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Answering Some Jewish Objections To Jesus
 

New Testament Christianity is a wholly Jewish religion and not the same as worldwide Gentile Christianity. Some forms of Gentile Christianity have a history of violent anti-Semitism and are guilty of the blood of many thousands of innocent Jews. In this chapter the focus will be upon Jewish Christianity— the beliefs and practices of Jesus' followers in Eretz Israel during the first century of the common era— not the Christian beliefs of later Gentiles who attempted to strip Israel of her ethnic identity, steal her covenants and her Messianic kingdom, and go on to murder multitudes of Jesus' countrymen during Fascism's heyday, and during the Crusades and Inquisitions.

Becoming a Christian is simple for a Gentile, but very difficult for a Jew because of certain legal complications. However, for both Jew and Gentile, becoming a Christian doesn't depend upon compliance with a religious code; but it depends upon what a person accepts regarding Jesus of Nazareth— how he is related to God, how he is related to Man, how he is related to Israel, and how he is related to redemption. Christian Behavior is an important part of a born again Christian's life; but Christian behavior is of no importance for people contemplating becoming a Christian. A knowledge of the New Testament's Jesus is where it all has to start.

John 1:11-13 ...He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

There are those who profess to be Jesus' friends but really aren't because they actually believe things about the New Testament Jesus that aren't true. In effect then; they're following a Jesus who never lived. There are some issues regarding Jesus that are critical to understanding who he really is and what he's all about. We would like to concentrate upon some of those in this chapter.

Hell                          

There are so many varieties of Judaism that it's convenient for the purpose of discussion to just lump them all into one category.

Modern Judaism doesn't believe that death is the end of human existence. However, because Judaism is primarily focused on life here and now rather than on the afterlife, it doesn't have much dogma about the afterlife, and leaves a great deal of room for personal opinion. It's possible for Orthodox Jews to believe that the souls of the righteous dead go to a place similar to the Christian heaven, or that they are reincarnated through many lifetimes, or that they simply wait until the coming of Messiah, when they will be resurrected. Likewise, Orthodox Jews can believe that the souls of the wicked are tormented by demons of their own creation, or that wicked souls are simply destroyed at death, ceasing to exist.

The place of spiritual reward for the righteous is often referred to in Hebrew as Gan Eden (gahn ehy-dehn) (the Garden of Eden). This isn't the same place where Adam and Eve were; it's a place of spiritual perfection. Specific descriptions of it vary widely from one source to another. One source says that the peace that one feels when one experiences Shabbat properly is merely one-sixtieth of the pleasure of the afterlife. Other sources compare the bliss of the afterlife to the joy of sex or the warmth of a sunny day. Ultimately, though, the living can no more understand the nature of this place than the blind can understand color.

Only Judaism's very righteous go directly to Gan Eden. The average person descends to a place of punishment and/or purification, generally referred to as Gehinnom (guh-hee-nohm) (in Yiddish, Gehenna), but sometimes as She'ol or by other names. According to one mystical view, every sin people commit creates an angel of destruction (a demon), and after death they are tortured by the very demons that they created. Some views see Gehinnom as one of severe punishment, a bit like the Christian Hell of fire and brimstone. Other sources merely see it as a time when we can see the actions of our lives objectively, see the harm that we have done and the opportunities we missed, and experience remorse for our actions. The period of time in Gehinnom doesn't exceed 12 months, and then the penitent ascends to take his place on Olam Ha-Ba.

Only the utterly wicked fail to ascend early; their souls are tortured for the entire 12 months. Sources differ on what happens at the end of those 12 months: some say that the wicked soul is utterly destroyed and ceases to exist while others say that the soul continues to exist in a state of consciousness of remorse. This 12-month limit is repeated in many places in the Talmud, and is connected to the mourning cycles and the recitation of Kaddish.

Conclusion: modern Judaism lacks a consensus opinion regarding the afterlife. Therefore it would be incorrect to say Judaism has no Hell.

Wicked Person Defined                     

How many lies does a person have to tell before they become a liar? How many married lovers does one have to sleep with before they become an adulterer? How many people does one have to kill before they'll be arrested for murder? How many things do we have to steal before the law can prosecute us for theft? How many times can we run a red light before a cop is justified in giving us a ticket?

The Talmud recognizes three classes of humanity: the righteous, the wicked, and the in-between. I believe the Hebrew word is benoni (bey-no-nee) and means literally: in the middle (See for example: b. Rosh Hashanah 16b).

But in Moses' covenanted law, there is no average. There are blessings for obedience and there are curses for disobedience, with nothing in between. In Psalms there are righteous people and there are wicked people, but no middle-of-the-road people. In Proverbs there are fools and there are wise; nothing in between. In Daniel 12:2, there are those raised to everlasting life, and those raised to everlasting shame; no neutral zone. When the Flood came in Noah's day, only eight people were spared. What happened to all the middle-of-the-road people? Surely there must have been some people who we ourselves would have considered, on average, "good" people. No, if they were aboard the ark, people survived. If they were ashore, they died. Ergo: there's no curve; you're either on the bus, or you're off the bus.

Ezk 36:26-27 . .And I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit into you: I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a tender heart; and I will put My spirit into you. Thus I will cause you to follow My laws and faithfully to observe My rules.

If God plans to put His spirit into Yhvh's people in order to make them faithful; then it only stands to reason that without His spirit it is in their nature to be unfaithful.

If my AR15 fires three hundred times, and on the 301st time I pull the trigger nothing happens, that is not faithfulness; no, faithfulness is when my AR15 is 100% reliable and fires each and every time the trigger is pulled, not just some of the time, nor even most of the time; but each and every time. A some-of-the-time and/or most-of-the-time obedience to God is not faithfulness; no, it's a half hearted, half-baked performance that breaches Moses' covenanted law.

Deut 6:4-5 . .You shall love Yhvh your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Beware that you don't play judge and jury in the trial of your own life. It is all too easy to acquit yourself by comparing yourself to the really "bad" people whereas Yhvh might, to your utter surprise, compare you to Himself, and pronounce you quite worthy of retribution. Yes, God rewards good, but He also rewards bad. And according to Ezekiel 18:24, the bad overrules the good, so that you come out with nothing but bad in the end.

Heaven                         

To my knowledge, the redeemed aren't destined to live in Heaven, but rather on a new Earth in an entirely new cosmos; subjugated to, and dominated by, Messiah and his Jewish countrymen.

Isa 65:17-25 . .For behold! I am creating a new heaven and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered, they shall never come to mind. Be glad, then, and rejoice forever in what I am creating. For I shall create Jerusalem as a joy, and her people as a delight; and I will rejoice in Jerusalem and delight in her people. Never again shall be heard there the sounds of weeping and wailing. No more shall there be an infant or graybeard who does not live out his days. He who dies at a hundred years shall be reckoned a youth, And he who fails to reach a hundred shall be reckoned accursed.

. .They shall build houses and dwell in them, they shall plant vineyards and enjoy their fruit. They shall not build for others to dwell in, or plant for others to enjoy. For the days of My people shall be as long as the days of a tree, My chosen ones shall outlive the work of their hands. They shall not toil to no purpose; they shall not bear children for terror, but they shall be a people blessed by Yhvh, and their offspring shall remain with them. Before they pray, I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will respond.

. .The wolf and the lamb shall graze together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and the serpent's food shall be earth. In all My sacred mount nothing evil or vile shall be done— testified Yhvh.

2Pet 3:10 . .But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a mighty roar and the elements will be dissolved by fire, and the earth and everything done on it will be found out.

2Pet 3:13 . .But according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Rev 20:11 . .Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it. The earth and the sky fled from his presence and there was no place for them.

Rev 21:1-6a . .Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I saw also the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying; Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them [as their God]. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away.

. .The one who sat on the throne said; Behold, I make all things new. Then he said; Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true. He said to me; They are accomplished.

That's probably not very good news for the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). Their precious little planet is slated to go up in smoke; destroyed beyond recognition— even the place where it was parked won't exist anymore.

Objects and/or Degrees Of Worship                                  

Worship of a human being, and worship of God, are really two different degrees of biblical worship and need to be kept distinct for a perspective of the worships that Jesus received in the New Testament.

Worship is love, adoration, admiration, courtesy, reverence, obeisance, honor, deference, homage, and veneration that can be rendered either in a religious manner to God, or in a secular manner to Man. The Bible clearly forbids religious worship rendered to any deity but God. However, nowhere does it forbid secular worship rendered to Man.

There are several very fine examples of the two different degrees of worship in the Old Testament; but we'll only deal with just one. However; it's a pretty good one.

Gen 22:5 …Then Abraham said to his servants; You stay here with the burro. The boy and I will go up there; we will worship and we will return to you.

That passage regards an event well known in Jewish literature as The Akedah: the Binding Of Isaac. Abraham's intent was obvious: he and Isaac were going up to worship God.

The Hebrew word for worship in that passage is shachah (shaw-khaw') which means: to depress, i.e. prostrate (especially reflexive, in homage to royalty or God). The very same word is used again in another passage involving Abraham regarding his negotiations to purchase a burial site for Sarah.

Gen 23:7-8 …Thereupon Abraham bowed low to the people of the land, the Hittites, and he said to them; If it is your wish that I remove my dead for burial, you must agree to intercede for me with Ephron son of Zohar.

If the meaning of shachah were strict; that is: if it only applied to the religious worship of a deity, then Abraham was unfaithful to God when he bowed low to the Hittites because shachah, the word rendered "worship" in The Akedah, is the very same word rendered "bowed low" in Abraham's negotiations with the Hittites. Technically, it could be said Abraham not only worshipped God, but also worshipped the Hittites. So, biblically, there is a secular worship rendered to humans that is distinctly separate from the religious worship reserved for God only.

The usual Greek word for worship in the New Testament is proskuneo (pros-koo-neh'-o) which is a combination of the preposition pros (pros) and a probable derivative of kuon (koo'-ohn); a primary word for dogs and hounds. The implication of proskuneo is to kiss one's hand like a dog licking its master's hand— to fawn or couch to; to prostrate oneself in homage, reverence, or adoration. It is a word of worship and respect that can be applied to either God or to Man.

Proskuneo worship is understood in the New Testament just like Shachah worship is understood in the Old Testament. Sometimes the word means religious worship, and sometimes it means the secular obeisance rendered to royalty and to others in high positions of authority— and very often it just simply mean respect for our betters (whether real or imagined, or just extended out of courtesy).

