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Questions for noble Christians about Isaiah 7 and Matthew 1

April 9, 2014

In his attempt at establishing Jesus’ messianic credentials and quasi-divine origins, the author of the Gospel of Matthew writes the following about the birth of Jesus:

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). (Matthew 1:22-23)

Readers of the “Old Testament” will recognize the above quote as being from Isaiah 7. I am not going to get into the mistranslation of the Hebrew word “almah” (young woman) as “virgin”. There’s a perfectly good Hebrew word for virgin, “bethulah”, but that wasn’t used in Isaiah 7. Instead I would like to ask the following questions:

When reading  Isaiah 7 in context:

  1. Who is the sign in Isaiah 7 addressed to? Is it addressed to people in some distant future, many hundreds of years from when the prophecy was made, or to people living during the time of Isaiah 7?
  2. Assuming for a moment that Matthew’s mistranslation of “almah” is correct, how can a “virgin birth” be a miraculous sign as Christianity claims? In other words, if Matthew’s sign of virgin birth is miraculous, how can a “virgin birth” be a legitimate sign if this sign is totally unverifiable by anyone except by the woman herself?  If a young woman gives birth to a child and claims “that she didn’t know a man“, who can possibly ascertain that this woman did not have a perfectly natural sexual intercourse leading to the pregnancy but something truly miraculous took place instead?
  3. Who is the “son” that was to be born? Who is this child that was to be a sign? Was this child Jesus, as the author of Matthew would have his readers believe, a child to be born hundreds of years later, or was it Isaiah’s own child, as clearly described in the next chapter, which also ties Isaiah’s son with the fulfillment of the prophecy in regards to the two kingdoms prophesied about in chapter 7?

Isaiah 8:3. And I was intimate with the prophetess, and she conceived, and she bore a son, and the Lord said to me, “Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz.

Isaiah 8:4. For, when the lad does not yet know to call, ‘Father’ and ‘mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria shall be carried off before the king of Assyria.”

Isaiah 8:18. Behold, I and the children whom the Lord gave me for signs and for tokens in Israel, from the Lord of Hosts, Who dwells on Mount Zion.

Can some noble Christians answer these questions in defense of the author of Matthew’s applying Isaiah 7 to Jesus? You can either email me at jewishthoughts@gmail.com or post a comment below.

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85 Comments leave one →
  1. Concerned Reader permalink
    May 19, 2014 9:58 pm

    This birth narrative isn’t unlike the birth of Moses as recorded in Philo, obviously both narratives have midrashic elaboration. Proverbs 30:19 has almah used in the sense of a maiden who bears no mark, despite intercourse, This was obviously a narrative with more Hellenistic Jewish influence, but as the christolgy of Mathew reflects an adoptionalistic christolgy when looking carefully, it is likely that it’s not a fully gentile Christian developed doctrine. It was probably early, and misinterpreted. A virginal conception, does not require no human father, as proverbs shows. The whole issue is moot anyway, as the NT records that all authorities saw him as a son of Joseph, and nobody ever brings up his genealogy to disqualify him as a son of David.

  2. May 20, 2014 9:36 am

    ” This was obviously a narrative with more Hellenistic Jewish influence”

    Or perhaps simply, Gentile non-Jewish influence.

    “The whole issue is moot anyway, as the NT records that all authorities saw him as a son of Joseph, and nobody ever brings up his genealogy to disqualify him as a son of David.”

    The problem is that we can’t trust what the NT says and we have no other contemporary sources outside of the NT about Jesus’ true origins. To say that since NT doesn’t mention opposition then there must have been none doesn’t tell us much about what really happened – the argument from silence doesn’t help establish the truth. However, the glaring problems and contradictions with Jesus’ genealogy (as put forth by the NT) were indeed pointed out by Jewish authorities as soon as his supposed genealogy was known to them. Authors of Talmud, writing hundreds of years after Jesus, have proposed that Jesus may have been a product of rape by a Roman soldier. Either way, the entire NT genealogy is likely fictional, of course. However it was used by Christians as “history” to establish Jesus’ descend from G-d and legal descent from David, and not in any midrashic sense, but as “proof”.

    At same time, some have pointed out what appears to be a backhanded snipe by Jesus’ Jewish enemies at Jesus’ own supposedly illegitimate birth. It occurs in the latest of the gospels, the Gospel of John:

    ” “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”” (John 8:41)

  3. Concerned Reader permalink
    May 20, 2014 4:03 pm

    The panthera story was known by Celsus, and the other narrative to mention it, Toldot Yeshu, is pseudepigrapha from the Middle Ages. The truth is, we have the same problems with genealogies in chronicles, and in rabbinic literature. All we have for verification is the word of those who kept the narratives, no outside verification. This is true for most things in antiquity. It’s also worth noting midrashim and biblical texts that record controversy around birth (ie Judah and Tamar.) This is one reason why I don’t use a polemical tone or source in discussion, because the same problems exist in both traditions. On the issue of genealogy, it’s one reason Elijah has to come according to the rabbis. As for outside verification, you cannot hold these sources or your own to that standard. We cannot ask the Sinai witnesses for an interview, or Jesus, that’s why it’s faith. If you have a source that claims 12 or 600,000 eyewitnesses, and no other outside source of verification other than the word of them who inherited the tradition, it does not and cannot hold up to the scrutiny you seek from the sources. I see parallels in biblical literature (the creation of Adam from dust) that is no more or less ridiculous than the Mathew narrative of a virginal conception. I realized a long time ago that asking for “evidence” in the sense you request is impossible to get for the Torah and the Gospel. The main failure of the Kuzari principle rests on the problem of outside verification. The rabbis always fall back on “you could never convince an entire nation to accept such a big lie.” Answer. Christianity, right? You’d say, but the Torah says 600,000 witnesses, not one guy alone with 12 disciples. The only proof of the narrative we have of 600,000 is your word, and the word of the narrative you are trying to prove, thus inadmissable evidence. The same is true of Christianity. Polemic hurts both traditions, and is self defeating, I don’t use it for that reason.

  4. Concerned Reader permalink
    May 20, 2014 4:08 pm

    You say, “we can’t trust the New Testament” but you will trust it when it quotes Jesus’ opponents. If we treat the sources this way, it accomplishes nothing.

  5. May 20, 2014 4:43 pm

    “This is one reason why I don’t use a polemical tone or source in discussion, because the same problems exist in both traditions.”

    Concerned Reader… the obvious problem is that the genealogy of Jesus explicitly attempts to establish a “proof” of legitimacy of his candidacy in order to convince the readers and create proselytes. We are asked to believe in him to have our sins atoned for and to gain eternal life. To not believe in him is to be condemned. Because of these claims, Jesus’ linage as expressed in the NT requires scrutiny like no other genealogy of any human being that has ever existed, and no comparison with some creative and oftentimes whimsical rabbinic midrashic / aggadic tales will suffice (which are not required of Jews of believe, according to Nahmanides, certainly not to gain entry into Olam Haba.) To “believe” is explicitly the message of the New Testament.

    Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them. (John 3:36)

    The solution you are proposing, the “you are OK, I am OK”, or “we have to view all this as midrash”, just doesn’t work when we encounter a claim of this magnitude and with such grave repercussions, both in this world and in the next. The ancients took their sacred texts very seriously, certainly much more seriously than the modern scholars do.

    “Polemic hurts both traditions, and is self defeating, I don’t use it for that reason.”

