Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Paradox of a Divine Messiah (and Other Truthful Paradoxes in Judaism)


"Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them," Exodus 25:8
"But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!...listen in heaven your dwelling place..."" 1 Kings 8:27-30
To say something is transcendent means that it does not exist in the physical universe and therefore cannot be experienced.  Above we read the words of Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, who questioned that G-d could actually dwell in a physical space.  

Why did Solomon question G-d's ability to dwell in the confines of the Temple?



Because, to the wisest man to ever live, the idea of a transcendent G-d dwelling inside the cosmos (much less inside the Temple) seemed like a paradox.  It's the age-old philosophical problem of transcendence vs. immanence.  If G-d is transcendent then the idea of Him dwelling in a Temple is absurd;  however, if G-d is immanent (not transcendent) then He can dwell in the cosmos--even inside the comparatively cramped confines of the Temple.



Let's look at another paradox in Torah:
"Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name," Deut. 10:20
How can one "cling" to a transcendent being?  I can almost hear Gene now, "Peter, Peter...this is metaphor.  (sigh) When are you going to learn...."  I'm kidding, I love Gene.  Hi, if you're reading. 

Actually, the Hasidic crew doesn't see this as metaphor at all:
"[Rabbi Yaakov Yosef of Polnoy says] 'There are two kinds of devekut [clinging to G-d].  One is that of the learned who cleaves to God directly, and the other is that of common people who do not know how to cleave to the Lord directly....The rabbis...explain it as follows:  'Is He not a devouring fire?  The verse, therefore, means to cleave to the learned,'" Dresner,The Zaddik: The Doctrine of the Zaddik According to the Writings of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef of Polnoy, pgs. 129-130
How can one cleave to a transcendent "devouring fire"?  



Here's another paradox:
"What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" Psalm 8:4
"Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image," Genesis 9:6
" 'If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance," Deuteronomy 21:22-23
Why should G-d care if a human corpse is left out overnight?  Why the need to bury it the same day?

The reality is that G-d is the template and man is the copy.  To desecrate the copy somehow desecrates G-d.  And here's the interesting part:  notice in the prohibition listed above (Deut. 21) that a human corpse is not connected to the soul.  So it's not just the soul that is made in the Divine Image--but the human body itself somehow reflects the Divine form.

Let me repeat that:  the human body itself reflects the Divine form.

Jewish Law reflects this to some extent when it prohibits making a complete image of a human being.

How can G-d, a transcendent being, have a form?  Isn't "form" a physical concept?  How can a physical form reflect the Divine Image?  Wouldn't that imply that G-d had a physical form?

"Let us make humanity in our form, according to our shape..." Gen. 1:26

And that brings us to another paradox:  the paradox of a Divine Messiah.

Yeshua was born of a virgin and yet human.  He lived as an traditional Jew of His day--yet referred to Himself as the great "I am" and people tried to stone Him for blasphemy (John 8; Mark 14).

How can a transcendent being such as G-d dwell in the cramped confines of a human body?

But this is just another paradox of Judaism.  One doesn't have to understand it in order to believe it.  The question for everyone is this:  Is Yeshua who He claimed to be?

Shalom,

Peter



61 comments:

  1. First off, I'll deal with your "virgin birth" nonsense...


    I will now demonstrate to you how the “virgin birth” that matthew speaks of is a lie”Isaiah never made such a prophesy!
    The birth of Isaiah”s child was clearly the fulfillment of the sign prophesied in Isaiah 7:14-16. How do I know this? Isaiah tells us himself! Lets look at these verses

    Isaiah 7:14. Therefore, the Lord, of His own, shall give you a sign; behold, the young woman is with child, and she shall bear a son, and she shall call his name Immanuel.

    Isaiah 7:15. Cream and honey he shall eat when he knows to reject bad and choose good.

    Isaiah 7:16. For, when the lad does not yet know to reject bad and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread, shall be abandoned.”

    Keep verse 16 in mind. It is crucial to the context of Isaiah. Now, lets look at the next chapter of Isaiah and see what he has to say:

    Isaiah 8:3. And I was intimate with the prophetess, and she conceived, and she bore a son, and the Lord said to me, “Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz.

    Isaiah 8:4. For, when the lad does not yet know to call, “Father” and “mother,” the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria shall be carried off before the king of Assyria.”

    Well what do you know! Isaiah said a young woman would give birth to a child and in the very next chapter his wife has a son! Prophesy fulfilled! The interesting thing about it is that Isaiah explicitly says he was intimate with her. This means that this “alma” described in Isaiah 7:14 is Isaiah”s wife. Morever, she is not a virgin! Thus, the word “alma” does not exclusively refer to women who are virgins! Isaiah says it himself!

    And if you are still not convinced, here”s a direct statement from Isaiah saying his sons are signs:

    Isaiah 8:18. Behold, I and the children whom the Lord gave me for SIGNS and for tokens in Israel, from the Lord of Hosts, Who dwells on Mount Zion.

    The natural birth of Isaiah”s son was the fulfillment of the sign of Isaiah 7:14, namely that his wife would give birth to a son, and that before he knew the difference between good and evil/father and mother, “the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria shall be carried off before the king of Assyria.”And if you are going to whine that Isaiah”s son was not called “Immanuel directly,” I will kindly point out to you that your yeshua was never called “Immanuel” by his mother either, so you would be setting a double standard, as Isaiah states that the mother of this child will call him “Immanuel.”

    ReplyDelete
  2. And just to delve into the idea behind “Immanuel” a bit more, II Chronicles 32:7-8 describes the events which occurred concerning the king of Assyria, during the reign of King Hezekiah, the son of King Ahaz:

    II Chronicles 32:7. “Be strong and of good courage; do not fear and do not be dismayed because of the KING OF ASSYRIA and because of all the multitude that is with him, because HE WHO IS WITH US is greater than those with him.

    II Chronicles 32:8. With him is an arm of flesh, and WITH US IS THE LORD OUR G-D to help us and to wage our wars,” and the people relied on the words of Hezekiah, king of Judah.

    So lets put it all together: The birth of Isaiah’s son was a sign for King Ahaz that the two kings who he dreaded would be destroyed by the king of Assyria. By after the king of Assyria defeated these kings, King Hezekiah (Ahaz’s son) assured his kingdom that G-d WAS WITH THEM. Since King Hezekiah and Isaiah’s son both lived during the same time as well, it is safe to conclude that the birth of Isaiah’s son can be linked to King Hezekiah’s understanding that G-D WAS WITH THEM, even though Assyria appeared to be a threat. Remember, this prophesy was TIME SENSITIVE and involved the two kingdoms being destroyed by the king of Assyria. This is how Isaiah’s son is considered Immanuel. It’s all linked together within the time frame.

    If you are going to argue that this is a “dual fulfillment” regarding Matthew”s application of this to the supposed virgin birth of yeshua, you will have to concede that the word “alma” does not exclusively refer to a virgin, as I have demonstrated above. This shows lack of exclusivity to the nature of the word “alma” and demystifies the “yeshua believer’s” obsession with the birth needing to be “miraculous” in order to see fulfillment.

    In other words, Isaiah 7:14 has just as much to do with the birth of yeshua as it does the birth of Karl Marx, or Jerry Seinfeld, assuming a “multiplicity of fulfillments” theory”

    Or perhaps my birth! I was born of a woman! Maybe Isaiah 7:14 is about me!

    See how ridiculous it is to attribute this prophesy to yeshua?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Unknown",

      The Septuagint is an authoritative translation that was used all over Judea in the first century. The texts for the Septuagint are old, much older than the Masoretic (about a thousand years older in fact). The Septuagint was originally written around 3rd century B.C.E. Everyone in that time used it because it was a translation put together by the Sanhedrin. It was a great way to get an authoritative interpretation on any given passage.

      You want to know how the Sanhedrin translated Isaiah 7:14? They used the term parthenos which means virgin. This is where we get the word parthenogenesis (which means "asexual reproduction").

      Delete
    2. Your words are against the words of Isaiah, Peter. you are going to have to take it up with Isaiah, as he is the one who refers to his own wife as an “alma.” Once again, concerning Isaiah 7:14, the words of Isaiah himself fly in the face of what you believe. He’s the one who claims that his sons are signs and that his wife bore a son in the very next chapter, namely in Isaiah 8:3-4 and Isaiah 8:18.

      Isaiah himself says that his son was a sign and that his birth would be a sign for King Ahaz that “the land whose two kings you dread, shall be abandoned,” emphasizing that this will happen “before the lad knows to reject the bad and choose the good,” implying that the child will be very young when these two kings are defeated.

      Who would have thought that this same “lad” who is spoken of in Isaiah 7:14-16 would be born in the very next chapter!

      Isaiah 8:3. And I was intimate with the prophetess, and she conceived, and she bore a son, and the Lord said to me, “Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz.

