Matthew Admits that Jesus was Never Resurrected! – by Jim

CP,

It will take me a few comments to respond to your comment here: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/conversation-a-note-from-jim/#comment-29404 . In this first comment, I would like to address the supposed proofs that the religious leaders had. Peter escaping from prison and Paul remaining in prison are not proofs of the resurrection, and I see no purpose in your mentioning them. So I will only write about the priests that believed in Acts 6 and the events in Matthew.

Regarding the priests, they disprove your argument not support it. If they had believed in Jesus from seeing him at the resurrection, they would not only be coming to belief in him in chapter 6 of Acts when some time has passed. They did not believe because they had “first hand evidence”. According to Acts 6:7: “The word of God continued to spread; the numbers of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.” These priests believed due to preaching, not because they saw Jesus. They had no “first hand evidence.”

But it is Matthew I would like to spend the most time on. First, we must acknowledge that Matthew is an untrustworthy author. He has no regard for the truth. His distortions of Tanach are well-documented. Consider what he does to Isaiah 7:14. He alters it. And I do not mean just with the substitution of the word ‘virgin’ for ‘young woman’. He also changes the naming of the child. Isaiah says that the young woman to whom he is referring will name her child ‘Immanuel’. Matthew changes even this to ‘they’ rather than she. This way the name sounds like an appellative, that people will be hailing this child in some special manner. If he left the verse alone, even just that change of pronoun, it would be obvious to the reader that it did not have anything to do with Jesus. His mother did not name him Immanuel. Even those unfamiliar with the actual context of the verse would be able to quickly identify that it had nothing to do with Jesus. The unethical Matthew found a solution in altering the verse.

He likes to omit the parts that do not suit his purpose, showing no regard for Tanach. When he quotes Hosea 11:1, he omits the beginning, that which tells the reader the topic. The topic is, of course, not Jesus. It is Israel. And the verse is not predictive but descriptive of the past. But I will not run through the whole list of dishonest uses of scripture by Matthew. The point is that he is not trustworthy in the first place.

But even if we did not know that, Matthew accidentally reveals to the reader that his story about the Jewish leadership trying to hush up the resurrection is a lie. The bribe itself shows that the story is a fabrication, because the leadership acts on knowledge that they did not and could not have. At Matthew 28:13, the priests and elders wish the guards to say that the disciples came and stole the body. In writing this, Matthew has just shown us that the story is a lie.

The leadership cannot at that point know what is going to happen. For all they know, Jesus is going to begin walking around the streets of Jerusalem healing people, preaching, and attracting an even larger following than before. He could show up at any moment and demand that they acknowledge him as a prophet, now that he has fulfilled his predicted resurrection. So, how is it that they bribed the guards to say that the disciples took the body? No, they did not do such a thing, because they could not know that Jesus would never show himself. This story is an invention.

Moreover, the story shows that Jesus did not show himself publicly. If he had, no such story could have been circulated. The story is built on the premise that Jesus came only to a few here and a few there, privately.

Matthew’s fabrication has two purposes. First, he wants to draft the Jewish leadership into his argument. He wants to support belief in Jesus from the opposition. To do this, he invents testimony on their behalf. And it is shocking how much Christians and general lovers of Jesus believe whatever the NT tells them about the Jews and the Pharisees. They accept the writings of the NT as if it were the direct testimony of the Pharisees, when it obviously is not. Second, he wants to vilify the Jews, especially the leadership. The Jewish people were not on board with the message of Jesus and his followers, generally speaking. This had to be explained, inasmuch as Jesus is supposed to be their Messiah. So, the Jews become the villains. And how dastardly they are, according to Matthew. He wants us to believe that the Jewish leadership knew the truth but rejected Jesus anyway. Matthew’s lies would be one of the causes of 2,000 years of Jewish persecution.

But the story was not true. It could not be, because as I pointed out, the Jewish leaders are acting as if they know Jesus will not show himself. Obviously this story was fabricated much later, after Christians started teaching that Jesus came back from the dead. And Matthew did not account for what would have been the Jewish leadership’s perspective and knowledge. That Matthew lied at the end of the book should have surprised nobody who had read the beginning. But the book, given to the Torah-ignorant gentiles was believed by them, and it caused great damage to the Jewish people. Two thousand years of suffering ensued.

Clearly, Jesus did not show himself to the Jewish leadership.

Jim

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153 Responses to Matthew Admits that Jesus was Never Resurrected! – by Jim

  1. Eleazar says:

    Another thing that always bothered me about the resurrection story was that the Jesus who appeared to the select few bore no resemblance to the Jesus who was crucified. To Mary M., he appeared as a common gardener. Others did not recognize him at all, and had to be given “new vision” to realize who this “new guy” was. Never once, between the resurrection and his ascension, did anyone see him and know he was the same man who was crucified. Yet, he always appeared as a normal mortal man in regular clothing with no unremarkable traits.

    • CP says:

      Eleazar,
      Here are some possibilities;
      Yeshua was beaten beyond recognition.
      He was wearing different clothes.
      They had no electric lighting back then.
      A resurrected body may look different.

      I agree with you in that there is ‘something’ going on with the resurrected appearance of Yeshua. Now a person should ask themselves; ‘if I wanted to make up a believable story would I include these kind of details?’

      • Eleazar says:

        Of course they would, CP. They had no resurrected Jesus, but they did have a contemporary audience who would know if he actually showed up or not. It was a perfect way, the ONLY way if you think about it, to account for the fact that nobody outside the clique reported a resurrected Jesus who hung around for almost two months. Were he resurrected as himself, beaten or not, he no doubt would have been identified.

        For something that was supposed to be THE ONLY SIGN Jesus would give the Jewish leaders, it sure was kept a secret from them.

        • CP says:

          Eleazar,
          Please allow me to humbly correct your post;

          “the fact that nobody outside the clique reported a resurrected Jesus”

          It is more truthful to say; ‘we do not have a preserved record of a resurrection of any one outside the clique’

          • Dina says:

            CP, we also do not have a preserved record of the existence of unicorns. I’m not saying this to make fun. I mean that it’s not a strong foundation to stand on.

          • CP says:

            Dina,
            Ummm……😊 yes we do!
            Unicorns recorded in the Tanach:
            Job 39:9-12
            Psalm 29:6
            Isaiah 34:7

            Dina, this is typical of the difficulties you and I face; What words mean to US as compared to other religious, cultural and historic meanings. I see this same thing happening with us when it comes to discussing Yeshua.

          • Dina says:

            CP, a re’em is a wild ox, but that is really neither here nor there because that’s not what my point was. Fill in the blank with any other mythical creature then, and read it again in the context of my response to your post.

            I don’t want to be mean, but it feels like you did understand my point but deflected. I’m not sure if you’re doing it on purpose, but it’s frustrating. It feels like you’re not being straight with me.

            We keep getting sidetracked over what seem to me inanities, forgive me for saying so. For example, you never responded to my challenge about Jesus attributing divinity to himself, with damning quotes from your scripture to back it up, because you objected to my use of the word divinity instead of deity (which in the English language are synonymous). Thus an important conversation never got off the table.

          • Dina says:

            I mean got off the ground. Mixing my metaphors :).

          • CP says:

            Dina,
            Sorry, unicorns distract me 😋

            Ok, straight to the point:
            “MY” definitions ~
            Diety = HASHEM, there is only ONE and is Supreme and Sovereign over ALL, however other cultures may believe in many.

            Divinity = Ben Elohim, number not known, possibly 70 or 72 or ? HaSatan is possibly such a entity. They are subject to Hashem yet some may be in a state of rebellion. These are possibly the false gods of other nations as implied by a proto- Masoretic Text.

            Created Beings:

            Arch Angels = Ruling Angels
            Angels = Messengers of Hashem
            Mankind
            Animals

            Hope this helps you understand me better.

          • Dina says:

            CP,

            Respectfully, it isn’t fair to expect me to use your subjective definitions of the words. When speaking in English, we need to agree that the standard is the English language as it is commonly used or we will forever get mired in pointless distractions such as this.

            I am asking you now to please accept this standard and therefore to accept that in the English language deity and divinity are interchangeable. When I said Jesus attributed divinity to himself, which also means deity, I was making a certain point which you never responded to because you found my choice of words confusing.

            I hope you will respond to that thread because I provided evidence of problematic statements Jesus made that disqualified him from being a Jewish leader, much less a prophet. I ask that you put aside my choice of words and respond to the substance of my argument.

            The thread begins here:

            https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/conversation-a-note-from-jim/#comment-29370

          • CP says:

            Dina,
            You previously quoted the Hebrew definition of Elohim stating it depended on context to which I agreed.

            By using the English definitions of Deity and divinity you inadvertently corrupt the text confusing entities who are not G-D with the ONE who is. This may work to better prove your point but it gets neither of us closer to the truth.

            May I suggest we stick with “Hashem” “Elohim” and “Ben Elohim” for our discussion of Deity. Otherwise there is nothing more to discuss on this matter because you intend to consign a valid definition of an entity to non existence and redefine the entity as a Deity thereby leaving me with nothing to discuss.

      • “Yeshua was beaten beyond recognition.”

        even if a badly beaten up body was dragged out apologists would say it was a different bearded corpse. i note that the guards are the only ones who are witnesses to the ghost they saw near the tomb and then they are paid to spread lies. when the jews paid them didn’t they realise that the guards were easily persuaded to change their stories ? in your chain of testimony you have liars who easily changed their stories and matthew writes ” it is known till this day” which indicates to me that matthew is hearing information from someone about what allegedly took place in secret somewhere else. matthew isn’t a witness he is telling what he has heard.

  2. bible819 says:

    Like Abraham believed the unknown Land- We as Christians have Faith that he Was resurrected.

    ***** The Gardener Clothes ( Hint: Garden of Eden, Sower, Seed( Word)- Gods original intent)

    Before Adam killed us.

    Question: If you got chopped for God- What body would you attain in the Resurrection???

    And no! He had a Body (Image of God) also told you ( At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the >>>>>>>>>> angels in heaven.)

    Read more about him. Appeared as a normal mortal Man?????

    God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; Bible 101

    • Jim says:

      819,

      I do not know what any of this means or how it relates to what I wrote. Would you mind elucidating. It would be helpful for me if you constructed paragraphs that expressed thoughts completely and clearly. However, I will take whatever clarification you are willing to offer.

      Jim

      • bible819 says:

        Hello Jim,

        I read Eleazars statement-

        My Response was the following mentioned above regarding the Resurrection.

        Simply Put. Faith is why We believe in the Rejected Hebrew Yeshua was raised from the Dead.

        Example; Abraham believed God to some unknown Land, Promised Son, Sacrificed his only Son, and Blessed All nations. Faith no Law

        Eleazars said, he appeared as a Normal Mortal Man-

        We were created in God’s Image and that Image is a Normal Mortal Man(Adam)

        • bible819 says:

          Jim,

          What responsibility should Israel take in their many exiles?

          Did they Sin at all?

          If so, what did they do?

        • Eleazar says:

          “Eleazars said, he appeared as a Normal Mortal Man-

          We were created in God’s Image and that Image is a Normal Mortal Man(Adam)”

          Wow, is it possible to miss a point by that much? My point is that he came as a DIFFERENT man than the one who died. He did not assume some angelic or spiritual form that prevented people from recognizing him. They did not recognize him because he looked like someone else. he looked like a man who was not Jesus. If Joe Shmoe walked in and said, “Hi, I’m Elvis Presley, resurrected from the dead” would you believe him? Sorry, that one doesn’t pass the sniff test.

          “Example; Abraham believed God to some unknown Land, Promised Son, Sacrificed his only Son, and Blessed All nations. Faith no Law”

          Actually, Ishmael was the result of father Avraham’s suspension of belief. How many times can you read :

          “Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” ( Gen 26:5) and still repeat Paul’s lie?

          GOD SAID Avraham found favor by his obedience to commandments and laws, not like PAUL taught “he believed God and it was accounted for righteousness without obeying the law.”

    • Sharbano says:

      WHAT image. Do YOU understand the Hebrew references made there.

      • Eleazar says:

        Apparently, Sharbano, Bibs believes like the word/faith charismatics that God is a man about 6 feet tall and “Created in His image” means that God looks just like us: has hands, feet, arms, hair, etc.

        • Sharbano says:

          Really! So, if he’s six feet tall then some will have to look “down” to see him “face to face”. If truly “in the image” then we should ask, what does he eat. Where does he go to the bathroom. There are many questions when “This” is the belief.
          I’ve never been able to understand Why it is So difficult to comprehend that G-d is beyond ALL these physical attributes. I would say though it IS much easier to comprehend with an understanding of Kabbalah.

  3. Dina says:

    Following.

  4. Eleazar says:

    “Eleazer,

    Was the Law Given to Abraham?”

    God said “my commandments and my laws”. Avraham was given a set of laws. Regardless of which laws they were, the Noachide laws, the laws of circumcision or an early form of proto-Israelite law, the point is that God’s approval of Avraham was due to his obedience to the laws God gave him. Do you understand that? Do you approve of God saying that or do you reject God’s praise of Avraham for being “legalistic”?

    No offense, but you can’t really be as dense as you come across as being. You’re just playing games, right?

  5. Eleazar says:

    Bible819,
    Read this :

    “Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” ( Gen 26:5)

    Now tell me three things:
    1- What commandments, statutes and laws is God referring to?
    2- Regardless of which laws and statutes are in view, whether Noachide or proto-Mosaic, does that change the fact that obedience to those laws was counted as righteousness?
    3- Do you accept as true that God counted Avraham righteous for the reasons this verse says He does? Or do you believe the text was falsified or fraudulently altered? Or do you dismiss it because it is “the Old Testament”?

    This isn’t rocket science. Its just plain reading and basic contextual comprehension.

    • bible819 says:

      Point Being is this,

      The Abrahamic covenant is not the Law. Circumcision was before the Law. The Promise of Isaac was before the Law.

      Some 400 years later the Law was given to the Israelites to understand what God required. I.E Not following The Golden Calf.

      >>>> The Promise was not contingent on the Law. He (Abraham) believed God of the Unknown.

      >>>>> All Nations are not blessed by Law.

      I.E. Israel is still scattered

      You are right its not rocket science.

      As for the name calling, “The Family of Life who Loves The Rejected Hebrew” wants you.

      • Eleazar says:

        So what you are saying is that you deny that text altogether since the only law you believe ever existed in Torah was not observed until Sinai and there was no law OF ANY KIND prior to that.

        My question was, if that is true then how do you account for Genesis 26:5?

        Do you think it was added to the Torah later? Do you think some Pharisee made it up? What do you do with that text, Bibs? Just pretend it doesn’t exist?

        You really didn’t answer any of the questions at all.

        Oh and what “name” did I call you?

        • bible819 says:

          Let us Dive into this;

          Genesis 16:6
          Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

          What did he believe?

          What he heard from God. Y/N

          Righteousness and The Covenant was attained by Faith in what he heard by God’s Word!

