Saturday, May 23, 2015
Who would have imagined twenty years ago that one of the most Catholic countries in the world would vote to allow same-sex marriage? But they have. Yesterday, Irish voters approved same sex marriage on the emerald isle with an astounding 60% "yes" vote.
Will this affect the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage in the United States, in particular, will it affect the vote of the swing vote on the court, Justice Kennedy?
Read this article regarding the Irish vote: here
Friday, May 22, 2015
Gary: I will intersperse my comments in red.
Dear atheist and agnostic Readers: Pastor Bill is a childhood family friend and a very nice, kind man. If you wish to comment please do me a personal favor and be polite to him. Thank you!
Here is a list of all the failed prophecies in the Bible: here and another list here.
The Basques of northern Spain and southwestern France have existed for circa 45,000 years, much longer than the Hebrews/Jews have existed. Does their continuous existence for such a long period of time, almost always under the occupation and domination of other peoples, indicate that God has blessed them and protected them from assimilation?
The Jews have certainly been the subjects of horrific persecution ever since 70 AD, especially at the hands of the Nazis. But other peoples have long histories of persecution and suffering such as the Kurds, the Armenians, and the Roma (Gypsies). These peoples have also survived. Is their survival a sign of God's protection and the truthfulness of their religions and belief systems ??
For evidence that the Book of Daniel is a forgery, read here and here.
Here again is the list of failed Bible prophecies: Failed Bible Prophecies
The fact is that Nebuchadnezzar did not take Tyre. Ezekiel made a mistake.
During this time it must have seemed that Ezekiel's prophecy was not wholly correct, but then came Alexander the Great, who eventually built a causeway to the island using debris from the old mainland city of Tyre! More conquerors were to follow. It wasn't until the 12th century A.D. before the final prophetic chapter was closed on the once great city of Tyre. Its fitting that a secular historian would eventually write the following:
The above prophecy makes it sound as if the entire city of Tyre will remain a desolate place, however, if this is true, how then is it possible that both Jesus and Paul visited this city in the New Testament??
The rest of Ezekiel's prophecy against Egypt was a total failure. Ezekiel prophesied that Egypt would be made desolate and its population scattered among the nations. That did not happen. Here is a article that discusses this prophetic failure.
I recommend that every Christian read the book by orthodox Jewish author, Asher Norman, "Twenty-six Reasons why Jews Reject Jesus" in which he dismantles the Christian claim that the Jewish Bible (the Old Testament) has even one prophesy about Jesus.
I would say that Jean Dixon was just about as accurate as Ezekiel. Not very.
Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy...this author should be placed along with the very greatest historians.
Ramsay died in 1939, therefore his scholarship and his opinions are very dated (outdated).
Today, the opposite is happening. More and more people are leaving Christianity due to modern research and archeology which demonstrates that the Bible is full of errors and discrepancies.
The classical historian A.N. Sherwin‑White collaborates Ramsay's work regarding the Book of Acts:
...Archeological work has unquestionably strengthened confidence in the reliability of the scriptural record. More than one archeologist has found respect for the Bible increased by the experience of excavation in Palestine.
Modern archeology indicates there was no Slavery in Egypt, no mass Exodus of Jews, no Wandering in the Sinai, no Conquest of Canaan, and no great United Kingdom of David and Solomon. Click here to read the details:
While the original Hebrew text clearly refers to the Jewish people as the “Suffering Servant,” over the centuries Isaiah 53 has become a cornerstone of the Christian claim that Jesus is the Messiah. Unfortunately, this claim is based on widespread mistranslations and distortion of context.
In order to properly understand these verses, one must read the original Hebrew text. When the Bible is translated into other languages, it loses much of its essence. The familiar King James translation uses language which is archaic and difficult for the modern reader. Furthermore, it is not rooted in Jewish sources and often goes against traditional Jewish teachings. Modern translations, while more readable, are often even more divorced from the true meaning of the text.
For an accurate Jewish translation of the Bible, read the “ArtScroll English Tanach."
