Dr. Brown Answers the Rabbis (Part 1)

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Dr. Brown answers challenges given him by traditional rabbis as to why Jesus is not the Jewish Messiah, focusing today on challenges from his friend, Rabbi Yisroel Blumenthal. Rabbi Blumenthal’s blog is: http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/. Dr. Brown is currently working on written refutations of Rabbi Blumenthal’s major articles.
Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: There are thousands of Jewish objections to Jesus being the Messiah, but it comes back to the old saying, 0+0+0=0.  Matthew 24:35 remains everlastingly true: Heaven and earth will pass away (as will all Jewish Objections to Jesus), but His words will remain unchanged.

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: The Messiah has come, in fulfillment of scripture, in fulfillment of what the Torah spoke of, and died for our sins that we might live.  And as we turn to Him in repentance and faith, no matter how grievous, ugly and miserable our sin, there is mercy, there is forgiveness, there is a new life.

Featured Resources:

Think it Thru “In Search of Atonement” by Dr. Brown: What do people following the primary religions of the world do to receive a clean slate with God following wrongful behavior? Find out when Dr. Michael Brown takes to the streets and even the river to obtain an answer.

What Do Jewish People Think About Jesus? by Dr. Brown: Dr. Michael Brown answers sixty common questions about Jewish people and Jewish culture. He also addresses questions Christians have about their own relationship to the Old Testament Law.

Other Resources:

Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus vol. 2 by Dr. Brown: Incisive and direct, this book provides an honest, fair, and thorough discussion of common objections on theological themes. Brown’s answers are thoroughly documented and foot noted.

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Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus vol. 3 by Dr. Brown: This third installment of Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus looks specifically at questions raised about messianic prophecies in Isaiah, Daniel, Psalms, Haggai, and Zechariah.

Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus vol. 4 by Dr. Brown:  In this volume of the Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus series, Dr. Brown counters the arguments that the New Testament mistranslates, misuses, and misunderstands the Hebrew Scriptures, also addressing the objections that Jesus or Paul abolished the Law.

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Who Is Jesus?  Dr. Brown/Blumhofe Debate [DVD]: If you could travel 2,000 years back in time and be an eyewitness to a debate between Paul the Apostle and the most outstanding Pharisee over the Messiahship of Jesus, it could not be more exciting than this debate.

Countering the Counter-Missionaries [22 mp3 set] :  An important resource will be a great faith builder for those who are struggling, a great outreach tool for those who are seeking, and a great source of edification and enrichment for those who are involved in Jewish evangelism.

Dr. Brown answers challenges given him by traditional rabbis as to why Jesus is not the Jewish Messiah, focusing today on challenges from his friend, Rabbi Yisroel Blumenthal. Rabbi Blumenthal’s blog is: http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/. Dr. Brown is currently working on written refutations of Rabbi Blumenthal’s major articles.
619 Comments
  1. Oh…and let me save you a post…you’re going to answer my last question by pointing to the temple priests and the sacrifices.

    That is true in the context of a standing temple. The OT also makes perfectly clear that is is attonement by way of repentence outside of the temple service. This is also discussed at length in Rabbi Blumenthal’s essays.

  2. Daniel,

    Sorry for breaking up my thoughts in multiple posts, but you accused me of idolizing “self and men”

    Once again, I need to ask you what on earth you are talking about?

  3. Goldberg,

    1. I am shocked; can it be that you forgot this Scripture?

    1Sa 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and STUBBORNNESS IS AS IDOLATRY and teraphim. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, He hath also rejected thee from being king.’

    This is addressing a man who saved some cattle to sacrifice to the LORD; the second time, he sacrificed to the LORD when he shouldn’t have (disobedience = idolatry).

    I’m not saying that you should commit idolatry, but that you are ALREADY an idolater — and I wonder if you are willing to see how you are already convicted of it.
    I’m just pointing out that all of your self-serving sins are serving another god — you — and that that is idolatry. Whereas the Blessed One calls us to SERVE HIM, we’ve served ourselves; are we willing to see this?

