Sketches on Atheism

Why Jews Don’t Believe in Jesus

From The Ohr Somayach Insitute, Jerusalem.

Dear Rabbi, Why don’t Jews believe in Jesus? Doesn’t it say in the Psalms, “They pierced my hands and feet”? Doesn’t Isaiah say, “Behold a virgin shall give birth”?

torahJESUS – NOT THE MESSIAH

  1. Scriptural References

In order to understand anything in the Torah one must look at the original Hebrew. You will see that the Christians distorted, changed and misinterpreted many of the Hebrew words in order to fit things into their beliefs. The two places that you mentioned are good examples. In Psalm 22:17 the Hebrew states “hikifuni ca’ari yaday veraglay” which means “they bound me (hikifunilike a lion (ca-like ari-lion), my hands (yadayand my feet (ve-and raglay-my feet). The Christians translate this as “they pierced my hands and feet“. Nowhere in the entire Torah, Prophets and Writings do the words ca’ari or hikifuny mean anything remotely resembling “pierce“.

In Isaiah 7:14 the Hebrew states “hinei ha’almah harah veyoledet ben” “behold (hineih) the young woman (ha – the almah- young woman) is pregnant (harah) and shall give birth (ve-and yoledet-shall give birth) to a son (ben)“. The Christians translate this as “behold a virgin shall give birth.” They have made two mistakes (probably deliberate) in the one verse. They mistranslate “ha” as “a” instead of “the“. They mistranslate “almah” as “virgin“, when in fact the Hebrew word for virgin is “betulah”. Aside from the fact that if you read the context of that prediction you will see clearly that it is predicting an event that was supposed to happen and be seen by king Achaz who lived 700 years before Jesus!

  1. Genealogy

He was not descended from the House of David. According to Jewish law, tribal identification comes from the father’s side, being Jewish, from the mother’s side. According to Matthew 1, Joseph was descended from David (Although there are many contradictions between his genealogy there and that listed in Luke, however according to the same text, Joseph did not have sexual relations with Mary, therefore Jesus was not related to Joseph, and not a descendant of King David.

Three answers to this problem are given in classic Christian sources:

  1. The genealogy is that of Mary – This is inadequate, since if he is claimed to be the Jewish messiah, and according to Jewish tradition he must be descended on his father’s side, Mary’s genealogy is irrelevant.
  2. He was adopted by Joseph -According to Jewish law, adoption does not change the status of the child. If an Israelite is adopted by a Cohen, (A descendant of Aaron the High Priest), the child does not become a Cohen, likewise if a descendant of David, adopts someone who is not, he does not become of the tribe of Judah and a descendant of David.
  3. It doesn’t matter, he was a spiritual inheritor of King David – If it doesn’t matter, why do Christian scriptures spend time establishing his genealogical pedigree? And if he is claimed to be the Jewish messiah, then according to Jewish tradition it does matter!
  1. Messianic Predictions

The main predictions concerning the Messiah are that he will bring peace to the world, gather the Jewish people from their exile to the land of Israel and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. After Jesus’ appearance, the Temple was destroyed, the Jews were exiled all over the world and we have not even had one day of peace in the past 2,000 years. (Many of the wars in fact were started and fought by followers of Jesus) These events are enough to show that he was not the messiah.

The main Christian responses to these objections are:

  1. The Second Coming – First of all, we find this to be a contrived answer, since there is no mention of a second coming in the Jewish Bible. Second, why couldn’t G-d accomplish His goals the first time round. Most importantly, the second coming idea is just an attempt at answering an obvious question but it certainly does not constitute proof of messianic claims.
  2. There is peace within his followers hearts – That is wonderful for them, but does that help the victims of the Inquisition, the Crusades, the Hundred Years War, the First World War, the Second World War etc. In each of the events that I mentioned most if not all the combatants, the violent oppressors and torturers where people who claimed to be followers of Jesus. And is peace in the heart a fulfillment of “swords into plowshares etc.”
  1. Messiah’s Qualifications

Messiah is a prophet, a scholar and a pious king. Jesus made a prediction that “The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand.” (Mark 1:15) That was 2000 years ago, has the kingdom of God come? Do you call the holocaust, Pol Pot and Stalin a world in which the kingdom of God has come? Jesus was not a great scholar – one of the requirements of the Messiah. Was Jesus a king? He was not anointed as king by a prophet (as was the rule in Jewish kings), he was not appointed by any judicial body as a leader and he did not rule over the Jewish people nor was he accepted by them. He was arrested, tortured and killed by the Romans like a common criminal. He had no army or government. The answer to my question is an obvious, “no.”

