THE NEW TRINITY: DO WE ALL PRAY TO THE SAME GOD?
While agreeing upon little else, most Jews, Christians and Muslims seem to accept as a truism that they all pray to the same God. This is because the three monotheistic religions all teach that a Supreme Being brought the Universe and all within it into existence, and they tend to view Him as Eternal, Incorporeal, Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent. Furthermore, due to their acceptance of the Hebrew Bible as Holy Writ (except to the extent that it is contradicted by their own respective Scriptures and/or teachings), Christianity and Islam explicitly identify, respectively, the deity declared to be the Heavenly Father of Jesus and the deity known as Allah as none other than the God of Israel. Alternatively stated, Christianity and Islam each claim that the God of the Hebrew Bible is the same One who made new and improved Covenants, respectively, with the followers of Jesus and with the followers of Mohammed.
However, to the extent that any sect of Christianity deifies Jesus (either as God or as the “Son of God”), Judaism traditionally deems that sect to be a practitioner of avoda zara (a designation which is generally translated as “idolatry” but which is actually much broader, encompassing any belief system which contravenes or deviates from the principles of belief and worship declared by the God of Israel to the Jewish people in the Hebrew Bible).
Although all sects of Islam acknowledge that Mohammed was no more than a human being, in practice Islam reveres Mohammed as if he were merged with Allah, which is why (in imitation of Christianity’s reverence towards Jesus) Islam forbids any criticism of the character, declarations or actions of Mohammed. Moreover, just as Islam forbids tangible depictions of Allah (as being idolatry), it also forbids tangible depictions of Mohammed (as if that were also idolatry). Notwithstanding the forgoing, Judaism does not deem any sect of Islam to be a practitioner of avoda zara. Instead, Judaism traditionally views all Muslims as fellow believers in the God of Israel and, in fact, views the name Allah as simply another appellation for the God of Israel.
In this way, normative Judaism traditionally accepts that, with certain exceptions, Jews, Christians and Muslims all pray to the same God, namely, the God of Israel.
But, does this view represent the Truth? Is the God of Israel the sum total of all that Judaism, Christianity and Islam attribute to Him? Alternatively stated: Have we created a new Trinity comprising the God of Israel, the Heavenly Father of Jesus and Allah? Or do the three monotheistic religions instead pray to three different Gods, only One of Whom is the Creator of Existence, thereby revealing the other two to be false gods, no different than the ancient pagan gods that preceded them?
Why, when Society’s watchwords are Toleration and Fellowship, is this analysis important? It is important, because the God of Israel enjoined upon the Jewish people one Commandment which, in its simplicity, serves as the foundation stone for all of the others. After reminding our people that “‘I am HaShem, your God, Who has taken you out of the Land of Egypt, from the House of Slavery’” (Exodus 20:2 & Deuteronomy 5:6), God immediately thunders:
“‘You shall not recognize the gods of others in My Presence.’” (Exodus 20:3 & Deuteronomy 5:7).
By agreeing that Allah, and the Heavenly Father who purportedly sired Jesus and the God of Israel are one and the same Creator, we Jews transgress this Commandment and thereby cause a great Chillul HaShem (Desecration of God’s Name).
God has deigned, through the Hebrew Bible (the first five books of which are collectively denominated as the Torah, meaning: “Teaching”), to reveal to us His Eternal Attributes, His Eternal Message and that which He expects of us as His Chosen People. God said of and to us:
“... So said HaShem: ‘My firstborn Son is Israel.’” (Exodus 4:22); and: “‘... My Legions -- My People -- the Children of Israel ...’” (Exodus 7:4); and: “For you are a holy people to HaShem, your God; HaShem, your God, has chosen you to be for Him a treasured people above all peoples that are on the face of the Earth. Not because you are more numerous than all the peoples did HaShem desire you and choose you, for you are the fewest of all the peoples. Rather, because of HaShem’s Love for you and because He observes the Oath that He swore to your forefathers did He take you out with a strong hand and redeem you from the House of Slavery -- from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 7:6-8); and: “For you are a holy people to HaShem, your God; and HaShem has chosen you for Himself to be a treasured people from among all the peoples on the face of the Earth.” (Deuteronomy 14:2); and: “And HaShem has distinguished you Today to be for Him a treasured people, as He spoke to you, and to observe all His Commandments, and to make you supreme over all the nations that He made, for praise, for renown, and for splendor, and so that you will be a holy people to HaShem, your God, as He spoke.” (Deuteronomy 26:18-19).
Consequently, it stands to reason that the Teaching that God gave to His Chosen People is both complete and final. As a result, our Sages’ understanding of God is based exclusively upon His Words and Actions, as related in its pages alone. If we were to accept that the God of Israel subsequently bestowed upon the Gentile nations Revelation concerning His Attributes, His Message and His Expectations, as expressed through the Christian Bible and/or the Islamic Koran, each of which seek to annul, modify and add neologisms to the passages of the Hebrew Bible, then we would be transgressing yet another Commandment of the Torah. For, as the God of History, in anticipation of this Day, long ago warned His people:
“‘The Entire Word that I command you: that shall you observe to do; you shall not add to it and you shall not subtract from it.’” (Deuteronomy 13:1).
And just to reveal a bit of the Future to our people, God immediately added to the preceding Admonishment this specific Prophetic Warning:
“‘If there should stand up in your midst a prophet or a dreamer of a dream, and he will produce to you a Sign or a Wonder, and the Sign or the Wonder comes about, of which he spoke to you, saying: ‘Let us follow gods of others that you did not know and we shall worship them’ -- do not hearken to the words of that prophet or to that dreamer of a dream; for, HaShem, your God, is testing you to know whether you love HaShem, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul. HaShem, your God, shall you follow, and Him shall you fear; His Commandments shall you observe, and to His Voice shall you hearken; Him shall you serve, and to Him shall you cleave.’” (Deuteronomy 13:2-5).
And just so that doubt should not creep into our souls about God’s Faithfulness to His own Word, the Prophet Samuel reminds us that:
“‘Moreover, the Eternal One of Israel does not lie and does not relent, for He is not a human being that He should relent.’” (I Samuel 15:29), echoing the earlier words of the Gentile prophet Balaam that: “‘God is not a human being that He should be deceitful, nor a son of man that He should relent. Would He say and not do, or speak and not confirm?’” (Numbers 23:19).
Since Hebrew Scripture warns us that the nations’ Scriptures, even if otherwise attractive and compelling, are nonetheless False, we are certainly required to treat the deities described in their Scriptures as False, and we are most certainly prohibited from intellectually merging or otherwise identifying their deities with the God of Israel.
Furthermore, Hebrew Scripture not only warns the Jewish people against merging or otherwise identifying the false gods of other peoples with the God of Israel, but it also sends the very same warning to the Gentile nations; for, the Prophet Isaiah says to them:
“‘For thus said HaShem, Creator of the Heavens; He is the God, the One Who fashioned the Earth and its Maker; He established it; He did not create it for emptiness; He fashioned it to be inhabited [and then declared]: ‘I am HaShem and there is no other. I did not speak in secrecy, some place in a land of darkness; I did not tell the descendants of Jacob to seek Me for nothing; I am HaShem Who speaks Righteousness, Who declares Upright Things. Gather yourselves, come and approach together, O survivors of the nations, who do not know, who carry about the wood of their graven image, and pray to a god who cannot save. Proclaim and approach; even [let your leaders] take counsel together: Who let this be heard from aforetimes, or related it from [times] of Old? Is it not I, HaShem? There is no other God besides Me; there is no righteous God besides Me, and no Savior other than Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all ends of the Earth; for, I am God and there is no other. I swear by Myself, Righteousness has gone forth from My Mouth, a Word that will not be rescinded: that to Me shall every knee bend and every tongue swear.’” (Isaiah 45:18-23).
But the refrain will be heard that all of the foregoing refers only to polytheistic and/or idol worshipping nations and religions, but neither to those sects of Christianity which limit Jesus to his messianic pretensions nor to the sects of Islam, all of which are monotheistic and do not engage in idol worship. The response to this is that God (in fulfillment of Deuteronomy 13:2-5) is testing our people by enticing us, not with an obvious form of polytheistic and/or idol worshipping avoda zarah, but rather with an avoda zarah which is fully-cloaked in our own monotheistic garments and, consequently, much more difficult to identify and expose. For this reason, an analysis of the some of the tenets of Christianity and Islam is necessary.
Christianity revolves around the purported birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension and teachings of Yeshu ben Yosef (Jesus son of Joseph) -- a Jew who purportedly resided in the Land of Israel approximately 2,000 years ago during the late 1st Century BCE (Before the Common Era) and the early 1st Century CE (Common Era) -- and the purported lives, deaths and teachings of his early disciples. Jesus is purported to have died via crucifixion circa 30.
The Christian Bible is comprised of two conflicting Testaments, which Christianity attempts to bind together in order to create the fraudulent appearance of prophetic continuity.
The first Testament of the Christian Bible is pejoratively denominated by Christianity as the “Old Testament”, which is an intentionally-flawed Greek-language translation of the Hebrew Bible plus (based upon the different inclusion decisions of each Christian sect) certain books of apocryphal literature. Christianity’s flawed translation of the Hebrew Bible was implemented by the early Church in order to retroactively manufacture prophetic support in the mistranslated text of the Hebrew Bible for Christianity’s claim that Jesus was the Messiah promised by the Hebrew Bible.
The second Testament of the Christian Bible is triumphantly denominated by Christianity as the “New Testament”, which was composed in the Greek language. The earliest portion of the “New Testament” is the non-disputed “Epistles of Paul” (i.e., those 7 out of the 14 letters traditionally attributed to the apostle Paul that appear to have been authored by the same person, whether or not that person was actually Paul (formerly known as Saul of Tarsus), to wit: 1 Thessalonians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Romans and Philemon). These non-disputed Pauline letters emerged over a 10-year period beginning approximately 20 years after the purported crucifixion of Jesus (i.e., circa 50 CE - 60 CE). However, the core of the “New Testament” is the chronologically subsequent “Gospels” portion thereof, comprising the four often-conflicting narratives of the purported birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension and teachings of Jesus, created by the unknown authors subsequently denominated as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The earliest gospel narrative of Jesus -- the “Gospel of Mark” -- was written approximately 20 years after the earliest appearance of the non-disputed “Epistles of Paul” and approximately 40 years after the purported crucifixion of Jesus (i.e., circa 70 CE), while the latest gospel narrative of Jesus -- the “Gospel of John” -- was written approximately 50 years after the earliest appearance of the non-disputed “Epistles of Paul” and approximately 70 years after the purported crucifixion of Jesus (i.e., circa 100 CE). This means that the author of the non-disputed “Epistles of Paul” and his acolytes were afforded many decades to define -- without hindrance -- the major doctrines of early Christianity, initially in a pre-Gospels environment and subsequently in partial-Gospels environment.
The centerpiece of Christianity is the assertion that Jesus is the “Son of God”, that he is consequently the Messiah promised by the Hebrew Bible and that he was -- and, by virtue of his Heavenly Father’s Design, had to be -- tortured and murdered in order to become an Atonement for the Sins of Humankind, after which he was resurrected from death before ascending to his Heavenly Father (see Matthew 16:21, 26:2, 26:21, 26:45-46 & 26:56; Mark 10:33-34 & 10:45; Luke 9:22 & 22:14-22; John 1:29, 6:51, 7:1-8, 7:30, 8:20 & 13:10-26; Romans 6:10; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Hebrews 9:11-14, 9:23-28 & 10:1-10; and Revelation 1:5 regarding Jesus’ purported Death by Design as Atonement for Sin; and see Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-18; Luke 24:1-43; John 20:1-29 & 21:1-14; and 1 Corinthians 15:4 regarding Jesus’ purported Resurrection; and see Mark 16:19; Luke 24:50-51; and Acts 1:1-11 regarding Jesus’ purported Ascension).
Contrariwise, according to the Hebrew Bible, the Messiah will not be a demigod. Rather, he will be born only of human parents. Moreover, nowhere in the Hebrew Bible does it declare whether he will be able to perform miracles, as that ability -- if he possesses it -- is irrelevant to his status as the Messiah. Furthermore, nowhere in the Hebrew Bible does it declare that he will be tortured and/or murdered and/or be rendered an Atonement for the Sins of anyone -- let alone for the Sins of all Humankind. Rather, the Messiah promised by the Hebrew Bible is prophesied to accomplish four extraordinary feats, namely:
(1) the complete defeat of Israel’s enemies (see Genesis 12:3; Numbers 24:8-9; Deuteronomy 32:43; Isaiah 52:10 & 59:17-21; Jeremiah 2:3, 30:11 & 33:15-16; Ezekiel 37:24-25 & 38:3 - 39:6; Joel 4:1-2; Amos 9:15; Zephaniah 3:12-20; Zechariah 14:2-13; Malachi 3:19-21; and Daniel 7:14); and
(2) the initiation of the era of universal knowledge of the God of Israel (see Isaiah 11:9; Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 37:28; Zephaniah 3:9; Micah 4:1-2; and Zechariah 8:20-23 & 14:9); and
(3) the initiation of the era of universal peace among the nations (Isaiah 2:4 & 11:6-8; Micah 4:3-4; and Zechariah 8:3-6 & 9:9-10); and
(4) the erection of the Third Temple in Jerusalem (see Isaiah 56:7 and Ezekiel 37:26-28, both of which passages make it clear that the Temple will not be in existence, as the Second Temple was during throughout the purported lifetime of Jesus, when the Messiah begins his redemptive mission)
-- and to do all of these things during his mortal lifetime.
Jesus, however, did not accomplish any of these feats during his purported lifetime; nor did he accomplish any of these feats between his purported Resurrection and his purported Ascension. The fact that Jesus failed to fulfill any of these messianic prophecies forced the early Church: (a) to repurpose the Messiah’s mission from fulfilling the prophecies of the Hebrew Bible (the accomplishment of which is subject to empirical proof) to atoning for the Sins of Humankind (the accomplishment of which is not subject to empirical proof) and (b) to simultaneously claim that Jesus would return to Earth to accomplish that which he failed to accomplish before his purported ascension (see Mark 13:21-37; Matthew 24:32-35; John 21:22-23; Acts 1:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Hebrews 9:28; and Revelation 1:7 & 19:11-16). This promised Return is commonly known as the “Second Coming” or the “Second Advent”, although, to be precise, it should be denominated as the “Third Coming” or the “Third Advent” (as, purportedly, Jesus has already appeared twice on Earth, to wit: the first time from his purported birth to his purported crucifixion, and the second time from his purported Resurrection to his purported Ascension). Contrariwise, the true Messiah, who will have accomplished all of his assigned tasks during his lifetime, will have no need to resurrect after death or to return after ascension for that purpose.
Moreover, in a stunning example of hubris, Jesus purportedly promised his disciples that his Return after Ascension was imminent, to wit:
“‘Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. So, when you see all of these things [i.e., signs portending the Day of Judgment], you will know that it [i.e., Jesus’ Return after Ascension] is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and Earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.’” (Matthew 24:32-35)
Yet, approximately 100 generations of Humanity have expired since this “New Testament” prophecy was uttered -- without the occurrence of Jesus’ Return to Earth after his purported Ascension.
One of the most fundamental doctrines of Christianity is that of the “Curse of Original Sin”. This doctrine posits that all human beings inherit, at birth, Humanity’s first Sin, namely, the consumption by Adam and Eve of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (see Genesis 2:15-17 & 3:1-23). Consequently, according to Christianity, human beings are, by their very nature, Evil; and such a fatal congenital stain on their souls cannot be expunged except through their acceptance of Jesus as their Savior. As the Christian Bible declares:
“As it is written, there is none righteous; no, not one.” (Romans 3:10)
“Wherefore, as Sin came into the World through one man [i.e., Adam], and Death through [Adam’s] Sin; and so Death spread to all men because all men sinned [through Adam].” (Romans 5:12);
“For, as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)
However, the “New Testament” contradicts itself on this foundational pillar of Christianity when it implies that the parents of John the Baptist were not stained with the “Curse of Original Sin”, by declaring:
“In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the Sight of God, observing all of the Lord’s Commandments and Decrees blamelessly.” (Luke 1:5-6)
Contrariwise, one of the most fundamental doctrines of Judaism is that God has created all human beings in His Image; and, consequently, all human beings are born innocent of Sin, including the “Original Sin”. Judaism teaches that God has bestowed upon every human being the Gift of Free Will to enable each human being to prospectively choose between doing Good and doing Evil, which Gift is the negation of the concept of the “Curse of Original Sin”.
As the Hebrew Bible declares:
“And God said: ‘Let us make Man in Our Image, after Our Likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the bird of the sky, and over the animal, and over all the Earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the Earth.’ So God created Man in His Own Image, in the Image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the Earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the bird of the sky and over every living thing that moves upon the Earth.’” (Genesis 1:26-28)
“Fathers shall not be put to death because of sons, and sons shall not be put to death because of fathers; a man should be put to death [only] for his own Sin.” (Deuteronomy 24:16)
“‘His father, because he has cruelly oppressed [his fellow Jew], has robbed loot from [his] brother, and did that which is not good among his people -- behold, he died for his Sin. Yet you say: “Why did the son not bear the Iniquity of the father?”; but the son performed [acts of] Justice and Righteousness, and kept all My Laws and performed them; [consequently,] he shall surely live! The soul that sins, it shall die; a son shall not share the Iniquity of his father, and a father shall not share the Iniquity of his son; the Righteousness of the righteous person shall be upon him, and the Wickedness of the wicked person shall be upon him.’” (Ezekiel 18:18-20)
Furthermore, not only are the descendants of Adam and Eve not stained with the “Curse of Original Sin”, but God also did not curse even Adam and Eve as a punishment for their Sin; rather, their punishment was Exile from the Garden of Eden, together with the harsh consequences that flow naturally therefrom (i.e., they were made subject to the routine hardships of life, such as pain in childbirth and arduous cultivation of crops (see Genesis 3:16-23)).
