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Offline Theophilus  
#1 Posted : Thursday, January 24, 2008 6:35:54 AM(UTC)
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In another thread I mentioned a dialogue that I've been having with a young lady who had recently converted to becoming a Hassidic Gentile following the "Noahadic Covenant". She recently asked be a series of questions that offers me encouragement but I hope that your insights will be helpful in addressing. She asked the following:

Quote:
One of the difficulties I have with Christianity is the claims that Jesus fulfilled hundreds of prophecies in the Old Testament. There are several reasons for this:

1. I don't believe that the "prophecies" really are prophecies - such as the prophecy of the virgin birth. Or Psalm 22. To me it seems like going back through the Old Testament expecting to find something to prove what you already believe in. They aren't recognized as Messianic prophecies by the Jewish people - nor were they ever.

2. There are very specific prophecies in the Jewish scriptures concerning the Messiah. They believe that he will be a man - a mortal man - touched by G-d. Peace will reign under his rule and the world will be united under Judaism, among others. Christians say that Jesus will fulfill all these during his second coming, but I don't see any real clear reference that the Messiah is to die and then come again.

3. Christians claim that in Isaiah, the idea of the suffering savior is clearly introduced that the Messiah is to suffer FOR our sins. After talking to a rabbi, I learned that in the Hebrew texts it actually reads that the suffering severant is to suffer FROM our sins, not for. Did it always read this way? I don't know. What I do know is that the suffering servant in Isaiah is clearly linked to the nation of Israel.

4. If I can't accept these as true Messianic prophecies - then how can I accept Jesus as the true prophized Messiah?

I'm not asking to get into a proving war, or to argue the autheticity of prophecies. What I'm getting at is how exactly do we know that all these pasages are truly referring to Jesus, and that we are not just seeing something that supports what we already believe in?


I understand that on point one that it is not true that Jews always rejected the Messiah ben Yoseph / Priestly Suffering Servant vien of prophecies as being valid messianic along with the kingly Messiah ben David ones. I'd like to research just what these ancient sources are though. I believe Daniel and Isaiah 53 addressed the dying, resurrection and second coming. It is my hope that it can be shown that Rabbicinal expectations made before Yahshua's incarnation will reveal that both were regarded as valid. We can look into the specific prophecies and how Rabbinical /Masoretic renderings differ from Messianic, LXX, and Dead Sea Scrolls sources as we proceed. She seems attracted to Yahshua but more trusting of what the traditional Rabbi's interpret Messiah to be like. Any thoughts are welcome?
Offline Theophilus  
#2 Posted : Thursday, January 24, 2008 9:34:18 AM(UTC)
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I understand your frustration my friend. I'd like to provide more sources but this is a tremendous start. I copied the YY paragraph that mentioned the Rabbinical Messianic fullillment in the Son of a Star. It seems that rather than Paulianity, Rambanism or Rashism has taken hold in the tradition Rabbinical interpretations. I recall reading some of these sources in a book "Search for Messiah" and hope to read Micheal l. Brown's series sometime soon as well. I wonder if it would yet be beneficial to copy Yada's rendering of IS 53 in YY? I think I may first need to address the notions that Judaism has always held their interpretations.
Offline Theophilus  
#3 Posted : Thursday, January 24, 2008 10:20:44 AM(UTC)
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As an update I asked for clarification as to what her specific concerns were and recieved the following:

Quote:
For me there tends to be very specific Messianic prophecies in the bible that both the Jews and the Christians recognize. The Jews say that the Messiah will do this once he walks on earth and the Christians say that Jesus will do these in the second coming. These prophecies have to do with world peace, a united world living under the direct presence of G-d, an end to suffering and death, etc...

These are not the prophecies I am concerned about.

I am more concerned with what the Christians claim to be prophecies that don't seem to be ones to those of us on the outside. The passages that seem to be referring to very specific events now - not as prophecies about Jesus that would occur later. I already touched lightly on Isaiah so lets go into Psalm 22 for another example of what I'm having trouble with.

To me, this is about David having difficulties with oppressors. He is crying out to G-d to help him in his greatest time of need when everything around him his failing.


Quote:
Christian Old Testament Psalm 22:17 wrote:
"Indeed many dogs surround me,
a pack of evildoers closes in upon me,
They have peirced me hands and my feet."


Quote:
Jewish Tanakh, 1917 English Translation Psalm 22:17 wrote:

"17 For dogs have encompassed me;
a company of evil-doers have inclosed me;
like a lion, they are at my hands and my feet."


Sort of changes the meaning doesn't it?

I have seen a lot of Christians scholars say that the version with the lions makes utterly no sense. The problem is that David has already mentioned lions in verse 14 as a literaly device. He uses them to show destruction.

For many, it is the the Christian version that makes little sense, unless it was translated to create the foreshadowing of Jesus. Why in the world would dogs pierce his hands and feet? Why wouldn't David use a different word here, especially seeing his control of language and his art of poetry in the Psalms?

