Do Jews ever read the New Testament?
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24-07-2017, 08:21 PM
RE: Do Jews ever read the New Testament?
I intended to use this thread to discuss whether or not people in different religions actually analyze other religions in a comparative fashion and look at the moral issues raised by religions in a sensible, rational way.

I suppose that for Christians, who look at the Old Testament, it's strange to think that other religions totally ignore Christianity because their own religion forbids it or discourages it. It's a kind of institutionalized and enforced narrow mindedness which results in ignorance. It really makes it impossible for someone who is Jewish, or a Muslim, or from any religion which denies it's followers the right to look at other belief structures, to criticize any other belief system objectively.

I first noticed this issue in a Youtube video chat between Sam Harris and Reza Aslan in which they both talked about Christianity as though they had never read the New Testament. They seem to think that debunking Christianity involves simply pointing out that Jesus might not or probably didn't exist, or at least not as he is portrayed, and that the mysterious happenings in the NT are obviously a lot of nonsense.

What they then do, which is funny, is to adopt a moral philosophy that is essentially Christian and claim it as their own, when in fact it is Hellenistic. Jewish film makers are going even further now and portraying Jesus as a very Jewish looking guy with black hair and Jewish features, instead of the long red hair and European features.

Here, in Islam-land, it's worse. They celebrate Christmas! That's the thing with the NT. It's written by people who were like computer programmers and knew how to subliminally weave a moral philosophy into a story. The story sucks you in either because you believe it, or because it so annoys you that you want to debunk it. But, by the time you've twisted your brain into a prezzel, "jeez, ma, how can people believe this stuff, seriously?" you've read a moral treatise based on a new concept of god as a "concept", ie., the word and "do unto others" etc.
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24-07-2017, 10:42 PM
RE: Do Jews ever read the New Testament?
(24-07-2017 01:55 PM)whateverist Wrote:  Aliza, to your knowledge, do any jews think about Adam and Eve as literally created from scratch so that their children would be required to mate in order to get the human race going? I know there are some fundamentalist jews but do any of them stoop to such a literal and demented reading of the creation story?

Yes, absolutely. I have personally met Jews who believe that the story of Adam and Eve were literal, and that the world is 6,000 years old. It’s my personal experience, with my own circle of family, friends and acquaintances, that everyone understands that it’s perfectly okay to view the simple interpretation of Genesis as allegorical.

Jews are taught that Torah and science are saying the same thing just very differently, but when Jews can’t equate Torah and science together, they can be stubborn in their insistence that the science is wrong. I’ll give you an example: Jews believe that the universe was created and that it had a beginning and it will have an end. Once upon a time, scientists insisted that the universe was static and that it always existed and will always exist. As we examine the evidence, we do see that the universe seems to have had a beginning, and that at the rate it’s headed, it will have an end as well. When Torah and science match up, Jews are willing to forgive the details in the Torah. Take it allegorically; concede that we misunderstood the details… whatever. Get on with living a good life. When the stories don't match up, then the Jewish community is a lot less eager to embrace the science. There was no reason to suspect that the universe was static, and the popularity of the belief among the science community did nothing to impress the Jews of that time.

I believe that those Jews who insist that the world is 6,000 literal years old (plus 6 days) are simply too uneducated about secular subjects to see that the story of genesis is being clearly told in what we find in science.
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24-07-2017, 10:57 PM
RE: Do Jews ever read the New Testament?
(24-07-2017 08:02 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  The Psalm I quoted is quite clear. It's famous as having been made into the Boney M song "By the Rivers of Babylon". It talks of how the Jews were made captive and how Zion was razed to the ground and it says that they will take revenge on the Babylonians by killing their babies. You are putting a spin on it which isn't justified by the text itself.

It clearly says "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones..." The meaning could not be clearer.

http://thetorah.com/psalm-137-9/the-talmudic-inverse/

A better explanation than I could give it.
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25-07-2017, 11:49 AM
RE: Do Jews ever read the New Testament?
(24-07-2017 10:24 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(24-07-2017 10:07 AM)dancefortwo Wrote:  You're preaching this shit to a Jewish woman? What the hell's the matter with you. Give it a break, will ya?
. . . All I’ve done is stated, that I hold it as true, that Christ is the messiah, God himself, the truth, the way and the life, regardless if his Jewish forbearers envisioned his arrival or not. She needs not believe in him, but I would never believe in her idea either, of the one that’s yet to come, because Christ is sufficient for me. That no truth will ever supersede his.




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25-07-2017, 02:05 PM
RE: Do Jews ever read the New Testament?
(24-07-2017 10:57 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(24-07-2017 08:02 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  The Psalm I quoted is quite clear. It's famous as having been made into the Boney M song "By the Rivers of Babylon". It talks of how the Jews were made captive and how Zion was razed to the ground and it says that they will take revenge on the Babylonians by killing their babies. You are putting a spin on it which isn't justified by the text itself.

It clearly says "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones..." The meaning could not be clearer.

http://thetorah.com/psalm-137-9/the-talmudic-inverse/

A better explanation than I could give it.

Thanks. What you have provided is interesting but it seems to me that it is an attempt to explain away the clear and obvious meaning of the offending passage. It says, "Fair Babylon, you predator, a blessing on him who repays you in kind what you have inflicted on us; a blessing on him who seizes your babies and dashes them against the rocks!"

What the Psalm says is that the Babylonians have destroyed the Temple.

