Response to Concerned Reader

Response to Concerned Reader

Concerned Reader

This letter is in response to your recent comment – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/open-response-to-charles/#comment-15505

In this comment of yours you present some arguments in favor of the Christian faith and you accuse Jewish critics of Christianity of intellectual dishonesty.

All of your arguments have been already been refuted in the course of our discussion but it seems that you have forgotten that which is convenient for you to forget. Allow me to refresh your memory.

The Bible never says to kill the followers of a false prophet.

The Bible never says that the test of a true prophet is the survival of his movement.

If you believe that the movement of all false prophets in history ceased with their death then you must believe that Mohammed and Joseph Smith are true prophets.

If you believe that the movement of Jesus “exploded” then you must believe that the leaders of the Churches that followed Jesus gave legitimate expression to the movement that Jesus established. These leaders spoke of a deep hatred of the Jewish people, God’s firstborn son. These leaders poured the fuel that burned 6,000, 000 innocents in just five years. This is to say nothing of the countless others who died by the darkness of their “light”. Is this the “explosion” that you so proudly look up to? Is this the sign of the “true prophet”?

Now for what you see as our intellectual dishonesty in demanding one standard of evidence for you and allowing ourselves a completely different standard.

In order to make this accusation of intellectual dishonesty you compare Jesus’ claims and the claims of all of Judaism. The more relevant parallel would be to compare Jesus to Moses. Jesus damns those who don’t believe his words and he teaches mankind that those who don’t believe him are spiritually defective. Moses had God confirm his mission as redeemer (Exodus 14:31) and as prophet (Exodus 19:9). If you are looking for a parallel to the testimony of the Jewish community as a whole you would need to look at the testimony of the Christian community as a whole and the two are as far apart as night is from day. One of these communities is passing on what they received from their biological ancestors while the other is passing on a message that their ancestors heard from traveling missionaries. One believes that their message is so self-evidently true that anyone who disagrees with them is forever damned while the other believes that its message only obligates the physical descendants of those who originally witnessed.

Furthermore; I pointed out to you that Jesus attempts to justify himself according to the laws and regulations of an existing system. That existing system exalts the miracles of Moses and the Sinai experience above all other miracles and never looks to the “explosion” of a movement as evidence for its veracity. You can disagree with the faith structure of Judaism as spelled out in the Bible, but you can’t do so and believe in Jesus. Because Jesus accepted the legitimacy of that system and he failed according to the world-view of the system that he acknowledged as valid and true. Judaism on the other hand does not attempt to justify itself according to the norms of any previous system.

Your accusation of intellectual dishonesty reminds me of Matthew 23.

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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25 Responses to Response to Concerned Reader

  1. Concerned Reader says:

    You still haven’t answered my question. Your assuming that I haven’t said “if I accept your arguments.” If Jesus is indeed false as you say, what reason do I have to believe your claims are true, based on Jim’s standards?

    • Dina says:

      Con, oh Con! Did you actually read this post? Because your response is a, well, a non-response. Examine this line in particular: “You can disagree with the faith structure of Judaism as spelled out in the Bible, but you can’t do so and believe in Jesus.”

      We’re not telling you you have to believe our claim! But you have to accept it to believe in Jesus. If you find Jesus to be false because he doesn’t fit with the Torah, and then you see no reason to accept the Torah as true, so be it. But your accusations of intellectual honesty/double standards are intellectually dishonest. You have to practically ignore everything written on this blog to make that accusation.

  2. while the other believes that its message only obligates the physical descendants of those who originally witness

    Daniel 12:2 2. And many who sleep in the dust of the earth will awaken-these for eternal life, and those for disgrace, for ETERNAL ABHORRENCE. ב. וְרַבִּים מִיְּשֵׁנֵי אַדְמַת עָפָר יָקִיצוּ אֵלֶּה לְחַיֵּי עוֹלָם וְאֵלֶּה לַחֲרָפוֹת לְדִרְאוֹן עוֹלָם:

    Your message only obligates Jews? What about all the noachides? Non Jews also according to Jim have to fit within defined halachic standards.

    I ask again. If you have disproven Christianity, on what basis do you accept Judaism in light of Jim’s criteria?

    • Concerned Reader, I am simply basing my answers to you off of our conversation. I do not know what you are referring to by “Jim’s criteria,” but you are creating a strawman argument by holding me to that standard…

      You are essential using what I like to call the “suicide bomb” or “kamikaze” argument. Now that we have given you every reason to deny the messiahship of jesus, you now attack Judaism by essentially putting on your “atheist hat” and demanding that we provide the same “evidence” for our beliefs that we demand of you concerning jesus and his supposed messiahship/deity.

