Claves: Son, God, G-d, Dios, D-s, Di-s, Do-s,
hijo, padre, Father, Jesus, Jesús, Yeshua, Yeshu, Ieshu, idolatría,
idolatry, missionaries, misioneros, Bible, Biblia, Tanaj, Tora, saved,
savior, salvador, salvación, commandments, Paul, Law, Moses, Testament,
mitzvot, apostles, deceive, Peter, Paul.
DO THE PROPHETS SPEAK OF JESUS?
The purpose of these polemics is threefold: to arm with logical
those who are pestered by fundamental Christian evangelists who come
at the door, to examine the claims of the evangelists by comparing the New
Testament with its ancient base, the Hebrew Bible and to enlighten the
fundamentalists who are ignorant or unwilling to submit to the findings
intensive research of scholars and theologians over the past 200 years -
rightly so. Their "christological proofs" would disintegrate.
Christianity is said to be founded on Judaism and the New Testament upon
Old. Jesus of Nazareth is claimed by the New Testament to be the promised
messiah of the Old Testament. These polemics examine those claims.
Matt. 1.22-23: "Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was
spoken of the Lord by the prophet*, saying, Behold a virgin shall be with
child and shall bring forth a son and they shall call his name Emmanuel,
which being interpreted, God with us." (*Isa. 7.14).
Virgin birth is an important fundamental teaching believed by most
denominations, who claim it is a fulfillment of a Biblical prophecy.
The verse which mentions a virgin can only be found in the K.J.V., which
incorrectly translated. Other Bibles, such as the N.E.B., R.S.V. and the
Jerusalem Bible (Catholic Version) do not give credence to the belief in a
virgin birth. There are five points worth noting as we compare the
Hebrew with the English translation of the K.J.V.:
a) In Hebrew, the verse reads in the present tense, "is with child" and
as according to the K.J.V., which says, "will conceive and bear a child."
Hebrew, it states that she is pregnant, not will be pregnant. In fact, in
Catholic Bible, Isa. 7.14 reads as follows: "The maiden is with child and
will soon give birth to a son". Jesus was not born until 700 years after
sign was given, which could not be described as "soon". The text reads "is
with child"; no woman could be kept pregnant for 700 years until Jesus
b) This is not a prophecy for some future date; it is an "ot" (sign).
Whenever "ot" is used in Hebrew, it means something which will come to
immediately. "Ot" is used elsewhere in the Bible: "This shall be a sign
unto thee from the Lord" (Isa. 38.7-8) and "If they will not believe thee,
neither hearken to the voice of the first sign" (Ex. 4.8-9). In each
case, the sign came to pass immediately, not 700 years later.
c) The name of the child was to be Emmanuel. Nowhere in the New Testament
we find that Jesus is called Emmanuel. The angel informs Joseph in a dream
that Mary will give birth to a son and that he could call his name "Jesus"
(Matt. 1.20-21). "His name was called "Jesus" (Luke 2.21). All the
indicates that Emmanuel was a different individual from Jesus.
d) The text specifically says, "the young woman" - "alma" - whereas the
James Version changes the translation to "a virgin." The definite article
changed to the indefinite article, whereas the original text is evidently
referring to the young woman known to both Isaiah and Ahaz and not to some
unknown person in the future.
e) There are a number of verses found in the Hebrew Bible where "alma" is
used in describing a woman who is in fact a virgin and such verses are
by fundamentalists to substantiate their beliefs. See Genesis 24.43 and
Therefore our argument is not to over-emphasize "alma" as not meaning a
virgin but to point out that alma only applies to a woman for a fixed
of time, irregardless of whether or not she is a virgin, for when she is
longer young, she loses the right to be called "alma".
An alma can be a young woman who is a virgin or a young woman who is no
longer a virgin and the way it is employed in this text can only tell us
she is a young woman, who, by the very fact that she is with child, can no
longer be a virgin.
If the prophet believed that the young woman in Isa. 7.14 was also a
who conceived a child without the aid of a man and without losing her
virginity - and if this incredible event was to be a sign - then surely he
would have been more implicit and would have used the word "betulah,"
is the Hebrew word for virgin, so that no one would have misunderstood his
words. All the prophet says is that a young woman is having a child.
