The following discussion took place due to my video Bart Ehrman on the historical Jesus contra Jesus mythicism.
For more info, see my three historical Jesus related books (which you can find here):
“The Apocryphal Jesus”
“On Jesus Mythicists’ Mythicism Myth”
“Jesus: Historical, Biblical, Apocryphal, Mythical Pagan Copycat”
The following discussion took place due to my video Bart Ehrman on the historical Jesus contra Jesus mythicism.
For more info, see my three historical Jesus related books (which you can find here):
“The Apocryphal Jesus”
“On Jesus Mythicists’ Mythicism Myth”
“Jesus: Historical, Biblical, Apocryphal, Mythical Pagan Copycat”
“Is Jesus the Messiah? A Judaism vs. Judaism Debate”
A certain John MacArthur wrote:
I would like to preface what I’m about to say by stating that I do not know the truth of this matter. This is to say that I do not know the truth about Jesus, whether he is man or myth (or something in between). I will say, however, that virtually anyone can create a myth, and just because someone writes about it, mentions it, or adds onto it – does not, in any way, give it credibility, as Ehrman is trying to argue. Case in point:
We all know a man named, George Lucas, who spun a yarn about a young Jedi called, “Luke Skywalker,” who became a heroic figure, and, in time, inspired subsequent storytellers to claim his brand, jump on the proverbial bandwagon, and retell his story with additional facts they conjured, thus creating new storylines and adding new adventures, from which they hoped to capitalize upon.
Bart Ehrman would argue that the story of Luke Skywalker is true, because people talked about him, and added information that only could have come from other sources, which implies that these sources were truthful (because no one would just make stuff up). For instance, we know mushroom farmers exist, therefore Luke’s adoptive parent’s existed, and Luke existed, because mushroom farms, in sandy environments, have been found in antiquity.
It is as if Bart cannot fathom the notion that people can make things up out of whole cloth, and if it’s found in a historical record, it’s probably true, because no one would ever say something that not’s centered in fact. And, so it goes
I, Ken Ammi, replied:
Friend, you make some good points however, the issue is that your view destroys our knowledge of historical personages.
You can just claim that every single person of whom we know from history is a myth.
How far back do you think we can go in order to actually have evidence for someone’s actual existence?
Ken: I have no way of knowing how far back stories can go and how many embellishments and fables have been told, or to what extent. Napoleon was known to have said, “History is lies agreed upon.”
Many people were shocked to find out that Betty Crocker was nothing more than a clever marketing scheme, but she never existed in reality, even though she answered her mail, had a newspaper column, had her own radio program and was seen on t.v. The only problem is that these were actors pretending to be a fictitious woman – one invented by marketing geniuses who wanted to profit off her wholesome image. What’s even more amazing, is that the general public was duped. In fact, you can still find people who believe Betty Crocker existed as a real flesh and blood woman, who did all these wonderful things in the kitchen.
Now imagine creating a character who was said to have been born 100 years earlier and 300 miles away, at a time when people never ventured more than 25 miles from the place they were born, and only lived (on average) to 48 years. Throw in a little desperation and a little wishful thinking and you’ve got a cult hero on your hands. I am not saying Jesus never existed, but I am reasonably sure we cannot know, with any degree of certainty, through the Bible.
The Old Testament never mentioned him or even puts forth the concept of a Son of God, coming to Earth, to die for the sins of the world, to be crucified, buried, and resurrected after the third day. This is to say that there is no reason for Jesus to have come, according to Old Testament texts. This is why the Jews do not accept him, that, and he did not fulfill anything of consequence.
In like fashion, Jesus did not leave any writings, his disciples did not leave any writings, and no one outside Christian circles even mention Jesus or his disciples. Writings began to appear in the late First-Century, but it’s obvious to the majority of Biblical scholars that these mysterious authors were not the apostles of Christ, and they were probably never in Palestine. So, did Alexander the Great really exist? More than likely, because his own people talked about him, and recorded events, as well as many sources outside his sphere of influence.
