"Know, therefore, this day, and reflect in thy heart, that the
Lord he is God, in heaven above, and on the earth beneath,
there is none else."Deuteronomy 4:39
[Being a refutation of statements contained in the New Testament. The version of the New Testament used by the Author was that made by Simon Budni, Published in 1572, whose version is considered the most authentic.]
It is notorious that, in no part of the New Testament do we find that Jesus intended to pass as the author of a New Law, but, on the contrary, that he admitted the perpetual duration of the Mosaic Law, as we have shewn in the 19th, 20th, 24th, 29th, and 30th chapters of the First Part of this work. Besides, it is ascertained that the New Testament was composed many years after Jesus. It has been averred even by Jerome, in his Latin version of the New Testament, that Mark and Luke wrote merely from hearsay. Jerome seems to have thereby indirectly acknowledged the Apocryphal character of those compositions, and admitted the true origin of the incongruities and contradictions which occur in various parts of those books. We must also direct the attention of the reader to the incorrect manner in which portions of our prophets are quoted and explained therein. Very frequently the words of our Scripture are there actually changed and perverted from their true signification. In fact, after a careful perusal of the Christian Canon of faith, we have been impressed with the conviction that the authors of the New Testament have overlooked, either intentionally or unintentionally, the real meaning and bearing of our original Sacred writings.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, 1.1.2. and Part 2, Chapter 1.]
Matthew 1 contains an account of the genealogy of Jesus, and traces back the descent of Joseph, the husband of Mary, to Solomon son of David. The enumeration of his ancestors terminates thus (ver. 15, 16, 17), "And Eliud begat Eleazar, and Eleazar begat Matthan, and Matthan begat Jacob, and Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations."
In Luke 3:23, 24, however, the genealogy of Jesus differs from that given by Matthew; for he assigns the descent of Joseph, the husband of Mary, to Nathan the son of David. The parentage of Jesus is there described as follows: "And Jesus was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, etc., etc. Thus while, according to Matthew, there are forty-two generations, reckoning back to Abraham, there are twenty-six according to the names mentioned in Luke. Besides this, the list of names given in Matthew is not calculated to afford a correct knowledge of the descendants of David, for three generations, Ahaziah, Jaos, and Amaziah, are omitted, and Uzziah is represented to be the son of Joram. See the correct genealogy in 1 Chronicles 3, and in the historical part of the Second Book of Chronicles beginning at chapter 22 etc.
It appears that the omission of three generations of kings was done advisedly, in order to make out Matthew's three series of fourteen generations. However, after all it must be owned, that contradictory accounts of the generations have no reference to Jesus, but only to Joseph. For, as Mary is stated to have remained a virgin, even after her marriage with Joseph, we do not see the use of putting forth a long string of names which had no relation to the founder of the Christian religion.
This perplexing matter has not escaped the enquiry of Christian scholars, and they meet it by asserting that Luke does not contradict the account of Matthew, but mentions the same Kings under different names, in the same manner as Solomon is called Uzziah, Azariah, and Jehoiachin. This defence is not admissible, as Luke mentions Nathan, the brother of Solomon, as the ancestor of Jesus; it cannot, therefore, be supposed that Solomon bore the name of Nathan. We further observe that Matthew reckons eighteen generations, and Luke twenty-three, from David to Zerubbabel. Again, from Abraham to Jesus, Matthew makes out forty-two, and Luke forty generations. This cannot be reasoned away but by taking various names as the designation of the same person. Besides, we find in our Scriptures only two or three of those contained in the list of the ancestors of Jesus who had several names. And as to those men who lived between Abraham and David, not one is represented in our Sacred Writings as having possessed two names, so that the contradictory enumerations in the New Testament still remain unreconciled. Some scholars have contrived to offer another palliation of the suspicious account. They say Matthew alone gave the ancestral origin of Joseph, but that Luke stated that of Mary, who was also of the seed of David by his son Nathan, and that Mary's origin was mixed up with that of her husband, because man and wife are one flesh. Such apologies are frustrated by the very words of Luke (chap. 3), who speaks expressly of Joseph to show that through him the royal ancestry of Jesus was established. Those who assert that Jesus took his pedigree from his mother, only ought to find in the genealogy of Jesus the son of Mary, the son of Heli, the son of Matthew, etc.; thus all suspicion of error would have been obviated. Those who make an attempt to defend their position by quoting "Man and wife are of one flesh," should recollect that this expression has reference only to their conjugal fidelity and affection, but not to their descent.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Chapter 4.2 and Part 2, Chapter 2.]
Matthew 1:22 and 23, sets forth that Jesus was born of a virgin, in order that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, "Behold, A virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel."
The reader will remember from the First Part of this work that we have had frequent occasion to speak of the method employed in the New Testament and other Christian works, of citing from our Scriptures certain passages, which, on careful examination, have no reference whatever to the immediate subject. Thus they quote also the passage from Isaiah 7:14, "Behold העלמה "(meaning the young woman and not virgin) "is with child, and about to bring forth a son." The prophecy was given to Ahaz, King of Judah, in order to allay his apprehensions regarding the two kings who were to come to carry on war against Jerusalem. What connection could there subsist between a sign necessary to convince the King of Jerusalem, and the event of the birth of Jesus which happened so many centuries after? How could Ahaz receive consolation from prophecy, the fulfillment of which he was not to live to see?
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 3.]
Matthew 1 concludes with these words concerning Joseph, the husband of Mary; "And [he] knew her not until she had brought forth her first-born son, and he called his name Jesus." The wording of this passage shows, in the first place, that after she had brought forth "her first-born son" Joseph did "know her"; and secondly, the appellation of Jesus the "first-born son," proves that the same mother bore more children than one, otherwise the term first-born could not be applicable. This harmonizes well with Matthew 13:55, where Jesus, "the carpenter's son," is mentioned together with his brothers "James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas." This passage is an incontrovertible contradiction of the opinion of those who consider Mary to have been a virgin before and after she had given birth to Jesus.
The English version of Matthew 1:23, has, "And they shall call his name Emmanuel"; but in the Hebrew original, we have וקראת "and she shall call."
It is also a striking fact that the name Emmanuel was not given to Jesus by the virgin. Nor do we find that the Emmanuel mentioned in Isaiah was ever to be considered the Messiah.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 4.]
Matthew 2:14 and 15, "When he [Joseph] arose, he took the young child and his mother by night and departed into Egypt. And was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son."
The misapplication of the evidence taken from Hosea 11:1, is perfectly obvious. He speaks of the chosen people delivered from bondage. He says, "When Israel was young I did love it and out of Egypt I called my son." This allusion to the pristine state of Israel fully agrees with the message Moses gave to Pharaoh. Exodus 4:22 and 23, "Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my first-born son, and I have said unto thee, send away my son that he may serve me."
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Chapter 4.9. and Part 2, Chapter 5.]
Matthew 2:16, 17, 18 , "And Herod sent forth and slew all the children that were born in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet [chapter 31:15], saying, "Rachel [was] weeping for her children, and would not be comforted because they are not."
The construction of these words of the prophet is incompatible with what follows. For we read in the same chapter of Jeremiah, verse 17, "And the children shall return to their boundaries." This cannot mean slain but only captive children. The ten tribes are here alluded to as the captives who are mentioned under the collected name Ephraim, because their first king Jeroboam was of the tribe of Ephraim, the descendant of Rachel. Had Jeremiah's prophecy had any connection with the extermination of the infants of Bethlehem Judah, it would not have been for Rachel to weep, but for Leah, the ancestress of the children of Judah. See chapter 28 of Matthew.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 6.]
Matthew 2:23, "And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets. He shall be called a Nazarene." This quotation has been falsely made, and is not to be found in any part of our prophetic writings; which subject has been more fully treated of in the former part of this work. See chapter 23 of First Part.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 7.]
Matthew 4:1-11, "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterwards an hungered. And when the tempter came to him he said. If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the Devil taketh him into the Holy City, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the Temple, and saith to him. If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee; and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus saith unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the Devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him. Get thee hence, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."
The same subject occurs in Luke 4. The reader must certainly perceive by this narrative that the Jesus tempted by Satan, is not intended to pass for a God incarnate. For can any man, in his sound senses, suppose that Satan would have presumed to tempt one whom he knew to be a God; or can it be imagined that he would have dared, as a creature, to lead him away by force against his will? Reason recoils from such a belief.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 8.]
