Bush's plans to address Messianic Jewish group irks former aides
Former President George W. Bush plans to address a group committed to converting Jews to Christianity.
November 13th, 2013
05:34 PM ET

Bush's plans to address Messianic Jewish group irks former aides

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='JRavitzCNN']

(CNN) - Of course Tevi Troy has heard the hubbub.

He knows full well that his onetime boss, former President George W. Bush, plans to speak Thursday at a Dallas fundraiser for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute – a group dedicated to converting Jews to Christianity.

“I have yet to meet a Jewish person who hasn’t heard about this,” says Troy, who served as a Bush administration liaison to the Jewish community and was a former deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The topic of conversion can prompt a visceral reaction for Jews whose darker times have been marred by persecution, expulsion and forced conversions. Millions have died for and because of their faith.

“There’s good historical reason for the Jewish discomfort,” Troy says.

But before Troy, an Orthodox Jew, will tread into this controversy, he wants to discuss the Jewish value of hakarat hatov, or “recognizing the good.”

He says people should remember and appreciate that Bush was “a very good president to the Jewish people.”

He was a friend to Israel during the Second Intifada, Troy says. He was an outspoken opponent of anti-Semitism. And in the wake of the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl by al Qaeda in Pakistan in 2002, when Jews felt like targets, Troy says Bush took on terrorism.

That said, when it comes to Bush’s decision to speak at the annual banquet for this messianic group, one that believes Jews like this former aide need to be saved, Troy admits, “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed.”

CNN tried to speak with five other former Bush administration liaisons to the Jewish community, but only two of those responded. Both suggested Troy could speak for them, too.

His words, though, are tempered. Others, such as Rabbi David Wolpe, who was dubbed America’s most influential rabbi by Newsweek in 2012, called Bush’s decision “infuriating.”

The Messianic Jewish Bible Institute is representative of a longstanding effort to convert Jews, one that dates back to Paul in the New Testament who said, in Romans 1:16, that the Gospel should be taken “to the Jew first.”

The institute's website features a menorah in its logo. Its chairman is listed as Rabbi Jonathan Bernis, a man who heads up another organization called Jewish Voice Ministries International, where an “Ask the Rabbi” feature includes an image of him wearing a yarmulke and Jewish prayer shawl.

CNN reached out to Bernis at Jewish Voice Ministries but was told by a spokeswoman that he was not allowed to comment on the upcoming fundraiser.

Then CNN asked where he had been ordained as a rabbi, and the spokeswoman hung up the phone.

We also called the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, which pulled down from its website any references to Bush’s upcoming appearance soon after Mother Jones broke the story. An institute spokeswoman said there would be no comment.

A source close to Bush, who didn't want to be named, confirmed to CNN on Wednesday afternoon that the former president still plans to speak at Thursday’s banquet, where tickets reportedly range in price from $100 to $100,000.

The source also said that Bush addresses all sorts of groups, secular and religious of varying stripes. Bush tells stories from the White House and speaks about his love for America, which includes a commitment to religious freedom and tolerance, according to the source.

Had Bush’s onetime liaison to the Jewish community still been working with the former president or been asked, Troy said he certainly would have advised against such an appearance.

Troy says the problem is most people don’t understand why talk of converting Jews stirs up such strong feelings in the Jewish community.

“It dates back to a time when forced conversion was a serious issue, when the church was imbued with the power of state,” he says.

Troy points to the Spanish Inquisition as an example, explaining how under duress and torture, Jews had to convert to Christianity or face expulsion from Spain in 1492. Those who stayed and exhibited any shred of Jewish observance were persecuted.

The Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, founded in the mid-1990s, includes in its mission the goal to "educate Christians in their role to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy and thus save some of them."

The institute's statement of faith also says that those who are born Jewish and "place their faith in Messiah Yeshua," Jesus, "have not disowned or separated themselves from their race and Judaic heritage, but remain sons and daughters of Israel."

Missionary outreach to Jews in America isn't new. It dates back to the 19th century. A Hungarian man who called himself a "rabbi" established a ministry in 1894 to target Jewish immigrants in Brooklyn, offering them assistance, education and New Testaments translated into Yiddish.

On the opposite coast in San Francisco in 1973, a Baptist minister - who was born Jewish - founded a proselytizing organization called Jews for Jesus. His small army has been knocking on doors and pounding the pavement ever since.

A less aggressive approach, preferred by others who might call themselves Messianic Jews or Hebrew Christians, has been the establishment of Messianic “synagogues” and organizations. They’re sponsored by Christians, and they incorporate Jewish symbols and modified Jewish rituals. They’re often led by leaders who call themselves rabbis, use Hebrew phrases and wear traditional Jewish accessories.