The same cannot be said for Jesus. He is a figure that only exists within New Testament texts, but is remarkably absent from the real world. I cannot think of a figure who is said to have made such a monumental splash, but never left an impression with anyone, except those who sought to capitalize upon his story, many years after he was said to have lived. And, so it goes. Best wises and be well – John MacArthur
What?!?!?!?! Betty Crocker was not real: I am going to cry into my pillow ;o)
Well, you may personally “have no way of knowing…” but we humans have methods of determining such things: imperfect and challenging as they are.
I am curious as to how your worldview provides you a premise by which to seek adherence to truth, logic and ethics. If it does not then we are discussing a non-issue.
Well, the Old Testament never mentioned Jesus because He had not been born when it was written (I do not doubt you are aware of this but just thought to throw it in). Genesis 3:15 is considered the protoevangelium (the prototype of the gospel) in predicting that the seed of the woman (odd, because males have the seed: unless it is symbolic of a virgin birth). It notes that the serpent (“That old serpent called the Devil and Satan” Revelation chaps 12 & 20) will strike at his heel but that the seed of the woman would crush his head.
I could certainly elucidate how it is pieced together the concept of a Son of God, coming to Earth, to die for the sins of the world, to be crucified, buried, and resurrected after the third day but that would turn this into an essay—however, Isaiah 53, Psalm 22 and Daniel 7 will help with some basics. I am a Jew so I had to research all of that and much more—see my book “Is Jesus the Messiah? A Judaism vs. Judaism debate.”
However, to say “This is why the Jews do not accept him” is myopic: 1) referring to “the Jews” is painting with a broom: all of Jesus Apostles and the first 70 disciples were Jews and Jews have accepted Him ever since—I am living proof. 2) there are other reasons why “the Jews do not accept him” such as “the Jew” emphasizing certain messianic expectations, depending on their current political circumstances. 3) the ones who did not accept Him were purposefully blinded, for a time. 4) Rabbinic Jews have, for a long time, been taught that “we have always believed” thus and such regarding the Messiah and those things are simply not the case.
Stating, “he did not fulfill anything of consequence” is simply a subjective statement.
His disciples left writings and so did His disciples’ disciples: see the New Testament and the ante-Nicene church leaders. As for “no one outside Christian circles even mention Jesus or his disciples, see my two centuries worth of citations and keep in mind that the locus of His activities was razed in 70 AD: https://truefreethinker.com/articles/historical-jesus-two-centuries-worth-citations
It is fascinating that when it comes to making anti-Christian comments you certainly seem very assured that two thousand year old history is perfectly reliable.
Now, if Alexander the Great “More than likely” existed “because his own people talked about him, and recorded events, as well as many sources outside his sphere of influence” please provide who wrote, when they wrote, to when the first manuscript dates, how many manuscripts are there, how do they compare, etc.
Lastly, I am not sure that I would categorize being persecuted, tortured, murdered, fed to lions, etc. as having capitalize upon His story.
My friend, there is not one thing you just said that isn’t taken on faith, except for reminding me that the term “Jew” should not be painted with such a broad brush. Although I agree with you, you and I both know that the major majority of Jews do not accept Jesus as the Messiah, and Israel, to this day, does not accept Messianic Judaism as a legitimate sect within Judaism.
As I have said before, the concept of God coming to earth in the form of a savior son, who would die on a cross for the sins of the world, arising from the grave after the third day, preaching to the people for 40 days thereafter, before ascending to heaven to sit at the right hand of YHWH, is nowhere to be found in the Tanakh, unless one has been coached and coaxed to see Jesus in the clouds, as well as in their coffee. Indoctrinated minds can see things that reasonable souls cannot. And, so it goes.
Friend, I am unsure to whom you are referring by “Indoctrinated minds” but will guess that it is another convenient broad brush generalization.
Ironically, you again seem very assured about history only when you can appeal to it so as to make anti-Christian statements.
