Faith – Excerpt from Critique of Vol. 5

V. 56. Page 205

Brown critiques Judaism: “…it does not provide complete redemption for the soul. In other words, it does not bring the assurance of forgiveness of sins, the assurance of being in a right standing with God, the assurance that upon death, we will be received into His eternal presence.”

 

I don’t see the Christian’s assurance of forgiveness, and the Jew’s lack thereof as a shortcoming of Judaism or as an advantage of Christianity. For people, who are tainted with the character faults of pride, envy, self-centeredness and greed, to stand there and to proclaim that they are “assured of being in a right standing with God” is nothing that I envy. For a person who is tainted with these flaws to be “assured” that they have been cleansed of these flaws, is something that I envy even less.

 

The assurance that the Jew experiences, is the assurance that King David experienced: “Even if I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, because You are with me” (Psalm 23:4). Wherever we are, God is with us. Not a god, who depends upon schools of theologians and libraries of writings to justify our devotion to him, but the God who holds the breath of every being in His hand, including our own breath, and including the breath of Jesus in those few years that he was granted on God’s earth.

 

We walk in the assurance that God is merciful and just and that He does not demand of us that which we are incapable of bringing forth. We experience the assurance that God accepts our sincere repentance to the degree that He forgets our sins. Sincere repentance is an ongoing, never-ending process that requires as to constantly seek greater depths of sincerity and of truth. As we draw ever closer to God, we are flooded with the light of His love – every time we are granted the privilege of fulfilling one of His commandments, and every minute that we are granted the privilege of breathing His air and walking His earth. Our hearts are steadfast with the assurance that His purpose on earth is being fulfilled through us as His beloved firstborn son.

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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73 Responses to Faith – Excerpt from Critique of Vol. 5

  1. David says:

    If you didn’t make such broad brushed sweeping derogatory exaggerations exclusively about Christians you might have a little more credibility among someone who isn’t predisposed to agree with you based on like minded theology. “…people, who are tainted with the character faults of pride, envy, self-centeredness and greed…”? Or maybe you don’t care about making an intellectual/theological point, perhaps for you it’s more about keep the “camps” separated, we against them.

    • TS says:

      David: I totally understand your point. I’m not sure rabbi blumenthal is making a sweeping or derogatory exaggeration. He is pointing out that someone who tells others that they have “assurance of forgiveness of sins, the assurance of being in a right standing with God, the assurance that upon death, we will be received into His eternal presence” is demonstrating character traits which out of step with what the Hebrew scriptures instruct us how to act, and which are also inconsistent with how the Hebrew scriptures tell us what traits we ought to be striving for.

      • David and TS
        I was NOT saying that only Christians are tainted with envy and pride – I find that all of us have these character flaws – myself included. What I was saying as TS explained is that one who possesses these character flaws as we all do and believes that they are in a “right standing” with God is living in a horrible self-delusion

        • David says:

          “one who possesses these character flaws as we all do and believes that they are in a “right standing” with God is living in a horrible self-delusion”

          So are you trying to say that Jews have no right standing with God and never will?

          Let’s go back to the basics about some of what Christians believe:

          Christians also understand that we all possess human character flaws. when we act apart from God we call that sin. And, we believe that we all have sin in this life. The difference is that we believe we “will” have right standing with God on the day of judgment, NOT through our own righteousness but through the substitutional sin offering of God’s Son, Jesus, who was sinless. We believe Jesus was sinless because he was 100% obedient to His Father and our Father, God. Jesus knew God like no one else. We believe that everything Jesus said is from God. We believe that our salvation in God is through faith in Jesus and that God raised him from among the dead because that’s how God established that path to our salvation. Since our faith and hope is sure of our future with God and our holy righteousness with Him through our belief in His Son, we try to act in this life in accordance with our faith, but as we are still human, hence we at times fail. But because Jesus paid for our sins, God chooses (on the day of judgment) not to see our sins; they are gone completely washed away in the life giving substitutional blood of His Son who is the way, the truth and the life.

          And why do we have this sure hope, this faith of things to come? Because we believe in the rock of our salvation, God. And why do we also believe in God’s Son, Jesus? For the same reason you and we believe in Moses. Do you believe in God’s word? And so too do we. Did Moses speak God’s word and you believe God spoke through Moses? So likewise do we also believe that God spoke through Jesus. You don’t accept it, we do. That’s why we’re also called believers.

          • David
            The “right standing” that Dr.Brown is talking about is not a future “right standing” but rather he is saying that now Christians are completely “right” with God
            Jews believe that God loves everyone – even sinners God is ready to hear everyone’s prayer and repentance without the services of an intermediary – even sinners. But inasmuch as we sin we need to recognize that these serve to distance us from God – even at this distance God reaches out to us so that we can reach out to Him – but we need to recognize our sin.
            God promises that a day will come and we will be granted a heart of obedience – this promise will take place here on this physical earth
            One more point – Your comparison to our belief in Moses to your belief in Jesus is completely inaccurate
            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/non-prophet/
            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/the-exodus-versus-the-resurrection/

          • melissa33774 says:

            The inconsistency I see in your comparison of Jesus and Moses is that Jews don’t “believe” in Moses. There is nothing to believe in, or have faith in, concerning the person of Moses. Moses was a human being appointed by G-d to take the Israelites out of Egypt and give them the Torah. Nothing divine, nothing special. Moses did not claim divinity nor asked anyone to worship him. By definition, Moses was a prophet in that he delivered a message to the people.

            Jesus’ on the other hand desired to be worshiped as G-d and claimed that anyone who did not believe in 1) his godship and 2) his ability to bring personal salvation, would live an eternity in the fiery depths of hell. This is not a prophet. I wouldn’t even characterize him as a false prophet. The apostle John fits the description of a prophet; one who brings a message to the people. He would then warrant the title of false prophet.

          • melissa33774 says:

            (The previous comment was an answer to David’s post, not to be confused with Friend).

  2. melissa33774 says:

    I’m not sure if the Christian is saying that through faith in Jesus they are “cleansed” of these flaws, rather, that they are forgiven in spite of these flaws, through faith in Jesus. The erroneous thinking, however, is to believe that G-d needs to put something between Him and us in order to forgive us. That is the Big Lie fed to mankind by the Advisory (the Satan), in order to distance us from our Creator. Why send a messenger into the King’s Court on our behalf, when the King Himself wants to nurture a personal and intimate relationship with us?

    • David says:

      God doesn’t “need” to do anything. But throughout history God has chosen to use prophets to mediate and reveal God’s word and will as well as work directly with people. And He is doing that today through Jesus. The prophet purpose of someone like Moses or Jesus for example is help us understand God better so that we can choose to do His will and thus bring us closer to God standing in God’s love just as Jesus stands in His love through His perfect obedience. God sent a model of perfection, Jesus. We can’t possibly achieve perfection on our own, but Jesus is still the model. What justifies us on the day of judgment, is not our imperfect obedience but the obedience of Jesus who was a sin offering for each of us, a sin offering of perfection in God’s sight.

      When Jesus says that no one comes to the Father except through the Son. He doesn’t mean that we can’t talk to God directly. Jesus encourages direct communication as in the LORD’s prayer. But what he means is that you must know and understand and love the Son to truly know, understand and love God. Not because Jesus is God but because Jesus followed God perfectly, doing and saying everything he saw and heard from his heavenly Father. Therefore when you see Jesus, his deeds, his thoughts, his compassion, his love, his truth, his explanation of things, it is the human representation of what God is. And, therefore to reject the Son is to reject the Father. The two are one and the same in purpose. Therefore if you have the Father you have the Son, and if you have the Son you have the Father.

      This Jesus is from God, not because God needed Him, but because in His infinite wisdom He saw that “we” needed Jesus.

      • Armando says:

        David – This Jesus is from God, not because God needed Him, but because in His infinite wisdom He saw that “we” needed Jesus? David This is absolutely false,The idea that (A) messiah is needed for forgiveness is found nowhere in the Tanakh. Deuteronomy 24:16, Gd simply states this as a basic principle, ‘Every man shall be put to death for his own sin.’ And we also know that dose not change his mind Numbers 23:19. Anything and everything GD wanted and needed us to know was given at Mt Sinai.

