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My reply to messianic leader Russ Resnik

December 22, 2015

baptist_messianic1In his article about Catholic Church’s recent change in stance regarding its missionizing of Jews, messianic leader Russ Resnik made the following statement:

Just as the Post-WWII Catholic Church renounced centuries of error about the Jewish people without losing its core identity, so we [Messianic Jews] are freeing ourselves from centuries of Jewish denial about Jesus as Messiah without losing our Jewish identity.

My reply to Russ Resnik, taking issue with his self-assessment of Jews who become Jesus-worshipers today, as opposed to prior centuries: Read more…

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Apostle Paul, the greatest fantasist of all

December 20, 2015

paul-the-apostlePaul was the greatest fantasist of all. He created the Christian myth by deifying Jesus, a Jewish Messiah figure whose real aims were on the plane of Jewish political Utopianism. Paul transformed Jesus’ death into a cosmic sacrifice in which the powers of evil sought to overwhelm the power of good, but, against their will, only succeeded in bringing about a salvific event. This also transforms the Jews, as Paul’s writings indicate, into the unwitting agents of salvation, whose malice in bringing about the death of Jesus is turned to good because this death is the very thing needed for the salvation of sinful mankind. The combination of malice and blindness described here is the exact analogue of the myth of Balder, in Norse mythology, in which malice is personified by the wicked god Loki and blindness by the blind god Hother, and both together bring about the salvific death which alone guarantees a good crop and salvation from death by famine.

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How Apostle Paul distorted biblical view of Torah observance and righteousness

December 14, 2015

pauloftarsusPaul vigorously fought the Jewish belief that observing the Torah’s ritual and ethical laws made one righteous in God’s eyes. If that were true, he reasoned, people could achieve righteousness through their own efforts: It would mean that there was no purpose to the crucifixion, and “Christ would have died in vain” (Galatians 2:21 ).

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Why Christians, but not Muslims, can be taught Torah

December 10, 2015

reading-quranOver the past few months I have been corresponding via email almost daily with an Iranian Muslim man. Our conversations drift from religion to politics and back. When one talks with a Muslim about religion it quickly comes to the surface that Islam, while referring to Jews (and Christians) as “people of the Book” (the book being the Bible), considers the Jewish scriptures (including Torah and other books of the Hebrew Bible) as having been thoroughly corrupted over time and even willfully adulterated by Jews, all in an effort to supposedly to edit Muhammad and Islam out of them.

As it says in the following hadith (quoting Muhammad): Read more…

Wyschogrod: Israel’s disobedience not the whole truth

December 8, 2015

jewishprayer

Christian theology has always stressed Israel’s disobedience. And it was right to do so because it is a truth carefully recorded in the Bi­ble. But it is not the whole truth. There is also Israel’s obedience, its stubborn faith in the promises of God in spite of the apparent hopelessness of it all. “Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem,” says Jeremiah (2:2-3), “saying, Thus saith the Lord: I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in the land that was not sown. Israel is holiness unto the Lord, and the first fruits of his increase, all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the Lord.” To go after God into the wilderness, into a land that was not sown, is the very definition of Israel’s faith. (The Body of Faith: God and the People of Israel By Michael Wyschogrod)

Jesus’ Five Most Unbiblical Teachings

December 1, 2015

not-kosher-jesusIn the past 30 or so years there has been a concerted effort in Christian academia and even in some liberal Jewish circles to rehabilitate Jesus, the supposed founder of Christianity, to bring him back into the Jewish fold. This is being done, in part, to undo the effects of two millennia of Christian antisemitism and to create ecumenical bridges between Christians and Jews. On the other hand, among some Evangelicals and Messianics, the push to re-Judaize Jesus is spearheaded not only to prove that Christianity has its origins within Judaism but to prop up their belief that Jesus is indeed the Jewish “messiah”, one who taught very Jewish things but whom Jews have, nonetheless, failed to accept either because of their “blindness”, their “envy” or simply out of spite.

While the efforts to return Jesus to Judaism are certainly an improvement to the way Christianity historically treated the Jewish faith and the nation that practices it, I believe that they all miss a far bigger picture – why Jesus was rejected by the Jewish people in the first place? Why do Jews refuse to let him back in and spurn the religion founded in his name as avodah zarah (strange or foreign worship). There’s little doubt to most Jews that Jesus was once part of the Jewish world. Many of the teachings recorded in the New Testament reflect that Jesus have had great affinity with the first century Judaism’s Pharisaic branch and was well-versed in the Oral Law. He appears to have practiced the normative Judaism of his day, at least outwardly. So far so good. This makes it easy to overlook that it was some of the other things that Jesus taught to his disciples that made him downright antithetical to the Hebrew Bible, Judaism and the Jewish people.

Here are the five of these unbiblical teachings of Jesus and New Testament that exposed him as a false teacher and earned him Israel’s rejection: Read more…

Is Jesus “Messiah ben Joseph” of Jewish mysticism?

November 23, 2015

confused-about-two-messiahsWhen I was a “Messianic Jew”, like many of my Messianic and “Hebrew Roots” coreligionists, more than anything I longed for Jewish “proofs” to support my faith in and worship of Jesus. At one point in my messianic blogging career, I remember writing a post on Messiah ben Yosef. I scoured for anything I could find in rabbinic literature about this mystical figure, all in my effort to prove that the rabbis actually believed in Jesus and even wrote about him extensively, they were just blind to him! However, I must admit today that I was not very honest in my quest. You see, dear readers, dishonesty and obfuscation are two ingredients that are absolutely necessary when one is out to employ Judaism and Jewish sources antithetical to everything Christianity stands for to uphold many of the core doctrines of Jesus-worship that make up the core of Christianity. Read more…