10 years without christianity – part 6

Hesediah: OK, another installment. If you’ve been following us so far, you’ll know the deal: this guy called, coming up to 10 years without christianity, about to hit a landmark at Passover/Pesach this year. We’re in the last few days of the Hebrew month of Adar before the Hebrew month Nissan begins, which has Passover on the 14th/15th day. We’re gonna continue with this interview since we found ourselves in quite an interesting place.

So David, hi again!

David: Hi Hesed.

Hesediah: I like that, us on first name terms. Let’s cut to the chase. You said that a significant number of messianic prophecies claimed by christians aren’t even messianic prophecies. You even gave some examples which showed us how texts that have no speck of messiah in them are used by such people as prophecies when they are not even predictions or not even relevant. David, tell me, what sort of numbers are we looking at? How many “messianic prophecies” are not even messianic prophecies?

David: Hesed, I don’t have an exact number. I’ll at least give a clue though. I’ll give examples of Genesis and Psalms.

With regards to Genesis, I went through all the messianic claims made there and there is only one doubtful reference in Genesis 49:10 that could possibly, but nowhere near definitely, points to a ruler figure. But it has so many translations, and so many interpretations, it is far from being anything definitive. The problem with Genesis is that none of the passages christians use can be used to clearly refer to a single individual ruler figure or the times in which he would live. They play off the words “seed” and “offspring” but that Hebrew word in and of itself and the context in which it is used do not point to “messiah”. These passages don’t refer to kingship or rulership, and the word “blessing” is too vague to point to just one person [some passages say that nations would be blessed by the “seed”]. In fact, when you read these passages in context, they refer to many offspring, many descendants not just one (Genesis 13:15,16; 15:5). More importantly, God tells Abraham that this “seed” will go to a land not theirs and be slaves within a 400 year time span after Abraham but that God would bring them out with great substance. This prophecy is fulfilled when Abraham’s seed, his descendants, the children of Israel are enslaved by Egypt and then saved by God with great wealth. So these passages definitely are not messianic. There are other passages used in Genesis, but these fall in the category of either not being a prediction or messianic, like the text about Melchizedek, or irrelevant with regards to messianic prophecies.

Genesis accounts for 10 passages that christians claim are messianic. Remember I said “passages”! Remember from my last interview that christians can sometime take multiple prophecies from one passage. So I don’t know how many “messianic prophecies” or messianic claims christians get from these passages. But that is one whole book that cannot be used as clear evidence for the identity of the promised anointed king descended from David.

Again, I’m not interested in “spiritual” meanings. I want to know what the text says for itself.

And now Psalms … oh yes, the Psalms! If there is one book that has been pillaged to kingdom come by christians looking for messianic prophecies, it is this one. But the vast majority of claims made from this book, if not all of them, are not messianic prophecies. Some whole chapters that christians put so much emphasis on have no sign, on their own, that they are prophecies at all. Like Psalm 22, where, from how the text looks, it just has the writer describing his own difficulties. And yet, because of the mistranslation of one verse, christian take it differently. But the whole chapter says absolutely nothing about it referring to a messiah, says nothing about rulership, says nothing that points out one individual, so it’s not a messianic prophecy. Most of it is in the past tense referring to the past.

Look, at the root of all issues with Psalms is one thing: it’s a book of songs. Yes, a book of songs! This book was written as a means of worship so that the Levites could sing it at the temple or so that the worshipper could relate to its words as they pray to or praise God. Remember, it is a book of songs that uses poetic language and hyperbole (a form of over-exaggeration) and metaphor and simile. If there is one place you should not turn to for a strong messianic prophecy, it is here. Can you imagine it? You got a person and say, show me prophecy, and they turned and say, let me just get my songbook? Why not the words of the prophets? Why a songbook? That’s the wrong place, wrong context for prophecy.

When I was going through these passages, the amount of times I would ask myself “Is this a prophecy?” “Does it clearly refer to a specific future king [not just a song that can be sung for any Israelite king]?” and I would end up with every answer being “no”, it was pathetic. I don’t think there was one passage in Psalms that was clearly messianic (referring only to that one specific end-times king) and clearly a prophecy. Even the more famous psalms like Psalm 2, Psalm 45 and Psalm 110 didn’t stand up to scrutiny. And for all these passages, one of their greatest weaknesses was that they were songs, there was nothing about them, when read on their own with as few presuppositions as possible, that screamed out “please ignore the context of this songbook and see me as a prophecy!”

Look, look, I know, I know. Some christian is gonna dispute this. That is inevitable. But I’ll say it again: there was no part of the Psalms, the songs of praise, that was overtly and clearly a messianic prophecy, a prediction pointing to the one specific king descended from David that would do great things, based on the text.

This book accounted for 39 passages used by christians, and I’m not even gonna try and guess how many “messianic prophecies” they got from these passages. But you can see from both Genesis and Psalms, a vast majority of their “messianic prophecies” are dead in the water.

Hesediah: I asked this before and I’ll ask again: how did this happen? How can it? How can these types of christian get such a big list and call these “messianic prophecies”?

David: The problem is false advertising. The christians who made this list weren’t looking for messianic prophecies in the objective sense.

Hesediah: WHAT??? But … but …

David: Hesed, Hesed, take a drink and relax for a second! I’ll say it again and then explain. The christians who made this list were not looking for messianic prophecies: they were looking for Jesus!

Hesediah: You’re gonna have to explain yourself, David. But you’ll have to save that explanation for our next installment.

Thanks to whoever is reading this. And maybe we’ll see you next time.

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2 Comments

  1. searchinmyroots

    David,

    Excellent perspective, I enjoyed reading it. The only thing I would say is that a Christian might agree with you. They might say you hit the “nail” (pun intended) on the head. They believe the Jews were waiting for a messiah king who would be victorious over the rulers of the kingdom at that time. They might say that is where we were wrong, that Jesus didn’t come to “save” us from tyranny, he came to save us from our sins first.
    Of course we know there is no biblical support for that, but they will use the nt to support their beliefs.
    They read the nt and work backwards. If we suggest the JW’s and Mormons and Islam did the same thing, they still wouldn’t agree. But, there does seem to be a large movement in accepting Judaism as truth. B”H

    • Thanks for leaving a comment. I agree with what you say. I think I’ll deal with your point in a future installment because it is a question that has been, is, and will be raised as long as christians read backwards.

      Enjoy your day.

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