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Jews reclaim Jesus as one of their own
Some Jewish leaders are encouraging Jews to see Jesus as one of their own.
April 5th, 2012
02:36 PM ET

Jews reclaim Jesus as one of their own

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Mainstream Christian theology's position held that Judaism had been supplanted, the Jewish covenant with the divine no longer valid, because of the incarnation of God as Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross.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."

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Jesus • Judaism

soundoff (2,641 Responses)
  1. Paul

    Cloud man: God is everywhere?
    It is true that Jehovah is not limited by space or time, as he created these things. However the Bible speaks of his place of dwelling Psalms 33:14 says; “From the established place where he dwells.” The apostle Paul was inspired by God to enlighten us about spiritual things for example he wrote, “If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual one.” 1 Corinthians 33:14.
    With this in mind we conclude that Jehovah has a body and dwells somewhere.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Paul

      continued..... Having a place of dwelling in no way limits God. He has at his disposal billions of Angels and his holy spirit. The word Angels means messanger, in this capacity he uses them well and there is plenty of evidence of this in the Bible. On the other hand Holy Spirit is far more fluid and he uses that all over the universe. The book of Genesis tells us he used it to form the earth.
      So as you see although God lives somewhere in the heavens, this does not limit his ability.

      July 30, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Cloud_man

      To Paul: Before God created any of the many Universes (we live in one of those many universes) He existed as as only the Mighty Spirit that is everywhere; a perfect all powerful being that has always existed - had no beginning. His first creation was what He calls the Angel of the Lord, Himself as an Angel, who is also Jesus Christ before He later would be born as a human. Now, He continued to be the Great Mighty Spirit that is everywhere for ever and ever, invisble to all beings forever and ever; yet, He was now also the Angel of the Lord who we know as Jehova and who now would have a visible appearance to His future angels, and many times would later appear to humans as the Angel of the Lord; even later as a in human-like form as King of Salem, Melkisedek, but was not yet born as a human, until much later as the Saviour, or Jesus. Now let's digress to where He was only the Great Spirit that is everywhere and also now as a smaller visible reprentation of Himself as the Angel of the Lord. From then on everything He created, it was simply a verbal command that the Angel of the Lord, or the Savior, or Jesus commanded into existence: i.e. the angels, then the Universes, then the Book of Genesis begins with Earth and our Solar system, and later He took the form of a servant and was born as a Human, as Yeshua or Jesus Christ. Now He does not exist as the Angel of the Lord but instead as Yeshua or Jesus as a new creation in a glorified Human-like body that we will also one day have. But He simulteneousy exists as the all encompassing ever-present Great Spirit that NO one will ever see, only Jesus has seen Him because it is Himself. So we can say that Yeshua lives in some geographical Heaven or Universe, but His mighty Spirit is still everywhere sensing everything. Psalm 138:7-8 says: " 7. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou [art] there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou [art there]. 9 [If] I take the wings of the morning, [and] dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

      August 3, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Cloud_man

      Paul, let me answer you this way: Before God created any of the many Universes (we live in one of those many universes) He existed as as only the Mighty Spirit that is everywhere; a perfect all powerful being that has always existed - had no beginning. His first creation was what He calls the Angel of the Lord, Himself as an Angel, who is also Jesus Christ before He later would be born as a human. Now, He continued to be the Great Mighty Spirit that is everywhere for ever and ever, invisble to all beings forever and ever; yet, He was now also the Angel of the Lord who we know as Jehova and who now would have a visible appearance to His future angels, and many times would later appear to humans as the Angel of the Lord; even later as a in human-like form as King of Salem, Melkisedek, but was not yet born as a human, until much later as the Saviour, or Jesus. Now let's digress to where He was only the Great Spirit that is everywhere and also now as a smaller visible reprentation of Himself as the Angel of the Lord. From then on everything He created, it was simply a verbal command that the Angel of the Lord, or the Savior, or Jesus commanded into existence: i.e. the angels, then the Universes, then the Book of Genesis begins with Earth and our Solar system, and later He took the form of a servant and was born as a Human, as Yeshua or Jesus Christ. Now He does not exist as the Angel of the Lord but instead as Yeshua or Jesus as a new creation in a glorified Human-like body that we will also one day have. But He simulteneousy exists as the all encompassing ever-present Great Spirit that NO one will ever see, only Jesus has seen Him because it is Himself. So we can say that Yeshua lives in some geographical Heaven or Universe, but His mighty Spirit is still everywhere sensing everything. Psalm 138:7-8 says: " 7. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou [art] there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou [art there]. 9 [If] I take the wings of the morning, [and] dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

