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When My Faith In Christianity Erodes

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The idea that Isaiah 53 refers to the nation of Israel has long existed. There is no evidence the Jews ever believed it referred to the messiah. As for Israel being mentioned using "he". That type of language is common in the Old Testament. Israel is often mentioned using masculine pronouns. Jeremiah 31:10 states, "Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock." (KJV). Here the profit uses the word "him" to refer to Israel. Another good example of this is Hosea 11:1. "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt." Here God refers to Israel as both "him" and his "son". As for Psalm 22, it is obvious from reading the entire passage that it is referring to King David. Jesus most likely quoted it so witnesses would connect him to King David. The problem is, he cannot truly be connected without the Davidic bloodline. Adoption only accounted for property rights, it never accounted for messiac priviledge. If Joseph was not Jesus' birth father he could not be the Jewish messiah. The messiah must, and I repeat must, inherit King David's blood through his father. This is the messianic prophecy and expectation. As for the Daniel prophecy, there is no exact time mentioned. The word messiah translates to "the anointed one". Lets consider this for a minute. When the word messiah is mentioned most Christians automatically think of Jesus. They don't realize that there have been many messiahs throughout the Old Testament and Jewish history. In the biblical usage of the word "messiah" referred to any person charged with a divine office as king or priest, who was anointed with oil, a symbol of being chosen for a special purpose. King Saul (1 Samuel 10:1), King David (1 Samuel 16:13), and King Solomon (1 Kings 1:34-39) all were messiahs since scripture tells us they all went through the anointing ritual necessary to be considered such. There is no further mention of anyone going through the messianic ritual of anointing. That does not mean it did not happen though. Most likely all legitimate kings, possibly priests as well, went through this anoining ritual. This being the case the individual mentioned in Daniel could be any number of people. To claim it is referring to Jesus is simply wishful thinking. †?†

Of course the Jews never believed that Isa 53 referred to Messiah, that's what separates them from Christians. And if the 22nd Psalm is about David, when did he ever experience anything like this: "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture" (Psalms 22:14-18). Sounds like a prophecy about someone else to me :)

"Many misinterpret or misapply the prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27. Verse 24 gives the exact time frame of the Messiah (anointed of God), 70 weeks were determined or 490 years to fulfill the prophesy. From the time of Daniel, 457 years to Messiah, there are seven weeks and sixty two weeks, that is 69 weeks or 483 years. That brings us up to 27 A.D. which was the start of Jesus 3.5 year ministry. After threescore and 2 weeks (vs 26) Messiah would be cut-off (killed 31 A.D) in the middle of the 70th week. The second half of the 70th week doesn't follow consecutively, but is fulfilled in the end times. The "prince who is to come" is the beast from the sea (Daniel 8:23-27), and the "little horn" (Daniel 7:8) is the antichrist. This is the 7 year tribulation, shortened to the second half of the 70th week of 3.5 years. Then Messiah returns in judgement with all the power of heaven, perhaps the Jews will recognize Him then?" :)

No Jewish apologists are needed to describe what has always been the interpretation of their own Jewish scripture. I refer you back to my link :- http://www.aish.com/sp/ph/Isaiah_53_The_Suffering_Servant.html

The Jews have not changed how they see these quotes. The church who would not listen to the Jews and persecuted them for years changed the meaning of these quotes to suite their own end.

Now I know we are not going to agree Dan and we seldom do but I think if you want to understand a given scripture like the OT then consulting the people who wrote it would seem a rightful step. The church failed to do this because they did not want to allow the possibility that the Jews may have something to say on the matter and that Jews may then be seen as significant like they were in the beginning with the "new way group" or as we call it today Christianity. Lets not forget that Jesus and his disciples were Jews and not Christians. It was (IMO) Paul who made the change and he even reports that he had arguments with the disciples for acting like Jews. The split grew from there leaving groups like the Jewish Christians such as the Ebonites out in the cold.

The figure described in Isaiah 53 suffers, dies, and rises again to atone for his people's sins. The Hebrew word used in Isaiah 53:10 for "sin-offering" is "asham", which is a technical term meaning "sin-offering". Isaiah 53 describes a sinless and perfect sacrificial lamb who takes upon himself the sins of others so that they might be forgiven. Can anyone really claim that the terrible suffering of the Jewish people, however undeserved and unjust, atones for the sins of the world? Whoever Isaiah 53 speaks of, the figure described suffers and dies in order to provide a legal payment for sin so that others can be forgiven. This cannot be true of the Jewish people as a whole, or of any other mere human.

I replaced "He" with "Israel" in a few of the verses of Isa 53 and it doesn't ring true to me; "Surely Israel hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Israel stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But Israel was wounded for our transgressions, Israel was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Israel; and with Israel's stripes we are healed.All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Israel the iniquity of us all. Israel was oppressed, and Israel was afflicted, yet Israel opened not his mouth: Israel is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so Israel openeth not his mouth" (Isaiah 53:4-7).

I don't think anyone is getting "converted" here Dan...at least not by the evidence produced so far. :dirol:

Yeah I know, the joke was that neither Pete or Rev.V are Jewish, but I still felt like I was trying to convert them from Judaism.