          You Say that Laws were Given in Genesis 26:5?( After Abraham Death)

          No Law was given, but what the ( Word came to him) to believe in what he was told. Y/N

          If not, list some so that we may know what you see as a LAW-

          400 years Later- Moses (Wrote) Gods Requirements- Y/N

          While this happening? A Golden Calf was Made

          Without Dispute, Israel didn’t KNOW God.

          I.E They died in the Desert.

          Only Moses did, but yet he Didn’t SPEAK to the ROCK ( Lacked Faith) didn’t enter the promise Land.

          Now consider closely my last statement;<<<<<<

          Caleb had a Spirit that Believed God to go take the Land- Faith

          The Law had nothing with (taking) the Land that God foretold- Others didn't because they were SCARED ( Lack of Faith.

          Read Numbers 14:24

          4"But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it.

          What Spirit is this? Faith

          Thus Christ the Rejected Hebrew is My God by Faith in His Name to the Glory of The Father.

  6. Pau summers says:

    Hello Jim
    You are correct, the leaders didn’t know that Jesus wouldn’t show Himself, they didn’t believe that he would or was resurrected.
    As far as they were concerned Jesus was dead. End of. There only possible route for a “resurrection”?? Was a bribe with a lie attached.
    What makes you think their minds would be changed if Christ was seen by them? There hearts and minds were made up on Christ’s claims some time prior to His death.
    Seeing Christ alive prior to His death and rejecting Him on His claims is sufficient of having no faith. God demands faith. The leaders had God in the flesh standing in front of them, coupled with no faith.
    Jesus had already said that they wouldn’t see Him again until they ask Him to return.

    • Dina says:

      Paul, according to Deuteronomy 18, it behooves us to ask a prophet for a sign so we can know if he was sent by God. We are not supposed to just believe the claims of any old joe schmoe that comes along and claims he is the messiah.

      If we are just supposed to have faith, then why not in Joseph Smith or Mohammed?

      “But the prophet who intentionally speaks a word in My name, which I did not command him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. Now if you say to yourself, ‘How will we know the word that the Lord did not speak?’ If the prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, and the thing does not occur and does not come about, that is the thing the Lord did not speak. The prophet has spoken it wantonly; you shall not be afraid of him” (Deuteronomy 18:20-22).

    • TRM says:

      Didn’t he promise the sign of Jonah? God does not demands faith in any messiah. Many claimed to be messiahs, should the Pharisees have faith in all of them? Jesus said he was the messiah, and so many other did the same, should we believe all of them? As far as I know, we, like the Pharisees have not proof of his resurrection. What proof do we have to accept him as messiah. Because some books were written by his followers about a man that did miracles does not mean it is exactly what happened.

      • Pau summers says:

        Hi
        Yes Jesus did promise the sign of Jonah. Its 3 fold;
        Lazarus (pre church)
        Christ (church)
        The Two witnesses of Revelation.(post church).

        Can you give me a name of someone who claimed to be Israel’s Messiah pre Jesus.
        Truth isn’t determined on how many believe.
        In this life You will never get proof of the resurrection, apart from the historical written account, which was based on eye witness accounts.

        • TRM says:

          What are you talking about?

          “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.

          For Jonah was three day, so the SON OF MAN (not Lazarus, nor the two witnesses) was three days and nights (debatable) in the heart of the earth. For that sign to be a sign, they needed to see the son of man, not Lazarus, return to life. As long as they have not seen him, nor any other neutral witness, then I can say that it did not happen. I don’t care about Lazarus, nor the 2 witnesses…

          • Eleazar says:

            “The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.”

            “and now something greater than Jonah is here”

            The conceit and arrogance is mind-blowing. So many churches talk about “the meek, humble and mild Jesus”. But The NT paints such a radically different picture…and from Jesus’ ( supposedly) own words!

          • Pau summers says:

            Hi
            Unfortunately you want see the truth because you have stated you don’t care. Biblical theology isn’t black and white as you want to see it. You have to read scripture with a care and a understanding of the word.
            God chooses the way of Revelation of truth not me or you. Its that simple.

            As a little guide for you, the reason Jesus is speaking about the generation of Nineveh etc, is to show that the righteous generation past will some day future judge the then present wicked generation that rejected the Messiah. All this ultimately comes through the resurrection of Christ. Then all, that’s all will finally see the truth of the resurrection.

    • quote :
      As far as they were concerned Jesus was dead. End of. There only possible route for a “resurrection”?? Was a bribe with a lie attached.
      What makes you think their minds would be changed if Christ was seen by them?
      end quote

      what about doubting thomas ?

      • Pau summers says:

        Hello

        Well that’s the scriptures point. The word explains that all that saw Christ believed, obviously because He was standing there. Mary thought at first the corpse had been stolen. Thomas of course didn’t believe until he physically saw and touched Him. Neither of them doubted His resurrection after they saw Him, however they clearly believed He was the Messiah pre death. Unlike the leaders.
        The NT never states ” doubting Thomas” That name is just a name contrived by traditionalists. Plus it’s also recorded that, at the Ascension some saw and still doubted!! That incident clearly shows that the nature of man and the lack of faith is even obvious even if certain facts are clearly seen. Its called willful ignorance
        People decide not to believe because it suits them.

        • Jim says:

          Or to believe what suits them? Is that also willful ignorance, belief without evidence?

          Jim

          • Pau summers says:

            Hi Jim
            Can you show me that the disciples Didn’t see a resurrected Christ. Because the only record we have, is a written, historical account of the event. You say no evidence!!!
            What evidence do have that they didn’t have evidence. You argument is based purley on your own view which argues against written evidence on a event which you choose to ignore.

          • Jim says:

            Paul,

            You say that it is an event that I choose to ignore. But what evidence do I have? What evidence do you have? The answer to both of these is: none.

            I hope to have more time to write on this tonight.

            Jim

          • Jim says:

            Paul,

            May I ask a question?

            Let us conduct a thought experiment, if you do not mind. Let us say that Jesus claimed during his life that he would return from the dead on the third day, just as he is supposed to have said. But now, let us imagine that no one claimed to see him on the third day.

            Would you still believe that he rose from the dead?

            Jim

          • Pau summers says:

            Hi Jim
            OK, How would I know today, that Jesus said such, over 2000 yrs ago?

          • Jim says:

            Paul,

            For the purposes of the thought experiment, it does not matter how you know he claimed he would come back from the dead. You may assume they appear in gospels similar to the one’s we have today, lacking only the resurrection. Or, you can place yourself back in time to 50 days after his death, where you had heard him make the claim first hand, but no one ever claimed to have seen the resurrected Jesus.

            Would you still believe that he rose from the dead?

            Jim

        • ” Neither of them doubted His resurrection after they saw Him, however they clearly believed He was the Messiah pre death.”

          peter clearly did not have the understanding of “messiah” as marks jesus’ understanding

          peters understanding = militant messiah

          marks jesus understanding = dieing and rising messiah

          you said “pre death” beliefs

          let me inform you about “pre death ” beliefs

          jesus called peter satan for denying jesus’ understanding of the word “messiah”

          so why did jesus appear to peter aka satan, but not to those he promised the sign to?

          • Pau summers says:

            Hi
            Jesus didn’t call Peter Satan because he(peter) had no faith in His Messianic claims. Jesus said “get behind me Satan” because peter had made the mistake and stated that Jesus wouldn’t go to the cross. Throughout the NT you will see that Jesus was nearly killed by stoning etc. This was not the way or the timing on Jesus predestined death. Satan’s will was to have Christ killed anyway but not through the crucifixion. This is why Jesus answered the way He did. Peter unknowingly was speaking against Gods will.

          • “Jesus didn’t call Peter Satan because he(peter) had no faith in His Messianic claims. ”

            quote :
            31He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

            33But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”


            Jesus said “get behind me Satan” because peter had made the mistake and stated that Jesus wouldn’t go to the cross.”

            because the messiah is not suppose to do that


            Throughout the NT you will see that Jesus was nearly killed by stoning etc.”

            so?

            This was not the way or the timing on Jesus predestined death. ”

            what has this got to do with peters rebuke of jesus? messiah, according to peter don’t get stoned or die.


            Satan’s will was to have Christ killed anyway but not through the crucifixion. This is why Jesus answered the way He did. Peter unknowingly was speaking against Gods will.”

            this means peter did not have gods (father)will in mind or jesus’ definition in mind.

          • TRM says:

            This passage show serious concern on Jesus attitude (sinlessness). Seriously, being wrong does not mean you are possessed by an “adversary”.

            A better way to handle it would have been to say to Peter something of the sort “Look Peter, I am your friend and I know it upsets you, but this and that…”

  7. CP says:

    I must apologize for not answering this Blog the first time it was posted. Thinking it weak and others would see it for what it is, I gave it the attention I thought it deserved. After seeing it reblogged and reading some of the comments it became apparent not everyone read this closely.

    So let’s all take a closer look together.

    Immediately we notice is the author has set out to prove his position. Let’s see how he does it.

    The first thing we notice is the author claims information he could Not possibly have; ‘Why the Priests believed’. The Text doesn’t say, no one says, yet this author claims he knows – This is not proof, it is opinion; first Red Flag.

    Secondly the author asks you Not to be neutral or unprejudiced. Rather he directs the reader exactly how to read the material he is presenting, prefixed with the following statement: “First, we must acknowledge that Matthew is an untrustworthy author. He has no regard for the truth.” – This is a second Red Flag the material presented will be biased.

    Third, the author either makes a mistake or is being intellectually dishonest by implying Matthew is quoting from the Masoretic Text; codified with vowels added 400 years later. If Matthew quotes from the Hebrew it would be a Proto-Masoretic Text represented by the Dead Sea Scrolls. However textual comparison indicates Matthew quotes from the Septuagint. Therefore how can the author accuse Matthew of changing the Text when he is quoting from different Texts than the author assumes he is quoting from?Misinformation; – third Red Flag.

    Next and fourth, we come to an accusation of dishonesty because Matthew quotes a verse out of context. The author perhaps out of ignorance doesn’t seem to realize the different levels of interpretation. Rabbis use these levels of interpretation to expand the understanding of Scripture. While the author has else where acknowledged he accepts Talmudic Midrash as authoritative, here he insists only a P’shat reading from Matthew. This is undeniably applying a biased double standard. Fourth Red Flag – Double Standard.

    Fifth , the author deals with the account of the offered bribe to the guards to say the body was stolen. Reading the authors account, he again exhibits possession of the unknowable; namely Matthew’s unstated motives, what the religious leaders are thinking and what the people as a whole generally believe. The author also assumes people in stressful, difficult and puzzling situations make rational decisions. The reality is we cannot judge the truthfulness of an recorded account based on the rationality of a decision made in a difficult situation. – Knowing the inner thoughts of others and speculation based on assumption; Red Flags five and six.

    Sixth, the author makes a parting statement: “Clearly, Jesus did not show himself to the Jewish leadership.” It is ironic this would be the last statement of a Blog accusing Matthew of mishandling Scripture when Matthew’s scripture is being mishandled by the author. Neither Matthew nor Luke promises the Pharisees a front row seat personal appearance. Rather the sign of Jonah was promised to the “evil generation”. Yet even if the Pharisees were promised their own personal appearance, absence of evidence doesn’t constitute evidence of absence. Red Flag number Seven, mishandling scripture.

    Seventh and lastly; in summary the author implies he can prove his hypothesis, but immediately resorts to assumption of the unknowable, prejudiced reading, misinformation, double standard, speculation, and mishandling scripture.
    With 7 Red Flags this Blog indeed proves something. I’ll leave to the reader to decide exactly what that something is.

    • CP It is not for me to speak for Jim but 3 of your “red flags” are flatly ridiculous – Jim backs his statements concerning Matthew’s untrustworthiness with evidence so #2 is a red herring. Take any version of the Jewish Bible you want – Matthew still misquotes and misapplies the text – no version of the Jewish Bible has the words “he will be a Nazarene” concerning the Messiah and quoting a verse out of context (like the weeping in Bethlehem) and calling it “FULFILLMENT of prophecy” is something that Midrash never does – so Jim is NOT employing a double standard here

      Jim’s point is so obviously clear that the fact that you think it is the opposite is disappointing

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • CP says:

        R’B, items three and four above cast more than enough doubt on the authors statements concerning Matthew’s alleged untrustworthiness to legitimize item two. Granted it would be clearer if the order of items were reversed, but I followed the authors order as he presented his case.

        While I agree the ‘weeping in Bethlehem’ is a stretch, the use of Nazarene is not. This comes from Isaiah who is known for his play on words and double meanings. Nazer is a play on words with Nazeroth and used by Isaiah in Messanic passage. (I’m fairly sure you already know this) Therefore with all due respect, even if it can be construed as a bit kabbalistic rather than drash, (which it shouldn’t considering Isaiah’s use of words) I think it is a double standard to accuse Matthew of malicious mishandling of Scripture because he interpreted a messianic text with the word “nazer” knowing Yeshua came from Nazeroth and made a connection.

        R’B, I feel bad this disappoints you. I am testing everything. I’ve tested Christianity and am the first to admit Christianity has been perverted. For me just about all of Christianity has fallen away, yet the historical Yeshua still stands. People may accuse me of shoring up pre-held beliefs, unwilling to let loose of them, but the truth is I’ve let loose of so so so many things, now I’m closer to Judaism that Christianity. Therefore I’m puzzled when people say I am just holding on, stubborn or closed minded. I don’t know what to say, except if there wasn’t something to Yeshua he would be easy to disprove, which hasn’t been the case.

        • CP With word plays such as these anything could mean anything. Matthew uses this word play to prove a point – dishonest.

          As for my disappointment and your ability to accept truth – people who have no affinity to Jesus see Jim’s argument as a powerful blow against Matthew’s testimony – I would have expected you to say that this story was a later redaction – not to defend it I agree that I have a bias as well – but it is very easy for me to discard an argument that doesn’t work because I have hundreds that do – it would have cost me nothing to tell myself or to tell Jim – “this argument doesn’t work”

          1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

        • cflat7 says:

          CP,

          “…yet the historical Yeshua still stands.”

          Do you really have the historical Yeshua? Don’t you just have your opinion of which parts of the NT aren’t redacted? So if there is any standing, it doesn’t seem like it is on very solid ground.

          And can you honestly say there is real standing? I contintue to be amazed at how you are able to reject solid argument after argument. It seems like you are holding on to a tiny thread in the face of a hurricane. I must say, though, you are sure holding on tightly. 🙂

          • TRM says:

            Throughout the ages, all those who read the bible thought they had the real historical Jesus. Of course, the real historical Jesus changed from Baby Jesus, European Jesus with blue eyes, reformed Jesus, Cave-man Jesus (the one scientific still believe) to rabbi Yeshua with a yamulke and payot. It could be actually hard to pin-point how Jewish people were in the time of Jesus, so to say that you have the historical Yeshua is a bit far-fetch… Even his sayings are in some extent impossible to totally understand. Many part of the history and traditions were not written down and some were lost with time…

          • CP says:

            cflat7, you’ve asked; “Do you really have the historical Yeshua? Don’t you just have your opinion of which parts of the NT aren’t redacted?”