JESUS – NOT A DEITY

  1. The Trinity

The Christian idea of a trinity contradicts the most basic tenet of Judaism – that G-d is One. Jews have declared their belief in a single unified G-d twice daily ever since the giving of the Torah at Sinai – almost two thousand years before Christianity.

The trinity suggests a three part deity: The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19).

In Jewish law, worship of a three-part god is considered idolatry; one of the three cardinal sins for which a person should rather give up his life than transgress. The idea of the trinity is absolutely incompatible with Judaism.

© 2000 Ohr Somayach International – All rights reserved. This publication may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission.

For further reading concerning the Jewish rejection of the Trinity, see:

http://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/articles/judaism/answers-2/god-as-one-vs-the-trinity/

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14519-trinity

http://outreachjudaism.org/elohim-plural/

http://outreachjudaism.org/trinity-genesis/

http://www.judaismvschristianity.com/trinity.htm

http://ohr.edu/ask/ask00j.htm#Q1.B1

http://www.hebrew-streams.org/works/hazak/af-answer.pdf

https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/why-jews-dont-believe-in-the-trinity/

 

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176 thoughts on “Why Jews Don’t Believe in Jesus

  1. This should be “case closed” even for Christians … if they cared whether they were believing a contrived fantasy or not … if they cared about reality or not … if they didn’t care for people “strong in faith” meaning people who believe nonsense and are proud of it, and…, and….

    Liked by 1 person

    • One would hope… but…

      On the Trinity, Rabbi Stuart Federow said:

      “IN SHORT… Jews do not believe in a trinity. The Jewish idea of Gd is that Gd is One and Indivisible. Gd cannot be divided up into separate parts, where each part is unequal to each of the other parts, yet somehow they are one and the same. The Hebrew Scriptures describe Gd as an absolute One, but the Christian Scriptures describe Gd as divisible into three parts called a trinity. In the Christians’ scriptures, Jesus at one point claims to have different knowledge than other parts of the Christian trinity. For example, Matthew 24:36, or Mark 13:32. In another verse, Jesus does not have the same power as other parts of the Christian trinity, for example, Luke 23:34. And in Matthew 26:42, Jesus’ will is not the same as the will of the Father. Indeed, Jesus often contrasted himself with the Father, for example, in John 14:28, or Luke 18:19. Furthermore, Jesus supposedly said that the punishment for blaspheming against one part of the trinity is not the same punishment for blaspheming against another part of the trinity. In the Hebrew Scriptures, however, Gd is One, as we read in Deuteronomy 6:4, as well as in Isaiah 44:6, where Gd tells us, ‘I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no Gd.’ When Isaiah tells us that Gd said, ‘I am the first,’ it means that Gd has no father. When Isaiah tells us that Gd said, ‘I am the last,’ it means that Gd has no literal son, a divine piece of Gd. And when Isaiah tells us that Gd said, ‘Besides me there is no Gd,’ it means that Gd does not share being Gd with any other Gd, or demi-Gd, or semi-Gd, or persons, and there is no trinity.”

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    • @steve

      Case closed? The Jews don’t believe in the ‘trinity,’ and atheists don’t believe in God.

      Scripture then cites the Jews as stubborn and hardhearted, and the atheist as fools. So what.

      The scriptures condemn all who trifle with its contents, nothing new under the sun.

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      • Hi john. Yeah, keep believing that.

        I referred you previously to the esteemed and unchallenged work of the Austrian Jew Dr. Alfred Edersheim, whose ‘Life and times of Jesus the Messiah’ has silenced every argument, including your petty assertions here.

        Take a few years to also read his work ‘Old Testament History,’ and view things from the other side of the tracks.

        His conclusions are inescapable, and put to rest the lame claims of bible doubters and irrelevant observations.

        Liked by 1 person

      • A single 19th Century convert whom no one has heard of… Very impressive. I think I’ll stick with the learned rabbis who have dedicated their lives to understanding their story… Note those words, CS, “their story.” You don’t have a dog in this game. Jesus was born a Jew, lived a Jew, and died a Jew. You are a Paulanite, an idol worshiper who rabbi Yisroel C. Blumenthal says is “one of the three cardinal sins for which a person should rather give up his life than transgress.”

        And as Rabbi Singer says: “The doctrine of the Trinity has no greater foe than the Hebrew Scriptures. It is on the strength of this sacred oracle that the Jew has preserved the concept of One, single, unique Creator God Who alone is worthy of worship. Missionaries (Christians) undertake an daunting and unholy task as they scour the Jewish Scriptures in search of any text that can be construed as consistent with the doctrine of the Trinity.”

