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What did the earliest Jewish Christians think of Apostle Paul?

August 13, 2014

paul1The Book of Acts (or Acts of the Apostles) spends so much ink on the Christianity’s favorite apostle that it should more rightly be called “the Acts of Paul”. Christian tradition ascribes this work to Paul’s companion, Luke. Whether this was indeed the case we may never know. What is more clear, however, is that it was written by a Pauline apologist, closer to the end of the first century, many decades after the described events took place. Both Paul’s pre- and post-conversion life is presented in highly positive and exalted terms (despite mentioning that he was a maniacal persecutor of Jesus’ followers), while the lives of Jesus’ closest companions who knew Jesus personally, the twelve apostles, are barely given a mention.

For much of his gushing about Paul, the author of Acts, however, couldn’t avoid giving his readers a glimpse of how Paul may have been really viewed by the earliest community of Jewish followers of Jesus, the so called Jewish Christians who were still living in Jerusalem. Presumably this was because the conflict between them and Paul was both scandalous and well known in the first century. After all, Paul’s reputation in Jerusalem as a subverter of Torah almost resulted in him being lynched by the zealous worshipers gathered in the Temple, perhaps even Jewish Christians themselves.  Luckily for Paul, he was able to use his status as a Roman citizen to have the Roman occupiers of the Jewish Land rush to his rescue to save him from Jews. It’s not the only time he relied on the Romans to save him, which no doubt didn’t endear him to the Jewish people.

To whitewash both the reputation that preceded Paul and the events that took place, the book of Acts dismisses the way the Jewish Christians of Jerusalem and diaspora viewed Paul’s reputed denigration of Torah as mere “rumors”. Instead, it claims many decades after the events took place, that the reports about Paul were without basis. The Jewish Christians were mistaken about both Paul and what he taught – what “they all heard” was wrong (despite the fact that this is exactly how Christianity came to interpret Paul’s teaching).

Thankfully, however, the Book of Acts is not the only evidence about Paul’s approach to Torah and Judaism we have in our possession. Although the Christian Church has destroyed most of the writings it deemed heretical, including those of Jewish Christians, other sources, including from well-known Church fathers, confirm for us that the earliest Jewish followers of Jesus viewed Paul as an apostate from Torah and Jewish traditions.

Let us take a look at a few examples. First from Iranius, a well known Church father who lived in 180 AD and was familiar with the early Jewish Christians, the Ebionites:

“Those who are called Ebionites agree that the world was made by God; but their opinions with respect to the Lord are similar to those of Cerinthus and Carpocrates. They use the Gospel according to Matthew only, and repudiate the Apostle Paul, maintaining that he was an apostate from the law. As to the prophetical writings, they endeavor to expound them in a somewhat singular manner: they practice circumcision, persevere in the observance of those customs which are enjoined by the law, and are so Judaic in their style of life, that they even adore Jerusalem as if it were the house of God.” (180 CE, Irenaeus, a Bishop from Gaul, Against Heresies 1.26.)

Eusebius, another famous Church father, had this to report about the Jewish Christians’ view of Paul:

“These men, moreover, thought that it was necessary to reject all the epistles of the apostle [Paul], whom they called an apostate from the law; and they used only the so-called Gospel according to the Hebrews and made small account of the rest.” (325 CE, Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 3.27)

Some today, like the author who penned the book of Acts, have renewed attempts to whitewash the deeds of apostle Paul. However, they still have to contend with the tangible, not theoretical, results his teachings have had on how  Christianity has come to view the Torah that G-d gave to Israel and how it came to treat Torah’s practitioners, the Jewish people. That can never be whitewashed.

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69 Comments leave one →
  1. Bruce permalink
    August 14, 2014 2:35 pm

    Gene my friend here’s the whole wording from Eusebies about Paul from the link you have there.

    One epistle of Peter, that called the first, is acknowledged as genuine. And this the ancient elders used freely in their own writings as an undisputed work. But we have learned that his extant second Epistle does not belong to the canon; yet, as it has appeared profitable to many, it has been used with the other Scriptures.
    2. The so-called Acts of Peter, however, and the Gospel which bears his name, and the Preaching and the Apocalypse, as they are called, we know have not been universally accepted, because no ecclesiastical writer, ancient or modern, has made use of testimonies drawn from them.
    3. But in the course of my history I shall be careful to show, in addition to the official succession, what ecclesiastical writers have from time to time made use of any of the disputed works, and what they have said in regard to the canonical and accepted writings, as well as in regard to those which are not of this class.

    4. Such are the writings that bear the name of Peter, only one of which I know to be genuine and acknowledged by the ancient elders.
    5. Paul’s fourteen epistles are well known and undisputed. It is not indeed right to overlook the fact that some have rejected the Epistle to the Hebrews, saying that it is disputed by the church of Rome, on the ground that it was not written by Paul. But what has been said concerning this epistle by those who lived before our time I shall quote in the proper place. In regard to the so-called Acts of Paul, I have not found them among the undisputed writings.
    6. But as the same apostle, in the salutations at the end of the Epistle to the Romans, has made mention among others of Hermas, to whom the book called The Shepherd is ascribed, it should be observed that this too has been disputed by some, and on their account cannot be placed among the acknowledged books; while by others it is considered quite indispensable, especially to those who need instruction in the elements of the faith. Hence, as we know, it has been publicly read in churches, and I have found that some of the most ancient writers used it.

    7. This will serve to show the divine writings that are undisputed as well as those that are not universally acknowledged.

    Please represent the entire facet of the argument. Or don’t be like CNN :)

    -Bruce

  2. Bruce permalink
    August 14, 2014 2:39 pm

    And about the ebonites FROM Wikipedia:

    Some scholars argue that the Ebionites survived much longer and identify them with a sect encountered by the historian Abd al-Jabbar ibn Ahmad around the year 1000.[32] Another possible reference to surviving Ebionite communities in northwestern Arabia, specifically the cities of Tayma and Tilmas, around the 11th century, appears in Sefer Ha’masaot, the “Book of the Travels” of Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela, a rabbi from Spain.[33] 12th-century Muslim historian Muhammad al-Shahrastani mentions Jews living in nearby Medina and Hejaz who accepted Jesus as a prophetic figure and followed traditional Judaism, rejecting mainstream Christian views.[34] Some scholars argue that they contributed to the development of the Islamic view of Jesus due to exchanges of Ebionite remnants with the first Muslims.[13][35]

    So there were Jews who denounced Christian practice and practiced Judaism while still serving Yeshua as the prophetic prophet Moses declared would come after him.

    -Bruce

  3. August 14, 2014 2:51 pm

    “Please represent the entire facet of the argument. Or don’t be like CNN :)”

    Bruce, did you read my post before you commented on it? I simply included Eusebius’ statement about what the Jewish Christians believed about Paul. Why would I quote whatever else he says about issues totally irrelevant to my point?

    My post was not about Eusebius’ own opinion about Paul (Eusebius loved Paul!), but rather and only about what Eusebius said that the Jewish Christians thought of Paul!

    Perhaps you misunderstood?

    “So there were Jews who denounced Christian practice and practiced Judaism while still serving Yeshua as the prophetic prophet Moses declared would come after him.”

    There were also Jews who worshiped and served Ba’al (while claiming to worship G-d) and sacrificed their children to Molokh. What does that prove? That there were always some apostates among Jews who separated themselves from Israel to pursue their own ideas throughout history and now they are all gone, only a footnote in history books?

  4. Yehuda Yisrael permalink
    August 14, 2014 2:53 pm

    Bruce, I have one simple question for you…According to the church, who wrote the book of Hebrews? Thanks!

  5. Bruce permalink
    August 14, 2014 3:02 pm

    @Yehuda

    I’m not a christian so I have no clue what the “church” says on such topics maybe you should ask them. But I’ve heard Paul but the TRUTH is No One knows. And what point does that prove?

    I could ask you who wrote Job? You’ll say probably Moses…. okay sooooooo what did that prove?

    And your welcome =^)

    @Gene

    If Yeshua prayed to G-d and worshiped G-d why do you say He’s not the Messiah because people worship Him today as G-d?

  6. Bruce permalink
    August 14, 2014 3:05 pm

    Whats your stance on Messianic Judaism conversions?

  7. August 14, 2014 3:30 pm

    “If Yeshua prayed to G-d and worshiped G-d why do you say He’s not the Messiah because people worship Him today as G-d?”

    There are many reasons, and I’ve already went over them on my blog in detail. A simple explanation is because Jesus has accomplished absolutely nothing expected of a Jewish Messiah, nor is he even qualified to be one in the first place.

  8. August 14, 2014 3:37 pm

    “Whats your stance on Messianic Judaism conversions?”

    My stance is that they dupe Gentile Christians who used to think they were merely spiritual Jews into thinking that they are now actual Jews. In other words, because “Messianic Judaism” is at its core a Christianity / Evangelicalism with a thin veneer of Jewish paraphernalia, because it has zero authority in the Jewish community nor is considered a “Jewish” entity by Jews but a foreign idolatrous entity masquerading as a Jewish one, their “converts” are no more Jews in the eyes of either G-d or the Jewish people than before they “converted”.

  9. Bruce permalink
    August 14, 2014 3:45 pm

    Very true gene thanks for the dialogue!

  10. Yehuda Yisrael permalink
    August 14, 2014 6:24 pm

    Thank you for your honest answer, Bruce.

    I brought this up obviously to demonstrate the fact that the Book of Hebrews is unique in that no one really seems to know who wrote it…Not even “the church”! Most of the books of the Tanach at least have a cohesive Rabbinic tradition as to who wrote each book! Not so with the book of Hebrews!

    You mention the Book of Job as having “sketchy authorship” as well. I find this amusing…Lets say hypothetically that the Book of Job was not the authentic word of G-d…What would that do to the foundation of Torah? Would we lose important information regarding the Messiah? I guess you could argue a little bit…Not much though.

    Now, lets hypothetically say that the book of Hebrews is not the authentic word of G-d…What would this do to the foundation of jesus’s supposed Messiahship? Could you still argue that jesus is a part of a “superior priesthood” that “supersedes the Levites” in “atoning power”? Absolutely not! The book of Hebrews is CORE to your theological belief system and your foundation would crumble if you one day discovered that this book of Hebrews is a farce…

    So in my humble opinion, the book of Hebrews fails on two major accounts:

    1. No one knows who wrote it…Not even the church.

    2. It is theologically incompatible with the Tanach. (See my other comments to you.)

    Shalom and G-d bless!

  11. David permalink
    August 14, 2014 7:35 pm

    Hi Bruce.

    I am not clear as to what you overall position is when reading your comments.

    If you don’t mind could you briefly, but clearly, explain your position regarding Jesus, the Torah and their relation to Christianity/MJ as well as Orthodox Judaism?

    Also, how do you practice/observe your beliefs?

    Just for the record, I am a former evangelical who is now a serious practicing Noahide.

  12. Bruce permalink
    August 14, 2014 9:00 pm

    @Yehudah

    I wasn’t discrediting the book of Job I was trying to make a comparison to your argument against authorship of the book thats all.

    Also I think there’s a misconception about the NT or Apostolic Scriptures overall. People in general are turned off by the “diety of Yeshua” or say that “Yeshua said to worship him as G-d” when never such words cam from the mans mouth. I feel just like anything the texts presented should be wrestled with taking things a face value and not examining it can lead to errors especially if you rely on the english language.

    As an example “Eye for an Eye Tooth for a Tooth” but what Moses was saying there was ford instances if you break my leg at a work site by accident and now I’m no longer able to work, you’ll be required to compensate me damages and pay my way until I’m back on my feet. [If I never decided to seek out further what the Torah is ACTUALLY saying then I could be like to crazy anti-semetics saying the Torah promotes killing of like kind etc..