In Matt 2:1-8, proskuneo worship is used of the Magi's (and Herod's feigned) intent to pay their respects to the baby Jesus as royalty; likewise of the soldiers mocking him in Mark 15:18-19). In Rev 3:9 proskuneo worship is used of bad Jews forced to respect Christians. In Matt 4:9-10 it is used of Jesus' choice between the Devil versus God. In places like Matt 8:2 it is understood in respect for one's betters.

Jesus' Birthright                

Jesus' Divine birthright deserves special consideration because of the gravity of its implications.

Jesus is well known throughout the New Testament as the Son of God. But not as just another adopted son; as many others are ranked. No, he is uniquely God's sole son in that he is the only man who ever came into the world as God's own personal kin. Some feel that since God made Man in His own image (Gen 1:26-27), all human beings are therefore God's offspring. But Man was not genetically engendered in God's image. No, Man was *constructed in God's image. That is very different than the rank of blood kin. (It's true God has no blood, but how else am I to explain this issue except in genetic terms that we can all understand?)

John 1:18 . .No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has revealed Him.

The Greek word rendered son in that verse isn't universally accepted. Translations based upon the Nestle tradition use a word derived from theos (theh'-os) which means: a deity or a magistrate. When theos is combined with the definite article ho, it means the Supreme Divinity. Translations based upon the Textus Receptus tradition use the word huios (hwee-os') which means: male offspring (sometimes of animals), used very widely of immediate, remote or figurative kinship.

The NKJ phrase: "the only begotten son" when rendered in the Nestle tradition, reads: "the only begotten god."

The differences between the Nestle tradition and the Textus Receptus tradition create some problems. However, the emphasis in John 1:18 is not so much upon Jesus' status as a god or as a son, but upon his Divine lineage. The Greek word for *begotten in both traditions, Nestle and Textus Receptus, is from monogenes (mon-og-en-ace') and means: only-born, i.e. sole child. No other person in biblical history is said to be God's actual personal offspring in the way that Jesus is.

While it is true that all other kings of the Davidic dynasty, beginning with David, held the rank of God's firstborn kin as per 2Sam 7:11-16 and Ps 89:20-27; their status as a son was a conferred status— actually an adoption. None of them were actually genetically related to God by birth.

The New Testament teaches that Jesus' immediate father was Divine. Everybody else in the Bible has a human dad (and actually Jesus does too when you factor in all the males on his mother's side, including David, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, Shem, Noah, Seth, and Adam). I'm not saying God physically mated with a human being to produce offspring as the gods do in Greek mythology. No. I'm only saying what the New Testament says; that by a direct miracle, Jesus' progenitor, in a very real and personal way, was God.

Luke 1:35 . .The angel answered; The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the son of God.

In biblical terms then, Jesus is God's heir apparent. So then, it only stands to reason that if God outranks everybody, then His heir should certainly deserve an equal degree of fear and respect.

Heb 1:4-6 . .So he became as much superior to the angels as The Name he has inherited is superior to theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say; You are my son; today I have become your Father? (Ps 2:7) Or again; I will be his Father, and he will be My son? (2Sam 7:14) And again, when God brings His firstborn into the world, He says; Let all God's angels worship him.

"Let all God's angels worship him" was quoted from Deut 32:43 LXX (the Septuagint) a Greek translation of the Pentateuch in common use in the ancient Graeco-Roman world.

Although God's heir deserves all the worship and respect due the God family name, he didn't demand those honors, but instead accepted his low human rank, a rank inferior to the angels, and voluntarily gave his life to rescue his fellow man from the wrath of God.

Php 2:7-8 . .but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Heb 2:9 . .But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

Objection: If we are to trust in the Gospels, then Yeshua wasn't accepted as G-d's son until his mikvah; aka: baptism.

According to Luke, Jesus was God's son at birth, prior to baptism; which he underwent 30 years later.

Luke 1:30-32 . .But the angel said to her; Do not be afraid, Miriam, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the son of the Most High.

Jesus himself fully understood God to be his father at the age of 12.

Luke 2:42-49 . .When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom . .And He said to them; Why did you seek me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business?

Objection: Matthew's genealogy shows that Joseph is the biological father of Yeshua.

I can't imagine why someone would believe that because the very same Matthew himself clearly points out that Joseph was not the biological father.

Matt 1:18-20 . .This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said; Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Miriam home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

According to that passage, Jesus' conception was a miracle; and subsequently, Joseph became Jesus' adopted dad, not his biological father. Miriam did not even sleep with Joseph until after Jesus was born.

Matt 1:25 . .But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

In point of fact, although Joseph and Miriam were engaged, and he became Miriam's guardian during pregnancy; the couple were not even married until after her baby was born.

Luke 2:1-7 . .In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Miriam, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Jesus was not only conceived out of wedlock, but he was born out of wedlock too. Miriam traveled to Bethlehem with Joseph not because she was Joseph's wife. No. According to Luke 2:3, and 2:5, she had to go there for the same tax purposes as Joseph because she too was of the house and line of David.

Luke 1:26-27 . .In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Miriam.

At first glance, that passage appears to emphasize Joseph's lineage, but it's actually Miriam's own personal genetic kinship to David that's in view. Punctuation is arbitrarily inserted into English texts because there is no punctuation in the original Greek. Unfortunately, the location of punctuation is at the discretion of translators; so we have to watch out for subtle manipulations of our thinking by human renderings of the Greek into other languages.

Luke 1:26-27 can validly be rendered like this:

. .In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin descended from David, pledged to be married to a man named Joseph. The virgin's name was Miriam.

Objection: What about Matt 1:16 where it clearly says Joseph was the biological father?

Matt 1:16 . .and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Again, be wary of arbitrary punctuation. That verse can just as easily be rendered to indicate Jesus was born of Miriam rather than Joseph by the removal of just one comma; like this:

. .and Jacob the father of Joseph; the husband of Mary of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Jesus' Divine Name               

Jesus of Nazareth is a real live, gender-specific human being, conceived from the genes of a human female; and who came into this world by natural childbirth. We also have a pedigree in Luke to certify his full-blooded kinship to Adam— and Adam was not God, nor was he God's genetic offspring: but was manufactured from the dust of the earth in the image of God.

(Although Adam was made in the image of God, his imagery wasn't precise. The Hebrew word used to describe Adam's imagery in Genesis is tselem (tseh'-lem); which means: a phantom, i.e. (figuratively) illusion, resemblance; hence, a representative figure, especially an idol; viz: a mannequin.

The shadow of a tree is something like Adam's likeness of God. On the ground, a tree's shadow is little more than an irregular puddle of contrasts, just a patchy smirch. But when we look up, oh! the tree comes alive with color and detail. We can see how tall it is, the features of the bark, and the shape and texture of the leaves and how they are arranged on the branches. And then we notice that the tree is an ecosystem in itself; a habitat for insects and other creatures impossible to discern in the tree's shadow. When humans look at themselves, they don't really see God at all; no, all they really see is an illusion; viz: something akin to God's shadow.)

Therefore Jesus of Nazareth, a genuine human being who descended from a creature, cannot possibly be God. So, in what way might it be okay to regard a human being as God when he is not actually the True God; but rather whose origin is the image of God like his ancestor Adam's?

Man, who was created in the image of God, attempted to become a God himself and rival the True God in Genesis 3.  Adam and his wife attempted to usurp equality with God by eating the forbidden fruit. But Jesus did no such thing. He knew his place, and in spite of the Devil's pressures in Matt 4:1-11, Jesus didn't slip up and overstep the bounds. Rather than attempt to be an equal with God as the Adams did, Jesus chose instead to be God's subject.

Php 2:5-8 …Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found in human appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.

Paul encouraged Christians to follow Jesus' example: Though all human beings are in the form of God, as were their ancestors Adam and Eve, they are still human beings. Therefore, they are inherently inferior in rank to God and should accept it; and voluntarily humble themselves and submit to God's authority. People who refuse to humble themselves, will one day be abased against their will.

Matt 23:12 …For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Above And Beyond The Call Of Duty                    

The death Jesus died on a cross wasn't the result of circumstances beyond his control. It was a fully cognizant, calculated act of obedience. God wanted Jesus to take full responsibility for the sins of his Jewish countrymen so that He would be in a position to absolve them of all guilt.

Isa 53:4-8 . .Yet it was our sickness that he was bearing, our suffering that he endured. We accounted him plagued, smitten and afflicted by God; but he was wounded because of our sins, crushed because of our iniquities. He bore the chastisement that made us whole, and by his bruises we were healed. We all went astray like sheep, each going his own way; and the Lord visited upon him the guilt of all of us.

. .He was maltreated, yet he was submissive, he did not open his mouth; like a sheep being led to slaughter, like a ewe, dumb before those who shear her, he did not open his mouth. By oppressive judgment he was taken away, who could describe his abode? For he was cut off from the land of the living through the sin of My people, who deserved the punishment.

John 12:27-36 . .Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

God rewarded Jesus' unusual degree of humility and faithfulness, and his exceptional service to his Jewish countrymen, and to all mankind, by bestowing upon him His very own name.

Isa 52:13 . .Indeed, My servant shall prosper, be exalted and raised to great heights.

Php 2:9-11 . .Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him The Name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Lots of men go by the name of Jesus; which is the English equivalent of the Old Testament name Joshua. But those are not the names that are above every name; otherwise we would all have to bow to every man who's name is Jesus or Joshua.

No, the name that is higher than any name you could possibly imagine— the highest name that we know of— is neither Allah, nor Christ, nor Jesus, nor Vishna, nor Moses, nor the Virgin Mary, nor Buddha. It's Yhvh; a very important name of the True God.

Ex 20:2-3 . .I the Lord am your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods besides Me.

In that verse, the Hebrew word for "Lord" is Yehovah (yeh-ho-vaw'). That's not really how it's spelled but that's how it is often pronounced. The spelling is something like either Yhvh or Yhwh.

(Incidentally, there exists no universal standard for spelling the sound of Hebrew words with English letters)

That appellation is so sacred among devoted Jews that they make every effort to avoid speaking it except under very special circumstances. In some of their writings, to avoid using the sacred tetragrammaton, they substitute instead "The Name" or "Hashem." So Ex 20:3 could be written: "I, The Name, am your God" or: "I, Hashem, am your God."

David foresaw that The True God would address a human being as Himself.

Ps 45:6-7 . .Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your associates by anointing you with the oil of joy.

