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Isaiah 53 Does Not Refer to Jesus

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/23/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,733 times Debate No: 19400
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I wish to thank buckethead for agreeing to deabte this topic with me.

Resolved: Isaiah 53 does not refer to Jesus.

Burden of proof is on me to show that it cannot refer to Jesus.

Good luck :-)


I accept and appreciate this challenge. Good luck to Pro as well!
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting this debate. It is indeed my burden of proof to show that Isaiah 53 does not refer to Jesus. In this debate, I will show beyond a reasonable doubt that it cannot.

I. Questions we must ask.

There are three questions we must ask ourselves: (1) Who is speaking; (2) Who are the narrators speaking about; and (3) Deos Jesus fit the discription of the servant in the chatper?

II. Who is speaking?

A fundamental key in understanding the 4th Servant Song is to understand who is speaking. The context of this chapter begins in Isaiah 52:13-15

Isaiah 52:13-15
(13) Behold, My servant shall deal prudently; he shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.
(14) Just as many were astonished at you, so his visage was marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men;
(15) So shall he sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at him; for what had not been told them they shall see, and what they had not heard they shall consider.

What can we gean from this? From this, we know who is speakin: the Gentile kings! Indeed, the leaders of the world are speaking, "Who would believe what we have heard!" The kings are in astonashment at this great event and the great servant whom the song is speakinbout.

III. Who is "My Servant"?

From Isaiah 52:13, we know that it is "My servant." The problem is we do not know who "my servant" is from these verses. What do we do? We look at the other servant songs to see if we can make a connection to "My [Hashem's] servant."

1. Isaiah 41:8, "You are My servant, O Israel."
2. Isaiah 49:3, "You are My servant, Israel."
3. Other places include 44:1, 44:2, 44:21, 45:4, and 48:20. [1]

From this, we can conclude that Israel is often used in the singular form as "My servant."

IV. Does Jesus Fit the Discription of Isaiah 53?

I would now like to answer the question to see if Jesus fits this discription. We have already seen a good case from the immediate context that Israel is the servant, but let's continue to see if Jesus can fit the discription.

A. Dispised and rejected

Isaiah 53:2-3
(2) For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
(3) He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from him; he was despised, and we did not esteem him.

This is not talking about one who experienced a few hours of rejection on the cross, but was aquainted with grief and rejection; one who had a long history of being an outcast.

What do the gospels say?

Mark 3:7-9
Jesus withdrew to the sea with His disciples; and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and also from Judea, (8) and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and beyond the Jordan, and the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon, a great number of people heard of all that He was doing and came to Him. (9) And He told His disciples that a boat should stand ready for Him because of the crowd, so that they would not crowd Him.

Luke 4:14-15
And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. (15) And He began teaching in their synagogues and
was praised by all.

Luke 2:52
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature (helikia – physical growth), and in favor with God and man.

From these first two verses, it becomes clear that Jesus cannot fit this discription. The New Testament describes Jesus, for the most part, as one who is vastly popular, and one who goes out to sea to prevent being ran over by the people who came to hear him speak!

B. "He did not open his mouth."

Isaiah 53:7
He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet He did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so he did not open his mouth.

In this verse, Isaiah describes one who is oppressed and afflicted, yet kept silent. Clearly, Jesus cannot fit this discription. Take a look at the following verses:

Matthew 27:46
(46) About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" that is, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?"

(Note: Sabachthani is NOT Hebrew; rather, it is a corruption of Hebrew).

Throughout the 4 gospels, there are other cases where Jesus "opened his mouth", though I won't go into detail about them as they are beyond the scope of this debate.

C. "He had done no violence."

Isaiah 53:9
They made His grave with the wicked, and his tomb with the rich, although He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

From this, the servant is not violent; nor is there and deceit (lies) in his mouth. Let's take a look at contradictory evidence:

Matthew 10:34-35
(34) "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

(Note: This proves Jesus is not the Messiah as the Messiah is suppose to send peace; this is unimportant for right now.) [2]

Luke 22:36, 38
(36) And He said to them, "But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.
(38) They said, "Lord, look, here are two swords." And He said to them, "It is enough."

