The Old Testament was written by non-Christians for non-Christians
Debate Rounds (3)
Three rounds. Three simple statements for anyone to rebute.
Isaiah 40:3 prophesied that someone would come to prepare the way before "our God." Therefore, the one coming after this messenger would have to be God himself. Matthew 3; Mark 1:1-1; Luke 3:1-9 and John 1:23-34 testify that John the Baptist was indeed that messenger who prepared the way for Jesus Christ. What's more, the New Testament writers and the early Christians (whom at first were mostly monotheistic Jews) agreed that Jesus is God, hence, we have a clear fulfillment of Isaiah 40:3 regarding the Messiah's coming.
Deuteronomy 18:15 promised that one day God would raise up a prophet like Moses by whom God will call everyone to account. According to Paton J. Gloag, "The Talmud asserts 'that Messiah must be the greatest of future prophets, as being nearest in spirit to our master Moses.'... This prediction, then, could only receive its accomplishment in the Messiah." (The Messianic Prophecies, from 'The Messiahship of Christ', Minneapolis, MN, Klock & Klock, 1983 rpt., p. 114) Jesus, just like Moses, was Jew, had direct communication with God the Father, fasted in the wilderness 40 days, performed greater miracles than any prophet who came before him, and mediated a covenant between God and his people, thus, its no wonder Luke recognizes this was fulfilled in Jesus. (Acts 3:19-26) We must also remember Luke was getting his information from the eyewitnesses. (Luke 1:1-4)
Isaiah 9:6 records that the Messiah would be both "God," and yet born as "a baby." That could only refer to Jesus, whom is called "my God" by a monotheistic Jew like Thomas (John 20:28) and was worshiped by Jewish Christians in the first century.
Isaiah 52-53 was also understood as messianic. It prophesied that the Messiah would be pierced for our sins (53:5), would be silent before his accusers (53:7), would be killed and buried (53:8-9), but would live again to bring in righteousness (53:10-12), all of which the New Testament writers who were contemporaries of Jesus said was fulfilled in his trial, crucifixcion and resurrection. This Isaiah passage is one believed to have influenced some Jews to conceive of a two-Messiah idea. Dr. Raphael Patai writes: "When the death of the Messiah became an established tenet in Talmudic time, this was felt to be irreconcilable with the belief in the Messiah as the Redeemer who would usher in the blissful millennium of the Messianic age. The dilemma was solved by splitting the person of the Messiah in two." (The Messiah Texts, New York, Avon, 1979, p. 166)
The New Testament's overall record of Jesus' actions matches the issues and events that were prophesied. Although many passages concerning the Messiah could be covered, Hebrew scholar Alfred Edersheim extensively reviewed the rabbinic commentaries on the Messianic prophecies. As to whether or not the New Testament claims accurately reflect Messianic expectations, Edersheim summarizes:
"Accordingly, a careful perusal of their  scripture quotations shows that the main postulates of the New Testament concerning the Messiah are fully supported by rabbinic statements. Thus, such doctrines as the pre-mundane existence of the Messiah; his elevation above Moses, and even above the Angels; his representative character; his cruel suffering and derision; his violent death, and that for his people; his work on behalf of the living and of the dead; his redemption and restoration of Israel; the opposition of the gentiles; their partial judgment and conversion; the prevalence of his Law; the universal blessings of the latter days; and his kingdom - can clearly be deduced from unquestioned passages in ancient rabbinic writings... There is, indeed, in rabbinic writings frequent reference to the sufferings, and even death of the Messiah, and these are brought into connection with our sins." (The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah' (one volume edition), Grand Rapids, MI, Eerdmans, 1972, pp. 164-165)
It is a seldom mentioned fact that the pre-Christian Jews viewed more of the Old Testament Scriptures as messianic than did the New Testament authors, so the Gospel authors literally had a fountain of messianic prophecy to tap into and it only bespeaks their honestly in NOT taking taking full advantage of them. But how could Jews view certain statements as messianic prophecies when they at times appear to apply to the time in which the writer lived? The answer is type topology. The typological interpretation of prophecy asserts that the prophets did not so much make singular predictions as proclaim certain theological themes or patterns and that these themes often have several manifestations or fulfilments in the course of human history. These patterns often have their greatest manifestations in the life of Christ, but there may be other fulfilments elsewhere, especially in the immediate historical context of the prophet. Perhaps the clearest example is the suffering servant in Isaiah. ( 42:1-4 ; 49:1-6 ; 50:4-9 ; 52:13-53:12). At one point, Isaiah explicitly identifies the servant as Israel ( 49:3 ), but in 50:4-9 he describes the servant in very individualistic terms and in verse 9 the prophet seems to identify himself as the servant, showing multiple application. This is why NT writers apply texts to the Messiah that also apply to others.