Since the True God now addresses a human being as Himself, it insults the True God's dignity when people refuse to accept that human being's Divine title. Jesus has a right to all the worship and service and reverence and obedience that is due to The Name because he was given permission to use it for himself by Divine decree.

[ You may get some Gentile flak regarding the "present active participle" tense of the Greek verb huparcho (hoop-ar'-kho) in Php 2:6. Some have appealed to the tense of that verb in an attempt to prove that Jesus not only pre-existed, but that he also exists eternally.

According to the Interlinear in my Strong's Concordance, the spelling of the present active participle of huparcho is hupa'rchoon. That same exact spelling is used elsewhere in the New Testament of others besides Jesus— among whom are David, Steven, Paul, Abraham, Titus, Peter, and even a man in Hell. Here's a list.

Luke 9:48, Luke 16:23, Acts 2:30, Acts 7:55, Acts 22:3, Rom 4:19, 1Cor 11:7, 2Cor 8:17, 2Cor 12:16, Gal 1:14, and Gal 2:14.

Since hupa'rchoon is used of men of whom it could never be said pre-existed their own birth, it wouldn't be consistent to attempt to make a case for Jesus' pre-existence with that word. ]

Apples And Oranges            

There are distinct differences between a firstborn child, an only child, and a child born first.

In John 1:18, Jesus is said to be God's only child.

John 1:18 …No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

The Greek word for "only begotten" is monogenes (mon-og-en-ace') which means: only-born; viz: sole.

In other parts of the New Testament, Jesus is said to be God's firstborn child.

Col 1:15 …He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

Heb 1:6 …But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: "Let all the angels of God worship Him."

The Greek word for firstborn is prototokos (pro-tot-ok'-os) which is a different word than monogenes; and means: first-born (usually as noun, literally or figuratively).

In the Bible, the rank of prototokos (firstborn) doesn't always fall to the first male child born in the home. It is a rank that can be conferred upon younger siblings like as in the cases of Jacob and Esau (Gen 25:23), Manasseh and Ephraim (Gen 48:17-20), and Joseph and Reuben (1Chr 5:1-2). However a monogenes child, one like God's son, is unique because it has no siblings. A monogenes child is an only child.

Monogenes is used of other children in the New Testament and it always, without exception, means, not the child born first, but an only child (e.g. Luke 7:12, Luke 8:42, and Luke 9:38).

The places where Jesus is said to be God's sole offspring are: John 1:14, John 1:18, John 3:16, John 3:18, Heb 11:17, and 1John 4:9. I think it's self evident that Jesus was the child born first in God's home simply because he's an only child.

Birds And Bees                  

According to the laws of the birds and bees, like begets like; viz: bats beget bats, ticks beget ticks, and human beings beget human beings. My own son is a human being because his mother and father are human beings.

When Adam reproduced (Gen 5:3) he engendered a being in his own likeness and in his own image— not in the likeness of a cat, nor an earthworm, nor a starfish, nor an angel; viz: Adam produced more of himself, not more of some other form of life.

The law of the birds and bees holds true not only in the natural world, but also in the spirit world. According to Jesus, flesh gives birth to flesh, and spirit gives birth to spirit (John 3:6). So then how can flesh like Jesus be God's genetic kin; who, according to John 4:24, is spirit?

Well, the answer to that is somewhat spacey; and will certainly demonstrate just how complicated the New Testament's Jesus really is. Although God was his father, his mother was human, and he was born into the world as a human being. But he didn't come into the world only as a human being. No; he came as a hybrid being; so that not only was Jesus born into the world as a human being; but also as a spirit being as well.

1Cor 15:45 . .So it is written [Gen2:7]: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.

Get the drift? The first species of Man was born out of the dust of the Earth; a frail organic creature who needs oxygen to stay alive— and who did not even become a living thing until the life-giving powers of God made it so.

Jesus came as one born not only of the Earth as was his progenitor Adam, but also as one born of God: quite literally born of God's spirit (Luke 1:35). Since like begets like; then when God's spirit reproduced, He engendered a God being; viz: He produced more of Himself. Adam begot more of himself when he reproduced, and Jesus' mom produced more of herself when she reproduced. In like manner God, when He reproduced, begot a God being— a being like Himself who doesn't depend upon breathing the Earth's atmosphere to stay alive like Adam's offspring do; but is itself, like its father, self-alive.

The apostle John wrote of Jesus as not just a human life, but also an eternal life.

1John 1:1-2 . .That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched— this we proclaim concerning the word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.

John 5:26 . .For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to The Son also to have life in Himself

God's son is not only an eternal life, but also a source of eternal life.

John 4:10 . .Jesus answered and said to her; If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, "Give Me a drink" you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.

John 4:13-14 . .Jesus answered and said to her; Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.

John 17:1-2 . .After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed; Father, the time has come. Glorify your son, that your son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.

The Trinity                           

If all three persons in the Godhead are God, does that mean God is His own son and The Son is his own father?

You would be correct if that were precisely true. If the so called 1st person is one and the same to the other two, then God is both His own father and His own son. But the word son will not allow that. The word *son* implies either genetic kin; or, at the very least, an adoption.

Although the New Testament says the Word was God; technically it does not say that Jesus was God.

John 1:1 ...In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The New Testament goes on to say the Word became flesh.

John 1:14a ...And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, 

When the Word became flesh, the flesh did not have the prerogatives of deity, and as a human being, God's Word thus became lower in rank than even the angels.

Heb 2:9 ...But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

Php 2:6-8...Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient...

The flesh shares many of its alter ego's Divine traits.

John 1:14b ...and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Heb 1:1-3...God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

1John 1:1-3... That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched— this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

When the Word became flesh, the flesh didn't become God in the process. The flesh is human, and nothing more. Too many Gentile Christians have so over-emphasized the Divine aspect of the Word to such an extreme that its alter ego's existence as a genuine human being has been discounted and overlooked. A genuine human being cannot be God; because genuine human beings descend from a created thing: the creature Adam— a creature that the Word itself formed from the dust of the Earth way back in the book of Genesis.

John 1:3 ...Through [the Word] all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

The only possible way someone other than the True God can hold the rank and status of God is either by being born into it, or by being promoted to it. Genuine human beings must, by their very nature as created beings, be promoted to it.

John 3:27 …"A [human being] can receive nothing, unless it has been given him from heaven."

During your readings in the New Testament, be alert for the many Divine appointments, empowerments, privileges, and prerogatives that God gave Jesus.

It is so typical for Gentile Christians, unlearned in Old Testament Messianic doctrines, to fuse the Word and the flesh into a single identity, failing to discern the vast differences between two such genre of life. The Word is a spirit being, the flesh is a human being— a real live Jewish human being descended from Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David. And since the flesh is a human being, it is, by nature, subject to all the laws, obligations, and limitations imposed upon every other human being. Human beings are not only of lower rank than God, but also of lower rank than angels.

Heb 2:9 ...But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

Heb 2:16-17 …For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren,

It is absolutely essential that Jesus of Nazareth be a genuine human being because if he isn't, then he can't die for the sins of the world. In order for a man to redeem his fellow man, the candidate for redeemer must be a man himself in order to comply with the Old Testament principle of the kinsman redeemer (cf. Lev 25:25, 25:47-49, and the book of Ruth). That is something God himself just simply cannot do because He is a spirit being; not a human being, and is therefore blood kin to no one on earth: technically; not even to Jesus. God invented the plan of salvation, but He could not Himself be the one essential ingredient that makes it work: mankind's fellow human being.

The best way to view Messiah's position in the so-called Trinity, is to see him not as the True God, but as a human being who has been promoted to the rank of God. We'll have more on that up ahead in the Questions And Objections section.


Questions And Objections                  

Objection: Moses was made an `elohim to Pharaoh (Ex 4:10-17). According to your silly reasoning, we should all worship Moses as God.

Was Moses ever actually addressed and worshipped as 'Elohiym? The circumstances for God's confrontation with Egypt were just a bit different, don't you think? Moses was never promoted high enough to merit a deity's worship. But doesn't the Tanakh hint that Messiah would be?

Ps 110:1 . .Yhvh said to my master; Sit at My right hand while I make your enemies your footstool.

Sitting to a king's right is very significant. When Solomon granted an audience to his mom, he seated her to his right.

1Ki 2:19 . .So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him about Adonijah. The king rose to greet her and bowed down to her. He sat on his throne; and he had a throne placed for the queen mother, and she sat on his right.

Even though Solomon was king over all of Israel, and his mom was a subject too, he still regarded her at the very least to be an equal with himself and due at least as much respect that was due to himself from his subjects. No one would have slighted Solomon in the least if he didn't bow to his mom nor place her to his right. That was something he did of his own volition.

It is very bad protocol to station one's self at God's right hand because He is the one that's supreme. Yhvh's subjects should always stand to the left unless invited to do otherwise. Human beings should always regard God as being at their right hand, not the other way around.

Ps 16:7-8 . .I bless Yhvh who has guided me; my conscience admonishes me at night. I am ever mindful of Yhvh's presence; He is at my right hand; I shall never be shaken.

So Messiah's position at God's right side is very significant; especially because it is a sitting position and not a standing one. It means God regards him with a great deal of respect; at the very least an equal to Himself. It also implies He is relying upon Messiah to oversee Divine affairs just as Pharaoh relied upon Joseph to rule Egypt in the book of Genesis. So, on Divine authority, Messiah is master over all the earth second to none; not even to David, the paterfamilias of the Davidic line of royalty. Long ago, God made promise to one of Messiah's ancestors along those very lines.

Hag 2:20-23 . .And the word of Yhvh came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month: Speak to Zerubbabel the governor of Judah: I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. And I will overturn the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the might of the kingdoms of the nations. I will overturn chariots and their drivers. Horses and their riders shall fall, each by the sword of his fellow. On that day— testifies Yhvh of Legions —I will take you, O My servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel— testifies Yhvh — and make you as a signet; for I have chosen you —testifies Yhvh of Legions.

Zerubbabel, in his day, enjoyed none of David's former kingdom power and glory; but God reassured the old boy that the royal line of David's house would not remain permanently humbled. It still had a great future even though things were looking pretty shabby for the moment.

A signet is a signature device. Pressed in wax or clay, it leaves its owner's mark. A son entrusted with a signet carries the weight of his father's authority. So God promised Zerubbabel that the house of David would yet one day wield all the power and authority of Almighty God.