        • David says:

          God teaches us all throughout the OT and NT. Also the Christ has been prophesied in the OT. And, for what purpose? Because God determined that “we” need Jesus, therefore God graciously provided him.

          Now, you point out that we didn’t or don’t need God’s grace as provided through the Christ since as you argue “The idea that (A) messiah is needed for forgiveness is found nowhere in the Tanakh.”

          To that I say the following: neither does the OT say that we need the “law” to be forgiven. But, God provided the law where there had been no law even though there was forgiveness prior to the law. And, one of the functions of the law is to provide a new path to forgiveness. Deuteronomy 18:26 And the LORD said “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake.” And Deut. 19:29 So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain, God “remembered” Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow… Gen. 8:1 “But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and all the domestic animals that were with him in the ark.”

          So we see from the beginning that for the sake of the righteous, the unrighteous can be forgiven/saved. God did NOT remember the other 7 persons with Noah for example. It was ONLY for the sake of Noah they were saved and it was for the sake of Abraham that Lot and his family was saved and it was for the sake of the righteous that Sodom MIGHT have been saved IF God had found them in sufficient number (10 in this case).

          The corollary of your argument against God’s grace in favor of keeping the law implies that we needed the “law”. And, that everything of God is satisfied through the “law”. In fact what we find is that the “law” was provided as a “way of living” following the exodus. The law was always CONDITIONAL upon the actions of the Israelites: Deuteronomy 30:15 “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. 16 “IF” you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I (Moses) am commanding you today, by loving the LORD your God, walking in his ways,…”

          As the record shows, the Israelites failed to do that. And furthermore, even if they hadn’t failed it doesn’t necessarily mean that God can’t provide something better in due time just as he had done after the flood, regarding food for example. In the law He provided a new path to forgiveness through the law. The law had a purpose for when and to whom it was given and I agree with that.

          The second part of your argument against the Christ is also erroneous; from your post:

          “And we also know that dose not change his mind Numbers 23:19”

          And to that I say there is also this: Exodus 32:14 And the LORD changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.

          So, you have tangentially (whether intentional or not) highlighted a beautiful and revealing teaching about God and His word as expressed to us through the bible. At times there are “apparent” contradictions. And, I say “apparent” because in point of fact there are no contradictions. But, by taking advantage of the opportunity and by diligently studying these beautiful “apparent” contradictions we can better understand the mind of God and come to know him better.

          The resolution of the above “apparent” contradiction regarding God changing His mind is this: God does, and has, changed his mind as in the case of the Israelites in the desert. BUT, there are times when His mind is firm and made up and will not be swayed for the sake of the pleadings of evil to do evil as in the case of Balak who wanted a curse brought against Israel. God was simply trying to espress to Balak in particular (in Numbers 23:19) and other evil people that He wouldn’t change His mind in the matter at hand regardless of how many time Balak through Balaam pleaded with Him. God is NOT telling us TODAY that He never changes His mind. And, in fact God held to His conviction in the matter of Balak and “blessed” Israel 3 times rather than curse Israel.

          But, my argument is not necessarily based on God changing or not changing His mind. My argument is based on the fact that God MAKES things happen based on His plan of what He wants and what He wants to teach us, what He wants for us and Him.

          The Christ was prophesied and God made that happen. God made the law happen through Moses. Before that God made Abraham happen meaning: Gen. 17:5 “…I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations.” 18:19 “…I have chosen him, that he may charge his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice; so that the LORD may bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” We see here also the CONDITIONAL statement: “So that”. IF Abraham does his part, God will do his part. If not, God can “change His mind” and find another in place of Abraham. Before that God chose Noah on the condition or grounds that: Gen. 7:1 “…I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation…”

          So, in all this we know that God can wait, God can make things happen at His appointed time, God can make conditional promises, statements, laws, etc. God can bring about better things. God can and does changes His mind, but not in the way humans do. We humans can change our minds for many reasons. But, one reason is that our character can change. We can change from doing unrighteous acts as a way of life and start doing righteous acts as a way of life commensurate with a change of mind or change of heart.

          God’s character doesn’t change, and God’s purpose doesn’t change. Everything from the Garden through the flood, through the law, through the grace expressed through Christ is the same workings of God’s unchanging character and purpose for our lives.

          In conclusion, the law changed for something better, but God’s underlying character and purpose did not.

      • melissa33774 says:

        David, I know you believe these things with all your heart and all your mind, and I know that you find comfort and stability knowing that there is a way to come closer to G-d. This a very noble and honorable desire. I cannot argue with you about your belief in the truth. What you describe to me may very well make sense according to Christian teachings, but it opposes everything that Judaism stands for. I cannot prove to you that anything is right or wrong, because there is always a rebuttal. But G-d gave us the power of reasoning so that we can make intelligible choices. Here’s some food for thought.

        1. “God doesn’t “need” to do anything.” Yes, you are correct; G-d doesn’t “need” to do anything. We are speaking about G-d’s desires for His relationship with mankind. Now the question is, what are His desires? According to rabbinical interpretations, G-d’s desire is to forge a relationship with the pinnacle of His creation, Man. Everything G-d created, and everything G-d does, is for the benefit of Man (See Genesis). This much I know you and I agree with.

        So the question is, why would G-d create man in all his imperfections if He desires a relationship with a “perfect”, sinless creation? He created angels who are perfect and sinless. The only thing an angel can do is G-d’s will. It is impossible for them to do anything else. And yet, man is created higher than the angels by virtue of the fact that man was created with free will; a will to reject G-d if he so chooses. Yet man is the crown and glory of His creation. If it is true that Man is the highest of all His creations, and everything He created is for man, then why would a lower form, angels, be created with perfection, and man with imperfections? Is it because He desires a meaningful relationship with a creature that is exactly like Himself? Or would He have a more exciting and meaningful relationship with a human being, who can choose to love Him, or choose NOT to love Him?

        2. “The purpose of someone like Moses or Jesus for example is help us understand God better”. I disagree with that statement. The job of Moses was not to make it easier for us to understand G-d. How could we ever understand G-d? We don’t have the capacity to. G-d never asks us to understand Him. In fact, He told us that there is no way we’ll ever understand His ways! “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways’ declares the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8). Think about it: ever since Moses delivered the Torah to man, replete with its 613 precepts, it has only confused our understanding of G-d! There’s a whole bunch of stuff in there that makes absolutely no sense to the finite, human mind! The Torah does not help us understand the mind of G-d, it only outlines G-d’s DESIRES for mankind and how we can show Him that we love Him. In fact, the reason that the Jews were chosen to receive G-d’s Torah is because they understood it, but because were the only nation who, when presented with the Torah, said “Na’aseh v’nishma!”; “We will do and we will understand!”. When presented with the Torah, every other nation asked, “What’s in it? We want to know what we’re getting into before we accept this” But the Jews said, “It doesn’t matter that we don’t understand everything yet. Our first priority is to just do it. If You ask us to follow it, we will follow it! Understanding will come in time. But first we agree to abide by it!”

        Now, if G-d desired perfection from mankind and He gave the Torah to the Jews to keep His commands, so that they can be a light unto the Nations, wouldn’t G-d give them a literary work that showed us how to be perfect? On the contrary, the Bible shows us how the very men G-d loved the most are anything BUT perfect!

        Did not David sin with Batsheva and send a man to the front lines, knowing he’d be killed, only to fulfill his own desires? Yet the Bible tells us that David was a man after G-d’s own heart! “The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people” (1 Samuel 13:14) How could G-d say that of a man like David? It is because David’s heart was pointed toward God. Second, David absolutely loved God’s law. David repeatedly mentioned how much he loved God’s perfect Word. “For I delight in your commands because I love them. I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees” (Psalm 119:47-48).

