Who exactly are the "Modern Day Jews"?

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Who exactly are the "Modern Day Jews"?

Post #1

Post by Divine Insight »

I see Jews today proclaiming authority and basically "Cultural Ownership" of the Hebrew Scriptures dating clear back to the first 5 books of the Old Testament, what the Jews call the "Torah".

But who are these modern day Jews and what linage are they claiming?

The Christian Bible portrays a very precise picture of ancient Judaism during the Roman Occupation. It portrays the Pharisees as being in Charge of the Jewish Temples and being the Jewish "Chief Priest". They were clearly recognize by the Jewish culture well enough to be the ones who interact with the Roman Authorities.

But the "Modern Day Jews" want no part of being associated with those pharisees and Jewish Chief Priest who were in charge of the Jewish Temples.

So who do they lay claim as their ancient lineage of Judaism?

They certainly can't lay claim to being followers of Jesus. Moreover, Jesus himself was protesting against Orthodox Judaism. Not only that but the information we have concerning Jesus has Jesus supporting every jot and tittle of the Jewish Law which Modern Jews refuse to take literally.

So if they can't lay claim to having a lineage to Jesus, and they refuse to have lineage to the Pharisees, (a form of Orthodox Judaism that no Modern Day Jew would support) then who exactly do they claim as their lineage to these ancient times?

I don't see where they have a well-defined group to identify with even back to the days of Jesus much less beyond that to the days of the Torah.

So where is there any merit in their claim to have cultural lineage clear back to the Torah?

Who are these people?

They can only have been a more modern day uprising. And therefore they cannot lay claim to being able to speak to the issue of what "ancient Jews" might have actually believed.

They certainly have no business trying to lay claim to the Torah as "Their Scriptures" like as if they have some special connection to those ancient cultures.

The Modern Day Jews aren't anymore closely related to those ancient Jews than most other people. And certainly not in terms of how they believed. It's pretty clear from the actual writings in the ancient scriptures that the authors of those scriptures believed they spoke for some God. They either believed it, or fraudulently claimed it to be sure because that's what's actually written in those scriptures.

The Modern Jews apparently don't like what is literally written in the ancient scriptures and would prefer to imagine alternative "non-literal interpretations".

But where is there evidence for any lineage back to any actual ancient groups that felt that way?

Even Jesus demanded that every jot and tittle of the scriptures must stand until heaven and earth pass.

The Pharisees were also pretty obviously quite hard-nosed about demanding that laws be upheld. So much so that they called for the crucifixion of Jesus on charges of blaspheme or apostasy.

So who do the modern day Jews claim as their ancestral group?

And why wasn't that group even mentioned in Christian theology? :-k

Where are the records that document how this unknown group actually believed?

I personally don't see where the modern day Jews even have a claim to any direct linage to their own past in terms of this specific religions paradigm.

If they can't claim the Pharisees, and they can't claim Jesus, then who's left to claim? Some lesser-known obscure group?

If that's the case, then where is there any merit in claiming a strong lineage clear back to the days of the Torah. Obviously if modern day Jews were nothing more than a lesser-known off-shoot of the Orthodox Judaism of the Pharisees then they can't lay claim to being strong enough to reach clear back to the Torah in terms of scriptural "authority".

Question for Debate:

Who exactly do the Modern Day Jews claim to be decedents of in terms of claiming the rights to "Religious Scriptural Authority".


My position is that they have no credible claim that can be dated back to the Torah. In fact, I can't see where they have any credible claims dating back even to the time of Jesus.
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Post #31

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cnorman19 wrote: This is what happens when you try to learn about Judaism by studying the New Testament…
Divine Insight wrote: I see Jews today proclaiming authority and basically "Cultural Ownership" of the Hebrew Scriptures dating clear back to the first 5 books of the Old Testament, what the Jews call the "Torah".
As noted in an earlier post:
cnorman19 wrote: Here's yet another news flash, known to all Jews, but not, it appears, to you: We’ve never claimed that we do. In Jewish teaching, the fact that the Torah was given at Mount Sinai, outside of the land of Israel, was intended as a reminder that the Torah was the property of ALL humans, and not that of the Jews only.
We do, of course, lay claim to the manner in which we read and understand it, as ALL groups who use the Bible do.
But who are these modern day Jews and what linage are they claiming?
Jews are not a “race,� and they are no more a “family� than a “race,� for the simple reason that Jews have welcomed converts to the Jewish faith from the very beginning. The VERY beginning; The servants of Abraham himself are generally considered the first “converts� — he circumcised them, the oldest sign of the oldest Covenant — and there have been many since. The most famous convert in the Bible is Ruth the Moabite, who was an ancestor of King David. The obvious result would be that most Jews would have ancestory from the ancient Middle East, with some admixture of European, African and West Asian genes from the various groups among whom they lived and accepted converts.