Ps 80:15-20 . .O God of hosts, turn again, look down from heaven and see; take note of that vine, the stock planted by Your right hand, the stem you have taken as Your own. For it is burned by fire and cut down, perishing before Your angry blast. Grant Your help to the man at Your right hand, the one You have taken as Your own. We will not turn away from You; preserve our life that we may invoke Your name. O Yhvh, God of legions, restore us; show Your favor that we may be delivered.

Ps 2:7-8 . .Let me tell of the decree: Yhvh said to me; You are My son, I have fathered you this day. Ask it of Me, and I will make the nations your domain; your estate, the limits of the earth.

Isa 53:12 . .Assuredly, I will give him the many as his portion, he shall receive the multitude as his spoil. For he exposed himself to death and was numbered among the sinners, whereas he bore the guilt of the many and made intercession for sinners.

Isa 52:13 . .Indeed, My servant shall prosper, be exalted and raised to great heights.

If anyone; Messiah is certain to be an occupant of one of the thrones of listed in Daniel 7:9-10

Dan 7:9-10 . .As I looked on, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took His seat. His garment was like white snow, and the hair of His head was like lamb's wool. His throne was tongues of flame; its wheels were blazing fire. A river of fire streamed forth before Him; thousands upon thousands served Him; myriads upon myriads attended Him; the court sat and the books were opened.

Some of the ancient rabbis believed "thrones" is plural in that passage because one of them is for Messiah. Others, uncomfortable with the implication of such a circumstance, claim that one throne is for God to sit upon, and a second one for His footstool. And yet others argue one throne is for justice and the other for grace (b. Hagigah 14a). Personally, I have no problem with the supreme ruler of the entire world sharing a throne with God.

Dan 7:13-14 . .As I looked on, in the night vision, one like a human being came with the clouds of heaven; he reached the Ancient of Days and was presented to Him. Dominion, glory, and kingship were given to him; all peoples and nations of every language must serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship, the one that shall not be destroyed.

Ps 45:6-7 . .Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness more than your fellows.

The word "fellows" would identify the other kings of Davidic royalty; which would include the subjugation of David himself; since the king of Ps 45:6-7 is honored with the title of God.

Only God is our God; not some exalted human being.

I think the New Testament agrees very strongly on that point.

1Cor 8:5-6 . .For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

Although Jesus' title as Lord is capitalized by editors of the New Testament, it shouldn't be because it has the very same intent as the lower case lord of Psalm 110:1.

Ps 110:1 . .Yhvh said to my master; Sit at My right hand while I make your enemies your footstool.

The Greek word for lord— kurios —is flexible. It can be used to refer to the True God, or it can just refer to a person of elevated rank like the "master" in Psalm 110:1.

Here's a couple of examples where kurios obviously refers to persons of lower rank than God.

Matt 6:24 . .No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

Matt 21:28-30 . .What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, "Son, go and work today in the vineyard." "I will not," he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, "I will, sir," but he did not go.

The word "masters" and the word "sir" are both from kurios. Wouldn't you agree that if we were to speak with the real Messiah that we should address him with something like sir or master or lord? What do the rabbis recommend Jews call their next king if not one of those titles?

I don't care what the authors of the NT wrote, because the HEBREW in the Tanach uses two DIFFERENT words to name the Lord God and to refer to the human master in Psalm 110. It is IMPOSSIBLE for the same word to be used in both instances.

While true that two different Hebrew words are rendered "lord" in English versions of Psalm 110:1 (Yhvh and 'adown) it is acceptable to use just one Greek word for both.

If there is one rule of Bible interpretation that is absolutely a never-do it is to read a pre conceived thought into the texts instead of listening to what the texts themselves are saying. Let the authors tell you what they are saying and go with along with them come what may. Here's what I mean.

1Cor 8:5-6 . .For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

That text says there is but one True God. It doesn't imply there are two just because somebody else in that passage happens to be called "one Lord." Jesus himself said there is only one True God (John 17:3). There cannot possibly be a second True God. So the "one Lord" is quite obviously someone of a lower rank than the "one God." You just have to use a little sanctified common sense in these matters.

The word Christ is from Christos (khris-tos') which means: anointed. The corresponding Hebrew word is mashiyach (maw-shee'-akh). Mashiyach was commonly applied to kings in the Tanakh and became useful to specify the very special king who was to become Messiah.

1Cor 8:5-6 pairs God with Messiah. There are other places in the Bible where God and His anointed appear together in the same passage. A notable one is located in Psalm 2.

Ps 2:1-2 . .Why do nations assemble, and peoples plot vain things; kings of the earth take their stand, and regents intrigue together against Yhvh and His anointed?

So all that the New Testament is saying in 1Cor 8:5-6 is that there is one true God, and there is one true Messiah; e.g. Luke 1:43 where Miriam's cousin Elizabeth refers to Jesus as her kurios. Yhvh's spirit alerted Elizabeth that Miriam's baby was destined to become Israel's ultimate monarch as per the angel's prediction: The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end. (Luke 1:32-33)

Your explanation fails, because if the term was to be used as simply a word of respect (as you claim), then that means there are MILLIONS of Lords, not just ONE Lord.

That's exactly what Paul said; there are innumerable lords.

1Cor 8:5 . .For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords")

But to the Jews and Gentiles who have accepted Jesus as the Messiah, there is but one True God, and one true Lord. That is: there is only one master who really matters because he— as God's anointed —has been given authority by God to be supreme over everybody in the whole wide world.

Dan 7:13-14 . .As I looked on, in the night vision, one like a human being came with the clouds of heaven; he reached the Ancient of Days and was presented to Him. Dominion, glory, and kingship were given to him; all peoples and nations of every language must serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship, the one that shall not be destroyed.

But that does not grant Christians a license to practice anarchy. Although the world's lords are inferior in rank to God's anointed, Christians are still obligated to comply with the other lords because it is God's will for them to do so.

Rom 13:1-2 ...Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

Titus 3:1 ...Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,

1Pet 2:13-16 ...Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.

Ancient Judaism regarded civil authorities as Gods.

Ps 82:6 ...I had taken you for divine beings ('elohiym), sons of the Most High, all of you;

The crooked judges of Psalm 82 weren't actually true Gods. But they sat in God's place and their position therefore merited the respect of God. It was a death offense in ancient Judaism for anyone who refused to comply with Israel's lords.

Deut 17:8-13 ...If a case is too baffling for you to decide, be it a controversy over homicide, civil law, or assault-matters of dispute in your courts— you shall promptly repair to the place that the Lord your God will have chosen, and appear before the levitical priests, or the magistrate in charge at the time, and present your problem. When they have announced to you the verdict in the case, you shall carry out the verdict that is announced to you from that place that the Lord chose, observing scrupulously all their instructions to you.

...You shall act in accordance with the instructions given you and the ruling handed down to you; you must not deviate from the verdict that they announce to you either to the right or to the left. Should a man act presumptuously and disregard the priest charged with serving there the Lord your God, or the magistrate, that man shall die. Thus you will sweep out evil from Israel: all the people will hear and be afraid and will not act presumptuously again.

Gentile bibles make Jesus a God because they say: "there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live."

Yes; as God's Word, he is through whom all things came— but not from whom all things came. All things are from the True God.

1Cor 8:6 ...yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live;

May I ask for whom you live? Isn't it the True God too? Jesus was preached to us Gentiles so that we might live for the God of the Jews instead of for the heathen deities of which we are so famous.

1Cor 12:2 ...You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.

1Thes 1:6-9 ...You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia— your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,

Eph 2:11-13 ...Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)— emember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

1Pet 1:21 ...Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

By the way, this is not the only place in the NT where the authors attempted to claim that Jesus was the Lord (God) They fraudulently butchered the reference to Psalm 110:1 when they had Jesus claiming absurd things about the word 'adown. It's amazing that with all that Christians claim Jesus to be, that this guy didn't know even the most basic Hebrew.

The real problem is in your own ballpark. You are trying to read your perception of the Hebrew writings into the Greek writings instead of just letting the New Testament authors tell you themselves what they mean by them.

The Messiah can be referred to as lord ('adown) but the Messiah can never be referred to as Lord ('Adonay)

There is no corresponding word in Greek for 'Adonay, nor is there one for Yhvh either. Kurios is used for all manner of lords, even for the titles of sir, mister, and master. An additional base-word translated "lord" is despotes (des-pot'-ace) and means: sovereign absolute ruler— a despot. It too is a very ambiguous word like kurios and only the context itself can determine how to apply it. Here's a couple of samples of the use of despotes. In one verse it refers to God; in another, to those who own slaves.

Acts 4:24 ...When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. "Sovereign Lord," they said, "you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.

1Tim 6:1…All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God's name and our teaching may not be slandered.

You can't blame Jesus for the way biased Gentile translators have manipulated the New Testament's grammar and spelling. That second "Lord" in Matthew 22:44 really should be spelled with a lower case L so that modern Gentiles, looking in on an ancient Jewish discussion, don't go away with the wrong impression.

Jesus himself, during prayer, said at John 17:3, there is only one True God; and he also taught the great Shema:

Matt 22:35-38 . .One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.

Since Jesus agreed with the Shema, and truly believed there is only one True God— which he publicly taught, and also voiced in prayer —then there is just no way he would be dumb enough to misquote Psalm 110:1 and infer that it meant: Yhvh said to my 'Adonay. Jesus likely spoke either Aramaic or Hebrew. Unfortunately the New Testament authors wrote in Greek, and it's just about impossible to duplicate those languages verbatim in Greek.

Ps 110:1 and Matt 22:44 are commonly used by many Gentile Christians in an attempt to prove Jesus is the True God. But it just won't work when that Psalm is interpreted in its contemporary context. Jesus quoted Psalm 110 to point out that Messiah is a higher ranking king than his father David. The old boy himself is supposed to have the higher ranking because that is what Moses' Law specifies regarding parents and children. So his question to them is an enigma: How can David's child rule over its parent especially since both men are on equal footing as kings of the Davidic dynasty? Well the answer to that is obvious. According to Daniel 7:13-14, Messiah is the most supreme human being imaginable, with the rank of a deity, and therefore deserves far more respect than David; and easily outranks him.

Messiah's elevation caused a good deal of perplexity among the ancient rabbis, and many modern ones can't deal with it at all, especially because of Jesus of Nazareth. To agree with the Old Testament's teachings about Messiah would put them in agreement with the New Testament's teachings about Y'shua, and that is just simply out of the question. So they have taken to putting their energies into refuting their own Hebrew Scriptures in order to fend off Christianity.

