Jesus did not fulfill what the Messiah was supposed to do.

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polonius
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Jesus did not fulfill what the Messiah was supposed to do.

Post #1

Post by polonius »

NAB Acts Chapter 1:

“When they had gathered together they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going* to restore the kingdom to Israel?�7* He answered them,“It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority.�

Note: The Messiah was supposed to sit on the throne of David and return political control to Israel. (Obviously, Jesus didn’t)

New American Bible (Catholic) * [1:6] The question of the disciples implies that in believing Jesus to be the Christ (see note on Lk 2:11) they had expected him to be a political leader who would restore self-rule to Israel during his historical ministry.

When this had not taken place, they ask if it is to take place at this time, the period of the church.

This is one of the facts that separates the "Jesus of History" and the "Christ of Faith."

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Post #2

Post by rikuoamero »

To give more detail that OP either doesn't know or thought irrelevant for whatever reason, a pertinent "prophecy" that I have heard bandied about is Micah 5

taken from the NIV at Biblegateway
"Marshal your troops now, city of troops,
for a siege is laid against us.
They will strike Israel’s ruler
on the cheek with a rod.

2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.�

3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned
until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
to join the Israelites.

4 He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.

5 And he will be our peace
when the Assyrians invade our land
and march through our fortresses.
We will raise against them seven shepherds,
even eight commanders,
6 who will rule[c] the land of Assyria with the sword,
the land of Nimrod with drawn sword.[d]
He will deliver us from the Assyrians
when they invade our land
and march across our borders."

I have heard the claim that Jesus fulfilled Micah 5 by Christians of various stripes. When I press them on details, such as Jesus ruling over Israel, sending commanders and armies against either Assyria or Rome, I get the run around. I get claims like the text is a metaphor, or the words mean something other than what is on the darn page, or that mentions of Assyria can be taken to mean other enemies of Israel. I'm also told that Jesus is the King of Israel in a theological/spiritual sense, which obviously doesn't wash with me as a naturalist skeptic (you don't prove a prophecy to a person such as me by saying it was fulfilled in a way that I do not already accept as even being viable. Now you've made your job harder and have to prove that Jesus is king theologically/spiritually, but given you can't use empiricism...how do you do that?)
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Re: Jesus did not fulfill what the Messiah was supposed to d

Post #3

Post by bjs »

polonius wrote: NAB Acts Chapter 1:

“When they had gathered together they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going* to restore the kingdom to Israel?�7* He answered them,“It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority.�

Note: The Messiah was supposed to sit on the throne of David and return political control to Israel. (Obviously, Jesus didn’t)
That was a common belief in Jesus day. Jesus said that it was a wrong belief. He stated that “My kingdom if not of this world.�
polonius wrote: New American Bible (Catholic) * [1:6] The question of the disciples implies that in believing Jesus to be the Christ (see note on Lk 2:11) they had expected him to be a political leader who would restore self-rule to Israel during his historical ministry.

When this had not taken place, they ask if it is to take place at this time, the period of the church.
The point the NAB footnote was making is that the disciples expected Jesus to be a political leader, which means that they did not yet fully understand or accept what it actually meant that Jesus was the Messiah.
polonius wrote: This is one of the facts that separates the "Jesus of History" and the "Christ of Faith."
The idea of a “Jesus of History� and a “Christ of Faith� does not appear to play into it at all. Jesus did not meet certain interpretations of OT scriptures that some people have latched on, but those are interpretation the Jesus explicitly rejected.
Understand that you might believe. Believe that you might understand. –Augustine of Hippo

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Re: Jesus did not fulfill what the Messiah was supposed to d

Post #4

Post by JehovahsWitness »

[Replying to post 1 by polonius]

Jesus fulfilled what the messiah was supposed to do during his first mission on earth. He promised to return and fulfill the rest. Although initially many of his disciples believed that promised return was imminent, Jesus in fact indicated his return would be many millennia in the future. Christians believe Jesus will indeed one day return to fulfill the remaining Messianic promises, adherents to Judaism and atheists do not.

Which Messianic promises did Jesus fulfill?
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 204#851204


JEHOVAH'S WITNESS






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Re: Jesus did not fulfill what the Messiah was supposed to d

Post #5

Post by 1213 »

polonius wrote: The Messiah was supposed to sit on the throne of David and return political control to Israel.
Do you know what is the reason for that expectation?

