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A Muslim on the Gospel

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    A Muslim on the Gospel

    Had a really interesting discussion today on another forum with a Muslim. He said that Islam believes that the OT and NT are both valid revelations, hence the "People of the Book" thing. I had not realized that; I just thought "People of the Book" came from the fact that they consider Moses and Jesus to be prophets. But no, this person said that they feel the OT and NT are both valid revelations. I asked him how come, if that was the case, Muslims reject the divinity of Christ? It is, after all, revealed in the NT. He replied that he felt that wasn't really part of the revelation because Jesus never actually said he was God. I pointed him to Matthew 16:15-17, and reminded him of the teaching of the resurrection and the moment when the dove came upon Jesus and God spoke and said "This is my son." How, if they want to argue that the NT is valid, can they avoid the conclusion that Jesus is to be worshipped?

    He replied that there were many gospels besides the ones that made it into the canon, and Christians were discussing these matters years before Islam existed, and one scholar even said he thought Islam was a Christian heresy. In other words, he implied that those other gospels might have been better, more accurate, than what became canon.

    And I was like, But if you think these 'other gospels' are better than what made it into the canon, then you aren't really accepting the NT as a valid revelation, are you? But I didn't actually say it because I wanted to be polite.

    Has anyone else dealt with this apparent contradiction in Muslim thinking?

    #2
    Originally posted by almostgreta View Post
    He replied that there were many gospels besides the ones that made it into the canon, and Christians were discussing these matters years before Islam existed
    There are indeed many so-called gospels but none of them were written by an apostle or the associate of an apostle and none of them date to the 1st century.

    Originally posted by almostgreta View Post
    one scholar even said he thought Islam was a Christian heresy.
    True, and no doubt there is more than one.

    Originally posted by almostgreta View Post
    In other words, he implied that those other gospels might have been better, more accurate, than what became canon.
    The church as a whole has never accepted any other Gospels but the four in the N.T. All others were rejected for obvious reasons.

    Sounds to me as if you are going a great job.

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you! I hope the discussion will continue, it is very interesting.

      Comment


        #4
        Found it. This might be of some help. John of Damascus (675-749) was the first to suggest that Islam is a Christian heresy. In his work On Heresies, he stated:

        From that time to the present a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared in their midst. This man, after having chanced upon the Old and New Testaments and likewise, it seems, having conversed with an Arian monk, devised his own heresy. Then, having insinuated himself into the good graces of the people by a show of seeming piety, he gave out that a certain book had been sent down to him from heaven. He had set down some ridiculous compositions in this book of his and he gave it to them as an object of veneration.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for reminding about this. In 2008 I read The Lost History of Christianity by Philip Jenkins. That was not the first time I had heard of the claim but it was the first time I really did any research on the matter. The Arian monk that John of Damascus refers to is Bahira and he is mentioned by early Muslim historians. Here is a link to wikipedia. Normally I do not recommend anything from wikipedia but I have checked it out and it is accurate.

          Bahira - Wikipedia

          Fascinating!
          Last edited by Origen; 01-15-2018, 05:52 PM.

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you! That's really fascinating. I also read something very interesting suggesting that, in fact, nothing is known about Islam's origins before the year 800: Origins of Islam The scholarly consensus has fallen apart. They're looking at a void.

            Comment


              #7
              Jews -- and especially Israeli Jews -- I'm speaking as one of them -- also deal with similar peculiarities in Muslim interpretation. I'm going to try to put this as respectfully as possible -- even though I think their mode of interpretation is indicative of what has made Muslim society, for the most part, tragically backward. The mode of interpretation is essentially, you might say, colonialist. They see the text as their own, and their to mine for whatever their purposes happen to be. To the extent that I can tell, when Muslims say that they accept the OT and NT, they mean that they accept *some* of the basic ideas. E.g., they accept that Abraham bound his son, but they claim that the son he bound was Yishmael. There are lots of things like that. They bend things to make themselves the perfect servants of Allah. Many Muslims, it seems to me, presume that what is worth accepting is incorporated (in one way or another) into the Qur'an.