      Isaiah 8:4. For, when the lad does not yet know to call, ‘Father’ and ‘mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria shall be carried off before the king of Assyria.

      Put Isaiah 8:3-4 and Isaiah 7:14-16 side by side and compare. The function of the SIGN that Immanuel is to serve as is that his birth marks G-d’s promise that the two kings who king Ahaz dress shall be defeated. That is PRECISELY what Isaiah 8:4 describes about the birth of Isaiah’s own son in Isaiah 8:4. There is no way around this.

      Your yeshua on the other hand, does not fit the context of this prophesy at all, as demonstrated above.

      But since you clearly don't agree with Isaiah concerning the word "alma," as he clearly applies the word to his wife, I'll play your semantic game, just like I have with other christians. Prepare to learn!



      Delete
    3. Concerning the Septuagint, your contention that “parthenos does mean virgin” is incorrect. The Greek word Παρθένου (parthenos) can mean either a young woman or a virgin. Therrefore, Παρθένου can be found in the Septuagint to describe a woman who is clearly not a virgin. For example, in Genesis 34:2-4, Shechem raped Dinah, the daughter of the patriarch Jacob, yet the Septuagint refers to her as a parthenos after she had been defiled. The Bible reports that after Shechem had violated her, “his heart desired Dinah, and he loved the damsel (Septuagint parthenos) and he spoke tenderly to the damsel (Septuagint parthenos).” Clearly, Dinah was not a virgin after having been raped, and yet she was referred to as a parthenos, the very same word the Septuagint used to translate the Hebrew word alma in Isaiah 7:14, which makes it all the more ironic that you would make such an argument concerning Dinah and the word “alma”…

      Moreover, the Septuagint in our hands is not a Jewish document, but rather a Christian recension. The original Septuagint, translated some 2,200 years ago by 72 Jewish scholars, was a Greek translation of the Five Books of Moses alone, and is no longer in our hands. It therefore did not contain the Books of the Prophets or Writings of the Hebrew Bible such as Isaiah, from which you asserted Matthew quoted. The Septuagint as we have it today, which includes the Prophets and Writings as well, is a product of the Church, not the Jewish people. In fact, the Septuagint remains the official Old Testament of the Greek Orthodox Church, and the manuscripts that consist of our Septuagint today date to the third century C.E. The fact that additional books known as the Apocrypha, which are uniquely sacred to the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Church, are found in the Septuagint should raise a red flag to those inquiring into the Jewishness of the Septuagint.

      Delete
    4. But are you aware that there is a passage which actually describes an ADULTEROUS ALMA in the Tanach?! I used to use this argument as well, but I found that christians didn’t have the attention span to comprehend the argument. Lets see if you’re any different…

      Proverbs 30:18 There are three things which are too wonderful for me, for which I do not understand:

      Proverbs 30:19the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship in the middle of the sea, and the way of a man with a young woman [b’almah][/b’almah].

      Proverbs 30:20 This is the way of an adulterous woman: she eats and wipes her mouth, and says, “I have done no wrong.”

      In the above three verses, King Solomon compares a man with an alma to three other things: an eagle in the sky, a serpent on a rock, and a ship in the sea.

      What do these four things all have in common?

      They leave no trace.

      After the eagle has flown across the sky, it is impossible to determine whether an eagle had ever flown through that airspace. Once a snake has slithered over a rock, there is no way to discern that the snake had ever crossed there (as opposed to a snake slithering over sand or grass, where it leaves a trail). After a ship passes through the sea, the wake behind it comes together and settles behind it, leaving no way to discern that a ship had ever moved through this body of water.

      Similarly, King Solomon declares that once a man has been sexually intimate with an almah, i.e. a young woman, no trace of sexual intercourse is visible, unlike a virgin who will leave behind a discharge of blood after her hymen is broken.

      Therefore, in the following verse (Proverbs 30:20) King Solomon explains that once this adulterous woman “eats” (a metaphor for her fornication), she removes the trace of her sexual infidelity, “wipes her mouth, and says, ‘I have done no wrong.’” The word alma clearly does not mean a virgin.

      Delete
    5. Peter, here's another example of why the word "alma" is not exclusive to virginity.

      Deuteronomy 22 explains how we determine whether or not an adulterous woman is lying…

      Deut. 22:13. If a man takes a wife, is intimate with her and despises her,

      Deut. 22:14. and he makes libelous charges against her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I took this woman, and when I came to her, I did not find any evidence of virginity for her.”

      (By the way, the Hebrew word for “virginity” in this verse is “Betulim.” The word “alma” is no where to be found here.)

      Deut. 22:15. Then the girl’s father and her mother shall obtain evidence of the girl’s virginity, and take it out to the elders of the city, to the gate.

      (Once again, the Hebrew word for “virginity” in this verse is “betulay.” The word alma is no where to be found, again!)

      Deut. 22:16. And the girl’s father shall say to the elders, “I gave my daughter to this man as a wife, and he despised her;

      Deut. 22:17. And behold, he made libelous charges, saying, ‘I did not find evidence of your daughter’s virginity.’ But this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity!’ And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city.

      (Once again, betulim/betulay are the words used here for “virginity.” The word alma is no where to be found…)

      Deut. 22:18. Then, the elders of that city shall take the man and chasten him.

      Deut 22:19. And they shall fine him one hundred [shekels of] silver because he defamed a virgin of Israel, and he give it to the girl’s father. And she shall be his wife; he shall not send her away all the days of his life.

      (Once again, the Hebrew word for “virgin” in this verse is not alma…It is “betulat”…)

      I think you get the idea…

      The fact is, this passage speaks EXPLICITLY about virginity and EVERY TIME THE WORD “VIRGIN” IS MENTIONED IN THE PASSAGE, IT IS TRANSLATED AS “BETULAH.”

      The word “alma” is NOWHERE TO BE FOUND IN THIS PASSAGE THAT DEALS EXPLICITLY ABOUT VIRGINITY!

      But more importantly to our discussion, we see that the manner in which the virginity was determined in the case of a libel made against her by her husband was through whether or not her hymen was intact. If she broke her hymen before her first sexual encounter, then the elders of the city are to display the “tokens of her virginity” which refers to the broken hymen on a garment, as Deut 22:17 states.

      Deut 22:17. And behold, he made libelous charges, saying, ‘I did not find evidence of your daughter’s virginity.’ But this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity!’ And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city.

      So you have yourself a little problem, Peter...If "alma" is a better specifier than "betulah," then why is it absent from Deuteronomy 22 where the topic of virginity is explicit?!

      Delete
    6. "Unknown",

      As to your first point:

      "Critics also say the Greek translated 'virgin' (parthenos) should read, 'young, unmarried woman' (LXX Isa 07:14; Mat 01:23). This is based on the notion that Dinah was called a parthenos (Gen. 34:03) after she was raped (Gen 34:02).
      Where the critics err is assuming that verse order in the Bible always indicates chronological order. The author of Genesis liked to preface a synopsis statement of the narrative before giving the details of the account (Gen 01:01, 02:04a, 4b, 05:01; 06:09; 10:01; 11:10, 27; 25:12, 19; 36:01, 09; 37:02, etc). So the critics mistook what is essentially the title and subtitle of the account for the narrative itself.
      Criminologists would agree that the rape mentioned in Gen 34:02 occurred after Gen 34:03:

      Shechem's soul was drawn to Dinah the daughter of Jacob; he loved the maiden [virgin maiden] and spoke tenderly to her (Gen 34:03)...The ruler Shechem did not commit rape on first sight, and then sweet talk with Dinah afterward. So, Dinah was a 'virgin' (parthenos) in Gen 34:03, and parthenos should be translated as 'virgin' in Isa 07:14..." Yoel Natan, The Jewish Trinity: When Rabbis Believed in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, pg. 297

      As to your second point:

      "All the arguments against the 'virgin' translation of Isa 07:14 are faulty. Some say Isa 07:14 prophecies the birth of Isaiah's second son by a prophetess (Isa 07:03; 08:03). Isaiah's second son, however, was named 'Mahershalahashbaz' ('swift is booty, speedy is prey'), not Immanuel ('God with us').
      Every passage in scripture must be taken in context, and it seems that the Isa 07:14 and 09:06 prophecies are meant to be taken together. There is no way Isaiah's second son fulfilled the Isa 09:06 prophecy!
      Critics argue that if Isaiah had meant 'virgin' he would have used the Hebrew word nayarah or betulah rather than almah. Nayarah, however, can refer to a non-virgin (1 Ki 01:02), and betulah is applied to a widow (Joe 01:08).
      By contrast, Almah is never applied to a non-virgin, although Solomon does write 'the way of a man with a maid [almah]' (Pro 30:19). This may refer to chaperoned dating and love letters, rather than sex. Moreover, the LXX has 'the way of a man in his youth [en na'uwr],' so almah may not have been in the original Hebrew of Pro 30:19," ibid.

