Glorious H. Hope! Look what they done to my Savior, Ma….

posted at 12:40 pm on March 27, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

One Toronto church decided that they had enough of divisiveness this Lenten season, and decided to take a stand. No more would incendiary rhetoric be used to inflame the passions of the congregation. No more would the United Church endorse an outdated theology, at least not the West Hill Protestant United Christian Church. Their pastor struck these dreaded words from their Easter hymnal …. Jesus Christ?

That triumphal barnburner of an Easter hymn, Jesus Christ Has Risen Today – Hallelujah, this morning will rock the walls of Toronto’s West Hill United Church as it will in most Christian churches across the country.

But at West Hill on the faith’s holiest day, it will be done with a huge difference. The words “Jesus Christ” will be excised from what the congregation sings and replaced with “Glorious hope.”

Thus, it will be hope that is declared to be resurrected – an expression of renewal of optimism and the human spirit – but not Jesus, contrary to Christianity’s central tenet about the return to life on Easter morning of the crucified divine son of God.

Generally speaking, no divine anybody makes an appearance in West Hill’s Sunday service liturgy.

It’s Easter without God and Jesus Christ! What a breakthrough! Now all we need is a Toronto Argonauts game on the telly, and the West Hill congregation won’t have any reason to attend at all.

The pastor, Rev. Gretta Vosper, has had it with “Big God-ism” and wants to turn the West Hill United Church into a New Age encounter group. Vosper says that the world has outgrown Jesus Christ and the church is finished unless it gives up God, Jesus, and pretty much the entire Bible, except possibly for the Sermon on the Mount. Her new book, With or Without God, makes plain her hostility to the tenets of Christianity over the last two millenia and the need to replace God with Human.

The Anchoress is appalled:

Do you know why these “progressive” Christians want to “progress” right through the tenets of Christianity into the grim world of neither-faith-nor-reason but self-actualizing instinct and “hopeful” feelings? Why they want Jesus with no Christ, God with a small g and all that? Can you take a guess?

If you said “it is the logical culmination of baby-boomer narcissism and that generations’ tireless effort to deconstruct the universe and put itself at the center of all things” then ding, ding, ding! You win the daily double!

It recalls to mind a conversation I had with a friend of mine who was an observant Reform Jew about the group Jews for Jesus. He told me with a laugh that Jews have a name for them — Christians. We Christians have a name for ministers who proclaim the end of God and Jesus in their Christian churches — atheists.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

The exact role of the Jews in prophecy is harder to define, but the idea that God “divorced” the Jews is both harmful and false. In fact, loving the Jews is a basic duty of all Christians, and a failure to do so is a red flag.
Having said that, I’m certainly not accusing you of hating the Jews.
theregoestheneighborhood on March 29, 2008 at 2:58 AM

“There is neither Jew nor Greek,” Gal. 3:28, as far as acceptability or preference is concerned vis a vis the gospel. In light of the apostle’s total disregard of ethnic considerations, what can possibly be left for the Jews other than the invitation that all ethnicities receive – acknowldge Jesus as Lord and enter the kingdom?

Akzed on March 29, 2008 at 5:29 PM

My goodness, the gods of Christianity are fickle ones.

And I will establish My covenant between Me and between you and between your seed after you throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant, to be to you for a God and to your seed after you.
And I will give you and your seed after you the land of your sojournings, the entire land of Canaan for an everlasting possession, and I will be to them for a God.”
And God said to Abraham, “And you shall keep My covenant, you and your seed after you throughout their generations.
This is My covenant, which you shall observe between Me and between you and between your seed after you, that every male among you be circumcised.
And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be as the sign of a covenant between Me and between you.
And at the age of eight days, every male shall be circumcised to you throughout your generations, one that is born in the house, or one that is purchased with money, from any foreigner, who is not of your seed.
Those born in the house and those purchased for money shall be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh as an everlasting covenant.

– Genesis 17:7-13

But despite all this, while they are in the land of their enemies, I will not despise them nor will I reject them to annihilate them, thereby breaking My covenant that is with them, for I am the Lord their God.
I will remember for them the covenant [made with] the ancestors, whom I took out from the land of Egypt before the eyes of the nations, to be a God to them. I am the Lord.