Critics cry false advertising, subterfuge and bemoan how such outfits, including the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, which built its base in the former Soviet Union, often target Jews who don’t know better – what Rob Eshman of the Jewish Journal in Los Angeles called, “the low-hanging fruit of Jewish identity.”

While Messianic Jews believe it’s possible to be Jewish while believing Jesus is the Messiah, others say this makes as much sense as a vegetarian who believes in scarfing down steak.

The historical concern may have been rooted in forced conversions, but Troy knows that's not an issue today.

In fact, the group Bush will address - and others like it - don’t really worry him. He’s more concerned about a recent Pew study that showed how a growing number of American Jews don’t identify with any faith, let alone their own.

About a third of American Jews born after 2000 answered “none” when asked about their religious affiliation, the survey showed.  Of everyone surveyed who was raised Jewish, according to the researchers, 6% now describe themselves as Christian - mostly as Catholics, Protestants or "just Christian."

Messianic Jews, Pew said, constitute a very small group. Meantime, though, the Pew survey also showed that 34% of those asked believe a person can be Jewish and believe Jesus was the messiah.

But the fundraiser in Dallas, even if it features the likes of a former U.S. president, isn’t what’s hurting American Jews, Troy says.

"Judaism," he says, "has other and bigger problems."

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: evangelicals • Judaism • Politics

soundoff (1,377 Responses)
  1. richunix

    Through I’m Atheist, I do have to give credit that a historical JESUS did probably exist The name JESUS was used throughout the ancient world as it is used now in sir names. There is too much surrounding evidence pointing to a person who was a religious leader during that time, but that is where it ends. Over time these stories became embellished to a point where he became god-like and to prove this point “miracles” were created that defy all natural laws of physic. BAR-NONE no one has EVER seen any deity, parted ANY sea, river or pond or brought anyone back the dead (without the aid of modern medicine). The reader needs to understand, The Gospel WERE NOT written by the men that are “According to” (Sorry but ALL Historian agree that these are copies of copies, as we do not have the originals) but by earliest Greek scribes 100-200 years after the fact. Look at the Gospel According to “Mark” from the first copy which dates about 3th century, by the time the 8th century we have an extra 12 verses (the resurrection scene) to include the now famous passage in the gospel of John “he who is without sin. This is a known add-on, dated centuries after the original writing by Greek scribes. Or calling Mary Magdalene a (deleted name), which JESUS did not, it was, it was a story add-on by later popes.

    Stephen F Roberts: “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

    November 14, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I'm with you.
      I believe there was a radical Rabbi who was fed up with the bureaucratic fiddling of the Jewish clergy of his era and who wished to spread his religion to the gentiles.
      I don't believe he was magical.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:50 am |
  2. Dyslexic doG

    The Legend of King Arthur is not evidence for Merlin.
    The Greek Myths are not evidence for Heracles.
    The Epic of Beowulf is not evidence for Grendel.
    The American Folk Tradition is not evidence for Paul Bunyan.
    The New Testament is not evidence for Jesus.
    The Old Testament is not evidence for Yahweh.

    The miracles happened ... in the story.
    The prophesies were fulfilled ... in the story.
    The character was emotionally appealing and morally right ... in the story.

    Get out of your stories.

    November 14, 2013 at 8:41 am |
    • Charm Quark

      Jesus, jesus
      I take this as a response to my earlier post, you are going to post every pile of Christian apologists BS you can find. Have a fun day.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:54 am |
      • Charm Quark

        Wrong spot, up one.

        November 14, 2013 at 8:55 am |
  3. rizzo

    Bush is trying to whittle the Jews down to 144k to fulfill his crazy Pentecostal end times prophecy. A man who literally believes that everyone who worships correctly will be raptured to heaven and most of the rest killed in a final battle when Jesus comes back, and we elected him president...TWICE! Good job, America:(

    November 14, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      well said!

      November 14, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Need we bring up the current president's failings?
      "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it!"
      "Your healthcare costs will not go up, in fact this plan will save the average family $2500!"

      My health plan is now more than my mortgage.

      November 14, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  4. Donald

    The practical reality is thatJews are strictly prohibited from proselytizing . Additionally our numbers are very small compared to all of the various Christian religions of the world. It is offensive for any religion to do anything to hasten the possible extinction of my people when our very religion demands that we discourage other adherents of other religions from converting to Judaism.

    November 14, 2013 at 8:33 am |
    • Bob

      Go.. who is holding you back? Go.. don't let the door hit your behind..