While it is true that, as soon as a human being has acquired the ability to distinguish between Right and Wrong, the inclination to perpetrate Evil embeds itself within his heart (see Genesis 8:21), it is equally true that the ability to overcome that inclination is simultaneously planted within his heart. For, in the most profound and definitive Declaration to be found anywhere in the Hebrew Bible concerning a human being’s relationship to Sin, Redemption and Free Will, the God of Israel explains to Adam’s son Cain (after He has rejected Cain’s agricultural offering as being insincere) that every human being, even after abysmal failure, has been gifted by Him with the ability to triumph anew over Temptation by exercising his Free Will to choose Good over Evil. As the Hebrew Bible relates:
“And HaShem said to Cain: ‘Why are you annoyed, and why has your countenance fallen? Surely, if you improve yourself, you will be forgiven. But if you do not improve yourself, Sin rests at the Door. Its desire is towards you; yet you can conquer it.’” (Genesis 4:6-7).
The Hebrew Bible repeats this Redemptive Message many times, including through the Prophet Ezekiel, who -- speaking in God’s Name -- declares:
“‘As for the wicked one, if he repents from all of his Sins that he committed, and he observes all of My Decrees and performs [acts of] Justice and Righteousness, [then] he shall surely live; he shall not die [because of his Sins]! All of his transgressions that he committed shall not be remembered against him; he shall live because of the [acts of] Righteousness that he did. Do I desire at all the death of the wicked one? -- the Oration of the Lord HaShem; is it not rather [that I desire] his repentance from his [evil] ways, that he might live? … And if the wicked one turns away from his Wickedness that he did and performs [acts of] Justice and Righteousness, [then] he will cause his soul to live. Because he contemplated and repented from all of his transgressions that he did he shall surely live; he shall not die [because of his Sins]!’” (Ezekiel 18:21-23 & 27-28)
The Prophet Isaiah -- also speaking in God’s Name -- concurs:
“‘Seek HaShem when He can be found; call upon Him when He is near. Let the wicked one forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts; let him return to HaShem, and He will show him mercy -- [let him return] to our God, for He is abundantly forgiving.’” (Isaiah 55:6-7)
Consequently, Judaism rejects the concept of the “Curse of Original Sin”.
Moreover, in contravention of God’s Promise to Cain and God’s serial reiteration of that Redemptive Message, Christianity posits that -- due to the “Curse of Original Sin” -- a person cannot, by his own righteous conduct, entitle himself to receive God’s Love and Salvation. On the contrary, according to Christianity, without God’s extension of Grace to the righteous person through the latter’s acceptance of Jesus as Savior, the latter will nonetheless suffer God’s Wrath. As the “New Testament” declares:
“Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work [i.e., does not perform righteous deeds] but trusts in God Who justifies the Wicked [i.e., the Evildoer who accepts Jesus as his Savior], his faith is credited as Righteousness.” (Romans 4:4-5)
“It was not through Law [i.e., the Torah] that Abraham and his offspring received the Promise that he would be Heir of the World, but through the Righteousness that comes by Faith. For, if those who live by Law are heirs, Faith has no value, and the Promise is worthless. For, [adhering to] Law brings Wrath; and where there is no Law, there is no Transgression [of the Law].” (Romans 4:13-15)
“For it is by [God’s] Grace that you have been saved -- through Faith; and this is not from [any righteous act done by] yourselves. It is the Gift of God, not by [your good] Works, so that no one can boast [that he has purchased his Salvation by means of righteous conduct].” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
“But, when [through] the Kindness and Love of God, our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His Mercy.” (Titus 3:4-5)
This seminal Christian doctrine, known as “Justification By Faith Alone”, essentially asserts that, when the God of Israel created and communicated His Commandments for and to the Jewish people, He committed an Act of Frivolity, as He did not actually desire that the Jewish people comply with His Commandments, but rather that they ignore His Commandments and live by Faith alone. Consequently, via this doctrine, Christianity falsely attributes to the God of Israel the Trait of Nonsensicality. This false attribution constitutes a monumental violation of the Torah’s Third Commandment, to wit: “‘Do not take the Name of HaShem your God in vain; for HaShem will not hold him guiltless that takes His Name in vain.’” (Exodus 20:7 and Deuteronomy 5:11), meaning that we are forbidden from misrepresenting the Character of God.
However, notwithstanding its consistent disparagement of righteous conduct as the Way to God’s Love and Salvation, the “New Testament” contradicts itself on the fundamental doctrine of “Justification By Faith Alone”, as it also hosts a contrary declaration in the “Epistle of James”, which declares -- correctly -- that faith without righteous conduct is worthless (see James 2:14-26).
In contrast, Judaism does not accept the absurd and insolent premise that obedience to God’s Commandments, which -- by definition -- is the embodiment of Righteousness and Justice, constitutes an attempt to bribe one’s way into Heaven. As the Hebrew Bible, in repudiation of Christianity’s misleading characterization (in Romans 4:13-15) of God’s relationship with Abraham, declares:
“And HaShem said: ‘Shall I conceal from Abraham what I do, now that Abraham is surely to become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the Earth shall bless themselves by him? For I have loved him [Abraham], because he commands his children and his household after him that they keep the Way of HaShem -- [by]doing [acts of] Righteousness and Justice -- in order that HaShem might then bring upon Abraham that which He had spoken of him.’” (Genesis 18:17-19); and
“‘I will make your [Isaac’s] descendants as numerous as the stars of Heaven, and I will assign to your descendants all these lands, so that all the nations of the Earth shall bless themselves by your descendants, because [your father] Abraham obeyed Me and kept My Charge: My Commandments, My Laws and My Teachings.’” (Genesis 26:4-5)
And, reiterating the fundamental Judaic precept that obedience to God’s Commandments is the Key to Life, the Prophet Ezekiel subsequently declares in God’s Name:
“‘…but the son performed [acts of] Justice and Righteousness, and kept all My Laws and performed them; [consequently,] he shall surely live!’” (Ezekiel 18:19)
Clearly, according to Judaism, God showers His Love upon the righteous person precisely because the latter, by virtue of obeying God’s Commandments, acts righteously.
Yet, doesn’t Christianity -- a religion which claims to be based upon the allegedly liberating concept of radiating Love rather the allegedly repressive concept of adhering to God’s Commandments -- favorably distinguish itself from Judaism by virtue of Jesus’ proclamation of the “Golden Rule”? Well, no.
The “New Testament” depicts Jesus as saying:
“‘So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law [i.e., the Torah] and [the teachings of] the Prophets.’” (Matthew 7:12); and
“‘Do to others as you would have them do to you.’” (Luke 6:31)
However, as is conceded by the rendering of the “Golden Rule” in the “Gospel of Matthew”, that laudable concept was already firmly established within Judaism. For, as God declares to the Jewish people:
“‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart; you shall reprove your fellow, but you shall not incur Sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the members of your people, but you shall love your fellow as yourself; I am HaShem.’” (Leviticus 19:17-18)
Accordingly, the “Golden Rule” is actually a Torah Commandment, which was adopted but rarely practiced by the adherents of normative Christianity.
However, the “New Testament” contradicts itself on the centrality of the “Golden Rule” when it depicts Jesus as demanding that his followers hate their own families, to wit:
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate [his] father and mother, [his] wife and children, [his] brothers and sisters -- yes, even their own life -- such a person cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)
Another seminal doctrine of Christianity is known as “Holy Communion”, by which Christians symbolically cannibalize Jesus by consuming unleavened bread and wine that have been sacramentally transformed into Jesus’ body and blood. This doctrine was purportedly enunciated by Jesus to his apostles during the Passover seder known as the “Last Supper” (per the “Gospel of Matthew”, the “Gospel of Mark” and the “Gospel of Luke”) as well as approximately one year earlier (see John 6:4) to the larger Jewish public at a synagogue in Capernaum (which is present-day Kfar Nahum, Israel) on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee (per the “Gospel of John”). If the occurrence of both pronouncements were to be believed, then we would be confronted with an obvious absurdity, namely, that Jesus revealed one of the paramount doctrines of his ministry to the general public before -- nay, well before -- he revealed the doctrine to his closest acolytes. Moreover, it is noteworthy, as well as unsurprising, that this doctrine elaborately evolved over the estimated 30 years that elapsed between its laconic description in the “Gospel of Mark” (being the earliest Gospel chronologically) and its lavish description in the “Gospel of John” (being the latest Gospel chronologically), to wit:
“While they [Jesus’ apostles] were eating, Jesus took [unleavened] bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take it; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup [of wine], and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. ‘This is my blood of the Covenant, which is poured out for many,’ he said to them.” (Mark 14:22-24); and
“‘I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from Heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from Heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the World.’ Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man [i.e., Jesus] and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the Last Day. For, my flesh is real food, and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from Heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.’ He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.” (John 6:48-59)
Note that, in the “Gospel of John”, Jesus gruesomely insists that, by engaging in “Holy Communion”, his followers will actually (rather than symbolically) be eating his flesh and drinking his blood.
The doctrine of “Holy Communion” represents Christianity’s appropriation of the theophagy of the pagan world, which was prevalent during the 1st Century CE, whereby it was believed that drinking the blood of the Egyptian god Osiris (who controlled, inter alia, Life, Death, the Afterlife and Resurrection) would transfer to the imbiber a portion of that god’s power over those matters.
Contrariwise, the God of Israel not only abhors cannibalism (whether real or symbolic), but He also explicitly forbids consuming the blood of animals killed for food, to wit:
“‘Every creature that lives shall be yours to eat; as with the green grasses, I give you all of these. You must not, however, eat flesh with its life-blood in it.’” (Genesis 9:3-4, addressed to Noah and his progeny after the Flood); and
“‘And you must not consume any blood, either of bird or of animal, in any of your settlements. Anyone who eats blood shall be cut off from his kin.’” (Leviticus 7:26-27, addressed to the Hebrew tribes after the Exodus from Egypt); and
“‘Therefore I say to the Children of Israel: No person among you shall partake of blood, nor shall the stranger [i.e., Gentile] who resides among you partake of blood. And if any person from the Children of Israel or any stranger [i.e., Gentile] who resides among them hunts down an animal or a bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth. For the life of all flesh -- its blood is its life. Therefore I say to the Children of Israel: You shall not partake of the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood. Anyone who partakes of it shall be cut off.” (Leviticus 17:12-14, addressed to the Hebrew tribes after the Exodus from Egypt)
Moreover, nowhere in the Hebrew Bible is there even a hint that the Jewish people must symbolically cannibalize the Messiah in order to achieve Communion with God.
Christianity posits that Judaism’s alleged doctrinal errors caused the God of Israel to raise up Christianity in place of Judaism as the spiritual heir of that superseded religious doctrine and as the bearer of God’s “New Covenant”, as manifested in the “New Testament” portion of the Christian Bible (see Hebrews 8:1-13). As the “New Testament”, in an expression of Christian supremacy, declares: “By calling this Covenant ‘new’, He [God] has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.” (Hebrews 8:13). Accordingly, Christianity claims that, in order to transmit this “New Covenant” to Humankind, God’s “Holy Spirit” impregnated a woman named Mary (who was engaged to marry a man named Joseph) with Jesus -- thereby (according to the “Gospel of Matthew” and the “Gospel of Luke”) rendering him, upon his birth, as the “Son of God” -- without altering her prior status as a biological virgin (see Matthew 1:18-25; and Luke 1:26-38).
The dogma of the “Virgin Birth” -- springing from the influence upon early Christianity of pagan mythology in which a male god has sexual intercourse with a female human being, thereby resulting in the birth of a demigod -- is scripturally based upon Christianity’s intentional mistranslation of the Hebrew-language word “alma” in the Prophet Isaiah’s famous declaration in Isaiah 7:14 that “the young woman” would give birth to a son named “Immanuel” (a child whom Christianity identifies as Jesus, despite the fact that nowhere in the “New Testament” is Jesus ever referred to -- either by his family or by others -- as Immanuel). The “New Testament” explicitly relies upon Isaiah’s prophecy, as mistranslated and, more importantly, as truncated, when it asserts: “All of this [the virgin birth of Jesus] took place in order to fulfill what the Lord had said through the Prophet: ‘A virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son; and they will call him Immanuel’, which means: God with us.” (Matthew 1:22-23). Furthermore, it is noteworthy that the actual meaning of the name “Immanuel”, after the application of standard Hebrew-language syntax, is: “God is with us” (i.e., God is watching over us), and not, as the “New Testament” (under the influence of pagan mythology) translates: “God with us” (i.e., God has become one of us). Moreover, the self-contradictory text of the “New Testament” itself negates any implication that the future son of Joseph and Mary was intended to be called by any name other than “Iesous”, which is rendered from the Greek language into the English language as “Jesus” (see Matthew 1:21 where an unidentified Angel instructs Joseph to call his future son by the name “Jesus”; and see the contrasting account in Luke 1:31 where the Angel Gabriel instructs Mary to call her future son by the name “Jesus”). Alternatively stated, while the Hebrew Bible unequivocally declares that the child would be called “Immanuel”, the “New Testament” contradicts itself on the name of the child by repeating (from Isaiah’s prophecy) that the child would be called “Immanuel” even as it simultaneously declares that the child would, instead, be called “Jesus”.
In one of the most egregious examples of Christianity twisting the Hebrew Bible in order to serve its purposes, the Christian Bible mistranslates the Hebrew-language word “alma” (meaning: “young woman”) in Isaiah 7:14 as “parthenos” (which is a Greek-language word usually meaning: “virgin”), and then imports that very same mistranslation into the flawed and incomplete repetition of Isaiah’s prophecy that is found in Matthew 1:23. The word “alma” does not denote a virgin. Rather, “alma” describes an adolescent female without regard to her virginity. Alternatively stated, the word “alma” describes a woman’s chronological status rather than her sexual status, although the former status does imply the latter status prior to marriage. Conversely, the Hebrew-language word “betulah” means a “virgin”, and consequently that word explicitly describes a woman’s sexual status. As such, “betulah” is the word used in the Hebrew Bible whenever it wishes to explicitly identify a woman by the fact that she has not yet engaged in sexual intercourse; and Isaiah himself elsewhere employs the word “betulah” multiple times to denote a virgin.
However, even if the “alma” (“young woman”) of Isaiah’s prophecy was, in fact, a “betulah” (“virgin”) -- as is likely to have been the case before she was married to her husband -- the historical context of the Prophecy demonstrates that the Prophecy does not even refer to the time period of Jesus’ purported birth, namely, either circa 6 BCE (during the reign of Judean King Herod the Great according to Matthew 2:1) or circa 6 CE (during the reign of Syrian Governor Publius Sulpicius Quirinius according to Luke 2:2) -- representing yet another major contradiction within the “Gospels” -- when Judea (successor entity to the biblical kingdoms of Judah and Israel) was a captive province of the Roman Empire. Rather, the Prophecy refers to events that occurred more than 700 years prior to Jesus’ purported birth, namely, the coordinated invasion of the southern kingdom of Judah (during the reign of King Achaz) by the armies of the northern kingdom of Israel (during the reign of King Pekah) and the Empire of Aram (during the reign of King Rezin). Moreover, since the context of the Prophecy renders it certain that “the young woman” in Isaiah 7:14 was someone with whom King Achaz of Judah was personally acquainted circa 735 BCE, it is obvious that: (1) this woman could not have been the “Mary” of the “New Testament”, and (2) this woman’s future son, Immanuel, could not have been the “Jesus” of the “New Testament”.
Furthermore, a review of the complete Prophecy in context also demonstrates that the small portion thereof that heralds the birth of the child Immanuel is not even the subject of the Prophecy. For, that most famous snippet of the Prophecy is merely predicting an interim event, the occurrence of which is intended by the Prophet Isaiah only to provide compelling proof -- in the Words of the Prophet: a “Sign” -- to the faithless King Achaz of Judah that the final events predicted by the Prophecy will, in fact, also come to pass. What are the final events that constitute the subject of the Prophecy? These final events are the impending destructions of the Empire of Aram and of the northern kingdom of Israel, both by the Assyrian Empire (under King Shalmaneser IV and under his successor King Sargon II), and the subsequent (unsuccessful) invasion of Judah, also by the Assyrian Empire (under King Sennacherib, son of and successor to King Sargon II).
Moreover, the Prophet’s use of the Hebrew-language word “oat” (meaning: “sign”) in the Prophecy to describe that compelling proof (i.e., the interim event) is telling. For, the word “oat” is used in the Hebrew Bible exclusively to denote an empirical event (e.g., the incontestable fact of birth, rather than the contestable means of conception). Had the Prophet intended, instead, to convey to King Achaz that such compelling proof would exist by faith (e.g., a supernatural conception) rather than by observation, then he would not have employed the Hebrew-language word “oat”. Rather, the Prophet would have employed the Hebrew-language word “nes” (meaning: “miracle”).
