Sunday 12 January 2014

Cursing of Israelites: Is Jesus guilty of such?

While discussing the issue of whether John 8:44 was anti-semitic or not, which I contend is not but that's another topic which I have already covered here:, I was confronted with 3 verses from the Torah which I like to address in their context. Leviticus 19:14, 19:17 and 25:17. Let us read them.

"Leviticus 19:11 “‘Do not steal.

“‘Do not lie.

“‘Do not deceive one another.

12 “‘Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.

13 “‘Do not defraud or rob your neighbor.

“‘Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight.

14 “‘Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord.

15 “‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.

16 “‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people.

“‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord.

17 “‘Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt.

18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

19 “‘Keep my decrees.

“‘Do not mate different kinds of animals.

“‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed.

“‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material."

The two texts in question do not condemn Jesus, for one in John 8:44, he is speaking with the Pharisees first of all who in the context physically could see perfectly. If one wants to argue it condemns putting a stumbling block on the SPIRITUALLY blind, then no such assertion can be made, considering God can subject someone to spiritual blindness if they refuse to accept the truth. In light of Leviticus 19:14, Jesus doesn't violate that.

The second text, Jesus didn't hate his fellow Israelites in his heart, quite to the contrary he wanted to gather them under his wing just as a hen gathers her chicks (Matthew 23:37). Rebuking the unbelievers among the Jews for their wickedness and calling them sons of the devil is not hateful in the slightest, he is simply stating a fact about their condition. He rebuked many among his people on several occasions but bore NO hatred towards them and he bore no hatred even to his executers, both the Jewish Rulers and the Romans.

Next the final text:
"Leviticus 25:13 “‘In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to their own property.

14 “‘If you sell land to any of your own people or buy land from them, do not take advantage of each other. 15 You are to buy from your own people on the basis of the number of years since the Jubilee. And they are to sell to you on the basis of the number of years left for harvesting crops. 16 When the years are many, you are to increase the price, and when the years are few, you are to decrease the price, because what is really being sold to you is the number of crops. 17 Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the Lord your God."

I was told this text tells us not to wrong anyone in speech, but that is not the point of the text. It's point is to make sure that none of the Israelites manipulate their fellow man by extortion, namely when you sell land or buy from them, you are not to defraud your fellow man. While it may cover not wronging your neighbour in speech, it is not talking about calling someone out as reprobate if the person is reprobate. That is a misuse and misreading of the Bible to suggest such a thing.

I think we can clearly see that Jesus, in light of what the texts in contexts refer to, we can safely say he doesn't violate these texts.

Hope this article has been of some help to you.

Answering Judaism.

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