Jewish marzipan: Jesus said there is no mediator between God and man

Avi Silverman’s view, at Messianic Marzipan, of Jesus is typically Jewish, but also, I suggest messianic meshugas (madness): “As a Jew, he says, I don’t need to get the Ruach Ha Kodesh / Holy Sprit through a third party, even Yeshua/Jesus told the woman at the well, ‘We Jews Know to whom we pray to.’ That tells me, continues you go direct to the father not through anybody else.

If that is what Avi says Jesus is telling him then I infer that Avi believes that that is what Jesus is telling the Samaritan woman as well, namely, that there is no mediator between God and man. Avi’s statement “Yeshua/Jesus told the woman at the well, ‘We Jews Know to whom we pray to’ “seems to be a commentary on what Jesus says to the Samaritan woman in John 4:22 “You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews”. The Jewish reasoning is that if salvation is from the Jews AND Jews say they don’t need a mediator, then salvation does not require a mediator. So, Avi would say no one comes to the father but by himself or herself. But it all depends on what Jesus means by “salvation is from the Jews.” What it means – we gather this from many other sayings of Jesus – is that Salvation comes through the Jews. Some examples:

Earlier in the same John 4, we read:

7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

It is Jesus, a Jew, Daniel’s Son of man, and also the Son of God, who gives this living water, not the father who gives it. Jesus is not merely representing the father, but doing the giving himself.

The “Jesus is mediator” verse par excellence in John’s Gospel is in Chapter 14:

4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Jesus the Way to the Father

5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?

So, no one comes to the father by themselves but through a mediator, “the one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

Salvation is from the Jews because salvation is through the Jew, Jesus (Yeshua, meaning “God saves”).

Acts 4
5 The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”

8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is

“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

This is not to say that our salvation is the business of Christ alone. It is the business of the whole Godhead, who, says Hugh Binning (1627 – 1653) “is interested in it deeply, so deeply that you cannot say who loves it most, or who likes it most. The Father is the very fountain of it, his love is the spring of all.”

If one is going to try and prove from Jesus’ mouth that he is not the Mediator between God and man, forego it. Rather do a Bart Ehrman by saying that no one knows anything about what Jesus said, or anything about anyone else has said before photocopy machines were invented – and be done with it. Or read the Bible properly. Hard for Jews, if, like Nicodemus, they believe that to do so they have to enter their mother’s womb again.

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8 thoughts on “Jewish marzipan: Jesus said there is no mediator between God and man

  1. “We know to whom we pray to” is a fairly Hebraic sounding expression. I’m thinking he translated that literally from a modern Hebrew translation of John back into English. I am in agreement that Jesus said there is no mediator between God and man, but I would never dare use the semi-Gnostic gospel of John to prove it. I would use the pater noster (or “Lord’s Prayer”). The disciples ask him to teach them to pray. He teaches them a prayer that begins “Our Father who is in heaven” (abiynu sh’ba’shamayim in Hebrew) and and ends with a simple “Amen.” It doesn’t end “in Jesus’ name, Amen.” Nor does it end “in Christ’s name, Amen.” Nor in anyone else’s name amen. It doesn’t end “in Metatron’s name, Amen.” It doesn’t end “in Paul’s name, Amen” or “in Calvin’s name, Amen” or even in “Rabbit Akiva’s name, Amen.” It just ends in “Amen.” Jesus teaches them to pray directly to God “Our Father in heaven,” and to end with a simply “Amen.” That’s a plain teaching that there is no mediator between God and between man. It would be impossible to get any plainer than that unless he were to have lived AFTER Paul and known the kind of nonsense Paul would teach in his name.

    By the way, the phrase abiynu sh’ba’shamayim is used on page 165 of Ben Zion Bokser’s Siddur, in “A Prayer for world peace” and in the subsequent pages for a prayer for the U.S. and another prayer for Israel; I remembered it because it really stuck out to me that they only translated it “Our Heavenly Father” on the English side when clearly it has the sh’ in front of ba’shamayim which is a contracition of asher, “who”: hence, “Our Father who is in heaven.”

