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Messianic prophecies unfulfilled

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  • wglmp
    I wrote: ... implicit in several OT messianic texts. In Isaiah 52:13-53:12, Isaiah says
    Message 1 of 10 , Sep 5, 2007
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      I wrote:
      << Where is it written that the messiah would rise from the dead? >>
      To which you replied:
      >The precise words "rise from the dead" are not used, but the idea is
      implicit in several OT messianic texts. In Isaiah 52:13-53:12, Isaiah
      says that the suffering Servant of the LORD will be "high and lifted
      up and greatly exalted" (52:13), a reversal of the humiliation he
      will experience in his suffering for the people (see also 53:10-12).<

      That need not have anything to do with the servant dying. Also, since
      there is no mention of a resurrection from death, it makes more sense
      to believe that the Children of Israel ARE the servant of Isaiah 53
      (just as Isaiah himself said in other places of his book of
      prophecies, nor did he identify the subject of chapter 53 as somebody
      OTHER THAN Israel), for they could have been weak and humiliated at
      one time, and highly exalted later on. Also, Isaiah 53 doesn't say it
      is a messianic prophecy, so it might not be messianic.
      Again I ask, who says the messiah will die and then come back from
      the dead?

      > Jesus was a descendant of David (Matt. 1:1-17; Mark 10:47; Luke
      1:32; Acts 2:29-30; Rom. 1:3).<

      There are no credible lineages provided in any of those spots to
      suggest Jesus was of David.
      Matt 1:1-17 shows that Joseph was descended from David, yes. But
      verse 18 makes it clear that Joseph was not the father of Jesus, so
      Matt 1 does not show that Jesus was descended from David.
      In Mark 10:47, Bartimaeus calls Jesus the son of David, but he was
      not in any position to know, especially in light of the fact that
      Jesus was not the son of Joseph.
      Luke 1 has a special problem, which I will come to in a minute. But
      first, in the KJV, Luke 1:32 reads, "He shall be great, and shall be
      called the Son of the Highest." For "the Son" above there is no "the"
      in the Greek. Luke might have meant "a son," but the KJV might have
      wanted to support a claimed unique nature of Jesus. Of the moderns,
      only Young's and Darby omit "the." Interestingly Luke claims no
      prophecy fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14 here regarding a virgin birth,
      though Mary makes a point of saying she is a virgin.
      Also, the claim the Jesus was born of a virgin NEGATES the claim that
      he was in line for the throne of King David; the two claims are
      mutually contradictory.
      But the problem with Luke 1:32 is that it probably never happened. I
      do not say that lightly, but consider it to be fact. The reason is, I
      think Mary didn't know about this supposed marvelous mission of
      Jesus', because she never seems to have told her other children about
      it. John 7:5 and other verses say that none of them believed in Jesus.
      Acts 2:29-30 cannot be used to show that Jesus was descended from
      David, because the messiah was supposed to be descended from
      David "according to the flesh," and Jesus was not. Nor did Jesus sit
      upon the throne of David. The same problems apply to the verse in
      Romans.

      > By the way, David was anointed as the true king of Israel by Samuel
      when he was a young boy (1 Sam. 16:13-14) long before David actually
      began ruling at age thirty from the throne as king over all Israel (2
      Sam. 5:3-5). So a delay between God's spiritual validation of the
      Messiah and his physical assumption of a literal throne on earth has
      precedent in the example of David himself, the leading type of the
      Messiah.<

      David didn't DIE before he assumed the throne, but Jesus DID die.
      Therefore, Jesus missed the boat, and he is NOT a king of Israel.

      >You [that is to say, "I", mtillman] wrote:

      << But, I wonder, what if the REAL messiah comes, and ushers in the
      messianic kingdom, and it turns out NOT to be Jesus? >>

      > Well, then, it will turn out that Christians are mistaken. What if
      the Messiah ushers in the messianic kingdom and it turns out to be
      Jesus after all?<

      No worries; it WON'T be. One chance per customer, unless you believe
      in reincarnation. Bar Kochba was assumed to be the messiah, but when
      he died, that was it for him. Likewise, Jesus died, and with him, his
      messianic aspirations. The prophecies (many of them, anyway)
      say, "and in his days," or "in those days," or words to that effect.