              Comment


              • William
                William commented
                Editing a comment
                Sue D., hope you don't mind my input? I generally think that the one asking the questions controls the conversation. Questions can be asked with no intent of hearing an answer but only controlling an opponent. There is a time to ask a question and to answer them. It is a common courtesy to first answer questions put to us. And there's nothing wrong with suggesting that "I do not know", or "I know that this is important but I need more time to compile my answer."

                "Why Don't you accept Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah? That's probably what I should be asking." I do not believe you asking this answers Meir's questions. Though your question has the potential to understand more about the Jewish expectation of the Messiah which Christ Jesus may not of fulfilled. Are you supplying OT Scriptures which point to a coming Messiah and establishing faith in the Messiah's coming? Why is that or is that not important?

                Regarding soteriology, imo, you're beating Meir over the head with the "Good News" and haven't established first the "Bad News". The bad news of course is that we are all guilty of sin and condemned by God, but why? Meir is asking what sin means, and you haven't really answered that question. If you can't agree on mutual definitions then you're going to be using the same terminology but speaking past each other. My suggestion is to establish a standard by which God holds us to, if you can't establish a common foundation in which to discuss then no fruitful dialogue is going happen.

                Lastly, someone came onto the board today and bashed Jews, calling them pedophiles etc. Their post were removed and membership revoked. Please do not let these kind of individuals make anyone else feel uncomfortable, but use the flag option located at the bottom of each post reply to report them. When they surface they'll be dealt with promptly by Moderation.

              • Meir-Simchah
                Meir-Simchah commented
                Editing a comment
                Seems to me, William hit the nail on the head.

                Sue, I'm trying to get a handle on what you're talking about. That's why I'm on this site. I'm here to learn about Christians and how you all see the world -- with all the diversity that entails.

                I get that there's sin, that that's bad, that you want salvation from that sin, and that Jesus is supposed to be the means of salvation.
                I don't know what you think about what sin is, why it's bad, what are its consequences, what kind of salvation can address sin, or -- please excuse me for sounding blasphemous but I think it's important I emphasize just how weird all this sounds to me -- what my long-dead, screw-up cousin has to do with any of this.

                In addition, I understand that you think that Jesus is the messiah. This, again, in my eyes, is just weird, since he doesn't meet *any* of the Jewish criteria for being messiah. So it must be that you have a totally different conception of what a messiah is.

                Beyond even that, I understand that you see Jesus as both the son of God, as in, he was literally sired by God, and as part of God. Those ideas don't make zero sense to me. So it must be that you have a totally different conception of God!

                But all that's pretty weird, since, clearly, my books are very important to you. You read them. You quote them. You see them as supporting the very beliefs which strike me as --
                again I'll put it bluntly to emphasize the difference -- pure nonsense. Now, you can say that's because of the scales on my eyes. Okay. End of discussion, I guess. And my effort here to understand Christians and Christianity is over. But even if that's the case... We plainly agree on an awful lot of stuff, Judeo-Christian values for starters. This thread started with questions about how to read. We do both think about that. Another thread addressed issues of modesty in clothing. We do both think about that too. Etc. Is the agreement all coincidence? That doesn't seem likely to me. John Selden wasn't learning Talmud and Maimonides because they happened to be lying around while he was waiting to go into the dentist. The Puritans who went to America weren't kidding when they saw themselves as pilgrims in search of a promised land and tried to build a holy city on a hill; the founding fathers of the United States didn't entertain the possibility of making Hebrew the national language for nothing; Lincoln didn't call the Americans the "almost chosen people" without reason; etc. Something is going on. So while there might be a tendency -- maybe, from the point of view of dispensation? -- to emphasize how Christianity is different from Judaism, I don't think its sufficient to say, Jesus came and everything changed. Something didn't change. But what is it? Is it that ultimately we're both dealing with sin? Maybe. But I've started to get the feeling that we conceive 'sin' in totally different ways.

