RESPONDING TO THE MISSIONARY PROOF-TEXTS by Rabbi Blumenthal

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RESPONDING TO THE MISSIONARY PROOF-TEXTS

“Of Whom Speaketh the Prophet?”

Imagine that it is your responsibility to hire a person to fill a critical position in a department that is essential for the welfare of your nation. A particular candidate sends in his resume together with 353 papers presented as testimonials and references to his ability to fill this important post. You research each and every one of these documents. You discover that most of the telephone numbers and addresses found in the documents are bogus. The positions that this candidate claimed to have held in the past were never held by him. Some of the testimonials are about other people. Some of the documents that he presented are not even relevant to the discussion.

Would you hire this applicant?

You don’t hire him.

His friends spread rumors about you that the reason you didn’t hire their hero is because you are evil. Other friends of this applicant claim that you are blinded by a bias against their champion.

What can you do?

You can present the “353 references” to the public.

Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah prophesied by the prophets of the Jewish Scriptures. They point to various passages in the Jewish Scripture which they understand as references to Jesus. They believe this to be so self-evident that they cannot fathom how it is that Jews who take their Scriptures seriously do not accept Jesus as their Messiah.

Some of these Christians are convinced that the Jews also see Jesus in the pages of Scripture but their evil nature has them denying him anyway. If this is your belief then the following article is not for you. Other Christians believe that the Jews are stricken with a spiritual blindness and are simply incapable of seeing the “obvious and plain truth”. If you subscribe to this belief, then this article isn’t addressing you either.

If, however; you recognize the possibility that the Jews honestly see the Bible in a different light and you are sincerely interested in hearing the Jewish point of view then I hope that my humble words will satisfy your quest.

My objective is to help you read the Scriptures from a Jewish perspective. However; before I get down to those passages that Christians see as a reference to Jesus, I will first make a statement about the original question. The question: “Of whom speaketh the prophet”; is already loaded with Christian implications. The question assumes that the prophet is speaking of some hidden character that lurks between the lines and it is the reader’s responsibility to “discover” this secret character.

The Jew doesn’t see the scriptures as some secret code that needs to be unlocked or as a mystery novel that needs to be solved. The question that the Jew asks himself as he reads the Scriptures is: “what is the prophet trying to tell me?” The interpretation of Scripture that you will find here will be based on the straightforward contextual reading of the passages.

There are several versions of the missionary “list” of prophecies “fulfilled” by Jesus. I will be addressing the prophecies listed on a piece of missionary literature that was mailed to members of the Orthodox Jewish community in Lakewood New Jersey. This list presents 353 prophecies allegedly “fulfilled” by Jesus.

Let us begin

(The numbering of the verses and the quotation following the chapter and verse are all taken from the missionary tract.)

  1. Genesis 3:15 “seed of a woman” (virgin birth)

The Christian sees deep significance in the words: “her seed” referring to Eve. The argument of the missionary is that since we only have reference to the “seed of the woman” and no mention is made of the seed of a man so we have a prophetic announcement of a “virgin birth”.

This argument fails for several reasons. According to this line of reasoning; every time that the Scriptures address an individual concerning their progeny using the term: “your seed” we ought to conclude that we are talking of a virgin birth (in those situations where a female is being addressed such as Genesis 16:10) or of a birth that is achieved through a male without a female (where a male is being addressed such as in Genesis 3:15). If this were true then we would have many virgin births announced in the Bible.

Furthermore; how could anyone know if this prophecy was ever fulfilled?

  1. Genesis 3:15 “he will bruise Satan’s head”

The simple reading of the text tells us that the snake will bite the heel of Eve’s progeny while Eve’s progeny will smite snakes on the head. This is simple and straightforward. Just as the previous verse (Genesis 3:14) speaks of snakes crawling on their bellies with no reference to a specific future event so it is with this passage. It simply describes the state of enmity between snakes and humans that will endure until the Messianic era (Isaiah 11:8; 65:25).

3. Genesis 5:24 “the bodily ascension to heaven illustrated”

This passage is not a prophetic prediction. It is a simple narrative. This narrative says nothing about a “bodily ascension” (although it doesn’t exclude it). If we insist that this narrative refers to a bodily ascension then this only harms the missionary position. We would then see that bodily ascensions are not limited to divine beings but are possible with mere humans (see also 2Kings 2:11).

4. Genesis 9:26,27 “the god of Shem will be the son of Shem”

The passage tells us that God will dwell in the tents of Shem. This was fulfilled in the Tabernacle (Exodus 29:45), in the Temple (1Kings 6:13), and will be fulfilled again in the final Temple (Ezekiel 37:28). No mention is made of a “human god”.

5. Genesis 12:3 “the seed of Abraham will bless all nations”

The verse here speaks of nations receiving blessing through Abraham. Indeed; Abraham taught the world to put their faith in the One Creator of heaven and earth. This blessing will continue through the nation of Israel as the prophets predicted (Isaiah 60:3; Zechariah 8:23).

6. Genesis 12:7 “The promise made to Abraham’s seed”

The promise that this verse describes is that the land of Israel will be given to Abraham’s children. (According to the logic of “prophecy #1” this would need to be fulfilled by one who is born of a father without a mother.) This prophecy will be fulfilled through the nation of Israel as God promised (Deuteronomy 30:5; Ezekiel 37:25).

7. Genesis 14:18 “a priest after the order of Melchizedek”

No prophetic prediction here, just a narrative.

8. Genesis 14:18 “King of Peace and Righteousness”

No prophetic prediction.

9. Genesis 14:18 “The last supper foreshadowed”

No prophetic prediction.

10. Genesis 17:19 “The seed of Isaac”

The passage speaks here of God’s eternal covenant with the people of Israel as described by the prophets (Ezekiel 15:60).

11. Genesis 22:8 “the lamb of God promised”

Not a prophetic prediction. In any case, the lamb promised here was to be a burnt offering. Jesus was never burned.

12. Genesis 22:18  “Isaac’s seed will bless all nations”

In the previous verse we learn how Abraham’s seed will be as numerous as the sand of the sea. This passage is obviously not referring to one individual but to a nation (see #5).

13. Genesis 26:2-5 “The seed of Isaac promised as the redeemer”

Here too the promise is to a nation as numerous as the stars in the sky, not to one lone individual. The promise says nothing about a redeemer, rather it speaks of inheriting the land of Israel (see #6).

14. Genesis 28:12 “The bridge to heaven”

Not a prophetic prediction. If anything the point of the vision was that God will preserve Jacob and that the place was consecrated as the House of the Lord (Malachi 3:6; Isaiah 2:2).

15. Genesis 28:14 “the seed of Jacob”

Here too the prophecy applies to a seed that is as numerous as the dust of the earth; not to a lone individual (see#5 and #6).

16. Genesis 49:10 “the time of his coming”

Here Jacob prophecies that dominion and leadership shall not depart from the tribe of Judah. Indeed; since David took the throne the leadership of the Jewish people has been in the hands of the tribe of Judah. In fact the name “Jew” is simply an English corruption of the term: “Judean” – emphasizing the abiding centrality of the tribe of Judah in the government of Israel. Until today we have accepted no other king but our loyalty is to the dynasty of David.

This prophecy does not tell us anything about the time of the Messiah’s coming.

17. Genesis 49:10 “the seed of Judah”

Tribal lineage follows the father. According to the Christian Scriptures Jesus was NOT from the seed of Judah.

18. Genesis 49:10 “called Shiloh or the one sent”

This is indeed a reference to the Messiah but there is nothing in the verse that would have us believe it is talking of Jesus. In any case; the word “Shiloh” does not mean “the one sent”.

19. Genesis 49:10 “Messiah to come before Judah lost identity”

Judah still did not lose identity (see #16).

20. Genesis 49:10 “unto him shall the obedience of the people be”

Indeed; Messiah will rule over many nations (Numbers 24;17,18; Obadiah 1:21). This is talking of dominion in the practical realm of government. In the real world; Jesus ruled over no one.

21. Exodus 3:13-15 “the great “I AM”

Here God refers to Himself as “I am”. Just because Jesus also spoke these words according to the report of the Christian Scriptures doesn’t make him god and doesn’t entitle him to claim a fulfillment of prophecy any more than the king of Tyre’s claim to divinity makes him god and a fulfillment of prophecy (Ezekiel 28:2).

22. Exodus 12:5  “a lamb without a blemish”

This is not a prophetic prediction. It is simply a description of the lamb that was brought as the Passover offering.

23. Exodus 12:13 “the blood of the lamb saves from wrath”

Those who slaughtered the lamb in obedience to God’s command were saved. The Egyptians who venerated the lamb (Exodus 8:22) were destroyed. This passage is a complete refutation to Christian theology.

24. Exodus 12:21-27 “christ is our Passover”

Did the Jewish people “venerate” the lamb? Of course not! They slaughtered the lamb in recognition that God is the absolute sovereign over every facet of existence including the lamb. The Christian veneration of Jesus is the very antithesis of everything that Passover stands for.

25. Exodus 12:46 “not a bone in the lamb to be broken”

Not a prophetic prediction.

26. Exodus 15:2 “His exaltation predicted as Yeshua”

Not a prophetic prediction rather this song praises God for having saved the Jews from the Egyptians.

27. Exodus 15:11 “His character holiness”

God’s character is indeed holiness. How was this fulfilled in a man who was full of vindictive hatred against those who saw through his charade?

28. Exodus 17:6 “the spiritual rock of Israel”

Not a prophetic prediction.

29. Exodus 33:19 “His character merciful”

Not a prophetic prediction.

30. Leviticus 1:2-9 “His sacrifice a sweet smelling savor to God”

Not a prophetic prediction.

31. Leviticus 14:11 “the leper cleansed a sign to priesthood”

Not a prophetic prediction. The cleansing of a leper is not a sign of priesthood; it is part of the office of priesthood.

32. Leviticus 16:15-17 “prefigures christ’s once-for-all death”

Not a prophetic prediction.

33. Leviticus 16:27 “suffering outside the camp”

Not a prophetic prediction.

34. Leviticus 17:11 “the blood – the life of the flesh”

Not a prophetic prediction.

35. Leviticus 17:11 “it is the blood that makes atonement”

This verse is explicitly speaking about blood on the Temple altar. Jesus’s blood was never placed on the altar. Furthermore; this passage does not say that blood is the exclusive path to atonement as Christian theologians claim (Ezekiel 33:16).

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/response-to-the-line-of-fire-5/

36. Leviticus 23:36-37 “The drink offering: “if any man thirst”

Not a prophetic prediction.

37. Numbers 9:12 “Not a bone of him broken”

See #25

38. Numbers 21:9 “The serpent on a pole – christ lifted up”

Interesting how in #1 the serpent is Satan. In any case this is also not a prophetic prediction.

39. Numbers 24:17 “I shall see him but not now”

This is talking of the real Messiah who will destroy Israel’s enemies not someone who gave Israel’s enemies a theological justification to persecute them.

40. Deuteronomy 18:15 “This is of a truth that prophet”

Those who applied the Law of Moses to determine that Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah and Habakkuk were authentic prophets were the same people who determined that Jesus was not. If you reject their decision as it applies to the latter, then please be consistent and reject their decision concerning the former as well.

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/non-prophet/

41. Deuteronomy 18:15-16 “had you believed Moses, ye would have believed me”

On what basis?

42. Deuteronomy 18:18 “sent by the Father to speak His word”

See #40

43. Deuteronomy 18:19 “whoever will not hear him must bear his sin”

See #40

44. Deuteronomy 21:23 “cursed is he that hangs on a tree”

Not a prophetic prediction. In any case the translation is incorrect. The point of the passage is that by leaving a human body hanging on a tree one disparages the honor of God.

45. Joshua 5:14-15 “the captain of our salvation”

This is not a prophetic prediction. It is referring to an angel who has come to put Israel’s physical enemies to flight; not to one who encourages Israel’s enemies in their persecution of God’s chosen people.

46. Ruth 4:4-10 “christ, our kinsman has redeemed us”

Not a prophetic prediction and no mention is made of christ.

47. 1Samuel 2:10 “shall be anointed king to the Lord”

This is talking of the real Messiah. There is no way that one can claim that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy.

48. 2Samuel 7:12 “David’s seed”

Royal lineage proceeds from the father. According to the Christian Scriptures Jesus was not from the line of David.

49. 2Samuel 7:13 “his kingdom is everlasting”

Indeed; David’s kingdom is everlasting. One who has no claim to the throne of David cannot claim to have fulfilled this prophecy.

50. 2Samuel 7:14a “the son of God”

The end of the same verse speaks of the sins of this son of God. Either Christians must admit that Jesus sinned or they cannot apply this verse to Jesus.

51. 2samuel 7:16 “David’s house established forever”

See #48

52. 2Kings 2:11 “Bodily ascension illustrated”

See#3

53. 1Cronicles 17:11 “David’s seed”

See#48

54. 1Chronicles 17:12-13 “to reign of David’s throne forever”

See #48

55. 1Chronicles 17:13 “I will be his father, he … My son”

See #48 and #50

56. Job 9:32-33 “mediator between man and God”

This is not a prophetic prediction. Job sees himself in a dispute with God and he declares that he would wish that there be an arbitrator that could judge between them.

57. Job 19:23-27 “The resurrection predicted”

The passage does not speak of a resurrection. Job presents the argument that his contention against his friends will be vindicated in the end because he believes he is right.

58. Psalm 2:1-3 “the enmity of kings foreordained”

The Psalm describes how enemy kings gather against God and His anointed one. This anointed one is described as the one who rules over Zion; God’s holy mountain. The enemies are ultimately crushed. This prophets spoke of this end time battle in which God’s enemies are physically crushed (Isaiah 60:12; Ezekiel 38:1 – 39:29; Zechariah 14:12).

How did Jesus fulfill this prophecy? Which kings heard of him in his lifetime? How did his enemies get crushed? How did he rule with a rod of iron?

This Psalm cannot be applied to Jesus.

59. Psalm 2:2 “to own the title, anointed”

This passage simply speaks of God’s anointed. There is nothing here to indicate that this anointed one is Jesus.

60. Psalm 2:6 “his character – holiness”

See #27

61. The missionary pamphlet skips #61. See #151 and #158

62. Psalm 2:6 “to own the title King”

The Psalm indeed speaks of a king but there is nothing here to indicate that this king is Jesus.

63. Psalm 2:7 “declared the beloved son”

The Davidic king is called God’s son as are the Jewish people as a whole (Exodus 4:22; Jeremiah 31:8). There is nothing in the passage that would indicate that it is talking of Jesus. See #50

64. Psalm 2:7,8 “the crucifixion and resurrection intimated”

The passage says nothing about a crucifixion or a resurrection.

65. Psalm 2:8,9 “rule the nations with a rod of iron”

This describes practical political government not religious worship.