No Christians in the Old Testament?
I have to agree with this point, because a Christian is someone who follows the law of the New Covenant (the Law of Christ) which was not laid down until Christ came in the flesh and was expounded on further through the ministry and writing of the early church in books such as Acts and the Letters of Paul. OT believers lived under the Law of Moses, so I would expect them not to be Christians. Their way of life was very different, but their OT prophesied the time when a New Covenant would be made, which means a new law would be in effect. So Christianity is the fulfillment of OT prophecy. (Jer 3:16; Hosea 2:11; Amos 8:5, 9; Jer 31:31-33; Heb 8:7-13)
OT God has no Christian Values?
God's qualities don't change, but his law changes. So his law to Israel was different from his law to Christians, but this doesn't imply that he himself has changed, or that he doesn't share any of the values embedded in the laws to which he gave both groups. The character of God in the NT is the same as in the Old, both books simply give different facets of his one personality, just like any person living today can be loving at times, and harsh at other times, it doesn't show he is two separate people.
Exodus 34:6-7 says God is merciful, loving, forgiving, and the same is said about him in the New Testament (1 John 4:8; Heb 8:12) God is a God of vengeance in both the Old and New Testament. (Heb 10:26-31; Deu 32:35-36) And just as God killed people in the OT he also struck people dead in the New Testament. (Acts 5:1-11; 12:21-23; Gen 18:24) So while Pro might think God did things in the OT that disagree with his values as expressed in the NT, God really hasn't changed at all. And my argument is that since God isn't a Christian, he can't have Christian values, he has divine values. We are the ones who have Christian values, which include or incorporate his divine values, just as the OT Jews also incorporated those values into their Judaism.
Even if I were to agree with everything that you wrote before and after the 'no Christians' part you and I would just be agreeing with my opening which is that the Old Testament did not lead anyone to Christ or else there would have been at least one Christian in the Old Testament, (which you have agreed with me that there are no Christians in the Old Testament).
Points 1 and 2 are mine-
1 The Old Testament does not lead to Christ
2 There are no Christians found anywhere in the Old Testament.
Now the only thing left for me is to prove that the God/LORD/Lord/Jehovah/War God/etc of the OT has no redeeming qualities whatsoever then "it is finished".
(1) Coming to Christ does not make one a Christian. So the Old Testament believers among the Jewish people who did come to Christ were lead to him by their Scriptures, but this did not make them Christians. Not being a Christian simply means you don't live by the Christian law as set out in New Testament times after Christ came, but before he came a person could still have a relationship with Christ.
(2) Even if the Old Testament didn't lead the Jews as a nation to Christ during the Old Testament period, this does not show these same OT writings could not lead people to Christ at a later time, such as when Jesus Christ walked the earth.
Now here are a few facts which show the Old Testament writings did indeed lead people to Christ:
(1) First century Jews and other believers who came to Christ, credited the Old Testament Scriptures, and Jesus himself built his doctrine from Old Testament prophecy and law. The New Testament was not yet written when Jesus walked the earth, so the primary Bible of the early Christian Church (which was very Jewish in its beginning - Jesus was a Jew) was the Old Testament. For examples:
(a) Salvation through Jesus was a central part of early Christianity, yet Paul says to Timothy: "and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." (2 Tim 3:15 NIV) Here Paul is saying the Old Testament pointed Timothy to Christ.
(b) "Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith." (Gal 3:24 NASB) The Old Testament law of Moses is said to lead to Christ.
(c) Jesus himself said that he came to fulfill the Old Testament law. "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." (Matt 5:17 NIV)
(d) "[Jesus] said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, "This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." (Luke 24:44-47) The OT did point them to Christ, since Jesus himself used the OT to validate his identity and mission, and they believed him.
The writers of the NT quoted the Hebrew Scripture OT hundreds of times. According to a listing published by Westcott and Hort, the combined total of quotations and references is some 890. (The New Testament in the Original Greek, Graz, 1974, Vol. I, pp. 581-595) Examples are drawn from the Hebrew Scriptures by all the inspired Christian writers. (1Co 10:11) These later writers acknowledge and include the Hebrew Scriptures as inspired of God and beneficial for completely equipping the man of God for every good work."2Ti 3:16,"17; 2Pe 1:20,"21.
