This is a long standing repost. I hope to visit it later to clean it up, etc…
Sundown approaches, darkness will cover the earth, and Hanukkah will being – it promises to be a bitterly cold night in some parts of the United States and moderately cool in Jerusalem. Here is song (and if you click the link at the bottom, it will take you to site to hear it sung in Hebrew) traditionally song, at least since the 13th century.
The last stanza strikes me, for God has indeed shown us His arm
But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke:
“Lord, who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” (John 12:37-38 NKJV)
O mighty stronghold of my salvation,
to praise You is a delight.
Restore my House of Prayer
and there we will bring a thanksgiving offering.
When You will have prepared the slaughter
for the blaspheming foe,
Then I shall complete with a song of hymn
the dedication of the Altar.
My soul had been sated with troubles,
my strength has been consumed with grief.
They had embittered my life with hardship,
with the calf-like kingdom’s bondage.
But with His great power
He brought forth the treasured ones,
Pharaoh’s army and all his offspring
Went down like a stone into the deep.
To the holy abode of His Word He brought me.
But there, too, I had no rest
And an oppressor came and exiled me.
For I had served aliens,
And had drunk benumbing wine.
Scarcely had I departed
At Babylon’s end Zerubabel came.
At the end of seventy years I was saved.
To sever the towering cypress
sought the Aggagite, son of Hammedatha,
But it became [a snare and] a stumbling block to him
and his arrogance was stilled.
The head of the Benjaminite You lifted
and the enemy, his name You obliterated
His numerous progeny – his possessions –
on the gallows You hanged.
Greeks gathered against me
then in Hasmonean days.
They breached the walls of my towers
and they defiled all the oils;
And from the one remnant of the flasks
a miracle was wrought for the roses.
Men of insight – eight days
established for song and jubilation
Bare Your holy arm
and hasten the End for salvation –
Avenge the vengeance of Your servants’ blood
from the wicked nation.
For the triumph is too long delayed for us,
and there is no end to days of evil,
Repel the Red One in the nethermost shadow
and establish for us the seven shepherds.
NEW YORK – Of all the words that have been used to describe the Bernard L. Madoff scandal, the most emotionally charged may be “Jewish.”
The disgraced investment guru is accused of orchestrating a $50 billion Ponzi scheme that preyed heavily on fellow Jews and ultimately drained the fortunes of numerous Jewish charities and institutions.
There’s nothing new about con artists targeting their own kind. There’s even a word for it — affinity fraud — and it has struck numerous religious, ethnic and professional groups.
But the allegations against Madoff are particularly wrenching for some in the Jewish community, who fear that the sensational case is fanning vicious stereotypes about Jews that go back to the Middle Ages.
The Anti-Defamation League cites a spike in anti-Semitic comments online after Madoff’s Dec. 11 arrest. A columnist for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz lamented the case as “the answer to every Jew-hater’s wish list.”
And the American Jewish Committee’s executive director, David A. Harris, wrote a letter to The New York Times criticizing what he saw as “a striking emphasis” on Madoff’s faith in one of the paper’s many stories about the scandal.
The case is “fodder for the bigots,” Abraham H. Foxman, the ADL’s national director, said in an interview this week with The Associated Press. “It’s both embarrassing and it’s painful.”
I saw this floating around the web, and the msm, last week, but last night this caught my attention. If you skip to the bottom, you will see that he preyed on the charitable and the hopeful – the religious. I do not believe people are born evil – but this guy nearly makes me change my mind.
DALLAS (BP)–The National Council of Churches has released a brochure castigating Christian Zionism as a dangerous movement that fosters fear and hatred of Muslims and non-Western Christians, as well as endangering peace in the Middle East.
Jim Sibley, a Southern Baptist leader whose career has focused on Baptist-Jewish relations, set forth an opposite view in assessing the brochure: The NCC resorts to caricature and slander, particularly when accusing evangelicals of regarding Jewish people “as pawns in a cosmic drama of divine vengeance and retribution.”
To fair, the Christian Zionist has declared that a real church would have the flag of Israel – which I assume is the flag since 1948 – in the sanctuary. I do not believe that the NCC is far off on this one; although their stance is more political than theological.
