This outline is by the Redneck Rastafarian.
First, what is the “Old Testament”?
The TaNa”KH (“Old Testament”) is divided into three distinct sections. The first and most important is the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy). Only the Torah was written directly by G-d Himself; Moses was only a stenographer. The Torah was originally written “974 generations” before the Creation, in “letters of black fire on a scroll of white fire.” It is what chrstians call the “logos.” The entire creation is derivative of the Torah.
The Nevi’im (Prophets) are a step lower than the Torah. They were not written by G-d Himself. They were written by the Prophets in their own words under the spirit of nevu’ah (prophecy). They are not higher than the Torah, nor do they amend it in any way. If any prophet had ever prophesied that one day the Torah would be “fulfilled” and replaced by something else, he would have been put to death as a false prophet; and certainly his “prophecy” would not have been canonized by the `Anshei-HaKeneset HaGedolah (the Men of the Great Assembly).
The Ketuvim (Writings or Hagiographa) is a step lower than the Prophets. It was not written under the spirit of prophecy but under ruach haqodesh (Divine inspiration of “holy spirit”). The Nevi’im and Ketuvim are only in the Bible “temporarily.” Only the Torah is eternal. The books of the Na”Kh were put there by the ‘Anshei-HaKeneset HaGedolah until Mashiach would come. They are still there because he hasn’t. When he does, only the Torah (and the Scroll of Esther) will still be read publicly as Scripture (though this doesn’t mean we will lose the others, G-d forbid).
The Torah (from which the Prophets and Writings derive all their authority) warns over and over and over not to deviate from it one iota to the left or to the right. Horrible punishments are prophesied for failing to keep it, and these prophecies have been fulfilled. Not once does the Torah warn about the consequences of “rejecting the messiah.” Not once! All punishments are for deviating from the Torah. Parashat Ki-Tavo’ (Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8) contains a long portion of warnings precisely about the current Exile. The consequences of deviating from the Torah are blood-curdling. And you want Jews to replace the Torah with something else? Something “new?” There isn’t even a mitzvah (commandment) to “accept the messiah!” Because when he comes it will be obvious; no “faith” will be required.
You don’t believe in chrstianity because of any “messianic prophecy” in the TaNa”KH. You believe in it because your bible contains a “new testament,” which you accept implicitly. The “new testament” says that the TaNa”KH is full of prophecies about Jsus, and since you accept its authority from the outset, you then proceed to find them everywhere. If you didn’t already believe in the authority of the NT, you wouldn’t interpret the TaNa”KH in accordance with its interpretation. The Torah is the Ultimate and Authoritative Revelation. The “new testament” does not have the authority to pop up and interpret it unless the Torah plainly says it does. It does not, as you well know.
On the first Shavu`ot G-d spoke directly to perhaps some three million people. This had never happened before and has never happened since. Until it does, this is the Supreme Revelation that judges all others. The Prophets must be interpreted in light of the Torah. Any interpretation of the Prophets that is contrary to Torah is a false interpretation. Period.
The argument states the eyewitness testimony of a nation makes the Torah the only self-authenticating revelation in human history. It was not canonized by mortals. It was given directly to a nation by the Master of the universe.
The skeptic needs to explain how Israel’s legal system, constitution, moral code, and theistic ontology arose ex nihilo. This is the unbroken chain of transmission. At what point could the Big Lie have been introduced: “These are the 613 rules that G-d gave our ancestors. They govern every facet of our existence. This is the first you’re hearing about it because … well, just start doing them!”
G-d has a high opinion of this Evidence: And the L-rd said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in the thickness of the cloud, in order that the people hear when I speak to you, and they will also believe in you forever.” And Moses relayed the words of the people to the L-rd. (Exodus 19:9) G-d thought it was such good Evidence it would work FOREVER. He specifically cites, approves, and makes a prediction about this Evidence. The idea that we should believe the Bible because the miracles of Jesus is absurd, both evidentially (compared to a NATIONAL Revelation) and scripturally (G-d gives a shout-out to the Kuzari).