      August 3, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  2. Paul

    Cloud man: Trinity is not in the Bible.
    Well said, you are absolutely right. There is no trinity. Jehovah explained his relationship with his son clearly for us to understand. He calls him his son and that is clear. I think Jehovah can explain himself better than theologians. Many theologians have their own agenda, for example taking on concepts of false religions in order to appeal to the masses. Just a little history reading will reveal this.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  3. Luu

    Yeah, yeah, that was me. Just to elaborate I deeilitfny consider myself a super-Zionist and probably know more about Israeli history and modern politics than the average Israeli. My modern orthodox education in the US also taught me probably more Israeli and Jewish literature and poetry than most Israelis learn.The bottom line is that Zionism is a Jewish homeland. Zionism is not modern day Israeli culture. I don't have to like anything about the ways Israelis act, speak, laugh or line up to buy popcorn in movie theaters.

    July 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Paul

      I am not I understand your point?

      July 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  4. cloud-man

    The word Trinity is definitely not in the Bible and I understand why theologians started using it to explain the relationship between God as the huge spirit that is everywhere, and Jesus as God incarnate (limited by space and time), and the Holy Spirit as Jesus (not limited by space and time). However it is mostly embraced by those who truly don't understand the nature of God, and they just cannot fathom that is ONE GOD, and therefore they actually see God as "three persons" instead of a SINGLE GOD that is so powerful that HE can be all forms at once. I think the term "trinity" limits God rather than acknowledges His Almighty power. If they are going to count, then why stop at three?

    July 27, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • Cloud_man

      Continued... Why not also count the Angel of the Lord, then Captain of God's army, and also Melkisedek– now the count went up to six. How about just like the Torah says: Hear ye Israel, thy God is ONE! He is so powerful that He can take many forms even siltaneously, as He has done throughout time.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  5. To The Point

    "All we like sheep have gone astray; each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." .....Isaiah 53:6 The prophet Isaiah told us of the coming of Yeshua/Jesus, and that He would indeed suffer and atone for the sins of the people. We can believe the Word of God, and receive HIs forgiveness through faith in Yehus/Jesus, or we can follow the tradtions of men and die in our sins. May you come to know peace with God the Father through the Son, the Lamb of God.

    July 26, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  6. Paul

    Perfection what is it?
    Insight on the Scriptures it-2 p. 602 explains; “The thought of perfection is expressed through Hebrew terms drawn from such verbs as ka‧lal′ (perfect [compare Eze 27:4]), sha‧lam′ (come to completion [compare Isa 60:20]), and ta‧mam′ (be completed, come to perfection [compare Ps 102:27; Isa 18:5]). In the Christian Greek Scriptures the words te′lei‧os (adjective), te‧lei‧o′tes (noun), and te‧lei‧o′o (verb) are used similarly, conveying such ideas as bringing to completeness or full measure (Lu 8:14; 2Co 12:9; Jas 1:4), being full grown, adult, or mature (1Co 14:20; Heb 5:14), having attained the appropriate or appointed end, purpose, or goal (Joh 19:28; Php 3:12)”
    The key to answering this question lies in understanding how the words “perfect” and “perfection” are used in the Bible. Not everything that the Scriptures describe as “perfect” may be so in an absolute sense. Of course, Jehovah possesses such absolute perfection. People or things can be perfect only in a relative sense. The Hebrew and Greek Bible words translated “perfect” often mean “complete,” “mature,” or “faultless” according to standards set by an authority. In everyday speech, the word is generally used in a relative sense. The expression “perfect weather” is one example. Perfection in this absolute sense distinguishes only the Creator, Jehovah God. Because of this Jesus could say of his Father: “Nobody is good, except one, God.” (Mr 10:18)
    Perfection of any other person or thing, then, is relative, not absolute. (Compare Ps 119:96.) That is, a thing is “perfect” according to, or in relation to, the purpose or end for which it is appointed by its designer or producer, or the use to which it is to be put by its receiver or user. The very meaning of perfection requires that there be someone who decides when “completion” has been reached, what the standards of excellence are, what requirements are to be satisfied, and what details are essential. Ultimately, God the Creator is the final Arbiter of perfection, the Standard-Setter, in accord with his own righteous purposes and interests.—Ro 12:2