Here, then, is Isaiah’s complete Prophecy in context:
“It happened in the days of Achaz, son of Jotham son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin, king of Aram, and Pekah, son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to wage war against Jerusalem, but they could not triumph over it. It was then told to the House of David [i.e., King Achaz of the southern kingdom of Judah], saying: ‘Aram has joined with Ephraim [i.e., the northern kingdom of Israel]’; and his heart shuddered, and [also] the heart of his people, like the shuddering of the trees of the forest in the wind. HaShem said to [the Prophet] Isaiah: ‘Go out and meet [King] Achaz, you and your son Shearjashub, at the edge of the channel of the Upper Pool, at the road of the Launderer’s Field, and say to him, “Be calm and still; do not fear. Let your heart not grow faint before these two smoldering spent firebrands, before the burning anger of [King] Rezin and Aram, and [before] the son of Remaliah [i.e., King Pekah]. Because Aram, along with Ephraim [the northern kingdom of Israel] and the son of Remaliah [i.e., King Pekah], has counseled evil against you, saying: ‘Let us attack Judah and vex it and annex it to ourselves, and crown the son of Tabeel as king within it’ -- thus said my Lord HaShem/Elohim: It shall not endure and it shall not be! For the capital of Aram is Damascus and the head of Damascus is [King] Rezin. In 65 more years, Ephraim [i.e., the northern kingdom of Israel] will cease to be a people. And the capital of Ephraim [i.e., the northern kingdom of Israel] is Samaria and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah [i.e., King Pekah]. If you do not believe this, it is because you lack faith.”‘ [The Prophet of] HaShem spoke further to [King] Achaz, saying: ‘Request a Sign for yourself from HaShem your God; request it in the depths [below] or high above.’ But [King] Achaz said: ‘I will not request; I will not test HaShem.’ He [the Prophet Isaiah] responded: ‘Hear now, O House of David [i.e., King Achaz of the southern kingdom of Judah]: Is it not enough for you that you treat men [i.e., the Hebrew Prophets] as being helpless, that you [must] also treat even my God as being helpless? Therefore, my Lord Himself will give you a Sign: Behold, the young woman is pregnant and will bear a son, and she will name him Immanuel. He will eat cream and honey as soon as he knows to refuse Evil and to choose Good. For, before the child will know to refuse Evil and to choose Good, the Land of the two kings whom you fear will be laid waste. [Subsequently,] HaShem will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your ancestral House such days as have not come since the Day that Ephraim [i.e., the northern kingdom of Israel] turned away from [the southern kingdom of] Judah: [namely, the invasion of] the king of Assyria.’” (Isaiah 7:1-17).
To verify the complete fulfillment of Isaiah’s Prophecy during the reign of Achaz, King of Judah, and during the reign of his son and successor Hezekiah, King of Judah (approximately 700 years before the purported lifetime of Jesus), please see II Kings 16:1-9, 17:1-6 & 18:1-37; and II Chronicles 28:1-8 & 32:1-23; and also consult extra-biblical historical sources.
Alternatively stated, Jesus is purported to have fulfilled a mistranslated sentence in a Prophecy, which sentence is not the subject of the Prophecy, and which Prophecy has nothing to do with the advent of the Messiah.
The misuse of Isaiah 7:14 in order to justify the fable of the virgin birth of Jesus and the latter’s messianic pretensions represents only one -- but is among the most consequential -- of the many intentional mistranslations, interpolations, deceptive contextualizations and erroneous narrations of the Hebrew Bible which appear throughout the Christian Bible.
Moreover, the “New Testament” also quotes nonexistent prophecies from the Hebrew Bible.
One such nonexistent prophecy is that the Messiah would be known as a resident of Nazareth (which town is not even mentioned in the Hebrew Bible), to wit:
“And he [i.e., Joseph, together with his wife Mary and their child Jesus] went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the [Hebrew] Prophets, that he [the Messiah] would be called a Nazarene [i.e., a resident of Nazareth].” (Matthew 2:23)
Another such nonexistent prophecy is that the Messiah would be tortured, murdered and resurrected, to wit:
“He [Jesus] told them [his apostles], ‘This is what is written [in the Hebrew Bible]: “The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day.”’” (Luke 24:46).
It bears repeating that there are no such prophecies in the Hebrew Bible.
Moreover, in addition to quoting nonexistent prophesies from the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament also conjures its own prophecies. For example, Jesus purportedly utters the following New Testament prophecy (which he fails to fulfill), to wit:
“Then some of the Pharisees [i.e., adherents of rabbinic Judaism] and teachers of the Law said to him [Jesus], ‘Teacher, we want to see a Sign from you.’ He answered, ‘A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a Sign! But none will be given to it except for the Sign of the Prophet Jonah. For, as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man [i.e., Jesus] will be three days and three nights in the heart of the Earth.’” (Matthew 12:38-40)
This “New Testament” prophecy fails for two reasons. Firstly, according to the “New Testament”, Jesus was not buried in the Earth -- let alone deep in the Earth. Rather, his corpse was purportedly placed inside a hollowed-out rock tomb (see Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:42-46; and Luke 23:50-53). Secondly, according to the “New Testament”, Jesus was not dead for three days and three nights. Rather, he purportedly died shortly after 3:00 pm on Friday afternoon (see Matthew 27:45-50; Mark 15:33-37; and Luke 23:44-46) and was purportedly resurrected prior to dawn on Sunday (see Matthew 28:1-6; Mark 16:1-6; and Luke 24:1-6), meaning that he was purportedly dead for approximately one and a half days and two nights.
In mainstream Christian belief, Jesus was the sacrificial “Lamb of God” (John 1:29), who descended to Earth in human form as the Messiah, so that he could be martyred as an Atonement for Humankind’s Sins.
However, as demonstrated by the previously-quoted portions of the Hebrew Bible, the God of Israel rejects the Christian notion that human sacrifice could ever serve as a “Substitutionary Punishment” (i.e., punishing a person for the Sin of another person) effecting a “Substitutionary Atonement” (i.e., forgiving a person’s Sin, because another person has atoned for that Sin), despite that notion’s extremely superficial resemblance to the expiatory ritual described in Leviticus 16:21-22 (i.e., the annual Yom Kippur atonement ritual by which the Temple’s high priest would symbolically transfer the unintentional Sins of the Hebrew tribes unto a goat -- not a human being -- known as the “scapegoat”, which was then banished -- not slaughtered). Per the Hebrew Bible, a person’s intentional Sins can never be expiated except through the sinner’s own confession and repentance. Nor can an innocent person ever be punished -- let alone tortured and murdered -- for the Sins of another person.
Moreover, the God of Israel has explicitly forbidden the practice of human sacrifice, which is an abomination to Him. As the Hebrew Bible states, in God’s Name:
“‘Do not allow any of your offspring to be offered up [as a fire sacrifice] to [the pagan god] Moloch, and do not profane the Name of your God: I am HaShem.’” (Leviticus 18:21); and
“And HaShem spoke to Moses: ‘Say further to the Children of Israel: “Anyone among the Children of Israel, or among the strangers residing in Israel, who gives any of his offspring [as a fire sacrifice] to [the pagan god] Moloch, shall be put to death; the people of the Land shall pelt him with stones. And I will set My Face against that man and I will cut him off from among his people, because he gave of his offspring to Moloch and so defiled My Sanctuary and profaned My Holy Name. And if the people of the Land should shut their eyes to that man when he gives of his offspring to Moloch, and should not put him to death, then I Myself will set My Face against that man and his kin, and will cut off from among their people both him and all who follow him in going astray after Moloch.’” (Leviticus 20:1-5); and
“You shall not act in this way towards HaShem your God; for, they [the surrounding nations] perform for their gods every abhorrent act that HaShem detests; they even offer up their sons and daughters in fire to their gods.” (Deuteronomy 12:31); and
“Thus said HaShem [to the Prophet Jeremiah]: ‘Go, and get a potter's earthen bottle, and take of the elders of the people, and of the elders of the priests, and go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the gate Harsith, and proclaim there the Words that I shall tell you, and say: “Hear the Word of HaShem, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says HaShem of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I will bring Evil upon this place, and whoever hears of it, his ears shall tingle, because they [the people of Jerusalem] have forsaken Me, and they have estranged this place, and have offered [sacrifices] in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah [have known]; and they have filled this place with the blood of innocents; and they have built the high places of [the pagan god] Baal, to burn their sons in the fire for burnt offerings unto [the pagan god] Baal; which I did not command, nor have I spoken of it, neither did it come it into My Mind.”’’” (Jeremiah 19:1-5); and
“They [the people of Jerusalem] turned their backs to Me, not their faces; although I have taught them persistently, they do not give heed or accept rebuke. They placed their abominations in the House which bears My Name and defiled it; and they built the high places of [the pagan god] Baal, which are in the Valley of the son of Hinnom, where they offered up their sons and daughters [as a fire sacrifice] to [the pagan god] Moloch, which I never commanded, nor did it come into My Mind, that they should do such an abomination, and so cause Judah to sin.” (Jeremiah 32:33-35).
The “New Testament”, insists that, after the purported crucifixion of Jesus, a person may only achieve forgiveness for “Original Sin”, as well as for their individual Sins -- except for the Christian Sin of Blasphemy, which can never be forgiven (see Matthew 12:31-32 & Mark 3:28-29) -- through the active intercession of Jesus, as the “Son of God”, after that person’s acceptance of Jesus as his Savior (see Ephesians 1:3-14).
Yet, the “New Testament”, particularly the “Gospel of John”, contradicts itself over whether Jesus is merely the “Son of God”, as evidenced by the following passages:
“… ‘My teaching is not my own. It comes from the One Who sent me.’” (John 7:16); and
“…‘… I am not here on my own authority, but He Who sent me is True. … I am from Him, and He sent me.’” (John 7:28-29); and
“Jesus said, ‘I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going [back] to the One Who sent me.’” (John 7:33); and
“‘… the Father is greater than I. … I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.’” (John 14:28-30); and
“‘I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.’” (John 16:28); and
“…‘… and tell them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”’” (John 20:17);
or whether Jesus is also God Himself, as evidenced by the following passages:
“… the one and only Son, who is Himself God …” (John 1:18); and
“‘Very truly I tell you,’ Jesus answered, ‘before [the Hebrew Patriarch] Abraham was born, I am!’” (John 8:58); and
“‘I and the Father are One.’” (John 10:30); and
“‘… the Father is in me, and I [am in] in the Father.’” (John 10:38); and
“‘Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me …’” (John 14:11); and
“[The apostle] Thomas said to him [the resurrected Jesus], ‘My Lord and my God!’” (John 20:28).
However, the notion that any human being (including Jesus) is -- or could be -- God Incarnate was long ago repudiated by God Himself, Who demonstrated and emphasized to the Jewish people that He is Incorporeal, to wit:
“‘And HaShem spoke unto you out of the midst of the Fire; a Voice of Words you heard, but you saw no Form -- only a Voice. … And you should beware greatly for your souls -- for, you saw no manner of Form on the Day that HaShem spoke unto you at [Mount] Horeb out of the midst of the Fire -- lest you will act corruptly by making for yourselves a graven image, even the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female.’” (Deuteronomy 4:12 & 4:15-16)
Moreover, the Hebrew Bible explicitly declares that God is not a person, to wit:
“‘God is not a human being …’” (Numbers 23:19); and
“‘… He [God] is not a human being …’” (I Samuel 15:29)
Moreover, the Hebrew Bible makes it clear that the Jewish people do not require any supernatural intermediary between themselves and God. As declared by the Gentile prophet Balaam concerning the Children of Israel:
“‘It is God [Himself] Who brought them [the tribal descendants of Jacob who are called the Children of Israel] out of Egypt according to the Power of His Loftiness. For, there is no [need to use] Divination in Jacob and no [need to use] Sorcery in Israel [in order to achieve Communion with God]; now it is said [directly] to Jacob and Israel what God has wrought [for them].’” (Numbers 23:22-23)
And as the Hebrew Bible later imparts to the Jewish people:
“Close is HaShem to all who call upon Him; to all that will truly call upon Him.” (Psalms 145:18); and
“‘Return, Israel, unto HaShem your God; for, you have stumbled in your Sin. Take words with you and return to HaShem; say to Him: “May You forgive all Sin and accept Good [from us], and let our lips [i.e., prayer] substitute for bulls [i.e., animal sacrifice].”’” (Hosea 14:2-3); and
“Say unto them [the Jewish people]: ‘Thus said HaShem, Master of Legions: “Return unto Me -- the Oration of Hashem, Master of Legions -- and I will return unto you” said HaShem, Master of Legions.’” (Zechariah 1:3)
According to the “New Testament”:
Contradicting his own purported declaration that the Commandments of the Torah are inviolable (“‘… Scripture cannot be set aside …’” (John 10:35)), Jesus purportedly abrogated the Torah Commandments of Kashrut (by which God declared to the Jewish people those creatures which are spiritually clean and, consequently, permissible to eat, and those creatures which are spiritually unclean and, consequently, prohibited to eat), to wit: “He [Jesus] said to them [his apostles]: ‘Are you also lacking in understanding? Are you not aware that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and [then] goes out into the latrine?’ Thus, he [Jesus] declared all foods clean.” (Mark 7:18-19); and
Jesus purportedly attempted to intimidate the Jewish people into accepting him as the Messiah, to wit: “‘Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.’” (Matthew 12:30); and, failing that tactic, he purportedly ordered (by means of a parable, known as the “Parable of the Ten Minas”, concerning the advent of the Kingdom of God) the annihilation of the Jewish people due to their rejection of his purported kingship, to wit: “‘But these enemies of mine who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here, and kill them in my presence.’” (Luke 19:27); and, perhaps in order to justify such an extreme measure, he purportedly declared that the Jewish people already deserved punishment for every murder perpetuated since the Dawn of Humanity, to wit: “‘And so upon you will come all the righteous blood poured upon the Earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the Temple and the altar.’” (Matthew 23:35). It is noteworthy that the author of the “Gospel of Matthew” misidentified which Zechariah was a murder victim, as Zechariah ben Berechiah was the Prophet Zechariah (see Zechariah 1:1); and nowhere in the Hebrew Bible does it report that the Prophet Zechariah was murdered.
Jesus purportedly declared to a gathering of Jews -- who had described themselves as the Children of Abraham and who regarded Jesus as merely a human being -- that they were really the Children of the Devil, to wit: “‘You belong to your Father, the Devil, and you want to carry out your Father’s desire; He was a Murderer from the Beginning, not holding to the Truth; for, there is no Truth in Him; when He lies, He speaks his native language; for, He is a Liar and the Father of Lies. Yet because I tell the Truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of Sin? -- if I am telling the Truth, why don’t you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says; the reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.’” (John 8:44-47), which declaration was later repackaged by the evangelist John in his First Epistle, to wit: “‘Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the Antichrist -- denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.’” (1 John 2:22-23)).
Jesus purportedly exorcised demons from humans; and, in one case, he purportedly granted to such expelled demons his permission to enter a herd of swine, to wit: “Jesus asked him [the demon-possessed man]: ‘What is your name?’ -- ‘Legion’, he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they [the demons] begged him [Jesus] repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside; the demons begged Jesus to let them [the demons] go into them [the herd of swine], and he gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.” (Luke 8:30-33).
Jesus purportedly convened a summit between Moses, the Prophet Elijah and himself in the presence of some of his apostles, to wit: “After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the Sun, and his clothes became as white as the Light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.” (Matthew 17:1-3).
Jesus purportedly declared the objective criteria by which his true followers would be identified, to wit: “‘He that believes and is baptized will be saved, but he that does not believe will be condemned. And these Signs will follow those that believe: in my Name they will cast out demons, they will speak in new tongues, and with their hands they will pick up [poisonous] snakes, and if they drink anything deadly it will not hurt them at all. They will lay hands upon the sick and they [the sick] will recover.’” (Mark 16:16-18). However, despite Jesus’ purported assertion that his followers would be able to survive the foregoing deadly perils, he nonetheless purportedly encouraged them to martyr themselves as proof of their devotion to him, to wit: “‘For, whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.’” (Matthew 16:25).
And, most infamously, the “New Testament” incites Christians to the most virulent form of Jew-hatred through its imposition upon the Jewish people of full and exclusive responsibility for the alleged hunting, capture, torture and murder of Jesus by means of:
(a) serially declaring that the Jerusalem rabbinic establishment sought to murder Jesus, to wit:
“But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus” (Matthew 12:14); and
“After this, Jesus went about in Galilee; he would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him.” (John 7:1) -- however, Jesus’ purported fear of prematurely dying is rendered nonsensical in light of the subsequent statement in the very same chapter of the “Gospel of John” that: “At this they [the Jews] tried to seize him [Jesus], but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.” (John 7:30); and
“So from that day on they [the Jewish leadership] plotted to take his [Jesus’] life.” (John 11:53); and
“As soon as the [Jewish] chief priests and their [Jewish] officials saw him [Jesus], they shouted: ‘Crucify! Crucify!’” (John 19:6); and
(b) ultimately fabricating the infamous self-damning public declaration which the “New Testament” attributes and attaches to the Jewish people -- collectively and in perpetuity -- in response to the purported assertion by Roman Governor Pontius Pilate that Jesus was not guilty of any crime against the Roman Empire and that, consequently, Rome’s soul would remain pure in the event of Jesus’ murder by Rome at the insistence of the Jewish people, to wit: “And all of the [Jewish] people said [in response to Pilate’s assertion of Jesus’ innocence]: ‘His [Jesus’] blood shall be upon us and upon our descendants.’” (Matthew 27:25).
