It’s a Midrash! – by Jim

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.

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46 Responses to It’s a Midrash! – by Jim

  1. bible819 says:

    Jim,

    It’s obvious that Jesus is being taught everywhere. I personally try to give glory to my King in everything I do. In so doing, it promotes My message of salvation. Your message is the Torah of which is spread 99% through Christ Jesus. Point being, the “Good News” of salvation is not being taught everywhere by Judaism. Salvation is not being taught to the gentles by the Torah. Majority of us know God through Christ the Hebrew. With that said, I will continue to produce a crop some 30, 60, some 100 what was sold. The harvest field is plentiful. The Arm has been revealed. How Gracious is he truly is. In Jesus. Amen

  2. bible819 says:

    Jim,

    It’s obvious that Jesus is being taught everywhere. I personally try to give glory to my King in everything I do. In so doing, it promotes My message of salvation. Your message is the Torah of which is spread 99% through Christ Jesus. Point being, the “Good News” of salvation is not being taught everywhere by Judaism. Salvation is not being taught to the gentles by the Torah. Majority of us know God through Christ the Hebrew. With that said, I will continue to produce a crop some 30, 60, some 100 what was sold. The harvest field is plentiful. The Arm of the Lord has been revealed. How Gracious is he truly is. In Jesus. Amen

    • RT says:

      Your King, is not in the Torah, you have another king than the King of King. Even if that king believed in the Torah, you have replaced it and suppressed it to become the obsolete old testament…. Now you worship a dead man! The majority (99%) see a twisted three head god-head, which a distorted G-d the Father who is mean and unforgiving as per the new-testament… I could just say that The Mormons believe in G-d or allah is god, but you know it’s not the case and neither your three-in-one god you believe in. And if you do not believe in that three-in-one god, then you have two gods, so much better!

    • LarryB says:

      1. It’s obvious that Jesus is being taught everywhere.
      A. Except synagogues, and mosques.
      B. Which Jesus, Jesus the God or Jesus the messiah?
      C. In Judaism there is one God.
      2. I personally try to give glory to my King in everything I do.
      A. Who is your king
      1. God
      2. Jesus
      3. In so doing, it promotes My message of salvation.
      A. What is YOUR message?
      1. Jesus the messiah or Jesus the God,
      2. something Jesus did?
      4. Your message is the Torah of which is spread 99% through Christ Jesus.
      A. Not exactly, only in relation to the New Testment, example
      1. http://www.catholic.org/bible/daily_reading/?select_date=2017-02-12
      5. Point being, the “Good News” of salvation is not being taught everywhere by Judaism.
      A. The Torah does not teach accepting Jesus as savior.
      6. Salvation is not being taught to the gentles by the Torah.
      A. See 5 A
      7. Majority of us know God through Christ the Hebrew.
      A. Would that be Jesus the Hebrew God or Jesus the Hebrew messiah, both?
      8. With that said, I will continue to produce a crop some 30, 60, some 100 what was sold.
      A. Please explain.
      9. The harvest field is plentiful.
      A. Please explain
      10. The Arm of the Lord has been revealed.
      A. Please explain
      11.How Gracious is he truly is.
      A. He who?
      12. In Jesus. Amen
      A. In Jesus what?

      • bible819 says:

        A. Except synagogues, and mosques.
        1. Isaiah speaks of Salvation being brought to the gentiles.. Starting in Jerusalem Jesus has been taught to the world about Salvation. Judaism is not being spread to the gentiles. We say Father because of Jesus not Judaism.
        2. Jesus is God’s annoited. Jesus has God’s name. Jesus used God’s power. Moses didn’t have faith to speak the Rock but Jesus did. Jesus was used by God to spread his message. Now all people know what God wants us to be. Israel is the example for the world of what happens when you become like the world. but Jesus Christ is the message of Salvation. We will keep on Spreading this Message. Hopefully you accept this message of the Arm Revealed.

        • RT says:

          ” Israel is the example for the world of what happens when you become like the world.”

          Nice, when you include all the Jews as unregenerate, one or two steps later, you can include them as “denier of the trinity” and so forth, and that kind of teaching was used to burn them at stake! I won’t talk about how the Church of your blessed savior Yeshua Hamashiach did those atrocities. But those were not true follower of your lord? The Church is the best example of how we should not act and do, look at history my friend!