      Delete
    7. Peter, that Christian (Lutheran, I believe) blogger-come-book-author who goes by pseudonym "Yoel Natan" whose book you cite above is a nut - he actually tries to argue that the ancient Hebrews were "trinitarians!". No reputable Christian scholar today makes such a ridiculous claim.

      Delete
    8. Peter, your desperation is showing...bad!

      Your word goes against the word of Isaiah himself, as he explicitly refers to his sons as signs.

      Like I said before, this “alma/betulah” debate is a strawman argument. Isaiah himself tells us that his wife gave birth to a son who fulfilled the sign mentioned in Isaiah 7:14. Why else would he mention the birth of his own son in the very next chapter in Isaiah 8:3-4?! Just for fun? Like I said, put Isaiah 8:3-4 side by side by Isaiah 7:15-16 and you won’t be able to deny the connection.

      Isaiah 7:16. **For, when the lad does not yet know to reject bad and choose good,** the land whose two kings you dread, shall be abandoned.”

      Isaiah 8:4. **For, when the lad does not yet know to call, “Father” and “mother,”** the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria shall be carried off before the king of Assyria.”

      Tell me Peter, do you believe that the son spoken of in Isaiah 7:16 is a different son born than the one spoken of in Isaiah 8:4? It appears that you do...

      Unfortunately for you, Isaiah has a different opinion!

      And Isaiah 8:18 seals the deal, where Isaiah explicitly states that his children are SIGNS! That includes his child born in Isaiah 8:3-4!

      Isaiah 8:18. Behold, I and the children whom the Lord gave me for SIGNS and for tokens in Israel, from the Lord of Hosts, Who dwells on Mount Zion.

      It is your word against Isaiah’s, Peter, and no Septuagint is going to change that!

      Delete
    9. And Peter, you brought up Isaiah 9:5-6...


      Concerning Isaiah 9:5-6

      Isaiah 9:5. For a child has been born to us, a son given to us, and the authority is upon his shoulder, and the wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, called his name, "the prince of peace."

      and… called his name: The Holy One, blessed be He, Who gives wondrous counsel, is a mighty God and an everlasting Father, called Hezekiah’s name, “the prince of peace,” since peace and truth will be in his days.

      Isaiah 39:8. And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good." For he thought, "For there shall be peace and truth in my days."

      There's your prince of peace! Hezekiah HIMSELF applied the prophesy to HIMSELF! It has nothing to do with jesus/yeshu/whatever.

      Isaiah 9:6 To him who increases the authority, and for peace without end, on David's throne and on his kingdom, to establish it and to support it with justice and with righteousness; from now and to eternity, the zeal of the Lord of Hosts shall accomplish this.

      from now and to eternity: The eternity of Hezekiah, viz. all his days. And so we find that Hannah said concerning Samuel (I Sam. 1:22): “and abide there forever.” And, in order to refute those who disagree [i.e., the Christians, who claim that this (Prince of Peace) is their deity], we can refute them [by asking], What is the meaning of: “from now” ? Is it not so that the “deity” did not come until after five hundred years and more?

      There is no problem with the interpretation that this prophesy ultimately will reach fulfillment in Messiah. However, it is clear that in the immediate context, Isaiah 9:5-6 refers to King Hezekiah. As it states, the ruling of this eternal kingdom will be "FROM NOW until eternity." By NOW, Isaiah is referring to his generation. Hezekiah is the only viable candidate for the initial context of this prophesy.

      Delete
    10. The words "ad olam" are not exclusive to Hashem. I Samuel 1:22 is an example:

      I Samuel 1:22. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband: "Until the child is weaned, then I shall bring him, and he shall appear before the Lord, and abide there FOREVER.

      The Hebrew words used for "forever" in I Samuel 1:22 are עַד עוֹלָם or "ad olam."

      These are the EXACT SAME WORDS used to describe the "eternality" of the kingdom spoken of in Isaiah 9:6!

      Isaiah 9:6. To him who increases the authority, and for peace without end, on David's throne and on his kingdom, to establish it and to support it with justice and with righteousness; from now and to ETERNITY, the zeal of the Lord of Hosts shall accomplish this.

      Once again, the word "eternity" here translates to עַד עוֹלָם or "ad olam," just like "forever" in I Samuel 1:22!

      Using this christian logic, Samuel is apparently "divine" as well, since he "eternally" abides!

      There is no "divine" Messiah. The Chazal never reflect this idea and nor does the Tanach.

      Isaiah 9:6 says that this kingdom will be established **FROM NOW until eternity." MeAta V'Ad Olam! This means that this prophesy had immediate effect in Isaiah's time. King Hezekiah was next in line on the throne after his wicked father Ahaz and he brought peace to Judah even in the wake of the Assyrian invasion!

      Now, if you want to whine about the fact that Hezekiah's kingdom has long since past, that is fine...Like I said before, I have no problem with the interpretation that this will come to ultimate fruition in the days of the true Messiah.

      But for anyone to say that jesus fulfilled this prophesy in any sense is absolute hogwash! The immediate context of this prophesy definitively refers to King Hezekiah. This means that it is not a prophesy speaking about a "divine son." Your obsession with deifying the Messiah is unhealthy and idolatrous.

      And concerning King Hezekiah, this is what is stated:

      II Kings 18:5. He trusted in the God of Israel there was none like him among all the kings of Judah who were after him, nor were there before him.

      II Kings 18:6. He cleaved to the Lord; he did not turn away from following Him; he kept His commandments, which He had commanded Moses.

      II Kings 18:7. Now the Lord was with him: in everything he ventured he succeeded; and he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.

      And as far as the divine titles go, are you aware that Hezekiah's name literally means "G-d is my strength/Mighty G-d"? He was also a wonderful counselor as, no other king of Judah before or after him trusted in Hashem to the degree that Hezekiah did. (II Kings 18:5-7) He was also a "prince of peace," as I described in Isaiah 39:8. Yet you try to downplay this...At least Hezekiah was actually ruling as King during his lifetime. Once again, your jesus never sat on the throne. Plus, Judah wasn't even an autonomous theocracy, as the Romans were essentially in control of Judah during the time of jesus's life...Even jesus himself was killed by the Romans! So much for jesus's supposed "peaceful reign."

      So ultimately, your gripe with Hezekiah being the initial context of this passage is that his kingdom ended...The irony of all of this is that your jesus's "kingdom" never even started!

      YOUR jesus NEVER RULED ON THE THRONE AS KING AT ALL! Thus, compared to Hezekiah, your jesus loses every time!

      Delete
    11. Also Peter, concerning your "Immanuel" gripe with Isaiah's son, I'd like to as you this question:

      What did mary call her son according to the NT? Was it “Immanuel”?

      NO! IT WAS jesus!

      So your objection fails by your own standards! Isaiah 7:14 says that SHE WILL CALL HIM IMMANUEL:

      Isaiah 7:14. Therefore, the Lord, of His own, shall give you a sign; behold, the young woman is with child, and she shall bear a son, and **SHE SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL**

      So Peter, can you show me in the NT where mary called her son, “Immanuel”?

      No? THEN STOP DEMANDING ME TO SHOW YOU WHERE ISAIAH’S SON IS CALLED IMMANUEL!

      By your standards, neither jesus nor Isaiah’s son, Maher-shalal-hash-baz meet the criteria for Isaiah 7:14 because NEITHER WERE EXPLICITLY CALLED IMMANUEL BY THEIR MOTHERS!

      So stop with this double standard, Peter. You know you’re just staling the inevitable by even brining it up. Your jesus fails that standard, too.

      Delete
    12. "Unknown",

      RE: "However, it is clear that in the immediate context, Isaiah 9:5-6 refers to King Hezekiah."

      So you disagree with the Rabbis? Because according to Jewish tradition this passage refers to the Messiah:

      "R. Yose the Galilean said: 'The name of the Messiah is Peace, for it is said, 'Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:5)....'...(Pereq Shalom, p. 101)," Raphael Patai, The Messiah Texts, pg. 21.

      Delete
    13. Gene,

      I don't care who said it, the fact is that Torah calls Dinah a parthenos BEFORE she was raped. "Unknown" tried to pull a fast one and I called him on it. His claim is indefensible. And I think you know that. : )

      Delete
    14. Hey Peter, did you even bother to read my response? Here is a direct copy past of what I wrote above:

      "There is no problem with the interpretation that this prophesy ultimately will reach fulfillment in Messiah. However, it is clear that in the immediate context, Isaiah 9:5-6 refers to King Hezekiah. As it states, the ruling of this eternal kingdom will be "FROM NOW until eternity." By NOW, Isaiah is referring to his generation. Hezekiah is the only viable candidate for the initial context of this prophesy."

