Monday, March 23, 2015

With Passover just around the corner, the rabbis are scrambling to tell the world it's got nothing to do with "Jesus"

Well, Passover is just around the corner, and OF COURSE the rabbis are doing their best to make sure the world knows Passover had NOTHING to do with “Jesus.” 

Under the comments section at one of his endless radio tirades against “Jesus”  - Australian radio host Jono Vandor wrote:  “The writer of Matthew clearly wants to depict Jesus as some sort of god-man, a demigod not unique from other such myths. The writer rips Isaiah 7:14 from it’s context and totally misrepresents it, applying a different meaning altogether. In doing so the writer makes Jesus’ geneology entirely irrelevant. In anycase, which ever way you choose, Matthew’s or Luke’s geneologies (they are different), or the “virgin birth” story, disqualifies Jesus as a messianic candidate. In fact, even if your theory were correct, you still have to choose one of two geneologies, neither of which will prove legitimate. You might find the last 14 minutes of this program of interest:

SIGH!  If they would only READ the Bible for it actually SAYS they would see their “two genealogies of Jesus” totally debunked!  The following are a few notes borrowed from an appendix in the AENT:

We must trace Mary's line through Matthew Chapter 1, and not Luke Chapter 3. When tracing Yeshua's genealogy in Matthew, the author refers to three sets of 14, or 42 generations until Yeshua. However, if we add up the generations, there are only 41. There is an explanation for this: The Joseph mentioned in Matthew 1:16 is the father of Mary, not the husband. Thus, Matthew Chapter 1 is actually describing Mary's lineage, and not Joseph's. This provides us with 42 generations.

Matthew 1:16 states, "Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary"...." Matthew 1:18-19 similarly provides, "Because Joseph her (Mary's) husband was a righteous man..." Based on this language, it appears the text is describing the same Joseph. This contention is reinforced by the Greek translation, where the word "aner" is used to describe Joseph in both contexts. However, when one examines the Aramaic version of Matthew, the Joseph mentioned in 1:16 is described as "gowra," a word used elsewhere in Matthew to signify "father". For example, the Greek translation of Matthew 7:9 provides, "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?". The Aramaic reads "which father (gowra) among you...."

The counter-argument is that Matthew was written in Greek and not Aramaic, thus, the point is moot. Historical evidence does not support this position. Papias, the Greek church leader who composed the earliest known information on the gospels, states that, "Matthew composed his history in the Hebrew dialect, and every one translated it as he was able." It is crucial to point out that Papias refers to the Hebrew dialect, and not the Hebrew language. The Hebrew dialect of the time was Aramaic.

Papias' contention is reinforced in Book V, Chapter 10 of his work, which discusses an Egyptian father named Pataneus who lived in the second century.The section provides: Pataneus went as far as India, where he appears to have found that Matthew's Gospel had arrived before him and was in the hands of some there who had come to know Christ. Bartholomew, one of the apostles, had preached to them and had left behind Matthew's account in the actual Aramaic characters, and it was preserved till the time of Pantaenus's mission.

The words "gowra" (Matt 1:16) and "baa'la" (Matthew 1:19) can both mean man or husband. Gowra, however, also means father (it is derived from a root word meaning strong one or protector). The question becomes, "Why would the author call the same Joseph a "gowra" in Matt: 1:6, and a "baa'la" in Matt: 1:9? The obvious answer is the author was speaking of two different men.

Oh...In addition, to throwing at us the "Jesus has two fathers" nonsense, they also attempt to toss in "the curse of Jeconiah" that supposedly negates "Jesus" ... Please see our article refuting this!

The problem with the argument is that since even the rabbis agree that the Messiah (whom they say is yet to come) must be of the bloodline of Solomon, if they argue Shealtiel and Zerubbabel disqualify any progenitor, then there can't be a Messiah! Period! So there must be a reason why the curses on Shealtiel and Zerubbabel don't affect the outcome. And there is...

Let's look at the actual curse:

"As I live" says the Lord, "even if you Coniah (meaning Jehoiachin; Coniah and Jeconiah are his cursed names) the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were a signet upon My right hand, I would tear you off. And I will give you to the hand of those who seek your life, and to the hand of those whose face you fear, to the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and to the hand of the Chaldeans. And I will cast you out, and your mother who bore you, to another country, where you were not born; and there shall you die. But to the land to which they desire to return, there shall they not return. Is this man Coniah a despised broken vessel? An object that no one cares for? Why are they cast out, he and his seed, and banished to a land which they know not? O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord." Thus says the Lord: "Inscribe this man childless, a man who will not prosper in his days; for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah."(Jeremiah 22:24-30)

What are the conditions listed in the curse?

Signet is removed as a sign of authority being taken away (he is no longer King of Judah).

His name is changed.

He will be childless.

He would not prosper in his days.

None of his offspring will prosper.

None of his offspring would sit on the throne.

None of his offspring would rule in Judah.

