Marc: How can you be so positive of the authenticity, veracity, and origin of the Torah? Also, suppose just for the sake of argument that Jesus, despite having no witnesses to prove his truthfulness, was being absolutely truthful. A lack of witnesses does not a liar make. (And let’s not forget about Mohammed). So again, for the sake of argument, if Jesus were truthful, that would mean that you are going against G-d’s word, however well meaning you might be. In the end no one really knows the truth, which brings me back to the sentence that I used to open this message. How can you be so positive of the authenticity, veracity and origin of the Torah? I would ask the same of all religious leaders of all faiths.
Mesora: You first question Judaism’s veracity, but then contradict yourself by suggesting Jesus was God’s prophet…without witnesses.
We took up this issue in the past 3 issues of our JewishTimes.
Please see the articles on the Kuzari, and “The Flaws of Christianity” on our
site under “Must Reads.”
Your thinking is flawed: we do not accept someone as true, simply because they “might” be telling the truth. Certainly, when we have proven that they are not. Please read our articles.
Marc: What you accept as logical proof
for your strong views and beliefs is clearly not universal; there are many
others who do not share your beliefs. You do not know you are correct, you only
believe you are. Any mortal man who claims to know the truth is an absurd liar
and a fraud. NO ONE CAN BE POSITIVE ABOUT THE AUTHENTICITY, VERACITY AND ORIGIN
OF ANY RELIGION. Out of curiosity, I searched out Christian Web sites that
disprove Judaism the same way that Mesora.org disproves Christianity.
Essentially, you all disprove each other. It’s really comical when you consider
it, especially when all sides consider themselves to be 100% correct. Also, I
have noticed that many of the questions asked on your Web site receive answers
that don’t really answer the question.
For example the answer to the following question makes absolutely no sense:
Reader: This person who is a history major at Harvard explains
that it is common for there to be an evolution of ideas over long periods of
time, as he cited many examples. He explained that, for example, within one
100-year decade after Ma’mad har Sinai, the idea could have evolved that 2
million people were there, when really only a few thousand were. Within the
next 100-year decade, people believed that there was a mountain that people
gathered around. Within the next 100 year decade, people believed that miracles
were performed, and so on, and so one, etc, etc...until what we have as Har
Sinai today. He also explained that with the advent of the printing press, such
mistakes are not likely to be made as easily in the future.
Mesora: Then there would be current alternative editions of the Bible with his suggested editions...but there are none. The facts disprove his theory.
THE ANSWER MAKES NO SENSE BECAUSE IT IS CLEAR THE QUESTIONER WAS STATING
THAT ANY FUTURE RELIGIONS WOULD NOT SUFFER THE SAME DOUBTS AS TO
CONSISTENCY IN INFORMATION SINCE THE PRINTING PRESS ALLOWS FOR GREATER
INTEGRITY WHEN PASSING ALONG INFORMATION AS ORIGINALLY RECORDED. THE
PRINTING PRESS CANNOT CORRECT PAST BOOKS, ONLY SEE THAT THEY REMAIN
CONSISTENT FROM THIS TIME FORWARD, WHICH BY THE WAY HAS NOTING TO DO
WITH THEIR ACCURACY.
You consistently operate under the impression that you have successfully disproved every other religion but your own. How can you be so sure of the VERACITY, AUTHENTICITY and ORIGINS of the TORAH? Your answer, to be logical, must come from a source outside of the TORAH. You cannot cite your belief based on information from within the book in question.
Mesora: If you were presented with 100% proof for the truth of Sinai and the Torah, would you accept such a proof?
Marc: If you had such proof, wouldn’t you have presented it not only to me, but also to the world instead of asking me a question? Also, your answer avoided any response to my stated questions. So the way I see it, you’re holding an empty hand and bluffing. Now what is this proof you speak of?
I asked a very easy question, but you did not answer it simply. This indicates
you are not honestly seeking an answer, but wish to remain with doubts in place
of a clear-cut proof. Perhaps a proof would place obligations on you, which you
do not wish.
But you are right; I should display the answer to more than just you. Therefore, your email will be responded to in this week’s JewishTimes. I will use your questions and my responses to display the error you are making, and wherein lies the precise difference between Judaism’s proof, and the imagined proofs of other religions.
