 2:2; Ezekiel 37:26-28; Deuteronomy 30:10; Ezekiel 11:20; Isaiah 2:4; Isaiah 65:25; Isaiah 11:9; Jeremiah 31:33; Deuteronomy 30:7; Isaiah 17:12-14; Isaiah 25:1-8; Isaiah 30:26; Zechariah 8:23

    It’s clear as clear in the Bible.

    Instead, after Jesus’s death, the Temple was destroyed, the Jews were exiled from their land and scattered all over the Roman Empire, peace on earth became a pipe dream, our oppressors thrived, the Jews became an object of scorn and derision among the nations. Not only that, but since we don’t know who Jesus’s birth father was, we have no way to ascertain that he was a direct descendant of King David through Solomon. And lest we forget, he never ruled over Israel as king.

    The Christian will sputter and say, but…but…the Second Coming!

    The second coming excuse is unbiblical. Nowhere does the Torah teach that the messiah will come, fail utterly and completely to do the job, and have to come back from the dead to actually fulfill any of the messianic prophecies. It is the excuse of people who believed their man was the messiah, and when his death brought failure, harmonized their cognitive dissonance with this lame excuse.

    And, by the way, Christians don’t even believe in the messianic promises. Christians believe that Jesus will come in on the clouds and sweep up all his believers, leaving the rest to die. They have no use for the sacrificial system, nor do they mourn the Temple and yearn for the return of Zion. While Christians eagerly anticipate the slaughter of, as of today, about five billion people, Jews yearn for the day when all of mankind will unite in peace and service of the one true God of Israel.

    Folks, the testimony of the Jewish people: Jesus was a false prophet and a false messiah.

    The verdict is in, and the case is closed.

  35. CP says:

    Dina, we’ve discussed all your points to an impasse. I can see the value of your view, but believe them to be based on technicalities. Technicalities if the Tanach Prophets were judged by would fair equally as well as Yeshua. The prophecies/fulfillment you quote are mere verses apart recorded by the same author, clearly prophecies belonging to a different category. However the one thing we haven’t discussed to an impasse is what you write here:

    “The second coming excuse is unbiblical. Nowhere does the Torah teach that the messiah will come, ……….,.” [twice]

    This is Biblical per the Rabbis. It is Biblical per Scripture. It is extremely Biblical Midrash.
    Btw, How many times did Moses bring Torah to the people?

    • CP The concept that Messiah will rule over a world of peace and service of God is explicit in the prophets – the concept that the Messiah will come twice is nowhere to be found – on what basis do you say that it is “Biblical”? What is your source for your statement that the rabbis said the concept (two comings) is biblical?

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • CP says:

        R’B, I’m no scholar on this subject, but I’ve read enough on it to know “Two Messiah” speculations by Rabbis actually exist. Below is a fairly decent example I gleaned from the Internet and edited. Before you read it allow me to say, I am not advocating these midrashim are right and all others are wrong, only that they exist and are not heretical.

        “In reality the Messianic prophecies of the Tanak can be seen as falling under two categories which often seem to conflict. Many of the prophecies seem to speak of a suffering servant Messiah who suffers and dies to redeem his brothers (Ps. 22 and Is. 53 for example). Other prophecies seem to speak of a Messiah who comes and reigns from David’s throne forever.

        There are two basic versions of the two Messiah theory:

        1. The “rabbinic” two Messiah theory which held to a Messiah the son
        of Joseph, sometimes called “Ephraim.” who would come and suffer to
        redeem his brothers (like the patriarch Joseph); and a Messiah the
        son of David who would come and rule from David’s throne forever.

        2. The “Qumran” two Messiah theory which held to a Priestly Aaronic
        Messiah and a Kingly Messiah.

        The Rabbinic “two Messiah” theory was one of several answers that the Rabbis found for these contradictions. It delegated the lowly, suffering servant passages to Messiah the son of Joseph (sometimes called Ephraim); and the Kingly passages to Messiah the son of David. A good example of the Ephraim Messiah in Rabbinic literature is a Midrash in which the Messiah is being warned by Elohim of what awaits him:

        Their sins will be upon you like a yoke of iron.
        They will choke your spirit. Because of their sins,
        Your tongue will cleave to the roof of your mouth.
        Do you accept this? If not, I will remove the decree from you.

        The Messiah replies:
        “Master of the worlds, how long will this last?

        God replies: “Ephraim, my true Messiah, ever since the six
        days of creation you have taken this ordeal upon yourself. At
        this moment, your pain is my pain”

        Messiah replies: “Master of the worlds, I accept this with
        gladness in my soul, and joy in my heart, so that not a single
        one of the House of Israel should perish. Not only for those
        alive, but also the dead. It is enough that the servant be like the Master.
        (Midresh Pesqita Rabbah 36)

        Rabbi Dosa (who lived around 250 CE) was a chief advocate of the two Messiah theory. The Talmud records that he taught regarding Zech. 12:10:

        What is the cause of the mourning [of Zech. 12:12]–… It is
        well according to him who explains that the cause is the
        slaying of Messiah the son of Joseph, since that well agrees with the Scriptural verse:
        And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced,
        And they shall mourn for him as one mourns for his
        only son. (Zech. 12:10)
        (b.Sukkot 52a)

        The redemptive role of Messiah is known as “Messiah ben Yoseph” (Messiah the son of Joseph) or “Ephraim” because Messiah would be like the patriarch Joseph. In the Wisdom of Solomon we read the following Messianic Prophecy:

        17: Let us see if his words are true: and let us test him by his departure.
        (Wisdom 2:15-17)

        This actually recalls an account in the Torah concerning the life of Joseph. When his brothers cast Joseph into the pit we read:

        20 Come now therefore and let us slay him, and cast him into one of the pits. And we
        will say, An evil beast has devoured him. And we shall see what will become of his dreams.
        (Gen. 37:20)

        There is great Messianic significance to this account. Joseph’s life was a type of the first coming of Messiah which parallels the Rabbinical Messiah ben Yoseph. The Suffering Messiah is called Messiah ben Yoseph because his brothers were redeemed by his suffering.

        Like Joseph the Patriarch, Yeshua was betrayed by his own for a few pieces of silver (Gen. 37:28) he was cast into “the pit” (death) and raised back up so that he might redeem his brothers, Like Joseph, Yeshua’s teaching and revelation angered his brothers, who sought to put his claims to the test by casting him into the pit (of death).

        Now the Qumran community also believed in two Messiahs:

        They shall govern themselves using the original precepts
        by which the men of the YAHAD began to be instructed,
        doing so until there come the Prophet and the Messiahs
        of Aaron and Israel.
        (Manual of Discipline 1Qs Col. 9 lines 10-11)

        Two Messiahs are also evident in 1QSa, 1Q28a where the two Messiahs are pictured at a future Messianic banquet table.

        Would there be two Messiahs or one Messiah? There does seem to have been confusion on this issue. While 1QS 9:10-11 refers to the “Messiahs of Levi and Israel” The Damascus Document three times refers to the “Messiah of Levi and Israel” (12:23; 14:19; 19:10) was there a question as to whether these would be two Messiahs or one? A tradition found in Midrash Rabbah may provide the answer:

        Another exposition of the text, ‘ My beloved is like a gazelle ‘: Israel, explained R. Isaac, said to the Holy One, blessed be He: ‘ Sovereign of the Universe! Thou hast told us that Thou wilt come to us first.’ ‘ My beloved is like a gazelle ‘; as the gazelle appears and then disappears, so the first redeemer appeared and then disappeared. R. Berekiah in the name of R. Levi said: Like the first redeemer so will the final redeemer be. The first redeemer was Moses, who appeared to them and then disappeared. For how long did he disappear from their sight? R. Tanhuma said: Three months1; accordingly it is written, And they met Moses and Aaron, etc. (ib. V, 20).2 The final redeemer will also appear to them and then disappear.
        (Midrash Rabbah Bamidbar 11:2)

        Here the two redeemers are Moses and the prophet like Moses, the Messiah.

        The redemption under Moses can be seen in the Torah as follows:

        13 And Moshe said unto the people, Fear you not. Stand still, and see the salvation of YHWH, which He will work for you today! For whereas you have seen the Egyptians today, you shall see them again, no more, forever.
        14 YHWH will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.
        (Ex. 14:13-14)

        This Midrash preserves a tradition which tells us that the Messiah would, like Moses, be revealed, then disappeared and then revealed again. The coming of Messiah would be like Moses, who was revealed to Israel. Then he disappeared when he ascended to commune with Elohim on Mt. Sinai. While he was gone there was a great apostasy, and many believed he would never return (Ex. 32:1). When he returned he separated and judged the people and condemned those who had not repented (Ex. 32:26-28). The Midrash is telling us that the coming of Messiah would parallel these events.

        There is another important parallel between Moses and the Messiah. We read in the Talmud “What is Messiah’s name?” Rabbi Shila offers the answer: “His name is Shiloh, for it is written, ‘until Shiloh comes.” (b.San. 98b)

        This Gemara is citing Genesis 49:10:

        The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
        nor the staff from between his feet,
        until Shiloh comes;
        and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

        The Targums (Onkelos, Pseudo-Jonathan and Yerushalmi) all have “until Messiah comes” in place of “until Shiloh comes”.