JERUSALEM – Raised without religion in Maryland, Shannon sought to make a new life for herself as a Jew in Israel.
In a rigorous conversion process, she studied religious law for a year, took a Hebrew name and changed her wardrobe to long skirts and sleeves as dictated by Orthodox Jewish custom. Finally, a panel of rabbis pronounced her Jewish.
But five years later, she and some 40,000 like her have suddenly had their conversions annulled by Israel’s Rabbinical High Court. The court says the rabbi who heads a government authority set up to oversee conversions is too liberal in approving them.
The issue, now headed to Israel’s Supreme Court, has exposed an intensifying power struggle inside Israel’s religious establishment over the age-old question of “who is a Jew.” It also threatens to deepen the wedge between Israel and American Jews, who largely follow more liberal schools of Judaism.
While 34-year-old Shannon’s Israeli citizenship isn’t in jeopardy, the ruling diminishes her religious rights. Many rabbis will no longer oversee basic Jewish rituals for her, such as getting married or receiving a Jewish burial. If she has children, they might not be considered Jewish.
“I’m very worried. I probably will not be able to get married in Israel,” she said. “God forbid, if I die, will I be allowed a Jewish burial?”
For he is not a Jew that is one on the outside, and neither is circumcision that which is physical But, he is a Jew that is one inwardly and circumcision is that of the heart — which is the work of the spirit and not of the letter of the Law — whose praise is not of man, but from God!
(Rom 2:28-29 CTV-NT / W)
Further, upon reading the story, I am reminded of the story of Ruth – a Gentile who was the matriarch of David’s line (Christ). Oh how happy the Christian is! Knowing that it only God that makes us so based on the intentions of our heart which supplies the godly sorrow which produces repentance and diligence to His word.
Over here, on a blog that I generally like, an author lists these reasons why Jews do not convert to Christianity.
Give up the Moedim (Feasts ) and follow Pagan Holidays: Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Etc., Etc.
Give up the Sabbath (Saturday) and switch to Sunday worship.
Give up eating Kosher and eat anything and everything forbidden in the Torah.
Give up the ordinances and reading of Torah (The Law) altogether and just read the B’rit Hadashah (New Testament).
In response to the first reason (excuse), we know that those days did not enter into the ‘Church’ life until much later. Where were the Jewish conversions before then? Besides, their are denominations that do not celebrate Christmas, Easter (while some celebrate it on Nisan 14), or Valentine’s Day. Personally, I can live with all of the modern holidays and just celebrate Nisan 14, like Polycarp, and be done with it. Another thing, I have yet to see any denomination make someone celebrate those holidays.
Sunday worship was kept by the primitive Church and is a tradition handed to us since the Apostles (who were Jews). Our Sabbath is now with Christ. Besides that, the Seventh Day Adventists still keep the Sabbath.
I have never ran into a congregation that forces someone to eat pork. Or crawfish. Or catfish. Or forces one to eat meat and dairy together on the same dish.
Finally, although I have heard of denominations that read only the New Testament, that is scripturally wrong, so really, don’t belong to that congregation.
I have also heard that Jews don’t convert because of the Trinity doctrine. Well, we are not Trinity. Where are the mass conversions?
The real reason that Jews don’t covert is because they are blinded, but a remnant of them will be saved. In God’s time. They have no idea of who Jesus Christ is (with one place aligning Him with the adversary), or what the true Messiah was supposed to do.