      > You [again, I] wrote:
      << And I know that the first Christians were Jews, but they were
      Hellenized Jews, and quickly returned to Judaism when the prophecy
      Jesus made that those to whom he (Jesus) was speaking to would see
      the promised Davidic Kingdom turned out to be a false prophecy.
      That's one of the reasons Paul had to recruit Greeks and Romans; the
      original Christian congregations were dying out. >>
      > Your comments here are chronologically out of sync with the
      historical reality. Paul was "recruiting" Gentiles to faith in Jesus
      in the 40s, at the same time that the Jewish Christian movement was
      growing and spreading throughout the Mediterranean world. The
      original Christian congregations were thriving, not dying out.<

      What you fail to recognize is that Pauline Christology is not and was
      not the same thing the original Jewish believers believed. We know
      that because of the words of Paul, in that he complained of those who
      followed him about and refuted his teachings. A sign of this division
      from the Jewish Christian perspective can be found in the epistle of
      James where the writer points out that "a double-minded man is
      unstable." The reference seems to be to Paul, who admitted he could
      pretend to be a Jew if he was speaking to Jews, or act as a Greek to
      Greeks.
      [Begin quote of "The Light of Reason" by S. Golding]
      Paul stated, "A man is justified by faith, without the works of the
      Law." (Rom. 3.28). James contradicted this, "Though a man say he hath
      faith and have no works? Can faith save him? Even so, faith, if it
      hath not works, is dead, being alone. Ye see then how that by works,
      a man is justified and not by faith. For as the body without the
      spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." (James 2.14,17,
      24, 26) … Thus, the major difference between the message of Paul and
      the beliefs of the apostles was that the apostles believed in a
      Jewish Messiah (Lk. 2.68-76), a fellow human being, whereas Paul
      presented a personal pagan savior, a divine being, half-man, half-
      god, who was later claimed to be all god. . That God should clothe
      himself in the body of a man, live nine months in the womb of a
      woman, suck the breasts and have his diapers changed, is clearly of
      pagan origin. The Pauline concept of sin, sacrifice and salvation
      obtained by belief in a man dying on a cross does not exist in - and
      is in no way - a fulfillment of the Hebrew Scriptures. [End quote
      of "The Light of Reason"]

      > Few if any Jewish Christians were abandoning their belief in Jesus
      during this period. And all, or nearly all, Jews in the first century
      were "Hellenized" to some extent.<

      By being `Hellenized,' I don't mean being able to speak Greek. I mean
      supplanting the true and pure beliefs of Moses with the impure and
      pagan beliefs of the Nations round about them. Being Hellenized is no
      badge of honor. And "everybody is doing it" is no excuse.

      Rev M Tillman
    • wglmp
      ... same time that the Jewish Christian movement was growing and spreading throughout the Mediterranean world.
      Message 2 of 10 , Sep 6, 2007
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        > Paul was "recruiting" Gentiles to faith in Jesus in the 40s, at the
        same time that the Jewish Christian movement was growing and spreading
        throughout the Mediterranean world.<

        That may or may not be true. The EARLIEST likely date for the epistles
        of Paul is two or three DECADES after Jesus was said to have come and
        died. That is enough time for those who supposedly lived when Jesus did
        to realize, or at least suspect, that his "soon" return was too long
        delayed to likely occur "in that generation," and therefore the
        original Jewish followers returned to torah-true Judaism, which is when
        Paul wrote his epistles.

        "[T]he earliest writings in the New Testament are actually Paul's
        letters, which were written about AD 50-60, while the Gospels were not
        written until the period AD 70-110." The Problem of Paul excerpt from:
        The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity by Hyam Maccoby
      • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
        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
        Message 3 of 10 , Sep 7, 2007
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          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.

