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Jews, Christians, And The Messiah


Lamanite

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I've mentioned the intellectual shelf I store difficult questions on. One of these issues/questions is the matter of Jesus not fulfilling all of the messianic requirements spoken of in the Torah. I feel we as Mormon's often neglect the implications of Jewish Tradition, scriptural interpretation, and practice. Here are some snippets from Random web page.

1) JESUS DID NOT FULFILL THE MESSIANIC PROPHECIES (back)

What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? The Bible says that 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).

The historical fact is that Jesus fulfilled none of these messianic prophecies.

Christians counter that Jesus will fulfill these in the Second Coming, but Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright, and no concept of a second coming exists.

Interested in what you all think, and if this has ever been something you've pondered at length?

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There are quite a few more Messianic prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled besides those. Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz has a ratherâ?¦ ummmâ?¦ I guess â??scathingâ? (for lack of a better term, although that term isnâ??t as charitable as the Rabbiâ??s effort deservesâ?¦ Iâ??m just tired right now) book[let] replying to Christian missionary efforts and tactics.

The fact that the concept of a second coming is foreign from the prophecies does cause me a bit of pause. I donâ??t know that I would agree that â??Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright,â? as this seems to negate the very nature of prophecy (the conditional as well as timeframe aspects of it).

All-in-all, the â??Jesus wasnâ??t the Messiahâ? stuff sits on the same shelf as â??there is no proof for the existence of G-dâ? for me. Itâ??s thereâ?¦ it looks at meâ?¦ but in the end, thereâ??s not much I can do about it other than just leave it up there.

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I often time work "backwards". What I mean by backwards is that I will say "I know/believe Jesus is the Christ. I know/believe Joseph is the prophet of the restoration. So how can I fit the existing puzzle pieces into that framework?" It's almost intellectually dishonest, but I can't escape it. So far I have failed in regards to biblical prophecy. Any suggestions?

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I often time work "backwards". What I mean by backwards is that I will say "I know/believe Jesus is the Christ. I know/believe Joseph is the prophet of the restoration. So how can I fit the existing puzzle pieces into that framework?" It's almost intellectually dishonest, but I can't escape it. So far I have failed in regards to biblical prophecy. Any suggestions?

Chalk it up to those damned scribes removing stuff? :P

I'm sure someone else (who has more of a testimony than I) might have a suggestion. As for me, when I see that one of my suggestions might bring someoneâ??s belief in G-d down instead of lifting it up, I try to shy away. This is probably one of those instances.

Sorryâ?¦I hope you understandâ?¦

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I've mentioned the intellectual shelf I store difficult questions on. One of these issues/questions

is the matter of Jesus not fulfilling all of the messianic requirements spoken of in the Torah.

There is no Messiah in the Torah -- such an idea would be a backwards projection of history,

such as we might expect from gospel dispensationalists.

Rather, there was the Mosaic covenant in the Torah, which is supplemented by the Davidic covenant

in the later biblical books. More than likely, the common religion of mid to late Israelite times was

based upon the Davidic covenant, and Mosiac religion only became fully articulated/practiced during

and after the Exile.

But, at any rate, the people in Judah and Israel expected the Davidic monarchy to last forever.....

then Israel broke away, practiced a more prophetic version of the religion, and was destroyed.

Then the Davidic monarchy was greatly endangered by outside forces ---- THAT is when the Israelite

messianic hopes and expectations were born. King Josiah was killed and his successors proved to be

less than had been hoped for. Then they too were gone. THAT is when prophecies regarding the

glorious re-establishment of the Davidic covenant began to emerge. Not in the Torah.

I feel we as Mormon's often neglect the implications of Jewish Tradition, scriptural interpretation,

and practice. Here are some snippets from Random web page.

1) JESUS DID NOT FULFILL THE MESSIANIC PROPHECIES (back)

What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? The Bible says that he will:

"The Bible" says nothing ---- "the Bible" is a library of books not canonized until relatively late in

history. "The Bible" was still being compiled in the days of Ezra -- in the days of translation into

the Greek LXX -- in the days of the Maccabees -- and even after that.

