Skip to content

Article: Can G-d Become a Man?

May 25, 2014

G-d-man Jesusby R. Moshe Ben-Chaim

G-d becoming man in the body of Jesus is one of the most idolatrous and absurd doctrines fabricated by the Christians. For it suggests that G-d, the Creator of everything, Who controls everything, suddenly becomes the “created” – the Omnipotent One becomes frail, flesh and blood, subject to the very laws He created.

Such a concept is blasphemy at the highest degree, for with such words, man haughtily ignores his fear of G-d commanded in the Torah, and severely cripples his estimation He who is exalted above all else. It is man, speaking about that which he has no knowledge at all – the unknowable G-d. This is an outright denial of what G-d told Moses, “You can not know me while you live.” G-d told Moses that you cannot possess any possible concept of Me. Man is inherently limited in this respect. Man perceives G-d, as much as a blind person perceives light. But this foolish Christian doctrine does not agree with G-d, and suggest that man can in fact know what G-d is, so much so, that the Christians perpetrate a lie that G-d corporified Himself, and formed Himself into a Man Jesus. But we must contemplate G-d’s own words: G-d said that even the greatest prophet, Moses, could not know Him. Therefore, any doctrine such as this, which criticizes G-d, denies G-d’s own words, and assumes things about G-d, is false.

This is man at his lowest. It is man projecting his infantile, idolatrous fantasies onto reality, forcing the unknowable Creator into some tangible form for man’s weak emotions to attach to. Discussing this Christian doctrine that G-d became man, Rabbi Reuven Mann directed me to this following source: the Prophet Isaiah says, (40:25) “And unto who shall you equate Me that I will be similar, says G-d.” G-d says that it is impossible to equate Him to anything. Therefore, Christianity’s crime, suggesting G-d is in anyway equated to anything, i.e., man, and more so that He could even possibility BE man, is such a tragic flaw, and an outright denial of G-d’s words.

Rabbi Mann also referred me to the following quote of Maimonides “Guide for the Perplexed”, Book III, Chap. XV:

“That which is impossible has a permanent and constant property, which is not the result of some agent, and cannot in any way change, and consequently we do not ascribe to God the power of doing what is impossible. No thinking man denies the truth of this maxim; none ignore it”

Likewise it is impossible that God should produce a being like Himself, or annihilate, corporify, (make Himself physical) or change Himself. The power of God is not assumed to extend to any of these impossibilities.

“…there are things which are impossible, whose existence cannot be admitted, and whose creation is excluded from the power of God, and the assumption that God does not change their nature does not imply weakness in God, or a limit to His power.”

We see that G-d, and His true servants, Isaiah and Maimonides, attest to the fact that G-d cannot “do all” as children imagine. However, this Christian doctrine seems to follow a child’s “superman” emotion, and not logic. They feel all that may be imagined (viz., G-d becoming man) is possible.

This is the lesson: do not live in the world of imagination, but in G-d’s world of reality, where all ideas are pleasant, sensible, and appeal to our minds. We need not force faulty interpretations into G-d’s words, like when He says He is One, and Christianity says He is a Trinity. Such an approach, where G-d’s words are distorted to offer imagined support for Christian doctrine is not the result of objective study or clear thinking.

G-d becoming man is but another of man’s fantasies leading him, when the opposite is what G-d demands, that we deny any reality to our fantasies, and follow reality alone.

Advertisements
29 Comments leave one →
  1. May 25, 2014 7:18 pm

    By Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz:

    Abraham went out and saw the Holy One, blessed be He, standing at the door of his tent, as the verse says, ‘And the Lord appeared to him by the terebinths of Mamre.” This is what the verse is referring to when it says (Gen. 18:3) “And he said, ‘o Lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, do not, I pray you, pass by your servant.” In this verse Abraham was speaking to God Himself (and so addressed Him as Lord and referred to himself as His servant). When God saw that Abraham was busy tying and untying the bandages of his circumcision, He said to Himself, “it is not fitting that I stay here while Abraham is taking care of his wound.” He was about to remove His presence when Abraham pleaded with Him to stay a little longer. and this is also what the verse refers to when it says (Gen. 18:2) “and he raised his eyes and looked, and behold, and, behold, three men stood by him; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them.”

    You want more instances from the Tanach?

  2. May 25, 2014 7:32 pm

    Now, how about you quote the whole excerpt from Michael Brown’s book where Talmud continues to say that the three men Abraham saw as he was talking to G-d were angels, instead of playing the usual missionary tricks with Jewish text!