Matthew 4:13-15, "And leaving Nazareth, he [Jesus] came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zebulon and Naphthali. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zebulon and the land of Naphthali, by the way of the sea beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles." Let the reader refer to Isaiah 9:1, and see whether the detached passage, as given in the New Testament, proves anything relating to Jesus. There we read that the anguish is not abating which is poured down upon "her" [Israel]. "The first time it came lightly upon the land of Zebulon, and the land of Naphthali; and the latter time, it fell heavily upon her by the way of the sea, on the side of Jordan, and the boundary of the Gentiles." The prophet had spoken of the preponderance of the empire of Ashur over that of Israel, and he stated that Tiglath Pilessar, king of Assyria, had at first extended his conquest over the lands of Zebulon and Naphthali; and therefore the calamity was deemed to be confined to a narrow compass in the sight of Israel. But afterwards the misery became oppressive, when Sennacherib marched against Judah, and took all its fortified cities; so that Jerusalem was the only country that escaped. The whole country of Palestine being thus ravaged, the prophet pointed out the utmost limits of the country as the marks of the extent of the devastation; hence the allusion to Jordan and the sea, which were the boundaries of the nation. The borders of the neighbouring Philistines were therefore called "the boundaries of the Philistines." When Sennacherib came up to attack Jerusalem, the angel of the Lord destroyed 185,000 warriors. Then it was that, according to Isaiah 9:2, "The people who had walked in the darkness of trouble saw"namely, the light of deliverance, after the total fall of Sennacherib. That salvation is termed "light," is shown by the expression in Esther 8:16, "Unto the Jews was light." Isaiah continues, chapter 9:3, "Thou hast made great the nation (namely, in their position among other nations); Thou hast increased their joy before Thee, according to the joy in harvest"; thus expressing their gratitude and devout sentiments at the miraculous escape from the overwhelming number of the enemy, and their exultation during the distribution of the spoil found in the Assyrian camp. "For Thou hast broken the yoke of his burden"; that is, Thou hast frustrated the designs of the cruelty of the Assyrian king; "And the staff of his shoulder, and the rod of his oppression, as in the day of Midian." [When Gideon, with a handful of men, routed in the night the army of the invading Midianites; so that also then a supernatural help saved Israel from utter ruin.] For the attack of the assailants was as the shock of an earthquakethat is to say, this warfare differed from all others in which garments were rolled in blood; whereas in this war there was no bloodshed by human weapons, but the weapons of destruction were "burning and of full fire." The prophet then continues to say, "For unto us a child has been born, unto us a son has been given, and the government has [fallen] on his shoulders." By this prediction was meant Hezekiah, king of Judah, in whose days the signal deliverance happened. This prophecy was given to Ahaz after the birth of Hezekiah, and in consideration of the future piety of this child, this Divine consolation was given. The son who was given us, and who was proved to have been Hezekiah, was nine years old when Ahaz ascended the throne.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 9.]
Matthew 4:18, 19, "And Jesus, walking by the shores of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon, called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen, and he said unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." The same is related in Luke 5:10, "And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men." This metaphorical language employed by Jesus, appears most inapt and undignified. The net catches the unwary by stealth, and those who are caught are destined to death by those who spread the net.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Chapter 3.7c and Part 2, Chapter 10.]
Matthew 5:17, 18, 19, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled. Whosoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." So in Luke 16:17, "And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than one tittle of the law to fail." These words are in direct opposition to the belief and the assertion of the Christians, that the law of Moses has been superseded by the coming of Jesus. Thus, circumcision is replaced by baptism, and the sanctity of the seventh day is deferred to the keeping of the first day of the week. With the same inexcusable freedom, many other Divine laws have been rejected by the Christians, only few having been retained, such as those regarding incest and moral enactments, respect to parents, love to our neighbour, charity to the poor, avoidance of theft, rapine, adultery, murder, shedding of blood, and some other crimes which reason enforces, and which other nations, who were without revelation, had acknowledged before the coming of Jesus. On this subject we have enlarged in Chapter 19 of the First Part of this work.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 11.]
Matthew 5:43, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thy enemy."
This passage, which is pretended by Matthew to be taken from some part of our Scriptures, originated partly in his own imagination. Scripture no where bids us to hate our enemy, but teaches us a totally different doctrine; for we find in Exodus 23:4, 5, "If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. If thou seest the ass of him that hateth thee, lying under his burden, and wouldst forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him." See also Leviticus 19:17, 18, "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt rebuke thy neighbour and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. I am the Lord." Again, in the Book of Proverbs 24:17, "When thine enemy falleth do not rejoice, and when he stumbleth let not thine heart rejoice." And ibid 25:21, "If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink."
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 12.]
Matthew 8:19, 20, "And a certain scribe came and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head." The same saying is recorded in Luke 9:58. This passage we deem a strong proof of the consciousness of Jesus that he was not God. For, if he had really been filled with such a conceit, why should he have called himself the Son of Man? And moreover, why should he have dissuaded others from relying on him? Perhaps he bore in mind the admonition given in Psalm 146:3, "Do not rely in princes nor trust in the son of man, for salvation belongeth not unto him." Or perhaps the words of Jeremiah in chapter 17:5, "Cursed is the man who relieth on man." Had he imagined he was God, why should he have said he had nowhere to lay his head? Would he not have considered the whole earth to be his own resting-place; for does not the Psalmist remind us in Psalm 24:1, "That the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof, the world, and the inhabitants therein?"
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, 1.1.2b. and Part 2, Chapter 13.]
Matthew 10:34, 35, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law." The same matter is treated on in Luke 12:51, and is a strong indication that Jesus was not filled with that spirit of peace so indissolubly attached to the office of Messiah. For, regarding the expected Messiah, Zechariah, in chapter 9:10, says, "And he will speak peace unto the nations." Concerning that period it was prophecied by Isaiah in chapter 2:4; and in Micah 4:3, "Nation shall not lift up the sword against nation." How much less will it then be allowable that a man should "be set at variance against his father?" On the contrary, the Divine promise runs thus (in conclusion of Malachi), "And he shall restore the heart of the fathers unto the children, and the heart of the children unto their fathers."
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 14.]
Matthew 10:40, Jesus is made to say to his apostles, "He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me." By this expression the Christians are reduced to the necessity of believing that Jesus and his apostles are identical; and as they are taught that three make one, they ought, by parity of reasoning, to deduce the inference from the present passage, that the trinity, with the twelve apostles, make altogether one unity.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 15.]
Matthew 11:13, 14, Jesus is made to say, "All the prophets and the law prophesied until John, and if ye will receive it, this is Elias which was for to come." See the same passage in Luke 16:16. From this it would seem that it was intended to inculcate a belief, that the law and the prophecies had only a certain temporary object in view, which was to find its point of completion in John, a contemporary of Jesus. On the other hand, Jesus declared in Matthew 5:17, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." (see our opinion on this subject in Chapter 19 of the First Part of this work). We would ask the question, how did he fulfil the predicted ingathering of the Ten Tribes, and the carrying on of the war against Gog and Magog? We would also notice a discrepancy between the opinion held out in this chapter of Matthew, that John was the Elias (Elijah) of the Bible, and the following statement made by the author of the Gospel of John: "And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou the Prophet? And he answered. No." (See Chapter 39 of the First Part of this work).
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 16.]
Matthew 12:32, "And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of Man it shall bet forgiven him, but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." See also Luke 12:10. Both Matthew and Luke acknowledge, by this warning, that Jesus is the Son of Man; and that he and the Holy Ghost are not identical, consequently they were fully convinced that there is no doctrine in the Testament enforcing the belief in a triune deity, and that such a notion rests merely on imagination.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 17.]
Matthew 13:55; it is related there that the Jews said of Jesus, "Is not this the carpenter's son? And is not his mother called Mary, and his brethren James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us?" See also Mark 6:3. How then can the Christians constantly worship Mary as a virgin, she having given birth to the several brothers and sisters of Jesus?
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 18.]
Matthew 15:1 to 25, When the Pharisees blamed his disciples for eating without previously washing their hands, Jesus argued that whatever enters the mouth does not defile man, but that defiles him which goes out of the mouth. The same is said in Mark 7 from the beginning to verse 24. If that were true, why should the Law of Moses prohibit us from eating certain unclean things? See also Leviticus 11:8, "And ye shall not defile yourselves with them [viz. the unclean animals] lest ye grow unclean through them." This shows, that a certain class of food is considered by Divine authority as impure and unlawful. By what right then did Jesus dare to contradict the law, and to absolve his Jewish followers from prohibited meats? If unclean food did not defile the mouth of the eater, why did the Apostles forbid the eating of blood and of the flesh of strangled animals? And did not Adam commit a sin, even according to the belief of the Christians, by the act of eating of that of which he was enjoined not to eat? How much strong drink is able to defile the soul of man is early demonstrated in Scripture, as we learn from the history of Noah and Lot. While on the other hand the expression of Jesus that words coming out of the mouth of man alone defile him, is subject to great limitation. For all praises and thanksgiving offered up to the Almighty, as well as all wise, moral and social converse do not defile the soul.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 19.]