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      • A single convert? Whom no one heard of? May I remind you of the minority, such as David and one stone…

        And may I correct you. He was surely heard of in the circles in which he ran, and had the same detractors of unbelief as live today.

        Your hero rabbi friends were cut of the same cloth as the unbelieving Jews that the Lord dealt with: ‘If ye believe not the writings of Moses, ye will not believe my words.’

        As I said, nothing new here. But your larger dilemma is how a man such as Edersheim, and a man such as Saul of Tarsus, then Paul, as Jews, lived their lives as christians, believing the Jewish scriptures.

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      • Yep true enough.

        As in ‘Let us make man in our image.’ One. Perfectly contained in the Godhead.

        The Jews understood their own dilemma when they asked: ‘who can forgive sins but God alone?’

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      • Fail.

        “I am the first and I am the last and besides Me there is no other.” (Isaiah 44:6)

        Admit it, Colourstorm, you’re an idol worshiper.

        “It would be difficult to imagine a doctrine more hostile to the uncompromising monotheism preached in the Jewish Scriptures than the Christian claim that there is a plurality within the divine nature of God.” (Rabbi Singer)

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      • It is written……..again……..and again………and again…….

        Hmmm. I wonder who said this….

        ‘And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.’

        Hint: He is the root and offspring of David.

        You will wear out your fingers john typing objections, as all are stubborn excuses.

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      • Evidently, you didn’t read the post, Colourstorm. Jesus was not descended from David.

        And Colourstorm, even Jesus denies the Trinity, rendering you a pure idol worshiper

        Jesus said “No one is good – except God alone

        Jesus said “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only

        John 13:3 the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God, and went to God.

        John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me

        John 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak,

        John 8:26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him

        John 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

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      • And I’ll take that to mean you cannot respond. Hebrew Scripture says you’re an idolater, and Jesus says you’re an idolater. And as rabbi Yisroel C. Blumenthal says, you should sooner kill yourself than commit this sin against the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

        “In Jewish law, worship of a three-part god is considered idolatry; one of the three cardinal sins for which a person should rather give up his life than transgress. The idea of the trinity is absolutely incompatible with Judaism.

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      • Au contrare.

        Your posts john are proof that scripture has no hold over you, other than the ignorant interpretations by they who also do not believe what is written.

        Read Acts chapter seven to see the history and spirit of your rabbis rebellious hearts.

        It could have been written yesterday; such is the relevance and power of God’s word.

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      • Why would I read Acts? It has no bearing at all on the message of Jesus, or the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You see, you worship men, not the god of Israel.

        You’re a pagan.

        “In essence, the Jewish people never believed in a Trinity, and the Church adopted it under enormous political pressure from the most pagan segments of the young Catholic Church. Understandably, missionaries (Christians) undertake a formidable task when they seek to prove this fourth century doctrine from a radically monotheistic Torah which is timeless.” (Rabbi Singer)

        Read that again, Colourstorm… the Torah is “timeless.” Jesus says so himself, doesn’t he?

        And how about this:

        “The doctrine of the Trinity was forged out of the crucible of the Catholic Church long after the Christian century. It is, therefore, no wonder that this pagan doctrine was unknown to authors of the New Testament. Church history reveals that it was not until three hundred years after the birth of Christianity that the doctrine of the Bianity (325 C.E.) and Trinity (381 C.E.) received formal approval in the Christian community. These well documented events occurred under circumstances rife with contention, political agitation, and radical dissension in the early Church.” (Rabbi Singer)

        You are sinning against the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob… and you know what your punishment will be.

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      • Just for the record, the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob may be such to the unbelieving Jew, but the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Daniel, Esther, Mordecai, Peter, Paul, and us today, is the God of believing Jews and Gentiles.

        Truth be told, the arrogant unbelievers who cloak themselves with religion, find this extremely distasteful, that God can suit ‘other’ misfits with the robe of righteousness.

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      • Afraid to say, Colourstorm, but your “unbelieving Jew” owns your story. It’s their god, their origin story, and they say the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is going to punish you for eternity in a lake of fire for worshiping an polytheistic idol. The god of Israel is a monotheistic god. One and indivisible. Or what, are you suggesting a third of the god died? How can a third of a god die, Colourstorm? Did the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob resurrect itself?

        You’re a pagan idolater.