  3. May 25, 2014 7:50 pm

    Those Christians who claim that Abraham actually saw G-d appear as a man before Jesus’ incarnation minimize the supposed significance of Jesus’ birth as a god-man hundreds of years later. Many Christians went even further in their reinterpretation of the biblical text – instead of just having one angel be G-d why not have the whole Trinity appear to Abraham! G-d the Father stays behind, while Jesus and the Holy Spirit are off on assignment!

  4. May 25, 2014 8:05 pm

    I did not quote the Talmud nor I quoted Michael Brown. I quoted Adin Steinsaltz commentary. Now read Gen. 18:25 and think, would Abraham call an angel “The judge of all the earth?” Abraham also called the man אדני with a Kamatz under the נון which indicate a reference to God, not man. and why did the Sofrim correct verse 22? if there is any tricks here they are the Sofrim’s tricks….

    Exodox 24:9-11 who are the angels? The 70 or the one the 70 saw?

  5. May 25, 2014 8:11 pm

    “Those Christians who claim that Abraham actually saw G-d appear as a man before Jesus’ incarnation minimize the supposed significance of Jesus’ birth as a god-man hundreds of years later. Many Christians went even further in their reinterpretation of the biblical text – instead of just having one angel be G-d why not have the whole Trinity appear to Abraham! G-d the Father stays behind, while Jesus and the Holy Spirit are off on assignment!”

    I don’t care what the Christians say. But if you are already there, the Talmud says that the three men are the angels Michael, Gavriel, and Rafael, where does it say did in Gen. 18?

  6. May 25, 2014 8:51 pm

    “Now read Gen. 18:25 and think, would Abraham call an angel “The judge of all the earth?”

    Think about it for a second – the text says that G-d already appeared to Abraham BEFORE the three men appeared, coming toward Abraham in the distance, since he hurried/ran to them to meet them. The Jewish tradition even explains that Abraham left G-d’s presence just to be hospitable to his guests!

    “Abraham also called the man אדני”

    No, this, in Genesis 18:3, is a PLURAL form, which makes sense in the context- אֲדֹנָי Abraham addressed the three men as “lords”, as in “my lords”.

    The same exact word (same spelling too!) appears in Genesis 19:18, where the NIV and other modern translations translate the same word they just translated in Genesis 18 as singular “Lord” (for reasons similar to your own – to make G-d appear as man in the Torah!) but now they chose to translate it as “lords”, in the plural. Why did they make such a crazy biased translation? Because in their Christian minds, the other two angels/men were not G-d, even though in the text the two men who went to Sodom to see Lot were still addressed as אֲדֹנָי (same as in Genesis 18), therefore no way they will translate that same word as “L-rd”!

  7. May 25, 2014 9:01 pm

    “I don’t care what the Christians say.”

    You should – it’s your new religion and your spiritual brothers!

    “But if you are already there, the Talmud says that the three men are the angels Michael, Gavriel, and Rafael, where does it say did in Gen. 18?”

    Traditional Jewish explanation. Judaism does not follow Martin Luther’s Sola Scripura view of G-d’s revelation to the Jewish nation.

  8. May 25, 2014 9:39 pm

    “Think about it for a second – the text says that G-d already appeared to Abraham BEFORE the three men appeared, coming toward Abraham in the distance, since he hurried/ran to them to meet them. The Jewish tradition even explains that Abraham left G-d’s presence just to be hospitable to his guests!”

    So you admit that God APPEARD to Abraham. Abraham saw God. Good for you. it is astep forward.

    “No, this, in Genesis 18:3, is a PLURAL form, which makes sense in the context- אֲדֹנָי Abraham addressed the three men as “lords”, as in “my lords”.”

    Your argument is not with me, it is with the writers of the Stone Chumash. They wrote: “According to most interpretations, the word אדני (with Kamatz) in this passage is sacred.” and as I said before, this interpretation is corroborated in verse 22 which contains one of the 18 תיקוני סופרים . Check the notes of the Mesorah. The sofrim did not want to write that Adonai remained standing before Abraham (which is how the original text reads). so they changed it to “Abraham remained standing before the Lord.” This tells us that the ancient Sofrim recognized that the “man” who spoke with Abraham was God Himself.

  9. May 25, 2014 9:43 pm

    “You should – it’s your new religion and your spiritual brothers!”

    So Now you decide what is mine and what is not…Oh well….

    “Traditional Jewish explanation. Judaism does not follow Martin Luther’s Sola Scripura view of G-d’s revelation to the Jewish nation.”

    Hammm….I remember someone tell me not long ago that who cares what this Rabbi say or that Rabbi say, but now when it fits your agenda you attribute the Talmud to “Traditional Jewish explanation.” I get it now….

