Rabbi Singer debates Dr. Craig Evans:”Is Jesus the Promised Jewish Messiah?”
Recorded at the campus of Houston Baptist University on November 8, 2014.
Did You Hear the One About the Rabbi Who Preached at the Baptist University?
After Shabbat, Ellen attended a debate at Houston Baptist University (HBU) between Rabbi Tovia Singer and Dr. Craig Evans. The full debate on the topic “Is Jesus the Promised Jewish Messiah?” can be viewed at this link.
Dr. Evans is recognized as one of the leading and most prolific Christian scholars in the world. He is a staunch conservative Christian and is held in the very highest regard in the evangelical community. The moderator was Mary Jo Sharp, an Assistant Professor of Apologetics and a prominent member of the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Rabbi Singer told JewishIsrael, “I was treated with genuine respect and deference by all the staff at HBU. We all chatted quite a bit prior to the debate; they all seemed to be genuinely ecstatic and relieved that I am a person of faith and not some atheist. I was delighted as well because we were going to discuss the Jewish Scriptures that evening. We were set to debate a core, fundamental question: Is Jesus the promised Jewish messiah? It was vital to me that I answer this question by appealing to the Tanach. After all, what is God’s opinion? I was set to appeal to the most graphic messianic passages in the Jewish Scriptures that evening.”
The audience was a mix of devout Christians, HBU faculty and students, Christian academics from other institutions, as well as members of the Jewish community and former Christians who have expressed an interest in Judaism.
JewishIsrael does not advocate theological debate. We have written and reported extensively on the late Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s halachic position on the matter of interfaith dialogue. However this encounter was something to behold.
Rabbi Singer impressed a packed auditorium with a combination of humor and scholarship. Based on the audience reaction and the crowds surrounding Rabbi Singer after the debate, it appeared that there was no contest. From what JewishIsrael has heard, sales of Rabbi Singer’s book after the event were brisk.
Perhaps most telling was the remarkable silence emanating from the sponsors following the event. While there was wide-spread publicity prior to the debate, as of this writing neither Houston Baptist University, Christian Thinkers Society or the First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Houston have reported on the event itself. Confident Christianitysimply linked to the debate video without further comment.
The full debate on the topic “Is Jesus the Promised Jewish Messiah?”