Dr. Brown’s Response to comment # 429

Rabbi Blumenthal,

“Here is my
much-belated response to your post # 429  on an old thread on the old Line
of Fire website (for the complete thread, see
https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/written-debate-with-dr-b
rown/
; for your specific reply, see
https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/post-429/ ).

I have included your post throughout in italics.
I believe that with this response of yours – a great breakthrough was achieved in our interaction – vindicating the usefulness of such interaction. I will explain this statement as I proceed to respond to your points one by one.
My impressions are quite otherwise: This further revealed our differences and highlighted why I believe you are wrong.
In my previous post (on this topic) I put our disagreements into two categories: Messianic expectations and interpretation of Isaiah 53.
On the issue of Messianic expectation
I demonstrated how you apply a double standard in your interpretation of Messianic prophecy.
You demonstrated no such thing. You gave me your assessment of my argument, demonstrating no double standard at all.
When it comes to the Jewish expectation of a rebuilt Temple and restored sacrifices you measure them by the number of times these concepts are mentioned in Scripture (according to your count, they are few), You measure them by the fact that in some of these prophecies, no Messianic figure is mentioned, and you measure them by the fact that there seems to be a problem with the timing of some of the prophecies (the context would indicate a fulfillment at a time that does not coincide with the Jewish interpretation).
On the basis of these measuring sticks – you downplay these prophecies and conclude that they could perhaps be fulfilled in a symbolic sense and not necessarily in a literal sense.
That is a gross oversimplification. There are other factors that must be considered exegetically, and when those are factored in, some of these prophecies are not so straightforward. For example, the prophecy that the Branch will build the Temple occurs during the time of the building of the Second Temple. On what basis, then, does this refer to a Third Temple? (See Rashi here.) And the prophecies in Ezekiel referring to a new Temple likewise should have pointed to the building of the Second Temple, and there are also questions as to how the dimensions of this Temple comport with Torah specifications. (I address some of this in vol. 2 of my series and discussed some of this in the long thread before this.) Is it possible, then, that these images are intended metaphorically? Some would say yes, but again, this is just one issue that arises. That being said, plenty of followers of Yeshua believe that there WILL be a literal Third Temple, so in the end, there’s not a major difference in terms of future expectation.
I pointed out that had you applied these same “measuring sticks” to the prophecies which are interpreted by Christians as prediction for Messiah’s miracles – then we could even more quickly conclude that the Messiah does not necessarily need to perform miracles in a literal sense.
First, some of these prophecies are not fraught with the interpretive difficulties just mentioned; second, since they were literally fulfilled, we have further confirmation of the correctness of our interpretation. But even so, prophecies of the Messiah’s miracles are not absolutely central to our faith, so you can dismiss the future Temple prophecies or the Messiah’s miracles prophecies as all metaphorical, and I still can point to all the foundational prophecies of His suffering and death and atoning work.

 

But you insist that the miracles must be literal. You go on to pass judgment against Maimonides who insists on a literal fulfillment of the Temple prophecies while maintaining that the miracle prophecies need not be understood literally.
But using your own standards of interpretation – Maimonides is right.

 

I have an exegetical basis for my arguments; I see Rambam as potentially lacking here. So, your assessment is false.
How do you explain this? You say – Well Jesus already told us that this is the interpretation!
This then is the breakthrough. We have come to an agreement, it seems, that without FIRST accepting Jesus as an authority – the Jewish Bible does NOT encourage belief in Jesus.
We have come to no such agreement. Absolutely not! I can make a solid exegetical case for my belief in Jesus the Messiah based on the Tanakh. He now comes and fulfills the essential prophecies that had to be fulfilled before the destruction of the Second Temple, sealing beyond any doubt that He is our Messiah. Of course the Jewish Bible encourages belief in Yeshua, even asking our people, “Who has believed our report?” (Isaiah 53:1)
But to further clarify, let’s say you were right about the Messiah (which you’re not), and at the end of the age he will do all the things you expect him to do. This would further confirm that your interpretation of certain disputed Scriptures was accurate. In the same way, when Yeshua came into the world and fulfilled certain passages, that gave us further divine guidance as to how to interpret them. We could have argued for these interpretations exegetically, but the Messiah’s words and deeds further clarified the interpretation.
If you need Jesus to tell you that your biblical interpretation is correct – then you should have said so in your book. You open your five volumes setting the standard for this discussion: “What does the Bible say?” But now you are admitting that according to that standard – Jesus is NOT the Messiah. The only way you can come to the conclusion that Jesus is the Messiah – is by first accepting him as the Messiah and then accepting his Biblical interpretations.
This is really bizarre. I’m admitting no such thing. We have the testimony of Scripture about the Messiah which is then confirmed by the Messiah Himself. Many a Jew has come to faith in Yeshua through reading the Tanakh.
You may not intend to do this, but you’re engaging in a game of polemics, attributing false conclusions or statements to me, then saying, “Aha! He admits to the error.” No, you’re creating an apparent error, and your basis for your argument is totally false.

