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From wil’Liam Hall (with adaptations by me)
jesus: It’s not about opinions or emotions. It’s about the FACTS:
FACT: “Christ” is the Greek word for “Messiah”
FACT: “Messiah” is the transliteration of a Hebrew word that means “anointed”
FACT: For a person who is to be king or priest to be called by that special word for “anointed”, oil must be poured on that person by a Priest or Prophet.
FACT: jesus was never anointed by a Priest or by a Prophet.
FACT: Being that jesus was never anointed with oil by a Priest or Prophet, he cannot rightfully be called “Christ/Messiah/Anointed”
FACT: jesus is “not” the Messiah.
So some of the articles on this site have focused on the “divine Jesus” notion, and some have questioned or contradicted the notion that Jesus was “messiah”. But let me share my view on the issues at play here, the more fundamental issues.
The “divine Jesus” notion and the “Jesus as the messiah” belief are two separate questions with two different sets of ramifications and consequences. Now this will be treated differently from the claims that christians make that a routine mundane execution (which was done to thousands of other people) was somehow a sacrifice for sin and the other claims that one denomination of christianity or another makes.
To believe that any dude is the promised anointed Davidic king spoken of in the Jewish Bible when such a guy didn’t even fulfil the explicit prophecies about this Davidic king and the era that surrounded his coming didn’t come about, to believe that is simply foolish. But that’s far as it goes. Of course, I don’t promote foolishness as good or praiseworthy, but it doesn’t go as far as the next claim made by denominations of christianity. So there are christians that accept Jesus as the promised king, yet don’t believe he is “God in the flesh” or God at all. Their belief in this notion that Jesus is the solely-human promised anointed king declared from the Hebrew Bible is wrong and mistaken for what would appear to some to be blatantly obvious reasons. But it doesn’t break any foundational divine laws or principles.
To believe that any man is God or god is much more serious. And to worship him as such is idolatry, just as if a person believed that God was manifest in a tree, a rock, or a crafted image and carried out that belief by bowing down to such a form or praying to it. God made plain in the Jewish Bible, in the foundational revelation of the Torah, that no form was associated to him. It’s a important principle for any human not to worship created forms, any aspect of the universe. This includes believing that a man was God or is God, or that God becomes a man, or that an intermediary was/is God and should be worshipped as such. To say “I worship Jesus” is inextricably linked to the experience of a human being that walked this earth and was dependent on air. That’s the worship of a man no matter at which point someone claims he was or became God.
Being wrong or foolish in a way that doesn’t involve idolatry is not something to be congratulated. Falsehoods in this vein should be combated, and I’ll use what occasion I can to show that Jesus could not be the promised Davidic king. At least this sort of foolishness is somewhat lighter than the other philosophy that is common amongst mainstream christian sects. A heavier, more serious issue is the worship of a man as God. This sort of thinking should not be ignored when it transgresses the core principles for any human being.
OK, back to Servant Stupidities. Last time we looked at how the “Servant of God” reveals the polytheism of “the groupers”, christians that claim that God is a group in one form or another, whether they claim God is three distinct persons, or two distinct persons.
Then you’ll meet the christians that really claim that God is indivisibly one. And they will mean it. Their view is called “the oneness doctrine” or modalism. In this belief, the father, son and holy spirit are not distinct persons. They are manifestations of the exact same God. Whereas groupers will say the father is not the son and the son is not the holy spirit and the holy spirit is not the father, the oneness people will ultimately say that these are just illusions of perception, but that they are all covers, masks, or modes of the same person.
It’s important that you see the difference. Groupers say that the Father is not the Son, they are distinct or separate entities: they are not the same person. The oneness posse will say that “father” and “son” are just manifestations of the same person, the same person being God.
So let’s see where that leads us.
Question: So Jesus is the servant of God?
Honest answer from oneness: Yes
Question: But isn’t Jesus and God the same person?
Honest answer: Yes
Question: So if Jesus are God is the same person, then is there really a servant?
Honest answer: errrr …
Question: I mean using language normally, a person can’t be his own servant. So is there a servant? The scriptures say that God has a servant, but you’re essentially saying God has no servant.
At this point, you may see the problem. The oneness doctrine undermines the words altogether making the very statement “servant of God” meaningless.
Last time in “servant” stupidities, I noted how the concept of God is the exact opposite of the notion of a servant. So saying that the servant of God is God is an utter contradiction.
This time on “Servant Stupidities”, in two parts we deal with the polytheistic or schizophrenic notion of God being the servant of God.
There are two ways of seeing Jesus as God. Either in terms of God being a group and the other as God being an indivisible unity. Let’s compare these notions with their consequences and the claims of the christians who hold them.
So the christians who see God as a trinity or a family or a “binity” (those who accept that the son and father are “God”) or whatever notion of separateness in the parties, these christians will claim to be fiercely monotheistic. Or at least they will fiercely claim that they are monotheistic. We’ll call these christians “groupers”, as their God is a group of one form or another. Yet look what happens when we apply such thinking to “the servant of God”.
Question: So is Jesus God?
Honest answer from grouper: Yes
Question: And Jesus is the servant of God?
Honest answer: Yes.
Question: So the servant of God is God?
Honest answer: Yes
Question: But in order to be the servant of God you have to be someone other than the God whose being served?
Honest answer: Well the God being served must be God the Father and God the Son became the servant.