      November 14, 2013 at 8:51 am |
  5. DL

    STOP trying to convert others to your crazy beliefs. You wouldn't like if I tried to convert you to mine.... and mine (the ONLY righteous belief) involves chickens, fire and virgins!

    November 14, 2013 at 8:32 am |
  6. Jesus is the Messiah

    "I am the way...no one comes unto the father but by me." Jesus

    November 14, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      how can you possibly speak about "what jesus said"?!?!

      The King James version of the new testament was completed in 1611 by 8 members of the church of England. There were (and still are) NO original texts to translate. The oldest manuscripts we have were written down 100's of years after the last apostle died. There are over 8,000 of these old manuscripts with no two alike. The king james translators used none of these anyway. Instead they edited previous translations to create a version their king and parliament would approve. So.... 21st century christians believe the "word of god" is a book edited in the 17th century from the 16th century translations of 8,000 contradictory copies of 4th century scrolls that claim to be copies of lost letters written in the 1st century.

      So we don't even know if the jesus character existed, much less what he may or may not have said.

      Seriously?! Claiming that jesus said certain phrases is utter mind numbing nonsense, and yet you seem to base your belief on this! Your belief has more holes in it than swiss cheese! It would be laughable if it wasn't so tragic.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • sam stone

      edited, translated hearsay

      November 14, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • richunix

      The earliest (complete) versions we have are from late 3rd century C.E and these version are written in Konic Greek

      November 14, 2013 at 8:33 am |
  7. Gheorghe Gheorghe

    "one that believes Jews like this former aide need to be saved..."

    Every Bible believing Christian (just like Paul in your article) wants the Jews to be saved (just like he/she wants the Muslims, etc.). They pray for this and preach the Gospel, that Jesus is the Messiah.

    The Jews, etc are free to disbelieve and not to follow Jesus the Messiah.
    Where is the problem here?

    Thank God it is a free country where you can preach, teach, believe, or disbelieve.

    November 14, 2013 at 8:21 am |
    • Science Works

      Teaching works !

      Here is one with PICTURES you do not have to read just look at the pictures.

      November 12, 2013

      Traces of 'Microbial Cities' a Record 3.49 Billion Years Old Discovered –"Communicating Via Chemical Signals"


      November 14, 2013 at 8:40 am |
  8. Ringo65

    Get a life. What a waste of time and energy.

    November 14, 2013 at 8:17 am |
  9. Lawrence of Arabia

    It was prophesied that Jews would not accept the Messiah; it was true in Jesus' time, and it's true today.

    The Jewish leaders first began to feel threatened by Jesus when He cleansed the Temple of the money changers. They then rejected Him because He exposed their hypocrisy over and over again, and they feared that they would lose their power over the people. The Jewish people, because they feared their leaders because they had the power to put them out of the synagogue, (the leaders said that anyone who confessed that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue) out of a desire to please their leaders and honor them, they went along with the rejection of Jesus.

    When Jesus healed someone on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders latched onto that and used it as a reason to begin their persecution of Him. Jesus then used that opportunity to proclaim to them that He was God, and even though they were first "astonished" at His teaching, when He claimed to be God, they desired to kill Him.

    Here's the astonishing part...
    The deity of Christ was attested to by many signs and miracles, and the Jews even openly said that they recognized that He came from God because of His miracles!
    Furthermore, His deity was attested to by a well recognized prophet. Although the people overwhelmingly regarded John the Baptist as a prophet (which meant that they regarded what he said as coming from God) because they felt threatened by Jesus, when John testified to His deity, they still would not believe him – revealing even more of the Jewish leader’s hypocrisy.

    Since the penalty for a false prophet is a death sentence, (Deuteronomy 13) if they regarded John as a true prophet of God, why didn’t they believe him when he testified to the divinity of Jesus? If they felt that John was a false prophet, why didn’t they kill him?

    Because He had constantly exposed their hypocrisy, when He verbally made Himself out to be God to the Jews, they wanted to kill Him. This was only due to their misunderstanding of the Scriptures, and because their pride had been wounded. And THAT carries on through modern times...

    Romans 10:1-4 – Any Jew who is trusting in his Judaism to save him is NOT saved. This goes for Jews in Jesus’ day as well as modern day Jews

    November 14, 2013 at 8:15 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      I hope you didn't pay someone to teach you that rubbish.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:18 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        I use vinegar, crushed red pepper, salt, and a little brown sugar as hogwash. Add a little charcoal and hickory, and you've got some GOOOOOOD pig. (Eastern North Carolina version)

        I've never heard of people using SCRIPTURE as hogwash... Sounds like it would be... crunchy...

        November 14, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • Corbin

      How about a positive approach to presenting the gospels?

