Joe Butta and Steven Daskal
Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics
For the past 2000 years Rabbinic Jews and the followers of Jesus of Nazareth have failed to come to a common understanding concerning how to interpret the Tanakh or Jewish Bible. Rabbinic understanding is grounded in the following verse found in the Book of Deuteronomy:
6:4 “ Shema Yisrael, Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echud” This can be translated as ‘Hear O Israel the Lord our God The Lord alone or The Lord our God is one Lord or Listen Israel YHVH is our God, YHVH is One’. It is understood that YHVH is God. Echud can be understood in the sense that Only YHVH is God. No other god is God. Also there is one God and it is YHVH Alone.
Mike Tsottles Special guest presenter and beloved brother in Jesus our Lord
Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics
If I say that I had awakened or that I had learned, and that I came to an understanding on my own; these would all be false and misleading statements. I may not have been able to say this when I first ‘gave my life over to Jesus’, but now I can unequivocally state the following:
He – the One, True and Living God in all His love had awakened me, He had taught me and He gave me the understanding I needed to begin to realize; that His love for us and His promises toward us are so very much more than what I was taught within the Orthodox faith.
Joe Butta & Steve Daskal
Genesis: Chapter 1
14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night. They will serve as signs for the appointed times and for days and years.15 They will be lights in the expanse of the sky to provide light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made the two great lights—the greater light to have dominion over the day and the lesser light to have dominion over the night—as well as the stars. 17 God placed them in the expanse of the sky to provide light on the earth, 18 to dominate the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 Evening came and then morning: the fourth day. — Genesis 1:14-19 (HCSB)
The earth in which we live was draped in darkness until the light was made to shine upon it. The lights in the sky are to serve as signs for appointed times, days and years. The greater light [sun] dominates day, stars are visible at night while a full moon would dominate the night.
BY: Steven E Daskal
This is a simple question at one level, and a much more complex one beyond that. It is one of my favorite Biblical conundrums, because we know quite a bit, yet so little. BTW, while Melchizedek is commonly used, the pronunciation and Hebrew spelling reflect Melkhizedek (the KH being the sound common to Semitic and Slavic languages, while CH is the sound common to many linguistic families, as found in “Church” or “Chalice”). I tend to use the KH version.
At the simplest level, it is a reference back to Abram’s (later Abraham) life in Genesis:
(Gen 14:17-24 NIV84) After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.” But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me — to Aner, Eshcol and Mamre. Let them have their share.”
By: Joe Butta and Steve Daskal
CHRISTIAN MESSIANIC ANALYSIS AND APOLOGETICS
In the previous post the following comments were made concerning Biblical Christianity: “The latter [Christianity] emphasizes loving God with all one’s heart, mind, and strength, and loving others as one loves oneself. The latter [also] emphasizes confession, repentance, and acceptance of divine forgiveness. Sin, as understood in Biblical Christianity, is the fallen spiritual nature that we have inherited from our first earthly parents, Adam and Eve. Unlike secular humanists and Islamists, who see humankind as basically good but corruptible, the faith that Jesus inspired and is taught in the Bible insists that we have all sinned and this is due to the sin nature that we inherited.
Biblical Christianity is not a faith based on strict adherence to Mosaic law. It is based instead upon a unique relationship between the omnipotent, eternal Creator God and His people, through whom He would redeem all of mankind from sin. God instituted the Torah through Moses to give the new nation of Israel, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, a standard for living that, if followed, would set them apart from the ruthless, fatalistic, idol-worshipers around them and thereby enable them to be a holy nation — holiness in Hebrew meaning “set apart.”
FROM: CHRISTIAN MESSIANIC ANALYSIS AND APOLOGETICS
BY: Steve Daskal
The Jewish faith, as was being taught & practiced in Jesus’ day, was no longer a single unified faith focused on “the Law and the Prophets,” but was made up of several sects that at best disdained or ignored each other, each following its own particular interpretations that suited them.
The Sadducees denied that anything beyond Torah [The Law, Pentateuch, Five Bks of Moses] was inspired of or delivered from God. So, they didn’t accept that there would be a Messiah at all. The Torah references frequently cited, such as Gen 3:15 and in Deuteronomy when Moses tells them that a Prophet like himself will come to lead Israel back to God after they have “fallen away,” point to from the perspectives of Christians, and of Pharisees, but they aren’t unambiguous/direct statements. The Psalms & the Prophets were considered by the Sadducees the way we’d consider books by C.S. Lewis or G.K. Chesterton — good reading, edifying, but neither inspired nor authoritative for doctrine. The Kohanim [the priesthood-by-descent] and many of the other Levites were Sadducees. They controlled the Temple in Jesus’ day and had a sizeable presence on the Sanhedrin which was the religious court that had been granted ultimate socio-religious authority for the Jews of Judea under Roman rule.
Most people throughout history believed or practiced their religion because they were raised to do so, made to feel guilty if they failed to do so, or coerced by social pressure to “fit in” with their family/clan/neighbors/local elites. Prior to the 20th century, there was generally little questioning of authority, and swift, vigorous punishment for those who dared to do so. What people learned in the home and school was also not all that demanding – it took an hour or so on a sabbath-day, or was the “price” for a feast day off from one’s work demands, or on fairly rare occasion required some self-denial for a fast day. There were always privileged, authoritative “religious” to obey: priests/monks/nuns on up through archbishops, or rabbis, or imams/mullahs, or the like, many of whom in turn had still higher human authorities to whom they were held accountable. These religious did not share their shortcomings, therefore many of the laity were convinced that they, unlike themselves, didn’t have any.