Prepare Ye’ the Way for the…Lord? Messiah?

Comment taken from Stand to Reason’s blog ‘This is Most Certainly True’

The fact that it scandalizes you that YHWH would be baptized by John is no evidence for anything at all” (WL)

Well baptized unto repentance is what should be scandalous. Remember, blind spot.

The reason its the only one I’ll accept is that the passage clearly says John is preparing the way for Jesus in the place where the OT passage says that the voice is crying to prepare the way for YHWH” (WL)

John is obviously the one in the wilderness preparing the way for the ‘Lord’ (that’s obvious). However, as we go further down that story-line – how come John does not call Jesus ‘Lord’ if he is making this autmoatic connection you think is there?

John, the great genius proclaimer you think he is, in chapter 11 about this person Jesus is (according to you – literally God in the Flesh)…doubting of him.

Matt 11:2-3 “Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?”

For anyone who cares what Jesus says in Chapter of 11 in Matthew says – he proclaims to be the messiah (not God) in vs.5. In fact John’s questions are framed around this conccept – Christ = Messiah = Anointed One = Expected One (awaiting this arrival).

Notice that John doesn’t ask in Matthew 11 if Jesus is God? No question and no assumption about that idea…no clue in chapter 3 (according to you) he made this proclamation about Jesus being equal to God…John, for the greatest person to walk the world ever, has a short memory.

Also BTW, Jesus allusion to Malachi 3:1 there in Matthew 11:10 is another OT-NT link that establishes that Jesus=YHWH.” (WL)

Matthew 11:10 “This is the one about whom it is written,’BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU.’

Let’s say Jesus is recalling what he said in Matthew 3 about John (even if John seems to have forgetten him). I will grant this is likely the case according to the story.

How come they change the wording in Matt 11 exactly? It no longer says Lord, and it is no longer a direct quotation of Isaiah 40:3 (Matt 3 was a direct quotation).

John prepared the way for Jesus – even if John forgets who he is. No mistaking they did have the same message…’repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’. So in this vein they are very similar and one picked up where the other left off (so to speak). Matthew 11 is asserting this is the case.

However, Matthew 3 (which uses the actual Isaish 40:3 verse) is stating nothing about Jesus divinity nor is Matthew 11.

Matthew 11, if it is a clarification of Matthew 3, seems to be assuming John was the pathway for Jesus to follow. Now that the pathway was out of the way Jesus had to take over the mission…and this time it was not just a prophet…but a messiah.

See the probelm you have with saying that passage says Jesus is God is the problem every passage in the synoptics runs into – Jesus never once says his mission is to be ‘God in the flesh’ and ‘his blood be an atonement for the people’.

Jesus makes no claim to being God…none…I find it very weird God would hide that one (if He is trying to win Israel over – His people). However, if it’s the messiah that arrives to usher in the kingdom of the Lord – well it God’s best representative and someone that can be said to ‘speak on behalf of the company’…not to prepare the way – to actually introduce the new kingdom on behalf of God (since he has a very prestige position in that kingdom).

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18 thoughts on “Prepare Ye’ the Way for the…Lord? Messiah?

  1. Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me; And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts”

    God sends a messenger to clear the way before ‘God’ – Matthew thinks this is John the Baptist

    The Lord will come to His temple – God

    The messenger of the covenant is ‘coming’ – Is this a 2nd messenger in the passage? Is this the messianic verse in the passage? It seems if it is a 2nd messenger then it can fit Jesus…if not…it’s John the Baptist.

    Regardless, Jesus never came to the temple (one incident we have of this and it ended pretty badly)…not exactly God coming back to the temple per se.

    I would contend this passage was used about John the Baptist in Matthew by Jesus himself. And unless Jesus is the messenger of the covenant (a 2nd messenger) he is not in this verse.

  2. “Which stance are you taking? That Jesus is not God?” (Xander)

    If I had a creed it might read ‘I believe that Jesus is the messiah, and not equal to God’

    The problem is most Christians struggle with this concept that Jesus just may not be God – cause for them it’s quite untenable. However, any study on the idea of messiah and it’s origins in Judaism reveal this has to be the case.

  3. The basis of Christian faith is that Jesus is the Messiah and is God. He even states that He is God.

    Are you referring to the concept of the trinity?