            To reply: Any serious endeavor requires study, the more serious, the more study. Granted, it is a temptation to resort to a comfortable opinion, a temptation I resist at all costs. I’ve discovered enough evidence to reject Christian systematic derived doctrines, however I have Not discovered enough evidence to warrant a wholesale rejection of the historical Yeshua.

          • CP says:

            TRM, you stated: “Even his sayings are in some extent impossible to totally understand.”

            Did you know from the Texts we have it can be shown not only did Yeshua observe and teach Torah, but surprisingly observed and kept the traditions of the elders; basically parts of the Talmud before they were written down.

            This says a lot when it comes to the historical Yeshua!

          • TRM says:

            I know that… he kept some and rejected some. In what extent he expect his follower to follow the oral law is debatable. Most people think that they figured it out, but without clear guidance, it makes it hard to follow…

          • cflat7 says:

            CP,

            “I have Not discovered enough evidence to warrant a wholesale rejection of the historical Yeshua.”

            But to be in this position to reject him, there must have been some powerful evidence to at some point accept him (ie the opposite of your mission to find reasons to reject). Hopefully your evidence at that time was more than emotional response to possibly imagined reality. Otherwise, you ought to be in a neutral position now, rather than so heavily entrenched on the acceptance side.

            As an aside, based on the comments of yours that I have read in this blog, here is a summary of your current position:

            -Jesus probably existed and was the “first-coming” Messiah.
            -He isn’t part of the trinity, ie not God, and only Hashem is to be worshipped.
            -He wasn’t a human sacrifice for atonement since it isn’t required for forgiveness, and a human sacrifice is invalid for atonement anyway.
            -Jesus isn’t to be worshipped but should be given respect and thanked for his first-coming accomplishment of leading people to Torah and worship of Hashem.

            If any of this is wrong, or if something is missing, please adjust.

          • CP says:

            TRM says:
            January 19, 2017 at 12:28 pm
            “I know that… he kept some and rejected some…..”

            TRM, that’s what I believed until recently. Aside from the differing schools of Rabbinic thought, I’m pretty sure he rejected nothing.

          • cflat7 says:

            CP,

            I have updated your position here:

            https://workflowy.com/#/dfb606339c24

          • cflat7 says:

            Oops… wrong URL… I’ll correct later.

          • LarryB says:

            cflar7
            For the purposes of what your doing I’m not sure if the reason to accept Jesus matters. But CP states that one of the main reasons to accept Jesus is for the gift of the Holy Spirit. What ever that is. If that is incorrect I hope he corrects me and hopefully expand on it at this time.

          • CP says:

            cflat7, thanks for the list, I probably should of made one before now, lol. I was surprised how spot on you were! It did get me thinking, I tweaked a few things and added some. Although I agree with #7, there is more to be said about God’s reasoning for Yeshua’s death, I just don’t have it all worked out, (hopefully) yet. Btw, the workflowy app looks pretty cool!

            1) Yeshua existed and was the “first-coming” Messiah.
            2) He was a Torah observant Rabbi.
            3) Although his teaching and style was cutting-edge and controversial he taught an oral Talmud as did his contemporaries.
            4) Although his teachings are extant and reliable, it is extremely doubtful all his ‘exact’ words have survived.
            5) Because of differences in time, languages and cultures he is misunderstood by many.
            6) He isn’t part of the trinity, ie not God, and only Hashem is to be worshipped.
            7) He wasn’t a human sacrifice for atonement since it isn’t required for forgiveness, and a human sacrifice is invalid for atonement anyway.
            8) Jesus isn’t to be worshipped but should be given respect and honor properly due Messiah. Hashem alone is to be worshiped as God.

          • CP says:

            LarryB, I agree, I think the Holy Spirit is one of the main reasons to accept Yeshua. However, it must be pointed out; (for the sake of discussion) let’s say Yeshua is indeed the first advent of Messiah. Then the reason becomes; it is only right, proper and lawful to accept him as Messiah. To do otherwise would be fighting God’s plans and God himself.

          • TRM says:

            “Then the reason becomes; it is only right, proper and lawful to accept him as Messiah. To do otherwise would be fighting God’s plans and God himself.”

            But if he is not a lawful messiah, then it would be wrong to accept him, and you would only be fighting God’s plans and God himself by accepting a messiah who is not the true messiah….

          • CP says:

            TRM, you write:
            “But if he is not a lawful messiah, then it would be wrong to accept him, and you would only be fighting God’s plans and God himself by accepting a messiah who is not the true messiah….”

            TRM;
            Only if he taught things explicitly contrary to Torah. I don’t think God is as nit-picky as people make Him out to be. They think he is nit-picky because they fail to realize He sees into the hearts and motives of people.

            However, let’s imagine if we will…..
            …….. Yeshua is not the Messiah, but you believed he was. At the end you go before God.

            God asks you; “Why did you believe this guy was Messiah?”
            You respond;
            “As far as could tell, He lived your instructions, taught your instructions, didn’t teach contrary to Torah, he made the blind see, the lame walk and rose the dead, changed people’s lives for the good, said he was Messiah, died for his faith, it was reported he rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and he said he was coming back in the latter days to complete his work.”
            God asks;
            “Did you worship him in the place of Me?”
            You respond with the Shema then say;
            “Most Holy and High God, I only thought he was Your Messiah, Your agent sent from You, not a replacement for You.—- wa wa was he not Messiah? I was wrong?”
            God responds;
            “Yes, you were mistaken”
            Trembling you ask;
            “Did I lose my life with You in the world to come?”
            God challenges:
            “Child you know my Torah, you know the answer”
            Unable to think or speak for the prospects whirling in your mind, God compassionately speaks;
            “Yes, you were mistaken, many of my children are mistaken about many things, But you’ve kept my Torah, you see; a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. Welcome to the world to come.”

            Now contrast with a different question, Yeshua is Messiah and you refused to believe?

            God asks;
            “Why didn’t you believe my Messiah, the one I sent to you, the one who Moses, the Prophets and the Writings foretold, the one who died a terrible death just to bring a personal message from Me to you? Why didn’t you believe him?

            At this point you can add the multitude of answers given on these Blogs and in the Comments, but if you’ll notice, every one of the reasons for not believing has a common theme; ‘God didn’t present Messiah in the way (I) expected from Scripture’. If Yeshua is Messiah, then these answers become an attempt to shift the blame off one’s self and on to God…….how do you think that’s going to go over?

          • cflat7 says:

            CP,

            Yeah, Workflowy is a great tool, I can’t think of how I could do without it. Since you can get a free account, I’ll leave it for you to maintain your list. 🙂

      • my friend cp, i have an off topic question.
        notice that in the gospel of mark, a man without any super natural abilities tells the women to inform the disciples that they should head to galilee because jesus is making his way there

        my question is, why would one listen to the words of a man in the tomb to make a lengthy journey to galilee?

        is there not proof here that mark already knew of stories in which the deciples already ran off to galilee without knowing of

        1. empty tomb
        2. words of women (they said nothing to anyone)

        is there not a possibility here that every writer AFTER mark needs a reunion in jerusalem because they knew of stories that the disciples ALREADY shot of to galilee?

        instead of “taking up the cross” they left their leader and legged it to galilee.

        • CP says:

          mr.heathcliff, sorry short on time right now, but quickly:
          You’ve said: “words of women (they said nothing to anyone ”

          In context; it is implied they said nothing to anyone outside their circle of close friends. They would of told the disciples. In other words they didn’t ‘go around telling everyone’.

          • “they would of told the disciples”

            sorry , that has been refuted

            i quote :

            In GMark is an often repeated grammatical construction with the sense of

            – not … except
            – nothing … except
            – no one … except

            A few examples

            2:26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but (εἰ μὴ) the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?”

            5:37 And he allowed no one to follow him except (εἰ μὴ) Peter and James and John the brother of James.

            6:4 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except (εἰ μὴ) in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.

            6:5 And he could do no mighty work there, except (εἰ μὴ) that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them.

            6:8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except (εἰ μὴ) a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts—

            9:8 And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but (εἰ μὴ) Jesus only.

            9:9 And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until (εἰ μὴ ὅταν) the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

            9:29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but (εἰ μὴ) prayer.

            10:18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except (εἰ μὴ) God alone.

            11:13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but (εἰ μὴ) leaves,

            13:32 But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but (εἰ μὴ) only the Father.

            3) So, what do you think?

            If Mark wished to say that the women said nothing to anyone except Peter and the other disciples, how would he have written it?

            A – And they said nothing to anyone
            or
            B – And they said nothing to anyone except (εἰ μὴ) Peter and the other disciples

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

            quote :

            Note that the underlying Greek is a double negative. In general in Greek and specifically for “Mark” (author) the double negative is used for emphasis. So here, a better translation would be, “They did not tell anyone. Yes, I mean “anyone”.” Trying to avoid all the supporting context is pathetic/comical. So Hurtado deserves something more than a spanking.

            ///////////

  8. Jim says:

    CP,

    In answer to your comment here: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/matthew-admits-that-jesus-was-never-resurrected-by-jim/#comment-32856

    In your response to my article you have raised several objections. To avoid a too lengthy comment, I will answer your points each in an individual comment, beginning with your comments on ‘Why the Priests believed’. I argue that the priests in Acts 6:7 believed in the resurrection, not because they witnessed the resurrected Jesus but because of the preaching of the disciples. You have responded that I make a pretense to knowledge that I do not and cannot have.

    I find it interesting that you do not mention that just a little while ago, just over two weeks, you wrote this:

    “Acts 6:7 says a “large number” of priests believed after the resurrection. This implies the sign [of Jonah] was given to a large number of priests” (https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/the-pharisees/#comment-32469).

    As I pointed out then, this interpretation relied upon a distortion of the text. But what is interesting is that your speculation is “information that [you] could Not possibly have.” And yet you present this rebuttal as if you did not so recently engage in this speculation, a speculation that you admit was reading into the text: “I don’t disagree I’ve read into the text for the “reason” a large number of priests believed. But being priests it is not unacceptable to assume they were exposed to a little more than the teaching of the disciples” (https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/the-pharisees/#comment-32531). To quote you: “This is not proof, it is opinion; first Red Flag.”

    No, you do not mention that you were involved in such speculation just fifteen days ago. Nor do you mention that when you realized that you had insufficient proof that Jesus fulfilled the Sign of Jonah that you declared the passage in Matthew where Jesus offers the Sign of Jonah to be a redaction. In the interest of fair play, it would have been good of you to mention both that you engaged in speculation regarding the priests and that when you were unable to substantiate your admitted eisegesis, you declared that part of Matthew invalid that you found inconvenient.

    Now, we have two possibilities before us. Either, the priests in Acts 6:7 believed in the gospel because they saw a risen Jesus, or they believed for some other reason. We must examine the evidence to see which of these two possibilities is most reasonable, even most in line with the text.

    Our first consideration will be when these priests believed. It is not mentioned at all in the gospels that they believed. It is not mentioned before the day of Pentecost. It is only mentioned after the disciples have been preaching for some time. Indeed, it is mentioned after they have had time to collect the belongings of new believers and distribute food to widows, some of whom were not receiving distribution fairly. I contend—and what reasonable soul could object—that if the priests believed the gospel because they had seen a risen Jesus, the passage would most likely have occurred much earlier in Acts or in the gospels. By placing the story so late, it does not relate their belief to the resurrection.

    Already it is not reasonable to speculate that the priests believed because they saw the risen Jesus. But if we look at the chapter, we shall see that your speculation is empty. The chapter begins: “Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number…” (Acts 6:1). This establishes a context of the time during which the apostles were preaching and making a large number of disciples. (Surely you do not believe this increase was from new witnesses coming forward, not if you have read Acts 1-5.)

    Then the verse in question comes up: “The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7). From this verse, you have implied that no one can know why the priests came to faith. This would be “information [I] could Not possibly have.”

    I notice that when you used this verse to support your speculation that these priests saw the resurrected Jesus, you did not quote the first part of the verse. Indeed you only quoted the phrase “large number” as if that was the salient point to your argument. From the number of priests, you tried to force upon the passage what was not implied in the text, taking terrible license. One wonders why you did not quote the first half of the verse.

    Certainly, it is inconvenient for you. After all, it talks about the spread of the message of the disciples and how many people believed. And then it says that these priests became obedient to the faith as well. You treat this as if the verse gives no indication why the priests believed, and that I have invented from whole cloth the idea that these men did not come to faith by viewing a resurrected Jesus. (You also make up your own reason for them believing. Doing both of these things is a tremendous undertaking. I do not recommend it.)

    I begin to see why you wrote off the Sign of Jonah now. Between the two of us, we have presented two interpretations. Either the many priests of Acts 6:7 believed in Jesus because they saw his body, as you argued just over a fortnight ago. Or they believed due to some other reason, like preaching and miracles. Your proof was derived from the words “large number,” into which you poured an interpretation nowhere supported by the text. My proof is the entirety of the verse. In light of this evidence, it is clear that I am not the one offering rampant speculations. Indeed, you are the one peddling “information [you] could Not possibly have.” Your red flag is nothing but a false flag.

    Jim

    • CP says:

      Jim, back when we were discussing the topic of ‘why priests believed’ I freely admitted reading into the text, also if youll notice; I said it “implied” and gave futher reasonings. This is far different than someone reading into the text without admitting they are, then drawing a conclusion as proof. I’ve always agreed we don’t know why they believed, yet you attempt to draw proof from an opinion on why they believed. I call foul.

  9. Jim says:

    CP,

    Continuing to respond to your comments here: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/matthew-admits-that-jesus-was-never-resurrected-by-jim/#comment-32856 .

    Your second red flag is that I “ask [the reader] Not to be neutral or unprejudiced.” By calling out the dishonesty of Matthew, I call into question his testimony, which “directs the reader exactly how to read the material [I am] presenting.” However, by ignoring the context of my comments, you have negatively colored them. Indeed, I have quite reasonably applied a standard of critical analysis to Matthew’s words.

    The original context of my comments is in answer to your contention that the Jewish leaders had plenty of evidence of a resurrected Jesus, one of the proofs being the passage in Matthew that is under discussion: “We find in Matthew 28:3-4 & 11, Acts 12:19 &16:27 ample first hand evidence given to the religious leaders. They knew, but refused to let themselves believe” (https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/conversation-a-note-from-jim/#comment-29404).

    Because Matthew is attributing to the Jewish leadership the knowledge that something remarkable happened at the tomb and attributing to them also the perfidy of bribing the guards to hush up the matter, it is incumbent upon the reader to test the claim. He can ask himself, how does Matthew know this? Who told him? Surely they did not discuss these matters before him. One can also ask, and should ask, is Matthew a trustworthy source?

    Too often the Christian takes what the gospels say about the Pharisees as true. Indeed, they quote something from the gospels that the Pharisees said as if it were the Pharisees’ testimony themselves. “Even the Pharisees admitted…” But they do not have the testimony of the Pharisees, only second and third hand information. It is possible that some of this information was even fabricated.

    Unfortunately, very few means exist by which one can test the claims of the NT. The reader can accept its claims uncritically, of course. But this would be to exercise the bias that you would have us avoid. It would be to adopt a stance that could not be verified. Indeed, the Christian reader is constantly asked to accept uncritically its claims about the Jewish leaders of the time. The gospels set up a constant bias against them.

