By Richard Allen Greene, CNN
(CNN) - The relationship between Jews and Jesus has traditionally been a complicated one, to say the least.
As his followers' message swept the ancient world, Jews who did not accept Jesus as the Messiah found themselves in the uncomfortable, and sometimes dangerous, position of being blamed for his death.
Mainstream Christian theology's position held that Judaism had been supplanted, the Jewish covenant with the divine no longer valid, because of the incarnation of God as Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross.
Jews, for their part, tended largely to ignore Jesus.
That's changing now.
In the past year, a spate of Jewish authors, from the popular to the rabbinic to the scholarly, have wrestled with what Jews should think about Jesus.
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And overwhelmingly, they are coming up with positive answers, urging their fellow Jews to learn about Jesus, understand him and claim him as one of their own.
"Jesus is a Jew. He spent his life talking to other Jews," said Amy-Jill Levine, co-editor of the recently released "Jewish Annotated New Testament."
"In reading the New Testament, I am often inspired, I am intrigued. I actually find myself becoming a better Jew because I become better informed about my own history," she said.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a media personality who recently launched a bid for a U.S. House seat, argues in his own new book, "Kosher Jesus," that "Jews have much to learn from Jesus - and from Christianity as a whole - without accepting Jesus' divinity. There are many reasons for accepting Jesus as a man of great wisdom, beautiful ethical teachings, and profound Jewish patriotism."
And Benyamin Cohen, an Orthodox Jew who spent a recent year going to church, admitted that he's jealous that Christians have Jesus.
"He's a tangible icon that everybody can latch on to. Judaism doesn't have a superhero like that," said Cohen, the author of the 2009 book "My Jesus Year."
"I'm not advocating for Moses dolls," he said, but he argued that "it's hard to believe in a God you can't see. I'm jealous of Christians in that regard, that they have this physical manifestation of the divine that they can pray to.
"There could be more devout Jews than me who don't need that, but to a young Jew living in the 21st century, I wish we had something more tangible," he said.
The flurry of recent Jewish books on Jesus - including this month's publication of "The Jewish Gospels: The Story of the Jewish Christ" by Daniel Boyarin - is part of a trend of Jews taking pride in Jesus, interfaith expert Edward Kessler said.
"In the 1970s and 1980s, Christian New Testament scholars rediscovered the Jewish Jesus. They reminded all New Testament students that Jesus was Jewish," said Kessler, the director of the Woolf Institute in Cambridge, England, which focuses on relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims.
A generation later, that scholarship has percolated into Jewish thought, he said, welcoming the trend: "It's not a threat to Jews and it's not a threat to Christians."
For Jews in particular, he said, "It's not so threatening as it was even 30 years ago. There is almost a pride that Jesus was a Jew rather than an embarrassment about it."
Boteach agrees, writing in "Kosher Jesus" that "Jews will gain much from re-embracing him as a hero."
"The truth is important," Boteach writes. "A patriot of our people has been lost. Worse still, he's been painted as the father of a long and murderous tradition of anti-Semitism."
Boteach aims to claim, or reclaim, Jesus as a political rebel against Rome and to exonerate the Jews of his death. But Boteach's book has attracted plenty of criticism, for instance for blaming the Apostle Paul for everything he doesn't like about Christianity, such as hailing Jesus as divine and cutting his ties to Judaism.
"Paul never met Jesus, and Jesus certainly never would have sanctioned Paul's actions and embellishments," Boteach argues about the apostle who wrote much of the New Testament. "Jesus ... would have been appalled at how his followers would later define him."
"Jews will never accept his divinity. Nor should they," Boteach writes, in one of many instances of presuming to know what Jesus really thought and meant. "The belief that any man is God is an abomination to Judaism, a position that Jesus himself would maintain."
He cherry-picks the Gospels to to suit his arguments, writes in casual modern idioms (calling Pontius Pilate a "sadistic mass murderer" and comparing him to Hitler), and gets wrong the most basic details of the Passion story, such as the amount of money Judas took to betray Jesus.
Other experts in the field label Boteach's book "sensationalistic," and call him a "popularizer," but Kessler sees "Kosher Jesus" as part of the trend of Judaizing Jesus. Cohen, the "My Jesus Year" author, offered some support for Boteach even as he expressed doubts about the book.
"I understand what Shmuley is trying to get at there," he said, but added: "I don't think anyone has the right to say 'This is the definition of Jesus,' especially a rabbi. He's not ours to claim."
Levine, who teaches New Testament and Jewish studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, also framed Jewish efforts to study Jesus in terms of mutual respect.
"Speaking personally as a Jew, if I want my neighbors to respect Judaism, which means knowing something about Jewish history, scripture and tradition, I owe my Christian neighbors the same courtesy. It's a matter of respect," she said.
She urged Jews to "become familiar with the material and make up their own mind as to how they understand Jesus."
Ironically, she added, Jews can understand their own history more thoroughly through studying the life of Jesus.
"The best source on the period for Jewish history other than (the first-century historian) Josephus is the New Testament," she said.
"It's one of those ironies of history that the only Pharisee writing in the Second Temple period from whom we have records is Paul of Tarsus," she said. " 'The Jewish Annotated New Testament' is designed in part to help Jews recover their own history."
