Monday, July 8, 2013

Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus II

In a previous post we discussed the resource Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus by Michael L. Brown. He is a reasonable and respected Jewish-Messianic apologist and scholar. This four-volume set is also available for Logos users. In this post we will continue reviewing his work. Specifically, highlighting the aims and objectives of each volume.

Volume One: General and Historical Objections.

This volume gives an answer to general objections like "Doesn't belief in Jesus mean you're no longer Jewish?" and "If Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, why don't more Jews believe in him?". It also answers historical objections such as "If Jesus is really the Messiah, why isn't there peace on earth?", "Christians have always hated and persecuted the Jewish people.", "Just look at the church! Who's right?" and many others. This volume covers well over 30 questions or objections to Jesus.

Volume Two: Theological Objections.

This volume covers over 25 well selected theological objections to Jesus. These objections include "If you claim Jesus is God then you are guilty of making God into a man.", "God doesn't have a son.", "We are righteous by what we do, not by what we believe.", "Jews don't believe in a divine Messiah.", "Jews don't believe in a suffering Messiah.", "Jews don't believe the Messiah will come twice." and many others.

Volume Three: Messianic Prophecy Objections.

This volume covers objections to Jesus as the prophesied Messiah of the Old Testament. They include such objection as "Isaiah 7:14 does not prophesy a virgin birth!", "Isaiah 9:6 does not speak of a divine king.", "Daniel 9:24-27 has nothing to do with the Messiah." and many others. This volume covers almost 40 objections to Jesus. Over 12 of them concern the 53 chapter of Isaiah alone.

Volume Four: New Testament Objections.

This volume covers over 33 objections to Jesus based upon the New Testament. This volume covers objections such as "The New Testament misquotes and misinterprets the Old Testament.", "The New Testament is full of historical inaccuracies.", "None of the important historical writers of the period--Roman or Jewish--make mention of Jesus.", "The genealogies of Jesus given by Matthew and Luke are hopelessly contradictory." and many others.

Michael Brown does not just provide quips or short replies to the objections either. In volume three, one of the Jewish objections is "Isaiah 9:6 does not speak of a divine king." Brown firstly notes that the oldest Jewish translation of this passage, found in the Septuagint, understands all the names as referring to the king. One person bears the throne room names, not two different persons. The child born and the son given is the Eternal Father and the Mighty God. He notes that the Targums also identify Isaiah 9:6 as a Messianic prophecy. Overall, Brown does an excellent job of understanding and then properly interacting with the objections.

If you're like me you want this resource now. If you are a Logos user you can purchase and download it here. If you are not a Logos user and want to know more about this excellent Bible software click here.

Resource Review: Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus

Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus

Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus by Michael L. Brown is an excellent resource for any apologist, minister or layperson. After some nudging from his close friends, particularly Sid Roth, around 1996, Michael Brown began putting this work together. Brown is a specialist in Jewish debate and dialog. He also has a live radio show and international apologetic ministry with special emphasis on reaching the Jewish community.

The Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus series currently consists of the following four volumes:

  1. General and Historical Objections
  2. Theological Objections
  3. Messianic Prophecy Objections
  4. New Testament Objections

Christianity historically arose out of Judaism and consequently the arsenal of objections by the Jewish community to Jesus have not been in short-supply. In fact, in Matthew 28:13-15 the Jews blamed the empty of Jesus on the disciples themselves.

As usual with Logos resources, each Scripture citation within the body of the text is linked to my favorite translation (ESV) as well as citations of other resources also in my library. This enables you to hover your mouse or arrow over the verse or resource to see the verse or other information while you read. Each volume in this resource set follows a similar format. Brown writes,

"I begin with a concise statement of the objection, followed by a concise answer to the objection, which is then followed by an in-depth answer, including citations of important sources as needed, also considering possible objections to our answers. For those interested in more detailed discussion, substantial endnotes have been provided, although in this volume, because of the breadth of the material cited—which required well over five hundred endnotes..."