                So, would you consider engaging with some of my questions?

              • Meir-Simchah
                Meir-Simchah commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes. Excellent. Ben covered the essentials there in the first segment.

              #8
              Meir-Simchah

              I'll be glad to -- your honesty is appreciated and no, you don't sound blasphemous -- you simply want to understand. I'd like to ask you a question -- What are the Jewish criteria for being Messiah?

              Comment


              • Meir-Simchah
                Meir-Simchah commented
                Editing a comment
                Just an etymological note (etymonline.com): "messiah (n.) c. 1300, Messias, from Late Latin Messias, from Greek Messias, from Aramaic (Semitic) meshiha and Hebrew mashiah "the anointed" (of the Lord), from mashah "anoint." This is the word rendered in Septuagint as Greek Khristos [hence the word Christ]."

                So why are we talking about anointing? Because some who assumed a high office were anointed with special oil. Among them were the king and the kohen gadol (usually translated, but not very well, as 'high priest'). The only instances in the Torah (Genesis-Deut) where I recall offhand a mention of the mashuach, the anointed, don't even refer to the king, but rather to the kohen gadol. When we talk about the king, usually we just talk about the king.

                In a sense, mashiach does not have in our tradition the kind of centrality which he has in your religion. (There is even a debate -- one which is ongoing and has contemporary ramifications -- about whether the mitzvot which pertain to the king prescribe having a king or whether they are simply the way to do it if, it works out, we insist on having or badly need a king. Frankly, I am a little confused by the authorities who argue that the king isn't necessary.) That said, we pray for the restoration of the kingship of David's line three times every day, at least. This restoration will allow my people and *all* peoples to flourish in unprecedented ways, to become, you might say, fully human realizing the full potential of humanity. This is not mystical or mysterious. It's down to earth and makes perfect sense with the Hebrew scriptures. We are talking about a human king. He has certain jobs to do. His power is limited in systematic ways. Etc.

              • Meir-Simchah
                Meir-Simchah commented
                Editing a comment
                To give you some idea about how we (Jews) think about this stuff, you might check out my podcast, Holy Madness - The Show. We at holymadness.podbean.com, or via iTunes or whatever podcast app you may use (just search "Holy Madness").

                In episode 7, we talk about exile and redemption, and the purpose of exile. Interestingly, I don't think we mention having a king once. It really is incidental, or, no, rather, the "crowning" achievement. We focused on the Persian exile, because we were thinking on the one hand about the Iran protests and on the other about Purim which is coming soon.

                In episode 4, the Christmas-Chanukah episode, we address differences between those holidays and begin to talk about the purpose of a human life.

                In episode 5, we talk about Jerusalem, and this starts to give a sense of why the land of Israel and Jerusalem are so important to us. We mention the Temple many times, but don't really go into it. The focus is more like the focus of the Book of Lamentations. Except we aren't sad.

                In episode 6, we talk about prayer. That's probably less relevant here. But you may find we have a very different orientation in some ways.

              • Sue D.
                Sue D. commented
                Editing a comment
                Re: part of #8.4 "We are talking about a human king." Jesus Christ Will be coming back for the 2nd time as a King. Zechariah 14:4 "In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives which faces Jerusalem on the east And the Mt of Olives shall be split in tow, from east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south. ........"

              #9
              Originally posted by Meir-Simchah View Post
              I can't think of any particular description of the messiah as a lion
              Well, that (lion and lamb) is the analogy that Christians use. The New Testament say Jesus is (Revelation 5:5) "And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, . The New Testament describes him as a lamb. I think Judaism, Christianity and Islam all have a Messiah of a sort. My quicky take is:

              Islam: Eventually, Jesus will slay the Antichrist, and then everyone who is one of the Book (of course, Jesus is a Muslim)
              Christianity (well a portion of it) ... Jesus will return, massive and bloody war, set up a theocracy and rule world and gentiles from Jerusalem for 1,000 yrs, then final battle and judgement, new heavens and earth (many think verses alluding to this are allegorical)
              Judaism: This is your area. But I believe Shapiro says, a Jew will set up a political system in a physical world in which the gathered Jews will rule (somewhat similar to some of Christianity in these respects.)