The fundamentalists may insist that "betulah" does not mean a virgin but a
married woman. This is because of their faulty understanding of two verses
the Hebrew Bible.
Joel 1.8 says, "Lament like a betulah girded with sackcloth for the
of her youth."
In Gen. 24.16, the word "betulah" is used to describe Rebecca but it is
qualified with the statement following "neither had any man known her" and
the fundamentalists make use of this, saying that if the common
of "betulah" was virgin, the passage would not have needed the explanation
"neither had any man known her".
Both of these passages can be easily understood. The passage in Joel is
simply saying that the virgin is weeping for a husband, not that she has a
husband. She is weeping because she hasn't one; in other words, she is
weeping for a husband whom she will never have. It could refer to a young
woman who is bereaved of the man to whom she had been betrothed and has
yet consummated the marriage before his death. Such would be a tragedy for
lamentation as seen in Judges 11.37.
In the other passage, the latter part of the verse is there simply to
the fact that Rivka was indeed a virgin. This kind of amplification can be
seen by comparing it with 2 Sam. 14.5, which reads, "I am indeed a widow
woman and mine husband is dead." Here, we see that the latter part of
verses is there to amplify the first part.
If one would take the trouble to thumb through a concordance under the
heading "betulah", one would see at least 50 entries and in all cases,
without exception, they refer to a virgin - and, what is more, they are
translated in all Christian bibles as meaning "virgin".
For example, see Lev. 21.3, Deut. 22.19, 2 Sam. 13.2, Isa. 62.5, all of
employ the Hebrew word "betulah" and translated "virgin" in the K.J.V.
Then why is not betulah used to describe the woman mentioned in Isa. 7.14,
we are to believe her to be a virgin?
Fundamentalist Christians try to prove their point that "alma" means a
by pointing to the Septuagint. In this case, turn to the Greek and see how
little they know of it, despite the fact that their New Testament is a
book. As in all cases, they quote only what their unlearned colleagues
them, for if the Greek word "parthenos" only means a virgin, then there
problems in explaining Gen. 34.3, where the Greek Septuagint calls Dinah a
'parthenos'. Anyone reading the story knows well the physical state of
she was definitely not a virgin, for she had been defiled, yet the Greek
parthenos is used.
The prophet Isaiah is simply relating to the fact that the young woman is
having a child and that this child will be a sign to King Ahaz.
Finally, note that the sign was given to King Ahaz and not to the people
Jesus's day. It concerned the military situation of the time. The meaning
clear if the passage is read in context and in its own historical setting
(see 2 Kings 16.1-10) for the literal fulfillment of this prophecy.
Matt. 2.5, 6 ...for thus it is written by the prophet,* "and thou
in the land of Judah art not least among the princes of Judah for out of
will come a governor who shall rule my People Israel". (*Micah 5.1)
Fundamentalists revere Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus. They believe
Jesus was born of the seed of David, thus of the Tribe of Judah and that
prophecy refers to a messiah being born in Bethlehem.
This prophecy refers to the Jewish belief that the messiah is to come from
descendant of David, who was of old times described as "the son of the
Ephrathite of Bethlehem" (1 Sam. 17.12). Micah is simply saying that from
David will come the messiah.
The prophecy could not refer to Jesus because:
a) He was not a ruler in Israel; quite the opposite, Jesus said, "My
is not of this world." (John 18.36).
b) He was not a descendant of David (Joseph came from David but Joseph was
not the father of Jesus, according to Matt. 1.20).
c) The prophecy refers to the "last days" as seen by reference to the
preceding and following chapters.
Matt 2.16ff tells a story of the massacre of the innocents. Luke the only
other gospel which relates the nativity of Jesus mentions no such incident.
According to Matthew, when king Herod heard about the birth of Jesus, he
troubled and all Jerusalem with him (Matt 2.3).
If Herod slew all the children in Bethlehem and in all the coasts round
from 2 years old and under and, the Christian legend says fourteen
perished, surely a crime of such enormity should have been mentioned in
own history books but Josephus, Philo and the Talmud itself remain silent
about the whole affair. The fact that other gospel writers mention no such
incident causes us to believe it was only the figment of Matthew's
imagination. Josephus devotes nearly 40 chapters to the life of Herod yet
never mentions this massacre of infants.
