A Silence That Screams - (No contemporary historical accounts for "jesus)

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- Todangst (with Rook Hawkins)

"[T]here is not a single contemporary historical mention of Jesus, not by Romans or by Jews, not by believers or by unbelievers, not during his entire lifetime. This does not disprove his existence, but it certainly casts great doubt on the historicity of a man who was supposedly widely known to have made a great impact on the world. Someone should have noticed." - Dan Barker

The Gospel story, with its figure of Jesus of Nazareth, cannot be found before the Gospels. In Christian writings earlier than Mark, including almost all of the New Testament epistles, as well as in many writings from the second century, the object of Christian faith is never spoken of as a human man who had recently lived, taught, performed miracles, suffered and died at the hands of human authorities, or rose from a tomb outside Jerusalem. There is no sign in the epistles of Mary or Joseph, Judas or John the Baptist, no birth story, teaching or appointment of apostles by Jesus, no mention of holy places or sites of Jesus’ career, not even the hill of Calvary or the empty tomb. This silence is so pervasive and so perplexing that attempted explanations for it have proven inadequate. - Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle

It may surprise Christians to learn that there are no contemporary historical documents for 'Jesus, the Christ'. The writings of Paul are not contemporary accounts: they do not appear until years after the purported time of Jesus and they include a concession that Paul never actually met Jesus. The Gospels come much later (as evidenced by the fact that Paul never cites them) and there is good reason that all four of the surviving, accepted Gospels are based on Mark, which in turn is likely to be a form of 'Midrash', not historical documentation: (See: http://www.rationalresponders.com/the_gospels_are_midrash)).

While some apologists attempt to wave this problem away by claiming that "Jesus"would not have been a noteworthy figure, this apologetic tactic contradicts what the Gospels say about Jesus. One cannot hold, at the same time, that the Gospels are true eyewitness accounts of actual events, AND that the Jesus figure in those works would not attract the attention of men like Philo, Pliny or Seneca. It's an absurd contradiction.

Even the relatively sober account of Jesus found in the first gospel, The Gospel of 'Mark', presents us with a Jesus who garnered quite a bit of attention. Consider for example, Mark 2:1-12, where the crowd coming to see Jesus is so great, that a paralytic has to be lowered through the roof of a building Jesus is in, in order for Jesus to see him. Elsewhere Mark tells us that the crowds that Jesus drew were so overflowing that he has to lecture from a boat on the Sea of Galilee. When Jesus travels from Bethany to Jerusalem, throngs of people line the roads to welcome him. Mark also tells us of how Jesus performed miracles before thousands: on two different occasions Jesus feeds thousands through miracles (see for example, Mark 8:1).

In short, 'Mark' gives us a 'Jesus' who is bigger than the Beatles, and I believe the Beatles analogy is a good one: we even have a nice parallel between the story of Jesus' lecture from a ship at Galilee, and the Beatles famous 'rooftop' audition, where they were forced to play an impromptu concert on a rooftop, lest the crowds that would rush to see them cause a riot. In both cases, the crowds had reached, hysterical, historically noteworthy, proportions. Yet, John E. Remsberg, in 'The Christ: A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidence of His Existence' (The Truth Seeker Company, NY, no date, pp. 24-25) makes the curious observation that no one from this era wrote a single word about the Jesus Hysteria. Remsberg notes: "(While) Enough of the writings of the authors named in the foregoing list remains to form a library, (no where)... in this mass of Jewish and Pagan literature, aside from two forged brief passages in the works of a Jewish author (Josephus), and two disputed passages in the works of Roman writers, there is to be found no mention of Jesus Christ."

There are Christians today who hold that Remsberg has 'been refuted' because many on his list either were not contemporaries, or were 'not the sort who would have been interested in Jesus'. They tell us, straight faced, that writers who were mainly interested in drama, or reporting war stories, wouldn't have bothered to write down anything about a crowd-drawing, miracle-working, godman striding the earth.

Leaving aside this bit of insanity, it is a red herring to respond to this problem by saying "Remsberg has been refuted", for not matter how many problems one may be able to point out concerning his famous list, no matter how many people one removes from the list, there remain people on his list who should have noticed, and their silence is glaring. And we need not even have direct physical evidence of a contemporary account - even just the evidence of a provenance between a later account and an earlier, no longer existent, contemporary source would suffice. Yet nothing exists at all to point to a real Jesus.

Let's take a look at the more notable names on his list, just to get an idea, again, of how glaring this silence is... We can call this list:

"They Would Have Noticed"

Philo (~20 BCE - ~40 CE) was a Hellenized Jew who lived in Alexandria, Egypt. He visited the Temple in Jerusalem, and corresponded with family there. He wrote a great many books on religion and philosophy which survive to this day, and mentioned many of his contemporaries. His main theological contribution was the development of the Logos, the "Word" that opens the Gospel of John. Yet Philo not once mentions Jesus, anybody who could be mistaken for Jesus, or any of the events of the New Testament. His last writings come from 40 CE, only a few years after the end of Pontius Pilate's reign, when he was part of an embassy sent by the Alexandrian Jews to the Roman Emperor Caligula.

Philo wrote an account of the Jews covering the entire time that Christ is said to have existed on earth. He was living in or near Jerusalem when Christ's miraculous birth and the Herodian massacre (which also has no independent corroboration) supposedly occurred. He was personally very interested in the concept of resurrection. He was there when Christ supposedly would have made his triumphal entry in Jerusalem. He was there when the Crucifixion with its attendant earthquake, supernatural darkness, and resurrection of the dead would have taken place--when Christ himself supposedly would have rose from the dead. Yet, none of these events are ever mentioned by him.

The following is quoted from: http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/philo.html

"Much as Josephus would, a half century later, Philo wrote extensive apologetics on the Jewish religion and commentaries on contemporary politics. About thirty manuscripts and at least 850,000 words are extant. Philo offers commentary on all the major characters of the Pentateuch and, as we might expect, mentions Moses more than a thousand times.

Yet Philo says not a word about Jesus, Christianity nor any of the events described in the New Testament. In all this work, Philo makes not a single reference to his alleged contemporary "Jesus Christ", the godman who supposedly was perambulating up and down the Levant, exorcising demons, raising the dead and causing earthquake and darkness at his death.


With Philo's close connection to the house of Herod, one might reasonably expect that the miraculous escape from a royal prison of a gang of apostles (Acts 5.18,40), or the second, angel-assisted, flight of Peter, even though chained between soldiers and guarded by four squads of troops (Acts 12.2,7) might have occasioned the odd footnote. But not a murmur. Nothing of Agrippa "vexing certain of the church" or killing "James brother of John" with the sword (Acts 12.1,2). "

It simply makes no sense that Philo would not have recorded something about Jesus, vis-a-vis the Jesus described in the book of Mark. Those who argue that Philo would have merely ignored a crowd drawing, miracle working godman because he could not have conceived of the 'logos' in human form merely beg the question that Philo's position would never change, even in the face of negating evidence!

Philo never reports ever seeing the godman represented in the Gospels. His silence is glaring. And Philo may well have even provided us with a positive rule out for a real Jesus Christ:

"And even if there be not as yet any one who is worthy to be called a son of God, nevertheless let him labour earnestly to be adorned according to his first-born word, the eldest of his angels, as the great archangel of many names; for he is called, the authority, and the name of God, and the Word, and man according to God's image, and he who sees Israel."
– Philo, "On the Confusion of Tongues," (146)

Quotation via: http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/philo.html

Pliny the Elder (~23 CE - 79 CE) wrote a Natural History that mentions hundreds of people, major and minor; he even writes about the Essenes in Natural History, section V, 15 . Yet nowhere in his works is any mention of the Jesus phenomena described in Mark. The typical apologist response is that Pliny would not have taken interest in a backwater preacher, but given the claims given in the Gospels concerning the purported life of Jesus, it is glaringly obvious that Pliny would have either seen, heard of, or at least investigated events as incredible as those reported in the book of Mark; yet not a word of these putative events is alluded to in his work.

Pliny also provides us with a direct refutation of the Gospel claims of earthquakes and eclipses (i.e. such as those found in Matthew). Pliny collected data on all manner of natural and astronomical phenomena, even those which were legendary - which he himself did not necessarily regard as factual, yet he records no prodigies associated with the beliefs of Christians, such as an earthquake or darkening of the skies at a crucifixion, or any star of Bethlehem.

Seneca the Elder (54 BCE - 39 AD) was a Roman rhetorician and writer and father to the more famous Seneca the Younger. Seneca was the author of a lost historical work, containing the history of Rome from the beginning of the civil wars almost down to his own death. While the work is lost to us, it was published by his son. The latest references in his writings are to the period immediately after the death of Tiberius, probably around the time of his own death in 39 AD.

Seneca the Younger (ca. 4 BCE–AD 65) Seneca was a philosopher and statesman, who wrote both philosophical works and papers on morality. He lived during the purported time of Jesus, in the general area of Jesus, and would have had contact with Roman authorities who in turn would have had contacts with Jesus. More importantly, he was interested in matters of morality and religion very similar to the concerns of later Christians. Yet, he does not take note of any of the miraculous events reported in the gospels.

From: http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/seneca.html

The life of Seneca, like that of Philo, was contemporaneous with the "Jesus" of legend. Yet though Seneca wrote extensively on many subjects and people, nothing relating to "Jesus" ever caught his attention, nor does he show any awareness of a "vast multitude" of Christians, supposedly, punished for the fire that ravaged Rome in 64 AD. (See Tacitus for more on this)

The lack of any reference to Jesus Christ or Christians by Seneca was an embarrassment to the early Church fathers. There was a futile attempt to rectify this during the 4th century by a forger familiar with Seneca's letters to his life-long friend Lucilius. What emerged was a correspondence purporting to be friendly exchanges between the eminent Roman philosopher – at the height of his fame and political influence – and an unknown itinerant preacher we now call St Paul.

The catalyst for the fabrications appear to have been remarks by Tertullian, in the early 3rd century. Tertullian, aware that Seneca had articulated sentiments suited to a "great moral teacher" referred to Seneca as "often our own." By the time of Constantius II (337-361), Seneca had been taken captive by the Christians, his fidelity to the cause vouched for by a lively exchange of letters (in Latin!) with the Jewish Christian apostle. Today, no serious scholar accepts these as valid communications between Seneca and Paul, they are universally accepted as fraud.

"The tradition that Gallio sent some of St. Paul's writings to his brother Seneca is utterly absurd; and indeed at this time (A.D. 54), St. Paul had written nothing except the two Epistles to the Thessalonians."
– Rev. F. W. Farrar.

After Philo, Seneca the Younger and Pliny the Elder one of the most damning omissions would be in the works of Josephus and Tacitus.

Josephus (37-100 AD) . Theists may be surprised to see this name on the list, and the inclusion is debatable, but read on.

Josephus was not a contemporary and could not have been a first hand eyewitness of "Jesus", however, as a Jewish historian who focused on Jewish history and religion, he would have been greatly interested in the appearance of the Jewish Messiah. Josephus wrote The Antiquities of the Jews, See his works here: http://reluctant-messenger.com/josephus.htm This is a work that focused on Jewish history from "Adam" to Josephus' time. Yet, while Josephus devotes a good deal of time and space to John the Baptist (Note, the claim that he actually writes about John the Baptist is controversial) and other historical figures mentioned in the Gospels (He gives a detailed account of Pontius Pilate in The Jewish Wars, http://www.inu.net/skeptic/gospels.html) he does not appear to have actually written anything at all concerning the life of Jesus the Christ! This is 'damning' considering that we would expect that the appearance of the Jewish Messiah ought to have dominated a work dedicated to Jewish history.

Furthermore, Josephus was interested both in the concept of resurrection, as well as in the histories of various Jewish sects which a real Jesus would have either 1) been a member of or 2) have had substantial discourse with. How could a man with these experiences, and with these interests, not have dedicated volumes to "Jesus" if there were any reason to believe such a messiah existed?

Josephus writes:

"When I was sixteen years old, I decided to get experience with the various sects that are among us. These are three: as we have said many times, the first, that of the Pharisees, the second that of the Saduccees, the third, that of the Essenes. For I thought that in this way I would choose best, if I carefully examined them all. Therefore, submitting myself to strict training, I passed through the three groups."
(Life, 1.2, 10-11)

Now we have a man with a keen historical interest in Judaism, combing this interest with a wealth of first hand experience concerning the very groups Jesus would have been numbered amongst, who doesn't mention a word about Jesus! Josephus is also known to have recorded the term in office of Joseph, son of Caiaphas, the very same Caiaphas whom the Gospels claim organized the plot to kill Jesus. Yet nothing in his report on Caiaphas alludes to such an event.


For this very reason, the claim that Josephus never mentions a Jesus the Christ was a concern for early Christians. Therefore, it is no surprise that a later interpolation of a reference to Jesus the Christ appears in the Antiquities. The infamous "Testimonium Flavium" appears to have been inserted into the Antiquities about the time of the 4th century. A key proof for this comes from the fact that while early Christians cited Josephus, none of them ever cited the Testimonium, even in situations where they were striving to provide historical proof for Jesus (i.e. in debates with Jewish scholars):

* Justin Martyr (circa C.E. 100-165) never once quoted the passage -- even in the face of charges that Christians had "invented some sort of Christ for themselves" and that they had accepted "a futile rumor" (Dialogue with Trypho 8; circa C.E. 135).
* Clement of Alexandria (ca. 192) - familiar with the works of Josephus
* Tertullian (ca. 193) - familiar with the works of Josephus
* Origen (circa C.E. 185-254), who in his own writings relies extensively upon the works of Josephus, does not mention this passage or any other passage in Josephus that mentions Christ. Not even when he is in dialogue against Celsus' accusations!
* Jerome (circa C.E. 347-420) cites Josephus 90 times, but never once cites the Testimonium.
(citation: Lost and Hostile Gospels, Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould)

Logic itself tells us that had Josephus written the Testimonium, he would have written more than 3 lines concerning the existence of the Jewish Messiah in a book dedicated to Jewish History! You can't mention the Jewish messiah in passing in a book dedicated to a history of Judaism. You might as well write a book called "The Solar System" without mentioning the sun, expect in a footnote on page 474. 

Remsberg writes on this point poignantly:

"Its brevity disproves its authenticity. Josephus' work is voluminous and exhaustive. It comprises twenty books. Whole pages are devoted to petty robbers and obscure seditious leaders. Nearly fourty chapters are devoted to the life of a single king. Yet this remarkable being, the greatest product of his race, a being of whom the prophets foretold ten thousand wonderful things, a being greater than any earthly king, is dismissed with a dozen lines."

-- The Christ, by John E. Remsburg, reprinted by Prometheus Books, New York, 1994, pages 171-3.

It's brevity in fact points to interpolation:

Richard Carrier writes:

"An expert on manuscripts would know the problem here: scrolls have a fixed length. Each book of a work usually had to be no larger than would fit on one scroll, and certainly it was problematic for a copyist to break the pattern and use more scrolls than his source text (it would throw off everything, and make consulting the work a nightmare for any reader). This fact argues in favor of interpolation. If the material came from Josephus, he could have written more about such a topic (surely, since as we now have it, it is a marvelous digression indeed to warrant so slight a coverage), and just ended the whole book sooner, thus creating no problem. But if the material was added by a later editor, there would have been very little space to work with: so the addition had to be short, short enough to prevent the whole book from exceeding a standard scroll's length. (The interpolation was perhaps made by the 4th century Christian librarian Eusebius: see Kirby's "The Testimonium Flavianum&quotEye-wink."
- http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/jesuspuzzle.html#...

Logic also provides us with yet another powerful clue as to the falsity of the Testimonium: Josephus lived and died a Jew, never converting to Christianity. Even a Christian apologist, normally at home with warping logic well past its breaking point, ought to find it difficult to reconcile the claim that Josephus had any substantial evidence of Jesus as the Messiah with the fact that he never converted to Christianity. How could Josephus have good evidence for the existence of a messiah, and yet, at the same time, die a Jew?

There's really only one way to salvage the Testimonium: to use Jeffery J. Lowder's argument that the Testimonium was radically altered by christians, and that the original Josephus passage was a second hand reference to a purely human Jesus who, while worthy of a brief note, did not merit more than a few lines of text, let along consideration as the Jewish Messiah. This would explain why christians did not cite it until it was radically altered: because it was an actual refutation of the gospel claim of Jesus the Christ.

Lowder writes:

"There are many scholars who believe the original text contained an authentic reference to Jesus but was later embellished by Christian copyists. I have italicized the sections widely regarded as interpolations":

Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct at this day.

Lowder continues:

"If the original passage contained only the non-italicized text, then it becomes quite easy to explain why the passage was not widely quoted during early Christian history. In its "pure" form, the passage would have only proved that (a purely human) Jesus existed, not that he performed miracles, rose from the dead, etc."

Lowder states that this may explain why no early christian cited the Testimonium: because it did nothing to support the existence of Jesus as Jesus the Christ.

(Lowder's original article: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/mckinsey.html)

The two most plausible explanations for the Testimonium: that it is either entirely or partially a fraud, both create a serious problem for the christian.

If the Testimonium is a complete fiction, it leaves the christian without any historical corroboration from Josephus.

If it is a tampered document, it shows that there is a non contemporary account of Jesus, one who may even meet one of the criteria mentioned in Mark (drawing crowds). But it indicates that Josephus did not consider this Jesus to be anything more than a revered teacher - literally noteworthy - but hardly the wonder worker of the book of Mark, a fact that embarrassed early christians to the point that they 1) ignored the passage for centuries, even while citing Josephus elsewhere and 2) later saw fit to deceptively alter the passage.

It should also be noted that some argue that Antiquities section 20.9 makes an indirect reference to Jesus. This claim is examined here: http://www.atheistnetwork.com/viewtopic.php?p=38864&sid=eae887916e8679c9...
and also here: http://www.inu.net/skeptic/gospels.html There is good reason to believe that the reference to a "Jesus' here is actually a reference to Jesus, son of Damneus that has been tampered with by later christians, and not an actual reference to 'Jesus, son of Joseph', although Origen does cite this passage as historical evidence for Jesus. And again, the same point remains: the idea that a historian would mention the Messiah in passing while discussing an issue of minor relevance (and not elsewhere) staggers reason itself.

Tacitus (ca. 56 – ca. 117)

Tacitus is remembered first and foremost as Rome's greatest historian. His two surviving works: Annals and The Histories form a near continuous narrative from the death of Augustus in 14 CE to the death of Domitian in 96.

Interestingly, I cannot report on the silence of Tacitus concerning Jesus, because the very years of the purported existence of Jesus 30, 31, are suspiciously missing from his work(!)

Richard Carrier writes:

"...we are enormously lucky to have Tacitus--only two unrelated Christian monasteries had any interest in preserving his Annals, for example, and neither of them preserved the whole thing, but each less than half of it, and by shear luck alone, they each preserved a different half. And yet we still have large gaps in it. One of those gaps is the removal of the years 29, 30, and 31 (precisely, the latter part of 29, all of 30, and the earlier part of 31), which is probably the deliberate excision of Christian scribes who were embarrassed by the lack of any mention of Jesus or Gospel events in those years (the years Jesus' ministry, death, and resurrection were widely believed at the time to have occurred). There is otherwise no known explanation for why those three years were removed. The other large gap is the material between the two halves that neither institution preserved. And yet another is the end of the second half, which scribes also chose not to preserve (or lost through negligent care of the manuscript, etc.)."

Ironically, Christians often cite Tacitus as historical evidence for Jesus.

This is the passage cited:

But neither the aid of man, nor the liberality of the prince, nor the propitiations of the gods succeeded in destroying the belief that the fire had been purposely lit. In order to put an end to this rumor, therefore, Nero laid the blame on and visited with severe punishment those men, hateful for their crimes, whom the people called Christians. He from whom the name was derived, Christus, was put to death by the procurator Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius. But the pernicious superstition, checked for a moment, broke out again, not only in Judea, the native land of the monstrosity, but also in Rome, to which all conceivable horrors and abominations flow from every side, and find supporters. First, therefore, those were arrested who openly confessed; then, on their information, a great number, who were not so much convicted of the fire as of hatred of the human race. Ridicule was passed on them as they died; so that, clothed in skins of beasts, they were torn to pieces by dogs, or crucified, or committed to the flames, and when the sun had gone down they were burned to light up the night. Nero had lent his garden for this spectacle, and gave games in the Circus, mixing with the people in the dress of a charioteer or standing in the chariot. Hence there was a strong sympathy for them, though they might have been guilty enough to deserve the severest punishment, on the ground that they were sacrificed, not to the general good, but to the cruelty of one man." (Annals XV, 44)

However, there are serious problems with using this passage as independent corroboration of Jesus:

Jeffery Jay Lowder states:

"There is no good reason to believe that Tacitus conducted independent research concerning the historicity of Jesus. The context of the reference was simply to explain the origin of the term "Christians," which was in turn made in the context of documenting Nero's vices..."

It is not just 'Christ-mythicists' who deny that Tacitus provides independent confirmation of the historicity of Jesus; indeed, there are numerous Christian scholars who do the same! For example, France writes, Annals XV.44 "cannot carry alone the weight of the role of 'independent testimony' with which it has often been invested." E.P. Sanders notes, "Roman sources that mention [Jesus] are all dependent on Christian reports." And William Lane Craig states that Tacitus' statement is "no doubt dependent on Christian tradition."
- Jeffery Jay Lowder, "Evidence" for Jesus, Is It Reliable?
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/chap5.html

So it may simply be that Tacitus was relying on oral tradition, and not on any historical research for his reference to Jesus. Tacitus himself tells us about the value of such traditions:

"...everything gets exaggerated is typical for any story" and "all the greatest events are obscure--while some people accept whatever they hear as beyond doubt, others twist the truth into its opposite, and both errors grow over subsequent generations" (Annals 3.44 & 3.19). (Cited via Carrier's article)

As weak as the Tacitus claim is, it remains a possibility that even this weak bit of apparent corroboration is a later interpolation. The problems with this claim are examined here:

http://www.atheistnetwork.com/viewtopic.php?p=38864&sid=eae887916e8679c9...