  4. “The basis of Christian faith is that Jesus is the Messiah and is God. He even states that He is God. Are you referring to the concept of the trinity?” (Xander)

    Xander, Xander, Xander…let me do some explaining.

    Firstly, Christianity as word – is basically about Jesus being the messiah (ie: Christ is messiah in greek) and this being the core foundational belief behind this faith.

    Defintions aside, the original name of the followers of Jesus was ‘the way’…a term used in Judaism for halakahic law (‘the way of life’). This actually lets us know the disciples followed a paradigm of teachings that Jesus set down – thus they were ‘a way…to live’.

    Now Jesus being equal to God has nothing to do with original Judaism – not really an idea they ever capitulated and brought forth for consideration…ever. Why…commandments…they follow the Torah pretty faithfully. So this was not something they would of have done.

    However, it still happened…Jesus became God. Although we have no records of Judaism proposing such an idea – we do have it in the gospel of John (and in Paul’s letters)….which are actually used to solidify the idea. The trinity never is used about God one time in the bible (word is absent from anyone’s lips). Yet these ideas trog forward without any contention.

    To me, from honest biblical studies it seems there was a helluva lot more Gentile influence on the texts than we want to admit – including in the gospels (additions) and the letters (additions). So much influence, it went from being a 1st century Jewish compatriot (Acts 15) to being in complete opposition to Judaism by the early 100’s (maybe even by 80 CE). John’s gospel was published in CE 125 (and it shows a huge Gentile slant).

    So I don’t believe in the trinity whatsoever nor the idea anyone, including Jesus, could be God (goes against a handful of commandments and the central theme of the Tanakh – idolatry).

    But this is something that has to be studied further – the early faith of the Christians and what they did and did not hold true to.

  5. Dr. Michael Brown has a good site and resources for Jews coming to Jesus. It is http://www.askdrbrown.org/ . Though you might like it since you are studying it.

    Your right, the word trinity is not written in either the old or new testament, but Genesis 1:1 starts off with the plural declaration of God as Gods, which gives a twist to God is one.

    There is a lot of gentile influence. Paul wrote the majority of the New Testament and his ministry was to the gentiles. Surprised that you find John to have more of a gentile slant than Luke. Luke is a gentile.

    There are two different messiahs referenced in the Old Testament, the conquering messiah and the suffering messiah. Now the “Christian” faith / religion consider Jesus to be both. First He suffers for our atonement and then He conquers during His resurrection. The question comes, who but God is good / righteous enough to atone for the sins of all of mankind?

  6. Good considerations, reminds me of a post i did way back when about Grammar, and how best to read this verse.

    “Jesus became God. Although we have no records of Judaism proposing such an idea”

    and thus the reason for the parting of ways. The gospel of John was written in a time where the Early Christians were tossed out of the synagogues and thus the author of John is a little bitter about that.

    now i am a Trinitarian and think it’s important and i do believe Jesus was God or a part of God or had the mind of God or in whom God was pleased to dwell or was the agent of God (all of these are biblical mind you) but can’t say precisely how. largely what we get in the Bible are conflicting images and metaphors that kinda work together but kinda don’t. like Jesus is the messiah, just not the kind we were expecting and kinda turned the concept on it’s ear (like in Matt and Mark). We have the practical earthly Jesus who welcomes sinners and gentiles (Luke) and the heavenly Jesus who is very Jewish yet there are some parts which the author of Matt misses (like Palm Sunday and Jesus riding BOTH a colt and a donkey).

    it would be better if we just got doctrine out of the books, but we don’t. we get poetry and imagery… crap! thus we see the problem that such radical inclusion takes. ppl will adapt these images into their own making that makes sense for their time, place, and social setting. and the thing adapts and changes, just like animals do in their biological context. so we can see how things are related yet strikingly different at the same time. Calvin is no Luther who is no Erasmus who isn’t Zwingli. I am not you and do not expect to have the same faith-emphasis that I do. yet you inform me, i inform you, and we cross-pollinate and adapt and become different. i don’t see this as a bad thing but a natural thing.

    yet we can judge harmful things, like Nazi-Arian Jesus not a good combination to keep around. Angry judgmental Jesus might work for some who feel really guilty about their past, but what about those who don’t have the same past, the once borns?

    context is everything.

