Another Response to Concerned Reader

Another Response to Concerned Reader

Concerned Reader

In response to comment – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/open-response-to-charles/#comment-15517

The purpose of this response is to remind you that you were already called out on your distractions.

Idolatry is not defined by abstract philosophy – at least not according to the standards of the Jewish Bible that Jesus accepted as valid. Idolatry is a sin of the heart – who is your heart directed to? Not – how do I define what my heart is directed to? According to this definition Islam is not idolatry while Christianity (including Mormonism) is. But this is a distraction because this is not how Mohammed came into the discussion. It was you who set a criterion for validating prophecy and according to your own criteria you would have to accept Mohammed. Your words about idolatry are simply a smokescreen. Will you acknowledge that explosion of a movement does not validate a prophecy? Or will you continue throwing up smokescreens and avoiding the truth?

Your claim that ancient rabbis held the same beliefs as the Christians do concerning the various manifestations of God is another distraction. I have responded to this argument many times over but I will still recap. Idolatry is not about belief it is about the act of worship. Worshiping a man who operated in the confines of nature and calling him invisible, omnipotent, omniscient, an incarnation of the God of Israel and the Creator of the universe is still idolatry, while worship of the One Being who is above and beyond all of nature is not idolatry even if you mistakenly believe that he has a body.

The fact that Jesus spoke about God and claimed the authority of God is a distraction because the worship that Jesus demanded was to himself.

Your argument about the angels ferrying prayers to God is also a distraction because we don’t accuse Christianity of idolatry because they see Jesus as one who ferries prayers but because Christians see Jesus as an object of worship.

In response to your accusation of applying double standard. I responded to this in my previous post but I will still attempt to clarify. You are comparing the claims of Jesus to the claims of Judaism – this is invalid. Jesus is the root of Christianity and Judaism is the result of having accepted Moses’ claims.

The root of Christianity is faulty. Those who heard Jesus’ attempt to establish his claim according to the standard that Jesus set for himself should have rejected his claim. Their decision to accept it was not based on honesty according to their own version of the story. Those who accepted the claims of Moses were not accepting a claim that contradicts itself. There is nothing inherently dishonest about the original acceptance of Judaism. The acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah of Judaism is an exercise in self-contradiction and this according to the testimony of those who accepted him.

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38 Responses to Another Response to Concerned Reader

  1. You said, “Worshiping a man who operated in the confines of nature and calling him invisible, omnipotent, omniscient, an incarnation of the God of Israel and the Creator of the universe is still idolatry, while worship of the One Being who is above and beyond all of nature is not idolatry even if you mistakenly believe that he has a body.”

    This is a meaningless “is seems” distinction you are drawing if you truly believe what your saying. If a person worships Hashem while believing that Hashem has a body and this person reads scripture, this person sees and believes that G- d visited Abraham with two angels. G-d (if this person’s belief is consistent) reveals himself in an apparently limited fashion and form, a distinct “person” but the person reading still realizes, and Abraham nonetheless knows, that G-d is not limited by dwelling in this body.

    If you can hold the belief that G-d has a body, and remain a monotheist, you have already accepted the Christian notion of the incarnation, because incarnation is not a consigning of G-d to operation solely through a body. No Christian believes that G-d is limited to operation through Jesus Christ. G-d can operate in any way he chooses, and Jesus’ will is one with the father’s will. If Hashem has body, he exists in 2 distinct, but not separate ways, or as we would say persons.

    If G-d has a body he is not limited by it, but Hashem with a body is one description, while Hashem beyond body is a distinct one.

    • Concerned Reader
      I am amazed at how you tack your imagination onto my words and come to conclusions about what I said. Those rabbis who mistakenly believed that God has a body did NOT believe that that body appeared to Abraham or to anyone else – they believed that that body is above and beyond all the confines of nature and can never be seen by anyone or anything that is created. They did not see the inherent contradiction in seeing God as beyond nature and possessing a body – they mistakenly believed that God has a body that is completely beyond finite existence.

      • Rabbi, I feel I should have clarified better, so I will amend what I wrote. I apologize.

        This is a meaningless “is seems” distinction you are drawing if you truly believe what your saying. If a person worships Hashem while believing that Hashem has a body and this person reads scripture, this person sees and believes that G- d visited Abraham with two angels.

        I should have said this person could believe G-d physically visited Abraham while reading scripture, nonetheless remaining unseen.

        There are many instances in our traditions where angels ( also said to be incorporeal spiritual beings of tremendous dimension) are believed to have “come down” Genesis 6, and other times that men (like Elijah and Enoch) are said to have been taken up, and according to some, transfigured into angels.