 
It is my position that the moral position for someone who does not believe in Jesus is to examine his claims in light of the Biblical texts. Until his claims are vindicated –– it would be going against God to accept his claims. We must therefore first read the Jewish Bible – without belief in Jesus – and then examine his claims in light of the truth we have learned from God’s word. The fact that you need to quote Jesus to defend your position underscores the fact that your position is not rooted in the words of the Jewish Bible.
Again, absolute falsehood. I will gladly debate you or any rabbi using Tanakh alone – I’ve agreed to do that in the past. Yeshua constantly pointed to the Scriptures, saying that if someone wouldn’t believe Moses and the prophets, they would not believe even if someone rose from the dead. But I will not refrain from quoting the words of the Messiah and pointing to His deeds. Why should I? You understand everything through the lens of your own tradition and it’s virtually impossible for you to separate your understanding of God and Israel from that tradition. In fact, the alleged faithful transmission of that tradition is one of your biggest pro-traditional Jewish arguments. On my part, I’m thrilled that Messiah did come into the world and do what was promised. Why should not that lend confirmation to the argument?
The Messiah had to come and die and rise before the Second Temple was destroyed. He did all that. So, when I look at prophecies that seemed to say that, it is clear that they did, in fact, say that.
You claim that the reason you pointed out the relatively small number of passages predicting the future Temple is because traditional Judaism puts the future Temple on the same plane as world peace as a Messianic requirement. You conclude that Scripture does not bear this out.
I suggest that you turn to page 178 of your volume 3 and you will see that you were not contrasting the hope for the Temple with the hope for peace (which you yourself minimize on page 70 of volume 1) – but you were contrasting the hope for a future Temple with the alleged miracles of the Messiah. This being the case – my citation of the number of passages is completely relevant.
First I absolutely do NOT minimize the hope for future peace anywhere in my volumes. Messianic Jews and Christians of all stripes long and pray for this and believe that it will be accomplished when Yeshua returns. We hail Him as the Prince of Peace!
Second, I looked at the pages of my books you mentioned, and I do not make the arguments you claim I do.
In another paragraph you accuse me of creating a strawman (you generously add – “probably unintentional”) by presenting it as an issue of “either or”. With this accusation you have created a strawman of your own (probably unintentionally). In my opening statements which you yourself copied in the beginning of your own response – I presented the two opposing positions – not as “either or”, but rather with the one requiring miracles as an absolute necessity while relegating the temple to a possibility – as opposed to the other which has the Temple as the absolute requirement and the miracles remain a possibility.
You skip over some of my points because you see no relevance to them. I am sure that the readers of this conversation (including myself) will want to know your response to two of my questions that you seem to deem “irrelevant”.
Do you believe that the number of verses supporting a specific doctrinal position is a valid standard by which to judge the Scriptural basis of a given position? And if yes, then why, throughout your five volumes, do you never apply this standard to the arguments of the Church? (i.e the virgin birth etc)
I’m responding to objections as they have been presented to me by our people over the decades. Although Isaiah 7:14 is cited once in the NT and is hardly a central prophecy, it is constantly attacked on numerous levels, hence my lengthy response.
How is it that in your interview with Stroebel Zechariah 6 is magnified as “the most overt passage in the Bible where a human being is identified with a Messianic figure” – and on page 172 of volume 3 you downplay this very same prophecy because it appears in only one book of the Bible. Isn’t that being inconsistent in your own line of reasoning?
Not at all. What is incredibly powerful is the identification of a priestly leader with the Branch, confirming the portrait of David as a priestly King and helping to explain why many Jews in Jesus’ day were expecting a royal Messiah and a priestly Messiah. As to the nature of His building the Temple, that is more difficult to understand, but again, if it refers to the Third Temple built upon His return – wonderful!
I countered your argument concerning the timing of the predictions concerning the Temple– by pointing out that the predictions of Messiah’s miracles are also tied in by the prophets to a specific time – which precludes applying these predictions to Jesus.
You respond with the argument that “Messiah” (and I presume you mean “Jesus”) came working these very miracles.
