Thinking of Becoming Christian (No Troll)

[quote]Varqanir wrote:

[quote]KingKai25 wrote:
…the mere fact that many Ebionites affirmed Jesus’ status as Messiah (though denying his divinity) would have placed them outside the bounds of Judaism (thus such could be more appropriately called a Christian sect).
[/quote]

Interesting. I can think of another faith that affirms Jesus’ status as Messiah, though denying his divinity. They have no problem with brisket and steak (at least, not beef). They are pretty far outside the bounds of Judaism, though they do revere Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon et al., not to mention that they follow the teachings of a prophet who was a lot more like Moses than Jesus ever was.

I doubt if you could call them a Christian sect.

[/quote]

Cute, Varqanir, but you completely ignored the context of my post. We are talking about sect self-identification in the second century A.D., i.e., how Jews and Christians would have identified themselves vis-a-vis one another. The affirmation of Jesus’ Messianic status was a key distinction between Christians and Jews in the second century A.D.; my point was that Ebionism arose out of Jewish Christianity.

And as Tirib rightly notes, Islam’s conception of “Messiahship” is so far afield from Jewish and Christian formulations, even just historically speaking, that to claim it “affirms Jesus’ status as Messiah” is as misleading as asserting, “Hindus believe Jesus is God too” (i.e., Hindus and Christians mean entirely different things by that assertion).

Furthermore, your comparison of Moses and Muhammed represents the same sort of superficial understanding of these figures that is prevalent in our culture.

[quote]KingKai25 wrote:

Thus, I’m really not sure what you mean by “punitive aspects.” And in any case, you cannot argue that real individuals who claim to be Christians ARE in fact less happy than atheists because Christianity’s “punitive aspects” (whatever that means) COULD, theoretically, engender discomfort. [/quote]

I find posts on social media example “DRUG TEST RECIPIENTS” by in large are bible thumpers definition Evangelicals . It has alway been my experience that the more punitive an individual the more unhappy that person is .

Hmmmm.

Heads, I allow myself to get sucked into another religious debate, tails I don’t.

(Flips gold coin)

Sigh.

Okay.

Okay, let’s first take a look at the concept of the Messiah. Masiah is a Hebrew word meaning “one who is anointed.” King David, you will recall, had his head anointed with olive oil by the prophet Samuel, signifying that he would be the next king of Israel. He was, strictly speaking, a messiah (little m). There were lots of little m messiahs in the Hebrew Bible: kings, priests, prophets, and even the temple of Solomon were all consecrated in this fashion.

When Jews talk about The Messiah (big M), however, they are referring to the guy prophesied by Moses in the book of Deuteronomy. He said that this Messiah would come from among the people, and that God would put words in his mouth, commanding the people what to do. The Messiah, it is believed, will unite all of Israel, defeat the anti-Messiah (at least, they used to believe in the Anti-Messiah; not sure how many do anymore), and rule over the faithful in a thousand-year reign of peace.

It’s important to note two things: one, that the Jewish concept of Messiah does not include “of divine origin” or "son of God; and two, that he hasn’t shown up yet.

The Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew word masiah is masih. The same word, basically, minus one vowel sound.

In Islam, the Messiah is identified as the prophet foretold by Moses, who will unite all of Israel and instruct them in the proper worship of God, and in the proper obedience of the Law. Muslims see Jesus as having fulfilled this role, the last prophet of the Jews, whose message was ultimately rejected by his own people.

Furthermore, they believe that he was immaculately conceived, born of a virgin, was crucified, and ascended to heaven, where he will be until the day when he’ll come again, defeat the false messiah (masih ad-dajjal: we would say “Antichrist”), and once again unite all believers in the true worship of God.

I’d say this comes pretty close to the Christian concept of Messiah, minus of course that a Christian believes that Jesus is also an incarnation of God. Which, as has already been pointed out, was not universally believed by all early Christians anyway.

I hardly need mention, of course, that the word “christ” is simply the English equivalent of the Koine Greek word xristos, which is in turn the equivalent of the Hebrew word masiah.

Muslims believe that Jesus is the Christ, and that he’s coming again. Jews don’t.

