My Musings

Monday, January 21, 2008

Jesus is the Messiah!

I support Israel and Jewish people with every fiber of my body. As a soldier, I would be honored if my country ever asked me to defend this tiny nation in the heart of the Middle East. And on the flip side of that same coin, I would demand to be dishonorably discharged or court marshaled from the United States Army if I were ever asked to take action against them. I believe that that those of us who stand with and support Israel and Israelis are going to be blessed by God. Those who opposed Israel will be cursed at the hand of God. Consider God's promises to Abraham in the book of Genesis.

Having made known my feelings toward this group of people, let me now move on to the heart of this article. The Jewish people are theologically in error. They have made a drastic and tragic mistake when it comes to the issue of Jesus Christ being the Messiah. They have ignored and crucified the savior of the world.

I say this not out of anger or rage or anything like that. I say this only because I wish that there was something that I could do to convince them of the truth. I wish that I could help them to see that Jesus is the Messiah. It breaks my heart to see them turn their back on what God has so graciously provided for them.

I have recently been carrying on a series of correspondence with some Jewish friends that I recently made in which we have been debating and discussing the validity of Jesus being the fulfiller of the Messianic prophecies and the God of the Jews being the same or different than the God of the Christians. I would like to bring all of you into this discussion assuming you will all be decent enough to be civil.

During our conversation, I asked them to provide for me some prophecies that Christ did not fulfill. In response to this question, Bar Kochba, the author of the blog 'For Zion's Sake' has provided a very thorough answer. Consider, for example, just these four points that he brought to light and help me to share the light of the blessed Gospel with our Jewish friends. Let me hear your response to these claims against Jesus of Nazareth.

  • He must be a member of the tribe of Judah - "The staff shall not depart from Judah, nor the sceptre from between his feet..." (Genesis 49:10) To be a member of the tribe of Judah, the person must have a biological father who is a member of the tribe of Judah...
  • He must be a direct male descendant of King David and King Solomon, his son - "And when your days (David) are fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who shall issue from your bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will make firm the throne of his kingdom forever..." (2 Samuel 7:12 - 13) The genealogy of the New Testament is inconsistent. While it gives two accounts of the genealogy of Joseph, it states clearly that he is not the biological father of Jesus. One of the genealogies is through Nathan and not Solomon altogether!
  • He must gather the Jewish people from exile and return them to Israel -"And he shall set up a banner for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." (Isaiah 11:12) Are all Jews living in Israel? Have all Jews EVER lived in Israel since the time of Jesus?
  • He will rule at a time of world-wide peace - "...they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." (Micah 4:3) Have you seen a newspaper lately? Are we living in a state of complete world peace? Has there ever been peace since the time of Jesus?

I will be posting, either as another article or within the comments section of this article, my refutations to these claims and I invite as many as read this article to join in defending our savior. I want to hear from Christians and Jews. I hope that we can come together with civility and discuss and debate our differences and go away from this place more thoroughly educated because of it. God bless all of you and thank you in advance for your participation and comments.

P.S. You can read some of this correspondence by visiting either of the following two links and reading the comments section of the post: The Baptist Muse: My Rant Against Pluralism and For Zion's Sake: An Apology, A Clarification, and a Summary.

(This post was originally posted on January 20, 2008. I have moved the date up a day or two to maintain its position at the top of this blog due to the large number of hits and comments that it is getting.)

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53 Comments:

  • Thank you for your support of Israel. The only problem with Christian support is when it comes at the price of missionizing, which we will have none of.

    Out of all the numerous Jewish objections to JC, here is the biggest for me: In his time (assuming that he ever existed, but that's a topic for another post), the Jewish highcourt, the Sanhedrin, still existed. It was composed of 72 of the greatest rabbis and Torah scholars ever. The Torah, as recorded in Deut 7, gives the Sanhedrin absolute power to decide matters of Jewish Law.

    "8 If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, even matters of controversy within thy gates; then shalt thou arise, and get thee up unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose. 9 And thou shall come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days; and thou shalt inquire; and they shall declare unto thee the sentence of judgment. 10 And thou shalt do according to the tenor of the sentence, which they shall declare unto thee from that place which the LORD shall choose; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they shall teach thee. 11 According to the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do; thou shalt not turn aside from the sentence which they shall declare unto thee, to the right hand, nor to the left. 12 And the man that doeth presumptuously, in not hearkening unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die; and thou shalt exterminate the evil from Israel. 13 And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously." {S}

    If the Sanhedrin did not accept JC as the moshiach, and the majority of the Jewish people rejected him, how could any Jew, or gentile, today accept him? What extra knowledge could we possess today that our coreligionists who lived in his time not have? Furthermore, if JC's coming was clearly prophecized in the Torah and prophets, why didn't the rabbis, who spent their entire lives immersed in the Torah, not recognize him?

    This is the basis of Christian anti-semitism and of the drive to convert the Jews: JC was a Jew, based himself of Jewish scriptures and preached to the Jews- and they rejected him! The Church saw/sees the contradiction in this and realized/realizes that if his own people saw past his theology, why should any else accept him? Only to the Jews was knowledge of the moshiach given and we know that it certainly could not be JC. In fact, all of the Jews who did recognize him are no longer existant as Jews. Just look at the tens of thousand who converted during the Inquisition or throughout history- they no longer exist today as Jew, although many of their descendants today are reconnecting with their Judaism. Christians need to eliminate or convert the Jews to prove their own faith.

    By Blogger Bar Kochba, At 9:46 AM  

  • I find it interesting that the Roman empire killed the brother of Jesus, James, the bishop of Jerusalem, for being of the Davidic line, not just for being a Christian. There was enough evidence for Rome to consider James as a threat due to his Jewish Davidic lineage. And yet, people try to claim that his brother, Jesus, was not of the Davidic line.
    Also it is historically obvious that the many Jews did accept the Christ as these very Jews form our entire foundation of the church. Without them we would not have the N. T.
    I am eternally grateful to these Jewish believers!

    By Blogger Jungle Mom, At 9:58 AM  

  • If JC was born of a virgin, he had no biological father and therefore no tribal membership. (Tribal membership passes paternally. See Numbers 1:2 or 1:8). Even if we ignore the fact that the virgin birth is taken from a mistraslated prophecy and assume that tribal rights could pass by adoption (even though there is no proof of this), Joseph is decended from Jeconiah who was cursed (Jeremiah 22:30) "for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah".

    By Blogger Bar Kochba, At 11:32 AM  

  • Bar,
    Hello I was just woundering if You think that every prophecy that I as a Christian beleive that Jesus fulfilled from the Old Testament is a mistraslated prophecy?

    And what about the New Covenant mentioned in the Old Testament.

    Jeremiah 31:31-33 "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah-- "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

    Just a few question's I have.
    God Bless...

    By Blogger Christopher Cline, At 1:29 PM  

  • Thanks for stopping by Bar. In relation to your statements about the 72 Sanhedrin who rejected Jesus as the Messiah let me make several observations.

    You, not God, have placed more power in that group of men than in God himself. You logic is fatally flawed in relation to these men's authority. Let me explain what I mean.

    First, Saul was the first king appointed by God himself. Was he not? Yet the scriptures are very clear about the decisions that Saul made.

    "And Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and was departed from Saul." ~ I Samuel 18:12

    You state that this group of scholars, the Sanhedrin, must be correct because they were appointed by God himself in the book of Deuteronomy. By that logic, Saul must have been a good man also for the entirety of his life because he too was appointed by God himself. We know, however, that this was not the case! Saul was appointed by God, but that certainly didn't make him immune from failure and it was the same for the Sanhedrin in the days of Jesus.

    Saul only made it a few years before he turned his back on God and if you are honest about the history of Old Testament Israel you would have to agree that it was a history of serving God, turning their backs on God, and then serving God again. In the Old Testament, Israel was only able to maintain faithfulness to God for a few years. With this in mind, can you still honestly argue that the Sanhedrin were perfectly in tune with the Will of God thousands of years after they were appointed? Personally, I think it would be a stretch to make any such claim.

    Second, you make claim that they must have been accurate because they were "72 of the greatest rabbis and Torah scholars ever."

    Wasn't Jeremiah the prophet entirely ignored by the Jews of his day? Didn't he prophesy of the destruction of Jerusalem and then he was forced to weep and bemoan the destruction that he had tried to direct you away from? Your scholars, however, rejected him, didn't they?

    In fact, if the truth be told you murdered and mistreated many of your prophets. Perhaps you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.'