  10. May 25, 2014 9:57 pm

    “Your argument is not with me”

    Dan, of course it is! Instead of applying the usual missionary technique of grossly misusing some commentary to support the idolatrous explanation of the passage (which the authors of the commentary would not even fathom!), answer me why does Genesis 19 use the same word אֲדֹנָי that is used in Genesis 18, but as “lords” in the plural, to address the two angels that went to rescue Lot?

  11. May 25, 2014 10:02 pm

    “So you admit that God APPEARD to Abraham. Abraham saw God. Good for you. it is astep forward.”

    Dan, doesn’t the New Testament itself say that “No one has ever seen God” (John 1:18), so how can you possibly claim that ‘appeared” means that Abraham actually “saw G-d”? “Appeared to Abraham” need not happen in visual sense, and in fact, it’s impossible to see G-d and live (Exodus 33:20), nor would G-d appear with an actual human body (G-d forbid) – it just means that G-d has come to talk to Abraham!

    The more I talk to you, the more I feel sad for other Jews trapped in Christianity! You are defending idolatry at all costs, even trying to use rabbinic commentary for that goal!

  12. May 25, 2014 10:09 pm

    “Dan, of course it is! Instead of applying the usual missionary technique of grossly misusing some commentary to support the idolatrous explanation of the passage (which the authors of the commentary would not even fathom!), answer me why does Genesis 19 use the same word אֲדֹנָי that is used in Genesis 18, but as “lords” in the plural, to address the two angels that went to rescue Lot?”

    So, first the Talmud is no good and now the stone Chumash is no good, and yet you attack Christianity and the NT…OY…..

  13. May 25, 2014 10:11 pm

    No, your twisting and misusing of Jewish sources to support something they opposed with every fiber of their being – idolatry, the worship of man as G-d – that’s what “no good”, Dan!

  14. May 25, 2014 10:32 pm

    “Dan, doesn’t the New Testament itself say that “No one has ever seen God” (John 1:18), so how can you possibly claim that ‘appeared” means that Abraham actually “saw G-d”? “Appeared to Abraham” need not happen in visual sense, and in fact, it’s impossible to see G-d and live, nor would G-d appear with an actual human body (G-d forbid) – it just means that G-d has come to talk to Abraham!”

    Well, you saw it. The seemingly contradiction. Abraham did not have a problem to call a man “the Judge of all the earth.” The 70 went up to the mountain and SAW God,(in human body) or you think that this was an angel or it was a dream?

    You can’t defend this, Gene. This is why you never see Scriptures trying to defend what appears to be a contradiction. The sofrim manipulated the writing but you of course attack me, Christianity, pagans, and idolatry. You need to clean your own house first…..

  15. May 25, 2014 10:39 pm

    “No, your twisting and misusing of Jewish sources to support something they opposed with every fiber of their being – idolatry, the worship of man as G-d – that’s what “no good”, Dan!”

    Why don’t you address the support I bring to my claims, (Stone Chumash, corrections of the Scribes before you make judgmewnts on me? Did I twist or misuse the correction of the Sofrim? How? Why did they make the correction?