Some of these problems are summarized by Gordon Stein:

"While we know from the way in which the above is written that Tacitus did not claim to have firsthand knowledge of the origins of Christianity, we can see that he is repeating a story which was then commonly believed, namely that the founder of Christianity, one Christus, had been put to death under Tiberius. There are a number of serious difficulties which must be answered before this passage can be accepted as genuine. There is no other historical proof that Nero persecuted the Christians at all. There certainly were not multitudes of Christians in Rome at that date (circa 60 A.D.). In fact, the term "Christian" was not in common use in the first century. We know Nero was indifferent to various religions in his city, and, since he almost definitely did not start the fire in Rome, he did not need any group to be his scapegoat. Tacitus does not use the name Jesus, and writes as if the reader would know the name Pontius Pilate, two things which show that Tacitus was not working from official records or writing for non-Christian audiences, both of which we would expect him to have done if the passage were genuine.

Perhaps most damning to the authenticity of this passage is the fact that it is present almost word-for-word in the Chronicle of Sulpicius Severus (died in 403 A.D.), where it is mixed in with obviously false tales. At the same time, it is highly unlikely that Sulpicius could have copied this passage from Tacitus, as none of his contemporaries mention the passage. This means that it was probably not in the Tacitus manuscripts at that date. It is much more likely, then, that copyists working in the Dark Ages from the only existing manuscript of the Chronicle, simply copied the passage from Sulpicius into the manuscript of Tacitus which they were reproducing."
- The Jesus of History: A Reply to Josh McDowell
Gordon Stein, Ph.D. http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/gordon_stein/jesus.shtml

Supporting Stein's claim is that, as with the Testimonium, there is no provenance for the passage: No early Christian writer uses Tacitus' passage in their apologetics, even when discussing Christian persecution by Nero:

* Tertullian (ca. 155–230)
* Lactantius (ca. 240 - ca. 320)
* Sulpicius Severus (c. 360 – 425)
* Eusebius (ca. 275 – 339)
* Augustine of Hippo (354 – 430)

However, the key point here is that Tacitus did in fact write a thorough history of the purported times of Jesus and his ministry, and while this work is lost to us, Tacitus never makes any cross reference to it during his discussion of christians and Nero nor at any other point in his surviving works.

Plutarch (ca. 46 - 127) again, was not a contemporary, he wrote about the same time as Josephus, about contemporary Roman figures, oracles, prophesies, and moral, religious, and spiritual issues. A figure such as Jesus, whom the Gospels portray as interacting with Roman figures, making prophecies, and giving sermons on novel religious and spiritual issues to throngs of people, would have been of great interest to him. Yet we cannot find even a word about "Jesus" from Plutarch.

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (ca. 69 - 130)

Suetonius was not a contemporary of the purported time of Jesus. However, since some theists cite Suetonius as independent corroboration of Jesus, I will discuss him here.

Jeffery Jay Lowder writes:

"Suetonius, the Roman historian and biographer formerly known as Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, wrote several works, including his Lives of the Twelve Caesars, which is an account of the lives of the first twelve Roman emperors. In his Life of Claudius, he writes:

As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome."

Lowder continues:

The claim that 'Chrestus' is a misspelling of 'Christus' "can never be more than a guess, and the fact that Suetonius can elsewhere speak of 'Christians' as members of a new cult (without any reference to Jews) surely makes it rather unlikely that he could make such a mistake
- Jeffery Jay Lowder http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/chap5.html

"Chrestus" means 'The Good" in Greek, while "Christus" means "The Messiah." Actually, Chrestus was not an uncommon name in ancient Rome. Since Jesus was admittedly not in Rome instigating the Jews, we are almost definitely talking about someone other than Jesus here. I should mention that the entire relevant quotation from Suetonius which is involved here reads as follows: "As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of one Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome." The "he" is Claudius. As just mentioned, not even McDowell claims that Jesus was at Rome in 55 AD, when this incident is alleged to have occurred. It is also difficult to see why Jews would be led by Jesus. That is pretty strong evidence that this passage does not refer to Jesus of Nazareth at all, and so is irrelevant to our discussion of whether Jesus ever lived. We can, however, add the lack of a mention of Jesus in Suetonius to our list of "negative" evidence for the existence of Jesus as an historical person. The reference in Suetonius is Life of the Caesars (Claudius 25:4).

- The Jesus of History: A Reply to Josh McDowell
Gordon Stein, Ph.D. http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/gordon_stein/jesus.shtml

Justus of Tiberius ( ? - 95 ?) Remsberg states that "Justus was a native of Christ's own country, Galilee. He was a contemporary and rival of Josephus. He wrote a history of Jewish people Kings (who the gospels state Jesus had interactions with) covering the time of Christ's reputed existence. This work perished, but Photius, a Christian scholar and critic of the 9th century, was acquainted with it said:

'I have read the chronology of Justus of Tiberias ... and being under the Jewish prejudices, as indeed he was himself also a Jew by birth. He makes not the least mention of the appearance of Christ, of what things happened to him, or of the wonderful works that he did." (– Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople, Bibliotheca, Code 33)."

Dio Chrysostom (c. 40–c. 120) was a Greek orator, writer, philosopher and historian of the Roman Empire in the first century. Eighty of his Discourses remain in existence. While Chrysostom was not a contemporary of Jesus' purported time (He was a contemporary of Plutarch, Tacitus and Pliny the Younger) he was both a historian and a person with great interest in moral matters. His philosophy has been considered a moral parallel to that of Paul of Tarsus and indicates that the early Greek Christians drew upon the Cynic and Stoic philosophies when developing their Christian faith. So we again have an early writer who certainly would have had interest in Jesus as Mark or any of the other Gospels, present him.

Epictetus (55-130) Again, the Stoic philosopher Epictetus was not born until sometime after the purported time of Jesus, however, his silence remains noteworthy. A translator of Epictetus, Elizabeth Carter, was baffled that he was not a Christian. “There are so many of the sentiments and expressions of Christianity in it, that one should be strongly tempted to think that Epictetus was acquainted with the New Testament,..” [p. xxii] Well, he was not and never even so much as mentions Christians in passing. He lived in Rome and as a slave to Epaphroditus, a senior member of Nero’s government would have known of the fire and the Christian sacrifice in the aftermath. However, all he has to say about Nero is his persecution of some good men who refused to attend his performances.

They all should have noticed. It appears that none did.

All that is left is to sum things up. The historian Edward Gibbons writes:

"But how shall we excuse the supine inattention of the Pagan and philosophic world, to those evidences which were represented by the hand of Omnipotence, not to their reason, but to their senses? During the age of Christ, of his apostles, and of their first disciples, the doctrine which they preached was confirmed by innumerable prodigies. The lame walked, the blind saw, the sick were healed, the dead were raised, demons were expelled, and the laws of Nature were frequently suspended for the benefit of the church. But the sages of Greece and Rome turned aside from the awful spectacle, and, pursuing the ordinary occupations of life and study, appeared unconscious of any alterations in the moral or physical government of the world. Under the reign of Tiberius, the whole earth, or at least a celebrated province of the Roman empire, was involved in a preternatural darkness of three hours. Even this miraculous event, which ought to have excited the wonder, the curiosity, and the devotion of mankind, passed without notice in an age of science and history. It happened during the lifetime of Seneca and the elder Pliny, who must have experienced the immediate effects, or received the earliest intelligence of the prodigy. Each of these philosophers, in a laborious work, has recorded all the great phenomena of Nature, earthquakes, meteors comets, and eclipses, which his indefatigable curiosity could collect. Both the one and the other have omitted to mention the greatest phenomenon to which the mortal eye has been witness since the creation of the globe" (Rome, Vol. I, pp. 588-590).

Could the most amazing event ever go unnoticed? Only the intellectual dishonest can answer with a "yes".

Addendum:

Let's now consider a person who 'does' 'notice' Jesus:

St. Paul of Tsarus. (10-67)

As Franc Tremblay writes:

"Such a deafening silence on the existence of any other historical figures would be extremely suspicious. In the case of an earth-shaking messiah who raised the dead and fed the multitudes, clearly we should find masses of testimonies and evidence, but we find none. It is clearly an argument for the non-existence of Jesus. But the clinching evidence is that even Christian leaders considered Jesus purely as a mythical figure and did not know anything about his life":

Indeed. And just to demonstrate how sparse in details early writings on Jesus are:

"In the first half century of Christian correspondence, including letters attributed to Paul and other epistles under names like Peter, James and John, the Gospel story cannot be found. When these writers speak of their divine Christ, echoes of Jesus of Nazareth are virtually inaudible, including details of a life and ministry, the circumstances of his death, the attribution of any teachings to him. God himself is often identified as the source of Christian ethics. No one speaks of miracles performed by Jesus, his apocalyptic predictions, his views on any of the great issues of the time. The very fact that he preached in person is never mentioned, his appointment of apostles or his directive to carry the message to the nations of the world is never appealed to. No one looks back to Jesus’ life and ministry as the genesis of the Christian movement, or as the pivot point of salvation history."

- The Jesus Puzzle, by Earl Doherty (Journal of Higher Criticism, Fall 1997)

Ironically, though supposedly in Jerusalem at the right time, he can give no witness to a historical Jesus.
- Jesusneverexisted.com by Kenneth Humprehys,

Then we must consider the basis for the earliest known claims for Jesus are based not on eyewitness accounts, but on a vision:

But the truth is, "after Jesus rose from the dead" our earliest and only eyewitness report says he only spoke "in a revelation" and not in "flesh and blood" (Gal. 1:11-12, 1:15-16). In other words, it was a subjective experience in the mind of the believer that Jesus was speaking to him. We know there are many other causes of such an experience besides an actual spirit of a deceased person contacting us, and have never yet confirmed that any such contact can or ever has happened to anyone.
- Richard Carrier, http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/resurrection/rubi...

So tracing back the claim to its earliest trackable origin, we have a claim based on a vision. Not even Paul is an eyewitness!

As Rook Hawkins writes:

(The only Jesus we have is the Jesus of the Gospels) Jesus... is only the Jesus of Francis of Assisi, and Tertullian, and Augustine.... You just cannot locate a historical Jesus in Gospels. Where is he? Is it when Jesus walks on water in Matthew 15:22-33 or after that when Jesus condemns the Pharisees? Perhaps it is when Jesus hands off his cross to Simon in Mark 15:21? Where is he? Without any actual credible, extrabiblical data to attest to Jesus you are only left with two choices. Either Jesus is the Jesus of the Gospels or he fails to exist on any plane other than that of literary invention.

***********************
For those who wish to respond to this Essay :

First, those who wish to question my argument from Silence, please recognize that my argument not only meets all of the requirements, it actually meets the criteria required for a strengthened Argument from Silence:

How to make an Argument from Silence

According to Gilbert Garraghan (A Guide to Historical Method, 1946, p. 149)

To be valid, the argument from silence must fulfill two conditions: the writer[s] whose silence is invoked would certainly have known about it; [and] knowing it, he would under the circumstances certainly have made mention of it. When these two conditions are fulfilled, the argument from silence proves its point with moral certainty.

It ought to be clear to even the casual reader that the men I have cited meet both criteria.

In addition, the historian Richard Carrier suggests two additional criteria to strengthen an argument from silence:

1) Whether or not it is common for men to create similar myths.

It is prima facie true that this is the case. History is replete not only with 'god' claims, but with claims for messiah status.

2) The claim is of an extraordinary nature, it violates what we already know of nature.

(Important note: this is not to rule out extraordinary claims, a priori.)

The miracle claims in the book of Mark violate what we know of nature.

The argument presented here meets the two additional criteria.

Also see:
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/jesuspuzzle.html#...

Carrier writes:
There are two ways to "prove" ahistoricity:

(1) If you can demonstrate that there is both (a) insufficient evidence to believe x and (b) sufficient evidence to disbelieve x, then it is reasonable to disbelieve x. This is the "Argument from Silence."

(2) If you can demonstrate that all the evidence can be far better accounted for by a theory (y) other than historicity (theory x), then it is reasonable to believe y and, consequently, to disbelieve x. This is the "Argument to the Best Explanation."

For more on evidential arguments from silence: http://www.umass.edu/wsp/methodology/outline/silence.html

****************************


Now, if you still wish to respond, unless you have entirely new points to raise, please save yourself some time and just post "Number 1" or "Number 2 or "Number 3"

1) No one would have noticed, because "Jesus" was a minor figure.

- This response simply ignores my essay. Reread my opening points on the book of Mark, which demonstrate that the Jesus presented in the Gospels cannot be sanely held to be a figure that anyone could ignore, no matter their pre -xistent beliefs.

Richard Carrier writes:

One could say that Jesus was an insignificant, illiterate, itinerant preacher with a tiny following, who went wholly unnoticed by any literate person in Judaea. However, this would not bode well for anyone who wished to maintain he was God, or did any of the more amazing things attributed to him. It is very implausible, for instance, that a biography would be written for the obscure itinerant philosopher Demonax in his own lifetime (by Lucian), yet God Incarnate, or a Great Miracle Worker who riled up all Judaea with talk, should inspire nothing like it until decades after his death. And though several historians wrote on Judaean affairs in the early 1st century (not just Josephus and Tacitus, but several others no longer extant), none apparently mentioned Jesus (see the Secular Web library on Historicity). Certainly, had anyone done so, the passages would probably have been lovingly preserved by 2nd century Christians, or else inspired angry rebuttals.

For instance, the attacks of Celsus, Hierocles, and Porphyry, though destroyed by Christians and thus no longer extant (another example of the peculiar problem of Christian history discussed above), nevertheless remain attested in the defenses written by Origen, Eusebius, and Macerius Magnes. But no earlier attacks are attested. There is no mention of Christians in Plutarch's attack On Superstition, nor a rebuttal to any attack on Christianity in Seneca's lost work On Superstition (which ruthlessly attacked pagans and Jews, as attested in book 10 of Augustine's City of God), so it seems evident Christians got no mention even there, in a text against alien cults, by a man who would have witnessed the Neronian persecution of 64 A.D. (alternatively, the fact that this is the only work of Seneca's not to be preserved, despite the fact that Christians must surely have been keen to preserve an anti-pagan text by a renowned pagan, might mean it contained some damning anti-Christian material and was suppressed, though Augustine clearly had access to the work and says nothing about such content). All of this suggests a troubling dichotomy for believers: either Jesus was a nobody (and therefore not even special, much less the Son of God) or he did not exist.
- Richard Carrier, http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/jesuspuzzle.html#...

2) "The people I listed wouldn't care about writing about a god striding the earth in earthly form, attracting throngs of people and working miracles... because they preferred to focus on other things... like philosophy."

Response: Sure, and people dealing with philosophy, the meaning of life, matters of the true nature of existence, would not be interested in a godman striding the earth, working miracles, offering redemption, because such things have nothing to do with the meaning of life...

Please think your argument through. It relies on circular logic when the very conclusion of such an argument is being ruled out in the first place: Had they encountered such a being, it's unlikely that they would have carried on writing about other matters in the first place. The fact that they did focus on other matters works against you, not for you.

3) We would never expect disinterested parties, or outright 'enemies' of Christianity to record it, since it would not serve their purposes.

First, we would expect to hear criticisms and attacks from enemies.

But more importantly, this is circular logic. If the book of Mark, a book that reports epoch shattering events, is a historical account, then how could there be so many disinterested third parties and outright enemies of Christianity in the first place? It is simply begging the question to assume that doubters would remain doubters, even in the face of overwhelming evidence as per the claims of the book of Mark. It is simply backwards logic to argue that doubters would simply remain doubters: the more parsimonious explanation is that these amazing events didn't occur in the first place. This better explains the silence.

As Richard Carrier writes:

"Of course, if the evidence were really so clear, there would not be many enemies in the first place: many leading, literate Jews would have converted, many more than just Paul, and all would have left us letters and documents about their experiences and reasons. But that would fall under the category of eyewitness testimony, of which we have none, except Paul, who of course never testifies to ever meeting Jesus in the flesh, to seeing the empty grave, or to seeing the actual corpse of Jesus rising and talking. In fact, Paul never really says anyone saw these things.

Instead, my category of hostile attestation is distinct from this, for if even those who don't like it or don't believe it nevertheless report it, even if only to denounce or deny it or explain it away, that is itself stronger evidence than we now have. For example, if we had what Matthew claims the Jews were saying in Matthew 28:11-15 from a first-century Jewish writer, that would be hostile attestation.[11] Certainly many Jews would have an interest in publishing such lies or explanations, if in fact Christians were making such claims then, and there really were enough Christians making these claims for anyone to care. Instead, the complete absence of any Jewish texts attacking Christianity in the first century is astonishing--unless Christianity was a socially microscopic cult making unverifiably subjective claims of revelations from God that no one could falsify. Otherwise, ancient authors were not beneath writing tracts slandering other people, and later pagan authors had no scruple against attacking the Christians. So why did no one attack the Christians earlier? There are problems here, surely."

- From "The Rubicon Analogy"

4) "Remsberg was refuted a long time ago."

This essay corrects the flaws in his argument. However, while many have pointed out flaws in Remsberg's original list, his main point still stands: it's ridiculous to claim that a historian or a philosopher wouldn't be interested in mentioning that he saw a god man working miracles. In addition, those who questioned the original list by pointing to authors of questionable merit, critics rarely, if ever bothered to concede the existence of early authors whose works are lost to us, but would have been available to second century Christians.



See also:

The Jesus Puzzle: http://jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/home.htm
by Earl Doherty

Jesus Never Existed: http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/
by Kenneth Humphreys

Did Jesus Exist?: http://www.atheists.org/christianity/didjesusexist.html
by Frank Zindler

The works of Richard Carrier: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/

The works of Robert Price: http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/

The works of G. A. Wells: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/g_a_wells/index.html

http://www.bibleorigins.net/ http://www.christianorigins.com/

And a rare, well reasoned counter position:

Jeffery Jay Lowder
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/chap5.html

Other points to consider:

Imagine the existence of letters by Caiaphas or "Joseph of Arimathea" or "Peter" or Pontius Pilate. A reference from any of these figures would present us with strong evidence for at least a historical Jesus. While it shouldn't surprise us that most historical documents are lost to us, shouldn't it at least arouse our suspicions that no letters exist from any of these men?

"If we had an actual papyrus carbon-dated to the first century containing a letter by Pilate or Peter documenting or detailing any of the key facts surrounding the resurrection claim, that would be physical evidence. If we had an inscription commissioned by Joseph of Arimathea attesting to the fact that he found his tomb empty and that Jesus then appeared to his disciples, that would be physical evidence. If we had a coin issued by Agrippa just a few years later declaring faith in Christ, that would be physical evidence. If the empty tomb acquired miraculous powers as a result of so momentous a miracle there, or if the angels never left but remained there to converse with all who sought to know the truth, so that either fact could be physically confirmed today--so that we could go there now and see these miracles or angels for ourselves--that would be physical evidence.

And

"On the Resurrection, however, no eyewitness wrote anything--not Jesus, not Peter, not Mary, not any of the Twelve, nor any of the Seventy, nor any of the Five Hundred. All we have is Paul, who saw nothing but a "revelation," and who mentions no other kind of experience or evidence being reported by anyone. On the Resurrection, no neutral or hostile witness or contemporary wrote anything--not Joseph, not Caiaphas, not Gamaliel, not Agrippa, not Pilate, not Lysias, not Sergius, not anyone alive at the time, whether Jewish, Greek, or Roman. On the Resurrection, no critical historian documents a single detail, or even the claim itself, until centuries later, and then only by Christian apologists who can only cite the New Testament as their source (and occasionally bogus documents like the letter sent by Jesus to Abgar that Eusebius tries to pass off as authentic). On the Resurrection, no physical evidence of any kind was produced--no coins, no inscriptions, no documentary papyri, no perpetual miracles. And everything that followed in history was caused by the belief in that resurrection, not the resurrection itself--and we know an actual resurrection is not the only possible cause of a belief in a resurrection.
- Richard Carrier, The Rubicon Analogy.
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/resurrection/rubi...

When you add up all of the following facts, the case for the existence of Jesus as an historical person becomes rather remote: 1) there are no proven, legitimate references to the existence of Jesus in any contemporary source outside of the New Testament (which is really not a contemporary source, as it was written from 30 to 70 years after Jesus supposedly died), 2) There is no evidence that the town of Nazareth, from which Jesus' mother supposedly came, ever existed at the time he was supposedly living there, 3) the existence of Jesus is not necessary to explain the origin or growth of Christianity (were the Hindu gods real'?), 4) the New Testament accounts do not provide a real "biography" for Jesus until you look at the Gospels. The earlier Pauline epistles imply only that he was a god, and 5) the biblical accounts of the trial and death of Jesus are logically self-contradictory and legally impossible. Jesus could not have been executed under either Roman or Jewish law for what he did. Whatever you call what he did, it was not a capital offense under either system. Rather, it looks like someone is trying to make Old Testament prophecies of the death of the Messiah come true by fabricating a scenario which simply doesn't make sense legally.

- The Jesus of History: A Reply to Josh McDowell
Gordon Stein, Ph.D. http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/gordon_stein/jesus.shtml

Jeffrick's picture

Lee2216

 

 

 

           I' m jumping in here because of a few mis conceptions you have.

 

           1)     Intelligent persons do NOT have to prove ' god does NOT exist' ; We do not have to prove ZERO,  you claim your god exists that means YOU get to prove it.

 

           2)     The first commandment states.  "  Have no other god before me."   What other gods is your god worried about?  I don' t believe in any of them so I am safe.  But from you POV maybe these other gods are less bloody then yours;  at least consider it.

 

           3)    Saul of Tarsus  did  reinvent YHWH worship, weather you believe it or not:::   Right after an EPILIPTIC siesure on the road to Damascus,  he even changed his name to Paul [ commen after epiliptic seisures;  dyslextia moves in].

 

           4)    Jesus is a fictional charactor, Paul did not believe he was a real person, that' s why Paul never wrote about Jesus has being real but has an object of faith and mystic revelation.

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?

BobSpence's picture

Lee2216 wrote:BobSpence1

Lee2216 wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
And you can't justify asserting that there is a God and that the Bible is 'his' word, no matter how many times you repeat your empty crap - you ARE making pure assertions, in the absence of positive objective evidence.

In the absence of such evidence, my assertion is the more reasonable.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence, although in the case of a supposed omni-present entity, it IS.

And the entire history of the world is evidence that any such being is NOT 'good', and either not competent, or positively a jerk.

Keep shouting from the pile of sand your world-view is built on, Lee, you are actually making yourself and your beliefs a laughing stock. And the tide may be coming in....

You have plenty of evidence but you choose to object it because of foolish pride and arrogance. If my world-view is built on sand then explain to me why Christianity is still strong and is growing everyday worldwide? The resurrection as all the evidence anyone needs.