Furthermore, all four “Gospels” assert that Jesus was betrayed by an apostle, whose name in the Greek language is “Ioudas”, and whose name in the English language is consequently rendered is “Judas” (see Matthew 26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11; Luke 22:4-6; and John 13:26-27). The name “Ioudas” is also the Greek-language translation of the Hebrew-language tribal name “Yehudah”, which is rendered as the English-language name “Judah”, from which is derived the English-language designation “Jew”. The English-language designation “Jew” is rendered into the Greek language as “Ioudaios”, which is an obvious cognate of the Greek-language name “Ioudas” (“Judas”). However, despite the unanimous assertion by the authors of the “Gospels” that Judas was the betrayer of Jesus, it is noteworthy that nowhere in the chronological first portion of the “New Testament”, namely, the non-disputed “Epistles of Paul”, is Judas even mentioned -- let alone accused of betraying Jesus -- leading to the firm conclusion that this villain had not yet become a part of the Christian narrative. Consequently, it is likely that the later authors of the four “Gospels”, in an effort to further inflame Jew-hatred among Christians, chose to conjure a betrayer whose name in the Greek language (and, for obvious linguistic reasons, in many other languages) was synonymous with the designation “Jew”.
The “New Testament” subsequently accuses the Jewish leadership of attempting to orchestrate a vast conspiracy in order to conceal from the populace the purported final proof of the truth of Christianity, namely, Jesus’ alleged postmortem resurrection, by declaring: “When the [Jewish] chief priests had met with the [Jewish] elders and devised a plan, they gave the [Roman] soldiers a large sum of money, telling them: ‘You are to say, “His [Jesus’] disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.” If this report gets to the [Roman] Governor [Pontius Pilate], we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’ So the [Roman] soldiers took the money, and did as they were instructed; and this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very Day.” (Mathew 28:12-15).
Moreover, the apostle Paul -- nascent Christianity’s preeminent and seminal evangelist in the immediate period after the purported lifetime of Jesus -- further propagated the blood libel of Deicide and implicitly advocated genocide against the Jewish people in his purported letter to the Christian residents of Thessalonica, Macedonia (which is present-day Thessaloniki, Greece) by purportedly declaring on behalf of God:
“For you, brothers, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus. You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus and the Prophets, and also drove us out. They [the Jews] displease God and are the enemies of all Humanity in their effort to keep us from speaking to the [pagan] Gentiles, so that they [the pagan Gentiles] may be saved [by becoming Christians]. In this way they [the Jews] always heap up their Sins to the limit. The Wrath of God has come upon them [the Jews] at last.” (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16)
Furthermore, according to the “Acts of the Apostles” portion of the “New Testament”, the apostle Peter, purportedly speaking on behalf of God, also accused the Jewish people of Deicide in his purported speeches to groups of Jews, to wit:
“‘Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by Miracles, Wonders and Signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s Deliberate Plan and Foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.’” (Acts 2:22-23); and
“‘Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.’” (Acts 2:36); and
“‘The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the Author of Life, but God raised him from the dead.’” (Acts 3:13-15); and
“‘The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead, whom you killed by hanging him on a cross.’” (Acts 5:30)
Yet, despite all of the foregoing, in an enigmatic but prescient statement to a Gentile follower, which reaffirms the exclusive Truth of Scriptural Judaism, Jesus purportedly declared:
“‘... You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know; for Salvation is from the Jews.’” (John 4:22).
Per the “New Testament”, Jesus was initially sent by his Heavenly Father to minister to the Jewish people rather than to the pagan Gentile peoples of the Roman Empire. As the “New Testament” relates: “These twelve [apostles] Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Do not go among the [pagan] Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: “The Kingdom of Heaven is near.”’” (Matthew 10:5-7); and: “He [Jesus] answered [to his apostles]: ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.’” (Matthew 15:24). This being the case, and in light of the fact that the Roman Empire habitually executed persons who challenged the Emperor’s primacy in the temporal realm and/or the spiritual realm, why does the “New Testament” falsely place the guilt for the alleged hunting, capture, torture and execution of Jesus upon “the lost sheep of Israel” rather than upon the Roman Empire? After all, the entire Land of Israel was a possession of imperial Rome, and was subject to the latter’s authority in all matters. The notion that the subjugated Jewish people were able to impose upon the Roman Empire’s provincial governor their alleged desire to murder an innocent person is patently ludicrous. This is especially so in the case of Roman Governor Marcus Pontius Pilatus (commonly known as “Pontius Pilate”), who has been described by historians as being ruthless, headstrong, unprincipled and dismissive of public opinion -- in repudiation of his portrayal in the “Gospels” as being sensitive, indecisive, solicitous of the innocent and intimidated by public opinion (see Matthew 27:11-26; Mark 15:1-15; Luke 23:1-25; and John 18:28-40 & 19:1-16). The reason for Christianity’s false portrayal of this Roman official is clear. In order for Christianity’s culpability claim against the Jewish people to seem plausible to future generations of potential Christians, the “New Testament” had to conjure a powerful Jewish mob and a weak Pontius Pilate.
Likewise, the notion that a Jewish militia under the command of the Jerusalem rabbinic establishment was permitted by the Roman Empire to hunt, capture and murder people that displeased the Jewish leadership is absurd and lacks any attestation in the historical record. In fact, during the purported lifetime of Jesus, there were many other Jews who also claimed to be the Messiah (e.g., according to 1st Century CE Jewish historian Titus Flavius Josephus, some of these pretenders were Theudas, Simon of Peraea and Athronges); but none of them were murdered or otherwise harmed by the rabbinic establishment for making such false claims. Instead -- like the purported Jesus -- they were killed by the Roman Empire for challenging the absolute authority claimed by the Roman Emperor. Alternatively stated, it defies logic to assert that the Jerusalem rabbinic establishment, which brazenly rejected the pagan religions of Rome, would nonetheless be permitted by that same Rome to punish -- let alone murder -- those Jews who rejected rabbinic Judaism. However, if the ludicrous assertion in the “Gospel of John” that the Jerusalem rabbinic establishment not only possessed the legal authority to hunt, capture and murder Jesus but had actually attempted to use that power against Jesus more than six months prior to his arrest by the Roman authorities (see John 7:1-3) were to be believed, then that same gospel’s claim that Jesus had avoided harm merely by restricting himself to nearby Galilee (see John 7:1) is rendered nonsensical. This is especially so in light of the apostle Paul’s subsequent assertion -- if accepted as true -- that, while in the employ of the Jerusalem rabbinic establishment as Saul of Tarsus, he had acquired the legal right to abduct and imprison Jewish followers of postmortem Jesus, not only in the Land of Israel, but also well beyond its borders (see Acts 9:1-2 & 22:4-5). However, this postmortem claim by the “New Testament” is as ludicrous as its premortem claim. For, with respect to the period subsequent to the purported death of Jesus, it is likewise ludicrous to suggest that the same Rome whose paganism was scorned by the Jerusalem rabbinic establishment would authorize the latter (via agents such as the purported Saul of Tarsus) to hunt, capture and imprison wayward Jews both within and beyond the borders of the Land of Israel. In fact, the “New Testament” itself repudiates its own assertion that the Jerusalem rabbinic establishment possessed either the power or the inclination to murder Jesus or anyone else for their religious pretensions. For, the “New Testament” triumphantly asserts that the apostles Peter and John, without suffering any punishment therefor, were able to openly disrespect the Jerusalem rabbinic establishment by: (a) harshly rebuking it for its refusal to accept Jesus as the Messiah, and (b) informing it that they would ignore its order against proclaiming to the Jewish people that Jesus was the Messiah and that he had been resurrected postmortem (see Acts 4:1-21).
Clearly, the “New Testament” had only one purpose in making its culpability claim, namely, to shift the blame for the purported death of Jesus and the purported persecution of his postmortem acolytes from the leadership of the Roman Empire to the leadership of the Jerusalem rabbinic establishment and consequently, via the doctrine of collective guilt, to all (non-converting) Jews.
This culpability strategy was integral to the survival and growth of Christianity. For, before the four “Gospels” had become substantially finalized circa 100, it had become clear to the leaders of early Christianity that the paucity of Jewish converts to the new religion would soon relegate Christianity to obscurity unless it welcomed pagan Gentiles in addition to Jews. Since the target Gentile population most available to early Christian evangelists was that of the Roman Empire, the first generation of Christian evangelists realized that condemning the leadership of the Roman Empire and consequently, via the doctrine of collective guilt, all pagan residents of the Empire for the Crime of Deicide was likely to make a dangerous enemy of the former and was unlikely to make Christians of many of the latter.
However, in the Jews, the leaders of early Christianity found a people that, conveniently, were already despised by both the Roman Empire and the early Church. The Roman Empire hated the Jewish people due to their stubborn -- and, in the view of Rome, incomprehensible -- refusal to regard Rome’s subjugation of Judea as a victory of Rome’s gods over the God of Israel. Moreover, the Jews’ refusal to accept their defeat as the defeat of their God was so subversive to Rome’s goal of uncontested imperial rule that it rightly feared the spread of this rejectionist doctrine to the other conquered peoples of the Empire. In fact, as the early Church was well aware, Rome’s enmity towards and ideological fear of the Jewish people had already manifested itself in Roman-occupied Alexandria, Egypt via the creation of the first known Jewish ghetto in 38. For its part, the early Church hated the Jewish people due to their refusal (in other than insignificant numbers) to convert to Christianity.
By promulgating the charge of Deicide against the Jewish people, the “New Testament” was able to provide a theological basis for the subsequent persecutions of, including the perpetration of genocides against, Jewish communities throughout the lands of Christendom. Ironically, based upon the Christological status of Jesus as a preexistent deity, and based upon this preexistent deity’s purported resurrection and ascension, Christianity itself provided a theological repudiation (albeit a repudiation that was never acknowledged by the leaders of the new religion) of its own charge of Deicide against the Jewish people.
Consequently, concocting a new religion in which the Jewish people, collectively and in perpetuity -- rather than the Roman Empire, collectively and in perpetuity -- was the perfidious villain would serve two goals, namely, (a) making Christianity more palatable to the pagan Gentile peoples of the Roman Empire and (b) taking revenge upon the Jewish people for rejecting the Doctrine of Supersessionism (also known as the Doctrine of Replacement Theology, namely the belief that God has replaced Judaism with Christianity as the Source of His Revelation to Humanity).
Proof of this deliberate shift in conversionary strategy is found in the “New Testament” account of the apostle Paul’s purported visit to the Jews of Antioch-in-Pisidia (which is located near present-day Yalvac, Turkey):
“As [the evangelists] Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the [Jewish] people invited them to speak further about these things [i.e., the tenets of Christianity] on the next Sabbath. When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the Grace of God. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the Word of the Lord [about Christianity]. When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy. They began to contradict what Paul was saying and heaped abuse on him. Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: ‘We had to speak the Word of God [about Christianity] to you first. Since you reject it, and do not consider yourselves worthy of Eternal Life, we now turn to the [pagan] Gentiles.’” (Acts 13:42-46)
The “New Testament”, after dramatically changing the locale to Rome, essentially repeats this explanation in the final verses of Acts:
“They [the Jews] arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning until evening, explaining about the Kingdom of God; and from the Law of Moses [i.e. the Torah] and from the [Hebrew] Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus. Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: ‘The Holy Spirit spoke the Truth to your ancestors when he said through Isaiah the prophet: “Go to this people and say: ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.’ For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.” Therefore I want you to know that God’s Salvation has been sent to the [pagan] Gentiles, and they will listen!’” (Acts 28:23-28)
Adding to the other mendacities of the “New Testament”, not only did Paul lie about persecuting (and having the legal authority to persecute) the Jewish followers of postmortem Jesus, but it is likely that he also lied about being Saul of Tarsus -- a purported Jew. As Paul boasted:
“‘To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the Law [i.e., those Jews who adhere to the Torah] I became like one under the Law, although I myself am not under the Law, so as to win those under the Law.’” (1 Corinthians 9:20); and
“‘But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice.’” (Philippians 1:18)
This raises an important question. If Christianity is the Revelation of God, why was it necessary for its premier evangelist to deceive people in order to persuade them to embrace the new religion? For, the God of Israel is the God of Truth.
In order to further endear nascent Christianity to the Greek-speaking Gentile peoples of the Roman Empire, the “New Testament” bestowed upon Jesus’ first apostle, Simon, the honorific Greek-language name “Petros” (meaning: “Rock”), which, in the English language, is rendered as the name “Peter” (see Matthew 4:18-20 & 16:17-18; Mark 3:16; Luke 5:1-11; and John 1:35-42).
Finally, perhaps the most definitive proof that early Christianity ultimately came to view the Roman Empire rather than the Jewish people as its primary conversionary target is to be found in the fact that -- although the purported words of Jesus, as purportedly memorialized in the “New Testament”, would have been uttered in the Hebrew language and/or in the Aramaic language (being the main languages spoken by the Jewish people in the Land of Israel during the purported lifetime of Jesus) -- the authors of the “New Testament” nonetheless chose to issue their conversionary missives in the Greek language (being the primary language of the pagan Gentile peoples residing in the eastern Mediterranean and Anatolian districts of the Roman Empire, as well as being an official language of the Empire).
The author of the “Gospel of Matthew” certainly understood the importance of gaining converts among the Gentile peoples of the Roman Empire and beyond. For this reason, his gospel includes a purported instruction from Jesus to his apostles, commonly known as the “Great Commission”, to wit:
“Then [the resurrected] Jesus came to them [his apostles] and said, ‘All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And, surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the Age.”” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Of course, in order for the “Great Commission” to be successful, it was necessary to make Christianity attractive to its new pagan audience.
For example, it is obvious that Jesus’ purported repudiation of the Torah Commandments of Kashrut in Mark 7:18-19 was intended by the early Church to make Christianity less rigorous for, and consequently more appealing to, the Gentile peoples of the Roman Empire. However, Jesus’ purported repudiation of Kashrut was probably a later addition to the “Gospel of Mark”, as is evidenced by the fact that the apostle Peter, despite being the preeminent apostle of Jesus during the latter’s purported lifetime, purportedly had no knowledge of this repudiation, to wit:
“… Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw Heaven opened, and something like a large sheet being let down to Earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a Voice told him, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’ ‘Surely not, Lord!’, Peter replied. ‘I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.’ The Voice spoke to him a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’” (Acts 10:9-15).
Contrariwise, if Jesus’ purported repudiation of Kashrut was not subsequently interpolated into the “Gospel of Mark”, then the author of the “Acts of the Apostles” neglected to carefully read that gospel before conjuring the foregoing interaction between the unidentified Voice and the apostle Peter.
Similarly, the early Church, after debate, decided to excuse Gentile converts to Christianity from compliance with the Torah Commandment of Circumcision, so “… that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God” (Acts 15:19; for the full debate on this issue, see Acts 15:1-29).
Moreover, at the same time as the early Church was reducing its ties to Judaism, it was increasing its ties to the Roman Empire. For example, many of the deities venerated throughout various regions of the Empire were believed to have been born on December 25 of the Empire’s Julian calendar (e.g., Rome’s Attis, Greece’s Dionysius, Egypt’s Osiris, Persia’s Mithra and Babylonia’s Ishtar), as that was the time of the Winter Solstice during which Rome’s Saturnalia festivities (including feasting, merrymaking and gift giving) in honor of the god Saturn were held. Consequently, it is no surprise that, in 336, the Church, at the instruction of Constantine I (commonly known as Constantine the Great), Rome’s first Christian Emperor, also adopted December 25 as Jesus’ purported birth date (thereby taking advantage of the fact that the “New Testament” is silent on the matter). After the replacement of the Julian calendar with the Gregorian calendar in 1582 (which subsequently became the World’s universal civil calendar), December 25 remained the fictitious date of Jesus’ purported birth, despite the fact that December 25 in the old Julian calendar had become January 7 of the succeeding year in the new Gregorian calendar, thereby causing different sects of Christianity to celebrate the fictitious date of Jesus’ purported birth on different dates in the Gregorian calendar (e.g., Catholics and Protestants celebrate Christmas on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar -- which was December 12 in the Julian calendar; and Eastern Orthodox celebrate Christmas on January 7 of the succeeding year in the Gregorian calendar -- which was December 25 in the Julian calendar). However, the deified Jesus had much more in common with these other gods than a mere birth date; for, the purported circumstances of Jesus’ birth, ministry, death and resurrection bear a striking resemblance to the purported circumstances of the births and/or ministries and/or deaths and/or resurrections of these other gods. Also, the pagan Gentile peoples of the Roman Empire could readily identify with a deified Jesus who was purportedly born from the union of a god and a human woman, as Romulus and Remus, the mythical founders of Rome, were also purportedly born from the union of a god (i.e., the god Mars) and a human woman.
Yet, the “New Testament” contradicts itself over when Jesus actually became deified as the “Son of God”. If one reads the “New Testament” according to the chronological emergence of its components, one can see that, in order to make Jesus more appealing to a predominantly-pagan audience, Jesus evolved over a relatively short period of time --approximately 50 years -- from being Joseph’s biological son to being a preexistent deity:
Per the “Epistles of Paul” (written circa 50 CE - 60 CE), Jesus became the “Son of God” only upon his purported resurrection (see Romans 1:4; and the purported declaration of the apostle Paul, as quoted in Acts 13:30-33), as until that time he was only a human Messiah, born of two human parents (see Romans 1:3; and the purported declaration of the apostle Paul, as quoted in Acts 13:23), to wit: “regarding His Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of [King] David, and who through the Spirit of Holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 1:3-4); and “‘From this man’s [King David’s] descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as He promised.’” (Acts 13:23); and “‘But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people. We tell you the Good News: What God promised our ancestors he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: “You are My Son. Today, I have become your Father.”’” (Acts 13:30-33) It is noteworthy that the author of the Pauline letters was unaware of the “Virgin Birth” narrative, as it had not yet been created; so, the “Resurrection” narrative became that author’s deification device.