The Context of Isaiah 53
The key to deciphering any biblical text is to view it in context. Isaiah 53 is the fourth of the four “Servant Songs.” (The others are found in Isaiah chapters 42, 49 and 50.) Though the “servant” in Isaiah 53 is not openly identified – these verses merely refer to “My servant” (52:13, 53:11) – the “servant” in each of the previous Servant Songs is plainly and repeatedly identified as the Jewish nation. Beginning with chapter 41, the equating of God’s Servant with the nation of Israel is made nine times by the prophet Isaiah, and no one other than Israel is identified as the “servant”:
- “You are My servant, O Israel” (41:8)
- “You are My servant, Israel” (49:3)
- see also Isaiah 44:1, 44:2, 44:21, 45:4, 48:20
The Bible is filled with other references to the Jewish people as God’s “servant”; see Jeremiah 30:10, 46:27-28; Psalms 136:22. There is no reason that the “servant” in Isaiah 53 would suddenly switch and refer to someone other than the Jewish people.
One obvious question that needs to be addressed: How can the “Suffering Servant,” which the verses refer to grammatically in the singular, be equated with the entire Jewish nation?
The Jewish people are consistently referred to with the singular pronoun.This question evaporates when we discover that throughout the Bible, the Jewish people are consistently referred to as a singular entity, using the singular pronoun. For example, when God speaks to the entire Jewish nation at Mount Sinai, all of the Ten Commandments are written as if speaking to an individual (Exodus 20:1-14). This is because the Jewish people are one unit, bound together with a shared national destiny (see Exodus 4:22, Deuteronomy chapter 32). This singular reference is even more common in biblical verses referring to the Messianic era, when the Jewish people will be fully united under the banner of God (see Hosea 14:6-7, Jeremiah 50:19).
As we will see, for numerous reasons this chapter cannot be referring to Jesus. Even in the Christian scriptures, the disciples did not consider the Suffering Servant as referring to Jesus (see Matthew 16:21-22, Mark 9:31-32, Luke 9:44-45).
So how did the Suffering Servant come to be associated with Jesus? After his death, the promoters of Christianity retroactively looked into the Bible and “applied” – through mistranslation and distortion of context – these biblical verses as referring to Jesus.
Missionary apologist Walter Riggans candidly admitted:
- “There is no self-evident blueprint in the Hebrew Bible which can be said to unambiguously point to Jesus. Only after one has come to believe that Jesus was the Messiah, and more specifically the kind of Messiah that he is, does it all begin to make sense...” (Yehoshua Ben David, Olive Press 1995, p.155)
Isaiah 53 – Line by Line
Early in the Book of Isaiah, God predicts the long and difficult exile of the Jewish people. Chapter 53 occurs in the midst of Isaiah's "Messages of Consolation," which tell of the restoration of Israel to prominence as God's chosen people.
The key to understanding this chapter lies in correctly identifying who is speaking. Though the book was written by Isaiah, verses 53:1-10 are told from the perspective of world leaders. Following in the footsteps of the previous chapter (Isaiah 52:15 – “the kings will shut their mouths in amazement”), these verses describe how world leaders will be shocked with disbelief when God’s Servant Israel – despite all contrary expectations – is vindicated and blossoms in the Messianic age.
In this opening verse, world leaders are shocked at the incredible news of Israel’s salvation: “Who would believe what we have heard!”
This verse refers to “the arm of God.” Throughout the Jewish Bible, God's "arm" (זרוע) always denotes a redemption of the Jewish people from physical persecution. For example, God took the Jews out of Egypt “with a strong hand and an outstretched arm” (Deut. 26:8). (See also Exodus 3:20, 6:6, 14:31, 15:6; Deut. 4:34, 7:19; Isaiah 51:9, 52:10, 62:8, 63:12; Jeremiah 21:5, 27:5; Ezekiel 20:33; Psalms 44:3, 89:11, 98:1, 136:12).
This imagery of a tree struggling to grow in dry earth is a metaphor for the Jewish struggle in exile. A young sapling in dry ground appears that it will die. The Jews were always a small nation, at times as small as 2 million people, threatened with extinction. In this verse Isaiah describes Israel’s miraculous return from exile, like a sapling that sprouts from this dry ground. This idea appears throughout the Jewish Bible (see Isaiah 60:21, Ezekiel 19:13, Hosea 14:6-7, Amos 9:15).
This verse describes the Servant as universally despised and rejected. This has been a historical theme for the Jewish people, as a long list of oppressors have treated the Jews as sub-human (the Nazis) or as a pariah state (the United Nations). See similar imagery in Isaiah 49:7, 60:15; Psalms 44:14; Nechemia 3:36.