          • bible819 says:

            I’m sure The Old Testament talks about how Israel put their own kids to the fire, how Solomon worshipped other gods, and how israel ate their own kids. Better said, only a remnant of Israel will be saved. Jesus said, only a narrow gate of gentiles will be saved. Human nature RT.

          • RT says:

            Many people do wrong, some follow G-d and other another god (Jesus)… What’s your point?

          • CP says:

            RT & Bible819,
            I agree with both of you, groups of human beings in power are generally bad people, Jew or Christian. However if either ‘really’ follow their respective Scripture, they are generally transformed people.

            I don’t think the question is who is more right and who is more wrong. The million dollar question is; ‘Was Yeshua an appearance of Messiah in a plan of God that has more than one appearance?’ A case can be made from Scripture that he was. This case can admittedly be refuted, but so can Mt Sinai. Just because convincing argument can be mounted, doesn’t mean proof one way or another.

            Moses must be accepted by faith just as Yeshua must be accepted by faith.

          • CP The Jewish Scriptures doesn’t say a a word about accepting Moses by “faith” – and Yeshua claimed to be teh Messiah according to a specific belief system – and he fails according to that very belief system – his claim is self-contradictory 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • bible819 says:

            CP,

            Great response.

          • CP says:

            R’B,
            “The Jewish Scriptures doesn’t say a a word about accepting Moses by “faith”

            I respectfully disagree. The first time Moses came to the people he was rejected as a murderer; the people had no faith in Moses, afraid for his life he left Egypt until God called him back. One of Moses’ first stated concerns to God about going back was if the people would believe him.

            It’s been said many times; ‘Where does the Torah say Messiah will do this or that?’ The same could be said of Moses; ‘Where does Abraham or any others promise and identify Moses coming after 430 years of captivity?’ Therefore what happened causing people to have enough faith in Moses to follow him into the desert? Signs and miracles proved to the people Moses was indeed an agent sent by God. The record of these signs and miracles stands as a witness even today.

            Yeshua used signs and miracles proving he was sent by God. Some believed these signs and miracles and others didn’t (just as it is today). The ones who believed fled Jerusalem right before it was destroyed.

            For anyone to believe Moses and Yeshua they must have faith the Scriptures are true. For anyone to have saving faith in Moses and Yeshua as agents of God, they must put their words into practice and they will see they are true.

          • CP God went to great lengths to establish the credibility of Moses in front of the entire nation. It is this factor of credibility that sets Moses apart (closing verses in Deuteronomy) – God then established testimony in Jacob (Psalm 78) – accepting testimony is not faith if it makes sense to believe the witness and God goes out of His way to argue that it makes sense to believe the witness (Deuteronomy 4) – again no leap of faith

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • bible819 says:

            Mr. Friend,

            The true testament of a lack of faith was when Israel died in the desert. As Moses said, you are not grumbling against me but God.
            Now the world has a chance to perish or live in Faith about Yeshua.
            As CP put so Eloquently, you either have faith or you don’t . After signs and wonders: “we don’t know what happen to this Moses”. Make us a golden calf.

          • RT says:

            Bible819, what about the next generation?

            Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had known all the works of the Lord which He had done for Israel.

            Pick and choosing people who did not served G-d for your own purpose does not mean that Israel never followed G-d or that they are not doing it now. In general, I would say that many Jews are not following G-d, but again, many Jews are. They do not need your Yeshua, and unless we can prove he was the messiah, then you are worshiping another god. Your are the golden calf worshiper who replaced G-d who can forgive sins for another man-god who died on a cross….

          • bible819 says:

            RT,

            You said, the church is the way we shouldn’t act. And history proves this. What about Israel’s history?! Pretty hypocritical to say the least. God is who made Yeshua. We didn’t make a calf. Poor comparison.

          • RT says:

            ,

            “You said, the church is the way we shouldn’t act. And history proves this.”

            The Jews never pretended to have a heart changed by a holy spirit like you do… Those who do evil are evil and those who do good, from any religion, do good. You were the one trying to categorize the JEWS in your statement. I know good Christians, good Jews and good Atheist. God is Judge, and I am not saying that they are all unregenerate or will go to hell like most Christians do!

