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A Refutation of the Jews

Discussion in 'Debate Other Religions & Faiths' started by Al Masihi, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. Al Masihi

    Al Masihi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It is a frequent polemic of the Jews that vicarious atonement by means of a human being is wrong and pagan, forbidden by the God they claim and profess to follow, and against their Tanakh. Let us see what the God they claim to serve says and what the scriptures they claim to profess say:

    The word “kalil” is used frequently in the Old Testament and usually means the whole of something and more specifically whole burnt offerings:

    “They shall teach Jacob thy ordinances, and Israel thy law; they shall put incense before thee, and whole burnt offering (wa’kalil) upon thy altar.”

    Deuteronomy 33:10

    In the Old Testament we did many instances in which God both accepts and demands the death of the wicked as a burn offering:

    “If you hear in one of your cities, which the LORD your God gives you to dwell there, that certain base fellows have gone out among you and have drawn away the inhabitants of the city, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which you have not known, then you shall inquire and make search and ask diligently; and behold, if it be true and certain that such an abominable thing has been done among you, you shall surely put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, destroying it utterly, all who are in it and its cattle, with the edge of the sword. You shall gather all its spoil into the midst of its open square, and burn the city and all its spoil with fire, as a whole burnt offering (kalil) to the LORD your God; it shall be a heap for ever, it shall not be built again. None of the devoted things shall cleave to your hand; that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and show you mercy, and have compassion on you, and multiply you, as he swore to your fathers, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God, keeping all his commandments which I command you this day, and doing what is right in the sight of the LORD your God.”

    Deuteronomy 13:12-18

    What does their Talmud say:

    MISHNAH. THE INHABITANTS OF A SEDUCED CITY HAVE NO PORTION IN THE WORLD TO COME, AS IT IS WRITTEN, CERTAIN MEN, THE CHILDREN OF BELIAL, ARE GONE OUT FROM AMONG YOU, AND HAVE WITHDRAWN THE INHABITANTS OF THEIR CITY. THEY ARE NOT EXECUTED UNLESS THE SEDUCERS ARE OF THAT CITY AND THAT TRIBE, AND THE MAJORITY THEREOF ARE SEDUCED, AND THE SEDUCERS ARE MEN. IF WOMEN OR MINORS SEDUCED IT, IF A MINORITY WERE SEDUCED, OR IF THE SEDUCERS WERE FROM WITHOUT THE CITY, THEY ARE TREATED AS INDIVIDUALS, AND TWO WITNESSES AND A FORMAL WARNING ARE NECESSARY FOR EACH [OFFENDER]. IN THIS [THE PENALTY OF] INDIVIDUALS IS SEVERER THAN [THAT OF] A MULTITUDE, FOR INDIVIDUALS ARE STONED, THEREFORE THEIR PROPERTY IS SAVED; BUT MULTITUDES ARE DECAPITATED; HENCE THEIR POSSESSIONS ARE DESTROYED.

    THOU SHALT SURELY SMITE THE INHABITANTS OF THAT CITY WITH THE EDGE OF THE SWORD. A COMPANY OF ASS-DRIVERS OR CAMEL-DRIVERS PASSING FROM PLACE TO PLACE SAVES IT. DESTROYING IT UTTERLY, AND ALL THAT IS THEREIN, AND THE CATTLE THEREOF: FROM THIS IT WAS DEDUCED THAT THE PROPERTY OF THE RIGHTEOUS, WHICH IS WITHIN [THE CITY] IS DESTROYED, BUT THAT WHICH IS WITHOUT IS SAVED, WHILST THAT OF THE WICKED, WHETHER WITHIN OR WITHOUT, IS DESTROYED. AND THOU SHALT GATHER ALL THE SPOIL THEREOF IN TO THE MIDST OF THE PUBLIC SQUARE THEREOF ETC. IF IT HAD NO PUBLIC SQUARE, ONE IS MADE FOR IT; IF IT WAS [SITUATED] WITHOUT [THE TOWN], IT IS BROUGHT WITHIN IT, AS IT IS SAID, AND THOU SHALT BURN WITH FIRE THE CITY, AND ALL THE SPOIL THEREOF EVERY WHIT, FOR THE LORD THY GOD.

