Rabbi Skobac argues why Jesus is not the Messiah in the video:
How Christian Missionaries Twist & Distort the Jewish Bible to Prove Jesus is Messiah
We listen to their case. They present to try to prove that Jesus is the Messiah. And for many Jewish people it sounds compelling. It sounds like they seem to have a good point.
Interesting admission by Rabbi Skobac.
So King Solomon wrote in the book of Proverbs you have it on your sheets at second source Proverbs 18:17 the first one to present his case seems right when you hear someone make a presentation and they try to prove what they believe. It could often sound right. They often can make you sound that it’s convincing but then Solomon says until the other one comes and questions him. Meaning that there’s going to be a second way of looking at this.
Yes, and I’ll be countering what Rabbi Skobac says in his talk.
It doesn’t really make any sense to speak about whether or not Jesus is the Messiah unless you have before the discussion a clear and accurate definition of what is the Messiah.
The word the Messiah or the expression the Messiah in Hebrew never appears in the Bible. Strange you would think from a Christian point of view where they believe that the idea of the Messiah is the most important concept in their entire religion you’d think that at least the word would appear in the Bible once or twice so it I point out to them that they should realize that the Bible never speaks about someone that’s called the Messiah.
It works both ways. Why would the Jews believe “the Messiah” would come if the Bible never mentions “the Messiah”?
There are actually many Messiahs in the Jewish Bible.
Yes, that’s true.
The word Messiah in Christianity is usually just a title for one person. The word Christ in Greek is the word from Messiah.
In the Jewish Bible there are many Messiahs. Messiah simply means anointed. Anointed means that oil was smeared on your head and you were initiated into the service of God. So you either were anointed as a king or you were anointed as high priest or some prophets were anointed. So in the times of the Bible if you were to ask someone where’s the Messiah they would say which one are you referring to? The king, to the high priest, to the prophet. So there are many many Messiahs in the Bible. But the Bible never refers to someone who is called the Messiah some ultimate special anointed one.
Yes, that is true for the Jewish Bible.
If we apply this to the New Testament, for argument sake, we can simply refer to Jesus as a messiah, not the Messiah.
Also, technically, Jesus never referred to himself as a messiah. He referred to himself as the son of man.
So, would Rabbi Skobac be willing to at least acknowledge Jesus was a messiah and not the Messiah? That he was anointed during his baptism by John and by the Holy Spirit descending on him by God?
Another thing that you have in the Bible are descriptions of the future. You have many parts of the Bible that talk about what’s going to be in the future and the dominant theme of all of these future oriented passages in the Bible is about a utopian world that would come about in the future.
Yes, that’s true. But we have to separate a messiah and the future ideal state. Those two can happen independently. As Rabbi Skobac acknowledges, there were many messiahs in the Tanakh. And obviously the ideal future state didn’t happen with them.
Jewish people all returning to their ancestral homeland.
The nation of Israel forming in 1948 would be a significant milestone for this to happen. I think it can even be argued this part of prophecy has been fulfilled.
Ten of our tribes we call them the ten lost tribes of Israel. Where have they gone but the Bible says they’re going to return one day.
It’s dubious the ten lost tribes even exists. Rather, they got assimilated into the Assyrian civilization. So, literally the Israelites as a people do not exist as an entity anymore. Rather, it is only the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi that exists as an entity (the Jews).
Even if some of the ten lost tribes exist to this day, why have they not revealed themselves to the world and remained hidden? The only people that could be related to the ten lost tribes would be the Samaritans, which the Jews have historically considered apostate.