    Many of the greatest scholars in the world today claim atheism as their mode of religious belief. Does this mean that it must be accurate? Many great scholars and scientists today say that we are fools to believe in a God or to believe that God created the world or to believe that the Bible was written by God. Does that make them right just because they are scholars? For crying out loud, the Sanhedrin probably got their Sanhedrin 'degree' from a cracker jack box!

    I say to you, however, that you in your rejection of Jesus as the Messiah have taken part in the shedding of his blood.

    I hope that I did not offend anyone with this response but I do believe that it is 100% truth and I will defend my savior as long as I have breath. Thank you all and God bless you!

    By Blogger Nicholas Z. Cardot, At 5:12 PM  

  • Chris: Every single so-called "proof" text is either mistranslated, taken out of context or was completely fabricated. Let me demostrate this with Jeremiah 31:

    "30 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; 31 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; forasmuch as they broke My covenant, although I was a lord over them, saith the LORD. 32 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the LORD, I will put My law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people; 33 and they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying: 'Know the LORD'; for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more."

    This passage is talking about G-d renewing His covenant with the Jewish people, not replacing it by a new set of laws. The next verse says: "Thus saith the LORD: If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, then will I also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD." (v. 36). The term 'covenant' (brit in Hebrew) does not necessarily refer to a new set of laws. See Gen 15:18or Deut 7:2. The Torah clearly states that G-d's covenant with Israel is eternal. The covenant of old is of eternal duration, never to be rescinded or to be superseded by a new covenant (Leviticus 26:44-45). The covenant between God and Israel is frequently referred to as everlasting (e.g., Genesis 17:7, 13, 19; Psalms 105:8, 10; 1 Chronicles 16:13-18).

    "The works of His hands are truth and justice; and His precepts are sure. They are established forever and ever, they are done in truth and uprightness" (Psalms 111:7-8); "The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God shall stand forever" (Isaiah 40:8).

    It is rather hypocritical for Christians to claim that we are under the New Covenant, which states that "and they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying: 'Know the LORD'; for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them", while Christians spend millions of dollars each year to convert others to Christianity. Obviously, not everybody "knows the LORD" or we wouldn't be having this conversation. And saying that this refers to the "Second Coming" is a forced answer as there is no reason to believe that verse 32 happened in the time of JC and verse 33 refers to over 2000 years later.

    Nick: Let me enlighten you to a wonderful Jewish concept. The Torah states that matters of Jewish law are in our hands to decide, not G-d's. "It [the Torah, Jewish law] is not in heaven...But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it." (Deut. 30:12-14)

    A wonderful story from the Talmud (Baba Metzia 59a) illustrates this point. It is the tale of another oven that needed to be declared kosher. This oven was a new invention created by a certain man named Achnai. Achnai brought his new oven to the rabbinical court at the house of study for them to give his contraption their imprimatur and deem it appropriate for Jewish use. With the exception of Rabbi Eliezer, every sage at the house of study declared that the oven was un-kosher. Rabbi Eliezer brought forward every imaginable argument to try and convince the other sages that the oven was kosher, but none of his colleagues was convinced. Rabbi Eliezer was getting frustrated, and he shouted at them: “If Achnai's oven is in fact kosher, as I say it is, then let this carob tree prove it!” And the carob tree flew out of the ground and landed a hundred cubits away. Unimpressed, the other sages retorted: “No proof can be brought from a carob tree.” Again Rabbi Eliezer implored them: “If the oven is kosher, then let the stream of water prove it.” And the stream of water flowed backwards. “No proof can be brought from a stream of water,” the rabbis rejoined. More frustrated than ever, Rabbi Eliezer cried out: “If the oven is kosher, as I say it is, let the walls of this house of study prove it!” And the walls began to fall inward. But Rabbi Joshua rebuked the collapsing walls saying: “When scholars are engaged in a disagreement over a point of Jewish law, what right do you have to interfere?” And the walls did not fall in honor of Rabbi Joshua, nor did they resume their upright position in honor of Rabbi Eliezer. Again Rabbi Eliezer said to the sages, “If the law agrees with me regarding the fact that Achnai's oven is kosher, then let it be proved by heaven.” And a heavenly voice cried out: “Why do you rabbis argue with Eliezer? He's always right in his interpretation of the law!" But Rabbi Joshua arose and exclaimed to the sky: “It is not in Heaven” (Deuteronomy 30:12). One must follow the majority!” At that moment, the sages say, God laughed, saying “My children have defeated me! My children have overruled me!” (So that oven remained technically un-kosher. You win some, and you lose some).

    Unfortunately, today we do not have a Sanhedrin, may it be reinstated speedily in our days. But in the time of the Second Temple, the Sanhedrin was composed of 72 rabbis who had a direct line of ordination stretching back to Mose himself, which has been lost(due to our many sins). In the Sanhedrin sat some of the greatest rabbis that Am Yisrael has ever known (though I doubt that you would recognize their names), like Rabbi Akiva, etc. These people lived for G-d and tried to bring Israel back to His word. If JC even existed (which is a huge if, and I'm certain that he is a fable in the lign of Mithras, Attis or Dionysus), they would have had to ordinate him so that he could qualify for the kingship.

    You still haven't answered my objection that JC fulfilled NONE of the key Messianic prophecies.

    G-d bless.

    By Blogger Bar Kochba, At 6:50 PM  

  • Bar,
    First, I would have to ask you what Key Messianic Prophecies are you referring to?

    As a Christian I believe there are hundreds of them?

    Second, As a Christian I believe that the New Testament is also the inspired word of God.

    I am assuming you don't?

    Peace be with you.

    By Blogger Christopher Cline, At 8:47 PM  

  • The key prophecies that I was refering to are world peace, rebuilding the Temple, ingathering the exiles, bringing the Jews back to the Torah and uniting the world in service of G-d. the verses are in the post.

    And I view the New Testament as a collection of writings written by a bunch of difference men with many contradictions and mistakes. The Torah is eternal and was/will never be replaced.

    By Blogger Bar Kochba, At 9:22 PM  

  • In refutation to your claims about the geneology of Jesus Christ I am going to quote Deborah from your blog. Her points were right on the mark and I would love to hear them answered. I also am very cordially awaiting a response to me comments from earlier this afternoon. Thank you in advance.

    "With regard to the genealogy of Yeshua:

    Of the four Gospels, only two give us a genealogy, the same two that deal with the birth and early life of Jesus. While both Matthew and Luke give us the story of the birth of Jesus, they tell the story from two different perspectives. Matthew tells the story from Joseph’s perspective while Luke tells the story from Mary’s perspective.

    Matthew’s genealogy (Matt. 1:1-17) traces the line of Joseph, the step-father of the Messiah. The line is traced from Abraham (v. 2), and continues down to David and Solomon (v. 6), and then to King Jechoniah (v. 11), who was one of the last kings before the Babylonian Captivity. It is the person of Jechoniah that is significant in dealing with the genealogy of Matthew because of the special curse pronounced on him in Jeremiah 22:24-30.

    Jeremiah 22:30 says of King Jechoniah:

    Thus saith [YHVH], Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days; for no more shall a man of his seed prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling in Judah.
    In the Matthew genealogy, it should be noted that Joseph was a direct descendant of Jechoniah (v. 16). This means, then, that Joseph, having the blood of Jechoniah in his veins, was not qualified to sit on David’s throne. This would also mean that no son of Joseph would have the right to claim the Throne of David. In essence, Matthew’s point is this: if Jesus were really Joseph’s son, He could not claim to sit on David’s throne because of Jechoniah’s curse. Then Matthew proceeds to show that Yeshua was not truly Joseph’s son, for He was born of the virgin Mary (Matt. 1:18-25).

    If, by Jewish law, the name of a woman could not be mentioned in a genealogy, but you wished to trace a woman’s line, how would you go about doing so? The answer is that you would use the name of her husband. However, if the husband’s name were used, that raises a second question. Suppose somebody picked up a genealogy to read; how would he know whether the genealogy is that of the husband or that of the wife because, in either case, it would be the husband’s name that was used?