      So you are the one who disagrees with the Rabbis, assuming you disagree with the fact that in the immediate context, Isaiah 9:5-6 refers to King Hezekiah!

      Delete
    15. Unknown,

      Your initial comment said, "Hezekiah is the only viable candidate for the initial context of this prophesy."

      This is a very ambiguous statement. I do the best that I can with ambiguous statements. : )

      My point is simply this: the rabbis take Isaiah 9:5-6 as referring to the Messiah and I agree with the rabbis on this one. You, on the other hand, wrote that Hezekiah was the Prince of Peace:

      "He was also a "prince of peace," as I described in Isaiah 39:8."

      You're funny. That isn't at all what Isaiah 39:8 says. : )


      Delete
    16. I think that getting sidetracked with discussions about virgins, messiahs and what this or that rabbi said or may have meant about this or that scriptural verse, the talk of mysticism and midrashim are getting us away from the only issue that matters - that calling any man "god" and worshiping him as the G-d of Israel is a patent idolatry and a betrayal of the G-d of the Bible. This should be so obvious to even a casual reader of the Jewish scriptures, but as Nahmanadis once said to the to King of Spain after his disputation with a Jewish apostate, it's not obvious to someone for whom the idea of man as god has already become completely normal:

      ""[... it seems most strange that... ] the Creator of Heaven and Earth resorted to the womb of a certain Jewish lady, grew there for nine months and was born as an infant, and afterwards grew up and was betrayed into the hands of his enemies who sentenced him to death and executed him, and that afterwards... he came to life and returned to his original place. The mind of a Jew, or any other person, simply cannot tolerate these assertions. If you have listened all your life to the priests who have filled your brain and the marrow of your bones with this doctrine, and it has settled into you because of that accustomed habit. [I would argue that if you were hearing these ideas for the first time, now, as a grown adult], you would never have accepted them."

      Delete
    17. Peter, you know as well as I do that the Rabbis identify Isaiah 9:5-6 with the Messiah AND HEZEKIAH. So please, stop pretending like this is news to you...

      Everything that I posted concerning Hezekiah being the child born in Isaiah 9:5-6 comes directly from the Rashi. Apparently, you ignore Rashi's opinion on this matter entirely... And Rashi isn't the only Rishon to come to this conclusion. (obviously) Some "Orthodox Jew" you are...

      Concerning Isaiah 9:5, Rashi says this:

      For a child has been born to us: Although Ahaz is wicked, his son who was born to him many years ago [nine years prior to his assuming the throne] to be our king in his stead, shall be a righteous man, and the authority of the Holy One, blessed be He, and His yoke shall be on his shoulder, for he shall engage in the Torah and observe the commandments, and he shall bend his shoulder to bear the burden of the Holy One, blessed be He.

      and… called his name: The Holy One, blessed be He, Who gives wondrous counsel, is a mighty God and an everlasting Father, called Hezekiah’s name, “the prince of peace,” since peace and truth will be in his days.

      And concerning Isaiah 9:6, Rashi says this:

      To him who increased the authority: To whom will He call this name? To the king who increases the authority of the Holy One, blessed be He, upon himself, to fear Him.

      authority: an expression of government. [This is to refute those who disagree with us [the Christians]. But it is possible to say that “Prince of Peace,” too, is one of the names of the Holy One, blessed be He, and this calling of a name is not actually a name but an expression of (var. for the purpose of) greatness and authority. Comp. (Ruth 4:11) “And be famous (וּקְרָא שֵׁם) in Bethlehem. Also (II Sam. 7:9, I Chron. 17:8): ” And I shall make for you a name.“ Here too, Scripture means, ” And He gave him a name and authority."]

      and for peace: which is given to him, there will be no end, for he had peace on all his sides, and this “end” is not an expression of an end to eternity, but there will be no boundaries. On the throne of the kingdom of David shall this peace be justice and righteousness that Hezekiah performed.

      and for peace: Heb. וּלְשָׁלוֹם. This ‘vav’ is to rectify the word, thus: He [Hezekiah] increased the authority upon his shoulder, and what reward will He [God] pay him? Behold, his peace shall have no end or any limit.

      from now and to eternity: The eternity of Hezekiah, viz. all his days. And so we find that Hannah said concerning Samuel (I Sam. 1:22): “and abide there forever.” And, in order to refute those who disagree [i.e., the Christians, who claim that this (Prince of Peace) is their deity], we can refute them [by asking], What is the meaning of: “from now” ? Is it not so that the “deity” did not come until after five hundred years and more?

      the zeal of the Lord of Hosts: Who was zealous for Zion concerning what Aram and Pekah planned about it.

      shall accomplish this: but Ahaz does not deserve it, moreover, the merit of the Patriarchs has terminated. [Addendum: And our Rabbis said: The Holy One, blessed be He, wished to make Hezekiah the Messiah and Sennacherib, Gog and Magog. Said the ministering angels before the Holy One, blessed be He, Should the one who stripped the doors of the Temple and sent them to the king of Assyria, be made Messiah? Immediately, Scripture closed it up.]

      So Peter, you're the one who disagrees with the Rabbis...Not me!

      Delete
    18. "Unknown",

      Gene is right. You would have to show me how, given that the rabbis identify this passage as referring to the Messiah, how it does not apply to Yeshua. Because I'm one of those who does more than tolerate the assertion that "the Creator of Heaven and Earth resorted to the womb of a certain Jewish lady." Since I believe He is the Messiah, I naturally identify Messianic prophecies with Yeshua.

      I think Gene is indicating that you should be trying to disprove that Yeshua is the Messiah and cite to Scripture as evidence.

      Delete
    19. Peter,

      Because you are so stuck on this passage referring to jesus, you are ignoring the fact that Chazal also point out that it refers to King Hezekiah in the immediate context. I already clearly demonstrated this in my previous post...

      So what does this mean for you? Well, you made this statement in a previous post:

      "Every passage in scripture must be taken in context, and it seems that the Isa 07:14 and 09:06 prophecies are meant to be taken together."

      Well, Peter...Since you insist on reading these prophesies as referring to the birth of the same individual, this means that according to Chazal, in the immediate context, both Isaiah 7:14 and Isaiah 9:5-6 both refer to the birth of King Hezekiah! This is actually a view that is held by Chazal!

      But once again, this means that you must admit that the word "alma" does not exclusively refer to a virgin birth...(Unless you want to argue that there were two virgin births, one being the birth of Hezekiah and the other being the birth of jesus. But I don't think you want to go there...) This makes the case for Isaiah 7:14 and Isaiah 9:5-6 both referring to jesus extremely weak. It destroys the exclusivity of the prophesy to the Messiah, and thus makes the NT argument for jesus "fulfilling" these prophesies that much less compelling, as neither of these prophesies are exclusive to the Messiah.

      So the best you can do is "midrash" your way about of this...But once again, by doing this, you are essentially admitting that the word "alma" does not exclusively mean "virgin."

      So ultimately, your case for the birth of jesus having any thing to do with these prophesies in Isaiah has just as much credibility as me claiming that the birth of Jerry Seinfeld "fulfilled" Isaiah 7:14...Knowing this, your case for jesus having anything to do with this prophesy is simply wishful thinking on your part...You have no good reason to believe that this prophesy has any more to do with the birth of jesus than it does the birth of any other Jew.

      Shalom

      Delete
    20. "Unknown",

      Walk me through your logic:

      (1) you admit that the Sages interpret Isaiah 9:5-6 as referring to the ultimate Messiah;
      (2) you also point out that the Sages interpret this passage as in some way not referring to the ultimate Messiah;
      (3) therefore, you claim that these passages cannot refer to the ultimate Messiah? (i.e. the Sages are wrong)

      I'm sincerely trying to follow your reasoning. What are you trying to say here? Help me to understand your reasoning.

      Delete
    21. Peter, what I am saying is simple:

      In the immediate context, Isaiah 9:5-6 refers to King Hezekiah. Rashi explains that Hezekiah is the only possible candidate in the IMMEDIATE CONTEXT because of the part of the verse which says "FROM NOW and to eternity/MeAta V'Ad Olam."

      But similar to other passages such as Psalms 110, Chazal acknowledge that there is ALSO a Messianic application to the verses. For example, Chazal apply Psalms 110 to Abram, King David, and the Messiah. It is a prophesy which has past as well as future fulfillment.

      Similarly, Chazal apply Isaiah 9:5-6 to King Hezekiah in the past(For the obvious reason that Rashi states) AND ALSO to the Messiah in the future.

      This isn't rocket science, Peter. And if you disagree with this manner of hermeneutics, then you disagree with Chazal, as this is clear as day throughout the Chazalic writings.