Matthew 19:16 and subsequent verses, "And behold one came and said unto him, Good master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God"; an expression which proves that Jesus is not God. Then Jesus continued, "If thou desirest spiritual salvation keep the commandments." An injunction indicating that there is no salvation without the observance of the law of Moses. He [the querist] saith unto him, "Which?" Jesus said, "Thou shalt do no murder. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honor thy father and thy mother, and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Further he said, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that which thou hast and give to the poor." The same is to be found in Mark 10:21. In Luke 18:22, Jesus thereby advises, "Sell all that thou hast and distribute unto the poor," etc. Jesus, in saying there is none good but one, that is God, taught his followers a monotheistic principle. He taught them at the same time that salvation depends on the observance of the Divine commandments. All these injunctions, given by Jesus, are renounced by Christians; and thus, having thrown off those inconvenient and onerous observances taught in the New Testament, they might well allege that the severe precepts of the Mosaic Law were abrogated, and must give place before a Lawgiver whose laws they think proper to disregard. We would ask, which precept is the most severe, that of Jesus, which demands that a man should divest himself of his property for the benefit of the poor, or the Mosaic Law, which ordains that a tithe only should be devoted to holy purposes, leaving the remainder at the free disposal of the owner of the property?
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 20.]
Matthew 20:23, Jesus, addressing his disciples, namely the two children of Zebedee, says, "To sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them, for whom it is prepared of my Father." The reader will find the same idea expressed in Mark 10. Now if the Son is less powerful than the Father, how can it be asserted that the Father and Son are all one?
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, 1.1.2b. and Part 2, Chapter 21.]
Matthew 20:28, Jesus thus communicates to his disciples, "Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister," etc. The same is stated in Mark 10:45. By this passage, Jesus makes the declaration destructive of the dogma of his divinity, that he, being the son of man, is a servant and not a master; or in other words, that he is not the King Messiah of whom it was said of Zechariah, in his book, chapter 9:10, "And his kingdom shall extend from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth." Also, in Psalm 72:11, "And all kings shall bow down unto him, all nations shall serve him." And in Daniel 7:27, "And all rulers shall serve and obey him."
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 22.]
Matthew 23:35, "That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth from the blood of the righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar." This reproach rests on an error regarding the names, for it was Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada the priest, whom they slew (See 2 Chro. 24:20). It is impossible to admit the attempted reconciliation according to which Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada the priest, and Zechariah, the son of Berachiah, are identical. For the priest of that name was slain in the days of Joash, king of Judah, about two hundred and fifty-four years prior to the destruction of the temple; while the prophet Zechariah did not prophesy until the second year of Darius, the son of Artachsasta, during the Babylonian captivity. Such errors in the mouth of Jesus are decidedly unfavourable to the divine inspiration attributed to him, as well as to the authors of the New Testament.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 23.]
Matthew 26:6, 7, "Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, there came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head." In Mark 14:3, the narrative is given in the following words, "And being in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard, very precious, and she brake the box and poured it on his head." In Luke 7:37, 38, however, the version is far different; "And behold a woman brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him, and anointed them with ointment." Then Jesus said to Simon, the master of the house (ver. 46), "my head with oil thou didst not anoint, but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment."
In John 12:3. the story is narrated thus: "Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus." These extracts, from the several books of the New Testament, are curious specimens of the want of agreement between the several authors, who of necessity would have been in perfect unanimity, had they been under the influence of Divine inspiration.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Chapter 6.5. and Part 2, Chapter 24.]
Matthew 26:39, "And he (Jesus) went a little further and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O, my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." See likewise Mark 14:35, and Luke 22:41. This passage refutes the Christian belief, that Jesus offered himself spontaneously as the sacrifice for the salvation of mankind. If that had been the case, why should he have hesitated and prayed for the removal of the bitter cup of his portion; and why should he have exclaimed. "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me"! (see Matthew 27:46). This is another proof that the Father and the Son are not identical, and that the design of the one does not accord with that of the other.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Chapter 6.5. and Part 2, Chapter 25.]
Matthew 27:9, 10, "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, and whom they of the children of Israel did value, and gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me." Here, again, we meet with the usual misapplication of Scriptural passages. The quotation, taken from Zechariah 11:12, 13, runs as follows: "So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter," etc. The unbiased reader need merely refer to the context from which this passage is extracted, in order to obtain the conviction that the prophet wished to convey a far different idea than Matthew found in it. Zechariah, in the chapter before us, represents the fate of the children of Judah during the captivity, who had become the prey of their enemy for having transgressed the commandments of the Almighty, and hence he designates the Jews of the second temple as the flock of the slaughter.
The prophet Zechariah's account (in chap. 11:7) of his taking two staves, the name of the one being "Beauty," and the name of the other "Bands," must not be viewed in its literal, but in its metaphorical sense. The staves signify the leaders of Israel, for the shepherd conducts his flock by means of the staff or crook in his hand. Now the prophet hereby intimates that Israel would be treated according to the merit of their doings. The Staff "Beauty" (i. e. lenient treatment) was used in the early days of the second temple, when such leaders as Nehemiah and Zerubbabel stood at the helm of Government; while the misgovernment of the succeeding rulers, which crippled and ultimately destroyed the energies and well-being of Israel, was designated "Bands" (i. e., harsh treatment). The simultaneous death of three righteous leaders, alluded to by the prophet, may have been in reference to Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, after whose decease severe calamities came upon the Jewish nation.
The shepherd in the prophecy claims his wagesthat is to say, he demands that the pious observance of the Divine statutes should be offered as a compensation for the special favours of the Almighty. The thirty pieces of silver are a figurative representation of the righteous men of the time, who were cast to their potter (i. e. literally thrown upon the mercy of their former or Creator). The Staff (termed Bands) was broken; for we learn from our history that the misrule prevailing in Jerusalem was productive of Israel's overthrow. Indeed, it seemed as if every successive bad Government had been destined to be the avenger of the misdeeds of its predecessor. Whether it be correct or not, to refer the details of the prophecy to certain known historical characters, this much is evident, that the political government of the Jews, and their destiny, are the circumstances alluded to by the prophet. No thinking man can, however, admit that the prophecy had reference to Jesus, in whose fate his Jewish contemporaries were so little concerned.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Chapter 6.5. and Part 2, Chapter 26.]
Matthew 27:46, "And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani,'that is to say, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me'"? See the same passage in Mark 15:34.
By this exclamation, Jesus clearly announced that he was not a God, but was like other mortals, who invoke God in the day of trouble.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 27.]
Matthew 28:18, "And Jesus came and spake unto them (i. e. his disciples). All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." This passage does not show that he was a Divine Being; for, had he been so, he would not have asserted that the power was given to him. To God, nothing can be given; for "Unto him belongeth the dominion and the power." He is the Giver, and not the Receiver. It could not be maintained that Jesus received the dominion from his Father, for in that case the Bestower and the Acceptor must incontestably be considered as two separate and distinct Beings. This concludes our views concerning the book of Matthew.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 28.]
Mark 2:25, 26, "And he [Jesus] said unto them, Have ye never read what David did when he had need and was an hungered, he and they that were with him? How when he went into the house of God, in the days of Abiathar, the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat, but for the priests, and gave thereof to him that were with him." This passage is also to be found in Matthew 12:3-4, and in Luke 6:3-4; but all these authors have fallen into the same error, and labour under the same misconception. For this happened in the time of Ahimelech, the priest, and not in the time of Abiathar, as may be seen in 1 Samuel 21:1, "David came to Nob, to Ahimelech, the priest," etc. But Abiathar was one of the sons of Ahimelech, the son of Ahitub, who escaped and fled after David. Now, from the express question put to him, we see that David came alone to Ahimelech, and that no one was with him; "Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?"
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 29.]
Mark 3:31-35, "There came then his brethren and his mother, and standing without, sent unto him, calling him; and the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold thy mother and thy brethren without seek thee. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren. For whoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother." The same subject occurs in Matthew, at the close of chapter 12; and in Luke 8:19. It appears from these statements, that his own mother, and brothers, and sister, would not believe in him, and be his disciples, and that he would not go to meet them who were of his own flesh. The allusion to mutual discord between them is confirmed by the statement in John 7:5, "For neither did his brethren believe in him."
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 30.]
Mark 11:12, 13, 14, "And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he (Jesus) was hungry; and, seeing a fig-tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find anything thereon; and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, as the season of figs was not yet come. And Jesus answered, and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee for evermore." See also Matthew 21:18-22. Jesus acted here neither as a Divine person, nor as a man in whom the Divine Spirit dwelt. For he surely might have known that the fig-tree bears its fruit only at the appointed season; nor would any discreet person cast a malediction on a tree merely for being thus disappointed. Moreover, if Jesus, by his mere word, was able to render a tree barren, might he not as well, by the power of his word, have made the tree bring forth its fruit at the bidding of the moment, in order to appease his hunger? I, having once made use of this argument with a Christian, he explained it away by asserting that the passage has only a spiritual signification, and that the fig-tree named was but a symbol used by Jesus to represent the Jewish nation, in like manner as the prophets designate them the "vine-tree," and that Jesus had cursed Israel for having rejected him as their spiritual teacher, I rejoined that, in our prophecies regarding the time of the expected and true Messiah, we are promised that in the days of the Messiah, knowledge and prophecy shall increase and prevail throughout the world; as it is said in Joel 2:27, 28, "You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else, and my people shall then never again be put to shame. And then I shall pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy." From this prophecy, it is clear that many of the indispensable conditions, requisite for the advent of the Messiah, had not yet been fulfilled, but were still to come.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 31.]