This response is completely circular. You are in effect saying – believe in Jesus because he fulfilled this prophecy – but when I point out that according to a contextual reading of the prophecy he did not fulfill the prophecy – you tell me – but Jesus said he did! – so why should I accept his interpretation?
Nothing circular here at all. Many of these prophecies are of the “already but not yet” kind, where we get an initial down payment before the final realization, just as happens with the prophecies concerning the return from Babylonian exile. They spoke of a specific time frame, but out of, say, 10 things promised, only the first 5 happened at the prophesied time. The rest await a future, more glorious return from exile. It was the same with the coming of the Messiah.
Your next argument is “that there is nothing in the context of, say, Isaiah 61 that precludes the Messianic interpretation” – I assume that you mean to assert that there is nothing in the context of Isaiah 61 that precludes your application of this passage to Jesus. I may have misunderstood you and if I did please clarify – but if I understood you correctly then your assertion is patently false. Isaiah 61 speaks of a “day of revenge” – which you acknowledge was not yet fulfilled. If a 2000 year interlude in middle of a sentence, without any textual justification, is “sound Biblical interpretation” for you – I guess I will have to be the one to inform you – that others will not be satisfied.
My response to the previous point is relevant here, but we’re hardly talking about a 2,000-year gap. That day of vengeance came but one generation later, decimating Jerusalem and devastating our people.
When I present my question about your double standard (asking the question if a given prophecy is symbolic or literal) – you go back to “the Messiah has already come”. Are you saying that it is OK for you to use a double standard because you “know” you are right?
No. I’m saying the double standard is in your perception, not in reality.
The point I made about symbolic language was that as far as I could see, Scripture never uses a specific type of sheep as a metaphor. I did not say that it is not theoretically possible – my point was that this would be unusual – weakening the symbolic interpretation. Your response does not address my point.
Obviously, the Bible doesn’t need to speak of a specific type of sheep in a particular way in order to use sheep in general as a metaphor. We do have biblical examples of sacrifice and offering being used metaphorically; it could apply to future prophecy as well. And do you say it is unusual for the prophets to speak in the concept of their day when speaking of the future? Or are you sure that there will literally be horses involved in the final battle for Jerusalem in Zech 12 and 14?
In response to my summary which asks a simple question – if we are going to apply a certain standard for the Jewish expectations of the Messiah – that we should do the same for the Christian expectations – you respond with:
“Of course we should, and that’s why we look at David as the proto-type (priestly King) and that’’s why we pay attention to the time line (expected before the destruction of the Second Temple), and that’s why we then allow the Messiah’s first coming to shed light on the meaning of the passages. All very clear, thank God!”
How is this clear? You take a Jewish argument and (mis)apply a certain standard of interpretation. You do this with one Jewish argument – ignoring the sum total of the Jewish arguments. So why are you reluctant to apply this same standard to the Christian arguments? Is it because you have other arguments to support your position? But when I will point to the inherent weaknesses of those arguments – you will run back to this one! What kind of response is that?
Again, you’re quite wrong: 1) I respond to the sum total of Jewish arguments whenever relevant, but in specific instances, I’ll deal with specific arguments. 2) You claim I misapply a certain standard. I differ. 3) I apply the same standard to Christian arguments. I run back to nothing but the Word. 4) All that being said, Messiah’s coming into the world clarifies things for us greatly, so we should take advantage of that, since, after all, this is all about the Messiah.
In any case – here is the response to the two arguments that you present. – Looking to David as a prototype is the last thing you want to do. It is hard to imagine a character that is more thoroughly antithetical to David than Jesus. David consistently stresses his own utter dependence on God – highlighting his sins – opening his heart to all of mankind expressing his complete humility towards God. How does this compare to a “mystery-man” who claims to be sinless and deserving of worship himself?
One must rightly understand what a prototype means and doesn’t mean, and in the case of David, we see key ways that he was a prototype. Yeshua draws attention to some of these, and the NT draws attention to others. If I were to follow your line of thinking, I would have to say that the Messiah must commit adultery, because David did! Do you not see the folly of your argument?