Luke declares that when Jesus was 40 days old he was brought to Jerusalem
publicly exhibited in Herod's own temple without exciting anyone or
any danger. Yet Matthew has all the authorities searching for this child.
Matthew's report of the massacre of infants was in order to fulfill a
prophecy. Matt 2.17-18 with Jer 31.15, "A voice was heard in Ramah,
and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and she refused to be
comforted because they were no more".
In context Jer 31.15 clearly does not refer to Jesus or to his generation:
a] The children whom Rachel was lamenting were only taken into exile. No
mention is made of them being killed, on the contrary it is stated (Jer
31.16), "Keep thy voice from weeping, and thy eyes from tears: for thy
shall be rewarded, says the Lord; and they shall come back again from the
land of the enemy. And there is hope for thy future, says the Lord, and
children shall come back again to their own border." b] The children Herod
is supposed to have butchered (Matt 2.16) were living in Judea and
as members of the tribe of Judah they were Leah's children not Rachel's.
It should be Leah weeping for her children, not Rachel. c] What is more,
historians point out that Herod died four years prior to the birth of
If the wise men who found Jesus were acting under divine guidance, and if
this terrible slaughter did take place, then their visit should be
as a divine blunder.
Matt 2.13-15 states that Joseph and Mary fled into Egypt with the child
Jesus. Yet it is clear from Luke 2.22ff that they remained in Bethlehem
they had performed all things according to the law. This would include the
circumcision of the child on the eighth day, pidyon ha-ben (redemption of
firstborn) on the thirtieth day and Mary's purification on the fortieth
after which Luke states that they returned home to Nazareth with no
of a journey into Egypt.
Matthew has Jesus fleeing into Egypt in order to once again fulfill a
prophecy. Matt 2.15 with Hosea 11.1, "When Israel was a child I loved him
called my son out of Egypt".
The one who did go to Egypt and was called out as according to the
(not prophecy) of Hosea, was God's son, Israel, which is the plain meaning
the text. Ex 4.22 states "Israel is my son, my firstborn... let my son go
that he may serve me".
Matt. 2.23: "and he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it
be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets,* he shall be called a
Nazarene." (*an imaginary prophecy)
It would appear that by associating a Nazarene with the town of Nazareth
Matthew believed the prophets to have foretold Jesus's residence to have
in that city.
a) Let us simply ask the missionary which prophets spoke these words. No
prophecy or statement can be found in any of the books of the prophets.
b) Nazareth was unknown until the 4th century CE.
c) If one wants to say that Matthew is describing Jesus as being a
this would mean that he was not a native of Nazareth but a person who had
taken the vow not to shave his head, eat meat or drink wine (Num. 6.2-12).
This could not be referring to Jesus, who was considered to be a
Some missionaries say that the prophecy refers to Isa 11.1 where they
erroneously believe that Jesus is predicted as the branch that grows from
roots of Yishay (Jesse). The word employed in Hebrew is 'netzer' meaning
branch but the same verse in Greek found in the Septuagint uses the word
'rhabdos' meaning a rod cane or staff. The New Testament was written in
therefore the gospel writer did not have a rhabdos in mind when he called
Jesus a Nazarene. In the Greek Dictionary of the New Testament found in
Strongs Exhaustive Concordance the Greek word 'Nazaraios' simply means a
native of the town of Nazareth. Therefore we must insist that no prophet
ever spoken about a character from Nazareth.
Matt. 3.3: "For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah*
The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord,
make His paths straight." (*Isa. 40.3)
The writer of Matthew claims that this verse refers to John the Baptist
preparing the way of Jesus.
When Isaiah 40 is read in context, it is obvious that it cannot be
to John the Baptist because he never told Jerusalem that her wars were all
ended and that her iniquity had been pardoned (Isa. 40.1) or if he died,
was greatly mistaken.
The verse also states that when these events take place, "all flesh shall
it together" (v. 5); in other words, the whole world will know about it at
the same time. The only people who thought they had witnessed the
of this prophecy were a few misguided fishermen and Judean hill billies.