Seeds of Auschwitz

 

Seeds of Auschwitz

 

The institutionalized movement to draw the hearts of people to Jesus has long seen the need to teach mankind about Jews and Judaism. By the time the books of the Christian Scriptures were put into writing, Christianity was already a predominantly gentile movement. Yet the authors and editors of these books saw fit to devote many words to the description of Jews and Judaism for the edification of their readers.

 

It is in this same spirit that later generations of Christian teachers found it important to enlighten their audiences on the subject of Judaism. The image that these teachers painted of Jews and Judaism was not a pretty one. According to the Christian teachers the Jews are children of the Devil, murderers and liars, cheaters, haters of Godliness, jealous and greedy. These Christian teachers taught their flocks that the Jews attempt to rob the world of its wealth while refusing to do any work themselves. These followers of Jesus explained to those who would listen to them that Judaism is a hypocritical religion that is focused on form and not on substance and that it developed as a negative reaction to Christianity that is rooted in nothing more than a baseless hatred of Jesus.

 

These lies were taught to the people of Europe in the name of love, righteousness, justice and Godliness. This slander was taught, and repeated, expounded upon and illustrated in all forms of art until it was absorbed into the psyche of millions of people. Civilized nations were lead to associate hatred of Jews and Judaism with religious virtue.

 

This slander was not contained in the churches and in the universities, but it spread into the practical world as well. Jews were persecuted in every country where the teachings of the Church were respected and believed. And this slander was a foundational factor in the systematic slaughter of six million Jews during the Second World War. Killing six million people is only possible with the widespread cooperation of many nations. And the centuries of the Christian teachings on Jews and Judaism served as the foundation upon which this cooperation rested.

 

In our day and age, many people recognize that the holocaust was a crime of unprecedented proportions. Even many followers of Jesus identify the holocaust as something evil. But their reaction to the holocaust is extremely disturbing, to put it mildly.

 

If the holocaust is the epitome of evil you would expect the institutionalized movement to draw the hearts of people to Jesus to do some soul searching. You would expect them to ask themselves why it was so important for their predecessors to teach the world these lies about Jews and about Judaism. You would expect them to ask themselves if they are still propagating lies about Jews and about Judaism, and they are. But instead of looking into their own dark past they rush to proclaim Jesus’ alleged innocence. Not only do they seek to whitewash Jesus but they seek to declare the supposed innocence of the movement that deifies Jesus. According to these propagandists, true Christians never do anything wrong and if they do something wrong then they can’t be true followers of Jesus who allegedly only taught love and righteousness.

 

We can’t bring back the victims of the holocaust but the least we owe them is to try to eradicate the evil root that spawned their senseless destruction. As someone who stands outside of the movement to draw people’s heart to Jesus, it is not for me to psychoanalyze the psychology of that movement. But as a Jew I can say this: the institutionalized movement to draw the hearts of people to Jesus is still a breeding ground for misinformation about Jews and Judaism. The vast majority of Christians with whom I have interacted are deeply misinformed about my people and about my beliefs. They tell me that they learned these lies from the revered writings of the Christian Scriptures. Perhaps they don’t believe that I am a murderer and a child of the devil but they are still convinced that my religion is materialistic, hypocritical and devoid of true Godliness. They are still confident that my rejection of Jesus’ claim for deity is rooted in a blind hatred of Jesus instead of in a love for my God.

 

This is what I find disturbing. Why do they teach the world about Judaism? Why do the followers of Jesus need to talk about Jews and their beliefs? Don’t they realize the devastating effect of this strange habit of theirs? Can’t they see that this practice of slandering a nation is the root cause of 2000 years of persecution? Is it so difficult to see how Auschwitz grew out of the seeds of denigration of Jews and their beliefs?

 

Don’t talk about innocence if you are still sowing seeds of destruction.

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409 Responses to Seeds of Auschwitz

  1. Dave says:

    Yisroel: Ohmayn v’Ohmayn and A Gooten Shabbas mina frynt Doovid

  2. Annelise says:

    So true. The Jesus-following communities I know here in Sydney who reject ‘replacement theology’ and have a lot of affection for Jews still talk about the legalism and hypocrisy of Judaism in their Bible studies. It is an image they use to illustrate what they think it means to have freedom ‘through grace’. They still look at questions regarding Jesus as if they were rooted in a fear or hatred of holiness. And while they talk about traditional Jewish customs with interest, their claim to find a deeper meaning is matched by a lack of seeing any of the heart of it for Orthodox Jews.

    • Annelise says:

      Something I fear is that the more Christians ‘care about Israel’, the more they characterise countermissionaries as angry, violent, insensitive, desperate, ignorant, unholy, and even venomous. Sure, the same people turn around and say those people are their ‘dear friends’, whom they respect (though in fact they also pity them). Religious dialogue naturally involves frustration at times, and I pray that the pro-Israel and ‘Messianic Jewish’ groups will not begin to have the attitude toward all religious Jews as they have towards the counter-missionaries, though it be buried under loving platitudes and emotions of reaching-out.

      Judaism is filled with calling out for, and thanking God for, His forgiveness and help. The importance of the Torah imbued with inner righteousness is a huge focus.

      Religious Jews love God and Torah so much, they are not an appropriate group to cast as opposites or enemies of grace!

      • zaidyavi1 says:

        I totally don’t understand your post . Do you realize that these messianic cults are wrecking havoc on Jewish families . Do you not realize that almost all the evangelical churches support these wicked cults ?. Furthermore the anger and resentment against the fraud and deception these cults use are drawing bigger and bigger crowds to anti missionary events and its not just chareidim ,its mainstream Orthodox and secular Jews that are showing up at these demonstrations in ever increasing numbers .

  3. Ed says:

    One of the sad ironies in history: those who have done evil and committed crimes against the Jewish people in the name of Jesus deny that these perpetrators are true Christians- yet at the same time they call their god “the suffering servant” and refuse to recognize that the Jewish people have been playing the role of the “servant” for more than 2000 years!

    • paul says:

      Hello
      Yes I agree that Israel have suffered, but according to Isaiah 53 the suffering servant was/is a man. There isnt oPreservingword in the chapter that indicates a nation. Virtually every line points to a single individual person.

      v3. A man of sorrows, no men of sorrows.

      v 7. He was oppressed and a afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth.

      Yes Israel have suffered at the hands of murderer’s, but Israel has never been silent. ( not that she should be silent that is).

      V6. Talks about Israels transgressions being healed by some persons chastisement for Israel, not by Israels own self sacrifice of wounds. That would render the whole chapter back to front.

      V10. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him, He has put Him to grief. If Israel are here in this verse then surely the most obvious answer would be Israel are bruised, and God being pleased? So if it is the Church that causes this suffering then surely, scripture being read here, it is Gods devine will that Israel must suffer. That raise more questions than it answers! Why??? Why suffer and for what reason? ( THIS IS NOT THE CHURCH) Yes Israel are suffering but the suffering doesnt please God, unless you think it does???

      V 11 calls Him my righteous servant, and v12 says He intercedes on there behalf, But v6 is self examining of being sinful?

      Also Israels souls are a offering for sin. According to scripture only God can forgive sin through the blood of Atonement etc. A nation cannot forgive its self.

      V12. Because He poured out His soul until death. Israel will never die as a nation because of the covenants made by God. Preserving the Jews through history is one of many signs to the world that there is a God. Israel have/will never be cut off v8.

      There is only One person who can fit this whole chapter line by line. This isnt the church trying fit scripture into the NT, its pure obvious common sense of OT scripture being fulfilled, when Israels eyes are finally opened sometime in the future.

  4. Eric says:

    yourphareseefriend, I recommend to look at this biography of Corrie ten boom to get rid of the prejudice
    http://www.biography.com/people/corrie-ten-boom-21358155#awesm=~oCuVnrW3HoKWnx

    • Annelise says:

      The Ten Booms and many, many others, particularly Protestant Christians, are among the heroes of that time in history for hiding those targetted by the Nazis, or even plotting against that government, and often paying a high price as they understood they might. It is hard to understand what it would have taken to have a clarity about what had to be done that pushed away fear even about the lives of their children. Too often we disagree with evil but imagine that we aren’t complicit in it and that with no real strategy or power our hands are tied. But these people saw reality and in their love for God and others, they felt they had no choice but to protect the victims as much as they could.

      Sadly, in both the holocaust and the many earlier pogroms, crusades, and attacks on Jews through history, many in the church either ignored, condoned, encouraged, or took part in the cruelty. And anyway, besides that, what Rabbi Yisroel wrote is true. Why is the church so one-sided in trying to defend Christianity in this instance, rather than trying to see what went wrong in all those centuries of Christian hisyory and realising that it actually still stains the beliefs and conversations of Christians (even Messianic Jews!) today? And if Jews are not really so blind, not really attackers of holiness, parasites on society, or refusers of grace and forgiveness… Why the insistance that they are cut off from salvation and missing the Torah path? Why use them as examples of obedience without faith or grace if that is the furthest from the truth? Why assume that counter-missionaries are prejudiced, have no good reasons for what they say, and nothing better to do with their time?

      Blessings.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Eric,

      We are in awe of non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews from the Nazis. You must not think us ungrateful. But you must also realize that there would never have been a need to risk their lives in the first place if not for traditional Christian anti-Semitism. The overwhelming majority of Christians stood by silently or actively participated in the genocide.

      Only after facing the horrors of the Holocaust did Christians finally decide that anti-Semitism is a great evil. Until about the 1960s, anti-Semitism was considered a respectable institution, even in the United States. You would know this if you studied more history.

      It is sad to me that Jews are painfully aware, while Christians remain blissfully ignorant, of this terrible, dark tale.

    • zaidyavi1 says:

      Cporrie ten boom was a missionary . She destroyed Jewish souls . missionaries have the same goal as the nazis which is to reduce the number of Jews in the world . Once there are no more Jews there is no more Judaism and xtianity can reign supreme . What they don’t realize is that Islam is in the process of doing to thee xtians what they did to the Jews for so long . Its funny you didn’t mention Schindler .or the king of Denmark and his people . These righteous xtians saved many Jews and did not try to convert them

      • paul says:

        Hello Dina
        Do you believe that the Lord uses people, Kings, or leaders of a nation to do the will of God. No matter how bad that individual maybe, if the Lord wishes it, to fulfil a purpose for His names sake?
        Or do you believe that events happen on earth, that are beyond His control?

        • Dina says:

          Paul, obviously, God controls the course of history, and he puts rulers in place to do His bidding. At the same time, God has given us free will to choose good or evil (Genesis 4:7, Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Ezekiel Chapters 18 and 22).

          According to these passages, God will reward us for our good deeds and punish us for our bad, but we can avoid punishment by turning away from our evil ways, turning to God in prayer and repentance, and doing what is right in the eyes of God.

          So what’s your point?

          • paul says:

            Hello Dina
            My point is, Do you think on the whole, through your history, that Israel have always been persecuted at some degree? At times more severe than othertimes?

            I do agree with your reply here, Jerimiah chapter 27 being a good example.

            The start of this blog on this topic was christians and concentration camps etc. I of course believe differently, but I do see national socialism, antisemitic fascism demonic forces murdering Jews, not borne again believers in The King Of The Jews.

            So we agree that God does overall use who ever He sees fit to do His will. As you say God has given men free will. That offer of the Messianic kingdom was finally rejected by the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Israels free will.

            It does amaze me that Jews have been labelled christ killers, because the very nature of Gods will was to send His Son to die, for the sins of man. Gen 3.15.

            If Israel HAD accepted Jesus as there Messiah, He would STILL have been crucified anyway. The only difference being that there wouldn’t have been the church age. Your rejection of your God is my acceptance into the covenants and promises of your LAW. But not by the letter contained in ordinances but through Gods grace, through faith in His Son.

            Your suffering is your rejection of the One True God of Israel. You cannot blame your punishment on others who believe in the God of Israel. You have to accept the punishment, just like any unruly child who disaboyes there Father.

            Dina if you are living up to the standard of the Law and following Gods ways, why are you suffering so much? Why does the OT, NT teach that Jesus was a prohet, is now a Priest, and will return as King? Why do you stone the prohets, have no priest and have no king?
            Its not because the church has unlawfully taken it away, its because you threw it away, 2000 yrs ago. ( not killing Christ, but rejecting the offer of the Messianic Kingdom) Every action has a reaction. The God of Abraham did warn you. And as you stated He will use who ever to punish you. Unfortunately for you, your necks will be broken through the tribulation, which is still to come. However having said that, it is Jesus Himself that will save His loving remnant of Jews from the second death.

            If you think that is far fetched, if you went back in history and travelled to Europe in the 1920, s and warned the jewish communities of mass murder while the world looked on, they too would have laughed at the idea. Only a fool doesnt read the scriptures and learn from history.

            Believe it or not Dina, I say this to you in peace, in the Name of Adonai, God of Israel.

          • Dina says:

            Paul, are you really unaware that the charge of Christ killers originates with the New Testament, as well as the charge that we are not pleasing to God and hostile to all men? I suggest you read 1 Thessalonians 2:15. That should give you some idea.

            Paul, I’m sick and tired of hearing that Jews weren’t persecuted by real Christians, and I will tell you why.

            For most of the 2000 years of Christian history, Jews suffered terribly at the hands of Christians. In fact, since the destruction of the Second Temple, we suffered more from Christians than we did from any other group–even from Muslims.

            Tell me, Paul, in history, where was the widespread condemnation by real Christians of this persecution? A few largely ineffective papal bulls, a few individuals hiding Jews from the mobs in their castles–that’s it! So where were all the real ones? Why did they wait until after the Holocaust to come out of hiding and renounce anti-Semitism?

            Answer me that, Paul!

            Paul, you wrote, “Unfortunately for you, your necks will be broken through the tribulation, which is still to come.”

            Unfortunately for you, Scripture tells us the very opposite:

            Deuteronomy 30:7; Isaiah 17:12-14; Isaiah 25:1-8; Isaiah 30:26; Isaiah 30:28; Isaiah 34:1-35:10; Isaiah 40:1-11; Isaiah 49:8-13; Isaiah 52:7-10; Isaiah 60:1-3; Zephaniah 3:8-20; Zechariah 8:23; Psalm 9

            Therefore, if you want to save YOUR neck, you had best listen to the testimony of God’s witnesses (Isaiah 43:10,12; 44:8).

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

        • Dina says:

          Paul, furthermore, God promises to punish those who have oppressed the Jewish people, so why would He punish them if they had no choice in the matter?

          PUNISHMENT OF PERSECUTORS OF THE JEWS AND VINDICATION OF THE JEWS IN THE EYES OF THE NATIONS:

          Deuteronomy 30:7; Isaiah 17:12-14; Isaiah 25:1-8; Isaiah 30:26; Isaiah 30:28; Isaiah 34:1-35:10; Isaiah 40:1-11; Isaiah 49:8-13; Isaiah 52:7-10; Isaiah 60:1-3; Zephaniah 3:8-20; Zechariah 8:23; Psalm 9

          • LarryB says:

            Dina
            If I were to talk to Paul, I would remind him the that he may be saying these things to you in “peace and arrogance” but he is surely fanning the flames of contempt for the Jewish people.

          • Dina says:

            That is absolutely true, Larry. These were the beliefs that caused the persecutions in the first place. But if Paul and David and others refuse to study history, they will never know the truth.

          • paul says:

            Hello Dina

            1 Thes2 15. I do see what you are saying here, but you have misread the text. You are reading it through the glasses of someone who thinks that christians refer to Jews as Christ killers. Keeping the text in context is thus. Para phrase………..The God Man was persecuted, to the point of death. Fellow believers in Judea are also being persecuted, so dont be surprised to be persecuted also.
            No where in the text does it state that Jews should be blamed for His death. Paul is just making the point of that Israel could not see Jesus for who is was/is. Paul was more aware than anyone of the importance of Christ blood atonement. Paul blaming Jews for His death would be like me cursing my Fathers work boss for giving him a pay rise, so my father could put more food on the family table.
            Paul is though condemning the Leaders for Jesus rejection and for trying to stop his own ministry.
            Again, Ive mentioned this many times before. The disciples at the time of Jesus, before His death did not understand the point of Jesus death being the plan of God for sin Atonement etc. It wasnt until Christ was resurrected that they started to see the significance. And then they had to be powered from the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The NT could not be any clearer on this.

            Again, sorry for your frustration, but borne again believers do not persecute Jews. Religious people who stand under the banner of Christ are, just that, religious. For example… the RC church are, according to the book of Revelation, satans counterfeit church here on earth. That church goes through the 7 year tribulation and have nothing to do with the True bride of Christ. Jesus spoke openly on wheat and tares growing up side by side. The wheat to be gathered into His barn, the tares to be burned.

            Why wasnt more done from the true church through the holocaust?? Not 100% sure? Maybe more was done that we both know. I do know of the french village that hid hundreds of Jews through WW2. From my view of arguement, Gods will for His purpose, will always be. No matter how harsh it may seem. Remember its Christs rejection of being demonic which is the issue.

            I do believe your/scripture view on Israel being saved, and her enemies being recommenced for there hostilities. And that devine judgement will be poured out. Another reason why the so called RC church will suffer. Im not stating that all catholics are antisemitic and not borne again, but the RC establishment is counterfeit.
            All those texts that you gave are true of course. But again in context. At most those texts are about the nations fighting against Israel, especially in the tribulation. According to the NT, the true Church, Bride of Christ are raptured before the tribulation. No where do you find the word church being involved. The church are comforted by Paul in Thesolonica that they will be saved from The day of The Lord. Jesus spoke on this in Matthew also.

            Nations in scripture are not the church. Of course the church wasnt born until Acts ch 2.
            The true church of Christ are made up of both Jew and gentile. They are just referred to as The church. There is no more a jewish church than there is a gentile church.

            Those enemies of Israel will suffer in battle, but like I stated, unfortunately so will two thirds of Jews. Zechariah ch 13. and 14. It states that the two thirds will be CUT OFF! The saved remnant will be Christs. It is Christ alone that fights for Israel in that day. Not the church. The church saints do come back with Christ, but Jesus alone goes into battle for Israel not against her.

            So in summary both Jews and gentiles who have rejected Jesus Christ the Triune God of Israel will see the wrath of God.

            x

          • Dina says:

            Paul, I am happy that you and modern-day Christians interpret your scriptures in a way that makes them seem to you not anti-Jewish. Too bad that Christians waited nearly two thousand years, until after centuries of bloodshed and persecution, and until after the Holocaust, to start explaining their scriptures this way.

            I would be very interested if you can find precedent for this type of explanation of the anti-Jewish statements in Christian scripture that predates the Holocaust, especially from the period of early Christianity, say 300 CE, until, say, 1600 CE. Do we have writings of Christians hastening to explain that these texts must not be understood as anti-Jewish, but the way you explained it?

            Not that any of that matters, in the end. The blood splattered across the pages of history tells us the real story. If only you could be bothered to read that story, you would be less quick to defend these texts.

            I find it interesting that you think that the one third of Jews that will be saved is the remnant that believes in Jesus. The scriptures spend a lot of time talking about the vindication of the Jews in the eyes of the nations, of the gentiles coming to the Jews to seek the truth. Why would a “Christian remnant” need to be vindicated in the eyes of two billion gentiles who already admire and support them? Why would Paul Summers need to go to this remnant to learn the truth when he believes he already has it?

            I hope you take these questions seriously.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

  5. Reblogged this on Noach ben Avraham and commented:
    Seeds of Auschwitz

    The institutionalized movement to draw the hearts of people to Jesus has long seen the need to teach mankind about Jews and Judaism. By the time the books of the Christian Scriptures were put into writing, Christianity was already a predominantly gentile movement. Yet the authors and editors of these books saw fit to devote many words to the description of Jews and Judaism for the edification of their readers.

    It is in this same spirit that later generations of Christian teachers found it important to enlighten their audiences on the subject of Judaism. The image that these teachers painted of Jews and Judaism was not a pretty one. According to the Christian teachers the Jews are children of the Devil, murderers and liars, cheaters, haters of Godliness, jealous and greedy. These Christian teachers taught their flocks that the Jews attempt to rob the world of its wealth while refusing to do any work themselves. These followers of Jesus explained to those who would listen to them that Judaism is a hypocritical religion that is focused on form and not on substance and that it developed as a negative reaction to Christianity that is rooted in nothing more than a baseless hatred of Jesus.

    These lies were taught to the people of Europe in the name of love, righteousness, justice and Godliness. This slander was taught, and repeated, expounded upon and illustrated in all forms of art until it was absorbed into the psyche of millions of people. Civilized nations were lead to associate hatred of Jews and Judaism with religious virtue.

    This slander was not contained in the churches and in the universities, but it spread into the practical world as well. Jews were persecuted in every country where the teachings of the Church were respected and believed. And this slander was a foundational factor in the systematic slaughter of six million Jews during the Second World War. Killing six million people is only possible with the widespread cooperation of many nations. And the centuries of the Christian teachings on Jews and Judaism served as the foundation upon which this cooperation rested.

    In our day and age, many people recognize that the holocaust was a crime of unprecedented proportions. Even many followers of Jesus identify the holocaust as something evil. But their reaction to the holocaust is extremely disturbing, to put it mildly.

    If the holocaust is the epitome of evil you would expect the institutionalized movement to draw the hearts of people to Jesus to do some soul searching. You would expect them to ask themselves why it was so important for their predecessors to teach the world these lies about Jews and about Judaism. You would expect them to ask themselves if they are still propagating lies about Jews and about Judaism, and they are. But instead of looking into their own dark past they rush to proclaim Jesus’ alleged innocence. Not only do they seek to whitewash Jesus but they seek to declare the supposed innocence of the movement that deifies Jesus. According to these propagandists, true Christians never do anything wrong and if they do something wrong then they can’t be true followers of Jesus who allegedly only taught love and righteousness.

    We can’t bring back the victims of the holocaust but the least we owe them is to try to eradicate the evil root that spawned their senseless destruction. As someone who stands outside of the movement to draw people’s heart to Jesus, it is not for me to psychoanalyze the psychology of that movement. But as a Jew I can say this: the institutionalized movement to draw the hearts of people to Jesus is still a breeding ground for misinformation about Jews and Judaism. The vast majority of Christians with whom I have interacted are deeply misinformed about my people and about my beliefs. They tell me that they learned these lies from the revered writings of the Christian Scriptures. Perhaps they don’t believe that I am a murderer and a child of the devil but they are still convinced that my religion is materialistic, hypocritical and devoid of true Godliness. They are still confident that my rejection of Jesus’ claim for deity is rooted in a blind hatred of Jesus instead of in a love for my God.

    This is what I find disturbing. Why do they teach the world about Judaism? Why do the followers of Jesus need to talk about Jews and their beliefs? Don’t they realize the devastating effect of this strange habit of theirs? Can’t they see that this practice of slandering a nation is the root cause of 2000 years of persecution? Is it so difficult to see how Auschwitz grew out of the seeds of denigration of Jews and their beliefs?

    Don’t talk about innocence if you are still sowing seeds of destruction.

  6. David says:

    What you’ve written is nothing more than hate speech full of slander with no truth to it.

    • Annelise says:

      Hi David…have you totally ruled out the possibility that this is not retaliation for past wrongs, but concern based on noticing that something is still wrong? Did you try to give the benefit of the doubt, stand in another’s shoes, and consider how bizarre it is that even though observant Jews grow in humility and dependence on grace as they come close to their Torah heritage, Christians can find no better example of ‘self-righteousness’ for their imagination?

      • Annelise says:

        I see a desire to be loyal to God and to seek truth and justice, in what Rabbi Yisroel wrote. So one of us is biased, as you think he is slandering, but I see that as an unfair accusation.

    • Dina says:

      You refuse to read about it (I gave you a list of books you could examine), so you keep your head buried in the sand and make ignorant comments like these.

      You have a thing against books, I seem to remember.

    • David
      I humbly suggest that you study some history

  7. Eric says:

    A bit more history as the prejudice is really strong and the feeling of Jewish people of being hated by Christians which is not true. By the way Christians have been persecuted really badly in the Communistic and Islamic countries as well in the past as noways just because of believing in God.
    As far as the world war 2 and Jewish- Christian relationship at that time;
    Polish Jews were the primary victims of the German Nazi-organized Holocaust. Throughout the German occupation of Poland, many Poles risked their own lives – and the lives of their families – to rescue Jews from the Nazis. Grouped by nationality, Poles represent the biggest number of people who rescued Jews during the Holocaust.[1][2] To date, 6,394 Poles have been awarded the title of Righteous among the Nations by the State of Israel – more than any other nation.

    The Polish resistance alerted the world to the Holocaust, notably with the reports of Witold Pilecki and Jan Karski. The Polish government in exile and the Polish Secret State asked for American and British help to stop the Holocaust, to no avail.

    Some estimates put the number of Poles involved in rescue at up to 3 million, and credit Poles with saving up to around 450,000 Jews from certain death.[2] The rescue efforts were aided by one of the largest anti-Nazi resistance movements in Europe, the Polish Underground State and its military arm, the Polish resistance. Supported by the Polish government in exile, these organizations operated special units dedicated to helping Jews; of those, the most notable was Żegota.

    Polish citizens were hampered by the most extreme conditions in all of German-occupied Europe. Nazi-occupied Poland was the only territory where the Germans decreed that any kind of help for Jews was punishable by death for the helper and his entire family. Of the estimated 3 million non-Jewish Poles killed in World War II, up to 50,000 were executed by Nazi Germany solely as a penalty for saving Jews.
    My grandpa and my aunt were also in those camps not even being Jews.

    • Dina says:

      Eric, the subject of modern Christians being persecuted by Muslims and Communists is irrelevant to the very long history of Christian anti-Semitism. It’s a rare Christian that actually knows the history and can speak sensitively and compassionately to Jews as a result. Charles Soper is one of two Christians I’ve dialogued with who didn’t deny it, who was sensitive and respectful.

      I suggest you read some books on the subject that will enlighten you somewhat.

      The Anguish of the Jews by Edward Flannery
      A History of the Jews by Paul Johnson
      Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll
      The Origins of Anti-Semitism by John Gager
      Holy Hatred by Robert Michael
      A Moral Reckoning by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen
      A Convenient Hatred: The History of Antisemitism by Phyllis Goldstein and Harold Evans

      Only two of these authors are Jewish, so they would be more objective.

      • zaidyavi1 says:

        I also recommend a wonderful book by Pastor Victor Styrsky called “honest to G-d . The best part is that after going through 20 pages detailing the tremendous persecution hate and slander against the Jewish people he explains in no uncertain terms why Jews are so offended by attempts to convert to convert Jews to christian beliefs.. I could write ten books why Jews find miss ionizing to us disgusting immoral and offensive but this honest pastor does a better job in just a few sentences .

    • Eric
      I am not disparaging the efforts of non-Jews to save Jews during the holocaust. I admire those people and I believe that they are a shining example for humanity. But as many people were busy saving Jews so many more people were busy doing the opposite. It behooves the institution that spawned the crime to ask themselves about the negative and not simply pride themselves in the positive while pretending the negative never happened.

      • Annelise says:

        Perhaps many Christians feel that they already know what Christianity is in their lives and in the Christian scriptures, and that based on that, they feel it is appropriate to assume that the terror and confusion inflicted by the churches was all based on politics and racism, stirring up misunderstanding of Jesus’ and the apostles’ words. Anyway, they feel that is a possibility and so perhaps they don’t see the need to compare their faith now to the Christianity of the past generations.

        Even so, once the observation has been raised that elements of what caused these events are still very present in every Christian’s perspective, that should be taken extremely seriously and with a very open ear to listen, and listen again.

        • Dina says:

          Also, what Christians ought to understand is that the Christianity that is in their lives is a very recent kind of Christianity, not in existence for much longer than half a century. The soul searching that needs to take place in every Christian heart is this: How did the followers of Jesus get it so desperately wrong for so desperately long?

          • Annelise says:

            I think you are right. But the premise of everything is that it’s a closer return to the original roots of the movement, either by Messianic congregations or by modern mainstream ones in general. If Christianity were true then that would probably be believable.

          • Dina says:

            Annelise, there is no getting around the hateful anti-Jewish statements in Christian scripture. The problem is rooted in the original source.

          • Annelise says:

            Thank God not everyone reads them that way though. On Apr 28, 2014 1:19 AM, “1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources” wrote:

            > Dina commented: “Annelise, there is no getting around the hateful > anti-Jewish statements in Christian scripture. The problem is rooted in the > original source.”

          • Dina says:

            Yes, but for how much longer, who can tell? I’m not optimistic. This would not be the first time in history that Christians were tolerant but then turned against us. The Spanish Inquisition was preceded by the Golden Age for the Jews in Spain.

            Did you know that over 400 verses in Christian Scripture are anti-Jewish?

            Here’s a study on the subject, for anyone who’s interested (David, take note: this is not a book; you can access this on the Internet).

            http://thejewishhome.org/counter/AntiJewishNT.pdf

          • LarryB says:

            Dina
            Thanks for that, it makes quite an impact when read all in one place.
            Wow

    • Annelise says:

      Eric I’m sad to hear your grandpa and aunt were there.

      And thank God for the amazing resistance that people put up in such an impossible situation.

      • Dina says:

        I too am sorry for that, Eric.

        A lot of people don’t realize how many more non-Jews perished in World War II thanks to Hitler’s evil ideologies.

        The Jew is, as radio talk show host Dennis Prager says, the canary in the gold mine. If he is targeted for killing, and the rest of the world shrugs its shoulders and says, “It’s not my problem; it’s the Jews’ problem,” they should know that they will eventually be hurt, too. For years the world thought that Islamic terrorism was the Jews’ problem, and then 9/11 happened.

  8. Hezbos says:

    You speak from the heart and therefore your words penetrate the heart.

    While seeds of anti-Semitism they seed currently as well, the cause of anti-Semitism goes much deeper; After all, many non-Christians, the world over, also hate Jews and Israel.

    But you direct your words to Christians, and you are whole-heartedly right – that so much of Christianity, even where an ocean of Jewish blood has been spilled – the continent of Europe, continues to regard Jews apathetically, at best, with continued disdain, more often.

    Well – tell me – do you really expect something else?

    • Dina says:

      Hezbos, it is worth pondering the fact that in the last 2000 years Jews have suffered persecution at the hands of those religions whose sacred texts condemn them: Christianity and Islam. As far as I know, there is no history of anti-Semitism for Hindus, among whose midst Jews have lived for thousands of years. Nor have I ever heard of Buddhist pogroms.

      Best,
      Dina

      • David Day says:

        I think you missed one of the largest texts with anti-Semitic writings, theTanakh.. Maybe we should just go by how they depict the Jews? How many sayings that describe them as an obstinate, stiff necked, rebellious, adulterous people? You want to talk about Antisemitism. Maybe we should clean those sayings up, whitewash them? Or maybe they were true sayings, that accurately depicted those people AT THAT TIME, and don’t accurately depict Jews today? Maybe those writings in the Christian and Islamic writings were accurate pictures also.. Do you want to whitewash history? Or just some of it?

        Then HaShem spoke to Moses, ‘Go down now, because your people whom you brought out of Egypt have apostasised. They have been quick to leave the way I marked out for them; they have made themselves a calf of molten metal and have worshipped it and offered it sacrifice. “Here is your God, Israel,” they have cried “who brought you up from the land of Egypt!”‘ HaShem said to Moses, ‘I can see how obstinate these people are!

        To Aaron Moses said, ‘What has this people done to you, for you to bring such a great sin on them?’ Let not my lord’s anger blaze like this’ Aaron answered. ‘You know yourself how prone this people is to evil.

        • Dina says:

          David Day, you missed the point. We revere a text that highlights our own faults so we can learn from our past sins and mistakes to turn ever closer to God in prayer, repentance, and obedience. Christians revere a book that highlights…hmm…our own faults so they can…what exactly? And what was the effect on its gentile readers of the vitriol in Christian scripture against the Jews? Nearly two thousand years tell the story, and a terrible, dark tale it is indeed.

          The Tanach is a communication from our Father to His firstborn son Israel; He chastises us as a father chastises his son (Deuteronomy 8:5). Christians who are eavesdropping on this conversation should remember that they are doing just that: eavesdropping. And they should therefore remember that it is one thing for a father to discipline his son, and quite another for the neighborhood children to jeer at and taunt him as a result.

          Peace and blessings,
          Dina

          • LarryB says:

            Dina
            Great point. May I add my one pennys worth. Christians should not go to christian schools of theology to learn the tanakh. Just like no one should go to jewsih schools of theology to learn the New Testment. Unlike christian theology schools, I’d bet, “somebody help me”, they don’t teach the new testment in jewish schools of theology. I wonder why?
            Maybe its because christians believe in the same G-d as Jewish people do, with a twist.
            Theres that nagging adding to whats written problem again. Better make their own schools! problem solved.

          • Dina says:

            Larry, what you said here gives a lot of bang for your buck (or your penny’s worth), because it’s such an important point. I attended Orthodox schools as a child, and I can tell you truly that the subject of Christianity is simply not raised. It’s totally irrelevant to Jews. Yet Christians find it important to instruct other Christians about Judaism, about what a legalistic institution it is, and how it is devoid of love and faith.

            Christians ought to think about that, long and hard.

          • David Day says:

            You say you revere a text that highlights your own faults.. And contrast that by saying Christians revere a text that highlights “others”(your) faults. Is that correct?

            Either you are honestly in the dark here, or purposely ignoring the fact that the Tanakh, your revered text, contains the same that you are claiming against the Christian text. That is, the Tanakh very clearly and all throughout highlights the faults of “others”(NON-Jews).

            So now is it “ok” for your revered texts to highlight the faults of ‘others” and not “ok” for the Christians texts to do the same? Do we have a double standard going on here? Are you also so unaware that the majority of communication in the Christian text is in highlighting THEIR(Christian) faults? Did you know that and are honestly in the dark, or are you purposely ignoring these facts?

            Sounds like a double standard you are placing here.. It’s ok for you to have negative things in your text about different nations and peoples, but it’s not ok for others. Why? because it hurts your feelings? Are we still children? Have we not grown up? Are you not adult enough to take responsibility for yourself yet or do you get your feelings hurt because the TRUTH of the past is brought up by someone other than yourself?

            I have no problems with admitting the past. I have no problems with admitting my mistakes. And I honestly have no problems with OTHERS knowing my mistakes if at all they can learn from them. We ought to be adult enough that we can look back on the past and say, yup, I was idiot then. And if you can’t, GROW UP!

            Now I agree, people cheer and jeering at your mistakes is a downside to having our mistakes made known. But to try and put the past in a box so that others can not learn from it, that’s not right either. There was a reason it was written. And even the Christians have a good amount of that written into their texts as do the Jews as do the Muslims. If we can’t be adults and realize it’s for EVERYONE’s learning, then I’m sorry, there’s some growing that needs to take place.

          • Dina says:

            David Day, I’m having a really hard time following your thinking here. May I ask you to present a position and then back it with evidence, instead of sneering and scolding? Then I can offer a counter-argument, backed with evidence. That is my preferred mode of debate.

            Thank you,
            Dina

          • David Day says:

            And this idea that Christians should not go to “Christian” schools of theology to learn the tanakh and Jews should not go to jewsih schools of theology to learn the christian writings to me is just adding division. Do you think the Christian writings were written by ungodly people? How about the Tanakh?

            Personally I believe both were written by godly people. Flawed, sure. But I’m no different. But the purpose of any of those texts, including the Quran, is to help bring people to our Creator. But by leaving your understanding in books and schooling will only leave you with second hand information. Would a father who has a child that wants to know about him, write a book and give it to that child and say here, read up. Now you know all about me and my ways. Or would that father rather say, “Here, come sit in my lap, and learn from me”? God is no different. Those texts, those writings that people have, they were written by people who sat in His lap, and God wanted them to write about their experience that others would come and sit in His lap. Not hide away in a closet and read a book. Not go and build schools about what they “think” the book means.

            Spend time with Him, and He will teach you. Go to Him, and He will lead you. For we are all blind in this world without Him. And to go to the blind to lead you is asking for problems. I’m not saying we can’t learn from one another. But we must realize, we are all blind, for only He see all.

          • LarryB says:

            David Day
            Thats not division, thats going to the source. People who do not believe in the christian Jesus should not teach what he taught. Same thing for judaism. Christians come here all the time and tell everyone their wrong about their beliefs. Why do you think this site exists?

        • Hezbos says:

          Jews … an adulterous nation?

          David Day – I recognize the superficial way you understand Judaism, and your disdain for the Holy Torah. I venture to believe you are in camouflage – one of the Jews for J characters that just cant come out with it lest you spoil your game.

  9. Eric says:

    Dina and everybody, People have killed in the name of God for centuries. Does it mean it is God’s fault? I heard an atheist say that, why to believe in God at all, all the wars are due to religious fanaticism. It is all because of God, it is better not to believe in Him.
    He has it wrong. The same relates to Christians. For centuries there were people who used Christianity as a means of executing power over others. These people including Crusaders and Spanish inquisition , had nothing to do with the true followers of God. The true followers were simple people who were persecuted for their believes as well.
    You have to learn that whoever decides to kill in the name of God is not a true follower of God. He has nothing to do with God no matter how much he claims he is a believer. That relates to Christians, Muslim and any other religion. So your statement is so wrong; “Christianity that is in their lives is a very recent kind of Christianity, not in existence for much longer than half a century. ” -wrongly misunderstood.

    If somebody decides to kill in my name, does it mean I am spreading words of destruction? Am I a killer because there is an ‘Eric’ gang’ that kills ?
    Christians’ origin didn’t produce the roots of any haterace. Jesus never taught to hate anybody or to kill even your enemies and not to execute judgement on others because they didn’t believe. Here is Jesus’ ‘anti-Semitic’ teaching. He taught that his followers;

    Matthew 26;51-52
    “With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”
    Luke 9;54-56
    “And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
    55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
    56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. ”
    You want eternal life?
    He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
    You can’t love God if you kill. You are not showing love to others, you are cast out.

    Matthew 7;22-23
    “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY.”
    ( also Matthew 25;,41; Matthew 13;41)

    So rather than looking at the evil that others did in the name of Christianity, read the source and see if there is any hatred being taught there.

    I also wonder how the Christian Scripture can contain your 400 anti-Jewish statements while all first followers of Christ were Jewish. Did they all of a sudden turn against themselves? If they hated Jews they would have to first hate themselves.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Eric.

      You would have a half a leg to stand on–maybe–had there been strong and widespread Christian condemnation of these all-too common acts throughout history. But there was little negative reaction, and often no negative reaction at all, to the over 80 expulsions from over 70 countries (because in some cases when the Jews were allowed to return they were expelled again), the thousands of massacres, the tortures, hangings, burnings at the stake, and so on, culminating in the Holocaust. Christian anger about anti-Semitism is a fairly recent phenomenon. Stop burying your head in the sand and read a little history.

      I suggested a good reading list to get you started. It’s tough reading, but I hope you have the courage to read it.

      Best,
      Dina

      P.S. You need to ask yourself why Jews never need to defend their own faith by claiming that the acts of Jews in history were committed by people who weren’t really Jewish. As for Jews saying nasty things about Jews, Eric, you can’t be serious. Karl Marx was Jewish and he hated Jews. The phenomenon of self-hating Jews is fairly well documented. That the authors of Christian scripture who were Jewish but said such things about their own brethren says more about their evil nature than anything else.

      Christian scripture says far more horrible things about Jews than it says about loving others (others in general, not Jews specifically, so your examples are not good parallels, just pointing this out). Did you read the study on New Testament anti-Judaism that I posted?

      • Eric says:

        Dina, you said ” Christian scripture says far more horrible things about Jews ” -I wonder what that is ??? You tell me to take my head out of the sand , I already wrote you what Jesus taught where there was no haterace or no encouragement to kill anybody , but you still claim it’s origin brought that haterace. I don’t deny there were bad people and still are , I suggest talking to them asking them where they get their killing – ideas from, but putting all Christians to one box as Jew- haters is inappropriate . I don’t even know anybody like that here around. By the way; God is a just judge and He will definitely deal with the Crusaders and any killers so I am leaving the judgement to Him. He knows who are true believers , who are not.
        P.S. I don’t consider Karl Marx a true believer- no matter whom he claimed he was- words mean nothing , actions do. You can live by God’s word or just claim you have a name which means nothing.

        • Dina says:

          Eric, I never said that all Christians are Jew haters, God forbid! I never even implied it. Your comment shows that you completely misunderstood everything I’ve been saying on this subject, including my comment about Karl Marx. Either I wasn’t clear or you weren’t reading carefully. I will try to clarify later, busy right now.

        • Dina says:

          Eric, I’d like to ask you a question, and I’d like you to answer as honestly as you can. I want to know if you know what something means, without looking it up on the Internet or in some other source. Are you familiar with the term “blood libel,” and do you know what it means?

          Thanks,
          Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, I can’t tell you what it means as my language is not English. What ever words are not around in a spoken everyday language I can’t tell. I use Polish most of time .
            Continuing my response from before I would add what I meant ; I agree there have been bad people who used to persecute Jews , many of who claimed to be Christians. But I want you to understand that killing and persecuting doesn’t have it source in Jesus’ teaching.
            Whatever people used to do was coming out of their own hate not of the teaching of Jesus.
            P.S. By the way I wanted you to give me your examples of ” Christian scripture says far more horrible things about Jews ”

          • Dina says:

            Eric, thanks for your honesty. I will get to all of that, God willing, but first I want to ask you another question. Again, I’d like to know if you know the meaning and history of this term, without checking it out first, looking it up on the Internet or in some other source. Here it is in Polish: zniewaga krwi.

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, As far as ‘ zniewaga krwi’ it doesn’t look as the same meaning to me as the’ mord rytualny’. ‘ zniewaga’ means somebody puts the other person down, ignoring it , not treating as meaningful, then you add the ‘ of blood’ – as an adjective . Together it would mean you put somebody down for some reason or seriously ‘ignore’ Which meaning are you looking for ??

          • Dina says:

            I was looking for mord rytualny. I had a feeling Google Translate messed up on the first one! You answered my question, so I’m going to explain everything soon.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, I asked you this question because I wanted to see how much you knew about Jewish history, which is, as I have long suspected, practically nothing.

            I don’t mean this in a disrespectful way. You are in very good company. The vast majority of Christians who tell us to put aside anger and hatred, such as Yashar did the other day, or who tell us that those who hurt us weren’t real Christians, as you have said many times, really don’t know what they’re talking about.

            This deep ignorance stands in the way of reaching any sort of understanding between us. And the only way to correct this is to learn history.

            Now about the blood libel, or charge of ritual murder. In the medieval period (early twelfth century) the Jews of Norwich, England, were accused of murdering a Christian child for religious purposes. This caught on like wildfire and spread throughout Europe, with Christians bringing this idea to the Middle East as well (there was a blood libel in Damascus in 1840). While most of the blood libels took place during the medieval period, it persisted into the early twentieth century. (Recently, Arabs in the Middle East have revived it.)

            The blood libel took different forms. Sometimes, the Jews were accused of using Christian blood to bake their matzos for Passover. Sometimes they were accused of sneaking into churches and stabbing the holy bread to reenact the crucifixion; the holy bread was said to bleed from the stab wounds. Whatever the case, these accusations were followed by massacres of Jewish people and sometimes expulsions as well.

            This is only a tiny bit of what Jews suffered at the hands of Christians. So why am I picking this particular story? The very first blood libel was started by a Jew who had converted to Christianity. Out of pure spite, or maybe anger at his Jewish brethren for rejecting him (who knows what went on his sick mind), he made up this story out of whole cloth.

            How could a Jew lie about his own people and cause the suffering of so many innocents?

            In the famous Paris disputation of 1240, Jews were forced to debate Christians about their respective religions. Remember, this was not like you and me debating. The Jews were not safe, and they could be punished terribly (and indeed were) for what they said. Nicholas Donin, a Jewish convert to Christianity, was the main debater for the Christian side. He urged Pope Gregory IX to order a Talmud burning. Consequently, twenty-four cartloads of precious manuscripts–this was before the printing press was invented–were seized and burned.

            How could a Jew inflict so much terror and persecution on his own people?

            Where am I going with all of us? You misunderstood my comment about Karl Marx (whose father converted to Christianity). Marx was Jewish but hated Jews.

            What all these Jews have in common is hatred of Jews and the willingness to inflict great harm upon them.

            You asked me how it could be that the Jewish writers of Christian scripture could possibly be Jew haters. Therefore, whatever they wrote that appears hateful to me simply can’t be so, since the writers of these hateful words were Jews.

            I wish it were true that Jews would never hurt other Jews (or anyone else, for that matter). But history teaches that it isn’t always so.

            Your defense of the anti-Judaism in Christian scripture having been written by Jews is therefore no defense at all.

            Eric, if you read Christian scripture and focus specifically on the anti-Jewish statements, then study history to see the effect of those statements on those who read these scriptures, you would see a direct correlation. Christian anti-Semitism is rooted in Christian scripture. Don’t take my word for it. Read history and see for yourself. I listed a few books that would be a good start, and I’m sure some of them are available in Polish.

            Eric, I implore you to investigate my claims. Otherwise you will never be able to approach Jews with sensitivity and compassion.

            Some of the horrible things said about Jews: Jews are children of the devil, murderers, liars, responsible for all murders ever committed, hostile to all men, Christ killers. How could this not have an effect on people reading this? Remember that Christian scripture says bad things about Jews but is not a Jewish book. It is not being read by friendly eyes. So we revere a book that highlights our own faults, the Tanach, while you revere a book that casts its theological enemies in the worst light possible.

            Finally, today’s Christians have renounced anti-Semitism. They have done this so strongly that Christians like you refuse to believe that this has not been the prevalent attitude since forever. As a matter of fact, Jews were consistently treated horribly in every Christian country they have lived in–at best, they were treated as second class citizens. At worst, they were forced to live in ghettos, wear distinctive clothing, denied entry into every profession except money lending (and then hated for that), forced to convert, massacred, tortured, expelled–this went on throughout history without condemnation from other Christians. Some popes issued decrees protecting Jews, and a few individuals tried to protect them, but they were few and far between. Also, those clergy that tried to protect the Jews often preached about the Jews’ denigrated state and then simply could not control the effect their words had on the mob. James Carroll explains this phenomenon in his book, Constantine’s Sword.

            Only after the Holocaust did anti-Semitism come to be viewed as morally sick. Until then, it was a normal and respectable attitude.

            Eric, I hope you do further research into this.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Eric, here are the sources:

            Jews are children of the devil, murderers, liars: John 8:44-47
            Jews are blamed for all murder, even murder they did not commit: Matthew 23:25
            Jews are Christ killers and hostile to all men: 1 Thessalonians 2:15

            There is, of course, a whole lot more. For a more detailed study on anti-Judaism in Christian scripture, I refer you to this link:

            http://thejewishhome.org/counter/AntiJewishNT.pdf

          • Eric says:

            Dina, I know you want to focus mainly on Christian sources because your nations mainly suffered from those who claimed to be Christians in the last 2000 years but the evil side due to misuse and misinterpretation of scriptures has been present not only in the last 2000 years since Jesus’ times but it has been since the beginning of the world.

            Examples; God’s introduction of the thanksgiving offerings ( procticed by Abel, Noah and others) , the meaning of it was misused and misinterpreted by pagan folks resulting in sacrificing their own children for their gods.

            Wars of Israel with pagan folks- resulting in so called ‘ holy wars’ practiced by Catholic institutions in the middle ages ; crusaders, Muslim folks in the past and Muslim religious groups nowadays when the reason for elimination and for killing those who don’t acknowledge their god, is justified in their theology.

            The men as a head of the house. God’s intention was that the men is the one who carries the most responsibility, finantial, etc, responsible before God for leading his family and putting God’s truth in the hearts of their kids ( I am not saying mom has to be passive) , but what I am pointing to here – that authority given by God is misinterpreted by Muslims resulting in extreme abuse of their wives, and discrimination of the women at all in their countries being treated as slaves.

            Here are just a few exaples based on which somebody might argue that if God didn’t introduce that in th e Old testament they would not influence the others so badly. The same way Christian scriptures are blamed for bad influence.
            But here is not God who is to blame or Jesus but people who take God’s words, misinterpret it and use for doing evil, justifying evil by words they practice without their understanding.
            The same example is with the verses you listed regarding NT. None of them are to bring hate and the false anti-semitic judgement , but they are adressed to some people in whom God wants to expose sin.