Mark 13:32, Jesus is made to say to his disciples, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son but the Father." Here we have a clear proof that Jesus, who is called "the son of Mary," is not a God, seeing that he could not foretell events.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 32.]
Luke 1:26, There it is related that the angel Gabriel came as a messenger sent by God to Mary in her virgin state, when she was espoused to Joseph of the house of David, and that He announced to her she would conceive and bear a son, who would be holy, and be called a son of the highest; that the throne of David would be assigned to him by the Lord God for occupation, and that he would reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there should be no end.
The statement disagrees with those made in other parts of the New Testament, and cast strong suspicion on the veracity of a book asserted to be written under the influence of inspiration. If Mary had received such a divine message, why did she and her children refuse faith in, and obedience to that Son of God, and why did she and her offspring keep away from the circle of the disciples of him whom she had borne through the intervention of a miracle? See Mark 3:31. A marked contrast also appears between the words of Luke 1:26, and those in John 7:5, which we had occasion to quote in a former chapter, viz., "His brethren did not believe in him." Would it not have been the duty of the virgin-mother to inform her children what a strong claim her first-born had on their pious attachment to him? Again, why did Mary name her son "Jesus?" If he were to be named Emmanuel, according to the interpretation given to the famous passage in Isaiah, which is especially cited in Matthew 1:22, why did the angel hold out the never-fulfilled promise that Jesus would sit on the throne of David? Moreover, why was Jesus called the descendant of David, since it is alleged that he was not the offspring of Joseph, of the house of David, but was begotten of the Holy Ghost? The number of contradictions also is increased by the words of Paul in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 15, verse 28, for there it is said, "Then shall the son also himself be subject unto him, that put all things under him." This is an additional proof that the kingdom of Jesus is not intended to continue throughout eternity, but is to be only of a temporary nature; hence, we arrive at the conclusion, from the very authorities of the Christian faith, that the Father and the Son are totally distinct personages.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 33.]
This chapter is omitted by the translator as unimportant in itself, and inapplicable to the general argument.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 34.]
Luke 2:33, "And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him."
"The child tarried behind in Jerusalem, and his parents knew not of it." "And when they saw him they were amazed, and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing?" ver. 43, 48. Ibid, 4:22, "And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?" See also John 1:45, "Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph"; and ibid. 6:42, "Is not this Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?"
These passages afford a complete refutation of the doctrine of the miraculous conception of Jesus, and thereby undermine the groundwork of the Christian faith.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 35.]
Luke 3:23, The genealogy of Jesus, as treated in this and the subsequent verses, is contradictory to that in Matthew 1. For Luke commences thus: "The list of the descent of Jesus""And Jesus [as was supposed],* was the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Malachi," etc. etc. In Matthew, where the origin of Joseph is traced back to Solomon, the Son of David, the enumeration of the ancestors of Joseph closes in the following manner:"And Eliud begat Eleazar, and Eleazar begat Matthan, and Matthan begat Jacob, and Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus." We have already shown above that Matthew enumerates forty-two generations, from Abraham our father; but Luke counts only twenty-six. From these contrary statements one might fairly ask, which Joseph was the husband of Mary? Was it Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, as Luke supposes; or was it Joseph, the son of Jacob, the son of Matthan, the son of Eleazar, as Matthew supposes? If we are to believe the words of Luke, then the statement of Matthew must be incorrect, and vice versa. Luke, in tracing back the descent of Jesus to the first ancestor, says that Jesus was the son of Adam, the Son of God. Hence it would seem that Jesus has no better title to the designation of the Son of God, than every other descendant of Adam.* The words "as was supposed," inserted here in the copies of the translators of Luke, are a gratuitous interpolation, intended to make us Jews believe that the author himself used the words, from the apprehension that he was affording an argument militating against the Divinity of Jesus.Note by the Translator.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 36.]
Luke 4:17-21, "And there was delivered unto him (to Jesus) the book of the prophet Esaias, and when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 'The Spirit of God is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.' And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And he said unto them, 'This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.'" Isaiah 61 is here quoted in a garbled manner. In order to lay more stress on the healing, powers attributed to Jesus, the gift of restoring sight to the blind is added to the mission of the pretended Messiah. On the other hand, it is omitted to be quoted that this would be"A day of vengeance to our God, to comfort all mourners, to give to the mourners of Zion glory instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the cloak of praise instead of a gloomy spirit." Jesus had no right to attribute to himself the glory of deeds he had not performed. Isaiah spoke here of himself. And by the words, "The Lord hath anointed me," he meant nothing more than that he had received the Divine unction as a prophet. It was he who was sent forth to offer consolation, in order that the Israelites, during their long sufferings, should not despair of the Divine aid, and of their future restoration. They, the exiled children of Israel, were addressed by the prophets "as the afflicted, the broken-hearted, the captives, the prisoners, the mourners of Zion." They alone stood in need of the prophetic consolatory promises, and to whom alone they had reference.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 37.]
Luke 6:27-29, "Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other, and him that taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also." This injunction is a repetition of what is to be found in Matthew 5:39. These injunctions were and are, however, not only disregarded by the members of the Christian religion, but were not even practised by Jesus himself in the spirit in which the words imply. For in John 18:22, we find that Jesus, when beaten by a bystander, instead of offering quietly his other cheek, very naturally argued with him on the unfairness of such summary proceeding. Nor did Paul silently submit to the order given by the priest, that he should be smitten on the mouth, (Acts 23:2, 3), or offer his cheek in meek contentment, but indignantly swore "God shall smite thee, thou whited wall." If the precept were broken, obviously from its extreme rigour, by the very disciple who promulgated it, it is strange to ascribe to the doctrines of Jesus, as is done in certain parts of the Gospel, a greater degree of practicability than to the original laws of Moses, a fact that must convince every thoughtful man that Christian doctrines are not always infallible.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 38.]
Luke 11:37-41, "And he [Jesus] went in and sat down to meat, and when the Pharisees saw it, they marvelled that he [Jesus] had not first washed before dinner." To this expression of purpose Jesus responded, "Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also? But rather give alms of such things as ye have, and behold all things are clean unto you."
These arguments are merely quoted here, to show how illogical some of the replies are, which are put into the mouth of the assumed Son of God.
The negligent, and those who are indifferent to cleanliness, might screen themselves under such dicta; plain sense, however, would have suggested an answer of a different character. Other sayings of similar inconsistency in the replies of Jesus are recorded in the book of Matthew.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 39.]
Luke 16:22, 23, Lazarus is stated to enjoy after his death the bliss of immortality in the bosom of Abraham, whilst the rich man, who indulged in the pleasures of this world, is to suffer the torments of hell. It is further said, that there subsists an infinite distinction between the abode of glory and that of perdition.
According to this account, it does not appear that either Abraham or Lazarus were after their death doomed to the punishment of hell, although the alleged work of the redemption of mankind had not yet been achieved by Jesus. We are therefore at a loss to know what the Christians mean by salvation wrought by Jesus, and what can be the danger of the original sin, when we see that it did not affect those who died unredeemed.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 40.]
Luke 23:34, "Then Jesus said, Father, pardon them, they know not what they do."
This appeal refutes the opinion of the Christians, who maintain that the Jews suffer the punishments of the Almighty for having put Jesus to death.
Can the Christians believe that God would not accept the supplication of Jesus?
Whether the supplication was accepted or not accepted, it is clear that the Jews do not lie under the punishment of the Almighty, in consequence of that deed.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 41.]
John 1:21, "And they asked him. What then? Art thou Elias? and he said, I am not. Art thou that prophet? and he answered. No."
This verse completely contradicts the statement made in Matthew 11:13, 14, according to which John is included in the list of prophets, and is held to be the last of them. The words used in that book, which we have had occasion to adduce, run as follows: "All the prophets and the law prophesied until John; and if ye will receive it, this is Elias [Elijah], which was for to come." In Matthew 17:12, 13, Jesus, in alluding to John, affirms that the forerunner of himself as a Messiah had come, although he had not been acknowledged as such. He says there, "Elias [Elijah], is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of Man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake of John the Baptist."
Once, on representing this contradiction to a Christian, he evaded a direct answer by the retort, that Samuel likewise denied his true mission, for he told Saul that he was on his way to offer up sacrifices, while his real object was to anoint David as king of Israel.
The cogency of this reply is not apparent, for Samuel made no secret of his mission to David to whom he had to communicate the Divine will, but observed the necessary caution with Saul, to whom he had not been sent. Different, however, was the case with the pretended Elias.
If he [John], had to bring the Jews the tidings of the advent of the Messiah, he very strangely performed his duty, by denying his character and concealing his message.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 42.]
John 2:4, "Jesus saith unto her (viz., to his mother Mary), Woman, what have I to do with thee?" and ibid, chapter 19:26, "When Jesus, therefore, saw his mother and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother. Woman, behold thy son." If he had believed that his mother had miraculously given birth to him, and still continued in her virgin state, would he not have addressed her by the more endearing and exalting appellation than the simple term woman? The mode in which he addressed his mother here, and on various other occasions narrated in the New Testament, shows that he was not at all impressed with the sanctity of the commandment, "Honour thy father and thy mother."