    The New Testament is essentially one long polemic.

  6. May 20, 2014 9:54 pm

    Gene, being used to your polemical style I would like to answer in kind. I would suggest that before you go out to find some “Glaring problems” in Yeshua’s genealogy, why don’t you try to resolve the glaring errors of the genealogies of the Tanach? If you need a list, then just ask.

  7. May 21, 2014 1:08 am

    Dan, if you are going to point out some minor discrepancies and typos, real or imagined, don’t bother. I can point out tons of those in the NT, but I am after a far bigger fish than errors and typos – I am exposing outright fiction and deception to prop-up a failed messianic candidate and demigod. Jesus’ two fictitious and conflicting genealogies tracing descent from Joseph to David are so off the wall, that no serious person should accept them upon examination. We can start with the simple problem that Jesus was not born to Joseph at all, but to Mary and G-d. Joseph, we are informed, is not Jesus’ real father nor was his marriage to Mary a levirate one. He was simply Mary’s husband who was not involved in conception of Jesus in any way. This means that when it comes to Jesus’ inherited status, Joseph’s genealogy is irrelevant both from the point of view of Torah and halacha, since adoptive children can’t inherit status of the father. And yet, we are asked to believe it as “gospel” and to stake our spiritual lives on such intelligence-insulting “proofs”.

  8. May 21, 2014 2:25 am

    Gene, I will try to appeal to your common sense first. Hope you have some left. If the writers wanted to have Yeshua genealogy fit, they should have write them as identical. The fact that they left the geneaologies appear contradictory is hurting their case, don’t you think so? Yet they left it as they were since they were convinced they were true. As for the Tanach, you bias makes you characterize the discrepancies as “minor’, but the NT is lying, and you want to appear credible?

    To begin with, check the genealogy of Abram and Terah. Also check King Saul and David. It appears that David was playing the harp for David for a while but when David went to battle Saul did not know who he is. There is a lot more. As I said, check the Tanach first. it is appalling to see that you take Matt. and Luke as laYars but the writer of Chronicles as just writing “discrepancies.”

  9. May 21, 2014 8:56 am

    “Gene, I will try to appeal to your common sense first.”

    Dan, you should try appealing to my uncommon sense since the common sense has the majority of humans follow the largest and most popular religion in existence – Christianity!

    ” If the writers wanted to have Yeshua genealogy fit, they should have write them as identical. The fact that they left the geneaologies appear contradictory is hurting their case, don’t you think so? ”

    You give the NT writers and editors too much credit. We do know that the earliest Christian apologists struggled mightily with the discrepancies in Jesus’ irrelevant genealogies to Joseph, even claiming, as the Catholic Church does to this day, that Luke’s genealogy is actually Mary’s (as if that was somehow helping Jesus’ case), not Joseph’s as it explicitly states.

    ” Yet they left it as they were since they were convinced they were true.”

    The same can be said of Koran and the Book of Mormon and books of all other “sincere” religions.

    “To begin with, check the genealogy of Abram and Terah. Also check King Saul and David.”

    Dan, you don’t get it, do you? My salvation doesn’t depend on exactness of facts about King Saul and David – I am not asked to place my faith in those men for eternal life, to BELIEEEEEVE, while the NT is a religious propaganda written to convince people that Jesus is true. Think I am exaggerating?

    But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.(John 20:31)

    According to the NT itself, those who don’t believe what the NT says about Jesus will be condemned to eternal hell. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs! In any case, the discrepancies in the facts about Saul or David pale in comparison to what the NT writers tried to pass as Jesus’ descent.

    The bigger issue for you is that I don’t need to convince you of the truth of the Torah and the TaNaKh – you already believe that those books represent truth. To me, however, the New Testament is on the same level as the Koran and the Book of Mormon. The burden of proof, therefore, is on the Muslims, the Mormons and on the Christians, since all three religions already believe that the Jewish scriptures are true or G-d’s Word but that we should also believe in theirs.

  10. May 21, 2014 12:21 pm

    “Dan, you should try appealing to my uncommon sense since the common sense has the majority of humans follow the largest and most popular religion in existence – Christianity!”

    Should tell you something, should it?

    You are not making sense. You are the like the evolutionists, the want to prove that life evolve before they can prove how life began. Me believing the Tanach as an established word of God only gives me the right to explore how it evolves. You want to deny me that right saying that the writers of the NT are liers, but of course the writers of the genealogies in the book of Chronicles and other are only accused of typos. I like your equal weights and measures….

    So you believe that the disciples invented the myth of the virgin birth knowing that it will destroy their claim that Yeshua is the son of David…Nice logic Gene….

  11. May 21, 2014 12:36 pm

    “You want to deny me that right saying that the writers of the NT are liers”

    Rights? Dan, you can do whatever you want with your life – it’s not like you’re asking my permission to believe in Jesus or anything else! Sure, as a fellow Jew, I wish you would return to Judaism, but nobody forced me to do teshuvah and I won’t force it on you either.

    “So you believe that the disciples invented the myth of the virgin birth knowing that it will destroy their claim that Yeshua is the son of David…Nice logic Gene….”

    I found no evidence that the Jews around Jesus (including his immediate followers) themselves believed in that myth. Even Paul seems to know nothing of any virgin birth. We know that the earliest Jewish Christians of whom we have some information (Ebionites) didn’t believe it and support for this also comes to us from the “Church fathers”, Jerome and Eusebius, who spoke disparagingly of them because of that. This was an invention of the Christianized Gentiles, former pagans and not Jews, and indeed it fits well with the EXTREMELY common pagan theme of demigods born of gods and mortal virgins.

  12. May 21, 2014 12:41 pm

    “”majority of humans follow the largest and most popular religion in existence – Christianity!”… Should tell you something, should it?”

    Yes, Dan, it does tell me something. It reminds me of this:

    To you (Hashem) shall the nations come from the ends of the earth and say: “Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, worthless things in which there is no profit. Do people make their own gods? Yes, but they are not gods!” (Jeremiah 16:19-20)

    Yes, people do make their own gods!

  13. May 21, 2014 2:02 pm

    “I found no evidence that the Jews around Jesus (including his immediate followers) themselves believed in that myth. Even Paul seems to know nothing of any virgin birth. We know that the earliest Jewish Christians of whom we have some information (Ebionites) didn’t believe it and support for this also comes to us from the “Church fathers”, Jerome and Eusebius, who spoke disparagingly of them because of that. This was an invention of the Christianized Gentiles, former pagans and not Jews, and indeed it fits well with the EXTREMELY common pagan theme of demigods born of gods and mortal virgins.”

    Wait a minute…Are you denying the historical reliability of the NT accounts? Do you know that there are many scholars who deny the accounts about Abraham, Moses and David, calling them unreliable?

    No Jews around Jesus believed the myth? How about Matt. and Luke? Paul? How about Romans 1:3-4? 1 Timothy 3:16? Mark? He called Yeshua the Son Of God. (1:1) John? He calls Yeshua the divine word made flesh (1:1-18). Were all those guys Muslims?

    Try again…..

  14. May 21, 2014 2:15 pm

    “Are you denying the historical reliability of the NT accounts?”

    Yes, I am. Of course, not all of the history recorded in the gospels is bogus, but it’s far from reliable.

    Dan, are you denying the historical reliability of the book of Mormon?

    “Were all those guys Muslims?”