D. "He shall see his offspring."

Isaiah 53:10
But the Lord was pleased to crush him, putting him to grief; if he would render himself as a guilt offering, He will see his offspring, He will prolong his days, and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

The Hebrew word for offspring is "zera." Here, it means a literal offspring; as it does everywhere else the word is used. If the prophet was talking about a spiritual child as the church deems it as, there is a different word that he would have used, that word is banim. Clearly, Jesus does not fulfill this as he never had a wife; let alon zera!

E. "He shall prolong his days."

According to church tradition, Jesus died on the cross at age 33. This is not a prolonged life. Moreover, this begs the question as to how God could prolong God's days if Jesus is indeed God!

V. If Not Jesus, who?

I already gave good evidence that Isaiah 53 cannot refer to Jesus. However, I would like to touch up on my introduction to prove the Jewish nation is the servant!

A. "The Arm of the Lord."

In verse 1, we read: "Who would have believed what we have heard! and to whom has the arm of Hashem been revealed?"

The arm of Hashem always denotes a regeneration, or a salvation, of Israel. Consider:

Isaiah 62:8
The Lord has sworn by His right hand and by His strong arm, "I will never again give your grain as food for your enemies; nor will foreigners drink your new wine for which you have labored."
Isaiah 63:12
Who caused His glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, who divided the waters before them to make for Himself an everlasting name,
Shemot (Exodus) 3:20
"So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go.
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:34
"Or has God tried to go to take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?
Tehillim (Psalms) 89:10 You Yourself crushed Rahab like one who is slain; You scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm.

VI. Summary

I have shown good evidence that Jesus cannot fit the discription of the song. Moreover, I have also shown that Israel is a better discription.

VII. References

[1] Roth, Marshall. "Isaiah 53: The Suffer Servant."
[2] Isaiah 2
[3] Penina Taylor."Isai53-The Suffering Servant."


I appreciate my opponent's time and his arguments; allow me to apologize for delaying my response time. I will be using the NIV translation of the Bible.


Contentions I. and II. have no need to be addressed.

III. Who is "My Servant?"

Israel is certainly considered God's "Servant." However, Jesus is also referred to as a Servant. Not to mention that he was and is a direct descendant through the line of Abraham (Israel):

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

In this way, it is inconclusive as to "who" the servant is: Israel, or more specifically, Jesus. Both answers work for this debate.

IV. Does Jesus Fit the Description of Isaiah 53?

A. Despised and rejected

Allow me to remind my opponent of the context in which the Gospels were written. The Gospels were written by strong believers of Jesus Christ who reflected on the greatest events in Jesus' life. Nonetheless, there are instances in the Gospels were Jesus was despised and rejected, without mentioning his crucifixion:

"Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. 'Where did this man get these things?' they asked. 'What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother off James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?' And they took offense at him. " Mark 6

"All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way." Luke 4:28-30

"When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region." Mark 5:15-17

B. "He did not open his mouth."

My opponent pulls these verses out of context. Allow me to align them.

Regarding Isaiah 53:7, there is one blatantly obvious symbolic metaphor within this verse:

"... like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so he did not open his mouth."

My opponent brings an instance of Jesus' speaking after he was slaughtered, or after he was "sheared." However, before he was "led to slaughter," as the prophecy incurs, he was in fact silent; not opening his mouth to save himself:

"When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies." Luke 23:8-12

"The chief priests accused him of many things. So again Pilate asked him, 'Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.' But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed. " Mark 15:3-5

One must understand, that Jesus did not speak against his arrest and his crucifixion. Although he did speak, he did not open his mouth to oppose the afflictions; in accordance to the context of Isaiah 53:7

C. "He had done no violence."

Matthew 10:34-35

My opponent takes this verse out of context. Allow me to reveal the entire passage:

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me." Matthew 10:34-40

The context of this verse is to demonstrate the power and importance of Jesus' revelation to humanity. When Jesus states that he brings a "sword" he implies that he is here for one specific, serious reason; in other words, "no funny business." He has come to set things right; reconciling man to God. As for him stating that he will set families against themselves, this is in reference to faith. He is predicting how people will be at odds with each other because of differing beliefs. This quote by Jesus, was merely a bold public statement summarizing his reason for being here.