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 43.]
John 2:18-20, "Then answered the Jews, and said unto him [viz., to Jesus], What sign showest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them. Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?"
Could Jesus prove his divine character by thus advising the Jews to lay a sacrilegious hand on the sacred edifice? And, moreover, it was most unreasonable to ask that the Jews, who did not believe in his divine power, should commit an action that should consign the temple to everlasting destruction, merely for the sake of testing the reality of his character.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 44.]
John 6:38, "For I [viz., Jesus], came down from heaven not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me."
If Jesus alludes here to the descent of his soul to the earth, in order to inhabit the body, then he has pronounced a common-place doctrine, for every human body is possessed of a soul; but if he meant that he descended from heaven in flesh, then the assertion is at variance with the other accounts, according to which he was born of a woman in Bethlehem, in a manger. See Luke 2:7. Moreover, we see here an acknowledgment of the all-important fact of his non-identity with the Godhead, as he professed to be only the agent of Him who sent him.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 45.]
John 7:5, "For neither did his brethren believe in him." If his own brothers, men of the same flesh and blood, and the nearest judges of the powers attributed to him, felt no inducement to admit his pretensions; surely we Jews may be excused for discrediting what his own contemporaries and brothers rejected as incredible.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 46.]
John 7:15, "And the Jews marvelled, saying. How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?"
Talmudical tradition informs us that he had a teacher, who was named R. Joshua Ben Perachiah, and that master and scholar had fled into Egypt to escape the persecution of King Janai.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 47.]
John 8:3-5, 7, "And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they said unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what sayest thou? And he said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." And he said to the woman (verse 11), "Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more."
The laxity of this sentence is not only opposed to the Mosaic injunction, (Deut 22:22) "Thou shalt remove the evil from the midst of thee": but it is also practically disavowed by the Christian legislation, according to which, the adulteress is subjected to the severest rigour of the law, on account of the injury it would necessarily occasion to the happiness of society.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 48.]
John 8:40, "But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth which I have heard of God."
If he had been identical with God, he would not have told the Jews that he had received his revelation from God. The truth proceeds from his own mouth, that he was not a Deity incarnate. What the opinion of his disciples was regarding this Divinity subsequently attributed to him, is sufficiently manifest, in spite of the many obscure expressions that occur in the New Testament; for instance, Paul says plainly, in his epistle to the Romans, chapter 5:15, "The gift of grace which is by One Man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many." In every part of the New Testament where Jesus speaks of himself, he represents himself as the Son of Man, and not as God.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 49.]
John 10:16, "And other sheep I [Jesus] have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd."
The truth which is contained in this passage has no reference to himself, for the union of faith was not accomplished by him, and will only take place at a future period, when the proper time shall arrive. This is testified by the following passages of Scripture. Isaiah, in chapter 45:23, says, "Thus I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return. For unto me every knee, shall bow, and every tongue shall swear." Zephaniah 3:9, "For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent." The predominance of Judaism over all the religions of the Gentiles is dwelt on in the following extracts from the prophets: Isaiah 52:1, "Awake, awake, put on thy strength, Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, Jerusalem, the Holy City; for henceforth there shall no more come unto thee, the uncircumcised and the unclean." Ibid. chapter 66:23, "And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord." Zechariah 14:16, "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles." As to the attribution of the sovereignty of empires to the future King Messiah, we find in Daniel 2:44, "And in the days of these kings shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; but it shall break in pieces and consume all those kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever."
Ibid. 7:27, "And the kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of dominion under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions shall serve and obey Him." Numbers 24:17, "I see it [it will not happen] now, I behold it, but not nigh; there shall come a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Judah, and he shall smite the corners of Moab, and overthrow the children of Sheth."
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 50.]
John 10:30, "I [Jesus] and my Father are one." According to the opinion prevailing among the Christians, Jesus declared in these words his perfect identity with the Godhead; but we have already noticed a passage which completely refutes this view. For we find in Mark 13:32, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the son, but the Father."
Every attempt to reconcile the two contradictory verses, only leads to new perplexities. The more we examine into the purport of the New Testament, the more clearly we perceive its general tenor is not to deify Jesus; and that the doctrines which assign to him the title of God, have arisen from want of due investigation, and are not upheld by the force of sound argument.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 51.]
John 10:33-36, "The Jews answered him [Jesus], For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy, and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
"Jesus answered them. Is it not written in your law, I said ye are gods? If he called them gods unto whom the Word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken: say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God"?
The equivocal reply of Jesus for styling himself God, argues more against than in favour of his claim. In quoting in his above defence the words of Psalm 82:6, "I have said, Ye are gods, and sons of the Most High altogether," he has not borne in mind that the psalmist spoke with the very purpose of showing that those who call themselves sons of God, betray by their own nature that they delude themselves and others; for he goes on to say, "But surely ye die like other men, and fall like any one of the princes." The occurrence of the word Elohim (gods), does not even show that the Divine Being is really alluded to. We have instances that both angels and judges are designated by that term, and that it is equal to the expression of higher powers or authorities. See Judges 13:22, "We must die, for we have seen an 'Elohim'" (a superior being). In Exodus 22:9, we read, "The cause of both men shall come before the Elohim" (the judicial authorities), and whom those Elohim find guilty, "he shall pay a double portion to his neighbour." Similar use is made of the word Elohim in various places of our Scriptures. In Psalm 82:1, the word gods [Elohim] has the same signification as angels and messengers of the Almighty.
When God said to Moses, "Behold I have made thee a god unto Pharaoh," He spoke merely of him as of a messenger who came in the name of the Most High. The misquoted passages abounding in the New Testament betray the scanty and superficial knowledge its authors possessed of the language and purport of our Holy Scripture.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 52.]
John 10:38, "That ye may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in Him." The same is repeated in chapter 14:11. In chapter 17:21, it is said, "That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent me. And the glory which Thou gavest me, I have given them, that they may be one even as we are one. I in them, and Thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one," etc.
The junction of Father and Son is conferred also upon the twelve apostles. If, therefore, the Christians thought it necessary to change their belief in the Divine unity, they were not justified in adopting the term "Trinity," inasmuch as the twelve apostles are placed on an equality with Jesus, and they might, with the same latitude of argument, be well included in the coalition of Divine personages.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 53.]
John 13:3, "Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands," etc. See also ibid. 16:15, "All things that the Father hath are mine"; and Matthew 28:18, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." This assumption of Supreme dominion is in total opposition to the often-quoted passage of Mark 13:32, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the son, but the Father only." A like inconsistency in ascribing to Jesus at one time the possession, and at another a deficiency, of Supreme dominion, is perceptible in Matthew 20:23 where Jesus owns that it is not within his power to allot to the meritorious certain distinctions in future life. We have before quoted from Matthew 8:20, that Jesus confessed he had no place on which to rest his head, and was poorer than the fox in the field and the bird of the heavens. In John 14:28, he states, "The Father is greater than I." Such repeated discrepancies must deprive the New Testament of all title of a genuine and an inspired work.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 54.]
John 13:34, Jesus asserts, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another," etc. This commandment was by no means a new one. Moses had inculcated it in the words, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self." Matthew 19:19, and 22:39, admit that Moses was the first who promulgated this precept.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 55.]
John 17:3, Jesus says, "And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
In this verse, Jesus acknowledged himself to be merely a messenger, and not an integral part of the Deity. The awe and worship due to the Almighty is also, in 1 Timothy 1:17, declared to belong to God alone; for we find there, "Now unto the king eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever, amen."
If Jesus does not share the glory of God, he must be dependent on the will of his Creator, like every other creature.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 56.]
John 18:3-5, etc., "Judas Iscariot having received a band of men from the chief priests and pharisees, cometh with lanthorns," etc., and was asked by Jesus, "Whom seek ye? and they answered and said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, who betrayed him, stood with them."
This account of the betrayal differs from that given in Matthew 26:47; Mark 14:43; and Luke 22:47; for according to those authors of the respective parts of the Gospel, Judas gave a secret sign to his companions, saying, "Him whom I shall kiss, that same is he, hold him fast."
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 57.]
John 19:15, "The chief priests answered. We have no king but Caesar."
Those who are of opinion that the Jews lost their independence on account of their putting Jesus to death, find here a complete refutation. The Caesar alluded to was the Emperor Tiberius, who had, according to Luke 3, placed Pilate over Jerusalem.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 58.]
John 20:17, "Jesus saith unto her [Mary Magdalene], Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God."
Jesus showed here clearly that he was no God, but was in the same subjection to God as his brethren.
It cannot, therefore, be asserted on the authority of this passage, that Jesus meant anything more by styling himself "the Son of God," than the Holy Scriptures indicate by such passages as Deuteronomy 14:1, "Ye are children of the Lord your God." The expression "Son of God" has not the slightest reference to a Superhuman Being.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 59.]