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      • If I can politely add, you remind me of a gerbil on a wheel. At the end of the day the wheel hasn’t moved, and the gerbil is sapped of energy.

        God’s word is unchangeable, and all man’s efforts to dismiss Him are futile.

        In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

        In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

        All things were made by him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.

        By Him all things consist.

        You cannot exhaust the contents of scripture in a lifetime, (neither can I) but it surely is a worthy pursuit.

        .hagd jz

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      • Well then, myopia could be a good thing john, because the tune is borrowed from ‘nine inch nails,’ which is hardly country.

        anyway, the legendary Mr Cash died shortly after making that vid, and it goes to the heart of the last few comments.

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      • That’s what you saw? No surprise then.

        He mentions the ‘liars chair,’ of which all mankind sits.

        ‘Everyone goes away in the end.’

        ‘You can have it all, my empire of dirt……….’

        If you could only get a grasp on the grace of God.

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      • If you could only get a grasp on the grace of God.

        One things for sure, you’re going to be grasping the extent of the monotheistic (indivisible) god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s vengeance as he hurls you into the pit of eternal fire.

        And Colourstorm, you never did answer me. Are you suggesting a third of god died? How can a third of a god die, Colourstorm? Did the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob resurrect itself?

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  2. Remember, Yahweh is the God who committed acts of ethnic cleansing, mass murder, and genocide multiple times – Noah’s flood, Egyptian plagues, Sodom and Gomorrah, asking Jews to kill all then-occupants of Israel. So how do Holocaust, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot not make this a Kingdom of God?

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  3. Timely post on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. I find Judaism interesting, but that may be because I grew up working with them, and live in the Jewish Quarter. At least they don’t proselytise, a big plus in my book. I also find the ones I know extremely pragmatic, although their Shabbat/holy day rules are a little weird.

    Look forward to checking out some of the links, but not tonight. Unlike my Jewish neighbours, I’m working. And Partner has just gone to an emergency plumbing job that he’s got to finish before sundown!! (The clients are Jewish :D)

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  4. What you will find, although it is doubtful (m)any Christians will comment, is how few are even aware of this, and are scurrying all over the internet or hammering their local vicar, minister,priest for answers.
    And of course you will get some who are already saying ( as one said to me) ”Why must I believe what a Jew says? They didn’t believe Jesus was the Messiah.”

    You just know it, right?

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  5. Thanks for this, John. The Trinity has always seemed quite a bizarre notion to grasp yet understandably necessary for the square peg of Christianity to fit in the round hole of the OT… as long as one doesn’t think too much about it, that is. Christianity is sort of like seeing a ball of yarn as a ball (the NT) rather than the shaped version of a string of yarn it really is (the OT).

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    • Nicely put.

      Rabbi Singer has said:

      “In essence, the Jewish people never believed in a Trinity, and the Church adopted it under enormous political pressure from the most pagan segments of the young Catholic Church. Understandably, missionaries undertake a formidable task when they seek to prove this fourth century doctrine from a radically monotheistic Torah which is timeless … the plural suffix in Elohim is indicative of “a plural form of three” is particularly preposterous, and illustrates the desperation and frustration some Trinitarians display in their rash effort to defend this alien Church creed.”

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  6. The Jews reject Christian teaching with good reason. Ironically, so too do the Samaritans with good reason reject Jewish teachings that extend beyond the Pentateuch.

    As (I think) Lincoln observed, nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense, for everyone thinks they have enough of it.

    Of course the material of this post refutes the claims for someone who existed, which grants something that is not certain by any means – I am not saying Christ is necessarily totally a myth, but the idea of the allegorical figure transposing to an alleged historical person doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

    Although this post deals with why Jesus could not be the Messiah, it is worth noting that no Jewish writing of any sort appeared making mention of this Jesus until AFTER the appearance of Christian writings about him that were in various degrees anti-Semitic.

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  7. Pingback: Why Jews Don't Believe in Jesus | Christians Anonymous

    • You didn’t follow the Trinity links, did you?? I don’t know why i bother! 😉

      Here, this is from the Jewish Encyclopedia:

      The fundamental dogma of Christianity; the concept of the union in one God of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three infinite persons. It was the Nicene Council and even more especially the Athanasian Creed that first gave the dogma its definite formulation: “And the Catholick Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Substance.” Equalization of the Son with the Father marks an innovation in the Pauline theology: “Yet to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we unto him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him” (I Cor. viii. 6, R. V.), while in another passage the Holy Ghost is added (ib. xii. 3; comp. Titus ii. 13), thus rapidly developing the concept of the Trinity (II Cor. xiii. 14). Although the Judæo-Christian sect of the Ebionites protested against this apotheosis of Jesus (“Clementine Homilies,” xvi. 15), the great mass of Gentile Christians accepted it.

