Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Faith and Reason

My last few posts on the Noahide Laws have ignited a firestorm of Christian responses. I'm very pleased, I might add. I've been presented quite a few "proof-text" and can say that they simply prove nothing. All of these texts only prove Christianity if someone has already accepted jeezus. The way it works is that the Torah says XXX and the Christian Bible, whose testimony we must assume is correct, says that jeezus did XXX, therefore he is the messiah. Christians do not base themselves on the verses of the Torah; they already believe in the truth of their Bible and read Christianity into every verse. One cannot find a verse that clearly states 'JC is the messiah' which is odd since if accepting that man is the key to salvation and G-d wants us all to be saved, one would think that He would make that a lot clearer.

I made this point inin a previous post and I got this comment:

Just as I believe in Chripes and so I can easily see God preparing Israel for His coming in passages in the Old Testament you believe that there is no Chripes and so you will not give thought to his being real until someone can tie down every one of your doubts with passages that you could not possibly find a way of getting around. God is spirit and those who worship Him worship Him in spirit and in truth. Abraham was not chosen by God because of his ability to reason. Abraham was not chosen by God because he was the best at holding to tradition. Abraham was not chosen by God because he was the best man that could be found. Abraham was chosen by God because of his faith. He was chosen because no matter what God said he cried out "Hineni!!!" Without faith it is impossible to please God because those who come to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Those who truly follow Chripes follow him in faith. It's like when Elisha prayed for his servant to see what actually was in 2 Kings:

"Go, find out where he is," the king ordered, "so I can send men and capture him." The report came back: "He is in Dothan." Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.
When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked.
"Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them."
And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the Lord opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

It was not the servant seeing that caused the horses and chariots of fire to be there. They were there all along. Elisha did not need to see them because he had faith in the victory all along. Some people never believe and never see. Others simply know what is there already. And still others have their eyes opened by God so that they can see what was really there the whole time. This is how it is with the Chripes.

Without a belief it will be impossible for you to see Chripes in the Old Testament. My prayer is that God will open your eyes to see what is already there. Not to change you from being a Jew to being a Christian. (May that never happen.) But rather to show you His gift of Messiah that Jews have so longed for.

Essentially, the answer is one of circular logic: that I must believe in Christianity and once I do so, I will find Christianity within the Torah... ugh... This truly poor reasoning. If Christianity is correct and G-d is Omnipotent, He must have known that He would have sent jeezus down to earth and that people would reject him. Just as G-d revealed Himself at Mount Sinai, in front of millions of people, a claim so absurd as to be anything but true, why did G-d keep secret something that is arguably as significant as giving the Torah? What kind of cruel god would keep us ignorant about the only thing that can save us from hell?

Simply put, following your heart in matters of belief is not enough. Just as HaShem allows another woman to entice a married man or for him to find her attractive, so too can another faith seem true or sway a person. The Torah warns clearly about this possibility in the Sh'mah, recited by Jews twice daily. "Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them" (Deut 16:11). I don't doubt the sincerity of believing Christians or that many have had their lives turned around or seen miracles in response to their being "born-again". Nonetheless, that doesn't change the fact the heart is not a strong enough indicator or guide in religious matters. As one critic of Christianity once said: "As G-d created our minds, He expects us to use our reasoning together with our faith. Faith is not a substitute for reason, but a development from it and alongside it."

In the morning prayers, every day after the Sh'mah, the quintessential Jewish prayer, we say: "Truthful and certain, established and enduring, fair and faithful, beloved and cherished, delightful and pleasant, awesome and powerful, correct and accepted is this affrimation to us forever and ever... His words are living and enduring, faithful and delightful forever and to all eternity- for our forefathers and for us, for our children and generation, and for all the genrations of Your servant Israel's offspring." When G-d gave the Ten Commandments, He didn't link Himself to the Creation of the world since no man saw it, but to the Exodus which all of Israel, as well as the entire world, experienced. After the miracles of Egypt, no man could doubt G-d. As the Sages say, a maidservant at the Sea saw more than Yechezkel in his heavenly prophecy. Millions of people lived through the Exodus and there is nothing comparable to the Mount Sinai Event in all of the annals of human history, religion of mythology. Such a story is impossible to invent as it can be easily disproven. One one hand, we have the emet v'yatziv, the truth and certainty, of the Torah given by G-d at Sinai, and on the other, we have the flimsy testimonies of a few men who probably never even saw JC. If JC was G-d's son, why didn't G-d reveal that publically? Imagine for a second if the President of the US would go on national TV to announce a new law and then later on tell his secretary to announce to a few people that the law has been repealed or changed. Absurd! And yet this is what Christians claim! They believe that G-d made Himself manifest to millions of people at Sinai but then brought His son down in secret. Could the better explanation for this low-key story is the fact that it never happened, that the whole Christian belief is a myth? When one is told that he must simply believe, implying that a proof form G-d's Torah cannot be brought, one begins to doubt and to see the whole sham for what it is. I am sorry if I am being harsh but this comment exposes the house of cards that is the jeezus myth!

Don't doubt the importance of faith. I believe in HaShem's Torah with my entire heart but I have the reliable traditions of my ancestors to rely on, on the truth of the historical miracles which G-d performed for Israel. This faith is no blind jump but has a rational basis. To believe Christianity, one needs to assume many, many things, namely that its founder even existed, for which there is scant evidence (that is a topic for another post), that its holy texts are ineffable, although there have been found 30 000 different variations in manuscripts (in contrast, there are only 9 letter variations with no affect to meaning in Yemenite Torahs) and that the men who wrote their holy texts actually even saw the religion's founder. With somehting so flimsy, so full of holes, with so many gaps and leaps of faith, why not put your bet on G-d's proven Torah?

"A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows." -Mark Twain


Papa Frank said...

"Don't doubt the importance of faith. I believe in HaShem's Torah with my entire heart but I have the reliable traditions of my ancestors to rely on, on the truth of the historical miracles which G-d performed for Israel. This faith is no blind jump but has a rational basis."

That, my friend, is not faith. That is trust. What reliable tradition did Abraham lean upon to make his decision to cry out Hineni? Abraham had faith and said here am I no matter what. What rational basis was Abraham relying on other than having faith in God? After all, everything rational would have pointed towards him staying in the situation he was in. He was prosperous and successful and lacking for nothing where he was. What rational thought led him to pick up and go?

The Torah holds a wealth of proof of Yeshua ben-Yosef as the Messiah. The notion that Yeshua came in secret and was never "announced" by the Father is simply ignoring the New Testament all together. As for Yeshua being obscure and possibly not even historical - try this little test. Find another name, other than Yeshua, that evokes the entire range of emotions in every single continent, every single country, every single language, every single religion, every single demographic, from the richest of rich to the poorest of poors, from the most educated to those who can't even spell their names. God has written the name Yeshua on the individual hearts of people everywhere. God not only announced Yeshua in times past but He is still in the business of announcing Yeshua to the entire world.

Avi said...

G-d said clearly to Avraham: 'Go!'. He didn't hear this from a follower of a mythical pseudo-prophet. And in his time, the Torah was not even given. Today, our every action must be based on logical proofs from the Torah.

All proof about jeezus is simply circular.

'Find another name, other than Yeshua, that evokes the entire range of emotions in every single continent, every single country, every single language, every single religion, every single demographic, from the richest of rich to the poorest of poors, from the most educated to those who can't even spell their names.'

This argument again is circular. In Asia, the names jeezus has no particular relevance. But think how Buddha is venerated there. And what about ol' Mo in the Islamic world. Today, his followers are definately more zealous than J's. And he's not on my heart, never will be, may his name be accursed.

Avi said...

And if all I have to rely on is my heart, what if I feel that my uncle Larry is the messiah? I really, really believe in it. Have faith!

Anonymous said...

BK, I've read your posts, and you rememind me of me a long time ago. I thought these might be helpful to you. At least something to think about.

Objection: 2.1. “If Jesus is really the Messiah, why isn’t there peace on earth?”

Answer: “According to the biblical timetable, things are right on schedule, and Jesus is doing everything the Messiah was to expected to do up until this point. The problem is that you have an incomplete understanding of the biblical picture of the Messiah. According to the prophet Malachi, the Messiah would bring purification and purging before he brought peace. He would execute judgment before he established justice. Many would not be able to endure the consequences of his coming. This is written in our Hebrew Bible! For many of our people, his coming would be bad news, not good news. Our Scriptures also teach that the Messiah was to be a priestly King, like David. As a royal Priest, he came to make atonement for sins and offer forgiveness and reconciliation to Israel and the nations. As King, his dominion expands every day, as he rules over those who embrace him as Messiah. Soon he will return and establish his kingdom on the earth, destroying the wicked and bringing world wide peace. So, what you expected to be the first act of the play will be actually be the final act!” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 1, pp. 69-88.)

Objection: 2.2. “Why have wars, famines, and human suffering only increased since Jesus came?”

Answer: “As we explained in the previous answer, this is the transition age, the age when God’s kingdom is being established throughout the earth, one life at a time. During this era, because the population of the world has increased and technology has advanced, there are now more evil people capable of doing more evil things, causing an increase in human suffering. Also, Jesus told his disciples that before the end of this age, there would be great turmoil and upheaval, the final birth pangs before God’s kingdom was fully established on the earth. But this is only part of the picture. Throughout the world, the knowledge of the one true God has also increased dramatically since Jesus came. This was one of the key roles of the Messiah -- to spread the knowledge of God to the nations of the world, and it is certainly no small matter that hundreds of millions of people who once lived and died in spiritual darkness have now come into the light of the Messiah.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 1, pp. 88-98.)

Objection: 2.3. “There was no Jewish expectation in the first century that the Messiah would be some great miracle worker, so all of Jesus’ alleged miracles were of no interest to the first century Jewish leaders and they are no interest to me.”
Answer: “I think you are misinformed, and I don’t even believe you are being honest with yourself. First, there most definitely was first-century Jewish expectation concerning a miracle working Messiah, in keeping with the predictions of the biblical prophets. Second, if you understood that Jesus the Messiah really did heal the sick, open blind eyes, and raise the dead, and that he is still performing miracles, I think this would be of considerable interest to you.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 1, pp. 98-101.)

Objection: 2.4. “Jesus cannot be the Messiah, because more Jewish blood has been shed in his name than in any other name or for any other cause.”
Answer: “Certainly, much Jewish blood has been shed in Jesus’ name by violent and ungodly men who have been a total disgrace to Christianity. This is reprehensible and completely inexcusable. Still, your statement is quite exaggerated and also misses a crucial point. First, more Jews have been killed by people who professed no faith at all in Jesus than by those so-called ‘Christians’ who persecuted our people in Jesus’ name. For example, the atheistic Stalinists who slaughtered our people did not do so in Jesus’ name, nor have the militant Islamic terrorists. Second, there is something important that we must recognize, even though it is terribly painful even to consider. From a biblical perspective, the most common reason that Jewish blood has been shed is that we Jews have strayed from God, violated His covenant, broken His laws, and failed to heed His prophets. Just look at the curses for disobedience promised in the Torah of Moses. We could not have suffered so much if we were guiltless as a people. As for hypocritical goyyim (Gentiles) shedding Jewish blood in Jesus’ name -- no true follower of Jesus could ever murder in his name -- this terribly sinful act is also alluded to in the Torah.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 1, pp. 101-108.)

Objection: 2.5. “Christianity is actually a religion of hate, not love. Its bad fruit proves that it is a bad tree, even according to Jesus’ own criteria (see Matt 7:15-20; Luke 6:43-45).”
Answer: “Years ago, some Orthodox rabbis told me that I didn’t know what real Judaism was. Could it be that you don’t know what real Christianity is? The fruit that has been produced through the coming of Jesus into the world -- in the lives of his true followers -- has been wonderful and extraordinary. Anyway, your reasoning about Christianity being a bad tree is faulty. Let me explain.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 1, pp. 109-116.)

Objection: 2.6. “Jesus himself taught that he did not come to bring peace but a sword. We Jews have felt the edge of this sword for more than 1500 years now!”
Answer: “Jesus was actually referring to the Hebrew Scriptures when he said that he did not come to bring peace but a sword (see Micah 7:5-6 and Matthew 10:34). And that same passage is quoted in the Mishnah with reference to family conflicts that will come with the advent of the Messianic age. In any case, what Jesus and Micah were talking about was bringing division into families over the issue of loyalty to God and his Messiah. As for literally taking up swords for the faith, Jesus utterly renounced this.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 1, pp. 116-124.)

Objection: 2.7. “Christians have always hated and persecuted the Jewish people.”
Answer: “It is true that many false followers of Jesus have hated and persecuted the Jewish people and that many true followers of Jesus have been stained with an ugly anti-Semitic spirit, thereby making a mockery of the very faith that they profess. This is tragic and reprehensible. But there is far more to the story than you know! Multitudes of true followers of Jesus – in our day and throughout history – have loved, helped, and defended the Jewish people, thereby demonstrating the reality of the faith that they profess. Also, there is a history of Jewish hatred of Jesus and his followers, including some violent persecution too. Many of the problems that arose were political more than religious. Consequently, things are not as simple as you might imagine.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 1, pp. 124-145.)

Objection: 2.8. “The origins of anti-Semitism can be traced to the pages of the New Testament. From the negative depiction of the Pharisees to the charge of deicide, anti-Semitism is a Christian plague.”
Answer: “It is commonly recognized among scholars today that anti-Semitism existed in various forms in the ancient world long before a single page of the New Testament was written. Further, the New Testament documents primarily reflect friction between Jewish groups – differences between Messianic Jews and non-Messianic Jews (including Pharisees, Sadducees, etc.) – just like the Dead Sea Scrolls reflect legal and religious arguments between different Jewish groups. It is a mistake to read the later history of ‘Christian’ anti-Semitism back into the New Testament. As for passages in the New Testament that have helped fuel anti-Semitism in the Church, you need to remember that passages from our own Hebrew Bible have often been used against us Jews by anti-Semites, while alleged anti-Semitic texts in the New Testament, when properly translated and understood, are really not anti-Semitic at all. In fact, Israel’s greatest support today comes from those who read the New Testament as the literal Word of God. For them, it is the source of philo-Semitism, not anti-Semitism.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 1, pp. 145-175.)

Objection: 2.9. “Without the long, ugly history of Christian anti-Semitism the Holocaust would never have occurred.”
Answer: “Maybe so. Many so-called ‘Christians’ and ‘Christian’ leaders helped pave the way for the demonic and destructive atmosphere of the Holocaust, although it is important to remember that no Church leader in history ever advocated exterminating Jews, that no Church leader in history ever attempted to wipe out the Jewish people, that the Church’s historic anti-Judaism bore no resemblance to Hitler’s racial anti-Semitism, and that the Holocaust itself was anti-Christian in every sense of the word. Still, there is blood on the hands of all anti-Semitic leaders who claimed to be Christians, and to this day, sincere Christians around the world agonize over all the things that were done to the Jewish people by Nazis, Communists, and other Jew-haters. As Jews, however, we have a different kind of soul-searching to do, since we must ask ourselves why such calamities overtook us if we were in good standing with God as a people. Why, in fact, was there a Holocaust? This is the real question that needs to be answered.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 1, pp. 176-177.)

Objection: 2.10. “Why did God allow six million Jews to die in the Holocaust?”
Answer: “This is an agonizing question that has been asked millions of times by both Jews and Christians, but in many ways, it is more a question about man’s sin against man than about God’s silence during that sin. In other words, the Holocaust is something that people did to other people. But why didn’t God intervene? Some Orthodox rabbis would say that it was because we, the Jewish people, had sinned against the Almighty and were therefore under His disfavor. The Holocaust, then, would have been a massive, overwhelming example of divine discipline, devastating for the moment but leading to health and healing in the end. To the extent that there is truth to this view, we must then ask what sins we had committed to merit such a fate (or to rob us of divine protection). Other Jewish leaders strongly disagree with this view, claiming that even godless Jews who died in the Holocaust were martyrs in some sense of the word, innocent victims of murderous injustice solely because they were Jews. Which view is right from a biblical perspective? That is something we will consider. But let me suggest something you may never have entertained: The ultimate image of an innocent Jew suffering atrocities at the hands of godless murderers is not so much the image of a Jew dying in the Holocaust as it is the image of our Messiah, the best-known Jew of all time, yet beaten, flogged, humiliated, and nailed to a cross. He is a Messiah with whom we can identify – and who can identify with us.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 1, pp. 178-196.)