66. Psalm 2:12 “life comes through faith in him”

According to most translations this passage speaks of embracing purity and not of any individual. Even if we were to grant the unlikely translation of “the son” favored by modern missionaries the thrust of the passage will be that the kings are encouraged to submit to the political sovereignty of the Messiah, not to worship him as a god.

67. Psalm 8:2 “the mouths of babes perfect his praise”

This is speaking about the praise of God who created the moon and the stars (verse 4) and not the praise of a man who claimed to be god.

68. Palm 8:5,6 “his humiliation and exaltation”

This passage speaks of the humility of mankind in general and of God’s kindness in granting man dominion over nature (Genesis 1:28). This has nothing to do with Jesus.

69. Psalm 9:7-10 “Judge the world in righteousness”

This is talking of God’s judgment of the world. How did Jesus “judge the world in righteousness”? JUDGENOT

70. Psalm 16:10 “was not to see corruption”

Here David speaks of himself thanking God for saving him from death; a recurring theme throughout the Psalms (33:19; 56:14; 116:8).

71. Psalm 16:9-11 “was to arise from the dead”

The Psalm says nothing of the sort.

72. Psalm 17:15 “the resurrection predicted”

The Psalm says nothing of the sort.

73. Psalm 18:2-3 “the horn of salvation”

The Psalm speaks of the God who saved David from his troubles; it has nothing to do with Jesus.

74. Psalm 22:1 “forsaken because of the sins of others”

The Psalm says nothing about why the Psalmist was forsaken.

75. Psalm 22:1 “My God my God why hast thou forsaken me”

Not a prophetic prediction.

76. Psalm 22:2  “darkness upon Calvary for three hours”

Not a prophetic prediction; no mention of Calvary and no mention of three hours.

77. Psalm 22:7 “they shoot out the lip and shake the head”

Not a prophetic prediction.

78. Psalm 22:8 “he trusted in God, let him deliver him”

Not a prophetic prediction.

79. Psalm 22:9-10 “born the saviour”

Not a prophetic prediction and not a word about a savior.

80. Psalm 22:12-13 “they seek his death”

Not a prophetic prediction.

81. Psalm 22:14 “his blood poured out when they pierced his side”

Not a prophetic prediction. The metaphor: “spilled out” is not a reference to blood just as the metaphor: “my heart is melted like wax” is not a reference to any literal melting.

82. Psalm 22:14,15 “suffered agony on Calvary”

Not a prophetic prediction and no mention made of Calvary.

83. Psalm 22:15 “he thirsted”

No comment.

84. Psalm 22:16 “they pierced his hands and his feet”

Not a prophetic prediction and there is no mention of piercing in this passage.

85. Psalm 22:17,18 “stripped him before the stares of men”

Not a prophetic prediction and no mention of anyone being stripped.

86. Psalm 22:18 “they parted his garments”

Not a prophetic prediction.

87. Psalm 22:20,21 “he committed himself to God”

Not a prophetic prediction.

88. Psalm 22:20,21 “satanic power bruising redeemer’s heel”

Not a prophetic prediction, no mention made of Satan, of redeemer or of bruising the heel.

89. Psalm 22:22 “his resurrection declared”

Not a prophetic prediction and no mention made of a resurrection.

90. Psalm 22:27-28 “he shall be the governor of nations”

This is speaking of God’s dominion over nations.

91. Psalm 22:31 “it is finished”

The verse says nothing about “finishing”.

Psalm 22 describes David’s travails. As king of Israel we can understand that David’s travails mirror those of the nation that he represents. A key verse in recognizing who it is that the prophet speaketh of in this Psalm is verse 5 where the Psalmist exclaims to God: “in You; did our fathers trust”. The Psalmist saw himself as part of a nation. He did not see his situation as unique to himself. He was asking for the same type of salvation that our ancestors merited in their trust of God. This cannot apply to Jesus’ death on the cross. Christianity sees Jesus’ suffering as something unique and unparalleled in the history of mankind and the salvation that Jesus is asking for has no comparison in the history of Israel.

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/psalm-22/

92. Psalm 23:1 “I am the good shepherd”

The Psalm is referring to God who is the good shepherd. Good human shepherds such as David direct people’s devotion towards God. Teachers who direct devotion to themselves are not “good shepherds” even by human standards.

93. Psalm 24:3 “his exaltation predicted”

Not a prophetic prediction. This Psalm speaks of all righteous people who merit to be brought close to God (see Psalm 65:5).

94. Psalm 30:3 “his resurrection predicted”

Not a prophetic prediction. The metaphor: “brought me up from the grave” is used to denote saving from deadly danger (see Psalm 86:13).

95. Psalm 31:5 “into thy hands I commit my spirit”

Not a prophetic prediction. This applies to anyone who trusts in God.

96. Psalm 31:11 “his acquaintances fled from him”

This Psalm speaks of the sins of the Psalmist (verse 12). Christians who believe that Jesus was sinless cannot claim that Jesus fulfilled this “prophecy”.

97. Psalm 31:13 “they took counsel to put him to death”

Not a prophetic prediction and not applicable to the Christian Jesus (see #96).

98. Psalm 31:14,15 “he trusted in God, let Him deliver him”

Not a prophetic prediction and not applicable to the Christian Jesus (see #96). This Psalm refers to David himself as well as to anyone who trusts in God provided that they are not deluded into thinking that they are sinless.

99. Psalm 34:20 “not a bone in him broken”

Not a prophetic prediction. This Psalm is talking of all righteous people.

100. Psalm 35:11 “false witnesses rose up against him”

Not a prophetic prediction. This Psalm refers to David himself.

101. Psalm 35:19 “he was hated without a cause”

Not a prophetic prediction. David is speaking of himself (see 1Samuel 26:18).

102. Psalm 38:11 “his friends stood afar off”

This Psalm refers to David himself. Furthermore; the Psalmist makes reference to his own sins (verses 5,6,7,19). This Psalm cannot be referring to someone who claimed to have never sinned.

103. Psalm 38:12 “enemies try to entangle him by craft”

See #102

104. Psalm 38:12-13 “silent before his accusers”

See #102

105. Psalm 38:20 “he went about doing good”

See #102

106. Psalm 40:2-5 “the joy of his resurrection predicted”

This Psalm is speaking again about David himself and in a broader sense about anyone who trusts in God and admits their own sins (verse 13). This Psalm cannot be referring to one who refused to acknowledge that he ever sinned.

107. Psalm 40:8 “his delight – the will of the Father”

See #106

108. Psalm 40:9 “he was to preach righteousness in Israel”

See #106

109. Psalm 40:14 “confronted by adversaries in the garden”

See #106. No mention made of a garden.

110. Psalm 41:9 “betrayed by a familiar friend”

This Psalm mentions the sins of the Psalmist (verse 5) obviously excluding Jesus who never admitted a sin.

111. Psalm 45:2 “words of grace come from his lips”

This Psalm is referring to a king (David) who got married and had children (verses 10-16); not to one who never married.

112. Psalm 45:6 “to own the title, God or Eloh-m”

See #111. The Moses owned the title “Eloh-m” (Exodus 7:1) without making him divine.

113. Psalm 45:7 “the special anointing by the holy spirit”

See #111. No mention is made of anointing by the holy spirit. God anointed David through His prophet (1samuel 16:13).

114. Psalm 45:7,8 “called the christ (Messiah or anointed)”

See #111. All Davidic kings are called “anointed”.

115. Psalm 45:17 “his name remembered forever”

See #111. David’s name is remembered forever (2Samuel 7:16; Psalm 41:13).

116. Psalm 55:12-14 “betrayed by a friend, not an enemy”

Not a prophetic prediction.

117. Psalm 55:15 “unrepentant death of betrayer”

The verse is speaking of a plurality of enemies; not one single person. The Psalm is speaking of David himself.

118. Psalm 68:18 “to give gifts to men”

The Psalmist is speaking of a past event and he is speaking of taking gifts not giving gifts.

119. Psalm 68:18 “ascended into heaven”

The Psalmist is speaking of an event that had already happened by the time he recorded the Psalm. This is referring to the encounter that took place between God and Israel at Sinai (as per the previous verse). This refers to God Himself (a similar metaphor is found in Psalm 7:8). The gifts that were taken refer to Israel’s willingness to accept God’s Law (Exodus 24:7).

120. Psalm 69:4 “hated without cause”

This Psalm speaks of the Psalmist’s sins (verse 6). Christians who like to believe that Jesus was sinless cannot turn around and claim that he fulfilled this prophecy. The Psalm speaks of David himself. See #101.

121. Psalm 69:8 “a stranger to his own brethren”

See #120.

122. 69:9 “zealous for the Lord’s house”

See #120

123. Psalm 69:14-20 “Messiah’s anguish of soul before crucifixion”

See #120. No mention is made of a crucifixion.

124. Psalm 69:20 “my soul is exceedingly sorrowful”

See #120

125. Psalm 69:21 “given vinegar in thirst”

See #120

126. Psalm 69:26 “the savior given and smitten by God”

See #120. No mention made of a savior.

127. Psalm 72:10,11 “great persons were to visit him”

This is talking of Solomon (1Kings 10:24,25; 2Chronicles 9:23,24).

128. Psalm 72:16 “the corn of wheat to fall into the ground”

Not a prophetic prediction. Rather this is a description of the blessing of abundance that will abide in the day of the righteous and just king.

129. Psalm 72:17 “belief on his name will produce offspring”

No mention made about belief in anyone’s name.

130. Psalm 72:17 “all nations shall be blessed by him”

This was indeed fulfilled by Solomon (1Kings 10:8; 2Chronicles 9:8).

131. 72:17 “all nations shall call him blessed”

See #130

132. Psalm 78:1-2 “he would teach in parables”

Not a prophetic prediction. This could apply to anyone who teaches a parable.

133. Psalm 78:2b “to speak the wisdom of God with authority”

Not a prophetic prediction and no mention made of “authority”.

134. Psalm 80:17 “the man of God’s right hand”

This applies to Israel as is obvious from the beginning of the passage where Israel is the vine planted by God’s right hand.

135. Psalm 88 “the suffering and reproach of Calvary”

This Psalm describes Israel’s suffering in exile.

136. Psalm 88:8 “they stood afar and watched”

The Psalmists speaks of the fact that those who knew him were distant from him; no mention is made of them “watching” his suffering.

137. Psalm 89:27 “firstborn”

This speaks of David himself as is obvious from the context.

138. Psalm 89:27 “Emanuel to be higher than earthly kings”

No mention is made of “Emanuel” and the promise of exaltation over other kings is simply a reiteration of the promise to Israel (Deuteronomy 26:19).

139. Psalm 89:35-37 “David’s seed, throne, kingdom endure forever”

This is God’s promise to David (2Samuel 7:16).

140. Psalm 89:36-37 “his character – faithfulness”

This is speaking about God Himself.

141. Psalm 90:2 “he is from everlasting”

This is speaking about God.

142. Psalm 91:11,12 “identified as Messianic; used to tempt christ”

No mention is made of Messiah. The passage is a promise to those who take shelter under God’s wing.

143. Psalm 97:9 “his exaltation predicted”

The passage speaks of God’s exaltation.

144. Psalm 100:5 “his character – goodness”

This is talking of God’s character.

145. Psalm 102:1-11 “the suffering and reproach of Calvary”

Tis is talking of Israel’s suffering in exile as the context makes clear (verse 14)

146. Psalm 102:25-27 “Messiah is the preexistent son”

No mention is made of any preexistent son.

147. Psalm 109:25 “ridiculed”

David is talking of his own suffering. This is not a prophetic prediction.

148. Psalm 110:1 “son of David”

See #48

149. Psalm 110:1 “to ascend to the right hand of the Father”

No mention is made of an “ascension”. Israel herself is supported by God’s right hand while He destroys their enemies (Isaiah 41:10).

150. Psalm 110:1 “David’s son called Lord”

The word for “lord” used in this passage denotes an earthly lord (as in 1samuel 24:8) rather than the divine Lord.

151. The missionary tract skips #151 – see #61 and #158

152. Psalm 110:4 “a priest after Melchizedek’s order”

David and his seed are priests in the sense that Melchizedek was a priest; teaching and administering justice in the city of Jerusalem.

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/psalm-110/

153. Psalm 112:4 “his character – compassionate, gracious, et al”

Not a prophetic prediction. The passage describes the righteousness of all who truly fear God.

154. Psalm 118:17,18 “Messiah’s resurrection assured”

No mention is made of Messiah or a resurrection.

155. Psalm 118:22,23 “the rejected stone is head of the corner”

Not a prophetic prediction. This Psalm refers to David himself as well as to the people of Israel.

156. Psalm 118:26a “the blessed one presented to Israel”

Not a prophetic prediction. Rather this verse is the greeting that would be used to greet the pilgrims when they arrived at the Temple.

157. Psalm 118:26b “to come while the Temple is still standing”

Not a prophetic prediction. Furthermore this verse addresses a plural group not a single individual.

158. The missionary tract skips # 158 – see #61 and #151

159. Psalm 132:11 “the seed of David 9the fruit of his body)”

See # 48

160. Psalm 129:3 “he was scourged”

This Psalm explicitly speaks of Israel.

161. Psalm 138:1-6 “the supremacy of David’s seed amazes kings”

The Psalm is speaking of the kings praising God; not the scion of David’s seed.

162. Psalm 147:3,6 “the earthly ministry of christ described”

This Psalm speaks of God’s kindness.

163. Proverbs 1:23 “he will send the spirit of God”

Not a prophetic prediction. This verse is establishing the authority for the Book of Proverbs itself.

164. Proverbs 8:23 “foreordained from everlasting”

Not a prophetic prediction. This passage speaks of God’s wisdom as is evident from verse 1 of this chapter.

165. Song of Solomon 5:16 “the altogether lovely one”

This is talking of God.

166. Isaiah 2:3 “He shall teach the nations”

This is talking about God teaching the nations during a time of universal peace.

167. Isaiah 2:4 “He shall judge among the nations”

See #166

168. Isaiah 6:1 “when Isaiah saw His glory”

Isaiah saw the glory of God.

169. Isaiah 6:8 “the one sent by God”

This is Isaiah himself as is obvious from the context.

170. Isaiah 6:9-10 “parables fall on deaf ears”

This is a prophecy about Isaiah’s own ministry.

171. Isaiah 6:9-12 “blinded to christ and deaf to his words”

See #170

172. Isaiah 7:14 “to be born of a virgin”

No mention made of a virgin and the prophecy was to be fulfilled in the times of King Ahaz who died many centuries before Jesus was born.

173. Isaiah 7:14 “to be Emmanuel – God with us”

This was an encouragement to King Ahaz that he and his people will survive the onslaught of the Arameans and subsequently the Assyrians. The child was named Emmanuel as a sign of God’s favor to the Judean kingdom.

