Dr. Brown Debates an Orthodox Rabbi

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Listen to one of our most popular shows! Why would a professing Christian deny Jesus and become an Orthodox Jewish rabbi? Find out when Dr. Brown dialogues with an Orthodox rabbi who says he once believed in Jesus as Messiah.

 

Hour 1:

 

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: God has called us as Jewish people to be a light to the world and to bring to the world the knowledge of God. Through whom has that come? Who has been the most influential Jew and Rabbi who has ever lived, and brought hundreds of millions of Gentiles to the knowledge of the God of Israel? There is only one candidate. Our Messiah and King, Jesus, Yeshua.

Hour 2:

 

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Oh yes, the work of the Messiah is spreading throughout the entire world, more and more people are coming to the God of Israel through Jesus, Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel, and more and more Jewish eyes are being opened. It’s time my Jewish friends to look up. Redemption is growing near and in fact your Redeemer has already come!

 

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31 Comments
  1. There’s only one reason that I know of as to why a professing Christian would deny Jesus and do something else rather than continue on with him as he is, and that is, he must have not walked in the light that he had, and therefore, he must have fallen asleep spiritually.

    And of course, when men talk in their sleep, whatever they say doesn’t have to make any sense.

    I know there are reasons as to why men may do this. Jesus taught about them in parables. That much I know.

  2. You rarely hear dissenting opinions being accurately expressed by the people who hold them on Christian radio or television. To his credit Dr. Brown is one of the few people with forum in the Christian media willing to allow a free exchange of ideas. I thought the rabbi did a good job of making his case. For one thing he pointed out that Jesus did not fulfill messianic prophecies. The prophecies supposedly fulfilled by Jesus were reinterpreted away from their original meanings. This supports the view that the events described in the gospels are fictional and that the gospel writers wrote their stories to conform to earlier prophesies to make it seem like Jesus had fulfilled them.

  3. Boris, it actually shows that the prophesies were not fully understood (or even agreed apon)- Jesus clearly has fulfillled some of the prophesies already (in fact there is no further opportunity for any one else to fulfill those particular prophesies).

    It is true that the final culmination of all messianic prophesies are to be fulfilled when He comes again. This is the distinction and the cause for stumbling among some of those who do not believe Jesus of Nazareth is Messiah. The NTis consistent with the OT in that God is merciful and desires all to come to knowledge of eternal life. When all things are complete, then we will see all of His Word brought to completeness.

    The idea that the NT writers fabricated the Gospel is not widely held, and does not stand up to historical or literary scholarship. This was a popular idea during the times when biblical criticism hinged on rejecting all miraculous accounts. There was no solid basis for rejecting those accounts- other than a priori bias.

  4. If I may- there’s an excellent article on the messianic fullfillments and the duality of the messiah’s roles (suffering servant/sacrifice/high priest – and coming king/conquerer) here:

    http://christianthinktank.com/falsechrist.html

    Useful and detailed analysis, proving that Jesus most perfectly fits all of the prophetic OT teachings.

  5. The idea that the NT writers fabricated the Gospel is not widely held, and does not stand up to historical or literary scholarship. This was a popular idea during the times when biblical criticism hinged on rejecting all miraculous accounts. There was no solid basis for rejecting those accounts- other than a priori bias.

    Response: The gospels do not stand up to historical or literary scholarship, as I will demonstrate. Historical narratives do not contain dialog, conversations between people all speaking in complete sentences. And it isn’t just people talking but angels, demons and even Satan makes an appearance and has a private conversation with Jesus when no one was around. Yet somehow we still have the complete transcript of this conversation. Historical narratives do not contain all sorts of tales of the supernatural. One such tale in one gospel relates how dead people came back to life, unburied themselves and then walked into Jerusalem where many other people saw them. There is no evidence that any of the events described in the gospels actually occurred. The gospels fail all the tests for historicity there are and pass all the tests for fiction with flying colors.