Edited by Dan56

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Hello Dan, being a life long Christian myself I have heard, even used, all the claims you are making. It isn't difficult though to find the holes with alittle research. Over the years I have asked many Jews why they were opposed to Christianity. After hearing the same answers over and over again it led me to look into their claims. I in no way am trying to lead you away from your faith. This is not about you. It is about something much more important. I believe the orthodox view of Christianity makes Jesus and his followers look bad. Too much of what traditional Christians claim can be proven false. Sadly too many Christians today happily live in ignorance rather than study their faith and it's claims. If more Christians did so I am convinced traditional Christianity would be a small sect rather than the dominant one. Thomas Jefferson once said, "Unitarianism… will, ere long, be the religion of the majority from north to south, I have no doubt." I believe this would be true if more people studied rather than just took some one's word for it.

Lets talk about Isaiah 53 for a moment. First lets discuss the use of masculine pronouns in reference to the nation of Israel. This type of language is used often in connection to Israel. Two good examples are Jeremiah 31:10 where the prophet refers to Israel as "he" and Hosea 11:1 where God refers to Israel as "my son".

Lets continue on with Isaiah 53 for a moment. The problem many Christians make when they read a passage is they do not read enough to understand the full context. Reading previous verses will make it clear that verse 53 is referring to Israel. Isaiah 41:8-9, 44:1, 44:21, 45:4, 48:20, and 49:3 all make it explicity clear that the nation of Israel is the servant being discussed. Most of these verses specifically mention Israel by name.

Now lets take a moment to look at Psalm 22. Just like Isaiah, context is important. Jewish tradition has long believed Psalm was written by King David. It is also believed the main character mentioned in the book is King David. If we the chapter previous to 22 it becomes obvious it is referring to the same character. With this being said, it would be difficult to attribute the contents of chapter 21 or previous chapters to Jesus.

Another thing we need to discuss is the type of book Psalm was. Psalm was written as a book of poetry or songs. It was written using poetic language. Hebrew poetry was not recreational but was functional in the life of the nation and its relationship with God. Poetry had a worship function in mediating between the people and God and a sermonic function in reminding the people of their responsibilities before God. The Psalms, for instance, were not peripheral as hymns often are today but were a focal point of the service both in temple and in synagogue. Hebrew poetry often used metaphorical, even exaggerated language to get a point across. This is the case with Psalm 22.

Yet another thing to mention about Psalm 22. It appears Christian interpreters changed an important word to make it appear to better fit their Jesus connection. When Christians read this passage they believe the portion in verse 17 which reads "they pierced my hands and my feet" refers to Jesus. the problem is that is a mistranslation. The original word is "kaari" which actually means "like a lion". This is how it is translated in a Hebrew Bible. To add to the evidence that it is a mistranslation, "kaari" is also found in Isaiah 38:13. The reason I mention this is because Christian translaters actually got the traslation correct in that verse.

Proper translation

"For dogs have encompassed me; a company of evil-doers have inclosed me; like a lion, they are at my hands and my feet."

Last thing on this topic. The easiest way to figure Psalm 22 is not talking about Jesus is tense. It is obvious the passage is meant to be read in present tense and not future tense. Meaning this book was written centuries before Jesus died so it cannot be referring to him.

Now lets discuss Daniel 9 for a moment. Christians were pretty clever with this one. By using faulty math, incorrect dating, and miss translations they almost make the Jesus connection look probable. The first thing we need to look at is the translation. Remember in an earlier post I mentioned there have been many messiahs throughout the Bible and Jewish history. Messiah simply refers to someone who had been anointed with oil. This ritual was conducted to signify an individual was chosen by God to do his work. Every ligitimate king and priest likely received this treatment. The term messiah has never referred to a single person. This being said, Christians have wrongly translated an important part of verse 26. Christian Bibles translate it to say either "the anointed one" or "Messiah". The proper translation should be "an anointed one". This may not seem like a big deal on the surface but it surely was intentional. The original translation makes it obvious that this individual was just one of many messiahs while the Christian version makes it appear like this individual is the only messiah. The single messiah idea leads the reader to believe the messiah mentioned in verse 25 and 26 are the same person. The original translation does not lead the reader in that direction. This is significant considering verse 26 mentions sixty-two sevens before the next messiah is mentioned. that is sixty two weeks

Lets take alook at a couple more things to get a better understanding. First, Daniel mentions a messiah twice. Christians believe both refer to Jesus. Jews on the other hand tend believe the first refers to King Cyrus and the second to the high priest Alexander Jannaeus. King Cyrus was the Persian king who conquered Babylon, freed the Jewish people, and helped to rebuild the Jewish temple . He is referred to as a messiah in Isaiah 45:1. Alexander Jannaeus was the last important Hasmonean high priest before the temple was destroyed. High Priest Alexander Jannaeus who came to power in 103 BCE was the last of the important Hasmonean leaders. The punishment mentioned in verse 26 "will be cut off" is given to Alexander Jannaeus for his unjust, tyrannical, and bloody rule.

Next lets look at the dating. The Jews calculate Daniel differently than Christians. They begin the dating with King Cyrus' decree to rebuild Jerusalem which was about 586 BCE. They take away 49 years with was the time between the decree and the destruction of the temple. 586 BCE - 49 years = 537 BCE. Then they calculate the second segment of the Seventy Weeks period, sixty-two weeks long, covered by verse 26 to equal 434 years. 537 - 434 = 103 BCE. This is the exact year Jannaeus became high priest.