    The answer to that riddle lies in a problem with the English language which does not exist with the Greek or Hebrew languages. In English, it is not good grammar to put the word "the" before a proper name. We do not use a definite article before a proper name; such as, the Matthew, the Luke, the Mary, the John. However, this is quite permissible in both Greek and Hebrew grammar. The Greek text of Luke’s genealogy is very interesting because of this. In the Greek text, every single name mentioned in the genealogy of Luke has the definite article "the" with one exception, and that is the name of Joseph. His name does not have the definite article "the" in front of it. What that would mean to someone reading the original is this: when he saw the definite article missing from Joseph’s name while it was present in all the other names, it would mean that this was not really Joseph’s genealogy, rather, it is Mary’s genealogy. So, in keeping with Jewish law, it was the husband’s name which was used. We have two examples of this in the Old Testament: Ezra 2:61 and Nehemiah 7:63.

    Luke’s genealogy traces the line of Mary and portrays how Jesus could claim the Throne of David. The line is traced until it returns to the family of David (vv. 31-32). However, the son of David involved in this genealogy is not Solomon but Nathan. The important point here is that Mary was a member of the House of David totally apart from Jechoniah. Since Jesus was Mary’s son, He, too, was a member of the House of David, totally apart from the curse of Jechoniah. In this manner, He fulfilled the first Old Testament requirement for kingship."

    By Blogger Nicholas Z. Cardot, At 9:50 PM  

  • Nicholas,
    I need to clarify that the Genealogy of Yeshua was copied from Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum (www.ariel.org), a Jewish believer in Yeshua and scholar (please see the credit given to Dr. Fruchtenbaum at the end of his essay in my comment to BK's article "An Apology, A Clarification and a Summary").

    I have argued this point before but did not have time to write my own essay based on Dr. Fruchtenbaum's and my other sources explanations. I thought it best to quote a Judaeo-Christian scholar, who is a Jewish believer with a Jewish understanding, regarding the matter.

    BK and I will shortly resume our debate regarding the historicity of Yeshua on my blog. Please feel free to join our debate regarding that particular aspect of the Messiahship of Yeshua.

    Thank you, Nicholas. God bless!

    Shalom,
    Deborah

    By Blogger Deborah, At 5:13 AM  

  • I am repeating what I wrote on BK's blog about Yeshu's geneology.

    Yeshu was not a male line descendent of King David through his son Shlomo, you yourself admit this, so he could not be Mashiach, it doesnt matter if he was descended from David through his mother, those who are from David through the matrilinal line are not eligable to be Melech. There is no way to get around this, without the proper geneology, which is male-line descent from David through Shlomo it is impossible for Yeshu to be Mashiach.

    Also, to be Melech(King) an individual must not only be eligable but accepted by the Sanhedrin, Rambam Hilchot Melachim Perek Aleph. You yourselves admit the Sanhedrin rejected Yeshu, as such even if he had the proper geneology it wouldnt matter.

    By Blogger kahaneloyalist, At 5:34 AM  

  • Kahaneloyalist,
    As they say, "Two Jews in a room and three opinions." Or more rightly, there can be 70 different senses or interpretations of Scripture. So according to your culture, why completely discount another Jew's interpretation of the Bible instead of giving Dr. Fruchtenbaum room for his interpretation of Scripture according to his understanding of Jewish history and culture? Dr. Fruchtenbaum's explanation is highly plausible unless one is absolutely not willing to listen regardless of the scholarly effort in which it was derived.

    Since the sceptre was passed all the way to Jechonian from Solomon, how is it that it would pass to the Messiah via anyone else according to your argument?

    To use 2 Samuel 7:12-13 as proof that the sceptre has to pass through Solomon is a weak argument! This Scripture definitely establishes that the sceptre will be passed from David to his seed, not excluding a future descendent of Nathan. This verse of Scripture is as applicable to Yeshua as well as anyone who is not a direct decsendent of Jechoniah, to agree with you in some fashion.

    We all know how the monarchy works, and to later pass the sceptre through a brother of an earlier king is acceptable! Zedekiah included. 17 Then the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah. (2 Kings 24:17)

    By Blogger Deborah, At 7:03 AM  

  • Deborah, the Dr. is not a Gadol BiYisrael his opinion in regards to Jewish law is irrelevant. Beyond which only male-line descendents of David may inherit, you are arguing that Mary was descended from a secondary line. Even if true this doesnt matter as if a man's mother is from David, the man is not of David's line.

    And under Jewish law, as I said before a would-be King must be accepted by the Sanhedrin, which you admit didnt happen.

    By Blogger kahaneloyalist, At 9:27 AM  

  • Deborah, I thank you for the correction and I apologize for not giving proper credit where credit is due. Thank you for that.

    By Blogger Nicholas Z. Cardot, At 9:49 AM  

  • kahaneloyalist,

    Why is it that all you can argue is the credentials of another man. A man's qualifications don't change the validity of a man's claim if he has the proper evidence and logic. It seems like all you can say is that so-in-so isn't qualified to say that and he is on you side of the aisle therefore your side of the aisle is wrong. And on the flip side you say that a different so-in-so is qualified and he takes your side therefore your argument must be right. That is extremely flawed logic.

    That is what we refer to as Ad Hominem. By attacking the person rather than the argument you begin to make it more evident that you are unable to defend your positions so you revert to flawed logic that is basically as effective as name-calling. It is a trivial, silly attempt at trying to make people thing that you might have some credit on your side.

    And in regard to your statements about the Sanhedrin, I have already gone in to great deal using scriptural and practical examples to show why their opinion on the subject pretty much didn't matter. If you have a specific claim about the Sanhedrin in regard to my statements about them, then please make them know. Otherwise, you are, as they say, beating an already dead horse!

    By Blogger Nicholas Z. Cardot, At 9:57 AM  

  • In regard to your demand that the genealogy must be traced through the father, how do you deal with the following scripture?

    "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." ~ Isaiah 7:14

    Emmanuel means comes from the Hebrew עמּנוּאל and means literally "with us (is) God;"

    How do you deny such a clear and perfect prophecy of Jesus Christ as the Messiah and savior of Israel and of the World? Friends I beg that you open your heart and prayerfully consider the facts that Jesus was your Messiah and that you can still turn to Him before it is too late. You owe to your selves to at least examine these issues with an open heart!

    By Blogger Nicholas Z. Cardot, At 10:05 AM  

  • Kahaneloyalist,
    I'm not only speaking to you, but to Nicholas and others who are partaking in this civil debate. Nicholas needs to know that you do not represent all the sects within Judaism, which are complex to say the least. Jewish sects are likened unto the sects found within Christianity; thus, you cannot approach Nicholas and I from the Catholic perspective since we don't adhere to or believe in Catholicism, nor can you approach us from the Presbyterian's perspective as we don't subscribe to all of their doctrines, either. And you certainly can't lump us in with any so-called Christians pertaining to be anti-Semitic. Evangelical Christians who love and support the Jewish people and Israel comprise a small number of those who claim to be Christians between the Catholic and Protestant communities. In other words, not all so-called Christians are friends to the Jews or Israel. As you can read in Nicholas' article in which we are now debating, Nicholas would die for you, and so would I, in defending you or the State of Israel. Nicholas and I are evangelical Christians, even so, I will venture to say that Nicholas and I have some theological differences, though not severe. All that to say, the opinions among Jewish sects vary as largely as the opinions among Christians sects.

    The dilemma between us, you as a Orthodox Talmudic Jewish Zionist and I as an evangelical Christian Zionist, is whether my Jewish Messiah placed any value in your Oral Torah. Dr. Fruchtenbaum may not be considered a highly esteemed rabbi in the Orthodox Jewish community, but he is respected among Jews who believe Yeshua is the Messiah and who have made a decision to adhere to Scripture in its purest form, not accepting the laws of men. Dr. Fruchtenbaum understands the Talmud but he does not subscribe to the largest portion of the Oral Torah. I think the Talmud has a lot of wonderful teachings within in its writings and has a lot to offer in the way of deeper understanding, but I do not accept portions of the Talmud where it departs from Scriptural authority and flies in the face of the authority of God.

    Yeshua was highly critical of the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees and their adherence to the traditions of men (Oral Torah) rather than to the written Torah and the Prophets. Yeshua is the one that applied Isaiah's criticism of them when He quoted Isaiah saying,

    3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— 6 then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
    8 ‘ These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
    And honor Me with their lips,
    But their heart is far from Me.
    9 And in vain they worship Me, teaching (or learning) as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
    - Yeshua, Matthew 15:3-9

    Yeshua is quoting Isaiah 29:13-16.