      Rabbi Blumenthal gave a fantastic synopsis of why it is you who are being intellectually dishonest by accusing us have having a “double standard.” Rabbi Blumenthal stated it rather eloquently and succinctly:

      “You can disagree with the faith structure of Judaism as spelled out in the Bible, but you can’t do so and believe in Jesus. Because Jesus accepted the legitimacy of that system and he failed according to the world-view of the system that he acknowledged as valid and true. Judaism on the other hand does not attempt to justify itself according to the norms of any previous system.”

      This is precisely what I have been telling you all along Mr. Concerned Reader…We can use a mormon analogy to demonstrate your hypocrisy by accusing us of being intellectually dishonest for scrutinizing jesus’s supposed messiahship/deity to the degree that we do:

      Suppose you were arguing with a mormon and the mormon claimed that joseph smith was an authentic prophet who literally saw jesus and even “the father”! (And of course, all the other things that mormonism teaches that are contrary to your theological understanding of christianity.) Would you not demand your mormon friend to show evidence of his outrageous claims about joseph smith? What type of evidence would you need in order for your friend to convince you that joseph smith was an authentic prophet? Why do you deny joseph smith as a prophet? What criteria do you base that on?

      Perhaps you might ask your mormon friend, “what evidence do you have to prove that joseph smith saw jesus and ‘the father’? Do we have any historical verification?”

      Your mormon friend might reply “Yes we do! joseph smith was visited by the prophet moroni too and he gave him the sear stones to translate the book of mormon into English!”

      You might reply to your mormon friend, “Do you have any historical witnesses to prove that these things actually happened? Can you show me any proof outside of what your book of mormon says? How do you know that joseph smith wasn’t just making it up? What if he was hallucinating?”

      Now, let’s say your friend replied like this, CR: “Well how do we know that paul saw jesus? Do we have any other historical accounts of this other than paul’s own testament in the NT? Why do you believe the claims of paul? You are being intellectually dishonest by demanding that I give you evidence for joseph smith’s prophesy when paul fails the same criteria!”

      Now your mormon friend has resorted to attacking the NT, a text which is foundational upon not only your belief system, but also his own belief system, in order to try to accuse you of being “intellectually dishonest.”

      CR…This is EXACTLY how you sound when you accuse us of being intellectually dishonest. All you are doing is showing us that you are saying that the words of Moses are disposable to you if jesus was not who you perceive him to be currently. Likewise, your hypothetical mormon friend would be showing you that he is saying that the words of paul are disposable to him if joseph smith was not who he perceived him to be…

      It’s time you conceded your error CR.

      Shalom.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        “You can disagree with the faith structure of Judaism as spelled out in the Bible, but you can’t do so and believe in Jesus.

        Fine! I don’t have an issue there, but you still have a double standard. In order to say that Christianity has nothing to do with the bible or things Jewish, you have to purposely ignore ideas that were present in the time period when Christianity arose, and many ideas which still exist and bear striking similarity to it. We cant forget either that the Messianism of Jesus has been replicated, even today among very religious Jews. Is the Torah not up to the task of preventing this purported idolatry among Jews?

        Because Jesus accepted the legitimacy of that system and he failed according to the world-view of the system that he acknowledged as valid and true. Judaism on the other hand does not attempt to justify itself according to the norms of any previous system.”

        Yehuda, by extension of this then, you believe something on faith which is your tradition alone, and which cannot truly be verified apart from your say so. Here is the relevant paragraph from Jim’s comment.

        Jesus acknowledged that the testimony one offers ON HIS OWN BEHALF is insufficient. He needs evidence EXTERNAL to HIS OWN testimony. Nobody is obligated to believe a claim that Jesus makes on his own behalf. So he appeals to the testimony of the Baptist and God, the latter via miracles and scripture. John’s testimony is akin to an expert witness called upon without establishing expertise. It is not reliable testimony. Neither are the scriptures or miracles, for reasons I have already stated.

        This paragraph illustrates the problem perfectly. Judaism also has no independent attestation and fails to meet these criteria. If you say I cant believe in Jesus, so be it, but Why then should I believe you? Its in respect to the failure of this standard to be met by Judaism that I accuse you of intellectual dishonesty, because you are using unequal weights and measures, and not weighing all the information. I realize that you accuse me of the same, btw.