174. Isaiah 8:8 “called Emmanuel”

See # 173

175. Isaiah 8:14 “a stone of stumbling, a rock of offense”

This prophecy was fulfilled in Hezekiah’s time during the Assyrian invasion as is evident from the context.

176. Isaiah 9:1,2 “his ministry to begin in Galilee”

This refers to the invasion of the Assyrian king which began in Galilee.

177. Isaiah 9:6 “a child born”

This refers to King Hezekiah.

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/fifth-response-to-dalton-lifsey-isaiah-956-67/

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/thomas-on-isaiah-95-6/

178. Isaiah 9:6 “a son given – deity”

See # 177. No mention is made of the “deity” of the child.

179. Isaiah 9:6 “declared to be the son of God with power”

See #177. No mention is made of “son of God”

180. Isaiah 9:6 “the wonderful one, Peleh”

See #177.

181. Isaiah 9:6 “the counselor, Yaatz”

See #177.

182. Isaiah 9:6 “the mighty God, E-l Gibor”

See #177. The literal translation of Hezekiah’s name is “the might of God”. The point of this prophecy is that God’s might will be manifested in the times of Hezekiah.

183. Isaiah 9:6 “the everlasting Father, Avi Adth”

See #177. The point of this prophecy is that God’s sovereignty as Master of time will be manifested in Hezekiah’s time.

184. Isaiah 9:6 “the Prince of Peace, Sar Shalom”

See #177.

185. Isaiah 9:7 “to establish an everlasting kingdom”

This is talking of the throne of David to which the Christian Jesus has no claim (see #48).

186. Isaiah 9:7 “his character – just”

See #177.

187. Isaiah 9:7 “no end to his government, throne, peace”

The phrase translated here as “no end” is the same phrase used in Isaiah 2:7 where it is clear that the intent is a great abundance as opposed to literal eternity.

188. Isaiah 11:1 “called a Nazarene – the branch, Netzer”

No one is called a Nazarene in this passage. This passage refers to a scion from the house of David who will rule over a world at peace. Jesus was not from the house of David (see #48) and he did not rule over a world at peace. There is no way to claim that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy.

189. Isaiah 11:1 “a rod out of Jesse – son of Jesse”

See #188

190. Isaiah 11:2 “anointed one by the spirit”

See #188

191. Isaiah 11:2 “his character – wisdom, knowledge, et al”

See #188

192. Isaiah 11:3 “he would know their thoughts”

See #188

193. Isaiah 11:4 “judge in righteousness”

See #188.

194. Isaiah 11:4 “judges with the sword of his mouth”

See #188

195. Isaiah 11:5 “character: righteous & faithful”

See #188

196. Isaiah 11:10 “the gentiles seek him”

See #188

197. Isaiah 12:2 “called Yeshua – Yeshua”

No one is called “Yeshua” in this passage.

198. Isaiah 22:22 “the one given all authority to govern”

This is referring to Elyakim; a faithful servant of the house of David as the prophet explicitly declares (verse 20).

199. Isaiah 25:8 “the resurrection predicted”

This is referring to the comfort of Israel as the verse makes clear.

200. Isaiah 26:19 “the power of resurrection predicted”

This is referring to the resurrection of those faithful to God as the context makes clear; not the resurrection of one lone individual.

201. Isaiah 28:16 “the Messiah is the precious corner stone”

There is no reason to associate this prophecy with Jesus. The adjective “precious” is completely subjective.

202. Isaiah 28:16 “the sure foundation”

See #201

203. Isaiah 29:13 “he indicated hypocritical obedience to His word”

It is God speaking in this passage and it is not a prophetic prediction.

204. Isaiah 29:14 “the wise are confounded by the word”

The passage speaks of the wise being confounded but the passage does not say that they will be confounded through the word. In any case this passage is a rebuke to the Jews in Isaiah’s day and has nothing to do with Jesus.

205. Isaiah 32:2 “a refuge – a man shall be a hiding place”

This is talking about righteous Hezekiah. There is no reason to believe that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy.

206. Isaiah 35:4 “he will come and save you”

This is talking about God avenging the persecution of the Jewish people.

207. Isaiah 35:5-6 “to have a ministry of miracles”

The passage is talking about Israel’s redemption from exile (verse 10).

208. Isaiah 40:3,4 “preceded by a forerunner”

This is talking about the ultimate revelation of God’s glory (verse 5).

209. Isaiah 40:9 “behold your God”

This is talking about the God that Israel loved and hoped for throughout their exile not the god of their persecutors.

210. Isaiah 40:10 “he will come to reward”

See #209

211. Isaiah 40:11 “a shepherd – compassionate life-giver”

See #209

212. Isaiah 42:1-4 “the servant – as a faithful patient redeemer”

This passage is talking about the people of Israel and their King Messiah. There is nothing in this passage that Jesus can claim to have fulfilled.

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/armor-bearers-isaiah-5211/

213. Isaiah 42:2 “meek and lowly”

There is nothing more haughty then claiming to be divine.

214. Isaiah 42:3 “he brings hope for the hopeless”

See # 212

215. Isaiah 42:4 “the nations shall wait on his teachings”

See # 212

216. Isaiah 42:6 “the light (salvation) of the Gentiles”

See #212

217. Isaiah 42:1,6 “his is a worldwide compassion”

See #212

218. Isaiah 42:7 “bind eyes opened”

This refers to Israel’s redemption from exile (as per verse 16)

219. Isaiah 43:11 “he is the only savior”

This is talking about the God that Israel bears witness to; not the god that Israel bears witness against.

220. Isaiah 44:3 “he will send the spirit of God”

This is God’s promise to Israel.

221. Isaiah 45:21-25 “he is the lord and savior”

This is talking about God Himself.

222. Isaiah 45:23 “he will be the judge”

See #221

223. Isaiah 46:9,10 “declares things not yet done”

This is talking about God.

224. Isaiah 48:12 “the first and the last”

This is talking about God.

225. Isaiah 48:16,17 “he came as a teacher”

The prophet is speaking here in the name of God concerning Israel’s return from Babylon.

226. Isaiah 49:1 “”called from the womb – his humanity”

This is talking about Israel and the prophet Isaiah.

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/armor-bearers-isaiah-5211/

227. Isaiah 49:5 “a servant from the womb”

See # 226

228. Isaiah 49:6 “he will restore Israel”

See #226

229. Isaiah 49:6 “a salvation for Israel”

See #226

230. Isaiah 49:6 “he is the light of the Gentiles”

See #226. It is interesting to note that despite 2000 years of Jesus’ teaching it is still Isaiah’s words of hope for humanity that are written on the side of the UN building and it is still Isaiah’s metaphor of the wolf lying with the lamb that is most commonly used to describe the era of the real Messiah.

231. Isaiah 49:6 “he is a salvation to the ends of the earth”

See #226. The prophet’s role is to announce God’s salvation to the ends of the earth.

232. Isaiah 49:7 “he is despised of the nation”

See #226

233. Isaiah 50:3 “heaven is clothed in black at his humiliation”

The passage says nothing about anyone’s humiliation.

234. Isaiah 50:4 “he is a learned counselor for the weary”

This is referring to the prophet.

235. Isaiah 50:5 “the servant bound willingly to obedience”

See #234

236. Isaiah 50:6a “I gave my back to the smiters”

See #234

237. Isaiah 50:6b “he was smitten on the cheeks”

See #234. Incidentally; the passage speaks of the prophet’s beard being pulled at, not that he was smitten on the cheek.

238. Isaiah 50:6c “he was spat upon”

See #234

239. Isaiah 52:7 “published good tidings on the mountains”

This speaks of the messenger bringing Israel the good tidings of her redemption from exile.

240. Isaiah 52:13 “the servant exalted”

This speaks of Israel’s exaltation at the time of her redemption from exile.

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/isaiah-53/

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/isaiah-53/

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/isaiah-53-teaches-that-jesus-is-not-the-messiah/

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/some-thoughts-on-isaiah-53-by-thomas/

241. Isaiah 52:14 “the servant shockingly abused”

See #240

242. Isaiah 52:15 “nations startled by the message of the servant”

See #240

243. Isaiah 52:15 “his blood shed sprinkles nations”

See #240. The passage says nothing about the servant’s blood shed; in fact the passage does not mention blood altogether.

244. Isaiah 53:1 “his people would not believe him”

See #240. The passage does not say that “his people” would not believe him. The passage speaks of the kings of nation having a difficult time believing the report of the exaltation of Israel (see Micah 7:10,16).

245. Isaiah 53:2 “appearance of an ordinary man”

See #240. The appearance of the servant is NOT that of an ordinary man. Those who see him consider him subhuman.

246. Isaiah 53:3a “despised”

See #240

247. Isaiah 53:3b “rejected”

See #240

248. Isaiah 53:3c “great sorrow and grief”

See #240

249. Isaiah 53:3d “men hide from being associated with him”

See #240

250. Isaiah 53:4a “he would have a healing ministry”

See #240. No word is mentioned about a ministry.

251. Isaiah 53:4b “thought to be cursed by God”

See #240

252. Isaiah 53:5a “bears penalty for mankind’s iniquities”

See #240

253. Isaiah 53:5b “his sacrifice provides peace between man and God”

See #240. No mention is made of a sacrifice and no mention is made of peace between man and God. The prophet speaks of peace in a general sense without specifying between which two parties the peace is maintained.

254. Isaiah 53:5c “his sacrifice would heal man of sin”

See #240. In any case; the prophet does not speak of “healing man from sin”. Healing is mentioned in a general sense.

255. Isaiah 53:6a “he would be the sin-bearer for all mankind”

See #240

256. Isaiah 53:6b “God’s will that he bear sin for all mankind”

See #240

257. Isaiah 53:7a “oppressed and afflicted”

See #240

258. Isaiah 53:7b “silent before his accusers”

See #240

259. Isaiah 53:7c “”sacrificial lamb”

See #240. No mention is made of a “sacrifice”.

260. Isaiah 53:8a “confined and persecuted”

See #240

261. Isaiah 53:8b “he would be judged”

See #240

262. Isaiah 53:8c “killed”

See #240

263. Isaiah 53:8d “dies for the sins of the world”

See #240

264. Isaiah 53:9a “buried in a rich man’s grave”

See #240. Actually the prophet says that the servant is put to death with the rich.

265. Isaiah 53:9b “innocent and had done no violence”

See #240. The prophet says that the servant is innocent from the violence that he was accused of; not that he had never done violence.

266. Isaiah 53:9c “no deceit in his mouth”

See #240. The prophet does not say that the servant never had deceit in his mouth; rather the prophet says that the servant is not being punished for deception that he actually committed.

267. Isaiah 53:10a “God’s will that he die for mankind”

See #240. The passage simply says that it was God’s will to crush the servant with sickness. The passage does not say why God chose to bring this affliction upon the servant.

268. Isaiah 53:10b “an offering for sin”

See #240. The verse says nothing about an offering for sin. The passage speaks of the servant acknowledging his own guilt.

269. Isaiah 53:10c “resurrected and live forever”

See #240. The passage says nothing about a resurrection and nothing about living forever.

270. Isaiah 53:10d “he would prosper”

See #240. The passage actually says that the servant will see physical progeny; something that Jesus never merited to see.

271. Isaiah 53:11a “God fully satisfied with his suffering”

See #240. The prophet says nothing about God’s satisfaction. The verse speaks of the servant enjoying the fruit of his labor.

272. Isaiah 53:11b “the servant will justify man”

See #240.

273. Isaiah 53:11c “the sin bearer for all mankind”

See #240

274. Isaiah 53:12a “exalted by God because of his sacrifice”

See #240. Note the servant is exalted because of his sacrifice not because of his alleged divine nature.

275. Isaiah 53:12b “he would give up his life to save mankind”

See #240. The passage does not say why the servant gives up his life.

276. Isaiah 53:12c “numbered with the transgressors”

See #240

277. Isaiah 53:12d “sin bearer for all mankind”

See #240

278. Isaiah 53:12e intercede to God on behalf of mankind”

See #240

279. Isaiah 55:3 “resurrected by God”

This passage says nothing about a resurrection. It is talking to a plural group not to a lone individual.

280. Isaiah 55:4a “a witness”

This is talking about David and his righteous descendant – see #48.

281. Isaiah 55:4b “he is a leader and a commander”

See #280

282. Isaiah 55:5 “God would glorify him”

This is talking about Israel.

283. Isaiah 59:16a “intercessor between man and God”

The verse actually says that there is no intercessor.

284. Isaiah 59:16b “he would come to provide salvation”

This is talking about God saving Israel and avenging them from their persecutors.

285. Isaiah 59:20 “he would come to Zion as their redeemer”

This is talking about the real Messiah. There is no way that one can claim that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy.

286. Isaiah 60:1-3 “he would show light to the gentiles”

This is talking about Israel clearly and explicitly.

287. Isaiah 61:1a “the spirit of God upon him”

The prophet.

288. Isaiah 61:1b “the Messiah will preach the good news”

See #287

289. Isaiah 61:1c “provide freedom from the bondage of sin”

See #287. The prophet announces freedom to the captives of exile; no mention is made of sin.

290. Isaiah 61:1-2a “proclaim a period of grace”

See #287

291. Jeremiah 23:5-6 “descendant of David”

See #48

292. Jeremiah 23:5-6 “the Messiah will be both God and man”

See #48. The passage declares that the Messiah will be called by the name: “the Lord is our righteousness” just as the city of Jerusalem is called by the exact same name (Jeremiah 33:16).

293. Jeremiah 31:22 “born of a virgin”

The verse says nothing about anyone being born of a virgin.

294. Jeremiah 31:31 “the Messiah will be the new covenant”

The passage says nothing about the Messiah being the new covenant.

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/jeremiah-31-teaches-that-christianity-is-not-the-new-covenant/

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/some-thoughtso-n-jeremiah-31-by-thomas/

295. Jeremiah 33:14-15 “descendant of David”

See #48

296. Ezekiel 34:23-24 “descendant of David”

See #48

297. Ezekiel 37:24-25 “descendant of David”

See #48

298. Daniel 2:44-45 “the stone that shall break the kingdoms”

This is talking about Israel’s rule in the Messianic era.

299. Daniel 7:13-14a “he shall ascend into heaven”

This vision is interpreted by the angel himself as a reference to Israel (verses 18, 27).

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/daniel-713/

300. Daniel 7:13-14b “highly exalted”

See #299

301. Daniel 7:13-14c “his dominion would be everlasting”

See #299

302. Daniel 9:24a “to make an end to sin”

This is referring to Israel’s suffering in exile.

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/daniel-924-27/

303. Daniel 9:24a “to make reconciliation for iniquity”

See #302

304. Daniel 9:24b “he would be holy”

This is talking of the Temple.