        The word “Shiloh” has a gematria (numerical value) of 345 which is the same as the value of “HaShem” (“the name”) and El Shaddai. The phrase “Shiloh comes” has a gematria of 358 which is the same as the gematria for “Messiah and “Moses”

        The Zohar says of Gen. 49:10:

        …”the scepter” referring to the Messiah of the House of Judah,
        and “the staff” to the Messiah of the House of Joseph.
        “Until Shiloh comes”, this is Moses, the gematria of Shiloh
        and Moses being the same [358].
        (Zohar 1:25)

        The word Shiloh, here, is spelt with both a yod and a he,
        to allude to the holy supernal name, Yah,
        by which the Shekinah shall rise…
        (Zohar 1:237)

        Thus the Zohar teaches us that in Genesis 49:10 we have the two Messiahs (or the two comings of Messiah) represented as a “scepter” and a “staff” which are one “Shiloh” and that the one “Shiloh” has Yah within him.

        The two comings of Messiah are also evident in the Tanak itself.

        In Zechariah 13:4-6 we see the Messiah in his role as judge, he is described as having wounds in the midst of his hands, and this refers us back to Zech 12:10 where the Messiah had been pierced. When we compare Zech. 13:1-3 with Micah 5:8-14; they speak of the same Messianic judge, and if we look at Micah 5:1(2) we find that this Messiah was born in Bethlehem This points to two comings of Messiah, first to be born in Bethlehem, pierced in the midst of his hands among his own people and then after this to be the Messianic Judge.

        Another evidence of the two comings of Messiah can be found in Psalm 110 Where we read:

        1 A Psalm of David. (110:1) YHWH says unto my Adon: Sit you at My right hand,
        until I make your enemies your footstool.
        2 The rod of Your strength, YHWH will send out of Tziyon. Rule you in the midst of
        your enemies.
        3 Your people offer themselves willingly in the day of your warfare; in adornments of
        Set-Apartness: from the womb of the dawn, yours is the dew of your youth.
        4 YHWH has sworn, and will not repent: You are a cohen forever after the manner of
        MalkiTzadek.
        5 YHWH, at your right hand, does crush kings in the day of His wrath.
        6 He will judge among the nations: He fills it with the dead bodies. He crushes the head
        over a wide land.
        7 He will drink of the brook in the way: therefore will he lift up the head.

        (In verse 5 the Masoretic Text has “Adonai” This is one of 134 places where the MT reads “Adonai” but which the Masorah indicates that the text originally read “YHWH” and had been altered by the scribes in an attempt on their part to clarify the text. A copy found at the Cairo Geniza has “YHWH” here)

        According to the Midrash Tehillim the second “Lord” in Ps. 110:1 is the Messiah:

        The Lord said to my Lord,
        Sit you at My right hand.
        To the Messiah it will also be said,
        and in mercy the throne be established;…
        (Midrash Tehillim on Ps. 110:1)”

        • “1 A Psalm of David. (110:1) YHWH says unto my Adon: Sit you at My right hand,
          until I make your enemies your footstool.”

          the high priest died and so did jesus. jesus’ was judged and executed. now christians have maryan like apparitions.

      • CP says:

        R’B, because many will cry foul for no other reason than the source, and not wanting to clog your blog comment section up with long posts, may I offer the “Two Messiah” theory from a Chabad site link here:

        http://www.chabad.org/library/moshiach/article_cdo/aid/101747/jewish/Appendix-II.htm

        • Jim says:

          CP,

          One would think from your comment that your interlocutors have an irrational aversion to Christian/Messianic sources. But this is not so. It has been shown to you that your sources misquote and misrepresent the texts from which they cite their proofs. The criticism was not that they are Messianic sites and books. The criticism is that they are either ignorant or dishonest. One concerned with the truth does not continue to study from those that distort texts in order to support their preconceptions. These sources are illegitimate not due to their attachment to Jesus but their misrepresentations. To act as if it were otherwise is only to mischaracterize your opponents.

          Jim

          • CP says:

            “One would think from your comment that your interlocutors have an irrational aversion to Christian/Messianic sources.”

            Jim, perhaps you are one of the few extraordinary human beings that are able look past stereotypes and judge truth at face value. If so, congratulations! However your assertion of dishonesty is overreaching when some things are a matter of Midrash or translation. I’ve been able to track down the source of some conflicts, but not all. I often see over zealous people exaggerate to the point of dishonesty, but this is generally inherent in human beings trying to prove their point.
            Not everything is “dishonest” when there are differing interpretations or variant readings and translations.

          • Jim says:

            CP,

            You are right that the sources are not all merely dishonest. They are ignorant and incompetent as well. Good point.

            Jim

          • Jim says:

            In Zechariah 13:4-6 we see the Messiah in his role as judge, he is described as having wounds in the midst of his hands, and this refers us back to Zech 12:10 where the Messiah had been pierced. When we compare Zech. 13:1-3 with Micah 5:8-14; they speak of the same Messianic judge, and if we look at Micah 5:1(2) we find that this Messiah was born in Bethlehem This points to two comings of Messiah, first to be born in Bethlehem, pierced in the midst of his hands among his own people and then after this to be the Messianic Judge.

            CP,

            As an example of the incompetence or dishonesty of your sources, let us consider Zechariah 13 as employed by your sources. They write: “In Zechariah 13:4-6 we see the Messiah in his role as judge, he is described as having wounds in the midst of his hands, and this refers us back to Zech 12:10 where the Messiah had been pierced.” This is a massively incompetent reading.

            The figure in Zechariah 13:4-6 is not the Messiah. It is not a judge. It is a [false] prophet. In v. 2, the idols are removed from the land, as well as the [false] prophets. In v. 3, Zechariah writes that if a [false] prophet again arises, his own parents will condemn him for speaking “falsely in the name of the Lord”. In vv. 4 and 5, these prophets will hang up the hairy mantle out of shame, no longer eager to practice their deceptions, and they will admit that they are not prophets. And in v. 6, they are asked what are the wounds between their hands, and these false prophets answer: “That I was smitten in the house of my friends.” It is the false prophet that is ‘pierced’ in Zechariah 13:4-6, not the Messiah.

            This misapplication of scripture is well known. Sid Roth used to employ it is his own missionizing as a text that was speaking about Jesus. Once he realized that the passage was referring to false prophets, he ceased making use of it, however. Applying the passage to Jesus became suddenly anathema.

            What is strange is that the passage is not particularly opaque. The lover of Jesus only need read the passage fully to understand that it is not talking about the Messiah. It is in their great desire to find Jesus in the scriptures that they make errors like this. Approaching passages eisegetically, they constantly err.

            And unfortunately, they mislead others. Though this passage is easily checked, many people do not take the time to investigate. And when it comes to the teachings of the rabbis, many people do not have access to the works cited by Messianic sources. When these texts are misrepresented then, they have no way of knowing.

            It is important, then, that when one finds a source that is either dishonest or incompetent that one does not put any trust in it. Where the sources can be checked, they must be checked. Where they are proven false, they must be rejected as untrustworthy. They are not rejected, because they are from a Messianic website or book. They are rejected, because they misrepresent the texts they claim to be interpreting. And so they should be.

            Jim

          • Jim says:

            Regardig my comment posted above, the beginning paragraph is a quote from CP that I did not mean to have at the top of my post. I certainly would not have quoted it without attribution. It was only in my document to remind me to post on the topic and I forgot to delete it. Apologies.

            Jim

          • CP says:

            Jim, I appreciate all the time and effort, but I’m aware of the Christian contextual inconsistency with the Zechariah passage and cringe when Christians use it. However the topic under discussion is not if Yeshua is Messiah, it is; does the “Two Messiah” view exist and where does it come from? I posted from opposite (Jewish & Christian) sites quoting Rabbis and Scripture, not editing anything good or bad, just for clarity. In case you missed the preface to the post you are replying to, here it is again:

            “Before you read it allow me to say, I am not advocating these midrashim are right and all others are wrong, only that they exist and are not heretical.”

            So you see Jim, although you think we disagree,on the Zechariah passage, we don’t. But that’s beside the point, we are not discussing it, rather we are discussing the existence of Midrashim pointing to “Two Messiah” theories, whether right or wrong, it doesn’t matter, they exist.

          • Jim says:

            CP,

            Zechariah is not a midrash. The sentence from your post before you quote Zechariah reads: “The two comings of Messiah are also evident in the Tanak itself.” The claim is that Zechariah shows two comings of the Messiah. But the proof contains an absurd misreading of the text.

            Now if someone asks me to support my viewpoint, I do not quote obvious misreadings in support of my view under the guise that I am not saying that they are true. Your disclaimer that you are only claiming that such readings are not heretical does not justify you quoting absurd sources. Maybe they are not heretical, but they are staggeringly incompetent. Do you really think an incompetent source is a better support than a heretical one?

            Jim

          • CP says:

            Jim, I don’t quote Zechariah, I quoted an article which includes it, an article which does Not rely on Zechariah as a sole proof text, but includes it among others as a basis for a two messiah midrash. Again I prefaced the article by saying I don’t hold these to be right or wrong, but only as proof they exist and where they come from. There are arguements for its inclusion which are beyond the scope of our discussion. In retrospect I should of taken more time and posted something cleaner and less complicated, knowing someone would fixate on this, missing the point of discussion which is two messiah midrashim exist not only from Christian sources, but also from the Rabbis.