      • If you’ve read much about Gnosticism you just see it. For example, the Gnostics believed that Jesus was not born. Its not true that they held he had no body. Most of them believed he had a body, just one he brought with him down from heaven on his way down, not one derived from a human womb. So, for example, the theory of Marcion’s successor, Apelles, was that Jesus created himself a body made of stardust while traveling down to earth. Were I to seek to give this theory expression in poetic terms, I could do no better than what is written in John 6 “I am the bread that came down from heaven…and the bread is my body.” Ergo, I brought my body with me from heaven. Then we have a “mother” figure who appears only to be disowned, twice, “Woman what have I to do with you,” and to a disciple “behold THY mother” not my mother.

        The Gnostics also say the God of the Jews as a sort of devil figure, using a slurred pronunciation of Yahweh Tzabaoth (Lord of Hosts) as the name for their devil figure, Yaltabaoth. The conversation in John with “the Jews” where they assert “We have one Father, even God” and Jesus tells them “Ye are of your father the devil” is perfectly in line with this Gnostic usage. I am aware of course of what I consider to be an interpolation by an orthodoxizing hand which has added into that context the assertion “Moses spoke of me” to hide the original Gnostic character of the book. But for me, it doesn’t conceal it well enough.

        3rd, the statements to the effect “You cannot hear my voice because you are not my sheep.” Predestination is the backbone of Gnosticism. We don’t find it in the Synoptics. In Matthew, for instance, “Many are called but few are chosen” yet the choosing clealry happens AFTER the call, as this is told in Matthew as part of the parable of the wedding feast where everyone in the highways and byways is called in, then having come in already a certain man without a wedding garment is cast out, the lesson being “many are called but few are chosen,” the calling comes first and the choice last — the exact opposite order from predestination. Yet John is teaching predestination, you must be my sheep first or you cannot hear my call. Hence, it is clearly semi-Gnostic, as is Paul, for many of the same reasons.

        • You (James Jordan) fail to to make proper distinctions in labeling John or Paul as Gnostic or semi-gnostic. You are simply anti-Christian by your pronouncements.

          Rudolf Bultman had the same ideas as yours when he depicted John’s Gospel as Gnostic. W. A. Meeks has refuted Bultman’s idea of Mandaean sources for a Gnostic background of John’s Gospel.

          H. Conzelmann and E. Käsemann along with W. Schmithals all former students of Bultman have repudiated their teacher’s ideas of a Gnostic influence in John.

          The Gospel of John is actually an anti-Gnostic document as are Revelation (2.24), and 2John 1.7: “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, people who do not confess Jesus as Christ coming in the flesh. This person is the deceiver and the antichrist!”

          The thing is that there are many antichrists whether they are Gnostic or anti-Gnostic.

          • What you fail to recognize due to your oversimplification of the term Gnostic because you’ve never read any firsthand material but only dumbed down summaries by ‘scholars’ (who in fact were nothing but hired guns for debunking the truth in favor of evangelical nonsense) is that one type of Gnostic that accepts that Jesus had flesh (howbeit, flesh brought down from heaven rather than derived from a womb) could very well polemicize against another type of Gnostic that denied he had any flesh and say “anyone who denies Jesus came in the flesh is antichrist.”

            • Yes, you are right that I do not read primary source documents of Gnosticism. I have read Irenaeus against this Christian heresy though it was many years ago. I accept, along with the early church, that Gnosticism is heretical.

              I also hold 1John as canonical and authoritative when it states: “anyone who denies Jesus came in the flesh is antichrist.”

              James, by your previous posts, you mishandle N.T. texts to make them appear to say what no other Christian scholar contends they state. You say that John and Paul were Gnostics, which is rather outlandish.

              I am afraid no common ground exists to have a meaningful discussion between us on these matters.

              • If you really think that no NT scholars assert that Paul and John were semi-Gnostic then you obviously haven’t read much NT scholarship if any. Its common for pastors to make up claims “all scholars agree…” and such like, and I think you’ve been hoodwinked by that kind of thing. Of course many NT scholars see the Gnosticism in Paul and John. How could they not? Its not hidden very well.

                • Yes, James, I admit to a poor choice of words when I said “no other”. Let me correct that here and now. Of course there is a great plurality of ‘so-called Christian’ thought today as similar to the time during the start of the Church, I did not mean to imply otherwise. I hope this clarifies my position to you.

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