  16. Concerned Reader permalink
    May 26, 2014 6:01 am

    Gene, according to Maimonides, as you noted above, Hashem cannot do what is irrational, cannot ” take on corporeality,” cannot be known, and cannot create a being like himself. So how does Maimonides account for the revelation of the Torah, and the fact that we know of hashem’s will, and not just reasonably so, but in relational and covenantal terms? How are we made in his image? He posits interaction with an overflow from G-d, the active intellect, known in older sources as the memra, and the Logos. So we have in Maimonides, a personal overflow of the divine essence interacting with humanity (Israel,) but with one person on a level higher than any human being ever to exist according to Rambam. Moshe! Moshe, called the Man of G-d, and an elohim before pharaoh, Moshe, whose name is a part of the identity of the Torah! Does this make Moshe hashem? No! It makes him a tzaddik, one might argue the most important tzaddik who bears the name of hashem to his people, literally, he is the one who delivers the shem hashem to Israel! This is virtually identical to how ebionites, Nazarenes, Arian Christians, and many others saw Jesus. So why would John take that extra step, saying the word is G-d? As I’ve noted, not to deify a human being! Pagans already had views of their gods as semi mortal, angel like beings, who lived, and also died, thus not truly eternal. Ancestor worship predominates in many cultures. The cultic veneration of frail fully mortal men who would join the ranks of created gods is thus normal in paganism. Many hellenistic theologies, like that of pomphry, equated Zeus and Jupiter with the transcendent first cause. The difference between this first cause and hashem? Zeus and Jupiter, were the first cause in an allegorical sense, since in their myths they came into being out of Chaos, (Chronos/Fate) thus: there is a virtual recognition of a transcendent Be-Er, but with an overwhelming reliance on created Daemons or angels, that are called gods in polytheistic theologies. So what is it the pagans didn’t get about Judaism? It was the belief in a set united will of G-d, commandments of G-d, providence of G-d, one view of G-d etc. The theologies of polytheistic cultures couldn’t handle the concept of the uncreated G-d who providentially guided creation, and especially not one nation in particular directly, or personaly. For them, the gods were just a part of life, and had to be appeased. Even their monotheistic leanings couldn’t escape concepts like the eternity of matter, relativism, syncretism, and transmigration of souls. They couldn’t even commit to saying that human life was intrinsically valuable. They could see the concepts of reason, simplicity, and divine unity in pantheon and henotheism, pantheism, or obscure panentheism, and agnosticism, but not a truly uncreated yet personal G-d. So why would John say “the word is G-d”? To state categorically that G-d acts directly even if there is an emissary involved, and that “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. Also, No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is in the Bosom of the Father, has made him known.
    Why is the Son true G-d in the Christian worldview? Because every other theology relies on a dance between abstract or naturalized indirect relationship through a recognized fully human, conceptual, or natural emissary or process, be it angels, emanations, Plato’s forms, Pythagoras’ equations, etc.. Saying the Son is G-d, is like saying, do you think the uncreated one is so beyond us that he has to work through a created emissary? STOP!!!!!! NO!!! BAD WRONG!!! But Jesus is a human born in time right? Yes!! So humans can ascend and be special on their own merit? NO!! STOP!! BAD!!! Its up to G-d, in whose nature it is to commune with man, and redeem him by his own grace! So, in what sense is Jesus divine? In the sense that he reveals these truths of G-d in his own personal statements and actions, and in an authoritative way, he takes the title of authority by nature which the human being has always tried to take by force of his own power, and by relying on his own existence! Is Jesus saying then that Eliyahu did not ascend to heaven, or that the righteous of all nations do not inherit life? No! But he really is teaching that an ascent should really be treated as a descent of Hashem! Jesus’ message was, G-d will come down and vindicate the righteous, man will not go up and testify of his merits to G-d. The early Christians had a G-dlike experience in Jesus, and if you treat Jesus as a creature, he becomes like every creature, Dust and ashes, and his words shatter. His words become the musings of one sage amongst the many. He becomes one emissary amongst many, one G-d among many. Honestly, that robs from the essence of Jesus’ teachings, his central point. Someone had to say directly, I say in my father’s name, not I say in my own, or I say in someone else s name. The divinity of Jesus is not in his fleshly mind, body, or soul, but in his teaching, and that teaching is tied to his personality. Notice the New Testament says, THE WORD!!!! NOT THE BODY, not the man, but his word, is divine. Word is not knowledge alone, it is manifest personality.

  17. May 26, 2014 8:53 am

    CR, do you think that your standard idolatry was about worshipping the wood, metal or stone out which the idols where fashioned, or rather what the idols represented?

  18. May 26, 2014 10:42 am

    Gene,

    First, the concept of a tri-unified G-d did not originate with Christianity. Boyarin notes that “…the beginning of the idea of the Trinity occurred precisely in pre-Christian Jewish accounts of the second and visible God.”

    Second, the mystics of the Zohar had no issue with the concept of a Trinity, rooting this concept in Torah itself:

    http://orthodoxmessianic.blogspot.com/2014/05/trinity-in-kabbalistic-writings.html

    Third, even modern Chasidic masters such as Noson Gurary admit that G-d taking on the form of a man is at least possible (even though he rejects that this did in fact occur):

    “13. It may be pointed out that in terms of God’s omnipotence, He could have chosen to have a body of some sort too (not necessarily in the purely physical sense). However, the Torah testifies to the fact that He did not choose to do this (cf. Exodus 20:4; Deuteronomy 4:16-19),” The Thirteen Principles of Faith: A Chasidic Viewpoint.

    Peter

  19. May 26, 2014 1:46 pm

    “First, the concept of a tri-unified G-d did not originate with Christianity. Boyarin notes that “…the beginning of the idea of the Trinity occurred precisely in pre-Christian Jewish accounts of the second and visible God.”

