February 21, 2016

  • Political Gun Control Bull Muffins

    Blaming the NRA and law abiding gun owners because criminals don't obey gun laws is like blaming the AAA for drunk drivers,the AMA for doctors that sell drugs, and the AKC for dog fighters. Politicians that jump on the NRA bandwagon for a scapegoat to their own failings are the same as Libtards that blame Walmart for paying min wage (which they don't) while ignoring the hundreds of other big corporations that do.As a gun collector and person licensed to carry good in 33 states, I support a national law like we have in Pa where all gun sales,gun shop,gun show or private sale,require a background check with paperwork showing who owns the weapon.Law abiding citizens seem to have no problem with it and criminals ignore it just like any guns laws in any state.Unlicensed conceal carry has a two year sentence with no plea bargains.There is already a Federal law mandated background check for all gun shop sales and has been for years.It obviously is NOT against the Constitution any more than the long time Federal ban on fully automatic weapons without an FFL and permit.Politicians playing this debate game are only seeking votes from the uninformed masses to bring them over to one party or the other.Watch out for lies on either side as well,since they are not above that either....Obama does LIE about gun laws to raise even more fear among idiots that know nothing about existing laws.On the Prez Twitter acct was this post...

    .........The White House Verified account
    "A violent felon can buy the exact same weapon over the internet with no background check, no questions asked." —@POTUS ‪#‎StopGunViolence‬
    8:55 AM - 5 Jan 2016...................................... Once again, lies to the American people. Laws concerning gun purchase online are the same as buying one at a gun shop.It requires that the weapon be shipped TO a Federal Firearm Licensed individual and that person must do a background check on the person making the purchase.A felon or any other person with a criminal record CAN NOT buy online anymore than they can buy at a gun shop.Buying Firearms Online – Frequently Asked Questions


February 9, 2016

  • Trial of Jesus Version in the Bible a Lie

    To study the accounts of the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin requires us to have a deeper understanding of the working of that Jewish council.
    We note that the Markan account contains many procedural errors that could not have been committed by the Sanhedrin.
    There are other difficulties with the Markan (and Lukan) account.
    These considerations show that the account of Jesus' trial before the Sanhedrin by Mark (and copied by Matthew and Luke)could not be historical.

    The Sanhedrin
    Our knowledge of the Sanhedrin comes from the writings of Josephus and Jewish rabbinical literature.
    The Sanhedrin, as we mentioned, was the supreme court of the Jewish nation. It is composed of 71 members drawn mainly from priestly families and lay families known for their wealth and racial purity. The high priest under the title of Nasi (prince) presided over the assembly. [1]Two major religious parties were influential in the Sanhedrin during the time of Jesus: the Sadducees and the Pharisees.

    The Sadducee constituted the majority party in the Sanhedrin. The high priest himself is a Sadducee. As a religious party, the Sadducees existed between 150 BCE and 70 CE. They do not believe in angels, demons or bodily resurrection. The members are mainly wealthy land owners and people from priestly families. The Sadducees then were people who had a comfortable and good life under the Romans and are the group with most to lose from any disturbance in the equilibrium. They were therefore collaborators with the Romans and supporters of the status quo. History tells us that their fears of disequilibrium were well justified; for after the Jewish revolt of 66 to 74 CE, any Jewish privileges granted by the Romans were lost. The Sadducees, as a religious party disappeared after the Jewish War, a direct casualty of that revolt. [2]

    The Pharisees formed an influential minority in the Sanhedrin. As a group they appeared in Jewish history about the same time as the Sadducees. These two groups, however, have unbridgeable theological differences. The Pharisees, like the Christians that were to appear on the scene later, believed in angels, demons and the bodily resurrection. The differences between these two main Jewish parties arose from their attitude toward the oral law. The Pharisees believed that the Torah is to be supplemented by oral tradition that sought to interpret and develop it. The Sadducees, on the other hand, believed that the written law is a closed and final revelation that requires no further interpretation and elaboration. Also unlike the Sadducees, the Pharisees were a dispossessed party seeking neither political power nor material wealth. As such, they were very popular with the lay people of Palestine. It was through the efforts of the Pharisees that the Jewish faith was kept alive in the towns and villages throughout the land. Judaism, as we know it today, is a direct spiritual descendant of the theology of the Pharisees. [3]

    Very strict rules guide the procedures of the Sanhedrin:

    Just as in modern courts of law, the council has a special meeting place called the Gazith (Chamber of Hewn Stone), which is part of the Temple. They do not meet anywhere else.
    Its sessions start at 9am in the morning and close at 4pm in the evening.
    An interval of 24 hours must elapse before the conclusion of the testimony and the rendering of a verdict.
    The Sanhedrin is never convened on Sabbaths, religious holidays and especially the passover which was the most important feast in the Jewish calender. This is clearly stated by the Misnah (Sanhedrin IV:1) and Maimonides (Hilkot Sanhedrin XI:2): "Trails involving capital punishment may not be held on the eve of the Sabbath or a festival."
    The Sanhedrin also does not hold any meeting at night. [4]
    Having equipped ourselves with a basic, albeit brief, understanding of the Sanhedrin, we will now proceed to study the trail of Jesus before the Sanhedrin as accounted in the gospels.
    Back to the top

    Procedural Errors in the Markan Account
    Let us first present the Markan account:
    Mark 14:53-65 (Matthew 26:57-67)
    [Immediately after Jesus was arrested at Gethsemane]#*
    53 They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests and teachers of the law came together...55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. 56 Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree. 57 Then some stood up and gave false testimony against him: 58 "We heard him say, 'I will destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another, not made by man.'" 59 Yet even then, their testimony did not agree. 60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, "Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?" 61 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" 62 "I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the son of man sitting at the right hand of the mighty one and coming on the clouds of heaven." 63 The high priest tore his clothes. "Why do we need any more witnesses?" he asked. 64 "You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?" They all condemned him as worthy of death. 65 Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, "Prophesy!" And the guards took him and beat him.

    That Mark intended the trail to mean a formal trial before the Sanhedrin cannot be doubted. For this is obviously what he meant in verses 53 and 55 above. This account however, immediately contains difficulties:
    Error #1: The Sanhedrin convened at the high priest's house
    Mark mentioned that the Sanhedrin met in the house of the high priest while all our other sources on the Sanhedrin tells us that the council does not convene anywhere else except in the Chamber of the Hewn Stone in the Temple. [5]
    Error #2: The Sanhedrin met at night
    The Sanhedrin was said to have conveyened immediately after Jesus was arrested and taken to the high priest's house. This was after the Passover supper and the prayer at Gethsemane which makes the council meet around 9 to 10pm at night. This is again incompatible with what we know of the procedures of the Sanhedrin which disallows nocturnal meetings. [6]
    Error #3:The Sanhedrin conveyed on the passover
    To add to the absurdity, this night, if we are to believe the synoptic chronology, was passover eve and by Jewish reckoning already the 15th of Nisan, passover itself. As many eminent Jewish scholars have pointed out, this is simply inconceivable, given the strict ruling of no council meetings on the Sabbath, and on religious feast days, such as the passover. [7] We quote the Jewish scholar, Joseph Klausner from his book Jesus of Nazareth (New York 1925):
    the Sadducees themselves would not have conducted even a simple judicial enquiry either on the night of the passover or the first day of the passover...the mishnah lays it down that capital cases may not be judged on the eve of a Sabbath or on the eve of a festival to avoid delay should the case not be finished that day, since all trials were forbidden on a Sabbath or a festival. [8]

    Error #4: The Sanhedrin pronounced the death sentence immediately
    Another procedural impossibility is given in Mark 14:64 which includes the sentence: they all condemned him as worthy of death. This means that the sentence was passed on the same day instead of the prescribed interval of twenty four hours. [9] These procedural flaws in the Markan account weighs heavily against any claims of historicity for the episode described there.

    Back to the top

    Other Difficulties with the Markan Account
    However procedural flaws are not the only problem with the Markan account of the trial of Jesus. In Mark 14:58 we are told that some people came forward with false testimony. Yet what they falsely claimed Jesus said, according to Mark, was precisely what the gospel of John claimed that Jesus did say: [10]
    John 2:18-19
    Then the Jews demanded of him, "What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."

    We also have a passage in Acts (6:14) which seems imply that the above statement was actually uttered by Jesus.
    Another problem with the Markan account is associated with the question asked by the high priest in Mark 14:61. Remember that Christ is simply the Greek word for messiah. Mark had the high priest made the association of being a messiah with being the Son of God. No Jewish priest, let alone the high priest, would have made that connection in the divine sense in the gospels. The Jews simply did not consider the messiahship to have a divine status. [11]

    Furthermore the high priest's assertion (Mark 14:64) that Jesus committed blasphemy in his reply (Mark 14:62-63) makes no sense. It was not an offence for a Jew to claim to be the messiah because eventually, according to their belief, someone has got to be he. It is no blasphemy, though of course it could be a mistake, in claiming the title of messiah for oneself. [12] The claim Jesus made, as being seated at the right hand of God does not necessarily have any divine connotation for himself, as the Jewish scholar Rabbi Morris Goldstein stated:

    Use of the phrase "Son of the Blessed" or "Son of God" was no capital crime. The reference to sitting at the right hand of power (Mark 14:62) is not greatly different from King David's allusion to himself sitting at the right hand of God (Psalms 110:1), at all events, it is nowhere indicated as blasphemy. [13]

    And finally Mark 14:65 had members of the Sanhedrin spitting and striking Jesus. This is another patently absurd claim as another Jewish scholar, Hyamm Maccoby noted:
    As to the reports that members of the Sanhedrin spat on Jesus and stuck him, this is just as incredible in the proceedings of that highly dignified body as if it were reported of the high court of England or the supreme court of the United States. [14]

    In short almost every point in the Markan account of the nocturnal trial of Jesus is incompatible with what we know of the Jewish council. In short Mark's account is fiction; and poor fiction at that!
    In the morning, according to Mark the Sanhedrin met again:

    Mark 15:1
    Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders and the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin reached a decision. They bound Jesus, led him away and turned him over to Pilate.

    This account is subject to some of the procedural difficulties we have already noted for the nighttime trial. Namely that it was held on the passover and that a decision was reached less than twenty four hours after the conclusion of the testimony. Another difficulty, a question asked repeatedly by skeptical scholars, is this: if Jesus was condemned for blasphemy (i.e. a crime in Judaism) why was Jesus not sentenced to death by stoning or strangulation in accordance to the Jewish Law? [15] The Torah is unambiguous about this:
    Leviticus 24:10-23
    Now an Israelite woman's son...blasphemed the name and cursed. And they brought him to Moses...And the Lord said to Moses; "...He who blasphemes the name of the Lord shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him..." So Moses spoke to the people of Israel; and they brought him who had cursed out of the camp, and stoned him with stones.

    Neither Mark nor Matthew attempted to explain why Jesus was handed over to Pilate and sentence to die by crucifixion. For crucifixion was essentially a Roman penalty. [16]
    In Luke's account, the nocturnal trial in Mark was omitted but Luke's story of the trial in the morning is still subject to the same objection as against Mark's, for the trial was conducted on passover day itself, something we have seen as impossible. Luke's story of the trial before the Sanhedrin is as unhistorical as Mark's.