      Shalom

      Delete
    22. And Peter, since you have so much trouble understanding this concept, I guess you also must have a problem with Matthew's interpretation of Hosea 11:1 as well!

      Would you like to explain to me why your NT writer matthew ripped the second half of Hosea 11:1 out of context and applied it to jesus? Matthew chapter 2 describes jesus’s adoptive father joseph going down to Egypt to hide jesus from king herod.

      Matthew 2:15 He stayed there until Herod died. In this way what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet was fulfilled: *“From Egypt I called my son.”*

      Matthew is quoting from Hosea 11:1, but he ripped the verse out of context! Here is the full context of the verse:

      Hosea 11:1. For, when ISRAEL was young, I loved him, and from Egypt I called My son.

      So we can see here that this verse is not about simple the Messiah, BUT ISRAEL! See how matthew abuses the context of scripture Bruce? But there’s more!

      Hosea 11:2. The more they called to them, the more they went away from them; to the baalim they would slaughter sacrifices, and to the graven images they would burn incense.

      See the context, Peter? I wanted to provide you the full context. Your matthew abused scripture and falsely attributed this prophesy to jesus. If you want to claim that this verse applies to jesus, then you have to deal with the fact that the second verse refers to a SINFUL ISRAEL. Do you still want to apply this verse to jesus Peter?

      It isn’t a very strong convincer when someone uses passages that are not exclusive to the Messiah in order to try and prove that someone is the messiah…That is the case with Hosea 11:1. The prophesy in its immediate context does not concern the Messiah exclusively, and thus, is a poor choice of a verse to use in attempting to lend credibility to someone being the Messiah.

      This concept isn’t that complicated. Your NT authors give poor evidence to support jesus as being the Messiah. Clearly, they abused the Tanach and ripped it out of context. What deceivers!

      So in the case of Isaiah 9:5-6, as I have stated time and time again, Chazal have good reason for applying these verses to King Hezekiah in the immediate context. Isaiah 9:6 explicitly states that the kingdom will be established "FROM NOW (i.e. from the time that Isaiah is issuing the prophesy) until eternity."

      What's it gonna be, Peter? Are you going to hypocritically deny this interpretation in favor of Matthew's blatant abuse of Hosea 11:1? Or are you going to admit that Isaiah 9:5-6 must apply to King Hezekiah in the immediate context, just as Chazal explain?

      It's you against the Rabbis, Peter...What's it gonna be?!

      Delete
    23. "Unknown",

      Thank you for taking the time to explain your position. I appreciate your patience. I'm glad that we can have a civilized discussion.

      Back to the discussion...

      Since you agree that the passage can apply to the Messiah then it seems you have no problem with my use of these passage to apply to a Messiah--rather, you disagree with the person to which I have applied them. The real issue is that you think Yeshua is somehow unqualified to be the Messiah. And, like Gene pointed, out that's the issue we should be focusing on.

      I will make a comment about Hosea. Jewish tradition says that the Messiah is the Son of G-d. This terminology has been used before, the idea that G-d has a son (Exodus 4:22). Matthew simply identified Yeshua as the Messiah. He didn't rip anything out of context.

      Delete
    24. "Jewish tradition says that the Messiah is the Son of G-d."

      The mainstream Jewish tradition never calls messiah "the Son of G-d", although a king like David is called G-d's son in a non-literal way (that is with a lower case "s", as one would say in English), the same as all Jews are "sons of G-d". All humans and angels are "sons of G-d" too. Where Christianity went off kilter is that it imagined G-d as having "an only begotten son", and actual divine son that resides with G-d, a demigod that is to be worshiped as god. Christianity has perverted many biblical and rabbinical concepts in service of idolatry.

      Delete
    25. Peter, part of the reason it is evident that jesus cannot be the Messiah is the obvious fact that your NT gives horrible evidence jesus's supposed messiahship...

      Of the three prophesies that we have discussed thus far, (Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:5-6, Hosea 11:1) NONE OF THEM EXCLUSIVELY REFER TO THE MESSIAH!

      Think about how weak of an argument this is: Matthew opens up with a prophesy which clearly is not exclusive to the Messiah in order to try and "prove" that jesus is the Messiah...(Isaiah 7:14) Then he follows this up with another prophesy which also does not exclusively refer to the Messiah (Hosea 11:1)

      What are we to make of all this? When someone like me or Gene points out that these prophesies have nothing to do with the Messiah in the immediate context, you simply excuse it as "midrash," and move on to something else.

      How is this convincing evidence for jesus's supposed Messiahship?! It's not! All it shows is that the NT writers have no case for exclusively applying any of these prophesies to jesus.

      If this was seriously their intention, then it is self defeating...Using "midrash" to try and "prove" that a person "fulfilled" prophesies that the Messiah "must fulfill" does not do anything but demonstrate that the authors of the NT either were clueless as to how figure out whether or not someone was the Messiah, or they were simply abusing scripture purposefully.

      We know that jesus failed to fulfill Messianic prophesies which are exclusive to the Messiah, such as Isaiah 11 and Ezekiel 37:24-28. Therefore, we have every reason to deny jesus's Messiahship, and of course we deny his supposed "deity" as well...

      Delete
    26. "We know that jesus failed to fulfill Messianic prophesies which are exclusive to the Messiah"

      But, but... well, that's true, but surely he'll fix this little problem when he returns back to earth the second time:) He can fix all the problems when he returns (although probably not his own genealogy), and then Jews will all realize that worshiping a man as god is OK with the G-d of Israel after all. Jews will see that they took the Torah warnings against idolatry way too literally and too seriously, they wanted to tie G-d's hands with their strict monotheism and tell Him what He can turn into, and that Christians were right about the nature of G-d and Jews were so very wrong.

      Delete
  3. And now to address the point you want me to address so you can draw this out longer...

    I assume that you are a trinitarian...And that you believe that there are "three persons" in the "godhead." You believe that there is "the father, the son, and the holy spirit" and that all three of these "persons" are distinct, yet "equally divine."

    But in light of what you posted, you seem to be arguing that there may be more "persons" in this "godhead" than three...Do you also worship the “fire” that you are arguing that G-d supposedly “took the form of”? Do you worship “the cloud”?

    I’m not sure if you’re a trinitarian or not, but by the looks of it, there are a few more “persons” in the “godhead” according to understanding! Maybe you can clarify for us…

    Shalom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Unknown",

      Excellent question. Jewish mystical tradition claims that there is a Trinity. I'm not so dogmatic about it. I believe G-d is complex and will leave it at that. However, Jewish tradition says the following:

      "Come and see the mystery of the word [Adonai]: there are three steps, each existing by itself: nevertheless they are One, and so united that one cannot be separated from the other. The Ancient Holy One is revealed with three heads,which are united into one, and that head is three exalted. The Ancient One is described as being three: because the other lights emanating from him are included in the three. But how can three names be one? Are they really one because we call them one? How three can be one can only be known through the revelation of the Holy Spirit ." (Zohar, Vol III, 288; Vol II, 43, Hebrew editions) [from: http://www.messiahnj.org/af-tri-unity.htm]

      "Hear, O Israel, Adonai Eloheinu Adonai is one. These three are one. How can the three Names be one? Only through the perception of faith: in the vision of the Holy Spirit, in the beholding of the hidden eye alone! The mystery of the audible voice is similar to this, for though it is one yet it consists of three elements-fire, air and water, which have, however, become one in the mystery of the voice. Even so it is with the mystery of the threefold Divine manifestations designated by Adonai Eloheinu Adonai - three modes which yet form one unity. This is the significance of the voice which man produces in the act of unification, when his intent is to unify all, from the Infinite (Ein Sof) to the end of creation. This is the daily unification, the secret of which has been revealed in the holy spirit," (Quoted from Zohar II, 53b, as excerpted from Studies in Zohar by Yehuda Liebes)

      Delete
    2. Once again, you are abusing Kabbalistic concepts in order to justify avodah zara. And on top of that, you are quoting from an academic scholar's interpretation rather than an authentic Rabbinic interpretation. I see this pattern over and over again with you.

      It comes out of desperation...I can do the same thing with the NT and abuse your sources to come to conclusions that mainstream christians do not come to. And since you are going to sink as low to distort the Zohar to your own confirmation bias, I will demonstrate the same with the NT:

      John 14:28 "You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, **FOR THE FATHER IS GREATER THAN I**

      So according to John, it appears that jesus did not "claim to be" equivalent with Hashem.

      Now I know you're going to say "YOU'RE TAKING THAT OUT OF CONTEXT!" and for all I know, I very well could be. I don't know if jesus "claimed to be Hashem" (I hope for his sake that he did not) but what you are doing with the Zohar is the same thing that I am doing with John 14:28. I know very well that christian tradition has held that jesus claimed to be synonymous with Hashem. But if I abuse the context, like you do with the Zohar, I can potentially bring another perspective.