– Leviticus 26:44-45

He remembered His covenant forever, the word He had commanded to the thousandth generation,
Which He had made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac,
And He set it up to Jacob as a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
Saying, “To you I shall give the land of Canaan, the portion of your heritage.”

– Psalm 105:8-11

The strength of His works He related to His people, to give them the inheritance of the nations.
The works of His hands are truth and justice; all His commandments are faithful.
Steadfast forever, made in truth and uprightness.
He sent redemption to His people; He commanded His covenant forever; His name is holy and awesome.

– Psalm 111:6-9

As always, it’s on occasions like this where I actually enjoy quoting one verse from the NT: “The truth will set you free.”. Till then, ironically you’re worshipping a dead man, who himself was a Jewish ignoramous at best but otherwise a crude heretic, if you assume what the NT claims he said is true.

Hey! But it did wonders for the pagan world. Two steps forward.

Shy Guy on March 30, 2008 at 2:47 AM

I can think nof all kinds of nasty names for you too.

Matthew 22:41-46, While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, “What think ye of Christ? whose son is he?” They say unto him, “he son of David.” He saith unto them, “How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, ‘The LORD said unto my Lord, “sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?”‘ [Psalm 110:1 in the Christian Bible.] If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?” And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

Can you, unlike your forebears, explain what David meant?

As far as the covenant you mention, it was fulfilled in Christ and the Church, the New Israel, so that it is still in effect, only now it has been made available to all peoples and tongues rather than to just a few cantankerous tribes.

Prety simple (and obvious) when you think about it.

Akzed on March 30, 2008 at 8:49 AM

I can think nof all kinds of nasty names for you too.

Yes, but the moment your claims don’t stand up to the facts of what the Torah actually says, what good are your quotes from the cult you were born into?

And I suggest you go back through this thread and see who started disparaging which other religion.

Can you, unlike your forebears, explain what David meant?

You mean Psalm 110:1? You make me laugh. See here and again the very simple fact that historically the idea of a divine physical being was an abomination to any observant Jew, from the time of Adam, to Noah and his son Shem, through the Patriarchs, through the times of Moses, Aaron, Sinai, the prophets and judges. The concept is elementary abominable to any Jew, certainly so to King David.

You guys weren’t even good copycats.

What Matthew 22 says is the same as in Mark 12:35-37, earlier. Go up a little to verses 32-34. No Trinity and in 34, Jesus himself seems satisfied with that opinion.

Your books are oh so messed up!

As far as the covenant you mention, it was fulfilled in Christ and the Church, the New Israel, so that it is still in effect, only now it has been made available to all peoples and tongues rather than to just a few cantankerous tribes.

Prety simple (and obvious) when you think about it.

Still waiting for you all to keep kosher, put on Tzizit and Tefilin every day, keep Shabbat properly and on Saturday and let’s not forget that circumcision. Snip snip.

And so you remain unfree. For you twist the truth to suit your false beliefs. Indeed, your entire religion is based on such. Verses that are clear as water are muddied by your interpretations which no Jew or non-Jew had ever heard of prior to the time Christianity was brewed up.

What a treacherous image of the creator of the universe you conjure up.

Shy Guy on March 30, 2008 at 9:18 AM

Rom 11:1-18 adresses your argument quite clearly.

Romans 11

1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:
10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.
11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?
13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.
24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery,
lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

Note:
1) God hath not cast away his people
2) There is a remnant of grace, not of works
3) They stumbled in part to allow the Gentiles to come in
4) If their stumbling helped the Gentiles, their reconciliation will be even better
5) We were grafted into their tree
6) God is able to graft the natural branches back into their own tree
7) There will be a reconciliation of Israel one day, which will bring all Israel back to God

Finally, notice I am not making arguments based on verses of scripture. I am simply restating here what the scripture actually says.

Given all this, what is this tripe about God “divorcing” the Jews? And how can all of Revelations, which refers to the Jews being reconciled, be already fulfilled when the Jews have not already been reconciled?

theregoestheneighborhood on March 30, 2008 at 9:26 AM

Why in the world do you think anyone who knows what the Torah has always stated and taught would listen to a huckster like Paul?

Oh! He’s talking to whom exactly? Oh, the Pagans. No wonder this washed down with some of the listeners.

Prior to Paul coming around selling his snake oil to the ignorant masses, no one throughout history had conjured up any such teachings eminating from Judaism.