So explain to me again how the “Christian and Jewish concept of Messiahship” is so much different from that of Islam.

Now, as to Moses and Muhammad.

Let’s see: both were orphans, both traced their ancestry to Abraham, both herded sheep, both received the calling to follow God relatively late in life. Both received (or claimed to receive, anyway), the inspired word of God, in a cave on a mountain, and both received a set of laws that was to lead their respective peoples away from idolotry, and toward the proper worship of God. Both had multiple wives, and sons who didn’t amount to much. Both led their followers in a frenzy of conquest, converting or slaughtering all who stood in their way.

Superficial, perhaps, but those are the similarities I can think of right off the bat. But please. Show me how Moses had more in common with Jesus.

Oh, and Tiribulus, I would challenge you to go back and read the Old Testament and the Quran, carefully and without bias, and then talk to me again about how God is “petulant” and “tantrum-throwing” in one scripture but not in the other.

Stupid gold coin.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
Okay, let’s first take a look at the concept of the Messiah. Masiah is a Hebrew word meaning “one who is anointed.” King David, you will recall, had his head anointed with olive oil by the prophet Samuel, signifying that he would be the next king of Israel. He was, strictly speaking, a messiah (little m). There were lots of little m messiahs in the Hebrew Bible: kings, priests, prophets, and even the temple of Solomon were all consecrated in this fashion.

When Jews talk about The Messiah (big M), however, they are referring to the guy prophesied by Moses in the book of Deuteronomy. He said that this Messiah would come from among the people, and that God would put words in his mouth, commanding the people what to do. The Messiah, it is believed, will unite all of Israel, defeat the anti-Messiah (at least, they used to believe in the Anti-Messiah; not sure how many do anymore), and rule over the faithful in a thousand-year reign of peace.

It’s important to note two things: one, that the Jewish concept of Messiah does not include “of divine origin” or "son of God; and two, that he hasn’t shown up yet.

The Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew word masiah is masih. The same word, basically, minus one vowel sound.

In Islam, the Messiah is identified as the prophet foretold by Moses, who will unite all of Israel and instruct them in the proper worship of God, and in the proper obedience of the Law. Muslims see Jesus as having fulfilled this role, the last prophet of the Jews, whose message was ultimately rejected by his own people.

Furthermore, they believe that he was immaculately conceived, born of a virgin, was crucified, and ascended to heaven, where he will be until the day when he’ll come again, defeat the false messiah (masih ad-dajjal: we would say “Antichrist”), and once again unite all believers in the true worship of God.

I’d say this comes pretty close to the Christian concept of Messiah, minus of course that a Christian believes that Jesus is also an incarnation of God. Which, as has already been pointed out, was not universally believed by all early Christians anyway.

I hardly need mention, of course, that the word “christ” is simply the English equivalent of the Koine Greek word xristos, which is in turn the equivalent of the Hebrew word masiah.

Muslims believe that Jesus is the Christ, and that he’s coming again. Jews don’t.

So explain to me again how the “Christian and Jewish concept of Messiahship” is so much different from that of Islam.

Now, as to Moses and Muhammad.

Let’s see: both were orphans, both traced their ancestry to Abraham, both herded sheep, both received the calling to follow God relatively late in life. Both received (or claimed to receive, anyway), the inspired word of God, in a cave on a mountain, and both received a set of laws that was to lead their respective peoples away from idolotry, and toward the proper worship of God. Both had multiple wives, and sons who didn’t amount to much. Both led their followers in a frenzy of conquest, converting or slaughtering all who stood in their way.

Superficial, perhaps, but those are the similarities I can think of right off the bat. But please. Show me how Moses had more in common with Jesus.