    Jesus and his merry men were Jews, but they have written NOTHING themselves, not a single word. The gospels are anonymous (except perhaps one attributed to Luke, who according to the gospel itself was merely gathering oral stories) and none of them are first hand account (not ever the gospel themselves claim to be eyewitness accounts)! They were written in Greek (no evidence of Hebrew versions was ever found) by Christians (who had varying degrees of familiarity with Judaism, often getting it very wrong or in a distorted form) closer to the end of last few decades of first century, drawing on oral traditions circulating among them for quite a while. The names like “Matthew”, “Mark”, etc. were assigned to the gospels much later and do not even appear in the gospels. The gospels and even some Pauline letters show layers of later editing.

    But none of this matters when there’s a gigantic elephant in the middle of the Christian room: worship of a human being as G-d.

  15. May 21, 2014 3:39 pm

    “Yes, I am. Of course, not all of the history recorded in the gospels is bogus, but it’s far from reliable.”

    you come to this conclusion because you presuppose that that the gospels accounts are not reliable, but that does not make you right. There are many scholars who presuppose that Jonah was never in the fishes belly and it is just bobemaises.

    “Jesus and his merry men were Jews, but they have written NOTHING themselves, not a single word.”

    This is another presupposition. Can you prove it? Can you prove how many authors were to the book of Isaiah? You are not credible.

    ” The names like “Matthew”, “Mark”, etc. were assigned to the gospels much later and do not even appear in the gospels. The gospels and even some Pauline letters show layers of later editing.”

    Gene, you wish that the Masoretic Text would be as reliable as the NT, wouldn’t you?

    “But none of this matters when there’s a gigantic elephant in the middle of the Christian room: worship of a human being as G-d.”

    Are you trying to switch now because you have no evidence that the genealogy is bogus?

  16. Concerned Reader permalink
    May 21, 2014 3:51 pm

    The thing that makes it hard for your point to sink in, is the nefariousness you have to impute to the authors for your hypothesis to work. These people were all hellbent on destroying everything. We can according to you trust some of what they wrote, but not everything, and apparently there is no way to tell what. We don’t have anything close to the originals of the Torah either, and it has much evidence of linguistic change, and multiple authors itself as well. Daat Emet has a great article on it you should check out. The idea that any biblical author wrote anything by themselves has been blown wide open, even in rabbinic literature itself these points have been argued about the Torah and who authored what. Rabbi riskin has a lecture on pesach in the light of biblical scholarship We hear often that all Christian theological concepts which are not mainstream were developed by Gentiles. In that case, I would ask about recent messianism which is not influenced in any way by Christians, exhibiting some of the same theological notions, albeit not in dogmatic form? Did Christians influence Chabad? Did they influence Breslov? Did they influence Maimonides to impute super human intellectual faculties to Moses, relying on an emanation from the active intellect, itself an emanation of G-d to do it? Did they influence the rabbis to write that the Shekinah spoke from Moshe’s throat? Did the Christians treat Jesus as a semi divine agent without precedent? The dogmatic formulation of Jesus’ deity was the best way to undue the contradiction between a transcendent G-d and some sort of created superman who carries out his will. Shituf would be the institutionalized norm without the expression of G-d’s uncreated self expression, otherwise known as his word. This was the problem with Arian christolgy (the word as created) and Gnosticism (the word as a false god and demiurge) otherwise known by them as Hashem from the Hebrew Bible. What’s sad, is that your using polemic against the authors even when you know these other circumstances.

  17. May 21, 2014 3:57 pm

    “Are you trying to switch now because you have no evidence that the genealogy is bogus?”

    Dan, perhaps you missed it, but I have written extensively on Jesus’ fictional “genealogy”. You are welcome to read it.

    Also, Dan, I don’t care how many people contributed to the writing of Isaiah, although it’s certainly much more reliably preserved and over a much greater stretch of time than the NT. My eternal life does not depend on me believing in Isaiah. The burden of proof is on Christianity, since that religion wants everyone to BELIEVE in the man it worships as G-d or be prepared to embrace the fires of Hell for not believing.

  18. May 21, 2014 4:05 pm

    “The thing that makes it hard for your point to sink in, is the nefariousness you have to impute to the authors for your hypothesis to work. ”

    Concerned Reader, that Christianity wanted Judaism gone, both through theology of replacement and various actions against Jews, is beyond dispute. I think that’s quite nefariousness, at least from a Jewish point of view. As I already noted, Christianity’s anti-Judaism is not a later distortion of a “pure” religion, but found in the foundational texts – the New Testament.

    “What’s sad, is that your using polemic against the authors even when you know these other circumstances.”

    As I already noted in an earlier comment, the New Testament is a polemical work through and through, from the gospels to the letters, attacking various “unbelieving” (usually Jewish) external (outside of the new Jesus-faith) enemies at every turn.

  19. Concerned Reader permalink
    May 21, 2014 4:48 pm

    I’m not disputing the New Testament use of anti Judaism, you know my position on that. How about addressing my points?

  20. May 21, 2014 5:04 pm

    Concerned Reader, you are arguing about who wrote what and who influenced whom and how much, and that one shouldn’t judge anyone or especially impute evil intentions, since nobody’s perfect.

    However, I am talking about reality and of tangible repercussions that the Christian theology has had on the world, e.g. how the G-d of Israel is perceived (as part-man), how the Torah was maligned as an inferior revelation to Jesus and how the Jewish people to whom the Torah was entrusted were quite consciously and deliberately vilified as enemies of G-d and written out of the picture. Because of this, to compare Maimonides or Chabad to Christianity (a religion that has gone fields apart from Judaism) and ask who influenced them, is neither equivalent nor relevant.

  21. May 21, 2014 6:22 pm

    Gene, would you consider opening the comments at the genealogy post, or would you let me comment here? I will debunk your point by point.

  22. Concerned Reader permalink
    May 21, 2014 9:00 pm

    Asking me to concede points again and again that I have already conceded and explained In other posts, which you have acknowledged btw, is just showing me that you are using rhetoric and exploiting points that I have already said I disagree with. My comparisons to Jewish movements shows that many things which appear in Christianity have appeared in Judaism independent of Christianity. How do you explain that?

  23. May 21, 2014 9:21 pm

    Some things were influenced by Christianity and others have only a superficial resemblance. None however resulted in fundamental changes across the Jewish spectrum but remained isolated and even marginalized.

  24. Concerned Reader permalink
    May 21, 2014 11:01 pm

    Please, do tell what Christian influence was willingly borrowed by Judaism? Superficial similarities in the sense of stating that the Kavod and active intellect are created, opinions which the church also held at one time. Why marginalize ideas that Christians had no part in developing?

  25. May 22, 2014 9:12 am

    “Please, do tell what Christian influence was willingly borrowed by Judaism?”

    Very little if any, until we get to the German Reformists and attempts to reshape Judaism as a religion that can exist apart from peoplehood.

    “Why marginalize ideas that Christians had no part in developing?”

    Because the Christians ideas in question, especially the divinity of Jesus and the theology of Trinity, can be said (as you’ve tried to postulate numerous times) to bear any passing resemblance to some mystical Jewish concepts only after considerable reinterpretation of both. Of course, such reinterpretations of Jewish ideas are almost always done solely to support Christians ideas.

  26. May 22, 2014 9:15 am

    “Gene, would you consider opening the comments at the genealogy post, or would you let me comment here? I will debunk your point by point.”

    You can comment in this thread, Dan. Try to keep your comments from being personal – just stick to the fact.

