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I think, with this article, I have to put forward the specific claims of the muslim. I’m gonna quote an article called “What does the Bible say about Muhammad …” by Shabir Ally at whyislam.org.
According to the Bible, God said to Moses, on whom be peace:
“I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.” (The Holy Bible, New International Version, Deuteronomy chapter 18, verse 18).
The prophet described in the above verse must have the following three characteristics:
1. He will be like Moses.
2. He will come from the brothers of the Israelites, i.e. the Ishmaelites.
3. God will put His words in the mouth of that prophet and he will declare what God commanded him.
Let us see which prophet God was speaking of.
What this writer as well as other muslims will do is then list ways in which they think their “prophet” is similar to Moses.
They here make two assumptions. They assume that this passage refers to a particular prophet. The other assumption they make is that the way this specific prophet is similar to Moses is not in the text, therefore they look for different parts of Muhammad’s like and the things he did that was similar to Moses.
Now it’s very important for those who actually respect what the Jewish Bible says and its divine source to actually read the context of the verse so we can see what the intention or the contextual understanding of the verse is.
Let’s start from Deuteronomy 18 verse 9 and go all the way to the end of the chapter. I’ll highlight certain parts of the text that help us see the contextual understanding of the verse.
When you come into the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to do according to the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or sorcery, or interprets omens, or is a witch, or binds [special] bindings, or enquires of the Ov and Yidoni, or consults the dead. For all that do these things are an abomination to the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD your God does drive them out from before you.
You shall be whole hearted with the LORD your God. For these nations, which you shall possess, have listened to sorcerers, and to diviners: but you, the LORD your God has not allowed you so to do.
The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet from your midst, from your brothers, like me; to him you shall listen, according to all that you asked of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Don’t let me continue to hear the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, so I won’t die. And the LORD said to me, They have done well in what they have spoken. I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like you, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whoever will not listen to my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
But the prophet, who shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
And if you say in your heart, “How shall we know the word which the LORD has not commanded?” when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing doesn’t happen or come about, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken, but the prophet has spoken it presumptuously: you shall not be afraid of him.
I remember, when I was a christian, taking up the task of not only reading the bible all the way through, but also having it read to me through an online audio bible. It was amazing how many times I’d come to a passage that was supposed to contain some awesome prophecy or doctrinal point, but when read in context, those special connotations seemed to totally disappear. In passages like Job 19:25 and even Psalm 22 which were supposed to hail about messiah, those hails were rendered mute by the context.
And what is the context?
The Lord warns the people against committing acts that the nations do, like divination. Most, if not all, of the deeds warned against have something to do with gaining mystical knowledge in a supernatural way, such as divination and enquiring of the dead. It is because of these acts that the Lord is driving out the old inhabitants of Canaan, and God didn’t permit the Israelites to use these forces; God was going to supply a prophet.
There are a few things to note so far. Firstly, there is no messiah in the context nor a special specific individual. Secondly, the text essentially says that God hasn’t permitted the Israelite to use one way of getting knowledge and that he is going to provide a prophet. Just as the nations listened to their wizards and soothsayers, Israel should listen to this prophet. But what else does this passage say?
So God is gonna raise a prophet “according to what the children of Israel asked” according to verse 16. Huh? Wait, what stuff did the children of Israel want or ask for? A messiah? A special individual who won’t show up for over a thousand years? Nope, the text tells us. The children needed someone to hear from God for them like Moses as they were afraid of a more direct communication.
So we have some info: his prophet would be listened to when Israel needed it, just as nations listen to their occult practitioners; and this prophet would hear from God as Moses did.
Did you spot that?
Did you spot the way in which the prophet would be like Moses?
Did the context just explain itself? That just like the Israelites wanted Moses to hear from God for them, they would have a prophet who would do that according to their request to God? I’m sure it did!
Now let me put something out there. Let me posit something. This isn’t a prophecy as such; it is law regarding how prophets should be dealt with in future. The context isn’t prophecy; it’s law! Therefore we’re not looking at a prophecy about a single special individual, like the Yeshu monster or Muslim Moe. We’re looking at a promise that God gives that, should the Jews need it, he’ll raise a prophet so that they can hear from him. This can be whenever they need it, i.e., God can send “a prophet” straight after Moses, like Joshua, and he can send “a prophet” at the time of Saul and David, like Samuel and Nathan. Because this is a promise about “a prophet” and not a specific prophecy about “the Prophet,” then it can happen as many times as needed. But because, during this time, false prophets could come, as this is law not prophecy, the people would need to know how to deal with false prophets. So God gave more law to guide them.
Do I have evidence for this “position” that I posited?
Of course I do. In that very same text, there is law on one way to check if a prophet is false or not.
You see, this is not a text telling you how to recognise Messiah; that concept is nowhere in this text. It’s a passage telling Israel that God will continue to talk to them after Moses, raising up for them a prophet as and when needed, and therefore Israel will also have a way to test the veracity of each prophet, be it Jeremiah or Hananiah.