But she also wants Christians to use it to understand Judaism more deeply, she said. While many Christian leaders acknowledge that Jesus was a Jew, she said, not many know much about what that means.
"Many Christian ministers and educators have no training in what early Judaism was like," she said. "Not to take seriously first-century Judaism seems to dismiss part of the message of the New Testament."
Cohen, the "My Jesus Year" author, found that Christians were very interested in Judaism during the 52 weeks he spent going from church to church.
"Many Christians look on Judaism as version 1.0 of their own religion. Because of that historical relationship, they're interested in a lot of the theology of Judaism," he said.
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For his part, Cohen learned much that surprised him. "I was shocked when I went to church and heard them give sermons about the Old Testament," he said. "I had no idea Christians read the Old Testament."
"One week, I went to church and the pastor gave exactly the same sermon my rabbi did the night before about Moses and the burning bush, and the pastor did it much better," he continued.
Cohen came away from his Jesus year with a clear understanding of what he believes.
"People ask me all the time if I believe in Jesus. Do I believe he exists? Sure. Do I believe he's your God? Sure, I have no problem with that," he said he tells Christians who ask.
"I understand Christians' love for Jesus and I respect that," he said. "If anything, I learned a lot from them and did become a more engaged Jew, a better Jew, and I appreciate my Judaism more because I hung out with Jesus."
Jesus Christ is God. He is not a Jew. He said we should not love the things of the world or our body. He wants us to go the narrow way and give up our finite existence for an infinite existence and freedom.
Jesus Christ is not God he is the son of God and yes he was a Jew . Accept that fact that Christianity has always had ties to Judaism and will always be .The better i understand the teachings
of Judaism the better i understand my own religion.
For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. (John 5:16-18)
Thomas answered and said to [Jesus], “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28)
So Thomas was a pagan? worshiping a man as God?
viva atheism!!!!!!!!!!!!!....i read the article, did some research of the people involved and have come this conclusion....religious people are prime candidates for a royal screwing...their lives revolve around nonsense...shame on all of them for proscribing to this garbage..............
Now we need to REDEFINE JESUS AS BLACK!
Ummm. there is no evidence that Jesus played basketball or did rap.
Informing yourself about Jesus does not means you are of Jesus. Believing that Jesus is Lord knowing he came out of God and following the 10 commandments is the only way to heaven
Considering most Christians can barely get through Church without killing themselves, I can't imagine Heaven will be very fun. You ever think of that one?
Christian heaven probably sounds like the worst place ever. No se.x, no fun, you have to worship a guy all day, every day for all of eternity. Did I mention there aren't any drugs either? Sounds like going into slavery and I have to be really stoked about it.
But wait a minute..ever look up at the billions of stars in the sky? I don't think god is wasteful in the universe and besides this planet is crammed with life..I imagine out of all those millions upon millions of galaxies, and billions of planets that life repeats itself..I don't have any proof about that universe but neither do you have about heaven..but hey the beauty is we are free to believe whatever without judgement if course..:)
Why only ten commandments? There are over 600 in the OT – not just ten. You've read the bible, haven't you?
The author doesn't care who buys, she is promoting to either or. As long as she sells the book. All of our anwsers for life's questions are in our "manual of life, The Bible." It's free. No one profits except you.
(Proverbs 2:1-5) 2 My son, if you will receive my sayings and treasure up my own commandments with yourself, 2 so as to pay attention to wisdom with your ear, that you may incline your heart to discernment; 3 if, moreover, you call out for understanding itself and you give forth your voice for discernment itself, 4 if you keep seeking for it as for silver, and as for hid treasures you keep searching for it, 5 in that case you will understand the fear of Jehovah, and you will find the very knowledge of God. . .
(Matthew 10:7, 8) . . .’ 8 Cure sick people, raise up dead persons, make lepers clean, expel demons. YOU received free, give free.
God's Word is free for those seeking him; (James 4:7, 8) Draw close to God, and he will draw close to YOU. Cleanse YOUR hands, YOU sinners, and purify YOUR hearts, YOU indecisive ones. . .
If you can convince the publishers of the Bible, and the book store owners of the Bible, and the churches in which the leaders who use the Bible to tell stories to their congregation that the Bible should (as every piece of knowledge is/ought to) BE "free"....(i.e. cost nothing financially).....Well.....I've got some "ocean front property in Arizona....from my front porch, you can see the sea....and if you believe that....I'll throw the Golden Gate in as well...." All my best to you, Chris.....I know you have great intentions in quoting the scripture......but, so few in this beautiful world will see nothing more than words on a screen or words upon a page....there's truly MUCH more behind the phrasing of "it is what it is"......or "I am what I am"........it's they who look beyond the words and within the invisible "processes of the mind" that really "get it."
free u say...sorry i can't afford it............LOL...we all know what "free" means....eventually u will pay big time.....
fin irvin putz – fin intin schmutz..............