    Peter, you are probably confusing the later Christian Trinitarianism (where G-d is Three Persons and one of them is a man) with the early heretical and resoundingly rejected idea (among many others at the time) that circulated in the first century (and perhaps a bit into the second century) among Jewish Gnostics and other groups of “minim” (heretics), namely the so called “two powers in Heaven”.

    The other “power”, of course, was the angel “Metatron”, not G-d. Still, this heresy was a type of dualistic philosophy. A type of this early gnostic dualism found its way to Marcion as well, who imagined not a “super-angel”, but dual gods, the G-d of the Jews who was the creator of the world and the superior god, Jesus.

    As for Boyarin, he is ever a sensationalist out to capitalize on latest controversy, an activist masquerading as a liberal scholar. While I was a messianic, I became interested in his new Jewish Gospels book and began reading it, that is until I learned more about his “research”. An open homosexual born into a family of avowed communists (or bisexual, if you will, since he’s also married), Member of core faculty in the minor in Gay and Lesbian Studies, he actively promotes gay rights and has written a treatise on how homosexuality was not expressively forbidden in the Torah or even known as such, but that only certain physical acts of male-on-male sex were forbidden because they were “mixtures”.

    He’s also a virulent anti-Zionist (quote: “The Israeli occupation of Palestine and destruction of human rights and democracy is at least as severe as that of the South Africans. A similar moral and political response is in order at this time.”).

    Nice, eh? A strange bed-fellow with Christians/Messianics indeed, a new darling for Christians. He’s proven to be an activist, not a scholar. Other scholars have confronted him on his sensationalism.

    “Second, the mystics of the Zohar had no issue with the concept of a Trinity, rooting this concept in Torah itself:”

    It’s NOTHING like the Kabbalah in the Zohar, which doesn’t have anything even remote to multiple PERSONS of G-d talking to each other and having a relationship, or, G-d forbid, G-d becoming a man, but merely speaks of Sephirot, or emanations like G-d’s kindness, mercy, wisdom, eternity, etc, which are themselves merely creations of G-d. The Hasidic rabbi I’ve studied with for over a year explained to me what Sephirot were. I’ve also asked him to specifically compare it with the Christian Trinitarian view of G-d.

    ” He could have chosen to have a body of some sort too (not necessarily in the purely physical sense).”

    Could have does not mean that He would have! That’s the point of the above article, Peter – “this Christian doctrine [G-d becoming man] seems to follow a child’s “superman” emotion, and not logic. They feel all that may be imagined (viz., G-d becoming man) is possible.“. Could G-d do things contrary to His nature? The concept of omnipotence suggests “yes”, but the reality says “no”.

  20. Concerned Reader permalink
    May 26, 2014 3:04 pm

    Standard idolatry worships what the thing represents, but in many polytheistic religions, the objects play a central role, and metaphysics and theology lie within creation, not outside of it. Shamanism for example, ascribes sacred power to the shaman, as well as to his tools, without which he is just a man. My point, Gene, is that Christian theology, is not about deifying the humanity of Jesus, just like its not about venerating or deifying christian believers. In point of fact, Nachmanides in his central criticism of Christianity in the disputation said, that Christians were incapable of asserting themselves, and that this lead them to be weak, and to lack personal responsibility. Aside from a bit of rhetoric on his part, he’s blaming Christians for being submissive, and not esteeming themselves too highly. Jesus’ humanity, including his mind, body, and soul are treated like every other human. He wept, bled, lacked knowledge, died etc. Christians acknowledge that aspect of Jesus as fully human and not as what they mean as divine. G-d cannot die, but Jesus died, so the the divinity as I said, lies in his teaching, which he takes, along with his innovative approach from the Hebrew Bible. His teaching, also largely hinges on his personality. My main point was that for idolatry, creation is intrinsically divine (even if there is a semblance of transcendence, there are many paths to G-d, and G-d himself is more like a process than a being) (So something like what Torah claims doesn’t male much sense to the average polytheist, except what can be derived by said polytheist’s own human intellect. Literally,what I find so monotheistic about Christian theology, is that it asserts unquestioningly that G-d intervenes, and teaches us how to live, just like in the Torah, but without allowing us the notion of G-dliness from our own effort or nature, which is the bedrock on which idolatry stands. When the Pagans ask How do you know? Christians say Jesus taught it to us. The pagans say, just another teacher, and the Christians say no. They say no, because at the heart of the Christian experience of G-d was this unique personality. This personality as you know is identified as the angel of Hashem, who bears the name of the one he is revealing in Christian theology. Its not that Christians can’t appreciate the classical Jewish theological view, its that this theology doesn’t really require us to grapple with the unique idea of G-d that the Bible presents. As I’ve said before, if you just look at the Shem Hashem, all you have to believe about G-d is that he is one, the Be-Er, and we are his beings. The Sinai revelation, the unique will of G-d expressed in the Torah, none of these things have to be acknowledged if G-d is just the ultimate reality and first cause. Notice that Muslims are monotheists, but they reject core premises of the Bible outright because of their fierce monism. They say G-d has spiritual children, not literal children. Israel and the Church are the only ones to claim full on Genuine ontological experience of the Divine. Israel is the Son in Judaism who received the Torah uniquely, and was shown to Know. Jesus is the Son in the Gospel who showed the nations the knowledge of G-d, and the fallacy of the idea of intrinsic value to human power. Just look at how Acts treats the divinity of Jesus! He breaths his spirit on the disciples at Pentecost, his disciples wish to hang on to him Physically and he says “do not, for I have not ascended to my father.” When Pentecost finally comes, it is the Holy Spirit/Spirit of Christ who falls on the peoples. Even the NT therefore, does not associate the divinity with a real physical human, but with the unique personality he demonstrated. Personalities are not corporeal, nor are they accidents, they are what it means to be made in the image of G-d.