You listed things that are “nowhere to be found in the Tanakh.” I am willing to attempt to draw out some of these for you but will note that as was/is typical in Jewish elucidation, we must consider midrashic/homiletic/sermonizing interpretations including viewing things as symbolic, foreshadowing, analogies, etc. Such as been a common modus operandi for us Jews for millennia and so it must be accepted as the historical and cultural context. Likening these facts with “Jesus in the clouds, as well as in their coffee” is just unfair—I am going to assume that you will agree with this.
I will also note that you seem to go a bit too far in your demands since, for example, no one (as far as I know) within the past two millennia has claimed that “preaching to the people for 40 days thereafter” was Jesus fulfilling prophecy. In other words, do not claim that someone made a claim that no one ever made: do not think that anyone claims that every detail of Jesus’ life was predicted.
Also, keep in mind that all of this is based on my limited knowledge.
1. “the concept of God coming to earth” is a non-issue since even before Jesus God would have told you: been there, done that. As one mere example, see Genesis 18 wherein the “LORD” (the Tetragrammaton Himself) interacts with Abraham including eating with him.
2. “in the form of a savior son” 2 Samuel 7:14a “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me” is appealed to in Hebrews 1:5. Psalm 2:7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee” appealed to in Acts 13:33. Psalm 2:11-12 “Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him” is commanding the worship the Son as they are to worship the LORD which goes along with John 5:23, “that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.” Proverbs 30:4 “Who has ascended into heaven and descended?…What is His name or His son’s name? Surely you know!” appealed to in John 3:13, Ephesians 4:8-10 and 1 Peter 3:18-20, among others. Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel [“God with us”]” appealed to in Matthew 1:23. Hosea 11:1b “out of Egypt I called My son” in Matthew 2:15. Micah 5:2 “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days” does not specify “son” but is appealed to in Matthew 2:6
3. “who would die on a cross” this can be tricky as technically, crucifixion proper came along after the closing of the OT canon. However, we get hints such as Numbers 21:9 “Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived” to which Jesus appealed in John 3:14-15 and John 12:32. Psalm 22 contains many elements of the crucifixion scenario and Jesus appeals to it when He is on the cross
Matthew 27:46/Mark 15:34. Deuteronomy 21:23 “he that is hanged is accursed of God” appealed to in Galatians 3:13.
4. “for the sins of the world” this is more of a symbolic thing which begins with Genesis 3:15’s reference to the seed of the woman crushing the serpent’s head and also that a sacrifice was made for two people (such as when God made animal skins for Adam and Eve) to being for a family (such as Job sacrificing for his children) to a nation (such as the Passover) to include Gentiles who worshipped the LORD, and we circle back to the ultimate defeating of the serpent/Satan.
3. “arising from the grave after the third day” this one is also highly symbolic. Genesis 22:4 “on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off” (as in for three days, Isaac was as good as dead) appealed to in general in John 8:56. Jonah 1:17, “Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights” appealed to in John 1:17. There are also more abstract hints such as Hosea 6:2 “After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” Esther 5:1, “on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king’s house” the context is that they were as good as dead.
4. “preaching to the people for 40 days thereafter” I noted that this does not seem to be a direct fulfillment of a prophecy. However, there are many references to eventful things occurring for 40 days.
5. “ascending to heaven to sit at the right hand of YHWH” Daniel 7:13, “one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion,” etc. Psalm 68:18 “Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them” appealed to in Ephesians 4:8-10.
Hope that helps, friend.
Ken: I studied 350 prophecies that allegedly refer to Jesus (in some way). It took me one year to study all the claims, and having done so, I found that not one of them referred to the personage known as Jesus (specifically) or any derivative thereof.
Moreover, a fair number of the prophecies, so called, were not prophecies at all, while most contained vague references that would best be served by men of the day, and of the moment – not by a man (hundreds of years on down the line), who had no association to these events, hence serving no viable or meaningful purpose.
