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“Furthermore, though He is a man, He is not merely a man. He is infinite and eternal. He is–by very nature–God (Hebrews 1). He has both a divine and a human nature. Since He is human, He can represent humans on the cross. Since He is God, His value is infinite. (“If Jesus died and stayed dead for two days and rose on the third, how is that enough to atone for the sins of the past, present, and future?” https://carm.org/atone-past-present-future)
There’s not much I need to write about this quote. I just ask that you look at it. There is a glaring contradiction there.
“He is a man …”
What is man? A limited being, a dying being. A human is caught in time and trapped in it, living every moment, one by one.
“He is infinite and eternal.”
God is unlimited and, being eternal, can never die. Being the Creator of time. he cannot be confined to it. The Creator is forever the Creator. And the created are forever the created.
Now note that. The unlimited limit? The dying immortal? Ending infinity?
Let me be so blunt with you!
This ain’t a mystery. There’s nothing mysterious about it. It’s a total contradiction. The phrase “God incarnate” is an oxymoron.
There is a simple choice to make.
Is God singular? Or is he plural?
When a person states that “elohim” has a plural ending, the question remains: is God singular, or is he plural?
When a person states that there are [rare] plural words for God or that plural pronouns are [rarely] used, the question remains, is God singular or is he plural?
There is no need for the obfuscation of those who speak of compound or complex unities, or trinities or families. The choice is amazingly more simple than any of that. Is God singular or plural?
If there is one being called God the Father and another called God the Son, then there are two Gods. If there is an addition of God the Holy Spirit, then there are three Gods. If the plural usages of Hebrew words and pronouns are understood in a narrow way, then God is plural and it is fine to say “Gods”. With that logic, the singular Hebrew word is eloah and the plural is elohim in the same say that the singular word is “chair” and the plural is “chairs.” If the word “one” is used with such an understanding, then it only means “one” in the sense of a group. So at the core, we are still talking about something that is plural. Even if they were to say, “actually we do believe in one God,” the term “one” must be understood as a group, and the term God must be understood like the word “sheep” – there’s no such word as “sheeps” when talking about more than one of them. We can talk about “one God” and it would be equal to a herd or group of “God” (although that is a mutilation of the English language … for now anyway). It’s plural.
If God is singular, then the above understanding is polytheistic and idolatry (and also an abuse of the Hebrew language).
Those that believe in God the Father and God the Son (whether or not they include God the Holy Spirit) are not monotheists, those who acknowledge a singular God.
As a funny aside, even those that only believe that God is singular, but that there is also “a god of this world/age,” being the devil (2 Corinthians 4:4), are not monotheists either. They may only worship one of the deities, but they still believe there are two.
I have a wife who is Christian. Because of her, I get to hear what some pastors have to say about their faith in Jesus. Now I hear infuriating and incredibly ignorant stuff from a lot of them, especially some guy called “Joseph Prince.” Man, his preaching is just disgusting in how he almost uses the Jewish Bible, the so-called old testament, almost like toilet paper, as if it’s just the word of man and Jesus is the actual word of God. Anyway, let me not get distracted by foolishness.
One of the teachings I heard accords with what I’ve heard from other Christians about what helps them to see how Jesus must be God. They will say how the winds and the waves obeyed his voice (Matthew 8:23-27), how he healed many diseases and got rid of many demons (ibid. v 16-17), how he even rose from the grave seemingly having control over death itself. And they will say things like “wow, such power shows that he must have been God himself; who else could have such power?” For them, this is even more evidence of his divinity.
It’s odd how the book of John, which Christians are happy to use to preach of his divinity because of their reading of John 1, totally refutes their own views concerning Jesus.
Now remember, it is said that Jesus did such great miracles, he himself must be God. But a person who knows the Jewish Bible would have to pause at such a grand conclusion. And surprisingly a person who knows the book of John would also have to pause at such a conclusion. But why?
