The Tanakh describes Messiah as Divine
Debate Rounds (5)
Con shall show that the Tanakh does not support pro's claim.
First round is acceptance. Any other round may be used as the debater deems fit for winning.
This can be a very controversial debate among different groups. I request voters provide in their RFD at least one specific argument they believe wasn't well met and why. I want the two debaters to understand why one person won and the other didn't, if there isn't a tie. Thank you.
Open Voting 7 point system with 2000 minimum elo. 1 month voting period.
5 rounds with up to 8000 characters.
Thank you for taking up this debate with me. If there are any modifications you would like before accepting the debate, please discuss them with me either publicly in comments or privately in messages. I'm looking forward to a challenging and friendly debate with a respectable opponent such as yourself. I can tell from your previous debates on similar topics that you are very well informed on the topic at hand, so I'm assuming this will turn out well.
Pro has also displayed some considerable knowledge on the subject of the Tanakh--so likewise, I am also looking forward to debating and covering this very interesting topic.
As Pro states within round one: I will be showing that the Tanakh does not outline or describe divinity of the Messiah.
I have given my pleasantries to my friend/opponent EmilRose, so I'll jump right in.
First, I'd like to point out that this debate has little to do with Yeshua (aka Jesus) or Christianity. It is a debate over whether or not the Jewish scriptures (the Tanakh) claims that the Messiah (literally translated into English as "Anointed One") has a divine nature.
There are many scriptures that refer to Messiah being divine. I will also use ancient Jewish writings from the Talmud, Mishna, and other Jewish sources to show that this was the interpretation of Jewish rabbis both before and after Christianity began. This interpretation of ancient (before Christianity) rabbis also establishes the credibility of the divine interpretation being argued in favor of by pro.
Unless otherwise noted, I will use New King James Version (NKJV) for all my scripture references. For those perhaps unfamiliar, the original King James Version (KJV) was made to be as literal (word-for-word) translation as possible, but was translated in Old English. The NKJV is almost the same as KJV, but uses modern American English. For those interested, there is a freely available tool called Strong's Exhaustive Concordance that provides the original Hebrew from which the Tanakh was translated with statistics on each Hebrew word and many other tools.
To make this more straight forward for the voters, I plan to use the English names for books from the Tanakh.
To look up verses and compare them, there are a number of sources. I usually used BibleGateway:
Round 2 Opening Arguments
Even modern Jewish rabbis agree that Isaiah 9:6 is speaking about a Messiah (1, 2, 3). To not misrepresent, though, the common interpretation is that King Hezekiah was a Messiah that this verse refers to (1). I will allow to give more details. It is also clear from the targums and mishna that the names in the list refer to the child/Messiah (1, 2, 3). One name in the list stands out: El Gibbor (Mighty G-d). El Gibbor is a name that is reserved for G-d (1). If the list of names applies to Messiah, then this verse is calling Messiah by a name only given to G-d thus making Messiah equal with G-d. On the other hand, this verse refers to a Messiah that is born.
Modern Orthodox Judaism agrees that Micah 5:2 is a reference to Messiah, the Son of David who was created before the sun was (4, 5). However, it is also believed that only G-d existed before the universe was created, thus if this ruler existed from everlasting, this ruler would have to be G-d. This verse is very clear that this leader will be human, coming from the tribe of Judah.
It is astounding to note that the Messiah is given the most sacred name for G-d in all of Judaism!
I provided a link to blueletterbible. One may open the study tools there to see the original Hebrew to confirm that the name for G-d is given of Messiah. This has been agreed to by Jewish rabbis. For example, the Midrash on Lamentations 1:16 written in the third century by Rav Huna asserts that Messiah has the most sacred name for G-d (8, 9, 10).
Speaking of the names given to the Messiah, Isaiah 7:14 claims that a human child will be called Immanuel which literally translates into English "G-d with us".
Whether or not the word virgin is appropriate is debatable and is off-topic for this debate. Whether or not it was a virgin or just a young maiden, the point still stands that there is a human child named "G-d with us". If the meaning of the name is taken at face value, it implies that the human with that name is also G-d. If this is the case, it is difficult to attribute the child in this verse to anyone but Messiah, because there is no other human in the scriptures which could possibly be divine. It is no surprise that this verse was traditionally given a messianic interpretation before the anti-Christian movement.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a significant archaeological finding, because they have been left preserved and unmodified since before Christianity which leaves them unbiased for or against the Christian claim that Messiah is divine. Judaism was much more diverse in those days than it is in modern times, even though it is very diverse in modern times. However, it is notable that the Dead Sea Scrolls contained evidence that some early Jewish adherents believed in a divine Messiah (11).