            You brought up “Jews are children of the devil, murderers, liars:” John 8:44-47
            Reading the whole John 8 can you say that the verses are giving a hate- lesson expressed above??? I would have to be really blind to say that. . v.1-11 it is a story about forgiveness, v.12 -36 Jesus ‘ conversation with the pharesees about Jesus being sent by God, about his testifying about sin v.24 , then v.31-36 about freedom from sin offered, v.37-40, 59, Jesus exposing their will of wanting him to be killed although he was telling the truth, and although no sin could be proven on his accout v.46 , then v. 42-47 Jesus testifying that if God was their Father they would not seek to kill him and that they are unable to hear the truth v.44 that’s why he calls their father the devil, who is a liar because hates the truth.
            My conclusion; John 8 is not about Jews being children of the devil, murderers , liars. The group of people who Jesus faced at that time in that specific place is called the children of the devil if they are unable to receive the truth about sin and freedom of it – he was talking about , but were seeking to kill him although he explained them his authority came from God. Jesus is not addressing the nation, people of the devil because they are Jews. That is extremaly false statement.
            The same way Jesus was exposing sin of a specific group of leaders in Matthew 23, and he was not putting ant-semitic testimony against Jews that they are blamed for all murder, even murder they did not commit. Jesus is exposing a false religious life when word is spoken but not oput into practice.
            v.3 explains “All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.”
            You brought up ; Jews are Christ killers and hostile to all men: 1 Thessalonians 2:15
            “You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews 15 who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone ”

            Question; Did all Jews kill the prophets, did all nation want the prophets dead??? The same way it is not a nation who killed Jesus to be blamed. Paul is exposing the sin of those who killed Jesus and were at that time persecuting also his followers so they sufferend from their own people.

            Bad conclusions can be made based on every scriptures. Just because the sin is exposed of a group of people doesn’t mean the judgement has anti-semitic purpose. It is the evil side in people who want to use it for that purpose. They are justifying their evil actions using words from the scriptures for their evil purposes.

            Let’s look now in the hebrew scriptures where God Himself was exposing sin of his people. How many time we read about those who killed prophets? Should we now make a conclusion that Jews are prophet -killers? Should we now blame hebrew scriptures as anty-Jewish because God ‘dared’ to speak about His people sin??
            Jesus was doing the same. No difference . He was always speaking the truth when it came to sin.
            More examples Is 1;3-4 ” Israel has no understanding” ,, Is 3;16 “daughters of Zion being proud ‘ ( and many other verses) , If these words were spoken in Christian scriptures by Jesus- they would definitely be used as anti-semitic words and conclusion could be made; Jews are those who don’t understand anything. And that daughters of Zion are of bad reputation. But because we know that God is not saying that for anty-jewish judgement in itself and we know that He loves His people and has to expose sin to eliminate it, we don’t read His words of judgement as anty-semitic words. Th e same is about Jesus.

            More to that subject I would add what yashar19 commented in his post. Hate is not the purpose of Christian scriptures but the evil that dwells within a godless humanity is a source of it . The history of Jews being persecuted doesn’t start 2000 years ago but reaching far before.

          • Eric says:

            Dina, One more, I would like to find at least that one ; where Jesus ( in his words) or any NT scriptures is teaching others to go and kill Jews or persecute them ??

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric.

            It’s a little hard to have this conversation with you when you are unfamiliar with the history of Christian-Jewish relations and therefore unable to grasp the size and scope of Christian persecution of Jews. For example, you had never heard of the charge of ritual murder, which cost thousands of Jewish lives, caused several expulsions, and was only one facet of the persecution Jews suffered for the better part of 2000 years.

            Nevertheless, I will try.

            First, your interpretation of these anti-Jewish texts is ironic, because you support your arguments with more anti-Jewish texts. I’ll explain more about that later. Second, your attempt to explain these anti-Jewish passages is all well and good–and I’m pleased that today’s Christians don’t see these verses as instructing them in a duty to hate Jews. That’s great!

            But here’s the question. When did Christians start interpreting these verses the way you do? If you studied the history of anti-Semitism, you would know that for most of Christian history–indeed, until the late twentieth century–hatred of Jews was considered respectable. Christians did not speak out against it or write against it. Why?

            You showed how people can misinterpret the Bible to support evil ideologies. That’s true. But that doesn’t explain how the overwhelming majority of the followers of Jesus managed to get it so wrong for so long. Your contention that they weren’t real Christians would surprise them. Certainly, people who devoted their lives to Jesus, like John Chrysostom, Justin Martyr, Origen, Augustine, and Martin Luther, who wrote terrible things about the Jews, would be shocked to discover that you don’t consider them real Christians. They were fanatics and zealots for Jesus.

            You provided a false comparison between the criticism in Tanach and the harsh invective in Christian scripture. The target audience of the Hebrew Bible is the Jewish people. This sacred text is a private communication from the Father to his firstborn son, Israel. Sometimes, a father has to discipline his son. Sometimes, our Father has sent us prophets to rebuke us, for the purpose of correcting our behavior. Through the ages we have preserved the words of our prophets and studied them in order to learn how we might better ourselves and grow in our relationship with our Father.

            Christian scripture is not a Jewish text. It may have been written by Jews, but it was handed over to the gentiles. And so, it’s the gentiles who read in their text terrible words about the Jews. It would be like me writing nasty things about my kids and giving them to the neighborhood bullies. Did the gentiles, who were not favorably predisposed toward the Jews in the first place, need this ammunition? And what did they do with this ammunition, I ask you? Read the blood-soaked pages of history to find out.

            It is wrong for gentiles to read our own Scripture–eavesdrop on a private conversation between a Father and a son–and use that against us. Especially while ignoring all the passages that speak about our Father’s enduring love, how He will never abandon us, and how in the end He will exalt us in the eyes of all the nations.

            Now about the Christian charge of the Pharisees’ hypocrisy, which you raised to support your explanation of the anti-Jewish texts: Christians believe what Christian scripture says about its theological enemies without actually studying what those enemies had to say for themselves. If Christians would study the history of the Pharisees and read their voluminous works (they wrote loads more than the Christians did, although they were far fewer in number), then they will get a good idea of their character and judge for themselves. I have written a lot about this in my study of the Book of Matthew. Perhaps I’ll edit it and post it here.

            It’s instructive to note that while Christians wrote harsh criticism of Jews (to understate the case), the Pharisees wrote nothing critical of the Christians. In the entire Talmud, which is approximately the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica, there are three passages than can be, possibly, understood as critical of Christians. It’s not even explicit! And that’s all there is.

            Do you not see something wrong with the picture of one people revering a holy text that exposes their own flaws versus many peoples revering a sacred scripture that exposes the flaws of a different people? Who has the moral high ground? Is it not better to study your own faults than someone else’s?

            You asked me if there are any verses that explicitly state that gentiles should persecute and kill Jews. No, there aren’t any. But the words are so harsh and so hateful (despite all your explanations) that the effect of these words on Christians throughout history speaks for itself.

            And here’s a final point to consider. Since Christianity and Islam became dominant world religions, they have been for most of their history the dominant persecutors of the Jewish people. What do these two religions have in common? A religious text that disparages the Jews. Religions whose texts don’t mention Jews have left the Jews alone. For example, despite a Jewish presence in India for thousands of years, Hindus have left the Jews alone. History does not record Hindu persecution of Jews.

            I hope you further research and study this topic.

            Thanks again for your respectful tone, your patience, and staying with me on all our threads.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, You said;”the followers of Jesus managed to get it so wrong for so long. Your contention that they weren’t real Christians would surprise them. ”
            It is not only my words that would surprise them but I am sure they will be more surprised by the Lord Himself because Jesus clearly said that not everybody who says Lord Lord will enter the Kingdom of heaven , but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23″And then I will declare to them, I NEVER KNEW YOU, DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS..” Matthew 7-21-22 and a similar story Matthew 25;31-46 If that would mean cutting off 70% of Christians in the past I would not be surprised.
            Does Matthew 7;21-22 tell you something???

            Do you believe that there are Christians who can please God ? Really important to know, if you can answer that for me.
            Do you recall from the history that not all Jews pleased God? ( Isaiah, Jeremiah) I am not saying that to put you down but to show that the same happens to all people.
            The same way is with Christians. Those who don’t please God I showed you above in Matthew 7. It is not what you call yourself makes you good or bad person but your submission to God and doing God’s will and when your heart is with God , not just empty words.

            God will deal with those who are guilty of lawlessness ( whether now or in the past).
            But Christian scriptures should not be made a source of hate toward Jews as they contain the message of God’s love of sending His son for us and the will of God to save as many as possible. Whoever uses any words for his evil purposes God will deal with that. I don’t see a reason to reject God’s message of His love that is passed on in Christian scriptures because of others who used the words to justify their evil actions in the name of God.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric.

            You’re not really responding directly to my comment. For example, you haven’t answered this question: “When did Christians start interpreting these verses the way you do? If you studied the history of anti-Semitism, you would know that for most of Christian history–indeed, until the late twentieth century–hatred of Jews was considered respectable. Christians did not speak out against it or write against it. Why?”

            Nor have you answered why Christendom has yet to condemn–even today!–the great Christian leaders of the past who wrote evil things about Jews that incited hatred against us. Come on, Eric. John Chrysostom! Martin Luther! Why isn’t anyone saying anything?

            I would also like to see you address the false comparison I pointed out between OUR Scripture that criticizes us and YOUR scripture that criticizes…us.

            Also please answer me on the contradiction between the ugly picture of the Pharisees painted in Christian scripture and what we know of the Pharisees from the historical record and their own writings.

            Finally, I’d like to know if the fact that in the last 1500 years the oppressors of the Jews were only those whose religious texts condemned them.

            Now I will address some of the points you raised:

            First, I absolutely do believe that Christians can please God, because all people who sincerely do good please God. We believe that God judges people not only according to their actions but also according to their circumstances and abilities. This is obviously not a Christian belief.

            Second, the message of love that you see in Christian scripture was taken from Hebrew scripture. There is nothing new there. I have studied the Book of Matthew, especially the Sermon on the Mount, and I have seen that whatever is good and valuable the author has plagiarized from Tanach and traditional Jewish teachings.

            Here are my notes on the Sermon on the Mount and Matthew 23. Because it’s very long, I have published them online. I don’t expect you to get back to me on this anytime soon, as it’s very long.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, This is super long but just a history account about true believers Christians regarding your question “When did Christians start interpreting these verses the way you do”. I have no time yet to go to the rest of your questions.
            As far as your question nobody just started a different interpretation ; those who did the will of God and understood that God doesn’t hate His people lived along with those who didn’t. I already gave you an example in Matthew in the previous email regarding false believers- it looks as if you didn’t read it at all. Also past is responsible for it’s actions in the past and God will judge it , I live now and I am responsible for my actions now. Can I change the past that there used to be evil people??? Should I now reject God’s love that is in NT because of that? Can’t I make my own choice to follow what is good? So what is the point in proving you there uses to be true Christians pleasing God along with the evil people???
            The question you asked is not a good question as ‘my interpretation’ didn’t just start at some point on the history but evil and good has been growing together since beginnings. Is proving fact that there used to be Christians who did good in the past and pleased God, going to help you in anything??
            You want to cover the history since Christ till 17 the century? I can tell you only about Polish history and good Jewish -Christian relationship that existed) that I am familiar with since I am not studying every country’s history regarding Christian- Jewish relationship in the Middle ages. Anyways google gives you only narrow over- look , my books tell me more about my kings. I will skip all t e bad examples as we already know your history is filled with blood but you had never had a chance to hear about good Christians believing NT is encouraging everybody to hate you.
            Starting I will mention that in the middle ages the education was all in the hands of clergy and they were the ones holding all political power and having influence over others . Simple people weren’t the ones to write books or resist the rules of clergy on a big scale , Also any opposition toward Catholic rules ended up in persecution not only Jews but anybody during that time.
            The history of Poland tells me that it was home to the largest Jewish community in Europa. It was the center of Jewish culture thanks to a long period of statutory religious tolerance and social autonomy. This ended with the Partitions of Poland which began in 1772, in particular, with the discrimination and persecution of Jews in the Russian Empire. Like in every country we had good kings and bad ones. There were many who did good in the eyes of God and were for protection of Jews.
            From the beginnings of Poland in 1025 through to the early years of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth created in 1569, the Polish -Jewish relationship was considered pretty good. Is that telling me that every corner there were evil Christians hunting for Jews??
            I guess these people had to get along somehow so that the country was called a shelter for persecuted and expelled European Jewish communities. After the partitions of Poland in 1795 and the destruction of Poland as a sovereign state it all went bad because of influence of the Russians, Germans, Austria ,but true Christians still lived.
            Our history tells me that there was a good cooperation of Jews with many kings Kazimierza II Sprawiedliwy (1138-1194), Mieszko III Stary (1122-1202) i his sons Mieszko and Bolesław, Przemysław I Noszak (1332-1410) and that Jews were able to hold a privileged position during that time. In 1273 duke Henryk IV Probus (1257-1290) gave a document of privileges for Jews in Wroclaw area.
            There are coins with Jewish unscripted blessings during the time of those kings. Most of the Kings were Christians. Did that getting along came from the hate read in NT by them?
            In 1264 duke Boleslaw Pobozny issued an edict granting Jews the most privileges. This edict consists of thirty-six articles, with lots of toleration that influenced the other kings.
            In 1334 these privileges were extended by Casimir the Great to the Jews of the whole of Poland. They contained different rights; guarantee of protection of Jewish people , rights to medical help. There were also rules/punishment for those who would deliberately want to hunt Jews or destroy the synagogues or devastate the commentary and many others like being fined for failing in providing medical help.. He was the best Christian king.

            In the years 1348-1349 there came the third group of Jewish refuges from the western Europa mainly from Germany, France and Hungary. Poland was at that time called a land of “golden freedom for Jews” in Europe. ( Jewish documents wouldn’t say that if the only thing they were facing was hate from Christians they lived among.)
            The Golden Years’ is a documented time where Jews were seen to have strong, friendly relations with Christians. Communities were cooperative where Jews were deeply connected to Christians and embedded into their society. One example transpires during the Crusades where Jewish people would be hidden and protected by Gentiles from their attackers.Also, Jews would work in Christian villages far from where they could seek protection.
            In 1364 i 1367 king Kazimierz Wielki gave a decree relating to Jews to support their economic activity, giving them rights to purchase lands in Poland. Władysław Jagiełło (1351-1434) is called the only king who didn’t want to support Jewish privileges .
            Then 1447 started his ruling king Kazimierz IV Jagiellończyk (1427-1492). He also gave documents about privileges for Jews and he banned the Roman Catholic pop’s anti-jewsih regulations. ( canonical rules) . There was protection issued against attacks of clergy and the mob. Also he said not to accuse Jews for so called ‘ mord rytualny’ – ritual blood shed
            ( I forgot your engish words for that). He said Jews are not guilty of that because their religion is not telling them to do any ritual blood shed. King Kazimierz was also a Christian yet he didn’t hate Jews.
            Next in 1453 king Kazimierz Jagiellończyk also supported all the privileges given to Jews. Th e message about the ‘ lucky life’ for Jews came to ears of Roman Catholic Church that really responded against.Then you had for sure some people acting against being under th e influence of that church.
            That was shortly about Polish Christian Kings.

            As far as Western Europa I know that in 1120 there came a bill that was not the first papal expression against the mistreatment of Jews. In 1065, for example, Pope Alexander II wrote to Béranger, Viscount of Narbonne, and to Guifred, bishop of the city, praising them for having prevented the massacre of the Jews in their district, and reminding them that God does not approve of the shedding of blood. force.”The bill forbade Christians, on pain of excommunication, from forcing Jews to convert, from harming them, from taking their property, from disturbing the celebration of their festivals, and from interfering with their cemeteries.
            France;
            During the First Crusade of 1096, there are documented accounts of Christian attempts to protect Jews from their violent attackers. In Cologne, Jews were protected by local gentiles after violence had broken out at the beginning of Shavuot, a Jewish holiday., the vast majority of Jews in Cologne survived Shavuot because local Christians had reached out and offered their homes as a means of asylum from the Crusaders.
            The close bonds between Jewish and Christian neighbors led to Jewish communities thriving in Christian cities..Jews experienced economic security and prosperity in their communities even through constant threats of violence .Through strict constraints placed on Jews in the thirteenth century by the French monarchy, Jews continued to experience a stable living situation. Although the French monarchy prohibited the creation of Jewish religious centers, friendly relations with Christians provided the Jews with the support they needed to build a synagogue in Béziers in 1278.
            In the ninth century, St. Agobard, the archbishop of Lyons, wrote, “Since they dwell among us, we ought not to be malignant to them, nor should we threaten their lives, safety, or property.”

            Germany;
            As the Crusades began, many Jews were in danger of being killed. There are documented accounts of how as the Crusades spread and reached different towns and cities, and Christians stood up and attempted to protect the neighboring Jews. In the German city of Trier, the local bishop attempted to protect the Jews. Other German cities had similar experiences, with some towns such as Mainz having the local burghers fight against the incoming crusaders.Another German town, Cologne, hid all the local Jews among their Christian neighbors during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, spending the remainder of the holiday with the Christian acquaintances.

            There was no way to stop the Crusades but that doesn’t mean that people weren’t doing what they could to help. Many died the same way by opposing the Roman Church’ acts of evil. The good Christians actively opposed these attacks, and local clergy often came to the defense of Jews in their community. St. Bernard of Clairvaux, preaching the Second Crusade, told the soldiers of Christ, “The Jews are not to be persecuted, killed, or even put to flight.” When a fellow Cistercian monk began exhorting Germans to destroy the Jews before waging war on the Muslims, St. Bernard went personally to put a stop to it.
            As Rabbi Efraim of Bonn wrote:
            Bernard said to them [the Crusaders]: “It is good that you go against the Ishmaelites [Muslims]. But whosoever touches a Jew to take his life, is like one who harms Jesus himself . . .” When our enemies heard his words, many of them ceased plotting to kill us . . . Were it not for the mercy of our creator in sending the aforementioned abbot [Bernard] and his later letters, no remnant or vestige would have remained of Israel. Blessed be the redeemer and savior, blessed be his name.”
            Back to 20 century. Did people write anything to stop the evil and anti-semitism? I can tell you only about Polish writers . They actively acted on getting rid of prejudice and hate brought up by evil influence of false Christianity . Writes are ; Boleslamw Prus ” Lalka” , Maria Konopnicka ” Mendel Gdanski” Zofia Nalkowska, Tadeusz Borowski, Hanna Krall.

            We hear about good Christians now pleasing God in the 21 century. They also existed before. We live in the age of information( emails, Internets ,movies TV etc) . They didn’t but still the history of a certain country can tell you there were people who weren’t blindly following the evil but had open eyes to seek the truth and could act upon the love they saw in Christian words.

            Then you can read ” Rescue” stories of Gentiles ( from the whole Europa) saving Jews in the Holocaust by Milon Meltzer.
            There is also a true story made into a movie about Christians from Lithuania ( i don’t remember the title) who rescued 2000 Jews before holocaust getting them out of Warsaw before ghetto was finished and rescued them living with them in woods for 3 years. They warned all Jews to leave but at least 2000 responded.

          • Dina says:

            Okay, Eric, I’m going to begin responding in a series of comments. This is the first one.

            You wrote: “As far as your question nobody just started a different interpretation ; those who did the will of God and understood that God doesn’t hate His people lived along with those who didn’t.”

            Let’s say this is true. Two groups of people lived side by side; one did the will of God and the other didn’t.

            The group who didn’t do the will of God yet called themselves Christians wrote terrible things about Jews that incited their followers to commit atrocities against them. The group who did the will of God (and also called themselves Christians) remained silent. There was not a contemporary of John Chrysostom, Augustine, Origen, and others who wrote that these people are going to hell for inciting hatred and violence against the Jewish people. There was not a contemporary of these Christian leaders who wrote that what they taught regarding the Jews was evil.

            Similarly, there was not a contemporary of Martin Luther who denounced him for his rabidly anti-Semitic views.

            Even today, mainstream Christians do not renounce these people. Their writings are still studied today in theological seminaries. Why?

            So when I asked you about writings, Eric, this is what I meant. I didn’t mean decrees passed to protect the Jews (decrees that should not have been necessary in the first place).

            I agree with everything you wrote about the history of Polish-Jewish relations. Of all the European countries, Poland was perhaps the most tolerant. Jews began to move to Poland in the eleventh century and they were tolerated and mostly protected by the Polish rulers until the seventeenth century. That was the Golden Age for Jews in Poland.

            But you are still missing the point. In your effort to defend Christianity, you are looking for evidence that supports your conclusion. Of course there were good and righteous Christians who were kind to the Jews in their midst. Sometimes at great personal risk. I love reading those stories! I am deeply moved by them; I find them inspiring. But I’m looking at the big picture, and the big picture is covered with huge dark spots.

            Every Christian historian who has dug deeper knows this. The books that I suggested were written by religious Christians. That’s why I think it’s important for Christians to read about Jewish history, and not just an article or two on the Internet.

            For example, there have been about 80 expulsions of Jews. So over the course of 2,000 years, that works out mathematically to one expulsion every 25 years. That’s crazy! And that’s just a small part of it.

            The thing is this: Christianity claimed to lead its followers down a path that was morally superior to Judaism. But, overwhelmingly, the historical evidence shows us the opposite.

            And I don’t just mean persecution of the Jewish people. I also mean bloody wars over religion or territory. I also mean the killing of thousands of innocents accused of witchcraft. I also mean executions of petty criminals, like hanging someone for stealing a loaf of bread.

            Over the last 2000 years, looking at the general overview of history, it’s easy to see which religion created the morally superior society. I don’t mean the perfect society. I just mean, the better one.

            I’m not saying this proves or disproves the claims of either religion. Certainly we can present stronger arguments in that regard. But I am saying that it is a theological thorn in your side.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, I thought you finally got my point when you said “Let’s say this is true. Two groups of people lived side by side; one did the will of God and the other didn’t.” But then the end of your email says something different. I showed you some glimps about Polish- Jewish history when people didn’t hate each other. My question is what made these Christians not hate others so they could make home for Jews in their country for so long? Or even during the world war 2 , when antisemitism was so strong how did come that there were many that risked the lives of the whole family or even the village by protecting only one Jew? Poland had at that time the worst restrictions under death penalty that if one Jew was found hiding with one family , the Nazis would set on fire the whole village and kill everyone. But still people were protecting Jewish people as much as they could. They say that there was almost no monastery’ undergrounds that was serving as a hiding place.

            Why didn’t these Christians take the NT words that are believed to promote hating Jews? It is clear that these people followed not just Christianity as a political organization and means for justifying evil desires to gain power over others ( under false name of God), but they followed God – Father of Jesus who never taught to hate or kill anybody and Jesus himself forgave even those who where nailing him to the cross.

            I would never say that all Christians are followers of God. True followers are those who will enter the Kingdom of God. False -are those who won’t. If you want to enter the Kingdom of God you don’t kill nor hate in the name of God. Jesus explained that himself in Matthew 7;21-23 . -unless you never read that because it is NT quote. He himself presented you two groups of those who claim that they believe in him ( so they can be called Christians) but they do two different opposite works.
            I am not following just a religion that has a title ‘Christianity’ but trust in God that He sent Jesus for our eternal redemption , not for condemnation to teach to hate others.

            I am tired of ‘digging up ‘ dead bones from the past who claimed to be Christians. I am leaving that judgement to God. I am just sorry such people had to exist and do so much evil in the name of God. You said you want to see the whole picture so you have to keep that ‘bloody past ‘ before your eyes , but that still won’t be the whole picture if you only focus only on Jews because the history shows you also much blood shed on true Christians who didn’t remain silent in the Middle ages called dark ages.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            It is difficult for all of us to set aside our biases and examine the evidence objectively.

            In this case, I do understand that it must be even harder for Christians to answer the questions I am asking.

            I am asking about the silence of “true believers” (as you call them) in the face of the great evil of anti-Semitism for most of Christianity’s history. You will not understand this question nor the extent and magnitude of this phenomenon until you study its history.

            I am also asking why gentile Christians revere a text that devotes a disproportionate amount of space vilifying Jews. How are the faults of any particular group of non-Christians (and especially a group that gentiles had been predisposed to dislike) the business of Christians?

            I would also like to add another question. Are you willing to say that Martin Luther, as a rabid anti-Semite, was not a true Christian? Are you ready to say that because of his incitement to hatred he lost his eternal life?

            If you are weary of this discussion and want to focus on our debate on other threads, I will respect that.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, I will go back to your emails next week, I have too much work right now,
            eric

          • Eric says:

            Dina, ok, just a quick question, I don’t really get why are you asking about all the time about ‘ silence of true Christians’. What type of silence???? What are you exactly expecting ? I guess you didn;t read the history of Christians’ persecution in Middle Ages. Many lost their lives for not keeping silent. I am sorry that they weren’t able to stop all the evil but I am happy for those who were able NOT to get under its influence. I wrote you some examples of those involved in protection of Jews based only on a few resources but I am sure there are many more. People lik that existed throughout the whole history. These people did what they could . Nobody is able to stop evil completely and many lost their lives trying to act against it. If you only read that book I said; “rescued” you would see.
            Anyways we can’t change the past or feel responsible for the people before us judging them for what they could do better or in what they failed. What is the point and especially for you who thinks the NT is made up story?
            People in the past are responsible for their lives, we are responsible for our life now, so why are you so much into that subject??
            As far as Martin Luter- only God knows if he was a true believer or not. I have no clue whether he repented at the end of his life or died with his hatred toward Jews. NT says, the one who hates his brother, can’t love God. If you love God, you don’t hate others.

            I will go back to your emails next week as I wanted to finish my other response to yours.
            Eric,

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            I’m looking forward to your responses, but in the meantime I’ll answer your question.

            I never disagreed with you about those Christians throughout history who risked life and limb to protect Jews. Having studied history, I am well aware of this. I’m grateful for it, I’m inspired by it, it’s beautiful. But having studied history, I am also well aware that these individuals were the exception rather than the rule. Anti-Semitic attitudes not only prevailed but were considered respectable until the second half of the twentieth century.

            What I mean by silence is the lack of Christian writings proclaiming, specifically, that Jew hatred is morally reprehensible and un-Christian and anyone who engages in it, incites it, or in any way persecutes Jews is eternally damned.

            While we have the works of such “greats” as John Chrysostom and Martin Luther that contain vicious condemnations of the Jews, we don’t have the works of Christians in their time periods writing against them to say that they lose their eternal life for their incitement to hatred.

            Furthermore, it’s standard for Christians today to study these works in their seminaries. Their writings till today have not been condemned as heretical by mainstream Christians.

            I find it very disturbing that neither you nor Paul is willing to say that because of his writings about Jews (which created a climate of anti-Semitism in Germany that was one of the worst of all the European countries and caused much suffering), Martin Luther loses his eternal salvation (or however Christians want to put it). You say you don’t know if he repented in the end. Then you should know that shortly before his death he preached a sermon against the Jews. He never took back anything he said against them.

            One final point. Just as the immoral behavior of some people doesn’t prove their religion false, so too the moral behavior of its adherents doesn’t prove it’s true. Otherwise, one could say that Hinduism is a true religion based on their beautiful treatment of the Jews in their midst. That would be silly, obviously.

            Nevertheless, Christians need to confront the fact that Christian anti-Semitism is rooted in their scripture.

            I’ll make a deal with you, Eric. I’ll read the book you suggested if you read a book I suggest. Deal?

            All the best,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, I will start answering your previous emails . I am really busy this week at work and I don’t know how long it will continue. I won’t add much the more about M. Luther , it looks like Paul gave you quite an answer. To my understanding only God knows how controversial mr. Martin L. ended up, whether he really repented ( admitted his sinful attitude-hatred that it was evil and he turned away from it , or not)- I don’t know. I wasn’t at his bed when he was dying. Why it should matter to me that much how he ended up anyways ? Can I change the past or anything about his life ???

            Ok, back to your message about immortal soul…. You said most Christians believe in life after death except me. Well, I will tell you how most Christians believe. Starting with false doctrines in RC , these people don’t really know much what happens after death and live in fear, practicing prayers for the dead ones and relying most on purgatory. Most believe that for good you go to heaven , for bad you go to hell. Other Christians no- RC , relying on teaching of Jesus will know more that you don’t go to any purgatory, but you either are born to life ( at the resurrection, or ‘wake up’ to condemnation.) Death is described both in NT and OT as a stage of sleep ,
            Some Christians believe they go to be with the Lord ( sooner) right after they die, the others believe they ‘wake up ‘ to life at Jesus coming ( resurrection time). Based on how much somebody studies the scriptures you can get a whole picture or partial.

            I look at the whole picture , in which I see death a stage of ‘sleep’ until Christ comes, Messiah at whose coming the dead ones are resurrected. ( Ezekiel, Daniel. talk about it too)

            But the problem isn’t whether we believe we are back to life right after death or later at Messiah’s coming. You can believe what you want about it. The true problem is whether we know we are RECONCILED with God and know we will be with Him based on His word, not based on your speculation that we will exist somehow as an immortal soul. I can believe in immortal soul but I might end up condemned because I wasn’t reconciled with God and then what?.

            More I will say about it from OT since the words from the NT mean nothing to you.
            First death is described as a stage of sleep; Ps. 6;5 ” For in death there is no remembrance of Thee. In the grave who shall give you thanks.? So my question is where is that immortal soul here and what is it doing???? If immortal soul can’t remember God and praise Him, I would rather be alive in my body.

            More Ps 115; 17 The dead praise not the Lord. neither any who go down into silence.”
            Daniel 12;2″ And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” – evidence of being woken to life at the resurrection not sooner.
            More about it; Job 7;21, ps.146;4 ps.30; 9, isajah 38;18, ps 89;48 eccles 9;4-6, 10 ,

            When David said his words; “God will redeem my soul from the power of grave , for He shall receive me” ps49;15 – that didn’t mean David will be made alive before the resurrection like many think. David knew his soul won’t wake up to condemnation, and that God will resurrect him to life. That ‘s what he meant not a transfer into a soul -stage existence. All scriptures together have to correlate.
            There is still more about it, our soul is that life- force God breathed into Adam to make him alive When that soul was breathed into him, he became a living being, when it is taken , we are not alive, nor live separately as souls ( life-force). When you realize that based on the scriptures you will know that death is not a life prolonged in another stage. It is like almost pagan believes. Death was introduced as a punishment for sin, not a new variety of life. Death doesn’t come as a reward ever.
            Believing like that- of course- you don’t see death as a big deal – in you immortal soul beliefs – and that God needed to redeem us from it by some means. You also see only that it is about God’s forgiveness, but not consequences. But does God forgives and cancels his law? Many evil actions described in Leviticus required death penalty according to His law. Of course God will forgive us after we turn away from evil, but already committed evil isn’t in God’s eyes to be left unpunished. Would you want Martin Luther back to resurrected life and forgiven by God?
            ( just one example on him) Would that be fair just forgiven and not bearing consequences for evil actions especially Luther’s bad anti-semitic influence? That’s why Jesus had to be punished in our place for all our evil actions, not just Luther’s or one bad individual. We all sinned. One psalm even tells you that the soul’s redemption is too costly. Ps 49;8 No man can redeem his brother. Only God’s Son was able to do that.
            If it was just about forgiveness , redemption of souls wouldn’t be called costly at all.

            You know that explanation of levit 16 from your link is no explanation to me. I concluded from it- you just choose not too focus much on it as it was just one time of year celebration so as if not that important.
            Well, I tell you that in all of your fests there is message of the need of redemption , and what Christ accomplished. We skip Levit 16 , we can look at passover. Blood of a lamb marked at ones’ door for the death angel to pass over and save the family. Symbol of blood of Jesus – as redemption from sin bondage into freedom to everlasting life, freedom from eternal death.
            ok, I have to go now, I will catch up later,
            eric

          • Dina says:

            Eric,

            You are satisfied that Paul gave me a good answer on Martin Luther. I suppose this means that you agree with him that one can hate Jews and still be a real Christian. Paul said that only faith in Jesus makes you a real Christian and what you do or how you live your life is irrelevant.

            You see, for a long time both of you have been arguing that real Christians don’t hate Jews. But when I point to a confirmed Jew hater, you’re not willing to say he wasn’t a real Christian. I hope you will understand that I cannot therefore take seriously your assertion that real Christians don’t hate. The fact that you cannot decisively condemn this man whose words caused death or privations to untold numbers of Jews tells me that you don’t take Jew hatred seriously.

            Regarding your citations about the soul, I already explained that we understand this to mean that after we die we can no longer perform the commandments in the Torah.

          • Eric says:

            Dina, Why do you say “You are satisfied that Paul gave me a good answer on Martin Luther. ” I haven’t even had time to read anybodys conversation today and you are suggesting me agreing on that fact that one can hate Jews and still be a real Christian.. And what is a real Christian??? Real follower of God and His son Jesus. He who obeys what God said through Jesus. And He said love one another, not hate.
            I don’t know why is my previous answer so hard to understand about M. Luther. Let’s say we see him so badly so we say he wasn’t , he just knew a lot and ‘ banished’ lot of false RC doctrines but whether he repented from his ignorance and hate he practiced at his last moment ( Knowing the fact that God can forgive anybody who really repents)- gives him a chance to change, but whether he did that or not, HOW AM i SUPPOSE TO KNOW THAT???? Or anybody??
            I completely don’t know his life and I wasn’t ever interested.

            I don’t agree that how we live is irrelevant as Christians, because it is said that our faith without works is nothing. If we are aware of doing wrong stuff, God wants us to repent from it , leave it, not continue living in sin. The same principle like ever.
            None of the Christians I know or I ever met in my life hate Jews. I didn’t grew up in this country where I live now, so I don’t know how is here, but even in th e churches here nobody ever expressed hate feelings for Jew among the people I know.

            I wil finish later responding , I wil see if I find any time tomorrow.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric.

            I was responding to the statement you wrote here: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/seeds-of-auschwitz/#comment-11638

            You wrote: “I won’t add much the more about M. Luther , it looks like Paul gave you quite an answer.”

            This is probably a misunderstanding due to language. In English, when you say “quite an answer,” it means “a really excellent answer.” That is why I assumed you agreed with Paul. Please forgive me for misunderstanding you.

            I’m glad Martin Luther means nothing to you and that you didn’t suffer anything because of him. Some of my relatives are ashes in Europe because of him. Historians have traced a direct line from Martin Luther to the Holocaust. His vicious and disgusting pamphlet, “On the Jews and Their Lies,” was disseminated by the Nazis.

            If you can’t bring yourself to say that you don’t know if he was a real Christian or not, because maybe he repented before he died, then you cannot say that the Christians who persecuted Jews were not real Christians, because maybe they repented before they died.

            And I don’t know what you mean by repentance. If you harm someone else and you don’t express remorse and ask for forgiveness from the person you wronged, what good is your repentance?

            Martin Luther did not repent because he did not recant a word of what he said against the Jews. Indeed, he preached more hate against the Jews shortly before he died.

            And you cannot bring yourself to say he was not a real Christian.

            I’m also glad you haven’t met Christians who hate Jews. For the most part, neither have I. I’m thankful that American Christians today mostly tolerate us, although the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe is frightening to behold.

            Nevertheless, a half century of goodwill toward Jews is not enough to wipe out nearly 2000 years of persecution, especially when Christians refuse to face their history and the roots of Christian anti-Semitism.

          • Eric says:

            Dina, I don’t remember what was written before about M.Luther to which I responded as quite an answer – so many emails ago. That was long before the subject developed.
            I didn’t hear whether he preached more hate against the Jews shortly before he died.
            He might have been messed up . But why it matter so much what happened to him ? If he repented and God forgave Him, or not , what will we change ???
            You said ” If you harm someone else and you don’t express remorse and ask for forgiveness from the person you wronged, what good is your repentance?

            Do you think kind David could be forgiven after he contributed to a man to be killed so that he could take his wife?? The guy was dead, no chance to say sorry to him.

          • Eric says:

            Dina, about book deal, no problem, I can ship you my book . It is from 1988 so I am not sure if it is available online. You may email me if you want at with the mailing address;; study_b@rocketmail.com
            The book is not hiding anti-antisemitism, it is showing both pictures in the history and only covers the time of world war 2. It tells you how despite strong antisemitism- people were fighting it and help others.
            eric

          • Dina says:

            Oh, Eric, you are so kind, but it won’t be necessary to ship it. If you tell me the title and author I’ll order it from Amazon. Bless your soul! Or whatever you believe animates you 🙂

          • Eric says:

            Dina,yes, I agree my soul from God is what ‘animates’ me, His life force.
            Before I will try to answer your last question to all about anti-Semitic claim you mentioned, I have to ask you; do you believe that any conversation between Jesus and anybody else mentioned in NT – took place for real or it is just fairy-tale like story about Pinocchio? If you believe that maybe only some of the conversations took place and are true facts- which ones??? And which one you would think are made up?
            You know in order to answer your question I want to answer it based on true facts instead of based on made up story that never happened.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, Christian scripture is not reliable. I have shown you why, and you have failed to make a good case against those reasons. Since it is not reliable, it is impossible to know what is true and what is false, except where the falsehood is very obvious (I have given you examples of such instances).

            Therefore, when I quote from Christian scripture, it is either to show a scriptural error or to make a specific point about Christian belief–not to prove the truth of anything.

            I hope this clarifies my position.

          • Eric says:

            Dina, the book is ‘ Rescue’ – The story how Gentiles saved Jews in the Holocaust. by Milton Meltzer
            Don’t burn the book when you get it and read a quote on the first page of Martin Luther King Jr. – He was the leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement , not the Luther we talked about. Letting you know just in case….

          • Dina says:

            Okay, Eric. Martin Luther King is a much less controversial figure than Martin Luther 🙂 I will get the book and in return, I’m going to recommend to you “A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair” by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, I still have more to say about Martin Luther. You wrote, ” I have no clue whether he repented at the end of his life or died with his hatred toward Jews.”

            What is repentance if it doesn’t include making restitution to the person you wronged? Martin Luther was an influential man. He knew his writings had a lot of influence. But he never recanted his words against the Jews. He did not apologize for what he said before he died. He caused suffering on a massive scale to the Jewish people. You say that people who hate Jews and who hurt them are not true believers. But you are not willing to say that a confirmed anti-Semite who practically declared his hatred for Jews with nearly his last breath was not a true believer.

            Christians who dodge this are not as outraged by anti-Semitism as they ought to be. This makes it difficult for me to take you seriously when you say that people who hate Jews are not true believers.

          • Dina says:

            Sorry, Eric, here’s the link:

          • Eric says:

            Dina, still finishing last email;
            You said ” I would also like to see you address the false comparison I pointed out between OUR Scripture that criticizes us and YOUR scripture that criticizes…us.”
            You are missing on everything I wrote. I didn’t say things to criticize you ( if you feel better the OT tells about faults of pagan nations, and the coming judgement to all – those who don’t know God ) . The reason I mentioned a few examples when God wasn’t pleased with the nation of israel was to show you that God hates sin and won’t hide it. Does it look like a critic??? Can you see any difference??? I showed you that as an example that in times of Jesus were people who needed to change because their actions were sinful. Many actually did and Jesus even didn’t condemn them. He healed then and told them go and sin no more.

            You said” Also please answer me on the contradiction between the ugly picture of the Pharisees painted in Christian scripture and what we know of the Pharisees from the historical record and their own writings. “\
            The picture is about the ones whom Jesus was facing in during his ministry “those who have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness. Jesus didn’t hide anybodys’ sin. Whether that was a teacher of the law or somebody else. He wasn’t addressing those who weren’t there and their writings but the ones he talked to who saw him healing people yet hated him for good works he was doing. He heals Lazarus one day, we read they are then looking to also kill Lazarus. Isn’t that the action you are pleased with???

            Another story; Matthew 12;9-14
            ” Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
            11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
            13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.” Whose action would you justify here???

            Another example; they all admitted they are sinful; John 8; v.3, v7-9
            v.3″The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group”
            v.7 “And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him WHO IS WITHOUT SIN among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (…)9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.”

            You said you believe that Christians can please God. I am glad you are able to believe so.
            I thought that we as the idol-worshippers ( that ‘s who we are called by most Jews) can’t please God. You said “We believe that God judges people not only according to their actions but also according to their circumstances and abilities.” That is surely not Christian belief when it comes to abilities because it is God who gives people abilities or skills. You have free will to decide to use them for serving God. That’s what I believe God looks at how you use the talents He gave you but not the talent a skill himself. What you mean by judging according to circumstances I don’t knbow what you mean here. The other thing – we believe – there is a judgement that decides whether you can be resurrected back to life or shame and everlasting death. Daniel 7;10, Daniel 12;2 But that is not based on abilities but trust in God and His word. We also have explanation in John 5;24

            You said;” the message of love that you see in Christian scripture was taken from Hebrew scripture. There is nothing new there. ” Well, there is nothing new as this is the same God who tells you what is good what not. But I mentioned the ‘message of love’ that relates to believing God sent His son for us to save us. That is the message of love what I meant. God gives something that is the most precious to Him for us so that we would be free from eternal death. It is like a story with Abraham. It is hard to offer somebody who is your son. Th e lessown also was God is the one who provides the substitute for sacrifice.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            You’ve written a lot and there’s much to respond to. With the Sabbath approaching, I don’t have the time to give this the proper attention, so I will try to respond early next week, God willing.

            Thanks for taking the time,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, No problem, take your time. I am sorry again if you felt criticized in my emails.
            Eric

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric.

            You brought me stories from Christian scripture to prove your points, but I have already established that I have good reason not to believe these stories. These stories in particular are hard to believe, given what we know about the Pharisees through the historical record and their own writings.

            First, the notion that the Pharisees were plotting to kill Jesus is hard to accept. The Pharisees were extremely tolerant of those with differing ideas. After all, Jesus was not the only messianic claimant of the time. Messianic claimants preying on the hopes of a people weary of Roman oppression were a dime a dozen. Remember that the Pharisees peacefully co-existed with sects they deemed heretical, such as the Sadducees and the Hellenists.

            Second, the conversation between Jesus and the Pharisees about the healing on the Sabbath is bizarre. According to Pharisaic law, I don’t see that the Pharisees would have had a problem with this type of healing on the Sabbath. But assuming this story is true, it seems more like Jesus is trying to antagonize them more than anything else. Suppose he knew it would irk them to perform a healing on the Sabbath. Why couldn’t he wait a few hours till sundown, the end of the Jewish Sabbath? Surely a man who was born with a shriveled hand could wait a few more hours, rather than offend an entire group of people? Of course, they would not have been offended to begin with. That’s just one reason that this story is hard to believe.

            As for your question about who is pleasing to God: God’s mercy and justice are greater than ours. Surely, He who gave us our abilities and our circumstances will consider that when He renders a judgment. Here is what the hated, hypocritical Pharisees taught about non-Jews:

            “The righteous of all nations will have a share in the world of eternal bliss” (Tosefta Sanhedrin, XIII:2).
            “If a pagan prays and evokes God’s name, Amen must be said” (Jerusalem, Berachos, 8).
            “Antonius once asked Rabbi Judah the Prince, ‘Will I have a share in the world to come?’ To which the latter replied, ‘Yes.’ ‘But is it not written, “Nothing will remain in the house of Esau”?’ ‘True,’ Rabbi Judah answered, ‘but only if they do the deeds of Esau’ ” (Avodah Zarah 10b).
            “No one can become a Kohen or Levite unless he is so born. But if anyone wishes to become a holy and religious man, he can do so even though he is a pagan. Kindness, holiness, and piety are not hereditary and are not the possession of an exclusive race or nation. Justice and piety are acquired through one’s own deeds” (Numbers Rabba, 8).
            “Heaven and earth I call to be witnesses, be it non-Jew or Jew, man or woman, man-servant or maid-servant, according to the work of every human being does the holy spirit rest upon him” (Yalkut, Section 42).
            “Whether Israelite or heathen, if he only executes a righteous deed, God will recompense him for it” (Tanna Devai Eliyahu, Section 13).

            That’s the traditional Jewish belief regarding others. Whether you be Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist, or other, if you sincerely strive for goodness and do the best that you know how, then you are righteous in God’s eyes.

            I will try to respond to your other comments sometime soon.

            Thanks for your patience,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            I think the correct term in Polish might be “mord rytualny.”

            Does this term ring a bell? Are you familiar with its use in the history of Christian Jewish relations, just off the top of your head?

          • Eric says:

            Dina, If I knew you wanted me to look it up I would check the translation. I said I wasn’t familiar with English expression of these words. As to that word- if that’s what it is ; ‘mord rytualny;
            ( mord means killing, ‘rytualny’ means ritual – it brings me a picture of people being killed for a sake of some religious purposes ( ritual ) like pagan folks in the past would sacrifice their children to their gods, etc. But it definitely doesn’t ring a bell when it comes to Jewish -Christian relationship. I grew up in a society where Jewish religion weren’t mentioned much apart from the fact that there are Jewish people living among in bigger cities. l if anybody was bringing up the past that related to killings of many many people together but not just focus on Jews.
            So where are you going with these words???

  10. Eric says:

    P.S. No sorry for my grandpa and aunt. They were deliberated. Some ‘anti-Semitic’ Christian soldiers finally deliberated the whole camp.

  11. R Vogel says:

    I read this recently and find it apropos, with a slight modification, to your excellent piece and some of the responses to it:

    Critiques aimed at institutional practices and social norms are taken personally because [Christians] view sin as primarily an individual phenomenon. It is this brand of individualism that makes [Christians] incapable of addressing their own complicities in institutional racism. – See more at: http://politicaljesus.com/2014/04/22/fundamentalism-and-post-evangelical-culture/#sthash.CUw4gaRg.dpuf

    It really made something click within my brain in helping to understand the latent racism and anti-semitism I find rampant among many of my christian acquaintances and family.

  12. David Day says:

    I’m not sure if I should take you seriously or not. You honestly want to blame the mental state of certain psychopaths that kill Jews on some nebulous organized religion that doesn’t even exist?

    If you wish for people to take you seriously, maybe you can define what you mean by Christians? Is this one of the 10s of thousands of religious groups that claim to follow Christ or all of them combined? That’s like trying to group the different Chareidim sects, Orthodox sects, Hasidic groups, secular Jews, and the thousands of other groups out there that consider themselves Semites and label them all together as one big group pf Semites and start blaming them for something.. Really??

    Because all those groups really are a cohesive bunch with so much in common? I dare say. I know the Isalmic and Christian groups are no different.

    I guess we could just view all Jews the way the Tanakh describes them. Evil, rebellious, stiff necked, adulterous people. Which is definitely in no better light that the Mohammed and Christ followers have ever described them.

    Or maybe we should stop trying to spew hatred. Stop trying to define people by what their ancestors and past history say, and start treating people the way God would have us treat all people, with love and respect.

    • Dina says:

      David Day, if you want the hatred to be no longer spewed, you could start by adopting a more loving tone yourself. I’ve read all your comments thus far and the tone is angry and contemptuous rather than respectful, sensitive, and compassionate toward a people who have too long borne the burden of persecution from a religion that professes love.

      May God the Father of both of us lead us ever closer to the light of His truth.

  13. David
    We treat people with love and respect – that is the purpose and point of this blog – read it before you judge.
    In any case – to compare the Tanach with the Christian Scriptures is immoral. the Tanach is a record that Jewish people revere even though it speaks of evil of them. the prophets who recorded those words never saw themselves as something separate from the people. The Christian Scriptures were written and read as a condemnation of “others.” And the lies written in that book are still believed. try this one for size – what does the word “Pharisee” mean to you?

  14. David Day says:

    Again you group all “Jewish” people together as if they all are very similar people and as if they all revere the Tanakh the same. They don’t! But you know that. The same with Christians. They are as much if not more diverse than your Jewish brethren.

    And then to say the Christian texts were written as a condemnation of “others”? Really? I’d really like to see some historical proof to back that statement up. The condemnation in their text is no different than the condemnation in yours.. Please tell me you are not that blind to realize that. the Jews that did record the Tanakh gave an honest account of how evil their forefathers and brethren had been. And why are we to take your word for it that the Christians didn’t give the same just account? They also don’t whitewash their own people in their texts as they speak of their evils just as much. Brutal honesty to admit the faults of your group speaks loudly in both..

    So unless you really have some historical accurate proof that would exonerate any statement made in the Christian scriptures, then I’ll consider it just bias and the same stereotypical hubris that I hear spoken of Mohammed’s followers. And I was hoping we as God creation have become better than that.