The person who reads the book of John (including John 1 and the “I am” statements) will be forced to stop because Jesus himself said things like “The son can not do anything of himself” and Me, I can not do anything of myself” (John 5). In the depiction of Jesus in the fourth gospel, Jesus doesn’t power himself. He gets what he has from someone else, namely “the Father.” What Jesus has was given to him. This is not a person generating power that is simply sourced from himself, but he relies on someone else.
For those who know the utter immenseness of the one true God, such words draw one strong conclusion: this man is not God!
This coincides with what people who know the Jewish Bible can see clearly. God’s prophets can do tremendous things. They can split water in two, get water from rocks, stop the movement of the sun and moon, cause it to rain, etc. And yet it is known that although such men display such power, they are only pointing to God who is actually doing the miracles. Such men were not seen as God although they did things that could be considered greater than that which Jesus did.
You see, the Jewish Bible is clear: there is an unbridgeable gap between the Creator and the created. The one true God was the creator of time and space, so he is beyond such creations. He is timeless and spaceless. He is not limited to such dimensions. Any aspect of creation is not God. It can point to God, but it is not God.
So as soon as you see an aspect of creation, a star, the moon, the sun, a powerful man, the sea, a mountain, it doesn’t matter how awesome, as it is a part of creation it cannot be God! God even warns against associating him with creation in Deuteronomy 4.
Therefore the power that is said to have been shown by Jesus, logically, can never ever, never ever, be evidence or proof that he himself was divine. On the basis of the law in Deuteronomy 4, the basis of the tremendous acts done by the prophets before Jesus, on the basis of Genesis 1:1, that God was the one who brought time and space into being and thus being beyond it, on such basis, we can know that no act of Jesus can show that he is God.
The very fact that he was a walking talking human being refutes the idea to its core.
When a missionary, be it a normal Christian or one who has taken on the role of missionary more seriously, comes and entices a person to accept Jesus as God using his miracles as evidence, it is always based on deception and ignorance. So it’s important to inoculate those who you know and love with understanding.
All the best to you!
So christians who claim that Jesus was and is God – fully God – would also declare that Isaiah 53 is about Jesus as well. Interesting, huh?
One characteristic that is revealed about God in the Jewish Bible is that he is not constrained or limited or affected by time or change. He is timeless, changeless and thus has no end in view. He can’t die. Another word for it is “eternal.”
Yet the christian ascribing divinity to Jesus says that this verse in Isaiah 53 applies to him.
And God desired to crush him, to make him weak/ill. If his soul makes restitution, he shall see offspring; he shall prolong his days … (Isaiah 53:10)
So let me get this straight. A “Jesus=God” believer would tell me that Jesus is fully God, having the fulness of what it means to be God, right? And God is timeless, eternal, right? And that christian would also tell me that Isaiah 53 is about Jesus, right? But that means that this “God” or “God the Son” would have his days prolonged? But eternity can’t be prolonged.
That would mean that this part of Isaiah 53 and the rest of it wouldn’t apply to the “fully-God” Jesus.
Let me just quote the writer of the first gospel. Again, we’ll pretend his name’s “Matthew” even though he does not claim this for himself. So just to give context, Judas betrays Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, regrets it, throws it back to the priests who had paid him, kills himself in a field which the priests purchase with the same 30 pieces of silver. Then “Matt” says in chapter 27 verses 9 and 10.
Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; and gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me.
The word “Jeremy” is supposed to actually refer to the prophet, Jeremiah. There’s one significant problem with this supposed quote from Jeremiah: it’s nowhere in the book of Jeremiah. There’s a slightly more significant problem: it’s nowhere in the whole Jewish Bible.
That’s the simple fact.
Now I know what some will say that the anonymous writer of the first gospel that we call “Matt” right now, that he is quoting the prophet Zechariah. There are a number of problems with this idea. For example, I’ve looked at a number of translations of this verse that “Matt” writes. They all have “Matt” saying that he’s quoting Jeremiah. So “Matt” is saying “Hey! I’m quoting Jeremiah!” and his defenders are saying, “actually he’s quoting Zechariah.” Who do I believe? I’ll side with the writer on this one.
Another thing is that a lot that “Matt” says isn’t in Zechariah. I mean, just compare both quotes. I’ll give “Matt’s” first and then give a translation of Zechariah.