Like I said earlier, I consider myself a Christian. Just because I am a Christian though should I ignore what appears obvious to me? I don't think so. I cannot allow myself to live by blind faith. What appears obvious to me is many of the Jewish ideas seem more probable than the Christian ones. I wish Christianity would except its Jewish origin and stop trying so hard to separate itself. It seems to me that Christians try really hard to forget that Jesus and his intial followers were Jewish. †?†





Edited by ReverendV

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I do not want or need converting from Judaism or even Paganism. I will seek truth wherever it is to be found. I see myself as a Universal Christian, indeed a liberal Christian. I am not interesting in justifying text if I disagree with it or defending the church if I believe it is wrong.

I suggest looking at :-

The Bible uses a mis-translation of Isaiah.

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Lets continue on with Isaiah 53 for a moment. The problem many Christians make when they read a passage is they do not read enough to understand the full context. Reading previous verses will make it clear that verse 53 is referring to Israel. Isaiah 41:8-9, 44:1, 44:21, 45:4, 48:20, and 49:3 all make it explicity clear that the nation of Israel is the servant being discussed. Most of these verses specifically mention Israel by name.

And what is the subject set in the first verse of Isa 53, "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?" I agree that Israel is also called ‘the servant of the Lord’ (e.g. in chapter 41:8; 44:1,2,21), but Israel tragically failed the Lord as a servant. The second way the title "Servant" is used pertains to one raised up out of the midst of Israel. The wider context prior to chapter 53 takes us back to chapter 42:1 “Behold My Servant, Whom I uphold; My chosen, in Whom My soul delighteth; I have put My spirit upon Him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles”. And just prior to chapter 53, “Behold, My Servant shall deal wisely, He shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high” (Isaiah 52:13). So imo, 'Servant' is clearly representative of a single individual in Isa 53.

Yet another thing to mention about Psalm 22. It appears Christian interpreters changed an important word to make it appear to better fit their Jesus connection. When Christians read this passage they believe the portion in verse 17 which reads "they pierced my hands and my feet" refers to Jesus. the problem is that is a mistranslation. The original word is "kaari" which actually means "like a lion". This is how it is translated in a Hebrew Bible. To add to the evidence that it is a mistranslation, "kaari" is also found in Isaiah 38:13. The reason I mention this is because Christian translaters actually got the translation correct in that verse.

What causes such discrepancy and confusion is that the two Hebrew words for “pierced” and “lion” are remarkably similar in the original text. All that separates the two Hebrew words is the length of an upright vowel stroke. The Hebrew Masoretic text of Psalms 22 has the “lion” reading, while the oldest Syriac, Vulgate, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions go with “pierced”. The same is true in the Septuagint, the first Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, which was completed approximately 200 years before the birth of Christ.

Those who argue for “lion” typically claim that “pierced” is a corruption inserted by Christians, but the likelihood is that the “lion” reading in the Masoretic Hebrew text is the corruption, as the Masoretic manuscripts predominantly date to the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D. So imo, two things solidify that “pierced” is the correct translation; First, within the context of the passage, "pierced" makes more sense, and secondly, the Dead Sea Scrolls which predate most other Hebrew texts by over a thousand years, clarify that the term is unmistakably “pierced”. Therefore, I'm personally convinced that our modern versions have it right.

http://christianthinktank.com/ps22cheat.html

The Bible uses a mis-translation of Isaiah.

I didn't have time to watch the near 2 hour video, but my previous point was that substituting the "He' in Isa. 53 with "Israel" causes the passage to make no sense. What's written cannot apply to Israel, but only to an individual. Consider; ‘He bore our griefs’ (v. 4), ‘He carried our sorrows’ (v. 4), ‘He was wounded for our transgressions’ (v. 5), ‘He was bruised for our iniquities’ (v. 5), The chastisement of our peace was upon Him’ (v. 5), ‘By His stripes we are healed’ (v. 5), ‘The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all’ (v. 6), ‘For the transgression of My people was He stricken’ (v. 8), ‘Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin’ (v. 10), ‘He shall bear their iniquities’ (v. 11), ‘He bare the sin of many’ (v. 12). None of this can possibly pertain to the Jewish people or Israel because neither were ever portrayed as a sin offering. http://www.chaim.org/nation.htm
I know Judaism's interprets it differently, but remember that Jesus had to define the Sabbath to them! Christ even needed to explain the true meaning of the commandments to the Pharisee's. Recognition of Christ requires a different understanding of scripture.
Edited by Dan56

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Dan, this will be my last entry for this post. I see we are not going to agree on these things. I only hope our dialogue will offer enough information for others to make up their own mind. Thank you for the back and forth. I need it sometimes to reignite my passion.

First I will discuss Israel. Im going to discuss three things. First, you appear to believe Israel failed as God's servant. This is not at all the case. The Old Testament makes it very clear that God never gave up on his original chosen people. They were surely not perfect but God does not expect this from anyone. Look at King David for instance. He was far from perfect, yet God still considered him his chosen. Did David fail as God's servant as well? Not according to the Bible. God elevated King David so high that even Jesus was required to have his bloodline. The Bible makes it clear that Israel, at times disobedient, always returned to God and God always excepted them back.

The second thing I want to mention is on how Israel is often described. You seem confused by how it is descibed as an individual. I have offered you many examples of how Israel is descibed in the Old Testament at times using pronouns that make it appear as a person. There are many examples of this in the Old Testament. Isaiah 53 is just one of many instances.