However, per the “Gospel of Mark” (written circa 70 CE), Jesus became the “Son of God” much earlier than his purported resurrection, namely, upon his adult baptism, to wit: “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan [River]. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw Heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a Voice came from Heaven: ‘You are My Son, whom I love. With you I am well pleased.’” (Mark 1:9-11). It is noteworthy that, like the author of the Pauline letters, the author of the “Gospel of Mark” was unaware of the “Virgin Birth” narrative, as it had not yet been created; so, the “Baptism” narrative became that author’s deification device.
However, per the “Gospel of Matthew” and the “Gospel of Luke” (both written circa 85 CE), Jesus became the “Son of God” much earlier than his adult baptism, namely, upon his birth, to wit: “This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:18); and “The Angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’” (Luke 1:35). So, the “Virgin Birth” narrative became those authors’ deification device. However, that being said, describing Jesus’ purported birth as a unitary narrative is very misleading, as this purported event together with its purported prologue and its purported epilogue, commonly known as the “Infancy” narrative, actually encompasses incompatible accounts. In fact, except for the claim of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem by Mary, a virgin betrothed to Joseph, every element of the “Infancy” narrative is the subject of dispute between these two gospels. Conflicting Pre-birth Accounts: The “Gospel of Matthew” claims that, during the reign of Judean King Herod the Great (see Matthew 2:1), Joseph and Mary were engaged to be married and were residing in Bethlehem when Joseph discovered that Mary had become pregnant by the Holy Spirit, after which an unidentified Angel informed Joseph that he must name the child Jesus (see Matthew 1:18-22). If this account were to be true, then it happened circa 6 BCE. Contrariwise, the “Gospel of Luke” claims that, during the (much later) reign of Syrian Governor Publius Sulpicius Quirinius (see Luke 2:2), Joseph and Mary were engaged to be married and were residing in Nazareth when the Angel Gabriel informed Mary that she would become pregnant by the Holy Spirit and that she must name the child Jesus (see Luke 1:26-35). If this account were to be true, then it happened circa 6 CE. Conflicting Post-birth Accounts: The “Gospel of Matthew” claims that, after Jesus’ birth in the family’s hometown of Bethlehem, a delegation of gift-bearing foreign sages, known as the “Magi”, subsequently visited baby Jesus in his house and worshipped him, thereby becoming the first people to treat Jesus as a demi-god (see Matthew 2:1-2 & 11), after which the family immediately fled to Egypt and resided there until the death of King Herod in order to avoid an attempt by the latter to murder baby Jesus (see Matthew 2:13-15). In the meantime, in an incident commonly known as the “Massacre of the Innocents, King Herod, being unaware that the family had already fled to Egypt, murdered all of the male children in Bethlehem and its environs who were 2 years old or younger (see Matthew 2:16-18). After the king’s death, the family returned to the Land of Israel and chose to reside in Nazareth in order to fulfill a (nonexistent) prophecy that the Messiah would be known as a resident of Nazareth (see Matthew 2:19-23). In the “Gospel of Matthew”, there is no mention of baby Jesus being placed in a livestock trough due to a lack of lodging accommodations (as the family already resided in a house in Bethlehem), and no mention of baby Jesus being visited by a group of non-gift-bearing and non-worshipping local shepherds; nor is there any mention of the family taking baby Jesus from Bethlehem to Jerusalem for the performance of Jewish religious rites (during which they might have been captured and murdered by King Herod). Contrariwise, the “Gospel of Luke” claims that Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem was effected by an empire-wide Roman census that (illogically) required people to return to their ancestral villages in order to be counted (see Luke 2:1-7), and that, after Jesus’ birth, Mary placed him in a livestock trough due to a lack of lodging accommodations in Bethlehem (see Luke 2:7), and that a group of non-gift-bearing and non-worshipping local shepherds subsequently visited baby Jesus (see Luke 2:8 & 15-16), after which the family took baby Jesus from Bethlehem to Jerusalem for the performance of Jewish religious rites (see Luke 2:22). After completing their activities in Jerusalem, the family immediately returned to their hometown of Nazareth (see Luke 2:39). In the “Gospel of Luke”, there is no mention of any threat to the life of baby Jesus (either in Bethlehem or in Jerusalem) and, consequently, no mention of the family fleeing (or needing to flee) to Egypt; nor is there any mention of a delegation of gift-bearing foreign sages who visited and worshipped baby Jesus, or any mention of the “Massacre of the Innocents”. However, in an effort to cope with the cognitive dissonance triggered by these discordant accounts, Christianity conjured a unitary “Infancy” narrative by combining the pre-birth account and a portion of the post-birth account of the “Gospel of Luke” (i.e., Joseph and Mary travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the Roman census, where Mary gives birth to Jesus and places him in a livestock trough) with the post-birth account of the “Gospel of Matthew” (i.e., a delegation of gift-bearing foreign sages visits and worships baby Jesus, after which the family immediately flees to Egypt in order to escape King Herod, and after which King Herod commits infanticide in the Bethlehem area; but, after the death of the king, the family returns to the Land of Israel and chooses to reside in Nazareth).
Finally, per the “Gospel of John” (written circa 100 CE), Jesus became the “Son of God” much earlier than any of the foregoing events, namely, at the very beginning of Creation, to wit: “In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He [the Word] was with God in the Beginning. … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his Glory, the Glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of Grace and Truth.” (John 1:1-14); and “‘Very truly I tell you,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’” (John 8:58). It is noteworthy that, although the author of the “Gospel of John” was likely aware of the “Virgin Birth” narrative, as that narrative had already been inscribed more than a decade earlier in both the “Gospel of Matthew” and the “Gospel of Luke”, he had no need of it as a deification device, as it hardly mattered where or how Jesus, as a preexistent deity, had first appeared on Earth. Consequently, the author of the “Gospel of John” did not explicitly refer to the “Virgin Birth” narrative in his gospel. However, he implicitly referred to and rejected that narrative by conjuring an interaction between Jesus and the Jews of Jerusalem, in which it is made clear that Jesus was born in Galilee rather than in Bethlehem, to wit: “On hearing his [Jesus’] words, some of the people said, ‘Surely this man is the Prophet.’ Others said, ‘He is the Messiah.’ Still others asked, ‘How can the Messiah come from Galilee? Does not Scripture [i.e., the Hebrew Bible] say that the Messiah will come from [King] David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where [King] David lived?’ Thus the people were divided because of Jesus.” (John 7:40-43). Tellingly, in the “Gospel of John”, the Jewish people are completely unaware of the claim made in the “Gospel of Matthew” and in the “Gospel of Luke” that Jesus was born in Bethlehem (meaning that they are also completely unaware of the claim made in those two gospels that Jesus was prophesied to be born -- and was subsequently born -- of a virgin in that city). Moreover, Jesus, as portrayed in the “Gospel of John”, remains silent on the issue, thereby implicitly confirming that he was born in Galilee rather than in Bethlehem (of a virgin). Towards the end of this gospel, the author decided to reinforce his implicit rejection of Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus by portraying Roman Governor Pontius Pilate as declaring that the crucified Jesus was from Nazareth rather from Bethlehem, to wit: “Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews.’” (John 19:19).
This last opinion of Jesus’ Christological status (i.e., that Jesus was a preexistent deity originating from the very beginning of Creation) eventually became the mainstream view of Jesus within Christianity and the Roman Empire. This Christological status, together with early Christianity’s disengagement from Judaism and its embrace of the Roman Empire’s pagan beliefs, customs and celebrations, allowed Christianity to obtain parity for the deified Jesus with -- and ultimately supremacy for the deified Jesus over -- the other gods of the Empire. Parity was achieved in 313 when the Empire issued its Edict of Milan, which decree legalized Christianity as a permitted religion of the Empire. Favoritism ensued when Emperor Constantine I convened and supervised a conference commonly known as the Council of Nicaea in 325, consisting of Christian bishops from throughout the Empire, whose purpose was to create a uniform set of Christian beliefs acceptable to the Emperor, which uniform creed became known as the “Nicene Creed”. The main issue of longstanding credal dispute that the Council of Nicaea needed to settle was whether the deified Jesus, as the Second Person (i.e., the Son) of Christianity’s Trinity, (1) was created by the First Person (i.e., the Father) and was consequently of lesser divinity than the First Person, or (2) was of the same substance as the First Person and was consequently of equal divinity with the First Person. Relying upon the preexistent deity formulation in the prologue of the “Gospel of John”, the Council ruled that the Son was equal in divinity to the Father, meaning that although they were distinct Persons, they possessed co-equal status within the Christian Godhead; but the Church subsequently splintered into the myriad Christian sects that exist Today -- numbering approximately 320 -- due, inter alia, to continuing disagreement over the Christological status of Jesus. Supremacy was finally achieved in 380 when the Empire issued its Edict of Thessalonica, which decree established Nicene Christianity as the official religion of the Empire.
Consequently, it is a gross mischaracterization to assert that Rome became Christianized. Rather, by deifying Jesus, Christianity became Romanized.
Ironically, despite purportedly calling himself the “Son of God”, and despite purportedly allowing his disciples to worship him in that capacity, Jesus -- by ridiculing the rabbinic establishment for instituting the Jewish tradition of washing one’s hands before touching food -- proved himself to be astoundingly ignorant about basic hygiene, to wit:
“The Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered around him [Jesus] when they had come from Jerusalem, and had seen that some of his [Jesus’] disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the traditions of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots. The Pharisees and the scribes asked him [Jesus], ‘Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?’ And he [Jesus] said to them, ‘Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: “This people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as [Torah] Doctrines the precepts of Men.”’” (Mark 7:1-7)
Obviously, the foregoing rabbinic custom was instituted for the purpose of achieving ritual purity rather than for the purpose of exterminating pathogens present on the surface of one’s hands (and one’s drinking and cooking receptacles), as the medical disciplines of bacteriology and virology did not yet exist in the 1st Century CE; and a mere human being living in that time period would not have been cognizant of the health benefits of washing one’s hands before touching food. However, according to the “Gospels”, Jesus denied that he was a mere human being, and he instead claimed, not only that he was the Messiah, but also that he was the “Son of God”, thereby enjoying the most intimate Communion with God. If those majestic claims are to be accepted as true, then why didn’t Jesus know that this rabbinic custom was beneficial to all of Humanity, including to himself and his apostles? Consequently, this purported interaction between Jesus and the rabbinic establishment constitutes perhaps the most persuasive empirical refutation of the Christological status of Jesus.
One last issue requires comment. Did the early apostles of Jesus attempt to evangelize the populations of the eastern Mediterranean Sea area solely for altruistic reasons, namely, to save the souls of these human beings from the otherwise unalterable damnation caused by the “Curse of Original Sin”? It seems not, as the “New Testament” itself provides evidence that the apostles possessed a pecuniary motivation for their activities, and they condemned their own followers as sinners in league with Satan for not maximizing their donations to them. Moreover, in order the intimidate and terrify future generations of Christians, the “New Testament” implies that a husband and wife were killed by God for their failure to give the apostles 100% of the proceeds from the sale of their land, to wit:
“Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge, he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. Then [the apostle] Peter said, ‘Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it [the land] belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.’ When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, ‘Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?’ ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘that is the price.’ Peter said to her, ‘How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.’ At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole Church [i.e., the followers of the apostles] and all who heard about these events. (Acts 5:1-11)
Moreover, the “New Testament” explains why the apostles were entitled to be generously compensated for their evangelistic activities, via a purported speech by the apostle Paul, to wit:
“‘Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? Even though I may not be an apostle to others, certainly I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me. Don’t we have the right to food and drink? Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas? Or is it only I and Barnabas who lack the right to not work for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk? Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn’t the Law [i.e., the Torah] say the same thing? For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it about oxen that God is concerned? Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. Don’t you know that those who serve in the Temple get their food from the Temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the Gospel should receive their living from the Gospel.’” (1 Corinthians 9:1-14)
Based upon the foregoing evidence, it is possible that Christianity originated as a business opportunity created by the early apostles. At the very least, it is obvious that even the early apostles did not actually believe in the “New Testament” doctrine of “Justification by Faith Alone”, because faith in Jesus as Savior, by itself, was clearly insufficient to save the souls of devoted Christians. The provision of maximized donations to the early apostles was also necessary for Salvation.
Unfortunately, with deadly historical consequences for the Jewish people, in tandem with its message of Divine Love for those who accept Jesus as their Savior, a message of hatred and contempt for (non-converting) Jews inheres in Christianity.
Obviously, we do not accept:
that Jesus is God rendered Corporeal (or that God would ever transform Himself into a demi-god or a human being); or
that Jesus is the biological “Son of God” (whether he is viewed as being distinct from God, or he is viewed as being merged with God, or he is viewed as being simultaneously distinct from and merged with God); or
that the one and only God of the Hebrew Bible is, instead, a three-Person Godhead, comprising the “Father”, the “Son” and the “Holy Spirit”; or
that the “New Testament” is a Scripture of the God of Israel; or
that Christianity has superseded Judaism as the Revelation of the God of Israel; or
that Humanity is born with the stain of “Original Sin”; or
that a righteous person might be denied God’s Love and Salvation; or
that the God of Israel created and communicated His Commandments to the Jewish people as an Act of Frivolity; or
that the God of Israel commands the Jewish people to engage in symbolic cannibalism of the true Messiah in order to achieve Communion with God; or
that the God of Israel impregnated a human woman (whether or not a virgin), and did so for the purpose of creating a demigod, who was destined to be hunted, captured, tortured and murdered, in order to absolve Humankind of its collective Sins (in that, contrariwise, with respect to intentional Sins, the God of Israel has explicitly repudiated the doctrines of “Substitutionary Punishment” (see Deuteronomy 24:16; and Ezekiel 18:14-20) and “Substitutionary Atonement” (see Ezekiel 18:21-32), and He has explicitly forbidden the practice of human sacrifice, which is an abomination to Him (see Leviticus 18:21 & 20:1-5; Deuteronomy 12:31; and Jeremiah 19:1-5 & 32:33-35)); or
that the God of Israel has decreed that a person cannot be forgiven for his intentional Sins unless he accepts Jesus as his Savior (in that, contrariwise, the God of Israel, before, during and after the purported lifetime of Jesus, without employing any intermediary, Himself forgives a person’s forgivable intentional Sins, but only after that person confesses, repents, and thereafter modifies his thoughts and behaviors in order to avoid repeating those Sins (see Ezekiel 18:21-32)); or, alternatively stated, that the God of Israel has decreed that, even without repentance and modification, a sinner will nonetheless be able to absolve himself from responsibility and punishment for his intentional Sins (except for the Christian Sin of Blasphemy) merely by accepting Jesus as his Savior; or
that the God of Israel requires people to hate their own families and their own lives; or
that the God of Israel gave Jesus the Power to abrogate the Divine -- and thus unalterable -- Commandments of the Torah, which God Himself bestowed upon the Jewish people; or
that the God of Israel has decreed that the Jewish people (or any other non-Christian) be massacred or otherwise persecuted as punishment in this Life for their refusal to convert to Christianity (or to otherwise accept Jesus as their Savior and King); or
that the God of Israel has decreed that the Jewish people (or any other non-Christian) will be cast into the Fires of Hell as punishment in the Afterlife for their refusal to convert to Christianity (or to otherwise accept Jesus as their Savior and King); or
that the God of Israel has decreed that Jews who don’t accept Jesus as the Messiah and/or as “Son of God” and/or as God Himself are Children of the Devil and/or that they are the Antichrist (or even that there exists such supernatural and autonomous creatures as the Devil and the Antichrist, representing Evil Incarnate); or
that the God of Israel created demonic creatures, and permits them to enter human beings in order to control their actions and possess their souls; or
that the God of Israel resurrected Jesus after his purported crucifixion; or
that the God of Israel resurrected Moses and the Prophet Elijah from death, so that Jesus would be able to meet and converse with them; or
that the God of Israel instructs the Jewish people, as proof of our faith in Him (via Jesus), to: (a) cast out demons (which would require a belief in the existence of demons and demonic possession), (b) speak gibberish, (c) handle deadly snakes, (d) ingest poison, and (e) heal the sick without resort to medical intervention; or
that the God of Israel instructs the Jewish people, as a sign of our devotion to Him (via Jesus), to martyr ourselves (in that, contrariwise, the God of Israel urges us to honor Him by choosing Life over Death (see Deuteronomy 30:19-20)); or
that the Jewish people bear collective and perpetual guilt for the Crime of Deicide (as if it were actually possible to kill the Creator of all Existence); or
that the God of Israel directed the various authors of the “New Testament” to employ mistranslated and/or truncated and/or nonexistent verses from the Hebrew Bible in order to prove that Jesus is the Messiah promised by the Hebrew Bible; or
that the true Messiah will -- at any point in time (i.e., either prior to his birth or during his lifetime or after his death) -- be a demigod rather than exclusively a human being; or
that the true Messiah will be tortured and/or murdered as part of his mission; or
that the true Messiah will fail during his lifetime to accomplish the tasks with which he has been entrusted by the God of Israel.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, assuming that Jesus and his early acolytes actually existed, it must be conceded that, without knowing which verses, if any, of the “New Testament” accurately describe the words and conduct of Jesus and his apostles, it is unfair to assign blame to any of those individuals for the Antisemitism inherent in the “New Testament” or for the horrific historical consequences thereof.
It is axiomatic that Christianity seeks to know God, not only through an intentionally-flawed translation of the Hebrew Bible plus (depending on the particular Christian sect) certain books of apocryphal literature, which are known as the “Old Testament”, but also through the “New Testament”; and, in cases of conflict between the Hebrew Bible and the “New Testament”, the latter prevails in the eyes of Christians simply because that Scripture is deemed by Christianity to be the corrective and final Word of God. Accordingly, to the extent that the Christian Bible distorts the Attributes, Message and Expectations of the God of Israel, it does not describe our God at all but another deity entirely -- and it is this latter deity that Christianity recognizes and to which Christians pray.
