Audio Series: 26 Answers to 26 Reasons

Do you understand why most Jewish people do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah? Do you know why you do?

26 Answers to 26 Questions is a live recording of a mid-week class based on Asher Norman's popular anti-missionary book Twenty-Six Reasons Why Jews Don't Believe in Jesus.

1 Objections to Jesus

Do you understand why most Jewish people do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah? Do you know why you do?

26 Answers to 26 Questions is a live recording of a mid-week class based on Asher Norman's popular anti-missionary book Twenty-Six Reasons Why Jews Don't Believe in Jesus.

In the course of these classes, we used Twenty-Six Reasons as a textbook to study our way through common questions raised by anti-missionary objections to Christianity and the New Testament. Our objective was not to train people to better proselytize Jews, but rather, we wanted to better understand our own convictions about Yeshua of Nazareth.

Since concluding the class, now more than five years ago, we have had frequent requests for copies of the audios. Over the next few months, we will be editing and posting the original audios from the class here at bethimmanuel.org.

2 Obeying the Torah or Belief in Jesus?

Judaism teaches that a person should keep the commandments to inherit the world to come, but Christianity teaches that a person only needs to believe in Jesus. How do we reconcile these two very different salvation programs?

3 Did Jesus Fulfill the Law?

What does Yeshua mean when he says he came to "fulfill the Torah"? Does fulfilling the Torah imply making it obsolete? In this discussion, we consider Reasons 3 and 4 in the book Twenty Six Reasons Jews Don't Believe in Jesus.

4 Did Jesus Change the Torah?

Did Jesus change the Torah by declaring all foods clean and by forbidding divorce? This class discusses reason number five of Asher Norman's book Twenty-Six Reasons Jews Don't Believe in Jesus.

5 Was Jesus a False Prophet? Recorded 08/19/2015

Was Jesus a false prophet? Reason number six of the anti-missionary book Twenty-Six Reasons Why Jews Don't Believe in Jesus alleges that Jesus was a false prophet because not all of his predictions came to pass. This class considers the sign of Jonah passage about the Son of Man spending three days and three nights in the earth, the troubling curse of Jeconiah, predictions that "this generation will not pass away untill all is accomplished" and "some of those standing here will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming.

6 Was Jesus Fallible?

Was Jesus fallible? Reason number seven of the anti-missionary book Twenty-Six Reasons Why Jews Don't Believe in Jesus alleges that Jesus "was not a perfect being who never sinned, and his teachings and behavior were morally problematic." This class examines seeming mistakes of the Master and sayings and actions which might be misconstrued as beneath the dignity of a tzadik (righteous person). Why did Yeshua call Gentiles "dogs," curse a fig tree, speak so harshly to the sages, and wrongly identify Zechariah son of Berechiah as Zechariah son of Iddo? These and many more questions are explored.

7 Was Jesus a Son of David?

Reason number eight of the book Twenty Six Reasons Jews Don't Believe in Jesus raises solid objections to our claims that Yeshua is the Messiah. Especially troubling is the criteria that the Messiah must be a Son of David. If Yeshua is conceived of the Holy Spirit, how can he be considered a Son of David? And how do we reconcile the conflicting genealogies of Matthew 1 and Luke 3?

8 Does Jesus Qualify as Messiah?

To qualify as the Messiah Israel, a person needs to be a descendant of David and Solomon, be anointed king of Israel, return the Jewish people to theland of Israel, rebuild the Temple, bring universal peace to the world, and fill the world with the knowledge of God. Has Yeshua fulfilled all of these criteria? Is he really the Messiah?

This lesson concludes the discussion on Reason Number Eight of Twenty-Six Reasons Why Jews Don't Believe in Jesus: "Jesus Failed to Fulfill Any of Six Authentic Jewish Messianic Criteria." Did he really fail to fulfill any Messianic criteria? If so, why do we consider him the Messiah?

9 Is Jesus God?

Is Jesus God? Is God in three persons? Did a church council elect Jesus as God?

In his book, Twenty-Six Reasons Why Jews Don't Believe in Jesus, Asher Norman objects that Yeshua-faith violates Jewish monotheism. Is God One or is He three? How can we believe in a divine Messiah?

This class digs into the controversial world of Christology to reveal a Messianic Jewish perspective on the question of the deity of Yeshua and to illustrate how traditional dogma can alienate Jewish people from the Gospels. The sad story of Michael Servetus enters the conversation.

10 Does the New Testament Cheat?

In Deuteronomy 13, the Torah warns against miracle workers who might entice Jews to worship other gods or to forsake the laws of the Torah. Reason 12 of the anti-missionary book Twenty-Six Reasons Jews Don’t Believe in Jesus claims that Jesus fits the description of just such an enticer.

Reason 13 argues that the New Testament misquotes, misuses, and even fabricates proof texts from the Old Testament. This lesson takes a look at one example: Matthew 1:23’s quotation of Isaiah 7:14: "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel."

This important teaching covers a wide variety of subjects, reveals the reason Beth Immanuel and congregations like it need to exist, and warns against sawing off the limb on which we are seated.

