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Featured Is the Christian God the same as the Jewish God?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Harel13, Aug 19, 2020.

  1. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    While I was raised knowing that the spread of Christianity helped popularize the notion of Monotheism, more recently I've wondered whether the Christian God is the same as the Jewish God. Setting aside the question of whether or not the Christian deity has a triune nature or if Jesus is god - if we only look at "God the Father" - is he the same as the Jewish God? I personally vote no, for one main reason, better stated than I could ever by Professor Joseph Klausner in his book Historia Yisraelit (Israelite History), Vol. 3 (with my rough translation into English):

    "Jesus came and changed, unknowingly, the God of absolute justice with the god of absolute grace. [One] must love the evil men and the good men, the righteous and the vile, in the same manner and quality, for "your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous." (Matt. 5:45). And so sinners and those that don't sin, evil men and good men, wicked ones and righteous ones are equal in their worth before the divinity - and where is the justice? Where is the God of judgment? And if God is merely the God of goodness and grace and love and is not the God of justice and judgment and honesty, then he is not the God of history also. Judaism, whose whole greatness and majesty is - which her God is the God of history ("I am the first and I am the last"), couldn't accept and won't accept this sort of worldview.​

    The sinner, that does not repent (for if he does repent, once more he isn't a wicked one, but a completely righteous man and even more - Brachot 34b, Sanhedrin 99a), he confuses the world, he destroys the order of the moral world, and through that - also the order of the natural world. If "the earth is filled with lawlessness" - the "flood" shall come and wipe out the "entire universe" and will break the laws of earth and heaven. In the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy, there are all sorts of good and moral attributes: "mighty in compassion, merciful and gracious; slow to anger and plenteous in kindness and truth; doing kindness unto thousands; forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin" - but also "yet He does not remit all punishment". The Jew says to his God: "Our Father, our King" in the same breath: He - is not just "the Father of mercy" but also "King of judgement" - God of the society, God of the nationality, God of the history. Jesus' concept of divinity, his God of grace and unconditional love, is too exalted for the individual moral
    consciousness. For the general consciousness, the social, national and universal, that which for her "the history of the world is the judgement-day of the world", this concept of divinity is destruction and ruin. Judaism, which is essentially socially-nationalistic, could not accept such a concept in any sort of fashion."
    Klausner goes on and explains further how Jesus' concept of divinity was emphasized in his various moral teachings, but as it's long, I'll leave it at that for now.

    Side reasons to doubt that the Christian God is the same as the Jewish God include discrepancies between the Torah and the NT, which ties into points made, among other times and places, yesterday on RF: how can one accept that a text was given by a supreme divine entity, yet is greatly flawed, with regards to its predecessor-text?

    That's my opinion. I wanted to start this thread to hear what others have to say on the matter.
     
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  2. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    Surely they are just somewhat differing perceptions of the nature of God, aren't they? It seems to me that no religion can reasonably claim to offer a perfect and complete description.
     
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  3. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Depends. Do you believe your scripture was divinely inspired to the extant that it describes God's nature (at least God's nature as He chose to appear in this world)? If not, then presumably we have really no way of knowing anything about God's nature.
     
  4. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    This is claimed for both the OT and the NT. However it seems to me ridiculous to extend that claim to the extent of thinking that either of them is perfect - or that the subsequent theologies that have grown up around them since are perfect either.
     
  5. Jimmy

    Jimmy Well-Known Member

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    real life gives one a better understanding
     
  6. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Traditionally, Judaism and Christianity have held that their scriptures present an accurate image of God's nature - again, at least in how He appears in this world. You are, of course, free to disagree that the images are accurate. Would I be correct, therefore, in saying that your view is that there is no way of knowing whether the two Gods are the same?
     
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  7. rosends

    rosends Well-Known Member

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    I took a neat class in college called "The Idea of God" and as I understand it, Christianity and Judaism share a God, but have different ideas of what God is.

    Judaism and Islam share an idea of God but have different Gods.

    In Judaism and Christianity, God has different characteristics but the character is supposedly consistent - what happens in the Jewish texts is folded in to the action in the gospels. Islam and Judaism agree on the characteristics, but the actions are not the same -- Islam says that what happened in the earlier texts did not happen.

    True, this last point can be attributed not to a change in the God object but in the writing, but I'm talking from Judaism's standpoint regarding the accuracy of the written text of the Torah.
     
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  8. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    How do you differentiate between character and characteristics?
     