Consequently, we cannot possibly accept the postulate that the deity depicted in the “New Testament” and the God of Israel are one and the same -- or that, after so thorough a baptism in the falsehoods of the “New Testament”, Christians (even those who do not worship Jesus as a god) nevertheless pray to the God of Israel.
Ironically, Christianity unintentionally declares this very Truth about itself: “For the time will come when people will no longer accept sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they [the people] will gather around them a great number of teachers who will say what their [the people’s] itching ears want to hear. They [the people] will turn their ears away from the Truth and turn aside to Myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
It is no different with Islam.
Islam (meaning: “Submission”) revolves around the purported life and teachings of Mohammed ibn Abdullah (Mohammed son of Abdullah) (sometimes spelled: Muhammad), a pagan Gentile who is purported to have resided in the Arabian Peninsula approximately 1400 years ago during the 7th Century CE. Mohammed is purported to have died in 632.
Islam asserts that the God of Israel -- Whom Islam calls “Allah” -- initially gave the Taurat (Torah) to the Jewish people as an Instrument of Islam; and that He, in order to correct the doctrinal errors that had infiltrated Judaism, thereafter sent Isa (Jesus) as His Prophet and bestowed upon him the Injeel (Gospel) as a subsequent Instrument of Islam; and that He, observing that Christianity had also fallen into false doctrine, thereafter sent His final Prophet, Mohammed, in order to transmit God’s original and perfect Message to Humankind, which is Islam, devoid of the prior errors of both Judaism and Christianity (see Koran, Sura 3 “The Family of Imran” at 19; Sura 4 “The Women” at 46; Sura 5 “The Dinner Table” at 17, 44-51, 62-64, 72-75 &116; and Sura 9 “The Immunity” at 30-33).
The repository of this purported Message, purportedly revealed to Mohammed over a 22-year period spanning 610 to 632, is the Koran (sometimes spelled: Quran or Qur’an; meaning: “Recitation”), which is a chaotic stream-of-consciousness narrative (arranged, expect for the first chapter, from the longest chapter to the shortest chapter) that fragments and spreads its topics over many of its 114 chapters (each of which is called a “sura”). The Koran was purportedly recited by Mohammed at the command of the Angel Jibril (Gabriel) -- the same Angel who had, more than 600 years earlier, purportedly announced the prospective birth of Jesus to Mary according to the “Gospel of Luke”. Consequently, the Koran purports to be the complete and final Scripture of God, thereby superseding, in Revelation, both the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible. This doctrine of Muslim supremacy is expressed in the Islamic dogma that: “The only true Religion in Allah’s Eyes is Islam. ...” (Koran, Sura 3 “The Family of Imran” at 19). It is for this reason that Islam declares: “It is He [Allah] Who has sent His Messenger [i.e., Mohammed] with guidance and the Religion of Truth [i.e., Islam], in order for it to be dominant over all other religions, even though the unbelievers will oppose it.” (Koran, Sura 9 “The Immunity” at 33). This also explains why the Koran states: “No; Ibrahim [Abraham] in truth was not a Jew, neither a Christian; but he was a Muslim, and one pure in faith. ...” (Koran, Sura 3 “The Family of Imran” at 67). Since, according to Islam, Allah is the God of Creation, it is He Who spoke to our forefather Abraham. And since, according to the Koran, “the only true Religion” is Islam, it is only Islam that Allah imparted to Abraham, as a result of which Abraham became the first Muslim. Consequently, since, according to the Koran, Abraham was a Muslim, and since Abraham’s Jewish progeny of 7th Century CE Arabia rejected any “return” to Islam, God’s Eternal Promises to, and Eternal Covenant with, the descendants of Abraham were purportedly transferred from his Jewish progeny to his alleged Arab progeny (who dubiously claim descent from Abraham’s elder son Ishmael) who accepted Islam (as well as those non-Arabs who subsequently converted, either voluntarily or involuntarily, to Islam).
Yet, despite the Koran’s claimed purity (i.e., that God Himself is the Author of every word in the Koran and that -- per Koran, 85 “The Celestial Stations” at 21-22 -- He has preserved it on a heavenly tablet) and despite the Koran’s claimed continuity (i.e., that no portion of the Koran has been altered by human intervention from the time that its words were revealed to Mohammed until Today), the oral verses of the original Koran were not compiled into a unified written text during the lifetime of Mohammed.
So, what is the origin of Today’s standardized version of the Koran? Muslim apologists claim that 100% of the oral verses of the original Koran were compiled into an approved written text by the instruction of Caliph Othman ibn Affan (in a process which involved the destruction of all preexisting written texts of the Koran) in 652 -- 20 years after the purported death of Mohammed -- and that Today’s standardized version of the Koran is provably identical to Othman’s approved written text of the Koran. However, this claim is false, as:
a. no copy of Othman’s written Koran (if it ever existed) presently exists; and
b. the earliest extant written Korans -- numbering 6 parchment manuscripts -- are dated only to the 8th Century CE, being approximately 100 years after the purported death of Mohammed and approximately 80 years after the purported date of Othman’s written Koran; and
c. these early written Korans contain approximately 4,000 significant textual variances from each other (e.g., variant diacritical dots within words, which create variant consonantal letters within words, which result in variant words with different meanings; additions of text; erasures of text; additions of text over erasures of text; patches covering text; and/or additions of text over patches); and
d. each of these early written Korans continued to be revised for hundreds of years after their respective creations; and
e. none of these early written versions (either in their original forms or in their mutating revised forms) are the same version of the Koran as the standardized version that is universally accepted Today as being “the Koran”.
Astonishingly, Today’s “standardized” version of the Koran was created by a panel of scholars at Egypt’s Al-Azhar University only in 1924 -- by choosing from 37 competing versions of the Koran then in use throughout the World the version of the Koran purportedly transcribed by Abu Amr Hafs Ibn Sulayman in the 8th Century CE (commonly known as the Hafs Koran). The Hafs Koran was eventually adopted as the true Koran by Saudi Arabia (and, consequently, by most of the Islamic World) in 1985.
Yet, even Today’s standardized version of the Koran contains numerous internal contradictions. The way that the serial redactors of the Koran dealt with this problem was to include two verses in the Koran that proclaimed the “Doctrine of Abrogation”, whereby textual contradictions were to be resolved by permitting a later verse to cancel an earlier verse, to wit:
“Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We [then] bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?” (Koran, Sura 2 “The Cow” at 106); and
“And when We change [one] communication for [another] communication, and Allah knows best what He reveals, they [the unbelievers] say: ‘You are only a forger.’ Nay, most of them do not know [that Allah has reserved to Himself the right to abrogate Revelation].” (Koran, Sura 16 “The Bee” at 101)
Moreover, the tenets of Islam are presently drawn not only from the standardized version of the Koran created in the 20th Century CE, but also from Muslim biographies of Mohammed, the earliest preserved versions of which were created in the 9th Century CE -- approximately 200 years after the purported death of Mohammed -- and from the compilations of Muslim literature, the earliest preserved versions of which were also created in the 9th Century CE, that are collectively denominated as the Hadith (which corpus of literature purports to have memorialized the extra-Koranic words and deeds of Mohammed and his contemporary acolytes). The two most authoritative Hadith compilations are known as “Sahih al-Bukhari” (created by Mohammed al-Bukhari) and as “Sahih Muslim” (created by Muslim al-Hajjaj).
In a monumental departure from the Hebrew Bible, the Koran claims that Allah sequentially created two species of self-aware beings: first, the Jinn and, only afterward, the Humans (to wit: “And certainly We created Man of clay that gives forth sound, of black mud fashioned in shape. And the Jinn We created before, of intensely-hot fire.” (Koran, Sura 15 “The Rock” at 26-27)). According to the Koran, the Jinn are not Angels (who lack Free Will), but rather supernatural creatures who use their Free Will to obey or disobey Allah and to tempt Humans to do likewise (to wit: “Say: It has been revealed to me that a band of Jinn listened, and they [the Jinn] said: ‘Surely we have heard a wonderful Koran. Guiding to the Right Way, so we believe in it, and we will not elevate anyone together with our Lord. And He -- exalted be the majesty of our Lord -- has not taken a Consort, nor a Son. And [yet] the foolish among us [Jinn] used to utter falsehoods against Allah. And we had [previously] thought that Men and Jinn did not utter a lie against Allah. And [moreover] persons from among Men used to seek refuge with persons from among Jinn, but they [the Jinn] caused them [the Men] to increase in wrongdoing. … And some of us [Jinn] are righteous while some of us are not; we are sects following different ways.’” (Koran, Sura 72 “The Jinn” at 1-6); and: “On the Day when He [Allah] shall gather them all together, He [Allah] will say: ‘O assembly of Jinn, you have seduced Mankind in great numbers. …’” (Koran, Sura 6 “The Cattle” at 128); and: “And certainly We have created for [entry to] Hell many of the Jinn and the Men. …” (Koran, Sura 7 “The Elevated Places” at 179)).
Tellingly, the Koran does not view all Muslims as being equal in worth and dignity, as it commands husbands to beat their disobedient wives until they become obedient, to wit:
“Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them [i.e., men] to excel others [i.e., women], and because they spend [money for women’s welfare] out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen [i.e., their female form] as Allah has guarded; and [as to] those [women] on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then, if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High [and] Great. (Koran, Sura 4 “The Women” at 34).
Furthermore, the Koran permits Muslim men to rape slaves, to wit:
And these [i.e., Muslim men] must guard their private parts [i.e., their penises], except in the case of their wives or those whom their right hands possess [i.e., slaves]; for, these [i.e., Muslim men] surely are not to be blamed [for imposing sexual relations upon such women]. (Koran, Sura 70 “The Ways of Ascent” at 29-30)
Contrariwise, the Hebrew Bible, while acknowledging the then existence of slavery as a societal norm, prohibits Jewish men from raping slaves, including women captured during war, to wit:
“‘When you go out to battle against your enemies, and HaShem your God delivers them into your hand and you take them away captive, and you see among the captives a woman of beautiful form, and you desire [to have sexual intercourse with] her, then you may take her for yourself as a wife. [However, first,] you shall bring her to the midst of your house, and she shall shave her head and grow her nails. She shall remove the clothes of her captivity and shall remain in your house, and she shall mourn her father and her mother for a full month; and afterwards you may come to her and be her husband, and she shall be for you a wife. [However,] it shall be that if [after all of the foregoing] you no longer desire her, then you must let her go wherever she wishes; and you shall certainly not sell her for money; you shall not mistreat her, because you have afflicted her.’” (Deuteronomy 21:10-14)
As the preceding Torah Commandment reveals, instead of instructing the Jewish soldier of 3,400 years ago that he could neither make a slave of nor rape his female captive -- prohibitions which that ancient soldier would never have comprehended -- the God of Israel fashioned a series of steps which would gradually dissipate that soldier’s feelings of superiority mixed with lust, and would thereby permit him, no longer being so influenced by his passions, to choose between: (1) elevating his captive to spousal status, and (2) freeing her unconditionally.
Like the Christian Bible, the Koran suffers from erroneous and fictitious narrations of the Hebrew Bible. For example, the Koran:
misidentifies “Haman”, who was the chief minister of Persia’s Emperor in the Purim account, as being a minister of Egypt’s Pharoah in the Exodus account, despite the fact that the events of the Exodus occurred approximately 900 years before the events of Purim (see Koran, Sura 28 “The Narratives” at 1-42, especially at 6, 8 & 38); and
misidentifies the “two righteous spies” (i.e., Joshua and Caleb) -- who advocated conquering the Land of Israel despite the apparent strength of the Canaanite nations then occupying the Land -- as being “Musa [Moses] and his brother” (i.e., Moses and Aaron) (see Koran, Sura 5 “The Dinner Table” at 20-26, especially at 23 & 25); and
misidentifies “Marium [Mary]”, the mother of Jesus, as being the “sister of Haroun [Aaron]” (i.e., Miriam of the Exodus account), despite the fact that the events of the Exodus occurred approximately 1400 years before the purported events described in the “Gospels” (see Koran, Sura 19 “Mary” at 16-34, especially at 28); and
falsely asserts (when Moses delayed returning to the Hebrew encampment from Mount Sinai) that a “Samiri [Samaritan]” was instrumental in the creation of the golden calf, despite the fact that the events of the Exodus took place approximately 700 years before the emergence of the Samaritan people (see Koran, Sura 20 “Ta Ha” at 83-97, especially at 85-87 & 95-96); and
tells a fictitious tale about Moses and his unidentified servant journeying together to the junction of two rivers and then to a city, during which journey the servant, after disabling a boat and killing a child, serially rebukes Moses for questioning the servant’s actions and ultimately proves to Moses that the servant has been acting upon Revelations from Allah and that Moses has been an uncomprehending fool (see Koran, Sura 18 “The Cave” at 60-82).
Moreover, Islam accepts, based upon false Christian dogma (stemming from Christianity’s intentional mistranslation of Isaiah 7:14), the virgin birth of Jesus (see Koran, Sura 19 “Mary” at 16-34, especially at 20-22), yet rejects both the divinity and the divine lineage of Jesus (see Koran, Sura 5 “The Dinner Table” at 17, 72-75 & 116; and Koran, Sura 9 “The Immunity” at 30-32). Yet, in declaring Jesus to be a revered Prophet of Islam, the Koran inexplicably ignores the fact that Jesus, per the “New Testament”, purportedly permitted that which Islam -- “the only true Religion” -- explicitly prohibits (i.e., Jesus, in purportedly abrogating the Torah Commandments of Kashrut, implicitly sanctioned the consumption of pig meat, which the Koran explicitly forbids (see Koran, Sura 5 “The Dinner Table” at 3)).
Additionally, while accepting Abraham’s son, Ishaq (Isaac) as a Prophet, Islam views his elder brother, Ismail (Ishmael), to be the greater Prophet due to the dubious Islamic assertion that Ishmael is the ancestor of the Arab people, which would mean that Ishmael is the purported ancestor of Mohammed. This is probably the reason why, despite it not being specified in the Koran, Ishmael (rather than Isaac) is presently deemed by normative Islam to be the son whom God ostensibly ordered Abraham to sacrifice as a test of the Patriarch’s faith. Moreover, according to the Koran, Ishmael was given the high honor of accompanying Abraham to Mecca (located in modern Saudi Arabia), where together they purportedly built and dedicated the symmetrical structure known as “al-Kaaba” (meaning: “the Cube”), which is the holiest shrine in Islam, and where they purportedly implored Allah to create of their descendants (i.e., the purported Arab progeny of Ishmael) a holy nation to whom Allah’s Truth would be revealed (see Koran, Sura 2 “The Cow” at 125-129). This fanciful tale of Abraham and Ishmael in Mecca serves as the basis for the annual Hajj pilgrimage to al-Kaaba in Mecca, which culminates in the Muslim holiday known as Eid al-Adha (meaning: Festival of the Sacrifice).
Furthermore, with respect to the Jewish people, although certain verses of the Koran contain high praise for them, acknowledge God’s Eternal Covenant with them and recognize that the Land of Israel belongs to them (and exclusively to them), such as:
“O Children of Israel! Remember My Favor which I bestowed on you, and be faithful to [the] Covenant with Me; I will fulfill [the] Covenant with you; and of Me, Me alone, should you be afraid.” (Koran, Sura 2 “The Cow” at 40); and
“Children of Israel, remember My Favor which I have bestowed upon you, and that I exalted you above the nations.” (Koran, Sura 2 “The Cow” at 122); and
“Bear in mind the words of Musa [Moses] to his people. He said: ‘Remember, my people, the favor which Allah has bestowed upon you. He has raised up prophets among you, made you into kings, and given to you that which He has given to no other nation. Enter, my people, the Holy Land [Land of Israel] which Allah has assigned for you. Do not turn back, or you shall be ruined.’” (Koran, Sura 5 “The Dinner Table” at 20-21); and
“And We made the [Jewish] people who were deemed to be weak to inherit the eastern lands [i.e., territory lying east of the Jordan River] and the western lands [i.e., territory lying west of the Jordan River] which We had blessed; and the Good Word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel because they bore [sufferings] patiently; and We utterly destroyed what Firon [Pharaoh] and his people had wrought and what they built.” (Koran, Sura 7 “The Elevated Places” at 137); and
“Thereafter We said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land [i.e., the Land of Israel]; and when the Promise of the Hereafter is near fulfillment, We shall gather you all together.’” (Koran, Sura 17 “The Children of Israel” at 104); and
“And certainly We delivered the Children of Israel from the abasing chastisement -- from Firon [Pharaoh] -- surely he was haughty, one of the extravagant. And certainly We chose them, knowingly, [to be] above the nations.” (Koran, Sura 44 “The Smoke” at 30-32); and
“And certainly We gave the Book [i.e., the Torah] and the Wisdom and the Prophecy to the Children of Israel, and We gave them of the goodly things, and We made them excel [among] the nations.” (Koran, Sura 45 “The Kneeling” at 16)
yet other verses viciously attack the Jewish people (and sometimes Christians), such as:
“O Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians as your friends; they are friends of each other. Whoever of you makes them his friends is one of them! God guides not the people of the Evildoers!” (Koran, Sura 5 “The Dinner Table” at 51); and
“Humiliation is imposed upon them [the Jews] wherever they are overtaken, except under a Covenant from Allah and a covenant from the [Muslim] people [which stipulate the surrender and subjugation of the Jews to the Muslims]; and they have invited Wrath from Allah; and Shame has attached itself to them. This is because they disbelieved in the Revelations of Allah and killed the [Hebrew] prophets unjustly. This is because they disobeyed [Allah] and exceeded the limits [of permissible behavior].” (Koran, Sura 3 “The Family of Imran” at 112); and
“... [Jews are] those whom Allah has cursed and with whom He has been angry, [consequently] transforming them into apes and pigs, and [into] those who serve Satan.” (Koran, Sura 5 “The Dinner Table” at 60; and the transformation of Jews into apes during the Exodus from Egypt is also declared in Sura 2 “The Cow” at 65 and in Sura 7 “The Elevated Places” at 166); and
“You will see many among them [the Jews] competing with each other in Sin and Wickedness and in practicing that which is unlawful. Evil is what they do. Why do their rabbis and leaders not forbid them to blaspheme and practice that which is unlawful? Evil indeed are their doings. The Jews say: ‘Allah’s Hand is chained.’ May their own hands be chained! May they be cursed for what they say. ...” (Koran, Sura 5 “The Dinner Table” at 62-64); and
“You will find that the most implacable of men in their hostility to the faithful [followers of Allah] are the Jews and the pagans. ...” (Koran, Sura 5 “The Dinner Table” at 82); and
in a stunning display of Koranic ignorance concerning the monotheistic credo of Judaism: “The Jews say: ‘Uzair [Ezra] is the Son of Allah.’ The Christians say: ‘The Messiah [i.e., Jesus] is the Son of Allah.’ That is the utterance of their mouths, conforming to the [false doctrines of the] unbelievers before them. Allah destroy them! How they are perverted!” (Koran, Sura 9 “The Immunity” at 30).