The third thing I want to mention os Isaiah 53's context. If we read Isaiah as a whole it becomes obvious that it is referring to the nation of Israel. If the story changed to refer to someone else than why does the author never inform the reader of this?

Now lets discuss Psalm 22. You stated, "The Hebrew Masoretic text of Psalms 22 has the “lion” reading, while the oldest Syriac, Vulgate, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions go with “pierced”. The same is true in the Septuagint." Not all of this statement is true. Lets take a look at some of the early text translations.

Text Actual Reading Translation

Masoretic MTread.gif Like a lion my hands and my feet.

Dead Sea Scrolls DSSread.gif They dig (?) my hands and my feet.

Theodotion Tread.gif Biting like a lion my hands and my feet.

Septuagint ωρυξαν χειρας μου και ποδας μου They dug my hands and my feet.

Aquila ησχυναν χειρας μου και ποδας μου They disfigured my hands and my feet.

Symmachus ως λεων χειρας μου και ποδας μου Like a lion my hands and my feet.

Old Latin foderunt manus meas et pedes meos They dug / pricked my hands and my feet.

Vulgate foderunt manus meas et pedes meos They dug / pricked my hands and my feet.

Jerome vinxerunt manus meas et pedes meos They bound / encircled my hands and my feet.

Pe**ta Sread.gif They hacked off / pierced my hands and my feet.

Syro-Hexapla(Septuagint) Sread.gif They hacked off / pierced my hands and my feet.

Syro-Hexapla(Aquila) SAread.gif They fettered my hands and my feet.

Syro-Hexapla(Symmachus) SSread.gif Like seeking to bind my hands and my feet.

Two things become obvious from looking at this chart. First, there appears to be very little agreement on the proper translation of Psalm 22 in the early texts. Second, there is not enough consensus in the translation with these early texts to claim they point to Jesus. Only through bias and preconceived belief can someone make such a claim. †?†


Edited by ReverendV

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Dan, this will be my last entry for this post. I see we are not going to agree on these things. I only hope our dialogue will offer enough information for others to make up their own mind. Thank you for the back and forth. I need it sometimes to reignite my passion.

The third thing I want to mention os Isaiah 53's context. If we read Isaiah as a whole it becomes obvious that it is referring to the nation of Israel. If the story changed to refer to someone else than why does the author never inform the reader of this?

Second, there is not enough consensus in the translation with these early texts to claim they point to Jesus. Accept that it describes his crucifixion to a T.

Its all a matter of interpretation, if I accepted yours, I'd be a Jew not a Christian. If Isa 53 is about Israel or the Jewish people, then its a lie by default, because as I previously mentioned, neither Israel or its people could be made an offering for sin (vs 10). When was Israel wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, or made an offering for sin? Neither you or Pete were able to answer that. If the subject is Israel, how were they "bruised for our iniquities"? (vs 5) And who does the "our" represent in "our iniquities"? Verse 8 says; "For the transgression of My people was He stricken". Distinguish between "my people" and "He"? If "my people" is Israel, then who's the "He" that was stricken for them? Your simply trying to make the chapter apply to something it can't logically apply to.

Consider Psalms 22:18, "They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture". Compare it to, "And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take" (Mark 15:25, also Matthew 27:35 and John 19:23-24). That's more than a coincident, its a specific prophecy fulfilled a thousand years after the fact. It didn't happen to David, so it can't be applied to him, but I'm sure the Jewish explanation would be that it doesn't mean what it says :)

If no prophets in the old testament foretold of Christ, then Jesus was not the Son of God. You and Pete consistently claim that Jesus was a fake Messiah, yet you profess to be Christian? I'll never grasp the logic behind that. You need not reply, I understand we are locked in disagreement, but despite the futility of debating the issue, I always learn something that I didn't previously know in the process.

Edited by Dan56

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I didn't have time to watch the near 2 hour video, but my previous point was that substituting the "He' in Isa. 53 with "Israel" causes the passage to make no sense. What's written cannot apply to Israel, but only to an individual. Consider; ‘He bore our griefs’ (v. 4), ‘He carried our sorrows’ (v. 4), ‘He was wounded for our transgressions’ (v. 5), ‘He was bruised for our iniquities’ (v. 5), The chastisement of our peace was upon Him’ (v. 5), ‘By His stripes we are healed’ (v. 5), ‘The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all’ (v. 6), ‘For the transgression of My people was He stricken’ (v. 8), ‘Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin’ (v. 10), ‘He shall bear their iniquities’ (v. 11), ‘He bare the sin of many’ (v. 12). None of this can possibly pertain to the Jewish people or Israel because neither were ever portrayed as a sin offering. http://www.chaim.org/nation.htm
I know Judaism's interprets it differently, but remember that Jesus had to define the Sabbath to them! Christ even needed to explain the true meaning of the commandments to the Pharisee's. Recognition of Christ requires a different understanding of scripture.

One thing you continue to do Dan (IMO) is to by pass Jewish Culture and tradition and the cultural way it describes itself. You quote verses from an English translation without looking in to the meaning they were given and assuming that the English translation is reliable enough to play with the words. Even my own Bible foot notes (NRSV) says Isaiah 53 is about the people of Israel and not Jesus. I gave you links to check what I am saying but I do not think you read them or wanted to listen to them.