  27. May 22, 2014 12:51 pm

    Thanks Gene.

    On your Genealogy post you stated 8 points and gave your opinion why the genealogies of Yeshua as stated by Matt. and Luke are bogus. I would like to answer them one by one.

    1. “New Testament, which is composed of various books written in different times and by different authors, in an attempt to prove Jesus’ qualifications as a king of Israel, presents its readers with two very different genealogies of Jesus – one in the Gospel of Matthew and another in the Gospel of Luke. Both purport to trace Jesus’ lineage from David to Joseph, the husband of Jesus’ mother but not his biological father.”

    This is not really a point. You are just stating the obvious and added your private opinion for the reason the NT was written, with no scriptural or historical support.
    BTW, the Tanach is also “composed of various books written in different times by different authors…” No cigar here.

  28. Concerned Reader permalink
    May 22, 2014 12:53 pm

    For the record, scholars have made the comparisons of Christianity with mystical trends, not just little ole me. Lol and the example I’ve given of Maimonides’ descriptions of Moses, bearing resemblance to John’s descriptions of Jesus is anything but marginalized or fringe Jewish theology. I wouldn’t go to bat for the theology (I wasn’t raised with) if I felt it had no basis as a monotheistic theology.

  29. May 22, 2014 1:17 pm

    Dan… you clearly missed the point. The point #1 is that there are TWO VERY DIFFERENT and even mutually exclusive genealogies given for Jesus in the NT, both as coming from Joseph. Since this already doesn’t look good for Jesus’ candidacy, it should make readers think.

  30. May 22, 2014 1:32 pm

    Gene, did not miss the point at all. Tell me if this looks good; The high priest line of Aaron in 1 Chronic. 6:3-14 gives 22 generation whereas in Ezra 7:1-5 gives only 16 names. Since you say that Matt. and Luke’s account are lies, so who is the liar here, the writer of 1 Chronic. or Ezra? Remember, equal weights and measures.

  31. May 22, 2014 2:00 pm

    Dan, if you are going to try to fix Jesus by your “look, they made an error too!” approach, it’s not going to work and please, don’t bother. First of all, we are not talking about merely skipped names, but

    1) the fact that Joseph is NOT Jesus’ birth farther nor was he involved in levirate marriage with his brother’s wife, making his own genealogies irrelevant as far as Jesus is concerned, and

    2) the conflicting names used in both genealogies preclude both genealogies being valid even for Joseph. (Again, reminder: Joseph is not related by descent to Jesus).

    3) The degree of accuracy for Jesus’ genealogy clearly requires a MUCH higher standard than for any other individual that has ever lived, with Jesus being the SON OF G-D THAT EVERYONE MUST BELIEVE TO BE SAVED – but of course, what we have in the NT are not Jesus’ genealogies, but those of Joseph, who is not related by descent to Jesus.

  32. Concerned Reader permalink
    May 22, 2014 3:55 pm

    Has there been any candidate to date, that has been a son of David through their paternal line, that would qualify in terms of Halacha?

  33. Concerned Reader permalink
    May 22, 2014 4:09 pm

    I’ve looked at genealogies online, and nobody has paternal descent from David among families of would be descendants. If we apply the same standard to Judaism that you do to Christianity, the same issues arise. It’s not worth pot shots at each other. Messianism has never followed a set pattern anyway.

  34. May 22, 2014 4:16 pm

    “Has there been any candidate to date, that has been a son of David through their paternal line, that would qualify in terms of Halacha?”

    There could have been hundreds if not thousands of potential candidates purely by descent at the time the books were still being kept or knowledge of descent otherwise actively maintained. However, there has never been any legitimate messianic candidates who could actually fulfill all of the requirements, although there have been plenty of pretenders who claimed David descent, and then attempted and failed to fulfill the requirements in one way or another.

    How will the actual Messiah be revealed since the books have been lost? Two ways: 1) the world will actually be transformed to the point where everyone will acknowledge it and all of the messianic promises will be fulfilled, obviously and powerfully and 2) prophetic and/or priestly revelation (urim and thummim) will be renewed, allowing the messiah to be divinely confirmed (similar to how Samuel confirmed and anointed both King Saul and King David).

  35. May 22, 2014 4:37 pm

    “It’s not worth pot shots at each other.”

    Truth is not relative. Judaism rejects false messianic candidates once they have been exposed as such because such pretenders have proven to be very dangerous to the Jewish people, as history has shown over and over.

    “Messianism has never followed a set pattern anyway.”

    Jews know what messiah is not and what he should be. This is why a false messiah is rejected as soon as he fails to fulfill the expected role, at least by an overwhelming majority. The “true believers”, on the other hand, have no need in “proofs”.

  36. May 22, 2014 8:51 pm

    Gene, I am not trying to fix anything. I am just addressing myself to your 8 points on the other post. You are the one who introduced the skipped names in the first sentence of you second point to which I address next. Do you have anything to add to your point one or my comment?

  37. May 22, 2014 9:40 pm

    BTW Gene, a question concerning point #1: Why would the disciples who were so dedicated to show Jews and Gentiles that Yeshua is Messiah, why would they leave and not erase two “impossibly” contradictory genealogies? Just this fact itself contradicts your claim that somehow the writers of the Gospels rewrote the text to make Yeshua look as Messiah.

  38. May 22, 2014 10:21 pm

    Dan, every false religion contains false contradictory and ridiculous claims in their holy books and they STAY in their books even when others point the obvious nonsense out. You are giving the Gentile Church scribes who put together the NT more credit than you do to the Muslims or the Mormons, for example.

  39. May 22, 2014 10:36 pm

    Gene, for a statement like that you first have to establish that believing that Yeshua is the Jewish, God sent Messiah is a false religion. So far you are not very convincing. I will address your point #2 next.

  40. Concerned Reader permalink
    May 22, 2014 10:56 pm

    Gene, you can’t just keep throwing the “this religion is obviously BS card” as your solution for anomalies that you or I, the rabbis, the scholars, or others can’t explain. If we take your view, Judaism is no better off than Christianity, and I mean that in all seriousness. There is currently no way to check the genealogies in the NT, or the Tanakh, as you and I have already talked about above. Seriously, why do you stick to the classical polemics? They don’t work at all anymore The earliest sources in the NT don’t even have a genealogy at all, and there was no limit placed on Messianic persons confining them to the house of David. I would expect me to be the one using polemic more often, as apparently Christianity is entirely polemic based. ;)

  41. May 22, 2014 11:19 pm

    Your #2 point.

    “Luke lists 77 names in Jesus’ genealogy, while Matthew has only 41. The two lists are very different. Indeed, they are so different, that many Christian theologians, starting with Eusebius , throughout the history of the Church, attempted to suggest that Luke’s genealogy is not really Joseph’s at all, but Mary’s! (This, despite the fact that Luke explicitly says that the genealogy is that of Joseph son of Heli. Luke 3:23). To add to the mess, Lukan genealogy is through Nathan, not Solomon, outright disqualifying any use of that genealogy.”

    Since you play the “skipping names” game, I can’t see why I am not allowed to. I have already mentioned the difference between 1 Chronic. and Ezra. Note Ezra 8:1-2 where Ezra is implying that Aaron”s grandson and great-grandson and a son of David came out of Babylon with Ezra. Ezra I guess wanted to have a short list. I guess he can but Matt. can’t?

    More difficult genealogies to deal with? How about Abraham’s? Gen. 11:26 states: “After Terach had lived 70 years, he became the father of Abraham, Nachor and Charan.”