  6. There are presently 5,686 Greek manuscripts in existence today for the New Testament.
    The internal consistency of the New Testament documents is about 99.5% textually pure. That is an amazing accuracy. In addition there are over 19,000 copies in the Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic languages. The total supporting New Testament manuscript base is over 24,000.
    Almost all biblical scholars agree that the New Testament documents were all written before the close of the First Century. If Jesus was crucified in 30 A.D., then that means that the entire New Testament was completed within 70 years. This is important because it means there were plenty of people around when the New Testament documents were penned who could have contested the writings. In other words, those who wrote the documents knew that if they were inaccurate, plenty of people would have pointed it out. But, we have absolutely no ancient documents contemporary with the First Century that contest the New Testament texts.
    http://carm.org/manuscript-evidence
    The Gospel of Mark has been dated from as early as the AD 50s, although most scholars date it between the range of 65 and 72. Many scholars believe that Matthew and Luke were written after the composition of Mark as they make use of Mark’s content. Therefore they are generally dated later than Mark, although how much later is debated. Matthew has been dated between 70 and 85. Luke has been placed within 80 to 95. However, a few scholars date the Gospel of Luke much earlier, as Luke indicates in the book of Acts that he has already written the Gospel of Luke prior to writing the introduction to Acts.
    In the 1830s German scholars of the Tübingen school tried to date the books as late as the 3rd century, but the discovery of some New Testament manuscripts and fragments from the 2nd and 3rd centuries, one of which dates as early as 125 (Papyrus 52), disproves a 3rd century date of composition for any book now in the New Testament. Additionally, a letter to the church at Corinth in the name of Clement of Rome in 95 quotes from 10 of the 27 books of the New Testament, and a letter to the church at Philippi in the name of Polycarp in 120 quotes from 16 books.
    John A. T. Robinson and other scholars argued for a much earlier dating, based on the fact that the New Testament writings make no mention of (1) the Great Fire of Rome (A.D. 64), one of the most destructive fires in Roman history, which Emperor Nero blamed on the Christians, and led to the first major persecution of believers; (2) the final years and deaths of Paul, who wrote most of the epistles, Peter, whom Catholics recognize as the first pope, and the other apostles; (3) Nero’s suicide (A.D. 68); or (4) the total destruction of the temple in Jerusalem (A.D. 70), which Robinson thought should certainly have appeared, considering the importance of that event for Jews and Christians of that time.
    The first translations (usually called “versions”) of the New Testament were made beginning already at the end of 2nd century. The earliest versions of the New Testament are the translations into the Syriac, Latin, and Coptic languages. These three versions were made directly from the Greek, and are frequently cited in the apparatuses of modern critical editions.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Testament
    The discoveries of the twentieth century brought about the earliest known New Testament manuscript fragments.Kenyon in 1912 knew 14 papyri, Aland in his first edition of Kurzgefasste… in 1963 enumerated 76 papyri, in 1989 were known 96 papyri, and in 2008 124 papyri. Now a total of 127 papyri are known.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_New_Testament_papyri
    10 February 2012 Daniel B. Wallace
    On 1 February 2012, I debated Bart Ehrman at UNC Chapel Hill on whether we have the wording of the original New Testament today. This was our third such debate, and it was before a crowd of more than 1000 people. I mentioned that seven New Testament papyri had recently been discovered—six of them probably from the second century and one of them probably from the first. These fragments will be published in about a year.
    These manuscripts now increase our holdings as follows: we have as many as eighteen New Testament manuscripts (all fragmentary, more or less) from the second century and one from the first. Altogether, about 33% of all New Testament verses are found in these manuscripts. But the most interesting thing is the first-century fragment.
    It was dated by one of the world’s leading paleographers. He said he was ‘certain’ that it was from the first century. If this is true, it would be the oldest fragment of the New Testament known to exist.
    http://www.crecd.com/

  7. You have concluded that the gospel writers were intentionally writing fiction?! Well, sir, that view is radical to say the least-
    and completely unsupported by any historical exegesis to say the most.

  8. The idea that the NT writers fabricated the Gospel is not widely held, and does not stand up to historical or literary scholarship.

    Response: You must live in a bubble. I could give you quite a list of books and scholars who have made the case that Jesus never existed. There is nothing outside of the Bible that could verify ANY of the tales in the Bible or the existence of any of the major figures in the Bible from Adam to Jesus. Sure the Bible mentions real historical people and places. Almost all fiction is placed in a historical setting and mentions actual historical figures. None of that helps your case it only hurts it more.