        If this clear “change” in nature can occur rationally with regard to a servant of Hashem, is it not all the more possible that it can occur with Hashem himself who created them without causing change in his nature? In fact the verses which state that G-d is not a man, or I do not change, clearly refer to the steadfastness of G-d in his plans for Israel, they are not really verses dealing with ontology at all.

        There was no change in G-d’s nature when he made the first man in his image, who was meant to live eternally with him was there? Christianity may well be guilty of not limiting G-d to doing things in ways we would call rational, but that’s because his ways and deeds are his own.

        G-d (if this person’s belief is consistent) reveals himself in an apparently limited fashion and form, a distinct “person” but the person reading still realizes, and Abraham nonetheless knows, that G-d is not limited by dwelling in this body.

        So, again let me restate, a person who believes G-d has a body COULD believe that G-d is eternal and unseen (having a body,) but that G-d can also manifest himself distinctly in a limited way to communicate with people,whilst remaining beyond and unseen.

        I agree that there wasn’t a “G-d bush” or “G-d temple,” but Hashem did reveal himself in these ways, through these phenomenon, in scripture, and these appearances prompted worship and fear from the people who experienced them. The people experiencing these events knew that G-d was not in the fire per se, in the bush per se, in the created phenomenon per se etc. but they knew that the eternal word of G-d emanated from these phenomenon prompting reactions from them only ever worthy of Hashem alone. The hypostatic union explains this phenomenon ( how a G-d beyond all reality can interact with reality, without being limited by it, or without ceasing to be G-d.) to a Hellenistic worldview which held such ideas to be absolutely logically impossible.

        Something interesting to note is the responses that Pagans used to give Jews when they were told that G-d was “beyond all things” “unknowable” “unseen” or interested in human affairs etc. many of them would say, simply, “then your G-d doesn’t and can’t exist!” Or, as the Roman Satirist Juvenal once said, “Jews worship naught but the clouds.” The polytheistic cultures could easily conceive of an abstract unity or god concept, or a messenger like a created angel (which they worshipped as gods,) but the idea of one uncreated G-d, who is unseen, above all, and yet involved with creation, with a plan for us, was impossible to them, and remains so to this day. Polytheism, as Annelise noted, is in many ways, on the right track, believing in “the great spirit” or a simple unity. Where they fall short however, is in the biblical concept of divine command. How they ask, can G-d command 1 path of truth for one people given his nature as described by Jews? Annelise said that Jusaism believes in the path for the Jew, and the path for the gentile. Different paths, to one truth. Ordinarily, that is fine and good, except when the polytheist takes that idea you tell them, and comes to a relativistic conclusion about G-d’s nature and will, based on your very own descriptions.

        As has been noted on this blog, Jesus’ followers under his brother James, held views very close to those of modern Jews. Jesus was seen as the Shaliach of G-d, chosen to be the messiah and vindicated by his resurrection, and sent to the world to teach the word. When Jewish Christians spoke to Gentiles about G-d though, the Gentiles were content to live and let live, as they had always done. “You have your god, we have our gods,” all is well right? Wrong! In the second century Gnosticism started to take hold in the Church. G-d was viewed by these neo platonists as a perfect unity, and Jesus was just a wise teacher. When philosophical Gentiles started to discuss G-d’s attributes though, they with their polytheistic rationalism saw contradictions. The true one G- d must have created an angel called a demiurge (world builder) to build the world, but the demiurge is evil and ignorant, thinking he is the true god, and he tries to push his laws on all of creation.

        When Jesus is called logos and son, it preserves the core of who G-d is, because through the righteous one, we see G-d’s lived out, personal word. What’s the use of being, “on the right track” when that monistic description of G-d robs him of his will?

        • mansubzero says:

          “There are many instances in our traditions where angels ( also said to be incorporeal spiritual beings of tremendous dimension) are believed to have “come down” Genesis 6, and other times that men (like Elijah and Enoch) are said to have been taken up, and according to some, transfigured into angels.

          If this clear “change” in nature can occur rationally with regard to a servant of Hashem, is it not all the more possible that it can occur with Hashem himself who created them without causing change in his nature?”

          does an infinite and all powerful god CREATE transformations when an angel comes down or human ascends? timeless and infinite being is creating a transformed copy of himself ? is TIMELESS being creating transformations for himself when he enters CREATED time?

