Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, volume 1

Brown, Michael L. Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus vol. 1.  Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

This volume introduces Michael L. Brown’s larger project of Jewish evangelism.  Working through these objections is a neat exercise for Christians, as you get to use your Old Testament knowledge in ways you didn’t expect.

Remind them that the rabbinic traditions which they follow aren’t any older than Christianity.  That means the debate is over who is the best expression of the Jewish tradition: Yeshua Messiah or the rabbis?

The Problem of Interpretation.  The key question is not whether Christianity or Judaism is true.  The key question is which is the biblical faith: the rabbis or Yeshua (Brown 1.7)? 

The first section dealt with general objections to Yeshua.  None were formidable. These are the standard CNN/NPR objections.  In section 2 Brown deals with more scholarly opponents.

Why isn’t there peace on Earth? The OT Messianic prophecies point to worldwide peace.   This is a more sophisticated objection than we might think at first. It’s a devastating criticism of amillennialism. The objection is not saying that “We Jews expect a David-like conqueror.”  No, the OT messianic promises point to “the glory of God covering the earth.” 

Brown responds that Messiah must bring purification before peace, judgment before justice (2.1).  The peace that Messiah brings happens at the end of the age (Isaiah 2; Zech. 14). See Hagg. 2:6-9.  See also Daniel 9:24-27.

Daniel 9 is an important chapter for End Times Bible Prophecy, but it also provides an important point here.  Brown notes that “Final atonement for Israel’s sin must be made before the second temple was destroyed.”

If Yeshua is the Messiah, why have wars and famines increased (2.2)?  We’ve already dealt with the faulty premise of the question, as explained in 2.1.  Messiah does not bring in a universal, unqualified peace.

Zechariah’s Sequence of Messiah’s Return

The trumpet will sound; Messiah returns, then Day of Atonement.  Yahweh will protect the City (Zech. 14:1-5), and these nations afterwards will celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.  Here is the exciting part: this is laid out in the Jewish calendar: Passover, Firstfruits (Yeshua’s rising from the dead), Shavu’ot/Pentecost [Gap in Time] we are now waiting on the eschatological Feast of Tabernacles following the rescue of Jerusalem.