    This was a popular idea during the times when biblical criticism hinged on rejecting all miraculous accounts. There was no solid basis for rejecting those accounts- other than a priori bias.

    Response: You Christians do not accept the miracle stories of other religions. Yet when people reject your miracle stories you say it’s only because they’re biased. We don’t accept your miracle stories because extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence. You can’t expect people take the absurd stories in the Bible at face value the way you have.

  9. “No miracles” only means that everything must be explainable to empirical science. Your ‘faith’ is that science will one day be able to explain the million & one things it can’t explain now (most likely long after you’re gone.)
    You have repeatedly stated that you don’t believe in angels or demons; so you have ‘determined’ that Genesis six is ‘False’; now ‘prove’ it! Do you see the problem? By our current methods and measurements, we can’t give’proof’ one way or another; so to confirm or deny lies ONLY in our own mind-set. Ecclesiastes says that money answers everything; you would add that science answers everything; yet being able to answer does not mean that the Truth has been revealed. Your science might pay for a nice casket for you one day; but it won’t be able to tell anyone definitively what happened to your ‘soul’. Thought can’t REALLY comprehend oblivion; the jump is too big.
    In Him, Ron M.

  10. from Boris: “I could give you quite a list of books and scholars who have made the case that Jesus never existed. There is nothing outside of the Bible that could verify ANY of the tales in the Bible or the existence of any of the major figures in the Bible from Adam to Jesus. ”

    You have provided no such list, just your opinion. Do such books exist- yes, of course there have been a great many who have tried to explain the gospel account as either purposeful fiction, the writings of deluded followers, propaganda, myth, etc. Those propositions don’t hold up. Its been studied and debated extensively. It is agreed that Jesus was brutally executed, that he was laid in a tomb well known to all involved, that that tomb was gaurded by Roman soldiers. Many who are either atheists or diest agree that the honest accounts show that Jesus’ followers had experiences of seeing him alive. In the end, when pressed, some rediculous story of “Jesus’ twin brother” or some such must be fabricated. The historical evidence, under scrutiny of many centuries, supports the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and no other story to explain the events has held up.

    Compendium of miraculous through history (pagan and Judeo-christian) can be found in an excellent work by Craig Keener- http://www.amazon.com/Miracles-Credibility-Testament-Accounts-Volume/dp/0801039525

    I do believe that there are verified miracles in other religions- I don’t have a tidy explanation for them, other than to first acknowledge that super- or supra-natural events can and do take place. In the case of the Biblical accounts (Old and New) and many accounts through history of Christ’s followers- these things are divine samplings of the Kingdom of God, which is yet to come in its fullness. But I will not go further into theology here with you, unless you were to agree that the gospel account of the resurrection is not fiction, is not myth, is not propaganda. The resurrection of Jesus is pivotal.

    Boris, will you retract the rediculous claim that Constantine invented Christianity? If so there is some hope to continue a rational discussion.

  11. Sorry for posting links to other sources, but the subject requires in-depth discussion and citing of other scholarship which is simply not possible within the blog-posting context.

    Here’s a very detailed discussion of Jesus’ resurrection:
    http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-evidence-for-jesus

    Boris, feel to logically and factually refute the linked article.

  12. The debate about an oral tradition did not
    develop with the development of the Mishnah
    and the compilation of the Talmud.
    Jeremiah 17: 21,22,24 lists what types of actions
    were forbidden to be done on the Sabbath. I.E,
    not to carry a burden on the Sabbath into the
    gate of Jerusalem,or carry a burden out of your
    house on the Sabbath.
    Yet,in the Torah when forbidding a person not
    work on the Sabbath, the Torah does not defne
    what is “work” which would incur the death penalty. Jeremiah lived well before the compilation of the Mishnah and Talmud. Yet,
    he quotes an oral tradition that was not written
    as a body work. However, there appears to be
    an oral tradition of the written law before
    the second temple. Jeremiah lived during the
    latter part of the first temple. So,an oral
    tradition explaining the written was imparted
    from the time of Moses.