While this description clearly applies to Israel, it cannot be reconciled with the New Testament account which describes Jesus as immensely popular (Matthew 4:25). “Large crowds” of people came from far and wide to hear him speak, and Jesus had to sail into the water to avoid being overrun by the crowds (Mark 3:7-9). Luke 2:52 describes him as physically strong and well respected, a man whose popularity spread and was "praised by all" (Luke 4:14-15). A far cry from Isaiah’s description of “despised and rejected.”
Although Jesus died a criminal's death, Isaiah is describing someone for whom rejection has spanned the ages – obviously referring to a nation, not an individual who suffered rejection for only a few hours.
Throughout the centuries of Israel’s exile, many nations persecuted the Jews on the pretense that it was God’s way of “punishing” the “accursed” Jews for having stubbornly rejected the new religions. In these verses, until the end of the chapter, the nations confess how they used the Jewish people as scapegoats, not for the “noble” reasons they had long claimed.
Indeed, the nations selfishly persecuted the Jews as a distraction from their own corrupt regimes: “Surely our suffering he did bear, and our pains he carried...” (53:4)
This verse describes how the humbled world leaders confess that Jewish suffering occurred as a direct result of “our iniquities” – i.e., depraved Jew-hatred, rather than, as previously claimed, the stubborn blindness of the Jews.
Isaiah 53:5 is a classic example of mistranslation: The verse does not say, “He was wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities,” which could convey the vicarious suffering ascribed to Jesus. Rather, the proper translation is: “He was wounded because of our transgressions, and crushed because of our iniquities.” This conveys that the Servant suffered as a result of the sinfulness of others – not the opposite as Christians contend – that the Servant suffered to atone for the sins of others.
Indeed, the Christian idea directly contradicts the basic Jewish teaching that God promises forgiveness to all who sincerely return to Him; thus there is no need for the Messiah to atone for others (Isaiah 55:6-7, Jeremiah 36:3, Ezekiel chapters 18 and 33, Hoseah 14:1-3, Jonah 3:6-10, Proverbs 16:6, Daniel 4:27, 2-Chronicles 7:14).
This verse prophesizes the many hardships – both physical torment and economic exploitation – that the Jews endured in exile. Ironically, this prophecy refers in part to the 11th century Crusaders who "persecuted and afflicted” the Jews in the name of Jesus. In our time, while Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe were "led to the slaughter," they still remained like a "lamb that is silent before her shearers" – without complaints against God.
The phrase, "land of the living” (Eretz HaChaim) refers specifically to the Land of Israel. Thus this verse, “He was removed from the land of the living,” does not mean that the servant was killed, but rather was exiled from the Land of Israel.
This verse again describes the world’s surprise at witnessing the Jewish return to the Promised Land. "Who could have imagined” that the nation we tortured now prospers? World leaders offer a stunning confession: “Because of my people’s sin, they [the Jews] were afflicted.”
Here the text makes absolutely clear that the oppressed Servant is a collective nation, not a single individual. This is where knowledge of biblical Hebrew is absolutely crucial. At the end of the verse, the Hebrew word for “they were” (lamoh – לָמוֹ) always refers to a group, never to an individual. (see for example, Psalms 99:7)
Missionaries cite this verse as a claim that Jesus lived a sinless life, and was thus the Messiah. This is contradicted, however, by the Gospels themselves, who record that Jesus sinned by violating the Sabbath (John 9:16) and – by claiming to be God Himself – violating the grave prohibition against making any physical image of God (John 10:33, 14:9-10).
Throughout history, Jews were given the choice to “convert or die.” Yet as this verse describes, there was “no deceit in his mouth” – the loyal Jews refused to accept a pagan deity as their God. Rather than profane God’s Holy Name, they “submitted to the grave” – i.e. chose to die rather than renounce their faith. As such these Jews were often denied proper burial, discarded “to the grave as evil people.”
Further, wealthy Jews "submitted to his executions, for committing no crime" – killed so that wicked conquerors could confiscate their riches.
"God desired to oppress” the Jewish people, in order to inspire them to return to Torah observance. If the Jews would only "acknowledge guilt," they would see their "offspring and live long days." This refers to the Messianic era when all Jews will return to Torah observance.