Bob, you don't do your cause much good by being so hateful. If God doesn't exist, there should be no need for you to attack Him personally. Your willingness to fight with an invisible enemy only helps prove there is some supernatural being causing your irritation. You can't hope to erase the existence of God by making Him your enemy. If someone is your foe, he must exist.

The problem with your movement is that it is nothing but an empty shell. If religion is the result of ignorance, atheists should be doing their best to educate people. You have given me not one shred of evidence that there is no God so evidence points heavily in my favor. 

Do you mean to say you have plenty of evidence? Because I have seen no POSITIVE evidence, ie, evidence pointing to the existence of the Christian God.

By that I mean, not just reports of miracles and prophecies, which even if true, DO NOT constitute evidence pointing to the existence of a  specific entity, merely the possible existence of some entity capable of doing those specific things. That could be any 'God' ever proposed by any religion, or a very powerful alien, or even Satan.

I have given up being 'nice' to you, since you have shown yourself impervious and deaf to logic and reasoned argument.

And you further reinforce that judgment right there. I am not attacking God, I don't see any reason to assume he exists, but I am pointing out that if by some remote chance he does exist, then he is clearly an evil being, perhaps a prankster, playing with us, poking us, sending yet another nasty disease or natural disaster to see how we react and cope with it.

He would be only worthy of contempt and insult.

I am not 'fighting' with Him, I am trying to point out to YOU your blind inability to see how nonsensical your belief is at every level.

We ARE trying to educate people, to not believe in stuff just because someone told them to, but ask for evidence and reason to see why to accept stuff as likely to be true.

I have pointed out that there is no necessity to assume a God to explain why there is a Universe and Life. Unfortunately for you it would require you to be educated in science, and more time than we have here, to get you to the point of really understanding just what we mean when we say  that Science now provides afar more plausible and useful explanation for how we and the Universe came to be.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology

pauljohntheskeptic's picture

Brian S and Lee2216

 Brian S and Lee2216

 

I decided to jump in here after reading some of your posts because there seem to be several misconceptions and misunderstanding you are presenting. 

In reading your arguments I can see that you both are very much  committed believers. I'm not here to try to save you from yourselves and do not need your help in being saved by the word, so don't bother with attempts to reach me with the word and your interpretations of how I will ultimately be damned. I am an atheist who originally was an Evangelical and then Catholic. I do have some understanding of theology and scripture with 10 years of parochial school and a grad degree from a Jesuit University.

I have read your arguments in regard to the prophecies you believe substantiate that Jesus was the mashiarch expected by the Jewish nation. There are some real problems in that regard.

I would first ask you to explain how the Jews from which your beliefs have emerged missed all of the prophecies you claim and must have done so for at least 700 to 800 years. The prophets you cite are their prophets of a religion that developed by their ancestors. Please indicate where in their history they misunderstood what was given them. Be very specific in your response.

Next I would ask you to explain what you understand of Jewish beliefs. In your acceptance of Christianity you must reject what the Jews accept so I want to be clear or what it is that you think they believe. 

Ultimately there is of course the origin of Jewish beliefs which have less than pristine basis. After I see you have some argument of where the Jews misunderstood perhaps we can discuss the origins of the god in question. For now we can start from a point in Jewish belief and we can go through your claims of how they misunderstood what was given them by their prophets. If you can't do this, you have absolutely no basis for your belief and should simply walk away now.

There are other problems in your arguments as well but we should start here, for without the Jews there would be no Christianity as it is the foundation upon which your religion is built.

 

PJTS

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.

Lee2216's picture

pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 Brian S and Lee2216

 I decided to jump in here after reading some of your posts because there seem to be several misconceptions and misunderstanding you are presenting. 

I need to know what some of my supposed misconceptions and misunderstandings are before this discussion can go any further. Please be more specific.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20

pauljohntheskeptic's picture

Lee2216

Lee2216 wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 Brian S and Lee2216

 I decided to jump in here after reading some of your posts because there seem to be several misconceptions and misunderstanding you are presenting. 

I need to know what some of my supposed misconceptions and misunderstandings are before this discussion can go any further. Please be more specific.

Lee,

The comment was addressed to both you and Brian S. The only interpreted scripture that you have gone on record so far is Psalm 22.

You accept Jesus as the messiah and utilize Jewish scripture as prophecies in  interpretations different than the original understanding of the originators of the writing. If you do see the prophets writing in the same way as the Jews you would not accept Jesus as the mashiach. You consider Jesus to be the mashiach as prophesied in Jewish scripture. If this is the case then the Jews made errors for at least 800 years before Jesus. Point out where the Jews made these errors and which specific prophets were either wrongly interpreted or wrongly accepted as prophets by the Jews.

1-Explain your understanding of Jewish interpretations and where they have made errors.

2-Explain for instance the Christian interpretation of Psalm 22 versus the Jewish. Explain why your Christian view should be the correct understanding versus the Jewish original.

3-Explain any other prophecies you claim as support for Jesus as the mashiach versus the Jewish interpretation of the same scripture. Discuss their errors.

4-Once again, please explain your understanding of Jewish beliefs of their god and how it relates to them.

Thanks

 

PJTS

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.

Lee2216's picture

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Lee,

The comment was addressed to both you and Brian S. The only interpreted scripture that you have gone on record so far is Psalm 22.

 

1-Explain your understanding of Jewish interpretations and where they have made errors.

2-Explain for instance the Christian interpretation of Psalm 22 versus the Jewish. Explain why your Christian view should be the correct understanding versus the Jewish original.

3-Explain any other prophecies you claim as support for Jesus as the mashiach versus the Jewish interpretation of the same scripture. Discuss their errors.

4-Once again, please explain your understanding of Jewish beliefs of their god and how it relates to them.

Thanks

 PJTS

Concerning points 1 & 2, the 22nd Psalm has various interpretations within Judaism including messianic, as well as David and the nation of Israel. Some Jewish writers apply the 22nd Psalm to the Jewish nation while others have applied this to the son of David, the messiah. Understanding this Psalm as fulfilled by a person is the best literal reading of the Psalm. To interpret this as referring to the nation of Israel, is creating symbolism where the literal reading is clearly seen.

The events in David's life in some ways match the events of Psalm 22, especially when David was pursued and rejected by his own son. However, the events directly match the life of Jesus who was a son of David, who was pierced, rejected and mocked by the nation in His suffering.

The other problem I hear is that Psalm 22 was not about the crucifixion. The discrepancy is the KJV writers changed the words of the verses to say "piercing" the sufferers hands and feet, while the Hebrew text says "like a lion they are at my hands and feet."  

 First, the verses regarding the piercing are not quoted by New Testament writers, secondly, the translation of pierced is backed up the Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls. So the translation problem here is not only a Christian problem its also a Jewish problem. Jewish interpreters claim the Christians misinterpreted Psalm 22:16-17 because in the Masoretic text the verse reads ka’ari followed by my hand and my feet. The word ka (like) followed by ari (lion) means like a lion. The imagery here presents the picture of “like a lion” my hands and my feet are mauled. In the older Dead Sea Scrolls version of Psalms 22 the word is ka’aru meaning, “to dig out” or “to bore through.”

The imagery is clear, these lions are not licking the psalmist's feet. They are tearing and ripping at them. I think it's safe to say that a lions teeth would pierce the human flesh much in the same manner that a nail would. The vivid image of mauling lions graphically conveys the great physical agony of the sufferer. We can discuss other prophecies that validate Jesus as the messiah but since I can't find any errors as you claim you are going to have to point out the verses in question. The priests were not diligently searching the scriptures enough to correlate the prophecies in the OT concerning the Messiah's coming in the person of Jesus Christ. In fact, the rejection of the Messiah by his own people was a prophecy in itself. Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 53:1,3

Because of Israel's disobedience and unfaithfulness to God, their eyes were shut, and they were given no understanding of the scriptures. Many Jews are still waiting for the first coming. All the prophecies in the OT of the Messiahs first coming have been fulfilled in detail by Jesus Christ. The Jews were focused on and wanted a Messiah who would liberate them from the domination of the Roman Empire, therefore they ignored or overlooked the significance of the prophecies concerning a Messiah who would have to suffer and die. The conquering King the Jews immediately expected will happen at the second advent.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20

Lee,I was about to ask how

Lee,

I was about to ask how you make the leaps to Jesus but after I read your post I understood.

You start with Jesus and try to shoehorn the scriptures to fit.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin

Thank you

Very nicely written, I enjoyed reading it

pauljohntheskeptic's picture

Poor Answers

Lee,

I asked you to explain Jewish interpretations of the mashiach (messiah), you only seem to know about Psalm 22. I also asked you to explain where they have made errors, your only response was the standard evasion of "Because of Israel's disobedience and unfaithfulness to God, their eyes were shut, and they were given no understanding of the scriptures." This does not at all address where they made their errors, it is an evasive answer. This tells me that you have no idea where they made any errors in interpretation but utilize the stock Christian answer as an out.

I also asked you to compare and explain any other prophecies you claim as support for the messiah versus the Jewish interpretation of the same scripture. Once more you supplied little or nothing as a response.

Further, I asked you to explain Jewish beliefs regarding their God. You made no comments at all showing you have the slightest idea what they hold as beliefs.

Since you exhibit no knowledge of Judaism, I must conclude you have no basis for it's rejection and are therefore a Christian by convenience with no foundation.



pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Lee,

The comment was addressed to both you and Brian S. The only interpreted scripture that you have gone on record so far is Psalm 22.

 

1-Explain your understanding of Jewish interpretations and where they have made errors.

2-Explain for instance the Christian interpretation of Psalm 22 versus the Jewish. Explain why your Christian view should be the correct understanding versus the Jewish original.

3-Explain any other prophecies you claim as support for Jesus as the mashiach versus the Jewish interpretation of the same scripture. Discuss their errors.

4-Once again, please explain your understanding of Jewish beliefs of their god and how it relates to them.

Thanks

 PJTS



Lee2216 wrote:


Concerning points 1 & 2, the 22nd Psalm has various interpretations within Judaism including messianic, as well as David and the nation of Israel. Some Jewish writers apply the 22nd Psalm to the Jewish nation while others have applied this to the son of David, the messiah. Understanding this Psalm as fulfilled by a person is the best literal reading of the Psalm. To interpret this as referring to the nation of Israel, is creating symbolism where the literal reading is clearly seen.

The events in David's life in some ways match the events of Psalm 22, especially when David was pursued and rejected by his own son. However, the events directly match the life of Jesus who was a son of David, who was pierced, rejected and mocked by the nation in His suffering.

The other problem I hear is that Psalm 22 was not about the crucifixion. The discrepancy is the KJV writers changed the words of the verses to say "piercing" the sufferers hands and feet, while the Hebrew text says "like a lion they are at my hands and feet." 

 First, the verses regarding the piercing are not quoted by New Testament writers, secondly, the translation of pierced is backed up the Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls. So the translation problem here is not only a Christian problem its also a Jewish problem. Jewish interpreters claim the Christians misinterpreted Psalm 22:16-17 because in the Masoretic text the verse reads ka’ari followed by my hand and my feet. The word ka (like) followed by ari (lion) means like a lion. The imagery here presents the picture of “like a lion” my hands and my feet are mauled. In the older Dead Sea Scrolls version of Psalms 22 the word is ka’aru meaning, “to dig out” or “to bore through.”

The imagery is clear, these lions are not licking the psalmist's feet. They are tearing and ripping at them. I think it's safe to say that a lions teeth would pierce the human flesh much in the same manner that a nail would. The vivid image of mauling lions graphically conveys the great physical agony of the sufferer.


Lee,

In point 1) I was not just asking about Jewish interpretation of Psalm 22.

In regards to Psalm 22 - considering David is supposedly the source or writer it's not surprising that the events would resemble those in his life.

I infer from your comments the Christian interpretation in your view is this Psalm is describing the messiah, in your opinion Jesus.

You suggest that Jews see this Psalm as:
 1) messianic
2) regarding David
3) regarding the nation of Israel.
You present nothing at all in support of any of these possible Jewish interpretations.

I have actually had a nail through my hand from a nail gun. I also have been bitten by a dog. The 2 events were not at all similar. The nail made a single hole through my hand while the dog bite was ripped and jagged. I would imagine a lion's bite would be even worse than a dog. The nail hole was stitched with 2 stitches, 1 on each side. The dog bite took 16 stitches.

 

Lee2216 wrote:


We can discuss other prophecies that validate Jesus as the messiah but since I can't find any errors as you claim you are going to have to point out the verses in question.


So you can't find errors in the interpretations of the Jews or you can't find errors in Christian interpretations? Which?

Do you know which Hebrew scriptures Christians use to claim Jesus fits the expected messiah or not?

If you do know what scriptures Christians claim predict Jesus in the Hebrew Bible are you aware of the Jewish interpretations of those same scriptures? If so, please describe how the Jews have wrongly understood these verses along with the comparison of the 2 views. If you have no idea, you should research it, because they may be right and not you.

Do you know which Hebrew scriptures the Jews claim must be met for the messiah or not?

If you know of their claims, what are they and what are your reasons for rejecting them. Please detail each prophecy and their view along with your reasons for rejecting the Jewish interpretation.

Lee2216 wrote:


The priests were not diligently searching the scriptures enough to correlate the prophecies in the OT concerning the Messiah's coming in the person of Jesus Christ.


This is supported how? You assert they weren't looking for Jesus, but haven't explained why they should be even looking at him. You haven't shown what the Jews were looking for in a messiah at all. I assure you, the priests were very diligent in their study of the Hebrew Bible based on what their religion considered in regard to their relationship with god. Read some Rabbinic commentaries or the Mishnah. You have yet to explain what Jews believed in general in regard to their god versus what Christians believe, so how did you come to this conclusion?

Lee2216 wrote:


In fact, the rejection of the Messiah by his own people was a prophecy in itself. Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 53:1,3



Psalm 118:22 is interpretated by Jews in regard to Ruth the Moabitess, meaning Judah should have been the lowest of the clans, basically rejected and the ancestor of David and the mashiach, according to rabbinic interpretations. This is hardly a rejection of the mashiach.

Isaiah 53  like Isaiah 52 as well are in regard to the Lord's Suffering Servant, the people of Israel, not the mashiach, according to Jewish views.

Lee2216 wrote:


Because of Israel's disobedience and unfaithfulness to God, their eyes were shut, and they were given no understanding of the scriptures.


1- When did this occur? Did their prophets actually say that Israel would not understand. Please point out the text in the Hebrew scriptures that validates this assertion.

2-Jews reject Jesus for many reasons including - he does not fit their expectations in the prophecies which you have yet to provide. They also reject Jesus  " because the philosophy taught in his name is evil and contrary to God’s perfect law. Others rejected him because of the evil done in his name. " - (from Jews for Judaism)

Lee2216 wrote:


Many Jews are still waiting for the first coming. All the prophecies in the OT of the Messiahs first coming have been fulfilled in detail by Jesus Christ.


Of course they are still waiting because Jesus in no way fulfills their expectations, something you still have not indicated any knowledge of what those expectations includes.

Lee2216 wrote:


The Jews were focused on and wanted a Messiah who would liberate them from the domination of the Roman Empire, therefore they ignored or overlooked the significance of the prophecies concerning a Messiah who would have to suffer and die. The conquering King the Jews immediately expected will happen at the second advent.



This shows your complete lack of knowledge in regard to Judaism as well as Jewish expectations of the mashiach.

You have no idea how Jews relate to god in their beliefs nor do you seem to grasp what exactly the mashiach is to do and why Jesus fails.

As an atheist,  I have spent a lot of time studying various religious beliefs specifically to understand their claims and basis. One thing I have found is Christians seem to have little or no real idea what Jews believe and why. It seems that many feel the Jews were nothing but a stepping stone to launch Christianity. I don't know if that's your view or not, but you haven't shown me any reasonable basis to reject their ideas as you don't seem to even know what their beliefs include. I give credit to a few Jesuit priests for their  insistence on meticulous research into the beliefs of other religions for my knowledge.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.

Lee2216's picture

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Lee,

In point 1) I was not just asking about Jewish interpretation of Psalm 22.

In regards to Psalm 22 - considering David is supposedly the source or writer it's not surprising that the events would resemble those in his life.

I infer from your comments the Christian interpretation in your view is this Psalm is describing the messiah, in your opinion Jesus.

You suggest that Jews see this Psalm as:
 1) messianic
2) regarding David
3) regarding the nation of Israel.
You present nothing at all in support of any of these possible Jewish interpretations.

I have actually had a nail through my hand from a nail gun. I also have been bitten by a dog. The 2 events were not at all similar. The nail made a single hole through my hand while the dog bite was ripped and jagged. I would imagine a lion's bite would be even worse than a dog. The nail hole was stitched with 2 stitches, 1 on each side. The dog bite took 16 stitches.

No matter what you think about this Psalm, you can't deny that it describes the crucifixion of Jesus an entire millennium

later. The two experiences you had were not similar? Please! The nail and the dog bite both PIERCED your skin. There is no mistranslation as some claim. The only reason some claim mistranslations is they have an agenda for there to be no such thing as Jesus so they can live however they want to without any consequences. Plain and simple.

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Do you know which Hebrew scriptures Christians use to claim Jesus fits the expected messiah or not?

 

• Genesis 3:15 – Jesus defeated Satan but was wounded during the crucifixion.

• Genesis 12, 17, 22 – He was the literal descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in whom all the world was blessed. • Deuteronomy 18 – He was the “prophet like Moses.”

• Psalm 22 – He was mocked, insulted and crucified. His garments were gambled for and His bones were not broken.

• Psalm 110 – He was David’s Lord.

• Isaiah 53 – He was perfectly innocent and without sin, yet He atoned for the sin of the world. He was resurrected from the dead.

• Jeremiah 23 – Because He was God and “justified many,” His proper name is “Jehovah our Righteousness.”

• Daniel 9 – He arrived at the specific time given by the prophecy, 483 years after Artaxerxes’ decree to rebuild Jerusalem.

• Micah 5 – He was eternal, yet He was born in Bethlehem.

• Zechariah 9 – He was the King of Israel who brought salvation; He entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey.

• Zechariah 12 – He was Jehovah, He was pierced.

• Malachi 3 – John the Baptist prepared the way for Him as He suddenly came to His temple.

Had we space, there are dozens of other prophecies we could discuss that are just as specific.

(1) He would be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14; see Matt. 1:23).

(2) He would live in Nazareth of Galilee (Isa. 9:1-2; see Matt. 2:23; 4:15).

(3) He would occasion the massacre of Bethlehem’s children (Jer. 31:15; see Matt. 2:18).

(4) His mission would include the Gentiles (Isa. 42:1-3, 6; see Matt. 12:18-21).

(5) His ministry would include physical relief (Isa. 61:1-2; see Luke 4:16-21).

(6) He would be the Shepherd struck with the sword, resulting in the sheep being scattered (Zech. 13:7; see Matt. 26:31, 56; Mark 14:27, 49-50).

(7) He would be betrayed by a friend for 30 pieces of silver (Zech. 11:12-13; see Matt. 27:9-10)

(Cool He would be given vinegar and gall to drink (Psa. 69:21; see Matt. 27:34).

(9) He would be hated without a cause (Psa. 69:4; Isa. 49:7; John 7:48; John 15:25).

(10) He would be rejected by the rulers (Psa. 118:22; Matt. 21:42; John 7:48).

Who is the only person who has fulfilled all of these prophecies – and many more? Only Jesus Christ!! 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
I assure you, the priests were very diligent in their study of the Hebrew Bible based on what their religion considered in regard to their relationship with god. Read some Rabbinic commentaries or the Mishnah. You have yet to explain what Jews believed in general in regard to their god versus what Christians believe, so how did you come to this conclusion?

Throughout the OT God warned His people through the prophets over and over and over but they wouldn't listen. The Jews were and still are for the majority a stiff-necked people. Jesus performed miracles and many still didn't believe. As I told someone else in these forums, the problem isn't an evidence problem, the problem is a heart problem. I became a Christian due to the overwhelming evidence that we have for Jesus Christ and who He claimed to be.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
As an atheist,  I have spent a lot of time studying various religious beliefs specifically to understand their claims and basis. One thing I have found is Christians seem to have little or no real idea what Jews believe and why. It seems that many feel the Jews were nothing but a stepping stone to launch Christianity. I don't know if that's your view or not, but you haven't shown me any reasonable basis to reject their ideas as you don't seem to even know what their beliefs include. I give credit to a few Jesuit priests for their  insistence on meticulous research into the beliefs of other religions for my knowledge.

Your forgetting the most important thing about Christianity! The resurrection!! That's enough evidence in and of itself.

The apostles were Jewish and they believed. Explain to me why they would just abandon all their beliefs and teaching and be rejected by their families to follow a false Messiah unless they saw the resurrected Jesus? The problem is that some Jews won't read the NT. Jews claim there is no concept of a second coming. That's not true at all. You don't need more explanation or evidence, you need faith which is a gift of God. Ask for it and he will give it to you abundantly.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20

BobSpence's picture

Lee2216 wrote:Because of

Lee2216 wrote:

Because of Israel's disobedience and unfaithfulness to God, their eyes were shut, and they were given no understanding of the scriptures.

Which would make God a spiteful, hateful being.

If someone doesn't pay Him enough respect, he punishes them by making it even harder for them to accept and believe in him???

If he really wanted people to worship Him, shouldn't he be trying to help them understand Him, rather than lashing out like a spoiled child?

That is really screwed-up.
 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology

<Taken in reverse order>Oh

<Taken in reverse order>

Oh goodness! We're forgetting the most important thing about Christianity!

All the stuff that was taken from the pagan religions to which Paul, et al. were exposed.

The apostles believed that Jesus was Messiah - not that he was the son of God or God himself. That's all Paulism and it actually ticked them off. Being observant Jews, the idea of a man being God was offensive to them (and would have been to Jesus as well). 

The only thing you have to say that the apostles saw a resurrected Jesus was written by Pauline converts decades after the person on which the Jesus character was based was living.

And as I said, why do you want me to dispense with the (God-given, according to you) thinking process that I have and replace it with my easily swayed emotions? the reason that you believed the "overwhelming evidence" wouldn't have anything to so with your conditioning to believe that said evidence was overwhelming, would it?

And who said that Jesus fulfilled all those prophecies? Why, the Pauline converts that backtracked through the Scripture to make sure that their jesus character fit those prophecies! It's not that hard to win a horse race when you own all the horses and the jockeys work for you.

