Wednesday, January 14, 2009

He's in there?


"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." -John 5:39

When Christians read the Bible, they see Jesus in every verse and every portion. In their minds, Jesus is literally bouncing off every page. They make the claim that Jesus's messiah-hood and divinity is apparent from a cursory reading of Scripture and that if a person would only honestly examine the texts, they could not possibly deny his truth.

A favorite missionary claim is that the early Christians were Jewish, proof of the compatibility of the two faiths. Yet their very own argument works against them. If the Scriptures clearly and unequivocally point to Jesus's coming, one would expect that the people who would be the first to recognize him would be the very people who spent their lives studying the Torah. It would make sense that the Sanhedrin, the great rabbis and leaders of the people would have recognized Jesus's coming, clearly foretold in the Torah. One could imagine, if the Gospel tale is to be believed, Jesus coming before the Sanhedrin and arguing that he was divine, sent by G-d to redeem the world. The rabbis, who should have known from the Torah about such a person, refuted and rejected all of Jesus's arguments and reasoning. Obviously, the idea of a human saviour-god, son of a virgin and the divine, dying for the sins of humanity was not a Jewish concept based on the Torah, but rather a pagan one. While the learned men did not accept Jesus, his disciples were tradesmen, common folk and Torah students. Peter and John were Galilean fishermen, while Paul was a Roman tax collector. Mary Magdelene was a prostitute- certainly not a paragon of Torah scholarship and learning. Far from having the Scriptures clearly testify of Jesus, those who were familiar with the Scriptures were the first to reject him!

Similarly, one would expect that missionaries would have the most ease persuading Jews who have studied in yeshiva. Coming out of the synagogue and beit midrash, with a holy book tucked under their arms, they should be easy prey for the missionary sharing "the good news". It is then quite odd that missionaries rarely are sent to Crown Heights, to Monsey, Meah Shearim, Bnei Brak or Hebron. They would have little luck there as Jews well-versed in their faith and Torah are insusceptible to Christian missionizing. On the contrary, missionaries often concentrate their efforts on college students alienated from their Jewish heritage, lonely seniors, new Russian or Ethiopian olim, segments of the Jewish population that do not possess a strong Jewish heritage. A quick glance at testimonies on missionary sites such as 'Jews for Jesus' and the like show that most were raised in homes devoid of Jewish spirituality and whose only Jewish connection was gefilte fish and matzoh balls. That is why the Christian Bible places great emphasis on faith, rather than knowledge. This is because belief in Jesus cannot stand up to a true Jewish examination, based on traditional Jewish teaching and practice.

The classic Christian response to this is that Jews have been blinded by Satan. If the Devil had not caused them not to see, they would quickly accept the Cross. The Pope recently restored mass prayers calling for "the veil of blindness" to be "lifted" from the "eyes of the perfidious Jews". This arrogant and condescending claim ignores the many arguments and oppositions that Jews have with Christian theology. The Jewish rejection of Jesus as the messiah is based on study of the requirements of the messiah, which Jesus did not fulfill. The Torah records that in the End of Days, it will be the gentile nations, and not the Jews, who have been mistaken.

"O LORD, my strength, and my stronghold, and my refuge, in the day of affliction, unto Thee shall the nations come from the ends of the earth, and shall say: 'Our fathers have inherited nought but lies, vanity and things wherein there is no profit.' Shall a man make unto himself gods, and they are no gods?" (Jeremiah 16:19)

"[In the Messianic Era] nations shall walk at thy [the Jewish people's] light, and kings at the brightness of thy rising." (Isaiah 60:3)

"I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and have taken hold of thy hand, and kept thee, and set thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house." (Isaiah 42:6-7)

May we merit speedily the day in which all mankind will recognize that HaShem is One and His Name is One. Amen!

17 comments:

Lisa said...

Hi, my name is Lisa. I was sent to your blog as a courtesy by my friend Safiyyah. I was born a Christian, became interested in Judaism at 19, but chose Islam instead, and have now journeyed back to Christianity.

I was very interested in Judaism and at 19 spent about 3 weeks at Univeristy of Texas Hillel. One sister there made a comment to me that it would be tough to be a Jew when I was not one by race. It changed everything, and shifted me in the wrong direction towards Islam.