      Instead of 'why' a person is not saved, how about 'how' a person can be saved?

      November 14, 2013 at 8:21 am |
    • Observer

      You have to be extremely learned to talk to the Jewish people. The messianic Jews will be the best to present the Messiah to the Jewish people.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:24 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        That's very true. Unfortunately, my experience has been when a Messianic Jew attempts to speak of Rabbi Jesus to a Jew, they instantly turn off and try to change the subject. Most of the time they won't even hear what you have to say. I have a great compassion for these people, but how do you witness to someone who is so completely closed minded that they won't even let you buy them lunch?

        November 14, 2013 at 8:31 am |
        • Observer

          You see, "Close minded" is a relative term, JW's and Mormon might say the same to you.

          Before presenting the gospels, you have to

          a)show genuine love
          b)pray and ask God for wisdom, before shooting words off your mouth
          c) reach out in humility

          otherwise, you come across as a rabble rouser.

          November 14, 2013 at 8:39 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          True enough. That unfortunately is really hard to do in this format that is designed for "sound bytes."
          My post may have seemed harsh, but all I did was to paraphrase scripture. I could give references if you like. The reason I didn't list them originally was that experience has shown that people tend to shut out posts that are full of Bible references... I still use them, I just don't give the address sometimes. It seems to keep more readers.

          November 14, 2013 at 8:48 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          One more observation... Before you can present the gospel, you must convince your audience of the fact that they are a sinner. You could never give a painful cure to a fatal disease to a man who was not convinced that he had it.

          November 14, 2013 at 8:50 am |
        • Observer

          Jewish people believe in repentance, that is why they celebrate Yom Kippur. As stated in OP you've got to have a deep understanding of OT to see where they are coming from, before you talk to them.

          November 14, 2013 at 9:07 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          The Jews that I've spoken to believe that by celebrating the Day of Atonement, they are cleansed. The problem is that rituals, sacrifices, and the like were never intended to actually remove sins – they were intended as a foreshadowing, a hint of things to come when the ultimate sacrifice would be made for all their sins...

          Jeremiah says that burnt offerings and the like were meant to be ADDED to the sacrifice of a penitent heart. The emphasis is on internal obedience, not external observance.

          November 14, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • Thinker23

      "It was prophesied that Jews would not accept the Messiah;"...

      I'm not sure who and where "prophesied" it but the fact is that the Jews were waiting for their Messiah for thousands of years. They still are waiting for him today. All the Messiah had to do for the Jews to accept him was to PROVE that he indeed WAS the Messiah. According to the New Testament, the Jews did not accept Jesus and this has only two possible explanations: either Jesus was UNABLE to convince the Jews that he was the Messiah or, alternatively, he DID NOT WANT to do it. The first option suggest that Jesus WAS NOT the real Messiah and the God's son. The second means that the Jews acted in accordance with God's plans.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:26 am |
      • beyond the arc

        You're (intentionally?) missing the third possibility, that Jews are too proud to be open-minded about the shortcomings of their faith.

        November 14, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • Charm Quark

      Pick a dead Messiah so he doesn't have to replicate any of the supernatural mumbo jumbo or tricks, how clever.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • Observer

      Here are their common objections, why Jews have not accepted the Jesus as the messiah
      Bible says he will:
      A.Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
      B.Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
      C.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)
      D.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).

      What say you to each of the of the above?

      November 14, 2013 at 8:27 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        In a word? Eschatology. Yes, the Messiah will do all of those things, but the fulfillment of those prophecies would be in time. God, in His providence used the rejection of Jesus by the Jews (prophesied in Isaiah and Psalms) as an opportunity to preach the Good news also to the Gentiles, and usher in the Church Age.

        Zechariah 12:1 – 13:9 speaks of a time when Israel will repent and turn to Jesus as they will finally recognize their Messiah. When all the world turns against Israel in a great siege, God will miraculously save them, and at that time: “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him…”

        Jesus' accusation of the Jews is simply that they did not read their scriptures...

        November 14, 2013 at 8:43 am |
        • Observer

          You did not address any one of those objections, instead you went off on a tangent to something else. Sorry to say this but you are a poor communicator.

          November 14, 2013 at 8:48 am |
        • beyond the arc

          Loved to read that.

          November 14, 2013 at 8:56 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          I did address the issues... They can all be clumped into a category of things that the Messiah will do. They were never given as a sign to the people as a proof of who the Messiah would be. The Jews confused "action" prophecies with "definition" or "recognizing" prophecies. Certain prophecies were given to tell the Jews WHO the Messiah would be, and other prophecies were given to tell the Jews what the Messiah would DO.