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

          That the Servant is the Messiah, the anointed one, is stated
          explicitly in Isaiah 61:1, and that he is the Davidic Messiah can be
          inferred from various parallels between the Messiah in Isaiah 9 and
          11 with the Servant in the later chapters of the book.

          In Christ's service,
          Rob Bowman
        • wglmp
          ... 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
          Message 4 of 10 , 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.
            http://www.chabad.org/library/article.htm/aid/15992/showrashi/true/jew
            ish/Chapter-61.html
            The understanding is that the subject tells Israel that their exile
            will end, and that they will not forever be subjugated by other
            nations.
            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
            Himself?

            > 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
          • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
            Mr. Tillman, I d like to refer you to an excellent site that addresses many of your objections against Jesus being the Messiah. What makes this site especially
            Message 5 of 10 , Sep 13, 2007
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              Mr. Tillman,

              I'd like to refer you to an excellent site that addresses many of
              your objections against Jesus being the Messiah. What makes this site
              especially interesting is that it is produced by Jews:

              http://www.jewsforjesus.org/

              Some of the questions addressed on the site include:

              * Did Jesus even exist?
              * Is the story of Jesus a rehash of pagan ideas?
              * How can Jesus be the Messiah when he didn't bring peace?
              * What are some passages in the Hebrew Bible that talk about the
              Messiah?
              * Was Jesus' death a violation of the commandment against human
              sacrifice?
              * What is Jewish about the Apostle Paul?
              * Were Paul's ethics questionable?
              * Does the New Testament mistranslate and misuse the Hebrew Bible
              when it quotes the prophecies?
              * How can someone die for someone else's sins?

              I highly recommend this site to you.

              In Christ's service,
              Rob Bowman
            • mtillman@ec.rr.com
              Many of the leaders of Jews For Jesus are not Jews, they re Baptists. The site itself acknowledges this charge when they provided a link to an article that
              Message 6 of 10 , Sep 14, 2007
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                Many of the leaders of "Jews For Jesus" are not Jews, they're Baptists. The site itself acknowledges this charge when they provided a link to an article that says that "the 'group is loathed by many mainstream Jews' who claim that they're simply Christian missionaries who are misrepresenting Jewish symbols and the Jewish faith." Some of They therefore don't speak for Jews. The prophet Isaiah told his disciples what he (Isaiah) meant when he wrote his chapter 52-53 prophecy, and it was NOT what J4J claims.
                A prominent link on the J4J site leads to this testimony:
                Jay Sekulow: How a Jewish Lawyer from Brooklyn Came to Believe in Jesus by Jay Sekulow
                In it, the author admits:
                "Religion" was not a big topic of discussion in our home.
                That's all I needed to read, and in fact it was no surprise to me; it's common with nominal Jews who convert to Christianity that they do not have a firm foundation of their own Jewish religion before they are presented with Christianity. Not having that foundation, the author is not a credible authority on whether Jesus was the messiah or not.
                If J4J thought he was the best they had to offer, I don't see any reason to trust their judgement about even the more important issues.

                Rev M Tillman

                ---- "Robert M. Bowman wrote:
                > Mr. Tillman,
                >
                > I'd like to refer you to an excellent site that addresses many of
                > your objections against Jesus being the Messiah. What makes this site
                > especially interesting is that it is produced by Jews:
                >
                > http://www.jewsforjesus.org/
                >
                > Some of the questions addressed on the site include:
                >
                > * Did Jesus even exist?
                > * Is the story of Jesus a rehash of pagan ideas?
                > * How can Jesus be the Messiah when he didn't bring peace?
                > * What are some passages in the Hebrew Bible that talk about the
                > Messiah?
                > * Was Jesus' death a violation of the commandment against human
                > sacrifice?
                > * What is Jewish about the Apostle Paul?
                > * Were Paul's ethics questionable?
                > * Does the New Testament mistranslate and misuse the Hebrew Bible
                > when it quotes the prophecies?
                > * How can someone die for someone else's sins?
                >
                > I highly recommend this site to you.
                >
                > In Christ's service,
                > Rob Bowman
                >
                >
                >
              • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
                Mr. Tillman, You wrote:
                Message 7 of 10 , Sep 15, 2007
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                  Mr. Tillman,

                  You wrote:

                  << Many of the leaders of "Jews For Jesus" are not Jews, they're
                  Baptists. >>

                  No, they're both (Jews and evangelical Christians, including, I
                  would presume, Baptists). True, they are not advocates of the
                  religion known as Judaism. However, they are ethnically and
                  culturally Jews, and they still honor the God of Abraham, Isaac, and
                  Jacob as the only true God.