I do not agree totally with Messianic Judaism; however, for Jews who convert to Christianity, I believe that it is acceptable to a point. (It is never acceptable to Gentiles)
The Apology of Aristides was written in relation to the Emperor Hadrian sometime 117 and 138 (bringing it within the time frame of the Epistle of Diognetus), and not long after John’s Apocalypse. It details to the Emperor the attempts by others to find the true God, and their subsequent failures. Fore 1500 years, we had only the mention of Eusebius concerning the Apology, but it was found in the waning years of the 19th century by Armenian monks; it was then found in the Syriac version by Orthodox monks at Mt. Sinai. The Greek exists in a modified form, and cannot be trusted in the differences. Of interesting note to the discussion of the doctrinal development is from Book II. The The English translation from the Syriac reads,
The Christians, then, reckon the beginning of their religion from Jesus Christ, who is named the Son of God most High; and it is said that God came down from heaven, and from a Hebrew virgin took and clad Himself with flesh, and in a daughter of man there dwelt the Son of God. This is taught from that Gospel which a little while ago was spoken among them as being preached; wherein if ye also will read, ye will comprehend the power that is upon it. This Jesus, then, was born of the tribe of the Hebrews; and He had twelve disciples, in order that a certain dispensation of His might be fulfilled. He was pierced by the Jews; and He died and was buried; and they say that after three days He rose and ascended to heaven; and then these twelve disciples went forth into the known parts of the world, and taught concerning His greatness with all humility and sobriety; and on this account those also who to-day believe in this preaching are called Christians, who are well known. There are then four races of mankind, as I said before, Barbarians and Greeks, Jews and Christians
This statement rings true of a Modalistic viewpoint, that God robed Himself with flesh as the Son of God.
The term, right hand of God is an anthropomorphic expression. The use of this anthropomorphism occurs 60 times in Scripture (39 times in the OT; 21 times in the NT). Hebrew Idiom behind this language denotes power and strength. Let us take note of the Old Testament visions of God at this time. In Genesis 28.13-16, Jacob saw “the LORD…” (a theophany, as all OT visions are). 1 Kings 22.19 and 2 Chron. 18.18, Micaiah said, “I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left;” noticeably absent is Son or the Spirit.Throughout the entire Old Testament and Deuterocanon, there is only mention of “the LORD,” as a single Deity (numerical singleness, not unified). In Isa. 6.1, only “the LORD” is seen. Ezk. 1.26-28, 2.1. Ezekiel saw “the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.”
The Greek δεξιός (dexios) means the ‘right’, indicating a direction. Usually, the word ‘hand’ is supplied, and not unjustly. The issue is, what is meant by ‘the right hand’ and is their a particular emphases on the action (sitting, standing, at or by). In Acts 2.33, we read “τη δεξια ουν του θεου υψωθεις την τε επαγγελιαν του αγιου πνευματος λαβων παρα του πατρος εξεχεεν τουτο ο νυν υμεις βλεπετε και ακουετε.” The phrase “τη δεξια ουν του θεου” is translated in the KJV as ‘by the right hand of God’ with the margin note reading ‘at.’ This translation makes it the instrumental case, while the ‘at’ translation refers to the locative case. Robertson suggests that it only makes sense in the dative case, which reads ‘to the right hand of God.’ The issue here is that depending on the translation, a different theology can develop. For example, if Christ was exalted to the right hand, then a form of dynamic Monarchianism could develop. The proper method is translating this verse as ‘at the right hand of God,’ which still allows the idiom to come out. The same can be said for Acts 5.31. In Acts 7.55-56, Stephen saw Christ ‘on’ the right hand of God. (εκ δεξιων εστωτα του θεου)(See Col 3.1 which readsενδεξιατουθεου )
We read in the much discussed Hebrews 1.3, ‘εν δεξια της μεγαλωσυνης εν υψηλοις. Simply, after word of God had been fulfilled, with the price of redemption was paid, Christ resumed His glory and dignity, fully and without separation; he assumed the glory that He had before the Incarnation without distinction Christ is here pictured as the King (Prophet and Priest also) Messiah seated on the throne of God as God.
John says the following about Christ: “But though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him, that the saying of Isaiah the Prophet, might be fulfilled, which he spoke: The Lord, who has believed our report and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?'” (John 12.37-38) echoing the Song of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah. The “Arm” of the Lord denotes the “power” of the Lord. A thorough study of this term and it’s usage in the Bible, will reflect a similarity in the meanings and usage of the words: power, might, strength, hand, right side and arm, when referring to this designation of Christ. Christ, as is often done in the Gospels, attributes a prophecy in the Old Testament to Himself.