Objection: 2.11. “The main reason Christians are so zealous to convert Jews to their beliefs is to legitimize their faith. The fact that Jesus’ own people rejected him is a real problem to Christianity.”
Answer: “ I have never met a single Christian in my entire life – and I have met many – who felt that their own faith would be legitimized if they could convince a Jew to believe as they did. If anything, since the Hebrew Bible indicated to us that most of our Jewish people would reject the Messiah when he first came, it does not surprise us that our people did, by and large, reject him, and that they still reject him today. The main reasons that Christians are often specially zealous to win Jewish people to their faith are: (1) As followers of Jesus the Jewish Messiah, they have a special love for Jewish people. (2) it is especially painful for them to think of the People of the Book missing the Messiah of that Book, of Yeshua’s own flesh and blood not recognizing him. (3) many Christians believe that, at the end of this age, there will be a widespread turning of the hearts of our Jewish people back to God and His Messiah, ushering in the Messiah’s return. Thus they pray for this to take place and make every effort to help speed this process along by telling their Jewish friends and colleagues the good news about Messiah.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 1, pp. 197-199.)

Objection: 2.12. “Although Jews have been forced to hold public debates with Christians in the past, Jews have won every debate. You can even check the Christian records for verification.”
Answer: “To the contrary, the earliest records of debate and dialog between Jews on the subject of the Messiahship of Jesus indicate that it was the followers of Jesus decisively won. Your facts are wrong here. Of course, there is no defense for the forced debates of the Middle Ages, and I would be more than happy if the rabbis won these debates against their theological opponents, since these Christian leaders were hardly faithful representatives of the Messiah. But let’s put history aside for now, since none of us were there to witness any of the debates of the past. For years the Rabbinic community said that Jews who believed in Jesus were deceived and misled because of our ignorance and lack of scholarship. So, we began to challenge rabbinic leaders to discuss the issues in public. Do you know what happened? These debates went so well that we widely distribute audio and video copies of these public forums to interested Jews of every background. The rabbis whom we debated do not.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 1, pp. 199-201.)

Objection: 2.13. “Within two generations, the Jewish followers of Jesus (under the influence of Paul) had largely given up their Jewish practices, setting a precedent that has remained the same right up until today: Jews who become Christians lose all connection to Judaism within two generations.”
Answer: “Your facts are completely wrong. We know that there were Sabbath-keeping, Hebrew-reading, Torah-revering Jewish followers of Jesus for at least the first 400 years of Church history. This was despite the fact that these Messianic Jews were excluded from the synagogue by Rabbinic Jews and misunderstood by Gentile Christians. In our own day, there are fourth and fifth generation Messianic Jews, some of whom have made aliyah and whose children now serve in the Israeli army. Again, this has happened despite pressure from the traditional Jewish community and occasional misunderstanding from Gentile Christians.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 1, pp. 201-205.)

Objection: 2.14. “Just look at the Church! Who’s right? The Protestants, the Roman Catholics, the Greek Orthodox, the Mormons, the Messianic Jews? Even so-called Christians can’t agree among themselves.”
Answer: “I’m a little surprised at your objection, since there are several, major variations in Judaism, ranging from Reconstructionist to ultra-Orthodox, and some branches don’t even regard the others as truly Jewish at all. So how can you indict Christianity because of differences? Still, I’m happy to answer your question: First, not everyone who calls himself a Christian really is. Second, there is harmony around the world among true Christians regarding the fundamentals of the faith. Third, major disagreements tend to arise only when the authority of the New Testament is either denied or subjugated to human traditions and interpretations. When you get back to what Jesus and his followers taught, you can see who his real followers are today.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 1, pp. 205-208.)

Objection: 2.15. “Christianity is just another great world religion, like Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism. But it is certainly not the true Messianic faith and the only way to find God. In fact, I find it to be the height of arrogance that Jesus claimed to be the only way to the Father. This is small-minded conceit at its worst.”
Answer: “Just as traditional Jews believe that God communicated His will for our people – His one and only will – through Moses, so also followers of Jesus believe that God communicated His way of salvation for all peoples – His one and only way – through the Messiah. While we recognize that there are many beautiful traditions and valuable ethical teachings to be found in all the religions of the world, we believe it is only through the Messiah – who is called the Savior of the world in the New Testament writings – that people can truly be saved from their sins. When you think of it, this is not really that surprising: If there is only one God and we are His creation (as opposed to Him being our creation) it makes sense that He will be the one to dictate to us how we can know Him, serve Him, and receive forgiveness from Him. That’s why Jesus the Messiah told his followers (all of whom were Jews in the beginning!) to go into the whole world and tell everyone the good news that he had come and laid down his life as a payment for our sins.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 1, pp. 208-211.)

Objection: 2.16. “We dealt with Christianity nineteen hundred years ago. There were great Jewish leaders alive in Jesus’ day and in the decades following. They watched him, they watched his followers, and they rejected the whole thing for good reason. There’s nothing to discuss.”
Answer: “Then why are you reading this book? Why are Jewish scholars reevaluating their views about Jesus? Why have Jewish leaders and even rabbis become believers in Yeshua through the centuries? The fact is, our forefathers who rejected Yeshua made a wrong turn and got off track. Now, there’s only one thing to do: Turn around!” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 1, pp. 211.)

Good luck in your search. You seem like a brilliant young man, but you also seem very angry. Why?

Anonymous said...

Here's more Q&A for you...

Objection: 3.1. “Jews don’t believe in the Trinity. We believe in one God, not three.”

Answer: “Just as Messianic Jews probably misunderstand some of the things you believe, I think you misunderstand some of the things I believe. We do not in any way believe in three gods. My God is one, and his name is the LORD (or, Yahweh, known to Orthodox Jews as HaShem). He revealed himself to us through his Son, the Messiah, who is the very image and reflection of God. And he touches us and speaks to us by his Spirit. These are deep, spiritual truths. Later theologians labeled this relationship the Trinity -- God as a triune One. But the word ‘Trinity’ is not found anywhere in the New Testament and it may confuse the issues for you.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 3-14.)

Objection: 3.2. “If you claim that Jesus is God then you are guilty of making God into a man. You are an idol worshiper!”
Answer: “We believe that the eternally preexistent Son of God, through whom the universe was made, came forth from God his Father and was clothed with human flesh, making himself known to us as Yeshua the Messiah. He lived on this earth, died, rose from the dead, and returned to his Father. He now sits enthroned in heaven next to God. We understand that Jesus, the Son of God, is the very image of God, the one in whom God caused his fullness to dwell, the one through whom he revealed himself completely to mankind. Since the Son came forth from the Father and shares his divine nature, in one sense it is quite correct to say that Jesus is God (or, divine, or deity), always bearing in mind that the overwhelming testimony of the New Testament writings is that Jesus is the Son of God. I can show you from the Hebrew Scriptures that there is absolutely nothing idolatrous about what I believe. God has always revealed himself to his people. He did it most permanently and most fully through Jesus his Son.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 14-37.)

Objection: 3.3. “God doesn’t have a son.”
Answer: “It all depends on what you mean by the word son. In the Hebrew Bible, Israel was called God’s son, the king was called God’s son, and the angels were called God’s sons. Is it any wonder that the Messiah, the ideal representative of Israel, the king of all earthly kings, and the one more highly exalted than the angels, should be called God’s Son? More than anyone else who has walked this earth, Jesus the Messiah is uniquely entitled to be called the Son of God.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 38-48.)

Objection: 3.4. “According to the Law (Deuteronomy 13), Jesus was a false prophet because he taught us to follow other gods (namely, the Trinity, including the god Jesus), gods our fathers have never known or worshiped. This makes all his miracles utterly meaningless.”
Answer: “Have you ever read what Jesus and his followers taught? They emphasized, ‘Love the LORD your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Follow him. Obey him!’ Jesus pointed everyone to God his Heavenly Father -- by his miracles, by his message, and by his life. He lived, died, and rose again for the glory of his Father. Thus Jesus was a faithful and true prophet.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 48-52.)

Objection: 3.5. “The Holy Spirit is not the so-called third person of the Trinity.”
Answer: “Rather than discuss the Trinity again (see 3.1, above), let’s focus on one question: Is the Holy Spirit only a ‘what’ or are there dimensions in which the Spirit is a ‘who’? From the Scriptures, it can be demonstrated that God’s Spirit is more than just an abstract power. The Holy Spirit is part of God’s very essence and clearly has personality. The New Testament simply expands on these established, biblical truths, which, interestingly enough, are treated in a similar way in some later Rabbinic traditions.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 52-59.)

Objection: 3.6. “According to Isaiah 43:11, God alone is our Savior. We don’t need or recognize any other saviors.”
Answer: “Isaiah 43:11 is written with reference to other ‘gods’ and it teaches emphatically that the Jewish people will not be saved by any other so-called god or deliverer. This is clear. It is also clear that God saves through whom he wills to save – whether it be earthly deliverers (such as kings or warriors), angelic messengers, or the Messiah.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 59-60.)

Objection: 3.7. “We are righteous by what we do, not by what we believe. Christianity is the religion of the creed, Judaism the religion of the deed.”
Answer: “The New Testament clearly teaches that faith without works is dead. But it also teaches that without faith, there can be no meaningful works, and the first thing God wants from us is our total trust and dependence. That is called faith, and it is foundational to the Hebrew Scriptures as well. Our forefathers died in the wilderness because of their unbelief, and being pronounced righteous by God begins with absolute faith in him. So, right living is the result of right believing. As a Jew, you should also remember that ‘the creed’ is important in traditional Judaism too.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 60-69.)

Objection: 3.8. “The Scriptures clearly tells us that, ‘To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice’ (Prov. 21:3).”
Answer: “Amen! Who would argue with Scripture? Elsewhere the Bible teaches that obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Sam. 15:23). But these passages do not denigrate the importance of sacrifices, as some anti-missionaries would claim. Rather, throughout the Bible God opposes religious hypocrisy and formal, outward observance of religious rites. He would rather have our simple obedience than our lengthy prayers or costly sacrifices if our hearts are not right with him. And he would prefer that we just do what he says rather than that we sin, repent, and bring a sacrifice for our sins. The sad fact is that we all sin grievously and we all need atonement for our sins, a subject that Scripture clearly affirms and teaches.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 69-71.)

Objection: 3.9. “The prophets indicated clearly that God did not care for blood sacrifices. In fact, they practically repudiated the entire sacrificial system, teaching that repentance and prayer were sufficient. The Talmudic rabbis simply affirmed this biblical truth.”
Answer: “Some later rabbis may have taught this, but the prophets certainly did not. Everything the prophets did, they did out of allegiance to the Torah and to reinforce what was written there. There is no possible way that they would have repudiated the God-given, God-ordained, God-sanctioned system of atonement as laid out in the Torah – especially with the Temple standing. The prophets would not have contradicted Moses. What the prophets repudiated was hypocritical religion. In other words, they rejected the performance of sacred rites and the keeping of special days when those practicing them had polluted hearts. They were perfectly clear on this. It’s also interesting to note that every traditional Jew around the world prays daily for the restoration of the Temple and the sacrificial system. If sacrifices were really unnecessary and unimportant, and if the prophets utterly repudiated them, why pray daily for their restoration?” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 72-103.)

Objection: 3.10. “Even if I accept your premise that blood sacrifices are of great importance in the Torah, the fact is that our Hebrew Bible – including the Torah itself – offer other means of atonement, not just the shedding of blood.”
Answer: “There can be no question that blood atonement is the central and most important form of atonement in the Bible. The blood is essential, foundational, and irreplaceable. Because blood sacrifices form the heart and soul of the biblical system of atonement, both the New Testament and numerous authoritative Rabbinic traditions state that without shedding of blood, there is no atonement. Take away the blood, and the whole biblical system of atonement collapses.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 103-123.)

Objection: 3.11. “According to Proverbs 16:6, love and good deeds make atonement. So who needs sacrifices?”
Answer: “If I were to follow your logic, I just could as easily say, According to Proverbs 16:6, love and good deeds make atonement, so who needs Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement)? That is to say, if atonement can be made between man and God through doing good, then there is no need for suffering and chastisement, no need for prayers and confession, no need even for the Day of Atonement. What Bible-believing Jew would hold to such a view? This points us to the real meaning of this verse, namely, ‘Through loving kindness and truth, sin is wiped away.’ In other words, on a practical, person to person level, being loyal, loving, and truthful will overcome and eradicate the prior effects of sin. But the verse is not directly related to issues of atonement, purification, and forgiveness in the sight of God, nor is it reasonable to think that the Lord would overthrow countless verses in the Torah with one phrase in Proverbs.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 123-126.)

Objection: 3.12. “It’s clear that you misunderstand the whole sacrificial system. Sacrifices were for unintentional sins only. Repentance was the only remedy for intentional sins.”
Answer: “We all know that there were different functions for the sacrifices, including ritual purification, thanksgiving, personal consecration, and making of vows, along with atonement for unintentional sins. But the sacrifices on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) provided atonement for both intentional and unintentional sins, something taught emphatically in the Talmud and Law Codes. The Scriptures are clear on this, and Jewish tradition never questioned it. There was also one particular sacrifice (namely the ’asham -- the guilt offering, or reparation offering) that, in conjunction with repentance, served as atonement for intentional sins (called ‘transgressions’ in the Bible). We should point out too that according to some Rabbinic traditions, repentance could ‘convert’ intentional sins to unintentional, hence paving the way for atonement through sacrifice.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 126-135.)

Objection: 3.13. “Even if I accept your arguments about the centrality of blood sacrifices, it only holds true while the Temple is standing. The book of Daniel teaches us that if the Temple has been destroyed and is not functional, prayer replaces sacrifice. The book of Ezekiel is even more explicit, telling Jews living in the exile – and therefore without any access to the Temple, even if it were standing – that repentance and good works are all God requires.”
Answer: “You are obviously referring to is Ezekiel 18 and 33, where we learn that a wicked man who repents is accepted by God – with no mention of sacrifices – along with Daniel 6:10, where it tells us that Daniel, living in exile, prayed toward the Temple (i.e., facing Jerusalem) three times a day. But the idea that prayer replaces sacrifice is simply not taught in the passages you refer to, nor is it in harmony with other important passages from the Hebrew Scriptures. I also find it interesting that the exiles couldn’t wait to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple and offer sacrifices again. They knew how important this was. Further, it is significant that, to this day, many Orthodox Jews kill a rooster or chicken on the Day of Atonement and offer it as an atoning, substitutionary sacrifice on their behalf. Despite the Rabbinic teaching that prayer has replaced sacrifice, they still feel the need to offer a blood sacrifice on Yom Kippur.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 136-152.)

Objection: 3.14. “The book of Jonah totally shoots down all your arguments about sacrifice and atonement, especially with reference to Gentiles. You see, when Jonah preached, the people repented and God forgave them – no sacrifice, no blood offering.”
Answer: “Did you know that traditional Judaism, based on the Torah, teaches that the Temple sacrifices made atonement for the Gentile world? This was part of Israel’s call as a priestly nation, and it was Israel’s Temple offerings that helped make Gentile repentance acceptable to God.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 152-153.)

Objection: 3.15. “Even if I admit that we need blood atonement, I still won’t believe in Jesus. God wanted the blood of a goat or a lamb, not a person. He doesn’t want human sacrifice!”
Answer: “All of us know that God is not interested in human sacrifice. But are you aware that the Hebrew Scriptures, the Talmud, as well as the New Testament teach clearly that the death of the righteous has atoning power? When the Messiah, the totally righteous one, laid down his life, it was the ultimate act of atonement in human history.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 153-167.)

