One to the blogs I follow is a Jewish blog called 1000 Verses. The blog is written by an Orthodox Rabbi who is working to combat Christianity’s attempts on Judaism. I started following the blog when I read his posts that were debating Dr. Michael Brown, who is a Jewish follower of Yeshua (Jesus). I enjoyed reading what Dr. Brown wrote about the Jewish messianic beliefs and was curious to read the beliefs of an Orthodox Rabbi to see where Christians made assumptions that were not true and Judaism.
I have a lot of respect for what Rabbi Blumenthal writes on his blog. While I do not agree with all of what he writes, I desire respectful conversations with him and his followers about what I believe versus what they perceive Christians as believing. We don’t all think the same.
Rabbi Blumenthal put out a new post titled “The Angel of the Lord” where he compares Christian thoughts on the Angel of the Lord who had an encounter with Abraham versus what Jewish perspectives on the encounter. To cut to the chase, Jewish people do not think that the Angel of the Lord was Yeshua (Jesus).
In his post, Rabbi B notes that Rashbam and Ibn Ezra consider this person to be an “angel who is called by God’s name”. The commentators mention this as this character is referred to as ‘adonay or Master in the Masoretic Texts and this term is reserved for God alone.
This is why Christians will seize on this event and claim that the third person was a preincarnate Christ. Rabbi B does point out that nowhere in this passage did Abraham worship this character in order to show that he was not God.
Now Rabbi B will continue to make his argument that this is not Yeshua as other passages detail how God used angels as his messengers at other times, such as Numbers 22 where the angel of the Lord appeared and spoke for God but was entirely separate from God. I agree with him. Nowhere does this angel claim to be God or referred to with the term ‘adonay, thus he was not God. That does not prove that the entity that had the encounter with Abraham was or was not God.
Now I want to point out that I do not see where Yeshua was worshipped either prior to His assent to the throne. Does that mean He was not God?
One of the big debates about the divinity of Christ has to do with His role as the everlasting offering before God. My stance is that no created being could ever be holy enough to be an everlasting offering. Unblemished animals were only good for a year and human sacrifices where prohibited, so if Yeshua was the Christ and His death was the final atoning work, what else could He be but God in the flesh?
Now I have no proof to this, but that is why people keep arguing about religion and what things mean. Give Rabbi B a read sometime, but be respectful and do not just throw out Christian’s views as responses to his writings.