    Back to the top

    1. Craveri, Life of Jesus: p380
    Hinnels, Dictionary of Religions: p285
    Nineham, Saint Mark: p400
    2. Hinnels, Dictionary of Religions: p279
    Maccoby, Revolution in Judea: p71-72
    Martin, New Testament Foundations I: p86-87
    3. Hinnels, Dictionary of Religions: p251
    Maccoby, Revolution in Judea: p72-74
    Martin, New Testament Foundations I: p86
    4. Craveri, Life of Jesus: p380
    Maccoby, Revolution in Judea: p202
    5. Ibid: p202
    6. Craveri, Life of Jesus: p381
    Guignebert, Jesus: p463
    Maccoby, Revolution in Judea: p202
    7. Guignebert, Jesus: p463
    Maccoby, Revolution in Judea: p202
    Nineham, Saint Mark: p400-401
    8. quoted in Yerby, Judas, My Brother: p515
    9. Craveri, Life of Jesus: p381
    Guignebert, Jesus: p463
    10. Nineham, Saint Mark: p406
    11. Ibid: p406
    Wilson, Jesus: The Evidence: p407
    12. Maccoby, Revolution in Judea: p203
    Wilson, Jesus: The Evidence: p103
    13. Morris Goldstein, Jesus in the Jewish Tradition, Macmillan, New York 1953 quoted in Wilson, Jesus:The Evidence: p103
    14. Maccoby, Revolution in Judea: p202
    15. Craveri, Life of Jesus: p384
    Guignebert, Jesus: p463
    Nineham, Saint Mark: p403
    Schonfield, The Passover Plot: p141
    16. Guignebert, Jesus: p463
    Nineham, Saint Mark: p403

    So,in fact, the death penalty could only be inflicted or handed down by a verdict in a capitol case was the Great Sanhedrin that sat in chambers in the Temple.They were forbidden to meet at night, forbidden to convene anywhere outside of those chambers, and forbidden to meet the day before or on a holiday.The Sanheddrin was made up of seventy religious leaders.The commentary in Judaic writings that a Sanheddrin that ordered even one man executed in a seventy year period is considered to be blood thirsty and according to the Mishnah (Sanhedrin 1:4) the death penalty ceased around the year 30 BCE. The very laws of Judaism and the fact that the death penalty was no longer handed down almost sixty years before the death of Jesus show that the descriptive story about the Sanhedrin meeting at the High Priest's house,at night and on the eve of Passover or on Passover,depending which story is used from the book, shows the writers of that information knew nothing of religious or society laws in Israel of those days.

April 6, 2015

  • The Quran shows clear animosity toward Jews and Christians.

    The Quran shows clear animosity toward Jews and Christians.
    That the verses are written in an argumentative style that is more typical of a person than of God. That the overall style and certain references do not conform to the biblical text that supposedly contain the roots of Islam. See (Sura 5:44). Surly these issues are subjective, however we must consider what the majority of people would consider reasonable.

    82:62 Those who believe (in the Qur’an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

    This is nice sentiment, however it will be repeatedly contradicted in later text. Shortly after this was written Muhammad’s army slaughtered hundreds of Jews and sold their women and children into slavery at Medina when he gave a treaty that if they gave him the city,they could leave in peace.

    2:111 And they say: “None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian.”
    Those are their (vain) desires. Say: “Produce your proof if ye are truthful.”

    Who said that and where is it written? If this refers to a quote from Torah it is God’s words and not that of the Jewish people.The language and communication style used in this verse as in all of these verses, is noticeably different from that in both the Torah and in the New Testament. At any rate the verse has a malicious tone that disparages other religions. The fact is that Judaism says no such thing in the Torah or otherwise. The Talmud states Tosefta, Saheddrin 13:The righteous of all nations have a share in the World to Come and the Zohar (Kabbalistic writings) says Tana DeBei Eliahu Rabbah 9: I call heaven and earth as witnesses:Any individual,whether gentile or Jew,man or woman,servant or maid,can bring the Divine Presence upon himself in accordance to his deeds.

    2:113 The Jews say: “The Christians have naught (to stand) upon; and the Christians say: “The Jews have naught (To stand) upon.” Yet they (Profess to) study the(same) Book. Like unto their word is what those say who know not; but Allah will judge between them in their quarrel on the Day of Judgment.

    Again the communication style differs from that which we are used to, and again we see language that appears to be intended to discredit Jews and Christians. The main issue here is that Jews and Christians do not in fact profess to study the same book. Christians read their New Testament,which is not even close to being in the Jewish scriptures. Certainly God would know this, Muhammad on the other hand, evidently did not.

    2:120 Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with thee unless thou follow their form of religion. Say: “The Guidance of Allah,-that is the (only) Guidance.” Wert thou to follow their desires after the knowledge which hath reached thee, then wouldst thou find neither Protector nor helper against Allah.

    Consider the point of view of the author, although written in the third person it seems as though the author is obsessed with deliberation with the Jewish and Christian people. This verse seems to reflect emotions that are more typical of a man than of God. I also should reiterate that Judaism teaches no such thing as shown above

    2:135 They say: “Become Jews or Christians if ye would be guided (To
    salvation).” Say thou: “Nay! (I would rather) the Religion of Abraham the True, and he
    joined not gods with Allah.”

    Who says this? Certainly, if this text was written by God He would remember that Judaism doesn’t teach someone needs to become Jewish to merit the World to Come.

    2:140 Or do ye say that Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes were Jews or Christians? Say: Do ye know better than Allah. Ah! who is more unjust than those who conceal the testimony they have from Allah. but Allah is not unmindful of what ye do!

    This verse like those before it is written in an argumentative style that would be unlikely of God. It also contains the direct accusation that Jews and Christians are unjust. The very fact it infers anyone would infer that the Patriarchs were Christian is rather funny since they all predated Jesus by centuries.To deny the Tribes of Israel practiced Judaism is saying the Torah,Prophets and writings are a lie.The word Jew/Jews is used 85 times in the Tanakh.
    4:46 Of the Jews there are those who displace words from their (right) places, and say: “We hear and we disobey”; and “Hear what is not Heard”; and “Ra’ina”; with a twist of their tongues and a slander to Faith. If only they had said: “What hear and we obey”; and “Do hear”; and “Do look at us”; it would have been better for them, and more proper; but Allah hath cursed them for their Unbelief; and but few of them will believe.

    The debasement of the Jews continues in this verse with a supposed statement by God that he has cursed the entire religion. Is this not in direct conflict with verse 82:62?One might also point out that Torah scrolls that predate Isa and Mohammed say, One might also point out that G-d is not an idiot.Why would He go ahead and give the Torah to a nation that told Him they wouldn't obey it LOL!!!
    Moses came and told the people all the words of God. The people responded with one voice and said, 'All the words that God has spoken, we will do.' Moses wrote down all the words of God. He arose early in the morning and built an altar beneath the mountain, and also twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. He sent youths of the Sons of Israel and they offered burnt-offerings, and sacrificed oxen as peace offerings to God. Moses ... then took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the ears of the people. They said, 'All that God has spoken, we will do and we will hear.' (Exodus 24:3-7) Maybe G-d forgot this when He told Mohammed

    4:160 For the iniquity of the Jews We made unlawful for them certain (foods) good and wholesome which had been lawful for them;- in that they hindered many from Allah’s Way;

    I assume this verse refers to the Kosher restrictions. If this is the case, the author clearly does not understand the nature of the Kosher restrictions. A good question that comes to mind is, why would God punish the Jews with restrictions if the Jews typically disobey such commandments? (“We hear and we disobey ,4:46). Once again inferring G-d is an idiot where He gave laws again to people that already told him they wouldn't do them LOL

    2:120 Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with thee unless thou follow their form of religion. Say: “The Guidance of Allah,-that is the (only) Guidance.” Wert thou to follow their desires after the knowledge which hath reached thee, then wouldst thou find neither Protector nor helper against Allah.

    5:18 (Both) the Jews and the Christians say: “We are sons of Allah, and his beloved.” Say: “Why then doth He punish you for your sins? Nay, ye are but men,- of the men he hath created: He forgiveth whom He pleaseth, and He punisheth whom He pleaseth: and to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between: and unto Him is the final goal (of all)”

    Here the point made by the author possesses no obvious flaws. What is apparent here as in most of the verses, is the anti-Jew, anti-Christian theme. The style also suggests that the sentiments are the words of a personally involved party and not of the King of Kings. Then there is the fact that saying mankind is the children of G-d simply as His creation is a figurative concept,not a literal religious concept and why wouldn't any "parent" punish an unruly "child"

    5:44 It was We who revealed the law (to Moses): therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews, by the prophets who bowed (as in Islam) to Allah.s will, by the rabbis and the doctors of law: for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah.s book, and they were witnesses thereto: therefore fear not men, but fear me, and sell not my signs for a miserable price. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) Unbelievers.

    Here the Sura flat says the Torah law has been guarded by the Jews since the beginning. The Quran was written around 6oo AD, yet in this verse we see the attempt by Islam to make the retroactive claim that Jewish history was in fact Islamic history incognito. I assume the Muslims have an elaborate explanation as to why it took thousands of years to get things straightened out. It is important to note however, that Muhammad’s people stood to gain a great deal from such a claim. There is also a sub claim here, Islam refers to Torah as “Gods book,” this suggests that Torah is in fact a bench mark for discussion of Islam. Therefore, it would be an inconsistency to refute its teachings. This is done in Quran both directly and accidentally. (2:111 And they say: “None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian.” Those are their (vain)desires. Say: “Produce your proof if ye are truthful.” ).

    In verse 5:44 the author shifts from criticism of Jews to pro active Judgment of
    the Jews (by Muslims),( If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) Unbelievers.).

    5:51 O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and
    protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.

    I probably don’t need to point out the defamation of the Jewish and Christian people in verse 5:51, and it should be clear to the plainest of logic that this verse was written by a man with a great deal of animosity toward these people. Christians protectors of Jews? Maybe G-d missed some little details about the "They are but friends and protectors to each other." verse: |_ 388 C.E. -- First synagogue burned by the Bishop of Kallinikon._ 4th Century -- Synagogues burned by Christians. Thousands of Jews slain._ 5th Century -- Bishop Innocentius of Dertona (Italy) destroys Synagogues.
    _ 694 C.E. -- Jews enslaved. Jews lose rights and property. Jewish children forced to be baptized. Yeah,friends and protectors.

    5:64 The Jews say: “(Allah)’s hand is tied up.” Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for the (blasphemy) they utter. Nay, both His hands are widely outstretched: He giveth and spendeth (of His bounty) as He pleaseth. But the revelation that cometh to thee from Allah increaseth in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. Amongst them we have placed enmity and hatred till the Day of Judgment. Every time they kindle the fire of war, Allah doth extinguish it; but they (ever) strive to do mischief on earth. And Allah loveth not those who do mischief.

    Here the vilification of the Jews grows more intense with the assertion that God’s chosen people are now hated by God. Once again the author reveals his personal involvement with his hostility toward the Jews for rejecting the Quran. One thing that is important to note here is that when Torah speaks of people falling out of grace with God it is referring to small, limited groups of people such as those in Sodom and Gomorrah. Those people were dispatched, and the story ended leaving only history. In contrast, the Quran’s affront of Jews and Christians has the very different effect of ongoing malice toward a living race of people.So much for a merciful G-d

    5:64 But the revelation that cometh to thee from Allah increaseth in most of them their
    obstinate rebellion and blasphemy.