Luke 22:36, 38

Notice how my opponent skips verse 37, which reads as so:

"It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

Jesus commands his disciples to buy swords, not because he is violent, but because it "must be fulfilled in him." Secondly, even if my opponent's out-of-context verses do in fact seem valid, Jesus himself never committed any act of violence. Anger, yes, but violence towards others; never. There are more instances of him performing miracles than anything.

"When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, 'Lord, should we strike with our swords?' And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, 'No more of this!' And he touched the man’s ear and healed him." Luke 22:47

D. "He shall see his offspring."

As convincing as this argument may sound, the error lies in the meaning of the word, "zera."

zera: seed; figuratively fruit, plant, sowing time, posterity: - X carnally, child, fruitful, seed (-time), sowing-time. [1]

The very definition of the word can be viewed from many different perspectives; meaning, one must discover the most appropriate context for the word. The main question is: what is Jesus' "offspring?" We know he will raise from the dead and "see his offspring." This is not predicting literal children. Rather, the servant will see the fruit of his labor, the redemption of his children. [2] fruit, meaning, result; a better context of the word, zera, in this instance.

E. "He shall prolong his days."

Prolonging his days in reference to the Resurrection of Jesus. So how long was Jesus on earth after he was Resurrected? He ascended 10 days before the holiday of Pentecost. We know that Jesus died during Passover. That would mean over a period of about 40 days. His days were in fact prolonged.

V. If Not Jesus, who?

My opponent supplies beautiful scripture from God's Word. Nevertheless, none of this directly prophecies God's future intentions for mankind. Seemingly, Israel in this context would seem a vague prophecy, as the prophecies concerning Jesus (Isaiah 53 & etc.) are specific. Also, my opponent contradicts himself. Recall back to my opponent's previous contention,"He had done no violence." Many a time has Israel been "violent." More so than Jesus Christ ever was. I will provide references later if needed; as I am limited to character restrictions.

Onto Pro.

[1] Strong's Concordance & Dictionary

Debate Round No. 2



Because I was una ble to get all of my arguments in the first round, I will use part of this round to further advance my opening arguments.

I. Historical evidence

The Jewish people have always understood Isaiah 53 to refer to Israel; and never to a demi-god that will be crucified. I will present two pieces of evidence.

Evidence 1: Contra CelsusIn his essay, "Contra Celsus", church father Origen conceded that Isaiah 53 "bore reference to the whole [Jewish] people, regarded as one individual, and as being in a state of dispersion and suffering, in order that many proselytes may be gained, on account of the dispersion of the Jews among numerous heathen nations." [1]

Evidence 2: The New Testament

The New Testament bares record that NONE of the Jewish people in the first century understood Isaiah 53 to refer to Jesus, or one individual for that matter. When Jesus was in the garden praying, he tells his disciples that he must be crucified and mutilated for the world. However, one of the disciples rebuked Jesus. This is quite odd if he knew that Isaiah 53 refers to one individual


I. Who is the suffering servant?

My partner concedes that Israel is refered to as "G-d's servant." In the chapters engolfing the beautiful servant song, the theme is always about Israel. How, then, does Isaiah 53 suddenly refer to Jesus? Please justify that.

II. Does Jesus fit the discription of Isaiah 53?

A. Dispised and rejected

Conceded by my partner.

