Jesus Christ is the Messiah as Fortold in the Tenakh (Old Testament)
Round 2 - Opening Arguments
Round 3 - Rebuttals
Round 4 - Rebuttals/Closing Statements
Thank you for challenging me to this debate. I look forward to learning.
Consider the conversation the Pharisees had with Jesus concerning the promised Messiah, "While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, 'What think ye of Christ? whose son is he?' They say unto him, 'The son of David.' He saith unto them, 'How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?' And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions" (Matthew 22:41-46). I believe Jesus was here referring to the divinity of Messiah. Jews see Jesus as Jesus ben Joseph, but Christians see Him as Jesus ben Elohim. This controversy of Messiah's deity is also part of the great divide between Jews and Christians concerning the identity of Messiah. Christians will often point to Matthew 1:23 as being the fulfilment of Isaiah 7:14. The problem is, to my knowledge, Jews don't concede that Isaiah 7 is referring at all to Messiah. This exemplifies the typical debate between Jews and Christians, they don't agree to the verses quoted. Of course I do believe such verses as Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:6-7, and many others are referring to Jesus Christ, but I don't think they ultimately prove Jesus as Messiah.
Lets first look at Daniel 9. "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined" (Daniel 9:24-26). I believe the Jesus Christ fits the time frame, but since this is debatable, I will only focus on the events related to Messiah. Notice Messiah is to be "cut off" which relates to His death. This cannot be referring to the end-time coming of Messiah since after His coming at this time He will rule (and live) forever. Notice also that He is killed "not for Himself." Who is He killed for? The context of this passage is the time when, upon the holy city, reconciliation for inqiuity will be made. The Hebrew word "kaphar," translated here as "reconciliation," is also translated more than 70 times as "atonement." This relates very much to Romans 5:8-11, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." By the death and shedding of the blood of Messiah, we receive the atonement. Notice also that in Daniel 9:26 that the "city and the sanctuary" would be destroyed. Jesus Himself foretold of the destruction of the temple (Matthew 24:1-2). I believe Daniel 9 is speaking very strongly about Jesus as the Messiah.
Consider also Isaiah 53. "For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken" (Isaiah 53:2-8). Who is the "he" being referred to in this passage? I believe it is Jesus Christ. Notice He has no "beauty," and by all accounts Jesus looked just like an average Jewish man indistinguishable from His disciples for He took on the seed of Abraham, looking just as any other Jew (Hebrews 2:16). Notice He is despised and rejected as of course we know the Gospel accounts tell us of Jesus. He is a man of sorrows (Luke 22:44). Notice also that He is wounded for the people's transgressions (1 Corinthians 15:3). On Him was laid the iniquity of all and He was as a lamb for the slaughter (John 1:29). I think it is very clear that Isaiah 53 is referring to Messiah, but more on this in the next round.
I thank pro for his opening statements and wish him the best of luck.
“The first to present his case seems right, until another comes along and challenges him.” – Proverbs 18:17
I. What/Who is a “Messiah”?
The word messiah is the English pronunciation of the Hebrew word “mashiach – מָשִׁיחַ.” The word “mashiach” is a form of the word “limshobach” which means “to pour.” A mashiach is therefore something which would have been anointed with oil in order to serve a special purpose. Throughout the entire T’nach, the word מָשִׁיחַ appears multiple times referring to several people.
In Isaiah 45:1, King Cyrus is called “His [God’s] Mashiach.”
So said Adonai to His messiah (לִמְשִׁיחוֹ֘), concerning Koresh (Cyrus) — whom I siezed by his right hand to flatten nations before him, and I will loosen kings’ loins — to open portals before him and gates will not be closed....
Even more interestingly is that the phrase ha-mashiach (the messiah) only appears one time and that is in Leviticus 4:3
“If the anointed (ha-mashiach) priest sins so as to bring guilt on the people, then let him offer to the Lord a bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed."
So where do we get the concept of “the messiah”? There are many prophecies in the Netuvim that speak about the end of days (i.e., messianic era) – a time of peace and a time when the world will be filled with the knowledge of Hashem. In this period, the temple will be rebuilt, the Jews will return from exile, and the Davidic kingdom will be restored – among many other things. The king who will rule will be a descendant of Solomon and David (as were required of all kings) is referred to as “the messiah” though is actually never called “the messiah” in the first place.
II. Jesus was not qualified to be Mashiach
The T’nach states Jesus must be a descendant of David and Solomon (2 Samuel 7:12-16), but Jesus was born of a virgin – i.e., without an earthly father. And because genealogy goes from father to son (Numbers 1:18) Jesus could not have had any legal claim to the throne (or any tribal affiliation for that matter).
Response to Pro
Pro made several attempts at showing that Jesus was the messiah; however, upon closer inspection of these “messianic prophecies” reveal just how weak these arguments are. There are four predominate ways in which Christian missionaries twist the T’nach:
My opponent brings up Psalm 110 which is quoted in Matthew 22:41-44:
What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?