    Maybe you just don’t like the Christian writings since you don’t agree with your Jewish brethren that wrote it? Admittedly, I believe there are some of their writings not done by Jews, but the majority was. Maybe because they should have only spoken of their own Christian brethren’s evil and not Jews? Maybe all the groups that are spoken evil of in the Tanakh should get upset over yours and unjustly call your writers just wanting to spread condemnation of “others”?

    Pharisee.. What does it mean to me? A group of people that have mostly similar beliefs strongly tied to the Tanakh.

    • David
      You read the Tanach like the authors of the Christian Scriptures. The most importantline in their universe was the divide between believers in Jesus and non-believers and the condemnation of Jews in those books is a condemnation of “others” The prophets of Tanach were recording a condemnation of themselves.
      Honestly – the word Pharisee means nothing more to you than what you wrote?

      • David Day says:

        I’m not sure how you account for how I “read the Tanakh” any more than how I read the Christian writings. They both speak negatively of themselves. They both speak positively of themselves. They both speak negatively of “others”. They both speak positively of “others”..

        The only reason I wrote it that way is because of your previous writings in which you separate “Christian” brethren and accuse them. As if “they” (Christians) are any specific group and that “they” had some wrongs you seem to want to condemn.. Are you not condemning “them”.. Whoever “Them” is..

        You have yet to even describe who “them”(Christians) are? As I said before, they are as diverse as those calling themselves Jews and/or those calling themselves Semites. So are you condemning every single one of these Christians? And you have proof again? Or maybe some specific smaller group or person?

        Again, this divide is a divide you began. Whether you use the Tanakh or the Christian writings to describe them.. From what I see, both sides have faults, neither is in the “right”.. For only HaShem is.

        So why you enjoying pointing out the flaws and divide your brethren, when will you return back to humanity and realize we are one. Rather than using sacred texts that describe a history neither you nor I lived in and can only barely understand what took place, much less know with 100% certainty, why not find that common thread.

        May He who created all things guide you to live greater His way.. The way you already know. The way Christians already know. The way Semites already know. The way Jews already know. The way Muslims already know. It is nothing new. Only rarely lived. Selah

      • David Day says:

        I apologize. I forgot to answer you question when you asked if the word “Pharisee” means anything more to me..

        And the answer is yes. It does. The word itself implies to me a group. And a group implies division and separation. And unless that “group” goes out of its way to do the opposite, it implies to me it is against God who is One. It goes against His nature. It goes against His will. It goes against everything He is. Are there times God chose a person. A group. A nation. An animal. An object. Sure. The creator uses what He has made for His one purpose. One. Oneness. Not division. And anything outside of that is destruction. Division brings destruction. We are all brothers and sisters, created by our One God. We are all from the one man Adam. We are all placed here with ONE purpose. We are all here to help ONE another. And anything outside of that is idolatry.

        • Dina says:

          David Day, just so I understand what you’re saying:

          Groups are bad because the very notion sows division between men. Therefore, there are no–or there ought to be no–Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, etc. We are all one and the same before God.

          Do I have that right?

          Thanks,
          Dina Bucholz

          • David Day says:

            I don’t say that all groups are bad, no. But if it is used as a way to cause unhealthy division amongst brethren, then certainly it goes against God;s original intent when he created us.

            God created man for a purpose. That purpose is one, and that purpose was handed down to our forefathers. Not to Christians. Not to Jews. Not to Muslims. But to mankind which God had created, our brother and sister. And anything that separates us from that purpose, which should unite us, hurts not only ourselves, but our Creator.

            I have yet to see a religion institution that is blameless. And that includes all 4 you mentioned above and others.

          • Dina says:

            What is that purpose? And how do you know?

          • Dina says:

            That question was for David Day.

        • David
          I use the word Christian to talk about those who elevate the adoration of the central character in the Christian Scriptures to the level of religious virtue
          I recognize that many people in this category were truly Godly people – but this institution (and I refer to this broad spectrum as an institution although it could be subdivided into many institutions – because there are certain relevant common denominators) has on the whole been destructive and unrepentant.
          Why is this my business? Only because this institution (and here it is much more limited) actively attempts to lead my brethren astray from our relationship with God – it is for this reason and this reason only that I spend the time to expose their flaws.

  15. yashar19 says:

    Do not anger and hatred blind the eye of righteousness? Let us put these aside, if we can, and open our eyes to see that those who are willing to lay their lives on the line for God’s People also must have a knowledge of God that we can learn from or be inspired by.

    Let us be careful that we do not judge all the followers of a religion, or even the religion itself, by what teachers or institutions or other followers of that religion distort it to be. Otherwise our own religion might not stand up very well either.

    It goes without saying that the Holocaust was one of the most evil episodes in history. However I think that it’s cause is anchored much more in the inherent evil that dwells within a godless humanity, than in evil within the Christian church or teachings.

    I am quite convinced that without Christianity Hitler or someone like him would have still brought these unthinkable atrocities onto the Jews. Antiochus IV Epiphanes is an example of this, though at a smaller scale, before the existence of Christianity.

    The reason for the unrelenting and unreasonable hatred toward the Jews is that they are God’s People. Has not the Jewish nation has been under attack from the days of Egypt? Has there not been a confrontation between good and evil from the days of Cain and Abel?

    However we also know that God hears the cry of the righteous and he will deliver them from all their foes. Keeping our eyes on this will strengthen our faith, whereas hatred and anger will not.

  16. Eric says:

    Yashar19, Good conclusion!

  17. paul says:

    Hello Dina.
    You seem to be going round in constant circles with the assumption that The True Curch of Christ, which I keep on trying to tell you, are the ones responsible for your ideas. Yes your persecution is blood stained, im not, yet again, saying its not. If you cannot see what is written, what chance do you have to read anything that takes spiritual insight in writtings that take discernible abilities?

    What you are doing is arguing against is your preset notion, and trying to justify your rejection on a half truth.
    Is Jesus of Nazereth the Messiah?
    No?
    Why?
    Because Christians have murdered Jews.
    Does the NT teach or promote murder to Jews?
    Yes.
    Show me.
    Texts shown,
    These texts are taken out of context. Wasnt Jesus a Jew, and all His early followers?
    Doesnt history show us, actually it was Jews persecuting the Jewish believers of Jesus, Saul being one of them?
    So the church must have been persecuting Jews before His rejection? Is this the reason why the Leaders called Him the son of the devil. I get it now. Healing the sick, feeding the hungry, cleansing leprosy, making the lame walk, giving sight to the blind, raising the dead, teaching love, yes vey demonic.
    Doesnt the NT teach that salvation comes from the Jew, and that Jews should be given priority, when it comes to proclaiming Christ Jesus the Jew?
    Doesnt the NT teach that Israel will be the centre of the Messianic age and worship will be in Jewish temple etc?

    Just remind me again, why the true body of Jesus Christ hate and murder Jews?
    Just remind me again why you reject the free, true gift of salvation?

    Why, thats easy. Christians hate Jews.
    No thats incorrect!

    Read John ch 6 v 41 onwards.

    • Dina says:

      Paul, you did not respond to my comment at all, but went off on an emotional rant.

      Answer me this:

      1. When did Christians start interpreting their scripture so as to be not anti-Jewish?
      2. Why is there no such written explanation since early Christianity until the nineteenth or twentieth centuries?
      3. Why is there no condemnation of persecution until that time?
      4. Why is there no condemnation even today of Christian leaders who wrote hate-provoking things about the Jews, like the early church fathers and Martin Luther?
      5. Why would Christian Jews need to be vindicated in the eyes of Christian gentiles, and why would you need to go to the Jews to learn the truth that you believe you already possess?

      You falsely charged that I reject Christianity because of anti-Semitism. I have repeatedly said that is NOT the reason, although it certainly doesn’t help your case. I have said that although it’s not the reason, it would be a good one if it were. BUT IT ISN’T.

      The fact that you asked me to remind you what my reasons are shows that you have not been listening. At all. To anything I have been saying since I joined the conversation on this blog. I will be happy to remind you of the reasons, but it’s hard to talk to someone who’s got his fingers in his ears while saying “Nah, nah.”

      Let me know when you’re willing to actually listen to what I have to say and to engage with me on an intellectual level, and then I will tell you why Jews reject Jesus. Or you can just read the articles on this blog. But you’ll have to take your blindfold off first.

      Have a good day,
      Dina

      • paul says:

        Hello Dina
        Did , have you read John ch 6 v41??

        First of all you have to re- read your opening question. You talk about blindfolds. Well of course so do I.
        Your first question is ” So when did christians start interpreting there sciptures to be not anti jewish?
        If thats not a loaded question, with a blinfold?

        The Messiahship of Jesus Christ was authenicated from the Law, prophets and the writings. Which im sure are pro Jewish. The NT is a Jewish document written by Jews for at large, at the time, Jews. There were NEVER anti jewish, ever, and still remain the same.
        If however people do assume that the scriptures are antisemitic, that is there problem, which unfortunately will cause suffering at some point.
        You mentioned, that I was wrong to assume that you were saying that I thought your views were from “”Christian”” persecution. Im glad we can agree on that. Im sure you will not mention your persecution again??????????

        I have to go now, but will answer your other questions very soon.

        • Dina says:

          Yes, that’s just another anti-Jewish verse, so what’s your point, Paul?

          Christians need to confront their evil legacy of persecution in a real and honest way. This you and most Christians refuse to do. So yes, I will continue to talk about it until you pull your head out of the sand and actually read some history.

          Here’s a good place to start:

          The Anguish of the Jews by Edward Flannery
          Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll
          A History of the Jews by Paul Johnson

          All these authors are religious, committed Catholics, so no pro-Jewish bias to worry about. Oh, wait, Catholics are all going to hell in a hand basket, along with anyone else who doesn’t go along with your particular brand of Christianity (not to mention all people of all other faiths). Oops, never mind, then.

          • paul says:

            e referring to John as anti Jewish, which I think you are? wells thats just it from your perspective, from someone who rejects Gods message. Christ is saying that with your mouths you honour me but with your heart you do not know Me.

            You keep repeating yourself time after time. Yes Ive already mentioned the RC church etc.Now you keep mentioning them on the strength that they are representative of the True Church of Christ, which im sure as you have stated, that my opinion, are going to hell in a basket. Yes there are. You keep contradicting yourself. Other faiths will also see the punishment of God, which im sure is very clearly stated in Hebrew scriptures. Just remind me how many times God says That Him only should be worshipped? I think for someone who is so passionate for Gods Law and statutes has the idea that all roads lead to God. I would love to be a fly on the wall, if say, you witnessed to a buddist. I have the idea that you would embrace there god, and say it doesnt really matter who you believe in, as long as you are worhipping someone??
            I could be wrong, but reading what you have stated, I do get this general perception?

            If Jesus wasnt God in the flesh, and just some other god, then whats your problem with Christ anyway? By your standard all other faiths are acceptable anyway. The only reason you embrace other faiths along with ” yours”, but reject Adonai is because of the John chapter that you actually fulfill.

            Those authors and books that you insist on using (even though you said that 2000 yrs of history are not the reason of your views of Christianity)!!!! are the very type of people that you/I greed on previously that God can use to fulfil History for His purpose. But it doesnt mean that they are Christs members of His body. The true Church. What man does for His Name for there own purpose, and what Christ does for His Name, for His Name and purpose are poles apart. Wheat and tares etc.

      • paul says:

        Hello Dina

        Im going to answer your questions that you raised. Time being short for me here I will go one by one.
        1. No written evidence of Christs Church voicing concerns of antisemitism until just recently.
        I dont have all the answers on this, not because there aren’t any, im not a scholar of history, but I can tell you, in summary how history has developed and how the church, present day and the church furture were/are spoken about by John in the book of Revelation. The 7 letters too the 7 churchs.

        Keeping this short, the church married into the world system. Just a couple of hundred years 2-300 yrs AD after the apostolic period the teachings of Christ were quickly disappearing, and theJewish teachings were fading out and gentile influence with antisemitic teachings grew. The rise of Constantine, the orthodox church RC, etc are guilty of this.The RC became powerful, and controlled kings, states and armies. Throw in the mix that here in england a person was burnt at the stake for even owning a bible. That is the control and influence the so called church of Christ had. This country didnt even have a education system until a couple of hundred yrs ago. The average man couldnt read, the dark ages, man was quite ignorant when it came to scripture. So of course the truth was well hidden. Here in the Uk most will say that this country is a christian country. Well I would totally disagree. It might had been governed by a church, and yes held some morall values in law and in a social way, but never in a scriptual way. The church was never commissioned to overtake a country with its teachings. The commision was to tell all about Christ. That was it. The church were warned to keep away from the worlds ways. Never, ever to be involved in politics etc.
        Bad leadership, ignorance, and false counterfeit churchs have at most influenced mankind.
        You are correct in asking why has the teachings of the church changing?
        The times and seasons are changing at a rapid rate. Since WW1 and WW2 the world is changing. Israel and the true church of Jesus Christ are moving towards the end time etc. With the truth being preached and Israel and her people going back to the land, God of Israel is preparing His Bride and His wife for His Kingdom to come.

        • Dina says:

          Paul, you haven’t answered my questions, but thanks for trying.

          For your information, Martin Luther was not a Roman Catholic.

          Also for your information, I would not embrace the god of the Buddhist, God forbid! I don’t know what gave you the idea. Jesus, Buddha, Hare Krishna–they are all the same to me. Wait, no, there are two differences.

          One, Buddhists and Hindus leave us Jews alone.

          Two, Buddhists and Hindus never (at least to my knowledge) engaged in persecution of the Jews.

          Paul, I will leave you with one last point. Christians like you frighten me. You talk to us with so much anger, smug self-righteousness, and a sense of superiority–all traits that led to dehumanizing us in the first place–that I can’t help but hope that you are a minority among Christians.

          Let’s just say, Paul, that I’m not feeling the love you profess.

          Peace,
          Dina

          • paul says:

            Hello Dina
            I thought I has answered your question?
            I never said that M Luther wad was a Catholic either. It was you who mentioned him.

            In the past you have stated very clearly that God would not punish worshippers of any other god other than the God of Israel. You made the ponit of criticism of The Christian God punishing people who do not believe in Christ Jesus. You said something of a agorrant view of God from my perspective. I take it then if I was a buddist and I said to you, I dont need to have faith in Adonai to see and to be recieved into heaven, would you,, or would not believe in this statement?

            If you want to be left alone, why do input so much time into this blog? If Jews feel so oppressed with christian attitudes, why create a blog on the very nature on which causes you want to feel so oppressed? If you want to be left alone, be alone. You cant expect silence from the other side of the fence if you keep shouting over the fence and rattling it!

            I mentioned the other month that non believers feel very comfortable here on this blog, patting each other on their backs and congratulating each others on their views of their Messiah who they rejected. Maybe thats the comfort zone in which you prefer?

            John 3v16 is a beautiful piece of history which talks about love. When/ if you ever see the love of The Father in these lines, then you will see love from The Son, not bulls, goats, or even Israel as a suffering servant, but through the express Image of The Father, Christ Jesus, God and King.
            You never mentioned your thoughts of John ch 6.

          • Dina says:

            Paul, I see you did not understand, so I will try to explain more fully.

            I am explaining traditional Jewish belief here. You will disagree, of course, and I want to make that clear at the outset because to defend this position would be a distraction from the main issue.

            We believe that God rewards goodness. Anyone who lives a basically moral life and tries to do the right thing has earned a place in heaven. This applies to all people of all faiths, whether they be pagans or atheists or monotheists or anything else. It doesn’t matter if you are a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist.

            We believe that God is the one God of Israel and His Torah is true. But we also believe that God is just and merciful. And in His justice and mercy, He will take into account such factors as honest and sincere mistakes. If a person honestly and sincerely believes in the wrong god but lives his life trying to do good, then a just and merciful God will consider that.

            I find it interesting that Christians can’t stand this idea but they practice it in their everyday life. Their own courts will exonerate someone–or at least reduce the fine of someone–who, say, was fined for a traffic violation in a state where he didn’t know that was the law (in the United States different states can have different traffic laws). Christians expect more from someone who was raised with every privilege and taught good values than from someone who was born out of wedlock to a drug addict and raised on the street. They expect more from an able-bodied man than from a sick and disabled person. They expect more from someone blessed with great intelligence than from one not similarly endowed.

            God gave us our circumstances. He gave us our abilities. He gave us our challenges. And His justice and compassion are greater than ours.

            Unlike you, we don’t pretend to know who’s going to heaven and hell. We don’t worry about it all that much, either, because our task is to obey God as best we can and let Him sort it all out.

            You raised a couple of other points. You talked about us rattling the fence. It’s amazing to me that you haven’t noticed that we don’t argue with people of other religions but only Christianity. It’s amazing to me that you do not realize that this blog exists only because Christians aggressively target Jews for proselytization.

            The Jewish countermissionary was born as a response to the Christian missionary. If Buddhists started aggressively proselytizing us, you can be sure we would be picking bones with them too.

            About Martin Luther. You have repeatedly placed the blame for the atrocities committed against the Jews on the Roman Catholic Church, who you have claimed does not represent true Christianity. Are you prepared to say the same about Martin Luther, who was a rabid anti-Semite and not a Catholic?

            If all true Christians have your truly contemptuous attitude toward Jews, well, it’s a scary thought.

            You asked for my views on John 6. I am not sure why. You know that I don’t believe Christian scripture. My view on John 6 is that the account of the miracles Jesus performed is not true. Even if it were true, it proves nothing. The ability to perform miracles was given to true and false prophets (Deuteronomy 13:1-3).

            Finally, you did not answer my questions. I am pasting them below again, for your convenience. I am especially interested in answers to questions 4 and 5.

            1. When did Christians start interpreting their scripture so as to be not anti-Jewish?
            2. Why is there no such written explanation since early Christianity until the nineteenth or twentieth centuries?
            3. Why is there no condemnation of persecution until that time?
            4. Why is there no condemnation EVEN TODAY of Christian leaders who wrote hate-provoking things about the Jews, like the early church fathers and Martin Luther?
            5. Why would Christian Jews need to be vindicated in the eyes of Christian gentiles, and why would you need to go to the Jews to learn the truth that you believe you already possess?

          • LarryB says:

            Paul, if i may
            you said “If you want to be left alone, why do input so much time into this blog? If Jews feel so oppressed with christian attitudes, why create a blog on the very nature on which causes you want to feel so oppressed?” May I remind you this web site was not created for christians or to evangelize them. Also, you were not invited. No one here wrote an article about your beliefs so you needed to defend yourself. You simply show up and point out how everyone is wrong and misguided usually in a respectful way but still antagonsitic. You dont even take the time to write an article of your beliefs and then await comments. Earlier you wrote “Christ is saying that with your mouths you honour me but with your heart you do not know Me.” thats what he was talking about. Your not being very charitable when your constantly beating others down to make your self feel good.

  18. Dina says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the knee-jerk response of many Christians when I point out the anti-Jewish passages in Christian scripture: They are quick to respond that the Old Testament uses much harsher language in criticizing the people of Israel.

    My explanations seem to fall on deaf ears. So I have decided to take a leaf out of Jim’s book and explain by way of analogy, like Horace’s Tree.

    Once upon a time, a dad and a mom lived with their two sons in a house with a white picket fence and two cars in the driveway. The older son was called Billy, the younger son was called Joey, and they had a dog named Fido and a cat named Fluffy. The dog and the cat don’t come into the story. Neither does the mom or the picket fence, so we can forget about them from here on.

    Like most brothers, Billy and Joey played together, but they also fought a lot. Joey was jealous of Billy because, as the older child, he got to stay up later and had more privileges and responsibilities. Joey often complained to his parents that they loved Billy more because of these things.

    Mac was the neighbor who lived down the block. He was built like a truck. And he did not like Billy.

    Billy was a good student. He was also a good but not perfect son. Sometimes his parents were proud of him. Sometimes they felt like pulling their hair out over him. In other words, he was normal.

    One evening, as Billy was pulling his pajamas out from under his pillow, he felt something crinkly. He pulled out a folded piece of paper. Curious, he unfolded it and saw that it was a letter from his father.

    Dear Son, he read,

    I am disappointed in you. I gave you a ten-dollar bill to go to the corner store to buy a package of batteries and a flashlight. When you came home, I asked you for the change. Then I looked at the receipt. The receipt says $6.80, but you only gave me $1.20 in change. That means you pocketed two dollars.

    I don’t care about the two dollars. I care about your honesty and integrity. How can I trust you to handle my money after this?

    Your heavy-hearted Dad,
    Who loves you very much

    Overcome with remorse, Billy dug the two dollars out of his pocket and shuffled out of his room, leaving the letter on the floor. He handed his father the money, and in a voice trembling from trying not to cry, he mumbled, “I’m sorry.”

    His father swept him into a fierce hug, saying he was sure it would never happen again.

    Meanwhile, Joey wandered into the bedroom that he shared with his brother, and he saw the piece of paper on the floor. He picked it up and read it. “Aha,” he thought. “I’m not even allowed to walk to that store by myself yet. Well, Billy shouldn’t be allowed to, either. Look how he messed up!”

    So he wrote a letter to Billy:

    Dear Billy, he wrote,

    You stink. I read Dad’s letter. You can’t even go to the corner store without messing up. Ha ha! Wait till my friends hear about this.

    This is you:

    [Ugly drawing of Billy with arrow pointing to drawing]

    Your younger, smarter brother,
    Joey

    Billy did not bother dignifying the letter with a response. He gave one scornful look at his brother, ripped up the letter, and walked away.

    That made Joey mad. So he wrote another letter.

    Dear Mac, he wrote,

    I want to build a club house with you. I have lots of wood planks and a brand-new tool set. We can build a really cool house together. But let’s not invite Billy. He stinks. Do you know that he steals money from my father? He’s a liar and a cheat and a thief! He ignores me when I talk to him. He thinks he’s so great.

    From Joey

    Mac showed the letter to his friends, who also happened to be built like trucks, whereas both Billy and Joey were slight of build. Mac and his friends were more than thrilled to join Joey in building a clubhouse with a free supply of lumber and Joey’s cool brand-new tool set. They were also very happy to band together to bully Billy the cheat mercilessly. Joey had given them Dad’s letter, and they loved to wave it in Billy’s face, read it out loud on the bus, and find any way they could to humiliate him over it. And throw in a couple of punches for good measure.

    When Dad found out he was furious. He gave Joey a thrashing and kicked the truck boys off his property, threatening to call the police if they ever laid hands on his son again.

    Joey’s friends were very confused. Didn’t Billy’s own dad write him a letter saying how disappointed he was that Billy stole two dollars from him?

    The analogy should be clear. Plug in the God of Israel for the dad, the nation of Israel for Billy, the schismatic early Christians for Joey, and the gentiles for Joey’s friends. Plug in the Prophets for the letter from Dad to Billy and Christian scripture for the letter from Joey to Mac.

    The Tanach contains criticism of the Jewish people, its target audience. Christian scripture contains harsh condemnation of the Jews for an audience of gentiles. That those gentiles who already didn’t like the Jews seized on this “letter” as an excuse to “bully” the weak, harmless Jews in their midst should come as no surprise.

    Why do Christians read a book that criticizes Jews? How is the fault of a particular group of Jews any of their business?

    We’re still waiting for our Father to punish our oppressors, so that part of the analogy isn’t true yet. May the Messiah come speedily, in our days.

    Peace and blessings,
    Dina

    • Jim says:

      Dina,

      Not to be party to the Mutual Admiration Society of which Paul has accused those of us opposed to the worship of any other than Hashem, but:

      This is just fantastic.

      Jim

      • Dina says:

        Mutual Admiration Society, I like that! Thanks!

      • paul says:

        Hello Jim
        when you say opposed to worship of any other than Hashem, are you referring to the God of Israel, who makes very it very clear that there is only One God, Himself. But im sure you are also agreeing at the same time, like Dina that wordhipping other gods is also just in the eyes of Hashem??
        What does your scriptures say on such???? Would you like wise advocate burning babies on the altar in the temple to baal?

        • Dina says:

          Paul, I never said that worshiping other gods is “just in the eyes of Hashem.” Either you are purposely twisting my words or you are incapable of understanding what I said. And frankly, I can’t decide which one is worse.

          Shame on you.

        • Jim says:

          Paul,

          As Dina has already pointed out, you have misunderstood her. You have unintentionally altered her claim. She did not say that it was just to worship other gods, or to make gods of created things. Please reread her point.

          In fact, it is a great crime to worship any other than Hashem. And you are right to point out that human sacrifice is a great crime. Humans may not be used in such fashion. Our devotion must be directed only to our Creator. And we may only serve Him in such fashion as He has dictated.

          Of course I object to any religion that directs one to worship any god other than Hashem. I would hope that by now that has become clear. It is not only Christianity that directs one away from Hashem; many other religions do as well. And it is not only religions but also particular philosophies. To all of these things I object.

          When I reject the claims of Christianity, I reject it for the same reasons I reject all other false religions and philosophies. It is not only Christianity that leads one away from God. It is not only Christianity that misleads. It is only one particular that fails a universal test. Hinduism is false. Atheism is false. Christianity is false. I object to all three.

          Christianity, like other false religions, directs one’s worship away from Hashem. It advocates human sacrifice (even if it is only one). And it does all of this in the name of God. It manipulates the words of the Torah and Prophets to create a religion in its own image. It is unjust to worship Jesus.

          Jim

          P.S. I have answered your question. You have ducked a question from me three times now. It is my hope that you will now answer me, as I have answered you.

  19. paul says:

    Hello Larry B.
    I think I must have mis understood the reason for this blog. As the blog, by its very nature is a social media tool on the world wide web, I thought it was open to all.
    Im just looking for the tool that has a “invite” button, or a clause in the terms that no one is/can have there opinion according to there faith. There is probally one, but I missed it. There should be a continuous reminder of these restrictions. Im also trying to see where others have been told they were not invited becausee of breaking the blogs rules.
    I dont write articles just because I dont feel I have to. I have the written Word already, why add to it? I simply dont feel that I have to defend my postition from the scriptures, however if, like here on this blog I see an arguement against Christ, then I will defend it, based on what was pre written in the first instance. The gospel message is, ” Tell the world about Christ, That He is Gods Son, that died a substitutional death to pay the penalty for sin. That he was buired, risen the 3rd day, and by doing so has conquered death, death beings the penalty for sin.

    The message or commission was never write and defend your faith. But as Ive already said, I will defend the assumption of Christianity, from anyone Jew or gentile if they ask first, or as here write blogs etc. That is what I am simply doing.
    So in summary, preach the Gospel and make disciples, to the Jew first, then the gentiles.

    Thanks.

    • Dina says:

      Paul, you know very well that no one is restricted from coming on to this blog. So what do you think is the reason this blog exists?

      • paul says:

        Hello Dina
        Im glad you have cleared that up.

        In regard to your statement about others following and having faith in other gods, and The Lord God of Israel taking a merciful attitude towards them, is quite frankly in my opinion the most ludicrous, sad, and directly anti scriptual statement that, to date you have aired thus far.
        Your scriptures quite clearly make the point, time after time after time that FAITH in Him is foundational. You have a double standard here which I just simply find breath taking. You either follow God alone, or nothing. You cannot say, yes Adonai in one breath and yes to another because you are ignorant of Him. The Lord God has revealed Himself to humanity from the day of creation. Do you think that all the surrounding nations that Joshua had killed from Gods command were welcomed into heaven? If so what was the whole point of the campaigns? Do you think that it was Gods intention to just hurry up the process of getting them into heaven?
        Are you saying also that if one THINKS he is trying to be moral, in his eyes, no matter what is done, then God will be merciful, based on ones own interpretation of goods works?

        I do believe in though that God will forgive , pre Christ, anyone who believed in other Gods but then repented, buts that is different. Are you stating this, repent from other Gods now, to be in heaven??? If so I will take away the bulk of this reply.
        Im way confused on your views.

        Regarding M Luther.
        Yes he was a anti semite. A Catholic monk at one point, but after a time he wrote and complained on the RC practices etc, and moved on from the RC church.
        Was he a borne again believer? Not sure. His jewish views are very hardline and non scriptual teaching. Having said that, did he truly believe that Jesus died a substitutional death for his sins? If he did, then that alone would have saved him. The NT teaches that one is saved on Gods grace through faith in Him plus nothing. Not works, or living a moral life. Saul new this all to well. Works and morality should be based on faith and a regeneration of the heart, after receiving Christ as the Lamb of God, who died for there sins.
        So either way, was M Luther saved. It doesnt matter. The real issue is two fold. One, God will use who He wishes to get to His end predestined plan for His Church and Israel, and two, Christ Jesus is the issue, not M Luther.

        • Dina says:

          Hi Paul,

          You are in a contradiction:

          On the one hand, you say that true believers love Jews. On the other hand, you are not willing to say that the confirmed anti-Semite Martin Luther is not a true believer, because anyone who has faith in Jesus is saved, regardless of their good or bad works or moral or immoral living. The farthest you’re willing to go is to say that you don’t know his status.

          Very telling.

          My position is not anti-scriptural; it’s common sense. If God is just, and a certain action is unjust, then God will not engage in that action.

          Let’s say Mr. Mortimer purchases a microwave with faulty wiring. He does not know the microwave has faulty wiring. His son uses the microwave, there is an explosion, and–bam!–his son is lying dead on the floor.

          This is so obviously not Mr. Mortimer’s fault that the case doesn’t even come to court. (It’s the manufacturer’s fault, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)

          It would be unjust to blame Mr. Mortimer for his son’s death. It would be unjust to punish someone for not knowing God, if he was never taught about God or was indoctrinated into believing in another deity at a young age. How can God punish someone for not knowing something?

          Please note that I did not say that if someone sincerely believes something is moral, then he’s good to go. I said that if he honestly believes in the wrong god–call it an honest mistake–yet he strives for goodness, then God will take that into consideration. When I say goodness, I mean the objective moral goodness that we all believe is the universal standard. I do not support the notion of moral relativism.

          The worship of a man as god is, however, just about as anti-scriptural as you can possibly get.

          Peace,
          Dina

  20. paul says:

    Hello Dina

    Yes thats about it about M Luther. I couldnt 100% say if he was saved. How can I say so with such assurance?
    Is actions and thoughts towards Jews are very bad indeed. He also saw that the doctrines from the RC church were also such. He saw that salvation was based on Gods grace through faith, not for example indulgence penance, purgatory etc.

    Im not condoning Luthers action by any standards, but Gods grace reaches out to the uttermost of the foulest of all sinners. We both agree that mankind are sinners by nature. We would disagree on how that sin got there, but still believe in sin as a default.

    I honestly find it dificult to find out why M Luther had such views on Jews, why if saved.
    The NT teaches very clearly that when one is borne again and spiritually regenerated, the sinful old man is still very much present within oneself, sin and the carnall flesh are waring against each other. However when one is borne again, scriptually, one now as the choice of sinning with the consequences of conscience being highlighted by the indwelling Holy Spirit. as a believer in Christ Jesus, am saved from my sins, but I still sin, because of the sin nature. Im not a sinner because I sin, I sin because im a sinner. I still do and say things which are enmity towards God. My very carnal nature is still corrupted, thats why as me in the flesh cannot stand before Adonai. His holiness and my flesh cannot meet, face to face because of the very nature of my fallen, corrupted and sinful state. To see God face to face we have to ressurected and given a new body, perfect and sinless, just as Christ was given a new body, Him though being the Spotless Lamb with no sin, given as the Sacrifice FOR sin. Christ was judged for mankinds sins, past, present and future.

    I cannot judge M Luther for his sinful nature because I am equally a sinner before God. I can and would if I met him now face to face, judge him and rebuke him on his views on Jews because he is wrong and needed to shown is error. The NT teaches very clearly on church discipline. If Luther was a brother in Christ he would fall into this category, which if he refused to repent of his actions he would be excommunicated from his church and handed over to satan for the destruction of the flesh. His soul still belongs to Christ though. He would though lose his postition in the Messianic kingdom, but not a place. We are not judged on our sinful actions, but judged on the sinful nature of our condition. That is what grace is. Thats the power of the atoning blood of Christ. Its not a reward nor is it earned by works.

    I do see your last paragraph as error. God makes it very clear that all mankind has been given enough light to see and know that He exist s. He says that I AM The Lord and You SHALL NOT wordhip no other. He didnt say, ” I made some of you ignorant, so it doesnt matter what you do. God does not have a double standard. His attributes are clearly seen by all nations, colours and greeds. Its just man who choose to ignore Him by excuses. Mankind is not ignorant of a creator.

    When the Lord says ” I am the God of Israel” He didnt mean I Am just a god for the people of Israel only. He says I Am the very self existing One of all. Israel I chosen to show my redemptive plans for humanity, through them I will reveal myself. Which of course He did. Not through pro//anti jewish christians but through my Son Christ Jeshua Jesus, The sacrificial Lamb, who died a sacrificial death to pay the penalty for sin.

    • paul says:

      Sorry, that should read, “The new man and the carnall flesh are waring against each other!!

    • Dina says:

      Paul, I appreciate your honesty. You say that works are futile. Moral or immoral living is irrelevant. What matters is faith in Jesus. You therefore admit that it is indeed possible to hate Jews and be a true believer at the same time. That is why you are unwilling to condemn Martin Luther.

      Thanks for the clarity.

      Regarding your last point: I do not know how you can say that when you know that Jesus was not known to the aboriginal tribes of Australia and the Americas until the European explorers reached those continents, many centuries after the birth of Christianity.

  21. Jim says:

    It is bizarre the outcry some of our Christian friends are raising here. They do not seem to find it fair that the institution of Christianity should be labelled anti-semitic, divorcing themselves from any Christian who advocated the persecution of the Jews. This separates them from the historical roots of their own faith. But the real reason I find this bizarre is that the repeated claim that “those weren’t real Christians” does not stop Christians from maligning Jews or reading a book that maligns Jews en masse. And one never hears them say, “Well, those weren’t real Jews” or, “Those weren’t real Pharisees,” despite having little knowledge of Pharisaic teaching.

    One Christian commenter has written in the comments of this blog that Jews are idolaters, referencing the golden calf. He clearly holds all Jews responsible, not just that generation, and not just those who worshipped the calf. I suppose it could have been answered to him, “Those weren’t real Jews.” But he is not likely to have accepted such an answer either.

    What is being ignored is that the NT generalizes against the Jews, and the generalizations are horrible and have led to a history of Jew hatred among the Church. This doesn’t mean that every Christian is a Jew-hater. It doesn’t mean that some haven’t saved Jews in danger. But the roots of Christian Jew-hatred is institutionalized.

    And such hatred begins in the NT. This is undeniable. Jesus calls Jews “sons of the devil”. He calls them murderers. He holds them responsible for the death of Abel, which precedes the Jewish nation. The Jews of the NT accept responsibility for the death of Jesus, not just for themselves but for their children. None of these generalizations about the Jewish people seem to bother these Christians. But they do not want to be lumped in with Christians who persecuted the Jews. That would not be fair.

    The Pharisees are called hypocrites; in the western world, the word “pharisee” means “hypocrite.” (I heard a debate once whether or not the term should be “pharisaic” for hypocritical or “pharasitic”.) The Pharisees are said to make the laws of the Torah too heavy for people to bear. They are said to create “sons of Satan” doubly worse than themselves. None of these generalizations about the Pharisees seem to bother these Christians. But they don’t want to be lumped in with Christians who persecuted the Jews. That would not be fair.

    Nobody has lumped you in with those Christians. But we cannot ignore the roots of Jew-hatred within a corpus that has a long history of persecuting the Jewish people. It did not arise out of nowhere. And for any Christian to complain that those weren’t real Christians, and it isn’t fair to represent Christianity that way is caught in a dilemma. The NT represents Jews with vicious generalizations, and those without historical backing.

    The accusations of the NT against the Jewish people are largely unsubstantiated. But the works of Christians testify against the Church. The writings of various church fathers, including the gospel authors drip with venom. No one has to invent a charge of what they said. We may read it for ourselves. And the history of Christian persecution is openly known. The Spanish Inquisition is no fantasy hatched by Jews to evoke pity for themselves. It is well known history.

    But the Christian wants to emphasize the “love” of Jesus. If they can find some good words by him, they think that invalidates the loathsome attribution murder to all Jews. They try to contextualize hate speech with trite exhortations to love one another. They claims that you will know a tree by its fruit, so they exclude Christians who hated Jews. Those weren’t real Christians. Except Jesus.

    And now one Christian is being a little more honest. He admits that one who spouted virulent Jew-hatred might still be a Christian. After all, Christians aren’t perfect. They still have a sin nature. (So much for the new covenant that puts the law of God in their newly circumcised hearts.) So some true Christians still did some horrendous things, or at least potentially true Christians.

    Where is the Christian arguing that the Jews who killed Jesus weren’t “real Jews” or that the Pharisees who are supposed to be trapping him in his own words aren’t “real Pharisees”? They have ignored that they constantly lump Jews together into a group. They lump Pharisees into a group. And the picture they have of the Jews is from the NT. They don’t criticize Pharisaic teaching from reading it. They criticize it from a book that treats them as mustache-twirling villains. They criticize it from a book that calls them “sons of Satan”.

    To my Christian friends, as long as you adhere to a book that villainizes the Jewish people and leadership, you have no complaint in having your religion criticized. You may very well be the only true Christian in the world, but the history of Christianity is not comprised only of you. And while no one holds that all Christians have practiced Jew-hatred, the Church in general has been a great purveyor of such. And as long as you adhere to a book that practices the grossest generalizations of the ugliest sort, you have no right to complain about generalizations regarding your faith.

    Jim

    • paul says:

      Hello Jim
      I think briefly the answer is that the NT doesnt put all Jews into one basket as evil. Nor does it state that all pharisee s were bad. Of course it does show objection to the leaders etc who rejected His Messianic claims. Thousands of Jews believed in Him, of course the first Church members were Jews. So not all Jews were called devils. Thats a stretch, and infact quite inflammatory of the real truth. Its that type of ignorance that causes hate fueled disputes. Infact technically, and scriptually it was the Jews calling another Jew a son of the devil ( Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit) this unreversable act was the changing point of Israels offer of the Messianic kingdom, and yes Israel have suffered because of her actions since.
      Also it wasnt Jews who killed Jesus it was the Romans. Basics!!
      You fan your own flames.

      Jesus wasnt a christian either! He was a Jewish rabbi who taught the Law of Moses according to the Law of Moses as it was written, not as it was taught.

      The new covenant never states that the sin nature just disappeared. I stated that. It teaches that the continued sacrifice of animals is pointless, because it was temporal, burdensome
      And importantly it never took away sins, because every day, week, cerimonialy, and yearly the sacrifices were carried out as a believer and the priest had to be continually atoned. The sacrifices were only there to prepare Israel for a better and permanent blood sacrifice which of course happened on that massive coincidental 15th day of nisan in AD30 at 0900 hrs.

      Those christians, they will go to any length to prove a point!

      • Jim says:

        Paul,

        It is like you to seize upon technicalities and miss the entire point in the midst of it. Perhaps you could stop straining at gnats while swallowing camels long enough to read what someone wrote to understand the argument rather that looking for technicalities you can use to represent someone as evil. I thought about ignoring your comment, because I don’t feel the need to explain technicalities, but I’ve decided in the hope that you might understand my point, I’ll go ahead.

        You write (as if I’m an ignoramus) that it was the Romans who killed Jesus, not the Jews. “Basics! You fan your own flames.”

        When you write something like this, I suspect that you are intentionally obtuse. The Romans carried out the execution. But the story of the NT is that the Jews wanted him dead. It is the Jews crying out “crucify him” after pleading for the release of a criminal. Pontius Pilate, a man known to have had many Jews crucified, is portrayed in the NT as desiring to free Jesus. Poor Pilate’s hands were tied, however, so he pathetically washes them, afraid of the mob. The Jews turned him over to the Romans in the first place. And they accept responsibility for Jesus’ death.

        It’s not for nothing that Jews have been called “Christ killers” and “Killers of God” throughout Christian history. The story of the NT has the Romans doing the deed, but they are unwitting weapons in the hands of the Jews. The idea that they are responsible for Jesus’ death comes out of the NT. And just because not all Christians hold by that, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t find it’s roots in the NT. When I write that the NT killed Jesus, that is the clear story of the NT. The Romans may have done the deed, but they were only carrying out the murderous intentions of the Jews.

        You have also “caught” me in another inaccuracy. Jesus is not in fact a Christian. Of course not. He’s only believed to be the Christ and the founder of the faith. By calling him a Christian, in this context, I’m clearly linking him to the Church and the claim that Christians are making here that no true Christian would ever harm a Jew or say the horrible things about the Jewish people that one finds throughout Christian history. My point, in calling him a Christian, is to say that the very founder of the faith is guilty of the same manner of hate speech that they would object to in a Catholic father who is not a “true Christian”. To be a Christian is supposed to be like Jesus, their Christ. You cannot be more Christ-like than him, theoretically. But in his vicious lies, we see the very roots of Christian Jew-hatred. Of course, technically he isn’t a Christian! But one cannot claim that he is not a “true Christian” in the sense being employed by Christians here who want no generalizations about a history of Christian Jew-hatred. He is the root of a tree that has yielded very bitter fruit.

        You rightly (if sarcastically) say: “Those Christians, they will go any length to prove a point.” Here you have ignored the meaning of my words to make me appear either stupid or a liar. This is mere sophistry. Moreover, it is hypocritical, because you have resolutely refused to apply the same standard to the NT which is clearly guilty of the very charges you are laying at my door. Tend to the beam in your own eye.

        Jim

        P.S. To my Christian frieds,

        When my wife and I left Christianity, a fellow soldier began calling her a “Christ Killer.” And we’re not even Jewish. But we left Christianity and adhere to Torah, inasmuch as it applies to us as non-Jews. And so, he took on a very unfavorable disposition to her.

        Obviously this isn’t normal today. But his attitude didn’t come out of the ether, either. Now, you might just say that he’s not a real Christian, and that’s fine. But we cannot ignore that this comes out of a long history of persecuting Jews. He didn’t invent the term, nor the idea that she betrayed Jesus. These things come out of a long history of writings and actions of the Church.

        Not every Christian is guilty of them. Of course not! And I am thankful that such Jew-hatred is viewed as abhorrent. But we cannot ignore its existence historically, or the consequences thereof, and pretend it was just a few bad apples.

        Be well,

        Jim

  22. paul says:

    Hello Jim
    Can you clarify what you mean when you say, :The romans were carrying out the murderous intentions. Do you mean that the jews or the romans had murderous intentions?

    Also are you stating that the Jews accepted respsonability for Jesus death then, would Israel accept that today? Not that they have to of course, Jesus came to do The Fathers will anyway, for mankind, for sin. So it matters not, im just curious on your view.

    Can you show me where Christ lied.

    The NT doesnt actually say were are Christ like, but it does state be Christ like, imitate His way. But of course that means only strive to be like Him. We cant lliterally be like Him, as He was Devine and fully human. But the context is to try, strive etc in His manner.
    However at the ressurection we will be like Him, gloriefied and made anew.

    You mentioned that you left christianity. In that statement, you prove my arguement, Scriptually you only can fall into the next two categories;

    1.Not borne again anyway. Just following a faith ad hoc, for many different personal reasons, but not from the scriptual point of view.

    or

    2. Borne again, but fell away.Jesus spoke on this in His parables about the Kingdom of God. Matthew ch 13. It talks about the different types of soil (people) in which the seed (Gospel message and excepted) falls into.

    You can be only 1 or 2, I was wondering, where you see yourself here?

    Ps It is totally impossible to have a un Revelation of truth.

    • Jim says:

      Paul,

      According to the NT the Romans were carrying out the murderous intentions of the Jews.

      According to the gospels, the Jews accepted responsibility for killing Jesus. This does not mean that the Jews actually had Jesus killed, or cried out that they accepted responsibility for them and their children. The unreliable NT makes that claim, however. This has nothing to do with the modern state of Israel.

      Jesus slandered the Jews, making them responsible for the death of Abel and calling them sons of the devil. These are vicious lies and have caused great harm.

      I left Christianity when I realized that the NT manipulates the words of the Torah and Prophets. It misquotes them and quotes them out of context. The false dichotomy you presented is irrelevant.

      Jim

      • David says:

        Hi Jim and Paul,

        On the issue of who’s responsible for the killing of Jesus, there’s plenty of blame to go around. But Jim you are closer to the truth than Paul although you simplify or generalize it too much.

        You wrote:
        “According to the NT the Romans were carrying out the murderous intentions of the Jews.”

        My response:
        That’s true in a limited sense but too general. The actors who were involved either directly or indirectly in his killing are Judas, the chief priest and leaders, and the Romans. His disciples are not without guilt in their failure to protect him stand by him, or hide him. They all either abandoned him or outright denied him as in the case of Peter.

        All four gospels agree that the crowd was incited by the chief priests and leaders. So obviously then the chief priests and elders are more to blame than the general populous who made up the crowd clamoring for his death. Judas is probably the most to blame since Judas is the first link in the chain turning Jesus over to the Chief priest who then turned him over to the Romans to carry out the execution.

        Matthew 27:
        20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed.

        Mark 15:
        8 So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate…
        10 For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd…

        Luke 23:
        4 Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds…
        13 Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, 14 and said to them…

        John 19:
        6 When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”…

        In addition, Jesus makes it clear to Pilot and to his disciples those guilty of the greater sin. In the passage of John 19:11, the one who handed him over to Pilot (which I think would be the chief priest) and in the passage of Matthew 26:24, his betrayer which would be Judas.

        John 19:
        10 Pilate therefore said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

        Matthew 26:
        24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.”

        It is also clear from Acts 2 when Peter addresses the crowd on the day of Pentecost (of which 3000 would become the first Christians of the new church immediately after the apostles) that even though it was with the plan and foreknowledge of God (as it was written), those who killed Jesus by the Romans are nevertheless guilty as well.

        Acts 2:
        23 this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law.

        When Stephen addressed the Sanhedrin in Acts 7, he lays blame squarely at their feet.

        52 Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, and now you have become his betrayers and murderers. 53 You are the ones that received the law as ordained by angels, and yet you have not kept it.”

        But the important point is this. The NT testament teaches the correct response is forgiveness not revenge or retribution. So, those who seek revenge are breaking the teachings of the NT just as those who killed Jesus broke the teachings of the Hebrew Scriptures.

        When Jesus was just about to die on the cross he said this:

        Luke 23:
        34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.

        In the case of Peter, 3000 repented, were baptized and received Holy Spirit. In case of Stephen his last words as they were stoning him that they be forgiven. There is no hint ever in the NT of any retribution or un-forgiveness in regards to the killing of Jesus. The only exception I can find is regarding Judas.

        Acts 2:
        38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” 40 And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

        Acts 7:
        60 Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”

        Jesus teaches LOVE and servitude on the night he’s betrayed.
        The “new commandment” Jesus gave on the night he was betrayed was to LOVE. Knowing that Judas would betray him and had him over the high priests who would in turn hand him over to the Romans to be killed, his instructions were to love and to serve.

        John 13:
        34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

        Jim, you wrote:
        “Jesus slandered the Jews, making them responsible for the death of Abel and calling them sons of the devil. These are vicious lies and have caused great harm.”

        My response:
        Truth is an affirmative defense to slander or defamation. Why didn’t the Jews charge him with lying if it is as you claim, isn’t that one of the 10 commandments? They were guilty as charged. Perhaps that’s the reason.

        Jesus was rebuking the Jews NOT because they were Jews, but because their hearts were bent on killing. Everything he said about them was true and came true when they executed him. They were acting just as Cain had acted when he murdered Abel. Jesus also said in this that regard:

        Matthew 23:
        34 Therefore I send you prophets, sages, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, 35 so that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come upon this generation.

        John 8:
        37 I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me,

        56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

        1 John 3:
        11 For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We must not be like Cain who was from the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.

        • David
          Luke 19:27 is not a message of forgiveness

          • David says:

            Hi Yisroel,
            It is a warning to the future of what is to come that we not pass up the offer of forgiveness and redemption which we enjoy today and have enjoyed since the time of Christ’s first coming. The first time Jesus came as a suffering lamb, not to condemn the world but to save the world. But, the second time he’s coming as conquering King to judge.

            2 Peter 3:
            8 But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you,[b] not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.[c]

      • paul says:

        Hello Jim.

        It would have been quicker to say no.1.

        My arguement in regard to wheat and tares has just been proven. You have also confirmed the teachings of Christ to be correct.

        Those supposed christians was you once upon a time. Not borne again, which im sure you would be in agreement with?