      I can also quote from Anthony Buzzard, an academic who denies the trinity and the divinity of jesus...But I won't stoop that low...

      Shalom

      Delete
    3. "Unknown",

      Which is greater, the core of the sun or the corona of the sun? The core is greater but they are both equally part of the sun. In the same way, the Father is greater than Yeshua but they are equally part of the godhead.

      The fact of the matter is that had Yeshua allowed it, the people would have stoned Him because they considered His words--His claim to be G-d--to be blasphemy. Did He correct them? Did He say "No, you've got it all wrong! I didn't mean that I'm actually G-d!" No. He did not attempt to correct them because they understood what He was saying. They knew He was claiming to be G-d and they rejected His claim. He was despised and rejected of men.

      Delete
    4. Peter, just as you defend your such a verse for your understanding, (and the overall christian understanding as a whole) true Orthodox Jews understand that the Zohar does not speak of "one god in three persons" or a "complex trinitarian unity" as you are falsely asserting.

      You are abusing the context of the Zohar in order to superimpose your idolatrous views on to the text. This is not surprising, as this is just what your false NT writers did with Isaiah 7:14 and Hosea 11:1 by attempting to apply these verses to jesus, just to name a couple...

      Shimon Bar Yochai was a student of Rabbi Akiva. We both know that Rabbi Akiva held for a short period of time that Bar Kochba was the Messiah. After he was killed, he rightly abandoned this belief.

      We also don't see any reference to Rabbi Akiva referring to Bar Kochba as his "lord and savior" or his "god" in any capacity!

      What this tells us is that Shimon Bar Yochai was not taught that the Messiah is to be synonymous with Hashem. Otherwise, his teacher, Rabbi Akiva, would have made a point to pray in the name of Bar Kochba, just as idolatrous believers in jesus pray in the name of jesus...

      So you have no good reason to assume that the Zohar assumes a "divine messiah."

      I know you're all set quote more of the Zohar and abuse more of its context though...This saddens me greatly. I hope that you will stop this delusional thinking and understand that authentic Rabbinic Judaism/Kabbalah does not believe in a "divine messiah." Moreover, it does not acknowledge jesus as the messiah in any capacity.

      Shalom

      Delete
  4. Unknown. Your not playing fair. Your dismissing Jewish writing. While I agree with you the Yeshua is a man. He's no hypostatic Union; however, Matthew is using a drash. Isaiah is referring to Hezekiah. When Matthew the writer does that he's using Norman Judaic hermeneutics which I know you well aware of.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shalom "Gifted",

      What is your religious background? Traditional? Progressive? Messianic Jewish? Messianic non-Jewish? Christian?

      All backgrounds are welcome. It just helps me to understand the context of your comments if I know the background.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting.

      Shalom,

      Peter

      Delete
  5. lol not playing fair?

    Like I said, you can "drash" all you want, but the bottom line is that this prophesy is not exclusive to the Messiah. You even admit that the prophesy does not exclusively refer to the Messiah. (and on a pshat level, we both agree that Isaiah 7:14 does not refer to the Messiah.)

    I am simply pointing out the weakness in the NT arguments for jesus being the Messiah. If you're going to excuse every weak case that Matthew uses for jesus being Messiah as "drash" then it is you who are not playing fair.

    Question for you, "Gifted." Do you believe that the NT is scripture that is divinely inspired on the level of the Tanach?

    Yes or no?

    I look forward to your honest response...

    Shalom

    ReplyDelete
  6. "Matthew is using a drash."

    I call this failure to deal with the New Testament as "inspired scripture" whenever it is exposed as contradicting and misusing the Bible as "the midrashing of the New Testament" - a common technique of self-delusion among messianics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gene,

      I thought you were going to keep this civil. : )

      Delete
    2. Peter, very much civil: Nothing personal against any specific person - simply describing the method used by Christians/ Messianics in their abuse of the Hebrew Bible and Jewish sources.

      Delete
  7. "Why did Solomon question G-d's ability to dwell in the confines of the Temple?"

    Peter, G-d knew that Solomon couldn't be contained in the Temple, that's why he questioned. G-d's presence rested on the Temple, without becoming the Temple, the Temple wasn't G-d's body. G-d's presence rested on the Temple just as G-d's Spirit rested on people at various times of Jewish history, without becoming those people, without becoming human.

    This is why comparing Jesus with the Temple (as the NT does) makes for such a bad, terrible analogy - G-d never became the "Temple", because were that to happen, we could pray to the Temple as god (by which I mean actually calling out to the Temple itself as our god, not merely worshiping inside of it), we could worship the Temple as god, and call the Temple god, precisely all the things that people have done for man Jesus. With Jesus, according to Christianity, G-d took on human nature - he's both man and G-d at the same time. With His presence resting on the Temple (and leaving it), G-d didn't become the temple while remaining G-d.

    "How can a transcendent being such as G-d dwell in the cramped confines of a human body? But this is just another paradox of Judaism. "

    That's not a paradox of Judaism - it's idolatry. Even if were to find a Jew or a group of Jews who believed such a thing, that G-d would choose to become a man or to merge with a man to the point that the man is viewed and worshiped as god (as is indeed the case with the elokist group that splintered from Chabad and was cut off by Chabad and the rest of Judaism), all the would prove is that a group of Jews became heretical and idolatrous and should be excised from the midst of Israel with great swiftness let the rottenness spreads to the holy body.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gene,

      Analogies aside, what do you think about the idea of G-d being both transcendent and immanent?

      It sounds like you're saying that G-d can never dwell in the Temple. Does that mean you think He is totally transcendent?

      Delete
    2. "It sounds like you're saying that G-d can never dwell in the Temple."

      G-d doesn't literally dwell in the Temple - He cannot be contained either in the Temple, in a human body or any other physical place. Hashem is everywhere in the Universe at once because He's larger than all of His creation, and there's no place where He's not. However, His presence can come to be at a specific location in a way that is palpable to humans. How that works, I don't think we humans know that. However, with that said, Christianity went much farther than that - it claimed that a Jewish man was god who came down to earth as god/slash/man who was a different person from the Father and even prayed to the father and claimed the father to be greater (which is where your G-d in the Temple analogy breaks down). In that regard the man-god of Christianity followed in the footsteps of the previous demigods of history, as Justin Martyr illustrated in his defense of Christianity to his pagan critics.

      Delete
    3. Gene,

      RE: "His presence can come to be at a specific location in a way that is palpable to humans. How that works, I don't think we humans know that."

      This is good common ground to us both then. We agree that He can become palpable and we agree that this is a great mystery.

      Delete
  8. Peter I'm a messianic beliver. Gene & the Unknown does an injustice to the sages. So, now we are to conclude that the apostles can't use drashes. That in itself disqualify your argument. Your throwing our sages under the bus who use the same methodically; nevertheless, I agree that the Pashat isn't referring to the messiah. However, are you saying that Matthew can't use that as a drash? If so why can't he?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Gene & the Unknown does an injustice to the sages."

      Ask yourself a question, "Gifted" - which injustice is greater to the sages - you, a Christian, using the Jewish sages to uphold and defend using their own words the idolatry they detested with every fiber of their being and the false religion that both hated and persecuted them, or me exposing the NT verses which perverted the Hebrew Bible?

      Delete
  9. Gene you must be bored. lol. If you don't agree with the sages & refuse to address what I said about a drash I'm ok. I know these sought of dialogues don't change no one mind. However, I'm trying to understand why your on this blog with some much disdain. You must don't have nothing better to do. The you called me a Christian. Lol. Low blow. Your anti Semitic rant is utterly mindblowing. Peter, there disagreement with you isn't out of love, it's out of proving something to themselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "However, I'm trying to understand why your on this blog with some much disdain."

      At the invitation of the blog owner.

      "Your anti Semitic rant is utterly mindblowing."

      I don't think I will be spending much time talking to you, "Gifted".

      Delete
  10. Awesome Gene just awesome. I toot your horn today. youve become some one lapdog lol.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Peter:

    Judging from Gene's blog, he seems to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder against his former beliefs - much like the numerous Gentiles who come from the Church into Messianic Judaism and, rather than just live their new views, feel compelled to obsess with how unfathomably, world-endingly evil their former faith expression must be. I mean, the "about" section is all "about" how Gene came to hate Yeshua, without a word "about" Gene in any other regard than how he hates Yeshua. Kinda weird, but the Internet is full of weird.

    Oh well. His material is perfectly standard counter-missionary fare. I mean, nothing new - the exact same assertions can be found in any of ten-thousand counter-missionary Youtube videos - but it's a halfway-decent discussion, I guess.