נִבְזֶה וַחֲדַל אִישִׁים אִישׁ מַכְאבוֹת וִידוּעַ חלִי וּכְמַסְתֵּר פָּנִים מִמֶּנּוּ נִבְזֶה וְלא חֲשַׁבְנֻהוּ
The Hebrew clearly tells that this is the universal theme for the servant, that he is dispised and rejected of men. Indeed, this is the theme of the Jewish nation.

NOTE: Graphic pictures for argument purposes only

Throughout the Jewish history (and especially during the Nazi regime), we have been depicted as hideous creatures with long noses and an evil to avoid. This is what Isaiah meant by "dispised and rejected." Indeed, Israel clearly fits the discription of "As many wondered about you, "How marred his appearance is from that of a man, and his features from that of people!""

B. Did not open his mouth

Sadly, my partner brought up verses that are contradicted by another; namely, John 18:33-38

Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

The passage in Isaiah refers to the numerous hardships in the Jewish history; not that they will be silent forever. Moreover, a commentary states: "

This verse prophesizes the many hardships – both physical torment and economic exploitation – that the Jews endured in exile. Ironically, this prophecy refers in part to the 11th century Crusaders who "persecuted and afflicted” the Jews in the name of Jesus. In our time, while Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe were "led to the slaughter," they still remained like a "lamb that is silent before her shearers" – without complaints against God." [2]

D. Offspring

This is conceded by my partner. I am well aware of the definition of zera. However, one must realize that it ALWAYS REFER TO A LITERAL OFFSPRING! If he was refering to a spiritual offspring (i.e., the church), then why is it that Isaiah used the word ze'ra and not banim?

E. Prolonged

How can G-d prolong his days? Jesus is supposed to be G-d and G-d is eternal. Therefore, he never dies.

II. If not Jesus, who?

Extend. I already shown that the "arm of the L-RD" only means a re-generation of Israel.

onto con.


[1] Origen. "Contra Celsus." Quoted on



My opponent continues to impress me with his arguments.

Rebuttal: Round Three

Historical Evidence

My opponent states that the "Jewish people have always understood Isaiah 53 to refer to Israel."

Evidence 1:

My opponent has submitted a topic that could neither prove nor disprove his case. Although Celsus did in fact concede to my opponent's viewpoint, this in no way can prove the actual historical and cultural aspects of Isaiah 53. Mainly because Celsus' essay was based off of opinion. Opinions will not be considered evidence. Furthermore, his essay was published circa 248 A.D. [1] -not even remotely close to the time period to whom which Isaiah 53 was addressed.

Evidence 2:

As it appears that my opponent has provided valid evidence to support his claim, let us observe the endeavors of this particular instance. I assume that my opponent is referring to:

Jesus went on to say, 'In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.' At this, some of his disciples said to one another, 'What does he mean by saying [this]..? They kept asking, 'What does he mean by "a little while"? We don’t understand what he is saying.'” John 16:16-18

(If this is not the verse that was referred to, I would ask my opponent to please clarify.)

The twelve disciples were not Jewish Pharisees; although they were raised in a society were Jewish law and religion was mandatory for boys growing up [2]. It is unlikely that they made the connection with what Christ was saying. Previously, they were fishermen and tax collectors; people who were too occupied with self-benefit to regard the importance of scripture. It was only after Christ's ascension did they begin to grow in their understanding.

Rebuking the rebuts

I. Who is the suffering servant?

I do, in fact, concede that Israel is "God's Servant" in the sense that Israel would someday give rise to the Son of Man. Adding, I would never refute what the scriptures say; so we must hold it valid for this debate. Jesus, was and is "Good news" to Israel at the time; God planned through his prophet, Isaiah, that he would send a "servant" to man to reconcile his people back to Him. In this sense, it was not "out-of-the-blue" That Isaiah would deliver this message, but very relevant for the time. As Israel desperately wanted God to dwell among them and their lives, hence came Jesus.

Something that would seem "out of place" would be the almost random apparent usage of the pronoun, "he;" as it is not used throughout the adjacent scriptures.