They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How then does David in the spirit call him ‘Lord,’ saying, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool?”’ If David then called him Lord, how is he his son?” No one was able to answer him a word, neither did any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
According to Tovia Singer from Outreach Judaism:
Although the two English words in the KJV translation were deliberately made to appear virtually identical, in the original Hebrew text they are entirely different. Whereas the first word “Lord” in the Hebrew is a correct translation of יהוה, which is the Tetragrammaton (YHWH), the ineffable name of God, the second word “Lord” is a complete and deliberate mistranslation of the text. The second word “Lord” in the verse is an appalling translation of the Hebrew word לַאדֹנִי; (pronounced ladonee).
The correct and only translation of ladonee is “to my master” or “to my lord.” The Hebrew word adonee never refers to God anywhere in the Bible. It is used only to address a person, never God. That is to say, God, the Creator of the universe, is never called adonee in the Bible. There are many words reserved for God in the Bible; adonee, however, is not one of them.
So now we must explore what Psalm 110 actually means. I turn once again to Tovia Singer:
The Psalm begins with the opening Hebrew words מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד (Mizmor l’David).” – A Song of David.
Why would King David be writing these songs? For whom was he writing them? Who did King David intend to sing these songs? With these questions in mind, we can begin to understand the meaning of Psalm 110.
One of King David’s greatest disappointments was God’s refusal to allow him to build the first Temple in Jerusalem. Although David’s son Solomon undertook that task, and eventually constructed the first Temple, David’s umbilical connection to Solomon’s Temple was significant.
For example, David founded the city of Jerusalem, the city where the Temple was built. In fact, both the city and the Temple were named after him, the City and Temple of David. Moreover, he made preparations for the building of the Temple, and even arranged for the Temple service (II Samuel 7; I Chronicles 14-17, 22-26). This is where the Book of Psalms played its central role. King David was a faithful servant of God who possessed extraordinary skills as a teacher, musician, and poet. In fact, King David authored most of the Book of Psalms. The central purpose of the composition of this sacred work for the Levites to sing them in the Temple. The Levites would stand on a platform and joyfully chant these spiritually exhilarating Psalms to an inspired audience. Accordingly, the Levites would sing allowed,
The Lord [God] said to my master [King David] “Sit thou at my right hand…” (Psalm 110:1)
For the Church, however, the Psalmist’s original intent was set aside because it was zealously committed to Christianizing this verse. Thus, the opening verse in Psalm 110 was altered in order to paint Jesus into the Jewish Scriptures.
Had the writer of the Gospel of Matthew never invented the scene in Matthew chapter 22, no Christian would ever assume that Psalm 110 speaks about Jesus or any future Messiah.
Here we see that the passage is both mistranslated and out-of-context. Isaiah 7:14 reads in Hebrew: “Hinneh ha-al’mah harah v’yoldet ben v’kara’t shemo Immanuel” – “Behold the young woman is with child, and she shall bear a son and will call his name “Immanuel.” It mentions nothing about the Messiah and NOTHING about a virgin birth 500+ years later.
My opponent has use several other texts, but as I am out of space (and time) I will leave it at this. I request that my opponent take two or three verses and debate just those verses.
Over to pro.
 Penina, T. “Scripture Twisting: A Course in Jewish-Christian Polemics.” Page 53. Print.
 As previously mentioned, the word “Christ” is the Greek equivalent of Mashiach, or Messiah.
 In layman’s terms, of whom is the “Christ” (or the Messiah) supposed to be a descendant of
You say, "My opponent has use several other texts, but as I am out of space (and time) I will leave it at this. I request that my opponent take two or three verses and debate just those verses." If you noticed I only used Isaiah 53:2-8 and Daniel 9:24-26 as my proof texts to which you did not even address. You only addressed Matthew 22/Psalm 110 and Isaiah 7:14 of which I myself said they do not ultimately prove that Jesus is the Messiah. It is unwise to debate only two or three verses as I believe to get the full picture of Messiah we must look at the preponderance of Messianic verses, but I will limit myself to the already given passages since you have not yet addressed them. I will now first address your response and then provide more information about Daniel 9 and Isaiah 53.
You say, "Pro made several attempts at showing that Jesus was the messiah; however, upon closer inspection of these 'messianic prophecies' reveal just how weak these arguments are." You did not address them and you therefore did not show how "weak these arguments are." You addressed verses which I myself said do not ultimately prove Jesus as the Messiah (at least when taken alone).