    July 18, 2012 at 4:16 am |
    • kenrick Benjamin

      Paul – Well stated.

      July 18, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  7. Paul

    Kenrick Benjamin: Jesus was actually an equal to that of Adam. The apostle Paul said he was a corresponding ransom (1Timothy 2:6). That which corresponds to something else is equal to. So Jesus was an equal of Adam. No more and no less.
    Adam was a son of God as was Jesus. The difference is that Jesus proved faithful and remained perfect, whereas Adam chose sin and thus became imperfect.

    July 16, 2012 at 2:45 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      PAUL- Like I explained when the Bible uses the word Very Good instead of Perfect there is a reason. My reasoning is that at the time when God said that everything was Very Good, even though Adam And Eve had not Sin, they weren't tested at that time. I am not saying that Adam and Eve weren't Perfect however Perfection because of free will needs to be worked on and God new this.

      July 16, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Paul

      In that case Jesus was not perfect as he had not been tested. He proved by his death that he remained loyal and did not sin, but actually had the ability to sin. Otherwise there was no point in Satan testing him out.

      I understand what you are saying in that Adam and Eve had not been tested, that is true and therefore the reason for the tree in the first place. They had to recognise their creator and be obedient to him, this is what the tree signified.
      But like Jesus they were perfect until they fell from that state into imperfection, just as Jesus could of. That's what Paul meant by being "corresponding" equal to Jesus.Jesus gained back what Adam and Eve lost for us, namely perfection.

      July 17, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Paul

      Something perfect acting imperfectly is a non-sensical statement.

      July 17, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Paul

      hawaiiguest:
      Obviously you don't understand the word "perfection". I will do some research for your benefit and explain the diference between "absolute perfection" (God) and "relative perfection" (Humans).

      July 18, 2012 at 3:58 am |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Paul

      So now it becomes a relative perfection? Why not make that distinction in the first place instead of waiting for someone to point out the non-senseical nature of your statement?

      July 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  8. Cloud-man

    The Word Of God has many entries talking about the Messiah and the clouds, and I want to share an incredible picture in the clouds that I took in Phoenix Arizona; I would like to invite you all to visit my site at "CloudsGodsMural" and since I don't have a blog, after you view it, come back to this site and write your comments regarding the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua Ha Mashiach, Jesus Christ and how He is using the clouds to also reach those who are waiting for a sign from above. – Cloud-Man at CloudsGodsMural a dot com site.

    July 13, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
  9. Joel Gold

    Whoever denies the Son does NOT have the Father; he who confesses the Son has the Father also. 1 Jn. 2:23 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on Him. ....Yeshua/Jesus Jn. 3:36

    July 12, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  10. M.SM.ANSARI

    Signs: your energy and time $ always lost. Each everything politics I am not
    Politician we politics analyzer
    Dear gentleman APR 19 2012
    Please Avoid WAR so many people suffer public
    Global economic crisis
    Climatechnge
    Many people wounded for military troops mort hen 98 000
    Each every body leaving 60 to 80 year life only
    Effected FDI investor . Thing good do good

    Economy improve three way
    No 1 free birds meaning open immigration to all country
    No 2 open business policy according global law
    No 3 all country same currency