‘aḇ·dî is used to term "The Servant" in Isaiah 53:11. This term is only used when referring to a specific person [5]. Therefore, the entire nation of Israel would certainly be out of the question.

II. Does Jesus fit the description of Isaiah 53?

A. Despised and rejected

My opponent reiterated an already refuted case. Let us further investigate the Hebrew that my opponent has graciously provided:


This term, ’îš (ish), can be defined as so:

Ish: a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term [3].

"Ish" is used to describe "a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief." Since "Ish" is generally used only to adjunct a more definite term, it would only make sense that "Ish" is referring to a literal man. Ish, in the context, always refers to a literal man [4]. Although "ish" is sometimes used to describe multiple men, it would not make sense for the Hebrew to refer to the entire nation of Israel. This is because "Ish" refers to man/men/mankind specifically.

It is true that people of the Jewish descent have been/are ridiculed, depicted as sickly looking creatures. Nonetheless, this is not what Isaiah is referring to, he is referring to a physical mutilation not a genetic characteristic:

"Just as there were many who were appalled at him his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness" Isaiah 52:14

The term used for "marred" is "mishchath." "Mishcath" literally means "disfigurement," however, it derives from the word, "shachath," which means "to go to ruin" or better yet, "to destroy/to corrupt/ to ruin. [6]" Therefore, Isaiah is referring to a man (ish) that was ruined (shachath) beyond human likeness... Does this sound like someone familiar?

B. Did not open his mouth

This is not contradictory in any way. Both verses regard Jesus' trial, but at different instances of time. Both instances could easily have happened consecutively without any contradictions or conflicts. Even in this verse, Jesus does not oppose the charges set against him (as Isaiah 53 states). Therefore, my rebuke still stands.

My opponent supplies a commentary from an unknown source. Moreover, I would like to remind my opponent that many Jewish people did complain against God. I would advise my opponent to read the book, Night, by Elie Wiesel [7].

D. Offspring

My opponent states the following quote:


Incorrect. Allow me to direct my opponent to the following verses:

"Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood (seed {zera}) of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him." Isaiah 1:4

"On the great waters came the grain (seed {zera})of the Shihor; the harvest of the Nile was the revenue of Tyre, and she became the marketplace of the nations." Isaiah 22:3

As one can see, zera is not always used to denote "literal" offspring. It is better to view the context of which the word is used, in the context of Isaiah 53, "seed" would mean "plant" or "fruit" as in "result of one's labor." I stand with my original rebuke.

E. Prolonged

In the context of "prolonged days;" prolonged, meaning, "extended." As in, he remained on earth longer than he had planned, after resurrecting; demonstrating his power over death. Let me address the quote "he never dies." with some scientific fact:

Entropy: Everything tends toward disorder [8]

Jesus (God), subjected himself to the Law of Entropy, or the Second law of Thermodynamics so that his body may die. Why? To make the Ultimate human sacrifice worthwhile. By conquering death and defeating the very law that he created, he proved that he is God. Case Closed.

II. If not Jesus, who?

My opponent has conceded this; not attempting to refute Israel's history of violence and lack of specific details thereof denounces his case for this contention as conjecture.

One last argument

Considering that my opponent will only be given one last chance to rebuke my second rebuttal, I would like to add an argument for my case. Considering that my opponent has the BoP, I will not hold it against him if he refuses to address it, as it is not required for his position. Furthermore, this argument will only be stated to prove my case, in that Isaiah 53 IS referring to Jesus, and that Jesus IS in fact, the messiah.

-Observe the word, Yahweh. It is the name for the Judeo-Christian God.

-The Tetragrammeton is the shortened version of the whole phrase of Yahweh.


-YHWH means: Yodh Heh Waw He [9]

-Yodh (Closed Hand) Heh/He (Behold) Waw or Vav (Nail) He/Heh (Behold) [10]

Therefore, YHWH, or Yahweh is "Behold the nail, behold the hand." Does this sound like someone familiar?


