Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What's Your Authority?

Erica is very sure that being Jewish and believing in Jesus does not go together.

A guy on the street told me that he was very sure that when we die we all go back to God.

An Israeli lady a friend in Jews for Jesus and I talked to was very sure that it really didn't matter what you believe, the important thing is that you do good things. What happens when we don't do good things? And why is doing good things important?

What's the point of this? Why am I asking so many questions?

My questions point to a common thread that runs between all opinions you run into. Actually, it points to another question. Ok, you probably guessed it by now.

What's your authority?

I can have all kinds of opinions regarding God, but are they based on truth? Are they based on God describing Himself? Does it have evidence behind it? Is it consistent? Am I consistent?

I can believe all sorts of things about Jesus being the Messiah or not. But is it based on the Scriptures, God's revealed and sure Word to us?

I can believe all kinds of things about the Resurrection. But do my beliefs have any historical evidence behind it?

We all have our authorities. Sometimes we have authorities which are simply assumed, but they are indeed there. Sometimes we have beliefs hanging in mid-air, so to speak.

Sometimes it is best to be like a 3 year old.

Jews can't be for Jesus. How do you know that?

Jesus doesn't affect my life. How do you know that?

Jesus isn't the Messiah. How do you know that?

Well, you get to the point. Look for consistency, lack of arbitrariness, and evidence.

Frankly, look to Jesus.


Anonymous MOshe bon Avraham said...

LOL. You consider the Christian Bible historical fact. All historians will disagree with you. I believe strongly that what was written in Torah actually happened, but I do not go prancing around saying it is historical fact. I cannot prove it. It is a matter of faith. For you to claim you have historical facts to prove your beliefs is moronic. You have faith in the Christian Bible and all that is written in it as fact, nothing more.

7/19/2006 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

All historians?

Feel free to read my article on the evidence for the Resurrection: http://www.geoffrobinson.net/resurrection2.html

As for the New Testament, we have the testimony of people who knew the apostles who accepted those writings as authentic.

For years, people thought Pontious Pilate was a fairy tale. Then archeologists found an inscription with his name on it.

When push comes to shove, you are faced with the testimony of people who knew Jesus and went out and died and suffered for that belief in order to present it before the world. You have two choices: to accept or reject their message.

To assume that is is just a matter of faith without there being any support for it is not an assumption I would make: http://www.jewsforjesus.org/answers/bible/truth

At the very least, you have testimony you have to deal with.

7/19/2006 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

I've studied with historians. I've read history. A very great many believe that the Bible, Old and New, is historical. In fact, Israel is probably more conservative in that regard than outside of Israel, with the influence of hands-on archaeology in the Land.

To say that point of view is "moronic" would get you laughed out of most history courses. Not to mention attributing your views to "all historians."

7/19/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Sultan Knish said...

your conclusion is of course circular reasoning, predictably so

how do we know in the end, simple God told us so, when he told us to worship no other Gods and not to listen to any one who comes telling us to uproot his laws and commandments, even if he performs miracles

case closed and not complicated at all

7/20/2006 08:46:00 PM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

What's circular about it?

Are you aware that some philosophers believe that every belief system have presuppositions you have to presuppose like the law of non-contradiction?

I would argue we are not giving a message of another God. The Trinity is in the Tanakh throughout.

Jeremiah says that there is coming a new covenant that won't be like the Mosaic covenant (Jeremiah 31). Should we not listen to Jeremiah?

7/21/2006 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Sultan Knish said...

first and foremost I think we should listen to God whose first commandment was to worship only him

now it's common enough in pagan beliefs to add on to a family for a god, until we wind up with zeus and apollo and so on and so forth

this of course is a fundamental pagan fallacy which Judaism has always risen above in the belief in an unchanging eternal God

7/21/2006 03:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Moshe ben Avraham said...

As for the comment on listening to Jeremiah: I listen to Torah and the prophet Moses. All others pale beside him and there is more truth in Torah then in the other books of the Tenakh. Why do you think Jews study Torah more and Christians study the other books of the Tenakh more? Becuase Jews know there is a certain fallibility to those books, but not Torah.

7/21/2006 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

The prophets are fallible? I know of no Orthodox Jewish rabbi who would say that. But maybe I need to get out more.

The Torah and the Prophets are not pitted against each other. They agree with each other. But if you reject the words and authority of the Prophets, what more is there to say?

By the way, the Torah says a prophet to be a prophet of God has to be infallible (Deut. 18 I believe).

7/22/2006 12:36:00 AM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...


The Trinity is in the Tanakh. There isn't more than one God, heaven forbid!

Look at how Moses writes Exodus 3-4. The angel of the LORD is called "the angel of the LORD" and then is called HaShem!

There is a diversity within the one God that is mysterious indeed! But it is there, even in the Torah itself. I'll have to post more examples.

7/22/2006 12:47:00 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

Knish said:
"how do we know in the end, simple God told us so, when he told us to worship no other Gods and not to listen to any one who comes telling us to uproot his laws and commandments, even if he performs miracles"

So...how do you know what God said? How do you know Tanach is true? You want to reject New Testament because you think there is no evidence, what is your evidence for Tanach? Don't you know that people who say there is no evidence for New Testament have said the same thing about Tenach?

You also said:
"now it's common enough in pagan beliefs to add on to a family for a god, until we wind up with zeus and apollo and so on and so forth"

Did Geoff say anything about Zeus and Apollo? Did I? What are you going on about?

7/22/2006 11:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Moshe ben Avraham said...

A clarification.
I did not say that I do not listen to the prophets of the Tenakh but that they do not have the same degree of prohpetic ability as Moses. In some ways this is where the Orthodox and I differ. I believe there is a strong possibilty that what the prophets prophsized is not interpretated correctly whether by Christians or Jews. However, due to the significance of these prophets and the fact that they are prophets is not something I question. I meant the prophets message has a certain degree of fallibilty. Even Moshe himself. The greatest of Prophets has made mistakes. Look at Bilaam. Possibly a greater prophet then Moshe Ibut not in character), yet look at how he lived his life. For physical pleasure only. He only prophosized to hurt people, yet all his prophocies came true. Yet he was forced to bless Israel despite all he could do. See a certain degree of fallibilty in all prophets.

7/24/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...


Thanks for the clarification.

I think you are confusing the character of the person with the character of what they have said when God is speaking through them.

People are fallible. As you mentioned, even the original Moshe. And prophets, being people, are fallible. But that is different from their prophecy being fallible.

7/24/2006 04:43:00 PM  

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