And this has been proven in DNA studies. From Wikipedia:
In August 2012, Dr. Harry Ostrer in his book Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People, summarized his and other work in genetics of the last 20 years, and concluded that all major Jewish groups share a common Middle Eastern origin….Y DNA studies examine various paternal lineages of modern Jewish populations. Such studies tend to imply a small number of founders in an old population whose members parted and followed different migration paths.[2] In most Jewish populations, these male line ancestors appear to have been mainly Middle Eastern. For example, Ashkenazi Jews share more common paternal lineages with other Jewish and Middle Eastern groups than with non-Jewish populations in areas where Jews lived in Eastern Europe, Germany and the French Rhine Valley. This is consistent with Jewish traditions in placing most Jewish paternal origins in the region of the Middle East.
There is also research which confirms that the Cohanim, that is, Jews who claim to be descended from Aaron, the brother of Moses, and who historically have been identified as the Priestly line (though the Jewish religion has not had actual priests since the fall of the Temple, the lineage is still recognized and carries certain ceremonial and traditional responsibilities) — actually ARE so descended:
[This research] confirms that the current Cohen descended from a small number of paternal ancestors. In the summary of their findings the authors concluded that " Our estimates of the coalescence time also lend support to the hypothesis that the extended CMH represents a unique founding lineage of the ancient Hebrews that has been paternally inherited along with the Jewish priesthood.�
From that same site:

“…the shared genetic elements suggest that members of any Jewish community are related to one another as closely as are fourth or fifth cousins in a large population, which is about 10 times higher than the relationship between two people chosen at random off the streets of New York City.�
In other words, the Jews are descended from the people they say they are descended from; Ancient Middle Eastern Arabs and Palestinians, with some admixture of other bloodlines from conversion among the people among whom we have lived over the centuries — exactly as would be expected, and exactly as Jewish tradition maintains.
The Christian Bible portrays a very precise picture of ancient Judaism during the Roman Occupation. It portrays the Pharisees as being in Charge of the Jewish Temples and being the Jewish "Chief Priest". They were clearly recognize by the Jewish culture well enough to be the ones who interact with the Roman Authorities.
Once again, you are not only wrong, but WILDLY wrong. From The Jewish Virtual Library (emphasis added):
Of the various factions that emerged under Hasmonean rule, three are of particular interest: the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes.

The Pharisees

The most important of the three were the Pharisees because they are the spiritual fathers of modern Judaism.Their main distinguishing characteristic was a belief in an Oral Law that God gave to Moses at Sinai along with the Torah. The Torah, or Written Law, was akin to the U.S. Constitution in the sense that it set down a series of laws that were open to interpretation. The Pharisees believed that God also gave Moses the knowledge of what these laws meant and how they should be applied. This oral tradition was codified and written down roughly three centuries later in what is known as the Talmud.

The Pharisees also maintained that an after-life existed and that God punished the wicked and rewarded the righteous in the world to come. They also believed in a messiah who would herald an era of world peace.

Pharisees were in a sense blue-collar Jews who adhered to the tenets developed after the destruction of the Temple; that is, such things as individual prayer and assembly in synagogues.

The Sadducees

The Sadducees were elitists who wanted to maintain the priestly caste, but they were also liberal in their willingness to incorporate Hellenism into their lives, something the Pharisees opposed. The Sadducees rejected the idea of the Oral Law and insisted on a literal interpretation of the Written Law; consequently, they did not believe in an after life, since it is not mentioned in the Torah. The main focus of Sadducee life was rituals associated with the Temple.

The Sadducees disappeared around 70 A.D., after the destruction of the Second Temple. None of the writings of the Sadducees has survived, so the little we know about them comes from their Pharisaic opponents.
The Sadducees were in charge of the Temple, not the Pharisees. They were, by the common people, considered traitors in that they were collaborators with Roman occupiers — or, as you put it, “the ones who interact with the Roman authorities.�
But the "Modern Day Jews" want no part of being associated with those pharisees and Jewish Chief Priest who were in charge of the Jewish Temples.
Nonsense, and for two reasons. First, it’s right there in black and white, known to every Jew: the Pharisees were the spiritual and intellectual ancestors of modern Judaism, which is sometimes called “Pharisaic Judaism� even today ; and the Chief Priests were Sadducees, not Pharisees. The New Testament has garbled these facts of Jewish history to the point where it does not even note that Jesus was a Pharisee himself, opposed to the Sadducees and their corrupt Temple group. Remember his throwing the moneychangers out of the Temple?