  7. “Dr. Michael Brown has a good site and resources for Jews coming to Jesus.” (Xander)

    I’ll simply say I think Michael Brown is wrong on his assertions – his intentions are good – but misplaced.

    “Your right, the word trinity is not written in either the old or new testament, but Genesis 1:1 starts off with the plural declaration of God as Gods, which gives a twist to God is one.” (Xander)

    Not really, most biblical scholars have adnitted the Hebrew in that passage – and througout Genesis – does not reveal a ‘duplicity’ to God. All credible biblical scholars know that passage is about the heavenly court and God addressing that – and not God addressing another personality called God (or worse, talking to Himself).

    “Surprised that you find John to have more of a gentile slant than Luke. Luke is a gentile.” (Xander)

    I have come to the assumption that John was also written by a Gentile and unlike Luke has a defintive slant to his textual writings. Whereas Luke, being a Gentile, seeks to recapture the story as told by others (the synoptic tradition) and seems to come close to those ideas in Matthew and Mark. I think John is not trying to do that and crosses some huge theological lines without much question (invited new ideas).

    For example John’s chapter 1 begins with Jesus being present at the beginning as the Word. Which is always translated as ‘see, John thinks Jesus is God’….seems to be the normative interpretation in Christian circles…correct?

    I was just reading some messiah passages in the Midrash the other day and I come across this piece:

    “OF the six things which existed before creation, when only ‘the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters,’ two, the Torah and the throne of God, were complete in every detail. The remaining four, however, viz., the Patriarchs, Israel, the Temple, and the name of Messiah, existed prior to the creation only in an incomplete form.” (Gen. Rabba 1) (from Sacred Texts)

    How come Judaism can accept such an idea as the ‘name of the messiah’ existing prior to creation and still not see messiah as God? Very interesting piece to say the least.

    However, John makes the assertion that such an idea is showing the messiah to be equal to God in his chapter 1. This is clearly not a Jewish belief…but a Gentile one. Based on such ideas as taking the idea ‘son of God’ as literal and the weird interpretation surrounding the virgin birth added to Matthew (Luke’s was probably actually original). These literalisms from Gentile perspectives framed a new view of Jesus by the time John (likely not John the disciple) wrote in 125 CE.

    “There are two different messiahs referenced in the Old Testament, the conquering messiah and the suffering messiah.” (Xander)

    Just so we know where this idea comes from – or has at least some foundation (see below).

    “The ‘four carpenters’ to whom the prophet also refers, are Elijah, Melchizedek, the Messiah of war, called by some Messiah son of Joseph, and the true Messiah…” (Midr. Song of Songs 2)

    That idea also finds a firm footing in Midrash interpretation. Christians take some variation of the idea last 2 messiah’s – and aplit them to mean the same person (it would seem).

    “The question comes, who but God is good / righteous enough to atone for the sins of all of mankind?” (Xander)

    Why is this the principal message you are pulling from the gospel texts? Another midrash passage on messiah:

    “The word הדרך (Hadrach), used by the prophet Zechariah (9. 1), is one of the titles of Messiah. It is connected with the word דרך (leading), and is therefore applied to him who will lead man to repentance.” (Midr. Song of Songs 7)

    Isn’t this the core message of John the Baptist and then Jesus in Matthew 4? Repentance seems to be the big message of the messiah – it seems hidden by church orthodoxy playing such a new role in interpretation – but this is clearly Jesus’ own words:

    Matt 4:17 “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

    Messiah mystery…not really.

    • ** All credible biblical scholars know that passage is about the heavenly court and God addressing that – and not God addressing another personality called God (or worse, talking to Himself). **

      So, in the beginning, God and the angels made the heavens and the earth?

      I guess I had it wrong. I didn’t realize that God needed help from His creations.

      ** I was just reading some messiah passages in the Midrash the other day and I come across this piece: **

      I would have to look at it might self. Without reading it, it is like me trying to justify my opinion on a commentary someone made.

      ** How come Judaism can accept such an idea as the ‘name of the messiah’ existing prior to creation and still not see messiah as God? Very interesting piece to say the least. **

      It is interesting. When Jehovah appeared to Abram and Abram invited Him in and called Him Lord / Adonai, was this one of the heavenly bodies that didn’t correct him for referring to him as God? We know it isn’t the same God that Moses saw, because God said no one can look upon my face. Who was this God?