        • Jim says:

          Paul,

          It might have been quicker, but it would not have been accurate. You have made a significant error in saying that your argument has been proven. Let me show you what I mean.

          A man, not Jesus, proclaims himself to be a new prophet. We’ll call him Horace. He has a message about a tree we are all to worship. When he begins spreading his message, he says that some will not listen to him, because they have hardened hearts upon which the spiritual seed of his message cannot blossom. Others are false disciples. They appeared at first to be fertile ground, but they had not the proper minerals to nurture the implanting of his words, and so what had begun to grow in them withered and died.

          Now, you are at a Horace seminar for Spiritual Arborism. You reject his message as untrue. He holds you up as proof that you have a hard heart, just as he predicted. Is that really the only explanation? Of course not. The reason you don’t believe is because it isn’t true.

          When you say something is proven, you must show why no other possibility can be true or is at least likely to be true. But, from the fact of me leaving Christianity and adhering to God, we have at least two possibilities. It could be according to your explanation that I was not following the faith from “scriptural reasons” but from “personal reasons” as you say. However, that is only one possibility. Another possibility is that I left it because it is false, and I was in pursuit of truth. Because this second possibility exists and has not been shown to be false, you have not proven that I am a “tare”.

          Is your explanation the better one? To determine that, we will have to look at the facts. Now you say, that I do not follow Jesus, because I never followed him for “scriptural reasons” but for “personal reasons”. This you assert without evidence, and you can have no evidence for it, because you don’t know me. It is true, however, that I left Christianity for scriptural reasons. It is also true that you have steadfastly refused to engage in any discussion on that topic.

          The best proof we have is the people here who do not accept the message of Jesus is not that they are hard-hearted, nor that they are shallow. Excluding myself for the moment, they have proven themselves thoughtful people who have thoroughly considered the claims of Jesus. They have found those claims at odds with those of God, Who publicly revealed Himself at Sinai. The fact that they are devoted to God should bother you. It serves to show that something is wrong with the Christian faith. Either way, you have not proven anything. You have only declared one of two possibilities the correct one, but that without evidence.

          Jim

          • paul says:

            Hello Jim
            The fact is Jim, that I have proved a point. The only way one can assess the truth from a christian doctrine, using the very christian teaching, using the very words of Christ in the NT, can only be the measure of being borne again from the NT teaching, keeping all this topic in perspective and in context.

            Im not talking about alignment from the NT in proving something else. The context is being a borne again Christian, There is no other type except just outward christian in apperance.

            Unless one is borne again he can enter the kingdom of God. I appreciate you dont hold to that teaching, but from the NT teaching there is no other way. There are no grey areas.

            Your other option, because you see it as false, simply cannot be a reason from leaving because you THEN saw it as false, because the NT teaches that you cant be un borne, you cannot be un spiritually regenerated, you simply cannot disbelieve in a truth which you learnt, not from man or intellect, or from going on a journey. When your eyes are opened to a truth, you just wonder how you never saw it before.

            What you are doing is trying to teach on a teaching in which you see as nonsense. The only proof is that you dont believe in it, thats fine, you not beliving, but you cant say its false because you personally see it as false.
            But you are proving yourself wrong on the NT context.

            It clearly says that the Word of God is the power unto salvation. That word is scripture. If the very essence of the Word bring men to salvation, how can scripture turn men in the other direction. It cant, its that simple.

            The gospel is this;

            Christ Jesus died on the cross to pay for your sins. That means you are a sinner. But He died for His love for you, that through His death, burial and ressurection, you also have been justified, redeemed, and purchased on behalf of God The Father through His Son Christ Jesus.

            eg.

            You get up one morning and get in your car and drive to work. All of a sudden in a flash, in a split miniscule of a split second you just remember that you have left the iron on. Your wife kept on reminding you not to leave it on, and you walked past it a couple of times but just ignored it. 30 minutes later, as you are driving the knowledge of the iron has hit you. Ah!!! How could I have been so blind.

            Its like you just rembered saying something to someone 2 days ago, and today Ah!!! I shouldnt have said that!!!!

            In a flash you see it! You simply cannot undo what you have seen.

            If I saw a car wreck on the way home, and the whole thing was quite grim, I couldnt just undo history and say it never happened. You can choose to ignore it, but you still saw it in the first place. Now you can ignore it, or do sonething about it, eitherway you cant undo something that you have seen.

            The point im making is not based on ones memory, im trying to explain about the sudden moment of seeing something that you never saw before. You have to see it for yourself. Its that moment when your conscience is convicted of the truth. Man cannot convict men on the works of the cross. It is by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit that pierces the heart like a double edged weapon.

            I was brough up in a traditional christian home. Church 3 times on sunday etc etc. A very long story of life afterwards……………… It wasnt untill one day that someone preached the gospell message, some 26 yrs later that I was borne again. I new the very basics of the bible prior, but I wasnt borne again, quite the opposite. You have to experience it, to fully understand it. I wasnt looking for God or answers on that evening, just a one to one with a nieghbour who preached the gospel.

            That is it in a beautiful nutshell. Jim if you once truly excepted this message in your past, then at some point you became a beliver, borne again in Christ Jesus. If you heard something else, say you went on a spiritual journey, then scriptually you were never saved. So now you are either in complete rebellion against Christ as a believer, because of some scriptural problems which you need quidance on.

            Only you jim can answer this. 1 or 2? You dont need to answer that to me here.

            Im not trying to justify people or judge others. All im doing is saying what the NT says on being borne again scriptually, not on what one thinks subjectively.

          • Dina says:

            Paul, I’m not answering for Jim, just wanted to compliment you on this fine demonstration of circular reasoning.

          • Jim says:

            Paul,

            Clearly you do not understand what the word “prove” means. Proof is established through demonstration. It is a logical process. You have not proven anything. You have only asserted something. You can only understand the Christian message when you are born again. That is to say, if you have faith, then you’ll know it’s true. Better said, you believe it because you believe it. The truth of it is irrelevant to you. (Of course, I know you say, “It’s true,” but not from evidence, just because you believe it.)

            You say that the only proof I have is that I don’t believe it. But you are not being honest. I and others here have brought proofs. To you specifically, I have mentioned over and over that the NT misrepresents the Torah. You have avoided the issue. Fine, that’s your business. But you cannot in good faith then say that I have offered no proof. R’ Blumenthal has pages of proof; you have ignored them.

            And now it is you who appeals, not to proof, but to faith. If I believed it, then I would know it was true. But that is not how truth is established in the mind. One who seeks truth, does not invest his belief in anything until he has reasons.

            Imagine the standard of evidence you accept being that used by juries. The jury is to rely, not on evidence, but a special feeling of whether or not something is true. One would just “know” that the defendant was guilty. He could sense it in his bones. I shudder at the thought.

            And this is what the Christian has done in matters of faith. You have a special feeling that Jesus’ sacrifice is true. The evidence is ignored. And yet, you expect us to adopt your faith, to reject the God of the Universe and worship a man on your say so. And if we don’t we are threatened with hellfire. Shall I abandon God for a man, because you had an emotional experience? Should a defendant die, because you think he’s guilty? No, not only will I not trust to your emotions; I will not trust mine either. I will go over the facts. I will rely on proof.

            I have all the reason in the world to trust in God. I have not one good reason to trust in Jesus.

            Jim

          • Jim says:

            Paul,

            It occurs to me something that should concern you greatly. The kind of “falling away” which proves that one was never really God’s in the first place does not appear in Torah. The idea that one was not really “born again” or any equivalent does not appear in Torah. You do not have Moses saying, for example, “If they had been one of us, they would have remained with us.” The sort of language employed by the NT is foreign to the Torah. It is an innovation. (I mean that in the worst sense of the word.)

            It is a Torah idea that one can abandon the truth. But it is not a sign that he never understood it, or that he was never righteous. I refer us again to Ezekiel 18, where a righteous man can abandon his righteousness. It does not tell us that the man was never really righteous to begin with. The idea that one was never really “born again” seems to have nothing to do with God or His justice. It is the sort of language one expects to be employed by cult leaders.

            Jim

  23. Dina says:

    Greetings, Gentlemen (especially Paul, Eric, and David),

    I’d like to request that you try this thought experiment. Please read the following statements and tell me if they sound racist to you–or if they make you uncomfortable, then please try to explain the reason for your discomfort.

    But when he saw many of the blacks coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

    Woe to you, blacks, you African American hypocrites!

    Listen, you blacks, Moses gave you this commandment because you’re so hard-hearted.

    You blacks are spiritually blind.

    The blacks killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out.

    Blacks displease God and are hostile to everyone.

    You blacks belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

    You blacks should bear the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth

    You know what, I won’t even wait for your answers. If you have a human heart, you will shudder at the hatred directed toward blacks in these statements.

    And if you think this is evilly racist toward blacks but it’s okay to say these things about Jews, then I have news for you. You are an anti-Semite.

    Best wishes,
    Dina

    • David says:

      Hi Dina,
      As I noted with Jim, truth is an affirmative defense to defamation. Unlike your experiment, the words of Jesus are truthful. In addition (as noted to Jim), Jesus is not rebuking Jews, Pharisees, scribes, chief priests, etc. because they are Jews, but rather because of their hearts which were fixed on doing the evil of man rather than doing the will of God.

      I noted somewhere previously (maybe to you) that he called Peter Satan and he rebuked his disciples for competing for the status of leadership in the Kingdom of God. With this in mind, his impartial pure motives should be clear to all. He is not defaming the Jews or Peter or anyone else, but rather exposing sin so that the sinner may repent and change his ways and come to God.

      • Dina says:

        Hi David,

        You don’t get to decide how to define truth. Truth is objective reality, and it doesn’t change based on others’ reaction to it. Your argument to Jim carries other deep flaws, but I don’t have the time right now to go into it. For now, I will just point out that according to your definition of truth, and following your argument to Jim to its logical conclusion, “On the Jews and Their Lies” by Martin Luther and “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” are true.

        According to dictionary.com, truth means:

        1. The true or actual state of a matter.
        2. Conformity with fact or reality; verity.
        3. A verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like.
        4. The state or character of being true.
        5. Actuality or actual existence.

        You dodged my challenge, thinking to somehow separate Jews’ hearts from Jews. This is so absurd on its face that I don’t think I need to address this.

        But I will make one last point. Jesus told the Pharisees that Moses gave them a particular commandment because they were so hardhearted (Matthew 19:8). As it happens, the commandments were given to ALL Jews, not just the Pharisees. If Moses gave this commandment to the Jews because of their hard hearts, and he gave the commandments to all Jews, then all Jews have hard hearts (basic logic: if a=b and b=c then a=c). So here the “NT” is saying that all Jews are hardhearted. (Of course this passage is ridiculous for other reasons, implying for example that only Pharisees have difficult marriages and need a law of divorce. Everyone is else is just floating in marital-bliss heaven.)

        Are you able to stomach this if put this way: All blacks are hardhearted?

        If it’s racist to say this against blacks, then it’s racist to say it against Jews. And for racism against Jews we have a special word. It’s called anti-Semitism.

        • David says:

          Hi Dina,

          As I stated earlier, truth is an affirmative defense to the charge of defamation.

          I didn’t dodge your challenge. I explained why you have faulty logic regarding truth and racism. For your comments about blacks to be applicable to the conversation they’d have to be true, which they are not.

          If Jesus is a racist, for his truthful remarks to the Pharisees and others because of their poor behavior, attitudes or hard hearts, then to be consistent, God would also have to be a racist for his remarks concerning the stiff necks and hard hearts of the Israelites.

          Exodus 32:
          9 The LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are. 10 Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.”

          Ezekiel 3:
          7 But the house of Israel will not listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me; because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart.

          • Jim says:

            David,

            It is most certainly not true that the Jews are responsible for the death of righteous Abel. And even if the Jews were evil, they could not be held accountable for crimes that weren’t theirs. It is a vicious lie to accuse them of a crime that pre-dates them. This is in fact slander, and you’re affirming that you believe the Jews to have been murderous doesn’t make it so.

            Jim

          • David
            The Jewish Scripture is addressed to a specific audience (Deuteronomy 33:4; Psalm 147:19,20) – Our Father can talk to us and we will take it in context. The primary audience of the Christian Scriptures were the enemies of the Jews – saying those words in that context is incitement as history testifies.

          • David says:

            Yisroel,
            The audience of the Christian Scriptures (which includes the Hebrew Scriptures) includes all of mankind.

          • Dina says:

            David, I don’t have a lot of time right now, so I’d be grateful if you can answer a few questions for me. I am not trying to trap you, just trying to understand your mindset. All these questions are related, so please know that I am indeed staying on topic.

            1. Your definition of the truth (“an affirmative defense to the charge of defamation”) is one I have never ever heard in my whole entire life. Therefore, I’d like to know why you reject the standard definition of the truth, which I provided in an earlier comment. I’d like to know, specifically, why truth depends on others’ reaction to it.

            2. Do you believe that “On the Jews and Their Lies” and “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” are true?

            3. You said that something isn’t racist if it’s true. Can you name a nation or a people about whom these statements are true, other than the Jewish people?

            4. Is this statement true:

            “The synagogue is worse than a brothel…it is the den of scoundrels and the repair of wild beasts…the temple of demons devoted to idolatrous cults…the refuge of brigands and dabauchees, and the cavern of devils. It is a criminal assembly of Jews…a place of meeting for the assassins of Christ… a house worse than a drinking shop…a den of thieves, a house of ill fame, a dwelling of iniquity, the refuge of devils, a gulf and an abyss of perdition…I would say the same things about their souls.”

            5. Like Rabbi Blumenthal, I’d also like to ask you if Martin Luther was a real Christian.

            Thank you,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Sorry, David, I left out of Number 4 that the quote is from John Chrysostom.

          • David says:

            Jim,

            If you are going to criticize Christian Scripture as unjust, untrue, and discriminatory towards Jews, at least get the words and correct overall meaning of the passage as the author intended it in context. Then you can go on to criticize all you want. But what you’ve done is apply your own bias and faulty methods of biblical discernment and as a result have changed the original meaning of the passage.

            I’m not saying that you are 100% wrong in your conclusions, but that you have some serious errors in your understanding. And if this is your pattern of discerning Christian Scripture, then I don’t blame you for leaving Christianity, I’d probably do the same if I misunderstood scripture as defective as the way you do.

            Read the following entire passages in context please.

            Luke 11:
            45 One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us too.” 46 And he said, “Woe also to you lawyers! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not lift a finger to ease them. 47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. 48 So you are witnesses and approve of the deeds of your ancestors; for they killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 50 so that this generation may be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against this generation. 52 Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.”

            Matthew 23:
            29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, 30 and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your ancestors. 33 You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell?[g] 34 Therefore I send you prophets, sages, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, 35 so that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come upon this generation.

            Reading both parallel passages we find the following.

            1.
            Jesus is specifically addressing the “generation” of “hypocritical” “Lawyers, Scribes, and Pharisees” whose hearts “approved” of the murders of the prophets (whom their ancestors murdered) and who themselves would murder, Jesus, thus confirming their guilt.

            Therefore, it would not include other Lawyers, Scribes and Pharisees (such as Nicodemus) who were not hypocritical and approving of, nor involved in murder, even though they were of the same generation. Nor would it include all other Jews outside the generation addressed by Jesus. Nor would it include other Jews such as Jesus himself or his (Jewish) apostles who even though they were of the same generation, they were not supporters the murders in question, nor were they murderers themselves. Generation In this context would appear to include at least those alive and addressed by Jesus who would later murder Him and some of his apostles. Therefore, the generation in question would not include the time periods after or before that specified, such as the time period we live in now or the time period of Adam and Noah.

            2.
            The reason for the rebuke: Jesus is rebuking the above cited hypocritical Lawyers, Pharisees etc. because they were “approving” of the shedding of righteous blood which included of the murderous deeds of their “ancestors.” It is their ancestors before them who killed the righteous prophets up to and including Zachariah and it is they, the chief priests, Pharisees, lawyers, scribes etc. who later killed the “prophet” Jesus Himself and some of His apostles. Jesus is NOT saying that the above cited guilty persons of His generation were present for ALL of the killings such as that of Abel. Rather they were “approving” of the same and they THEMSELVES would later be guilty of the murder of Jesus Himself and some of the apostles.

            3.
            As a result of “approving” of the murders, the shedding of “righteous blood” from that of Abel to the prophets and apostles, as noted above AND because of their DIRECT INVOLVEMENT IN MURDER (that of Jesus and some of His apostles), they will be “charged” with all the righteous blood of the earth from Abel to Zachariah. Of course it goes without saying that they will be charged with the murder of Jesus too (Matthew 23:34 – 36) 34 Therefore I send you… some of who you WILL KILL… 35 So that upon you may come all the righteous blood of the earth, from the righteous blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah…

            So in conclusion, who is guilty, all of the Jews? NO. Jesus didn’t say that.

            THE GUILTY ARE THOSE WHO COMMITTED MURDER AND ALSO APPROVED OF THOSE WHO COMMITTED MURDER.

          • Jim says:

            David,

            Keeping this short: even if some some of the lawyers, scribes, Pharisees, whoever, were murderous, that doesn’t make them guilty of every murder from Abel to Zechariah. To hold them responsible at all for the death of Abel is not in line with God’s justice. And it is a vicious smear to attribute guilt to them beyond what they could possibly be considered guilty of.

            Jim

          • Dina says:

            Hi David,

            I haven’t heard from you in answer to my last set of questions, but there is something I want to say for the sake of those following this conversation.

            I took some verses and paraphrases from Christian scripture and inserted “blacks” for “Jews” or “Pharisees” and asked if that would be racist against blacks. For examples, blacks are children of the devil, blacks are murderers and liars, blacks are hypocrites, and so on. You said that such statements are not racist if they are true. I then asked what other nation or people can such statements be made about. So far you have been silent, but I will answer that question for our audience.

            The answer, of course, is that other than the Jewish people, there is no nation or people that David would feel comfortable saying that these statements apply. You cannot say that blacks are spiritually blind. You cannot say that Asians are murderers and liars. You cannot say that Latinos are children of the devil.

            You cannot say these things because to do so is hateful and racist, and moreover these statements are not true.

            According to you, since it’s not racist if it’s true, then it’s only true of the Jewish people. Out of all the nations and peoples on this earth, you can say that only Jews are spiritually blind. You can say that only they are vipers and murderers and hypocrites (or only some of them, if you prefer that). It is true only of the Jewish people. Only the Jewish people are so evil.

            What I’d like to know is, can anyone tell me how this attitude is not anti-Jewish and potentially dangerous? Can anyone tell me why David’s defense of Christian scriptural invective against Jews is not despicable?

    • LarryB says:

      Dina
      this was such a great way to make the point, i’m steeling it. i hope you dont mind, well, even if you do 🙂 i suspect the jesus said it i believe it that settels it crowd here will entirely miss the point. Their new and improved NT book cannot be anti sematic because it is the word of god. And the unbelievers who dont accept that deserve what they get.

      • Dina says:

        Larry, I stole it from someone else, from Daniel Goldhagen in his book, A Moral Reckoning. Such thieves, we are 🙂

  24. David
    One question to you – was Martin Luther a “real Christian”?

    • David says:

      Yisroel,

      Regarding Martin Luther, or any other historical (or current figure for that matter) outside of the Christian Scriptures (NT/OT).

      You made the claim at the beginning that a “book” (NT) is to blame for the wrong behavior or wrong statements of Christians. To date I’ve seen no convincing proof of that from you or anyone.

      If you are now saying that you have proof that the NT is to blame for any wrong doing or wrong statements of Martin Luther (or anyone else) then I’d be happy to hear it.

      For the sake of argument, so that you may proceed with your proof against the NT, I’ll say that Martin Luther, or anyone else you may want to choose, current or historical is/was a (in your words) “real Christian.”

  25. David
    I gave you two passages from Scripture, and you claim to believe that they are from God, which testify that the Jewish people are the exclusive audience of God’s word. You respond with your own declaration of your non-Scriptural faith. How do you explain that?
    God declares that His words are for Jacob and you say they are for everyone. Do you expect me to take your word over God’s

  26. Jim says:

    David,

    I should also mention, as I do in so many of these conversations, that if you or any Christian is going to insist on contextual accuracy, then you should defend the Torah and Prophets from the NT which consistently violates the context of those holy books. Frequently it alters the text itself. If you are going to insist on context then you will have to apply that same standard to the NT. On that basis, you will be able to reject the NT.

    Jim

    • Dina says:

      David, just to underscore what Jim is saying here: the very passages you quoted note the murder of Zecharia son of Berachiah. I could not find any account of this in Hebrew Scripture. This is a scriptural error.

  27. David
    If Jesus was talking to a limited group within the larger group of Pharisees, he wouldn’t have used the broad brush “Pharisees” to refer to this limited group. Furthermore, the opening phrases in Matthew 23 make it clear that he was referring to all Pharisees.

  28. David says:

    Yisroel,

    Your specific error here is that you take Matthew out of context and fail to read the parallel passage of Luke. In addition to your general error that you consistently make throughout your analysis of the NT is that you misinterpret the manner of speech of Jesus which on the surface very often appears to be broad brushed, but upon inspection, is actually limited in nature. Thirdly even when it could be interpreted that His words are applicable to ALL within a group, it is because of a corrupt heart, wrong behavior, wrong speech, or faulty understanding, etc. on the part of those rebuked and NOT because Jesus is somehow against them as a people or a group out of malice.

    Matthew and Luke make it clear that he is talking to (face to face) and referring in His speech to those particular Pharisees, scribes, Lawyers etc. who:
    a. approve of the killing of the prophets,
    b. are of His generation,
    c. will later kill him,

    Therefore, He is speaking to murderers and those who approve of murder. They are indeed Pharisees of His generation. Obviously not all Pharisees fit into this category. Therefore, He is not singling out Pharisees just because they are Pharisees.

    As noted earlier, the Pharisee Nicodemus does not appear to fit the characteristics of this group even though he is a Pharisee. Your argument falls on that fact alone.

    And furthermore, even when and if the words of Jesus applies to ALL within a group such as for example in the case the Sadducees who test him with the question of the resurrection, that is because there is “error” with the rebuked teaching, NOT because they are (in this case) Sadducees. ALL who hold to the erroneous teaching of the Sadducees on resurrection whether they be Sadducees OR NOT are in error. And I suppose it is possible that there may have been some Sadducees who were not holding to the erroneous teaching, just as I don’t hold to the Trinity, yet am a Christian. And, in the case that it be possible that there were perhaps such Sadducees that didn’t hold to the error, then the below rebuke of Jesus wouldn’t apply obviously.

    But if it was ALL Sadducees with NO exceptions, then so be it. the rebuke of Jesus applies to ALL Sadducees.

    You and I both agree that the understanding and teaching of the Sadducees with regard to no resurrection of the dead was erroneous, not being in conformance with the teaching of God. We are not evil just because we hold that any who hold to the wrong understanding those Sadducees and any other like-minded on the issue of resurrection are wrong.

    Matthew 22:22-33; Mark 12:18-27

    Jesus said to them (Sadducees):
    “You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God.”
    “Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God?”

    Lastly,
    PAUL WAS A PHARISEE as evidenced by the same NT in which we find Jesus rebuking wrong behavior and the wrong thinking of the Pharisees in Matthew and Luke. Luke wrote not only the Gospel of Luke but also Acts.

    Paul, as noted in Acts, with the authority of the chief priests was teaching and doing contrary to the teaching of God. Jesus rebuked him on the road to Damascus. But when Paul changed and started teaching and doing in conformance to the teaching of God then Jesus was with him and encouraged him.

    So obviously Jesus is not singling out all Pharisees because they are Pharisees, but rather the wrong teaching and wrong behavior of those Pharisees as applicable.

    • David
      There are two ways to understand Jesus’ words 1) he was talking to a select group within the larger group of Pharisees 2) he was referring to all of the Pharisees
      You point out that since some of the Pharisees were not guilty of Jesus’ accusations so he couldn’t have meant option #2 and he must have meant option #1
      Your argument is as logical as saying since all Jews are not guilty of what Hitler accuses them in Mein Kampf, so he must have been talking about a select group of Jews.
      The words that Jesus uses makes it clear that he is referring to all Pharisees, the fact that the accusations don’t make sense; exactly, that is the sign of a hatemonger. His accusations don’t make sense. But for 2000 years, that is how his accusations were understood.
      My question to you David is, on the basis of Jesus’ description in Matthew 23 – would you say that the Pharisees taught their disciples and the masses to shun honor, to walk secretly with God and not make a show out of religiosity, and that caring for the widow and the orphan were more important than sacrifices – or did they not teach these things to their following?
      My point about Martin Luther was that if you believe that one could hate God’s firstborn son (Israel) and still be a follower of Jesus, then you have to accept Jesus’ judgment against himself when he said to judge a tree by its fruit (Matthew 7:20)

      • David says:

        Yisroel,

        Still no link between the alleged evil of the NT and misconduct in actions or speech of imperfect humans who fail to live up to all the standards of the NT?

        You have a gaping hole of inconsistency regarding your accusations against the speech of Jesus. You obviously support the SAME or similar broad brushed speech of YHWH with regards to His rebuke of an entire people (the Israelites) in the same manner as Jesus did as explained later below.

        I have no problem with the assertion that Jesus was referring to ALL (100% without exception) Pharisees of his generation as identified by their: murderous hearts, murderous intentions towards Jesus, and their approval of the murderous actions of their forefathers, “IF” “IF” in fact that was the intention of Jesus.

        “If” they ALL had murder on their minds then so be it (although we know this was not the case such as with Nicodemus).

        But the evidence suggests that often time Jesus used broad brush speech as did YHWH on many occasions, sometimes referring to “ALL” and sometimes referring to some or “most” within a group based on certain characteristics (such as a “stiff neck” or failure to follow YHWH “unreservedly”). Either way if the shoe of guilt fits, wear it. If it doesn’t, then don’t wear it. Simple.

        If you want to be honest and consistent (which you haven’t been so far) regarding broad brushed speech and assign evil to Jesus then you’d have to do the same for YHWH, who as stated above, often spoke in a similar manner as did Jesus.

        Exodus 32:
        9 The LORD said to Moses, “I have seen THIS PEOPLE, how stiff-necked they are. …”

        The former on the surface sounds like a broad brushed “all inclusive” statement by YHWH. What say you (yes or no)? Should Caleb and Joshua be included in “This People” who despise the YHWH based on Exodus 32 and Numbers 14 or not (yes or no)?

        Numbers 14:
        11 And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will THIS PEOPLE despise me? And how long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? 12 I will strike them with pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”

        Yet the YHWH says elsewhere that NO, NO; Caleb and Joshua were NOT, were NOT, among the people who failed to follow the YHWH “unreservedly.” Therefore, they were NOT stiff-necked; they were NOT included in the reference to “This People” even though as Israelites, they are part of “this People.”

        Exceptions, exceptions, the devil is in the details! What previously may have seemed like all inclusive on the surface turns out not to be the case.
        Numbers 32:
        10 The LORD’s anger was kindled on that day and he swore, saying, 11 … because they have not unreservedly followed me— 12 none except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they have unreservedly followed the LORD.’ 13 And the LORD’s anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness for forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the LORD had disappeared.

        So when John the Baptist in Matthew 3 and Jesus in Matthew 23 likewise use broad brushed speech (as does YHWH) are they, as with YHWH, including ALL Pharisees simply because they are Pharisees (a group whom you falsely claim Jesus despises without reason as a hatemonger) or, are they including ONLY those Pharisees to which the term “viper” applies?

        Matthew 3:
        7 But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruit worthy of repentance.
        Matthew 23:

        33 You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell?[

  29. paul says:

    Very good. And as a add on if I may? the word evil in the greek language doesnt always mean evil as we read and think it in the english west. A quick glance at a concordance will show this. Hate also being a good example.

  30. Jim says:

    A Memo from the Ministry of Information in the Year 1984

    Brothers of the Ministry of Information, our Big Brother is concerned about the ongoing negative reaction of the Jewish community to the News. It is imperative that we give them the New History, so that they will no longer offer resistance to our policies. Please follow the guidelines outlined here, which will bring them into the fold.

    Many of you have been emphasizing love in your broadcasts. You are to be commended. The Love of Big Brother envelops us all. However, this is not enough! As the Ministry of Information, we must inform the Jew that never has their been anything but love between our people and theirs. New History will show that the wars of the past, what they call “massacres,” were waged only against our common enemy. We have never hated the Jew!

    Our enemies, to drive a wedge between us, have found old pirated footage of Big Brother. These speeches of his seem to indicate a deep pathological antipathy to the Jew. You should know, Brothers, that these words have all been carefully cut by our enemies to deceive the Jews and confuse them. As members of the Ministry, it is your job to properly contextualize his speeches. It should be obvious that when he called them the “children of Satan” he did not mean all of them, only those that were children of Satan. Unfortunately, the Jews lack discernment, so we must inform them what a child could perceive.

    The same can be said of any other of his speeches that turn up. Those of you who work in the archives will know that not all of his speeches emphasized love. He was known to call members of the now-defunct Jewish leadership “vipers”. One of the early Ministy members referred to their worship centers as “synagogues of Satan”. These hard words are of course the true essence of love, but some of the Jews have been avoiding the Ministry of Information, and they have not gotten their minds quite right.

    Deflect such concerns by illustrating Jewish guilt. Show them our archival footage of Jews trying to entrap Big Brother. Show them the maddened crowds, foaming at the mouth, crying out for his execution. Show how they bribed one of the Ministry of the Treasury to betray Big Brother. They will understand why Big Brother called them vipers and such. Surely they will be assuaged when they see they are the source of his hard words.

    Your broadcasts must emphasize the eternal love of Big Brother for the Jew, and of course all of those within our organization. It has never been anything but love. If footage comes up wherein he calls the Jews “children of the devil” with murder in their heart like their father, you must emphasize his Jewishness. Once they see that he is Jewish, they will understand that he was not talking about all Jews, only the murderous ones.

    To aid you in this endeavor, we have Gumped the footage. Do not let any unfamiliar scenes confuse you. The yiddishisms dubbed in and the changing of Jesus’ name do not alter the meaning. Soon, you will come to see that the New Footage is what the Footage always was. All footage is New Footage.

    Digital technology has helped us greatly in this project. We have been able to highlight the yarmulke on his head that was always there, but was invisible to the eye because of the poor quality of the old film. Do not be surprised to find Big Brother eating a bagel in scenes you do not recall him noshing in previously. Big Brother is Jewish; of course he ate bagels! He also said, “Oy!” more than you may recall. This is nothing more than your mind focusing on details that it once missed. Because you are emphasizing the message to the Jew, you are more aware of his Jewishness than you were previously. Do not be alarmed.

    Do not be alarmed when you hear his new name, either. It is not new. We have only cleared up the audio on the footage. Still, among yourselves, feel free to use either name. When presenting New History to the Jew, however, only use his original name, the one found in the cleaned up footage.

    Likewise, emphasize his status as a rabbi. Some may have a false memory of rabbis being abused by the Ministry of Truth. This false memory is a lie spread by the enemy. Big Brother was a rabbi, and so none of us in the Government could ever have touched them. We have only loved them eternally, as Big Brother does. However, avoid questions regarding his ordination (they may use the word ‘semicha’). Emphasize rather his deep devotion to their archives.

    You may point out that he is mentioned in their archives. In fact, their whole history and legal structure is about him. But do not spend too much time on this. Early members of the Ministry of Information already showed them footage of their Prophets, giving speeches that clearly referred to Big Brother. These snippets were unable to reach their hard hearts. They will only be softened by New History and the eternal love of Big Brother. Some of them have kept footage of their archives and may refer back to their own copies. Emphasize the superior of our digital footage, which has cleaned up their old film copies, restoring dialogue previously too garbled to hear. If they do not find the original garbled, move on.

    Some will question Big Brother’s Jewishness, not so much his genetic code, but the idea of Big Brother in general. They will point to foreign gods having children, demigods who walked among men. Such an idea they will find repugnant to Judaism. Refer back to the archival footage to illustrate just how Jewish the idea of Big Brother is. Possible comparisons: he was like the ark that saved the whole world. You can point out he had a hole in his side, like the ark did. He was like the Pesach lamb. (Pesach is their word for “Passover.” If you cannot remember the word, do not worry. In a generation or two, they will forget their ancient terminology.) It may be a good idea to illustrate his lambness, by parading a seared lamb on a vertical skewer. He can also be compared to the Day of Atonement sacrifice (try not to say “goat”) that also takes away the sin of the world.

    All the while, remind them that he was not only a Jew as an idea, but genetically. This will smooth over any objections, until their minds accept the New Truth. Study “Fiddler on the Roof” so that you can understand their language and culture as he did. Point out that his first disciples were fishermen. They may be surprised to know that he created the first gefilte fish recipe. As you all know, Big Brother also had a great sense of humor, just like Jerry Seinfeld. How much more Jewish could he be?

    As the Jew learns the New History, he will forget about the intervening years as portrayed by the enemy. The enemy has blamed us for the oppression of the Jews. As we know, that could not be farther from the truth. Those in the Government who used archival footage of Big Brother to support their hatred had nothing to do with us. And we never liked them anyway.

    Do not be concerned if this leaves what some historians are calling a “historical vacuum”. We are not to worry if our History begins at Big Brother, runs for forty years, is interrupted for 2,000 and picks up again forty years ago. Those intervening 2,000 years are irrelevant. Historians will fill in the details when Big Brother finds it necessary. For now, avoid the issue of those 2,000 years. Appeal to the eternal love of Big Brother and the Government today.

    Above all, speak to them like they are children. The Jew is slow to understand. This must surely be a genetic mental disorder. Impatience will drive them away. We must talk down to them to lift them up. Soon, this issue will no longer exist. Once the Jew views our cleaned up footage, he will unite with us. In thirty years, the Jews will have forgotten they were Jewish at all, just as happened to all the Jews before them that joined our most worthy enterprise.

    Management

  31. Dina says:

    Hi Eric,

    Real quick, as I’m busy today: I read “Rescue” by Milton Meltzer. It was inspiring but nothing new to me. I had read enough history at this point to have a pretty balanced perspective. I already knew a lot of the stories in the book and was aware that certain countries resisted handing their Nazis to the Jews. I have a lot to say on this, but for now I just wanted you to know that I read the book. I hope you will read the book that I recommended.

    Also, a general book of Jewish history would be helpful for you and all Christians reading this, since you had not heard of the charge of ritual murder (blood libel) prior to engaging with me on this topic. That tells me that your knowledge of this topic is poor; in order to have a fair discussion it would be helpful for you to learn more about this.

    • Eric says:

      Dina, I have not read your book yet, I am not free with my time like you to read, but I might have more time during this summer school holidays. I am sorry you didn’t fine out anything new . Th e book was to show you a bit of history of people helping Jews as you seemed to see all Christians as killers. There was nothing new in that book as to show that people who loved God carry about others rather than desire to kill them

      • Dina says:

        Eric, I found this comment of yours disrespectful to me.

        The reason I found it disrespectful is that it shows that you have not been reading my words carefully. Before I respond to any of your comments, I read them at least twice, and often three or more times, to make sure I really understand what you are saying. But you must not have really read what I wrote on this subject or you would not have so misrepresented my position. And that’s not respectful.

        I never said nor even hinted that I “see all Christians as killers.” In fact, I have mentioned many times the kindness and courage of individual Christians throughout history, from bishops hiding Jews in their castles during the Crusades to Christians risking and sometimes losing their lives to help Jews.

        I have written of my admiration for these righteous gentiles and of my gratitude toward them.

        The reason this book taught me nothing new is that I have already read many of these stories in other history books. If you would read a proper history of Christian-Jewish relations, you would find that it is a terrible, dark tale. In the darkness, these righteous gentiles are pinpricks of light. In other words, they are the exception rather than the rule–and that is why they are so celebrated. The very thinness of the book testifies to this fact.

        To deny that the overwhelming majority of Christians hated and mistreated Jews for most of Christian history is to deny history. Pointing to the few lights (and they are few compared to the vast numbers of Jew haters) does not nullify this fact.

        And to tell me that they are not real Christians when you can’t even bring yourself to denounce Martin Luther is unserious.

        By the way, I nevertheless enjoyed reading the book and thank you for sharing it with me. I was much moved by reading the stories–I always am, no matter how many times I hear them.

        Peace and blessings,
        Dina

        • Eric says:

          Dina, sorry, you took me that way, maybe I was in that mood of thinking that after going on and on that subject of Christians as formers persecutors, I am not ignoring your e,mails- right now I am on vacation and busy with family as – as a teacher- I have summers off- that means I take on babysitting. So I can’t promise when I am back to emailing.
          Anyways what I wanted to say shortly ; that everywhere, in every time of history you could find people who took advantage of others, but those who really trusted and followed God could surely tell between good and evil actions. The same relates to Christians; those who were true believers and followers of God who understood that Jesus was not teaching hating.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            This brings us back to the beginning. I argued that for most of Christian history most Christians hated Jews. You argued that those weren’t real Christians.

            In this comment you’re basically repeating that argument. Still, you can’t bring yourself to name any specific Christian as being not a real Christian. Since you can’t do that, well, then, neither can I.

            If you don’t know what kind of Christian Martin Luther was–the real kind or the fake kind–and he was one of the greatest haters of them all, then you can’t claim to know about the rest.

            Therefore, I stand by my statement that most Christians for most of Christian history (and by most I mean very nearly all) hated Jews.

          • Eric says:

            Dina, ok, keep standing by your’ hating view’. I am simply fed up in digging up the hate in Christians and it seems like my words don’t get to you that Jesus didn’t teach people to hate. If God sent His Son to save the world then He didn’t sent him to teach hating and persecuting. Even those who kill might call themselves Christians, but I would not consider them true believers and followers of God. They could be under any name , title, religion they wanted but that doesn’t mean anything.
            Don’t you know that peoples action usually depend on who they are inside? It is not the title ,or the name of religion to make them responsible for their action, it was not because they were Christians they persecuted Jews but because they were ‘lovers’ of evil.

            I find it pointless to keep comparing the number of true believers contra ‘fake ‘ Christians . The bad news has always been selling the greatest so if we only hear of minority of true believers , then we hear about minority and I can’t help.
            I would recommend to read Hiding Place by Corrie Ten boom, true story of a Dutch family written by their youngest daughter about how they were helping Jews during 2 world war 2. I love true stories – real life stories. I usually don’t read books twice but this one I did. Corrie and her family were sent to German concentration camps because they were betrayed for helping Jews, Corrie is the only one that survived. It is not a missionary book , just simple inspiring true life story.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            I think you are fed up because you don’t understand why I am doing this. You want to keep reading beautiful true stories about righteous gentiles. I love those stories too. We honor these people. The Holocaust museum in Israel, Yad Vashem, has a whole section devoted to the Righteous Gentiles Among the Nations (like Corrie ten Boom) who risked and even lost their lives to save Jewish ones.

            But that’s not the whole picture.

            We made a deal that I would read the book you recommend if you would read the one that I recommend. I read the book. I thank you for sharing it with me. It was moving and inspiring.

            So now I recommend A Moral Reckoning by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen. When you finish reading it, we can pick up the discussion again. I think it will be easier for you to understand what I’m trying to get at after you read the book. Of course, I may be wrong about that.

            I do understand how very busy you are. A teacher! That’s a job that never ends. I was a teacher for two years and I quit because it was too much work. So I get it. I’m not in a hurry. However long it takes you to read it is fine with me.

            I have five kids, the youngest of whom is six months, and I’m supposed to be getting back to working from home (it’s hard when you’re self-employed to be disciplined about it). I read when I eat and I read while I’m holding the baby and I even read while stirring food on the stove top (so far I haven’t burned the house down). I also read when I’m supposed to be sleeping or working (don’t tell anyone).

            Best wishes,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Eric, I would also like to remind you that the reason for my digging up the hate, as you put it, is to show that Christian anti-Semitism and persecution of the Jewish people is rooted in Christian scripture.

            For example, the horrific charge of ritual murder which led to massacres and expulsions comes from the notion that Jews are responsible for the murder of Jesus (Matthew 27:25; 1 Thessalonians 2:15).

            The idea that Jews are children of the devil (John 8:44) has led to the dehumanization of the Jews that made it easy for Christians to stand by the blood of their brother.

            Passion plays during Easter were sometimes followed by pogroms.

            And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

            While you might argue that these Christians were “fake” Christians who didn’t love God, I do not see how you can deny the weight of historical evidence that points to the influence of Christian scripture in inciting this hatred.

            And that ought to be a huge theological problem for Christians. They ought to ponder how it is that the followers of Jesus got it so wrong for so long–while it was the Jews who prayed for their persecutors (as the Russian Jews famously prayed for the welfare of anti-Semitic czars) and who turned the other cheek (meaning, they never tried to take revenge) as they survived repeated onslaughts against them.

          • Eric says:

            Dina,Just letting you know that I am purchasing the moral reckoning on kindle today.

          • Dina says:

            Excellent! Thanks for letting me know. I am going to respond to your comments perhaps next week, as I’ll be occupied with other things till then. I still have old comments of yours that I saved that I have yet to respond to, as well.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, Ok, maybe I will take some time to go back now to the book and discuss some of the issues.
            You said the reason for your digging up the hate, (…)is to show that Christian anti-Semitism and persecution of the Jewish people is rooted in Christian scripture.
            Then you are giving some examples, verses in NT , history of Crusaders and so on. Ok, so let me show you another example before I start. Let say there is a gang members who are Polish living in my neighborhood.They do lots of damage to other people’s properties, and everybody is so fed up with them that if anybody hears of a person being Polish they think the person must belong to a gang. Then I will ask what do we have in common to think I am a gang member? Nothing besides the same name or origin being Polish. We might even be gong to the same school in the past , learnt the same stuff, grew up on the same books, yet we are different. I decided not to do the crime they decided to live immoral life. I am bringing this example story to point to the way the book sees Christians who are anti-semities. Both now or in the past. We are two different groups representing two different morals. Those who chose to live life of ‘killers’ and ‘persecutors’ are responsible for themselves and for their actions. The book is not saying that but focuses on one side, biased view of Christians.
            All throughout the history you had people who were good and bad. They might have been under the same religious name, thinking they were serving the true God, but in reality they were serving their own evil desires supporting them with scriptures which they didn’t understand or misunderstood and created a false testimony based on them.
            Some of those facts are on page 12 in your book. The worst and false claim that Jews are children of the devil is mentioned there as one of the antisemitic charges. That is the biggest lie I have ever heard believing that it is what Jesus thought. Interesting but I never got that impression throughout my life reading gospel of John and nobody had to work on me to get it out of my head that Jews are not children of the devil. Read the chapter 8 many times and asnswer yourself these questions; the number of people is Jesus talking to and what are the charges against Jesus and for what reason. Has he any reason to respond the way he did? Maybe the story will help; Imagine you are doing good things to others and have a gift of healing and each time you heal others or teach about God’s love you are being opposed , accused of cooperating with devil’ power , and threatened that you will be killed. Would you call the people opposing you people of God??? That is how Jesus addressed the group of people who constantly opposed him described in all the gospels during his ministry.
            He is not calling the nation of Jewish people devils! He is himself Jewish, his disciples and friends are Jewish , he said he is sent to preach good news to Jewish people first, he is crying over Jewish city that is not repenting and over the evil times that will come upon them , that used to stone the Jewish prophets, he meets with other Pharisees who are Jewish who want to learn from him and he is not calling them devils! The same is about ‘ brood of vipers’ referring to the corrupted GROUP of leaders Jesus was dealing with. “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city. Matthew 23;34

            I am not surprised with R Church and it’s corruption mentioned in this book. To me they it never existed as a moral institution but rather political and especially in the past when church had the most political power so they did whatever they wanted to control people.
            I don’t see having in my life any theological problem because of other bad Christians who did whatever they wanted . I am me, not the R Catholics not the others. You can’t expect a person will feel responsible for other people’s actions. That is how that book tries to portray Christians as either those who did wrong or those who were silent so they are guilty. Far away from the truth and very biased view because it focuses on R Catholic institution excluding true Christians who lived along and did lots of help Jews and for some reason they didn’t see hate toward Jews in NT scriptures.. I think it is also very wrong to say how it is that the followers of Jesus got it so wrong for so long. You still don’t see that the perception of NT didn’t just change in the 21 century but good people existed along with bad ones who would use any source to turn it as their Jews- hate support. And that is very sad they used NT scriptures of God’s message of forgiveness and turned it into a false testimony against Jews. I am not supporting their view because I know it is false. It is also interesting that the focus is mainly of Jesus’ words against group of paraphrases but the fact that ‘holy wars’ have no origin in NT is omitted, the fact of misusing old testament scriptures is not even mentioned.
            Another lie in this book are these following words; ” The Church anti-semitysm itself was a necessary cause of the Holocaust.” pg 174. The church??? or evil people cooperating with an evil institution UNDER A COVER of God’s followers who have nothing in common with the truth. Another greatest lie I have ever heard. True church are true hones followers of God exercising no hate but proclaiming the message of God’s love and forgiveness. Christians are not defined by encyclopedias’ definition ; accepted Jesus as Lord and savior’ then all actions justified. You don’t reflect God you are not His. Here is a parable in Matt 7:15-20 ; fruits represent our actions, tree represents people, also about the existence of false believers under a cover of innocent ones;
            “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
            Ye shall know them BY THEIR FRUITS. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
            Even so every GOOD TREE brings forth GOOD FRUIT but a CORRUPTED TREE brings forth EVIL FRUIT
            A GOOD TREE CAN NOT BRING FORTH EVIL FRUIT neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
            Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
            Wherefore BY THEIR FRUITS YOU SHALL KNOW THEM”

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            If I understood you correctly, you say that Goldhagen presents a biased view of history when he ignores the Christians who helped Jews at great personal risk. You charge him of spreading the falsehood that the anti-Semitic idea that Jews are the children of the devil comes from John 8. You say that just as it would be unfair to lump you in with Polish gangsters, so too, it is unfair to lump the good Christians in with the bad.

            If I understood you correctly, Goldhagen is wrong because if you read John 8 in context it is clear that Jesus is addressing only the individual Jews who were out to kill him when all he was doing was good deeds and not all Jews for all time. What else was he supposed to say to those who were planning his murder? This is obvious to any careful reader.

            To your claim that our view of history is distorted, I would ask you why you are convinced of your own objectivity when you refuse to confront the fact that the good Christians were a tiny minority in a sea of Christians among whom anti-Semtisim was an acceptable and respected institution for most of its history. We have never denied the good some Christians have done to help Jews. But to ignore the fact that anti-Semitism was the overwhelming attitude of Christians for 2000 years is extremely biased.

            Christians spilled a lot of ink writing about their hatred of the accursed race of the Jews, from the earliest Church fathers down to today. If they were not real Christians, then I would like to know why the writings of Origen, John Chrysostom, Justin Martyr, St. Augustine, Martin Luther, et al are still studied today in Christian seminaries. I would like to know why these people are still venerated. Finally, I would like to know why in the first 1900 years of Christian history we cannot find Christian writings against these people and presenting your interpretation of Christian scripture. If there are any (of which I am unaware) they do not match the volume and passion of the anti-Semites. I would like to know why voices such as yours finally began to be heard only after the Holocaust.

            To your claim that the idea that children are the Jews of the devil, I would ask you this: Where did Christians get the idea that Jews are the children of the devil? Where did they get the idea that Jews should be held responsible for the death of Jesus? If it’s so obvious that these passages were taken out of context, why didn’t smart people like John Chrysostom and Martin Luther who were real bible scholars get it?

            Finally, your analogy to the Polish gangsters does not work because they aren’t working with a sacred text that they claim teaches Polish people to act as they do.

            Mark my words. Unless Christians like you recognize where classical Christian anti-Semitism comes from, it will return with a vengeance. There are some troubling signs that this is already happening: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/jesus-was-a-palestinian-the-return-of-christian-anti-semitism/

          • Dina says:

            Eric, to be clear, I am NOT lumping you in with Christian anti-Semites. I am just trying to show that Christian anti-Semitism is rooted in Christian scripture. I’m trying to show that when a text that is sacred to a particular religion spends five percent of its time vilifying its theological opponents, that it has consequences.

            Your defense that Jesus himself was a Jew, therefore he couldn’t have been directing his words to all Jews, doesn’t work. If Jesus was divinely inspired, he would have known that his words would be read not by Jews but by gentiles, and that this would have a devastating effect on his own people for centuries. Had he known that, he would never have uttered these words (assuming he did utter them, which I have no reason to believe).

