Friday, 11 October 2013

Response to Tovia Singer on "Did the Authors of the New Testament Believe in the Doctrine of the Trinity?"

The Trinity is seen by Rabbinic Jews, Some Messianic communities, Cult groups and Muslims as a great anathemea when they look at it. Some have even gone as far as labelling it outright idolatry.

What I am going to to is try to respond to an article by Tovia Singer "Did the Authors of the New Testament Believe in the Doctrine of the Trinity?" We'll see if Tovia's arguments really stand up to scrutiny under careful examination.

Before I respond, I'll quickly summarise what the doctrine of the Trinity teaches. It teaches that in the very being or essence of God, there exist Three Distinct persons, Not three beings in one being or three persons in one person (like Ahmed Deedat falsely claimed). Thhere are not three seperate Gods, but one Eternal God which the TANAKH and the NT make very clear.

The texts in Bold Are Tovia Singer's objections and quotations or quotations from other authors. The italics are Biblical Texts.

For those who don't know, Tovia Singer is the author of Let's get Biblical, a compendium of DVDs which seeks to address Christian arguments and he is the chief and head of Outreach Judaism.

Texts of Christ raised by Singer

Matthew 3:17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

"What is the value of God indicating his pleasure in Jesus, if Jesus was himself? And what did Jesus supposedly achieve here, if he was God and it was impossible for him to sin, or do wrong? Was God taking pleasure in himself?"

Easy, Jesus is NOT the Father, he is distinct from the Father. It is the Father being pleased with his Son, because he does only what the Father requires, which I may get into later.

Matthew 20:20-23 The mother of the sons of Zebedee... said to him 21 [Jesus], "Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom." 22 But Jesus answered and said..., 23"You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.""If Jesus was fully God, why could only the Father, and not Jesus, grant that the two sons of Zebedee sit at the right and left of Jesus?"

Jesus was telling his disciples within the context of the passage to be humble, Furthermore, Tovia overlooked the fact the the kingdom in the context belongs to Jesus and he is given sovereign power over that kingdom. Also let us not forget Jesus in  this same context calls himself the Son of Man, when Jesus uses this title, think of Daniel 7:13-14, where the Son of coming on the clouds of heaven approaching the Ancient of Days. Considering that this Son of Man is worshipped or served by all nations and the Ancient of Days gives this to him. Sam Shamoun in his response to Ghounem regarding Matthew 20:20-23 said:

"Jesus could not grant a position of authority since he himself was under his Father’s authority, seeing that he was acting as God’s servant while on earth. It has nothing to do with Jesus’ essence and nature."

Matthew 26:39
     Going a little farther, he [Jesus] fell on his face to the ground and prayed, saying, "O my Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.

"If the Father and Jesus were of the same substance, such a prayer would have been meaningless. Jesus would have been praying to himself, and his will, out of necessity, would have been that of the Father's."

Jesus is not the Father, he is praying to the Father. Being one in essence doesn't mean one in person. Tovia is confusing Trinitarianism with Modalism. Modalism teaches that Jesus prays to himself or "The Human Jesus prayed to the Divine Jesus" which is not Trinitarian teaching at all. So Tovia is essentially attacking a strawman.

Matthew 26:53
     Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?


"If Jesus was God, why would he need to request from God legions of angels? Is there anything God lacks that He must request from another?"

Jesus humbled himself while he was on earth by taking the form of a slave (Philippians 2:5-11), He had to rely on his heavenly Father and beseech his heavenly Father, which is what the perfect man is to do. There is subordination within the Godhead BUT NOT in the Jehovah's Witness sence.

Mark 10: 17-20
18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” 19“You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder...’” 20And he said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.”


"If, as Trinitarians insist, Jesus was God, why did Jesus rebuke the man for addressing him as "Good Teacher"? (Jesus believed th at the title "good" was appropriate for God alone, who he considered the only standard of goodness). Interestingly, once the man was corrected, thereafter he only referred to Jesus as "Teacher."".

Firstly, Tovia misses the point that Jesus was making in the context. Jesus wasn't denying his deity, He was simply asking the man "Do you realise the implications of what you are saying?". The man did not know who he was talking to. Second, The man claims to have kept all the commands, to which Jesus refutes because of his request to "sell all your possessions then come follow me". The man was exposed as an idolater because he loved his riches more than God. Jesus in the context demands that a person should be willing to forsake all to follow him, which would be blasphemy for a mere man to say and only God should be given that devotion.

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."


"If Jesus was coequal with the Father, how could the Father have information that Jesus lacked?      Moreover, if, as some Trinitarians suggest, the son was limited by his human nature, why didn't the Holy Spirit know?"