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  8. I’ve always been perplexed at the error in translations, or at the very least, an unwillingness to update the scriptures as translation theory evolves. But then I realize who and what I’m thinking about and I laugh, shake my head, and play some PS4.

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  9. John I admire your zeal and fervor- especially your presentation of evidence for your cause. One can only hope that I can channel some of that energy and intellect to champion the causes and rights I am working to fight for in the states. ✌🏽️😎

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      • I’ve joined the Bernie Sanders campaign in the U.S. after years of political apathy and not being involved whatsoever since John Kerry in 2004 (whose campaign I worked for as well). Bernie’s fighting for income equality and rebuilding the middle class (in general terms). My family has personally been affected by economic woes, job losses, medical and student loan debt- and his campaign is aimed at working for a solution. He has excellent ideas and in the very least is getting be conversation started in the right direction. He’s the only candidate to speak up- and even refers to his campaign as a “political revolution.” He was in SC this weekend. Big move for a man of “liberal” agenda in a right winged fundamentalist state lol. I gave him kudos alone for being that brave!

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      • Great stuff. I’ve been a fan of Sanders for some time. Wouldn’t a Sanders/Warren ticket be brilliant? It’s going to take that kind of union to break the corporatism that has so ruined your country.

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      • Are you sure you don’t want to come to the U.S. And help us bring this to American attention? 😳 lol! I know a small group of people that are catching on to this issue- but unfortunately the vast majority prefers to bury their heads in the sand and/or continue running that rat race.

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      • Good to know there’s more of us lingering behind the scenes- waiting for others to see what we have seen all along- the romper room that these other guys and gals call politics. Finally one amongst them (Bernie) calls them all out on their bs 😜😄

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  10. Exellent post. When you want to know what is wrong about Christianity ask a Jew, when you want to know what is wrong with Judaism, ask a Muslim, when you want to know what is wrong about Islam ask a Christian, when you want to know what is wrong about Hinduism, ask a Buddhist and so forth…

    The trinity is such a mess. Why not the holy double? As in the Father and the Son? Or why not the holy Pentanity? Or for the same money, why not an entire holy Legion? Because three is such a nice number? Two males and a I am sorry to say an utterly meaningless and purposeless non-persona of an androgyne? How accurate, and revealing, that no women are allowed to the person of the alledged creator entity?

    It seems to me, that the idea of the Trinity came from Christianity being a Roman rather than a Jewish cultural product. Yes, it was based on Judaism and it was first established in Jewish communities around the Eastern part of the Roman Empire, but still, it seems that though it takes a lot from Judaism, it is full of these misconceptions about Judaism (and even the place names in Iudea). A bit like Mormonism is an American product, though it is based on Christianity and was first established in Christian communities around the western part of the USA.

    The entire notion of Jesus being a flesh and blood son of the Jewish god, it seems, is totally alien to the Jewish concept of a god, while it is very typical to the cultural heritage of all the other people in the post-Hellenic eastern part of the Roman Empire. And I bet a lot of Jewish fishermen, sheepherders speaking Arameic and a single Pharisee who spoke Greek as his mothers tongue were not very clear on wether, if their religious heritage would defy a demigod such as they percieved this particular humane Jewish Nazarean (= a Jewish monk), who seems to have “miraculously” survived an execution. Or as they (a bit superstitiously, if you ask me) interpreted the events, resurrected (like any old demigod could have), when nobody was looking…

    Christianity is an obvious cultural mix of ingridients from so many different heritages around at the Near-East at the time it was born. But so is Judaism, if we are honest. For some reason this group of tribes that has a law forbidding them from eating shellfish, has a story accumulated from previous cultures about a flood and a boat that saved mankind from the wrath of the divine. Taken from the Sumerians who wrote it down long before nothing much of the Jewish culture had even been born…

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    • Why do I get the image of a chef making lasagna… layer upon layer upon layer 😉

      The Trinity is a mess, but it seems worshiping a man (just another soothsayer) didn’t have the same desired box office appeal as a god. The Judæo-Christian sect, the Ebionites, didn’t seem to buy into the plot, but hey, they weren’t the Producers.

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      • Well, being considered gay must be very dangerous to a social movement, like for example Christianity, when it emerged in the rather non-gay-friendly environment. So, if that was the reason why trinity rather than double, then I guess it could explain it.