    CNN WORLD report, in the war 6, 75,000 civilians killed, 7500 troops of USA and its allied forces killed 3 25 000 people wounded and $ 3.5 Trillion Dollar spent for the war. This spending of $ 3.5 Trillion Dollar is the main cause of action for the present economic crises prevailing all over the world.
    After winning the war against IRAQ, the United States of America’s President Mr. George W.Bush, also admitted the same fact, and he openly stated that the Intelligence agency misguided him.
    Later on, even the United Nations Organization (UNO) also certified that the IRAQ has no nuclear weapons.

    m.s.mohamed ansari

    International chamber of commerce life member
    World peace prayer society life member
    USA parliament org economic adviser

    July 10, 2012 at 1:57 am |
  11. Paul

    Justinstl: That’s right, no human is perfect now. Originally Adam and Eve were. We lost that right due to their sinning and thus passing on their defect.
    Jesus was perfect in that he was transferred from heaven as a perfect son of God to the womb of Mary. Born perfect and died perfect, as he never sinned. He gave up his life to pay a ransom for us so that if we accept him and put faith in him his father Jehovah will give us life eternal on earth as was promised to Adam and Eve. We can choose to come out of sin by accepting Christ as our ransom.
    By the way the things written about him in the gospels were not written 200 years after he died. Not sure where you got that from. The apostle John, (the last surviving apostle) died around 100CE only 67 years after Jesus died. John wrote a number of books including John (by his name), 1John, 2John, 3John and Revelation. The book of John and 1st, 2nd and 3rd John were the last books he wrote 98CE. Revelation was written in 96CE. All the other Christian Greek Scriptures were written prior to this.
    Matthew 41CE, Mark 60 – 65 CE, Luke 56 – 58 CE.
    They were all eye witness accounts and could be challenged by other eye witnesses of these events, which by the way were not, until more recent times.

    July 8, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Clearly Adam and Eve were not perfect or they would not have sinned. Just a couple more of God's greatest mistakes.

      July 9, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Paul

      You have the wrong perception of pefection my friend. Perfection does not mean that one cannot do anything wrong, or they would not be free moral agents, we would be like the animals, programed to do everything without self will.

      Perfection in the sense that you live forever as God intended, having a perfect body and mind with the will of wanting to obey God.
      We could choose not to of course and die, but that is our choice. That was the choice Adam and Eve had and a choice we have too. So if you don't want to live forever in perfect health is a paradise earth, well that's up to you. God does give you the choice. But I can't for the life of me why you would want to die??

      July 9, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • kenrick Benjamin

      MarkinFl- When God finished his 6 days of creation within the EARTH, he saw that everything was good not perfect. Adam and Eve were working on there perfection when they broke God's Commandment.

      July 10, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Paul

      kenrick Benjamin: Slight correction, he said is was “very good”. Now if Jehovah considered his creation “very good”, I would consider that perfect. Perfection is something without sin. Adam and Eve were perfect until they sinned.
      Perfect people and indeed angels have free will as intelligent beings. Both Satan and his angels chose to sin as well.
      So in conclusion Satan, his angels, Adam and Eve all chose to disobey God and thus became imperfect. So too today we as we have been born into imperfection we can choose to follow a course that will lead to perfection again. That is by exercising faith in Jesus and obeying his commands.

      July 14, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      Paul- My interpretation as to why the Bible say's Very Good is because even though Adam and Eve had never sin, they were never tested. That is why I stated that they were working on there perfection. Take for example Jesus Christ who was perfect, yet still tempted but did not yield to his temptation.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:43 am |
  12. chaim

    hey Peace and blessings
    Please Donate for the organization for Jews around the world :

    https://jewishcypruscom.clhosting.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/145247/jewish/Donate-Now/lang/en

    July 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  13. justinstl

    God is no more Jesus's father than he is te father of you and me.

    July 8, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Paul

      And I am supposing you have proof of this??

      July 8, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • dirkvs

      Willing ignorance will not be a very good excuse at the moment of death when you stand before christ Jesus.......and all that will be running through your mind as you are flat on your face will be why didn't I seek out God..........