The Pharisees believed in studying in their local villages, in buildings called synagogues, and to a large degree, they ignored the Temple rites and rituals. Jesus spoke in synagogues. He was a Pharisee himself — but the NT doesn’t seem to know that.

This has been discussed on this forum before: see here.

One must remember that the NT — ALL of it — was written under the influence of Paul of Tarsus. His letters are the oldest documents in the NT, predating the Gospels, all of which were written by Paul’s followers.

Paul may not even have been Jewish — but even if he was, he was drastically out of touch with the Judaism of his time. I’ve written on that elsewhere, but for the moment, one example will do: To Paul, the Law — the Torah — was a burden, something that brings death and not life, something under which humans suffer and face condemnation. In the context of the Jewish religion of his or any other time, that’s ludicrous. Pick a Psalm; the Law is “a guide to our path and a lamp to our feet,� God’s most precious gift, which Jews treasured above all others.

Paul was culturally more Greek than Jewish, which of course is why Christianity has more to do with Greek religion than Jewish. The GREEK gods has literal sons and daughters, remember? Zeus and Hercules, and however many more (Zeus was a randy old goat, in the myths)? Paul spoke to Greek audiences, since the Jews rejected his teachings, and therefore most Christians, even in the first century, were Greeks and Romans, and not Jews.

This is what happens when you read the New Testament to find out about Judaism (and it’s not like I’ve never told you that before). That would be roughly like reading the writings of the Ku Klux Klan to find out about the Civil Rights movement. By the time the NT was written, the Jews were the enemy — Matthew 27:25 is the most notorious example, but there are many others.
So who do they lay claim as their ancient lineage of Judaism?
The Jews of the ancient Near East, as has been proven by DNA research (see above).
They certainly can't lay claim to being followers of Jesus.
Of course not. Glad you got THAT right, at least. But that makes one wonder — why on Earth would you look to followers of Jesus to learn about Jews?
Moreover, Jesus himself was protesting against Orthodox Judaism.
No. He was protesting against the Sadducees and their corruption and collaboration with the Romans.
Not only that but the information we have concerning Jesus has Jesus supporting every jot and tittle of the Jewish Law which Modern Jews refuse to take literally.
And as I’ve pointed out in another post, that’s nonsense too. Jesus himself did not read the Torah literally, and did not preach a literal obedience to its commands — as proven in that same chapter, Matthew 5, where the “jot and tittle� remark is found.

Do you even know what that means? The “jot and tittle,� in Greek, refer to small diacritical markings in Hebrew that denote vowels, since Hebrew has none. Jesus was saying that the written Torah will always remain the same; he was NOT saying that it must all be followed mechanically and literally, as shown by his remarks immediately after that one.
So if they can't lay claim to having a lineage to Jesus, and they refuse to have lineage to the Pharisees, (a form of Orthodox Judaism that no Modern Day Jew would support)…
Nonsense, as already proven.
…then who exactly do they claim as their lineage to these ancient times?

I don't see where they have a well-defined group to identify with even back to the days of Jesus much less beyond that to the days of the Torah.

So where is there any merit in their claim to have cultural lineage clear back to the Torah?

Who are these people?
If you discount and dismiss the traditions and even the written records of the Jewish people themselves — and there are very many, virtually all of them still extant — you might end up anywhere, depending on your own prejudices, assumptions, and agenda. That has apparently been the case with your own “analysis� here. It’s so wrong it’s laughable — and quite literally, too; my initial reaction on reading this post was a hearty belly laugh. The Pharisees were in charge of the Temple? Really? That’s like saying that Martin Luther King was head of the FBI.
They can only have been a more modern day uprising. And therefore they cannot lay claim to being able to speak to the issue of what "ancient Jews" might have actually believed.
Again, obvious nonsense — based on nothing at all but your own misinformation, ignorance of Jewish history and documents, and your own apparent desire to discredit and demean the Jewish religion.
They certainly have no business trying to lay claim to the Torah as "Their Scriptures" like as if they have some special connection to those ancient cultures.
Except that our people wrote them, which no one disputes; that our people have revered and studied them for centuries, leaving hundreds of volumes of detailed commentary and discussion, which no other culture has; and that all that study and commentary continues and is constantly added to, to this day.
The Modern Day Jews aren't anymore closely related to those ancient Jews than most other people. And certainly not in terms of how they believed. It's pretty clear from the actual writings in the ancient scriptures that the authors of those scriptures believed they spoke for some God. They either believed it, or fraudulently claimed it to be sure because that's what's actually written in those scriptures.
As has been established elsewhere, the concept of a traditional and binding interpretation of the Torah was there from the very beginning, and is in fact required and supported by the Torah documents themselves. The idea that the Torah came, indirectly to be sure, from God is NOT in conflict with the idea that those documents and commands must be understood and applied, not only in their own time, but for all times to come. Claiming “fraud� is more than a little extreme, and certainly isn’t justified by your willfully ignorant “analysis� and prejudices.
The Modern Jews apparently don't like what is literally written in the ancient scriptures and would prefer to imagine alternative "non-literal interpretations".
A straight-up falsehood, proven to be a pejorative distortion earlier.
But where is there evidence for any lineage back to any actual ancient groups that felt that way?
The Talmud. The Responsa. The commentaries of Nachmanides, Rashi, Maimonides, and many others. It’s all there, dating back to the first century CE and earlier — and if you count the rest of the Hebrew Bible, which constantly refers back to the Torah, there is your “evidence� dating back to before the Babylonian Exile and the destruction of the FIRST Temple.