Jews=Jesus, Perhaps the Jews understood something tat most Christians don't, Jesus, like Christianity isn't what the Holy Scriptures is about, and neither are the Jews. Based on the historical, biblical, and oral facts, neither Jews nor Jesus were "HEBREW YISRAELITES". Neither follow the TORAH, but based their religious believes on deceptive doctrine disguised as the truth. Even Yahoshua claimed that Yahwah (Yahweh) is the Creating Father of all creation, not Himself. Yet as we approach the Pesakh and Khag Ha Matzot, neither the Jews nor the Christians inhale it to the fullest. The Jews with their Talmud and the Christians with their Easter (the worship of Ishtar). Most of all the ignorance by which most view the demonic language of English . Not understanding the true nature of its alphabet and the true deception it has cast on all the religions of man. In all truth that can be said, Yahoshua is the embodiment of Torah, He was born a Hebrew Yisraelite, not a Jew or Israelis. Therefore He belongs to neither of mans religions and yet came first for Yisra' el, and then the gentiles. All those whom became obedient to the Laws and Commandments (TORAH) of Yah. The Scriptures or BIBLE as it known today is a history and road map of the Tribes of Yisrael, a peoples that is still in bondage thru ignorance, lack of hearing and blindness to the truth. They are a peoples that is being woken up and called forth to do that which Yah has set for them to do and that would be to become obedient to His Torah! WAKE UP YISRAEL...... Shalom Zaqayn Yonah
What I can't understand is, for an article that talks about jews wanting to learn jesus without converting the only comments that appear is either horrendously anti-semitic comments or delusional christian comments who believe that by just taking an interest in jesus it must be either conversion or secret worship already in progress. Can't a group just study another without any other motivation than just a thirst for knowledge?
You have to forgive Christians, they are a very inscrutable stubborn people. Jesus performed a few tricks and was butchered by annoyed Romans. For some reason that makes you divine. It's amazing what passage of time and a popular book can do. Who knows, in a few thousand years people might be telling the legend of the great Harry Potter and how he saved the world from satan.
You make a valid point, I guess what I just really don't get is when people say that I must be secretly worshipping jesus I feel that's just the stupidest comment made on these boards.
Yea, you just can't let people on these forums bother you. Nothing is wrong about reading up on Jesus or Mohammed or whatever. The internet is a great place for religious nutjobs on all fronts to trash talk other people.
No bother, I actually enjoy it in a sick way. These people are hilarious because they preach jesus but forget the love thing, the central tenant of their supposed religion that they love so much. It's actually quite adorable.
What other fictional characters will the Jews reclaim? They'd better not take Batman. They already have Superman.
Batman is rich.... of course he's jewish.
@Cq, are you an atheist? If so, what is your worldview? Are you a naturalist and/or an empiricist? Do you think macro evolution is true?
Yes on all counts, but I don't really distinguish between long term and short term trends in evolution, why? You gonna quiz me?
@Cq, apart from the God of scripture, you can't know anything about anything. To even have this conversation, you are giving up your "atheism" and borrowing from my worldview. In fact, you are a presuppositional kleptomaniac.
As a "naturalist" (someone who believes only in the material universe), how do you account for the absolute, universal, "immaterial" laws of logic? How does logic taste? Can you get me a bucket of logic?
As an "empiricist" (someone who bases truth on empirical observeration), how can you know that all knowledge is based on observeration since you can't use observeration to come to this conclusion?
Maybe you are a "relativist" and you believe there are no absolutes. But for the sake of argument, if there were no absolutes, how can you say that "there are no absolutes" since that is an absolute statement.
Your atheistic worldview is self-refuting: it leads to the conclusion that it cannot be true.
Chris, you got some fancy words there and it sounds like you've thought this through and then congratulated yourself on coming to a conclusion that god can only exist, but I'll let you in on a little secret, what you just said was gussied up po.op.
First) Atheism only deals in religion, nothing more, nothing less. Being an atheist is a statement that you disbelieve in every religion out there, which is why you'll hear the quote that most people contend we're all atheists, you just disbelieve in one less religion than I do.
Second) Worldview wise, mine comes from my own person observation mixed with reading about history and listening to family members and learning lessons.
Third) Living in a material world does not preclude intangible feelings, logic, thought and so on. In the world you and I both live in, there is love, there is logic, there is anger, there's imagination. Now you can argue it all comes from neurons firing in our brains that tell us random occurrences that our brains try to make conclusions and patterns to help us better the world around us. Living in a material world and recognizing that does not mean since you can't touch logic that it doesn't exist, that doesn't make sense.
Fourth) Being an "empiricist" is a simple state of mind that believing something to be true, especially crazy, extraordinary circu.mstances need the evidence to back it up. "empiricist" does not say that something that hasn't been proven to exist does not exist, it means that it's likely not to exist. There's a difference that I hope your mind can comprehend.
That's pretty much it, I hope you're able to let go of your "self-refuting" po.op that you originally thought was so clever.
Logic is a brain process, a method of thinking. We empty out buckets of logic onto pages of books along with buckets of illogic. That's tangible enough for me to know that it exists.
How can I know that all knowledge is based on observeration since I can't use observeration to come to this conclusion? Buddy, it's really late here and I haven't a clue what the hell you're trying to say with this. Can you explain it in simpler, less convoluted language that a non-apologist can handle?
I can say "there are no absolutes" because, for example, any God claiming to be "all-knowing" cannot know for certain that he knows everything. If something was outside of his knowledge how would he know? he may think that he knows, but he cannot be certain, right? All of God's "omni" characteristics are self-refuting, there is always the possibility that something outside of his abilities exists without his knowledge.
I'm not sure that I accept YOUR definition of the "atheistic worldview". I'm not sure that I have one. All I know is that there isn't a reasonable argument to be made as to why the God of the Christians, Jews and Muslims is different from the thousands of other gods we all label as "myth". If you want to argue that there must be gods, then please convince me why your's has to be the only one.