      July 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  14. joe d

    judas was just your typical jew....backstabbing and untrustworthy

    July 6, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  15. joe d

    the jews murdered Jesus..now move on

    July 6, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Cloud_man

      To Joe d, You and I and every human are responsible for Jesus' death, for He died for our sins, so that we may have an oportunity to be saved - God planned it that way. If you want to get technical, it was the Gentiles that ultimately allowed His death because the Roman laws did not allow any other peoples to have capital punishment, only the Romans could carry it out. It was a weak Pontious Pilot who made the decision because he wanted to "please" the people even though there two opposing vocal groups - he decided to only listen to one group. He had even publicly said that he found no guilt in Jesus, yet he still had Him cruxified. Please don't be judging less you bring judgment upon yourself. -a Christian, Cloud_man.

      July 9, 2012 at 9:35 am |
  16. Joel Gold

    "All power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit"....Yeshua/Jesus Mathew 28:19 All power given by Whom? "I am not alone, but I and the Father who sent Me". ..Yeshua "It has been written that the testimoney of two men is true. I am One who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me".(Two Witnesses).....Jn. 8:16-18 "To sit on My right and on My left, this is not mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared of My Father". ....Yeshua Mathew 20:23 "Now Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was made". ....Yeshua Jn. 17:5 "There is but one God, the Father, from Whom are all things and we exist for Him; and One Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom are all things and we exist through Him". ....I Corinthians 8:6 "There is One God, and One Mediator beween God and men, the man Christ Jesus". I Timothy 2:5 "May they be one even as You Father are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in us"....Jn. 17:21 Yeshua/Jesus praying for his disciples that they be one as the Father and Son are one, in agreement! "For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, All things are put in subjection, it is evident the He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will subjected to the One whom subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all." ....I Corinthians 15:27-28 PTL Barukh attah Adonai May we study to show ourselves approved, workmen who need not be ashamed, rightly didviding the Word of truth. Shalom

    June 28, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Paul

      I gather from this you are in agreement that Jesus is not Jehovah just as his desciples are not Jesus?

      June 29, 2012 at 6:31 am |
    • Joel Gold

      Paul, Jesus is the Son. He is the Divine Son of God. The disciples are NOT Jesus. Right.

      July 12, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Paul

      Joel Gold: Yes that is right, Just as Jesus is not God (Jehovah). Jesus is not part of a Trinity of gods. Jehovah is his Father. Both Jehovah, Jesus and his desciples all work in unity of purpose.

      July 14, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  17. Paul

    I am not sure you understand the concept of the ransom. Let me explain.
    Actually Paul explained it this way, 1 Timothy 2:6. There he said the ransom was a “corresponding ransom”. When something corresponds with something it is equal to, in other words, ‘that which corresponds to this.’
    So what was the ransom Christ gave, equal to? What was it we lost that we needed to have a ransom for in order for it to be brought back?
    When Paul wrote the book of Romans, he linked the ransom with releasing us from sin. Romans 3:23-26
    So with this in mind, how did we come to have sin? In the book of Genesis we are told that Jehovah made the first humans perfect and had the possibility of living forever on earth in this perfect state. Unfortunately they disobeyed God and lost perfection for themselves and all humans as we were born after their sin and thus inherited sin.
    God’s own law requires life for life, so in order to buy back perfection another perfect life had to be offered to pay the price or ransom us from sin. That is why Paul referred to this ransom as a corresponding (equal) ransom. So the ransom Jesus offered was the same as what was lost, perfect life for perfect life, that is why if we exercise faith in Jesus and his ransom he becomes our “eternal father” rather than Adam.
    To be an acceptable ransom Jesus needed to be faithful to death as a perfect human, which he did.
    Now if Jesus was actually God, who cannot sin, lie and incorruptible, it would be impossible to be equal (corresponding) to that of Adam as it is impossible for God to sin. Also Satan would not have bothered to tempt him, which he did three times. Satan obviously saw Jesus as an equal of Adam with the potential of sinning, hence worth giving it a go. Thankfully Jesus proved faithful and provided the ransom price, perfect human life for perfect human life. Justice was done. Now we have a hope for the future and thus God’s original purpose will be fulfilled, that perfect humans will live forever in a paradise earth.