    THE SPOIL THEREOF’ IMPLIES, BUT NOT THE SPOIL OF HEAVEN. HENCE IT WAS RULED, THE HOLY OBJECTS THEREIN MUST BE REDEEMED; THE TERUMOTH ALLOWED TO ROT; AND THE SECOND TITHE AND THE SACRED WRITINGS HIDDEN. A WHOLE-OFFERING FOR THE LORD THY GOD: R. SIMEON SAID: THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, DECLARED, IF YE EXECUTE JUDGMENT UPON THE SEDUCED CITY, I WILL ASCRIBE MERIT TO YOU AS THOUGH YE HAD SACRIFICED TO ME A WHOLE OFFERING. AND IT SHALL BE A HEAP FOR EVER: [HENCE] IT MAY NOT BE CONVERTED INTO GARDENS AND ORCHARDS: THIS IS THE VIEW OF R. JOSE THE GALILEAN. R. AKIBA MAINTAINED: IT SHALL NOT BE BUILT AGAIN [IMPLIES] THAT IT MAY NOT BE REBUILT AS IT WAS, BUT MAY BE CONVERTED INTO GARDENS AND ORCHARDS. AND THERE SHALL CLEAVE NOUGHT OF THE CURSED THING TO THINE HAND: [THAT THE LORD MAY TURN FROM THE FIERCENESS OF HIS WRATH, AND SHEW THEE MERCY]: AS LONG AS THE WICKED EXIST IN THE WORLD, THERE IS FIERCE ANGER IN THE WORLD; WHEN THE WICKED PERISH FROM THE WORLD, FIERCE ANGER DISAPPEARS FROM THE WORLD. (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 111b Babylonian Talmud: Sanhedrin 111; bold and under line emphasis ours)

    Although the scriptures do teach that humans, particularly infants cannot be sacrificed to pagan idols forcefully, the idea of vicarious atonement through human blood is something clearly taught in the Old Testament:

    The Old Testament also states that the death of the high priest makes atonement for involuntary manslaughter:

    "If a man strikes someone with an iron object so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. Or if anyone has a stone in his hand that could kill, and he strikes someone so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. Or if anyone has a wooden object in his hand that could kill, and he hits someone so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death; when he meets him, he shall put him to death. If anyone with malice aforethought shoves another or throws something at him intentionally so that he dies or if in hostility he hits him with his fist so that he dies, that person shall be put to death; he is a murderer. The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death when he meets him. But if without hostility someone suddenly shoves another or throws something at him unintentionally or, without seeing him, drops a stone on him that could kill him, and he dies, then since he was not his enemy and he did not intend to harm him, the assembly must judge between him and the avenger of blood according to these regulations. The assembly must protect the one accused of murder from the avenger of blood and send him back to the city of refuge to which he fled. He must stay there until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the holy oil. But if the accused ever goes outside the limits of the city of refuge to which he has fled and the avenger of blood finds him outside the city, the avenger of blood may kill the accused without being guilty of murder. The accused must stay in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest; only after the death of the high priest may he return to his own property. These are to be legal requirements for you throughout the generations to come, wherever you live. Anyone who kills a person is to be put to death as a murderer only on the testimony of witnesses. But no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. Do not accept a ransom for the life of a murderer, who deserves to die. He must surely be put to death. Do not accept a ransom for anyone who has fled to a city of refuge and so allow him to go back and live on his own land before the death of the high priest."

    Numbers 35:16-32

    "Then the LORD said to Joshua: ‘Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood. When he flees to one of these cities, he is to stand in the entrance of the city gate and state his case before the elders of that city. Then they are to admit him into their city and give him a place to live with them. If the avenger of blood pursues him, they must not surrender the one accused, because he killed his neighbor unintentionally and without malice aforethought. He is to stay in that city until he has stood trial before the assembly and until the death of the high priest who is serving at that time. Then he may go back to his own home in the town from which he fled.’"

    Joshua 20:1-6

    To push our point even further and prove the continuity between the two Testaments and in refutation of the Christ rejectors, the high priest also affected the entire nation negatively if and when he sinned:

    "And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Say to the people of Israel, If any one sins unwittingly in any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and does any one of them, if it is the anointed priest who sins, THUS BRINGING GUILT UPON THE PEOPLE, then let him offer for the sin which he has committed a young bull without blemish to the LORD for a sin offering.’"