It should be apparent here that, as can be expected of a religion that follows the errant stumblings of christianity, the muslim makes the exact same mistake as their christian brethren. Now I’ve avoided the hang-ups of the muslim and the christian because they are irrelevant to the context. Once the context is understood to be a law about how God will communicate with Israel, prohibiting occultists, but rather using prophets after Moses, then the notion of this passage only being about muslim Moe or the Yeshu monster fade into nothing.
“But David, what about the fact that the text says ‘from your brethren?’ Doesn’t that mean the prophet can be from the brothers or relatives of Israel like the Ishmaelites from whom muslim Moe (Mohammed) originate? Doesn’t the fact that Moses was talking to Israel on a whole mean that ‘your brethren’ cannot mean another Israelite but must mean an outsider who is related, like the Ishmaelite Mohammed?”
Let me put another question to you in order to answer that question. Did Israel sin against God when Saul and David were made king? I mean they were both Israelite, right? In fact all the kings of Israel and Judah were Israelites. So if the interpretation of “from their brothers” must mean and outsider who is related, then they must have sinned in that they only used Israelites as kings, right?
Let me show you what I mean. In just one chapter from Deuteronomy 18, in Deuteronomy 17 verses 14 and 15, it says this about the king who would rule Israel.
When you shall come to the land which the Lord your God is giving to you and you possess it and dwell in it, and shall say, “Let me set a king over me like all the nations which surround me,” you will most certainly set over yourself a king which the Lord your God will chose. You shall set over yourself a king from amongst your brothers. You can’t put over you a foreign man which is not your brother.
As you can see here, the text states that the king must be from amongst their brothers, much like Deuteronomy 18 says about a prophet that God sends. And here it makes sure to tell a person what a brother is not: it is not a foreigner, a non-Israelite!!! Just look at Exodus 12:43 where it says that a foreigner is not allowed to take part in the Passover, only someone who has become naturalised to become a full Jew or a full Israelite! That means it excludes the Edomites, even though they’re supposed to be relatives to Israel. This excludes the descendants of the other sons of Abraham, even though they may be relatives to Israel. Being a foreigner excludes Moabites and Ammonites although they are relatives to Israel. None of these, although being a relative of Israel, is counted as a “brother,” a person eligible to become a king. So in this text, which comes before Deuteronomy 18’s statement about a prophet, a brother means a fellow Israelite, a fellow Jew.
So to answer my question, no, those people of Israel who chose to put a king over all Israelites did not sin by choosing fellow Israelites, because that’s what the law states, that the person must be “from among their brothers” which means not a foreigner but a fellow Israelite.
So now, when the text of Deuteronomy 18 states prophets who speak what God commands them, these prophets are “from your brothers,” it should be clear that it is speaking about a fellow Israelite or fellow Jew.
Now, do you notice what has happened? The part of the text that muslims have used to say that “the special prophet” (a concept absent from the text) must be from among people outside of Israel who are related to them in actual fact is the part of the verse that disqualifies Muhammad, “muslim Moe,” from ever being classed as a true prophet for the Jews.
Now, the thought came across my head, “well, David, you said he can’t be classed as a true prophet for the Jews; but does that make him a possible true prophet for the Gentiles?” And the answer must be no! And why? For at least two reasons, even though there are more.
Firstly, if muslims are using Deuteronomy 18:15 and 18 to say that muslim Moe is a prophet, and those texts disqualify him, then they are relying on a lie or untruth to support him. A prophet whose claim to prophethood is based on an untruth, then that makes it much more likely that he’s not a true prophet.
Also, it’s forbidden by Torah law to add or subtract from the laws of God (Deuteronomy 13:1 [or the last verse in chapter 12 in christian versions]). If someone claims to be a prophet and makes a permanent change to Torah law, then he disqualifies himself from being a prophet for anyone. The muslims I have watched have made it painfully clear that Mohammad abrogated and annulled and changed the Law of Moses. They even think that the role of a prophet or “the prophet” in Deuteronomy 18 is to give new laws or change the law. That’s because they misinterpret the phrase “like Moses” to mean that, like Moses, this prophet shall give a new law. That’s a lot of stuff to put onto a little phrase like “like Moses” even though the text itself clarifies what it means to be “like Moses,” i.e., hear from God for the people. So the changing of the Torah law disqualifies him as being a true prophet for anyone.
So after all that I can conclude.
Muslims make the same mistake as christians in thinking they can lay claim to the Jewish Bible and then teach it to others as if they were the primary custodians and the rightful experts. They are neither! They also make the same mistake as christians in taking verses out of context to make awful conclusions that are either not in the text or are a misinterpretation of the text.
I’ve seen too often now watching muslims in debates with atheists, Jews and christians, that muslims treat the Jewish Bible quite badly. But you shouldn’t be surprised. Why? This is firstly because they make the same mistake as christians in thinking Jesus is a true prophet (and messiah) which is also based on distorting the Jewish Bible. A well-renowned muslim debater, Shabir Ally, stated that you can’t be a muslim without accepting Jesus or Isa. And this is also because they think the Jewish Bible is corrupted. I’ve seen muslims used illogical and irrational arguments to make such a claim and I personally have been in conversation with a muslim who used such mentally retarded arguments to show that the Jewish Bible and the books of Moses have fabrications in it.