          The Jews wanted a military deliverer, not a spiritual deliverer. They would never admit that they are sinners, and they felt (and feel) that they are nationally saved because of their Judaism. They never felt, and still don't feel that they need to be individually saved. Their bias caused them to misread the scriptures, IF they ever read them in the first place. (Rabbi Jesus' accusation, not mine)

          November 14, 2013 at 8:56 am |
      • Robert Brown

        Very good Observer. Those will all occur when Jesus comes again. Thanks.

        November 14, 2013 at 8:47 am |
        • Observer

          Thanks Robert, the Jewish people say that the Messiah has to fulfill all these prophecies the first time He comes. There is a no second coming according to their understanding of the scriptures.

          November 14, 2013 at 8:50 am |
        • Charm Quark

          RB and Observer
          Don't the scriptures say that jesus would return in a generation or so? Love how you guys can cherry pick what is the "WORD" and ignore the bits that don't make sense. 2000 years late but still buying the same old BS.

          November 14, 2013 at 9:10 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Nope, Jesus didn't say that at all.
          What He was doing was making a prophecy of the end times, and the generation of people who saw those indicators of the tribulation come would not pass away until all those things came to pass.
          Just read Matthew 24. It's right there.

          November 14, 2013 at 9:20 am |
        • Charm Quark

          So we have jesus running off at the mouth of what is to come and says "Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place." Picking the fly sh!t out of the pepper, how Christian.

          November 14, 2013 at 9:47 am |
  10. Ringo65

    How appropriate, that George Bush, who sold us the lie about Iraq and WMD, is hired to sell this cr@p also.

    November 14, 2013 at 8:15 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Too bad that he doesn't get hit by a super typhoon.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Prove to me that it was a lie. Those are mighty strong words. The president made the best decision that he could with the information that he had at the time. And that's all that should be expected of any president.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:17 am |
      • Richard Cranium

        That is not true at all. He had iinformation , and acted on it, despite the fact that he was told the information was from a source that was suspect and not confirmed.
        He ILLEGALLY invaded a sovereign nation.

        November 14, 2013 at 8:24 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        Lawrence, you really are delusional on so many levels.

        November 14, 2013 at 8:33 am |
      • beyond the arc

        Except the best info he had at the time was contradictory to what he sold the nation. He lied and hundreds of thousands have died. GW Bush, and his papa with him, are the devil's agents.

        November 14, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • JamieD

      I am just curious, what lie about Iraq and WMD's? Lets break this in to two parts. Bush said that the money that was funding the terrorist networks was coming through Iraq, and that was proven to be coming from Syria through Iraq. But the WMD's??? Hmm, do you even know what a WMD is? Funny, its people like you Ringo65 who thinks that WMD's are reserved to just Nuclear Bombs. Were you aware that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is being charged with building and detonating a WMD during the Boston Marathon? Probably not, since you are just a headline reader.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:33 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Yeah, and its amazing the kinds of things that aren't classified, but don't make it into the national news... I remember when he was president, I had a LOT of family and friends in the military, and some of the pictures that they sent home showed weapons and equipment buried in sand that proved that WMD's were there...

        The problem is that too many people take the news media for gospel. Here's the truth – If you weren't THERE, then you don't KNOW what really happened...

        November 14, 2013 at 9:08 am |
  11. Jesus is the Messiah

    WHY (did Jesus die on the cross)?
    WHY did Jesus die on that cross?–Because He LOVED you! He loved you enough to take your punishment, to die and be separated from His Father for a while so that He could bring YOU the LOVE of God and ETERNAL LIFE! As another prophecy says, "All we like sheep have gone astray; each of us have turned to his own way, and the Lord has laid on HIM the iniquity of us all. There was no deceit in His mouth, yet it was the Lord's will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer. HIS soul (Jesus') shall be made an offering for SIN, and by His knowledge shall My righteous Servant JUSTIFY (make righteous) many; and HE shall bear THEIR INIQUITIES!"–Isaiah 53:6,9-11. (Prophecy given 750 B.C.)

    Jesus died for YOU!–And God gave all these prophecies and had them written down and preserved down through the centuries and millenniums so that your faith might be strengthened by them enough to BELIEVE that "God so LOVED the World, that He gave His only begotten SON, that whosoever believeth in HIM should not perish, but have everlasting life."–John 3:16. Do YOU?

    God LOVES you and Jesus is just WAITING at your heart's door for you to open to Him. He says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: If ANY man hear My voice, and OPEN the door, I WILL come in to him and WILL sup with him, and he with Me."–Revelation 3:20. Would YOU like to receive Jesus into your heart? If you would, sincerely pray from your heart this simple prayer: Dear Jesus, I know that I've done wrong things and I'm sorry. I believe that You died for my sins and I ask You to please come into my heart and forgive me.-And please help me to live for You and others by reading Your Word and telling others about Your Love!–In Jesus' name, amen.