Objection: 3.16. “I can’t believe that the death of Jesus paid for my sins is that the Torah teaches that for the blood to be effectual, it had to be poured out on the altar in a specific way. This obviously does not refer to Jesus!”
Answer: “The specific laws in the Torah regarding the sprinkling of the blood on the altar had to do with the sacrifices offered on that altar. In those cases, specific regulations applied. At other times in the Hebrew Scriptures, blood and sacrifices were offered in different ways and in different places. More importantly, there is obviously no connection between the laws for offering animal sacrifices on the altar and the Jewish teaching that ‘the death of the righteous atones.’ Therefore the blood of those righteous martyrs did not have to be poured out on the altar of Jerusalem.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 167-168.)

Objection: 3.17. “If the death of Jesus fulfilled the image of the sacrificial system, why do the prophets anticipate sacrifices when the Third Temple is built?”
Answer: “I’m actually glad that you raised this objection, since it has the merit of acknowledging the importance of sacrifices and offerings in the prophetic books (which is the exact opposite of the premise of objection 3.9, above). However, from our current vantage point, it is difficult for us to know exactly what God was speaking through the prophets concerning a future Temple with restored sacrifices. Was the language merely symbolic, with the Temple speaking of God’s presence among his people and sacrifices speaking of their worshipful response? Or will the prophecies be literally, not symbolically, fulfilled? In that case, were the prophets speaking of a Temple to be built by the Messiah in the age to come? If so, then we could cite the Rabbinic tradition that in the age to come all sacrifices and offerings will be abolished except for thanksgiving offerings. These sacrifices would then be of a non-atoning character, and therefore would have nothing to do with the once-and-for-all atonement purchased for us by the sacrifice of Jesus the Messiah. In any case, we should use caution in our discussion here, as did the Talmudic rabbis, realizing how difficult it is to clearly interpret some of the key, relevant chapters in the Tanakh.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 169-186.)

Objection: 3.18. “The Christian concept of salvation is contrary to the Hebrew Bible and Jewish tradition. Jews don’t need saving!”
Answer: “It seems to me that you misunderstand the biblical concept of salvation, be it ‘Christian’ or ‘Jewish.’ You probably think of salvation in the Hebrew Bible in terms of earthly deliverance and preservation, whereas you understand salvation in the New Testament in totally spiritual terms, referring only to the salvation of the soul. Actually, the concept of salvation in the Tanakh and in the New Covenant Scriptures is comprehensive, dealing with spirit, soul, and body, both in this world and the world to come; in other words, salvation from sin and its effects. In that sense, all human beings, sinful as we are, need saving.”(See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 186-194.)

Objection: 3.19. “Jewish people don’t need a middleman.”
Answer: “It all depends on what you mean by ‘middleman.’ If you mean no Jew could ever pray to God without a go-between acting on their behalf, I agree with you: We don’t need a middleman. If you mean that any individual Jew (or, the entire nation) could come into God’s presence at any time, without a divinely ordained agent first going to God on his or her behalf, I disagree with you. When God gave us the Torah, he told us in no uncertain terms that only the descendants of Aaron (i.e., the priests) could enter the Most Holy Place or perform the annual atonement rituals. We were completely dependent on them, along with the Levites who assisted them in their work. So, in a general sense, any Jew can cry out to God at any time and plead for mercy; in a specific sense, without priestly atonement and intercession, no Jew has direct access to God.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 195-198.)

Objection: 3.20. “Judaism does not believe in original sin or a fall of man. We do not believe that the human race is totally sinful.”
Answer: “There may be some confusion with our terms. Messianic Jews and Christians believe that we have fallen from the ideal state in which we were created, and now moral corruption is an inescapable part of our nature. We do not believe that people are totally and completely sinful, incapable of doing or choosing anything good. Rather, we believe that by nature we are hopelessly prone to sin and thoroughly entangled with sin. It is because Adam fell – and we must remember that Adam is the father of the human race according to the Torah -- that there are murders, rapes, thefts, and criminal acts committed every moment of every day. Because of Adam’s fall, we kill one another in war, imprison and torture one another for our own cruel purposes, and even commit genocide. We spend millions of dollars annually on every type of sexual perversion -- including pedophilia -- while we waste millions more on addictive and destructive drugs. And even the best of us admit to our moral failures, doing things we wish we wouldn’t do -- in fact, we judge others for doing these very things -- and being ashamed of our thoughts, words, or deeds. We are, tragically, a fallen race.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 198-208.)

Objection: 3.21. “Jews don’t need to repent.”
Answer: “On the contrary, repentance is one of Judaism’s foundations! That’s why our own traditional literature – from the Talmud to the Prayerbook to Maimonides to contemporary Jewish thinkers – is filled with teaching on repentance and prayers of repentance. Jews sin like everybody else, and therefore Jews – just like other human beings – need to repent. That’s why our traditional literature puts such an emphasis on repentance.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 208-210.)

Objection: 3.22. “Jews doesn’t believe in a divine Messiah.”
Answer: “Judaism has never had one, official, universally accepted set of beliefs concerning the Messiah, but it is true that traditional Jewish teaching does not speak unequivocally of a divine Messiah. However, Jewish tradition often describes a highly exalted Messiah as well as a preexistent Messiah, so much so that Jewish scholars have sometimes spoken of the ‘semi-divine’ or ‘quasi-divine’ nature of the Messiah according to these traditions. More importantly, the Hebrew Bible itself speaks of the Messiah’s divine nature, and that must be the deciding factor in what we as Jews do and do not believe.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 210-220.)

Objection: 3.23. “Judaism doesn’t believe in a suffering Messiah.”
Answer: “That is not true. From the Talmud until our own day, important Jewish traditions have acknowledged the Messiah’s suffering. In addition, many Jews believe in two messiahs, a triumphant reigning king called Messiah ben David, and a suffering warrior called Messiah ben Joseph. More importantly, the Hebrew Scriptures speak clearly of the Messiah’s sufferings. In fact, it is because our Bible describes the Messiah as a priest as well as a king that he had to suffer on our behalf, fulfilling his priestly role. To miss this is to miss an essential part of the Messiah’s work.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 220-231.)

Objection: 3.24. “Jews don’t believe that the Messiah will come twice.”
Answer: “Judaism actually has many different traditions about the coming of the Messiah, including beliefs that there are two messiahs who will each come once, as well as beliefs that there is a potential Messiah present in each generation. Scriptures and history teach us that there will be one Messiah who will come twice.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 232-235.)

Objection: 3.25. “Judaism is a healthy religion. Jews don’t see the world as intrinsically evil, or denounce marriage or call for self-renunciation. Christianity, on the other hand, see the world as evil, advocate celibacy, and say: ‘Deny yourself, take up your cross, and suffer.’”
Answer: “This is an exaggerated and inaccurate statement. Traditional Jews see this world as the corridor to the world to come but stresses the importance of life in this world. As for Christians, while stressing the importance of the world to come, they have been responsible for the building of more hospitals, the feeding of more hungry people, and the establishment of more educational institutions than all other religions of the world combined. The difference between the two is not one of substance but of emphasis. So, the real question is, Which emphasis makes more sense? If this life is only a passing shadow, (as Psalm 90 teaches), and if we are only pilgrims and strangers here (as Jacob and David said), isn’t it logical to live out our few days here in the light of eternity? If we are on this earth for 70 or 80 years and then we enter eternity -- either under God’s favor or God’s judgment -- doesn’t it make sense to give serious thought to the world to come, making sure we are ready to enter our eternal home? Also, both Judaism and Christianity recognize the sinful tendencies of the human race; Christianity just puts greater emphasis on subduing those tendencies, calling on its adherents to ‘put to death the harmful desires of the sinful nature.’ Finally, Jesus emphasized that we are not here primarily for ourselves but for God and for others, not to be served but to serve. God’s kingdom is advanced through suffering and sacrifice, and that too is part of our calling as mature followers of the Messiah.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 235-248.)

Objection: 3.26. “Christianity calls on its followers to exhibit unnatural emotions and feelings, such as love for their enemies. This is contrary to Torah as well as contrary to human nature.”
Answer: “Could it be that what you call ‘unnatural emotions and feelings’ are actually lower, more base human attitudes, while the ethical behavior that Jesus requires from his followers actually reflects higher, more lofty, spiritual attitudes? Maybe not everything that is ‘natural’ is good and not everything that is ‘unnatural’ is bad! Could it be that the Messiah calls us to a higher and better life? Could it be that, through his gracious help, he enables us to put to death our earthly, carnal tendencies and more fully reflect the divine image in which we were created? I would suggest to you that this represents a decided step up for the human race, a fruit of the Messiah’s work on our behalf.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 248-252.)

Objection: 3.27. “The only thing that keeps a lot of people in the Christian faith -- including Jews -- is the fear of hell.”
Answer: “Of the multiplied thousands of followers of Jesus that I know around the world -- both Jews and Gentiles -- I can not think of one who continues to follow Jesus primarily because of the fear of hell, let alone only because of the fear of hell. We follow him because we love him and we recognize him to be our Messiah. Having said this, there is no question that, from a biblical perspective (i.e., Torah, Prophets, Writings, New Testament), a healthy fear of the Lord and a recognition that he is the ultimate Judge provides an added incentive to holy living. So, our primary motivation for following the Lord is love; a second motivation is to spend eternity with him in his kingdom; a third motivation is to escape the judgment of hell.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 252-256.)

Objection: 3.28. “I find much beauty in the teachings of Jesus, and I think that there are some good arguments in favor of Christianity. But I find it impossible to believe in a religion that damns all people to hell -- including many moral, good, kind, and sensitive people, not to mention countless millions of religious Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, - simply because they don’t believe in Jesus. I can’t follow a religion whose God will torture people in flames forever for not believing in someone they never even heard of.”
Answer: “To be equally honest with you, I don’t follow that religion either, nor would I be able to put my trust in a God like that. Only one thing really matters: Is there a place called hell, and is there a judgment after death? If so, what is hell like, and who deserves to go there? What about you? Do you deserve heaven or hell? Also, we can argue endlessly about the afterlife, something which neither of us has experienced firsthand. But does your view of sin, judgment, and God agree with the current state of the world, a world filled with suffering and tragedy, and does it line up with the historical experience of our people? What followers of Jesus believe is this: All of us have sinned and broken God’s commandments, resulting in untold tragedy for the human race. In his mercy, God sent his Son, the Messiah, into the world to take our place and pay for our sins. He is our hope and our salvation. If we reject him, we remain lost in this world and we will be lost in the world to come. As to the exact nature of the sufferings of hell, the Scripture do not speak with scientific precision, but the Tanakh, the New Testament, and even the Rabbinic literature give us some frightful descriptions. As for those who never heard about Jesus, God will be their Judge, not you and not me.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 256-263.)

Anonymous said...

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Objection: 4.1. “If Jesus is really the Messiah, and if he is so important, why doesn’t the Torah speak of him at all?”
Answer: “You would be surprised to see how many passages and concepts actually point to Jesus the Messiah in the Torah. But before you question my beliefs, are you aware that the Torah doesn’t say much about the ‘traditional’ Jewish Messiah? Does this mean that the Messiah is unimportant to traditional Judaism? And the Torah says nothing about the Oral Law. What does this imply? You might want to think twice about your argument here.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 3-13.)

Objection: 4.2. “Nowhere in the Hebrew Bible are we told that we must ‘believe in the Messiah.’”

Answer: “This is hardly an accurate statement, and it is not even in harmony with Jewish tradition. Believing in God, his prophets, and his Messiah is basic to the biblical faith, while one of the thirteen principles of the Jewish faith as articulated by Maimonides (Rambam), is that we must believe in the coming of the Messiah, awaiting him every day with unwavering faith.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 13-17.)

Objection: 4.3. “Isaiah 7:14 does not prophesy a virgin birth! And it has nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus, since it dealt with a crisis 700 years before he was born.”
Answer: “Although biblical scholars of varied religious backgrounds continue to debate the precise significance of Isaiah 7:14 (Jewish scholars disagree among themselves, as do Christian scholars), the overall meaning is clear: The prophet speaks of a supernatural event of great importance to the House of David, apparently the birth of a royal child. When read in the larger context of Isaiah 7-11, it is not difficult to see how Isa 7:14 was taken to be Messianic. Matthew therefore had good reason to cite this passage with reference to the birth of Jesus the Messiah. But you have raised some fair questions, so let’s look at them in a little more detail.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 17-32.)

Objection: 4.4. “Isaiah 9:6[5] does not speak of a divine king (or Messiah).”
Answer: “The most natural, logical, and grammatically sound translation of Isaiah 9:6[5] is: ‘For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us, and the government shall be on his shoulder, and his name is called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Father Forever, Prince of Peace’ (my translation). This is in harmony with other verses in our Hebrew Scriptures that point towards the divine nature of the Messiah, and the names of the child should be taken as descriptive of the Messiah himself.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 32-49.)

Objection: 4.6. “Isaiah 53 speaks of the people of Israel, not Jesus (or, any Messiah).”
Answer: “It is impossible, both contextually and logically, for Isaiah 53 to be speaking of the people of Israel. Rather, the text clearly speaks of one individual, and as many rabbis recognized through the ages, that individual was the Messiah.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 49-57.)

Objection: 4.7. “The rabbis only applied Isaiah 52:13-15, not 53:1-12, to the Messiah son of David.”
Answer: “Absolutely not. In fact, an Orthodox anti-missionary made this very claim -- quite emphatically -- in a live radio debate with me in 1991. Needless to say, he had to come back on the air and admit his error.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 57-58.)

Objection: 4.8. “It is not true that the medieval rabbis were the first applied Isaiah 53 to Israel instead of the Messiah. The Israel interpretation is actually very ancient.”
Answer: “You’re partially correct. The earliest reference to this interpretation is found in a second-century Christian source recounting a discussion between a Gentile follower of Jesus and some Jewish teachers who did not believe in him. But, aside from one passing reference in Midrash Rabbah (where part of one verse is interpreted with reference to the righteous), a specific identification of Isaiah 53 with Israel is not found in any Rabbinic literature until almost one thousand years after Jesus. (In other words, it is not found in the Talmuds, the Targums, or in the Midrashim.) Therefore, the view that Isaiah 53 spoke of Israel can hardly be considered a standard (or, ancient) Rabbinic interpretation, and for the traditional Jew, that’s what really matters.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 58-62.)

Objection: 4.9. “Isaiah 53 contains the words of the repentant kings of the nations rather than the words of the Jewish people.”
Answer: “This is not possible. The servant of the Lord in Isaiah 53 was smitten for the sins of his people while he himself was guiltless. In complete contrast to this, the Torah promised that the people of Israel would be smitten for their own sins, not for the sins of the nations. Even more importantly, the sufferings of the servant of the Lord in Isaiah 53 bring healing to those for whom he suffered, whereas when Israel was smitten by its enemies because of its sins, God subsequently judged those nations for overdoing the punishment. Israel’s suffering brought judgment rather than healing to Assyria, Babylon, Greece, or Rome - to name just a few of the nations used by God to judge his people Israel. (See above, 4.5-4.6, for more on these points.) At any rate, the text plainly says that the servant was suffering for the sins of ‘my people’ which in context must refer to Israel, with either God speaking (‘My people’) or the prophet speaking (‘my people’).” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 62-66.)

Objection: 4.10. “Several key words in Isaiah 53 speak of a servant in the plural.”
Answer: “I’m surprised that you’re still using this objection! It is simply not true, as can be seen by checking even leading Jewish translations of the Bible. Those who claim that there are references to a plural servant in Isaiah 53 failed to realize the specific Hebrew grammatical forms being used and consequently mistranslated or misinterpreted the Hebrew text. These objections were answered decisively decades ago.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 66-67.)

Objection: 4.11. “Isaiah 53 cannot refer to Jesus because it says that no one was interested in the servant of the Lord or attracted to him, yet the New Testament records that large crowds followed Jesus.”
Answer: “Actually, the New Testament record agrees with the picture of the servant of the Lord described in Isaiah 53, despite the fact that great crowds did follow Jesus at numerous times during his ministry. This is because he spent most of his life almost unknown, and then, once he became popular, he became the center of controversy and was vehemently rejected by many religious teachers and influential leaders, ultimately dying a criminal’s death on the cross. This is certainly in harmony with Isaiah 53.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 67-71.)