        However, not having a single female among the personae of the triune god seems rather gay too, now does it not? Is this alledgedly monotheistic god having a serious identity crisis, or what?

        What is the relation of this god to sex anyway? It seems very interrested in meddling about it (and diets), though it also brags not to have ever engaged in any, exept when it – alledgedly – impregnated a nother mans wife. Wich was, to say the least, rather questionable, especially so as this god had “himself” told before to everybody it was supposed to be immoral. But since might makes right, that is settled and we have to be thankfull to this particular god, it has not decided to destroy us and that it atleast saves the most gullible among us, who have happened to be born into a particular cultural bubble, from the lakes of fire and eternal torture – wich subsequently, the saved ones can enjoy wathcing for an eternity while they sing praises to this “benevolent” entity. Nice!

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  11. At the age of ten, I asked how Jesus could be BOTH descended from David via Joseph’s line AND fruit of a virgin birth. To date, the best answer I have is the slap I received at the age of ten. I took this to mean “don’t ask intelligent questions about religion”. I’ve still not learnt.

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  12. One outstanding post John, or repost! 😉

    As you and I have briefly discussed before, and that I’ve purported, is that Christianity reflects little of true Jewish Messianism and a whole lot of Greco-Roman politics and desperation to salvage a crumbling Empire via a “new” welfare system — incidentally that the Jews had all along for thousands of years. Rome just needed to make it and twist it into their singular invention. What followed a century or two later was the Vatican of course.

    As more thorough and exploratory findings in archaeology, philology, etc, continue, and as more non-canonical testimonies of the period are found and studied, all compass rose will point to what the growing evidence already infers…

    …that Yeshua/Jesus is simply one person in a long global list of wise remarkable teachers and social-movers, ala Martin Luther King, Jr. or Mahatma Gandhi. 🙂

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    • If he existed at all. I tend to think the character was a metafictional device, a storytelling tool that was simply misinterpreted by the northern diaspora. We know now that Acts does not recount real history, so the idea of the church beginning in Jerusalem is simply false. It began in Syria where the Jewish refugees were.

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      • If he existed at all.

        I have no desire to argue that with you my Friend, nor the ignorance. That position is certainly a very plausible one given the known and growing evidence. 😉

        Ahh, and with a sound understanding of the Diaspora and their localized twists on Messianism, you bring up a GREAT point! Bravo Sir!

        …Acts does not recount real history, so the idea of the church beginning in Jerusalem is simply false.

        Yep. And allow me to mire myself into the theological insanity for a moment please…
        …purely in a “New Testament” context, I fail to understand why Fundamental Apologists refuse to recognize James the brother of Yeshua’s/Jesus’ heavy influence on Judeo-Christianity — as opposed to Paulian-Christianity who’s leader of Greco-Roman slants never ever met Yeshua in person! — which was later hunted down, burned, and exterminated as heretical in perfect Pax Romana style. LOL This always makes me ask (with no reasonable retorts from them) Why do you feel the Roman provincial authorities in the 4th century CE felt the controversy, the splits & fragmentations among the Jewish populations, and the constant constant Messianic uprisings should be hidden, squelched, or obliterated!??? 😉 hehe

        And furthermore, When investigating, examining, and debating this specific time-period and location, why do you/they refuse to use NO OTHER non-Xian perspectives and texts of or around the period; only Xian sources!? Again, no reasonable explanations from them.

        It all reminds me so much of the Joseph Goebbels’ tactics and machine of 1940’s fame! 😛

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  13. What it boils down to is that there is very, very much ado about nothing on both sides.
    From all you point out it becomes clear that the foundations of the beliefs amount to straw bedded in quicksand.

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  14. There was a good discussion about why the Jews don’t believe Jesus was the messiah in Bart Ehrman’s Jesus Interrupted as well. It’s pretty convincing and it’s unclear how such a thing can be so easily dismissed by Christianity. The only time a Christian even responded when I pointed this fact out is simply by saying “Well the Jews are wrong”. Um okay…strong argument? lol

    Great post!

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  15. Interesting essay.

    My only caveeat is that what fails here is the legacy of Jewish monotheism, which is much more…complicated…than the good Rabbi suggests.