Of course, there were a number of alleged prophecies that could not have been referring to Jesus, referred to someone else (specifically), or were taken out of context (completely). In my judgment, no logical, rational, fair-minded individual could ever come to the conclusion that these “prophecies” referred to the personage of Jesus, in any way, shape, or form – unless their conscious mind had previously been seeded with that notion. And, so it goes.
Appreciate this great discussion, friend.
Well, you may need to read my book “Is Jesus the Messiah? A Judaism vs. Judaism debate” and I am not stating that as a sales pitch but in order to note that I termed it “A Judaism vs. Judaism debate” because as I studied Rabbinic Judaism’s literature, from ancient to contemporary, I realized that just from their literature alone you could know to expect a Messiah that is just as Jesus was. Thus therein, I did not argue Christian theology vs. Jewish but noted that anti-Christian Rabbinic Jews have to clean up their own history first (which will never happen) since I can make just about any pro-Jesus as Messiah argument simply by appealing to Rabbinic Judaism’s literature.
Now, when you say “not one of them referred to the personage known as Jesus (specifically) or any derivative thereof” I know not of what you speak since I know not how you set about to discern them (and I do think that the 350 number is overblown). For example, when you refer to “vague references” you simply must incorporate the midrashic method of which I spoke. When you refer to “of the moment – not…hundreds of years on” you simply must incorporate the concept of dual fulfilment.
When I say “you simply must” it is not because these were invented by Christians in order to make stuff up but because these were standard Rabbinic Judaism’s modus operandi and you cannot simply dismiss them.
Incidentally, I will note that you simply sidestepped what I provided to you at your request.
But perhaps we need to focus on the deeper issue which is example by that which you term “logical, rational,” etc. How does your worldview provide you a premise for truth, logic or ethics and for holding others to these standards?
Ken: You mentioned, “When you refer to “of the moment – not…hundreds of years on” you simply must incorporate the concept of dual fulfillment.” Let it be known that I have studied the concept of “dual fulfillment” and beyond being a literary convention, I do not see it as a practical or proper application of the Bible, except on rare occasions.
Again, those who want to see, wish to see, and hope to see Jesus in the Old Testament, must, by necessity, promote the notion of dual fulfillment in order for Jesus to stand a chance. Let it be known, that I am not here selling books, nor do I make a living off this subject matter, I only want one thing, and that’s the truth. So far, I have yet to see it in the Old or New Testaments. Truth is…I have no reason to deny Jesus, nor can I disprove his existence, yet, by the same token, the evidence for his life, his ministry, as well as his exalted status (as the Son of God), is virtually non-existent.
In fact, the only place he exists is in the New Testament. For a Messiah, who was to usher in a new Kingdom, bring humanity together, bring all the Israelites home, etc, he, not only failed miserably in these regards, but no one seemed to know that any of this was going on, at the time it was said to be going on. This is to say that if Jesus existed as written, he made a splash equivalent to a solitary raindrop on the open sea.
If it weren’t for the Romans, Christianity would have been long forgotten. “Incidentally, I will note that you simply sidestepped what I provided to you at your request.” – Ken I beg your pardon, but I am unaware of anything that I requested and I certainly didn’t intend to “sidestep” anything. Are you sure you aren’t reading into this? If not, please forgive the notion, but, if so, then perhaps we see a trend. Be well.
Friend, you, “do not see it as a practical or proper application of the Bible, except on rare occasions.” The last part of the sentence means you are agreeing with dual fulfillment. Yet, with the first part: you hit the nail on the head by admitting that you personally, subjectively, biasedly “do not see it.”
Indeed, that has been my point all along: your personal views are simply irrelevant and if you are serious about engaging this issue you will have to lay your personal, subjective, biased preferences aside and accept the historical context and cultural context.
Dual fulfillment and other concepts was how it was done at the time so you cannot come along a minimum of two millennia later and decide that they were wrong because you are right.