    2. Precisely what I said — this is what WE, who BELIEVE, believe (the “what if” applies to you, who do not believe; not for us).

    3. a. Isaiah 53 says that our sins would be laid upon the sins of the Messiah.

    b. Genesis says that the seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent (the deceiver and tempter — which, himself, leads us to sin) — Jesus was born of a woman, but not of a man.

    ci. Psa 79:9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake!
    cii. In Is 41:14, 43:14, 47:4, and others, the Blessed One is called, “the Redeemer of Israel”. What is a Redeemer?

    d. How many more times did David not call on GOD HIS SAVIOR? He never had the belief that he should save himself; he thought of himself as a worm Ps. 22:6, was low in his own eyesight/estimation (just as Moses, who also knew the Great One). David trusted in God’s Salvation.

    e. God delivered Israel from Egypt.

    f. God raised up and anointed Judges to deliver
    Israel from their enemies.

    g. God sent Prophets.

    h. God sent Angels.

    i. God will fight for Israel in the Ezekiel 38 war.

    j. God CREATED humans.

    Who created humans? Who is human’s Savior and Redeemer? The Most High God.

    4. If you couldn’t create yourself, how could you make yourself righteous?
    It is only in this fallen state we find ourselves that we could even ask such questions; it was not the natural state of man. Man used to not see his own nakedness. Recognition of nakedness is unnatural.
    These issues of “making oneself righteous” didn’t even apply to Adam — just as they don’t apply to an innocent baby. If it was only through knowing the difference between good and evil (in order to choose the good) that man fell from that original glorious state of relationship with God, are you saying that you are going to save yourself through knowing the difference between good and evil and choosing what is good (so-called “righteousness”), or attain back to that blessed state of relationship with God through it? That is the very thing that separated man from God.
    Do you think you are “wise”, like Eve was tempted to believe she would be through “knowledge of good and evil”? How will you save yourself through the very thing that stumbled man?
    Before man knew “right” and “wrong”, he was perfect and was in relationship with God.

    There must be ATONEMENT for those sins that have separated us from God (Is 59:2). Once there is atonement, there will be no separation (since there will be no sins).

    When God went to make a people for Himself, a BIG part of it was ATONEMENT FOR SINS — you think your righteousness will bring you near to God? No; only ATONEMENT will bring you near to God again. Nothing of ourselves can bridge that gap.

  4. Goldberg,
    In pointing out these things, I want to say that we need redemption from these sins of idolatry; NOT to condemn you. That we are already in trouble, and we need atonement.

  5. Daniel,

    We are speaking different languages on several levels. You keep telling me what you believe, while I am asking for proof of your belief system under the OT, specifically as it pertains to proof that the Jews should have dramatically changed their approach to worship after jesus appeared. I still wait for OT evidence for this, that is not vague intepretation or sermonizing. I note that you ignored my question about why I should acknowledge the NT any more than you acknowledge the book of Mormon.

    As for the verse from Samuel, this was not just a man who saved some cattle. This was the anointed king of Israel who ignored an explicit instruction of a prophet. Do you really think this one verse creates an equivalence of all sins despite the innumerable verses in which the prophets chastise Israel over the sin of overt idolatry. More importantly, this whole line of debate about the semantics of idolatry is really a red-herring I should not have indulged. Even if you were correct that all sins have an idolatrous element to them, it has nothing to do with my original point about asking for OT evidence about who to worship and who not to worship. Rather than respond to my point you jumped on my invoking the word idolatry.

    Yes. We all sin and need attonement. The OT makes clear that repentence is the key.

    Be well.

  6. Goldberg,
    1. I am actually very thankful that God has allowed me to converse with you [and that He is answering prayers, herein] because I am actually growing in my faith [and in the knowledge of it] through dialogue with you (by the grace of the Great, High and Only True GOD, Who is Forever Praised!!!).