Knowing the falsehoods that is part of Islam strengthens my resolve to keep away from it. Knowing these falsehoods inform me that christianity and islam are illegitimate children, ungrateful bastards who will happily tear down their “mother” in one way or another to lift themselves up.
For further reading you can check out the following:
Having been challenged with the Christian doctrine of vicarious atonement again, for myself a fact needs reiteration.
The christian teaching of Jesus dying for all our sins, being punished in our place, is a teaching of irresponsibility and injustice. The Jewish Bible’s teaching is that of personal responsibility, accountability and justice.
Let me summarize the main points so as not to take up the reader’s time (if anyone reads this … wait! I’m reading it! Oh, good then!).
The Hebrew Bible teaches personal responsibility with regards to actions, and therefore personal accountability, in that the person who does the crime must also own up to it and do what is necessary to restore and repair where possible (Deuteronomy 24:16; 30; Ezekiel 18). The responsibility for one’s own acts cannot be shifted. This is shown in the laws of offerings in the Torah where the owner brings his own property, a domesticated animal or even flour, and uses/forfeits his property in an act of restoration and submission to God to bring him close to God again. Although blood was sometimes an element used, the Torah spoke of returning to God from exile, where there can be no sacrifice, and choosing life and good in obedience (Deuteronomy 30, Leviticus 26). The rest of the Jewish Bible repeats the call to obedience, repentance and therefore personal accountability.
In the Jewish Bible, God doesn’t justify the wicked and condemn the righteous; the soul that sins is responsible and must make it right.
The christian teaching turns everything on its head. Now the emphasis of the story is now that God DOES punish the innocent person, supposedly Jesus, in the place of the wicked. Now the person responsible for the wrong doesn’t give from his own property and person to make things right, but rather God takes responsibility away from the person by using an innocent person, nobody’s property, so that a form of human sacrifice can ensue.
In the Torah, it is well understood that the innocent shouldn’t receive the punishment of the wicked, like when, in Genesis 18, Abraham pleads with God about Sodom saying “will you sweep away the innocent with the wicked?” God’s protestations to the Israelites falls on deaf ears when he states the judgment: “the soul that sins, it shall die!” Yet Jesus was supposedly “the innocent soul, it shall die” in contradiction to God’s justice.
Not only this, but rather than focus on and prefer obedience and repentance as God’s prophets emphasize, rather than shouting with Isaiah that blood profits you nothing without obedience to God (Isaiah 1), the christian goes the complete other direction. With no basis in the Jewish Bible (not even the sacrificial law), the christian states that God needs and demands blood do much, that he’ll even kill an innocent man to satisfy himself even in the absence of repentance at the time of the killing!
Instead of calling for obedience, the christian states that doing what God says doesn’t make you right (Romans 3:23), that we are incapable of doing what God says (Galatians 2:21), in contradiction to what God says (Deuteronomy 30:11-14), and therefore the christian cries out, not for obedience but for blood. So much emphasis is placed in blood that they make up an anti-Torah verse: without blood, there is no forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22).
That’s how christians end up preaching injustice and praising the perversion of it, that God would actually desire and plan, after teaching the world that a man is responsible for his own deeds, and thus an innocent person will not get the punishment of the wicked, he would plan to turn that on its head and commit injustice to forgive sins.
Can we talk bluntly, you and I? Why, thank you!
Jesus was no lamb.
It’s that simple.
He wasn’t a goat or a bull or any other Torah ordained creature for offering. He was a man. And therefore, he was no sacrifice for sin for anyone at all, at all. The unjust death of a man is just that: an unjust death, not a ritual sacrifice.
Let me tie this off.
The death of Jesus offers you nothing, according to Torah. But God’s teachings of personal responsibility, accountability and repentance offers you a great deal.The death of the innocent is injustice. It doesn’t matter if the innocent person is willing or not, every person is responsible for one’s own sins, the good of the righteous remaining with him, and the bad of the wicked sticking to him.
The best thing a person can do is acknowledge wrong acts, ask for forgiveness and then do one’s best to do what is right. Then a person’s sins can be forgiven and forgotten.
So muslims point to Song of Songs, or Song of Solomon, chapter 5 verse 16 and make the startling claim that even Muhamad’s name is in the Jewish Bible. I’ve seen multiple muslim webpages referring to it and some of their teachers cite it as evidence that Muhamed is obviously there for a Jewish reader.
Here’s what it says in English.
His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
I ask you to please read the context, even the whole book if you want to. It’s important.
Let me get the very clear stuff out of the way. There is nothing in the context that explicitly states that the section is a prophecy. In fact, everything is in the present tense, nothing about the future. So it’s not even a prophecy or prediction of the future.
The next thing is that the context doesn’t even claim to be speaking about a prophet, much less a specific one. There is nothing in the text and context that would give you the impression that it was anything except a form of love song.