            Christians don’t think it’s strange that while we revere a text that criticizes us, they revere a different text that criticizes us. Is there a moral equivalence here? Of course not.

            The proof is in the pudding. Compare the behavior of those who study self-criticism to those who study criticism of their theological opponents.

            It’s a slam dunk.

            Although this is not the reason we reject Christianity, it would be a good enough reason all on its own.

          • Eric says:

            Dina, I have no time today but ( regarding your response about Jesus using his words that were read by gentiles as anti-semitic ) ask yourselves why God allowed holy wars knowing that people in the future like Crusaders would use it as their means of justification for killing unbelievers.

          • Dina says:

            The problem with your question is that God’s target audience is the nation of Israel; His Torah was not taken from the Jews and given to the gentiles because it couldn’t find traction among the Jews; His Torah was written for the Jews in their own language. That gentiles came along and claimed our Scripture for their own is obvious by their abuse of Scripture.

            Furthermore, what is the historical evidence that the Crusaders used Hebrew scripture as justification for holy war? (I’m not saying there isn’t any; I’m just curious about the evidence.)

          • Dina says:

            A quick online search–and this is not definitive, by any means–reveals that the NT was used by the Christian leaders who called for the Crusades, much more than Hebrew Scripture. These were the popular NT passages: Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; Matthew 10:34-36; Luke 12:51-53; Matthew 19:29; Mark 10:29-30; Luke 18:29-30; Revelations 14:20.

            Hebrew Scripture: Jeremiah 48:10.

            Lastly, the question is what came first? Christians first absorbed their hatred of Jews from the NT. Had that not happened, they would not have gone back to Hebrew Scripture to support their deeds.

          • Eric says:

            Dina, It is not about which scriptures were used more or less ( Crusaders used whole bible ) Hebrew and NT , if you look at it all with open eyes you will see that none scriptures are ‘guilty’ themselves for promoting hate and killing unbelievers but the evil side in peoples hearts no matter what religion that used God’s words out of context and really MISUSED it making a false claim based on it. So I can’t agree with a saying that hate toward Jews is rooted in Christian scriptures, if by word ‘rooted’ you mean the hate was literally placed there toward Jews as a nation, instead of seeing it that the words were misused. I have already explained you who was an audience Jesus was referring to as children of the devil. It is as if I was addressing Polish gang members in my neighborhood as children of the devil and put it in a local magazine, and then everybody who read it started calling all Poles children of the devil and hating them. And then saying it all started with me, with my words that I promoted hate.
            The war is not between Christian and Jews but evil against God’s people and the evil will even use God’s word as a cover for that. So I believe NT was terribly misused and it’s words used as means for lots of false claims against other people, but the words themselves there are not to target and hate Jews as it’s goal.

          • Eric says:

            Dina, This is only our speculation they wouldn’t have gone to Hebrew scriptures . They might have wanted to live as superior believers thinking the keep God’s commandments better than the others and still use God’s word or their own philosophy against Jews . ( examples of different nations in the history in OT) Evil has been present and target toward Jews long before NT so there is no guarantee it all would be peaceful without misuse of NT.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, I’m content to let this side point slide but am interested in a response to the substance of my arguments. I’d rather not get caught up in distractions.

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Eric says:

            Dina, My quick online search about holy wars from OT by crusaders , a doctrine set forth by Pope Urban II, but the roots traced back to the Old Testament.
            http://stevendbennett.wordpress.com/essays/the-first-crusade-and-development-of-holy-war/

            I am showing you that people used God’s word in general to gain power and justify their means of evil actions.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            I’ll concede this point but would like to point out that the Torah was given to a specific group of people who would understand it in a specific way (which makes the point moot). I discussed this with Concerned Reader here:

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/seeds-of-auschwitz/#comment-12433

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Dina, according to your words that the Torah was given to a specific group of people –
            I understand written by Jews with the message to the Jews, why all of a sudden we are having one chapter v1.-10 with the gentile audience speaking especially with the words’ who would believe our report? Since when gentiles were even reporting God’s message in Isaiah?? Especially knowing the message will shock the gentile kings in Is 52;15 and at the same time it is something they have not heard and something they have not been told, yet clearly they are talking about the exaltation of the servant in v 11-12 ?????
            Are the nations at Isaiah’ time talking about the Israel as a servant- then they can’t be surprised.
            It is clear the audience must be the Jewish people that includes all the ‘we’ and ‘our’ in Is 53 v.4 v.6 v.8 .

            Here are some really interesting points discussed;
            https://sites.google.com/site/nakdimonspage/isaiah-53-part-1

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            Allow me to clarify.

            The narrator is the one telling the story. The audience is the one listening to the story.

            The narrator, in recounting a story, will quote characters in the story. For example, if I tell my children the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” I am the narrator and my children are the audience. In recounting this tale, I will quote Papa Bear, like this:

            Papa Bear was about to take a spoonful of porridge, when suddenly he boomed, “Somebody’s been eating from my porridge!”

            I, the narrator, have said everything in that sentence, including the quote from Papa Bear. My children, the audience, have listened to everything I said, including the quote from Papa Bear.

            So, the narrator remains Dina throughout. The narrator is not Papa Bear, nor is it my children. However, Papa Bear is quoted.

            And the audience remains my children throughout. The audience does not switch to me or to Papa Bear or to any of the characters in the story.

            The Book of Isaiah is narrated by Isaiah the Prophet. Isaiah narrates the entire book. But often, in his recounting, Isaiah quotes God (he is God’s mouthpiece, after all). In recounting things that happen to him, he narrates conversations, quoting various characters. In relaying prophecies, he quotes what the wicked people say in their hearts. And so on.

            The audience, throughout, remains the Jewish people. No matter who the prophet quotes, the quotations are for the ears of the nation of Israel. The audience does not change. Even when quoting gentiles, or gentile nations, Isaiah is still speaking directly to Israel.

            In the passage under discussion, therefore, Isaiah is the narrator. In verses 1-10, he quotes to the Jewish people what the nations will say about them at the end of days. I will say this again to make sure you didn’t miss this point: In verses 1-10, Isaiah quotes to the Jewish people what the nations will say about them at the end of days.

            To paraphrase, Isaiah is saying: Listen, people of Israel. At the end of days, the kings and nations will be shocked at your exaltation. Something entirely unexpected, which they never perceived could ever happen, will have happened, and they will express their shock about you by saying the following (and here I quote):

            “Who would believe what he have heard? For whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

            And so on until verse 10.

            Isaiah is quoting to the Jewish people the words of the gentile nations concerning them at the end of days. This prophecy is meant to reassure us that we will finally be vindicated in the eyes of the nations, and that this will happen through our physical salvation at the hands of our enemies.

            I will explain this more thoroughly soon.

            Thanks for your patience,
            Dina

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Dina, Your explanation doesn’t change anything. I can surely tell apart the narrator or the audience. By my words that Isaiah is speaking, I am not excluding the fact that he is a voice of others . He can be a voice of gentiles or Jews – it doesn’t change him to be a narrator. So I am not really focusing on that. Maybe you misunderstood my explanation. If you want Isaiah to be a mouth of the nations , they are staring to speak with the following words ” who would believe what we have heard?” They are already aware of the events , of the message they are reporting. So it still leaves you with the question WHO are those who DIDN’T HEAR ANYTHING to be shocked? They don’t look as those who are shocked!
            Do you see what I am saying??
            You want to insist that Isaiah quotes to the Jewish people what the nations will say about them AT THE END OF DAYS but to that there is no evidence they will say it all at the end of days including all words from 1-10 . Especially words in v1 don’t make much sense to be spoken like that in the future.

            Who is to be speechless and why when in Zeh 2;14-15 we read that many nations will join to the Lord to be His people? Definitely people will marvel at God’s salvation. But there is more to God’s salvation to say . Zech chapters 12-13-14 tell you how many events are included in it; conquered nations; many killed many remaining, redeemed people and the way they will be redeemed. That includes already time of Messiah on earth. And the fact that redeemer will come to those in Jacob who repented. Is 59;20
            So who can be shocked by anything God will be doing is logical to say – those who were opposing God and didn’t believe Him. You don’t have just gentiles marveling over you. You have gentiles being part of God’s kingdom ( Zeh 2;14-15) and those who are not. You will have Jews who repented to whom redeemer comes ( Is 59;20) and those who didn’t repent and died. Zeh 13;8-9.
            I hope it is more clear.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Dina, I forgot to mention v.10-11 they completely would not fit to be spoken in the future ( at the end of days by gentiles) as they already speak of the future. it doesn’t make sense to refer to them like that- as these events would have already happened.
            I have no reason to believe v1-10 is to be spoken at the end of days while v 10-11 not fitting to that time period.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            I read these last two comments of yours four or more times and I’m still not sure I understand. I will try to clarify again.

            Isaiah 53–along with much of the later chapters in the Book of Isaiah–is a messianic prophecy that has not yet been fulfilled. When I say “at the end of days,” this is what I mean. The Jewish position is that the Messiah has not yet come and that the Jewish people have not yet been exalted nor the universal knowledge of God revealed as a result of their physical salvation (a theme oft repeated in the Prophets).

            So verses 1-10 have yet to be fulfilled. The verses that follow are simply a repetition of a theme that is also consistently found in the Hebrew Bible–that if we repent we will be rewarded.

            I have provided citations to support these ideas in my explanation of Isaiah 53; here is the link again:

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

            Now, we both agree that Isaiah is the narrator and the audience is the people of Israel. So the question is, who is he quoting in verses 1-10? The context is very clear. Isaiah 52:15 identifies the character whom Isaiah begins to quote in 53:1.

            Note that Isaiah doesn’t say anything about those who believe versus those who don’t believe. Kings and nations are identified in a general way. When Isaiah wishes to rebuke the Jewish people he addresses them directly; this would be an astonishing departure for any prophet to rebuke the kings and nations and to lump the Jews in with them. This is not supported by the context or the plain meaning or by the general narrative of Tanach itself.

            Therefore, your explanation is something you made up to fit your interpretation that the character being quoted is the Jewish people along with unbelievers among the gentiles (in other words, those who believe in and follow Jesus are not included).

            The character Isaiah quotes is a collective: the kings and nations. No qualifiers. No disclaimers.

            The surprise of the nations of the world when they discover that the Jews held God’s truth all along is a theme that is also corroborated throughout Tanach. I have provided citations for that as well in the link posted above.

            I hope you find the time to read it, as it took me over two hours to compile it.

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Oh dear, I meant to write, “and this will happen through the physical salvation FROM the hands of our enemies.”

            Oops!

  32. Concerned Reader says:

    I am just trying to show that Christian anti-Semitism is rooted in Christian scripture.

    Dina, I do not mean to intrude on your conversation so please forgive me. While I cannot in good conscience disagree with you saying that anti Judaism is found in the NT, I do not believe that it must be an inherent aspect of its reading, interpretation, or core message. If one were to hold sacred texts to this standard, the Hebrew Bible would not be exempt either, and I mean this with no offense or disrespect. As I’ve noted before, the context of such statements of anti-Judaism in the NT, are a sign of inter-sectarian polemic. The authors likely had no intention of the absolute hell that was to come about by the later uses of their writing. This does not excuse the evil, but a responsible reader knows that these were Jews arguing about Judaism with other Jews. Now back to what I was saying about the Hebrew Bible having the same possible Achilles heel, let me explain.
    The Tanach’s description of the nation of Amalek has been read onto every historic enemy of the Jewish people. Amalek is no longer a nation, but any opponent of Judaism. At one time, (during the crusades and inquisition) Amalek was considered as the Catholic Church. Today, some sources have made Amalek into Palestinian Arab Muslims, (Despite a much better relationship between Islam and Judaism clearly existing historically.) The 2009 Treatise Torat Hamelech by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira and Rabbi Yosef Elitzur, was such a source that could be read to allow negative sentiments and actions in the modern context, in a situation where Jewish faith and life is under threat. “Where there is a threat” is the crucial criterion for the proper interpretation of texts advocating violent action in this treatise, but hasty misreading is certainly not impossible, nor implausible given laypeople’s usual lack of knowledge. I am not negating the evils of Christian crimes, but letting you know that no religion is immune to this phenomenon of misuse, abuse, or less than perfect interpretation of texts and concepts. Amalek is an inherent concept of the Torah, but the Torah is not defined by this concept. Nor is the NT confined or defined as a source by anti Semitism, or anti Judaism. Allow me to demonstrate using a Christian dialogue called the Clementine Recognitions dating from the 4th century. Its interpretation of some of the NT’s more dangerous problematic texts may prove helpful for seeing how these problematic verses should be understood.
    Simon Magus: Do not you see, O simpleton, that in pleading for peace you act in opposition to your Master, and that what you propose is not suitable to him who promises that he will overthrow ignorance? Or, if you are right in asking peace from the audience, then your Master was wrong in saying, ‘I have not come to send peace on earth, but a sword.’ Matthew 10:34 For either you say well, and he not well; or else, if your Master said well, then you not at all well: for you do not understand that your statement is contrary to his, whose disciple you profess yourself to be.
    To this Peter answered: Our Master, who was the true Prophet, and ever mindful of Himself, neither contradicted Himself, nor enjoined upon us anything different from what Himself practised. For whereas He said, ‘I am not come to send peace on earth, but a sword; and henceforth you shall see father separated from son, son from father, husband from wife and wife from husband, mother from daughter and daughter from mother, brother from brother, father-in-law from daughter-in-law, friend from friend,’ all these contain the doctrine of peace; and I will tell you how. At the beginning of His preaching, as wishing to invite and lead all to salvation, and induce them to bear patiently labours and trials, He blessed the poor, and promised that they should obtain the kingdom of heaven for their endurance of poverty, in order that under the influence of such a hope they might bear with equanimity the weight of poverty, despising covetousness; for covetousness is one, and the greatest, of most pernicious sins. But He promised also that the hungry and the thirsty should be satisfied with the eternal blessings of righteousness, in order that they might bear poverty patiently, and not be led by it to undertake any unrighteous work. In like manner, also, He said that the pure in heart are blessed, and that thereby they should see God, in order that every one desiring so great a good might keep himself from evil and polluted thoughts.
    Thus, therefore, our Master, inviting His disciples to patience, impressed upon them that the blessing of peace was also to be preserved with the labour of patience. But, on the other hand, He mourned over those who lived in riches and luxury, who bestowed nothing upon the poor; proving that they must render an account, because they did not pity their neighbours, even when they were in poverty, whom they ought to love as themselves. And by such sayings as these He brought some indeed to obey Him, but others He rendered hostile. The believers therefore, and the obedient, He charges to have peace among themselves. and says to them, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the very sons of God.’ Matthew 5:9 But to those who not only did not believe, but set themselves in opposition to His doctrine, He proclaims the war of the word and of confutation, and says that ‘henceforth you shall see son separated from father, and husband from wife, and daughter from mother, and brother from brother, and daughter-in-law from mother-in-law, and a man’s foes shall be they of his own house.’ For in every house, when there begins to be a difference between believer and unbeliever, there is necessarily a contest: the unbelievers, on the one hand, fighting against the faith; and the believers on the other, confuting the old error and the vices of sins in them.
    This line of reasoning (those who pursue righteousness inherit peace,) and (those who pursue violence inherit the sword,) underlies the whole ethical core of the New Testament, and is not dissimilar to Judaism. Properly interpreted, there is no reason that Christians can’t agree with Judaism in stating that the righteous of all nations have a share in the world to come.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Concerned Reader,

      I appreciate your taking the time to post a lengthy response (anyone can respond to my comments, this is a public forum, after all), but I am sorry to tell you that you responded to an argument that I did not make.

      I did not argue that “anti Judaism…in the NT…MUST BE an inherent aspect of its reading, interpretation, or core message” (emphasis added).

      I did say, though, that the overwhelming majority of Christians for over 1900 years of Christian history did interpret it that way, and that the plain meaning of such passages suggests that they were not stupid or crazy to draw the conclusions they did. In fact, the plain meaning of these passages plainly leads people to dislike Jews–which is why for most of your history they did. Now, you could argue that they misunderstood their own scripture and that your interpretation is the proper one. But neither I nor anyone else has any reason to accept your interpretation as authoritative any more than anyone else’s interpretation (I mean this respectfully; there being no authoritative interpretation of Christian scripture makes it difficult to argue with Christians).

      Having said, that, though, I will address your comment anyway.

      The comparison to Hebrew scripture doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. I’ve heard this argument from many Christians, not as polite as you, who called me a hypocrite for my claims, when my own scripture has actual commands to kill people–to stone adulterers, for example, or to wipe out every man, woman, and child of the Canaanite peoples. They are quick to point out that Christian scripture does not contain a single such commandment.

      Who is the target audience of the Hebrew Scriptures? Obviously, it’s the Hebrew people, and obviously, if God is addressing His target audience, He expects us to interpret it in a certain way, to see it through Jewish lenses. In our case, we see the Torah through the lens of our oral tradition. And our oral tradition, redacted by our rabbis, has imbued in us, collectively, a deep reverence for the sanctity of human life. So loath were our sages to condemn an innocent person to death that they made it almost impossible to convict anyone of such a crime.

      (By the way, at least two eyewitnesses were required. I cannot imagine that any adulterers were convicted. Who commits adultery in front of eyewitnesses, I ask you?)

      That the people of Israel since post-biblical times did not engage in holy war, nor did they oppress or persecute other peoples, never pointing to their Scripture to justify such action, is evidence that the target audience correctly interpreted their own Scripture.

      The same cannot be said of Christian scripture. As Jim pointed out, most if not all of it was written not in the language of the Jews (Hebrew or Aramaic) but in the language of the gentiles (Greek). There is no correct lens through which to view it; everyone is free to interpret it as they please. John Chrysostom can interpret it one way, Martin Luther another, and Concerned Reader yet another.

      Ironically, the people who followed the text that contained no commandments to kill did a whole lot of it. Not just Jews, but anyone whom they deemed a heretic, petty criminals (like thieves being hanged for stealing a loaf of bread), and innocent people on no evidence (like the tens of thousands murdered during the witch trials that swept Europe and the United States). And that’s besides for the wars between different Christian denominations (such as Catholic against Protestant) during which much blood was shed.

  33. Concerned Reader says:

    BTW Dina, I agree that you are right about the anti Judaism in the NT, but it can be responsibly read with an eye to the historic situation that existed at that time, and need not be bound by its problematic texts.

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader,

      “Can be” and “need not be”–do you not find that troubling?

      By the way, thank you for your sensitivity in this discussion. You are the first Christian I’ve spoken to about this who did not flat-out deny that Christian anti-Semitism had anything to do with Christianity or Christian scripture.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Dina, indeed It is naive emotionalism for Christians to deny that “real” Christians have done any wrong, or that their texts are not responsible for crimes. They are, but I would say it is not a forgone conclusion that this must be the case, and that in most cases Christians are responding emotionally and defensively. I do find the phenomenon you mention among Christians is symptomatic of the once saved always saved evangelical protestant reading, and replacement theology, as well as the result of group think all too common in every religion. I have no reason to skirt issues that are problematic, because I know the problematic material is there, and have enough background studies to read carefully. I also know however, that it needn’t be understood in a way that promotes wrongdoing. People on this blog have asked me, is there an absolute truth in my opinion? I have this to say. We agree that such truth exists as a matter of faith, but I have to ask myself, if I am to be responsible in my reading and walking: Am I, who is but a lowly human being, responsible, wise, and impartial enough to sit in possession of and in dispensation of that truth on G-d’s behalf? This is something that many religious people, including vast numbers of clergy in all religions do not consider often enough. Just because such truth exists, it doesn’t mean I own it, it doesn’t mean I personally know it, or even that I have authority to act on it. See what I mean? Relativity was true before Einstein discovered it, but until he did, and even today, the existence and truth of it, does not guarantee that we have a proper disciplined understanding of this truth. Truth is a dangerous concept, especially when its employment is not exercised with extreme caution. This after all, was the message that Adam had to learn the hard way right? 😉

        • Dina says:

          Concerned Reader,

          I don’t understand the connection between the lesson Adam had to learn and truth. I also do not accept that truth is a dangerous concept. It is the highest value. I also do not accept that it is arrogant to try to seek the truth and to believe that you have found it, though truth seeking is the work of a lifetime, as there are always deeper levels of truth to attain.

          No, it’s close-mindedness that is the problem, and that is a hard one for humans to overcome, our nature being what it is.

          You believe truth is relative. Do believe morality is relative as well? If not, why not?

          Do you think it is logical to believe that truth is relative? For example, if Religion One says A and Religion Two says Not A, is it logical to believe that Religion One is true for its adherents and Religion Two is true for its adherents?

          Do you think it’s possible for faith to have a rational basis?

          That’s a lot of questions, and they’re big questions too, so I should leave you alone for now. But I do want to say more about interpretation of religious texts. Your insistence that just because a text CAN be understood one way doesn’t mean it MUST be understood that way has nothing to do with what I am arguing. If you read my comments carefully you will see what I mean.

          Thanks,
          Dina

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Truth is not relative Dina, the human ability to grasp it and apply it correctly and in an unbiased way is what is relative. That was the embodiment of Adam Harishon’s lesson, in fact the lesson he failed to learn. He thought he could grasp knowledge before he was ready to handle it. This is because we are limited and changeable by nature as you pointed out. I would say that one needn’t be religious to be moral, but being religious should give one a greater reason, in fact THE REASON to be moral. It is indeed possible to have a rational faith in G-d, but rationality, being confined to rules of Logic as it is,is incapable of proving the biblical concept of G-d. (This is why Pascal came up with his wager.) For instance, if there is a first cause, we have no way to use principles of logic to arrive at a firm understanding of a personal revelation of a loving G-d. That requires faith, and action coming directly from G-d. I understand that your comments are intended to get Christians to see that anti semitism has been fueled by their tradition, and that the only way to move past bitter dispute and resentment is for Christians to come to terms with their culpability in the problem. They must see the ungodliness in the evil polemic contained in the NT and remove it. My point was, the solution is not for Christians to cut up their text, but to learn from it, contextualize its disputes, etc. I recommend Dina that you read the disputation at Barcelona to answer the question of why Christians can’t just cut the bad anti Semitic texts out. Ramban gives a great answer to Pablo Christiani regarding similar texts and issues in the Tanach. The Tanach records every sin, every backsliding, every negative occurrence, precisely so we can learn from it not to behave that way. Christians abandoning their faith will not fix problems any more than anyone converting from one faith to another actually solves problems. If I converted to Judaism whilst holding on to the belief most Christians hold, that they KNOW what G-d wants, and they can’t be wrong, what would I really learn? I did not say truth is dangerous Dina, the human assumption of absolute knowledge of the truth is what is dangerous. That is a subtle, but essential difference. Truth is not changeable, but we are by nature changeable. I think Maimonides said it best, “if I truly knew G-d, I would be G-d.” (A paraphrase from the guide.)

            I hope this clarifies my position, and addresses your comments and sentiment more directly.

            Blessings

          • Dina says:

            Concerned Reader, thanks for taking the time to explain. I thought a lot about the concept of absolute truth over the weekend. You may have noticed from the way I write that I think in a black-and-white sort of way (not completely, of course). I prefer to examine the plain meanings of texts rather than interpret and speculate on what they might mean. I have found that the basic truths of life, from religious truth to truths about relationships, are simple. A five-year-old can grasp them. Simple does not mean easy. Sometimes the truth is painfully hard to apply.

            Reading the text of the story of Adam, the lesson to me is one of obedience. God gave Adam everything he needed, plus a comfortable and beautiful garden to live in. He gave one and only one commandment. Adam disobeyed and was punished. The lesson is that we owe our Creator nothing less than total obedience for the gift of life and for the blessings He showers upon us.

            Another obvious lesson is that the forbidden fruit is so much more tempting than the permitted fruit. That’s a lesson about human nature.

            But the lesson that humans can’t grasp and apply the truth in an unbiased way is the lesson Adam was supposed to learn is just not obvious from a simple reading of the text.

            If God is just and there is such a thing as absolute truth, then it is logical to assume that God implanted in us the ability to discern it. It makes sense that He would have let us know about this truth in at least one revelation.

            What is dangerous to our search for truth is arrogance and close-mindedness. These impediments to finding the truth lead people with these flaws to believe they have found the absolute truth and to believe they have the right to at best disdain others who disagree with them and at worst persecute them.

            Does this make sense to you?

            By the way, I have indeed read the Barcelona disputation and I do not see a parallel between what Ramban said to Pablo Cristiani and between what I said about anti-Judaism in Christian scripture. Self-criticism is a whole different animal from disparagement of the other.

            Why do you think that it would solve nothing if Christians would abandon their scripture? Suppose Christians abandoned Christianity en masse tomorrow and became God-fearing gentiles who believe in the truth of the Torah–what could be bad about that?

            Look, we’ve had since the Holocaust a period of close to seventy years of peace. This is not unprecedented. In between persecutions, we’ve had golden ages in various Christians countries (think Spain and Poland). History has a really annoying tendency to repeat itself. Therefore, there is no guarantee that the Israel-supporting evangelical Christians who embrace (tolerate?) us today will remain our BFFs. And it’s those troublesome texts in their scripture that might tip the scales once again.

            (There are a lot of other troublesome texts, but that’s a discussion for another time.)

  34. Jim says:

    CR,

    I must disagree that the NT polemic against Judaism is sectarian. The NT was written mostly in Greek (exclusively in Greek?) and distributed to non-Jews. That is not sectarian.

    Imagine that I am a member of the Republican party, but I have certain criticisms of either a few positions or how they are implemented. It is one thing if I start a sub-group, Republicans for Change, and distribute pamphlets within the party to win others over to my efforts to reform the party. But if I start a new party, the Windmill Tilters, and I distribute pamphlets to anyone who will take one, Republican, Democrat, Independent, or what have you, this is no longer a sect of Republicanism. And if in my efforts to criticize those in the party to which I once belonged, I tell Democrats, Independents, and what have you that Republicans are no good mustache twirlers who wish to see America burn, I am fueling the anger of outsiders against Republicans, no longer just urging my fellow Republicans to change.

    Just so with the writings of the NT. If they had been written exclusively to Jews, they could be considered sectarian. But they were not. They cannot be considered a sectarian work of certain Jews anymore.

    Now, even if they had been sectarian, that would not mean that they could not be considered anti-Judaic. But that is a separate question.

    Jim

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Jim, Greek was the lingua franca in the ancient Roman World. Plenty of Jews wrote in and spoke Greek, I fail to see how that means anything. Again, I am not exonerating the later Church of its crimes. I am not saying that there is no anti Judaism, but it is sectarian, one might even say Christian sectarian as well. Much of the anti Judaism in the NT springs from an internal dispute between Paul’s group of gentile G-d fearer converts, and the Torah observant group in Jerusalem under James. Have you read the Dead Sea Scrolls? Much of the Polemic therein parallels the NT quite closely sadlyl, but nobody would say that this literature wasn’t sectarian. There were also Greek fragments among the scrolls. Again, I am not defending the Church, merely hoping for a more careful contextual reading of the text.

      • Dina says:

        Concerned Reader, the Jews in first-century Palestine spoke Hebrew and Aramaic. Some could speak Greek–especially the wealthy, Hellenized ones. Also, the rabbis were fluent in several languages. But the masses mostly spoke Hebrew and Aramaic.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          We know from inscriptions, ossuaries, Synagogues, etc. that Greek was widespread in the Second Temple period. Aramaic was the main language in use by the everyday person (as is evident from the use of the targumim,) Hebrew was likely used in the sacred setting, as always, but materials like targums would not be needed if everyone spoke Hebrew exclusively, just as is the case with languages today. You mentioned that I have used examples from far back in time to illustrate the presence of violence in Judaism, but to be frank, Jews have not been in a situation where they have had the power to be subject to the possibility of such negative actions. For the record, i am not saying that this behavior would happen, but we simply don’t know.

          • Dina says:

            Concerned Reader, I am astonished that you would not consider the State of Israel to be in a position of power to give back to the Arabs under their control what they suffered under their hands for over a millennium. Yet the fact is that the best place for Arabs in the Middle East today in terms of liberty and economic prosperity is Israel.

            Back to the language of the day: the language of the common Jew was Aramaic, but literacy was very high among males and the first language they learned to read was Hebrew. It would have made sense for a text directed at the Jews to be written in Aramaic first or Hebrew second in order to reach the common man.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Dina, with the utmost respect, the reason that I did not use Israel as an example is because Israel is a secular democracy, not a halachic state. Comparing the actions of the modern state of Israel to the actions of a theocratic empire, or kingdom, such as those that existed in the middle ages (during the time of Church dominance, crusades, pogroms, or inquisitions,) is hardly an appropriate comparison. My statement was comparing apples to apples, (religious state to religious state,) not a modern secular democracy, to theocracy. I can concede on the issue of language, although the eastern Churches do have texts in local languages, and it made sense in the context of Christianity to write in Greek. The idea that there was no continuity in later Christianity with the earlier movement is impossible. Gentile Christians who had only been exposed to the ethics for G-d fearers stayed true to what they had been taught, and history caused much of the venom that later developed, I don’t and wouldn’t deny the horrible things that happened, but to say that the Church was utterly unaware of its own tradition is improbable.

          • Dina says:

            Concerned Reader, fair enough. How about comparing the modern secular democratic State of Israel with the modern secular democracies of early to mid-twentieth-century Europe?

            I haven’t worked out yet what you are responding to in the latter part of your comment. I suspect you might once again be responding to a point I did not make; I confess I’m a bit confused.

          • Dina says:

            Still not sure what you mean, but Jim’s analogy to the husband and wife sheds clarity on the issue of context.

      • Jim says:

        CR,

        With respect, you miss the point. The NT being written for non-Jews (as well as some few Jews) means that it is not a work of a Jewish sect. The original founders of what would become the Church may very well have been a Jewish sect, but by the time Paul goes to the gentile world, this movement is no longer a Jewish sect. The distributed works are no longer those of a Jewish sect. And that context changes the message.

        This is all the difference between having a private argument with my wife and going to my friends and telling them what I told her. She will be embarrassed that I spread our conflict abroad. And, because they are my friends and only heard my side they are more likely to assume that I am in the right and she is in the wrong. They may even look at her a little differently.

        The context of those two conversations changes everything. Even if I accurately transmit every word she said and every word I said, the context has altered the scenario. In one it was a private wife between a married couple. In the other, it was a husband sharing private information with his friends. And in that second conversation, they can’t even know if I gave her side fairly. They have to take my word for it. They may take my side, but they are not part of the situation.

        The same goes for the difference between the NT and the original conflict between Jesus and his followers and the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the like. Those original teachings were that of a Jewish sect. But the NT is not. It is delivered up to those who never heard the other side. They were largely, mostly in fact, not Jewish. And how they receive those teachings, never hearing the other side informs the opinion of people whose side they never heard to whom they never belonged.

        I appreciate your efforts to find a context that is less spiteful, that does not incite anger toward the Jewish people. But the context does show that the NT is not the work of a Jewish sect. It is creating a whole other movement, a movement not comprised of Jews. The early Jewish sect that would become Christianity was lost very early on. The Church very quickly became something other than a Jewish sect, and because of that it felt justified in usurping Jewish texts, traditions, and teachings, while holding the Jewish people in contempt.

        Jim

  35. Jim says:

    Eric,

    For roughly the first half of the first century of the United States as a country (and before) this country practiced slavery. Obviously this was a great evil. But not everyone practiced it. And many spoke out against its practice. Now when we call slavery a national sin, we do not mean that every white American owned a slave or supported slavery. We admire those who decried such an evil. But the United States is not absolved of its corporate guilt because some protested the practice.

    And the effects of slavery lingered on after its practice and still linger on to this day. It’s cessation did not lead to instant peace between those enslaved and those that kept them enchained. Racial tensions continue to this day, more than a hundred years after slavery was ended in this country.

    Similarly, the Church as a corporate body practiced Jew-hatred. This does not indict all Christians, any more than all U.S. citizens practiced slavery. Many good Christians did oppose the persecution of the Jews. But that does not absolve the Church from its history of Jewish oppression. While not every Christian is guilty, the Church as a corporate entity is guilty.

    Nor do the effects of Jewish oppression immediately fade because it is no longer politically correct to oppress the Jewish people. The deep wounds inflicted by the Church will not heal over night. It is no good for Christians to divorce themselves from history and say, “It wasn’t us.” It was not you individually (nor me when I was a Christian) but it was the Church.

    One of the fundamental principles of the United States was liberty. It was declared that “All men are created equal” in the document that announced separation from Britain. And yet this country did not live up to that ideal. Clearly we treated some humans as property. We did not treat them as equal.

    It would be very easy, therefore, to say that those who held slaves or who allowed slavery, or who even just believed in the superiority of the “white man” over other “races”–it would be easy to say that none of those were real Americans. They clearly did not hold to one of the primary ideals of this nation. It would be easy, yes, but too easy. This nation sinned, and that is a terrible part of my history, though I never owned a slave, nor did my family as far as I know. But I do belong to that body of people that taught equality of all but only applied it to a few.

    The Church bears a burden similar to that of the United States. Corporate guilt is not absolved by individual innocence. Nor is the Church absolved by so lately disregarding those who came before: “Those were not real Christians.” Protestants say that Catholics are not real Christians, but not because of Catholic oppression of the Jewish people. The Reformation was not a fight for justice for those so readily blamed for missing children, so easily evicted from their homes. On the contrary, the Reformers also preached Jew-hatred. One cannot blame only the Catholic Church. One cannot say, “Those weren’t real Christians.” That is too easy an out.

    But this does not mean that all Christians hated the Jewish people or participated in their oppression, any more than it means all whites kept slaves. And those individuals are remarkable who have stood up in the face of their brothers and said, “This is wrong. We must not do this.” They are praiseworthy. And I for one am thankful for them.

    Jim

    • Eric says:

      Jim, I agree with you comparison but unless people learn to distinguish between church as an institution or political organization and between true followers of God , the word ‘christian church’ will completely distort the truth for many which will include blaming NT words for spreading hate instead of having open eyes and seeing that even God’s words both OT and NT can be taken out of context and used for the anti-semitic purposes.

  36. Concerned Reader says:

    Dina, it is true that there is no accepted reading among protestants, but Catholics and Orthodox do have an accepted reading, liturgy, and interpreters. Again, I am not trying to exonerate the Church, and yes, I am arguing that Christians misread their books. As for your sentiment that Jews have never committed actions similar to what Christianity has, that is just historically inaccurate, not to be rude or unkind. The nation of Edom was forcibly converted, the Sadducees and Pharisees came to blows, we’ve all heard of the zealots and Sicarii, and the disputes between the schools of hillel and Shammai that sometimes grew violent. I do not say these things for the sake of Polemic, but just as an observation of a phenomenon common to world religions. Judaism has not been exempt. I do agree however that Judaism has been far far better and more holy than its religious neighbors, and that the Torah is interpreted justly.

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader, I chose my words carefully. I said that SINCE POST-BIBLICAL times, Jews did not persecute or oppress OTHER PEOPLES. The schismatic groups that grew violent rejected our oral tradition which includes the authority of the rabbis. I am not aware of physical violence between the schools of Hillel and Shammai. Also, the fact that you have to reach that far back in antiquity should tell you something.

      I appreciate that you are not trying to be polemical, and you are always respectful, but you are not quite responding to what I wrote.

      Thanks,
      Dina

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Dina, so I noticed that you didn’t see the parallel I noted in the case of Adam’s sin in the Pshat, but thats because its not a plain reading. Adam had one mitzvah in the garden that he didn’t keep, (that we must obey hashem rather than base desire, as you say) but who was Adam? G-d’s own finishing touch on creation before the shabbat. Adam had a more intimate knowledge of the truth of the creator than anyone could have. G-d formed Adam by himself, fashioned for G-d’s own glory. Adam didn’t just break a commandment, he thought he understood what G-d really meant when he said do not eat. The bible has G-d giving Adam the Job of steward of creation before he sinned, or before his temptation. He named the animals, tilled the soil, and tended to the garden before the tree incident. He had knowledge before the sin, just not of good and evil. As I believe, he understood perfectly well the truth of Hashem’s existence (how could he not have?) His sin, then, was not only disobedience of a mitzvah, but in thinking he knew better than hashem himself, taking truth into his own hands. The parallel in the disputation comes from Christiani brow beating Nachmanides about the sins of the Jewish people, that they were exiled, etc. (Christiani thought incorrectly that exile meant Christian victory and replacement of Judaism.) Ramban pointed out that the Christians he dealt with had a mistaken view of sin. G-d is not an all or nothing G-d in the manner Augustine taught. sin is wrong, but the presence of it doesn’t mean damnation, it means an opportunity for sincere repentance. Pride went before Adam, and Christiani’s fall. That was the point of the parallel. I have no problem with a plain reading of the text, but how many religious people just sit comfortably in the Pshat, and never learn more? Quite a few! What would be wrong with Christians abandoning their scripture? They wouldn’t learn anything for themselves, grow for themselves, or anything like that. They would start fresh with “the right understanding of the truth.” Not to mention, second temple equivalents of the seven mitzvot are already in the New Testament. (many Christians just don’t realize them as such.) Noachide law seems at least for now to be far from being as comprehensive as Jewish law, (liturgically, holidays, customs, self sufficiency etc.) Most noachides I have spoken with have not remained Noachide, they have converted, and in some cases its because Noachide movements did not provide the community, meaning, fulfillment, or structure in and of themselves, that conversion to Judaism offered. There is nothing wrong with conversion, or with Noachides, but how are the nations to grasp Israel’s hand in friendship and communion without being able to stand on their own, having learned from their mistakes? Do you see what I mean a little bit? Not to stand alone in some kind of lawlessness, but to stand in spiritual maturity, having learned the important lessons through a natural spiritual development of ups and downs. As you have rightly pointed out, many people work for the truth of their faith, without ever stepping outside of it. I thought about conversion to Judaism after college, and there wasn’t anything wrong with it, I just knew that to convert meant a switching of teams in some sense. I realized that if I converted, the Christians would be the “bad guys” the “wrong ones” “those who held an incorrect interpretation.” It would, in short be the same cycle of thought I had before, (about being right,) just in a new direction and form (no offense meant.) To put it another way, scholars and rabbis have known for years that Jesus and his earliest followers were what we could call observant. This means, Christians and Jews shouldn’t have to argue about this issue. Jews keeping halacha should be a non issue, should be respected, and strengthened. The NT and the Tanach both accept observance of Torah as a given for Jews. If more Christians could see that in their own book, and learn it, there would be no perceived need for proselytizing of Jews. After all, why would Christians need to teach a message to those who taught them the message first? I know of many former Christians who become very hostile to Christianity after leaving, (I was this way,) but this can do no good. These switch teams as I pointed out. There can be no forward motion if Christians just start over as it were, does that make any sense?

        • Dina says:

          Concerned Reader,

          Since I don’t accept Christian interpretations of my Scripture, I have to hold up the pshat as the standard because that is our only common ground. I do not, for instance, accept your reading of the story of creation and Adam’s sin. Rather than seeing Adam as the “finishing touch,” I see him as the purpose of the rest of creation that preceded him.

          Furthermore, I do not see Adam’s story as a lesson that humans lack the ability to grasp and apply truth. If anything, this story could be, even according to your interpretation, another lesson about human nature. Adam wanted that fruit. So he did what humans do when they want to do something wrong: they rationalize.

          Adam first wanted to sin; then he rationalized the sin by assuming he knew what God really wanted, thus assuming he knew better.

          That’s what Christians do with our Torah. First, they want to see Jesus. Then they find him. It’s rationalization. It’s circular reasoning. It certainly isn’t the truth.

          I propose that the parallel between Adam and Christiani is that both wanted to see something that wasn’t there, so they found a way to impose their wishes on God’s words.

          I also cannot agree with you (I don’t mean to be so disagreeable :), sorry) that Christians would lose their ability to grow in their spirituality if they abandoned their scripture. Their scripture is hampering their ability to grow because it is teaching them lies—lies about the Jewish people and lies about God. Forgive me for speaking so bluntly. Christian scripture draws its authority from the Torah. That’s why it quotes from the Torah to show that Jesus fulfilled prophecy. Yet it contradicts the Torah and misquotes, mistranslates, quotes out of context, and outright fabricates quotes.

          How can this be a good thing?

          There is no authoritative way to understand Christian scripture, so everyone is free to interpret it as he pleases. You believe that the evangelical Protestants in the US have got it wrong. Eric believes you have got it wrong. David believes both of you have got it wrong. And Paul believes you’re all going to hell in a hand basket.

          The argument changes with each Christian I talk to—it’s like the many-headed Hydra! The overwhelming majority of Christians will never interpret their scripture the way you do. It’s been a dangerous document—and it will continue to be so. I don’t know when that will happen, although already there are troubling signs http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/jesus-was-a-palestinian-the-return-of-christian-anti-semitism/.

          I can’t predict what would happen if Christians abandoned their scripture and turned to the nation of Israel to learn from them how to understand the Torah. But I cannot imagine that it would be a bad thing. I also know, because I do believe in the truth of Hebrew scripture, that this won’t happen until Moshiach comes.

          One more thing, in this already overlong comment. You wrote about switching teams, the good guys and the bad guys, Christians and Jews arguing with each other. If I understand your underlying feeling, it’s “Why can’t we all be friends?”

          As I’ve said before, Christians and Jews don’t argue with each other. Christians pick the fight—and Jews are forced to respond. Jews aren’t interested in arguing. We don’t argue with Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Wiccans, what have you. The only reason this blog exists is to inform other Jews who have been targeted for conversion of the truth of Judaism.

          It’s kind of like saying that the Arabs and Israelis are always fighting—why can’t they just get along? Israel would give her right arm for peace—but the Arabs aren’t interested in peace, they’re interested in erasing Israel’s existence.

          Finally, I can’t deny that there is some hostility among Jews toward Christianity that they do not hold against other faiths and that’s not so much because of Christian beliefs as it is because of Christian persecution. And after 2000 years of persecution, Christians still can’t leave us alone—it’s galling. The only exception is Islam, and for the same reason.

          We really needn’t argue about it anymore, ever…if Christians would stop knocking on our doors.

  37. Concerned Reader says:

    I know you can’t accept my reading of Genesis Dina, no worries. 🙂 I’m not saying that it couldn’t be a good thing for Christians to abandon the NT, but I’m saying that it would not go quite so simply as the way you seem to think it would. Would Jews leave Torah glibly? No! Neither would Christians leave what they consider to be the truth of their tradition. Other peoples are just as sure of the truth of their religious experiences as the Jewish people are about theirs. It is an opinion and an assumption to say otherwise since we are not those people. The best way to learn, is to learn from where you are, that’s my point, until such time that people are ready to take the step forward.

    In your description of Christians as people who “painted Jesus in,” “Mistranslated key passages,” etc. your language is already imputing maliciousness to these people out the gate. What you can call mistranslation in this context, you would call a midrashic reading in a Torah context. Take the Christian reading of Isaiah 7:14 as Virgin. Parthenos in Greek can mean young Woman just as Almah does in Hebrew, the argument is over a deeper meaning to the passage. Sure, the interpretation is silly, but it is not malicious for Christians to think it works. I agree that Christians should leave Jews alone to let them practice their religion, but we both could be said to commit circular reasoning when it comes to the assumption of the correctness of our position. Take for instance, the points I made about the Exodus in that other post. We both accept it, despite the fact that evidence is sparse at best. An atheist or a scholar looking at the same evidence would say to us, “you accept this on insufficient evidence, you are using circular reasoning, and you would not believe this unless you were raised to believe it.” Same evidence, different understanding and assumptions. I don’t expect you to accept my readings, that would be naive of me to expect. The purpose is to illustrate a point.

    Below is a documentary excerpt video with an Egyptologist Donald Redford expressing his view given the record, and his experience as an Egyptologist.

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader,

      I was dealing with a hypothetical and in no way intended to suggest that such a thing were possible or that anyone should glibly do anything. The search for truth is a serious endeavor and a personal one. Too many people don’t give it a second thought. If they are religious, usually it’s because they were raised that way or because they have had a powerful spiritual experience, not because they dedicated themselves to honestly, humbly, and open-mindedly seeking the truth. (And that’s their business, so long as they mind their own.)

      But if someone dedicated himself to honestly, humbly, and open-mindedly seeking the truth, and if he follows his conscience and asks Hashem for guidance and clarity, then even if he doesn’t find it at all, or not quite fully, or whatever, then Hashem will take that into account. After all, Hashem gave us our abilities and circumstances to begin with, and we believe that He will judge us accordingly.

      I don’t know enough about the archaeological record to comment on the video, but I still stand by what I said previously about it. (It’s interesting anyway, so thanks for sharing.)

      Also, please understand that pointing out someone’s faulty reasoning does not impute to him nefarious motives. If I show you that your reasoning is circular, that doesn’t mean I think you’re malicious. If someone shows me why I’m guilty of the same, that doesn’t mean he thinks I’m a liar. In the case of Christians, I believe they have been misled, and having been imbued with a love for Jesus whether through their upbringing or spiritual experience, they approach Scripture wearing their Jesus glasses.

      I do have a low opinion, however, of such scriptural authors as Matthew. Either he was uneducated and ignorant, or he intended to deceive. You see, in Jewish tradition, pshat rules. Pshat always came first and foremost, and midrashic interpretation was left to Torah scholars that the nation of Israel acknowledged as God’s witnesses. You cannot use midrashic interpretation as your first resort in order to bolster your own credibility.

      Matthew was never recognized or acknowledged by the Jewish people as anyone of any importance, certainly not as a rabbi or a leader. He used “midrashic interpretation” to bolster his own credibility or to try to sell his religious views. He furthermore did not use midrashic interpretation the way the rabbis did, outright fabricating prophecies like “and he shall be called a Nazarene.” Since that prophecy appears nowhere in Hebrew scripture, that leaves me to conclude that Matthew was either ignorant or a liar. The fact that he had to rely on the Septuagint rather than the Hebrew Bible–which no rabbi worth his salt would have done–suggests that he was uneducated. I don’t mean to be disrespectful, and I’m sorry if I offend.

      Forgive me for repeating myself, but if one accepts the Torah as true, then it makes sense for one to reject Christian scripture as false. The claims of Christian scripture examined in light of the teachings of the Torah don’t pass muster, to understate the case.

      I long ago came to the conclusion that since the major world religions contradict each other on their foundational principles, then they cannot all be true. Either only one of them is true, or none of them are true. I don’t see an option where two or three or more are true at the same time.

    • LarryB says:

      I would not expect to find anything in the written Egyptian record. And I know the Egyptians control where you do and do not get to excavate. Until that changes the proof many look for will not be there.
      http://ohr.edu/ask_db/ask_main.php/285/Q1/

  38. Concerned Reader says:

    LarryB, that is what we call a conspiracy theory. Ask yourself a simple question. Would it be simpler/easier to hide all evidence of an exodus of 2,000,000 people from a population, or for the events to have possibly not occurred exactly as recorded in the text? The answer could be the latter far more plausibly than the former.

    • LarryB says:

      I did not mean for it to sound like a conspiracy theory. Yet the results could be devastating. On the other hand for a largely Muslim country to hamper both Christian and Judaism research is not a stretch.

  39. Concerned Reader says:

    As for the article you posted LarryB, the points the rabbi makes about an argument from silence really being no argument at all, would be an axiom that would have to hold equally for the events in Christian texts as well if his logic is to be consistent. Second, the first rule of studying History, is that a partial source or witness (a source that already accepts its premises as true such as the Torah or gospels,) cannot serve as evidence of their own truth claims, (of the same caliber as independent attestation.) In other words, if I have a family tradition that says I am descended from Abraham Lincoln, I need a source other than that family tradition to validate that assertion, Preferably, one that would have no stake in validating my claim. I need a geneology from a reputable and ideally impartial source. This is why archaeology is so important. If we see bones, an encampment in the wilderness, references by other rival societies to the calamities in Egypt, etc. that would be good corroborating unbiased evidence that something happened in Egypt with the Israelites. That is what we are lacking in the case of sacred texts. The rabbi in your article says that “real scholars” are ignoring the facts. What facts? Why didn’t he mention these facts? Why doesn’t he reference these scholars? I don’t mean to be rude by any means, but I see people always holding Christian texts to this incredibly high standard, but not doing the same for their own texts and claims. It is rather sad.

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader,

      It is unfair for you to say that we hold Christian scripture to a higher standard than our own. We are asking for at least the same standard, and that standard has nothing to do with archaeology. You know that we do not rely on archaeology to bolster our claims. We rely instead on our claim of national revelation. That is the standard we require for your scripture as well.