    @David

    Bonjour-Shalom-Hola etc…,

    I don’t have any “creeds” or “special code words” to say like those people in church environments or certain Messianic environments which expect you to say something to make sure “your in the faith” “i.e.:trinity creeds”.

    I don’t call myself a Christian. I don’t call myself a Messianic Jew or Gentile. I’m not ‘Messianic’ either. There is too much confusion in those groups. Messianic would be a good term but it has been tarnished by Messianic Judaism, and also, by the Hasidic Lubavitch Jews who think that their rabbi who died in 1994 is the Messiah. They too call themselves ‘Messianic’. btw I love Chabad. http://www.jewish.tv

    Its hard to put a label on me because I don’t feel the need “to belong” to groups who have to label themselves in order to be “accepted”. Did Moses Label himself? Did Abraham? Did Noah? Did Yeshua? Did the Prophets? No… They “walked” alone only seeing a need to belong to HaShem.

    They didn’t align themselves with any group or sect in Israel in there day. The reason we feel a need ‘to belong’ to a group or organization is very human. We are creatures that desire fellowship. But even this need must be subject to our Master.

    So to answer your question I’m a Gentile who loves Messiah Yeshua and His Torah (i.e:Tanach).

    Let me know if you need further clarity……

    I never “met” a noachide, whats it like especially after leaving a christian culture?

    – Bruce

  13. David permalink
    August 15, 2014 2:21 am

    Hi Bruce.

    I’ll work backwards in response.

    So first, as you may know, a Noahide or ben Noach, studies and follows the sheva mitzvos bnei Noach (seven universal commandments for non-Jews) as derived and codified from the written and oral Torah.

    There are very few “physical” Noahide communities in existence, so most discussion/relation occurs through on-line groups. I am fortunate to live and work in Jewish community who has embraced me and within which I learn and practice.

    As far as leaving Christian culture goes, once I realized that Christianity had it wrong regarding the new covenant and role of the Torah within in it, I knew that I had to look further/elsewhere.

    As to your response regarding your position and practice I would appreciate it, if you would clarify the following for me:

    Position: How are you able to accept Yeshua as the Messiah if you reject Christianity and/or its texts, and/or its traditions which maintain his being the Messiah? In other words, by what basis or by what criteria do you choose to believe what you believe about him?

    Practice/observance: You stated that you love (his) Torah. Excellent. I assume then that you study and obey the commandments. If so,how do you determine which laws are applicable to you and how to practice them properly?

  14. Yehuda Yisrael permalink
    August 15, 2014 9:12 am

    Bruce,

    I’m glad to see that you deny the deity of jesus. One of my biggest contentions with the NT actually comes from the book of Hebrews, which baselessly asserts that the Levitical priesthood has been replaced with a “Melchizedek priesthood” of which only jesus is supposedly a part of. (Hebrews chapter 7) It also makes the absurd statement that Levitical sacrificial system never atoned for anyone’s sins at all! (Hebrews 10:4)

    In my humble opinion, the book of Hebrews is a HUGE theological stumbling block.

    Shalom and G-d bless!

  15. August 15, 2014 12:10 pm

    @David

    Boker Tov,

    I will address your question in reverse also.

    Christianity: One thing thats clear is. Yeshua/Jesus/Ieous etc… Isn’t a christian nor started a religion called christianity. He and His contemporaries would have all been killed on the spot for starting a new religion, since roman law during that time only recognized the faith/practice/belief system of the Jewish people. So anything new started outside of that would have been shut down immediately.

    So the first mistake is equated Yeshua to Christianity [I know dogma teaches that] but if examined from a historical and cultural position then you’ll see a hole in that argument. All because the arrogant gentiles started a new religion [ie: Catholicism] in the 2nd Century doesn’t mean the Messiah of Israel belongs to them or was for them.

    It Texts: The Apostolic Scriptures we have today are greek [there nothing wrong with greek, pagans didn’t create greek, greek was the english of there day, the Tanach was written in greek and before the Qumran discovery most relied on the Septuagint for the Hebrew of the Tanach]. So to not look at those texts in its greek language is like kissing a bride with the veil on. English is so bia$ed and compromising at times its ridicules. I don’t know greek but this tool http://www.amazon.com/Interlinear-Bible-Hebrew-Greek-English-English-Hebrew/dp/1565639774/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408104106&sr=1-1&keywords=interlinear+bible

    Along with this http://www.amazon.com/Thayers-Greek-English-Lexicon-New-Testament/dp/1565632095/ref=pd_sim_b_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=0047QF630603YK87A1TS

    and the NEEDED http://www.amazon.com/Concordance-Septuagint-Testament-Including-Apocryphal/dp/0801021413/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408104189&sr=1-2&keywords=concordance+to+the+septuagint

    That last link is key because you’ll see the Hebrew equivlant of the greek word which brings in unison the Apostolic Scriptures verifying the and supporting what is already know in the Tanach.

    Also I would walk with caution if using commentators and “church fathers the Nicenes” they’re either to spiritual-ized or have anti-Semitic nuances to there “revelations”. Not to say you can’t learn a good thing or two from them though.

    Its Traditions: Christianity’s traditions are just that there traditions. To my knowledge they do Easter, Christmas, Pentecost, and Thanksgiving [but thats a USA holiday]. The point is none of these Holidays mentioned are in scripture NONE. So I really don’t concern myself with them because again those are traditions that there people setup up for there group, they may have been inspired to do these things based on anti-semitism and also by reading the bible but thats about as “canonical” as saying doing halloween because on purim we can dress up anyway we like.

    Yeshua and the Sabbath: Here’s where Yeshua teaches the very importance of Torah vs Traditons and teachings based on Torah that have steered away from the intended meaning of Torah. The day that Yeshua gave sight to the man born blind was a Shabat (Sabbath; Jn. 9:14, 16). This set up an intentional confrontation by the Lord with the Sanhedrin. Who was Yeshua? How could a man open the eyes of one born blind, and yet, break the Sabbath rules of the Sanhedrin? It didn’t make any sense to most of the members, but staring them in the face was not only the former man born blind, but the irrefutable fact that Yeshua was the Messiah, and that, not only from where the blind man had been sent to wash and receive his sight, but also the legend that said, ‘The saliva of a righteous man could open the eyes of a blind man, but only the saliva of the Messiah could open the eyes of one who was born blind. ’ The former man born blind spoke of it like this:

    “Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one
    who was born blind. ” (John 9:32)
    This backed the Sanhedrin into the proverbial corner. That’s why they continually interrogated the former blind man (Jn. 9:10, 15, 17, 24). Was he really born blind?! The Sanhedrin went so far as to call the man’s parents to authenticate it (Jn. 9:18-20).

    Now the Sanhedrin knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Yeshua was the Messiah (only God can create new eyes), but most of them were evil, and therefore, had a perverse understanding about what constituted ‘work’ on Shabat and weren’t about to change. Yeshua had broken their definition of ‘work, ’ but not God’s. He was challenging the Pharisaic teaching of His day (that still prevails in Judaism today).

    One of the themes of the Sabbath is redemption (Dt. 5:12-15). In other words, God commands Israel to keep the Sabbath day holy because He redeemed Israel from Egyptian slavery, where they worked seven days a week from sun-up to sundown. The Sabbath, then, is a ‘reminder in time, ’ once every seven days, that God gave Israel rest and freedom: He is the Redeemer of Israel and the Sabbath embodies that concept, along with other concepts, like creation.

    Yeshua wasn’t ‘doing away with the Sabbath, ’ as many erroneously teach, but rather, He was declaring what ‘work’ could be done on Shabat without violating the commandment ‘not to work’ (Ex. 20:8-11)? Jewish teaching allowed a doctor to care (work) on anyone who was in a life and death situation, but all chronic conditions (like the man born blind or the women bent over for 18 years) were forbidden to be ‘worked on’ (healed) on the Sabbath. That’s why we see the synagogue official getting irate with Yeshua in Luke:

    “And the synagogue official, indignant because Yeshua had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the multitude in response, ‘There are six days in which work should be done, therefore, come during them and get healed, but not on the Sabbath day. ’” (Luke 13:14; see also John 5:16)
    All the Sabbath healings recorded in the Gospels were chronic in nature. Yeshua was making a statement by them—He, as Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:27-28), knew what work was prohibited and what work was allowed. He is the authority when it comes to interpreting Scripture, not the Pharisees or theRabbis.

    We are to walk in Torah through His eyes, not those of the Rabbis.

  16. August 15, 2014 12:18 pm

    @Yehudah

    The Priesthood on earth mimicked the Heavenly one which is the One which Yeshua is the High priest of. Which will come down. Aaron and His lineage were never kicked out of the covenant G-d promised them as eternal. But G-d changed the priesthood Yeshua is not a levi and the book of Hebrews makes that clear that if the Temple were to be standing Yeshua wouldn’t be the priest of that one. Aaron Would.

    Not sure if YOU not a commentator or teacher but You examined Word for Word what the book of Hebrews says before making such a conclusion.

    Yeshua is G-ds Son Hes not G-d but G-d gave His Son the authority in which He G-d Has, so in a way He is a G-d just not above Hashem.

    But I’m singing to the choir.

    Shabbat Shalom to you as well.

  17. August 15, 2014 12:31 pm

    @David again

    Today there are only 77 applicable positive commandments

    and roughly 190 negative commandments

    not to mention there are only 26 commandments that only apply to Israel today.

    So I apply the commandments that apply to me, reading Torah, Observing the festivals Shabbat etc… Honoring Parents etc…

    I know the rabbinic system came up with noahide but you guys don’t do shabbat right? Also Noahide has never been enforced throughout society because the Gentile governments of justice are mostly perverted and don’t acknowledge the G-d of Israel.

    Not even the rabbis Today fully have accepted the practical “vision” for the noahide. You read in the talmud and tosefta that one said noahide had 30 commandants another disagreed and said 60 etc…

    They would really you just convert already and join the group, the sages didn’t waste time on dealing exhaustively with the noahide individuals.

    My Jewish friends consider me rare cause I don’t act like a “christian” which is what they equate when they think of Jesus or Yeshua, they see I respect Kosher and Prayer and Festivals and torah study, they also see me encouraging them to be more observant and not trying to “convert” them Which I have no desire to do, cause its a waste of time and non biblical according to the revelation of Messiah Yeshua.

    I always challenge dogma, I would encourage you to do the same.

    Shabbat Shalom David :)

  18. David permalink
    August 15, 2014 1:08 pm

    Bruce,

    Thank you very much for your response.

    First, In addition to the seven laws, Noahides are free to observe any of the commandments applicable to Israel unless they are an “os”, that is a sign.

    So for example:

    Noahides are free to keep kosher, but not free to wear tzitzit.

    Noahides are free to rest and celebrate Shabbat and the festivals, but are not permitted to be shomer, that is to refrain from all 39 categories of work prohibited by Jewish law for Israel.

    Additionally, non-Jews/Noahides are obligated to keep all mitzvos that are logically moral, a concept called Derek Eretz or “the way of the land”. These would include, honoring one’s parents, giving charity, assisting a stranger, visiting the sick, burying the dead etc.

    So I live a life that is quite Torah observant (that is, as much as it is possible, as you correctly pointed out) and my study and practice likely at least somewhat similar to the way you do. But I do so within a framework of Jewish law, a halachic umbrella if you will

    As far as your statement “they would really rather you convert…” that is true and not true. Because as you said, anti-Semitism, idolatry etc, has prevented these laws from being taught to the nations in any real way, I would suggest that as of right now many Jewish people have neither the knowledge or the interest in teaching these laws or helping to establish stable Noahide communities, but that is changing.

    Also, It would be dishonest of me not to mention that I consider conversion often precisely because of the lack of real communities. But there is a whole issue of the Jewish soul that I won’t get into here…:)

    However, the question remains, and I mean no offense, I understand you are under no obligation to respond:

    How, and on what specifically, do you base your belief on Jesus as the Messiah?

