Author Topic: Could somebody help me out with this?  (Read 1294 times)

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Offline OrthodoxAndrew

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Could somebody help me out with this?
« on: March 10, 2006, 01:18:15 AM »
http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/jews-jesus/jews-jesus-index.html

I was wondering if anybody held any answers to some of the points raised by this website against our Lord Jesus?
"Do what you want in order to send me as soon as possible from this transient life to eternal life. I am Christ's slave, I follow Christ, for Christ I die that I may live with Him!" - St. John of Decapolis before his martyrdom at the hands of the Turkish Muslims.

Offline Michael

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Re: Could somebody help me out with this?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2006, 08:40:34 PM »
Christ is the fulfillment of all that went before, not merely Judaism, but also the Gentile world with its belief systems.  Christianity is not simply an updated version of Judaism, but is the perfection of so much more.  The first chapter of St John's Gospel highlights this in the wonderful theological poetry of the Incarnation in the first chapter.

The Logos was a concept very familiar to the Greeks especially, and John's identification of this Logos with the Christ was indeed a bold step.  Sometimes, in Gentile religions, the Logos had qualities of divinity.  In others, it did not.  However, it was seen as an underlying principle.  At the same time, St John's phrasing is of the sort that would be instantly recognisable to a Jewish reader, especially his use of In the beginning, which identifies the Logos/Word of God with the Word in the Genesis creation narrative.

We tradionally understand the Word to which St John refers as being the Word of God - the Second Person of the Trinity - in the Genesis creation story in the Jewish tradition.  Of course, this is most True.  However, if one were to read this passage from a non-Jewish mindset, from the perspective of a Gentile familiar with the concept of the Logos, this passage from the Gospel shows the inexpressible universality of Christ - far exceeding a role as simply "the Jewish Messiah" (although he was that as well).  See what I mean:

Quote
In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Logos became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” ’) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

My point is that the proper place of Our Lord and Savious Jesus Christ as the perfect fulfillment of the incomplete shadows of the fullness of Truth that went before, cannot and must not be made subject to the criteria of any of those incomplete shadows, regardless of how much of the Truth was to be found therein - and that includes Judaism.

Christ came as the perfect fulfillment precisely because what went before was incomplete.  Therefore, the list of criteria set up by Judaism is itself gravely insufficient and cannot be seriously regarded as in any way showing the insufficiency of Christ.

If those of Jewish tradition want to decry the authenticity of Christ, they will have to do a lot better than that.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2006, 08:48:30 PM by Michael »

Offline EkhristosAnesti

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Re: Could somebody help me out with this?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2006, 09:14:06 PM »
Michael,

I'd have to say that your response is a bit of a cop-out (please do not take this personally). Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, and He consistently made the point to His Jewish audience that He was the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning Him (as if those prophecies were in fact a criterion in and of themselves by which the Jews were to judge His authenticity); the fulfillment of that which the Jews were to expect of Him according to a true interpretation and understanding of the Law and the Prophets.

The fault in the criteria listed in the Jews for Judaism website lies not in the Law nor in the Prophets, but rather it lies in the author's misinterpretation of both Judaism (i.e. so-called "Rabbinic Judaism") and Orthodox Christianity. It's really as simple as that. Each and every point on that list can easily be refuted, either by proving a correct interpretation of the Law and the Prophets, which consequently nullifies many of the points that are listed (e.g. the point regarding the Messiah's mission necessarily involving the re-building of the temple), or by proving a correct and Orthodox interpretation of the NT, which consequently nullifies many of his attempts to prove that Christ does not fulfill those points which are in fact true to the Law and the Prophets, and which Christ in fact did fulfill.

OrthodoxAndrew,

I don't have time to go through every point on that list right now, but if you do a search through this forum, you will that I started a thread a while ago titled "Why Jews Don't Believe in Jesus - Answered", where I responded to a similar Jewish article, and in so doing, answered a few of the objections listed on the article you present for us.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2006, 09:19:57 PM by EkhristosAnesti »
No longer an active member of this forum. Sincerest apologies to anyone who has taken offence to anything posted in youthful ignorance or negligence prior to my leaving this forum - October, 2012.

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Offline Michael

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Re: Could somebody help me out with this?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2006, 06:13:57 AM »
Michael,

I'd have to say that your response is a bit of a cop-out (please do not take this personally).

That's quite all right, Ekhristos Anesti.  I certainly didn't take it personally, although I do disagree that it is a cop-out.  I do agree with the rest of your post, however, about Jesus really and truly being the Jewish Messiah and the criteria on the list OrthodoxAndrew linked to is not necessarily accurate, and, while I personally don't know enough about the detail of Judaism to refute the individual points, I do not doubt that it can indeed be done.  However, my point was that Christ's position (as the Jewish Messiah and so much more) is not dependent on any list of Jewish or other pre-Christian criteria, and any apparent shortcoming based on such criteria cannot be taken seriously because of the insufficiency of pre-Christian criteria to measure the fullness of Christ.

In Christ,
Michael

Offline EkhristosAnesti

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Re: Could somebody help me out with this?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2006, 07:16:01 AM »
Quote
and any apparent shortcoming based on such criteria cannot be taken seriously because of the insufficiency of pre-Christian criteria to measure the fullness of Christ.

I can surely express agreement with the point that the criteria is insufficient in that it does not adequately account for the nature of Christ's person, mission, and ministry, which surely extended, and extends, beyond what the Law and the Prophets reveal to us. However, I do not believe that it consequently follows that such a criteria not be taken seriously, for the authenticity of one’s claim to be the Jewish Messiah is nonetheless contingent upon the fulfilment of that very criterion, even if it merely accounts for “some of Christ” as opposed to the “fullness of Christ”. Furthermore, the criterion is in fact sufficient on another level, in the sense that the "some of Christ" which the criteria accounts for is nonetheless to be considered "enough of Christ" in order for the Jewish believer to confess faith in Him as their Messiah and Saviour.

+irini nem ehmot
« Last Edit: March 11, 2006, 07:17:34 AM by EkhristosAnesti »
No longer an active member of this forum. Sincerest apologies to anyone who has taken offence to anything posted in youthful ignorance or negligence prior to my leaving this forum - October, 2012.

"Philosophy is the imitation by a man of what is better, according to what is possible" - St Severus

Offline Michael

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Re: Could somebody help me out with this?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2006, 05:09:37 PM »
Hmmm.  Yes, I do see what you mean, Ekhristos Anesti.  Point conceded.

With love in Christ,
Michael