Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “A Case for Christmas” critique part 4

Part Four – The Prophetic Fingerprint

Well, happily this is the last of the “Case for Christmas” videos.

Here’s email’s spin:

“Some people believe the Old Testament doesn’t apply to those of us who follow Jesus. They think the ancient history, poetry, and prophecies are irrelevant to today’s modern culture. Yet, the Old Testament is the foundation on which we stand. 

Against all odds [the multiple Old Testament prophecies] were fulfilled only in Jesus… confirming His identity as the Messiah and the Son of God. ~ Lee Strobel 

Someone has said the probability of a person fulfilling every single Old Testament promise and prophecy about the Messiah is as likely as if the entire state of Texas was covered in quarters 12 inches deep with only one quarter painted red and a blindfolded child selected that quarter on the first attempt: a 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000 chance! 

Jesus is the One! He’s the Lord! Whether we buy gifts or give our friends and family something homemade, whether we’re in the snow or sand, whether we’ve known him all our lives or we’ve only now put our faith in Jesus through this study, let’s praise him with joyful hearts this Christmas! He’s the Gift!”

No, no one has said that bit of nonsense Lee claims, unless we want to claim Lee himself.  Always fun to see a Christian inventing someone else to agree with him.  Hmmm, who else does that?  Ah yes, Donald J. Trump, the orange moron we have as president for about another month (unless he resigns so Pence can pardon him and his family).

That JC didn’t fulfill OT promises is notable since we still have Jews around who are quiet sure of it.  I do enjoy the Jews for Judaism website when it comes to seeing just how badly Christians make up nonsense.

Of course, Lee is one of those Christians who want the OT for their supposed prophecies but oh when it comes to following those laws that JC himself said were to be followed until the earth and heavens pass away, well, those laws are legibus non grata.

Lee starts with the claim that the OT “prophecies” only apply to this messiah of his, that they cannot apply to anyone else ever.

So, let’s start with his claims about Micah 5.

But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has brought forth;  then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel.And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord,  in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth;and he shall be the one of peace.” – Micah 5, NRSV

Other bibles break this set of verses up differently to get different meanings.  Lee uses the NIV, strangely enough, and that’ll drive the KJV-onlyists right over the edge.

Now, why Lee doesn’t include verse 5 is a mystery.  But looking at what we have, there is nothing to this that is unique and can apply to only one person.  We also know that JC never made anyone secure or was considered great to the ends of the earth or made peace. Christians had to invent a “second coming” to get this to work, something never mentioned in the OT, a messiah that had to come twice to get things right.  Finally, this passage has that the messiah is not God, showing that the claims of Christianity of this messiah being God doesn’t work.

Again, Lee tries to claim dozens of fulfilled prophecies, but they don’t exist and he doesn’t give examples.  What he does do is return to the false claims about verses in Isaiah about the supposed “virgin” birth.   Lee tries to argue that the prophecy was for someone else but was somehow *also* for his version of the messiah.  There is no reason to believe that this is the case, other than Lee needs a bit of verse to claim his god is special because of the virgin birth.  Lee offers a theory that the “first” go through for the prophecy was for some other Jewish leader, but claims that might not be right since that one wasn’t named “Immanuel”.

Funny how his messiah wasn’t called Immanuel either.

We end up in Isaiah 9, where Lee again tries the magic changing prophecy trick.  What we read there is:

“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”

For all of the promises here, the christian messiah fails in all of them.  The same thing happens in Isaiah 11 where the Christian messiah has nothing in common with the Jewish one “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might,the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.  He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,  and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins.”

It may be pointing out a messiah, but JC fails in being that messiah.