  13. Theodore, actually, each case you cite refutes itself: 1) Jeremiah delivered a prophetic word; he did not cite a tradition; 2) carrying burdens on the Sabbath, as we see from Nehemiah 13, was directly related to work; 3) the Talmudic expansions on carrying on the Sabbath are extreme, to say the least; 4) in ancient Israel, the concept of “work” was fairly simply defined, but in cases where it was not clear whether work was involved or what kind of punishment was to inflicted for Sabbath violation, Moses did not rely on traditions he allegedly received on Mount Sinai. Instead, he asked God for guidance — this happened a total of four times in the Torah after Sinai — and God spoke to him. I deal with this at great length here: http://www.amazon.com/Answering-Jewish-Objections-Jesus-Traditional/dp/1881022862/ref=pd_sim_b_10

  14. ron david metcalf
    …. Your science might pay for a nice casket for you one day; but it won’t be able to tell anyone definitively what happened to your ‘soul’. Thought can’t REALLY comprehend oblivion; the jump is too big.

    Response: Souls supposedly provide us with our identity, personality and sense of ourselves. The claim that souls exist and survive physical death has been conclusively disproved by the science of neurology. The fundamental aspects of consciousness all arise from and are unified with the physical structure of the brain. Damage to specific areas of the brain can fragment a person’s identity and alter their personality and even their beliefs. A person with brain damage can essentially become another person not recognizable to even close friends and relatives. This is impossible to explain if souls actually exist.

    Matt B
    … of course there have been a great many who have tried to explain the gospel account as either purposeful fiction, the writings of deluded followers, propaganda, myth, etc. Those propositions don’t hold up.

    Response: That’s easy to say but you have utterly failed in your attempts to prove that.

    Its been studied and debated extensively. It is agreed that Jesus was brutally executed, that he was laid in a tomb well known to all involved, that that tomb was gaurded by Roman soldiers. Many who are either atheists or diest agree that the honest accounts show that Jesus’ followers had experiences of seeing him alive.

    Response: Those “experiences” are described in the Bible and nowhere else. Only Bible believers believe those accounts, no one else.

    In the end, when pressed, some rediculous story of “Jesus’ twin brother” or some such must be fabricated. The historical evidence, under scrutiny of many centuries, supports the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and no other story to explain the events has held up.

    Response: My explanation holds up which is that the events described in the gospels are fictional. There is no historical evidence that could corroborate that Jesus even existed let alone that he was crucified and then was resurrected. I challenged you several times to produce some evidence from outside the Bible that Jesus actually existed. Several times I requested a short biography of the life of Jesus using only extra-biblical sources from within 50 years of the time Jesus was supposedly crucified. You completely ignored this request. Yet now you have the nerve to keep on making the same unsupported claims as if I haven’t raised enough unanswered objections to them already.

    But I will not go further into theology here with you, unless you were to agree that the gospel account of the resurrection is not fiction, is not myth, is not propaganda. The resurrection of Jesus is pivotal.

    Response: Are you kidding me? That is a Christian superstition and no one outside of your faith believes that. Do you actually think there are non-Christians who believe the resurrection accounts in the gospels? A large number of Christians don’t even believe them.

    Boris, will you retract the rediculous claim that Constantine invented Christianity? If so there is some hope to continue a rational discussion.

    Response: Constantine brought together religious leaders from all over the empire and created one world religion called Christianity. Constantine decided what the canon would contain and insisted on including the Hebrew books hoping the Jews would come on board. I’m surely not the only person who knows this. Look around on the Internet.

    Here’s a very detailed discussion of Jesus’ resurrection:
    Boris, feel to logically and factually refute the linked article.

    Response: If you can’t make your own arguments then just don’t post anything. I can’t argue with William Craig because he’s not here. However Craig doesn’t present any evidence in his resurrection arguments to corroborate the gospel accounts because there isn’t any. He does the same thing you did which is using characters in the story to prove the story is true. That is circular reasoning. Outside of the Bible there are no references to any of the disciples, the trial, crucifixion or resurrection of Jesus. History knows nothing at all of any of these people or any of these events. In other words you have no evidence whatsoever from OUTSIDE of the Bible to support ANY of your claims that anything INSIDE the Bible even might be true. Therefore the original beliefs about Jesus held by the early Christians did not come from eyewitnesses spreading the gospel they came only from the gospel stories themselves.