        From this we understand that what G-d wants from us is not perfection. Nor does G-d expect us to be obedient at all times. He knows who and what He created, and what we are capable of. He knows our struggles and the difficulties we have navigating between the lure of worldly pleasures and our desire to be closer to Him. David shows us that G-d’s heart desires that we point our heart toward Him by delighting in His commands. How does one delight? It is expressed in a physical way: “I lift up my hands to your commands”. This indicates that David did not only sit and mediate on G-d’s decrees, but He actually got up and did something about them! He delighted in DOING and keeping G-d’s commands! THIS is what made David a man after G-d’s own heart.

        3. “(Jesus) is the human representation of what God is.” No need to comment on that. That is the definition of idol worship.

        4. Christians claim that G-d wanted to become like man so that we can understand and relate to Him better. But He already told us we cannot, and never will, be able to fathom His ways. Would G-d take His Infinite Essence and downgrade it to a finite creation in an attempt to make us understand that which we cannot understand?

        The Hebrew word for “world” is “olam”. Olam means “hidden” or “concealed”. Hebrew is a holy language created by G-d Himself. And G-d chose to use the word “concealed” to describe the physical world He created. Why is that? What is it that G-d is trying to conceal? What is it that He does not want us to see and understand, according to our own eyes and our own understanding?

        The great rabbis have interpreted this to mean that G-d desires us to love Him and to walk humbly with Him, IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT HE IS CONCEALED AND WE DO NOT SEE HIM. Why would He then come to us clothed in a physical form? That’s exactly what He DOESN’T want!!! He chooses NOT to be seen! He chooses to remain concealed in the “olam” that He created, in order that we may retain our free will. There’s not much free will in following something that we can see with our eyes.

        4 . “God sent a model of perfection, Jesus. We can’t possibly achieve perfection on our own, but Jesus is still the model”. David, would you bring in a Masters graduate to your 3rd grader and say, “I expect you to understand his level of intellect and emulate him”? You couldn’t possibly. Your 8 year old could never relate to that. Then you say, “Well, I know you’re not up to that level and couldn’t possibly pass the test. Therefore I’ll let this man take your exam for you instead. Since he’s capable and your not, I’ll just take his grade and apply it to your report card.” That’s exactly the absurd logic we apply to G-d when we believe that He would send someone perfect to stand in our place at the time of judgement.

        I cannot learn anything from a man who is perfect, no more than I can take marital advice from a Priest. I cannot relate to perfection. What can I take away from that? I can, however, relate to the real heroes in the Bible who wrestled with doing the right thing every day. (“Israel”, in fact, means “He who wrestles with G-d”). I can learn from men and women (actually, it was mostly the men) who sinned and were still deemed righteous in G-d’s eyes because of their efforts and their desire toward repentance and forgiveness.

        So, at the end of the day, would I would choose to serve a G-d Who remains concealed, Who preserves my free will, Who loves and guides me toward repentance, and Who will accept me even with all the quirky imperfections He created me with? You bet I would! Now THAT I can relate to!

        • Armando says:

          Melissa – Isaiah 44:6, where Gd tells us, ‘I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no Gd.’ When Isaiah tells us that Gd said, ‘I am the first,’ it means that Gd has no father. When Isaiah tells us that Gd said, ‘I am the last,’ it means that Gd has no literal son, a divine piece of Gd. And when Isaiah tells us that Gd said, ‘Besides me there is no Gd,’ it means that Gd does not share being Gd with any other Gd, or demi-Gd, or semi-Gd, or persons, and there is no trinity.

          Contrary to pagan thought, throughout the Bible we are taught not to confuse Gd and Man. For example, in Hosea 11:9, Gd explicitly tells us, ‘…for I am Gd and not a man.’ All of the great Jewish figures of the Hebrew Bible — the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, Moses, King David and others — are shown as fully human, not divine.

          Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, there is a sharp contrast made between Gd on one hand, and human beings on the other. First of all, there is always a reprimand against any human being who claims to be Gd, or Divine, as we read in Ezekiel 28:2:

          Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Etrnl Gd; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am Gd, I sit in the seat of Gd, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not Gd, though thou set thine heart as the heart of Gd. [Ezekiel 28:2]

          Then there is the verse from Hosea in which Gd specifically tells us that Gd is not a human being:

          I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am Gd and not a man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city. [Hosea 11:9]

          In Numbers 23:19, Gd specifically tells us that if Gd were a human being, then He would be a liar, as all human beings do lie on occasion. Furthermore, this verse tells us that if Gd were a human being, He would be in need of repentance because all human beings sin at some point in their lives. Finally, this verse also tells us that if Gd were a human being, then He would make promises, but not keep them:

          Gd is not a man that he should lie; neither the Son of Man that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? [Numbers 23:19]

          Gd is the same, Gd does not lie, and Gd is Gd and Human Beings are Human Beings, and Gd does not become a Human Being, and Human Beings do not become Gd.

          GD is one and alone and has no need to come as a human.

          • melissa33774 says:

            That was very good. Thank you for quoting those passages to me. I especially liked how you explained Isaiah 44:6. I do find it interesting, however, that Jesus uses that verse to apply to himself when he said “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Very prideful, if not blasphemous, in my opinion.

            And the Hebrew word “Emet” or “Truth” consists of the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet (Aleph), the last letter (Tav) and in the middle, (Mem) which is the exact middle of the alphabet. Truth is all encompassing, from the beginning to the end, and everything in between!

        • David says:

          I don’t have time to comment on much except point 3:

          3. “(Jesus) is the human representation of what God is.” No need to comment on that. That is the definition of idol worship.

          That’s NOT the definition of idol worship. And, I didn’t say that Jesus was God. Jesus represents God.

          Moses represented God to others and also represented the people to God. Just as listening to Moses is not idol worship neither is listening to Jesus. I don’t confuse Moses with God, and likewise, neither do I confuse Jesus with God.

          Here’s some citations of Moses in his MEDIATOR function; Moses is not God, but he can function as a mediator as does Jesus.

          Exodus 4:16 “He indeed shall speak for you to the people, he shall serve as a mouth for you, and you shall serve as GOD for him.”

          Exodus 7:1 “The LORD said to Moses, “See, I have made you like GOD to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet.”

          Exodus 20:19 “…You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, …” 32:30 “… perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” 33:11 “Thus, the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.”

          • melissa33774 says:

            David, I am confused. Below you say “Jesus was a man, but the unique man unlike any other man. He was born of God literally, which is why He’s called the “Son of God, the only begotten Son.” ”

            Two god/men in history include Krishna and Buddha, among a number of other mythological figures as well. G-d is unique and above all gods and goes to great lengths to tell man that He is nothing like the other gods. If we worship anything that even resembles another god, we are worshiping an idol. And, because the story of a man who was the result of a god impregnating a mortal woman is not unique, then it follows that If you accept Jesus as divine, then you must accept many other mythological figures as divine as well.

          • David
            Your translation is off – Moses was not Pharaoh’s “god” Moses was appointed judge over Pharaoh

      • melissa33774 says:

        Just a comment on Jesus being the “human representation” of G-d: one of the names Jews use to address G-d is “Shem HaMeforash” (“the indescribable Name”). To the Jewish mind this name embodies the idea that G-d cannot be explained in human terms, nor can He be represented by anything living or non-living in this world. Torah forbids making a representation of G-d or comparing Him with anything we could possibly imagine, according to our finite understanding. This is why Jews have such an aversion to a belief in JC. It goes against everything we believe.

        If one wants to discuss how JC fits into Christian theology, and uses the Christian Bible as proof, that would be a fair assessment. To argue, however, the truth of the Christian Bible using Jewish scriptures as a proof text, cannot be done. The very premise of Christianity runs counter to Jewish belief. So to use the Jewish Scriptures to “prove” the truth of the NT has no value, by virtue of the fact that Torah does not leave any room to compare G-d to anything we can see, touch hear, smell or taste in this world.

  3. David
    God Himself taught us that Jesus was NOT perfect Job 15:14

    • David says:

      That’s why we are saved through the grace of God through the blood of His Son.

