10 years without christianity – part 9

Hesediah: Hi again, folks. Continuing with my interview with David, a man who left christianity over 10 years ago, let’s see if we can challenge him a bit. You ready, David?

David: I hope so. Got my seat-belt on, at least! LOL.

Hesediah: Ha! So I was going to start this interview by asking if there are clear prophecies about messiah that christians use to prove that Jesus is that messiah. But I can already guess what you’re going to say based on our previous interviews.

David: Oh yeah? What would I say?

Hesediah: You would most likely say that the clear and explicit messianic prophecies refer to a king, and based on the Jewish Bible’s precedent about kingship, i.e., David and Solomon, Jesus was no king, so he didn’t fulfill those clear passages, right?

David: Yep, that definitely a significant part of the issue. Whether you pick Isaiah 11 or Ezekiel 37 or Jeremiah 23 or 33, the most powerful point is that what is clear and observable was never done by Jesus or is made into metaphor and allegory by the christian which severely weakens their case, as metaphor and allegory can be manipulated to fit lots of people. One such aspect which is significant is that kingly role.

Hesediah: OK! But what about Daniel 9? It overtly mentions “Messiah”, at least when I read it in the King James Version.

David: Before I get to Daniel 9, I just want you to observe something with me.

Hesediah: OK, what’s that?

David: From over 300 supposed messianic prophecies, we’re basically left with one passage. One passage is not enough to make a messiah. If Jesus has been disqualified from all other messianic prophecies, then arguing Daniel 9 – I know we’re not arguing, just a turn of phrase – to argue Daniel 9 would be inconsequential because we should not build a whole Messiah figure off one verse or passage. The man had to fulfill all of them! Would you agree with that?

Hesediah: I think a christian would be reluctant to agree.

David: Yeah, I know that from personal experience. But for that christian, the issue now is not evidence or having a strong basis in the Jewish Bible for their beliefs. No, the issue now is the inner battle with vested interests. They’ve already sold their soul to the Jesus concept, and willingly too. There is emotion involved. You can’t just switch of your emotions. For any individual, that’s a battle they have to fight for themselves. But where you and I are concerned in this interview, would you agree that you can’t prove Jesus is the messiah based on one passage if he has failed on all the rest, or at the very least, there is no conclusive proof from any other passage proffered by the christians?

Hesediah: I have to agree with you. I hope you’re not trying to excuse yourself from explaining it though.

David: No, not at all. It’s just important to know where you are. If it happened that you went through all the passages given by christians, as I have done, and you finally reach this passage or the last few passages, then you should already have an idea, based on the track record of the christian distorting the facts regarding all the other supposedly messianic prophecies, there is little chance that the one or two stragglers are going to make up for the mass of failures you’ve already been through. I’m not saying “quit now” if you are going through the passages, as it is best to be thorough, but just be prepared to deal with another twisting of scripture to fit their belief in Jesus.

OK, again, I’m not going to talk my jaw off with discussing Daniel 9 or deal with every single point. I’ll just mention the obvious facts and then some of the hidden ones.

Firstly, if you read from the beginning of Daniel 9, Daniel is not vocally concerned about any messiah, but rather understanding the word of God to Jeremiah (Daniel 9:2) about the amount of years the Jews would be in exile. He then prays for repentance on behalf of his people so that God can show mercy and restore the people to Jerusalem. God then sends Gabriel to answer that prayer. OK, let’s deal with the facts now.

According to the plain reading of Daniel 9, things are going to happen in 70 weeks of years (each week is a period of seven years). No breaks in that period of time is mentioned. There is a period of seven weeks until one thing happens, then 62 weeks for something else to happen, and then 1 week for the final stuff to happen. Now notice, that irrespective of the use of the word Messiah, according to the christian rendering of the text, a “messiah” would be “cut off” at the end of the 62nd week (a total of 69 weeks after the beginning of the whole period). And within one week (a period of 7 years) after that cutting off, sacrifices should stop and the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (the Temple) will be destroyed.

Now let’s apply that last bit to Jesus. Remember we have no reason to twist or mess with the scripture to make it fit Jesus’ supposed experiences. He has to fit scripture, not the other way around. So according to the christian belief, the cutting off of this “messiah” is supposed to refer to the death of Jesus. So that would mean, according to the text of Daniel, within 7 years of Jesus’ death, sacrifices should stop and the city of Jerusalem and the Temple should be destroyed. What year is Jesus supposed to have died? Around 33CE. When was the city and the temple destroyed? Around 70CE? Oooops! That doesn’t look like a 7 year period. And wait there, did sacrifices stop 3 and a half years after Jesus died? Or did they stop when Jesus died? Nope. They carried on for over 30 years afterwards.