I want to let you know that I absolutely love all Jews. You are our brothers and sisters without whom there would be no Christianity. Thank you for what you do. My personal heroes will always be Eva Mozes Kor and all of the Mengele twins. Our thoughts are with you after the Mumbai attack.

I look forward to reading your blog!

Bar Kochba said...

Thank you Lisa for your kind words. I just wanted to emphasize that I respect Christians who do not proselytize among Jews.

Jews and Christians share many values, although the theology that separates us is immense. One need not confuse the two.

I hope you enjoy my blog.

Ralph said...

BK
you wrote:-
"[In the Messianic Era] nations shall walk at thy [the Jewish people's] light, and kings at the brightness of thy rising." (Isaiah 60:3)"

[the Jewish people's]--?

What about the rest of Israel, particularly the principal tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh? Where do they fit in to your post?

ref:-
"Eze 37:16 'And thou, son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it: For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions; then take another stick, and write upon it: For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and of all the house of Israel his companions;
Eze 37:17 and join them for thee one to another into one stick, that they may become one in thy hand.
Eze 37:18 And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying: Wilt thou not tell us what thou meanest by these?
Eze 37:19 say into them: Thus saith the Lord G-D: Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his companions; and I will put them unto him together with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in My hand."

Comrade Tovya said...

Well put.

That is the reason why missionary groups like Jew for J.C. consistently go after secular and Torah-uneducated Jews... because they know any Jew who knows the Tanach won't fall for their ploys.

The answer to beating missionaries at the conversion-game is education. A well educate Jew will remain a Jew... The truth in Torah keeps one from being deceived by the missionaries.

Ralph said...

Comrade Tovya
you said...

"That is the reason why missionary groups like Jew for J.C. consistently go after secular and Torah-uneducated Jews..."

Would you say it is also because the vast numbers of Ephraim and Manaeseh found in "Deu 33:17 His firstling bullock, majesty is his; and his horns are the horns of the wild-ox; with them he shall gore the peoples all of them, even the ends of the earth; and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh." (source: Tanach - JPS) have already been converted?

Bar Kochba said...

Ralph,

Would you mind identifying who exactly are Ephraim and Menashe today?

Ralph said...

BK
you said:-
"Would you mind identifying who exactly are Ephraim and Menashe today?"
and I thought you would never ask.

From the wide variety of research I have read, mainly done by non-Jewish scholars, I believe that Ephraim today is basically the United States of America, the company of nations of:-"Gen 35:11 And G-d said unto him: 'I am G-d Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;"

A "company of nations" or "a union of states" while the "nation" of the same verse is Britain, and Britain has been ruled by many "kings".
The 'state' of Israel, ie. Judah, or the Jews, has never been a 'company of nations' and is not ruled by an earthly 'king' today, it has not been for a long, long time. However, there is a reigning monarch 'sitting on the throne' of England (Manasseh) today.
Have you ever thought of the derivation of the word 'Saxons'. Could that possibly be 'sons of Isaac'?

Once you start to see these 'nations' in their true perspective, the more Biblical prophecy begins to fall into place.

You may care to read some of this research here and here.

Ralph said...

BK
Your 'side bar' has a very interesting (to me) quotation viz;
"If a Jew doesn't make Kiddush (to sanctify himself by maintaining a distinctly Jewish lifestyle), then the non-Jew will make Havdalah for him (by making the Jew realize he is truly different)."

Interesting in that the 'Kiddush' was the very blessing that Jesus of Nazareth told his disciples to follow in remembrance of His death. Although I'm not sure what is meant by "then the non-Jew will make Havdalah for him" in the quote.

Perhaps 'true blue' Christians also sanctify themselves through the Kiddush ceremony.

Ralph said...