All of which is apparently very easy to dismiss and ignore, especially when you have no idea that it even exists.
Even Jesus demanded that every jot and tittle of the scriptures must stand until heaven and earth pass.
See above.
The Pharisees were also pretty obviously quite hard-nosed about demanding that laws be upheld. So much so that they called for the crucifixion of Jesus on charges of blaspheme or apostasy.
No, that would be the Sadducees — the chief priests and “scribes� of the Temple. That’s about as basic as it gets, in CHRISTIAN history. Truly astonishing that you could be THAT wrong.
So who do the modern day Jews claim as their ancestral group?

And why wasn't that group even mentioned in Christian theology? :-k

Where are the records that document how this unknown group actually believed?
See above, for all of it.

Honestly, DI, the more you pontificate and fulminate about the history of Judaism and the Jews, the more ignorant you prove yourself to be, and the more ridiculous you look. Maybe you should stop trying to peddle this nonsense. There are people here who know better, and there are many more than one.
I personally don't see where the modern day Jews even have a claim to any direct linage to their own past in terms of this specific religions paradigm.

If they can't claim the Pharisees, and they can't claim Jesus, then who's left to claim? Some lesser-known obscure group?

If that's the case, then where is there any merit in claiming a strong lineage clear back to the days of the Torah. Obviously if modern day Jews were nothing more than a lesser-known off-shoot of the Orthodox Judaism of the Pharisees then they can't lay claim to being strong enough to reach clear back to the Torah in terms of scriptural "authority".

Question for Debate:

Who exactly do the Modern Day Jews claim to be decedents of in terms of claiming the rights to "Religious Scriptural Authority".


My position is that they have no credible claim that can be dated back to the Torah. In fact, I can't see where they have any credible claims dating back even to the time of Jesus.
See above. MY position is that this is all pure fantasy, based on nothing at all — more or less as usual. Except that that is more than a mere "position" -- it's a provable, and now proven, FACT.

You're just digging that hole deeper and deeper, and this is the deepest hole yet. You're not going to be able to ignore this ridiculous post and pretend you've never said any of this, as you have so many others here.

Maybe it's time to stop. Ya think?
From a historical point of view, one reason the political structure of the Sadducee's happened is that when Herod , who was a convert, installed his own high priest in the temple, then had 46 (more than half) of the Sanhedrin murdered to install his own court.
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Post #32

Post by Goat »

Divine Insight wrote:
cnorman19 wrote: The Sadducees were in charge of the Temple, not the Pharisees. They were, by the common people, considered traitors in that they were collaborators with Roman occupiers — or, as you put it, “the ones who interact with the Roman authorities.�
By the way, this is a pretty profound claim.

If what you say here is right then it was the Sadducee Chief Priests who demanded the crucifixion of Jesus, and not the Pharisees, because the Christian New Testament clearly states that it was the "Chief Priests" who called for this from Pilate.

Unless you are attempting to claim that Christianity could be THAT WRONG.

But it seems to me that if Christianity was that wrong the Jews would have never even allowed it to gain any foothold at all.

In other words, you would need to be claiming here that the Christian New Testament is nothing but absolute provable outright lies.

And if the Jews had a case for that back in a day I think they would have been more effective in renouncing the entire Christian Gospels, not to merely reject that Jesus was the messiah, but they would have been able to argue that the rumors don't even make sense in terms of who was in charge of the temple and what they called for.

Clearly there are some major problems here.

I don't think you can just sweep the Pharisees under the carpet that easily.

