Thursday, August 20, 2015

Stop the Press! Mainline Christian Scholars Beginning to Promote the Torah of Moses



"I am keenly aware that in proposing [that the Torah of Moses is valid for Christians] I have guaranteed for myself a limited hearing," Daniel I. Block, opening line from his essay entitled "Preaching Old Testament Law to New Testament Christians" found in the book "The Gospel According to Moses:  Theological and Ethical Reflections on the Book of Deuteronomy"
What follows are my notes on Daniel I. Block's essay entitled "Preaching Old Testament Law to New Testament Christians."  I just read this today and was astounded that a Christian would be promoting the Torah of Moses to fellow Christians.  And not just any Christian but he happens to be a professor of the Old Testament at Wheaton College.  Friends, this is G-d at work in Christendom, changing it into something new.  Enjoy:

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Censoring the Face of the Messiah: Why the Jewish Publication Society Purposefully Blurred Out the Messiah in Zechariah 12:10




"And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn," Zechariah 12:10

Non-Messianic Jews, when they read Zechariah 12:10, are faced with a problem:  here is a passage where G-d is the speaker and He seems to be saying that He was rejected and pierced by His own People.

So here's how Jews have historically censored this passage.

ATTEMPT #1: REINTERPRET THE PASSAGE AS REFERRING TO MOSHIACH BEN YOSEPH

The Talmud says that the "mourning" refers to the Messiah (Sukkah 52a).  Rashi said the "mourning" referred to a Messiah, specifically the Moshiach ben Yoseph.  Rabbi Moses Alshech explains:
"‘They shall look unto Me, for they shall lift up their eyes unto Me in perfect repentance, when they see Him whom they have pierced, that is Messiah, the Son of Joseph; for our Rabbis, of blessed memory, have said that He will take upon Himself all the guilt of Israel, and shall then be slain in the war to make atonement in such manner that it shall be accounted as if Israel had pierced Him, for on account of their sin He has died; and, therefore, in order that it may be reckoned to them as perfect atonement, they will repent and look to the blessed One, saying that there is none beside Him to forgive those that mourn on account of Him who died for their sin; this is the meaning of ‘They shall look upon Me.'"
Notice that the Rabbis understood the grammar "look unto Me".  They couldn't get around the Hebrew grammar!  So they used an interpretation that ignores the problematic grammar suggesting a Divine Messiah--ignored it altogether--and they proposed that there are 2 Messiahs, a Messiah ben Yoseph who came to die for our sins, and a Messiah ben David who came to bring peace.

Only one problem with that though...the passage doesn't seem to be talking about 2 different people.  It indicates that "they" (i.e. Israel) pierced the Messiah and now they are accepting the one they previously had rejected.  And this context matches the rejected Messiah of Isaiah 53:
"...we held him in low esteem.  Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted.  But He was crushed for our iniquities...He was oppressed and afflicted..."

Furthermore, Zech. 12:10 says that they will look unto "me"---the one who was [previously, at some other time] slain.  The passage literally says they will accept the Messiah that they had previously rejected!  It's talking not about 2 different Messiahs but about a single Messiah!


ATTEMPT #2:  DISTORT THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION EVEN IF IT MEANS IMPERMISSIBLY VIOLATING HEBREW GRAMMAR

 As we previously mentioned, the Rabbis never even attempted to get around the Hebrew grammar of Zechariah 12:10.  But the guys at the Jewish Publication Society didn't have any problem with violating Hebrew grammar when they wrote their new English translation.  Now, you might say, Peter, you poor fool, of course the Christians will claim that the JPS translation is wrong.  But what do they know anyway?  Jews are the only ones who know how to translate this passage correctly.

Actually, Jewish authors admit that the JPS translation is wrong (more on that in a moment).

So here's the JPS version:
"But I will fill the House of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem with a spirit of pity and compassion;  and they shall lament to Me about those who are slain, wailing over them as over a favorite son and showing bitter grief as over a first-born," Zech 12:10, JPS (1988)
And here's Gerald Sigal admitting that this translation is completely in error:
"...the translation 'look to Me whom they have pierced' is correct.  The relative clause 'whom they have pierced' in in apposition to 'Me,' the spokesman of the passage.  'Et, the Hebrew word introducing the clause marks it as the object of the verb 'look to'; the Hebrew word 'asher is always a relative pronoun in that context, and never the conjunction 'because.'  It should also be noted that in the Hebrew clause 'they have pierced' lacks the pronominal suffix 'him,'" Gerald Sigal, Trinity Doctrine Error:  A Jewish Analysis.
CONCLUSION

It is inescapable.  The Messiah had to be rejected and killed.  But now--and I'm speaking especially to my Jewish brothers and sisters--NOW is the time to accept Yeshua, the Divine Messiah who came to take away your sins!  If you read this far then it's because G-d is working in your heart.  Now you must consult Isaiah 53 and Zechariah 12 for yourself and allow G-d to continue to speak to you!  You must make the choice while it is still today.  You are not guaranteed another day on this earth.  Tomorrow you may have to go before the Throne of the Living G-d and give an account for your life!

Choose salvation!

Choose Yeshua!



Monday, August 3, 2015

Did the Creator Have Help?



"Our rabbis taught:  Adam was created on the eve of the Sabbath.  And why?  So that the heretics could not say:  The Holy One, blessed be He, had a partner in his work [of creation]," T. Sanh. 8:7
When most people think of G-d, they think "all powerful" or "all knowing" or "all encompassing."  But there's another aspect of G-d that is unique:  He's the only Creator and Sustainer.  In other words, He didn't have any help creating the universe.  He did it all by Himself, alone:
"Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself," Isaiah 44:24

Yet, even though the Tanak says that Adonai alone made the universe, the Apostolic Writings affirm that Yeshua is this same Creator of the universe:
"But for us there is one God, the Father by whom all things were created and for whom we live.  And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created, and through whom we live," 1 Corinthians 8:6
"All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made," John 1:3
Now why should this matter?  Must we believe that Yeshua is the Creator?

To call upon the name of a mere man is not the same thing as to call upon the Name of the L-rd:
"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance..." Joel 2:32
"(9)That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved....(13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved," Romans 10:9,13 
 To believe in Yeshua as a mere man is to have constructed a theological sand castle; the entire structure of such a belief system will eventually collapse and be replaced with a competing belief system.  The only way to have a sure faith and sure salvation is to acknowledge Yeshua as the One L-rd of Israel, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the object of ALL our praise and worship.

Anyone who denies the unique Divinity of Yeshua is not fit to be called Messianic.  We cannot fellowship with such people.  They not only have forfeited all credibility but they represent a threat to our Messianic Family.  Beware of any religion or cult that denies the Divinity of Yeshua!

Shalom,

Peter