Oh, and Tiribulus, I would challenge you to go back and read the Old Testament and the Quran, carefully and without bias, and then talk to me again about how God is “petulant” and “tantrum-throwing” in one scripture but not in the other.
[/quote]

  1. A prophet from among you, from your brothers, like me, the Lord, your God will set up for you you shall hearken to him. ×?×?. × Ö¸×?Ö´×?×? ×?ִקִּרְ×?Ö°Ö¼×?Ö¸ ×?Öµ×?Ö·×?Ö¶×?×?Ö¸ ×?Ö¸Ö¼×?Ö¹× Ö´×? ×?ָקִ×?×? ×?Ö°×?Ö¸ ×?Ö°×?Ö¹×?Ö¸×? ×?Ö±×?Ö¹×?Ö¶×?×?Ö¸ ×?Öµ×?Ö¸×?×? תִּשְ×?×?ָע×?Ö¼×?:

KK is correct in the sense of context in Deut 18
But nowhere does messiah the word, or its equivalent appear. The word is prophet, unmistakably.

The new prophet would be like Moses only in the sense herein stated, and repeated a few verses later: “from among you, from your brothers”… A kinsman and not some mysterious foreigner.

And not necessarily a messiah. If the Deuteronomist had wanted to use that word, he/she would have done so…twice.

Oh good. There you are, Doc. As I was writing that post last night I wondered who would be first to comment. I knew it couldn’t be PRCalDude berating me for not saying something nasty about Islam, because as far as I know he doesn’t post here anymore. I figured it would either be you, to gently correct a detail I had oversimplified or glossed over, or else Pushharder, to tell me I am wrong, dreadfully wrong, in every aspect of my post, before challenging me to a rifle duel. I anticipate he’ll be along presently.

Your response raises two questions in my mind. If Deuteronomy 18 was not referring to the Mashiach, then is there a consensus in Jewish tradition on to whom it does refer, if anyone? Awful lot of prophets in the Nevi’im. are any of them “like unto Moses”… or are all of them? in other words, has Moses’ prophesy been fulfilled?

Second question, and perhaps betrays some intellectual laziness on my part but if the coming of the Mashiach was not prophesied in Deuteronomy, then where? Nowhere in the Torah is The Mashiach mentioned explicitly, but upon what scriptural basis does Maimonides include belief in the Mashiach as one of the essential articles of faith? Zechariah? Habakkuk? Or earlier? Do you think it was it the case that as long as there were kings and a Temple in Israel (little m messiahs), and more importantly, kings worshipping at the temple, a Big M was not necessary, but after the destruction of the Temple and the diaspora, then he was? Would be interested in your opinion.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

There is a certain comfort in knowing that in a world of rapid change, some things remain the same. Damn it’s good to be back.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
There is a certain comfort in knowing that in a world of rapid change, some things remain the same. Damn it’s good to be back. [/quote]

Hah - good to have you back.

You were off about one part in your earlier post

Quran 4:157

nor did they crucify him

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
They do not believe Jesus was anything like the messiah he was.

Also their Prophet was NOTHING like Moses. Nothing. Except at the most woefully superficial level, the covenant making and keeping YAHWEH of Moses bears no resemblance whatsoever to the capricious tantrum throwing Allah of Islam.[/quote]
Share more please?

…you know which part I’m asking - I understand the basic idea of what you would say of the upper portion

[quote]squating_bear wrote:

Hah - good to have you back.[/quote]

Thanks. Do I know you?

[quote]You were off about one part in your earlier post

Quran 4:157

nor did they crucify him [/quote]

Oops. You’re right. That’ll teach me to post half-asleep. Good catch.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
Oh good. There you are, Doc. As I was writing that post last night I wondered who would be first to comment. I knew it couldn’t be PRCalDude berating me for not saying something nasty about Islam, because as far as I know he doesn’t post here anymore. I figured it would either be you, to gently correct a detail I had oversimplified or glossed over, or else Pushharder, to tell me I am wrong, dreadfully wrong, in every aspect of my post, before challenging me to a rifle duel. I anticipate he’ll be along presently.

Your response raises two questions in my mind. If Deuteronomy 18 was not referring to the Mashiach, then is there a consensus in Jewish tradition on to whom it does refer, if anyone? Awful lot of prophets in the Nevi’im. are any of them “like unto Moses”… or are all of them? in other words, has Moses’ prophesy been fulfilled?

