Posts Tagged ‘Yeshua’

Is a virgin birth possible? The JPS Commentary on Genesis doesn’t deny it!

Chapter 6

jps genesis commentary
CELESTIAL-TERRESTRIAL INTERMARRIAGE (vv. 1–4)

At the beginning of history, humans strove to rise to the level of divine beings, and God intervened. Humankind cannot be immortal. Here divine beings lower themselves to the level of humans, and God intervenes. A severe limitation on human longevity results.

The account given in these few verses is surely the strangest of all the Genesis narratives. It is so full of difficulties as to defy certainty of interpretation. The perplexities arise from the theme of the story, from its apparent intrusiveness within the larger narrative, from its extreme terseness, and from some of its vocabulary and syntax. The passage cannot be other than a fragment of what was once a well-known and fuller story, now etched in the barest outline.

Legends about intercourse between gods and mortal women and between goddesses and men, resulting in the generation of demigods, are widespread and familiar ingredients of pagan mythology. The present theme of celestial beings arriving on earth and intermarrying with humans seems at first glance to belong to the same genre, echoes of which are found in other biblical passages. Thus, behind the exclamation of Isaiah 14:12—“How are you fallen from heaven, / O Shining One, son of Dawn!/ How are you felled to earth”—is the notion of angels in rebellion against God and thereby forfeiting their angelic dignity. Job 4:18–19 similarly expresses the theme of the corruptibility of angels: “If He cannot trust His own servants, / And casts reproach on His angels, / How much less those who dwell in houses of clay.”

In light of these and other biblical references, such as Ezekiel 32:27, it is quite likely that the main function of the present highly condensed version of the original story is to combat polytheistic mythology. The picture here presented of celestial beings intermarrying with women on earth may partake of the mythical, but it does not overstep the bounds of monotheism; there is only one God who passes judgment and makes decisions. The offspring of such unnatural union may have possessed heroic stature, but they have no divine qualities; they are flesh and blood like all humans. They are not only mortal, but their life span is severely limited as compared with the personages listed in chapter 5. The one God is recognized as holding sole title to the breath of life, which He controls as He wills.

This literary segment has three points of connection with the preceding passage: the opening reference to human fecundity in verse 1 takes up the theme implicit in the genealogy; mention of daughters links up with the oft-repeated formula there regarding the begetting of sons and daughters; and the specific restriction of human longevity presupposes knowledge of the extraordinary ages recorded in chapter 5. At the same time, the story is immediately followed by God’s verdict on human wickedness, and the impression is created, even if not made explicit, that it illustrates the magnitude and the universality of evil in the world. Even the celestial host is corrupted. True, mankind is not condemned here for the acts of angels, but the effect is that the world order has been disturbed.

1. men Hebrew ha-ʾadam is here a collective, the human race.1

2. the divine beings The definite article points to a familiar and well-understood term.2 The context in Job 1:6; 2:1; and 38:7 unmistakably proves the reference to be to the angelic host, the celestial entourage of God. This is a poetic image drawn from the analogy of human kings surrounded by their assemblage of courtiers. Occasionally, as in 1 Kings 22:19, “the host of heaven” is used to the same effect.

saw how beautiful The implication is that they were driven by lust, so that external beauty, and not character, was their sole criterion in the selection of mates.

took wives Hebrew l-k-ḥ ʾishah is the regular term for the marriage relationship. There is no suggestion here of violent possession or any condemnation of the women involved.

3. The Lord said See Comment to 3:22.

My breath The life force that issues from God, corresponding to “the breath of life” in 2:7.3 Its presence or withdrawal determines life and death.

shall not abide This rendering of the otherwise unexampled Hebrew yadon best suits the context and follows the Septuagint, the Vulgate, Saadia, and Ramban. However, Rashi, Rashbam, Bekhor Shor, and Ibn Ezra connect the word with the stem d-y-n, “to judge.” The meaning here would then be something like, “I shall not go on suspending judgment.”

in man Taken together with the next clause, the reference would be specifically to the offspring of these unnatural unions, but all humankind is included within the scope of the verdict because disorder has been introduced into God’s creation.

flesh They are not divine despite their nonhuman paternity.4 “Flesh” connotes human frailty. Psalms 56:5 and Isaiah 31:3 are good examples of this usage.

one hundred and twenty years The duration of human life is drastically shortened, the diminution being emblematic of moral and spiritual degeneration.5 Early exegesis of this verse prefers to see here a reference to the interval of time remaining before the Flood. The figure would then represent three conventional generations of forty years each.6