11 How Can One Atone for Another's Sins? Recorded 01/27/2010

Is vicarious atonement a biblical concept? Was Jesus really a sacrifice? After all, he was not a lamb, nor a goat, nor a bull. How can he be considered to be a sacrifice for sin?

Reasons fourteen and fifteen of Twenty-Six Reasons Jewish Don't Believe in Jesus state that the Messiah is not supposed to die before fulfilling his mission and that Jesus' blood cannot atone for the sins of another.

12 Was Paul a Traitor? Recorded 02/03/2010

Was Paul an apostate to Judaism and a traitor to the Jewish people? Reason Sixteen in the book Twenty-Six Reasons Jews Don't Believe in Jesus states that "Paul was the Source of Christian Opposition to the Jewish Law," but the allegations against Paul go much further, accusing him of being a Gentile, of being a closet Sadduccee and of collusion with Rome. This teaching challenges the pseudo-scholarship of popular anti-Paul writers.

13 Who wrote the New Testament? Recorded 11/30/2015

Was the New Testament written by eye-witnesses, or was it written generations after the life of Jesus? Reason Numbers 17 of Asher Norman’s book Twenty-Six Reasons Jews do not believe in Jesus states, “The Epistles and the Gospels were not written by the actual witnesses to the events they describe.” The argument attempts to prove a late date for the composition of the gospels, more than one hundred years after the events they purport to describe.

This teaching tells the story of the origin of the Gospels the origin of the New Testament cannon. Learn why critical scholars are so critical, and learn why the Gospel of John sounds different than the Synoptic Gospels.

14 Gospel Discrepancies and Inerrancy Recorded 02/17/2010

What happens when we find a discrepancy or a contradiction between the Gospel narratives? What do we do if Matthew says one thing but Luke says another? Do the discrepencies undermine the credibility of the New Testament? Asher Norman's reasons number eighteen and nineteen attempt to discredit the Gospels on the basis of seeming contradictions in the birth narratives and the names of the twelve disciples.

15 Did Jesus get a fair trial? Recorded 03/03/2010

Did the church invent the story of Jesus’ betrayal, trial, and death to vilify the Jewish people? Reason Number 20 and Reason 21 of the book Twenty-Six Reasons Jews Don’t’ Believe in Jesus claim that the stories of the betrayal by Judas are not consistent, that the gospel narratives contain irreconcilably discrepancies, and the story of the Jewish trial of Jesus lacks credibility. This teaching examines discrepencies in the story about Judas Iscariot's death and considers discrepencies between the Sanhedrin's judicial procedure of the trial of Yeshua.

16 Did Matthew quote the wrong prophet? Recorded 03/10/2010

In Matthew 27:9–10, the Gospel of Matthew quotes a passage from Zechariah but attributes it to the prophet Jeremiah. The book Twenty-Six Reasons Jews Don’t Believe in Jesus uses this apparent blunder to undermine the credibility of the gospels. A closer look at the text, however, reveals an ancient and long-lost gospel-source behind Matthew’s error which offers us insight into the world of apostolic midrash.

Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, "And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, and they gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord directed me." (Matthews 27:9-10)

This lesson includes the original class-notes in a downloadable pdf format.

 

17 Why do the Resurrection Stories Disagree? Recorded 03/24/2010

Reason 22 of Twenty-Six Reasons Jews Don't believe in Jesus states, "The resurrection accounts in the Gospels are deeply conflicted." This teaching explores those conflicts to determine if discrepencies between the gospel narratives damages the credibility of their testimony. This teaching addresses the problem of the passion chronology, the last words of Yeshua from the cross, and other difficulties while also addressing the mysterious resurrection of the pious in Matthew 27:51.

18 Did Jesus really exist? Recorded 04/07/2010

Reason number twenty-three in the book Twenty-Six Reasons Jews Don't Believe in Jesus states, "The historicity of Jesus is problematic." According to this claim, no historical evidence exists to prove that Jesus of Nazareth really existed or that he is anything but a literary fiction. This teaching answers that bold assertion by examining the testimony of Roman historians and considering the evidence of the believing community. Includes discussion on passages from Roman-era historians.

19 Is the story of Jesus based on pagan mythology? Recorded 04/21/2010

Reason 24 of the book Twenty-Six Reasons Jews Don't Believe in Jesus claims that Jesus and the narratives about him were created by combining elements from the Bible with pagan mythology and mystery religions of the ancient world. Critics of the Gospel claim that the stories of Yeshua are recycled myths and pagan tales, but are their criticisms accurate? This teaching takes the time to explore a few of the alleged parallels between the story of Yeshua and stories from mythology, revealing a loaded agenda of junk scholarship which intentionally twists the truth.

20 Was Jesus a Zealot? Recorded 04/28/2010

Was Jesus crucified for being an anti-Roman zealot who was agitating against Rome? Does the Torah provide an avenue of personal salvation, thereby rendering the atonement of Jesus unnecessary? This anti-climactic lesson concludes our study of Asher Norman's book, Twenty-Six Reasons Jews Don't Believe in Jesus by briefly considering the closing arguments of reasons number twenty-five and twenty-six, including another tedious tour of duty through the wild-eyed claims of junk scholars. 

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