      For man, this is impossible, but for God, nothing is impossible.

      Did you read 15:15 as well? And by the way, are you taking the word of a Temanite for your theology regarding God?

      Jesus was a man, but the unique man unlike any other man. He was born of God literally, which is why He’s called the “Son of God, the only begotten Son.” But like man he could have fallen, but he didn’t. He had free will just like the rest of us and chose to be completely obedient to God, his Father in heaven.

      • naaria says:

        David, why take ‘begotten” or “son” of God literally when it literally makes God, your “Father in Heaven”, a Man (gives the Creator the attributes of the created, rather than vice versa, where Man is only an “image” of God) (btw, who is your Mother in heaven? And how, and why, did God create Himself in the “image of Man”)? Why take your definitions of words, written by men, literally when they literally either defines your ideas as idolatry and/or literally defines you as a polytheist (where God is NOT One, but 2 or Many)? Those types of ideas are prevalent in other religions (many are commonly called “pagan” religions), so why try to bring up those ideas, when the God of Israel so often in the Hebrew Bible severely criticizes & punishes Israelites for turning away from the One God in order to worship idols and “the many gods & goddesses” (including gods in human flesh) of their pagan neighbors?

        If you want to take “begotten son”, etc., as literal, then King David and other human kings were also “gods” and messiahs (ie., Jesus was only one of many “sons of god” and one of many “Christs”). In fact, the whole nation of Israel (etc.) was not a nation of humans, but a whole nation of “sons of God” (and Jesus -whose name in Hebrew was not unique – was just one more sinner among 100’s of thousands or millions).

        • David says:

          I believe that God literally created the universe and everything in it including Adam and Eve. And I believe He literally begat Jesus. I know that’s a small thing for God compared to making the entire universe from nothing or Adam from the dust or even Eve from a living body part without a womb. But still, it’s amazing to me that he could have planned it out so long ago, prophesied it and then made it happen.

          God sent Gabriel who said to Mary:

          You will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and will call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his throne there will be no end.”

          And Mary said:

          How will this be, seeing I am not knowing a man?

          And Gabriel said:

          The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, and for that reason the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

          Now do you see why I say literally? It’s pretty specific right?

  4. David
    I am taking the word of the Jewish Bible canonized by God’s firstborn son – you are taking the word of a book canonized by those who set up the murder of His firstborn son
    The Bible is replete with the concept that no one but God Himself is perfect and no being that inhabits God’s world can claim perfection – not even the angels as Job 15:15 testifies

  5. David says:

    Regarding Job 15:14 and 15:

    You’re missing the point and misreading the bible. To be honest I find it kind of surprising you don’t seem to understand this concept. Just because something is in the bible doesn’t mean that God said it or approved of it. Much of the bible is a NARRATION of what someone else said as in the passage you cited of Job 15:14 which was spoken by Eliphaz the Temanite, who was a friend of Job’s. And we also have to be careful that even when others may from time to time appear to speak the word of God as in the case of Eliphaz, they can also take it out of context and misapply it, thus NOT speaking of God what is right.

    What does God Himself say in this specific case?

    Job 42:7 After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.

    And, regarding your comment on “God’s first born son” meaning “a people, known as the Israelites and also the Jews”, that vineyard was transferred to others because God’s people mishandled it and mishandled the Son of God. Also, God has only one first born son as in “a person” and that person is Jesus the Christ. True there are many sons of God, just as Abraham had at least two sons that we know of when God called him to sacrifice his “only” son Isaac. Genesis 22:2 He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac…” So the argument against the uniqueness of Christ as not being the Son of God because God had other sons is without merit. That God has many sons is out of context with the meaning and unique position of Christ as the only begotten son of God. So, just as Abraham had only one son in the eyes of God regarding God’s plan for humanity, God too has only one son regarding His plan for humanity.

    In a separate earlier post Myphariseefriend posted:

    “David
    Your translation is off – Moses was not Pharaoh’s “god” Moses was appointed judge over Pharaoh.”

    My point wasn’t that Moses was God, he is not; my point was that Moses was a mediator, as is Christ. I wrote:

    “Here’s some citations of Moses in his MEDIATOR function; Moses is not God, but he can function as a mediator as does Jesus.”

    In my earlier post to show the mediation function of Moses, the bible translation I used was the New Revised Standard Version in that post. However, for the record, the Hebrew – English bible according to the masoretic Text and the JPS 1917 edition translates the same Exodus verses and is consistent in showing Moses in a mediation capacity as follows:

    4:16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people; and it shall come to pass, that he shall be to thee a mouth, and thou shalt be to him in God’s stead.

    7:1 And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘See, I have set thee in God’s stead to Pharaoh; and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.

    20:15 And they said unto Moses: ‘Speak thou with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.’

    32:30 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people: ‘Ye have sinned a great sin; and now I will go up unto the LORD, peradventure I shall make atonement for your sin.’

    33:11 And the LORD spoke unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.

    In point of fact, Moses was a mediator as is Jesus. If you have a problem with Jesus in that capacity then you have a problem with Moses in that capacity.

    • David
      Of-course I can acknowledge that when people like Pharaoh or Haman are speaking in Scripture that they are not expressing Godly thoughts – but the friends of Job were prophets – and the mistake they made was that they accused Job of wickedness as the Elihu said (Job 32:3) and to attribute other mistakes to them renders the Bible meaningless
      Your argument that God “transferred” the son-ship of Israel to others is refuted by Jeremiah (31:8) where it speaks of Israel at the end-time as God’s firstborn son
      You may enjoy this post
      https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/judge-not/
      If you would believe in Jesus as a “mediator” in the sense of bringing God’s word to the people – I would consider you mistaken but not an idolater – but Christianity believes in Jesus as a focus of devotion – and that is idolatry

      • David says:

        You are still erroneously holding to the words of Eliphaz, ignoring Job 42:7. God directly refutes the words of Eliphaz in favor of Job. The bible is not rendered meaningless by correctly discerning it as I have done. You are failing to attribute the words of God to God, and misconstruing the erroneous speech of Eliphaz as if it were from God. As I stated earlier, even if someone correctly quotes God, but out of context, then that speech is no longer from God.

        Followers of the Son have inherited the vineyard. The references are therefore to Christians who are the true Israelites through adoption.

        • David
          So do you believe that all that Eliphaz said was erroneous? Do you not accept that Eliphaz was a prophet?
          In any case the concept that all inhabitants of this earth are sinful is not only found in the words of Eliphaz but also in the words of Solomon (Ecclesiastes 7:20) – do you think that Solomon was wrong as well?
          In any case – how could any human being know that another human being is sinless?
          The way you switch names (“true” Israelites) is another way to render the Bible meaningless. Where in all of Scripture does it say anything about followers of an individual somehow becoming Israel?

          • David says:

            I believe that God literally created the universe and everything in it including Adam and Eve. And I believe He literally begat Jesus. I know that’s a small thing for God compared to making the entire universe from nothing or Adam from the dust or even Eve from a living body part without a womb. But still, it’s amazing to me that he could have planned it out so long ago, prophesied it and then made it happen.

            God sent Gabriel who said to Mary:

            You will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and will call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his throne there will be no end.”

            And Mary said:

            How will this be, seeing I am not knowing a man?

            And Gabriel said:

            The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, and for that reason the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

            Now do you see why I say literally? It’s pretty specific right?

            I accept the word of God over the word of Eliphaz. And you and I both know what God said directly to Eliphaz.

            Do you get the meaning of “My wrath is kindled against you and your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” And, how about this word straight from God: “I will accept his (Job’s) prayer not to deal with you ACCORDING TO YOUR FOLLY; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has done.”

            Now, as to your questions, I’ll answer the first one this way. If we mix God’s truth with deception and lies and/or take truth out of context and pass it off as God’s WORD!! how does God react? God kindled his wrath against Eliphaz!