MATT’S VERSION: And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me.
What Zechariah actually said: And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the treasurer, a goodly price that I was valued at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the treasury in the house of the LORD. (Zechariah 11:12-13)
Note the differences.
Zechariah doesn’t say “they took the thirty pieces of silver” but rather “they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.” “Matt” has some unknown group taking thirty pieces of silver and using it to purchase a potter’s field. In the original, Zechariah himself takes his price of service and throwing them to the treasurer in the house of God. No
field is mentioned at all. There is no mention at all about the children of Israel in the verses in Zechariah. The subject and object of parable in Zechariah is clear. Zechariah is the one receiving the silver and putting to something that is not a field. “Matthew” refers to some entity called “they”.
So although there are some superficial similarities between “Matt’s” seeming quote and Zechariah, “Matt” doesn’t quote Zechariah, neither does he claim to as the vast majority of christian translations show. Oh, I know some say that in some old variant of a greek text has “Zechariah,” but that knowledge cannot be so firm if it is not in the main body of the translated texts, as if the main greek manuscripts they use only have “Matt” saying he’s quoting Jeremiah?
Now I know someone is going to push the fact that the anonymous “Matt” must be quoting Zechariah. And I don’t mind someone claiming that at all. Why? Again, look at all the differences between “Matt” and Zechariah. The amount of changes “Matt” makes shows that the simple recorded word of God through Zechariah was not good enough to be used as scriptural evidence to back up his messiah candidate … that is, not without major editing to God’s holy message. “Matt” adds to and takes away so much from Zechariah that the warning from Proverbs 30:5,6 comes into play: “Each word of God is pure, he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Don’t add to his word so the he don’t reprove you and you be found to be a liar.” I think that anyone who respects the word of God through Zechariah would see “Matt” as a liar.
To conclude, “Matt” doesn’t quote Zechariah because the word, message and context is different. And he doesn’t claim to. He’s making it up; fabricated evidence for his failed messiah candidate. But if his advocates speak above him, then they show him to be a liar. A no-win situation for “Matt.” A win-win situation for truth!
So we have the writer of the first gospel – let’s pretend his name is “Matthew,” even though the writer of the first gospel didn’t say this. And in his attempt to prove how much his favourite messiah candidate is so ensconced in the Jewish Bible, he “quotes” passages stating that Jesus or his life fulfilled them, whether those passages were messianic in content and context or not. Without going into all those others, he then says in chapter 2:23 the following:
“And [Jesus] came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth so that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.”
Now looking at this, what is it saying? Simply that Jesus living in Nazareth fulfils what the prophets said! And the prophecy that was fulfilled by him living in Nazareth states that he shall be a Nazarene , which, according to a new testament Greek dictionary, simply means an inhabitant of Nazareth.
[This verse is not about a nazirite, which has nothing to do with living in Nazareth, although it should be noted that there is no prophecy that the promised anointed king would be an nazirite either. So it’s irrelevant.)
There are two things that can be drawn from this statement of Matthew when compared to the plain reading of the Jewish Bible:
1) There is no prophecy that states that living in Nazareth has anything to do with being the promised anointed king; and thus
2) “Matthew” did not get this prophecy from the Jewish Bible, the only means of determining who the promised anointed Davidic king will be.
Essentially, “Matthew” was wrong. He made a mistake, a boo-boo.
Now, I understand that there are theories (only theories, since no one can ask “Matthew” what he meant and he didn’t tell anyone) that try to explain away this problem. Some talk about the Hebrew word for “branch” and some talk about this being an indirect quote that comes from many prophets and thus people can only speculate about what it really means. But as I don’t already have the assumption that “Matthew” actually knew what he was talking about and thus don’t need to explain away the verse, I’ll just state the simple facts about this verse.
1) “Matthew” says that Jesus’ being an inhabitant of Nazareth, a Nazarene, fulfils what was said by the prophets.
2) Not one single prophet of the Jewish Bible stated that being an inhabitant of Nazareth or a Nazarene fulfils any messianic criteria.
3) Therefore “Matthew” is wrong.