    If one is to read the books critically but fairly, it is reasonable to inquire into the honesty of the authors. This is not to set up a bias. It is the duty of the reader. And, if the reader finds that the author or book is unreliable, he cannot then go on to attribute falsity to the opponents of the book based on the testimony of the dishonest materials.

    It is of the greatest relevance to Matthew’s claims whether or not he is a liar or if the book is full of misinformation. If the book proves to be false on many matters, then one has good reason not to trust the account of the hush money and not to attribute willful disbelief to the Jewish leaders. The integrity of Matthew is a matter of great importance in analyzing his claims.

    And you have yourself already argued that Matthew is an unreliable text. Indeed, you take out whatever bits do not suit you. Most recently you removed the Sign of Jonah from the text. I wrote that Matthew lied from the very beginning of the book, and I will support that contention in subsequent comments. However, it is important to note that you agree that the beginning of Matthew is most likely false, writing: “As to Matthew, yes it has some problems, I speculate the first two chapters were added later. There is a Hebrew copy of Matthew which testifies to such a possibility” (https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/conversation-a-note-from-jim/#comment-29417).

    Since you count the book as untrustworthy, you have no means of proving whether or not the account of bribing the guards happened. It might just be another of your redactions. Perhaps a later author wished to malign the Jewish leadership due to their resistance to the Christian message. Indeed, this shows that the bias is not mine; it is yours. Reading a book you hold to be tainted, you assume the perfidy of the Jewish leaders because you are already biased against them.

    And if we consider our methodologies, we do see that your methodology relies upon prejudgment and bias. You assume the worst of the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders, and you judge them by the words of others. On the other hand, I judge the Book of Matthew by itself. I judge it, not by what others have said about it, but according to its own words.

    The bias is yours. While you have asserted that I attempted to prejudice the reader, all I have done is point out the obvious, that Matthew, being untrustworthy, cannot be considered a reliable witness, particularly in regard to the Jewish leadership. Since you also do not consider Matthew reliable, you have no basis for accepting his account of the bribing of the guards. Matthew would have us believe that the Jewish leaders were corrupt and untrustworthy. But indeed, because Matthew is corrupt and untrustworthy, Matthew is an unreliable witness.

    Jim

    • CP says:

      Jim, basically your post (which I read twice) misrepresents my position on Matthew and asks me to reject textual criticism in favor of the circular reasoning; ‘Matthew is dishonest, therefore what is recorded is untrue, what is recorded is untrue, therefore Matthew is dishonest.
      I’m pretty sure I’ve said before that I believe in the infailablity of the Gospels but not the inerrancy of the Gospels.
      You throw the baby out with the bath water just as you threw out the Jewish Yeshua with Greek/Roman Christianity.

      • Dina says:

        Jim, I thought you might like to know that dictionary.com defines “inerrant” as “infallible.” Also, thesaurus.com gives “inerrant” as a synonym for “infallible.”

        When people make up their own definitions to English words, it makes discussion a bit difficult, don’t you agree?

        • Southern Noahide says:

          Dina, you beat me to it! I think we must have been on the dictionary.com webpage at the same time, lol. I have heard of pig latin and newspeak, now we have a new one called cpspeak.

          • CP says:

            Noahide, I’d be happy to explain this, but since it seems ya’ll are more interested in poking fun at what you don’t understand rather than having a meaningful discussion, why should I take the time?

          • TRM says:

            For the sake of the others… who want to know, can you explain?

          • CP says:

            TRM,
            Thanks for being interested, rather than copying/pasting definitions, I’ll explain in my own words how I understand this.

            If you’ll notice both the Tanach and the Christian Scriptures have little errors here and there. These errors are meaningless errors of number counts, names, places, order of events etc… Go to any atheist web site and they’ll give you plenty because they think this is some great smoking gun proving the Bible wrong and therefore the non-existence of God. But they are wrong, because they as so many religious people, have this odd notion the Bible is God, when in fact the Bible is given by God, through men and preserved by men. God is God.

            This is why the Bible is Not “inerrant” — or without error.

            However, the Bible is Infallible. The Bible is given by God, Inspired by God and protected by God as His word to us. There is nothing written in the Bible to lead us in the wrong direction; no false doctrines, no erroneous teachings. For example the Bible doesn’t teach necromancy, child sacrifice, other Gods, etc…. But always teaches what is right, it is the word of God.

            This is why the Bible is “Infallible” — it never fails to communicate God’s message correctly.

          • Dina says:

            Southern Noahide, I don’t like to wave my credentials around, but I have a degree in English, taught the subject, worked as an editor, and am a New York Times bestselling author. I say this not to brag, but to explain that I do understand word nuances and connotations. CP’s logic doesn’t work here.

            This is especially so given the kind of errors we have pointed out (not grammatical ones or minor ones) and errors that mislead people into idolatry and Jew hatred.

          • CP says:

            Dina,
            Your credentials are quite impressive, thank you for sharing. You appear to be qualified to expand the accused error. It would of been excellent to spend some ink on the latter in addition to the former.

          • Jim says:

            Dina and Southern Noahide,

            You both brilliantly draw our attention to the problems of jargon, and I thank you for this.

            Jargon is a distraction for a few reasons:

            1. It allows one disputant to dismiss the arguments of another. By introducing jargon of which the other party does not make use, the disputant is able to label his interlocutor “unnuanced.” He shows to himself that he need not listen to others, because they do not truly understand the issues, his conclusion based on their not using words in the specialized way that he does. This effectively ends discussion, as the disputant that introduces jargon into the conversation believes he no longer need hear the other.

            2. Jargon distracts from the argument. One moves from discussing the actual ideas, the actual things to be discussed, and instead moves to wrangling over terms. The conversation no longer moves forward, as one side insists upon the adoption of terms uniquely understood.

            This is what is happening here. The terms “inerrant” and “infallible” were not part of the original discussion. No clarification was needed on them. By introducing these specialized terms, CP moved the discussion away from whether or not Matthew is a reliable witness to the events of Matthew 28. This enabled him to dismiss his opponents as insufficiently knowledgeable and to move the discussion to the differences between two terms irrelevant to the discussion.

            And they are irrelevant. As Dina pointed out, none of the problems with Matthew under discussion have to do with what CP terms ‘inerrancy,’ “meaningless errors of number counts, names, places, order of events etc…” Introducing them has moved away from the actual topic. Now, instead of discussing ideas, one is lured into discussing whether ‘inerrant’ and ‘infallible’ are synonymous or whether or not a distinction exists between them so that the gospels could be termed one and not the other. But the kinds of errors under discussion are not “number counts, names, places, order of events etc…” Indeed, some of the passages CP counts as insertions into the NT, he counts so just because they are doctrinally difficult. Therefore, introducing this distinction of terminology serves no purpose to the discussion.

            To be sure, clarity is desired. If two people believe they are talking about the same thing, but they are not, they waste their time and create for themselves nothing but confusion. But the introduction of jargon does not create clarity; it serves as a distraction. When specialty terms are introduced into a conversation where they did not previously appear and especially when a disputant begins insisting on the adoption of his meanings, one should be extra careful to hold on to the argument. He should not allow these distinctions to distract from the ideas themselves.

            Jim

      • Dina says:

        Jim, do you see a meaningful distinction between Webster’s definition of these two words:

        infallible–incapable of error
        inerrant–free from error

        Jim, do you agree that if a book is incapable of error then it follows that it will be free from error?

        • CP says:

          Dina, I would encourage you to study the distinctions. Your rejection although on the surface logical, it is superficial. – just get to the heart of it then you’ll understand.

    • KAVI says:

      Jim,
      Does it seem logical that Matthew would “admit” Yeshua was never resurrected since he speaks about a risen Mashiach?
      _______________________

      As to the main premise of your article–

      First, neither His disciples nor the Jewish leadership ever, ever expected Yeshua to rise from the dead.

      Again– not one person on the planet other than Yeshua Himself believed He would rise from the dead.

      From early in L-rd Yeshua’s ministry, the Jewish leadership was focused on putting Him to death. They not only were jealous of Him, they also were concerned His life put their nation at risk of Roman conquest. Achieving the death of Yeshua was their sole focus– and even though L-rd Yeshua said He would rise after three days– why should anyone believe such a “foolish” story?

      So, once the crucifixion of Yeshua achieved their primary goal, the next concern shifted to the possibility that Yeshua’s disciples might steal the body from the tomb in order to create a resurrection story– hence they decided to place guards to watch over the tomb.

      When a supernatural event foiled their plans and the tomb was found to be empty– the Jewish leadership met to devise a “Plan B”– and they found their best option was to play politics with the people and expeditiously use the guards as false witnesses to espouse a believable lie rather than have guards spouting the far less believable truth of a supernatural event.

      All in all, the Jewish leadership acted wisely– and they risked nothing by bribing the guards. Why?
      ** No one believed Yeshua would rise from the dead– it was a complete impossibility
      ** The guards did not see Yeshua come out of the tomb
      ** The tomb was empty
      ** Obviously Yeshua was not walking about in Jerusalem showing that He was alive and well
      ** Theologically, the Sadducees did not believe in a resurrection
      ** Theologically, although the Pharisees did believe in a resurrection, their concept of such did not apply to the Mashiach
      ** The guards provided an expedient means to prove the worries of the Jewish leadership were correct– after all, who else other than the disciples would have a vested interest in stealing the body?

      Given these facts, the Sanhedrin could reasonably conclude their contrived story was far, far better than any story the disciples could make up.

      So how did Matthew know all what happened amidst the Sanhedrin? It’s reasonable to understand such knowledge came directly from Jewish leaders– for example, Matthew himself speaks well of Joseph of Arimathea who was a member of the Sanhedrin– but we also could have Nicodemus or other Jewish leaders who believed that L-rd Yeshua is Mashiach.

      Last, the debate over “whose story is better” is one that has gone on for 2000-years. The crucial difference has been that HaShem’s original promise of a Redeemer [Genesis 3] in combination with the proper, accurate prophecies in the Tanakh provide a reasonable, logical testimony that the Mashiach is L-rd Yeshua.

      ____________

      By the way, from what I see, the resurrection of Yeshua fulfills the “Sign of Jonah” quite well…

      ** Q: Who witnessed Jonah in the belly of the fish for three days and nights?
      A: Nobody– likewise, all we have is the witness of the Words written in the Tanakh and the spoken testimony of Yeshua’s followers regarding the details of the crucifixion and resurrection.

      ** Q: Who saw the fish vomit Jonah out onto the land?
      A: Nobody– likewise, no one saw L-rd Yeshua rise from the tomb.

      ** Q: Did Jonah need to reveal himself to Israel after his “resurrection” from the fish?
      A: No, G-d did not require any such thing– likewise, Yeshua need not reveal Himself to the Jewish leadership or the people of that evil generation.

      ** Q: Who believed the preaching of Jonah?
      A: Evil Ninevites– likewise, while not by any means excluding Jews, L-rd Yeshua has primarily been received by the evil Goyim for their redemption unto the Holy, Echad Elohim [thus fulfilling the prophecies G-d gave through Noah, Moses, Isaiah, and others].

      ____________

      • CP says:

        FINALLY!!!
        An logical account of the resurrection! Thank you KAVI
        And no Jews were slandered in the making of your Comment, excellent!

      • LarryB says:

        KAVI
        I got to admit that was one of the best comparisons I have ever read about Jesus and Jonah, Wow, just one thing you forgot to mention where Jonah told the others, like Jesus did, that he would be in the belly of the fish for three days and then return alive. The difference between the two stories was Johan’s prediction, repent or be destroyed came true Jesus did not. It gets better. When G‑d saw that they were sincere in their repentance and accepted it. Nineveh was saved. No Redemer necessary.

      • tony says:

        quote:
        First, neither His disciples nor the Jewish leadership ever, ever expected Yeshua to rise from the dead.

        Again– not one person on the planet other than Yeshua Himself believed He would rise from the dead.

        that’s complete and utter …..
        why do you guys make up things?
        people thought they would RISE from the DEAD even before jesus was born. just do some research on this. just buy a book or something.

      • tony says:

        “Achieving the death of Yeshua was their sole focus– and even though L-rd Yeshua said He would rise after three days– why should anyone believe such a “foolish” story?”

        you give good evidence that the miracles attributed to jesus were made up. if people saw a person raise people from the dead, walk on water, heal from a distance… would people doubt the ability to come back to life? no, i thought so. you give good evidence that the miracles attributed to jesus are inventions.

      • cflat7 says:

        “** Q: Who witnessed Jonah in the belly of the fish for three days and nights?”

        And of course there is the question of how you get three nights out of the period between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning (two nights: Friday’s and Saturday’s). And if he was resurrected before Sunday morning then there had only been two days (Friday afternoon and Saurday). I’ve read some jumping-through-hoops apologetic discussions about this including the idea that the crucification actually ocurred on Thursday, but I suppose there’s no need to rehash all that here, just noting that this comparison has other issues.

        • Pau summers says:

          Hi
          You need to read it through a Jewish perspective. They have part days, watches. A 24 hr day is made up of parts. The resurrection period is not 72 hrs in a gentile mindset.

      • tony says:

        “Achieving the death of Yeshua was their sole focus– and even though L-rd Yeshua said He would rise after three days– why should anyone believe such a “foolish” story?”

        yeah , why did pontius pilate need to give the jews a guard when nobody would believe foolish story? ”
        why do you need a guard, there is no way they believe in foolish stories and they won’t spread resurrection because the resurrection of jesus = foolish story. ”

        why didn’t pilate say to the jews that even jesus’ own close pals don’t believe in foolish stories and “instead of giving a guard i have much better things to do.” yes, it seems like the guard story was fiction and invented.

      • tony says:

        “the next concern shifted to the possibility that Yeshua’s disciples might steal the body from the tomb in order to create a resurrection story– hence they decided to place guards to watch over the tomb.”

        but they don’t believe in foolish stories and the guards would not be required at all. nobody would “create a resurrection story” because pilate would have told them that his own disciples don’t believe in foolish stories like the resurrection of jesus.
        they ran away and probably headed to galilee
        they probably got to galilee before and “resurrected ” jesus.

      • tony says:

        “When a supernatural event foiled their plans and the tomb was found to be empty– the Jewish leadership met to devise a “Plan B”– and they found their best option was to play politics with the people and expeditiously use the guards as false witnesses to espouse a believable lie rather than have guards spouting the far less believable truth of a supernatural event.”

        there was no “plan b” matthew made up a story .

        1. if christians were accused of robbing jesus, they would have been hammered right from the start about stolen body

        2. mark, luke, john and paul do not know anything about guards.

        3. when christians are interrogated in acts, the charge of stealing the body never comes up.

        4. if you can bribe guards easily , then the guards could have lied about anything they saw at the alleged empty tomb.

        • CP says:

          tony, you can just as easily dismiss Jonah ever being in the belly of a fish by claiming it was all made up, in fact there aren’t any witnesses to testify anything. — so what’s your point? The resurrection of Yeshua stands on firmer ground than Jonah’s

  10. Dina says:

    CP Reveals His Anti-Jewish Bias

    CP explained to Larry that if Jesus is really “the first advent of the messiah” then by rejecting him you are fighting against God’s plan. TRM fairly pointed out that if Jesus is not the messiah then by following him you are fighting against God’s plan.