"The Bible" does not speak with a single, uniform voice regarding "the Messiah." While some of the

key messianic prophecies do occur in the books of the "major prophets," many others are found

among the minor prophets and in the writings. None of these scriptures stand with the Torah in

divine authority.

A. Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).

Ezekiel's visions appear to have been greatly admired by the Jews who returned to re-build Jerusalem

and its temple. But he wrote before its reconstruction. He wrote before the last of the Davidic princes

disappeared from history. His visions of anything messianic must be related to the period of the Jews'

return to Jerusalem. They were unable to fulfill all his visions, of course -- and the Persians ruled over

the land, and the Davidic monarchy was never re-established.

B. Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).

Now we are getting into some REAL messianic expectations -- but Isaiah's visions were mostly ignored

by his contemporaries and the returnees from the Exile. They favored the Ezekiel model -- and the

oracles of Isaiah were shelved, to re-emerge in popular estimation after centuries of foreign rule.

Thus, for Judaism, Isaiah's visions pertain to an unspecified future -- to the great Sabbath of some

coming era -- whether literal, spiritual, or both, is undetermined.

However, in all instances, the Messiah will perform none of these acts without God's empowerment.

The Messiah of Isaiah is not a God, but the lovingkindness of the Most High incarnate in a great leader.

Not only "the Jews" gather to Jerusalem/Zion, but also "the nations." In that day, all people become

God's people. The language and expectations voiced here are obviously symbolic of some greater

reality, than just all the Jews packing up and moving to Jerusalem, with plane fares paid by Messiah.

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)

Yes -- but again, it is not Messiah who does this, but rather the Almighty, working through Messiah

and the Saints. WHEN is this idylic "peaceful kingdom" expected to come to pass? Certainly not in

the blink of an eye, nor in the lifetime of one man.

Jesus provided a different interpretation of what this shalom meant -- not "world peace," but rather,

peace within the world -- the Kingdom of God -- a kingdom in this world but not of this world.

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).

Again, Jesus provided a different interpretation of what it means for God to be King. By one measure,

"the world" ceases, when God's Kingship is realized. There must be a new heaven and a new earth.

The historical fact is that Jesus fulfilled none of these messianic prophecies.

What is meant by "fulfilled" -- do modern Jews (those who even think of a future Messiah) really

expect to have one man, no matter how powerful, make lions' teeth into lamb's grass-chewing teeth?

If a literal fulfillment of each and every messianic expectation provided in the Hebrew Bible is awaited,

then we can wait forever ---- those things will not literally come to pass. Rather, GREATER things

were/are/and-ever-shall-be.

Christians counter that Jesus will fulfill these in the Second Coming, but Jewish sources show that

the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright, and no concept of a second coming exists.

Interested in what you all think, and if this has ever been something you've pondered at length?

Well, I have about as much trust in what divided, contentious Christendom has to say, as I have

in what Jewish scholars have argued back and forth among themselves for centuries.

They do not experience Heavenly Father's revelation directly, and so they cannot comprehend it.

Seek first God's Kingship, and all good things will be added -- including understanding of messiahship.

Uncle Dale

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There is no Messiah in the Torah -- such an idea would be a backwards projection of history,

such as we might expect from gospel dispensationalists.

Rather, there was the Mosaic covenant in the Torah, which is supplemented by the Davidic covenant

in the later biblical books. More than likely, the common religion of mid to late Israelite times was

based upon the Davidic covenant, and Mosiac religion only became fully articulated/practiced during

and after the Exile.

But, at any rate, the people in Judah and Israel expected the Davidic monarchy to last forever.....

then Israel broke away, practiced a more prophetic version of the religion, and was destroyed.

Then the Davidic monarchy was greatly endangered by outside forces ---- THAT is when the Israelite

messianic hopes and expectations were born. King Josiah was killed and his successors proved to be

less than had been hoped for. Then they too were gone. THAT is when prophecies regarding the

glorious re-establishment of the Davidic covenant began to emerge. Not in the Torah.