 

 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin

pauljohntheskeptic's picture

Initial Comment - more later

I unfortunately must go work until later in the day and don't have time to respond in detail to your perceptions and claims. Since you do not compare your scripture quotes to Jewish interpretations it would seem to indicate that you don't know what the originators of those scriptures claim they mean. That you did not respond to my question in regard to what the Jews believe about their god would also say you don't know this either. This further substantiates that you are a Christian due to convenience and laziness.

Lee2216 wrote:

 

Your forgetting the most important thing about Christianity! The resurrection!! That's enough evidence in and of itself.

 

Please!!! Evidence!!! I claim therefore it is true. A dead guy was brought back to life. By the way, he died for you and me to save us from his daddy who is really actually a part,  because he can't forgive us for his error of giving us free will in the myth of Adam & Eve.

If you'd bother to study Jewish beliefs you'd know why this is all unacceptable interpretation on your part.

OK, please supply video, photos, signed notarized statements with names, addresses, DOB for anyone that has witnessed a dead person for several days that came back to life, in specific the character of legends you call Jesus. The unsigned unknown writers of the legends and stories in the Gospels are not evidence. They are evidence only that these legends were told in the 1st century CE. There are many books which contain oral legends that have been written down after being told orally by bards and story-tellers. Jesus has no more proof to have done any of the events described than Arthur and Robin Hood.

More later.

Waiting to see your proof that a dead guy walked the face of the Earth other than in Hollywood Zombie movies.

Thanks

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.

pauljohntheskeptic's picture

Long response to Lee2216


As Lee is spreading misconceptions and unsupported Christian propaganda a detailed response to his assertions and puzzle piece fitted claims was needed.

Until a Jewish believer comes along to challenge Lee I figured someone had to, so I as an atheist will try.

Sorry about the length.

PJTS


Lee2216 wrote:


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Lee,

In point 1) I was not just asking about Jewish interpretation of Psalm 22.

In regards to Psalm 22 - considering David is supposedly the source or writer it's not surprising that the events would resemble those in his life.

I infer from your comments the Christian interpretation in your view is this Psalm is describing the messiah, in your opinion Jesus.

You suggest that Jews see this Psalm as:
 1) messianic
2) regarding David
3) regarding the nation of Israel.
You present nothing at all in support of any of these possible Jewish interpretations.

I have actually had a nail through my hand from a nail gun. I also have been bitten by a dog. The 2 events were not at all similar. The nail made a single hole through my hand while the dog bite was ripped and jagged. I would imagine a lion's bite would be even worse than a dog. The nail hole was stitched with 2 stitches, 1 on each side. The dog bite took 16 stitches.


No matter what you think about this Psalm, you can't deny that it describes the crucifixion of Jesus an entire millennium later.


I deny that Psalm 22 has anything to do with the crucifixion of the Jesus character from the legends and story-telling.

Looks like I can deny your interpretive assertion.

Psalm 22 is about David and his whining, mostly deserved based on the story-telling in his regard. The Jews generally see that it is about him, claiming he wrote it or had it written.



Lee2216 wrote:
The two experiences you had were not similar? Please! The nail and the dog bite both PIERCED your skin. There is no mistranslation as some claim. The only reason some claim mistranslations is they have an agenda for there to be no such thing as Jesus so they can live however they want to without any consequences. Plain and simple.



A single hole through a hand versus a jagged ripped and torn bite in your view is similar.

Hey, you know what, I think I still have some pristine land available in South Florida for a deal. It is ripe for development after you drain it and remove all of the gators.

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Do you know which Hebrew scriptures Christians use to claim Jesus fits the expected messiah or not?


Lee2216 wrote:


 

• Genesis 3:15 – Jesus defeated Satan but was wounded during the crucifixion.


Jewish view - Satan is a servant of the god acting as an accuser. The verse you mention discusses a serpent not Satan god's servant. And by the way, Jesus isn't mentioned in it, you infer he is of the seed of the woman, though that is unwarranted. If you think that is so, both the woman and the serpent (you think is Satan), were supposedly made by the god, therefore they are both “decedents of the god” so to speak. Which is of course BS, but shows how one can twist vagueness into anything that one chooses?


Lee2216 wrote:


• Genesis 12, 17, 22 – He was the literal descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in whom all the world was blessed.

You quote 3 entire chapters, do you want an essay in response here or what? You statement is vague in itself inferring that Jesus is a direct descendant of the fictional hero Abe, though the Jews would agree all of them were such (descendants) and they are also “sons of God” as well since he made man. Therefore as all Hebrews/Jews are sons of the god this only indicates they are all the chosen people. There’s nothing in these chapters suggesting the mashiach would “teleport” into the world from a far away star system or would land his intergalactic spacecraft outside the gates of Jerusalem, no, these chapters only tell us of the promise the god makes in the legends.


Gen 17 continues with the promise to Abe and the god adds the requirement of circumcision for all the males as a sign they are of his people, including those that were purchased. Here, the god validates slavery by the way with this statement. It also does not allow an out in this promise except if one does not do the circumcision as a sign of the covenant, then  “that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken My covenant”


Gen 22 once more continues with the promise to Abe after he had shown the god he’d do whatever was asked including murdering his son to offer him to the god. The promise in these verses is Abe’s descendants would number as the number of stars in the sky. This promise has fallen very short if it is literal. Did the god mean only in our galaxy? How about in the others? If we consider just the Milky Way there are 200 – 400 billion stars. The population of the Earth today is a little less than 7 billion, far short of the promise. If we consider this as all of those who have ever lived we get closer as that is somewhere over 100 billion. But wait, what about the other galaxies? If we add in the stars from over 80 billion galaxies that we can observe which have over 70 sextillion stars, this promise has not been kept.
What the Jews indicate in regard to Abraham is the god gave him and his descendants “the land” and picked them as his chosen people, Gen 12 which is called the b’rit.


In Gen 17, the promise is detailed further and circumcision is introduced as a sign of the covenant. Those who don’t follow this instruction, are cut off from it In Gen 22, the god tested Abe’s commitment to him in his 10th test, which also tested Isaac as he was aware that he would be the sacrifice. Jews use this story to indicate God abhors human sacrifice, which is contrary to Jesus being sacrificed isn’t it.


Lee2216 wrote:


• Deuteronomy 18 – He was the “prophet like Moses.”

I don’t see any relationship to Jesus in this. If Jesus contradicted the Torah, which it seems he claims, then he is a false prophet in effect as described in v20-22. Regardless, since Jesus has only ½ of the DNA of Judah and the other half is of unknown origin, I’m not sure he can be a prophet based on this chapter.


Lee2216 wrote:



• Psalm 22 – He was mocked, insulted and crucified. His garments were gambled for and His bones were not broken.

I already have given you my take on this. The writer refers to David’s life, not Jesus.


Lee2216 wrote:


• Psalm 110 – He was David’s Lord.

This is one of the favorite mistranslations by Christians used for the Matt 22 encounter with the Pharisees. Actually, the first Lord in this verse is Yahweh, while the second was adonee, meaning to my master or to my lord. See - http://www.outreachjudaism.org/psalm110.html
As David wrote these Psalms or songs to be recited by the Levites in the Temple, the correct reading according to the Jews is “The Lord [God] said to my master [King David] "Sit thou at my right hand….”

Lee2216 wrote:


• Isaiah 53 – He was perfectly innocent and without sin, yet He atoned for the sin of the world. He was resurrected from the dead.

I already mentioned that the suffering servant is considered the people of Israel in my earlier reply to you.
The following link will take you to a counter missionary website against Christian Missionaries showing Jewish beliefs and Christian errors. You seem to require it since you show complete ignorance. http://www.jewishisaiah53.com/
Also see - http://www.outreachjudaism.org/sin.html


Lee2216 wrote:


• Jeremiah 23 – Because He was God and “justified many,” His proper name is “Jehovah our Righteousness.”

Your use of poor translations and puzzle piece fitting once more has caused you to see what is not there.

See- http://www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm
See - http://www.religionfacts.com/judaism/beliefs/messiah.htm
See - http://jewsforjudaism.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=167:the-jewish-concept-of-messiah-and-the-jewish-response-t...

Lee2216 wrote:


• Daniel 9 – He arrived at the specific time given by the prophecy, 483 years after Artaxerxes’ decree to rebuild Jerusalem.


There are many problems with this interpretation. One of the better detailed explanations of what’s wrong with this puzzle piece fitting you suggest is found at jewsforjudaism – see –
http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=295:daniel-9-the-seventy-weeks&catid=130
see - http://www.jewsforjudaism.org.au/node/28

Please see this RRS thread where the Christian Gramster is still trying to make a presentation for his prophecy claims. http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/20506


Lee2216 wrote:


• Micah 5 – He was eternal, yet He was born in Bethlehem.


There are so many problems with relating Micah to Jesus.
In my view as an atheist-  verse 2 suggests a ruler will come out of Bethlehem who shall be the peace when the Assyrian comes into the land of Israel in verse 5. In verse 6 they will then lay waste to the land of  Assyria and deliver Israel from the Assyrian. So, when did Jesus and his followers do this? Also how could they when Assyria was conquered and destroyed by Babylon. Babylon was conquered by Persia. Persia was conquered by Alexander. Many other ethnic groups move into the former land of Assyria over the next 2500 years. Assyrians and their country don’t exist now and didn’t exist at the time of Jesus.

The Jewish view – see jewsforjudaism response here - http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=296:micah-5-zechariah-12-and-isaiah-9-6&catid=131


Lee2216 wrote:


• Zechariah 9 – He was the King of Israel who brought salvation; He entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey.

In my view as an atheist – the Gospels have multiple choice accounts of the staged event where Jesus enters Jerusalem. One ass or 2 asses. Who gets them.  If you read Zechariah in context, there is but one ass that is a colt. There are other conditions in the chapter as well that do not occur with Jesus. I don’t recall that Jesus actually met the conditions of being the leader with the God triumphantly instituting his kingdom as described in this chapter.
The Jewish view is that all the conditions in this chapter of Zechariah must be met. Something puzzle piece fitting you do ignores – see jewsforjudasim again - See also - http://www.ou.org/about/judaism/treiasar/zechariah.htm


Lee2216 wrote:


• Zechariah 12 – He was Jehovah, He was pierced.

I see no messiah “pierced” here. Learn to read the entire chapter in context.
See Jewsforjudaism once again - http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=296:micah-5-zechariah-12-and-isaiah-9-6&catid=131

Lee2216 wrote:


• Malachi 3 – John the Baptist prepared the way for Him as He suddenly came to His temple.

Not hardly!! Malachi indicates the Levites will be purified such that the offerings of Israel will please God exactly as they had in days of the past.
See - http://www.jewsforjudaism.org.au/node/32
See - http://www.ou.org/about/judaism/treiasar/malachi.htm


Lee2216 wrote:


Had we space, there are dozens of other prophecies we could discuss that are just as specific.

(1)    He would be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14; see Matt. 1:23).

Seriously, the mistranslated Isaiah 7:14!!
This indicates young woman in the text, see JPS version.

See also - http://www.torah.org/qanda/seequanda.php?id=683#

Lee2216 wrote:


(2)    He would live in Nazareth of Galilee (Isa. 9:1-2; see Matt. 2:23; 4:15).

Did Nazareth actually exist at the time, just a side note to consider. Several Church fathers apparently couldn’t find it in the 2nd and 3rd century CE.
Also – Isaiah 9 speaks of nothing here that can be Nazareth.
See JPS version - http://www.mechon-mamre.org/e/et/et1009.htm

And the Nazarite idea earlier is not a resident of a city or town.


Lee2216 wrote:


(3)    He would occasion the massacre of Bethlehem’s children (Jer. 31:15; see Matt. 2:18).

History as well as Josephus don’t support Herod did this massacre, and neither does the Christian book of Luke which has Jesus going home to Nazareth not fleeing to Egypt.
Jeremiah 31:15 in Jewish views –
See- http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0411/is_n4_v45/ai_19016970/pg_2/

Lee2216 wrote:


(4) His mission would include the Gentiles (Isa. 42:1-3, 6; see Matt. 12:18-21).

This is not Jesus.
See - http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_do_Isaiah_chapter_42_verses_1-4_mean
The Jews in these verses are called the light of the nations.

Lee2216 wrote:


(5) His ministry would include physical relief (Isa. 61:1-2; see Luke 4:16-21).

See Jewish view – this is not Jesus - http://www.ou.org/torah/article/isaiah_chapter_61


Lee2216 wrote:


(6) He would be the Shepherd struck with the sword, resulting in the sheep being scattered (Zech. 13:7; see Matt. 26:31, 56; Mark 14:27, 49-50).

This is not Jesus –
See - http://www.messiahtruth.com/response.html
See - http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/jewsandjesus/
See - http://www.ouradio.org/index.php/nach/single/zechariah_chapter_131/


Lee2216 wrote:


(7) He would be betrayed by a friend for 30 pieces of silver (Zech. 11:12-13; see Matt. 27:9-10)

This verse has nothing to do with betrayal or a payment for betrayal.


Lee2216 wrote:


(Cool He would be given vinegar and gall to drink (Psa. 69:21; see Matt. 27:34).

(9) He would be hated without a cause (Psa. 69:4; Isa. 49:7; John 7:48; John 15:25).


Psalm 69 is not about Jesus – see
The Hebrew JPS version is v22 – which says they put poison in my food and gave me vinegar to drink.
Was Jesus poisoned not crucified? How can you just pull out the vinegar to use for a comparison and ignore the poisoning? The translation used by Christians use gall not poison which enables this misconception.
V5 in JPS says they that hate me without cause are more than the hairs on his head.
In the case of David this was probably true based on his actions in the stories.


Lee2216 wrote:


(10) He would be rejected by the rulers (Psa. 118:22; Matt. 21:42; John 7:48).


I already commented on this –
Psalm 118:22 is interpretated by Jews in regard to Ruth the Moabitess, meaning Judah should have been the lowest of the clans, basically rejected and the ancestor of David and the mashiach, according to rabbinic interpretations. This is hardly a rejection of the mashiach.


Lee2216 wrote:


Who is the only person who has fulfilled all of these prophecies – and many more? Only Jesus Christ!!

So far no one!!!


Lee2216 wrote:


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
I assure you, the priests were very diligent in their study of the Hebrew Bible based on what their religion considered in regard to their relationship with god. Read some Rabbinic commentaries or the Mishnah. You have yet to explain what Jews believed in general in regard to their god versus what Christians believe, so how did you come to this conclusion?


Throughout the OT God warned His people through the prophets over and over and over but they wouldn't listen. The Jews were and still are for the majority a stiff-necked people. Jesus performed miracles and many still didn't believe. As I told someone else in these forums, the problem isn't an evidence problem, the problem is a heart problem. I became a Christian due to the overwhelming evidence that we have for Jesus Christ and who He claimed to be.

No, the problem is an evidence problem. Jesus does not fit the Jewish prophecies that pertain. And your attempts are puzzle piece fitting.


 

Lee2216 wrote:


Your forgetting the most important thing about Christianity! The resurrection!! That's enough evidence in and of itself.


From Jews for Judaism – “9) The claim that Jesus will fulfill the Messianic prophesies when he returns does not give him any credibility for his “first” coming.  The Bible never speaks about the Messiah returning after an initial appearance.  The “second coming” theory is a desperate attempt to explain away Jesus’ failure. The Biblical passages which Christians are forced to regard as second coming (#5 above) don’t speak of someone returning, they have a “first coming” perspective.” See –
http://jewsforjudaism.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=167:the-jewish-concept-of-messiah-and-the-jewish-response-t...

Lee2216 wrote:


The apostles were Jewish and they believed. Explain to me why they would just abandon all their beliefs and teaching and be rejected by their families to follow a false Messiah unless they saw the resurrected Jesus? The problem is that some Jews won't read the NT. Jews claim there is no concept of a second coming. That's not true at all. You don't need more explanation or evidence, you need faith which is a gift of God. Ask for it and he will give it to you abundantly.


Lee, thanks for the opportunity to show how Christians puzzle piece fit Jewish scripture to support a morphed religion instituted by extremist Pauline adherents.


And you should keep this in mind – “The Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance. The Torah states that all mitzvot (commandments) remain binding forever, and anyone coming to change the Torah is immediately identified as a false prophet. (Deut. 13:1-4) “ from http://www.simpletoremember.com/




Jewish Websites that show why Jesus is not their mashiach:
http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/jewsandjesus/
http://www.messiahtruth.com/response.html
http://shemaantimissionary.tripod.com/id17.html
http://www.outreachjudaism.org/index.html
http://ajewforjudaism.wordpress.com/
http://www.ouradio.org/
http://www.jewsforjudaism.org.au/home
http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/
http://www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm
 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.

pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Lee, thanks for the opportunity to show how Christians puzzle piece fit Jewish scripture to support a morphed religion instituted by extremist Pauline adherents.

just to update all, I've come from Gramster's forum where as a sidetrack from the Daniel discussion PJTS and I started discussing whether Christians misinterpreted Jewish scripture or not.  

All in all after a fairly long overview of this forum... I am quite disappointed and thus don't know even where to begin.  This whole thread is nitpicking without much substance.  

It starts off with a claim about how a response did not address the post when in fact the subject of the post was addressed.  It seems the originator was hoping for specifics to be discussed and not the general point.  Such a shame.  i know how that is.

moving on, I finally after a bunch of nitpicking about not much of anything get to the part where we're talking about the Torah and Jewish understanding.  

Sorry but Lee has not "shown how Christian puzzle piece fit Jewish scripture to support a morphed religion."  Granted I skimmed and possibly missed some important details, but what I remember at this point is that Lee claimed support in the OT for Jesus, PJTS asking for reference... not getting it right away, then questioning whether he can reference or not.  

Once general quotes came about proving that Lee could in fact reference, both seem to fail to take into consideration that each reference in order to see the tie would have to be a discussion itself.  Some are more vague references than others.  e.g.  Genesis 3:15 I believe was a reference and PJTS didn't see anything related to Jesus in it.  Of course not.  It doesn't directly reference to Jesus, but to what Jesus did.  It is simply a reference to the dramatic battle God has against the evil one.  It is directly in reference to why Jesus had to do what he did and could be used as reasoning to Jesus' ministry.  also one of many building blocks to show that Jesus hadn't gone against anything of the Torah, but then again, it doesn't stand alone.  

Neither side can pull a verse out of the OT and stand there and say 'see! this is why Jesus ______'... fill in the blank, either is the true messiah or not.  The whole thing must be taken into consideration and everything read into context in order to paint the picture of the coming messiah which is why each must be a full discussion.  Then you tie it all together.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


And you should keep this in mind – “The Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance. The Torah states that all mitzvot (commandments) remain binding forever, and anyone coming to change the Torah is immediately identified as a false prophet. (Deut. 13:1-4) “ from http://www.simpletoremember.com/
 

Nowhere in the NT does Jesus nullify any law of the OT.  What is fulfilled is not nullified, only fulfilled.  Everyone is still held accountable to the commandments and observances.  Jesus died for our shortfalling of not keeping to those commandments and expectations of the Torah, to which no person on Earth according to the Bible can claim to have flawlessly followed.  It seems that the real world holds to this as well be it that I have yet to hear once scrutinized, anyone claiming to have been able to keep all the commandments through their life.  

Sorry PJTS, but to keep consistent with this forum, I have to start where it was left off... which isn't really anywhere, but none-the-less, we can go from here and see where it leads.  if there's anything from our other discussion that you want to discuss here, feel free to bring it up.  

 

BobSpence's picture

Just WTF does 'fulfilled'

Just WTF does 'fulfilled' actually mean in this context? I keep seeing that, and I just cannot see how it relates to the laws.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology

...and the only proof you

...and the only proof you have for any of your claims are the gospels which were written by Greek converts of Paul who made Jesus the maybe Messiah (apostles seemed to think so though the jury is out) into Jesus the god.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin

pauljohntheskeptic's picture

Caposkia

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Lee, thanks for the opportunity to show how Christians puzzle piece fit Jewish scripture to support a morphed religion instituted by extremist Pauline adherents.

just to update all, I've come from Gramster's forum where as a sidetrack from the Daniel discussion PJTS and I started discussing whether Christians misinterpreted Jewish scripture or not.  

All in all after a fairly long overview of this forum... I am quite disappointed and thus don't know even where to begin.  This whole thread is nitpicking without much substance. 

The thread was intended as an essay by  the OP Todangst and Rook originally. My purpose here was a response to Lee and Brian S mainly due to their claims in regards to OT scriptures. Whether as the OP noted there was nothing written about Jesus as historical or not I did not specifically address, you already know my opinion on that. Specifically, I don't accept what the NT says as true. What is, not that. Jesus may or may not have actually lived and been a real person. The stories may be based on multiple people, not one. For the purpose of discussion, I will assume he was real person in order to compare the Christian claims to Jewish claims.

I was specific in that I was not a Jew but would do my best to argue their position.

 

caposkia wrote:

It starts off with a claim about how a response did not address the post when in fact the subject of the post was addressed.  It seems the originator was hoping for specifics to be discussed and not the general point.  Such a shame.  i know how that is.

moving on, I finally after a bunch of nitpicking about not much of anything get to the part where we're talking about the Torah and Jewish understanding.  

Sorry but Lee has not "shown how Christian puzzle piece fit Jewish scripture to support a morphed religion."  Granted I skimmed and possibly missed some important details, but what I remember at this point is that Lee claimed support in the OT for Jesus, PJTS asking for reference... not getting it right away, then questioning whether he can reference or not. 

My specific question was where did the Jews go wrong in their interpretations for 100s of years. He answered with avoidance saying "I need to know what some of my supposed misconceptions and misunderstandings are before this discussion can go any further. Please be more specific."

To be specific, really it is all of Christian interpretation versus Jewish. So I tried again with"You consider Jesus to be the mashiach as prophesied in Jewish scripture. If this is the case then the Jews made errors for at least 800 years before Jesus. Point out where the Jews made these errors and which specific prophets were either wrongly interpreted or wrongly accepted as prophets by the Jews."

Then I even detailed my questions as follows:

1-Explain your understanding of Jewish interpretations and where they have made errors.

2-Explain for instance the Christian interpretation of Psalm 22 versus the Jewish. Explain why your Christian view should be the correct understanding versus the Jewish original.