    June 27, 2012 at 3:31 am |
    • Paul

      If Jesus was actually God, how could that be real justice? Satan claimed that no humans could remain faithful to God, (try reading the account of Job) how could God acting like a human ever satisfy Satan’s claim?

      June 27, 2012 at 3:48 am |
    • Cloud-man

      Paul: You have stated it correctly, the Saviour, Yeshua, Jesus had to be 100% human to accomplish His redemtion of our souls, yet He was also 100% God Almighty, because He also had the soul of God in Him. That is why God Almighty chose to be born and live a 100% human life, otherwise - you said it correctly - the evil-one would cry foul and not accept a defeat. Human 100% thru Mary's ancestry, 100% God thru the Holy Spirit who created the other half of the DNA to needed to complete the fertilization of the ovum - and of course God's Spirit as the soul that lives in the body. God in a human body (Yeshua) limited His human existence to the physical laws, and physically He now was now in one place at one time, yet His spirit was still everywhere "working", keeping everything running. As a human he had to grow up and learn just like any Jewish child, and that is why He made sure that He was born in a godly family that would teach Him the Scriptures and be a faithful devout Jew.

      June 27, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Paul

      You are therefore suggesting it was possible for God to fail, like Adam! That is not possible and therefore Satan would have a claim of foul play.

      June 28, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Cloud-man

      Paul: This is the beauty of God's perfect plan which He has set in motion, and in which He does things in such unexpected
      ways that our little finite human minds have trouble rationalizing. (KJV) Isaiah 55:9 says: "For as the heavens are higher
      than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." There are many clues which GOD included in the Torah (old testament) and the Bible, and they gives us a small glimpse of how God's Plan of Salvation was to be executed. When God opens our understanding and reveals His Will through the Word of God, prayer, and through fasting; we then appreciate even much more what He has done for us. He loves us so much that He was willing to put EVERYTHING on the line for us. Clearly Yeshua (Jesus) had to be 100% human for the redemption to be a valid one, so God planned it that HE as Yeshua (Jesus) would have to start life just like any other human child: with a clear mind.

      (KJV) Phillipians 2:7 says: "But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:". The Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010) says: "But he stripped Himself and took the form of a Servant and was in the form of the children of men, and was found in fashion as a man." (The Greek language actually uses a word that literally means "to empty" one-self.) We agreed that the evil-one would have cried "foul" if Yeshua (Jesus) had been born with the full volume of knowledge that God Almighty has in His Spiritual Form (or as the Angel of the Lord, or as Jehova, or as YHWH, etc). Even the humans who will be judged (in the future Great White Thrown Judgement) would have a valid challenge against their being found guilty, and they would have had the right to say: "Yeshua, you cannot condemn us because you truly did not know what it is to be a human; you had an unfair advantage over us because unlike us, you knew everything from the moment you were born, and your full knowledge as God did not allow you to sin; and temptations therefore had no effect on you like it does on us! So therefore, we cannot be condemned." That would certainly be a fair defense for them and their guilty sentence would have to be cancelled; and NO ONE could therefore be condemned; everyone would have to be set free, including the evil-one and all his evil followers. But thank God that that won't ever happen!

      June 29, 2012 at 4:36 am |
    • Cloud-man

      Paul: Now you might ask: So how did God Almighty make it possible for Himself as Yeshua to not sin when He would be born just like any other human child? Well, when the scriptures say that He made Himself of "no reputation" or the Greek which says that He "emptied" Himself, the scriptures are giving us a clue and a glimpse as to how God in a human body (as Yeshua or Jesus) would be prevented from having full access to the vast volumes of knowledge that God has in His Spiritual form (as YHWH, or as the Angel of the Lord, etc.), even though He would still be 100% Almighty GOD, born in a human body. How can that be possible, you might ask? How can God Almighty at the same time be 100% GOD but with limitations of accessing Almighty God's full knowledge, and yet at the same time be 100% God Almighty as the huge Spirit that continues to run everything, and know everything? Well,you have to truly believe and have faith that God Almighty can do ANYTHING He wants to do, without any limitations whatsoever! He has no barriers, He is Omnipotent! It is our minds that have the limitation of understanding the great power of God.