Christians start with the miracles of Jesus and work backwards, treating the TaNa”KH like a Rorschach, assuming that anyone who can perform miracles has the Divine seal of approval. This is presupposed like some axiom of deductive logic. It's ubiquitous in the Christian community (ex. John 6:26, John 10:38, John 14:11). The Torah contains an entire chapter on the subject:
If there will arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of a dream, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder of which he spoke to you happens, [and he] says, “Let us go after other gods which you have not known, and let us worship them,” you shall not heed the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of a dream; for the L-rd, your G-d, is testing you, to know whether you really love the L-rd, your G-d, with all your heart and with all your soul.Deuteronomy 13 (link)
“Hey you guys, I might test you with a miracle-worker who lies to you! Here's how to pass My test”:
And that prophet, or that dreamer of a dream shall be put to death; because he spoke falsehood about the Lord, your G-d Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and Who redeemed you from the house of bondage, to lead you astray from the way in which the L-rd, your G-d, commanded you to go; so shall you clear away the evil from your midst.Very Important Chapter
G-d might give a prophet miraculous powers to LIE about Him. He might place EVIL in their midst. That's exactly what it says. No limit on miraculous powers is listed. A miracle by itself, however jaw-dropping, proves nothing about G-d's endorsement. Therefore, no Jew would ever have believed someone who claimed authority on the basis of performing miracles (making such a claim would discredit you as someone who was not from God. –S).
1) Did the Israelites believe G-d had a son help Him create the universe? The only reference to the son of G-d in the Torah is Exodus 4:22: Israel is My firstborn son.
2) Did they believe the Torah was anything other than “everlasting,” “for all generations,” and “eternal”? Did they believe that at some point “the old rule [will be] set aside, because it [is] weak and useless. The law of Moses [can] not make anything perfect”? (Hebrews 7:18-19) Consider the following:
And [Passover] shall be for you as a memorial, and you shall celebrate it as a festival for the L-rd; throughout your generations, you shall celebrate it as an everlasting statute.(Exodus 12:14)
Thus shall the children of Israel observe the Sabbath, to make the Sabbath THROUGHOUT their generations as an everlasting covenant. Between Me and the children of Israel, it is forever a sign that [in] six days The L-rd created the heaven and the earth, and on the seventh day He ceased and rested.(Exodus 31:16-17)
[This is] an eternal statue for all your generations, in all your dwelling places: You shall not eat any blood or fat.(Lev. 3:17)
[Yom Kippur] is a Sabbath of rest for you, and you shall afflict yourselves. It is an eternal statute.(Lev. 16:31)
Do not add to the word which I command you, nor diminish from it, to observe the commandments of the L-rd your G-d which I command you.(Deuteronomy 4:2, 13:1)
3) Did they think G-d might be a man? Numbers 23:19 is the sole reference in the Torah to this issue: G-d is not a man.
4) Did Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, or Moses ever pray through an intermediary, or believe that G-d could only be accessed through one?
“6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”John 14:6 (KJV)
5) Is human sacrifice endorsed in the Hebrew Bible?
7) Were they expecting a prophet superior to Moses?
And there was no other prophet who arose in Israel like Moses, whom the L-rd knew face to face.(Deuteronomy 34:10)
8) Did they worship a triune god?
Hear, O Israel: The L-rd is our G-d; the L-rd is ONE.Deuteronomy 6:4
The answer to 1 - 8 is an unequivocal NO! Therefore Jesus led them to worship a god their forefathers didn't know. Game over.
The trinity is also logically impossible. G-d couldn't violate the principle of non-contradiction if He wanted (or make a round square). Misunderstood passages involving Abraham's 3 angels (or Let us make man in our image) can't salvage this. The oneness of HaShem is philosophy. This is a tight demonstration:
Since the deity is supposed to be necessary and uncaused, there is a contradiction. We can demand questions about the cause and nature of this differentiation, meaning that it cannot be the highest G-d. Not only can the trinity not terminate chains of causation, it is inherently contradictory.To provide a (semi)formal proof showing the idea of a trinity is inherently contradictory. G = G-d. F = Father. S = Son. B = Begotten. nB = not begotten. Shield of the Trinity: 1) G = F (The father is fully G-d) 2) G = S (The son is fully G-d) 3) F =/= S (The father is not the son) Principle of Differentiation so that 3 can be true: 4) S = B (The son is begotten) 5) F = nB (The father is not begotten) Conclusions: 1) Following from 2 and 4, G = B 2) Following from 1 and 5, G = nB 3) Following from the above two, B = nB (violation of the principle of non-contradiction) If the principle of non-contradiction does not apply to the deity, then the deity can both exist and not exist. If that were true, then the statement "the deity does not exist" would also be true.
Christians insist that each member of the trinity is fully G-d on its own terms. But one member is begotten and another is unbegotten. How can two beings with contrary natures (self-subsistent existence vs. ontologically derived existence) both be G-d?
G-d is the Bottom Line of reality, the final resting place of all why questions. But we can ask questions about the criterion of individuation whereby the father is not the son, which makes the criterion ontologically ultimate, not the trinity. ALL the Cosmological arguments take us to a metaphysical unity. It's one of G-d's defining “attributes.” To use these arguments in Christian apologetics and then to mention (almost as an addendum, as if in passing) that this god is a “special unity” that consists of three parts, each of which has the individually sufficient requirements to be G-d, is charlatanry of world-historic proportions. There's nothing new under the sun. HaShem is not a trinity.