  19. August 15, 2014 1:38 pm

    @ David

    The image of the pre-Israelite Melchi-tzedek contains both kingly and priestly aspects, as do other non-Jewish kings such as the Pharaoh of Egypt. The letter to the Hebrews invokes the Melchi-tzedek image to provide Rav Yeshua, whose lineage is Davidic, with a justification for priestly functions (previously hinted at in Ps.110). But the two separate Israeli systems of Judean king and Levitical priest were never unified in the Messiah concept. Only on a heavenly plane may the Messiah operate in the dual role. In the era of the Messianic kingdom on earth, in which the Torah continues its validity, the restored Levitical system will continue to operate distinctively from that of the King Messiah. While there is a practical purpose for this separation of powers in human dealings, one may look for unity between them as the earthly system is a reflection of the heavenly one, and the heavenly one provides the spiritual energy and authorization for the earthly one. Shlomo’s prayer of dedication for the first Temple might serve as the model of priest-like activity by a Judean King. The role of an Israeli king in bringing the people to the Temple and all its functions may offer some interesting suggestions about how a Jewish Melchi-tzedekian king is to perform his priestly function in conjunction with the Levitical operations. This is consistent with the behavior of Rav Yeshua’s disciples who devoted themselves to “the prayers” (e.g., in the Temple itself, and possibly also in the synagogue prayer-service’s remote reflection of it). Their presence in the Temple is noted in the scriptures; the parallel operation of remote synagogue prayer services existed but was less developed in that period than after the Hurban. Nonetheless, we see Rav Shaul frequenting synagogues everywhere he travelled, even before the Hurban.

    With this understanding and examination of Yeshua’s life, its only obvious He’s The prophesied Messiah. So yeah the book of Hebrews as Yehudah mentioned is important to understanding the full role of Yeshua as Israel’s King.

  20. August 15, 2014 1:46 pm

    @David

    When King Saul performed sacrifices, Samuel told him he will be cursed. King David on the other hand performed sacrifices and was blessed. God was OK with David holding both offices. But Both Shaul and David performed their sacrifices under the auspices of Shmuel who was a Levitical representative. The problem with Shaul and his sacrifices was that they were performed with a wrong “spirit”/attitude/outlook, and in a condition of disobedience to the instructions he had been given. However, the performance of sacrifices alone is not what makes one a priest. Neither David nor Shaul held any official priestly office, nor were they eligible to do so. I cited Shlomo ben-David as performing a quasi-priestly function at the dedication of the first Mikdash, and the Torah identifies certain functions the king is to perform on behalf of the people. These functions are what reflect a priestly component of Jewish kingly responsibilities.

    Christianity won’t teach you this Messianic Judaism technically won’t teach you this either (nor should they), this comes from searching and WANTING to know the truth. Its hardwork but the tint is off my shades because of it.

    Yeshua is the High Priest of a distinct Temple created by G-d and Has yet to arrive from Heaven of the Melchi-tzedek priesthood.

  21. August 15, 2014 1:49 pm

    “With this understanding and examination of Yeshua’s life, its only obvious He’s The prophesied Messiah.”

    So, it doesn’t bother you, Bruce, that Jesus has not accomplished ANYTHING a Jewish Messiah was and is expected to accomplish OR that he did not even descend through King David according to the New Testament itself (which only links Mary’s husband as David’s descendant and even that Joseph himself wouldn’t qualify as David’s messianic-line descendant)?

    It doesn’t bother you that virtually ALL those who identify themselves as “Jesus followers” worship him, a creature, as god, committing gross idolatry? It doesn’t bother you that those who worshiped and adored Jesus were the chief haters and persecutors of Jesus’ people for the last two thousand years?

    Jesus himself said to judge people by their fruit, that a good tree cannot bear bad fruit.

    “Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” (Matthew 7:17-18)

    Knowing the fruit Jesus has wrought, chief of which is idolatry of worshiping a man instead of G-d alone, was Jesus a good tree or a bad one?

    Maimonides said it best:

    Can there be a greater stumbling block than [Christianity]? All the prophets spoke of Moshiach as the redeemer of Israel and their savior, who would gather their dispersed ones and strengthen their [observance of] the mitzvos. In contrast [the founder of Christianity] caused the Jews to be slain by the sword, their remnants to be scattered and humiliated, the Torah to be altered, and the majority of the world to err and serve a god other than the L-rd.

  22. David permalink
    August 15, 2014 4:19 pm

    Bruce,

    Again, thank you but I am not asking you what you believe as much as I am asking what the basis for your beliefs are.

    In other words, I get that you believe what the book of Hebrews says. But on what basis do you decide the book of Hebrews is true?

    Also, do you consider all of the NT truth/G-d’s word? or only parts. Certainly the early Jewish Christians did not agree with all of it, in fact maybe only Matthew.

    If you agree with all of it than you are not in agreement with the very early Jewish Christians you seem to, at least somewhat identify with. (I know you said you identify with no groups)

    If you agree with only parts, and/or only your own interpretations of those parts, by what criteria do you make these determinations?

    Also,

    What do you think the Ebionites and/orEarly Jewish Christians would have thought of Hebrews?

    Why were early Jewish Christians still offering sacrifices and making Nazarite vows in the temple if they believed Hebrews?

    Why should I or anyone believe that Hebrews is the truth regarding either Melchizedek in the Tanakh or when speaking about heavenly planes etc.?

    I am not trying to be offensive or argumentative, but do you see the point I am trying to make?

    I can’t see clearly at all either the basis, or method of evaluation, that you use to verify the claims/belief statements your making.

  23. David permalink
    August 15, 2014 4:36 pm

    Bruce, let me qualify a bit.

    I did ask you in the beginning what you believe and you have laid it out pretty thoroughly and I thank you for that.

    Also, I only saw on of your two posts to me before I made my last post.

    But the reason I am asking all of the questions is that as I went through the process of Evangelical Christian to MJ, to ethical monotheist, to Noahide, the primary question always became, what is the basis for what I am believing?

    For me, I had to accept that Judaism had the better understanding, the greater level of truth the best basis upon which to assert what they believe and practice.

    Also, I have no axe to grind with those who are open to the possibility of Jesus as a Messiah ben Yosef type, as I have already posted elsewhere.

  24. Bruce permalink
    August 15, 2014 5:58 pm

    @David: much love and respect for you, your dialogue has been fun [as usual yours is too gene].

    The Tanakh contains seemingly conflicted views of the Mashiach as Israel’s Deliverer. On the one hand, Messiah is portrayed as coming in great triumph “in the clouds” (Daniel 7:13), but on the other he comes riding a donkey, lowly and humble (Zechariah 9:9). This “dual aspect” of Messiah lead to the idea that there would be two Messiahs:
    Messiah ben Joseph and Messiah ben David.

    Messiah son of Joseph:

    The Suffering Messiah (Joseph [Gen. 37-50] prefigures). The Messiah from the house of Joseph. One of two Messianic figures which are described in the oral traditions of Judaism. Mashiach ben Yosef is considered to be a forerunner and harbinger of the final deliverer, Mashiach ben David. Mashiach ben Yosef suffers for the sins of Israel (Isaiah 53). I see Yeshua as the fulfillment of Mashiach ben Yosef in the Tanakh and the oral tradition. Yeshua the Messiah in His first coming is the Suffering Servant.

    Some Quotes to consider from the Talmud:

    “Messiah son of Joseph was slain, as it is written, “They shall look unto me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son” Zech. 12:10 (Suk. 52a)

    The Talmud explains: “The Messiah—what is his name? Those of the house of Rabbi Yuda the saint say, the sick one, as it is said, ‘Surely he had borne our sicknesses.” (Sanhedrin 98b)

    Referring to Zech. 12:10-12, “R. Dosa says: ‘(They will mourn) over the Messiah who will be slain.’ ” (B. Suk. 52a; also Y. Suk. 55b)

    “But he was wounded . . . meaning that since the Messiah bears our iniquities which produce the effect of His being bruised, it follows that whosoever will not admit that Messiah thus suffers for our iniquities, must endure and suffer for them himself” (Rabbi Elijah de Vidas)

    Messiah son of David

    Mashiach ben David
    Mashiach ben David.
    The ruling Messiah King (King David prefigures). The term Mashiach unqualified always refers to Mashiach ben David, a descendant of King David, of the tribe of Judah who will regather the exiles, set up the temple, and deliver Israel from all her enemies.I believe Yeshua the Messiah in His second coming will completely fulfill this description of Mashiach ben David.

    Another interesting Quote:

    Today, we can see with our own eyes how the vision of the Prophet Ezekiel, describing the rebirth of the Jewish People and the ingathering of the exiles in Eretz Yisrael, is being fulfilled. It is true that we are now in mid-process. We are still at the stage of being crystallized as a nation…. Yet, our gaze must likewise be trained upon the future and the end of days, the age of Mashiach ben David. At that time, the issue of limited nationalism will pass, and we will turn as well to mankind in the aggregate, serving as a light unto the nations. Each day, in fact, we pray, “Speedily cause the offspring of your servant David to flourish.” (Rabbi Dov Begon)

    Yeshua is both Mashiach Ben Yosef (the suffering servant – at His first coming) and Mashiach Ben David (the reigning King – at His second coming)
    [see Isaiah 52:13-15 – 53:12, Psalm 22]). He is also the Anointed Prophet, Priest, and King as foreshadowed by other m’shichim in the Tanakh.

    You said you joined Judaism based off them having a better understanding. I not basing my analysis off what another religion says, I’m examining the text.

  25. Yehuda Yisrael permalink
    August 15, 2014 6:06 pm

    Bruce, you make the mistake of assuming that the Melchizedek priesthood is an exclusively “heavenly priesthood.”

    The Melchizedek priesthood is not exclusive to heaven. This can be easily proven by the simple fact that Melchizedek was a priest here on earth. Just read Genesis 14! Melchizedek was the king/priest of Salem…That’s Jerusalem…That is not exclusive to the heavens. That’s a place on earth!

    There is nothing about Psalms 110 which relates to jesus that I can see…Could you please explain to me how jesus “fulfilled” Psalms 110 verse 5? It explicitly states that the subject of the Psalm will “crush kings” with the help of Hashem.

    How can this Psalm be exclusive to jesus if jesus didn’t even fulfill the Psalm in the first place?!

    Questions to ponder. Good Shabbos to you, too!

  26. August 15, 2014 6:06 pm

    @ David

    Con’t …. He was a Prophet Like unto Moses.

    1.) Just as there were 400 years of silence before Adonai sent Moses to deliver Israel from her bondage to Pharaoh, so there were 400 of years of silence before Adonai sent His own Son, Yeshua the Messiah, to utterly deliver Israel from her ultimate bondage to sin and death.

    2.) Both Moses and Yeshua were sent from God (Exod. 3:1-10; John 8:42).

    3.) Both Moses and Yeshua were Jews (Exod. 2:1-2; Matt. 1:1-16; Luke 1-2; Heb. 7:14). (Note: This is no small thing, since Muslims claim that Muhammad is the prophet Moses referred to here; which is obviously incorrect, since the Mashiach must be a Jew – see John 4:24).

    4.) Both had faithful Jewish parents (Exod. 2:2; Heb. 11:23; Matt. 2:13-14).

    5.) Both were born under foreign rule (Exod. 1:8-14; Luke 2:1).

    6.) Both were threatened by wicked kings (Exod. 1:15-16; Matt. 2:16).

    7.) Both Moses and Yeshua spent their early years in Egypt, miraculously protected from those who sought their lives (Exod. 2:10; Matt. 2:14-15).

    8.) Both rejected the possibility to become rulers in this age. Moses was raised as a son in the royal family and could have enjoyed a lavish lifestyle as a powerful ruler, but he chose differently (Heb. 11:24); Satan offered Yeshua the rule over the kingdoms of this world (Matt. 4:8-9), but rejected that offer and chose to suffer and die for the sake of the people of Israel.