Relevant to my comment of February 10, 2009 at 12:09 AM viz;
"Once you start to see these 'nations' in their true perspective, the more Biblical prophecy begins to fall into place."
the following could be of some interest:-

"Habakkuk 2:3,6-8, which is consistent with Isaiah 30:12-13, also teaches that the destruction will be sudden. And that it will occur at the end times–and it will happen to a nation in great debt:

Hab.2:3 For the vision is yet for the appointed time, and it declareth of the end, and doth not lie; though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not delay.' 6.Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting riddle against him, and say: 'Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and that ladeth himself with many pledges!' 7.Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall exact interest of thee, and awake that shall violently shake thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them? 8. Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the peoples shall spoil thee; because of men's blood, and for the violence done to the land, to the city and to all that dwell therein. (Habakkuk 2:3,6-8).

The above prophecy will be fulfilled at the time of the end–and this prophecy will impact the USA and its Anglo-allies. It makes little sense that it would be directed towards the modern nation of Israel as it does not have enemy creditors. It must be a nation or group of nations with some prominence."

Full text can be found under the sub heading "The day the global economy almost died" here.

Comrade Tovya said...

Ralph,

At the end of the day, J.C. didn't accomplish what the moshiach was supposed to accomplish.

And this whole, "oh but he will in the 2nd coming" argument doesn't mean anything either.

So maybe David Koresh actually was the messiah like he claimed? Sure he didn't fulfill the requirements, but his followers believed he would return.

Of course, the "2nd coming" argument has been used, and could be used by many others as well.

Long story short, J.C. didn't do anything that the moshiach was supposed to fulfill... not one. Therefore, he automatically gets knocked off the list.

As a matter of fact, I'll go as far to say that he actually did many things that automatically disqualify him as well. Therefore, he only cements in the fact that he was not the one.

I'd go into a big tangent on this, but this comment would turn out to be 50 pages long.

So, just keep it short and simple. Name ONE thing that makes you think that he is who the apostate Paul says he is... just name anything that supposedly is proof text in our Tanach. You won't find anything, but please be my guest and try anyway.

Ralph said...

Hi Comrade Tovya
you said:-
"At the end of the day, J.C. didn't accomplish what the moshiach was supposed to accomplish."

and I don't see how that comment relates to the prophecy of Habbakuk, nor any other prophecies specifically directed toward Israel, ie. the House of Israel as distinct from the House of Judah.

I am persuaded, rightly or wrongly, that the word Jew is a contraction of the name of Judah, a once living real man who was the progenitor of most of the 'Jews' today. I won't go into the matter of the descendents of Benjamin and Levi who became known as Jews 'by associaton' nor those that have converted to Judasim over the years.

You said:-
"I'd go into a big tangent on this, but this comment would turn out to be 50 pages long."
and so could I, with much the same result. But what would be the point? I have long held the belief that 'we all believe what we want to believe'. Be it the truth or a lie, we believe what we want to believe.

As an advocate of Judaism I guess you want to believe what you have been taught by your 'religious system'. I have read BK's post on "Israel: G-d's Suffering Servant" and still cannot see why Judaism thinks of itself wholly as being the "Israel" of prophecy.
Sure, the Jews are descendants of Jacob whose name was changed to Israel but that name, as such, was given over to the sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh (Gen.48:16) and not to Judah. It seems to me that Judaism has never been prepared to accept that. It may of course be possible that Judaism has been continually envious of the multiple blessings promised to Joseph's sons. Do these scriptures remind you of anywhere?
:-"Deu 33:13 And of Joseph he said: Blessed of the LORD be his land; for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath,
Deu 33:14 And for the precious things of the fruits of the sun, and for the precious things of the yield of the moons,
Deu 33:15 And for the tops of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the everlasting hills,
Deu 33:16 And for the precious things of the earth and the fulness thereof, and the good will of Him that dwelt in the bush; let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the crown of the head of him that is prince among his brethren.
Deu 33:17 His firstling bullock, majesty is his; and his horns are the horns of the wild-ox; with them he shall gore the peoples all of them, even the ends of the earth; and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh."
[source: e-Sword Tanach-JPS}
Of Joseph, not Judah.
Although I do understand that in 2007 there were about 5,128,000 Jews enjoying the blessings promised to one of the sons of Joseph and that not in the State of Israel.
[source: here.]

For a hint, consider the song beginning with these words:-
"O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!"

Ralph said...