3-Explain any other prophecies you claim as support for Jesus as the mashiach versus the Jewish interpretation of the same scripture. Discuss their errors.

4-Once again, please explain your understanding of Jewish beliefs of their god and how it relates to them.

In reply I received basically only a discussion of Psalm 22, not hardly an answer to my questions.

His response to why the Jews misunderstood was the standard Christian dodge in response to Jews not accepting Jesus:

"Because of Israel's disobedience and unfaithfulness to God, their eyes were shut, and they were given no understanding of the scriptures. Many Jews are still waiting for the first coming. All the prophecies in the OT of the Messiahs first coming have been fulfilled in detail by Jesus Christ. The Jews were focused on and wanted a Messiah who would liberate them from the domination of the Roman Empire, therefore they ignored or overlooked the significance of the prophecies concerning a Messiah who would have to suffer and die. The conquering King the Jews immediately expected will happen at the second advent."

 

I then came back and said he gave poor answers and did not address at all what I asked. I asked him pretty much straight up to tell me his understanding of Jewish belief, he never addressed that question. I asked in a clear question to explain when the Jews went wrong, and he gave the standard Christian response that the Jews had their eyes shut blah blah blah .... That is not an answer, it is an opinion, unsupported completely in his case. He accurately said the Jews were still waiting. He said they were looking for a messiah to save them from the Romans, true some were. They also looked for one to save them from the Muslims, the Crusaders, and Hitler. He never put forth what the Jews were actually looking for or what they actually believe in regards to god.

caposkia wrote:

Once general quotes came about proving that Lee could in fact reference, both seem to fail to take into consideration that each reference in order to see the tie would have to be a discussion itself.  Some are more vague references than others.  e.g.  Genesis 3:15 I believe was a reference and PJTS didn't see anything related to Jesus in it.  Of course not.  It doesn't directly reference to Jesus, but to what Jesus did.  It is simply a reference to the dramatic battle God has against the evil one.  It is directly in reference to why Jesus had to do what he did and could be used as reasoning to Jesus' ministry.  also one of many building blocks to show that Jesus hadn't gone against anything of the Torah, but then again, it doesn't stand alone. 

Lee then demonstrated he had a list of Bible quotes that Christians use to claim Jesus was the messiah. I replied with Jewish interpretations from many counter missionary websites, complete with links. Lee made no attempt to explain how these Bible quotes related, only they pertained to Jesus. He did not explain Jewish errors in interpreting these verses at all.

Lee still failed to come forward with the basis the Jews generally use in regard to their mashiach. I supplied a list of websites where he could learn more, since he didn't express any knowledge on their beliefs.

caposkia wrote:

Neither side can pull a verse out of the OT and stand there and say 'see! this is why Jesus ______'... fill in the blank, either is the true messiah or not.  The whole thing must be taken into consideration and everything read into context in order to paint the picture of the coming messiah which is why each must be a full discussion.  Then you tie it all together. 

That's not exactly what I did, I responded to his quotes with Jewish interpretation and I gave him places to research it further. As I'm not a Jew and don't accept their beliefs anymore than I do yours, however, Christians use the Jewish god as a basis for their religion. It therefore is derived from their beliefs. The problem is that Jewish and Christian beliefs are very different in many areas including their mashiach which is altered into the messiah Jesus, part of the trinity. Jews don't see the messiah as anything other than a man. The idea that a sacrifice needed to be made for the original sin of man is a Christian thing not a Jewish thing. I understand your position is slightly different on this but not quite the same as Judaism.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


And you should keep this in mind – “The Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance. The Torah states that all mitzvot (commandments) remain binding forever, and anyone coming to change the Torah is immediately identified as a false prophet. (Deut. 13:1-4) “ from http://www.simpletoremember.com/
 

Nowhere in the NT does Jesus nullify any law of the OT.  What is fulfilled is not nullified, only fulfilled.  Everyone is still held accountable to the commandments and observances.  Jesus died for our shortfalling of not keeping to those commandments and expectations of the Torah, to which no person on Earth according to the Bible can claim to have flawlessly followed.  It seems that the real world holds to this as well be it that I have yet to hear once scrutinized, anyone claiming to have been able to keep all the commandments through their life. 

The Jews would seem to see this otherwise. See - http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/jewsandjesus#2

"Throughout the New Testament, Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable. (see John 1:45 and 9:16, Acts 3:22 and 7:37)  For example, John 9:14 records that Jesus made a paste in violation of Shabbat, which caused the Pharisees to say (verse 16), "He does not observe Shabbat!" - from http://www.simpletoremember.com/

See the other list of Jewish websites that hopefully will explain this for you.

The Jews consider full Torah observance to be more than keeping the 10 Commandments.

caposkia wrote:

Sorry PJTS, but to keep consistent with this forum, I have to start where it was left off... which isn't really anywhere, but none-the-less, we can go from here and see where it leads.  if there's anything from our other discussion that you want to discuss here, feel free to bring it up.  

This forum was originally addressing the essay by Todangst on lack of content for Jesus in writing other than Christian. My comments were not addressing the essay at all as I agree with the OP. My comments were specific to the point that Lee and Brian S were presenting claims in regard to Jesus as the messiah which the Jews do not agree are properly interpreted.

I gave plenty of links which you can read and get the position of Judaism. That I don't believe Judaism either has nothing to do with the point that Christians have misinterpreted and in my words morphed their beliefs.

 

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.

BobSpence1 wrote:Just WTF

BobSpence1 wrote:

Just WTF does 'fulfilled' actually mean in this context? I keep seeing that, and I just cannot see how it relates to the laws.

fulfilled in this context can be viewed as this.  We pay taxes because there's always expenses that need to be paid to keep our cities/states/country running.  In this instance... all the taxes for everyone have been paid in full, so it is no longer our responsibility now or in the future to support our cities/states/country financially.  Does it mean that taxes are no longer needed?  No, each entity still needs funds, but the funds are being constantly provided.

So then all responsibility is off of the citizen right?  Of course not.  People make it run.  Without people, and their involvement, there would be nothing to pay for nor anything working in the country.  

Does that clarify a bit?  Yes, i know it's not financial fulfillment in the scriptures, but its' the same idea.  It's like being convicted of a crime, but then being told that the sentence has already been carried out for you... by your brother... mother.... whoever.  someone close to you.  

There's a lot of difficulty in understanding this due to the fact that people then always present the idea that we can do what we want and not reap the consequences, but then the catch is to accept the gift of redemption that has been given.  if you go around just committing crimes because you know you're not going to be held responsible for them then you haven't truly accepted the gift of redemption now have you.  Redemption is for those who really want it, not for those who want to get away with something.  Therefore, if you have the state of mind that you can get away with everything, then you don't actually have the gift of the fulfillment of the law, you are going to be held responsible... but if you hate the mistakes you made and want to turn against them, or struggle with turning against them, but still hate those faults in your life, the consequences are covered so you can focus more on turning your life around rather than "doing the time" if you will.  Kind of like probation i guess.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:The

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The thread was intended as an essay by  the OP Todangst and Rook originally. My purpose here was a response to Lee and Brian S mainly due to their claims in regards to OT scriptures. Whether as the OP noted there was nothing written about Jesus as historical or not I did not specifically address, you already know my opinion on that. Specifically, I don't accept what the NT says as true. What is, not that. Jesus may or may not have actually lived and been a real person. The stories may be based on multiple people, not one. For the purpose of discussion, I will assume he was real person in order to compare the Christian claims to Jewish claims.

I was specific in that I was not a Jew but would do my best to argue their position.

Understood

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My specific question was where did the Jews go wrong in their interpretations for 100s of years.

By stating this, would it be accurate for me to say then that you would admit that their interpretations of the scrolls did change over time?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

He answered with avoidance saying "I need to know what some of my supposed misconceptions and misunderstandings are before this discussion can go any further. Please be more specific."

that to me wasn't avoidance, but simply asking you to be specific about the differences.  Like I have mentioned many times in conversations, the topic is quite broad and to prevent from bouncing around and losing focus, it is pertinent to the conversation to pull out specific issues and discuss them individually.  

To not answer the request to be more specific to me is avoidance.  If you don't understand how to be more specific, i think he's asking you to pull out a detail that you have an issue with... that you are suggesting was misunderstood by him or Christians in general and maybe why you feel it is misunderstood by us and not the Jews.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

To be specific, really it is all of Christian interpretation versus Jewish.

that's not being specific, that's being extremely general.  It'd be like me saying, I have a problem with all of the Constitution.  Why?  I just don't accept it as appropriate/valid for our needs... etc... eventually the question is going to come up about specifically what or how I feel about a particular part.  Lee's just trying to avoid the conversational aspect and get right to the meat.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

So I tried again with"You consider Jesus to be the mashiach as prophesied in Jewish scripture. If this is the case then the Jews made errors for at least 800 years before Jesus. Point out where the Jews made these errors and which specific prophets were either wrongly interpreted or wrongly accepted as prophets by the Jews."

Then I even detailed my questions as follows:

1-Explain your understanding of Jewish interpretations and where they have made errors.

2-Explain for instance the Christian interpretation of Psalm 22 versus the Jewish. Explain why your Christian view should be the correct understanding versus the Jewish original.

3-Explain any other prophecies you claim as support for Jesus as the mashiach versus the Jewish interpretation of the same scripture. Discuss their errors.

4-Once again, please explain your understanding of Jewish beliefs of their god and how it relates to them.

In reply I received basically only a discussion of Psalm 22, not hardly an answer to my questions.

Right here i would say that you specifically asked about Psalm 22, so he answered specifically.  To go beyond that immediately would cause the topic to likely become too general.   once the specific issue with Psalm 22 was either resolved or stemmed into another specific point, it would be then appropriate to move on from it.  Of course through the other points, we'd have to keep everything in mind and piece it all together at the end.   If it was all so simply answered in just a few short replies, then there wouldn't be the disagreement.  it's obviously more complicated.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

His response to why the Jews misunderstood was the standard Christian dodge in response to Jews not accepting Jesus:

Alright, i'll try to pull it apart and see what's wrong here.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

"Because of Israel's disobedience and unfaithfulness to God, their eyes were shut, and they were given no understanding of the scriptures.

Which is true, by Jesus' time, the "citizen Jew" if you will, one that was not in power, was completely reliant on teachers to tell them what the scriptures said... which means it was dependent on what they were told by another person as to what they would accept and believe.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Many Jews are still waiting for the first coming.

true

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

All the prophecies in the OT of the Messiahs first coming have been fulfilled in detail by Jesus Christ. The Jews were focused on and wanted a Messiah who would liberate them from the domination of the Roman Empire, therefore they ignored or overlooked the significance of the prophecies concerning a Messiah who would have to suffer and die. The conquering King the Jews immediately expected will happen at the second advent."

This is also true.  Maybe specifying the prophesies at this point that detail Jesus as not the conquering King immediately would be in order here.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I then came back and said he gave poor answers and did not address at all what I asked.

Well, he did generally address what you asked from what you posted above.  He failed to detail specifics that you asked at this point, but was giving you a general understanding of why the differences... which is on topic and probably was expecting you to again be more specific as to what you want to tackle first, whether it be prophesy specifically, or prophets, or just what the Jews were actually expecting and why.  See, nitpicking, nothing went into detail yet and the fault seems at this point to be on both sides.  where he fails to be specific, instead of balking about how he failed to answer your question, pull out a specific and just ask... what about X... then if he constantly ignores X... which is as specific as pulling out a specific prophetic verse or prophet, then I can say that he's avoiding, but it doesn't look like there was any intentional avoidance, only that the topic remained too broad and therefore you were disappointed with a just as broad answer.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I asked him pretty much straight up to tell me his understanding of Jewish belief, he never addressed that question.

Very general... What would you say if I asked you to explain to me the American way?  Would you want me to be more specific?  i would think so.  He should have asked you such because much can be written about any belief let alone the Jewish belief.  

Specifically what were you expecting for his answer here?  Was it the specifically what he thinks they believed about Jesus or the messiah, not necessarily Jesus?  Was it about their laws and how they felt they needed to follow them?  Was it how they live?  Eat?  socialize?  All have to do with Jewish belief.  You might want to ask specifically what you were looking for instead of just generally what he understands about Jewish belief.  Jewish belief on what exactly?  He should have asked you this in my opinion, but I'll ask for him and maybe he can answer.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I asked in a clear question to explain when the Jews went wrong, and he gave the standard Christian response that the Jews had their eyes shut blah blah blah

He made a specific reference to eyes being shut and why.  From that maybe Lee could detail how their eyes were shut...  This is a standard Christian response because it's what happened.  the why is more detail, but the how should be detailed as well.  This would go into the pharasees and leaders of the time and why they were looked to only for interpretation and how they may have misconstrued it.

considering the discussions on another forum about exaggerations, one idea is that they accidentally left out some prophesies and only detailed Jesus as a Reigning King... this making his coming sound so much more significant than him coming as a lowlife into a poor family without any significance.  All about grabbing peoples attention and capturing the audience, right?   Numbers and power was important and this is how they got it.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

.... That is not an answer, it is an opinion, unsupported completely in his case. He accurately said the Jews were still waiting. He said they were looking for a messiah to save them from the Romans, true some were. They also looked for one to save them from the Muslims, the Crusaders, and Hitler. He never put forth what the Jews were actually looking for or what they actually believe in regards to god.

The Christians believe that this hasn't happened... yet!  but that it's coming.  Jesus warned of these things and said they would happen to his followers.  For someone who is trying to achieve followers, that's a pretty grim thing to say and in my opinion, if he was fake, would have turned many away and eventually would have probably faded out.  Most other entities expecting people to follow them promised positive things, not condemnation and torture.  

He did detail what they were looking for... A king... a king as they saw physically in power on Earth with a kingdom that ruled the governments.

caposkia wrote:

Lee then demonstrated he had a list of Bible quotes that Christians use to claim Jesus was the messiah. I replied with Jewish interpretations from many counter missionary websites, complete with links. Lee made no attempt to explain how these Bible quotes related, only they pertained to Jesus. He did not explain Jewish errors in interpreting these verses at all.

which is why i mentioned that both sides need to discuss each one individually.  I would hope he'd be up for the task.  Some of his references I agreed with, some I'm not so sure... but I'll put my input where appropriate.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Lee still failed to come forward with the basis the Jews generally use in regard to their mashiach. I supplied a list of websites where he could learn more, since he didn't express any knowledge on their beliefs.

the kingdom was detailed.  They were expecting a man in power and control... politically.

caposkia wrote:

That's not exactly what I did,

I understand... just making a point... it seems this is where this forum got stuck

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I responded to his quotes with Jewish interpretation and I gave him places to research it further. As I'm not a Jew and don't accept their beliefs anymore than I do yours, however, Christians use the Jewish god as a basis for their religion. It therefore is derived from their beliefs. The problem is that Jewish and Christian beliefs are very different in many areas including their mashiach which is altered into the messiah Jesus, part of the trinity. Jews don't see the messiah as anything other than a man. The idea that a sacrifice needed to be made for the original sin of man is a Christian thing not a Jewish thing. I understand your position is slightly different on this but not quite the same as Judaism.

Right.  My take is they saw it more politically, Christians view it more spiritually.  Makes sense, the leaders made it political in their teachings, why wouldn't the Jews believe it that way?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The Jews would seem to see this otherwise. See - http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/jewsandjesus#2

Looking at the first few objections on this site, I wish they would make specific references to their "Jewish sources" as mentioned so that I may look specifically at what they're referencing to.

This site to me doesn't seem to make a good case for Jews and I've heard much better myself.

For example, this site claims: "Throughout the New Testament, Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable. (see John 1:45 and 9:16, Acts 3:22 and 7:37) "... Of course due to specific references here, I looked them up.  John 1:45, Acts 3:22 and 7:37 make no reference to any contradiction of the Torah, only people making reference to the prophecies of the messiah and seeing a connection to Jesus.  How is referencing suddenly a contradiction?  By the stories, anyone by those references could easily have objected and said, that's not pointing to this person. 

The only one that might be a case would be John 9:16, but then again the whole story goes onto Jesus claiming that the ones objecting of him breaking the sabbath would also break it if they needed to save a neighbors livestock or something else of importance... Basically showing that even those particular Jews objecting to his work would break the sabbath for such importance.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

See the other list of Jewish websites that hopefully will explain this for you.

The Jews consider full Torah observance to be more than keeping the 10 Commandments.

Of course, be it that there were many more than just 10 commandments as well....   

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

This forum was originally addressing the essay by Todangst on lack of content for Jesus in writing other than Christian. My comments were not addressing the essay at all as I agree with the OP. My comments were specific to the point that Lee and Brian S were presenting claims in regard to Jesus as the messiah which the Jews do not agree are properly interpreted.

I gave plenty of links which you can read and get the position of Judaism. That I don't believe Judaism either has nothing to do with the point that Christians have misinterpreted and in my words morphed their beliefs.

We can take what was talked about here and see where you want to go.  I will probably use those links to help in a specific discussion.

 

 

 

BobSpence's picture

caposkia wrote:BobSpence1

caposkia wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Just WTF does 'fulfilled' actually mean in this context? I keep seeing that, and I just cannot see how it relates to the laws.

fulfilled in this context can be viewed as this.  We pay taxes because there's always expenses that need to be paid to keep our cities/states/country running.  In this instance... all the taxes for everyone have been paid in full, so it is no longer our responsibility now or in the future to support our cities/states/country financially.  Does it mean that taxes are no longer needed?  No, each entity still needs funds, but the funds are being constantly provided.

So then all responsibility is off of the citizen right?  Of course not.  People make it run.  Without people, and their involvement, there would be nothing to pay for nor anything working in the country.  

Does that clarify a bit?  Yes, i know it's not financial fulfillment in the scriptures, but its' the same idea.  It's like being convicted of a crime, but then being told that the sentence has already been carried out for you... by your brother... mother.... whoever.  someone close to you.  

There's a lot of difficulty in understanding this due to the fact that people then always present the idea that we can do what we want and not reap the consequences, but then the catch is to accept the gift of redemption that has been given.  if you go around just committing crimes because you know you're not going to be held responsible for them then you haven't truly accepted the gift of redemption now have you.  Redemption is for those who really want it, not for those who want to get away with something.  Therefore, if you have the state of mind that you can get away with everything, then you don't actually have the gift of the fulfillment of the law, you are going to be held responsible... but if you hate the mistakes you made and want to turn against them, or struggle with turning against them, but still hate those faults in your life, the consequences are covered so you can focus more on turning your life around rather than "doing the time" if you will.  Kind of like probation i guess.  

That does not clarify it at all. That would only apply to a law, like a tax law, demanding that we make regular contributions to some entity, that were accumulating, and that we could reach a collective level, for the whole population, where we did not need to contribute any more. Like saying we had finally payed off the cost of conducting WWII.

Is that what OT Laws were about? Had we finally paid for Eve's sin? So God could lift the curses he inflicted on us all as punishment for that offense? So he would remove the pain of childbirth for women, and so on?

It makes no sense as something applied to the individual, that would be an ongoing thing unless it really was a lifting of the burden of 'original sin' or something similar.

If the laws still apply for someone who has not 'fulfilled' the law, but don't for someone who has, then you seem to be saying we can go around committing things which would be sins for someone who has not 'fulfilled the law'. It really sounds like you are using as a phrase to apply to the free pardon Jesus gives to someone who accepts him/God.

Or if you are just saying it is a way of lifting the burden of anxiety for past wrongs a person has committed, that sounds more like a psychological technique for treating people obsessed by guilt.

That doesn't make sense from the wording itself, which is why I find it a strange assertion.

What you seem to be describing can be much more clearly expressed and applied in terms of modern psychology, based on much better insight into the way our minds work than existed back then.

The worst aspect of that sentiment coming from religion is that a whole lot of those 'laws' seem to be aimed at making people feel guilty for all kinds of trivial and entirely harmless actions, as in all the crap prohibitions and requirements in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Maybe it is an indirect way of acknowledging that those laws were indeed crap, without openly conceding that the OT actually says some really nasty, primitive things.

I think I can see the psychology there - the OT did have a lot of crap in it, lets find a phrase which lets us quietly ignore that stuff without actually admitting that the Bible is a flawed document.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology

pauljohntheskeptic's picture

caposkia wrote:We can take

caposkia wrote:

We can take what was talked about here and see where you want to go.  I will probably use those links to help in a specific discussion. 

 

I have a heavy work load the next few days so it will be a few days before I can respond adequately.

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.

pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

caposkia wrote:

We can take what was talked about here and see where you want to go.  I will probably use those links to help in a specific discussion. 

 

I have a heavy work load the next few days so it will be a few days before I can respond adequately.

 

 

take your time

BobSpence1 wrote: That does

BobSpence1 wrote:

 

That does not clarify it at all. That would only apply to a law, like a tax law, demanding that we make regular contributions to some entity, that were accumulating, and that we could reach a collective level, for the whole population, where we did not need to contribute any more. Like saying we had finally payed off the cost of conducting WWII.

Sounds to me like you do get it and that it clarified it for you completely.  Wasn't there some sort of.... contribution... regular contribution if you will to God for sins committed by an individual... I don't know... something that has to do with ritual sacrifice of pure animals for blood atonement... according to Jewish law?  According to Christians, Jesus was that ultimate and complete contribution that... "paid off the cost of conducting WWII" and all other debts owed for that matter.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Is that what OT Laws were about? Had we finally paid for Eve's sin? So God could lift the curses he inflicted on us all as punishment for that offense? So he would remove the pain of childbirth for women, and so on?

....or Jesus finally paid off all of our own sins for us.

BobSpence1 wrote:
 

It makes no sense as something applied to the individual, that would be an ongoing thing unless it really was a lifting of the burden of 'original sin' or something similar.

So you believe in original sin?... or did I mean?  His return will complete the fulfillment of the OT Laws put in place since the fall of Adam and Eve.  His death on the cross was just the blood atonement for personal sins.

BobSpence1 wrote:

If the laws still apply for someone who has not 'fulfilled' the law, but don't for someone who has, then you seem to be saying we can go around committing things which would be sins for someone who has not 'fulfilled the law'. It really sounds like you are using as a phrase to apply to the free pardon Jesus gives to someone who accepts him/God.

I don't remember if it was this forum or not, but I had mentioned in some forum that to say that we can go around committing things which would be sins without consequence because of Jesus' sacrifice is to say that you really haven't accepted the gift of his sacrifice.  