          • CP The question was not are there two Messiahs – but are there two comings. The rabbis clearly held that there will be as many as four Messianic figures comings simultaneously – ben David, ben Joseph, Elijah and the Righteous Priest. The article that you cut and paste mangled almost every medrash it quoted – there are so many misquotations there that it is tedious to go through all of them – I will however point out one foundational mistake – the ben Joseph ben David concept is NOT rooted in the conflict between suffering and glorious – almost every last “suffering” Messiah medrash refers to ben David and not ben Joseph (i.e. “Ephraim” is a name that the medrash assigns to ben David) – it is rooted in the closing verses of Obadiah. the only medrash in that long list which says something about two comings is the one which compares Messiah to Moses who had “two comings” before he ran away from Egypt and years later when he returned – only in that first “coming” he was not yet appointed by God to be the redeemer

            I will also point out that I have pointed out all of the above to you already – and I asked you a question – forget about the rabbis, forget about the missionaries – where does the Bible speak of two comings in a clear and explicit way? i.e. the same way it speaks about universal peace, restored temple, ingathering of exiles,

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Jim says:

            CP,

            In my haste, I did write that you quoted Zechariah when it was only referenced in the article that you quoted without attribution. That was a mistype on my part, and you can see from my earlier comment, I knew the situation. Sorry for the mistype.

            Jim

          • CP says:

            “….forget about the rabbis, forget about the missionaries – where does the Bible speak of two comings in a clear and explicit way?”

            R’B,
            I agree; one Messiah, not two. Deuteronomy 18:28-19 & Micah 5:2 both use singular pronouns for a Messianic figure. I know of no “explict” Scripture saying “Messiah makes two appearances”. Yet we’ve conflicts between Scripture such as Isaiah 9:6 (everlasting) & Daniel 9:25-27 (cut-off). If Isaiah 52-53 is Messianic, it also represents the same dichotomy. There are conflicts within Scripture passages such as Zechariah 9:9-10 (victorious, triumphant vs lowly, riding donkey) pointing to more than one appearance.

            The pictures are all through the Torah:
            Abel then Seth
            Noah then Abraham
            Ishmael then Isaac
            Esau then Jacob
            Leah then Rachael

            Abraham given the land, but later descendants possess the land.

            Joseph rejected, as dead, but later saves his brothers.

            Moses leaves Egypt, comes back later to save his people.

            David starts the Temple, later Solomon builds it.

            Messiah starts a work, will come back later to complete the work.

          • CP says:

            “….forget about the rabbis, forget about the missionaries – where does the Bible speak of two comings in a clear and explicit way?”

            R’B,
            I agree; one Messiah, not two. Deuteronomy 18:28-19 & Micah 5:2 both use singular pronouns for a Messianic figure. I know of no “explict” Scripture saying “Messiah makes two appearances”. Yet we’ve conflicts between Scripture such as Isaiah 9:6 (everlasting) & Daniel 9:25-27 (cut-off). If Isaiah 52-53 is Messianic, it also represents the same dichotomy. There are conflicts within Scripture passages such as Zechariah 9:9-10 (victorious, triumphant vs lowly, riding donkey) pointing to more than one appearance.

            The pictures are all through the Torah:
            Abel then Seth
            Noah then Abraham
            Ishmael then Isaac
            Esau then Jacob
            Leah then Rachael

            Abraham given the land, but later descendants possess the land.

            Joseph rejected, as dead, but later saves his brothers.

            Moses leaves Egypt, but comes back later to save his people.

            David starts the Temple but later Solomon builds it.

            Messiah starts a work, but will come back later to complete the work.

    • dina quoted

      Deuteronomy 18

      can you tell me where the author thought it would take 2500 before the sign came to pass?
      every single nt author thought they were living in the end of times, they did not think 2500 years into the future.

  36. Jim says:

    Some Limits of Defending Jesus

    However banal an observation it may be, it is true that the Christian is deeply attached to Jesus. Because of this fact, it is difficult for the Christian to hear any criticism of Jesus. This is understandable. And so the Christian, when confronted by such criticism, will usually defend Jesus. However, not every defense of Jesus is a legitimate line of defense. This brief comment will address a few lines of defense that cannot legitimately be brought on Jesus’ behalf.

    Because the purpose of this comment is not to indict Jesus, it will not reference specific acts of perceived wrongdoing, except where necessary. The reader should keep in mind that the point is not to say that Jesus was wrong to do or say any particular thing. The goal is limited, only to show that certain defenses cannot be brought in regard to Jesus. Elimination of these defenses does not imply that other defenses cannot be brought or that Jesus is guilty of any particular charge.

    One defense brought when a critic claims that Jesus either said or did something wrong is that Jews employ a double standard. The Christian claims that Moses and David sinned, and the Jews do not object to these men. This defense is untenable, however, because Jesus is supposed to have been perfect. No one claims that Moses or David were perfect men. Therefore, no double standard is employed by accepting these men with their faults. The claim that Jesus was perfect requires greater scrutiny of his character in order to establish that claim as true or false.

    A second defense, that Jesus used harsh criticism of others in accordance with the Jewish culture of that time and place, fails for a similar reason. Jesus is supposed to be ushering in a new culture not conforming to the corrupt culture that he came to fix. The man who said that one who called his brother “Fool!” and said that one should turn the other cheek is supposed to be bringing a higher standard, not conforming to the one he is criticizing. If he showed disrespect to gentiles, no defense can be brought in his favor that other Jews of the day would have been equally harsh. Jesus is supposed to be morally superior to others, not following in their footsteps.

    A third defense undermines any inquiry into the claims of Christianity. The Christian makes the truth claim that Jesus was a morally perfect being. If a flaw in Jesus’ character or an incorrect action or statement is brought to the Christian’s attention, he argues that it could not be incorrect, because Jesus was perfect. The conclusion precedes the evidence. The Christian accidentally invalidates his own assumptions when he does this. If Jesus’ actions, words, and attitudes cannot be examined then the claim to moral perfection can never be substantiated. The undermining of any examination through prejudice means that no conclusion can be reached. The claim of Jesus’ moral perfection never exceeds mere assertion.

    Each of these defenses of Jesus is illegitimate. The first two contradict the Christian teaching that Jesus was morally perfect. By justifying his speech and actions according to the mores of the time, they deny that Jesus exceeded the mores of the time. The third disallows for the testing of Jesus’ moral perfection. Because no examination of the claim can be performed, the claim can never be validated. Each of these defenses undermines the claim of Jesus’ moral superiority. They either contradict or undermine the principle they are meant to defend.

    Jim

    • CP says:

      Jim,
      All three”defenses” you list have a common core; ‘was Yeshua sinless?’ At the outset, let’s be honest with each other; this is an impossible question to answer. It is a question which is answered by faith. But we can consider probabilities. If Yeshua was a mere human, the probability of him being sinless is very very slight. However if Yeshua was Messiah the probability increases exponentially.

      If I were to guess, the doctrine of sinlessness builds on the Tanach; sacrifices needing to be unblemished and Isaiah 53:9 “His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.”

      However I’ll leave you with the saying; “A man is better known by his enemies than his friends”

      Mark 14:55 “The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any.”

      Mark 12:14 Pharisees and Herodians said to Jesus, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.”

      Luke 23:22 Pilate asked, “What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty.”

      • LB says:

        What your enemies stand most aggressively against, you likely stand most stridently for, and what they stand for, you most likely stand against. Jesus had what, 12 friends? Sniff, what’s that smell, ah replacement theology.

        • CP says:

          LB, not sure what you’re smelling, but I consider Replacement Theology an evil heresy perpetrated by anti-Semitic Christian church leaders in the absence of a country of Israel. Maybe you stepped in something?

      • Jim says:

        CP,

        This response is not relevant. My question is not whether or not Jesus was sinless. It was a brief address on defenses of Jesus that cannot be brought by those that believe he is sinless.

        An example:

        A lover of Jesus, assuming Jesus was a morally superior individual, is confronted by the reality that Jesus called his opponents “sons of the devil.” Ordinarily one would say that invective of this sort is inappropriate. So the lover of Jesus has to find an excuse for Jesus’ behavior. And he argues that Jesus was only using the discourse common to the rabbis of the day. So then, he argues, Jesus has said nothing wrong.

        This defense is a failure, however. The same lover of Jesus is not claiming that Jesus is only as good as the rabbis. He is arguing that Jesus is morally superior to the rabbis. Moreover, Jesus is not supposed to be taking his cues from the rabbis, since he is supposed to be arguing against their traditions. The lover of Jesus claims at that Jesus represents a higher standard but does not want Jesus to be judged by it.

        Jesus is supposed to have said that if one calls his brother “fool” that he is in danger of hellfire. The vitriol he directs at his opponents is not in keeping with this message. It is entirely reasonable to judge Jesus by the standard he proposes. But it is the opposite of reason to judge him by the people he is supposed to have exceeded.

        To be clear, I am not actually addressing whether or not Jesus was wrong to call people “sons of the devil”. I am addressing a specific defense that cannot be brought on his defense.

        Since you raise multiple fallacies, I shall address them below when I have time, though they depart from the topic.

        Jim

      • Mark 14:55 “The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any.”

        Mark 12:14 Pharisees and Herodians said to Jesus, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.”

        Luke 23:22 Pilate asked, “What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty.”

        ///////////////////////////////////////////

        if a murder was committed and there was no evidence to convict the murderer, then does that mean lack of evidence means no murder?

      • Jim says:

        CP,

        Responding to the fallacies in your comment here:

        https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/the-pharisees/#comment-32725 .

        You write that if the Jesus was Messiah, the odds increase that he would be sinless. Tanach does not teach a sinless Messiah.

        You write of the lack of blemish in a sacrifice. This has nothing to do with the Messiah. A human cannot be a sacrifice. And a physical defect is not a sin. Though Christians do use it in support of their theology, it is an abuse of the text.

        You quote from Isaiah 53, but you fail to note that the figure of the chapter is not said to be sinless. In fact, the remnant of Israel is described in this way: “…they shall do no wrong and utter no lies, nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouths” (Zeph. 3:13). Doubtless, you do not believe that this means that the righteous remnant of Israel never sinned. So, even if Isaiah 53 referred to the Messiah, it would not imply that he was sinless.