There’s nothing to add to that.
I have a wife who is a christian. Because of this, I get to often see the practices of certain christians and compare it to the approaches demonstrated in the Jewish Bible. It shouldn’t surprise me how stark the differences are between what sects of Christianity teach compared to the standards set in the Jewish Bible and the Law of Moses. But sometimes it does.
I watched a christian movie called “The War Room” with my wife. Although there were some truly positive messages in the movie, there were also staggeringly bad ones there as well, and they exist only because of the christian context and foundation of the movie. And these bad messages are things that I’ve seen amongst christians as well, so they are not simply as fictional as the story in the movie, but are actual christian practices.
In the movie, there was a marriage in trouble with a young child involved. The wife happened upon a older christian woman who advised her that the main way to get the marriage fixed was to pray, to find a certain closet in the house and pray there. Now I’m not saying this was the only way proposed, but it was what was emphasised in the movie. The effects of prayer were almost “physical” to the point where a pastor walks into a “prayer closet,” walks out as if he’s sensed something, and then walks in again and makes a statement how this room feels “baked in.”
Now there is nothing wrong with prayer. It is something definitely talked about and done in Jewish tradition and history as recounted in the Jewish Bible. But the weight and focus of Torah isn’t prayer, but rather action and obedience. Proper behaviour isn’t grown by itself but by the study of God’s Law and the habitual practice of conduct in accordance to its truth.
Because generally there is no real law amongst christians but rather some vague “spiritual” notions, the Law of God having been, in a real and active sense, cast aside as carnal, a schoolmaster whose role had passed away with the coming of Jesus, the law only being for law-breakers and the law being the strength of sin itself, the conduct that many of them strive to emulate is that of something called “a prayer-warrior.” Fasting and prayer win battles for them. They want “the fruits of the spirit.”
Believe me, this is not simply fictional. Imagine going to a church where week after week there is gossip, division and intrigue, where you can sense bad feelings between certain members. And then, one service, one or a few of them get “caught up in the spirit” and “prophesy” about the divisions and gossiping. The remedy proposed? Prayer! That evening or day, they pray and cry. They cry and pray. A few weeks later, you look for a real change in the situation: there is none! Each year, on special occasions, they’ll go through the same ritual. Faces come and go but, for the most, the situation remains the same.
The problem is that what you’ve imagined in very close to the reality in what I’ve lived through and what, I infer, happens in many other places in christendom: the striving for “spiritual” values without any grounding or foundation in the sort of truths taught by the greats of old, Moses, Kings David and Solomon. These truths are encapsulated in words like, “Guard my judgements and statutes, and the man that shall do them shall live in them,” and “the Torah restores life (or the soul)” or “it is a tree of life.” Although prayer is as aspect of the life of a good person, what makes a person good and righteous, and what benefits them isn’t just prayer. No one in the Jewish Bible strove to be a prayer warrior, to build one’s life on fasting and prayer. Prayer is too much talking at times when it is the study and application of God’s Law and teaching that are the “listening” to God’s truths and thus the means to finding life and liberty. Psalm 119 is a testament to that.
So too many christians and christian sects have this wholly unbalanced on this point.
The old christian woman was counselling the younger one who was having marriage difficulties, and in counselling her told her that the real enemy was not the woman’s husband who had been written as treating her badly. The real enemy wasn’t even herself, that same younger woman. [I’m guessing that some of the readers of this article can “divine” who this christian woman claimed the “real” enemy was.] Yes, the “real” enemy was Satan, the devil, the one who seeks to steal, kill and destroy. These had such a supposed effect on this younger woman’s mind that, after praying, she walked into the living room and shouted declarations in the room at her “enemy” (it was an empty room, but, hey, a lot of christian life is supposed to be “spiritual”, right?) and commanded the devil to get out in Jesus’ name. She even continued the monologue through to outside her house, as if the unseen enemy had been successfully cast out and she was giving her parting words of faith and confidence and hatred at the enemy.