    Leviticus 4:1-3

    This is perfectly in line with Hebrews 2:17 and Christianity:

    “Therefore in all things he had to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.”

    And to drive this even further, I will provide some proofs from the Greek scriptures rejected by the Jews and Protestant Christians, the so called “Apocrypha:”

    When they saw that he [Eleazar] was so courageous in the face of the afflictions, and that he had not been changed by their compassion, the guards brought him to the fire. There they burned him with maliciously contrived instruments, threw him down, and poured stinking liquids into his nostrils. When he was now burned to his very bones and about to expire, he lifted up his eyes to God and said, "You know, O God, that though I might have saved myself, I am dying in burning torments for the sake of the law. Be merciful to your people, and let our punishment suffice for them. Make my blood their purification, and take my life in exchange for theirs." And after he said this, the holy man died nobly in his tortures, and by reason he resisted even to the very tortures of death for the sake of the law.

    4 Maccabees 6:24-30

    For just as towers jutting out over harbors hold back the threatening waves and make it calm for those who sail into the inner basin, so the seven-towered right reason of the youths, by fortifying the harbor of religion, conquered the tempest of the emotions. For they constituted a holy chorus of religion and encouraged one another, saying, "Brothers, let us die like brothers for the sake of the law; let us imitate the three youths in Assyria who despised the same ordeal of the furnace. Let us not be cowardly in the demonstration of our piety." While one said, "Courage, brother," another said, "Bear up nobly," and another reminded them, "Remember whence you came, and the father by whose hand Isaac would have submitted to being slain for the sake of religion." Each of them and all of them together looking at one another, cheerful and undaunted, said, "Let us with all our hearts consecrate ourselves to God, who gave us our lives, and let us use our bodies as a bulwark for the law. Let us not fear him who thinks he is killing us, for great is the struggle of the soul and the danger of eternal torment lying before those who transgress the commandment of God. Therefore let us put on the full armor of self-control, which is divine reason. For if we so die, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob will welcome us, and all the fathers will praise us." Those who were left behind said to each of the brothers who were being dragged away, "Do not put us to shame, brother, or betray the brothers who have died before us."

    4 Maccabees 13:6-18

    "They vindicated their nation, looking to God and enduring torture even to death." Truly the contest in which they were engaged was divine, for on that day virtue gave the awards and tested them for their endurance. The prize was immortality in endless life. Eleazar was the first contestant, the mother of the seven sons entered the competition, and the brothers contended. The tyrant was the antagonist, and the world and the human race were the spectators. Reverence for God was victor and gave the crown to its own athletes. Who did not admire the athletes of the divine legislation? Who were not amazed? The tyrant himself and all his council marveled at their endurance, because of which they now stand before the divine throne and live through blessed eternity. For Moses says, "All who are consecrated are under your hands." These, then, who have been consecrated for the sake of God, are honored, not only with this honor, but also by the fact that because of them our enemies did not rule over our nation, the tyrant was punished, and the homeland purified -- they having become, as it were, a ransom for the sin of our nation. And through the blood of those devout ones and their death as an expiation, divine Providence preserved Israel that previously had been afflicted. For the tyrant Antiochus, when he saw the courage of their virtue and their endurance under the tortures, proclaimed them to his soldiers as an example for their own endurance, and this made them brave and courageous for infantry battle and siege, and he ravaged and conquered all his enemies.

    2 Maccabees 17:10-24

    There’s way more proof texts to further confirm the legitimacy of vicarious atonement through human blood, but I’ll stop here as this is sufficient enough in my opinion, you can read more on this topic here:

    Can the death of a human being make atonement for sins?

    Judaism and Human Sacrifice as a Means of Atonement
     
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  2. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    I think I've seen that objection before coming from Jewish rabbis in an article or two. But that kind of argument is coming out of their own theology of Torah Observance as the primary method of worshiping God, which is far removed from the Judaism of the Bible especially that of the Old Testament. It is however funny that they have something that almost looks like a "bloodless sacrifice" in their theology, but rather than coming from Christ and from Holy Communion it is a final rationalization that even though their scriptures called for sacrifice the fact that God allowed the destruction of the temple meant he willed that it would be done away with. But it's very interesting the kind of affect that Cognitive Dissonance can have on shaping theology and philosophy (according to the text they were in Checkmate).
     