I can hardly blame you for misunderstanding the New Testament. I'm sure it must be very frustrating for you, a man trained in Hebrew, to cope with Greek ambiguity. No, I blame Gentile translators who lack a Jewish perspective of the Tanakh. It's their fault that people are getting the wrong idea about Jesus; most especially in translations intended for Gentile use.

Jesus was STILL ignorant of Psalm 110. That Psalm never says one single word about David's son, nor does it say one single word about the Messiah.

The 'adown of Ps 110:1 has to be one of David's sons because no other family in Israel has the right to rule.

2Sam 7:16 . .Your house and your kingship shall ever be secure before you; your throne shall be established forever.

2Sam 23:5 . .Is not my House established before God? For He has granted me an eternal pact, drawn up in full and secured.

Ps 89:4 . .I have made a covenant with My chosen one; I have sworn to My servant David: I will establish your offspring forever, I will confirm your throne to all generations.

The 'adown of Psalm 110 is a person of lower rank than Yhvh, yet superior to David.

Ps 110:1 . .Yhvh said to my master; Sit at My right hand while I make your enemies your footstool.

This presents a sticky theological problem; which most definitely involves one of David's sons; and following is an explanation why.

David has no master other than the True God. No man, and no potentate on earth, is superior to David.

Ps 89:27-28 . .He shall say to Me; You are my father, my God, the rock of my deliverance. I will appoint him My firstborn, highest of the kings of the earth.

Apparently Jesus' Jewish opponents never quite understood the ramifications of David's position in God's home as a firstborn son because when questioned about it; they couldn't answer him.

Matt 22:41-46 . .While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them; What do you think about Messiah? Whose son is he?

. .The son of David; they replied.

. .He said to them; How is it then that David, speaking by The Spirit, calls him master? For he says; Yhvh said to my master: Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.

. .If then David calls him master, how can he be his son? No one could say a word in reply

Every instructed Jew knows very well that within the family hierarchical structure, the paterfamilias outranks his own posterity.

Ex 20:12 . .Honor your father and your mother

David, and the males who succeeded him on the throne, were all kings; and in that respect, were all equals. However; though his sons were kings too just as he was; David himself of course would be superior in rank to all of them because of his position as paterfamilias in the line of Davidic royalty. So then, in order for one of his own royal posterity to outrank David, it's necessary for that one particular Davidic monarch to hold the rank of Yhvh; which in practicality; is really no different than Joseph promoted to the rank of Pharaoh (Gen 44:18).

David held an enviable position over and above any human monarch you can possibly name (except for one).

Ps 89:27-28 . .He shall say to Me; You are my father, my God, the rock of my deliverance. I will appoint him My firstborn, highest of the kings of the earth.

David's position in God's own household as firstborn is second in rank only to the paterfamilias of the household: God himself. So then, in order for any man to outrank David, the individual would have to hold a rank lying somewhere above the firstborn, and just under God. To my knowledge, there has never been a slot in that location. David's "master" therefore; must hold the rank of God in order to be his superior.

This is not all that difficult to either figure out or to understand; however, it presents an inevitable dilemma for Jesus' Jewish opponents because Moses' covenanted law forbids honoring anyone but Yhvh as God.

Ex 20:1-5 . .God spoke all these words saying; I Yhvh am your 'elohiym who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage: You shall have no other 'elohiym besides Me. You shall not make for yourself a sculptured image, or any likeness of what is in the heavens above, or on the earth below, or in the waters under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them.

Deut 6:4-5 . .Hear, O Israel! Yhvh is our 'elohiym: Yhvh alone. You shall love Yhvh your 'elohiym with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Is it any wonder then, why Jesus' Jewish opponents were unable to answer his question?

But really; if this is so easy to figure out, then why weren't they able to answer him? Their problem was psychological scotoma; which is a subconsciously induced mental blindness caused by the mind's propensity to disregard concepts that are incongruous with deep seated, preconceived notions.

Since the minds of Jesus' Jewish opponents were already set in concrete that it's blasphemous to honor anyone but Yhvh as God, then it was impossible for them to reason through the obvious ramifications of Ps 110:1

We have a saying in the construction trades: Start wrong: finish wrong. In other words, since Jesus' Jewish opponents were unable to see the that one of David's sons ranks as God, then everything they built upon that error would only send their Messianic theology that much farther off the mark.

According to Isaiah 40:25, God has no equals. "To whom then will you liken Me, that I should be his equal? says the Holy One"

The way I see it, that section doesn't regard someone who has been honored by God to sit at His right hand. It applies to pagan idols; and to world rulers who cannot hold on to their regimes against God's interference because they are simply no match for His powers.

Isa 40:18-20 …To whom, then, can you liken God, what form compare to Him? The idol? A woodworker shaped it, and a smith overlaid it with gold, forging links of silver. As a gift, he chooses the mulberry— a wood that does not rot  then seeks a skillful woodworker to make a firm idol, that will not topple.

Isa 40:23-25 …He brings potentates to naught, makes rulers of the earth as nothing. Hardly are they planted, hardly are they sown, hardly has their stem taken root in earth, when He blows upon them and they dry up, and the storm bears them off like straw. To whom, then, can you liken Me, to whom can I be compared?

What about Isaiah 48:11? "and My honor I will not give to another."

Same thing. God simply will not permit an idol to take credit for the things He has done for His people.

Isa 48:3-5 …Long ago, I foretold things that happened, from My mouth they issued, and I announced them; suddenly I acted, and they came to pass. Because I know how stubborn you are (Your neck is like an iron sinew and your forehead bronze), therefore I told you long beforehand, announced things to you ere they happened— that you might not say, "My idol caused them, my carved and molten images ordained them."

You are misinterpreting. God said in Hosea 13:4, "Yet I am the Lord thy God, and thou shall know no God but Me, for there is no savior beside Me."

The Bible does not teach that Messiah is a God; but rather, it teaches that Yhvh promoted him to the rank of God.

The Hebrew word for savior in that passage is yasha` (yaw-shah'). It is not only used of God, but also of whomever God appoints to rescue His people from their troubles. In the Tanakh, yasha` is sometimes rendered savior, champion, liberator, and deliverer. Yasha` is used of saviors other than God in Judg 3:8-11, Judg 3:14-15, 2Ki 13:3-5, Neh 9:26-27, Isa 19:19-20, and Obed 1:19-21.

Hosea 13:4 is once again just a comparison between the impotency of idols and the power of the True God; and between depending upon the instability of world political powers compared to the rock solid protection of the Sovereign Lord.

Hos 13:1-2 …When Ephraim spoke piety, He was exalted in Israel; But he incurred guilt through Baal, And so he died. And now they go on sinning; they have made them molten images, idols, by their skill, from their silver, wholly the work of craftsmen. Yet for these they appoint men to sacrifice; they are wont to kiss calves!

Hos 13:9-11 …You are undone, O Israel! You had no help but Me. Where now is your king? Let him save you! Where are the chieftains in all your towns whom you demanded: "Give me a king and officers"? I give you kings in my ire, and take them away in My wrath.

The prayer for the Davidic Messiah in the Amidah [also called the Shemosh Esreh, i.e., the eighteen foundation petitions in modern Judaism] talks about waiting for God's salvation to come through His Messiah, the one literally called, "the horn of salvation". A footnote to this benediction in the ArtScroll Siddur reads, "Here we are taught that the ultimate salvation of the Jewish people is possible only through the Davidic Messiah."

Objection: Are you claiming that the Messiah is equal to God?

I do not believe the New Testament's Jesus regards himself equal to the True God.

John 14:28 . .for the Father is greater than I.

Nor did he attempt to attain equality.

Php 2:6 . .Christ Jesus did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.

Although Messiah now shares God's throne, it does not make him an equal with God any more than sitting at a king's right hand. It is an honor; but it does not make someone truly equal to the king. It only means that a king regards his guest as an equal to himself— as Solomon did with his mom in 1Ki 2:19. In the end, Messiah will hand his kingdom over to God, and submit himself to God's authority because God is his superior.

1Cor 15:24-28 . .Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he "has put everything under his feet." Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

Although Messiah is in the Divine chain of command, he entertains no ambitions to usurp God's authority nor to rival Him as another God. Messiah loves the one True God and is doing all in his power to advance His agenda and to protect His best interests; just as Joseph did as Pharaoh's prime minister. Although Joseph wielded all the power and authority of Pharaoh's name, he never tried to depose Pharaoh nor to take his place, but rather was careful to look out for Pharaoh's best interests and to do as he was told.

Objection: In those days many kings and emperors claimed to be gods in order to claim divine authority, but never the kings of Israel and Judah; not even David. I am Jewish and I simply cannot worship a human being as God.

Here's something to think about. What if the Tanakh's God were to promote a human being to the rank of God? You see, that would make it okay for a human being to be God. He wouldn't be God intrinsically, no; but still, a man who holds the rank of God would merit all the worship and service that the name of God deserves; plus, he would also have the promoted right to be addressed as God if God, at the time of the man's promotion, granted the man the privilege of using God's name for himself.

That's an angle that very few Jews ever think to consider unless somebody forces the issue.

Dan 7:13 . .As I looked on, in the night vision, one like a human being came with the clouds of heaven; he reached the Ancient of Days and was presented to Him. Dominion, glory, and kingship were given to him; all peoples and nations of every language must serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship, the one that shall not be destroyed.

Php 2:9-11 . .God exalted him to the highest place and gave him The Name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

What is "the" name that is above every name? Yes, that's right: it's Yhvh. So then; refusal to bend the knee to the New Testament's Jesus as Yhvh insults the honor and dignity of the True God's name.

John 20:28-29 . .Thomas said to him; My Lord and my God! Then Jesus told him, Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.

Thomas was no fool. All the apostles were fully instructed in the Old Testament. He was well aware that there is but one true God; and Jesus himself believed the very same thing (John 17:3). So then, how was Thomas able to address Christ as "my God" without going against the very grain of everything he was covenanted to obey? Easy. Thomas was taught that Messiah would be titled with the name of God by the one and only True God himself.

Ps 45:6-7 . .Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, set you above your associates when He anointed you with the oil of joy.

Rabbis and Jewish translators have tinkered with that passage in a futile attempt to avoid the obvious. God is either speaking to Himself, or He is speaking to a human king of Davidic royalty. Thomas no doubt believed the later and that's why he addressed Jesus as "my God"

But how can God bestow His name on someone with the purpose of making people bow down to the recipient?