                  It's true that some of the members of Jews for Jesus were not
                  especially devout in Judaism before their conversion to faith in
                  Jesus as Messiah. But that's true of a lot of Jews today--and I
                  doubt you would claim that they are not Jews, either.

                  In any case, your argument is hopelessly _ad hominem_. You are
                  dismissing their views because you claim they are not Jews (even
                  though they are). Well, you're not a Jew, are you? Shall we ignore
                  what you have to say on the subject?

                  In Christ's service,
                  Rob Bowman
                • mtillman@ec.rr.com
                  ... I did not say none of them are Jews . I said those who WERE Jews came to Christianity without knowing what it means to BE a Jew, and the rest want to
                  Message 8 of 10 , Sep 16, 2007
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                    ---- "Robert M. Bowman wrote:
                    > Mr. Tillman,
                    >
                    > You wrote:
                    >
                    > << Many of the leaders of "Jews For Jesus" are not Jews, they're Baptists. >>
                    >
                    > No, they're both (Jews and evangelical Christians,...)<

                    I did not say 'none of them are Jews'. I said those who WERE Jews came to Christianity without knowing what it means to BE a Jew, and the rest want to appear to be Jewish for reasons of their own, such as ego inflation or to swell the ranks of "Jews" in J4J in order to lure in more Jews.
                    Now, committing some very serious sins, such as converting to Christianity (whether by baptism or profession of faith), or marrying outside the faith, means one has effectively divorced himself from the Jewish PEOPLE; their families may even (and are supposed to) treat them as having died; the new Christians are mourned and won't be corresponded with if they should write or call. They also can't be buried in a Jewish cemetary. That's the measure of how far from Judaism they've gone. They're apostates. Until they repent and make t'shuvah (lit: 'return'), that is.

                    > However, they are ethnically and culturally Jews, and they still honor the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as the only true God.<

                    No, they no longer honor the God of Israel, because they have decided to violate some of the most central Laws God gave the Jews. According to Deut 5:10, those who love God keep His commandments.

                    > It's true that some of the members of Jews for Jesus were not especially devout in Judaism before their conversion to faith in Jesus as Messiah. But that's true of a lot of Jews today--and I doubt you would claim that they are not Jews, either.<

                    There are Jews who do not keep God's commandments, (except those which would cause them to be shunned by observant Jews), and those non-observant Jews remain Jews, but are not GOOD Jews. But they can become observant and be welcomed back with open arms. These newly observant Jews are called 'ba'alei t'shuvah', or masters of return.
                    See the entry for Ba'al Teshuvah ("Returnee"): http://www.inner.org/glossary/gloss_b.htm

                    > In any case, your argument is hopelessly _ad hominem_. You are dismissing their views because you claim they are not Jews (even though they are). Well, you're not a Jew, are you? Shall we ignore what you have to say on the subject?<

                    In this case, I don't think an ad hominem is not out of bounds. It serves the purposes of Christians to make Judaism seem Christian, or vice versa. Therefore, their arguments must be viewed in this light. Ususlly, ad hominem is used to disregard an argument based solely on questions about the messenger, but in this case, especially as I already know the kind of arguments J4J dishes out, I don't see any point wading thru their site looking for your specific argument which I didn't find by following the link you provided. If you would pull the individual argument(s) out, I would be glad to deal with it/them.
                    Thank you.