              So many allegories, symbolism, etc. that each person becomes authority over the scripture instead of from the scripture. It's is quite messy. Christians argue amongst themselves about it, some think the USA is alluded to in the end times. (Coming originally from Canada, I think Canada will be a major player .... smile j/k)

              Have a good day

              Comment


              • Meir-Simchah
                Meir-Simchah commented
                Editing a comment
                Yeah, it's nice to lay out this comparison. I can only speak for my tradition, of course.

                Ben's characterization is very good. (There are some groups, very vocal and creative, which do have more eccentric views, most prominently by far, Chabad. These speculative, messianic movements never seem to serve us well. Prof. Gershom Scholem, btw, inaugurated the academic study of them as such.)

                There is, however, something which grates on me in characterizing our messiah as engaged in "politics." It's a foreign way of conceptualizing these matters. The field of politics is so foreign to Hebraic thought, there is no word for 'politics' in biblical Hebrew. And yet a cursory glance at the Torah shows that from the time of Moses, at the very latest, we have been intensely engaged in organizing and refining our community and its actions. This continues to be the case through, more or less, the entire of the Hebrew Bible. Communal engagement is reflected even in the *poetry* of David, in the psalms, in ways that sound odd to ears accustomed to English poetry. And the Book of Esther where our communal life had disintegrated and you might have seen us turn inward toward individual-centered spiritual systems (as actually happened in the Hellenistic period among the Greeks and those whom they influenced after the breakup of the Athenian regime), instead you see our community reconstituting itself in a new form (again, that's episode 7 of my podcast Holy Madness - The Show, holymadness.podbean.com).

                I think the crucial distinction, which makes "politics" sound so foreign, is that for Jews there is no secular political sphere. (There may be some comparison or contrast to be made with Matthew 22:21, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's.") Whether we're talking about agriculture, which is of one piece with tzadaka (which is translated, but only very approximately, as "charity"), Shabbat, relations between men and women, economic regulation, appointing a king, or Temple sacrifices, we are everywhere engaged in mitzvot, the imperatives of our God.

                Which leads me to saying something which I should have said much earlier on. While our conception of messiah is entirely human and in essence about being our king or kohen gadol, kingship for us is ultimately about becoming a world which is flourishes under the kingship of God.

              #10
              Meir -- As I was alluding to in post 8.6 -- In the book of Revelation the last couple of chapters is when God Does set up His eternal kingdom here on earth -- The New Jerusalem is described -- the earth and heaven that we know Now will be destroyed during that final battle -- God brings down from heaven the New Jerusalem -- He sets up His tabernacle Here to be with His people personally, Himself. For all eternity.

              But before That -- as mentioned previously in Zechariah 14 -- talks about the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ -- He literally does come to this earth as an adult to be our leader for 1,000 yrs. He will be leading from Jerusalem.

              Jesus Christ is Not mentioned in the Old Testament -- however, the book of Isaiah 7:14 says "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel." Now look at Matthew 1 : 18 -, 21, 23 in particular "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel " which is translated "God with us."


              Yes, you've made a very good point -- Matthew 22;21 -- Render to Ceasar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God'."

              Comment


              • Meir-Simchah
                Meir-Simchah commented
                Editing a comment
                Sue, listen, I'm really happy to hear how you think about God, salvation, sin, Jesus, redemption, scripture, interpretation, etc. So I'd love to hear why you think Zechariya was talking about Jesus, why you mistranslate the word na'ara in Isaiah 7:14 to "virgin", and why you find it so compelling that Matthew uses the name Immanuel (I can call Nancy Pelosi "Immanuel" and that doesn't make her the messiah)? Also if hypothetically someone were born from a virgin woman -- God knows how or why -- it would immediately disqualify him from being the messiah; so it seems very odd to hold this up as a good thing; what do you do with that?

