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Archived => Incarnation => Topic started by: Dylan O'Connor on April 08, 2009, 11:13:12 pm

Title: Christ's Genealogy
Post by: Dylan O'Connor on April 08, 2009, 11:13:12 pm
I have an apologetics question regarding a Jewish claim made against the Messiahship of Jesus. They claim that under the Biblical law of Christ’s day and under modern Jewish law, tribal affiliation is conferred through the birth father only (for which they cite Numbers 34:14, Numbers 1:18-44, Leviticus 24:10 as “proof”). Thus, they claim, that since Jesus had no human father, he had no tribal affiliation. Therefore, they assert that, because of this, Jesus was not from the tribe of Judah or the House of David and is eliminated from messianic consideration (in their view). This is the issue I'm most concerned with. They also use this as an example of an alleged “flaw” in Christian theology (Apparently, Nahmanides popularized this claim).
   
   Further, they claim that tribal affiliation could not be conferred through adoption and thus adopted sons could not inherit their step-father's genealogy and that tribal affiliation could not be transferred through the mother and that Jesus being descended from Judah and David via Mary would be irrelevant, since it would only matter if He was a descendant of David via the male line, exclusively. One of these Jews claims, "There is also no Biblical Hebrew word for "adoption" or "step-father". The non-child would be considered a "house guest", and would be treated well. The Aramaic word for "Family" had "zera" at it's root, meaning "from the seed of the master of the house". Hence, "You shall count the children according to the house of their father" has an important meaning. And so Joseph provides nothing to his wife's child."


 I understand that the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 says that a Virgin would give birth and that this is obviously speaking of the Messiah, but how can this be reconciled with tribal affiliation allegedly coming only from the birth father, and the requirement of the Messiah being of the tribe of Judah and a descendant of David?

I'm asking these questions for my own peace of mind and conviction.

Thanks in advance.
     
Title: Christ's Genealogy
Post by: Pumbelo on April 09, 2009, 02:26:59 am
Try here.
The article also links to other articles which deal with this.
Title: Christ's Genealogy
Post by: Harvey on April 09, 2009, 07:26:38 am

It's all rather silly of a claim since in order to make such a claim they have to show that this claim was made by the Jews of antiquity who were most familiar with tribal affiliation through birth. Ask them for historical evidence of Jews actually making this argument around the first century (e.g., Tycho). It would be inconceivable for the Jewish scholars who confronted Christianity in the first few centuries to overlook this argument if it was the biblical tradition handed down from Moses.

Title: Christ's Genealogy
Post by: Dylan O'Connor on April 14, 2009, 07:33:42 pm
Thanks for the responses. Does anyone else have anything to add?
Title: Christ's Genealogy
Post by: Timothy Campen on April 29, 2009, 03:36:55 pm
From the website "jews for judaism"  (http://www.jewishpassion.com/pages/messiahvsjesus.html

 a) there is no Biblical basis for the idea of a father passing on his tribal line by adoption.  A priest who adopts a son from another tribe cannot make him a priest by adoption;

  b) Joseph could never pass on by adoption that which he doesn’t have.  Because Joseph descended from Jeconiah (Mat. 1:11) he fell under the curse of that king that none of his descendants could ever sit as king upon the throne of David.  (Jeremiah 22:30; 36:30).


To answer this difficult problem, apologists claim that Jesus traces himself back to King David through his mother Mary, who allegedly descends from David, as shown in the third chapter of Luke.  There are four basic problems with this claim:

  a]  There is no evidence that Mary descends from David.  The third chapter of Luke traces Joseph’s genealogy, not Mary’s.

  b]  Even if Mary can trace herself back to David, that doesn’t help Jesus, since tribal affiliation goes only through the father, not mother.  Cf. Num. 1:18; Ezra 2:59.

  c]  Even if family line could go through the mother, Mary was not from a legitimate Messianic family.  According to the Bible, the Messiah must be a descendent of David through his son Solomon (II Sam. 7:14;

I Chron. 17:11-14, 22:9-10, 28:4-6)  The third chapter of Luke is useless because it goes through David’s son Nathan, not Solomon.  (Luke 3:31)
  d]  Luke 3:27 lists Shealtiel and Zerubbabel in his genealogy.  These two also appear in Matthew 1:12 as descendants of the cursed Jeconiah.  If Mary descends from them, it would also disqualify her from being a Messianic progenitor.


