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Switch to Forum Live View The book "Kosher Jesus"
2 years ago  ::  May 03, 2012 - 9:31AM #31
Bunsinspace
Posts: 5,900

May 3, 2012 -- 2:10AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


In other words, you admit Christianity empasizes love more than Judaism while Judaism recognizes better the importance of fear. Therefore, Christianity has a whole different orientation than Judaism. ...




BS"D


All true, but "fear" means something a lot different in Judaism than in Christianity.  The evidence of that is that Christianity embodies "fear" in its doctrine of "Hell" whereas Judaism embodies "fear" in its doctrine of "chesed" (loyalty/love/fidelity/intimacy.)

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2 years ago  ::  May 03, 2012 - 9:52AM #32
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,892

May 3, 2012 -- 9:31AM, Bunsinspace wrote:


May 3, 2012 -- 2:10AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


In other words, you admit Christianity empasizes love more than Judaism while Judaism recognizes better the importance of fear. Therefore, Christianity has a whole different orientation than Judaism. ...




BS"D


All true, but "fear" means something a lot different in Judaism than in Christianity.  The evidence of that is that Christianity embodies "fear" in its doctrine of "Hell" whereas Judaism embodies "fear" in its doctrine of "chesed" (loyalty/love/fidelity/intimacy.)




Fear of God (in Judaism or comparatively) is indeed another highly profound theme that well deserves a thread of its own. My understanding is that God's judgment and wrath are real, that God is Just and that His justice is erected on the twin pillars of reward and punishment. But more importantly, justice (both reward and punishment) is a form of God's love. Father's love is sometimes tough, but it's still love. It helps us grow and know Him better. The dread of His punishment should be likewise real and it genuinely helps us behave better. As we grow spiritually, we learn to fear the misdeed/wrong itself rather than the personal consequences of it. But in a deeper sense, all of the above is love and God's grace exceeds his justice (meaning: undeserved blessings from God always exceed the just punishments and rewards that we receive for our works -- no contradiction between the two).


Kind regards,


LilWabbit

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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2 years ago  ::  May 03, 2012 - 9:54AM #33
rocketjsquirell
Posts: 15,627

Lilwabbit


The better word to use is AWE. The word fear as it is used in current speach is inaccurate.


Thanks

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2 years ago  ::  May 03, 2012 - 10:20AM #34
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,892

May 3, 2012 -- 9:54AM, rocketjsquirell wrote:


Lilwabbit


The better word to use is AWE. The word fear as it is used in current speach is inaccurate.


Thanks




Good point. I would use awe in reference to a highly evolved fear of God which is free from selfish attachment. In its early and more primitive forms (I'm still rather primitive) on our growth trajectory of increasingly reflecting His image, it means downright selfish fear of His punishment and scourge. ;) That's also how my son sometimes fears yet loves me. Tongue Out


Kindly,


Wabbit

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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2 years ago  ::  May 03, 2012 - 3:48PM #35
chanceuse
Posts: 30

Hi JAstor!


You write:


I'm not saying otherwise. I don't feel any need to read it, because I'd rather study the original to understand exactly what it says. But if others want to read it and gain a greater understanding of that perspective, they could do worse things with their time.


Fair enough.

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2 years ago  ::  May 03, 2012 - 3:52PM #36
chanceuse
Posts: 30

Hi vra!


You write:


I think you might be pleasantly surprised to know that there are a significant number of Jews who actually have studied Christianity, especially those at forums like this one.  For example, Howie, who posted earlier, speaks regularly at Christian churches throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area. 


OTOH, as you've seen, there are some who may only have a marginal interest at best since Jesus was only one Jew living at one time way back when.


I am presently surprised indeed...it makes for richer exchanges, IMHO.

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2 years ago  ::  May 03, 2012 - 3:56PM #37
chanceuse
Posts: 30

Hi Bunsinspace!


You write:


That, apart from the Christian holy texts, is an historical impossibility.


I understand your point.

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2 years ago  ::  May 03, 2012 - 10:37PM #38
JAstor
Posts: 3,957

May 3, 2012 -- 2:10AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


In other words, you admit Christianity empasizes love more than Judaism while Judaism recognizes better the importance of fear. Therefore, Christianity has a whole different orientation than Judaism. Whilst you do not have to agree with such a religious orientation, it nevertheless exists and stands (among other things) between your two faiths. 



1) Nothing true that Christianity says about love -- whether toward fellow humans or toward God; or God toward humans -- is not found in the Torah, both written and oral tradition.


2) Their emphasis on love at the neglect of awe created a flawed understanding of love. As Solomon said: Spare the rod, spoil the child. "Rod" is a horrible translation. It's really the word for "discipline" or today we might call it "boundaries." Fail to give your teenagers boundareis and you spoil them. Christianity, therefore, did not emphasize love; they distorted it. 


3) Yes, Christianity and Judaism are not the same religion. Whatever good and true that Christianity said about love can be found in Judaism that preceeded it. Wherever they deviated they created a new religion that, among other things, included a diminution of the concept of love. 