Objection: 4.12. “Isaiah 53 cannot refer to Jesus because it says that the servant of the Lord was sickly and died of disease.”
Answer: “This is the least likely interpretation of the relevant verses in the Hebrew, as confirmed by many major translations, both Jewish and Christian. The text indicates that the servant of the Lord will be a man who is intimately associated with pain, grief, and sickness, a man suffering at the hands of people and crushed by the Lord as a guilt offering on our behalf. Such an understanding of the words is found in some Rabbinic interpretations too.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 71-74.)

Objection: 4.13. “Isaiah 53 does not actually say that the servant would die.”
Answer: “This objection actually contradicts two of the previous objections (specifically, 4.10 and 4.12), both of which understand that, according to Isaiah 53, the servant of the Lord would die. Many standard Rabbinic interpretations recognize this, either interpreting the text with reference to Israel’s suffering and death at the hands of their enemies, or with reference to the suffering and death of the Messiah (either Messiah ben Joseph or Messiah ben David).” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 74-76.)

Objection: 4.14. “Isaiah 53 does not say that the servant will rise from the dead.”
Answer: “If, as we have demonstrated, Isaiah 53 speaks of the servant’s death, then it must be accepted that the text just as clearly speaks of his continued activities after his death. Thus, there is only one possible explanation: The servant rises from the dead!” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 76-77.)

Objection: 4.15. “Isaiah 53 cannot refer to Jesus because it says that the servant of the Lord did no violence, yet Jesus drove out the Temple money-changers with a whip.”
Answer: “Jesus, who was known for his meekness and gentleness -- all the way to the cross -- did not engage in ‘violence’ in the Temple courts. There is no record of anyone being hurt or injured, and, in contrast to the some of the ancient Israelite prophets like Moses, Joshua or Samuel, Jesus did not put anyone to death in the name of the Lord. Obviously, he used a whip -- not a sword -- because his design was to clear the area out, not hurt anyone. This is hardly ‘violence’ according to the standards of the Hebrew Scriptures. In fact, it’s unlikely he used a whip to drive people out; rather, the whip was used to drive out the animals.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 77-80.)

Objection: 4.16. “Isaiah 53 cannot refer to Jesus because it says that the servant of the Lord would not lift up his voice or cry out, yet Jesus cried out several times on the cross, once in near blasphemy (Ps 22:1).”
Answer: “One of the most striking aspects of the suffering and death of Jesus was that he went as a lamb to the slaughter, not resisting those who arrested him, not defending himself before his accusers, and even forgiving those who crucified him. In this, he has become the worldwide symbol of a man who truly ‘turned the other cheek.’ As for his quoting Psalm 22:1 on the cross – a beloved passage of Scripture – how is this ‘near blasphemy’?” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 80-83.)

Objection: 4.17. “Isaiah 53 cannot refer to Jesus because it says that the servant of the Lord would see seed, an expression always meaning physical descendants in the Hebrew Bible.”
Answer: “Actually, the passage you refer to is the only occurrence of the Hebrew expression ‘see seed’ in the Tanakh, so it is not wise to be so dogmatic about the meaning of the expression, especially since ‘seed’ is sometimes used metaphorically in the Scriptures, and since it can sometimes refer simply to a future generation. This much is certain: Through his continued life after resurrection, we can honestly and fairly say that Jesus the Messiah fulfills the description of ‘seeing seed.’” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 83-86.)

Objection: 4.18. “Daniel 9:24-27 has nothing to do with ‘the’ Messiah.”
Answer: “There is no question that Christian versions translating the Hebrew mashiach here with ‘the Messiah’ are reading something into the text. However, what they are reading into the text is correct, since the prophecy is clearly about the work of the Messiah.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 86-92.)

Objection: 4.19. “Daniel 9:24 was clearly not fulfilled by Jesus.”
Answer: “Since Daniel 9:24-27 speaks of events that must be fulfilled before the destruction of the Second Temple (which took place in 70 CE), the question that must be asked is this: If Jesus did not fulfill Daniel 9:24, who did? Who was it that ushered in everlasting righteousness and made atonement for iniquity before 70 CE if not Jesus the Messiah? In reality, if he did not fulfill Daniel 9:24, then no one fulfilled it and the prophecies of Daniel cannot be trusted.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 92-100.)

Objection: 4.20. “Christian translations of Daniel 9:24-27 divide the seventy weeks incorrectly, and the dates have no relation to the times of Jesus.”
Answer: “There are two different ways to understand the division of the seventy weeks, but both of them are legitimate and in keeping with the rules of Hebrew grammar. More importantly, both of them equally support the Messianic interpretation of the text, and the dates involved clearly point to the times of Jesus. That’s one of the reasons why many Christians point to this text as an important Messianic prophecy.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 100-109.)

Objection: 4.21. “Daniel 9:24-27 speaks of two anointed ones.”
Answer: “It is possible that the text does speak of two anointed ones, the first in 9:25 and the second in 9:26. This depends on how the seventy weeks of years are divided (see immediately above, 4.20). This does not present a problem, however, since it is clear that (1) if there are two anointed ones, the second anointed one is the Messiah, and (2) the Messianic era had to be inaugurated before the Second Temple was destroyed, thus pointing decisively to Jesus as the key figure of whom the text speaks.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 109-111.)

Objection: 4.22. “Psalm 2:12 should not be translated ‘kiss the Son.’ Only the King James Version and modern Christian fundamentalist translations still maintain this incorrect rendering.”
Answer: “The words “kiss the son” are actually not quoted in the New Testament, but one of the greatest of the medieval Rabbinic commentators, along with some noted, modern Hebrew scholars argued for the ‘kiss the son’ rendering. A good case can be made for this translation. In any case, regardless of the translation of this verse, the psalm is filled with important Messianic imagery.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 111-114.)

Objection: 4.23. “Psalm 16 does not speak of the resurrection of the Messiah.”
Answer: “According to the biblical record, Psalm 16 is a psalm of David in which he expresses his confidence that he will be delivered from death and will not rot in the grave. However, since David did, in fact, ultimately die and see physical corruption, the New Testament learns from this that he was speaking prophetically about his greatest descendant, the Messiah, who would actually be resurrected from the grave.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 114-117.)

Objection: 4.24. “Psalm 22 is the story of David’s past suffering. There is nothing prophetic about it.”
Answer: “Actually, Psalm 22 is the prayer of a righteous sufferer, brought down to the jaws of death and then rescued and raised up by God in answer to prayer, a glorious testimony to be recounted through the ages. As such, it applies powerfully to Jesus the Messiah, the ideal righteous sufferer, surrounded by hostile crowds, beaten, mocked, crucified, and seemingly abandoned by man and God, but delivered from death itself and raised from the dead by the power of God, a story now celebrated around the globe. That’s why he quoted words from this psalm with reference to himself when he hung on the cross. How strikingly they apply to him! What is also interesting is that some of the great Rabbinic commentators – including Rashi – interpreted the psalm as a prophecy of Israel’s future suffering and exile, not as the story of David’s past suffering. Not only so, but a famous Rabbinic midrash composed about 1200 years ago said that David spoke of the Messiah’s sufferings in Psalm 22. We can therefore say with confidence that the application of this psalm to the death and resurrection of the Messiah is in keeping with the clear meaning of the text.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 117-122.)

Objection: 4.25. “Psalm 22 does not speak of death by crucifixion. In fact, the King James translators changed the words of verse 16 [17] to speak of ‘piercing’ the sufferer’s hands and feet whereas the Hebrew text actually says, ‘Like a lion they are at my hands and feet.’”
Answer: “It is interesting to note that verse 16 [17] is not quoted in the New Testament even though other verses from Psalm 22 are cited in the Gospels. This means that verse 16 [17] was not the primary verse on which the New Testament authors focused. As to the allegation that the King James translators intentionally changed the meaning of the Hebrew text, their translation (‘they pierced my hands and feet’ verses ‘like a lion [they are at] my hands and feet’) actually reflects an ancient Jewish interpretation along with some important variations in the medieval Masoretic manuscripts. In other words, it’s as much of a Jewish issue as it is a Christian one! In any case, there really is no problem. With either rendering, the imagery is one of extreme bodily violence done to the sufferer’s hands and feet, corresponding to the realities of crucifixion.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 122-127.)

Objection: 4.26. “Some of the so-called Messianic prophecies in the Psalms actually speak of the psalmist’s sin and folly. How can you apply this to Jesus?”
Answer: “No one tries to apply every verse in each ‘prophetic’ psalm to the Messiah. Rather, there is a simple principle behind the Messianic interpretation of these important psalms: As it was with David, so it is with the Messiah. In other words, there are striking parallels that exist between the life of King David and the life of King Messiah, and it is these parallels that are highlighted in the New Testament’s quotation of certain psalms. For example, just as David was betrayed by one of his closest friends, so also the Messiah was betrayed by one of his closest friends, as noted by Jesus himself (see Psalm 41 and John 13:18). But it is obvious that the details of the betrayal don’t have to be the same (e.g., David was betrayed by Ahithopel, Jesus was betrayed by Judas; David’s betrayal led to his temporary exile; Yeshua’s betrayal led to his death).” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 127-129)

Objection: 4.27. “Psalm 40 is absolutely not Messianic in any way.”
Answer: “Did you know that the Talmudic rabbis interpreted all kinds of obscure verses to be Messianic? They saw hints and allusions to the Messiah in hundreds of unusual biblical texts, in passages that are totally unrelated to anything Messianic. In contrast with this, Psalm 40 has some very important Messianic themes.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 129-131.)

Objection: 4.28. “Psalm 45:6[7] does not say that the Messiah is God.”
Answer: “Try this simple test: Write out this verse in Hebrew by itself, give it to anyone who is fluent in biblical Hebrew, and ask him or her to translate the verse. They will say that the meaning of the Hebrew is, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.’ The Hebrew is quite clear. The problem is that the verse refers in context to Israel’s king, who was human. So, the real question is, ‘How can an earthly king be called ‘elohim?’ The answer is simple: This passage ultimately points to the Messiah, the divine King!” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 131-133.)

Objection: 4.29. “Psalm 110 does not say that the Messiah is LORD. Also, the psalm is not written by David about the Messiah. Our traditions indicate that it may have been written by Eliezer about his master Abraham, then added to the collection of the Psalms by David many years later, or it was written by David for the Levites to recite about him (or by a court poet about David). This much is sure: It does not teach that the Messiah is God!
Answer: “Psalm 110 is an important Messianic psalm pointing to the highly exalted status of the Messiah (to the right hand of God!), and to his priestly and royal nature. For these reasons, it is quoted frequently in the New Testament with reference to Yeshua. Yeshua even quotes it himself, pointing out how the Messiah was greater than David, since David called him ‘my lord.’ However, you are mistaken in thinking that the New Testament (or Christian translations of the Hebrew Bible) make the claim that the opening verse of this psalm means that Jesus is LORD (Yahweh).” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 133-145.)

Objection: 4.30. “You claim that Haggai 2 points to the fact that the Messiah had to come before the Second Temple was destroyed, since it says in v. 9 that the glory of the Second Temple would be greater than the glory of Solomon’s Temple. Actually, Haggai is speaking only about the physical splendor of the Second Temple, which surpassed Solomon’s Temple in the days of Herod.”
Answer: “Although there are some clear references in Haggai 2 to an abundance of gold and silver that would be used in rebuilding the Temple, there can be no doubt that the phrase ‘to fill with glory’ refers to the manifest presence of God and not to physical splendor. We can therefore ask, In what way did the glory of the Second Temple surpass that of the First Temple? The answer is inescapable: The Messiah, the King of Glory, the very embodiment of the presence and power of God, visited that Temple.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 145-148.)

Objection: 4.31. “Zechariah 12:10 has nothing to do with Jesus.”
Answer: “Although there are ambiguities in the Hebrew text, the passage clearly speaks of a time of national mourning in Israel over one slain, resulting in the spiritual cleansing of the nation (Zech. 12:10-13:1). One of the oldest Jewish interpretations of this passage, found in the Talmud, refers Zechariah 12:10 to the death of Messiah ben Joseph, the suffering Messiah of Jewish tradition. Why then should it surprise you that the New Testament interprets Zechariah 12:10 with reference to Yeshua?” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 148-152.)

Objection: 4.32. “Jesus fulfilled none of the Messianic prophecies!”
Answer: “To the contrary, we know that Jesus is the Messiah because he fulfilled so many Messianic prophecies. The only real way to deny this is to claim that the many prophecies he clearly fulfilled are not Messianic, which is quite an impossible stretch.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 152-158.)

Objection: 4.33. “Jesus fulfilled none of the provable Messianic prophecies!”
Answer: “By provable Messianic prophecies, I assume you mean prophecies referring to the Messiah bringing about an end to war and ushering in a universal golden age, or the Messiah regathering the exiles of Israel and rebuilding the Temple. But these are not the only provable Messianic prophecies, and there are some very important, provable prophecies of worldwide significance which Jesus – and only Jesus – has fulfilled, giving us every reason to expect that when he returns to earth, he will fulfill the rest.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 158-164.)

Objection: 4.34. “Even modern Christian scholars reject the so-called Old Testament proof texts about Jesus. Just check most modern Christian Bible commentaries and translations.”
Answer: “Those ‘Christian’ scholars who reject the so-called proof texts to which you refer are the very same scholars who reject any clear expectation of a Messiah of any kind -- Jewish or Christian -- in the Hebrew Scriptures. Their findings are just as incompatible with traditional Judaism as they are with traditional Christianity. On the other hand – and you might find this interesting – most of these very same scholars fully recognize the New Testament methods of interpreting the Hebrew Scriptures as thoroughly Jewish -- in keeping with the style of the Dead Sea Scrolls and later Rabbinic writings, except often more sober! In any case, the real issue is not what whether these scholars believe that Jesus is the prophesied Messiah of the Tanakh. The issue is: Is he, in fact, that prophesied Messiah?” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 164-167.)

Objection: 4.35. “Jesus can not be the Messiah because the Messiah was to be a reigning king whereas Jesus was despised, rejected, and crucified.”
Answer: “The prophetic Scriptures indicate that first the Messiah would suffer and then he would reign. This is exactly what happened: Jesus-Yeshua -- who is one of us and has identified himself totally with us -- joined us in our suffering, rejection and pain. We have suffered torture and death; he too was tortured and killed. We have been mocked, maligned, and misunderstood; to this day, he is the butt of ugly jokes and a common curse on people’s lips. (When people get angry, they don’t yell, ‘Moses!’ or ‘Buddha!’ or ‘Mohammed!’ but ‘Jesus Christ!’) But whereas, we have often suffered because we were guilty; he suffered because he was innocent -- and he did it for us. Therefore, Jesus was and is the perfect Messiah for us, the ideal Savior for a despised and rejected people.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 167-169.)

Objection: 4.36. “Jesus can not be the Messiah because the Messiah had to rebuild the Temple, yet the Temple was standing in Jesus’ day.”
Answer: “There is a fatal flaw to your objection, since we know for a fact that many religious Jews in Jesus’ day were expecting the coming of the Messiah in their lifetimes. This means that they were not expecting the Messiah to rebuild the Temple; the Temple was already standing! As for the prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures associating the rebuilding of the Temple with the work of the Messiah, we should point out that they were delivered during the time of the Babylonian exile and pointed to the rebuilding of the second Temple – and that Temple has been destroyed for more than 1900 years now. This means that we must reinterpret these passages if we are to apply them to a future rebuilding of the Temple. In that case, it can be argued that these prophecies await the return of the Messiah, when he will establish his kingdom on the earth and build the third Temple.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 170-179.)

