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By his stripes we are healed ...

Reader comment on item: On Islam and Islamism
in response to reader comment: To Oliver

Submitted by Oliver (United States), Oct 24, 2009 at 16:58

Submitted by Seamus Dafydd Dives MacNemi (United States), Oct 19, 2009 at 16:24

It is not only a matter of having the "correct G-D" it is also a matter of having the "Correct view" of that G-D. The G-D of Israel is a unity, a sum that is greater than its parts. That G-D cannot be divided or represented by any part but That G-D is the "whole". That G-D is both the manifest and the potential. That G-D is the center of the circle, the beginning point and the end point. That G-D is beyond definition or limitation. That G-D cannot be described or defined in any way beyond total inclusivity. There is nothing out side of G-D.

It is very difficult to address the idea of G-D in the language of men for the language of men is of necessity limited to the experience of men. That is precisely the problem with the written word. It is limited in its ability to encompass the reality. The written word will always be subject to the interpretations of the reader and often the reader will infer ideas that will not reflect the original intentions of the writer. Much of the New Testament is problematic for that reason. Entirely too much of it is dependent opon the prejudice of the writers and the ideas of their time and place. Said ideas being totally foreign to the original intent of the authors of the Torah.

While I doubt that 'we' will be able to adequately explain the true nature of YHWH, from my perspective, the use of the Hebrew 'word' that describes the 'unity' of YHWH is frequently used to describe the 'unity' of multiple entities – such as the 'unity' of a man and a woman within marriage – so that the 'idea' of a 'composite-unity' is not foreign to the Tanakh. In the Greek of the NT the 'idea' of a 'composite-unity' is also commonplace – for example: the use of the 'article' in NT Greek is primarily that of pointing out the 'Identity' of the noun or adjective it is placed before – if I were to use the word 'poor' as an adjective, I would be describing the qualitative condition or nature of something or someone – if I were to say 'the poor' the adjective becomes a noun or entity that is representative of multiple individuals (or entities) or a 'composite-unity'. I agree with you that within the limitations of human language YHWH is completely indefinable and indescribable.

But because YHWH is 'knowable' and 'approachable' and has expressed his desire to be approached and known – we can be freed from the limitations of our human 'languages' by becoming one with YHWH.

The New Testament pays little attention to the social and political realities of Jeshuas time. It falsy represents the relationsips between the Sadducees and the Pharisees and the many other splinter groups that vied for the attentions of the people. Indeed, it fails all together to even mention some groups which would play a pivital role in events to come. When Yeshua said that the Temple would not long last after him he was only remarking upon events that were already in the wind. Again, the New Testament makes no mention of the rampant corruption in the governing bodies of that time.. No remark is made of the questionable legitimacy of the high priest Caiphas or the majority of those who made up the acting body of the priesthood. No mention is made of the neglect of the needs of the people in favour of Roman priveledge and political power. No mention is made of the Pharissean attempts to aleviate the suffering of the people or of the various charities enacted under the eyes of the Romans even though these same regarded these charities as an expression of the will to rebellion and therefore illegal under Roman law. In some instances, keeping a commandment would be regarded as a capital offense which could get one crucified.

This analysis is complete rubbish (sorry) – simply because Jesus or the NT did not address the 'issues' that you deem of extreme importance as proof that the NT is not a product of the 'times' is ludicrous – the Sadducees were 'tied' to the Temple and the majority of them were of the priestly lineage, when the Temple was destroyed their 'party' or 'faction' went out of existence because the 'priest' played no function in the 'Synagogue' – the Pharisees, as laymen (although a 'priest' could be a Pharisee, notably Josephus), were 'tied' to the Synagogue, when the Temple was destroyed their 'party' or 'faction' continued on without an interruption, so long as there was a Synagogue there would be Pharisees – as for the Essenes, they were 'separatists' and played no pivotal role in affecting Judaism after or before the destruction of the Temple – if you can prove otherwise I would be happy to entertain you evidence. I do not doubt that the Pharisees were 'outwardly' pious and generous, but Jesus said that 'inwardly' they were really 'stinkers' – white-washed tomes full of rotting corpses – the 'good' they did was simply for 'show' – so while they gave to the poor they actually despised them as 'sinners'. These were not acts of 'mercy' they were acts of 'sacrifice' done to win God's approval – which lead Jesus to call them to account by reminding them that YHWH desires mercy and not sacrifice – the difference was in the attitude of the heart.

Roman rule kept the people in a continuous state of deprivation. Even an act as simple as greeting a friend or neighbor in the streets could be regarded with suspicion by the Roman authorities and their Jewish collaborators. The people lived under a pall of constant fear and there seemed little hope of deliverance for them. They would have accepted anyone who offered them some semblance of hope and into that milieu Jeshua rose. It is little wonder that he gathered such a following and in that same light it is little wonder that the Romans crucified him. They greatly feared him as an instigator of rebellion.

While I cannot deny most of what you said is true, your final analysis is once again faulty – the 'record' stipulates that the Roman Governor 'could find no fault in Jesus' and was hesitant to put him to death – it was the hatred of the 'Jews' and Pilate's fear of an uprising at the time of the Passover Feast that caused him to crucify Jesus.

My own trouble with the New Testament is that it fails completely to put the blame where it rightly lies, upon the backs of Rome and the Hellenists. It was they who were the source of all of the suffering of the people and that suffering had continued to this day. Only with the rewriting of the New Testament will this suffering be alleviated. Until that time the great injustices of our history will be continuously repeated.

The NT puts the 'blame' where it should rightly lie – on the shoulders of all of mankind – John the Baptist puts it succinctly: 'Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the World'. Paul quoted the Tanakh when he penned: 'for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God' – 'there is none righteous, no not one' – 'we have all gone our own way' – no, we must each look to our own selfishness as the source of the 'blame'.

Isa 53:1 'Who would have believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the LORD been revealed?

Isa 53:2 For he shot up right forth as a sapling, and as a root out of a dry ground; he had no form nor comeliness, that we should look upon him, nor beauty that we should delight in him.

Isa 53:3 He was despised, and forsaken of men, a man of pains, and acquainted with disease, and as one from whom men hide their face: he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Isa 53:4 Surely our diseases he did bear, and our pains he carried; whereas we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

Isa 53:5 But he was wounded because of our transgressions, he was crushed because of our iniquities: the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his stripes we were healed.

Isa 53:6 All we like sheep did go astray, we turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath made to light on him the iniquity of us all.

Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, though he humbled himself and opened not his mouth; as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before her shearers is dumb; yea, he opened not his mouth.

Isa 53:8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away, and with his generation who did reason? for he was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due.

Isa 53:9 And they made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich his tomb; although he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.'

Isa 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to crush him by disease; to see if his soul would offer itself in restitution, that he might see his seed, prolong his days, and that the purpose of the LORD might prosper by his hand:

Isa 53:11 Of the travail of his soul he shall see to the full, even My servant, who by his knowledge did justify the Righteous One to the many, and their iniquities he did bear.[JPS]

Isa 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion among the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the mighty; because he bared his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

I know that Judaism 'claims' that these verses are a reference to the 'suffering plight' of Israel as a nation but they are actually a reference to the 'suffering plight' of the Messiah of Israel – Jesus Christ.


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