So you are simply mistaken when you make statements such as some “promote the notion of dual fulfillment in order for Jesus to stand a chance.” That may fly with some people but I know for a fact that dual fulfillment was a common Rabbinic Jewish notion at the time, and before the time, so I know for a fact that it was promote before and during the time of Jesus and it was not simply “in order for Jesus to stand a chance.”
As for evidence for Jesus being “virtually non-existent”: this means that you know that there is evidence but, again, not as much as you personal, subjective, biased prefer.
You are demanding evidence without a premise. You also seem to fail to notice that you are asking for evidence which would primarily emerge from Jerusalem, Jesus locus of ministry, which is a place that was razed in 70 AD. Would you ask someone whose paperwork was in the Twin Towers just before 9/11/2001 AD that they provide you that paperwork?
Also, considering that you subjectively do not believe that there is any or is insufficient evidence of Jesus do you realize how much less there is be other ancient personage whom it has surely not even crossed your mind to deny existed?
If Jesus merely “made a splash equivalent to a solitary raindrop on the open sea” then why are you wasting your time arguing against Him and why is Christianity the largest religion in the world?
Well, perhaps you did not technically “request” anything but you claimed that certain concepts were “nowhere to be found in the Tanakh” and I provided various OT text referenced in the NT which you simply sidestepped them.
But perhaps we can leave all of this aside, at least for now, and focus on something you stated that is interesting: you claim to “only want one thing, and that’s the truth” but why?
Ken: You said: “Friend, you, [“do not see it as a practical or proper application of the Bible, except on rare occasions.”] The last part of the sentence means you are agreeing with dual fulfillment. Yet, with the first part: you hit the nail on the head by admitting that you personally, subjectively, biasedly [“do not see it.”] ——————- Yes, I did link four words together that when read, left to right, creates the incomplete sentence, “do not see it.”
However, when taken in context, my entire thought takes on a different flavor, as seen below: [“Let it be known that I have studied the concept of “dual fulfillment” and beyond being a literary convention, I do not see it as a practical or proper application of the Bible, except on rare occasions.”] As you can see, proper context means everything, and you would do well to employ this technique in the future, especially when reading the Bible or legal documents.
Now, I know you like to “cherry pick”, take things out of context, and try to make something out of nothing, but I would prefer to have an open and honest dialog – not one that relies on splicing hairs and word games. Let it be known that I never “admitted” that I “personally, subjectively, biasedly do not see it”, as you have claimed. Again, you are trying to be clever, and attempting to be litigious, instead of being honest.
Be that as it may, as an educated man, with a sound mind, and reasonable character, my opinion, my feelings, my intuition, and my intellect, are all the things I own, and it is all that I am, so if I don’t like the smell of something, I would be a fool to ingest it, without due consideration. Don’t you agree? Moreover, if “I do not see” something, or if something doesn’t sit well with me, then it would be foolish for me to pursue that thing any longer, because a potential hazard may lie ahead.
So, yes, my personal biases (and subjectivity) are important to my well-being, because they have been developed over the years, and are a bi-product of my education, and environment, as well as my experiences. To ignore them would be silly, and to disregard them may prove fatal. Now, when I said that “dual fulfillment” is only seen on rare occasions, I had the Old Testament in mind. There is no dual fulfillment that transfers from the Old Testament to the New.
The New Testament stands on its own, and does not, in any way, reflect the spirit of the Old Testament, as if to pick-up where the Old Testament left off. In addition, I think it is highly likely that the anonymous writers of the New Testament used the notoriety of the Old Testament to give its movement credence, so they sought to capitalize on Old Testament story-lines, prophesies and personalities, and then attempted to weave them throughout the New Testament narratives. More to come
Friend, I am afraid that you are engaging in projection when you tell me to do that which I have been begging you to do which is that “proper context means everything, and you would do well to employ this technique in the future, especially when reading the Bible or legal documents” which you have not been doing: you are not applying historical and cultural context (the manner which literature was read and interpreted at the time) and are refusing to do so.