The gift is a pardon for those who hate the sins they commit and who want to turn against them.  Not for those who think it's a free ticket to mayhem.  There's a reason why he tells all the people he verbally forgave to "go and sin no more".  The idea isn't that they will never sin again, but that they will strive to be as sinless as they can.  

I'm not sure what you mean to the law applying to someone who has not fulfilled the law.  Jesus is the only one who has fulfilled the law and his sacrifice applies to everyone who wants it.  

BobSpence1 wrote:

Or if you are just saying it is a way of lifting the burden of anxiety for past wrongs a person has committed, that sounds more like a psychological technique for treating people obsessed by guilt.

not a conscious thing.  It's as if you were on death row and someone took your place in the chair.  Did they do it because you were obsessed by guilt or because otherwise you would have died in a pretty terrible way and instead wanted to give you a chance to turn away from your mistakes?

BobSpence1 wrote:

That doesn't make sense from the wording itself, which is why I find it a strange assertion.

What you seem to be describing can be much more clearly expressed and applied in terms of modern psychology, based on much better insight into the way our minds work than existed back then.

if in fact everything in scripture is real and true, then it makes perfect sense.  Because you don't believe, your only explanation for it seems to be the psychological satisfaction.  I can understand that perspective...   but how is this psychologically comforting then;

For my sake you will be... lets see, tortured, hated, shunned, killed...  ahhh, the mental bliss.

BobSpence1 wrote:

The worst aspect of that sentiment coming from religion is that a whole lot of those 'laws' seem to be aimed at making people feel guilty for all kinds of trivial and entirely harmless actions, as in all the crap prohibitions and requirements in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Maybe it is an indirect way of acknowledging that those laws were indeed crap, without openly conceding that the OT actually says some really nasty, primitive things.

entirely harmless actions.  So I'm guessing... assuming this is true and that everything in the scripture is real for a moment, that you understand not only the physical consequences of any harmless actions, but also the spiritual consequences of said actions?

ok, and what might these "entirely harmless actions" be and what was the law against them?

BobSpence1 wrote:

I think I can see the psychology there - the OT did have a lot of crap in it, lets find a phrase which lets us quietly ignore that stuff without actually admitting that the Bible is a flawed document.

actually, to truly understand the gift Jesus gave and to accept it  you need to understand "that stuff"... so ignoring it doesn't get you far in the Christian world...  Is ignoring it why you ended up being an atheist?  Makes sense

BobSpence's picture

Cap, I don't have time for a

Cap, I don't have time for a detailed reply here, but your arguments only have weight if you accept a number of things which only work in the context of the belief system itself.

I find the whole concept of 'blood atonement' primitive, and offensive, and ultimately meaningless. Especially ritual sacrifice of any sort. It is all an attempt to magically cleanse our sins, our guilt, by somehow wishfully passing them on to an innocent creature, with some magic invocation,  and punishing it so we can feel we are ok again. Given the appropriate cultural background and 'training', people can apparently get themselves into a state where that can be made to work psychologically, but it is all 'magic'.

I would regard the idea of someone else 'taking my place in the chair' on death row as a pointless act. I either get a pardon or not. The idea of someone else buying me a pardon by taking my place is bizarre.  A true sacrifice to save my life would be something like them throwing themselves in front of a car to push me out of the way but then getting themselves killed. Your scenario, the crucifixion scenario, only works with a cruel and rigid authority figure who has made some bizarre rules that require some sort of accounting system to balance. Which to me is just a narrative based on the primitive psychology of washing away our sins in blood.

In that sense I do understand that stuff, and I firmly reject it as immoral superstitious crap.

To me, the only meaningful atonement is to make whatever recompense one can to those you have harmed, or to their surviving family if they have died. Failing that, try to make a more general positive contribution to society at large, even maybe to future generations, IOW to actual real people, not some mythical authority figure who is supposed to have created this fucked-up world.

And most, probably all, personal 'spiritual' harm is imaginary, and again only makes 'sense' in the context of a 'soul' and and an afterlife of some sort. Which is offensive to me, because it allows you to justify things which may actually cause some degree of real harm.

IOW I think very little in scripture is 'real and true'.

I have personally no ultimate problem with my entirely humanistic, secular, ethically based approach to coping with the difficulties that arise in dealing with others, when I find I may have caused harm or deep offense to them. Ain't always easy, but I am not remotely tempted to take the easy path of buying into false atonement based on blood sacrifice, whether direct or virtual thru the Jesus character.

I certainly don't believe in 'original sin', I was just speculating that one interpretation of 'fulfillment' that would make sense to me within the system of Xian belief would be cancellation of original sin. Otherwise, if that is still assumed to persist, and all those other acts are still sins, just what has 'fulfillment' changed? Giving us a new path to 'salvation' via belief and 'acceptance' of JC seems to me not directly relevant to the 'fullfillment' claim. That still makes no sense to me, regardless of the sacrifice business.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology

pauljohntheskeptic's picture

 caposkia

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My specific question was where did the Jews go wrong in their interpretations for 100s of years.

By stating this, would it be accurate for me to say then that you would admit that their interpretations of the scrolls did change over time?

No. Clearly at the time of Adam Jews weren't looking for a messiah. There is little to suggest they were looking for one at the time of Abraham either. The prophets that discuss the moshiach all come after these characters. After the concept of the moshiach is introduced the Jews begin looking for him as specified by their prophets. What they are looking for is specified in the scriptures that are in many of the links I gave. You can also look at rabbinic commentary to see how those views were interpreted over the years as well. Their basic understanding of the moshiach is fairly well defined early on and is generally adhered to throughout the commentary and interpretations by the rabbis as documented. One can not just go to the NT and use that as a source to understand Jewish belief, one must use actual Jewish commentary as the NT is obviously biased against their interpretations.

If Christianity is true at some point the Jews must have misunderstood their own scriptures and prophets. Where and when did this occur is the question.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

He answered with avoidance saying "I need to know what some of my supposed misconceptions and misunderstandings are before this discussion can go any further. Please be more specific."

that to me wasn't avoidance, but simply asking you to be specific about the differences.  Like I have mentioned many times in conversations, the topic is quite broad and to prevent from bouncing around and losing focus, it is pertinent to the conversation to pull out specific issues and discuss them individually.  

To not answer the request to be more specific to me is avoidance.  If you don't understand how to be more specific, i think he's asking you to pull out a detail that you have an issue with... that you are suggesting was misunderstood by him or Christians in general and maybe why you feel it is misunderstood by us and not the Jews. 

I wrote the test question and expected him to directly answer. He didn't which may mean he didn't understand what I asked perhaps. My goal here was to see what Lee understood about Jewish belief, not to teach him about Jewish belief. He can take a course in comparative religions like I did to learn if he wants, its not my job to be his teacher. Really I got the impression that Lee had never studied Judaism and what they believe so dismissing them as he does without detailing basis and  then accepting Christianity as true without actually demonstrating he knows what they teach was elitist and smug. I wanted to know exactly why he saw Christianity as the way and why the Jews were wrong. In order to do so he needed to show me he had actually examined their beliefs and could be specific about what they missed. That was the whole point of asking him.

caposkia wrote:

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

To be specific, really it is all of Christian interpretation versus Jewish.

that's not being specific, that's being extremely general.  It'd be like me saying, I have a problem with all of the Constitution.  Why?  I just don't accept it as appropriate/valid for our needs... etc... eventually the question is going to come up about specifically what or how I feel about a particular part.  Lee's just trying to avoid the conversational aspect and get right to the meat.

Again, the whole point was I wanted to see what knowledge he had of Jewish belief versus Christianity. He should have reasons to discredit the beliefs of the originators of the god he holds as real. I would expect a detailed analysis of the differences in interpretations of everything including the notion of "original sin" of Christianity versus Jewish belief that man can return his soul in the same condition as he received it. This leads into the differences of what the messiah was and what he was to do taking each on a different path.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

So I tried again with"You consider Jesus to be the mashiach as prophesied in Jewish scripture. If this is the case then the Jews made errors for at least 800 years before Jesus. Point out where the Jews made these errors and which specific prophets were either wrongly interpreted or wrongly accepted as prophets by the Jews."

Then I even detailed my questions as follows:

1-Explain your understanding of Jewish interpretations and where they have made errors.

2-Explain for instance the Christian interpretation of Psalm 22 versus the Jewish. Explain why your Christian view should be the correct understanding versus the Jewish original.

3-Explain any other prophecies you claim as support for Jesus as the mashiach versus the Jewish interpretation of the same scripture. Discuss their errors.

4-Once again, please explain your understanding of Jewish beliefs of their god and how it relates to them.

In reply I received basically only a discussion of Psalm 22, not hardly an answer to my questions.

Right here i would say that you specifically asked about Psalm 22, so he answered specifically.  To go beyond that immediately would cause the topic to likely become too general.   once the specific issue with Psalm 22 was either resolved or stemmed into another specific point, it would be then appropriate to move on from it.  Of course through the other points, we'd have to keep everything in mind and piece it all together at the end.   If it was all so simply answered in just a few short replies, then there wouldn't be the disagreement.  it's obviously more complicated.

Psalm 22 was only a side issue for me and it was the only thing he commented about. I really only included it because he seemed to be unable to present a comparison between Judaism and Christianity that justified his rejection of the beliefs that the originators of the god hold.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

His response to why the Jews misunderstood was the standard Christian dodge in response to Jews not accepting Jesus:

Alright, I'll try to pull it apart and see what's wrong here.

OK

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

"Because of Israel's disobedience and unfaithfulness to God, their eyes were shut, and they were given no understanding of the scriptures.

Which is true, by Jesus' time, the "citizen Jew" if you will, one that was not in power, was completely reliant on teachers to tell them what the scriptures said... which means it was dependent on what they were told by another person as to what they would accept and believe. 

This is what is claimed in the NT, clearly not an objective source on Jewish interpretation as it is presenting an alternative. What do the rabbinic commentaries have to say?

Christianity was also dependent on the restrictive teaching and interpretations of the "early Church Fathers" and eventually eradicated views that disagreed, saying the same thing basically about it as you say the rabbis did to Judaism. There were multiple groups of Jewish belief besides the Herodian priests. The rabbis were generally not Sadducee's but were Pharisees though a rabbi could be of any political persuasion. Priests as you know were not necessarily rabbis or teachers.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I asked him pretty much straight up to tell me his understanding of Jewish belief, he never addressed that question.

Very general... What would you say if I asked you to explain to me the American way?  Would you want me to be more specific?  i would think so.  He should have asked you such because much can be written about any belief let alone the Jewish belief.  

Specifically what were you expecting for his answer here?  Was it the specifically what he thinks they believed about Jesus or the messiah, not necessarily Jesus?  Was it about their laws and how they felt they needed to follow them?  Was it how they live?  Eat?  socialize?  All have to do with Jewish belief.  You might want to ask specifically what you were looking for instead of just generally what he understands about Jewish belief.  Jewish belief on what exactly?  He should have asked you this in my opinion, but I'll ask for him and maybe he can answer.

I'd detail the government, the free trade system, our interrelationships, social lives  etc............

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I asked in a clear question to explain when the Jews went wrong, and he gave the standard Christian response that the Jews had their eyes shut blah blah blah

He made a specific reference to eyes being shut and why.  From that maybe Lee could detail how their eyes were shut...  This is a standard Christian response because it's what happened.  the why is more detail, but the how should be detailed as well.  This would go into the Pharisees and leaders of the time and why they were looked to only for interpretation and how they may have misconstrued it.

considering the discussions on another forum about exaggerations, one idea is that they accidentally left out some prophesies and only detailed Jesus as a Reigning King... this making his coming sound so much more significant than him coming as a lowlife into a poor family without any significance.  All about grabbing peoples attention and capturing the audience, right?   Numbers and power was important and this is how they got it.

It would be far before the 1st century CE, that's the point. When? In the time of Hezekiah he was thought to maybe be the one, so was Josiah, but they failed to meet the prophecies for many reasons, including dying before the KOG occur ed for one. This really means that the scriptures the Jews claim are regarding the moshiach must be studied and compared to what the Christians see. These prophecies date to specific time periods long before the 1st century CE and that is where the idea originates. That is what must be examined, not Christian assertions in the NT only. The NT is but one side of a claim or argument, I'm asking for the person making it to explain their understanding of the other side, because you never know, the Jews may be right.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

.... That is not an answer, it is an opinion, unsupported completely in his case. He accurately said the Jews were still waiting. He said they were looking for a messiah to save them from the Romans, true some were. They also looked for one to save them from the Muslims, the Crusaders, and Hitler. He never put forth what the Jews were actually looking for or what they actually believe in regards to god.

The Christians believe that this hasn't happened... yet!  but that it's coming.  Jesus warned of these things and said they would happen to his followers.  For someone who is trying to achieve followers, that's a pretty grim thing to say and in my opinion, if he was fake, would have turned many away and eventually would have probably faded out.  Most other entities expecting people to follow them promised positive things, not condemnation and torture.  

He did detail what they were looking for... A king... a king as they saw physically in power on Earth with a kingdom that ruled the governments.

Please read some of the links, there's more than that they claim.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Lee then demonstrated he had a list of Bible quotes that Christians use to claim Jesus was the messiah. I replied with Jewish interpretations from many counter missionary websites, complete with links. Lee made no attempt to explain how these Bible quotes related, only they pertained to Jesus. He did not explain Jewish errors in interpreting these verses at all.

which is why i mentioned that both sides need to discuss each one individually.  I would hope he'd be up for the task.  Some of his references I agreed with, some I'm not so sure... but I'll put my input where appropriate.

OK, feel free to explain where appropriate what you think as compared to Jewish views.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Lee still failed to come forward with the basis the Jews generally use in regard to their mashiach. I supplied a list of websites where he could learn more, since he didn't express any knowledge on their beliefs.

the kingdom was detailed.  They were expecting a man in power and control... politically.

Once you read and study Jewish ideas you'll see it's far more complex than only this.

There was also the ultimate question of what they believe in regards to the god, and where this is different than Christians. For example, the moshiach was only a man not part of the god or a god himself. Christian belief is therefore idolatry. Christians believe the part man part god Jesus was sacrificed, whereas Judaism rejects human sacrifice. And the idea of original sin which is not in Jewish belief, hence no sacrifice is needed as in Christianity. And far more, none of which Lee discussed. But you can.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I responded to his quotes with Jewish interpretation and I gave him places to research it further. As I'm not a Jew and don't accept their beliefs anymore than I do yours, however, Christians use the Jewish god as a basis for their religion. It therefore is derived from their beliefs. The problem is that Jewish and Christian beliefs are very different in many areas including their mashiach which is altered into the messiah Jesus, part of the trinity. Jews don't see the messiah as anything other than a man. The idea that a sacrifice needed to be made for the original sin of man is a Christian thing not a Jewish thing. I understand your position is slightly different on this but not quite the same as Judaism.

Right.  My take is they saw it more politically, Christians view it more spiritually.  Makes sense, the leaders made it political in their teachings, why wouldn't the Jews believe it that way?

There are many ways we can go from here on this, Perhaps a different thread to discuss both religions from the beginnings, objectively to detail the differences. I'll think about that though it may have to wait until May or June for me to spend much time on it.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The Jews would seem to see this otherwise. See - http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/jewsandjesus#2

Looking at the first few objections on this site, I wish they would make specific references to their "Jewish sources" as mentioned so that I may look specifically at what they're referencing to.

This site to me doesn't seem to make a good case for Jews and I've heard much better myself.

For example, this site claims: "Throughout the New Testament, Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable. (see John 1:45 and 9:16, Acts 3:22 and 7:37) "... Of course due to specific references here, I looked them up.  John 1:45, Acts 3:22 and 7:37 make no reference to any contradiction of the Torah, only people making reference to the prophecies of the messiah and seeing a connection to Jesus.  How is referencing suddenly a contradiction?  By the stories, anyone by those references could easily have objected and said, that's not pointing to this person. 

The only one that might be a case would be John 9:16, but then again the whole story goes onto Jesus claiming that the ones objecting of him breaking the sabbath would also break it if they needed to save a neighbors livestock or something else of importance... Basically showing that even those particular Jews objecting to his work would break the sabbath for such importance.

It is a counter-missionary site, their goal is to reverse the missionary work, they may be blatant. Research is required, something you do well. It was a starting point to show that Jews don't agree with Christians on how to interpret, no more. Other sites have many good links and you will have to spend a lot of time on it, though you should enjoy doing it from what I have seen of your inquisitive mind.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

See the other list of Jewish websites that hopefully will explain this for you.

The Jews consider full Torah observance to be more than keeping the 10 Commandments.

Of course, be it that there were many more than just 10 commandments as well....  

Hundreds.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

This forum was originally addressing the essay by Todangst on lack of content for Jesus in writing other than Christian. My comments were not addressing the essay at all as I agree with the OP. My comments were specific to the point that Lee and Brian S were presenting claims in regard to Jesus as the messiah which the Jews do not agree are properly interpreted.

I gave plenty of links which you can read and get the position of Judaism. That I don't believe Judaism either has nothing to do with the point that Christians have misinterpreted and in my words morphed their beliefs.

We can take what was talked about here and see where you want to go.  I will probably use those links to help in a specific discussion.

I think we should do a separate forum, I'll think about it, perhaps a comparison between the 2 claims in detail from the beginning.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.

BobSpence1 wrote:Cap, I

BobSpence1 wrote:

Cap, I don't have time for a detailed reply here, but your arguments only have weight if you accept a number of things which only work in the context of the belief system itself.

I find the whole concept of 'blood atonement' primitive, and offensive, and ultimately meaningless. Especially ritual sacrifice of any sort. It is all an attempt to magically cleanse our sins, our guilt, by somehow wishfully passing them on to an innocent creature, with some magic invocation,  and punishing it so we can feel we are ok again. Given the appropriate cultural background and 'training', people can apparently get themselves into a state where that can be made to work psychologically, but it is all 'magic'.

I understand your take on it.  To someone who doesn't understand, believe and accept this God of course would find such an atonement primitive, offensive, and meaningless.  psychologically, it was difficult and that was the point.  The catch is people made their own food, so it wasn't uncommon to slaughter an animal for food, but for sacrifice, and a pure one at that, well, it cost a lot of money and time and was quite a sacrifice.  Your psychological take I don't believe is how it was understood back in Biblical times.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I would regard the idea of someone else 'taking my place in the chair' on death row as a pointless act. I either get a pardon or not. The idea of someone else buying me a pardon by taking my place is bizarre.  A true sacrifice to save my life would be something like them throwing themselves in front of a car to push me out of the way but then getting themselves killed. Your scenario, the crucifixion scenario, only works with a cruel and rigid authority figure who has made some bizarre rules that require some sort of accounting system to balance. Which to me is just a narrative based on the primitive psychology of washing away our sins in blood.

The washing of sins with blood is metaphor and is understood to be such.  The idea is that granted its bizarre to us today because it's not how we are pardoned.  But to understand the law and how it works, someone or something had to take the fall for the breaking of the law and therefore, this was the only way to pardon everyone.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

In that sense I do understand that stuff, and I firmly reject it as immoral superstitious crap.

yea, I know

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

To me, the only meaningful atonement is to make whatever recompense one can to those you have harmed, or to their surviving family if they have died. Failing that, try to make a more general positive contribution to society at large, even maybe to future generations, IOW to actual real people, not some mythical authority figure who is supposed to have created this fucked-up world.

If he was mythical, then it would be useless and offensive.  One would need to understand why it is justified if there is a God to have a blood sacrifice for atonement and why blood is the way for pardon.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

And most, probably all, personal 'spiritual' harm is imaginary, and again only makes 'sense' in the context of a 'soul' and and an afterlife of some sort. Which is offensive to me, because it allows you to justify things which may actually cause some degree of real harm.

by what degree do you mean?   I understand you didn't have a lot of time to reply, but you're going to need to elaborate on this.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

IOW I think very little in scripture is 'real and true'.

I know

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I have personally no ultimate problem with my entirely humanistic, secular, ethically based approach to coping with the difficulties that arise in dealing with others, when I find I may have caused harm or deep offense to them. Ain't always easy, but I am not remotely tempted to take the easy path of buying into false atonement based on blood sacrifice, whether direct or virtual thru the Jesus character.

you act like you would hold no accountability to people if you accepted the gift of the death of jesus or made blood sacrifices for forgiveness.  You'd be in for quite the surprise then understanding that part of accepting the gift from Jesus is to hold yourself fully accountable for your actions and facing the music in what ever means that might be.  The blood sacrifice is solely spiritual, but it does reflect how you act toward others.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I certainly don't believe in 'original sin', I was just speculating that one interpretation of 'fulfillment' that would make sense to me within the system of Xian belief would be cancellation of original sin. Otherwise, if that is still assumed to persist, and all those other acts are still sins, just what has 'fulfillment' changed? Giving us a new path to 'salvation' via belief and 'acceptance' of JC seems to me not directly relevant to the 'fullfillment' claim. That still makes no sense to me, regardless of the sacrifice business.

 

ok

BobSpence's picture

caposkia wrote:BobSpence1

caposkia wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Cap, I don't have time for a detailed reply here, but your arguments only have weight if you accept a number of things which only work in the context of the belief system itself.

I find the whole concept of 'blood atonement' primitive, and offensive, and ultimately meaningless. Especially ritual sacrifice of any sort. It is all an attempt to magically cleanse our sins, our guilt, by somehow wishfully passing them on to an innocent creature, with some magic invocation,  and punishing it so we can feel we are ok again. Given the appropriate cultural background and 'training', people can apparently get themselves into a state where that can be made to work psychologically, but it is all 'magic'.

I understand your take on it.  To someone who doesn't understand, believe and accept this God of course would find such an atonement primitive, offensive, and meaningless.  psychologically, it was difficult and that was the point.  The catch is people made their own food, so it wasn't uncommon to slaughter an animal for food, but for sacrifice, and a pure one at that, well, it cost a lot of money and time and was quite a sacrifice.  Your psychological take I don't believe is how it was understood back in Biblical times.

Precisely. The primitive stuff is the origin of that meme, not any divine inspiration, so it shouldn't be the basis of the core scenario in a respectable belief system, even if they thought it made sense.