  15. No, Boris, I’m not at all “kidding” you- I am deeply and morbidly serious. Without the resurrection, we are all dead in our sins. But I rejoice, Jesus was in FACT raised from the dead, a testimony of the truth of His message and eternal ministry, and the promise our our resurrection whom He has sealed for that day.

    You know full well that W.L. Craig is deeply respected, an accomplished researcher, author, and debater, and has made a very tight case which you cannot refute.

    Your smug dismissal of the discussion shows you are not interested in the truth. I’m still praying for you earnestly.

  16. Neurology disproves the Soul? In your quest to explain everything, you are losing sight of who is viewing the Big Picture. There are no guarantees in Life. One big ‘oops’, and you could find yourself slipping away, not able to outthink anything. Be prepared; I don’t see you having anything to hold on to.

    Re. brain damage, my first son was born with cerebral palsy, but had normal intelligence until OVERNIGHT when he was 17 1/2, he began developing schizophrenia. We saw the change IMMEDIATELY. I have worked in a couple of group homes, and with this background, have seen a lot of the unhappy results of psychosis, which in ALL cases leans toward the evil rather than the good. Even bipolar mania is like shooting off a rocket; what goes up must come down. You most likely think you have some Noble heritage raising you above the riff-raff; yet one car accident with traumatic brain injury (GOD forbid) could put you in one of the lowest living states imaginable. Your insistance that Survivasl of the Fittest is better than Christianity makes me very cautious in wanting to talk to you.
    In Him, Ron M.

  17. Matt B
    No, Boris, I’m not at all “kidding” you- I am deeply and morbidly serious. Without the resurrection, we are all dead in our sins. But I rejoice, Jesus was in FACT raised from the dead, a testimony of the truth of His message and eternal ministry, and the promise our our resurrection whom He has sealed for that day.

    Response: Wrong again Matt. Without the resurrection our supposed “sins” are meaningless to anyone except the human beings we may have hurt or offended and ourselves. Without the resurrection Christianity collapses which is what we are witnessing right now. People are rejecting the Christian faith in greater numbers than ever before precisely because none of your claims can be verified and can now easily be recognized as false in this new age of information. Before you can claim Jesus resurrected you must first prove such a person actually existed. You have failed miserably in your attempts to do so but then so has your hero William Lane Craig.

    You know full well that W.L. Craig is deeply respected, an accomplished researcher, author, and debater, and has made a very tight case which you cannot refute.

    Response: I just refuted Craig’s fallacy laden argument by showing it is based on circular reasoning and the religious dogma that the Bible’s true because it says it is. William Lane Craig is not deeply respected by anyone outside of your religion and he’s gotten whipped badly in every debate I’ve seen him in. Refutations and critiques of all of Craig’s arguments are easy to find on the Internet. I suggest you look them up so you can see what critics really think about William Lane Craig.

    Your smug dismissal of the discussion shows you are not interested in the truth. I’m still praying for you earnestly.

    Response: We have already established that you’re the one who is afraid of the truth. I already gave very good evidence that God does not exist by showing that God is not in control. True to form you completely ignored that post and went right on repeating your already debunked claims as if no objections had ever been made. Ignoring my objections won’t make them go away.

    ron david metcalf

    Your insistance that Survivasl of the Fittest is better than Christianity makes me very cautious in wanting to talk to you.

    Response: Just like Matt you completely ignore my responses and objections to your absurd claims and go right on repeating your claims as if no objections to them had ever been raised. I previously showed how science has reversed survival of the fittest so that the unfit may live normal healthy lives and even pass their defective genes onto their progeny. A few thousand years ago your son would not have survived long enough to have children. Now, thanks to our knowledge of how nature structures itself through evolution by natural selection we have reversed Nature’s survival of the fittest dogma. Next time you meet an evolutionary biologist thank them for all the work their fellow biologists have done that has allowed your son to live past infancy. Don’t be an ingrate.

  18. Ron,
    BTY I’m really sorry to read about your son. I’m a parent too. Anyway I think souls and survival of the fittest are a bit off the subject of this thread, which is Dr. Brown’s discussion with the rabbi he had as a guest on Line of Fire. I agreed with a point the rabbi made on the show and once again we’ve wound up talking about something else. Did you hear the show?