I have shown that Judaism has accepted the idea of a divine Messiah before, shortly after, and recently. I have also given just a few verses on which this belief is based. I plan to provide more in future rounds.
Best of luck to EmilRose. I'm looking forward to her response.
I will now proceed with presenting my own case, and outline why the Tanakh does in fact not describe or suggest a divine nature. As Pro is using additional Jewish sources such as the Talmud, I may also do myself in further arguments.
The belief within Judaism is not that the Messiah (Mashiach) will be a divine being--and certainly not one that may rightly be called "G-d", as this would of course be add odds with Jewish belief in (one) G-d and would contradict his status as G-d. While certain ideas surrounding the Messiah have had slight variations according to individual interpretation, it's generally accepted that the Messiah will in fact be a human being born of two human parents and a leader of Israel. "Divinity", as noted by Pro in round one and two, suggests something of a G-d-like nature and naturally fails to coincide with the traditional Jewish concept of the Messiah.
Here I will outline verse from the Tanakh that is considered Messianic in nature within the religion of Judaism:
Yesha'yahu 2:4 (Isaiah) "And He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
Outlining that the Messiah will be a "king" in not only Israel but among the nations.
Yesha'yahu 2:17 (Isaiah) "And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; and the L-rd alone shall be exalted in that day."
Indicating that the one true G-d will recognised by all.
Yesha'yahu 11:1 (Isaiah) "And a shoot shall spring forth from the stem of Jesse, and a twig shall sprout from his roots".
That the Messiah will be a descendant of King David--the son of Jesse.
Yirmeyahu 23:5-6 (Jeremiah) "Behold, days are coming, says the LR09;rd, when I will set up of David a righteous shoot, and he shall reign as king and prosper, and he shall perform judgment and righteousness in the land. In his days,Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely, and this is his name that he shall be called, The LR09;rd is our righteousness."
Yesha'yahu 11:2 (Isaiah) "And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and heroism, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord."
This verse in particular explicitly suggests that the Messiah is a human man, and that he is not part of G-d. Hence terms such as "fear of the L-rd".
Yesha'yahu 11:4 (Isaiah) 11:4 "But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked."
Yesha'yahu 11:12 (Isaiah) "And He will set up an ensign for the nations, and will assemble the dispersed of Israel, and gather together the scattered of Judah from the four corners of the earth."
The clear statement here is that he will bring all of the Jewish people in the world back into the land of Israel.
Zekharyah 8:23 (Zechariah) "So said the L-rd of Hosts: In those days, when ten men of all the languages of the nations shall take hold of the skirt of a Jewish man, saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that G-d is with you."
Yechezkel 37:26-8 (Ezekiel) "And I will form a covenant of peace for them, an everlasting covenant shall be with them; and I will establish them and I will multiply them, and I will place My Sanctuary in their midst forever."
Rebuilding of the third temple--which is one of the most significant qualifications and requirements of the Messiah.
As well as the third Temple--which the Messiah has to fulfill before fully becoming the "Messiah" and annointed king of Israel, it is also believed that the Messiah will reinstate the Sanhedrin. As I alluded to previously, the Messiah will also be a leader in fighting and then defeating the enemies of Israel.
Here we have a selection of Tanakh verses that are all recognised as Messianic by Judaism. Within the available Tanakh verse, there is no suggestion of anything "divine" in his nature. Moreover, there is certainly nothing explicitly outlining any divinity. What is established is that Messiah will be a man of the world who is also expected to adhere G-d and his laws. If the Messiah was to be a divine, then naturally he would have to be born divine and live as a divine being, on the contrary to that, it is only stated that the Messiah will be a leader and a king. Another belief maintained within Judaism is that the Messiah will have children (and later grandchildren) that will become his predecessors in overtaking his leadership and fulfilling further duties--again, this does not support the concept of any divinity. After all, if the Messiah was truly divine and not only part of G-d, but worthy of being called "G-d", it's highly unlikely that he would have children and grandchildren coming in his place to assume his role. Technically, it would mean that they are also to be considered divine or of divine nature and therefore on the same level as G-d.
In Genesis 32, Jacob (Yaakov meaning deceiver) wrested with "the Angel of G-d" all night long (12). It was a physical person he wrestled with. Yaakov's name was changed to Israel (Yisrael). I've read various interpretations of the name Yisrael, but all of them have to do with wrestling with G-d. It appears as though Yaakov wrested with G-d incarnate.
The idea that G-d could not incarnate was mostly a reaction to Christianity. The idea of a divine Messiah was found quite acceptable by many Jewish adherents at the time Christianity was starting. It wasn't until fourth century when the Jewish leader attempted to "put clear water between the spreading new faith and those it considered Jews" (13). There is a new book out on this topic written by a Jewish (anti-Christian) expert on Talmud (13).