    This statement was supposedly written before the Jews had knowledge of it, how then could they have rejected it? This is like saying, “I would have sent cash but I already sealed the envelope”. Perhaps God was foretelling the future, like when he said he would harden Pharaohs heart? If that is the case, one must ask why God had confidence in the Jewish people for so long only to pre-condemn them this time?

    5:69 Those who believe (in the Qur’an), those who follow the Jewish (scriptures),
    and the Sabians and the Christians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness,- on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

    How can any reasonable person expect that this would be possible given the
    damaging statements made in other verses?

    5:82 Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and
    Pagans; and nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say, “We are Christians”: because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant.

    It appears as though the author has changed his mind about the Christians for the time being.

    6:146 For those who followed the Jewish Law, We forbade every (animal) with
    undivided hoof, and We forbade them that fat of the ox and the sheep, except what
    adheres to their backs or their entrails, or is mixed up with a bone: this in recompense for their wilful disobedience: for We are true (in Our ordinances).

    This is an obvious misunderstanding of the Kosher restrictions once again. It is not likely that God would make such a grievous error. Perhaps the use of the term we ( first person) refers to Muslims, of which the author is one. If this is the case than it would seem to imply that the Quran is expressing the views of Muhammad, and not of God. Some may argue that the term “we” was used because God is a Muslim. This idea would not make sense given that the term “Muslim” means “one who submits to God”. Similarly it would imply that the Muslims are God’s peers. This would go against the most fundamental tenants of Islam.

    9:30 The Jews call ‘Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!

    The author of this verse clearly has no knowledge of Judaism. I say this because, as every Jew knows the idea that God would have a son beyond the figuative or poetic styles shown in the Torah,Psalms and other writings is an absurdity to Judaism.

    16:118 To the Jews We prohibited such things as We have mentioned to thee before: We did them no wrong, but they were used to doing wrong to themselves.

    I assume the repeated use of the word “we” is a slip by Muhammad . At any rate the simplicity of the logic here speaks for itself.

    22:17 Those who believe (in the Qur’an), those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Sabians, Christians, Magians, and Polytheists,- Allah will judge between them on the Day of Judgment: for Allah is witness of all things.

    The use of the phrase “judge between them” reinforces my assertion that these verses are written in an argumentative format more typical of a human author than of God.

    These issues are subject to each persons individual interpretation of what is likely and what is reasonable. What is clear, is that the Quran does contain defamatory remarks toward Jews and Christians, and that the writing style of the Quran differs from both the Old and New Testament. Also clear is that the style of these verses is argumentative and seem to focus on a dispute between men. Of particular significance, is the fact that historical accounts of the time period suggest that Muhammad did in fact, have political reasons that parallel the opinions expressed in the Quran. Does this seem to be an incredible coincidence? Another issue, is the abundance of staked evidence. Of the twenty quotes found regarding Judaism, only two spoke well of other religions and they did so in a precursory manner. As mentioned previously each person must draw his or her own conclusions. As for myself, I am reasonably certain that God would not speak that way of the Jews making such total mistakes about His own Laws.

November 13, 2014

  • No.Europe's Jews are not Khazars

    Beginning in the 8th century CE, the Khazar royalty and notable segments of the aristocracy converted to Judaism; the populace appears to have been multi-confessional—a mosaic of pagan, Muslim, Jewish and Christian worshippers—and polyethnic. A modern theory, that the core of Ashkenazi Jewry emerged from a hypothetical Khazarian Jewish diaspora, is generally treated with scepticism. This Khazarian hypothesis is sometimes associated with antisemitism and anti-Zionism.
    The conversion of Khazars to Judaism is reported by external sources and in the Khazar Correspondence, Hebrew documents whose authenticity was long doubted and challenged, but now widely accepted among specialists as either authentic or as reflecting internal Khazar traditions.Conversion of steppe or peripheral tribes to a universal religion is fairly well attested phenomenon.Both the date of the conversion, and the extent of its influence beyond the elite, often minimized in scholarship, are a matter of dispute, but at some point between 740 CE and 920 CE, the Khazar royalty and nobility appear to have converted to Judaism, in part, it is argued, perhaps to deflect competing pressures from Arabs and Byzantines to accept either Islam or Orthodoxy.

    The fact is that archaeology shows that it is impossible for the Jews of Europe to be descended from the Khazarian converts, no matter what claims are made by the detractors of Israel and those steeped in antisemitism.

    A simple search of the oldest synagogues in Europe proves them wrong.The oldest synagogue in Western Europe uncovered in an archaeological dig to date is the Ostia Synagogue in the ancient Roman port of Ostia, in Italy. The present building, of which partial walls and pillars set upright by archaeologists remain, dates from the 4th century. However, excavation revealed that it is on the site of an earlier synagogue dating from the middle of the 1st century CE, that is, from before the destruction of the Temple.The Bova Marina Synagogue site in Bova Marina, Calabria. This site was discovered 1983. The remains of this ancient synagogue has been dated to the 4th Century

    The Köln Synagogue in Cologne, Germany has been excavated 2007/2012 and dates clearly pre Carolingian (bef. 780/90). There is at the moment some strong evidence that it dates back to the early 4th century when emperor Constantine in 321 issued a privilege for the Cologne Jews. This has been confirmed recently by the find of a rainwater mikveh of the 4th century inside the building complex

    .The Polycharmos Synagogue, of Stobi, Macedonia, was discovered in 1974; it was adjacent to a Christian church. The Synagogue site, itself, has an archaeological record of two (2) older Synagogues under the foundation of the Polycharmos Synagogue dating to the 4th century BCE.

    If the Khazars were the ancestors of European Jewry, they built synagogues around Europe 300- 500 years before they converted.

November 12, 2014

  • Messiah from the Dead?

    Every Jew knows the idea that God would have a literal son is an absurdity to Judaism.Any reference to G-d as abba or father is figurative since mankind is his creation.

    Messiah simply means anointed one as in a king of Israel.The idea of a messianic figure in Judaism is a leader of the people,purely human and mortal. Rabbi Joshua ben Levi in the Talmud,Sanheddrin 98a,points out a contradiction. According to one verse in Isaiah,Messiah will come in his own due time while it is also written that G-d will hasten his coming (which implies before the proper time).The answer given there is,"If we are worthy Messiah will be hastened,if not,he will come at due time.
    Then Rabbi Joshua points to another contradiction.In Daniel it is written that Messiah will come"with the clouds of heaven" while Zechariah says messiah will come "as a poor man riding a donkey." R. Joshua answers this as,"If we are meritorious,he will come on the clouds of heaven (swiftly).if not,he will come like a poor man on a donkey(very slowly)." One should also consider that any messianic opinion concerning the book of Daniel is based on non binding Midrash (stories) since Daniel is not among the books of Prophets.

    How can it be appropriate to request that Redemption come swiftly,which implies ahead of due time?

    An answer to this may be found in the two aspects included in the word swiftly: 1)the plain meaning,referring simply to the time of Redemption 2)the manner of the Redemption.For Messiah can come either on the clouds of heaven or as a poor man riding on a donkey if one accepts opinion based on non binding Midrash stories. Accordingly it is still appropriate to request that Messiah come with the clouds of heaven ie swifty refers to the manner of his coming.

    Rambam's description of messiah in his Code,Laws of Kings 11:1 deals with messiah coming in a natural manner,"like a poor man riding a donkey." Then his identity needs to be verified.But if we merit,and he comes swiftly,with the clouds of heaven,ie: miraculously,there will be no need for clues or evidence that he is the true Messiah.

    Proof of the true Messiah,however,is needed when he comes slowly,like a poor man riding a donkey ie:in a natural way,leaving room for impostors. Therefore,there is a need to delineate and describe very clearly the characteristics of the true Messiah.

    This is what Rambam does in chapt.11 in his Laws of Kings. Rambam says,"And when a king of the House of David will arrive,dedicated to the study of the Torah and observance of the Mitzvot like his father David,according to the Torah Shbiksav (Written Law) and Shebal-Peh (Oral Law),and he compels all the Jewish people to walk in it and strengthen its fences,and he will fight the wars of G-d,he is assumed to be Messiah." (Note that this is not yet a certain sign of the Redemption,for this can take place in time of exile too .However Rambam continues):

    " If he did and has succeeded"(in the above matters,namely winning all the battles and impelled all the Jewish people to study and live a Torah way,we are still not sure and require the fulfillment of the two major prophesies),"and built the Holy Temple in its place and he gathers in the dispersed ones of Israel---then he is certainly the Messiah."

    Now,I'm quite sure that one of the Christian members here will jump in with Jesus is coming back,born in a natural way and coming back on the clouds as it says in THEIR book,not ours; jumping on the Talmudic bandwagon though with anything else they refer to Talmudic writings as "rabbinic nonsense" and "laws of men"

    .While there is opinion that the messiah figure can come from the dead, it is not a widely held view.In the second to the last Rashi (the foremost explainer of the scripture and the Talmud, printed in every text) in the book of Daniel, (12:12) he writes: "The Moshiach [King Messiah] will reveal himself and then be concealed.... and then revealed once more, and so it says in the Midrash on Ruth and in the poems of Rabbi Eliezer HaKalir." I can't stress the point enough of this opinion being based on Midrash and poetry.

    So it states in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 98b), "If the Moshiach [King Messiah] comes from the dead he will be someone like Daniel." Rashi there explains this to mean exactly what it says; Moshiach [King Messiah] can come from the dead and be Daniel or one like him.

    In fact,through history and people who either did a few things the messiah is to do or,in most cases,their self proclaimed title of messiah, there have been only three messiah sects that held the belief their messiah would return from the dead to finish doing what the messiah is supposed to do. Those three messianic sects believing this were Jesus of Nazareth (c. 5 BCE – 30 CE), leader of a Jewish sect who was crucified by the Romans , Sabbatai Zevi (1626–1676), an Ottoman Jew who claimed to be the Messiah,married a Polish prostitute and a Torah scroll,declared all Torah law void, but then converted to Islam; still has followers today in the Donmeh., and Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902–1994), the seventh Chabad Rabbi who tried to "prepare the way" for the Messiah. An unidentifiable number of his followers believe him to be the Messiah, though he himself never said this and actually scoffed at such claims which were made during his lifetime.

    Only three messiah sects out of the following.The rest realized that with death,their messianic hopes were over since none fulfilled actual prophesy fully.
    Jewish Messiah was one who would deliver the Jews from oppression and usher in an Olam Haba ("world to come") or Messianic Age.doing what was described above.

