Here is the most common Jewish objection to Christianity. I see it often and I also get it in the neck; for example, here is a comment from a frequent anonymous visitor to my blog, whom I have come to know more (and like more) than many of my Jewish relatives:
“Christianity, says Anonymous, is a religion built upon facts. Let us never stop telling ourselves that.” (He is cocking a snook at on one of my quotations from J.C. Ryle).
“Actually, continues Anonymous, it’s Judaism that is a religion built upon facts. Fact #1 from the Jewish religion: “G-d is not a man” (Num. 23:19). Alternative “fact” that Christianity is built on: G-d is a man, a guy named Jesus.”
From “God is not a man,” or/and “God is not a son of man,” Jewish critics derive the following conclusion:
Major premise: God is not a man.
Minor premise: Jesus is a man/a son of man
Conclusion: Therefore Jesus is not God.
Logic has to do with how we think (reasoning), not with what we think (about truth/reality). The conclusion to the above syllogism, therefore, is valid because if the major premise were true (we know that the minor premise is true, namely that Jesus was a man), then it logically follows that the conclusion must be valid, namely that Jesus is not God.
The second objection is that God does not lie. The Jew accuses the Christian of saying God lied to Jews when He said that His commandments to them were eternally binding (ex.: Ex. 31:17, Lev. 10:9, Deut. 5:29). The Jew argues that if Jesus “fulfilled” or “completed” the Law, God would had to have been lying “through His teeth (as another biting Jew – Frank – put it) when He wrote the Jewish Bible.”
“God is not man” and “God does not lie” are, of course, two snippets from Numbers 23:19. Here is the unmutilated verse:
God is not a man, that he should lie,
or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
On several occasions, I’ve responded to my Jewish kith that the conjunction that connects 1. “God is not man,” to 2. “he should lie” in such away that all God is saying is that whereas man is (by nature) a liar, God is not. Numbers 23;19 has nothing to do with the nature of God’s being, namely, whether he has a divine or a human nature, or both. (Later, of course, the New Testament does describe Jesus as fully God and fully man). Therefore, it’s illegitimate to chop the verse into two chunks and present them as two separate arguments. It’s a bit like slicing up Raphael the Ninja Turtle and ending up with Picasso.
Mankind needs a Saviour, a Saviour to become flesh to save. First to the Jew, and then to rest of humankind. And that is what the New Testament is all about – God took on a body to save bodies and souls from the eternal fire.