Aliza and NASB's discussion about Judaism and Christianity
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08-10-2015, 05:45 PM
RE: Aliza and NASB's discussion about Judaism and Christianity
I have to break up my reply into a few posts. Maybe 2 or 3 over a few days depending on time.

(07-10-2015 08:35 PM)NASB Wrote:  
Quote:[Past evangelism efforts targeted to the Jews have been] unsuccessful because 20+ years later, there are 11 million Jews in the world and only up to 350,000 of them are Messianics.
I find these numbers impressive considering there were little to no Messianic believers in Israel or throughout the world. For me this is a "sign of the times" in which we live. I wonder what the number of messianic Jews will inflate too in another twenty years? It's prophetic regardless of the methods or intent of those who chose to witness. It's happening.

I can agree with that, actually. I can fully embrace the validity of self-fulfilling prophesy because only the end result matters. I can see with my own two-eyes that Jews are converting to Christianity; where we really disagree is whether or not that has any meaning.

Where will this movement be in 20 years? My guess is that (assuming this doesn’t prove to be a passing fad) they’ll be mostly comprised of gentiles. Jewish members intermarry with gentiles to produce gentile children or grandchildren or great-grandchildren. The end result is that if they don’t continuously attract halachically Jewish people (ie: actual Jews, as recognized by the State of Israel), then the movement will be made up primarily of non-Jews, which will make Jews view it as a lot less impressive of a threat to Jewish culture.

Just a few thoughts about Jewish population:

According to the Torah, and also to history, Jews have always been small in number. This either means that we’ll be killed en masse along the human timeline, that we’ll have low fertility rates over extended periods of time, or that many of us will assimilate into the gentile nations…. Or all three will be true. In any case, we’re told not to expect impressive numbers of Jews at any time.

Deuteronomy 6:6 For you are a holy people to the Lord, your God: the Lord your God has chosen you to be His treasured people, out of all the peoples upon the face of the earth.
7 Not because you are more numerous than any people did the Lord delight in you and choose you, for you are the least of all the peoples.
8 But because of the Lord's love for you, and because He keeps the oath He swore to your forefathers, the Lord took you out with a strong hand and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt.


But even if the messianic movement swelled to enormous numbers and dwarfed the halachically Jewish population, it still wouldn’t make them right, and it still wouldn’t mean that the Jews will come to an end. Even if, all of the Jews but for 7,000 out of 14,000,000 converted to Christianity, it would still be okay. It’s happened before, and it all worked out.

1 Kings: 18 …And I will leave over in Israel seven thousand, all the knees that did not kneel to the Baal and every mouth that did not kiss him."

The way I see this is you either believe that the Jewish scriptures are true, or you do not.

(07-10-2015 08:35 PM)NASB Wrote:  Paul was a Jew, the first Christians were Jewish, simply because Christianity is a Jewish faith. The writers of the New Testament knew their scripture well. They understood typologies and and the scarlet thread that permeates its pages. I'd pose the question "Why did Jesus expect Nicodemus to understand the concept of being "Born Again?" or "Why could Moses not enter the promised land?" You'd have to have a Hebraic mindset to understand these things. You can choose to answer if you’d like, but I'm not confident you'll fully appreciate the questions.

Karl Marx was Jewish; does this mean that communism is a Jewish movement? Einstein, Bohr, Oppenheimer, Feynmann, Carl Sagan, and Isaac Asimov were Jews. Does this mean that science is Jewish? The American Atheists are currently headed up by a Jew, David Silverman. Are atheists now part of the Jewish movement because of their affiliation to a Jew?

The Jewishness of the founders of Christianity really isn't in question here. I can make an argument that prior to the appearance of Paul, and even into his tenure in Christianity, this was a fully Jewish movement. Believing that Jesus was the messiah was not anti-Jewish in itself. Believing that any person is the messiah is not anti-Jewish. You can believe that Obama is the messiah, or you can believe that Stephen Harper is the messiah. I wonder if maybe Benjamin Nettanyahu is the messiah. Big deal! What I wonder, and what I think don’t matter. All that matters are my actions.

When you go from thinking that this person is a good teacher who is going to restore the land of Israel to actually worshiping this human as though he was G-d, then it ceases to be a Jewish concept. That's it; end game. We’ve now gone from the Roadrunner to Pride and Prejudice. It’s just no longer Jewish and the Jewishness of the founders doesn't factor into the equation.

(07-10-2015 08:35 PM)NASB Wrote:  “Why did Jesus expect Nicodemus to understand the concept of being "Born Again?"

I’m not familiar with the particular passage. Some of the things mentioned in the NT resonate with me; some do not. The concept of being “born again” may take a little bit from the Jewish roots, but it is basically a Christian concept.

