Sunday, December 9, 2012

God of Israel's outrageous claims

The Great Isaiah Scroll
Digital Dead Sea Scrolls
Israel Musuem, Jerusalem

There is no other foundation for the religious faith that God has created everything - including the cosmos and us in it - than the ancient Scriptures of the people of Israel. The foundation is not a logical, rational, scientific observation or deduction but religious faith based on God of Israel's outrageous claim.

The Jewish faith in ONE God the Creator is not based on rational deductions made by them while observing nature. The faith is not result of ancient Jewish philosophical and religious pondering of how things may have come into being and what is going on now.

The Jewish faith in creation is based solely on the outrageous claim of the God of Israel that He has made through humans writing and speaking in His name. Significantly, most of those who thus spoke in God's name received extremely hostile reception from the Jewish people. Tradition has it that Isaiah was martyred by sawing into two the hollow tree inside which he was tied and some have heard about the Man of Galilee.

Jewish ancient Scriptures do not only say that their God has created everything and is in control of everything both in nature and in human history, including who is the King of Persia. They make the outrageous claim that He holds His people ultimately and utterly responsible for words and actions in this life He has given in this Land - ties religious faith and individual and national ethics and moral.

Other religions, mainly Christianity and Islam, worship the God of Israel as the only real God there is. We are talking here about the majority of humanity currently living on planet Earth. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday humans all over the world here the proclaimed words of God the Creator claiming what is due to Him, so this is not a secretive God with obscure claims.

Let us listen to some of those boastful outrageous statements as they appear in Deutero-Isaiah dating to the times of Cyrus the Great of Persia who lived  600/576 – 530 BC. (Cyrus Cylinder so intimately connected with Deutero-Isaiah is coming to visit five cities in the USA in 2013.)  Oldest manuscripts of Isaiah known today can be studies online in Israel Museum Digital Dead Sea Scrolls.
Cyrus Cylinder British Museum, London wikimedia
Who speaks?
God of Israel.

“But now listen, Jacob, my servant,
    Israel, whom I have chosen.
 This is what the Lord says—
    he who made you, who formed you in the womb,
    and who will help you:
Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant,
    Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
 For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
    and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
    and my blessing on your descendants.
 They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
    like poplar trees by flowing streams.
 Some will say, ‘I belong to the Lord’;
    others will call themselves by the name of Jacob;
still others will write on their hand, ‘The Lord’s,’
    and will take the name Israel.
Isaiah 44:1-5

What does He say?

“This is what the Lord says—
    your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb:
I am the Lord,
    the Maker of all things,
    who stretches out the heavens,
    who spreads out the earth by myself,
 who foils the signs of false prophets
    and makes fools of diviners,
who overthrows the learning of the wise
    and turns it into nonsense,
 who carries out the words of his servants
    and fulfills the predictions of his messengers,

who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’
    of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,’
    and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’
 who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry,
    and I will dry up your streams,’
 who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd
    and will accomplish all that I please;
he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,”
    and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”’
Isaiah 44:24-28

"the Maker of all things"

"who overthrows the learning of the wise
    and turns it into nonsense"

he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,”
    and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”’

... and more

How utterly outrageous claims!

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