It was the Pharisees that Jesus was arguing with, not the Sadducee. So why would the Sadducee call for the crucifixion of Jesus?

It seems to me that you are demanding that Christianity has things so absolutely wrong that they have turned all of history on its head. And the Sadducee (whom you claim were in charge of the temples and were the respected religious authority of the time) just sat back and allowed that to happen?

That's highly unlikely Charles.

You are assuming that the New Testament is correct. There are issues with the way that the trial is written that indicate that whoever wrote it did not know the laws and procedures of the Sanhedrin. That indicates to me that the story is more fictional than real.
“What do you think science is? There is nothing magical about science. It is simply a systematic way for carefully and thoroughly observing nature and using consistent logic to evaluate results. So which part of that exactly do you disagree with? Do you disagree with being thorough? Using careful observation? Being systematic? Or using consistent logic?�

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Post #33

Post by cnorman19 »

Divine Insight wrote:
cnorman19 wrote:
Where have I ever claimed that any religious or philosophical organization holds superior knowledge of anything over anyone else?
When have I made such a claim? I've only said that those who have STUDIED Biblical criticism and scholarship understand it better than those who HAVEN'T -- but you will, no doubt, continue to try to stuff that fake claim into my mouth.
What does it require to be recognized for having STUDIED biblical criticism?

I've certainly debated these topics for decades. I think a lifetime of experience having STUDIED them should count for something.

Moreover, if the only criteria that you allow for having STUDIED these things is that a person has actually attended a school of "Bible Study" then I reject that criteria. This is what the Christians do as well. The problem with this is that what they want to TEACH you is what they believe to be true. And they consider that you haven't STUDIED it unless you pass their exams on what they claim their theology to be all about.

That's hardly "Bible Study". That more like being indoctrinated into a very specific group who TEACHES you to believe what they would like for you to believe.

I personally actually give my totally independent and open-minded personal study more credence simply because I didn't have a specific agenda in mind like schools of theology do.

So as far as I'm concerned I'm very well STUDIED in the Bible and in Biblical criticisms. Just because I don't have a degree from some university attesting to the fact that I was indoctrinated to believe like they do doesn't mean that I haven't STUDIED the Bible and its criticisms.

To even require that is a form of "Special Pleading".

This kind of thinking would actually devalue the opinions of almost all scientific atheists because they don't have time to waste going to theology universities to be indoctrinated in how those universities choose to think.
Who ever said ANYTHING about attending a UNIVERSITY or SCHOOL or CLASS?

What have you READ?

As I remarked in response to your post on the thread in "Non-Christian Religions and Philosophies," at one time I asked you if you had ever read a single book on Judaism written by a Jew. You never answered.

If all you've ever read is the Bible, and your "study" consists of that only and your "debating" online, then no, you haven't "studied" any religion at all, and your "totally independent and open-minded study" is nothing more than a collection of your own personal, subjective opinions.

Which you're entitled to, of course. But let's not pretend that those are INFORMED or EDUCATED opinions, based on anything like actual SCHOLARSHIP or RESEARCH or ACADEMIC PEER REVIEW.

You don't have to sign up for a college course to read a book, dude. And as far as I can see, you've never bothered to do that. If you now claim that you have, I'll be asking why you never mentioned it before after repeated and emphatic inquiries.
cnorman19 wrote:
And finally where were these Sadducees and Essenes?

Why weren't they recognized as being "Chief Priests" and being in charge of Temples back in the days of Jesus? Why is there no mention of them during these historically important time period?
Answer: Matthew 22:23; Mark 12:18-27; Mark 14:53; Luke 20:27; John 11:48-50; John 15:1; Acts 4:1; Acts 5:17; Acts 12:1-2; Acts 23:8. Flavius Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews and his Jewish War.
Matthew 22:23 doesn't say anything at all about the Sadducees being "Chief Priests" or in charge of any Temples. All it says is that a Sadducee asked Jesus a question about his belief in resurrections.

I don't see anything in Mark 14:53 or anywhere near it that says that the "High Priests" were Sadducees. It simply says that Jesus was taken before the "High Priests" and the "Chief Priests". It doesn't say they were Sadducees.

Luke 20:27 is the same as Matthew 22:23. It's just an account of a Sadducee questioning Jesus on the contradiction of who's wife some woman will be if there is a resurrection. It doesn't say that this Sadducee was a "Chief Priest".

John 11:48-50 Mentions Pharisees when speaking of the Chief Priests. No mention of the Sadducees there at all.