  19. Rabbis don’t think Jesus of Nazareth fulfills Messianic prophecies; Catholic priests don’t think Jews have any relationship with GOD; there are vested interests involved.
    Judging and executing GOD in your mind doesn’t give you unending possibilities; it only creates a moral vacuum. “I have killed God; why am I not free?” In making yourself (a virtual) God, you quickly run into a glaring dilemma: the universe still doesn’t operate according to your command; there are many things outside of your control in every direction. At some point you have to come to the conclusion, “I am not God.” This creates despair which occasionally you must face: not being in control makes you a slave to some degree.

    After twenty years of doing this, I decided to return Home; or as Joni Mitchell put it: “We have to get ourselves back to the Garden.” The Woodstock mantra was “FREEDOM!”; within a couple of years Jimi and Janis were dead. The music lives on; the people who made it, the ones still alive, still muddle on through. It wasn’t a complete Lie; Art has some truth to it; but what was Promised never came close to materializing; it all started falling apart quickly. I decided to revisit the Bible, trying to understand things from GOD’s perspective. When TIME has no meaning, it all starts making sense. As long as the meter is still running, there is no PEACE.
    In Him, Ron M.

  20. Dr. Brown,

    In your discussion today you said that many Muslims have been brought to faith in Jesus through a personal encounter. I have heard others make similar claims. Question: It appears that the rabbi that you interviewed has a heart for the Lord and for truth. Why do you think the Lord has not experienced a similar encounter leading him back to Jesus?

    A comment: Wallace has done a nice job unwinding Bart Ehrman’s claims in “Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament”. Perhaps the Rabbi should have read this alongside Ehrman’s books. Colin Hemer wrote “The Book of Acts in the setting of Hellenistic History” which carefully documents around 100 historical details that were accurately preserved in the book of Acts. If the documents were so corrupt, why have these 100 details (many of which were relatively obscure and would not be known unless one followed the path of say Paul in his travels) been preserved? Why were they not corrupted with the rest of the text? Isn’t it just as likely that if these minute details were preserved faithfully, then the rest of the text was preserved faithfully as well? And since the author of Acts is the author of the Gospel of Luke, Isn’t it then reasonable to believe that if the book of Acts is trustworthy, then so is Luke’s Gospel?

  21. Dr. Brown,

    Sorry typo my question should read: Why do you think the Rabbi has not experienced a similar encounter leading him back to Jesus?

  22. S. Johnson, my only guess is that it’s harder to come back than to meet the Lord in the first place — if, in fact, he truly knew the Lord in the past. Otherwise, it would be a matter of him thinking that he’s been there and done that and it’s wrong, which also makes it harder to come back.

  23. request for revision of format:
    I nearly missed S. Johnson’s good comment.
    >”Most Popular Shows” top middle hardly ever changes; request change to simple list of threads that have been commented on in chronological time order; would save time and increase interest. Thanks, Ron David Metcalf

  24. Oral tradition was a poor choice of words.
    We see that Moses did inpart some understanding
    of definition of what is defined as “work”
    on the Sabbath even thought the ” Written Law”
    did not specify a definition of what was called
    ” Work ” to inflict a death penalty with witnesses
    to a violator of the Sabbath.
    If you don’t mind me asking, why do some Rabbis
    whom you debate always begin trying to show seeming contradictions in the New Testament ?
    Why not discuss the prophecies from the Tanak
    which holds points of contentation between Rabbis
    and mainstream Christianity ? In the end it’s
    truth which shall sprout/grow from the earth.
    Thank you for your comment Dr.Brown.

  25. Theodore, I agree that it’s best to focus on our common ground, namely, the Tanakh, but if a rabbi felt that our unique sacred book — namely the New Testament — was corrupt, then that would be a serious line of argument to use.

  26. Proving Jesus of Nazareth is Messiah from Isaiah has gotten a bit thread-bare; either you see it, or you don’t. Zechariah says that the Jewish nation will recognize Their Own before He returns; but this must be a Work of the Holy Spirit. For debate purposes, I suggest that our common ground for now is ZION; something we both can be excited about!
    In Him, Ron M.

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