“Tongue Firmly in Cheek” Department
I recently discovered a mid-first-century A.D. document, Solving The Christian Puzzle, written by Rabbi Yohanan bar Alcalai, and have taken the liberty of translating it from the original Hebrew. I believe the document speaks for itself; it constitutes the remainder of this article:
You’ve probably had Christians come around to your door, wanting to engage you in “discussions” about their faith. And maybe, as a good Jew, you’ve let them in the door. They seem to be nice young men, well-dressed, well-mannered. They may even speak Hebrew or Aramaic, and they may carry the Bible under their arms, but don’t be deceived–they are NOT Jewish. Christianity is an insidious cult that seeks to tear real adherents of Judaism away from Moses and the Bible.
Take, for example, their principal message, about the Messiah. They bring you their “New Testament, Another Witness of the Prophets” and try to convince you that their founder, Jesus, was the Messiah. But believe me, the Christians have a different messiah, not the Messiah of the Bible. While the biblical Messiah is a king who will liberate us from our enemies, the Christian messiah is said to have died for our sins, despite the fact that the Bible teaches that every man is responsible for his own sins (Leviticus 20:19-20). If a man commits murder, for example, he is to be executed for his sin, and there is no provision for someone else dying in his stead (Genesis 9:6). The law of God clearly states that “every man shall be put to death for his own sin” (Deuteronomy 24:16). For those not guilty of capital crimes, the Bible is clear about the procedure that must be followed in order to be cleansed from sin. One must confess his sins, make restitution for wrongs, and offer the proper sacrifice (Leviticus 4:2-4; Numbers 5:6-7).
The Christians believe that because their leader died, it is no longer necessary to offer sacrifices at the temple. But the Bible says otherwise, commanding, “thou shalt offer EVERY DAY a bullock for a sin offering for atonement … two lambs of the first year DAY BY DAY CONTINUALLY” (Exodus 29:36, 38). These sacrifices are to make “THROUGHOUT YOUR GENERATIONS” (Exodus 30:10). Ironically, the founder of the Christian Church was conceived out of wedlock, which, under the law of Moses, disqualifies him from participating in religious functions (Deuteronomy 23:2). The Christians’ own scriptures acknowledge that Jesus was a winebibber (Matthew 11:19). The Bible warns us, saying, “a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink” (Micah 2:11). The false prophet Jesus, who also claimed divine prerogatives, was tried and found guilty of high crimes and executed by crucifixion. And yet some people are gullible enough to believe that he was sent by God!
The Christians claim that their current leader, a sometime fisherman and money-digger (Matthew 17:27) named Simon (who goes under the alias of Peter), along with their other apostles, are prophets who speak with God. But their messages contradict the word of God as given through ancient prophets such as Moses, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. Prophecy ceased some four centuries ago with Malachi, whose record marks the end of the scriptures God intended to give mankind. The Bible tells us to beware of false prophets (Isaiah 9:15; Jeremiah 28:15), and the Lord warned us through Moses not to add or detract from his word (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32). The Bible, from Genesis to Malachi, is inerrant and all-sufficient, and it is blasphemous to suggest that God should give us additional scriptures, a “new” testament that contradicts in every particular what he has already given us.
One of Simon Peter’s supposed “prophecies” told him not to make a distinction between clean and unclean animals (Acts 10:9-16), despite the fact that the Bible clearly commands that we make such a distinction (Leviticus 10:10; 11:2-31, 41-47; 20:25; Deuteronomy 14:3-20). The “revelation” itself contains a clue to its false nature. It says (verse 10) that Peter was suffering hunger when “he fell into a trance” (Acts 10:10) His supposed “vision” (Acts 10:17)-or should we call it what it really is, an hallucination-was from the feeling in his stomach, not from God. I had a dream very much like Peter’s one night, but instead of attributing it to a heavenly revelation, I chalked it up to a morsel of undigested cheese.
