Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wrestling with the Incarnation: Elliot Wolfson on Incarnational Thinking in the Ancient Israelite Religion

"According to a growing consensus in biblical scholarship, the textual evidence indicates that for the ancient Israelites the burning issue was not God's corporeality per se, but the problem of iconically representing the divine in corporeal images....One must distinguish between the prohibition of depicting God in images and the claim that God cannot be manifest in a body.  One may presume, as indeed the evidence from the Bible seems to suggest, that God is capable of assuming corporeal form, although that form should not be represented pictorially.
     ...many passages in Hebrew Scriptures presuppose an anthropomorphic conception of God.  This conception, moreover, is predicated on the notion that God can assume an incarnational form that is visually and audibly available to human perception.  There is no reason to suppose, as have apologists of Judaism in both medieval and modern times, that the anthropomorphic characterizations of God in Scripture are to be treated figuratively or allegorically.  I will cite here one example of what I consider to be a striking illustration of incarnational thinking in biblical religion.  In the narrative concerning Jacob's struggle with the mysterious 'man,' who is explicitly identified as Elohim and on account of whom Jacob's name is changed to Israel, Jacob is said to have called the place of the theophany 'Peniel,' for he saw Elohim face-to-face, va-yikra ya'akov shem ha-makom peni'el ki ra'iti elohim panim el panim (Gen. 32:30).  The anthropomorphization of God in this biblical text suggests that in ancient Israel some believed that the divine could appear in a tangible and concrete form...In this light, it becomes quite clear that in some cases the anthropomorphisms in Hebrew Scripture do imply an element of incarnation,"  Elliot R. Wolfson, Judasm and Incarnation:  The Imaginal Body of God

34 comments:

  1. I always find it amusing when christians resort to cherry picking from Jewish scholarship in order to attempt to bolster their claims about jesus's supposed "divinity."

    Let's get one thing straight here off the bat, Peter. Even if you could hypothetically "prove" that every time an anonymous angel appears in the Tanach, that these angels are "synonymous with Hashem," (Chas V'Shalom!) this would not prove anything about jesus's supposed claims to be "god on the flesh."

    Once again, your jesus never claimed to be "the angel who fought with Jacob" or "the angel of the Lord." You will not find jesus ever making such a claim that he appeared to Jacob or anyone else in the Tanach as a "pre-incarnate angel." So by you making this absurd argument, you aren't proving anything about jesus supposedly "being these angels" since you have no evidence that jesus had any connection to these angels, or even that he even claimed to be them!

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  2. Peter, your blog has a very limited character limit so I will post this in chunks.

    Peter, you are essentially challenging traditional Judaism with the question of “Could G-d take on the form of a man?”
    To demonstrate the irrelevance of your question, I will ask you this question:
    COULD G-d take on the form of a golden calf? Why or why not?
    See the problem?
    The question you need to be asking is WOULD G-d take on the form of a man…That answer is no. How do I know this? G-d explicitly tells us so!
    Deut 4:9. But beware and watch yourself very well, lest you forget the things that your eyes saw, and lest these things depart from your heart, all the days of your life, and you shall make them known to your children and to your children’s children,
    Here we see that G-d is commanding Israel to teach these things throughout their generations. G-d is directly telling Israel to teach their children about the things they saw and the things on their hearts. What are these things you ask? Lets continue reading:
    Deut 4:10. the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when the Lord said to me, “Assemble the people for Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.
    Deut 4:11. And you approached and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire up to the midst of the heavens, with darkness, a cloud, and opaque darkness.
    Deut 4:12. The Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of the words, but saw no image, just a voice.
    Here we have G-d explaining to the children of Israel what they “saw.” Notice that what they “saw” was no image according to G-d Himself! Moving on…
    Deut 4:13. And He told you His covenant, which He commanded you to do, the Ten Commandments, and He inscribed them on two stone tablets.
    Deut 4:14. And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances, so that you should do them in the land to which you are crossing, to possess.
    This verse is important to read in context with the next few verses because it reiterates the fact that these commands are not just a “one time deal.” Rather, G-d is commanding Israel not to worship Him in any form throughout all our generations! With this in mind, lets continue reading:
    Deut 4:15. And you shall watch yourselves very well, for you did not see any image on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire.
    Deut 4:16. Lest you become corrupt and make for yourselves a graven image, the representation of ANY FORM, the likeness of MALE or female,
    Deut 4:17. the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the heaven,
    Deut 4:18. the likeness of anything that crawls on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters, beneath the earth.
    Deut 4:19. And lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, which the Lord your God assigned to all peoples under the entire heaven, and be drawn away to prostrate yourselves before them and worship them.
    Peter, from this passage, we see two explicit themes:
    1. G-d is explicitly commanding Israel not to worship Him in any form. (Deut 4:16)
    2. G-d is explicitly commanding Israel to teach this to their children and their children’s children, even after they come to the land of Israel. (Deut 4:9-14)