          • Dina says:

            RT, do you realize what Bibbles just said? At least Christians didn’t make a calf, the Jews are so much worse!

            How about this: At least the Jews don’t have the blood of millions of Jews and Gentiles on their hands. Does Bibbles want to compare the moral legacy of Judaism over the past 2000 years with the moral legacy of Christianity? I suggest he not go there. He has to travel thousands of years into the past to find bad behavior among the Jews. We only have to travel a bit over half a century.

          • RT says:

            Bible819, and you are worshiping that created thing that G-d made. Indus worship calves and cow that G-d made and it is wrong, you worship a man that died 2000 years ago and that would be right?

          • bible819 says:

            RT,
            The risen King Yeshiva who God saved world through.
            I just believe in who he was and is.
            You are waiting on a Messiah who will be a man.
            I just believe God and the Messiah are 1.
            For no man alone could save the world.
            Praise Yeshua.

          • RT says:

            And by doing this, you made an image of G-d, just like they did with the golden calf. They did not worship another god either at mount Sinai! What did Aaron said? Behold your god who took you out of Egypt! They believe that that calf was the representation of the living G-d, you believe Yeshua, a man whom G-d created was/is the representation of the living G-d. What’s the difference? Didn’t the writer of Hebrew said:”who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person”

            And what does image mean as per Strong Concordance? The instrument used for engraving or carving. ..

            Just like an idol!

            https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G5481&t=KJV

          • bible819 says:

            Dina,

            The simple Fact is that human beings are atrocities. That is why God wanted to start over with Moses. And then told Ezekiel, even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,”.

            Only remnant of Jews will be saved. Only a narrow gate of gentiles will be saved.

            There is no different between (JEW OR GENTILE), For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

            No difference. None. Zilch. Nada. Israel has done everything the world has done.
            No difference.

          • Dina says:

            Sounds like anti-semitic supersessionism to me.

          • RT says:

            Yet, Noah, Daniel and Job were righteous without the precious blood and the worship of a man? Those, as per your new testament were doomed to hell! None of these poor man had BLOOD as a sacrifice as there was no temple standing. They have been 4000 years in the pit of hell, as Paul said “The wage of sin is death” and “The man that sin must die”…

          • bible819 says:

            Dina,

            You missed the point.

          • Dina says:

            Is there a point in talking to people who don’t listen but only want to preach? The correct answer is no.

          • RT says:

            “Only remnant of Jews will be saved. Only a narrow gate of gentiles will be saved.”

            the Jews who believe in Yeshua, is that the narrow gate that will be saved. And for the gentiles “Christians” they were not true followers of Jesus, because they did not have the holy spirit. Got it! It’s all semantic, you only have to redefine who is a true Christian and who are those “Jew” that are saved…

          • Dina says:

            RT, aren’t we all created by God in His image? Hey, we better start worshiping each other!

          • bible819 says:

            RT,

            The point was that Israel throughout history has commited all the things that the world has done.
            How could God judge the world if we were never given the law?!

            Think about it. The Golden calf testifies that Israel had no direction before gave them the Law. The rest of God’s creation were never given God’s Law.
            The Righteousness of God gave us the Law of Grace. If you are still under the Law us gentiles cannot be judged. Yes Christ is the true image of God but made by God himself. The truth is, the gentiles were Never given the Law.

          • RT says:

            “The Righteousness of God gave us the Law of Grace. ”

            Nice Christianese, what does it mean? Is that law of Grace found in the Bible? What is “the righteousness of G-d”, is that supposed to mean Jesus or the fourth person of the tri-unity?

          • bible819 says:

            RT,

            We were never given the Law!

          • RT says:

            Which law, the law of grace? The law of grace is something I never heard of, but the law of Moses, I agree that it is not for the gentiles to follow everything. Jews don’t have to follow everything either. Some part is for the High priest, some for the priests, some for the Israelite Men and some is for the Israelite Women. Some is for the foreigner who lives in the land and some is for everybody.