              • Fastfredy0
                Fastfredy0 commented
                Editing a comment
                Meir-Simchah, you definitely bring a different perspective on things.

                Re: Isaiah 7:14 the word is translated to virgin in English and you said it does not mean virgin.
                I looked the verse up and two English versions Z(NET, NRSV) do not use virgin. The Hebrew translator said: damsel, maid, virgin. Very interesting. I am not scholarly enough to comment further and may have gone too far already (lol), but interesting. Something may be amiss. Maybe the English translators of the Old Testament thought that because the New Testament used the word VIRGIN they thus thought VIRGIN should be used from the possible meanings in Isaiah 7:14
                (we are way behold my expertise, I just take what the English translation says as truth and recognize there may be minor issues)

                Question: Why do you say that the Messiah would be disqualified if born of a virgin?

              • Meir-Simchah
                Meir-Simchah commented
                Editing a comment
                Originally posted by Fastfredy0 View Post
                Question: Why do you say that the Messiah would be disqualified if born of a virgin?
                Well, the messiah has to be a patrilineal descendent of King David. No father from that line = no messiah.

              #11
              Meir -- maybe I can ask you if you believe that the first -five books of the Bible are really God's Word -- well -- that all the books you'd listed prior to this are God's Word.

              What do I do with That? Well -- since I Do believe that the Bible Is God's Word -- God's Word is Truth -- The virgin birth of Jesus Christ makes Him both human and divine. And that is one of the hardest concepts to understand. If Mary had become pregnant by a man -- like a Roman like some people like to say she was -- or simply another Jewish man -- her baby would have been just another baby who grew up to be a religious leader of that day - died and that would be That.

              However -- as the Gospels tell us -- the Holy Spirit came upon her before any man had a chance To 'know her' and her baby -- back to Matthew 1: 21 -- "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Actually that enables Him TO be the Messiah.

              The term "Immanual" means God with us. God coming to us in human form -- the Son of God -- the second part of the trinity. And, yes, I know all of this sounds Crazy. But it's True Because John 14:6 tells us that "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father But By Me." And that is Jesus Christ talking. And the fact of his bodily resurrection Proved that he was indeed the Son of God.

              (I'm ignoring your comment regarding Nancy Pelosi -- makes my skin crawl)

              I just looked up 'virgin' as used in Isaiah 7:14 -- it tells me to look up # 5959 for the Greek word / translation -- the word 'almah' is used "men. of 2928 'elem' --- 5959 "damsel, maid, Virgin" -- I'm using The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible -- both Hebrew and Greek.

              Isaiah is a beautiful book -- 40:8 for instance -- The grass wither, and flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever" // 41:10 // 45: 5 - 7 , 18 b // chapter 53: 3 , 5 "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned, everyone, to his own way ' and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. "

              Comment


              • Fastfredy0
                Fastfredy0 commented
                Editing a comment
                What do you think?
                I think you make good points.

                What I state next may seem a deflection, but I believe Christianity is based on faith and not always logical. I cite as evidence:

                1 Corinthians 2:14 The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. THIS SAYS TO ME THAT YOU CANNOT UNDERSTAND OUR VIEWPOINT UNLESS YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN FOR ONLY A CHRISTIAN HAS GOD'S SPIRIT TO DISCERN HIS WORD.

                1 Corinthians 1: 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks search for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, THUS, THE NEW TESTAMENT DESCRIBES CHRIST CRUCIFIED (the focus of Christianity) AS FOOLISHNESS. The message of the Cross does not appear to make sense. How could anyone believe in and submit to One who was apparently not smart enough to save Himself from suffering execution as a criminal when He was not one? Furthermore how could anyone look to such an One as a teacher of wisdom?