Before Christianity, it was not universally contrary to Judaism to believe that Messiah would be "an exalted agent of G-d with characteristics of the divine" (14). In fact, the author of this kesherjournal article believed it to be common.
Again, this argument does not address the Tanakh (which is the subject of the debate) directly. This is an indirect argument regarding what Jewish people believed about the Tanakh. I have spent time on this argument, because con spent time on this argument.
Con also brought up some other aspects related to Messiah. For example, Messiah is expected to build the third temple. This does not preclude Messiah from being G-d incarnate. Nor does any of the other expectations of Messiah put forth by con. Con seems to be arguing that Yeshua (Jesus) is not the Messiah, because Yeshua (Jesus) did not accomplish these things. These are debatable points, but they are not clearly on the topic of this debate. I spent time emphasizing that this debate is within the context of Judaism and is not at all a debate on any claim made by Christianity, especially Yeshua (Jesus).
Con claims that Jews believe Messiah will have children, thus cannot be divine. However, con does not provide any reason to believe this from the Tanakh. On the contrary, the scriptures tell us that Messiah will not have children in Isaiah 53 (15). As my source shows, Talmud refers to Isaiah 53 as Messianic. It wasn't until the Jewish leaders attempted to separate themselves from Christianity that Isaiah 53 was commonly interpreted any other way. Isaiah 53 states that Messiah will not have any descendants.
Isaiah 53 NLT
Daniel 9 also implies this.
Daniel 9a AMP
Again, this is a debate on the Tanakh, not traditional Judaism. Traditional Judaism is riddled with anti-Christian doctrines. So the question may be asked, why does Judaism reject the idea of G-d incarnate? Is this belief based on the Tanakh or on anti-Christian bias? After all, Judaism that believes in a divine Messiah do so based on the Tanakh as I have already begun to show. I continue to challenge con to prove the same is true of those who reject the idea.
"None of the verses used by Con indicate that Messiah will not be divine."
The point is to highlight that none of these verses indicate that the Messiah will be divine. The resolution states: "The Tanakh describes Messiah as divine", so the purpose of inclusion of Messianic verse was to show that the Messiah is indeed not "described" as being divine.
In order to expand on the argument against divinity of the Messiah or G-d being incarnate within the Messiah, G-d explictly forbids the worship of any form--most specificaly human form.
And example of this is found in Devarim (Deuteronomy) Chapter 4.
Beginning with verse 4:9:
"But beware and watch yourself very well, lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest these things depart from your heart, all your days of your life, and you shall make them known to your children and to your children's children."
Here we see that G-d is directly commanding Israel to teach these things throughout the generations. To present the full context, I'll include further verse:
Devarim 4:10 further states: "The day you stood before the L-rd your G-d at Horeb, when the L-rd said to me: "Assemble the people for Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me in all the days that they live in earth , and that they may teach their children."
Devarim 4:11: "And you approached and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain urned with fire up to the midst of the heavens, with darkness, a cloud, and opaque darkness."
Devarim 4:12: "The L-rd spoke to you out of the midst of fire; you heard sound of the words, but saw no image, just a voice."
Note here how the term "no image" is explicitly stated.
Devarim 4:13: "And He told you His covenant, which He commanded to you to, the Ten Commandments, and He inscribed them on two stone talets".
Devarim 4:14: "And the L-rd commanded me at the time to teach you statutes and ordinances, so that you should do them in the land to which you are crossing, to possess.
The next few verses of Devarim further highlight the importance of these commands and reiterate that G-d is commanding Israel not to acknowledge Him in any (physical) form.
Devarim 4:15: "And you shall watch yourselves very well, for you did not see any image on the day that the L-rd spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire."
Devarim 4:16: "Lest you become corrupt and make for yourselves a graven image, the representation of any form, the likeness of male or female."
Devarim 4:17: "The likeness of any beast that is on this earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in heaven."
Devarim 4:18: "'The likeness of anything that crawls on the gorund, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters, beneath the earth.".
So, the main message from this particular Chapter is once again that G-d commands his people not to not recognise him in any visible form.
Now alluding further to the Messiah, verses such as Hoshe'a 3:5 (Hosea) states this:
"Afterwards shall the children of Israel return, and seek the L-rd their G-d and David their King, and they shall come trembling to the L-rd and His goodness at the end of days."
In this verse, David (the Messiah) is clearly spoken in a seperate sense to G-d and there is no suggestion of any divinity being applied to the Messiah. Rather than stating "David their G-d" it readily states "David their King", and once more he is referenced seperately.