        • Dina says:

          Con, I don’t think you meant to be disingenuous when you wrote this, but it is simply not true: “In order to say that Christianity has nothing to do with the bible or things Jewish, you have to purposely ignore ideas that were present in the time period when Christianity arose, and many ideas which still exist and bear striking similarity to it.”

          Did anyone here say that Christianity has nothing to do with the Bible or Jewish influence? I sure didn’t. I did say that Tanach refutes Christian doctrines–I should have thought it was obvious that I was referring to those doctrines that are not Jewish. We agree that “love your neighbor” is important, for instance, and that is in the Jewish Bible.

          We also agree that Christians borrowed the idea of Messiah from Judaism. However, they changed the Messiah’s job description. In the Jewish Bible, the Messiah will be the king during the time when there is universal knowledge of God, universal peace, ingathering of the exiles, rebuilding of the Temple, vindication of the Jews, punishment of their oppressors, etc. In the Christian idea, the Messiah comes to save man from sin and eternal death. You have to agree, this notion is not in the Jewish Bible.

          You wrote this: “We cant forget either that the Messianism of Jesus has been replicated, even today among very religious Jews. Is the Torah not up to the task of preventing this purported idolatry among Jews?”

          You have to be kidding! The Torah doesn’t prevent any kind of sin. Do you know why the first Temple was destroyed? Because of the sin of idolatry, among others. Obviously, the Torah doesn’t prevent people from sinning. There would be no free will otherwise.

          The fact that some streams of Chabad “Jesusified” their rabbi only proves what happens when a charismatic Jewish leader (like Jesus) is revered above his Judaism. These people are not accepted by other Orthodox Jews, even Chabad. I predict the same fate for them that Christianity suffered: within a century or so they will cease to exist as a Jewish movement or at all.

          • Dina,Sorry for jumping in. Your idea about the Messiah’s job description being changed by Christians ;that the Messiah comes to save man from sin and eternal death not being in the Jewish Bible is simply based on your interpretation of scriptures, relating all events to the nation . We discussed that in the other post so you know what I am talking about. Fulfillment of words in the old testament about suffering and redemption found its place in Jesus long before the other events of persecution of Jewish people came, that are used to fit the old testament prophets about suffering and redemption or the idea that the world will be saved/protected/healed because of the nation.
            Another question is ; what comes first ;universal knowledge of God or the inquiry of the nations about the knowledge of God that will be driven from the Messiah? Old testament tell you that it will all start with the Messiah, not the other way. He is to reveal the character of God and knowledge of God to all nations and that is already happening now.

          • Dina says:

            Hi Eric,

            The prophecies that we consider messianic are very clear, so clear that neither Christian nor Jew disputes them. Furthermore, each aspect of the messianic vision is repeated several times throughout the Hebrew Bible. See, for instance, the following:

            INGATHERING OF THE JEWISH EXILES: Deuteronomy 30:3-4; Isaiah 11:12; Isaiah 43:5-6; Isaiah 49:12, 18, 22; Isaiah 60:4; Isaiah 66:20; Jeremiah 3:18; Jeremiah 30:3; Jeremiah 31:7; Jeremiah 32:37; Ezekiel 11:17; Ezekiel 20:41; Ezekiel 34:13; Ezekiel 36:24; Ezekiel 37:21

            REBUILDING OF THE THIRD TEMPLE: Isaiah 2:2; Jeremiah 33:18; Ezekiel 37:26-28; Ezekiel 43:7; Ezekiel 44:15:-16; Micah 4:1

            NATIONAL RESURGENCE OF TORAH OBSERVANCE: Deuteronomy 30:10; Jeremiah 31:32; Ezekiel 11:20; Ezekiel 36:27; Ezekiel 37:24; Ezekiel 44:23-24

            UNIVERSAL PEACE: Isaiah 2:4; Isaiah 65:25; Jeremiah 33:9, 16; Ezekiel 34:25, 28; Ezekiel 37:26; Hosea 2:20; Psalm 72:3

            UNIVERSAL KNOWLEDGE OF GOD: Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 45:23; Isaiah 54:13; Isaiah 66:18, 19, 23; Jeremiah 3:17; Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 38:23; Zephaniah 3:9; Zechariah 8:20-23; Zechariah: 14:16

            PUNISHMENT OF PERSECUTORS OF THE JEWS/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

            No subjective interpretation is required for these passages. Christian and Jew agree on their meaning because their meaning is so plain.