            As to the second question, it is not relevant. What is relevant is that Eliphaz hadn’t spoken right of God. And as a result he was about to receive the full force of God’s kindled wrath. But God in his gracious mercy accepted Job’s prayer on behalf of folly Eliphaz and Eliphaz’s two folly friends

            As to your second point regarding sinful man, you’re pretty much making the Christian argument, hence the need for a new man, like Adam before the fall, the only begotten Son of God, Jesus. If Jesus had been born in the usual way from man he wouldn’t have qualified, which is why He was born of God’s holy spirit which overshadowed Mary. Thus He had no history of sin, no internal knowledge of sin passed on to him from Adam. He was in effect in the same position as 1st Adam before the fall. That’s why He’s called the last Adam. Where Adam failed humanity, Jesus succeeded.

            As to you third point, the people of God are those how obey and follow God. And God provided Jesus to his people just as He provided Moses earlier. God testifies to this through His prophesies in the OT and of course the NT Scripture as well. The OT and NT support each other. You can’t be of God if you’re not going to obey him. And He commanded us to Listen to His Son.

  6. David says:

    Melissa33774 posted in part:

    “David, I am confused. Below you say “Jesus was a man, but the unique man unlike any other man. He was born of God literally, which is why He’s called the “Son of God, the only begotten Son.” ”Two god/men in history include Krishna and Buddha, among a number of other mythological figures as well. G-d is unique and above all gods and goes to great lengths to tell man that He is nothing like the other gods. If we worship anything that even resembles another god, we are worshiping an idol. And, because the story of a man who was the result of a god impregnating a mortal woman is not unique, then it follows that If you accept Jesus as divine, then you must accept many other mythological figures as divine as well.”

    My response: I see why you’re confused. I never said he was a god/man. I say he is man, but a unique man, begotten by God.

    Adam was made by God and that doesn’t make him a god/man either does it? Eve was made from Adam and that doesn’t make her a man/woman does it? For man this is impossible but for God nothing is impossible.

    Your argument that the stories in the bible must be false because other cultures have picked up and copied them in whole or in part is baseless and illogical. God prophesied in the bible the Christ, His Son, through a virgin birth. So naturally word gets out and people copy things, sometimes they change it, add to it, take from it, etc. That’s how the three wise men showed up after all, it wasn’t by magic that they knew of the birth. What are the odds?

    • melissa33774 says:

      1. You see, David, that’s the thing. These mythological stories PRE-dated the Jesus account. This is why his story is not unique. Here are 10 mythological figures who predated Jesus, with striking similarities:

      http://listverse.com/2009/04/13/10-christ-like-figures-who-pre-date-jesus/

      2. You were correct in pointing out that Adam was created by G-d. Note, however, there is no claim in the bible that indicates Adam was “begotten” by G-d. G-d was not his literal father. In fact, Adam had no father. Jesus, on the other hand, was “begotten”. G-d was purported to be his father. Big difference. This would make Jesus G-d in human form, or god/man, for short.

      (As far Eve not being/not being a man/woman, Genesis 5:2: “Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.” Jewish sources explain that man was created both male and female, back to back, and then were split into two beings. This is why a man searches for a woman… his “other half”. Whether you believe that explanation or not, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just an aside).

      • David says:

        No, you’re wrong. While it is true, Adam was not begotten and he was created, that I agree, but he was CREATED by God; he didn’t create himself, and that’s the reason he’s not God. And Eve was created by God and out of Adam. Eve did not create herself, so she’s not God either, and Eve is not a man/woman either simply because she was created directly out of man. Neither is Jesus a god/man simply because he came or was begotten from God.

        In addition, if Adam and Eve were created it means they have a “beginning” and we also know they were created by something “outside themselves”; two reasons right there among others why they are not God. God created the universe also and that doesn’t make the universe God. There was a time when the universe did not exist and then it came in to being. God made that happen. Jesus was not and then he was; he did not exist and then he did; God made that happen as well. What God creates or begets is not God, it is something outside God. How can God be created in the first place and secondly how can God be created by something else outside of himself? It is nonsense to define or think of anything begotten from God as God because that defies the definition of God.

        And, by definition, if something is either created OR begotten it has a beginning, and therefore is NOT God; God has no beginning. The universe and everything in it including Jesus were created by something outside itself; again that is not God. The bible doesn’t say that Jesus begat himself.

        The 100% god, 100% man at the same time argument is a nonsensical fabrication not found in the bible. It is impossible on many grounds to consider that a creature with a beginning which was begotten not from within but from without, is God because this creature would be 100% dependent on that which had begotten it, in this case, God. And nothing can be all powerful as in God and limited in power as in man at the same time. To resolve that paradox, Trinitarian theology puts forth the 100%god/100%man argument that Jesus is equally both at the same time. His man-self died but the God self didn’t, that begotten doesn’t mean begotten as in beginning etc. All of that and related bogus manipulations is 100% human invention necessary to resolve extra-scriptural erroneous theology.

        So then, God is neither created nor begotten; that we know for sure. God does not have a beginning; and that we know for sure as well.

        Also, Jesus claimed He could do NOTHING on his own. Does that sound like God? Everything He said and did, came not from within him as if he were God, but from God his Father. This concept is stated over and over again throughout the gospels. God is the origin and worked THROUGH Jesus. And, if Jesus is God, why does he sit at the right hand of God now according to Scripture? Is he sitting at the right hand of “HIMSELF” as in his supposed 100% god/man split personality? Again, the god/man fabrication is just that, a fabrication not based on scripture.

        I know that those believing in the Trinity believe they find it in Scripture including the OT. I’ve looked thoroughly at both sides of the argument (trinity and non trinity); I’ve studied all Scripture which both sides say support their case, and I am convinced that the bible overwhelmingly supports the concept of one God; there is no god/man; there is no trinity. There’s God, there’s Jesus, and there’s God’s holy spirit, but no three in one, one in three God trinity. Some people honestly believe in the trinity, and they are not bad people for it, I think they’re just wrong.

        • David
          So you don’t believe in the trinity – that is a good thing. Do you believe that Jesus is worthy of the devotion that Jews reserve for God alone? Do you believe he is deserving of any devotion? and if yes – how would you explain it?

        • melissa33774 says:

          Thank you David for that long and slightly confusing answer. But what I gained from it is that you do not believe in the Divinity of Jesus. That’s great, because as you said, Jesus was a created being, no different that man or the angels. However, that belief is a bit “radical” for a Christian, I must say. Is that the general consensus of your church or does that come from your own research? (Just curious)

          • Larry says:

            I think David is either a Jehovah’s Witness or some form of offshoot from it. They believe in the whole begotten thing. You can read about it at Wikipedia Jehovah’s Witness beliefs.

          • melissa33774 says:

            Larry, I did read a bit about the Witnesses and their beliefs. You are correct; they do not believe in the Trinity but do believe in JC being G-d’s only son. This confuses me even more. I get the idea that G-d’s son, containing G-d’s “DNA” would also be divine. But G-d having a son that’s completely mortal? It makes as much sense in my mind as a horse giving birth to a puppy dog. I do not see any connection. (Well, not that G-d spawning a divine son makes sense either, but you understand my point).

          • David says:

            It’s out of the mainstream. I read somewhere that about 10% of Christians believe strictly as I do, that Jesus is not God. However, this is exactly what the first Christians believed including Jesus himself.

          • David says:

            No Larry, I’m not a Jehovah’s Witness. I’m a Christian who believes like other Christians that the only path to salvation is to believe in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, who was crucified and died, and that God raised him from among the dead, that he now sits at the right hand of God, etc.

            But, unlike mainstream Christianity, I don’t believe in the trinity.

          • Larry says:

            David.
            As an ex calholic i’d say your a christian in name only. Your not really christian until you swallow the whole catholic ka boodle. lol

          • David says:

            Larry, well, here’s one for you; a significant number of non-Catholic Christians consider that Catholics are in fact NOT Christians at all because of their extra Scriptural beliefs and customs. I do however consider Catholics to be Christians although misguided, or misinformed and/or misconstruing Scripture in many ways, but I basically believe that Catholics are Christians with a mixture of non-biblical beliefs and customs as stated above.