So already it’s obvious that Jesus didn’t fulfill this scripture. I know, I know. Christians have their excuses and reasons for making it fit and they have theories and this and that. But as I said, our job is not to make the scriptures fit Jesus. If they don’t naturally fit, we’ve got no reason to force Jesus into place.

Now the not-so-obvious stuff. Many christian translators play games with the translation of this passages. For example, the King James version mentions “the Messiah” and “Messiah”. But you realise something is amiss when you look at all the other times the Hebrew word is used in the Hebrew Bible, and every single other time it is just “anointed” or “anointed one”, never referring to that specific kingly descendant of David. What’s the difference, you say? Well, there’s a vast amount of difference, in the modern mind with the general word “anointed” which can refer to any high priest or king of Israel, and the leading word “Messiah” which has the definition in the minds of many of a specific special individual, distinct from any other king of Israel, that is promised to do amazing things. So the translators express their agenda rather than using a reliable way of translating scripture.

Also it should be added that there are 2 anointed ones mentioned in this passage, not one. The christian translators again try to clump two sections of time into one. Where the Jewish Bible refers to seven, sixty-two, and one, the christian translators ignore the syntax in Daniel 9:25 to say the following:

“from the going forth of the word [not commandment] to … build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks …. and after sixty-two weeks, Messiah will be cut off, and not for himself …”

This puts a picture in the minds of people that from the time of Jerusalem to the Prince Messiah (that specific special individual) will be sixty nine weeks, clumping seven and sixty-two into one period of time, when no civilisation in history counts like that (62+7, rather than 60+9, to make 69). But the actual Hebrew text says something else. This is what it should say:

“… from the issuing of the word to restore and build Jerusalem until an anointed one, a leader, shall be seven weeks; and for sixty-two week the street shall be built and a wall in troublous times. and after the sixty two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and have nothing …”

You’ll see all the difference and what the christian translators add to text:

1) and 2): they refer to “the messiah, the prince” making you only think of one person and the definite article makes you think it is a particular known individual. In the Hebrew, there was no definite article “the” – they added it – and for the sake of avoiding leading the reader to their conclusion, and for a consistent honest standard of translation, the words should have been left as “an anointed one, a leader”.

3) and 4): they move the separator, the semi-colon (;) or colon (:), to make two sections of time into one. The separator should come after the “seven weeks”. This is seen by the fact that verse 26 should say “after the sixty two weeks (not sixty nine weeks)”. You’ll see that they not only moved the separating colon (:), they also removed the definite article from “the sixty two weeks “, which is in the original Hebrew version.

5) Having already mentioned that they use dishonest inconsistent methods with the word “messiah”, they then mistranslate the words “v’ayn lo” as “and not for himself”. I remember investigating this all those years again and looking for every single usage of “v’ayn lo” or just “ayn lo” in the Hebrew. I don’t think there was one time it was translate as “and not for himself” but rather it always had to do with someone not having something, like not having a daughter or not having anything. So again, it’s the dishonest, inconsistent translating of the Hebrew text to force an agenda on the reader.

But from all this you can then see that the text is actually speaking of two anointed ones, one that was a leader who appeared at the end of the seven “weeks” after the starting point of the whole period, and one that appeared sixty-two weeks after that.

What was done here? What did the christian translators do to this text? Essentially, they did what I warned against earlier. They tried to make the scripture fit Jesus, using Jesus as the standard of truth, by dishonesty in translation rather than making sure Jesus fits the scripture, making the plain word of scripture the standard of truth and measure Jesus according to it. And by distorting their translation of scripture, they deceived many. And for the christian mind, the deception is worse because in their minds the word “messiah” is already equated with Jesus, so this text is just used to further seal their minds away in the trap called christianity.

Damn, I went on for longer than expected. Sorry.

Hesediah: No, no, that’s fine. It’s not like we can plan these things sometimes. But you give the mind a lot to chew on. I’ll have to use the time after this interview to figure out if there is anything more to discuss on the messianic prophecies front or whether we should move on. But thanks, that was some good info!

Thanks again to anyone reading this. Hope you have a great day. Hopefully, see you around for the next installment.


1 Comment

  1. searchinmyroots

    I am following your blog and am enjoying the “conversation” between Hesediah and David!

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