    2a. I only asked you if you realized you were still an idolater (that, whilst attempting to escape idolatry — and congratulating yourself for having presumably succeeded — in refusing to receive Jesus as pre-existing His human-body incarnation), regardless.
    2b. I really did not sidestep your question from the beginning (even once), since I always said, very concisely that the “what if” applied to you; and I went on to explain what “our” belief entailed, in contrast (that we did not have a “what if”).
    2c. Jews (and Gentiles, though the Law was not written for Gentiles) have disobeyed explicit — Written, even — Prophets’ (Moses, no less) instructions for millennium; therefore, since all sin is (indicative of) idolatry (being service to that idol) SELF-service, rather than service The Great God).
    That same Awesome God, Himself, has already declared you as being “stubborn” (Deut 9:6, 13; 10:13; Hos 4:16); and Moses indicts you, as well (Deut 9:27) — this is equal to idolatry, according to Scripture. The whole nation is a nation of idolaters.
    2d. About an answer as for Yeshua being “idolized” — did you miss it?
    I contested that He WAS & IS inseparably part of/equal with Eternal Father (with heavens/nature Ps 19:2-4; — and Scripture, Itself: Ps 2:13; Pr 30:4 — testifying to God’s “Paternity”); that that Son is equal with God, and, therefore, OUGHT to be worshipped.
    Therefore, we are not worshipping a “human”; but the Eternal, Co-Existent, Son of God. He donned a human skin, in order that He might be a Priest who understands what it is to be tempted — yet without sin — and, therefore, has compassion on those for whom He is Mediating, Interceding and Reconciling back to God.
    I realize, again, that this is going “partially” into “our” belief, here; but, that’s — “partially” — what this forum is for: sharing our faiths with one another.

    3a. Atonement: what is atoning for your sins, today?
    The Torah enjoins man to make sacrifice to atone for his sins — sins don’t just disappear; they won’t “go away” through “repentance” — and I think that that is a grave thing to consider. The exile has made it impossible to “make atonement” (the Jews being without Temple), and had/has, therefore, rendered those putting their faith in that Old Covenant (that Israel broke — the Law of Moses) to be “in right standing with God” (those of the Jewish faith, who rejected Messiah — since not ALL did) INCAPABLE of being “in right standing before God” is SYMBOLIC of the state of their true state of unacceptability before God (because they did not receive Messiah, nor the New Covenant).

    Once again, according to Scripture, repentance was never enough: even if you wanted to argue “repentance and returning to obedience to the Law” was “the key”, you’d, therein, have to acknowledge that that selfsame “repentance and returning to obedience to the Law” would REQUIRE/INCLUDE sacrifices — something you cannot do.

    Thanks for your time,
    Daniel =)

    P.S. Just a question: why are you expectantly awaiting Messiah, if (according to Scripture) you are going to reject Him (“we did not esteem Him”)? Just wanted to share that thought (asking that question), in the event that you had ever examined that Scripture in that Light (that Isaiah 53 speaks about Messiah).

  7. Daniel,

    If you have found this dialogue a growth opportunity and it inspires you to live a better more moral life, I am glad for you.

    As for me, my faith grows in incremental fashion as I work on myself to become a better person each day than I was the day before and come to see God more clearly in my life as I grow older and hopefully wiser. But, to be honest,I don’t think I can count this dialogue as such a growth opportunity.

    2) No. I’m afraid I do not consider myself an idolator. I am no doubt a person who sins, but I have never worshipped anyone but the one creator of the universe who revealed himself at sinai. Does all sinning has an element of rebellion in it, perhaps, but there is a difference not just in degree but in kind between your metaphoric idolatry and the real deal. I do not worhip my self interets although I doll fall victim to them and when that happens God gives me the oportunity to repent, learn from them, and hopefully become a better person.