        Isaiah 53, however, cannot be talking about Jesus, even if it were about the Messiah. Many people have written extensively about this, and I do not wish to rehash what has been done better by others. You can read R’ Blumenthal’s work on Isaiah 53. However, I note that in the verse you quoted, Jesus cannot be the subject. He was not killed with the rich nor buried with sinners. Moreover, it cannot be said that Jesus had no deceit in his mouth, inasmuch as he lied at his own trial, claiming he taught nothing in secret (Jn. 18:19-21). But it appears that he did not even publicly teach that he was the Messiah. When Peter announces his belief that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus tells the disciples to keep it quiet, and his teachings about the Messiah, that he should suffer and die, all appear to have been done privately (Matthew 16:13-27). Moreover, Matthew 13 has Jesus saying that he taught in an obscure fashion publicly and privately explained his meanings to his disciples. It is clear that Jesus did teach some things secretly and others openly. This being so, it is far-fetched to say that he had no deceit in his mouth. So, even if Isaiah 53 taught about the Messiah, it did not teach about Jesus.

        The most astonishing fallacy in your work, however, is probably the absurdity of quoting the gospels and calling these the words of Jesus enemies. How absurd that you should tell us that one knows a man by what his enemies say about him and then quote his friends. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are not reliable witnesses to the words of Jesus’ enemies. If you want to know what his enemies said about him, you have to go to his enemies, not to his friends supposedly quoting his enemies.

        The argument is doubly absurd, because according to you these are not even reliable books for recording the words of Jesus. How can you then treat them as a legitimate source for their opposition? Perhaps these were all later additions and redactions. The people that preserved these books misrepresented Tanach. Surely they would not be more scrupulous in representing the words of those that condemned Jesus.

        Your comment is riddled with fallacies from start to finish. As I have illustrated elsewhere, these fallacies come about by reading the texts with an agenda. The Church has read the Torah with the intent of finding Jesus for millenia. This distorted their understanding. Do not let these distortions continue to shape your understanding.

        Jim

      • CP Isaiah 53:9 is not talking about super-human sinlessness – it is simply saying that the servant was not guilty of the crimes that his killers used to justify their treatment of him – i.e. the Jews did not poison the wells or deceive the world of its wealth

        1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

        • CP says:

          R’B, I agree. But people see in verses what they want and ignore that which they don’t. For example; how often do you hear this NT verse spoken of?

          “In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.”

          !!!—“They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord.”—!!!

          I think most tend to take only what benefits what they already believe and leave the rest behind.

  37. Dina says:

    Friends, Romans, College Professors, listen up!

    Because of the Christian claim that Jesus was like Moses, only greater, it’s worth taking another look at Deuteronomy 18. Christians believe that verses 15 and 18 are about Jesus:

    15: A prophet from among you, from your brothers, like me, the Lord, your God will set up for you; you shall hearken to him. 18: I will set up a prophet for them from among their brothers like you, and I will put My words into his mouth, and he will speak to them all that I command him.

    I emphasized those words to show that the Christian says these verses must be speaking about Jesus, because what other prophet was great like Moses?

    I will not take up that argument at this time. Instead, I will show you why the context of these verses show that Jesus was a false prophet and that he was not like Moses.

    I suggest you read verses 15-22 to get a clear picture of the context, which I briefly summarize thus: Moses assures the people that their request for a prophet found favor in God’s eyes, so He will send them a prophet like Moses to lead them. If he is a true prophet, they had better obey him. If he is a false prophet, he had better die. But how will they know? They will know he is false if he gives a sign that doesn’t come to pass. (Please note: this passage implies that it behoves the Jewish people to ask for a sign to test the prophet’s credentials.)

    At this point, the Jews have experienced true prophecy. Every single sign that Moses has given to Pharaoh and the Jews in Egypt has come to pass. Moses’s words were clear and easy to understand. The fulfillment of his prophecies were obvious and indisputable. For example, he said that the Nile will turn to blood, and so the Nile turned to blood. He said that at midnight the firstborn sons of the Egyptians will die, there will be a great outcry, they will beg the Hebrews to leave. At midnight the firstborn sons died, there was a great outcry, they begged them to leave. (I’m paraphrasing to save space, but you get the idea.)

    So in Deuteronomy 18, if the prophet is going to be like Moses, he will give signs that come to pass with the same clarity as Moses.

    Jesus gave signs that did not come to pass. The Christian will come up with all sorts of arguments why we are wrong to say so. The truth of the matter is, if Jesus were like Moses, his signs and their fulfillment would have been clear, easy to understand, and obvious. There would be no need for centuries of dispute because of their lack of clarity, just as Christians do not dispute the signs and fulfillments of Moses’s prophecies.

    I have given three examples of failed prophecies that someone has taken exception to because, he said, I have invalidated them on mere technicalities.

    Friends, Romans, College Professors: this is true. The prophecies I dismissed are invalid due to technicalities.

    Jesus predicted that the Temple and all the buildings in that area would be so utterly and completely destroyed that not one stone would be left remaining upon the other. Technically, the Western Wall still stands, and one can view the remains of Temple area buildings today. Therefore, technically, this prophecy did not come to pass as predicted.

    Jesus gave the “sign of Jonah” to the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the whole generation. Technically, he failed to appear to the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the whole generation in resurrected form. Therefore, technically, he gave a false prophecy.

    Jesus told his disciples that before they died, he would return on the clouds and gather all the elect. Technically, they died. And technically, he did not return on the clouds and gather all the elect. Therefore, technically, he produced yet another false prophecy.

    Of course, there are other reasons that Jesus is not like Moses. Jesus gets angry at those who ask for a sign. He expects to be believed without proof. He gets angry and condemns those who do not believe in him.

    Moses, on the other hand, does not expect to be believed. When the Jewish officers castigate him for making life even more unbearable, he does not excoriate them. Instead, he goes to God to plead their case (Genesis 5).

    In the very next chapter, Moses delivers yet another prophecy to the Hebrews, and they yet again do not take him seriously. Right now they are suffering, so they have no reason to believe it will ever end.

    And Moses is cool with that.

    Only when he starts punishing the entire land of Egypt with awesome plagues do the Hebrews perk up and listen.

    Please realize that Moses had an extremely stressful job. He was responsible for leading a nation of several million out of Egypt and through the desert. It is so stressful that when he complains to God that he can’t handle it, God helps him out by delegating responsibility to 70 elders (Numbers 11). Occasionally, after dealing with rank ingratitude after all he had done on behalf of the Children of Israel, after he had proven himself to them, Moses cracks from the strain and loses his temper.

    Imagine if Jesus had the burden of the whole nation of Israel on his back yet rarely lost it. Imagine if he struck the whole Roman Empire with awesome plagues. Imagine if we had today recorded conversations like Moses’s: God speaks to Moses, Moses relays to the people; God speaks to Moses, Moses relays to the people; God speaks to Moses, Moses relays to the people. Where do we ever see such interactions between Jesus and God and Jesus and the people? (Can you imagine: God spoke to Jesus saying, you are the way, the truth, and life and no one comes to the Father but through you. And Jesus told the Children of Israel all that God had commanded him.)

    Instead, Jesus, who did nothing for nobody (except for a few unsubstantiated faith healings and faith feedings), is so often angry, particularly at the Pharisees. His hatred for them for their lack of belief is gratuitous, given his failure to produce one single observable sign.

    Friends, Romans, College Professors, lend me your ears if you have ears to listen: Jesus was as unlike Moses as it is possible for two humans to be unlike each other. Moses was true. Jesus was false.

    • CP says:

      Dina,
      These assertions are nonsensical. We can quibble if Yeshua intended the Western Wall as part of the Temple or not. However the main thrust of the prophecy was ‘the Temple was to be utterly destroyed’ and it was destroyed within 40 years.

      Next is the ‘sign of Jonah given to an evil generation’. This is fulfilled here:

      Luk 24:18
      One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?”

      But you object on the grounds it is not recorded whether or not the Pharisees received a personal visitation. On what grounds can you object? It was never promised to them.

      Where did Yeshua tell his disciples they would “see him returning on the clouds before they died”???
      If Yeshua never said this to his disciples, it would be intellectually dishonest to object.

      As for ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’; this is something only Messiah could say.

      Your objections have been put to rest, let me know if you have any NEW objections.

      • “Where did Yeshua tell his disciples they would “see him returning on the clouds before they died”???

        quote:
        “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written:

        “‘I will strike the shepherd,
        and the sheep will be scattered.’[d]
        28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

        29 Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.”

        note how peter ignores the response in verse 28 and note that it does not EXPLICITLY say that they WILL see jesus in galilee?

        in same way, when jesus says stuff like

        Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

        Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.

        quote:
        If the disciples are able to escape the suffering that will come upon Jerusalem, then they will be there to stand before the Son of Man when he comes to deliver them from the Gentiles, when the Gentiles’ time has been fulfilled. This is precisely the same script we see in Daniel 11-12, as well as the same script we see in Zechariah 14, where God brings the Gentiles against Jerusalem in order to judge Jerusalem, only immediately to turn around and wipe out the Gentiles for doing so, ushering in an era of everlasting peace for Jerusalem and God’s people, and the worldwide hegemony of Israel. This is precisely what we see in Luke 21.

        then the implication is that his friends will see him riding on clouds just like christians in book of revelations expected

    • Jim says:

      Dina,

      You have drawn some good distinctions, showing how Jesus was not like Moses. I wonder if you would talk about their post-mortem differences. They had different burials and different treatment by their followers. What do these differences tell us?