So that’s two crucial points: the context is not predictive about the future, and it says nothing at all about prophecy or a prophet.
With those things in mind, it’s already clear that this passage has nothing to do with foretelling Mohamed. The muslims are just taking not a verse but a single word out or context. The passage has nothing to do with its future or a prophet, but let’s just take one solitary word and claim that this is the name of our prophet?!?!
OK, so let’s take a look at this name then.
חִכּוֹ מַמְתַּקִּים וְכֻלּוֹ מַחֲמַדִּים
Transliterated, that’s as follows: chikko mamtaqqeem vekhullo machamaddeem
The ch sound is similar to the say Scottish people say “Loch” like in “loch ness monster,” or how Bach is supposed to be pronounced, like a throat clearing sound, not like the “ch” in “chair.” And the small “a” is a very slight “ah” sound like in “dad.”
So the word muslims want you to focus on is מַחֲמַדִּים, machamaddeem.
I want to be blunt with you. “Muhammad” is not machamaddim. I’m happy to say that they sound similar, but there are different sounds in both words, like the first “u” or “o” sound in Muhammad compared to the strong “a” sound (like “dad”) in machamaddeem. And also the fact that the Hebrew word ends with an “eem” sound like “seem.” So on the very superficial level, although there are similarities, they are not the same word.
Also, the “eem” ending at the end of the Hebrew word, machamaddeem, is at least a clue that it is not a proper name but is just a common noun. In fact, if you look at Hebrew dictionaries, the word is in fact a common noun meaning “something desired” rather than a proper noun, like a name. For the most, when “eem” is added to the end of common nouns, they normally (not always) become plural. Either that or they become a heightened sense of that word. But the word is not the proper name, Muhammad. This why all translations, all Jewish translations, even the most ancient ones, translate its meaning and don’t try to put it across as a proper noun: because it is not a proper noun!
So what I see in the Hebrew text and the context is as follows:
1) The context is not prophetic in the predictive sense.
2) There is no explicit sign of a prophet in the context.
3) And the proper noun, Muhammad, is not in the text.
For me, another sign that this is special pleading from muslims in the construction of this first part of Song of Songs 5:16. The muslim focuses on the fourth word, machamaddeem. But the second word has the same structure, having an “eem” ending. But strangely enough, but not surprising, the muslim who is trying to rip words out of context to make his point ignores this word. There is no “mamtaq” or “mamtaqqeem” relevant to his argument so he ignores the word of similar structure close by, just two words before his treasured but mispronounced word.
Why did I say “mispronounced?”
An example of how muslims distort the Hebrew text can be seen on one of the webpages trying to push the notion that Muhammed is in this text.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is mentioned by name in the Song of Solomon chapter 5 verse 16:
“Hikko Mamittakim we kullo Muhammadim Zehdoodeh wa Zehraee Bayna Jerusalem.”
“His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters
In the Hebrew language im is added for respect. Similarely im is added after the name of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to make it Muhammadim. In English translation they have even translated the name of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as “altogether lovely”, but in the Old Testament in Hebrew, the name of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is yet present. (PROPHET MUHAMMAD (pbuh) IN THE BIBLE, by Dr. Zakir Naik, http://www.islam101.com/religions/christianity/mBible.htm)
Take special note of how they mispronounce or put the wrong vowels in the Hebrew word in order to make it sound more like their prophet, removing the initial “a” sound and replacing it with the letter “u.” They also make the claim that “im” is added for respect, but note the hidden assumption. Although the Hebrew text itself gives no sign of this being a proper noun, the writer of the muslim webpage assumes that it must be talking about a person and therefore, for him, “im” or “eem” is added for respect. I don’t know of any Hebrew source that states that “eem” is added for respect. But for common nouns in Hebrew, “eem” is not added for respect. It either increases the number, making it plural, or emphasizes the word. When it comes to the latter understanding, that’s what happens for words like behemah, a domesticed animal, and behemoth, an animal of immense size. The former understanding of plurality is so well known, I won’t waste time typing it out.
It should also be noted that the word “Muhammad” is supposed to come from an Arabic word meaning “praise” and it is passive, meaning something praised. The Hebrew word which machamaddeem is derived from means to desire or covet, not to praise. So they mean different things. I would advise you to do a concordance word search for the Hebrew word and see how it used in the Jewish Bible. You’ll soon find out that muslims have simply picked this one solitary usage out for their own purposes.
Look, in so many way, the muslim claim that the name “Muhammad” is in the Jewish Bible is one which a person can throw in the trash, burn like garbage, because it has nothing to do with the Hebrew word or the biblical context.
Just like their christian brethren, and much like the conman, Paul of Tarsus, the muslim takes a word out of context for his own agenda. But a good examination of what he has done undermines the veracity of his own muslim worldview and makes him seem like a liar and his muslim worldview a lie.
I’m surprised that I’m even bringing this up but recent things I’ve watched have irritated me to the point where I want to start attacking it.
It’s come to my attention that when a person leaves Jesus as messiah or even as any sort of important person, one doesn’t only reject christianity. On so many levels, that person also rejects Islam.
