101 Questions About Yeshua of Nazareth

Saltshakers

PREFACE

     The following questions were raised in discussions on the Internet during the course of the last year (1996). The answers offered here were either provided at the time, or else have been especially recreated for this book. Each of the respondents (which include both messianic Jews and gentile Christians) has chosen to be represented only by first and last initials.
         Of course, no one "coverts" another person to the truth about Yeshua; the Holy Spirit does this. No amount of argument, "logic", or "analysis" is sufficient by itself to help people come to the fullness of understanding of the depth of G-d's chesed. Our task instead is merely to uplift Yeshua, who, if he is lifted up, has promised to draw all men unto himself.
       
1. Isn't the Virgin Birth a pagan idea?
2. But didn't many ancient cultures have a concept of a god-man, or a son of the gods (such as Alexander the Great, for example, or Hercules)?
3.  Didn't Paul invent Christianity?
4.  Wasn't Paul a self-hating Jew who turned his back on his own people and went to the gentiles?
5.  Didn't Paul  want to discard Torah altogether?
6.  Didn't Paul say it led only to sin?
7.  Wasn't Paul an uneducated man who understood nothing about Judaism in the first place?
8.  Didn't his conversion experience (i.e., his vision) show that he, too, like so many others of his ilk, was simply mentally unstable?
9.  If  Yeshua was the messiah, why wasn't he accepted by the people of his day? Why didn't the Sanhedrin accept him?   Some of the greatest Torah scholars lived in his era, and they didn't accept him.
10.  Why do you claim that Isaiah 9 refers to Yeshua? It actually refers to King Hezekiah.
 

     Each man finds in these promises what lies in the depth of his own heart; either temporal or spiritual blessings. .  . those who are looking for (temporal things) will find them indeed, but with many contradictions. . . and they find that the messiah did not come for them; whereas those who are looking for G-d find Him, without any contradictions, and find that they are bidden to love G-d alone and that a messiah did come at the time foretold to bring them the blessings for which they ask.

                                                                         (Pascal)

11. Don't you believe in three gods?  This is forbidden in the Tenakh. 'Shema Yisroel, Adonai Elohenu, Adonai Echad.'
12.  So why did Yeshua say, 'My G-d, My G-d, why hast thou forsaken me?' if he was one with G-d?
13.  'Into Thy hands I commit my spirit'.  Why should he have to say this, if he is already the same with G-d?
14. But don't you also claim that Yeshua was a man? In Numbers 23:19 it syas, 'God is not a man'.
15. Look, following a false god is heresey. See Deuteronomy 29:17-19.
16.  Didn't Yeshua want to abolish Torah as old and outmoded and replace it with something else?
17.  Yeshua wasn't perfect. Didn't he break the Sabbath?
18.  How about when he let his talmidim gather grain in the fields?
19.  Isn't the central point of Christianity a human sacrifice (the death of Yeshua)?  That is forbidden by Torah!
20.  Christianity stresses 'faith' while Judaism stresses obedience to Torah.
 

Based on the evidence, I conclude Jesus is the Son of God, and I am a Christian.  What is the argument I use? It is the supreme beauty of the idea that G-d should love us so much that He should take on human form and die in order to save us. This idea is so supremely beautiful that I cannot reject it. For if I reject it, then I am saying that G-d is less beautiful than the Christian idea of Him, and this is blasphemy, since our G-d is supremely good and beautiful.

                                                                        (AP)
 

21.  But the notion of 'salvation' is just a Christian doctrine, isn't it? It's not a Jewish concept.
22.  Yes, but what are we being 'saved' from?
23.  But why do we need this 'salvation'?
24.  No one can die for another's sins.
25.  But where in Judaism do you find the concept of the need for a mediator between G-d and man?
26.  All that is necessary for forgiveness is repentance and obedience to Torah.
27.  Jews don't believe in 'original sin'. That's a Christian idea.
28.  Yeshua never claimed to be God, himself; this claim was only made later, by his followers, wasn't it?
29.  In any case, weren't these accounts written long after the events, maybe two or three generations later?
30.  Sorry, but where does being 'born again' fit into the Jewish scheme of things?
 

No one has ever been converted by an argument

                                                                        (Newman)

31.If Yeshua was really the messiah, why isn't there peace yet?  Do you see the lion laying down with the lamb?
32.  It's been 2000 years. How much longer do we have to wait?
33.  Doesn't Isaiah 53 really refer to Israel?
34.  This is still just your Christian interpretation.
35. But isn't the messiah supposed to reign as a king? Where in Judaism do you find the idea of a messiah who suffers and dies?
36.  But Isaiah 53 is only one of four 'servant' songs in Isaiah. Are you trying to say that Yeshua is portrayed in ALL of them? How about Isaiah 42:1-4?
37.  So what about Isaiah 49:1-6? You mean to say that this doesn't refer to Israel?  It even says, 'My servant, Israel'!
38.  What about Isaiah 50:4-9?
39.So how about the last song? Remember that Isaiah 52:13 on,and Isaiah 53, really form one cohesive whole(the chapter divisions were added in the middle ages). Is Yeshua here, in all of this, too?
40.  But you  misunderstand. What Isaiah is talking about is how the gentiles will see the suffering they have caused Israel and repent of it, when they see Israel glorified. This repentance will 'cure' them and make them whole again, and right with G-d.