  9. bobhikes

    bobhikes AntiRepublican
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    To be honest I believe all God's to be the same. All religious writings are interpreted by man from God. God a being that created existence and has been alive forever has to dumb down his knowledge to try and get us to understand. The persona of a God being living among us is another way God has tried to convey his knowledge to beings that are babies when it comes to his knowledge. Mankind as a whole keeps misinterpreting Gods knowledge. God is not flawed but humans do not have the ability to fully understand.
     
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  10. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    How is God's knowledge conveyed to mankind, in your opinion?
     
  11. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    What you say doesn't seem to make the case for the idea that the God of Islam is different from that of Judaism, though. What makes the God of Islam different?
     
  12. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    I agree.
    • Admittedly, the myriad of different theologies of the strands of Christianity, IMO, challenges attempts to describe Christianity as a single "entity" with anything but the broadest of broad strokes, I personally think of three dominant strands: Trinitarian Christianity, and Non-trinitarian Christianity with the LDS (Mormons) and the JW divisions. The "God" of those three "strands", has/have far more differences to distinguish them from each other and from Islam's Allah than similarities to connect them to each other and to Islam's Allah.
    • To wit:
      • IMO, one has to close one eye and cover the other to find Trinitarian Christianity's Holy Spirit in Islam.
      • The Trinitarian Jesus and Islam's Jesus are barely similar in anything more than "name" and far from close copies to all but the most obtuse of observers.
      • God the Father, in whom "we live, move, and have our being", might be said to have the closest correspondence to Allah, if we ignore the fact that Allah seems to have an aversion to being called "a Father".
      • LDS Christianity's "Gods", IMO, are the least similar to Allah.
      • Baiting JWs and Muslims into a compare-and-contrast discussion re: Jehovah God and Allah might be fun.
     
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  13. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    I would, maybe of course, say the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the God of the Christian.

    Yes, we are in a season of grace but it seems that Klausner forget about Armageddon as well as the final judgment. The grace is found throughout the TaNaKh and Klausner as much admits it even to the point of "as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions" Ps 103:12 - I think that is a lot of grace.

    Maybe he his confusing the difference between the Abrahamic Covenant and the Mosaic Covenant?

    Probably the greatest sin of all was the spiritual adultery and high treason of Adam, and yet, His mercy and grace rejoiced over judgment.

    As the Targums would say in Bera****h chapter 3: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between the seed of thy son, and the seed of her sons; and it shall be when the sons of the woman keep the commandments of the law, they will be prepared to smite thee upon thy head; but when they forsake the commandments of the law, thou wilt be ready to wound them in their heel. Nevertheless for them there shall be a medicine, but for thee there will be no medicine; and they shall make a remedy for the heel in the days of the King Meshiha.

    We are simply living in the days of King Meshiha where we benefit from the remedy. Before that it was the commandments of the law (Mosaic Covenant?) which is necessary to stay the curse but after a period of grace due to the remedy of the Messiah (Abrahamic Covenant).

    My two cents.
     
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  14. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    LOL!! Pardon my laughter.
    From: Who is Baháʼu'lláh?

    Screenshot_2020-08-18 Who is Baháʼu'lláh .png
    Screenshot_2020-08-18 Who is Baháʼu'lláh (1).png
    Screenshot_2020-08-18 Who is Baháʼu'lláh (2).png

    • Deuteronomy Chapter 14:
      • You are children of the LORD your God.
    • 2 Samuel, Chapter 7:
      • 8 "Further, say thus to My servant David: Thus said the LORD of Hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the flock, to be ruler of My people Israel,
      • 9 and I have been with you wherever you went, ...
      • 12 When your days are done and you lie with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own issue, and I will establish his kingship.
      • 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish his royal throne forever.
      • 14 I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to Me.
    • Psalm, Chapter 2:
      • 7 Let me tell of the decree:t he LORD said to me, "You are My son, I have fathered you this day.
    Or perhaps, as I believe, Allah, who has no name, and Judaism and Christianity's God, who has a name, are not the same?
    • Psalm, Chapter 72:
      • 4 Sing to God, chant hymns to His name; extol Him who rides the clouds; the LORD is His name. Exult in His presence, the father of orphans, the champion of widows, God, in His holy habitation.
    • Wisdom of Solomon
      • Chapter 1:
        • 16 But the ungodly by their words and deeds summoned death; considering him a friend, they pined away and made a covenant with him, because they are fit to belong to his company.
      • Chapter 2:
        • 1 For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves, ...
        • 12 ‘Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions; he reproaches us for sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training.
        • 13 He professes to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord.
        • 14 He became to us a reproof of our thoughts;
        • 15 the very sight of him is a burden to us, because his manner of life is unlike that of others, and his ways are strange.
        • 16 We are considered by him as something base, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the last end of the righteous happy, and boasts that God is his father.
        • 17 Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will happen at the end of his life;
        • 18 for if the righteous man is God’s child, He will help him, and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries
        • 19 Let us test him with insult and torture, so that we may find out how gentle he is, and make trial of his forbearance
        • 20 Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to what he says, he will be protected.’
        • 21 Thus they reasoned, but they were led astray, for their wickedness blinded them,
        • 22 and they did not know the secret purposes of God, nor hoped for the wages of holiness, nor discerned the prize for blameless souls;
        • 23 for God created us for incorruption, and made us in the image of His own eternity,
        • 24 but through the devil’s envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his company experience it.
    Screenshot_2020-08-18 Who is Baháʼu'lláh (3).png
     