Lee also tries to argue that since almah means young woman, then it has to mean virgin since all young women were assumed to be virgins.  However, the verse makes no remark about how strange it would indeed be to have a virgin birth.   We also have the problem of Lee’s claim that betulah can mean widow, when that isn’t exactly true.  Folks who speak Hebrew can be assumed to know their language better than Lee or Glenn Miller, an apologist who presupposes that the popular mixed version of the Christmas story is true and does his best to make the bible fit.  Here they explain the issues with betulah and almah:  Jews for Judaism | Chapter 18f – THE VIRGIN MISCONCEPTION MYTH

Now, Lee tries to reference a medieval rabbi who notes that some people consider the verse from Isaiah about the young women thought it was meant to be a virgin

This is what the rabbi wrote:

“the Lord, of His own, shall give you a sign: He will give you a sign by Himself, against Your will.  

is with child: This is actually the future, as we find concerning Manoah’s wife, that the angel said to her (Judges 13:3): “And you shall conceive and bear a son,” and it is written, “Behold, you are with child and shall bear a son.”        

the young woman: My wife will conceive this year. This was the fourth year of Ahaz.      

and she shall call his name: Divine inspiration will rest upon her.   

Immanuel: [lit. God is with us. That is] to say that our Rock shall be with us, and this is the sign, for she is a young girl, and she never prophesied, yet in this instance, Divine inspiration shall rest upon her. This is what is stated below (8:3): “And I was intimate with the prophetess, etc.,” and we do not find a prophet’s wife called a prophetess unless she prophesied. Some interpret this as being said about Hezekiah, but it is impossible, because, when you count his years, you find that Hezekiah was born nine years before his father’s reign. And some interpret that this is the sign, that she was a young girl and incapable of giving birth.”

This is all he says.  Two differing opinions on what this “really” means.  If this fellow is the end all and be all of Jewish interpretation like Lee claims, then why believe the part that he mentions in passing as evidently wrong?

Lee does try to get around the problem of JC never once being called Immanuel, and saying that bible names can be symbolic.  Yep, they can be.  But Lee just wants to claim that since people want to pretend that this god is with them, then that’s why no one ever called Joshua ben Joseph Immanuel but it’s okay.  Problem is that Lee’s millions of people never ever call JC Immanuel either.

Unlike what Lee says, this supposed messiah didn’t fulfill prophecies and most certainly not all before the destruction of the second temple.  That’s why we have the “second coming” nonsense.  The psalms never “predicted” the nailing of cruxifiction, but the bites of animals.  Unsurprisingly, Rabbi Reshi, so important to Lee before, is now ignored when he doesn’t agree with Lee.  The rabbi wrote this

like a lion, my hands and feet: As though they are crushed in a lion’s mouth, and so did Hezekiah say (in Isa. 38: 13): “like a lion, so it would break all my bones.”

We finally seem to be ended up at Isaiah 53 and Lee does try to pretend it describes his messiah.  But we have problems:

“He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account.”

however, JC is claimed to have been followed by crowds who lauded him.

“Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.”

When was JC ever sick and considered struck down by this god?

“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,  and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” 

Per John and Mark, JC is quite chatty.

Yes, there are similarities and that’s what you get when making a story based on what you want to claim is prophecy.  It’s just a shame that they didn’t do a very good job of it.

Claims of mathematics and probability are invoked by Lee and they are meaningless since one can’t show that what he claims are prophecies or that they were somehow fulfilled JC.  Probability doesn’t work with presuppositions that magic happens.  There is nothing that shows that trillions (lee uses the term trillion 13 times, which seems to end up being something like 1156 if I’m using my scientific calculator right or maybe just 13 trillion) which isn’t what he claims earlier, a quintillion.  Lee then simply lies and claims that “scientists” have said that things “ain’t gonna happen”.  Nope, scientists would say, it is very unlikely for it to happen.  And since we have no evidence for it happening, that’s the only time when you can say “It didn’t happen.”

Jesus didn’t maneuver his life to fulfill prophecies.  There was no Jesus, son of god nor were there any prophecies he fulfilled.  There was no “rejection” of sacrifices for the years after JC, since no one can agree on when that was.  Listening to a Messianic Jew, aka a Christian isn’t the best place to get information, especially when they can’t say what these three “signs” were or where in the Talmud to look for this information.

Lee ends with the claim that Jewish people have become Christians so that should be evidence that his nonsense is correct.  He, in his appeal to popularity, forgets that many more haven’t.

There is indeed something to take away from Lee’s videos.  Christianity is based on nonsense, cherry picking and ignorance.  The promise that everyone would kneel at the mere mention of JC’s name is just one more failure of the bible.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

 

5 thoughts on “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “A Case for Christmas” critique part 4

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