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  3. I would like to reiterate that this prohibition includes more than just “man made” images. Did man “make” the moon the sun and the stars? Did man “make” Adam, the first man? No! But we both agree that G-d would never manifest Himself in the form of the sun.
    We know that G-d would never do such things because G-d extends this prohibition to any form in Deut 4:16. You can’t get any more explicit than that!
    So Peter…The question you should be asking me is “WOULD G-d take on the form of a man?”
    To which the appropriate response is, WOULD G-d take on the form of a golden calf?
    We know that G-d would never manifest Himself in the form of a golden calf us. By these same token, He made it clear that He will not appear in the form of a man to us. Deut 4:15-19 was not a “one time deal.” It was a commandment for all generations! It was also not limited to “man made forms.” It extends to “any form,” including the form of a man.
    G-d’s explicit commands to Israel concerning how we are to worship Him override any eisegetical assumptions you make about G-d supposedly taking on “forms” for us to worship.

    So you can cherry pick with liberal Jewish scholars if you want...I'll take G-d's word and the wisdom of Chazal over some liberal scholar's attempt at keeping tenure at University by publishing "controversial" subjects.

    You take jesus...I'll take G-d!

    Shalom

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    Replies
    1. Shalom "Unknown",

      Help me to understand your reasoning. Torah prohibits making pesel, an idol. But Torah says that G-d has a tzelem, does it not? Furthermore, man is created in the tzelem of G-d, is he not?

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    2. Once again, you are asking the wrong question. The Torah doesn't say G-d "cannot" take on a form...However, the Torah is explicit that Israel is FORBIDDEN from worshipping G-d in any form.

      So whatever "form" G-d "has," it is clearly not to be worshipped or even comprehended by man in any way, shape or form. We can entertain the possibility that G-d "could" take on the form of a golden calf...

      But the real question is this: WOULD G-d take on the form of a golden calf?

      Likewise, we can entertain the possibility that G-d COULD take on the form of a human being...(jesus in your case)

      But the real question is this: WOULD G-d take on the form of a human being?

      Based upon G-d's explicit commands to Israel in Deuteronomy 4:9-19, we can be assured that would be idolatry for Israel to worship G-d in ANY FORM, including man, regardless of whether or not G-d "COULD" assume these forms or not...

      Do you understand now, Peter?

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    3. "The Torah doesn't say G-d "cannot" take on a form...However, the Torah is explicit that Israel is FORBIDDEN from worshipping G-d in any form. "

      Those pesky Torah prohibitions against what became the very essence of CHRISTianity, the exaltation, deification and worship of a creature to the throne of G-d, is no doubt what historically drove Christians to denigrate the Torah of Judaism as obsolete relic that had to nailed to the cross, and to pay little attention to what is written in it, unless its contents could somehow twisted into "prophecies", "types" and "shadows" about Jesus.

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    4. "Unknown" and Gene,

      Let's back up a step. Do you both agree that the Torah is Divine?

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    5. I agree that the Torah is the divinely inspired word of G-d.

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    6. Inspired by G-d, of course. (Torah itself is not "divine", only G-d is. It's a creation of G-d).

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    7. Let's quickly recap what we mean by "Torah" - it means instructions or teachings given by G-d to Israel (and by extension, to the rest of humanity too, through Israel, as applicable) on how to properly love, worship, serve G-d, how to live righteously (a multifaceted area), including how treat our fellow human beings.

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    8. "Unknown" and Gene,

      If the Torah represents G-d's will--which is something from His essence--then how can one say that G-d's will was created? It is not like a rock or plant. The "will" of G-d pre-existed the creation of the universe, did it not?