    As I mentioned on BK's blog, there is even the Karaite Jew who rejects the Oral Torah in any fashion and subscribes only to the Tanakh in its purest form - digging down to the meaning of every jot and tittle of the original Hebrew and Aramaic languages. Talmudism didn't really take hold until after the Babylonian Talmud was written in 500 CE. Even so, its obvious the Oral Torah had its hold on the religious leaders during Yeshua's lifetime, before the Oral Torah was written down, since a large portion of His interaction with them included criticism of their man-made doctrines. We can see Yeshua's rejection of their takanot ("enactments, reforms") or mitzvot derabanan ("commandments fo our Rabbis") when Yeshua rebuked them for citing the washing of hands as a commandment of God, when it was actually a man-made command, a takahah (singular of takanot).

    So, in debating an Orthodox Jew, as it was with our Jewish Messiah so it is with us: it is man-made commandments that Nicholas and I, and every follower of Yeshua, are up against, not the actual rendering of Scripture.

    BTW, the B'rit Chadashah (New Testament) specifically tells us that Isaiah 7:14 pertains to Yeshua in Matthew 1:22. The association was not conjured up centuries later by Christian theologians. However, Talmudic or Rabbinical Judaism has decided not to apply the intended understanding and has explained away that prophecy by applying it to King Hezekiah.

    Regardless of our differences (your unacceptance of your own Messiah, though as heartbreaking as it is for us), evangelical Christian Zionists will love and support the Jewish people even if they decide to turn on us! It is a mandate of God, which will stand forever, to love the Jewish people, support Israel, and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We will bless you until our dying breath!

    By Blogger Deborah, At 11:23 AM  

  • Deborah,

    I want to thank you first and foremost for your passion and for your heart felt desire to help. I am so thankful that this debate has been centered around helping others rather than shoving our beliefs down their throat or visa versa. I thank you for your passion.

    I am assuming that you are a Jew who has converted to Christianity based on your language and vocabulary of so many Jewish terms. Am I wrong in this assumption?

    I agree about the Religious sects point that you made. Whenever I debate or discuss and issue with someone, I always try to understand the beliefs of the particular person in which I am debating rather than lumping him into the collective. You are right that we are both Christians but you are also right that there are probably many things that we disagree with. Those differences make us no less Christian than one another. You made a very good point.

    P.S. I am still awaiting anyone who would like to refute my arguments or share their point of view on my discussion on the qualifications of the Sanhedrin, on the Ad Hominem attacks, on the prophetic Virgin Birth as foretold in Isaiah 7, etc. I eagerly await a response to these issues.

    Thank you in advance for all the help in these areas.

    By Blogger Nicholas Z. Cardot, At 12:03 PM  

  • Very interesting and thought provoking! I have always been fascinated by Israel and anything Jewish. I am looking forward to reading your follow-up posts.

    Thank you for your comment on my blog. I very much enjoy yours and will be stopping back soon. :)

    God bless,
    ~Jen

    By Blogger Jen, At 1:27 PM  

  • Bar,

    As I was rereading some of our correspondence on this page, it suddenly dawned on me that you just made it very obvious why you refuse to believe that Jesus is the Messiah. You have twisted the Holy Scriptures in such a way as to force the truth to remain hidden from you so that you can continue in your traditions. Consider this statement that you made:

    "Nick: Let me enlighten you to a wonderful Jewish concept. The Torah states that matters of Jewish law are in our hands to decide, not G-d's. "It [the Torah, Jewish law] is not in heaven...But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it." (Deut. 30:12-14)"

    There is nothing in that verse that states that 'matters of Jewish law are in our hands to decide, not G-d's" That Scripture clearly states that matters of Jewish law are yours to obey not decide..."That thou mayest do it!" There is nothing in that scripture that even hints that we are to decide what it God's will and what is not.

    Your story about the Kosher oven is exactly what you have done to Jesus Christ. You have been shown sign after sign and prophecy after prophecy and yet you refuse to believe that God's grace has been revealed.

    Also, you make claims that Jesus may not have even existed. That claim is extremely naive and I would love to know what it is based on.

    Also, you say that Jesus did not fulfill KEY messianic prophecies. First, who are you to decide which ones are key. I say Isaiah 7:14 is key and you say that when the Bible says "a virgin shall conceive" that I must be misinterpreting it. You have rewritten your interpretation of the Holy Scriptures with your thousands of years of traditions instead of reading the literal words of the prophets and accepting them!

    Second, Jesus fulfilled hundreds of prophecies. For you to say that he didn't fulfill any is a huge delusion.

    Consider this quote from Biblia.com.

    "... One reason [that Jews reject Jesus] is that the Scriptures make 300 prophecies of the "First Coming of the Messiah", as the suffering servant of Is.53, but make 500 prophecies about the "Second Coming of the Messiah", the triumphal King of Zach.14... to the point that some rabbis talk about two Messiah, and for most Jews, the "triumphant one" is the Messiah they were expecting... "

    By Blogger Nicholas Z. Cardot, At 1:30 PM  

  • Jen,

    Thank you very much for stopping by. I really enjoy your blog and I appreciate the support.

    By Blogger Nicholas Z. Cardot, At 1:33 PM  

  • Bar- You view the Torah as eternal and that it will never be replaced. You state that the New Testament is written by a bunch of different men with many contradictions and mistakes. The Torah was also written by several different men. Does that mean it is full of contradictions and mistakes as well?

    Deborah- I agree with you, Nicholas ,and other Christians around the world. Regardless of our differences with the Jews, I am going to love and support the Jewish people. God has commanded us to love them and has warned us of the consequences for not. I am drawn back to hurricane Katrina which struck the US with in days of the president going against Israel.

    By Blogger Diane, At 1:54 PM  

  • Nicholas, first my statements in regards to the doctor are not ad hominem. In judaism we accept that the Tzadikim have the power to decide, until such time as the Sanhedrin is restored. So the fact that the doctor is not a Gadol is profoundly relevant.

    Next, you brought no relevant proofs against the Sanhedrin, all you did bring was the story of Shaul which has nothing to do with the Power of the Sanhedrin. On the other hand BK already brought Deut 7 a direct scriptual source giving the Sanhedrin the power to decide questions of law. Furthermore as I already brought quoting the Rambam Hilchot Melachim Perek Aleph, a Melech must be accepted by the Sanhedrin to be a Melech.

    As I have explained to other Christians though, bringing "sources" from Torah SheBikhsav isnt going to sway Jews, as you lack Torah SheBaal Peh. At the same time the Torah SheBikhsav was revealed(the Khamesha Khumshei Torah) the Torah SheBaal Peh which explains Torah SheBiksav was also revealed. Because your ancestors only got their hands on Torah SheBekhsav you dont have the full story.

    As for the virgin birth as BK already explained at great length, there is no such prophecy in Yishayahu, its a Christian mistranslation.

    And regarding so called prophecies Yeshu fufilled, I've yet to see proof he fufilled any navuot let alone all of them.

    Lastly, I am still awaiting an answer on a simple question, if Yeshu, by your own admission was not a male line descendent of David HaMelech through his son Shlomo how could he be Mashiach

    By Blogger kahaneloyalist, At 3:06 PM  

  • That which comes from Eve is fulfilled.
    "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers (singular). He will crush your head and you will strike His heel." (Genesis 3:15)

    In this verse God foretells the event of the cross which was to happen thousands of years later. An offspring of Eve would crush the head of Satan. We know this happened on the cross and the subsequent resurrection, when Jesus finally destroyed the work of Satan by triumphing over death. (1 Corinthians 15)

    What is interesting is that God said neither the offspring of Adam, nor their offspring, referring to both of them. He purposefully mentions her offspring, pointing to the female side of the created parent. Eve stands for all women, as can clearly be seen in the subsequent prophecy which only women can suffer. (Genesis 3:16) Therefore, the person to fulfill this prophecy had to be a woman.

    As we have seen, Jesus was not born of Adam, but only of Eve (a woman). Because Jesus had no human father He is exempt from the imputation of Adam's sin.

    By Blogger Christopher Cline, At 4:19 PM  

  • Nick: The Jewish idea of the moshiach has nothing to do with a demigod or salvation but rather a human king who will save Israel from the gentiles, ingather the exile, bring world peace, rebuild the Temple, strengthen the Torah and unite the world in service of G-d. JC did NONE of that. The fact that he may have riden on a donkey (which was the primary means of transportation in that day) or he defeated Satan (which is only true if you accept Christian teachings in the first place, which makes for a very circular argument. I don't believe that JC defeated "Satan" so that verse proves nothing to me), doesn't prove a thing.