Jesus' knowledge was limited while on earth, however, there were cases where the disicples understood that Jesus knew all things. Also, by Tovia's logic, the Father and the Spirit are not God, because in Revelation 19:12, the rider called Faithful and True (Which is Jesus) has a name that no one knows but himself. Does this mean the Father and the Spirit are not God? Of course not. There are details that are only known to a certain member of the Godhead at certain times. That's one possible answer.

The other answer is that Jesus is speaking of the end times in the context of a ancient Jewish marriage, where only the Father knew when the marriage takes place. This video by InspiringPhilosophy explains this point better than I: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfdozI26lQQ

John 5:37
     "And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen."
"Yet Jesus said, "The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him." (John 13:16) Jesus said on numerous occasions that, "the Father… hath sent me." (John 5:37,6:37) The Holy Ghost was also sent by the Father (John 14:26) and Jesus (John 16:7), thus making Jesus subordinate to the Father and the Holy Ghost inferior to both the Father and Jesus.
      Moreover, God is by nature invisible and never seen, Jesus was of course seen. John 1:18, I John 4:12, I Tim. 6:16
".

Firstly, read John 5:37 carefully to see what it actually says:

36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

None of the texts Tovia cited mean "No one has seen God at anytime period". In fact, 1 John 4:12 and John 1:18 have the same statement, but John later says the one who is in the only God (monogenes theos), who is at the Father's side, he has made him known. Jesus can reveal the Father perfectly to us and he says in Matthew 11:27 that know one knows the Father except the Son except those to whom the Son wishes to reveal him, something no prophet claims, not even Moses could say that.
The only reason the Pharisees couldn't see the Father nor hear him was because they DID NOT HAVE HIS WORD IN THEM. Doesn't God hide his face from those who are in rebellion, I guess Isaiah 59:2 is not in Tovia's bible.

Also, The voice of the Father is heard in John 11:28-30

28 Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.

Remember, Jesus tells you who the voice is, it is the Father is heard.

Regarding John 14:26 and John 16:7, Tovia says:

"The Holy Ghost was also sent by the Father (John 14:26) and Jesus (John 16:7), thus making Jesus subordinate to the Father and the Holy Ghost inferior to both the Father and Jesus".

Yes, subordinate in what way? It's the same thing with John 13:16 and other texts where Jesus said "God sent him". My question to a Jew is, Is a Yeshivite greater than his Rabbi? If the Rabbi is greater, in what way is he greater than the Yeshivite? in terms of position and status, or in terms of essence? The answer is greater means greater in position and in rank, that's what it means. No refutation of the Trinity, just simply a lack of understanding of the Trinity.
1 Timothy 6:16 does mention that we cannot see God but it is in referrence to him not veiling his glory.

John 8:17-18
     "In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. 18I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me."


"In John 8:17-18, Jesus quotes from the Law the necessity that evidence, to be valid, must be agreed upon by two witnesses. Jesus states that the two witnesses are himself and God. Two, not one. If Jesus was God, there was only one witness, and if Jesus says there are two, then he and God are not one."

This argument has weight against Modalists, Not Trinitarians. This is a text which I, James White, Sam Shamoun and others have presented to Modalists. Tovia is presenting a false dilemma, Unitarianism or Modalism. As I have said before, Jesus is God, But he is not the Father. If you look at the Scutum Fidei, it shows, The Father is not the Son, The Son is not the Spirit and the Spirit is not the Father.

John 10:30
30 "I, and my Father are one." 31Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" 32"We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God. " 34 Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods?'"

The chart in pink is a screenshot from Outreach Judaism and displays an argument presented by our Rabbinic friend. The first argument is I'll deal with is the subject of Oneness.

The oneness that Jesus has with the Father is not the same oneness that the disciples have with each other. They are 2 different types of oneness. Jesus is praying for the unity of the disciples amongst themselves just as he an the Father have unity with each other. I am also aware that Elohim is used of mighty men, angels and of course false gods, But that is not how the New Testament applies the title "God" to Jesus, not even Thomas makes the application (John 1:1, John 20:28,). The only exception would be Psalm 45 which i have written on here: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/triad-of-texts-nature-of-jesus.html

What Jesus is using in the context is an a fortiori argument or an argument from a yet stronger reason to further demonstrate his deity, which most anti-Trinitarians overlook. Keith Thompson, CEO of Reformed Apologetics Ministries explains this point better than I do in his documentary "Word of Faith Teachers: Origins & Errors of Their Teaching" which can be found here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KIA06kDRw4 Watch from position 56:51-1:00:28).