Bowing down is not the singular purpose of promoting someone to the rank of God. No, people are also to serve and obey that person just as if the individual were the True God himself; and they are to serve and obey not out of respect for the person, but out of respect for God's name. It's not without precedent.

There are a fair number of angel-sightings recorded in the Tanakh. One angel in particular [called Metatron in sacred Jewish literature] appears to be so high ranking, and so holy, that it is authorized to go by God's name and to be treated, regarded, received, and worshipped, as Yhvh Himself. Just exactly what the story is on that angel is hard to know for sure; but in the Scripture texts it is clear that the demarcation between God and the angel (whose name is his Master's) is so blurred that the two often appear to be one and the same person.

The most famous of Metatron' appearances was at the burning bush with Moses. It also appeared to Hagar on the road to Shur, and was Israel's guide during their wanderings in the desert for forty years. It was involved in Abraham's offering of his son Isaac, it was Jacob's redeemer, and that same angel called Moses up into the mountain and gave him the covenanted Law. Moses and his associates saw that angel with their own eyes and the Scripture says it was God whom they saw in those encounters (Ex 24:9-11). It was obviously not actually the True God, but because Metatron goes by God's name, it is proper to regard that particular angel as if it really is.

Messiah's exaltation to the status of a divine being was predicted in the Tanakh.

Isa 53:13 . .Indeed, My servant shall prosper, be exalted and raised to great heights.

Isa 9:5 . .For a child has been born to us, A son has been given us. And authority has settled on his shoulders. He has been named "The Mighty God is planning grace; The Eternal Father, a peaceable ruler"

Dan 7:13-14 . .In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Ps 45:6-7 . .Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, set you above your associates when He anointed you with the oil of joy.

Objection: Aren't forgetting Isaiah 42:8? "I am Yhvh; that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another"

If you'll take the time to read that whole section, you'll readily discover that Yhvh is not talking about someone like Jesus, but rather, He invalidates the opinion of some that Yhvh is just another god among a pantheon of gods; sort of like the USA's governors. We don't have just one governor, currently we have 50; and they are all equal in rank. But the Tanakh's God is not like that. He is not one among fifty of equal rank (Isa 45:5-22, and Isa 46:9).

Jacob's uncle Laban is a case in point. He recognized Yhvh as a legitimate god, but the meanwhile kept a supply of household gods with whom he practiced divination. As far as he was concerned; gods are gods, and one is just as good as another.

Don't try to evade the fact that God is not a man (Num 23:19)

That's right, God is not a human being; in point of fact Jesus said God is a spirit being rather than a mortal being (John 3:6, John 4:24)

However, there are numerous incidents in the Old Testament of God mingling with human beings in the form of a human being. That doesn't make God a man any more than mingling with man as fire, wind, Shekina, voice, earthquake or angel makes Him a fire, a wind, an earthquake, a Shekina, a voice, or an angel; no, it just makes the Old Testament's Yhvh resourceful.

If you were a native of Mars when the latest Lander arrived; and knew nothing of Earth's technology, I suspect you would conclude that the Lander was an Earthling. Well, think of Yhvh's appearances as fire, wind, earthquake, human beings, Shekina, and angels like the Lander. It's just His way of mingling and communicating with human beings. The True God in all of his full existence can't come to earth so He utilizes forms that we are all familiar with so He doesn't scare the be-jabbers out of His creations. According to the New Testament, the Bible's God in His full existence radiates enough light energy to incinerate anything and everything made of all-natural materials. I myself do not want a being like that anywhere even remotely near my neighborhood.

Personally, I think that a Messiah with the rank of God makes perfect sense. And such a Messiah would not compete for the loyalty of Yhvh's people as per Isa 42:8. No, as an appointee, he would be obligated to worship and serve the True God just like everybody else or risk losing both his job and his rank; just as Joseph too would have lost both his job and his rank had he failed to serve Pharaoh faithfully. Though Joseph wielded Pharaoh's signet, and was, for all practical intents and purposes, Pharaoh to the people; yet Joseph was still accountable to the true Pharaoh.

The New Testament's Jesus informed his followers that their God was his God too.

John 20:17 . .Jesus said; Do not detain me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brethren and tell them; I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.

Looking back over the Old Testament, Yhvh has never ruled over His people directly. No, He has always, without exception, ruled via proxies; with leaders like Moses, like Joshua, like the Sanhedrin, like the Judges, and like the Kings. In point of fact, the throne of the Kings is clearly identified as Yhvh's throne.

1Chrn 19:23 . .Solomon successfully took over the throne of Yhvh as king in his father David's place; and all went well with him.

I have it from good authority, that some rabbis of the past understood Ps 45:7-8 to actually apply to each reigning king of the Davidic dynasty; so that it is correct, and not blasphemous, to serve a reigning king of the Davidic dynasty as if he were God. No, they are not really God, but the ramification is that they sit in for God while seated upon Yhvh's throne ruling over Yhvh's people.

David fully understood it just like we say because he foresaw one of his own posterity of kings to become higher in rank than himself though he is the patriarch of Davidic royalty.

Ps 110:1 . .Yhvh said to my 'adown; Sit at My right hand while I make your enemies your footstool.

Normally patriarchs hold the higher rank among their own posterity. However, a Davidic king with the rank of God obviously outranks any, and all, of the patriarchs, including Mr. Abraham, and that's why David referred to his normally lower-ranking posterity as 'adown— which means: master.

As the patriarchal king of the Davidic dynasty, David has no master other than the True God. No man, and no potentate on earth, is of higher rank than David.

Ps 89:27-28 . .He shall say to Me; You are my father, my God, the rock of my deliverance. I will appoint him My firstborn, highest of the kings of the earth.

So then, the 'adown of Ps 110:1 obviously has to be someone with the rank of God because nobody can be David's master unless they 1) are the True God, or 2) hold the rank of God.

Can you read Hebrew or know someone who does? Without telling them where you got it, ask them to give you a literal translation of the 7th verse in Psalm 45. The words go something like this:

Kis'aka 'elohim 'olam wa'ed

If your friend can be kept in the dark about the source of those words, they will have no trouble translating them like this: "Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever." Those words are clearly addressed to a human Davidic king within the context of that Psalm.

God and His anointed are often described in equally exalted terms, and similar reverence is required for both.

In Psalm 83:19, God is "the supreme over all the earth." While in Psalm 89:28 it is the Davidic king, designated significantly as "firstborn" who is highest of the kings of the earth. In Psalm 86:9, "all nations will come to bow down" to Yhvh. Yet in Psalm 72:11, all kings bow down to the Davidic king mentioned in verse 1.

In 1Chrn 29:20, the people blessed The Lord and bowed their heads low to Yhvh and to David. In Psalms 2:11 and 100:2, the rulers and peoples are exhorted to worship and serve Yhvh, while in Psalms 18:44 and 72:11, it is the Davidic king they must worship and serve.

If Psalm 45:7 means exactly what it says; then it proves that God has granted Davidic kings the status of divine beings. It doesn't mean they are True Gods. It only means that they have a right to all the respect and worship and reverence and service and allegiance that is due to a position of that ranking just as if God Himself occupied David's throne. Anyone who fails to provide that degree of respect to a Davidic king insults the dignity of God's name.

Jewish scholars have sometimes forced the translation of certain key words in Psalm 45 in order to avoid the powerful implications of the text. This is seen clearly in the 1917 JPS version, which renders Psalm 45:7 as "Your throne, given of God,." The translators created the words "given of God" out of thin air. The 1985 version renders it; "Your divine throne is everlasting." The Stone Tanach renders it: "Your throne is from God, it is forever and ever." The ArtScroll version is more acceptable with: "Your throne, O ruler, is forever and ever, (for) the scepter of equity is the scepter of your kingdom."

On the other hand, Gentile scholars, in narrowly applying the words to Jesus alone, have sometimes failed to explain the original context of the Psalm, which was addressed to an earthly king contemporary with the author of the Psalm.

The word 'elohim has other meanings than God. It can also refer to god, gods, angels, and civil authorities; all of which are, in a sense, divine beings. It is also important to note that in the ancient Near East, the kings of Mesopotamia and Egypt considered themselves, and were regarded as, true gods. That, however, was never the case in monotheistic Israel. Rather, the Davidic king was a highly exalted human, recognized as God's unique son. Here in Psalm 45, the Hebrew language was stretched to its limit, speaking of the Davidic king as 'elohim, a divine being.

Failure to see the extreme exaltation of the Davidic kings is a grave handicap that prevents uninformed observers from understanding how the New Testament applies the Hebrew Scriptures to Jesus. Davidic kings are to be especially revered above all other world rulers on the whole planet— respected and obeyed in the very same way that God Himself should be respected and obeyed. Some of you reading this are not prepared to meet the next King of Israel. You would certainly no doubt insult him deeply with your currently low opinion of the Davidic dynasty. According to 1Chrn 29:23, the Davidic throne is the throne of Yhvh— its occupant should therefore be treated accordingly.

Elohim never means "divine beings".

Actually, it always means divine beings mainly because it is a plural word meaning: gods.

In the 1985 JPS Tanakh are several examples of the word 'elohiym being translated divine being.

In Psalm 82, God rails on crooked judges for favoritism and for mistreating the disadvantaged. In verse 6, those men are called divine beings, which is from 'elohiym.

I had taken you for divine beings, sons of the Most High, all of you; but you shall die as men do, fall like any prince.

Jacob wrestled with a male human angel (Gen 32:23-33) who is called a divine being; which is from 'elohiym.

Hos 12:4 …In the womb tried to supplant his brother; grown to manhood, he strove with a divine being.

That same angel is called 'elohiym, a divine being, in Genesis.

Gen 32:31 …So Jacob named the place Peniel, meaning, "I have seen a divine being face to face, yet my life has been preserved."

'Elohiym is a versatile word with more than one application; it is not solely restricted to identifying the one True God. Even heathen deities like Dagon and Baal are 'elohiym.

I did read the Hebrew of Psalm 45:7 and what you are implying is idolatrous!

Nevertheless, it really does say, quite literally, "Your throne O God is for ever and ever."