    Miracles also do not prove Christianity's case. Jews have miracles, Christians have miracles, as do Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. The Torah records that Pharaoh's sorcerer's could produce miracles, as could Bilaam. The Torah says: "If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, 'Let us follow other gods' (gods you have not known) 'and let us worship them,' you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you" (Deuteronomy 13:1-5 NIV).

    Can you read Hebrew? It never says anything about a virgin conceiving but rather 'almah', a young woman. Again, another Christian misinterpretation. In an attempt to prove the concept of the "virgin birth," the book of Matthew 1:22-23 states: "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, "Behold a virgin shall be with child and will bear a son and they shall call his name Emmanuel,' which translated means, G-d with us." Missionaries claim that this is the fulfillment of a prophecy recorded in Isaiah 7:14, that actually reads: "Behold, the young woman is with child and will bear a son and she will call his name Emmanuel."

    There are numerous inaccuracies in the Christian translation. For example:

    1) The Hebrew word, "almah -," means a young woman, not a virgin, a fact recognized by biblical scholars1;

    2) The verse says "ha'almah--," "the young woman," not a young woman, specifying a particular woman that was known to Isaiah during his lifetime; and

    3) The verse says "she will call his name Emmanuel," not "they shall call."

    Even apart from these inaccuracies, if we read all of Isaiah Chapter 7, from which this verse is taken, it is obvious that Christians have taken this verse out of context.

    This chapter speaks of a prophecy made to the Jewish King Ahaz to allay his fears of two invading kings (those of Damascus and of Samaria) who were preparing to invade Jerusalem, about 600 years before Jesus' birth. Isaiah's point is that these events will take place in the very near future (and not 600 years later, as Christianity claims). Verse 16 makes this abundantly clear: "For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken."

    In fact, in the very next chapter this prophecy is fulfilled with the birth of a son to Isaiah. As it says in Isaiah 8:4, "For before the child shall know to cry, "My father and my mother' the riches of Damascus and the spoils of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria." This verse entirely rules out any connection to Jesus, who would not be born for 600 years.

    By Blogger Bar Kochba, At 4:39 PM  

  • In the Septuagint, which is a Jewish translation of the Old Testament Hebrew translated into Greek, was done by 70 Jews in Alexandria. The Jews chose to translate this verse as "virgin" (parthenos in the Greek). This translation was done well before the time of Christ, circa 150 B.C., if my memory serves.

    By Blogger Jungle Mom, At 6:21 PM  

  • Christopher,
    You are exactly right! In Galatians 4:4-5, we're told "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons." Paul goes on to tell us in Galatians 4 how important the "woman" is when it comes to the promises of God. Paul explains, "For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman (Hagar), the other by a freewoman (Sarah). But he (Ishmael) who was of the bondwoman (Hagar) was born according to the flesh, and he (Isaac) of the freewoman (Sarah) through promise." (Galatians 4:22-23)

    Also, we see the absolute importance of the woman in Genesis 17:21, "...But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.” Genesis 18:10, "And He said, 'I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.' (Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.)" And Genesis 18:14, "Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”

    The son of promise could only come through the appointed woman, Sarah!

    Also, so you know, when a Jew wants to return (ascend) to Israel, or immigrate to Israel (known as Aliyah (All-ee-yah) in Hebrew), he/she has to prove their Jewishness through their maternal genealogical line, not their paternal line, this is the "Law of Return." If your father is Jewish and your mother is not, you have to undergo an Orthodox conversion... even if you were raised as a Jew and attended synagogue all your life. This is required by the Orthodox Rabbis. They understand that the woman is essential when it comes to actual inheritance (a Jewish woman is a Jewish woman, but the father may not be), but they ignore this understanding when it comes to Yeshua. I wonder what they will say of a man claiming to be Messiah who absolutely has the paternal genealogical line (through Solomon) they tell us they're looking for, and both his his grandparents genealogical lines are pure until it reaches his mother, who was not born a Jew or who has not undergone an orthodox conversion.

    As Dr. Fruchtenbaum stated, it is Mary's genealogy in Luke, but stated under Joseph's name as was the custom of the day. If the woman was not the determining factor regarding the promises of God as seen with Sarah and Isaac, we would have a mess on our hands. I guarantee you that if we didn't understand that the genealogical account in Luke was Mary's, Orthodox Jews would be telling us that Yeshua's claim to the throne of David could only come through the genealogical line of his mother!!!!!! But based on the truth and the Orthodox Jews' "Law of Return," you and I, and the rest of our Christian brethren, can rest assured that Genesis 3:15 means exactly what you think it means...
    "...And I will put enmity
    Between you and the woman,
    And between your seed and her Seed;
    He shall bruise your head,
    And you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

    You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet... (Psalm 8:6)

    The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet... (Romans 16:20)

    25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET... 1 Corinthians 15:25-27a

    Nicholas,
    No, I am not Jewish. My mother's maternal grandmother was Jewish and her paternal grandfather was Jewish, but my mother was not raised in Judaism. My father's surname is Jewish, but he is so far removed from any practice of Judaism, it's hardly worth mentioning. I am an evangelical Christian who has returned to the Hebraic/Jewish roots of my faith and am in the process of stripping the some of the errant beliefs and practices that have been tacked on by the Roman Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church to the correct and completed Jewish faith as found in the New Testament (which has Romanized and Hellenized the New Testament faith by adding pagan elements from both the Roman and Greek cultures (to the Christian faith you and I were taught to practice)). My use of Jewish terms and some understanding of the Jewish culture inherently comes along with learning the Hebraic/Jewish roots of my faith. Jews NEVER convert in all actuality, they merely accept Yeshua as their Messiah, hence "completing their faith." It was/is Gentile pagans who are supposed to convert to the completed Jewish faith and be followers of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah), hence the Greek name, "Christians" (followers of Christ). You have to realize that Yeshua was the Jewish Messiah who came for the Jews (Matthew 15:21-28), who are the children of a promise to Abraham, and it is only through their disobedience and rebellion that salvation has been extended to the Gentiles for the time being. Although, God has faithfully preserved a remnant of the Jewish people all along, but soon, all of Israel will be saved when the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (or the determined number of Gentiles to whom salvation has been extended is complete) (Romans 11).

    By Blogger Deborah, At 6:37 PM  

  • Deborah,

    Thank you for explaining your personal background there. I apologize if I offended you in any way by saying that I guessed that you were Jewish. You certainly seem well versed in Judaism and you present yourself as very knowledgeable in that regard.

    You are right that Jesus is the fulfillment or the completion of the Jewish faith. I am very thankful that God has allowed gentiles like me to be "grafted" in to the family of God through faith in Jesus the Messiah.

    I am very familiar with and I strongly agree with your statement about Jesus coming for the Jews and although I wish the Jews had accepted him as their promised Messiah, I am also very thankful that I was allowed the opportunity for salvation by its offering to the gentiles.

    I also agree with you very much about the traditions and the other additions that have been made to the Christian faith via the Roman Catholics and the Greek Orthodox and also by many other Christian denomination but mainly those two. You are very right.

    By Blogger Nicholas Z. Cardot, At 6:53 PM  

  • BK,
    Jungle Mom is right!

    You forgot to mention that "almah" in the Hebrew can also apply to a young unmarried woman who is still under the protection of her family and who is inherently understood to be a virgin, as in Genesis 24:43.

    42 "So I came today to the spring, and said, 'O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, if now You will make my journey on which I go successful; 43 behold, I am standing by the spring, and may it be that the "maiden" (almah) who comes out to draw, and to whom I say, "Please let me drink a little water from your jar."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almah

    By Blogger Deborah, At 6:55 PM  

  • Nicholas,
    Oh, my goodness, no, you did not offend me! I love the Jewish Messiah, the Jewish people, their culture, and the Hebrew language so much that I am sometimes envious that I cannot claim to be Jewish! You did not offend me in the least by assuming I was a completed Jew, I wish I could claim to be a completed Jew, but I know God loves me, loves His Gentile children, just the same!!!! :-)

    By Blogger Deborah, At 7:02 PM  

  • Amen to that Deborah.

    I will post some more tomorrow on this topic. In the meantime, I need to get ready for bed and get ready for work tomorrow.

    God bless everyone for all the great information that has been passing around on here!

    Thank you to all of you and I will continue to pray for all of you!