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Re: Jesus did not fulfill what the Messiah was supposed to d

Post #6

Post by rikuoamero »

1213 wrote:
polonius wrote: The Messiah was supposed to sit on the throne of David and return political control to Israel.
Do you know what is the reason for that expectation?
Writings like Micah 5, as I indicated above, that plainly state a "ruler over Israel", "who will rule[c] the land of Assyria with the sword, the land of Nimrod with drawn sword.[d] He will deliver us from the Assyrians "
But of course, God and the Bible just can't be clear about anything, right? :tongue: Nothing from it can be taken plainly, it's always got to mean something other than what is plainly on the page... /sarcmarc
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Some force seems to restrict me from buying into the apparent nonsense that others find so easy to buy into. Having no religious or supernatural beliefs of my own, I just call that force reason. -- Tired of the Nonsense

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Re: Jesus did not fulfill what the Messiah was supposed to d

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Post by Mithrae »

polonius wrote:Jesus did not fulfill what the Messiah was supposed to do.
It puzzles me how frequently non-religious folk try to make this argument.

Yes, religious Jews of the 1st century had built up certain expectations around this concept of 'the Messiah'; but even amongst Jews it was then and even moreso has since become a somewhat nebulous concept. For example the Dead Sea Scrolls preserve an apparent belief of the Qumran sect in two Messiahs, a priestly messiah of Aaron and a kingly messiah of Israel, which perhaps developed from a merging of earlier separate beliefs that the Messiah would be a priest or a king distinctly:
  • And they shall not depart from any counsel of the law to walk in all the stubbornness of their heart, but they shall be governed by the first ordinances in which the members of the community began their instruction, until the coming of the prophet and the anointed ones [messiahs] of Aaron and Israel. [Manual of discipline 9.9b-11.]

    And when they gather for the community table, or to drink wine, and arrange the community table and mix the wine to drink, let no man stretch out his hand over the first-fruits of bread and wine before the Priest. For it is he who shall bless the first-fruits of bread and wine, and shall first stretch out his hand over the bread. And afterwards, the Messiah of Israel shall stretch out his hands over the bread. And afterwards, all the congregation of the community shall bless, each according to his rank. [1Q28a 2.11-21.]
Obviously therefore, "what the Messiah was supposed to do" is a highly interpretive religious notion. I can understand religious Jews of the 1st or subsequent centuries making this kind of argument. But from non-religious critics it seems rather bizarre, almost like throwing anything and everything at Christianity in the mere hopes that something sticks, regardless of how illogical the argument may be from their own worldview. (Edit: More likely of course, it's just a matter of not fully understanding the topic and buying into the misconception - sadly often perpetuated by Christians themselves - of a singular Jewish understanding of 'ha mashiach.')



Furthermore it's worth noting that from the perspective of non-religious folk reading and trying to minimize personal interpretative input into the Jewish scriptures, there are only two occasions in the Tanakh in which 'messiah' is used in reference to a specific, future individual.

One of those is in deutero-Isaiah, the unambiguous references to the Persian king Cyrus in chapters 44-45. That's about as far as we can go with minimal interpretation, but it's interesting that this first unlikely 'Messiah' held religious views (Zoroastrianism) which were also monotheistic but quite distinct from the Jews of the period and ultimately a significant influence on the development of Judaism itself; perhaps the next prophetic Messiah would do likewise? Secondly one could also note that reference to this first Messiah occurs in the section of Isaiah and in the midst of the 'servant songs'; sections which describe a 'servant' of God who would "not cry out or raise His voice" (42:2) who would stand as a "light of the nations" and ensure that "salvation may reach to the end of the earth" (49:6), and who "was wounded because of our transgressions" (53:5). Christians' interpretation of these passages as having messianic significance is not entirely unfounded even if we ignored their proximity to the Cyrus/messiah verses, because the opening of chapter 53 seems to explicitly mirror the most famous 'messianic' passage of chapter 11:
  • Isaiah 11:1 (Jewish translation) And there shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse, and a twig shall grow forth out of his roots. . . .
    v6 And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb....
    v10 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the root of Jesse, that standeth for an ensign of the peoples, unto him shall the nations seek; and his resting-place shall be glorious.