  21. May 26, 2014 4:02 pm

    CR, when it comes to the Jewish people and to Judaism Christians need to understand something very important – Jews don’t consider Jesus as divine in any way but merely a mortal man. At best he is considered as missused by Christians, and a deceiver and false prophet at worst. You, on the other hand, are arguing from a position of already having accepted Jesus’ divinity, validity of his mission and his supposed teaching, as Christianity transmitted them.

    So, by making Jesus, a human being like any other, an object of their devotion (even if they claim that it’s G-d in Jesus that they worship not Jesus body), from a Jewish point of view, Christians, at least those fully committed to core Christian doctrines, are already committing idolatry. Jews reject what Jesus (or more likely his later followers) claimed for himself as falsehood, so quite naturally they reject the Christian insistence that their worship of Jesus is a legitimate expression of devotion to the G-d of Israel.

    That Christians are sincere in their convictions doesn’t resolve the fact that to Jews Jesus is nothing like what Christianity has claimed on his behalf. If he was really what he claimed or if his claims and statements about himself didn’t violate what G-d has already revealed to Jews through the prophets, you would have a case. But the same applies to every other religion – if only their claims were true!

  22. Concerned Reader permalink
    May 26, 2014 5:44 pm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_%28Marcosian%29 compare this system of explaining the unity of hashem, and the process of creation with Jewish Mysticism, hermeticism, and hinduism, and you will see why the Christians are Trinitarian. You have in both gnostic and Jewish mystical thought systems a belief that ends up being a monistic pantheism where G-d loses all sense of identity as he has it in scripture. If Jews perceive Jesus as human, that’s great, but its not in line with how his followers described how they experienced him. The rabbis have in a sense inadvertently institutionalized shituf in their own theology in dealing with polytheistic gentiles (as a means of describing G-d,) because they cannot let G-d interact with creation directly. He needs a system of bits, bobs, angels, and emissaries, who are acknowledged as creations to do his work for him. The deity of Christ doesn’t come in by necessity, but due to the cost of describing him as a created emissary. I know you don’t agree. The point is that Christians know the difference between G-d and created existence, and you refuse to see it. You allow the sentiment that G-d is nature, or revealed through naturalistic law in your theology via the likes of Spinoza, and his predecessor Maimonides, but the idea that hashem is triune personality and distinct from nature, yet interacts with it bothers you.

  23. May 26, 2014 5:53 pm

    Idolatry of taking a mortal Jewish man, defying him, worshiping him, calling him “God the Son”, making him another person alongside One G-d – THAT is what bothering me. You, along with other Christians, believe that Jews are wrong about that and will be proven wrong in the end. Well, it’s your choice and your faith, but it’s not the faith of Israel.

  24. May 26, 2014 9:26 pm

    Gene,

    In the year that you’ve studied this with a Hasidic rabbi, did he show you this:

    Zohar:

    “Come and see the mystery of the word [Adonai]: there are three steps, each existing by itself: nevertheless they are One, and so united that one cannot be separated from the other. The Ancient Holy One is revealed with three heads, which are united into one, and that head is three exalted. The Ancient One is described as being three: because the other lights emanating from him are included in the three. But how can three names be one? Are they really one because we call them one? How three can be one can only be known through the revelation of the Holy Spirit .” (Zohar, Vol III, 288; Vol II, 43,)