(07-10-2015 08:35 PM)NASB Wrote:  "Why could Moses not enter the promised land?"

I’m so sorry that you have no confidence that I can appreciate the question. I’ll just link you to a site that explains the Jewish position in this topic.
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09-10-2015, 07:23 AM
RE: Aliza and NASB's discussion about Judaism and Christianity
Installment 2 of my reply. I have (at least) one more to go.

(07-10-2015 08:35 PM)NASB Wrote:  You’ve failed to address the issue of Replacement Theology which permeates the church today. Jews for Jesus is not a popular mainstream Christian movement or organization by any means. Anyways I’ve said this before that I believe the real discussion here is whether or not Christianity is a Jewish faith.

I do understand that Christians think they’ve replaced the Jews as G-d’s chosen people. It’s just that I think the Christians are wrong. That should be the end of it, but for some reason, Christians can’t stand it when people don’t agree with them. I think it's worth mentioning though, that I do recognize that at its core, evangelism comes from a place of care and concern.

There’s one point that you’re making that really doesn’t make sense to me. If you recognize replacement theology, why must you argue that Christianity should be recognized as a Jewish faith. Why aren’t Christians just confident and secure in their belief that they’ve replaced us?

In the last few decades, I think a lot of Christian groups are starting to change their position on the Hebrew scriptures and how they pertain to the Jews. I see them trying to reconcile the belief that G-d is perfect and never lies or change his mind, and the numerous references in the scriptures that state very plainly that he will never reject the Jews and that his covenant with them is eternal with this teaching that G-d did reject the Jews and chose the Christians instead. I think this is why Christians are taking such an interest in Judaism; I don't mean to be presumptuous, but I think this is why you're making the argument that Christians should be a part of the Jewish people.
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10-10-2015, 10:55 AM
RE: Aliza and NASB's discussion about Judaism and Christianity
(07-10-2015 09:25 PM)Aliza Wrote:  You mentioned that the Jewish concept of Messiah wasn't established until around the year 1000 when Maimonides wrote his works. Can you give me a few examples of what you believe that the Jewish definition of the messiah was during the era of Jesus?
Hmm... I was emphasizing it wasn't till the 11th century, which I believed was influenced by Maimonides, that the Jewish perspective concerning Jesus began to change. The Christian concept of the Messiah was has always agreed with early Rabbinical Judaism, along with the Talmud, Mishna, etc...

14th century rabbi Levi Gersh on commented on Deuteronomy 18:18-19 as being Messianic in light of the Midrash Thanhum.

"This passage declares that the Messiah would come from the midst of the Jewish people, yet he would be a great prophet who would speak the very words of God! The passage goes on to claim that whoever does not heed the word of the prophet, believed by many rabbis to be the Messiah, God will hold him in judgment."

If you follow this link you'll find further examples:
https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/eas...sfm_01.cfm
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10-10-2015, 12:00 PM
RE: Aliza and NASB's discussion about Judaism and Christianity
Quote:I can agree with that, actually. I can fully embrace the validity of self-fulfilling prophesy because only the end result matters. I can see with my own two-eyes that Jews are converting to Christianity; where we really disagree is whether or not that has any meaning.

If you believe a small people group could be dispersed for two thousand years, be despised by the nations, so much so they actually have a word for it, reclaim their nation, all while coming out from one of the worst tragedies conceived, faced insurmountable odds declaring their nation state, all while keeping their identity… The whole concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy is indeed convenient, at least for a humanist/secularist.

Quote:The way I see this is you either believe that the Jewish scriptures are true, or you do not.

Proverbs 30:4

Who has ascended into heaven and descended?
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has wrapped the waters in His garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name or His son’s name?
Surely you know!


Isaiah 53

Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no form or majesty that we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.


Quote:Karl Marx was Jewish; does this mean that communism is a Jewish movement? Einstein, Bohr, Oppenheimer, Feynmann, Carl Sagan, and Isaac Asimov were Jews. Does this mean that science is Jewish? The American Atheists are currently headed up by a Jew, David Silverman. Are atheists now part of the Jewish movement because of their affiliation to a Jew?

Karl Marx was Jewish? Whoa, that actually makes sense within a midrash/typology perspective.

Quote: The Jewishness of the founders of Christianity really isn't in question here. I can make an argument that prior to the appearance of Paul, and even into his tenure in Christianity, this was a fully Jewish movement. Believing that Jesus was the messiah was not anti-Jewish in itself. Believing that any person is the messiah is not anti-Jewish. You can believe that Obama is the messiah, or you can believe that Stephen Harper is the messiah. I wonder if maybe Benjamin Nettanyahu is the messiah. Big deal! What I wonder, and what I think don’t matter. All that matters are my actions.