    For example, http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-evidence-of-israels-polytheistic.html

    And some Rabbis now admit that the historical basis of what Christians call the “Old Testament” is somewhat questionable as well. (One argument is that the scribes wrote the books down to justify what was basically a Persian imperial tax collection scheme in which returning elites needed some justification for their rule-and tax collecting regime).

    http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2013/10/as-goes-old-testament-hebrew-bible-so.html

    Not a scholar so unqualified to fully address these charges, but they are interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, the Pentateuch is pure myth up to about halfway through Kings, and you’re right about polytheism. Yhwh is a jealous god, and you can’t be jealous of yourself, then its pretty much a given he was competing for attention. Israel takes its name from El, the head of the Canaanite pantheon, whereas Judea worshiped Yhwh, who was one of El’s 70 children.

      Like

      • Hey, John. Just curious about your reaction to this completely off-topic post. My apologies, but I am a bit of a Brazilophile, and the politics and economics are fascinating to me as an otusider.

        http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/09/credit-rating-agencies-and-brazil-sp-as-neoliberal-enforcer.html

        In particular this:

        pdehaan September 14, 2015 at 11:47 am
        The timing of S&P’s downgrade also shouldn’t be overlooked.

        Pressure on the government is mounting from all angles. Many believe Roussef’s presidency won’t survive in 2015. Brazil’s revolution is a right-wing revolution. The ‘middle classes’ in the major cities and south-east in general are fed up with their loss of privileges and coming out of the closet now (In the past they were slightly embarrassed about poverty in the north-east and inequality). Political parties, as always opportunistic, are now aligned in their opposition to the government, smelling blood, and the workers party (PT) is completely isolated.

        For over a decade the PT was able to slowly introduce social programs and bring out swaths of people out of poverty. High commodity prices with China being a keen buyer certainly helped the economy a lot. This is over now and Brazil’s economy has taken a hit.

        Corruption has been the catalyst for the soft coup currently unfolding, but corruption has always been around and the opposition is probably even worse in this respect. It’s not the real reason for people wanting change. The people from the state of São Paulo, where most of the opposition comes from, have on many occasions elected right-wing governors and mayors known beforehand to be very corrupt. As for the justification, a popular saying here goes as follows: “rouba mais faz” (steals but works).

        It’s rather a combination of fear of losing privileges, racism and anything that may resemble Venezuela. Many people here believe that there’s some socialist or communist ‘agenda’ (just like many people in the US believe Obama is a socialist with a hidden agenda). During recent massive demonstrations against the government, people with banners demanding military intervention (a sad return to the 70/80’s, presumably) were peacefully walking hand in hand with people from all walks of life. Another thing that could be observed is that the anger is 95% white middle-class. The hatred is real and can be felt everywhere. I never saw this coming. Heck, it’s been so much better since PT came to power in 2003 compared to previous governments.

        Mainstream media has been very successful in driving the people’s negative perception and creating the fear and proper conditions for this coup. Roussef’s popularity is probably at the lowest point of any president in the history of Brazil as a democratic country, so the fertile ground is created. The only thing that’s missing is a legal case against Roussef in order to start impeachment proceedings, but they’ll invent something to bypass the democratic process. They are not prepared to wait until the next election.

        I see the S&P downgrade as and intentional part of creating this fertile ground. I don’t think these rating agencies work in isolation.

        As for the question if there’s a Corbyn-like figure waiting in the wings? Of course there are, but they can mainly be found in the PSOL party, which is tiny. In any case, it’s irrelevant right now. The pressure is coming from the other side and it will take a miracle to defend the little bit of progress that has been achieved over the last decade, or so.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s rather a combination of fear of losing privileges, racism and anything that may resemble Venezuela.

        Not sure if this is exactly correct. It’s more the case of being taxed so highly and getting shitty services in return. The Petrobras scandal is just another reason to be mad. PT (Lula, now Dilma) are useless wankers. Dilma, quite literally, doesn’t know what the hell she is doing. She once bankrupted a $2 shop, and has a cabinet of nearly 40! This is because there’s so many political parties that you have to bribe everyone to garner enough votes… just to get the wrong policies through.

        Is there a Corbyn-like figure waiting in the wings?

        There is only incompetence waiting in the wings. Politics here is rotten to the core. PT is atrocious, but the opposition (like PMDB) are almost as bad. Just this afternoon I was chatting to a friend here (who’s suffering with the downturn) and suggested that what this country needs is to be handed over to a team of Australian and New Zealand technocrats for ten years. He liked that idea. In fact, I bet you I could win the Presidency (if I could run, which I can’t) by promising just that.

        It really is a shame. Brazil is blessed with size, water, resources, weather, and soil… But its lead by monsters.

        Have you been here?

        Like

      • Forgot to add, there’s a saying here: “We pay Swedish taxes and get Somalian services.”

        Truth is, we actually pay more than the Swedes, and that makes the corruption and utter incompetence sting all that much more.