    The troll he brought along...oy, that's where things get really fun. What's really "unknown" how this guy has so much free time to rant and rave yell and scream because he thinks someone on the Web might be wrong about something. (Because that never happens, right?) How many pages has that guy written at this point? How many hours has he invested in some random (supposedly) "idolatrous" or "pagan" blog? Does he not have something better to do? I don't even have time to read all his vitriol. So why bother spending such copious amounts of time raving like mad at the goyim?

    Because you win.

    Congratulations, sir. You know you've really made it in the blogosphere when you get a truly caring, dedicated troll who devotes himself so wholeheartedly to your blog. Win for you, sir. Win for you.

    That said, you may want to do something about this. At this point your troll is blogging about ten times as much material as you are...on your blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I mean, the "about" section is all "about" how Gene came to hate Yeshua, without a word "about" Gene in any other regard than how he hates Yeshua. "

      I think you missed the purpose of my writing and my blog - I detest idolatry, the worship of futility and nothingness, bowing down before a non-god as if it was the G-d of Israel. As a Jew this is my duty to my G-d to no t have any other god before His face. This is I now see, like all faithful Jews, that worshiping Jesus is perversion and sin. Also, as a Jew, it's my duty to be a witness to the G-d of Israel and light to the nations. On the other hand, I have little to say about Jesus the actual person on my blog. In fact, I try to give him, my fellow Jew, the benefit of the doubt that whatever idolatrous and false things that the Greek writings claim on his behalf were inventions of the promoters of the new religion (much like those of Islam, Mormonism, whatever, etc), falsehoods and not facts.

      "His material is perfectly standard counter-missionary fare. I mean, nothing new - the exact same assertions can be found in any of ten-thousand counter-missionary Youtube videos"

      If you have already come across something that sounds similar to you in my criticism of idolatry of man-worship, it's because one doesn't need to invent anything new. This is because truth doesn't change. I don't need to come up with excuses, to midrash away things that NT perverted, to twist words of rabbis into making them supporters of idolatry, etc. I don't need "new material" - what I do is to use my experience and knowledge to draw people back to the G-d of Israel, my fellow Jews being my priority, but I know of several Gentiles, even whole families, who have directly benefited from my humble efforts.

      "The troll he brought along"

      You came along, contributed NOTHING to the discussion other than to try to provoke and ridicule the participants. How does one define a troll?

      Delete
  12. I get it. A drash can't be used by Matthew according to you . That's just your take on it. When can a drash be used then?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gifted, you never answered my question...I'll post the entire post again so you can deal with it:

      Like I said, you can "drash" all you want, but the bottom line is that this prophesy is not exclusive to the Messiah. You even admit that the prophesy does not exclusively refer to the Messiah. (and on a pshat level, we both agree that Isaiah 7:14 does not refer to the Messiah.)

      I am simply pointing out the weakness in the NT arguments for jesus being the Messiah. If you're going to excuse every weak case that Matthew uses for jesus being Messiah as "drash" then it is you who are not playing fair.

      Question for you, "Gifted." **Do you believe that the NT is scripture that is divinely inspired on the level of the Tanach?**

      Yes or no?

      I look forward to your honest response...

      Shalom

      Delete
  13. Unknown, I believe they both are divinely inspired. Let me state my position. Why I do believe Yeshua is the maschiah, I don't agree with many who attest to the trinity. I shall not dare call the "man" Yeshua, Hashem. He's the agent of HaShem. While I'll agree MJ has been absorbed by certain tenants of the Christian faith. Neverthless, I don't agree in the hypstatic Union. My argument is a different from Peter. Again, I agree with you in saying that those passages presented prior "pshat" aren't referring to the to the messiah. I have no issue with that.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Gifted, I'm glad that you deny jesus as being divine. That is a step in the right direction!

    However, my point was to bring to your attention the double standard that you hold: You appear to claim that the NT is equivalent to the level of divine inspiration/prophetic level of the Tanach. But at the same time, when Gene or I challenge you on passages in the NT that appear to contradict the Tanach, you excuse these passages as being "just a midrash."

    The problem is that Rabbinic Midrash, while considered to be "divinely inspired" in some sense, is not considered to be the same nature/level of "prophetic divine inspiration" of which the Tanach is considered to be. This demonstrates that you really don't understand what Midrash is, and you simply are abusing its context in order to defend passages in your NT which appear to blatantly contradict the Tanach.

    A good example is in Matthew 2:15, where Matthew rips Hosea 11:1 out of context and applies "out of Egypt I called my son," to jesus. When Gene or I point out the fact that Matthew is abusing the context of Hosea 11:1 in this verse by applying it to jesus, you excuse this as "Matthew's midrash."

    But what is interesting is that you clearly do not see the core of the NT as "just a midrash." For example, Hebrews 9:22 states that "without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin." This is a false statement, as many prophets such as Daniel, were able to stand righteous before G-d without any sort of "blood sacrifice" during periods of exile when blood sacrifice was not available. Ezekiel 14:14 describes Daniel as being "righteous" and the generation after him was able to merit the rebuilding of the Holy Temple. Your jesus blood was not needed for atonement in any sense during the Babylonian Exile...This lends evidence to the fact that we do not need "jesus blood" to atone for our sins...

    But of course, since "jesus blood" is core to your beliefs about salvation, you will not excuse this verse as being "midrash." You will defend Hebrews 9:22 as scripture. You will not dismiss it as "midrash" because you truly believe that the world needs "jesus blood" in order to atone for our sins.

    So this reveals your double standard. The NT is "midrash" when it contradicts the Tanach, but doesn't contradict your core beliefs about salvation, such as in the case of Matthew 2:15

    But when it comes to Hebrews 9:22, you will take that as full on scripture, equal or even superior to the word of the Tanach...

    Am I correct in my assertions, Gifted? I've spoken to enough believers in jesus to know this is most probably your position on these matters...

    Shalom

    ReplyDelete
  15. Unknown, I have a firm grasp of using a midrash. It appears you expect me to take the same approach that Christians do. However, I'm don't agree with their tenants within their faith. The standard counter argument don't apply to me. You & I both know that everything shouldn't be taken literal. Nevertheless, many within Christianity & MJ take certain passages literal. In the Besorah of Mattityahu he incorporates Hosea 11:1. At this juncture you & I agree that the pshat isn't referring to Yeshua in Hosea. Is it within our hermeneutics to use a drash/remez to show correlation? Are you implying that Mattityahu had zero understanding of the Hosea passage? He's well aware of the passage. He's using a drash & remez as a parallel. Yet, Christians take that passage literal. It also appears you've brought into the understanding the Christian take when reading that passage so you can see the pshat don't says this. You can't have it both ways. That's such an abusing of the text. Lastly, I hope you didn't do what the standard Christian does when reading Hebrews. There are tons of allegorical statements there. Why when I say a drash or remez you act as if it's impossible for the PARDES to be employed.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Gifted, I never said that Matthew "couldn't" use midrash. What I said is that if you are going to insist that he is using "midrash," then why don't you understand Matthew as simply another Rabbinic commentator rather than scripture equivalent to the divine inspiration of the Tanach?

    You appear to view Matthew as if he is a prophet like Daniel, Isaiah, Hosea, Ezekiel, etc. The hermeneutic of Midrash that was implemented during Second Temple period was not considered to be prophesy on the level of Daniel, Isaiah, Hosea, Ezekiel, etc. But you appear to be trying to pass matthew off as both "rabbinic commentator" (Hillel, Gamaliel, Akiva, etc.) AND "scriptural prophet" (Daniel, Isaiah, Hosea, etc.) simultaneously...This is not how the Midrash of the Rabbinic writings is understood...So either you do not understand how midrash works or you are abusing its context on purpose in order to save face...

    Another curious thing that I find is this: I think its pretty obvious that one of Matthew's main points of writing his gospel was to try to "prove" to his audience that jesus was supposedly the Messiah son of David. In fact, the very first sentence of the NT affirms this fact...

    But what I find curious is that starting from the very first prophesy that jesus supposedly "fulfilled" according to Matthew, (Isaiah 7:14) he must rely on a "midrash" in order to apply any meaning to jesus, since we both know that the immediate context of Isaiah 7:14 does not apply to the Messiah at all...Same for Matthew 2:15 in the very next chapter concerning Hosea 11:1.

    Like I said, matthew can "drash" all he wants, but this isn't a good foundation to build a case for jesus's supposed messiahship on. Using passages that do not have any sort of Messianic application on a Pshat level in order to establish a case for a Messianic candidate is just an outright horrible foundation.

    Imagine if I was trying to prove to you that I knew who the four craftsmen were in Zechariah 2:3 (1:20 in christian bibles) and in order to "prove" this to you, I applied it to the 4 Rabbis who were killed by Palestinians in Jerusalem in November.

    Is this a good hermeneutical technique, Gifted?