[ There are at least two instances in Rabbinical literature in which the words of that verse are explicitly understood to mean "Your throne O God is for ever and ever." And the verse itself is cited to prove that God's throne is eternal. See: Otsar HaMidrashim, Hekhalot, sec.3; and Shnei Luhot HaBerit, Sefer Bamidbar-Devarim, Parashat Shofetim, Torah Ohr, 2. ]

One might refuse, for conscience sake, to bend their knees to kings of the Davidic dynasty. Nevertheless, according to 1Chrn 29:23, David's throne is the throne of Yhvh. So any man occupying that throne is sitting in for God because God can't be here to do it Himself. Therefore, that man, whoever he might be, has to be worshipped and revered, and served and respected just as if he were God because in theory, and in practice, that is just who he is. Here's what I mean:

When a subordinate is asked to take over while the supervisor is out, then the subordinate is sitting in for the supervisor and wields all the authority and power that particular position merits; just as the American Vice President would merit if he had to take over the Presidency for a while like when President Bush transferred presidential power to Vice President Cheney recently while he was under anesthesia for a colonoscopy. The subordinate must therefore be respected and obeyed by his peers just as if he were the super himself. That is the principle behind the worship of Jesus of Nazareth. His supporters believe him to be Israel's next king. Therefore he deserves all the respect and honor and service and obedience and worship that is due to a person in a position that occupies the throne of Yhvh; which indeed David's throne in fact is.

If one can't worship God's anointed, then they should at least respect the position and the throne that he occupies. Some Jews would not like it if the real Messiah were to suddenly show up in Eretz Israel this week-end because he would be very unhappy with their complete lack of respect for Yhvh's throne.

You might want to examine the literal of this next verse too and see what it says about kings of the Davidic dynasty.

Isa 9:5 …For a child has been born to us, A son has been given us. And authority has settled on his shoulders. He has been named "The Mighty God is planning grace; The Eternal Father, a peaceable ruler"

The Hebrew doesn't actually say that, does it? I'm sure you can see right off how the editors of the JPS took a little liberty there and inserted "is planning grace". If we leave the insertion out, and let the verse go as is; then it reads like this:

"He has been named The Mighty God, The Father Of Eternity,"

So you see it is most appropriate to regard kings of the Davidic dynasty as God— and Eternal Father too. If one cannot do that, then they should at least try to give him the respect due a divine being.

David, in prayer, worshipped Yhvh as Israel's eternal father.

1Chrn 29:10 …David blessed Yhvh in front of all the assemblage; David said; Blessed are you Yhvh, God of Israel, our Father, from eternity to eternity.

Therefore the Davidic king referred to in Isaiah 9, named Mighty God and Eternal Father, must be given the same respect and honor due David's Yhvh in 1Chrn 29:10 because he rules upon Yhvh's throne and is authorized to go by His names. Any Jew who is not prepared to honor a Davidic king as they would honor God, is a treasonous Jew, and currently displays grossly inadequate respect for the Davidic dynasty and for Yhvh's throne.

Isaiah 9:5-6 refers to Hezekiah, not to Messiah.

There are people who believe that passage in Isaiah refers to Hezekiah; and I admit their arguments are very plausible and not without some merit. However, the Hezekiah theory wasn't the consensus view among the ancient rabbis. Some of them believed that Isa 9:5-6 is a parenthesis in the historical record predicting Messiah to be a future king of much greater piety and effectiveness than Hezekiah, and one who would liberate Israel once and for all from all foreign oppression.

The Targum of Jonathan renders the latter part of verse 5 as: "His name shall be called God of wonderful counsel, man abiding forever, the Messiah, whose peace shall be multiplied upon in his days."

Hezekiah's tenure didn't live up to the predictions in Isa 9:5-6. His kingdom did not usher in peace without limit. It was eventually destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and the people taken into slavery. Nor did his kingdom continue firmly established in justice and in equity now and evermore. The very next king filled Jerusalem with innocent blood (2Ki 21:1-17). So the predicted son has to be someone else decidedly worthy of names like: The Mighty God, The Father Of Eternity, and The Prince Of Peace.

No, there is a king yet to come who truly will usher in an era of "peace without limit" and in his days, the kingdom will not only be "firmly established" and "firmly established in justice and in equity" but also "now" and "evermore".

Isa 2:1-4 . .In the days to come, The Mount of Yhvh's House shall stand firm above the mountains and tower above the hills; and all the nations shall gaze on it with joy. And the many peoples shall go and say: "Come, let us go up to the Mount of Yhvh, to the House of the God of Jacob; that He may instruct us in His ways, and that we may walk in His paths." For instruction shall come forth from Zion, the word of Yhvh from Jerusalem. Thus He will judge among the nations and arbitrate for the many peoples, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks: Nation shall not take up sword against nation; they shall never again know war.

Isa 11:1-9 . .But a shoot shall grow out of the stump of Jesse . . Justice shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his waist. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard lie down with the kid; the calf, the beast of prey, and the fatling together, with a little boy to herd them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion, like the ox, shall eat straw. A babe shall play over a viper's hole, and an infant pass his hand over an adder's den. In all of My sacred mount nothing evil or vile shall be done; for the land shall be filled with devotion to Yhvh as water covers the sea.

Christian translators tampered with Isaiah 9-5-6. The original Hebrew is in the past tense— a child was born; a child was given. So it cannot be applied to a future king.

It wasn't unusual for Isaiah to speak in the past tense regarding things yet future. Following is a couple of examples of that practice.

Isa 51:3 . .Truly the Lord has comforted Zion, comforted all her ruins; He has made her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the Garden of the Lord. Gladness and joy shall abide there, thanksgiving and the sound of music.

The past tense, as well as the future tense, are both used of Israel in that verse regarding blessings yet to take place. Using the past tense is all the same as saying "It is done" when in fact nothing has actually been done yet. That same formula was utilized in Rev 21:1-6, regarding the coming new world, to assure New Testament readers of the immutability of its predictions.

Several verses in Isaiah's 53rd chapter (2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-12) plus 52:14, are also in the past tense, which, if strictly chronological, would mean Isaiah recorded the events as having already taken place before he even wrote them down; and would instantly preclude the Holocaust as a fulfillment of Isa 53 since World War II occurred roughly 2,600 years after the completion of Isaiah's prophecy.

God tells us that He is a jealous God, and He gets really disturbed when Mankind treats ANYONE or ANYTHING else AS IF they were God.

You're simply going to have to make an exception. The Psalms treat at least one of the Davidic kings, if not all, as if he were God.

Ps 45:7 …Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever; your royal scepter is a scepter of equity. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; rightly has God, your God, chosen to anoint you with oil of gladness over all your peers.

And Isaiah regarded one of them as God too.

Isa 9:5-6…For a child has been born to us, a son has been given us. And authority has settled on his shoulders. He has been named The Mighty God; The Father Of Eternity, the Prince Of Peace—in token of abundant authority and of peace without limit upon David’s throne and kingdom, that it may be firmly established in justice and in equity now and evermore. The zeal of Yhvh of Legions shall bring this to pass.

I would refer you to Ezekiel 28 where God frowns upon treating human beings as if they were God.

I have an excellent use for that passage in comparing God's anointed with the Serpent's anointed.

The first ten verses refer to a superb, extremely competent Gentile ruler who is described as: "wiser than Daniel." But the ruler did not rule alone without assistance nor in his own power. Verses 11-19 reveal the true source of his success: "You were in Eden, the garden of God . .O shielding cherub"

Ezekiel describes an unholy alliance between a political figure and his unseen spirit advisor— a perfect model of all anti-Christs. The Serpent, a very subtle puppeteer, quietly and discretely guided Tyre towards evil, in a worldly commercial system, swollen with conceit, and indifferent to how God might feel about anything. Arrangements like this, I believe, are the true impetus behind much of the world's political tensions, and behind all large scale anti-Semitic agendas.

Then there's The Branch. What a contrast! God's anointed is sacred, pious, unselfish, and dedicated to running his God-given kingdom in the power and glory of the True God— honoring the True God in all that he does. His unseen spirit advisor is of course Yhvh, in an unbeatable alliance.

Ps 45:2-5 …My heart is astir with gracious words; I speak my poem to a king; my tongue is the pen of an expert scribe. You are fairer than all men; your speech is endowed with grace; rightly has God given you an eternal blessing. Gird your sword upon your thigh, O hero, in your splendor and glory; in your glory, win success; ride on in the cause of truth and meekness and right; and let your right hand lead you to awesome deeds.

Isa 9:5-6 . .For a child has been born to us, a son has been given us. And authority has settled on his shoulders. He has been named The Mighty God; The Father Of Eternity, the Prince Of Peacein token of abundant authority and of peace without limit upon David's throne and kingdom, that it may be firmly established in justice and in equity now and evermore. The zeal of Yhvh of Legions shall bring this to pass.

Only you and your idolatrous Christian clique would consider a man to be God.

You still don't get it!? Not to be God— but rather, to be honored as God. Let me put it to you like this: Do you believe the Shekinah is God? No, of course you don't. It represents God, but it's not really God. But do you believe the Shekinah is divine? I'm sure you do. Do I believe Messiah is God? No I don't. But do I believe Messiah is divine? Yes, and I'm convinced the Tanakh makes that very clear.

Some day, The Lord Himself (haa-'Adown) is returning to Jerusalem.

Mal 3:1 …Behold, I am sending My messenger to clear the way before Me, and 'Adonay whom you seek shall come to His Temple suddenly. As for the messenger of the covenant that you desire, he is already coming.

The most spectacular way for God to reside in the presence of His people is by The Glory.

1Chrn 7:1-3 . .When Solomon finished praying, fire descended from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of Yhvh filled the House. The priests could not enter Yhvh's House, for the glory of The Lord filled Yhvh's House. All the Israelites witnessed the descent of the fire and the glory of Yhvh on the House; they knelt with their faces to the ground and prostrated themselves, praising Yhvh, "For He is good, for His steadfast love is eternal."

Now supposing, just supposing, that The Glory were not only housed within the Temple, but also housed within a Davidic monarch? What then? What should our reaction be? How should the people of the world behave towards a Davidic monarch who's very body houses the The Glory? And the site of that man's throne where should it be set up? In David's palace? Or wouldn't it be far more appropriate, out of respect for The Glory, to situate that man's throne right inside the very most holy place behind the curtain in the Temple?

The New Testament's Jesus is just such a man.

Col 2:9…For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

If Jesus is not God, then how is he a Divine son?                       

We answered that objection fully in an earlier section. However, there is another route wherewith Messiah attained Divine sonship that is worth discussing.

All of the Davidic kings hold the rank of God's kin.