As for your point above:- I repeat for a third time the link and I will cut and paste what it says on the point you raised:-

"(5) He was wounded as a result of our transgressions, and crushed as a result of our iniquities. The chastisement upon him was for our benefit; and through his wounds we were healed.וְהוּא מְחלָל מִפְּשָׁעֵנוּ מְדֻכָּא מֵעֲוֽנתֵינוּ מוּסַר שְׁלוֹמֵנוּ עָלָיו וּבַחֲבֻרָתוֹ נִרְפָּא לָנוּ

This verse describes how the humbled world leaders confess that Jewish suffering occurred as a direct result of “our iniquities” – i.e., depraved Jew-hatred, rather than, as previously claimed, the stubborn blindness of the Jews.

Isaiah 53:5 is a classic example of mistranslation: The verse does not say, “He was wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities,” which could convey the vicarious suffering ascribed to Jesus. Rather, the proper translation is: “He was wounded because of our transgressions, and crushedbecause of our iniquities.” This conveys that the Servant suffered as a result of the sinfulness of others – not the opposite as Christians contend – that the Servant suffered to atone for the sins of others.

Indeed, the Christian idea directly contradicts the basic Jewish teaching that God promises forgiveness to all who sincerely return to Him; thus there is no need for the Messiah to atone for others (Isaiah 55:6-7, Jeremiah 36:3, Ezekiel chapters 18 and 33, Hoseah 14:1-3, Jonah 3:6-10, Proverbs 16:6, Daniel 4:27, 2-Chronicles 7:14)."

from :- http://www.aish.com/sp/ph/Isaiah_53_The_Suffering_Servant.html

If Isaiah 53 is not about Jesus does not in my opinion change one iota what Christians believe about their relationship with God. It does not even change what Jesus taught . Only what Paul taught. It may change what some churches are saying about the meaning of prophesy in the OT but that does not mean there is no further revelation from God. Jews very often do not argue that God gives differing revelations to differing people, only that the OT is a revelation about them. It was written that way and It was understood that way for years. It only became something else when the church and Paul put their boot in.

I know you will not agree because it undermines what you have believed for so long. I am sorry about that and I know it undermines what I used to believe too but if the truth has any value (IMO) then sometimes what makes us uncomfortable is what has to be.

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According to Bart Ehrman, scholars agree that there are more proven errors than there are words in the bible. If this is true, and ReverendV's post above is example of just one phrase, then it is untenable that a literal understanding of the Bible can ever be possible with the currently available texts.

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I have come to the conclusion, through personal experience, that certain truths are self evident.

1. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

2. He who calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.

3. That we do not discover truth but it is revealed to us through God's Spirit.

4. That if we acknowledge God in what we do, He will guide us and

5. He who comes to Him, God in no way will cast out.

Now, if this be so, if you are truly seeking God, you will find Him as He will reveal Himself to you IF YOU ASK FOR GUIDANCE and do not rely on your own understanding of things. How He does it and through Whom is not for me to judge. God searches the heart, i cannot. Peace.

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I have come to the conclusion, through personal experience, that certain truths are self evident.

1. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

2. He who calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.

3. That we do not discover truth but it is revealed to us through God's Spirit.

4. That if we acknowledge God in what we do, He will guide us and

5. He who comes to Him, God in no way will cast out.

Now, if this be so, if you are truly seeking God, you will find Him as He will reveal Himself to you IF YOU ASK FOR GUIDANCE and do not rely on your own understanding of things. How He does it and through Whom is not for me to judge. God searches the heart, i cannot. Peace.

Thanks RevRainbow. I know this is a theological statement of what you believe. I also note that none of that relies upon whether Isaiah 53 is about Jesus or not.

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According to Bart Ehrman, scholars agree that there are more proven errors than there are words in the bible. If this is true, and ReverendV's post above is example of just one phrase, then it is untenable that a literal understanding of the Bible can ever be possible with the currently available texts.

Historical evidence verses Theology evidence are two things. :- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twX5HlBDZEI

Yet, beliefs are important to many people because many people think they are. I would say (IMO) therefore they are whether we agree on them or not.

Edited by Pete

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As for your point above:- I repeat for a third time the link and I will cut and paste what it says on the point you raised:-

"(5) He was wounded as a result of our transgressions, and crushed as a result of our iniquities. The chastisement upon him was for our benefit; and through his wounds we were healed.וְהוּא מְחלָל מִפְּשָׁעֵנוּ מְדֻכָּא מֵעֲוֽנתֵינוּ מוּסַר שְׁלוֹמֵנוּ עָלָיו וּבַחֲבֻרָתוֹ נִרְפָּא לָנוּ

This verse describes how the humbled world leaders confess that Jewish suffering occurred as a direct result of “our iniquities” – i.e., depraved Jew-hatred, rather than, as previously claimed, the stubborn blindness of the Jews.

Isaiah 53:5 is a classic example of mistranslation: The verse does not say, “He was wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities,” which could convey the vicarious suffering ascribed to Jesus. Rather, the proper translation is: “He was wounded because of our transgressions, and crushedbecause of our iniquities.” This conveys that the Servant suffered as a result of the sinfulness of others – not the opposite as Christians contend – that the Servant suffered to atone for the sins of others.

