Friday 8 November 2013

Response to Uri Yosef on Isaiah 53 3

Here we are moving on to Isaiah 53:10 in this article responding to Uri Yosef. Let us continue.

"In cross-referencing this verse and John 1:29, the New Testament points 
specifically at the phrase "… when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin …" 
as it appears in common Christian translations. However, it was already 
demonstrated that the correct (Jewish) context differs significantly from the 
context being implied by Christian translations. Consequently, there is no 
need to further comment on this reference at John 1:29."

The reference in John 1:29 speaks of the Lamb of God taking away the sins of the world. This point I would need to look into before further comments.

""… And the Lord wished to crush him, He made him ill …": According to the New 
Testament, the only one who was to be crushed by God is Satan, not Jesus 
(Romans 16:20). Of what sickness did Jesus suffer? Why would God want 
to crush Jesus and make him ill? If he was crushed and sick, then how, 
according to the Christian interpretation of this verse, could Jesus be a 
perfect and unblemished sacrificial offering? "

Verses 5-6 of Isaiah 53 already tell us why the servant was crushed. I am not sure what the argument is for Satan being crushed. Jesus wasn't crushed for his own iniquities, but ours *. Furthermore, Regarding the subject of Jesus being a perfect unblemished lamb, that is already covered in my first response to Yosef which can be found here:

Also, John doesn't have the Passover Lamb in mind, At least I have never had that hint at all from reading the text if my memory serves me well. Paul is the one who describes Jesus as the passover lamb which can be found in the article above.

If you want to describe sin as disease or illness, then that is one way Jesus fulfils this part of Isaiah 53:10, not that he became sin, but rather a sin offering and took the wrath of God on our behalf.

""... if his soul would acknowledge guilt …": How could a "sinless" Jesus 
acknowledge any guilt? According to the Christian interpretation, this phrase 
speaks of Jesus offering himself as a guilt offering, [שׁםָאָ (aSHAM) in the 
Hebrew text of the verse], one that is supposed to effect atonement for a 
limited class of intentional sins. Yet, the New Testament, pointing at the 
Paschal Lamb (Exodus 12), also refers to Jesus as "the Lamb of God, which 
taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). So, notwithstanding the fact that 
the Paschal Lamb did not serve to atone for any sins, how could Jesus be 
both at once? After all, each of these two sacrificial offerings had a different 

If I recall, isn't an asham a guilt offering? Not to mention the servant isn't guilty, he is rightous. Regarding the note about the Passover Lamb, that's typology again. Plus, Why would God bother crushing the servant if he was already rightous? He is obedient in the context.

The New Testament points to Jesus being the Passover Lamb that has been slain, and Jesus was slain at Passover. Even if though the Exodus story doesn't mention repentance, that isn't what Paul is conveying when he alludes to the Passover. In other words, Just as the blood was used to cover the doorpost and cause the angel of death to Passover the Israelites, so the blood of Christ which we are washed in, causes God's wrath to Passover us. Paul does mention putting away the old leaven (evil and sin), but his point, again, the blood on the door post and the blood of Jesus acting as a protective covering from God's wrath.
I have heard this argument from Michael Skobac and other people regarding this issue of the Passover Lamb and frankly, neither take typology into consideration. But the subject of typologies need a seperate article altogether.

"This phrase "… when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin …" cannot apply 
to Jesus even according to the Christian rendition. Did Jesus offer his soul 
(spirit), or did he offer his body (flesh)? If this was the purpose for God 
coming to earth in the flesh, why is it necessary to have here the conditional 
"when" (or, "if" in some Christian renditions)? Was there a chance that Jesus 
would not offer himself? As was already noted earlier, Jesus was not 
necessarily a willing party to this sacrifice (Matthew 26:39, 27:46; Mark 14:36, 15:34; Luke 22:42, 23:46; John 19:30; Hebrews 5:7). It appears that Jesus 
died against his will, so that he really offered nothing at all."

In those contexts of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, he is praying for The Father's will to be done. It is not him being unwilling. Jesus only fear was spiritual death, seperation from his Father for a time due to paying the penalty of sin. He was willing to go through with it since it was the Father's will and Hebrews 5:7 has nothing to do with the subject of Jesus being "unwilling" to go to the cross. It simply speaks of his life as a whole that God heard him because he was continually obedient to him. Also, His obedience 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."

Now onto the next point.

