This is a reply from Ann Broomhead to a Christian on the E-Net. Previous to this the Chris

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This is a reply from Ann Broomhead to a Christian on the E-Net. Previous to this the Christian had given a list of prophecys fulfilled in the birth of Christ. Here is Ann's very adept reply. ---------- In .8 you gave a list of prophecies which you said foretold the coming of the Messiah, whom you identified as Jesus Christ. I have several problems with this list. First, however, what is "typology"? I know what typography is, and what topology is, but not that. (And I certainly hope that it doesn't refer to the use of capitalization in the Old Testament.) I suppose the best way to cover your list is in the order given. 1. He would become offspring of a woman Charles, you do realize that this is not an astounding revelation, don't you? Judaism is indeed patriarchal, but it is not devoid of all sense on that account! Eve is the acknowledged mother of Cain and Abel, but that doesn't make one of them the Messiah. King Solomon is given as the son of Bathshua, and fulfills your prophecies 3 through 8, but that doesn't make him the Messiah either. Let me tell you a few things about the story of Eve and the serpent. For one thing, the date 1450 bce is wrong. It is wrong by about a thousand years. Genesis was one of the last books of the Bible to be written down. Second, the image of the woman, the tree, and the serpent is far older than the Bible; I have a picture showing this combination that is dated to 2330-2150 bce. The Bible version is a reworking of the elements to conform to the worldview of the Jews. If you keep in mind that the enemies of the Jews worshipped a Goddess who had a serpent for a consort, and whose priestesses handled venomous snakes in their religious rituals, you will easily grasp why the Jews wished to teach that "good" women had nothing to do with serpents. Now, the explanation you give for "he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel." is certainly ingenious, but it is wrongheaded, and blatantly ex post facto. After all, when a poisonous serpent fangs someone in the ankle (which is the only way such a small creature could "bruise" a heel), that someone is liable to die. Further, if a man clubs a snake over the head on soft ground, it may well have no effect beyond bruising. Snakes don't have much brain to scramble, after all. But it does explain the byplay between the "Fat Broad" and the snake in the "B.C." comic strip. 2. He would be born of a virgin and called Immanuel The term "almah", which Christians persist in translating as "virgin" means *only and always* "a young woman". "Bethulah" means virgin. The prophecy is trying to convey the idea of, well, "a nice Jewish girl"; i.e., a woman who is married young, and who promptly produces a boy as her first offspring, with no false starts. (This contrasts with Sarah, for example.) Jesus isn't called Immanual. Nor is his name called Immanual. (C.f., the name of the Hartford Science Fiction Society is called Fred.) Immanual means "God is with us" but Jesus means "God is salvation". It is not the same. Now Jesus fulfills the first part of the prophecy begun in Isaiah 7:14, but so do a few zillion other people. But he does not fulfill the second part of the same verse, nor the REST of the prophecy, which is that before he is old enough to eat solid food, "the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted." 3. He would be a descendent of Abraham It would be absolutely astonishing if the Savior of the Jews was *not* a descendent of Abraham. This is not a prophecy; it is only a truism. Also, the verse can (and should) be taken to refer to the Jewish people, who, according to the Bible, were created to be "a light unto the nations". 4. He would be a descendent of Isaac Since Isaac is a descendent of Abraham, this subsumes 3. 5. He would come out of Jacob Since Jacob is a descendent of Isaac, this subsumes 4. 6. He would belong to the clans of Judah and a descendent of Judah Since Judah is a descendent of Isaac, this subsumes 5. 7. He would be a descendent of Jesse Since Jesse is a descendent of Judah, this subsumes 6. 