    CP disagrees. The only people who get a fair play are those who accept Jesus in his “heads I win, tails you lose” mindset. (He displays this mindset with his redaction theory arguments, his claims that a particular passage doesn’t mean what it says but must be understood according to “drash,” and his illogical word plays to get out of tight corners like Matthew’s distortions–i.e., Christian scripture is infallible but not inerrant.) This time, his “heads I win, tails you lose” mindset reveals his anti-Jewish bias.

    In answer to TRM, CP imagines the following scenario (from his comment https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/matthew-admits-that-jesus-was-never-resurrected-by-jim/#comment-32895).

    A Unitarian Christian faces God after death and must answer to God concerning his acceptance of Jesus. The Christian explains that Jesus taught nothing contrary to Torah, performed some very kind miracles, and was, in short, such a righteous man–how could he not believe? God has compassion on him and welcomes him into heaven.

    So far, so good. Traditional Judaism believes that any well-meaning gentile who lives a good and moral life yet sincerely follows the wrong messiah (and even the wrong deity!) has earned God’s compassion and a place in the world to come. I would expand CP’s vision to include Trinitarian Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics–everyone and anyone who tried his best to do right.

    I cannot help wondering if the heaven of CP’s imagination has any room for Jews. He imagines a scenario where a Jew who wrongly rejected Jesus is challenged by God. CP cannot imagine that a Jew might reject Jesus out of love and loyalty to God. He stops short of sending the Jew to hell for using arguments such as those on this blog (which he cannot even articulate), but he leaves you with that implication.

    CP, for example, could not imagine the following scenario:

    God: Why did you follow Jesus, a false prophet and a false messiah?

    CP: He taught your Torah, he healed the sick, he was so very righteous and suffered so very much for You and died for You. Was I mistaken?

    God: CP, my child, I gave you a golden opportunity to interact with my firstborn son, whom I appointed as My witnesses and to Whom I entrusted My truth. Why did you disregard their words? Why did you search for the truth among writings preserved by the gentile nations whom I did not entrust with this task?

    CP: I’m really sorry, I thought they were spiritually blind and legalistic, using petty arguments as grounds for their rejection of Your servant.

    God: I know. I created you after all, and I gave you the challenges which made it difficult for you to see the truth. Difficult–but not impossible. Yet you lived a good life, clothed the naked, fed the poor, did your best and whatnot, so I will place you in the world to come, at the feet of Rabbi Blumenthal. For all eternity, you will listen to him studying, teaching, and expounding on My Torah.

    Okay, I kid, I kid. But joking aside, CP could not even imagine the following scenario, which for the sake of argument only, assumes the Jew is mistaken for rejecting Jesus:

    God: Why did you reject Jesus, my messiah? [I shudder to write these words, even as a pretense.]

    Jew: I believed he taught against the Torah, teaching that he is the only way to You, which is a foreign worship. I believed he failed to produce signs, which made him a false prophet according to Your instructions. I believed he introduced a new type of worship, which also made him a false prophet according to Your instructions. Moreover, he did not accomplish anything that the messiah was supposed to accomplish according to the words of Your prophets. His teachings led billions of people into hatred and persecution of Your Chosen People and into the sin of idolatry.

    God: Well, sorry, kiddo! You were wrong. The gentiles got the right idea, and the Jews got it wrong for 2000 years. But you lived a good life, and you rejected Jesus out of love for Me and loyalty to My teachings. Welcome to the world to come.

    In CP’s view, God will have mercy on those with mistaken belief in Jesus. But he cannot conceive of God having mercy on those who mistakenly reject Jesus.

    CP cannot imagine good motives for the Jew, I suspect, because of the influence of the Christian scriptures, which Rabbi B. writes about in his excellent article “The Guilt of Books.” The article is worth reading in its entirety, and can be found here: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/the-guilt-of-books/

    However, I take the liberty of quoting the last three paragraphs:

    “Perhaps you are still unconvinced. Perhaps you think that is a complete coincidence that the community that was so motivated to delegitimize the Jew produced a work of literature that does precisely that. You still want to cling to the belief that the Christian Scriptures say nothing negative about Jews who don’t believe in Jesus, and all of this negative talk refers to a very limited group of people or that it refers to all who don’t believe in Jesus without singling out the Jews in any way shape or form.

    “In case that is your belief, then I have a question for you. Why is it, that until today, people from the Jesus centered community find it difficult to acknowledge that the reason Jews cannot accept their claims for the Messiah-ship of Jesus is because they love God? Why is it so difficult for them to acknowledge that it is a loyalty to God and to His goodness that does not allow Jews to accept Jesus? Why can they not admit that they have yet to provide a convincing case for the Messiah-ship of Jesus to the Jew who loves God and who loves His word?

    “Is it perhaps because of the teachings of the book that they hold so sacred that prevents them from acknowledging this simple truth?” (my emphasis)

    • CP says:

      Dina,
      Thank you for posting the link so readers can see what was actually written. So they can see for themselves the word “Jew” is never mentioned or implied in the entire post. They will also be able to read first hand there is no declaration of judgement written for those who reject Yeshua as Messiah.

      Yet, my little post does bring up a question which I will expand below to specifically include Jews since this is the percieved direction you want to go.

      The question is how will God view rejection of His Messiah when one uses Scripture as the reason for rejection? Isn’t this an attempt to shift the blame to God for not writing Scripture in a way that I would accept Messiah? In other words; telling God its His fault for not writing Scripture in a way you’d accept it.

      Which brings us to the Orthodox Jew whose bulk of authoritative writings is larger than the Tanach itself. And the bulk of these authoritative writings are based on drash; deeper meanings of the Tanach. Yet the modern Orthodox Jew will only apply P’shat; the most simple literal meaning, to Messanic prophecies.

      So let’s try to imagine this from God’s point of view:
      You have a people who you’ve personally given your Torah. They have (as they should) dissected it, looked for deeper meanings on a multitude of levels using word plays, contrasting and similar ideas and concepts, numeric values of words, letters, etc… Yet when they come to a Messanic passage, the only acceptable modern meaning is strictly the literal meaning.

      Therefore the people who search for deeper meaning in every single letter of Torah reject Yeshua using the excuse; ‘Yeshua was not plainly written about ‘, ….Well, I don’t know about what you think, but I think something isn’t right and can’t help but think God sees it the same way.

  11. Dina says:

    Avodah Zarah, Foreign Worship: What Is It?

    The Torah defines avodah zarah, foreign worship, in several ways:

    1) a type of worship unknown to us and/or to our fathers (Deuteronomy 13:7, 29:25; 32:17).

    2) worship of any entity other than God (Exodus 20:3, Deuteronomy 5:7, Isaiah 45:5, Isaiah 43:11).

    3) any type of worship not taught to us at Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 4).

    Jesus taught, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and on one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6).

    This is a type of worship that was unknown to us and to our fathers and is also a type of worship that was not taught at Sinai. For those who believe that Jesus is also God, it is worship of an entity other than God. Therefore, it is avodah zarah, foreign worship.

    This teaching, which explicitly states that you need a man to get to God, contradicts the Torah. It also contradicts the explicit teaching that God is close to all who call to him with sincerity (Psalm 145:18).

    It really is that simple.

    CP would like you to believe otherwise. “I am the way,” he claims, means “The Torah is the way.” Of course, that is not what Jesus said. He clearly said that Jesus is the way. That is what the use of the personal pronoun means. To this, CP would say that we do not know what words were redacted in later, and the layers of meaning are too complex for people like me who cannot grasp subtle nuances and complexities in meaning and, that being the case, I am certainly too ignorant of redaction theory to appreciate its importance to understanding Jesus’s exact teachings.

    My friends, it’s a good thing God does not expect us all to be as brilliant and as learned as CP to uncover His truth. He taught all the basics of monotheism in His Torah, and it’s so easy to understand that a five-year-old can grasp it, let alone a simple layperson like me.

    Now CP has recently challenged me, saying that our worship has changed several times since the Torah was given, since having a Temple, then not having a Temple, having a sacrificial system, not having a sacrificial system.

    This is a fallacy.

    In Deuteronomy Chapter 12, we are told that when we enter the Land, God will show us a place where we are to bring our burnt offerings. God offers stern warnings about sacrificing anywhere else; we are to sacrifice to Him only in this particular place.

    Therefore, establishing a Temple for sacrificing to God and forbidding sacrifices anywhere else was not a new form worship that God did not teach us. God had already taught it to us; we only didn’t have the opportunity to perform the commandment until God appointed the time and the place–and lost the opportunity when He took away the place.

    When God took away our Temple, He made it physically impossible for us to continue this particular observance, since we are not allowed to sacrifice anywhere else. We did not announce, once the Temple was destroyed, that the sacrificial system was abolished. We hold that it was not abolished and is still binding, and we pray every day for its restoration so we can once again sacrifice to God in His Temple. We are still continuing to worship God according to the teachings of Moses by following His commandments of when and where to sacrifice or not sacrifice.

    To say that we have changed our worship because we no longer have the Temple is like saying that an amputee missing his arms has changed his worship because he cannot lay tefilin, or a feeding-tube patient has changed his worship because he cannot eat matzo on Passover.

    Our worship of God has not changed. He is One, He is alone, and we worship Him directly. That has never changed. That will never change.

    It really is that simple.

    • CP says:

      Dina, allow us to get right to the point which I believe you state below:

      “CP would like you to believe otherwise. “I am the way,” he claims, means “The Torah is the way.” Of course, that is not what Jesus said. He clearly said that Jesus is the way. That is what the use of the personal pronoun means.”

      Below I’ve posted a link to who Torah is interpreted:

      http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/819698/jewish/How-Is-the-Torah-Interpreted.htm

      In light of the above, I have a question for you:

      Since this is how Jewish writings are interpreted and the New Testament is Jewish writings, then why do you insist ONLY the literal interpretation is the acceptable one?
      Isn’t this a double standard?

  12. Dina says:

    How to Understand the Hebrew Bible

    In a previous comment titled “Avodah Zarah, Foreign Worship: What Is It?” (https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/matthew-admits-that-jesus-was-never-resurrected-by-jim/#comment-32905) I explained the Torah’s definition of foreign worship and why Jesus’s teaching about himself constitutes foreign worship according to the Torah.

    I warned that CP would have you believe that this teaching cannot be understood according to its plain meaning but according to “drash.” Sure enough, CP fired back a response asking why we allow this type of interpretation for some Jewish writings and not others, i.e., Christian scripture. Are we employing a double standard? he asks.

    To support his argument, CP cites an article from the Chabad website: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/819698/jewish/How-Is-the-Torah-Interpreted.htm.

    Few things are more ironic than an opponent citing a source that undermines his own argument. But first things first. CP seems to think that all Jewish writings are subject to the four levels of interpretation explicated in the Chabad article. This is not so.

    The only Jewish writings subject to traditional Jewish-style Biblical exegesis are the writings that we Jews accept as part of our canon of Hebrew Scripture. Other writings by Jews, such as Mesillat Yesharim (The Path of the Just by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto), are not subject to Biblical exegesis. Neither are random writings penned by Jews, such as, oh, say, The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx.

    But to make matters worse, the books of Christian scripture are not even Jewish writings. No one knows if the authors were actual Jews, and the authors of Luke and John were almost certainly not. Even Matthew, the most “Jewish” of all the evangelists, couldn’t get Hebrew scripture straight, and he mixed up Jewish customs in a way that would be hilarious if it hadn’t hurt the Jews so badly. In Matthew 6:2, he writes about the custom of the “hypocrites” to announce alms-giving with a trumpet call. This is a blatant lie, as the Pharisees stressed giving alms in secret.

    In fact, Matthew is confusing two customs. Charity was collected on Friday. Also, a trumpet was sounded on Friday to announce the approach of the Sabbath. (This custom is still followed today in Israel and in major Jewish communities such as those in New York; a siren goes off to alert the residents that it’s nearly time for candle lighting.) One can’t take Matthew seriously as a Jewish writer when he doesn’t even know basic Scripture and basic Jewish custom.

    There is no evidence anywhere in Jewish writings, history, or the Talmud that a trumpet was sounded to draw the beggars.

    Furthermore, the Christian scriptures, with the possible exception of Matthew, were originally written in Greek. The lingua franca of Jews at the time was Hebrew and Aramaic. (Some Jews were fluent in Greek, namely the wealthy Sadducees.) If the gospel writers wanted to target the Jews, they would have written in their language. But they wrote in the language of the gentiles; their writings targeted a gentile audience and–most importantly–were preserved by gentile nations.

    The case cannot be made that the Christian scriptures are Jewish writings.

    Let’s take a look at that Chabad article that CP proffered.

    The first level of interpretation is peshat, which the article explains thus:

    “Peshat is the simple interpretation of the Torah. When the verse says (Genesis 1:1) that “In the beginning G‑d created the Heaven and Earth,” it means exactly what it seems to mean, in a very literal sense” (my emphasis).

    It seems to have escaped CP’s notice that peshat is the primary meaning of the verse, which does not disappear or give way before any other type of Biblical exegesis.

    In fact, as the article illustrates with examples of other modes of interpretation on the same verse, those interpretations do not contradict the peshat, whose meaning remains intact. CP would like to use “drash” to dismiss the primary meaning of the problematic verses in his scripture. But if you want to use Jewish-style exegesis, be consistent and play by the Jewish rules. In CP’s world, where “drash” means you can interpret verses willy-nilly to make them say whatever you want them to say, words become meaningless.

    CP also ignored a basic rule when applying all the ways of interpreting Scripture, which the article he cited clearly states:

    “Any insight in Torah is acceptable as long as it (makes sense and) does not contradict any of our fundamental beliefs” (my emphasis).

    Jesus taught, in a pashut peshat manner, a teaching that constitutes avodah zarah and that contradicts the Torah: avodah zarah in the sense that you need a man to get to God, and a teaching that contradicts the statement in Psalm 145:18 that God is close to all who call to him sincerely.

    If drash, remez, or sod contradict the plain meaning it cannot be used as interpretation. If any of the interpretations contradict the Torah’s basic teachings, they must be wrong. Moreover, not every Jewish writing can be subject to Scriptural exegesis. Finally, the Gospel of John is not even a Jewish writing.

  13. CP says:

    Dina,
    Again to summarize your contentions you see a contradiction between:

    Psalm 145:18
    The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,
    To all who call upon Him in truth.

    John 14:5
    Thomas says to him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”
    Jesus says to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.

    I find it ironic you do look for a deeper meaning in the John verse in order to reject the plain meaning. In fact I’ve noticed it is the standard method of operation to search out and find a meaning, any meaning that would allegedly disprove Yeshua as Messiah.

    Yeshua is asked a question by Thomas; “how do we know the way?” Here is Yeshua modeling the way of Torah right in front of them, teaching them the truth of Torah and proving by the resurrection what he is doing brings life.

    But you’d rather interpret it as Yeshua is teaching people to worship him in the place of God when he is simply answering what he is doing, teaching and living is the way to God.