This verse emphasizes that the Servant is to be rewarded with long life and many children. This verse could not possibly refer to Jesus who, according to the New Testament, died young and childless. (Furthermore, if Jesus was alleged to be the immortal Son of God, it is absurd to apply the concept of “living long days.”)
Although missionaries may claim that the “offspring” refers to spiritual descendants, this is based on a distortion and mistranslation. In this verse, the Hebrew word for "offspring" (zera - זֶרַע) always refers to physical descendants (see Genesis 12:7, 15:2-4, 15:13, 46:6; Exodus 28:43). A different word, banim (בנים), generally translated as "sons," is used to refer to spiritual descendants (see Deut. 14:1).
Missionaries cite this verse to claim that Jesus died for our sins. The Christian idea of one’s sins being forgiven through the suffering of another person goes against the basic biblical teaching that each individual has to atone for his own sins by repenting. (Exodus 32:32-33, Deut. 24:16, Ezekiel 18:1-4)
This verse describes how God’s Servant “will cause the masses to be righteous” – not as some mistranslate, “he will justify the many." The Jewish mission is to serve as a "light to the nations," leading the world to righteousness through knowledge of the one true God. The Jews will accomplish this both by example (Deut. 4:5-8; Zechariah 8:23) and by instructing the nations in God's Law (Isaiah 2:3-4; Micah 4:2-3). As it says: “The world will become full of the knowledge of God, as water covers the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).
This verse speaks of how the Jews always pray for the welfare of the nations they are exiled into (see Jeremiah 29:7). The verse continues to explain that the Jewish people, who righteously bore the sins of the world and yet remained faithful to God, will be rewarded.
Regarding the above passage, some have claimed that the "suffering servant" cannot be Israel, since Israel has sins. Yet this is a fallacy, since we know that no human being – not even Moses – is completely free of sin. Yet Moses was considered “righteous,” which takes into account not only one's good deeds, but also one's repentance after sin. If Jesus is God, these ideas have no meaning.
Immediately following this promise of reward for the Jews’ suffering (53:10-12), chapter 54 clearly speaks of the redemption which awaits the Jewish people. This point is acknowledged by all Christian commentaries.
Interestingly, the 20th century Christian New English Bible – Oxford Study Edition (annotation on Isaiah 52:13-53:12) clearly identifies the Suffering Servant as the nation of Israel which “has suffered as a humiliated individual."
If the context of Isaiah 53 so clearly refers to the Jewish people, how could so many Christian leaders have mistranslated the Bible? History shows that – for whatever motivation – many did so knowingly:
- Lucius Coelius Firmianes Lactantius, 3rd century Church leader: "Among those who seek power and gain from their religion, there will never be wanting an inclination to forge and lie for it."
- St. Gregory, 4th century Bishop of Nanianzus: "A little jargon is all that is necessary to impose on the people. The less they comprehend, the more they admire. Our forefathers and doctors have often said not what they thought, but what circumstances and necessity dictated."
- Dr. Herbert Marsh, 19th century English Bishop: "It is a certain fact that several readings in our common printed text are nothing more than alterations made by Origen..."
- Walter Brueggemann Ph.D., an ordained minister and author of 60 books on the Bible, writes: "[A]lthough it is clear that this poetry does not have Jesus in any first instance on its horizon, it is equally clear that the church, from the outset, has found the poetry a poignant and generative way to consider Jesus, wherein humiliation equals crucifixion and exaltation equals resurrection and ascension."
Why It Matters
When all the verses have been parsed, and all the proofs have been presented, one still might wonder: What difference does it make who is right?
The theological gap between Judaism and Christianity is not limited to the question: "Who is the Messiah," or a debate over the translation of a few biblical verses. Judaism and Christianity are two different belief systems, differing over core issues such as the existential nature of man, the role of our relationship with God, and the path to genuine spiritual fulfillment.
Jews have held steadfast to their beliefs for thousands of years, amidst all forms of persecution and hardship. They have done so in the belief that the Jewish people – as bearers of God’s message of morality and justice – have a unique and crucial role to play in human history. As the prophet Isaiah predicts, this will become eminently clear when the Messiah, the King of Israel, arrives. May it be speedily in our day.