    By Blogger Nicholas Z. Cardot, At 7:57 PM  

  • The Septuagint is not necessarily a literal translation. Therefore, the use of parthenos by the Septuagint translator of the Book of Isaiah may have best represented his interpretive understanding of the physical state of the young woman of Isaiah 7:14 at the time of the annunciation of the sign. Thus, its use does not naturally lead to the conclusion that he was also speaking of virginal conception. Otherwise, how do you explain the lack of any Jewish belief in the virginal conception of Emmanuel. Christians argue that in an ancient translation of the Bible called the "Septuagint," 70 great rabbis translated the word "almah" in Isaiah 7:14, as "parthenos" and that this Greek word means a virgin. This claim is false for several reasons: 1) The 70 rabbis did not translate the book of Isaiah, only the "Pentateuch," the five books of Moses. In fact, the introduction to the English edition of the Septuagint states concerning the translation, "The Pentateuch is considered to be the part the best executed, while the book of Isaiah appears to be the very worst;" 2) In Genesis 34:2-3 the word "parthenos" is used in reference to a non-virgin, a young woman who had been raped; 3) The entire Septuagint version that missionaries quote from is not the original, but from a later, corrupted version.

    Let's look at some other times that 'almah' is mentionned:
    - "18 There are three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: 19 The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; {N} the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a young woman. 20 So is the way of an adulterous woman; {N} she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith: 'I have done no wickedness.' {P}" (Proverbs 30) Obviously, an adulteress is not a virgin.

    - "There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and maidens without number." (Song of Songs 6:8). Again, in this context of lovers, it is hard to see that 'almah' is a virgin.

    As for geneology, Judaism passes through maternal descent though tribal membership is paternal.

    Numbers 1:2 Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of [their] names, every male by their polls; (KJV)

    Numbers 1:18 And they assembled all the congregation together on the first [day] of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls. (KJV)


    Since JC had no earthly father, he belonged to no tribe and cannot be eligible to be the king.

    As a sidenote, I need not remind Deborah and JM of the Christian response of a post of mine questioning the JC myth. I was told that I was being offensive and nasty and I quickly apologized for being so mocking. Deborah, your comment about "completing Judaism" by accepting JC is completely innapropriate and deeply insulting. It harkens back to the silly Christian idea that Judaism is outdated and that the new way to go is Christianity, that G-d "updated" His laws. I repeat: The covenant of old is of eternal duration, never to be rescinded or to be superseded by a new covenant (Leviticus 26:44-45). The covenant between God and Israel is frequently referred to as everlasting (e.g., Genesis 17:7, 13, 19; Psalms 105:8, 10; 1 Chronicles 16:13-18).

    "The works of His hands are truth and justice; and His precepts are sure. They are established forever and ever, they are done in truth and uprightness" (Psalms 111:7-8); "The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God shall stand forever" (Isaiah 40:8).

    By Blogger Bar Kochba, At 9:29 PM  

  • 1) The differences in the Septuagint and the Masoretic text has been decided by many scholars to be due to a variant Semetic text which was lost over time. The most accpted view is that the Septuagint is reasonably accurate.

    2) Many Jews abandoned the Septuagint around the second century. This was most likely due to the fact that it was so well accepted by the Christians as to be viewed as suspect by the newer generation of Jews. Christians continued to use it, of course, as it was the only translation in Greek and Christians were largely gentile, by this point.

    3)Jerome revised the Old Latin translations of the Septuagint against the Hebrew, Jerome found the original Hebrew texts to be even more profound in the support of Christ as Messiah. This was a big deal with the Roman Catholic church as he did most of the translation ( The Vulgate) directly from the Hebrew.

    Of course, you will not accept the word of the 70 Jews of the Septuagint, so I do not expect you to accept the words of Jerome!

    As to your other textual uses of the word parthenos, I see it easily to mean an innocent, un-wed girl, except the one of the adulterous woman. However, I will have to check with my husband who is the Greek geek in our house.

    By Blogger Jungle Mom, At 10:22 PM  

  • BK,
    I don't know what to say about you taking offense by the statement that Jews are 'completed' upon accepting Yeshua as their Messiah. I understand the Covenant G-d made with Abraham stands in forever, no doubt! That's what makes you and every other Jew Jewish.

    I apologize for offending you personally - I was not calling you a "Completed Jew," however!

    Jews no longer 'convert' to Christianity, but continue in their Judaism with the addition of Yeshua being their Messiah, just as thousands of Jews did in the early first few centuries... before they were stripped of their Jewish identity by the Roman and Greek churches. (And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law." (Acts 21:20).) Directly from that statement, Paul takes four Jews with him to the Temple and they have their heads shaved for their vows then they each offer a sacrifice in the fulfillment of his vow. And that's only one place that demonstrates the Jews' continuation in their Judaism after accepting Yeshua as their Messiah.

    What do I call a Jew who accepts Yeshua as his/her Messiah? "Messianic Jew" or a "Complete Jew" are the only two names I know of since they would be quite offended if I called them a "Christian" as they have not converted to the Roman and/or Greek church, and because of the well-established, offensive anti-Semitic past of the Gentile "Christian" church.

    A Messianic Jew is blessed under the original Covenant and under the renewed Covenant as per Jeremiah, thus making his/her faith 'complete.' The entire book of Hebrews explains this concept.

    The Messianic Jew does not give up any form of his/her Judaism as per Acts 15, where they delineated the requirements that Gentiles had to keep rather than keeping the requirements of the Law as their believing Jewish brethren were still required to do. The Messianic Jews' homes are kosher, their diets are kosher, their candles are lit on erev Shabbat, they attend synagogue on Shabbat, they keep the feasts, etc.

    There are Orthodox Jews among you wearing their black garb and their tallit and tzittzit who have accepted Yeshua as their Messiah but keep it to themselves for fear of being ostracized by family and friends. This is not hearsay, but a close personal experience in Jerusalem, of all places! This man's very Orthodox community and family has no idea he has accepted Yeshua as Messiah.

    It's not my desire to offend you or anyone else, but what shall I call the Jew that has accepted Yeshua as Messiah... given the reality that there are Jews, growing numbers of Jews (both learned and unlearned), who are accepting Yeshua as their Messiah and continuing in their Judaism like Paul, Peter, and several of Yeshua's taldim did while joining their new Gentile brothers in fellowship?

    By Blogger Deborah, At 1:34 AM  

  • This is a great post. Looking forward to the rest.

    By Blogger The Good Reporters, At 8:00 AM  

  • Bar,

    I have a question about a statement that you made to Deborah and I do not intend to be offensive in any way. If you do find this inappropriate let me know and I will immediately abstain. Yet, in advance, I do not intend it to be so and if it is insulting it is only out of my sheer ignorance.

    You told Deborah, "Deborah, your comment about 'completing Judaism' by accepting JC is completely innapropriate and deeply insulting."

    If a man comes who you and the Sanhedrin accept as the Messiah, will you consider him to have completed Judaism? Would that be the fulfillment or the completion or the prophecies found in the Torah?

    I only ask because I think that in the sense that Deborah was speaking she was only trying to express this sentiment in that Jesus was that Messiah. If that is true in our minds, doesn't that mean that he has fulfilled or completed what we were looking forward to for thousands of years?

    Again, I hope not to be offensive. I am deeply interested in learning and growing and understanding your beliefs. I am also very grateful for you kindness toward us in thise forum of conversation.

    By Blogger Nicholas Z. Cardot, At 9:17 AM  

  • Proverbs 30:20 the words for adulterous woman is not the word for virgin (Parthenon) but “gunaikos moixalidos” the word in the greek is used to express the idea of any young maiden, sexually unblemished. And as we all know, it is expected of G-d fearing families , both Jew and Gentile, that our daughters are to be virgin until married. Joseph of Nazareth sure seemed to think so! He was going to put her away in divorce because he assumed she had been with another man during their betrothal.



    Isiah 7:14 says such a young damsel, Understood by the Jewish translators of the Septuagint of 200 years before Christ to be a ‘virgin’, would conceive and bare a son.



    I find it interesting that in so many other passages of the Law and the prophets the the scriptures speak of the woman knowing her husband or a man and then conceiving. Isaiah in the Hebrew language doesn’t say anything about knowing anybody, just that she would conceive. Like I said, I find it interesting, having not studied every use of the verb for bearing, conceiving and knowing of the husband and wife, I can’t be dogmatic on this. But couldn’t that mean something? I think so, and I think the Jewish translators of the Law and the prophets felt the same because they chose the word for virgin, a girl who has not known a man.