305. Daniel 9:25 “483 years to the exact day”

The prophet speaks of two separate periods; one of 49 years and one of 434 years. The calculations made by the missionaries have no basis in reality outside of the missionary desire to shoehorn Jesus into the time frame of this prophecy.

306. Daniel 9:26a “cut off”

This is referring to the last high priest that served in the Second Temple.

307. Daniel 9:26b “die for the sins of the world”

The prophet gives no reason for the purpose of the “cutting off”.

308. Daniel 9:26c “killed before the destruction of the Temple”

The prophet actually says that this “cutting off” will be concurrent with the destruction of the temple; not “before”.

309. Daniel 10:5-6 “Messiah in a glorified state”

This is talking of the angel Gabriel that Daniel sees in a vision.

310. Hosea 11:1 “he would be called out of Egypt”

This is not a prophetic prediction; this refers to Israel’s redemption from Egypt in the time of the exodus.

311. Hosea 13:14 “he would defeat death”

This is part of God’s rebuke to the Northern kingdom. The prophet is explaining how God would have redeemed them from death itself had they obeyed him. Paul’s quote from this passage in 1Corinthians 15:55-57 is a mistranslation as well as a wrenching of the verse out of context.

312. Joel 2:32 “offer salvation to all mankind”

This is talking about God’s salvation in the end of time.

313. Jonah 1:17 “death and resurrection of christ”

This is not a prophetic prediction it is a narrative describing what happened to Jonah.

314. Micah 5:2a “born in Bethlehem”

This passage does not mention the birthplace of the Messiah; it mentions the clan to which he belongs – see #48.

315. Micah 5:2b “ruler in Israel”

This is talking about the true Messiah who will actually rule in a practical sense.

316. Micah 5:2c “from everlasting”

This means that God’s plan to bring the Messiah goes back to the beginning of time.

317. Haggai 2:6-9 “he would visit the Second Temple”

This is talking about the honor that will be given to God in the setting of the Second Temple.

318. Haggai 2:23 “descendant of Zerubbabel”

This is referring to Zerubavel himself; not his descendant. In any case one who denies having a human father cannot claim lineage from Zerubavel (see #48).

319. Zechariah 3:8 “God’s servant”

This is talking about Zerubavel not to a person who saw himself as equal to God.

320. Zechariah 6:12-13 “priest and king”

This prophecy refers to two separate people; the high priest and Zerubavel. This person (Zerubavel) is described as one who builds the Temple an activity never attributed to Jesus.

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/zechariah-69-15/

321. Zechariah 9:9a “greeted with rejoicing in Jerusalem”

This is talking about a king who will rule in a time when war is no more.

322. Zechariah 9:9b “beheld as a king”

This is a king not merely someone who is “beheld” as a king. See #321

323. Zechariah 9:9c “the Messiah would be just”

See #321 and #69

324. Zechariah 9:9d “the Messiah will bring salvation”

See #321

325. Zechariah 9:9e “the Messiah would be humble”

See #321 and #213

326. Zechariah 9:9f “presented to Jerusalem riding on a donkey”

See #321

327. Zechariah 10:4 “the cornerstone”

This passage is talking about the victory that God will grant the children of Judah and Ephraim in battle (verse 5).

328. Zechariah 11:4-6a “at his coming, Israel to have unfit leaders”

This passage says nothing about the coming of the Messiah.

329. Zechariah 11:4-6b “rejection causes God to remove His protection”

The passage does not say why it is that God is removing His protection.

330. Zechariah 11:4-6c “rejected in favor of another king”

There is no rejection spoken of in these verses. Verse 8 speaks of a spurning of God Himself.

331. Zechariah 11:7 “ministry to the “poor”, the believing remnant”

This is talking about God shepherding those loyal to Him.

332. Zechariah 11:8a “unbelief forces Messiah to reject them”

This is talking about Israel’s spurning of God thus bringing upon themselves God’s punishment.

333. Zechariah 11:8b “despised”

See #332

334. Zechariah 11:9 “stops ministering those who rejected him”

See #332

335. Zechariah 11:10-11a “rejection causes God to remove protection”

See #332

336. Zechariah 11:10-11b “the Messiah would be God”

No mention is made of Messiah.

337. Zechariah 11:12-13a “betrayed for 30 pieces of silver”

No one is “betrayed” in this passage. The thirty pieces of silver are the pay of the shepherd.

338. Zechariah 11:12-13b “rejected”

No one is rejected in these verses.

339. Zechariah 11:12-13c “thirty pieces of silver cast into the house of the Lord”

Not a prophetic prediction. The symbolic pay of the shepherd is thrown into the house of the Lord.

340. Zechariah 11:12-13d “the Messiah would be God”

No mention is made of Messiah.

341. Zechariah 12:10a “the Messiah’s body will be pierced”

This stabbing takes place in the context of a battle which pits all the nations of the world against Jerusalem (verse 9).

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/zechariah-1210/

342. Zechariah 12:10b “the Messiah will be both God and man”

No mention is made of Messiah.

343. Zechariah 12:10c “the Messiah would be rejected”

No mention is made of anyone being rejected.

344. Zechariah 13:7a “God’s will he die for mankind”

It is the enemies of God who are being killed here and no reason is given for their death.

345. Zechariah 13:7b “a violent death”

See #344

346. Zechariah 13:7c “both God and man”

No one in this verse is both God and man. The passage refers to God’s enemies as “the man who sees himself as my competitor”.

347. Zechariah 13:7d “Israel scattered as a result of rejecting him”

This is talking of the scattering of the enemies of God; not of Israel. And again; no one is rejected in this passage.

348. Zechariah 14:4 “he would return to the Mt. of Olives”

This passage says that God’s presence will be manifest on the Mount of Olives; not that He will “return”.

349. Malachi 3:1a “messenger to prepare the way for Messiah”

The messenger prepares the way for God’s presence to be manifest in the Temple.

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/malachi-31-4/

350. Malachi 3:1b “sudden appearance at the Temple”

This is talking about God’s manifestation in the Temple.

351. Malachi 3:1c “messenger of the new covenant”

See #349.

352. Malachi 4:5 “forerunner in spirit of Elijah”

This passage tells us that the forerunner will be Elijah himself; not someone who never claimed to be Elijah.

353. Malachi 4:6 “Forerunner will turn many to righteousness”

See #352.

As we have seen; the vast majority of these “prophecies” are not prophetic predictions at all. Some of them are simply fanciful translations and interpretations that have no basis outside of the missionary imagination. Many of them clearly cannot apply to Jesus for simple grammatical and contextual reasons. Others cannot apply to Jesus as he is portrayed in Christian theology (i.e. sinless, without human father). Some of these prophecies were clearly not fulfilled by Jesus (such as those which speak of an age of universal peace).

It is not that there is a dearth of prophetic material that can help us identify the Messiah and the Messianic age.

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/letter-to-sy-about-messiah/

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/09/05/the-polar-opposite/

The problem seems to be when the approach to Scripture is dictated by the desire to “find” someone hiding between the lines. Instead of asking: “Of whom speaketh the prophet”, try reading Scripture with the question: “what is the prophet trying to tell me”.

You may find this list of passages helpful.

http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/1000-verses/

Source: http://prooftexts.wordpress.com/

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The Ten Commandments – A Song for Kids

by G-dcast – Meaningful Jewish Screentime

A rockin trip through the Ten Commandments. We bring the decalogue to life with some villagers and their mischievous ways, and your kids will never forget the catchy lyrics. A great way to learn the commandments! Created in honor of Shavuot, the holiday when the Jewish people commemorate receiving the Torah (Law) at Mount Sinai.

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Satan

Jewish concept of HaSatan and the Christian concept of Satan.

Posted by: penina

Some have said that the difference between Judaism and Christianity is simply that Christianity believes the Messiah has already come once and is awaiting his return and that Judaism believes he has not yet come and is awaiting his arrival. Oh, that it were so simple! How many lives could have been saved! How many wars prevented! The unfortunate truth of the matter is that Christianity and Judaism are so severely contrasted in their essential beliefs, that one would not be far off in saying that they are opposites. Whether you are talking about the nature of God, atonement, salvation, eternal life, or Satan, these two faith systems couldn’t be more different.

In today’s study we are going to look at the difference between the Jewish concept of Satan (HaSatan) and the Christian concept of Satan.

First of all, in doing a quick search of the Hebrew and Christian bibles, we find a remarkable difference. In the Jewish bible (Tanakh), we find three separate references to Satan (the book of Job is considered one reference because it is one continuous story). However, in the New Testament, a book 1/3 the size of the Hebrew bible, we find 35 references to Satan. If we add the word “devil” to the search, we get an additional 32 references in the New Testament. In total, a search using different euphemisms for Satan leaves us with well over a hundred references. So, the first thing we need to understand is that in Judaism, HaSatan is not a main focus of our relationship with HaShem. Whereas, Christianity almost seems preoccupied with him.
This applies only to passages referring to Satan as a proper name – the angelic being. The word satan is actually used many times in the Tanakh, and it means an adversary, obstacle or stumbling block.

Besides the shear pre-occupation with Satan, we find another very major, fundamental difference between the Jewish understanding of Satan and the Christian understanding of him.
In Christianity, Satan is an enemy of G-d, an opposing force, and something very bad. In Christianity, Satan has a level of power that is considered almost equal to that of G-d. In the Christian bible (2 Corinthians 4:3-4), Satan is called the god of this world. However, in Judaism Satan is an agent of G-d, created by G-d for a specific purpose, and something very good. Satan is simply an agent of G-d, just as all the other angels are simply agents of G-d. This is why we frequently see passages where the author appears to interchange G-d and an angel (leading to the often erroneous Christian concept of a christophony).

If we take a look at Isaiah 45:7, we see that Hashem is the creator of everything, as the text says, “bringing forth light and create darkness, I make peace and create evil, I am G-d who does all these things.” In the Jewish bible, everything is under the jurisdiction of G-d and under His power – all forces, even evil forces. Everything comes from G-d, He created everything, good and evil. That being the case, Satan is not a rival of G-d, he is a messenger of G-d and unable to do anything outside of G-d’s will.

In contrast to Christian literature, where Satan is understood to be an evil force, the enemy of G-d, in Jewish literature, he is seen as a blessing to the Jewish people. Why? Let’s consider for a moment what Satan means. As mentioned before, the word not only means an adversary, but a stumbling block or an obstacle. What exactly is an obstacle? It is something which is put in our path requiring us to overcome it. Obstacles in this life give us opportunities to stretch our muscles and to grow.

Let’s take a look at what Judaism has to say about Satan. In the Genesis account of creation, we are told that G-d saw that each day was good, but on the last day it says that G-d saw that everything was VERY good. The Talmud teaches that this refers to the Evil inclination, which it equates with the Satan. Why is this good? It is the Evil inclination that provides our passions and desires, it is the evil inclination which is responsible for not only all the evil that transpires in this world, but also for all the good. For if we did not have passions, appetites and desires, we would also have no motivation and we would accomplish very little, either good or bad in this life.

If you look at the use of Satan in the Hebrew bible, you find that as a concept, it is much more about an experience than a person, an experience where G-d has put a roadblock in front of us. This is Satan, this is an adversary. So why is this a good thing? Because if we were to go through life without ever experiencing these roadblocks or adversaries, obstacles in life, there would be no potential for virtue in the world. For if we were never tempted to do the things that we are not supposed to do, then not doing them would be of no value to us. It is only in coming up against a desire to do what is wrong and overcoming this that we grow as spiritual people.

This evil inclination, or Satan, provides friction. Can you imagine a world with no friction, no resistance? Think about a car, how does it go? It is the friction between the tires and the road that allow the car to make progress, to go forward. Now, to the tires the friction is not necessarily a positive thing, the friction slowly destroys the tire, and yet without the friction, the tire is worthless.

If there is no resistance to overcome, we have no environment for growth. When we come up against an obstacle, either we crash into it and fall (definitely a negative experience – the evil inclination) or you have to climb over it, and by climbing over these obstacles in life, we develop our spiritual muscles, so to speak. If we never exercise our muscles, we atrophy. So these forces in the world, these experiences, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable, are positive and important.

To reiterate, in the Jewish bible, everything was created by G-d, both good and evil and everything is under G-d’s control. Only one force, not two, whereas, in Christianity Satan is not under the control of G-d but is rather, a competing force against G-d. Christian theology makes Satan so powerful that he is given the title, “the god of this world.”

This sets up a situation in Christian theology whereby Jesus must come and accomplish something to help us get out of the difficult situation – to overcome Satan, since he is at war not only with G-d, but with us. However, Judaism teaches that what is to be overcome is not Satan, but the satan in our path, the obstacle which has been put there for our growth.

So, to reiterate, in Judaism Satan is an agent of G-d, who provides opportunities for us to grow, to respond to our passions and desires by producing things of value in this world and to become stronger spiritual people. Bring it on!

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In memoriam Eyal, Gilad and Naftali

noachbenavraham:

This past Shabbat we read the parsha of Chukkat with its almost incomprehensible commandment of the red heifer whose ashes mixed with “living water” purified those who had been in contact with death so that they could enter the Mishkan, symbolic home of the glory of God. Almost incomprehensible but not entirely so.

The mitzvah of the parah adumah, the red heifer, was a protest against the religions of the ancient world that glorified death. Death for the Egyptians was the realm of the spirits and the gods. The pyramids were places where, it was believed, the spirit of the dead Pharaoh ascended to heaven and joined the immortals.

The single most striking thing about the Torah and Tanakh in general is its almost total silence on life after death. We believe in it profoundly. We believe in olam haba (the world to come), Gan Eden (paradise), and techiyat hametim (the resurrection of the dead). Yet Tanakh speaks about these things only sparingly and by allusion. Why so?

Because too intense a focus on heaven is capable of justifying every kind of evil on earth. There was a time when Jews were burned at the stake, so their murderers said, in order to save their immortal souls. Every injustice on earth, every act of violence, even suicide bombings, can be theoretically defended on the grounds that true justice is reserved for life after death.

Against this Judaism protests with every sinew of its soul, every fibre of its faith. Life is sacred. Death defiles. God is the God of life to be found only by consecrating life. Even King David was told by God that he would not be permitted to build the Temple because dam larov shafachta, “you have shed much blood.”

Judaism is supremely a religion of life. That is the logic of the Torah’s principle that those who have had even the slightest contact with death need purification before they may enter sacred space. The parah adumah, the rite of the red heifer, delivered this message in the most dramatic possible way. It said, in effect, that everything that lives – even a heifer that never bore the yoke, even red, the colour of blood which is the symbol of life – may one day turn to ash, but that ash must be dissolved in the waters of life. God lives in life. God must never be associated with death.