4. This verse is obscure, probably deliberately so, in order to downgrade the mythic tone. The etymology of Nephilim is uncertain.7 The obvious association with n-f-l yields the rendering “fallen ones,” that is, fallen angels. But it is not clear from the text that the Nephilim are identical with the “divine beings.” Rather, they appear to be the offspring of the misalliances, who continued to generate Nephilim in the course of their married lives. Because Numbers 13:33 implies that these were people of extraordinary physical stature, the term was understood to mean “giants” or “heroes.” While it is not certain from the text whether or not the Nephilim themselves procreated, it is contrary to the understanding of the biblical narrative that they should have survived the Flood. Hence, the reference in Numbers is not to the supposedly continued existence of Nephilim into Israelite times; rather, it is used simply for oratorical effect, much as “Huns” was used to designate Germans during the two world wars.

cohabited Significantly, the verb y-d-ʿ is not used, as in 4:1, 17, and 25, but a coarser term, as befits the circumstances.

heroes of old, the men of renown Their heroic exploits were the subject of many a popular tale. On the analogy of 11:4, it is possible that they were guilty of some vainglorious outrages.

Very interesting comments and observations from Michael Brown on the alert bulletin below (from Jews for Judaism) & some background on how written debates are pushed by counter missionaries, but normal debates are persistently declined, except by close personal friend Shmuley Boteach. Also an interesting agreement for a written debate agreed upon before, but pulled as advised by more senior rabbis based on initial responses from the Jewish side – by people active on discussion forums.

20130726-195204.jpg

Line of Fire Radio – Encouragement from the Front Lines of Jewish Ministry and Dr. Brown Takes Your Jewish-Related Calls. Listen to full audio here.

Are there any Messianic prophecies in the five books of Moses? Jesus / Yeshua said there are. Can it be true? How clear can they be if (most) Jews have not noticed them until now? Do Christians try to “read prophecy into” the Hebrew scriptures? Listen to audio above or download it here.

This myth really is poorly supported. The supposed parallels are invalid for several reasons. See video for details…

Turn the other cheek? What does the following mean? Also note how Micah 7 says that upheaval is coming with the coming of the Messiah.

And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”

Line of Fire Radio. Listen to full audio here.

Revealing the Mysteries of Israel’s Hidden Messiah.

A sneak peak into chapter 2 of the book that is partly a response to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s book & partly a book that would be a true revelation to many.

Line of Fire Radio. Listen to full audio here.

An interesting conversation from a Jewish caller that mainly objects to so-called-“Christian” involvement in the holocaust.

The book below is also very relevant to the topic & should be read by Christians to have a greater understanding of this topic.

 

Line of Fire Radio. Listen to full audio here.

This is old news, but for those that didn’t see it yet, it’s still news. 🙂

A few months before he died, one of the nation’s most prominent rabbis, Yitzhak Kaduri, supposedly wrote the name of the Messiah on a small note which he requested would remain sealed until now (i.e. 2007). When the note was unsealed, it revealed what many have known for centuries: Yehoshua, or Yeshua (Jesus), is the Messiah. With the biblical name of Jesus, the Rabbi and kabbalist described the Messiah using six words and hinting that the initial letters form the name of the Messiah. The secret note said:

Concerning the letter abbreviation of the Messiah’s name, He will lift the people and prove that his word and law are valid.

Thisis I have signed in the month of mercy,
Yitzhak Kaduri

The Hebrew sentence (translated above in bold) with the hidden name of the Messiah reads: Yarim Ha’Am Veyokhiakh Shedvaro Vetorato Omdim

The initials spell the Hebrew name of Jesus, Yehoshua. Yehoshua and Yeshua are eectively the same name, derived from the same Hebrew root of the word “salvation” as documented in Zechariah 6:11 and Ezra 3:2. The same priest writes in Ezra, “Yeshua son of Yozadak” while writing in Zechariah “Yehoshua son of Yohozadak.” The priest adds the holy abbreviation of God’s name, ho, in the father’s name Yozadak and in the name Yeshua.

With one of Israel’s most prominent rabbis indicating the name of the Messiah is Yeshua, it is understandable why his last wish was to wait one year after his death before revealing what he wrote.

When the name of Yehoshua appeared in Kaduri’s message, ultra-Orthodox Jews from his Nahalat Yitzhak Yeshiva (seminary) in Jerusalem argued that their master did not leave the exact solution for decoding the Messiah’s name.

The revelation received scant coverage in the Israeli media. Only the Hebrew websites News First Class (Nfc) and Kaduri.net mentioned the Messiah note, insisting it was authentic. The Hebrew daily Ma’ariv ran a story on the note but described it as a forgery.

Jewish readers responded on the websites’ forums with mixed feelings: “So this means Rabbi Kaduri was a Christian?” and “The Christians are dancing and celebrating,” were among the comments.