Concerning further arguements made by Con, he states that: "I spent time emphasizing that this debate is within the context of Judaism and is not at all a debate on any claim made by Christianity, especially Yeshua (Jesus)".
However, I have not referenced the name of Jesus within this debate. The example of the building of the third Temple (as a requirement) was to demonstrate that the Messiah does not have to be divine and moreover--that he is not expected to be divine.
Rather it apppears that Con has used sources clearly supporting the Messiah as Jesus--therefore naturally favouring divinity of the Messiah.
As for Yesha'yahu 53, this Chapter in particular that has been subject to a number of mistranslations; so in order to fully establish what the prophecy is and what the verses are referencing one has to examine the full conntext, and in the correct Hebrew translation.
Verses such as Yesha'yahu 53:3 show: "He was despised, and forsaken of men, a man of pains, and acquanted with disease, and as one from whom man hide their face: he was despised, and we esteemed him not."
Yesha'yahu 53:10 "Yet it pleased the LORD to crush him by disease; to see if his soul would offer itself in restitution, that he might see his seed, prolong his days, and that the purpose of the L-rd might prosper by his hand".
The full Chapter is in fact covering the sufferings of the Jewish people themselves. Note that even prior to the formation of Christianity, the Messiah was never believed to be a man of sufference. As previously highlighted in round two of my arguement, the Messiah was--and still is--believed to fight for Israel and reign over the country for a prolonged period of time; defeating its enemies, introducing peace to the nation (and the surrounding world) and bringing the land of Israel more prosper.
Therefore, the verses of Yesha'yahu 53 make Messianic prophecy even more unlikely.
Concerning Daniyyel 9:26 (Daniel), again the context has to be considered. The correct translation is actually "an" annointed one "shall be cut off" and prior to that in 9:25 the verse states: "Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem unto one anointed, a prince, shall be seven weeks; and for threescore and two weeks, it shall be built again, with broad place and moat, but in troublous times."
Deuteronomy (Devarim) chapter 4
The commandment is to not make a graven image. It does not say that G-d never has a form. In reality, mainstream Judaism accepts the idea that G-d may be seen in a physical form. The technical term for it is "Theophany". The Jewish Encyclopedia claims there are exactly four theophanies in the Jewish Bible . The Jewish Bible actually supports the idea that G-d may chose to take a physical form. Although mainstream Judaism rejects the notion that G-d may chose to take a human form, this notion is not supported by the scriptures con has put forward. If mainstream Judaism accepts the idea that G-d may take physical form, then why should we accept con's interpretation (that G-d never has physical form) of Deuteronomy 4?
Hosea (Hoshe'a) 3:5
This verse does not say that Messiah is not G-d. Furthermore, there are other places in the scriptures where G-d is referred to in two forms in the same verse. For example, Isaiah 48:16
"Come near to Me, hear this:
To be clear, this verse names G-d and the Spirit of G-d separately, but uses the singular tense of the verb when referring to the both of them as if they are two entities working as one entity. The verb being singular indicates that the Spirit of G-d may rightfully be called G-d. If you don't believe me, you can use biblegateway.com to look up Isaiah 40:13 or Isaiah 61:1. I could provide others if pressed. So then, we see that G-d is mentioned twice here in the same verse. If it may be done here, it may also be done in Hosea 3:5. This particular verse does not provide strong support for con's case.
Sources Favoring Messiah
Con claims I use sources that favor Messiah. This may be a mostly true statement. I have quoted Chabad, JewsForJudaism, the Jewish Chronicle, and the Kesher Journal directly. My favorite was the Jewish Chronicle, because it is a scholar respected by mainstream Judaism who claims the idea of a divine Messiah wasn't rejected by Judaism until it tried to separate from Christianity. Many of my other sources are pro-Yeshua (aka pro-Jesus) sources quoting Jewish rabbis such as Rabbi Hunah. So although they are pro-Yeshua, they are used to quote rabbis who were not. As the rabbis being quoted give support to the idea that Messiah could be divine, I was unable to find mainstream Jewish sources for such material for obvious reasons. Con wants to dismiss these sources out of hand for being bias on the issue, but con has not attempted to address their content, specifically, the quotes from non-bias rabbis who died before Yeshua was allegedly born.
I'm glad con gave a rebuttal to this particular passage. Con claims that Christians are using an inaccurate version of the passage, thus the version I posted here is also inaccurate. However, the Dead Sea Scrolls are at odds with con's claim. The Dead Sea Scrolls contain what is known as "The Great Isaiah Scroll" which can be interactively viewed online . This scroll is significant, because it predates Christianity by somewhere between 35 to 135 years. An English translation can be found online as well .