In response to your second argument – about the timing (Messiah had to come before the destruction of the Second Temple) – which you refer to Haggai 2, Malachi 3 and Daniel 9. I don’t see how you can apply these prophecies to Jesus. How could a prediction for a glorification of the Temple (predicted by Haggai) be fulfilled by one who claimed to be a replacement of the Temple? How could a prediction of the restoration of the Levitical priesthood (predicted by Malachi) be fulfilled by one who claimed to do away with the Levitical priesthood? And how could a prediction (by Daniel) about an anointed one cut off with the destruction of the city claim to be fulfilled by someone who died more than five weeks of years (in Daniel’s terms) before the destruction of the city?
These are all easily answered. 1) The Messiah brought greater glory to the Temple with His divine presence, with His miracles, and by sending the Spirit upon His people after His ascension. 2) The Messiah did indeed purify the Levitical priesthood, exposing corruption and raising up Levitical priests who followed Him, as Acts attests. 3) The events of the 70th week follow on the heels of the redemptive work of the Messiah outlined in Daniel 9:24, which had to occur before the Second Temple was destroyed in 70 CE. There is nothing in the text suggesting that there cannot be a short hiatus between the 69th and 70th week, while others interpret all of the 70th week to be fulfilled with the death of the Messiah and the years immediately following, after which (one generation later), the Temple is destroyed, as described in Daniel 9:27.
Interpretation of Isaiah 53
I asked you if 53:9 could apply to Israel– you respond with a question “why in the world am I limiting the discussion to one verse when we have the whole chapter”. The answer to your question is because chapters are made up of verses – one verse at a time. If you refuse to discuss “one verse” – because you claim that the rest of the chapter bears out your position – then we will have a hard time discussing the matter. When I point to any one verse – you will run to the “rest of the chapter” – and when I point out that your arguments in those other verses don’t pan out – you will always be able to say – “ah! but look at the rest of the chapter”.
First, Isaiah 53:9 cannot apply to the nation of Israel. The entire testimony of the Tanakh is against is. Second, if I wrote a chapter about little boys who were playing outside and one line said, “Then they decided to go inside,” could you say, “Could the word ‘they’ I that one line refer to little girls?” Yes it could, theoretically, but the whole chapter precludes it. It’s the same with Isaiah 53:9.
The fact of the matter is that there is no individual in the history of mankind that is more thoroughly eliminated from being a possible subject of this passage (Isaiah 53) as is Jesus from Nazareth. The entire thrust of the passage is that when the arm of the Lord is revealed upon the servant – the world will be shocked. If there is anyone that this cannot be – it is Jesus. So there is the “rest of the chapter” for you.
So, the Jewish world won’t be shocked when it’s revealed that Jesus is the Servant of Isaiah 53 (as per the language of, say, vv. 4-5)? The Muslim and Hindu and Buddhist and atheist world won’t be shocked? The nominal Christian world won’t be shocked? Of course they will!
Getting back to this one verse – 53:9 – you are saying that it cannot be corporate Israel. So are you saying that the Jews when the Jews were butchered because of the accusations that they murdered Christian children and because they had stolen the world’s wealth through deception – that they were indeed guilty of these charges?
No, I’m saying that, over our history, if were righteous in God’s sight, as per the Sinai covenant, we would be the head and not the tail, and we would not be suffering in exile.
You claim that when I speak of Israel’s guilt compared to the guilt of the nations I have introduced a “new category”. I gave you 9 Scriptural references – and you call this a “new category”!? Let us take the first one on the list – Isaiah 26:2; where Israel is praised as the righteous nation who kept her faithfulness. It is obvious that Israel is singled out from amongst the nations for this praise. They are being praised not for something new that is given to them but for the faithfulness towards God that they maintained throughout the exile. (Contrast this with the exaltation of the Messiah described in chapter 11 which will be for new qualities that will be granted to him at that time – not for qualities that he possessed before then.)
Isaiah 26:2 is irrelevant. It’s not talking about Israel in exile for its sins. It’s part of an end-time prophecy when Israel will be redeemed and will be righteous. This same Isaiah compared our people to Sodom and Gomorrah and called us a seed of evil doers, constant rebels, and on and on. Surely you jest with your picture of “righteous Israel” through the centuries. The whole Tanakh, again, is against you, couple with the divine judgments we have been under these many centuries. I address some of this well in a recent video on Isaiah 53, the rabbis, and the Messiah.