So you want me to take the word of some guy with zero credibility? No dice. What quote is it that everyone attributes PT Barnum as saying? I’m sure you know.

While we’re here, let’s take that last verse above:

26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.

Funny. That’s not what it says in Isaiah 59:20, from where the author of Romans ripped this off from. The original verse states:

“And a redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression, says the L-rd.”

Isaiah didn’t teach that the Messiah’s purpose is to remove sin. Rather, Isaiah said that the Messiah will come to the Jewish people when they show themselves worthy by turning away from sin.

Oopsee. Another essential Christian concept, magic sin removal, down the drain, once again due to sloppy plagiarism and a lack of essential Hebrew language comprehension skills.

Once again, “The truth will set you free”.

Shy Guy on March 30, 2008 at 9:57 AM

Isaiah didn’t teach that the Messiah’s purpose is to remove sin. Rather, Isaiah said that the Messiah will come to the Jewish people when they show themselves worthy by turning away from sin.

Oopsee. Another essential Christian concept, magic sin removal, down the drain, once again due to sloppy plagiarism and a lack of essential Hebrew language comprehension skills.

Once again, “The truth will set you free”.

Shy Guy on March 30, 2008 at 9:57 AM

Isaiah never taught that the Messiah had anything to do with saving people from their sins? Hmmm.

Isa 53:4-10

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

Let’s see. He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities. The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all. For the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was made an offering for sin.

Note the use of the word “bruised” echoes the first Messianic promise of the Bible, Gen 3:15, where the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent, and the serpent would bruise the heel of the seed of the woman.

And is it now your position that the “magic sin removal” of the sacrifices of Leviticus is worthy of ridicule, also? It’s the same principle, just with animal sacrifices rather than the sacrifice of a Messiah.

In fact, the whole scheme of sacrifices in the Torah shows pretty clearly that no one would ever be completely without sin while trying to keep the law. Otherwise, there would be no need for a sacrifice.

The key difference in the Christian faith is the belief that Jesus was that sacrifice. Which is why he said he came not to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfill. He fulfilled the law by fulfilling the sacrifices, as well as fulfilling the prophets in the more obvious way.

And really, applying the term “plagiarism” to what is an obvious reference to Isaiah is pretty silly. Or did you miss that, “as it is written” part?

theregoestheneighborhood on March 30, 2008 at 12:59 PM

then, ironically you’re worshipping a dead man, who himself was a Jewish ignoramous at best but otherwise a crude heretic, if you assume what the NT claims he said is true.

Hey! But it did wonders for the pagan world. Two steps forward.

Shy Guy on March 30, 2008 at 2:47 AM

Two steps forward? Why would a crude heretic Jewish ignoramous be an improvement? West Hill makes the same logical error.

A heretical Jewish ignoramous would not be a step up and any Sermon on the Mount from a heretical Jewish ignoramous would be suspect. Otherwise, we can probably find some useful passages from Hitler too, if we ignore the bad parts of Mein Kampf. Discredited frauds are not good resources for moral systems.

Then again, I worship this heretical Jewish ignoramous, so I accept both the Sermon on the Mount, and His famous crackpot declarations that He is the Bread of Life.

entagor on March 30, 2008 at 1:10 PM

Same mistake over and over again. And Isaiah 53 is the biggest classic Christian distortion of them all.

Circular reasoning, ignoring context, blind to prior examples of the same language usage, pure unbridled mistranslation (intentional and unintentional)………

Paul put it very well: “But god hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and god hath chosenthe weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world and things which are despised, hath god chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are.”

We have here a candid statement of what the first converts were. As the Jerusalem Bible explains the verses:

“Take yourselves for instance, brothers, at the time when you were called: how many of you were wise in the ordinary sense of the word, how many were influential people, or came from noble families? No, it was to shame the wise that god chose what is foolish by human reckoning; those whom the world thinks common and contemptible are the ones that god has chosen.”

Let’s see. He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities.

Unfortunately it says:

“”But he was wounded from (not “for”) our transgressions, he was crushed from (AGAIN: not “for”) our iniquities.”

Let’s move on….

Note the use of the word “bruised” echoes the first Messianic promise of the Bible, Gen 3:15, where the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent, and the serpent would bruise the heel of the seed of the woman.