I have addressed all of my opponent's contentions. I look forward to the closing round.

Onto Pro.

Debate Round No. 3


I wish to thank my partner for an excellent debate; it sure was nice to debate in a scholarly fasion. Because this is the last round, I will summarize quickly and respond as necessary.

I. Historical Evidence

Evidence 1: Contra Celsus

My partner concedes this point. This shows that the Jewish people, at least in the 4th century till now, did understand that Isaiah 53 is not about Jesus; rather, it is the nation of Israel as a whole.

Evidence 2: The New Testament

Yes this was the verse I was talking about. My partner, once again, concedes this point. My question to con is if what you are saying is true, is it not logically possible for them to have mistaken Jesus as messiah? Moreover, why didn't Jesus back up the crucifixion with Isaiah 53? That should remove all doubt. Lastly, we know Jesus (and his brother, which was one of the disciples) knew the scriptures extremely well. The evidence is in the story of Jesus' converse with the Jewish leaders when he was 12. [1]

II. Who is the servant?

My partner concedes that Israel is G-d's servant. However, he has shown a lack of knowlege of the Hebrew language (with all due respect to you). 'Abid(or a moreproper transliteration of "ebed) can refer to Israel. We know this as Isaiah 41:8 ("you are my 'ebed, O Israel) uses the same word 'ebed for servant. [2]

III. Does Jesus fit the suffering servant?

A. Despised and rejected

My partner concedes that Israel is dispised and rejected. However, he once again shows a lack of knowlege of the Hebrew language (with due respect to you). The Artscroll Tanach (one of the best of all commentaries) says, "The nations [remember, we already identified the gentile kings as the speakers] exclaim that they were convinced that G-d had caused Israel to suffer because it did not believe in Him. Now the nations realize that their sins were the reason that Israel suffered." [3]

B. Did not open his mouth

Conceded this point.

C. Offspring

Ze'ra makes perfect sense in these passages. Remember, Ze'ra can refer to a "plant" or "fruit"; however, in the context of Isaiah 53, ze'ra refers to a literal offspring of the nations. (Remember: these are the commentaries of NATIVE speakers of Hebrew!)

D. Prolonged

ya'arich yamim is the word used in this passage. It means "long life" or "prolonged life." IT DOES NOT MEAN ETERNAL LIFE!!!!! Rather, it is a lengthening of days which will come to an end. [4] Moreover, if Jesus truly is eternal, then how can Jesus' life be prolonged? it makes no sense in this passage. I still await your answer.

Final Notes
“There is no doubt that Isaiah 53 is to be understood in the context of the Isaiah tradition. Insofar as the servant is Israel – a common assumption of Jewish interpretation – we see that the theme of humiliation and exaltation serves the Isaiah rendering of Israel, for Israel in this literature is exactly the humiliated (exiled) people who by the powerful intervention of Yahweh is about to become the exalted (restored) people of Zion. Thus the drama is the drama of Israel and more specifically of Jerusalem, the characteristic subject of this poetry. Second, although it is clear that this poetry does not have Jesus in any first instance on its horizon, it is equally clear that the church, from the outset, has found the poetry a poignant and generative way to consider Jesus, wherein humiliation equals crucifixion and exaltation equals resurrection and ascension.” [5]

I concede that Israel has been violent; but at the same time, so has Jesus. We must concede that the 53 chapter of Isaiah discusses the RIGHTEOUS remnant of Israel (which I should have mentioned earlier).


[1] See Luke 3. I am of the opinion that this story is fiction, but for the purpose of debate, I will concede to that historical part of the gospels.

[2] Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for `ebed (Strong's 5650)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 30 Nov 2011. < http:// >

[3] Artscroll English Tanach: Isaiah 53.

[4] Rabbi Tovia Singer.;

[5] Walter Brueggemann Ph.D., Isaiah 40 – 66 (Louisville: Kentucky, 1998), p. 143


I agree with Pro. I have learned very much from extensive research, and I'm sure that he has too. I appreciate the approach that my opponent has made to this resolution; in a mature, scholarly fashion.