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    9. "The "will" of G-d pre-existed the creation of the universe, did it not?"

      Peter, the "will of G-d" has always existed, but Judaism holds that the Torah was created (and yes, it was created before the foundation of the world and was used a a "blueprint" for it). The Torah reflects the will of G-d, but it's not G-d, in the same as the man reflects the image of G-d, but is not G-d either. Torah is a creation of G-d and was given as a gift to humanity. G-d didn't give Himself as a gift to mankind (if anything, it is the mankind who is a "gift" G-d gave Himself - Israel at least per G-d's own words is called G-d's "treasure").

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    10. Peter, here's what we do know:

      1. Man is a creation of G-d.

      2. Your jesus was a man

      Putting these two concepts together, we can definitively conclude that since jesus was a man, this means that jesus was a creation of G-d.

      You want to convince us that a creation of G-d, jesus/man, is actually our Creator/Hashem. This is ridiculous because by definition, man is a creation of Hashem. This disqualifies jesus or any other man from being synonymous with Hashem!

      Also, notice that the prohibition of the worship of ANY FORM mentioned in Deut 4:15-19 does not make an exception for "uncreated forms of man." (Whatever that's supposed to mean.)

      I've heard christians like you make the baseless claim that jesus was an "uncreated man," thus making him immune to this prohibition against form worship...

      But even if this asinine scenario of jesus supposedly being an "uncreated man/form" were true, Deuteronomy 4:15-19 does not make exceptions for "uncreated forms/men," or whatever absurd "loophole" you are trying to make for your idolatrous case for jesus worship...

      Shalom

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    11. Unknown,

      RE: "...since jesus was a man, this means that jesus was a creation of G-d."

      I think Benjamin Sommers has an interesting point about this. Please see his quote in my new post entitled "The G-d Who Walked in the Garden" and let me know what you think.

      But the bottom line is that there is no prohibition against worshipping a form. That's just your made up interpretation. The Torah, on the other hand, prohibits making an idol. The Torah also says that G-d has form. "Let US make man in OUR IMAGE, in OUR FORM."

      You ignore what Torah says and insert your own prohibition. Read Sommers.

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    12. Once again, Peter, there actually is a prohibition against the worship of ANY FORM. It doesn't matter if G-d theoretically "has" a form or not. That's a completely different debate entirely.

      This question is whether or not WORSHIPING G-d as a "form" is is considered idolatry. According to Deuteronomy 4:9-19, we are not to worship G-d in ANY FORM. As I state in my previous posts, this prohibition is not limited to "man made forms." Adam, the first man, was not made by man, but rather, made by G-d. But I'm sure we both agree that Adam is not suitable for worship. Likewise, the moon, the sun, and the stars are clearly prohibited for worship...But it clearly states that they are all prohibited for worship in Deuteronomy 4:19.

      So yes, there is a prohibition against worshipping a form. This is precisely why G-d emphasizes the fact that Israel SAW NO FORM in Deuteronomy 4:12

      Deut 4:12. The Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of the words, **BUT SAW NO IMAGE,** just a voice.

      And again in Deut 4:15

      Deut 4:15. And you shall watch yourselves very well, for **YOU DID NOT SEE ANY IMAGE** on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire.

      As you know, Deut 4:16-19 goes on to prohibit the worship of ANY FORM, be it "man made" or not!

      Deut 4:16. Lest you become corrupt and make for yourselves a graven image, the representation of ANY FORM, the likeness of MALE or female,
      Deut 4:17. the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the heaven,
      Deut 4:18. the likeness of anything that crawls on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters, beneath the earth.
      Deut 4:19. And lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, which the Lord your God assigned to all peoples under the entire heaven, and be drawn away to prostrate yourselves before them and worship them.
      Peter, from this passage, we see two explicit themes:

      1. G-d is explicitly commanding Israel not to worship Him in any form. (Deut 4:16)

      2. G-d is explicitly commanding Israel to teach this to their children and their children’s children, even after they come to the land of Israel. (Deut 4:9-14)
      (part 1)

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    13. (Part 2)

      Deut 4:9. But beware and watch yourself very well, lest you forget the things that your eyes saw, and lest these things depart from your heart, all the days of your life, **and you shall make them known to your children and to your children’s children,**

      Here we see that G-d is commanding Israel to teach these things throughout their generations. G-d is directly telling Israel to teach their children about the things they saw and the things on their hearts. What are these things you ask? Lets continue reading:

      Deut 4:10. the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when the Lord said to me, “Assemble the people for Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.