Eyal, Gilad and Naftali were killed by people who believed in death. Too often in the past Jews were victims of people who practised hate in the name of the God of love, cruelty in the name of the God of compassion, and murder in the name of the God of life. It is shocking to the very depths of humanity that this still continues to this day.

Never was there a more pointed contrast than, on the one hand, these young men who dedicated their lives to study and to peace, and on the other the revelation that other young men, even from Europe, have become radicalised into violence in the name of God and are now committing murder in His name. That is the difference between a culture of life and one of death, and this has become the battle of our time, not only in Israel but in Syria, in Iraq, in Nigeria and elsewhere. Whole societies are being torn to shreds by people practising violence in the name of God.

Against this we must never forget the simple truth that those who begin by practising violence against their enemies end by committing it against their fellow believers. The verdict of history is that cultures that worship death, die, while those that sanctify life, live on. That is why Judaism survives while the great empires that sought its destruction were themselves destroyed.

Our tears go out to the families of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali. We are with them in grief. We will neither forget the young victims nor what they lived for: the right that everyone on earth should enjoy, to live a life of faith without fear.

Bila hamavet lanetzach: “May He destroy death forever, and may the Lord God wipe away the tears from all faces.” May the God of life, in whose image we are, teach all humanity to serve Him by sanctifying life

Originally posted on Menashe's Blog:

by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/in-memoriam-eyal-gilad-and-naftali/)

3heroes

This past Shabbat we read the parsha of Chukkat with its almost incomprehensible commandment of the red heifer whose ashes mixed with “living water” purified those who had been in contact with death so that they could enter the Mishkan, symbolic home of the glory of God. Almost incomprehensible but not entirely so.

The mitzvah of the parah adumah, the red heifer, was a protest against the religions of the ancient world that glorified death. Death for the Egyptians was the realm of the spirits and the gods. The pyramids were places where, it was believed, the spirit of the dead Pharaoh ascended to heaven and joined the immortals.

The single most striking thing about the Torah and Tanakh in general is its almost total silence on life after death. We believe in it profoundly. We believe in olam haba (the world to come), Gan…

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Korach Numbers 16:1–18:32

Korach incites a mutiny challenging Moses’ leadership and the granting of the kehunah (priesthood) to Aaron. He is accompanied by Moses’ inveterate foes, Dathan and Abiram. Joining them are 250 distinguished members of the community, who offer the sacrosanct ketoret (incense) to prove their worthiness for the priesthood. The earth opens up and swallows the mutineers, and a fire consumes the ketoret-offerers.

A subsequent plague is stopped by Aaron’s offering of ketoret. Aaron’s staff miraculously blossoms and brings forth almonds, to prove that his designation as high priest is divinely ordained.

G‑d commands that a terumah (“uplifting”) from each crop of grain, wine and oil, as well as all firstborn sheep and cattle, and other specified gifts, be given to the kohanim (priests).
source: Chabad.org

KORACH’S ENVY

In the account of the sin of the Ten Spies in the previous parshah of SHELACH LECHA, we learned about the painful consequences of distorted vision in man’s relation with G-d. The Spies and those who listened to them lacked faith in G-d’s promise to take them to the Land of Israel, allowing outward appearances deceive them into thinking they would be unable to conquer it. The sin could be rectified only through a protracted exile that comes to teach us that, in spite of outward appearances, G-d is in fact leading us to ultimate, complete possession of the Land.

The distortion of vision that is the theme of our present parshah of KORACH, a distortion which led to such dire consequences for Korach and those who listened to him, was of a different nature. In Korach’s case, the distortion lay in the way man views his fellow man: Korach could not bear to see another more prominent than himself. “Why is Moses the king, Aaron the high priest. and Korach just another Levite?”

The sin of vision of the spies is deeply rooted in the sin of eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Just as the outer appearance of the fruit made Eve lose faith in what G-d said about not eating it, so too the spies wanted to see things for themselves and make their own decisions — and they lost their faith. Korach’s sin of vision, on the other hand, is rooted in Cain’s jealousy of Abel, whose offering (the prototype Temple sacrifice of Aaron) found favor in G-d’s eyes. “Why is Abel the priest?” Cain wanted the whole world for himself — so he killed Abel. So too Korach was envious of Aaron’s eternal role as the high priest of G-d’s Temple, and he tried to destroy him.

According to the Midrash, Korach’s “starting point” is to be found at the end of the previous parshah, giving the commandment of Tzitzis, where a single blue thread is tied with seven white threads as fringes on the four corners of our garments. [Issues relating to the use of white linen threads with the blue TECHEILES woolen thread are also bound up with Cain and Abel: the offering of the former was of linen, while the latter offered sheep.] The question that Korach asked was: “If a person is wearing a garment that is entirely TECHEILES, does it also require Tzitzis?” When Moses answered that it does, Korach ridiculed him: “If a single blue thread is enough to fulfill the duty of Tzitzis for a white garment, surely a garment that is entirely TECHEILES doesn’t need Tzitzis!”

Korach wanted a garment that was all TECHEILES, all kingship and grandeur. He did not want to be reminded that the only King is G-d, all around us, in all directions. Korach wanted the kingship and grandeur for himself: he was all TECHEILES, all GEVURAH. According to rabbinic tradition, Korach possessed amazing wealth. Everything was for himself, yet in rebelling against Moses and Aaron, Korach played the democrat, the people’s champion: “All the community, all of them are holy, and HASHEM is within them, and why do you lord it over the Assembly of HASHEM?”

Korach’s rebellion was against the authority of Moses (the rule of law), but he justified it with an appeal to people’s highest ideals: “Everyone is holy — so why do we need priests and rabbis?” Korach used his wealth and prestige to whip everyone up into a frenzy against Moses.

The first word of G-d’s command to Moses and Aaron — “SEPARATE yourselves from this assembly and I will consume them.” (Numbers 16:21) gave its name to a doctrine that was espoused by Rabbi Moses, the Chasam Sofer (1762-1839) leader of European Jewry in his time, in response to the proponents of religious and cultural assimilation. The doctrine is that of HISBADLUS, Separation. At a time when assimilationist thinking was spreading rapidly among the Jews of Europe, the Chasam Sofer urged his faithful co-religionists to separate themselves in every possible way from anyone who deviated from the Judaism of the Shulchan Aruch, the Code of Torah law.

Today, assimilation has become so universal that the Torah faithful have little option but to run after the assimilated and try to help them find their way back to G-d. Nevertheless, having an understanding of the origins of HISBADLUS may help us in trying to unravel the knots of MACHLOKET (conflict) in which our communities are so tied up. For HISBADLUS remains the key to the separatist attitudes shown by some in the observant community until today. The essence of HISBADLUS is to try to distance oneself from those who represent a culture and way of life that are in rebellion against G-d’s Torah as we have it from Moses.

The assimilation movement made rapid inroads among Jews everywhere from the 1800′s onwards because of the strength of its appeal to those who felt caged in by the centuries-old restrictions on Jewish social and economic life. While assimilation had its theorists and exponents (from Moses Mendelson onwards), what gave it such power and influence was the fact that it was sponsored by a clique of extremely wealthy Jewish sponsors (= Korach) who were themselves in flight from the Torah of Moses. They used their influence in the countries in which they lived to establish synagogues, educational and cultural institutions that deviated from the traditional pathway. Indeed, they have been so effective that they have succeeded in making what is essentially a deviation appear mainstream, whereas the authentic Torah of Moses appears purely marginal. What could be more of a distortion of vision?

* * *

HELL

The punishment of Korach and his band was that “they went down alive to SHE-OL” (Numbers 16:30). The bible commentator OR HACHAYIM (Rabbi Chayim ben Attar) explains (ad loc.) the use of the word SHE-OL (which has the connotation of “borrow”) as a term for Hell. “The explanation is that the earth did not have power over them to kill them, but they were left alive, and the earth gave them as a deposit to Gehennom”.

Many seekers of the truth of the Torah are confused about what place She-ol, Gehennom or Hell really play in the Torah worldview. In the Bible, the word used for hell is, as in our parshah, SHE-OL (see also Genesis 42:38 and Deuteronomy 32:22).

Throughout the Talmud, the standard term referring to hell is Gehennom, but this does not appear in the Bible at all except as the name of a location just outside ancient Jerusalem — Gey Hennom, the “Valley of Sighs”. This was where there was an idolatrous temple to Molech, to whom children were dedicated by being passed over fire (making the children scream or “sigh”).

The confusion over what hell really is derives precisely from the fact that all false religions and cults use precisely this idea to strike such fear into the hearts of their led flocks that they will be psychologically locked into the cult all their lives. Going down to hell alive is precisely what is so frightening about the idea, as it means that death is not a refuge of unconsciousness from the threatened pains of hell. On the contrary, “hellfire and brimstone” preachers delight in reminding their audiences how, despite the excruciating pain of the threatened fire and freezing cold, etc., there is no death and no relief in hell, only more and more pain. all this as the punishment of those who dare stray from the cult!

In the Five Books of Moses, the prime sanction that is threatened for disobedience against the Torah is not hell, but rather the tribulations of This World (as in the curses in Leviticus chapter 26 and in Deuteronomy chapter 28). However, Hell is also threatened: “For a fire is kindled through my wrath and it will burn to the depths of SHE’OL.” (Deuteronomy 32:22). The Talmud teaches that unconsciousness and insensitivity provide no relieve in hell. “The worms of the grave are as hard to the dead person as a needle in living flesh” (Shabbos 13b). But the Torah also explicitly states that “When the wicked person turns from all his sins that he did and guards all My laws and practices justice and charity, he will surely live. All his sins that he did will not be remembered against him; through the righteousness that he practiced he will live” (Ezekiel 18:21-22).

The psychological power wielded by priests and cult-leaders over their hypnotized flocks lies in their implicit claim that it is they themselves who determine who will suffer in hell and for what crimes (i.e. betrayal of the cult). However, the Torah teaches that G-d alone determines what each one must suffer, and that a person suffers only for those actions for which he bears responsibility, and not for the crimes of others. (“It is the soul that sins that will die. A son will not bear the sin of a father and a father will not bear the sin of the son. The righteousness of the righteousness will be upon him and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon him” — Ezekiel 18:20).

The Torah view is that while hell is certainly painful, it is compassionate in the sense that the sinner pays for his sins in order to be cleansed of them and thus prepared for reconciliation and true communion with G-d. Thus the Torah teaches that there is a time-limit to hell, while the final reward is eternal.

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov commented that while we believe in the eternal reward (Gan Eden), and while it MAY BE that Olam Ha-Zeh, “This world”, exists somewhere or other, the place we are in now would for many people appear to be Gehennom, in view of the terrible suffering many people go through here. May all that we may have suffered here be our atonement, and may G-d speedily grant relief from all our troubles and sorrows.

The Talmudic rabbi Rabbah bar bar Hannah relates (Bava Basra 74a) that he was taken by “an itinerant merchant” to a place in the wilderness where Korach and his band were swallowed up. There was a fissure in the crust of the earth from which smoke was rising, and the heat was so intense that some drenched cotton-wool lowered into it on the end of a spear was scorched immediately. The merchant asked him what he could hear. He heard voices crying out: “Moses and his Torah are true, while Korach and his band are deceivers.” The merchant told Rabbah that Korach and his band were rotating in the fire of hell like meat on a spit, and that every thirty days they would complete a circuit and could be heard saying the same thing: “Moses and his Torah are true.”. This fits in well with another teaching of Rabbi Nachman: that the essential pain of hell is not so much physical as the pain and shame at having been wrong all along. If we have been wrong, let’s admit it!

* * *

THE TORAH ECONOMY

The account of Korach’s challenge to Moses and Aaron is followed by the laws relating to the sacrificial parts and Terumah (gifts of grain, oil, wine and other produce) given to the priests in return for their service in the Sanctuary, and the tithes which the Levites received in return for theirs.

In Temple times, these gifts made up a substantial part of the livelihood of the priests and Levites, who were thus left free to pursue their work of going out among the people and teaching them the Torah. Since the study and teaching of the Torah are not per se economically productive activities (though they are the source of all blessing, spiritual and material), the only way they can be seriously pursued is when each member of the wider society takes a share in supporting them.

In the words of Rambam (Laws of Shemittah and Jubilee 13:12-13):

“The tribe of Levy did not have a share in the land of Israel or in war booty together with their brothers, because they were separated to serve HaShem and minister to Him and to teach His righteous ways and laws to the multitude. Accordingly they were separated from the ways of the world, they do not fight in war like other Israelites and they do not have a share in the land or attain material power. They are the army of G-d and G-d is their share and inheritance.

“And not only the tribe of Levy, but every single person from all the inhabitants of the world whose spirit encourages him and whose understanding leads him to separate himself to stand before G-d and serve Him, to know G-d and go on the straight path. G-d will remove from his neck the yoke of the “many calculations” that people seek for themselves. For this person has sanctified himself as a holy of holies, and HaShem will be his portion for ever and ever and G-d will provide him in this world with what suffices him, just as G-d provided the priests and the Levites with their livelihood. And thus King David said: HaShem is the portion of my share and my cup: You sustain my lot!”

Shabbat Shalom!!!

Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum

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The Guilt of Books

Pastor Steven L. Anderson of Temple Arizona; “Jews who practice Judaism are the synagogue of satan.”  (Whoomp! “there it is”)  “Christians Are God’s Chosen People.  Jews Are The Synagogue Of Satan, It says so right in The Holy Bible.”?  [Clearly one of the best examples of people following a path to hate.]

 

The Guilt of Books

By Yourphariseefriend

Books don’t commit crimes, people do. If we are going to discuss the guilt or innocence of a given book, we need to first define and delineate what the discussion is going to be about.

There is no discussion about the commitment of the crime. It happened and it is still happening. People are still using the canards of the Christian Scriptures to delegitimize, dehumanize and to create an unjust negative image of the Jewish people and their beliefs. This is not open to discussion, this is a fact of history and it is a fact of life.

The question that is being discussed is the question of the intent of the authors of the Christian Scriptures. If the authors of the Christian Scriptures had no malicious intent then we cannot rightly accuse them of criminal activity. Perhaps they were negligent, perhaps they were foolishly naïve, but in order to determine that they were participants in the crimes of Christian Europe we will need to demonstrate malicious intent.

There are a few concepts that need to be set aside before this discussion can take on any meaning. For those who are convinced that the origin of the Christian Scripture is divine, then this discussion can have no meaning. For those people, and for many centuries this was the outlook of Christian Europe, virtue and sin is defined according to the Christian Scriptures. So if the Christian Scriptures dehumanize the Jew, then it is virtuous to dehumanize the Jew and it is sinful to consider the Jew human. If this is the outlook then there can be no discussion about the guilt of the Christian Scriptures.

Fortunately, we live in an age where most people recognize that if the Christian Scripture had an intentional hand in the crimes committed by Christian Europe toward the Jewish people, then that book cannot be divine. This then is the basis for our discussion.