    Simon of Peraea (c. Unknown – 4 BCE), a former slave of Herod the Great who rebelled and was killed by the Romans.
    Jesus of Nazareth (c. 5 BCE – 30 CE), leader of a Jewish sect who was crucified by the Romans
    Athronges (c. 3 CE), a shepherd turned rebel leader.
    Menahem ben Judah (?), allegedly son of Judas of Galilee, partook in a revolt against Agrippa II before being slain by a rival Zealot leader.
    Vespasian, c. 70, according to Josephus
    Simon bar Kokhba (died c. 135), founded a short-lived Jewish state before being defeated in the Second Jewish-Roman War.
    Moses of Crete (?), who in about 440–470 persuaded the Jews of Crete to walk into the sea, as Moses had done, to return to Israel. The results were disastrous and he soon disappeared.
    Ishak ben Ya'kub Obadiah Abu 'Isa al-Isfahani (684–705), who led a revolt in Persia against the Umayyad Caliph 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan.
    Yudghan (?), a disciple of Abu 'Isa who continued the faith after Isa was slain.
    Serene (?), who around 720 claimed to be the Messiah and advocated expulsion of Muslims and relaxing various rabbinic laws before being arrested; he then recanted.
    David Alroy (?), born in Kurdistan, who around 1160 agitated against the caliph before being assassinated.
    Nissim ben Abraham (?), active around 1295.
    Moses Botarel of Cisneros (?), active around 1413; claimed to be a sorcerer able to combine the names of God.
    Asher Lämmlein (?), a German near Venice who proclaimed himself a forerunner of the Messiah in 1502.
    David Reubeni (1490–1541?) and Solomon Molcho (1500–1532), messianic adventurers who traveled in Portugal, Italy and Turkey; Molcho, who was a baptized Catholic, was tried by the Inquisition, convicted of apostasy and burned at the stake.
    A mostly unknown Czech Jew from around the 1650s.
    Sabbatai Zevi (1626–1676), an Ottoman Jew who claimed to be the Messiah, but then converted to Islam; still has followers today in the Donmeh.
    Barukhia Russo (Osman Baba), successor of Sabbatai Zevi.
    Jacob Querido (?–1690), claimed to be the new incarnation of Sabbatai; later converted to Islam and led the Donmeh.
    Miguel Cardoso (1630–1706), another successor of Sabbatai who claimed to be the "Messiah ben Ephraim."
    Mordecai Mokia (1650–1729), "the Rebuker," another person who proclaimed himself Messiah after Sabbatai's death.
    Löbele Prossnitz (?–1750), attained some following among former followers of Sabbatai, calling himself the "Messiah ben Joseph."
    Jacob Joseph Frank (1726–1791), who claimed to be the reincarnation of King David and preached a synthesis of Christianity and Judaism.
    Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902–1994), the seventh Chabad Rabbi who tried to "prepare the way" for the Messiah. An unidentifiable number of his followers believe him to be the Messiah, though he himself never said this and actually scoffed at such claims which were made during his lifetime.
    Goel Ratzon (1951-), from Tel Aviv, claims to have supernatural healing powers and reportedly lived with 32 women who believed he was the Messiah. He also fathered 89 children, who were all given names that were variants of his own, but was arrested in 2010 on suspicions that he was abusing his "wives" and children

August 25, 2014

  • Karaite Judaism? A brief history

    More and more Gentiles are showing interest in Torah law and what they can do to be observant,yet lean toward the Karaite sect of Judaism's views on what is commonly referred to as "rabbinic" by those that know nothing about it.This is highly prevalent among the Ephraimite movement.The Ephramite Movement are Gentiles claiming to be the remains of the Northern Kingdom of Ephraim or Israel based on they feel it is so.No proof of linages, no ancient traditions such as you find among the people in Syria and other countries that still have these traditional legends and stories dating back thousands of years.The “Ephramites” base their beliefs almost completely along the lines of British Israelism, keeping their Christian beliefs in Jesus, denigration of Judaism,and thinking all Jews are Judah.

    Even some of the biggest Jewish supporters of the idea that prophesy about the reunion of Judah and Ephraim are showing disappointment.To quote Yair Davidy of Brit AM,
    “First of all what really are the so-called Ephraimites? Recent developments have suggested that they may not be so interested in spreading knowledge of physical origin from Israel especially when the ancestry of concrete groups is specified.
    If such is the case they are in effect Christian enthusiasts who at best have replaced Replacement Theology with fraternalism. Unlike advocates of Replacement Theory they may not say they are the True Israel who have replaced the Jews as the Chosen People. They rather claim to be brothers of the Jews by virtue of religious inspiration. Some of them are very pro-Jewish but others are not and seem anti-Jewish and wallowing in Pseudo-Karaite notions and sinister Conspiracy Theories as well as in some cases having fanatical missionary convictions."

    Who are the Karaites and what is their history?The History of Karaites and Karaism Islam; The founder of Islam and author of the Muslim Kara-n (Koran/ Quran) was Muhammad ibn Abdullah. The original Karaites (Qaraims) were Muslim and used the Karan (Koran), Injil/ Tehudah (The original New Testaments), Torwah (Post Temple verbiage). For the last 22 years of Muhammad’s life, beginning at age 40 in 610 CE, Muhammad started receiving revelations that he believed to be from God. The content of these revelations, known as the Karan (Qur'an), was memorized and recorded by his companions. The formal beginning of the Muslim era was chosen to be the Hijra in 622 CE, which was an important turning point in Muhammad's fortunes. The assignment of this year as the year 1 AH (Anno Hegirae) in the Islamic calendar was reportedly made by Caliph Umar. It is a lunar calendar with days lasting from sunset to sunset. Islamic holy days fall on fixed dates of the lunar calendar, which means that they occur in different seasons in different years in the Gregorian Calendar. The most important Islamic festivals are Eid al Fitr on the 1st of Shawwal, marking the end of the fasting month Ramadan, and Sid al Adha on the 10th of Dhu al Haijah, coinciding with the pilgrimage to Mecca. Golden Age of Islam and Karaism (750–1258) The Great Mosque of Kairouan, established in 670 in Kairouan, Tunisia, represents one of the best architectural examples of Islamic civilization. Under the Abbasids, Islamic civilization flourished in the " Islamic Golden Age", with its capital at the cosmopolitan city of Baghdad. Islamic Minor denominations; The original Karaites (Quranists) were Muslims who generally reject the Hadith and/or the Sunnah. The Berghouata were a late first millennium Berber sect who followed a syncretic religion inspired by Islam (perhaps influenced by Judaism with elements of Sunni, Shia and Khariihe Islam, mixed with astrological and heathen traditions. It is believed that Salih Ibn Tarif was a Jew born in the Iberian Peninsula. Jewish Karaites Annan ben David’s and Salih Ibn Tarif’s karans were the foundation of the Jewish Karaite movement. Jewishness of “Karaites”; Jewish Karaites are a splinter sect that branched from out of Islam. 1) “Karaite” or “Qaraim” is not in the Tanakh. 2) Karaites are not a tribal group of the sons of Abraham, Isaac or Israel. 3) Karaites are a post Tanakh, and a post Temple movement. “Jewish” Karaites originated in Iraq, in the 9th century CE, as a Muslim splinter movement from out of Islam, and their karans, and siddurs are not historically documented as a Jewish movement until the 9th century. Which later branched out to Egypt, Europe, Africa and Russia. And because of geographical, kingdoms and language barriers, Jewish Karaites karans, traditions and customs varied greatly. Thus the study of modern 9th and 10th century Karaites and Karaism can be very conflicting and confusing. Thought there are some recent new claims that “Karaite” or “Karaism” existed as a Jewish movement prior to the 9th century, there are no historical documents that support Karaite or Karaism as a Jewish movement in the 1st to 8th century. These supposed Jewish Karaites tend to attach themselves to any Jew who observed the Torah as the Masoretes, who were not Karaites (the Karaite sect did not exist in the second century), the Masoretes was a Rabbinical movement, similar to the Masorti/ Conservative Jews of Russia. Want to get into their recent history? Try http://www.karaite-korner.org/holocaust.htm where they claim ,"One of the most common misconceptions about Karaite Jews is that they had a questionable role in the holocaust. It is commonly reported that the Nazis did not consider Karaite Jews to be Jewish and that some Karaite Jews even collaborated with the Nazis. These accusations are completely false. In fact, there were not even any Karaite Jews in Europe at the time of the holocaust, so they could hardly have collaborated with the Nazis! " That's really funny because Nazi records show they served in the Waffen SS. Their status under Russian imperial rule bore beneficial fruits for the Karaims decades later. In 1934, the heads of the Karaims community in Berlin asked the Nazi authorities to exempt them from the regulations; on the basis of their legal status in Russia. The Reich Agency for the Investigation of Families determined that from the standpoint of German law, the Karaites were not to be considered Jews. The letter from the Reichsstelle fur Sippenforschung gave the official ruling in a letter which stated: The Karaite sect should not be considered a Jewish religious community within the meaning of paragraph 2, point 2 of the First Regulation to the Reich Citizenship Law. However, it cannot be established that Karaites in their entirety are of blood-related stock, for the racial categorization of an individual cannot be determined without ... his personal ancestry and racial biological characteristics.This ruling set the tone for how the Nazis dealt with the Karaite community in Eastern Europe. 500-600 Crimean Karaite jews voluntarily enlisted into the SS to help fight the USSR. This caused some tension as some German soldiers were disturbed by their praying and overtly jewish behavior, however were forced to accept them with open arms due to the German high command making it strictly clear that they were to be treated with all respect. The Jewish religion of the Karaites annoyed the SS circles, and it was therefore recommended not to publicize Karaite activity in the army. On December 7, 1944, Himmler approved these conclusions and recommendations, and the Karaites continued to serve in the German army until its surrender in early May 1945." (Shmuel Spector, "Karaites" in Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, Vol.2, NY: Macmillan, 1990, pp. 785-787). Gee, I guess the German's lied in their records,right? After all,the Karaites deny they were in the German army.

    Let's not forget what the Karaites did in Russia to avoid being counted as Jews that "killed Jesus".Abraham Firkovich was the central figure of the Karaite National Movement in nineteenth century Russia and the most important collector of Karaite manuscripts. He was born in Lutsk, Poland, but was active mainly in the Crimea. Such local leaders sponsored him as Simha Babovich, who took him in 1830 on a visit to the Holy Land. Firkovich collected in Jerusalem, Hebron and Cairo numerous old manuscripts. In the years 1831 ­ 1832 he transferred his collecting activity to Istanbul, and 1839 ­ 1840 to the Crimea (especially Chufut­Kale, which was being left by its Karaite inhabitants). Further he copied old Karaite tombstone inscriptions in the Crimea and Caucasus, many of which he published in his "Avnei Zikkaron" (1872). In 1863 - 15 he returned to Palestine and Egypt and obtained, now that he was old, experienced and wealthy, perhaps the most important part of his vast collection of over 15,000 manuscripts. His discoveries stimulated wide interest. S. Pinsker based his "Likkutei Kadmoniyot" mainly on material supplied by him. H.Graetz and J. First, too, used it uncritically. Firkovich's thesis was that the forefathers of the Karaites had come to the Crimea in the seventh century BCE and thus could not have been involved in the crucifixion of Jesus. Nor had they any connection with the preparation of the Talmud. He believed the Khazars to have been Karaites. His views were obviously politically motivated and were intended to give a "scientific" underpinning to the Karaite National Movement. When in 1839 the governor ­ general of the Crimea, Voronzow, addressed six basic questions on the origins of the Karaites to Babovich, Firkovich was commissioned to answer them. The Karaite leadership used his opinions and writings also otherwise in its endeavors to distance itself from Judaism and receive full civil rights for all Karaites from the Russian authorities. Firkovich often came into direct confrontation with the Rabbanites. In 1825 he submitted a memorandum to the Russian authorities, suggesting that the Jews should be removed from the border areas in Russia's west, in order to prevent them from smuggling. His suggestion was, that they should engage in agriculture instead. The memorandum had no effect, but its sentiments did not endear Firkovich to his Rabbanite contemporaries. A Hassidic teacher, who accused him of being an ignoramus and heretic, thus accosted him once, publicly, in Berdichev. In reply Firkovich composed his biting "Masa Merivah". In another polemic book, "Sela ha­Mahloket" (1834), he turns, in rhymes, against the Hassidim. Most later scholars did however not hold these attacks against him. What they would not forgive, were the numerous changes and outright falsifications, especially of dates, in colophons, or on tombstones, included in his scientific work and in the publications of the Gozlow press when he was in charge of it, in order to make the Karaite community of the Crimea appear much older than it was. Such scholars as H. Strack, A. Harkavy and P.F. Frankl demonstrated soon after his death, that his publications abounded in such forgeries. Yeah,and there were capos in the camps too. My relatives that lived told us about those that tried to save their own hide. "In other words, many Jews took on the identity of Karaylar-Karaites in order to save themselves from the Nazis. This was very widespread and was even used by Jewish leaders. Green explains:" and then says: " As a result of this acquiescence to political expediency, an estimated 70,000 such persons were theoretically exempted from extermination." (Green 1978b pp.43-44)" 70,000 out of the over 6 million butchered.Yeah,that sounds like "This was very widespread ".