2Sam 7:11b-14a ...The Lord declares to you that He, the Lord, will establish a house for you. When your days are done and you lie with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own issue, and I will establish his kingship. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish his royal throne forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to Me.

Ps 2:7 ...Let me tell of the decree: the Lord said to me, “You are My son, I have fathered you this day."

Therefore Messiah holds the rank of a fathered son of God, just like all the other Davidic kings before him. That is a very high rank. A fathered son of God, whether actual or positional, absolutely has to be given all the respect and worship and obedience merited by his father's name; most especially if the fathered son holds the rank of an only son. Any lower opinion of Messiah would amount to disrespect for God's name.

In John 8:58 Jesus claimed to be in existence before Abraham, which would of course be a bizarre thing for a mere man to say. He even emphasized it by saying "I am" which was how God identified himself to Moses.

Previously we talked about the relationship between God's word and the man Jesus. Just in case you missed the point; I'll repeat that the man Jesus is a mortal who has not existed all that long. He was born only a mere two thousand years ago.

Luke 1:26-33 …In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

Jesus of Nazareth was born of a Jewish mother and descended from Abraham: he did not precede him.

Luke 3:34 …the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,

So how can a mortal, born after Abraham, claim to pre-exist his own grandfather? Some people, like Shirley MacLaine, say they lived previous lives. Well... Jesus is somebody who really did. Although God's word didn't pre-exist as a man named Jesus, it did pre-exist as God.

John 1:1-3 …In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

John 3:13 ...No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

1John 1:1-3 …That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus the Messiah.

The angel concealed within the blazing fire of Moses' bush at Ex 3:2, was not actually God in person; but nevertheless it spoke for God, it spoke as God, and it commanded the respect of God— and its name was not only Yhvh, but it was also I AM. Jesus of Nazareth is very much like the angel in that blazing fire. He is a mortal manifestation of God's word: he speaks as God, he commands the respect of God, and he has been authorized to use God's names for himself just like the angel in that blazing flame did.

God did NOT identify Himself to Moses by saying "I am." God said "Ehyeh asher ehyah," which the Septuagint translated into Greek as "Ego Eimi Ho On" (I am THE BEING)

Okay by me.

Why would Thomas call Jesus "my God" if indeed he wasn't?

Didn't we discuss that twice already; first here, and then again here? However, we'll take a different track this time.

John 20:27-29 …Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Jesus commended Thomas not for believing he was God, but for believing he rose from the dead.

John 20:24-29 ...Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it." A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Because of Jesus' resurrection, Thomas came to believe that Jesus was Messiah, the ultimate Davidic king. According to Scripture, kings of the Davidic dynasty hold the rank of a Divine being.

Ps 45:1-7 …My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever. Gird your sword upon your side, O mighty one; clothe yourself with splendor and majesty. In your majesty ride forth victoriously in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness; let your right hand display awesome deeds. Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king's enemies; let the nations fall beneath your feet. Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.

Messiah's appointment to the rank of Deity was predicted in the Old Testament.

Dan 7:13-14 …In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Isa 52:13 …See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.

If the writer of Psalm 45 was at liberty to call a contemporary Davidic king God, and if Isaiah and Daniel predicted Messiah's promotion to the rank of Deity, then I don't see why Thomas couldn't address Jesus as his God. Surely a man whom Thomas considered to be Messiah— whom he believed pre-existed as Gods' word, and whom he believed to be God's heir apparent —should receive at least the very same honor and respect as any ordinary king of the Davidic dynasty. Messiah is the closest approach to the actual person of the True God that human beings are ever going to get. For all practical purposes then, in matters of worship and service, Messiah is Yhvh, and everybody is just going to have to cope with it.

The New Testament's Jesus failed to fulfill some very important predictions regarding the Old Testament's Messiah; e.g. the establishment of the theocratic kingdom.

Good point! Let's talk about that.

Daniel predicted that Messiah would arrive on the world scene in 483 years (69 heptads) commencing with the issuance of an edict to rebuild Jerusalem.

Dan 9:25 . .You must know and understand: From the issuance of the word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the [time of the] anointed leader is seven weeks; and for sixty-two weeks it will be rebuilt, square and moat, but in a time of distress.

Important Note: Do not confuse the edict to rebuild Jerusalem with Cyrus' edict to rebuild the Temple (Ez 1:1-3) as construction of the Temple under Ezra preceded the rebuilding of Jerusalem under Nehemiah.

The edict to rebuild Jerusalem was issued by Artaxerxes (a.k.a. Artaxerxes 1) in roughly 445BC (Neh 1:1-2:18). Adding 483 prophetic years to 445BC comes out to approximately 32CE. Even with the use of 483 standard solar years it comes out to no later than 38CE.

Daniel also predicted that Messiah would disappear and the second Temple destroyed by a foreign power.

Dan 9:26 . .And after those sixty-two weeks, [a total of sixty-nine when you factor in the first seven weeks] the anointed one will disappear and vanish. The army of a leader who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary

The second Temple, and the city of Jerusalem, were destroyed by Titus in 70CE. So that Messiah, whoever he was, is supposed to have been here already sometime between 32CE and 70CE unless of course Daniel's prediction failed. Did it fail? Let's assume Daniel's prediction didn't fail— then what? Then that would mean Messiah didn't establish the theocratic kingdom on his first tour, but obviously intends to establish it some other time.

I don't get it. Why would Messiah leave Israel without establishing the kingdom?

To begin with, it was absolutely essential that he leave Israel because prophecy cannot be broken. Daniel predicted Messiah would disappear sometime between his arrival and the destruction of the second Temple (Dan 9:26). The Hebrew word translated "disappear" in the 1985 JPS Tanakh is karath (kaw-rath') which means; not to disappear, but rather, to cut off; which in the Old Testament often means to either excommunicate, destroy, cut a deal, chop in pieces, disown, banish, die, or kill.

The Stone Tanach translates that portion in Daniel as: "the anointed one will be cut off and will exist no longer"

Another reason Jesus bailed is related to the chronic habit of Yhvh's people failing to heed their own sacred messengers.

As a corporate body, the nation of Israel rejected the New Testament's Jesus as the ultimate Davidic monarch. That fatal error led to the withdrawal of the offer to restore the kingdom in Christ's day. He continually, and tirelessly, advertised that the kingdom was "at hand" viz: ready to be installed and up and running if only the nation, as a corporate body, would repent. It didn't; and subsequently activated the biblical axiom that if you reject God, He will reciprocate and reject you.

Zech 7:11-13 . .But they refused to pay heed. They pulled away the shoulder and turned a deaf ear. They hardened their hearts like adamant against heeding the instruction and admonition that Yhvh of Legions sent to them by His spirit through the earlier prophets; and a terrible wrath issued from Yhvh of legions. Even as He called and they would not listen, "So" testified Yhvh of Legions; "let them call and I will not listen."

Also, at the time, Jesus was not yet in charge. He had to go up to God's abode on official business and get his crown as per another of Daniel's predictions.

Dan 7:13-14 . .As I looked on, in the night vision, one like a human being came with the clouds of heaven; He reached the Ancient of Days and was presented to Him. Dominion, glory, and kingship were given to him; All peoples and nations of every language must serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, And his kingship, the one that shall not be destroyed.

Had the people of Israel, as a corporate body, accepted Jesus' claims, and met the prerequisite of repentance, he would have returned immediately after his coronation to install the kingdom.

The next time Messiah appears on the world scene is a big mystery. The time element has never been predicted, so it's what we call "imminent" that is: Messiah could return any moment; and I can assure you that the world is not going to like his entrance one bit; especially Jews.

Rev 1:7 . .Look! . .he's coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will wail because of him.

For a preview of some awesome worldwide panic due to Jesus' return, take a look at Zechariah 14:1-21

Epilogue                     

According to Yhvh's own personal testimony, His very own people have always been blind and deaf to His teachings. Their spiritual stupidity has been chronic from the very beginning;

Starting with Moses:

Deut 29:1-3 . .Moses summoned all Israel and said to them; You have seen all that Yhvh did before your very eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his courtiers and to his whole country: the wondrous feats that you saw with your own eyes, those prodigious signs and marvels. Yet to this day the Lord has not given you a mind to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear.

Then Isaiah:

Isa 6:810 . .Then I heard the voice of my Lord saying; Whom shall I send? Who will go for us? And I said; Here am I; send me. And He said; Go, say to that people: Hear, indeed, but do not understand; See, indeed, but do not grasp. Dull that people's mind, stop its ears, and seal its eyes— lest, seeing with its eyes and hearing with its ears, it also grasp with its mind, and repent and heal itself.

Then Ezekiel:

Ezk 12:1-2 . .The word of the Lord came to me: O mortal, you dwell among the rebellious breed. They have eyes to see but see not, ears to hear but hear not; for they are a rebellious breed.

Then Jesus:

Matt 13:13-15 . .In them are all the elements of Isaiah's prophecy: You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.

The Pharisees, the priests, and the Sanhedrin of Jesus' day were well educated in all that is in the Tanakh; but they were just as off-base as a blind man in a dark room groping for a black cat that isn't there. They were blind, deaf, and spiritually stupid and that's why they failed to recognize the time of Messiah's first appearance on the world scene in the country of Israel.

Luke 19:41-43 . .As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it, and said; If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace— but now it is hidden from your eyes.

Important Note: Just because an interpretation is Jewish is not an eo ipso guarantee that what Rabbis say is the truth. If I am to go by Yhvh's own personal testimony, then the worst ethnic group on earth from whom to seek truth are His own people.

You know, any school kid with a cursory knowledge of ancient history, working with Daniel and a budget electronic calculator, can easily figure out Messiah was supposed to be here sometime in the first century CE. It's not rocket science. If modern Judaism doesn't want the New Testament's Jesus to be Messiah; fine, don't. Then give me the name of a Jewish man from that century who was more qualified than Jesus to be The One.
 

The basic New Testament Christian beliefs we just went through are far from exhaustive; but sufficient to give the casual observer a pretty fair overview of some key Bible doctrines. There's lots of other stuff of course, but our web site is dedicated to many of those topics elsewhere so we really don't want to try and cover everything in just this one chapter.

Related References

Bare Naked Essentials

Answering Jewish Objections To Jesus
by Michael L. Brown
Volume 1 ISBN 0-8010-6063-X
Volume 2 ISBN 0-8010-6334-5
Volume 3 ISBN 0-8010-6423-6

 

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