            There is no clear teaching like this in all of Tanach that the Messiah will come to redeem man from sin and save him from eternal death. The Christian has to rely on a verse here, a passage there, quoted out of context, mistranslated, and subjectively reinterpreted. I challenge you to find me one–just one!–place in Tanach that clearly teaches this doctrine.

            As for your question, I will answer with another question. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. So is Islam part of the messianic prophecy of universal recognition of God’s truth?

            By the way, I have not forgotten our previous conversation. I would like to get to it when I have time.

          • Dina, regarding your words “There is no clear teaching like this in all of Tanach that the Messiah will come to redeem man from sin and save him from eternal death.” My answer ;the teaching is clear in Isaiah that we have been discussing. It is like saying there is no red color in the rainbow because you see it as brown. The red is there , you see it as a different color, I am comparing it how you see the teaching of isiaiah 53. Redemption of mankind is there by one righteous servant, you just don’t see it. The expression’ being saved from eternal death’ can be replaced with words; being simply saved, redeemed. As there is no salvation , nor redemption if you are to ever die forever and perish. You don’t call it redemption – the temporary prosperity or help pf God if afterwords later in the future you were to perish forever ( in your death) . That is why many Christians emphasize the fact of redemption by clearly stating ; ‘ salvation from death’; because there are so many people among unbelieving gentiles who live without hope for any life after they die. Otherwise for them – the redemption being spoken in the bible is just temporary redemption so it doesn’t bring hope.
            As far as your other question, you first of all dismissed the answer to my question. But if you want to start with my answer to your question; you don’t measure universal knowledge of God by the growing movement or religion, but by the fruits of those who know God.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, please.

            No one understood Isaiah 53 to teach that the Messiah will come to redeem mankind from sin and eternal death. Only after Jesus died did Christians start interpreting it that way. If it was as clear as the nose on your face then everyone would have understood it that way from the time it was written. The messianic prophecies that I refer to don’t have to occur in order to be interpreted. They are indeed as plain as the nose on your face and their meaning is not in dispute.

            If you can’t see the difference then I can’t help you.

          • Dina, You said “Only after Jesus died did Christians start interpreting it that way.” Do you think Is 53 was so clear to the jews 2000 years ago and right after Isaiah wrote it as relating to your nation? It is now that after holocaust happened that Jews look for interpretation of many verses in that chapter trying to fit them to themselves ( based on the persecution in the last 100 years. )

          • Dina says:

            Eric, you’re evading the question. How the Jews interpreted Isaiah 2500 years ago when it was written is irrelevant. It’s irrelevant because even if we made up a new interpretation (which we didn’t; persecution of Jews is as old as the exile in Egypt) a new theology has not arisen based on our supposedly new interpretation.

            The foundations of Judaism are clearly spelled out in the Bible. They leave no room for debate. They are crystal clear. They do not rely on fuzzy passages over which people dispute their meaning.

            By the way, even Christians don’t agree that Isaiah 53 is talking about Jesus. So it’s obviously not as clear as you say.

          • dina, you mentioned; “persecution of Jews is as old as the exile in Egypt) a new theology has not arisen based on our supposedly new interpretation.” Ok let’s say you were familiar with persecution but did Jews associate all details spoken in Isaiah with themselves? Was it clear to them what it meant to ‘ to be with the wealthy in his death’? I am bringing that example to show that it is not about a new interpretation of prophecy but about the fact that understanding of details of prophecy was coming step by step with time. The same way like you can’t know all details that will take place regarding future redemption. You know the ‘outline’ you know the main points but there is still so much unknown to see the whole picture with details.

          • Dina says:

            You asked in a previous comment what this has to do with anything. It has to do with knowing with clarity what a prophecy is. It’s not a prophecy if you only understand it after it happens (otherwise what’s the point).

          • Dina says:

            So, Eric, the only right thing for you to do now is to concede that there is a world of a difference between the passages that describe the messianic era that both Christians and Jews agree on and Isaiah 53.

          • dina, but what it has to do with everything?

          • Dina says:

            Eric, if you know a movement by its fruit–if that’s your criterion–then that makes everything so much easier. Forget all the theological arguments. Just look at the moral legacy of Christianity. It was a spectacular failure. How much blood was shed in the name of Christianity in the last 2000 years? How much suffering was perpetrated in its name? Take your head out of the sand and read some history.