Second question, and perhaps betrays some intellectual laziness on my part but if the coming of the Mashiach was not prophesied in Deuteronomy, then where? Nowhere in the Torah is The Mashiach mentioned explicitly, but upon what scriptural basis does Maimonides include belief in the Mashiach as one of the essential articles of faith? Zechariah? Habakkuk? Or earlier? Do you think it was it the case that as long as there were kings and a Temple in Israel (little m messiahs), and more importantly, kings worshipping at the temple, a Big M was not necessary, but after the destruction of the Temple and the diaspora, then he was? Would be interested in your opinion. [/quote]

KK hates when I refer to Rashi as a source of understanding, so I will refrain as much as possible.

“Like unto Moses.” How about “like me, one of you, one of your brothers?” Note that all the prophets are of the Tribes, but most definitely not all are “like unto Moses” in one very important aspect: testicles.
Women were prophets: Miriam, Devorah, Huldah, Hannah (Rashi adds Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Esther, but I disagree…) The Deutoronomist recognizes this: he/she declares each of the four I site as either a prophetess or the older term “seer.”

Were we to look for the historical Messiah in the OT, we would look to the post-exilic prophets. I am weak there. Recall that The Messsiah is not only of the Family of David, but specifically of Zerubbabel (Jeremiah having cursed the line of Jeconiah.) Thus, some texts refer to Cyrus (or historically, Darius) as a messiah, since he was both anointed king and vicariously allowed the decedents of Zerubbabel to return to Jerusalem to build the Temple. (How ironic: Daniel is not considered a prophet, but a non-Tribesman Cyrus, vicariously is, by some, considered a messiah! See Chronicles, wherever…it is all screwed up.)

Life is too short to know Maimonides, but, regarding the 13 Articles of Faith: he made them up: “well, everyone knows that…”. Just like that. Before Maimonides, there was not a single summary text or canon of agreed-upon “beliefs.” Maimonides did not feel it necessary to cite Tanach specifically for the Articles, which include belief in the return of the Messiah and the Resurrection (post-Exilic and Greek notions).
(If I remember correctly, you are correct: the Mishneh Torah speaks authoritatively about the nature of The Messiah, borrowing obliquely from the later prophets.)

And then you seek the unanswerable: After the destruction of the Temples, what is legitimate, and how do we know it when we see it?

Got me…

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
There is a certain comfort in knowing that in a world of rapid change, some things remain the same. Damn it’s good to be back. [/quote]

Welcome back.
Its a pleasure having you.

Is it a pleasure to be had?

I have made a career, Doc, on seeking the unanswerable. Thanks!

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
There is a certain comfort in knowing that in a world of rapid change, some things remain the same. Damn it’s good to be back. [/quote]

Welcome back.
Its a pleasure having you.

Is it a pleasure to be had?[/quote]

Haha!!

Now there is a loaded question if ever I heard one. Let us say that I hope that my renewed presence here provides as much pleasure and amusement to my fellow T-compatriots as it provides me.

Half my time here is spent trying to acquaint myself with the new names, and the other half trying to figure out how many of the old names are now among the new names. If you know what I mean.

And that reminds me of Bilbo’s epic epigram, certainly applicable here: “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

I think you know which half you’re in.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
There is a certain comfort in knowing that in a world of rapid change, some things remain the same. Damn it’s good to be back. [/quote]

Welcome back.
Its a pleasure having you.

Is it a pleasure to be had?[/quote]

Haha!!

Now there is a loaded question if ever I heard one. Let us say that I hope that my renewed presence here provides as much pleasure and amusement to my fellow T-compatriots as it provides me.

Half my time here is spent trying to acquaint myself with the new names, and the other half trying to figure out how many of the old names are now among the new names. If you know what I mean.

And that reminds me of Bilbo’s epic epigram, certainly applicable here: “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

I think you know which half you’re in. [/quote]

The middle half?

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
All the happy people I know are Christians. Is there a Christianity that doesn’t believe all the magical stuff and just says Jesus was cool? What’s the most logical Christianity there is, without having to believe that a cookie is Jesus’ body and all that?

I was think of the Episcopalians or Methodists. Are they sane?[/quote]

Just ask God. He talks directly to YOU right?

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:

The middle half?
[/quote]

I would never imply that you’re average, Doc.

That would be mean.