    See how weak of an argument this is? And it is especially since we know that Rabbinic commentaries give us other opinions on who these four craftsmen are...Using prophesies that are not exclusive to the Messiah in order to "prove" that someone is the Messiah is horrible argumentation. Yet this is precisely what we see throughout the book of Matthew from beginning to end...

    Matthew's case for jesus's supposed messiahship isn't compelling to me and it shouldn't be to you either.

    Shalom

    ReplyDelete
  17. Uknown, it's your conjecture that says that using a drash or remez is useless. How can you say what's good foundation? There are many rabbis of the first century who deployed a drash or a remez. Yet, their literature has foundation because it fit your point. That's overly bias sir. By the way, you answered none of my questions. Are you alluding that Matthew was clueless to what Hosea 11:1 was about at the time of his writing? I've never told you Matthew was a prophet. Stop, go & look what I stated. Your passing off Matthew as if he had no understanding of rabbinic hermeneutics. Now what you have done is save face. Due to me not being in the typical box you assert "he can drash all he wants." Your ignoring first century Judaism of that time. Then you suppose most people hold the same views. I guess that's because as you stated you dialogue with many Christians. I guess when you read your only searching for pshat. Based on your interpretation PARDES is a no go. I'm absolutely find with your logic. I understand where your coming from.

    Shalom akhi

    ReplyDelete
  18. Unknown, our "Gifted" friend is exhibiting something that is quite typical among Hebrew Roots Christians of late - they create for themselves custom Hebrew Roots Christianity or "Messianic Judaism" by they picking and choosing this idea or that, while committing to virtually nothing in particular. They deny trinity and whatever else that sounds Christian to them, but in truth they merely use different terminology to subscribe to pretty much the same beliefs. Worship of Jesus becomes veneration of "tzadik", sacrifice on the cross becomes martyrdom, Paul becomes "Rabbi Shaul". When you talk to them, they reach into their basket of diverse ideas they picked up here and there, from this book or this website, along with a smattering of rabbinic terminology they picked up online. When you show them their errors, they claim that "oh no, I do not believe like the Christians". When you show them that they are distorting what Judaism teaches, they run to cite out of context quotes, making rabbis into reverse marranos (believing in in one thing but saying quite the opposite) or they rush for quote the latest book from some liberal scholars who tell us that they discovered that Christianity's doctrines of trinity, incarnations, and worship of man are not idolatry (like the rabbis have been telling us) but 100% kosher Judaism (someone apparently forgot to tell the rest of the Jews what they really believe). It's useless to talk to someone who has created his own religion and only reveals bits and pieces of it, depending on what the argument of the day is, or modifies his religion on the fly. It's like trying to hit a moving target. Better to talk to people who are more honest with themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Gifted, the irony of your response is that it is you who are ignoring the context of Rabbinic Judaism concerning the first Century.

    First of all, Rabbinic Judaism rejects the NT as legitimate scripture, let alone "midrash." So regardless of how Rabbinic Judaism functions on the level of Pardes, the NT is not a part of the Mesorah of Rabbinic Judaism.

    Second of all, it is interesting to note that Rabbi Akiva held a view that Bar Kochba was the Moshiach while Bar Kochba still lived. However, AFTER Bar Kochba was KILLED, Rabbi Akiva abandoned this belief and so did his followers. This is the reason why Rabbinic Judaism on the whole does not expect Bar Kochba to come back from the dead...The Rambam is consistent with this idea as well, asserting that if a Messianic candidate is KILLED, then this individual cannot be the Messiah.

    So if you are going to insist that Matthew's "midrash" is consistent with Rabbinic understandings at the time, you are gravely mistaken...

    And now you are telling me that you deny that Matthew is a prophet? Ok, well then why do you understand Matthew to be divinely inspired scripture on the level of the Tanach?! You're talking about of both sides of your mouth...Playing chameleon with the text, just like a typical christian who is clueless concerning how Rabbinic Midrash works...

    You ask me what I think about Matthew's knowledge of Hosea? That's a personal opinion, but there are plenty of possibilities. The writer of Matthew might have known what the verse says, but intentionally abused the context in order to convince an ignorant audience. (Such as gentiles who relied on the Greek Septuagint rather than the Hebrew Tanach.) Or perhaps it was a "midrash" like you say as the author of Matthew may have just been delusional enough to think his argument had some sort of value, despite the contextual abuse. Either way, his argument is as compelling to me as the book of mormon is to you...

    I'm not bashing the hermeneutic of Midrash, although that's how you are attempting to paint me...I am criticizing matthew's flippant use of "midrash" in order to attempt to "prove" jesus as Messiah, if that was his intent as you claim...

    Even when Rabbi Akiva attempted to use "midrash" to apply Numbers 24:17 to Bar Kochba, he quickly rectified his error after Bar Kochba was killed.

    It's time you do the same with jesus...Rectify your error and recognize that jesus failed to fulfill the Messianic prophesies of the Tanach, just like Bar Kochba!

    Shalom

    ReplyDelete
  20. Where should I start. You two are on topic then jump off topic like a surfer on a surfboard. Now one day Gene says Gifted I won't be talking to you. Then today I have a long response. Yes, I created a religion. This guy is unbelievable. Really. Because I don't attribute to the typical stance of trinity, hypstatic Union, & others I'm quoted as "pulling up diverse ideas!" You've been hanging around the church fanatics too much. Now Gene, be consistent. One day no words the next day a litany of words.

    Unknown, your rambling. Your not on subject. Your injecting things you & I know. We know Rabbinic Judaism rejects the Besorah. The topic was PARDES. That my friend they don't reject. Your argument is weak. While you acknowledge PARDES, you state the writer can't use it, & when he does he's delusional. I must be dreaming lol. You aren't proving that Matthew use or understanding of a Drash or Remez is misused . Your literally throwing out conjecture (orthodox)! Why must one be delusional if he understands you must maintain the pshat, but within the rules you can use the remez to bring about a thought or parallel? This is utterly ridiculous. Nevertheless, it's been great hearing where you both stand.

    Shalom akhi

    ReplyDelete
  21. Gifted, if you think misrepresenting what I say will help your hopeless position for jesus's supposed messiahship, then you have another thing coming...

    For the 5th time, I never stated that Matthew "cannot use" Pardes. What I stated is that his supposed use of "drash" makes an extremely weak case for jesus's supposed messiahship.

    Basically, you want me to believe that jesus is the messiah because of prophesies that have no exclusive application to the Messiah, such as Isaiah 7:14 and Hosea 11:1. Matthew's beginning "support" for jesus being the Messiah begins with jesus supposedly "fulfilling" prophesies that have nothing to do with the Messiah in the immediate context...

    As I've said at least 5 times though out this entire conversation with you, I am not saying that Matthew "cannot use midrash" as a support for his position on jesus's supposed messiahship. However, if he is indeed using midrash for this purpose, his arguments are extremely weak because they do not give any sense of exclusivity to jesus's life.

    Like I said, I could just as easily make up a "midrash" that the four rabbis who were killed in November by palestinians in a Jerusalem Synagogue in Har Nof were actually the "four craftsmen" described in Zechariah 2:3. (or 1:20 in christian bibles) Do you find my "midrash" compelling?

    You shouldn't...Likewise, you should not find Matthew's application of Isaiah 7:14 to the supposed "virgin birth" of jesus to be compelling either, especially since Chazal and even Isaiah himself apply this prophesy to Isaiah's own son!

    So Matthew can "drash" on this all he wants, but at the end of the day, his application of this prophesy to the birth of jesus is just as legitimate as someone attributing the prophesy to the birth of Jerry Seinfeld, Karl Marx, or any other Jew, assuming a "midrashic dual prophesy" approach...Remember, Chazal do not apply this prophesy exclusively to the Messiah, so if you want to be consistent with Rabbinic Judaism, you must acknowledge this fact...Do you?

    Same thing with Hosea 11:1. You insist that this is "drash" concerning Matthew's application of this prophesy to jesus in Matthew 2:15...Like I said, I'm NOT saying that Matthew CANT do this...Rather, I am saying that since the prophesy does not have exclusivity to the Messiah, his argument for jesus "fulfilling" this as a messianic prophesy is far less than compelling.

    There are actually very few prophesies in the Tanach which are exclusive to the Messiah in the Tanach. Isaiah 11 is one such prophesy and so is Ezekiel 37:24-28. Hosea 3:5 is another, along with Jeremiah 30:9.

    Your jesus fulfilled none of these...

    So you can "midrash" all you want...I'm not saying it's "not allowed." I'm saying that it is an EXTREMELY weak argument for jesus being the Messiah since the prophesies that Matthew claims jesus "fulfilled" do not have exclusivity to the Messiah.

    Do you understand, "Gifted"?

    Shalom

    ReplyDelete