The problem for me stems from the failure to recognize that the monotheistic people portrayed in the Old Testament are simply not anything like what we now know as "Jews". They are Assyrians. The Old Testament itself describes them as Chaldeans from Ur. God wiped them out with a flood because they were so sinful. Josephus refers to them as Assyrians and says they were not nice people. They were chased out of Egypt and Moses had to have a conversation with God and lay down down the law the law to them. The Babylonians, who were the most civilized people on earth, at the time, decided to take them prisoner and destroy their temple.

At some point, one has to look at this and accept that these people were a disaster. That's not a reflection on modern Judaism and Jewish culture, by the way. It just seems to me that Jewish scholars have had to perform mental gymnastics to try to polish an ancient turd and make these horrible people not seem to be the moral reprobates that they were. No doubt, the Romans felt the same way, which is presumably why, after relocating their headquarters to Constantinople, they felt the need to find a new and more peaceful religion to roll out to the Assyrian people of Asia Minor and the Levant, to counter the local religion, which is why they adopted Christianity.
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25-07-2017, 02:12 PM
RE: Do Jews ever read the New Testament?
(25-07-2017 02:05 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  
(24-07-2017 10:57 PM)Aliza Wrote:  http://thetorah.com/psalm-137-9/the-talmudic-inverse/

A better explanation than I could give it.

Thanks. What you have provided is interesting but it seems to me that it is an attempt to explain away the clear and obvious meaning of the offending passage. It says, "Fair Babylon, you predator, a blessing on him who repays you in kind what you have inflicted on us; a blessing on him who seizes your babies and dashes them against the rocks!"

What the Psalm says is that the Babylonians have destroyed the Temple.

The problem for me stems from the failure to recognize that the monotheistic people portrayed in the Old Testament are simply not anything like what we now know as "Jews". They are Assyrians. The Old Testament itself describes them as Chaldeans from Ur. God wiped them out with a flood because they were so sinful. Josephus refers to them as Assyrians and says they were not nice people. They were chased out of Egypt and Moses had to have a conversation with God and lay down down the law the law to them. The Babylonians, who were the most civilized people on earth, at the time, decided to take them prisoner and destroy their temple.

At some point, one has to look at this and accept that these people were a disaster. That's not a reflection on modern Judaism and Jewish culture, by the way. It just seems to me that Jewish scholars have had to perform mental gymnastics to try to polish an ancient turd and make these horrible people not seem to be the moral reprobates that they were. No doubt, the Romans felt the same way, which is presumably why, after relocating their headquarters to Constantinople, they felt the need to find a new and more peaceful religion to roll out to the Assyrian people of Asia Minor and the Levant, to counter the local religion, which is why they adopted Christianity.

It's a Jewish book written by Jews to Jews. If you don't see what we see, it's probably because you've never studied Judaism. That's it.
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25-07-2017, 04:53 PM
RE: Do Jews ever read the New Testament?
(24-07-2017 10:57 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(24-07-2017 08:02 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  The Psalm I quoted is quite clear. It's famous as having been made into the Boney M song "By the Rivers of Babylon". It talks of how the Jews were made captive and how Zion was razed to the ground and it says that they will take revenge on the Babylonians by killing their babies. You are putting a spin on it which isn't justified by the text itself.

It clearly says "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones..." The meaning could not be clearer.

http://thetorah.com/psalm-137-9/the-talmudic-inverse/

A better explanation than I could give it.

I think the interpretation is reasonable, unlike the one you tried to suggest earlier. The passage is not prescriptive, it's expressive of the very strong sentiment, and emotions of the writer. It would be akin to someone whose family member was murdered, and in his rage wishes the same destruction on the innocent family members of the murderer.

I don't think anyone then, would have read it as "hey we should go out and bash babylonians babies against a rock. "

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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25-07-2017, 06:06 PM
RE: Do Jews ever read the New Testament?
(25-07-2017 04:53 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(24-07-2017 10:57 PM)Aliza Wrote:  http://thetorah.com/psalm-137-9/the-talmudic-inverse/

A better explanation than I could give it.

I think the interpretation is reasonable, unlike the one you tried to suggest earlier. The passage is not prescriptive, it's expressive of the very strong sentiment, and emotions of the writer. It would be akin to someone whose family member was murdered, and in his rage wishes the same destruction on the innocent family members of the murderer.

I don't think anyone then, would have read it as "hey we should go out and bash babylonians babies against a rock. "

Yes they did. Absolutely.
Nice try to make it all nice. It says what it says. It's how the ancient mind worked. It's full of hate and vengeance. There's no way to lie about it and make it all nice. The culture was tribal. They HATED their enemies. There were no "individuals", only groups. If they hated the group, that included the babies. All the rest is Presentism.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presentism..._analysis)

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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25-07-2017, 06:42 PM
RE: Do Jews ever read the New Testament?
I have it on good authority that some jews read it when they need a laugh.

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25-07-2017, 06:53 PM
RE: Do Jews ever read the New Testament?
(25-07-2017 06:06 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  It's how the ancient mind worked. It's full of hate and vengeance.

Reminded me of Ingersoll, Bucky:

"The idea of hell was born of ignorance, brutality, fear, cowardice, and revenge. This idea testifies that our remote ancestors were the lowest beasts. Only from dens, lairs, and caves, only from mouths filled with cruel fangs, only from hearts of fear and hatred, only from the conscience of hunger and lust, only from the lowest and most debased could come this most cruel, heartless and bestial of all dogmas."

Funny how our gods evolve exactly as fast (or slow) as the societies that worship them. Weird, eh? Drinking Beverage

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