Rabbi Tovia Singer is in error on two accounts. He makes a false claim that the second word "Lord" in Psalm 110:1 was purposefully and "appallingly" mistranslated. The word "adonee" is translated as "lord" throughout the Old Testament. Even Rabbi Singer says that it can be translated as "lord." His claim is therefore moot. His second claim that "adonee" is never used in reference to God is also false. I can cite numerous passages in which "adonee" is unquestionably used in reference to the LORD God. Here are a few examples: Joshua 3:11,13, Nehemiah 8:10, Nehemiah 10:29, Psalms 8:1,9, Psalms 114:7, Psalms 135:5, Isaiah 1:24, Isaiah 3:1, Malachi 3:1.
Rabbi Singer's claim that Psalm 110 is simply referring to David is without justification. This Psalm is very Messianic. Verse 5 in particular points very strongly to the Messiah who will sit at the right hand of God and bring judgment in the day of His wrath. God made a promise to King David through the prophet Nathan that the Messiah would come from his lineage and that his throne would be established for ever, so the fact that this verse may have been written in reference to king David does not negate it as a Messianic passage.
You say, "Had the writer of the Gospel of Matthew never invented the scene in Matthew chapter 22, no Christian would ever assume that Psalm 110 speaks about Jesus or any future Messiah." Matthew was not alone in recording these words of Jesus; Mark 12:35-37 and Luke 20:41-43 record this as well. The idea that authorial intent takes precedence over all interpretation is without justification as the Holy Spirit gave these men utterance to speak and write the word of God (2 Peter 1:21). Notice Mark 12:36 says that David spoke being moved by the Holy Spirit. David would have known full well that the covenant God made with him referred to the future Messiah (Genesis 49:10, 1 Chronicles 17:11-14).
You say, "Here we see that the passage is both mistranslated and out-of-context. Isaiah 7:14 reads in Hebrew: "Hinneh ha-al"mah harah v"yoldet ben v"kara"t shemo Immanuel" " "Behold the young woman is with child, and she shall bear a son and will call his name "Immanuel." It mentions nothing about the Messiah and NOTHING about a virgin birth 500+ years later." First we must note that this was to be a sign from Adonai Himself; "Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above" (Isaiah 7:11). A woman giving birth is not very much of a sign, but a virgin giving birth is a definitely a recognizable sign from God. This cannot be referring to Hezekiah or any other person that Jewish commentators propose for many reasons (http://www.biblestudytools.com...). The root word of "almah" (young woman/virgin) is "alam" which means to veil from sight, hide and conceal (http://www.biblestudytools.com...). A virgin is defined as a pure, untouched woman who is veiled from men (hence the veil a woman wears at a wedding); a woman who has had no carnal knowledge of man (http://thekingsbible.com...). This passage indeed refers to Messiah, Isaiah 8:8 indicates that Judah is Immanuel's (Messiah's). When taken in the greater context of Isaiah 7-11 we can see it clearly refers to Messiah. Isaiah 7:13 gives reference to the house of David which is very unique in the Nevi'im (prophets). Consider 2 Chronicles 6:16. Isaiah 9:6 is again referring to this child which shall be born whose name shall be Immanuel (God with us), and, with this greater context considered, is no doubt referring to Messiah of whose ". . .government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom. . ." (Isaiah 9:7).
Notice that in Daniel 9:21-22 it is the angel Gabriel who reveals to the prophet Daniel Messiah. Of course we know it is this same angel who proclaims to Mary the birth of Messiah (Luke 1:26-37). Gabriel also reveals to Daniel that the Prince of princes shall break the wicked king (Antichrist) "without hand" (by the sword of His mouth - Revelation 19:21) and Daniel previously is given the interpretation of king Nebuchadnezzar's dream in which he is told that ". . .in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever" (Daniel 2:44, Daniel 8:25). With this context in mind, when we come to Daniel 9, we most definitely can see that it is referring to Messiah, at a time when Titus will "destroy the city and the sanctuary," who will ". . .cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation. . ." (Daniel 9:26-27). Jesus prophesized that the temple would be destroyed (Luke 21:5-6). And of course we know that historically both the city and the temple were destroyed (http://biblehub.com...).
And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
"Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors" (Isaiah 53:9-12). This speaks very clearly about the propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God slain for the sins of the world (John 1:29, 1 John 2:2). This is such a unique passage that, without the historical death of Christ, it does not make sense. Notice the Ethiopian man in Acts 8 who was reading Isaiah 53 inquired of Philip who the passage was referring to. "The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?" (Acts 8:32-34). Verse 35 tells us that Philip expounded to him Messiah from this passage. It is very clear, you must have an agenda to not see this clear Messianic passage and its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. Isaiah 52:10 says "The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God," so the context of chapter 53 is salvation. Notice also Isaiah 53:1 begins with "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?" Isaiah 52:3 says that God's people will be redeemed "without money" (with the blood of Christ) which is expounded in 1 Peter 1:18-21, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God."
AnsweringAtheism forfeited this round.
I will not expand on my rebuttals or arguments since you forfeited the previous round. I believe I have made a clear case thus far and have effectually refuted my opponents "case."
AnsweringAtheism forfeited this round.