Here’s Isaiah 53:5 in the original Hebrew:

וְהוּא מְחֹלָל מִפְּשָׁעֵנוּ, מְדֻכָּא מֵעֲו‍ֹנֹתֵינוּ; מוּסַר שְׁלוֹמֵנוּ עָלָיו, וּבַחֲבֻרָתוֹ נִרְפָּא-לָנוּ.

Here’s the same for Genesis 3:15:

וְאֵיבָה אָשִׁית, בֵּינְךָ וּבֵין הָאִשָּׁה, וּבֵין זַרְעֲךָ, וּבֵין זַרְעָהּ: הוּא יְשׁוּפְךָ רֹאשׁ, וְאַתָּה תְּשׁוּפֶנּוּ עָקֵב.

What word are you referring to? There are none of relevance with the same root.

BTW, who told you that Genesis 3:15 relates to Messianic times? Oh. Some Christian theoligian.

The curse became reality right then and there.

Ask yourself what you’ve been swallowing blindly a good part of your life.

And is it now your position that the “magic sin removal” of the sacrifices of Leviticus is worthy of ridicule, also? It’s the same principle, just with animal sacrifices rather than the sacrifice of a Messiah.

I think you might be surprised to learn that you don’t have an inkling of understanding of what the sacrifices (lousy word for it, go learn Hebrew to understand why) were all about. See One Way Street to Salvation?.

You’ve had it all wrong all these years. And no one ever told you. Imagine that!

And really, applying the term “plagiarism” to what is an obvious reference to Isaiah is pretty silly. Or did you miss that, “as it is written” part?

You’re right in this instance. My oversight. Sorry. But does that make you feel any happier about the shoddy incorrect translation? For, after all, it turns out that it in NOT “as it is written.”

Shy Guy on March 30, 2008 at 1:39 PM

Amazing…but it reminds me of the ‘women’s circle’ that I’m ashamed that I was part of until, DUH, I figured out that these women were just men-haters, enraged narcissists and knee-jerk ‘victims’.
The Anchoress nails it:…”the tale of the “progressive” “Christian” church that does not want to talk about Christ, salvation, resurrection – you know, any of that stuff that requires faith in something other than ourselves”…especially a Patriarchal! God.
The picture posted shows how many in the congregation? I would love to see a picture of this idiot woman, Gretta Vosper.

Christine on March 30, 2008 at 1:49 PM

http://theoblog.ca/serendipity/ will give you look at her…and strangely enough she looks a lot like the ‘head’ of that womens’ circle I mentioned above. Prettier tho.

Her book: “With Or Without God: Why The Way We Live Is More Important Than What We Believe.” Uh, Gretta, the way we live has everything to do with what we believe.
I’m not a church-going Christian but believe that Christ’s teachings are important beliefs to live by. What in heaven’s name is this woman doing in any Christian church with these knuckle-headed ideas? I don’t get it.

Christine on March 30, 2008 at 2:08 PM

Two steps forward? Why would a crude heretic Jewish ignoramous be an improvement? West Hill makes the same logical error.

Recognition of the true Creator, the 10 Commandments, the concept of the Day of Rest, the concept of Messiah and an historic day to come when true peace will reign on earth, “love thy neighbor as thyself”.

Has there been no improvement? Have these ideals, every one of them of Torah origin, and conveyed by usurpers as their own, not brought to the world the knowledge and the existance of such Divine concepts for all mankind?

And imagine. All that from an ignorant errant Jew. But there ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby!

There’s only so much time in a day and I’ll have to stop now, I’m sure to the delight of some of you.

Go learn Hebrew. Then go learn the Torah as Jews have learned it since Sinai. Then go and read the NT all over again. Things will never be the same ………… because……..

“The truth will set you free!”

Hosannah the Highest. And I laugh again. Try to find out why.

Shy Guy on March 30, 2008 at 2:15 PM

Same mistake over and over again. And Isaiah 53 is the biggest classic Christian distortion of them all.

Or the biggest classic case of Jews ignoring their own scriptures of all.

Circular reasoning, ignoring context, blind to prior examples of the same language usage, pure unbridled mistranslation (intentional and unintentional)………

By “circular reasoning,” you mean anyone who reads that prophecy and sees it as referring to Jesus. This is not the typical meaning of “circular reasoning,” to say the very least. In fact, that interpretation of “circular reasoning” could be applied to essentially any prophecy ever made. Do you really want to negate the “prophets” part of “the law and the prophets?”