Isiah 53:10 translated from the Great Isaiah Scroll
In contrast, the version quoted by con cannot be found in any ancient manuscripts until long after Christianity was established and Jewish rabbis were already attempting to distance themselves from it. Con claims that Isaiah 53 is about Israel suffering for itself, but again, this idea didn't come about until Judaism distanced itself from Christianity. The Talmud overwhelmingly gives Isaiah 53 a Messianic interpretation . Again, I have to use a pro-Jesus source, because Jewish sources won't mention this. I should also point out that the Greek translation of the Tanakh, the Septuagint (named "70" in Greek after the 70 Jewish rabbis who translated it) agrees with the Great Isaiah Scroll but disagrees with Masoretic texts used by modern Judaism. All the evidence points to Jewish rabbis/scribes editing Isaiah 53 to distance themselves from Christianity. Isaiah 53 is a messianic prophecy by unbiased Judaism. Besides, Isaiah 53 strongly contrasts the sinless suffering servant from sinful Israel who rejects the suffering servant.
Almost every scholar, Jewish or not, knows that Daniel 9 is referring to the Messiah. The standard Jewish translation (JSP) of Daniel 9 uses "the anointed one" . The fact that Daniel 9 refers to the Messiah has been clear from the beginning. The Talmud says so . After Christianity began using Daniel 9 as evidence for Yeshua being Messiah, a two part curse was pronounced by Jewish rabbis over anyone who attempts to calculate the advent (coming) of Messiah using Daniel 9 . Con has not given any sources to convince us that con's interpretation of this verse is the most valid. In contrast, I've shown both modern and ancient Jewish sources saying it is about the, not a, Messiah.
"The commandment is to not make a graven image".
As can be seen in Devarim 4:9 to 4:18 (Deuteronomy), the commandment is not to worship G-d in any form. This particular set of verses expound much further than just implying one should not construct an image of G-d. Rather, it's evident that G-d explictly forbids worship in all visible forms--including that of man, which is technically what the Messiah is. So, if the Messiah is in fact divine and therefore may rightfully be considered G-d himself--the commandment to the Israelites (not to worship or recognise any form of G-d) is heavily contradicted.
"The Jewish Bible actually supports the idea that G-d may chose to take a physical form. Although mainstream Judaism rejects the notion that G-d may chose to take a human form, this notion is not supported by the scriptures con has put forward."
The key words here being "may" and "chose", while G-d may have the capacity to assume form, it does not indicate that he necessarily will. The verses of Devarim Chapter 4 outline that G-d is not to be officially acknowledged and worshipped in any physical form.
Devarim 4:15 in particular is a clear example of this: "And you shall watch yourselves very well, for you did not see any image on the day that the L-rd spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire."
While it states that the Israelites did hear G-ds voice, they did clearly not see G-d in any form; the message in this verse is that they are specifically to be reminded of this.
"Theophany", within the context of the Tanakh, in fact refers to the idea of hearing G-ds voice rather actually visibly seeing G-d. The case of the Sinai Revelation and the gradual deliverance of G-ds laws to Moshe (Moses) particularly highlights this:
Sh'mot 9:5 (Exodus): "Now therefore, if ye will hearken unto My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be Mine own treasure from among all peoples; for all the earth is Mine."
Here we can clearly see that G-d did not reveal himself within physical form and the Israelites (and Moshe) only heard the voice of G-d. Along with the written tablets provided by G-d, this is how the ten commandments and Torah was conveyed.
Sh'mot 33:20 (as G-d is commanding Moshe) also states:"And He said, "You will not be able to see My face, for man shall not see Me and live."
Once again this further clarifies that G-d does simply not wish to been seen in any physical form.
As for Yesha'yahu 48:16 the verse directly after that (48:17) refers explictly to G-d as one whole form.
Terms such as 'His Spirit" are not alluding to any other additional forms of G-d. Rater "His Spirit" is not a seperate entity and is simply part of Him.
Moreover, 48:16 does still not support the assumption of a divine Messiah.
Hoshe'a 3:5 is also irreleavnt to verse Yesha'yahu 48:16 due to the fact it is "King David" and not the "Holy Sprit" or any other potential part of G-d mentioned. To expound further, the L-rd their G-d and David their King are both referenced in a seperate sense.
In Pro's rebuttal he explictly states: "Sources favoring Messiah" as his opening title--it should be noted that the objective terminoloy would rather be: "Sources favouring Jesus as Messiah". As within the context of this debate we are not discussing the identity of the Messiah but as to whether he will be divine or not. Pro admits himself that sources supporting Jesus as the Messiah have been used, therefore they can quite easily add bias to the argument. Any source that is pro-Jesus, is naturally going to be selective in inclusion of its content and will favour information seemingly pointing to Jesus as the Messiah.