Another concept that needs to be defined if not set aside is the idea of seeing a book as an entity that stands alone. Until the Protestant Reformation, no one saw the books of the Christian Scriptures as the sole authority on Christianity. It was understood and accepted that the attitudes and teachings passed on by the body of believers in Jesus were the heart and soul of Christianity. The books of the Christian Scriptures were part and parcel of the total outlook, but no one dreamed of seeing them as an entity that stands apart from the community that birthed them.

With the rise of the Reformation, the theoretical concept that became popular was that it is only what is written in the book that defines Christianity and no other body is authorized to define Christianity. I say that this concept is theoretical simply because it is not practiced by any denomination of Protestant Christianity. Every denomination of Protestantism accepts beliefs and attitudes from the community that preceded it, at least as they relate to the makeup of the Christian Scriptures.

This theory is relevant to our discussion because if Scripture alone is authorized to define Christianity then whoever it is that we are talking to can easily say that his or her interpretation of Scripture is the only accurate interpretation and therefore all of our findings are meaningless. This argument makes it that much more difficult to demonstrate the guilt of the Christian Scriptures because we now need to demonstrate the guilt of the book according to the interpretation of the individual we are addressing.

The fact is that the Christian Scriptures are so guilty, that even with our hands tied behind our back we can still demonstrate the guilt of this book.

One more concept needs to be clarified before we begin. A book is not a product of an individual it is a product of a community. Yes, individuals write books, but without the community the books would disappear into oblivion. If the community does not find in the book something that speaks to its heart, or if the community finds the book distasteful, then the book will never be copied and the future generations will never know that it existed.

With all of these concepts in place we can now proceed to the trial. What is the accusation that we bring against the authors and the community that birthed the Christian Scriptures? We are not accusing them of directly instructing their posterity to commit the crimes of the Inquisition, the holocaust and the centuries of cruel persecution of the Jewish people. But we are accusing them of laying the groundwork for those crimes.

Before Christian Europe began persecuting the Jew, they first saw the Jew as an entity that stood apart from the rest of humanity. In the mind of the Christian, the Jew was guilty of heinous crimes against God and against humanity, the Jew had a different spiritual nature than other people and the Jewish rejection of Jesus was rooted in the inherently evil nature of the Jew. The Christian also believed that all of these evil qualities of the Jew were taught by the teachers of Judaism as if they were the highest virtues. The Inquisition, the pogroms and the holocaust would not have been possible if the European would not have first believed that the Jew and Judaism were children of the Devil.

There is no question that this description of the Jew and of Judaism is recorded in the Christian Scriptures. This is how generations of Christian teachers understood the words of the Christian Scriptures and this is how they taught it to those who would listen to them. As the horrors of the holocaust became clear, many Christians recoiled from this interpretation of the Christian Scriptures. The modern claim is that this was not the original intent of the authors when they wrote those words.

Another defense thrown up by those trying to cling to the righteousness of these books is that the Hebrew Scriptures also speak ill of the Jews. Christian Europe also used the writings of the Jewish prophets to dehumanize and to delegitimize the Jewish people.

At this point we need to introduce another accusation against the community of people who believe in Jesus. This community usurped the Jewish Scriptures and wrenched them out of their original context. It is only when the Jewish Scriptures are read in the unnatural context of Christianity that they can be misused to dehumanize the Jew. And here is where our story begins.

What community was it that produced the Christian Scriptures? Who were the enemies of this community and what challenges did they face? How did this community define themselves and the world around them?

The community that produced the Christian Scriptures was a community that saw belief in Jesus as the most important factor in defining a human being. They defined themselves according to that belief and they defined others according to their lack of belief in Jesus.

Belief in Jesus means believing in him as the Messiah predicted by the prophets of Judaism. Now the Jews, by and large, did not believe in Jesus. This created an obvious problem for the community of Jesus believers. And this community was strongly motivated to dehumanize the Jew and to claim that the natural instincts of the Jew are evil and that as children of darkness they cannot come to the “light.” Furthermore, this community was motivated to teach that the Jew cannot understand his own Bible. It is only the believer in Jesus whose eyes are “opened” to the truth of the Jewish Bible. But the Jew’s heart and eyes are closed to the truth.

These were the teachings of the early community of believers in Jesus concerning the Jew and this is reflected in the writings of that community, including the Christian Scriptures. The criticism of the Jew in the Christian Scripture was never read as an internal self-criticism of the community of Jesus believers. It is still not read in that sense, even by those who would disassociate the crimes of Christian Europe from this set of books. Until today, the negative words that the Christian Scriptures has for the Jew are read as an explanation for the Jewish rejection of Jesus.

The criticism of the Jewish people that is found in the Jewish Scriptures was also read by the Christian community as a criticism of their theological opponents. Even when the Church taught that the Christian had replaced the Jew in the covenantal relationship with God, still the Christian never read the censure of the Jewish prophets as a criticism of the Christian community. The Christian always read the criticism of the Jewish prophets as a declaration of the evil of those who stand on the other side of the divide; those who don’t believe in Jesus.

The true context of the Jewish scriptures is entirely different. The prophets themselves declare that the Jewish Scriptures were given to the Jewish people to the exclusion of any other entity (Psalm 147:19,20). The Jews have always read the censure of Isaiah and Jeremiah as internal self-criticism and they still read them that way. They never read these words as a description of their theological enemies. To compare the criticism of the Jews found in the Jewish Scriptures with the caricature of Jews and Judaism found in the gospels is to compare good with evil. The one was always read by its target audience as self-criticism while the other was always read by its target audience as the dehumanization of their theological challengers.

But it didn’t have to be like this. The early community of believers in Jesus was faced with a challenge. The theological doctrines that they held most dear were rejected by the Jewish people and this rejection was not easily dismissed. After all, it was the Jewish people who were waiting for the Messiah so why did they reject the Messianic claims of Jesus? The community of believers in Jesus needed to formulate some type of response to this Jewish rejection. They needed to explain to themselves as well as to others why it is that the Jewish people could not agree that Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophecies.

At this juncture, the followers of Jesus had several paths open to them. They could have simply ignored the Jewish people and their claims and remained silent (“turn the other cheek”). Or they could have restated their case for the Messiah-ship of Jesus with greater clarity, attempting to assess what it is that the Jewish people don’t understand about their claims (“do unto others as you would have done unto yourself”). If the followers of Jesus had chosen either of these paths then the history of the Jewish people would have been that much different. There would have been no holocaust, no Inquisition, and the life of millions of Jews would have been so much more peaceful.

But the community of Jesus believers took a different path. They took the path of hatred and slander. They came up with fantastic theories that delegitimize the Jew’s opinion and discount the arguments of the Jew before they can be heard. The Jesus centered community taught their followers that the God centered community loved lies and hated truth. That they enjoyed murder and their religion was legalistic, cruel, hypocritical and arrogant. As blind children of darkness and the devil, there is no reason to take the arguments of the Jew seriously. This then was the path chosen by the community of Jesus believers; the path of delegitimizing and hating their theological opponents.

Hatred of the Jew and Judaism remained a hallmark of the community of Jesus believers. The subsequent writings of that community are all laced with deep antagonism towards Jews and Judaism.

So this is the situation. We have a community that had a vested interest to delegitimize and dehumanize the Jew. This community produced a series of books that contain precisely this sentiment. And we are to assume that this is a wild coincidence? That the authors and editors of the book were not guided by the base hatred that saturated the hearts of the rest of the members of the community? If you look at the history of the community that produced this book, you cannot but conclude that this book reflects the petty hatred of that community.

So when John’s Jesus “explains” that the reason that people don’t believe in him is because they love darkness and/or because they are children of the devil, it is a reflection of the hatred that festered in the heart of the community that authored and edited the book of John. This is precisely what that community wanted to believe; that they are children of God and children of light while their theological opponents are incapable of loving the truth because they are inherently evil. This saved them the trouble of considering the arguments of their enemies.

When Paul teaches his audience that the Jews have a veil over their eyes when they read the Torah and that they are blinded from seeing the truth of Scripture, he was setting the Jew apart from the rest of mankind. With these arguments Paul and the editors of his writings avoided the inconvenience of seeing the Jew as a human who has the capability of discerning right from wrong.

When Matthew’s Jesus describes the Pharisees as a brood of vipers and as a people steeped in hypocrisy, he was teaching his community exactly what they wanted to hear; that the Jewish concept of virtue is precisely the opposite of true virtue and there is then no need to take the Jewish rejection of the claims of the Jesus centered community with any seriousness.

Perhaps you are still unconvinced. Perhaps you think that is a complete coincidence that the community that was so motivated to delegitimize the Jew produced a work of literature that does precisely that. You still want to cling to the belief that the Christian Scriptures say nothing negative about Jews who don’t believe in Jesus, and all of this negative talk refers to a very limited group of people or that it refers to all who don’t believe in Jesus without singling out the Jews in any way shape or form.

In case that is your belief, then I have a question for you. Why is it, that until today, people from the Jesus centered community find it difficult to acknowledge that the reason Jews cannot accept their claims for the Messiah-ship of Jesus is because they love God? Why is it so difficult for them to acknowledge that it is a loyalty to God and to His goodness that does not allow Jews to accept Jesus? Why can they not admit that they have yet to provide a convincing case for the Messiah-ship of Jesus to the Jew who loves God and who loves His word?

Is it perhaps because of the teachings of the book that they hold so sacred that prevents them from acknowledging this simple truth?

source: https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/the-guilt-of-books/

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Free Choice

This is a wonderful series – so interesting and so helpful.

Video Link

http://www.chabad.org/2081529

If we are part of G-d’s plan, then why did He give us the choice to deviate from the plan? To what extent do our choices really affect our lives? This fifth in a six-part series on core Jewish beliefs examines the importance of free will and its effect on our lives.

By Rabbi Manis Friedman,

Free Choice
Lesson Five:

Text 1
…The Lord said to Himself, “I will no longer curse the earth because of man, for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth…
(Genesis 8:21)

Text 2
Behold, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil… I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. You shall choose life, so that you and your children will live.
(Deuteronomy 30:15-19)

Text 3
Everything is in the hands of heaven except for a person’s awe of heaven.
(Talmud, Berachot 33b)

Text 4
Then Joseph said to his brothers…”I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. But now do not be sad, and let it not trouble you that you sold me here, for it was to preserve life that God sent me before you.
(Genesis 45:4-5)

You did not send me here, God did, and made me an adviser to Pharaoh, a lord over all his household, and a ruler over the entire land of Egypt.
(Genesis 45:8)
ב”ה
Am I in G-d’s place [to judge you?] Indeed, you intended evil against me, [but] G-d designed it for good…
(Genesis 50:29-20)

Text 5
…Observe the commandments of the Lord, your G-d, and go in His ways.
(Deuteronomy 28:9)

Text 6
We are commanded to emulate G-d, blessed be He, to the best of our ability. The source of this commandment is G-d’s statement, “And you shall go in His ways.”
(Maimonides, Book of Commandments)

Text 7
One should be similar to G-d; just as He is compassionate and merciful so should you be.
(Talmud, Shabbat 133b)

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. What is the purpose for free choice? How is it part of G‑d’s plan?

2 To what extent do our choices really determine outcomes? Is there a difference between moral decisions and other decisions?

3. What if someone intends to do evil, but their actions fail? Is this any more or less of a choice than if their plan succeeds? Explain.

Source: http://www.chabad.org/media/pdf/764/EeUF7648255.pdf

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Parshah Naso

Parshat Naso: What the Torah Says About Healthy Marriages

Hold onto your hats, this is a really intense G-dcast. One of the oddest, most thorny episodes in the Bible involves a man who suspects his wife of adultery. Inbal Freund-Novick, an Israeli activist for women’s rights, tells the difficult tale of the accused wife in Parshat Naso. Hard to believe this stuff is in the Torah, but it’s undeniably fascinating.

A Sacred Time – Sivan #1

Rosh Chodesh

During Sivan we celebrate receiving the Torah on Shavuos. Reb Nosson, z”l, explains that the foundation of accepting the Torah and mitzvot is emunah. It follows that we must work to attain a new level of emunah during Shavuos.

Reb Nosson goes on to explain that the deepest and most essential joy that one can possibly experience is rooted in realizing that Hashem is the One who does everything. The material world appears to contradict vital emunah. Attaining and building emunah in a world where G-d’s presence is so hidden is like straining to make out a melody that is strung together by notes that are interrupted by pauses. The flow of the music isn’t constant–you have to follow it with your ear and imagination. Similarly, with emunah we work to pick out the melody of G-dliness from the wall of noise or silence of our worldy experience. This is one reason why singing and music naturally tend to engender feelings of emunah and dveikut, or attachment to G-d. This is the essence of receiving the Torah, this music of emunah.

Hashem, let me hear the music, the deep tapestry of what You do that inextricably woven into the fabric of creation. Help me perceive this and make every moment of my life a living song to You.

The Antidote to Stupidity
By Levi Avtzon

“Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped”
—Elbert Hubbard

In the holy city of Safed, next to the old cemetery, sits a humble structure, known as the “Arizal’s mikvah.” The small building houses a ritual bath which, according to tradition, was used by the master kabbalist Rabbi Isaac Luria (1534–1572, known as the “Arizal”), who would immerse himself in its waters before praying and studying.

The son enters the water and screams, “Ay! This is cold.” The mikvah (ritual pool) is actually an underground stream; its waters are ice cold. But considering the mikvah’s illustrious history, many consider it a special privilege to brave the cold. In fact, tradition has it that anyone who dips in its waters will certainly repent before passing on.

So, the story is told of a father who takes his son before his bar mitzvah to dip in the frigid waters. The son enters the water and screams, “Ay! This is cold.”

He quickly immerses and jumps out, straight into the warm towel his father is holding in his extended hands. “Aaaah!” said the boy, “this feels good!”

Said the father to his about-to-become-a-man son: “May this be a lesson for the rest of your life. Whenever you do something, and the ‘ay’ comes before the ‘ah,’ you know that it is a good thing that you’ve done. When the ‘ah,’ however, comes before the ‘ay,’ then you know that you have done something wrong . . .”

I was reminded of this story when reading the section of the Torah that discusses the woman suspected of having been unfaithful to her husband—the sotah. The word the Torah chooses (Numbers 5:12) to describe her alleged disloyalty is tisteh, [a woman who has] “gone astray.”

Tisteh can also translate as “becomes foolish.” Hence the Talmudic axiom: “A person does not sin unless overcome by a spirit of folly.”

Sin is foolish. We all know it. No one ever feels good after a sin (psycho-maniacs aside), and no one feels bad after doing a mitzvah.