Couldn’t agree with much, if any of this statement. There’s only One Messiah and His signet ring has clearly been designated. The only action worth pursuing is receiving Him…

Quote:When you go from thinking that this person is a good teacher who is going to restore the land of Israel to actually worshiping this human as though he was G-d, then it ceases to be a Jewish concept. That's it; end game. We’ve now gone from the Roadrunner to Pride and Prejudice. It’s just no longer Jewish and the Jewishness of the founders doesn't factor into the equation.

Yet I can clearly show this in the Old Testament. It’d be better to discuss the Hebrew Scriptures as compared to the New Testament.

Quote: “Why did Jesus expect Nicodemus to understand the concept of being "Born Again?"

I’m not familiar with the particular passage. Some of the things mentioned in the NT resonate with me; some do not. The concept of being “born again” may take a little bit from the Jewish roots, but it is basically a Christian concept.

The point being that one can’t fully comprehend the Old Testament without prefacing the New Testament. Jesus expected Nicodemus to understand these things, “Jesus answered and said to him, 'Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?'” So how is it that Jesus knows something that your oblivious too? Take your time trying to answer the question if you’d like, but that’s why I have no confidence you can appreciate the question.
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10-10-2015, 10:58 PM (This post was last modified: 10-10-2015 11:09 PM by Aliza.)
RE: Aliza and NASB's discussion about Judaism and Christianity
(10-10-2015 10:55 AM)NASB Wrote:  Hmm... I was emphasizing it wasn't till the 11th century, which I believed was influenced by Maimonides, that the Jewish perspective concerning Jesus began to change. The Christian concept of the Messiah was has always agreed with early Rabbinical Judaism, along with the Talmud, Mishna, etc...
14th century rabbi Levi Gersh on commented on Deuteronomy 18:18-19 as being Messianic in light of the Midrash Thanhum.
"This passage declares that the Messiah would come from the midst of the Jewish people, yet he would be a great prophet who would speak the very words of God! The passage goes on to claim that whoever does not heed the word of the prophet, believed by many rabbis to be the Messiah, God will hold him in judgment."
If you follow this link you'll find further examples:
https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/eas...sfm_01.cfm
(TL/DR at the bottom)
I went to the site you posted, and this is what I found:

"I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear my words, which he speaks in my name, I will require it of him." (Deuteronomy 18:18-19)

“This passage declares that the Messiah would come from the midst of the Jewish people, yet he would be a great prophet who would speak the very words of God! The passage goes on to claim that whoever does not heed the word of the prophet, believed by many rabbis to be the Messiah, God will hold him in judgment.[1]”

Sources cited:
[1] Fourteenth century rabbi Levi Gershon applied this verse as messianic based on Midrash Thanhuma which points to the Messiah as being greater than Moses. Although the Midrash does not state that this is the Messiah, Rabbi Gershon deduces from the Midrash that the Messiah will be "The Prophet." For a discussion of the messianic application of this passage by the rabbis, See Messianic Prophecy, Rachmiel Frydland; 1980.


Apparently, all this 14th century Rabbi said was that the messiah would be greater than Moses… Not especially impressive, given that he’s not saying that the messiah will be G-d in the flesh. Also, it’s worth noting that the source that they’re citing for this assertion is from a messianic Jew, so he’s not really qualified to speak on behalf of traditional, Torah observant Judaism and what they’ve traditionally believed.
I might have been a little bit more impressed if your source was from the Ramban or from Rashi, as interpreted by Rav Moshe Feinstein, or by the Lubavitcher Rebbe. (Actually, I would have been way more impressed.)

Let’s take a closer look at that scripture.

17 And the Lord said to me, "They have done well in what they have spoken. 18 I will set up a prophet for them from among their brothers like you, and I will put My words into his mouth, and he will speak to them all that I command him.

Here, we see G-d telling the Jewish people that prophets will follow Moses to lead the Jewish people. This is not messianic specifically; it’s a generic statement about all prophets. If this were about G-d himself, then why does he need to command his prophet? G-d isn’t saying that he’ll speak for himself here, he’s saying “I will put my words in his mouth?”

19And it will be, that whoever does not hearken to My words that he speaks in My name, I will exact [it] of him. 20 But the prophet who intentionally speaks a word in My name, which I did not command him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.

This next verse serves as further evidence that G-d is not speaking about himself. He’s speaking about another being who has free will to do whatever he likes. G-d is warning us to be on the lookout for false prophets, because not every guy that comes along claiming to be a prophet will be the real deal.
If this was about a single, known person who was predestined to be G-d himself, then the language in the passage would be very different.

21 Now if you say to yourself, "How will we know the word that the Lord did not speak?" 22 If the prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, and the thing does not occur and does not come about, that is the thing the Lord did not speak. The prophet has spoken it wantonly; you shall not be afraid of him.