      The goal of Jesus wasn’t just to call to repentance. John the Baptist was doing that. Prophets have always done that. The Jewish people repent and then fall away. It is a cycle that never ends. You do see the flaw in it, don’t you.

  8. “So, in the beginning, God and the angels made the heavens and the earth? I guess I had it wrong. I didn’t realize that God needed help from His creations” (Xander)

    But that’s just you reading in more than is actually there. In that passage we see God speaking to other personalities…which I won’t dispute…but is it beyond Gpd to have a heavenly court? Well, not according to many people that have reviewed this area of Genesis.

    Rabbi Singer even points this out here: http://www.outreachjudaism.org/genesis1-26.html

    Here is a summary of some of the stuff he found.

    “Us . . . Our . . . Our. God speaks as the Creator-king, announcing His crowning work to the members of His heavenly court. (see 3:22; 11:7; Isaiah 6:8; I Kings 22:19-23; Job 15:8; Jeremiah 23:18)” (NIV Study BIble – on those Genesis passages)

    “The Liberty Annotated Study Bible, a Bible commentary published by the Reverend Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, similarly remarks on this verse, The plural pronoun “Us” is most likely a majestic plural from the standpoint of Hebrew grammar and syntax”

    “Charles Caldwell Ryrie, a highly regarded dispensationalist professor of Biblical Studies at the Philadelphia College of Bible and author of the widely read Bible commentary, The Ryrie Study Bible, writes in his short and to-the-point annotation on Genesis 1:26, Us . . . Our. Plurals of majesty”

    “The 10-volume commentary by Keil and Delitzsch is considered by many to be the most influential exposition on the “Old Testament” in evangelical circles. Yet in its commentary on Genesis 1:26, we find, The plural “We” was regarded by the fathers and earlier theologians almost unanimously as indicative of the Trinity; modern commentators, on the contrary, regard it either as pluralis majestatis . . . No other explanation is left, therefore, than to regard it as pluralis majestatis”

    Pre-eminent Christian biblical scholars are saying this about the passages in Genesis – so I am not sure there is more to be said.

    “We know it isn’t the same God that Moses saw, because God said no one can look upon my face. Who was this God?” (Xander)

    So you’re suggesting this is a 2nd God more or less…seperate from the Father God? This form of God took a human form – met with Abraham and discussed things with him? This person would obviously be Jesus I am guessing.

    How come Judaism doesn’t arrive these all too easy conclusions on such obvious texts? I read the same texts you just did in Genesis and could see what you are saying. What I don’t ubderstand is why Jewish scholars don’t see the same thing you do?

    Maimonides for example saw a form of anthropomorphism going on there. Judaism see’s not need to take the Abraham passages and split God into 2 personalities – likely because God is One…not 2. Does God look like a human – after all He created us in ‘His image’? Did God also walk with Adam and Noah? Does God even have legs is a better question? Or hands and eyes? Or is this humans trying to describe these experiences in an understandable way to other people?

    I lean to the side this either clearly anthropomorphism’s or representatives of God. IN fact, in the gospels Jesus never gives God hands or feet. Jesus, who is God to some, should be able to clearly explain how God looks – he’s been there – in the heavenly court and yet this is of no concern to him. He speaks of God abstractly in the texts. I find it funny for someone so close to God (or even God himself) to not reveal the breadth and depth of such a Being.

    Christian writers of the gospels even struggle with the conceptualization of God. In John Jesus says clearly ‘God is a Spirit’ (not human at all). From the majority of the writings one would assume this is exacty the case. No one actually explains how this God looks – but Christians add that moniker onto Jesus to make the connection more understandable (in John’s gospel I mean). The closest imaging we get of God in the NT is Jesus term ‘I and the Father are One’ (John 17). The fact is pretty clear – no one has seen God nor could understand this image – since there was none – and Jesus was tapped with the moniker cause we could ‘see him, hear him, and talked with people’…but was clearly human.