That is a major problem with these faiths, they adopt and endorse a whole bunch of primitive ideas and taboos, like all the ridiculous prohibitions in Deuteronomy and Leviticus, which get perpetuated and discredit the whole faith, including the good stuff, such as it is. It is a very flawed basis for a moral system.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology

pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

No. Clearly at the time of Adam Jews weren't looking for a messiah.

they didn't need to and the scrolls hadn't even been started yet

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

There is little to suggest they were looking for one at the time of Abraham either.

sure, but just because they weren't looking doesn't suggest that it wasn't in the plans and being implemented into the scrolls for future generations.  many texts of the scrolls can be taken on a few levels.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The prophets that discuss the moshiach all come after these characters. After the concept of the moshiach is introduced the Jews begin looking for him as specified by their prophets. What they are looking for is specified in the scriptures that are in many of the links I gave. You can also look at rabbinic commentary to see how those views were interpreted over the years as well. Their basic understanding of the moshiach is fairly well defined early on and is generally adhered to throughout the commentary and interpretations by the rabbis as documented. One can not just go to the NT and use that as a source to understand Jewish belief, one must use actual Jewish commentary as the NT is obviously biased against their interpretations.

agreed.  many of the objectives are stated taking the NT into consideration from what I could see.  For legitimate objection, instead of explaining why Jesus isn't, explain what is suppose to be the case.  Explaining why Jesus isn't holds one accountable to the NT and it seems they misunderstand the scriptures of the NT.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I wrote the test question and expected him to directly answer. He didn't which may mean he didn't understand what I asked perhaps.

perhaps, or perhaps the answer would need to much detail to be sufficient.  As a test writer, you would have to understand the limitations of a test asking a question.  They need to be specific enough so that the answer can be answered in essay form at the most with sufficient detail.  not in novel form.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My goal here was to see what Lee understood about Jewish belief, not to teach him about Jewish belief. He can take a course in comparative religions like I did to learn if he wants, its not my job to be his teacher. Really I got the impression that Lee had never studied Judaism and what they believe so dismissing them as he does without detailing basis and  then accepting Christianity as true without actually demonstrating he knows what they teach was elitist and smug. I wanted to know exactly why he saw Christianity as the way and why the Jews were wrong. In order to do so he needed to show me he had actually examined their beliefs and could be specific about what they missed. That was the whole point of asking him.

My answer to "what they missed" ultimately could be... "a lot'... but then the next question would be, like what?  Then the specifics come out... but then again, I'm not going to sit here and list the differences, a specific difference should be pulled out and discussed.  There's a reason why extensive websites have been dedicated to the subject... because it's not a short and sweet answer.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Again, the whole point was I wanted to see what knowledge he had of Jewish belief versus Christianity. He should have reasons to discredit the beliefs of the originators of the god he holds as real. I would expect a detailed analysis of the differences in interpretations of everything including the notion of "original sin" of Christianity versus Jewish belief that man can return his soul in the same condition as he received it. This leads into the differences of what the messiah was and what he was to do taking each on a different path.

Anyone with knowledge would know that it can't just be simply answered or completely answered with one extensive post, but that it needs to be more focused... on specifics.

My point simply is this forum needs to get specific.  What details are you saying are wrong on the Christian point of view... or Jewish... whichever angle you want to take.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

So I tried again with"You consider Jesus to be the mashiach as prophesied in Jewish scripture. If this is the case then the Jews made errors for at least 800 years before Jesus. Point out where the Jews made these errors and which specific prophets were either wrongly interpreted or wrongly accepted as prophets by the Jews."

that's getting there, but still requires a novel length explanation i would think

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Psalm 22 was only a side issue for me and it was the only thing he commented about. I really only included it because he seemed to be unable to present a comparison between Judaism and Christianity that justified his rejection of the beliefs that the originators of the god hold.

Nah, psalm 22 out of your whole question to him was the only point that you were specific enough with.  For the rest of what you're looking for, let's just have an extensive runthrough of the OT, why the laws, what happened with Adam and Eve and why everything is the way it is all the way up to the final book of the OT.  The historical runthrough of the OT is going on 9 pages and we're not even half way through.  To suggest a discussion as questioned for Lee would assume much more time on each part and then a whole extra chapter just tying all of it into jesus.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

This is what is claimed in the NT, clearly not an objective source on Jewish interpretation as it is presenting an alternative. What do the rabbinic commentaries have to say?

sure, but history supports that understanding.

I'm not sure what rabbinic commentaries have to say about it.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Christianity was also dependent on the restrictive teaching and interpretations of the "early Church Fathers" and eventually eradicated views that disagreed, saying the same thing basically about it as you say the rabbis did to Judaism. There were multiple groups of Jewish belief besides the Herodian priests. The rabbis were generally not Sadducee's but were Pharisees though a rabbi could be of any political persuasion. Priests as you know were not necessarily rabbis or teachers.

I never said there wasn't corruption within the Christian faith, but there was no restrictive teaching before the churches, which came hundreds of years later... then those churches were overthrown.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I'd detail the government, the free trade system, our interrelationships, social lives  etc............

Great!  Wake me up when you're done... in fact, better yet.  let me know when your book is published.   I'll read it over the next few years.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It would be far before the 1st century CE, that's the point. When? In the time of Hezekiah he was thought to maybe be the one, so was Josiah, but they failed to meet the prophecies for many reasons, including dying before the KOG occur ed for one. This really means that the scriptures the Jews claim are regarding the moshiach must be studied and compared to what the Christians see. These prophecies date to specific time periods long before the 1st century CE and that is where the idea originates. That is what must be examined, not Christian assertions in the NT only. The NT is but one side of a claim or argument, I'm asking for the person making it to explain their understanding of the other side, because you never know, the Jews may be right.

Let's put it this way... someone has to be right...

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Please read some of the links, there's more than that they claim.

well of course there's more than that... you see how broad this topic is?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Once you read and study Jewish ideas you'll see it's far more complex than only this.

I agree, it's much more complex of course

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

There was also the ultimate question of what they believe in regards to the god, and where this is different than Christians. For example, the moshiach was only a man not part of the god or a god himself. Christian belief is therefore idolatry. Christians believe the part man part god Jesus was sacrificed, whereas Judaism rejects human sacrifice. And the idea of original sin which is not in Jewish belief, hence no sacrifice is needed as in Christianity. And far more, none of which Lee discussed. But you can.

human sacrifice is not in the Christian belief as well.... so now we'd need to detail how jesus was different and what Christians really mean by Jesus being 100% man and 100% God.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

There are many ways we can go from here on this, Perhaps a different thread to discuss both religions from the beginnings, objectively to detail the differences. I'll think about that though it may have to wait until May or June for me to spend much time on it.

whatever works... would this not be relevant here?

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It is a counter-missionary site, their goal is to reverse the missionary work, they may be blatant. Research is required, something you do well. It was a starting point to show that Jews don't agree with Christians on how to interpret, no more. Other sites have many good links and you will have to spend a lot of time on it, though you should enjoy doing it from what I have seen of your inquisitive mind.

sure I would.  time has been against me as of late.  For a little while, I'm probably going to have time only to research specifics... the summer will hopefully yield more time.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I think we should do a separate forum, I'll think about it, perhaps a comparison between the 2 claims in detail from the beginning.

Whatever you'd like

pauljohntheskeptic's picture

Caposkia - These were Bobspence's Comments not Me

caposkia wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Cap, I don't have time for a detailed reply here, but your arguments only have weight if you accept a number of things which only work in the context of the belief system itself.

I find the whole concept of 'blood atonement' primitive, and offensive, and ultimately meaningless. Especially ritual sacrifice of any sort. It is all an attempt to magically cleanse our sins, our guilt, by somehow wishfully passing them on to an innocent creature, with some magic invocation,  and punishing it so we can feel we are ok again. Given the appropriate cultural background and 'training', people can apparently get themselves into a state where that can be made to work psychologically, but it is all 'magic'.

I understand your take on it.  To someone who doesn't understand, believe and accept this God of course would find such an atonement primitive, offensive, and meaningless.  psychologically, it was difficult and that was the point.  The catch is people made their own food, so it wasn't uncommon to slaughter an animal for food, but for sacrifice, and a pure one at that, well, it cost a lot of money and time and was quite a sacrifice.  Your psychological take I don't believe is how it was understood back in Biblical times.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I would regard the idea of someone else 'taking my place in the chair' on death row as a pointless act. I either get a pardon or not. The idea of someone else buying me a pardon by taking my place is bizarre.  A true sacrifice to save my life would be something like them throwing themselves in front of a car to push me out of the way but then getting themselves killed. Your scenario, the crucifixion scenario, only works with a cruel and rigid authority figure who has made some bizarre rules that require some sort of accounting system to balance. Which to me is just a narrative based on the primitive psychology of washing away our sins in blood.

The washing of sins with blood is metaphor and is understood to be such.  The idea is that granted its bizarre to us today because it's not how we are pardoned.  But to understand the law and how it works, someone or something had to take the fall for the breaking of the law and therefore, this was the only way to pardon everyone.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

In that sense I do understand that stuff, and I firmly reject it as immoral superstitious crap.

yea, I know

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

To me, the only meaningful atonement is to make whatever recompense one can to those you have harmed, or to their surviving family if they have died. Failing that, try to make a more general positive contribution to society at large, even maybe to future generations, IOW to actual real people, not some mythical authority figure who is supposed to have created this fucked-up world.

If he was mythical, then it would be useless and offensive.  One would need to understand why it is justified if there is a God to have a blood sacrifice for atonement and why blood is the way for pardon.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

And most, probably all, personal 'spiritual' harm is imaginary, and again only makes 'sense' in the context of a 'soul' and and an afterlife of some sort. Which is offensive to me, because it allows you to justify things which may actually cause some degree of real harm.

by what degree do you mean?   I understand you didn't have a lot of time to reply, but you're going to need to elaborate on this.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

IOW I think very little in scripture is 'real and true'.

I know

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I have personally no ultimate problem with my entirely humanistic, secular, ethically based approach to coping with the difficulties that arise in dealing with others, when I find I may have caused harm or deep offense to them. Ain't always easy, but I am not remotely tempted to take the easy path of buying into false atonement based on blood sacrifice, whether direct or virtual thru the Jesus character.

you act like you would hold no accountability to people if you accepted the gift of the death of jesus or made blood sacrifices for forgiveness.  You'd be in for quite the surprise then understanding that part of accepting the gift from Jesus is to hold yourself fully accountable for your actions and facing the music in what ever means that might be.  The blood sacrifice is solely spiritual, but it does reflect how you act toward others.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I certainly don't believe in 'original sin', I was just speculating that one interpretation of 'fulfillment' that would make sense to me within the system of Xian belief would be cancellation of original sin. Otherwise, if that is still assumed to persist, and all those other acts are still sins, just what has 'fulfillment' changed? Giving us a new path to 'salvation' via belief and 'acceptance' of JC seems to me not directly relevant to the 'fullfillment' claim. That still makes no sense to me, regardless of the sacrifice business.

 

ok

I'm not sure how you intermixed our comments, but the quotes here are all from Bobspence not me.

However,

1- I understand the idea of sacrifice as practiced by the Hebrews/Jews. As you say it was somewhat expensive and represented a considerable loss to the person doing it,  so hence the meaning of "sacrifice". It is primitive and the only good thing one can say in regard to the Jews is at least they weren't offering their children up to the god on the barbecue as other cultures were doing. This is where the Jews disagree with the Christian idea that the god needed a "blood sacrifice" in the form of Jesus to die for them. See the links I gave you. No human needed to be given up to the god. Isaac was an example in the OT where Abe was tested and the god really did not want him to "sacrifice" him. Thereafter, the barbecue of humans was not ever mentioned as acceptable.

 

2- The metaphor in RE: to washing away the sins using a person is not in Jewish beliefs. This is adequately covered in many places in the OT, see at minimum the website Judaism 101 or the other one on what Jews believe. Each person in their beliefs can return their soul to the god in the same form it was received, pure.

 

3- In RE: to atonement, the OT laws are specific on this and put it on the individual to make amends. Generally these laws are intended to make the person harmed "whole" again or to make compensation. The laws that are intended to make amends to the god are understandable in RE: to the beliefs but as Bob mentioned are really primitive and a pointless exercise if the god is a human construct. The Jews however considered the god to be reality based therefore they had these rules to attempt to make such amends. This is similar to other ancient beliefs where the god was given appeasement in one form or the other, generally with gifts of human sacrifice such as children or virgins. Roman and Greek beliefs usually involved some form of animal or monetary sacrifice which was progress.

4- In RE: to scripture, we have the whole OT thread which you and I have been discussing the myths, legends, and reality of the OT. You know my views, some of it is myth, some are legends, most are major exaggerations. The exact reasons why these stories were developed are unknown, just as with the Sumerian, Egyptian and the Greek. It would seem that all of these cultures had a need to try to explain the world that they were in and tried to explain the origins. All of them likely have some reality as a basis but the difficulty is separating the ancient conjecture and storytelling from that which was based in reality. This is why I usually bring up Enki but it could be Ra, Zeus or the Canaanite Ugaritic view of Yahweh.

5- As with Bob, I have no problem accepting the responsibility for my own actions and I expect others to do so as well. I do understand the Christian and Jewish beliefs that one must make amends, hence the Catholic priest and confession where the person is told to go and sin no more who must also make an attempt to amends. Yes the person is accountable and does not get a "free pass" from the god in these beliefs. The Jews also have this in their laws, sometimes in detail on what one must do.

6 - You also know my view on original sin. First off the Jews don't believe in this. Second, I don't accept the idea of sin anyway. A sin requires a god of some kind, a concept I do not hold. Offenses against other people are not sins, they are harmful damaging acts. Harm to others has long been recognized by all cultures, see even the ancient Sumerian views as well as the old Babylonian as documented by Hammurabi.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.

pauljohntheskeptic's picture

caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

No. Clearly at the time of Adam Jews weren't looking for a messiah.

they didn't need to and the scrolls hadn't even been started yet

The problem here is Christians generally see the Adam & Eve scenario as requiring man to eventually be saved by Jesus' sacrifice. If the Jews believed this it would have been so documented at some point. As discussed, the Jews see man as born with a pure soul with both good and evil as possibilities. In their view the Messiah has nothing to do with saving them from their sins, see the links I gave you.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

There is little to suggest they were looking for one at the time of Abraham either.

sure, but just because they weren't looking doesn't suggest that it wasn't in the plans and being implemented into the scrolls for future generations.  many texts of the scrolls can be taken on a few levels.

As the Torah does not mention a need for a messiah to save the Jews from their sins it is later developed, especially in the Christian understanding. This is part of the variance between the 2 religions. See the links I gave.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The prophets that discuss the moshiach all come after these characters. After the concept of the moshiach is introduced the Jews begin looking for him as specified by their prophets. What they are looking for is specified in the scriptures that are in many of the links I gave. You can also look at rabbinic commentary to see how those views were interpreted over the years as well. Their basic understanding of the moshiach is fairly well defined early on and is generally adhered to throughout the commentary and interpretations by the rabbis as documented. One can not just go to the NT and use that as a source to understand Jewish belief, one must use actual Jewish commentary as the NT is obviously biased against their interpretations.

agreed.  many of the objectives are stated taking the NT into consideration from what I could see.  For legitimate objection, instead of explaining why Jesus isn't, explain what is suppose to be the case.  Explaining why Jesus isn't holds one accountable to the NT and it seems they misunderstand the scriptures of the NT.

Right, we both see that the Jewish view is well established and their expectations differ from Christian.

Not all of the websites argue against the Christian. Those that do are counter-missionary to stop Christian missions to Jews.

Do the Jews misunderstand the NT? Or do the Christians misunderstand the Hebrew Bible? That is the real question.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I wrote the test question and expected him to directly answer. He didn't which may mean he didn't understand what I asked perhaps.

perhaps, or perhaps the answer would need to much detail to be sufficient.  As a test writer, you would have to understand the limitations of a test asking a question.  They need to be specific enough so that the answer can be answered in essay form at the most with sufficient detail.  not in novel form.

I agree this subject requires much detail. The point was he was being simplistic so I decided to be blatant.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My goal here was to see what Lee understood about Jewish belief, not to teach him about Jewish belief. He can take a course in comparative religions like I did to learn if he wants, its not my job to be his teacher. Really I got the impression that Lee had never studied Judaism and what they believe so dismissing them as he does without detailing basis and  then accepting Christianity as true without actually demonstrating he knows what they teach was elitist and smug. I wanted to know exactly why he saw Christianity as the way and why the Jews were wrong. In order to do so he needed to show me he had actually examined their beliefs and could be specific about what they missed. That was the whole point of asking him.

My answer to "what they missed" ultimately could be... "a lot'... but then the next question would be, like what?  Then the specifics come out... but then again, I'm not going to sit here and list the differences, a specific difference should be pulled out and discussed.  There's a reason why extensive websites have been dedicated to the subject... because it's not a short and sweet answer.

I know the answer is not short and sweet, therein lies my point. He gave me a short and sweet Christian evasion. I'd expect at least a few pages of explanation on what they missed. He could have even referred me to a website which expressed where the Jews were mislead, he didn't try.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Again, the whole point was I wanted to see what knowledge he had of Jewish belief versus Christianity. He should have reasons to discredit the beliefs of the originators of the god he holds as real. I would expect a detailed analysis of the differences in interpretations of everything including the notion of "original sin" of Christianity versus Jewish belief that man can return his soul in the same condition as he received it. This leads into the differences of what the messiah was and what he was to do taking each on a different path.

Anyone with knowledge would know that it can't just be simply answered or completely answered with one extensive post, but that it needs to be more focused... on specifics.

My point simply is this forum needs to get specific.  What details are you saying are wrong on the Christian point of view... or Jewish... whichever angle you want to take.

I realize that this can't be simply dismissed away in a paragraph or 2 or in a few extensive posts, that was my point really.

Assume we are both talking to  a non-believer who is interested in the idea of God

Assume he is considering God as the Jews see him and as Christians see him.

In this case, both beliefs must be shown to him.

Start from there.

Explain your Christian concept of God, I'll try to do the Jewish.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

So I tried again with"You consider Jesus to be the mashiach as prophesied in Jewish scripture. If this is the case then the Jews made errors for at least 800 years before Jesus. Point out where the Jews made these errors and which specific prophets were either wrongly interpreted or wrongly accepted as prophets by the Jews."

that's getting there, but still requires a novel length explanation i would think

I know, let's do the novel length, I'm patient.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 Psalm 22 was only a side issue for me and it was the only thing he commented about. I really only included it because he seemed to be unable to present a comparison between Judaism and Christianity that justified his rejection of the beliefs that the originators of the god hold.

Nah, psalm 22 out of your whole question to him was the only point that you were specific enough with.  For the rest of what you're looking for, let's just have an extensive runthrough of the OT, why the laws, what happened with Adam and Eve and why everything is the way it is all the way up to the final book of the OT.  The historical runthrough of the OT is going on 9 pages and we're not even half way through.  To suggest a discussion as questioned for Lee would assume much more time on each part and then a whole extra chapter just tying all of it into jesus.

I see that he took that as his only area to discuss, not what I wanted to do though.

I'm up for the novel length, we both may be on Social Security by the time we finish but why not.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

This is what is claimed in the NT, clearly not an objective source on Jewish interpretation as it is presenting an alternative. What do the rabbinic commentaries have to say?

sure, but history supports that understanding.

I'm not sure what rabbinic commentaries have to say about it.

I'm not sure what you mean by history supports that understanding? Are you inferring that history supports that  the NT represents Jewish interpretation?

You perhaps need to read Rabbinic commentaries then don't you? I'll look for links and sources.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Christianity was also dependent on the restrictive teaching and interpretations of the "early Church Fathers" and eventually eradicated views that disagreed, saying the same thing basically about it as you say the rabbis did to Judaism. There were multiple groups of Jewish belief besides the Herodian priests. The rabbis were generally not Sadducee's but were Pharisees though a rabbi could be of any political persuasion. Priests as you know were not necessarily rabbis or teachers.

I never said there wasn't corruption within the Christian faith, but there was no restrictive teaching before the churches, which came hundreds of years later... then those churches were overthrown.

Very early views had many different sects, Jesus believing Jews that still practiced Judaism, Nazareans, Jesseans, Gnostics, Marcion, Monatists, others, see - http://www.churchhistory101.com/century2-p5.php

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I'd detail the government, the free trade system, our interrelationships, social lives  etc............

Great!  Wake me up when you're done... in fact, better yet.  let me know when your book is published.   I'll read it over the next few years.

Exactly!!

Neither can one assert that the Christian ideas are correct and the Jews were incorrect in a paragraph as Lee did.

Nor can you assert that the god of either is real versus the view that all gods are human constructs and not real in a single paragraph. We both agree that this involves a very long discussion. Proof, evidence, etc.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It would be far before the 1st century CE, that's the point. When? In the time of Hezekiah he was thought to maybe be the one, so was Josiah, but they failed to meet the prophecies for many reasons, including dying before the KOG occur ed for one. This really means that the scriptures the Jews claim are regarding the moshiach must be studied and compared to what the Christians see. These prophecies date to specific time periods long before the 1st century CE and that is where the idea originates. That is what must be examined, not Christian assertions in the NT only. The NT is but one side of a claim or argument, I'm asking for the person making it to explain their understanding of the other side, because you never know, the Jews may be right.

Let's put it this way... someone has to be right...

No they don't.

Everyone can be wrong.

God could be the administrator for our spiral arm of the Milky Way Galaxy.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Please read some of the links, there's more than that they claim.

well of course there's more than that... you see how broad this topic is?

Exactly!!

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Once you read and study Jewish ideas you'll see it's far more complex than only this.

I agree, it's much more complex of course

Exactly!! A paragraph of claims is insufficient, my point.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

There was also the ultimate question of what they believe in regards to the god, and where this is different than Christians. For example, the moshiach was only a man not part of the god or a god himself. Christian belief is therefore idolatry. Christians believe the part man part god Jesus was sacrificed, whereas Judaism rejects human sacrifice. And the idea of original sin which is not in Jewish belief, hence no sacrifice is needed as in Christianity. And far more, none of which Lee discussed. But you can.

human sacrifice is not in the Christian belief as well.... so now we'd need to detail how jesus was different and what Christians really mean by Jesus being 100% man and 100% God. 

That's one way to go. But that's putting the wagon in front of the horse isn't it? First we should discuss the original religion's idea of the mashiach. Then we look for where they may have overlooked something. Then we discuss these points to see if there was reasons to go either way.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

There are many ways we can go from here on this, Perhaps a different thread to discuss both religions from the beginnings, objectively to detail the differences. I'll think about that though it may have to wait until May or June for me to spend much time on it.

whatever works... would this not be relevant here?