      If God had spoken to Jesus in front of the whole entire nation, every man, woman, and child, then we would have something to talk about.

      • LarryB says:

        That is the difference, or standard if you will. Personal revelation could just be a fantasy. To build a whiole new belief around that, is whats sad.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          Guys, I understand fully that national revelation is the claim Judaism makes, but the number of people making or believing that claim is irrelevant, that’s the point. We don’t have independent evidence that an entire nation received the Torah, or an Exodus, we only have the claim of the Torah text and religious tradition that this occurance was the truth, that’s a huge huge difference. See what I mean? To believe in an unbroken chain of transmission, we would have to ignore things like all the different sects in the second temple period, all the arguments over particulars of how to properly observe various Torah mitzvot argued amongst these various sects, etc. The same is the case with Christianity. You wouldn’t accept the testimony of the NT and Christian tradition that thousands witnessed the coming of the Holy Ghost, without an impartial witness. See how the issue exists apart from the number of witnesses?

          • Dina says:

            Concerned Reader, I think you do not understand why we say that national revelation is a strong claim.

            Anyone, or a few individuals, can start a new religion by claiming individual revelation, if he or they are charismatic enough. This has happened many times throughout history. It is easy to believe a claim that cannot be verified. Can anyone verify the Transfiguration that occurred in front of three people? Can anyone verify that an angel appeared to Mohammed, or to Joseph Smith? Can anyone verify that Mary was a virgin? These guys come along and make their claims, and people believe them or don’t believe them.

            But you can’t present a whole nation with a book, and tell them, “God spoke to you the words that are in this book,” and get away with it, because they’ll all say, “Really? Where was I?” And there is only one people, one religion, on the planet that makes that claim.

            In other words, those who claimed to witness the miracles or what have you did not go to the Jews and say, “All of you saw this happen.”

            Why has no one else made that claim, ever? If it’s a good, strong, clever one, why not use it? Because it can be verified.

            Rabbi Lawrence Keleman explains this in his audio lecture here:

            http://www.simpletoremember.com/media/a/rational-judaism/

            It’s about an hour long, sorry :).

          • Concerned Reader says:

            http://www.daatemet.org/questions/index.cfm?MESSAGEID=4000 (forgive the source, but it addresses the lecturer directly.)

            As they say Dina, Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. We have a claim in a book accepted by the descendents of the writers, of mass revelation, not direct knowledge of mass revelation, or the resurrection, or the transfiguration, etc. I am not claiming that the Christians have this evidence while Jews don’t, I’m saying that today, we both rely more on faith, and the character of the experiences we have, then direct knowledge. As you stated “But you can’t present a whole nation with a book, and tell them, “God spoke to you the words that are in this book,” and get away with it, because they’ll all say, “Really? Where was I?” How do we know that the Torah was written and presented at one time, apart from the Torah’s testimony? How do we know people wouldn’t accept an unlikely story? We don’t. Christians use the same type of argument when they say, Early Christians would not have handed themselves over to gruesome deaths at the hands of the Romans (that in some cases took days,) if they did not believe in their experiences.

            The claim that nobody else claims mass revelation is not accurate.

          • Dina says:

            Concerned Reader,

            I read the article and found it riddled with flaws. In fact, Keleman answers some of these contentions in his audio lecture, as you will see if you can find the time to listen (again, my apologies for the length, and I quite understand if you don’t have the time). For example, he addresses the notion that Hindus promote a similar claim. Another example is that right in the beginning it says that people are willing to believe a story if it fits with their preconceived notions, especially if it doesn’t require much of them.

            I think it’s interesting that writer of this article thought that receiving 613 commandments isn’t much of a life change.

            Rabbi Blumenthal addresses on this blog the story of Josiah.

            You wrote that the uniqueness of the Jewish claim for national revelation is not accurate. What religion or culture today claims that its physical ancestors witnessed divine revelation on a national scale?

            Thanks
            Dina

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            concerned reader,Not much to add, good point!

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Do you think it’s possible to examine the evidence and conclude in favor of one or the other, based on, say, higher probability (if you prefer that to absolute certainty)?

            The issue of evidence is very important. so long as that evidence is impartially available evidence. In other words, proof of a claim I am making should not rely on my word alone, or on the word of those who are partial to me or the truth of my claim. Objectivity is somewhat necessary to determine the truth. As for probabilities, those can sometimes be good indicators of likelihood of an event, but this is where Okham’s razor comes in. Okham’s Razor: The simplest explanation is the best explanation. Okham’s razor was illustrated very well in the case of the 1st plagues. Turning the water into to blood for instance. Pharaoh’s magician’s could replicate the miracle independent of anybody’s testimony about its occurrence, (so maybe it was a natural phenomenon, maybe it wasn’t a real miracle? Both probabilities (true miracle, or natural phenomenon existed at that point) but, Moses allegedly did this miracle on such a large scale, that it was more probable, of higher probability, that it wasn’t a natural phenomenon, but was in fact a miracle. The problem is, since we (you and I) didn’t experience Moses doing these miracles personally, we rely on faith, and on the unique character of the experiences more than any direct knowledge. In both of our traditions, when we face someone in doubt, (say in Judaism’s case, a doubt of the Kuzari principle,) we say something to the effect of: “If it was fake, how did the transmission of the story last this long? Why would people hold a belief that had such potential to cause them harm if it wasn’t true?”

            Can one arrive, in this manner, at the truth or falsehood of Jesus’s Messiah-ship and be confident that he is right? And if he is right, then the opposing view is wrong? Eventually, yeah I believe so, but right now we both go off of the character of our experiences more than a direct knowledge. Take Jesus as an example. I do not have any issue believing that Christians view themselves as having had a redemptive experience through this person, and regarding him as Christ because they experienced a redemptive motion from polytheism to a covenantal sense of belief in one G-d. This was like going from study by candlelight to electricity. It is an experience that many people agree to some degree transformed the western world.

            I also don’t doubt for one minute that Jews have experiential good reason to doubt Jesus as a redemptive figure of any kind, because Israel did not experience a foundational earth shattering paradigm shift when he came. Since we all admit that evidence outside of our traditions (like archaeology) are sparse, and are not our standard, all we can agree on are experiences (as opposed to numbers and chains of transmission.) This is why indeed it is possible to have a third option. As I’ve said, the existence of absolute truth is not an issue. The question is, does the human being have a good track record of grasping, understanding, and applying it? The answer according to scripture and experience is a likely no. I understand why Jews can’t accept Jesus, but I can understand why Christians can and do also. The very fact that Judaism believes in more than one messiah (and a potential messiah in each generation,) doesn’t make it hard to believe that a failed starter (as Judaism sees Jesus,) might be believed in by many as true, who don’t otherwise know better, as a messianic figure. That said, asking these people to abandon their experiential knowledge of transformation in favor of your word, can be a much harder step, because you are asking them to abandon their conscious experience in favor of your experience and word.

            I suspend judgement on the truth claims for this very reason. I couldn’t argue in good conscience that Jews should believe in Jesus, because they did not have a foundational shift in their perceptions of reality when he appeared. I cannot however fault Christians who believe in good faith, because they have the conscious experience of the impact of his coming.

            Judaism absolutely has grounds for holding to its position (even according to the Christian Bible,) but it is hard to ask people (in either tradition) to abandon conscious experience in favor of somebody’s word. This is especially so, since both groups aren’t receptive to the others self definition, (as the rhetoric both groups use) clearly shows. If you need me to clarify, or you feel that I haven’t answered, just let me know.

            Blessings

          • Dina says:

            Concerned Reader, I don’t think it makes sense to say that because you can’t prove the Torah true, and you can’t prove the NT is true, they are therefore equally likely true or not, so it’s fine for Christians. That’s because both Jews and Christians accept Hebrew scripture as the inerrant word of God.

            Therefore, if you accept the Torah as true, can you not examine the claims of Christianity by comparing them to what the Torah says and seeing if they are logically and internally consistent? Do you think it’s impossible to do this and arrive at a conclusion that is at least highly probable?

            Do you think that if Christian scripture turns out to be absolutely true, that there will be no consequences for those who listened to and rejected its claims? Do you think that if it turns out to be absolutely false, that there will be no consequences for not conducting an open-minded and honest search for the truth? (I don’t mean punishment here, just whatever.)

            Since it cannot be true that Jesus is simultaneously the one and only messiah and cannot ever be the messiah, do you think it is impossible to determine whether he is or isn’t based on a careful study of Hebrew scripture alone?

            I’m writing with the assumption that Hebrew scripture is true because that is our starting point.

            You wrote, “The very fact that Judaism believes in more than one messiah (and a potential messiah in each generation,) doesn’t make it hard to believe that a failed starter (as Judaism sees Jesus,) might be believed in by many as true, who don’t otherwise know better, as a messianic figure.” I’m not talking about those who don’t know better. I’m talking about those who do search for the truth, but who allow their personal emotional experiences to get in the way, to color their objectivity. Also, the fact that Judaism sees a potential messiah is irrelevant, since each religion takes an equally strong and completely opposite position regarding a very specific individual.

            Like you, I’m not seeking to convert anyone. I’m just inviting Christians to join me in the journey of seeking the truth as honestly as we know how. It doesn’t make sense that God would create absolute truth and not imbue us with the ability to find it.

            Finally, I disagree with you that Jesus could possibly be the messiah, therefore it’s fine for Christians to believe in him, and that he cannot possibly be the messiah, therefore it’s fine for Jews to not believe in him. He either is or he isn’t, and whoever rejects or accepts him is wrong. It behooves us therefore to find out as conclusively as we can whether he is or he isn’t.

            May God lead us in the light of His truth.

            Dina

          • LarryB says:

            CR
            I especially like the enlarged photo of the virgin mary in egypt where it looks like she has a space helmet on. A hoax is not mass revelation. The people who left after seeing it and saw her in her helmet later, would quickly disbelieve what they thought they saw

      • Eric Krakofsky says:

        Dina, As far as these words;” If God had spoken to Jesus in front of the whole entire nation, every man, woman, and child, then we would have something to talk about.”
        Did God speak in front of entire nation while he called Samuel and other prophets to be His messengers? I guess we should also quick believing any of these people were from God as they don’t meet the standard of evidence to be true as it is the same one you are bringing up concerning Jesus.

        • Dina says:

          Moses transmitted the Torah to the Jewish people, a huge undertaking. God said that in order to be believed, He would speak to Moses in front of all the people from a cloud (Exodus 19:9). What Moses was doing was so extraordinary and so different, that the only way for the people to accept what he taught was if God told them it was okay to do so.

          All the Hebrew prophets that followed Moses did not bring new teachings; they did not bring a new Torah, as it were. They followed the law of Moses and they were accepted as genuine prophets based on the criteria that Moses himself taught us. You see, Moses taught us how to differentiate between the real ones and the frauds.

          Now, Jesus came along and tried to change the law of Moses and to change our worship (I showed you how in previous comments). The claim was that he was a prophet even greater than Moses, although Deuteronomy 34:10 tells us that no prophet as great as Moses has ever arisen in Israel. So for the Jews to accept his extraordinary claims, claims that no prophet made including Samuel whom you used as an example, it would be fair to demand the same standard of evidence.

          (By the way, you once told me that Deut. 34:10 can’t be talking about future prophets because it is written in the past tense. As you know, the people of Israel had all five books of the Torah before they crossed into Israel. So which prophets was Moses greater than, in this verse? Up till now, he had been the only prophet in Israel. How then to explain this verse, according to you?)

          • By the way, you once told me that Deut. 34:10 can’t be talking about future prophets because it is written in the past tense.

            I don’t think that was me, Dina.

          • Dina says:

            Was it Eric, then? I don’t remember.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Dina, I don’t remember either much what about Deut 34;10 we discussed so far but I remember I once asked that question ; does Deut 34;10 cover the time period from the past ( when the words were said ) till 2000 or now 2014??
            When exactly were these words said? Do they cut the future off from any prophet because they start with the words; “never again has there risen a prophet…”?

          • Dina says:

            If you read the rest of the verse it should be clear. Let me know. Thanks.

    • LarryB says:

      Sorry but I cannot find where he said ” real scholars are ignoring the facts”.

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader,

      While archaeological evidence is not my standard, it is certainly worth noting that for decades archaeologists insisted that King David was a mythical figure. Then in 1993 a piece of a pillar was found mentioning “Beit David” (the Dynasty of David). This is not to discount the arguments of archaeologists about the completeness of the Egyptian archaeological record. But the rabbi in that article made a fair point about what kind of evidence they are seeking as well as where they have been digging.

      Furthermore, you misquoted the rabbi (I do not think you did so maliciously :)). You wrote that the rabbi wrote that real scholars are ignoring the facts. You put real scholars in quotation marks, which indicates that you are quoting the article directly. But the rabbi said no such thing. He said that the teacher of the person who wrote the letter was ignoring overwhelming evidence. He cites some of this evidence at the end of the article and leaves a couple of sources for further research.

      Obviously, you are free to disagree with his conclusions. But I thought it was important to point out that you misread this article.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Quotation marks can be used to indicate irony guys, that was the usage I was trying to convey, not a quote of the rabbis exact words. I should have been more clear. His statements that “there is overwhelming historical evidence, archeological and otherwise, for the Exodus. For one, we have an unbroken historical record of these events.” is a declaration of personal faith, and the article seems to insinuate that various scholars in the field of Egyptology are being sloppy in their scholarship and investigations. I have written elsewhere on the issue with the Ipuwer papyrus. My issue with the use of these sources as proof is that we can’t see anything in the record to corroborate the event. Take the Pharaoh Hatsheput as an example of something we would expect to see. She was one of Egypt’s influential female Pharaoh’s who later monarchs attempted to erase from history. They removed her pictures, defaced obelisks, etc. but there is clear evidence in the archaeological record that this was done. There should be at least some evidence of the same type of erasing going on, if indeed an Exodus event was covered up by ancient Egyptians. You simply couldn’t erase all the evidence left behind by a labor caste who was present for some 400 years, who one day up and left. Also, if all the Egyptian firstborn had died in a plague as scripture reports, that could not have been covered up, nor would evidence of it be hard to find. If ancient Egypt had an approximate population of 3,000,000 (for arguments sake) and only 100,000 Egyptian couples had 2 children for a total of 200,000 children, you would still have an unbelievable death toll of 100,000 children dying at one time that we don’t see mention of. (that was a very very conservative estimate.) I am not trying to derail anyone’s faith, just to be clear, but this is the standard that the Christian Bible is often judged by, and the point is, no ancient sacred text can possibly meet that standard of evidence, given what we know today. I know archaeology doesn’t mean much to you guys, but Christians are always dealing with the claims that Jesus did not exist, that their books are full of lies and distortion, and that nobody of intelligence would ever believe the claims they make. As the above shows, Christians are not the only ones who should honestly question their cherished beliefs, if we are to stick to the standard of judgement being applied to these sources and events.

      blessings, and no offense meant

      • Dina says:

        Concerned Reader, the fact that Christians deal with claims that Jesus did not exist, based on archaeological evidence, has nothing to do with our discussion. You need to take up that argument with the people who make that claim. I know some commenters on this blog have made that claim–they’re the ones you should be addressing such comments to.

        We don’t believe the NT stories about Jesus are true for reasons that have nothing to do with archaeology or the historical record.

        By the way, I am familiar with the different uses of quotation marks. (I used to be a copy editor :).) The context you used it in did not suggest irony. I’m sure you meant it that way, but I hope you understand why you were misunderstood.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          I do understand lol, 🙂 I just felt stupid right there. Ironically, I started as an English major when I was in college, but switched to a double major in History and Religious Studies. 😉 I apologize for being disagreeable in advance, but the question of Archaeology is relevant to the discussion, insofar as it is directly relevant to the claims being made by the narrative of the Torah. This is true of the New Testament narrative also. If the claim is that Hashem revealed himself to a nation on Sinai, some immediately related questions come up by necessity. Where is Sinai, why did G-d reveal the Torah at Sinai, who are the Israelite people, etc. the truth of the Exodus is essential to the truth of the Sinai revelation, the whole narrative is connected. Maybe this will help explain my perspective better, and why I care. One of the unique things about the Christian narrative, is that you do not need that narrative, or Christians themselves, to establish a degree of historicity to some of the things written in it. We have Tacitus, Pliny the younger, Lucian, and an Arabic version of Philo (untouched by Christian editors) that all attest to the Crucifixion of a man named Jesus under Pontius Pilate in the 1st century. We have record in these same sources that this man’s followers believed and alleged he was the messiah, that he rose from death, and that he and his followers were alleged to be known for their poverty, and some degree of sorcery or healing abilities, depending on how they were perceived by others. All of that, can be gleaned from hostile witnesses without any appeal to Christian texts or tradition. If your a historian, that is a great thing for historical narrative. Independent verification of an occurrence that does not depend on the people who are making the claim.

          LarryB I agree that Christians should not tell Jews how to interpret their texts, I hope you realize that is not my intention. In fact, Christians can stand to learn much from Judaism. The thing Christians need to learn to see is the value of Judaism as it is practiced today. I have found that studying Judaism keeps my intellect sharp, and has produced in me a much better richer understanding of my own tradition and journey. I also interpret the NT carefully with an eye to history, and as such, even from the NT perspective, halacha is expected to be observed by the Jewish people. I have no desire to see Jews leave Judaism, all of my comments are meant to inspire careful consideration and thought.

          • Dina says:

            Concerned Reader,

            It seems to me–and I may be completely wrong about this–but it seems to me that you are implying that Christian scripture is more credible than Hebrew scripture because extra-biblical sources provide evidence of Jesus whereas no evidence exists for Moses.

            If that is indeed what you are implying, then I find the idea logically absurd. If there were no Moses, there would be no Jesus. No Torah, no Christianity. Christianity appeals to the Torah for its authority, so how can it be more true?

            I wonder if you are aware of the evidence for a seven-year-famine around the time that the Bible describes it, the evidence for the existence of Joseph, the evidence of later Biblical characters like King David and Sennacherib, the evidence for the Book of Esther, among lots of other evidences.

            I remember reading in John Gager’s book, “The Origins of Anti-Semitism,” evidence of Moses and possibly the Exodus in other ancient cultures, but as I don’t own the book, I can’t look it up at the moment.

            I also think it’s worth noting that your argument about the Plague of the Firstborn applies to the Massacre of the Innocents. While it was on a much, much smaller scale than the Plague of the Firstborn, a calculated massacre of all Jewish baby boys in Bethlehem and its environs would not have escaped the notice of the Jewish people. We have a tendency to record, remember, and mourn all of our tragedies. It is telling that no extra-biblical evidence for this exists at a time when historians were actually recording history and making a point of recording Herod’s atrocities.

            In many cases the historical record appears to contradict the Christian narrative. We know, for example, that Pontius Pilate was not the Milquetoast portrayed in the gospels but was so cruel and killed so many that even the Romans were horrified! They were so concerned with his brutality that they recalled him to Rome. We also know that the census as described by Luke could not have taken place under Roman rule. That’s just to cite two examples.

            Remember that according to the archaeological record, Kind David didn’t exist until 1993. So I think caution and humility are required when claiming that archaeology proves or disproves biblical events and people. The best archaeological argument against the Exodus that I have seen–and that you have put forth–is the completeness of the Egyptian archaeological record.

            Since my knowledge of archaeology is spotty (to put it mildly), I’m not claiming that anything I say on this subject is definitive, but I want to make one more point. The further you go back in antiquity, the harder it is to find historical evidence. That’s why there’s so much more of it for the later books of the Bible. Therefore, it makes little sense to compare the amount of evidence for the time period of Christian scripture when independent historians of other cultures were writing extensively about their era to the amount of evidence for a time period when such was not the case.

            It is not terribly impressive that historical sources verify that Jesus claimed he was the Messiah and that his followers claimed that he rose from the dead. That doesn’t mean he really was the Messiah and that he really rose from the dead. After all, historical sources verify that Mohammed claimed he was a prophet and that his followers claimed to record his prophecies. That doesn’t mean he really was prophet and that what his followers wrote really were prophecies.

            Since Christians accept the Torah as true, and since Christian scripture directly contradicts the Torah, it would have made sense for Christianity to break away completely from the “Old” Testament, a la Marcion.

          • LarryB says:

            Dina
            What do you mean “the completeness of the Egyptian archaeological record”?

          • Dina says:

            Hi Larry,

            Although I don’t think the archaeological record is sufficient to prove the claims of a religion true or false, from a strictly archaeological point of view an argument can be made against the Exodus, and that is that the archaeological record shows the history in ancient Egypt of king following king, including the main events that took place under each king. The Hebrew people and the events of the Exodus are not mentioned in this record.

            There is some evidence of events like a drought that took place during the time mentioned in the Bible, some evidence for Joseph (some make the argument that Imhotep was Joseph–I doubt it), but we don’t see anything like the Plague of the Firstborn, which as Concerned Reader pointed out, would be hard to cover up.

            I don’t know enough about archaeology or the archaeological record to counter this argument, but as I said to Concerned Reader, the national testimony of the Jewish people is good enough for me. The claim of national revelation is very strong.

            Best,
            Dina

      • LarryB says:

        Everyone who believes in G-d deals with the disbelievers, who claim their bible, is full of distortations. Those of us who believe in g-d and disagree, that is quite different. Christians believe they are whorsiping the correct g-d just as much as a jewish person does. I agree. I do not agree with their beliefs though, and clearly they should not be telling the very people who wrote the torah and taught its meaning for years how to interpret it. And then complain when they get slapped down?

  40. Concerned Reader says:

    It is not terribly impressive that historical sources verify that Jesus claimed he was the Messiah and that his followers claimed that he rose from the dead. That doesn’t mean he really was the Messiah and that he really rose from the dead. After all, historical sources verify that Mohammed claimed he was a prophet and that his followers claimed to record his prophecies. That doesn’t mean he really was prophet and that what his followers wrote really were prophecies.

    This is true of the Torah also Dina, do you see?

    Since Christians accept the Torah as true, and since Christian scripture directly contradicts the Torah, it would have made sense for Christianity to break away completely from the “Old” Testament, a la Marcion.

    I disagree that Christian texts need to be read as against a favorable view of Torah. My purpose in bringing this question of evidence up is to show the common fallacies our communities have used in our judgement of each others traditions. Saying that the Christian evidence does not validate it, says by direct connection that the argument between Judaism and Christianity is a question of who is being more honest regardless of substantial evidence.

    If that is indeed what you are implying, then I find the idea logically absurd. If there were no Moses, there would be no Jesus. No Torah, no Christianity. Christianity appeals to the Torah for its authority, so how can it be more true? Sure, Dina I hear you, but that is circular reasoning as well, thats my point. The problem is, if people say that the Christian evidence from various diverse sources is inadmissible for proof, then by extension the Torah faces the same issues in a much more obvious way and on a grander scale due to being further back in time, further removed from the actual events. If we can’t trust historical evidence from 2,000 years ago from different extra biblical sources, as well as sources indifferent to Christian claims, then how can we trust what came thousands of years previous from a partial witness? The point is, that the Jewish Christian argument causes more problems for both communities than it solves. You can’t logically imply that because Christians and Muslims accept the Torah, that therefore Jewish tradition is accurate or true, because your community by its own admission doesn’t accept Christians or Muslims as valid witnesses. The point I am making, is that by implying that Christianity’s narrative can’t at all be trusted as a valid source, whether it comes from Christians, or non Christians, you are effectively pushing both Judaism’s and Christianity’s claims into the realm of subjective belief, and away from investigation. Do you see what I mean?

    • Dina says:

      Yes, Concerned Reader, I see what you mean, but you forced the discussion of archaeological evidence in the first place. I already said it wasn’t a useful way to prove a religion’s sacred texts one way or another. You say you brought this up to show the “common fallacies our communities have used in our judgement of each others traditions.” But we don’t use archaeological arguments with Christian missionaries (they are usually the ones we argue with, because they come knocking; we don’t seek out Christians to argue with). You want to have the archaeological argument. It seems to be your pet peeve. If that is the case, then find the people who are trying to use archaeology to prove the truth of the Torah over the events of Christian scripture. I am not one of those people, and I think it’s fair to say that most Orthodox Jews would not spend a lot of time on such arguments.

      My point about Christians accepting the Torah as true wasn’t to prove that therefore Jewish tradition is true. It was to show that from a Christian perspective, it should not make sense to argue that Christian scripture is more true than the Torah. For Christians that argument should not make sense because their religion relies on the Torah. For them, if there weren’t the Torah, there wouldn’t be Jesus.

      For me, the national testimony of my people to the revelation at Sinai, an unbroken testimony that has persisted for over three millennia despite being scattered all over the globe and in the face of systematic persecution and enormous pressure to become extinct, is enough. That’s why I accept the Torah as true.

      You wrote that “by implying that Christianity’s narrative can’t at all be trusted as a valid source, whether it comes from Christians, or non Christians, you are effectively pushing both Judaism’s and Christianity’s claims into the realm of subjective belief, and away from investigation.”

      I don’t see that. If one narrative says “A” and another narrative says “not A” then they can’t both be true. Either both are wrong or one is right. Therefore, if the Torah is true then Christian scripture is wrong.

      I am examining Christian scripture in light of the words of the Torah which both Jews and Christians accept as true. That is the common ground on which we meet. Since Christians accept the Torah as true and their religion came later, it behooves them to prove, from the Torah, that their source is valid.

      I am still mystified that you want Jews to affirm that Christianity is valid. Seriously, why care what 2.2% of our country think when you’ve got 77% on your side? Do you realize how statistically insignificant our number is?

      Do you realize how crazy is the Christian obsession with targeting this statistically insignificant number for conversion? How strange that they keep picking this fight?

      Peace and blessings,
      Dina

  41. Concerned Reader says:

    Its not that I want Jews to affirm Christianity as valid Dina, I want Jews to be Jews, to honor their covenant with G-d, not to convert, and to teach us all the value of Judaism. What I want, is for the rhetoric that says Christians have maliciously altered, mistranslated, and falsified the Bible to prove their views to be abandoned in favor of a more fair and accurate approach by both communities towards each other. Sure, they interpret the Bible differently, are based on a translation, have a unique experience etc. but differences of interpretation are not something the bible has ever been short of. The bible has no shortage of incredible and unlikely stories, (not to say they didn’t happen.) I’m sorry if I have made you uncomfortable with the archeology, I didn’t mean to cause discomfort, or pick any fight, merely to illustrate that both of our religions are not immune to questions, doubts, or troubles. My point is that arguments between Jews and Christians harm both communities more than help either one, and leave us all troubled. I know that it is wrong to seek conversion of Jews from the Torah. Both books teach this, the problem is that most don’t know it, or even care to know because they haven’t been taught how to recognize it. Most Christians end up caring what Jews think about scripture because we know you had it first. We also have our own questions about our understanding. We too are searching. Judaism provides many answers that the Church has not provided. But, being told that you do not know about G-d, that your beliefs are groundless and silly, etc. is extremely troubling to someone who is searching. As Ive mentioned, I was raised unitarian, so i don’t even fit the constructed rhetorical mold that has been set up for what Christianity is supposed to be. I have also demonstrated elsewhere that to compare trinitarian theology to idolatrous religions is extremely shaky ground, with very little evidence to support the assertion. Perceived similarities are exactly that, perceived.

    • Sharbano says:

      “I want Jews to be Jews, to honor their covenant with G-d, not to convert, and to teach us all the value of Judaism.”

      This is all well and good, But, the problem is a non-Jew simply Cannot understand Torah from any websites, including here. A website “may” give a person an inkling of Judaism but not really any understanding. A Xtian will go and study their bibles on their own whereas No Jew has ever learned Torah on their own. Even from the beginning when Moshe was at Sinai it was G-d who taught him Torah and he taught the leaders of the people. Those leaders then taught others. This has been the way it has been done. A Jew learns Torah from his Rabbi. A person would not study a law book and then start practicing law. It is the same with Torah. There must be a teacher. Therefore, if a Xtian were wanting to “learn Torah” he would need to find a Rabbi and begin with the basics.

      “Sure, they interpret the Bible differently”

      The reason there is a difference in “interpretations” is that Xtians “study the Bible”, whereas we “learn Torah”. Until Xtianity can comes to terms with what constitutes “learning Torah” there can never be understanding. To put it simply, A Xtian does Not know what the question is, so how can they know or understand Torah. Then again, if one wants to know the question he must first realize it is only evident in the Hebrew. Only then can a person truly see the wonders of Torah and also the fallacy of Xtianity. Is it any wonder Xtianity adopted a Greek translation in order to base their religion upon, and still, to this day, primarily learn Greek. I have yet to find one who engages in disputations who has made any effort to learn Hebrew. Many times it is even discouraged by the clergy. Even more so is the learning of Talmud. In the past the church has endeavored to destroy these Jewish books and even with the Reformation the church has yet to embrace such learning. Even among philo-semites there is a lack of interest. I would therefore ask, What is it that the non-Jew really wants to know, if anything. I suggest it is just confirmation their religion “fits” with normative Judaism.

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader,

      You wrote, “My point is that arguments between Jews and Christians harm both communities more than help either one, and leave us all troubled.”

      You keep raising this point as if I have never answered it. Forgive my bluntness, but if you want the arguments to stop, then stop arguing. We do not seek these discussions. We only respond to Christians defensively.

      You said you do not expect us to affirm that the Christian interpretation is valid, but then you wrote, “Sure, they interpret the Bible differently, are based on a translation, have a unique experience etc. but differences of interpretation are not something the bible has ever been short of.” That implies that you want us to accept that your interpretation is not false and groundless, just different–which is really just another way of saying it’s valid.

      So firstly, if we believe it’s false, then we will never believe it’s just a different interpretation. If you see that Hebrew scripture has been abused in the “New Testament,” then it’s fair to conclude that the writers were either shockingly uneducated and ignorant or deliberate liars. Neither option is appealing, I admit.

      Secondly, there exists only one people whose interpretation is valid, and that is the Jewish people, the target audience in the first place. Scripture attests to this: Deuteronomy 31:21; Isaiah 43:10,12; Isaiah 44:8; Isaiah 59:21; Ezekiel 13:9; Psalms 78:5,6.

      Thirdly, I will take a leaf out of your book with the parable of the bad tree producing bad fruits. Sadly, from a uniquely Jewish perspective, the fruits produced by Christian scripture have not been good. No indeed. Something that is intrinsically pure and good and holy does not produce evil.

      Your scripture abuses us. It abuses our holy texts. And you expect us to say, oh, well, it’s just a different interpretation. That’s a bit much, Concerned Reader.

      You wrote: “I have also demonstrated elsewhere that to compare trinitarian theology to idolatrous religions is extremely shaky ground, with very little evidence to support the assertion. Perceived similarities are exactly that, perceived.”

      Although I disagree with you there, we can put aside the comparison of Trinitarianism to idolatry and ask instead if it is idolatrous in comparison with the Torah’s definition of idolatry. The answer is, unequivocally, yes.

      Finally, I will repeat my question to you–which I have lost track of how many times I have asked it–why do you care? Why do you care if a tiny fragment of the population thinks your scripture is a book of lies? We don’t hate you because of it. We don’t seek to take it away from you. We’re happy to be your friend. So why does this bother you so much?

      With respect,
      Dina

    • Dina says:

      One more point, actually :): The question we should be asking ourselves is not whether our positions hurt each other but whether they are true.

      That’s the bottom line, really.

  42. Concerned Reader says:

    You ask why I care Dina, why this indifference bothers me so. I care for the same reason you care about your faith, and care for well meaning Christians as you do for those Jews who decide to leave Judaism. All Christians can do is repent of their past sins, and try to make amends. That said, the accusation that Christians believe in lies strikes at the Christian heart most deeply, not because we can’t grasp your perspective, but because the christian not only believes he is doing G-d’s will, but he or she literally works their tale off to eradicate the names of bona fide idols the world over, because of their belief. The Christians are going around the globe preaching one G-d to nations that have never even heard of G-d, much less met a Jewish person who can teach them Torah, yet Judaism says “that’s not good enough, its incorrect, Jesus is false, etc. Where is Judaism’s drive to go out and do that work? I don’t mean to be offensive or overly blunt, but that’s a huge issue. When Christians pray in the name of Jesus what does it mean to them by their own statements? The name Jesus= Hashem is salvation. Christians are out in the amazon preaching hashem through Jesus to tribes that either have no religion, or are lost in myth, immorality, and primitive rituals. Christians are being killed and arrested in Muslim countries by people who are considered halachic monotheists, (just because they say G-d is one in the correct way, with correct understanding.) This is why Christians care Dina. Christians share scripture with Jews, but are regarded by many as though they have hampered the world, and practiced a form of idolatry that is worse than anything before it. This not only hurts Christians in light of their own identity and self understanding, but it refuses to acknowledge the real progress that gentiles have made in a genuine sense. I know Judaism regards Christianity (in some circles) as Noachide, but all non Jewish faith (that maintains a sense of abstract unity) can be regarded as potentially noachide if going through proper channels. The problem lies in this very indifference. I have heard people say, that they would rather a Jew be an atheist than believe in Jesus. How could a well meaning christian of faith not feel a slight sting at this sentiment? It gets at the heart of the issue when a truly holy Noachide has to basically be frum (rejecting Jesus,accepting rabbinic oversight for rulings, not observing sabbath or holidays in the same way as Jews, and possibly converting,) but a Christian out there in G-d’s nowhere working with all his strength for the G-d of Abraham is an idolater who has no clue. Its the sentiment that Christians and their progenitors were just ignoramuses that hurts, like no Christian at any time has ever tried to know Judaism. Again, I apologize from the bottom of my heart if this came off as mean spirited, hurtful, or troubling. I just really wanted you to know why Christians are “obsessed.”

    • Dina says:

      Well, Concerned Reader, I can’t argue with emotion. I can’t tell you how to feel.

      I can, however, explain to you why your feelings are not logical. I do not know if what I say will be helpful, because you are, after all, making an emotional argument, and if I try to counter emotion with logic we might end up arguing at cross purposes.

      The thing that makes no sense to me is that you seem to be missing a huge part of the picture here. The overwhelming majority of Christians believe that we are spiritually blind or hardhearted or rebellious or all three for rejecting Jesus. (Many of them believe that all our suffering including the Holocaust is because of the sin of rejecting Jesus.) This has not changed in 2000 years. And the fact that you feel hurt because we deem your faith idolatrous also shows a sort of contempt for our view, and I will explain why.

      For over 2000 years, Jews have believed that Christianity is an idolatrous religion. Our best and brightest minds have put forth the reasons why. To dismiss all these arguments is as disrespectful as you say we are when we say that your best and brightest minds are wrong. You want to have it both ways, but you can’t. This is what is not logical to me.

      We aren’t stopping you from going around the world spreading your message. Christianity has been enormously successful at doing that, with over two billion adherents. And you’re hurt because a handful of people don’t approve? You have two billion on your side. We have no one on our side (unless you want to count the very small number of Noahides). Not only do we face the disapproval of nearly all of those two billion, but we also face disapproval from one billion Muslims (I know they hate Christians, but at least they accept Jesus as a true prophet).

      If anyone should be walking around with hurt feelings, it’s us. But we don’t. We mind our own business, we’re happy to be your friend, we’d love for you to see things our way but we won’t bother you about it, and that’s pretty much that.

      And the most important question you’re not asking is, are we right? Are we right to say that Christianity is idolatrous?

      If we are right, then you are committing a sin against God. If we are wrong, then we are committing a sin against God. There isn’t a third option, where we are both right, so let’s all forget our differences.

      So here’s a challenge, sir. Prove us wrong. Prove that Christianity is not idolatry according to the Torah.

      I’m sorry I can’t be more empathetic. I try to be respectful, though; I hope you realize that.

      I was going to sign off with “Hope this helps,” but I have a feeling it doesn’t :).

      Best wishes,
      Dina

  43. Concerned Reader says:

    Dina, if you want plausible proof of borderline Christian ideas in Judaism, check out this article,http://kavvanah.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/maimonides-on-mosaic-revelation-prof-lawrence-j-kaplan/ and these books. http://www.amazon.com/Ben-Sonship-Mysticism-Library-Studies/dp/0826496660
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Bodies-World-Ancient-Israel/dp/1107422264 also this article http://lawrenceschiffman.com/the-lord-is-one-reflections-on-the-history-of-judaism-in-light-of-the-shema-text-from-halbturn-austria/

    you have implied that either the Jewish view is 100% right, or the Christian view is 100% right and that there is no room in between, but we know from scholarship, that nothing is ever 100% cut and dry in either Jewish or Christian tradition, and that dichotomies like you propose don’t fly rationally, but only through personal faith. Orthodox Christians have always maintained that G-d is not a body http://www.catholic.com/tracts/god-has-no-body, with the exception of Tertullian, who saw such belief as a Hellenistic influence imposed on scripture by philosophy. You say that I make an emotional appeal that is irrational, and that a christian cannot find his worship in the Torah rationally, but the reason for an emotional appeal is because every rational piece of evidence brought by Christians for their view is regarded as mere rationalizing, and not as a genuine attempt by Christians to understand scripture on its own terms. Both communities call te game before it starts. This is an assertion, true you can support your view, but to say the Christians can’t find rational support for theirs in Torah is just equally another assertion. Emotion comes out because this is an emotional issue, not because I am mad, or unable to support my views. I respect that you disagree, and your commitment to Judaism, but when Judaism says that Christians don’t get it, this is demonstrably not wholly true. You have asked why I rely on outside sources. I rely on them, because they are impartial to your view, and my view equally. These evidences and sources are neutral ground as it were, that both communities can approach objectively and dialogue about. I look to them, because they do not require apologetic, and they allow us both to go in and reason together without compromise to either of our convictions. My archaeology examples for instance, showed the impartiality I am speaking about. While we both accept the Exodus, we can still look to this outside information that is not subject to our various traditional interpretive glasses to be less dogmatic and even in our claims. You said that one can’t have it both ways, but we have independent evidence within Judaism and Christianity that one can indeed hold views present in either tradition, while being within each separate traditional framework. Whether it is true or not is an argument we obviously can disagree about, but the facts and similarities are there independent of your or my opinion.

  44. Concerned Reader says:

    http://www.jcrelations.net/Dabru_Emet_ _A_Jewish_Statement_on_Christians_and_Christianity.2395.0.html

    I want to fully and clearly state again, I do not want Jews to abandon Torah Judaism. I feel that my honest attempts to show that you can indeed be rational, biblical, and Christian, have clouded my position on this question inadvertently. Just to be clear, I mean no animosity. I honestly feel that the assertion that you can’t be true to scripture and also be a christian is unfounded, and I have backed that up with scholarly sources. I want to be absolutely clear also, that I cannot accuse Judaism of holding an unfounded view. Jewish duty is to Torah, both Hebrew Bible and New Testament testify to this. I want everyone here to know that just because I have a disagreement, it does not mean that I doubt your right, or duty to your faith. I am not a missionary, my purpose is to challenge traditional assumptions both Jewish and Christian, and to show that whether we like it or not, we are both trying to be true to scripture as we see it.

    • LarryB says:

      CR
      I tried the link and it would not let me read the article as I got stuck on the language selection page. Thanks for posting your purpose -” to show that whether we like it or not, we are both trying to be true to scripture as we see it.” I am confused though. You have shown great respect and at the same time have been shown great respect. You have shared ideas from some incrediably thoughtful, and caring people. No one has come to you asking why you believe this way or that. If all you want is to “show whether we like it or not, (sometimes when we do not agree we do not like it), we are both trying to be true to scripture as we see it”, (sometimes we won’t agree on that either), why are you asking questions and then seemingly complaigning when you do not get the response you want? Do you feel the response should only be what you want to hear? If you really believe in “whether we like it or not”, you have to accept built in disagreement. If your not complaigning then why not write a great article with all your background and education and share your insights. That is what is done here every single day. Its called work. I mean no disrespect at all please don’t take this wrong, I am just confused.

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader,

      You have been very clear that you do not want to try to convert Jews. You have also clearly stated your position that Christians can be rational and biblical.

      Since you do not represent mainstream Christians, some of what I write is not directed at you personally. When I write that two billion Christians disapprove of Judaism, I understand that there are a few exceptions, such as you. In my opinion, the numbers of Christians who wish for Jews to remain true to the Torah and to our rabbinic tradition is statistically insignificant.

      You have complained about the disrespect of Jews who believe that Christianity is irrational and groundless. I don’t think you are personally disrespectful–the opposite is the case–but I’m just trying to show you that you are in a contradiction when you say that we ought to accept your view that Christianity is rational but you do not have to accept our view that it isn’t. Do you see the contradiction? (It’s kind of like a Catch 22.)

      You have not in fact demonstrated in any way that is meaningful to someone who believes the Torah is the word of God that Christianity does not contradict the Torah. You insist, without evidence, that Judaism can be true for Jews and Christianity can be true for gentiles. You have not shown why it is logical that both “A” and “not A” are true at the same time.

      If Jesus is not who he said he was, as Jews insist, then it’s wrong for anyone, Jew or gentile, to follow him. Therefore, you need to show us why it’s rational and biblical to believe that he is who he said he was.

      Last point. Please don’t worry about giving offense. So long as you don’t engage in personal attacks, you’re good :). It’s hard to be honest if you’re afraid to offend. In debates like these the rhetoric heats up, but good people can disagree. And truth is discovered in honest debate.

      I wrote to explain why I don’t understand your position, and I’m sorry for if that made you feel defensive. I hope you can clarify your position and respond to the points I made. But if you believe you have said all there is to say on the subject, I respect that too.

      Best,
      Dina

  45. Concerned Reader says:

    Here is a link to the pdf version. http://www.icjs.org/sites/default/files/Dabru%20Emet%20-%20A%20Jewish%20Statement%20on%20Christians%20and%20Christianity.pdf
    Larry B, if I seem to be complaining about the answers I’ve received, I’m sorry it comes across as complaint. Like you, I too am confused by some of the reasoning I see. I do not expect you to agree with the Christian position, I am aware of the many good objections Jews have to Christian claims, and the NT itself shows in many places the veracity of traditional Jewish interpretations concerning messiah, Torah, etc. I have no contempt for Judaism, nor do I want you to leave it. I just don’t see, given all the scholarship and traceable connections, how Christianity (which is based rightly or wrongly on scripture) can be regarded as outside the Bible and idolatrous, while faiths completely alien to scripture and a biblical context can be regarded as more correct and less idolatrous, just because they align better with with the halachic category of oneness as it is commonly defined. I do not see the logic there, even if I were reading from a halachic perspective, Does that make sense? This is where a sense of frustration comes in, it is not meant to be unkind, and I do know that you all have been very respectful. I have a sense of dissatisfaction, not with your view, but with the rationale for a specific perspective, it is this that I wish I could understand better. As an example to show why I am confused. Lets say I agree with you that Christianity is a potentially idolatrous religion, with idolatrous ideas and impulses concerning G-d. (like say a belief that G-d takes on a human form.) Even if I grant that the charge of idolatry can be accurate, the Christian points at the Jewish bible as a guide for principles and conduct either directly, or by Torah derived principles found in their texts. When that person looks for inspiration, he or she reads Psalms, or proverbs, not the Vedas, Muslim, or Zoroastrian books, or philosophies like those of Plato and Aristotle. Even if the charge that Christians idolize Jesus is correct, their tradition is more than capable of seeing the validity of your position, the idolatrous dangers of elevating Jesus too highly, etc. if they have eyes to see and appropriate background in their own tradition. G-d told Moses to build a serpent of brass to help the Israelite people see the error of their speaking against him, and to show the evil of idols. They ended up idolizing that very brass serpent, but if they hadn’t done so, would it need to have been destroyed? As you have all pointed out, Christianity looks to Torah as an authority. If Christianity is idolatrous, it is a unique Jewish form of idolatry, that contains within itself the means to recover from that idolatry. It understands the difference between hashem and Jesus. This is the source of my confusion. As another example. Kabbalah can be interpreted in an idolatrous way, say, if one prays invoking various sephirot, but if it is read with discernment from Torah, it is not deemed idolatrous. Why can this doctrine of ten in one be read with discernment as not violating Judaism’s monotheism, but three in one of an incorporeal trinity cannot? The rationale just doesn’t add up for me. I guess I need more clarification.

    To Dina, I realize that Christians have had a negative view of Jews and Judaism, but this has extreme potential to change, particularly as we learn more about each other. I do not want my words to cause harm to anyone, and I will defend your religion in all my posts, to those who disparage it.

    • Dina says:

      And continue to have. I do hope you will respond to my arguments.

      Thanks,
      Dina

    • Dina says:

      Interesting parallel to the copper snake. Do you see the logical conclusion if you apply it to Jesus?

    • LarryB says:

      CR
      I have no time right now, but would like to say, as an ex christian, catholic, I know of none that would agree with your statement that they have an “extreme potintial to change”. Change what? In fact they believe the jewish people will all convert to catholism/christianity when Jesus comes again. They might get better at “cant we all just get along” but thats about all.

    • Eric Krakofsky says:

      Sorry for jumping in, just wanted to say a few words regarding our -christian ‘idolatry ‘- that’s how Jews mainly see us ‘idolizing’ Jesus. I don’t want to get into a long dispute about it but to say that unless Jews don’t see connection Jesus as man sent by God and exalted by God himself to a level called Lord ( over us) , they will see it as idolatry. Unless you know the christian view based on the scriptures why Jesus is so highly respected and see in the scriptures him as Son of God appointed for us like Moses was appointed to lead his people, Christianity will be untrue, misguided faith.
      So more convenient is to engage into proving the facts instead of talking just about ‘ christian idolatry’.
      The words based on which Christians understand exaltation of Jesus are in Philippians 2;5-11, that him being elevated so high comes first from God. It is God’s initiative. Also Christians respect and honor him as a great king ( psalm 45, ps 110) and the way descendant of Jesse is exalted by God. in Is 11;10 .

      • Dina says:

        Hi Eric,

        Perhaps you’d like to take a stab at my challenge to Concerned Reader. The Torah defines idolatry as a type of worship that was unknown to our fathers. Here is an undeniable, indisputable fact: Christianity introduced a type of worship that was unknown to our fathers whether you believe Jesus was a man or god. Therefore, why is worship of Jesus not idolatry according to the definition the Torah teaches?

        • Eric Krakofsky says:

          Dina, I will focus on your question; “why is worship of Jesus not idolatry according to the definition the Torah teaches?”
          It is simply the way you see it thinking we exalt Jesus above God which is not true and also because the word ‘worship’ is completly misunderstood in english translations and replaced by other words which originally were the word ‘ worship’ – this way the word is associated with a completly different meaning now it carred originally. ( I will explaine it later).
          Our worshiping Jesus is simply giving respect and homage and gratitude to a man whom we believe God put in charge and exalted himself. ( It would be good later to got through the scriptures that testify of the messiah being glorified by God and given suprime position over people). Since we believe Jesus is the Messiah we understand the position God gave him as the scriptures testify of the Messiah- king exaltated by God.

          Original texts carry on the word ‘worship’ that wasn’t only limited to God and expressed people’s submissive position and respective position to a person that was simply in charge, or specially appreciated. There was no specific word for ‘worship’ reserved only to God because th especial worship that is due to Him comes from the heart.
          So reading Gen 19;1 you would read that Lot ‘worshipped’ the two strangers that came to Sodom ( which meant he bowed down to them) In Gen 33;3 it is said Jacob ‘worshipped ‘ his older brother when they met after being apart for years. In Ruth 2;10 you would have Ruth ‘worshipped’ Boaz, in 1 samuel 25;41 Abigail ‘worshipped’ David which means sho bowed down to him showing her respect. There would be many more examples
          and now all the words as ‘worship’ are translated as ‘ bowed down’ or ‘pay homage to somebody’ .
          So the word itself have never had a scepific reservation only to God. Today it is see that way because we find it in our translations only that way. Worship was part of a culture to show respect to somebody who deserved that like kings, special people . Another words whomever you served and whoever was in charge , ‘worship ‘was the way you were showing your respect. There is no magic in this word. No idolatory unless you decide to show your respect to the material objects and treat ithem as a ‘force put over you. Then you will see the same word’ worship ‘ and it will relate to the idolatry; if I say I worship the moon or some wooden statue. So it all depends who is the object of the worship/ respect . Is it somebody who is chosen by God over me, to whom God wants me to show respect? Than yes, my worship / respect to him is justified. Is there a material object or a person who is acting against God and I will hsow my adoration to him or to a dead object- then it is idolatry.

