I heard a Jewish anti-missionary say that Isaiah 7:14 has been purposefully mistranslated with “virgin” in Christian Bibles, to fit a pagan concept of a virgin giving birth, specifically to Jesus.
“When men began to increase on earth and daughters were born to them, the divine beings saw how beautiful the daughters of men were and took wives from among those that pleased them. – The LORD said, ‘My breath shall not abide in man forever, since he too is flesh; let the days allowed him be one hundred and twenty years.’ – It was then, and later too, that the Nephilim appeared on earth – when the divine beings cohabited with the daughters of men, who bore them offspring. They were the heroes of old, the men of renown” (NJPS).
“When Enoch had lived 65 years, he begot Methuselah. After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years; and he begot sons and daughters. All the days of Enoch came to 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, for God took him. When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he begot Lamech. After the birth of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and begot sons and daughters. All the days of Methuselah came to 969 years; then he died. When Lamech had lived 182 years, he begot a son. And he named him Noah, saying, ‘This one will provide us relief from our work and from the toil of our hands, out of the very soil which the LORD placed under a curse’” (NJPS).
“And the LORD God said, ‘Now that the man has become like one of us, knowing good and bad, what if he should stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever!’ So the LORD God banished him from the garden of Eden, to till the soil from which he was taken. He drove the man out, and stationed east of the garden of Eden the cherubim and the fiery ever-turning sword, to guard the way to the tree of life” (NJPS).
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; they shall strike at your head, and you shall strike at their heel” (NJPS).
“When God began to create heaven and earth…And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. They shall rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the cattle, the whole earth, and all the creeping things that creep on earth.’ And God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (NJPS).
The Messianic community of faith presently finds itself at a very serious crossroads, not just a crossroads in determining its long term purpose and where it is going to be in the next few decades, but most seriously in its theology and how we are to approach the Bible. The enemy desperately wants us to get off course and away from the mission of seeing the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel accomplished (Acts 1:6). He wants us to not be a movement of positive change and transformation, where people are empowered by the Lord to accomplish His tasks in the world—but rather be one of mischief, confusion, and apostasy. The enemy wants us to seriously “mess up” and gain a bad reputation so that people will (rightly) stay away.
One of the most significant ways that this has happened over the past several years has been seen when various Messianic individuals deny the Divinity of Yeshua the Messiah. There have been both Messianic teachers and laypersons who have decided that Yeshua the Messiah was nothing more than a human being empowered by God, but certainly not God in the flesh. They have stripped away the reality of His Incarnation, and made Him little more than a mortal like one of “us.”
It is not all that surprising, but among a significant number of those who deny Yeshua’s Divinity are those who later deny His Messiahship. Not content with their entirely human Yeshua, these people then question whether or not Yeshua is even the Messiah and whether they truly need Him. Outsiders to the Messianic community who witness this trend, often believe that the Messianic movement is not something that God has raised up to restore the lost Hebraic and Jewish Roots of the faith, or even just see a generation of Jewish people brought to Yeshua—but rather is a move of the Adversary to lead people away from the salvation available in Yeshua and the truth of the gospel. Is this truly the case? Are we nothing more than a revolving door, leading people into our midst for a short season, and then into the open arms of a Messiah-less Synagogue?
There are many claims made against the Messiahship of Yeshua by Jewish anti-missionaries. Many of these are based in post-Second Temple deliberations over the claims of Yeshua of Nazareth. But based on theological and philosophical views present within the Second Temple period, was it at all possible for Second Temple Jews to anticipate a figure like Yeshua arriving on the scene?