Now without any further-or-do, let us end this debate.

I. Historical evidence

Evidence 1:

My opponent does not accepted the fact that this reference cannot be credible evidence. The fourth century was three hundred years after Christ's life on earth. Furthermore, the essay was written by Contra Celsus, based off of his own personal opinion; not the Jewish people.

Evidence 2:

How could one mistake the messiah, whom performs miracles and raises the dead? Either the disciples were mentally disabled, or they encountered a man of divine magnitude. Also, who is to say that Jesus didn't back up Isaiah 53? Simply because it was not mentioned does not prove a viable cause. As for Jesus and his brother, it is still reasonable to believe that they simply did not make the connection at the time; regardless of whether they were aware of this or not.

II. Who is the servant?

I stand corrected. My opponent has offered a valid response to my argument. Either way, this term can also refer to Jesus. In this manner, we can almost accept this as inconclusive; as it can go both ways. Still, my opponent has not addressed the usage of the pronoun, "he," which makes it acceptable to assume this term fits in the context of Jesus.

III. Does Jesus fit the suffering servant?

A. Despised and rejected

My opponent has failed to explain exactly how I lack knowledge of the Hebrew language on this issue. I have clearly addressed the issue concerning disfigurement, moreover, I have explained how the context of Isaiah 53 requires a man, as opposed to a nation. My evidence still lies in accordance to the context of Isaiah 53. Refutation extended.

B. Did not open his mouth

Issue not even addressed. I have proven that Jesus did not speak against his afflictions, therefore, my refutation is still credible for this contention. Extended.

C. Offspring

Conceded by my opponent. I have proven that Zera refers to a metaphorical "fruit," as I have proven that Ish refers to a physical man; because my opponent has not attacked my previous rebuke, Zera refers to metaphorical results in accordance to the context of Isaiah 53. Extended.

D. Prolonged

My opponent misunderstood me. I was not referring to everlasting life, but to Jesus' prolonged life before he ascended into heaven. Prolonged being, the 40 days that he was on earth. This is credible, as Jesus could witness the fruit of his labor during this time. Extended.

E. Violence (added as contention for sake of simplicity)

My opponent has conceded this point; he has not refuted my rebuke to Jesus' lack of violence. Therefore, we can conclude Jesus was never violent due to my opponent's lack of addressing this.

Final Notes

I will say that I have learned so much from debating Mr.Infidel. I have learned so much more about Israel, and Hebrew, for the matter. I have learned about Israeli culture and faith, and even a little bit more about my opponent. I will also say, this has been one of the most productive debates that I have ever had the honor of being a part of. Never before, have I had an opponent so willing and passionate to discover the truth. In this, I applaud my opponent and sincerely recommend anyone and everyone to partake in a debate with him. He will be considered a challenge, but an distinguished one at best.

As for the resolution, the rest is up to the voters. I have discovered a great deal more about my faith and that of my opponent's; enough to where I am even more confident of my own beliefs. My opponent has provided a well thought-out opinion in his final note; but the final opinion rests on that of the voters. Has truth been revealed in this debate? I believe it has.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Mr.Infidel 6 years ago
Logic rules, yes a negative can be proved.
Posted by Mr.Infidel 6 years ago
It is fine
Posted by Buckethead31594 6 years ago
I don't plan to. Working on it now; sorry for the delay.
Posted by Mr.Infidel 6 years ago
Don't forfeit.
Posted by Mr.Infidel 6 years ago
First round is acceptance only. Forget the chicken comment. that was directed at izbo10
Posted by Mr.Infidel 6 years ago
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by logicrules 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:02 
Reasons for voting decision: Assertion of the negative is always a loser, as it can not be proved.
Vote Placed by Gileandos 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Overall, Great debate. I was really impressed with Con's clear and concise arguments. They all were not well refuted by Pro's position. Both were clear and well written.