  15. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    Is that an alternative spelling of Bwahahaha? :D
     
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  16. Rival

    Rival Dex Me Gart
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    The what?

    ETA: I'm talking about this,
    I've never heard 'Abrahamic Covenant' in this way.
     
    #16 Rival, Aug 19, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2020
  17. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    I'm not sure:

    EL, ELOAH [el, el-oh-ah]: God "mighty, strong, prominent"

    ELOHIM [el-oh-heem]: God “Creator, Mighty and Strong”

    EL SHADDAI [el-shah-dahy]: “God Almighty,” “The Mighty One of Jacob”

    ADONAI [ˌædɒˈnaɪ; ah-daw-nahy]: “Lord”

    YHWH / YAHWEH / JEHOVAH [yah-way / ji-hoh-veh]: “LORD”

    YAHWEH-JIREH [yah-way-ji-reh]: "The Lord Will Provide"

    YAHWEH-RAPHA [yah-way-raw-faw]: "The Lord Who Heals"

    YAHWEH-NISSI [yah-way-nee-see]: "The Lord Our Banner"

    YAHWEH-M'KADDESH [yah-way-meh-kad-esh]: "The Lord Who Sanctifies, Makes Holy"

    YAHWEH-SHALOM [yah-way-shah-lohm]: "The Lord Our Peace"

    YAHWEH-ELOHIM [yah-way-el-oh-him]: "LORD God"

    YAHWEH-TSIDKENU [yah-way-tzid-kay-noo]: "The Lord Our Righteousness”

    YAHWEH-ROHI [yah-way-roh-hee]: "The Lord Our Shepherd" –

    YAHWEH-SHAMMAH [yah-way-sham-mahw]: "The Lord Is There”

    YAHWEH-SABAOTH [yah-way-sah-bah-ohth]: "The Lord of Hosts"

    EL ELYON [el-el-yohn]: “Most High"

    EL ROI [el-roh-ee]: "God of Seeing"

    EL-OLAM [el-oh-lahm]: "Everlasting God"

    EL-GIBHOR [el-ghee-bohr]: “Mighty God”

    It seems like I don't, as a Christian, have a different idea of who God is.
     
  18. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    The Abrahamic Covenant is the blood Covenant the God made with Abraham that would bring the blessing to all the nations of the earth.
     
  19. Rival

    Rival Dex Me Gart
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    Still not sure what even this would have to do with what you said,

    ...but after a period of grace due to the remedy of the Messiah (Abrahamic Covenant).
     
  20. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    Let me say it differently (If I am not answering your question... could you expand a little further on exactly you are asking?)

    Abraham, known as the father of faith, was the seed of faith that opened the door for the Messiah to come to the earth. The Messiah offered the grace of reuniting mankind with God not on the basis of achieving by works of the law but as a simple gift of grace. The Mosaic law offered a temporal reprieve of sin that required sacrifices every year. Grace was there but the Law, though good, exposed the reality that man has a sin problem that had to be dealt with continually to step on the head of the curse.

    The remedy of the sin problem was love that covers a multitude of sin. A grace that says, "I will love you no matter what your performance is - you don't need to earn my love - it is a gift". The Prophet Hosea typified this grace. IMO It dealt with sin once and for all.

    Example: Abraham, though he lied about his wife with King Abimelech (Get 20), still came out blessed even after he had done wrong. So, I just lied about my wife, caused her to enter into another man's harem, but after I did wrong, I am leaving with gifts from the man who I lied to? That is grace. (not promoting lying here, just showing how we can do wrong but the grace of God is greater than our wrong)

    I see the figs leaves that Adam clothed himself with as man's attempt to clean his wrong. Jesus cursed the fig tree because ultimately man's efforts does not eradicate wrong -it produces no good fruit (if any). Jesus cursed that effort from the very root, the heart of man. It was God's clothing that only He could make, with the shedding blood, that could eradicate sin through grace and change the heart.
     
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