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The Oldest Books in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible

As anyone with even a cursory familiarity with the Judeo-Christian Bible knows, that book is composed of a collection of writings which were...

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Was Christ predicted by the Old Testament?

Yesterday, over at Banned by HWA, Dennis Diehl posted an interesting article about whether or not Jesus Christ was predicted by the Old Testament. He wrote:  "As we all know, the New Testament is the sequel to the Old.  But consider this.  How hard would it be to look BACK into the Old Testament, knowing it's "prophecies" on many topics unrelated to Jesus and write a rather mythical account of Jesus life which would match what the OT already said?  That, of course, would look very much like the OT predicted Jesus when in fact the story of Jesus was written by mining the OT for scriptures to write the story.  It would be very easy to do and actually was what was done." For those who are interested, you can read the entire article here:  http://armstrongismlibrary.blogspot.com/2018/01/fun-sabbath-facts-inconvenient-truth.html

Mr. Diehl goes on to point out the misapplication of several Old Testament verses in Matthew's birth narrative about Jesus. As he skillfully points out, this is accomplished by taking scriptures out of context, using deliberately mistranslated texts and bending the meaning of those verses to fit the circumstances of Christ's life in the early part of the First Century. Of course, Mr. Diehl is not the first person to point out these inconsistencies, and this is only a problem for those who continue to regard Scripture as infallible.

Nevertheless, while Mr. Diehl provides strong evidence for making his point about certain features of Matthew's birth narrative, does his evidence prove that Christ wasn't predicted by the Old Testament? Where did the notion of a messiah originate? Did such a concept exist prior to the supposed birth of this Jesus person? In short, did Christians invent the notion of a messiah in the pages of the Jewish Scriptures in order to explain/justify the existence of their founder (Jesus Christ)?

In their article on the "Mashiach" (or Messiah), Judaism 101 makes clear that the notion of a messiah is an "ancient" and "fundamental" part of Judaism. See the entire article here:  http://www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm  In other words, Jewish people clearly believe that their Scriptures predict a messiah, and their belief that such a person would arise clearly predates the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the First Century. What is the scriptural basis offered for this belief? They list the following: Isaiah 2, 11, 42, 59:20; Jeremiah 23, 30, 33, 48:47, 49:39; Ezekiel 38:16; Hosea 3:4-5; Micah 4; Zephaniah 3:9; Zechariah 14:9 and Daniel 10:14.

It should also be noted, however, that most Jews do not accept the person of Jesus as the fulfillment of these prophecies. Indeed, much of the Jewish commentary on the subject goes out of its way to make a distinction between the Christian and Jewish conceptions of the term messiah. Nevertheless, even the Jewish perspectives that underscore these differences make plain that the concept of a messiah was extant within Judaism long before the arrival of Jesus Christ on the world stage. See "The Jewish Concept of Messiah and the Jewish Response to Christian Claims" here:  https://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/articles/the-jewish-concept-of-messiah-and-the-jewish-response-to-christian-claims/

Hence, it must be admitted that there is a basis in the Old Testament for this notion of a Messiah. And, despite the attempts of the above referenced sites to discredit the notion that Jesus of Nazareth could possibly be the fulfillment of these prophecies, one has to acknowledge that 1) The notion of a Mashiach from the House of David, who will one day restore peace to the earth and rule over the nations is not foreign to Judaism or its Scriptures, and 2) The notion that there must be a sacrifice for sin, an atonement - the reconciliation of a people alienated by their sins from their God is also clearly an integral part of those same Scriptures. As a consequence, I would say that it is not unreasonable for Christians to discern a basis for their belief in the person of Jesus of Nazareth in the pages of the Old Testament.    

Friday, January 5, 2018

God likes men who like p---y?

Have you ever noticed that some of the most vociferous opponents of homosexuality are men who either personally engage in sexual behaviors condemned in the Bible or are supportive of other men who do so?

For the sake of argument, let's assume that the Bible clearly condemns all same sex behavior in the following passages:
Genesis 19:1-5, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Deuteronomy 23:17, Romans 1:18-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 1 Timothy 1:9-10 and Jude 1:6-7

However, the same folks who interpret these passages in this way often ignore Biblical passages which explicitly condemn divorce and infidelity. Consider the following passages:
Genesis 2:24, Exodus 14:14, Exodus 20:14, Proverbs 6:32, Matthew 5:27-32, Matthew 19:3-9, Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18, Luke 18:20, Romans 7:2, 1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Corinthians 7:1-40, 1 Timothy 3:2 and Hebrews 13:4

How many of the Christian ministers and lay members who condemn homosexuality have committed adultery, divorced or been married multiple times?

How many Christian ministers and lay members support Donald Trump (a man who has sexually assaulted women, committed adultery and been married three times) as President of the United States?

Hmmm, Don't we refer to this as cherry picking?