I don't see any mention of Chief Priests or Sadducees in John 15:1

Act 4:1 "And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them"

This doesn't say that the Sadducees were the Priest or the Captain of the Temple, in fact it actually adds the Sadducees on as an additional group. If the Priest and the Captain of the Temple were already Sadducees why add the extra mention of more Sadducees?

Acts12: - I don't see anything in Acts 12 that even mentions the Sadducees.
Sorry, my error. That reference was to a footnote.
Acts 23:
[6] But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
[7] And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.

Acts 23 has the council being made up of both Sadducees and Pharisees. And apparently when this very topic came up it set the Pharisees and Sadducees at odds with each other. Still no mention of who the official "Chief Priests" were.
Um -- your question was "Where were these Sadducees... Why is there no mention of them during these historically important time period?"

They were mentioned, even in the New Testament, as I proved. And these were not the only references I gave: The first-century Roman writer, Flavius Josephus, speaks of the Sadducees in two books and makes it clear that they were essentially in control of the Temple, and that Ananus, the High Priest, was a Sadducee.

Based on all of this I don't think it's even clear who was in charge of the Jewish Temples at that time. Apparently it was a mixture of a very divisive council of Priests.
Based on the sources that you CHOSE to consult, and not those you CHOSE to ignore...
All I know is that the New Testament makes it perfectly clear that whoever the Chief Priests were at the time, they are the ones who called for the crucifixion of Jesus.
The Chief Priest at the time of Jesus's trial and execution was Joseph Caiaphas, known more often as simply "Caiaphas." He was the son of Ananus, who is identified by name as a Sadducee in Josephus. Sadducees were generally members of the wealthy elite families among the Jerusalem priesthood.

Q.E.D.
And Jesus is rumored to have publicly bashed the Pharisees calling them hypocrites and proclaiming that they will receive the "Greater Damnation". So it makes sense that it would be the Pharisees who had a bone to pick with Jesus. There's no mention of Jesus bashing the Sadducees.
From Wikipedia -- NOT a tough reference to find:
"The New Testament, specifically the books of Mark and Matthew, describe anecdotes that hint at hostility between the Jesus movement and the Sadduceean establishment. These disputes manifest themselves on both theological and social levels. Mark describes how the Sadducees challenged Jesus’ belief in the Resurrection of the Dead. Jesus subsequently defends his belief in resurrection against Sadduceean resistance, stating, “and as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.� Jesus challenges the reliability of the Sadducees’ interpretation of Biblical doctrine, the authority of which enforces the power of the Sadduceean priesthood. The Sadducees address the issue of resurrection through the lens of marriage, which “hinted at their real agenda: the protection of property rights through patriarchal marriage that perpetuated the male lineage." Furthermore, Matthew records John the Baptist calling the Sadducees a “brood of Vipers.� The New Testament thus constructs the identity of Christianity in opposition to the Sadducees."

It's no small wonder that Jesus spend most of his time disputing with the Pharisees; that was the group he was most closely associated with himself. He didn't have much regard for, or much contact with, the wealthy and powerful Sadducees or the Temple leadership and Sanhedrin which they dominated.

There it is; if all you read is the New Testament, all you have is the Pauline Christian side of these events, which are distorted by the lens of Paul's ideas -- and Paul was not even a member of the first "church," in Jerusalem, which was led by Jesus's brother James.
cnorman19 wrote: I've just admitted being wrong, right here in this post; the Sadducees DID read the Bible literally, though we have no idea how they did it. I was wrong in saying that no one ever had.

Your turn. Will you admit that you were wrong about ANY of these things -- even those where you were PROVEN wrong?
I'm not sure exactly what you think I was wrong about. I know that I had said that you must be pointing to the Sadducees as the most likely ancestors of Modern Jews. I'll confess that I was wrong about that. I would never dream that you would rather be associated with the Pharisees after the way Jesus had bashed them and called them immoral hypocrites.

And I didn't see any other options available to you.

So I guessed wrong on that one.
At least you admit that you guessed.

Why on Earth would I care about anything that Jesus said? I'm aware -- as you were not -- that Jesus himself was more closely allied to the Pharisees than to anyone else, and that everything he taught (save the stuff about his being the Son of God and Savior, and, oddly, his teaching on divorce) was normative Pharisaic Judaism of the time, which of course later developed into modern (i.e. post-Roman) rabbinic Judaism.
So you must be suggesting that the Modern Day Jews are actually descendents/followers of the Pharisees then?
I think I've made that quite clear. You STILL haven't bothered to go to the link ON THIS FORUM on that subject, have you?
And it still brings into question about what happened to the descendents of the Sadducees then. Did they become "extinct". Are there no modern day Jews who have lineage back to the Sadducees?
Since you ask; Some believe that the Karaite sect of Judaism might be descended from the Sadducees, but there is no real evidence for that. They are a tiny group, and most ordinary Jews are not even aware that they exist. There is one (1) Karaite synagogue in the United States; most live in Israel.