    Hear, O Israel, Adonai Eloheinu Adonai is one. These three are one. How can the three Names be one? Only through the perception of faith: in the vision of the Holy Spirit, in the beholding of the hidden eye alone! The mystery of the audible voice is similar to this, for though it is one yet it consists of three elements-fire, air and water, which have, however, become one in the mystery of the voice. Even so it is with the mystery of the threefold Divine manifestations designated by Adonai Eloheinu Adonai – three modes which yet form one unity. This is the significance of the voice which man produces in the act of unification, when his intent is to unify all, from the Infinite (Ein Sof) to the end of creation. This is the daily unification, the secret of which has been revealed in the holy spirit,” (Quoted from Zohar II, 53b, as excerpted from Studies in Zohar by Yehuda Liebes) 

    But forget about the Zohar. The idea of a multiplex godhead is an ancient Jewish concept:

    Proverbs:
    {8:22} The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. {8:23} I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. {8:24} When [there were] no depths, I was brought forth; when [there were] no fountains abounding with water. {8:25} Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: {8:26} While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. {8:27} When he prepared the heavens, I [was] there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: {8:28} When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: {8:29} When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: {8:30} Then I was by him, [as] one brought up [with him:] and I was daily [his] delight, rejoicing always before him; {8:31} Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights [were] with the sons of men.

    Sirach:
    5 I came out of the mouth of the most High, the firstborn before all creatures:
    6 I made that in the heavens there should rise light that never faileth, and as a cloud I covered all the earth:
    7 I dwelt in the highest places, and my throne is in a pillar of a cloud.
    8 I alone have compassed the circuit of heaven, and have penetrated into the bottom of the deep, and have walked in the waves of the sea,
    9 And have stood in all the earth: and in every people,
    10 And in every nation I have had the chief rule:
    11 And by my power I have trodden under my feet the hearts of all the high and low: and in all these I sought rest, and I shall abide in the inheritance of the Lord.
    12 Then the creator of all things commanded, and said to me: and he that made me, rested in my tabernacle,
    13 And he said to me: Let thy dwelling be in Jacob, and thy inheritance in Israel, and take root in my elect.
    14 From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be, and in the holy dwelling place I have ministered before him.
    15 And so was I established in Sion, and in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem.
    16 And I took root in an honourable people, and in the portion of my God his inheritance, and my abode is in the full assembly of saints.
    17 I was exalted like a cedar in Libanus, and as a cypress tree on mount Sion.
    18 I was exalted like a palm tree in Cades, and as a rose plant in Jericho:
    19 As a fair olive tree in the plains, and as a plane tree by the water in the streets, was I exalted.
    20 I gave a sweet smell like cinnamon. and aromatical balm: I yielded a sweet odour like the best myrrh:
    21 And I perfumed my dwelling as storax, and galbanum, and onyx, and aloes, and as the frankincense not cut, and my odour is as the purest balm.
    22 I have stretched out my branches as the turpentine tree, and my branches are of honour and grace.
    23 As the vine I have brought forth a pleasant odour: and my flowers are the fruit of honour and riches.
    24 I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope.
    25 In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue.
    26 Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits.
    27 For my spirit is sweet above honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb.
    28 My memory is unto everlasting generations.
    29 They that eat me, shall yet hunger: and they that drink me, shall yet thirst.
    30 He that hearkeneth to me, shall not be confounded: and they that work by me, shall not sin.
    31 They that explain me shall have life everlasting.
    32 All these things are the book of life, and the covenant of the most High, and the knowledge of truth.
    33 Moses commanded a law in the precepts of justices, and an inheritance to the house of Jacob, and the promises to Israel.
    34 He appointed to David his servant to raise up of him a most mighty king, and sitting on the throne of glory for ever,” (Sirach 24:1-34)

    Philo:

    “‘[W]hereas the voice of mortals is judged by hearing, the sacred oracles intimate that the words of God are seen as light is seen, for we are told that all of the people saw the Voice, not that they heard it; for what was happening was not an impact of air made by the organs of mouth and tongue, but the radiating splendor of virtue indistinguishable from a fountain of reason….But the voice of God which is not that of verbs and names yet seen by the eye of the soul, he [Moses] rightly introduces as ‘visible.'” (Migr. 47-48)

    ‘To His Word, His chief messenger, highest in age and honor, the Father of all has given the special prerogative, to stand on the border and separate the creature from the Creator. This same [i.e. the Word] both pleads with the immortal as suppliant for afflicted mortality and acts as ambassador of the ruler to the subject. He glories in this prerogative and proudly proclaims, ‘and I stood between the Lord and you’ [Deut 5.5], that is neither uncreated by God, nor created as you, but midway between the two extremes, a surety to both sides’. (Heir 205-6)

    Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel:

    ‘Four nights are written in the Book of Memories: The first night: when the Lord was revealed above the world to create it. The world was unformed and void and darkness was spread over the surface of the deep; and through his Memra there was light and illumination, and he called it the first night.’

