In this short post I will share three cases where Muhammad took and twisted the words of the Lord Jesus to make it fit with his theology.


“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Matthew 6:9-13 New King James Version (NKJV)

“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ So He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.’” Luke 11:1-4 NKJV


5 Funerals

(1b) Chapter: Visiting the Sick, and the Reward for Sickness – Section 2

Abud Darda’ said he heard God’s messenger say, “If one of you has any complaint, or if a brother of his complains of it, he should say, ‘Our Lord God who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy command is in the heaven and the earth. As Thy mercy is in the heaven so place Thy mercy in the earth. Forgive us our faults and sins. Thou art the Lord of the good ones. Send down some of Thy mercy and some of Thy healing on this pain’ and it will be cured.”

Abu Dawud transmitted it.

Reference: Mishkat al-Masabih 1555

In-book reference: Book 5, Hadith 33 (

29 Medicine (Kitab Al-Tibb)

(19) Chapter: How Ruqyah is to be used

Narrated AbudDarda’:

I heard the Messenger of Allah say: If any of you is suffering from anything or his brother is suffering, he should say: Our Lord is Allah Who is in the heaven, holy is Thy name, Thy command reigns supreme in the heaven and the earth, as Thy mercy in the heaven, make Thy mercy in the earth; forgive us our sins, and our errors; Thou art the Lord of good men; send down mercy from Thy mercy, and remedy, and remedy from Thy remedy on this pain so that it is healed up

Grade: Da’if (Al-Albani)

Reference: Sunan Abi Dawud 3892

In-book reference: Book 29, Hadith 38

English translation: Book 28, Hadith 3883 (


“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’ So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.” Matthew 20:1-16 NKJV


37 Hiring

(8) Chapter: Employment up to midday

Narrated Ibn `Umar:

The Prophet said, “Your example and the example of the people of the two Scriptures (i.e. Jews and Christians) is like the example of a man who employed some laborers and asked them, ‘Who will work for me from morning till midday for one Qirat?’ The Jews accepted and carried out the work. He then asked, Who will work for me from midday up to the `Asr prayer for one Qirat?’ The Christians accepted and fulfilled the work. He then said, ‘Who will work for me from the `Asr till sunset for two Qirats?’ You, Muslims have accepted the offer. The Jews and the Christians got angry and said, ‘Why should we work more and get lesser wages?’ (Allah) said, ‘Have I withheld part of your right?’ They replied in the negative. He said, ‘It is My Blessing, I bestow upon whomever I wish.’

Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari 2268

In-book reference: Book 37, Hadith 8

USC-MSA web (English) reference: Vol. 3, Book 36, Hadith 468 (deprecated numbering scheme) (


“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:31-46 NKJV


On the authority of Abu Hurayrah, who said that the Messenger of Allah said:

Allah (mighty and sublime be He) will say on the Day of Resurrection: O son of Adam, I fell ill and you visited Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so had fallen ill and you visited him not? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him? O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you fed Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so asked you for food and you fed him not? Did you not know that had you fed him you would surely have found that (the reward for doing so) with Me? O son of Adam, I asked you to give Me to drink and you gave Me not to drink. He will say: O Lord, how should I give You to drink when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: My servant So-and-so asked you to give him to drink and you gave him not to drink. Had you given him to drink you would have surely found that with Me.

It was related by Muslim.

Reference: Hadith 18 (40 Hadith Qudsi


There are two passages in the Hebrew Bible which speak of God doing something amazingly miraculous during the second Temple.

The first comes from the book of Haggai:

“In the seventh [month], on the twenty-first of the month, the word of the Lord came through Haggai the prophet, saying: Say now to Zerubbabel the son of Shaltiel, the governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak the High Priest, and to the remnant of the people, saying: Who among you is left, who saw this house in its former glory? And as you see it now, is it not as nothing in your eyes? And now, be strong, Zerubbabel, says the Lord; and be strong, Joshua the son of Jehozadak the High Priest; and be strong, all the people of the land, says the Lord. And (for I am with you, says the Lord of Hosts) do the thing that I set up with you when you left Egypt. And My spirit stands in your midst; fear not. For so said the Lord of Hosts: [There will rise] another one, and I will shake up the heaven and the earth and the sea and the dry land [for] a little while. And I will shake up all the nations, and they shall come [with] the precious things of all the nations. And I will fill this House with glory, said the Lord of Hosts. The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine, says the Lord of Hosts. The glory of this last House shall be greater than the first one, said the Lord of Hosts. And in this place I will grant peace, says the Lord of Hosts.” Haggai 2:1-9 (The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary

God announces through the prophet that the second Temple would be more glorious that the first, which had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C., and that he would grant peace within it. The Lord further speaks of the nations bringing their precious things into the Temple, in obvious recognition and honor of the God whose presence dwells therein.   

