Thursday, 29 April 2010 14:19 administrator

Our defense of the Apostle Paul


This is a very small book in terms of number of pages, but it touches on and elaborates a bi-millennial question.  It is intended as an instrument for reflection and liberation, for those who are able to overcome thelies, half truths, and traditional errors surrounding the themes it covers. The book came about because of the declarations expressed by the Rabbi Leo Baeck; whose articles were selected and condensed by Walter Kaufmann in the work titled "Judaism and Christianity", published by World Publishing Company in 1957.
My friend and brother in the faith, Alfred Karl Gregorius, gave me that book and asked that I examine it and comment on it. Upon become buried in the subject, an interest grew within me to examine more profoundly the arguments of the rabbi.  This resulted in a long letter to my friend.
Afterwards I asked for permission to publish it in the form of a Book, and "Jehovah, Jesus, and Judaism" was born. In order to facilitate evaluation by the reader, I have chosen to print in yellow the words of the rabbi, and in black type my appreciation of them. Perhaps as a more encompassing title I should have included the name of Paul, for he is the principle target of the critiques of Baeck.  But this the reader can perceive clearly upon reading this work.  Besides, if I had included the name of Paul, it would have broken the phonetic harmony (alliteration) of the three J's; and the scope of this book is to help men to understand the unity that should prevail among these three names chosen for the title.

Index and Links.

1  The Son of Man
2  The Servant is only a metaphor?
3 The Gospel as a document of the historyof the Jewish Faith
4  The value of the traditions of Judaism
5  Was Jesus a Fabricated Messiah?

6  Jesus is in fact the only Messiah
7  The destruction of the temple
8  Did God reject His people?
9  They closed and sealed the mouth of God.
10  Strange Doctrines?
11 Shrinking God to "accept him"
12  The faith of Paul
13   Controversies about Baptism
14  There is no immediatism
15  A real test
16 Why modern man does not understand the Plan of God
17  Annulling the word of God
18  Romantic Religion
19  Paul is not understood
20  Faith and Intellect
21  Paul Suffers an Injustice
22  The question of submission to the authorities
23 Doctrinal errors in Christianity
24  A spout of light in the darkness
25  The sacrament in the vision of the rabbi and in Paul's understanding
26  Faith in the gospel and the faith in the authority of the Church
27  The unity of the faith and the universal priesthood
28  The question of orthodoxy
29  The sacrament or the law.  There's the question!
30  The conception of Mary (appendix)
The letter from Amoramon to his friend, Alfred Karl Gregorius.