The Christians also say that they have the priesthood, by which they claim to perform ordinances and various miracles. The Bible makes it clear that the priesthood is restricted to the tribe of Levi, and that God curses anyone else who tries to officiate in priesthood functions (2 Chronicles 26:18-19). When Aaron and his sons were anointed, God said, “for their anointing shall surely be an EVERLASTING PRIESTHOOD THROUGHOUT THEIR GENERATIONS” (Exodus 40:15). God made a “covenant of an EVERLASTING PRIESTHOOD” with Aaron’s grandson Pinehas (Numbers 25:13), and his descendants still occupy the office of high priest at the temple in Jerusalem. It is people like the Christians whom the Bible condemns because they have “cast out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made you priests after the manner of the nations of other lands so that whosoever cometh to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams, the same may be a PRIEST OF THEM THAT ARE NO GODS” (2 Chronicles 13:9).
As for the supposed Christian “miracles,” it is clear that they do not follow the biblical pattern. Their founder is said to have healed people by telling them their sins were forgiven (Matthew 9:2), while some people were supposedly healed by touching his garment (Matthew 9:20- 22; Mark 6:55-56). This practice of magical rites is confirmed in another Christian scripture, Acts 19:12, which says people can be healed by being touched with handkerchiefs or aprons touched by someone who has healing powers. Even more fantastic is the story in Acts 5:15, where we read that people were healed when the shadow of Peter fell on them!
The Christians also deny the efficacy of circumcision, wanting to replace it with baptism. But in the Bible God clearly states that circumcision is “a token of the covenant betwixt me and you,” and is to be “an everlasting covenant.” If a man is not circumcised, God says, “that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant” (Genesis 17:10-14).
In his “sermon on the mount,” the founder of the Christian church openly spoke out against Bible teachings that had been revealed from heaven. Even while professing that he had not “come to destroy the law, or the prophets” (Matt 5:17), he changed the sixth commandment from “thou shalt not kill” to “whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment” (Matthew 5:21- 22). He also reworded the seventh commandment, rejecting the words “thou shalt not commit adultery” and substituting, “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28). And though the Bible specifically says that we should perform oaths in the name of the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:13; 10:20), Jesus abrogated the commandment and taught “swear not at all” (Matthew 5:34). He also denounced the biblical law of divorce (Matthew 5:31-32). In the same sermon, he showed his utter depravity and demented state by telling his disciples to pluck out their right eyes and to cut off their right hands (Matthew 5:29- 30). It is hard to believe that anyone could accept someone like this as the Messiah.
Christians revere their leader as a martyr, one who “gave his life” willingly. Yet the facts tell a different story: When the chief priests came to lawfully arrest this Jesus, his principal disciple (and current leader of the Christians) lashed out with a sword, inflicting serious head wounds upon the high priest’s servant! Jesus, the “martyr,” was involved in a sword fight shortly before his death!
Now, you might want to try helping your Christian neighbor find his way to the God of the Bible. But bear in mind that it will be difficult to talk to him because Christians have their own unique definition of biblical terms. So when they use the term “messiah,” they’re not thinking of the biblical Messiah, but of the criminal Jesus. When they speak of “sacrifice,” they don’t mean the sacred rites of the temple of God, but refer to the execution of the criminal Jesus. A true Jew understands salvation to be God’s intervention in the affairs of men to save his people, Israel, from their enemies. But Christians use the term “salvation” to mean resurrection and going to heaven to live with God. And this comes only if you believe in their other messiah!
We love the Christian people and need to do everything in our power to bring them back to the God of the Bible. You should, of course, pray for your Christian friends. But you can do more. The ministry we have organized here at Yeshivah Ahuvat ha-Shem needs your help in order to continue its work in exposing the insidious Christian conspiracy against the Jewish people. Please send your love offerings by courier to us at Yavneh-Yam. Thank you and God bless you for your faithfulness and generosity.