For further study, see www.outreachjudaism.org, www.jewsforjudaism.org, www.jewishisaiah53.com and www.peninataylor.com, from which much of the information for this article was derived.
For an exploration of the core differences between Judaism and Christianity, see Rabbi Benjamin Blech’s online course: “Deed and Creed.”
For more on why Jesus can’t possibly be the Messiah, read Aish.com’s “Why Jews Don’t Believe in Jesus.”
For an accurate Jewish translation of the Bible, read the “ArtScroll English Tanach."
Reading Mark and John: The
First Burial of Jesus
A case in point. Everyone “knows” that according to all four of our N.T. Gospels Joseph of Arimathea, elsewhere unmentioned, goes to Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea, and gets permission to remove Jesus’ body from the cross. He takes the corpse and lays it in his own new tomb late Friday night. A group of women, Mary Magdalene and others, follow and see the location of the tomb. Sunday morning when they visit, to complete the Jewish rites of burial, the tomb is empty.
Sounds accurate, according to the Gospels, except that the part in italics, that everyone assumes, is apparently not the case. The tomb into which Jesus is temporarily placed does not belong to Joseph of Arimathea even though every book, film, and preacher tells it that way.
Mark is our earliest account. Notice his words carefully:
And he [Joseph of Arimathea] bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb” (Mark 15:46).This is our core Synoptic account. Mark is the source for both Luke and Matthew. But notice, nothing is said about Joseph putting Jesus in his own family tomb.
John, who offers us an independent tradition, offers a further explanation:
Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb where no one had ever been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, as the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there (John 19:41-42).Notice what almost everyone has missed. The reason for this hasty and temporary burial carried out by Joseph of Arimathea was because of the imminent arrival of the Sabbath and the Passover. The tomb they chose was one that happened to be “close at hand.” Mark implicitly agrees. He notes that it is late afternoon on the “day of Preparation” with the Sabbath drawing near (Mark 15:42). John further explains that this particular Sabbath was a double-Sabbath or “high day,” with the Passover also beginning at sunset (John 19:31; 18:28).
So, as I often tell my students, “thank God for Mark and John.” Mark does not elaborate the choice of the tomb but John makes it clear that this initial burial of Jesus by Joseph of Arimathea is a temporary and emergency burial of opportunity. That the tomb is new and unused meant that it could be used for a few hours, until the Sabbath and Passover holiday were past. This particular tomb is chosen because it just happened to be near, as John plainly explains. The idea that this tomb belonged to Joseph of Arimathea makes no sense at all. What are the chances that he would just happen to have his own new family tomb conveniently located near the Place of the Skull, or Golgotha, where the Romans regularly crucified their victims? It is ludicrous even to imagine, but neither Mark nor John say anything of the sort.
Everyone has assumed Jesus is placed in Joseph’s own tomb because of two words added by Matthew in his editing of Mark, namely “he laid it [the body] in his own new tomb” (Matthew 27:60). Luke does not have this. And Mark and John are crystal clear as to why this tomb was chosen. This is an obvious interpolation by Matthew and it makes no sense in the context. A tomb that happened to be near the place of crucifixion, just outside the city gates, would not have belonged to Joseph. Matthew adds this phrase, as he often does, to try and make the action of Joseph a “fulfillment” of prophecy. This is one of the major characteristics of Matthew’s gospel, something he regularly does (see Matthew 1:22; 2:15; 8:17, etc.). So the idea that this temporary tomb belonged to Joseph was most likely added by Matthew for theological reasons. Matthew believes that the text in Isaiah 53 about the “Suffering Servant,” refers to Jesus (see Matthew 8:17 where he explicitly notes this). One of the details of that prophecy is that the slain “Servant” makes his grave “with a rich man” (Isaiah 53:9). Matthew seizes on this and suggests that the tomb must have belonged to Joseph of Arimathea–a “rich man.”
Taking then what we learn from Mark and John we are in a position to make some clear sense of our core tradition. Jesus is hastily buried just before the Passover Sabbath. After all, what does one do with a corpse a few hours before the Passover Seder, and how can it best be protected from predators? The new tomb, unused and possibly incomplete, that happened to be nearby, was a perfect temporary solution. The idea was that after the festival the full and proper rites of Jewish burial could be carried out and Jesus could be placed in a second tomb, as a permanent resting place.