      How might God have done it, you ask? As Almighty God who planned it all from before the foundations of the Earth, He must have planned to limit the human part of Himself as a human, by blocking whatever the human mind needs to access the Spiritual part of Himself as Almighty God that dwelled in Him, and thus deny Yeshua access to His vast volumes of knowledge (though the Spirit of God that lived in Him had full access to the "human mind" of Yeshua). However, He would be able to "grow in wisdom and acquired the knowledge of God through the written Word, through prayer, and through fasting" (just like us); and of course as Yeshua grew in stature or power, He could do the deeds that the Father (God in Spiritual form) allowed to do, by use of the "spoken word", verbal commands.

      June 29, 2012 at 4:44 am |
    • justinstl

      How can you say Jesus was a perfect human being....no hman is perfect! How do you know he was? you only know of what was written about him like 200 years after he died.

      July 8, 2012 at 1:34 am |
  18. Paul

    Cloud-man; Why did God have to become a human in order to die a physical death? Could you explain please.

    June 26, 2012 at 5:26 am |
    • Cloud-man

      am

      Paul: Let me answer you by telling you a story: When the evil-one rebelled in Heaven, he must have poisoned the minds of the angels that were under his command (a third of angels in heaven, billions of them) with the common lie that God did not love them, because God was denying them something they deserved. Later, the evil-one used this same tactic on Earth, that had worked so well for him in Heaven, when he lied to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, “God doesn’t want you to be like gods, or He is denying you what you deserve to be, or need to know” etc. This tactic is clearly illustrated when Absalom used it against his father King David. Absalom won the hearts of many people by lying to them that King David was denying them justice; and he granted them their wishes, just to win over their hearts. Now I digress back to Heaven; the evil-one successfully injected doubt in the hearts of many of the citizens of Heaven, that God really did not love them and that God was not who really said that He was– the Creator of All. You see, because God is so meek and doesn’t show-off his power, He dwelled among the angels, as the Angel of the Lord. Even though He is so powerful, greater than all the Universes combines and then multiplied by many more trillions of times, He was not going to dwell among His angels as a “big ball of fire” but rather like one of them, because He is Love and He likes to mingle among His created beings– He likes to fellowship with them—and of course no being can exist in His presence if He were to appear in His full form, not even the angels, so that is why He used an angelic body while His spirit was still every where simultaneously (though still ONE God). That is why John 1:18 says that “No one has seen God any time” (meaning in His full form and in the past, present, or future). He dwelt among them as the Angel of the Lord, and this made it easier for the evil-one to confuse and lie about who the Angel of the Lord was, and thus also make himself think that he could also take over the Kingdom of Heaven, and be even greater than God Himself. Obviously the evil-one found out who God really was when he lost after the mutiny or insurrection; and he was cast into the dark physical universe where the Earth is located (along with his followers). But now God found it necessary to show “all of creation” that His love was beyond anything they had ever imagined. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus said it in John 15:13. But here is the problem: God cannot die, even as the Angel of the Lord (Jesus before being born in the flesh), for He is eternal. So how can He show His love for ALL of his created beings when He cannot die? Well, He had already created the smallest of His created beings, “man”, and man had a corruptible body, and was capable of dying—hmm, problem solved. If God Almighty were to be born as a human, He could die a physical death, and yet His spirit would continue to be eternal. If He died and suffered for ALL creation, as a small simple human, would there be any doubt that His love is genuine? By now the evil-one was already working on destroying the smallest created beings in the Garden of Eden.