    Further on Karaites in Russia.During the late 19th century, Russian Karaites began to be differentiated from Rabbanite Jews, which freed them from various anti-Semitic laws that affected Jews. The Tsarist governor of the Crimea told the Karaite leaders that, even though the Tsarist government liked the idea that the Karaites did not accept the Talmud (which the church taught was the reason the Jews did not accept Jesus), they were still Jews and responsible for the death of Jesus and subject to the new antisemitic laws. The leaders, hearing that, devised a ruse by which they could be freed of the oppressive laws and told him that the Karaites were already settled in the Crimea before the death of Jesus. The Tsarist government then said that, if they could prove it, they would be free of the oppressive laws. Avraham Firkovich was charged by the community leaders to gather anything that could help "prove" that they were not in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus and, thus, not responsible for his death. Through his work he helped establish the idea amongst the Tsarist authorities that the Karaites were descendants of the exiled northern kingdom of Israel and therefore were already in exile for centuries before the death of Jesus and were thus not responsible for it. Through referring to the tombstones in Crimea (and altering the dates) and the gathering of thousands of Karaite, Rabbanite, and Samaritan manuscripts, including one Rabbanite document from the southern Caucasus that claims that the Jews there were descendants of the exiles from the northern Kingdom of Israel. These actions convinced the Russian Czar that Karaite ancestors could not have killed Jesus; that thus their descendants were free of familial guilt (which was an underlying reason or pretext given at that time for anti-Semitic laws). All this was for external consumption. Within the community Ḥakhamim still taught that the Karaites were and have always been a part of the Jewish people, prayer was in Hebrew, the lineage of Kohanim, Levites, and families of Davidic descent were meticulously preserved, books printed in Hebrew adamantly stated that the Karaites were Jews. In 1897, the Russian census counted 12,894 Karaims in the Russian Empire. By the early 20th century, most European Karaites were no longer very knowledgeable about the religion and Seraya Szapszal, a Karaite soldier of fortune who had been the tutor of the last Qajar Shah of Persia Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar and a Russian spy, managed to get himself elected Chief Ḥakham of the Karaites in the Russian Empire (by that time, due to Russian regulations, the position was more of a political one than a spiritual one), and influenced by the Pan-Turkic movement in Turkey (see Dan Shapira's work on the subject), made his position into that of an Emperor-priest, changing the title Ḥakham to Ḥakhan (being a cross between the Turkic titles Khaqan and Khan), forbade the use of Hebrew, introduced pagan elements (such as the worship of sacred oaks trees in the cemetery), and claimed that both Jesus and Muhammad were prophets (thus appeasing both the Russian Orthodox Tsarist government and the Muslim Turkic peoples). After the Bolshevik Revolution, atheism became official state policy and Karaite religious schools and places of worship were the very first religious institutions closed by the Soviet government. After that the only information about the Karaites that was allowed to be taught were the Szapszalian doctrines, and the official definition according to Russian law (carried over from Tsarist law) was the erroneous one that the Karaimi were the Turkic descendants of the Khazars and not Jews. Not all European Karaites accepted the Szapszalian doctrines. Some Hakhamim and a small part of the general Karaite population still preserved their Jewish heritage, but most dared not oppose Szapszal openly due to his official standing vis-à-vis the Soviet government.Paradoxically, it would appear that the National Socialist German Government accepted the Bolshevik definition of the origin of the Karaites.

August 1, 2014

  • Levels of Holiness of the Sacrificial Offerings

    Mishnah,Zevachim Chapter 5
    1)What is the location of the offerings?[Regarding] the most holy offerings,their slaughter is in the north(a).The slaughter of the bull and the he-goat of Yom Kippur is in the north and the reception of their blood in a service vessel(b) is in the north.Their blood requires sprinkling between the pole[of the holy Ark](c),and towards the Curtain{of the Holy of Holies} and upon the Golden Altar(d).Every one of these applications is essential.(e)The leftover blood he would pour onto the western base of the Outer Altar;but if he failed to apply it[leftover blood to the base],he has not prevented atonement.

    Notes on 1:A:The most holy offerings are sin,guilt,elevation,and communal peace because they have stricter laws than individual peace and thanksgiving offerings.B:Special vessels set aside strictly for this purpose C:On Yom Kippur the High Priest sprinkled the blood between the poles of the Ark that extended from either side towards the sanctuary.D:The Golden Altar that the incense was burned on every day E:All of the essential applications must be done or atonement is not achieved.

    2)Regarding the bulls and goats that are completely burned(a),their slaughter is in the north and reception of the blood in the north.Their blood requires being sprinkled toward the Curtain and upon the Golden Altar,Every application is essential.Leftover blood was poured on the western base,but failure to do so did not prevent atonement.Both these and the Yom Kippur offerings were burned in the place where the [Altar}ashes are deposited(b)In no case are any parts of the burnt offerings eaten.

    Notes on 2:A:Certain parts were burned on the Altar(see Lev4:8-12) and the remainder burned outside of Jerusalem.B:The ashes from the Altar were removed when necessary to a ritually clean place outside the city.

    3)Regarding sin offerings of the community and of individual(a)---the communal offerings are as follows:the he-goats of Rosh Chodesh and festivals--their slaughter[of all sin offerings] is in the north and the blood received in the north in the service vessel.Their blood requires four applications,one on each the four corners of the Altar,First the southeast,then the northeast,then the northwest then the southwest.Leftover blood would be poured out on the southern base.These offerings are eaten within the[Courtyard]curtains(b) by males of the priesthood,prepared in any manner,on the same day and that night until midnight(c)

    Note on 3:A;Before giving the laws of sin offerings,the mishnah lists the kinds of communal sin offerings that fall in this category.The listing being necessary because earlier mishnayos,too,have have discussed communal sin offerings that fall under the burnt offering category.B:It must be prepared in the Courtyard.The term "curtains" is

    borrowed from the time in the wilderness when the courtyard was enclosed by curtains instead of walls.C:A sin offering could be eaten on the day it was sacrificed and the following evening until dawn by scriptural law but the sages imposed a deadline of midnight to prevent mishaps.

    4)The elevation offering is among the most holy offerings.It is slaughtered in the north and the blood recieved in the service vessal in the north.It's blood applications are two that are equal to four(A).It requires flaying and dismemberment(b) and is entirely consumed by fire

    Notes on 4:A:The blood was thrown at two corners of the Altar walls,northeast and southwest.The blood would then spred out to the adjacent walls,Thus,two applications put blood on all four walls of the Altar.B:The hide of all offerings of greater holiness was given to the priests and the body cut up in a prescribed way,only then was it burned.

    5)Regarding communal peace offerings(a) and [personal]guilt offerings(b)--the guilt offering is as follows:guilt offering for theft(c),guilt offering for misuse of sacred objects(d),guilt offering for violating a betrothed maidservant(e),the guilt offering of a Nazirite(f),the guilt offering of a metzora(leper) (g)and a guilt offering in the case of doubt(h).Their slaughter and reception of blood is in the north and they are eaten by the priests in the Courtyard the same day and nite until midnight.

    Notes on 5:A:The only such offering are the two sheep that are brought in addition to the Shavuos mussaf offering(Lev23:19)The other communal offerings are either sin or elevation offerings.B:There are six kinds C.If one owned money--loan or theft,had an article in safekeeping or whatever and swore he did not owe it intentionally,he is required to bring an offering(Lev5:20-26)D:If someone unintentionally used an belonging to the Sanctuary,he must bring an offering(ibid 5:14-16)E:A female non-Jewish slave is owned by two Jewish partners,One sets her free but the other does not,making her half free and half slave.Since a freed non-Jewish slave has the same status as a convert,she is half Jewish and half non-Jewish.She is therefore forbidden to marry a Jew nor a non-Jew.She is however allowed to marry a Jewish indentured servant,who is permitted to both a Jewish and non-Jewish maidservant.If she becomes betrothed to a Jewish indentured servant and has relations with another man,the adulterer must bring an offering.F:A Nazirite who became ritually contaminated by contact with a corpse(Num 6:9-12)G:A leper that has been declared cured must bring an offering 8 days after he is pronounced cured.H:If one is unsure whether he needs to bring a sin offering .The possible transgresor protects himself from punishment through a guilt offering,If it becomes evident that the offence was committed,he must bring a sin offering at that time.

    6)The thanksgiving offering(a) and the ram of the Nazirite(b) are offerings of less holiness(c)Their slaughter is anywhere in the Courtyard and their blood application is two equal to four.They are eaten by anyone,anywhere in the city,prepared in any manner on the same day and nite until midnight.The priestly portion is separated from them(d) and treated like them in preparation and where it can be eaten except that only the priests and their family can eat these portions.

    Notes on 6:A:Brought by someone that survives serious danger B:Offered after the Nazirite has completed his period of abstinence he imposed on himself C:The greater leniency of these offerings is obvious from comparison to the above offerings laws.D:Priestly portion is the breast and right thigh before they are cooked,In the case of the Nazirite ram,the priests receive the right foreleg after cooking.

    7)The peace offerings(a)are of lesser holiness.Their slaughter is anywhere in the Courtyard and the blood is applied two equivalent to four.They are eaten anywhere in the city and prepared in any manner.The priestly portion is separated and treated the same way except only the priests and their family may eat it.

    Notes on 7:A:The peace offering can be eaten for two days and the nite between while the thanksgiving offering is just the one day and nite

    8)The firstborn and tithe of animals,and the Pesach offering are the least holy of the offerings.Their slaughter is anywhere in the Courtyard and their blood requires only a single application(a)provided it is applied above the base.They differ in consumption:the priests only eat the firstborn offering and the tithe by anyone.They are eaten throughout the city,prepared in any manner,for two days and one nite.The Pesach offering is eaten only at night and only by those registered for it(b) and it may only be roasted.