            A challenge for you as an ex-caholic as you say and as one who might know something about the NT:

            Where does it state anywhere in the bible that a Christian must believe in the Trinity to be a Christian? It doesn’t.

            On the other hand there’s Romans 10:9,10, and others like it.

            9because, if you
            confess with your mouth, “Jesus is
            Lord,” and believe in your heart that
            God raised him out from among the
            dead, you will be saved. 10For with
            the heart a person believes, resulting
            in righteousness; and with the mouth
            confession is made, resulting in
            salvation.

            Now that’s pretty uncomplicated to say the least.

          • Larry says:

            David
            That’s funny, they say the same thing about you. As far as the rest, I don’t believe a word of it. You know, free will and all that. PS. If you don’t believe in the trinity then your just not Christian enough. Sorry, like I said , your Christian in name only. Catholics would consider your beliefs a cult. And, they are definitely Christian. No doubt about it. PSS.. Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead, nor was he payment for your or any else’s sins. That’s just more catholic doctrine. You see, you believe in parts of their doctrine, and reject the others. That alone makes you Christian in name only. If 90 percent of Christians disagree with you and 100 percent of Muslims, Mormons, Jewish, Buddhist, etc.. Disagree with you……….. Hmmm???

          • David says:

            Larry, the problem with that line of thinking about having to believe in the Trinity to be Christian is that it’s not Scripturally based. In other words, it’s not based on the truth and word of God.

            I on the other hand could say that those who believe in the Trinity are not Christian, and I could base that on Scripture. But I choose not to take a hard line on it and instead forgive my brothers and sisters in Christ for mistakenly believing in the traditions of men over correctly discerning the word of God. I see their error as a failure of discernment of God’s word rather than an “intentional” error or idolatry sin against God.

            Of all the theological topics taught as a sermon in Christianity on Sunday service, the “Trinity” is rarely if ever taught. It is spoken as a statement of faith at times but no one can define what it is. In fact if you ask any two Christians you’ll get two answers because the bible doesn’t define it which is why man invented a creed to attempt to define it, yet it’s still unbiblical non-definable double-speak (it’s three but not three) nonsense to the point where even Trinitarians disagree on the definition.

            Indeed, the word trinity is not in the bible, neither is there a definition it, neither is “incarnate”, neither is “begotten not made”, neither is “God head”, neither is “one in essence”, neither is “three persons, yet one”, neither is God the Son, neither is “eternally begotten, and so many more.

            And then we are told by some that it is so central to the Christian faith that although it doesn’t even exist in the bible, we have to believe it in order to become a Christian?

          • Larry says:

            David
            The definitation of trinity is part of your begotten belief. Go here
            http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15047a.htm
            All the terms you listed I’m sure are there to. Remember it was one of the apostles
            That started the Christian/catholic faith. Peter, I believe he is buried in the Vatican.
            All your beliefs started with them. Paul on the other hand was not one of the twelve. After what’s his name killed himself for betraying Christ the eleven got together and nominated Mathias. They claim that Peter was the first Pope, hand selected by Christ himself, taught for years by christ, no dreamy vision there, the rock, the man to take Christ teaching to the world. Seems to me your standing on the wrong side of the rock.
            There are literally 100,000 of priest and billions of man hours spent trying to interpret the word in the New Testament. Men who gave their entire lives to understanding and teaching. 10’s of thousands of books written on these subjects, and you say there is no scripture to back it up. If your right, Christ was an absolute failure.

          • David says:

            Larry, thanks for the link.

            First off I’d like to say, least there be any misunderstanding by you or anyone else who may read this, that I do respect your opinion and that of others who disagree with me on this trinity issue.

            There are noted scholars on both sides of the issue whom I have read and listened to. I myself have done what I believe to be honest and thorough study having invested a lot of time reviewing the work of scholars and others and then examining all the passages of Scripture from multiple view points which impact the trinity debate. To date, I think I have investigated every known Scriptural passage from multiple points of view which has been raised on both sides of the issue. And as stated in previous posts, I have come to the conclusion (over time through this process) that the overwhelming evidence is on the side of one God.

            As you know when it comes to language and especially translations, words and passages can be understood in differing ways. There can be multiple meanings in some cases. However, God is expressing one truth throughout the bible, and it’s our job to find it. Hence, the debate in terms of what is the truth, not just in terms of the trinity issue but with so many other doctrines or beliefs.

            I have nothing against people who believe in the trinity as I’ve said before. Those Christians who believe in the trinity are not bad people because of it. And there are scholars and others on both sides of the trinity issue and other issues who study and research the matter honesty, with diligence, integrity, and a clear conscious of a pure motive for a quest for the truth, You included I’m sure.

            But the fact remains we come to a different conclusion and sometimes we just have to leave it there.

            Regarding the specifics of your post:

            I read over the link (which is the Catholic point of view on the justification for the Trinity). Rather than get into any one specific point of justification for or against, I’ll just say that I have researched already all of the items contained therein from their side as well as the non-trinitarian side. However, I will offer one scholarly non-trinitarian link for you which counters all of the arguments made in Catholic link which tend to agree with many Scriptural issues including the Trinity debate. But if you want to talk about any specific point I’ll be happy to do that.

            In regards to terms I used and have used in arguing against the doctrine of the Trinity such as: “trinity” “Godhead” “three persons in one” “incarnate” “begotten not made” “fully man and fully God” etcetera, I can assure you they are not in Scripture. It’s not just an idle statement. I’ve really checked. They are in creeds, other statements of faith and extra Scriptural teachings.

            In regards to the doctrine of the Pope: The non-Catholic Christian world does not hold to it because it is a misconstruing of Scripture. The non-Catholic view of the passage you refer to does not confer on Peter the office of a Pope. There are many reasons for the difference of opinion on the matter but in a nutshell, basically the Catholic position is that Peter = Petros = stone and “Petra” = rock so there is a similarity there and room differing conclusions.

            Jesus said to Peter in Mattew 16:17,18
            “Blessed are you, Simon
            Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has
            not revealed this to you, but my
            Father who is in heaven. 18And I also
            say to you that you are Peter, and
            upon this rock I will build my
            congregation,

            Then also, Catholics instituted a hierarchical significance of high priest or Pope into the meaning of the passage because of the “upon this rock “petra” I will build my congregation.

            But Peter himself referred to himself as an “elder” not a priest, and not a high priest (Pope), and there are many elders throughout the congregation (church). Furthermore, Peter was limited to those of the circumcision (Gal. 2:7,9). Paul was to those uncircumcised (Rom. 11:13, 15:16; 1 Tim. 2:7; 2 Tim. 1:11; 1 Cor. 12:11; 11:5). As far as rocks Petra and stones Petros and building upon them goes there are several passages which refer to Jesus as the “head” of the church and the chief cornerstone and that we all are living stones and Peter included, and “built” upon the chief cornerstone, Christ into a spiritual house (Eph. 2:20; 1 Peter 2:5 – 8). Jesus is the name above every “given” name stated through the NT.

            Also if you read even the immediate context you find that it is an exchange of who they and Peter say He (Jesus) is. Peter was the first to “confess” publically the Christ, the Son of the living God (through revelation from God, not from his own intuition). It is through our hearts that we believe and by our lips that we are saved (Romans 10:9,10). The congregation grows, indeed is built through this same process by one Christian at a time confessing Jesus as the Son of God. Christianity has no grandchildren; it is not a familial inheritance; it is through confession. Our “rock” and salvation is God (Deut. 32:4, 18,31; Psalm 18:31) and by extension our rock is also the confession that Jesus is the Son of God because we believe that it is by confession of Jesus as the saving Son of the living God that we are saved. Jesus is also thought of as the “cornerstone” upon which the congregation is built because He (Jesus) is also from God. So Peter’s “confession” is the “rock” and that upon which it (the congregation) is based which is God and God’s revelation and not Peter himself (Mat. 16:17 “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven).