TTFN and Good Night.
@Levi Called Biff, if knowledge comes from your own personal observation (empiricism), how can you know that all knowledge is based on observeration since you can't use observeration to come to this conclusion? Furthermore, how can you know that your personal observation is more valid than my personal observation? And if you are an evolutionist, how can you be sure your memory and senses are valid if we are just the product of random mutations, time, and chance?
Since you claim logic is a "brain process, a method of thinking" that requires a mind, would logic cease to exist if humans were extinct? If so, would that which is true cease to be true? And if not, then Whose mind must think these thoughts?
Yes, you can say "there are no absolutes," but that is an absolute and self-refuting statement. How can you know if something is outside God's knowledge? Do you claim to be God? Furthermore, how can you be sure you know anything about anything if we are the product of random mutations, time, and chance? How do you know your memory and senses are valid and reliable?
I don't have to prove to you that God exists. You already know that He exists (Romans 1:18-23). Why are you rejecting Him?
Please, call me Biff, everyone else does.
I'm a little confused why not "all knowledge can't be observed"... We both know that not all knowledge is based on observation. For instance we are able to tell figure out through math that there are planets orbiting around distant stars based observing the stars themselves. We can take leaps of intuition to come up with different conclusions that may or may not be correct, that's how our brains work. Second, my personal observation, if we're "observing" the same thing should be identical to yours, making neither one of ours more valid than the other, geddit?
Not sure how you decided to drag evolution into this, but considering evolution decided to award our species with a large enough brain to understand our place in the universe, how small we are, how large we are to atoms and so on is what I have to rely on, why would I rely on someone else's brain functions because they believe in something that is just plain silly? Do you believe a kid when he tells you that Santa is real because when he wakes up he sees presents under the tree or do you rely on your own observation knowing that you were the one to put the presents there?
Chris, your word poop is precious but I can promise that being an atheist is not self-refuting no matter how much you want to use flawed logic to reach that conclusion.
@Biff, I would agree that you seem confused. First you state that "we both know that not all knowledge is based on observation," but then you say "for instance we are able to tell figure out through math that there are planets orbiting around distant stars based observing the stars themselves." Do you "observe" the planets and the stars through your senses? If so, then how is that an example of not basing knowlege on observation? And, if you do base knowledge on observation through your senses, then how can you know that all knowledge is based on observeration since you can't use observeration to come to this conclusion (have to ask again since you never answered my question)? Also, how can you know that your senses are reliable if we are the product of random mutations, time, and chance and you can't account for the uniformity of nature with your evolutionary presupposition?
@Biff, would you be specific when you say "flawed logic"? What specifically is flawed about my logic? Furthermore, how do you account for universal, absolute, immaterial laws of logic in your worldview?
We don't observe the planets in any sense of the word (did you get my pun?). We observe the parent star and make as.sumptions. Who knows if the plants we've found are really actually there or not, it's based on math and indirect observation. If you want to get even deeper, we learned math not through observation but through intuitive leap. If you main point is there exists something beyond observation and that is god, how do you know? Because someone told you? And you believed them? Did god speak to you? If yes, is that not also observation? It looks like you may have caught yourself in your own illogical thinking.
Secondly, why shouldn't I trust my senses? So far my ears have allowed me to know when someone is talking, calling me name, if there is a sound behind me, etc.... My eyes have allowed me to navigate paths so I don't walk off a cliff or into the street. My nose has allowed me to choose my likes and dislikes for food, to tell the difference between what is food and what isn't, taste has also led me to do the same thing as smell and feeling has allowed me to understand the world around me by knowing the softness of a pillow vs. the rough hardness of bark. Just because my eyes come an ancient ancestor that may have gotten a random mutation of better eyes then it's brothers and thus was able to survive better and pass along this gene, why should i cast doubt on my own sense because of the origins of those senses from millennia past?
Your flawed logic derives directly from the book the bible that you have put your faith in. When you say you don't have to prove god is real because... and then provide a quote from the bible as if that's good enough shows you are caught in a circular logic conundrum of where god must exist because the bible tells you so and the bible is right because god tells you so. That's a loop with no end and gets you into a lot of trouble.
What you've said in this little thread is talking about living in a material world you asked how does logic taste, as if logic can not exist in a material world because it's not tangible. There is your flawed logic sir.
@Biff, if you don't think that all knowledge is based on observation through your senses, then how else do you come by knowledge? Also, is it possible for God to reveal something to me in a way so that I can know it for certain? And why would I have to prove the God that you already know exists? Do you claim to not use circular reasoning? Do you not appeal to your ability to reason to reason? However, your circular reasoning is viciously circular. Please, will you cite where I claimed that logic cannot exist in a material world? That is precisely what a "naturalist" asserts when they claim there is nothing but the material universe because they cannot account for the "immaterial" laws of logic.
Would you prove how you can know anything about anything in your worldview?
Buddy, I think you need a dictionary because you have decided to stop making sense apparently so I'm going to try and discern what you are saying but certain I will be wrong because the game you and your friends play is stating something in such a roundabout, barely comprehensible way that when someone tries to understand it you lean back into the "I didn't say that" approach.