Objection: 4.37. “The only true prophecy about Jesus in the Hebrew Scriptures is found in Zechariah 13:1-6 -- a passage dealing with false prophets. It even makes explicit reference to his crucifixion!”
Answer: “Actually, the passage of which you speak has nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus. To be sure, you are right in saying that it is a prophecy about false prophets, but it makes no reference to crucifixion – the Hebrew actually speaks of wounds on the false prophet’s back, not on his hands. The only references to the Messiah in this passage of Scripture are in the powerful, God-centered, repentance-based passages that come before and after Zechariah 13: 1-6. So, you have failed to recognize the true references to the Messiah in Zechariah 12-14 and focused on the one passage that does not apply to him.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 180-181.)

Objection: 4.38. “Paul claimed that the Hebrew Scriptures prophesied the resurrection of the Messiah on the third day. Nowhere in our Bible is such a prophecy found.”
Answer: “Paul’s exact words are: ‘For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures . . .’ (1 Cor. 15:3-4). As a Jew schooled in the Scriptures from his childhood, he was not thinking of just one passage but of several passages that pointed to the Messiah’s resurrection on the third day. And remember: Paul was not trying to ‘pull a fast one’ on anybody! And no one had pulled a fast one on him either. This is the tradition he received, and if someone taught him something that was not in his Bible, he would have known it immediately. In fact, when we study the Tanakh, we see that the third day is often the day of completion and climax – and so it was with the Messiah’s death and resurrection!” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 181-184.)

Objection: 4.39. “I can find prophecies in the Bible that point to Muhammad just as easily as you can find prophecies that point to Jesus. That’s because all of your so-called proofs are either distortions, make-believe creations, or Jewish midrash -- free, homiletical interpretations -- of the worst kind.”
Answer: “Really? Then why didn’t the Muslims find Muhammad everywhere in the Hebrew Bible? Why did they have to completely rewrite their own version of the Scriptures (i.e., the Koran) instead of referring back to the Hebrew Bible -- the Word of God accepted by both Christians and Jews? And where does the Tanakh point to Muhammad’s place of birth, or the time of his coming, or the manner of his death, or his alleged ascension to heaven? (Remember: the Hebrew Scriptures point to the place of Yeshua’s birth, the time of his coming, the manner of his death, and his resurrection!) I also remind you that modern scholars -- both Jewish and Christian -- recognize that the authors of the New Testament were highly sophisticated in their interpretive techniques (see vol. 4, 5.1). Sorry, but you’ll have to do better. Objections like this are hardly worthy of the name.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 184-188.)

Anonymous said...

I have even more, but I'll stop here for now. Please read these and search out the answers. The man that wrote these is one of the most educated scholars alive. He is no slouch. He has a PH.D in Far Eastern Languages, as well as other degrees. Please just read these Q&A's and find the answers on your own. Or get his books to refute him.

Objection: 5.1. “The New Testament misquotes and misinterprets the Old Testament. At times it manufactures verses to suit its purposes.”
Answer: “There is no truth to this claim. You must remember that all the New Testament authors were Jews—with one probable exception—and they were sometimes writing to Jewish readers who knew their Scriptures well. To manufacture, misquote, or misinterpret verses from the Tanakh would be absolutely self-defeating. The fact is, these authors spent much time meditating on the Tanakh, and you would be amazed to see just how insightful their quotations and interpretations are, not to mention how much they are in keeping with the ancient Jewish methods of scriptural hermeneutics.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 3-21.)

Objection: 5.2. “According to Matthew 2:15, when the little boy Jesus, along with Joseph and Mary, fled to Egypt to escape from Herod, this “fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.’” But Matthew only quoted the second half of the verse in Hosea. What the prophet really said was this: “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son.” The verse has to do with Israel, not Jesus, and it is recounting a historical event, not giving a prophecy. And you claim that Matthew was inspired. Hardly!”
Answer: “When Matthew quoted the second half of Hosea 11:1, he took for granted that his Jewish readers would know the whole verse. (Remember that many of Matthew’s intended readers knew large portions of the Hebrew Scriptures by heart, and quoting just part of a verse was a common Jewish practice of the day.) What he was saying was clear: Just as it happened to Israel, God’s national “son,” so also it happened to Jesus, God’s Messianic Son, and the ideal representative of the nation. Both were called out of Egypt in their childhood.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 21-24.)”

Objection: 5.3. “Matthew 2:23 says that when Jesus moved to the town of Nazareth, this “fulfilled what was said through the prophets: ‘He will be called a Nazarene.’” There’s only one problem. The prophets never said this! Matthew actually made it up.”
Answer: “If you’ll look closely at the text, you’ll see that Matthew does not use his normal quotation formula for citing verses from the Hebrew Bible. Normally he would say something like, “to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet,” making reference to a specific text in a specific prophetic book. In 2:23 he says, “so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled,” indicating that he is dealing with a theme (or play on words) that occurs in several prophetic books as opposed to only one text in a specific prophetic book. With this in mind, it’s not difficult to see the sections from the Tanakh that Matthew had in mind. As always with Matthew, his insights are deep.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 24-27.)

Objection: 5.4. “Matthew 27:9–10 is totally confused. First Matthew quotes part of a prophecy from Zechariah, then he says it comes from Jeremiah, and then he takes the whole thing totally out of context. What a mess!”
Answer: “Allow me to respond to your objection with a question of my own: If you were a traditional Jew and found a similar citation in the Talmud—not with reference to Yeshua, but with reference to some halakhic or haggadic subject—would you say that it was “totally confused,” or would you say that it was a difficult passage but one that could certainly be resolved through careful study? No doubt, you would say that it could be resolved. In fairness, then, let me show you how these verses in Matthew can also be explained through careful study, looking at the deeper themes of his book and not just at this one passage in isolation. Once again, you will see that Matthew is anything but confused in his reading of the Tanakh.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 27-37.)

Objection: 5.5. “Hebrews 10:5 is one of the worst examples of New Testament Scripture-twisting. The writer quotes from Psalm 40, where the psalmist says, “You have opened my ears,” but he applies it to Jesus and changes the words to read, “A body you have prepared for me.” Could you imagine anything more dishonest?”
Answer: “Actually, the writer to the Hebrews was simply quoting from the Septuagint—the Greek version of the Scriptures made by and for Greek-speaking Jews—as he generally does throughout his book. In this particular case, the exact meaning of the original Hebrew is somewhat unclear, and the Septuagint offered an interpretive rendering. So, neither the Septuagint nor Hebrews were in the least bit dishonest or misleading. Also, it’s interesting that Hebrews does not major on the part of the verse that was supposedly changed but puts the emphasis on other parts of the quote.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 37-40.)

Objection: 5.6. “The New Testament is full of historical inaccuracies.”
Answer: “Actually, where the New Testament accounts can be verified or checked by external, contemporary sources, they are consistently accurate. (If they can’t be verified or checked, and they bear the marks of good history writing—which they do—how can anyone claim that they are inaccurate?) So, the real question is: What contemporary historical records are there that contradict the New Testament authors? In point of fact, there are none. It should also be pointed out that out of all ancient documents, the New Testament was the best preserved.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 41-59.)

Objection: 5.7. “None of the important historical writers of the period—Roman or Jewish—make mention of Jesus. It’s questionable whether he even existed.”
Answer: “No reputable scholar in the world denies that Jesus existed. You might as well as deny the existence of George Washington or Julius Caesar. As for Roman and Jewish historians, there are important ancient testimonies from key authors who write of Jesus as well as his early followers. You might also be surprised to know that almost all of these sources tell us more about Jesus than they do about any contemporary Rabbinic leaders. Does this mean that these famous rabbis never existed?” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 59-66.)

Objection: 5.8. “Modern scholars are in complete agreement that the Gospels portray a mythical Jesus. There is very little that we can really know about his life.
Answer: “The real myth is that we cannot know anything certain about the life of Jesus! The issue is one of presuppositions. Those scholars who are skeptical about knowing anything certain about the life of Jesus presuppose that the Gospel accounts are not reliable, just as they presuppose that the accounts in the Hebrew Bible about Abraham, Moses, or David are not reliable. The same scholars who deny the resurrection of Jesus also deny the exodus from Egypt. In any case, a strong case can actually be made for the historical reliability of the New Testament accounts.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 66-70.)

Objection: 5.9. “Jesus was not born of a virgin. In fact, we have traditions that actually tell us who Jesus’ real father was—and it wasn’t Joseph! Anyway, the idea of a god being born to a virgin is just one of several pagan myths that made its way into the New Testament.”
Answer: “The fact of the virgin birth was something that made the ministry of Jesus harder, not easier. You try telling someone that your Master and Teacher was born of a virgin! Everyone thought that Joseph was his real father, and it was known that Joseph was a descendant of David, something which could have only helped, not hurt, Jesus’ cause. If not for the virgin birth being a fact—and one which was also foreshadowed in the Hebrew Scriptures—the New Testament writers would have never created such a story. As for the virgin birth being a borrowed pagan myth, could you tell me which pagan myth you are referring to? There is none!” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 70-76.)

Objection: 5.10. “The genealogies of Jesus given by Matthew and Luke are hopelessly contradictory.”
Answer: “There do appear to be some contradictions in these genealogies, just as there appear to be contradictions in some of the genealogies in the Hebrew Scriptures. But there are very reasonable answers that resolve the conflicts without having to advance any farfetched or implausible theories. Common sense would also tell you that the followers of Jesus, who were totally dedicated to demonstrating to both Jews and Gentiles that he was truly the Messiah and Savior, would not preserve and pass on two impossibly contradictory genealogies. In fact, this very suggestion directly contradicts the common objection that the New Testament authors rewrote the accounts of the Gospels in order to make Jesus look like he was the Messiah (see below, 5.14). The reality is that they accurately reported the story of his life and were careful to include two important genealogies in presenting the account of his ancestry and birth.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 76-83.)

Objection: 5.11. “The Messiah is David’s son. If Jesus were really born of a virgin, then Joseph was not his father and he is really not a descendant of David, even according to Matthew’s genealogy. And if you claim that Luke’s genealogy is that of Mary, Jesus still doesn’t qualify, since the genealogy in Luke goes through David’s son Nathan, whereas the Messianic promises must go through David’s son Solomon. Therefore, Jesus cannot be the Messiah.”
Answer: “Obviously, you don’t believe in the virgin birth, otherwise you wouldn’t be raising this objection. Therefore, you believe that the disciples invented the myth of the virgin birth—a myth totally unique in the history of religion (see above, 5:9)—even though you argue that this “myth” completely undercut their claim that Jesus was the son of David. Wouldn’t this be totally self-defeating? As we demonstrated above (see again 5.9), no one would make up an account like this, especially when the people in Jesus’ hometown thought he was the son of Joseph (and therefore a descendant of David) while the crowds hailed Jesus as the son of David when he entered Jerusalem. To the contrary, it is the truth of the virgin birth that explains the unique Messianic qualifications of Yeshua—both the son of David and yet greater than David—while his actual, physical descent from David is also taught in the New Testament. As for the Messiah having to come through Solomon, that is not correct according to the Scriptures or even according to some Rabbinic tradition.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 83-97)

Objection 5.12. “Jesus cannot be the Messiah because he is a descendant of King Jehoiachin. God cursed both this king and his offspring, saying that none of his descendants would ever sit on the throne of David.”
Answer: “There are some Bible teachers who argue that only Jesus is qualified to be the Messiah because of the curse on Jehoiachin. In other words, it is argued that the Messiah should have come through the royal line of Jehoiachin but that king’s descendants were disqualified from sitting on the throne. Therefore, it is only through the virgin birth that the curse of Jehoiachin’s descendants can be bypassed. In reality, however, there is no need to raise this argument, since the curse on Jehoiachin may only have referred to his own sons and, more importantly, the Hebrew Bible gives strong indications that he repented and the curse was reversed. This understanding of the text is actually confirmed by Rabbinic tradition.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 97-102)

Objection: 5.13. “Jesus did work some miracles, but they were not by God’s power. We have traditions that tell us he learned magical arts in Egypt.”
Answer: “Aside from the fact that it is highly unlikely—to say the least!—that someone could raise the dead and open the eyes of people born blind by demonic or magical power—these were the kinds of miracles that Jesus performed, and they demonstrated the power of God, not the power of demons—the idea that Jesus learned magical arts in Egypt has as much factual or historical support as the claim that Santa Claus delivers gifts through the chimney on Christmas Eve. In fact, the Talmudic account that claims that a certain “Jesus” practiced magic actually places that “Jesus” in the wrong century! Also, the miracles of Jesus resulted in multitudes of Jews praising and worshiping the God of Israel, to whom Jesus pointed all people. To this day, around the world, genuine miracles take place as followers of Jesus simply pray to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the name of Yeshua the Messiah. This is hardly magic!” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 102-106.)

Objection: 5.14. “Jesus didn’t fulfill any of the Messianic prophecies. We know that the New Covenant writers actually reconstructed the life of Jesus so as to harmonize it with certain predictions made by the prophets.”
Answer: “We have demonstrated elsewhere that Jesus, in fact, did fulfill all the Messianic prophecies that had to be fulfilled before the Second Temple was destroyed in the year 70 C.E. We have also shown the historical reliability of the Gospels. But there is a problem with your whole objection. It is self-contradictory! Why would the New Covenant writers intentionally rewrite the events of Yeshua’s life so as to make him fulfill predictions that were not really Messianic? If the prophecies which they quoted were really non-Messianic (or, if they had to be wrenched out of context to be used), then why did they “make” Yeshua’s life conform to them? I should also point out that there is not ounce of verifiable evidence that you can provide to support your claim.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 106-109.)

Objection 5.15. “When Jesus failed to fulfill the prophecies, his followers invented the myth of his substitutionary death, his resurrection, and finally, his second coming, which, of course, they completely expected in his lifetime.”
Answer: “In order to make this claim, you virtually have to rewrite the entire New Testament, since a central theme of those writings, from their earliest strata on, is that Jesus had to go to the cross and suffer and die and then rise from the dead. This was his sacred mission! And Jesus frequently taught about his departure from this world and his eventual return, also indicating that he would be away for a long time. Not only so, but his substitutionary death also helped explain a number of passages in the Tanakh that spoke of the vicarious suffering of God’s righteous servant. Would you argue that the followers of Jesus also invented those passages?” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 109-111.)

Objection: 5.16. “Do you want irrefutable proof that the authors of the New Testament didn’t know what they were talking about? Well, look at Matthew 23:35, where Jesus states that the last martyr spoken of in the Hebrew Scriptures was Zechariah son of Berechiah. Actually, that was the name of the biblical prophet (see Zech. 1:1); the last martyr was Zechariah son of Jehoiada (see 2 Chron. 24:20–22). So, either Jesus, your alleged Messiah, didn’t know his Bible, or else Matthew (or the final editor of his book) didn’t know the Tanakh. Either way, this is a glaring error that cannot be ignored.”
Answer: “Actually, there are simple solutions to this apparent discrepancy which are totally reasonable and which completely resolve the problem. I should point out, however, that the force of your objection is exaggerated, since there are similar difficulties in some ancient Rabbinic citations of Scripture, one of which also seems to confuse these two Zechariahs. Do you therefore conclude that the ancient rabbis didn't know what they were talking about? As for the verse in Matthew, there are several possible explanations for apparent discrepancy. It is possible that Zechariah son of Berechiah was also martyred, but it is most likely that the text is referring to Zechariah son of Jehoiada. However, the Targum to Lamentations conflates Zechariah son of Jehoiada with Zechariah the son of Berechiah (perhaps the name of his grandfather), and it is possible that Matthew does this as well. Another possibility is that, as often happens with ancient literature; a small copying error crept into many New Testament manuscripts. There exist a minority of Greek manuscripts of Matthew that contain the name Zechariah son of Jehoiada while some later Hebrew copies of Matthew simply read Zechariah, etc., suggesting that the words son of Berechiah may not have been in the original.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 111-116.)

Objection: 5.17. “The New Testament is self-contradictory (especially the Gospels)!”

