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1756Isaiah 53 (was: Re: Messianic prophecies unfulfilled)

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  • wglmp
    Sep 7, 2007
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      --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Robert M. Bowman, Jr."
      <faithhasitsreasons@...> wrote:
      > Mr. Tillman,
      > In previous posts, I have offered a defense of the identification
      of the servant of the LORD in Isaiah 52:13-53:12 as an individual
      Israelite suffering for the nation. I have also responded to your
      objections to this identification.<

      I don't remember them being either very comprehensive, nor very
      compelling. I also don't recall your answering the reasons I gave for
      REJECTING Jesus as the subject of Isaiah 53. I can (again) show why
      Isaiah 53 DOES NOT refer to any single individual, including and
      especially Jesus, and show why the identification of Israel as the
      real suffering servant is more logical, and am quite willing to do
      so. I could either quote others, who have done both much better than
      I could, or extract their works, and I can do it in two separate
      posts or all in one. I suggest two: Why NOT Jesus, and Why Israel.

      > The language of sins being laid on the suffering Servant as a sheep
      (Is. 53:6-7) is sacrificial language and clearly means that the
      Servant dies.<

      Not so, on BOTH counts. But even so, it still wouldn't necessarily
      point EXCLUSIVELY to Jesus. It could refer to A (not "the") REAL
      messiah (which Jesus was not), who might (now, remember, I'm just
      playing "what if" games) come back from the dead by being resurrected
      by the (sic) REAL messiah. There is a belief that there will be two
      messiahs, one the descendant of Joseph, the other the descendant of
      King David, who appear within three and one half years of each other,
      ben Joseph coming first and dying in battle, ben David resurrecting
      him, and then ben David setting up his Earthly kingdom and ushering
      in the messianic era.
      The "soon" return and subsequent kingdom promised of and by Jesus is
      loooooooong overdue.

      > His subsequent exaltation, then, presupposes his resurrection from
      the dead.<

      There is no proof Jesus actually arose from the dead, other than some
      contradictory ghost stories (see Mt 14:26) and an empty tomb, which
      could be explained by saying that the tomb pointed out was the WRONG
      tomb; it might never have BEEN occupied, so its being empty is no big
      deal. Or the corpse could have been stolen. What about the guards?
      Well, there is reason to doubt they were ever placed to guard any
      tomb, but even so, the body could have been stolen while they slept
      (Matt 28:11-15. The guards were paid off to tell a lie. But the story
      has a huge hole in it. For they were told to say that the disciples
      stole the body while they were asleep. But if they were asleep, then
      how did they know that the disciples stole the body?). Matthew 28:1-
      10 and John 20:1-18 when read side by side, collapse because it would
      have been historically and chronologically impossible for both
      accounts to have occurred. In fact, the crucial events presented in
      these two Gospel narratives are manifestly contradictory. How could
      John's Mary have thought that someone removed the cadaver, when
      according to Matthew, Roman soldiers were placed at the tomb for the
      specific purpose of preventing just such an occurrence?

      > That the Servant is the Messiah, the anointed one, is stated
      explicitly in Isaiah 61:1,<

      The subject of Isaiah 61:1, according to some, is Isaiah
      himself. "The spirit of the Lord God was upon me, since the Lord
      anointed me to bring tidings to the humble, He sent me to bind up the
      broken-hearted, to declare freedom for the captives, and for the
      prisoners to free from captivity." That's exactly what Isaiah's book
      of prophecies did.
      Rashi says this about verse 1:
      "since the Lord anointed me" This anointing is nothing but an
      expression of nobility and greatness.
      "to declare freedom for the captives" That is to say, to bring them
      the tidings of the redemption.
      "to free from captivity" [The Hebrew says] Open their imprisonment
      and their captivity and release them.
      The understanding is that the subject tells Israel that their exile
      will end, and that they will not forever be subjugated by other
      The subject could NOT be Jesus if one believes Jesus IS "the Lord,"
      as you yourself called him. How could, and why would, the Lord anoint

      > and that he is the Davidic Messiah can be inferred from various
      parallels between the Messiah in Isaiah 9<

      The subject of Isaiah 9 is Hezekiah. The verse that probably causes
      the most confusion for Christians is this one, verse 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." Rashi
      pointed out, "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." In his lifetime, King Hezekiah established a reign of
      righteousness and peace.

      >... and 11 with the Servant in the later chapters of the book.<

      There may be something to your claim this time. But it doesn't help
      you in associating the servant with Jesus, because nobody can prove
      Jesus was a descendant of Jesse, since his father's lineage is in
      doubt. There are other ways of excluding Jesus as the subject of
      Isaiah 11, but I won't go into that unless you need me to (I don't
      want to be accused of sidetracking again).

      Rev M Tillman
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