Read it again, and see if it doesn’t apply more clearly to Jesus himself than to the entire people of Israel. Israel is the sacrifice for Israel’s own sins? That wouldn’t be sacrifice, that would be punishment.

The essential reason you don’t believe Isaiah 53 refers to Jesus is because you don’t believe in Jesus. There. I found your circular reasoning.

Let’s see. He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities.

Unfortunately it says:

“”But he was wounded from (not “for”) our transgressions, he was crushed from (AGAIN: not “for”) our iniquities.”

Let’s move on….

Yes, please do. Unless you want to argue that all the translators of the King James Bible were ignoramuses as well.

Or were you saving that for your next post?

BTW, who told you that Genesis 3:15 relates to Messianic times? Oh. Some Christian theoligian.

That’s an odd statement. If it does not refer to the Messiah as the seed of the woman, then what does it refer to? Is God saying the human race as a whole will crush the head of Satan?

Sorry. No sale.

Ask yourself what you’ve been swallowing blindly a good part of your life.

Ad hominem.

And is it now your position that the “magic sin removal” of the sacrifices of Leviticus is worthy of ridicule, also? It’s the same principle, just with animal sacrifices rather than the sacrifice of a Messiah.

I think you might be surprised to learn that you don’t have an inkling of understanding of what the sacrifices (lousy word for it, go learn Hebrew to understand why) were all about. See One Way Street to Salvation?.

Well, I love your response: “Learn Hebrew, and then come talk to me.” That would certainly put an end to this particular thread.

Topped off, of course, with, “You don’t have an inkling of understanding.”

And really, applying the term “plagiarism” to what is an obvious reference to Isaiah is pretty silly. Or did you miss that, “as it is written” part?

You’re right in this instance. My oversight. Sorry. But does that make you feel any happier about the shoddy incorrect translation? For, after all, it turns out that it in NOT “as it is written.”

Shy Guy on March 30, 2008 at 1:39 PM

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic, the New Testament in Greek. So a New Testament quotation of an Old Testament scripture is rarely the exact wording, since it was translated from Hebrew to Greek, and then again from Greek to Hebrew, while the Old Testament was translated directly.

This particular case isn’t as convincing as you might think, though, since the passage in Isaiah refers to them that “turn from transgression,” as in repentance, rather than those who have purged themselves from transgression, as in those who have made themselves worthy of the Messiah.

Repentance is the first step of God taking away our sins. If anything, it appears Paul was closer to the meaning of the verse than you are.

theregoestheneighborhood on March 30, 2008 at 2:51 PM

Last for the night.

Or the biggest classic case of Jews ignoring their own scriptures of all.

Our Hebrew has been quite well over the millenia. And yours? As I’ve shown you and will continue to, we don’t keep making the same sloppy mistakes as you folks do.

By “circular reasoning,” you mean anyone who reads that prophecy and sees it as referring to Jesus.

It’s the year -1 BC. No one ever heard of a Jesus. No observant Jew ever heard of most Christian originated concepts except in the sphere of being easily defined as idol worship.

Go ack a few 100 years. Isaiah’s alive and well and telling the nation of Israel what’s been written down for eternity in this chapter. No one, from Isaiah himself, to other existing Jewish prophets then and later, to Jewish scholars then and onwards, to the people who studied the Torah and the words of the prophets, had no concept of what you here today are talking about.

As I said, your gods must be very cruel to have left out such supposedly pertinent information from our teachings and retributions at Isaiah’s times.

This is not the typical meaning of “circular reasoning,” to say the very least

I’ll quote:

Before engaging in an examination of Isaiah 53 itself, some preliminary issues must be considered. First is the issue of circular reasoning. Even if we interpret the chapter as the Christians do (forgetting for a minute the mistranslations and distortions of context which will be noted below), the most that could be said is this: Isaiah 53 is about someone who dies for the sins of others. People may have seen Jesus die, but did anyone see him die as an atonement for the sins of others? Of course not; this is simply the meaning which the New Testament gives to his death. Only if you already accept the New Testament teaching that his death had a non-visible, spiritual significance can you than go back to Isaiah and say, “see – the Prophet predicted what I already believe.” Isaiah 53, then, is in reality no “proof” at all, but rather a contrived confirmation for someone who has already chosen Christianity.