    It appears that at age 70 Terach had triplets born to him. Gen. 11:32 says that Terach lived 205 years. Something does not add up here. Abraham left Charan when he was 75 years old after his father died. Shouldn’t his age be 135 and not 75? And you say that Yeshua’s genealogy is hard to figure out?

    how about King Saul request that Jesse sent his son David to play the harp for him, yet sometime after this when he saw David on the battlefield he did not recognize him, he asked Avner “whose son is that young man?”

    There is so much more, Gene, but somehow you refuse to use the same standard to evaluate the genealogies in the Tanach and the NT…Next, the fantasy that the Messiah have to come true Solomon.

  42. May 22, 2014 11:26 pm

    Concerned Reader, the purpose of this site is to make my readers, Messianic Jews and anyone else, aware of idolatry and falsehoods that have led the humanity astray from the truths as revealed by Hashem to the Jewish nation. Unfortunately, it’s not easy or even possible to remain in the “we are all OK” mode that you seem to advocate with such a goal.

  43. May 22, 2014 11:30 pm

    Dan, skipping of names in lengthy genealogies doesn’t bother me, and in fact, that even make sense on occasion. Ridiculous, made up, irrelevant genealogies and demigods born of gods coming upon virgins – now THAT is a problem you need to address.

  44. May 23, 2014 12:06 am

    Gene, your claim that the Messiah has to come through Solomon otherwise He is “disqualified” Has no basis, not in the Scriptures and not according to some Rabbinic tradition.

    In Sanhadrin 98a there is a question pertaining the coming of the Messiah with the clouds (Dan. 7:13-14) or riding on a donkey (Zech. 9:9) The Talmud says if we are worthy he will come on the clouds, if we are unworthy he will come riding on a donkey. But, note, that the Tanach does not present these two events as either-or options. These are two prophecies that must be fulfilled. how do you resolve it? The virgin birth of course. Bingo!

    The Tanach says that the Messiah will be “the son of David (Ezek. 11:1-16), the Tanach also Indicates that the Messiah would be highly exalted and greater than David (Isaia 52:13) see Ylkut Shimoni 2:571). And of course there is Psalm 110. ( Before you try to cut my throat on this, consider Midrash Tehilim 2:9 and 18:29. Apparently, the writers there did not have any problem with the Messianic interpretation of this psalm..

    Now, Luke 3:23. This is what the literal Greek says: “And Yeshua himself was beginning about thirty years, being son, AS WAS SUPPOSED, of Yosef, of the Eli, of the Mattat, of the Lvi…” That points to Mary’s genealogy because Yeshua the son of Yosef is only SUPPOSED.

    There is no evidence that proves the genealogy is NOT Mary’s.

    Do I need to provide you with more evidence that Solomon is not a factor?

  45. May 23, 2014 12:10 am

    ” Ridiculous, made up, irrelevant genealogies and demigods born of gods coming upon virgins – ”

    You have not proven any of these.

    Thank you for conceding the “Skipping thing.”

  46. May 23, 2014 12:15 am

    Your # 3 point.

    As already noted, both of the genealogies explicitly attempt to prove that Jesus qualifies as Messiah and a king of Israel by tracing the lineage through his adoptive father, Joseph. This suggests to us that the authors viewed a proper genealogy as paramount to Jesus’ qualifications for kingship and messiahship.”

    And yet the authors left two seemingly contradictory Genealogies in place, which supposedly hurt their case, why?

    Your claim does make any sense.

  47. May 23, 2014 12:46 am

    Your point # 4

    “However, there’s one not so small problem with all of this. The authors of the gospels needed Jesus to be a divine being, worthy to be worshiped as god. To achieve this feat they needed to bypass his human father, even though they still needed Joseph to make an earthly messianic and kingly claim! To this end we are explicitly told that Mary was a virgin at the time Jesus was conceived. According to the New Testament, G-d Himself came upon Mary (Luke 1:35), and she conceived a child who was, according to standard Christianity theology, both G-d and man at the same time.”

    I have addressed it in point #2. Try to reconcile Dan. 7:12-12 and Zech. 9:9.

  48. Concerned Reader permalink
    May 23, 2014 1:08 am

    Gene, you know that Christians do not believe in a demigod, so please quit saying that. If people explain their belief to you, and you cant believe it because that was not what you experienced as a christian, it doesn’t make an entire faith BS. You seem to flip flop very often on fundamental statements which you make. At one moment, Jesus was a good Jew who was deified by the gentiles, the next it was Paul who changed everything, and then finally, at times you seem to be on the cusp of acknowledging that some things really are similar between Judaism and Christianity, that neither of us can explain. Make up your mind, man! I do not in any way advocate a “lets abandon our principles and sing songs attitude.” I support your right and duty to observe your religion, because it is a biblical and traditional position, that can be substantiated from the sources. Despite telling you and even explaining to you how Christianity cannot be compared to pre christian or even currently practiced idolatry, you put up the same straw man arguments which are not substantiated. Whenever I post, I make references to scholarly works, lectures, even rabbinic literature IE Maimonides, Nachmanides, Saadia Gaon, which I am in no way abusing, twisting, or misinterpreting. I acknowledge the differences between theologies, but I make note of similarities which cannot be doubted or ignored. I understand your disagreements, but I would appreciate it if you could expand beyond rhetorical points that advance nothing. If you can’t, with respect, I question how much you have actually learned from your experiences as a messianic. What use is it to convert, but to be just as fundamental as you were before? You were wrong about Christianity, it would be a little presumptuous to think that now, you know all there is to know, and everyone Else’s spiritual journey can be delineated into crass idolatry and falsehood. I mean this respectfully btw

  49. May 23, 2014 8:57 am

    “Gene, your claim that the Messiah has to come through Solomon otherwise He is “disqualified” Has no basis, not in the Scriptures and not according to some Rabbinic tradition.”

    Dan, tell it to G-d:

    “Behold, a son will be born to you; he will be a man of peace, and I shall give him peace from all his enemies around about, for Solomon will be his name, and I shall give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. He shall build a house in My name, and he shall be to Me as a son, and I to him as a father, and I shall prepare the throne of his kingdom forever. (Chronicles 22:9–10)”

    David confirms G-d’s choice of Solomon, and not any other of David’s many sons, like Nathan and others (who were not even kings):

    “And of all my sons—for the L‑rd gave me many sons—He chose my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the L‑rd over Israel . . . (Ibid. 28:5)”

  50. May 23, 2014 9:04 am

    “Gene, you know that Christians do not believe in a demigod, so please quit saying that.”

    In the Christian myth, G-d came down to earth and came upon a virgin, who then conceived a child who, according to Christianity, is both G-d and man at the same time – a demigod. That child was not merely G-d who took on flesh, but his own differentiated person – a “son of G-d” – who has a relationship with G-d, as a child to a father, a son in whom G-d is “well pleased”.

    I know that Christianity attempted to describe its theology as “monotheism”, elaborately weaving its apologetic. However, it still remains a more sophisticated form of crude idolatry detestable to the G-d of the Jews – an exaltation and worship of a creature as G-d.

  51. May 23, 2014 1:21 pm

    Gene, there was a condition to the promise of God.

    “Moreover I will establish his kingdom forever, IF HE IS STEADFAST TO OBSERVE MY COMMANDMENTS AND MY JUDGMENTS, AS IT IS THIS DAY.” ( Chronic. 28:7). I thought you knew that.