            God has always been thought of as our “rock” of salvation, so therefore anything based on God is then by extension thought of as from God and regarding being saved, as a rock. The congregation is based on this “rock” Petra, God and the confession of Jesus as the Son of the living God, and not in the person of Peter “stone” “Petros” as a high priest Catholic Pope.

          • David says:

            Larry, sorry, I forgot to give you the link I referred to in my post, which is a good starting point in researching the debate between the Trinitarian and non-Trinitarian Christian viewpoints based on cited Scripture passages; here it is:

            http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/

          • Larry says:

            David
            Thanks for the link, but I have absolutely no interest in the New Testament at all. An ex Christian is probably worse than an ex smoker. They love to tell you how bad you stink. lol…….

        • melissa33774 says:

          I think what confuses me, David, is the definition of “begotten”. To me the definition of begotten is to sire an actual, physical offspring. If I am correct in my definition, then what confuses me is how G-d, the Infinite, a non-physical Presence, could sire a mortal, physical, finite creation. If I am not correct, then please explain to me where my misunderstanding is. Thanks.

          • Larry says:

            Melissa– that’s the point, David believes that g-d could make a horse have a puppy if he wished. Why he would do that wouldn’t matter, they would figure that out as needed. Maybe he could have the horse begotten the puppy. Hmmm.

          • melissa33774 says:

            Larry: LOL!

            Let’s give David a chance to support his case. And, David, please don’t answer that you need to have to have “faith” in order to understand. Nowhere in the Jewish scriptures does G-d ask us to have faith (not even Abraham acted on faith in the same way that the Christian Bible teaches. Tenakh does, however speak extensively about G-d’s faithfulness in fulfilling His promises. But that is far from being the same thing).

          • Larry says:

            Melissa,
            Thanks, I meant no malise toward David. I think it’s funny the hoops people will jump through to prove their points. Unfortunately Davids sole belief is in what he has faith in, instead of ….. The good news is he hangs out at my favorite website and although evangelizing is tops on his list he is exposed to some very fine people who all want to help him. He may never change his beliefs but he is learning no matter what.

          • David says:

            The same way God, the “Infinite, a non-physical Presence” could create anything, in His finite creation. Got it now? You don’t believe, that’s fine. That’s why it’s called free choice. Some don’t believe in God either. Some believe in God but not that He created the universe. Believe what you want, but for God, creating life is not impossible. He did it in the OT and in the NT. You choose to be selective about what God can and can’t do through His power, your choice. I go by the bible.

            And to Larry, God can do anything he wants, even make a donkey talk, as crazy as that sounds. Now I suppose if talking donkeys and talking serpents were in the NT then you’d say it’s a fabrication, but since it’s in the OT, ooops! What then? I guess then you have to play selective theology as usual. So play on.

            And regarding Abraham’s faith. Yes, read your OT. Abraham does have faith and it’s the same faith we have today. His actions were based on faith quite obvious isn’t it? And we are all blessed through Abraham. Abraham did what he did because of his faith. You may have some other non Scriptural definition but I’m going by the bible.

          • Larry says:

            David
            the OT as you call it also has a pecking order for who we are to listen to in matters of what it says. It’s not you. So I will try not to believe anything I want, instead I will listen and learn from those he (G-d) chose to teach me.

          • melissa33774 says:

            David, I’m still not sure I understand the difference between “created” and “begotten”. G-d creates, man begets. I can’t see beyond that. Maybe I don’t have enough “faith”.

            Abraham’s faith: Genesis 22:12 “…for now I know that you FEAR God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Abraham “feared” G-d. “Fear” means to serve G-d with reverence and awe. That’s exactly what Abraham did. He served G-d even though G-d asked of him to do something completely contrary to his own desires. That is the fear of G-d. It is nothing like the faith that NT teachings require for salvation.

            Interestingly, you will never find any commandment in the Bible regarding “faith”, save for the Christian NT. G-d doesn’t require faith in Him, in His existence. All throughout Torah G-d makes blanket statements about Himself: “I am Who I am”. “I am the L-rd your G-d Who took you out of Egypt”, etc. Nowhere does He require faith. It is just not a question. Having faith that there is a G-d is like having faith that there is a floor beneath your feet. It’s obvious. Why would G-d require faith in the obvious?

            Torah speaks a lot about G-d’s faithfulness to His people and to His Torah. The rabbis teach that we should have faith that everything that happens to us comes from G-d and is for our benefit. But to have faith that there IS a G-d? That was just never a question. The Torah doesn’t give us that option. The NT, on the other hand, does give us that option: Have faith in Jesus, go to Heaven. Don’t have faith in Jesus, go to Hell. This is just not a Jewish concept.

          • melissa33774 says:

            Larry, of course you did not mean anything negative toward David. You were emphasizing a point, that no amount of logic can change a person’s faith. That’s the point of Christianity and why they rely so heavily on faith. You can’t argue with it. “You don’t believe? Well that’s because you don’t have enough faith”. “Increase in your faith and you will understand”. “I have faith, I understand. You have no faith, you do not understand”.

            You can make up any “truth” you want with faith. Which is why G-d does not require faith. That is not a Torah concept. That is a Christian invention. Is it good to have faith? Yes. It makes life a whole lot more meaningful than living without faith. But it is not required to be in right standing with G-d.

          • melissa33774 says:

            Deuteronomy 10:12, 20-21 records, “And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.”

            I don’t see anything in there about faith. Our faith grows as we Fear Him; by walking in His ways and serving Him. But there is no prerequisite for faith.

          • Larry says:

            ” He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.” No faith necessary. Seeing is believing. Not some story one individual like Paul, Mary, share with us to convince us of their belief. I’m not sure I have any faith in g- d, I believe, to me it is he who is the only one who can be faith-ful. G-d did all those wonders in front of everyone that they saw with their own eyes. He made a covenant with them, he is faithful to that covenant, only he can completely. To me, This is by design so all of us can also believe in the same thing. Faithful, unchanging.

          • David says:

            Larry, Why did the Israelites in Egypt believe that the LORD appeared to Moses? For the same reason that the first Christians believed that the LORD appeared to Jesus.

            Exodus 4:30 Aaron spoke all the words that the LORD had spoken to Moses, and performed the signs in the sight of the people. 31 The people believed; …

            Jesus came and spoke all the things he was told by his God, his Father in heaven, the same God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, and performed the signs in the sight of the people. Those who believed then and continue to believe today are Christians.

            Both Christians and Jews believe in the same God.

          • David says:

            Melissa33774

            We Christians believe that too (Deuteronomy). But we think it is also obvious that all that is based on faith. What is “to fear”? Well, for one thing it is to believe that the one true God (the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob) has the power of life and death over all creation in his hands. And for that matter, what is love and what is heart, and soul etc.? Our actions are a manifestation of what we believe in our heart. Those who don’t love God and don’t believe in God, or the bible or Deuteronomy don’t feel compelled to act. Or said another way non believers act out their non-belief and don’t follow the bible. Believers act out their belief and follow the bible.

          • melissa33774 says:

            David, “Our actions are a manifestation of what we believe in our heart”. Human nature is to act according to our hearts, this is true. However, that is why in Jeremiah 17:9 G-d tells us “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” And Proverbs 3:7 teaches us “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.”

            There needs to be a ruler by which we can measure proper actions. And it is not our own heart. Nor is it the wisdom of our own eyes. This is why G-d wants us to act first, even before believing or understanding. Belief, no belief; faith, no faith; it does not matter. As Nike says “Just do it!” That is a great tagline. It means “Don’t wait until you feel like doing it. Don’t wait until you believe in its benefits. Just do it!” For the Jew, that means following the 613 Commandments we received at Sinai, regardless of our belief or attitude or understanding.

            When the Jews accepted the Torah at Mt. Sinai, they said “Naaseh v’nishma”, “We will do and (then) we will understand”. No faith required. No belief. Act with a glad heart. Act with an apathetic heart. Doesn’t matter. Just act. Of course G-d wants us to serve Him with a joyous heart. But that develops from our actions. One good deed begets another. As we continue to do good deeds, our faith in G-d strengthens. And only then do the desires in our own hearts become congruous to those of G-d’s own heart.