    3) As to the balance of your “proof texts” in your comments 2 and 3, they are ALL extremely old and, forgive me, tired, christian attemps at finding Jesus hiding in the OT. Do you actually think Psalm 2 or proverbs 30 are clever new arguments? If you are seriously interested in understanding why Jews do not accept any of them, you can find all of them dealt with in various writings notably those of Rabbi Blumenthal and Uri Yosef on the messiahtruth website and many others. If you want to discuss them seriously, have a look at those writings and then offer your rebuttals. That includes your patently false assertion that the OT requires sacrifice for attonement. This matter, too, is dealt with in the wrtings I’ve pointed you too. You can either examine those arguments and respond to them or you can continue to sermonize.

    4) And lastly, yawn, prove to me that that Isaiah 53 speaks of the Messiah. Surely you know that Judaism rejects your understanding of virtually every pronoun in that chapter and you can find mountains of writing on this toipic as well among the resources I’ve pointed you to.

    And I thank you too for your time as well, you’ve been gracious if not convincing.

    As always, be well.

  8. Goldberg,
    Once again, I give thanks to the One and only True God for this opportunity; and I thank you, as well.
    If permitted, I will do these things you mentioned (and, BTW, I honestly wasn’t under the impression of “being clever” [but I am very glad to see your response to them, which will undoubtedly lead me to learn more about my faith]: the desire to appear “clever” is the same bait Eve took — the bait, which [by YHWH’s Mighty Grace] I hope to stay clear of — both today, and in eternity to come).
    Thank You,
    Daniel

  9. Dear Goldberg,

    You said: “4) And lastly, yawn, prove to me that that Isaiah 53 speaks of the Messiah. Surely you know that Judaism rejects your understanding of virtually every pronoun in that chapter and you can find mountains of writing on this toipic as well among the resources I’ve pointed you to.”

    I am quite shocked you would say this. Just for the sake of clarification, are you saying that there are no Jewish interpretation of Isaiah 53 as the Messiah?

    Todah,

    Eric.

  10. Eric,

    No I am not.

    I am well aware that there are some Targumim and midrashim that apply selected parts of Isaiah 53 to the messiah.

    My real point – which perhaps I didn’t express as fully as I could have, becasue this is indeed a tired topic, was to respond to Daniel’s closing shot in which he challenged me with the following:

    “Just a question: why are you expectantly awaiting Messiah, if (according to Scripture) you are going to reject Him (”we did not esteem Him”)? Just wanted to share that thought (asking that question), in the event that you had ever examined that Scripture in that Light (that Isaiah 53 speaks about Messiah).”

    To that my response was “Prove it”.

    Prove that Isaiah 53, properly translated and in context is stating that the Jews would reject their messiah of the house of David. That specifc interpratation is not Jewish. And I’ll tell you what. I don’t claim to be an expert on everything word of polemic that’s ever been written on I53. But even if there is some Jewish source that somewhere inferred that from I53 (which I don’t belive there is), it does not require me to acknowledge Daniel’s question when the other 99.9% of Jewish sources subsribe to no such belief and certainly do not belive that any such belief can be extracted from I53.

    As I said to Daniel, if you want to debate I53, there is an encyclopedic volume of writing explainning the Jewish perspective. Examine just a few of them, and offer your rebutals. I don’t need to defend the Jewish position here. Smarter mor scholarly Jews than me have been doing so for 2,000 years.

    Oh, and Eric, a week or so ago you asked me a question which I responded to rhetorcially with a story about a cat. I don’t recall you answering it. Perhaps you found the question too disrepectful to be dignifed with an answer. However, I was dead serious. If you’re inclined, I would be interested in your thoughts.

  11. Dear Goldberg,

    Thanks for the clarification, I understand what you were saying now.

    I see your question on answering the rabbis 2, I will respond to that now.

    Thanks,

    Eric.