The way I look at it, there really shouldn't be any practicing Jews if Jesus so obviously fulfilled the Jewish prophecy of the annointed one. But here we are 2,000 years later, and educated, thoughful, informed Jews still do not accept the christian account as satisfying prophecy.

Those silly Jews.  Or just maybe...
Title: Christ's Genealogy
Post by: Craig on April 29, 2009, 04:06:32 pm
hmmm....good point tcampen.

So do you think the Jews were right? Are you Jewish by any chance?
Title: Christ's Genealogy
Post by: Timothy Campen on April 30, 2009, 06:03:30 pm

Craig wrote: hmmm....good point tcampen.

So do you think the Jews were right? Are you Jewish by any chance?

I'm not Jewish. But I'm not one to be so dismissive of them either. The way I see it is this....

The very existence of Jews proves that intellegent, sincere and informed people can honestly disagree with the orthodox Christian interpretation of scripture and history. The fact that there is such a profound disconnect between Jews and Christians on this issues raises other implications as well, most particularly the notion that if reasonable, intellegent and honest people can look at the exact same evidence and come to such incredibly different conclusions, that the evidence supporting either contention must not be all that convincing.
Title: Christ's Genealogy
Post by: Craig on May 01, 2009, 09:34:22 am
ok so..I am still looking for a Christian's response to the arguments the Jews hold. No one is posting on this thread...Is it because they dont have any to give?
Title: Christ's Genealogy
Post by: Harvey on May 01, 2009, 10:57:36 am

Craig wrote: ok so..I am still looking for a Christian's response to the arguments the Jews hold. No one is posting on this thread...Is it because they dont have any to give?

Now you see why fundamentalism is a dismal failure, Craig. But, never fear, let me give you the Christian esoteric answer that the apostle Paul would have told you:

This is what the LORD says: "Record this man as if childless, a man who will not prosper in his lifetime, for none of his offspring will prosper, none will sit on the throne of David or rule anymore in Judah." (Jeremiah 22:30)


This prophecy is reminiscent of what Isaiah said:

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:3-12)


And also,

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." (Gal. 3:13)


So, what we see is that Jesus was a man of sorrows. His life was a total failure from viewpoint of the men that rejected him. But, God has raised him up:

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:8-11)

Title: Christ's Genealogy
Post by: Timothy Campen on May 04, 2009, 10:57:55 am

harvey1, this gives a good perspective on why some (or many) Christians believe what they do, but I do not think Jews are ignorant of these arguments or the scriptures used in support of them. In other words, can a faithful Jew be honest, sincere, and informed on all this and still maintain his orthodox Jewish beliefs?

Title: Christ's Genealogy
Post by: Craig on May 04, 2009, 11:03:12 am
I think Harvey said earlier that the Jews didnt argue this back in the time where that argument wouldve worked the most. So why would they argue it now?
Title: Christ's Genealogy
Post by: Timothy Campen on May 04, 2009, 12:24:31 pm

Craig wrote: I think Harvey said earlier that the Jews didnt argue this back in the time where that argument wouldve worked the most. So why would they argue it now?

It makes an assumption about the knowledge 1st jews would have had about it, it assumes they would have cared enough to write about it, and it assumes such an obscure writing (if it existed( should still exist for our examination.  

I don't know who "Tycho" is in reference to 1st century Palestine. But even Josephus, regardless of the Christian interpolations of Jesus, never mentions anything specifically biblical about Jesus. This implies at best a casual awareness by the era's most important historian. Why would the average Jew care more?

Finally, it is perfectly understandable to think that this issue would have been so intrinsically obvious to the Jewish observer that it would be hardly worth mentioning at all. (This is borrowing from a Christian apologetic argument about the absence of earlier christian writings, btw.)



Title: Christ's Genealogy
Post by: neil meyer on August 29, 2011, 09:31:03 am
He was not the messiah because his birth documents are lacking.

How do they explain the empty tomb or the post mortem appearances?

That is what I want to know.

Title: Christ's Genealogy
Post by: damien on August 31, 2011, 03:03:55 pm
neilmeyerza wrote:
How do they explain the empty tomb or the post mortem appearances?

That is what I want to know.


Joseph of Arimethea moved the body since it was a temporary affair for the thanksgiving. Afterwords they bury the body in a common grave as is customary for the times. Disciples, already traumatized and grieving for the loss of their messiah get the wrong idea about this and it triggers them seeing jesus everywhere, much like the Elvis phenomenon.

Then the stories become exaggerated.