    9.) Both Moses and Yeshua were “sent from a mountain of God” to free Israel. Moses was sent from (physical) Mount Sinai in Midian, Arabia; Yeshua was sent from a spiritual “Mount Zion” in Heaven (Heb. 12:22).

    10.) Both were initially rejected by the Jews (Exod. 32:1; Isa. 53: 3; Matt. 27:21-2;
    Rom. 11:25).

    11.) Both were accepted by Gentiles (Moses by the Midianites (Exod. 2:14-22); Yeshua by the world (Acts 10:45; 1 Tim. 3:16)).

    12.) Both were criticized by their families (Num. 12:1; Mark 3:20-21).

    13.) Both knew God panim l’panim (face to face). God spoke directly to both Moses and Yeshua (Exod. 3:1-10; Deut. 34:10; Luke 9:34-36). All other prophets received their revelation by visions or dreams (Deut. 34:10; John 1:18). Both were authoritative spokesmen for God (Matt. 17:5; John 3:34).

    14.) Both were teachers (Deut. 4:1-5; Matt. 22:16; John 3:2).

    15.) Both revealed God’s Name (Exod. 3:13-14; John 17:6, 11-12).

    16.) Both were faithful to God (Num. 12:5-7; Heb. 3:1-2).

    17.) Both gave the people bread from Heaven (Exod. 16:14-15; Matt. 14:19-20) and performed various miracles (Exod. 4:21-8; Deut. 34:10-12; John 5:36; 12:37-8).

    18.) Both were appointed as saviors of Israel (Moses as Israel’s deliverer from the bondage to Pharaoh; Yeshua as Israel’s deliverer from the bondage to Satan).

    19.) Both were shepherds of Israel (Moses led the Israelites through the wilderness (Exod. 3:1; Numbers), Yeshua led His followers as the Good Shepherd (John 10:10-11; Matt. 9:36)).

    20.) Both were humble servants of the LORD (Num. 12:3; Luke 2:46-7; Phil. 2:8-9).

    21.) Both fasted for forty days in the wilderness (Exod. 34:28; Matt. 4:2).

    22.) Both were Mediators of a covenant of blood: Moses of the older covenant (Exod. 24:7-8) and Yeshua of the new covenant (Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; Heb. 9:11-15; 1 Cor. 11:25; 2 Cor. 3:6).

    23.) Both offered to die on behalf of the people’s sins (Exod. 32:30-33; John 17).
    Just as Moses instituted the LORD’s Passover on Nisan 14 as the means by which the Angel of death would pass over those Israelites who trusted in God’s promise regarding the blood of the lamb (Exod. 12:11-12), so Yeshua offered Himself as the sacrificial Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).

    24.) Just as Moses brought about the “resurrection” of the children of Israel as they passed through the Red Sea; so Yeshua became the Firstfruits of resurrection as He rose from the dead.

    25.) Just as the Torah was given to Israel fifty days after the Exodus from Egypt (on Pentecost or Shavuot), so Yeshua sent the Holy Spirit to form the body of believers fifty days after His resurrection.

    26.) Both of their faces shone with the glory of heaven – Moses on Mount Sinai (Exod. 34:34-5) and Yeshua on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:2).

    27.) As Moses lifted up the brazen serpent in the wilderness to heal his people (Num. 21:8-9); so Yeshua was lifted up on the cross to heal all believers from their sin (John 12:32).

    28.) As Moses conquered the great enemy of Israel, the Amalekites with his upraised arms (Exod. 17:11), so Yeshua conquered our ultimate enemy of sin and death by His upraised arms on the cross (John 19:18).

    29.) As Moses sent twelve spies to explore Canaan (Num. 13), so Yeshua sent twelve apostles to reach the world (Matt. 10:1); and as Moses appointed seventy rulers over Israel (Num. 11:16-7), so Yeshua anointed seventy disciples to teach the nations (Luke 10:1).

    How, then, was Jesus a Prophet “like Moses”? Well, like Moses, he was a Jew, a Leader, a Prophet, a Lawgiver, a Savior, a Teacher, a Priest, a Healer, an Anointed One, a Mediator between God and man — speaking the words of God — and like Moses, He offered himself to die for the sins of the people.

  27. August 15, 2014 6:11 pm

    @Yehuda

    Some regard Malki-Tzedek as a preincarnate manifestation of Yeshua, though the Book of Hebrews says that Yeshua is “in the similitude” (ὁμοιότης) of Malki-Tzedek, not that He is Malki-Tzedek. Moreover, Malki-Tzedek is said to have been “made like” (ἀφομοιόω) the Son of God, “having neither beginning of days nor end of life” (Heb. 7:3), but again it does not explicitly say He is the same person…. It’s entirely possible that Malki-Tzedek was both a historical person and a picture or “parable” of Yeshua as the great High Priest and King. Yeshua came after “the order (τάξιν) of Malki-Tzedek” (Heb. 6:20), a term that refers to an office or position as the true King and High Priest of God (this is expressed in Psalm 110:4 as עַל־דִּבְרָתִי / al-divrati, “according to the word or manner” of Malki-Tzedek).

  28. August 15, 2014 6:25 pm

    Bruce, what you have shown is that the church scribes who wrote and edited what came to be known as the “New Testament” made a concerted effort to sloppily mold the birth, life of Jesus into various biblical themes and stories. Paul and the author of Hebrews completed the false picture by extending the analogies even further making Jesus into whatever their minds could imagine (Second Adam, Second Melchizedek, Second Moses, Second (Divine) Isaac, Second (Divine) David, Second G-d(!)… so on and so fourth). In the future I will present some of the evidence to show that the New Testament writers falsified history and events of Jesus’ life to create religious propaganda.

  29. August 15, 2014 6:34 pm

    Thats fair Gene, I await to read that blog one day. :)

  30. Yehuda Yisrael permalink
    August 15, 2014 6:37 pm

    Bruce,

    It is fascinating to me how you seem to cling to the Rabbinical concept of Moshiach ben Yosef…(Albeit, you modify his lineage to be through Judah, but oh well…) However, have you ever looked into the Rabbinical concept of who Melchizedek is?

    None of Chazal claim him to be “divine” as you propose. The Rabbis teach nearly unanimously that Melchizedek is Shem, the son of Noah.

    Personally, I find this to be much more scripturally sound in comparison to the absurd idea that Melchizedek “had no parents.” This is an argument completely out of silence. This is one of the many reasons why I hold the book of Hebrews in such low esteem…

    Now bear with me for a second. Lets go to Genesis 9:26

    Genesis 9:26. And he said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem, and may Canaan be a slave to them.

    Keep in mind the context of this verse. Noah is blessing his sons Shem and Japheth and cursing his son Ham. But it is quite evident that Shem gets the better blessing from Noah.

    Fast forward to Genesis 11:10-29, we see a genealogy linking Abram to Shem, 10 generations back. The fact that Abram is a descendant of Shem is of high importance.
    But what is even more interesting is that according to this genealogy, if you do the math right, (Yeah head spinning, I know!) Shem actually OUTLIVES Abram. Yes thats right. Shem OUTLIVES Abram!

    Keep in mind that people before the flood tended to have longer life spans than those born after the flood, just as a general trend. Now lets fast forward to Genesis 14. In this chapter Abram fights against the 4 kings in order to rescue Lot. After he is victorious in battle, he is greeted by none other than Melchizedek, King of *SALEM.* Where is Salem exactly? Salem is synonymous with Jerusalem according to Psalms 76

    Psalms 76:2 “God is known in Judah; in Israel His name is great.

    3. His Tabernacle was in Salem, and His dwelling place in Zion.”

    Now remember Noah’s blessing to Shem? “And he said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem, and may Canaan be a slave to them.” How fitting that Shem be the King of Salem in the land of Canaan! But there’s more! Genesis 14:18 states

    18. And Malchizedek the king of Salem brought out bread and wine, and he was a priest to the Most High God.

    19. And he blessed him, and he said, “Blessed be Abram to the Most High God, Who possesses heaven and earth.

    20. And blessed be the Most High God, Who has delivered your adversaries into your hand,” and he gave him a tithe from all.

    How fitting that Shem’s descendant, Abram, received a priestly blessing from his great great…well really great grandfather, Shem! And contrary to what Hebrews 7 teaches, the scripture shows that Abram is regarded as being just as righteous as Melchizedek, as Melchizedek is introduced to us as “a priest of the MOST HIGH GOD” In Melchizedek’s blessing to Abram, Melchizedek says “Blessed be Abram OF THE MOST HIGH GOD.”

    Quite frankly, I don’t believe Hebrews 7’s explanation of “Levi being in the loins of Abram and Abram tithing to Melchizedek means that the priesthood of Melchizedek is superior to Levi” holds a candle to the rabbinical explanation…that Melchizedek is Shem. There is so much more support for this than the vague, forced interpretations of Hebrews 7 in light of the priesthood of Melchizedek.

    Shalom and G-d bless!

  31. August 15, 2014 6:39 pm

    Quick thought/question Gene: Why would these “church fathers” go to such great lengths to alter the text?

  32. August 15, 2014 6:51 pm

    Bruce, since I need to get ready for Shabbat, I will answer your question as soon as I can, which may be Sunday. Good talking to you and I appreciate your asking questions and seeking.

  33. August 15, 2014 7:01 pm

    Likewise to You, Yehudah, and David:

    Have a great Shabbat and G-d bless you twice. Shavuah Tov.

    Talk to you sometime sunday

  34. David permalink
    August 17, 2014 12:48 pm

    Bruce,

    I appreciate your responses. I can see that you have definitely thought out your beliefs and have attempted to examine the texts carefully.

    What I would like to know is why do you think Hebrews gets it right regarding Jesus/Melchitzedek and the Rabbis, from your point of view that is, do not.

    Also, you mentioned that your Jewish friends appreciate that you do not try to convert them. I am glad that you don’t as well.

    But don’t you have a mandate to do so based on many texts in the NT (say for example 1 John 2:23)?

    Also, you said they appreciate the fact that you respect, kosher, the festivals and Torah study. Just curious if they understand that you are not obligated from the point of view of Jewish law to do any of those things (save studying and keeping your seven commandments)?

    Also, why do you believe as a Gentile, that you are obligated to do so, based on the writings of Paul/Acts 15 and 21?

    Thanks! Enjoying the discussion!

    Yehuda I enjoy your thoughts as well!

    David

  35. August 17, 2014 11:33 pm

    “Why would these “church fathers” go to such great lengths to alter the text? ”

    If we are talking about the NT text, then most of it was not so much as “altered”, but from the ground up it’s mostly religious fiction interspersed with oral legends about Jesus, who I believe may have been an actual historic person but of little significance during his lifetime. There is no contemporary mentions of him at all. Supposed mentions by Josephus found only in a Slavonic translation of his works were proven to be forgeries, and earlier Church Fathers, who were quite familiar with his works, say that he mentions nothing of JC.

    Why did the church scribes write their fiction? For the same reason every other false religion wrote their religious legends. There circulated countless “gospels” that were not canonized by the Catholic Church when it was deciding the NT canon. The early Christians clearly were not averse at writing fictional accounts in the names of the apostles, no less that today’s many Christian charlatans, faith preachers and healers, TV evangelists, etc., do likewise when they too deceive their flock. Of course, not every modern or even ancient sincere Christian is a fraud, not at all. Rather, they are simply inheritors of these futile things of no profit.

  36. Bruce permalink
    August 19, 2014 9:03 am

    @ David

    While I don’t know how others approach the book of Hebrews, one aspect that most folks don’t appreciate is that the background view is one in which the heavenly sanctuary and the earthly one are operating simultaneously in parallel, with the earthly one reflecting the operations of the heavenly one and receiving its authorization therefrom. The lack of this perspective also is responsible for a less-than-accurate English translation of the passage. For example, the word rendered as “change” can mean simply “difference” (i.e. Heb 7:12) ; hence what was intended as a comparison becomes falsely tainted with a sense of replacement. The encouragement offered in the Hebrews sermonic letter is that operations of the heavenly sanctuary continue to be effective even if those of the earthly one become unavailable, or are interrupted, or the sanctuary is destroyed outright (all of which occurred either just before or just after this letter was circulated).