    Was Solomon 100% kosher? Hardly. Read 1 Kings 11:1-8. Continue in verse 9-13 for the consequences for his sin. Also read 1 Kings 9:4-9.

    Can you see now? Solomon failed to meet God’s conditions and his throne was not established forever. David’s throne was. That was guaranteed.

    You cannot find one single reference in the Tanach to the “throne of Solomon” but so many references to the “Throne of David.” All the Kings sat on David’s throne, not Solomon’s. there is no one reference in the Tanach to a future king who will be from the line of Solomon, or be called a son of Solomon or come from the seed of Solomon. but there are plenty references to David. Why? because Solomon’s throne was not established forever. David’s was. The messianic line was promised to David, not Solomon.

    Sorry, Gene, you have no case.

  52. May 23, 2014 1:50 pm

    Dan, you are using the exact same replacement theology “logic” as the other Christians. Since Israel has supposedly failed (and you can also cite conditional promises for Israel!), according to Christianity, G-d had to forget all His promises (and even His grace) and decided to bring in the “more worthy” replacements – the Christians, Abraham’s new “perfect”, “unconditional” children.

    Was King David perfect? Because G-d has made this promise to David directly first, in regards to his son Solomon, and that promise didn’t have any conditions attached to it. Solomon’s descendants were punished because of Solomon’s sins, and the kingdom was indeed interrupted. But the original promise G-d made to David, that through Solomon’s line will the kingdom be established forever, was not conditional at all – it was money in the bank as far as David was concerned. What good is G-d’s promise to David to sit his descendant through Solomon (the only son of David who became king) on the throne, when G-d really meant to replace David’s descendants with a demigod not descendent through David’s royal line (passed through males only), except through a convoluted fake genealogies of the Christian bible of Mary and her husband (who had nothing to do with Jesus’ birth)?

    BTW, the Gospel of Luke lists Solomon in the line of succession to Joseph (or to Mary, if you wish to pretend that this is her genealogy), making your whole argument that Solomon was somehow written out from the promise because he supposedly failed groundless. Apparently Solomon was still good enough for the author of Luke but not for you!

  53. May 23, 2014 3:18 pm

    Gene, I am not comparing Christianity to Judaism. You are the one who does. I am rebutting you points, so please stop with the whining. I get it, believe me. But right now you are dealing with me, a Jew just like you. And a Jew does not “replace” a Jew.

    Now, there are many more places in the Tanach that state the condition of the promise to Solomon. and he did not meet the condition. So much so that there are even Rabbinic traditions which claim Solomon was banished from the throne during his lifetime. (Yalkut 2:6; Bavli Megila 11b states: “is there not Solomon? He did not retain his kingdom.” Rashi in his comments in Bavli Gittin 68b explain this “he did not complete his kingship, for he was expelled.”

    Yes, it is true that descendants of Solomon continued to sit on David’s throne, but that is because the unconditional promise made to David, not to Solomon. after the exile in 586 BCE there was no one hint that future kings would have to trace their lineage through Solomon. Read 1 King 9:4-9. this is in response to Solomon’s request from 1 Kings 8:25-26. God refused to guarantee Solomon’s request.

    Also read Psalm 89:3-4; 35-37 and Psalm 132:11-12. See the promises to David? God made no such promises to Solomon. Through the prophets God spoke about David and his throne and his line, never about Solomon. (Jerem. 33:17, 20-21; 24-25).

    Now read Jerem. 22:30 and 36:30. Can you see? It speaks of the throne of David, not the throne of Solomon.

    The Rabbis?

    The followers of LUbabiche Rebbe said that he was from the line of David, not the line of Solomon. Why? Because in most Rabbinic thoughts to be a descendant of Solomon was not considered to be a requirement for Messiah. The only time in Rabbinic writing the term “son of Solomon” appears is in reference to Rechavam, his immediate son. (Numbers Rabbah 23:13; Bavli Megila 31b; Bavli Nedarim 40a. Nowhere else in the whole Talmudic writing the term appear, not one time.

    The RAMBAM does not have any reference to Solomon descent in Mishne Torah. The fact he did not mentioned any Solomon descent in his law code means that it was no important to him. And he knew the Scriptures and the Talmud a lot better than you and me. Gene, there is no one authoritative statement in traditional Judaism that makes the claim that Messiah has to be from the line of Solomon. In medieval time there was no argument raised by Jews against Christianity on that subject. Nor it is raised in Hizzuk AMUNAH, which is considered to be the granddaddy of Anti-Missionary work.

    So you see? You still do not have a case. What’s more, even the Rabbis do not agree with you.

  54. Concerned Reader permalink
    May 23, 2014 3:23 pm

    At the same time and in the same way would be a contradiction. He emptied himself being made subject to death even death on a cross. G-d cannot die, therefore the divine did not die. The voice that spoke through and indeed as Jesus was the divine word, which underwent no change or corruption, and was itself G-d. G-d himself does not change when we die, but he experiences death and suffering with us. How do you explain that without identifying Hashem with nature as Spinoza and the kabbalists do, or without relying on some created glory that allows Hashem to speak to us? Either way you have a problem because polytheism has the same views of divinity. That is what you aren’t understanding. Christian theology is solving a huge contradiction, that Judaism never had to deal with, because it didn’t actively proselytize and engage polytheism in the same way. Pagans were capable of believing in one G.d. They were capable of belief in angels, but this did not mean an annulment of their idolatry. To them gods were like the Jewish concept of angels. Immortal beings that lived and died, and in many cases were reborn. Aristotle and Plato believed in the first cause, this did not stop them from being active polytheists, even whilst saying G-d is one. The Christian metaphysic only allows one G-d, and one who has ascended, who is of the same essence The Christians used classical Jewish theology at first, there isn’t anything wrong with it, except that it doesn’t actually give polytheism any Pause. Christianity was subject to syncretism with various polytheistic philosophies (Gnosticism, Docetism, and Arianism were the result) trinity and incarnation were the solution to maintaining that G-d is transcendent, personal, immanent, personal, and acting, personal. These other views violated one or more of these 3 premises and identified G-d with nature, and so didn’t work to teach G-d as taught in scripture. If you call that polytheism, fine. When you speak about the tzelem Elohim in man, Christians speak of the implanted word in man. Christians understand your theology, really they do.

  55. May 23, 2014 3:32 pm

    “Yes, it is true that descendants of Solomon continued to sit on David’s throne, but that is because the unconditional promise made to David, not to Solomon.”

    Hold on a second, is this not exactly what I have been telling you? So, as you have just admitted and agreed with me, if the descendants of Solomon continued to rule despite Solomon’s sins on account of the “unconditional promise made to David” (your words, not mine!), why are you trying to prove to me that the Messiah is not coming from Solomon but from someone else?

    Of course, David is far more important here, not Solomon. But Solomon is not irrelevant at all – he’s part of the promise (the author of Luke agreed!). It’s like claiming that Isaac and Jacob are irrelevant, simply because the original promise was made to Abraham, their father. The point is that Solomon, while not David, is still part of the same promise.

    “The followers of LUbabiche Rebbe said that he was from the line of David, not the line of Solomon.”

    THAT is your proof???? Do you know how many other completely unqualified and failed (or, as in case of the Lubavitche Rebbe, unqualified but still hoped for by some of his followers) messiahs have there been, before Jesus and since?