        • Concerned Reader
          You are continuing with your imagination. You are telling us what these rabbis “could have” believed and then you are building arguments on the basis of your imaginary theories.
          You have been avoiding the truth for some time now. Will you man up and acknowledge that the explosion of a movement is not evidence for its veracity?
          Will you acknowledge that the explosion of the Jesus movement was an explosion of hatred for God’s firstborn son?
          Will you acknowledge that the survival of the movement of a prophet is not evidence for the legitimacy of his mission?
          Will you acknowledge that your accusation of double standard was a false accusation? – and in case you didn’t get this one as I suspect – let me clarify. According to the very testimony of those who accepted Jesus as the Messiah of Judaism, they were engaged in an exercise of self-contradiction, while those who accepted Moses as the Law-Giver and redeemer from Egypt were not – at least according to their own testimony.
          Instead trying to invent breaches in our house – acknowledge the breaches in your own house.

  2. As an example, we would say that all human beings posses one human nature, despite being distinct persons. Adam was created as one being, having two persons, Adam and chavah.

    • Blasater says:

      The problem with that argument is that the church teaches that Jesus has not one nature but two natures. He was allegedly 100%god and 100%man.. A god-man hybrid, never seen before or since. G-d appearing as the burning bush did not claim to be a god-bush that we subsequently devoted worship to or a god-fire, god-cloud or god-temple. All of those are examples of physical objects in nature where G-d manifested Himself, yet we were never directed to devote our worship to them.

      And that is where the church is going wrong. G-d would never have joined Himself to human nature in a permanent hypostatic union. Even on the face of it, that is a change in G-ds eternal status. Meaning, before creation G-d exists in “Spirit” only and post incarnation, exists as a god-man….god-nature,human nature hybrid. That constitues change and is therefore invalid.

  3. Concerned Reader says:

    He was allegedly 100%god and 100%man.. A god-man hybrid, never seen before or since.

    Not in the same way, or at the same time in our theology. There is no confusing of the natures. An orthodox christian would not point to the physical being Jesus, and say, Aha! that’s G-d the father dwelling in glory. They would however, hear the words, “son, your sins are forgiven thee,” coming from Jesus’ mouth, and say “OK, that better be G-d speaking.” The human nature is not the divine nature. There was a time when the divine nature of the Son was not incarnate in a body.

    who is your heart directed to? Not – how do I define what my heart is directed to? I think the Meiri answered this better than I could rabbi. Both Christians and Muslims have their hearts directed at Hashem. We are, as he put it, “those constrained by the matters of religion.” As I’ve made note to you before, our faith defines that it is improper to worship Jesus only. If I support you in your observance of halacha, if I am aware of G-d’s incorporeal nature, but I understand scripture differently, do I qualify as a heretic if I’m basing my beliefs off of the same Bible and history?

    You have pointed to verses saying that G-d has no form, but important voices within your own tradition have held different opinions on this issue. It is known that ideas akin to Philos logos have survived in Judaism (with Rambam’s active intellect, and Saadia’s Kavod Nivra) all of which are a kind of overflow of G-d, or prophecy. When you insinuate that we grasp at straws, its as if you think we have zero sincerity, and zero attempt to understand your perspective.

    • mansubzero says:

      They would however, hear the words, “son, your sins are forgiven thee,” coming from Jesus’ mouth, and say “OK, that better be G-d speaking.”

      QUOTING Bart Ehrman :

      The third example actually has some meat on it, and is very interesting – but not for the reason that Barron assumes when he imposes the Johannine Christology on the Markan passage. Absolutely contrary to what he says, this passage does not – decidedly does not – offer a Christology “as high as anything in John’s Gospel.” The whole point of the passage is to show that “the son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” It is important to note that the passage does not indicate the “source” of the son of man’s authority. The reason this is important is – as the great NT scholar E. P. Sanders has pointed out – in Judaism the prerogative of pronouncing sins forgiven was given to priests in the Jewish temple, upon the successful completion of sacrifice. Like Jesus, the priests would pronounce forgiveness in the passive voice “your sins are forgiven,” not in the active, “I forgive your sins.” It is God who forgives sins. If someone else does it in God’s name, it is because God has granted that person the authority. Jesus is claiming the authority of the priests in the temple. An authority given by God.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Mansubzero, you believe a man can forgive sins? Dr. Ehrman’s hypothesis of a passive ability to “forgive” sins symbolically does work with some ideas in Tanakh, but it also proves then, that Jesus was not deserving of execution for making his messianic claims using this language.