On February 16, 2009 at 7:19 AM
I quoted from:-
"Deu 33:17....... and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh."

In the days of King Saul it is recorded in the Tanach:-
"1Sa 11:8 And he numbered them in Bezek; and the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand."

So the number of the children of Israel was ten times greater than the men of Judah.
According to 'Wikipedia' here the world Jewish population in 2007 was an estimated 13.2 million.

Taking a pro-rata extension of the poulation of 'the children of Israel' one could reasonably say that in the year 2007 the number of the 'children of Israel' was 132 million. Can we put a finger on a country that is supporting that kind of population. A country that is found so blessed as is described in Deut.33:13 thru 17 and whose people are spoken of as "the ten thousands of Ephraim"?
It's a long time since those last words were originally spoken.

Comrade Tovya said...

Ralph:

A) My original point of, "At the end of the day, J.C. didn't accomplish what the Moshiach was supposed to accomplish." is the most valid point any Jew could make.

If J.C. didn't accomplish the things that Moshiach were/is supposed to accomplish, then he is automatically disqualified from being the Moshiach, and hence this entire conversation is null and void.

B) Am I correct in asserting that your stance is that prophecies that were attributed to Israel do not apply to be as a Jew (or as you would say, from the house of Judah?

So, if I understand you right, you have formed your own sort of "replacement" theology which excludes "Jews" from the prophesy of "Israelites"?

C) A Jew is a Jew, and there is no such thing as a "Jew by association". It seems as though you have created your own "chosen people" categories to associate each of us in.

It doesn't matter whether you were born a Jew, or you are a ger... you are still a Jew.

D) I wasn't taught by a "religious system". I was actually raised secular and found my way back to true Torah Judaism by my own desires. I wasn't raised "Orthodox". I made a concious decision to pursue observance through study of the written Torah and the oral Torah.

So if you are asserting I believe what I believe because "that's what I was raised to believe", you couldn't be more wrong.

E) You fail to understand the true history of our people. We were once all Israelites, and we split off into two separate nations. The northern kingdom (Israel) abandoned the covenant and were destroyed.. to this day the Israelites are lost.

The Southern Kingdom (Judah) held tight to the covenant longer and therefore Hashem protected us... and to this day we are still around, despite the non-Jewish worlds attempts to eradicate us.

Your assertion that somehow there are seperate covenants or genetic differences from "Israelites" and "Jews" is 100% inaccurate. Both kingdoms were given the same covenant when we were still one people (and prior to the kingdom of Israel's destruction).

The covenant G-d made with us was with the seed of Jacob (Israel) and all Jews (whether convert or maternal) are under the same covenant with G-d. your whole seperate covenant theology of Jew & Israelite is not scriptually founded. We only became two nations because one side held fast to the covenant and the other abandoned it.

The covenant that ran through the seed of Jacob didn't change as a result of the national split. All that happened was those who held fast to it (Judah) survived, and those whom abandoned it (Israel) were sent scattered and lost.

F) From your final comment, it seems as though you are implying that America is the promised land. That's 100% wrong, and certainly is the opposite of G-d said in Torah. Hashem actually defined the borders of Eretz Yisrael (the specific land which is directly tied into the covenant I might add).

Even in the Tanach, where the prophets spoke of the end times, G-d was very specific in telling those prophets that he would return us to Eretz Yisrael in the end of days. Not America, not the UK, not anywhere else on the planet. The land of Israel is directly tied to us through our covenant with G-d.

And all of the seed of Jacob who remained faithful to G-d to this day are still included in that covenant.

F) I spent a good amount of time answering you, and I'm happy to continue to do so. But please respect my previous request, and only answer or make one statement per post. And then I in kind will respond to that post.. etc, etc.

if you post a 400-word essay, it's just too hard to follow, and certainly too hard to answer.

Keep the questions and answers on one subject/scripture per post, and I'd be happy to entertain you by responding to each post from now until the redemption if you'd like. But long posts like these are just too difficult to follow, and time consuming to respond to.

Ralph said...

Hi Comrade Tovya
you said:-
"Keep the questions and answers on one subject/scripture per post, and I'd be happy to entertain you by responding to each post from now until the redemption if you'd like."

and I am content to do so, not from the prospect of being entertained but hopefully from that of learning more about those whom I see to be as 'brothers'.