In 49:23 Israel is rewarded for having hoped to God – from the context it is obvious that the nations do not share in this reward. The concept is reiterated again and again throughout the book of Isaiah – all those who worship idols will be shamed when everyone sees that the God who Israel trusted in is the true God. Israel will be exalted to the eyes of the nations for maintaining this trust in God throughout the exile – something that no nation will share with them.
What does Ezekiel 36 say about our time in exile? What does Isaiah 52 say about it? Because of us, God’s name was being blasphemed, and we were not brought back to the Land because of our righteousness but rather in our uncleanness, because of God’s mercy. Again, there will be a future redemption based on our repentance – and that will be through the agency of the Messiah. See again the aforementioned video on Isaiah 53, the rabbis, and the Messiah.
When the nations will see the exaltation of God (and Jesus will have no part in this exaltation) they will realize that their worship of Jesus was idolatry. They will realize that Israel’s rejection of Jesus was her greatest virtue. They will realize that all the material blessing that they were blessed with came about because the Jewish people prayed to God for the prosperity of the countries they inhabited – and not because of their own prayers to Jesus.
These are all your words, every one of them. I’ll stay with the Scripture, which indicates that we will be shocked to realize that Yeshua died for our sins (Isaiah 53), that we would reject Him while the nations would receive Him (Isaiah 49), that we will mourn and weep bitterly in repentance towards Him when He returns (Zechariah 12).
This brings us to your arguments against my interpretation as to how Israel brought healing to the nations. You quote Jeremiah 51:9 which actually proves my point – the healing of the nation is not some spiritual gift – but material blessing here on earth. History vindicates my interpretation because countries that allowed the Jews to live amongst them – prospered – while those that expelled them – declined. As for Babylon; Jeremiah wasn’t making a joke in 29:7. The Jewish prayers helped the Babylonians until their time came. No one said the healing was permanent.
Again, the Tanakh says the exact opposite. First, Jeremiah 29:7 was a call to our people to pray for the countries where they were held captive. It provides no guarantee that they did it. Second, if a country is strong enough to take over several countries (including Israel or Judah) and then continues to be strong, that is hardly a “healing.” Third, based on your reading of Isaiah 52:13ff., it is the nations looking back at the end of the age who say, “We now recognize that Israel’s suffering brought us healing” (Rashi even says “atonement”), whereas looking back, they would say, “Israel suffered for its own sins, not for ours” (“And the nations shall know that the House of Israel were exiled only for their iniquity, because they trespassed against Me, so that I hid My face from them and delivered them into the hands of their adversaries, and they all fell by the sword. When I hid My face from them, I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions”; Ezek. 39:23-24, NJPSV). Fourth, these nations, looking back, would say, “And because of the way we overdid the punishment to Israel, God destroyed us. We were anything but healed by their exile in our midst!” (see Jeremiah 50:17-18)
Honestly, it surprises me that you cannot see the impossibility of your reading of Isaiah 53 and the gross misinterpretation of key words, concepts, and verses.
You argue that my interpretation which has the servant render the many righteous – as a future prophecy, contradicts my interpretation which has the servant’s healing of the nation to be past. I would urge you to pay attention to the words of the prophet. The healing is described as something that happened in the past (nirpah) while the servant rendering the many righteous is presented as a future prediction (yatzdik).
First, the verbal changes need not be chronological in this chapter, as you know. Second, you are being inconsistent. It is the alleged future testimony of the nations that is involved, which, as demonstrated, does NOT acknowledge Israel as righteous and which sees destruction, not healing, as a result of Israel’s captivity. Without any possible doubt (again, I could bring much of the Tanakh as my witness), Israel was in exile because of gross rebellion and sin.
You created a new category when you decided that the servant had to be sinless on the basis of your symbolic interpretation of the requirement that the animal guilt offering be free of physical blemish. I responded that the servant being human and not animal has no such requirement. I presented an example from the guilt offering of the Philistines.
I created no new category. I was being consistent with the wording of Isaiah 53 and the image of the sacrifice being without blemish. As for your example, why in the world would you use a pagan offering to prove a point about what God required from Israel? How odd.
You respond that the requirement for the Philistines would be different than the requirements for Israel. It seems that you forgot another Scriptural passage – Leviticus 22:25 – which explicitly applies the requirements of presenting non-blemished animals for the Gentiles as well as the Israelites. – By the way – do you believe the servant only suffers for Israel– or do you believe he suffers for all of mankind?