                    Rev M Tillman
                  • Robert Nusom
                    Rob, I am afraid that I have to agree with Mr. Tillman on this one. In my opinion, Jews for Jesus or the Messianic Jewish movement or whatever name they go
                    Message 9 of 10 , Sep 20, 2007
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                      Rob,

                      I am afraid that I have to agree with Mr. Tillman on
                      this one. In my opinion, Jews for Jesus or the
                      "Messianic Jewish" movement or whatever name they go
                      by at any given moment is not about Judaism, but
                      Christianity. It is a window dressing for
                      Christianity that, whatever Christians want to
                      believe, still adheres to Paul's ridiculous assessment
                      of the Mosaic Law being a "curse". There is no basis
                      in the Hebrew Scriptures for such a presumption. The
                      Mosaic Law is a blessing, it is what sets the Hebrew
                      people aside as God's Priestly people.

                      Of course, there are many other aspects of the
                      so-called "Jews for Jesus" movement that make it
                      absolutely incompatible with Judaism, but the above is
                      enough to establish it absolutely as abhorrent to the
                      Jewish faith. God taught the Jewish people that the
                      law is forever, not that it is a temporary thing.
                      Jews, real Jews understand this. God also says that
                      he is the God "I am", not the God "We are".

                      This is a subject for which I feel great passion. I
                      have looked at the "Jews for Jesus" movement as well
                      as those who try to soften its image by calling
                      themselves "Messianic Jews" or "completed Jews". It
                      is a movement steeped in dishonesty and deception. it
                      is financed by Christians, follows a dogma that is
                      defined by Christians and seeks to pervert cultural
                      Jewish symbolism and language into paganism. This is
                      not to say that much of "mainstream" Judaism is not
                      already rife with practices and beliefs that are way
                      beyond anything God outlined in his scriptures.
                      However, even the excesses of Judaism do not attempt
                      to sway Jews away from their duty as God's priestly
                      people the way that the "Jews for Jesus" movement
                      does.

                      The fault, though, is not in the Christians who try to
                      "witness" to God's chosen people or even in those
                      unfortunate Jews who are seduced to a belief system
                      that is only marginally acceptable even for Gentiles.
                      The fault lies squarely on the shoulders of the
                      leadership of the so-called "reformed" or
                      "conservative" Jewish movements. These movements have
                      rejected much of the law that God gave Moses and in so
                      doing choose not to teach their adherents from the
                      Tanach but almost exclusively from the Talmud and the
                      Midrash. Their adherents are told of the wonders of
                      the Tanach, they are taught that it is the word of
                      God, but they are taught nothing of what it says.
                      Instead they are taught cute little Hebrew prayers and
                      how to light a candle or what to say at which event.
                      They are given exta-biblical accounts of stories from
                      the Tanach without delving into the scriptures at all.

                      When I meet a Jew who was raised as "conservative" or
                      "reformed", I instantly think "potential convert to
                      Christianity". For these people, the 600 or 800 or
                      ten million (or whatever the number is this week)
                      supposed "proof texts" that Christians love to trot
                      out from their "Old Testament" are a convincing
                      argument. They have never seen them before, never
                      read them in context. They see them as Christians do,
                      disjointed sayings that seem to point to whatever the
                      Christian "teacher" wishes them to.

                      On the other hand, Orthodox Jews teach their children
                      from the Tanach. They thrive on scripture, they
                      understand it, they read it daily as a light to guide
                      them through the world. Interestingly, while I have
                      seen many "Jews for Jesus" claim that they were once
                      Orthodox Jews, I have yet to see that claim actually
                      hold up. In truth it always turns out that maybe
                      their parents were Orthodox or more likely, their
                      grandparents were. Perhaps they have an aunt or an
                      uncle who was, but they never were. When a Christian
                      tries to show his "proof texts" to an Orthodox Jew, he
                      gets a patiently induced chuckle, followed by a real
                      explanation, in context, as to the meaning of the
                      Scripture. Usually, then the missionary moves on to
                      easier victims.