All Jewish people will come to a close relationship with God and God’s Torah and the observance of God’s Torah. The Bible says that we’re going to rebuild our temple after we return from the exile. The Bible says that when this happens the Jewish people are going to be sought out by the nations of the world. The Bible told the Jewish people you have a special role to play in the world. The Bible says you’re my witnesses. The Bible says that you’re supposed to be a light unto the nations. The Bible says was supposed to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. But that hasn’t really happened yet because we haven’t gotten our own act together. But in this special time when the Bible speaks about the Jewish people basically becoming restored spiritually. So the Bible says at that time the nations of the world are going to come to our light and they’re going to ask us to teach them about God and about God’s ways. So that’s the fourth thing that’s going to happen that the Jewish people will be sought out by the nations of the world to be spiritual teachers. The Bible says that the whole world will then come to a knowledge of God that every person on the planet is going to have a knowledge of God.
A question is how will all this happen?
And finally we’re told that because every human being has a knowledge and a faith in God then all people will realize that we’re all brothers and sisters.
Shouldn’t have to wait for the Messianic age for this to happen.
Bible says the world will become a place of universal peace. All weapons will be destroyed and we have now this beautiful portrait in the Bible that’s portrayed in many many many passages over and over and over again. This theme of a restored utopian perfected fixed world. But when you read these passages it’s very interesting the vast majority of them the vast majority don’t speak about any particular person. Meaning that the focus of these passages in the Bible is not on a person it’s on what the world will look like in the future. It focuses on the world.
Yes, there’s no necessary link between the Messiah and the future utopia.
Because this king will be the special ultimate king who is the leader of the Jewish people when the world finally reaches its ultimate utopian state. We have always referred to this particular king as the Messiah. The Bible never calls him the Messiah. But when we read the Bible it’s clear that this is the Messiah.
You can’t have it both ways though. You cannot argue Christians cannot have a Messiah during the final days and also argue the Jews can have a Messiah during the final days if the text doesn’t have a clear link between the Messiah and the final days.
So when my students ask me so why don’t you think Jesus was the Messiah it’s very simple. Jesus himself at the end of his life when he’s being crucified by the Romans on the cross he doesn’t scream out touchdown mission accomplished. He on the cross cries out my God my God why have you forsaken me. He understands that he didn’t accomplish what the Messiah was supposed to accomplish.
Talk about twisting of scripture. Jesus did finish his mission.[Jhn 17:4 KJV] 4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. [Jhn 19:30 KJV] 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
When Jesus said “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”, this was not some sort of statement of defeat, but Jesus was simply referring to Psalm 22.[Mat 27:46 KJV] 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [Psa 22:1 KJV] 1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [why art thou so] far from helping me, [and from] the words of my roaring?
Why did he point to Psalm 22? Because he was stating he was fulfilling the prophecies in Psalm 22.[Psa 22:15-18 KJV] 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they look [and] stare upon me. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
It’s the fact that no one has fulfilled what the Bible describes the Bible again describes a righteous and raw and wise descendant of King David who will be the king of the Jewish people when when the world has reached its utopian zenith. Unless that happens unless the world is transformed the way the Bible says they’ll be transformed there’s no Messiah. What is the Christian response so that the ancient Christian response is to paraphrase arnold schwarzenegger it’ll be back. Right to say that yes Jesus will return and he’ll accomplish all those things meaning that they have a doctrine called the second coming of the Messiah and we would say that necessity is the mother of invention that obviously they have to say something if Jesus didn’t fulfill the prophecies when he was alive so they’re forced to say he’ll come back at one time and he’ll do those things. The problem is that you could advance this idea for any failed Messiah. You could take anyone and say yes when they come back they’ll fulfill all the prophecies but the question is so why should I believe they were the Messiah when they were here originally?
The difference between Jesus and all the failed messiahs is Jesus prophesied he would rise from the dead and he actually fulfilled it. If he can do that, then it’s likely his prophecy that he would come again in glory will also be fulfilled.
But why you asked me to believe the person is the Messiah prematurely they haven’t done anything yet.
He did do something. He rose from the dead.