41.  Who is the 'Angel of the L-rd?'
42.  So are you saying that the Angel of the L-rd is the same as G-d?
43.  How can you claim to be a Jew and a Christian at the same time? Isn't this deceitful?
44.  So what is the difference between a 'Jewish-Christian' and an ordinary one?
45.  Why should we believe in the Resurrection when even some of those who were present didn't believe in it?
46.  How can you say that Isaiah 7:14 mentions a 'virgin'? The word used there is 'almah'; and everyone knows that this doesn't mean 'virgin' in Hebrew. The word for 'virgin' is 'betulah'.
47.  But what does this matter, anyway? Isaiah was talking to King Ahaz. What good would a child to be born 700 years in the future be to him?
48.  But isn't that a mistranslation of Isaiah 9?
49.  Look, when the true messiah comes, everyone will know he is the messiah. We won't have to go around wondering about it.
50.  In any case, there's no proof Yeshua was born at Bethlehem. That's just a preposterous story made up to make him seem to fit the prophecies!

51.Who is the 'Word' of G-d?
52.  Who is  the 'Spirit' of G-d?
53.  Who is the 'Arm of the L-rd'?
54.  How can you say that you believe in one G-d, when you actually believe in three?
55.  But there is no place in Judaism where G-d assumes a human form!
56.  Son of G-d' doesn't has no special meaning. A lot of people are called sons of G-d in the scripture. We're ALL sons of G-d.
57.  Does the name 'Yeshua' appear in the Tenakh?
58.  Isn't the New Testament anti-semitic? Doesn't Yeshua condemn the Jews and call them 'sons of the devil'?
59.  What about calling Jews 'sons of the devil'?
60.  Don't the gospels try to pin all the blame for the death or Yeshua on the Jews?

62.  The Sanhedrin would never have acted in such an illegal manner!
63.  But weren't the gospel accounts written long after the events?  So of course they are inaccurate!
64.  Anyway, there's no contemporary evidence that Yeshua even existed!
65.  Don't the gospels try and whitewash Pilate?
66.  Don't the gospels assume the Jewish leaders had the power to threaten Pilate? This is untrue; Pilate hated the Jews, and would never have let himself be threatened by them!
67.  But isn't the whole incident with Barabbas just a fiction? There's no evidence that Roman governors ever released prisoners at Passover!
68.  What about, 'His blood be on us, and our children?'
69.  The actions of everyone in the story are too improbable to be believed!
70.  You only accept these accounts because you have to; they are part of your religion, and it would collapse if you didn't.

71.  So who did cause 'that man' to be put to death?
72.  How can you be sure what your Christian  scriptures say? There are MANY versions of the New Testament which have survived from ancient times, and they differ from one another; whereas, the Tenach has been handed down without error.
73.  But how can you be sure you really have any of Yeshua's own words? He didn't write anything himself--everything you have was written down later, and could have been altered by his followers.
74.  Listen, missionaries prey on the weak and the uneducated, and  those who feel unsatisfied with  their lives.
75.  Missionaries will always try and take a verse out of context; and if you call them on it, they'll switch to another verse. They'll try and drown you in information, but they won't answer your questions.
76.  Missionaries will usually hide their true intent at first to put you off your guard.
77.  Christian Jews are apostates. Don't let them turn you away from your own people.
78.  If Hitler had repented at the last minute in the bunker, do you think he would have been forgiven?
79.  Yeshu was a false god. We shouldn't even pronounce his name!
80.   In Judaism, we believe that repentence and good works are all that is required; not 'being born again', or 'sacrificed for' by anyone's death.

81.  Psalm 22 doesn't refer to the messiah; it refers to David; or to any righteous sufferer.
82. But again, this is only your Christian interpretation.
83.  But Psalm 22:16 doesn't say 'they pierced my hands and feet'. It says, 'Like a lion, they were at my hands and feet'!
84.  Doesn't Deuteronomy 4:27-28 predict that Jews will be forced to worship false gods of wood and stone, that is, Christianity and Islam?  'G-d will  then scatter you among the nations. . . There you will serve other gods that men have made out of wood and stone, which cannot see, hear, or smell.'  And Deuteronomy 28:64 says, 'G-d will scatter you among the nations. . . There you will serve other gods, of wood and stone, whom you and your ancestors have not known'.
85.  Say what you will, but Yeshua is completely irrelevant to Judaism. He has no meaning at all for us.
86.  'At that moment the curtain of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Yeshua's resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many'. (Matthew 27:51-53)  Do you really BELIEVE all this? It sounds more like Halloween than anything Jewish!
87.   Wasn't Yeshu actually a violent and intolerant person?  Look at how he cursed a fig tree, in a fit of pique!
88.  Didn't Yeshu warn that all of his enemies would be brought before him and slain?  Look at Luke 19:27!
89.  Isn't Yeshua wrong  when he says that Judaism teaches people to hate their enemies ('You have heard it said, Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy', Matt. 5:43)? Judaism never said this!
90. Doesn't Christianity use graven images, making it the same as idolatry? This is forbidden to Jews!

91.  Doesn't Christianity borrow the story of Yeshua's death and resurrection from the pagan story of Attis?
92.  Doesn't the image of Yeshua also borrow a lot from the story of Krishna?
93.  Aren't there a lot of similarities between the life of Yeshua and the life of Buddha? Doesn't this suggest borrowing, again?
94.  Isn't the New Testament filled with contradictions?
95.  Wasn't Yeshua 'elected' as a god by the Council of Nicea?  This was many hundreds of years after his life!
96.  Didn't Bar Kochba come a lot closer to fulfilling the messianic prophecies than Yeshua?
97.  Doesn't the New Testament give two different versions of how Judas hanged himself?
98.  Where in Judaism do you find the concept of a divine messiah?
99.  Isn't Jerusalem, and not Bethlehem, called the 'city of David.?
100.  How can you claim there is a 'New Covenant'?
101.  Didn't Yeshua condemn the Jews?  Didn't he hate his own people?