10 years without christianity – part 8
Hesediah: Welcome again to this interview with David. Passover marked his 10th year since he rejected Jesus and christianity. That’s the reason for these talks. So David, last time you asked me to read Isaiah 40-53 because something is blatantly missing from Isaiah 53. Since I’ve read it now, maybe you can let us know what exactly that is.
David: Just to recap, I had shown before that in order for a passage in the Jewish Bible to be used as a messianic prophecy, as proof for someone’s identity as messiah, it had to clearly and explicitly refer to a future king anointed with special oil who would rule Israel in the manner of David and Solomon; such a king would be a biological descendant of David (and Solomon) through the biological father. I’ll add that if the prophecy doesn’t clearly refer to the subject of the prophecy, then it can’t be used as a strong or compelling proof.
Hesediah: Ok, so now, Isaiah 53. What’s missing?
David: A messiah! There is no explicit sign of a person who matches the Jewish Bible’s clear criteria for an “moshiach”, an anointed king of Israel descended from king David. Nothing!
Hesediah: Sorry, David! That makes no sense when christians raise it so high as a great messianic prophecy. Doesn’t the section start with “my servant”?
David: Look, I’d prefer not to make this a point-by-point breakdown of Isaiah 53 and the reasons why it’s not a messianic prophecy. I’ve done things like this on my youtube (the playlist “300+ Messianic Prophecies? Not likely” at http://www.youtube.com/user/Hesediah) page and on the Messianic Prophecies Refuted section of my webpage http://www.leavingjesus.net/TC/TorahCreation/Tanakh/index.html). But let me just summarize my main point like this.
If you read from Isaiah 40 to Isaiah 53, you would see that there is no overt mention of a future anointed king descended from King David who would rule Israel, which is what “messiah” is according to the criteria of the Jewish Bible. The only time the Hebrew word “moshiach” is used, it only refers to a foreign king who lived and died in the past, King Cyrus (Isaiah 45:1). The only “servant of God” clearly mentioned the passages leading to Isaiah 53 is the nation of Israel or its righteous remnant, always a group and a nation, not an individual person. Now, like many other places in the Jewish Bible, the nation Israel is referred to in the singular many times, just like when God, through Moses, said to Pharaoh that Israel was his son, his firstborn, speaking of the nation Israel enslaved in Egypt (Exodus 4:22). So we have no issue with the servant of Isaiah being the nation of Israel and being referred to in the singular.
But what we have a problem with is that fact that messiah is nowhere clearly mentioned in the text. If we unjustly removed Israel as a contender, we are just left with the fact that the passage speaks of God’s servant and we are left with the problem of which of God’s servants it would refer to. There are just too many contenders for each part of the passage for us to say “this passage is messianic”, especially when a person appreciates the prophet’s use of figurative and metaphorical language. Since christians outwardly reject oral tradition and claim sola-scriptura, there is no authority to determine which parts of Isaiah 53 are figurative and which parts of literal. There are no clear points in Isaiah 353 for us to say “this passage is messianic based on the criteria for a moshiach according to the Jewish Bible”. This is textual and objective fact!
But if we notice what a christian does when he reads this verse, we will see the backwards thinking, the fact that he not only puts the cart before the horse, but launches it into outer space, leaving the horse stationary. Remember, the christian first gets convinced of the new testament stories of Jesus’ life first and then imposes it on texts that are not messianic. That’s what happened here. They empathize with Jesus’ alleged pain and passion and how he was allegedly rejected by some of the Jews and they make out that a inhumane slaughter, death by suffocation, on an execution stake or cross – something that has nothing to do with with ritual and sanctity – they turn this into a sacrifice, and imagine him ruling invisibly. They then carry this baggage to the Jewish Bible and to passages like Isaiah 53, passages that on their own say nothing overtly about messiah, and – surprise, surprise! – all of a sudden it becomes messianic, but not because of the text, but because of how they approached the text, their mindset and desire. They ignore how the chapters before and after refer to Israel the nation and just focus on finding Jesus.
Again – and I’ll reiterate – the sad thing about many, if not all the passages, proffered by the “300+ wannabe prophecies squad”, as many groups, is that their aim is not to bring out the natural meaning of the text of the Jewish Bible, no matter how sincere they are. Their aim is not to do an open unbiased investigation into what the messiah is and whether Jesus fulfils what the Jewish Bible says. They already have accepted their messiah-candidate, and the Jewish Bible can’t dare to get in their way. The belief in Jesus comes first and the text comes last; the Jewish Bible must bend and break according to that belief!
Hesediah: So are there any passages or prophecies in the Jewish Bible that christians use to prove Jesus is the Messiah that actually overt refer to an anointed king?
David: There are. But let’s deal with the facts first. The christians that make up these lists of so called messianic prophecies use the numbers game to force a person to question how one man can fulfil so many prophecies and not be the prophecied anointed descendant of David. But when you see how many of these “prophecies” are irrelevant with regards to the messiah issue, how more than 300 becomes just a handful, you begin to realize that the christian case for their candidate is a lot weaker than they make out. And when you look at the few that are left, you also see why there isn’t any biblical reason to accept Jesus as messiah.
Hesediah: Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s see what’s left and see what there is to see. In the meantime, thanks again for another discourse, David. I’ll see you next time. And to my readers, I hope I see you for the next session as well.
Have a good one!
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