      Deut 4:11. And you approached and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire up to the midst of the heavens, with darkness, a cloud, and opaque darkness.

      Deut 4:12. The Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of the words, but saw no image, just a voice.

      Here we have G-d explaining to the children of Israel what they “saw.” Notice that what they “saw” was no image according to G-d Himself! Moving on…

      Deut 4:13. And He told you His covenant, which He commanded you to do, the Ten Commandments, and He inscribed them on two stone tablets.

      Deut 4:14. And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances, so that you should do them in the land to which you are crossing, to possess.

      This verse is important to read in context with the next few verses because it reiterates the fact that these commands are not just a “one time deal.” Rather, G-d is commanding Israel not to worship Him in any form throughout all our generations!

      So there's no escaping it, Peter. There clearly is a clear prohibition against ALL form worship. It doesn't matter whether or not G-d can theoretically "have" a form.

      The prohibition against form worship is not restricted to "man made" objects, nor is it restrictive to the singular experience that Israel had at Horeb...

      So once again, you can either continue to ignore Chazal and cherry pick liberal scholarly ideas to fit your confirmation bias concerning your idolatrous worship of jesus.

      Or you can actually follow G-d's Torah, which clearly prohibits the worship of ANY FORM, regardless of G-d's theoretically "ability" to assume a form.

      To worship jesus or any other form is clearly idolatry according to Deut 4:9-19. You can quote all the liberal scholars you want, but just know that you are fighting against G-d's word by doing so...

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    14. " Read Sommers."

      This liberal sensationalist's premise is that Israelites adopted the Canaanites' understanding of their gods (specifically having multiple bodies) to the G-d of Israel, then suppressed this idea because of Torah's monotheism and continue to suppress and deny it, but that this idea can still be found in Biblical anthropomorphism (e.g. "arm of the L-rd"), in mystical Jewish works (like Kabbalah's emanations - which are of course are not "bodies" in any way) and finally made it's way into Christian trinitarianism. So, he draws a direct line from Canaanites to Trinity! Strange bed fellows liberals "scholars" and Christians looking for confirmation of their idolatry make...

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    15. Gene,

      Explain: "Let US make man in OUR IMAGE, in OUR FORM."

      "Unknown" says that we're prohibited from worshiping a form and yet G-d has a form.

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    16. Peter, I'm not the one who made the prohibition against the worship of any form. G-d did in Deut 4:9-19.

      I didn't necessarily say that G-d "has a form." What I said is that it is theoretically possible for G-d to "have a form" since G-d is all powerful. However, since G-d explicitly prohibits the worship of any form in Deut 4:9-19, whatever "form" that G-d could theoretically assume is not to be worshipped by man.

      So in effect, this means that in the sight of Israel, G-d is essentially promising Israel that he will never appear to us in any form suitable for worship. That includes any theoretically possible form that the human mind can conjure up, including the form of a man.

      This mean that if you assume that jesus or any other man is "god in the flesh" you are committing idolatry. Deuteronomy 4:9-19 is clear as day on this prohibition and no liberal scholar is going to change this fact.

      Asking the question of whether or not G-d "has a form" is analogous to asking the question of whether or not G-d can sin. Theoretically, I guess you could say that G-d has the power to do so, but whatever that means, man has no means of understanding how G-d could possibly "sin."

      If G-d were to hypothetically assume a form and demand Israel's worship in that form, this would be a violation of G-d's explicit command to Israel in Deut 4:9-19 concerning the fact that Israel is not to worship G-d in ANY FORM.

      If you want to entertain the possibility of G-d doing such a thing, that's your prerogative. However, if G-d did do such a thing, this would make G-d a liar, and effectively, a sinner, as G-d explicitly told Israel not to worship Him in any form.

      Deut 4:9-19 isn't going away, Peter. Whether G-d has a "form" or not, it makes no difference. G-d prohibits the worship of ANY FORM INCLUDING MAN.

      Thus, to worship jesus as Hashem is to commit idolatry.