    November 14, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      You keep quoting this garbage even though you have NO evidence that any of what you say is true. It is all in your head.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:15 am |
    • Charm Quark

      Jesus, jesus.
      Are you going to post every Christian apologist pile of BS you can find? Enough already, the scam is still doing pretty well, come back when more churches in your area are closing down and the hustlers get desperate.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:18 am |
  12. Jesus is the Messiah

    PROPHECY: "Then he brought me back to the outer GATE of the SANCTUARY, the one facing toward the EAST; and it was SHUT. Then the Lord said unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and NO MAN shall enter in by it; because THE LORD, THE GOD OF ISRAEL, HAS ENTERED IN BY IT, therefore it shall be SHUT."–Ezekiel 44:1,2. (Prophecy given 572 B.C.)

    FULFILLMENT: When Jesus ("the Lord, the God of Israel") made His TRIUMPHAL ENTRY into Jerusalem on the back of the colt of an ass, He came from the Mt. of Olives and entered into Jerusalem's EAST Gate (Matthew 21:9-12), the gate which led into the TEMPLE COURTS, as it says here, "the OUTER gate of the SANCTUARY which faces toward the EAST."

    In 70 A.D., the city of Jerusalem was utterly destroyed and it remained in ruins for centuries after. But in 542, the Moslem Sultan Sulieman rebuilt the walls of the city. Because the Jews who had rejected Jesus believed their Messiah was STILL to come and was YET to make His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Sulieman (who wanted to avoid the Jews rallying around a "Messiah" and rebelling) WALLED the "East Gate" completely SHUT, and thus unwittingly fulfilled the ancient prophecy of Ezekiel, "It shall be shut...because the Lord (Jesus), the God of Israel, HAS ENTERED in by it." And the East Gate REMAINS sealed shut until this very day!

    Most Jews believe that the Messiah has not yet come, but according to these two FULFILLED HISTORICAL FACTS: 1) The destruction of Jerusalem, and 2) The walling up of the East Gate, the Messiah has ALREADY come!–And if it wasn't JESUS of NAZARETH, who WAS it?

    WHO ELSE was born of a virgin in Bethlehem, was called God, rode triumphantly into Jerusalem on an ass, was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, was proclaimed innocent yet condemned unjustly to be crucified while soldiers parted His garments, was associated with the wicked in his death, was buried in a rich man's tomb and rose from the dead–all in FULFILLMENT of Messianic PROPHECY! The answer, of course, is NO one else but JESUS CHRIST!–And the prophecies that we have quoted here are only a FEW out of nearly 300 specific Old Testament proph ecies which Jesus fulfilled!

    November 14, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      The Legend of King Arthur is not evidence for Merlin.
      The Greek Myths are not evidence for Heracles.
      The Epic of Beowulf is not evidence for Grendel.
      The American Folk Tradition is not evidence for Paul Bunyan.
      The New Testament is not evidence for Jesus.
      The Old Testament is not evidence for Yahweh.

      The miracles happened ... in the story.
      The prophesies were fulfilled ... in the story.
      The character was emotionally appealing and morally right ... in the story.

      Get out of your stories.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:41 am |
      • beyond the arc

        There is no "out of the stories." We're all inextricably in the stories. You can't remove yourself from culture, only choose a different corner within culture. No one is independent of culture, including you.

        November 14, 2013 at 9:03 am |
  13. Steve Levine

    I am sure this makes Eric Cantor very proud, considering at one point in his life he was Jewish, but he has clearly lost all of his Jewish values.

    November 14, 2013 at 8:12 am |
  14. richunix

    I have read the Bible numerous times, in fact I spent the last 10 years study it, so part of the Bible does contain some historical entries, but sadly the majority contains what we refer as “lest probable events”. The main question that arises during our discussion is “Did Jesus exists”. The answer amongst the majority of scholars (me included) is “YES” as a man, not what is painted so many years after his death. Modern Christianity has more to do with the Christian religion and less to do with the historical Jesus. Take the Gospel, Mark, Luke and Matthew make no mention that Jesus is divine, but the Gospel of John has no less than 11 entries and goes out of the way to state that Jesus is the Son of God and part of God (The Johannine Comma) which are extra entries that were added in the late 5th CE (Latin) but is absent from every known Greek manuscript prior to the 4th CE, or the Pericope of A* is not found in any early Gospel associated with John prior the remarks of Pope Gregory the Great 6th century CE.