You see Islam, or at least Muslims, makes many of the same mistakes as christianity. Not only do Muslims accept Jesus as messiah and prophet, which invalidates their approach, they also attempt to use the Jewish Bible to both prove that Jesus is the messiah and also to show that Muhammed (I spell that various ways, I don’t care about how it’s spelt) is a prophet.
You wanna know the funny thing? They will also use the Jewish Bible to prove that it, the Jewish Bible, is corrupt. *chuckle*
Anyway, aside from that foolishness, once you comprehend the problem of Islam in its acceptance of Jesus and the muslim’s desire to use the Jewish Bible to prove their case, then you’ll also see the abject folly in their approach, a folly that they share with their christian brethren. What is this folly?
You see, when it comes to the Jewish Bible, the muslims and christians come at it as strangers. The muslims, generally, are not native Hebrew speakers. Although there are some similarities between Hebrew and Arabic, the muslims were not the ones, the nation, given the Torah at the beginning. And when they use the Jewish prophets, they, like their christian brethren, use them as usurpers and thieves, appropriating these Jewish or Israelite voices for their own religions. And then, with the arrogance of believing that their respective prophets and teachers have given them authority, they will then turn to the Jews, those Jews that actually continue to adhere to their covenant responsibilities, those Jews that have retained the tradition, history and heritage of Torah, these novice thieving strangers will turn to those Jews and then try to teach them their own book as if they know the proper way it should be understood. And all this is based on the arrogance given them by their founders, be it Jesus, Paul or Muhammed. These illegitimate children, these bastards, will steal the heritage of the Jews, abuse it as they will, and then turn to the legitimate children and condemn them as outcasts for not believing in their chosen prophet or teacher.
And this arrogance, this impudence – even though there are well-mannered nicely spoken, even genuinely nice people in their ranks – this attitude and teaching over-spills to those who have rejected Jesus. Watching debates between muslims and christians, you repeatedly hear them try spin Jewish Bible their own way. The muslim will keep referring to Deuteronomy 18 and places in Isaiah to say that the Jewish Bible prophesies about Mohammad. And the illogical, mistranslating and taking-out-of-context approach is evident in both groups of people.
Now despite the fact that I love some of the rationality of the muslims in trashing christian idolatry, and I respect the muslim resolve in actually sticking to their standards rather than trying to make it seem nice to modern secular society – something that it sickens me to see Jews, christians, and Torah observant Gentiles do – the way they distort the Jewish Bible irritates me just as much as when christians do.
So I hope to be doing a few articles where I show that deceptive ways the muslims misuse the Jewish Bible to push their agenda. If I forget, I hope someone reminds me, but I think it’s irritated me enough to say something. Also, I notice the dearth (wow, I don’t use that word at all – it must be because I’ve been listening to Jeremiah) in Torah-observant voices speaking out against islam. I just want there to be another source somewhere that highlights the ways in which islam and muslims are not the truth and cause people to go astray, at least with regards to the Jewish Bible.
Thanks for your time.
Before I answer that question, I will just say that Jesus himself wrote no gospel. So I’m not exactly discussing Jesus’ teachings but rather what anonymous writers wrote about him. Yes I’m referring to the four gospels. Although they were given the names, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, there has much uncertain as to who the authors actually were. As they are only personal advertisements about Jesus, rather than documents having the national traditional history quality that the Hebrew Bible books do, then they have a different standard to live up to. Just because unknown persons chose to attach the gospels to the Jewish Bible and call them along with other books “the new testament,” that doesn’t automatically make them of the same quality or worth, or make them worthy of the same standing as the Jewish Bible.
So, let’s pretend, for now, that the names given to those gospels have some truth to them. The question arises which says this: do the teachings they have written as coming out of Jesus’ mouth have any problems?
The answer is “yes.” Yes! The teachings of the gospels do contain unfounded statements and error. As Michael Skobac along with many others, wisely say, Whatever the gospels teach that is new isn’t true; and whatever they teach that is true isn’t new.
I’ll give a few easy examples. Throughout this, I will not deal with the excuses given by the various types of christian there are, whether they be messianic “jews,” Paul-hating Jesus followers or the mainstream variety. I will just deal with the words of the gospels. I leave the christians to make their excuses without any actual traditional teaching from Jesus himself. By that I mean that neither Jesus nor the gospel writers ever started an unbroken tradition of how to correctly interpret these words. So I can only go by the text.
In Matthew 19, in a response to an argument from the Pharisees about divorce, Jesus said the following:
He said to them, Because of your hard-heartedness, Moses gave license for you to divorce your wives … (Matthew 19:8a)
There is an error in this teaching: the unfounded nature of the reason the commandment was given.
There is no explicit and clear statement in the Jewish Bible or the written Torah that that the procedure of divorce was given because of the hard-hearted nature of the people. Therefore Jesus’ teaching has no foundation; it is baseless. Although Jesus assumes that “it wasn’t this way from the beginning,” that is no basis upon which to claim that the reason for the law is hard-heartedness.