But we sin anyway. Then we feel guilty, then we sin again, then we go to the synagogue on Yom Kippur and promise to better ourselves. Then we sin again.

No, I am not writing a book titled 10 Ideas How to Never Sin Again, nor have I discovered the magic pill that kills the evil inclination within. And if anyone claims to have found the vaccine against temptation, lock him up in an asylum—before he proclaims himself a god and goes off to build a cult and exploit a bunch of misguided people.

But maybe, just maybe, we might refrain from sin that one timeUntil Moshiach comes, when evil will be eradicated from the world for good, we will continue to be tempted by sin. Hey, just another reason to ask G‑d to send Moshiach.

But maybe, just maybe, if we take the story of the mikvah to heart, and next time we are about to say “ah” before the “ay,” we think ahead—we might refrain from sin that one time.

And that is a very big deal.

Or, as our sages succinctly put it: “Who is a wise one? One who foresees the outcome [of his actions].”

What Is the Torah?

The Pentateuch (Five Books of Moses)
Moses wrote all the Five Books of the Torah; as dictated to him by G-d.

The Torah relates how G-d created the universe, how the human race came into being from Adam and Eve, how our Fathers — Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — fared, and how the Jewish people became a nation, chosen by G-d to be a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation” through receiving and observing the Torah.

The 613 Commandments
The Torah contains 613 commandments, of which 248 are positive (what to do) and 365 are negative (what not to do). The precepts and commandments cover every phase of a Jew’s life, both the duties to one’s fellow man and the way to worship G-d, in order to attain the highest moral standards.

Massorah-(Tradition)
In addition to the precepts, commandments and prohibitions written in the Torah, G-d taught Moses many more laws, and many explanations of the laws written in the Torah, which he was to memorize and orally convey to his successors, who in turn were to uphold this tradition from generation to generation. Many laws and customs have thus been practiced by us traditionally, as if they were actually written in the Torah. Click here for more information regarding the Oral Tradition.

The Prophets
The books of the Prophets include: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah and Tre-Assar (the 12 books of the Minor Prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi).

The Holy Writings
These include the books of Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Daniel, Esther, Ezra and Chronicles. All these books were written by one or another of our prophets by divine inspiration (“Ruach Hakodesh”).

The books of Samuel, Kings, Ezra and Chronicles are (artificially) subdivided into: Samuel I and Samuel II; Kings I and Kings II; Ezra and Nehemiah; Chronicles I and Chronicles II.

In all we had 48 prophets and 7 prophetesses whose prophecies were recorded for their everlasting importance. In addition to them there have been prophets in Israel in every generation, but because of the fact that their prophecies were relevant to their times alone, they were not recorded. Source: http://www.chabad.org/

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Slander:

Originally posted on 1000 Verses - a project of Judaism Resources:

Slander:

  • The dissemination of untruths with the express purpose of defaming another person or a group of people.

The Christian Scriptures present a caricature of the Pharisees which is untrue. Here is a brief list of Christian definitions of the Jewish sect of Pharisees which is the forerunner of Orthodox Judaism. These definitions are based on the Christian Scriptures.

http://www.keyway.ca/htm2002/pharisee.htm

http://biblehub.com/topical/p/pharisees.htm

http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/pharisees.html

http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/dictionaries/dict_meaning.php?source=1&wid=T0002926

http://www.bible-history.com/pharisees/

If you read the literature of the Pharisees, and there is quite a bit of it, you will realize that this caricature is a pack of lies.

You have two choices. You can accept the definition of the Pharisees presented by their own writings and you will then realize that the gospels have nothing to do with truth and a lot to do with petty hatred. Or you can accept the definition of the Pharisees presented by their theological opponents. But then I will ask you to…

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Mark, the earliest of the canonical gospels, apparently had no knowledge of a virgin birth?

The Virgin Birth - With the development in the last half of the twentieth century of the twin medical techniques, in vitro fertilization and artificial insemination, it became possible for a “virgin,” a woman who had never had sexual intercourse with a man, to conceive and bear a child. But, could such a thing have happened two thousand years ago? No way!

In the gospels of Matthew and Luke, whose authors remain unknown, we are told at the beginning of the birth narratives that a young Jewish woman who had never had normal sex relations with a man did in fact become pregnant and after term she delivered a healthy baby boy. It is known euphemistically as “The Virgin Birth.” Many Christians take it literally. Ask them why and they will in all probability say it is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, Isaiah 7:14 to be exact. Is their interpretation of the prophecy in question valid, or is it not? What follows is derived in part from the writings of Samuel Golding of the Jerusalem Institute of Biblical Polemics, Jerusalem, Israel.

Throughout all of Christendom the New Testament is considered to be the divinely inspired word of God. Therefore, its message is accepted without question. Messianic Jews have been taught by Christian missionaries that it is the fulfillment of the Tanach (Hebrew Bible). In short, the Old Testament prophets are supposed to have spoken about Jesus thus confirming his claim to be the long awaited Jewish messiah. One of the many “proofs” of this astounding claim comes from a misinterpretation of Isaiah 7.14 (KJV) which reads, Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Emmanuel.

The verse which mentions a virgin can only be found in the KJV which is incorrectly translated. Other Bibles such as the NEB, RSV and the Jerusalem Bible (Catholic Version) do not give credence to the belief in a virgin birth. There are a few points worth noting as we compare the original Hebrew with the English translation of the KJV.

a] In Hebrew the verse reads in the present tense, “is with child” and not the future tense as recorded in Christian Bibles (KJV.) In Hebrew it states she is pregnant, not will become pregnant. In fact, the Catholic Bible, Isaiah 7.14 reads as follows: “The maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son.” Jesus was not born until seven hundred years after this sign was given, which certainly could not be described as “soon.” The text reads ‘is with child’, therefore how could this woman be kept pregnant for seven hundred years until Jesus arrived?

b] This is not a prophecy for some future date, it is a ‘ot’ (sign ). Whenever ‘ot’ is used in Hebrew it means something which will come to pass immediately. ‘Ot’ is used elsewhere in the Bible: This shall be a sign unto thee from the Lord (Isaiah 38.7-8), and “If they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign” (Ex 4.8-9). In each case the sign comes to pass immediately, not seven hundred years later.

c] The name of the child was Emmanuel. Nowhere in the New Testament do we find that Jesus is called Emmanuel. The angel informs Joseph in a dream that Mary will give birth to a son and that he should be called Jesus (Matt. 1:20-21, Luke 2;21.) All the evidence indicates that we are dealing with two different individuals here, Emmanuel and Jesus.

d] The text specifically says, ‘the young woman’ -’alma’ whereas KJV changes the translation to ‘a virgin ‘. The definite article is changed to the indefinite article, whereas the original text is evidently referring to the young woman known to both Isaiah and Ahaz, and not to some unknown person living far in the future. Here the prophet Isaiah is simply relating to the fact that the young woman is having a baby and that will be a sign to king Ahaz.

e] The “sign” was given to King Ahaz and not to the people of Jesus’ day. It concerned the military situation of the time. The meaning is clear if the message is read in context and in its own historical setting (See 2 Kings 16.1-10).

f] If Christian interpretation of Old Testament prophecy is difficult to swallow, it’s nothing compared to what we are expected to take seriously in the New Testament. For example, in Matthew 1:20 we are told that Joseph, who was betrothed to Mary, was “told in a dream” all about the situation. In Luke 1 we are told that Mary was informed of the coming virgin birth in a private conversation with an angel. How can such ludicrous claims be historically verified?

g] Skepticism of the virgin birth claim is further confirmed by the fact that extant early Christian writings neither mention it nor shows any awareness of it prior to the writing of the Gospel of Matthew sometime after 80 C. E. It appears nowhere in the authentic epistles of Paul nor in Q.

h] The writer of Mark, the earliest of the canonical gospels, apparently had no knowledge of a virgin birth for the following reasons: 1) no birth narrative, 2) Mark’s Jesus only became aware of his divine status when he was baptism, 3) when in Mark 10:17-18 a follower addressed him as “Good Teacher” Jesus replied, “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God.” thereby not only denying the virgin birth and the incarnation, but also the doctrine of the holy trinity, 4) in Mark 3:19-21 (NRSV) when Jesus arrived back in his home town people were saying that he had lost his mind – gone insane. Upon hearing this, his family became concerned and came to restrain him. So, here again is undeniable proof that the writer of Mark was unaware of a virgin birth because if such a thing had actually happened the last thing anyone, especially his mother, would have suspected was that her divine, virgin-born son was insane. The writers of Matthew and Luke, although they drew heavily from Mark, wisely omitted this revealing little detail. (See Matthew 12:46-50 and Luke 8:19-20.)

The truth of the matter is that Christians have been misled by the clergy to believe that the child of the young woman in Isaiah 7.14 was no ordinary child but was none other than God himself clothed in a body of flesh, and that it was referring to none other than Jesus of Nazareth who was allegedly born some 700 years later. It’s nothing short of absurd.

Examining the Christian Claim of Prophecy Fulfillment

by Louis W. Cable.

“Outside Books.” Many of its apocalyptic visions were plagiarized from Zarubable, Daniel and other lesser known mystical works which Jewish scholars have put away. The Christians, when combing through rabbinical literature in search of proof verses to substantiate their claim of the messiahship of Jesus, probably found this old Jewish Midrash13 and doctored it up a bit by inserting the name of Jesus here and there Much later the cannon erroneously accredited it to John the Divine14. The fact is that the Book of Revelation is unintelligible and needs another revelation to explain it. However, an analysis of the interpolations supports the conclusion that it is the work of the anti-Paulinist of the Jerusalem church. This group was zealous in the observance of Jewish law whereas the Paulinist were not.

Revelation 12:5-6 ~ And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days.

Fundies say that the child referred to in this passage is Jesus, and the woman is the Christian church, therefore, it is a prophecy about them. However, this cannot possibly be true because according to the gospels Jesus ascended into heaven not as a child but as an adult about 33 years old. The Greeks, however, tell a story of the birth of Apollo remarkably similar to this one in Revelation except that the Greek story predates Revelation by almost a millennium. The ancient Egyptians also told a similar story of Horace. In fact, this story seems to have been well known throughout the eastern Mediterranean world of the first century. Chapter eighteen of Revelation is borrowed in its entirety from the Hebrew prophets concerning Babylon which was all fulfilled in its day and has nothing at all to do with a prophecy of the end of time.

Revelation 13:16-17 ~ And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

To the anti-Paulinist who authored the Book of Revelation, Rome and every- thing it stood for was tyrannical and hateful. As more and more Roman citizens became converted to Roman Catholicism, the church grew in power and influence. The outcome was that the Pope eventually came to reign supremely in place of the Emperor. The mark of the beast symbolized the coming dominance of the church of Rome when all people would be coerced or forced to convert to it, as many eventually were.

The preaching of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was fundamental to the theology of Paul as is seen in I Corinthians 1:18 and Galatians 6:14. Therefore, when Paulinism became Roman Catholicism the cross became the primary symbol of the faith. From its earliest days the church of Rome made the sign of the cross on the foreheads of those whom it baptized. However, this amounts to a flagrant misuse of the true meaning of the sign.

The earliest reference to a “sign” is found in the Old Testament in Ezekiel 9:4. The symbol was Tav (t), the 23rd letter of ancient Hebrew alphabet. This letter was to be placed on the forehead to identify the righteous so that they would be saved from destruction. It bears no relation what so ever to the Christian cross.

Fundies are quick to apply the title “Antichrist” to anyone who dares to cross them. However, this word appears only four times in the entire Bible all of which are in I and II John. One thing all Antichrists have in common is that they will be identified by that mystical number 666 as seen in Revelation 13:18. In that regard, Fundies have always excited themselves by manipulating the numerical equivalents of the letters in the names of certain world leaders so as to equal that feared number. For example in his epic novel War and Piece Tolstoy identified Napoleon Bonaparte as the Antichrist. Since that time Hitler, Stalin, the Pope, and Franklin D. Roosevelt are just a few who have been given that dubious distinction. The fact is that whenever anyone disagrees with the Fundie’s interpretation of the Bible, they are immediately dubbed the Antichrist. By one means or another, usually highly convoluted, their names always seem to miraculously add up to 666.

To understand better the apocalypse of John, the central theme of the Book of Revelation, it is necessary to examine the visions briefly in their order. First, John sees God sitting on his throne holding in his hand a book with seven15 seals (5:1). Then the lamb that has been slain and has risen from the dead (Jesus) is found worthy to open the seals. When the fifth seal is opened John sees the souls of the martyrs of Christ that were slain for the cause of Christianity. But more martyrs must yet to be slain (6:11). Then we learn that humanity does not accept the atonement of Christ for their sins. For that they must experience the wrath of God (14:19-20 and 19:15). When the seventh seal is opened seven angels with seven trumpets appear. Each time one of the angels sounds his trumpet more horrors occur (8). Following the seventh trumpet blast seven more angels come bearing the seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God (15:7). Then comes the woman, the great whore, dressed in scarlet, and drunk with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus (17:6). In the next verse (7) the woman is seen sitting on a beast with seven heads. The heads represent seven Kings (17:9-10). Five of the kings are fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come (v10). In verse 11 it says that one of the fallen five was wounded but recovered. This one will reign over the earth for three and a half years persecuting the believers and establishing a rule of godlessness. Then comes the great war. The believers in Christ and the resurrected martyrs will in the end destroy the great whore (19:2). Then Satan and all nonbelievers will be banished for one thousand years (the millennium) during which time Jesus and his church will reign. But when the millennium ends Satan is freed and another bloodbath takes place in which he is again defeated (20:7-10). Then there is a second resurrection and all the faithful enter the new Jerusalem which is suspended some where between heaven and earth (21:1).

The emphasis in all of this is on the inevitability of the ultimate victory of Jesus and the believers over Satan and the nonbelievers. Most Fundies are convinced that these visions are prophesying future events. For that reason the Fundies try to twist each and every event so as to make it fit their preconceived expectations. It also permeates their political and social agenda. So to a certain extent they become self-fulfilling. But the fact is that the “Antichrist” has already been and gone.

Revelation speaks strictly of people and events of the writer’s own time. In that regard, Engels16 tells us that the seven kings referred to in 17:10-11 are the Roman emperors – Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, and Otho (a.k.a. Otto). Looking back at the prophecy we see that five are fallen and one is. Nero, number five, was followed by Galba. Hence, Nero is fallen and Galba, number six, is. Galba ruled briefly from 6/68 to 1/69 after which he was replaced by Otho, number seven who also ruled briefly from 1/69 to 3/69. So from this we can determine that Revelation was probably written during the reign of Otho. In verse 11, however, it speaks of a number eight, who is in fact one of the seven. But who was the eighth who was and is not? The key to that lies in the mystery number 666. That number, as it turns out, is simply a disguise for Nero, one of the first five Caesars. The number is based on the Hebrew spelling of Neron Kaisar, an inscription found on coins of Nero’s time.