The Jewish position on Yesha'yahu 53 (Isaiah) referencing Israel as a servant--rather than exclusively being a Messianic verse--is in fact older that Pro seems to propose. The stance was first initiated within Judaism before it further distanced itself from Christianity. The Targum Yonatan (the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible), for example, refers to both Israel and the Messiah as the servant being mentioned in Yesha'yahu 53. This clearly pre-dates any interpreative changes of the Tanakh and alteration of ideas surrounding the Messiah within Judaism.
Additional verse refering to Israel as a "Servant" or "My Servant" can easily be found elswhere in the Book of Yesha'yahu (Isaiah)
Yesha'yahu 41:8 "But you, Israel My servant, Ya'akov (Jacob) whom I have chosen, the seed of Abram, who loved Me."
Yesha'yahu 43:10 "You are My witnesses," says the Lord, "and My servant whom I chose," in order that you know and believe Me, and understand that I am He; before Me no god was formed and after Me none shall be."
Yesha'yahu 54: 17 "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the L-rd, and their righteousness is of me, saith the L-rd."
In addition, the first book of the Talmud also applies Yesha'yahu 53 to the people of Israel. Its interpreation:
"If the Holy One, blessed be He, is pleased with Israel or man, He crushes him with painful sufferings. For it is said: And the L-rd was pleased with [him, hence] He crushed him by disease (Yesha. 53:10). Now, you might think that this is so even if he did not accept them with love. Therefore it is said: "To see if his soul would offer itself in restitution"(Ibid). Even as the trespass-offering must be brought by consent, so also the sufferings must be endured with consent. And if he did accept them, what is his reward? "He will see his seed, prolong his days"(Ibid). And more than that, his knowledge [of the Tanakh] will endure with him. For it is said: "The purpose of the Lord will prosper in his hand."
Another varying interpretaion can be found in the Babylonian Talmud (Sotah 4a). It associates Yesha'yahu 53:12 with Moshe (Moses) and Shekalim 5:1 in the Jerusalem Talmud, on the basis that they both transgressed and spoke for the nation of Israel.
Moreover, the Zohar also outlines various ideas as to who Yesha'yahu 53 is refering to. For example, 53:5 is applied to the prophet Eliyahu (Elijah) and 53:7 being applied to Moshe (Moses). Other examples are 53:12-13 being identified as the nation of Israel--as I previously stated.
I will address con's previous round and then give closing arguments.
My opponent likes to stress Deuteronomy (Devarim) 4:17-18 but gloss over verse 16.
The neighbors of Israel all worshiped idols (graven images made in the form of earthly things, especially animals),j and Israel is repeatedly warned not to worship any of (or other) idols. I'm sure con agrees to this. Given the introduction in verse 16, it appears logical that this is just one of many warnings against idols crafted by humans.
Con argues that G-d will not have any physical form. I will show that G-d is shown to have a form in some cases, even according to modern Judaism [round 4, source 16].
The heavenly fire, the coals of which burn like torches, moves between them. The movement of the creatures is harmonious: wherever the spirit of God leads them they go. Beneath the living creatures are wheels("ofannim") full of eyes. On their heads rests a firmament upon which is the throne of God. When the divine chariot moves, their wings rustle with a noise like thunder. On the throne the prophet sees the Divine Being, having the likeness of a man. His body from the loins upward is shining ("M17;ashmal"); downward it is fire (in Ezek. viii. 2 the reverse is stated).
According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, the prophet Ezekiel saw the likeness of a human man sitting on G-d's throne. I believe it is clear that the form of a human sitting on the throne is G-d. Although this does not explicitly state that Messiah is divine, it can be used as supporting evidence that G-d can and will take a human form.
Con has given a couple references where G-d is not seen in a physical form and generalizes it to all cases, thus ignoring the evidence for I have presented for the contrary.
Exodus (Sh'mot) 33:20
Con's second argument along the same lines is that man is not allowed to see G-d even in non-physical form. Con misuses Exodus 33:20 to support this claim, because Moses (Moshe) was forbidden from seeing G-d's face. However, the next 3 verses tell the story of Moses seeing the back of G-d.
This argument was used by con to show that G-d is never seen. It was used as an example of a time that G-d wasn't seen, and con claims that consequently, G-d is never seen. Even if con did give an example where G-d is not seen (it can be done), it cannot be generalized to all instances where G-d appears to man as con seems to be doing. It is a weak argument, because generalizations are not solid evidence. I have shown counter examples to this argument using con's own reference and the Jewish Encyclopedia (see previous section on Ezekiel).
