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Stand Firm, Or You Won’t Stand At All

I mentioned in an early volume of The Old Testament for Everyone receiving a call from a Jewish lawyer in Los Angeles who had self-published a book titled Twenty-six Reasons Why Jews Don’t Believe in Jesus and wanted me to make sure that his statements about Jesus and about Christian faith were accurate. A significant part of the book concerned the way Christians use texts from the Old Testament to prove that Jesus is the Messiah but introduce a new meaning into the texts in doing so. (Ironically, the way Christians so interpret Scriptures is similar to the way other Jews in New Testament times did.) I got in trouble with a number of Christians for acknowledging that he was right. The New Testament itself doesn’t address people who don’t believe in Jesus in order to prove from the Prophets that he is the Messiah. It does use the Prophets to help people understand aspects of their confession that Jesus is the Messiah. The passage about a virgin conceiving and having a son who would be called Immanuel, which Matthew takes up, is a notable example…

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