    Notes on 8:A:Unlike all the rest of the offerings,only a single application to the base is required.The base is part of the Altar,one cubit high and one cubit wide that juts out along the entire lengths of the west and north walls,but only one cubit along the south and east walls.The blood may only be applied to that part of the Altar directly above the base.B:Those who wish to eat the pascal lamb must reserve their share before the slaughter(Ex12:4).In the case of all other offerings,any qualified person may partake of the flesh.

December 23, 2013

  • Lost Tribes? Not So Lost.

    Lost Tribes? Not so lost.
    By Hezakiah Sammi Levinson on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 9:19am
    It seems that more and more Christians are thinking they are part of "the lost tribes" adopting the nonsense idea that all Jews are the tribe of Judah since the Southern Kingdom had the name.The fact is the Tanakh records where most of the Northern Kingdom went during and after the Assyrian invasion.

    There were members of all the tribes living in the Southern Kingdom.At the time of the disruption of the united kingdom in 930 B.C., Israelites from all the northern tribes joined their brethren in the south and continued their identity as part of the kingdom of Judah. Two books in Scripture that are strangely ignored by British-Israelites (Ephramites) are 1 and 2 Chronicles. These books make it clear that the tribes in the north continued their existence as part of Judah after 930 B.C. Consider 2 Chr 11:14, 16: “For the Levites left their suburban lands and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem; for Jeroboam and his sons had cast them off from executing the priest’s office unto the LORD; …. And after them, out of all the tribes of Israel, such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers.” These verses provide irrefutable proof that many individuals out of “all the tribes of Israel” rejected Jereboam’s idolatry and joined the southern kingdom. During the reign of Asa, others followed from Ephraim and Manasseh (2 Chr. 15:9).

    Thus, it is evident that the kingdom of Judah absorbed many from the northern kingdom through the years. Scripture teaches that Israelites continued to live there after the captivity of 721 B.C. Again, Chronicles helps us in this regard. At Hezekiah’s invitation, many from the north settled in Judah after the destruction of the northern kingdom (2 Chr. 30). Even later, in 622 B.C., more godly Israelites came to Jerusalem to help repair the Temple (2 Chr. 34:9), and later to celebrate the Passover (2 Chr. 35:17–18). If the northern tribes had become lost, how could these representatives have joined in worship in Jerusalem one hundred years after the Assyrian destruction? Judah rapidly increased after the fall of the northern kingdom as a result of the many refugees mentioned in 2 Chr. 11:14–16. In the annals of the Assyrian Sargon, he describes how he he carried away only 27,290 people and 50 chariots. Since estimates of the population of the northern kingdom are around 500,000, around one-twentieth of the population was deported, primarily the leaders from the area around Samaria. The ten tribes, therefore, were never lost because they were never completely deported! Their kingdom was destroyed, but most of them stayed, with some around Samaria intermingling with new immigrants to form the Samaritans (2 Kings 17:24–41).

    When the Jews returned from Babylonian captivity in 536 B.C., the Chronicler viewed the restored community as the remnant of all Israel, both north and south, and not just the tribe of Judah: “Now the first inhabitants who dwelt in their possessions in their cities were the Israelites, the priests, Levites, and the Nethinim. And in Jerusalem dwelt of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin, and of the children of Ephraim, and Manasseh” (1 Chr. 9:2–3). According to these verses, we should look to find Ephraim and Manasseh, not in England and America, but in Jerusalem following the return from Babylon. Furthermore, the people at that time viewed themselves as part of all Israel, for they offered “twelve he-goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel” (Ezra 6:17). Although British-Israelism confidently asserts that Judah and Israel are always separate and distinct, a concordance shows that in the Book of Ezra the restored community is called “Jews” only eight times and “Israel” fifty times. The writer viewed the terms as interchangeable, both terms applying to the same people after the captivity.

    Besides in real scripture, even the Christian book shows there were all the tribes in the Kingdom of Judah.It clearly indicates that in the first century “Jews” still maintained their tribal identities—some of whom were members of those supposedly lost tribes. Consider, for example, the aged Anna who beheld the baby Jesus in the Temple. Luke 2:36 states that she was of the “tribe of Asher.” When Paul spoke of his Jewish brethren, he spoke of a common promise and a common hope: “Unto which promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God day and night, hope to come” (Acts 26:7). James addressed his epistle “to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad” (James 1:1). He made no distinction between Judah and the ten tribes. All Jews were part of a common body, the only difference being that some were in the land of Israel and some in the Diaspora. Evidently, members of all the tribes existed both inside and outside the Promised Land.

    The Christian book uses the term “Jew” 174 times and the term “Israel” 75 times, clearly applying them to the same body of people. Paul referred to himself as both a “Jew” (Acts 22:3) and an “Israelite” (Rom. 11:1), and he never distinguished between Jews and Israel, as British-Israelism (Ephramites) does. If the so called lost tribes indeed resurfaced as the British people, and if Jeremiah eventually traveled to Britain to establish David’s throne there, one would expect some trace of these matters to be mentioned in their book. The silence of the writers in this regard, however, is deafening!

  • Ephraimites or Ephra might nots? Gentile theft of Israelite Identity.

    Ephraimites or Ephra might nots? Gentile theft of Israelite Identity.
    By Hezakiah Sammi Levinson on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 7:48pm
    The Ephramite Cult are Gentiles claiming to be the remains of the Northern Kingdom of Ephraim or Israel based on they feel it is so.No proof of linages, no ancient traditions such as you find among the people in Syria and other countries that still have these traditional legends and stories dating back thousands of years.The "Ephramites" base their beliefs almost completely along the lines of British Israelism, keeping their Christian beliefs in Jesus, denigration of Judaism,and thinking all Jews are Judah.

    Even some of the biggest Jewish supporters of the idea that prophesy about the reunion of Judah and Ephraim are showing disappointment.To quote Yair Davidy of Brit AM,
    "First of all what really are the so-called Ephraimites? Recent developments have suggested that they may not be so interested in spreading knowledge of physical origin from Israel especially when the ancestry of concrete groups is specified.
    If such is the case they are in effect Christian enthusiasts who at best have replaced Replacement Theology with fraternalism. Unlike advocates of Replacement Theory they may not say they are the True Israel who have replaced the Jews as the Chosen People. They rather claim to be brothers of the Jews by virtue of religious inspiration. Some of them are very pro-Jewish but others are not and seem anti-Jewish and wallowing in Pseudo-Karaite notions and sinister Conspiracy Theories as well as in some cases having fanatical missionary convictions.

    We say the Lost Ten Tribes are mainly amongst Western Peoples BUT NOT ALL these peoples are Israelites.
    So a certain overlap concerning Israelite Ancestry between us AND the Ephraimites exists. Many of them however may not like us that much and may not really be interested in what we have to say.
    In other words the Ephraimites have been presenting themselves to us, and those like us, as one thing while really being more of something else."

    Ephraimites or Ephra I am nots? (originally in the Cleveland Jewish News)
    Imagine the outrage if a practicing Jew were to don a Roman collar, assume the title “priest,” and open his own “Catholic church,” interpreting its holidays and symbols however he liked, says Rabbi Tovia Singer, talk-show host, and founder and national director of Outreach Judaism.
    But that is exactly what “Hebraic Roots” adherents (also known as “Israelites” or “Ephraimites,” among other names) do. These groups are led by self-taught individuals who use the title “rabbi” and/or “congregational leader,” as well as “synagogue” (complete with Hebrew names like Beth HaKavod) for their churches.
    These gentiles in Jewish clothing actually claim to be the “true Israelites” in direct, biological descendants of the lost tribe of Ephraim. Of course there are no DNA or blood tests to confirm this unsubstantiated claim.

    Angus Wootten, one of the movement’s grandaddies, explains in his book Restoring Israel’s Kingdom how someone can find out if he or she is a biological member of the tribe of Ephraim: You simply “have a ‘conviction,’ a knowing that we know.”
    While this David Koresh-sounding theology appears ridiculous to both Jews and the vast majority of Christians, the sobering fact is that their numbers are growing constantly. From their websites and links, it would appear there are about 30 Ephraim-style groups in Ohio alone, although it’s hard to get an exact count because they use so many names n Ephraimites, Hebraic Roots Christians, Lost Tribes, Northern Kingdom, Israelites, House of Israel, Messianic Christians, and House of Joseph.
    Rabbi Melvin Granatstein of Green Road Synagogue says there are all kinds of ersatz groups like these. “Catholics have to follow certain scriptural interpretation, but Protestants can pick up a Bible and interpret on their own,” he explains. “Some (Protestants) are very respectable, but others just focus on the parts of scripture they like, and the Bible can have very diverse interpretations.”
    Saying you’re from a lost tribe has a certain “romantic appeal,” continues Granatstein. “The neat thing about claiming to be part of a lost tribe is, if it’s lost, who’s going to be able to prove me wrong?”
    While Hebraic Rooters claim to “unite Jews and Christians” as their ultimate goal, in reality, they seem to hold both groups in disdain. Jews seem to think they are “Cokes” (the real thing), says Wootten in his book Restoring. He questions Jewish ancestral lines “(that have) been affected by conversions, adoptions and extramarital sex (fornication, adultery or rape).” He seems to have particular disdain for the Orthodox, labeling them, among other things, as mean-spirited rock-throwers. Christians fare no better under Wootten’s scathing pen: They are guilty of “Esau’s folly” n throwing away their birthright as the “biological heirs of the tribe of Ephraim.”
    Tired of being “second-class citizens,” these self-proclaimed “Ephraimites” demand that Jews “recognize” them as “Israelites” and that would include rights to the Middle East real estate.
    In 1948, “... instead of naming this Jewish state ‘Judah’ ... they named it Israel,” Wooten writes. “Now, in one fell swoop, the Jews grabbed the title back.” Wootten is appalled that these Jews had the chutzpah to name their country “Israel” when those of his “tribe” knew it was partially theirs!
    Eddie Chumney, who was a computer specialist before going full-time into “the ministry” almost a decade ago, heads a “synagogue” in Stark County; his members, he claims, come from Tuscarawas, Carrol, Stark, Wayne, Summit and Cuyahoga counties. Chumney also founded “Hebraic Roots International,” which claims a database network of subscribers in all 50 states and in 55 foreign countries. He travels extensively, both nationally and internationally, at the invitation of gentile groups who want to hear about their “lost (but now found!) heritage.”
    Raised Protestant, Chumney says he was “awakened” to what the New Testament “really” teaches after studying Jewish texts and taking Torah classes from a Reform rabbi in Akron. Chumney accuses Jews of “blindness” for not acknowledging their “Northern Kingdom” relatives. He threatens that peace will only come to Israel when they do so. He also says that Christians are “drunkards like Ephraim,” who have been lied to over the millennia n mostly because of the Catholic Church n as to what Jesus really taught.
    The gospel according to Chumney is that Jesus came to “unite the two kingdoms” (i.e., Jews and “Israelites”) and teach the “Israelites” (gentile Christians) to observe Jewish law. Of course, this is contrary to halachah (Jewish law), which actually says gentiles are forbidden to observe Shabbat, a doctrine which Chumney asserts is false and put forth by “the rabbis.” It’s a title he occasionally uses himself. (See sidebar, p. 29.)
    While Chumney alludes to both Jewish texts and the New Testament scriptures, mixing doctrines and beliefs from both, he chafes at the accusation that he has made up his own religion. He simply wants “the house of Judah” to recognize “the house of Joseph” (his house) and for the latter to recognize Jesus’s “true” mission “foreshadowed in the Torah when those who received the law at Mt. Sinai were the only ones who escaped Egypt because they had put the blood on their doorposts.”
    Chumney asserts that “obviously, there’s not going to be paper documentation” for the Ephraimite/Northern Kingdom/Lost Tribe/ House of Joseph connection. The only “proof,” it seems, is that one adheres to Chumney’s instruction.
    The Chumney/Wootten type of teaching is mushrooming. Rick Ross, an internationally-recognized cult expert, and a former Clevelander, calls it “a growing phenomenon in the United States.”
    Ross “runs into these groups all the time,” but says the “Hebraic Roots” movement is really just an old teaching with a facelift. He points out that the Worldwide Church of God, founded by Herbert Armstrong in 1934, taught that Anglo-Saxons are direct descendants of the 10 lost tribes of Israel, and that church viewed that teaching as the key, unlocking a true understanding of biblical prophecy. At its peak, there were 65,000 Armstrongists, says Ross.
    “These groups are very misleading and very disingenuous,” he cautions. “They have an affinity for Jewish holidays and symbols but have no Jewish background whatsoever,” says Ross. “It really becomes a shanda (shame), as my grandmother would say, when they start parading around with Torah scrolls and trotting out Jewish symbols.”
    Actually, says Ross, there is a psychological component as to why certain types of people are attracted to these types of groups. “It gives them a sense of elite identity. In fact, there is a Yiddish phrase that sums it up perfectly: kol mamzer melech n Every bastard wants to be a king.”
    Will the real rabbi please stand up?
    “Anyone can invent his own religion,” says Tovia Singer, founder and director of Outreach Judaism. “But the reason these movements are dangerous is that they don’t respect boundaries. They are not Jewish at all, and (its leaders and adherents) have no rabbinic background whatsoever; they are simply playing with Jewish beliefs and rituals.”