Answer: “This subject has been addressed thousands of times in commentaries and books dealing with apparent contradictions in the Bible, and the same fair and honest methods that resolve problems like this in the Hebrew Scriptures also resolve similar problems in the New Covenant Writings.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 116-119)

Objection: 5.18. “Matthew claims that when Jesus died on the cross, “the tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people” (Matt. 27:52–53). This is obviously complete nonsense, without any hint of historical support. If such an incredible event ever took place—something like “the night of the living dead” in ancient Jerusalem—someone would have recorded it.”
Answer: “Someone did record it: Matthew! The question is, Do you believe what he wrote? Or, perhaps a better question is, Is this account credible? Could such a thing have happened? The fact is, the death of the Messiah for the sins of the world was one of the most important events in world history. Why should it be surprising that such an event would be attended with all kinds of unusual phenomena? The whole account in Matthew may seem incredible, but it is hardly impossible.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 119-123)

Objection: 5.19. “The teachings of Jesus are impossible, dangerous, and un-Jewish (“Hate your mother and father,”? “Let the dead bury their own dead,” “Give to whoever asks you,” etc.). There’s no way he should be followed.”
Answer: “As the Messiah and Son of God, Yeshua had the right to make serious demands of his followers, in keeping with God’s demands on Israel in the Hebrew Scriptures. Still, some of his teachings have been misunderstood—on occasion, ironically enough, because of a lack of appreciation for the Jewish background of his words—while there are parallel accounts in traditional Jewish literature, until this very day, calling for radical commitment to Torah study, often to the dismay of family and friends. If this is justifiable, how much more justifiable is a wholehearted commitment to the Messiah? Those who know him and follow can testify firsthand that his ways are ways of life and what he demands of us, in the end, is for our good.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 123-147.)

Objection: 5.20. “The New Covenant is anti-Semitic. It is filled with negative references to the Jewish people, and it blames them for the death of Jesus.”
Answer: “The New Testament reflects internal tensions and differences between different groups of religious Jews—some of whom followed Jesus the Messiah, and some (or, most) of whom rejected him as Messiah. These writings are no more anti-Semitic than the Hebrew Scriptures where both God and the prophets call the people of Israel stiff-necked and obstinate rebels. It is also important to understand that the Greek word translated “Jews” can also mean Judeans or Jewish leaders, so that, in context, many of John’s negative statements about “the Jews” are limited to specific groups or leaders. You might also be surprised to know that the New Testament has many wonderful things to say about the Jewish people, including God’s present love and care for them and His promise of a very bright future for them. As for Jewish guilt in rejecting Jesus, I’m sorry to say that it is a shameful fact of our history that some of our religious leaders played a key role in turning him over to the Romans to be crucified. We as individual Jews should repudiate that error by embracing Jesus the Messiah. This is all addressed at length in volume 1, 2.8.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 147-150.)

Objection: 5.21. “The Jesus of the New Testament is hardly Jewish. In fact, he even refers to the Torah as “your Law”—precisely because it was not his own.”
Answer: “Jesus stated emphatically that he did not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets but rather to fulfill them, and the primary focus of his earthly ministry was on reaching the lost sheep of the house of Israel. In all his teaching, he made reference to the Hebrew Scriptures, even stating to the Jewish leaders that if they truly believed Moses, they would believe him. After his death and resurrection, his followers continued in this pattern, living as Torah-observant Jews and pointing back to the Tanakh to support the Messianic claims of Jesus. How then can you possibly argue that this very same Law was not his own?” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 150-152.)

Objection: 5.22. “Jesus was a false prophet. He claimed that his apostles would live to see his return, a prediction he missed by two thousand years. He also predicted that not one stone in Jerusalem would be left standing when the Romans destroyed it. Well, have you ever heard of the Wailing Wall?”
Answer: “The reason the New Testament writers preserved the prophecies of Jesus was because they were so accurate. This is a matter of common sense. There would be no reason to preserve and perpetuate his words if they were obviously false. To state that he predicted that his apostles would live to see his return is to misunderstand the clear context of his words and again, it begs the question of why those very apostles would pass those words on to posterity if they were completely false. As for his prophecies concerning the fall of Jerusalem, they are so accurate that some critics have argued that they must have been written after 70 C.E., when the Temple was burned down and the city destroyed by the Romans. In other words, because these scholars don’t believe in prophecy, they have to say that the words of Jesus were not really his at all but were written years later, after the fact. That’s how accurate his prophecies actually were! As for alleged exaggerations or misstatements, it is commonly known that the prophets of Israel often used hyperbole in their predictions, declaring that the country would be totally destroyed without any inhabitants left whereas in reality the many parts of the country were badly damaged with many people going into exile—and no one called them false prophets. In comparison with the biblical prophets who went before him, Jesus’ prophecies show only the slightest hint of hyperbole, and if the use of hyperbole makes him a false prophet, then great prophets like Jeremiah and Ezekiel must also be called false prophets.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 152-162.)

Objection: 5.23. “Jesus was a cruel and undisciplined man. He violated the Torah by cursing—and hence, destroying—a perfectly good fig tree for not bearing figs even though the New Testament writers tell us that it was not the time for figs. So much for your wonderful Messiah! He even called a Gentile woman a dog when she approached him for help.”
Answer: “Of course, this objection completely contradicts other common Jewish objections that recognize Jesus as a great teacher and exemplary rabbi but that claim that the departure from Torah devotion began with Paul (see 5.26 and 5.29). Nonetheless, to answer your objection, five points should be made: (1) During his ministry and at his trial, no such accusations were brought against Yeshua. If he was guilty of violating the Torah in these ways, surely some witness would have been found to attack him for this. (2) There is no record of any such accusations being made against him in the Rabbinic polemics against him in the first centuries of this era. (3) His cursing the fig tree was a prophetic sign and was not in violation of Torah law. (4) As for calling a Gentile woman a dog, he actually went many miles out of his way just to heal her daughter—such was his compassion!—and he did this immediately after giving an important teaching that hinted at God pronouncing the Gentiles “clean” through the Messiah. (5) There are well-known Rabbinic statements over many centuries that would make the rabbis look like proud, self-righteous haters of the Gentiles if those statements were read without further Rabbinic commentary and explanation. In comparison with the Rabbinic statements, the words and actions of Jesus are very easily explained as truly representing the loving heart of his heavenly Father. And never forget that this Jesus whom you criticize as cruel and undisciplined laid down his life for you, as well as for every Jew and Gentile in the world.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 162-177.)

Objection: 5.24. “Actually, Jesus also taught that salvation came through obeying the Law. Just read Matthew 5:17–20; 7:21; 19:16–30; 25:31–46. This whole “gospel of grace” message is the invention of Paul and the other writers.”
Answer: “The same Gospels that preserve teachings of Jesus that you have just quoted state categorically that he came to save us from our sins (Matt. 1:21), that he gave his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45), that his blood was the blood of the new covenant, poured out for us (Luke 22:20), and that the message of repentance and forgiveness of sins had to be preached in his name (Luke 24:46–47). This hardly fits the description of someone who taught that complete salvation came through obeying the Law! Rather, Jesus used the Torah as a standard of righteousness and a means of convicting us of our sins and exposing our lack of obedience before ushering in the new covenant which granted us complete and total forgiveness through his death and through which we are called to a higher level of obedience than was possible through keeping the Law.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 177-184.)

Objection: 5.25. “The teachings of the New Testament may have started out Jewish, but before long, they became totally pagan. This was done intentionally, since the Jews rejected Jesus as Messiah and only the pagans would listen to the message.”
Answer: “This objection is fatally flawed from beginning to end. First, modern scholars, both Jewish and Christian, are increasingly recognizing that the teachings of the New Testament can only be rightly understood when they are read against their Jewish background. Second, all the major themes of the New Testament can be traced back to Yeshua himself and, beyond that, to the Tanakh. Third, plenty of Jews did listen to the message. Fourth, by the time the message of Jesus the Messiah had fully made its way into the Gentile world, the New Testament writings were already completed.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 184-188.)

Objection: 5.26. “Jesus was really all right. He was a good Jew and a fine rabbi. It was Paul who messed everything up and founded Christianity.”
Answer: “I’m glad you recognize that Jesus was a good Jew. But Paul (Saul) was a good Jew as well, faithful to Israel’s Torah and faithful to Israel’s Messiah. His teachings are in complete harmony with the teachings of Jesus, despite the assertions of some authors who claim that Paul deviated from the pattern established by Jesus and his disciples, founding an alien new religion called Christianity. The consistent testimony of the New Testament—which includes the things Paul said about himself as well as the things that others said about him—affirms this point. What was unique about Paul was his calling to the spread the good news about Jesus to the Gentiles, but even in this, he passed on to them the truths he had received—as opposed to creating his own innovations—and always kept Israel’s salvation foremost in his mind.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 188-202.)

Objection: 5.27. “If you study world religions, you will see that the teachings of Jesus borrow extensively from Hinduism and Buddhism.”
Answer: “There is absolutely no substance to this argument, and it can easily be refuted. First, there are parallels that exist in all world religions, and you could just as well argue that the traditional rabbis borrowed extensively from Hinduism and Buddhism as you could argue that Jesus did. Second, there is a not a stitch of scholarly evidence that Jesus had any connection or contact with these religions. Third and most importantly, his teachings clearly contradict these religions in many foundational, irreconcilable ways.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 202-204.)

Objection: 5.28. “Jesus abolished the Law.”
Answer: “As Messiah, Yeshua was the ultimate Torah teacher, showing us how the entire Hebrew Bible reached fulfillment in him and also giving us deep spiritual insights into how the Torah could remain relevant for the Jewish people in generations to come, even when we would be scattered throughout the world, without a Temple, a sacrificial system, or a functioning (earthly) priesthood—and he did all this without the need for an endlessly growing corpus of laws and traditions. Once the Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E. only two major systems of faith remained for the Jewish people, that of the Pharisees, developing into Talmudic Judaism, and that of the Messiah, developing into the Messianic Jewish/Christian faith. Although there is much beauty and wisdom in Talmudic Judaism, Messiah has given us a better way.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 204-236.)

Objection: 5.29. “Paul abolished the Law.”
Answer: “I understand why you hold to this position, but it is actually a serious misconception based on several factors: (1) Paul (whose Hebrew name was Saul) took the message of the Messiah to the Gentiles without requiring them to follow the Torah; (2) Paul clearly explained that we are ultimately made right with God through faith (which is followed by a pattern of good works) rather than by our good works themselves, since none of us can fully live up to the Law’s requirements; (3) some of Paul’s teachings are quite deep and complex and have therefore been misunderstood; and (4) Paul emphasized how God had broken down the barrier that separated Jews from the Gentiles, uniting them in one spiritual family in the Messiah; (5) Paul clearly viewed the Torah from a different perspective in light of the inbreaking of the Messianic era. But this does not mean that Paul taught that the Torah was now null and void. To the contrary, Paul lived and died as a Torah-observant Jew and never taught that Jewish believers in the Messiah should abandon the Torah, although it appears that if taking the good news of the Messiah to the Gentiles meant that he sometimes had to break a certain law or tradition—such as a dietary restriction—then he would be willing to do that for the sake of their salvation, a principle that could even be deduced from Rabbinic thinking as well.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 236-265)

Objection: 5.30. “The Torah is forever, every jot and tittle, and only traditional Jews keep it. In fact, even the so-called new covenant of Jeremiah 31 says that God will put the Torah in our hearts. Therefore, since Jesus abolished the Torah, he cannot be the Messiah.”
Answer: “We addressed this in 5.28–29, refuting the objections that Jesus and Paul abolished the Torah. As for traditional Jews being the only ones who keep the Law, they are to be commended for their tremendous zeal and devotion to the Law, but they must be challenged as to the endless human traditions they have added in the name of the Law (see vol. 5, 6.1, 3–5), and they must be questioned as to their missing the one of whom the Law and the Prophets spoke. Regarding the new covenant, see below, 5.34.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 265-266.)

Objection: 5.31. “Anyone who changes the Law—no matter what signs or wonders he performs—is a false prophet. That applies to Jesus!”
Answer: “Jesus made it very clear that he did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it, and that is exactly what he did (see above, 5.28, for a further explanation of this). And all his miracles drew attention to his heavenly Father, strengthening the people’s faith in God and his Word (see vol. 2, 3.4). As for changing the Torah, it could be just as well argued that the Rabbinic authorities changed the Law with their modification and adjustments.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 266-269.)

Objection: 5.32. “Observance of the Sabbath has been the hallmark of the Jewish people, separating us from other nations and identifying us with the covenant of God. Since Christianity changed the Sabbath, Christianity is obviously not for the Jewish people.”
Answer: “Hundreds of years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, when the official “church” had separated itself from its biblical roots, Christendom did, indeed, change the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. But that has absolutely nothing to do with the teachings of the New Testament, which is why it is common for Messianic Jews today to hold worship service on Saturday rather than Sunday and to celebrate Shabbat with newfound meaning through the teaching and example of the Messiah. As for Gentile Christians setting aside Sunday as a special day of rest and worship, what is wrong with this?” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 269-273.)

Objection: 5.33. “According to Mark 7:19, Jesus abolished the dietary laws.”
Answer: “Did you ever read this chapter, along with the parallel account in Matthew 15? Jesus was exposing the error of being scrupulous in terms of outward, ritual purity (specifically, practicing ritual handwashing before eating) while having filthy hearts and minds. As he explained: “What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’” (Matt. 15:11) It is the thoughts of the heart that defile someone, not whether or not they follow the Rabbinic traditions and wash their hands before they eat. In principle, then, this makes all foods “clean”—in other words, no food can make you spiritually impure, which is the point of Mark 7:19. But there is no evidence that the disciples of Jesus heard these words and threw out the dietary laws. Rather, they grasped the meaning of Jesus’ words and continued to live as Torah-observant Jews. However, because they understood the spiritual principles the Messiah was teaching, they would be willing to be in an environment where they ate nonkosher food in order to teach Gentiles about the one true God. Doesn’t this seem right to you? Over time, they also realized another spiritual principle based on Yeshua’s words, namely, “If God pronounces someone ‘clean’—in this case, meaning, if he accepts the Gentiles as his own people through faith in the Messiah—then we have no right to call them ‘unclean’—meaning, rejecting them as fellow-heirs of our heavenly Father and as spiritual brothers and sisters.” Having said all this, I’m fully aware that many Christian scholars would argue that Jesus did, in fact, change the dietary laws, but even if this were the case, there are Rabbinic traditions stating that in the world to come (and/or the Messianic era), some of the dietary laws will be changed.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 269-273)

Objection: 5.34. “If the death of Jesus really inaugurated the new covenant spoken of by Jeremiah the prophet, then why hasn’t it been fulfilled?”
Answer: “It is clear that we are living in a transition age, a time that can be characterized as “already but not yet,” a time in which the Messianic era has been inaugurated but not fully consummated. Not only are there Rabbinic traditions that point to this transition age (see vol. 1, 2.1), but many of the major prophecies of the Tanakh can only be explained in this way. In short, the new covenant was established 2,000 years ago in incipient form and it continues to advance towards its ultimate fulfillment.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 282-299.)

WomanHonorThyself said...

long time no see Bar..I see youre still stirring it up!..Yasher Koach~!

Anonymous said...

big daddy: sounds like you're a Messianic "Jew". Just so you know, there's no such thing as a "Messianic" Jew. So fact is, you either don't exist or (and this is more probably) you used to be a Jew and now believe in Jesus (which makes you a X-ian). Please don't refer to yourself as a "Jew." It's offensive to those of us who are actually Jews as it is to the intellect.

Go in where Yeshu (whatever that is) may send you and don't come back to Judaism (may you be happy and satisfied with the dumbest choice of your life and may you one day be punished for it).

Anonymous said...

B.K.: good post! You make a lot of good points and are really taking the fight to these folks. As Angel said, yashar koach!

Papa Frank said...

Eitan -- I find it very interesting that you say there's no such thing as a Messianic Jew as I thought it was the desire of all Jews to anxiously await the Messiah. If Yeshua ben-Yosef was not the Messiah then when your version of the Messiah comes is he going to need your approval or is God's opinion of him going to be enough for you? If Big Daddy has a Jewish Mother should he not be considered a Jew no matter what by Jewish law? Are Jews only Jews when they agree with every other Jew?

Anonymous said...

