I’ve recently had some good discussions through email with my friend, John Schumacher, on the origins of Rabbinical Judaism. He has done a lot of research on this topic and has some great insight, so I asked his permission to include some of his thoughts on our blog.
Rabbi Akiva (known as the father of Rabbinical Judaism) is the primary cause for the virtually complete destruction of Israel by inciting the Bar Kochba revolt in 132 AD. He claimed that Simon Bar Kochba was the Messiah, despite Bar Kochba’s meeting few or none of the prophetic requirements for the Messiah’s appearance. Yet they still rejected Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah, despite the overwhelming prophetic qualifications that he possessed.
Akiva was a wild revisionist of the Tanakh who, until he finally achieved ascendance in the Sanhedrin, was repeatedly chastised and physically punished for that practice. He twisted the clear and obvious meanings of the Tanakh to suit his preferences, and even promoted the idea that God laughs at His mistakes when He is corrected (!!!) by the rabbis. Even when there was a miraculous intercession (by verbalization) from God during a dispute, Akiva ignored that, and outvoted the person who God had said was correct.1
The rabbis have had two millennia during which they have endeavored to fabricate rationales that are designed to cast doubt upon all evidence which shows that Jesus is the Messiah. Whenever a valid refutation of their arguments appears, then they change either the evidence in the Tanakh, in the Talmud, or in their original rationale, to try to counter the refutation of that previous position.2 All rabbis (and there are many reputable ones) who affirm that Yeshua is the Messiah are either removed from their office or discredited.
They also use short verses, parts of verses (practices which are also used by disreputable ‘christians’), or substitute words with very similar spellings to try to justify their rationales, rather than using a preponderance of Biblical statements with clear Biblical truths (Akiva’s legacy).
The following is a paraphrase of part of: “Ancient Jewish History: The Bar-Kokhba Revolt [132 – 135 CE]” by the Jewish Virtual Library:3
In 135 AD, the (Bar-Kokhba) revolt was over and Hadrian changed the country’s name from Judea to Syria Palestina Jews were sold into slavery and many were transported to Egypt. Judean settlements were not rebuilt, and Jerusalem was turned into a pagan city called Aelia Capitolina. Jews were forbidden to live there, but they were permitted to enter only on the 9th of Av (the day that both the first and second Temples were destroyed, as well as the day the climatic battle of the revolt [at Bethar] was lost) to mourn their losses.
Many Jews believe that the Second Temple was destroyed (in 70 AD) because the Jews were guilty of “hatred without cause” which would (but in their minds does not) apply to the crucifixion of Jesus the Messiah. Their definition follows:
The first destruction was bad enough, followed by years of exile in Babylon. The second was almost more than the Jews could bear, and for generations the Rabbis tried to make sense of it. The following is from the Talmud, Tractate Yoma. (Yoma is Aramaic for the Hebrew HaYom, The Day, referring to Yom Kippur.)
Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 9b
מקדש ראשון מפני מה חרב? מפני שלשה דברים שהיו בו: עבודה זרה, וגלוי עריות, ושפיכות דמים. . . . אבל מקדש שני, שהיו עוסקין בתורה ובמצות וגמילות חסדים מפני מה חרב? מפני שהיתה בו שנאת חנם. ללמדך ששקולה שנאת חנם כנגד שלש עבירות: עבודה זרה, גלוי עריות, ושפיכות דמים
Why was the First Temple destroyed? Because of three evils in it: idolatry, sexual immorality and bloodshed . . . But why was the Second Temple destroyed, seeing that during the time it stood people occupied themselves with Torah, with observance of precepts, and with the practice of charity? Because during the time it stood, hatred without rightful cause prevailed. This is to teach you that hatred without rightful cause is deemed as grave as all the three sins of idolatry, sexual immorality and bloodshed together.
The three mortal sins of idolatry, sexual immorality, and bloodshed, are those for which capital punishment could be imposed. While this virtually never happened, it was, in theory at least, the law of the Torah. According to Yoma, the Jews of 6th-century BCE Jerusalem had been committing all three of these sins, weakening the very foundations of their community and of the Temple itself. That is why the First Temple was destroyed, according to this passage.
But with the Second Temple it was different. The Jews were not committing the mortal sins named in the Torah. Instead, they fell into a far worse pattern of behavior, according to the Rabbis. They allowed themselves to be taken over by baseless hatred of one another. Thus the Rabbis taught that so destructive is the sin of hatred without cause, that it is equal to all three of the mortal sins put together. The explanation for the destruction and dislocation that was foisted upon the Jewish community with the Second Destruction was sinat hinam. We brought down our own house, as it were, through baseless hatred.4
Many Jews also believe that Messiah won’t appear until they have made the world into a good enough place for him to want to rule:
However, the Talmud states that there is a predestined time when Moshiach will come. If we are meritorious, he may come even before that predestined time. This “end of time” remains a mystery, yet the Talmud states that it will be before the Hebrew year 6000. (The Hebrew year at the date of this publication is 5772.)5
However, Jesus was very clear when He said: “For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say: ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.'” Matthew 23:39
For further good refutations of rabbinical issues with Christianity see Dr. Michael Brown’s five volume set: Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus6 and Refuting Rabbinic Objections to Christianity & Messianic Prophecies by Eitan Bar.7
- See Daniel Gruber, Rabbi Akiba’s Messiah: The Origins of Rabbinic Authority.
- Ref. Yoma 38a-b, see also Daniel Gruber, Rabbi Akiba’s Messiah. For another significant example of their revisionism, see: www.restorersofzion.org/RT_illust_gospel.htm
- You can read the whole thing here.
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