    Since the Levites operate in the earthly sphere or the temple (but currently we don’t have such) but that doesn’t mean a heavenly temple isn’t in operation (which is the one Yeshua is priest of. Melchi-tzedek (King of Righteousness) ), That is what Yeshua is consider since His righteous was/is beyond anyone who’s every walked based off his gospel letters.

    In regards to you 1st John passage as an example. The job of a disciple is to make disciples and the disciples imitate what the rabbi did/does. Yeshua taught Torah taught others to live a life unto G-d He prayed to G-d he healed people in order to bring glory to G-d. So I would be out of bounds for thinking that I have to go around asking people christian-like creeds etc. When the Rabbi Yeshua taught non of that.

    Many of Johns letters are very Drash and Sod at times. Much like Song of Songs in its style.

    Acts 15 is a still current debate in ALL the Messianic circles (gene could attest how it was a debate during his time with the movement). Acts 15 boils down to whether or not one (Gentile) could have a relationship and receive the covenant promises without converting and becoming Jewish.

    The Jerusalem council said that Gentiles who abstain from certain things (during that era and onward obviously but more people did those things then) and listened to the Torah of Moses every Shabbat, would be okay. A Gentile doesn’t need to convert to have a closeness or relationship to the G-d of Israel, but Gentiles should be learning Torah from the Jewish People since they were given the oracles of G-d. [Christian commentary I would be very very reserved to listen to/apply, nothing against them but most christians have a western mindset not a eastern mindset and THATS A BIG DIFFERENCE].

    Like Jews are from Mars Gentiles are from venus mindset.

  37. August 19, 2014 12:04 pm

    @Gene

    Josephus on Page 480 Antiquities of the Jews #3, mentions how Yeshua was a person who had followers and taught Moses and was apparently crucified on a cross…..but much debate (obviously) surrounds this because of the writing style changes and how its a identical statement to esubeus but All do agree of Josephus account of John the Baptist and what he did but Josephus mentions how he died and that last part differs fem the gospels account.

    Many now in the MJ movement feel as though gentiles are not giving them the needed space to enjoy just being Jews but they {MJews} do not want to be offensive to gentiles, its an interesting time in the MJ movement.

    I’ve always been an advocate of education education education! Its proven to work for the Jewish culture and outside of religion ALL cultures could benefit from being less ignorant of things.

    Messianic Judaism needs to force or encourage ALL people to take hebrew and greek as well as encouraging them to examine EVERY word in those respective languages and then CULTURE & CONTEXT cause the last two are huge and prevents anti-Semitism which christians have a history for.

  38. August 19, 2014 12:17 pm

    Bruce, is it not amazing that for all the great miracles JC supposedly did, for untold people he supposedly raised out of their graves, with whole Jerusalem and all the Land (and beyond) supposedly being in commotion because of JC, there is no mention of him or his exploits by any contemporary author, even though this was a period of much writing, a period of historians, both Jews and non-Jews? Only many decades after the events were the canonical gospels written, and none by eyewitnesses to the events. Hundred of alternate gospels were written as well, with their own alternate stories, most destroyed by the Church as too “out there”. Clearly, the early Christians were not too averse to writing fiction.

  39. August 19, 2014 3:28 pm

    @Gene

    You do make some thought provoking valid question. But if you ever looked into this the Yovel Year were what the miracles were about, As previously mentioned, many today believe the “gospel message” is the death, burial and resurrection of the Messiah. This creates a conflict when faced with verses such as this one, or Hebrews 4:2, or other places where the disciples are preaching “the gospel” before Yeshua has died. To counter this, it is taught that the “gospel of the kingdom” is not the same as the “gospel of the Messiah’s death, burial and resurrection.” Scripture doesn’t offer support for such a teaching however.

    An alternative explanation is that there is one gospel message and it has never changed. It was indeed given to the Hebrews in Moses’ time and preached by Yeshua Himself and his apostles. This “gospel” was “pictured” in the commandments regarding the Yovel Year, also called “Jubilees,” where every 50 years, debts were forgiven and properties returned to their original owners. The Yovel Year has heavy Messianic significance in Jewish literature. The prophet Isaiah (chapter 61) makes the connection between the elements of the Yovel year commandment and their ultimate fulfillment by the Messiah.

    Just as the Yovel year brought freedom to captives, forgiveness of debts and a restoration of things to their original order, the Messianic kingdom will bring freedom, forgiveness and a restoration of the the name of G-d, Israel and creation – complete and everlasting physical and spiritual healing (Revelation 21 and 22).

    The “death, burial and resurrection of the Messiah” is not the Gospel. Rather, it is G-d’s personal “signet” on Yeshua confirming that He was/is the one bringing in what is called the “Jubilee release” — the “good news” or “gospel” from G-d. This will all come fully into place when the New Covenant is established in the Millennium.

  40. August 19, 2014 3:54 pm

    Bruce, there is speculation of what will be (via all other religions, including Christianity) , and there is the Hebrew Bible and Judaism, the Jewish prophets and sages. Jews couldn’t care less what Christianity via Paul (and JC) have to say. To Jews, it’s idolatry and falsehoods .

  41. David permalink
    August 19, 2014 8:30 pm

    Hi Bruce,

    On what basis in the Tanakh, (without reference to the book of Hebrews in any way) do you believe in a heavenly and earthly sanctuary operating simultaneously?

  42. Marleen permalink
    August 19, 2014 11:33 pm

    I haven’t read the comments, but I wanted to mention (because of the quote from Eusebius) that Eusebius was a manipulator who said some true things and some false (an effective mix) with a goal in mind. He was an enabler to Constantine. Some examples and consequences are in the anti-Semitism section (left) at elijahnet.net.

  43. Bruce permalink
    August 20, 2014 3:48 pm

    @David

    My Friend,

    In the first century, many (but not all) Jewish leaders repudiated Yeshua as a mediator. Their descendants then made it a central Jewish dogma that we don’t need someone to stand between us and G-d.

    Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions eliminated Yeshua’s mediation by substituting Mary as heavenly mediatrix (female mediator) to whom they pray for help and to gain an ear with her Son. They also ask dead saints, martyrs, and beatified popes to intercede for them.

    Protestants of various stripes have pretty much abandoned the NT emphasis on Yeshua as mediator, in favor of simply calling him G-d. And if he is G-d, what’s the point of his being a mediator? Between whom is he mediating? [See the error in this thinking]

    Though Yeshua is Mediator, he does not eclipse G-d. The NT does NOT teach a Yeshua-only religion or promote a monotheism of the Son (what some call “Christomonism”).

    The Hebraic doctrine of the One Mediator says a great deal about G-d, because he initiated the idea, people didn’t.

    He wants to communicate and restore relationship with his human creation. His Mediator, Yeshua, volunteered for the job, which says much about him too. In fact, it was — and is — his primary job to “appear in the presence of G-d for us . . . [and] intercede for us” (Hebrews 9:24; Romans 8:34).

    So lets look at the Tanach since it gives the bases and teachings of the NT. Two classes of mediators are found in the Tanach: human and divine.

    Many people think the priests in ancient Israel were the primary intercessor/mediators. But they were not. The prophets were the primary mediators. They were given access to the council chambers of God, then were commissioned to deliver the message or word (davar) that they heard. In reverse, they acted as ambassadors for the nation before the heavenly throne.

    [ie: Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel]

    The first named “prophet” (navi) was Abraham, to whom G-d appeared and spoke. His closeness to G-d was such that G-d himself told people to ask Abraham to intercede for them, which he did (Gen 20:7, 17). He also mediated the (temporary) preservation of the city of Sedom (Gen 18:23-32). (Note how his son Isaac learned from his father and “prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife . . . and the LORD answered him”; Gen 25:21.)

    Moses was the greatest of the mediator/intercessor prophets (Deut 18:15). He escorted the Bride (Israel) to meet her Bridegroom (G-d) at Sinai (Exod 19:17a). Time and again he prayed for her protection — at times from G-d’s wrath, especially after the incident with the Golden Calf (Exod 32:11-14). He also “prayed for Aaron” (Deut 9:20, 26). And the people of Israel begged Moses to intercede for them (Num 21:7).

    As father-mediator, Moses later told the Second Generation how “I stood between the LORD and you [their parents]” at Mount Sinai, and that he was doing so for them (Deut 5:5).

    Samuel was another great mediator. As both a judge (shofet) and prophet (navi), he was a key agent in delivering Israel from various destructions and for anointing David of Bethlehem as king (1 Sam 16). The people often asked Samuel to pray for their well-being (1 Sam 7:5, 8; 12:19). He assured them, “Far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you” (1 Sam 12:23).

    King Jeroboam begged an unnamed prophet, “Please entreat the LORD your G-d and pray for me” (1 Kgs 13:6).

    The prophetic pair Elijah and Elishah each prayed for dead children, and G-d brought them to life in response to their intercession. Because of their faithfulness to the LORD, they were known as “men of G-d” (1 Kings 17:17-24; 2 Kings 4:17-37).

    Isaiah was desperately commanded by King Hezekiah: “Offer a prayer for the remnant that is left” (2 Kgs 19:4).

    During the last days of the Davidic monarchy, Jeremiah was a prime example of the interceding prophet who stood between his countrymen and the Creator-Redeemer. People requested that he plead with G-d (Jer 37:3). But at times G-d told him not to pray; He wasn’t going to listen to intercession (Jer 7:16; 11:14; 14:11). When a prophet prayed, the world changed.

    Daniel offered a long mediating intercession on behalf of himself and his nation in Babylonian exile. “I prayed to the LORD my G-d and confessed . . . ‘We have sinned’ ” (Dan 9:3-19, esp. 4-5).

    Con’t………..

  44. Bruce permalink
    August 20, 2014 3:54 pm

    Lets look at the kings in the Tanach for this Mediator/Gate to the Creator…

    David, Solomon, Hezekiah

    The kings of the southern kingdom Judah, whose palace stood next to the temple, were G-d’s governing representatives on earth. They “sat on the throne of the LORD” (1 Chron 29:23) as his sons. As such they mediated the rule of G-d, as embodied in the Torah. There are no commands in the Law that they pray for the nation, but the men faithful to G-d did so.

    King David, “a man after G-d’s own heart” (1 Sam 13:14), “the man on high” upon whom “the Spirit of the LORD” rested (1 Sam 16:13; 2 Sam 23:2), interceded for his people (2 Sam 24:17).

    David’s son, Solomon, followed in his father’s footsteps as kingly mediator. When he dedicated the First Temple, he offered a passionate prayer of intercession on behalf of God’s name and temple and for the people he was about to lead (1 Kings 8:22-53). Psalm 72:15 in turn urges the people to pray for their king “continually.”

    During a Passover renewal service, Hezekiah “prayed”: “May the good LORD pardon everyone who prepares his heart to seek G-d” (2 Chron 30:18-19). He also interceded for them in a time of national danger (2 Kings 19:15 = Isa 37:15).

    Are you seeing the real imagery of Yeshua?! So far.

    No biblical text explicitly says the priests were to pray or intercede for people. They offered sacrifice for them, which is a mediating, representative act. But they were not commanded in the Law to offer public prayers of intercession.

    However, the “lay” priest Job offered sacrifices to atone for the sins of his family (Job 1:5). And at the end of his story, his lost fortunes were restored only “when he prayed for his friends” (42:10). The friends had failed him as counselors, but G-d told him that he must intercede for their welfare.

    Only later in Israel’s history did priests begin to assume the role of intercessors (Joel 2:17; Malachi 1:9).