8. He would come out of David and be a descendent of David Since David is a descendent of Jesse, this subsumes 7. So let us look at the published ancestry of Jesus, and the published descent of David: According to Luke 3:31, we have ..."the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David"... and according to I Chronicles 3:1 "These are the sons of David..." and in verse 5 "These were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan..." (The same as in II Samuel 5:14.) So far so good. But it ends there. There is no indication that Nathan had any children. (Nathan of Zobah had a son, Igal, but that is a different Nathan (II Samuel 23:36). There was a Nathan in the court of Solomon who had two sons, Azariel and Zabud, but since Zabud was a priest, that means that Nathan was of a priestly line, and not a son of David (I Kings 4:5).) Looking to Luke 3:27, we read ..."the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri"... and to I Chronicles 3:17-19, we find references to both Zerubbabel and Shealtiel, but Zerubbabel is the son of Pedaiah, the younger brother of Shealtiel, and the father of Shealtiel is Jeconiah, not Neri, and the sons of Zerubbabel do not include a Rhesa. This is a strike out. Let us try the alternative geneology in Matthew 1:2-16. This matches up with I Chronicles 3:1-24, until we reach Matthew 1:8-9: "... Joram the father of Uzziah, 9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham..." In Chronicles, the only son of Joram listed is Ahaziah, whose only listed son is Joash, whose only listed son is Amaziah, whose only listed son is Azariah, whose only listed son is Jotham, and now we are back on track -- after dropping three generations of the royal family, and misstating one. In verse 11, we lose Jehoiakim between Josiah and Jeconiah. In verse 12, Matthew makes the same mistake about the relationship about Zerubbabel and Shealtiel that Luke makes. In verse 13, we depart from the geneology of Chronicles entirely. Interestingly, Matthew shows only 10 generations from Zerubbabel (born circa 570 bce) to Joseph, whereas Luke has 19 generations. The two even disagree on the identity of Joseph's father; he is Jacob to one and Heli to the other. Lastly, since Christians claim that Joseph is *not* the father of Jesus, his geneology is singularly unimportant to these prophetic claims. Only that of Mary should be, and it isn't given. 9. He would be born in Bethlehem Actually, since his parents lived in Nazareth before he was born, and since he was raised in Nazareth, there is a school of thought which holds that he was born in Nazareth. Also, since Micah 5:2 refers to "Bethlehem Ephrathah, ... among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth..." it is referring to the *lineage* of Bethlehem Ephrathah, not the *location*, and I have already demonstrated that, taking Christian beliefs into account, we know *nothing* about the lineage of Jesus. 10. Wise men or kings from the east will come to the child Christ and present Him with gifts. You point to a reference to "the kings of Seba and Sheba", which are from the *south* of Judea and Israel, so kings from the *east* would not fulfill the prophecy. Magi are usually priests of Mithra, but the term can also be used to refer to healers, miracle workers, and astrologers. (Also, see .9.) They are never kings, so their putative presence does not fulfill any prophecy. Let's look at the full verses: Psalms 72:10-11 is "May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts! May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!" Tarshish? The isles? Their kings weren't around at the birth of Jesus, were they? And what of the use of the subjunctive "may"? This isn't a prophecy at all. It's a wish, like "O King! live forever!" Isaiah 60:6 says "A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord." Camels? I recall no miracle of well-behaved camels. Proclaim? I don't recall the Magi doing that, either. Jesus doesn't match this verse at all well. And there is the matter of the myrrh. There is no number 11. 12. He would come out of lowly background and be despised This directly contradicts the direct descent from David, King of Israel, doesn't it? Also, as a carpenter, raised as the son of a carpenter, he had an upper-class background, and a skilled and highly-respected profession. Carpenters didn't just slam boards on posts, y'know, they were stonemasons, and decorative carvers too. (This should make the reference to publicans and prostitutes more comprehensible.) Also, since *any* prophet is without honor in his own land, anyone claiming to be a prophet is going to be despised by someone; it comes with the territory, and is more a truism than a prophecy. 13. He would be in Egypt before returning to Israel If Jesus had been raised in Egypt, and only left there out of a strong compulsion to return to his homeland, I might believe that "out of Egypt I called my son" referred to him. As it is, it clearly refers only to the Exodus. 14. Children will be slaughtered by Herod because of his fear of the rise of another King. The verse Jeremiah 31:15 says "... A voice is heard in Ramah... Rachel is weeping for her children..." You say that Ramah is between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. It is not. It is four miles northwest of Anathoth, which in turn is north of Jerusalem, while Bethlehem is south of Jerusalem. Ramah is between *Nazareth* and Jerusalem, but so is just about everything else in Judea, since Nazareth is so far north, and does nothing for an undocumented massacre in Bethlehem. Ann Broomhead


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