Eiten, your response is so typical, yet where is the reasoning? Did you read the Q&A above? By what basis do you say I'm not Jewish? Both of my parents are Jewish, I probably have a better Jewish education than you do, (though I don't presume so), I am a practicing Orthodox Jew with a kosher home...I recognize Yeshua as our Mashiach because he, in fact, has accomplished more of the messianic requirements than any other in the history of the world. Also, it was never said or implied that the Messianic requirements would have to be fulfilled all in one shot.

Just because you're ignorant of what our scriptures actually say, Eitan, doesn't give you license to lash out at others. It simply shows you as....well, ignorant. I respect Bar Kochba for allowing intelligent and respectful discussions here on his blog. So you find somewhere else to go.

Bar Kochba, have you read the above Questions and Answers? You must realize that there are valid answers within our Tanakh and Talmud for every question that has been raised in this thread of posts. Please read through what I posted carefully, and if you must, please get the books. You, as a Jew, owe it to yourself and to Hashem to find the truth and the answers.

Anonymous said...

big zero: my name is "Eitan" so if you spell it any other way I will refer to you as what you are: a big zero(0)! It's up to B.K. whom I know better than you do, to tell me when I become disrespectful and to send me "elsewhere."

BTW: Correct me if I'm wrong but B.K. has the same kinds of sentiment as I do concerning Messianic "Jew." You say you are a practicing "Orthodox" Jew. And I say go look in the mirror.

If Jews were like Muslims you'd be considered "kofir". Since we're not(baruch Hashem) I'd say you're just lost. I hope you return to Judaism some time soon. BTW: I speak the language of my forefathers and I've lived in Israel. Can you say that for yourself!?

Anonymous said...

See, big-zero, I respect the frank family because they're Christians and have never professed to be Jewish. You on the other hand are a mess. You're confused and I don't need to read any of the stuff your fellow Jews-for-Jesus (imach shmam ve'zichram) have brainwashed you with.

nanc said...

you're being a little nasty, b.k. something i'd never resort to in reference to judaism.

hyman appelman, jewish evangelist

zola levitt, Messianic jew

rabbi lichtenstein, jewish believer

there are thousands, if not millions of LEARNED IN THE TORAH jews who have come to the saving grace of CHRIST, based solely on comparing the new testament with torah.

"If you still happen to be unconvinced that the baby born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago was anything more than just an ordinary human baby, let me challenge you with a few of "the odds" in that regard.

To begin with, did you know that the Old Testament prophet Micah, writing circa 700 B.C., out of the hundreds and hundreds of cities in the scores and scores of nations in existence all over the world even in those days, designated Bethlehem of Judea as the birthplace of the Messiah (Micah 5:2)?

And that at about the same time, Isaiah (7:14) said that the Christ would be born of a virgin?

Or that a prophecy made in 1012 B.C. specified that the Messiah's hands and feet would eventually be pierced--a clear reference to death by crucifixion--800 years before the Romans ever even instituted crucifixion as a form of capital punishment!

Malachi 3:1, penned in about 425 B.C., specified that the Messiah would be contemporary with the temple in Jerusalem--a temple that was destroyed in 70 A.D. and has never been rebuilt.

Well, if all this impresses you even a little bit, you ought to go compare Zechariah 11:11-13 (written over 500 years before Christ) to Matthew 27:3-10 (written some 25-30 years after Christ). Only coincidence?

A number of years ago, Peter W. Stoner and Robert C. Newman wrote a book entitled Science Speaks. The book was based on the science of probability and vouched for by the American Scientific Affiliation. It set out the odds of any one man in all of history fulfilling even only eight of the 60 major prophecies (and 270 ramifications) fulfilled by the life of Christ.

The probability that Jesus of Nazareth could have fulfilled even eight such prophecies would be only 1 in 1017. That's 1 in 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000.

Stoner claims that that many silver dollars would be enough to cover the face of the entire state of Texas two feet deep. Now I've been to Texas. I've driven for days to get across Texas. Texas is a very big state. Who in his right mind would suppose that a blindfolded man, heading out of Dallas by foot in any direction, would be able, on his very first attempt, to pick up one specifically marked silver dollar out of 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000?

One March several years ago I received a paper from United States Senate Chaplain Richard Halverson. In it he wrote:

"The fact is, the birth, crucifixion, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ are celebrated worldwide by folk of every race, language, and color, every year. And believing in Jesus, they have been delivered from the most evil, disastrous, frustrating, debilitating habits and life forms possible. The real problem with Jesus Christ is not that folk can't believe in Him--but that they won't believe in Him."

i hate cut and paste...

check out those odds!

Anonymous said...

Eitan, my sincere apologies for misspelling your name. Yes, I too speak Hebrew, and I lived in Tiberias for 9 yrs. I guess that makes us equally Jewish?

Nanc, those are incredible odds. I am not a scientist, so I would've never factored those odds into my decision to declare Yeshua as the Jewish Mashiach. I simply galvanizes and confirms my decision. When I made that decision several years ago, it was based solely on the merits of scripture agreement. It had to make sense in the Torah first, then the rest of the Tanakh; and then I wanted to find confirmation in the Talmud.

Here's what it boils down to: The single most important requirement for the Mashiach is that he would appear BEFORE the destruction of the 2nd Temple. That narrows the list quite a bit. Noone even came close to fulfilling the messianic requirements except Yeshua. If he isn't the Messiah, then there will never be one.

nanc said...

G-d help us if that were true, big daddy jew.

nanc said...

p.s. many of my friends are cops - the consensus with most of them is the best juvenile delinquents make the best cops.

the best advocate for childrens' rights was more than likely abused as a child.

a former alcoholic does best to council recovering alcoholics.

i follow the teachings of MANY messianic jews - they make the very best followers of Yeshua.

Anonymous said...

Here's what you must consider: If someone in your town gave several teachings on a particular subject - any subject, and then told you in advance that tomorrow he would be killed but would come back to life 3 days later, you'd think he's a lunatic for sure! But then you witness his death, and three days later he knocks on your front door and shows himself....after you change your underwear, you'd have to take a hard look at everything that person said. So it is with Yeshua.

Anonymous said...

big daddy: it's ok. No biggy(no pun intended either). I take back calling you "big-zero." Where in Tverya did ya get the idea to become a Christian? Did you know that Messianic activity is (rightly) illegal in Israel? I belonged to Ezer Le'achim. Ever hear of us?

the frank family: I certainly don't decide who's Jewish and who's not but it strikes me as mad that someone would consider himself Jewish and believe that Yeshu was the messiah. There are plenty of halachot against believing in any G-d other than Hashem and that is exactly what Christians do. I don't mean to insult you because like I said I respect Christianity--especially born-again Christians who are known for practicing what they preach.

The only real problem I have with Christianity is that Christians often feel the need to try and convert others. I always get on the defensive when encountering such people. What do you think about that? (Curious)

Anonymous said...

And I must agree with Nanc. B.K: you shouldn't have tackled this topic. It's ultimately going to lead to a quarrel like it already has with me. These people are on our side. What was the point of this post? To antagonize our friends?

Anonymous said...

Eitan, the path to me recognizing our Mashiach was a long one, my friend. And it hasn't been without consequesnces. I do know that Messianic activity in the form of prostlyizing (sp?) is illegal. Eitan, please do this for me. Please read everything that I posted...the list of questions and answers. At the end, if you can honestly say that this guy is a lunatic and doesn't know what he's talkign about, then fair enough. But first say a quick prayer that G-d would open your heart to the truth of His word. That's all. The last thing that we, as Jews want is to miss the long-awaited and promised Messiah, G-d forbid!

Anonymous said...

Eitan, the chances of Big daddy being Jewish are almost zero, its an old Notsri trick to pretend they are Jewish and have "seen the light" to steal Jewish souls, most likely BDJ is one of those

Papa Frank said...

I see KKK-L the racist is back making claims that he can not prove and doubting people's honesty simply because they don't agree with him. Go away biggot and dream about your elite world where God loves Jews more than everyone else and only reveals Himself to them because only they have a "spiritual" soul with which to understand Him all others having only the soul of a wild animal. You are a disgrace to people in general and Jews in particular.

Anonymous said...

kahaneloyalist: It's not wise to make statements here right now. B.K. and I know you mean well, and G-d knows you may be right, but for now it's smarter to keep on a d.l.

nanc said...

my Lord and my Savior is a jew and according to zechariah 14, every nation will be required to pay homage to HIM in the kingdom for the feast of tabernacles, lest there be no rain in our nations for our crops!

it is NOT illegal to be a CHRISTian in the holyland - it is illegal to proselytize.

Anonymous said...

the frank family: You are a disgrace to people in general and Jews in particular.

You are personally attacking my friend all because he doubts the honesty of somebody who in Jewish terms is considered a heretic. Why would you resort to that? I think you owe Kahaneloyalist an apology for the trully nasty things you said about him. I'm not one to back down from making an apology when I've done something which I later recognize as morally wrong and neither should you.

nanc said...

eitan - kahane has said that G-d loves the jews more than the rest of HIS creation.

if the G-dfearing frank family feels like it has been attacked, by G-D he has a right to be angry.

G-d does not love one person more than another. ever. He loves His creation and wishes that NONE perish.

it is kahane who owes the rest of us an apology.

Avi said...

To everyone: No more Christian-bashing and especially to Frank Family, no more KL bashing. He speaks only from the Torah and Talmud. To clarify, my goal was not to make fun or belittle Christianity. I am sorry for any nastiness. I wanted to raise awareness of the Noahide Laws and to show the idolatrous elements of Christianity. I am planning one more article on the subject and then we will move on. I appreciate any honest discussion (no copy-paste -- that goes for you 'big daddy Xian-wannabe') and I am glad if people disagree and voice their opinions. No more nastiness, only facts. (Eitan: I know that you mean well but, after all, your last post was about releasing the man who murdered the PM of Israel so I don't think that you should object to controversy.)

Nanc: I don't understand your last comment. Are you comparing criminals who become cops to Jews who "recover" and become "completed" as Christians? Let's clear this one up: Jews cannot be Christians. Nanc, you freaked out when a bishop suggested (stupidly) that Christians call G-d Allah, even though Allah is only Arabic for G-d, but Jews can pray to what they fell is a foreign god? How do you feel about Christians for Buddha, Muslims for Vishnua, Hindus for Allah??? I'll ignore all of the copy-pastes. I suggest that you check out jewsforjudaism.org or messiahtruth.com

About JC's messianic prophecies, he may have fulfilled some but NO key prophecies. Riding on a donkey is not an accomplishment as it was the main method of transportation in those days. However, he did not bring world peace, Jews back to Israel, rebuild the Temple, universal worship of G-d... none of the essential parts of the moshiach. That is the true Jewish messiah, not some man-god who brings salvation.

Let's take a little look:

"To begin with, did you know that the Old Testament prophet Micah, writing circa 700 B.C., out of the hundreds and hundreds of cities in the scores and scores of nations in existence all over the world even in those days, designated Bethlehem of Judea as the birthplace of the Messiah (Micah 5:2)?"

This verse says how David, who thought himself to be insignificant since he was born of a Moabite, became the king of Israel. The verse does not say that the moshiach will be born in Bethlehem, only that the line wil originate there. 'whose goings forth are from of old, from ancient days.' means that the concept of moshiach is eternal. How could 'judge in Israel' refer to JC when he was not even a judge and preached 'Judge not, so that ye shall not be judged' (Matt. 7:1). And then there is the problem of JC's geneology, which is the subject for another time.
And that at about the same time, Isaiah (7:14) said that the Christ would be born of a virgin?

"Or that a prophecy made in 1012 B.C. specified that the Messiah's hands and feet would eventually be pierced--a clear reference to death by crucifixion--800 years before the Romans ever even instituted crucifixion as a form of capital punishment!"

Another Christian distortion. 'Kaari' means like a lion. The correct translation is that 'they encircled me like a lion'. Strange how everywhere else, it was translate as lion, eh?

"Malachi 3:1, penned in about 425 B.C., specified that the Messiah would be contemporary with the temple in Jerusalem--a temple that was destroyed in 70 A.D. and has never been rebuilt."

Malachi 3:1 tells of the coming of Elijah and that the Jews will eventually be brought back to the rebuild Temple (may it be rebuilt speedily in our days.) But JC didn't fulfill the rest of the verse: "10 Bring ye the whole tithe into the store-house, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall be more than sufficiency. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your good, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your land; neither shall your vine cast its fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 12 And all nations shall call you happy; for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts. {P}" In fact, shortly after JC came, Jerusalem was destroyed and the land devoured.

"Well, if all this impresses you even a little bit, you ought to go compare Zechariah 11:11-13 (written over 500 years before Christ) to Matthew 27:3-10 (written some 25-30 years after Christ). Only coincidence?"

What a flawed interpretation. Zechariah said that the poor who waited upon G-d were told that uf they wish to be righteous, that thet should give a price- and they did so. The poor weighed out 30 pieces of silver- and act of righteousness, which Christians call evil. Don't forget that there is a good chance that Christians doctored the story to make JC look good.

Anonymous said...

Bar: me calling for Amir to be released following 13 years in jail is a hell of a lot less controversial than you openly calling Christians non-believers or whatever it was you said in that post. And what I do know is that you offended a lot more people (in the process bringing me and kl to your defense only to be scorned) than I did.

However, in no way am I offended and I ask your apology if you were offended by my post about Amir. I consider you a friend and a close ally.

Avi said...

Let's stop with all of these apologies and also stop playing the "offended" game. Everything's forgiven and I consider you a friend to. I didn't mean to scorn you and to all Christians, you are still my friends and allies, despite any theological differences.

Progressive Pinhead said...

Isn't it rather silly trying to have a rational discussion about faith since religon is something that is, by its nature irrational, not that that's a bad thing, its just 99% of people who follow a religon follow that religon becuase its what their parents told them and not becuase of any rational reason.

nanc said...

my family is predominately irish catholic and my husband's family are gehova witlesses - he and i are of the protestant FAITH.

some people may follow the paths of their families, but that is for people who wish to remain in the dark in many cases.

b.k. - the Yeshua bobblehead didn't help in this issue - you have no idea what we christians put up with with unbelievers, athiests, agnostics - it is ugly and then to have you do this.

Papa Frank said...

eitan -- let me apologize to you, though I have no apology for KL as everything I spoke of him was the truth. I was not responding to his post here only but was responding to it as well as discussions we have had over at my friend Daniel's (yehudi01) blog. You have seen the result of our entire encounters and not the result of his one post here. KL spreads bigotry for gentiles that God Himself detests.

You wrote:

"the frank family: I certainly don't decide who's Jewish and who's not but it strikes me as mad that someone would consider himself Jewish and believe that Yeshu was the messiah. There are plenty of halachot against believing in any G-d other than Hashem and that is exactly what Christians do. I don't mean to insult you because like I said I respect Christianity--especially born-again Christians who are known for practicing what they preach.

The only real problem I have with Christianity is that Christians often feel the need to try and convert others. I always get on the defensive when encountering such people. What do you think about that? (Curious)"

Here's my thoughts on this if you are so inclined to hear me out. First of all I would appreciate if you would call Jesus by his real name Yeshua or Yeshua ben-Yosef as your derogatory "Yeshu" does not go beyond my notice. It would be like me calling your Talmud the Talmo - bad example but you get the gist. Secondly let me make a distinction for you. Many millions of people are under the label "christian." The word "christian" in some circles refers to simply being not-Jewish or not-Muslim or not-atheist. Because of this I do not call myself a christian, though in fact I certainly am in reality a Christian. I prefer to think of myself as a follower of Christ, that is to say that I attempt to live my life in the way that Yeshua did when he was here on earth. To do that does not imply at all that I worship a god named Yeshua. To a follower of Christ Yeshua is kind of like your oral Torah. A Jew would never say that he worshipped the oral Torah but would indeed and emphatically say that he sought to follow what he learned from the oral Torah as he believes it to be the word of God Almighty. Now does modeling your life after the oral Torah make the oral Torah a god for you? Of course not. So it is to us who follow Christ. We certainly hold Christ high, as you would the oral Torah, but it is because Yeshua continually pointed towards God and never away from God. Do I believe that Yeshua is deity? Absolutely. Do I believe that Yeshua is deity apart from I AM? Absolutely not. There is no separation to us. The Son only does what the Father has for him to do and does nothing apart from the Father. Yeshua at no time was outside of the will of the Father and did nothing of his own will but only that which the Father willed for him to do. We never consider Yeshua outside of the context of him being one with the Father. It's kind of like Yeshua being the left leg of the Father. Without the Father is there a left leg? But without the left leg there would still be the Father. I know that this is not how you are inclined to think but I am explaining how I see things.