      June 26, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Cloud-man

      (Continued). ...Now God set His plan of Salvation in motion, to pay the ransom for humans, and to demonstrate His great of Love for ALL creation! God Almighty is the Angel of the Lord AND is also Jesus Christ (and the Holy Spirit). He limited Himself to a human body, but He is the essence of Almighty God, or full Deity in an earthly vessel. He is no coward! He would not send “a son” to die for Him, He himself came down to die for All, and He calls Himself as a human, the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, Almighty God in flesh (Read Isaiah 9:6 about the child also called "Eternal Father"). Blessed be the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, God who became flesh for us, to showed His great love for All of us!

      June 26, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • Fronk

      Things are getting very cloudly, sounds like a good imagination and one who wants you to follow this drivvle

      June 26, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Cloud-man

      John wrote in Revelation 1:11-18 KJV when he had a vision of Jesus,,,

      "Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."

      June 26, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Cloud-man

      When we get to Heaven we will see ONE thrown and He that will be seated on it will be the Saviour, Yeshua Ha Machiach, the promissed Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ, God Almighty in a Glorified body which is bright like the brightness of the Sun. The Bible says that He sits at the "right hand of the Father": meaning that He has ALL the Authority of the Father because He IS also the Father in a Glorified ressurected body, while His huge and powerful Spirit is simultaneously everywhere at the same time. Who can put boundaries on His power and existence? NOBODY can, espeially our little puny human minds.

      June 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • just sayin

      Cloud-man the Sumarian do you know the origins of your bible?

      June 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  19. Paul

    Or what about this one; In The Encyclopedia Americana we read: “Christianity derived from Judaism and Judaism was strictly Unitarian [believing that God is one person]. The road which led from Jerusalem to Nicea was scarcely a straight one. Fourth century Trinitarianism did not reflect accurately early Christian teaching regarding the nature of God; it was, on the contrary, a deviation from this teaching.”—(1956), Vol. XXVII, p. 294L.

    June 26, 2012 at 5:21 am |
    • Paul

      or this one; According to the Nouveau Dictionnaire Universel, “The Platonic trinity, itself merely a rearrangement of older trinities dating back to earlier peoples, appears to be the rational philosophic trinity of attributes that gave birth to the three hypostases or divine persons taught by the Christian churches. . . . This Greek philosopher’s [Plato, fourth century B.C.E.] conception of the divine trinity . . . can be found in all the ancient [pagan] religions.”—(Paris, 1865-1870), edited by M. Lachâtre, Vol. 2, p. 1467.

      June 26, 2012 at 5:22 am |
    • Paul

      and this; John L. McKenzie, S.J., in his Dictionary of the Bible, says: “The trinity of persons within the unity of nature is defined in terms of ‘person’ and ‘nature’ which are G[ree]k philosophical terms; actually the terms do not appear in the Bible. The trinitarian definitions arose as the result of long controversies in which these terms and others such as ‘essence’ and ‘substance’ were erroneously applied to God by some theologians.”—(New York, 1965), p. 899.

      June 26, 2012 at 5:23 am |
  20. Paul

    Cloud-man: John 14:8-10
    I see Jesus is certainly in “union” with his Father. But that does not mean he is the Father. It simply means that they are ‘of the same mind’ or union in purpose, or think the same. To helps us understand this being the case just look a few verses on. John 14:20, there Jesus refers to the disciples being in union with him, same Greek being used. We know what he means by that. That the disciples will be of the same mind or purpose of Jesus, unless you are suggesting they too will become part of Jesus (Jehovah).
    Your views echo that of Trinitarian’s of most Christian faiths. This teaching has very little to do with real Christianity, please read the following quotes;
    The New Encyclopædia Britannica says: “Neither the word Trinity, nor the explicit doctrine as such, appears in the New Testament, nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema in the Old Testament: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord’ (Deut. 6:4). . . . The doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies. . . . By the end of the 4th century . . . the doctrine of the Trinity took substantially the form it has maintained ever since.”—(1976), Micropædia, Vol. X, p. 126.

    June 26, 2012 at 2:33 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.