Dear friend,

To begin, I ask that you forgive me for the time that it took to respond to your letter.  The analysis of the book upon which you asked me to comment was much more time consuming and difficult than I initially imagined. However, it was a great opportunity that you gave me.  I think improbable that any other book would have given me such clear understanding of the rabbis as this did.  This selection of the articles by the Rabbi Leo Baech, translated by Walter Kaufmann is superb for providing an understanding of Judaism.
I begin by commenting on what I saw in the first chapter:
The rabbi attempts to demonstrate that Christians forced the interpretation of the expression "son of man", the which, in all the Old Testament was used to bring to the memory of man the enormous preeminence of God over him; of the humility that he should assume before God; that Christians took this expression from the Old Testament and twisted it to apply to Jesus Christ, and thus fabricated a Messiah.
The rabbi also considers the expression used by the prophets of the O.T., to designate beings from on high (the heavens), but that have the appearance of the children of men: ".one as a child of men: . with the appearance of a man", etc. . (the rabbi cites Daniel, Ezequiel, Enoch, Ezra, all of whom use these expressions).
What is our position with respect to these e affirmations? The fact is that Christians did not change the meaning of these expressions where they are applicable.  They only changed their
understanding of them, when they apply directly and definitely to the Messiah - when they stop being figures and clearly pass to be applied to the person of Jesus.
Making a parallel between Matthew 16: 13, Mark 8:27, and Luke 9: 18, we see that Matthew was the most precise in his account: In Matthew 16:13, we read, "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?"
This was a question asked by Jesus about himself, demonstrating that he made a habit of  designating himself in this manner; for what purpose, why? Certainly to give testimony of his  divinity and his preeminence over all men.  He could not have given himself a false witness,  declaring to be the Son of man, in the sense that the expression means in the majority of its use in the O.T. For, he was not the son of a mortal man, as all the others. His Father was "as a  son of man", because he had the same appearance as Jesus had, but was a Man of the Heavens. In the eight or so times that this expression (son of man) appears in the New  Testament, it is always an account in which Jesus refers to himself. In none of these cases, until after the resurrection, did any other person refer to him using this expression.  See Acts 7:56.  This is evident, because, prior to the resurrection, few people could have given  testimony that He was the Son of Man.
In the O.T., in Daniel 7:13-14, firstly, the expression refers to the people of Israel that will be with Christ in His second comming (but note well, afterwards that this people came to be glorified). In fact, those that will come to be glorified, will become Children of God in the eternities, as Jesus already is from his birth in the flesh.
Or rather, the body of Jesus Christ, is a direct product of the seed of the physical Father, from his birth until now and forever, because his body did not suffer the decomposition after death.   Wherefore, the product of the seed of the physical God was preserved intact for all eternity.  (See THE CONCEPTION OF MARY, in annex)
The bodies of all of the people of Israel that are made celestial will become children of God in fact, by the resurrection.  They will be Children of God as much spiritually as physically.

In what way will this resurrection give to these Children of God physical bodies to the point that they become Children of God, the Father?

It is my understanding, dear Gregorius, that: This will only be possible, through a marvelous process, in which the same seed that created the body of Jesus, be employed to create the bodies of the eternal Israel.
As with all the blessings of God, we should arrive by way of Jesus, obviously. as I understand it, it is by Him who will grant his physical seed from the resurrection to erect our future bodies.
This seed is, after all, the seed of the Father.  I also believe that it is by this that Jesus is as much Father as Son; he is as much our brother, by having been born in the body of the spirit, as he is our Father, by the spiritual seed that he will give us to erect our bodies in the resurrection.
It is for this semen and same reason that none could resurrect before him, because who beyond Him (this being my understanding) would provide a seed to erect our bodies? It is a very heavy thing that I am saying here, dear Gregorius . But I cannot imagine another way by which, in agreement with the promise contained in the scriptures, we would be able to receive the resurrection and the same bodies that Jesus and the Father possess in their state of Eternal Life.
This is the only way that I devise as possible to come to be like They are. If the glorified hildren of Israel, in the vision of the rabbi, when he referres to in Daniel 7:13-14, are designated by the expression "Son of man" , still in he vision of the rabbi, how much more appropriate would it be to call the King of Israel the Son of man!
The rabbi Jesus understood this very well, but the Jewish rabbis still don 't understand this today.

But if they accept as correct the their particular interpretation of Daniel  7:13-14, as being the designative expression of the glorified people of Israel, this in itself is an admission by them that, not always, should the expression "son of man" be interpreted in the way most  commonly used in the O.T.; the which they try to force to disqualify Jesus as the Son
o Man in  the plain and correct sense of the term.
The rabbi, in order to give force to his arguments, cites the epistles of Barnabus and Inácio being in conflict, when, in fact, they do not disagree, but merely say two truths, but from differen perspectives:

Barnabus says that Jesus is not the son of a man, but rather the son of God; in other words, his Father is not mortal.
Inácio says that Jesus is son of man and of God.  In fact, in another perspective, he is the son of man, because he was born of a mortal woman, but is also the son of God, because he was created by Him in the womb of Mary. As you can see, there is no contradiction between Inácio and Barnabus, but rather definitions regarding different focuses.
The servant, is it only a metaphor?
As much as the rabbi tries to establish that the sayings and promises from the scriptures using the expressions: "anointed", "messiah", "servant", "chosen", and "just" to refer to the people of Israel, his arguments have no support among those who have a full vision of the prophets of the O.T.  This is because, at times, they are effectively directed tot eh person of the Messiah, and other times they clearly designate the entire people (of Israel).
In the anxiety to disqualify Jesus as the Messiah, the rabbi seeks to find,  in some form, explanations that might overcome the many scriptural evidences in favor of Jesus. But with this the rabbi places himself in the face of a great and insolvable problem:
That of overcoming around 456 prophecies that converge on a single person - Jesus the Christ.
Some of the prophecies selected by Joseph McDowell in his book:
Evidence that Demands a Veredict
The prophecies
Gen. 49:10 ; Miq 5:2 ; Deut 18:18 ; Sal l10:4 ; Isa 33:22 ; Isa 11:2 ;
Isa 35:5;  Genesis 49:10; Deuteronomy 18:18; Psalms 35:11, 41:9, 78:2,
110:4; Isaiah 11:2, 33:22, 35:5; Micah 5:2; Zechariah 11:12, 11:13, 13:7.
Sal 78:2 ; Sal 41:9 ; Zac 11:12 ; Zac 11:13 ; Zac 13:7 ; Sal 35:11;

The Fulfillment

Luc 3:23 e 33 ; Col 1:17 ; Mat 21:11 ; Heb 3:1; 5:5;6 ; João 5:30 ;
Matthew 3:16-17, 9:35, 10:4, 13:34, 21:11, 26:15, 26:59-60; 27:5; Mark
14:50; Luke; 3:23&33; John 5:30; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 3:1, 5:5, 6.

More Prophecies

Isa 53:7 ; Isa 53:5 ; Isa 50:6 ; Sal 22:7 e Sal 22:16 ; Isa 53:12 ; Isa 53:3
Sal 69:4 ; Sal 38:11 ; Sal 109:25 ; Sal 22:18 ; Sal 69:21 ; Sal 69:21 ;
Sal 22:1  Sal 69:4 ; Sal 38:11 ; Sal 109:25 ; Sal 22:18 ; Sal 69:21 ; Sal
69:21 ; Sal 22:1; Sal 31:5 ; Sal 34:20 ; Sal 22:14 ; Zac 12:10 ; Amós 8:9
Isa 53:9  Sal  31:5 ; Sal 34:20 ; Sal 22:14 ; Zac 12:10 ; Amós 8:9 ; Isa 53:9
Its fullfilment.
Mat  27:12 ; Mat 27:26 ; Mat  26:67 ; Mat 27:31 ; Luc 23:33 ; Luc 23:34
John15:25 ; 7:5 e 48 ; Luc 23:49 ; Mat   27:39 ; João10:23 e 24
John 19:28 ; Mat 27:34 ; Mat 27:46 ; Mat 23:46 ; Luc 19:33 ; João 19:34

John 19:34 ; João 27:45 ; Mat 27:57-60  João 19:34 ; João 27:45 ; Mat
As we can see through these commentaries that I make, dear Gregorius, there are 456, perhaps 700, maybe even 1000 prophesies that converge on the Messiah, the Servant, the Just, therefore, on the individual person of an Atoner and Savior.  This person in the sectarian idea of the rabbi would be with all these titles, only a metaphoric figure, an image, an  representation of all the house of Israel, in its saga throughout the accounts of the OldTestament.
The rabbi teaches that the house of Israel as a whole is what represents the meaning of the term: Servant of Jehovah, the sufferer and atoner of the sins of men. He said that the word "Messiah" never applied itself to an individual sufferer, ground and trespassed, agonizing on a cross, but rather and only to the Messiah that would descend from the Heavens in power and great glory.
It happens that Isaiah speaks of the Messiah coming in both conditions, literally.
The rabbi receives part literally, and another part on a metaphorical basis.  He only accepts literally the prophecy about the vertical coming of the Messiah; the horizontal coming of the Savior, he transfers to the coming of an entire people;  he abominates the idea of a human Messiah, born of woman.
As a result of this, in the face of the absurdity that would be having to admit to an unacceptable mathematical probability: a single possibility in a sextillion (a chance in ten to the ninth power!) that 456 prophecies  could concentrate on a single individual in a short period of thirty three years and, just the same, he be a false Messiah; against such reasoning, the rabbis only had one out: Convince the Jewish people and themselves, that the evangelists fabricated and inserted these hundreds of prophecies in the gospel, in the life and mouth of Jesus, but only after everything happened; that they romanticized everything; that they did these things to fabricate a Messiah in His person; that his disciples, avid about the coming of a liberator, believed so much in him that even He began to believe that He was the Messiah!
Did the rabbi have  motives to to see things that way?
Certainly yes, and one of these motives is that the gospels testify
strongly against the Jews, and some Christians have the incorrect idea that the responsibility and condemnation recorde in the words of Jesus are directed at the entire Jewish people.  We see: Until Jesus was crucified and even until the calling of Paul, the Christian community was constituted only of  Jews, Christ himself declaring that his mission was directed only at the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
In the Plan of God, the hour had not yet arrived to call the Gentiles (the Greeks, Romans, and other peoples of the world then known).
What was the Israelite population in those days?  How many became members of the Church of Christ?  What was the population of High Priests, Elders, Scribes, and Pharisees?  How many lay Jews were his disciples?  How many of these were alienated by the problems surrounding the birth of Christianity?
Some of this data is relatively easy to research, while others are impossible to determine.  But if we consider the multitude that received Jesus as a king, upon his last entry to Jerusalem, we can conclude that many common Jews believed in him.

In a certain form some of these would have been rejected by God, even if they might have suffered the disgraces that the leadership placed upon the people.  This is exactly what happens in every era and place.  All of these things should be evaluated by the Christians, to  understand that it was not the Jewish people, as a whole, responsible for the death of
It is exactly for this reason that the entire people was not rejected, as Paul taught in his letter to the Romans. But, without doubt, the priestly class, the scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and part of his former disciples, constituted another multitude, the which had a greater  representative and political force than the commoners.
The latter may have even been far greater in number.  Generally, the well-situated minorities desire that which is unjust, thus, that minority achieved the condemnation of Jesus and brought this anathema upon the entire Jewish people in the myopic vision of humanity, but God knows all who are truly guilty.
The governors will be judges with extreme rigor, sayeth the Lord God. Now I will proceed to the second chapter of the rabbinic book: The Gospel as a Document of the History of the Jewish Faith The rabbi shoes to cite Papias, a bishop from Frigia that lived in the second third of the second century.  This, because he saw in the historical documents, written around the year 270 AD, that more than a century after the death of Christ, lively oral traditions still existed, paralleling the versions written in the gospels.  Papias declared that the more  extravagant oral traditions were more accepted by the people, anxious to hear of great >
and sensational miracles.
As we see throughout the texts of the rabbi, this declaration of Papias was very well utilized by him to throw out the true miracles, together with the innumerable false ones from popular belief.

Leo Baeck does not save even Papias from having also fallen into the bonds of these extravagances - as soon    as he saw a piece written by Papias attributing to Jesus a prophecy about the destruction of the Temple: Papias used a quote from an apocryphal writing, known as the Apocalypse of Baruc, to credit to Jesus the prophecy, which does not suit the argument of the rabbi, when he tries to demonstrate that Jesus never completed the
prophecy, that it was placed in his mouth by the evangelists, which would have written their gospels after the destruction of the Temple, which we know to be false!
The rabbi says that the evangelists placed this and many other prophecies from the O.T. in the mouth of Jesus, to give a marvelous tone to his life and to elevate him to the condition of
Messiah and prophet.
The Value of the Traditions in Judaism In this chapter, the rabbi raises up the value of the tradition of Judaism, at the same time as he tries to destroy the value of the traditions
that gave origin to Christianity.  Look here at his position, dear Gregorius: "We are now in a position to recognize the road that began the apostleship of the disciples of Jesus, and that lead to the canonical gospels.  It began with oral traditions and proceeded through oral traditions.  Here and there on its course, these traditions were crystallized in writings, always retaining the peculiarities of the author.
Eventually, some of these books were declared canonical and became, as such, a dam that stopped the flood of traditions forever (p.45)
When he speaks of the value of the traditions in Judaism, the rabbi says: "First, and before all, this tradition was embodied in the books of the Bible.  The sacred scriptures were written, and every parchment, every sentence - in the truth all the letters - were kept with the most  scrupulous care.
The words of the priest of the first century are characteristic - Joseph, the priest, said, in direct opposition to the written word (naturally by other authors who were not prophets of Israel): "Read the Torah, because there is no inheritance". (Saying that it was not inherited from man; that it is the word directly from God to Moses, written by him).
All the sacred scripture, in the first place, came from an oral source. Even when God wrote with his  spiritual finger on the tablets of the law the ten commandments, his voice was heard by Moses.
The prophets heard, spoke and wrote what they received from God, whether by His voice or by hearing the Holy Ghost.
"I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." (John 5:30)
Thus, if Jesus did not lie to the apostles and they to us, what he taught was highly worth_"tradition", because it was received orally from God. Didn't Moses and the prophets do the same thing?  Didn't they hear orally before writing or having it written?
"Moses received the Torah on Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua, and Joshua to the Elders, and the Elders to the prophets, and the prophets transmitted it to the men of the great  assembly."
All of this was done orally, until it came to be written.  Being so, in what does the tradition of the  Old Testament, that gave origin to the Torah of the Jews, have more value than the tradition that gave origin to the New Testament?  Whatever rationalistic artifice that we use to diminish the value or to try to destroy one of the Testaments, we will be delivering munitions to the eventual opponents, for them to use against us . This is what the rabbi ends up doing along his discourse.
Was Jesus a Fabricated Messiah?
Now, Leo Baeck places a seal on the mouth of God when he writes: (The Bible - The O.T.) It was the book, beyond which, there was no other really. (p. 46)
It is perhaps in this chapter that he tries hardest to discredit Jesus as the Messiah: He says,  "To begin .: The man whose life and words tradition  wanted to report had early ceased, in his disciples faith, to be a mere teacher - and when they believed in him, he eventually came to believe himself to be the Messiah, the Christ. So his image had to be embellished to na ever
greater extent with everything that the Bible and the reflections of centuries had seen in the anoited of the Lord, the son of David, upon whom the  spirit of God will rest, the helper and liberator - and with everything that had been prophesied concerning him.... He was endowed with the radiance of the heavens and transfigured above the earth ... popular phantasy had
long projected the image of his opponent and adversary ... If Jesus was the messiah ... His triumph over the dark, impure powers must form na essential part of faith in him - and it is noteworth that the New Testament makes more of those powers than of the angels." (pág. 65-67) As you can see, dear friend, it is the simplest of explanations to try to discredit the Messiah.
The rabbi proceeds, considering a series of wrong beliefs and interpretations of the O.T. concerning the second coming of the Messiah. On this point, he is entirely correct, for he criticizes the errors of the early Christians, when they thought it was imminent; they lost interest in everything they did, for their possessions, and even for their temporal lives.
From page 70 on and through all the third chapter, he begins to "explain" the disorientations of the faith of the Apostle Paul, according to rabbinical understanding.
Taking as a reference what Catholics and Protestants say about the teachings of Paul, the rabbi assumes that this was the very thought of the Apostle and, mixing everything with his own errors of interpretation, makes just critiques of the distorters of the words of Paul but makes greatly unjust critiques of the Apostle.

Leo Baeck intends to demonstrate that the faith of Paul was a product of the mixture of his training in Judaism with the ideas of the pagans that he absorbed during the time that he had contact with the Hellenic culture. He classifies as pagan the faith that Paul taught about  baptism and the sacraments, symbols of the new covenant.  But I stand in awe when he
writes: "Aren't baptism by water, a blood covenant, and consecration of the water and wine among the venerable and ancient customs of Judaism?" By his own admission, the custom was just and true in Judaism, but in Christianity it was paganism! Jesus is in Fact the Only Messiah
The great case is the following: If Jesus is the Messiah, his mind and his acts cannot, rightly, be
judged by the rabbi; in the same way, the acts and words of those that were illuminated by him. And when the testimony of blood given by Jesus and almost all of his apostles claims declaring  the first comming of the Messuah  to save man in every place and time, the voice of the rabbi sounds as the flight of a mosquito in a day of tempest.
The rabbi, then, writes that Paul and the other disciples were contaminated by the  Greco-Roman beliefs from the common imagination, in their historic personalities that were  taken as saviors of men: "Augustus, for the Romans; Polonio  of Tiana, for the Greeks, they were supposedly invested with perfection; the finished with wars and put in order all things.  Apolonio lived during the second half of the first century; to his birth and life were  attributedinnumerable miraculous events comparable to those attributed to Jesus."
Those popular beliefs were a finished plate for the rabbi to "strengthen" his discourse against the miracles declared in the gospels.
The Destruction of the Temple
Now Leo Baeck (p. 78) presents the enormous meaning that exists for the Christian faith, on the destruction of the Temple of  Herodes in 70 A.D. Naturally he teaches the false tradition that he received from his arents, in the force that they made to encounter historical  references that could destroy the idea of a Jesus Messiah and prophet.  Announcing the destruction of the Temple forty years before it happened.
Pay close attention to this, dear friend Gregorius: The O.T. tells us: the tabernacle of Moses, the temple of Solomon, and tha of Zorobabel, all were violated and/or destroyed, by the hands of the powers of the Earth, due to the iniquity of the house of Israel.
The rabbis accept this naturally, because it is found in the O.T. .
The destruction of the Temple of Herod, however, took place outside the times of the O.T.  But the reasons, certainly, were the same.  They were inside the Temple of God, the which, treats iniquity in the same way, and records in scripture (for the cause of faith to edify his  people).
This in itself is an all-encompassing proof that the word of God never ceases.  For, God delivered the Temple of Herod to destruction and had recorded the fulfillment of the prophecy of Jesus in the N.T.  If were not thus, He could not be the same yesterday, today, and forever.
The escape of the rabbi was to say that the gospels were written after the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D.  While historians place the gospel of John as having been written in 96 A.D., Matthew wrote his gospel in 60 A.D. Mark in 64 A.D., and Luke in 66 A.D.
Moreover, the words that the gospels recorded had been proclaimed orally by the apostles for decades.  In the very words of the rabbi, the oral tradition was the beginning, the precursor of written traditions.  This shoots the argument of the rabbi out of the sky when he declares that Christ did make the prophecy but that the gospel writers placed it in His mouth.
The fact is that, if the prophecy had a great meaning for the faith of Christians, it would also have for the Jews, if their spiritual leaders had permitted them to see and hear with eyes and ears openned.
God rejected His people? Paul wrote the epistle to the Hebrews in the year 60 A.D. or before,
because he was decapitated in that year in Rome. The rabbi says that the letter was written after the destruction of the Temple. In this letter, Paul proclaims that the High Priest is in Christ Jesus and places Judaism in the true position - of having had the Law of Moses fulfilled by a Greater Law and by a higher priesthood: If the priesthood is changed, it is necessary also for there to be a change in the law. Heb. 7:12
In Chapter 8: 6-13, Paul explains the superiority of the new covenant, quoting Jeremiah.
The gospel of John is hard when it speaks of the incredulous hypocrites (4:22 and 8:44).  The rabbi tries in these words of John to mark the beginning of a change of attitude of Christians towards Judaism; trying also to demonstrate contradiction between John and Paul, when the latter the tribe of Benjamin.  God nit not cast out his people that He foreordained .
if the root is holy, in the same way are the branches . (p. 81)
However, Leo Baeck does not continue to recite the metaphorical words of Paul in Romans 11:5-10 and continuing through the rest of the chapter where we see that the rejection is not of all of the Jews.  When John records the attitude of the perverse Jews he is not  speaking of all the Jews. Now, the rabbi arrives at a point in which he does an analysis of the political moment in which Rome changed its attitude with respect to the Jews, removing political privileges that they had enjoyed. Discriminatory and oppressive laws were declared against them after the weak rebellion of Bar Kohba. It was at this point that Christian proselytism took over the entire field of missionary labors, covered previously by Jewish  missionary activity.

