Sample clip of my debate with an
atheist on the issue of morality.
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Jewish / Judaism : The Truth is Veiled - For a Time, part 1 of 5
Open my eyes, so that I will see wonders from your Torah -Psalm 119:18
Let us consider why the Jewish people, as a whole, have not accepted Jesus as Messiah.
Part 1: The Premise
Part 2: The Premise (continued) and The New Testament Explains
Part 3: The New Testament Explains (continued)
Part 4: This Blindness, This Stumbling, This Veil, is Not Permanent
Part 5: This Blindness, This Stumbling, This Veil, is Not Permanent (continued and concluded)
A Jewish man once asked me if I, a Jewish-Christian, really thought that the Rabbis who study the Scripture every day had made a mistake and missed the Messiah? Firstly, consider that some of them did accept Jesus as Messiah. Moreover, ever since Jesus' time those who believe that Jesus is the Messiah have study the Scripture every day; did they make a mistake and choose a false Messiah?
Studying the Scripture every day in and of itself does not answer the question. What about the fact that the Jews have had God's word for millennia longer than Christianity? No one person has been alive for millennia and so in every generation finite human beings take up the study of the Scripture. There is no knowledge of Scripture by mere birth. Rather, each person has but one lifetime to study; although we stand on the shoulders of giants. Both Jews and Christians stand on the shoulders of those scholarly sages who have come before us. Also, be very careful to note something about the Rabbis of Jesus' time, who studied the Scripture every day, they are some of the most well known and respected of Judaism's sages. These men did not accept Jesus but many of them did accept Shimeon Bar Kochba as Messiah. Would we have been better off having followed their sagely advise?
The question of why the Jewish people, as a whole, have not accepted Jesus as Messiah is not merely answered by appeal to academia, reason or stubbornness; it is ultimately a spiritual issue. I offer the following as an explanation.
The Premise: The Old and New Testament teach that the Messiah, as an obstacle, will cause the Jewish people to stumble; He would be rejected and the Jews will be temporarily blinded from the truth.
Rabbi Saul of Tarsus, later known as Paul the Apostle, wrote:
"Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away" (2nd Corinthians 3:12-16 referring to Exodus 34:34).
Lest the above quote seem like Christian arrogance or ignorance please note some interesting cases in which Rabbis and other Jewish authors also use the term veil and the obvious meaning hidden in describing the writings of the prophets.
Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, aka The Rambam, aka Maimonides:
"Among the sages there are some who say Elijah will come before the Anointed. But concerning these things and others of the same kind, none knows how they will be until they occur. For the prophets veil these things, and the sages have no tradition concerning them, save what they have deduced from the Scripture, and so herein their opinion is divided_The sages said: 'Let the spirit of those breath its last, who seek to calculate the end' (Sanhedrin 97b)."1
Yehuda Liebes; Jewish Mysticism teacher in the Department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem:
"Zohar II, 68a: 'But the words of the Master will light up the world until the Messianic king comes, as it is written: 'And the Earth shall be filled with the knowledge of God_' [Isaiah 11:9]. Similar passages are found in Zohar III, 23a & III, 236b, the latter referring specifically to the Shema': 'A secret which was given only to the sages and must not be revealed. R. Simone fell silent. He laughed and cried, and said: I will say that this is certainly the hour of grace and there is none like this generation until the Messianic king comes."2
1. Maimonides, The Statutes and Wars of the Messiah-King ch. 11 & 12 quoted in Arthur Hertzberg, Judaism (Washington Square Press, Inc. New York, 1963), p. 219
2. Yehuda Liebes, Studies in the Zohar (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993), p. 145
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