But Don’t Ask Questions

So I was browsing the internet, as is my wont, when I came across an article of almost stunning disingenuity. Given the specificity of this written account, it almost certainly bears the markings of exaggeration. If it isn’t exaggerated, it certainly bears markings of someone who has an incredibly poor grasp of the Bible, rather than someone who (as the article seems to imply) is a well educated man of the LORD. I won’t link the article itself, it is very long, and the anecdote in question is very short. Please see the below excerpt for context, or scroll to the split for my analysis.

***

Dr. D. James Kennedy wrote of an encounter he had with a Jewish man who said he did not believe in Christ.  Dr. Kennedy responded that he was sorry to hear that, and added “…Since He is the Messiah of the Jewish people who was promised in the Old Testament, you have rejected your own Messiah.”  He then went on to share with the Jewish man a few verses of scripture:

“All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: ‘He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him (Ps 22:7-8)”
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed (Isa 53:5)”
“Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me (Ps 41:9).”
“They have pierced my hands and my feet (Ps 22:16).”
“Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors (Isa 53:12).”
“They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son (Zech 12:10).”

When Dr. Kennedy finished reading these scriptures to the Jewish man, he asked him to whom these verses were referring to.  The man responded that “Obviously they are talking about Jesus… So what?”.  Dr. Kennedy then pointed out that all the verses he had just read to him were from the Old Testament!   The man was stunned and demanded to see the passages with his own eyes9.

***

The last paragraph is a lie; almost none of those passages refer to Jesus in context. Yes, if you take a single verse, and ignore that the author almost always specified a Non-Jesus person in the sentence directly previous, it is understandable that the Jewish man did not recognize the verses as referring to Jesus except when taken out of context.

The first reference, Psalm 22 is, like almost every Psalm, more… What is a good word? Masturbatory? Sorry, sorry… “Self pleasuring.”

Doesn’t sound like prophecy to me… But you know what? It could be. This one isn’t *obviously* false, even though it would have to be taken out of the context of the entire book of Psalms to be true. I’ll give them a half point. I mean, the whole thing is written in past tense, and to say “They pierced my hands and feet” is “Crucifixion in minute detail” is stretching my credulity quite thin.

Isaiah chapter 53 is legendary, both among the believers and among the unbelievers. I have read it more times than I can count. Hell, Wikipedia has an entry for Isaiah Chapter 53 specifically, and it isn’t a short entry.

Have you noticed how the quotes from the Bible are presented, by the way? I noticed a problem right away.

The writer WANTED to take context away, and he left obvious signs. He referenced Psalm 22 twice, and Isaiah 53 twice, but instead of putting the references sequentially, he split them apart. Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, Isaiah 53. If that isn’t suspicious, I am a duck.

Right, so he quotes verse 5 and verse 12 specifically, but when you take context, things change a bit. The chapter, and the chapter preceding (Isaiah 52) refer to the suffering servant of God as the nation of Israel, rather than as a person. I mean, again, maybe God was speaking metaphorically, but I have often been told “God is not a God of confusion. He is clear in his meanings.”

So maybe he means something else when he says “My nation Israel”? Maybe he isn’t being clear? Iunno. And I hear Prophecy is often spoken in the past tense, as predicting the past is also difficult. Right.

The chapter referenced, Zechariah 10, speaks explicitly about “My people of Judah”, frequently and clearly. If it was meant to be a prophecy about Jesus, it seems Zechariah missed the point.

The point is this; if you are going to cherry pick verses, please don’t be an asshole about it. Don’t go up to a Jewish man and start telling him he doesn’t know his Tanakh; that is rude at the best of times, and cruel at any other time. It is disingenuous, especially when the verses in question don’t back you up.

Also, there are 39 BOOKS in the Old Testament. You just quoted 7 verses out of context and claimed the issue was closed.

No, sir. If you are going to say everything you just mentioned was explicit prophecy, you need to make a deep, detailed case, and you need to pick your verses more carefully.

There are many places in the Old Testament that said “And he will suffer.” JESUS SUFFERED, TOO! PROPHECY FULFILLED!

No. Here is my counter-prophecy, with equal specificity and minute detail. “It will rain in the near future.”

If you read this 2000 years from now, chances are that it rained shortly after I said it, even if it was 4 months away (DAMN YOU, WINTER!).

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