    Certainly one of the ways the Hebraic Rooters play with Judaism is with their cavalier use of the title “rabbi.” For example, in the advertisement for Eddie Chumney’s “2005 Midwest Feast of Tabernacles” event to be held in Ohio next month, three of the four speakers are listed as rabbis, although not one of them has any rabbinic training at all.
    If, as the former computer specialist-turned-self-proclaimed-minister says, people will be coming from as far as Florida to attend the weeklong event, they will paying to attend something where the rabbis are not rabbis at all, and the Succot experience is certainly not going to be a very “Jewish” one.
    If someone were to call him or herself an attorney or physician and attempt to practice as such, that individual would be thrown in jail, says Rabbi Singer. Using the title “rabbi” won’t get someone thrown in jail, but it is consumer fraud, he adds.
    “The parameters of Jewish identity exclusively and historically lay within the Jewish community,” says cult expert Rick Ross. “Unless you recognize the parameters of a religion’s identity, you are going down a slippery slope and opening the doors to anything and everything, such as Catholics for Krishna, Mormons for Mohammed, Baptists for Buddha.”

November 13, 2013

  • Messiah,Moshiach,M'shia,and Mistranslations, twistings and other ways to shove Jesus in the text

    Mosiach,m'shia,and mistranslations, twistings and other ways to shove Jesus in the text

    TrueMessiah - Properly Anointed;
    FalseMessiah - Smeared with Ointment



    I. Introduction

    The ninth chapterin the Book of Daniel has been a popular component in the portfolioof Christian apologists and missionaries. The passage that iscommonly extracted from this chapter as an example of a definitive"messianic prophecy" is Daniel 9:24-27 because, accordingto most Christian translations, it contains two direct references tothe Messiah (Dan 9:25-26), which are claimed to be referencesto Jesus. With the help of mistranslations and some mathematicalhocus-pocus, they transform this passage into a prophecy thatallegedly foretells the coming of Jesus and his crucifixion.

    The analysispresented in this essay demonstrates that these claims concerningDaniel 9:25-26 are inconsistent with the teachings of the HebrewBible. Moreover, since these claims also include references to beinganointed, the anointing process, as defined and applied in the HebrewBible, is cast into a template against which the "anointing"of Jesus, as described in the New Testament, is compared in order totest its validity.

    II. Christian and Jewish Translations of Daniel 9:25-26

    Table II-1 showsside-by-side English renditions and the Hebrew text of the passageDaniel 9:25-26. The Hebrew term (mashia'h)and its respective renditions in the two translations are shown inhighlighted form.

    Table II-1– Daniel 9:25-26

    Daniel 9 King James Version Translation
    Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
    And you should know and understand that, from the emergence of the word to restore and build Jerusalem until an anointed ruler, [shall be] seven weeks; and [in] sixty-two weeks it will be restored and be built, street and moat, but in troubled times.
    And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
    And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one will be cut off, and [he] will be no more; and the city and the Sanctuary will be destroyed by people of the coming ruler, and his end will come about like a flood; and by end of the war, there will be desolation.

    Jewish Translation from the Hebrew

    25 And you shall know and understand that from the emergence of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed king [shall be] seven weeks, and [in] sixty-two weeks it will return and be built street and moat, but in troubled times.
    26 And after the sixty-two weeks, the anointed one will be cut off, and he will be no more, and the people of the coming monarch will destroy the city and the Sanctuary, and his end will come about by inundation, and until the end of the war, it will be cut off into desolation.

    A significant disagreement exists between the two translations in their respective renditions of the noun . A study of the applications of this term in the Hebrew Bible helps resolve this issue.

    III. Review of Hebrew Terminology

    According to theHebrew Bible, the men who were selected to fill the positions of the high priest [(ha'kohen ha'gadol)] and king[(melech)] had to go through a ritual anointing ceremony. The Hebrew root verb (mashah),[to] anoint, appears in the Hebrew Bible 70 times in various conjugations. This verb is used on 63 occasions to describe an act of anointing, i.e., applying a specially prepared oil or compound to someone or something for the purpose of sanctification or consecration; and on the seven remaining occasions, it is used in thecontext of covering something with paint or oil for various other purposes.

    Someone who wentthrough the process of anointing was referred to as (mashi'ah),an anointed one, in the Hebrew Bible. The noun derives fromthe root verb , [to] anoint, and it appears in variousconjugations and forms in the Hebrew Bible on 39 occasions. Thesalient fact about the noun is that not one of these 39instances refers to the Messiah. The reason is that the usage of thenoun as the present Hebrew term for Messiah is a product of thefirst century B.C.E., which is interesting information that emergedfrom research done on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Around that time, theJewish messianic vision experienced a significant paradigm shift fromthe expectation of an era (i.e., “End of Days”) to an expectationof a Jewish leader who will deliver Israel ("Redeemer"). This fact alone defeats the claim by Christian apologists andmissionaries concerning references to the Messiah in Daniel 9:25-26.

    IV. Application of the Noun in the Hebrew Bible

    An analysis of the39 applications of the noun in the Hebrew Bible, and how these arerendered in most Christian Bibles, provides the Biblical evidencethat refutes the claims concerning its occurrences in Daniel 9:25-26. Table IV-1 shows the 39 applications of the noun in the HebrewBible. Each form of the noun is shown separately along with thefrequency of occurrence, a pronunciation guide (CAPS identify theaccented syllable), the respective Scriptural citations, the correctEnglish translation, and the respective KJV rendition. Referencesindicate chapter and verse numbers in the Hebrew Bible; verse numbersin Christian Bibles, if different from the Hebrew Bible, are shown inbrackets.

    Table IV-1– The term in the Hebrew Bible and its KJV renditions

    Hebrew Term
    mah-SHEE-ah Pronunciation
    2 Sam 1:21 References
    an anointed Correct Translation
    anointed KJV Rendition

    Dan 9:25
    an anointed Correct Translation
    The Messiah KJV Rendition
    Dan 9:26
    an anointed Correct Translation
    Messiah KJV Rendition

    ha'mah-SHEE-ah Pronunciation
    Lev 4:3,5,16,6:15[22] References
    the anointed Correct Translation
    [the priest] that is anointed

    me-SHEE-ah Pronunciation
    1 Sam 24:6,10, 26:16; 2 Sam 1:14,16, 19:22[21], 23:1;Lam 4:20 References
    anointed [of] Correct Translation
    anointed [of]

    bim-SHEE-ah Pronunciation
    1 Sam 26:9,11,23 References
    against the anointed of - Correct Translation
    against [the LORD's] anointed KJV Rendition

    lim-SHEE-ah Pronunciation
    1 Sam 24:7 References
    to the anointed of - Correct Translation
    to [the LORD's] anointed KJV Rendition

    me-shee-HEE Pronunciation
    1 Sam 2:35 References
    my anointed Correct Translation
    mine anointed KJV Rendition

    lim-shee-HEE Pronunciation
    Ps 132:17 References
    for/to my anointed Correct Translation
    for mine anointed KJV Rendition

    me-shee-HEH-cha Pronunciation
    Hab 3:13; Ps 84:10[9], 89:39[38],52[51], 132:10; 2 Chron 6:42 References
    your anointed Correct Translation
    thine anointed KJV Rendition

    me-shee-HO Pronunciation
    1 Sam 2:10, 12:3,5, 16:6; Ps 2:2, 20:7[6], 28:8 References
    his anointed Correct Translation
    his anointed, *[the LORD's] anointed KJV Rendition

    lim-shee-HO Pronunciation
    2 Sam 22:51; Is 45:1; Ps 18:51[50] References
    to his anointed Correct Translation
    to his anointed KJV Rendition

    bim-shee-HAI Pronunciation
    Ps 105:15;1 Chron 16:22 References
    at/upon my anointed Correct Translation
    [touch not] mine anointed KJV Rendition

    The KJV renditionof the term differs from the generic an anointed one in onlytwo cases out of the 39 applications, with both instances occurringin Daniel 9:25-26. The question is: "What motivated the KJVtranslators to cast the term as a reference to the Messiah inDaniel 9:25-26, particularly in view of the historical fact that thisassociation of the two terms came much later than the Book ofDaniel?"

    A related issuearises from the way some other Christian Bibles render the noun inDaniel 9:25-26, as shown in Table IV-2.

    Table IV-2– The term as rendered in other Christian Bibles

    Amplified Bible (AMP) Source
    Daniel 9:25 Verse
    the Anointed One Source Translation (note:capitalized)
    an anointed one Correct Translation
    Daniel 9:26
    New International Version (NIV) Source
    Daniel 9:25 Verse
    the Anointed One Source Translation (note:capitalized)
    an anointed one Correct Translation
    Daniel 9:26
    New Living Translation (NLT) Source
    Daniel 9:25 Verse
    the Anointed One Source Translation (note:capitalized)
    an anointed one Correct Translation
    Daniel 9:26 Verse
    World English Bible (WEB) Source
    Daniel 9:25 Verse
    the Anointed One Source Translation (note:capitalized)
    an anointed one Correct Translation
    Daniel 9:26

    The translation of as the Anointed One, although closer to the correct ananointed one, still contains Christological bias, though it ismore subtle. The use of the definite article, the, and thecapitalization of the terms in the expression, Anointed One,is a design that implicitly points to Jesus.

    For the sake offairness, it should be noted, however, that not all Christian Bibleshave mistranslated in Daniel 9:25-26. Among the Christian Biblesthat translate the term correctly are: Basic Bible in English(BBE), Revised Standard Version (RSV), and NewRevised Standard Version (NRSV).