    This was an era when the prophets were fading from the scene. By the time of the Exile and the Return to Jerusalem, spiritual authority shifted to the high priest (Zech 3). The Restoration priest Ezra lifted up a model intercessory prayer (Ezra 9:5-15).

    In some distant future, the prophet Isaiah saw an anointed servant of the LORD who would carry the “griefs . . . and sorrows” of people, stumble under the “transgressions” and “iniquities” of “us all,” and would die because of the “sins of the many.” But the Servant would also intercede for the “transgressors” and in the end “see light and be satisfied” with what he had done: their yeshuah, deliverance from sin (Isaiah 53).

    Cont……

  45. Bruce permalink
    August 20, 2014 4:00 pm

    Heavenly Mediator an Idea not foreign to the Tanach and the people of the Tanach,

    There is some biblical evidence that Israelites believed in heavenly beings who acted as mediators before G-d (1 Sam 2:25; Job 5:1; 9:33; 33:23).

    Two of them are named: Gabriel and Michael; Dan 8:16; 10:13). But their activities are vaguely sketched by the biblical writers, perhaps because of the abuses inherent is seeking contact with other divine beings or elohim. (Modern invocations to angels, spirits, powers, or the Holy Ghost are proof of this unchanged human tendency to seek others.)

    Michael, the “chief prince” (sar rishon) or “great prince” (sar gadol), “stands over the souls” of the people Israel as their guardian (Dan 10:13; 12:1). In later times he gained considerable attention among Jews. He is mentioned throughout the Dead Sea Scrolls and twice in the NT. In Judah 1:9 Michael is called “the archangel” (lit. chief or head angel). In Rev 12:7 he and his angels wage “war in heaven” against “the dragon [Satan] and his angels,” and expel them “down to the earth” (v. 9).

    In the biblical texts, Michael is nowhere depicted as praying for Israel, though this is implied. Nor do people engage him to pray for them to G-d.

    In the era of the Second Temple, the era of what is called Early Judaism, speculation about the divine world exploded.

    The idea that supranatural beings communicated with G-d about human events and needs became a standard Jewish worldview. Visions of heaven and communications with angels are found in many documents in the Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha.

    In the Testament of Abraham Michael is the “Commander-in-Chief who stands before G-d” as his chief mediator for his chosen people (7:11, Resc. A). In one passage Abraham pleads with Michael, “I beseech you now . . . to serve me (by delivering) a communication yet once more to the Most High” (9:3, Resc. A).

    In the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, we read: “Draw near to G-d and to the angel who intercedes for you, because he is the mediator between G-d and men for the peace of Israel” (TestDan 6:2). “I am the angel who makes intercession for the nation Israel” (TestLevi 5:5-6). These angels are not named, so we don’t know if Michael was intended.

    In Tobit 12:12, 15 angels bring human prayers to G-d. In 1 Enoch 9:3 they present their legal cases in the Divine Court. Among the Dead Sea Scrolls are documents that describe a company of seven angelic priests who, among other duties, make propitiation for repentant humans (“Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice”; 4Q400-407).

    Some Hellenstic Jews believed that departed saints intercede for the living. In 2 Maccabees the high priest Onias is interceding for Israel when he has a vision of deceased Jeremiah. Onias says of the prophet, “This is a man who loves the brethren and prays much for the people and the holy city” (2 Macc 15:12, 14).

    This text is important. It shows that centuries after the great mediator-prophet Jeremiah had died, Jews still believed his ongoing intercessory prayers were efficacious. This Jewish belief in deceased, interceding saints was adopted from the Apocrypha into Roman Catholic tradition.

    Con’t……..

  46. August 20, 2014 4:08 pm

    By the First Century of this era, it was a common understanding of Gd’s character that he provided mediation and intercession either by special human beings or through divine servants.

    New Testament claims about Yeshua as Mediator were therefore not alien or unJewish in their time. As today, the claims may not have found favor with everyone, especially among the well-placed and self-confident among the religious leadership. But the veracity of a claim is not disproven by negative popular response.

    The NT never refers to mediating angels or dead saints.

    It does not say Gabriel or Michael were mediators. Nor does it ever exalt Mary to mediator status. She is called “the mother of my Lord,” not “the mother of G-d” (Luke 1:43). Believers are told to pray for one another. But no one prays to dead believers (“saints”), no matter how godly they were in life. The focus is exclusively on Yeshua as heavenly mediator.

    People still prayed to G-d, as Yeshua commanded his disciples: “Pray to your Father, who is in secret” (Matt 6:6). Thus Paul would say: “I bow my knees before the Father” (Eph 3:14). “We have not ceased to pray for you . . . giving thanks to the Father” (Col 1:13).

    But Paul and the other Jewish believers felt no conflict in also seeking help and salvation from the Messiah (Acts 7:59; Rom 10:12-14).

    Yeshua is a Prophet-Priest & King In the NT Yeshua is depicted as G-d’s ultimate Prophet: the spokesman dispatched from the presence of G-d who delivers the divine Word to Israel and to all humankind. He is the Sent One, the Prophet, the successor to Moses (Acts 3:22-23; Deut 18:18-19). He is described as “the Word” itself because he so embodies its message, meaning, and power (John 1).

    He is also the High Priest who intercedes for people. He “now appears in the presence of G-d on our behalf” (Heb 9:24; cf. Matt 10:32; Luke 12:8; Rev 3:5).

    Following his death, resurrection, and raising to the heavenly throne room, Yeshua was inaugurated as sovereign over humanity. (“G-d has made him both Lord and Messiah”; Acts 2:36). These are kingship titles, but he is a King-in-waiting, seated next to G-d (1 Cor 15:23-28; Eph 1:20-22). Though now he is in exile from earth, he exercises rule and power on earth. He is “the Lord” — HaAdon.

    In all three offices, Yeshua intercedes and mediates God’s spirit of forgiveness, grace and power. He is a well-traveled, experienced priest who is compassionate for “his brethren” (Heb 2:17).

    Messiah Yeshua is he who died, yes, rather, who was raised, who is at the right hand of G-d, who also intercedes for us. (Rom 8:34)

    He has power to continue saving, wholly and perfectly, those who, by His mediation, are through all time drawing near to G-d, because He is for ever living — living to intercede for them! (Heb 7:25, Arthur Way trans.)

    He is also a defense attorney and interpreter of G-d.

    If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Yeshua Messiah the righteous. (1 John 2:1b)

    No one has seen G-d at any time; G-d’s one and only, who lies near the Father’s heart and mind, has explained him. (John 1:18, my trans.)

    Cont…..

  47. August 20, 2014 4:18 pm

    Jews are taught that it is wrong to pray to someone other than G-d. But what is prayer?

    If Yeshua were here, alive on earth, people would seek him out — just as they went to Abraham, Moses, and Samuel. They would seek his counsel and wisdom and ask for his intercession before G-d because he was holy and they knew they were not and had no right to approach G-d on their own.

    Would their requests, if made to Yeshua’s face, be “prayers,” or what would they be called?

    Today, in the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague, Jews write paper prayers and insert them in cracks of the tombstone of Rabbi Yehudah ben Bezalel (aka the Maharal of Prague), who was a famous mystic in the 1500s. These folks expect this dead Jewish saint to hear their prayers and intercede for them to G-d.

    In Brooklyn, New York, Lubavitcher Hasidim and Jews from around the world used to line up for hours to have an audience with the late Rabbi Menahem Schneerson (died 1994). They would hand him their prayer requests, hoping he would plead to HaShem on their behalf. They sought the rabbi’s blessing and some expression of kindness in their time of need. To them he was the Tzaddik. And they believed he stood in special relation to God on their behalf.

    Were these heart-felt pleadings to these earthly rabbis actually “prayers”? Were these men truly mediators and intercessors between the people and G-d? Many Jews today believe they are.

    According to the NT, Yeshua isn’t dead. He’s not here physically, but he’s not out of touch.

    As the Kohen Gadol, he hears the supplications and griefs and hopes of G-d’s people. And he grieves with them: “we do not have a great high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses . . . he abides a priest perpetually” (Heb 4:15; 7:3).

    He also atones for their sins, using his own blood, not that of special animals. They can receive this atonement if they identify with him, as in the ancient days of the Temple when sinners used to put their hands on the animal sacrifice when it was killed.

    Though he’s not here physically, Yeshua’s here. Within the souls of his people, Yeshua by his Spirit searches their thoughts and translates their inept, inarticulate or off-mark prayers, and presents them to the Throne (Rom 8:26-27).

    So, from a NT perspective, it doesn’t matter whether Yeshua is visible among us.

    With his keen hearing, vision, and soul-discernment he is no less present by being at the right hand of G-d. This was the reality of believers in ancient Israel before Yeshua came. When David said, “Adonai is my shepherd,” he didn’t have (or need) a physical presence from the divine Shepherd to know that the Father guided, protected, and counseled him.

    What many people don’t realize is that Yeshua is a Court-appointed mediator.

    G-d sent him because he wanted someone to stand up for people, to defend them and to help them, guide them, encourage, comfort, and weep with them. G-d wanted someone to explain himself and his ways to human beings. They needed an agent to atone for their sins.

    God wanted to gather them home from exile to be with him. That’s what he was doing throughout ancient Israel’s history. (Isa 59:16) That’s what he wanted all nations to know he was doing on their behalf by sending his final Mediator, the Messiah.

    While all of us were lost in the aftermath of our human rebellion against G-d — destitute in our east-of-Eden exile from his presence — he repeatedly sent agents to convince us to come home. Most of these agents (prophets) didn’t want the job. Because, amazingly, they knew they would be hated and likely killed for speaking G-d’s message of redemption. And that’s often their outcome in Scripture.

    But in Yeshua we meet the willing, volunteering, determined mediator who chose to go up to Jerusalem, and to Moscow, New York, Brisbane, Beijing — throughout time, to this moment.

    One — And Only One; Paul’s original statement in 1 Timothy that there is “one mediator” carries dual meaning:
    (1) there is a God-provided mediator, for which we should be thankful

    (2) there is only one mediator, which disallows for others who crave or are given his position.

    This is the line in the sand that Scripture draws:

    There is one God, the Father of Yeshua,
    and one Mediator, Yeshua the Messiah.
    This statement can be ignored or rejected for any number of tradition-protecting reasons. That won’t change the testimony of Hebrew Scripture that sending mediators is what G-d does. Nor will it cancel out what the New Testament teaches about where we stand in the eyes of the Court, or how and through whom we must lawfully approach the Bench.

    I hope you can see now where Hebrews draws its sermonic letters from.

  48. August 20, 2014 4:44 pm

    Bruce, are you copying and pasting someone’s article? I would rather you not do that but keep your comments short and use quotation sparingly and attribute it to the original author.

  49. Yehuda Yisrael permalink
    August 22, 2014 5:09 pm

    Bruce, I find it extremely ironic that your Paul Sumner article used II Chronicles 30:16-20 as a “foreshadowing of jesus.” I find that absolutely outrageous, since I have been using that very passage as a refutation for what is said in Hebrews 9:22 which erroneously states, “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.”

    HEZEKIAH’S PRAYER and NOT BLOOD which ATONES for the sins of the people…

    

II Chronicles 30:16. And they stood in their station as was their custom, according to the Torah of Moses, the man of God; the priests sprinkled the blood from the hand of the Levites.

    

II Chronicles 30:17. For there were many among the congregation who had not consecrated themselves, and the Levites were in charge of the slaughter of the Passover sacrifices for everyone who was unclean, to make it holy for the Lord.



    II Chronicles 30:18. For a multitude of the people, many from Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not purified themselves, for they ate the Passover sacrifice not as it is written, for **Hezekiah had PRAYED**for them, saying, **”MAY THE GOOD LORD ATONE FOR**

    

II Chronicles 30:19. anyone who has set his whole heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his forefathers, though [he be] not [cleaned] according to the purity that pertains the holy things.”