From the days of the faithful man Abel, God"s servants had eagerly looked forward to the Seed foretold by God himself. (Genesis 3:15; 4:1-8; Hebrews 11:4) It had been revealed that the Seed would serve God"s purpose as the Messiah, meaning "Anointed One." He would "finish off sin," and the glories of his Kingdom were foretold in the psalms. (Daniel 9:24-26; Psalm 72:1-20) Jesus was recognized as the Messiah on the basis of him fulfilling many OT prophecies. Andrew rushed to his brother Simon Peter and told him: "We have found the Messiah." (John 1:41) Jesus" disciples were convinced that he was the promised Messiah. (Matthew 16:16)
Jesus" lineage lays the first basis for identifying him as the promised Messiah. Jehovah had told His servant Abraham that the promised Seed would come from his family. Abraham"s son Isaac, Isaac"s son Jacob, and Jacob"s son Judah each received a similar promise. (Genesis 22:18; 26:2-5; 28:12-15; 49:10) The line of the Messiah"s descent was narrowed down centuries later when King David was told that his family line would produce this One. (Psalm 132:11; Isaiah 11:1,"10) The Gospel accounts of Matthew and Luke confirm that Jesus came through that family line. (Matthew 1:1-16; Luke 3:23-38) Though Jesus had many bitter enemies, none of them challenged his well-publicized line of descent. (Matthew 21:9,"15) Clearly, then, his lineage is beyond question. However, the Jews" family records were destroyed when"the Romans sacked Jerusalem in 70"C.E. In later times, no one could ever prove a claim to be the promised Messiah.
Fulfilled prophecy is a second line of evidence. Scores of Hebrew Scripture prophecies describe various aspects of the Messiah"s life course. In the eighth century"B.C.E., the prophet Micah foretold that this great ruler would be born in the insignificant town of Bethlehem. Two towns in Israel were named Bethlehem, but this prophecy specified which one: Bethlehem Ephrathah, where King David had been born. (Micah 5:2) Jesus" parents, Joseph and Mary, lived in Nazareth, some 90 miles [150"km] north of Bethlehem. While Mary was pregnant, however, the Roman ruler Caesar Augustus ordered all the people to register in their home cities. So Joseph had to take his pregnant wife to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born."Luke 2:1-7.
So many people were led to Jesus because of the OT writings during the time of Christ.
(2) Jesus is he God of the OT, therefore, by coming to Yahweh/Jehovah, the OT Jews were coming to Jesus.
(a) Isaiah 9:6 said from the beginning that it was God himself "mighty God" who would be born as a child. So the Messiah is God.
(b) Isaiah 40:3 speaks about preparing the way for the LORD (Yahweh). When we compare this verse with Mark 1:3 we see that Jesus is the LORD who had the way prepared for him by John the Baptist.
In Joel 2:32a it says that whoever calls upon the Name of the LORD (Yahweh) will be saved. This verse is quoted by Peter in Acts 2:21, and by Paul in Romans 10:13. Both apostles are clearly referring to Jesus as the LORD.
In Isaiah 6:1-10 we read about the marvelous vision that Isaiah had revealing the glory of the LORD (Yahweh). John tells us in John 12:40-41 that this vision revealed the glory of Jesus.
In Isaiah 44:6, the LORD (Yahweh) refers to himself as "the First and the Last". In Revelation 1:8 and 17, Jesus similarly refers to himself as "the Alpha and the Omega" and "the First and the Last".
In Genesis 1:26 God speaks of himself in the plural, "Let US make man in OUR image." No monotheistic Jew would believe that they were created by angels, so to whom was God speaking?
Isaiah 44:24 tells us that Yahweh made all things, streached out the heavens alone, spread out the earth by himself; yet Scripture reveals the Father as creator (Isa 64:8), and the Son (Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:2, 8-10), and the Holy Spirit (Ps 104:30; Job 26:13; 33:4) Yet, the first Christians were monotheistic Jews whose beliefs were based on completely monotheistic OT Scriptures even before they wrote the NT. Deu 4:35; Isa 43:10-11; 44:6, 8; 45:5-6, 14, 21-22; 46:9; Mal 2:10; Rom 3:30; 1 Cor 8:6; Eph 4:6; Jam 2:19) So it makes sense that Jesus is the God of the OT, which agrees with the fact that Micah 5:2 says the Messiah EXISTED BEFORE HE WAS BORN AS A HUMAN.
So by coming to Yahweh, OT Jews were coming to Jesus, and when he came as a man, he made God's triune nature more clear. But even in the OT God appears as a man. (Gen 18) I think that rebuts your argument.
Pro final argument: Jesus of Nazareth is Christ. Jesus who is the giver of all life said it twice-
All those who did eat manna in the wilderness are dead.
That means that Jehovah of the OT did take those people out to the desert with every intention of killing them. And he did.
Pro didn't rebut my arguments, so please vote Con.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments weren't fully refuted.
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