What’s so hard to understand? This?

In fact, that interpretation of “circular reasoning” could be applied to essentially any prophecy ever made. Do you really want to negate the “prophets” part of “the law and the prophets?”

On the contrary. The essential law of prophets is in Deteronomy 18:20. Jesus fails the test. We’re still waiting for Isaiah’s prophecy to come true.

Time for an interlude: Why don’t Jews believe in Jesus. Let me count the ways!

Onward Christian soldier:

Read it again, and see if it doesn’t apply more clearly to Jesus himself than to the entire people of Israel. Israel is the sacrifice for Israel’s own sins? That wouldn’t be sacrifice, that would be punishment.

The link I just posted is also the reason why Isaiah himself would never have had a thought about an idolotrous belief of an in-the-flesh god.

But once again, instead of starting to read from Isaiah 53, try going back to Isaiah 52. Context. And again, my prior link about Isaiah 53, pointing out the numerous Christian mistranslations and oversights out of deparation to claim what the text itself simply does not say.

Yes, please do. Unless you want to argue that all the translators of the King James Bible were ignoramuses as well.

If the shoe fits. But many mistranslations occurred way way before anyone spoke the English language.

Or were you saving that for your next post?

Why wait?!

That’s an odd statement. If it does not refer to the Messiah as the seed of the woman, then what does it refer to? Is God saying the human race as a whole will crush the head of Satan?

Well, let’s get back to context, shall we? Genesis 3:

13. And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent enticed me, and I ate.”
14. And the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed be you more than all the cattle and more than all the beasts of the field; you shall walk on your belly, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.

15. And I shall place hatred between you and between the woman, and between your seed and between her seed. He will crush your head, and you will bite his heel.”

While it is obvious that we are literally talking about snakes, the allegory here is easily about the battle of each person’s good inclination versus his evil inclination. And in fact, that is the major lesson from Adam and Eve in the first place.

If you insist on seeing only a messianic time satan here, well then, OK, suit yourself. BTW, Judaism teaches that an individual’s evil inclination and the historical “Sattan” are actually one and the same.

Well, I love your response: “Learn Hebrew, and then come talk to me.” That would certainly put an end to this particular thread.

I’ve pointed out roughly half a dozen mistranslations so far, all well know and obvious to anyone with a semi-decent knowledge of even modern Hebrew. And all this from just a few of the verses quoted.

But I can guarantee you that if you could magically know Hebrew fluently in one hour’s time, you’d reconsider beofre posting many a verse you assumed until now meant something that they do not say.


Topped off, of course, with, “You don’t have an inkling of understanding.”

Christianity’s claims of what sacrifices are about were never in line with what the Torah’s reason for them was in the first place. And hence the whole argument about blood sacrifices falls flat on its face. Let alone when there were flour meal offerings, too.

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic, the New Testament in Greek. So a New Testament quotation of an Old Testament scripture is rarely the exact wording, since it was translated from Hebrew to Greek, and then again from Greek to Hebrew, while the Old Testament was translated directly.

One would think that G-d would have been smart enough a second time around to employ those intelligent enough to get His holy scriptures right. We Jews don’t have this problem with the Torah, Prophets and Scriptures. You folks do. Doesn’t that lack of reliability tell you something?

This particular case isn’t as convincing as you might think, though, since the passage in Isaiah refers to them that “turn from transgression,” as in repentance, rather than those who have purged themselves from transgression, as in those who have made themselves worthy of the Messiah.

Which passage in Isaiah 53 refers to “turning” or “purging” from transgression? It doesn’t say that in verse 5.

Repentance is the first step of God taking away our sins.

A Torah concept from time immemorial.

If anything, it appears Paul was closer to the meaning of the verse than you are.

He changed “from” to “for” twice in the same verse, totally altering its original intent. And of course you’re OK with that. Obviously ends justify means.

Shy Guy on March 30, 2008 at 4:12 PM

Last for the night.

Or the biggest classic case of Jews ignoring their own scriptures of all.

Our Hebrew has been quite well over the millenia. And yours? As I’ve shown you and will continue to, we don’t keep making the same sloppy mistakes as you folks do.