What asthonises me is what Tovia had said in his article regarding the Book of John:
"The repsonse gives us insight in to the author of the Book of John and should be instructive to Trinitarians"

He is talking out of two sides of his mouth. In his debate with Michael Brown, he said the following:

"Anybody who embraces John 1, thinking that God came down in the form of anything whether it's a cottage cheese sandwich or Jesus, THAT PERSON IS WORSHIPING IDOLATRY and when that person does that, HE LOSES HIS ETERNITY".

BUT WAIT?? I thought Jesus wasn't God. Now maybe I might of misunderstood what Tovia was saying but if he was saying John 1 shows the Deity of Christ, then he is pretty much backtracking against his article written roughly 20 years after the debate. James White has stated before in his book the Forgotten Trinity and I am paraphrasing him that you need to read the Gospel through the Lense of the Prologue.

John 12:49
     For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.


"If God and Jesus are "one in essence," as the Trinity doctrine says, how could Jesus' accord, or will, be different from that of his Father? How can Jesus' privilege not be the same as God? Moreover, if Jesus was the same as God, why would God have to send or command God to do anything?"

The Trinity doesn't entail Jesus having a different will to the Father whatsoever. On the contrary, The Son only does what the Father commands. Once again, Tovia confuses essence with rank, that's his problem. Jesus, to quote the words of James White "is not some renegade deity going off doing his own thing".

John 14:28
     "...I [Jesus] go unto the Father, for my father is greater than I."


"This verse speaks for itself."

I hear this argument so many times I know it like that back of my hand. GREATER IN POSITION, NOT ESSENCE. Furthermore this is why he is on earth, the disciples would rejoice for Jesus going back to the Father because while he remains in the form of a slave, the Father will be greater than him and Jesus is returning to the glorious position he had with the Father in heaven.

John 17:3
     And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom thou hast sent. 


"Here Jesus insists that the Father is the "only true God." The Greek word used here for "only" is monos, which is meant to exclude all others. Clearly, the Father cannot be "the only true God" if there are two others who are God to the same degree as he is."

The way that the phrase " The only true God" can be understood in the sense that the Father doesn't derive his existance from anyone or anything, whereas the Son and the Spirit derive their existance from the Father. The concept is known as autotheos. The Son and the Spirit are just as eternal and equal in essence to the Father, but derive their existance from the Father.

Furthermore the very same context which Tovia fails to quote says:

17 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.


Can a mere man say this of himself, that eternal life comes from knowing the Father AND Jesus Christ? Also, the very text shows he shared eternal glory WITH the Father in eternity past, Just as John 1:1 affirms the prehuman existence of Jesus, remember, Read John's Gospel through the lense of the prologue.

I also direct Tovia to what Ignatius, a student of the Apostle John, said about Jesus:

"For some are in the habit of carrying about the name [of Jesus Christ] in wicked guile, while yet they practise things unworthy of God, whom ye must flee as ye would wild beasts. For they are ravening dogs, who bite secretly, against whom ye must be on your guard, inasmuch as they are men who can scarcely be cured. There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both made and not made; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first possible and then impossible,-50 even Jesus Christ our Lord." Ignatius' Letter to the Epheisans: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/ignatius-ephesians-lightfoot.html

This is one of the students of John who wrote this Gospel, and he understands that the phrase the only true God, doesn't detract from Jesus being God at all. Let's move on.

John 20:17
     Jesus saith unto her [Mary], "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.
"

"If Jesus was God, why would he tell Mary that he considered her Father as his Father, and her God as his God? In Revelations 3:12, after the crucifixion, we continue to see Jesus calling the Father "my God." But never in the Christian Bible is the Father reported to refer to Jesus as "my God," nor does either the Father or Jesus refer to the Holy Spirit as "my God.""

I have said this many times before, and I'll say it again, When Jesus took on human flesh, he began relating to the Father AS HIS GOD, He is also differentiating his relationship to the Father from ours. In the Book of Revelation he is still the God-Man, not only does Christ identify the Father as his God, he is also identified as THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA, a claim that can only be claimed by none other THAN HASHEM HIMSELF!!!!

As for Tovia's statement about "But never in the Christian Bible is the Father reported to refer to Jesus as "my God," nor does either the Father or Jesus refer to the Holy Spirit as "my God."" This is really a non-argument and is unwarranted.

Texts of Paul raised by Singer

I Corinthians 8:4
     ...and that is none other God but one. 5For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there may be many gods, and many lords,) 6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

"Paul insists that only the Father is declared to be the one and only God. In Ephesians 1:17 Paul is still unaware of the Trinity when he says, "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ...""