"The Bible" says nothing ---- "the Bible" is a library of books not canonized until relatively late in

history. "The Bible" was still being compiled in the days of Ezra -- in the days of translation into

the Greek LXX -- in the days of the Maccabees -- and even after that.

"The Bible" does not speak with a single, uniform voice regarding "the Messiah." While some of the

key messianic prophecies do occur in the books of the "major prophets," many others are found

among the minor prophets and in the writings. None of these scriptures stand with the Torah in

divine authority.

Ezekiel's visions appear to have been greatly admired by the Jews who returned to re-build Jerusalem

and its temple. But he wrote before its reconstruction. He wrote before the last of the Davidic princes

disappeared from history. His visions of anything messianic must be related to the period of the Jews'

return to Jerusalem. They were unable to fulfill all his visions, of course -- and the Persians ruled over

the land, and the Davidic monarchy was never re-established.

Now we are getting into some REAL messianic expectations -- but Isaiah's visions were mostly ignored

by his contemporaries and the returnees from the Exile. They favored the Ezekiel model -- and the

oracles of Isaiah were shelved, to re-emerge in popular estimation after centuries of foreign rule.

Thus, for Judaism, Isaiah's visions pertain to an unspecified future -- to the great Sabbath of some

coming era -- whether literal, spiritual, or both, is undetermined.

However, in all instances, the Messiah will perform none of these acts without God's empowerment.

The Messiah of Isaiah is not a God, but the lovingkindness of the Most High incarnate in a great leader.

Not only "the Jews" gather to Jerusalem/Zion, but also "the nations." In that day, all people become

God's people. The language and expectations voiced here are obviously symbolic of some greater

reality, than just all the Jews packing up and moving to Jerusalem, with plane fares paid by Messiah.

Yes -- but again, it is not Messiah who does this, but rather the Almighty, working through Messiah

and the Saints. WHEN is this idylic "peaceful kingdom" expected to come to pass? Certainly not in

the blink of an eye, nor in the lifetime of one man.

Jesus provided a different interpretation of what this shalom meant -- not "world peace," but rather,

peace within the world -- the Kingdom of God -- a kingdom in this world but not of this world.

Again, Jesus provided a different interpretation of what it means for God to be King. By one measure,

"the world" ceases, when God's Kingship is realized. There must be a new heaven and a new earth.

What is meant by "fulfilled" -- do modern Jews (those who even think of a future Messiah) really

expect to have one man, no matter how powerful, make lions' teeth into lamb's grass-chewing teeth?

If a literal fulfillment of each and every messianic expectation provided in the Hebrew Bible is awaited,

then we can wait forever ---- those things will not literally come to pass. Rather, GREATER things

were/are/and-ever-shall-be.

Well, I have about as much trust in what divided, contentious Christendom has to say, as I have

in what Jewish scholars have argued back and forth among themselves for centuries.

They do not experience Heavenly Father's revelation directly, and so they cannot comprehend it.

Seek first God's Kingship, and all good things will be added -- including understanding of messiahship.

Uncle Dale

It's hard to get a feel for your post. I'm not sure if you just like the sound of your own keyboard and its ability to display superior knowledge, or if you are genuinely interested in helping me with a problem. I'm new here and haven't interacted with you very much. Let me know which of the two it is. If it's the latter, then it's obvious I need to talk to a hasidic jew sooner than later.

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...it's obvious I need to talk to a hasidic jew sooner than later.

My wife is Reform Jewish, if that is of any help.

However, she does not take most scripture literally. If that is what you are looking for, you might

try some other message board.

Uncle Dale

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My wife is Reform Jewish, if that is of any help.

However, she does not take most scripture literally. If that is what you are looking for, you might

try some other message board.

Uncle Dale

Jeez! You're suggesting that unless I become a liberal scriptural activist I have no place on this board? Simply because I don't have a jewish spouse and may or may not agree with your view point I should leave?

That's odd.

All I'm trying to do is make a beginning on Christianity, Messianic Prophecy, and how it might relate to my membership in the Mormon Church. Take a deep breath man, it's only Monday.

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Jeez! You're suggesting that unless I become a liberal scriptural activist I have no place on this board?