Not saying this is unquestionably what happened, but it's possible.
Title: Christ's Genealogy
Post by: Jeffrey on September 14, 2011, 03:21:44 pm
warpedfx wrote:
Quote from: neilmeyerza

How do they explain the empty tomb or the post mortem appearances?

That is what I want to know.


Joseph of Arimethea moved the body since it was a temporary affair for the thanksgiving. Afterwords they bury the body in a common grave as is customary for the times. Disciples, already traumatized and grieving for the loss of their messiah get the wrong idea about this and it triggers them seeing jesus everywhere, much like the Elvis phenomenon.

Then the stories become exaggerated.

Not saying this is unquestionably what happened, but it's possible.
Then wouldn't Joseph of Arimethea say "Hey guys he didn't rise from the grave I just moved him, here is his body" and then the Christian movement would have never taken off?
Title: Christ's Genealogy
Post by: Timothy Campen on October 02, 2011, 02:41:19 pm

unluckynumber11 wrote:
Quote from: warpedfx
Quote from: neilmeyerza

How do they explain the empty tomb or the post mortem appearances?

That is what I want to know.


Joseph of Arimethea moved the body since it was a temporary affair for the thanksgiving. Afterwords they bury the body in a common grave as is customary for the times. Disciples, already traumatized and grieving for the loss of their messiah get the wrong idea about this and it triggers them seeing jesus everywhere, much like the Elvis phenomenon.

Then the stories become exaggerated.

Not saying this is unquestionably what happened, but it's possible.
Then wouldn't Joseph of Arimethea say "Hey guys he didn't rise from the grave I just moved him, here is his body" and then the Christian movement would have never taken off?

How do you know he didn't?  Maybe he did tell a few people, but they refused to believe it.  Maybe the people he told never told anyone else because they lost their faith and went on with their lives.  Maybe no disciples asked him.  Maybe by the time someone thought to ask him, Joe moved or died.  

We need to be careful not to assume 1st Century Jewish followers of a radical messianic figure would become Sherlock Holmes, investigating every claim with keen wit, observation, and note taking.  Followers of messianic figure Sabbatai Zevi believed he performed Jesus-like miracles even after Zevi himself denied such claims and converted to Islam. (Up to a few hundred thousand such followers remain to this day.)  

History is too full of examples of people believing what they want. And in the context of Jesus, where nothing about the man himself was written down for more than a generation later, we must concede there is just so much we really don't know.  I'm personally ok with acknowledging what we don't know.
Title: Christ's Genealogy
Post by: Jeffrey on October 03, 2011, 11:34:59 am
tcampen wrote:

Quote from: unluckynumber11
Quote from: warpedfx
Quote from: neilmeyerza

How do they explain the empty tomb or the post mortem appearances?

That is what I want to know.


Joseph of Arimethea moved the body since it was a temporary affair for the thanksgiving. Afterwords they bury the body in a common grave as is customary for the times. Disciples, already traumatized and grieving for the loss of their messiah get the wrong idea about this and it triggers them seeing jesus everywhere, much like the Elvis phenomenon.

Then the stories become exaggerated.

Not saying this is unquestionably what happened, but it's possible.
Then wouldn't Joseph of Arimethea say "Hey guys he didn't rise from the grave I just moved him, here is his body" and then the Christian movement would have never taken off?

How do you know he didn't?  Maybe he did tell a few people, but they refused to believe it.  Maybe the people he told never told anyone else because they lost their faith and went on with their lives.  Maybe no disciples asked him.  Maybe by the time someone thought to ask him, Joe moved or died.  

We need to be careful not to assume 1st Century Jewish followers of a radical messianic figure would become Sherlock Holmes, investigating every claim with keen wit, observation, and note taking.  Followers of messianic figure Sabbatai Zevi believed he performed Jesus-like miracles even after Zevi himself denied such claims and converted to Islam. (Up to a few hundred thousand such followers remain to this day.)  

History is too full of examples of people believing what they want. And in the context of Jesus, where nothing about the man himself was written down for more than a generation later, we must concede there is just so much we really don't know.  I'm personally ok with acknowledging what we don't know.
Trying to shift the burden of proof huh? We have no indication that he did, his name was thrown around a lot as a witness to what happened, if anyone in the first century wanted to be sure they would ask him and he would tell them "no" if it in fact didn't happen. As well the Disciples didn't have any reason to believes he would in fact rise form the dead, they had no expectations of that happening. As well from the account of Luke, he was a historian, he went out and found these things for himself and created his Gospel. I think it's smart to NOT assume that 1st century people were just dimwitted idiots that would believe anything just because it's a pre-scientific time.