Acts 1:6 and 7, "When they [the Apostles], therefore, were come together, they asked of Jesus, saying, Lord wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? and he said unto them. It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father has put in his own power."
The enquirers were evidently awaiting the restoration, and learnt from his own avowal, that he did not consider himself the restorer of the kingdom of the Jews. At the same time he owned, that the termination of Israel's exile is only known to the Almighty. If Jesus had considered himself divinely inspired, he would have given an answer in unison with his supernatural knowledge.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 60.]
Acts 5:34, 35, 38, 39, "Then stood there up one in the council, a pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, and said onto the Jews, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men; for if this council, or this work, be of men, it will come to nought, but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest, haply (perhaps) ye be found even to fight against God."
The subject is cited here for the purpose of following the order of the passages which claim a refutation. We have already noticed that the duration of a sect does not constitute a proof of the veracity of their tenets, otherwise, the Mahommedan faith would be entitled to nearly the same belief as that of the Christians.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 61.]
Acts 7:4, "Then came he out of the land of the Chaldeans and dwelt in Charran, and from thence, when his father was dead, they brought him into this land wherein ye now dwell." We have already pointed out that this statement of Abraham's departure from Charran, after the death of his father, is erroneous. Instead of recapitulating our proof, we refer the reader to Chapter 45, of the first part of this work.
It is true that the death of Therah, though happening after the departure of Abraham, is mentioned before it; but that is the frequent mode of Scripture narrative. In the same way we find the death of Isaac recorded before the selling of Joseph, although a brief calculation would show that he survived thirteen years after the selling of his grandson.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 62.]
Acts 7:7, "And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God, and afterwards shall they come forth and serve me in this place."
From this quotation it appears, that the disciples of Jesus were but superficially versed in biblical knowledge. For in Genesis (chap. 15) no such words as "in this place," are to be found; and in Exodus 3:12, the expression is, "When thou shalt bring out this people from Egypt, ye shall serve God on this mountain."
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 63.]
Acts 7:14-16, "Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls. So Jacob went down into Egypt and died, he and our fathers, and were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor, the father of Sychem."
The many errors put together in so a small compass are sufficiently obvious. In the first place, we know that Jacob's family that came down to Egypt, inclusive of Joseph and his sons, amounted to seventy persons, and not to seventy-five. See Genesis 46:27, and Deuteronomy 10:22.
Secondly, Jacob was not buried in Sychem (Schachem), but in the cave of Machpelah, in Hebron.
Thirdly, The "fathers" of the several tribes were not buried in Egypt, Joseph only being buried there, but his remains Moses carried away with him at the time of the departure of the Israelites from Egypt.
Fourthly, Abraham did not buy the cave of Machpelah of the children of Emmor (Hamor), the son of Schachem, but of Ephron, the Hittite.
Fifthly, the plot of field, situated near Schachem, was purchased by Jacob, and not by Abraham. The author of the Acts had but a confused idea of the several purchases made by the patriarchs Abraham and Jacob, and his statements respecting them must have been from hearsay.
Sixthly, Schachem (Schechem, Sychem), was the son, and not the father of Emmor (Hamor).
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 64.]
Acts 7:43, "Yea, ye took the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them, and I will carry you away beyond Babylon." This quotation from the prophecy of Amos is incorrect. In chapter 5:26, 27, it is thus expressed: "But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch, and Chiun your images, the star of your God, which ye made to yourselves. Therefore I will cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus," etc. Quotations misapplied, or garbled, destroy the authenticity of a work instead of supporting it.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 65.]
Acts 8:9, 10, 11, "There was a certain man called Simon, which before time in the same city, used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one, to whom they all gave heed from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God, and to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries."
In days when credulity and superstition were rife, and sorceresses were deemed to be inspired messengers of the Almighty, it was easy to impress a belief that the son of a woman was an incarnate deity, but in an age, when sorcery is discredited, and superstition discouraged, it is strange that such a belief should be inculcated, and that men should attempt to convert the Jews to the inconsistent doctrines that still prevail, that Jesus was a God on earth.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 66.]
Acts 10:11-15, "And Peter saw heaven opened; and a certain vessel descending unto him, wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, sayings arise, Peter, kill and eat. But Peter, said, Not so, Lord, for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common." The same is stated ibid. chapter 11:9. In Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 10:25, the following doctrine is taught: "Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no questions for conscience sake." Mark, (chap. 7:15,) declares only such things unclean which come out of the mouth, but not those which go into the mouth. We have already animadverted on the inconsistency of such declarations when compared with the stringent injunction enforced in the very same book, to abstain most rigidly from blood and flesh of torn or strangled beasts. See what we have noticed before, when treating on Matthew 15 in the Second Part of this Work.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 67.]
Acts 13:21, Paul says of the Israelites, "And afterwards they desired a king, and God gave unto them Saul, the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years."
Paul erred in assigning to Saul such a protracted reign. Saul had governed only two years when his dereliction of the will of God, in his war against the Amalekites, threw him into disfavour, so that he forfeited his crown. Samuel was then immediately sent to anoint David, who was about twenty years old; when he [David] ascended the throne, he was but thirty years of age (see 2 Samuel 5:4); consequently Saul could not have governed Israel more than ten years. If we follow an hypothesis of Albo, the author of the book, entitled Sepher Ikkarim, Saul did not occupy the throne even so long a time; but certainly could not have remained king for forty years.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 68.]
Acts 13:33, Paul proves that Jesus is the Son of God, by quoting from the second Psalm: "Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee."
The reference to that psalm is objectionable, since the royal psalmist spoke here of his own person. It was against himself that the Gentiles raged, and carried on their warfare, when he had commenced his government. See 2 Samuel 5:17, "And the Philistines had heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, and all the Philistines came to seek David," etc.
He called himself justly the Messiah, Anointed of the Lord, for that title was lawfully given to him as the ruler of his people. Having been established as the chief of Israel; by the express command of the Lord, he was justified to mark those rebelling against him as rising "against the Lord, and against His Anointed." The words in Psalm 2, "And I have anointed my king," occur in the actual history of David, in 1 Samuel 16:1, "I shall send thee to Jesse, of Bethlehem, for among his sons I have seen for myself a king." "Zion, my holy mountain," (Psalm 2), which was the metropolis, and was called "the city of David." It was that king to whom it was said, "Thou art my son, I have this day begotten thee." The title Son, was given to all those who, by faithful obedience, attached themselves to the service of God. In Exodus 4:22, Israel was called "my first-born son"; and in Hosea 1:10, "It will be said unto them. Ye are the sons of the living God." On the day when Samuel anointed David as king of Israel, "he was changed into another man"; and we read in 1 Samuel 16:13, "And Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren, and the Spirit of the Lord descended upon him." The adoption of man by God is called, in biblical language, "to beget." See Deuteronomy 32:18, "Thou hast forgotten the rock that begat thee." The words, "Ask of me; and I shall give nations for an inheritance," were fulfilled to David, who humbled the Philistines (2 Samuel 8), and made Amon, and Moab, and Edom, tributary to himself. With reference to Jesus, he had no dominion whatever to merit the title of a Messiah (Anointed King). He said of himself that he was "not come to be ministered (served) unto, but to minister "(serve others). Moreover, why should Jesus have been invited to "Ask of me, and I will give nations for an inheritance," since as the incarnate Son of God, the whole earth ought to have belonged to him, and not some selected portion of it?
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 69.]
Acts 13:35-37, Paul says, "Wherefore, he says also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption; but he whom God raised again, saw no corruption."
The addition, that "David saw corruption," shows that Paul misunderstood the sense of the passage he quoted. The word schachet (rendered "corruption") means a pit, and is synonymous with grave; for David relied on the salvation of the soul of the righteous, and expressed his conviction, that the body alone goes down to the pit, and not the soul with it, into perdition.
Passages, in which the word schachet (pit) occurs, in Psalm 94, "Until a pit is dug for the iniquitous man." Proverbs 26:27, "He who diggeth a pit, shall fall into it." Psalm 7:15, "He who makes a hole and diggeth it, will fall into the pit he hath made." We cannot perceive, therefore, the authority Paul had to apply the words of that psalm otherwise than in a sense in which its author had evidently designed it.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 70.]
Acts 15 from verses 1 to 12. It is there related that certain men of the sect of the Pharisees rose up, and said that the Gentiles could not be saved unless they abided by the law of Moses, and that, upon the delivery of this opinion, the apostles and elders came together to deliberate; and they argued much upon this matter. Peter then settled the dispute by saying, "Why tempt ye God to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear. But we believe that, through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved even as they."