You have as much place on this board as I do -- if that's of any comfort.

Nor would I classify my wife as "liberal." If anything, she is a pre-rabbinic fundamentalist

who has little use for the Talmud and Mishna.

But you asked about Messiah in the Torah (first five books of the Hebrew Bible) and I gave the

usual answer you'll get from any Jew -- that Messiah is not mentioned in the Torah

Simply because I don't have a jewish spouse and may or may not agree with your view point

I should leave?

That's odd.

On this particular question, you'll probably get more informed answers on some Jewish MB. On

some other questions, you might do better by remaining here.

One thing you could ask, and that is "What have our General Authorities said regarding this matter?"

That would probably generate some interesting response.

All I'm trying to do is make a beginning on Christianity, Messianic Prophecy, and how it might relate

to my membership in the Mormon Church. Take a deep breath man, it's only Monday.

I can provide some insights from Reorganized LDS theology, if that's of any use. But if you wish to

find LDS answers, probably the place to begin is with the standard works, and move from there to

books, articles and conference talks by notable GAs.

Which direction do you wish to take?

UD

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You have as much place on this board as I do -- if that's of any comfort.

Nor would I classify my wife as "liberal." If anything, she is a pre-rabbinic fundamentalist

who has little use for the Talmud and Mishna.

But you asked about Messiah in the Torah (first five books of the Hebrew Bible) and I gave the

usual answer you'll get from any Jew -- that Messiah is not mentioned in the Torah

On this particular question, you'll probably get more informed answers on some Jewish MB. On

some other questions, you might do better by remaining here.

One thing you could ask, and that is "What have our General Authorities said regarding this matter?"

That would probably generate some interesting response.

I can provide some insights from Reorganized LDS theology, if that's of any use. But if you wish to

find LDS answers, probably the place to begin is with the standard works, and move from there to

books, articles and conference talks by notable GAs.

Which direction do you wish to take?

UD

I don't need LDS answers per se, I just need the truth. I posted here only because I thought someone may have walked this same path before me and could help along the way. I will probably start with the Torah and Mosaic law and then move into the entire OT including Ezekial and Isaiah while noting foreshadowing and messianic prophecy. Freak, I wish there were a shortcut!

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I don't need LDS answers per se, I just need the truth.

Good luck -- when you ask why so few of the Jews of his day did not accept Jesus as Messiah, you are

asking a core question about the entire nature of the Jewish religion. Even in his day it was fragmented

into numerous sects and widely dispersed through the world. Since then, the situation has become even

more complicated. It is not a question well answered in a single sentence, or even in dozens of sentences.

I posted here only because I thought someone may have walked this same path before me and could help along the way. I will probably start with the Torah and Mosaic law and then move into the entire OT including Ezekial and Isaiah while noting foreshadowing and messianic prophecy. Freak, I wish there were a shortcut!

There is -- and it comes in the epistles of one of my least favorite biblical writers.

If you begin by studying the concept of "body of Christ," you may indeed find a "shortcut."

The shortcut is this -- "Messiah is a corporate entity, in which we are joint heirs."

Good luck.

UD

.

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I don't need LDS answers per se, I just need the truth. I posted here only because I thought someone may have walked this same path before me and could help along the way. I will probably start with the Torah and Mosaic law and then move into the entire OT including Ezekial and Isaiah while noting foreshadowing and messianic prophecy.

If I'm hearing you correctly, I would suggest proceeding initially to Daniel 9 and Isaiah 53.

As an initial heads up for some of the other issues (expecting Jesus of Nazareth to fulfill every messianic prophecy) that difficulty may derive from a misinterpretation of what the term messiah meant - i.e. forcing modern extrapolations overtop ancient terms. By way of example, King Cyrus was foretold as a messiah (using a small 'm' to avoid offense. See Isaiah 45:1)

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By way of example, King Cyrus was foretold as a messiah (using a small 'm' to avoid offense.

See Isaiah 45:1)

So were all of the post-exilic high priests in the Jerusalem Temple. They were all "anointed ones," or

"messiahs" in Hebrew -- "christs" in English derived from Greek.

