Sunday, 13 October 2013

Refuting Erano the false prophet on Isaiah 53


I was given an article linking to a false prophet who claimed that the apostles decieved humanity. Though I decided to write a article to respond to it, I thought I might do a separate article dealing with his misuse of Isaiah 53.

Maestro Erano Evangelista is some nutcase who claims to be a Prophet like Moses who cannot be stood up against. He is not Jewish just to clarify, but because of Isaiah 53, this article is required.
 
He makes an interesting case that the suffering servant is Moses and while it is interesting but my focus is to demonstrate that this passage refers to Jesus. His first claim is that the arm of the lord is Moses. Firstly, 

Let's look at Isaiah 53:1
"53 Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"

In this first passage, It is referring to the present time of Isaiah, his report being dismissed, as was also the case with Jesus when the Pharisees in John 12. It is referring to the messages of Messiah and Isaiah being rejected by the people. There is actually first century evidence that Isaiah 53 is referring to the Messiah, although the interpretation differs from Christian one tremendously. The only referrence to Moses being the suffering servant to the best of my knowledge is the Talmud, which is not a first century document. 

The NT and the Targums, both at least first century documentation believe Isaiah 53 to be Messianic, as well as later Rabbinic Tradition which can be found in my response to Shadid Lewis on Isaiah 53: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/response-to-shadid-lewis-on-isaiah-53.html. 

Obviously the interpretation differs from Christianity but nevertheless, it is recognised to be Messianic in it's content, something Erano refuses to allow.

Also Erano says:
"Maestro EraƱo M. Evangelista says that it is their assumption. Who would you rather believe: the religions that were not sent by God or the Word of God in Deuteronomy 18:18-19 which say that we should listen to His prophet like Moses - who is now revealing this writing to us?"

Considering this deluded individual can't back up his claims, I'll take his advice to follow the prophet in Deuteronomy 18, i.e. Yeshua/Jesus, not the false prophet Erano. The reason for saying this will be explained in my response to the main article in the future, but for now I am focusing on Isaiah 53.

The despising of the servant in referrence to the Messiah Jesus says the following:
"2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted."

Firstly, The funny thing is Erano claims Jesus was judged BY GOD in his original article. Also he fails to inform the audience reading his paper that the people who witnessed Jesus being crucified with the exception of a few were actually jeering at Jesus. In Matthew 27:42-44 we read:

""He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. 43"HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.'" 44The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words."

The people in the passage believed that God had smitted Jesus, this is evident from their words. In other words "If he is the King sent by God, Let God rescue him, if not, let him die on the cross". 

Notice they assume IF God delights in Christ.  Notice also that the suffering in Isaiah 53 is to do with his suffering, not just verbal, but physical, so Jesus' physical pain is factored in the equation, something Erano rejects. Even Rabbinic Jews agree that there is physical pain in the passage being done to Israel.

The people at the time of the crucifixion actually did believe Christ was smitten by God, which is exactly what Erano himself claims. Although the people and Erano are actually wrong in their conclusion, They thought Jesus was smitten by God for his sins. Whereas a matter of fact he was actually the following:
"5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed."

Notice the passage in verse 5 of Isaiah 53 says the servant is crushed because of someone elses iniquities, not his own. So again we have another false conclusion from this man and the fact he can't exegete the Bible properly is either an indication of ignorance or nefariousness.

Again the passages refer to the time of Isaiah and to the time of the Messiah, they do not refer to the time of Moses because that was past and dealt with.

Regarding Ezekiel 34:30-31, there may be some connection to that and Isaiah 53, but this doesn't refute the Jews or the Christians being mentioned in verse 6. The passage says:
"6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all."

The text in question doesn't exclude Gentiles or Christians. Of course the strawman that is provided by Erano is:
"
The “all” that was mentioned here were the people of Israel, not the Christians or the people of the world. So, the religions cannot claim that this is Jesus."

We Christians don't claim the "all" of verse 6 is Jesus, it's the "HIM" who is Jesus. The all are Israel and the Gentiles.
"6 We all (Jews and Gentiles), like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us (Jews and Gentiles) has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him (Jesus)
    the iniquity of us all."