In addition to warning us, we’re told how to spot the false prophet. Has the prophet predicted something that didn’t come true? If so, then he’s a false prophet, and he’s not backed by G-d.

TL/DR Summary: This is not a messianic passage. It’s a generic passage about all prophets to follow Moses, and a warning about false prophets is given.
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11-10-2015, 08:46 AM
RE: Aliza and NASB's discussion about Judaism and Christianity
(10-10-2015 12:00 PM)NASB Wrote:  
Quote:I can agree with that, actually. I can fully embrace the validity of self-fulfilling prophesy because only the end result matters. I can see with my own two-eyes that Jews are converting to Christianity; where we really disagree is whether or not that has any meaning.

If you believe a small people group could be dispersed for two thousand years, be despised by the nations, so much so they actually have a word for it, reclaim their nation, all while coming out from one of the worst tragedies conceived, faced insurmountable odds declaring their nation state, all while keeping their identity… The whole concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy is indeed convenient, at least for a humanist/secularist.

Whether the atheists on this forum see a connection to the description of the Jewish exile in the bible, and the actual exile that occurred, the bible does describe an exile, and the exile of the Jews does seem to match the description in the bible.

How does the description of the exile, followed by the actual exile that everyone could witness, and the confirmation by G-d that the covenant with the Jews will be remembered fall in line with replacement theology? I can completely respect and appreciate theology that says that the Christians are also blessed, but the Hebrew Scriptures don’t seem to support the notion that the eternal covenant with the Jews will expire, giving way for a new people to take our place.

Leviticus 26
27 And if, despite this, you still do not listen to Me, still treating Me as happenstance,
28 I will treat you with a fury of happenstance, adding again seven [chastisements] for your sins
29 You will eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters you will eat.
[This is a reference to starvation, and not to willful cannibalism. See Josephus’s writings about the Jews forced into cannibalism to survive the exile from Rome: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_of_Bethezuba]
30 I will demolish your edifices and cut down your sun idols; I will make your corpses [fall] upon the corpses of your idols, and My Spirit will reject you.
31 I will lay your cities waste and make your holy places desolate, and I will not partake of your pleasant fragrances.
32 I will make the Land desolate, so that it will become desolate [also] of your enemies who live in it.
33 And I will scatter you among the nations, and I will unsheathe the sword after you. Your land will be desolate, and your cities will be laid waste.
34 Then, the land will be appeased regarding its sabbaticals. During all the days that it remains desolate while you are in the land of your enemies, the Land will rest and thus appease its sabbaticals.
35 It will rest during all the days that it remains desolate, whatever it had not rested on your sabbaticals, when you lived upon it.
36 And those of you who survive I will bring fear in their hearts in the lands of their enemies, and the sound of a rustling leaf will pursue them; they will flee as one flees the sword, and they will fall, but there will be no pursuer.
37 Each man will stumble over his brother, [fleeing] as if from the sword, but without a pursuer. You will not be able to stand up against your enemies.
38 You will become lost among the nations, and the land of your enemies will consume you.
39 And because of their iniquity, those of you who survive will rot away in the lands of your enemies; moreover, they will rot away because the iniquities of their fathers are still within them.
40 They will then confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers their betrayal that they dealt Me, and that they also treated Me as happenstance.
41 Then I too, will treat them as happenstance and bring them [back while] in the land of their enemies. If then, their clogged heart becomes humbled, then, [their sufferings] will gain appeasement for their iniquity,
42 and I will remember My covenant [with] Jacob, and also My covenant [with] Isaac, and also My covenant [with] Abraham I will remember. And I will remember the Land,
43 [For] the Land will be bereft of them, appeasing its sabbaticals when it had been desolate of them, and they will gain appeasement for their iniquity. This was all in retribution for their having despised My ordinances and in retribution for their having rejected My statutes.
44 But despite all this, while they are in the land of their enemies, I will not despise them nor will I reject them to annihilate them, thereby breaking My covenant that is with them, for I am the Lord their God.
45 I will remember for them the covenant [made with] the ancestors, whom I took out from the land of Egypt before the eyes of the nations, to be a God to them. I am the Lord.
46 These are the statutes, the ordinances, and the laws that the Lord gave between Himself and the children of Israel on Mount Sinai, by the hand of Moses.


In this passage, I see that G-d anticipated the possibility that the Jews would drop the ball, and he took the time to assure them that their covenant was eternal never-the-less. Replacement Theology doesn’t account for the covenant with the Jews being eternal.
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12-10-2015, 08:00 AM (This post was last modified: 12-10-2015 10:29 AM by Aliza.)
RE: Aliza and NASB's discussion about Judaism and Christianity
(10-10-2015 12:00 PM)NASB Wrote:  Proverbs 30:4

Who has ascended into heaven and descended?
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has wrapped the waters in His garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name or His son’s name?
Surely you know!