    You reject according to your own personal interpretation, declaring any other view of this passage invalid. I’m beginning to see a pattern emerge.

    • LarryB says:

      Anyone can say this.
      You “CP” reject according to your own personal interpretation, declaring any other view of this passage invalid. I’m beginning to see a pattern emerge.

      • CP says:

        LarryB,
        Quite the opposite, I’m not the one saying that the ONLY way to interpret this verse is in direct opposition to Torah. I’m saying there are other acceptable views but a rule of Scripture interpretation is; ‘if it’s all from God then it all must agree’.

        Therefore when a person consistently chooses the interpretation of verses from a body of Writings which disagree with Torah when there other acceptable interpretations it shows a bias toward that particular body of Writings.

    • LarryB says:

      6 Whoever serves me “Jesus” must follow me “Jesus” ; and where I “Jesus” am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me “Jesus”
      From the unitarian website”
      .“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and mankind, a man, Christ Jesus…”
      He is the only man whom God highly exalted as “Lord” and “Head of the Church,” and to whom God has given all authority in heaven and on earth (Dan. 7:13-14; Phil. 2:9; Acts 2:36
      He is the only man who is now the Mediator between God and mankind
      He is the only man who will gather together all Christians to meet him “in the air” (1
      He is the only man who will one day return to the earth, destroy all evil men (and eventually destroy Satan and his evil spirit cohorts), and rule the earth as King for 1000 years (R
      He is the only man who will raise from the dead every human being who has ever lived
      He is the only man who will judge all men and women of all time
      He is the only man who will restore on a new earth the Paradise that the First Adam lost
      H is the only man who is our Savior, our Redeemer, our Mediator, our Lord, our constant Companion, our Best Friend, our Big Brother, the Light of our lives, our Peace, our Joy, and our Mentor in the art of faith.
      He is the Lover of our souls, and that is why we love him and confess him as Lord
      This messiah sounds mighty god like and that sounds alot like worship to me.

      • Dina says:

        Yes, Larry, that is pure avodah zarah. That is a list that turns the stomach of all true believers in the one God of Israel.

        • CP says:

          Dina, you define the Messiah out of existence. Unless you worship the Messiah as king you will NEVER have a Messiah.

          • LarryB says:

            May I ask why we must worship any messiah as King and what you mean by King and King of what?

          • Dina says:

            Larry, the messiah is someone who will be anointed king (with a lower case “k”) who will rule over Israel during a time of universal peace etc. We will not worship him. One can only suppose that CP is so used to thinking of worship of Jesus that he automatically attributed that verb to our relationship with a king.

            This is the promise of Ezekiel 37:

            And My servant David shall be king over them [promise of an anointed king, which is the actual definition of messiah, who will actually rule over Israel], and one shepherd shall be for them all, and they shall walk in My ordinances and observe My statutes and perform them [promise of national resurgence of Torah observance]. 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 [promise to restore us to the Land]; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. And I will form a covenant of peace for them [promise of peace], an everlasting covenant shall be with them; and I will establish them and I will multiply them, and I will place My Sanctuary in their midst forever [promise to restore the Temple]. And My dwelling place shall be over them, and I will be to them for a God, and they shall be to Me as a people. And the nations shall know that I am the Lord [promise of universal knowledge of God], Who sanctifies Israel, when My Sanctuary is in their midst forever [promise of vindication of Israel] (37:24-28).

            Larry, I actually believe God means what He says, fancy that! Perhaps CP doesn’t, and that is why he thinks I have defined the messiah out of existence, to use his words. I didn’t define the messiah at all; let the words I quoted speak for themselves

          • CP says:

            Dina,
            You write this:
            “One can only suppose that CP is so used to thinking of worship of Jesus that he automatically attributed that verb to our relationship with a king.”

            You being a author with a book on the New York best seller list, fluent in modern Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew. In addition we’ve personally discussed the different levels of meaning for the word “worship”.

            Therefore you are left without excuse for purposefully exercising intellectual dishonesty; to know what I believe and to accuse me of the opposite. You ought to be ashamed of such behavior.

          • Dina says:

            Larry, here is something for you to take note of:

            I showed you Ezekiel 37 with all its messianic promises to show you that contrary to CP’s silly charge that I defined the messiah out of existence (to use his words), I actually believe God’s promises. These are not my words but the prophet’s. Instead of answering this point, CP engaged in a hateful and disgraceful ad hominem attack. This is a typical missionary tactic. It’s also the tactic of someone whose position is weak.

            These kinds of tactics must be exposed for what they are wherever they appear.

          • LarryB says:

            Dinah
            I have tried not to respond to this attack but since you bring it up…The first thing I noticed was his attack and blaming you for intellectual dishonesty. Had you said something like “Sadly it seems” or just “CP doesn’t” but you didn’t. You said “perhaps” and that left the door open for CP to explain further. Unfortunately your a woman and that seems to be a problem for him. But if it makes you feel better his “the pharisees didn’t show up for the party “resurection” tonight was off the hook. Talk about looking down his nose at Jim.

      • CP says:

        LarryB,
        When I posted that site as a favor to someone who specifically asked for it, I wrote a disclaimer saying I don’t agree with all of it.

        Why did I write a disclaimer? Because I thought some here couldn’t be trusted, and I have been proved right.

  14. Jim says:

    Kavi,

    Regarding your comments on the Sign of Jonah, found in the latter part of your comments here:

    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/matthew-admits-that-jesus-was-never-resurrected-by-jim/#comment-32924 .

    By drawing parallels between Jesus and Jonah, you come to the conclusion that Jesus fulfilled the Sign of Jonah “quite well”. However, this is obviously incorrect, inasmuch as it denies the essential property of a sign, which is that it can be seen.

    You compare the story of Jonah being in the fish, an unwitnessed event to which the only testimony is that of Tanach, to the story of Jesus’ resurrection, a largely unwitnessed event to which the only testimony is the preaching of Jesus’ followers. This superficial comparison ignores the great difference between the story of Jonah and the story of Jesus. Jonah did not offer his being swallowed by a fish only to be regurgitated after three days as a sign to people, while Jesus does offer his resurrection as a sign.

    Therefore, Jonah was under no obligation to reveal himself to Israel after emerging from the fish. Indeed, he was likely already a known prophet. However, Jesus was obligated to fulfill the sign once it was promised. At the time he said that he would fulfill the Sign of Jonah, he obligated himself to present himself after the resurrection as a test of his claims. Once he failed, his claims are proven empty.

    In offering a sign, Jesus was offering an observable event, just as any sign must be observable. Let us imagine that a sign can be an unknown event. Imagine Horace comes to you, telling you that his tree is the holy spirit manifested, the third member of the trinity. And he says that he received from God a prophecy that you are to worship the tree. And so you will know that he is a prophet of God, he will perform a sign: he will heal the cancer you have that you know nothing about. (Amazingly, when you go to the doctor, no trace of cancer is found.) Or, he says, this morning he walked on the pool in his backyard before you came over, and if you have faith in God, you will believe him.

    Indeed, time is irrelevant to an unobserved and/or unobservable sign. Jesus could have just said to the Pharisees that he had already been killed and risen from the dead after three days. It does not matter if the part that they did not see is the death or the resurrection. The fact is that something unobserved is not a sign. The Pharisees did not observe a resurrected Jesus. He did not fulfill the sign.

    It does not matter then whatever parallels you can draw between Jonah and Jesus. Non-Jews believed one and the other. This has nothing to do with the sign Jesus promised to the Pharisees. He never presented himself to the Pharisees after his resurrection. He did not fulfill the Sign of Jonah. Nearly two months later, his disciples claimed that he appeared to them in secret, an unobserved event—unobserved by those to whom the sign was promised. This does not fulfill the Sign of Jonah.

    Jim

    • CP says:

      Jim, you write;
      “In offering a sign, Jesus was offering an observable event, just as any sign must be observable”

      Jim, you fail to mention whose responsibility it is to observe the sign. Yeshua put it out there, they knew when and where he was crucified and buried. Yeshua told them ahead of time what was going to happen and it’s his fault they refused to believe him and show up at the tomb for the resurrection?
      They were told of a sign, invited to witness the sign and given the sign, it not Yeshua’s fault they didn’t come to the party.

      • Jim says:

        The critic only offers another excuse for the failure of Jesus to present himself after the resurrection. He attempts to shift the blame. This is just another admission that Jesus did not fulfill the Sign of Jonah.

        • CP says:

          Jim, admission?
          Rather it is proof you are trying to put words in Yeshua’s mouth he didn’t say and make it Yeshua’s fault they didn’t believe him and show up for the sign. To top it off, you don’t consider the religious leaders could of been privy to something which wasn’t recorded for a multitude of reasons.

          I’m not saying you don’t have an argument, its just that it so weak in so many areas its difficult to take seriously.

          • CP Whose responsibility is it when a claim for prophecy is presented – is it the claimant’s responsibility to verify his/her claim or is it the skeptic’s responsibility to disprove it?

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • LarryB says:

        CP
        “Jesus” It’s not my fault, the invitations went out in plenty of time.!
        Specifically, the Bible says he will:
        Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
        Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
        Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)
        Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: “God will be King over all the world – on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One” (Zechariah 14:9).
        Cut and pasted from Aish

        • LarryB says:

          It not my fault.
          Build the third temple?
          They killed me before I could hire a contractor.
          Gather all Jews back to Israel?
          No air planes, and have I mentioned, they killed me.
          Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease.
          Common, these doctors think our veins are filled with air and, THEY KILLED ME!!!, There wasn’t time. I promise, I’ll be back!

        • CP says:

          Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
          [Third Temple materials currently being built and made ready from donations from a coalition of Jews and Christians]

          Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
          [Currently happening as a indirect result of Yeshua]

          Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)
          [This is a latter day/millennium and second advent prophecy]

          Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: “God will be King over all the world – on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One” (Zechariah 14:9).
          [This is a millennium prophecy

          LarryB, I don’t know why you persist with this line of logic, knowing Yeshua only fits a two advent model.

          • LarryB says:

            Hey, if you got a problem with my posts take it up with Aish, I’m sure they would laugh as much as me when you shifted the blame like Jim mentioned. Actually I thought you were joking. Apparently you weren’t, well like your Christians friends like to say, we all got our cross to bear.

      • CP You mean this seriously? The Pharisees are at fault because they didn’t show up at the tomb? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

        • CP says:

          Yes, in a roundabout way. The text says the sign would be given to the evil generation, no one is singled out ahead of time for personal visitation. Put yourself in Yeshua’s shoes; you told them what was going to happen, they killed you and they expect a personal visit when they could of come out on the third day to see for themselves?

          Let’s look at it a different way: They put enough time and effort in to get him arrested, tried and executed but they couldn’t be bothered to take a short Sunday morning walk out to the tomb where the sign was promised to happen? — Yes, I’m serious.

          • “Let’s look at it a different way: They put enough time and effort in to get him arrested, tried and executed but they couldn’t be bothered to take a short Sunday morning walk out to the tomb where the sign was promised to happen? — Yes, I’m serious.”

            when the angel roles away the stone no body walks out of it. strong indication that body was already being transported to galilee

            aren’t your words indirectly refuting matthews version? you seem to be saying that the jews didn’t even need to go to pilate to request guards because they already went out of their way to get him killed.

      • “They were told of a sign, invited to witness the sign and given the sign, it not Yeshua’s fault they didn’t come to the party.”

        sorry, but you are making things up.
        according to marks text jesus was already making his way to galilee.
        you contradict marks version of the story .

  15. Dina says:

    Context Matters–Except When It Doesn’t

    CP changes his argument to support his avodah zarah as fast as a chameleon creeping through the rainforest changes its colors.

    To defend Jesus’s teaching that he is the way, the truth, and the life and the only way to God, CP used the redaction theory argument, the “drash” argument, the imputing-nefarious-motives-to-Dina argument, and now that they have all failed, the context argument.

    One of the things that drives Jews nuts when discussing proof texts with Christians is the Christian propensity for ripping verses out of context to force a Christological meaning.

    The context of a verse or phrase can change its meaning entirely. For example, one can say that Hebrew Scripture itself testifies that there is no God, as it explicitly states, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1). Of course, if you view this phrase in context, the preceding words, “The fool says in his heart” completely changes the meaning.

    In fact, Christians isolate a later verse in this chapter to prove that no one does good: “no one does good, not even one.” They ignore the earlier verse that shows the narrator is still the fool.

    John does this in Chapter 19, where he writes that Jesus drank vinegar to fulfill the prophecy in Psalm 69:22: “They put gall into my food and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”

    Of course, Christians ignore the fact that the same narrator bemoans his guilt in verse 6, while Jesus is supposed to be sinless. A good while back, I pointed this out to Eric and Paul. Both gave me the same answer: we’re not saying that every single verse in the “OT” refers to Jesus (although only one chapter was under discussion). Just one verse here and one verse there. Cherry picking is cool when it suits your purpose.

    But sometimes a verse can stand apart from its context. For example, the meaning of the statement “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One” doesn’t change in or out of context. “You shall not murder” does not change its meaning in or out of context.

    Does context matter in Jesus’s statement, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but through me”?

    Not only does the context not help CP’s cause, it undermines it. CP claims that I have used my “personal interpretation” to find a “deeper meaning” other than the plain meaning in order to disprove Jesus. Let us see.

    The preceding verse says: “Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ ” (John 14:5, NIV)

    Thomas presents Jesus with a perfect opportunity to show humility and point the way to God rather than to himself.

    Moses asks a similar question in Deuteronomy 10: “And now, O Israel, what does the Lord, your God, demand of you?”

    Note that Moses does not say, “To follow me or to believe in me or I am the way etc.”

    Moses answers the question: “Only to fear the Lord, your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, and to worship the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul, to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes, which I command you this day, for your good.”

    Micah asks a similar question in Micah 6: “What does the Lord require of you?”

    And he answers: “But to do justice, to love loving-kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”

    When Thomas asked, “How can we know the way?” Jesus could have said, “The Torah is the way. Love and fear God, walk in his ways, dispense justice, give charity.”

    If Jesus wanted to send the simple message to follow the Torah, he sure used a strange and convoluted way to express it–an expression that led billions of people into the sin of idolatry–even Unitarian Christians, as Larry showed by quoting their beliefs about Jesus from a Unitarian website (more on that in just a moment).

    CP accuses me of rejecting the plain meaning over other interpretations (read: his interpretation) in order to give myself a reason to reject Jesus.

    There are two problems with this accusation:

    One: CP reveals his anti-Jewish bias because he cannot fathom that my motives for rejecting Jesus might have anything to do with love for and loyalty to God and Torah. (I discuss CP’s anti-Jewish bias at length here: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/matthew-admits-that-jesus-was-never-resurrected-by-jim/#comment-32904).

    I must therefore have ugly motives for rejecting Jesus. But really now! To suggest that I search for grounds to reject Jesus for some sinister reason is like suggesting that CP searches for grounds to reject Mohammed. I reject Jesus for the same reason I reject the leaders, prophets, and gods of all other religions: avodah zarah. (For my article on the definition of avodah zarah, see here: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/matthew-admits-that-jesus-was-never-resurrected-by-jim/#comment-32905).