  56. May 23, 2014 3:37 pm

    “When you speak about the tzelem Elohim in man, Christians speak of the implanted word in man. Christians understand your theology, really they do.”

    Umm, they really, really don’t (well, the trinitarian ones, at least), and that’s the point!

  57. May 23, 2014 3:48 pm

    I guess, Gene that you have conceded points #3&4. So let’s go to point #5.

    “Where does this leave Joseph and his genealogy tracing descent to David? The fact that Jesus was conceived without a human father means that Joseph was NOT Jesus’ actual father, making the gospels’ use of Joseph’s genealogy totally irrelevant to Jesus’ own qualification for kingship. Yet, we are presented with not just one genealogy of Joseph, but two very different ones. Think about this for a moment and let it sink in!”

    This argument falls apart if the Genealogy of Luke is through Mary. And I have already proved that it is.

  58. May 23, 2014 3:57 pm

    ” why are you trying to prove to me that the Messiah is not coming from Solomon but from someone else?”

    This is NOT what I am trying to prove. I am showing you that to be Messiah does not require to be from Solomon’s line. And many of our Sages and Rabbis agree with me, not with you.

  59. May 23, 2014 4:03 pm

    “This argument falls apart if the Genealogy of Luke is through Mary. And I have already proved that it is.”

    So, even though the NT explicitly says that Luke presents Joseph’s genealogy, you are going to pull the “Catholic Church” move on me and claim that it’s Mary’s because the alternative (that the Roman church scribes were full of it) is unthinkable to you?

  60. May 23, 2014 4:07 pm

    Gene, do you really read my comments in detail or just what catches you eye? I have already showed you the Greek grammar of Luke 3:23. Please read it again and stop connecting my refutations to the Church.

  61. May 23, 2014 4:08 pm

    “I am showing you that to be Messiah does not require to be from Solomon’s line. And many of our Sages and Rabbis agree with me, not with you.”

    Sure, let’s employ sages and rabbis in support of Jesus! In Judaism it is the majority opinion that counts, not what this or that rabbi said or didn’t say. Nice trick by the Christian missionaries to selectively quote excerpts from rabbinical works in support of the Christians doctrines, while completely ignoring the halacha and the prevailing opinions. May be I should start quoting some hand-picked Church Fathers, pastors and priests for you that may have believed that Jesus was only a man and not god!

  62. May 23, 2014 4:10 pm

    Since when are you a “Greek grammar” expert, Dan??

  63. May 23, 2014 4:19 pm

    Your point # 6

    “If one were to argue, as many Christians throughout history and to this day have tried, that Joseph somehow became Jesus’ father through some sort of legal adoption, this alone would in no way qualify Jesus for the Davidic throne. At least not according to the Law of G-d. This is because according to Torah, which Jesus supposedly came to uphold, a kingly, priestly or a Levitical status can only be inherited via a direct descent from a qualified birth father of the same status. Adoption can pass no inheritable tribal status from a father to an adopted son. For example, it would be a gross violation of the Law of G-d for a High Priest to adopt a child from a tribe of Benjamin and then grant that adopted child a priestly status. A child born of a father from the tribe of Dan, will remain a Danite, even if adopted by a man from the tribe of Judah.”

    I agree with you here. There is no basis to the claim of adoption.

  64. May 23, 2014 4:24 pm

    So, let’s make the rules here again, maybe I did not understand. You are allowed to use the NT writings and “Church fathers” writing to prove your points, but I am not allowed to mention any Jewish Rabbinic writing to support mine…Is this the rule?

    BTW, as of now you have not addressed any quote that I brought up, why?

  65. May 23, 2014 4:28 pm

    You asked me not to attack personally, why do you do it to me with the “Greek Expert” thing? Why instead of attacking you actually show me proof that I was wrong in my claim, and all other claim that i brought before you?

  66. May 23, 2014 4:36 pm

    “So, let’s make the rules here again, maybe I did not understand. You are allowed to use the NT writings and “Church fathers” writing to prove your points, but I am not allowed to mention any Jewish Rabbinic writing to support mine…Is this the rule?”

    Dan, when I start using Church Fathers to make them say that Judaism is correct, that rabbis are “kosher” and that Christianity is wrong, let me know.

  67. May 23, 2014 4:38 pm

    “You asked me not to attack personally, why do you do it to me with the “Greek Expert” thing? Why instead of attacking you actually show me proof that I was wrong in my claim, and all other claim that i brought before you?”

    How about you show me from Greek grammar that this is indeed correct?

  68. May 23, 2014 5:02 pm

    “Dan, when I start using Church Fathers to make them say that Judaism is correct, that rabbis are “kosher” and that Christianity is wrong, let me know.”

    You did. You mentioned Church fathers saying that Jesus was a man, not God.

  69. May 23, 2014 5:05 pm

    “How about you show me from Greek grammar that this is indeed correct?”

    I made a statement, you can refute it if you want. The fact that you don’t shows that you can’t. That goes for all the other quotations I used. Talking generalities does not prove a point.

  70. Concerned Reader permalink
    May 23, 2014 5:25 pm

    “Umm, they really, really don’t (well, the trinitarian ones, at least), and that’s the point!”

    Judaism believes in one infinite absolutely simple divine essence. It is called Hashem, which itself is the only description of the divine essence. The Be-Er that which was, is, and always shall be. Every other name of hashem tells us not what he is, but how he relates to us. We know not what hashem is, only what he is not. His names are often applied to angels and emissaries, but this does not make them hashem. Tell me, Gene, Am I misunderstanding your theology here, or am I misreading the Rambam that I have on my bookshelf?

    I do understand it. That’s the point. How do we come to know who hashem is? Prophecy, which Maimonides calls an overflow from hashem (the active intellect) which Moses interacted with on a higher level than anyone before or after him. The Torah of Moses allows us to see the reason in creation, and teaches us to live our lives in harmony with G-d’s will.

    The issue for Christianity was when these views, and what they mean was questioned by philosophers and polytheists. Pagan questioner: If the active intellect is an overflow from G-d, how do we know its not an illusion? (The demiurge of the gnostics) If G-d’s will is known by means of creatures how is this different from my polytheism? (the Arian christians.)

    To say that Christians don’t understand, is really weak argument man. As I’ve pointed out before, just believing in monotheism, does not remove idolatry because we still posit beings which G-d relates to creation through (angels)

    Here is a hindu response to the accusation that it is idolatrous.

    They acknowledge that creation is a vehicle to understand the infinite one. They are pluralist, they use symbolism. Christianity does not use the system of relation to G-d by means of creation, because to do it, opens up the relativism that these other religions flourish on.

  71. May 23, 2014 5:26 pm

    There is no sign of any debate about the Davidic lineage of Yeshua in any of the early sources. This suggest that Mary’s Davidic background was well known.

    The angel in Luke 1:32 (not only you can bring NT writing for support…) attributed to Yeshua the throne of David at the same time he tells Mary that the son will be conceived within her a virgin. It only make sense if Mary is also from the line of David.

    The fact that the NT kept two different genealogies support that one genealogy is Joseph’s and the other genealogy is Mary’s. Otherwise, why keeping two seemingly contradictory genealogies?

    There is no evidence that proves that Luke’s genealogy is NOT Mary’s.

  72. May 23, 2014 5:29 pm

    “I made a statement, you can refute it if you want.”

    Lots of people make off the wall and often crazy statements on my blog. If you can’t back your claims up, I’ll consider it bogus.