    Isaiah 53:1 'Who would have believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of HaShem been revealed?
    v2 For he shot up right forth as a sapling, and as a root out of a dry ground; he had no form nor comeliness, that we should look upon him, nor beauty that we should delight in him.
The second explicit reference to a particular future Messiah in the Tanakh seems to match the theme of Isaiah 53 and occurs in the ninth chapter of Daniel, which talks about a messiah (anointed one) being 'cut off,' followed by the destruction of the city and the sanctuary:
  • Daniel 9:24-26
    (Jewish translation) Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sin, and to forgive iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal vision and prophet, and to anoint the most holy place. Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem unto one anointed, a prince, shall be seven weeks; and for threescore and two weeks, it shall be built again, with broad place and moat, but in troublous times. And after the threescore and two weeks shall an anointed one be cut off, and be no more; and the people of a prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; but his end shall be with a flood; and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

    (1978 NIV translation) Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until an anointed one, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two 'sevens,' an anointed one will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
One could certainly argue over whether Jesus' era fulfilled all the predictions of Daniel 9: But so far as we can tell from clear references in the Tanakh to a specific future Messiah, the primary criterion of "what the Messiah was supposed to do" is that he should die.

As it turns out, the city and the sanctuary were actually destroyed by the people of a prince to come shortly after Jesus' death; the 1st century CE, like the 6th century BCE of that first messiah Cyrus, became a rather dramatic turning point in the evolution of Jewish religion; the message of Jesus has indeed reached the ends of the earth in a way which Isaiah or even Jesus' own followers could not have even imagined at the time. Whether or not one finds those co-incidences actually convincing as indications of genuine prophecy or providence is pretty much beside the point: It seems to me that the view of some messianic criteria radically different from these servant songs, mirroring of Cyrus and explicit reference in Daniel 9 depends a lot more on religious interpretation and thus would be even more an article of faith than the Christian view.
Last edited by Mithrae on Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Messiah to gain political control

Post #8

Post by polonius »

1213 wrote:
polonius wrote:

The Messiah was supposed to sit on the throne of David and return political control to Israel.


Do you know what is the reason for that expectation?
Yes, the Bible.

The saying 'the end of the days' makes its first appearance in the Bible in Jacob's blessing, in Gen. 49:1; "Then Jacob called for his sons and said: 'Gather around so that I can tell you what will happen to you at the end of the days.' " The blessing which Judah received speaks of the Messiah as the ruler of the nations. All the expository works of the Rabbis beginning with the Targumim and Midrashim see here a clear Messianic prophecy. The various shades of the Messianic expectation can be seen in their interpretations almost as if refracted through a prism. Verses 11 and 12 read:

"The sceptre will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs, and the obedience of the nations is his. He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes."


Genesis 49:10 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until tribute comes to him;[a]
and the obedience of the peoples is his.


Acts Chapter 1
The Ascension of Jesus
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?�
7 He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.

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Re: Messiah to gain political control

Post #9

Post by Mithrae »

polonius wrote: "The sceptre will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs, and the obedience of the nations is his. He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes."
When did the last traces of political authority depart from the tribe of Judah? A couple of brief interruptions aside (eg. ~50 years in the 6th century BCE), following the bar Kokhba revolt of ~133-135 CE there was no trace whatsoever of a Judaic state for over eighteen centuries.

When did people of all nations start obeying a messianic claimant?

If one supposes this to be a genuine prophecy, it's difficult to see how it could refer to anyone other than Jesus :? Meanwhile the argument that Jesus doesn't fit the bill requires a very specific interpretation of what "the obedience of the nations" entails; arguably even an inconsistent interpretation, since the verse implies from the 'departure of the scepter' that it is not political rulership in view there!

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Re: Jesus did not fulfill what the Messiah was supposed to d

Post #10

Post by dio9 »

polonius wrote: NAB Acts Chapter 1:

“When they had gathered together they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going* to restore the kingdom to Israel?�7* He answered them,“It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority.�

Note: The Messiah was supposed to sit on the throne of David and return political control to Israel. (Obviously, Jesus didn’t)

New American Bible (Catholic) * [1:6] The question of the disciples implies that in believing Jesus to be the Christ (see note on Lk 2:11) they had expected him to be a political leader who would restore self-rule to Israel during his historical ministry.

When this had not taken place, they ask if it is to take place at this time, the period of the church.

This is one of the facts that separates the "Jesus of History" and the "Christ of Faith."
In deed the Church did carry on and try in faith to build the kingdom of God on earth. But didn't happen. What Jesus said was God will build it through us when the time is right.

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