      Jim

      • CP says:

        Jim, the differences tell us they weren’t twins. The real question is: Do you really think the Messiah will be !00% identical in every way to Moses?
        The way you and Dina go along, if Yeshua said the sky was blue, you’d declare him a false prophet because in the morning and evening its orange and at night its black with white specks. Good grief, I don’t hold to your view and I know better arguments for it!

      • Dina says:

        Jim, that is such an important point. Not only are the differences between Jesus and Moses astronomical while they were alive, the differences between them are astronomical in death as well. In fact, I cannot imagine what similarities Christians even see between the two.

        When Moses died–a man who led the entire nation of Israel out of bondage and into freedom and who relayed the teachings of the Torah to the whole nation–the people mourned him and moved on, following the next leader. This is what we do: we follow the leaders that are given to us in each generation (Deuteronomy 17:9). We do not obsess over dead men–nor over live ones, either, but that is beside the point. (The problem mainstream Orthodox Jews have with Chabad and Breslov is the danger of following a dead leader, a break with tradition.)

        When Jesus died–a man who accomplished NOTHING but trouble for the nation of Israel–his followers made him into a deity. They never stopped obsessing over a dead man.

        So that’s quite a stark difference.

        According to Jewish tradition, God hid Moses’s burial place specifically to prevent such a thing from happening.

        • CP says:

          Dina states: “I cannot imagine what similarities Christians even see between the two.”

          An evil king/Pharaoh tried to kill him as a baby: Exodus 1:22 King Herod tried to kill baby Jesus: Matthew 2:16

          He was hidden from the evil king/Pharaoh: Exodus 2:2 An angel said to hide the child from the evil King Herod: Matthew 2:13

          Moses was sent into Egypt to preserve his life: Exodus 2:3-4 Jesus was taken into Egypt to preserve His life: Matthew 2:13-15

          He was saved by women: his mother: Exodus 2:3; Miriam Exodus 2:4; Pharaoh’s daughter Exodus 2:5-10 Saved and helped by His mother, Mary: Matthew 2:14

          Pharaoh’s daughter adopted Moses: Exodus 2:10 Joseph adopted Jesus: Matthew 1:25

          Moses became a prince of Egypt: Exodus 2:10 Jesus is the Prince of Peace: Isaiah 9:5; Matthew 28:18; Luke 2:14

          Long period of silence from childhood to adulthood Long period of silence from childhood to adulthood

          Moses had a secret identity Messianic secret = Jesus the Son of God

          He tried to save a Hebrew kinsman: Exodus 2:11-12 Jesus came to save His Hebrew kinsman first: Mark 7:26-28

          Saved women at a well: Exodus 2:15-19 Saved a woman at a well: John chapter 4

          Became a shepherd: Exodus 3:1 He is the Good Shepherd: John 10:11

          Moses’ mission was to redeem Israel from slavery to Egypt Jesus’ mission is to redeem mankind from slavery to sin

          Moses was loved and supported in his ministry by his sister Miriam [in Hebrew, Miryam] Jesus was loved and supported in his ministry by His mother Mary [in Hebrew, Miryam]

          He was often rejected by his own people Jesus was often rejected by His own people

          Moses will give God’s law on the mountain of Sinai: Exodus 20:1-31:18; 34:1-35 Jesus will give the new law from the Mt. of Beatitudes: Matthew chapter 5

          Moses spent 40 days fasting on the mountain: Exodus24:18; 34:28 Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert wilderness: Matthew 4:2

          Moses performs signs/ miracles Jesus performs signs/miracles

          Moses offered his life for the salvation of his people after the sin of the Golden Calf: Exodus 32:32-33 Jesus offered His life for the salvation of the world: Isaiah 53:12; Romans 5:12; 6:10; 2 Corinthians 5:15-21; Colossians 1:19-20; 2:14-15; 1 John 1:7; 2:2; etc.

          Moses is the prophet of the Old Covenant called out ones. Jesus is the prophet, and King of the Renewed Covenant called out ones.

          • Dina says:

            Larry, one would think a college professor would know better than to quote others without attribution, passing off their work as his own, don’t you think?

            This is just one in the long line of lies and cynicisms of the typical Christian missionary. On the altar to Jesus, they sacrifice honesty and integrity.

            Next week, God willing, I hope to post a list of lies and cynical statements.

          • LarryB says:

            Moses ???
            Jesus
            “do not think that i have come to bring peace on earth; i have not come to bring peace, but a sword. for i have come to set a man against his father….”
            Moses???
            Jesus
            Matthew 10:35-36New International Version (NIV)
            35 For I have come to turn
            “‘a man against his father,
            a daughter against her mother,
            a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
            36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.
            Moses??
            Jesus
            Matthew 10:37New International Version (NIV)
            37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
            …..this could be a god complex……
            there are about 50 of these………….

          • hello cp,
            christians who like to worship a man say that the biblical prophets are not role models to follow and they are full of sin. my question is, why does jesus use moses and david to justify what he does in front of the pharisees?

            please help here. why do they think jesus is “one like unto moses”

          • cp, btw my question is off topic and i would like to know your understanding.

          • “Moses offered his life for the salvation of his people after the sin of the Golden Calf:”

            cp, he wanted to make a kapara atonement when he went to god.

            he said ,

            But now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”

            31 So Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. 32 But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”

            if god did not ACCEPT his atonement then it seems he wants to DIE, not die because of what the people did .

            how can you assume kapara = moses? are you joking ?
            please explain

          • cp, there are many ways to read exodus 32 :30

            if the atonement is rejected, then the people would be punished and moses no longer wants to live. can you disprove my understanding ? thanks

          • CP says:

            Dina, Larry,
            Seriously? It’s just a list. I can make my own list up for you if you’d like, but Christmas break is over and I really don’t have the time. I assumed you’d know it was copied and pasted. Typically I post the source if I remember. I just sent this off this morning while waking up to a cup of coffee. It goes to show the insincerity of the question you say perplexes you when the information can be had with a couple of mouse clicks.

            All that aside; good job on ignoring the posted facts, rather concentrating on where they came from and working to impugn my character. Gee, I wonder why you’d resort to that?

          • CP says:

            LarryB, aside from inner peace and peace between God and the individual, the peace you reference is a second advent event. You say you were a Christian once; you should know this.

          • Jim says:

            CP,

            Once again you mischaracterize Dina and Larry’s comments. You recast their comments in this way: “It goes to show the insincerity of the question you say perplexes you when the information can be had with a couple of mouse clicks.” But they did not have a question, nor did they express perplexity. Dina raised objections to your unfounded assertion that Jesus is a prophet like Moses. Objections are not questions. Dina is showing that Jesus is not like Moses, not asking you to explain how. There is, therefore, no insincerity to the comment. This is a misrepresentation on your part.

            When I have time, I will respond to the list, probably tomorrow or Sunday. However, I will point out that your plagiarism is a problem in these discussions. It allows you to dismiss any objection raised by your interlocutor, because you can just say that you do not agree with the list on that point. So your interlocutor wastes time arguing against the absurdities that appear in these lists, a loss of time for which you are responsible. And your interlocutor never knows what you mean, because the arguments you present are not yours and you sometimes do not mean the things that you wrote—or copied. Leaving aside then the improper attribution of your ‘work,’ your plagiarism has real consequences in these conversations, causing confusion and a loss of time to others.

            Jim

          • Jim says:

            CP,

            According to you, Moses offered himself as an atonement for the nation of Israel after the golden calf incident, and this corresponds to Jesus offering himself as an atonement for the world. This is not true. In fact, the passage undermines the position that Jesus offered himself as an atonement for the sins of the world.

            First, Exodus 32 does not say that Moses offered himself up for the people. As Mr. Heathcliff has already pointed out, Moses says that if God will not forgive them, then he wishes to be erased from God’s book: “I implore! This people has committed a grievous sin and made themselves a god of gold. And now if You would but forgive their sin!—but if not, erase me now from Your book that You have written” (Ex. 32:31-32). Notice Moses says nothing about being taken in exchange for Israel. He asks to be blotted out of the book, if they are not forgiven.

            Second, if we accepted this as Moses offering himself up for the people, it would contradict the idea that Jesus could be an offering for people. God’s response is: “Whoever has sinned against Me, I shall erase from My book.” That is to say, God does not punish the innocent on behalf of the guilty. This answer to Moses, if he were offering himself up, would make Jesus unlike Moses. It operates according to an opposite philosophy.

            (Here, I suppose, I must note that Moses is not denied due to his imperfection. I suspect a Christian would say that the reason that God rejects Moses as a sacrifice is because Moses, though very good, was not a perfect sacrifice. However, this is not the reason God gives. He does not promise an ‘unblemished’ sacrifice later. Instead, he says that the wicked will suffer for their sin, rather than the righteous. It is the concept of vicarious atonement being rejected, not Moses.)

            Using Exodus 32 to establish a similarity between Moses and Jesus is a misuse of Torah. It requires one to misread the text. This is the expected result when one is reading Torah to find his prejudices verifies. But one who reads Torah to learn God’s ways and not create from it support for his own ways will see that Exodus 32 contradicts the principle by which Jesus’ sacrifice is supposed to take place.

            Jim

          • CP says:

            Jim, really?
            You write;
            “Once again you mischaracterize Dina and Larry’s comments. You recast their comments in this way: “It goes to show the insincerity of the question you say perplexes you when the information can be had with a couple of mouse clicks.” But they did not have a question, nor did they express perplexity.

            Jim, this is Dina’s perplexity which I answered:

            “I cannot imagine what similarities Christians even see between the two.”