Marc: Now I see how you operate. You
don’t answer my questions, but instead keep asking me questions. Then you
declare you will make the conversation public where you get the last word. And
having the last word, you put yourself in a better light as the winner. I
expect to see ALL of our exchanges displayed and unedited to let the reader
make up his/her mind. Otherwise this is a complete lack of fair play. It would
be nothing short of a clear-cut effort to force your point and would make it
obvious that you lack confidence in your views.
When I said that you should respond to more than myself, it was not intended that you should in any way, shape or form distort or edit any of our exchanges. Unless you display the FULL exchange that we have had, the part that you choose to display on your web site will be an unfair representation of our e-mail communications. It is a fair concern that I will be misrepresented. If such is the case, then the facts speak for themselves but your general readership will be ignorant of such facts (of your dishonest editing).
Remember, you cannot use text within the Torah as proof of the Torah’s accuracy, authenticity, veracity and origin.
Also, DO NOT print my last name. I don’t need crazies trying to contact me. This is a legitimate request, one that I expect you to respect.
Mesora: Evidently you do not read our JewishTimes, especially these last three weeks. I invite responses from those with whom I debate. I do not operate with the “last word” tactic of which you accuse me. You too will be invited to respond to this critique.
You also project your modus operandi onto me, of this being a “contest” where there exists a danger that I might “be the winner”, as you put it.
Marc, the goal in Torah discussion is “truth”. There are no winners and losers. You must mature to a higher level of thought, if you too wish to engage in true Torah study, and not remain in your infantile thinking as you display with your numerous, baseless accusations. Thirdly, you accuse me of “editing” your words when I have not done so, nor have I given you any reason to feel this way. I will now address your arguments.
According to the theory of this Harvard student, 1) Histories can be altered through time, and 2) Printing presses make this difficult. Only the first statement concerns our discussion of distortions in history.
Accordingly, I responded that if there were in fact alterations to a given history, there would be the original version, plus the new alterations, as the alterations could not completely obscure the original. As certain ignorant or careless individuals – not entire populations – make such alterations, we would also encounter the original, undistorted histories transmitted by those individuals that did not alter the original. But the facts speak for themselves: we do not witness this phenomenon of ‘dual histories’. For example, world history of Caesar possesses one version alone - the same is the case with all other histories. Your assumption is thereby proven false, over and over again.
You also claim Torah must be verified from another source than the text. You are correct. That is what Judaism claims: the Torah earns credibility because of the “transmission of masses who attended Sinai.” It is not the “book” per se which serves as the proof of Sinai...but the unbroken transmission would have never been witnessed, had the event never occurred. So, “unbroken transmission by mass attendees” is our proof, which is external to the written account.
In contrast, there was no transmission from the point of origin of the supposed Jesus miracles. In that case, 100 years passed and no one transmitted these miracles that he supposedly performed in front of “multitudes”. Hence, this story has an internal flaw, exposing its fabrication.
Marc: Here is a site that claims it
proves the existence of Jesus: http://www.av1611.org/resur.html
Here is another that claims the truth of Islam: http://www.islamworld.net/true.html
I will just leave it at this for now. I look forward to seeing OUR FULL dialogue in the JewishTimes and to reading feedback. If you please, tell me when the dialogue is printed so I can check it out. Thanks.
Mesora: Marc, I read through the two websites you provided. I am surprised you accepted their arguments so readily – yet – you attacked Judaism.
The website attempting to prove Christianity as God’s word constantly refers to their New Testament as their source of proof. Why don’t you accuse them of trying to prove their book internally, as you accuse me? Nonetheless, we have shown that we do not prove Judaism from the Torah itself, but from the “unbroken transmission of mass witnesses”. But your Christian website has not proved their New Testament, yet, continues to base their arguments on this unproven book. This website readily accepts Jesus as having healed the sick, walking on water, and raising the dead…with absolutely no proof. They simply quote the New Testament, and take it as God’s word. So you contradict yourself again: you accuse me of offering no “external proof” to the Torah, while submitting that this website offers proof, yet, it is subject to your same accusation. But you feel this website contains some truth, otherwise, you would not have presented it as support for your claims.