                Thus, if God says in the New Testament says 1 + 1 = 3 Christians believe it and could never explain it to an unbeliever and often can't explain some aspects to ourselves. That being said, often what God says in the New Testament is 1 + 1 = 2

                Hopefully, that was coherently explained what is sometimes incoherent. :)
                (My opinion)

              • Sue D.
                Sue D. commented
                Editing a comment
                Meir -- first of all -- please leave Nancy Pelosi out of this conversation. What criteria are you talking about? The Old Testament is history of how this world came into being and beginning of the Jewish people. The tribe of Judah. The Old Testament is fulfilled in the New Testament. All through the Old Testament -- the High Priests are required to make yearly sacrifices for the sins of the people. A perfect lamb -- no spots or blemishes. The Son of God / Jesus Christ was born to become the final Perfect Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Yes, Jesus Christ was put on the cross along with the two thieves -- it was the cruelest form of death known to the Romans. Some people believed He was really the Son of God -- others didn't -- just likeToday. The point is that He Gave His life for us / our sins. Jesus Christ Became the Perfect Lamb of God --He died in our place for our sins -- that's found in 1 Corinthians 15: 1-5 or so. That's what Isaiah 53 is talking about.

                Another term for 'circular reasoning' is internal evidence.

                It's not a matter of my 'thinking' but my 'Knowing" and there's a difference.

                A virgin is a virgin -- almost unknown these days -- but women / teens do actually start out life as Virgins. Not having had sex with anyone. Virginity Used to be a virtue. Now days it's sort of made fun of.

                You'd said you want to learn more about Christianity -- about sin and this thing called salvation. We've been explaining it to you. Maybe this approach - - salvation implies being saved from something. What is a person being saved From? spending eternity in hell and being saved TO eternal life with God -- the New Jerusalem. A persons' sinfulness is sending the person to hell. Because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The holiness of God. The verse that says 'be ye holy for I am holy' says God Almighty. God gave us the Ten Commandments in Exodus --all those 'thou shalt not's' -- told us what sin is. And we're also told how to counteract sin. But the gift of God is eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

                Each person is responsible to accept or reject the salvation that is offered. It doesn't depend on a person's cultural setting or what church they do or don't attend. For God so loved the world, that He gave......His only begotten Son , that who so ever believeth in Him will not perish but have everlasting life."

                The Jewish people wanted a King to come and lead them -- then -- not have a baby Jesus person be born and have to wait a long time for King Jesus to arrive. For a king to come back then would have been a temporary fix. A Savior for eternity is God's Bigger plan.

              • Meir-Simchah
                Meir-Simchah commented
                Editing a comment
                Originally posted by Sue D. View Post
                But the gift of God is eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord. // Each person is responsible to accept or reject the salvation that is offered.
                Sin screws up the world and the person. How does accepting salvation or Jesus address sin?

              #12
              Originally posted by Meir-Simchah View Post
              Well, the messiah has to be a patrilineal descendent of King David. No father from that line = no messiah.
              Joseph, the husband of Mary, was a descendant of King David and the rightful heir to the throne. He couldn't actually occupy the throne because of a curse God had placed on one of lhis ancestors, Jechoniah. The only way Jesus could inherit the kingship was to be born of a virgin who was legally the wife of Joseph. See my post here: King Joseph - Christforums
              Clyde Herrin's Blog

              Comment


              • Meir-Simchah
                Meir-Simchah commented
                Editing a comment
                Originally posted by theophilus View Post
                Joseph, the husband of Mary, was a descendant of King David and the rightful heir to the throne.
                Fine. But he wasn't Jesus' father. Jesus wasn't a descendant of David. No father from that line = no messiah.

                (Who cares about the curse? There are other heirs.)

                Sue, I don't want to take your religion away from you. I'm just pointing out that it is a radical departure from the Hebrew Bible. Many concepts were swapped out for others, or just thrown out almost entirely. Why? How? I assume there are complicated historical processes behind all that, but what really interests me is, Why from a Christian spiritual/theological perspective?

