“As a Jew and a rabbi, I could be convinced of Jesus’ resurrection, but I would set very high standards of what is required. It would not be enough to have a subjective experience of Jesus. If I heard voices or had a visionary experience of Jesus, this would not be enough. Let me sketch the kind of experience that would be necessary. If Jesus appeared by hosts of angels trailing clouds of glory and announcing all for His Messiah ship to see, this would be compelling. But it would have to take place in public domain. Such an event would have to be witnessed by multitudes, photographed, recorded on video cameras, shown on television, and announced in newspapers and magazines worldwide. Jesus appearance would have to be a global event, televised on CNN, and other forms of the world’s media. Further, if as a consequence of his arrival, all the prophecies recorded in scripture were fulfilled; the ingathering of the exiles, the rebuilding of the Temple, the resurrection of all those who died, the advent of the days of the Messiah, final judgment-I would without a doubt embrace the Christian message and become a follower of the risen Christ.”-Gavin D’ Costa, Resurrection Reconsidered, pgs, 198-199.
Christianity is founded on the idea that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. Out of all of the requirements for the Messiah, being born in the House of David is the most important one. Yet in order to inherit that house in the Old Testament sense, Jesus would have to be counted as the son of a male descendant of David. Given the Biblical account (which I believe to be the true account) of Jesus having been born of a virgin, this presents a bit of an issue. Jesus was not born of a union between Joseph and Mary, Joseph (whose genealogy can be found in Matthew 1) played no role in the process at all. Could Joseph be considered the father of a child who was miraculously born of a virgin mother?
Does Jesus inherit the house of Joseph, and through him David, in OT Judaism?
Vol. 1 No. 2: EQUIPPED 1.2
If you’re looking for a good conversation starter, try asking, “Who is the most important person in history?” and follow it up with, “Why do you say that?” After reading this issue, you will be EQUIPPED to discuss these questions and answer the most important question: “Who do you say I am?”
The Word Became Flesh and Dwelt Among Us
—Glen Richmond, Editor EQUIPPED
I was recently invited to do a debate on a local radio station that airs in Tyneside, England, called Spice FM. Every Thursday, a Muslim program, called “Eye on the East”, run by Muslim activist Daniel Johnson of the Islamic Diversity Center airs. In the video above, I take on Daniel Johnson and Muslim apologist Majid Younus on the identity of Christ and the validity of the Triune concept of God. Enjoy! You can listen to two other recent radio interviews I have done on the subject of Islam here and here.
Answering Jewish Objections: “Jewish People Don’t Believe in a Suffering/Atoning Messiah”: Part Three
Remember the following:
- Targums are the Aramaic Translations of the Jewish Scriptures (The Tanakh), that were read in the synagogues on the Sabbath and on feast or fast days.
- Scholars usually assume the Targums were needed because the loss of Hebrew fluency by Jewish people growing up during the exile
- Targums are supposed to represent rabbinic Judaism after C.E. 70. Targums originated in Palestinian Judaism but later editions were done in Babylon.
- All of the extant Targums seem to date from 2nd century C.E. and later, yet a number of the translations would preserve readings that were current in the first century. (4)
Part of the passage reads this way (with italics indicating departures from the Hebrew): ( The translation is based on Bruce D. Chilton, The Isaiah Targum (ArBib 11;Wilmington: Glazier, 1987), 103–5. For Aramaic text and English translation, which at points differs somewhat, see John F. Stenning, The Targum of Isaiah (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1949), 178–81).
Behold, my servant, the Messiah, shall prosper, he shall be exalted and increase, and shall be very strong. Just as the house of Israel hoped for him many days—their appearances were so dark among the peoples, and their aspect beyond that of the sons of men—So he shall scatter many peoples . . . Who has believed this our good news? . . . And the righteous shall be exalted before him . . . his appearance is not a common appearance and his fearfulness is not an ordinary fearfulness, and his brilliance will be holy brilliance, that everyone who looks at him will consider him. Then the glory of all the kingdoms will be for contempt and cease; they will be faint and mournful, behold, as a man of sorrows and appointed for sicknesses . . . Then he will beseech concerning our sins and our iniquities for his sake will be forgiven; yet we were esteemed wounded, smitten before the Lord and afflicted. 5And he will build the sanctuary . . . (if) we attach ourselves to his words our sins will be forgiven to us. He beseeches, and he is answered, and before he opens his mouth he is accepted . . . 8From bonds and retribution he will bring our exiles near . . . for he will take away the rule of the Gentiles from the land of Israel; the sins which my people sinned he will cast on to them. 9And he will hand over the wicked to Gehenna and those rich in possessions which they robbed to the death of the corruption . . .53: 10 Yet before the Lord it was a pleasure to refine and to cleanse the remnant of his people, in order to purify their soul from sins; they shall see the kingdom of their Messiah . . . .