Even worse, the Hadith spews forth a cascade of calumnies and incitements against the Jewish people, the most infamous of which is:
“Allah’s Apostle [i.e., Mohammed] said: ‘You [the Muslims] will war with the Jews until some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will [betray the Jews], saying: ‘O Servant of Allah! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him.’” (Hadith compilation of Sahih al-Bukhari at Volume 4, Book 52, Hadith 176, as narrated by Abdullah bin Umar);
and its variant version:
“Allah’s Apostle [i.e., Mohammed] said, “The Hour [of Judgment] will not be established until you [the Muslims] war with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say: ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him.’” (Hadith compilation of Sahih al-Bukhari at Volume 4, Book 52, Hadith 177, as narrated by Abu Huraira).
The foregoing apocalyptic declarations are connected to the well-entrenched Islamic belief that, during the time of God’s Judgment upon Humankind, Dajjal (the Antichrist) will begin to dominate the Earth together with his army of 70,000 Jews until Isa (Jesus) is resurrected from death and thereafter destroys Dajjal as well as his Jewish minions (see Hadith compilation of Sahih Muslim at Book 19, Hadith 1812 and Book 31, Hadith 7034).
In order to understand the foregoing enigma, namely, the intermingling in the Koran of philo-Jewish and anti-Jewish declarations, a brief history of Mohammed’s rise to power and his interactions with the Jews of Arabia -- according to the traditional history of early Islam -- is necessary. When Mohammed created Islam and declared himself to be its prophet, he attempted to gain adherents among the pagan Arab tribes of Mecca, which city was renowned for its ancient place of worship, al-Kaaba. The Arabs of Mecca venerated a pantheon of gods (consisting of 7 primary deities and hundreds of secondary deities), the foremost of which was the male Moon deity “Allah” (also known, when being entreated as the chief deity of al-Kaaba, as “Hubal”). In order to make his new monotheistic religion more palatable to Arab converts, Mohammed -- while discarding all of the other Meccan gods -- retained “Allah” as an object of worship, declaring that deity to be the Creator of the Universe. In light of the fact that Mohammed was probably born into a family which already worshipped the Moon deity “Allah”, as evidenced by his pagan father’s name “Abdullah” (meaning: “Servant of Allah”), it is unsurprising that Mohammed would declare the Moon deity “Allah” to be the one and only God.
Although Mohammed gained some converts among the Meccans, the leadership of the City rejected his overtures and expelled him and his acolytes from the City in 622. Mohammed and his followers thereafter fled to Medina (then known as Yathrib) and encountered Jewish tribes there, whom he also attempted to convert. So important did he consider this effort that -- according to his Muslim biographers -- he initially incorporated into Islam the following decrees based upon Judaism:
1. The original Muslim “kibla” (direction of prayer) was purportedly towards Jerusalem (-- the same as in Judaism).
2. The consumption of pig meat was prohibited (-- the same as in Judaism).
3. The 10th day of the first Muslim lunar month was originally declared to be a complete fast day (-- this was in imitation of Yom Kippur, Judaism’s fast day, which is observed on the 10th day of the first Jewish lunar month after the turn of the Jewish calendar year).
4. Prayers were originally required three times a day (-- the same as in Judaism).
5. The Muslim Sabbath was originally decreed to be Saturday (-- the same as in Judaism).
When the Jews of the Medina region, except in insignificant numbers, nonetheless rejected Islam and, even worse, mocked Mohammed’s claim to be a prophet, he felt humiliated and took personal affront; and, when he had built a powerful Muslim army, he went to war against them for 5 years, from 624 - 628 -- expelling some, enslaving some, slaughtering the remainder, and confiscating their wealth (with 80% of Jewish assets being distributed to Mohammed’s army and 20% of Jewish assets being retained by Mohammed himself). The last refuge of the Jews was at Kuraitah, a town near Medina. For 14 days the Jews withstood the Mohammed’s army. When the Jews finally surrendered, Mohammed personally gave the order to massacre the adult men and the pubescent boys, and to enslave the women and children. He then watched as at least 600 Jewish men and boys were decapitated before an assembled Muslim audience in the marketplace of Medina.
In a display of theological triumphalism, the Koran describes Mohammed’s vanquishment of the Jews of Arabia in celebratory terms, to wit:
“And Allah turned back the unbelievers [i.e., the pagan Meccans] in their rage; they did not obtain any advantage, and Allah sufficed the believers [i.e., the Muslims] in fighting; and Allah is Strong [and] Mighty. And He drove down those of the followers of the Book [i.e., the Jews] who supported them [i.e., the pagan Meccans] from their [i.e., the Jews’] fortresses and He cast awe into their [i.e., the Jews’] hearts; some [of the Jews] you [Muslims] slaughtered, and you [Muslims] took captive another part [of the Jews]. And He made you [Muslims] heirs to their [i.e., the Jews’] land and their [i.e., the Jews’] dwellings and their [i.e., the Jews’] property, and a land which you have not yet trodden; and Allah has Power over all things.” (Koran, Sura 33 “The Clans” at 25-27)
Thereafter, Mohammed declared those portions of Arabia under his control to be cleansed of Jews; and, on his purported deathbed in 632, he purportedly issued an order to prevent Jews from ever reestablishing communities there. So it has remained until this Day.
In order to ennoble Mohammed’s genocidal war against the Jewish people, the 9th Century CE Muslim biographers of Mohammed and the 9th Century CE Muslim purveyors of the Hadith claim that the major Jewish clans of Arabia conspired with Mohammed’s enemies (i.e., the pagan Meccans) against him. This claim is bolstered by passages such as the above-recited Koran 33:25-27. Moreover, these sources claim that Jews serially attempted to murder Mohammed, and they further claim that the fever from which Mohammed died was caused by poisoned food prepared by a Jew. Alternatively stated, Muslim apologists assert that Mohammed’s horrific treatment of the Jewish people was well deserved on account of their alleged perfidy.
However, ridding Arabia of its Jews was not sufficient for Mohammed. In order to remove all Jewish influences upon Islam, he purportedly changed the kibla from Jerusalem to Mecca; he converted the complete fast day into a semi-fast month, and he moved it from the 1st to the 9th Muslim lunar month (-- this is the Muslim Fast of Ramadan); he added two additional times for prayer to the original three times for prayer (making prayer five times a day); and he changed the Muslim Sabbath from Saturday to Friday.
The Koranic passages that are complimentary to Jews reflect the earlier period during which Mohammed believed that would be successful in enticing the Jews of Arabia to convert to Islam, while those that spew hatred of Jews reflect the later period during which Mohammed saw his conversionary enticements rebuffed by virtually all of them.
Furthermore, the Koran imposes upon Muslims the collective obligation to make War upon and to subjugate the entire non-Muslim world, including the Jewish people, declaring:
“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle [i.e., Mohammed] and strive to make mischief in the Land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified, or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides, or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this World, and in the Afterlife they shall have a grievous chastisement.” (Koran, Sura 5 “The Dinner Table” at 33); and
“Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the Last Day [i.e., Day of Judgment], nor prohibit what Allah and His Messenger [i.e., Mohammed] have prohibited, nor follow the Religion of Truth [i.e., Islam], including those who have been given the Book [i.e., the Jews and the Christians], until they pay the [subjugation] tax in acknowledgment of [Islam’s] superiority and that they are in a state of subjection [to the Muslims].” (Koran, Sura 9 “The Immunity” at 29); and
“O you who believe: Fight those of the unbelievers who are nearby to you and let them find in you harshness; and know that Allah is with those who fulfill [their duty].” (Koran, Sura 9 “The Immunity” at 123); and
“So, fight against them [i.e., non-Muslims] until there is no more Strife and the Religion of Allah [i.e., Islam] reigns supreme; but if they submit [to you], then surely Allah sees what they do.” (Koran, Sura 8 “The Spoils” at 39).
Unfortunately, with deadly consequences for the Jewish people, in tandem with its message of Divine Love for those who accept Allah as God and Mohammed as His Prophet, a message of hatred and contempt for (non-converting) Jews inheres in Islam.
Obviously, we do not accept:
that Mohammed is a Prophet of God; or
that the Koran is a Scripture of the God of Israel; or
that Islam has superseded Judaism as the Revelation of the God of Israel; or
that the God of Israel has declared Islam to be the “only true Religion”; or
that the God of Israel created supernatural creatures from fire (i.e., the Jinn), who influence human beings to obey or disobey Him; or
that the Jewish people regard the Jewish leader Ezra as being the “Son of God”; or
that the God of Israel has commanded husbands to beat their wives in order to resolve family disagreements; or
that the God of Israel has given permission for men to rape women; or
that our forefather Abraham was a Muslim; or
that Moses was a buffoon; or
that, contrary to the repeated Declaration of the God of Israel in the Torah (see Genesis 17:19 & 17:21), God’s Eternal Covenant with our forefather Abraham was inherited by the Arab people (and later by the non-Arab peoples) who converted to Islam rather than by the Jewish people; or
that the God of Israel transformed some Jews into apes and pigs and servants of the Devil (or even that there exists such a supernatural and autonomous creature as the Devil, representing Evil Incarnate); or
that Jews will compose the Army of the Antichrist (or even that there exists such a supernatural and autonomous creature as the Antichrist, representing Evil Incarnate, which vies with God for Supremacy over the Universe); or
that the God of Israel has condemned the Jewish people as Evildoers for their rejection of Islam; or
that the God of Israel has decreed that the Jewish people be massacred or otherwise persecuted as punishment in this Life for their refusal to convert to Islam and to accept Mohammed as a Prophet; or
that the God of Israel has decreed that the Jewish people (or any other non-Muslim) will be cast into the Fires of Hell as punishment in the Afterlife for rejecting Islam; or
that the God of Israel has commanded Muslims to make War upon and subjugate the entire non-Muslim World, including the Jewish people.
Furthermore, according to the Muslim sources, Mohammed’s soul is stained red with the blood of massacred Jews. As such, were the Muslim sources to be believed, not only should Mohammed be viewed as a great Evildoer, but we are required even to curse his name whenever it is uttered. As it says in the Talmud (at Bereshit Rabbah 49:1): “Whoever mentions an Evildoer without cursing him misses out on a Torah Commandment: ‘The name of the Wicked shall rot.’ [Proverbs 10:7]”; and, consequently, it inexorably follows that Mohammed can never be considered by the Jewish people to be a Prophet of God. This is because God is pure Goodness. He does not favor or reward those who murder His Beloved People. In fact, the Torah explicitly establishes the principle that the Jewish people’s enemies are, by Divine Definition, God’s enemies. God initially declared to Abraham that: “‘I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you, I will curse ...’” (Genesis 12:3); and the Gentile prophet Balaam, speaking in God’s Name, later confirmed that this Declaration had been made for the benefit of the Jewish people by declaring about us: “‘... Those who bless you are blessed, and those who curse you are cursed.’” (Numbers 24:9). Subsequently, Moses internalized this principle during the war against Midian when: “HaShem spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Take Vengeance for the Children of Israel against the Midianites ...’”, but “Moses spoke to the people, saying: ‘... inflict HaShem’s Vengeance against Midian.’” (Numbers 31:2-3). As, per the Muslim sources, Mohammed is the enemy of the Jewish people, he is, by Divine Definition, also the enemy of God. Accordingly, the Koran -- revealed to Humanity by the enemy of God -- cannot be considered to embody the Word of God, even if that Islamic book did not otherwise contain within it all of the other infirmities discussed above.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, some major -- and astounding -- caveats are in order, which challenge everything that has long been accepted about the early history of Islam.
For example, Mohammed’s purported interactions with -- including his purported expulsions, enslavements and slaughters of -- the Jewish clans of Arabia are known only from Muslim sources, such as: (1) Koranic verses (e.g., Koran 33:25-27), which may have been interpolated into 8th Century CE manuscripts of the Koran (either contemporaneously or, as those early manuscripts subsequently underwent serial revisions, in succeeding centuries), and (2) the Hadith and the biographies of Mohammed, the earliest preserved versions of which were created in the 9th Century CE. Consequently, it is possible that some (or even all) of these reported interactions were conjured by triumphalist Muslim apologists in the 9th Century CE, during a period of Islamic ascendancy, for the purpose of justifying the Islamic Caliphate’s ongoing subjugation of Jews from dual perspectives, namely, the macro and the micro. The macro perspective was the theological perspective, holding that Islam, as the “only true Religion”, having allegedly vanquished Judaism on the battlefield in the 7th Century CE, would forever continue to vanquish Judaism on the battlefield. The micro perspective was the interactional perspective, holding that the Jews, having allegedly acted treacherously towards Mohammed, were to be forever treated with suspicion and relegated to an inferior status within the territories of the Caliphate.
Moreover, it is plausible that these 9th Century CE Muslim apologists, having become familiar with Christianity’s allegations that the Jews conspired against and were responsible for the death of Jesus, believed those allegations, and were thereby inspired to create an Islamicized version thereof, which resulted in one of the most unlikely coincidences in History, namely, that the Jewish people allegedly conspired against and were allegedly responsible for the deaths of both Jesus and Mohammed.
Furthermore, there is substantial archeological evidence that the original kibla was not towards Jerusalem but towards Petra (located in modern Jordan), and that all references to Mecca in the standardized version of the Koran, in the Hadith and in the biographies of Mohammed (the earliest extant version of which was authored by Ibn Hisham only in 833 -- more than 200 years after the purported death of Mohammed) are the result of historical revisionism and textual interpolation by the Abbasid Caliphate, which dominated the Islamic World from the mid-8th Century CE to the mid-9th Century CE, and which for geopolitical reasons, sought to replace the memory of Petra (which was designated as holy by the defeated Damascus-based Umayyad Caliphate, and towards which all mosques faced during the first 100 years after the purported death of Mohammed) with Mecca (which was designated as holy by the triumphant Baghdad-based Abbasid Caliphate). In fact, it was only in 822 -- almost 200 years after the purported death of Mohammed -- that all newly-built mosques faced towards Mecca (instead of (1) towards Petra, or (2) towards the mid-point between Petra and Mecca, or (3) parallel to the geographical line proceeding from Petra to Mecca, as many earlier-built mosques had done prior to 822 in the foregoing general chronological order). Moreover, in light of its present centrality to Islam, it is puzzling that Mecca is identified by name only once in the Koran (in Sura 48 “The Victory” at 24) and is allegedly identified by pseudonym (namely, “Bakkah”) only once in the Koran (in Sura 3 “The Family of Imran” at 96). All other references in the Koran to Islam’s holiest city are via descriptions of the City’s various attributes, such as its trade route prominence and agricultural fertility. The problem is that none of these references accurately describes the 7th Century CE City of Mecca, which was not on any trade route and was inhospitable to the cultivation of crops. However, all of these references accurately describe the 7th Century CE City of Petra.
Moreover, the earliest-known extra-Koranic reference to Mecca occurred only in 741 -- more than 100 years after the purported death of Mohammed. However, this single mention of Mecca was made in the written account by an anonymous author (or authors) of an untitled history of the warfare between the Arab Empire and the Byzantine Empire (commonly known as the “Chronicle of 741” or the “Byzantine-Arab Chronicle”), which places Mecca in Mesopotamia (which is present-day Iraq) rather than in Arabia (which is present-day Saudi Arabia). Moreover, the earliest known map depicting the present location of Mecca was published only in 900, which -- considering the alleged centrality of Mecca to Islam since the early 7th Century CE -- is hard to explain. All of the foregoing makes it highly probable that present-day Mecca was irrelevant -- perhaps even unknown -- to Islam for at least the first 100 years of that religion’s existence, and that the Koran’s one reference to Mecca by name, as well as the Koranic and Hadith references to Allah Himself changing the kibla (e.g., Koran, Sura 2 “The Cow” at 142-145), constitute textual interpolations made at the instruction of the Abbasid Caliphate.