  73. May 23, 2014 5:32 pm

    “There is no evidence that proves that Luke’s genealogy is NOT Mary’s.”

    One can just as easily claim that there’s no evidence that proves that that genealogy in the NT is not YOURS either. There’s no evidence to disprove it either, but who needs that, right?

  74. May 23, 2014 5:38 pm

    “Lots of people make off the wall and often crazy statements on my blog. If you can’t back your claims up, I’ll consider it bogus.”

    Well, then, prove that my statement on your blog is off the wall and crazy. If you can I will withdraw it. Until then I will see it that you have no answer.

  75. May 23, 2014 5:44 pm

    “One can just as easily claim that there’s no evidence that proves that that genealogy in the NT is not YOURS either. There’s no evidence to disprove it either, but who needs that, right?”

    I will agree with you if you are willing to apply the same standard to the genealogies in the Tanach. Do tell why The genealogy of Abraham in Gen. 11:26 is not bogus….

  76. May 23, 2014 5:56 pm

    Your point #7.

    “In addition, according to the Law of G-d, neither kingly, priestly or a Levitical status can be inherited through one’s mother. Only the father can pass on his status to his son, to the seed coming from one’s own “loins”. According to Torah, if a woman born to a Levite father marries a regular Israelite, a child born to her can in no way qualify as a Levite and serve in the Temple.”

    I guess you did not read 1 Chronic. 2:34-36. Read it and you will see that Sheshan’s genealogy continues through hid daughter’s children. All of them with Hebrew names rather than Egyptian names despite Jarah’s being Egyptian. The genealogy continues through the daughter children. Now consider Joseph’S and Mary’s lines together provide Yeshua with a legitimate line to the throne. Also note 1 Chronic. 2:13-16 and ask yourself why there is no mention of Zeruiah’s husband?

  77. May 23, 2014 6:25 pm

    ” I guess you did not read 1 Chronic. 2:34-36. Read it and you will see that Sheshan’s genealogy continues through hid daughter’s children.”

    What???? Are you serious? Sheshan is not mentioned anywhere after that instance. What he did was try to keep the inheritance in his daughter’s possession by giving his servant (a slave he owned) to his daughter. It has nothing to do with passing his genealogy through his daughter! Imagine a Levite or a Cohen pulling that number to transfer their status to his daughter’s son – do you think it will fly?! (Which is what you are suggesting with Jesus and Mary). My mother was a Levite – may be I can claim that for myself! BTW, Sheshan’s name is never heard from again!

  78. May 23, 2014 7:17 pm

    Read again what I wrote. ” Sheshan’s genealogy continues through his daughter’s children”
    The passage has nothing to do with inheritance. Don’t read your agenda into the text. Inheritance is mentioned in the case of the daughters of zlofchad. the fact that the genealogy of Sheshan is written in the Tanach and not in Egyptian herogliphs dismisses your claim. You do the math.

  79. May 23, 2014 7:39 pm

    Dan, neither tribal identification nor kingly, levitical or Cohen status can ever transfer through the mother and there is no precedent or allowance for that in the Torah, no matter how you twist the scripture.

  80. May 23, 2014 8:18 pm

    Since Luke genealogy points to Mary being a blood descendant of David your point is moot. So why don’t we put Luke’s genealogy on the side now and concentrate on Matt. genealogy alone. Do you have any disagreement with it beside your usual old polemics?

    Shabbat Shalom.

  81. May 24, 2014 9:42 pm

    “Since Luke genealogy points to Mary being a blood descendant of David your point is moot.”

    It doesn’t – it explicitly says that its Joseph’s genealogy:

    “Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai…” (Luke 3:23)

    “So why don’t we put Luke’s genealogy on the side now and concentrate on Matt. genealogy alone.”

    How will Matthew help the Christian cause? Joseph wasn’t the father of Jesus. You already said that the adoption explanation doesn’t work and we know that the halachic status of a king, Levite or a cohen can’t be transferred to a non-biological son and Torah has no precedent for such a thing.

    Do you have any disagreement with it beside your usual old polemics?”

    You mean the “old” Jewish objections to Christian fictions?

  82. May 24, 2014 10:20 pm

    “Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai…” (Luke 3:23)”

    What does “as was supposed” mean to you?

    “How will Matthew help the Christian cause? Joseph wasn’t the father of Jesus. You already said that the adoption explanation doesn’t work and we know that the halachic status of a king, Levite or a cohen can’t be transferred to a non-biological son and Torah has no precedent for such a thing.”

    I don’t care about the Christian cause. I am not a Christian and I only care for my cause.

    Did Matt. states that Yeshua was born to a virgin by the holy spirit? Here is your answer, through Mary yeshua is a son of David, and yet He is greater than David.

  83. May 25, 2014 9:27 pm

    “What does “as was supposed” mean to you?”

    That people were made to think, falsely, that Joseph was Jesus’ actual birth father, when he in fact, according to the NT, had not even touched Jesus’ mother to cause his birth? What’s more, the NT gives us Joseph’s geneology, as if that was somehow even relevant!

    “through Mary yeshua is a son of David”

    It just doesn’t work this way in Torah! It would be meaningless if Mary passed along some “Davidic” blood, since it’s only through the father that the Davidic status can be passed, same as Levites and priests. Do you know how many wives both David or Solomon had? Any of the wives’ descendants, no matter how indirect and mixed, can claim they have the ‘Davidic” descent, and women’s genealogies were not even being recorded, only those of their fathers! (I wonder why?!)

    What’s funny is that if someone came along today and claimed that he’s a Davidic king through his mother and not his father, you’d be the first to pounce on that ludicrous claim! You would call it “unbiblical”!

    Not only that, the NT doesn’t even give us Mary’s genealogy for you to make such a claim, but only two conflicting ones leading to Joseph!

  84. May 25, 2014 11:05 pm

    “That people were made to think, falsely, that Joseph was Jesus’ actual birth father, when he in fact, according to the NT, had not even touched Jesus’ mother to cause his birth? What’s more, the NT gives us Joseph’s geneology, as if that was somehow even relevant!”

    You are not answering my question. “as supposed” does not mean actual, does it? Yet the people in Nazareth thought he was Josephs son.

    “It just doesn’t work this way in Torah! It would be meaningless if Mary passed along some “Davidic” blood, since it’s only through the father that the Davidic status can be passed, same as Levites and priests. Do you know how many wives both David or Solomon had? Any of the wives’ descendants, no matter how indirect and mixed, can claim they have the ‘Davidic” descent, and women’s genealogies were not even being recorded, only those of their fathers! (I wonder why?!)”

    I already explained to you Sheshan’s Daughter. Try again.

    “What’s funny is that if someone came along today and claimed that he’s a Davidic king through his mother and not his father, you’d be the first to pounce on that ludicrous claim! You would call it “unbiblical”!”

    No, I would call it unscientific. No one can authentically claim Davidic descent today.

    “Not only that, the NT doesn’t even give us Mary’s genealogy for you to make such a claim, but only two conflicting ones leading to Joseph!”

    Well, then, prove to me that Luke”s genealogy is not Mary’s, can you?

  85. May 26, 2014 11:11 pm

    “Well, then, prove to me that Luke”s genealogy is not Mary’s, can you?”

    That’s easy:

    1. Mary is not mentioned ANYWHERE in the genealogy or even near it, but Joseph is there for all to see.
    2. Joseph is called the son of Heli.

    Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli… (Luke 3:23)

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