I come by knowledge simply through my senses and using my brain to make intuitive leaps from the observable information around me. The human brain is a magnificent thing that it is able to have imagination, able to create things that are not there, are not real. Knowledge, however you define it can come from all 5 senses along with my giant brain that allows me to come up with theories that could in fact become provable knowledge. Your flawed logic lives in the statement " And why would I have to prove the God that you already know exists" When you know that it is precisely because of my skepticism that I do not know if god exists or not. If you can't prove gods existence other than saying " I don't have to because you already believe in him" then that's not much to stand on.
For instance, Do I really have to prove to you that Santa exists, I mean, you already know he exists, case closed.
Please show me where my Logic is viciously circular as you put it, because I use "my reasoning to reason"? Does that make sense to you at all? To regular, sane human beings that's asking me to stuff my head up my own as.shole to find my head. it doesn't work. If you want to understand logic, please take a class at your local community college or look it up online.
Oh, I almost forgot, you wanted citation of your idiocy from a little up the thread, " how do you account for the absolute, universal, "immaterial" laws of logic? How does logic taste? Can you get me a bucket of logic?" That is from you, at the beginning of this thread and it's stupid. Your welcome.
To your last question, it depends on the subject. For instance, do I really "Know" all there is to know about the universe or even the .00001% of what we have observed and recorded? No, I can't claim to know that. I can know however that my hair is brown, my eyes are green, I'm a man. I have ascertained these facts because I have used my senses of sight, touch and so on. The observable fact is I have a pen.is and testicles, that makes me a male, do I really need to believe in god in order to "know" this?
So, in other words, you think all knowledge is based on observation? How strange, when you stated earlier that "we both know that not all knowledge is based on observation". Is it based on observation or not? And if so, how can you know that all knowledge is based on observeration since you can't use observeration to come to this conclusion?
God is my ultimate presupposition; therefore, I appeal to Him. According to my presupposition, I can account for the uniformity of nature and the preconditions of intelligibility: the absolute, universal, immaterial laws of logic; and the reliability of my memory and senses. But in your empirical/evolutionary worldview, you cannot account for the uniformity of nature and the reliability of your memory and senses (which is essential to use science) because the universe is the product of genetic mutations, time, and chance.
For you base knowledge on observation through your senses is irrational and inconsistent with your worldview. That is why you must borrow from my worldview to know anything about anything.
Your reasoning is visciously circular because you appeal to your reasoning to prove your reasoning and you can't account for the reliability and validity of your reasoning in your worldview.
Your citation is a misrepresentation of my position. It is not my position that the immaterial laws of logic can't exist in a material world, it's the relativist's position.
Precisely, you rely on observation through your senses for knowledge, yet it is irrational and inconsistent with your worldview to think that you can trust your senses, since you claim to be the product of random mutations, time, and chance. Therefore, yes, you need to borrow from the Christian worldview (which can account for the uniformity of nature and the preconditions of intelligibility) to know anything about anything.
Your argument seems to come down to "I dunno, musta been god". That didn't really work well for our ancestors when they tried to explain things like the rising and falling of the tide or the path of the stars, not sure why it would be a good idea now.
Also, question about an earlier post – do you think that micro evolution is valid and not macro evolution? Where do you think the line is?
"it is irrational and inconsistent with your worldview to think that you can trust your senses, since you claim to be the product of random mutations, time, and chance."
Please explain how random mutations, time, and chance cannot lead to the formation of something that has the ability to process information. You draw a conclusion, but I'm not sure what it's based on. The two are not mutually exclusive.
@HellBent, what is your standard of truth?
You're going to have to be a teensy bit more specific than that. In what context?
I can tell you what my standard of truth isn't – some notion I derived in my own head about what I think a deity should be based loosely upon the interpretations of an overly translated, contradictory, and often immoral thousands-year-old text.
"Please explain how random mutations, time, and chance cannot lead to the formation of something that has the ability to process information. You draw a conclusion, but I'm not sure what it's based on. The two are not mutually exclusive."
Because such a position cannot account for the uniformity of nature and the preconditions of intelligibility.
"I can tell you what my standard of truth isn't – some notion I derived in my own head about what I think a deity should be based loosely upon the interpretations of an overly translated, contradictory, and often immoral thousands-year-old text."
How many times does something have to be translated before it is "overly" translated? Add since you mentioned the word "contradictory," do you believe in absolute laws of logic? Also, "immoral" by what standard?
"Because such a position cannot account for the uniformity of nature and the preconditions of intelligibility."
No. You cannot account for it. That doesn't make it so. That's just rephrasing 'I dunno, god musta done it. You haven't explained why the two (evolution and a brain) aren't mutually exclusive, all you've said is that you don't know how they can be. Just because you can't wrap your head around it doesn't mean it isn't possible. And how would you even quantify the "uniformity of nature" or "preconditions of intelligibility" You're putting words together that might sound smart to you but lack any actual meaning in the context of my question.
Immoral by what standard? By modern civilization's. Why don't you try finding me someone who thinks that killing disobedient kids is immoral. Or find someone who thinks that owning a sex slave is moral. Or that beating a slave is moral. Or that adulterers or non believes should be put to death. I won't be holding my breath.
And for the record, having around a dozen translations of the same text that vary considerably to me counts as "over translated"
Hellbent said a lot of what I was going to say, and I agree when he says using bigger words does not make you sound any smarter if there's no actual meaning within them.