            You’re not even willing to say that Martin Luther was not a real Christian. Never mind the Jewish suffering his vicious anti-Semitism caused; do you know how many peasants were brutally stabbed to death because of him?

            By their fruits, indeed!

          • Dina, First of all I never included the killers to bear fruit of God, neither was Jesus including them . For clarification read Matthew 7;21-23. also John 13;34-35. These words will tell you if the hater or a killer bears fruit of God. Do you see Crusaders included in what it is said here???

            On the other side look at David and his sin of killing Bathsheba’ s husband. Did David have no knowledge of God? His fruit on that day of killing definitely wouldn’t bring him any good testimony. But there was repentance , there was turning back from evil because there was knowledge of God.

          • Dina says:

            Eric, if this is your criterion, you have a big problem. You see, every religion has good and bad adherents. So if the bad adherents don’t count, then how can you say that Islam is not a Godly movement? There are a lot of good Muslims, you know. Or how about really stupendously nice Hindus? Hey, and what about really super special wonderful Jews, eh?

          • out of curiosity what passages from the torah would peter have THOUGHT of when he said jesus was “the messiah”

            13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

            14They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

            15“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

            16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

            17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter,b and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hadesc will not overcome it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will bed bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will bee loosed in heaven.” 20Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

            ASSUMING this was a REAL conversation, what passages did peter have in mind?

            surely he was INTELLIGENT enough to UNDERSTAND how his fellow jewish brethren and leaders understood messiah?

            note here that it seems this is the FIRST time jesus asks his right hand man what people think about him?

            eric, posts all the verses you think peter thought of when he said he thought jesus was the messiah

          • Eric, you have no good reason to assume that the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 refers EXCLUSIVELY to the Messiah. Can we surmise that the Messiah may be a part of Isaiah 53? I’d say so and so do the many of the Rabbis of old. But to say that this suffering servant refers exclusively to the Messiah is to ignore the context of the rest of the servant songs as well as the trend of Messianic prophesy elsewhere in the Tanach.

            What I mean is this: Both Jewish and christians agree that these prophesies refer to the specific INDIVIDUAL of the Messiah:

            Isaiah 11:1. And a shoot shall spring forth from the **STEM OF JESSE,** and a twig shall sprout from his roots.

            Hosea 3:5. Afterwards shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God and **DAVID THEIR KING,** and they shall come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness at the end of days.

            Jeremiah 30:9. And they shall serve the Lord their God and **DAVID THEIR KING, **whom I will set up for them.

            Ezekiel 37:24. And **MY SERVANT DAVID SHALL BE KING** over them, and one shepherd shall be for them all, and they shall walk in My ordinances and observe My statutes and perform them.

            Ezekiel 37:25. And they shall dwell on the land that I have given to My servant, to Jacob, wherein your forefathers lived; and they shall dwell upon it, they and their children and their children’s children, forever; and **MY SERVANT DAVID shall be their prince forever.**

            These are some of the very few prophesies that both Jews and christians agree upon referring to the specific INDIVIDUAL of the Messiah. Do you wonder why that is? There is some things these prophesies have in common with each other.

            1. All give credence to DAVIDIC descent of the individual.

            2. All concern the end of days

            So how does the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 measure up to this criteria? Well, I think we can both agree that Isaiah 53 concerns the end of days, so it meets criterion number 2…But what about criterion number 1?

            Eric, can you show me in the entirety of the servant songs of Isaiah where the suffering servant is ever referenced as being from the line of David/Jesse? Can you show any specificity of the servant’s ties to the David line specifically?

            I can show you nearly a dozen times where the servant is explicitly referred to as Jacob/Israel/Jeshrun. This lends credibility to the Jewish position that the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 isn’t simply JUST the Messiah. Rather, the suffer servant of Isaiah 53 is a collective group, namely the righteous of Israel, Messiah included!

            We have textual evidence to support that the servant of Isaiah 53 is identified as Israel. You are making an eisgetical assumption about your false messiah, jesus, erroneously attributing the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 exclusively to him. (or to him at all for that matter…)

            Shalom

        • Hi Con,

          Hope you don’t mind me joining in.

          “Fine! I don’t have an issue there, but you still have a double standard. In order to say that Christianity has nothing to do with the bible or things Jewish, you have to purposely ignore ideas that were present in the time period when Christianity arose, and many ideas which still exist and bear striking similarity to it. We cant forget either that the Messianism of Jesus has been replicated, even today among very religious Jews. Is the Torah not up to the task of preventing this purported idolatry among Jews?”