Your other provided website attempting to prove Islam is even more corrupt, yet again, you accept it on par with our arguments to prove Sinai. That Islamic website claims that Islam was the “religion given to Adam.” It also claims it is, “the religion of all prophets.” This website does not even attempt to substantiate its claims, yet, you readily accept this as a satisfying argument. In both websites, the lack of proof is glaringly obvious.
In stark contrast, Judaism is based on the unbroken transmission of the Sinaic event attended by 2 million people who testify to witnessing intelligent words emanating form a mountain ablaze. This story was written down at Sinai and transmitted from its very occurrence onward. It was not written down 100 years after the supposed “events” of Jesus, nor does Judaism claim it was the “religion given to the first man” without proof, as does Islam. Judaism is based on the unbroken transmission of million: people about whom we know their exact lineage, their family names, their travels, the dates of the 10 Plagues and Revelation at Sinai, and subsequent histories through today. Judaism is based on provable, rational principles, unlike any, other religion. Revelation at Sinai and Judaism are proven, as are all historical events: masses testified to the miracles on Sinai, and the phenomena were easily understood. Thus, fabrication of the Sinaic event is ruled out - masses cannot conspire, as “lies” are based on subjective motivation. And ignorance of what was witnessed is similarly ruled out, as the phenomena at Sinai were clear: a mountain was engulfed in flames, the people heard an intelligent voice emanating from that fire, and they also heard the sound of a shofar increasing in its intensity, which demonstrated that it was not of human origin.
Thus, the only two ways a history can be false were ruled out: we ruled out purposeful corruption of the Sinai story by proving masses attended the event, and thus, mass conspiracy is impossible. And we have ruled out accidental corruption of the Sinai story: we demonstrated that the event was easily apprehended, and no ignorance of that event was possible.
Now, once we disprove the theories of purposeful and accidental corruption of our current-day story, there is no other possibility of Revelation at Sinai being false. Hence, it was true. Judaism is successfully proven by sound reasoning to be the only religion given by God to mankind. All other religions - as seen from their foolish claims and flawed arguments – are exposed as mere fabrications.
But as I mentioned last week, even a sound argument may not be accepted, if the one listening has emotional blocks to accepting this truth. Sadly, many Jews are sympathetic to other religions, claiming they too possess God’s word. What you suggested at the outset is also unreasonable:
“What you accept as logical proof for your strong views and beliefs is clearly not universal; there are many others who do not share your beliefs. You do not know you are correct, you only believe you are. Any mortal man who claims to know the truth is an absurd liar and a fraud. NO ONE CAN BE POSITIVE ABOUT THE AUTHENTICITY, VERACITY AND ORIGIN OF ANY RELIGION.”
You write, “Any mortal man who claims to know the truth is an absurd liar and a fraud”. But I ask you, aren’t you making a statement that ‘you’ feel is “truth”? You thereby condemned yourself.
Furthermore, you are convinced that no man can be convinced of the truth of any religion. You offer no reasoning, expecting all who read this to suddenly agree with your position. However, I hope after reading my words, you now see that Judaism can be proved, and is proven, by God’s precise orchestration of that ancient, real event of Revelation at Sinai.
Revelation at Sinai must be clear to us all. With a 100% conviction in God’s existence, and His plan that man follows the Torah – all men – and with our appreciation of His laws only obtained through Torah study, we will arrive at the most peaceful and agreeable life. We will remove any and all conflicts as to “what lifestyle shall I choose?” Conviction is available. It is as real as we are. We have intelligence for the purpose of arriving at absolute convictions…and our conviction in God’s reality is primary.
Be on guard for emotions wishing to ignore this truth, as they are many. Be sensitive to detect these emotions as they arise, and earnestly confront each one with patience and intelligence, and do not cower. Discuss these conflicts with wise individuals of refined reasoning. They will assist you in ridding yourself from the continued assault your emotions make against your reason. For once you have answers to your doubts, you may remind yourself of them when your emotions flare up in the future. And they will. Objective proof is what Judaism is about: proof of Sinai, and proof of God. Once armed with ironclad proofs of Judaism’s exclusive, provable claim to God’s word, you will find a life of continued enjoyment in Torah wisdom. Your conviction that Torah is God’s word will drive you to uncover His endless, enlightening wisdom.
“The fear if God is the beginning of knowledge, [but] wisdom and moral discipline do fools despise.” (Proverbs, 1:7) The wisest man stated this. Think about why he felt this way.