Again, there is nothing in the written or oral Torah about the real nature of love that is not found in Judaism. 


May 3, 2012 -- 2:10AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


Now, whether or not the Christians have been perfect at practicing their message of love in the annals of history is a whole different discussion.



Fair enough.


On the other hand, I believe it's possible to argue that it is tied into their distortion and diminution of love as found in the source they took the ideas from.


May 3, 2012 -- 2:10AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


But since unconditional love and forgiveness are specially emphasized in the NT, the Christians are indeed right to call theirs the "New Testament".



That is totally untrue. 


Even if the idea of Christian love wasn't a regression, even if what you say is true they should have called theirs the "New Emphasis." The testament/covenant that God made with the Jewish people never changed, never got old, never was broken, abrogated, superceded, fulfilled, cancelled, deployed elsewhere, etc. 


May 3, 2012 -- 2:10AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


They are right to say that their main message, that of unconditional love as the unequivocal over-arching commandment, is not based on Judaism as we know it in the Tanakh.



They are right, except for the fact that they are completely wrong (if they indeed say that). There are plenty of verses and teachings in Judaism that emphasize unconditional love. A couple of examples:


Jeremiah 31:3 I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.



Deuteronomy 7:7-8 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.


Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.


Psalms 23: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 





May 3, 2012 -- 2:10AM, Lilwabbit wrote:

Christians do not deny that the Tanakh discusses love, often even in very similar terms. They deny that the Tanakh emphasizes it the way Jesus does.




They haven't demonstrated how. And neither have you. (Btw, many Christians freely acknolwedge that unconditional love is found in the "Old" Testament.)

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2 years ago  ::  May 04, 2012 - 2:17AM #39
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,892

May 3, 2012 -- 10:37PM, JAstor wrote:


May 3, 2012 -- 2:10AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


May 3, 2012 -- 2:10AM, Lilwabbit wrote:

Christians do not deny that the Tanakh discusses love, often even in very similar terms. They deny that the Tanakh emphasizes it the way Jesus does.



They haven't demonstrated how. And neither have you. (Btw, many Christians freely acknolwedge that unconditional love is found in the "Old" Testament.)





Indeed, Christians acknowledge the existence of the notion of unconditional love in the Hebrew Bible, but they don't acknowledge that the Hebrew Bible places the same emphasis and spiritual analogy on unconditional love as Jesus does. Ask any random devout Christian that you stumble upon in the street next time. Tongue Out (For the record, I wholeheartedly agree with you that in practice the received Christian understanding of God's love is highly distorted, but not so much the one portrayed in the gospels. The received notion amounts to one highly schizophrenic and cruel God towards non-Jesus-cultists.)


Furthermore, none of the Tanakh verses you quoted place quite the same emphasis on loving one's enemies, nor do they explicitly talk about love as the greatest of all commandments, as do the following verses from the gospels. Now, you are free to call Jesus' view on love distorted, but it is a forteriori different in its orientation and hence, by logical syllogism, this different orientation cannot be based on the Hebrew Bible, even though there are similarly-worded individual passages in the Hebrew Bible. And since the orientation (whether distorted or not) is different from the Tanakh, it is justifiably "new" for the Christians.


Matt. 5:43-48


43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighborg]">[g] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,h]">[h] 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethreni]">[i] only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectorsj]">[j] do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.


Mark 12:29-31:


29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’b]">[b] This is the first commandment.c]">[c] 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’d]">[d] There is no other commandment greater than these.”




"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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2 years ago  ::  May 04, 2012 - 8:51AM #40
Bunsinspace
Posts: 5,900

May 3, 2012 -- 9:52AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


The dread of His punishment should be likewise real and it genuinely helps us behave better. As we grow spiritually, we learn to fear the misdeed/wrong itself rather than the personal consequences of it. ....




BS"D


I can personally attest to the fact that "dread of punishment" has never been a reliable motivation to do good either in my life, the life of the Jewish people, the life of any human in history or in any religion.  All that the "dread of punishment" accomplishes is the obedience of slaves and their inevitable rebellion against the oppressor.  Judaism left such primitive concepts behind in ancient Egypt.  Christianity has yet to come to terms with freedom and is still using slave paradigms in its practice of "love" as well as its threat of Hell to pretend to propagate that love.  Islam still uses the threat of Hell as well as the threat of physical death to propagate its religious subservience.  Islam itself is based upon military subservience.  So in neither Christianity nor in Islam is there anything close to the Jewish paradigm of divine love which is based upon freedom (celebrated every Passover) as opposed to enslavement under threat of Hell or death.


Bahai is another case altogether AFAIK.  Sufism in Islam is probably that religion's only saving grace AFAIK.  Only Sufism is free to raise itself above the enslavement paradigm which is the pattern of Islam from every other perspective.   But even Sufism appears to be wed to the Quran so it is not without its seriously oppressive psychological tendencies which are firmly rooted in that work.


If Jews read Torah like Christians read Bible and Moslems read Quran we would have ceased to exist as a people millenia ago IMHO.  There is no hope for a literalist to evolve and adapt over time.


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