In the Talpiot tomb discussion quite a few objectors have made the point that any Jesus tomb should be near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Joseph of Armimathea had his tomb. I have no confidence that this site is the place of the crucifixion in the first place, but even it if was, given what we learn in our core traditions of Mark and John we would expect that Jesus would have been respectfully reburied in another permanent tomb after the holy day–not in that initial temporary one.
It seems to me that the only likely possibility would be that Joseph of Arimathea provided the second tomb, as a permanent family place of burial, since he had asked for and obtained the right to bury Jesus. He had the means and the influence and it makes sense that if he bothered to go to Pilate to get the body he would have seen that Jesus’ body was placed in a proper and permanent place. What that means is that the core of the “empty tomb” story might have an element of history to it as we would expect the body to be moved from the temporary location once the Sabbath was past–and that is precisely what all four gospels report. When Mary Magdalene goes early Sunday morning, even before dawn, to anoint the body and prepare it for burial she finds the tomb already empty. She expresses the obvious: “They have taken away my Master and I do not know where they have laid him” (John 20:13).
Even though all four gospels imply the “missing body” is evidence of Jesus having been raised from the dead, that is clearly a later theological overlay to the core tradition–that the tomb was found empty. Here we go with either history or theology and I think we have to assume that the burial process Joseph of Arimathea took legal responsibility for, he must have completed. Regardless of faith in Jesus resurrection, or more likely for the early community, his “exaltation” to heaven, Jesus’ corpse would have been reburied in a tomb somewhere else in Jerusalem.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
'Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” 39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. ---Matthew 12:38-40
If you read the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus' body was allegedly placed in the tomb before sunset on Friday and the tomb was found empty either at or just before sunrise on Sunday. That means that Jesus' body was only in the "earth" for TWO nights, Friday and Saturday nights, not three nights, as Jesus had "prophesied".
Jesus made a mistake.
According to Deuteronomy 18:19-22 any prophet who makes an incorrect prophecy is to be marked as a false prophet and is to be put to death.
Jesus was not the messiah. Jesus was not God. Jesus was a man who made a mistake.
God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.
Therefore the Israelites shall keep the sabbath, observing the sabbath throughout their generations, as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.”
You shall love the Lord your God, therefore, and keep his charge, his decrees, his ordinances, and his commandments (the Torah Law) always.
If you will only obey the Lord your God, by diligently observing all his commandments that I am commanding you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth; 2 all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the Lord your God...
(but if you do not obey all God's commandments--the Torah Law---), All these curses shall come upon you, pursuing and overtaking you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord your God, by observing the commandments and the decrees that he commanded you. 46 They shall be among you and your descendants as a sign and a portent forever.
The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and to our children forever, to observe all the words of this (Torah) law.
And the statutes, the ordinances, the (Torah) law, and the commandment which He wrote for you, you shall be careful to observe forever; you shall not fear other gods.
II Kings 17:37
And what did Jesus day about the Law? Does the statement below by Jesus himself sound anything like the teachings of Pauline Christianity?
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
Jesus may have believed he was the messiah, but like any other Yahweh-fearing Jew of his day, he did not believe that the Law should be abolished, but obeyed...to the letter.
Imagine if we did that for every event in our lives.
“Your Honor, we have demonstrated to the court that the overwhelming evidence points to the defendant being the perpetrator of the crime.”
“Objection, your Honor. My client cannot possibly be found guilty of this crime as we assert that an invisible ghost is the perpetrator of this crime and as this assertion cannot be proven wrong, my client must be found innocent.”
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Was Jesus the Jewish Messiah as we have been taught since Sunday School...or an imposter?
Here is an excerpt from Norman's book:
Malachi was the last Jewish prophet and therefore represented God's last communication to the Jewish people through the mouth of a prophet. This may be compared to a final "deathbed" statement to one's family and friends. At such a moment, a wise person says what they consider most important. What was God's final message to the Jewish People through His final prophet Malachi?
"Remember the Torah of Moses, which I commanded him at Horeb [Sinai] for all of Israel---[its] decrees and [its] statutes." Malachi 3:22
Christian theology requires one to believe that the very next thing God did after sending Malachi to remind the Jewish People to keep the commandments was to send Jesus to tell the Jewish people not to keep his commandments. This cannot be possible if God is logical and consistent.