    V. Anointing According to the Hebrew Bible

    The process of anointing

    According to theHebrew Bible, the substance used and the ritual performed are the twosignificant components of the anointing process.

    1. The substance

    In order to beconsidered properly anointed, a king (or high priest) had to besprinkled with a special substance that was stored in a specialcontainer, and which was prepared from pure olive oil, according tothe following formula:

    Exodus 30:22-25– (22) And the L-rd spoke to Moses, saying, (23) "And you,take for yourself spices of the finest sort - of pure myrrh fivehundred [shekel weights]; of fragrant cinnamon half of it, twohundred and fifty [shekel weights]; of fragrant cane two hundred andfifty [shekel weights], (24) and of cassia five hundred [shekelweights] according to the sacred shekel, and one hin of olive oil.(25) And you shall make it onto anoil of sacred anointment [(shemenmish'hat-qodesh)] aperfumed compound according to the art of the perfumer; it shall bean oil of sacred anointment[(shemen mish'hat-qodesh)]."

    No other substanceis acceptable for anointing and, being a holy substance, thisanointing oil had to be stored in the (portable) Tabernacle while theIsraelites were in the wilderness, and in the Temple in Jerusalemlater on.

    2. The ritual

    Moses wascommanded to anoint his brother Aaron as the first high priest:

    Exodus 29:7– And then you shall takethe anointing oil, and pour [it] upon his head, andanoint him.

    The Hebrew Biblecontains several accounts of the anointing of royalty in Israel.

    a. King Saul

    Saulwas anointed as King of Israel when the prophet Samuel poured thespecial oil on his head:

    1Samuel 10:1 - AndSamuel took the vialof oil, and poured it on his [Saul's] head,and kissed him. And he [Samuel] said, "Indeed, the L-rd hasanointed you to be a ruler over His inheritance."

    b. King David

    David,the son of Jesse, was anointed as King of Israel when the prophetSamuel poured the special oil on his head:

    1Samuel 16:13 -And Samuel took thehorn of oil, and anointed him[David] in the midst of his brothers. And a spirit of the L-rd passedover David from that day forth, and Samuel arose and went to Ramah.

    c. King Solomon

    Thisis who anointed Solomon to be King of Israel, and how it was done:

    1Kings 1:34,39,45- (34) And Zadok the[high] priest and Nathan the prophet shall anoint him[Solomon] there as king over Israel, and blow the horn and say,"[Long] live King Solomon."
    (39) And Zadokthe [High] Priest took the horn of oil from the Tabernacle [theSanctuary] and anointed Solomon,and they blew the shofar [ram's horn], and all the people said, "Longlive king Solomon."
    (45) And Zadokthe [high] priest and Nathan the prophet anointed him [Solomon] kingin Gihon, and they came up from there rejoicing, and (therefore) thecity was in an uproar; that is the noise you were hearing.

    A template for the anointing of kings

    TheBiblical accounts of the anointing of the first three kings ofIsrael, Saul, David, and Solomon, contain the necessary elements forthe construction of a template for the process of anointing royaltyof Israel, one of which will be the promised Jewish Messiah. According to the Hebrew Bible, these elements are:

    [1] A special preparation from pure olive oil was used as the oil of anointing.

    [2] Being sacred, the anointing oil was stored in the Temple.

    [3] A universally recognized prophet performed the ritual of anointing a king.

    [4] The prophets used the vial of oil, or the horn of oil, to anoint the new king, not merely a vial of oil or a horn of oil.1[1]

    [5] The oil of anointing was poured only on the head.

    [6] Anointing was tantamount to crowning a king (or appointing a high priest).2[2]

    I. Anointing According to the New Testament

    Thistemplate for the anointing process can now be used to test thevalidity of the anointing of Jesus, as deduced from the accounts inthe New Testament.

    The process of anointing

    1. The substance

    Thefour Gospel authors describe the substance used on Jesus as follows:

    Matthew26:7-9(KJV) –(7) There came unto him a woman having an alabasterbox of veryprecious ointment,and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. (8) But when hisdisciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose isthis waste? (9) For thisointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

    Mark14:3-5(KJV) –(3) And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he satat meat, there came a woman having an alabasterbox of ointmentof spikenard veryprecious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. (4) Andthere were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Whywas this waste of the ointment made? (5) For itmight have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have beengiven to the poor.And they murmured against her.

    Luke7:37(KJV) - And,behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew thatJesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought analabaster box of ointment,

    John12:3-5(KJV) –(3) Then took Mary a pound of ointmentof spikenard, verycostly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with herhair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. (4)Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, whichshould betray him, (5) Whywas not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to thepoor?

    1. The ritual

    Allfour Gospel authors describe the manner in which Jesus was anointed:

    Matthew26:7(KJV) - Therecame unto him a womanhaving an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and pouredit on his head, as hesat at meat.

    Mark14:3(KJV) - Andbeing in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat,there came a womanhaving an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; andshe brake the box, and pouredit on his head.

    Luke7:37-38,46(KJV) –(37) And, behold, awoman in the city, which was a sinner,when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, broughtan alabaster box of ointment, (38) And stood at his feet behind himweeping, and began to wash hisfeet with tears, anddid wipe themwith the hairs of her head, and kissed hisfeet, and anointedthem with the ointment.
    (46)My head with oil thoudidst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

    John11:2(KJV) - (Itwas that Mary whichanointed the Lord with ointment,and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)

    John12:3(KJV) - Thentook Marya pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointedthe feet of Jesus,and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with theodour of the ointment.

    Moreover,Jesus himself allegedly states the purpose of his anointing:

    Matthew26:12(KJV) - Forin that she hath pouredthis ointment on my body,she did it for myburial.

    Mark14:8(KJV) - Shehath done what she could: she is come aforehand toanoint my body to the burying.

    Elements of the ritual of anointing Jesus

    Theaccounts quoted from the Gospels contain the elements of the processthat was described as the anointing of Jesus, and these are listed inthe order of the elements in the template for the anointing processdeveloped above:

    [1] The substance used to anoint Jesus was an ointment of spikenard.3[3]

    [1] It is unknown from where the costly ointment of spikenard came. It clearly was not a sacred substance, since people complained about having wasted it by pouring it on Jesus rather than selling it and giving the money to the poor.

    [2] Jesus was anointed by a woman (Mary of Bethany, described as a sinner).

    [3] The ointment used on Jesus was contained in an alabaster box.4[4]

    [4] There are conflicting accounts in the New Testament about where on his body the anointing substance was applied to Jesus. The accounts in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark say it was applied to his head; while the accounts in the Gospels of Luke and John state it was applied to his feet only.

    [5] Jesus declared that his anointing was a preparation for burial, i.e., for death, and not for kingship.5[5]

    II. The Anointing of Jesus Contrasted with the Requirements in the Hebrew Bible

    TableVII-1 contains an element-by-element comparison of the components ofthe anointing process in the template against the accounts describedin the Gospels. For each element, a yes/noscore indicates whether the respective component from the Gospelaccounts meets the specification set forth in the Hebrew Bible.

    TableVII-1 – HebrewBible specifications versus New Testament accounts of anointing

    Hebrew Bible Specifications
    According to the
    New Testament
    The oil of anointing was a special mixture of spices and pure olive oil.
    The substance used to anoint Jesus was an ointment of spikenard.
    Ointment of spikenard, no matter how costly, cannot substitute for the sacred special oil.
    Being sacred, the oil of anointing had to be stored in the Temple.
    The spikenard was not sacred, and its source is unknown.
    Sacred items were kept in the Temple, and were not offered for sale.
    A recognized prophet had to anoint a king.
    A woman named Mary anointed Jesus.
    Did a recognized prophet anoint Jesus?
    A special vial, or special horn, of the special anointing oil had to be used in anointing a king.
    The spikenard ointment used on Jesus came from an alabaster box.
    The Hebrew Bible never speaks of alabaster containers used for holding the oil of anointing.
    The oil of anointing was poured on the head only.
    2 accounts - head only;
    2 accounts - feet only.
    Which version of the account is the true one?
    The anointing was a preparation for kingship (or high priesthood).
    Jesus declared his anointing was to prepare him for burial.
    Jesus never reigned as the monarch over any kingdom.

    Thiscomparison demonstrates that the anointing of Jesus, as described inthe New Testament, violates all the specifications for a validanointing of royalty in Israel as provided in the Hebrew Bible.

    Conclusion: Jesus was smeared with ointment and not properly anointed and,
    for that reason alone, he was a false Messiah.

    III. Summary

    Twoimportant and interconnected issues were addressed. The firstquestion concerned the Hebrew noun as it appears in Daniel9:25-26:

    ¤ What is the correct translation of the Hebrew noun , which appears twice in the passage Daniel 9:25-26?

    Accordingto most Christian translations, the term points to Jesuseither by being translated as [the] Messiah or the AnointedOne. A word study on all 39 occurrences in the Hebrew Bible ofthe noun in its various forms demonstrated that the correcttranslation is an anointed one, a "generic"reference to two different individuals who were to appear on thescene at some future time, neither of whom had any connection to theJewish Messiah.

    The questionconcerned the validity of the "anointing" of Jesus, whicharose from the translation of theterm in some Christian Bibles as the Anointed One:

    ¤ Did the "anointing" of Jesus, as described in the New Testament, conform to the specifications given in the Hebrew Bible?

    Tohelp determine the validity of the "anointing" processwhich the accounts in the New Testament describe, a template for theanointing process of kings and high priests of Israel was constructedfrom the specifications detailed in the Hebrew Bible. The relevantelements of information were then extracted from the accounts in theNew Testament which describe the "anointing" of Jesus, andthese were compared, on an element-by-element basis against thetemplate. The analysis demonstrated that Jesus was not anointedaccording to the specifications described in the Hebrew Bible.

    Therefore, sinceJesus was never properly anointed according to the specificationscontained in the Hebrew Bible, the Scripture in force during hislifetime, neither of the two applications of the term in Daniel9:25-26 can possibly point to him.
    1[1] King David and his royal descendants were anointed with the sacred oil poured from the horn. According to the Jewish Sages, this indicated the superiority of the Davidic kings over the non-Davidic kings of Israel (e.g., Saul), who were anointed using the vial.
    2[2] Saul, David, and Solomon all sat on the throne as kings soon after being anointed. They successfully fought those nations that were enemies of Israel. They commanded entire governments, complete with soldiers, spies, tax collectors, foreign ambassadors, treasuries, palace servants and courts.
    3[3]The American Heritage Dictionary (Second College Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, Publishers [1991]), describes spikenard as: "1. An aromatic plant, Nardostachys jatamansi, of India, having rose-purple flowers. 2. A costly ointment of antiquity, probably prepared from the spikenard."
    4[4] The authors of the New Testament refer to Jesus as the "son of David", implying that he is from the royal line of King David: Matthew 1:1(KJV) - The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. If, as claimed in the New Testament, Jesus were a bona fide king of the Davidic dynasty, why was the anointing substance taken from an alabaster box and not from that special vessel called the horn?

    5[5] The New Testament is silent on whether Jesus sat on the throne of David during his lifetime, and whether he led a Jewish army in any battles against Israel's enemies and defeated them. Likewise, there is no mention in the New Testament of Jesus being in command of an entire political government.