I must confess that I was also wrong about there being no Jews who agree with you about reading the Torah literally -- except that you DON'T read the Torah literally and take it seriously, as they do, do you? You dismiss it as worthless fairy tales.....
You can't believe that there were actually Jews who took the Bible literally?
Where did I ever say that?
I have no problem believing that at all. The original authors of the Old Testament most certainly WROTE like as if they expected you to believe what they were saying verbatim, every jot and tittle (as Matthew claims that Jesus said).
And, as usual, you ignore previous posts and references on that subject as if they didn't exist, even the lengthy OP on another thread in which you participated. The form and nature of the Torah itself prohibit a strictly literal reading; there are too many commands and laws that are NOT EXPLAINED in the Torah, and which require ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, which is provided -- and has been, since Sinai, according to the tradition -- by the Oral Torah, which is specifically and precisely a traditional INTERPRETATION of the literal words of the Torah. Not a total rejection and revision of it, as you like to pretend; but an EXPLANATION of it, which is absolutely necessary to anyone who wishes to actually LIVE under its rules.

Funny how many times I can explain that, and you still behave as if you've never heard it before...
Although I will give you the very high possibility that Jesus never said what Matthew claims he said. ;)

If Jesus was a Pharisee he would have never proclaimed that every jot and tittle of the law must be upheld.

That much I will agree on. ;)
The meaning of that phrase is not necessarily "we must read the Torah literally and verbatim," as you seem to think. Once again, go back to that OP on reading the Torah literally, and you'll see a different slant on that clearly metaphoric phrase.

I note now how much of my previous post you have, AS PREDICTED, ignored and refused to acknowledge. All the points on which your posts have been proven wrong, or perhaps merely ridiculous....
Divine Insight wrote:And if the Christian New Testament is that obviously false historically, then how in the world did it ever gain any respect or foothold? Even to the point where many Jews themselves have converted to Christianity.

Answer: That is, of course, a falsehood. Can you show me a number? Not likely; "Messianic" synagogues NEVER publish the numbers of actual former Jews who have become Christians. On the other hand, my small synagogue contains at least 20 members who are converts, including two entire families who converted all at once; former Christians who become Jews may very well outnumber Jews who become Christians.

Jews becoming Christians wasn't even happening in the first century.
...despite the evidence of Acts to the contrary, the Christian movement made very
little impression upon the Jewish people. Its Jewish membership probably never
exceeded 1,000 at any point in the first century, and by the 50s the Jewish
members were quite likely exceeded in number by their Gentile counterparts.
Let's see now -- what else have you been conclusively proven wrong about? Oh, yes, there's this howler:
Divine Insight wrote: Moreover, based on this information the Sadducee themselves were NOT in charge of the Jewish Temples at the time of Jesus. They didn't gain domination over the the Temple and its Priesthood until 70 AD according to Britannica. That would have been well after the days of Jesus.
That was, of course, a straight-up misreading of the passage from the Britannica that I linked to and quoted from: "During the long period of the two parties’ struggle—which lasted until the Romans’ destruction of Jerusalem in 70 ad—the Sadducees dominated the Temple and its priesthood."

Unless you think "until" means "beginning with," of course.

Anything else?

Well, there's your continuing to claim knowledge about Judaism based on the New Testament, which is profoundly silly.

There's your claim that all the "Abrahamic religions" -- Judaism, Christianity and Islam -- are nothing more than differing interpretations of the same documents.

There's your claim that Jews "literally don't believe in their own Bible."

Your often-repeated, and admitted, false dichotomy of either reading the Bible literally or discarding it as worthless.

Your often-repeated claim that interpretation of the Bible is the same thing as totally rejecting it....

And you have no comment on any of the above, of course.

Additional note: You have probably received a PM from Zzyzx by now.

I'll end this here if you will. I'm VERY tired of these exchanges -- it's no fun at all to "debate" someone who routinely refuses to acknowledge or respond to arguments and who asked the same questions over and over when they've been answered multiple times. But if you want to call a halt, I'll go no farther.
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"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry; but why on Earth should that mean that it is not real?" -- Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; J. K. Rowling

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Post #34

Post by cnorman19 »

[Replying to post 30 by Divine Insight]

A good-faith offer of truce:

You have probably received the same PM from Zzyzx that I have.

I'll end this here if you will, and give you the last word.