        Like

  16. Good post John. I am only just starting to understand how ‘creative’ some of the Biblical translation has been.

    Some years ago a Christian had told me that they disliked the NIV because it’s translation decisions were overly influenced by its theology. However I have become aware this extends to seeking to eradicate some of the inconvenient errors and inconsistencies from the text. There is a fascinating article by Paul Davidson on this aspect Here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andy (most of Jesus’ parables were free market parables) Schlafly at Conservapedia hates almost every translation, and is re-writing the whole thing! 66 books, 1,189 chapters, 31,102 verses, and 788,280 words of both the OT and NT are being reworked with a Conservative-only lexicon and phrases like “God-fearing” instead of “meek,” and a better Jesus (a Republican Jesus) who doesn’t greet his disciples with the far too feminist, “Peace be with you,” but rather the more Bald Eagle, NRA-Republicanism of, “Peace of mind be with you.” He’s replacing every mention of “peace” with “tranquility,” because, well, Jesus wasn’t into peace.

      Gotta’ love interpretations.

      Like

  17. Interesting comments, John! Have never been to Brazil myself (and I would be a bit nervous about visiting-my brother was robbed at knifepoint on Copacabana Beach!)

    The problem I see is the social divide-an educaitonal system, social structure, and economy in which a percentage (which the leftist writer dismissed as “middle class” is modern, even First World, but a significant part of the population is not. And, like the rest of the world, more and more people are “surplus” to what the capitalist system appears to need.

    I have no answers.

    I promise…no more off-topic posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. A question I just have to ask … gods forgive me … why so coy with the name of ol’ God? We have ‘G-d’ and ‘Gd’, why not go whole hog and simply put ‘God’?

    Okaaaay — I guess most folks will gather from context that ol’ Yahooey (or whatever its name is) (the Abrahamic G-d) is in the hot seat, rather than any of the tens of thousands (millions?) of others. And pin-pointing the wee fellow by name isn’t making a concession to the superstitious, far from it— oops, my turn for the shower. Bugger, I was just getting into it (act of God?) (brrrrr~!)

    Like

  19. And I like the way you worded that king-hit question: to the effect “Did a third of the God die?” … which can only be answered in the affirmative by a Christian.

    Love it~!

    Liked by 1 person

      • No, no, no, no, no … wrong. All wrong. We’re forgetting Old Nick. Big G sacrificed Himself to save us from Nick.

        One might then ask where Nick came from and the best anyone can come up with is that The Creator of everything set him (Nick) in motion.

        The next question has to be ‘Why?’ … to which the answer must be ‘In order to further create us, so that He might sacrifice Himself to save us from His other creation, Old Nick.’

        At this point my mental faculties implode into a reversal of the scientific Big Bang (which is another name for God, but without the Old Nick bits) so it’s all perfectly logical. No?

        Liked by 1 person

  20. This argumentation of the rabbi about validity of basic claims in Christianity about trinity and some textual misinterpretation is funny. As if this would be the only logical misconception in the Christianity, monotheism and any other religions faith.
    But, what seems to me more interesting is, that the rabbi’s claim shows the basic difference between Judaism and Christianity. While Christianity is a religion with global intention to baptize everyone everywhere, Judaism in its essence is a tribal religion, focused on the Jews without any pretence to be globally excepted.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Right, so now I’m confused! If he wasn’t the messiah…erm…does that mean he actually WAS a very naughty boy?
    Honestly, this religion stuff – it’s a load of bollocks really isn’t it? I mean come on: I believe this so I’m better than you because you believe that. Some bloke said this 2000 years or more ago which means I have to kill you because you don’t believe it. Yes so ok it does say don’t kill people but that’s only if they are like me; anyone else who hasn’t got a fish stuck on the back of their car and drives at 20mph with their fucking nose stuck in the air…well they’re fair game!
    Just be good to people and if there is a heaven I’m sure you’ll get in. Bottom line: be kinder to your knees.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t get too involved with religion because most of it goes sailing over my head, not because I don’t have the mental capacity to understand it, it’s because I duck! The whole thing is used solely for the purpose of keeping us in our place.
        I can’t and won’t quote scripture because it’s mostly nonsense. All I can quote is Chris Rock in Dogma, who said something like they took a good idea and messed it up by building a system of belief around it.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. @John Zande: Thank you for this summary! Very helpful and useful information for me. I’m just debating these questions here in Sweden. I can easily pick some very good arguments from your excellent “smorgasbord”.

    Liked by 1 person

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