Before dealing with some of the proposed responses to my challenge, I want to address a few of the Ďobjectionsí to the challenge itself. There are three types of objections that have been proposed to me:

 

  1. Why require 3 places, isnít one enough?
  2. Why do we need to see all these things in one place?
  3. Why donít you require the same for the Maimonides 13 principles or for similar Jewish beliefs?

 

The first two objections are based on the same idea; the parameters of the challenge are faulty. They object to the type of answer that is required. The simple answer to these objections is that since we see that the Tenach has repeated the same image about the end-times multiple times, we need to consider why? The answer is obvious, IT IS IMPORTANT. With that being the case anything we are going to claim about the end times, needs to appear in a way that confirms its importance.

 

I have listed 5 passages which clearly paint a picture of the end times; including key points about the end times, none of which include any of the Christian claims. (I could have mentioned many more passages.) Therefore, it would only be logical and consistent to require a similar thing from Christians. Why was G-d so clear about Jewish beliefs, and not so about the Christian ones? Could it be that the Jewish beliefs are really there, and the Christian ones imagined?  Had one of these Christian principles (like virgin birth or atoning death of the messiah) been found in one of these end times prophecies we might stretch the rule a bit, but they are not. The Christian end times view needs to be, at least, as clearly stated as the one Judaism believes.

 

With the third objection we have a simpler answer. We do not find any example where the Tenach has a single passage including all the theological points that Jews and Christian CAN agree to. (For example, existence of G-d, resurrection of the dead, and existence of a Messiah.) It appears that G-d considers theology of lesser importance, and it was sufficient to mention these ideas individually in various verses. Maybe there is another reason. Maimonides and both earlier and later Rabbis quote numerous verses that indicate the truth of his principles (and many others that he does not mention, but are mentioned by other sources.)

 

I would like to add a significant point here. Many of the verses that get proposed to answer this challenge are ones Ďdiscoveredí later by Christian exegetes, or in the New Testament itself. This challenge confirms the Jewish claim that their view is one based firmly on clear prophecies of the Tenach, and not some later attempt to read into the text some point of view. For that reason, with all their differences, the Dead Sea Scrolls paint a very similar picture of the end times to those found in Rabbinic works.  While minor differences exist, the main picture of the defeat of Israelís enemies, a return to the true worship of G-d in the Temple, and a Davidic King ruling over Israel are there as they are in Historical Judaism. They are there, as this challenge is witness, because they are what G-d has revealed clearly and openly in the prophets. (It is interesting to note that the main differences the Dead Sea Scrolls community has with Historical Judaism are found in allegorical interpretations of the words of the prophets, and not in literal interpretations.)

 

To conclude, this challenge has been validly stated, and requires an answer, or admission that there is something wrong in the Christian beliefs about the end times and the Messiah!