                      Sadly, it is rare that the missionary really listens
                      to the Jew, as I have. Yet, the scripture teaches
                      that such will not always be the case. God says that
                      one day ten gentiles of every nation will grab the
                      cloak of a single Jew and say "teach us for you know
                      God". He promised Abraham that through him all
                      nations would be blessed. He did not say that one day
                      the Jews would grab the cloaks of the Gentiles and ask
                      for religous instruction because the Jews had it wrong
                      all these years. He did not promise Abraham that
                      through the Gentiles the Jews would one day be
                      blessed.

                      My greatest fear for the "Jews for Jesus" movement is
                      that that day is coming when Gentiles, all the Jesus
                      people and the Mohammid people and the Budha people
                      and the Confuscious people and the Brahma people and
                      the rest of the gentiles will beg the Jews, God's
                      priestly people, for instruction on God, on the real
                      God. What will these "Jews for Jesus" people be able
                      to teach us? What will these Conservatives or
                      Reformed Jews teach us? How to light a candle? How
                      to say a prayer in Hebrew?



                      --- "Robert M. Bowman, Jr."
                      <faithhasitsreasons@...> wrote:

                      > Mr. Tillman,
                      >
                      > You wrote:
                      >
                      > << Many of the leaders of "Jews For Jesus" are not
                      > Jews, they're
                      > Baptists. >>
                      >
                      > No, they're both (Jews and evangelical Christians,
                      > including, I
                      > would presume, Baptists). True, they are not
                      > advocates of the
                      > religion known as Judaism. However, they are
                      > ethnically and
                      > culturally Jews, and they still honor the God of
                      > Abraham, Isaac, and
                      > Jacob as the only true God.
                      >
                      > It's true that some of the members of Jews for Jesus
                      > were not
                      > especially devout in Judaism before their conversion
                      > to faith in
                      > Jesus as Messiah. But that's true of a lot of Jews
                      > today--and I
                      > doubt you would claim that they are not Jews,
                      > either.
                      >
                      > In any case, your argument is hopelessly _ad
                      > hominem_. You are
                      > dismissing their views because you claim they are
                      > not Jews (even
                      > though they are). Well, you're not a Jew, are you?
                      > Shall we ignore
                      > what you have to say on the subject?
                      >
                      > In Christ's service,
                      > Rob Bowman
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >




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                    • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
                      Robert Nusom, You wrote:
                      Message 10 of 10 , Sep 22, 2007
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Robert Nusom,

                        You wrote:

                        << I am afraid that I have to agree with Mr. Tillman on this one. In
                        my opinion, Jews for Jesus or the "Messianic Jewish" movement or
                        whatever name they go by at any given moment is not about Judaism,
                        but Christianity. >>

                        I never said that Jews for Jesus represents the religion called
                        Judaism. I said that the organization represented Jews who believe in
                        Jesus.

                        You wrote:

                        << It is a window dressing for Christianity that, whatever Christians
                        want to believe, still adheres to Paul's ridiculous assessment of the
                        Mosaic Law being a "curse". >>

                        You're off to a flying start, labeling Paul's view "ridiculous"
                        without first making sure you have understood it (on the dangers of
                        doing this, see the Jewish wise saying found in Proverbs 18:13).

                        Paul never said that the Mosaic Law was a curse. He said that those
                        who rely on their performance of the works required by the Law as
                        their basis for being right before God are under a curse (Gal. 3:10).
                        The Messiah, Paul said, redeemed us from this "curse of the Law"--
                        meaning, not that the Law is a curse, but that the Law pronounces a
                        curse on those who seek to justify themselves (Gal. 3:13).

                        You wrote:

                        << There is no basis in the Hebrew Scriptures for such a
                        presumption. The Mosaic Law is a blessing, it is what sets the
                        Hebrew people aside as God's Priestly people. >>

                        Paul likewise affirmed that the Law is holy, righteous, and good
                        (Rom. 7:12). The problem is not with the Law, but with us. Paul is
                        absolutely clear on this point. It isn't the Law's fault that we
                        cannot be saved by Law-keeping.