    “It is a cycle that never ends. You do see the flaw in it, don’t you” (Xander)

    I don’t see a flaw – I see a reality. The fact is we are not spotless and we never will be – and we all need to say ‘sorry’ sometimes and change our actions towards others. This seems to be Jesus’ core idea within his teachings – repentance and charity. He’s greater than John the Baptist in that he sets down a whole set of teachings (like a teacher with students) and asks people to ‘follow him’ (or his example – which includes what he taught…I am guessing he lived by his own sayings). In the end, it’s about living a life that is worthwhile and emulates what God intended for humanity – for us to live a life dediacted to love (of God, neighbor, and ourselves).

    • Majesty can be supreme authority and power. While the heavenly court would have great power, none but God can be supreme. A plural majesty seems to indicate multiple gods. I personally don’t believe that, but it is no mistake that a plural term for God is used.

      Looking at the heavenly court view, why would God give the announcement to Moses so many years after the fact to declare His works to the court? Wasn’t the court present when the creation took place? The Torah shows us clearly, two different aspects of God in a physical context plus you see the Voice of the Lord showing up. When angels show up, they are never addressed under any of the names of God There is a distinct separation of the two.

      Why don’t Jewish scholars see the same thing? As Rabbi Singer said, “the oneness of God remains the binding thread which unites the Jewish people in history and witness” If we are focused on God being one, then we see God as being one. When a plural variety shows up, how do we explain it and still hold to the oneness of God? The plural has to be some other entity, but since God is one, it can’t be other aspects of God.

      God is spirit, so what form does a spirit have? Angels also are spirit, but we know that they can take on a physical appearance. The spiritual realm is above the physical realm. In the physical, God can take form. God walked with Adam. God came and ate with Abram. He wrestled with Jacob. He appeared before Moses in multiple forms. But it is said that no man can see the face of God lest he should die. God can not lie, so that must be true. Did God come up with that rule after Abram and Jacob saw Him?

      In Genesis, you have God making the first sacrifice for the atonement of the sins of Adam. In Jesus, you have God making the final sacrifice for the atonement of the sins for all of mankind. Adam through sin lost authority over the world which God had given him. Jesus reclaimed all authority over the world through his obedience unto death. Adam through his sin, was separated from God. Through Jesus, mankind has the ability to be reunited to God. You have Adam as the first virgin birth and Jesus as the last.

      It is so much more than just repenting and trying to follow God, because man will always fail in this area. It is about us taking our place as the children of God. No longer being separated by sin. No longer trying to atone for our actions and admitting that we will never be worthy of the mercy and grace that has been shown to us.

  9. “A plural majesty seems to indicate multiple gods. I personally don’t believe that, but it is no mistake that a plural term for God is used” (Xander)

    I’ll bet if you didn’t believe Jesus was God this might change you opinion. It is strange you still believe it though – even the with most pre-eminent biblical scholars agree there is no plurality being addressed there (only the royal ‘we’). But if Ryrie and the best NT critics cannot change your mind – you likely will not.

    “Looking at the heavenly court view, why would God give the announcement to Moses so many years after the fact to declare His works to the court?” (Xander)

    Welll if we go by the same idea as John the Revelator – they wrote what they saw (if we play literalist with the texts)…Maybe Moses saw this heavenly court and recorded it? I really don’t see the problem with their being a single God and host of people that serve that God in his Royal Court.

    “The Torah shows us clearly, two different aspects of God in a physical context plus you see the Voice of the Lord showing up” (Xander)

    Explain physical context exactly?

    “When angels show up, they are never addressed under any of the names of God There is a distinct separation of the two” (Xander)

    Debateable to say the least. So you use this to term creation with the fact there were 2 Gods there (at the least). That’s more of a leap in interpretation than saying Jesus is God (IMO). How come there wouldn’t be angels around the heavenly court in the first place is what I am guessing?

    “God is spirit, so what form does a spirit have? Angels also are spirit, but we know that they can take on a physical appearance” (Xander)

    In theory. In reality we both know nothing from the ‘other side’ takes physical forms as we know them. Angels, ghosts, apparitions of Mary – all seem like spirit forms and not physical forms.

    As for angels looking like us – again in theory (I have never met on) – how do we not know they were created this way/this ability?

    “In the physical, God can take form…But it is said that no man can see the face of God lest he should die. God can not lie, so that must be true. Did God come up with that rule after Abram and Jacob saw Him?” (Xander)

    No, likely it was always existent. What we have at those points may not exactly be God (and Adam is a myth so I am not even going to count that writing)…but a representative of God. The fact is – no on can and has seen God. Not then and not now…and I am only going by our basic realities here…have you seen God?