Also, Uniformity in nature? What does that even mean? Nature is entirely not uniform, thats why we have different environments, different creatures, mutations, and so on.
Hellbent pointed this out, but why can't I trust my senses? You're using logic wrong (clearly) by saying my senses can't be trusted because they are a product of mutation that was then refined over tens of thousands of years. You're basically saying A can not = B because of 5. You're throwing in a random variable that doesn't really make sense to add in there, get it? No, probably not, but hey, I've got to try and teach you a little logic.
Next, I don't "appeal to my reasoning to prove my reasoning".... We already talking about using words to create a sentence that might sound like you know what you're talking about but really just shows you have 0 understanding. It honestly doesn't even make sense and isn't really worth responding to.
I already pointed out time and time again living in a "material world" does not exclude intangible abstracts. You really need to understand this as you clearly have demonstrated you are incapable of understanding what "material world" means.
And lastly, it's sad you think the "christian worldview" is something I need to borrow from when in reality, christianity isn't as old as man (which I hope you understand) so in essence christianity is borrowing from judaism which is borrowing from the a syrians who borrowed from then and so on. Lets also not forget the greeks who came up with logic and philosophy. All of it boils down YOU actually borrowing MY worldview and then tweaking it to make it your own.
Evolution was always true, it just took a while for us to observe the evidence for it and conclude that it was going on. It was still "true" before Darwin. Somebody a 1000 years before him could have came to the same conclusion if they were in a position to. If all humans suddenly disappeared, taking all of our literature with us, leaving the insects as the dominant species, evolution would still carry on, evolving their generations until, possibly, one of them becomes smart enough to realize that evolution is how it got so smart.
"How can you know if something is outside God's knowledge?"
My point is how can you say that nothing is outside of God's knowledge? Even if he told you personally that this is the case, how could he know, for sure? Omniscience is impossible to prove.
Romans 1:18-23 are only words in a book. Honestly, does all that Thomas Aquinas 5 Proofs Jedi word play really work on you?
Just because you can string a few words together in English doesn't mean that they make actual sense. I can say "the four-sided triangle", but does that actually mean that such a thing exists? Use some common sense, OK?
Most Jews (and many Christians for that matter) will probably not buy this, but Passover is actually a picture of Jesus. Redemption is all about the Blood. A lamb had to be chosen and slain and blood was shed to deliver Israel from death and to redeem them from slavery by the Egyptians. Jesus is the Lamb chosen by God and slain whose Blood is the only thing able to redeem all of mankind [Jew and Gentile] from the slavery of sin and the curse of death. Many Christians are now celebrating Passover as well as all the other major feasts that God ordained as everlasting memorials – the same way that Jesus also celebrated them when He walked on the earth. Jesus did not come to change or to destroy Judaism. On the contrary He came to fulfill God's promise of eternal Atonement once and for all since animal sacrifices could not do this nor could they cleanse the conscience. Mankind has been given such an incredible gift from God: His Son, Jesus. If only we would believe all that He has done for us.
Why not say that Jesus is a picture of Passover? We at least know that Passover predates Jesus, right?
Don't you know, jesus predates everything? He was there in the garden of eden with god and adam and eve and the serpent. He was hiding just waiting for us to sin.
@Levi – You've almost got it. Except He was not hiding waiting for us to sin. God created man because He wanted man to have a relationship with Him. This is why God came into the garden in the cool of the day to have fellowship with His creation. This is the Heart of God today: to have relationship with His creation. It was never God's intention for Adam to sin. But God created man with the ability to make choices. In a sense God hoped for the best with His creation... but planned for the worst. You see, Jesus does predate everything. In fact, He is the Lamb of God who was slain before the foundations of the world. So you are almost correct in all that you said.
"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"" Genesis 3:8-9
Just God strolling in the garden, when it's not too hot, and unable to find his creations, eh? Hardly the all-powerful, all-knowing God of later stories. My, he certainly does evolve during the course of the Bible, doesn't he?
Sarcasm is lost on you isn't it? It's just like you christians though to literally overlay jewish text with your own christian, take ownership and decide you know more than what the actual text says.
Cq – In love and mercy God searched after His fallen creatures with the question "Where are you?" This question proved two things—that man was lost and that God had come to seek. It proved man's sin and God's grace. God takes the initiative in salvation, demonstrating the very thing Satan got Eve to doubt—His love.
That is the spin that people have invented to explain this, but anyone who reads the other mythologies of the ancient world can recognize the anthropomorphic roots of YHWH showing through in this story. In the beginning God was imagined to be like the other deities; just a super version of ordinary people, complete with the same emotional range, which is why they were so useful as teaching tools of morality. The gods' mistakes were our own.
So, what spin do you have for God "walking" in the garden?
So you Jews want Jesus back? Good! He's been nothing but a troublemaker, with all those wars and torture and inquisitions and intolerance and ignorance and oppressive theocracies. Take him if you want him. Hell, we'll pay you to take him off our hands!
Make sure you take all his followers too. They are nuttier than an almond orchard.
We're praying for you. God bless you.
The Bible says Jesus came unto his own but his own did not know him. Jesus preformed Miracles, honestly Jews need to start accepting him as divine! Hes coming back!
The funny thing I always wondered... Even if he did come back so what? It's not like he did very much the first time he was here.