        The symbolism of Son and word of G-d exists in Judaism, as do traditions of heavenly ascent, etc. if this was ok and tidy in Jesus’ day, why did they have him killed?

        • mansubzero says:

          don’t you think there is something strange about these stories? how did the crowds get convinced that god gave mere men the authority to forgive sins? look, you said,

          “son, your sins are forgiven thee,” coming from Jesus’ mouth, and say “OK, that better be G-d speaking.”

          assuming the story is true,
          why didn’t the crowds think what you think? why didn’t the religious leaders pick up stones and kill him on the spot?

          if the son of man had authority to forgive sins why does he have to ask his father to forgive those who pinned him to the cross? why wasn’t “i forgive you” enough ? why ask another person if both persons were co equal in f forgiveness ?

          assuming this story is true, then doesnt this mean , according to sanders,that a greater god reveals to your lesser god, that he forgave the sins and then jesus says ,
          “your sins are forgiven” ?

    • LarryB says:

      CR
      christians, muslims, mormons all believe in the Torah. That is until it disagrees with their new theology/beliefs. Their new beliefs override the original teaching. There is probably a good reason that we are told not to follow others even if they perform miracles.
      Have you seen this today?
      http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/11/10/florida-mother-survives-c-section-complications-despite-45-minutes-without/?intcmp=latestnews

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Larry, I don’t base my faith on the miracles. According to Judaism, G-d used a false prophet to spread knowledge of himself, didn’t wipe out the movement after the prophetic test like he usually does, and even left within Judaism itself the potential material ingredients for a very similar messianic movement to arise in the future, and without Christian influence. I’m questioning the charges of falsehood on the grounds, that it’s pretty unremarkable that Christianity arose from Judaism in the second temple period, and that G-d used this movement to make a positive change.

        The Christian tradition can be reconciled with a pro Torah view, as the history of our own movement shows. Trinitarian monotheism, does not limit G-d to operation through Jesus (so non Christians can know G-d ) and it superficially appears consistent with how G- d appears in Tanakh.

        • LarryB says:

          CR
          According to Judaism Jesus was not a prophet, messiah, or God. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think he specifically tells us in the Torah not to follow false prophets so he wouldn’t be using one to spread the word about himself. The fact he didn’t wipe it out doesn’t matter either if you look at all the other religions still intact. Saying that Christianity arose from Judaism is ignoring that a hand full of people could make a mistake then claim that it was the Jewish people themselves that started Christianity all the time ignoring Roman influence. People converting and changing their mind has always happened. It’s still happening and will always happen. It makes seance that god would pick a handful of people and have them protect his teachings. Look at the all the various teachings people have come up with, and still claim to believe in the same god as the Jewish nation. Like I said earlier, Christians and others believe in the Torah and its teachings, until it disagrees with their new religion. How much better can it get when we shed a mans blood for the forgiveness of sins rather than a goat?

          • Concerned Reader says:

            According to Judaism Jesus was not a prophet, messiah, or God. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think he specifically tells us in the Torah not to follow false prophets so he wouldn’t be using one to spread the word about himself.

            Maimonides among others, (notably also rabbi Emden’s comments about Jesus) state that Jesus and Muhammad were false prophets, but that G-d used them in his mysterious way to spread the concept of Moshiach and mitzvot to the non Jewish world. It is in this respect that I have said that Jesus (even if he was false) is said by others to have spread notions of G-d. It’s not me saying Jesus was false and G-d used him, it’s rabbis that say he was false, and G-d used him.

          • LarryB says:

            CR
            All Maimonides says is that God’s plan will not be altered by the rise of other religions.
            To alter Maimonides as saying Christianity “contributes” to God’s plan, is the opposite what he said, that it “does not compromise” God’s plan. The spread of Christianity may have brought about awareness, but a false one.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Im fully cognizant of what Maimonides said LarryB, but he wasn’t the only one to talk about Christianity. Rabbi Emden did too, and the Meiri. I’m not trying to suggest that they believed in Jesus, but that given all available historical information, Christianity has had a big impact on spreading monotheism, and has much in common with Judaism, even as far as a positive view of Torah if read with due dillugence to its content.

          • Confused Reader, are you aware of the prophet Bilam? Your jesus/NT writers are likened to Bilam in many ways. Take for example, take Bilam’s original intension to curse the Jewish people. Bilam did everything in his power to curse the Jewish people. He tired and tried and tried but all he could muster out was a blessing! Why? Because G-d was in in control. Not Bilam! Bilam may have had the ability to curse, but Hashem took that evil and turned it into a blessing! Does his make Bilam a righteous person? No. Bilam is still perceived as evil because his intentions were evil.