    Why would you think someone has seen God or God changed the rules so people don’t know how He looks anymore? This is the same God that declares solemnly He is One/Alone and abhorrent of idolatry – so why would He show Himself…so we humans in our utter weakness could make an Image of God?

    It’s all rather silly in a way. You have a God, in your version, that is like a human – walks, talks, and hangs with us – changes the rules to suit whatever agenda He so pleases – then just disappears from the scene. A God that you will have to admit does not line up with your actual experiences with God in your personal experiences.

    “Adam through sin lost authority over the world which God had given him. Jesus reclaimed all authority over the world through his obedience unto death. Adam through his sin, was separated from God. Through Jesus, mankind has the ability to be reunited to God” (Xander)

    Theologically, problem after problem with that view.

    (a) Adam lost authority over the world – then Jesus reclaims that authority. In all honesty, what has changed since Jesus resurrected – has the world gotten much better? How is this authority of Jesus’ any different from Adam’s? I mean, when I look around I still see people ‘dying’…almost as if the curse of ‘dust to dust’ is not extant.

    (b) Adam was seperated from God – through Jesus we are re-united. Since Adam represents humanity in totality – since it is through him all humanity comes into being – Jesus must also. However, this is not the case with Christian theology. Jesus only advocates for those who ‘come to him’…which is really only a fraction of humanity (not all humanity). Yet Adam sin covers everyone – regardless of their ‘choice’ in the matter. How come the same cannot be said for the messiah and salvation?

    (c) This view assumes everything is going to be alright via this dealing with the sins through some ‘vicarious’ offering (ie: Jesus’ blood) – which is applied to us. However, this doesn’t work. People before and after this receiving of this ‘grace’ are still struggling with personal demons and behavior. The only way to actually deal with sin is to face it head on – and this means actually doing the route of repentance (no blood can do anything for our personal responsibilities).

    (d) The blood atonement does not cover ‘intentional sins’. Yet the Christian version would have us believe this. The blood atonement only covered unintentional sins. Repentance was needed to deal with the intentional ones (and law). We may not like that as Christians – but even Hebrews (the letter) points this out. Jesus’ atonement was way more limited than Adam’s sin.

    “It is about us taking our place as the children of God. No longer being separated by sin. No longer trying to atone for our actions and admitting that we will never be worthy of the mercy and grace that has been shown to us.” (Xander)

    I can do all that without the atonement theories – just so you know…call God my father (relationship), not be seperated by my sin (deal with my sin and move closer to godliness), admit I am not worthy of such grace and mercy shown by God (humility)…and be realistic with a God that knows I obviously have my problems and accepts me despite those failings (repentance as a procedure is allowed).

    We cannot make our relationships with God if we use an atonement theory…because it makes us look worse than it helps us. We take no responsibility for our actions, God does not love us, and we basically have nothing to offer to God (except to be covered in the blood of another He will accept).

    • ** I’ll bet if you didn’t believe Jesus was God this might change you opinion. It is strange you still believe it though – even the with most pre-eminent biblical scholars agree there is no plurality being addressed there (only the royal ‘we’). But if Ryrie and the best NT critics cannot change your mind – you likely will not. **

      I thought about this as I wrote the last reply. Do I see what I want to see. No. If I could see evidence that would show me beyond a doubt that Jesus was not God, then I wouldn’t be a Christian.

      ** Maybe Moses saw this heavenly court and recorded it? I really don’t see the problem with their being a single God and host of people that serve that God in his Royal Court. **

      But did Moses write what he saw or what he was told by God? When you see the stuff hidden in the Torah, I want to say he was told what to write. Genesis 38, every 49 characters spells out the blood line of David by jumping 5 generations, is not a coincidence.

      ** Explain physical context exactly? **

      You see God walking and eating with Abram. With Moses you have a visual representation of God. God has to put His hand up so Moses wouldn’t die from seeing God’s face. Physical in the sense that there is a visual representation.