Emperor Vespasian is also recorded as having performed miracles. I guess we all had better start sacrificing to him as well, just to be safe, right? Honestly, do you believe every tall tale you read?
Chris....by commanding anyone to do anything....it's a judgement. Even Christ himself judged others.....try to do a little more of your homework. It's not "WHAT" you say....but, HOW you say it........if you command anyone do do anything.....more than likely, they are not going to obey......"so....try to apologize....if you think you can...." For those who take scripture as the "RULES"...and that "RULES" should never be broken......well......we wouldn't have religion at all....or, any advancement in technology........we'd still be sitting around with our fingers up our noses, wondering what those apples tasted like........THANK YOU.
Jesus himself has never been a real problem for Jews. Jesus was one of many over the centuries who has claimed to be the Davidic messiah and when he died, the possiblity of his messianship died with him. Anyone who believes Jesus to be anything more than another false messiah is no longer in the realm of the religion of Judaism. If you accept Jesus as God or part of a triune godhead who died and was resurrected and is the davidic messiah, that is Christianity. There are so-called "Jews for Jesus" who use one of the "loopholes" in jewish law to promote the idea of Jesus as messiah. This 'loophole' is that according to jewish law, anyone born of a jewish mother is a jew, no mattrer what they may believe, so they preach jesus as part of judaism, which of course, he is not. A "jew for jesus" makes as much sense to jews as a "christian for satan" would make sense to christians. Being a jew by birth does, indeed, make you part of the family, but that it doesn't give anyone license to redefine the religion of judaism to suit themselves. As I said before, Jesus has never really been a problem for Jews, but his followers, of course, are another matter entirely. Considering how many Jews have been persecuted and killed in the name of Jesus over the last few thousand years, is anyone really surprised that the Jesus of Christianity is rejected by Jews? Is it somehow unclear why so many Jews are offended when someone attempts to redefine Judaism for themselves? The Jesus of the Christian New Testament certainly preaches many wonderful ideas and concepts, almost all of which were already part of jewish thought, scholarship and philosophy at the time of Jesus. Imagine that if the Jesus of Christianity were around for the Crusades or the Inquisition or World War II – he would have been put to death along with every other Jew, by those who claim to be his followers.
So you are the sole arbiter of who can claim to be a Jew? Every one of Jesus' followers considered themselves Jews. Or do you define Jewishness by the rejection of Jesus? Seems like a pretty empty faith, being based on the rejection of something.
Just lightening things up a little...
Here's the Rapping Jewsus with a message of love for Easter.
If you want to lighten things up, post something that is actually funny, like Robin Williams illuminating the historical origins of golf.
The real problem for a lot of Jews, I think comes from the waiver given gentile Christians by the Jewish Christian leadership back in the 100s AD. My ancestors were allowed to join an essentially Jewish sect, without giving up lobster, ham or their foreskin. I got grandfathered in, and I think a lot of Jews are just jealous.
that does explain why harlotry, gambling, nud ity, usury, Godlessness is rampant wherever christians are a majority in the world.
Judaism changed so much after the fall of the Temple – in the same century that the Romans crucified Jesus – that one could argue that both Christianity and the religion we call "Judaism" are the two major descendants of a religion that no longer exists. Two groups of Jews chose two reactions to the destruction of the Temple: lamentation and indifference. That was an era of giants (like Jesus and Hillel) and also of monsters (the emperor during the Crucifixion was Caligula – although in fairness, Pilate was a fairly typical governor). The two religions are remarkably similar to each other – and to Islam – as we can see by all the efforts by partisans to distinguish them (but compared to, say, Hinduism, they are almost indistinguishable).
If you could historically prove that crucifixion, I would believe you. As of yet, there is no proof during that time period, that such even happened. Irregardless of the Inquisition, and how many times the Romans tried to alter that history, still no historical proof. Every argument that goes towards stating that simply cannot be validated. So again I ask, show me historical proof. As of yet I cannot find one.
Now, if we choose to believe if a myth, that I can understand, a fable.
Other than that, you are left with Judaism, historically accurate.
I'm a religious scholar is all. I study this, is why I state this. I'm fascinated by Judaic and Zoroastrian, Hellenistic, and Mithras historical studies.
I think you could make a better case for Jesus being a student of the Hillel school because he said
"That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn."
while dying in about 10 CE.
The emperor during the crucifixion, if it happened, would have been Tiberius.
Thousands of Jews were crucified by the Romans, so believing that one named Jesus (Yeshua) was executed during a particular Passover in Jerusalem isn't very farfetched at all, but all the colorful tearing of temple cloth, earthquakes and zombies leaving their graves is another story, right?
Jesus gave his life. I don't think there's any reason not to like him. Stop saying mean stuff. None of you gave your lives, when you do, then you can criticize.
I am only allowed to criticize things after I am dead? Really?
Every enemy our military ever faced gave his life too. Remember that!
So you think the U.S. military has achieved 100% kill ratios in every war, battle and skirmish it has ever been in? Absolutely no survivors? Really?
It wasn't really "he gave his life". He was killed because people didn't like him. Nothing really divine or special about it.
Your History Is Wobbly
No, my point was that giving up your life to a cause isn't necessarily an indication of the goodness of that cause, right? If you need another example think of terrorists, OK? That's why the argument that, because Jesus and the martyrs sacrificed their lives for Christianity, it must be true is flawed. Very, very flawed.