A question that is begged relates to the issue of ‘co-equality’ and power. In Matthew 28:18, Christ tells His disciples that He has been given all power in heaven and in earth. If Christ is the Almighty, the ruler of both heaven an earth, and He alone sits on the throne, then where does the Father and the Spirit stand in relation to him? Throughout the final book of the New Testament, we find references to a throne in heaven and only one sitting on that throne. We find no mention, when John describes the throne room, of either the Son or Spirit standing in conjunction with God on the throne. In 3.21, Christ says that He has taken His seat on the throne of the Father. (The vision of which is easily understood of the Incarnation is seen as providing a temporary difference between the Father and His Word.) Throughout the remaining verses, we see but one sitting on the throne.
In 2nd Temple Judaism, it was common to use idioms to express God, thus we have the development of Throne, Majesty and other words to describe God without saying God. We have to be careful in understanding the phrase literally. Since the right hand (or side) is a place of honour, to literally say that Christ is at the right hand of God, is to demote the deity of Christ and bring about the adoptionist doctrine of the Arians. We also will see that a contradiction in scripture exists between the phrases ‘at the right hand’ and ‘on the throne’. To understand this phrase in a completely idiom free translation, we would generally read that Christ is on the throne.
The Roman Road: Jesus is God
Before we move to the profession of faith found in Romans 10, let us first examine chapter 9, verse 5, where Paul writes, “Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.” (KJV) The NET reads, “To them belong the patriarchs, and from them, by human descent, came the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever! Amen.” The NRSV has “to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.” There is doctrine here decided by the correct placement of commas.
Paul, in the original Greek wrote, “ων οι πατερες και εξ ων ο χριστος το κατα σαρκα ο ων επι παντων θεος ευλογητος εις τους αιωνας αμην.” Vincent, noting the difference that arises by punctuation notes, “Authorities differ as to the punctuation; some placing a colon, and others a comma after flesh. This difference indicates the difference in the interpretation; some rendering as concerning the flesh Christ came. God who is over all be blessed for ever; thus making the words God, etc., a doxology: others, with the comma, the Christ, who is over all, God blessed forever; i.e., Christ is God.” Robertson writes, “A clear statement of the deity of Christ following the remark about his humanity. This is the natural and the obvious way of punctuating the sentence. To make a full stop after sarka (or colon) and start a new sentence for the doxology is very abrupt and awkward. See note on Acts 20:28 and note on Titus 2:13 for Paul’s use of theos applied to Jesus Christ,” clearly indicating that He believes that Paul applied the θεος to Christ in this instance.
Several commentators have stated that the closing phrase should be a separate sentence (God who is blessed forever), however, in scriptural doxologies the word “Blessed” precedes the name of God on whom the blessing is invoked.
To understand our profession in 10.9 of Romans, we have to read further to verse 13, where Paul quotes Joel 2:32, which reads, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” (KJV). Here, the word for LORD in Hebrew is יהוה, the Tetragammon, which is commonly understood to be the proper name of God in the Old Testament.
Would Paul use a theological drenched title in two different ways, especially in such a short distance from one another?
In verse 13, we understand the LORD to be the God of the Old Testament, so therefore we must understand Paul to mean in verse 9 to the God of the Old Testament as well. The construction of the passage leads us to translate the phrase found in the KJV as ‘profess the Lord Jesus’ to profess that ‘Jesus is Lord.’. With the understanding that the ‘Lord’ in verse 13 is the same ‘Lord’ in verse 9, in order to be saved, we must profess with our my mouth that Jesus is God.
 The attribution of human characteristics to non-human beings or things
 Robertson’s note here states, “With his own blood (dia tou haimatos tou idiou). Through the agency of (dia) his own blood. Whose blood? If tou theou (Aleph B Vulg.) is correct, as it is, then Jesus is here called “God” who shed his own blood for the flock. It will not do to say that Paul did not call Jesus God, for we have Romans 9:5; Colossians 2:9; Titus 2:13 where he does that very thing, besides Colossians 1:15-20; Philippians 2:5-11.”
 Here, he notes “This is the necessary meaning of the one article with theou and sōtēros just as in 2Peter 1:1, 2Peter 1:11.”