            Likewise, the NT writers did everything in their power to falsely portray jesus as “the Jewish messiah” and even the creator of the universe! The NT writers did everything in their power to distort the Tanach and falsely portray their pagan man god as the messiah of the Jewish people and deity. They tried and tried and tried, but all they could muster out was a book full of lies called the NT which ultimately ended up appealing the the gentiles rather than to the Jews, who were its original target audience. Why? Because G-d was in control. Not the NT writers and not jesus! The NT writers may have had the ability to dupe the Jewish nation into falling for this false messiah named jesus, but Hashem took that evil message and turned it into a “blessing” to the gentiles! Does that make the NT writers/jesus righteous people? No. They are still considered evil because their original intentions were evil.

            Now, back to Bilam. Even after Bilam failed to curse the Jews, he still tried to get the Jews to worship baal peor. His efforts succeeded slightly. There were some Jews who committed idolatry and worshipped baal peor. But ultimately, Bilam’s efforts were thwarted and the nation of Israel remained faithful to Hashem and rejected baal peor. In fact, many Israelites showed so much zeal for Hashem during this time, standing up to the falsehood and evil that Bilam used to seduce the Israelites, that they were given an even greater blessing by G-d! (Pinchas is a good example) Some Israelites were seduced by baal and even committed harlotry with the daughters of the Moabites. Pinchas and others stood up to this evil and set an exemplary moral example not only for the Jewish people, but for the gentiles as well!

            Now, back to jesus and the NT writers…Even after jesus failed to fulfill the messianic prophesies and was proven to be a false prophet, the NT authors still tried to get the Jews to worship jesus as their “lord and savior.” Their efforts succeeded slightly. There were some Jews who committed idolatry and worshipped jesus as their “lord and savior.” But ultimately, the NT writer’s efforts were thwarted and the nation of Israel remained faithful to Hashem and rejected jesus. In fact, many Israelites showed so much zeal for Hashem, standing up to the falsehood and evil that the NT writers used to seduce the Israelites, that they have strengthen their own emunah in Hashem! Some Israelites were/are seduced by jesus and even commit idolatry by worshipping him. Rabbinic Jews of the past such as the Rambam and Rabbi Yisroel Blumenthal today stand up to this evil and set an exemplary moral example, not only for the Jewish people, BUT FOR YOU AND OTHER GENTILES AS WELL!

            So, Confused Reader, do you understand what the Rambam meant now? Are you going to stop perverting his writings to try and support your hopeless cause?

            Yes, your NT may contain some truths but it and of itself is evil falsehood. Your veneration of the NT writers/jesus in effect should be no different from your veneration of Bilam. Both Bilam and your NT writers/jesus were false prophets who ultimately failed to seduce the nation of Israel to their idolatrous ways.

            But through their lies, you have seen a small sliver of G-d’s truth. Even a broken clock is right twice a day! 😉

            Shalom

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Yehuda, thank you for your honesty in your conviction. I understand where you stand.

          • Dina says:

            Con, I have many times heard you present the argument that the Rambam said that “Jesus and Muhammad were false prophets, but that G-d used them in his mysterious way to spread the concept of Moshiach and mitzvot to the non Jewish world.”

            Do you agree with the Rambam’s assessment? I’m not sure what your point is, that’s why I’m asking.

    • Concerned Reader
      Your blatant errors have been pointed out – and instead of responding to them or acknowledging that you were wrong you go on with your attack on what you perceive as our position and then you whine about our insinuations.
      Your evasive pattern should disturb you.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Rabbi, respectfully, your views are not as clear to understand as you seem to think they are. I do read what you write. I’m sorry if I don’t always agree with your conclusions, or even on occasion with the premise of your argument.

    • Dina says:

      Con, we don’t think you have zero sincerity. We think that you are sincerely misguided. You can disagree with someone very deeply and not think he’s a horrible person. So stop taking everything so personally!

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Dina, it’s not a matter of taking things personally, it’s a matter of being treated like I have zero integrity, and like I have zero zero respect for your views because I disagree. If you feel it’s appropriate tlo address me as careless reader, to insult my intelligence, etc. then I sorry if sometimes I take those things personally. I personally think that you have been very respectful, but I have been accused by Yehuda Yisrael as possibily being “an atheist troll.” On another blog. As I’ve mentioned, I often write on more than one,

        Blessings, concerned Reader

        • Dina says:

          Con, I hear you, but the important thing is not your personal integrity or lack thereof; it is whether you can defend your position or not. It is frustrating to argue with you because you often do not respond to arguments directly and you chase distractions. You also change the topic, most notably after you’ve been presented with a particularly devastating argument (forgive me for pointing this out).