          • Dina says:

            RT, Paul’s fatal mistake was in assuming that the Law was given to the Jews but the Gentiles had no way to get to God. The Law was given to Jews, but the Gentiles are under the Noahide covenant. If Paul was a Pharisee as he claimed, he would have known this.

            Neither Jew nor Gentile needs Jesus’s suffering and death on the cross to “save” them from sin. Both Jew and Gentile–Jew by following the Torah and Gentile by following the Noahide laws–choose our own spiritual destiny through our actions. See Genesis 4:7, Deuteronomy 30, Ezekiel 18 and 33.

          • bible819 says:

            Good. We agree that the The Law of Moses wasn’t given at all to the gentiles. We don’t live in the Promise land. The implications of that information means for the past 6000 years the gentiles are not accountable for their actions. The Jews are still exiled because of not following the Law. The Father of souls is creating more souls that have no accountability. Think about it.

          • Dina says:

            You really don’t listen.

          • RT says:

            Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord.

            Open my eyes that I may see
            wonderful things in your law.

            Keep me from deceitful ways;
            be gracious to me and teach me your law.

            I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
            I have set my heart on your laws.

            Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
            and obey it with all my heart.

            I will always obey your law,
            for ever and ever.

            The arrogant mock me unmercifully,
            but I do not turn from your law.

            Indignation grips me because of the wicked,
            who have forsaken your law.

            In the night, Lord, I remember your name,
            that I may keep your law.

            Though the wicked bind me with ropes,
            I will not forget your law.

            Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
            but I delight in your law.

            The law from your mouth is more precious to me
            than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.

            Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
            for your law is my delight.

            The arrogant dig pits to trap me,
            contrary to your law.

            If your law had not been my delight,
            I would have perished in my affliction.

            Oh, how I love your law!

            Though I constantly take my life in my hands,
            I will not forget your law.

            I hate double-minded people,
            but I love your law.

            It is time for you to act, Lord;
            your law is being broken.

            Your righteousness is everlasting
            and your law is true

            It looks like, as per this Psalm, that if you teach that the law is a curse and that the Jews should not keep it, than, you are acting against G-d. There is no “Grace” in this Psalm, no… No Jews eating Pork Chops with their Christian Friend laughing at the “Law of Death” that you are talking about…

          • Dina says:

            RT, thank you for posting these stirring and inspiring verses!

          • bible819 says:

            Dina, I’m sure the majority of people who hold the Old Testament were delivered by the actions and blood by Jesus. That is a fact. The Law of Moses is for those who under the Law. Yes blood does account for sin. We know of Noah due to Jesus.

  3. CP says:

    Jim, LarryB; here’s some Midrash you may find interesting:

    http://www.facingeachother.com/you-are-the-man

  4. Dina says:

    Following.

  5. Dina says:

    Recently, two commenters on this blog claimed that Moses was believed on faith; therefore, Jesus should be believed on faith. Moses was believed because he performed miracles; therefore, Jesus should be believed because he performed miracles. Some time ago, I wrote an article contrasting Moses with Jesus, but these two gentlemen do not allow facts to get in the way of their beliefs. Because of its relevance, I repost it below for your benefit.

    Is Jesus Like Moses?

    The answer is, of course, a resounding no. Jesus and Moses differed from each other in the following areas:

    Character
    Temperament
    Purpose
    Lifetime accomplishments
    Benefit to the Jewish people

    Character. Jesus displays extreme arrogance while Moses displays extreme patience and humility. We see Jesus’s arrogance in his demand for acceptance and belief in himself and his impatience with those who ask for signs, although according to Deuteronomy 18 it behooves us to ask for a sign to test a prophet’s credentials. For example, when the Pharisees and Sadducees ask Jesus for a sign, he angrily retorts, “An adulterous generation asks for a sign,” as if they had no right–nay, no responsibility–to do so. Jesus condemns all those who don’t believe in him to eternal damnation. He is often angry and impatient, especially with the Pharisees.

    Jesus claims for himself the title of messiah and declares that he is the only way to God.

    Moses, on the other hand, shows the exact opposite trait when he asks God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should take the Children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). Moses expects not to be believed–fairly, from his perspective: “Behold, they will not believe me and they will not listen to my voice” (ibid 4:1).

    Moses persists in arguing with God, claiming that he is not a man of words, until finally God gets angry with him (ibid 4:14).