I remember and still see how much responsibility the christian devil is given for the bad things that happen in the lives of people and in the community of the church. There were many sermons and testimonies and encouragements and individual discussions about how the devil was taking away the joy of people, how he was sowing seeds of discord and doing everything he could to trip people up. It was taught that when a person got baptised that one of the first “people” to greet them would be the devil who would try to push them off from the “good path.” Why? Because the devil didn’t need to bother with the people of the world, people who were already his, according to their teaching (and that of Jesus and Paul, see John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11 (take careful note that the translation “prince” is from the Greek word archon which actually means “ruler”); 2 Corinthians 4:1-4). No, he wanted to have those who had given their lives to Jesus. I remember in the latter stages of my Christianity seeing that so many accusations were heaped upon the devil, that it seemed like someone or some people had done wrong in the church, they would then proceed to blame Satan, and he was somewhere out in the world, sitting down and having a cup of spiritual coffee, and his invisible ears would prick since someone was accusing and he would sigh in despair at someone else blaming him when he was nowhere in the vicinity of the crime.
And let’s not pretend here: this “devil” was not some symbolic reference to some inner human struggle that was only metaphorical. No, this was a real, invisible being, a powerful fallen spiritual entity that was malevolent towards man and God.
But let’s compare this to the approach of the Jewish Bible. How many times is the Hebrew word for “satan” used in the 5 books of Moses? Only once! And funnily enough, it was when an angel sent by God himself was to oppose Bilaam (Balaam in many English translations). In the Hebrew of Numbers 22:22, it says that an angel of God stationed itself in the way to be a “satan” against Bilaam. That’s the only time a “satan” is mentioned. And it was an angel of God being an opponent, an adversary, someone to withstand Bilaam. Even the word “satan” is a common noun only meaning obstruction, opponent, adversary with no inherent spiritual meaning in and of itself. So a devil or a satan is not given such a heavy responsibility of tripping people up in the Law of Moses. Even in Genesis 3, nobody can point to the text itself and say “hey, look there is Satan” only based on the text. There is only God, a snake, Adam and the woman. That’s it. The text says nothing about some devil.
No, in the written Torah, the books of Moses, responsibility for actions is given only to a person, the person doing the acting, the behaving. No spiritual or invisible foe is given any notice.
The trend continues throughout the Jewish Bible. When the psalmist asks, “how can a young man cleanse his ways before the Lord?” the answer given is not “shout at the devil” or “resist the devil and he will flee from you.” It’s by paying attention to what God is saying in an active way. There is no devil in the Jewish Bible that matches the christian description. There is no ruler of this world other than God himself, which also highlights the idolatrous connotations in the mouth of Jesus and Paul. [Yes, I said it! The new testament depiction of Jesus has idolatrous words coming out of his mouth.] To suggest that some other being is in charge of, or the ruler of this world is to say someone other than God is in charge. To put someone in the place of God is one form of idolatry. Although a “satan” is mentioned that isn’t human (because there were humans that were opponents in the Jewish Bible, but not of the spiritual variety), the amount of times it actually comes up in scripture is a really low percentage, maybe having 4 or 5 mentions in the whole of the Jewish Bible. In Job where “ha-satan” or “the adversary” appears in the first two chapters of Job and is never mentioned again in Job, he is one of the sons of God (most likely angels) who goes about looking about the planet and only brings things up before God and acts on his permission. This is no enemy of God. And there is no evidence that he is some enemy of all mankind. And it is also especially relevant to point out that whenever the bad things happened to Job, not once did he say “oh Satan! Look at what you’ve done!” He never shouted around stating that the devil should leave him like some self-exorcist! He saw both good and evil coming from God himself (Job 2:10).
Now considering all the bad things that happened to Job, compare his approach to that of christians. These are two wholly different approaches. One is to blame evil as coming from some other entity, someone else who rules the world and sends these bad things. The approach of righteous Job is to understand that all things, good and bad, come from God. This is compounded by the words of the prophets and teachers of the Jewish Bible that a person is responsible for their own deeds, and in that light, a person should take responsibility and change their ways, their actions to live a life in accordance with God’s law and principles, the wisdom he has provided.
So this is another way in which christians have departed from God’s bedrock truths.