              • Sue D.
                Sue D. commented
                Editing a comment
                Meir--don't worry -- you're Not taking any part of my belief in Christianity away from me. From My perspective You are trying to make Christianity sound like a very unlikely belief. The Jewish religion came through the tribe of Judah -- one of the 12 tribes of Israel. As I've commented on previously -- Many Jews wanted a king to come Then and rule here on earth permanently. But God's big plan was to provide a Messiah / Savior for both Jews And Gentiles. And there are many Jewish people Today, who Do accept Him as their Messiah. And it Also seems at times that you are more interested in promoting Judaism Rather than accepting the truths about Christianity. So -- what Is your real objective.

              • Meir-Simchah
                Meir-Simchah commented
                Editing a comment
                > You are trying to make Christianity sound like a very unlikely belief.
                Well, it does strike me that way. That's why I'm trying to understand how things fit together for you.
                I think @Fastfredy0's comment above addresses this well:
                > "I believe Christianity is based on faith and not always logical. ... Thus, if God says in the New Testament says 1 + 1 = 3 Christians believe it and could never explain it to an unbeliever and often can't explain some aspects to ourselves. That being said, often what God says in the New Testament is 1 + 1 = 2."

                That replies on a particular idea of what faith is. Mathematics too in a sense rests on faith. Why these axioms? Because we believe them. Why them? Well, that's a longer discussion... The difference between mathematics and Christianity seems to be what this faith is really about. In math, it's about first principles. In Christianity -- tell me if this is wrong -- it seems to mean that anything *could* follow from anything. If God were to have told Abraham, 1+1 = 3, Abraham would have said, Now, You hold on there just a minute... Will the Judge of the World destroy the integrity of the world for any purpose?

                > And it Also seems at times that you are more interested in promoting Judaism Rather than accepting the truths about Christianity. So -- what Is your real objective.
                I'm not interested in promoting Judaism at all. If if feels that way to you, it might be because you're trying to convert me, and I'm telling you how I'll stick with my tradition. I'm also not interested in "accepting the truths" -- you wrote "about" but I think you mean *of* -- "Christianity." I want to find out how Christianity works. And I want to see what we share and where we differ.

              #13
              Originally posted by Meir-Simchah View Post
              Fine. But he wasn't Jesus' father. Jesus wasn't a descendant of David. No father from that line = no messiah.

              (Who cares about the curse? There are other heirs.)
              Since, you probably don't believe in the virgin birth, how do you make that argument?

              I don't believe in the virgin birth, but let me use it against you. Its kind of like saying I don't believe in Santa because the tooth fairy told me

              Comment


              • Sue D.
                Sue D. commented
                Editing a comment
                What curse are you referring to?

              • Meir-Simchah
                Meir-Simchah commented
                Editing a comment
                Re curse: see above Theophilus' comment

              #14
              Originally posted by Meir-Simchah View Post
              Fine. But he wasn't Jesus' father. Jesus wasn't a descendant of David. No father from that line = no messiah.
              He wasn't the biological father of Jesus but he was legally his father. Mary was also a descendant of David so Jesus was a biological as well as a legal descendant. Did you read the post I linked to?

              Originally posted by Sue D. View Post
              What curse are you referring to?
              The curse on Jechoniah, who was an ancestor of Jacob. King Joseph - Christforums
              Clyde Herrin's Blog

              Comment


              • Meir-Simchah
                Meir-Simchah commented
                Editing a comment
                In that other thread, you write: "Because Mary was the wife of Joseph her son was legally considered to also be Joseph’s son. This meant that the kingship was legally passed on to him." - That's just incorrect. If a son is born to a woman by someone other than her husband, he is a mamzer (loosely translated, 'bastard'), which is a legal status that it really sucks to have.

              #15
              Originally posted by Meir-Simchah View Post
              Sin screws up the world and the person. How does accepting salvation or Jesus address sin?
              Sin screws up the world and the person. Agreed

              How does accepting salvation or Jesus address sin?