Tovia doesn't realise that God is the main designation of the Father and Lord is the primary designation of the Son. When Christ is called Lord, it is in the SUPREME sense, not simply a polite honorific. If the Son is not God based on this argument, then the Father is not Lord. Hebrews 1:10-12 applies Psalm 102:25-27 to the Son, which I will get into later in this article.

I Corinthians 11:3
     But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.


"This verse does not depict Jesus as coequal with God. On the contrary, God is of superior rank to Jesus. Moreover, this statement reveals that the New Testament did not consider Jesus to be equal with God even after the ascension. Paul wrote these words around 55 C.E. — long after the crucifixion."

I have to keep hammering this point home alot, Jesus is subordinate to the Father in rank, not essence, I needn't labor this point to much so we'll carry on.

I Corinthians 15:28
     When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
"Here Paul unambiguously insists that Jesus was subordinate to God as His "subject." Throughout the New Testament it is claimed that God bestowed authority upon Jesus – never the other way around."

What Christian claims that Jesus bestowed authority on the Father? This is sheer desperation and the point about rank and essence I needn't repeat myself here. What is interesting is the Tovia quotes Colossians 1:15 in his article, which we'll get into later.

I Peter 1:3
     Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ...


"As mentioned above, this concept is restated many times throughout the New Testament: the Father is Jesus' God — never the other way around (see also Matt. 4:7, 27:46; Rom. 15:6, II Cor. 1:3, I Pet. 1:3; Rev. 1:6, 3:12 (four times)."

Who said that Jesus is the Father's God? Is this guy throwing sand into the air? Jesus in Matthew 4:7 and 27:46 is quoting from the OT, these texts are not a denial of his deity. The first text Jesus is saying to the Devil not to test God, which is what Satan was trying to precisely do. The second text Jesus quotes which Tovia mentions is a Psalm of David, universally recognised by Christians and Messianic Jews as a Messianic Psalm talking about the vindication of God's servant. Also, I have already dealt with the book of Revelation so I needn't go over that again. With all the "God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ texts", once again, Jesus relates to the Father as his God because he took on flesh, This is something I need to keep repeating and reminding people of that.

I Timothy 2:5
     For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

"The fact that Paul clearly distinguishes between God and Jesus places considerable strain on Trinitarianism."
Yes, this is a  biblical truth. This emphasises that Jesus was truly man and did not merely have the appearance of a man. Also, If you read on into chapter 3, you'll see the following in 1 Timothy 3:14-16.

14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great:

He appeared in the flesh,
    was vindicated by the Spirit,[a]
was seen by angels,
    was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
    was taken up in glory.


1 Timothy 3:16 presupposes the prehuman existance of Christ. What's the point of saying "he who was manifest in the flesh" if the Son is not God? Now the earliest manuscripts say that "He Who" rather than "God", but this would is not a detriment to my position at all. Also, Jesus being distinct in personhood to the Father is NOT a refutation against the Trinity.

Hebrews 4:15
     For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.


"Consider how the temptation of Jesus is portrayed throughout the Gospels. The New Testament emphatically states "Jesus was tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin." But the Church's claim that Jesus is God creates insurmountable contradictions: Temptation without the possibility of falling to sin is meaningless. If Jesus is God, it was impossible for him to sin, and it makes no sense to say he was tempted.
     Moreover, James 1:13 states that God cannot be tempted!
"

The devil tried to tempt Jesus but failed, that's what he tried to do, Hence this doesn't nulify Jesus as God. Furthermore, HaShem in the OT is tempted or tested by the Israelites. So if Singer wants to go that route, by his logic, HaShem is not God. (Numbers 14:22 and Job 2:1-3)
One good response provided by Sam Shamoun is this:

"James is not denying the fact that God can be tempted in some sense. In order to know what James exactly meant we quote the immediate context:
    "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death." James 1:13-15
James is referring to evil inclinations, sinful desires, that causes a person to be tempted and sin. Since God has no evil inclinations, no lustful feelings or sinful desires, it is not possible for God to be tempted to sin. God is completely good and holy. What James is basically saying is that only God has no desire to do anything that is sinful. Yet, this doesn't mean that fallen creatures cannot tempt God, since the Holy Scriptures clearly teach that many have tried to tempt God, and failed miserably
".

So, this argument pretty much silences Singer on this point.

Colossians 1:15
     He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.


"If the earliest Christians believed in the Trinity, why doesn't the New Testament ever refer to the Father or the Holy Spirit as the "firstborn of all creation?" Understandably, the New Testament would never refer to the Father as "firstborn" because early Christianity considered the Father alone eternal."