As for christians who try to convert you, let me say this. I personally do not ever want to "convert" a Jew to becoming a christian as that would be idiocy. Why would a Jew wish to turn his back on the covenant given by God Almighty? As a gentile and follower of Christ I believe that trusting in what God has done for me through Christ's death and resurrection has given me the privilege of being called a son of God and is an extreme privilege of a future home with God that before that was only offered to the Jews. I could never in and of myself follow the law perfectly all the time and so I trust in God's plan of sending Jesus who sacrificed himself for my sin.

My conversations with Jews are of a selfish nature, though I am as happy to have given if any of my understanding of God reverberates with others. I recognize that christianity has done a poor job of honoring God and remembering what he has done in the Old Testament. Many christians focus too much on the Hew Testament while there can be no understanding of it at all without the Old Testament. Without the book of Genesis alone there can be no understanding of life at all. I also find the christian faith to be too void of celebration and rich tradition. Because of this I seek out friendships with Jews who have a deep understanding of the Old Testament and who celebrate how God intended for people to celebrate. Many in christianity find tradition to be restrictive but I find it to be rich and rewarding. Also, among the Jews I find a zeal for God Almighty that reminds me why He is my first love and why He makes my heart cry out with joy and thankfulness and why I long to dance with reckless abandon before Him as David did. I also find people who LOVE Israel and yearn for peace in Jerusalem and who pray for this to happen. As Christians these are to be our goals as well but most christians don't remember to pray for peace in Jerusalem. Many don't think beyond their own family and friends. I hope this gives you a little insight into what my mind is and helps explain a little for you. Peace, my new friend!!!

Anonymous said...

"some people may follow the paths of their families, but that is for people who wish to remain in the dark in many cases"

- I couldn't agree more. As I said a couple of millenia ago:

"Do not believe something just because it has been passed along and retold for many generations.

Do not believe something merely because it has become a traditional practice.

Do not believe something simply because it is well-known everywhere.

Do not believe something just because it is cited in a text.

Do not believe something solely on the grounds of logical reasoning.

Do not believe something merely because it accords with your philosophy.

Do not believe something because it appeals to "common sense".

Do not believe something just because you like the idea.

Do not believe something because the speaker seems trustworthy.

Do not believe something thinking, "This is what our teacher says".

When you yourselves directly know, "This is [these things are] unwholesome, this is blameworthy, this is condemned or censured by the wise, these things when accepted and practised lead to poverty and harm and suffering," then you should give them up.

When you yourselves directly know, "These things are wholesome, blameless, praised by the wise; when adopted and carried out they lead to well-being, prosperity and happiness," then you should accept and practise them."


Anonymous said...

Young Activist, that's how it was for me in Judaism. My parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc...were Orthodox Jews, so I am too. It wasn't until I had a Christian friend give me a New Testament in Hebrew that I started looking at things. I realized that the Christian religion is really Judaism with the Mashiach inserted! Then I found Dr. Michael L. Brown, a tremendous Jewish scholar who answered my MANY questions and objections...the very same ones that Bar Kochba is raising, and he answered them out of the Tanakh, the Talmud, the Targums, and out of the other rabbinic writings. I watched him debate Rabbi Dr. David Blumofe, Rabbi Dr. J. Immanuel Schochet, Rabbi Tovia Singer; and Rabbi Shmuley about whether Yeshua is our Mashiach...and he won the debates hands down, the rabbis had no responses worthy of noting. The link to those debates are here:

The answers are literally right in front of us, it's like we've had blinders on for all these years, and then when you suddenly take them off, the Tanakh comes alive with things you've never seen! It literally changes your life in ways you can't imagine!

Yehudi said...

Buddha, have you ever considered getting "Dance To The Oldies," with Richard Simmons? The last few statues I've seen of you aren't very flattering.

Wow! I've been away for a couple of days and look what I've missed! Good stuff. I'm always in favor of dialogue, as long as it's kept civil. Uh, sorry Buddha...my comment about your fattness probably wasn't the most civil.

I read all those things that BJD posted, and I would have to see the full and complete answer to render an opinion because what's offered here are just snippets. Not enough for me to judge, I guess.

BK, have you read through the rough draft of my first 3 chapters yet?

Anonymous said...

Eitan, to explain, I pointed out that various points of Jewish law that Frank and the Notsrim naturally dont like. Unable to answer any of my points and sources(not surprisingly), the only response being, "We notsrim hate the Chachamim, and you Jews dont understand G-d we do". Frank began throwing ad hominem attacks my way about me being a racist. Patently absurd as I said straight out anyone can become Jewish and be as Jewish as me, BK, or you Eitan.

I stand by everything I said and wrote, and remember BK Esav Sone et Yaakov, always remember this when you truck with the Notsrim.

And other Christians pretended to be our friend, including Martin Luther, once they realized we wouldnt accept their avodah zara they turned on us with a viciousness and hatred that is hard to believe.

As for my stating that BDJ isnt actually a jew, I have been involved in anti-missionary work in very small way, and as I said its a standard trick for the notsrim to pretend they are Jews when they are seeking souls.

And Eitan, thanks for the defense; as always your a true friend.

Progressive Pinhead said...

You make it sound like there is some giant conspiracy against Jews. The world is not out to get you. Those who are friends of the Jewish people are not trying to set you up for anything.

Papa Frank said...

"Unable to answer any of my points and sources(not surprisingly), the only response being, "We notsrim hate the Chachamim, and you Jews dont understand G-d we do"."

Um.....nice quote there that never was said by myself or anyone else. Do you really want to add lying to your other offenses? When was this my response? You were the one who could not show where God Almighty said that He loves Jews more than us gentiles.

Papa Frank said...

KL: Why are you so surprised? I believe in the Torah just as much as you do.

January 15, 2008 2:37 PM

kahaneloyalist said...
BK, indeed you do, but it seemed you were taking a more reconciliatory attitude towards the notzrim before now.

Certainly God would not want a reconciliatory attitude between Jews and Christians, right? And you wonder why I see your obvious bigotry.

Yehudi said...

KL: I love your passion for Torah and Klal Yisrael, but I find your statements and combative position towards 'Am goyyim offensive. It doesn't reflect the heart of Hashem at all.

Avi said...

Yeishu is not a derogatory term for JC but his real name. The Talmud records the story of Yeishu Ha-Notzri, a sorcerer and idolater who was executed on the Eve of Passover. Yeishu is the historical basis for the character of Jesus, albeit with the synthesism of pagan saviour gods within it.

Jason, you say that JC is part of G-d and not separate. My quesiton to you is: Hindus believe in one supreme G-d but represent His different aspects with many different gods, all a part of Him, though with their own images and bodies. I am sure that you would call that idolatry but what is the difference between that and Christianity?

"the Yeshua bobblehead didn't help in this issue - you have no idea what we christians put up with with unbelievers, athiests, agnostics - it is ugly and then to have you do this."

I guess that it was a bit uncalled for but if you think that Christians have it bad from atheists, think about us: Christians spend billions of dollars every year to mislead Jews into Christianity (I don't care what you say but wrapping Southern Baptism in a tallis does not make it kosher). The second tha I put some discussion about Christianity up here, I get angry Christian comments. If not me, then who will protect the innocent Jews who know nothing about their Torah, can't tell a Jewish idea from a Catholic cathechism and then get invited to a "messianic seder"? Every year, thousands of impressionable and tragically ignorant Jews are spiritually murdered by Christians. I feel compelled to raise awareness to this spiritual terrorism which weaken our people.

Daniel: Yes, I read all the chapters and they're great. Also, there is no such thing as Am Goyyim since Am means the same thing as goy- nation. And KL has quoted nothing but Torah and Talmud. Let's let the Torah do the talking and leave Western sensibilities out of this.

Yehudi said...

BK, thanks..I noticed that after I posted it. Oops! Glad you like the book thus far...I've started on ch 4.

I'm fine with letting the Torah do the talking, however, since KL came into the picture, you've changed your tone. You move from a conciliatory tone to a harsh and separatist tone. It shouldn't be this way, my friend. We can be Jews, and we can be separate; but we called to do so in love and with compassion. I respect KL for his knowledge and his zeal, but I strongly disagree with his delivery and his personal views. They do more harm than good.

Avi said...

Did you not see my comments? I too agree that KL is a bit too aggressive and I have nuanced my opinions closer to concilliation. I say 'separate but equal' (in a better way than in the civil rights movement). I acknowledge that G-d loves everyone equally and that everyone can become close to Him. Take a look at my comments! Though I am not prepared to disregard the Torah and lie that Natzrut kosher.

Avi said...

And the entire point of these Noahide posts were to show G-d's love to non-Jews. O how that backfired!

Papa Frank said...

"Yeishu is not a derogatory term for JC but his real name. The Talmud records the story of Yeishu Ha-Notzri, a sorcerer and idolater who was executed on the Eve of Passover. Yeishu is the historical basis for the character of Jesus, albeit with the synthesism of pagan saviour gods within it."

This from the one one who said: " To everyone: No more Christian-bashing". You seem to be under the impression that we take defaming the name of Jesus lightly. What would your response be to someone who said something like -- Zeus is really the historical basis for the character of Jehovah. He was a sorcerer and idol-worshiper. (May God forgive me for even writing such a sentence.)

As to your question about Hinduism - there is no similarity whatsoever. Unless you think that Hindus worship the living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Also, Jesus has no form to his followers. All we know from scripture is that he was a Jew and that he had a beard. Do you think that God saw fit to leave details of his appearance out of scripture intentionally for a reason? of course He did. We worship no image or form. We worship the one true living God. Incidentally, that bobblehead at the top could be Moses or David or Abraham as easy as it could be what Yeshua ben-Yosef looked like.

Yehudi said...

My apologies...I went back and re-read the comments.

Avi said...

Please go ahead and put a bobble head of Moses or Abraham up there. I wouldn't even find it blasphemous in the least, I would probably laugh.

As for Yeishu, am I not allowed to say what the Talmud says of him? These are not my words! When I write about the Jewsih view of Christianity, everybody is insulted. I don't write that I'm insulted whenever you speak Christianity although I know full well that Christians believe that Jews are destined for lakes of fire for rejecting "their messiah". Should I be forced to speak untruths in the name of political correctness? I will not have it! I want to discuss civily and logically and being offended is no reason not to debate and does not prove any point. I'm offended that the sky is blue- does that make it green?

My Hinduism question is legitimate. In truth, there are many parallels between kaballah and Eastern mysticism, although they are mixed up with idolatry. The reason is because Avraham was a master of the kaballah and sent his sons with Keturah off to the Orient where they taught the people Torah. The Hindu G-d is Brahaman- Abraham, Brahaman. There are many other similarities. My point is that G-d is One and Indivisible.

If my comparison between Yeishu and other saviour gods offends you, please read some mythology. Demigods born of virgins, prophecies, wine into water, birth on Dec 25, healing the blind, miracles, etc. were all very common in the pagan world. Osiris, Mithras, Zoroaster, Dionysus, Krishna, Buddha... did many of the same. Check out http://www.pocm.info/index.html .

During the time of Jesus, the most widespread cult in Rome was the cult of Mithras, a demigod born to a virgin in a cave on Dec 25, a holiday that was celebrated with great pomp. He was buried in a tomb from which He rose again from the dead—an event celebrated yearly with much rejoicing.

Every year in Rome, in the middle of winter, the Son of God was born one more, putting an end to darkness. Every year at first minute of December 25th the temple of Mithras was lit with candles, priests in in white garments celebrated the birth of the Son of God and boys burned incense. Mithras was born in a cave, on December 25th, of a virgin mother.

He came from heaven to be born as a man, to redeem men from their sin. He was know as "Savior," "Son of God," "Redeemer," and "Lamb of God."

His followers kept the Sabbath holy, eating sacramental meals in remembrance of Him. The sacred meal of bread and water, or bread and wine, was symbolic of the body and blood of the sacred bull.

Baptism in the blood of the bull (taurobolium)—early
Baptism "washed in the blood of the Lamb"—late
Baptism by water [recorded by the Christian author Tertullian]

Mithraic rituals brought about the transformation and Salvation of His adherents—an ascent of the soul of the adherent into the realm of the divine. From the wall of a Mithraic temple in Rome: "And thou hast saved us by shedding the eternal blood." The great Mithraic festivals celebrated His birth (at the winter solstice) and His death and resurrection (at the spring solstice)

Papa Frank said...

So then, is any of that proof that Christians are idolaters? How can you claim that Christians do not worship only one true God? You have spoken of mythologies and stories but offered no proof of Christians being idolaters. Because most religions have a story of a god and creation does that mean that Genesis is contrived and just copying from other religions? Your "proof" makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

Objection: 5.27. “If you study world religions, you will see that the teachings of Jesus borrow extensively from Hinduism and Buddhism.”

Answer: “There is absolutely no substance to this argument, and it can easily be refuted. First, there are parallels that exist in all world religions, and you could just as well argue that the traditional rabbis borrowed extensively from Hinduism and Buddhism as you could argue that Jesus did. Second, there is a not a stitch of scholarly evidence that Jesus had any connection or contact with these religions. Third and most importantly, his teachings clearly contradict these religions in many foundational, irreconcilable ways.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 202-204.)

Papa Frank said...

You say that you want to debate civilly but you call Big Daddy Jew not a Jew at all, then you praise those who say he/she is simply a liar and fake, then you praise KL who is the model of elitist bigotry that claims that God loves Jews more than anyone else, and you call Jesus a man god and say that his name is accursed. That is not debate. You say that every proof that Big Daddy Jew offered is void and you won't even look at them. You have no desire for debate or to search for truth you only wish to know what you know already.

Rita Loca said...

I see no need for my input here.
I do have a question, why is it wrong for a Christian to " share our religion" with Jews but your are quite willing to share yours with us? Are you not trying to convince us of your belief and faith? I see no difference, so why does it make your so irate if a christian does the same?
Also, it is Southern Baptist,not Southern Baptism.( Although I am a Baptist myself, I am not a Southern Baptist.)
I am not offended by the bobble head, but I do think it is intended to rouse our ire, and I find that intention to be offensive. I also do not like the attitude of disrespect you show towards christians by spelling out "jeezus".
However, I support Israel, and I love the Jewish people I have met, some messianic and some who are not.
I consider you to be a very intelligent young man with great potential and a person I would truly like to meet some day! I have learned a lot about Judaism reading your blog and all of it has confirmed my own belief in Christ, which probably was not your intention.
G-d bless!

Avi said...

Frank Family: I will answer any objections. I just don't want a copy-paste war.

JM: The reason that I don't spell out his name but rather use JC is because the Torah forbids us to mention the name of false gods and since I clearly believe him to be one, I am loathe to say that name.

Go ahead, share your faith. But I will answer you. The problem is that all too often, the missionizing is to ignorant Jews who know nothing about Judaism and are easily confused. Try proselytizing in Crown Heights, Boro Park, Meah Shearim. You will find that it will not be so easy with Jews who know their Judaism. And I do hope that you will continue to read my blog as I will continue to read yours.

Anonymous said...

Frank, I brought sources from the Gemara and Rabbinic writings saying Hashem has greater love for Benai Yisrael then the Goyim, you attacked the Chachamim, through the Sanhedrin, refering to them as a nest of vipers, or at least quoting your g-d doing so(may the tongue of whoever curses the pure ones rot in this mouth).

BK, I am going to have to disagree that its ok for the notsrim to "share their religion" you know as well as I do what the Gemara in Kedushin (and Sanhedrin) says about those who, even with words, attempt to draw Jews away from Torah.