The entire Roman empire was thrown into confusion in Galba’s time. Nero, who fled from Galba, ordered his slave to kill him which he did. But the rumor soon spread, especially in the east, that Nero had not been killed only wounded. Not only had he recovered, but according to the rumor, he was poised to advance on Rome at the head of a huge army. Thus the Christians perceived another reign of terror and persecution pending. They had good cause for concern because it was Nero who had initiated the first government sponsored persecution of them. The Christians were convinced that Nero was none other than the antichrist, the beast. But not to worry, the Christians were told, because this was the prelude to the second coming of Jesus who, with God’s help, would be victorious over the antichrist thereby inaugurating the millennium. We read in 22:10 that, “the time is at hand.” In verse 12 Jesus says, “Behold, I come quickly.” In verse 20 he assures us again, “Surely I come quickly.” So the Book of Revelation ends on a note of urgency, Jesus is on his way. Thus many naive Christians went joyfully to their death expecting the imminent return of Jesus.

Fundies naturally reject this explanation because if Nero was the beast (antichrist), then according to the prophecy Jesus should have returned to destroy him which he obviously did not do. So the mysterious Book of Revelation turns out to be just another myth in a book of myths called the New Testament. That which was to happen soon is long overdue. Therefore, the Book of Revelation cannot be taken seriously by thinking people.

OLD TESTAMENT SOURCES OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY

will now examine a few of the passages from the Old Testament some of which do not appear in the New Testament, but have become a part of Christian teachings.

The Sceptre of Juda

Gen 49:10 ~ The scepter shall not depart from Juda nor the Lord giveth from between his feet until Shiloh comes and the obedience of the people be his.

Fundies claim that Shiloh is one of the names of the Messiah. Jesus, according to his genealogy, is supposed to be from the tribe of Juda. In the Revelation 5:5 he is characterized as the “Lion of the tribe of Juda.” Fundies believe that the scepter, which denotes rulership, belongs only to Jesus. They say that because the Jews rejected Jesus, the throne of David has been vacant since that day and will only be filled when Jesus (Shiloh) retakes it at his second coming. However, that argument carries no weight.

Scepter departed from the tribe of Juda long before Jesus allegedly appeared on the scene. The last king of the tribe of Juda was King Zedekiah. He was taken captive nearly 600 years before Jesus is supposed to have lived. They may argue that the Jews did have kings up to and during the alleged time of Jesus, but it was only when they rejected Jesus that the kingship was taken away. But it should be pointed out that during the Macabbean period there were indeed kings over Israel, but they were of the tribe of Levi not of Juda. The kings mentioned in the New Testament in association with Jesus are Herod and Aggripa, but there again they were not of the tribe of Juda. In fact, they were impostors forced upon the Jewish people by the Romans. What is meant by “The scepter shall not depart from Juda until Shiloh comes” is simply that no matter who is in power, the true right of kingship belongs only to the tribe of Juda. What is more “Shiloh” is not the name of a messiah but of a town in Samaria.

The Jewish Feasts Have Been Replaced.

Isaiah 1:14 ~ Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.

As usual the Fundies have taken this verse out of context. They have found one verse that they think supports their cause and they have isolated it from the rest of the chapter. However, back in verse ten it clearly shows that these words were directed to the rulers of Sodom and Gomorrah. Because there were Jews how did the same kind of wickedness as was practiced there, the prophet has singled them out for rebuke. It is to them alone that this passage is directed. No attack is being made by the prophet upon those who keep the genuine feasts in a sincere way. This passage is intended for the hypocrites.

Wounded Hands.

Zechariah 13:6 ~ And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.

Fundies claim that the reference to “wounded hands” in this passage is proof that Zechariah was prophesying about Jesus who allegedly had his hands nailed to the cross. In John 20:25 it refers to this so-called prophecy. But according to Zechariah 13:5, But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth. It is clear that the one who has wounds in his hands is considered to be a false prophet. Moreover, the verse reads between thy hands not in thy hands as is incorrectly translated in the KJV.

Psalm 22:16 ~ “They pierced my hands and my feet.” Fundies say that Jesus fulfilled this when he was nailed to the cross. However, the original Hebrew says no such thing.

The truth is that the New Testament does not in any way compliment or fulfill the Old Testament. The Old Testament can continue to exist without the New Testament whereas the opposite would be impossible. If it can be shown that Christianity is a fraud, men of honor and integrity should openly admit it without hesitation. But many Fundies are blinded by faith not in God or in Jesus but in feelings and emotions. They refuse to discuss doctrines and ideas which may prove them to be wrong. They will not allow themselves to see the many misinterpretations, misquotations and out-and-out mistakes plaguing the New Testament. Yet nothing, if it be reasonable, can suffer by objective, impartial examination. To accept anything solely on faith while closing one’s eye and ears to all critics is to practice a most disingenuous form of intellectual dishonesty.

THE PROPHETS DO SPEAK OF JESUS

Some of the Hebrew prophets did speak about Jesus as can be seen from the following citations. Their comments will come as a surprise to most Fundies.

Amos 3:7 ~ Surely God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

From this verse we can only assume that the prophets must have known about Jesus and foretold his coming. Somewhere in their writings there must be, if not an outright mention, at least a hint of him. So, let us see what we can find.

Deuteronomy 13:1-3 ~ If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams.

We can see immediately that the writer is warning of a false prophet. In that regard, many miracles, signs and wonders are recorded in the gospels as being performed by Jesus. These were intended to convince people that he was indeed the Messiah. What is more, in John 10:30 he makes himself out to be God. Surely, Jesus qualifies as a false prophet whose message is to entice the people to worship other gods. But how do we know that this verse is referring to Jesus? Well, look at Deuteronomy 13:6-8 where it says, If thy brother, the son of thy mother, . . . say let us go and serve other gods, . . . Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor harken unto him. Notice it does not say “son of thy father.” As was pointed out earlier, Jesus had no earthly father. Therefore, he fulfilled this prophecy.

Daniel 7:25 ~ And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

The one who came along and changed the times and the laws was Jesus. Therefore, he is the evil one referred to in Daniel’s prophecy.

Isaiah 1:14 ~ Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.

He certainly was not referring to the feast which God ordained, but to those of Christianity – Christmas, Easter, Sunday, etc.

Daniel 11:32 ~ And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

The person whom Daniel foresaw is a deceiver who will win over by flattery and promises those ready to condemn the covenant. But who is the deceiver and what promises does his new covenant have to offer? For one thing, it offers instant salvation and a much easier code of law. Instead of the old covenant with its rigid laws of Moses the new covenant says you don’t have to do anything because it has all been done for you. To be saved, all one has to do is believe in Jesus. But Daniel also says that those who are faithful to their God will hold firm and resist. So, we see from this passage that Jesus is the deceiver, and it is the unfaithful who will fall for the enticing promises of the so-called new covenant.

Isaiah 2:2-3 ~ And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

Fundies say that “God’s house” refers to them and “the word of the Lord” refers to the testimony of Jesus. But Isaiah 2:11 states that the lofty looks of man shall be humbled and the haughtiness of man shall be bowed down. The Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. The prophet here is warning people not to follow a man such as Jesus because his claims carry no substance. This passage refers to someone who appointed himself God as did Jesus. (See John 10:30 and John 14:9.) So, verse 22 undoubtedly refers to him. This is what the prophet said, “Then the lofty looks of man shall be humbled.” Jesus, who exalted and raised himself above all men by claiming to be God, will eventually be humbled and forgotten.

Zechariah 14:9 ~ In that day the Lord shall be one and his name one.

Zechariah said this because he foresaw that some would come to believe Jesus to be God. He also foresaw that the concept of three gods in one, the Holy Trinity, would be accepted and believed by many. But the Lord is and always has been one, not three, as the prophet pointed out.

Isaiah 5:20 ~ Woe to them that call evil good and good evil, that put darkness for light and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

Woe to them that call evil good means that they exchanged the true God of heaven for the false god, Jesus. Although Jesus declared himself to be the light of the world, his gospel has hindered progress and perpetuated darkness and superstition. The period in history known as the Dark Age was the direct result of the rise of Christianity. Jesus substituted his own law for the law of Moses – darkness for light. The law of Moses was austere. It called for man to do the works of the Lord. Whereas the law of Jesus was easy. Jesus says in Matthew 11:30, “My burden is easy, and my yoke is light.” He therefore exchanged the bitter for the sweet. What he had really done, however, was to exchange the sweet, i.e. the law of Moses, for the bitter yoke of apostasy.

Isaiah 5:21 ~ Woe unto those who are wise in their own eyes.

If ever you have meet a true fundamentalist Bible believer you couldn’t help but notice the arrogant self righteousness they display so pompously. His way, he will tell you, is the only way, his truth is the only truth, his life is the only life worth living. Everyone who does not agree with him is doomed. Isaiah was surely speaking of these people.

Isaiah 65:1-5 ~ I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick; Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels; Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.

This prophecy is clearly referring to Jesus and his followers. “Those who sacrifice in gardens” refers to Christian monasteries. “Those who burn incense on bricks” is a reference to the alters in most Christian churches. “Those who sit among the graves” refers to the Christian custom of surrounding the graves of the saints. “Those who eat swine’s flesh,” a meat prohibited by God’s law but eaten by Jesus’ followers.

Isaiah 65:11 ~ But ye are they that forsake the Lord, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.

The Christian Eucharist (Holy Communion) is the subject of this verse. The cup is filled with blood, allegedly the blood of Jesus. The bread they eat is said to be transformed into his flesh. In John 6:53-58 Jesus openly exalts his followers to eat his flesh and drink his blood. Today the Eucharist is performed in almost all Christian churches. It is done using red wine or grape juice and a wafer or a crust of bread. In the mind of the participants these become the actual flesh and blood of Jesus. This is nothing more than a pagan ritual confirming Isaiah’s prophecy.

Job 14:1-2 ~ Man that is born of woman is of a few days and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower and is cut down. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain.

Here the prophet foresees Jesus. Jesus was born of a woman and was without a father. His ministry lasted only about three years and he was cut down in the prime of his life. He was full of troubles as the gospels clearly show. Job goes on to say that such a men is of no use, and in verse 6 warns not to listen to him.

Psalm 146:3 ~ Put not your trust in princes nor in the son of man in whom there is no help.

Jesus is often referred to as a prince as well as the son of man. According to this psalm, he is not to be trusted.

So, the prophets did indeed speak about Jesus and his church. What they had to say was very revealing.

THE DAVIDIC COVENANT

One of the most often quoted elements of the Old Testament is the Davidic covenant. But what does it actually say? In that regard, the modern Bible reader is understandably confused over a contradiction. In 2 Samuel 7:14-16 the covenant promises that the Davidic kings will rule Israel forever even if they sin. But, in 1 King 8:25 it says just the opposite. Here it clearly says that the Davidic king’s continued tenure on the thrown is directly dependant on righteous behavior. So, the question remains, “Was the Davidic covenant unconditional as it clearly states in 2 Samuel or was it conditional as we are told in 1 Kings?

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CONCLUSION

In summing up it should be noted that the New Testament and Christianity, the religion founded upon it, can in no way be interpret as a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Christianity is a new religion completely different from Judaism, the religion of the Old Testament. It created a new priesthood whose high priest is Jesus. The new religion had to create a new covenant and could only do so by declaring the old covenant null and void. This was accomplished by deliberately misquoting the Jewish scriptures as shown above. Christianity is in reality nothing more than a revival of paganism. A new human sacrifice, Jesus, was concocted for the new religion. It is acknowledged by the symbolic eating of the flesh and drinking of the blood of Jesus, the sacrifice. A new Jerusalem, heaven, was established. In order to perpetuate this new religion threats were made throughout the gospels and the epistles to those who refused to believe it.

Christianity claims to have a monopoly on truth. It considers itself to be the only way to God. Therefore, it is bigoted and intolerant of other religious beliefs. In its eyes all non-Christians are doomed to spend eternity in hell, a place whose existence has never been verified. When closely examined Christianity turns out to be an irrational and irresponsible theology. This theology is centered around a man, Jesus, who allegedly died on a Roman cross two thousand years ago. This theology is in fact nothing more than the sado/masochistic glorification of pain and suffering. To be a Christian is to live a life of uncertainty and fear, fear of eternal damnation. Humanity must turn away from seeking refuge in illusion and superstition. Salvation lies in reason and rational thought. “Have the courage to use your own intellect,” says Kant.

All enlightened people are hereby called upon to join together in an effort to expose the false, foolish, and wicked features of the New Testament and to bring about the day when the New Testament will finally take its place not in homes and schools but in the museums where it belongs. Instead of being a book derived from divine inspiration, the New Testament is revealed to be a book of misquotations, contradictions, forgeries, and out right lies.By one of the most diabolical flimflams in history Christian clergy have succeeded in convincing millions or naive and credulous people that Jesus fulfilled all relevant Old Testament prophecies. This claim is based on nothing more than lying, twisting, distorting and/or perverting key Biblical passages. By taking Old Testament verses out of context the New Testament writers deliberately changed the meaning of the words of the prophets in order to give undue credence to the claim that Jesus was the son of God. It is a classic case of fraud and dishonesty, and many of today’s clergy are aware of it. They should have the courage to say so. (McKinsey, page 291)

1 Compiled by Louis W. Cable.
2 JIBP, P.O.Box 9773, Jerusalem 91091, Israel.
3 Biblical Errancy, 2500 Punderson Dr., Hillard, OH 43026.
4 Skepticism, Inc., P.O.Box 717, Canton, IL 61520.
5 Herod the Great, King of Judea (40 – 4 BCE).
6 Webster’s II New Revised University Dictionary, Biographical Entries.
7 Wells, G. A., Who Was Jesus?, Open Court 1990, page 62.
8 The word used in the Hebrew Bible is “master.”
9 Golding says this might be referring to the Persian god, Mithra. But the New American Standard Bible translates it as “worthless.”
10 Here it should be noted that almost all Bible scholars recognize the last twelve verses of Mark (16:9-20) to be a late Christian interpolation, and for that reason are not be taken seriously.
11 Investigators have determined that Ephesians was not written by the Apostle Paul.
12 Transcribed in part from the audio tape, “The Book of Revelation” by Shmuel Golding of the Jerusalem Institute of Biblical Polemics.
13 An early Jewish interpretation of or commentary on a Biblical text.
14 The Interpreter’s Bible, vol. XII, page 356.
15 The repeated use throughout the Book of Revelation of the mystical number seven gives proof of its mythical origin. In Ezekiel 4 we find the same, identical symbols.
16 Engels, Friedrich; History of the Early Church.
For more information on Old Testament prophecy and their alleged fulfillment see Examining the Christian Claim of Prophecy Fulfillment
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