  12. hi everyone, I wonder by watching all of your dialog, you know my math teacher was a jew woman, and She always used to say that G-d is known by a deed, and She brought to my heart love for jewsh people, not by words but by deed, and now I believe that God of hebrews is only G-D ,if even she didn’t preach me anything about G-D, but I understood it by her deeds, and I noticed denominations are as many as people in the world,that is why here come two issue up, none knows the GOD or every one knows the GOD , simple every one think of Him on his/her own way!! be bless, by the way, I prefer to keep all Biblical commandments and statments which th GOD gave us via Moses

  13. Rabbi Y. Blumenthal,
    You have done well, & I have learned much from your teachings.

    Dr. Brown,
    One thing that I see as error in your teachings is that when a Jewish objection hits a Christian belief to the core, you never seem on rely on Scripture to explain the problem away, instead you run to quote various things you believe Rabbis have interpreted. So it seems the foundation of your faith is based on what Rabbis interpreted, becaus eyou cannot truly support your belief on Scripture; for example the virgin birth.

    To everyone else, I have heard what many have said hear, & it has been mostly Christians coming at the Rabbi, who solely present from purely a Jewish perspective. But I present a twist, because I was a devout Christian, was apart of Messianic Judaism. I was studying to go into ministry, & challenged my beliefs as I am a seeker of truth. I found my Christian beliefs not to be truth, & I have embrassed my Jewish faith. So I present this issue as one who knows Christianity. Yeshua was not God, nor did he claim to be God. He was not the mashiach son of David according to prophecy because he didn’t fulfill the prophecies. Instead what do you have is the same thing the Muslims do with Mohamed, is followers claim their master was prophesied by using verses taken out of context, used to fool those who are ignorant of the Scriptures they are reading. For the same reason Mohamed is not foretold in John 14-16, is the same reason Yeshua is not Mashiach in your proof texts.

  14. Dr. michael Brown: The prophet Jeremiah and Isaiah and Ezekiel, tell us that there will be sacrifices again in the messianic age.
    What is your take on this?

  15. Dr Brown, how you respond to the following by Mr Blumenthal, this comes from Contra Brown.

    “We now approach Brown’s closing ar
    guments on the issue of atonement.
    Brown insists that the offerings of scrip
    ture stood on the principle of a life for a
    life. This is simply not true. Even withi
    n the sacrificial system, other methods
    of atonement also worked – methods that
    were not predicated on the principle
    40
    of a life for a life. The
    ornamental head-plate of t
    he high priest (Exodus
    28:38), the flour offering (Leviticus 5:
    13), and the verbal confession (Leviticus
    16:6) all had the
    power to atone.
    But, Brown protests, the flour-offeri
    ngs had to be mixed with the blood in
    order to be effective
    lxx
    . This is clearly not so. The verse says that the flour
    offering had to be placed on top of the
    fire offerings of the Lord, not
    necessarily on top of the blood offerings
    (Leviticus 5:12). This injunction could
    be fulfilled by placing this particular flour
    offering on top of other flour offerings
    which go by the title “fire-offerings of
    the Lord” (Levitic
    us 6:11). But what
    would be the point in that? What is
    gained when one flour offering is placed
    on top of another flour offering? Similarl
    y, we can ask, what is gained when
    one blood offering is placed on top of anot
    her (Leviticus 4:
    35)? It certainly
    didn’t need the atoning pow
    er of the blood, because
    it possessed that power
    itself.
    In order to answer these
    questions, we must ask our
    selves; what is the one
    thread that runs throughout
    the entire Tabernacle narrative? What is the one
    theme that could tie all of
    the various aspects of the Temple together? It is not
    the principle of “a life fo
    r a life”, because that prin
    ciple would not explain the
    construction of the tabernacle, the inc
    ense, or the flour-offering. The one
    theme which relates to every aspect
    of the Temple is the concept of
    obedience. God emphasizes this point by repeating the phrase -”
    they did as
    God commanded Moses
    “, no less than 18 times in the culminating chapters
    of Exodus (39, 40). The reason that any
    of the offerings of the Temple were
    meaningful to God was because of
    obedience. Every offering was an
    expression of obedience on the part of t
    he individual bringing the offering.
    And the offerings only atoned
    when they were brought in the Temple that was
    built through the greatest expression of
    Israel’s obedience as a nation.
    Throughout the scriptural instruction
    concerning the sacrifices, we are
    reminded that the offerings are to be put
    on the altar of the elevation offering
    (Leviticus 3:5, 4:10,18,
    25,30,34), a reference to t
    he national daily offerings
    (Exodus 29:39-42, Number
    s 28:1-8). This national offering was the first
    offering on the altar every morning and the last to be offered every evening
    (Leviticus 6:1-6). All of the offerings
    of the individuals
    were framed between
    these two national offerings. The message that is conveyed through these
    laws is that the offerings of the indivi
    dual are only effective within the context
    of the general obedience of the nation. It is in this light that we can
    understand the injunction to place the fats
    of the blood offeri
    ng or the flour of
    the poor man’s offering upon the “fire-offe
    rings of the Lord”. These private
    offerings were to be placed on top of t
    he national offering, thus placing them
    in the context of the nation’s
    obedience towards God. ”