    You cannot say it was a Christian bias in the translation since Christianity would not even exist until 200 years later.



    G-d Bless,

    Yekwanaman

    By Blogger Jungle Mom, At 9:30 AM  

  • JM, the original Greek says what it says, but only the original Hebrew is relevant.

    Nicolas, Judaism is complete, if Mashiach were to be revealed today(Amertz Hashem) it would not change the completness and perfection of the Torah. When I am Shomer Shabbat, I am not completeing Judaism, I am fufilling a Mitzvah.

    By Blogger kahaneloyalist, At 12:09 PM  

  • Bar said, "If JC was born of a virgin, he had no biological father and therefore no tribal membership. (Tribal membership passes paternally. See Numbers 1:2 or 1:8)."

    Jesus already responded to this argument. I don't know if someone already here gave a response but I'll say it again anyway.

    My paraphrase:

    Jesus said, "The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand...." Now if the Christ is David's son, then how does he call Him Lord?

    No one dared to answer Him. His argument was sound then. It is now.

    I do side with the Amill position. I think if we try to stick with the Dispy hermeneutic, then some of the issues raised by Bar will have some validity.

    By Blogger Howard Fisher, At 12:47 PM  

  • Jen said, "I am sometimes envious that I cannot claim to be Jewish!"

    This is the problem with Dispyism. Not to sound like I am beating up on Dispys, but the problem here is that the entire NT teaches that Gentiles, who are believers, are as fully in the New covenant as any believing Jew. We are not just some people that enjoy covenant blessing while not being fully jewish, we are in fact the true Israel of God.

    I do want to be clear though. I am not saying the church replaces Israel. I am saying that Israel has been constituted in such a way as that Gentiles are fully brought in through faith in Christ.

    There is no longer some special priviledge of being Jewish by birth. I understand that Jews have the Scriptures asnd blessings ect [beginning of Romans 9].., but today the true Jew is the believing one.

    Eph 2 is also very clear about this. We who were far off have been brought near. Near to what? Near to the promises, blessings, covenant and God Himself. There is no longer anything that the Jew possesses that I do not other than physical lineage.

    This is why Paul is able to call Gentiles who believe Jews, while calling unbelieving Jews the "uncircumcised".

    God Bless

    By Blogger Howard Fisher, At 12:57 PM  

  • Kahaneloyalist,
    The Greek was translated by scholarly Jews from the original Hebrew. Long before Christ. The original Hebrew text is what matters and it was decided by these learned men, all Jews, to translate it this way proving it was acceptable to the Jews before the rise of Christianity.

    By Blogger Jungle Mom, At 1:52 PM  

  • Howard,
    It was me who said, "I am sometimes envious that I cannot claim to be Jewish!"

    I know and understand what you're saying about believing Gentiles inheriting the promises as well (Ephesians 2:11-14). I think my envy comes from loving the Jewish people as much as I do, for one, and then knowing that they are taught the Hebrew langauage and memorize the Torah from a very early age. Messianic Jews who have been raised in Judaism and now accept Yeshua as Messiah have a profound understanding of Yeshua's Messiahship based on their knowledge of the Tanakh (Old Testament). A Jew who accepts Yeshua as Messiah almost immediately understands the deeper aspects of God and the Messiah, whereas, it takes an unlearned Gentile years, or maybe never, to come to the "meat" of the matter.

    I am steadily working at understanding my Jewish Messiah in the context of the Jewish understanding and culture! The beauty that I have uncovered thus far has been life changing to say the least!

    God bless you, Howard!

    Shalom,
    Deborah

    By Blogger Deborah, At 2:20 PM  

  • Jungle Mom is correct about the timeline and history of the Septuagint. It was translated by Jews sometime between the first and third century BC according to the wikipedia. You can read the entry HERE

    By Blogger Nicholas Z. Cardot, At 2:32 PM  

  • The Septuagint is a corrupt translation. If you want to know the meaning of a word go to the original text, Hebrew, dont try to argue that a poor translation proves something. The original Hebrew says young girl not virgin. What the Septuagint says isnt relevant.

    By Blogger kahaneloyalist, At 5:16 PM  

  • Oh my goodness. The point must have gone right over your head. The point isn't that it is a good translation. The point is that the men who translated it, the seventy-two Jewish scholars, knew a lot more about the Hebrew of that day since they were living only a couple hundred years after it was written than you or I might know regardless of our linguistic abilities over two thousand years later.

    Languages change over time.
    A lot of time has passed between then and now.
    Hence, those scholars would have known a lot more about the language than we do today.

    You are trying to tell me that you know more about the language of that day that some of the most learned scholars of that day! That is preposterous, sir and it is offensive that you would insult our intelligence by trying to use that in an honest argument!

    Based on this sound reasoning I demand that if well-credentialed Jewish scholars say that the Hebrew Word meant Virgin then the word meant Virgin.

    I patiently await your kind response.

    By Blogger Nicholas Z. Cardot, At 5:51 PM  

  • Deborah: "I was not calling you a "Completed Jew," however!" Well thank G-d for that! I'm happy to be "incomplete", just like Moses or David, happy with my old-fashioned, outdated Judaism. I'll take that old-time religion! You ask what to call a Jew who accept JC. I would say mumar, min or apikorous but that wouldn't be nice. They are CHRISTian since that is the definiton of a follower of CHRIST. Jews across the spectrum are unanimous that Messianic "Jews" are not Jews at all- from the most Orthodox to the most liberal. In a recent poll, 95% of Jews in Israel agreed that "Hebrew-Christians" should be denied citizenship. 'Who is a Jew' and other matters of Jewish law is decided ONLY by Jews. And I seriously doubt that anyone who knows their Judaism would even consider accepting JC. This is not to insult Christianity but it is simply a fact. Neither does their observance of Jewish law matter. It is funny that Christians reject the Oral Torah but will happily use Jewish symbols like tallis, kippa, etc. which are only explained in the Oral Torah, to confuse Jews. And keeping the Torah in worship of an idol is invalid, just like I can't keep the Torah in the name of Baal. It is well known that missionaries (not to generalize, JM, but at least those in Israel) are notorious for their dishonest tactics. They befriend lonely Russian immigrants, send Yiddish missionary material to elderly Jews, prey on ignorant university students... This shouldn't be surprising since Paul, the Church father, admitted to dishonest tactics.

    Corinthians 9:20-22: To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews; to those under the law I became as one under the law -- though not being myself under the law -- that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law -- not being without law toward God but under the law of Christ -- that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak.

    Romans 3:7: If through my lies God’s truth abounds to His glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner?

    Philippians 1:18: In every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Jesus is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.

    "Virgin" vs. "Maiden": Let's assume that 'almah' means virgin, which it most certainly does not, and look at the entire chapter in context. The problem with Christian interpretations is that it takes everything our of context and parachutes onto one lone verse.

    1 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Aram, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to war against it; but could not prevail against it. 2 And it was told the house of David, saying: 'Aram is confederate with Ephraim.' And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the forest are moved with the wind. {S} 3 Then said the LORD unto Isaiah: 'Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shear-jashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, in the highway of the fullers' field; 4 and say unto him: Keep calm, and be quiet; fear not, neither let thy heart be faint, because of these two tails of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram, and of the son of Remaliah. 5 Because Aram hath counselled evil against thee, Ephraim also, and the son of Remaliah, saying: 6 Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set up a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeel; {P}

    7 thus saith the Lord GOD: It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass. 8 For the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people; 9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If ye will not have faith, surely ye shall not be established.' {P}

    10 And the LORD spoke again unto Ahaz, saying: 11 'Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God: ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.' 12 But Ahaz said: 'I will not ask, neither will I try the LORD.' 13 And he said: 'Hear ye now, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to weary men, that ye will weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 15 Curd and honey shall he eat, when he knoweth to refuse the evil, and choose the good. 16 Yea, before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land whose two kings thou hast a horror of shall be forsaken. 17 The LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria.' {P}


    Chapter 7 of Isaiah relates the tale of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and Syria laying siege to the Kingdom of Judah. G-d sent Isaiah to Ahaz to let him know that divine intervention was at hand. Isaiah told Ahaz that this intervention was at hand and he would know it to be so when given the sign named in Isaiah 7:14. Let’s look at the prophecy in its proper context.

    Verses 11 and 16 do a perfect job of putting verse 14 in its proper context. "Before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings." This means the conflict will be resolved shortly after the child is born. This event is to take place within Ahaz’s lifetime, more than 500 years before Jesus was born. What sense does it make to offer a sign to Ahaz if it wasn’t going to come to pass within his lifetime?