            Jim,
            It would be great to get back to the topic rather than this 5th grade he said she said childish rhetoric

          • CP says:

            LarryB,
            Thank you, I read your links with great interest, here is a comment on each:

            Jesus and buddha
            Since Yeshua taught Torah and an oral Talmud and Buddha shares teachings with Yeshua, this is really explained by Buddihaism’s earlier contact with a Judaism.

            Jesus and Krishna
            This has always fascinated me! I worked with a “Orthodox” devout Hindu and discussed much about his beliefs. Being a engineer he was very studied in his faith. I told him certain things he believed were found in the Bible. He asked where to get one, I gave him mine. I always thought they were polytheists, but they believe in One Most High God having authority over the other gods, so its really a matter of semantics at this point. It becomes idolatry when a lower god is worshipped rather the the One Most High God (which happens) in this sense is a commonality with modern Christianity. The part that fascinates me is the traditional date they give for the incarnation (Krishna) is suspiciously about the same date for Enoch.

            Jesus and Joseph
            This is common knowledge among those have studied archetypes of Yeshua in the Tanach. So yes, Joseph is considered a picture story pointing to the first advent of Messiah.

            Jesus and Muhammed
            LOL!!! Apparently you didn’t actually read this link before posting it.

  38. CP says:

    mr.heathcliff, whom am I to say why others did what? I can however venture a guess. The reason Moses is pointed to is because many claim everything ended with him, when in fact he tells of another after him. Yeshua lays claim to this “another”. As for David; the Messiah is to be like him and in his line.

    As for Moses/Atonement, who knows what Moses was thinking, we only know what he said and he said to take his life rather than the people.

    mr.heathcliff, I agree most Christians are clueless as to their idol worship. Especially when the trinity has been spoon fed to them from birth. That aside, there is honor and respect properly due the one God has exalted to Messiah.

  39. Dina says:

    Larry, CP can’t believe we would nitpick on him cutting and pasting from other websites without attribution because to him a lie is a little thing. People who aren’t concerned with the truth aren’t horrified by this type of scandalous behavior. People like you and me don’t automatically assume that others have cut and pasted because, one, we would never consider doing such a thing; and, two, how on earth are we supposed to tell when someone has cut and pasted or presented his own work?

    Also, Larry, rest assured I will address the silly comparisons of Moses and Jesus in that missionary list. Just because I haven’t addressed a challenge at once doesn’t mean I won’t address it. I am biding my time ;).

    • CP says:

      Dina, welcome to the 21st century, people cut and paste information. This is different than cut/paste articles written by another. However when dealing with people who can’t back their play, I must remember to dot my i’s and cross my t’s lest I give them an out they are desperately searching for – no matter how absurd.

  40. Jim says:

    Jesus: A Prophet Like Moses?

    In Deuteronomy 17:8-18:22, the roles of various authorities are discussed: judges, kings, priest, levites, and prophets. Christians believe that Deuteronomy 18:15-19 refers to one specific prophet rather than the office of the prophet, and that this refers to Jesus. Interpreting these few verses to refer to one specific prophet is problematic. However, for the sake of argument, this comment will accept as hypothesis that these verses speak about one specific prophet and not the office of prophet. It will show that even accepting that hypothesis, one has no good reason to assert that these verses talk about Jesus.

    If reading Deut. 18:15-19 as referring to a specific prophet, one is forced to ask: what are the qualities of this prophet? The Christian acknowledges that there are other prophets: Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Hosea, Jeremiah, Hulda, Zechariah, and others. Even before Moses there were prophets. Since the Christian holds that this is one specific prophet that is like Moses, he must be differentiated from the others in some way. He must share with Moses a quality or qualities that none of the other prophets have. But verses in question are vague on this question, saying only that the prophet will be like Moses.

    This lack of description suits the Christian, because he can draw whatever similarities between Moses and Jesus that he likes. Indeed, anybody who had a particular candidate in mind could do the same. If a critic says to the Christian that Jesus and Moses were terribly different, the Christian can hand wave those differences away, saying that he did not claim that Moses and Jesus were like in all respects, which would be silly. He might say with no small amount of derision: “They were not twins, after all.” This response is difficult to counter because the quality of being like Moses is open to interpretation.

    However, one can—and indeed must—distinguish between superficial and essential similarities. The passage is about a prophet being like Moses, not a man being like Moses. The qualities like Moses that must be held by Jesus or any candidate to this particular office must relate to his role as prophet. So, when the Christian claims that Moses was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter and Jesus was adopted by Joseph, this is irrelevant. This is not an essential component of their respective roles as prophet.

    When one reads the similarities between the two men, one finds much that is superficial, as in the list found here: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/the-pharisees/#comment-32739 . For example, they both had the support of a family member named Miriam. (Jesus’ mother’s name would be Miriam in Hebrew.) Or not much was written about them between childhood and adulthood, which is not a quality of the men themselves. They both taught on mountains. None of these relates directly to the role of the Moses or Jesus as prophet.

    Other similarities are far-fetched, based on metaphor. So, Moses became a shepherd, and Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd. That is to say, Moses was a literal shepherd. And Jesus was a figurative shepherd. One wishes he were surprised to find such empty comparisons on this list, but he is not.

    Because of the nature of the interpretation of the notion that Jesus is like Moses, these points and others are mainly arbitrary. Such a list could be compiled for many of the prophets. That Jesus was adopted and someone like Elijah was not does not address any specific trait identified in the verses in question. If one favored Elijah as the specific prophet, he would merely select some other point of comparison, such as that he confronted King Ahab the way Moses confronted Pharaoh. No basis exists in the verses to accept one quality over another. They are chosen to support one’s prejudice.

    The interpretations of events on the list are similarly fueled by prejudice and necessity. This is most obvious when the literal is compared to the figurative. But even literal comparisons sometimes require a certain amount of stretching. For example, the list maker has Moses and Jesus both saved by women, citing Exodus 2:3-4 and Matthew 2:13-15. Anyone with a basic knowledge of both these passages knows without looking them up how empty a claim this is. In Exodus, the women are front and center, their roles explicitly stated. They are the agents of Moses’ salvation. However, Joseph is the actor in Matthew 2:13-15, being warned by an angel to “take the child and his mother” to Egypt. Joseph is the agent here, protecting Mary and Jesus. The interpretation that Mary is saving Jesus is necessitated by the list maker’s desire to draw parallels between Moses and Jesus anywhere he can.

    If these superficial and strained similarities do not make Jesus a prophet like Moses, it is fair to ask what essential qualities would make one a prophet like Moses. As already stated, the most straightforward reading of the verses in question refer to the office of prophet, just as the previous passages referred to the offices of judges, priests, Levites, and kings. However, since this comment is accepting the hypothesis that a particular prophet is the topic of Deut. 18:15-19, the writer will indulge in defining the essential quality of Moses as prophet.

    The way to find such a quality is to look at what differentiates Moses from all other prophets as prophets. One must look to see what is different about the quality of his prophecy as opposed to the other prophets. This quality or qualities will not be found in his birth or adoption, as they do not relate to Moses as prophet. Nor can it be that Moses produced signs, as many prophets produced signs. Indeed, one of the tests of a prophet is the signs he produces (Deut. 18:21-22). (Therefore, the list maker offers no proof when he says that both Moses and Jesus produced signs.) The quality sought must not be shared by Elijah or Isaiah.

    Moses was a unique prophet. One essential difference between him and all other prophets is that his prophecy was verified to the whole nation in shared prophecy. All heard God speak at Sinai (Ex. 19 and 20; see also Deut. 4). When the entire nation heard the voice of God, they all knew firsthand that Moses was his prophet. A second difference between Moses and all other prophets is the clarity of his prophecy: “When there are prophets among you, I the Lord make myself known to them in visions; I speak to them in dreams. Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house. With him I speak face to face—clearly, not in riddles; and he beholds the form of the Lord” (Num. 12:6-8). If one is going to be a prophet like Moses, unique from all other prophets, it must be in one of these two ways, or both.

    Jesus was not publicly verified. The paucity of the Christian claim that Jesus is like Moses is shown in comparing the Sermon on the Mount to Sinai. The only similarity is that a mountain was involved. Moses did not teach from the mountain as Jesus did, but he brought the Torah down from the mountain. Before that, however, the entire people heard God speak. At Sinai, Moses became fully authenticated by God. But this did not happen for Jesus. While he taught on a mountain, this is nothing more than any human being could do on any topic. It is a world of difference away between him teaching on a mountain and Moses bringing the Torah down from Sinai.

    Moreover, their teaching is vastly different. Moses taught only what God gave him. He did not pretend to be the author of the teachings he brought down. Jesus, on the other hand, contrasted his words to that of the Torah, making his teachings superior to those given by God. Sometimes a Christian will say that Jesus was teaching against the oral Torah, but this is clearly not true. When Jesus says, “You have heard it said…” he goes on to quote the written Torah. The difference between Moses and Jesus could not be clearer on this matter. Moses was publicly verified by God and did not claim to be the author of God’s Torah. Jesus was not publicly verified by God and juxtaposed his words to the Torah, making his teachings superior.

    On the other possible point of similarity, no evidence can be offered that God spoke to Jesus with the clarity that he spoke to Moses. Even if a Christian claimed such a thing, that would be no proof. In what way could the Christian demonstrate that to be true? One can claim anything. And even if one accepted the gospels as true accounts, it would not be clear from them that Jesus experienced such clarity of prophecy. Contrast, for example, the way Moses’ face shined after speaking with God and the way Jesus’ hometown saw no special qualities in him to the point where he had trouble working miracles among them (Ex. 34:29-35; Matt. 13:54-58, Mk. 6:1-6). No good reason can be given to believe that Jesus heard from God as clearly as Moses did.