          So when Christian say they worship Jesus – he is respected because he is put in charge by God. Whoever the Messiah you believe will be- you will treat him as the one put in chage by God. Then you will be showing him your respect and if you used for that the word ‘ worship’ it wouldn’t mean any idolatry in it. You will say praise songs like psalm 45 and there will be no idolatry in it because you respect the person God put in charge. You respect a person God put in chage , you respect God.

          You also said; ‘ idoltry is worshipping something unknown to your fathers. We introduced that unknown type of worship… simply because we respect the Messiah .
          An example; Jacob wouldn’t have to respect Moses because Moses wasn’t born in his times. But when there was time Moses was already appointed by God to lead his people , the respect and submission to his words wasn’t to be treated as something unknown to the previous people.. It is all about the fact you don’t believe Jesus is put in chage by God so when the time came that he was born and was teaching people , you would not show him your respect because you don’t believe he is true God’s man. So the discussion would have to focus on proving that fact first of all in order to say it is idolatry .
          I will go back to the rest of emails later.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            You missed the point here. The new type of worship that was being introduced was as I explained in a comment elsewhere today (I forget where).

            For example, making a man the center of the religion and making belief in the messiah essential for eternal salvation.

          • Dina says:

            You say that if I believed Jesus was sent by God I would respect him the way I respect Moses. But this in fact is not true. I respect those sent by God but do not make them the center of my worship.

          • Eric Krakofsky says:

            Dina,Nobody is asking you to make him a center of your worship above the Father but many Jews have a problem to even thank God for sending Jesus as His servant to suffer for us and pray for us. They would insist on the righteous remnant whose suffering and prayers might bring favor of God to people ( according to your interpretation of is 53) but exclude suffering and prayers of Jesus. That is kind of weird…don’t you think so???

          • Dina says:

            Eric, I think you’re not quite clear on Rabbi B.’s explanation of Isaiah 53. I’m waiting for his post that will explain the passage verse by verse, but if I have time I will present you with more information concerning this passage.

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            I am not using the word “worship” in the sense of the passages you cited. I am using the word “worship” in the way Christians venerate Jesus, far above and away the veneration we give to an earthly king.

      • Eric
        You are assuming that the Jewish criticism of Christianity’s exaltation of Jesus has missed a basic step – did you perhaps consider that you are missing a basic step? Did you consider that we were charged by God with a mission of preserving His truth on behalf of mankind – and that we need to discharge our duty as we were given to understand that duty – after all – it is us who were charged with the duty of being God’s witnesses (Isaiah 43:10) – how do you propose we go about discharging that duty – by studying the philosophies of other nations – or by studying our own testimony that is described in Deuteronomy 4:35?

        • Hello rabbi B, I agree with your sentiment expressed to Eric, with one caveat. It does fall on you to study and live out Torah. However, when the Torah is making a ruling against another nation, the norms and beliefs of that nation must be known properly, in order to execute a just judgement. It becomes necessary for proper judgement, to know intimately that which you judge. You may be thinking that the view expressed by Eric, (that Christians pay respect to Jesus as they did and do for Moses) compared with a view advocating full divinity of Jesus, are core opposites, but they are not, in light of the hypostatic union, and functional subordination of the Son. As I’ve mentioned, Christians know the difference between man, and G-d.

          As for the contention that the Christian theology of (the Word that was with G-d) being unknown to the fathers, I pointed out Philo to Dina. She said that Philo is not accepted by Jewish tradition. What is the status of the Targums which make use of the Israeli equivalent doctrine about the Memra/shekinah of G-d? I can agree with you from a traditional Christian perceptive, that if honor to Jesus eclipses honor to the father, that would be wrong. But, as most Christians who post here have noted, that is not what they are doing. It’s important to note, that those distinctions are vitally important to Christian religious sensibilities, whether you are trinitarian, or Unitarian, the father is still the father, the one true G-d.

  46. Dina says:

    I haven’t studied Kabbalah so I can’t answer you, but I have a feeling that you are misunderstanding a basic concept. I can say that with confidence because although Kabbalah is part of our tradition, I have never heard of the concept of a ten-in-one god.

    Rabbi Blumenthal, when you have a chance, can you clarify? Thanks!

  47. Concerned Reader says:

    Dina, I have noticed that some sources call the sefirot created emanations, and in that case the parallel would not work, but in some others, they are each identified as being one with the divine essence, like attributes, so that no plurality is actually indicated. I believe that was Ramban’s view, but rabbi B can correct me on that. As I noted, it is heretical to pray with an intention toward a specific sefira, but from a metaphysical standpoint, there is some minor similarity to Christian metaphysics, and if we look at Philo, there are more similarities. I am not saying there is a one to one connection, but a thematic one. I do realize the irony of the brass snake and what it means vis Jesus and the question of idolatry, but so does the wider Christian tradition, hence the rejection of the teaching that only Jesus is G-d. To Larry B, most Christians and Jews have little knowledge of their religious doctrines, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t true accepted knowledge. Dina, I would not be able in one post to answer every question thoroughly of how A and not A can both be true, but I will work on it. What I do know, is that there are interpretations and sources which do not discount the possibility of a messianic figure appearing, being hidden, and coming back in some way. Nor is it impossible that a Messiah can die in battle and rise. (there is room for interpretation about the meaning of battle, literal, metaphoric, etc.) There are also sources that indicate that it is not impossible for a messiah to rise from the dead, though I admit it is extremely debatable. Moses disappeared for 40 days without food or water (what human could survive that long without food or water? A Human whose limitations were eliminated by the very presence of G-d, upholding his faculties in every way, perhaps.) Torah says in Hoshea 3:4-5 that after long exile without temple and sacrifice, king, or prince, that Israel “shall return and seek the L-rd and David their king.” I acknowledge readily that the traditional plain meaning of this passage is of a reconstitution of the nation, temple service, and a return of urim and turim (thus indicating a return of prophecy,) but it could also allude to a resurrected king (hence the use of David their king.) A solid argument can be made from Jewish and Christian sources that in order to see the final reestablishment of all these things, it is dependent on people’s repentance, righteousness, and justice. This is something that Judaism, Catholic, and Orthodox Christianity can all agree on. When it comes to Jewish interpretations of scripture, even the NT supports traditional Jewish readings. Luke 1:54 has Mary calling Israel the servant of the L-rd. (there goes the Isaiah 53 dispute, the answer as to who the servant is, it can be Messiah, and the righteous remnant of Israel) both and, not one or the other alone. Haggai 2:9 says that the glory of the latter house (referring to the second temple according to immediate context,) would be greater than the glory of the former house (the first temple,) but we know that the second house did not have crucial elements of the first. In what sense is this passage to be considered fulfilled then? We can’t refer this to Herod’s renovations, or to a righteous generation, as Daniel said the Temple will be rebuilt in troubled times, and that renegades would arise to cause the vision to stand, but would stumble. Is it possible then, that a righteous individual, or group of individuals present in or near the second house, or its time period would constitute this greater glory? Glory, kingdom, and prophecy, are often used as euphemisms, for a recognition of G-d’s sovereignty, and a commitment to serve G-d. We all agree (though we disagree as to whether its good or bad, true or false,) that with the advent of Jesus, knowledge of G-d spread to many who had previously not known about it., especially non Jews. In fact, the renegades spoken of, have been identified as Jesus’ movement by some rabbis in lectures that I have read and heard. So Dina, though we disagree on extremely important issues (for very important reasons,) it doesn’t mean that we can’t rationally say something happened that was semi redemptive or messianic, or prophetic 2,000 years ago, that some people, though mistaken they may have been, believed was a fulfillment of some biblical promises. We know from the NT that the ethics are based on Judaism, and that Jesus’ teachings were not unique to him. In this sense, we can argue that traditional Judaism is right for Jews, and that any Christian who holds a different notion, is not reading his text carefully or in an unbiased way. In another sense, we can’t outright deny that some people believed they had a sense of prophetic and redemptive experience, and that these people became the Christian community. We may disagree as to the exact nature of the event, but not that something good or bad actually occurred. BTW, this is all just for the sake of argument, if rabbi B wants to crush my statements, he is totally welcome to. This is all meant as hypothetical, not to dissuade you from your tradition. Dina, you asked for a reason that some people should have any reason based on Torah to believe that both A and not A could be true at the same time, and I tried to answer your arguments and honor your request for information. Rabbi B, I apologize if I violated any blog rules in posting these comments, I was trying to answer Dina’s questions, not proselytize, or shake faith. I’ve actually listened to a number of your lectures, and read your papers. I was just trying to answer a question.

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader,

      This is vague, so I can’t answer it. You provided sources on proof of borderline Christian ideas within Judaism. I will not look into it for now because that is not what this discussion is about. We’re not talking about borderline Christian ideas. We’re talking about how it can be okay for Christians to worship Jesus if he is not who he said he was.

      To try to break this down into smaller bites, we ought to start at the beginning. Since every Christian I’ve spoken to has a different idea of the faith, I should probably ask you to define yours.

      Here are a couple of questions to get us started:

      1. What is the role of the Messiah?
      2. What role does Jesus play in your worship? Who is he, what is the point of him?

      Thanks,
      Dina

    • LarryB says:

      CR
      What is true accepted knowledge as you are referring?

  48. Concerned Reader says:

    I realize Judaism believes he is not who he said he was, but Christians do believe it. The point of what I wrote, was that given scripture, interpretation, and tradition, the Christian belief is not disingenuous, nor is it crazy to think their conceptions cannot arise from reading and interpreting the Bible.

    What is the role of Messiah

    The role of the messiah is that he will usher in the kingdom of G-d, (recognition of the rule and sovereignty of G-d.) As part of that, Christians believe that his death on the cross and resurrection (or alleged occurrence of it) served a redemptive purpose, (Jesus’ resurrection frees human beings from the fear of death, and opens an assured path of repentance to them, not that they couldn’t come to knowledge of G-d, or repentance by another route, but the experience of said resurrection provided a redemptive hope that fueled the movement. If the person reacts to that hope in the proper way, (via G-dly action and a holy life,) they will presumably join in the fruit of the resurrection of the dead that Jesus experienced. The idea that G-d is angry, and that he thus needed to kill Jesus to satisfy his requirement for perfect holiness, and that humans are stained with guilt is an emphasis that arose from Augustine and Anselm of Canterbury, and their reading regretfully stuck in the western Churches. In the eastern Church, “salvation” is a process that requires human response, and does not take on that regrettable emphasis. A close reading of salvation passages in the NT shows that salvation is not a guarantee like some kind of vaccine . http://www.scripturecatholic.com/salvation.html When humans repent, Jesus will presumably return and usher in the kingdom for those who are ready for it.

    What is his role in worship

    Jesus reveals the wisdom of the father (ethics, behavior, personality, etc.) in a presumably unprecedented way. In this sense, he is the Logos/Son of the father. (a term employed by convention of the limits of the words we posses to describe the relationship) In order to have the authority to say the things Jesus is reported to have said in the gospels, he needed to be the voice of G-d himself, any other way of describing the relationship bears similarity to old idolatry. This does not mean that the limited human being or flesh and blood was G-d, rather that G-d spoke through him in an unprecedented way, and in a way that revealed to those around him a close relationship between he and G-d. This as well as the prophets presumably gave him the authority to speak. Messiah is to have the name Hashem our righteousness according to Jeremiah 23:6. The point of him, is that he revealed this message, and that despite the threat of death to his followers, the presence of massive opposition, etc. this message flourished because of the experience the hearers had of the risen Jesus, and the power of his sayings. By the hand of this person, nobody doubts a prophetic occurrence of sorts occurred, and that knowledge of G-d was transmitted all over the world. We all disagree on whether Jesus was a true or false prophet, but the role of prophet itself seems to be a belief that is able to be substantiated in either sense.

    I realize my statements can be construed as vague, but anyone can, and many have said that, about all the prophecies of the Bible whether in Torah or Christian bible. Again, I am saying this only to answer your questions, not for any other reason just to be clear.

    Have a good day Dina

  49. Concerned Reader says:

    hahaha I meant “can arise” in the post above lol sorry.

    the Christian belief is not disingenuous, nor is it crazy to think their conceptions {cannot} arise from reading and interpreting

    LarryB I mean that both Jews and the majority of Christian churches believe they have an authoritative traditional understanding, and that truth can be understood through it.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Concerned Reader,

      I have some questions to help us explore the idea that two religions that contradict each other can both be true.

      1. Does the Torah indicate that anything more than Genesis 4:7, Deuteronomy 30, and Ezekiel 18 and 33 are needed for repentance?
      2. If Jesus operated as God’s mouthpiece in an unprecedented way, why is it okay for the Jews–whom he addressed and commanded to believe in him–to reject him and his message?
      3. If the role of the Messiah is to usher in the kingdom of God and redeem humans from the fear of death (a fear that does not plague me), and if Jesus fulfilled this role, and if Jews can and ought to continue their observance without Jesus, then are there two Messiahs, one for the gentiles and one for the Jews?

      4. Does Tanach clearly teach that the role of the Messiah is as you described it?

      5. In the NT, what statements of Jesus do you accept that he uttered as God’s mouthpiece, and what statements do you reject, and on what basis?

      6. Does the fact that you consider that God spoke through Jesus in an unprecedented way contradict Deuteronomy 34:10? Why or why not?

      7. Which prophecies in the Hebrew Bible are clear, and which ones are vague? What is your standard for rating a prophecy’s clarity or vagueness?

      Thanks,
      Dina

  50. Concerned Reader says:

    1. No
    2.Jews are taught by Jesus in the NT to observe the commandments as they do and as he did, Gentiles are commanded in NT to observe ethics for G-d fearing gentiles. If the observance by one group of its commandments negatively affects the observance by the other group of its commandments, within the scope of the roles of either group discussed above, then there is a sin occurring. If Jews oppress the stranger, or the stranger oppresses a Jew, then even according to either source Torah or NT, there is a violation. Romans 2:12-14, 1 Corinthians 7:20, Romans 11. So, if I as a christian tell you that you should abandon your Torah observance, I would be leading you astray and building a wall of emnity, even by the standard of my own text. If you say that G-d cannot truly love me just as a gentile through what I have learned from Jesus, and I must convert, then you would be violating the same principle. (this was what Paul’s opponents were doing in Acts, which was resolved in Acts 15.) So if by your rejection of an antinomian Jesus, you stick to your faith, you haven’t violated the principles of Moses, or of Jesus.
    3. I would say that from the Christian perspective, there is one messiah, and from the Jewish perspective there are two, but what did that messiah Jesus want from the people he spoke to? When Jesus says Believe in me, he always ties “believe” to action, as in John 14:15. When Jesus offers condemnation, it is because people are not receptive to his message unless he hands them the meaning bluntly, and without effort on their part. One of the biggest abuses of the NT by Christians, is that they forget that Jesus’ condemnations didn’t just refer to those who rejected him, but even to those who followed him in a non receptive way, or productive way. (Mathew 7:22, 1 Corinthians 3)

    4. I would say that its true that the Torah is very sparse on the question of the individual Messiah, and not about the messianic age, but contrary to popular assertions, the messianic era will not come about without us responding to it, repenting etc. This is why it is somewhat of a fallacy to say that because X, Y, or Z, didn’t happen yet, a person can’t be the redeemer. Israel had Moses around long before redemption actually took place.

    5 & 6: The commands that Jesus gives that are consistent with the teaching as received 😉 are accepted, those that are rejected are not. This is connected to Deuteronomy 34:10. Is Moses obeyed for all time because he is Moses? or because something happened that let Israel know directly and personally that it was G-d speaking through him? This is why Jesus’ resurrection and the coming of the spirit came to clarity at Pentecost. The first generation of Israelites did not accept Moses on the basis of received tradition, great numbers of people, or miracles, but on personal experience of G-d first hand, and consistency of teaching. it would have to be the same for the messiah, hence even if he were not divine of himself, hashem would have to be right behind him, fortifying him, speaking through him, and nullifying every shred of limitation in him just as happened for Moses during his reception of the Torah on the mountain. Christians said Jesus was divine, because they claimed this type of experience happened. If we say we don’t accept the words of that tradition, the same problem exists with the Torah’s chain of tradition. We don’t believe based on numbers of adherents, traditions of succession , or miracles, but on the experience of G-d we have had. Mathew 16:4. Jesus says believe on the evidence of the works themselves. G-d would not work against his own purposes.

    7) Daat Emet had a good article on this very question and how difficult it is to answer.

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader, I will respond God willing some time after Shabbat. Have a great weekend.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Concerned Reader,

      I’d like to take you through my questions again to see if you’ve answered them in a way that resolves the contradiction between Judaism and Christianity–in other words, that Judaism and Christianity are both true at the same time.

      1. I asked you whether anything more than Genesis 4:7, Deuteronomy 30, and Ezekiel 18 and 33 are required for repentance, and you answered no. Does this not obviate the need for a messiah whose role is to redeem people from sin (or fear of death, or however you’d like to put it)? The Torah teaches us that our spiritual destiny is entirely in our own hands (a very empowering idea, by the way). Also, does this not change the job description of the messiah? Where does Tanach teach that this is his role? Here is my description of the role of the messiah; I wrote this in response to a former commenter on this blog named Charles.

      2. I asked you why, if Jesus operated as God’s mouthpiece, it was okay for the Jews he addressed to reject him and his message. You did not answer the question. Instead, you asserted that oppressing the stranger means it is a sin to tell someone he is doing something wrong, as in practicing the wrong religion (which directly contradicts Leviticus 19:17).

      How could it be right for Jews to disregard Jesus’s command to believe in him if he is God’s mouthpiece? It can’t be; this is why it can’t be true for Christians and true for Jews at the same time.

      3. I asked you if there is to be one messiah for the Jews and one for the gentiles. You answered that from the Jewish perspective yes but from the Christian perspective no. From the Jewish perspective, it is not taught that there will be one messiah for the Jews and another one for the gentiles. From the Christian perspective, if there will be only one and he is Jesus, then the beliefs that Jesus is the messiah as Christians claim and that he is not the messiah as Jews claim cannot both be true at the same time.

      4. I asked you if the Tanach teaches that the role of the messiah is as you described it. The answer, of course, is no (see the link above). Christians simply redefined the role to fit their theology. Instead, you argued against non-belief in a second coming, which had nothing to do with my question. Nevertheless, in response to what you wrote, your comparison to Moses does not work. Moses did in fact lead the Jewish people out of Egypt. Imagine if he had died before accomplishing this, and the Israelites were still slaves in Egypt today. Do you think anyone would take them seriously for waiting for Moses to come back and lead them to freedom?

      5. I asked you on what basis do you accept and reject various statements of Jesus in Christian scripture. Your answer astonishes me. What is consistent with received tradition is accepted; what is not is rejected. On that basis, why not forget about Jesus and just learn what the Torah says? On that basis, what do you need Jesus for? Finally, if Matthew, for example, has Jesus, who is supposedly God’s mouthpiece, saying one thing that is consistent with received tradition (and I’m not sure what you mean by that) and then has him saying something that is not, why trust Matthew on anything? How is Matthew credible if he records statements of Jesus that must be rejected, leaving it to his readers to decide which?

      6. I asked you if the fact that God spoke through Jesus in an unprecedented way contradicts Deuteronomy 34:10. You did not answer this question at all. This verse teaches that Moses is the greatest prophet of all time and that no prophet has ever arisen in Israel as great as he. To then say that Jesus was a greater prophet (after all, saying that God spoke through Jesus in an unprecedented way is another way of saying that Jesus was the greater prophet) is not a contradiction? My question had nothing to do with obedience, but since you raised it, we follow the law of Moses because God established Moses’s credibility in front of the entire nation of Israel (Exodus 19:9), as you correctly observed. To obey Jesus and to accept his extraordinary claims, you ought to require at least the same standard of credibility.

      7. I asked you about clear versus vague prophecies. Tellingly, you found this difficult to answer. The only prophecies that are not clear are the ones Christians use to point to Jesus. Very nearly all the predictions regarding the future are simple and clear. The ones that are deliberately vague, are obviously deliberately vague (such as some of Daniel’s prophecies), and there are very few such prophecies. For examples of clear prophecies, see my link above.

      Ultimately, I do not see how you can believe that these two religions are both true at the same time.

      I thank you again for your extremely respectful and sensitive way of handling this dialogue. It’s a rare thing to see! And thank you also for taking this seriously enough to spend so much time crafting your responses.

      Peace and blessings,
      Dina

  51. Concerned Reader says:

    I asked you if the fact that God spoke through Jesus in an unprecedented way contradicts Deuteronomy 34:10. You did not answer this question at all. This verse teaches that Moses is the greatest prophet of all time and that no prophet has ever arisen in Israel as great as he. To then say that Jesus was a greater prophet (after all, saying that God spoke through Jesus in an unprecedented way is another way of saying that Jesus was the greater prophet)…(does not Judaism teach that G-d spoke directly to and through Moses without a mediator?) is not a contradiction? My question had nothing to do with obedience, but since you raised it, we follow the law of Moses because God established Moses’s credibility in front of the entire nation of Israel (Exodus 19:9), as you correctly observed. To obey Jesus and to accept his extraordinary claims, you ought to require at least the same standard of credibility.

    This is why Christians said Jesus was G-d Dina! Not to call his flesh G-d (as Moses is not also physically G-d,) but to convey that the disciples had the experience of hearing hashem’s word, his speech! They have the same standard of credibility as the Torah has for Moses. Moses heard G-d speak clearly, while awake, without an intermediary in front of witnesses according to your tradition, why not ours? Jesus conveyed the same type of experience to his followers, and as a result spoke with the same level of authority as did Moses. Phrasing the question in terms of theNumbers of people who saw, whether a nation, or a few hundred people, is absolutely irrelevant to the subject. As I’ve already demonstrated in the case of Exodus, we can’t prove that it happened, except to believe it by faith and tradition. The same could be said of Christian tradition. I shouldn’t believe it happened just because you say so any more than you should believe me because I say so, the first generation believed on first hand evidence why should we do less?

    17 Six days later, Jesus took Peter, James, and John, the brother of James, up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 While they watched, Jesus’ appearance was changed; his face became bright like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 Then Moses and Elijah[a] appeared to them, talking with Jesus.

    4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you want, I will put up three tents here—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

    5 While Peter was talking, a bright cloud covered them. A voice came from the cloud and said, “This is my Son, whom I love, and I am very pleased with him. Listen to him!”

    6 When his followers heard the voice, they were so frightened they fell to the ground. 7 But Jesus went to them and touched them and said, “Stand up. Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw Jesus was now alone.

    9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone about what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

    In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.”

    6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

    7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

    9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

    1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs–we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” 13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine. ”

    You keep saying that the whole nation of Israel saw G-d speak to Moses, but we only have one source and witness telling us about that event, and that is the one source that is making that claim (Torah with alleged Jewish eyewitnesses.) If I make a claim, I cannot be the only source used to determine the truthfulness of that claim. If you say the Christian is being dishonest about hashem speaking through Jesus, (given the clear historical evidence that millions of gentiles have abandoned the old gods, in clear fulfillment of biblical prophesy,) how is the Christian to believe in the efficacy of the Jewish tradition if their is no validation for the Exodus event, or corroboration for it by independent sources apart from your testimony? If I write a book and say 100,000,000,000 people saw me speak to G-d, but I am the only source to make the claim, then it is a meaningless claim. There has to be an independent way to validate it. Jesus’ followers were not the only ones who claimed he and his followers did miraculous signs, or sorcery depending on who you ask, or that he was was some kind of special individual (whether good or bad.) To top it off, even if we had no eyewitness testimony, we have factual history which tells us that gentiles in huge numbers abandoned the worship of Zeus, Jupiter, Adonis, etc. in favor of the G-d of Israel, whom they learned about through this Jesus. If that is not clear evidence, tell me please, what is? To say that, we will know when messiah comes because world peace arrives is not an answer, because there are sources that say when the messiah comes, not everyone will accept him right away.

    In response to your other comments, Jesus commanded his Jewish followers to observe the mitzvot of Moses, so that is what they should do. If Paul told gentiles, but not Jews, not to follow Jewish law as an emissary of Jesus, then that is what gentiles should do, and its fully consistent with the laws for the Ger, for gentiles not to convert to Judaism. This is why it is perfectly consistent to say that if a gentile tells a Jew to cease observance, he is violating his own rules of faith. Hence, for a gentile to observe the Torah he is taught through Jesus is fine, while for a Jew to follow Moses is better. Hence, no problem with your tradition. You asked why is Jesus important if he didn’t have to die? Because he brought the knowledge of G-d to the entire non Jewish world! This is true even according to the words of the Rambam! In the most Orthodox Christian sources, Jesus’ death only means anything if it is stirs the desire for, and is accompanied by sincere repentance.

    Again, i’m not trying to take you away from your faith. I don’t however feel that my opinion is irrational, or unfounded, in saying that the Christians meet the same standard or criteria as it is set down.

    • LarryB says:

      Mr. OBrien of Canada?

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader, there is a lot to respond to, but I will put that aside because I want to get to the heart of the matter. I challenged you that if Religion One says “A,” and Religion Two says, “Not A,” they cannot both be true.

      Christianity insists Jesus is the Messiah (“A”).
      Judaism insists Jesus is not the Messiah (not “A”).

      How are both positions simultaneously true?

      Observance of the law for Jews and non-observance of the law for gentiles is entirely irrelevant to this question.

      For now, I would like to know how Jesus can be and cannot be the Messiah at the same time.

      Thanks for your patience,
      Dina

      • Concerned Reader says:

        A and not A can indeed both be true at the same time, just not in the same respect. Principle of non contradiction. Ice and water are both H2o, but not at the same time and in the same respect. If your conception of the Messiah is strictly confined to the victorious in gathering of the exiles, rebuilding of the temple, and world peace, then it is fully consistent for you to say that as yet, Jesus is not demonstrably the Christ, as that is the litmus you require of a candidate. If we note however that the Tanakh hinges world peace and ingathering, and a rebuilt temple, on a contingent state of repentance by the people, and a willingness to work together to achieve that goal, then indeed it is possible to state that Jesus could be the messiah, but has not been revealed in the manner you are requiring as yet. One of the clear and unambiguous prophecies that has been fulfilled by Jesus is the spreading of the knowledge of G-d to all nations, and both Jews and Christians agree on this, it’s just that Judaism sees Jesus as an idol, a stumbling block, and a false prophet. Such is the nature of our disagreement, but the unambiguous fact of a type of redemptive knowledge coming through this man Jesus is uncontested. You have said that the Christian notion of a Christ without sin is inconsistent with the Torah, because he will be like all other men. We know from the Torah however that the full complete redemption involves resurrection of the dead, and that is not merely a resuscitated corpse, but a reconstitution of humankind back to where they were prior to the sin of Adam. Back in full communion and eternal life with G-d, with the highest possible state of intimacy with him. (Christians believe they experienced this in Jesus.) Given both of these (Jewish and Christian) positions are both represented in scripture, it doesn’t seem impossible to say that we could, and I stress could, both be right, but not at the same time, or in the same respect. You noted that observance of the Torah or not is irrelevant to the discussion, but I would say it isn’t irrelevant because it is essential to Judaism’s own messianic litmus test. My point was, Jesus was not against Torah observance by Jews, but if Gentiles (who do not observe the Torah, nor know it in the way you were taught,) it doesn’t make their perception of Jesus the only possible one.

        • Dina says:

          Hi Concerned Reader,

          Judaism maintains that Jesus is not and WILL NEVER BE the Messiah, and not only because he did not fulfill a single messianic prophecy but for other reasons as well (for example, his personal qualifications, his trying to change the nature of our worship, etc.).

          He did not fulfill the prophecy of universal knowledge of God. The prophets taught that during the messianic era knowledge of God will fill the earth as water covers the sea (Isaiah 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14). No more will any man teach his fellow about the Lord, for everyone will know Him (Jeremiah 31:34). The prophets were very specific about how this would happen and what the world would look like. The fact that Christians are still sending out missionaries all over the world shows that this prophecy has not been fulfilled. The best you can say is that Jesus introduced a lesser form of monotheism to the world that is an improvement over the polytheism of the Greeks and Romans. So when they learn about true monotheism it won’t be a complete shock to their system.

          What will be a complete shock to their system is the vindication of Israel. That, they won’t be expecting (Isaiah 52, 53).

          So Judaism says Jesus is not and cannot ever be the Messiah. Christianity says he is the only one. Water can turn into ice because it is made of the same substance. Can fire turn into ice?

          Can Jesus definitely not ever be the Messiah and be the only Messiah ever, simultaneously?

          • Sharbano says:

            I believe it goes much deeper than that, Dina.

            I originally “studied” the Xtian text some 40 years ago. I naturally approached it from an intellectual perspective. In so doing the references that are quoted made absolutely no sense. I even went so far as to listen to some prominent Xtians teachers of the time. It was even more conclusive that the more that was said the more nonsensical it was. The more I studied the more it became clear that there was little Jewish character in the writings. I had to conclude these words were not written by Jews of that time.

            One thing I read at the time, which I could never forget, was when Jsus said this is my blood and this is my body. Undoubtedly the most disgusting thing ever written, especially from any Jew, metaphorically speaking notwithstanding.

            While thinking about how the text is contrived it occurred to me it is quite similar in the way conspiracy theories evolve. Years ago a friend of mine gave me a book about conspiracies involving the Trilateral Commission, the CFR among others. Roughly one third of the beginning of the book was a well contrived manner of how one is to look at the evidence. After this groundwork was laid then the evidence was presented that made it sound as if it all tied together. The facts were “selected” in order to adhere to the beginning and leaving the reader to conclude the validity of the argument. Any exculpatory evidence was obviously left out and thus the conclusion is considered rock solid. I see No difference between what Xtianity has done with Tanach and those who further their conspiracies. Both try to create a method of thinking that confirms what is “wanted” instead of pursuing an “intellectual truth”.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Sharbano,

            The custom of the Eucharist has to be a pagan one. You are absolutely right. Jews find it revolting.

            Thanks for your comment,
            Dina

        • Dina says:

          Furthermore, you wrote that “If we note however that the Tanakh hinges world peace and ingathering, and a rebuilt temple, on a contingent state of repentance by the people, and a willingness to work together to achieve that goal, then indeed it is possible to state that Jesus could be the messiah, but has not been revealed in the manner you are requiring as yet.”

          First of all, you are saying that from a Jewish perspective it’s possible that Jesus could become the Messiah. Do you realize what this means? It means that we are wrong to believe that it’s impossible for him to ever be the Messiah. You are saying that A and not A are both true because we are wrong to believe not A!

          Secondly, the “state of repentance by the people” is specifically by the people of Israel. The Messiah will arrive when Israel returns to full Torah observance, which Moses predicted will indeed happen (Deuteronomy 30). Not a single prophecy mentions that the repentance of the gentiles is required, so even if it’s true that “one of the clear and unambiguous prophecies that has been fulfilled by Jesus is the spreading of the knowledge of G-d to all nations,” it is not what will bring the Messiah according to Tanach.

          Be well,
          Dina

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Dina, I never said you were wrong to observe your tradition, or to reject an antinomian (anti Torah) position, just to make that absolutely clear. It is the Christian position that Jesus is the messiah, so I don’t see how your view can be 100% squared with a Christian view, but that is not the claim I made, nor the question asked of me. The question posed to me was Could A (Jesus as a messiah) and not A (Jesus as a non messiah) both be true. The answer is yes, but NOT at the same time, or in the same respect. This is an unavoidable difference, its not something I am meaning to disparage your religion, just like I know, you are not attempting to disparage mine. The facts show that Jesus required observance by his Jewish followers, so I am not interested, nor do I need to have any issue with your Judaism, or your commitment to it. You have asked me these questions, and I have answered them. The exact order and details of how redemption will occur are in fact not clearly indicated by the prophets, as they have diverse views concerning details. Either Jews will be repentant and they will have a glorious redemption, (with the nations holding the hem of the garment, and carrying them back to their land,) or not, in which case the battle of Gog and Magog will happen, and Israel will be vindicated in the eyes of the nations after their victory, following which the remnants of both Israel and the nations will flock to Jerusalem to serve G-d with one shoulder. Details between these two perspectives in the Prophets are very sparse, and open to much interpretation. (as is the idea of the messiah himself.) In what way, am I misreading the prophets? BTW I’m not claiming you are wrong in your commitment to the Torah. I may have questioned Judaism’s assumptions that Christians do not understand true monotheism, but I have demonstrated with sources, many misunderstandings of the Christian position. In fact, that’s been my my main issue. You yourself have written previously, in response to my questions, that for a non Jew to be compliant with a halachc position, does not of necessity require his or her belief in inspiration, belief in Sinai or the giving of the Torah. compliance can even accommodate an incorrect notion of G-d, or no no notion at all, so long as an abstract belief in one divine being is maintained. In what sense then, has Jesus failed in giving the unique biblical knowledge of G-d to the nations? Jesus didn’t give an abstract diet knowledge of monotheism to nations who lacked it, but corrected already existing ideas of monism among gentiles, by revealing the G-d of covenant, relationship, and providence.

          • Dina says:

            Concerned Reader, based on your last comment it appears that we misunderstood each other from the start.

            I was challenging your assertion that two religions that contradict each other on their foundational principles can both be right at the same time. Maybe you did not make this assertion. However, you do support the idea that Jesus could be the messiah and the non-messiah, though at different times. The problem is, I wasn’t asking a hypothetical question. I was asking, based on Christianity’s view of who the messiah is and based on Judaism’s view of who the messiah is, how can both be right? Christianity asserts that Jesus is the one and only messiah. Judaism asserts that Jesus never was and never will be the messiah.

            For now I’m leaving aside questions of idolatry, observance, and so on.

            If both can’t be right, either one is right or both are wrong. Do you agree?

    • Dina says:

      Hi Concerned Reader,

      You wrote, “the first generation believed on first hand evidence why should we do less?”

      The entire nation of Israel, man, woman, and child, believed that Moses was transmitting genuine messages from God on first-hand evidence. Very nearly the entire nation of Israel, man, woman, and child, rejected Jesus during his lifetime despite allegedly actually knowing him. If that generation of Jews rejected him, then those who didn’t know him should think twice, don’t you think? I mean, these are God’s witnesses we are talking about. Supposedly they knew about Jesus and his miracles.

      To prove that God spoke in front of a handful of witnesses (assuming your argument that the claim of national revelation is equal to the claim of individual revelation is a good argument) you quoted from the NT about a voice that came out of a cloud. I find it significant that the voice is not identified.

      Since individual revelation or revelation to a few individuals is as strong as the Jewish claim of national revelation (not so much “mass” as “national,” an important distinction), then you have to take all religions equally seriously, because every religion besides for Judaism is based on such claims.

      Last point. You wrote, “This is why Christians said Jesus was G-d Dina!” Then you explain what this means. This actually proves my point that Christianity is idolatry. The Torah tells us that idolatry is any type of worship that was unknown to our fathers, i.e., gods that our fathers did not know (Deuteronomy 13:6; Deuteronomy 32:17; Jeremiah 44:3).

      However you want to explain Christians’ relationship to Jesus, whether Trinitarian or Unitarian, it is a type of worship that was unknown to our fathers. Therefore, it is idolatry, all your sophisticated arguments notwithstanding.

      By the way, you did not explain the contradiction to Deuteronomy 34:10.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Dina, again, you make the claim that the entire nation received the Torah, man, woman, and child, but we cannot substantiate that claim independent of your testimony. This is the issue with the claim. You making this claim would be like me saying “the disciples all saw the risen Jesus with their own eyes, and they held to that truth at great risk of dying a slow and painful death, our tradition also has carried this testimony forward therefore it is true.” All your claim has done is to increase the number of alleged witnesses to 600,000. The distinction of a mass revelation to 500,000, vs a national revelation to 600,000 witnesses is a distinction I do not fully understand if you could elaborate, in fact it would seem a national claim would be more suspect as it is the claim of 1 extended national family regarding an already believed family tradition. I can accept your criticism that the voice is unidentified. The fact remains however, that Jesus identifies Hashem as the one who is commanding him, and as we know, a false prophet speaks words unbeknownst to his generation, as was the case with Hananiah in Jeremiah 28. Jesus spoke statements and prophecies which were neither strange nor unanticipated by his generation. Christians are not looking to a G-d other than Hashem. The G-d your ancestors experienced was revealed uniquely through a man named Moses. Exodus 6:31. Later, Moses said, that one like him would arise. (One who speaks with G-d face to face, who would be called, The L-rd our righteousness.) This at least possibly alludes to another prophet on par with Moses who has G-d speak to him face to face. In this way the Church is not teaching something unknown to Israel or new because the Church has always maintained the distinction between the word that spoke through Jesus, and the human being, just as is true of Judaism and Moses. See my recent posts responding to Rabbi B. Hope your week is going well.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          The post with my statements to rabbi B is water, words, and respect btw.

          • LarryB says:

            CR
            Just trying to keep up. I cannot find a exodus 6:31.

          • LarryB says:

            CR
            “Jesus spoke statements and prophecies which were neither strange nor unanticipated by his generation” How about this one “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”
            I know you said “jesus spoke satements” and not “all the statements jesus spoke” But dont you think the statements jesus spoke which were not anticipated as important as the ones people woould expect? It would naturally be the statements jesus spoke that were not anticipated, the reason why so many rejected him.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Exodus 6:3 LarryB typo.

          • LarryB, if Israel was expecting a prophet like Moses who would teach the depths of the Torah, and spread the knowledge of G-d to all nations, then we should probably expect that he would have the same level of prophetic experience as Moses where he could say things in terms of first person “I give” “I will send” as Moses himself did in Deuteronomy 11. Moses is obeyed because the word of G-d was spoken through him. It’s true as I said to rabbi B that there is a conflation between the prophet (Jesus) and a Sinai like event, (the word coming through Jesus,) but Christians respect the distinction between the man who had a beginning, and the word that spoke in him which had the authority to speak with an authoritative I, Me, etc. I hope that helps.

          • LarryB says:

            CR
            Did I misunderstand you? I thought you were talking about jesus generation not christians of today. “Jesus spoke statements and prophecies which were neither strange nor unanticipated by his generation”. I understand your position that my claims are as valid as your claims, but in light of the fact that jesus did say things that were not anticipated, does that hurt or help the validity of your claims?

        • Sharbano says:

          You keep saying Dina is “making the claim”. She is “claiming” nothing. It is what is written in Torah. If That isn’t true then Xtianity falls flat on its face. You simply cannot have Torah wrong and Xtianity right, whereas Xtianity can be wrong while Judaism is right.

          • Sharbano, with utmost respect. If an event from only 2,000 years ago that has independent attestation from hostile witnesses, and that was the impetus for the abandonment of classical idolatry by huge numbers of people (in clear fulfillment of a prophetic sentiment) can be subject to so much doubt, then how much more can a claim that is made in one book by one people? I don’t mean any offense by this, merely to show that if The knowledge brought by Jesus can be so open to doubt, then just by the sheer force of history, Judaism faces the same possibility of critique, without the benefit of being able to be cross examined, because the evidence of the events recorded was so long ago that any trace of it is difficult to find. I Don’t have any issue with your Judaism, but it’s very easy to say that Christianity failing would have zero impact on Judaism. I think that is a hasty assertion, but you are absolutely entitled to make it.

            Best

          • Dina says:

            Concerned Reader,

            What event did hostile witnesses see, 2000 years ago?

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Sharbano says:

            It’s not so much as what Jsus himself said but rather the totality of the writings. What is written not only has numerous errors but outright fabrications. Therefore, if there is only a Single instance of an error how can it have any authority as being from G-d, direct or inspired. If questionable, then who would even consider giving any credence to a religion that is founded on such. Do we follow G-d or do we follow the mistakes of man.

          • There is no such thing as a text transmitted by human teachers that does not have some changes in it. It’s true that Christians do not have the originals of their text, just as Judaism does not have the tablets, original scrolls, or the Ark. The Torah has changed from paleo Hebrew script to the current block script, and the oldest copies of the Hebrew Bible we have are from 300 B.C.E liberally speaking, as we know from the Dead Sea scrolls. Both traditions have a well preserved manuscript tradition, authoritative interpretations, and I’m fine with that. We walk a slippery slope indeed if we start saying, how do we know what so and so really said.

        • Dina says:

          Hi Concerned Reader,

          It does not make sense, from a Christian perspective, to accept the testimony of the early Christians and not the testimony of the Jewish people, since Christians accept the Torah as true.

          Therefore, if you believe the Torah is true, then why are you arguing that the Sinai Revelation in all likelihood never happened? If you believe the Torah is true, then this is the starting point of our discussion; it’s the common ground we can stand on when we debate our differences.

          If you do not accept the testimony of the Torah, but you do accept the testimony of the Christian scriptures, then you are very confused. Christian scripture appeals to the Torah consistently for its authority. Christian scripture understands itself to be true only because the Torah is true (arguing from a Christian perspective, because I don’t want you to raise again your point that Christians are not considered reliable witnesses by Jews).

          Moses was given authority like no other prophet to transmit God’s laws. He sealed the law by saying that nothing can be changed (added or subtracted). Please do not pretend that Jesus did not change the law. Speaking to Jews, he abolished the kosher laws and the fast days. The fact that he also said that he did not come to change the law, contradicting himself, makes him all the more suspicious.

          Nowhere does scripture say that a prophet with authority like Moses will arise again in Israel. Deuteronomy 34:10 tells us that no prophet like Moses has ever arisen in Israel, and that very verse and the following two define what “like Moses” means:

          1. Who has known God face to face.
          2. Who performed signs and wonders against the whole country of Egypt.
          3. Who demonstrated awesome power with a strong hand before the eyes of all of Israel.

          Jesus didn’t come close to this–even if everything Christian scripture says about him is 100% true. Christian scripture does not record conversations between Jesus and God (not a single verse that says “And God spoke to Jesus, saying”). Christian scripture does not record that Jesus performed signs and wonders against Israel’s enemy (let alone against whole entire country). And Christian scripture does not record that he demonstrated awesome power to the eyes of all of Israel (something that would have been impossible with Israel already scattered).

          As for the 500,000 witnesses, what event in Christian scripture was witnessed by that many people?

          As for the 600,000, that refers to males 20 to 60 years old. The actual number of witnesses is thus much higher, closer to three million. Since both Christians and Jews agree that this event happened, Jews simply demand the same evidence for Jesus (national revelation), especially since Jesus changed the law and introduced a new type of worship. Saying that the Sinai revelation likely never happened confuses the issue.

          Finally, you cited Deuteronomy 18:15 to show that God would set up a prophet like Moses to lead the people. According to the plain meaning of the text, Moses is telling the people that they have done well to ask for a prophet rather than listening to God directly; therefore, God will not leave them without a prophet. God will send them a prophet like Moses, and “like” is defined here as “from your midst” and “from your brethren” and God says He will “place My words in his mouth.” Just like Moses was “from your midst” and “from your brethren” and he also spoke the words God placed in his mouth, so too with the leaders who followed him, starting with Joshua.

          In verse 22 we are told how to identify a false prophet: if he gives a sign that does not occur, then he is a false prophet. Jesus did not fulfill his sign to the Pharisees. He is also a false prophet by the standard of Deuteronomy 13:2-5 (introducing a new type of worship).

          The nation that accepted Moses and all the Hebrew prophets is the one who rejected Jesus. Christians need to seriously ask themselves why.

          • Dina, You are asking Christians to discount the redemptive experience they have personally experienced in favor of the claim of the Torah that 100,000 or even 20 million people (number is irrelevant as you noted with the Zaitun miracle I showed,) witnessed Torah’s reception. Christians accept the Torah in the light of their own personal redemptive experience through Jesus in the light of prophecy, not due to your tradition or testimony alone, but you are saying to them that based on your cross examination, you reject their redemptive claims. Christians then, would say, they cannot cross examine your claims in the same way that you are cross examining theirs. You have no evidence outside of the Torah and the testimony of the Jewish people that the Exodus happened, but you take for granted that Christians accept the Torah in the light of their experience, and argue based on that, for Jesus’ rejection. By hostile witnesses, I mean witnesses that could care less about the truth or falsehood of Christian claims.impartial people. I mean Christians have witnesses that don’t have a stake in the truth claim they make. I do not need to speak to Christians or their texts, or even their tradition, to know that there was a man named Jesus (who some people saw as G-d) who was crucified during the reign of Tiberius by Pilate, and through whose followers monotheism reached the gentile world. History speaks independently without the Church, Judaism, or Christians needing to utter a word. Miracles can be doubted, but not the historical fact of the triumph of monotheism in the wider world. You have said that by my standard I must accept Muhammad. Muhammad built his claims on Judaism and Christianity. I make no claims about Muhammad, but Judaism is more accepting of Islam. As articles from Jews for Judaism and scholars have noted, Jesus and his followers were all Torah observant, so the statements that he changed the law are untenable in light of that. (All applications of the law that Jesus argued about were things in flux and being discussed in his own day among different groups.) I don’t have an issue with your practices.The question of Jesus abolishing kosher is easily shown as incorrect by examining all ethical and praxis texts of the NT in context. If kosher was abolished, the prohibition of consuming blood, or eating food sacrificed to idols in Acts 15 and later Christian treatises makes little sense. I’m not saying the church has not strayed, but saying that Christians should accept the prevailing view in Judaism, because they accept Torah (due in part to their own experiences in Jesus) is not the best position, because it is an argument about honesty of witness and not about evidence available apart from your text’s or my text’s or tradition’s testimony.

          • Dina says:

            No, no, it’s inconsistent to say that the testimony of the Jewish people is sound regarding all the Hebrew prophets but faulty regarding Jesus. Christians either ought to accept our testimony entirely or reject it entirely.

            You haven’t addressed most of what I wrote in my comments.

            But thanks for answering my question about that historical event with hostile witnesses and such. I was wondering what you meant.

          • Dina says:

            The subject of archaeology is way over my head, and when it comes to confirming or repudiating the biblical narrative, one must approach this topic with caution and humility. Having said that, I found this website interesting and think it’s worth investigating more:

            http://creation.com/egyptian-history-and-the-biblical-record-a-perfect-match

          • Dina says:

            Jesus DID change the law and DID introduce a new type of worship. He also contradicted himself. Of course it doesn’t make sense.

            Why trust the testimony of the gospel writers? They have proved themselves unreliable in their application of Hebrew scripture. Ironically, they believed in its truth but abused it to support their agenda.

          • Dina says:

            You wrote, “History speaks independently without the Church, Judaism, or Christians needing to utter a word.”

            History also speaks independently about Jews’ indifference to Jesus, his non-importance during his lifetime (he was an unknown, virtually, until Paul started preaching and writing about him, as attested to by the fact that contemporary historians like Josephus did not mention him), and Jewish survival in spite of Christianity’s best efforts to the contrary, despite our being weakened and scattered.

            History independently shows that the strong, massive movement of Christianity could not subdue or exterminate the Jewish people (although that was not for lack of trying).

            Everyone can draw his own conclusions, of course.

          • Dina, I’ll read the creation ministries site, but I’m curious why you would bring a Christian study on this issue, being that you reject Christian chronology, dating, use of scripture, description of history, etc. I don’t see how it is inconsistent to say that The Christian acceptance of the Torah is in fact based on their personal experience in good faith of Jesus, when it is through that movement that they came to believe in the Torah and prophets at all in the first place. You are saying that the reasons they accept their faith are invalid, so then by extension their good faith acceptance of the Torah needs to be amended with a more valid experience. The problem though is that you need to establish the authentic experience anew for them if they are to accept your view. Believing your claims are true because you say they are true is not persuasive. A Christian understands things like providence, G-d’s interaction with us, etc. through the historical and personal experience of the Christian teacher. If he is false, they need another experience of equal weight to make the switch.

            Btw Dina, Josephus does mention Jesus. We have an Arabic version of his works free of Christian influence that does mention Jesus. Josephus also mentions John the Baptist and James Jesus’ brother.

          • Sharbano says:

            It’s all a diversion. When confronted with all the contradictions that are present in the Xtian text there is, and never has been, a response that resolves those contradictions. Even Stephen, who was supposedly guided by the Xtian holy spirit, furthered the contradictory narrative. How interesting the subject is always always diverted when confronted with facts that do not add up.

          • Dina says:

            Concerned Reader, I’m not relying on this Christian website because I don’t rely on archaeological evidence; I just found it interesting. And I think Christians are capable of studying archaeology and reporting their findings as accurately as non-Christians. I found this page interesting because of the scientific information on it, not because of its religious affiliation.

            Do you think I think Christians are unintelligent? Because I do not think so, not in the least.