I am not sure why you are getting emotive and taking personal swipes such as calling me dishonest—since you claim the my comment are “instead of being honest”). Doing so it not only unnecessary but it is you playing mind reader (as well as condemning dishonesty without a premise). So I would recommend you focus on the issues because if no then we will have to have another and different discussion.
Again, you appeal to YOUR education, YOUR mind, YOUR reasonable character, YOUR opinion, YOUR feelings, YOUR intuition, and YOUR intellect and disregard the historical, cultural and literary contexts and so YOUR modus operandi is historically illegitimate and what CS Lewis would call “chronological snobbery.” As yet another example, what “doesn’t sit well” with you is utterly irrelevant, as evolutionary biologist, mathematician and geneticist Prof. put it, “What seems absurd depends on one’s prejudice.”
So when it comes to your wellbeing then to some extent, such as being alone in an jungle, your “biases (and subjectivity) are important” but not when it comes to established manners whereby to understand the thought, words, deeds and claims of ancient cultures then it behooves you be like a profiler and put yourself in their frame of mind.
My other point has been that for most OT texts that Christians claim is messianic and modern Rabbinic Jews deny is messianic I can show you Rabbinic literature (both ancient and modern) that side with the Christian claim.
Yes, I know that you had the OT in mind when admitting that even you can see dual fulfillment even if on subjectively rare occasions but to deny, without argumentation but merely based on bias, feelings, subjectivism, education, etc. that none transfer to the NT is just that: your personal take.
If the NT stood on its own and “does not, in any way, reflect the spirit of the” OT then why is it saturated with quotations and allusions of and to the OT? Why could you not understand much of it without some OT knowledge? Why did Rabbinic Judaism oppose those teachings that would result in the NT?
You again repeat that your personal opinion (for which you do not argue but merely assert) is that “they sought to capitalize on Old Testament” but I already noted “I am not sure that I would categorize being persecuted, tortured, murdered, fed to lions, etc. as having capitalize upon His story” which is something you chose to sidestep.
Ken: I left you with a bevy of questions to answer, which you have yet to do. I openly accused you of taking Old Testament verses out of context, to fit the Jesus narrative, and considered your rebuttal dismal. I inferred that the tactic of saying I admitted things I never said, was a dishonest practice. Moreover, I readily admit that my educated opinion means a lot to me, because of all the research, study, and scholarship that has gone into its formation, so to dismiss my opinion as “utterly irrelevant” is to dismiss all scholarship that opposes your own.
You state that I: “disregard the historical, cultural and literary contexts and so YOUR modus operandi is historically illegitimate,” which I categorically deny. I am a student of history, I am degreed in the sciences, and I heavily scrutinize all Biblical texts for context, consistency, as well as content, so, again, your assertions are spurious and baseless, which seems to be a consistent theme in your argumentation. As I said before, I am looking for truth, while you are looking to sell books, your ideas, and to gain a following. In this regard, you have a vested interest in your own opinion, whereas my only interest is finding the truth, which I have yet to hear from you.
Having said that, I am not saying you are a bad guy, or that you are a snake-oil salesman, but I do believe you are being misled, while having been indoctrinated into a faith-based system that shuns reason, dispels logic, while advocating blind adherence, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” – Saul of Tarsus, 2 Corinthians 5:7
Please know that I walked by faith, and apart from reason, for nearly 40 years of my life, but that’s no longer good enough. I come from a family of “priests”, who have made their livelihoods selling the gospel to those who are susceptible to its allure, and, quite frankly, to those who don’t know any better. All I ask from you is to be honest with me. If you don’t know something…just say so. But, by the same token, I know far more than you realize, so don’t even try to blow smoke in my eyes, because it won’t work with me.
This is to say I know what is legitimate scholarship and what is not. I know what is evidentiary and what is not. I know what is contextual and what is not. So far, I am looking for something of substance, but all you have delivered is clever rhetoric. I’m sorry, Ken, but clever rhetoric won’t save me from the flames of hell, nor will it gain you another convert or convince me to buy any of your books. Saying that I don’t know what I know, or that my opinion is “utterly irrelevant”, is no way to proselytize your faith.