      Shalom

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    17. "Explain: "Let US make man in OUR IMAGE, in OUR FORM.""

      Whatever G-d meant here He couldn't have meant a physical form because he doesn't have anything of the sort, but man does. Note: Rashi actually offers an interesting explanation that G-d was addressing angels in His Heavenly court (who had a visible form that indeed looked like man's).

      Regardless, Hashem specifically warned Israelites, "to watch themselves carefully" that they saw "no form" on the mountain and not to corrupt themselves by worshiping physical creatures or creations. So, you wish to ignore and violate G-d's explicit warning so that you can keep worshippng of Jesus as god, a human being who definitely had a visible form.

      I, however, think that logic will eventually lead you to acknowledge the facts in front of you and become obedient to G-d's word, instead of trusting in wisdom of men who are chasing after latest sensationalist theories.

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    18. "Unknown" and Gene,

      RE: "G-d prohibits the worship of ANY FORM INCLUDING MAN."

      That's not in the text. The prohibits making an idolatrous image. It does not prohibit G-d from revealing Himself (His form) to man.



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    19. "That's not in the text. The prohibits making an idolatrous image. It does not prohibit G-d from revealing Himself (His form) to man. "

      Peter, you are splinting hairs, hanging on words, looking for loopholes. Had I been making your sort of argument in defense of whatever, you'd rip me to shreds, and rightly so.

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    20. Peter, does this mean that G-d could assume the form of Adam, the first man as well?

      You are insistent that this prohibition only applies to "man made forms."

      Knowing this, do you entertain the possibility that Adam may be worshipped?

      Also, the moon the sun and the stars were not "man made images" either...

      Do you also entertain the possibility that the moon, the sun, and the stars may be worshipped as well?

      Let's see how intellectually honest you are with your argumentation...

      Shalom

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    21. @ Gene,

      RE: "Peter, you are splinting hairs, hanging on words, looking for loopholes. Had I been making your sort of argument in defense of whatever, you'd rip me to shreds, and rightly so."

      As long as you are hanging onto HaShem's words, then I don't criticize. His Word does not prohibit Him from taking form. Period. That prohibition is not to be found anywhere in the Torah. Furthermore, He has a form. That is textual.

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    22. @ Unknown,

      Here's the rub: G-d is not prohibited from manifesting in the form of a man.

      RE: "... do you entertain the possibility that Adam may be worshipped?"

      No. Why would I?

      RE: "Do you also entertain the possibility that the moon, the sun, and the stars may be worshipped as well?"

      No. Why would I?

      RE: "Let's see how intellectually honest you are with your argumentation..."

      You are the one making a contradiction. You say we cannot worship a "form" and yet the Torah says G-d has a form. You claim the Torah prohibits G-d from appearing in a form--yet there's no such prohibition in Torah!


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    23. Peter,

      Whether you want to admit it or not, your understanding of Deut 4:9-19 allows for the potential worship of Adam, the first man.

      Why? Because Adam was made by G-d! Adam was not man made! And since you insist that the prohibition against the worship of ANY FORM only applies to "man made forms," you are inadvertently allowing for the possibility of the worship of Adam, the first man. For he was not man made...Adam was made by G-d, not man! Thus, he is fair game for worship.

      So why do you elevate jesus over, Adam, Peter? You have no good reason to according to your erroneous understanding of the passage...

      Moreover, you have also allowed the possibility for "moon, sun, and star worship," since the moon, the sun, and the stars were also not "man made" but made by G-d Himself!

      Yet the passage explicitly states that the moon, the sun, and the stars are idolatrous to worship...

      So you have yourself a problem, Peter. Clearly, "making" an image, does not exclusively apply to a man made image from stone, wood, copper, etc. This prohibition must refer to ALL IMAGES, whether they are man made or not...

      Otherwise, Adam, the moon, the sun, the stars etc. are all fair game for potential worship. They are not man made, yet they are images.

      So why do you dismiss these as being potential entities for worship, yet put full faith in jesus as your god?

      If you were truly intellectually honest with your interpretation, you would acknowledge that G-d COULD assume the form of Adam, the moon, the stars, etc...

      But I guess I expected too much from you...

      Shavua Tov.