Lastly, the earliest-known extra-Koranic identification of Mohammed as the founder of Islam was issued only in 691 (via an inscription etched inside the Dome of Rock on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount rather than in any early epigraph created in Mecca or Medina) -- approximately 60 years after Mohammed’s purported death. Consequently, it is possible that the presumed existence of Mohammed is the invention of later Muslim apologists; or, alternatively, it is possible that, while Mohammed may have existed, his connection to the development of the Koran was invented by later Muslim apologists, their objective being to conjure an extraordinary progenitor, meant to be superior in eminence to Judaism’s Moses and to Christianity’s Jesus. However, it must be conceded that if the events described in the Koran actually took place in Petra rather than in Mecca and Medina, then one would not expect to find any early epigraphs referencing Mohammed in either Mecca or Medina. Nonetheless, if Mohammed never existed, or if he lacked any connection to the development of the Koran, then the Koran -- like the “New Testament” -- is the work product wholly of anonymous authors.
In sum, the archeological and historical evidence now indicates that (1) the original direction of Muslim prayer was towards Petra (rather than towards Jerusalem), (2) the formative events of Islam took place in Petra (rather than in Mecca and Medina) and (3) Mohammed, if he actually existed, may have had little or no connection to the development of the Koran and the creation of Islam.
Based upon this recent evidence which contradicts the traditional history of Mohammed and early Islam, assuming that Mohammed actually existed, it must be conceded that, without knowing which verses, if any, of the Koran, and which verses, if any, of the Hadith, and which biographical narratives, if any, accurately describe the words and conduct of Mohammed, it is unfair to assign blame to him for the Antisemitism inherent in the Koran or for the horrific historical consequences thereof.
Since Muslims pray to a deity revealed through a book which so distorts the Attributes, Message and Expectations of the God of Israel, whose recitation is attributed to a purported Evildoer, it strains credulity that any Jew could (a) believe that the deity depicted in the Koran and the God of Israel are one and the same or (b) believe that Muslims, by imbibing the falsehoods of the Koran and praying to its god, are really praying to the God of Israel. Ironically, ever sure of its own false righteousness, Islam also recognizes this Truth, to wit:
“Say: ‘O Unbelievers, I do not worship that which you worship, nor do you worship Him whom I worship. I shall never worship that which you worship, nor will you ever worship Him whom I worship. You shall have your religion, and I shall have my religion.’” (Koran, Sura 109 “The Unbelievers” at 1-6)
Furthermore, in addition to all of the foregoing, there are yet other profound differences between Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
For example, the three faiths differ in their respective attitudes towards the importance of Life versus the importance of Death.
The “New Testament” is a death-affirming scripture. Not only does Christianity celebrate the purported crucifixion of Jesus and urge Christians to prove their devotion to him by martyring themselves, but the “New Testament” declares that Christians are actually more alive in Death than in Life, to wit:
“Then he [Jesus] called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their Cross and follow me [into death]. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the Gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole World [by pursuing a productive life], yet forfeit their soul [by recoiling from their death]?’” (Mark 8:34-36)
“Jesus replied: ‘The Hour has come for the Son of Man [i.e., Jesus] to be glorified [through death]. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this World will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me [into death]; and where I am [after death], my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me [in death].’” (John 12:23-26)
The Koran is also a death-affirming scripture. Not only does Islam command Muslims to conduct Jihad (meaning: “War for the Glory of Allah”) against the non-Muslim World until the latter submits to Islam, but -- in order to alleviate the fear of death in battle -- the Koran elevates Death above Life, by asserting that the dead are not actually dead, to wit:
“And do not speak of those who are slain in Allah's Way [i.e., pursuing Jihad] as being dead; nay, [they are] alive, but you [the living] do not perceive [this Truth].” (Koran, Sura 2 “The Cow” at 154)
“And do not think of those who are killed in Allah's Way [i.e., pursuing Jihad] as being dead; nay, they are alive [and] they are provided with sustenance [after death] from their Lord, rejoicing in what Allah has given them [through death] out of His Grace; and they [the dead] rejoice for the sake of those, who [remaining] behind them [in life], have not yet joined them [in death], that they [the living] shall have no fear [of death]; nor shall they [the living] grieve [for those who remain alive in death]. [Instead] they [the living] rejoice on account of Favor from Allah and [His] Grace, and that Allah will not dissipate the Reward of the believers [who remain alive in death].” (Koran, Sura 3 “The Family of Imran” at 169-171)
This Sanctification of Death continues to resonate among those Muslim leaders and their acolytes who desire to fulfill the Islamic obligation to pursue Jihad. For example, Hassan Nasrallah, an Islamic scholar who claims descent from Mohammed and who leads the Jihadist sect Hezbollah (meaning: “Party of Allah”), declared in 2004:
“We have discovered how to hit the Jews where they are the most vulnerable. The Jews love Life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win, because they love Life, and we love Death.”
Contrariwise, the Hebrew Bible is a life-affirming Scripture. As the God of Israel declares to us:
“‘I have caused to [serve as a] witness for you Today the Heavens and the Earth, [that] I have set before you the Life and the Death, [which are] the Blessing and the Curse; so choose Life, in order that you will live -- you and your offspring -- to love HaShem, your God, to listen to His Voice, and to cleave unto Him; for, He is your life and the length of your days to dwell upon the Land which HaShem swore to your forefathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob -- to give to them.’” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)
Clearly, the Jewish people do not believe that Death is more important than Life, or that Death is a Cherished Objective or a Cause for Celebration.
Another profound difference between the three faiths is to be found in their respective beliefs about the purported existence, nature and power of Satan (alternatively known as the Devil). Both Christianity and Islam teach that Satan is a powerful supernatural creature, which opposes God, thereby rendering it the embodiment of and the initiator of Evil. Moreover, both of these religions insist that Satan effectuates Evil in the World by tempting human beings to perpetrate acts of Evil, sometimes through means of demonic possession.
Contrariwise, Judaism teaches that God Himself, as the Creator of All, is the Creator of Evil. This is because God has knowingly and intentionally placed Humankind’s conduct, which includes both acts of Good and acts of Evil, on its inevitable course towards the Day of Judgment. As the God of Israel declares to us:
“‘I form Light and create Darkness; I make Peace and create Evil; I, HaShem, make all of these.’” (Isaiah 45:7); and
“‘… Shall there be Evil in a city, and HaShem has not done it?’” (Amos 3:6)
And, as the Hebrew Bible further explains:
“‘… Is it only the Good that we shall receive from the [one and only] God, but the Evil we shall not receive [from God]? …’” (Job 2:10)
In the context of God’s relationship to Evil, it is crucial to comprehend the difference between “God is the Creator of Evil” and “God is Evil”, as accepting the former constitutes a huge Kiddush HaShem (Sanctification of God’s Name), while believing the latter constitutes a huge Chillul HaShem (Desecration of God’s Name). Since God is the Source of Evil, it follows that Satan (whether it be an actual creature or a mere philosophical construct of the Hebrew Bible) is neither the embodiment of Evil nor the initiator of Evil in the World. On the contrary, Satan is subservient to rather than an opponent of God, as Satan is always doing the bidding of its Master and is never acting for its own account (see Job 1:1 - 2:7). Moreover, as is now known, demons and demonic possession have nothing to do with Satan, and everything to do with the manifestations of mental illness. Consequently, neither Satan nor demons are responsible for the acts of Evil that have been perpetrated by human beings throughout History. Rather, human beings, precisely because they possess Free Will, are exclusively responsible for their own conduct.
Of course, it is undeniable that for thousands of years, many Jews, including the purportedly-enlightened Jesus, did believe in the existence of demons and demonic possession. This belief seemed reasonable to those Jews primarily because (a) they were so strongly influenced by the Gentile belief systems that surrounded them, and (b) they, including the purportedly-enlightened Jesus, did not understand the nature of mental illness.
Even worse than a belief in the existence of demons and demonic possession is the fact that, throughout our long existence, many Jews -- in rank violation of the First Commandment and the Second Commandment -- also worshipped pagan deities, such as the Canaanite gods Baal and Moloch, as well as the later Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman pantheons. And, even Today, many Jews mistakenly embrace Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and other Gentile belief systems. However, mistaken beliefs by even large numbers of Jews throughout History do not -- and will never -- change the Identity, Attributes, Message and Expectations of the one and only God, as revealed through the Hebrew Bible.
Yet another profound difference between the three faiths is to be found in their respective attitudes towards non-believers.
In serial expressions of Christian supremacy and exclusivity, the “New Testament” declares:
“‘Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.’” (Mark 16:16); and
“‘The Father loves the Son, and He [the Father] has committed everything into his [the Son’s] hand. He who believes in the Son has Eternal Life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see Life, but the Wrath of God rests upon him.’” (John 3:35-36); and
“… This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from Heaven in blazing Fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with Everlasting Destruction and shut out from the Presence of the Lord and from the Glory of his Might on the Day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. …” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10); and
“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars -- they will be consigned to the fiery Lake of Burning Sulfur. …” (Revelation 21:8).
Likewise, in serial expressions of Muslim supremacy and exclusivity, the Koran declares:
“The only true Religion in Allah’s Eyes is Islam. ...” (Koran, Sura 3 “The Family of Imran” at 19); and
“You [Muslims] are the best of the nations raised up for Humanity; you command Right and forbid Evil, and believe in Allah; and if the people of the Book [i.e., Jews and Christians] had believed [in Allah], it would have been better for them; among them are believers [in Allah], but most of them are transgressors.” (Koran, Sura 3 “The Family of Imran” at 110); and
“Surely, those who disbelieve, even if they had what [wealth] is in the Earth, all of it, and the like of it with it, that they might ransom themselves with it [i.e., their wealth] from the Punishment of the Day of Resurrection, it [i.e., the ransom] shall not be accepted from them, and they shall have a painful Punishment. They would desire to escape from the Fire [of Hell], but they shall not escape from it, and they shall have a lasting Punishment.” (Koran 5 “The Dinner Table” at 36-37); and
“O Prophet [i.e., Muhammed]! Strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them, as their abode is Hell, and their destination is Evil.” (Koran 9 “The Immunity” at 73); and
“And among men there is he who disputes about Allah, without knowledge and without guidance [from Muhammad] and without an illuminating book [i.e., the Koran], turning away [from Allah] haughtily, that he may lead [others] astray from the Way of Allah; for him [there] is Disgrace in this World; and on the Day of Resurrection We will make him taste the Punishment of Burning [in Hell].” (Koran 22 “The Pilgrimage” at 28-29); and
“And whoever does not believe in Allah and His Apostle [i.e., Mohammed], then surely We have prepared a burning Fire [of Hell] for the unbelievers.” (Koran 48 “The Victory” at 13).
Moreover, tellingly, both Christianity and Islam falsely project their own intolerance of nonbelievers onto Judaism, to wit:
“Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.’ Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, ‘Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.’ He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.’ The woman came and knelt before him. ‘Lord, help me!’ she said. He replied, ‘It is not right to take the [Jewish] children’s bread and toss it to the [Gentile] dogs.’ ‘Yes it is, Lord,’ she said. ‘Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.’ Then Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed at that moment.” (Matthew 15:21-28); and
“While talking with him [the Roman centurion Cornelius], Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. He said to them: ‘You are well aware that it is against our [Jewish] law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.’” (Acts 10:27-28) (i.e., anyone, whether Jew or Gentile, who accepts Jesus as Lord is spiritually pure -- see Acts 10:34-36); and
“And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians, until you follow their religion. Say: ‘Surely Allah’s Guidance -- that is the [true] Guidance. And if you follow their [the Jews’] desires after the knowledge [of Islam] that has come to you, you shall have no guardian from Allah, nor any helper.’” (Koran, Sura 2 “The Cow” at 120).
On the contrary, Judaism declares that the God of Israel loves all righteous people, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. As stated in the very first chapter of the Hebrew Bible, God created the first human being, Adam, “in the Image of God” (Genesis 1:27). Thus, Judaism declares that each descendant of Adam -- i.e., every human being -- is deemed to have been individually chosen to bear the Image of God. Consequently, every righteous person -- whether Jew or Gentile -- has equal status in his individual relationship with the God of Israel, even if he follows a false religious doctrine.
The Talmud, an expansive discussion of Jewish law and tradition, memorialized in writing and completed approximately 1,500 years ago in the early 6th Century CE, expresses this egalitarian concept by declaring:
“The Righteous of all nations have a share in the World To Come.” (Tosefta, Sanhedrin 13).
And the Mishna, the earliest foundation of the Talmud, memorialized in writing and completed approximately 1,800 years ago in the early 3rd Century CE, declares, regarding the purpose of God in having created only one Adam:
“Therefore only a single man was created to teach you that if anyone destroys a single soul from the Children of Man, Scripture charges him as though he had destroyed a whole World, and whoever rescues a single soul from the Children of Man, Scripture credits him as though he had saved a whole World, and [only a single man was created] for the sake of Peace among Humanity -- that no man might say to his fellow, ‘My ancestor was greater than your ancestor.’ ...” (Sanhedrin 4:5).
The Hebrew Bible provides ample proof of the foregoing, as it abounds with accounts of worthy Gentiles -- from Adam and Eve to Noah to the Amorite brothers Mamre, Aner and Eshcol to the priest Melchizedek to Abraham’s servant Eliezer to Pharaoh’s daughter to Moses’ father-in-law Jethro to the prostitute Rahab to Job to Ruth (the last of whom, by joining herself to the Jewish people, became the ancestress of King David as well as of the future Messiah). Moreover, the Hebrew Bible even contains an example of the God of Israel extending His Mercy to an entire Gentile populace, namely, the population of Nineveh, capital city of the pagan Assyrian Empire, over the strenuous objection of the Prophet Jonah (see Jonah 1:1 - 4:11).
As God declares to the Prophet Jonah:
“‘And should not I care about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not yet know their right hand from their left [i.e., who lack sufficient knowledge of the God of Israel], and many beasts as well.’” (Jonah 4:11)
Moreover, the Prophet Isaiah, speaking in God’s Name, declares:
“‘I will bring them [all the righteous persons] to My Holy Mountain, and I will gladden them in My House of Prayer; their elevation offerings and their feast offerings will find favor on My Altar; for, My House will be called a House of Prayer for all the peoples.’” (Isaiah 56:7)
Clearly, the Jewish people do not believe in either the god of the “New Testament” or the god of the Koran. That being the case, it is ludicrous for us to insist that, although we do not believe in their gods, they believe in our God. Consequently, unless the Jewish people wish to embrace the Gentile nations’ distorted conceptions of God, we cannot continue to entertain the pleasing but erroneous notion that Jews, Christians and Muslims all pray to the same God, as such false attributions to the God of Israel constitute unforgiveable violations of the Torah’s Third Commandment -- this being the very Sin that led to the destruction of the biblical northern kingdom of Israel by the Assyrian Empire, to wit:
“The Children of Israel imputed concepts that were not so to HaShem their God ...” (II Kings 17:9)
For, although there is only one God, those who presently pray to ersatz versions -- misleading simulacra -- of Him are unfortunately engaged in avoda zarah (like their polytheistic and idol worshipping ancestors) rather than in the worship of the God of Israel. This Truth is reflected in the declaration of the Prophet Zechariah, made concerning the aftermath of the future messianic War of Gog and Magog, that:
“HaShem will be the King over all of the Earth; on that Day HaShem will be One and His Name will be One.” (Zechariah 14:9);
and in the earlier declaration of the Prophet Isaiah, speaking in God’s Name, that:
“‘I swear by Myself, Righteousness has gone forth from My Mouth, a Word that will not be rescinded: that to Me shall every knee bend and shall every tongue swear.’” (Isaiah 45:23).
However, until that Day of Judgment, when the Gentile nations, due to their defeat at the hands of the Messiah, are forced to crown the God of Israel as their one and only King, it bears remembering and reiterating that the God of Israel -- and only the God of Israel -- is God, to wit:
“You shall know this Day and take to your heart that HaShem, He is the God -- in the Heaven above and on the Earth below -- there is none other.” (Deuteronomy 4:39); and
“Hear [this Declaration], Israel: HaShem is our God; HaShem is One.” (Deuteronomy 6:4); and
“See, now, that I am; I [alone] am He; and no [other] god is with Me.” (Deuteronomy 32:39); and
“Thus said HaShem, King of Israel and its Redeemer -- HaShem of Legions: ‘I am the First, and I am the Last, and aside from Me there is no god.’” (Isaiah 44:6).
Accordingly, when, in defiance of our Scriptural sources, we continue to flatter the Gentile nations by proclaiming that we all pray to the same God, we not only cause them to fall deeper into the abyss of avoda zarah (thereby transgressing the Torah Commandment: “‘... You shall not place a stumbling block before the Blind. ...’” (Leviticus 19:14)), but we also render ourselves guilty of a great Chillul HaShem (Desecration of God’s Name).
© Mark Rosenblit
[Note: Nothing in the foregoing Essay is meant to conflate the Jewish people (due to its Jewishness) with Righteousness or to conflate the Gentile peoples (due to their lack of Jewishness) with Evil. Indeed, a Jew who believes in the God of Israel may perpetrate evil deeds, while a Gentile who believes in a false god may perform righteous deeds. Consequently, under normal circumstances, it cannot be determined by Humankind whether any particular Jew is more -- or less -- beloved by God than any particular Gentile, as that Judgment can only be made by God alone, based upon each individual’s moral worth. For a deeper analysis of this issue please see my website Essay entitled “The Meaning Of Being The Chosen People”]
[Note: Not only are there major contradictions in narrative and theology between the four “Gospels”, but each of those gospels underwent significant revisions long after it was initially written. Rabbi Tovia Singer has done exhaustive research on the history and mutating credos of Christianity that have spanned the past two millennia. The following question & answer section is from his website https://outreachjudaism.org/, setting forth some of the additions and deletions that were made to the “New Testament”, and especially to the “Gospels” portion thereof, in order to create the Christianity that was favored by its serial redactors.]