To evaluate the curse placed on Jeconiah, we must consider the different renditions of his name throughout the text. That is, cursed names are derogatory, by reversal and by shortening. Righteous men in the Tanach commonly have their names lengthened. The first time Jeconiah is mentioned is in the book of Kings which deals with his ascension while he was still righteous. His birth name is used in these verses (Jehoachin). (2nd Kings 24:6, 24:8, 24:12) In 24:15 the curse begins, and it is the last time we see this king's name mentioned or called by his birth name.

Moving forward, while the book of Kings speaks about this king using his birth name, the book of Jeremiah uses the shortened form of his name - Coniah. Jeremiah isn't discussing his ascension to the throne, he is discussing his exile. In these verses, which speak of the curse, the shortened forms of his name are used.

As we read in Jeremiah, the prophet never once calls him by his birth name except once - at the very end of his prophecy. The Torah tells us that we have a choice. A choice is given between life and death, good and evil. Hashem begs us to choose life. We see throughout the books of the Tanach that a negative prophecy can always be reversed through repentance.

The book of Jonah is the best example of this, where a cursed city repents after hearing the negative prophecy spoken against it. The curse is removed, not because God changed his mind, but rather because Ninveh chooses life. God puts the choice in front of us. A prophecy of good will not come to pass if those to whom it was given perform wickedly. God keeps his promises; He promised if we chose life, it will be good with us in our days.

Jeconiah languished in a dungeon in Babylon all the days of Nebuchadnezzer. He was imprisoned for 37 years. However, Jeconiah repented during that time according to Tanach, and according to the Jewish sages:

"And it came to pass in the thirty seventh year of the captivity of Jehoiachin King of Judah, in the twelfth month, in the twenty fifth day of the month, that Evil-Merodach king of Babylon in the first year of his reign lifted up the head of Jehoiachin King of Judah, and brought him out of prison, and spoke kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings who were with him in Babylon, and changed his prison garments; and he did continually eat bread before him all the days of his life. And for his allowance, there was a continual allowance given him by the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life." (Jeremiah 52:31-34.)

Jeremiah restored his birth name. No longer is the cursed name used as in every other chapter of Jeremiah. Jehoiachin is forgiven. Let's examine those conditions of the curse discussed earlier to see if they still apply:

1.  REVERSED - He is once again called King of Judah, and his throne is set above the kings of all the other kings in the Empire. The signet ring is restored to his grandson upon return to the land of Israel. (Haggai 2:23)

2.  REVERSED - His name is restored to Jehoiachin.

3.  REVERSED - He does in fact have children. (1 Chronicles 3:16-17) His son's name is Shealtiel. Shealtiel means, "I asked of God." Jewish sages understand that Jehoiachin asked God to forgive him while in prison and that God indicated his forgiveness by annulling his curse and giving him sons. The Jewish sages also suggest that Zerubavel, his grandson, will be the progenitor of the Messiah.

4.  REVERSED - It is evident from 2nd Kings 25 and Jeremiah 52 that he did in fact prosper in his days.

5.  REVERSED - See No. 7.

6.  REVERSED - See No. 7.

7.  REVERSED - His grandson Zerubavel did in fact rule in Judah, and did prosper, and did sit on a throne, as is clear in the book of Zechariah. Zerubavel returned to Judah, and the captives who returned with him appointed him leader. Do you think that such great sages and prophets as Ezra, Zechariah, Haggai, and Daniel would forget about this curse and appoint a person who could never rule in Judah?

Jewish anti-missionaries and those who have rejected "Jesus" will go to any lengths to "disprove" Yeshua as Messiah. They attack everything from Yeshua's genealogy to the virgin birth and whatever else the can think of.

Here is one more example:

A friend of The Refiner's Fire, Stephen Otto responded to some of Rabbi Singer's assertions thusly.  Otto wrote the following on his Facebook blog, "Let's Get Scriptural”:  

On March 20, 2014  Rabbi Tovia Singer, an anti-missionary, addressed New Testament "contradictions" on Truth 2U Radio with Jono Vandor. Singer stated, "John has Jesus crucified the day before the synoptics do. There is just no way out of that. And no one has addressed it because it is unaddressable."

What Mr. Singer is saying is that John has Yeshua crucified on Passover (John 19:31), while Matthew, Mark, and Luke have Him crucified on the first day of Unleavened Bread. Mr, Singer's claim that this contradiction is unaddressable seems to be disingenuous, for the Jews themselves provide the answer to this claim! The Encyclopaedia Judaica states, "The Feast of the Passover consists of two parts: The Passover ceremony and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Originally, both parts existed separately; but at the beginning of the [Babylonian] exile they were combined," Vol. 13, p. 169.

It is undeniable that this practice continued into the New Testament times. Notice the following Scriptures:

Matthew 26:17 states, Luke 22:1,"Now, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, drew near."

Mark 14:1 states, "The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were two days away...."

Mark 14:12 states, "On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover, His disciples asked Him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare that You may eat the Passover?”

Luke 22:1 states, "Now, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, drew near."

Luke 22:7 states, "Then, the day of Unleavened Bread came, on which the Passover must be sacrificed."

If Mr. Singer is so uninformed about the details of his own faith, why would we believe him regarding the details of our faith?

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