To Christians this foreshadows the death of Jesus on a cross. To outsiders to shows the suffering of someone at the hands of those who do not follow G-d and are depraved, bent on destroying what G-d has created.

Let's go back to the begining of Isaiah - chapter 7 where the prophecy of Jesus' birth is said to be found.

Quote:
Chrisitan Old Testament Isaiah 7:14 wrote:
Therefore the Lor Himself will give you a sign: Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.


Quote:
Jewish Tanakh 1917 translation, Isaiah 7:140 wrote:
Therefore the L-rd Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.


In the Christian version it is possible to say that this is referring to the virgin birth of Jesus. In the Jewish scriptures (yes it reads the same in Hebrew) it instead inferrs that a child is to be born right then and there that will help Israel in her time of need.

This is what I have a problem with. The Old Testament is the scriptures of the Jewish people - not Christians. The majority of the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled have been found in the Old Testament after reading it in a Christian light. It is these verses that I have difficulty with, while at the same time they are what shows that Jesus is the Messiah.


I think YY has a chapter on Ps 22, Is 53, and possibly Is 7 each that goes into the renderings and role of the Masorites selections in arriving at the current differences between the versions shown above and that in the DSSB and YY. I can see where if you began with her presumptions it could be quite confusing.
Offline kp  
#4 Posted : Thursday, January 24, 2008 6:35:50 PM(UTC)
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The bottom line here is that if you want to find a way to deny what the scriptures teach concerning the Messiah, you're going to find a way to do it. In fact, Yahweh has made it easy to reject Him if you want to, presenting things in symbols, metaphors, and parables. As Yahshua Himself explained, "And He said, 'To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’" (Luke 8:10) In other words, if you seek the truth, you'll find it, but if you're looking for a reason not to believe, you'll find that. Yahweh will not drag us kicking and screaming to the throne of grace. We have to want to come.

kp

Offline Theophilus  
#5 Posted : Friday, January 25, 2008 10:16:07 AM(UTC)
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kp wrote:
The bottom line here is that if you want to find a way to deny what the scriptures teach concerning the Messiah, you're going to find a way to do it. In fact, Yahweh has made it easy to reject Him if you want to, presenting things in symbols, metaphors, and parables. As Yahshua Himself explained, "And He said, 'To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’" (Luke 8:10) In other words, if you seek the truth, you'll find it, but if you're looking for a reason not to believe, you'll find that. Yahweh will not drag us kicking and screaming to the throne of grace. We have to want to come.

kp



Agreed Ken, I think this would be necessary to prevent the Scripture from being coersive and denying choice. Yet they remain compelling for those who seek.

Offline shalom82  
#6 Posted : Friday, January 25, 2008 11:24:49 AM(UTC)
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It seems to me like the young "hassidic gentile" seems to think that there is one accord in Judaism. But I once heard a very astute Messianic pastor say something very astute. I don't have the direct quote, but I will paraphrase it as best I can.

Judaism is rich in diversity. You can find every sort of belief in the Judaisms from the humanistic to the Hassidic. Infact, they can't agree on anything!....excepting one thing...that [Yahushua] is not the Messiah. He is the great uniting factor in Judaism, without him who knows if the Jewish people could have survived as a people.

Rabbinic Judaism is really a strange soup. It really does have everything thrown in there. There are those that believe the Rebbe is the Messiah to those who believe that the Messiah is a metaphore. You can't just say...this is what Jews believe...and have any concrete surety in it. That Passage that Swalch pasted from the letter is a damning little piece of evidence.

What kp said is absolutely correct as well. If you want to find a reason to deny...you will.

To give a little more fuel to the fire about rabbinic interpretation...The sages of old knew that the story of Yoseph was a story connected to the life of Messiah. Indeed just as Joseph was dead to his brothers but was moving and shaking among the lands of the Gentiles...so too is Yahushua....very soon Israel is going to bump into their long lost Brother and he will be merciful and uphold them.
In this link here you can glean a lot of valuable info:
http://www.menorah.org.z...bout%20the%20Messiah.pdf

What more can be said. The religious establishment in Judea thought that the Messiah would indeed triumph and uphold their headship in a sort of status quo. The people who were a lot less invested in that idea weren't so much expecting that. A great multitude of Yahudim from all walks of life accepted Messiah. There are figures that upwards of a million people after the time of the first advent were believing Yahudim. What we have in modern times is a rabbinic Judaism that still will not accept that the Messiah came not to uphold them but to expose them and take away their dominance of spiritual life. So they will stubbornly wait for a Messiah stuffed into the mold of their expectations...a messiah that will never come.
This is going to sound very harsh...but if she wants to recieve second class status from a bunch of sick snotty kids who won't take their medicine...that's her perogative...nobody can force her to do otherwise. Indeed, Yahuweh can lead us to the water...but won't make us drink...a lot of us choose poison instead.
YHWH's ordinances are true, and righteous altogether.
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