    Some problems with the Christian interpretation:

    1) "Behold!" -- This is to tell us that the fulfillment of teh prophecy would be imminent. Had this been a Messianic prophecy, it would have been in long term language, such as "in those days to come..."

    2) "Therefore, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign..." -- The word "sign" is also important here. We are not dealing with a miracle. We are dealing with a sign, something that all can see. A sign would be of the nature of "behold, and you shall see three concentric rainbows." A miracle, however, is something that defies physics in most cases, and is visible for all to see, also. No matter how virtuous she was thought to be, something that requires a gynecological examination for verification doesn't fit seamlessly into this definition.

    And here are some more problem with the Septuagiant:

    1) The Septuagint was, in its original form, a translation of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. Non-Jews translated the rest, and thus the Jews are in no way bound by it. The Jewish origin of the Septuagint is given in the Talmud, tractate Megillah 9a. The story has it that in the days of King Ptolemy, the king ordered 72 rabbis to translate "the Torah of Moses your teacher." Josephus attested to the Septuagint being only the Law of Moses in his preface to Antiquities of the Jews.

    2) That no Jews use it today, yet it is held dear by the Greek Orthodox Church should tell you about how Jewish a document it is.

    3) The claim is made that Matthew was quoting Isaiah 7:14 from the Septuagint, and the in the Septuagint, the word "parthenos" is used. The word means virgin. Or does it? In the Septuagint, Genesis 34:3 has the word "parthenos" used twice in reference to Jacob's daughter, Dinah, after she was raped. A woman who has been raped is no longer a virgin.

    4) That the author was referencing the Septuagint is completely irrelevant. It's what Isaiah wrote in the Hebrew Scriptures that is relevant.

    And let's go even further. Isaiah used the Hebrew word of virgin, 'betulah', a number of times in his prophecies. If he was familiar with the word, why would he not use it in this context to mean virgin?

    Isaiah 23:4 Be thou ashamed, O Zidon: for the sea hath spoken, [even] the strength of the sea, saying, I travail not, nor bring forth children, neither do I nourish up young men, [nor] bring up virgins. (KJV)

    [23:12] And he said, Thou shalt no more rejoice, O thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Zidon: arise, pass over to Chittim; there also shalt thou have no rest. (KJV)

    [37:22] This [is] the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, [and] laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee. (KJV)

    [47:1] Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: [there is] no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate. (KJV)

    [62:5] For [as] a young man marrieth a virgin, [so] shall thy sons marry thee: and [as] the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, [so] shall thy G-d rejoice over thee. (KJV)
    In these verses, the Hebrew word "almah" is nowhere to be found, in its place is the word "be’tulah." Clearly, Isaiah was well aware of the true meanings of both "almah" and "be’tulah."

    By Blogger Bar Kochba, At 7:51 PM  

  • BK,
    You know I know how you feel. And I understand how your Jewish brothers feel, too. But that doesn't detract from the fact that there are real Jews out there who accept Yeshua as their Messiah and remain steeped in their Judaism. They know non-Messianic Jews have excommunicated them, but it's okay with them, they cannot deny what they know. Just as you cannot deny what you know.

    By the way, below are two excerpts from two books I am currently reading. It does appear the Septuagint has its problems. Regardless, Matthew 1:22 explicitly tells us that the word "almah" in Isaiah 7:14 meant "virgin." On an important note, the book of Matthew was originally written in Hebrew*! (*G. Howard, "Shem-Tob's Hebrew Matthew", Proceedings of the Ninth World Congress of Jewish Studies (Jerusalem, August 4-12, 1985: Division A, Jerusalem 1986, pp.223-230)

    "It is almost certain that the original initiative behind the production of the Septuagint was actually Jewish, not Gentile at all. ...It seems to have been motivated partly by the....need to have Scripture available to the new generations of Jews in the Dispersion who could no longer read Hebrew. ...[F]undementally, the enterprise of producing the Septuagint - like any translation of any text, especially of a sacred text, in any period of history - was based on a rather audacious assumption that there really were Greek equivalents for all the original Hebrew words..." - Dr. Jaroslav Pelikian, Sterling Professor Emeritus at Yale University, Whose Bible Is It? (Penguin Group Press, New York, New York, 2005), pp. 56-57.

    "I knew all about Hebraisms from my study of the Septuagint... World-renowned experts in classical Greek find the Septuagint incomprehensible while any Israeli student can read it after only a couple of years of learning Greek. The reason is that the Septuagint was translated by very bad translators. Rather than translate the Tanach into proper Greek, they mechanically translated the words, leaving behind numerous Hebrew thought patterns. To someone who is familiar with the Tanach in Hebrew this Greek is relatively easy to read. But to a Classical Greek specialist who expects to find elegant Greek syntax it sounds like gibberish. And in ancient times it was no better. As one of my professors says, 'On the streets of Athens they did not understand the Septuagint.' ...To complicate matters, numerous Greek copyist who did not know any Hebrew tried to "improve" what was clearly poor Greek. The result was a translation which at times mimics the Hebrew word for word and at other times wildly differs from it." - Nememia Gordon, Hebrew University Jerusalem, The Hebrew Yeshua Vs. The Greek Jesus (Hilkiah Press, 2006), pp. 33-34.

    By Blogger Deborah, At 8:32 PM  

  • I certainly am not implying the Septuagint is perfect, just that it was translated by Jews from the original Hebrew. None of us were there!
    There is a lot of circular reasoning going on here. You don't want it to mean what it says literealy, so you decided not to.

    Something BIG happened about 2000 years ago in Bethlehem! You can hear of it from every corner of the earth. The Christ was born and it has changed the world. An amazing thing to happen from a small village , in a small occupied country, and yet, here we are discussing it 2000 years later.

    By Blogger Jungle Mom, At 9:14 PM  

  • JM, there's absolutely no historical evidence to support that. The following historians all lived around the supposed time of JC, or a century later and not on of them makes a mention of him at all:

    Philo-Judææus
    Seneca
    Pliny Elder
    Arrian
    Petronius
    Dion Pruseus
    Paterculus
    Suetonius
    Juvenal
    Martial
    Persius
    Plutarch
    Pliny Younger
    Tacitus
    Justus of Tiberius
    Apollonius
    Quintilian
    Lucanus
    Epictetus
    Hermogones Silius Italicus
    Statius
    Ptolemy
    Appian
    Phlegon
    Phæædrus
    Valerius Maximus
    Lucian
    Pausanias
    Florus Lucius
    Quintius Curtius
    Aulus Gellius
    Dio Chrysostom
    Columella
    Valerius Flaccus
    Damis
    Favorinus
    Lysias
    Pomponius Mela
    Appion of Alexandria
    Theon of Smyrna


    I short, I see JC not as a historical man who literally walked the earth, for which there is no proof, (I'm currently reading 'The Jesus Puzzle' by Earl Doherty), but as a saviour god in the same category as Mithras, Attis or Osiris.

    By Blogger Bar Kochba, At 10:05 PM  

  • And you completely ignored my points about the context (very imporant!!!) of Isaiah 7:14.

    By Blogger Bar Kochba, At 10:07 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Jungle Mom, At 11:27 PM  

  • I must apologize. I said Jen instead of Deb. My eyes must have done some criss crossing.

    I am glad Deb has a love for the Jewish people. In my mind, I think that they are in need of salvation just like anyone else. I agree that the appeal of their history is certainly intriguing.

    My main point is that the New Covenant has done away with the Old. To consider them the people of God while considering the church as some parallel temporary people of God is simply to miss the teachings of the NT. (I don't know if Deb agrees with Nicholas on this).

    There is only one root. The Jews need to be grafted in as well as any gentile. The true Israel of God has always been by sovereign grace in election. Simply being a child of Abraham no more make one a true Israelite than a lost pagan.

    Peter says it well when he says "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."

    This is not National Israel. This is the True Israel of God, the church. That nation was a type or shadow of the Substance to come in Christ (Christ being the Israel of God).

    The believeing people who lived under that dispensation were kept under the tutelage of the Law until the fullness of time (see Galatians). That time has long since ceased.

    God Bless

    By Anonymous how2fish, At 10:16 AM  

  • I have also posted another response in a new article at the top of this blog. I figured after 50+ comments, I would move the conversation up a little bit.

    By Blogger Nicholas Z. Cardot, At 1:02 PM  

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