As the wise rabbi Isidor Kalisch said,
It is impossible that Moses, the strict teacher, who never allowed the passions of the people to influence him, should have yielded to the hardness of their hearts, and given a Law to favor them. (A guide for rational inquiries into the Biblical writings: being an examination of the doctrinal differance between Judaism and primitive Christianity, based upon a critical exposition of the Book of Matthew, by Isidor Kalisch)
Matthew 12:5 has Jesus saying the following.
Haven’t you read in the law that, on the sabbath, the priests in the temple desecrate the sabbath and are guiltless?
And the answer would be no! There is nowhere in the Torah where it can be read that the priests in the temple desecrate the sabbath. It’s that simple. So Jesus was simply wrong in this statement.
Now I already can hear the retorts of some christians. “But it says that you’re not allowed to do x on the sabbath, and the priests do x, therefore they are breaking the sabbath.” Understand that this is a logical argument, not an explicit statement of Torah. The Torah doesn’t judge the priests or their work as sabbath-breaking. So there is no foundation to Jesus’ statement. He’s simply wrong! If God says that people in general can’t do certain things on the sabbath, yet also commands priests to do those things on the sabbath, then that would mean that the priests are allowed to do what they do, there is no desecration involved.
But regardless of that, Jesus’ statement is wrong.
Matthew 11:7-14 has Jesus saying that John was either the messenger promised in Malachi 3 or Elijah which is reaffirmed in Matthew 17:10-13. Luke 1:17 tries to push the idea that John simply had the spirit and power of Elijah.
This is all contradicted both by the simple statement of Malachi 3 and the words of John himself.
Firstly, let’s talk about Malachi. Look at what the promised messenger should do.
See me sending My messenger, and he shall clear the way before Me; and the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, and the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, see him coming, said the LORD of hosts. But who may endure the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appears? For he is like fire that refines, and like fullers’ soap; And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver; and they shall be offering to the LORD offerings in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem shall be pleasant to the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in ancient years. And I will come near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against those that swear for falsehood; and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and who don’t fear me Me, said the LORD of hosts.
There is not one sign that this happened during the days of John. There was no purification of the Levites and there was nothing said about the people offering righteous offerings. There is nothing said about the judgment against sorcerers and adulterers. This has nothing to do with John.
Then there’s the notion about who John was. Make no mistake about it, Malachi prophesied the coming of Elijah the prophet from God who had sent him (Malachi 3:23 [or chapter 4 verse 5 in christian versions]). There is nothing that spiritualizes the words to make it talk about someone other than Elijah coming in his power and spirit. So the simple statement of Malachi invalidates the teaching of Jesus. John is not Elijah the prophet and Elijah the prophet isn’t John.
This is confirmed by John in the book of John chapter 1 verse 21 where he is asked outright if he is Elijah and he said a categorical “no!”
So Jesus is dead wrong.
In some versions of the new testament, at the beginning of John chapter 8, there is a story of a woman caught in adultery. The argument is given that Moses commanded that the woman should be stoned. Jesus’ response is that a person without sin can cast the first stone. Remember, Jesus’s argument was not that this was not a proper court session or that both the woman and the man should be punished together. He’s only response is that the person without sin should cast the first stone.
Although to some that may be a witty response that is supposed to strike at the conscience of those about to stone the woman, the principle itself is nowhere to be found in the Jewish Bible. In fact the opposite is taught. Deuteronomy 16:18-20 and throughout Deuteronomy 17 and other places in the Torah teaches that justice should be pursued by means of courts, officers and witnesses. There are no unrealistic standards of sinlessness demanded in order to execute judgment.
So once again, the teaching of at least some versions of Jesus is dead wrong.
As a last example, I’ll refer to Luke 24:46 which was a teaching of Jesus.
… Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the anointed one [or the Christ] to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day.
In a previous article, I showed that there is no evidence of this being written in the Jewish Bible. Nowhere at all in the Jewish Bible does it state that the promised anointed king must suffer and be resurrected on the third day, no place at all. Isaiah 53 doesn’t say this. It doesn’t even mention the promised anointed one or “messiah.” Daniel 9 doesn’t say this. It has two anointed ones living centuries apart from one another, and neither one is said to have suffered or died or be raised on the third day. Zechariah 12 doesn’t say this. It neither mentions the promised anointed one going through suffering, nor anyone being resurrected on the third day. There is not one place in all the Jewish Bible that states as Jesus taught, that the anointed one must suffer and be resurrected on the third day. This is pure fantasy.
[ASIDE: Is it a coincidence that people say that Luke was a follower of Paul and Paul says something similar in 1 Corinthians 15:4?]
So in this teaching, Jesus is dead wrong.
So here are some examples of where the gospel writers putting words in the mouth of Jesus that were simply wrong. There are others. But this wasn’t meant to be an exhaustive list.
When the christian adopts the belief that in Jesus two contradictory natures became one, it can be of no surprise that his divine monster will switch hats at a whim, that an explanation will need to be on hand when the new testament depiction of Jesus clashes with that belief.