They say the Messiah is supposed to be a leader who would be rejected and killed and die as a sacrifice and all who would believe in him would have all their sins forgiven. And they claim that this idea is firmly based upon the Jewish Bible so it’s interesting when Christians try to get Jewish people to believe in Jesus they never quote all of the passages I just referred to. Meaning that if I was going to give a class about the Messiah, I would quote passages like Isaiah chapter 11 and Jeremiah 23 and Jeremiah 30 and Jeremiah 33 and Ezekiel chapter 34 and Ezekiel chapter 37 which all speak about this special descendant of King David who’s going to rule as the king during the utopian future.
Sure, if someone wants to discuss what would happen during the Second Coming they can.
Christians never quote those passages when they ask us to believe in Jesus because he hasn’t done those so they put together a whole collection of passages that they say these are the primary messianic passages these speak about someone who’s going to be killed about someone who’s going to be crucified about someone who’s going to be rejected and you Jews fail to see those primary messianic prophecies.
If it’s in the Tanakh, what’s wrong with Christians presenting those texts?
It’s interesting that if you consult many Christian commentaries to the Bible I’m not saying Jewish commentaries many Christian commentaries to the Bible they say no the 53rd chapter of Isaiah is not speaking about the Messiah it’s a chapter about the people of Israel.
He claims this, but he doesn’t cite them. From my research, out of 39 commentaries that I have, only 2 seem to claim it is the nation of Israel that is the suffering servant.
If you go to the chapters 4 chapter 53 Isaiah specifically tells you the servant of God is Israel is the Jewish people. So it would seem to me for that and for many other reasons that the 53rd chapter of Isaiah is about the Jewish people.
Yes, it’s true earlier chapters refer to Israel as a servant. However, in Isa 53, the pronoun used to refer to the suffering servant is singular.
Also, there are references before Isa 53 to a singular servant.[Isa 40:10 KJV] 10 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong [hand], and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward [is] with him, and his work before him. [Isa 42:1-3 KJV] 1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. 2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. [Isa 50:6 KJV] 6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
There should be universal agreement that it’s clear and then we have to ask the other question how many times does the Bible say the Messiah is going to be rejected and despised.
It is also mentioned in Psalm 22:
6 But I [am] a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head,
Insists that God is to be understood as having three parts in a Trinity.
Skobac misunderstands Christian doctrine. Nobody believes God has three parts, but rather as three persons in one.
“A Trinity doctrine is commonly expressed as the statement that the one God exists as or in three equally divine “Persons”, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
The Christian insists that God would ultimately come to the earth and take on human form. That God would walk the earth in human form. The incarnation of God that’s the Christian vision. The Christian position is that God is to be understood as a Trinity and God will take on human form is that what the Bible teaches.
We have many instances where God appeared to people in the Bible that walked, sat, and seen face to face.[Gen 3:8 KJV] 8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. [Gen 18:1 KJV] 1 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; [Gen 32:30 KJV] 30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
God doesn’t take on human form.
The passages above hint God has taken on a human form before.
The idea of a Trinity is absolutely not found anywhere in the Jewish Bible.
The idea is found, but it’s not entirely relevant to Jesus being the Messiah. The early Christians did not have an understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity, but they did accept him as the Messiah.[Mar 8:29 KJV] 29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.
About the topic of forgiveness for sins. One of the central disagreements between Christianity and Judaism, Judaism says that if we make a mistake if we sin if we violate God’s plan, the way we get forgiven is by confessing to God we did something wrong, by praying for forgiveness, and then by changing our behavior.
Strange he would claim this. This is exactly what Christianity teaches, so obviously he has a wrong view of Christianity.[1Jo 1:9 KJV] 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [Act 3:19 KJV] 19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
The Bible says over and over again in dozens and dozens of passages the Bible says that the response to sin is repentance.
Yes, and most of it is in the New Testament. The word “repentance” is only found once in the OT and 25 times in the NT.
Christianity says no no Christianity says that no matter what you do you will never be forgiven. The only thing they say that will grant you forgiveness is if you bring a sacrifice and take blood and spill the blood on the altar. That’s the Christian assertion. That’s why it says in the Christian Bible in the book of Hebrews chapter 9 verse 22 the Christian Bible says without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness.
