Saturday, 2 June 2018

Can we trust the Bible? 2

At the end of the blog asking about the inerrancy of the Bible (can-we-still-trust-the-bible), there is an appendix with a number of apparent contradictions in the Bible. While I am not going to answer them one-by-one, I am going to mention a few basic principles that can help us see why most "Biblical contradictions" are nothing of the sort.


  1. Almost every event described in the Bible will only tell what was considered as the most relevant facts. We never tell a story including every single detail. Realising that some facts have been omitted, will go a long way to understanding many apparent "contradictions".
  2. Different parts of the Bible sometimes confirm what is written elsewhere (without meaning to) by providing missing information.
  3. Sometimes we simply do not know what information is missing. This is not a good reason to claim "contradiction".
  4. Much of the Bible is poetry. We should not read poetry as prose. Many so-called "contradictions" are simply a matter of not reading something as the genre it was meant.
  5. There are common usage of hyperbole in the Bible. This is especially true in the Hebrew parts of the Bible. An example (which I read today) is where it claims that Joab killed all the males in Edom, and then explains in the same passage how Hadad, the son of the Edomite king with some of his father's servants escaped to Pharaoh Shisak. "All" is often used to refer to "almost all" or "most" or "all that matter" or "all that they could" (1 Kings 11).
  6. In the same way, when describing what a king did, it is often referring to what his people or his high officials did or implemented. The above passage does not mean that David himself (or even Joab, leader of his army) killed every single Edomite male. But this was never understood in this way and it is a misinterpretation of the Scriptures to read it as such.
  7. Time plays a role. When somebody did not do something immediately it is often recorded as "they did not do it". E.g the women not telling the other disciples about what they saw does not mean that they never ever told anybody about it (otherwise, how could Mark even record it as happening?)! The importance of time when something happened, is often ignored by those who claim ¨contradiction".
  8. Similarly, place plays a role. What happened at one place with one group of people did not happen elsewhere (with another group of people). This is another source of many claimed "contradictions".
  9. Sometimes the Bible focus on one person (or small group of persons) without implying that they were the only ones there or that all of them reacted or acted exactly the same.  As an example, I have a book describing some parts of the life of the missionary "Praying Hyde". In it one colleague (Dr. Chapman) describe in a letter a period of prayer that he spent with this John Hyde and how it impacted himself and his work. There is no mention of anybody else. Then, in the very next paragraph, another colleague (Mr. Charles M. Alexander), who worked together with Dr. Chapman, describe to John Hyde's sister that he was at that meeting as well and that it was almost a whole day. Then at the end of the meeting, they called in a whole team of fellow workers to pray together. Are these two accounts contradictory? I trust that most people will see that it is not. But the Bible is frequently treated differently.
  10. Numbers are often rounded up or down. Similarly for time. A common example is where an event took some time and one author would record the time of the beginning of the event and the other the end or middle of the event (e.g. when did the women come to the tomb of Jesus). And of course, they did not have cell phones or wristwatches for exact time keeping. 
  11. The Bible often do not tell things in chronological order, but in geographical or topical order. This is another frequent reason for claims of "contradiction".
  12. There are some cases of textual corruption in the Bible (but the fact that we can identify them, already tells us something). However, they do not change the meaning of what the Bible actually teaches and are often just a side-note. The only two significant passages of which I know, is John 8:1-11 and the longer ending of Mark 16. For both passages James Snapp Jr (https://www.amazon.com/s?field-keywords=James-Snapp-Jr) has made a fairly strong case to their authenticity. http://www.thetextofthegospels.com

Can we trust the Bible? 1


Questions for those who insist on inerrancy:

1. Where in the Bible does it state inerrancy is an essential of Christian faith?
The words of Jesus Himself (unless of course this record is in error) should be sufficient:
"For I assure you and most solemnly say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke [of the pen] will pass from the Law until all things [which it foreshadows] are accomplished." (Matt.5:18)
"If He called them gods, men to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be undone or annulled or broken)," (John 10:35
And that Scripture says: 
"The words and promises of the Lord are pure words,
Like silver refined in an earthen furnace, purified seven times." (Ps.12:6) and "So I will have an answer for the one who taunts me,
For I trust [completely] in Your word [and its reliability]. ...
 All Your commandments are faithful and trustworthy. 
They have persecuted me with a lie; help me [Lord]! ... 
Forever, O LordYour word is settled in heaven [standing firm and unchangeable]." (Psalm 119:42, 86, 89)
Oh, but that does not include the New Testament? Paul was adamant that the gospel he proclaimed was not just his own: 
"And we also thank God continually for this, that when you received the word of God [concerning salvation] which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of [mere] men, but as it truly is, the word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe [exercising its inherent, supernatural power in those of faith]." (1 Thess.2:13)
So does Peter, quoting the Old Testament:
"But the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word [the good news of salvation] which was preached to you." (1 Pet.1:25)
And Peter considered the writings of Paul as Scripture already:
"And consider the patience of our Lord [His delay in judging and avenging wrongs] as salvation [that is, allowing time for more to be saved]; just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given to him [by God], speaking about these things as he does in all of his letters. In which there are some things that are difficult to understand, which the untaught and unstable [who have fallen into error] twist and misinterpret, just as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction." (2 Pet. 3:15-16
This passage also answers the question about how we can have so many different interpretations of the Bible. Our hearts are deceitful and we often twist the meaning of the Scriptures in order for it to say what God did not mean at all.
In this context Jesus said: "Heaven and earth [as now known] will pass away, but My words will not pass away." (Matt.24:35) ... if this does not refer to the written records of the words of Jesus, to what does it refer?
2. Did the early church have a Bible to believe was inerrant, or did they believe in the passion narrative and life of Jesus apart from sola scriptura?
How early? When they had the apostles living among them, they had the eyewitness testimony of the apostles themselves. But the apostles themselves depended on the truth and testimony of the Old Testament prophecies (and its fulfilment in Jesus) as a source of authority. Thereafter the church had the writings of the apostles (and of course the Old Testament throughout).
3. Did God give us a book to have a relationship with Him? If the Bible is the sole foundation for Christian thought and worldview, why is it so ambiguous that it could take a team of lawyers to read it, and still disagree on its meaning?
Yes, He gave as a book so that we can test the spirits. So that we can evaluate any teaching in the light of what He has already revealed. So that we can be equipped: "All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honourably with personal integrity and moral courage]; so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, outfitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Tim.3:16-17). Is the Bible truly so ambiguous? Or is it too often ourselves who are looking for loopholes (like lawyers so often do) to avoid the full implications of what it teaches? Again, the Scripture itself teaches us that He also gave us the Holy Spirit to interpret it correctly. "So we have the prophetic word made more certain. You do well to pay [close] attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and light breaks through the gloom and the morning star arises in your hearts. But understand this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of or comes from one’s own [personal or special] interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." (2 Pet.1:19-21) The reason why we so often disagree about the meaning of Scripture is exactly because we think it is a matter of one's own interpretation.
4. Have you ever changed your views on a perfectly orthodox article of faith? If you were wrong about one view, and right, or more justified in the other view, how can scripture be inerrant when you held several legitimate views on the same set of biblical texts? I realize the claim is that it is the text that is inerrant, not the interpretation, but how is strict inerrancy maintained when so many theories about the same passages can be legitimately held?
What is a "perfectly orthodox article of faith"? If it is anything that would influence my salvation by Jesus Christ, then no, I have never had to change my views on this. Yes, I have learned a lot more about what it implies to know and follow Jesus, since I first believed in Him, that I did not know in the beginning. And yes, there has been many peripheral issues about which I was wrong (and some about which I am still not sure that I have it correct). How is it possible if the Bible is inerrant? Because we should use Scripture to interpret Scripture. Even from a purely human viewpoint we know that later Biblical authors considered those who wrote before as authoritative and it is reasonable that they knew the previously existing Scriptures. So they would not then on purpose write something to contradict previous revelations. What they would do, is to correct some wrong interpretation of previous Scriptures. In my case, I did not know the Scriptures well enough to always tell which interpretation does not clash with what is said elsewhere. And in my experience, almost every misinterpretation or false teaching (including some that I believed) was based on taking some passages out of context and not taking into account the whole Bible. 
5. Is certainty a necessary condition for believing something is true? Consider other good beliefs we have in other matters and your certainty in them.
Faith in God is based on trust. If He is not trustworthy, I would not have faith in Him. And yes, I have to be certain that I can trust Him in order to believe that what He says is true.
6. Do you believe in Jesus because you have the Bible, or do you trust the Bible because you trust Jesus?
I trust the Bible because I trust Jesus (and the claims that He makes in the Bible). However, I would have no idea who Jesus is, except through the Bible. And if the Biblical record is not trustworthy and true, then who is it that I trust? My own idea of who Jesus is? Like the Jesus seminar always creating a new "Jesus" that fits with what I want Him to be? Not who He truly was and is! But let me continue with this line of argument... It is not necessary to believe in the inerrancy of the Bible to come to faith in Jesus. I only have to accept that the Bible is a reasonably trustworthy revelation of who Jesus was. But once I believe in Him and becomes his follower (a Christian), I also follow his teaching on the authority of the Scriptures. And then I do trust the Bible as the word of God and therefore inerrant. It is in the faithfulness and reliability of God that my trust in the inerrancy of the Bible is based.
7. If the Bible is perfect, what role does the Holy Spirit play in the formation of our faith?
Everything! The Holy Spirit is the One who originally inspired the Bible. And I can only understand the Bible through Him (2 Pet.1:19-21). But I can and should (1 John 4: 1 & 6) test the spirits to see that it is in agreement with what the Holy Spirit has revealed before (in the Scriptures). If not, I must reject it as not being from the Holy Spirit at all.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Why would God care more about what we believe about God than how we live for God?

Although old, I only recently discovered this thread: One question fundamentalists cannot answer:

Why would God care more about what we believe about God than how we live for God?

The first point I would make is that "believe" and "faith" in the Bible is primary about trusting God and his faithfulness. This is also why we fundamentalists emphasise the reliability of the Bible as God's Word - God is faithful and trustworthy, also in his communication with us (i.e. his inspired Word), otherwise how could we trust Him?

But the real answer to the actual question is this: What we truly believe determines how we live and how we act. If we do not trust Him, we cannot truly love Him. We cannot live a life of dependence on Him. We cannot truly love even our enemies, because He loves them. We cannot look at the world through His eyes. We can try do do all of these things as "followers" of Jesus Christ (Christians), but what will inevitably happens, is that we will eventually discover (even if it takes years) that this is simply not humanly possible (without supernatural help). And when that happens, we can react to this realisation in a number of different ways (all bad), unless we have learned to believe in Him:
  1. We give up on the Christian life and on the Christian message. We become either a New Age "spiritual person" believing that all religions are basically the same and only accepting the "ethical teachings" from each (according to our own definition of "ethical" now) OR we become atheist agnostic. We basically concludes that "Christianity doesn't work".
  2. We redefines who God is and what He expects of us according to how we want Him to be. So we choose our ethics of love according to what we find easy and possible for ourselves. Those sins of which we are not guilty, we condemn (especially lack of love in others), while we excuse the sins of which we are guilty as acceptable to God (through various creative reinterpretations) because "He loves us". We basically redefine "Christianity" to suit ourselves, creating an idol of our own making.
  3. ...
James 2 makes the point clearly that what we truly believe, determines how we act, irrespective of what we say we believe. If I believe the Good News as proclaimed in the Bible about God's breaking into our world through his Son, Jesus of Nazareth, it will change my life. If however, I only see Jesus as a good teacher (as did many of the Pharisees of his day), it will simply set me up for failure in trying to attain the high standards of his Kingdom. I cannot follow Him if I did not do a proper cost analysis (Luk.14). And part of that analysis involves the level of trust I am prepared to give to Him. And this is why I believe that it matters more to God what we believe (what is going on in our hearts) than how we live (what we do outwardly). Jesus repeatedly taught that it matters more that we actually clean the inside (which only He can do!) than that we appear clean from the outside. Of course, if nothing happens on the outside, it is evidence that we do not truly believe in Him, but only say that we do.



Monday, 19 June 2017

The Jewish roots of Christianity

I have always been a bit sceptical of attempts to make Christians more "Jewish". It often felt to me like gentile Christians pretending to be Jews. But here is a good explanation of how important the Jewish roots of Christianity really are to our spiritual well-being as followers of Jesus Christ:
https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/06/18/five-lessons-on-the-jewish-roots-of-christianity/

(Also have a look at https://www.quora.com/As-a-Christian-how-much-of-the-old-testament-rules-do-you-believe-you-should-adhere-to/answer/Chavoux-Luyt)

Thursday, 30 March 2017

The Kingdom of God

A good series of blog posts explaining why the Kingdom of God is so central to the gospel Jesus preached: http://bnonn.com/what-is-the-kingdom-of-god-1/

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

There is a new development...

God is doing something new in my life, pulling together many of the past threads of truth, and also the passion He has put in me... for his Kingdom and his King Messiah...

http://www.newdevelopment.co.za



Friday, 27 January 2017

Who is the Messiah?

In reaction to an answer of me on Quora about prophets and miracles, somebody wrote the following:
Jews do not accept Jesus as the messiah because:Jesus did not fulfill the messianic prophecies.Jesus did not embody the personal qualifications of the Messiah.Biblical verses "referring" to Jesus are mistranslations.Jewish belief is based on national revelation.But first, some background: What exactly is the Messiah?The word "Messiah" is an English rendering of the Hebrew word Mashiach, which means "anointed." It usually refers to a person initiated into God's service by being anointed with oil. (Exodus 29:7, 1-Kings 1:39, 2-Kings 9:3)(1) Jesus Did Not Fulfill the Messianic PropheciesWhat is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? One of the central themes of biblical prophecy is the promise of a future age of perfection characterized by universal peace and recognition of God. (Isaiah 2:1-4, 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)Specifically, the Bible says he will:Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4)Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: "God will be King over all the world – on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One" (Zechariah 14:9).If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be the Messiah.Because no one has ever fulfilled the Bible's description of this future King, Jews still await the coming of the Messiah. All past Messianic claimants, including Jesus of Nazareth, Bar Cochba and Shabbtai Tzvi have been rejected.Christians counter that Jesus will fulfill these in the Second Coming. Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright; in the Bible no concept of a second coming exists.(2) Jesus Did Not Embody the Personal Qualifications of MessiahA. Messiah as ProphetThe Messiah will become the greatest prophet in history, second only to Moses. (Targum – Isaiah 11:2; Maimonides – Teshuva 9:2)Prophecy can only exist in Israel when the land is inhabited by a majority of world Jewry, a situation which has not existed since 300 BCE. During the time of Ezra, when the majority of Jews remained in Babylon, prophecy ended upon the death of the last prophets – Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.Jesus appeared on the scene approximately 350 years after prophecy had ended, and thus could not be a prophet.B. Descendant of DavidMany prophetic passages speak of a descendant of King David who will rule Israel during the age of perfection. (Isaiah 11:1-9; Jeremiah 23:5-6, 30:7-10, 33:14-16; Ezekiel 34:11-31, 37:21-28; Hosea 3:4-5)The Messiah must be descended on his father's side from King David (see Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 11:1, Jeremiah 23:5, 33:17; Ezekiel 34:23-24). According to the Christian claim that Jesus was the product of a virgin birth, he had no father – and thus could not have possibly fulfilled the messianic requirement of being descended on his father's side from King David. (1)According to Jewish sources, the Messiah will be born of human parents and possess normal physical attributes like other people. He will not be a demi-god, (2) nor will he possess supernatural qualities.C. Torah ObservanceThe Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance. The Torah states that all mitzvot remain binding forever, and anyone coming to change the Torah is immediately identified as a false prophet. (Deut. 13:1-4)Throughout the Christian "New Testament," Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable. For example, John 9:14 records that Jesus made a paste in violation of Shabbat, which caused the Pharisees to say (verse 16), "He does not observe Shabbat!"(3) Mistranslated Verses "Referring" to JesusBiblical verses can only be understood by studying the original Hebrew text – which reveals many discrepancies in the Christian translation.A. Virgin BirthThe Christian idea of a virgin birth is derived from the verse in Isaiah 7:14 describing an "alma" as giving birth. The word "alma" has always meant a young woman, but Christian theologians came centuries later and translated it as "virgin." This accords Jesus' birth with the first century pagan idea of mortals being impregnated by gods.B. Suffering ServantChristianity claims that Isaiah chapter 53 refers to Jesus, as the "suffering servant."In actuality, Isaiah 53 directly follows the theme of chapter 52, describing the exile and redemption of the Jewish people. The prophecies are written in the singular form because the Jews ("Israel") are regarded as one unit. Throughout Jewish scripture, Israel is repeatedly called, in the singular, the "Servant of God" (see Isaiah 43:8). In fact, Isaiah states no less than 11 times in the chapters prior to 53 that the Servant of God is Israel.When read correctly, Isaiah 53 clearly [and ironically] refers to the Jewish people being "bruised, crushed and as sheep brought to slaughter" at the hands of the nations of the world. These descriptions are used throughout Jewish scripture to graphically describe the suffering of the Jewish people (see Psalm 44).Isaiah 53 concludes that when the Jewish people are redeemed, the nations will recognize and accept responsibility for the inordinate suffering and death of the Jews.(4) Jewish Belief is Based Solely on National RevelationThroughout history, thousands of religions have been started by individuals, attempting to convince people that he or she is God's true prophet. But personal revelation is an extremely weak basis for a religion because one can never know if it is indeed true. Since others did not hear God speak to this person, they have to take his word for it. Even if the individual claiming personal revelation performs miracles, they do not prove he is a genuine prophet. All the miracles show – assuming they are genuine – is that he has certain powers. It has nothing to do with his claim of prophecy.Judaism, unique among all of the world's major religions, does not rely on "claims of miracles" as the basis for its religion. In fact, the Bible says that God sometimes grants the power of "miracles" to charlatans, in order to test Jewish loyalty to the Torah (Deut. 13:4).Of the thousands of religions in human history, only Judaism bases its belief on national revelation – i.e. God speaking to the entire nation. If God is going to start a religion, it makes sense He'll tell everyone, not just one person.Maimonides states (Foundations of Torah, ch. 8):The Jews did not believe in Moses, our teacher, because of the miracles he performed. Whenever anyone's belief is based on seeing miracles, he has lingering doubts, because it is possible the miracles were performed through magic or sorcery. All of the miracles performed by Moses in the desert were because they were necessary, and not as proof of his prophecy.What then was the basis of [Jewish] belief? The Revelation at Mount Sinai, which we saw with our own eyes and heard with our own ears, not dependent on the testimony of others... as it says, "Face to face, God spoke with you..." The Torah also states: "God did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us – who are all here alive today." (Deut. 5:3)Judaism is not miracles. It is the personal eyewitness experience of every man, woman and child, standing at Mount Sinai 3,300 years ago.Further reading: "Did God Speak at Mount Sinai?"Waiting for the MessiahThe world is in desperate need of Messianic redemption. To the extent that we are aware of the problems of society, is the extent we will yearn for redemption. As the Talmud says, one of the first questions asked of a Jew on Judgment Day is: "Did you yearn for the arrival of the Messiah?"How can we hasten the coming of the Messiah? The best way is to love all humanity generously, to keep the mitzvot of the Torah (as best we can), and to encourage others to do so as well.Despite the gloom, the world does seem headed toward redemption. One apparent sign is that the Jewish people have returned to the Land of Israel and made it bloom again. Additionally, a major movement is afoot of young Jews returning to Torah tradition.The Messiah can come any day, and it all depends on our actions. God is ready when we are. For as King David says: "Redemption will come today – if you hearken to His voice."I am NOT of the Jewish heritage myself but as a now recovered christian - the evidence against all biblical legends and mythology appears pretty conclusive in supporting the rationality of atheism.
Here I would like to respond, both because the Messianic prophecies were so important in my own spiritual growth (see http://www.chavoux.com/Messias/EnglishAnointed.html), but also because so many people (Christians even) are unaware of the full extent of what God promised and how Jesus fulfilled the promises. This was something that Jesus understood and explained to his disciples after his resurrection, and which formed the basis of their teaching and proclamation of the gospel from the start; that they were eyewitnesses to the very things that God had promised. 

What exactly is the Messiah?The word "Messiah" is an English rendering of the Hebrew word Mashiach, which means "anointed." It usually refers to a person initiated into God's service by being anointed with oil. (Exodus 29:7, 1-Kings 1:39, 2-Kings 9:3)
I agree 100%, but would like to add that there are basically 3 positions for which people were anointed into God's service:
  1. Priest (and high Priest - Cohen haGadol): Ex.29:7 - "Then take the anointing oil, and anoint him by pouring it on his head." Ex.30:23-30 - "
    Take the best spices — 500 shekels of myrrh, half this amount (250 shekels) of aromatic cinnamon, 250 shekels of aromatic cane, 500 shekels of cassia (use the sanctuary standard), and one gallon of olive oil — and make them into a holy anointing oil; blend it and perfume it as would an expert perfume-maker; it will be a holy anointing oil. Use it to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark for the testimony, the table and all its utensils, the menorah and all its utensils, the incense altar, the altar for burnt offerings and all its utensils, and the basin with its base. You are to consecrate them — they will be especially holy, and whatever touches them will be holy. Then you are to anoint Aharon and his sons — you are to consecrate them to serve me in the office of cohen."
  2. King: 1 Kings 1:39 - "Tzadok the cohen took the horn of olive oil out of the tent and anointed Shlomo. They sounded the shofar, and all the people shouted, “Long live King Shlomo!”" 1 Sam 16:13 - " Sh’mu’el took the horn of oil and anointed him there in his brothers’ presence. From that day on, the Spirit of Adonai would fall upon David with power. So Sh’mu’el set out and went to Ramah."
  3. Prophet: 1 Kings 19:15-16 - "Adonai said to him, “Go back by way of the Dammesek Desert. When you get there, anoint Haza’el to be king over Aram. Also anoint Yehu the son of Nimshi to be king over Isra’el, and anoint Elisha the son of Shafat of Avel-M’cholah to be prophet after you." Isaiah 61:1-3 - "The Spirit of Adonai Elohim is upon me,
    because Adonai has anointed me
    to announce good news to the poor.
    He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted;
    to proclaim freedom to the captives,
    to let out into light those bound in the dark;
    to proclaim the year of the favor of Adonai
    and the day of vengeance of our God;
    to comfort all who mourn,
    yes, provide for those in Tziyon who mourn,
    giving them garlands instead of ashes,
    the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
    a cloak of praise instead of a heavy spirit,
    so that they will be called oaks of righteousness
    planted by Adonai, in which he takes pride.
    "
But of course, "the Messiah" is not simply any Israelite priest, prophet or king.
 (1) Jesus Did Not Fulfill the Messianic Prophecies ... What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? One of the central themes of biblical prophecy is the promise of a future age of perfection characterized by universal peace and recognition of God. (Isaiah 2:1-4, 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)
Is. 2:1-4 - "This is the word that Yesha‘yahu the son of Amotz saw concerning Y’hudah and Yerushalayim:
In the acharit-hayamim (last days)
the mountain of Adonai’s house
will be established as the most important mountain.
It will be regarded more highly than the other hills,
and all the Goyim will stream there.
Many peoples will go and say,
“Come, let’s go up to the mountain of Adonai,
to the house of the God of Ya‘akov!
He will teach us about his ways,
and we will walk in his paths.”
For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah,
the word of Adonai from Yerushalayim.
He will judge between the nations
and arbitrate for many peoples.
Then they will hammer their swords into plow-blades
and their spears into pruning-knives;
nations will not raise swords at each other,
and they will no longer learn war."
It says nothing at all about the Messiah! Yes, there is a Messianic connection with the mention of the last days (as we will see), but there is simply no mention here about the Messiah.
Is. 32:14-18 - "For the palace will be abandoned,
the crowded city deserted,
‘Ofel and fortress wastelands forever,
a delight for wild donkeys and a pasture for flocks —
till the Spirit is poured out on us from above,
and the desert becomes a fertile field,
with the fertile field regarded as a forest.
Then justice will dwell in the desert,
and righteousness abide in the fertile field.
The effect of righteousness will be peace;
the result of righteousness, quiet trust forever.
My people will live in a peaceful place,
in secure neighborhoods and tranquil dwellings."
Once again, no mention of the Messiah in these verses! There is however, mention of the Spirit being poured out on us from above (another Messianic theme). Here is what is said earlier in that same chapter that could possibly be about the Messiah, however (Is.32:1-5):
"There is coming a king who will reign justly
and princes who will rule uprightly.
A man will be like a refuge from the wind,
like protection from a storm,
like streams of water on arid ground,
like a rock cliff shading a weary land.
The eyes of those seeing will not be closed,
the ears of those hearing will pay close attention.
The minds of the impetuous will learn to weigh carefully,
the tongues of the stutterers will speak readily and clearly.
The mean person will no longer be called generous,or the miserly said to be noble;"
Even if this is about the Messiah, how would one test it? The righteousness of the king?
Is.60:15-18 - "In the past you were abandoned and hated,
so that no one would even pass through you;
but now I will make you the pride of the ages,
a joy for many generations.
You will drink the milk of nations,
you will nurse at royal breasts
and know that I, Adonai, am your Savior,
your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Ya‘akov.
“For bronze I will bring you gold,
for iron I will bring you silver,
bronze in place of wood,
and iron in place of stones.
I will make shalom your governor
and righteousness your taskmaster.
Violence will no longer be heard in your land,
desolation or destruction within your borders;
instead, you will call your walls Salvation
and your gates Praise."
A great prophecy, but no mention of the Messiah at all!
Zeph.3:9 - "For then I will change the peoples,
so that they will have pure lips,
to call on the name of Adonai, all of them,
and serve him with one accord."
No mention of Messiah. However, it does mention the peoples (i.e. non-Jews) turning to call on the name of YHWH (ADONAI). But nothing is said about how this will happen, except that it is something that God will do. Guess in who this prophecy is being fulfilled, even now?
Hos.2:20-24 - "When that day comes, I will make
a covenant for them
with the wild animals, the birds in the air
and the creeping things of the earth.
I will break bow and sword,
sweep battle from the land,
and make them lie down securely.
I will betroth you to me forever;
yes, I will betroth you to me
in righteousness, in justice,
in grace and in compassion;
I will betroth you to me in faithfulness,
and you will know Adonai.
 When that day comes,
I will answer,” says Adonai
“I will answer the sky,
and it will answer the earth;
the earth will answer the corn, wine and oil,
and they will answer Yizre‘el [God will sow].
"
No mention of Messiah! There is mention of "that day", which is elsewhere mentioned together with Messiah, so there might be a connection. But nothing by which Messiah can be identified.
Amos 9:13-15 - "“The days will come,” says Adonai,
“when the plowman will overtake the reaper
and the one treading grapes the one sowing seed.
Sweet wine will drip down the mountains,
and all the hills will flow with it.
I will restore the fortunes of my people Isra’el;
they will rebuild and inhabit the ruined cities;
they will plant vineyards and drink their wine,
cultivate gardens and eat their fruit.
I will plant them on their own soil,
no more to be uprooted
from their land, which I gave them,”
says Adonai your God."
This prophecy has been fulfilled in our own times since 1948. Great! But again, there is no mention of the Messiah!
Mic. 4:1-4 - "But in the acharit-hayamim it will come about
that the mountain of Adonai’s house
will be established as the most important mountain.
It will be regarded more highly than the other hills,
and peoples will stream there.
Many Gentiles will go and say,
“Come, let’s go up to the mountain of Adonai,
to the house of the God of Ya‘akov!
He will teach us about his ways,
and we will walk in his paths.”
For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah,
the word of Adonai from Yerushalayim.
He will judge between many peoples
and arbitrate for many nations far away.
Then they will hammer their swords into plow-blades
and their spears into pruning-knives;
nations will not raise swords at each other,
and they will no longer learn war.
Instead, each person will sit under his vine
and fig tree, with no one to upset him,
for the mouth of Adonai-Tzva’ot
has spoken."
The last days mentioned, but not the Messiah.
Zech.8:23 - "Adonai-Tzva’ot says, ‘When that time comes, ten men will take hold — speaking all the languages of the nations — will grab hold of the cloak of a Jew and say, “We want to go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.”’"
Messiah?
Zech. 14:9 - "Then Adonai will be king over the whole world.
On that day Adonai will be the only one,
and his name will be the only name."
The kingship (or Kingdom) of the LORD (Adonai) is mentioned, but no direct mention of the Messiah here.
Jer.31:30-34 - "Here, the days are coming,” says Adonai, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Isra’el and with the house of Y’hudah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, violated my covenant, even though I, for my part, was a husband to them,” says Adonai“For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Isra’el after those days,” says Adonai: “I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will any of them teach his fellow community member or his brother, ‘Know Adonai’; for all will know me, from the least of them to the greatest; because I will forgive their wickednesses and remember their sins no more.”
This is what Adonai says,
who gives the sun as light for the day,
who ordained the laws for the moon and stars
to provide light for the night,
who stirs up the sea until its waves roar —
Adonai-Tzva’ot is his name:
“If these laws leave my presence,” says Adonai,
“then the offspring of Isra’el will stop being
a nation in my presence forever.”
"
Guess what the message of Yeshua from Nazareth was? Who explicitly instituted a New Covenant with the promise of changing people's hearts which is being fulfilled even to this day?
Specifically, the Bible says he will:Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4)Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: "God will be King over all the world – on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One" (Zechariah 14:9).
Build the Third Temple?
Ezek.37:24-28 - "My servant David will be king over them, and all of them will have one shepherd; they will live by my rulings and keep and observe my regulations. They will live in the land I gave to Ya‘akov my servant, where your ancestors lived; they will live there — they, their children, and their grandchildren, forever; and David my servant will be their leader forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them, an everlasting covenant. I will give to them, increase their numbers, and set my sanctuary among them forever. My home will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. The nations will know that I am Adonai, who sets Isra’el apart as holy, when my sanctuary is with them forever.’”"
About the Messiah, sure. Again making mention of the new, everlasting covenant and people being changed to keep the rulings and regulations of God. Saying that the Messiah will be ruler of Israel forever. (How?) Saying that God will make his sanctuary with Israel. But no mention of the Messiah building the temple.

Gather all Jews back to the land of Israel?
Is.43:5-6 - "Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
I will bring your descendants from the east,
and I will gather you from the west;
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Don’t hold them back!
Bring my sons from far away,
and my daughters from the ends of the earth,"
No mention of the Messiah here, sorry. However, maybe previous or following chapters?
Is.42:1-7 - "“Here is my servant, whom I support,
my chosen one, in whom I take pleasure.
I have put my Spirit on him;
he will bring justice to the Goyim.
He will not cry or shout;
no one will hear his voice in the streets.
He will not snap off a broken reed
or snuff out a smoldering wick.
He will bring forth justice according to truth;
he will not weaken or be crushed
until he has established justice on the earth,
and the coastlands wait for his Torah.”

Thus says God, Adonai,
who created the heavens and spread them out,
who stretched out the earth and all that grows from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk on it:
“I, Adonai, called you righteously,
I took hold of you by the hand,
I shaped you and made you a covenant for the people,
to be a light for the Goyim,
so that you can open blind eyes,
free the prisoners from confinement,
those living in darkness from the dungeon."
Here is a person mentioned who could be the Messiah... but what does it say about Him?
  1.  He will be filled with the Spirit of the Lord ("My Spirit on Him" - like David)
  2. He will bring justice to the Goyim (non-Jewish nations).
  3. He will not cry and shout in the streets.
  4. He will bring forth justice (speak justice?) according to the truth.
  5. He will not weaken or be crushed (see later in Is.53) until He has established justice on the earth.
  6. The coastlands (of the Mediterranean Sea) wait for his Torah (teaching).
  7. He will be a covenant for the people (of Israel)... see again Jer.31 and Ezek. 37 quoted above.
  8. He will be light for the (non-Jewish) nations (Goyim).
  9. He will open blind eyes.
Sounds familiar?
Maybe Is.44:1-3, then? - "Now listen, Ya‘akov my servant,
Isra’el whom I have chosen:
Thus says Adonai, who made you,
formed you in the womb, and will help you:
Don’t be afraid, Ya‘akov my servant,
Yeshurun, whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on the thirsty land
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit on your descendants,
my blessing on your offspring."
Anything about Messiah? Unless you assume "Ya‘akov my servant,
Isra’el" to refer to Messiah, nothing here about Mashiach. But later in Isaiah it is obviously the same person as in Isaiah 42 who is speaking (Is.49:1-6):
"Coastlands, listen to me;
listen, you peoples far away:
Adonai called me from the womb;
before I was born, he had spoken my name.
He has made my mouth like a sharp sword
while hiding me in the shadow of his hand;
he has made me like a sharpened arrow
while concealing me in his quiver.
He said to me, “You are my servant,
Isra’el, through whom I will show my glory.”
But I said, “I have toiled in vain,
spent my strength for nothing, futility.”
Yet my cause is with Adonai,
my reward is with my God.
So now Adonai says —
he formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Ya‘akov back to him,
to have Isra’el gathered to him,
so that I will be honored in the sight of Adonai,
my God having become my strength —
he has said, “It is not enough
that you are merely my servant
to raise up the tribes of Ya‘akov
and restore the offspring of Isra’el.
I will also make you a light to the nations,
so my salvation can spread to the ends of the earth.”"
  1. He addresses the coastlands (who were waiting for his Torah before).
  2. He was called by name before his birth already.
  3. He is called by the LORD "my servant Israel"
  4. Through Him God will show his glory.
  5. He was formed to bring Israel back to the LORD (not to the land of Israel). This obviously implies that "my servant Israel" is not simply the people of Israel!
  6. But He will not only restore and raise up Israel, He will be a light to the (non-Jewish) nations (as also mentioned in Is.42)
  7. Thus will the salvation (Yeshuah) of God be spread to the ends of the earth.

Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease? Again Isaiah 2 (quoted already above) makes no mention of the Messiah. The same is true for Zechariah 14.

(2) Jesus Did Not Embody the Personal Qualifications of Messiah
A. Messiah as Prophet The Messiah will become the greatest prophet in history, second only to Moses. (Targum – Isaiah 11:2; Maimonides – Teshuva 9:2) Prophecy can only exist in Israel when the land is inhabited by a majority of world Jewry, a situation which has not existed since 300 BCE. During the time of Ezra, when the majority of Jews remained in Babylon, prophecy ended upon the death of the last prophets – Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. Jesus appeared on the scene approximately 350 years after prophecy had ended, and thus could not be a prophet.
 Here is what Moses actually said (Deut.18:): "Adonai will raise up for you a prophet like me from among yourselves, from your own kinsmen. You are to pay attention to him, just as when you were assembled at Horev and requested Adonai your God, ‘Don’t let me hear the voice of Adonai my God any more, or let me see this great fire ever again; if I do, I will die!’ On that occasion Adonai said to me, ‘They are right in what they are saying. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kinsmen. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I order him. Whoever doesn’t listen to my words, which he will speak in my name, will have to account for himself to me."
  1. The prophet will not be second to Moses, He will be like Moses!
Is.11:1-2 - "But a branch will emerge from the trunk of Yishai,
a shoot will grow from his roots.
The Spirit of Adonai will rest on him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and power,
the Spirit of knowledge and fearing Adonai"
Branch and shoot (of David or his father Yishai) are repeatedly used as titles for the Messiah in the prophets. The sevenfold Spirit of God will rest on Messiah. If prophecy supposedly had stopped with Ezra, how then will the Messiah by filled with the Spirit? There is nothing in Scripture saying that prophecy had stopped forever in Israel, except for a much later observation by Maimonides. On the contrary, Joel prophesied about "the last days" (Joel 3:1-2): "After this, I will pour out
my Spirit on all humanity.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions;
and also on male and female slaves
in those days I will pour out my Spirit."
Moreover, Jesus repeatedly prophesied during his ministry on earth, including specifically the destruction of the second temple and the destruction of Jerusalem (Matt.23), as well as the return of Israel to the land before his own return (Luk.13:35).

Descendant of David Many prophetic passages speak of a descendant of King David who will rule Israel during the age of perfection. (Isaiah 11:1-9; Jeremiah 23:5-6, 30:7-10, 33:14-16; Ezekiel 34:11-31, 37:21-28; Hosea 3:4-5)The Messiah must be descended on his father's side from King David (see Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 11:1, Jeremiah 23:5, 33:17; Ezekiel 34:23-24).
 We obviously agree that Messiah was to be the descendent of David, so I am not going to quote all the Scriptures here. Both genealogies of Jesus in the New Testament (through Joseph and through Joseph's father-in-law, father of Miriam) shows Him to be a descendent of David. However, the following interesting observation from Ezek.34:11-12, 23-24 - "“‘For here is what Adonai Elohim says: “I am taking over! I will search for my sheep and look after them, myself. Just as a shepherd looks after his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so I will look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. ... ‘I will raise up one shepherd to be in charge of them, and he will let them feed — my servant David. He will pasture them and be their shepherd. I, Adonai, will be their God; and my servant David will be prince among them. I, Adonai, have spoken. I will make a covenant of peace with them;" So who exactly is going to be the Shepherd? God, or his servant David (unless they are one)? Hos.3:4-5 says: "For the people of Isra’el are going to be in seclusion for a long time without a king, prince, sacrifice, standing-stone, ritual vest or household gods. Afterwards, the people of Isra’el will repent and seek Adonai their God and David their king; they will come trembling to Adonai and his goodness in the acharit-hayamim."
Here is what interests me... after having been without king, prince, sacrifice etc., when they repent, they will seek God and "David their king", implying that they already know about this king? 
 (1)According to Jewish sources, the Messiah will be born of human parents and possess normal physical attributes like other people. He will not be a demi-god, (2) nor will he possess supernatural qualities.
You claim that the Messiah is only the normal physical descendent of David. But he is not only the branch or shoot (the offspring) of David (or Yishai, David's father), he is also the root (ancestor) of Yishai (Is.11:10). How can he be both the offspring and the ancestor of David if he is simply a normal man? Repeatedly it is mentioned that the Messiah will rule forever (eternally) as an eternal covenant... how? If he will just die again like any normal person? Dan.7:13-14 - "I kept watching the night visions,
when I saw, coming with the clouds of heaven,
someone like a son of man.
He approached the Ancient One
and was led into his presence.
To him was given rulership,
glory and a kingdom,
so that all peoples, nations and languages
should serve him.
His rulership is an eternal rulership
that will not pass away;
and his kingdom is one
that will never be destroyed."
Really nothing supernatural here? 
[As for the argument that Messiah had to be the descendent of David through his father, it really misses the point. God created mankind. If Miriam truly became pregnant through the power of his holy Spirit, He is obviously able to create (even from scratch, just as He created the first man), somebody with the DNA of David's descendent in her womb. Jesus was obviously not a woman (i.e. genetically not only the physical descendent of Mary, even if she was a virgin). I am not making any claim here for how God did it. I am only saying that if even modern humans can do all kinds of things with artificial insemination, and genetic engineering, by what logic can we claim that the Creator of the universe was unable to do so? As far as his contemporaries were concerned, He was the son of Joseph, the descendent of David. And such He was, at least legally and would have been written as such in the genealogies in the temple in Jerusalem. Here is a greater problem for any future "Messiah", however. It is not longer possible for any Jew to proof that he is an descendent of David (either physically or legally) since the temple genealogies have been destroyed. Only a Messiah who came before the destruction of the 2nd temple (as also prophesied by Daniel 9), could make any valid claim to be a legal descendent of David.]
C. Torah ObservanceThe Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance. The Torah states that all mitzvot remain binding forever, and anyone coming to change the Torah is immediately identified as a false prophet. (Deut. 13:1-4)Throughout the Christian "New Testament," Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable. For example, John 9:14 records that Jesus made a paste in violation of Shabbat, which caused the Pharisees to say (verse 16), "He does not observe Shabbat!"
  1.  Jesus Himself said that He did not come to abolish Torah, but to complete it (Matt.5:17-20): "Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened. So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness is far greater than that of the Torah-teachers and P’rushim, you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven!
  2. What He did, however, was to repeatedly accuse the P'rushim (Pharisees) and Scribes (Sopherim) of 1) putting aside the Torah of God for the sake of their received traditions and 2) being hypocritical by pretending to follow God while their hearts were far from Him (Is.29:13 - "Then Adonai said: “Because these people approach me with empty words,and the honour they bestow on me is mere lip-service; while in fact they have distanced their hearts from me, and their ‘fear of me’ is just a mitzvah of human origin —"). 
  3. Saving a life (and healing somebody's eyesight - one of the Messianic signs mentioned in the prophets! - by making a paste) was not breaking the Torah (but it was against their traditions of how to keep Shabbat). Their keeping of Torah was all on the outside, while not touching or changing the heart, the true source of evil, and He exposed them.
 (3) Mistranslated Verses "Referring" to Jesus Biblical verses can only be understood by studying the original Hebrew text – which reveals many discrepancies in the Christian translation. A. Virgin BirthThe Christian idea of a virgin birth is derived from the verse in Isaiah 7:14 describing an "alma" as giving birth. The word "alma" has always meant a young woman, but Christian theologians came centuries later and translated it as "virgin."
 Actually, while the primary meaning of "alma" refers to a young girl, it also had the secondary meaning of her being still a virgin. "Betulah", the normal word use for "virgin", is also used for a widow in Scripture, and are almost always qualified as "not having known a man" when the meaning of "virgin" is its primary meaning. "Almah" is never unambiguously used of a married young woman. Moreover, Isa.7:14 is only part of the prophecy which finds its climax in Is.9 - "For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; dominion will rest on his shoulders, and he will be given the name Pele-Yo‘etz El Gibbor
Avi-‘Ad Sar-Shalom [Wonder of a Counselor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace], in order to extend the dominion and perpetuate the peace
of the throne and kingdom of David, to secure it and sustain it through justice and righteousness henceforth and forever. The zeal of Adonai-Tzva’ot
will accomplish this." As for the translation "parthenos" which was used in the Greek Septuagint translation of the Tanach (and thus also in the New Testament), it was done by Jewish scholars, so if there was any mistranslation, it was done by (pre-Christian) scholars who probably spoke better Hebrew than most modern Hebrew speakers. The "pagan borrowing" proposal is simply silly when seen in this light.
B. Suffering ServantChristianity claims that Isaiah chapter 53 refers to Jesus, as the "suffering servant." In actuality, Isaiah 53 directly follows the theme of chapter 52, describing the exile and redemption of the Jewish people. The prophecies are written in the singular form because the Jews ("Israel") are regarded as one unit. Throughout Jewish scripture, Israel is repeatedly called, in the singular, the "Servant of God" (see Isaiah 43:8). ... When read correctly, Isaiah 53 clearly [and ironically] refers to the Jewish people...
Well, let's examine the Scripture itself... We have already look at the previous instances of "the servant of the LORD" in Isaiah 42 and 49 where it is clear that it is referring both to the people of Israel and to an individual in Israel who will bring Israel back to God, be the covenant for the people of Israel and a light to the nations. Moreover, in a number of other prophecies (also quoted by you), "the servant of the LORD" clearly refers to the Messiah ("David my Servant"). So which use of  "servant of the LORD" fits Isaiah 52 and 53 best? "See how my servant will succeed!
He will be raised up, exalted, highly honored! Just as many were appalled at him, because he was so disfigured that he didn’t even seem human and simply no longer looked like a man, so now he will startle many nations;
because of him, kings will be speechless. For they will see what they had not been told, they will ponder things they had never heard.
Who believes our report?
To whom is the arm of Adonai revealed?
For before him he grew up like a young plant,
like a root out of dry ground.
He was not well-formed or especially handsome;
we saw him, but his appearance did not attract us.
People despised and avoided him,
a man of pains, well acquainted with illness.
Like someone from whom people turn their faces,
he was despised; we did not value him.

In fact, it was our diseases he bore,
our pains from which he suffered;
yet we regarded him as punished,
stricken and afflicted by God.
But he was wounded because of our crimes,
crushed because of our sins;
the disciplining that makes us whole fell on him,
and by his bruises we are healed.
We all, like sheep, went astray;
we turned, each one, to his own way;
yet Adonai laid on him
the guilt of all of us.
Though mistreated, he was submissive —
he did not open his mouth.
Like a lamb led to be slaughtered,
like a sheep silent before its shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
After forcible arrest and sentencing,
he was taken away;
and none of his generation protested
his being cut off from the land of the living
for the crimes of my people,
who deserved the punishment themselves.
He was given a grave among the wicked;
in his death he was with a rich man.
Although he had done no violence
and had said nothing deceptive,
yet it pleased Adonai to crush him with illness,
to see if he would present himself as a guilt offering.
If he does, he will see his offspring;
and he will prolong his days;
and at his hand Adonai’s desire
will be accomplished.
 After this ordeal, he will see satisfaction.
“By his knowing [pain and sacrifice],
my righteous servant makes many righteous;
it is for their sins that he suffers.
Therefore I will assign him a share with the great,
he will divide the spoil with the mighty,
for having exposed himself to death
and being counted among the sinners,
while actually bearing the sin of many
and interceding for the offenders.
  1. The servant will be disfigured, no longer looking like a man... referring back to Is.50:4-6 - "Adonai Elohim has given me
    the ability to speak as a man well taught,
    so that I, with my words,
    know how to sustain the weary.
    Each morning he awakens my ear
    to hear like those who are taught.
    Adonai Elohim has opened my ear,
    and I neither rebelled nor turned away.
    I offered my back to those who struck me,
    my cheeks to those who plucked out my beard;
    I did not hide my face
    from insult and spitting." Who does this most resemble? Israel? or and individual?
  2. Nations and kings will be startled and speechless because of him... again, earlier we read about the servant being a light to the nations (and gathering the people of Israel to God).
  3. He is like a root out of dry ground... have we not earlier read mention of the root of Yishai in Is.11?
  4. "We", that is the prophet and ... (?) did not value (esteem) him. The most natural reading is that "we" actually refer to the people of Israel, of whom the prophet is obviously a member.
  5. He bore our diseases and suffered our pains...
  6. but "we" (including the prophet) regarded him as punished by God.
  7. He was wounded and crushed because of our crimes and sins.
  8. We are healed by his bruises and the punishment that makes us whole fell on him. 
  9. We all, like sheep, went astray and turned our own ways (is this not repeatedly said of Israel in Isaiah?) and our guilt was laid on him.
  10. He was submissive and did not open his mouth when mistreated (does this truly sound like Israel?); like a lamb to the slaughter and a sheep being sheered.
  11. After forcible arrest and sentencing, he is taken away and cut off from the land of the living (he dies) for the crimes of the people of the prophet (or the people of God).
  12. He was given a grave among the wicked, but in his death with a rich man.
  13. He did no violence.
  14. He said nothing deceptive.
  15. He would present himself as a guilt offering.
  16. He will live again to see his offspring, satisfaction, and prolong his days.
  17. Through him God's desire will be accomplished.
  18. He exposed Himself to death and were counted among the sinners, but actually bore the sins of many.
  19. He prayed (interceded) for the offenders.
  20. Therefore God will assign him a share with the great and mighty.
    (4) Jewish Belief is Based Solely on National Revelation
    Yes, I agree with with the statement that the basis of the Jewish people and belief was a National Revelation in the time of Moshe. But Moshe himself told them that God would send other prophets and that these prophets could be tested in two ways (Deut.18):
    1. They would prophesy only in the Name of the LORD (YHWH) and not false Gods.
    2. What they prophecy would happen as they said.
    And the fulfilment of the many Messianic prophecies (a few of which we considered here), both confirm the prophetic word itself as being from God and the position of Yeshua of Nazareth as being the promised Messiah.