Isaiah and Hosea
Con rightly points out that Isaiah 48:18 doesn't support the idea that Messiah is divine. This verse was brought up in the context of addressing con's argument from Hosea that Messiah is found in the same verse as G-d. As I have already addressed this, I will be brief. Hosea mentions G-d and King David in the same verse which con claims shows they are two separate entities. Isaiah mentions G-d and the Spirit of G-d in the same verse, which does not show they are two separate entities. If Hosea mentioned G-d but not Messiah, part of the message would be lost. If Hosea mentioned Messiah but not G-d, part of the message would be lost. By stating that Israel is both returning to Messiah and returning to G-d, it reinforces the idea that the two are at the very least related, if not the same thing. Hosea could actually be implying that Messiah is G-d. This verse may be used as evidence for Messiah being divine, thus it is a weak argument and insufficient to show Messiah is not divine. Con claims the two verses being discussed are not related. However, they are related if Messiah is divine. Con's assertion is only possibly correct if Messiah is not divine. The claim that they are not related is an expression of con's bias, not of clear cut facts. If I am correct, then they are related in the way I have previously shown.
Con accuses me of using biased sources. However, con uses sources from modern Judaism which are also biased against the Christian claim of a divine Messiah. Where I have addressed the points made by con and con's sources, con has attempted to dismiss my sources instead of tackling the facts presented. I will revisit this in my closing arguments by giving specific examples.
Con provided verses in Isaiah 41 and 43 where Israel is called the servant of G-d. In fact, we can find more examples, but all of them are explicitly Israel called the servant of G-d. Isaiah 53 stands out by not calling the servant Israel. As I already pointed out, Isaiah 53 contrasts (shows the differences between) the servant and Israel. For example, Isaiah 53 claims the servant is righteous, but Israel is sinful.
Con claims Targum Yonatan predates the Jewish distanced itself from Christianity, but it wasn't compiled until the eighth century . The Jerusalem Talmud and Babylonian Talmud were also compiled late . Even Zohar probably wasn't written until about the 11th century .
This debate was over whether or not the Tanakh describes Messiah as divine. In my opening arguments in round 2 I showed that the Tanakh describes Messiah as divine using Isaiah 9, Micah 5, Jeremiah 23, and Isaiah 7. I used Jewish sources, both before and after Christianity was established, showing that these verses refer to the Messiah. Con has neither addressed these verses nor the Jewish sources which I pointed to.
Con uses late interpretations of verses that come after Judaism attempted to distance itself from Christianity. I showed that Jewish scholars also point this out. I was able to show that Judaism went as far as changing their own scriptures to put this distance between the two religions. It is important to use early sources. Con used all late sources, even at late as 11th century.
Instead, con focused mostly on the idea that G-d cannot be seen by humans or take a form seen by humans. I have given counter examples to these claims and used modern Jewish sources to do it.
I thank EmilRose for recommending this controversial topic and taking the time and effort to play the role of con. I have enjoyed learning through it. Good luck now and in the future. I hope to continue seeing your around!
It's correct that the neighbors of Israel worshiped idols; and that one aspect of the outlined Devarim (Deuteronomy) command is that the Israelites shall not worship idols or "false G-ds", however the command is not exclusive to this only. Devarim 4:12-15 is clear in that the Israelites do not and are not recognize G-d in any visible form. The commandment also applies to identifying an image of G-d himself. To reiterate once more, it's not only man-made images that the Israelites are not to worship--they are also forbidden from worshipping all G-d made forms; such as the sun, the moon, and the stars.
Before moving to the Theophany argument, I will clarify the previous inclusion of Yesha'yahu 9:5-6 (Isaiah) and why the prophecy is not refering to the coming Messiah.
For example, the Christian Bible (namely KJV) states: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty G-d, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
The correct translation from the Hebrew Tanakh is: "The Mighty G-d is planning grace." not the term of "Counsellor, the Mighty G-d". No commas exist within the Hebrew language which again reaffirms the fact that many verses from the Tanakh have been mistranslated--namely to blend in with Christianity and appear Messianic in nature.
The same thing is done with the phrase: "Marbeh misrah shalom qets kiche David mamlakh" which correctly translates in English as: "In token of abundant authority and peace without limit upon David’s throne and kingdom” but the in the KJV is (mis) stated as: "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom.”
Perhaps the most important mistranslation is: "Yeled yalad ben nathan misrah shekem", which correctly means: "For a child has been born to us, a son has been given us. And authority has settled on his shoulders."
However, in KJV it misleadingly states: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder."
The difference here is that the original Hebrew text is speaking in past tense, while the Christian KJV text is terming the verse in future tense--as to make it appear as a future prophecy.