I did go to the link you provided and read it several days ago, but I just don't agree with it. I also constantly compare the Hebrew with the English translation of the KJV.
Imo, Isaiah 53:5 is not and cannot be a confession of world leaders taking responsibility for the Jews suffering. Why would a prophet of God dwell on the iniquities of other nations or blame them? How would Isaiah know what world leaders thought and why would they repent of it? When the Hebrews were in the wilderness for 40 years, did they suffer because of the iniquities of other nations or did God keep them wandering because of their own sin? "With his stripes we are healed", How is that possible in reference to Isael? How could other nations be healed from anything Israel experienced or suffered? When did God ever accept an impure sacrifice to redeem heathen nations? Never...its completely nonsensical

According to Bart Ehrman, scholars agree that there are more proven errors than there are words in the bible. If this is true, and ReverendV's post above is example of just one phrase, then it is untenable that a literal understanding of the Bible can ever be possible with the currently available texts.

Needless to say, I think Bart's an idiot :). While some translation errors exist, and flawed copies were made, no one has proven or can prove errors from the original manuscripts. JMO

I have come to the conclusion, through personal experience, that certain truths are self evident.

1. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

2. He who calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.

3. That we do not discover truth but it is revealed to us through God's Spirit.

4. That if we acknowledge God in what we do, He will guide us and

5. He who comes to Him, God in no way will cast out.

Now, if this be so, if you are truly seeking God, you will find Him as He will reveal Himself to you IF YOU ASK FOR GUIDANCE and do not rely on your own understanding of things. How He does it and through Whom is not for me to judge. God searches the heart, i cannot. Peace.

While all true, don't we come to God through his Word? What are the odds of God revealing himself to a person who trashes the bible? I believe the Truth is revealed through God's Holy Spirit, but a persons heart must be open to it before they can received it. We are saved via our faith in what Jesus taught, that's hard to do when a person denies who he was, but hopefully some can be drawn and grow to accept it. As you say, God's draws whom he will.

Edited by Dan56

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While all true, don't we come to God through his Word? What are the odds of God revealing himself to a person who trashes the bible? I believe the Truth is revealed through God's Holy Spirit, but a persons heart must be open to it before they can received it. We are saved via our faith in what Jesus taught, that's hard to do when a person denies who he was, but hopefully some can be drawn and grow to accept it. As you say, God's draws whom he will.

We come to God because we sense God is there.We come to God because God comes to us. The bible is not the door to God. God spoke to man long before it was ever written.

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We come to God because we sense God is there.We come to God because God comes to us. The bible is not the door to God. God spoke to man long before it was ever written.

Thank you, Pete. That is how many of us who are not Christians understand God. The Vedas, the Avesta, and other none Biblical texts have also told of a Supreme God. God is the God of all.

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We come to God because we sense God is there.We come to God because God comes to us. The bible is not the door to God. God spoke to man long before it was ever written.

For once, I'll agree with you, just to break a pattern :)

While the bible is not technically the door to God, it does reveal the one who said; "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved" (John 10:9). Once a person senses God is there, understanding the living Word is what reveals His purpose. I'm speaking as a fundamentalist of course.

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I did go to the link you provided and read it several days ago, but I just don't agree with it. I also constantly compare the Hebrew with the English translation of the KJV.
Imo, Isaiah 53:5 is not and cannot be a confession of world leaders taking responsibility for the Jews suffering. Why would a prophet of God dwell on the iniquities of other nations or blame them? How would Isaiah know what world leaders thought and why would they repent of it? When the Hebrews were in the wilderness for 40 years, did they suffer because of the iniquities of other nations or did God keep them wandering because of their own sin? "With his stripes we are healed", How is that possible in reference to Isael? How could other nations be healed from anything Israel experienced or suffered? When did God ever accept an impure sacrifice to redeem heathen nations? Never...its completely nonsensical

Needless to say, I think Bart's an idiot :). While some translation errors exist, and flawed copies were made, no one has proven or can prove errors from the original manuscripts. JMO

While all true, don't we come to God through his Word? What are the odds of God revealing himself to a person who trashes the bible? I believe the Truth is revealed through God's Holy Spirit, but a persons heart must be open to it before they can received it. We are saved via our faith in what Jesus taught, that's hard to do when a person denies who he was, but hopefully some can be drawn and grow to accept it. As you say, God's draws whom he will.

Of course, Dan, as you and I, as examples, searched for God, we were led to the scriptures or a church meeting or whatever. And, as a Christian (sometimes I dont like using that word becasue of the current connotations attached) I believe in, by choice, the Bible. It has been my guidebook and proven itself to me to contain factual promises from God in my life, so I cherish it deeply. I also believe Isaiah 53 and other prophecies to be about the Christ. That is where I believe God led me. And even if 53 is not what I believe it is, it isnt enough to even consider renouncing my faith.

As far as others, to me, seeking God is a personal thing and I will not judge the love of God of another because their "religion" is different. That is between God and themselves. We are not saved by what Jesus taught. We are saved by faith and that faith is trusting God above all...believeing not just in Him, but of Him. For a Christian, it is accepting God's promise of salvation if we trust in Him and that trust is based on the work of Christ. But the Christ, I have come to believe, is more than just the Christian view...the Christ is the method by which God can and does save anyone who calls upon Him; the Christ is the mediator between God and Human and as I read both the pre-Jesus scripture and after, I have concluded that whatever religion practiced, if one is truly seeking God, His salvation will be made known to that person. Religion has nothing to do with salvation, in my opinion.

