The second half of Friday’s Bible study was so very interesting to me. I seem to be focused right now on ways to approach others about Jesus, ways that are not insulting, but still show the love of Jesus.
Dr. Ed’s dad was pretty distressed when Dr. Ed converted to Christianity. And Dr. Ed spent time talking with his father, and even rabbis and a rabbinical counselor about his conversion. He asked a lot of questions based totally on Hebrew texts. And Dr. Ed was glad that his father insisted on reading the original Hebrew, in Bibles where English and Hebrew is parallel, the English translations are adjusted somewhat to make the text fit Hebrew thought, but they dare not tamper with original Hebrew.
So this is, according to Dr. Ed, the Jerusalem Road – I will include the texts and Dr. Ed’s comments.
Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Emmanuel.” According to Dr. Ed, this verse is controversial among the rabbis. They try to prove that it is not a virgin birth. The context of the verse is Ahaz is told by Isaiah to ask for a sign from the LORD your God, and Ahaz says he will not test the LORD. (Kind of a rebellious attitude when the Prophet of God tells you that God wants you to ask for a sign), so God says, I will give you a sign. And he gives the sign that tells the story we know so well – about Jesus. And then it talks a bit about the child refusing the evil and choosing the good, that the land will be forsaken by both of her kings and the King of Assyria will invade the land. Isaiah tells him in Chapter 7:9″…if you will not believe, surely you shall not be established.” Well, the LORD will give them a sign – and the word for woman is ALMAH – which means young woman, and a young woman in that day must be a virgin, or she would be stoned to death.
Dr. Ed pointed out that if someone cursed a blind man by saying, “You shall not see,” it is not much of a curse for he already is blind. If God caused a young woman who wasn’t a virgin to be a sign, that isn’t much of a sign for anyone who has had relations could have a child, but for a virgin, never touched by a man, to bring forth a child is a miracle, a sign.
The word ALMAH (my spelling by sound) is used 5 times in the Old Testament and in each of those times it refers to a virgin, so why would the Isaiah use of the term not imply a virgin? In Hebrew the is a word BEJULAH which is a virgin, unmarried woman who could be anywhere from young to 90 or more years old. But Almah is just a virgin. The other places this word, Almah is used is Genesis 24:43, Exodus 2:8, Psalm 68:25, Proverbs 30:19 and Song of Solomon 1:3, and 6:8.
Was there a virgin birth? Isaiah 9:6-7 “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from hat time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
According to Dr. Ed, the rabbis forbid the reading of the prophets. He mentioned a few important points, the name Jesus is pretty much associated with some awful stuff like Hitler, and the killings done by Christians in Jesus’ name. It is better to speak of Yeshua, and also not to wave the New Testament in their face, better to show about Yeshua in the Old Testament. But remember, the Jewish people do not consider what we call the Old Testament, the Old Testament – it is their entire holy book, so you might want to talk about older testament – or just refer to the books in the Bible. Often the best thing to do is to listen more than you talk, there are serious questions.
Just as with Christianity, there are those who are very religious, others secular – showing up only at high holy days, and many degrees in between. Many do not know the Torah, or read it frequently. Some choose New Age and occult paths. It is important to know to whom you are speaking and their religious orientation, for that will determine how you approach the scriptures.
Ok, here is the Jerusalem Road – the footsteps to Messiah.
Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Dr. Ed pointed out that this is where it begins – to remember that a head wound is fatal, a heel wound is a minor annoyance. And you can ask, who is God talking about? They know the story of Adam and Eve, and most know that a woman does not have a seed, that men have seeds, women eggs. Just ask whom is God talking about.
Then you can ask, how do you make atonement for your sins? You can’t sacrifice anymore, there is no temple. When Yeshua died on the cross for our sins, there was no need anymore for sacrifice. Why would God allow the temple to be destroyed if he needed an altar for sacrifice.
There is in a text (not sure of the name, sounds like Youman 9b), about the scapegoat. The scapegoat used to have a red ribbon tied around it’s neck and if the ribbon turned white, God accepted the sacrifice for the atonement of sin – and it is mentioned in this text that once Jesus died, the ribbon stopped changing color. Why?
The curtain in the Temple split, the Temple was destroyed, there is no sacrifice for sins, and you can detail these facts and the attitude could be don’t confuse me with the facts.
Where would the Messiah be born? Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from old, from everlasting.” Ask who this passage is talking about. It can’t be King David, because he was not from everlasting, he died and was buried. There is no ruler in Israel that was from everlasting.
Micah 5:3-5 “Therefore He shall give them up, until the time that she who is in labor has given birth; then the remnant of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel. And He shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God; and they shall abide, for now He shall be great to the ends of the earth; and this One shall be peace.” David’s rule was over Israel, it did not extend to the ends of the earth. Who is this she talked about. We know it is Mary and Yeshua, and that it is through Yeshua that we gain peace.
The child is born in the flesh, in the spirit for given from God.
Col 2:9 “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”
Pele – wonderful
El Gibor – Might God
Abi Ad – everlasting
Shar Shalom (sp) – Prince of peace.
This is a clear teaching form God that we would be getting a savior, born in the natural but with the essence of God in the Spirit.
Was Jesus just sent for the Jewish People? No!
Isaiah 49:5-6 “And now the LORD says, Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel is gathered to Him (For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and My God shall be My strength), Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to Raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.'”
Isaiah 42:1-9 “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold. My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth. He will not fail nor be discouraged, till He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands shall wait for His law.” Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk on it: “I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, and will uphold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house. I am the LORD, that is My name, and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images. Behold the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”
Again, you can ask who is he talking about.
Deuteronomy 18:15, 19 The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me (Moses) from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear…And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. Moses is a type of the Messiah, he delivered Israel out of bondage, and this new prophet would come out of Israel. The Israelites would not have accepted a non-Jewish Messiah, Moses was speaking as God, and Jesus spoke as God. And as we know, Jesus did not get listened to by those in power in Israel.
Psalm 2:1-8 Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the LORD shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure; “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree; The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.”
Again, who is this passage talking about. We know from History that the Rabbis did take counsel against Yeshua, and yet, this is the one whom God made his King. The Rabbis were looking for the warrior king, not the suffering servant, but as verse 9 points out at one point He will rule them with a rod of iron, and that is what will happen in Revelation, when Yeshua comes back as the Mighty King.
Isaiah 52:13-all of 53 is a problem for the rabbis, it is too long to type out, so I will let you look up the scripture. But in verse 4 you might ask who is our? (Israel) The Rabbis try to make out the suffering servant to be Israel at the hands of their enemies. But the passage clearly states that he suffered for others. A careful look at the passage implies the suffering servant – who was cut off from the land of the living for the transgressions of My people (that is Israel – and so Israel can’t be cut off from Israel). And all we are like sheep gone astray. If they try to make the case that this is a passage about Israel, not a savior it falls apart when you look at the individual pieces of the passage.
Isaiah 1:1-18 God in verse 11 has had enough of Israel’s sacrifices, verse 18, come now and let us reason together God tells the people., in this passage God talks about a remnant,
Other passages that are of help in talking with Jewish People are,
It is important to ask questions, to ask what they think. If they know anything about Jesus these passages should make them wonder which testament they are reading. Dr. Ed stated that when he read these passages he wanted to know why Mr. Jesus Christ was in the Jewish Bible. It is important to know that Christ means anointed one, it is not Jesus’ last name.
I hope this is helpful, it was challenging to take notes, so I hope I got the gist of what was being said, but there was much I also missed.
I was given a pamphlet from Jews for Jesus, and will read that and include any new information on my next post.
Have a great Sunday.