Peter, by this remonstrance, contradicts the opinion held by Jesus, as is shown by the advice given to the rich man, who had consulted him respecting which of the laws he should observe, etc. (See Matthew 19.) We have, moreover, in a former chapter, shown that the law of Jesus, when carried out to the letter, is more rigorous than the Mosaic code, and utterly impracticable in the affairs of social life. We have already pointed out that the suggestion made by Jesus to the rich man, to the effect that he should sell all he had and distribute the money among the poor, was wisely disregarded by all his disciples and followers. Paul also deemed it proper to designate the law of Moses "a yoke of bondage" (Gal. 5:1), and that he would not submit to the passive endurance of the humiliation recommended by Jesus. See Chapter 27 of the Second Part of this work.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 71.]
Acts 15:17, the Apostle James cites a verse from Amos 9, changed into the following terms:"That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things."
The true passage runs thus:"In order that those may inherit the remainder of Edom, and of all the Gentiles upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord who doeth this." The prophecy does not predict the acquisition of the inheritance in favour of other men, but in favour of Israel, "upon whom the name of the Lord is called." See Deuteronomy 28:10, "And all the people of the earth shall see that the name of the Lord is called upon thee"
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Chapter 3.6. and Part 2, Chapter 72.]
Acts 15:20, 29. The apostles enjoin on their followers the frequently-repeated commands to abstain from sacrifices to idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood." How the Christians respect these prohibitions we have already adverted to in Chapter 49 and 50 in the First Part of this work.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 73.]
Acts 16:1, 3, "Paul, going to Derbe and Lystra, met Timothy, the son of a certain woman who was a Jewess, and he took and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those quarters." From this quotation and the records of history, it is evident that original Christianity did not dispense with the circumcision of Jews received within its pale. Is it not then sinful to attempt to persuade Jews to abandon those rites which the founders and first propagators of the Christian religion actually confirmed by their own acts?
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 74.]
Acts 16:3. Paul, by circumcising Timothy, proved that the Mosaic dispensation of circumcision had not been, abrogated. On the other hand, he wrote to the Galatians (chap. 5:2, 3), "Behold, I, Paul, say unto you, that, if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing; for I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law." If circumcision were of no avail for Timothy, why did his master circumcise him? If, however, that sacred act was indispensable, and bound the man fully through the covenant of Abraham to adhere to the commandments and the laws of Moses, how is it that Paul deemed it perfectly consistent to break by precept those very teachings of Moses?
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 75.]
Acts 16:30, 31. The keeper of the prison asked Paul and Silas, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved? and they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy house."
The answer of the apostles does not coincide with the answer given by Jesus in Matthew 19:16; Mark 10:17; and Luke 18:19; wherein he exacted of the inquirer full obedience to the laws of Moses, in order to obtain salvation.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 76.]
Acts 28:3-6. Paul being bitten by a viper, felt no harm from the effects of the poisonous bite, and was, therefore, held by the barbarians surrounding him, to be a God.
The ease with which a human being was deified in those days, accounts for the astonishing superstitious belief that Jesus was at the same time mortal and a God.
Paul's epistle to the Romans.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 77.]
Romans 5:14, "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression."
Other copies have the contrary. "Who had sinned after the similitude," etc.
If death reigned to the days of Moses only, how is the question to be explained: How could Jesus be considered the Saviour of mankind, if the dominion of death had been made to cease through the laws of Moses, (Lev 18:5) "which, if a man performeth, he liveth in them?" See the question fully discussed in chapter one of the First Part of this work.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 78.]
Romans 9:24-26, "Even us, whom he has called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles. As he says also in Hosea, I will call them my people, which were not my people, and her beloved which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them. Ye are not my people, there shall they be called the children of the living God."
It is immaterial for us to know whether it was ignorance or intentional perversion which prompted Paul to refer to Hosea for a purpose which that prophet had not in view. It suffices to refer to Hosea 1, in order to ascertain that the prophet alludes not to the Gentiles, but exclusively to Israel, who, when obedient to the law of God, were to be called Ammi, ("my people"), and Ruhamah, ("she who is pitied"); but when disobedient they were to be called Lo-Ammi, ("not my people"), and Lo Ruhamah ("not to be pitied"). And again in verse 10, we read, "And it shall come to pass that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God."
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 79.]
Romans 9:33, "As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion, a stumbling stone and a rock of offence, and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."
This passage is a collection of short sentences, ignorantly or ingeniously packed together, to show that Jesus is the only Saviour of those who found "their stumbling block in Zion." In chapter 8:14 of Isaiah, we find, "And he shall be for a sanctuary and a stumbling stone, as a rock of offence to the two houses of Israel, and as a snare and a gin to the inhabitants of Jerusalem." And the prophet continues, (chap. 28:16), "Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold I have laid a foundation in Zion, a tried stone, a precious comer stone, well established, well founded. He who believes shall not hasten (away from it)."
Another incorrect quotation from our Scriptures is also to be found in Romans 10:11, "For the Scripture saith. Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." Peter in his first Epistle, (chap. 2:6), quotes from treacherous memory, "Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded."
By arbitrarily detaching or connecting various words of Scripture to verify, doctrines, not taught in our Sacred Books, is, according to our opinion, its own refutation, and highly blameable.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 80.]
Romans 10:6-9, "Say not in thine heart. Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above); or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead). But what saith it (viz. Scripture)? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that is, the word of faith which we preach: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou, shalt be saved."
If those to whom Paul was preaching had referred to the thirtieth chapter of Deuteronomy, they might have perceived that the words of Moses were misconstrued by the Apostle. That part of our law tells us merely that it is within the reach of every man to be penitent, and obtain mercy and pardon.
Our lawgiver having spoken in general terms, '"If thou wilt turn to the Lord thy God, with all thy heart and all thy soul," etc., goes on to say, "For the commandment which I give thee this day is, not hidden from thee, nor is it too far off. It is not in heaven that thou mightest say, Who shall go up into heaven for us, and bring at down for us that we may practice it?" etc.
It having been shown that the nature of the gift of mercy is put in juxtaposition with the ease of acquiring it, we are enabled to comprehend the expression, "This matter is very near unto thee, it is in thy heart and thy mouth that thou mayest do it."
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 81.]
Romans 11:26, "And so all Israel shall be saved, as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob."
The true words of the prophet (Isaiah 59:20), do not indicate that the Messiah will turn away ungodliness from Jacob, but that "a redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who return from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord."
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 82.]
Romans 16:20, "And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly," etc. In 1 Thessalonians 2:18, Paul says, "We would have come unto you again, even I, Paul, but Satan hindered us."
The Christians, in consequence of the above quotations, maintain the belief that the power of Satan was broken by the death of Jesus, who "bruised the head of the serpent." If so, how then did it happen that Satan, after the death of Jesus, had such sway as to obstruct the very apostles of Jesus in the pursuit of their ministrations?
Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 83.]
1 Corinthians 5:1, Paul reproaches his followers that "there be fornication among them, and that one of them had committed incest by marrying his father's wife."
If Paul, as all his writings indicate, considered the Christians dispensed from observing the Mosaic Law, where was their boundary of religious duties or transgressions, seeing that Jesus had not promulgated a new code of laws? Surely, no permission had been granted by the founder of Christianity, so that his followers should observe part of the Mosaic laws, and reject the remainder.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 84.]
1 Corinthians 6:3, Paul says, "Know ye that we shall judge angels?" Great must have been the Apostle's presumption if he believed that corporeal man should be the judge of incorporeal beings! The greatest prophets of Israel admitted that the angels were beyond the comprehension of our finite sense. How could the invisible be summoned before the tribunal of the visible?
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 85.]
1 Corinthians 7:18-20, "Is any man called being circumcised, let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision, let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called." In the Epistle to the Galatians, chapter 5:3, he also says, "For I testify again to every man that is circumcised that he is a debtor to do the whole law." These words ought to be kept in constant remembrance by those Christians who urge us to abandon our holy faith and adopt their religious observances.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 86.]
1 Corinthians 10:8, "Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand."
In this brief passage there is an error, which in every other work might pass unnoticed. A book, which assumes to be dictated by inspiration, ought to be accurate in every particular. In Numbers 25, we read that four and twenty thousand, and not three and twenty thousand, fell by the visitation of pestilence.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 87.]
1 Corinthians 15:54, 55, "So, when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory; O Death, where is thy sting! grave, where is thy victory"! This passage is not a true quotation from our Scripture, being a mixture of two unconnected verses. Isaiah, chapter 25:8, says only, "He has swallowed up Death to perpetuity"; and Hosea, chapter 13:14, says, "Where are thy pestilences, O Death? Where are thy destructions, O grave?
Paul's Epistle to the Galatians.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 88.]
Galatians 1:18, "Then, after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the Apostles saw I none, save James, the Lord's brother." Paul represents here, James, the brother of Jesus, as an apostle of Jesus, and he contradicts thereby the statement made by John, chapter 7:5, "For neither did his [viz., Jesus'] brethren believe in Him." We have enlarged on these contradictions in our discussions on Luke 2 and Mark 3.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 89.]
Galatians 3:13, Paul says, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every man that hangeth on a tree." It is a most extraordinary conclusion, that an ignominious death, suffered by Jesus, should have become the means of releasing his followers from their adherence to the ancient law of God, in order not to be subjected to the curse of the law. Surely submission to, and not abandonment of the law, should have been recommended.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Chapter 3.4. and Part 2, Chapter 90.]