Which now brings us to the actual meaning of the verse and why it is not messianic. The person who is being referenced in this verse is King Hezekiah; the reason why terms such as "mighty G-d" are used is because within the cultural and historical context that is how a King such as Hezekiah may have termed. In fact, it was common for earthly Kings to be referred to "L-rd of "L-rds" and "King of Kings".
In 38:8, Hezekiah said to Yesha'yahu: "The word of the L-rd that you have spoken is good" For he thought "For there shall be peace and truth in my days".
So, it was Hezekiah himself that was being referenced as the "Prince of peace".
As for Yesha'yahu 7:14, which has also been used in your argument as a Messianic verse, this too has been significantly misrepresented. To fully establish what the correct prophecy the added context of verse 7:16 is needed, it states:
"For when the lad does not yet know how to reject bad and choose good, the land whose two kings you shall dread, shall be abandoned".
Note that this "lad" is referenced as a normal boy and is not suggested as being Messianic in any way.
As a fulfillment of the prophecy, Yesha'yahu 8:3 goes on to state: "And I was intimate with the prophetess, and she conceived, and she bore a son", and the L-rd said to me, Call his name Maher -shalal-hash-baz".
In Yesha'yahu 8:4: "For, when the lad does not know yet to call "Father" and "Mother", the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria shall be carried off before the king of Assyria".
To add further clarifiction, 8:18 reads: "Behold, I and the children of Israel whom the L-rd gave me for signs and for token of Israel, from the L-rd of Hosts, Who dwells on Mount Zion".
Whether the woman described previously is a virgin or not is also relevant. In the Hebrew text the word used is "alma" which would translate as "young maiden", highlighting this is important as the verse has been mistranslated (namely by Christian sources) as stating "virgin".
Now, addressing further rebuttals
"Con argues that G-d will not have any physical form. I will show that G-d is shown to have a form in some cases, even according to modern Judaism [round 4, source 16]."
The main point here is that G-d, as indicated in the Tanakh will choose not to have any physical form--primarily because He does not wish to worshipped within physical form.
The stated example of Yechezkel (Ezekiel) in fact makes more description on the four "creatures" within the divine chariot and in the full context of the Chapter offers little detail on an appearance of G-d.
Moreover, there is also the fact that Yechezkel is a prophet endowed with the task of presenting the words of G-d to Israel. The verse does not contradict the command to the Israelites to not recognize a visible form of G-d--especially that representitive of a man.
The Jewish Encyclopedia is also not definitive in its account of Yecezkel actually fully viewing G-d himself.
"Con's second argument along the same lines is that man is not allowed to see G-d even in non-physical form. Con misuses Exodus 33:20 to support this claim, because Moses (Moshe) was forbidden from seeing G-d's face. However, the next 3 verses tell the story of Moses seeing the back of G-d."
The inclusion of Sh'mot (Exodus) was to outline that that Israelites--and Moshe himself--did not actually see an G-d in any visible form during the Theophany that took place upon receiving the Torah. On the contrary to showing himself; only his voice can be heard. As well outlining this the verse also adds further indication of G-d not wanting to be viewed.
The statement of: "Even if con did give an example where G-d is not seen" is contradicted by the fact that within Sh'mot I (as Con) gave an explicit example of G-d not being seen.
As for the verse of Yesha'yahu 48:8, as no mention or even suggestion of the Messish is made; it is again irrelevant to Pro's argument. In addition, Hosea outlines no implication that the Messiah is G-d. Once more this would contradict the verse and undermine its context.
Concerning the use of biased sources; Pro used sources which clearly stated Jesus as the Messiah, as the argument is centred around the Tanakh perspective of the Messiah this of course adds bias. As well as Jewish source Pro has also included Christian sources, which naturally favours the Messiah as Jesus and uses selective examples, either verses or otherwise, to provide "support" to this belief.
The earliest known example of dispute of Yesha'yahu 53 is in fact longer that Pro seemingly believes. One such example is from the 248 cited by Origen. In Origen's Contra Celsus, written in 248, he writes of Yesha'yahu 53:
"Now I remember that, on one occasion, at a dispution held with certain Jews, who were reckoned wise men, I quoted these prophecies; to which my Jewish opponent replied, that these predictions bore reference to the whole people, regarded as one individual, and as being in a state of dispersion and suffering, in order that many proselytes might be gained, on account of the dispersion of the Jews among numerous heathen nations".
As for Israel not being "sinless", rather what verse 53 is implying is that the Jews are not guilty of the "crimes" that they have been accused of.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I don't usually give votes on religious debates, but hey, here's an unbeaten VS jellon! Emily's skills are truly put to the test here. RFD in comments.
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