          This makes progress in debate difficult if not impossible.

        • Confused Reader, I accused you of possibly being an atheist troll because you talk about of two sides of your mouth:

          On the one hand, you claim to “not proselytize,” and you even claim to not care whether or not Jews worship jesus.

          But here you are, posting relentlessly on Rabbi Yisroel Blumenthal’s blog, tirelessly posting over and over again trying to justify jesus to him and all of us. When we show you the errors in your NT, you simply abuse our Rabbinical texts and come up with faulty parallels in a pitiful attempt to reconcile your idolatrous faith system.

          If you honestly don’t care whether or not we believe in jesus, then why are you here? Why are you wasting your time and ours? I see a contradiction between what you claim concerning proselytization and your relentless actions to pitifully justify your worship of jesus as being “authentically Jewish.” You sound similar to what I read in Dr. Brown’s most recent proselytization book to the Jews entitled “The Real Kosher jesus.”

          Moreover, I asked you a hypothetical question recently which you refused to answer at first, but once you finally did answer it, I was very surprised at your answer!

          I asked you this question:

          What objectively makes jesus a better candidate for being worshipped in comparison to Bar Kochba?

          What if there was a hypothetical group of people who believed that Bar Kochba was the “shaliach” that you keep going on and on about who supposedly “must be divine?” In other words, let’s say they viewed Bar Kochba as divine in the same way that you view jesus as divine. Would you condemn Bar Kochba worshippers as being idolators? Why or why not?

          After much prompting, you finally answered that you would not find these hypothetical bar kochba worshippers to be committing idolatry.

          But that’s a problem for you Confused Reader…

          You see, your NT says that jesus is the ONLY WAY to the father! But here, you claim it would not be idolatry if someone worshipped bar kochba if they believed him them same you worship jesus.

          For these reasons, I have reason to doubt your sincerity as a christian. Either that or you have a very misconstrued understanding of what your own religion teaches…

          Shalom

          • Dina says:

            Con, I think Yehuda Yisrael is asking a fair question. You insist that you do not seek to convert Jews, that you want to encourage them to continue their Torah observance. But you want us to accept Christian doctrine as plausible. This is a contradiction.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Dina, it is not a contradiction insofar as there is known Data and information that has been replicated in later Jewish history, independent of Christianity, that bears similarity to Christianity, it’s theology, and the influences on its doctrine, that fit squarely within a second temple or even later historical context, although your tradition doesn’t accept these as valid.

            Philo’s logos, other methods of interpretation, heavenly ascent traditions, traditions about the “body” of G-d etc. that allow for the plausibility that Christian ideas can emerge from Judaism, even if the church did not exist. There is to some degree an impasse, because we both are looking through different lenses. I’m not asking anyone here to consider Christianity as”ok for Jews,” but for you all to realize that we Christians read the Bible too, we too care about proper definitions, and we Gentiles do have reason to accept Jesus because we came to know G-d through his movement. That’s all. I’m not trying to score points in a debate. We both believe on faith that our traditions lead to truth, and we believe that our views are rational. When you point to a particular thing like the ingathering and say, see! Jesus didn’t do that, ergo, not messiah, we can look and say “you don’t need the messiah to be gathered to Israel.”

            With respect to YY’s comment about Jesus being the “only way” you have to realize that this statement isn’t the same thing as saying institutional Christianity is the only way. In our tradition, Jesus is the manifestation of G-d, so when someone isn’t baptized, G-d is still there for them, and working, and guiding them as he was before the incarnation. G- d is not limited by Jesus, or anything else. (Romans 2:4) G-d is also here for you, always even if you are not Christians (Romans 11) Let’s not forget either what Paul said. 1 Corinthians 7:18.

          • Dina says:

            Con, will you answer directly for once and stop appealing to history? My question was about you and the people on this blog, today. You say you do not seek to convert us but you want us to accept your position as plausible. You have not explained why this is logical.

            We do not accept Christianity as plausible. You have not offered any argument to make it plausible to us. Just because you care about the Bible and stuff doesn’t mean you’re right. You can sincerely care about something and feel very deeply about it and still be wrong.

  4. mansubzero says:

    “The human nature is not the divine nature. There was a time when the divine nature of the Son was not incarnate in a body”

    does the human nature have a human soul? is the human soul a person? did god make for himself flesh and a human soul?