      ** Debatable to say the least. So you use this to term creation with the fact there were 2 Gods there (at the least). That’s more of a leap in interpretation than saying Jesus is God (IMO). How come there wouldn’t be angels around the heavenly court in the first place is what I am guessing? **

      I am not claiming there are multiple gods. I am saying there is one God with multiple aspects. We see multiple aspects in the Torah, but we get locked into our view of what one is.

      ** What we have at those points may not exactly be God (and Adam is a myth so I am not even going to count that writing)…but a representative of God. **

      You feel that Adam is a myth?

      Looking at your view:

      (a) Why focus on the physical aspect of life instead of the spiritual? We see God is spirit, but the spirit creates the physical. We see that the spirit battles over the physical and the physical reacts to the events in the spirit. Adam lost his spiritual authority. People still die physically, but they don’t have to be dead spiritually.

      (b) Some Christian theology wants to limit salvation to certain people. Those people don’t even know if they are saved by their own views. Jesus says who ever believes will be saved. He doesn’t say only salvation is open to those who want to believe. It is a choice of faith to believe. Salvation is open to all, but not all will accept.

      (c) same argument as a. People have issues in the physical, but there is trauma in the spiritual that is causing it. You can focus on trying to will yourself to be a better person and overcome the physical shortcomings, but the spiritual issue is still unaddressed so the war continues to rage within the person.

      (d) how was David able to atone for the sins he intentionally committed with Bathsheba under the Hebrew version? He commits adultery and arranges to have her husband killed in battle. The outcome, the death of his son. Interesting imagery.

      ** not be separated by my sin (deal with my sin and move closer to godliness) **

      How can you move closer to godliness and deal with your own sin? How do you remove your own sin? This is what the Law points out. No one is worthy and all will fall short of the glory of God. No matter how hard you try, you will never earn your place in the kingdom. Moses was clearly the closest anyone has even been to God, but he fell short with one comment.

      ** We cannot make our relationships with God if we use an atonement theory…because it makes us look worse than it helps us. We take no responsibility for our actions, God does not love us, and we basically have nothing to offer to God (except to be covered in the blood of another He will accept). **

      We are supposed to take responsibility for actions. We confess our sins and try to repent, but our sins have been forgiven by the blood of Jesus. Atonement puts it in perspective. We are worse than we want to admit. We will never be worthy. That is the point. God loved us so much, He paid the price for our actions so we could be reunited with Him spiritually. God doesn’t need our love. We have nothing to offer God. What can you give the creator of everything that He doesn’t already have or could created for Himself?

      Isaih 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

      Who is being referred to here?

  10. “If I could see evidence that would show me beyond a doubt that Jesus was not God, then I wouldn’t be a Christian.” (Xander)

    How much evidence do you want…what will satisfy you?

    I am also not sure why if Jesus is not equal to God how that omits Christianity from the equation as a viable faith?

    I’ll provide a starting point of evidence – from Mark.

    “One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD'” (Mark 12:28-29)

    Jesus’ answer to most important commandment – the pre-eminent belief on God is this ‘the Lord our God is one Lord’. If your not aware – this is a Judaic belief (even to this day). Jesus is commenting straight out there is only One God (note he does not include himself in this equation)…in total and unequivical partnership with his Judaic roots.

    “AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)

    These 2 passages are the summation of Jesus’ commandments ideas in a variety of gospels – but it all starts in Mark. These are taken from Deut 6:4 and a Lev 19:18. You should note these ideas are used in the tefillin (phylacteries) and mezuzah traditions of Judaism even in Jesus time. These where of huge importance – even the mezuzah tradition reveals this:

    “A mezuzah (Hebrew: מְזוּזָה‎ “doorpost”) (plural: mezuzot (מְזוּזוֹת)) is a piece of parchment (often contained in a decorative case) inscribed with specified Hebrew verses from the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21). These verses comprise the Jewish prayer “Shema Yisrael”, beginning with the phrase: “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is One” (Mezuzah – Wikipedia)

    Jesus was telling the scribe of his obvious involvement in Judaism and thathe respects these ideas as fundamental pieces to understanding the starting point in relating to God. He affirms Judaism. He affirms the idea ‘God is One’…and not in the way we Christians use the Trinity…no in the way Judaism uses the idea God is One.

    • And thus it breaks down.

      I can see the conversation is over and that is fine. Neither of us will give on our positions, but I have enjoyed it.

      Thanks for the enlightening conversation.

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