    

II Chronicles 30:20. **And THE LORD HEARKENED TO HEZEKIAH and HEALED the people.**



    The Hebrew word יְכַפֵּר is used in verse 18. It means ATONE! Here we see that in the case of Hezekiah’s passover, many of his Israelite guests DID NOT cleanse themselves with BLOOD according to the Law of Moses. In order to ATONE for the sins of his people, King Hezekiah PRAYED TO HASHEM that he should grant ATONEMENT for all those in his Kingdom who truly turned their hearts to Hashem. 

Now, to further expand on this…In verse 16, it clearly states that the Levites were in charge of sprinkling BLOOD to purify Israel as it is stated in the Torah of Moses…Now, verses 17 and 18 say that there were many in Israel WHO DID NOT PURIFY THEMSELVES WITH THE **BLOOD** AS IT IS WRITTEN IN THE TORAH! 

When someone disobeys a Law in the Torah, what do we call that? We call it a SIN! Here, there were individuals who SINNED by NOT being purified by the LEVITICAL PRIESTS OF THE HOLY TEMPLE with BLOOD! Now, according to Hebrews 9:22, the only way to ATONE FOR SIN is through BLOOD! But here, the sin that was committed was that they DIDN’T use blood for atonement…So how is this sin atoned for? According to Hebrew 9:22, it has to be blood! But is that how this sin was atoned for? NO! Their sins were atoned for in this manner:



    II Chronicles 30:18 **Hezekiah had PRAYED**for them, saying, **”MAY THE GOOD LORD ATONE FOR**

    

II Chronicles 30:19. anyone who has set his whole heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his forefathers, though [he be] not [cleaned] according to the purity that pertains the holy things.”



    II Chronicles 30:20. **And THE LORD HEARKENED TO HEZEKIAH and HEALED the people.**

    

The sin of those not purified with the blood was atoned for through PRAYER!

 Thus, Hebrews 9:22 is an inaccurate statement…

    And if you are still skeptical about atonement without blood, The Hebrew word יִּרְפָּא is used in verse 20 for the word “healed.” The root of this word is רְפָּא which means heal. Amazingly, this same root is used in Isaiah 53:5

    Isaiah 53:5. But he was pained because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his wound we were **HEALED.**

    The Hebrew word נִרְפָּא is used in verse Isaiah 53:5 for the word “healed.” This shares the SAME ROOT with יִּרְפָּא as shown above. In both cases, (Isaiah 53:5 and II Chronicles 30:20) a form of the word רְפָּא is used for the word “healed.”

    Clearly, there are circumstances in which atonement can be made through PRAYER, particularly when blood sacrifice is not immediately available…Shalom and G-d bless!

  50. Yehuda Yisrael permalink
    August 22, 2014 5:10 pm

    Also Bruce, there is plenty of evidence to conclude that Daniel’s prayers atoned for sin during the 70 year exile, and that for the period in time, blood sacrifice was not the ONLY means of atonement. Keep in mind that sacrificing according to Hashem’s Torah is of course, the national ideal, but while in exile, we understand that Daniel’s generation did not have a means of atonement through sacrifice, so for that particular time period, sincere prayer and atonement was used to atone for sin. Of course it is “better” to be able to follow the laws of Torah, but sacrifice is unattainable in the exile, so that’s why prayer is used as a means of atonement. This is further supported by Jeremiah’s message to the exiles:

    Jeremiah 29:7. And seek the peace of the city where I have exiled you and pray for it to the Lord, for in its peace you shall have peace.

    Here we see that PRAYER is a legitimate way of receiving peace before Hashem during the exiles.

    We also see in Jeremiah 24, that there are good figs and bad figs of the exiles of Judah, meaning that some were able to attain righteousness during the exile and others were not. We know that Daniel was considered righteous himself. Even Ezekiel makes a point to tell us that Daniel is righteous!

    Daniel 14:14. Now should these three men be in its midst-[namely] Noah, Daniel, and Job-they would save themselves with their righteousness, says the Lord God.

    Clearly, Daniel was able to merit righteousness WITHOUT the blood of animals, and most importantly, WITHOUT JESUS!

    How was this attainable? Just like Jeremiah, Hosea gives us the answer!

    Hosea 3:4. For the children of Israel shall remain for many days, having neither king, nor prince, nor sacrifice, nor pillar, nor ephod nor teraphim.

    Hosea 3:5. Afterwards shall the children of Israel RETURN, and seek the Lord their God and David their king, and they shall come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness at the end of days.

    How do we return to Hashem if we do not have any sacrifices? Hosea tells us in Hosea 14:2-3! Even though we have stumbled in our iniquity and have been put into exile, we still have a means of returning to Hashem though our sincere PRAYERS. We take our words and return to Hashem by saying; “FORGIVE ALL INIQUITY.” Nothing in Hosea 14:2-3 indicates that we need the blood of animals in order to atone for our sins during the exile. And most importantly, NOTHING in Hosea 14:2-3 says we need the blood of Jesus!

    the subject of Hosea 14:2-3 is REPENTANCE. I don’t understand how you can read Hosea 14:2 and not come to such a conclusion:

    Hosea 14:2. RETURN, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have **STUMBLED IN YOUR INIQUITY.** Clearly, the subject of the next verse explains HOW Israel is supposed to RETURN to Hashem so that OUR INIQUITIES WILL BE FORGIVEN. Of course, the next verse explains just that!

    Hosea 14:3 Take WORDS with yourselves and RETURN TO THE LORD. Say, “**YOU SHALL FORGIVE ALL INIQUITY** and teach us [the] good [way], and let us render [for] bulls [the offering of] our lips.

    This is why Daniel was able to stand righteous before Hashem, praying three times a day, despite the fact that he knew he would be thrown into a pit of lions if he continued to do so. Yet he continued to do so in the face of death! (Daniel 6:11)

    Bruce, may I ask you why you think Daniel was able to stand righteous before G-d? He had no Jesus blood. If Daniel didn’t need a Temple or Jesus blood in order to stand righteous before G-d, why should we? We follow the example of Daniel so that we may merit the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, speedily in our days! We did it once before and no Jesus blood was required. Why should we need Jesus blood now?

    I look forward to your response. Shalom and G-d bless!

  51. August 22, 2014 5:22 pm

    Yehuda, what you are saying makes sense from the Hebrew Scriptures’ point of view, but perhaps Daniel was a believer in a pre-incarnated Jesus and that’s how he got saved? I mean doesn’t the NT say that whoever doesn’t believe in JC will be condemned? (/end of friendly sarcasm)

  52. Yehuda Yisrael permalink
    August 23, 2014 10:11 pm

    Gene, yeah I asked the same question to Dr. Michael Brown in this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61rvvdG1Yh4

    His answer will make you chuckle. (Or more accurately, lack of an answer…)

    Also, for you reading pleasure, here is a comment I put on Dr. Brown’s personal Facebook wall shortly before he banned me from his page. He asked me to read his book, so I read it! Big mistake on his part. Here it is:

    I’m glad you brought that up Dr. Brown! This will allow me to address Objection 3.13 in your book! You claim this:

    //We can understand, then, why Ezra and his contemporaries had one central goal in returning to Jerusalem from exile: They wanted to rebuild the Temple and offer sacrifices. (See below.) They did not say to themselves, “We have a means of atonement and forgiveness other than sacrifices and offerings. In fact, we have means of atonement and forgiveness better than sacrifices and offerings. Let’s not go back to something as antiquated and unnecessary as blood sacrifices. Let’s move forward.” Instead **THEY RISKED THEIR OWN LIVES** to rebuild the Temple to restore the place of sacrifice and offerings. Nothing was more important to them.// AJOJ Vol 2. pg 140.

    Dr. Brown, I actually agree with you on this point. I feel as though you are misrepresenting the rabbinic position on sacrifice though. Sacrificing according to Hashem’s Torah is of course, the national ideal, but while in exile, we understand that Daniel’s generation did not have a means of atonement through sacrifice, so for that particular time period, sincere prayer and atonement was used to atone for sin. Of course it is “better” to be able to follow the laws of Torah, but sacrifice is unattainable in the exile, so that’s why prayer is used as a means of atonement.

    But back on point, I find it interesting that you use the fact that Ezra and his contemporaries RISKED THEIR OWN LIVES in order to rebuild the Temple, as support for the idea that blood sacrifice was absolutely necessary for atonement. Dr. Brown, are you aware that Daniel also RISKED HIS OWN LIFE for the sake of PRAYING to Hashem three times a day?

    As you know Dr. Brown, in Daniel chapter 6, the officials under Daniel conspired to have Daniel killed by having King Darius make a decree that anyone who prayed to any “god” other than King Darius, would be thrown into a pit of lions. (Daniel 6:1-10) Verse 11 is of great interest to this conversation Dr. Brown!

    Daniel 6:.11. And Daniel, when he knew that a writ had been inscribed, came to his house, where there were open windows in his upper chamber, opposite Jerusalem,*** and three times a day*** he kneeled on his knees and prayed and offered thanks before his God ***just as he had done prior to this.***12. Then these men searched and found Daniel begging and supplicating before his God.

    Isn’t it amazing Dr. Brown?! Here we have Daniel, RISKING HIS LIFE (three times a day even!) for the sake of prayer! Being as this is the same argument you make for the necessity of blood sacrifices concerning Ezra and his contemporaries, it would appear that the same sense of necessity can be applied to Daniel, if you are to be logically consistent with your argument!

    Dr. Brown, correct me if I’m wrong, but it appears that you believe that Daniel prayed 3 times a day because it was simply his “tradition” and not because it had any bearing on his salvation or righteousness before G-d. I come to this conclusion based upon what you wrote here:

    //Then why did Daniel pray 3 times daily? I’ll answer this question with a question: Why not? We often make reference to doing something “morning, noon and night,” and it is really quite natural to divide the day into three parts. On the other hand, the psalmist spoke of praising God seven times a day (P. 119:164), yet we would never think of making a doctrine out of this practice. He also said, “At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws” (Ps. 119:62). What Temple ritual was this replacing? The answer, of course, is self-evident. None at all.” //(AJOJ Vol.2, pg 143)

    Dr. Brown, I’ll answer your question with a question: Why would Daniel RISK HIS LIFE for the sake of a simple tradition?

    Let’s say hypothetically, President Obama made passed a law that anyone who has a Mezuzzah on their door or wears Tefillin will be killed on the spot. (Or “thrown into a pit of lions,” to be killed.) Would you instruct your Messianic followers who keep these so called “rabbinic traditions?” to continue to put on Tefillin and keep their Mezzuzot on their door posts, risking their lives for the sake of a simple tradition?! Seriously?!

    Dr. Brown, I have heard you give advice to Messianic Jews on Line of Fire, concerning whether or not it is necessary for them to keep what you call “rabbinic traditions” such as wearing Tefillin and putting Mezuzzot on their doors. Time and time again, I’ve heard you claim to these Messianic Jews that performing these mitzvot are NOT NECESSARY FOR SALVATION! I think its safe for me to assume that you would not instruct your followers to risk their lives for the sake of putting on Tefillin, or putting a Mezzuzah on their door, or facing Jerusalem to pray three times a day, etc.

    This begs the question, Dr. Brown. Why would Daniel RISK HIS LIFE for the sake of what you claim to be a “simple tradition” which is not necessary for Daniel’s salvation?! I’m sorry Dr. Brown, but your interpretation makes Daniel out to be a tradition obsessed, suicidal maniac!

    Isn’t this precisely what jesus warned against concerning the Pharisees and their so called obsession with tradition and “laws of men?!”

    According to your interpretation Dr. Brown, Daniel knowingly risked his life three times a day for the sake of a “man made tradition” that had no bearing on Daniel’s salvation or being righteous before G-d…Amazing!