    Two: Billions of Christians throughout the centuries understood this statement the way I do. So what is their reason for accepting the obvious meaning when other interpretations (read: CP’s interpretation) were available?

    This statement led Christians to believe the following:

    He is the only man who is now the Mediator between God and mankind.
    He is the only man who is our Savior, our Redeemer, our Mediator, our Lord, our constant Companion, our Best Friend, our Big Brother, the Light of our lives, our Peace, our Joy, and our Mentor in the art of faith.
    He is the Lover of our souls, and that is why we love him and confess him as Lord
    (cut and pasted from Larry’s cut-and-paste from a Unitarian website).

    If I understand something one way, it’s despicable. If billions of Christians understand it exactly the same way, it’s honorable. Heads I win, tails you lose?

    So, folks, the statement “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but through me” sounds grandiose and megalomaniacal out of context. It sounds even more grandiose and megalomaniacal in context.

    Context matters–except when it doesn’t.

    • CP says:

      Dina, I’ve explained this to you in multiple different ways, yet you are dead set not to understand because you think you really have something here.

      A few years ago I was traveling down Hwy 99 in heavy traffic. Suddenly I could see brake lights far ahead one after another and traffic slowing. When I reached the cause of the congestion and braking I could see a huge rock bigger than my truck dead center of the fast lane. Wondering how something so massive falling off a truck didn’t gouge the pavement and leave some debris I looked closer. It was a fiberglass landscape rock, so I eased the bumper of my truck to it and pushed it to the side of the road.

      Dina, your big rock is a fake. I’ll explain it to you one last time. This time as short and simply as I can: When Yeshua said he was ‘the way the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through him’, he was saying he was the Messiah, the living Word, the Living Torah.

      Since you don’t believe Yeshua is Messiah, you must look for another meaning. The one you’ve chosen is he is asking people to worship him in the place of the one true God. Even the immediate context shows this interpretation as absurd since the Father is identified as the goal.

      Simply put: Yeshua is declaring he is Messiah.

      • LarryB says:

        Dina
        Isn’t it the other way around? Since the Torah had been written and taught a very long time before Jeesus came on the scene, that it is Christians uni-Christians included, who don’t believe in the messiah as was taught at the time and who now look for another meaning. The meaning he has chosen IS the one people worship in the place of the one true God. The fact he doesn’t is irrelevant. The immediate context can and is looked at differently by Christians, including those who believe Jesus is God. In today’s lingo, Jesus is the Fake rock/messiah.

  16. Dina says:

    Clarity At Last!

    CP presents one final explanation of Jesus’s problematic teaching because he is disgusted, no doubt, with my uncanny ability to shred all his arguments. This works fine for me, because I get to have the last word. And, boy, do I dearly love to get the last word.

    Before we get started, please note that CP didn’t address any of my challenges. He swept them all away with the claim that they are as fake as a fiberglass rock. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that he didn’t explain why they are fake because he could not.

    The redaction theory argument failed, the “drash” argument collapsed upon scrutiny, the let’s-impute-nefarious-motives-to-Dina revealed his anti-Jewish bias, and the in-context argument broke apart and floated away like so many spores on a dandelion puff.

    Now CP offers again his original explanation, which I thought he’d abandoned because it makes the case so much worse for Christians. His explanation turns even Unitarianism into blatant avodah zarah (foreign worship, aka idolatry).

    CP starts with a false premise.

    The Messiah is the living, breathing Torah, the living word of God. Jesus is the Messiah. Ergo, Jesus is the Torah.

    So when Jesus says, “I am the way…and no one comes to the Father but through me,” he is saying that he is the Torah, and on one comes to the Father but through the Torah. He is also declaring that he is the Messiah.

    CP explains that because I think Jesus is not the Messiah, that’s why I think Jesus meant that Jesus is the way to God. If I accepted Jesus as the Messiah, then I wouldn’t have a problem with this teaching.

    My friends, have you spotted the false premise?

    Here it is: The Messiah, whoever he will be, will not be the Torah. The Torah is the Torah. The Messiah will be the Jewish king. A person cannot be the Torah.

    The Messiah will be a human being like you and me, only more righteous–though not necessarily the most righteous man in the whole world, and quite likely not the most righteous man ever (a quality that would be impossible for us to measure and which is not promised anywhere in the Hebrew Bible).

    CP has made up his own definition of the Messiah, one that is completely unbiblical. Folks, if you can find me one place in the Torah that teaches that the messiah is the word of God, or can be the word of God, or is the Torah, or can be the Torah, speak up now please!

    Let’s look at this another way. Following CP’s logic, the statement that “Jesus is the way” means what it plainly says still stands.

    The Torah is the way to God. Jesus is the Torah. Ergo, Jesus is the way to God.

    Folks, what am I missing here? If Jesus and Torah are interchangeable, why does CP get so frustrated when I insist that Jesus said that Jesus is the way to God?

    Very simply, Jesus made a statement that no human being, not even the Messiah, has a right to make. It is an idolatrous statement. It is avodah zarah.

  17. Jim says:

    Pau,

    Among your defenses for why Jesus did not show himself to the Pharisees is the notion that they would not have believed in him anyway. I would like to discuss this idea.

    The first item for consideration is that Jesus’ obligation to present himself to the Pharisees is not dependent upon their belief. Their belief is not a condition for his obligation. He became obligated when he told offered them the Sign of Jonah in Matthew 12:38-42, an obligation which came with no preconditions.

    In your view, they were obligated to believe in him. However, it is quite reasonable to say that their belief had as a precondition that he would show himself to have been raised from the dead. This is reasonable because they asked for a sign, and he, however begrudgingly, however disrespectfully, offered them one. Jesus did not take the line that you have taken, which would be to tell them that he has already provided them sufficient proofs. Instead, he accepted upon himself that he should present for them the sign of the resurrection. Therefore, they would be within their rights to withhold judgment until he came to them after the resurrection.

    But he never did.

    So, you have reversed the obligations, making the independent obligation dependent and the dependent obligation independent. You have been forced into this situation precisely because Jesus never showed himself. You are forced to say that they would not have believed anyhow. However, this does not free Jesus of his obligation.

    The second item for consideration is that Torah does not support the idea that God only does signs for those that already believe, or even for those that will believe after receiving the sign.

    On the contrary, God knows that Pharaoh will not listen to Moses even if he witnesses miracles. See for example Exodus 7:13: “Still Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.” Even though God knew that Pharaoh would not listen to Moses, He had Moses perform the sign anyhow. Similarly, in Isaiah 7, when Ahaz does not want a sign, he is given one anyway. Receiving a sign is not dependent on one having faith.

    Your excuse for Jesus’ failure to present himself after the resurrection fails. His obligation was not dependent on the Pharisees’ belief. You have only attempted to shift the blame of his failure onto other shoulders. And the Torah demonstrates non-believers receiving signs, even when it is known that they will not believe. So the principle upon which you argue has no support.

    When I have a moment, I will write about sufficient evidence, but I did not wish this comment to become too lengthy. And I have been terribly busy the past few days.

    Jim

  18. Jim says:

    Pau,

    It is worthwhile to consider whether or not sufficient evidence has been given to believe in the resurrection of Jesus. The Church has insisted that one is to believe in this event based on the ‘eyewitness testimony’ of the disciples. And the Pharisees are often considered to be at fault for not believing in the resurrection, even though they were not witnesses to the event. Therefore, it is suitable for us to consider what evidences have been produced that should provoke belief and whether or not they are sufficient.

    At the time of the alleged resurrection, Jesus did not make himself publicly known. Indeed, those that went to his tomb either did not find him or had trouble recognizing him. The resurrection is shrouded in secrecy. According to the gospels, after the resurrection, Jesus is supposed to have appeared to various groups of people, small groups, never making himself publicly known. He did not reënter Jerusalem on a second donkey or begin teaching in the synagogue again or resume his healing ministry. Except for relatively few people, no one had any indication that Jesus had returned from the dead.

    During this time, it would be quite difficult to say that the Pharisees or anyone else that did not see Jesus was obligated to believe in the resurrection. They had not been given any indication that it had happened. Even though they had heard that Jesus promised to return from the dead on the third day, once that day arrived as far as they knew, there was no Jesus walking around. Because his resurrection was promised as a sign, it would be incorrect for anyone to assume it had happened without evidence. To do so would nullify the sign. And since signs are part of the method for testing prophets, doing so would also nullify the test.

    According to the gospels, Jesus continued on this earth for 40 days after the resurrection. During that time, he did not present himself publicly. And then, he ascended into the sky. Ten days after this private ascension his disciples finally announced that Jesus had come back from the dead. At this time, they had no Jesus to present to people.

    This timeline is important, because it shows that lack of evidence provided by Jesus or the disciples. For that first 50 days, no evidence of any kind was presented that Jesus had returned from the dead. At that time, one could be under no obligation to believe. On the contrary, Jesus by promising a sign, was under an obligation to present himself, an obligation that he never fulfilled. Only after 50 days, or 47 days after the resurrection, did the disciples claim that Jesus returned from the dead, and by that time they had no evidence to produce. They had no Jesus. This presents serious problems for the credibility of the Christian claim. One is that the resurrection was not announced until long after it was promised to have happened. The second is that at that time, because there was no Jesus, the claim of the resurrection was just that, a claim, entirely devoid of substantiation or proof. A third is that Jesus failed to fulfill a sign he promised, thereby failing the test of a prophet. Therefore the Pharisees could not be obligated to believe in the resurrection.

    The Church recognizes the weakness of its evidence. This is why it tries to shift the burden of proof. For example the Church demands to know why the Jewish leadership did not produce the deceased body if Jesus did not rise from the dead. Of course, since the disciples did not claim that Jesus came back from the dead until his body would have been unrecognizable, this question is invalid. In fact, the question is deceptive, lacking all substance. The question is not why the Jewish leaders did not produce a dead Jesus; it is why the disciples did not produce a living Jesus.

    Even though, the Church admits that it has no actual evidence of the resurrection, it attempts to make this lack of proof a virtue. Those that believe without evidence are praised for their blind faith: “Jesus said to [Thomas, who was not with the others when they first saw the resurrected Jesus and did not believe them], ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet come to believe” (John 20:28). This statement is an admission that insufficient evidence has been given of the resurrection. But the Church insists that one should believe anyway.

    The Torah asks for no such blind faith. God appeared to the people at Sinai so that they would know with certainty that Moses was His prophet (see Exodus 19). They could rely upon him. They did not have to guess. They did not have to have blind faith. The Torah does not make a virtue of believing on a prophet without evidence.

    A clear division can be made then between the Witness Nation, Israel and the Church. The Witness Nation was given clear knowledge of God. It is this knowledge that obligates them to keep the Torah. The Church teaches blind faith without knowledge. It attempts to impose an obligation where none can exist. The Pharisees acted rightly in rejecting the unsubstantiated claims of the disciples. Insufficient evidence of a resurrection had been given, only empty claims. Instead they maintained their faith in God, a faith based upon knowledge rather than supposition.

    Jim

    • CP says:

      Jim writes:
      “The Torah asks for no such blind faith.”

      Yet in the Scriptures it is written:
      “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”
      (Proverbs 3:5)

      • Jim says:

        Pau,

        You may have been appalled by the lackadaisical comment made by one comment in order to establish blind faith as a principle of Tanach. As is too frequently the case, the commenter quoted one verse out of context, implying that the Hebrew Scriptures do in fact teach one to maintain blind faith. You may have been shocked at how he ignored the arguments from Torah and attempted to sweep them under the carpet without even explaining the verse he quoted. If so, I certainly understand your discomfiture. But I propose that we consider Proverbs 3:5 as if it were about faith, and see what consequences would follow. I do not say that this verse is about blind faith, but I do this by way of exercise, and it will show that the commenter has only used the verse to give himself license to believe whatever he wills without actually considering what the verse would mean if it were about blind faith.

        I am sure you will have noticed as anyone might that this verse could be employed by any false prophet to put off any questioning. Let anyone object to Reverend Sun Yung Moon, Joseph Smith, or the fictional Horace, and the false prophet will respond: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” Employing the verse this way is self-serving, silencing criticism of the false prophet. Moreover, it begs the question. It relies upon the unproven assumption that the prophet is from God in the first place to establish that one should believe in him. But that assumption is the proposition under question. Of course, this is exactly what is meant by “blind faith,” that one is not to analyze the claims of the prophet, because that would be to “lean on one’s own understanding.” But then any and all false prophets must be heeded on the same ground.

        And I am sure, Pau, that you have noticed that the greater context of Torah does not allow for Proverbs 3:5 to be teaching blind faith. As I have already pointed out, HaShem spoke to the entire nation, so that they would know that Moses was His prophet. Through Moses, further laws were given, laws to test prophets. I am sure that you are already familiar with Deuteronomy 13 and 18, and how they relate to establishing a prophet. Moreover, a system of judges was set up. Israel is a nation and a community, and they were given sure knowledge of HaShem, His Torah, and His prophet Moses, and they were given a system whereby to understand all prophets to come. Torah established the whole system of prophets.

        Let us consider our verse with this knowledge in mind: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.”

        Given the greater context of Torah, what would it mean to “trust in the Lord”? It would mean to rely upon His Torah and the system He put in place. This includes the tests for prophets. And it includes the courts that rate them. (After all, false prophets are to be put to death. This is part of the court system.) Trusting in HaShem means to trust that the system put in place to recognize prophets is a reliable system.

        What would it mean to “lean on [one’s] own understanding”? Obviously, it would mean to ignore the judgment of the courts. It would be to undermine the tests of the prophet. It would mean to trust one’s own individual feelings on the matter, rather than the system set in place by HaShem. In short, blind faith is nothing less than leaning on one’s own understanding. It is a rejection of Torah as the standard for establishing a prophet. It is to make oneself a court of one, a community of one, and a nation of one.

        But you and I know that many Christians will say that they have a special feeling given to them by God that tells them that Jesus is prophet, Messiah, and whatever else they might believe him to be. They will argue that in trusting this feeling, they trust in God. But, of course, this is not correct. The Mormon also has a feeling, a burning in his bosom, he believes comes from God. Feelings are not the measure of truth. They certainly are not the measure that HaShem set up in His Torah. This reliance upon one’s feeling is nothing more than “leaning on [one’s own understanding].

        So, Pau, I can understand why you might be appalled by such an abuse of scripture. Not only did it ignore the immediate context, it ignored the broader context of scripture. One should always be suspicious of a verse quoted that seems to support a view in contradiction to much of scripture. Of course, in the Torah, we find no blind faith, so we would be suspicious of a verse in Proverbs establishing it. But a consideration of the verse shows that if it were about blind faith, it would be a refutation of it. Do not be troubled by these single verse posts, where the author can do nothing more than insinuate. They are empty, and need not bother you at all.

        Jim

        • CP says:

          “What would it mean to “lean on [one’s] own understanding”? Obviously, it would mean to ignore the judgment of the courts.”

          Wow! With exegesis like this I can’t get Scripture to say anything.

          This verse simply means; Gods ways are not always our ways.