          What ideas are being ignored and still exist? Can you give examples of the messianism of Jesus that has been replicated amongst religious Jews today?

          “Yehuda, by extension of this then, you believe something on faith which is your tradition alone, and which cannot truly be verified apart from your say so. Here is the relevant paragraph from Jim’s comment.”

          We believe our tradition and what was taught to us from our ancestors, because that is what was revealed to us at Sinai when they received the Torah. The written text (5 books of Moses) is only part of that revelation. Accepting this too is based on no less rational grounds than the accepting of the written Torah itself. See my in-depth series 12 part series The Case for the Oral Law, all the posts are available here: http://jewishconcernsforum.com/category/judaism/the-case-for-the-oral-law-judaism/

    • out of curiosity what passages from the torah would peter have THOUGHT of when he said jesus was “the messiah”

      13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

      14They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

      15“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

      16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

      17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter,b and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hadesc will not overcome it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will bed bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will bee loosed in heaven.” 20Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

      ASSUMING this was a REAL conversation, what passages did peter have in mind?

      surely he was INTELLIGENT enough to UNDERSTAND how his fellow jewish brethren and leaders understood messiah?

      note here that it seems this is the FIRST time jesus asks his right hand man what people think about him?

  3. I don’t know on what basis Christians consider the Torah to be authoritative, nor is it really relevant. What is relevant is that if they wish to claim that the Christian Bible is the fulfilment of Judaism and what the Torah teaches, then it is the Torah and the Jewish faith structure that defines the criteria that that claim must line up with. Christians should be asking themselves, what is it about the Torah that Jews believe to be compelling and true and the New Testament not. On what criteria for example, are the later prophets words considered to be legitimate, and why were those that were included in the canon included and others excluded. If we come to understand this criteria, then it becomes fairly obvious why Judaism does not accept the claims made by Christianity and the content of the New Testament. Contrary to what I hear from many Christians, Jews do not believe the Torah simply due to personal preference, or that its teachings resonate with them, or is convenient and useful to their lives, or because of miracles or by uncritically just accepting everything that their parents taught them. Judaism encourages challenging questions and investigation. It can meet that challenge with some very compelling and logical arguments.

    I have written quite a lot about this on the credibility of Judaism and compared it to the claims and content Christianity. There is no double standard being applied. See the following articles:

    Why Do Jews Accept The Torah? Understanding The Foundations Of Judaism Part 1
    http://jewishconcernsforum.com/2014/09/18/why-do-jews-accept-the-torah-understanding-the-foundation-of-judaism-part-1/

    Why Do Jews Accept The Torah? Understanding The Foundations Of Judaism Part 2
    http://jewishconcernsforum.com/2014/09/19/why-do-jews-accept-the-torah-understanding-the-foundations-of-judaism-part-2/

    Psychological Evidences for the Divine Origin of the Torah Part 1
    http://jewishconcernsforum.com/2014/10/15/psychological-evidences-for-the-divine-origin-of-the-torah-part-1/

    Psychological Evidences for the Divine Origin of the Torah Part 2
    http://jewishconcernsforum.com/2014/10/20/psychological-evidences-for-the-divine-origin-of-the-torah-part-2/

  4. out of curiosity what passages from the torah would peter have THOUGHT of when he said jesus was “the messiah”

    13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

    14They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

    15“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

    16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

    17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter,b and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hadesc will not overcome it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will bed bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will bee loosed in heaven.” 20Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

    ASSUMING this was a REAL conversation, what passages did peter have in mind?

    surely he was INTELLIGENT enough to UNDERSTAND how his fellow jewish brethren and leaders understood messiah?

    note here that it seems this is the FIRST time jesus asks his right hand man what people think about him?

    eric, posts all the verses you think peter thought of when he said he thought jesus was the messiah

    Mr. Questioner 2013 I think personally that Peter probably thought about king david himself when he saw Jesus as the messiah. For instance, David, having Ruth as one of his ancestors likely would have been questioned about his lineage a couple of times, as Jesus was questioned. David was obviously just a lowly shepherd boy, not the most popular in his family. When Samuel (a lone crier off sorts akin to John) had declared David was king for Hashem, Israel had a king already in Saul. Saul had the pedigree, he had the power, David did not. There wasn’t much reason to follow David either at first.

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