The use of the capital letters here is not native to the original text. There are no capitals in Hebrew at all. Jewish bibles translated in English do use an uppercase H to denote when its referring to G-d, but this particular passage lacks the uppercase in the Jewish translations. It also lacks the uppercase in my own copy of the KJV, and also in the KJV version that I found online.

The translators of the NASB bible seem to be trying to insert a man-made parallel with G-d where one did not previously exist.

According to Jewish commentary, the passage here is challenging the reader to find a prophet as great as Moses. And if one exists, then who was he, and who are his descendants? It doesn't say "surely you know [who he is]," it says, "Name him *if* you know."

Even if you're not going by Jewish commentary, just in reading the passage from the beginning, it seems to me that the writer is excusing the faults of his humanity by pointing out that no one else is any better; he is after all, only human.

And just as a final point, if I still haven't convinced you, even if it was referring to G-d, we’ve already established in preexisting scripture that the entire nation of Israel is G-d’s firstborn son.

Exodus 4:22 And you shall say to Pharaoh, 'So said the Lord, "My firstborn son is Israel."

Full passage:
2For I am more boorish than any man, neither do I have man's understanding.
3Neither have I learned wisdom, nor do I know the knowledge of the holy ones.
4Who ascended to heaven and descended? Who gathered wind in his fists? Who wrapped the waters in a garment? Who established all the ends of the earth? What is his name and what is the name of his son, if you know?

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12-10-2015, 12:31 PM
RE: Aliza and NASB's discussion about Judaism and Christianity
TL/DR summary at the bottom

The servant songs are a series of four poems starting in chapter 40 of Isaiah, and extending to the end of his book. It would be relevant to read these songs from the beginning, especially since the identity of the servant is not directly given in this passage. Who is that servant who has suffered?

It might also be prudent to get a version of the text that is supported with the Hebrew, seeing as there are a few translation issues in the NASB version. I’ve provided an update in the spoiler below.

1 “Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? (NASB)
1 Who would have believed our report, and to whom was the arm of the Lord revealed? (Judaica Press)

2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no form or majesty that we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. (NASB)
2 And he came up like a sapling before it, and like a root from dry ground, he had neither form nor comeliness; and we saw him that he had no appearance. Now shall we desire him? (Judaica Press)

3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. (NASB)
3 Despised and rejected by men, a man of pains and accustomed to illness, and as one who hides his face from us, despised and we held him of no account. (Judaica Press)

Capital H doesn’t belong here. This isn’t just a grammatical mistake; it’s an effort to cause the reader to assume that the servant being described in this chapter is G-d himself.

4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. (NASB)
4Indeed, he bore our illnesses, and our pains-he carried them, yet we accounted him as plagued, smitten by God and oppressed.(Judaica Press)

Again with the capital H; it doesn’t belong here. Why must Christians try to force an image onto their reader?

5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
5 But he was pained because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his wound we were healed.

Noticed the words “pierced through” are used to replace “pained.” –Clever word alteration there to paint an image in the reader’s mind that isn’t supported in the text. It doesn’t say that the servant was hurt for the speaker’s transgressions. It says he was hurt because of (or as a result of) the speaker’s transgressions. If I run a red light and hit another car, the person in that car is directly affected by my having transgressed the law.

6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” (NASB)
6 We all went astray like sheep, we have turned, each one on his way, and the Lord accepted his prayers for the iniquity of all of us. (Judaica Press)

This passage doesn’t say that the iniquity of everyone has to fall on the servant, as though the servant exists to absorb other people’s sins. It just says that the servant prayed for everyone and his prayers were accepted. The capitalization here again puts an image in the reader’s mind that isn’t supported in the text. It’s just that the Christians are trying to turn the servant into their messiah, so they have to change a few things in order to bring this story in-line with their Jesus story. That’s scripture twisting, and if you believe that the Hebrew Scriptures are the word of G-d, then it follows that you’re changing the word of G-d.

(10-10-2015 12:00 PM)NASB Wrote:  If you believe a small people group could be dispersed for two thousand years, be despised by the nations, so much so they actually have a word for it, reclaim their nation, all while coming out from one of the worst tragedies conceived, faced insurmountable odds declaring their nation state, all while keeping their identity… The whole concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy is indeed convenient, at least for a humanist/secularist.