It is, in the end, not a matter of dogma or beliefs, but a matter of placing your trust in the Almighty Father whose existance is far beyond and above what we could ever imagine. In the bible, God says He will save whom He will save and that His arm is not shortened that it cannot save. God will save the just and the just shall live by faith. Faith is the key. In my belief,Christ is the go-between allowing direct access and communication. I believe in the redemption of mankind through the suffering and death of Christ on the cross and I believe God can and does apply that justification even if one does not fully understand the miracle of that event, or even if one never heard. With God, all things are possible.

The scripture says there is no one that seeks after God. This is where we must be cautious as to whether we are seeking God or simply seeking something that fits our idea of God and complies with our concepts. Because of my experiences, I firmly believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Son of God, yea, God Himself in some earthly form and manner. For me, this is only right, but that does not make others wrong because I do not know their circumstances or relationship with the Divine Father. There are many religious acting folks out there whose heart is far from God, and many happen to be so-called fundamentalist Christians who spew hatred and judgement and condemnation rather than forgiveness, acceptance and love.

I will share my faith with all who ask but I will never force or coerce anyone to believe as I do. I have seen and experienced the power of God in my life which causes me to cling to Him through the method He gave to me...reading and praying His word in the bible. This is what I will relate to others if asked and they can consider my words. Let the Spirit of God reveal the truth to those who earnestly seek Him.

There is so much I do not know or comprehend of the spiritual but this I do know, I trust in my God, I rely on Him and His guidance. He has not let me down and affliction has drawn me closer to Him. One more thing. When my son died last year, it was a Jew, a Viking and an Alpaca lover who took the extra time to personally write me, share their thoughts, and express their condolensces and assistance. How very "Christian" of them. Peace.

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I surely can't disagree with any of that RR... Especially that religion has nothing to do with salvation, in fact it can actually be a hindrance. Jesus said of little children "for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 19:14). I reckon its important not to ever forget that kids are very receptive and trusting. Salvation in the end is a personal experience between an individual and Christ, but I believe that our desire to learn and search His Word is a pleasing thing to him. "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" (Matthew 7:7). Those words from Christ seem to simplify things, but I believe knocking requires a little effort on our part.

These little debates don't make one person right and another wrong. Luckily, salvation is not earned by personal knowledge or intellect. If it were, I'd be flat out of luck. But as you've indicated, keeping the 2 greatest commandments, which encompasses all ten, reveals the heart of a Christian. Some of the nicest people I know are also not Christian, but nice without Christ is not salvation. Thank goodness salvation comes by Grace and is not reliant on a Test;

Edited by Dan56

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Many of the long term folks here know I have a personal "beef" with the church I grew up in...one that is not an attack on Christianity or the Christ...rather against the group of individuals who choose to interpret the Scriptures one way, yet choose to live another.

They covet their neighbor's success and material goods

They denounce the Christ through vanity

They love themselves while hating others, including their own children

They claim in words of the tongue to be what actions of their hearts do not prove

I could go on, but I'll spare you all the redundant repetitiveness.

I did not know the Christ of the Bible personally some 2000 years ago, but I firmly believe in what I have gleaned of his message through multiple sources, including the Bible, the writings of the Essenes, various Dead Sea Scrolls and even the few Roman "mentions". I even read a book once, written in the 1890's that compared the 12 main 'under-gods' of the Nordics to the Disciples, Thor to Christ and Odhinn to "God"....while it was interesting reading, I highly doubt a pantheon that existed for at least three millennia prior to Christ had anything to do with the author's interpretations.

Does anyone else here see the very ideology of debating the merits of a particular meaning of a given passage of scripture supportive of the very title of this topic? Raincloud stated "...my belief that Christianity is the only way is eroded when..." and then gave examples from Right Wing Politics to the abusive oligarchy of religion being the cause for his lack of confidence in the claim that Christianity is the only way to God. I honestly believe the conflicting interpretations of things like Isaiah 53 being about Israel or an individual is exactly what Raincloud was referring to.....if there is no consensus on a trivial matter like that then what does the rest of the doctrine and dogma mean?

I think Rev. Rainbow summed it up extremely well:

The scripture says there is no one that seeks after God. This is where we must be cautious as to whether we are seeking God or simply seeking something that fits our idea of God and complies with our concepts. Because of my experiences, I firmly believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Son of God, yea, God Himself in some earthly form and manner. For me, this is only right, but that does not make others wrong because I do not know their circumstances or relationship with the Divine Father. There are many religious acting folks out there whose heart is far from God, and many happen to be so-called fundamentalist Christians who spew hatred and judgment and condemnation rather than forgiveness, acceptance and love.

No one doubts Yeshua was a Jew and most will accept Paul as being the father of Christianity as they do Abraham the grand-father of Judaism. And so it should be when those who are raised or studied in a culture should be accepted at their conclusions when describing the context and creative footnotes of a language they are well versed in. If one were to take the kennings of the Nordic skald literally, Uff da!, what a picture of the Old World we would have*. i.e; Ride the sea stallion forth into Ymir's clouds, There wilst thou find Loki's folly.**

Anyone with even a very limited education in etymology or philology (language, not quips from Dr. Phil), such as myself, knows there are often words not directly translatable between languages. Focusing examples of acceptance, love and forgiveness can, and does, change a person's heart from "not wanting to hear it" to "embracing Christ's gift" to all ... whether they accept a particular interpretation as their "salvation" or not.