              Well, according to Christian belief, this is a matter of justice. The charges are as follows:
              1. Somehow we must pay reparations for sin.
              2. Somehow we have to reconcile the aggrieved parties ( the sinner must be reconciled with God)
              3. Somehow we have to satisfy God’s need to excuse sin
              Solution: Well, mans 'sucks' and has no solution the he can implement from his resources. He needs help; he needs Christ. Christ, who is God who has taken on human form, comes to earth and fulfills the requirements of the law. God tells Christ (who is God in human form) that He requires a sacrifice, as spotless lamb so to speak, to be offered up. Christ is the spotless lamb and being God, He is of infinite worth. One drop of His blood is therefore of infinite value to God for it is God himself. Christ (God) dies voluntarily and God the Father raises Him from the death. So, how does this solve the problem of sin ….

              1. Redemption undertakes the solution of the problem of the sinner and his sin—freedom is secured through the ransom which is Christ’s (God in human form) death/sacrifice.
              2. Reconciliation undertakes the solution of the problem of the sinner and his relationship to God, and contemplates the sinner as at enmity with God and Christ as the peace maker and
              3. Propitiation undertakes the problem of an offended God and His necessity to be just when he justifies the sinner—Christ as an Offering, a Sacrifice, a Lamb slain who meets every demand of God’s holiness against the offender.

              Not only this, for this is to take away the negative consequences of sin ... but God does much, much more than forgive sin. He imputes the righteousness of God himself to those who believe in the death and resurrection of Christ. We (believers) are now His adopted children, loved and cherish by God, Brothers of Christ, with citizenship in Heaven while being ambassadors on earth... we are a gift from the Father to the Son, promised new bodies, and on and on ...

              That’s the Christian perspective as I understand it.

              So, how does an individual take advantage of this sacrifice?
              Christians are divided ... I will generalize and say 3 opinions

              1) God selects those He will save (the elect) and to each individual so selected the Spirit of God regenerates that person. This process the gives the individual Faith (belief Christ is God and died and is alive), Repentance and Justification. (Aside: this is the opinion I agree with)
              2) The individual believes 'Christ is God and died and is alive' by deciding from his own mental resources that it it true where this belief is called FAITH. At this point God's Spirit enters the person and he is justified.
              3) Similar to '2', but the person also has to do various things (works) to secure salvation (Roman Catholics, some protestants)

              That's the gist of it from my perspective.

              Comment


              • Meir-Simchah
                Meir-Simchah commented
                Editing a comment
                This is wonderful! Thank you for laying this out!

              • Meir-Simchah
                Meir-Simchah commented
                Editing a comment
                Originally posted by Fastfredy0 View Post
                Well, mans 'sucks' and has no solution the he can implement from his resources. He needs help; he needs Christ. Christ, who is God who has taken on human form, comes to earth and fulfills the requirements of the law. God tells Christ (who is God in human form) that He requires a sacrifice, as spotless lamb so to speak, to be offered up. Christ is the spotless lamb and being God, He is of infinite worth. One drop of His blood is therefore of infinite value to God for it is God himself. Christ (God) dies voluntarily and God the Father raises Him from the death.
                This is really the crux (pun intended) of the matter.

                "Man sucks and has no solution that he can implment from his own resources." - Why?

                But suppose that's the case, why is the solution "God in human form"? How's that help anyone? From my perspective, you can say almost anything here, since God taking on human form doesn't make any sense at all. I mean, it violates everything, so the ramifications could be anything.

                It seems like there are a lot of things that all come together in Jesus, and I don't see the necessary relations between them. He is:
                1 - the perfect sacrifice
                2 - God
                3 - human, and
                4 - Christ (= messiah = mashuach = annointed = king/high priest)

                ...not to mention...
                5 - of infinite value, and
                6 - resurrected.

                Why do all those things have to be wrapped up in one? As far as salvation is concerned, don't you just need 1?

              • Faber
                Faber commented
                Editing a comment
                How does God taking on human form "violate everything"?
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