It would do well for Tovia to read the context.

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Remember this, firstborn in the context refers to Christ's preeminance, not him being created first. The Father created the world through the Son, for the Son. Also, things are held together by Christ's power. How amazing, this can't be a created being if he existed before all things, obviously referring to created things, not the Father or the Spirit. I mean, Father Son and Spirit existed before all things. Not only that, all things and consist and hold together by Christ's power. The fullness of deity dwelling in Christ bodily also dispels any notion of Paul promoting Gnosticism.

Robert M. Bowman makes the following observation regarding Colossians 2:9 and 1:19:
"Some argue that Colossians 2:19 ("and you have come to fullness in him") shows the "fullness" of verse 9 doesn't not mean that Jesus has God's very nature. The reasoning seems simple enough: Paul says that we have the fullness, not that we're God by nature; therefore, saying that Jesus has fullness doesn't make him God by nature, either. But this argument misconstrues the relationship between the two statements. Paul is not saying that believers have the fullness of deity dwelling in them bodily as well! Rather, he is saying that God's fullness is found in Christ personally, those who are united to Christ (who are "in him") have the fullness of God's power and love working in their lives. In both cases it is God's fullness, but in the case of Christ it resides in him personally and bodily, whereas in our case that fullness is meditated to us through our relationship with Christ"

and

"Finally we should comment on the argument that Paul's statement in Colossians 1:19- that God "was pleased" for all his fullness to dwell in Christ-proves Christ was not always deity. In context, Paul i referring to the incarnation. He is saying that God was pleased to be fully incarnated in the human Jesus of Nazareth. "It is the same Jesus, crucified and buried but risen again, and now alive for everyone as Christ the Lord, in whom the totality resides." Colossians 1:19 and 2:9 on their own do not address directly the question of the nature of the Son prior to his incarnation."
(Robert Bowman and J. Ed Komoszewski, Putting Jesus in his Place: A Case for the Deity of Christ).

Hebrews 5:7
     [Jesus] offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard. 8Although he was a son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.


"Why would God need to beg and cry to God to save him from death? Moreover, if the author of Hebrews considered Jesus God, why does Hebrews 5:8 insist that Jesus learned obedience from suffering? Is there anything God does not know and must learn through experience?"

Jesus is calling out to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane if there is any other way but if not, let it be done. Jesus is NOT the Father. Furthermore, Tovia neglects an important detail.

Compare Psalm 102:25-27 to Hebrews 1:10-12

25 In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing you will change them
    and they will be discarded.
27 But you remain the same,
    and your years will never end.


And Hebrews 1:10-12
10 He also says,

“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
11 They will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
12 You will roll them up like a robe;
    like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
    and your years will never end.”


In the very book of Hebrews quoted, Jesus is identified as THE GOD WHO IS FOREVER THE SAME. This is in the very same book that Tovia appealed to to prove his point. Also, His obedience (not that Christ was disobedient at all) was to prepare him for his priestly ministry as Jamieson-Fausset-Brown states:

"8. Though He WAS (so it ought to be translated: a positive admitted fact: not a mere supposition as were would imply) God's divine Son (whence, even in His agony, He so lovingly and often cried, Father, Mt 26:39), yet He learned His (so the Greek) obedience, not from His Sonship, but from His sufferings. As the Son, He was always obedient to the Father's will; but the special obedience needed to qualify Him as our High Priest, He learned experimentally in practical suffering. Compare Php 2:6-8, "equal with God, but … took upon Him the form of a servant, and became obedient unto death," &c. He was obedient already before His passion, but He stooped to a still more humiliating and trying form of obedience then. The Greek adage is, "Pathemata mathemata," "sufferings, disciplinings." Praying and obeying, as in Christ's case, ought to go hand in hand."

I hope that this response has addressed all the points raised by Tovia Singer's article and I hope this is a blessing to many Christians who have been disturbed by this man's claims. Thanks for taking the time to read and take care.

Answering Judaism.

1 comment:

  1. Not sold at all. The convolutions you go through to prove the Trinity are on-existent in Judaism, where HaShem's one-ness is crystal clear. Not 3 in 1. Simply, 1. Rabbi Singer's "claims" are all Scripturally based, and says often himself "These are not my opinions, just look at the Bible." So, yes, Christians SHOULD be disturbed by the Bible, because the Christian Bible soundly contradicts what G-d Himself said to the prophets - the one with whom He actually spoke. If you believe in the Bible, you believe in the prophets and, again, should be disturbed by the obvious contradictions of the "New Testament" and its claims to salvation when compared to Torah.

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