I'm VERY tired of these exchanges -- it's no fun at all to "debate" when "debate" isn't really taking place, for all the reasons I've stated earlier.

I'll stand by every word I've said on all these threads, but I'll agree to go no farther in these disputes if you'll agree to do the same.

Leave it here, and let us have, as we have been advised, peace; and just agree to leave each other alone and "agree to disagree" on these matters.

I'm OK with that if you are.

Charles
"The Torah is true, and some of it may even have happened." -- Rabbi William Gershon

"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry; but why on Earth should that mean that it is not real?" -- Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; J. K. Rowling

"It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God -- but to create him." -- Arthur C. Clarke

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Post #35

Post by Divine Insight »

cnorman19 wrote: [Replying to post 30 by Divine Insight]

A good-faith offer of truce:

You have probably received the same PM from Zzyzx that I have.

I'll end this here if you will, and give you the last word.

I'm VERY tired of these exchanges -- it's no fun at all to "debate" when "debate" isn't really taking place, for all the reasons I've stated earlier.

I'll stand by every word I've said on all these threads, but I'll agree to go no farther in these disputes if you'll agree to do the same.

Leave it here, and let us have, as we have been advised, peace; and just agree to leave each other alone and "agree to disagree" on these matters.

I'm OK with that if you are.

Charles
I agree. There is no honest debate here. All I see is emotional defense and that isn't going to lead to anything productive.

Like you, I also stand by all the points I've made in this thread, and I offer to discuss them further with anyone who is willing to discuss them without becoming personally defensive about it.

I think the topic of what the historical Jews actually believed around the time of the stories of Jesus (whether Jesus existed or not) is a valid topic that should be discussed in detail to expose the historical facts.

I do want to thank you for the link to Pharisees, Sadducees & Essenes in the "Jewish Virtual Library". I can use that to support my arguments on these topics in future debates with other people. ;)
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Post #36

Post by cnorman19 »

Very well; Pax it is.

May I be assured, then, that I may post information about the Jewish religion in the future without your ringing in to dispute and negate literally everything I say and denigrating the Jewish religion as meaningless nonsense that we Jews ourselves do not understand or really believe in?
"The Torah is true, and some of it may even have happened." -- Rabbi William Gershon

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Post #37

Post by Divine Insight »

cnorman19 wrote: Very well; Pax it is.

May I be assured, then, that I may post information about the Jewish religion in the future without your ringing in to dispute and negate literally everything I say and denigrating the Jewish religion as meaningless nonsense that we Jews ourselves do not understand or really believe in?
Why should I be excluded from debates about Judaism just because you have a personal problem with me? :-k

If you want to do it that way, then how about if I start my own threads about Judaism and you keep out of those?

After all, I started this thread and didn't specifically ask you to even post to it.

As far as I'm concerned the topic of this thread is a very important topic. Who can the modern day Jews actually point to as their cultural and religious heritage or ancestors that supposedly had the same views as modern day Jews?

As far as I can see we have already established in this thread that the Jews living around the time of the Jesus stories were in grave disagreement with each other. Specifically on the issue of whether or not their Bible should be taken literally.

I'll tell you what I think right out frankly. I think you are trying to silence me on this topic precisely because you can't address the issues that I bring up.

I also feel that the "jot and tittle" thing in Matthew is important to this question regardless of whether anyone believes in Christianity. Scholars can see that whoever wrote Matthew (whoever he was) was trying to convince Jews on Christianity. So it's a valid question to ask why anyone who is trying to convince Jews would be claiming that every jot and tittle of the written law must be upheld if the Jews themselves were not concerned with literalism.

You just sweep this under the carpet by saying that you aren't interested in Christianity or what the New Testament has to say. That's not an acceptable debate response IMHO.

So yeah, I would be perfectly happy to cease conversing with you. And since I'm the one who started this thread, then by your own proposal, you are the one who should refrain from posting to this thread any further. ;)

I'm certainly not going to be silenced concerning addressing Judaism in general. I have as much right to explore, debate, and criticize Judaism just as much as any other religion.

So yeah, I'll be glad to start my own threads on the problems of Judaism. I'll stay out of yours and you can stay out of mine. That would be just fine by me. :D
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Post #38

Post by otseng »

Divine Insight wrote: Why should I be excluded from debates about Judaism just because you have a personal problem with me? :-k
:warning: Moderator Warning


cnorman19 here offered a truce on good faith and yet you come back with a personal accusation?

I'm also closing the thread.

Please review our Rules.

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Moderator warnings count as a strike against users. Additional violations in the future may warrant a final warning. Any challenges or replies to moderator postings should be made via Private Message to avoid derailing topics.

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