    November 14, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • Jesus is the Messiah

      Matthew 1:22-23: All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel which means, “God with us.”

      In this verse Jesus is clearly Immanuel, which means “God with us.” I’ve heard folks try to explain this one by saying God is with us all in a generic sort of way. When you take this verse at face value, while also considering related passages, it’s pretty difficult to tweak it to mean anything other than what it says.

      You were saying?

      November 14, 2013 at 8:21 am |
    • Jesus is the Messiah

      "But who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" [Luke 1:43; NAB]
      In Mark 2:28, Jesus claims to be the Lord of the Sabbath (Exodus 20:10). He also claims to be greater than the Prophet Jonah (Matt 12:41), King Solomon (Matt 12:42) and even the Temple (Matt 12:6). According to Mark 2:1-12, Jesus claims authority to forgive sins and performs a miraculous cure to prove it.
      Also when Jesus was an infant, the wise men worshipped Him according to Matthew 2:11. If the Christ Child were not divine, then this Gospel passage would present idolatry in a positive light.
      According to the Gospel, even the demons (Mark 1:27) and the weather (Mark 4:41) obey Him.

      Have you read it?

      November 14, 2013 at 8:34 am |
    • lol??

      The scholars are at least makin' a buck. What's yer story, richie??

      November 14, 2013 at 9:35 am |
  15. richunix

    So the question is, of the 5700 known manuscripts making up the books of the Bible which one would you say is the most correct? In short before you jump up on your band-wagon and declare it is the approved King James version, or the New World edited addition and was inspired by GOD. Remember if GOD meant for his word to be extant, then why didn’t he go to great lengths to preserve his word, this has puzzled theologian and scholar’s for centuries.

    You can try reading the Codex Sinaiticus , or the Codex Vaticanus (Codex Bezae, 8th century) written in the 4th century. Both version have the most complete version of earlier Bible and some more, however they have MAJOR difference between your current version. Or you may take your hand (like the rest of us) and learn Konic Greek, so you can read the very early version of the Bible like, Papyrus P52,46 or P75. You listed historical names from the Bible, maybe you should try reading the Gnostic Gospel such as The Gospel of Mary, James, Peter…better yet the Gospel of Judas (published in 2006) or the Gospel of Solomon (or King Solomon), how about the Gospel of Jesus himself?. Do you even know the difference between the Gnosticism and Docetism? Take your current four Gospel and read the Crucifixion stories, which version is correct, when only one (unnamed Apostle was present) and yet they all have different words spoken by the dying Jesus, different way’s and times he died. The bible you see today is not the bible that was originally written 2000 years ago, in fact not even close. None of the Gospel are/were not written by any of eyewitness they are penned after, they are in fact written century’s later by trained Greek scribes, you need to read more about Teutullin and Irenaeus. We do not HAVE any surviving Gospel from the 1st century, it is not until the 3rd century we have a few incomplete Gospel (P46/75) and the most complete by the 4th century and even these do not match the earlier version, let alone the prolific number of versions that were created in the 7/8/9th century.

    November 14, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Why major on the minor? If four different people record the same event will they be identical? Ever hear of perception?

      All four seem to have some incredible similarti.ties, most importantly Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose again. Amen.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:52 am |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        In retrospect, we know that the same hands handled the Gospels for centuries before the versions we know were preserved. It is not remarkable that they are consistent after it was felt necessary that they be consistent. Three of them are thought to have originated from the same earlier gospels. All of the original material is long gone.

        November 14, 2013 at 9:00 am |
  16. Jesus is the Messiah

    PROPHECY: "Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and to build Jerusalem until the Messiah the Prince shall be seven sevens, and 62 sevens (or a TOTAL of 69): The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. And after 62 sevens shall the MESSIAH be CUT OFF, but not for Himself."-Daniel 9:25,26. (Prophecy given 538 B.C.)

    The city of Jerusalem was completely destroyed by the armies of Babylon when the Jews went into captivity and exile in 586 B.C. But 133 years later, in 453 B.C., Artaxerxes Longimanus, King of the Persian Empire, gave the Jews the commandment to go forth (from captivity into the land of Israel), "to restore and to build Jerusalem".