In pre-exilic times, it was the Davidic kings who were thus anointed -- but the Persians did not allow any

Davidic kings among the post-exilic Jews, and so the honor devolved upon the high priests. They became

the leaders of the people, in all but the civil sense of the term.

So, under the later Seleucid rule, we find a high priest named Joshua (or Jesus in the evolved form of

the name. A "messiah Jesus," long before Jesus the son of Mary was ever born.

Obviously we must move slowly and carefully through all of this history and unfamiliar language, if we

are ever to comprehend what "Messiah" meant to the Jews of Jesus' day.

Uncle Dale

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So were all of the post-exilic high priests in the Jerusalem Temple. They were all "anointed ones," or

"messiahs" in Hebrew -- "christs" in English derived from Greek.

In pre-exilic times, it was the Davidic kings who were thus anointed -- but the Persians did not allow any

Davidic kings among the post-exilic Jews, and so the honor devolved upon the high priests. They became

the leaders of the people, in all but the civil sense of the term.

So, under the later Seleucid rule, we find a high priest named Joshua (or Jesus in the evolved form of

the name. A "messiah Jesus," long before Jesus the son of Mary was ever born.

Obviously we must move slowly and carefully through all of this history and unfamiliar language, if we

are ever to comprehend what "Messiah" meant to the Jews of Jesus' day.

Uncle Dale

If I wanted to be Catholic I would begin by attending RCIA classes. Is there something similar in Judaism?

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If I wanted to be Catholic I would begin by attending RCIA classes.

Is there something similar in Judaism?

You can probably join a biblical Hebrew class, if you live near a major city or are in an area with a

Jewish population. Possibly there would be no charge -- probably it would not be too difficult, if

designed for young people or the general public. The teacher and students in such a course would be

useful sources of information -------- but not all Jews are especially interested in messianic topics.

Uncle Dale

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Lamanite might find something useful in this essay by yours truely.

http://www.farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=547

Also, FWIW, things like the Messianic Apocalypse from Qumran provide glimpses of Judaic Messianic expectations that did not make it into the Masoretic Hebrew.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

Reading right now.

I can't believe I'm actually talking to someone whose been published by FARMS. Could you sign something for me and forward it to me my EQP. Also, tell John Gee my young women think he's the dreamiest!

Thanks for the info.

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Lamanite might find something useful in this essay by yours truely.

http://www.farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=547

Also, FWIW, things like the Messianic Apocalypse from Qumran provide glimpses of Judaic Messianic expectations that did not make it into the Masoretic Hebrew.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

The Qumranim seem to have been very, very messianic -- and with views approaching those of the

later Christians on the divinity of/in Messiah.

They also seem to have expected two different messianic figures -- one political and one priestly.

It is my working theory, that Jesus rejected the Davidic messiahship (or at least rejected the political

aspects of those messianic expectations of his day), and that he promoted a non-Levitical priestly

form of messianic theology (which ran through the Maccabean claims to MelechZadekian priesthood).

If Jesus rejected the Davidic messiahship, but was still of Davidic lineage, that may be an important

factor, in our trying to comprehend the answers to Bro. Lamanite's questions.

So, yes, attention to messianic passages in the "Dead Sea scrolls" might well be in order here.

UD

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Lamanite might find something useful in this essay by yours truely.

http://www.farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=547

Also, FWIW, things like the Messianic Apocalypse from Qumran provide glimpses of Judaic Messianic expectations that did not make it into the Masoretic Hebrew.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

Can I quote Traci Morgan? "I'm not familiar with about half the words in that [paragraph]". LOL. No it was an excellent essay. I'm so far away from understanding Jesus' role in Judaism and the world at large it's not even funny.

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The Jews know almost nothing about their Messiah. If they had, they wouldn't have had him crucified.

The New Testament reports that Jesus did have the Pharasees all in a dither. The scriptures he cited clearly seemed to have had an effect on them and they were as convinced that he was a blasphemous deceiver. At least that's what they tried to convince themselves of.

But look at what they missed.