            If I had to sum up the fundamental difference between Judaism and Christianity, it would be that in Christianity, wisdom begins with faith. In Judaism, wisdom begins with action. According to Christianity, good deeds arise out of faith. According to Judaism, faith arises out of good deeds.

          • Larry says:

            David
            “”We Christians believe that too (Deuteronomy). “”.
            Don’t you mean? “”We 10% Christians believe that””
            Or, is that just the Jesus thing?

          • David says:

            Larry, no, I’d say that the vast majority of Christians including those of the Catholic variety, believe in Deuteronomy basically the way I stated it, that our actions stem from our faith. In practice however, “some” Catholics tend to put too much emphasis on works (absent of faith) for the sake of works. Say 10 Hail Marys for example and you’re forgiven; as long as you pay for the priest’s prayers of the dearly departed you can guarantee their after life. I’m assuming the Pope doesn’t support that last one but it’s been done for centuries. In the country I’m currently living in, it’s still done.

          • David says:

            Melissa33774,

            You are making the mistake of assuming that the meaning of a passage in one context applies to all other passages containing that same word, in this case “HEART” Here are some other passages with other meanings of “HEART” apart from that in Jeremiah 17:9. In addition, you are viewing 17:9 too narrowly. Read the next verse; Jeremiah 17:10 states that God tests the mind and searches the “HEART”. Now, why would He need to do that if actions are all that matters and if He ALREADY knows the heart is deceitful? The answer is obvious, it is not just the actions; it is the motivation (the heart and mind) behind the actions. One lesson in this passage is: examine your own heart, because God certainly will, don’t assume your actions will save you; the two go together.

            Jeremiah 31:33 “…I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their HEARTS…” 32:39 “I will give them one HEART and one way, that they may FEAR me…”

            Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all your HEART, and do not rely on your own insight.”

            How did God control Pharaoh’s actions and bring about the Exodus in the way it was done with great signs and wonders from the LORD? He hardened Pharaoh’s “HEART”. Actions follow the heart.

            Exodus 10:16, 17, 18, 20: Pharaoh hurriedly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you. 17 Do forgive my sin just this once, and pray to the LORD your God that at the least he remove this deadly thing from me.” 18 So he went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD. 20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go.

          • Larry says:

            David
            “Larry, no, I’d say that the vast majority of Christians including those of the Catholic variety, believe in Deuteronomy basically the way I stated it, that our actions stem from our faith.”
            My actions don’t stem from my faith. Like I said, I don’t think I have faith, I simply believe in g-d. No faith necessary. To me, maybe I’m missing something here, but at the end of the day, faith is something you simply don’t believe in. Belief is real. Recently I got the flu and have lost my sense of taste, 4 weeks now. I have lost a lot of weight. I have no desire to eat. I eat and force myself to, because I know I have to. If I don’t eat I Will die. That’s is real. Christians love the word faith. It’s hard to believe that g-d would sacrifice anyone much less his son, for everyone, so just have a little faith. Before the event at Sinai, g-d had to harden Pharos heart. The 10 plagues was so intense, so real, so devastating, anyone would believe. No faith necessary. Before Moses died he told them to remember what they saw with their own eyes, no faith necessary. With Christianity you have to believe his mother, god did this to me, my son will be the actual son of g-d, and since we didnt have sex he was begotten. Paul, I never met the man but, Jesus gave me this vision. So I will write the Christian manifesto. Oh, and their are a lot of secrets they told me not to tell you, but believe me this was real. Faith, absolutely necessary. Hopefully turning into belief.

          • David says:

            Larry, Do you have a firm conviction, a belief that the Israelites crossed the Red Sea? Do you believe that the face of Moses reflected the glory of God and he therefore covered his face with a veil? Do you believe that the Israelites quickly turned aside and acted perversely when Moses was a long time coming down the mountain? Did you see them bowing down to the Golden Calf?

            Is it real to you? Do you believe? That’s how I’m using the term faith.

          • Larry says:

            Yes I believe. Do you use faith and belief interchangeably? A lot of people do.

    • naaria says:

      Why would many of those peoples/nations (some who hated Jews/Israel) want to copy Jews & Israel’s religion (and then God supposedly was angry at Israel for following the gods and idols of those other nations)? So, basically pagan religions are only slight variations of what Jesus taught & they primarily based their man/gods on Jesus (even before Jesus, since the Hebrew tells us about many idols & gods before then. And God called those Israelites/Jews who followed “Jesus act-alikes, look-alikes” big-time sinners.

      • naaria says:

        I guess God’s plan was to make it easy for many non-Jews to accept Jesus (& extremely difficult for His Witnesses, His “Chosen People”) in order to fulfill the prophecies of His Chosen Prophets (like Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc) who will follow Jews and come to the “Mountain of The Lord”.

        I was wondering why some of the “birthplaces of Christianity” (once strongly Christian nations), like Egypt, modern-day Turkey, Syria, Iraq, etc., rejected Jesus and are now primarily Muslim? That seems God is going backwards, undoing what Christians missionaries have done? Jesus was supposed to be “One Way”, the only way to Our Father? God split the early church in 7 ways (Gnostics, Apollos, Paul, etc), split Christianity from Judaism (in fact the “Jerusalem church” came to naught as predicted), split the Christian Church in several different “Orthodox” ways (Roman, Greek, Syriac, Coptic churches, etc), split the Roman Church in 2, split the Protestors many, many, many ways, and is splitting them now into several new age divisions of messianics, “anti-messianic” believers, “Hebrew Roots” & it’s opponents, prosperity churches and their opponents, Mormons, etc., etc? If God had a plan, people messed it up. But I hear often about “return” to the “roots”. But, the roots were before Rome or Greece or Alexandria & Egypt or Persia & Babylon.

  7. David
    You say that the OT and the NT support each other – but then anything in the OT that refutes the Christian Scriptures you reinterpret or dismiss – what kind of contradiction between the Jewish Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures would convince you to drop the Christian Scriptures?
    Show me where in the Jewish Scriptures that Eliphaz’s point about no one being perfect is contradicted – you will not find it – So how do you know that Eliphaz was wrong on that point? In any case Solomon explicitly says that no man on earth is perfectly righteous – Jesus was a man – he was on earth so Solomon is testifying to you that he was not perfectly righteous – you can’t use the Christian Scriptures to contradict Solomon and then turn around and say that the Jewish and Christian Scriptures support each other
    You say that the followers of Jesus are the “true” Israelites (I imagine that you mean the followers of YOUR version of Jesus) because the “true” Israelites are those who obey God – where in all of Jewish Scripture do you find that Israel loses her status as God’s firstborn son on account of disobedience? The verse in Jeremiah that I quoted to you (31:8) is speaking of an Israel that was disobedient – furthermore do you have the arrogance to say that you obey every commandment of God?

    • David says:

      You don’t know how to read Scripture. Read my earlier post. The point is not that you can’t selectively cherry pick out things to make it either false or true, The point is how something is said or done and in what context and for what purpose and for what intent, etc. The judge is God. Go back to square one.

      Start with God. What does God say about it? Then if you still want to argue about it; argue with God, not me.

  8. David
    Are you saying that if I read Scripture and I come to a different conclusion than you do then I “don’t know how to read Scripture” and that I should go back and read it again?
    David – I am not sure if you are aware but in Contra Brown I set forth what I believe are the correct criteria for determining if a given doctrine is truly Scriptural – do you agree with my criteria and just feel that I am misapplying it or do you have a different set of criteria?
    http://jewsforjudaism.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=402&Itemid=354

    • David says:

      Of course you know how to read Scripture (your way). Sorry for that broad brushed criticism, it wasn’t fair. What I should have said is that I disagree with more than just your conclusions; I do disagree with your conclusions, but what I really find fault with is your process you use in reading and understanding the bible. Among other things, I think you fail to take into account the significance in the interplay of dialog, who’s speaking, the motivation and purpose, the why, narration, etc.

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