Israel Today spoke to two of Kaduri’s followers in Jerusalem who admitted that the note was authentic, but confusing for his followers as well. “We have no idea how the Rabbi got to this name of the Messiah,” one of them said.

Yet others completely deny any possibility that the note is authentic. Kaduri’s son, Rabbi David Kaduri, said that at the time the note was written (September 2005), his father’s physical condition made it impossible for him to write.

Extract from this site.

Line of Fire Radio. Listen to full audio here.

Reposted from here.

As bizarre as these questions are, the fact that they keep coming up means that they need to be addressed, so here are some simple responses (for more details, see What Do Jewish People Think About Jesus, question #38).

The original Hebrew-Aramaic name of Jesus is yeshu‘a, which is short for yehōshu‘a (Joshua), just as Mike is short for Michael. The name yeshu‘a occurs 27 times in the Hebrew Scriptures, primarily referring to the high priest after the Babylonian exile, called both yehōshu‘a (see, e.g., Zechariah 3:3) and, more frequently, yeshu‘a (see, e.g., Ezra 3:2). So, Yeshua’s name was not unusual; in fact, as many as five different men had that name in the Old Testament. And this is how that name came to be “Jesus” in English: Simply stated, this is the etymological history of the name Jesus: Hebrew/Aramaic yeshu‘a became Greek Iēsous, then Latin Iesus, passing into German and then, ultimately, into English, as Jesus.

Why then do some people refer to Jesus as Yahshua? There is absolutely no support for this pronunciation—none at all—and I say this as someone holding a Ph.D. in Semitic languages. My educated guess is that some zealous but linguistically ignorant people thought that Yahweh’s name must have been a more overt part of our Savior’s name, hence YAHshua rather than Yeshua—but again, there is no support of any kind for this theory.

The Hebrew Bible has yeshu‘a; when the Septuagint authors rendered this name in Greek, they rendered it as Іησους (I­­ēsous, with no hint of yah at the beginning of the name); and the same can be said of the Peshitta translators when they rendered Yeshua’s name into Syriac (part of the Aramaic language family). All this is consistent and clear: The original form of the name Jesus is yeshu‘a, and there is no such name as yahshu‘a (or, yahushua or the like).

What about the alleged connection between the name Jesus (Greek I­­ēsous) and Zeus? This is one of the most ridiculous claims that has ever been made, but it has received more circulation in recent years (the Internet is an amazing tool of misinformation), and there are some believers who feel that it is not only preferable to use the original Hebrew/Aramaic name, Yeshua, but that it is wrong to use the name Jesus. Because of this, we will briefly examine this claim and expose the fallacies that underlie it.

According to the late A. B. Traina in his Holy Name Bible, “The name of the Son, Yahshua, has been substituted by Jesus, Iesus, and Ea-Zeus (Healing Zeus).”

In this one short sentence, two complete myths are stated as fact: First, there is no such name as Yahshua (as we have just explained), and second, there is no connection of any kind between the Greek name I­­ēsous (or the English name Jesus) and the name Zeus. Absolutely none! You might as well argue that Tiger Woods is the name of a tiger-infested jungle in India as try to connect the name Jesus to the pagan god Zeus. It is that absurd, and it is based on serious linguistic ignorance.

Here is another, equally absurd statement:

Basically, to keep it simple, “Jesus” is a very poor Roman translation from Latin, that was also poorly translated from the Greek, which IN NO WAY resembles His Hebrew name, “Yahushua.” Whew! Get all that? Moreover, according to the ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA, the name Ieusus (Jesus) is a combination of 2 mythical deities, IEU and SUS (ZEUS, a Greek god). In Gnostic and Greek mythologies they are actually one and the same pagan deity. So, it appears the name “Jesus” has some documented pagan origins. That’s not good! In fairness, some Messianic believers disagree and state that there is no definitive evidence to connect “Jesus” to “Zeus.” However, I disagree with them. (http://www.wwyd.org/)

The response to this statement (which has as much support as the latest Elvis sightings) is quite simple: We know where the name I­­ēsous came from: the Jewish Septuagint! In other words, this was not some later, pagan corruption of the Savior’s name; rather, it was the natural Greek way of rendering the Hebrew/Aramaic name Yeshua at least two centuries before His birth, and it is the form of the name found in more than 5,000 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. This is saying something! The name I­­ēsous is also found in Greek writings outside the New Testament and dating to that same general time frame.

Although it is claimed that the Encyclopedia Britannica says that “the name Ieusus (Jesus) is a combination of 2 mythical deities, IEU and SUS (ZEUS, a Greek god)” it actually says no such thing. This is a complete fabrication, intentional or not. In short, as one Jewish believer once stated, “Jesus is as much related to Zeus as Moses is to mice.”