Again, Leviticus 22:25 is within the context of the Israelite cultus, not telling a pagan nation what to do in their own land. Surely you must realize that you are grasping at straws in your argument about the Philistines, when all of the Torah, reinforced in passages like Malachi 1, require sacrifices without blemish. Even the traditional teaching that the death of the righteous atones for the sins of the generation calls for some kind of exceptional righteousness. How much more that of the Messiah!
You discount my interpretation which has the servant guilty of his own sins – because then the assessment of his enemies would have been accurate – he was suffering for his own sins, while the prophet makes it clear that he was suffering for the sins of others.
You have misunderstood the thrust of Isaiah 53. Those who had denigrated the servant had been looking at the fact that the servant is the only one suffering as an indication that they themselves are more righteous then the servant – or that the servant is more evil than themselves (I see this fulfilled in the consistent Christian assertion that the holocaust “proves” that Israel’s rejection of Jesus is the greatest sin.) When the servant is vindicated – they will see that he had been bearing the burden for everybody – as described in Psalm 88, and that actually the servant had been the one who was fulfilling God’s mission on earth for the benefit of all mankind.
Oh no, I have quite rightly understood the thrust of Isaiah 53. We sinned; he died. We were guilty; he was punished. We were wicked; He was righteous, without deceit, making others righteous. We deserved the stroke; He received it. We all went astray; He did not, and the Lord put on Him the iniquity of all of us.
As for the state of Israel/Judah in exile, the Tanakh speaks for itself: “All Israel has transgressed your law and turned aside, refusing to obey your voice. And the curse and oath that are written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against him” (Dan. 9:11). I could multiply this with a litany of verses, many much harsher than this, representing God’s assessment. Tragically, you present a sentimentalized, idealized picture of our people’s history, because of which you do not seek out the healing you so desperately need.
Re: the alleged Christian assertion that the Holocaust proves that Israel’s rejection of Jesus is the greatest sin, you’ve not heard that from my lips, nor from the lips of any (or, at the least, the vast majority) of my colleagues. So, I state that just to be clear.
When that great day comes – and everyone sees that God alone is King – then those who trusted in Him will be vindicated to the eyes of all the nations who placed their trust in other entities. Everything will pale into insignificance when the nations realize how the worship that they considered the highest virtue – was actually the greatest abomination before God. All of Israel’s sins are between her and God. As for the nations – they will call Israel “the righteous nation” – and they will realize that Israel’s loyalty to God was the most precious thing that God had on this earth (26:2). They will realize that God’s purpose here on earth was accomplished through those loyal to Him – and that those who hoped to God bore the burden for everyone else. I imagine also – that when God’s glory is revealed and the mask of confusion is removed from the face of the nations – then Christians will realize that nations who revere books that slander their theological opponents have something to learn from a nation that reveres a book that highlights their own faults (Zechariah 8:23).
First, through the Messiah, hundreds of millions of Gentiles have turned from idols and sin to worship the one true God. You should rejoice in this, and it just as Isaiah prophesied: while rejected by His own people, He has become a light to the nations (again, Isaiah 49). Second, when Israel repents at the end of the age and embraces the Messiah, Israel will become the lead nation in the millennial kingdom, and the Word will go forth from Jerusalem, from whence Messiah will reign. That will be glorious! But first, Israel must repent, and it will be quite bitter, since you will realize that the one you castigate as an idol and whose name our people curse is actually the Messiah whose coming you have prayed for your whole life. What weeping there will be – but it will lead to something glorious, as prophesied in Zechariah 12:10-13:1. How I long for that day to come!
I look forward to your response.
Here you have it, and I apologize that I let this thread go so long. Thanks for bringing it to my attention again. That being said, you will probably end up with the last word for some time on this (or for good), since my schedule is quite intense with writing and speaking commitments and I don’t know that I’ll be able to return to this any time soon (if at all). But, as promised, you have my response. Any failure to respond on my part indicates either a lack of time or else one of several possibilities (for example, that we’re going around in circles or that you failed to refute my arguments or failed to develop new cogent arguments).
May God’s mercy be upon you, and may He grant you in repentance and faith.