""… he shall have descendants [or, he shall see progeny] …": It was previously 
established that the use in the Hebrew Bible of idiomatic expressions such as 
“seeing seed” always refers to physical seed, whether it is plant, animal, or 
human seed. According to the New Testament and other Christian sources, 
Jesus never fathered any children, so it is evident that he did not enjoy the 
promise of this reward. "

Zerah doesn't necessarily mean physical seed in every context it is used. It can refer to metaphorical or spiritual seed. This can be found in Isaiah 57:3-4 and possibly Psalm 22:31, that's the first argument. You can make the argument obviously that one can be the offspring of a sorceress and offspring of adulterers, but does falsehood have a seed? Maybe a discussion page on the blog should be in order to discuss the word Zerah.

Here are the contexts of Isaiah 57:3 and Psalm 22:31
"Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perish,
    and no one takes it to heart;
the devout are taken away,
    and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
    to be spared from evil.
2 Those who walk uprightly
    enter into peace;
    they find rest as they lie in death.
3 “But you—come here, you children of a sorceress,
    you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes!
4 Who are you mocking?
    At whom do you sneer
    and stick out your tongue?
Are you not a brood of rebels,
    the offspring of liars?"
"Psalm 22:27 All the ends of the earth
    will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
    will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the Lord
    and he rules over the nations.
29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
    all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
    those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him;
    future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
    declaring to a people yet unborn:
    He has done it!"

Also, considering Isaiah called the people a brood of vipers, Does that mean that he literally called them actual snakes or descendants of snakes? No of course not.

Second, If Zerah refers to spiritual seed, another way Jesus fulfills this in a second argument. In 1 Corithians 15:45-49, we read the following:

"If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”[f]; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we[g] bear the image of the heavenly man."

Jesus is referred to as the second man or Last Adam and in that sense has spiritual descendants by virtue of the fact he is the father of a new humanity, a race redeemed by his blood. Also, If you want to say that Zera means physical, I may grant that, but feel free to check this article out while you are at it:

""… he shall prolong his days …" It was also previously established that the use 
in the Hebrew Bible of the idiomatic expression “[to] prolong days” refers 
exclusively to extending a person's mortal lifetime on earth. One of the 
psalms speaks of what such a mortal lifetime might be: 
Psalms 90:10 - The days of our years among them are seventy years, and if with 
might, eighty years; and their proudest success is but toil and pain, for it passes 
quickly and we fly away. 
It is 70-80 years! Yet, the New Testament contains the following account: 
Luke 3:23(KJV) - And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being 
(as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, 
Accordingly, Jesus started his ministry around the age of 30, and he was 
crucified some three years later, so that he was in his early thirties when he 
died, which hardly qualifies as having prolonged days, even according to 
Biblical standards. 

The Hebrew Bible teaches that the above two rewards – children and a long 
life, the two greatest rewards God gives to mankind here on earth – come at 
the same time: 
Isaiah 65:20-23 – (20) There shall no longer be from there a youth or an old man 
who will not fill his days, for the youth who is one hundred years old shall die, and 
the sinner who is one hundred years old shall be cursed. (21) And they shall build 
houses and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. (22) 
They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat, for 
like the days of the tree are the days of My people, and My elect shall outlive their 
handiwork. (23) They shall not toil in vain, neither shall they bear for terror, for they 
are seed blessed by the Lord, and their offspring shall be with them. [See also Job 
Clearly, Jesus enjoyed neither of these rewards during his lifetime. "

By his resurrection, Jesus had his days prolonged eternally when he had died and rose again. His days were prolonged by his resurrection. The servant himself dies in the passage and it is a consistent reading of the text, considering he had been crushed. That is something to take into account. The zerah or seed thing has more or less been covered.

""… and God's purpose shall prosper in his hand ...": According to accounts in the New 
Testament, Jesus was well aware of the purpose of his mission, both on 
earth and destiny in heaven: 
Matthew 16:21(KJV) - From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, 
how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and 
chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 
John 6:38(KJV) – For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the 
will of him that sent me. 

John 8:14(KJV) – Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of 
myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye 
cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.
Why would Jesus, who is God manifest in the flesh according to most 
Christians, need to be promised by God a reward for doing God's will, and 
that he will be successful? What was the purpose of his being sent to earth if 
not to be successful? Would not an omniscient God know in advance that his 
incarnate divine "son" will fulfill all that was supposed to be done? Why would 
a heaven-bound being have to be promised earthly rewards such as a long 
life and children? Perhaps this verse shows that God's servant could not 
possibly be divine. "

Or it simply indicates that Jesus is not the Father in heaven which in this context is rightly pointed out.  I am not sure what the point is of the objection about the omniscient God not knowing whether his son was going to successful. If Christ is successful, Hallelujah. Christ being divine would not be negated by Isaiah 53:10.

I'll look at Isaiah 53:11 in another article.

Answering Judaism.

* 18th of April 2015. I have no idea why I put "Satan wasn't crushed for our iniquities, but for his own" so I changed this particular point.

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