  3. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

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  4. Al Masihi

    Al Masihi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Human sacrifice to pagan idols is forbidden in the Book of Leviticus, the righteous self sacrificing themselves or the death of the wicked as a man’s of atonement is taught by the Hebrew Scriptures.
     
  5. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    What I hear you saying is, "Human sacrifice to pagan idols is forbidden but human sacrifice of the righteous or the wicked to God is taught by the Hebrew Scriptures."

    The Debate Other Religions & Faiths forum is not really for debate between Christians. So, your best bet is to post your ideas in the Oriental orthodox forum or Traditional Theology forum. (I think your status used to be OO.) Personally, I prefer that people do not use the generic designation "Christian."
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
  6. Al Masihi

    Al Masihi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I wouldn’t call it human sacrifice, but there are instances of humans atoning for the sins of others numerous times in the Hebrew Bible and in the New Testament in the case of Christ.

    I’m not officially part of any Christian denomination, I’ve not been baptized yet. What I’m posting is a refutation of Rabbinical Jewish objections to Christ’s atonement for our sins on the cross, so this would be the correct place to post such a thing. Also this topic concerns all Christians not just Orthodox Christians since we all believe in Christ’s humanity and divinity and his death on the cross as a sacrificial lamb for our sins.
     
  7. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    I started a new thread about Christ's death on the cross as a sacrificial lamb for our sins. It would be nice if you decide to participate. Even though I disagree with your perspective, here, you often have intelligent and insightful ideas.

    Penal Substitution
     
  8. Al Masihi

    Al Masihi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It’s a terrible argument in my opinion, most of their arguments are designed and meant to target and overwhelm the average and ignorant Evangelical Christian, in reality I’m starting to realize how weak most of their apologetics really are. Today’s Rabbinic Judaism which was literally born out of a rejection of Christianity has nothing to do with the religion of the prophets or the Mosaic Covenant, its a man made faith made by the rabbis. They don’t have sacrifices or a Temple, while Christianity has both, it has the Church of Christ and the Eucharist where the ultimate sacrifice that is Christ is eaten again and again. I’m really interested in the continuation between the Old Testament and Orthodoxy through Apostolic tradition, its a subject I’m trying to pursue.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020 at 9:32 AM
  9. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    Well much of that, I got from dialoguing with Protestants and dealing with their various claims and assertions. I actually found studying the history of worship as far as liturgy goes really educational.
    Their is a kind of fallacy that Christianity "went native" when the gentiles took over and the more you look at the ancient liturgies, the archaeology of ancient areas with their churches and synagogues and even homes, you realize how wrong that is. And on the other end of that, I have looked at the Jewish side of things as well.


    This sort of thing has led to some interesting insights. On Iconography for example, I can almost trace a step by step Evolution of it.

    1) From the Phylactery type wall placks that were used in the synagogue, "the mezuzah".

    2 to the Dura Europos synagogue using Wall paintings and Mosaics of Old Testament scenes (for a more gentile and less literate audience).

    3) to what we know of as "the icon".

    And along with this we got similar or the same Liturgical customs, of veneration things like touching a mezuzah with finger tips and kissing your fingertips. Talking about "writing" an icon instead of drawing it etc. Orthodox Judaism and Syriac Orthodox Christians customs very very similar.

    MEZUZAH - JewishEncyclopedia.com


    And then there is the whole issue of "Sacred space" in Judaism. Actually what some Orthodox rabbis said regarding things like the mezuzah and other sacramentals were very illuminating. They really fit well with the "windows of heaven" idea in Christian iconography at least with the EO. But they expressed it more in terms of things being "clear" vs. "opaque" (as far as revealing God and his glory etc.)


    A really big concept is the Jewish concept of Holiness from the Bible as being "set aside" for God's service. And that is a really big meta concept for the Bible etc. Their was a lecture/ sermon my old Coptic Priest gave on "the first Christian churches" which he heard years ago, and repeated from his lecture notes. The basic concept was very important to the proliferation of Christianity because in Judaism there are no "Take backs". If something is dedicated to God it stays in the service of God. So their was a wonderful proliferation of ancient churches because of this. Because in the early days the believers of a city wanted to worship together as "One Body", so they basically would outgrow their facilities and a need a bigger one. But when they did that those facilities stayed in service as smaller scale churches, chapels, shrines or whatever for the local populace.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020 at 7:33 AM
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