What do you mean, David?
I’ll tell you.
Searching for their point of view on the union to make sure I’m not creating a straw man argument, I came across various trinitarian sources saying similar things.
Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ; (Athanasian Creed, emphasis mine)
Jesus’ two natures are not “mixed together” (Eutychianism), nor are they combined into a new God-man nature (Monophysitism). They are separate yet act as a unit in the one person of Jesus. (Jesus’ Two Natures: God and Man, http://carm.org/jesus-two-natures)
The union of the two natures was complete. Jesus did not act as God on some occasions and then as a human at other times. Therefore we cannot divide events in His life into the category of human or divine. He lived and suffered as a human being, yet all the while He was God. It is not correct to say that He performed miracles as God but died on the cross as a human. Jesus was both divine and human at all times. He is a single, undivided personality. The two natures are inseparably united. Thus He is not merely God and man but rather the God-man. (In What Sense Was Jesus Christ God And Man Simultaneously? (Hypostatic Union), http://web.ccbce.com/multimedia/BLB/faq/nbi/222.html)
I believe that, based on these quotes, I have a grounding to strongly state what I say that follows.
The God and the man that was supposed to be Jesus where an inseparable union. Whatever Jesus said or did, whatever happened to him, it came from or impacted or was done by both sides of the coin.
This is very important when it comes to the life of Jesus as depicted in the gospels and other parts of the new testament. This is especially true in comparison to the excuses Jesus worshippers give for certain words, actions and descriptions of Jesus when those depictions flatly contradict how God is described in the Jewish Bible and even in the new testament itself.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever had this experience, but for me, when I challenge Jesus worshippers on things that Jesus said or did which conflicts with the truth about God, I’ll get the excuse that this particular thing was only relevant to Jesus’ flesh rather than his divinity.
Me: Hey, Jesus said he can do nothing of himself.
Monster worshipper: Oh, that was just about Jesus in the flesh.
Me: But Jesus claimed to not know something (the time of the second coming). In fact, he was an ignorant baby that grew and growing in wisdom and knowledge.
Monster worshipper: But that was just while he was in the flesh.
Me: But isn’t God omnipresent, yet Jesus was only in one place at a time?
Monster worshipper: Well that was while he was in the flesh.
Me: Jesus got tired and he fell asleep.
Monster worshipper: Well God had to experience our existence in the flesh.
Me: But isn’t God immortal?
Monster worshipper: The flesh died.
Me: But wait! Don’t you say that those great miracles show his being God? and isn’t the resurrection supposed to show his deity?
Monster worshipper: Yes it does!
Me: And you believe Jesus to be God when he said “before Abraham was, I am?”
Monster worshipper: Amen, he was.
Me: But doesn’t James say God can’t be tempted, but Hebrews says Jesus was tempted?
Monster worshipper: Well the human side of Jesus was tempted.
This may not be what all these people say, but too many of them that I’ve faced in the past have used one or many of these sorts of arguments.
The problem many times is that Jesus worshippers tend to jump in and out of the Jesus being God for uncomfortable new testament statements. But you read what the doctrine is meant to be in the quotes above. I’ve read them and their contexts. The natures, divine and human, are meant to be inseparably united. What Jesus went through, both natures went through. There is no get-out clause. The Jesus worshipper must contradict himself! Or herself!
When Jesus was tempted, God necessarily was tempted contradicting the new testament! When Jesus was sleeping, God was sleeping, contradicting the Jewish Bible. When Jesus got tired, the Almighty God’s strength was flagging?!? When Jesus got literally angry with emotion, God literally (not anthropomorphically) got angry. The God that stated that he would always the same, eternally consistent, and who is all knowing changed into a man, grew up and gained knowledge. When Jesus got injured, the invincible God was injured! When Jesus died, the immortal God died?!?!
The habit of christians to use the flesh of Jesus, to jump into the flesh to escape the divinity, many times, is an inadequate argument betraying the very statements of their doctrine. It’s false in so many ways.
Understand this! The God of a Jesus worshipper is not the God of the Jewish Bible, the God who created everything and thus was beyond everything. He cannot be. It’s a self defeating, self contradicting monster.
But it’s also important to know that these facts will not change the mind of many christians. Why? Because they were never primarily devoted to the God of the Jewish Bible. Harsh but true. They were devoted to the life and suffering of a man. That is why what they embrace is idolatry. They cling unfalteringly not to the glory of God, but to the life of a man.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:4)
I had the misfortune of having a christian try to convert me by means of a missionary called Chuck Missler. Why was it a misfortune? Because … well … let’s just say he is a perfect student of the Paul in that he is excellent at misquoting scriptures, using mistranslation, ripping texts out of context to make a point. He takes it a few steps further by trying to use quaint little patterns in the Jewish Bible and interpret in his special way to point to his Jesus. Throughout his 2-hour talk I would shout out in disbelief with regards to his hatchet job on the Jewish Bible or wince at his awful misrepresentations of texts that had no sign of Jesus yet were stuffed to contortion with his belief that Jesus is supposed to be on every page. Of course this belief leads to painting Jesus into places he never was. But does he give a damn? Hell no!