Multiple non sequiturs. I spoke of scriptures, not of Hebrew itself. Which makes your question about my Hebrew a double non-sequitur. Finally, “sloppy mistakes” should refer to more than just disagreeing with the translation.

By “circular reasoning,” you mean anyone who reads that prophecy and sees it as referring to Jesus.

It’s the year -1 BC. No one ever heard of a Jesus.

If they had heard of Jesus, it wouldn’t be a prophecy. Even though a Messiah was promised throughout the Old Testament, you won’t find where the Messiah was given a name. In fact, there are a lot of details unmentioned. You can find references to him being of the seed of David, but nothing about which generation.

No observant Jew ever heard of most Christian originated concepts except in the sphere of being easily defined as idol worship.

I must have missed the graven images somehow…

Go ack a few 100 years. Isaiah’s alive and well and telling the nation of Israel what’s been written down for eternity in this chapter. No one, from Isaiah himself, to other existing Jewish prophets then and later, to Jewish scholars then and onwards, to the people who studied the Torah and the words of the prophets, had no concept of what you here today are talking about.

As I said, your gods must be very cruel to have left out such supposedly pertinent information from our teachings and retributions at Isaiah’s times.

Since it was future, it would have been very hard for the people of Isaiah’s day to “have a concept.” Again, prophecy does not imply complete knowledge.

This is not the typical meaning of “circular reasoning,” to say the very least

I’ll quote:

Before engaging in an examination of Isaiah 53 itself, some preliminary issues must be considered. First is the issue of circular reasoning. Even if we interpret the chapter as the Christians do (forgetting for a minute the mistranslations and distortions of context which will be noted below), the most that could be said is this: Isaiah 53 is about someone who dies for the sins of others. People may have seen Jesus die, but did anyone see him die as an atonement for the sins of others? Of course not; this is simply the meaning which the New Testament gives to his death. Only if you already accept the New Testament teaching that his death had a non-visible, spiritual significance can you than go back to Isaiah and say, “see – the Prophet predicted what I already believe.” Isaiah 53, then, is in reality no “proof” at all, but rather a contrived confirmation for someone who has already chosen Christianity.

What’s so hard to understand? This?

And if you reject Jesus as the Messiah, you have to try to interpret Isaiah 53 as referring to … Israel itself. Your reasoning is every bit as circular, by your definition, as mine.

But that’s because you take something that is obviously open to at least some interpretation, like a prophecy, and apply the rules of “proof” to it. It can only be proof if there is no other reasonable interpretation.

Now, I don’t think the interpretation of Isaiah 53 as referring to Israel itself is reasonable. For example, “he” was wounded for “our” transgressions. Except “he” is the whole people of Israel, and they were wounded for the transgressions of … the whole people of Israel. And He (the whole people of Israel) was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he (my people?) stricken. There’s a constant shifting from “he” as “my servant” to “our” and “my people,” which just doesn’t make much sense if “my servant” IS “my people.”

In fact, that interpretation of “circular reasoning” could be applied to essentially any prophecy ever made. Do you really want to negate the “prophets” part of “the law and the prophets?”

On the contrary. The essential law of prophets is in Deteronomy 18:20. Jesus fails the test. We’re still waiting for Isaiah’s prophecy to come true.

To fail that test, Jesus would have to have prophesied something would happen that didn’t. Obviously, that excludes things that were prophesied to happen in the “end times” or “at the last day,” since we haven’t reached that point yet.

The link I just posted is also the reason why Isaiah himself would never have had a thought about an idolotrous belief of an in-the-flesh god.

But once again, instead of starting to read from Isaiah 53, try going back to Isaiah 52. Context. And again, my prior link about Isaiah 53, pointing out the numerous Christian mistranslations and oversights out of deparation to claim what the text itself simply does not say.

That would be where we read,

Isaiah 52:13-15

13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

Which, again, has a remarkable application to Jesus… But I’m sure it can all be put down to mistranslation again.

Yes, please do. Unless you want to argue that all the translators of the King James Bible were ignoramuses as well.

If the shoe fits. But many mistranslations occurred way way before anyone spoke the English language.

Or were you saving that for your next post?

Why wait?!

I’ve pointed out roughly half a dozen mistranslations so far, all well know and obvious to anyone with a semi-decent knowledge of even modern Hebrew. And all this from just a few of the verses quoted.