    Since the Christian sees so much similarity between the births and childhoods of Jesus and Moses, it is worth pondering also their deaths—or what happened after their deaths. When Moses died, God took care of the body, keeping the burial place a secret (Deut. 34:5-6). After his death, no one can be looking to Moses. One’s attention is to be focused on God. This shows the great love of God for Moses, not only because He buried Moses (so to speak) but because Moses would not be a stumbling block for Israel. Moses’ role as servant of God was preserved, and no shrine could be made to Moses at his gravesite.

    God gives no such protection to Jesus. Not only did Jesus feel abandoned at his death, afterward he received no protection. His disciples taught that he came back from the dead. God allowed Jesus to suffer the great dishonor of being made into an idol, venerated just as Caesar’s and other men were venerated. Jesus was allowed the ignominy of being a source of confusion, a distraction from God and His Torah. If he felt forsaken at his death, how much more he would have been afterward if he knew that he was an idol.

    After these considerations, one sees that the claim that Jesus is the prophet like Moses is empty. The similarities they share are largely superficial and do not relate to the role of either as prophet. When the essential qualities of Moses as a prophet distinct from other prophets are considered, no similarities are apparent between the two. In the end, Moses led people to God, while Jesus became an idol. The differences between them are greater than the similarities. If Deut: 18:15-19 is referring to a particular prophet who will be like Moses, he has not yet come. However, the truest reading does not refer one to a particular future prophet like Moses, and one need not wait expectantly for such a prophet to appear.

    Jim

    • Dina says:

      Jim, this is great. I was in middle of writing a comment titled “Was Jesus Like Moses?” and then I saw this! I’m going to post mine anyway, at the risk of sounding repetitive, although yours is way better, because I raise a couple more points.

    • CP says:

      Jim, you are correct concerning superfluous simalarties Christians point to between Moses and Jesus. Dina expressed bewilderment at how Christians can compare Moses to Jesus, so I copied and pasted a Christian list for her while getting ready for work, having morning coffee.

      The real similarities are not found in superfical lists, it’s in what what God did through them. Both men through their obedience to God resued descendants of Abraham from a life without God and Torah. Through their relationship with God they both were used to spearhead movements which would effect millions throughout generations. Both gave the invitation and opportunity to return to God through obedience to Torah. Both men taught from God a method of forgiveness and a new start. Btw, neither has a body in a grave to be visited.

      Among all the prophets, none are as similar to Moses as Yeshua.

      • Jim says:

        CP,

        Is this not exactly what I said you would do in regard to this list when you copied it? When I wrote of your plagiarism, I said that you would then beg off of any of the points that you did not like, because it was not your list. And I said that in doing so you cause confusion and you waste our time. So what do you write now? “The real similarities are not found in superficial lists” using as excuse that you cut and paste in a hurry.

        Is not Dina’s ‘bewilderment’ precisely because the Christian claim is built on empty lists like the one your provided? She was expressing incredulity, because the Christian argument is so empty being based on lists like these. She was expressing incredulity because the differences between the two men is so important.

        I will come to your second paragraph when I have a moment, but my comment already answers it to those that have knowledge of the prophets.

        Jim

        • CP says:

          Jim,
          Dina didn’t ask for my list, she specially addressed “Christians” so I copied a list for her. Which ya’ll had a field day with claiming plagiarism while at the same time implying how foolish I was to believe these things are important. Therefore I assumed you might be interested in what I thought, so I shared with you my view. And you’re still not happy?

          This has been an on going problem; you and Dina stereotyping my beliefs by those of mainstream Christianity. Oh, I’m not surprised, ya’ll do the same thing with the historical Yeshua. While I’m trying to view Yeshua from a Talmudic perspective, you continue to insist on the Greek/Roman/Christian persecutive. We end up just talking past each other.

          • Jim says:

            CP,

            Dina did not ask for a list at all. She was not expressing curiosity but incredulity. She was not asking for you to explain to her what Christians believe. Moreover, this in no way addresses what I wrote.

            Further, you are not looking at Jesus from a Talmudic perspective. You do not know the Talmud. You read people who come from the Greek school of thought using the Talmud to justify their beliefs, just as they did with Tanach. The perspective from which you study is the Greek/Roman/Christian perspective.

            Jim

          • CP says:

            Really Jim? Why do you sound like the UN going after Israel when you address my posts?
            Btw: This is the new book I just purchased to help me better understand Talumdic Texts,
            “BACK TO THE SOURCES / Reading the Classic Jewish Texts” Edited by Barry W. Holtz.
            Jim, it’s my understanding you were once a Christian and now embrace Judaism. I’ve never quizzed you on the particulars. I consider it your business, but I’m not going to stop my search for the unperverted historical Jewish Rabbe Yeshua just because you may feel it threatens your descision, therefore are all to zealous to defend. What’s wrong with just sticking to the facts and appreciating each others perspective. As a unitarian you can’t accuse me of idol worship no matter how many times you try, tell me what’s the big deal?

          • Dina says:

            Jim, if you wanted to do so, you would be quite within your rights to accuse CP of avodah zarah, which is foreign worship, because putting a man at the center of your worship and believing he is the way to God is foreign worship. It is a type of worship that was not known to our fathers.

            Also, by the way, Jim, CP is a Christian. I am sure you figured that out already, but it’s worth pointing out, anyway.

          • LarryB says:

            What is a Unitarian website that agrees with your beliefs??

          • CP says:

            Dina, you wrote; ” …..accuse CP of avodah zarah,…….which is foreign worship It is a type of worship that was not known to our fathers”

            Question for you Dina; coming from the wilderness into the promised land, worship changed and changed again with the Temple and changed again in exile . In fact the way you worship now was not known to your fathers. So you don’t anticipate another change when Messiah comes???

          • LarryB says:

            CP
            Is this the Unitarian belief you talk about?

            http://www.uua.org

          • CP says:

            LarryB, I don’t know of any Untarian websites which I fully agree with. However ‘Biblical Unitarian’ seems very adept at handing Scripture.

            Here is a definition I do agree with:

            Do Unitarian Universalists believe in Jesus?
            Unitarians believe that mainline Christianity does not adhere to strict monotheism but that they do by maintaining that Jesus was a great man and a prophet of God, perhaps even a supernatural being, but not God himself.
            Unitarianism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

          • CP says:

            LarryB says:
            January 16, 2017 at 9:05 am
            CP
            Is this the Unitarian belief you talk about?

            http://www.uua.org

            No, this is closer to what I talk about:

            http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/

          • LB says:

            CP
            Thanks this gives me a better understanding where your coming from. I must say you should have done this long ago.

      • Jim says:

        CP,

        The similarities you find between Jesus and Moses are contradicted by the vast differences between them. Being leaders of movements is not enough to call Jesus a prophet like Moses. Their movements went in two entirely different directions. You downplay the importance of the fact that the Jesus movement went in the direction of idolizing the man, misrepresenting Torah, and many violations of Torah. Many so-called prophets have had movements, but this does not liken them to Moses. Muhammed, Joseph Smith, Buddha, and many others have had movements too. This is not an essential similarity between Jesus and Moses.

        Nor is it an essential similarity that Jesus taught repentance like Moses. Anyone teaching Torah teaches repentance as part of it. This is not even essential to making Jesus a prophet, let alone one like Moses. Moreover, many prophets taught repentance. Isaiah, Micah, Hosea, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Jonah, and many others taught repentance. This does not make Jesus any more like Moses than any of the other prophets.

        Jesus’ message of repentance is different from the other prophets, but only in a way that taints his message. It refers constantly back to himself. Moreover, as one who alters the Torah, he does stand out from the other prophets, but less like Moses not more like. (See for example his teachings on remarriage, which create a new category of adultery.) His message is not strictly a call back to Torah.

        Regarding your last point of comparison, that neither has a place where his body can be viewed, neither does Elijah. Perhaps Elijah is the prophet like Moses and you are mistaken. But I already answered this point in my lengthy comment on this topic. The missing body of Moses did not lead people to idolize him. Yet, God took no safeguards to protect Jesus from the great disgrace of becoming an idol. The difference between Moses and Jesus is more essential than the superficial similarity in that you do not know where either is buried.

        Among the true prophets of Israel, there is none so dissimilar to Moses than the unverified claimant to prophecy, Jesus.

        Jim

        • CP says:

          Jim,
          You write; “You downplay the importance of the fact that the Jesus movement went in the direction of idolizing the man, misrepresenting Torah, and many violations of Torah.”

          Comment; So you think Moses was a total success? What about the multiple exiles, judgements and harsh words of the prophets declaring the opposite? I downplay both sides, rather than just one. Therefore an additional similarity

          You write: “Nor is it an essential similarity that Jesus taught repentance like Moses.”

          Comment; Teaching repentance is an “essential” similarity! Without teaching a re-turning (repentance) to God and Torah from sin, would be teaching something different and thereby disqualify the Teacher. I think you mean to say; ‘Nor is it an unique similarity that Jesus taught repentance like Moses’.

          You write: “See for example his teachings on remarriage, which create a new category of adultery.”

          Comment: Actually this makes Yeshua more like Moses in that Moses gave them authoritative instruction on remarriage/adultery as did Yeshua by expanding it. Before you cry foul, the Talmud engages in the same.

          You write; “The difference between Moses and Jesus is more essential than the superficial similarity in that you do not know where either is buried.”

          Comment, neither are buried and bodies in heaven, I’m sure not what Moses had in mind,, but a similarity nonetheless.

          Jim, the bottom line is if there were no similarities, this verse would of never correctly or incorrectly been applied to Yeshua.