There were times throughout the movie where either the older christian woman, the younger christian, or even the husband who later reformed his behaviour would be written as to get some gift or see something miraculous or good happen. And when those times occurred, there was a name on their lips, a person to whom they would direct their gratitude. Also it was that same person who they prayed to when they would ask for divine help or guidance. It was Jesus! You’d repeatedly hear prayer, praise and gratitude being directed to Jesus. “Thank you, Jesus!” You’d hear each one say. There is not much more to add to that description of what went on.
This is a place where a deep, wide and impassable chasm exists between christians and the Jewish Bible. And it’s ironic that the Jewish Bible, in one form or another, is stapled onto their “new testament” with the innovative moniker “the old testament.” Yet what is preached and practiced in each era is worlds apart in this very central point.
Let me make this very clear: there is no place in the Jewish Bible where the name “Jesus” is given any worship, praise, prayer or adoration! It was a name that received no divine worship in the Jewish Bible. This is very, very important. In the Jewish Bible, if someone said “thank you, Jesus!” in such a way as to be giving divine worship to that name, it wouldn’t be seen as prophecy! It wouldn’t be seen as someone reaching into the future and telling the Jews, the Israelites, about a new name that God would put upon himself. If someone in the Jewish Bible said “Thank you, Jesus!” in a way to give divine worship or prayed to such a name as if it were to God, that would be classed as idolatry. If a time-misplaced christian were to describe their “god” to a Torah scholar from the Jewish Bible times – namely as God, the Word that became flesh and dwelt amongst us, born as a baby to a virgin, a man who walked around healing and teaching, as a man who ate, drank and slept, as one who was stripped, beaten, crucified and thus killed, and then resurrected to be at the right hand of someone called “God the father” – then the Torah scholar would have little choice but to call this “Jesus” a god whom his fathers never knew (Deuteronomy 13:7 (verse 6 in christian versions); 28:36,64; 32:17). It would have been taught that he should guard himself very carefully about what his fathers saw at Mt Sinai, that his fathers saw no form on that day, that they shouldn’t worship anything that has the form of human as well as the form of anything else (Deuteronomy 4:9-19). If a person came up to him and told him that God had taken up form in a tree that was cut down and then grew again and was then was transformed into a spiritual tree, by Torah standards, he would have to cast aside that notion as idolatry. In the same way if someone told him that God had taken on the form of a man that was killed and raised again and now rules invisibly in the heavens and that name of that man was Jesus, in the same way, by Torah standards, he would have to cast it aside as idolatry.
I’m not going to go into all the reasons that Jesus was not and is not God or god. That would make this article way too long. The main point is that the God of the Torah has no form, he is invisible and can not be killed or die. This God’s name is jealous, his name is not Jesus and he won’t allow his glory to be given any other (Exodus 34:14; Isaiah 42:8). The very fact that Jesus was a man disqualifies him, even if it was in the past, and any divine worship given to him, any prayer directed to him is idolatry, something that is against God’s most fundamental commandments. This is not just so for the Jews, but for every member of humanity.
If there were anything that would cut off christian practices from the root of God’s foundational revelation at Sinai, this would be it!
Just going through this article causes me to question fundamentally the sort of interactions I have with christians. This “war room” movie makes certain of their ways conspicuous. Their unbalanced approach to life, throwing too much weight on prayer to the neglect of actually actively paying attention to the teachings and commandments God has given in his Torah, only means that many issues in personality and behaviour will remain unresolved. Their irresponsibility for their own actions by putting responsibility on a devil only aids in the proliferation of hurt and evil practices rather than set them aside. God’s Law, his wisdom, is a tree of life for any who want to partake of it. And going through this article reinforces for me the fact that each time they pray and give thanks to Jesus, it is no better than saying “Thank you, Zeus” or “I pray to you, oh Horus.” That last point is a very significant one. For all their sincerity – I’m sure even Baal worshippers or Zeus worshippers or Chemosh worshippers were sincere – their devotion to Jesus brings to the fore the fact that there is a way that is right to one person or another, but the latter parts of it, the end of it, is destruction.