In the above quote, you recognize that the Jewish people have struggled, and have been persecuted for a very long time. The servant songs are not poems about Jesus; they’re poems about the Jewish people, and the hardships that would be before them during the predicted exile. The poem is first acknowledging the hardships, and then offering comfort that in the future, the Jewish people would be redeemed in the eyes of the world and the antisemitism would finally stop. It talks about nations feeling embarrassed and ashamed for how they treated the Jews. This isn’t just my personal interpretation, or the agreed upon interpretation of our sages. Prior to chapter 53, Isaiah directly identifies at least ten times who the servant is that he’s writing about.

41:8 But you, Israel My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, who loved Me, 41:9 Whom I grasped from the ends of the earth, and from its nobles I called you, and I said to you, "You are My servant"; I chose you and I did not despise you

43:10 "You are My witnesses," says the Lord, "and My servant whom I chose," in order that you know and believe Me, and understand that I am He; before Me no god was formed and after Me none shall be. (speaking of Israel in context) Note: This line is referring to the servant in the plural. The servant is a group of people.

44:1 And now, hearken, Jacob My servant, and Israel whom I have chosen. 44:2 So said the Lord your Maker, and He Who formed you from the womb shall aid you. Fear not, My servant Jacob, and Jeshurun whom I have chosen.

44:21 Remember these, O Jacob; and Israel, for you are My servant; I formed you that you be a servant to Me, Israel, do not forget Me.

45:4 For the sake of My servant Jacob, and Israel My chosen one, and I called to you by your name; I surnamed you, yet you have not known Me.

48:20 Leave Babylon, flee from the Chaldeans; with a voice of singing declare, tell this, publicize it to the end of the earth; say, "The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob."

49:3 And He said to me, "You are My servant, Israel, about whom I will boast."

My position is, and has always been, that the new testament is based on mistranslations and misunderstanding of the Hebrew Scriptures. As Christianity grew, and contradictions were discovered, edits to the “old testament” were needed in order to maintain the continuity of their story. Isaiah 53 serves as a prime example of how scripture is taken out of context and literally changed to support the Christian agenda.

TL/DR: Isaiah 53 is not a passage about Jesus. This chapter is a part of a larger story called The Servant Songs, and it goes from chapter 40 to the end of the book of Isaiah. Israel is identified as the servant at least 10 times, but Christian translators changed the bible to bring the servant described in chapter 53 in line with the story of Jesus.
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17-10-2015, 03:46 PM
RE: Aliza and NASB's discussion about Judaism and Christianity
Quote:“This passage declares that the Messiah would come from the midst of the Jewish people (JESUS), yet he would be a great prophet who would speak the very words of God (JESUS)! The passage goes on to claim that whoever does not heed the word of the prophet, believed by many rabbis to be the Messiah, God will hold him in judgment. (JESUS)[1]”

Pardon the interpolation on my part, but JESUS qualifies unanimously on all accounts. Were the Jews not dispersed throughout the nations? and the second temple destroyed soon after rejecting Jesus as Messiah (judgment).

As well, Jesus qualifies as THE PROPHET, the one to proceed Moses, both born in oppression under rule, both life’s endangered from a wicked king, both rejected by the Jews, etc… There’s too many parallels to bore you with here. I do understand the counter argument to this line of reasoning, but it would only qualify if the Jews of the time disagreed with the Christian perspective of that passage.

Also I can’t imagine liberal scholarship claiming Jesus wasn’t born Jewish. Jesus knew the scriptures, He could pull out truths found in the Old Testament better than any present day Rabbi. I’ve seen this for myself.

I remember watching EWTN and they had a show hosted by two Jewish Rabbis. Both of whom were teaching on the book of Exodus. They came to the question as to why Moses wasn’t allowed to enter the Promised Land. They had no reasonable explanation, just a frail under developed idea. No truth in the Messiah of Exodus… so why couldn’t Moses enter the Promised Land?

Quote: [1] Fourteenth century rabbi Levi Gershon applied this verse as messianic based on Midrash Thanhuma which points to the Messiah as being greater than Moses. Although the Midrash does not state that this is the Messiah, Rabbi Gershon deduces from the Midrash that the Messiah will be "The Prophet." For a discussion of the messianic application of this passage by the rabbis, See Messianic Prophecy, Rachmiel Frydland; 1980.

Apparently, all this 14th century Rabbi said was that the messiah would be greater than Moses… Not especially impressive, given that he’s not saying that the messiah will be G-d in the flesh. Also, it’s worth noting that the source that they’re citing for this assertion is from a messianic Jew, so he’s not really qualified to speak on behalf of traditional, Torah observant Judaism and what they’ve traditionally believed.

A messianic Jew/Rabbi from the 14th century, awesome! So who do you think converted him exactly?

Quote:I might have been a little bit more impressed if your source was from the Ramban or from Rashi, as interpreted by Rav Moshe Feinstein, or by the Lubavitcher Rebbe. (Actually, I would have been way more impressed.)