  25. May 26, 2014 9:58 pm

    He didn’t need to show me this because I didn’t study the Zohar with him. However, what you copiously copy-pasted here is the classic example of Christian missuse of Jewish texts to make them fit Christian doctrines and idolatrous notions, which they of course don’t. Passing references to totally different concepts that sound even remotely similar to Christian doctrines are used to show that the rabbis supposedly actually believed what they opposed! And the craziest and the most disingenuous part is – the Christians who love to quote Kabbalah or the teachings of the rabbis as if proving Christianity and Jesus DO NOT BELIEVE either in the Kabbalah or the teachings of the rabbis!

    The main objection Jews pose to Christianity is that the central figure of the religion, the object of their and your devotion, Jesus, is claimed by Christianity to be a man who was also G-d, a mortal creature, and that we much worship him. This is idolatry par excellence. Nothing in the Zohar approaches that even remotely. And if it did, that would make Zohar also idolatrous and I would reject it no less than any Christian book that teaches likewise.

    Personally, however, I don’t subscribe to Kabbalah and Zohar, as I find them too mystical and superstitious. It’s a much later work, although claimed to be ancient, and many Orthodox Jews outside of the Hasidic movement do not ascribe to it much importance or outright reject it. It was used by other false messiahs such as Shabtai Zvi to promote his heretical views and ever since then many Jews shun it. Some even actively oppose it, including R. Moshe Ben-Chaim, the author of the article I posted above. But it certainly doesn’t teach the Christian Trinity or especially that G-d is also a man. So, if you plan to continue to post quotes from sages and rabbis (from Talmud, from rabbinic commentaries, from Zohar) as if confirming Christianity and especially idolatry which they utterly detested, save your fingers. That would represent an egregious perversion of the original intent of the authors.

  26. May 26, 2014 11:05 pm

    “Abraham did not have a problem to call a man “the Judge of all the earth.””

    Dan, Abraham didn’t call any “man” that. G-d appeared to Abraham BEFORE the three men/angels showed up in the distance and Abraham ran toward them to greet them.

    Again, I am asking you one more time and you seem to want to ignore it: why does the Torah (not some chumash publication) uses the word אֲדֹנָי in Genesis 19:18, the very same word that you claim was used to address G-d in Genesis 18 in the singular, as “lords” in the plural, to address the two [non-G-d] angels that went to rescue Lot?

    Are you going to blame the scribes again for messing with the Torah?

  27. May 27, 2014 1:42 am

    “Dan, Abraham didn’t call any “man” that. G-d appeared to Abraham BEFORE the three men/angels showed up in the distance and Abraham ran toward them to greet them.”

    what are you telling me, Gene? That two men went to Sodom and the third went dancing? You are not making any sense. The third man was God himself. He spoke to Abraham and Sara heard him, how come? The man said that He will come back next year. you cannot get around it.

  28. May 27, 2014 1:53 am

    BTW Gen. 19:18 and 18:3 is not the same word. In 18:3 Abraham speaks in the plural “אם-נא מצאתי חן בעינך אל נא תעבור” in 19:18 ” ויאמר לוט אליהם” No cigar here, sorry.

  29. Yehuda Yisrael permalink
    August 14, 2014 1:08 am

    Dan Benzvi and Concerned Reader,

    I find it interesting that you are so fascinated with claiming angels as being divine. I assume that you both believe that the angels that you wish to claim as being divine are actually “pre-incarnate jesus angels.”

    My question to you is this: Where in the NT does jesus claim to be a pre-incarnate angel who appeared to people in the Tanach?

    Not only do I not find any evidence in the NT for jesus claiming to be such an angel…I actually find evidence to the contrary!

    Hebrews 1:5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my son! Today I have fathered you”? And in another place he says, “I will be his father and he will be my son.”

    Hebrews 1:6 But when he again brings his firstborn into the world, he says, **“LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM!”**

    Doesn’t ALL the angels include “the angel of the Lord”? Wouldn’t that include the 3 anashim who appeared to Abraham? Wouldn’t that include the man/angel who wrestled with Jacob? Wouldn’t that include Metatron?

    Clearly, there is no basis for anyone to claim that jesus is “the angel of the Lord” or any other angel/man who appeared to anyone in the Tanach. Your own NT contradicts such a claim!

    Shalom and G-d bless

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: