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Originally posted by FeraVerto
reply to post by Blue_Jay33
Well, since I do not believe Jesus is the Messiah then I do not believe in the Christian timeline. I believe in G-d, his words, laws, and so forth.
Originally posted by FeraVerto
reply to post by ntech
Well I would disagree with the Book of Romans. Since it is a Christian scripture. I understand it is a normal human trait to be skeptical. You post reminds me of my time in learning about Buddhism and being a skeptic. Israel is G-d's suffering servant. We need the Messiah. The one who G-d wants to lead us. The Jewish Messiah.
One of the points of contention between Christians and Jews is the proper interpretation of Isaiah 7:14. If you read Matthew 1:22-23, it's easy to see why: Matthew 1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, G-d with us. (KJV) Firstly, a small issue with this is the proper interpretation of the name Emmanuel (also spelled Immanuel). It does not mean "G-d with us," but rather, "G-d is with us." (Most modern Christian Bible translations will corroborate this.)
The author of the Gospel of Matthew was quoting Isaiah 7:14. Let us examine this verse: Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (KJV) This seems cut and dry, does it not? Matthew listed out the genealogy of Jesus, and in accordance with a standing prophecy, the Messiah is born of a virgin. (The New International Version also provides a similar rendering.) Or is he? Let’s further examine Isaiah 7:14 in greater detail.
Chapter 7 of Isaiah relates the tale of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and Syria laying siege to the Kingdom of Judah. G-d sent Isaiah to Ahaz to let him know that divine intervention was at hand. Isaiah told Ahaz that this intervention was at hand and he would know it to be so when given the sign named in Isaiah 7:14. Let’s look at the prophecy in its proper context. Isaiah 7:11 Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy G-d; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.  But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.  And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; [Is it] a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my G-d also?  Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.  Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.  For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings. (KJV) Verses 11 and 16 do a perfect job of putting verse 14 in its proper context. "Before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings." This means the conflict will be resolved shortly after the child is born. This event is to take place within Ahaz’s lifetime, more than 500 years before Jesus was born. What sense does it make to offer a sign to Ahaz if it wasn’t going to come to pass within his lifetime?
There are three keywords here: 1) "Behold!" -- This is to tell us that the fulfillment of teh prophecy would be imminent. Had this been a Messianic prophecy, it would have been in long term language, such as "in those days to come..." 2) "Therefore, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign..." -- The word "sign" is also important here. We are not dealing with a miracle. We are dealing with a sign, something that all can see. A sign would be of the nature of "behold, and you shall see three concentric rainbows." A miracle, however, is something that defies physics in most cases, and is visible for all to see, also. No matter how virtuous she was thought to be, something that requires a gynecological examination for verification doesn't fit seamlessly into this definition. 3) Mary didn't name her son Immanuel, which is the fulfillment of the prophecy. Christians object, saying it's the meaning of the name that counts, but this is simply not the case. Divine inspiration on the part of the mother was part of this prophecy, and that inspiration was to lead to the boy's naming. Mary named her boy Yeshu, which became translated into Greek and then anglicized into Jesus.
This creates a dilemma: given the context of this passage, who was the object of this fantastic virgin birth, more than half a millenium prior to Jesus? The answer makes the issue a bit more complicated. A problem that we have here in one of mistranslation. Let us examine a proper rendering of the verse in question: Isaiah 7:14 Therefore, my Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the maiden will become pregnant and bear a son, and she will name him Immanuel. (Artscroll) A slight, yet significant change, wouldn’t you say? The word that the prophet used is pronounced "almah," which means maiden or simply, a young woman. Granted, most young women are virgins, but not all virgins are young women. The word for virgin, "be’tulah," is not completely synonymous with "almah." Given the context, there’s no real reason to think that this young woman, this "almah," is a virgin who would conceive a child in some supernatural way.
Other Usage of the Word Christians with whom I’ve debated these issues assert that "almah" always means virgin. You need only find one other instance where this word is used but does not refer to a woman with no previous sexual experience. Rabbi Dovid Kimchi (Redak), who lived nearly a thousand years ago, showed that this is provided in Proverbs 30:18-20. Proverbs 30:18 There are three that are beyond me and a fourth that I do not know:  the way of an eagle in the heavens; the way of a snake upon a rock; the way of a ship in the heart of the sea; and the way of a man with a young woman.  Such is the way of the adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth and says, "I have done no wrong." (Artscroll) The word for "young woman" here was "almah." The rabbinical commentator Ibn Ezra explained that just as the eagle, snake and ship leave no trail in their path, adulterers wipe their mouths clean and leave no trail of their fornication. Clearly, "almah" does not explicitly mean virgin. Here are the other usages of the word: Genesis 24:43 behold, I am standing by the spring, and may it be that the maiden who comes out to draw, and to whom I say, "Please let me drink a little water from your jar"; (NAS) Exodus 2:8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go [ahead]." So the girl went and called the child's mother. (NAS) Psalms 68:25 The singers went on, the musicians after [them], In the midst of the maidens beating tambourines. (NAS) Song of Solomon 1:3 Your oils have a pleasing fragrance, Your name is [like] purified oil; Therefore the maidens love you. (NAS) Song of Solomon 6:8 There are sixty queens and eighty concubines, And maidens without number; (NAS) Note: New American Standard is used here because KJV is inconsistent in its renderings. Sometimes King James renders it virgin, most of the time as maiden. NAS is consistent here.
Still, Christians object. The King James Version and versions like it couldn’t have mistranslated this prophecy. KJV is well respected, and would translate this passage properly! Is this so? If this isn’t a case of mistranslation, then why do many modern Christian Bibles reflect the proper translation? Other Christian Translations of Isaiah 7:14 1) Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Revised Standard Version) 2) Because you do, the Lord of His own accord will give you a sign; it is this: A young woman is with child, and she will give birth to a son and call him Immanuel. (Revised English Bible) 3) Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: A young woman is with child, and she will bear a son, and will call him Immanuel. (New English Bible) Other Christian translations which incorporate this proper translation include the New Revised Standard Version, the Jerusalem Bible Readers Edition, and the Good New Bible. In fact, just about every new Christian translation that has been published in the last fifty years has rendered this verse in question properly. These are Christians who believe in Jesus just as much as teh ones who depend on KJV and NIV, and their Bibles show the proper wording. But in its proper context, we can see that Isaiah simply prophesied that a child would be born to a woman who would name her son Immanuel. When Ahaz would see this, he would be assured that G-d would save the Kingdom of Judah.
The Septuagint Some Christians respond to this problem by pointing out that Matthew was quoting from the Septuagint, the Greek translations of the Hebrew Scriptures. There are a few details which get in the way of this claim: 1) The Septuagint was, in its original form, a translation of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. Non-Jews translated the rest, and thus the Jews are in no way bound by it. The Jewish origin of the Septuagint is given in the Talmud, tractate Megillah 9a. The story has it that in the days of King Ptolemy, the king ordered 72 rabbis to translate "the Torah of Moses your teacher." Josephus attested to the Septuagint being only the Law of Moses in his preface to Antiquities of the Jews. 2) That no Jews use it today, yet it is held dear by the Greek Orthodox Church should tell you about how Jewish a document it is. 3) The claim is made that Matthew was quoting Isaiah 7:14 from the Septuagint, and the in the Septuagint, the word "parthenos" is used. The word means virgin. Or does it? In the Septuagint, Genesis 34:3 has the word "parthenos" used twice in reference to Jacob's daughter, Dinah, after she was raped. A woman who has been raped is no longer a virgin. 4) That the author was referencing the Septuagint is completely irrelevant. It's what Isaiah wrote in the Hebrew Scriptures that is relevant.
Did Isaiah Know the Other Word for Virgin? However, it might cross your mind to ask if Isaiah himself had the word that strictly meant "virgin" in his vocabulary? Was "almah" the only word he knew which could be used to refer to a virgin? Isaiah 23:4 Be thou ashamed, O Zidon: for the sea hath spoken, [even] the strength of the sea, saying, I travail not, nor bring forth children, neither do I nourish up young men, [nor] bring up virgins. (KJV) [23:12] And he said, Thou shalt no more rejoice, O thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Zidon: arise, pass over to Chittim; there also shalt thou have no rest. (KJV) [37:22] This [is] the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, [and] laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee. (KJV) [47:1] Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: [there is] no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate. (KJV) [62:5] For [as] a young man marrieth a virgin, [so] shall thy sons marry thee: and [as] the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, [so] shall thy G-d rejoice over thee. (KJV) In these verses, the Hebrew word "almah" is nowhere to be found, in its place is the word "be’tulah." Clearly, Isaiah was well aware of the true meanings of both "almah" and "be’tulah."
Dual Prophecy? The general Christian defense when forced to confront the reality of Isaiah 7:14 is to conjecture the notion of the dual prophecy. Isaiah was in fact delivering two prophecies, one that came to pass over 2,500 years ago as well as the birth of Jesus. There are two problems with this claim: 1) If we are to go with KJV's mistranslation, there must have been a virgin birth over 500 years prior to Jesus. This certainly would ahve risen some attention. 2) Dual fulfillment is a concept completely alien to scripture. In no way is it indicated by the text that it concerns the Messiah, nor is it indicated that it would occur hundreds of years later. Verses 11 and 16 make it crystal clear how we should interpret the verse in question.
Who is Immanuel? Is Immanuel mentioned anywhere else other than in Isaiah 7:14? Isaiah 8:5 The LORD spake also unto me again, saying,  Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah's son;  Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, [even] the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks:  And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach [even] to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.  Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces.  Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for G-d [is] with us. (KJV) So, we see Immanuel mentioned in the very next chapter of Isaiah. Isaiah 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me [are] for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion. (KJV) So, we see the Lord gave Immanuel to Isaiah to use as a sign for Israel, just like chapter 7 of Isaiah indicated. We see now what happens when you read scripture in its proper context.
A Further Examination of Matthew's Quotation Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, G-d with us. (KJV) The wording Matthew used changed it around somewhat. In Isaiah’s prophecy, the boy’s mother names him, but in Matthew 1:23 it’s "and they shall call him." The reason for this is why Christians point to the meaning of the name "Immanuel," rather than the fact that it wasn’t Jesus’ actual name. There is one other key point to be made: Why didn’t they publicize the virgin birth? Why are Matthew and Luke the only gospels to make mention of something so fantastic? If Isaiah had indeed foretold that the Messiah was going to be of a virgin conception (suspending for a moment the mistranslation and the prophecy being taken out of context), then why didn’t they tell everyone that the virgin had finally conceived? If Isaiah had prophesied that the Messiah was to be born of a virgin, then immediately they should have known it, and told everyone that the promised king, the Son of David, had arrived! Why didn’t they do this? They didn’t do this because everyone obviously knew Isaiah hadn’t prophesied about the Messiah in this regard. Surely if Isaiah had actually prophesied that the Messiah was to be of a virgin conception, that would have been the first question on the minds of the general Jewish population to whom he was presenting himself as king.
How accurate is this Christian claim? The place to explore this issue is in the Jewish scriptures. If the Hebrew word alma means virgin then each usage in the Bible must be either a clear reference to a virgin or at least be ambiguous. The word alma appears in the Jewish scriptures seven times. If even one reference clearly refers to a woman who is not a virgin, then Matthew’s rendition of Isaiah 7:14 becomes untenable. One of the places where the uncommon Hebrew word alma appears in the Bible is in Proverbs 30:18-20 which reads, There are three things which are too wonderful for me, four which I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship in the middle of the sea, and the way of a man with a young woman [b’alma]. This is the way of an adulterous woman: she eats and wipes her mouth, and says, “I have done no wrong.”
In the above three verses, King Solomon compares a man with an alma to three other things: an eagle in the sky, a serpent on a rock, and a ship in the sea. What do these three things all have in common? They leave no trace. After the eagle has flown across the sky, determining that the eagle had ever flown there is impossible. Once a snake has slithered over a rock, there is no way to discern that the snake had ever crossed there (as opposed to a snake slithering over sand or grass, where it leaves a trail). After a ship has moved across the sea, the water comes together behind it and there is no way to tell that a ship had ever passed through there. Similarly, King Solomon informs us that once a man has been with an alma there is also no trace of the fornication that had occurred between them. Therefore, in the following verse (verse 20) King Solomon explains that once this adulterous woman has eaten (a metaphor for her fornication), she removes the trace of her sexual activity by exclaiming, “I have done no wrong.” The word alma clearly does not mean virgin. In the same way that in the English language the words “young woman” have no bearing on whether virginity is present or not, in the Hebrew language there is no relationship between the words alma and virgin. On the contrary, it is usually a young woman who bears children. Had Isaiah wished to speak about a virgin birth, he would have used the word betulah1 not alma. Betulah is a common word in the Jewish scriptures, and can only mean “virgin.”
In fact, although Isaiah used the Hebrew word alma only one time in his entire corpus (7:14), the prophet uses this word virgin (betulah) five times throughout the book of Isaiah (23:4; 23:12; 37:22; 47:1; 62:5).