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    24. Dear "Unknown":

      I have some questions for you in a new post:

      http://orthodoxmessianic.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-paradox-of-divine-messiah-and-other.html

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    25. I'll certainly deal with your new post, but please do me the courtesy of answering my questions to you as well. I'll repeat them here:

      Why do you elevate jesus over, Adam, Peter? You have no good reason to according to your erroneous understanding of the passage...

      Also, why do you dismiss these as being potential entities for worship, yet put full faith in jesus as your god?

      If you were truly intellectually honest with your interpretation, you would acknowledge that G-d COULD assume the form of Adam, the moon, the stars, etc...

      Do you? Shalom


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    26. "Unknown",

      G-d has always existed. For an entity to be G-d, therefore, the entity must have always existed. Adam did not always exist but rather His existence began in the garden of Eden. Therefore, Adam is not G-d.

      By the way, the Prohibition on making an idol deals with context. A rock by itself is not an idol. But if someone projects his idea of a "god" onto the rock and, through his own pride, begins to worship his self-projection then he violates the prohibition.

      This prohibition on making an idol does not apply to Yeshua since Yeshua exists as G-d on His own and has always existed.

      By the way, if you would like, I can quote to you at length from Jewish sources that talk about the pre-existence of the Messiah (i.e. the Divinity of the Messiah).

      Shalom,

      Peter


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    27. Peter, earlier you claimed that the prohibition against for worship only applied to "man made forms." But now, after I challenged you on whether or not Adam and celestial bodies created by G-d and not man are potential candidates for worship, you have now changed the story and you have admitted that although Adam and the moon, the sun, and the stars were "G-d made" and not "man made," these images are not potential candidates for worship.

      So now that you've admitted that the prohibition in Deuteronomy 4:9-19 applies to G-d made images as well as man made images, you have yourself a problem:

      Deuteronomy 4:9-19 prohibits the worship of ANY FORM.

      You want to convince us that a creation of G-d, jesus/man, is actually our Creator/Hashem. This is ridiculous because by definition, man is a creation of Hashem. This disqualifies jesus or any other man from being synonymous with Hashem!

      Also, notice that the prohibition of the worship of ANY FORM mentioned in Deut 4:15-19 does not make an exception for "uncreated forms of man." (Whatever that's supposed to mean.)

      I've heard christians like you make the baseless claim that jesus was an "uncreated man," thus making him immune to this prohibition against form worship...

      But even if this asinine scenario of jesus supposedly being an "uncreated man/form" were true, Deuteronomy 4:15-19 does not make exceptions for "uncreated forms/men," or whatever absurd "loophole" you are trying to make for your idolatrous case for jesus worship...

      Shalom

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  4. "So you can cherry pick with liberal Jewish scholars if you want...I'll take G-d's word and the wisdom of Chazal over some liberal scholar's attempt at keeping tenure at University by publishing "controversial" subjects."

    I concur. I am not sure how quoting some liberal Jewish theologians (many of whom are secularists, gays, feminists, and activists), some of whom are sensationalists trying to sell books and themselves AND who themselves do not believe in the very ideas they claim as "normal to Judaism", would somehow prove and disprove anything to a traditional Jew, for whom Torah and the sages are authorities.

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    Replies
    1. Gene,

      You get the same questions I posed to "Unknown":

      Torah prohibits making pesel, an idol. But Torah says that G-d has a tzelem, does it not? Furthermore, man is created in the tzelem of G-d, is he not?

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    2. "But Torah says that G-d has a tzelem, does it not? Furthermore, man is created in the tzelem of G-d, is he not?"

      Man is G-d's "tzelem", not that G-d has a separate "tzelem" (physical mage that you can see). The Christian error is to imagine that because man has a physical body this means that G-d also has a physical body. Mormons take this error to the max, and it surprises me that you are arguing pretty much their position - that god the father has a body, not just his son Jesus who only acquired a body at his incarnation when the Christian trinitarian god impregnated a Jewish virgin with himself.

      Being made in image of G-d is to have a measure of G-d's character and abilities, and not a matter of having G-d's physical construction - G-d is not part of His physical creation, He's a spirit.

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    3. Of course, the actual text doesn't necessarily imply that the House of David pierced this individual...But I'm going off of your christian translation...

      Either way, the individual being "pierced" is not mentioned to be of the House of David...

      So stop insisting that this person must be Moshiach ben David...

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