He speaks at this point of the proliferation of the gospels: of the Ebonites, Hebrews, Egyptian, and the gospel of Peter and Thomas, and the first gospel of James; quoting the words of Paul in the Epistles of 2 Timothy 1:13; 4:3; warning against distorters of sound doctrine, taught by
the apostles.  In these quotes, the intention of the rabbi is not to support the position of Paul, this he never does. His true intention is to demonstrate that the words of Jesus were not
those that we today find in the canonized Gospels. He prefers to conclude that the Apostles were unable to deter the wave of romanticism; that the gospels, even those considered canons, are full of roman ideology and false miracles (p. 86/87)

If what the rabbi preaches were true, we would have nothing true about the acts and words of Jesus, only Judaism would be worthy of credit..The fact is that: what was said of the bad Jews, does not apply to all the Jews. Collectively speaking, the leaders lead the people in error. t happens that the Christians, with the disappearance of the apostles, were also gradually
lead in error by the Roman Church, and, much later, the by the Protestant Churches.  Both corrupted the understanding of the gospel. The Christianity that the rabbi judges and condemns in his writings is the false Christianity of Rome and of Lutheral followers. The true Christianity Leo Baeck never had the opportunity to know.
The true Judaism has to have a perfect link to the true Christianity.They are a single body in spiritual development. The insuperable difficulty appears when one tries to join one to the
other two substances that do not match up. The rabbi demonstrates clearly that his Judaism cannot be mixed with Christianity.  It is obvious.  On this point, I have no doubts in firming that they will never be joined unless both make a profound examination of onscience and seek to obtain direction from God.
They Closed and Sealed the Mouth of God
The O.T. should be the result of four thousand years of revelations to the prophets of Israel.  But on this point, the Jews, without authority, close the mouth of God with four seals.  Modern Christianity was only a little less restrictive.  It allowed Him to speak until more or less the end of the first century A.D.

True Christians never would have allowed the mouth of God to be shut. They know that without prophets God does not allow his kingdom to be established and proceed among men.
"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." Amos 3:7
He who "seals the mouth of God", never will have understanding of His plan, never will have the necessary conditions to do what is required of Him in that generation.  He may recognize Him, yes!  But as a God from the past or the future, amputated from the present.  This is true as much for Judaism as it is for the false Christianity.

God speaks to man in these last days by way of the Book of Mormon. In the openning of this Book the Lord gives to modern man His testimony of the relationsip He kept with His people since the beggining.He brings to our minds the close relationship we have with our  ancestors.Besides, for us to believe   in the present and future prophets of latter days, we must first to accept the Book of Mórmon  and in the prophet tha brought i to  light,
the Lord says: " ... And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the  ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations"
Yes! God keeps speaking to modern man through the Book of Mórmon; to innumerable millions in the four quarters of the earth,  to all those that didn´t heard of the BookIt is evident that those who fight against the Book and those that do not accept it as the Word of God are ""closing and sealing the mouth of God"  for their own spiritual  damnation.
The denouncement of the rabbi is just when he classifies the Christianity that he is familiar with, the false things that attached themselves to that which was at one time true and that Leo Baeck does not recognize. The merit of his work was exactly on this point.  Unfortunately,
he errs when he seeks to disqualify Jesus as the Messiah, and for this, tries to destroy the gospels as divinely inspired documents.  He tries to discredit the narratives of the evangelists because they use traditional Jewish expressions. Look, all of them were Jews and believed in the prophets of the O.T., it is understandable that they would use these expressions
while communicating their ideas.
The corruption of the Church founded by Christ does not make the preaching of Judaism  correct; it only amounts to false Christianity.
Prophetically and unconsciously, it comes to constitute the great modern Babylon, fighting against the truth revealed by God in the Book of Mormon.