          (Notice it didn’t take eight paragraphs to explain)

  19. Jim says:

    It’s a Midrash!

    Because Jesus did not perform the function of the Messiah, the authors of the New Testament had difficulty demonstrating in what way Jesus could be the Messiah. They could not quote Messianic passages—at least not much—because the reader would realize that Jesus had not met the definition of the Messiah. Therefore, the authors of the NT would need to invent new functions of the Messiah, quoting and misquoting passages irrelevant to the definition of the Messiah in order to make it appear that Jesus fulfilled numerous prophecies. A strong proof against Jesus having fulfilled any prophecies is derived from the abuses of scripture in the NT; if Jesus had fulfilled any actual prophecies, the authors of the NT would not have to invent them from whole cloth. Many have objected to the abuse of the Hebrew Scriptures, Tanach, on the basis that one must not misrepresent the words of God through decontextualization and mistranslation. But the Church has responded that those who object to these abuses are not applying a fair standard to the NT, arguing that the authors of the NT are relying upon midrashic interpretations when they force Jesus into Tanach. They will admit that Jesus did not fulfill Hosea 11:1 on a literal level, the p’shat, when he returned from Egypt, but Matthew is giving a midrash. This is an absurd argument that does nothing more than impose upon Tanach whatever the reader desires, which absurdity can be shown by applying the same standard to the New Testament, from which it can be proven that President Barack Obama is the Second Coming.

    It must be noted before proceeding with this exercise that Christians quite often argue that the New Testament books are Jewish books. They are akin to the Hebrew Scriptures. For this reason, it is not unreasonable to apply the same manipulations to that book as are applied by them to Tanach. So, one may omit inconvenient parts of passages or sentences that would establish the context of a verse or partial verse. Similarly, if a Christian were to object that President Obama did not fulfill New Testament prophecy by coming in the clouds of glory or bringing the dead back to life for judgment, the answer will be that he will perform that at the Third Coming, but we can know that he will come back again, because he fulfilled these prophecies—midrashim—in his lifetime, and that hints of him can be found all over the New Testament.

    One might object to the use of Luke or Acts in this exercise, inasmuch as the author was Greek, not Jewish. However, one excuse Christians bring for the scriptural abuses of Matthew is that he was quoting from the Greek. From this, one can derive two things. First, one can make a midrash on the Greek, which makes Luke fair game. Second, the original meaning does not matter; one can make a midrash on mistranslations and misunderstandings. If the English translation obscures the meaning of the Hebrew, this is of no matter. The midrashic interpretation must still be counted as a legitimate interpretation. It follows also that if one finds a meaning in Portuguese that he prefers, he is free to base his interpretation on the Portuguese or any other language that might allow him to push his own meaning onto a passage. These matters having been addressed, the midrashim follow.

    To those that doubt that President Obama was the Second Coming the following proofs may be sufficient. First, a great controversy arose over the birthplace of the president. This was to fulfill what was written in the Christian Scriptures: “…when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from” (John 7:27). The literalist and simpleton may respond by saying that this scripture has nothing to do with President Obama and is not even a prophecy, that it requires no further fulfillment. The answer to them is obvious:

    It’s a midrash!

    By virtue of being President of the United States, Barack Obama was a powerful figure. This was to fulfill what was written: “From now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Matt. 26:64). This is an obvious reference to the White House and Air Force One. To those that object:

    It’s a midrash!

    During his time in office, President Obama oversaw the killing of Osama bin Laden, then considered a great threat to the American people. This too was written in the Christian Scriptures: “…that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us” (Luke 1:71). Of course, some might object that the entire prophecy was not quoted. That this speaks of one from the “house of his servant David” appears to be an omission, probably because the midrashist recognized that Obama is not descended from David. But this objection comes from one that does not read the four levels of Jewish interpretation. Clearly Matthew did not need to quote all of Hosea 11:1 to create his midrash or the entire prophecy in Isaiah 7:14-15. The midrashits will say that the one that raises this objection is an ignoramus.

    The Christian Scriptures prefigured the words of Hillary Rodham Clinton when it said of President Obama: “…the heaven was opened…” (Luke 3:21). It is clear that Secretary Clinton was speaking prophetically when she said that if then Candidate Obama were elected the heavens would open, the seas roll back, etc. This is a clear reference to the Second Coming as fulfilled in President Obama.

    Moreover, one can see the character of the Second Coming in the actions of President Obama, the great care he had for the people. Jesus spoke of President Obama when he quoted the prophet Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free…” (Luke 4:18). The President brought good news to the poor through welfare programs. He released captives through the presidential pardon. He brought recovery of the sight to the blind through Obamacare. (This is just a general statement of healing.) And he let the oppressed go free by welcoming refugees to America. Of course, it is obvious that these things were not said about President Obama or the Second Coming, but the response will be:

    It’s a midrash!

    Of course this exercise might appear to be silly, and indeed it is a fair bit. But the underlying point must be considered. The Christian argument for midrash does not follow any rules other than necessity. This exercise makes the New Testament dance to the tune of a fictitious person that reveres the former president. However, this is exactly how the Christian treats the holy words of HaShem. He attempts to make Tanach dance to his own tune, stripping passages of any inconveniences, including context under the guise of midrash. By this method, scripture can mean anything one wishes it to mean.

    Undeniably, multiple levels of understanding exist when reading Tanach. This is not a license to read whatever one wishes into the text, however. It is absurdity to read Jesus into texts by relying on mistranslations and removing the passages from their context. Such reading is not midrash but eisegesis. Torah is not meant to prop up one’s preëxisting notions. It is not a journal into which one puts his own thoughts; it is a book from which one gets the Teaching of HaShem.

    Jim

    • Dina says:

      Jim, how could you fail to express this post in three sentences or less? Come on, you know you can do it!

      Still, I think this is one for the book. What do you say, Larry?

      Great post, Jim. I enjoyed it so much, I wished it were longer :).

      • LarryB says:

        I’m convinced the man is a machine he does this so often. If he went to Rome you’d have another Berkely on your hands, they couldn’t stand to let this to get out to the public.
        What’s that sound? Cha ching, that books goin off the charts….

    • Dina says:

      Jim, also three comings are hinted at in both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. There are three patriarchs and the redemption from Egypt took place in three stages (the Ten Plagues, the Splitting of the Sea, the Revelation at Mount Sinai). And in Christian scripture, the three comings represent each figure of the godhead.

      • Eleazar says:

        Careful, Dina, you are starting to think like a Christian too easily. Don’t forget that “kadosh, kadosh, kadosh” at shul is all about the trinity: one “kadosh” for each member of the godhead. And when we rise up on our toes to say it, we are admitting that the three are in heaven and each rise is a separate praise to each member of the godhead (God forbid). Like the “three matzos” at Pesach, we’re just too blinded to realize what we’re doing. /sarc

    • Dina says:

      Another hint of the third coming: Joseph interpreted the dreams of two people, and the interpretation of the third person’s dream got him freed from prison.

  20. Dina says:

    This was just a great post by Jim, a master of satire. I wrote an article about interpreting the Bible a while back. I’m reposting below because I think it’s worth a read, if I may say so myself.

    Also, it’s quite lengthy, and I do love to hear the sound of my own voice.

  21. Dina says:

    How to Understand the Hebrew Bible

    In a previous comment titled “Avodah Zarah, Foreign Worship: What Is It?” (https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/matthew-admits-that-jesus-was-never-resurrected-by-jim/#comment-32905) I explained the Torah’s definition of foreign worship and why Jesus’s teaching about himself constitutes foreign worship according to the Torah.

    I warned that CP would have you believe that this teaching cannot be understood according to its plain meaning but according to “drash.” Sure enough, CP fired back a response asking why we allow this type of interpretation for some Jewish writings and not others, i.e., Christian scripture. Are we employing a double standard? he asks.

    To support his argument, CP cites an article from the Chabad website: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/819698/jewish/How-Is-the-Torah-Interpreted.htm.

    Few things are more ironic than an opponent citing a source that undermines his own argument. But first things first. CP seems to think that all Jewish writings are subject to the four levels of interpretation explicated in the Chabad article. This is not so.

    The only Jewish writings subject to traditional Jewish-style Biblical exegesis are the writings that we Jews accept as part of our canon of Hebrew Scripture. Other writings by Jews, such as Mesillat Yesharim (The Path of the Just by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto), are not subject to Biblical exegesis. Neither are random writings penned by Jews, such as, oh, say, The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx.

    But to make matters worse, the books of Christian scripture are not even Jewish writings. No one knows if the authors were actual Jews, and the authors of Luke and John were almost certainly not. Even Matthew, the most “Jewish” of all the evangelists, couldn’t get Hebrew scripture straight, and he mixed up Jewish customs in a way that would be hilarious if it hadn’t hurt the Jews so badly. In Matthew 6:2, he writes about the custom of the “hypocrites” to announce alms-giving with a trumpet call. This is a blatant lie, as the Pharisees stressed giving alms in secret.

    In fact, Matthew is confusing two customs. Charity was collected on Friday. Also, a trumpet was sounded on Friday to announce the approach of the Sabbath. (This custom is still followed today in Israel and in major Jewish communities such as those in New York; a siren goes off to alert the residents that it’s nearly time for candle lighting.) It’s hard to take Matthew seriously as a Jewish writer when he doesn’t even know basic Scripture and basic Jewish custom.

    There is no evidence anywhere in Jewish writings, history, or the Talmud that a trumpet was sounded to draw the beggars.

    Furthermore, the Christian scriptures, with the possible exception of Matthew, were originally written in Greek. The lingua franca of Jews at the time was Hebrew and Aramaic. (Some Jews were fluent in Greek, namely the wealthy Sadducees.) If the gospel writers wanted to target the Jews, they would have written in their language. But they wrote in the language of the gentiles; their writings targeted a gentile audience and–most importantly–were preserved by gentile nations.

    The case cannot be made that the Christian scriptures are Jewish writings.

    Let’s take a look at that Chabad article that CP proffered.

    The first level of interpretation is peshat, which the article explains thus:

    “Peshat is the simple interpretation of the Torah. When the verse says (Genesis 1:1) that “In the beginning G‑d created the Heaven and Earth,” it means exactly what it seems to mean, in a very literal sense” (my emphasis).

    It seems to have escaped CP’s notice that peshat is the primary meaning of the verse, which does not disappear or give way before any other type of Biblical exegesis.

    In fact, as the article illustrates with examples of other modes of interpretation on the same verse, those interpretations do not contradict the peshat, whose meaning remains intact. CP would like to use “drash” to dismiss the primary meaning of the problematic verses in his scripture. But if you want to use Jewish-style exegesis, be consistent and play by the Jewish rules. In CP’s world, where “drash” means you can interpret verses willy-nilly to make them say whatever you want them to say, words become meaningless.

    CP also ignored a basic rule when applying all the ways of interpreting Scripture, which the article he cited clearly states:

    “Any insight in Torah is acceptable as long as it (makes sense and) does not contradict any of our fundamental beliefs” (my emphasis).

    Jesus taught, in a pashut peshat manner, a teaching that constitutes avodah zarah and that contradicts the Torah: avodah zarah in the sense that you need a man to get to God, and a teaching that contradicts the statement in Psalm 145:18 that God is close to all who call to him sincerely.

    If drash, remez, or sod contradict the plain meaning it cannot be used as interpretation. If any of the interpretations contradict the Torah’s basic teachings, they must be wrong. Moreover, not every Jewish writing can be subject to Scriptural exegesis. Finally, the Gospel of John is not even a Jewish writing.

    • Sharon S says:

      Thanks for your informative comments on the proper way to interpret Hebrew Scriptures and the pitfalls of reading too much into the Hebrew text.

      I think that the term “The Church” has been loosely used to state certain Christian position in this blog before that position is rebutted .Allow me then to state the position of the Catholic Church ,as per the Cathechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) with regards to Sacred Scripture,in particular the Hebrew Scriptures (herein referred to as the Old Testament),snippets of it as per below:

      1.”The economy of the Old Testament was deliberately so oriented that it should prepare for and declare in prophecy the coming of Christ, redeemer of all men.”
      (CCC:Part 1,Section 1,Chapter 2,Article 3,122)

      2.Christians venerate the Old Testament as true Word of God. The Church has always vigorously opposed the idea of rejecting the Old Testament under the pretext that the New has rendered it void (Marcionism)(123)

      3.The Church, as early as apostolic times,and then constantly in her Tradition, has illuminated the unity of the divine plan in the two Testaments through typology, which discerns in God’s works of the Old Covenant prefigurations of what he accomplished in the fullness of time in the person of his incarnate Son (128)

      4.Christians therefore read the Old Testament in the light of Christ crucified and risen. Such typological reading discloses the inexhaustible content of the Old Testament; but it must not make us forget that the Old Testament retains its own intrinsic value as Revelation reaffirmed by our Lord himself.Besides, the New Testament has to be read in the light of the Old. Early Christian catechesis made constant use of the Old Testament.As an old saying put it, the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New (129)

      You may refer the rest at the link below:
      http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a3.htm

      This teaching has its practical application during the Liturgy of the Word in Sunday and daily Masses. There are three readings proclaimed in Sunday Mass -First Reading from the Hebrew Scriptures ,Second Reading from the Epistles and the Gospel reading .Verses from Psalms will be sung in between the First and Second reading.The message from First and Second readings have to tie to the Gospel reading.

      You may refer to the readings for Sunday Mass on 5th Feb (5th Sunday in Ordinary Time) below.Catholic Churches all over the world will proclaim the same set of readings.

      http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/020517.cfm

      There are 3 sets of readings (Year A,B,C) and these readings are repeated every 3 years.

      With this ,it is not surprising then for a Catholic to instinctively /automatically associate a specific verse in the Hebrew Scriptures as a prophecy of Jesus when he/she comes across one in the Hebrew Scriptures.

      If a Christian choose to read the Hebrew Scriptures as a standalone ,divorced from the Gospels and Epistles ,he/she may have to come to terms with a very different worldview than the one built with Jesus as its foundation. It will take a massive paradigm shift to embrace the worldview espoused by the Hebrew Scriptures.

      This is where those who are Jewish /familiar with Jewish tradition can play the part of educating us ,Gentile Christians who are open to the truth on how to properly interpret Hebrew Scriptures.

      You don’t have to abuse the sanctity of the Jewish Liturgy in order to educate us.

      Thank you.

      • Dina says:

        Sharon, thanks for reading and responding to my comment. I cannot imagine where you see that I have abused sacred Jewish liturgy in order to educate. Were you perhaps directing that comment at someone else? Please let me know if you would like me to clarify my comments or if you have any other questions.

        • Sharon S. says:

          Hi Dina,
          My post is as a response to Jim’s post on the Midrash and its subsequent threads , leading up to yours.

          I was quite offended by Eleazar’s comment , as it seems to mock the Jewish Liturgy in proving his point . Liturgy in any faith is sacred and should be respected.

          Hence the last sentence in my post was a response to that comment.
          Hope this clarifies.

          Thank you.

  22. RT says:

    I read this book, not sure how serious it is, but he believed that John was a Jewish Gnostic… He had a few good points though…

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