What a fantastically inspiring article! Peace and shalom to all – even the G-d haters and detractors. I am a Christian. But the more I come to know my Lord, the more I think that Jesus' intention was not so much to Christianize the Gentiles, but indeed, to make us Jews. Re: Jesus as the Son of G-d – I find this no different that what a holy rabbi I met at Chabad House on Manhattan's East Side said about the nature of the Divine – that Everything is an emanation of G-d – Further, in John's Gospel – the greatest proponent of Christ's absolute Divinity – it's stated that when a person comes into a life of faith that s/he becomes a child of G-d. For me, Christ was the Messiah – certainly, it was he who ignited the light of the ancient G-d if Israel in my Gentile heart! And who was Jesus according to him? Jesus? Matt. 25: Everywhere on this planet you see the least of these, you see our Lord. Or as Mother Theresa of Calcutta put it – the one Christ is the one she serves. So try to spread the love. He is risen. Alleluia!
He tells us to live by the mosaic law right. Jesus was a Jew everyone knows that. He indeed is Risen sir.
By the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight (Romans 3:20). For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law (Romans 3:28). For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
We don't hate God, we just don't think he's real. What we hate is the harm that belief in God causes the earth. If you can believe without causing harm, more power to you, but if you can't, then be prepared to have your beliefs challenged.
To that guy who stated that he needs a "tangible" G_d", if you are a Jew you should know better, because that is idol worship, Hashem, the Name, the Almighty One who redeemed us out of Egypt has no need for these false statues. There is nothing to be jealous about a perverted Jewish heresy that mixed with heathen Greco-Roman paganism that falsely claims their superiority over others, including Jews, when they should be taking up the Law and worship the Eternal One, the Redeemer as the ONE Lord, not three.
Your Yeshua or whoever zombie god you "Christians" (deriving from the Greek for king) was false, not a prophet, not a messiah (in any sense of the term), he failed. Failed. As in he blasphemed the Name's Temple, those who worship and fear Him, got himself executed by the Romans because he clearly violated Jewish law, and because the collaborators of the Sanhedrin did not have the power at this point in Roman occupied Judah to execute someone This is true of course if the "Gospels" account of him is correct, which I highly doubt since it was written two generations after this Yeshua was executed. No Moshiach will ever die like that, that will never happen as he will lead those righteous Jews to triumph over evil, and thus this Yeshua, because of being executed by the Romans like other pretenders was false. There was nothing revolutionary about him, so many anti-Roman Jewish patriots were executed by that evil empire during those days.
He fulfilled prophecy and started a revolution. sounds pretty revolutionary to me. The father the son and the holy spirit make 1 GOD. Even Jewish literature predicts a messiah. What prophecy did Jesus not fulfill? No Man would claim to be God unless they were or if they had a suicide wish. May OUR God bless your heart and soul. I love you.
There is not three. Some claim it as such but there is only one God and His name is Jesus. He is all three, all three is He. He came to earth robed in flesh to save a world that didn't deserve to be saved. I'm so thankful for Him saving me.
Yeshua Resurrected from the grave and was seen by over 500 brethren. eye witness accounts with letters confirming this . any claim during that time without eye witness would have been nullified by the 500 who heard of the letters who were present in the apostles reading. Ishi Yeshua haMashiach is the only way the only covenant left for all mankind hopefully you teshuva and receive from Elohim haRuach haKodesh http://www.MartusMinistry.org check out the name of God in ancient hebrew on the front page article.
He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face. He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth. But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the booty with the strong; because He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53)
Would letters written decades after the fact claiming the existence of eyewitnesses to an event make for compelling evidence today in a court of law? If fiction writing and the internet has taught us anything it's that being in print never makes something reliable as a source.
@ Chris, I can't help but be awe struck whenever you see Gods' plan. It truely is a beautiful thing.
Did Jesus build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
Did he gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
Did he usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4)
Did he spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: "God will be King over all the world ― on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One" (Zechariah 14:9).
Did Jesus do all of these things within his lifetime? If not, then he failed to fulfill prophecy.
@Cq, would you provide me with the book, chapter, and verse that definitively states that Jesus "had" to fulfill these prophecies in His lifetime? Also, please, define "lifetime"?
The qualifications are listed like the messianic qualifications Christians cherry pick to refer to Jesus are. Where does it state that the messiah only had to fulfill some of the prophecies? "Lifetime" means a man's lifetime, from birth to death. The Jews were only expecting a human messiah. Why would they expect God himself to be his own anointed? Under no circu.mstances would they have expected their God to become human like the idol gods of the gentiles. Messiahs, and Cyrus the Great is referred to as one in the Bible, were always purely human.
"Thus says the Lord to his anointed (ie Messiah), to Cyrus, whom he has taken by his right hand to subdue nations before him and strip the loins of kings, to force gateways before him that their gates be closed no more: I will go before you levelling the heights. I will shatter the bronze gateways, smash the iron bars. I will give you the hidden treasures, the secret hoards, that you may know that I am the Lord. (Isaiah 45:1-3)
Getting late, so good night. :-)
@Cq, isn't it interesting that to even make your argument, you have to give up your atheism and argue from a Judaistic worldview?
I can argue from the Jewish position because I know what it is, not because I actually believe what they do.
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