  53. August 23, 2014 10:28 pm

    Yehuda… I know of a Messianic Jew who in Israel would attend a haredi shul and live a haredi/modern orhthodox lifestyle (and he doesn’t believe JC is god just messiah) for almost a decade while believing that JC is messiah – long story how he got to this point. After listening to Brown’s program online “religiously” over period of months, that MJ started criticizing “rabbinic Judaism”, telling me that he just couldn’t honestly continue to perform various mitzvot because they were “rabbinic” and started dropping them one by one, and left his shul and joined a messianic church. He pulled his kids out of orthodox yeshiva and into a Christian school. I asked him how could he listen to Brown and accept what he says as gospel knowing that the guy is committing idolatry by worshiping Jesus as god and doesn’t care about Torah observance, “rabbinic” or not? He could’t give me a coherent answer, but it was clear to me that ever since Brown started to “make sense” to him with his diatribes against rabbis he couldn’t disassociate himself from that man, idolatry or not. With Brown, he acquired himself a new charismatic evangelical “rebbe”.

  54. Yehuda Yisrael permalink
    August 23, 2014 11:16 pm

    Gene,

    Yeah Dr. Michael Brown’s charisma/rhetoric is second to none in the realm of Jewish evangelism. But his substance is extremely lacking once you peel off the lid of his arguments. As I’m sure you know, Rabbi Yisroel Blumenthal made a comprehensive written refutation of Dr. Brown’s “Answering Jewish Objections to jesus,” book series entitled, “Contra Brown.” Here it is. It’s been made a public challenge to Dr. Brown since 2009.

    http://contrabrown.blogspot.com

    Dr. Brown accepted this challenge by Rabbi Yisroel Blumenthal…Here’s a written statement that he will write a refutation entitled “Correct Contra Brown.”

    http://www.lineoffireradio.com/2010/07/19/isaiah-53-and-the-salvation-of-the-jewish-people-with-a-great-report-on-arab-jew-reconciliation-from-israel/

    But it’s been about 6 years since Brown accepted that challenge!

    Yet still no response from Dr. Brown!

    It’s clear that Dr. Brown has met his match. But just as he did during my confrontation with him in person, he has been avoiding the issue ever since.

    Shavua Tov!

  55. Bruce permalink
    August 24, 2014 6:23 am

    @Gene & Yehudah

    http://roshpinaproject.com/2013/02/24/russ-resnik-imj-and-the-definition-of-a-messianic-jew/

    The above link Gene is a debate between you and a gentleman named “David”. Reading your comments and his and even the funny dan benzvi, I wonder how such a creative and open mind like yours became so bent on casting a “light” on the NT and its apparent “false” teachings or twisting.

    In that conversation btw I found myself agreeing more to your way of seeing the scriptures. But in one of the dialogues (not in the link cited above) Dan Benzvi mentions how you have now ended up believing the traditions of christian interpretation instead of examining the text yourself (I’m not sure if you’ve dedicated a high level of examination the Tanach but did you do the same for the NT looking at the Greek behind the english?).

    Most Christianity and Judaism both appear to misunderstand Paul and His words.

    For instance an argument of “Jesus is G-d” commonly brought up by both sides. Paul though didn’t say such.

    1 Corinthians 15:24-28:
    means you, me, the sah-tahn, jesus and everyone else …
    will bow down to G-d, in the same way; … i.e., … jesus = G-d …
    not, according to the Apostolic Scriptures; anymore than you or I ….

    1 Corinthians 15:25:
    announces “he reigns [Yeshua] until …” ….
    not “he reigns forever …” the kingdom may last forever …. but the king changes;
    according to the Apostolic Scriptures …

    In regards to Yehudah’s statement about Daniel, Daniel had like all the prophets Faith. Faith and good deeds. G-d then determines ones righteousness off their Faith and Good-deeds, from Avaraham to Shaul Faith has always been the prerequisite before taking any other courses.

    As stated prior, the misconception among most christians and the people who swallow there dogma (christian/non christian alike)…. is that the Temple Yeshua is High Priest over resides in the upper realm of G-d (aka Heaven). All because a earthly Temple is not in place does not mean a Heavenly one is not still standing. The tabernacle was in heaven before earth was blessed with the blueprints to construct its version of it. Man and Women are a result of G-d’s image both feminine and masculine aspects of the divine (something christianity would probably call me a heretic over but something judaism has grasped.)

    but In an attempt to directly answer your question Yehudah

    We know that one can pray in faith and obedience …… Dan 6:10
    We know that one can have his/her lives threatened for faith and obedience ….. Dan 6:11-17
    We know that one can have death not touch them for their faith and obedience ..Dan 6:22-23
    We know that false accusations against the righteous can lead to death …. Dan 6:24
    We know that G-d delivers and rescues and does signs and wonders …. Dan 6:27

    All this due to Faith

    And to understand Yeshua requires an understanding of its hebrew scripture substrate.

    and so, we have

    1 chronicles 21:1 and corresponding 2 samuel 24:1

  56. August 24, 2014 9:54 am

    ” I wonder how such a creative and open mind like yours became so bent on casting a “light” on the NT and its apparent “false” teachings or twisting.”

    Bruce… I woke up from the long bad dream of idolatry. Once I did, the cast of characters that populated that dream, along with their babbling, had to go too. They all fell like dominos upon closer inspection. There was no “faith” to continue to blindly prop up their dead empty carcasses anymore. Their falsehoods were easy to see once I realized what they were trying to accomplish (worship of a man and dependence on a mortal for salvation) and the ridiculous methods they used to support their idolatry.

  57. Bruce permalink
    August 24, 2014 11:10 am

    Gene I understand your “awaking” but as I pointed out in 1st Cor 15 that you me Yehudah, satan, Yeshua, and everyone one else will bow down before G-d .

    So for you to think the Yeshua’s purpose was to be worshipped and idolized as what we see today (pictures, statues etc..,) then your swallowing the same dogmatic traditional non sense you fought against in that link I posted and today.

    Like I said to understand Yeshua your presented with 1 Chronicles 24:1 and coresponding 2 Samuel 24:1 :)

  58. August 24, 2014 2:16 pm

    Jesus may have been a real person, but what we have in the NT was written by church scribes to turn him into a demigod. He adds NOTHING to a Jew, but takes away everything. He demanded to be loved above everything – something that only Hashem can demand. His genealogy is an absolute joke. He is a composite of various Greek demigods superimposed on Jewish messianic aspirations.

  59. Yehuda Yisrael permalink
    August 24, 2014 10:51 pm

    Bruce, the concept of “faith” that you imply concerning Daniel has nothing to do with jesus. We would be in agreement that Daniel had “faith,” but he didn’t need jesus blood in order to achieve righteousness before Hashem.

    Likewise, we live during a time without a Holy Temple, and we pray to Hashem in the same manner that Daniel did during the first exile. If Daniel didn’t need jesus blood in order to achieve righteousness before Hashem, then why do we?!

    I propose that we do not need jesus or his blood in order to be righteous before Hashem. This is in direct contradiction to what is written in Hebrews 9:22. Clearly, Daniel’s “faith” did not require him to believe in jesus or that his “blood” atones for his sins. This flies in the face of the book of Hebrews, which erroneously claims that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.” (Hebrews 9:22)

    So yes Bruce, Daniel had “faith” but it wasn’t in jesus…Why should that be a prerequisite for righteousness now?

    Shalom.

  60. Remi permalink
    December 23, 2014 2:46 pm

    To Bruce

    If Yeshua prayed to G-d and worshiped G-d why do you say He’s not the Messiah because people worship Him today as G-d?

    If Yeshua is not G-d, he is the savior of nobody. Salvation belongs to the LORD Psalm 3:8
    I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior. Isaiah 43:11

    To put somebody between G-d and man would brake the first commandment. You shall have no gods before me. Regardless if you see Yeshua as G-d, according to your beliefs, you need Yeshua to pray to the Father. That is idolatry, and that is one of many reasons Jews don’t accept him as the messiah. Also, he has not fulfill ONE prophecy that would validate his candidacy.

    Hope this helps

  61. December 23, 2014 3:50 pm

    Remi,

    G-d hears the prayers of ALL humanity, G-d sees the actions of ALL humanity, I’m sure we can agree on this.

    The prayers of the righteous are a testimony to the perfect faith they have in G-d. It is a testimony to their unwavering acceptance of G-d’s will, even when things do not seem fair and just. It is well-known that G-d relates to us in the same manner in which we relate to Him. G-d, therefore, responds to their prayers favorably, overriding His attribute of strict judgment, and showering them and those whom they pray for with abundant mercy. In the merit of their perfect faith G-d transcends the laws of nature and performs countless miracles for His people.

    This is why we pray in the merit or righteousness of Yeshua. His Torah observant lifestyle eclipsed that of Moses. I’ve put nobody between G-d and Man, I just ask G-d to look at the deeds of Yeshua in replace of my own.

    Hope this helps.

  62. Remi permalink
    December 23, 2014 4:09 pm

    To Bruce…

    Of course, you’re the only one that reads the new testament right and everybody else is wrong? I thought that with the outpouring of the spirit, nobody will teach their brother to know the L-rd, because they all will be filled with the spirit. According to the -testament, Jesus is the only way to the father, why should the father listen to the sons of devils?

    And still your messiah makes not sense. He is the saviour, but G-d say that there is no saviour but Him. So yeshua takes a role that only the G-d of Israel can do, so if All scriptures are true, he cannot be a saviour and not be G-d. And G-d is not a man and G-d is one. Without the -testament, all the “Mysteries” disappear and there is no more inconsistencies…

  63. December 23, 2014 6:30 pm

    Remi,

    I’m not the only one who holds this view, but we agree on this that if everyone lets say half of the U.S.A (some 200 million people) decided to go to the Golden Gate bridge in CA and jump off head first, while shouting that everyone should do it, I’m pretty sure me and you would say “nah” thats wrong and stupid etc… right?!

    All because Christians have for over a Millennium misrepresented Jesus to the world doesn’t mean, they’re right, correction can eventually happen and is happening.

  64. Remi permalink
    December 23, 2014 6:47 pm

    Bruce, or maybe your theory that Jesus is not G-d according to the New Testament is just plain wrong.

    Old Testament NT
    God is the only savior Jesus is Savior
    God is Shepherd Jesus is the Shepherd
    God is the Light Jesus is the Light
    God is the only Rock Jesus is the Rock
    God forgives Sin Jesus forgives sins
    God is beginning and end Jesus is Alpha and omega
    Every knees will bow to G-d Every knees will bow to Jesus

    And that is only what I could think of in about 2 minutes… There is way more

    The new testatment claims that Jesus is G-d.

    The Tanakh warns not to listen to other gods.

    Jesus worship is idolatry…

    Jews worship G-d. The followers of the New testament follow a god.

  65. December 23, 2014 7:25 pm

    Remi,

    Respectfully all I can say that, Yeshua is Messiah ben Yosef and he never said he was God… And in a Zohar sense Yeshua is the manifestation of G-ds word i.e.: His Torah

  66. Remi permalink
    December 23, 2014 7:42 pm

    Hi Bruce,

    if someone else than G-d can save you, than it must be idolatry, but everybody has a free will (not calvinisht thought) to choose whatever they want to believe.

  67. December 23, 2014 8:02 pm

    G-d sent Moses to Save Israel…. Israel was saved by G-d still …. Same concept with Yeshua, and G-d is given the credit not Yeshua

  68. December 23, 2014 8:42 pm

    BG, I wrote a post called “Was Jesus a prophet like Moses?” You can read it here.

  69. Remi permalink
    December 24, 2014 10:17 am

    Are you sure that it is the same?

    Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and WORSHIPPED Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

    And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a moulded calf. Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!” So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord.” Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

    No one worshipped Moses, people worshipped Jesus. They also worship the golden calf…. Nothing will convince you, but if you see your brother sin and you warn him, then your are guiltless of his sin. People should not worship anything other than G-d. Not even the messiah should be worshipped.

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