But I can guarantee you that if you could magically know Hebrew fluently in one hour’s time, you’d reconsider beofre posting many a verse you assumed until now meant something that they do not say.

Half a dozen mistranslations, all well-known and obvious to anyone with a semi-decent knowledge of even modern Hebrew. But I’m supposed to believe that even those acknowledged experts in Hebrew and Greek that translated the King James Bible, long recognized as a great work of scholarship, just couldn’t translate anything right.

But I get a taste of these alleged mistranslations when you claim “for” is an obviously wrong translation in Isaiah 53:5. Here is the Merriam Webster definition of “for”:

1 a—used as a function word to indicate purpose
b—used as a function word to indicate an intended goal
c—used as a function word to indicate the object or recipient of a perception, desire, or activity
2 a: as being or constituting
b—used as a function word to indicate an actual or implied enumeration or selection
3: because of
4—used as a function word to indicate suitability or fitness
5 a: in place of
b (1): on behalf of : representing (2): in favor of
6: in spite of —usually used with all
7: with respect to : concerning

8 a—used as a function word to indicate equivalence in exchange , equality in number or quantity , or correspondence or correlation
b—used as a function word to indicate number of attempts
9—used as a function word to indicate duration of time or extent of space
10: in honor of : after

But you would say that none of the above meanings can be anything other than an obvious mistranslation. I’m not buyin it. People who actually translate things know that sometimes there’s more than one way to translate the same thing, and that often it is only the context that determines the best translation. This is notoriously true of translating prepositions, which vary widely in meaning from one language to another. Such as for and from.

Topped off, of course, with, “You don’t have an inkling of understanding.”

Christianity’s claims of what sacrifices are about were never in line with what the Torah’s reason for them was in the first place. And hence the whole argument about blood sacrifices falls flat on its face. Let alone when there were flour meal offerings, too.

First sacrifice recorded in the Bible was Abel’s and Cain’s, long before the Torah was given. Abel’s was accepted, Cain’s was rejected. Abel’s was a blood sacrifice, Cain’s was not. Cain was told to redo his sacrifice, and it would be accepted. Instead, he killed Abel. This strongly suggests that a) not every sacrifice is acceptable to God, b) Cain and Abel both knew the kind of sacrifice they should give, c) Cain refused, and d) if Cain and Abel knew the kind of sacrifice to give, it was probably taught them by Adam and Eve. Unless it was taught by God himself.

Noah offered burnt sacrifices of clean animals after the Flood.

Abraham offered sacrifices, a heifer, a goat, a ram, a turtledove, and a pigeon, before getting the promise of an heir — Isaac.

Abraham being called to offer up Isaac was not only a blood sacrifice, but also a pretty good picture of the sacrifice of Jesus.

Sacrifice existed before the Torah was given. The law then gave extensive directions on how the sacrifices were to be done, and where.

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic, the New Testament in Greek. So a New Testament quotation of an Old Testament scripture is rarely the exact wording, since it was translated from Hebrew to Greek, and then again from Greek to Hebrew, while the Old Testament was translated directly.

One would think that G-d would have been smart enough a second time around to employ those intelligent enough to get His holy scriptures right. We Jews don’t have this problem with the Torah, Prophets and Scriptures. You folks do. Doesn’t that lack of reliability tell you something?

Right. When you translate from Hebrew into Greek, then translate that Greek into English, it comes out exactly the same.

Except that a) you don’t do that sort of translation (why would you, outside of the context of translating scriptures in Greek that contain translations from Hebrew?) and b) if the two-step translation came out exactly the same as a direct translation from Hebrew, it would actually prove that you didn’t translate the Greek at all, you just replaced it with the original Hebrew.

This particular case isn’t as convincing as you might think, though, since the passage in Isaiah refers to them that “turn from transgression,” as in repentance, rather than those who have purged themselves from transgression, as in those who have made themselves worthy of the Messiah.

Which passage in Isaiah 53 refers to “turning” or “purging” from transgression? It doesn’t say that in verse 5.

Repentance is the first step of God taking away our sins.

A Torah concept from time immemorial.

That was in reference to what you said about Isaiah 59:20. I should have made the different context clearer.

Shy Guy on March 30, 2008 at 4:12 PM

But I’ll agree with you on this point: Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. It’s that knowing the truth that’s the tricky part.

theregoestheneighborhood on March 30, 2008 at 6:57 PM

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