Anyway, one great example is how he deals with Paul’s statement above, a statement echoing something said in the gospels. Paul claims that Jesus’ being resurrected on the third day is “according to Scripture.” Having read all of the Jewish Bible, I already know there is no such prophecy, nothing that relates to the messiah having died and getting resurrected.
Do you want to see how Chuck Missler handles it? Do you have a choice?
So here’s how he deals with it: he looks for any place in the Jewish Bible that talks about or even supposedly insinuates three days! That’s it. Find a place that refers somehow to three days and that is his evidence for a prophecy of a third-day resurrection!
You don’t believe me, do you?
OK, the DVD was called “Footsteps of the Messiah” and, on that DVD, there is a PDF that has notes of his talk. Let me quote you the relevant part.
Christ (in the tomb)?
1) Abraham (Isaac dead to him); Gen 22:4, Heb 11:19.
2) Joseph (dreams in prison); Gen 40.
3) Esther (fasted 3 days); Est 6:16.
4) Jonah (in the fish); Mt 12:40.
5) Nation Israel (asks Jesus to return); Hos 6:2.
6) Tola worm; Ps 22:6.
7) Rahab’s cord; Jos 2:15-18. (emphasis mine)
Now before I discuss the one that I highlighted, is it ok if I state the obvious? Oh yeah, you can’t really talk back. Well, I’m talking to myself in a way, so it’s all good. So yes, David, state the obvious! Why thank you, David. Here’s the obvious: not a single one of the “old testament” passages, not one, is a messianic prophecy. Even Hoshea 6:2 has no sign of messiah or a Davidic king in its context.
[ASIDE: You may have heard the christian rejection of understanding Isaiah 53 to speak of the nation of Israel despite the fact that Isaiah himself identifies the servant of God as the nation Israel. To quote Isaak Troki in his book, Hizzuk Emunah (or Faith Strengthened), chapter 22,
The words, “Behold my servant shall prosper,” to the end of the 53rd chapter, concern the people of Israel, who are still bearing the yoke of this captivity, and are termed my servant in the singular number, which expression is used in many other places; for example, Isaiah 41:8-9, “And thou, O Israel, my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, my friend.” Again, “And I say unto thee, Thou art my servant.” In chapter 44:21, Isaiah says, “And now hear, O Jacob my servant, and Israel whom I have chosen;” and further on, “Fear not, my servant Jacob;” and “Remember these things, O Jacob and Israel, for thou art my servant.” “I have formed thee to be my servant.” Ibid 45:4, “For the sake of Jacob my servant and Israel my chosen one.”
That’s not all the Israel-servant references in Isaiah just before chapter 53 but it’s some of them.
So despite Isaiah calling the servant of God Israel, some christians will complain that Isaiah 53 can’t refer to Isaiah because the language is just oh so singular and Israel is a nation of many. Now I’m not going to refute that here. I’m just going to compare that argument with Hoshea 6:2. Now Hoshea chapter 6 verses 1, 2 and 3 uses the langauge of “we.”
“Come and let us return to the Lord; because he has torn, and he will heal us; he has struck, and he will bind up [our wounds]. He will revive us after two days: on the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his presence. And let us acknowledge it, that we may pursue to know the Lord; bright as the morning-dawn is his rising; and he will come as the rain to us, as the latter rain that makes the earth fruitful.”
If they were consistent (that can be asking a lot, I know) then that use of “we” alone (apart from the messiah-free context) should eliminate this verse from any proof that it’s about the promised Davidic king. Well, I can hope. I ain’t holding my breath.
Anyway, back to that list! Absolutely none of them are messianic prophecies, and all but one are historical narratives, telling something that happened in history with no hint that it’s some sort of type or allegory for a responding anti-type.
So essentially there is no third day prophecies. In fact, Chuck Missler is making stuff up, just basing his link on the notion of three days regardless of context.
But let’s look at this one I highlighted. Let’s look at this proof for Jesus being resurrected in three days.
Abraham (Isaac dead to him); Gen 22:4
Do you know what exactly happens in Genesis 22 verse 4?
On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
… *deadpan stare*
Yes, absolutely diddly squat about a resurrection on the third day.
So apparently Abraham considered Isaac dead, right? Here are a few simple question. Was Isaac really dead? Nope! Did Isaac even die? Nope! Does the text even say that Isaac was dead to Abraham? Nope! Textually this has nothing, nothing to do with a resurrection after three days or on the third day. Yet that is Chuck Missler’s superficial methods of hermeneutics: throw enough verses at a subject and hope something sticks. Here’s the problem though: nothing sticks.
What this dude has done is the exact opposite of what he sought. He wanted to show that the prophecy that “Christ should resurrect in three days” is truly according to scripture. What he has in fact done is show that such a prophecy is absent, and the best a person can do is follow the example of Paul: twist scripture until it breaks to make it seem as if it accords your point. But it doesn’t accord with the point they want to make. So there is no point!