I don’t want you to baffle me with bullshit, Ken, but I would like you to answer my questions. Now, if during the course of answering my questions your references fail – then you’ve got a problem…not me. You see, you are already convinced of Jesus’ divinity, and historicity, so evidence is neither needed nor appreciated, since you walk by faith, and not by sight. But, what about those who haven’t closed their eyes, because their sight is precious to them?
How will you convince those individuals that they are better off walking blind? Will you try to shame them into compliance, by belittling their opinions, and perspectives, as you have done with me, or do you have something more to offer? Awaiting your reply.
However, he did not wait too long since he followed up before I could reply with:
Ken: One of your arguments is that I do not read the context of Biblical literature, whereas you do. In fact, it was just this morning that you said, “you are not applying historical and cultural context (the manner which literature was read and interpreted at the time).” Well, I am sure that I have done, all that one can do, to milk the essence from these verses, but I am also certain that no matter what I have done, it will never be good enough for you, because I must see through your eyes, and filter this information through your heart, which is both unappealing and impossible to do.
This is how cults begin, and how “prophets” emerge – essentially claiming that only they can discern the truth, and only they hear our Creator correctly. So, to quell this issue, once and for all, let us examine a verse that you have used to promote the idea that Jesus is the Messiah. So, without further ado, let us place Matthew 2:15 under the microscope: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” [reference to Hosea 11:1] Now, for your viewing pleasure, I also provided the full context of this spurious claim, beginning from Chapter 2, verse , where it reads: (1) After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem (2) and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (3) When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. (4) When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. (5) “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: (6) “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel. (7) Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. (8) He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” (9) After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. (10) When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. (11) On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. (12) And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. (13) When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” (14) So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, (15) where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” This story sounds straightforward, and it even sounds believable, until one finds the Old Testament reference, then all hell breaks loose: Please turn with me to the Book of Hosea, Chapter one, verses 1-10: (1) “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. (2) But the more they were called, the more they went away from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. (3) It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. (4) I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them. (5) “Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent? (6) A sword will flash in their cities; it will devour their false prophets and put an end to their plans. (7) My people are determined to turn from me. Even though they call me God Most High, I will by no means exalt them. (8) “How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboyim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. (9) I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I devastate Ephraim again. For I am God, and not a man— the Holy One among you. I will not come against their cities. (10) They will follow the Lord; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west.” As you can see, Ken, the anonymous writer of “Matthew” expects his audience to believe what he says at face value. Little did he know, that the entire world would become literate, thus exposing his deceit. It is absolutely clear, that Hosea, Chapter 11, is a story about Yahweh and his relationship with Ephraim (the northern Kingdom of Israel). Now, I understand that the indoctrinated, brainwashed, and priestly purveyors of poppycock, claim this passage is about God, The Father, and Jesus, but this is flat-out fiction. Those of us who possess sound judgment, and look at this passage with a judicious heart, and reasonable mind, will see that Jesus, in no way, shape, or form, is implied, mentioned, or even considered as a remote possibility. And, so it goes.
It appears that you expect me to write a book in reply to you. Of course, I have already written a book about these issues.
You also seem to demand answers from me but I am still waiting to hear of your premise to demand adherence to truth, logic and ethics.
Let me put it this way. If you lived two millennia from now and read that I, in 2018 AD, wrote “It rained cats and dogs today” you would conclude that such is nonsense, that I, primitive man that I was, actually thought and claimed that felines and canines fell out of the sky, that you in your future ear know that such never happened, etc.
Now, one of your contemporaries would tap you on the shoulder and point out that such was common parlance in the ancient USA of 2018 AD and that I must be understood according to my grammatical, cultural and historical context.
But you would refuse opting to claim that your feelings, education, etc. result in that in 2018 AD I actually claimed that felines and canines fell out of the sky and that my claim was wrong, wrong, wrong.
And that was the end of that since he never replied again.
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