Galatians 3:16, "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made: He saith not, and to seeds as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ."
Want of acquaintance with the genius of the Hebrew language, has led the author of the epistle to a wrong conclusion. When seed signifies posterity, it is never put in the plural number. See Genesis 13:15, "For all the land which thou seest, I will give to thee, and to thy seed for evermore." Immediately after this promise, we read, "And thy seed shall be like the dust of the earth." This relates to the numbers of individuals, and not to a single individual. Again, we find in Genesis 15:5, "And He caused him to go out (of the house) and He spake. Look now up to heaven, and count the stars, if thou canst count them; and He said unto him Thus shall be thy seed."
Ibid. verse 13, "And He spake unto Abraham, Thou shalt surely know that thy seed shall be strangers in a land which is not their's." These examples may suffice, but similar ones may be found in various parts of Scripture. These annotations afford abundant proof that the term seed, in the promise given to Abraham, refers to an entire nation.
Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 91.]
Ephesians 4:8, "Wherefore, he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men."
The quotation seems to be made from memory. The psalmist (68:18) who addresses the Almighty, says, "Thou hast taken gifts from men," and not thou hast given gifts.
Paul's First Epistle to the Thessalonians.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 92.]
1 Thessalonians 2:10, Paul says, "Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily, and justly, and unblameably, we behaved ourselves among you that believe."
In a teacher of men, whose object it was to establish a new faith, it appears unbecoming to mention first, men, as witnesses, and secondly, God. A candid perusal of the writings of Paul accounts for this peculiarity of arranging his ideas. He impresses on the reader the suspicion that he was guided by expediency, more than by true religious feeling, and that his mind was not influenced by the elevated sentiments of piety.
Epistle of James.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 93.]
James 2:14, to the end of the chapter. The author of this Epistle recommends good works as superior to mere faith, and then he continues, "Was not Abraham, our father, justified by works, when he had offered Isaac, his son, upon the altar? Likewise also, was not Rahab, the harlot, justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
The opinion here cited meets with the contradiction of Paul, who writes in his Epistle to the Romans, chapter 3:20, "Therefore, by deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified." Again, he says, in the same chapter, verse 28, "Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." In his Epistle to the Galatians, chapter 2:16, Paul repeats the assertion, that faith in Jesus is of greater avail than the observance of the law, by saying, "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ." At the end of that chapter, he maintains, "If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." The like doctrine is enforced in chapter 3 from the beginning to the end. Also throughout the Epistle to the Hebrews, chapter 11, it is maintained that faith is preferable to works. See again ibid. verse 17, where it is said, "Abraham, tried by faith, offered up Isaac." Again, ibid. verse 31, "By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies in peace." We, Jews, are not anxious to reconcile the discrepancies occurring in the New Testament, and to decide whether more truth is to be found in one than in the other of those opinions. All our aspirations lead us to adopt a mode of life in exact conformity with the Holy Law, which tells us, (Deut 6:25) "And it shall be accounted to us as righteousness if we keep and fulfil all these commands.
Epistle to the Hebrews.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 94.]
This Epistle is the production of an anonymous writer. Some have ascribed it to Luke, others to Paul. In the early days of Christianity it was rejected as Apocryphal.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 95.]
Hebrews 1:5-9, "For unto which of the angels said he, in former times, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee? And, again, I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he says, Let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels, he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire? But to the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever. A sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."
The errors of the author of this epistle are as many as the quotations with which he strives to confirm his views. The connexion established between Jesus and the seventh verse of Psalm 2, "Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee," we have already presented in a proper light in our remarks on Acts 8:33. We have there fully proved that David applied those elevated words to himself. Hence Christians are not justified in deducing from it doctrinal points. The promise made in 2 Samuel 7:14, "I shall be unto him as a father, and he shall be to me as a son," was made regarding Solomon, the son of David. The Christians themselves would not like to refer these words to Jesus, since the prophecy contains the prediction, "Whom, if he commit iniquity, I shall chastise him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men." As to Jesus, it is well known that his worshippers are impressed with the conviction that he never committed any sin.
The author of the Epistle pretends to discover in our Scripture, that the angels of God were bound to worship Jesus. We find, in Psalm 97:7, "All ye gods worship him," viz., that God who is spoken of as the Lord of the whole earth. The words, "Thy throne, God, is for ever and ever," are wrongly quoted from Psalm 45:6. We read there Kis-au-hau Elohim, which means, "Thy throne (is) of God, "and not "Thy throne, O God." Thus we find, in 1 Chronicles 29:23, "And Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord." The Lord being the acknowledged king of Israel, the throne occupied by David and his posterity was described as the throne of the Lord. This throne is to be occupied by the descendants of David for time everlasting. Thus Daniel prophesies, in chapter 2:44, "The God of heaven will establish a throne which shall not be destroyed throughout eternity."
To be convinced that our interpretation is correct, let the reader merely refer to the continuation of the words of Psalm 45:7, "Thou lovest righteousness and hatest iniquity; therefore hath God, even thy God, anointed thee." If Jesus is God, could the Psalmist address him with such words as thy God?
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 96.]
Hebrews 2:7, "Thou madest him a little lower than the angels, thou crownedst him with glory and honour." In verse 9, it is said, "Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels." It is remarkable that Jesus, as the inferior being, should have been destined to be worshiped by the angels, who were his superiors. On referring to the eighth Psalm, verses 3-6, we find that the author of the Epistle, in quoting some words, has perverted their real purport. The Psalmist in using the ejaculation, "When I behold the heavens, the works of thy fingers, and the moon and the stars which thou hast fixed," must be understood as if he had expressed himself in the following words:I am so struck with awe and wonder, that I feel the utter nothingness of human creatures; and I say to myself, "What is mortal man, that thou rememberest him, and the son of man, that thou takest note of him." The frailty and mortality of man, suggested to the Psalmist the sense of a deep humility; on the other hand, man is rendered conscious of his noble state, as the possessor of an immortal spirit, which makes him almost an equal to the ministering angels on high. It is with respect to this supreme endowment that the Psalmist exclaims, "Thou hast made him but little less than the angels and hast crowned him with glory and honour." Blessed with intelligence, he rules the inferior creatures of the field and the forest, of the air and the sea.
This Psalm has, consequently, no allusion to any non-Jewish doctrine, but is a sublime amplification of the divine resolve, as contained in Genesis 1:26, "We will make man in our image, according to our likeness, and they shall rule over the fish of the sea, and the birds of the heaven, and the beasts, and over the whole earth." Taking this plain view of the several portions of Scripture, the candid reader will agree with us, that the inflexible truth of our revealed writings does not allow the shade of a proof in favour of the rank given to Jesus in the mystical theology of the Christians.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Chapter 4.10. and Part 2, Chapter 97.]
Hebrews 8:8. The following quotation is made from Jeremiah 31:31, "Behold the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel."
A refutation of the interpretation given by the Christians to this verse, has been offered in the First Part of this work, Chapter 29. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, in verse 13 of the same chapter, says, "In that he saith a new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." The writer was not aware that spiritual matters are worn out like old garments. He might have found a correct opinion in Psalms 111:7, 8, "The works of His hands are truth and judgment; faithful are all His ordinances; well supported for ever and made with truth and integrity."
Equally decided are the words of Isaiah on this subject. He says, chapter 40:8, "Grass drieth up, the flower withereth, but the word of our God shall stand for ever."
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 98.]
Hebrews 10:5. Referring to Psalm 40, Paul states. "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not, but a body thou hast prepared me." The quotation is erroneous. The Psalmist says, "Sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not, mine ears thou hast opened; burnt offering and sin offering thou didst not desire." The Psalmist expressed by this, that obedience to God is the chief duty of man, and that listening to Him is better than an offering, and hearkening to Him "is more acceptable than the fat of rams."
That pious feelings, and not mere ceremonials, were the essential requisites, we have already demonstrated in the First Part of this work.
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 99.]
Revelation 7:5-8. In enumerating the Twelve Tribes of Israel, the tribe of Dan is omitted, and that of Manasseh mentioned in its stead, although the tribe of Joseph might have naturally included that of Manasseh. This shows that the author of the Revelation was imperfectly acquainted with the very rudiments of Biblical history. If the instructor himself be uninstructed, what can his disciple profit by the knowledge emanating from such a source?
[A Manual of Christian Evidences for Jewish People, Part 2, Chapter 100.]
Revelation 22:18, 19, "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add to these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the Holy City, and from the things that are written in this book."
The Christians have nevertheless ventured to make changes of a most glaring nature. The removal of the sabbath to the first day of the week is not authorised by Jesus or any of his apostles. The eating of blood, and the flesh of strangled beasts, etc., is a palpable infringement of the dictates of the apostles, as has been amply proved in Chapter 3 of the First Part of this work.
Thus, having accomplished all my intention, I offer thanks to God, who is One and Indivisible; He is the first and the last; besides Him there is no God.
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