Where is the focus here?

Blessings of Peace,

* I've also read that original Chinese word (1st Empire) for dragon (fuen-che-huong-teu-wo)[sp?] came from a compilation of words meaning "fears of the mind"...and when we look back on historical accounts from every corner of the globe....that makes sense. Later emperors simplified it to "long".

Language so often gets in the way of what our hearts are trying so desperately to describe.

** Would you even consider that such words from the Mälmo Codex to mean (in essence): "Take to the ship of your mind (thoughts and dreams) and there you will find (Truth)"? Or, very simply "Contemplate truth and it will reveal itself"!

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Does anyone else here see the very ideology of debating the merits of a particular meaning of a given passage of scripture supportive of the very title of this topic? Raincloud stated "...my belief that Christianity is the only way is eroded when..." and then gave examples from Right Wing Politics to the abusive oligarchy of religion being the cause for his lack of confidence in the claim that Christianity is the only way to God. I honestly believe the conflicting interpretations of things like Isaiah 53 being about Israel or an individual is exactly what Raincloud was referring to.....if there is no consensus on a trivial matter like that then what does the rest of the doctrine and dogma mean?

I highly doubt that conflicting interpretations had any effect on Rainclouds eroding faith. Remember, the OP stated that he believed Christianity was a mere opinion of God, that scriptures were written after the fact (denial of prophecy), and that he believed the scriptures were flawed. That imo, is why he abandoned the faith.

He then continued to blame the view of conservative Christians as conflicting with his own political views. Many people leave a faith when it conflicts with what they personally think, and there's nothing wrong with that, but I understood Rainclouds choice as more of a political decision.

Maybe I'm wrong, but in any event, I don't see how differing opinions on the interpretation of scripture like Isaiah 53 could be the cause of a persons lack of confidence in Christ? Especially since the debate was between the conventional Christian interpretation verses the basic Jewish view.

Admittedly, the conversation did stray from the original topic, but that tends to be a common occurrence.

Edited by Dan56

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Many of the long term folks here know I have a personal "beef" with the church I grew up in...one that is not an attack on Christianity or the Christ...rather against the group of individuals who choose to interpret the Scriptures one way, yet choose to live another.

They covet their neighbor's success and material goods

They denounce the Christ through vanity

They love themselves while hating others, including their own children

They claim in words of the tongue to be what actions of their hearts do not prove

I could go on, but I'll spare you all the redundant repetitiveness.

I did not know the Christ of the Bible personally some 2000 years ago, but I firmly believe in what I have gleaned of his message through multiple sources, including the Bible, the writings of the Essenes, various Dead Sea Scrolls and even the few Roman "mentions". I even read a book once, written in the 1890's that compared the 12 main 'under-gods' of the Nordics to the Disciples, Thor to Christ and Odhinn to "God"....while it was interesting reading, I highly doubt a pantheon that existed for at least three millennia prior to Christ had anything to do with the author's interpretations.

Does anyone else here see the very ideology of debating the merits of a particular meaning of a given passage of scripture supportive of the very title of this topic? Raincloud stated "...my belief that Christianity is the only way is eroded when..." and then gave examples from Right Wing Politics to the abusive oligarchy of religion being the cause for his lack of confidence in the claim that Christianity is the only way to God. I honestly believe the conflicting interpretations of things like Isaiah 53 being about Israel or an individual is exactly what Raincloud was referring to.....if there is no consensus on a trivial matter like that then what does the rest of the doctrine and dogma mean?

I think Rev. Rainbow summed it up extremely well:

No one doubts Yeshua was a Jew and most will accept Paul as being the father of Christianity as they do Abraham the grand-father of Judaism. And so it should be when those who are raised or studied in a culture should be accepted at their conclusions when describing the context and creative footnotes of a language they are well versed in. If one were to take the kennings of the Nordic skald literally, Uff da!, what a picture of the Old World we would have*. i.e; Ride the sea stallion forth into Ymir's clouds, There wilst thou find Loki's folly.**

Anyone with even a very limited education in etymology or philology (language, not quips from Dr. Phil), such as myself, knows there are often words not directly translatable between languages. Focusing examples of acceptance, love and forgiveness can, and does, change a person's heart from "not wanting to hear it" to "embracing Christ's gift" to all ... whether they accept a particular interpretation as their "salvation" or not.

Where is the focus here?

Blessings of Peace,

* I've also read that original Chinese word (1st Empire) for dragon (fuen-che-huong-teu-wo)[sp?] came from a compilation of words meaning "fears of the mind"...and when we look back on historical accounts from every corner of the globe....that makes sense. Later emperors simplified it to "long".

Language so often gets in the way of what our hearts are trying so desperately to describe.

** Would you even consider that such words from the Mälmo Codex to mean (in essence): "Take to the ship of your mind (thoughts and dreams) and there you will find (Truth)"? Or, very simply "Contemplate truth and it will reveal itself"!

Here we are, some two thousand years after Jesus walked the Earth. The truth is, we don't know what happened or what was said. The people who wrote these scriptures were not what we now think of as historians. Even the scholars can't agree on what is original content, what was added after, what was changed and what is outright pious fraud. This is in addition to the changes in meaning across time and culture.

In the end, I think that the Christ of belief is more important than the historic Jesus. If the historic Jesus was real at all -- he has been lost to us.

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