Unfortunately, some popular teachers continue to espouse the Jesus-Zeus connection, and many believers follow the pseudo-scholarship in these fringe, “new revelation” teachings. Not only are these teachings and practices filled with error, but they do not profit in the least. So, to every English-speaking believer I say: Do not be ashamed to use the name JESUS! That is the proper way to say his name in English – just as Michael is the correct English way to say the Hebrew name mi-kha-el and Moses is the correct English way to say the Hebrew name mo-sheh. Pray in Jesus’ name, worship in Jesus’ name, and witness in Jesus’ name. And for those who want to relate to our Messiah’s Jewishness, then refer to him by His original name Yeshua – not Yahshua and not Yahushua – remembering that the power of the name is not in its pronunciation but in the person to whom it refers, our Lord and Redeemer and King.

Geoffrey Cohen went to school in Johannesburg, at King David Linksfield, at times wondering about the rote prayers he was taught and if there was more to serving & knowing God.

He experienced anti-semitism in the South African army (and mentioned this is the same spirit that is behind racism also). He spent some time in Israel & now lives in Texas. You can see some of his messages & his personal story here.

Growing up thinking that Jesus was the son of Mr & Mrs Christ he was shocked, years later, by Psalm 22 that eventually pointed him to the real Messiah, quoted below (even given the “like a lion” translation ‘issue’ that anti-missionaries often raise). He never even knew or considered that Jesus was actually Jewish … and the anti-semitism he encountered from ‘church people’ didn’t give him much reason to think so either.

Is Psalm 22 a messianic prophecy? We would need to consider, among other things, how the Jewish sages of old interpreted this Psalm before the influence of the ‘Christian era’ was felt by many Jewish commentators to review ancient interpretations in a more “non-Christian” light … and yes, there is support for the “Christian interpretation”, from Rashi, no less (among others) as mentioned at the bottom of the post.

Audio extract from Line of Fire Radio. Listen to full audio here.

Psalm 22

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.[b]

3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.[c]
4 In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
8 “He trusts in the LORD,” they say,
“let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”

9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you;
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

11 Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.

12 Many bulls surround me;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions that tear their prey
open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted within me.
15 My mouth[d] is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.

16 Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce[e] my hands and my feet.
17 All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.

19 But you, LORD, do not be far from me.
You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

22 I will declare your name to my people;
in the assembly I will praise you.
23 You who fear the LORD, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or scorned
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.

25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
before those who fear you[f] I will fulfill my vows.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
those who seek the LORD will praise him—
may your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth
will remember and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations
will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the LORD
and he rules over the nations.

29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
declaring to a people yet unborn:
He has done it!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 22:1 In Hebrew texts 22:1-31 is numbered 22:2-32.
  2. Psalm 22:2 Or night, and am not silent
  3. Psalm 22:3 Or Yet you are holy, / enthroned on the praises of Israel
  4. Psalm 22:15 Probable reading of the original Hebrew text; Masoretic Text strength
  5. Psalm 22:16 Dead Sea Scrolls and some manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, Septuagint and Syriac; most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text me, / like a lion
  6. Psalm 22:25 Hebrew him

Messianic Prophecy Or Not?
Quote: For example, at the outset of his comments on this psalm, Rashi says, “They [meaning the people of Israel] are destined to go into exile and David recited this prayer for the future.” Commenting on the words “I am a worm” in 22:6[7], Rashi notes that David “refers to all Israel as one man,” and he interprets specific verses with reference to later historical figures such as Nebuchadnezzar (22:14[15]). How then can Rabbi Singer claim that the psalm does not “speak of any future event”? Jewish tradition says that it does! In fact, Rashi explains verse 26[27] with reference to “the time of our redemption in the days of our Messiah,” then interprets verses 27-29[28-30] with reference to the Gentile nations turning to the Lord, the end of the age, and the final judgment. These certainly are future events, also underscoring the worldwide redemptive implications of this psalm.

It is very interesting to see how Pesikta Rabbati, the famous eighth-century midrash, put some of the words of this psalm on the lips of the suffering Messiah (called Ephraim, but associated with the son of David), citing Psalm 22:8, 13–14, and 16 in the context of Messiah’s sufferings. In fact, the midrash explicitly states that “it was because of the ordeal of the son of David that David wept, saying My strength is dried up like a potsherd (Ps. 22:16).” Did you catch that? According to this respected Rabbinic homily, David described the Messiah’s sufferings in Psalm 22!

From: Answering Jewish Objections To Jesus, Volume 3.