To your last comment and part (B) where you said:-
"Am I correct in asserting that your stance is that prophecies that were attributed to Israel do not apply to be as a Jew (or as you would say, from the house of Judah?"

Yes. However, I believe that any prophecies relating to 'Israel' need to be examined in context. Many of the Tanach prophecies directed to 'Israel' pertain to the ten northern tribes headed by Ephraim and have little or no meaning for, as I understand, the 'House of Judah'.

also:-
"So, if I understand you right, you have formed your own sort of "replacement" theology which excludes "Jews" from the prophesy of "Israelites"?"

I am not really familiar with the term 'Replacement Theology' and guess it is some sort of 'mainstream Christian(?)' thought that suggests that, in the eyes of G-d, the so called 'Christian Church' has replaced physical Israel. If such is the case then I reject this philosophy.

You said:-
"(C) A Jew is a Jew,....."
and I think that comment is where our problem lies. I am persuaded that, rightly or wrongly, a 'Jew', as such, is basically a descendant of a man known as Judah; one of 12 sons of a man called Jacob whose name was changed, by G-d, to that of Israel. We both know the resasons why. I obviously see the word 'Jew' as a contraction of the man's name 'Judah'. There are numerous scriptural reasons, from the Tanach, that lead me to that belief.
You seem to think differently.
If we cannot find common ground in the understanding of what is basically meant by the word "Jew', then as you suggest "this entire conversation is null and void."

I would hope that such is not the case.

Shiloh said...

I recently had been on a job where the kablan was a xtian missionary. When he asked if I was of faith, I knew I was in for a good time. He brought up of how he prayed for the Jews. I responded, don't worry about us, you better pray for yourselves. I then gave him a story. I asked him who knew his dad better then anyone. He responded, himself. I then asked him, if 300 years later, someone came to your family and tried to tell them about your dad, and the story was a lie, would you expect your family to follow the lie, or follow the story that was handed down by your family about your dad. He said, of coure follow the story handed down. So I told him then, don't ever expect me to follow your story of a Jew from 2000 years ago. I then proceeded about us following the laws of sin and death as quoted in the Null Testament. Explaining if society followed them there would not be such a mess. I won't repeat all the details. So, I ended with, if you want to follow the historical Jew, then do so, but learn what he taught, and that was to follow Torah. I get so sick of the lies of xtianity and their arrogance thinking they know how to save us (xtians see rev 2:9 and 3:9). As Jesus supposedly said, take the beam out of your eye before you try to take the speck out of mine. Listen xtian friends, we know who Jesus was, know what he taught, and that's why we don't accept your Lie. Its so easy to debunk xtians and I have gone against pastors too, they have no answer except deep down know it's bunk. Goyim, go learn Torah, then you will change the world and have your place in the world to come. שילה

Shiloh said...

A word to anti-missionaries. Stop the loshon hara against a kosher Ribi. It's insane to continue to slander a JEW who had nothing to do with xtianity, ever!! It has not worked and will never work. Stand up for what's true if you can handle the truth. שילה

דְּבֹורָ֛ה said...

עָזִּ֣י וְזִמְרָ֣ת יָ֑הּ וַֽיְהִי־לִ֝֗י לִֽישׁוּעָֽה׃

Hashem is my oz and zimrah, and He is become my Yeshuah. -TEHILLIM 118:14

For He said, Surely they are My people, banim that will not be sheker; so He became their Moshi'a. -YESHAYAH 63:8

11 He [Yehoshua] is HAEVEN MA'ASU ("the Stone which was rejected") by you, HABONIM ("the builders"), which HAY'TAH LEROSH PINNAH ("became the very corner") stone. [Ps 118:22; Isa 28:16; Zech 10:4] 12 And there is no Yeshu'at Eloheinu in any other, for there is no other Shem under Shomayim that has been given among Bnei Adam, by which it is necessary for you to be spared [the Mishpat Hashem in the Yom HaDin].-GEVUROT MEYRUACH HAKODESH 4:11-13