Jews missed the fulfillment of Isaiah 53 just as the creedists missed the fulfillment of Isaiah 29. (Each is adamant that the scripture is being misinterpreted.) Daniel's interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream (Dan. 2) shows the respective kingdoms that would arise and fall, and it places God's Kingdom being established in the days of "the kings" following the fall of Rome. The Jews missed the significance of the sacrifice of the unblemished lamb. They missed the implication in the sacrifice of Issac, and that God provided the lamb for sacrifice himself. Why did they think God wanted sacrifices for? Because he liked the smell of cooked lamb? Adam didn't know why he was sacrificing until the angel told him the significance. Christ fulfilled this role and offered an instant explanation for animal sacrifice. It had nothing to do with backdating Christianity into Judaism.

The Jews also missed the segments in Zechariah talking about the Messiah's appearance and the people asking, "What are these wounds in thy hands?" Then he shall answer: "Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends." (Zec. 13:1-6) Zechariah also notes that when the Messiah appears, the entire nation will go into mourning. Why? Because it's likely it will occur to them who he is. It's called a "five second conversion."

Jesus fulfilled more scriptures about the Messiah than the Jews knew were even in their writings. It was even clear that they would reject their Messiah. And then there are the prophecies Jesus did fulfill. How about him entering Jerusalem riding an ***? And he did gather Israel, or rather, caused it to be done through the restoration of keys to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. And of course all Latter-day Saints know about the Second Coming and the Millennium.

See also John Pratt's excellent article on how it all ties together.

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The Jews know almost nothing about their Messiah. If they had, they wouldn't have had him crucified.

I suppose that when you make this assertion against "the Jews" you are including Peter, who denied him,

and the other "Jews" who had accompanied him in his ministry and who temporarily abandoned him?

But, since he himself was a Jew, there was at least one of that race who did NOT "have him crucified."

And were a proper count obtained, I think that the total who did so amounted to less than .001%.

Wouldn't you agree?

Uncle Dale

.

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Can I quote Traci Morgan? "I'm not familiar with about half the words in that [paragraph]". LOL. No it was an excellent essay. I'm so far away from understanding Jesus' role in Judaism and the world at large it's not even funny.

Keep reading and give things time. And it is best, I think, to devote a considerable portion of ones reading to authors who are willing to find truths, and not just those determined to demonstrate that they can face unpleasant truths without flinching. The sense that a capacity to face unpleasant truths constitutes a public measure of one's intellectual integrity has a way of making the appearance of unpleasant truth the end goal of study. There are those who adopt methods and lines of inquiry designed to produce such appearances, and little else.

And by the way, since I live near Pittsburgh, I've had no interaction with BYU's John Gee, I'm afraid. I did see him at the Barker seminar in June of 2003, doing some on-the-spot translating of Egyptian for Margaret. I appreciate the warm reception for my FR 16:2 essay, though, I notice that over 200 people have published through FARMS, and none of us have yet been transfigured.

Speaking of the notion of the Jewish view of the Messiah, pay particular attention to my quotation from Barker's The Risen Lord, citing Jacob Neusner:

J. Neusner, Incarnation, says that when the Jerusalem Talmud had taken shape within the Palestinian community it had been addressing the threat of Christianity in the fourth century. The Judaic response to the Christian way of reading the Old Testament was "a counterpart exegesis," p. 107. The Jewish sages adapted the Scripture to their new situation. When they "read and expounded Scripture it was to spell out how one thing stood for something else. . . . The as-if frame of mind brought to the Scripture renews Scripture with the sage seeing everything with fresh eyes," p. 125. Such studies should make us less confident that it was the Christians who were "re-reading" the Old Testament.81

Barker's essay "Truth and Context" (which is linked at www.thinlyveiled.com and at www.margaretbarker.com) makes it clear that as far as Christian origins go, we have the wrong Old Testament. So we don't need to worry overmuch about trying to reconcile Christian and Jewish exegesis of OT scripture, as if either is or was static and monolithic. We have additional resources that deserve consideration. Some important ones include the Qumran Melchizedek text (of which Margaret has a great deal to say) and Enoch, which is a repository of Priestly traditions.