    Moses’s fear of not being believed is realized when the Jewish officers confront him: “They met Moses and Aaron standing before them when they came out from Pharaoh’s presence. And they said to them, ‘May the Lord look upon you and judge, for you have brought us into foul odor in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of his servants, to place a sword into their hand[s] to kill us’ ” (Exodus 5:20-21). Rather than excoriating them for their unbelief, Moses takes up their cause with God: “So Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord! Why have You harmed this people? Why have You sent me? Since I have come to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has harmed this people, and You have not saved Your people’ ” (ibid 5:22-23).

    We see in the very next chapter that the Children of Israel still did not believe him: “Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel, but they did not hearken to Moses because of [their] shortness of breath and because of [their] hard labor” (ibid 6:9). Yet Moses did not react. He felt their pain.

    Temperament.Jesus differs from Moses in temperament. While Jesus acts like the hot-headed, short-tempered, impetuous youth that he is, Moses by contrast acts the wise, patient, kind old man.

    Jesus shows his anger often in the Christian scriptures, calling his enemies choice names and threatening them with a horrid fate, but for the purpose of this article, two instances of his towering temper will suffice. One is when a fig tree is not bearing fruits out of season. Jesus is hungry, and he gets mad at the tree for failing to produce fruit out of season (stupid tree should have known better). Out of anger, he curses the tree so that it withers and can no longer produce fruit. It is a Biblical transgression to wantonly destroy a fruit-bearing tree. There seems to be no purpose in Jesus’s cursing of the fig tree. Being the miracle worker that he was, he could just as easily have blessed it to bear fruit out of season.

    At one point in the gospel story, Jesus throws the mother of all temper tantrums in the courtyard of the Temple, overturning the tables of the moneychangers and driving out the sellers of livestock. What on earth have these people done to deserve this treatment? Moneychangers played the useful role of changing the currency of those traveling from afar, and livestock was sold to the travelers for sacrifices. They were doing nothing wrong.

    Moses, on the other hand, after leading the Israelites out of bondage, performing miracles on a grand scale never seen before or since, miracles that affected the whole country of Egypt and the whole nation of Israel, and bringing them to Sinai to receive the Torah, doubtless had the most stressful of jobs. The burden of the entire nation rested on his shoulders alone, to the point that he tells God he can’t do it anymore. God reassures him by delegating responsibility to 70 elders, as I discussed in an earlier comment.

    The people tested Moses sorely, even after he had proved himself to them. After everything he had done for them, still they complained. How many times did Moses crack from the strain? He hit the rock instead of talking to it. He called them rebels, once. He was punished for it and not allowed to enter the Holy Land. If this was the punishment given to Moses, a true prophet and true leader, who had good cause to get angry yet did so on only two occasions, imagine the punishment Jesus deserved. He did not even have a good excuse for his behavior

    Purpose.Moses’s purpose was to be the prophet of God to the Jewish people, to lead them out of Egyptian bondage, and to transmit to them the teachings of God known as the Torah. Moses gave the people clear signs that came to pass in an observable, irrefutable way. He led them out of bondage and taught them the Torah.

    Jesus believed his purpose was to be the Jewish messiah. His followers believed him to be a prophet as well. As I have shown in previous comments, Jesus failed to accomplish the mission of the messiah. He was a false prophet as well, giving signs that did not materialize as per Deuteronomy 18 (Christian objections to this are weak, to understate the case), and introducing a new type of worship as per Deuteronomy 13 (“I am the way,” “I am the first and the last,” the word of God made flesh, etc.).

    Accomplishments.Moses accomplished a great deal in his lifetime. He led the people out of bondage and taught them the Torah, which has sustained and kept us alive through fire and water. The Torah has served as the light in the darkness of our long and terrible exile.

    Jesus, as messiah, would have ruled over Israel as king during a time that ushered in an era of universal peace and knowledge of God, ingathering of the exiles, restoration of the people to the Land, national resurgence of Torah observance, punishment of Israel’s enemies, vindication of Israel in the eyes of all the nations, rebuilding of the Third Temple, and restoration of the sacrificial system. I have provided Scriptural citations for this in an earlier comment.