Brown has taken his research and experience and has distilled it for our consumption in what is currently a four-volume set. In the preface to volume four Brown writes, "However, when I completed the writing of volume 4, the manuscript came to more than 650 pages, and because such a lengthy volume would have been unwieldy, it was agreed that there would have to be a fifth volume, devoted exclusively to traditional Jewish objections." Brown estimates that the entire work will eventually total more than 1,500 pages. This reader and many others look forward to volume-five.

Craig Keener, Professor of New Testament Studies, at Palmer Theological Seminary writes, "Brown’s answers to objections are carefully thought out, honest, and well researched. His work provides a useful model on how to do apologetics for all who are interested in articulating and defending the Christian faith."

One of the advantages of having Logos is that it brings all of your resources together in one search engine. Preparation for a sermon or lesson that would have taken hours of study can quickly be whittled down with search capabilities and exegetical and Bible passage guides. If you do not have Logos click here to learn more. Click the link below to add this resource to your Logos library.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Foundations of Pentecostal Theology

Foundations of Pentecostal Theology is an excellent resource for ministers or theologians of either Trinitarian or Oneness Pentecostal traditions. It is one of the newer additions to my Libronix system. If you do not have Libronix click here to learn more. In the introduction Jack W. Hayford comments that "It is a practical book, featuring systematic theology in a form which is readily adaptable to nourishing the flock of God."(FPT) The authors, Guy Duffield and Nathaniel Van Cleave have "equally distinguished themselves as pastors, preachers, college professors, lecturers and writers."(FPT) describes this resource, "The one-volume reference is the culmination of Dr. Guy P. Duffield and Dr. N. M. Van Cleave’s life studies of the Pentecostal movement."(FPT) Hayford also notes that this resource is Pentecostal "because all truth must be made alive by the Holy Spirit in order to be reproductive, and refreshing...the quality inherent in this volume is that same trait which enabled Peter to rise with a text from Joel in hand, and to infuse it with contemporary relevance. The Holy Spirit wants to speak to today, and the vitality of the Spirit manifest herein makes ancient verities throb with life."(FPT)

This resource includes ten chapters: The Doctrine of the Scriptures, The Doctrine of God, The Doctrine of Man, The Doctrine of Sin, The Doctrine of Salvation, The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, The Doctrine of Divine Healing, The Doctrine of the Church, The Doctrine of Angels, and The Doctrine of Last Things.

This work is unique in systematic theology resources. For example, in the chapter on divine healing it is clear to these authors that the days are miracles are not past. Duffield and Van Cleave conclude that "One of the strongest arguments in favor of the continuance of miracles is that they did in fact continue, according to some of the most revered saints and writers of Church history."(FPT)

The theological tendencies of this resource are conservative. For example, in the preface the authors suggest, "The Pentecostal movement is not just based on an inspirational experience. It is grounded upon the entire Bible as the Word of God."(FPT) In  chapter one--The Doctrine of the Scriptures--the authors affirm Inspiration and Inerrancy of Scripture.

Chapter ten is The Doctrine of Last Things. In this chapter the authors discuss Death, The Intermediate State, The Second Coming of Christ, and The Tribulation. The authors also take a futurist eschatological view, a view most commonly held in Pentecostal traditions. The section on the Second Coming of Christ begins with a quote from the Foursquare "Declaration of Faith" by A.S. McPherson. The authors emphasize the importance of His coming. They suggest that Christ's Coming is "mentioned more than 300 times" in the New Testament or "once in every twenty five verses."

As usual with Libronix resources, each Scripture reference or other references cited by the authors in Foundations of Pentecostal Theology are also linked and highlighted. This allows you to open those resources or view the Scriptures or citations. The organization and arrangement of the resource is also very helpful in navigating through this resource. Any Pentecostal student of the Scriptures will want to obtain this resource.

Click the link below to add this resource to your library.


FPT: Guy P. Duffield and Nathaniel M. Van Cleave, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology (Los Angeles, CA: L.I.F.E. Bible College, 1983).