          • CP sometimes opposites seem more similar to each other than do two things which are not opposites merely dissimilar 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • CP says:

            R’B, If I could take you on a trail in the Sierra Nevada mountains above Kings Canyon we’d come around a corner and be face to face with a building sized rock formation in the undeniable shape of a Indian head complete with head band. However on the return trip coming out the same rock formation looks like just a big rock.

  41. Eleazar says:

    Getting back to the point of the article. One of the first songs Christians teach their kids includes the following:
    I don’t wanna be a Pharisee.
    I don’t wanna be a Pharisee.
    ‘Cause they’re not fair, ya see.
    I don’t wanna be a Pharisee.

  42. Dina says:

    Is Jesus Like Moses?

    The answer is, of course, a resounding no. Jesus and Moses differed from each other in the following areas:

    Character
    Temperament
    Purpose
    Lifetime accomplishments
    Benefit to the Jewish people

    Character. Jesus displays extreme arrogance while Moses displays extreme patience and humility. We see Jesus’s arrogance in his demand for acceptance and belief in himself and his impatience with those who ask for signs, although according to Deuteronomy 18 it behooves us to ask for a sign to test a prophet’s credentials. For example, when the Pharisees and Sadducees ask Jesus for a sign, he angrily retorts, “An adulterous generation asks for a sign,” as if they had no right–nay, no responsibility–to do so. Jesus condemns all those who don’t believe in him to eternal damnation. He is often angry and impatient, especially with the Pharisees.

    Jesus claims for himself the title of messiah and declares that he is the only way to God.

    Moses, on the other hand, shows the exact opposite trait when he asks God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should take the Children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). Moses expects not to be believed–fairly, from his perspective: “Behold, they will not believe me and they will not listen to my voice” (ibid 4:1).

    Moses persists in arguing with God, claiming that he is not a man of words, until finally God gets angry with him (ibid 4:14).

    Moses’s fear of not being believed is realized when the Jewish officers confront him: “They met Moses and Aaron standing before them when they came out from Pharaoh’s presence. And they said to them, ‘May the Lord look upon you and judge, for you have brought us into foul odor in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of his servants, to place a sword into their hand[s] to kill us’ ” (Exodus 5:20-21). Rather than excoriating them for their unbelief, Moses takes up their cause with God: “So Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord! Why have You harmed this people? Why have You sent me? Since I have come to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has harmed this people, and You have not saved Your people’ ” (ibid 5:22-23).

    We see in the very next chapter that the Children of Israel still did not believe him: “Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel, but they did not hearken to Moses because of [their] shortness of breath and because of [their] hard labor” (ibid 6:9). And Moses did not react. He felt their pain.

    Temperament.Jesus differs from Moses in temperament. While Jesus acts like the hot-headed, short-tempered, impetuous youth that he is, Moses by contrast acts the wise, patient, kind old man.

    Jesus shows his anger often in the Christian scriptures, calling his enemies choice names and threatening them with a horrid fate, but for the purpose of this article, two instances of his towering temper will suffice. One is when a fig tree is not bearing fruits out of season. Jesus is hungry, and he gets mad at the tree for failing to produce fruit out of season (stupid tree should have known better). Out of anger, he curses the tree so that it withers and can no longer produce fruit. It is a Biblical transgression to destroy a fruit-bearing tree. There seems to be no purpose in Jesus’s cursing of the fig tree. Being the miracle worker that he was, he could just as easily have blessed it to bear fruit out of season.

    At one point in the gospel story, Jesus throws the mother of all temper tantrums in the courtyard of the Temple, overturning the tables of the moneychangers and driving out the sellers of livestock. What on earth have these people done to deserve this treatment? Moneychangers played the useful role of changing the currency of those traveling from afar, and livestock was sold to the travelers for sacrifices. They were doing nothing wrong.

    Moses, on the other hand, after leading the Israelites out of bondage, performing miracles on a grand scale never seen before or since, miracles that affected the whole country of Egypt and the whole nation of Israel, and bringing them to Sinai to receive the Torah, doubtless had the most stressful of jobs. The burden of the entire nation rested on his shoulders alone, to the point that he tells God he can’t do it anymore. God reassures him by delegating responsibility to 70 elders, as I discussed in an earlier comment.

    The people tested Moses sorely, even after he had proved himself to them. After everything he had done for them, still they complained. How many times did Moses crack from the strain? He hit the rock instead of talking to it. He called them rebels, once. He was punished for it and not allowed to enter the Holy Land. If this was the punishment given to Moses, a true prophet and true leader, who had good cause to get angry, imagine the punishment Jesus deserved. He did not even have a good excuse for his behavior

    Purpose.Moses’s purpose was to be the prophet of God to the Jewish people, to lead them out of Egyptian bondage, and to transmit to them the teachings of God known as the Torah. Moses gave the people clear signs that came to pass in an observable, irrefutable way. He led them out of bondage and taught them the Torah.

    Jesus believed his purpose was to be the Jewish messiah. His followers believed him to be a prophet as well. As I have shown in previous comments, Jesus failed to accomplish the mission of the messiah. He was a false prophet as well, giving signs that did not materialize (Christian objections to this are weak, to understate the case), and introducing a new type of worship (“I am the way”).

    Accomplishments.Moses accomplished a great deal in his lifetime. He defeated the Egyptians, led the people out of bondage, and taught them the Torah, which has sustained and kept us alive through fire and water. The Torah has served as the light in the darkness of our long and terrible exile.

    Jesus, as messiah, would have ruled over Israel as king during a time that ushered in an era of universal peace and knowledge of God, ingathering of the exiles, restoration of the people to the Land, national resurgence of Torah observance, punishment of Israel’s enemies, vindication of Israel in the eyes of all the nations, rebuilding of the Third Temple, and restoration of the sacrificial system. I have provided Scriptural citations for this in an earlier comment.

    Instead, after Jesus died, the Temple was destroyed, the Jews were forced out of the Land and scattered, they became an object of scorn and derision among the nations, and 2000 years of horrific persecution followed.

    Benefits to the Jewish people.In benefit to the Jewish people, Moses wins hands down. If not for him, perhaps we would still be in Egypt, or would not exist, having assimilated into the dominant culture. Thanks to him, a proud people with a glorious heritage survived and received the Torah, the defining teaching on ethics and morality. This Torah has served as a beacon of light, guiding us through the darkness of exile and ensuring our survival.

    What has Jesus done for the Jewish people? Nothing but great harm. The 2000 years of persecution that followed Jesus’s death was committed in his name.

    When I presented a less detailed version of this essay outlining the differences between Moses and Jesus, a commenter on this blog scoffed, claiming that all this shows is that the two are not twins. He minimized the differences by comparing them to, say, the differences in taste or opinion. I do not remember the exact example he offered, but it would have been along the lines that one preferred chocolate ice cream while the other preferred vanilla ice cream.

    Then, cynically, he offered a list of similarities that illustrated exactly that sort of similarity, similarities like what flavor of ice cream you prefer. Furthermore, the list contains false comparisons. The differences I demonstrated lie in the realm of character, temperament, purpose, accomplishments, and benefits and are indisputably gargantuan. The similarities of being saved by a close relative named Miriam, by contrast, are just plain silly.

    Let us now examine this list.

    The first four comparisons have to do with Jesus’s and Moses’s early life. Both were in danger of being killed by a wicked king, both were hidden for protection, both were helped/saved by a woman named Miriam, both were adopted, both were princes (Moses of Egypt, Jesus of peace).

    When I pointed to the sign of Jonah as being a failed prophecy, this selfsame blog commenter said that this prophecy is a later redaction because it does not appear in Mark, the earliest gospel. What then to make of the fact that none of the above appear in Mark, the earlier gospel? Will this man be consistent and concede that none of it happened but was added in a later redaction?

    So first off, the comparison fails because all this stuff never even happened.

    Secondly, so what? None of the items on this list are particularly unique. Babies have been in danger before, whether from powerful rulers or otherwise. Women named Miriam saved their sons from danger. I can say this with confidence as Miriam has always been a popular Jewish name and Jewish babies have been in danger countless times throughout our history. And adoptions are fairly common. These comparisons are as superficial as the ones our in-house cynic supposedly decries.

    I was going to point out the apples-to-oranges comparisons in the way this list shows literal versus figurative “similarities” such as a real prince (Moses growing up in the palace) versus a figurative prince (prince of peace, which Jesus most certainly was not, as history testifies) and a real shepherd (Moses) versus a figurative shepherd (Jesus, who did not work as a shepherd by trade), but Jim did a great job showcasing exactly that. Jim also did a fine job showing the false comparison between the two offering themselves for atonement.

    The remaining comparisons are embarrassingly and obviously so superficial and so silly there is no need to point it out.

    Even so, it’s worth noting that the statement that Jesus performed signs and miracles also is not unique to him (if true). Many prophets performed signs and miracles. No one performed signs and miracles on the grand scale of Moses, although Joshua’s miracles of splitting the Jordan and stopping the sun were similar in the sense that they affected the whole nation–certainly, Joshua’s miracles are much more similar to Moses (both splitting a body of water) than Jesus’s. Leaving aside the inconvenient fact that Jesus’s signs failed to materialize, Jesus did not strike the Roman empire with plagues, nor did God speak to him to the ears of the entire nation of Israel. If we are to say that Jesus is similar to Moses in signs and miracles, in a way that Joshua and Elijah and Elisha for example were not, then we should fairly expect miracles that affected two peoples the way Moses’s miracles did.

    Christians force the similarities because they want Jesus to be the prophet like Moses in Deuteronomy 18. They read Scripture like Horace.

    Was Jesus like Moses? No, he was not. Not in any way that actually matters.

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