Why? Ramban believed the Isaiah 53 passage referred to the Messiah, just as Christian’s believe Isaiah 53 refers to the Messiah. Err tis why Christianity is the true progression of Mosaic Judaism. Where’s the conflict exactly, apart from who is the Messiah. How do you explain the fact that Isaiah 53 is referenced as the forbidden chapter?

You can also reference one of the Targums from the first century by Jonathan ben Uzziel concerning the Isaiah 53 passage. “Behold my servant Messiah shall prosper.”

Rabbi Don Yitzchak Abarbanel, 1500 A.D., didn’t hold a Messianic view of Isaiah 53, but understood that most Rabbis of the Midrashim did hold a Messianic perspective.

The first question is to ascertain to whom this scripture refers, for the learned among the Nazarenes expound it of the man who was crucified in Jerusalem at the end of the second temple and who according to them was the Son of God and took flesh in the virgins womb as it is stated in their writings. Jonathan ben Uzziel interpreted it in the Targum of the future Messiah; but this is also the opinion of our learned men in the majority of the Midrashim.”

Do you believe the Isaiah 53 passage refers to the Messiah???

I'll try and address your other comments at a later date. Go Israel!
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18-10-2015, 09:50 AM
RE: Aliza and NASB's discussion about Judaism and Christianity
TL/DR at the bottom

(17-10-2015 03:46 PM)NASB Wrote:  Pardon the interpolation on my part, but JESUS qualifies unanimously on all accounts. Were the Jews not dispersed throughout the nations? and the second temple destroyed soon after rejecting Jesus as Messiah (judgment).

As well, Jesus qualifies as THE PROPHET, the one to proceed Moses, both born in oppression under rule, both life’s endangered from a wicked king, both rejected by the Jews, etc… There’s too many parallels to bore you with here. I do understand the counter argument to this line of reasoning, but it would only qualify if the Jews of the time disagreed with the Christian perspective of that passage.

Jesus does not qualify as either a prophet or as the messiah by Jewish standards. Qualifications for either role do extend beyond merely being Jewish. It’s nothing personal against him; he just didn’t meet the necessary qualifications.

(17-10-2015 03:46 PM)NASB Wrote:  Also I can’t imagine liberal scholarship claiming Jesus wasn’t born Jewish. Jesus knew the scriptures, He could pull out truths found in the Old Testament better than any present day Rabbi. I’ve seen this for myself.

I’m not aware of anyone making the claim that Jesus wasn’t born Jewish. According to the descriptions provided in the New Testament, though, he wasn’t from the House of David. This fact in and of itself disqualifies Jesus as being a messianic contender.

(17-10-2015 03:46 PM)NASB Wrote:  I remember watching EWTN and they had a show hosted by two Jewish Rabbis. Both of whom were teaching on the book of Exodus. They came to the question as to why Moses wasn’t allowed to enter the Promised Land. They had no reasonable explanation, just a frail under developed idea. No truth in the Messiah of Exodus… so why couldn’t Moses enter the Promised Land?

Moses couldn’t enter the land because he lost his temper. I answered this already. If he had entered the land, he would have been the messiah and the messianic era would have been initiated with him. It just didn’t happen that way. We believe in free will, and Moses made a mistake which caused him to not merit the being the messiah.

(17-10-2015 03:46 PM)NASB Wrote:  [EXPANDED] Quote:[1] Fourteenth century rabbi Levi Gershon applied this verse as messianic based on Midrash Thanhuma which points to the Messiah as being greater than Moses. Although the Midrash does not state that this is the Messiah, Rabbi Gershon deduces from the Midrash that the Messiah will be "The Prophet." For a discussion of the messianic application of this passage by the rabbis, See Messianic Prophecy, Rachmiel Frydland; 1980.

Apparently, all this 14th century Rabbi said was that the messiah would be greater than Moses… Not especially impressive, given that he’s not saying that the messiah will be G-d in the flesh. Also, it’s worth noting that the source that they’re citing for this assertion is from a messianic Jew, so he’s not really qualified to speak on behalf of traditional, Torah observant Judaism and what they’ve traditionally believed.

A messianic Jew/Rabbi from the 14th century, awesome! So who do you think converted him exactly?

Maybe I wasn’t being clear. There are no messianic rabbis in the 14th century. If someone believed in Jesus in that era, they would have just joined the church. The writer of the article was sourcing his information from a modern day book that was written by a messianic Jew. I am not familiar with the quote that is referenced in the article that you shared, but it probably follows a very predictable template: Someone dug and dug and dug until they found some obscure quote somewhere in the Jewish writings to support their claims. I would venture to guess that if the quote was read in context of the surrounding passage, it would not look at all impressive to the messianic position.