We don’t bring a sacrifice to the altar. Jesus was the one who brought the sacrifice to the altar.
Hebrews is just teaching what the Old Testament taught about the shedding of blood. It’s not like it’s a wholesale invention by Christians.[Lev 4:20 KJV] 20 And he shall do with the bullock as he did with the bullock for a sin offering, so shall he do with this: and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them. [Lev 5:10 KJV] 10 And he shall offer the second [for] a burnt offering, according to the manner: and the priest shall make an atonement for him for his sin which he hath sinned, and it shall be forgiven him. [Lev 17:11 KJV] 11 For the life of the flesh [is] in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it [is] the blood [that] maketh an atonement for the soul.
The Jewish Bible never taught that if you bring a sacrifice you’ll be forgiven.
Very strange a Jew would claim this since it’s throughout the Jewish Bible. What was the entire point of the sacrificial system then?[Lev 4:20 KJV] 20 And he shall do with the bullock as he did with the bullock for a sin offering, so shall he do with this: and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them. [Lev 5:13, 18 KJV] 13 And the priest shall make an atonement for him as touching his sin that he hath sinned in one of these, and it shall be forgiven him: and [the remnant] shall be the priest’s, as a meat offering. … 18 And he shall bring a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his ignorance wherein he erred and wist [it] not, and it shall be forgiven him. [Lev 19:22 KJV] 22 And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the LORD for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him.
In Proverbs that the sacrifice of the wicked person is an abomination to the Lord. God hates it when people think that all they need to do is bring a sacrifice and all of the prophets would scream at the Jewish people who thought that.
It is true that a heart component is required in the sacrifices. But by his own admission here the Jews had believed a sacrifice was necessary for forgiveness since the prophets were screaming at the Jews on doing it incorrectly.
The question is what if you can’t bring a sacrifice what if there’s no temple so Christianity says if there’s no temple you have to have the Messiah who dies for you. And Judaism says it’s in the Bible itself that you don’t need the temple.
That makes no sense. The temple was central to the nation of Israel. Why did they even have a temple and the Levitical system in the first place? Why did they want to rebuild the temple when the first temple was destroyed? Why do Jews now want to rebuild it after the second temple was destroyed?
The sacrifice was basically an external symbol. It was an external symbol of an internal change. You changed you became a new person.
How many Jews actually had such an internal change to become a new person? On what basis did God consider them a “new person”? What internal change occurred?
In Christianity, we are a new person not based on anything we can do, but on the sinless son of God who redeemed us. We are considered a new person in the eyes of God because all of our sins have been atoned for by Jesus’s death.
What I do is I shoot my arrow into the tree and then I draw the target around the arrow. So if we want to understand how is it that the Christian missionary approaches the Jewish Bible they approach the Jewish Bible basically with their conclusion already in hand they already believe in Jesus without the Jewish Bible.
It is very interesting Rabbi Skobac has not even mentioned so far the central tenet of Christianity, the resurrection of Jesus. It is this that is the arrow in the center of the target.
I agree the early Christians reinterpreted the Old Testament scriptures in light of the resurrection of Jesus. But the only reason they would do that is because the resurrection happened. If it didn’t happen, Jesus was just be another false messiah lost in history.
The target was created first because Jesus made this prediction while he was still alive. And it would be like drawing a target on the moon and trying to use an arrow to hit it from earth – it would be an impossible target to hit. But, miraculously, Jesus hit the target.
And with this miraculous event that occurred, the Old Testament scriptures were seen through a different perspective than how the Jews at that time commonly interpreted it. It was obvious the Jews were looking for a warrior Messiah that would overthrow the Roman oppression. But since Jesus died on the cross, their expectations of the Messiah were not met. So, the question is who’s interpretation of the scriptures is correct? The
followers of Jesus or the followers of the Jewish tradition?