THIS is the Messiah according to the TaNa”KH. He will lead Jews back to Torah observance, not overhaul it. He's supposed to build a Temple, not destroy one. A warrior like Joshua, a Prophet almost like Moses, a King like David, a Torah prodigy like Maimonides, he will lead all of mankind to acknowledge the One True G-d during a period of world peace. Study the character outlined here. He is as different from Jesus as a Jedi Knight. And Christian apologists acknowledge this:
When you look at the Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament, they give virtually no clue that Messiah isn’t going to be this triumphant warrior king that was expected. This is what was supposed to happen.William Craig (link)
On what theological grounds do you disagree with the standards specified by G-d in the TaNa”KH? Because miracles happened, therefore the meaning of the word has changed? Not an argument. No subsequent document has the authority to reinterpret the Torah, annul it, fulfill it, or use it as a launching pad for something new. The Torah gave the Sanhedrin authority to interpret it, not the Gentile followers of G-d's hypostatically conjoined son or a prophet named Mohammed.
G-d gave the Jewish people a Deluxe Platinum Package of commandments and entrusted them with His Book. Everyone else is obligated to observe the pre-existing code of moral realism: six prohibitions and a positive injunction to establish courts of law. It’s not a “religion.” It prohibits religion. The practical upshot of the “Old Testament” for 99% of mankind is the moral AND legal prohibition of idolatry, cursing HaShem, shedding innocent blood, theft, 6 forbidden unions, and cruelty to animals. Creating any new-fangled religious observances to satisfy a spiritual sweet-tooth is a flavor of idolatry.
(From a story in the bible called 'the Donkey of Balam')
Moses pleaded before Hashem, his G-d, and said, “Why, Hashem, should Your anger flare up against Your people, whom You have taken out of the land of Egypt, with great power and a strong hand? Why should Egypt say the following: 'With evil intent did He take them out, to kill them in the mountains and to annihilate them from the face of the earth' ? Relent from Your flaring anger and reconsider regarding the evil against Your people. (Ex. 32:11,12) Hashem reconsidered regarding the evil that He declared He would do to His people. (Ex. 32:14)
[similarly, we find in Ezekiel 20:5, 21-22]: But the children rebelled against Me. They walked not in My statutes nor kept My ordinances which if a man do, he shall live by them. […] I said I would pour out My wrath on them, to spend My anger on them in the wilderness. Yet I withdrew My hand and acted for My Name's sake, lest it be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I brought them forth.
It says (Deut. 9:25-29): Because the L-rd said He would destroy you, I threw myself down before Him for forty days and forty nights. My prayer to the L-rd was, “L-rd G-d! Do not destroy Your nation and heritage, which You liberated with Your greatness and which You brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Remember Your servants, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Pay not attention to the stubbornness of this nation or to their wickedness and sin. Do not let the land from which You took them say, 'The L-rd brought them out to kill them in the desert, because He hated them and was powerless to bring them to the land He promised them.' After all, they are Your people and Your heritage. You brought them out with Your great power and Your outstretched arm.”
“Powerless!” Moses, the faithful shepherd who sacrificed himself for his love of Israel, entreated G-d on behalf of his people and cried out his last argument: “What will the nations say, in ridicule and mockery? Surely they will curse and blaspheme G-d , scornfully claiming that He is 'powerless'”. Israel were the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, chosen to be G-d's holy treasure, His special nation. Their destruction would have constituted G-d's reneging on His covenant due to inability to fulfill it. For this reason alone, “G-d refrained from doing the evil that He planned for His people” (Ex. 32:14).
Listen well, O Israel! G-d, Himself, decrees His dependency upon Israel, so to speak, our “both needing each other.” Had our sages not said this, who could have dared express it? Yet, once they did say it, how can we continue our rebellion against G-d, a rebellion rendered foolish and inane in light of these words? After all, G-d admits, so to speak, that in order to hasten the building of Jerusalem and the Temple, in order to return once more as King, thereby sanctifying His Name and eliminating the terrible Chilul Hashem, He needs Israel. That is, it is enough if Israel resume Torah observance, and then, for His own sake, to sanctify His Name, He will return to Eretz Israel and bring the redemption. Thus, G-d is “dependent” on us, and why should we not understand this? One might ask: Why does G-d enable flesh and blood to dictate decrees to Him?
The answer is simple: G-d fiercely longs to sanctify His Name, profaned daily by the nations, but He demands that Israel sanctify His Name first through complete and perfect faith and trust in G-d. They must take hold of the dangerous, frightening mitzvot which leave them isolated and alone with the nations opposing them, for only this can prove their real trust in Him.