    We know his decree was issued in 453 B.C., and that Jesus was "cut off" in 30 A.D. Therefore, if we add the 453 years B.C. to the 30 years A.D., it equals 483 YEARS. Let's see now if Daniel's specific time prophecy coincides with this:

    The prophecy predicted that from the time of this decree until the death of the Messiah the Prince would be–HOW long?–"7 sevens plus 62 sevens"–or 69 SEVENS. 69 sevens would be 69 x 7, which equals 483. So Daniel predicted that 69 sevens of YEARS, or 483 YEARS, would pass between the issuing of the decree to build Jerusalem and the "cutting off" of the Messiah.–And that's EXACTLY how many years DID pass between 453 B.C. and Jesus' death in 30 A.D.!–What an amazing EXACT FULFILLMENT of prophecy! And this astonishing prophecy was given in the year 538 B.C.–almost 600 years BEFORE Jesus the Messiah was crucified! It's also interesting to note that this 483-year period was divided into two periods: First a period of 7 sevens (49 years), then a period of 62 sevens (434 years). History reveals that it did take the Jews 49 YEARS from the time the decree was issued to "rebuild the walls and streets of Jerusalem". Once Jerusalem was rebuilt, it was exactly 434 years (62 sevens) later that Jesus the Messiah was crucified!

    Daniel's prophecy continues with undeniable PROOF that this MESSIAH had to be JESUS:

    November 14, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • richunix

      Jesus the Messiah,

      Daniel was written about the 300 B.C.E

      November 14, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      "The Coming Prince" by Sir Robert Anderson

      November 14, 2013 at 8:21 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      There are a number of problems with Christ as the Messiah.
      Of course, the authors of the New Testament were well aware of the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament.
      There are a number of instances in which the authors, shall we say, stretched the truth so that Jesus could fulfill them, beginning with the tale of His birth.
      The story goes that Joseph and his heavily pregnant wife had to travel to Bethlehem in order to be "taxed and counted".
      The Roman Empire did indeed take a census at regular intervals. Thanks to their meticilous record keeping, we've proof of when these surveys took place and of the methodology used to execute them.
      The Gospels of Luke and Matthew both place Christ's birth during the reign of King Herod,but he died in 4BCE, some 10 years before the only Roman Census that comes close to the time of Christ's birth (in 7CE) by Emperor Quirinius.
      Furthermore, Joseph would not have had to travel to his ancestral home (1,000 years later)to be taxed and counted. The Roman Empire employed roving assessors for such jobs and had been doing so for centuries.

      They say that Jesus being born of a virgin fulfills the Isaiah 7:14prophecy.
      However, the Hebrew term in Isaiah "almah" which means a "young woman". "Virgin" is a mistranslation.
      The Messiah must come from David's line, but tribal line cannot be passed on through adoption. Jesus cannot be "son of David" through Joseph.

      Don't forget that during that time, there were MANY claimaints to the Messiah role like Simon of Peraea, Athronges, Menahem ben Judah, Vespasian, Simon bar Kokhba, etc. ad nauseum.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:36 am |
  17. Jesus is the Messiah

    PROPHECY: "For You will not leave My soul in hell (the grave, death); neither will You allow Your Holy One to see CORRUPTION (decay)."–Psalm 16:10. (Prophecy given around 1,000 B.C.)

    FULFILLMENT: King David, who gave the prophecy, died and was buried in a grave and his flesh saw corruption and decay. But Jesus was RAISED from the grave and hell THREE days AFTER His death, and "His soul was not LEFT in hell (or in the grave), neither (did) His flesh see corruption (decay)."–Acts 2:27-31. As the Angel said to the mourners who came to Jesus' tomb, "He is not here, but is RISEN! Why do you seek the LIVING among the DEAD?"–Luke 24:6,5.

    Jesus is ALIVE! The Scriptures show that He walked the Earth for 40 days after His Resurrection and was seen by HUNDREDS of followers!–Acts 1:3; 1Corinthians 15:4-6. He then ascended up to Heaven where He sits at the right hand of the throne of God.-Mark 16:19.

    November 14, 2013 at 8:08 am |
  18. Jesus is the Messiah

    PROPHECY: "And He was given a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death."–Isaiah 53:9.

    FULFILLMENT: In the eyes of His bitter religious enemies, Jesus was a criminal, a WICKED man, and as He died, there were "two ROBBERS crucified WITH Him".–Matthew 27:38. After His death, "a RICH man...named Joseph...went to Pilate and pleaded for the body of Jesus. And when Joseph had taken the body, he...laid it in his own new tomb"–A GRAVE with the RICH!!!–Matthew 27:57-60.

    November 14, 2013 at 8:08 am |
  19. 2Smart4Tea

    Bush was a "very good president for the jewish people" – unfortunately, he wasn't hired to be a president for the jewish people, he was hired to be the president of the U.S. – and he was an extremely bad president for our country and the world as a whole.

    November 14, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • Lucinda

      I agree whole heartedly! Bush was the WORST President in American history. Hands down.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:21 am |
  20. johnjon33


    November 14, 2013 at 8:06 am |
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About this blog

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.