    Forgive me for the long post.

  16. posted by Juan G.
    June 17th, 2011 @ 12:10 am

    “In Matthew 19:16-17 there is a humble Jesus that doesn’t claim to be divine. He points to God. This is what I believe the Messiah would do.”

    How did you concluded from “Matthew 19:16-17” that jesus “that doesn’t claim to be divine”? Because he asked someone who called him “good” why he could him good when “only God is good”? Has it ever entered your mind that maybe jesus was challenging the man into recognizing the Godliness of his works and the connection of those works to yahweh?

    Lets look at the full passage of verses to see what they say:

    Mat 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
    Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

    Did jesus say he is neither “God” and not even “good”? Absolutley not, jesus merely asked the man why he was calling jesus “good” when “only God is God”. I remembering hearing someone totally pervert what jesus said when they claimed “jesus said DON’T call me good”.

    The fact is, the following verses indicate that jesus is absolutely good.

    So jesus has then told the man to “keep the commandments” to obtain eternal life, remember he said that, its going to be relevant.

    Mat 19:18 He saith unto him, Which? [keep which commandments to obtain eternal life]

    Notice that the man himself didn’t know what was meant by “keep the commandments”, he even asks for clarification from jesus:

    Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
    Mat 19:19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    Mat 19:20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
    Mat 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
    Mat 19:22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

    There is a very important detail that has to be recognized in what jesus has just said to the man about keeping the commandments and obtaining eternal life.

    “Notice, also, that Jesus listed six of the Ten Commandments, but not the first four. These particular commands were given to govern a person’s relationship with others, whereas the first four govern a person’s devotion to God.
    After the man tells Jesus that he has carried out the commands Christ still says that this isn’t enough since these commands didn’t make him complete in God’s sight. Christ expressly says that if he wanted to be perfect he needed to abandon everything and follow Jesus wholeheartedly. Jesus is basically demanding a devotion that is to be given solely to God.
    In other words, Jesus is saying that perfection doesn’t come by observing the Law but by following him, which presupposes that Jesus is absolutely perfect and does not need to carry out the Law for his own salvation! After all, sinners cannot be made perfect by following another sinner, but only by following someone or something that is perfect in and of itself.
    Christ was saying that to follow him was to follow God, to love him was to love God, to die for him was to die for God etc. And, just as Jesus told Peter, anyone who was willing to do that for Christ would be rewarded with eternal life:
    “Peter said to him, ‘We have left everything to follow you!’ ‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus replied, ‘no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields FOR ME AND THE GOSPEL will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.’” Mark 10:28-31”. Sam shamoun answering-islam.org

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