Another objection raised by Erano is the following regarding Christ opening his mouth:
"The religions say that this was really Jesus, but we should remember that when Jesus was nailed on the cross, he cried "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Jesus complained to God in his final moments - definitely he is not the man pertained to in this writing."

Let's look at Isaiah 53:7
"7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth."

This is a non argument, presented by not only Erano, but also by Immanuel Schochet, Eli Cohen and many others. Jesus opening his mouth is not opening his mouth period. It is referring to Jesus not opening his mouth to resist his death. He doesn't plead to the Jews to spare his life, but rather goes through with it, though he is not suffering for wrong doing. Also, Jesus crying out "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" is a quotation from Psalm 22 about the vindication of God's servant David. It is recognised also as Messianic in Nature by Christians because of Jesus' application of it to himself. Furthermore, When he said it, The judgement he bore for our sake was over. There was no complaining at all.

Next is the subject of Isaiah 53:8-10
"8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand."

Jesus was brought to the Sanhedrin and no one questioned it. They didn't even attempt to stop it from occuring and unknown to them, Jesus had made propitiation on the cross for their sins. Their sins could be forgiven if they turned to him in repentance and faith, not to mention it says he was punished because of the people's transgression, not his own, which again refutes Erano completely.

Also, The servant of the Lord would be made an asham in the passage of Isaiah 53, i.e. a guilt offering and the Father was pleased to to carry this out in order to satisfy the debt of sin. Jesus died and rose again, indicating that his days were prolonged by his resurrection. Nakdimon316 also made this point about the prolonging of days in his response to Eli Cohen on Isaiah 53 which I throughly recommend taking the time to watch.

I won't address the subject of seed in verse 10 since the issue is not raised. Furthermore, Prolonging his days as stated refers to the resurrection and it can refer to being given a long life. It doesn't mean that he is simply honored or remembered as Erano claims.

He then raises the objection of Jesus not having a grave with the wicked. Arnold Fruchtenbaum raises the following point in an article he written:
"In verse 9, the burial of the Servant is described. After His death, those who executed Him assigned a criminal's grave for Him along with other criminals. A criminal is what they considered Him to be, and that is the way He was executed. Yet He would be buried in a rich man's tomb! This is true poetic justice since, in actuality, the Servant had done nothing wrong nor was there anything wrong in His character. The fulfillment of this is found in all four Gospels (Mat. 27:57-60; Mk. 15:42-46; Lk. 23:50-54; Jn. 19:38-42)."

This covers the point regarding the subject of Isaiah 53:9. Also a problem with the Mosaic interpretation is the people of Moab didn't die.

In Isaiah 53:11-12, we read the following:
"11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors."

After Christ's death, he was able to bring everlasting rightousness to those who would believe on him and he also continues to make intercession for us in heaven, as the mediator between God and man. No doubt the transgressors are Israel, but it's not just Israel, but the Gentiles to as stated before. Even to this day Christ still makes intercession for us and by his death he has justified many people, both Jew and Gentile and has enabled them to love the God of Israel and had born their sins.

The problem with reading Moses into Isaiah 53 is the servant dies as a result of the bruising of the Lord and the resurrection occuring to restore him to the light of life, as seen in verse 11.

The appeal to Isaiah 63 by Erano doesn't help him, because neither Jews nor Christians to my knowledge ever interpreted it as a suffering servant passage speaking of either Israel or the Messiah.
"11 Then his people recalled[b] the days of old,
    the days of Moses and his people—
where is he who brought them through the sea,
    with the shepherd of his flock?
Where is he who set
    his Holy Spirit among them,
12 who sent his glorious arm of power
    to be at Moses’ right hand,
who divided the waters before them,"

The text on it's own doesn't indicate that Moses is the subject of Isaiah 53, it simply alludes to him and nothing more than that.

I think I have shown how much error this man is in on Isaiah 53 and I hope this article has been of some use.

Answering Judaism.

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