  5. Concerned Reader says:

    You are continuing with your imagination. You are telling us what these rabbis “could have” believed and then you are building arguments on the basis of your imaginary theories.
    You have been avoiding the truth for some time now. Will you man up and acknowledge that the explosion of a movement is not evidence for its veracity?

    At this point rabbi, we all have theories because we aren’t omnipotent. I’ve heard several people on your blog state in fact, that Paul invented christology. I think the dating of the sources, and external evidence from messianism In later within Jewish history proves that hypothesis unlikely. I’ve read doctor Ehrman’s works.

    Rabbi, I gave an answer to Dina on this question. Also, it’s not the number that is indicating veracity, (you guys are the ones talking about numbers and uniqueness with a national claim.) My point was that Jesus, if he were a false prophet, wouldn’t have prospered beyond his death, as no prophetic test usually extends beyond that time. Muhammad and Joseph smith don’t count, because they weren’t prophets that arose among and addressed themselves to your nation within the covenant context as Jews. If we look at Tanakh, the test of a false prophet ends when he dies. The true prophets and leasders usually have the priests, etc. destroyed, as Elijah did with the prophets of Baal. Not only did the death of Jesus, and 300 years of persecution by pagan Roman authorities not destroy the Church, but G-d let it flourish, despite every indication that it shouldn’t have. According to your view of Jesus, he was false, therefore his life would have zero merit. His coming would accomplish nothing, it was just a test.

    This is not what happened in history. G-d used this person and his movement to spread hitherto unknown knowledge of himself to the point that gentile polytheism lost a foothold. The argument has nothing to do with numbers, but with the fact that G-d, in the covenant, does not make the false prophet prosper, or use him as an instrument of truth within the covenant context. I am not saying that the number of Christians matters at all, but what G-d did through this movement.

    Does Hashem do evil that good may come? That’s what I’m asking. Furthermore,it’s been noted that there is enough similarity between Judaism and Christianity (what you would call plagiarism) that the Torah and gospels, can be somewhat harmonized. The NT teaches that Jews should remain Jews. The trinity and whatnot, can appear consistent with certain passages in Tanakh.

    My point, is that if Christianity is false, Hashem has not done, what he usually does with false movements.

    • Dina says:

      Con, you wrote that you gave me an answer on this question. No, you did not.

      I repeat, you DID NOT answer the question.

      By the way, there is no scriptural support for your assertion that the prophet’s movement will die. But even if you were right, you asserted that a prophet who specifically speaks to the Jewish people and whose movement doesn’t die is a true prophet (totally non-scriptural, also). But the Jesus movement did die, in fact. It died as a JEWISH movement. And that is the point.

      Within Judaism, any splinter group that does not survive as Jewish sect has lost the protection of God’s promise that He will never wipe out the Jewish people. He will only protect His righteous remnant. And as it happens, the Pharisees, and the rabbinic Jews who descended from them, have survived every persecution, every exile, every book burning. All the other sects disappeared.

      And lest you cite the existence of the Samaritans to prove me wrong–they are not a Jewish sect. Not a single Jewish sect recognizes them as Jewish, and Jews who don’t intermarry would not marry them. They have to import brides from the Ukraine because of their small numbers and the dangers of inbreeding–something the Torah forbids.

  6. Concerned Reader says:

    Con, I have many times heard you present the argument that the Rambam said that “Jesus and Muhammad were false prophets, but that G-d used them in his mysterious way to spread the concept of Moshiach and mitzvot to the non Jewish world.”

    Do you agree with the Rambam’s assessment? I’m not sure what your point is, that’s why I’m asking.

    Dina, the point I’m trying to make by quoting Rambam, by quoting rabbi Emden, or by quoting the Meiri, is that Christians are often told by Jews to abandon Jesus, and to abandon “blind faith” in him because his life in fact had so little value in G-d’s work and plan. I’m saying through these quotes, that even within polemic against the Christians though, it isn’t said that his life was without the hand of G-d, whether G-d was active “creating a double kindness” or whether G-d “will not be prevented.” It’s my point that even those who despise Christianity, and hail Jesus as false, have seen the impact on this world, and can’t ignore it,and despite the polemic have seen an aspect of positive redemptive value in it. A person can be “Christian” by living out Jesus’ ethic, and doesn’t have to rest their faith on a miracle like the resurrection, we can see the providence of G-d in turning the nations from the old gods, and we don’t need to believe this based on our own say so, because even members of other faiths, see the impact.