                        You wrote:

                        << Of course, there are many other aspects of the so-called "Jews for
                        Jesus" movement that make it absolutely incompatible with Judaism,
                        but the above is enough to establish it absolutely as abhorrent to
                        the Jewish faith. God taught the Jewish people that the law is
                        forever, not that it is a temporary thing. Jews, real Jews understand
                        this. >>

                        The Law as a revelation of God and his holiness is forever. The Law
                        as the constitutive form of the covenant between God and his people
                        is not forever, because God's own prophets revealed his intention to
                        make a new covenant with them (Jer. 31:31-33). That is the
                        everlasting covenant (Jer. 32:40).

                        You wrote:

                        << God also says that he is the God "I am", not the God "We are". >>

                        Well, God does say, in the Hebrew Scriptures, "Let us" and "one of
                        us" (Gen. 1:26; 3:22). Christians fully affirm that there is only one
                        God. We simply hold that God has revealed himself to be more complex
                        than a simple unitarian conception would indicate.

                        You wrote:

                        << This is a subject for which I feel great passion. >>

                        I don't wish to discount your feelings, but passionate rejection of
                        something you don't understand adequately is problematic.

                        You wrote:

                        << I have looked at the "Jews for Jesus" movement as well as those
                        who try to soften its image by calling themselves "Messianic Jews"
                        or "completed Jews". It is a movement steeped in dishonesty and
                        deception. >>

                        Sadly, the truth is that your criticisms are steeped in
                        misunderstanding and caricature.

                        You wrote:

                        << it is financed by Christians, follows a dogma that is defined by
                        Christians and seeks to pervert cultural Jewish symbolism and
                        language into paganism. >>

                        This simply is not true. You are in effect saying that Christianity
                        is pagan. Even many Orthodox Jews would disagree with such a judgment.

                        You wrote:

                        << The fault, though, is not in the Christians who try to "witness"
                        to God's chosen people or even in those unfortunate Jews who are
                        seduced to a belief system that is only marginally acceptable even
                        for Gentiles. The fault lies squarely on the shoulders of the
                        leadership of the so-called "reformed" or "conservative" Jewish
                        movements. These movements have rejected much of the law that God
                        gave Moses and in so doing choose not to teach their adherents from
                        the Tanach but almost exclusively from the Talmud and the Midrash.
                        Their adherents are told of the wonders of the Tanach, they are
                        taught that it is the word of God, but they are taught nothing of
                        what it says. Instead they are taught cute little Hebrew prayers and
                        how to light a candle or what to say at which event. They are given
                        exta-biblical accounts of stories from the Tanach without delving
                        into the scriptures at all. >>

                        I think our views of these non-Orthodox versions of Judaism are
                        pretty similar. I would agree that they have abandoned historic
                        elements of the religion of Judaism.

                        You wrote:

                        << Interestingly, while I have seen many "Jews for Jesus" claim that
                        they were once Orthodox Jews, I have yet to see that claim actually
                        hold up. In truth it always turns out that maybe their parents were
                        Orthodox or more likely, their grandparents were. Perhaps they have
                        an aunt or an uncle who was, but they never were. >>

                        This is an interesting generalization. How many of these claims have
                        you investigated? Have you actually contacted Jews for Jesus to ask
                        them if they have members who were bona fide Orthodox Jews prior to
                        believing in Jesus?

                        You wrote:

                        << When a Christian tries to show his "proof texts" to an Orthodox
                        Jew, he gets a patiently induced chuckle, followed by a real
                        explanation, in context, as to the meaning of the Scripture.
                        Usually, then the missionary moves on to easier victims. >>

                        I wonder how you know this.

                        For myself, I have offered some arguments on this discussion list in
                        favor of interpreting Isaiah 53 as referring to an individual
                        Israelite. If you think this view is easily refuted, feel free to
                        review and refute my arguments.

                        You wrote:

                        << Sadly, it is rare that the missionary really listens to the Jew,
                        as I have. >>

                        I'm a little confused. Are you an Orthodox Jew? If not, why not?

                        In Christ's service,
                        Rob Bowman
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