(17-10-2015 03:46 PM)NASB Wrote:  Why? Ramban believed the Isaiah 53 passage referred to the Messiah, just as Christian’s believe Isaiah 53 refers to the Messiah. Err tis why Christianity is the true progression of Mosaic Judaism. Where’s the conflict exactly, apart from who is the Messiah.

I previously use the term “Ramban” when I meant “Rambam”. They’re two different guys. I think you just carried forward the typo. I think you’re referring to Rambam, ie: Maimonides. In either case, neither commentator supported Christian views on anything.

You previously said that Christianity shared their messianic expectations with Judaism before the Rambam went and changed those views in the 1100’s. Now you’re saying that the he supported the Christian view that Isaiah 53 refers to the messiah himself. In fact, the Rambam did not believe that Isaiah 53 refers to the messiah. As I understand it, every commentator wrote that the servant was Israel, and that the servant songs were about the messianic era; or the time immediately preceding the messianic era.

…Which leads me into my next point: Origen, the Christian commentator, wrote in the year 248 CE about a prior debate that he’d had with Jews. In his writings, he talks about how the Jews had held the belief that the servant songs were about Israel, not the messiah.

“Now I remember that, on one occasion, at a disputation held with certain Jews, who were reckoned wise men, I quoted these prophecies; to which my Jewish opponent replied, that these predictions bore reference to the whole people, regarded as one individual, and as being in a state of dispersion and suffering, in order that many proselytes might be gained, on account of the dispersion of the Jews among numerous heathen nations.” Origen, Contra Celsum, Book 1.Chapter 55

(17-10-2015 03:46 PM)NASB Wrote:  You can also reference one of the Targums from the first century by Jonathan ben Uzziel concerning the Isaiah 53 passage. “Behold my servant Messiah shall prosper.”

Church leaders boldly declare over and over that our sages have corrupted the word of G-d, but when they find a single sentence that supports their position, they rip it out of its surrounding context and plaster it all over the place. -Much the way they have done with our scriptures.

I cannot explain this Targum quote better than this article does, which puts the Targam Yonaton quote back into context, and clearly explains what Yonaton Ben Uziel was really saying about the messiah.

(17-10-2015 03:46 PM)NASB Wrote:  How do you explain the fact that Isaiah 53 is referenced as the forbidden chapter?

No chapters have ever been forbidden. Regarding the notion that Isaiah 53 is the “forbidden chapter,” I refer you once again to an external site for a beautifully written response to this claim.

Basically, the Christians are claiming that just because Isaiah 53 is not highlighted in the Haftorah, then it must have been forbidden. The Haftorah served a purpose, and the writings of Isaiah didn't address that purpose.

(17-10-2015 03:46 PM)NASB Wrote:  Rabbi Don Yitzchak Abarbanel, 1500 A.D., didn’t hold a Messianic view of Isaiah 53, but understood that most Rabbis of the Midrashim did hold a Messianic perspective.

“The first question is to ascertain to whom this scripture refers, for the learned among the Nazarenes expound it of the man who was crucified in Jerusalem at the end of the second temple and who according to them was the Son of God and took flesh in the virgins womb as it is stated in their writings. Jonathan ben Uzziel interpreted it in the Targum of the future Messiah; but this is also the opinion of our learned men in the majority of the Midrashim.”

I’m not familiar with this text, but the writing here reveals a lot to me. The writer can’t even bring himself to say the name “Jesus." Jewish practice says using the name of an idol-god gives credibility to it, so traditionally, Jews kind of dance around the names of other people's gods, so as not to name them directly. The person who wrote this article obviously viewed Jesus in the category of false gods; his choice of wording very obviously betrays that. Do you think someone who was so repulsed by Christianity that he can’t bring himself to say “Jesus” would bolster the Christian position by saying that all of the Rabbis and sages supported their view about Isaiah 53? That just doesn't make sense. This has been taken out of context.

(17-10-2015 03:46 PM)NASB Wrote:  Do you believe the Isaiah 53 passage refers to the Messiah???

No. Isaiah 53, and the entire servant songs are about the messianic era. Israel is very clearly spelled out as the servant.

TL/DR: Jesus simply did not meet Jewish expectations to be either a prophet or the messiah. There was a clearly established definition of what the messiah would be, and Jesus just didn’t match the description.

Claims that the Rabbi’s believed that Jesus was the messiah up until the 12th century are disproved by the writings of Origen, who in the year 248 CE reminisced about a discussion that he had with Jews who held that the servant in Isaiah 53 was about the entire Jewish people, not Jesus.

Targum Jonathan is taken out of context, as are the vast majority of Jewish writings and scripture that are quoted by Christians. I have included links to counter arguments which address what the rabbinic passages are really saying.
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