    Instead, after Jesus died, the Temple was destroyed, the Jews were forced out of the Land and scattered, they became an object of scorn and derision among the nations, and 2000 years of horrific persecution followed.

    Benefits to the Jewish people.In benefit to the Jewish people, Moses wins hands down. If not for him, perhaps we would still be in Egypt, or would not exist, having assimilated into the dominant culture. Thanks to him, a proud people with a glorious heritage survived and received the Torah, the defining teaching on ethics and morality. This Torah has served as a beacon of light, guiding us through the darkness of exile and ensuring our survival.

    What has Jesus done for the Jewish people? Nothing but great harm. The 2000 years of persecution that followed Jesus’s death was committed in his name.

    When I presented a less detailed version of this essay outlining the differences between Moses and Jesus, a commenter on this blog scoffed, claiming that all this shows is that the two are not twins. He minimized the differences by comparing them to, say, the differences in taste or opinion. I do not remember the exact example he offered, but it would have been along the lines that one preferred chocolate ice cream while the other preferred vanilla ice cream.

    Then, cynically, he offered a list of similarities that illustrated exactly that sort of similarity, similarities like what flavor of ice cream you prefer. Furthermore, the list contains false comparisons. The differences I demonstrated lie in the realm of character, temperament, purpose, accomplishments, and benefits and are indisputably gargantuan. The similarities of being saved by a close relative named Miriam, by contrast, are just plain silly.

    Let us now examine this list.

    The first four comparisons have to do with Jesus’s and Moses’s early life. Both were in danger of being killed by a wicked king, both were hidden for protection, both were helped/saved by a woman named Miriam, both were adopted, both were princes (Moses of Egypt, Jesus of peace).

    When I pointed to the sign of Jonah as being a failed prophecy, this selfsame blog commenter said that this prophecy is a later redaction because it does not appear in Mark, the earliest gospel. What then to make of the fact that none of the above appear in Mark, the earlier gospel? Will this man be consistent and concede that none of it happened but was added in a later redaction?

    So first off, the comparison fails because all this stuff never even happened.

    Secondly, so what? None of the items on this list are particularly unique. Babies have been in danger before, whether from powerful rulers or otherwise. Women named Miriam saved their sons from danger. I can say this with confidence as Miriam has always been a popular Jewish name and Jewish babies have been in danger countless times throughout our history. And adoptions are fairly common. These comparisons are as superficial as the ones our in-house cynic supposedly decries.

    I was going to point out the apples-to-oranges comparisons in the way this list shows literal versus figurative “similarities” such as a real prince (Moses growing up in the palace) versus a figurative prince (prince of peace, which Jesus was most certainly not, as history testifies) and a real shepherd (Moses) versus a figurative shepherd (Jesus, who did not work as a shepherd by trade), but Jim did a great job showcasing exactly that. Jim also did a fine job showing the false comparison between the two of offering themselves for atonement.

    The remaining comparisons are embarrassingly and obviously so superficial there is no need to point it out.

    Even so, it’s worth noting that the statement that Jesus performed signs and miracles also is not unique to him (if true). Many prophets performed signs and miracles. No one performed signs and miracles on the grand scale of Moses, although Joshua’s miracles of splitting the Jordan and stopping the sun were similar in the sense that they affected the whole nation–certainly, Joshua’s miracles are much more similar to Moses (both splitting a body of water) than Jesus’s. Leaving aside the inconvenient fact that Jesus’s signs failed to materialize, Jesus did not strike the Roman empire with plagues, nor did God speak to him to the ears of the entire nation of Israel. If we are to say that Jesus is similar to Moses in signs and miracles, in a way that Joshua and Elijah and Elisha for example were not, then we should fairly expect miracles that affected two peoples the way Moses’s miracles did.

    Christians force the similarities because they want Jesus to be the prophet like Moses in Deuteronomy 18. They read Scripture like Horace.

    Was Jesus like Moses? No, he was not. Not in any way that actually matters.

    Addendum: We must not forget that Moses was the leader of the entire nation of Israel, while Jesus was the leader of a small following. The overwhelming majority of Jews at the time never heard of him; they didn’t even live in the Land of Israel. In light of everything else I wrote above, this is highly significant.

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