We can do it here but an entire thread with it as a subject would be better and more obvious to observers out there. This thread's OP was in regard to the silence of the time period when Jesus was supposedly on his mission.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It is a counter-missionary site, their goal is to reverse the missionary work, they may be blatant. Research is required, something you do well. It was a starting point to show that Jews don't agree with Christians on how to interpret, no more. Other sites have many good links and you will have to spend a lot of time on it, though you should enjoy doing it from what I have seen of your inquisitive mind.

sure I would.  time has been against me as of late.  For a little while, I'm probably going to have time only to research specifics... the summer will hopefully yield more time. 

Summer would be good for me as well. I work out an idea for a thread and a plan we can both follow by June or so. OK?

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:I'm

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I'm not sure how you intermixed our comments, but the quotes here are all from Bobspence not me.

my apologies to Bob and you.  

k... same response... to Bob... 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

However,

1- I understand the idea of sacrifice as practiced by the Hebrews/Jews. As you say it was somewhat expensive and represented a considerable loss to the person doing it,  so hence the meaning of "sacrifice". It is primitive and the only good thing one can say in regard to the Jews is at least they weren't offering their children up to the god on the barbecue as other cultures were doing. This is where the Jews disagree with the Christian idea that the god needed a "blood sacrifice" in the form of Jesus to die for them. See the links I gave you. No human needed to be given up to the god. Isaac was an example in the OT where Abe was tested and the god really did not want him to "sacrifice" him. Thereafter, the barbecue of humans was not ever mentioned as acceptable.

I have looked at those links and have commented on the few misunderstandings and lack of support those links seemed to have on the Jewish side.

If there's a specific difference you want to pull out an discuss, we can do that.

The Jesus 'sacrifice' is a unique one in the way that it fulfilled the law and how it didn't go against Jewish Law.  To look at it as a human sacrifice would be inappropriate because Jesus technically wasn't human... Literally he wasn't only human.  did God die, no, we all know that's not what happened on either account be it that Jesus was talking to God (not to himself) on the cross.

The sacrifice in and of itself was unique be it that the "sacrifice" was not done in a traditional sacrificial manner in accordance with the law, but would have only been executed if Jesus had been seen as a threat and a false prophet by the Jews in power.  To look into the context of scripture, it's interesting to point out that if they ultimately didn't kill Jesus and saw Him as the Christians do as the Messiah, then he wouldn't have come down in the first place because that sacrifice would not have been needed... either that or he would have come down long before and established grounds as described in the book of Revelation and the whole NT step would have been avoided.  

The idea is that a pure blood sacrifice would have been needed per person in the moment to absolve all "previous' sin.  How do you one up a pure blood sacrifice?  It'd have to be beyond human.  The one most valuable possession to God as the ultimate sacrifice for mankind.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

2- The metaphor in RE: to washing away the sins using a person is not in Jewish beliefs. This is adequately covered in many places in the OT, see at minimum the website Judaism 101 or the other one on what Jews believe. Each person in their beliefs can return their soul to the god in the same form it was received, pure. 

...sure but washing away sins using a person isn't what happened.  Washing away sins using the Son of God is.  Again, the sacrifice wasn't "a person" it was Jesus and it was an execution, as to which God viewed as a sacrifice for the sake of his people.  The reason he was executed was due to the word of God, which as martyrdom would suggest is an ultimate "sacrifice' as coined for God.  Not that a person was sacrificed to absolve sins of others, but that they gave their life for God and the people.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

3- In RE: to atonement, the OT laws are specific on this and put it on the individual to make amends. Generally these laws are intended to make the person harmed "whole" again or to make compensation. The laws that are intended to make amends to the god are understandable in RE: to the beliefs but as Bob mentioned are really primitive and a pointless exercise if the god is a human construct. The Jews however considered the god to be reality based therefore they had these rules to attempt to make such amends. This is similar to other ancient beliefs where the god was given appeasement in one form or the other, generally with gifts of human sacrifice such as children or virgins. Roman and Greek beliefs usually involved some form of animal or monetary sacrifice which was progress.

If you're going to compare sacrifices to appease gods, you'll have to focus on the sacrificial guidelines and notice a vast difference between them and the Jewish God.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

4- In RE: to scripture, we have the whole OT thread which you and I have been discussing the myths, legends, and reality of the OT. You know my views, some of it is myth, some are legends, most are major exaggerations. The exact reasons why these stories were developed are unknown, just as with the Sumerian, Egyptian and the Greek. It would seem that all of these cultures had a need to try to explain the world that they were in and tried to explain the origins. All of them likely have some reality as a basis but the difficulty is separating the ancient conjecture and storytelling from that which was based in reality. This is why I usually bring up Enki but it could be Ra, Zeus or the Canaanite Ugaritic view of Yahweh.

We've established that they likely have a place in history, but due to lack of information and obvious exaggerations with specifically numbers and a few names, it cannot be a definite cut and dry case.  due to the consistency of exaggerations in historical documents when compared to the bible, it is congruent.  The writing styles of how they described what they would not have known is the same as well, hence the name changes and likely exaggerations on numbers.  

It is also likely that if the Jewish/Christian God is real, that all other religions stemmed somehow off this "original' belief and of course would then have congruencies.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

5- As with Bob, I have no problem accepting the responsibility for my own actions and I expect others to do so as well. I do understand the Christian and Jewish beliefs that one must make amends, hence the Catholic priest and confession where the person is told to go and sin no more who must also make an attempt to amends. Yes the person is accountable and does not get a "free pass" from the god in these beliefs. The Jews also have this in their laws, sometimes in detail on what one must do.

The free pass to me is comical.  Only because it seems so.  Sure, the gift is free for the taking, the pass however... well you have to go and sin no more.  The idea is that you're either in the process of repentance or have repented of the sins you know you've committed.  If you look at it as a free pass, then you can go around doing the worst and then when it comes time for judgement, whip out your "Jesus Saved Me" badge and you're all set.   Sure, some sects believe it that way, but they can't hold that idea up in scripture.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

6 - You also know my view on original sin. First off the Jews don't believe in this. Second, I don't accept the idea of sin anyway. A sin requires a god of some kind, a concept I do not hold. Offenses against other people are not sins, they are harmful damaging acts. Harm to others has long been recognized by all cultures, see even the ancient Sumerian views as well as the old Babylonian as documented by Hammurabi.

I think the Catholics (old unreformed) came up with this.  
Of course the idea of 'sin' would suggest a god of some sort, that' the origin.

of course offenses aren't necessarily sins, even with God existing.  An "offense" is an objective action, what one might view as offensive another may not.  I'd get killed in a lot of countries of this world just for mentioning the name of Jesus, but in America, it's not an offense.    So the question then comes, what ultimately decides what is an offense or sin?

BobSpence's picture

 The social consensus

 The social consensus determines what is right or wrong behavior.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:The

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The problem here is Christians generally see the Adam & Eve scenario as requiring man to eventually be saved by Jesus' sacrifice.

well... no... 

The Jewish and Christian perspectives are the same on this point. except for who it is, but there must be a "messiah" to save us from the "Adam and Eve" scenario.  Think about it, because Jesus died, do we now live forever and not have to deal with good and evil... (or good and bad) every day? 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

If the Jews believed this it would have been so documented at some point. As discussed, the Jews see man as born with a pure soul with both good and evil as possibilities. In their view the Messiah has nothing to do with saving them from their sins, see the links I gave you.

I have looked, no they see the messiah as redeeming their people from condemnation by a reigning king who will rule the world and revere His people who will rule with Him.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As the Torah does not mention a need for a messiah to save the Jews from their sins it is later developed, especially in the Christian understanding. This is part of the variance between the 2 religions. See the links I gave.

The Torah doesn't mention the redemption of sins idea... but it does mention a messiah in the prophets.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Right, we both see that the Jewish view is well established and their expectations differ from Christian.

Not all of the websites argue against the Christian. Those that do are counter-missionary to stop Christian missions to Jews.

my take is that it shouldn't be "missions" to the Jews, rather discussions.  I believe both sides could learn from each other.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Do the Jews misunderstand the NT? Or do the Christians misunderstand the Hebrew Bible? That is the real question.

exactly.  

Generally speaking, there's a lot of misunderstanding on both sides in my opinion.  However, when it comes down to the brass tax and literally what Christians are supposed to accept as true, I wonder how many fewer objections Jews would have with the NT perspective.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I agree this subject requires much detail. The point was he was being simplistic so I decided to be blatant.

for such a detailed topic, one would need to start of simplistically and then get more in depth as the conversation deepens.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I know the answer is not short and sweet, therein lies my point. He gave me a short and sweet Christian evasion. I'd expect at least a few pages of explanation on what they missed. He could have even referred me to a website which expressed where the Jews were mislead, he didn't try.

again,  he answered specifically the only part of your question that was specific.  Most 'thinking' Christians prefer talking on the plane of the skeptic and not try to lead the conversation.  We learn that leading the conversation with such company doesn't get far.  Therefore, when they lead, as long as they're willing to specify direction from time to time, we go with it.  You kept it too broad and I'm willing to be that if you tried to be more specific, he'd be more detailed.  I could be wrong.  i can't speak for him.  

This would be a good point for Lee to speak up and affirm this.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I realize that this can't be simply dismissed away in a paragraph or 2 or in a few extensive posts, that was my point really.

well then at this point i think it has been clearly established... i remember addressing that with my first post

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Assume we are both talking to  a non-believer who is interested in the idea of God

Assume he is considering God as the Jews see him and as Christians see him.

In this case, both beliefs must be shown to him.

Start from there.

Explain your Christian concept of God, I'll try to do the Jewish.

Ok, maybe Lee can kick in too here, but i'd start of with saying that the NT belief (Christian) is completely dependent and cannot stand without the Jewish texts.  but what of the differences and why aren't Jews Christians and vise versa?  

This is where we pick out a specific difference and discuss.  

Why Jesus?  Broad, and that would take the next several pages worth of post for a while.  

Maybe what specifically is different that you'd want to discuss between the Jews expected messiah and Jesus.  If not, what of prophesy and Revelation and how does the unfolding scenario of Revelation differ from the Jewish prophesies?  Broad again, but we could get specific fast by pulling out the differences individually and battling them one by one to see where the error lies.  

The Christian concept of God is that he is, was and always will be the same God he always was.  The Jewish God is the Christian God, nothing has changed, we accept the Jewish scrolls as support for our understanding of God.  His standards have not changed.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I know, let's do the novel length, I'm patient.

I'm not ;p.  Anyway, due to time constraints, I'd rather spend more time on our other forum for now.  i only have time for deeper study for one forum at the moment.  Maybe lee again can jump in with a novel if he seems it would benefit this forum.  

as far as links, doesn't seem to be too many intelligent ones that would fairly look at both sides of the picture.  I did find one pasted below that goes into the details about Jewish and Christian perspectives and touches on many topics that would shed light on why I have the perspective I do on certain topics like (sleeping until the day of Judgement rather than separating from our bodies and going to heaven) among others.

The one thing i disagree with that seems to be a big focus of the link is that Jesus did not "preexist" as Jews would be understood to believe and it goes into the definition and how it was understood by the Jews in Biblical times.  This person does a great job at discussing the parallels between OT and NT, but avoids the book of John for obvious reasons.   This person does go on to explain that they wouldn't have known the messiah to be preexisting and that there's no suggestion in the OT that he did, but that they thought that some famous prophets such as  Moses did.  

i don't know, not the best link, but check it out and it can be discussed.

http://www.bibletopics.com/biblestudy/69.htm

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I see that he took that as his only area to discuss, not what I wanted to do though.

I figured, but I can see why he did.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I'm up for the novel length, we both may be on Social Security by the time we finish but why not.

Likely so... Lee?  whaddya say on that Novel?  I'd get a publisher, but get back to us and keep us updated on the progress.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I'm not sure what you mean by history supports that understanding? Are you inferring that history supports that  the NT represents Jewish interpretation?

Jewish interpretation, but that would suggest that nt interpretation as well.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You perhaps need to read Rabbinic commentaries then don't you? I'll look for links and sources.

that would be helpful for me thank you.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Very early views had many different sects, Jesus believing Jews that still practiced Judaism, Nazareans, Jesseans, Gnostics, Marcion, Monatists, others, see - http://www.churchhistory101.com/century2-p5.php

Jews for Christ are still around.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

No they don't.

Everyone can be wrong.

God could be the administrator for our spiral arm of the Milky Way Galaxy.

so then the jews and Christians are both right.

either that or God is both real and fake.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

That's one way to go. But that's putting the wagon in front of the horse isn't it? First we should discuss the original religion's idea of the mashiach. Then we look for where they may have overlooked something. Then we discuss these points to see if there was reasons to go either way.

thats a good start

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

We can do it here but an entire thread with it as a subject would be better and more obvious to observers out there. This thread's OP was in regard to the silence of the time period when Jesus was supposedly on his mission.

good point

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Summer would be good for me as well. I work out an idea for a thread and a plan we can both follow by June or so. OK?

 

great!!!  looking fwd to it

Lee2216's picture

caposkia wrote:Ok, maybe Lee

caposkia wrote:
Ok, maybe Lee can kick in too here, but i'd start of with saying that the NT belief (Christian) is completely dependent and cannot stand without the Jewish texts.  but what of the differences and why aren't Jews Christians and vise versa?  

This is where we pick out a specific difference and discuss.

I'll have to refresh my memory a bit. If I remember correctly PJTS and I were talking about Psalm 22 and how I believed it was a prophecy about the crucifixion and he didn't seem to agree which is fine. I believe the OT contains many Messianic prophecies and PJTS was asking me why the Jews missed them and how could they have missed them. My answer was they were a disobedient and stiff-necked people who simply lacked belief. I was trying to focus on Psalm 22 specifically. Things can get confusing when we end up getting off the topic. I agree with you Cap, we need to pick a specific difference and focus on that. I'm up for it!

  

  

caposkia wrote:
The Christian concept of God is that he is, was and always will be the same God he always was.  The Jewish God is the Christian God, nothing has changed, we accept the Jewish scrolls as support for our understanding of God.  His standards have not changed.

I agree 100% Cap! 

 

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20

pauljohntheskeptic's picture

Lee2216 wrote:caposkia

Lee2216 wrote:

caposkia wrote:
Ok, maybe Lee can kick in too here, but i'd start off with saying that the NT belief (Christian) is completely dependent and cannot stand without the Jewish texts.  but what of the differences and why aren't Jews Christians and vise versa?  

This is where we pick out a specific difference and discuss.

I'll have to refresh my memory a bit. If I remember correctly PJTS and I were talking about Psalm 22 and how I believed it was a prophecy about the crucifixion and he didn't seem to agree which is fine. I believe the OT contains many Messianic prophecies and PJTS was asking me why the Jews missed them and how could they have missed them. My answer was they were a disobedient and stiff-necked people who simply lacked belief. I was trying to focus on Psalm 22 specifically. Things can get confusing when we end up getting off the topic. I agree with you Cap, we need to pick a specific difference and focus on that. I'm up for it!

You were claiming that the OT prophecies fit Jesus and I disagreed. Psalm 22 is about all that we discussed and I wished to go further. You did reply the Jews missed all these prophecies as you said. because "they were a disobedient and stiff necked people who simply lacked belief." I then asked for details as to where, how, and why and you stopped responding.

I will start a thread on this before Summer, probably in April. I look forward to your participation.

 

Lee2216 wrote:
  

caposkia wrote:
The Christian concept of God is that he is, was and always will be the same God he always was.  The Jewish God is the Christian God, nothing has changed, we accept the Jewish scrolls as support for our understanding of God.  His standards have not changed.

I agree 100% Cap!  

Since I don't, we will have a lively discussion. Thanks for your commitment to participate.

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.

Lee2216's picture

pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Lee2216 wrote:

caposkia wrote:
Ok, maybe Lee can kick in too here, but i'd start off with saying that the NT belief (Christian) is completely dependent and cannot stand without the Jewish texts.  but what of the differences and why aren't Jews Christians and vise versa?  

This is where we pick out a specific difference and discuss.

I'll have to refresh my memory a bit. If I remember correctly PJTS and I were talking about Psalm 22 and how I believed it was a prophecy about the crucifixion and he didn't seem to agree which is fine. I believe the OT contains many Messianic prophecies and PJTS was asking me why the Jews missed them and how could they have missed them. My answer was they were a disobedient and stiff-necked people who simply lacked belief. I was trying to focus on Psalm 22 specifically. Things can get confusing when we end up getting off the topic. I agree with you Cap, we need to pick a specific difference and focus on that. I'm up for it!

You were claiming that the OT prophecies fit Jesus and I disagreed. Psalm 22 is about all that we discussed and I wished to go further. You did reply the Jews missed all these prophecies as you said. because "they were a disobedient and stiff necked people who simply lacked belief." I then asked for details as to where, how, and why and you stopped responding.

I will start a thread on this before Summer, probably in April. I look forward to your participation.

 

Lee2216 wrote:
  

caposkia wrote:
The Christian concept of God is that he is, was and always will be the same God he always was.  The Jewish God is the Christian God, nothing has changed, we accept the Jewish scrolls as support for our understanding of God.  His standards have not changed.

I agree 100% Cap!  

Since I don't, we will have a lively discussion. Thanks for your commitment to participate.

 

Your welcome! Looking forward to it!

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20

You haven't proven anything except...

You haven't proven anything except that Jesus, if he existed, was unnoticed by his contemporaries. Big Deal.

Philo Doesn't mention John, whose movement was bigger than the Jesus movement in his time. In fact if Jesus was a disciple of John as hinted at (though not admitted) in the gospels why would he be mentioned at all?

Likewise, Pliny the elder mentions the Essenes, but does he mention any Essene by name? (No) Would he be qualified to recognize the difference between Essenes and Christians? (No) He also neglects to mention John, Does he mention any Jew by name? (No) Does he even mention that the Essenes are Jewish? (Non fact he seems to indicate that people of all nationalities could come). 

Your argument relies on deliberate forgery, fakery and fraud, but doesn't name a forger or even suggest a likely cabal of liars capable of seizing control of some extant organization (possibly the Essenes? - but unlikely given what Josephus tells us about the Essenes and the likelihood of embracing such pagan ideas). You simultaneously assert that the church did the forging, but all your so called forgers lived long after the dates they would have needed to live in to pull off such a coup. We know there was a Christian movement in the early second century (from Pliny the Younger) From Pliny's letter we also know (from the testimony of former Christians given in the letter)  that movement had roots back to at least 85 CE and that they were worshipping Christ as a god by this time. We know that by the end of the first decade of the second century Christianity had come to the notice of Roman Authorities (three independent witnesses, four if you count Josephus as Roman). We know that people from all stations in life were accused of being Christians. We know that slaves and women were holding offices in the movement (all from Pliny's letter).  We know from Paul's Letters that he was certainly teaching that the Christ was a man called Jesus who was crucified and raised from the dead. We know that Paul joined a group that already existed, as Paul himself testifies. We know that Paul is certainly a pivotal figure in Christianity, because his is the first record we have explaining a sacrificial death and resurrection.

The destruction of the temple and all the Jewish records contained there is also terribly inconvenient for the modern historian. But if someone is going to make up a Jewish person named Jesus (Joshua, Yeshua, whatever...) it would have to be after the destruction of the temple in 70 CE when no records would exist to contradict any messianic claims and 85 CE when we know that Christianity was growing across the empire and was attracting pagans. Basically from my point of view, you have those 15 years to invent a fictitious Jesus. (keep in mind that presents as many problems for Jewish converts as it solves for a forger as Jewish converts would certainly be interested in whether or not the messianic candidate was from the messianic line and without proof in the form of a genealogy immediately available, converts would be so rare as to be non existent). The fact that after the destruction of the Temple and the beginning of the ministry of Paul we see such a high percentage of converts among pagans, suggests that that might have been the case. Without official proof of a messianic line, Jews would no longer have been interested, but pagans would have been more accepting of the pagan ideas. Which begs the question: why invent a jewish messiah to appeal to pagans? Isn't it more reasonable to accept that there was a Jesus movement (founded by a historic Jesus)  that already preached his jewish Messiahship and gave his resurrection as a proof of God's annointing? Which was then modified by someone (possibly Paul) in order to attract more converts as the recruitment among the jews dried up?

We don't know if Paul invented these concepts or if they were already a part of 1st century Christianity. We also do not know what sort of written literature existed about Jesus, but to expect a movement that clearly came from Judaic roots to be a purely oral tradition is at best naive. From this point in history you can trace the further development of the church's theology and writings. It is not unusual (in fact totally believable) for a movement to seek to aggrandize their leader, (Washington chopping down the Cherry tree being the most notable modern equivalent) but to fabricate an entire person as you suggest must have been done and which the documentary evidence shows must have been done at an early point in christian history, requires a multiplication of entities that, in fact defies a reasonable explanation. 

There comes a point where your denial screams, "You are giving rationalists a bad name." 

 

Jeffrick's picture

Not a name.

                       Jesus Christus, Jesu Cristos, Yeoshua Messiah, is a title NOT a name. It means gods savior annointed, has for the roots of christianity they date back before 90 BCE, according to Julius Caeser. He was not writing a religious history, it was just something he mentioned in passing.  When devout Judaens wanted to avoid trubble with Romes religious police the ones living in Caeser's mothers apartment building  walked around the corner to make offerings at  the temple of Mithras' on Vatican Hill.  The temple of Mithras later became the first St.Peter's church.                        Who was Mithras?  Glad you asked.  He was the light of light, the savior of mankind, the sun of the Zorastrian god, he was born Dec.25, he had twelve apostles, he died during the spring furtility festival but rose again on the third day and ascended to the heavens. But don't worry he was born again on the next Dec.25 to start the cycle all over again.                       Now when you mix Mithras (an Indo-Aryan word for Mystirious/mythic) with devout Judaens you end up with christianity.  This Mithra/Jewish cult was in small enclaves throughout the Roman world, they were the ones Paul was persecuting when he had his epileptic siesure on the road to Damacus. Paul was given the job of persicuting because has a Roman citizen he could ge away with more crap then the non-citizen Jews he worked for. Paul took on a Mythic version of the savior of the Jews, because Mithra was mythic.                       Jews took to the new massiah cult because  the sack of the Jerusalem temple, meny wanted a savior when the were chased out of Palastine. The new christian cult grew fast among Roman slaves and soldiers because it so closely resembled their Mithratic religion, they confused one with the other.   

 

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?