Dear Gregorius, I ask that you forgive me if at times I return to topics already discussed.  It is that I am following the book, page by page, and sometimes the rabbi returns to the same  point to emphasize his argument.
Strange Doctrines.
If, in the same way that the Rabbi discounts the accounts of the N.T., we called the great miracles related in the O.T. folkloric additions, where in them would be demonstrated the power of God? On pages 93-94, the rabbi tries to demonstrate that Matthew and Mark, when they speak of the prophecies of Jesus about the signs of the second coming, present words that could not apply to the times of Christ or after him. The expression "abomination that maketh desolate", used in Daniel 11:31 and 12:11, again took place in well-known historical times.  Says he, "The time in which the crazy Caligula wanted to place his statue in the Temple of Jerusalem."
It happens that the event seen by Jesus prophesizes of something much further in the future than the supposed abomination of Caligula.  Jesus spoke of the unlawful appropriation that would be perpetrated by the Popes.

Some of the visions of Daniel refer to the last days. (18:17) On pages 95-98, the rabbi  demonstrates that he knows nothing about the doctrine of the works that preceded the  gospels or about the baptism by fire of the Holy Ghost.  He treats these ordinances as strange doctrines, introduced by Paul, and that were then put in the mouth of John the Baptist
after his ministry!
It is funny that the rabbi gives this witness: "For Judaism, this Spirit of God, His Holy Spirit, the spirit of prophecy, has been painted in Jewish poetry as an image of fire." He puts the account of the day of Pentecost as a mere story. Interestingly, this glorious member of the godhead, whose attribution is to lluminate the mind of man and give testimony of the things of the Father and of the Son, to Leo Baeck only serves for poetry.
Diminishing God in order to "Accept Him"
Continuing, on pages 100-101, he shows his position with respect to Jesus the Jew, as a child and youth, brought up in Judaism,  admittedly a great inspirational Jewish leader, in living  example and understanding of the scriptures of the O.T.  That Jesus, Jew , before being presented by the words of the Gospel; without breaking the limits of the Law of Moses, but
fulfilling the Law; that Jesus is perfectly accepted by the rabbi. rabbi to accept Jesus. The Jesus taught by the gospels, by Paul and Peter, to him is the product of fertile imagination, pushed by the pressures of the context in which the Jews lived, waiting for some time for a liberator from the promises of the O.T.
In the conditions that his mind places on him, limiting the acts of Jesus to simple temporal actions, in this case the Gospel could be accepted: "When these old traditions confront us, in this way, then the gospel, that was originally a Jewish thing, becomes a book - and certainly not a minor book - within the Jewish literature."
From pages 122 to 136, Leo Baeck enters a series of considerations about the errors of  translation contained in the gospels, but there is nothing that harms the texts to the point of invalidating them by transmission of the spirit of the letter.  It is evident that if we could
read directly from the Hebrew we would have a better comprehension of some of the texts.  Para encerrar meu comentário deste segundo capítulo:  To finish my comment on this second chapter: The rabbi transforms the gospel writers into fabricators of a Messiah, nd in so doing, makes them in the least fools and romantics.  He seeks to discredit all the prophecies of Jesus pointing to the punishments that will fall upon those to whom he came specifically to call to salvation.
The End of the first of three parts  of JJJ
The author - Francisco Xavier Silva dos Santos (Amoramon)
Translator to English - Bryan Pocock

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 October 2010 12:56