The question, as Margaret so nicely puts it in the Risen Lord is:

How, then, did Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension come to be seen by the early church as the great atonement? And how did it come about that someone declared to be the Son of God made this atonement? Where in the traditions available to the original disciples in Palestine do we find a belief or a hope that it was a divine being or even the Lord himself who was the atonement sacrifice? . . . it is a very big step indeed from the goats and lambs in the temple to the human sacrifice of one declared to be the Lord, the Son of God. This step is unacknowledged in any account I have read of atonement in the New Testament.42

So merely coming along and announcing that Jesus doesn't fit the Jewish expectations of the Messiah does nothing to explain why Jesus obviously did fill the Messianic expectations of those Jews who became the first Christians. The thing to do, which Margaret does nicely, it to recover what those expecations might have been. It should surprise no one that an Old Testament text which has been selected and edited in response to the rise of Christianity (Barker's "Text and Context") might have some tensions with respect to Christian claims. This is by design.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

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I've mentioned the intellectual shelf I store difficult questions on. One of these issues/questions is the matter of Jesus not fulfilling all of the messianic requirements spoken of in the Torah. I feel we as Mormon's often neglect the implications of Jewish Tradition, scriptural interpretation, and practice. Here are some snippets from Random web page.

1) JESUS DID NOT FULFILL THE MESSIANIC PROPHECIES (back)

What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? The Bible says that 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).

The historical fact is that Jesus fulfilled none of these messianic prophecies.

Christians counter that Jesus will fulfill these in the Second Coming, but Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright, and no concept of a second coming exists.

Interested in what you all think, and if this has ever been something you've pondered at length?

By Torah, I think you mean Tanakh which includes the Torah, Prophets and Writings?

Your list points all seem to Reference the Mashiach ben Yossef (Ephraim or descendants) and not the Mashiach ben David (The one we understand to be Jesus)

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I received this response on another board and wanted to share it.

Lamanite:

The Hebrew word Mashiach, transliterated as Messiah, means anointed.

It was both literal and figurative designation. Kings and priests were literally anointed with oil. Prophets were "anointed" only in the sense that they were divinely appointed functionaries. The king absorbed divine attributes of strength and wisdom from the anointment and conferred upon him the ruach, or spirit of the Lord. For the priest, on the other hand, the anointing sanctified him. There were no attributes that he acquires, but it removes him from the realm of the profane so that he may operate in the sacred. In this literal sense there were many messiahs.

The title "Messiah" as a designation of the eschatological personality does not exist in the Jewish Testament; it occurs only from the time of the Second Temple, after the Testament period came to a close. An end time savior did become popular in the Roman period. He would be raised up by God to break the yoke of the heathen and to reign over a restored kingdom of Israel to which all the Jews of the Exile would return. This end time savior is a strictly postbiblical concept. Even among the prophets of Jewish Testament, Haggai and Zechariah, who expected the Davidic kingdom to be renewed with a specific individual, at its head, thought of him only as a feature of that time, not as the author or even agent of a messianic end time.

At the height of David's power there appeared the doctrine that the Lord had chosen David and his descendants to reign over Israel to the end of time (II Sam. 7; 23:1â??3, 5). Davidâ??s descendants were expected to be the Lord's anointed in the sense that David was anointed as a sign of consecration to the Lord, not, of course, in the sense of "the Messiah" described either by Christianity or rabbinic Judaism. Messianism was the doctrine that David's position of power would endure throughout his lifetime and be inherited by an endless chain of succeeding links in his dynasty.

With the collapse of David's empire after the death of Solomon, there arose the doctrine, or hope, that the House of David would again reign over Israel as well as Judah and again exercise dominion over neighboring nations. As the greatest King of Israel, David became the paradigm of the ideal king who ruled when Israel was at the height of its self-determination, unfettered by the restraints of foreign or alien majorities. This longing continued in the aspirations and longings of put upon Jewish minorities over the centuries of European distress: â??Oh for a time like Davidâ??s.â?

[/qutoe]

Any thoughts?

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