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7 Responses to Dr. Brown’s Response to comment # 429

  1. Pingback: Yisroel Blumenthal’s response to Dr. Brown’s response | 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources

  2. Shane says:

    I’m sorry Rabbi that’s all I have for you my friend, I did insist I’m not stupid but I am no where hear as smart as you, in say ing that I do stand by myself having problems with yours interpretations,,that is the trurrh and I have not got the brain to totally understand what your messages are actually meaning
    KNOW THIS THOUGH RABBI, I AM YOUR FRIEND AND I LOVE YOU AND ALL THE JEWISH PEOPLE I AM SORE IN THE HEART ON THE IMPACT MY MESSAGES HAD TO ALL OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE THAT HAD RELIVE WHAT I WROTE, u don’t really know after the spins I have thrown in weather I speak the truth and I don’t blame you for not beleive me. All I can give is my sorrow and apologise with the weeblood of my heart as the ink of my signature I am sorry my friend please ask God and the Jewish community to forgive me. Because my heart truley

  3. KAVI says:

    Rabbi Blumenthal,
    I have been examining your request to read Zechariah 6.

    Along the way, I am reviewing your responses to Dr.Brown and am not quite seeing the situation as egregiously as presented.

    **RB: “How is it that in your interview with Stroebel Zechariah 6 is magnified as “the most overt passage in the Bible where a human being is identified with a Messianic figure” – and on page 172 of volume 3 you downplay this very same prophecy because it appears in only one book of the Bible. Isn’t that being inconsistent in your own line of reasoning?”

    **Dr. Brown’s Book, volume 3, page 172: “Where then are the alleged prophecies that the Messiah will build the Temple? They are found in only one book of the Hebrew Scriptures, and the passages in question are by no means a clear declaration that the Messiah will one day build a literal Third Temple in Jerusalem.”

    Wouldn’t Dr.Brown’s comments appear to address different concepts?
    [] Interview = Zechariah 6 is significant because “a human being is identified with a Messianic figure”
    [] Book = Zechariah 6 is not significant because it is unclear “that the Messiah will one day build a literal Third Temple”

    I don’t see enough of a connection to find a flagrant inconsistency.

    _____________________

    • KAVI In his interview with Stroebel Dr. Brown sees the fact that the prophet identified a human being with a Messianic figure as a literary method of highlighting this passage – in volume 3 Dr. Brown sees the fact that the concept mentioned in the passage is found once in the Jewish Scriptures (which is actually false – it is emphasized in the Jewish Scriptures in a very powerful way) tells us that the passage is “fringe at best” (Dr. Brown’s words) – so does the prophet want us to see this passage as one of paramount importance (because he identified a human being with a Messianic figure)? or does the prophet want us to relegate this passage to the background because one the concepts in the passage appear only once in Scripture? How do you explain this?

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • KAVI says:

        Rabbi,
        To answer your question directly– for me, G-d’s prophetic Word always has purpose whether the concept is mentioned once or many times.

        And basing one’s interpretations of prophecy around a consistent, central theme would seem to help clarify some of the more difficult passages.
        ___________________________

        Some people base their interpretations of prophecy through the lenses of the Mosaic Law–

        Others base their interpretations of prophecy through the lenses of redemption through Faith in the Redeemer–

        ___________________________

        The Mosaic Law is like a grander version of the Garden of Eden’s two trees– very beautiful as long as you obey the Law perfectly. . . otherwise you are just as cursed as Adam/Chava were.

        On the other hand, Redemption through Faith is a much older way to holiness and it has the power to take away sins– the power to impute righteousness which cannot fail.

        So, to me, interpreting prophecy around this better “Law” of Faith is a reasonable, methodical pursuit.

        _____________________________

        • KAVI only history proves you wrong – look at those who were convinced that they are redeemed and look at those who understood that as servants of God the greatest gift and privilege that God could give man is His holy Law

          1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

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