            Back to the topic at hand, Christians believe that before Jesus, the Jews carried the banner of truth for about one and a half millennia. Therefore, they need to examine the claims of their religion in light of that truth and make sure it matches up. This is pure logic. I just don’t understand what you’re saying about spiritual redemptive experiences.

            Christians ought to be suspicious of the way Hebrew scripture has been mistranslated, quoted out of context, and twisted to fit a new theology–not to mention some outright fabrications. I do not know why this does not trouble Christians.

            They should also be suspicious about the movement’s failure to live up to its claim to lead its followers down a moral path superior to that of Judaism’s–as its terrible, dark, and bloody history shows. I refer not only to persecution of Jews but to internecine wars, killing “heretics” without evidence (like the thousands of “witches” killed during the witch trials that swept Christian countries in the seventeenth century), the hanging of petty criminals (like applying the death penalty for stealing a loaf of bread), and so on. The pages of Christian history are soaked with blood, and what were the Jews doing in the meantime? They prayed for their enemies (as the Russian Jews famously prayed for the anti-Semitic czars), they paid their punitive taxes, they learned Torah, and they helped each other survive, practicing what Jesus and his followers preached.

            Although that’s not the reason we reject Christianity, it would be good enough all on its own.

            The internal contradictions in Christian scripture are also troubling, as unlike those of Hebrew scripture, they cannot be harmonized. (For example, the two genealogies that contradict each other in Matthew and Luke also have a 15-generation difference between them, causing a 300-year gap between the two stories if we count twenty years per generation.)

            (Do you know that besides for all his other problems, Jesus can’t be the Messiah because he is not descended from King David on his father’s side?)

          • Dina says:

            Tenth century manuscript translated into Arabic? Josephus did not speak that language. Maybe, maybe not. The Arabic version would still be more in keeping with what Josephus might have written. Still makes it sound as though Jesus wasn’t a terribly important or well-known personage in his lifetime.

            Not compelling, sorry.

        • Dina says:

          Concerned Reader,

          Your response didn’t address the point that I personally consider the most important. This is what I wrote:

          Last point. You wrote, “This is why Christians said Jesus was G-d Dina!” Then you explain what this means. This actually proves my point that Christianity is idolatry. The Torah tells us that idolatry is any type of worship that was unknown to our fathers, i.e., gods that our fathers did not know (Deuteronomy 13:6; Deuteronomy 32:17; Jeremiah 44:3).

          However you want to explain Christians’ relationship to Jesus, whether Trinitarian or Unitarian, it is a type of worship that was unknown to our fathers. Therefore, it is idolatry, all your sophisticated arguments notwithstanding.

          • Dina says:

            This is the important point, Concerned Reader. You may have addressed it and I missed it? We’ve been going back and forth about several issues. I don’t think I did, but if so, would you direct me to that post?

            Thanks!

  52. Concerned Reader says:

    I’ll respond to your posts on the article to Charles soon.

  53. Concerned Reader says:

    Is that a question to me LarryB? I’m not that person if that’s what your asking.

    • LarryB says:

      Sorry I thought you wrote a book, “In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven” so I looked up the author and it is a catholic writer.

  54. Concerned Reader says:

    Dina, I myself can’t confine the possibilities into a one group is totally right, or the other is totally wrong dichotomy. Based on your view, yes I would be forced to agree that in that dichotomy your proposing, either Judaism or Christianity is 100% right. I don’t see it that way though, for the reasons I stated above, and elsewhere. Its not as though there is no similarity between Judaism and Christianity, we all know there are ideas which are similar, or which could develop along the same lines.

    Its very hard to discount people’s subjective experiences of G-d, and both Judaism and Christianity have ways of dealing with groups outside of their communities for this very reason.

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader,

      You say you are “forced to agree” that in the stark terms that I put it, only one of us is right or both of are wrong.

      It’s fair to say that it’s not a good idea to accept the wrong messiah, nor is it a good idea to reject the right one.

      Do you think it’s possible to examine the evidence and conclude in favor of one or the other, based on, say, higher probability (if you prefer that to absolute certainty)? Can one arrive, in this manner, at the truth or falsehood of Jesus’s Messiah-ship and be confident that he is right? And if he is right, then the opposing view is wrong?

      Or do you think this is impossible, so we guess and hope for the best?

      Or do you see a third option?

      Thanks,
      Dina

      • Concerned Reader says:

        The reply to this is below the video and comment I posted above regarding the question of mass revelation Dina.

  55. Concerned Reader says:

    Dina, did you watch the video I posted? The point is, the claim you are making cannot be validated apart from your personal belief that its true, and all we have to go on is your word and the word of the Torah that it is true. The Torah cannot serve as witness to itself, any more than the Christian Bible can, if we are to use an equal standard in Judgement. You say that the NT stands or falls on the Torah by its own admission, but Judaism and Christianity have over time codified what is acceptable for each community to believe today. This may not have been the case in antiquity, things may have been different. This standard of evidence (national revelation) cannot hold up, because there is no way to cross examine the claim. Do you accept the miracle that 500,000 people witnessed the Virgin Mary appear in Zaitun Egypt in the 60s? If not, why? Notice, that is only 100,000 fewer witnesses than those provided by the Torah. It is also true, that many people including skeptics maintain that something indeed was witnessed in Zaitun Egypt, because we have it on film, but they disagree about what. http://www.skepdic.com/zeitoun.html (when there were several independent uninterested witnesses along with the religious, this is independent attestation.) If you could produce names, biographies, and details about all of the witnesses, then we might have something to go on, but as of now, you have a faith claim, and Christians have one.I will listen to that lecture presently.

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader,

      You can’t be serious. There are some lights in the sky. Everyone can see that. Some religious fanatics decided it’s the virgin Mary.

      I don’t see how that’s comparable to the claim of the Jewish people.

      Besides, Christians accept this claim. That means that anyone who comes along with another competing claim, such as Mohammed or even Joseph Smith, should be rightly rejected–as most Christians do–in light of the Torah.

      The Jews were the only people Jesus spoke to. They were the ones with the strongest knowledge of what the Torah says. And they rejected his claims.

      It makes sense, therefore, for Christians to carefully reevaluate their beliefs in light of that.

      The Torah provides names, dates, and biographies of some of the key witnesses (no, we do not have all three million genealogies). And many Jews today can trace their ancestry all the way back to that time period.

      In fact, based on chronology (counting from Adam) we can figure out the dates in the Torah down to the exact year; we cannot do this with Christian scripture although it’s a much later document.

      Examples (years are given in BCE):

      1544 Joseph sold into slavery
      1312 Exodus from Egypt, Sinai Revelation
      825 First Temple completed

      • Concerned Reader says:

        I am serious Dina! lol You say, Ah! Those are just lights in the sky! The same thing could have been said of the fire on Sinai, we will never know because we weren’t there, and we can’t examine the evidence. Its almost exactly parallel to the Sinai claim, almost the same number of witnesses, (some of whom are still alive btw,) and it took place over 3 years! What is your basis for rejecting that claim, and accepting something you have only received by tradition from your parents? whether Christians accept your claims or not is irrelevant, because according to your understanding, they are unfaithful witnesses to the truth, and deceived. The Christians in this case then cannot be regarded as witnesses to the Torah’s validity, nor can Muslims.

        • Dina says:

          Yes, it is relevant, not because Christians validate the Torah for Jews (they most certainly do not), but because it’s the only starting and ending point for discussion, the Torah being our common ground.

          As for the lights in the sky, I see a picture of lights. Why on earth should I accept the view of one person or a million people that it represents Mary? Why is it that only faithful Catholics see the virgin Mary?

          By the way, it’s irrelevant to me whether you or anyone else accepts our claim of national revelation because for me that is a strong enough claim. My great, great, great, etc. grandparents were there. There is not a single national entity on earth that claims to be the physical descendants of those who witnessed a national revelation of a divine Being who instructed them in an incredibly detailed way how to live their lives (and then predicted that no one else would make that same claim; why make such a prediction?). And these physical descendants maintained this chain of tradition despite being scattered all over the world and suffering enormous pressure to become extinct. (It’s fascinating to see how we maintained this tradition separately–the Jews of Europe and the Jews of the Middle East had little to no contact with each other for centuries yet kept the same tradition.)

          It’s not a numbers game. It’s a national game.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            What do you make of the stark differences in halachc observance between groups in the second temple period, like the Sadducees, essenes, dead sea sectarians, different writing styles in the DSS, and different historical approaches to the same questions, (do we use a rational or mystical approach, etc.) The tradition is far from uniform across different places and times. That doesn’t mean it didn’t exist, but its not the exact same, it can’t be. Have you ever played telephone? That’s a great example of the problems with claims of unbroken chains.

          • Sharbano says:

            In your comment you say:
            ” The tradition is far from uniform across different places and times. That doesn’t mean it didn’t exist, but its not the exact same, it can’t be. Have you ever played telephone? That’s a great example of the problems with claims of unbroken chains”

            It has been already shown that the concept of “playing telephone” doesn’t apply in especially this case. There was a Rabbi who conducted such an experiment and it all depends upon what the players’ value is of the outcome. He first tried it with paying $100 and the outcome had marked improvement. Since this is of such importance he went to a large group of frum Jewish female students and in order to instill a great sense of importance told them the fate of Judaism lies with the outcome. Needless to say the outcome was virtually perfect. Therefore this telephone game simply doesn’t apply in such a case, especially when there were many who memorized the Entire Torah and Talmud. There was a letter written by the Vilna Gaon to his wife and he mentions to her to make sure the children memorize the entire Torah. I can say with certainty that Jew do Not consider the transmission to be a mere game.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            As for the lights in the sky, I see a picture of lights. Why on earth should I accept the view of one person or a million people that it represents Mary? Why is it that only faithful Catholics see the virgin Mary?

            I could ask you the same question as regards the Torah Dina. Why is it that only Jews saw hashem speak, or are aware of the Exodus? Why can’t I, an outside inquirer look at the Egyptian records, the Sinai, etc. and have the ability to judge whether I see evidence of a miracle, or “just lights in the sky?” See what I mean? Its impossible for me to accept the testimony of a book regarding a claimed miraculous experience by 600,000 witnesses whose descendents make the claim too. I cannot judge the Torah’s claim by the same criteria that you just judged the supposed Zaitun miracle by, and zaitun has more tangible evidence, as well as living witnesses, many of whom had no religious affiliation. Do you see my point at all? If Zaitun can be regarded a false miracle when it is still able to be thoroughly investigated, how much more careful should we be when investigating the more extravagant claims made by the Torah?

          • Dina says:

            Hi Concerned Reader,

            I don’t expect others to accept our claim of national revelation. My argument is with those who do accept that claim, then take the words the messengers themselves heard and interpret as they please. I think that if you accept the claim as true, and you accept that the people who heard God speak were appointed to be His witnesses, then you ought to try to understand their message according to their perspective.

  56. Concerned Reader says:

    To state the issue another way Dina, I have an issue with the way you are framing the question of absolute truth. You are starting from the presupposition that the Torah (along with the current Orthodox interpretation of the Torah) is true from the outset, because you believe both to be inspired. From there, you are reading the NT through the lens of your tradition (if you have read it at all, which I’m sure you have.) The issue is, that you are unable in the interpretative framework you are starting from to see any truth in the NT, because there are rules your tradition has set down, that do not allow for the possibility of Christian readings. To illustrate. The Torah says that Israel saw no form on the day G-d spoke at Horev, that he despises images, and that G-d cannot be likened to anything. This is not necessarily the same thing as saying that G-d CANNOT and DOES NOT have any form, or dwell in his creation in any way as the rabbis say. The Christian tradition has the same problem vis Jewish readings of scripture. It starts from the position that the NT is 100% divinely inspired word of G-d, and reads the Tanakh through that lens, and the lens of Church tradition. We have clearly seen the issue with this phenomenon, in light of the broad christian tradition of replacement theology. The point being, we can study through scholarship in an unbiased way the text of the NT, and see that indeed it needn’t advocate replacement theology at all, nor was it the intention of Jesus or Paul to abolish Judaism. We couldn’t have learned this if we hadn’t stepped outside of our initial frame of reference of absolute belief in the absolute truth of our tradition. See the dilemma?

    • Dina says:

      Yes, Concerned Reader, I am starting with the assumption of the truth of the Torah; I thought I had made that clear. The Torah is the common ground Jew and Christian meet on because both accept it as God’s word.

      You raised an important point. Jew and Christian read the Torah with a different interpretive lens, thus reaching different and often opposite conclusions.

      We don’t accept each other’s conclusions. So whose interpretive lens is the correct one with which to view the Torah?

      One of the things I learned as an author is that you must know your target audience. You need to understand their mindset so that they will relate to your message.

      Hashem directed His words to a specific target audience. He knew that this audience would view His words through their unique interpretative lens. He crafted His words to suit this audience.

      The target audience of the Torah is the nation of Israel, and it is to them the gentiles should turn to learn how to understand the Torah. (Remember the analogy I gave of someone telling a woman how she ought to understand her husband’s love letters? This is kind of what I mean.)

      The prophets predict that at the end of days, the nations of the world will recognize this and come to the Jewish people to learn the truth about God.

      Thanks,
      Dina

  57. Concerned Reader says:

    This assumes that the early Christians didn’t understand your interpretive frame of reference at all, and that Christianity is not also a living tradition as yours is. internally the text of the NT notes that they did know normative Jewish interpretations, but that they and other groups also had differing interpretations. I’m aware that we don’t accept each others conclusions, but it is demonstrably evident that early Christians and later Christians too understood core principles inherited from Judaism, such as the fact that G-d exists without a body, that he is not limited to creation, and that he is one. All Christian ethics are inherited from Judaism, being based on ethics for G-d fearing gentiles. This is evident when examining the tradition’s ethical and catechism documents. The Church also had an extreme aversion to idolatry, contrary to the claims of many that they copied from them.

    http://www.brill.com/tertullian-idolatry-and-mishnah-avodah-zarah

    As I’ve noted though, it became necessary to elaborate on these core interpretations to clarify what G-d is not (against pagan and philosophical notions, that may have been monistic, but not bible based.) Now, I am not saying that you have to accept that, but Christians inherited their tradition from Jews. Gentiles did indeed grab the hem of the garment of Jesus’ students. As I’ve said, I respect your faith, and your observance, but to be confined to your interpretation causes the same problems that Christians who hold replacement theology run into regarding Judaism. An impossibility of impartiality.

    BTW I don’t want you to think that just because I take a critical approach to claims like national revelation, or the Exodus, that I deny the validity of the experience. We know from history that the Exodus and rebirth of Israel is a recently relived experience, in a much more horrible, tangible way.

    http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/media_cdo/aid/1839019/jewish/Belief-in-G-d-After-the-Holocaust.htm

    The above lecture shows that during the Shoah people relived the historical experience of an Egypt, an Amalek, all over again, that they survived and Israel was born again. (no pun intended with the last statement) I’ve learned in the case of both Judaism and Christianity, that the lived experience of our communities is more revealing of the words of the Bible than any of the claims either of us can make traditionally about bible or interpretation. Just my own thought. I cannot fault the Christians for seeing Jesus as a redemptive person because of the tangible historical move of the western world from polytheism. This is an unambiguous redemptive experience. Even if I grant to Judaism that Jesus was a false prophet, who can fathom the will of G-d that he should choose to use such a man to teach the nations about himself? Only he knows his purposes, hence my views I have expressed regarding absolute truth.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Concerned Reader,

      Your comment can be summed up thus: If God wrote to a target audience who would view His words through a unique interpretive lens, and that target audience is the nation of Israel, which Jewish group is interpreting the Torah correctly?

      God called upon the Jewish people to be His witnesses and proclaimed that the Torah would never be forgotten in Israel. He promised to protect His righteous remnant. Who is this righteous remnant?

      The answer is easy. The righteous remnant is the one group that has managed to survive throughout history. God chose not to preserve the early Christians, the Essenes, the Dead Sea sectarians, the Sadducees. He did choose to preserve the Pharisees (every Jew alive today besides for converts is a direct descendant of the Pharisees). Every single splinter group throughout history has not managed to survive.

      Even Christian writers of Jewish history such as James Carroll and Paul Johnson acknowledge that the only viable form of Judaism is Pharisaic, i.e., rabbinic Judaism.

      Sadly, we see this happening even today with non-Orthodox (i.e. non-Pharisaic) Jews. According to the Pew Research Report, 71% of non-Orthodox Jews intermarry (which leads to loss of Jewish identity within a few generations).

      So yes, the early Christians viewed the Torah through a distorted lens.

      Allow me to apply something you wrote to Muslims:

      “I cannot fault the Muslims for seeing Mohammed as a redemptive person because of the tangible historical move of the Middle East from polytheism. This is an unambiguous redemptive experience. Even if I grant to Judaism that Mohammed was a false prophet, who can fathom the will of G-d that he should choose to use such a man to teach the nations about himself? Only he knows his purposes, hence my views I have expressed regarding absolute truth.”

      Best,
      Dina

      • Concerned Reader says:

        In response to what you wrote about Muhammad Dina, Islam is in fact viewed as more legitimate halachically by your tradition’s standard is it not? The unceasing Muslim emphasis on the absolute unity of G-d is regarded as more consistent, so one might argue that Judaism was more tolerant of Islam as a result. When we look closely though, there are a great many things Jews and Christians share in terms of literature, ethics, and beliefs, that Islam does not share. For instance, both Judaism and Christianity believe that G-d spoke directly to the community, whereas Muhammad believed he spoke to a tempting jinn/angel, when his wife Khadijah upon hearing this, convinced him that it was an angel of G-d who spoke to him, and not a tempting angel.

        • Dina says:

          You missed the point, Concerned Reader. I was trying to show that what you said about Jesus applies equally to Mohammed; if that’s your argument for accepting Jesus then you have to accept Mohammed as well, or reject both. What you said doesn’t make Jesus legitimate.

          So the fact that Judaism doesn’t regard Islam as idolatrous is irrelevant.

          Thanks,
          Dina

  58. Concerned Reader says:

    Neither do Christians have laxity in their transmission. I am not trying to disparage the oral tradition, merely to note the nature of the oral communication.The nature of the oral tradition is dialogue through the generations about issues of import to the community, and over time change is normal, as conditions change. The allusion to telephone is not meant to be negative, but to illustrate that the belief itself implies a malleability to the tradition. Change in the message does not have to be malicious, negative, or unfruitful, in fact it is in the nature of the chain itself. When Judaism speaks of an unbroken chain from Sinai, it carries with it an ideology of identity, right belief, and authority. Christians have this same notion of their dogmas. It is that aspect that I find problematic. Not the belief in a chain of transmission, but the assumption of transmission without change. Just to clarify, change and adaptation is not a bad thing.

    Check out these two lectures, you might find them interesting.


    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader,

      A friend of mine listened to this lecture and outlined the main points for me. I hope to have time to comment on that sometime within the next week.

  59. Concerned Reader says:

    I think that if you accept the claim as true, and you accept that the people who heard God speak were appointed to be His witnesses, then you ought to try to understand their message according to their perspective.

    Absolutely I agree with you here Dina, totally. The issue is that Christians do have a lot more in common, and agree on more than is commonly assumed at a glance by either side. As I’ve said, I mean no disrespect to your tradition at all, and I do value your position.

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader,

      You really agree with me? You agree that the only correct lens with which to view Hebrew scripture is the one used by the righteous remnant that God preserved throughout history, namely, Orthodox Jews?

      • Just so you know, nothing is definitive in a lecture, they just let you know what scholars have to say. 🙂 Nothing is meant to disturb anyone’s beliefs. Dina, even if you got an outline, I recommend watching it yourself, even if you only Have a few minutes a day 🙂

        • Dina says:

          Hi Concerned Reader,

          I try very hard to avoid posting videos and lectures because, following the Golden Rule, I don’t like being sent hour-long lectures to listen to. I’d rather skim an article within a few minutes. I did, however, post a lecture for you to listen to but I wonder if you did so. It was about the claim of national revelation.

          It’s meant for laypeople, not scholars, so you might not be accustomed to the lighter style. But I think he makes some good points that are worth examining.

  60. Concerned Reader says:

    It doesn’t apply equally though Dina, not at all. Jesus spoke in G-d’s name, not in his own. Muhammad by the Quran’s own admission spoke to an unknown messenger that did not make itself known directly. It is also true that you can adequately defend your duty to observe the mitzvot of the Torah in full, using the text of the Christian Bible. You cannot do that with the Qur’an.

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader,

      As far as I can see, Jesus spoke on his authority. In Christian scripture, we don’t see things like “And God spoke to Jesus, saying” or “And Jesus said, listen, Israel–the word of the Lord–” and so on, but we do see things like “I say to you.”

      Are you saying that God used Jesus to spread knowledge of God throughout Europe but He did not use Mohammed to spread knowledge of Him throughout huge portions of Asia and Africa? If so, how do you know this?

  61. Concerned Reader says:

    I’m not saying G-d didn’t use Muhammad, I’m saying that by comparison, there is more in common in terms of content between Judaism and Christianity. yes I do think we should use the interpretive lens which fits the NT which is Second Temple Judaism. Did you watch the lectures I posted above? Jesus is called the word of the father. He says he was sent by the father to do what he (G-d) commanded him to do. He says I and the father are one, and the father is greater than I, and the father is greater than all. Jesus taught that the shema is the greatest commandment, and When Jesus says the “I say to you,” it is with the express Christian understanding that it was the word from before the beginning of time speaking through him.

  62. Concerned Reader says:

    I hope being away is for something fun and exciting. 🙂 always nice to have such deep discussions.

    best

  63. LarryB you asked if Jesus’ statement nobody comes to the father but through me would have been unanticipated by his generation. My answer would be no, given that the Torah made exclusive statements about Moses’ authority and said one like him would come. Even the noachide laws were renewed through Moses, so that it’s not some separate route to G-d. Moses was the mediator of the covenant. What no man comes to the father means is open to interpretation (because Jesus equates following him with actions,) so a person needn’t necessarily be a Christian in the go to Church sense.

    • Sharbano says:

      What is always lost here is Moshe didn’t speak for Moshe but he wrote what G-d Dictated to him. What is written, word by word, letter by letter, is what G-d wanted to be written down in Torah. Moshe didn’t Decide what to write and how. It seems this is not understood within the Xtian community; and therefore when Jsus says anything that counters Moshe he is not going against Moshe but G-d Himself.

  64. Actually sharbano, I do understand that Moses took dictation directly from G-d, but he also spoke on his own in Deuteronomy, with great authority ie chapter 11. I realize that Moses isn’t believed based on his own authority.

  65. Sharbano, you and Dina will never get to the level of solved contradictions you are seeking to find because both Judaism and Christianity (in their present form) were codifying and clarifying their beliefs in response to and in direct opposition to each other. Take for instance, that the Christian messianism relies on prophecy, while the rabbis say prophecy has ceased. That’s a contradiction in ideological and hermeneutical approach, that was not agreed on during the second temple period, but was a belief codified later by the sages. I can fully respect the Jewish commitment to fulfill the mitzvot, That position is consistent in both of our texts, and approaches. An ideological claim of authority, however, is something that requires personal faith. The Christian appeal to a prophetic fulfillment carries no weight according to the rabbis, because it lies beyond the scope of the tradition’s main hermeneutical thrust, so when you seek proofs from your tradition’s interpretations, it’s like arguments among Christian groups about the role of the pope. If you ask a catholic you will get an internally consistent reading from within their tradition, ask an Eastern Orthodox you will get an equally internally consistent, but contradictory perspective vis the Catholic view. It’s difficult to answer so many questions, I am not shrinking from the challenge.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Concerned Reader,

      You wrote, “Sharbano, you and Dina will never get to the level of solved contradictions you are seeking to find because both Judaism and Christianity (in their present form) were codifying and clarifying their beliefs in response to and in direct opposition to each other.”

      Can you substantiate your claim that Judaism codified its beliefs in response to Christianity? As far as I can see, from my study of history, the rabbis were supremely indifferent to Christianity. As are Jews today. (That has always driven Christians crazy. After failing to find negative writings about Christians in the Talmud, the Christian authorities in thirteenth-century France seized copies of the Talmud and burned them anyway.) My friends do not know what a trinity is and never heard of the word gospel. We are as indifferent to Christianity as we are to all other religions, except when we are forced to respond to missionaries, which is why this website exists.

      I am a rare bird among Orthodox Jewish circles in that I respond to Christians at all about religion and even more rare because I have actually begun to read Christian scripture. Jews are forbidden to read idolatrous texts except for such a purpose.

      Concerned Reader, that leads me to a question. You said you want Jews to remain Jewish. The purpose of this website is to accomplish that goal–to persuade Jews targeted for conversion to remain Jewish or to persuade Jews who have already converted to reconsider.

      If you believe that is a worthy goal, why are you arguing against us? You should be arguing against the missionaries. This website is a countermissionary website, after all.

    • Sharbano says:

      You’ve dodged the point by referring to contradictions as being about Jsus. I brought up Stephen and his mistakes since he is supposedly guided by the Xtian holy spirit, this same holy spirit that descended on Jsus. This is a holy spirit that couldn’t even get events correct let alone hermeneutics. Until these discrepancies are resolved there is little point in discussing these other matters. After that the next step would be the use of christianese. (the deliberate changing in the meaning of words). There are other matters that would have to be resolved before doctrines would come to be discussed.

      • The same kind of differences exist in Tanach on a plain reading, and it takes hours of creative midrashic interpretation to resolve contradictions. The person of Elijah is a good example. What tribe is he really from? Also, Genesis 1 and 2 give 2 different accounts of man’s creation. It takes Midrash to resolve those equally apparent contradictions. It doesn’t mean we throw out the narrative.

        • Sharbano says:

          So you admit Judaism has resolved any conflicts. Where does this occur in Xtianity, namely with Stephen and the contradiction with specific events of Torah. As supposedly a Jew, Stephen should have known intrinsically the details of events. Either Stephen wasn’t educated in his own history or the Xtian holy spirit was equally uneducated. If this one narrative is suspicious then the entire Xtian text is suspect. If a text is unreliable who would ever consider granting it standing.

          • Did I say that Judaism has resolved “any conflicts” Sharbano? Did I? Hours of creative reading and midrashic exegesis does not solve a contradiction, it explains by faith what we can’t explain. You can’t say that Midrash has solved the issues in the pshat, because Midrash does not hold that authority. Christians can accept diverse traditional explanations for certain issues. I will see what I can find about Stephen. The point is, you want “proof” for a detail, but you take on faith your main proposition without any corroborating or independently attested evidence.

        • Sharbano says:

          As a side note; I’ve been waiting decades for someone to come forward and resolve these contradictions. Invariably the subject is dismissed or distracted.

  66. Dina, I agree full well with you that Jews who practiced the message of Jesus ie Torah, are in a far better relationship with G-d, than those barbaric Christians who ignored the ethics of their own bible. I also do want Jews to stay Jewish. I do not however feel that the faith of gentile Christians is in vain, idolatrous, or evil for them, in fact it was an immense step forward as I have demonstrated. The lecture I posted above “did Judaism emerge out of Christianity” is capable through historical research of showing that some of our positions were codified in response to each other’s claims.

    This lecture too.

    The tradition of moshiach Ben Yosef for instance, is a tradition that seems to not exist prior to the 3rd century In Jewish sources (that are not Jewish Christian.) The tradition may well be a Jewish response to the Christian dying and risen Christ interpretation. Many scholars think so anyway, based on the available information.

    I focus on the redemptive experience experienced by non Jews through Jesus, because it is not partial to either your or my position to state that it happened. Nobody denies that Through Jesus gentile polytheism died out in a huge degree. I do not need to agree with Christians doctrines about anything to acknowledge that, and so based on that historical experience, I can’t blame Christians for seeing a redeemer in Jesus.

    I’m sorry you don’t find Josephus’ Jesus reference (the non interpolated one) a convincing document, but it is an accepted historical source.

    I’ll respond to more later.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Concerned Reader,

      I would appreciate if you would summarize the main points of the lectures for me. I have small children at home so it doesn’t work for me to listen to lectures (I don’t have a device so that I can listen on headphones and walk around freely).

      I’m looking for facts and not speculation. Example of speculation: “The tradition may well be a Jewish response to the Christian dying and risen Christ interpretation.”

      Since Jews barely mention Christianity in their writings (three passages in the whole Talmud, a work roughly as large as the Encyclopedia Britannica), it’s fair to say that you are standing on shaky ground.

      The question is not whether Christianity was responsible for the death of polytheism (as was Islam, don’t forget), but whether it’s true.

      I cannot deny that Christianity has been an instrument for good. But neither can you deny that it has been an instrument for evil.

      So the question isn’t to prove that it’s been an instrument for good or to prove that Jesus provides a redemptive experience for gentiles. The question is, is it true? I say again, if Christians believe that the Jews preserved the truth of the knowledge of God until Jesus came, then they, like anyone else, must examine his claims (or the claims made about him in Christian scripture) in that light–and not the other way around.

      You wrote, “I’m sorry you don’t find Josephus’ Jesus reference (the non interpolated one) a convincing document, but it is an accepted historical source.” I’ve done some digging around and discovered that this is not the case. Not at all! It’s a matter of debate among historians and scholars and very much depends, I’m sorry to say, on each one’s agenda. Having said that, whether I accept this as historical or not, my point still stands. The little that Josephus spends on Jesus in the Arabic version (if it is authentic) in comparison to his voluminous writings shows that Jesus was not a major figure during his lifetime.

      Still waiting for a response on my point about the definition of idolatry according to the Torah and how Jesus fits that definition.

      Thanks,
      Dina

  67. The reason scholars hold the authenticity of the Josephus passage is that we have 2 versions a Greek Christian interpolated version, and an Arabic translation of the same Greek work that has no evidence of being tampered with by any scribes. Both of these works contain the Jesus passage, with the Arabic reflecting the earlier passage that he wrote. You are right that it is not conclusive. I personally don’t accept the passage because it is there, but because Josephus contains uncontested references to John the Baptist and James, who are relatives of Jesus. There is no reason that Josephus has to support Jesus, but both of our existing versions mention Jesus.

    I agree that the truth is important. I don’t stress my points for no reason. The issue is that Gentiles largely learned to accept the Torah as true from Jesus and his disciples, through Christianity. If we have demonstrated that Christianity has been a force for good (and evil too I wouldn’t dispute that,) but that it has purified the lips of the nations to know Israel’s G-d in some prophetic way, and Islam too (Islam rests on Christianity btw), then Gentiles will need a clearer, better, more evident reason to accept Judaism if Christianity is false. see what I mean? Our acceptance of the Torah becomes irrelevant and invalid, because we have accepted its authenticity and authority on false pretenses, from the lips of and experience of a false Messiah. Judaism now has to demonstrate its truth claim in a clearer more evident way then it’s false sister faiths have failed to do. Does that make sense? I came to accept Hashem through Jesus, based on the evident good he accomplished. Judaism says Jesus is false despite the manifest positive change he brought about. Judaism now bears a greater burden of proof to demonstrate the Torah as true. See the problem? If I accepted the Torah from a false prophet, despite the manifest evidence that he accomplished something G-dly, Judaism must not only demonstrate that Jesus was false, but it must now provide evidence of greater substance to substantiate the truth claim it makes that I inadvertently accepted on false pretenses from the false prophet Jesus. My experience and evidence of Torah as true narrative comes from Jesus. If he was a bad guy, Judaism must be able to show the truth by itself more clearly than he showed it as true. I’ll try to summarize those lectures, it’ll take a while.

    Good luck with the little ones 🙂

    Best

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader, it doesn’t make sense to convince Christians of the truth of the Torah when they already accept it, however they got to that conclusion. According to Christians, the Jews had the truth at least before Jesus came along. So if someone comes along with a new claim, he’s the one who must bear the burden of proof. If Christians fail to provide proof– if, after all, you determine that Jesus is a false prophet–then and only then is it fair to ask Jews to prove the truth of their claims.

      So long as you accept Jesus as the real, true Messiah who is the son of God and so on and so forth, I will argue with you that the Torah repudiates that belief.

      If you reach the point where you agree that the Torah cannot be harmonized with Christian scripture, then we can have a discussion about the claims of Judaism.

      I know two ex-Christians who followed that line of reasoning. After careful study, they determined that Christian scripture was not reliable and that Jesus was not who he claimed to be. They then wondered if the same could not be said of Hebrew scripture. One of them is still questioning the truth of Hebrew scripture, bringing the same arguments you did concerning national revelation and archaeology.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to summarize those lectures for me. Please don’t feel like you have to spend a lot of time on it. A brief listing of the main points will do. Thanks again. Much appreciate it!

      Best,
      Dina

  68. I haven’t summarized the lectures yet lol. Doesn’t it seem consistent for your former Christian friend to ask the same questions I am? You cannot prove the Exodus unless you first accept the testimony of the Torah as true (because outside evidence is so sparse,) but it is circular reasoning to say I will prove the Torah is true using the Torah, just as it is for Christians to use the NT. You are telling the Christians to abandon the evidence they have (that doesn’t require the presence of their tradition to prove,) in favor of Jewish tradition, the truth of which the Christians accepted on false pretenses, and you don’t see an issue with that? What do you mean it doesn’t matter how Christians came to accept the Torah? Off course it does! If I hear about truth from a very crafty liar, it is not unreasonable to expect me to ask for more solid proof than the liar provided in support of the claim is it?

    • Dina says:

      If you had read my comment carefully you would have seen that I wrote that my former Christian friend did indeed ask–and is still asking–the same questions you are.

      I am not telling Christians to do what you are describing. Jesus presented his claims to the Jewish people. They did not take him seriously. Jesus was a religious Jew who expected Jews to accept him based on their knowledge of Torah, but they didn’t. Then his apostles went to the gentiles and were able to sell his claims because of the gentiles’ inferior knowledge of the Torah. That’s how I read it.

      Therefore, all I’m doing is advising Christians to be skeptical of Jesus’s claims and see if they match up with the Torah he professed to believe in. If not, then they can know that he was false. Once they know that, it’s fair to question the Jewish claims.

      If I hear the truth from a very crafty liar, first I would want to know if he can establish his own credibility. If he fails the credibility test, I would be skeptical of every word he utters.

      So yes, if Christians find Jesus to be unreliable, it would be fair for them to question whether the Torah is true and it would be fair for them to ask the same questions you are asking.

      But first they have to prove that their messenger is true or false, before they can move forward in their quest for the truth.

  69. I understood what you meant. Forgive me Dina if it seems to me like you are saying that as long as Christians leave Jesus, it doesn’t really matter what they believe from your perspective. It seems odd to me to argue against Jesus based on specific requirements (like genealogy, against virgin birth, etc.) when none of the potential candidates since Jesus (even while they were still regarded as possible messiahs by Judaism) met any of the specific requirements you require of Jesus. As far as I can understand, as messianism has gone throughout history, a potential messiah is viewed as possible, by the results he produces, not his pedigree. In that case, Jesus accomplished some big results.

    Best

    • Dina says:

      Concerned Reader, I never said that, nor did I imply that. It would be wonderful if everyone came to knowledge of the one true God of Israel, but everyone needs to pursue the truth as best as he knows how.

      What you wrote in this comment–forgive me for saying this–is a distraction from the point I am trying to make.

      If any of the potential candidates you’re thinking of was not descended from King David on his father’s side, he was immediately disqualified. What are you talking about?

      • Would be messiahs have arisen in the past who have been followed, who were later declared false, however, when they arose, despite not having the qualifications, they were hoped on by many people, even prominent authorities. Shabbatai Tzvi is probably the best example of such a person. He was initially followed enthusiastically without the necessary qualifications being made an issue. Only after his conversion to Islam was he conclusively declared false.

        You are indeed implying that the Christian religion has an utterly false knowledge of G-d, despite the fact that I have demonstrated that Christianity understands the fundamentals as you teach them, contra common assertions. I really mean no disrespect, and I want you to be true to your religion, but I don’t want well meaning Christians who love G-d to think that their religion is without grounds, as it isn’t followed without reason. Gentile Christians do indeed have solid reasons for believing.

        • Dina says:

          Concerned Reader, the very fact that these messiahs were declared false should give you pause. Shabbetai Tzevi was placed under a ban of excommunication early on by the rabbinic authorities, so it’s interesting you would cite him as an example of such support (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabbatai_Zevi).

          You have not demonstrated that Christianity fits the definition of idolatry that the Torah teaches. Not at all. The Torah warns us against a type of worship that was unknown to our fathers. You have yet to address this point. Also if you would address my main point in this comment: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/seeds-of-auschwitz/#comment-13003. I feel like we keep getting sidetracked by small details instead of facing the main issues head on.

          At any rate, I was responding to this: “It seems to me like you are saying that as long as Christians leave Jesus, it doesn’t really matter what they believe from your perspective.” Now you are saying that I implied something else: “You are indeed implying that the Christian religion has an utterly false knowledge of G-d.” It’s hard to argue if you change the words; I’m sorry, I find it confusing and bewildering.

          For the record, I don’t think Christians have an utterly false knowledge of God. I believe they have a mistaken notion of God. The fact that they believe that the Father is the God of Israel shows that some truth is mixed in there with the rest of their idolatrous beliefs.

  70. Paul says:

    I came across this rant by accident . It is Typical jewish fairytales and victimhood mentality. The Holocaust is just like your pitiful tanak which is a pack of brutal lies disproven by science and archeology. The holocaust is pure a myth which I say that as a former believer in it.There is no evidence of Hitler ordering the death of 6 million jews,not one written document for the greatest alleged genocide of all time. Previously it was held that 4 milliion were killed at Auschwitz. Then Dr Piper, leading Holocaust expert and curator of the Auschwitz Holocaust Museum seeing how unfeasable this figure was overnight reduced it to 1 million deaths at Auschwitz. Yet no reduction was made to the overall figure and jews still claimed 6 million died and not 3 million. In fact for 20 years before ww2 numerous jewish owned newspapers,went around claming at at least 15 times that 6 milliion jews had been killed or were in danger of being killed in some obscure corner of europe. Its a reoccuring jewish myth. Dr Piper even admitted that the gas chamber that tourists visit was built by the Russians after the war. Also all the alleged gas chambers were tested and there is no residue of Zyclon B which they woild be if thousands were killed there. The same chemical was used in delausing chambers which are covered in residue but not the gas chambers, very strange . There was no mass extermination of 6 million.It was impossible for 4 million to be killed in the time Auschwitz was operating. Even then the 1 million claimed to have been killed seems unlikely as it would mean a thousand would need to be killed and disposed of a day. It would have been a huge logistical effort for which the 13 crematoriums at Auschwitz to which seem ill suited. Also for the alleged 6 million dead, not one single autopsy has been conducted proving that victims were gassed. In fact Dr Charles Larson was a hwad pathologist working for the US military at the time who performed over 100 autopsies on corpses from numerous camps and found the main killer was typhus and starvation. He never vould find a victim of gassing. Many people in Aushwitz did die but it was from typhus and starvation caused by the allied bombing of German railroads which prevented supplies getting to the camps. It wasnt from a systematic preordained plan to kill jews. There is not a shred of evidence for that. The holocaust is even a biger myth than your pathetic religious beliefs that have being holding back the western world for 2000 years. The Bible has been largely disproven now since as most scholars think moses didnt exist, nor Abraham and that your deity Yahweh was Pagan and married to asherah. Not to mention the vast smount of plagiarism and pagan ideas found in the Tanak. Why not rant about that instead of jesus? Myth lies at the heart of Judaism which is why jews continue to fabricate nonsense. The jews like to pat themselves on the back and claim to be the victim all the while massacring, raping and stealing the land of others to this very day. Pathetic! In the Jewish psuedo-histories they totally ignore the fact that the jewish zionist gang, the stern gang on 2 seperate occassions approached Nazi Germany offering to enter the war on their side. Zionism was a fascist odrology and remains so. There was no systematic mass murder of Jews. Prove me wrong or stop spreading misinformation.

    • Dina says:

      As you can see, Paul, it took me almost no time to find a whole bunch of website debunking Holocaust denial. Since it’s so easy to find this information, it is fair for me to ask: have you not seen it all and know that you are lying? If so, what is your purpose in spreading lies?

      • Paul says:

        Hello Dina

        I have to say, I found your whole approach rather lazy as you did not deal with one single thing I said in any way or attempt to have a dialogue. Instead you just accused me of lying and posted links to websites. Is that the best you have? I am not convinced. Please provide responses to what I have said not links. I checked out your so called “proof” but I see no proof here, just a bunch of often repeated claims. Just because you have websites trying to prove the holocaust happened does not prove anything. I could quite as easily post 20 websites debunking each claim of the holocaust and claim how easy it was to disprove it. Just because a website claims something is not in itself proof. However, I will not do as you did, Instead I will post a video of a Jew who does not believe in the Holocaust. Before I watched this video, I was a believer in the Holocaust but David Cole raised to many questions about it for me to ever to believe that the holocaust ever happened. It is a myth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmYFpiCo1-g

        David Cole has greatly suffered for his views and was even nearly beaten to death by Jewish thugs from the JDL. This is the truth in the modern world, if you question the holocaust you can be beaten and imprisoned but it is fine to question any other historical event. Watch this to know what I am talking about

        You claim to have disproven holocaust revisionism, answer me 5 questions right now and Ill change my opinion.
        1 Is there any written order from Hitler or any decoded enigma message ordering the extermination of 6 million Jews?
        2 Can you provide any examples of gas chambers that existed in Auschwitz that were not built by the Russians after the war?
        3 Can you provide any evidence of Zyclon B residue on those said gas chambers?
        4 If Dr Piper changed the total dead at Auschwitz overnight from 4 Million to 1 million do you hold that 3 million died in the Holocaust or did 3 other million die somewhere else that we don’t knowt so the total is still 6 million?
        5 Can you provide me with any reports of autopsies taken at the time by the US Army which found any gassing victims?

        You asked me what my motivations were. Well my main motivation is that I have to oppose falsehood and stand up for the truth Secondly , I have to oppose evil as the holocaust was used by Israel to steal the land of others. To this day innocent woman and children suffer and die in Israel an apartheid state. Murder, rape, theft and butchery make me sick to my stomach. At one time I was an ardent believer in the Holocaust, a supporter of Isreal and a Zionist. The more I learnt, the sickened I became at the ugly truth and I rejected it all. Lastly I view Judaism as a primitive and barbaric religion that the Tanank been so thoroughly disproved by modern scholarship that I find it hard to believe that anyone could believe that a book full of such errors could be in anyway divine. Do you know that most scholars think that Yahweh was originally a pagan Canaanite god married to Asherah? So that is my motivation.

        • Paul The reason that denying the holocaust is not the same as denying another historical event is simply because the general motivation of those who deny the holocaust is to enable another genocide. Mahmoud Ahmenedinejad denies the holocaust and calls for the annihilation of the State of Israel – these are not two unrelated positions.

          I know that the holocaust happened simply because I met too many people who experienced it. As a child I attended a synagogue in which most of the members were holocaust survivors. I once spoke to a large group of American Jewish students and I asked them how many of them had a blood relative that died in the holocaust and most of them did. To assume that all these people together with the US, British and Russian armies, all made up the story is ridiculous. The trial in England proved that the gas chambers existed in Auschwitz. As for your questions – they are ridiculous. Hitler wrote a book in which he spells out his wishes for world Jewry. The Jewish population of Poland before the war was 3,000, 000. Where did those people go? Do you believe that all the literature on the holocaust is a conspiracy?

          And if Israel is an apartheid state then what is Syria? Or Iran? what rights do Jews or Christians have in these countries? Is this your problem? If Israel is the apartheid state that you claim it is then how do you explain that Arabs sit in their parliament?

          And if Judaism is such a barbaric religion then how do you explain the low crime statistics of Jews?

          >

          • Dina says:

            My great-grandparents and great uncles on my mother’s side were killed in Auschwitz. My grandfather A”H on my father’s side was the only one left of 21 children. He left Hungary in 1939 to New York and sent for the rest of the family in 1941 when my father was 4 years old. Considering the fate of the rest of the family, I would likely not be sitting here tapping at my keyboard had they stayed in Hungary.

            Naturally, my grandparents on both sides made up these stories about their parents and siblings just to steal Israel from the Arabs. Snort!

        • Dina says:

          Paul, the websites I posted answer all the questions you asked me in your most recent comment. You are an anti-Semite. Anti-Semites are not rational people open to reason; therefore, it is a waste of time to argue or debate with them.

          Therefore, good bye.

          If anyone else wants to take up this futile conversation, feel free.

          • Paul says:

            Dina
            See you are the one not thinking rationally, your opinions are based on emotion due to family deaths during world war two not studying the evidence for the Holocaust. I am not saying that no Jews died during ww2 , I am saying that there was no systematic campaign to exterminate them. You are making the claim there was a Holocaust so the burden of proof lies upon you to prove it. I am just asking for evidence you provide none and just display emotion of the deaths of some family memebers. You are the irrational one clouded by emotion. I am an anti-semite? where did I say I hate all Jews? I hate lies, I just want truth. I aso hate injustice and barbarsim which the lie of the Holocaust has perpetrated in Palestine. i was an ardent zionist and my family still are. Dina, You were unable to answer my 5 questions but just posted some links and said it has all been disproven. If that was so you would be able to answer my 5 questions. Anyone who denies the holocaust is automatically labled an anti-semite and ignored but no proof is ever provided.I hope one day you realise the truth. There are jews who disbelieve in the holocaust are they anti-semites too? You are so brainwashed. I dont know if there is hope for you

          • Dina says:

            Paul, I am not going to debate with you. You are clearly not interested in the truth. There is so much evidence–and yes, I have studied the evidence and read many books on the subject, so your assumptions about me are incorrect–anyway, there is so much evidence that I have not the time nor the patience to talk to someone who isn’t willing to look it up. If you are really interested in the truth, read the following books:

            The War Against the Jews by Lucy Dawidowicz
            Hitler’s Willing Executioners by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen
            Denying the Holocaust by Deborah E. Lipstadt
            History on Trial by Deborah E. Lipstadt
            Assassins of Memory: Essays on the Denial of the Holocaust by Pierre Vidal-Naquet

            Also footage of the concentration camps after the war:

            http://www.amazon.com/Evidence-Holocaust-Nazi-Concentration-Camps/dp/B002JEU1VI

            There are many more books you can read on the topic as well. You obviously didn’t do your research carefully (or at all). Go read these books and then you can talk to Rabbi B. because I have ZERO interest in talking to anti-Semites.

            And that is my final word on the matter.

    • Sharbano says:

      There are German documents refuting your anit-Semitism. The minutes of the Wannsee conference outlines the Nazi’s perpetration.
      Clearly you have your disillusionment with Xtianity and taken that hatred to everything related, namely Judaism and with that context, Jews. It is a common occurrence with those who have traveled the road you have.

      • Paul says:

        Nowhere in the minites of the Wannsee conference is there a plan to gas 6 million Jews. Sorry. Show me one written order from Adolf Hitler ordering it and I will accept the Holocaust happened. Why not, I believe it before. In fact a Jew David Cole convinced me there was no Holocaust yet you label me an anti-semite. Clealry you have not studied the origin of your religion otherwise you would no longer be a Jew. Taught at every university is the Idea that Yahweh was a pagan cannanite God married to Asherah. An anceint inscription has even been found in Israel stating this. Scholars think there was no Abraham or Moses. The Torah came from 5 different sources and was put together during the exile. It is all myths. Scholars think David and Soleman didnt exist. There was no exodus, scholars think that the Isralites were just another Cananite tribe The Isralites were never in Egypt. Half of Iasiah wasnt written by him but another author. Vast swathes of the Hebrew bible show the influence of paganism. Studying all this in my University is what disillusioned me with the Bible. it is not true, just a pack of myths. I guess you didnt get taught this in Yeshiva. The truth hurts The bible is not compatable with science and has been disproven thoroughly. it is time mankind cast it aside as primitive and barbaric myths

        • Paul
          The reason your comments are not coming up is because wordpress automatically puts comments that have too many links into moderation. In any case I will ask you to write to me privately at yourphapriseefriend@gmail.com simply because this blog is not set up to debate the holocaust. I will say that I find it hypocritical on your part that you call Israel an apartheid state without having seen a written order by any of its officials to treat Arabs this way.

        • larryB says:

          Pablo
          I watched the entire video you presented and it was compelling, but then I read an interview of what’s his name later where he was discussing whether it was 4 million or 6 million.

  71. Fred says:

    My father in law was involved with the Nuremberg trials. I guess those were all a hoax as well.

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