    • Confused Reader, the point I’m trying to make by referencing Bilam, by referencing the worship of baal, by mentioning the NT writers, or by referencing jesus, is that Jews are often told by christians to accept jesus as our “lord and savior” because it is “the most Jewish thing we can do” despite the fact that the Tanach gives no indication that we are to worship jesus and even warns against false prophets who instruct Israel to worships “gods we have not known” i.e. jesus and bilam. I’m saying that through these words of Bilam and jesus/th NT writers, that even within the polemic against the christians and the baal worhsippers though, it isn’t said that their lives are without the hand of G-d, whether G-d was actively “creating of double kinds” or whether G-d “will not be prevented.” It’s my point and the Rambam’s point that even those who despise christianity and the worship of baal and hail jesus and Bilam as false prophets, have seen the impact on this world, and can’t ignore it, and despite the polemic have seen an aspect of positive redemptive value in it. A person can be “christian” or a “baal worshipper” by living out jesus’s ethic or clinging to the blessings that Bilam gave to Israel, and doesn’t have to rest their faith on a miracle like a resurrection or a talking donkey. We can see the providence of G-d in turning the nations from other false gods, and we don’t need to believe this based on our own say so, because even members of other faiths, see the impact.

      So Confused Reader, have you accept Bilam as your lord and savior?

      You’re already half way there!

    • Dina says:

      Con, this is a straw man. Jews don’t tell Christians to abandon faith in Jesus because we keep ourselves to ourselves. But when YOU come to US and argue with us about it, then we will defend our faith. And obviously, part of our defense will include pointing out your error. If we did not believe you were in error we would be Christians.

      My question to you is this. You say that the Rambam says that Jesus and Mohammed had redemptive value (your interpretation, but whatever), but remember that he also says that Jesus and Mohammed were false prophets. So this is why I don’t get your point. Based on the Rambam you expect us to agree with you that Jesus was a true prophet? And what about Mohammed?

      I mean, just because there is impact doesn’t make it true. And a large part of that impact was unspeakably evil, how can you ignore that?

      So what you’re saying here is just not logical to me.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Indeed it doesn’t make it true Dina. However, you point to “our errors” as if these ideas were invented by gentile Christians, when we Know based on history that this is incorrect. The traditional Jewish interpretation says that Christianity is impossible from the Tanakh, but I would say this is based on how you are interpreting scripture, not based just on what’s plausible based onTanakh. You don’t even need to take my word for it, because very Christian like movements have arisen from Judaism, without Christian influence, based on your own sources, post Christianity, even whilst Judaism is openly against Christianity, and it’s whole theology and ideology. The problem with comparing Christianity and Baal worship, is that Baal worshipers are not reading the Bible, or looking to it for guidance. You can’t read Baal’s words as defending Judaism. You can read the gospels this way, and I know because I do it. We can’t look at history and learn about the Torah observant followers of Baal, or the god fearing gentile converts of Bilam. The comparisons are disingenuous for that reason.

        • Dina says:

          Con, the Christian movement arose out of a Jewish movement that made mistakes. Just because something is Jewish doesn’t make it true.

        • Confused Reader, how much of the Torah of Moses is contained in the NT? (Let alone the gospels?)

          You claim that jesus’s teaching brought the gentiles to a “monotheistic belief system,” but this monotheist belief system is foundational upon Torah, not the NT!

          So I would argue that the teachings of jesus and the NT authors do not bring gentiles to Torah…And of course, it does not bring Jews back to Torah…Rather, it is a new belief system loosely based off of Torah principles which distorts the foundational theological claims of Torah and falsely passes itself off as “the true Torah that every thing else pointed to.”

          This is EXACTLY what mormonism is to the NT!

          You whine and whine and whine “But joseph smith wasn’t a Jew so he doesn’t count!”

          Well if joseph smith doesn’t count, then I guess none of you christians count as being a part of the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:30-33, which explicitly states that it will be a covenant with the House of JUDAH and the House of ISRAEL. It says NOTHING about the gentiles.

          But you will come back whine “But the NT says I’ve been grafted in to Israel through jesus!”

          Ok! Great! Then so was joseph smith! He believed in jesus, just like you! He claims to have seen jesus and received new revelation just like paul! Before jesus supposedly came to paul, the gospel was primarily being spread to Jews. Then after paul’s supposed “revelation of jesus,” and after paul realized he wasn’t having any luck with converting Jews, he changed his tact and went after gentiles! Why do you accept paul’s revelations and his changes but reject joseph smith’s revelations and changes?

          You have no good reason to…

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