At this point, you have an implicit fact. One “God” is not the other “God”. The God who has “the servant” is not the same as the God who is the servant. What does this mean? We have two Gods. Of course they’ll fiercely claim their monotheism, but, as is obvious, the claim is hollow. They acknowledge at least two Gods not one.
We’ll deal with the other sort of christian next time.
When a person refers the christian object of devotion, the centre of their belief system, as “Jesus Christ”, they are not just calling a name. The phrase, “Jesus Christ”, is a claim.
Although the word “Jesus” is a bastardization of whatever Hebrew or Aramaic name the guy originally had – it is a proper name – the word “Christ” is a title, not a name. It is a title that assumes that the person connected to it is the anointed one, the promised descendant of King David, set to rule Israel and live in a time of a better world. Without going into the doctrinal baggage that has been loaded on the word, the fact is that this word “Christ” makes a huge claim about the one it is attached to.
When a person who knows to use his words with purpose and understanding sees that a person doesn’t fulfil a certain role, then he knows to avoid associating that role with someone incapable of fulfilling it (unless when joking around or using it insultingly and ironically). If a madman or commoner claims to be royalty, then the wise person doesn’t call such a person, e.g. King John, or John the King. You don’t call a unqualified person e.g. Doctor John or John the Surgeon. The title doesn’t fit the person.
Jesus failed to fulfil all the explicit requirements set out in the Jewish Bible. The clearest statements in the Jewish Bible about the future king contradict the life and times of Jesus to the point where the new testament’s depiction of his birth destroys any claim that he is an adequate descendant of King David, to the point where christians spiritualize and allegorize the Jewish Bible’s criteria, or claim a second coming (a tacit admission of the failure to fulfil criteria in his “first” coming). Jesus failed.
So to the conscientious objector of christians’ messiah claims for their chosen figure, be careful with your words. If you don’t accept their claims and the claims of the new testament, then there is no “Jesus Christ”! There may be a Jesus, a Yeshua, a Yeshu, a Nazarene, a person known as “that man”, a fool and a failure, or a man who was mistaken for something he wasn’t. But there is no Jesus who was “the Christ”. If the name makes a claim and you know the claim is unfulfilled, then don’t let your words agree with the claim or the assumption.
“Jesus Christ” is a claim. With that claim being unfounded, then to state it is a lie.
Or a joke.
I’ve been observing the discourse between followers of Jesus of Nazareth, the Nazarene, and those who reject his claims and those of his followers for reasons based on the Jewish Bible. I observed something striking that had been clearly stated by the followers of Nazarene:
There is no clear prophecy in the Jewish Bible that states that the promised anointed Davidic king called “the Moshiach” by the Jews would die and be resurrected according to the Jewish Bible. There is no clear explicit prophecy that clearly refers to this Davidic king that says that he would die, be in the grave for three days and three nights and return alive.
This is an important admission for a christian. Why? Because it contradicts what the Nazarene said. The following quotes are from the book “The grounds of Christianity examined: by comparing the New Testament with the Old”, written in 1813 by George Bethune, which Yvonne pointed me to. The book is now in public domain, available free online from places like Gutenberg or archive.org. The quotes are from the first chapter which discussed the fact that Jesus and his followers tried to prove their case from the Jewish Bible.
Again he discoursed to all his Disciples, putting them in mind, that, before his Death, he told them (Luke 24: 44, 46, 47,) that “all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning him;” adding, “thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for Christ (1. e. the Messiah) to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance, and remission of sins should be preached in his name, beginning at Jerusalem …”
Paul, when accused before Agrippa by the Jews, said (Acts 26; 6,) “I stand, and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers,” i.e. for teaching Christianity, or the true doctrine of the Old Testament, and to this accusation he pleads guilty, by declaring in the fullest manner, that he taught nothing but the Doctrines of the Old Testament. ” Having therefore (says he) obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small, and great saying now other things than those which the Prophets, and Moses did say should come, that the Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first who should rise from the Dead, and should show light unto the People, and unto the Gentiles.” The Author of the first Epistle to the Cor. says, 15 ch. v. 4, that “Jesus rose again from the dead the third day, according to the Scriptures …”
Take careful note. The new testament has the Nazarene and his followers claim that he was to raise from the dead after a specific amount of time. Peter and John claimed the songs of David predicted it.
But I said it once and I’ll say it again and it has been observed in the mouths of devout christians that I’ve seen discuss the issue thus contradicting the Nazarene, the disciples, and the other man, Paul of Tarsus, there is no clear and explicit text in the Jewish Bible where the text overtly refers only to the promised anointed Davidic king that says that this promised anointed one will die and be resurrected.
Whether a christian will try to use Psalm 16, the book of Jonah, or Isaiah 53, they each share the same problem: none of these even mention “messiah”, nor do they refer exclusively and explicitly to that future anointed one. Even the much used but much distorted Daniel 9 has no resurrection.
Whether christians admit it or not, let’s be plain: the Nazarene and his followers were wrong! The Jewish Bible doesn’t teach this part of their message, as with many other parts of their message. Once again, the Nazarene fails.
Remember, the Jewish Bible and its God still stand even if the new testament and the Nazarene fall. And there is still a way to live acceptable before God, Jew or Gentile, without the Nazarene to separate you from him. As he said to Israel, and the message is universal: return to God, and he will return to you!