On the Eighth Day God Ended His Work
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A few days ago I published Jewish Manipulations of the Bible, a short article that showed one of the most dramatic examples of text manipulation in the Old Testament by a group then known as Pharisees, and today as rabbis. Jesus spoke extensively of their lack of morals; the whole of Chapter 23 in the Gospel of Matthew is a good example of that. I got many comments and questions; since they were significant, I compiled them here.
On the Eight Day God Ended His Work
Many of the received comments were repetitive (though there was no way the senders could know that); they claimed that the example I gave was excellent, but that there are many texts, especially in Jeremiah and Isaiah, which were quoted extensively by the Apostles and left unchanged. Without knowing that, they adopted the “lame Jew” argument. Whenever finding themselves in an uncomfortable corner (i.e. red-handed) Pharisaic Jews would often use this argument: “look in this case you are right, but here, here and here (listing back antecedents all the to the days of the Babylonian Exile) you are not, that proves this was an unintentional error caused by a lame worker, who cannot spell correctly even his name.” The most significant example quoted by the supporters of this argument was in Jeremiah 31:31-34:
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
The text makes an exact description of the differences between Judaism and Christianity. The first and older one is driven by a strict set of laws which is manipulated by a dishonest class of priests; the second and newer one is based on a relation of love to God and fellow humans. In the True People of Israel I expanded on the term “Israel” as it is used here. It didn’t relate to the earthly Kingdom of Israel that by the days of Isaiah and Jeremiah had been already lost. Thus, several readers of Jewish Manipulations of the Bible made a simple claim: if the rabbis changed the text in Amos in the way you described, then they should have also changed this text and similar ones.
Is that so? Imagine Rabbi Rabin Rabinowitz entering his synagogue and beginning his preaching: “We’ll read today from Genesis: On the eighth day God ended his work…”
You don’t need to know Genesis 2:2 by heart to recognize this is wrong, the eighth day is not specifically mentioned there. (The actual text is: “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.”) Some texts are so well known that changing them is impossible; people would recognize the forgery and reject it. That is what preserved them from the fate of the one in Amos, a far less known prophet. In such cases a different tactic is used; as described in The Cross of Bethlehem for Isaiah 53, these texts are ignored altogether.
Correct Concerns in the Netherlands
A good friend and supporter from the Netherlands brought another example in the end of Deuteronomy 32:8. (I follow here the same comparison technique described in the first article.) The King James Bible reads “children of Israel,” while the Greek Septuagint reads “angels of God.” Apparently, the Pharisaic scribes attempted here to achieve a free upgrade to the people of Israel. Yet, anyone reading the recent Goldstone Report - which was adopted by the Human Rights Council of the UN, and defines the State of Israel as “terror inflicting” – knows there is no way God will confound these people with angels. Certain things do not change even after millennia. Thugs are thugs, criminals are criminals. Let’s call them by their names.
Again, the best answer to these rabbis appears in Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. This, dear rabbis, you are not capable of changing.
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