However, the Hebrew word for precious things may not be a reference to what the nations bring, but rather to the One who brings peace to mankind. Note how the following version renders the underlying Hebrew phrasing:

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired (chemdat) by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty. ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.” Haggai 2:6-9 NIV

The word chemdat (from the noun chemdah) is used elsewhere in relation to Saul whom God appointed ruler over Israel:

“‘As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire (chemdat) of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line?’ Saul answered, ‘But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?’” 1 Samuel 9:20-21 NIV

The plural is also used to describe the prophet Daniel’s status before God:

“And he enabled me to understand, and he spoke with me, and he said, ‘Daniel, now I have come forth to make you skillful in understanding. In the beginning of your supplications, a word came forth, and I have come to tell it, for you have desirable qualities (chamudot); now contemplate the word and understand the vision.’” Daniel 9:22-23 (The Complete Jewish Bible

“And he said to me, ‘Daniel, man of desirable qualities (chamudot), contemplate the words I speak to you and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he spoke to me this word, I stood quaking… And he said, ‘Fear not, man of desirable qualities (chamudot); peace be to you, be strong and be strong,” and when he spoke to me, I gained strength, and I said, ‘Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.’” Daniel 10:11, 13 (The Complete Jewish Bible

As such, the desire of the nations may not be speaking of items, but of a Person who was to come to dwell in Jerusalem’s holy sanctuary.

One must keep in mind that both the tabernacle and the first Temple were visited by God when he descended in a visible pillar of a cloud to fill his holy sanctuaries with his glory:

And the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the Mishkan. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud rested upon it and the glory of the Lord filled the Mishkan. When the cloud rose up from over the Mishkan, the children of Israel set out in all their journeys. But if the cloud did not rise up, they did not set out until the day that it rose. For the cloud of the Lord was upon the Mishkan by day, and there was fire within it at night, before the eyes of the entire house of Israel in all their journeys.” Exodus 40:34-38 (The Complete Jewish Bible

“And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy (place), and the cloud filled the house of the Lord. And the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. Then Solomon said, ‘The Lord said that He would dwell in the thick darkness. I have surely built You a house to dwell in; a settled place for You to dwell in forever.’” 1 Kings 8:10-12 (The Complete Jewish Bible

“And when Solomon finished praying, and the fire descended from heaven and consumed the burnt offerings and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the House. And the priests could not enter the House of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the House of the Lord. And all the Children of Israel saw the descent of the fire, and the glory of the Lord on the House, and they kneeled on their faces to the ground on the floor, and they prostrated themselves and [said]: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His loving-kindness is eternal.’” 2 Chronicles 7:1-3 (The Complete Jewish Bible

Moreover, both sanctuaries contained the stone tablets of the Law written by the finger of God (Cf. Exodus 31:18; Deuteronomy 9:10), the golden jar of manna, Aaron’s rod which had miraculously budded, and the ark of the covenant/mercy seat:

“Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now. When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning.” Hebrews 9:1-8 NIV

The second Temple contained none of these items, nor did it have God filling it visibly with his glory by descended upon it in a cloud. Therefore, what could possibly make the glory of the second Temple greater than the former?

Another inspired emissary provides the answer:

“Behold I send My angel, and he will clear a way before Me. And suddenly, the Lord (ha Adon) Whom you seek will come to His Temple. And behold! The angel of the covenant, whom you desire, is coming, says the Lord of Hosts. Now who can abide the day of his coming, and who will stand when he appears, for it is like fire that refines and like fullers’ soap. And he shall sit refining and purifying silver, and he shall purify the children of Levi. And he shall purge them as gold and as silver, and they shall be offering up an offering to the Lord with righteousness. And then the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem shall be pleasant to the Lord, as in the days of old and former years. And I will approach you for judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely; and also against those who withhold the wages of the day laborers, of the widow and fatherless, and those who pervert [the rights of] the stranger, [and those who] fear Me not, says the Lord of Hosts.” Malachi 3:1-5 (The Complete Jewish Bible

We know that the Temple mentioned here can only be the second one, since the prophet wrote during the 5th century B.C. period:

But first, we must put the passage in context. After defeating Babylon, the Persians had allowed the exiled Jewish people to return to Judah. But the population was under the control of a Persian governor (Mal 1:8). The temple had been rebuilt (515 BC) and worship established (Mal 1:6-11; 2:1-3; 3:1, 10), but the initial excitement and enthusiasm of the returnees had waned. The social and religious problems Malachi addressed reflect the situation portrayed in Ezr 9 and 10 and Neh 5 and 13, suggesting dates not long before Ezra’s return (c. 460 BC) or Nehemiah’s second term as governor (Neh 13:6-7; c. 435 BC). Linguistic data favors the earlier date.3 (E. Ray Clendenen, “Malachi 3:1; 4:1-5: The Messiah as Messenger of the Lord,” in The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecies: Studies and Expositions of the Messiah in the Old Testament, eds. Michael Rydelnik & Edwin Blum [Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 2019], p. 1328; bold emphasis mine)

As such, Malachi is plainly stating that God will send a herald to prepare for the coming of the Lord to his very own Temple in Jerusalem. This Lord happens to be the divine Angel of the covenant himself that appears all throughout the Hebrew Bible (Cf. Genesis 16:7-14; 31:10-13; 48:15-16; Exodus 3:1-5; 14:19-20; 23:20-23; 33:1-3; Numbers 20:14-16; 22:22-23, 32-33; Judges 2:1-5; 6:11-24; 13:3-24; Zechariah 1:7-14; 3:1-7; 12:8).

The phrase “the Lord” (ha Adon) is used elsewhere only in relation to Yahweh:

“‘Therefore,’ says the Master (ha Adon), the Lord of Hosts, the Mighty One of Israel, ‘Oh, I will console Myself from My adversaries, and I will avenge Myself of My foes.’” Isaiah 1:24 (The Complete Jewish Bible

“For, behold, the Master (ha Adon), the Lord of Hosts removes from Jerusalem and from Judah a support and a stay, every support of bread and every support of water;” Isaiah 3:1 (The Complete Jewish Bible Cf. 10:16, 33; 19:4; Exod. 23:17; 34:23; Deut. 10:17

And the Hebrew Bible is quite emphatic; the Temple is built for God to dwell in, not for man:

“Then King David said to the entire assembly, ‘My son Solomon, whom God alone has chosen, is young and tender, and the work is great, for the palace is not for man, but for the Lord God.’” 1 Chronicles 29:1 (The Complete Jewish Bible

Hence, the prophecy is clearly announcing that God himself (and not a created agent) would soon make an appearance at the second Temple to judge his people, specifically his priests, in order to refine and purge them for/from their transgressions.

In other words, the desire of the nations whom Israel longed for is none other than Yahweh God Almighty!

We can now appreciate the sense in which the glory of the second Temple would surpass that of the former house. After all, what could be greater than God appearing in Jerusalem to physically dwell among his people for a season?

This coming would be different from the way God appeared temporarily in a cloud to fill his house. Instead, the prophecy assumes that God would visibly come to the earth to live in the midst of his people, much like the herald that God sends to prepare his way would visibly, physically be dwelling among the people.

Noted Jewish Christian apologist Dr. Michael L. Brown helps put these prophecies in perspective:

In addition to this, the Lord declared in Haggai 2:9 that in the Second Temple he would grant peace. However, while there were several peaceful eras during the days of that Temple, its overall history was marked by war and turmoil, much more so than the First Temple.13 How then was this Temple to be specially marked by “peace,” and, more important, how was its glory to surpass the glory of the First Temple? To answer these questions, we turn to the next piece of prophetic evidence, coming from the Book of Malachi, written somewhere around 400 B.C.E. (i.e., less than 150 years after the rebuilding of the Second Temple). Here we have a more explicit statement: There was to be a divine visitation at the Second Temple—and for many of our people it would be bad news, not good news, a time of judgment rather than joy.

We see from this passage that the Lord (in Hebrew, haʾadon, always used with reference to God in the Hebrew Bible when it has the definite article),14 preceded by his messenger, would visit the Second Temple, purifying some of his people and bringing judgment on others. That is to say, there would be a divine visitation of great import that would occur in the days of the Second Temple. How are these verses to be understood?

According to the famous medieval Jewish commentaries of Radak (David Kimchi) and Metsudat David, “the Lord” refers to none other than “King Messiah.” However, neither of these commentators took sufficient note of the fact that the Messiah was to come to the Temple that stood in Malachi’s day (and note also that it is called “his Temple”—pointing clearly to the divine nature of the “Lord” spoken of here). I ask you, did this happen? If it did, then the Messiah must have come before the Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E.; if not, God’s Word has failed.15

After reviewing the prophecy we just read from Haggai 2, we can now put two big pieces of the puzzle together: The glory of the Second Temple would be greater than the glory of the First Temple because the Lord himself—in the person of the Messiah16—would visit the Second Temple! And in this place he would grant peace because the Messiah, called “the Prince of Peace,” would come there in person and open the way for peace and reconciliation between God and man.17

14 Outside of Malachi 3:1, the phrase is always hâʾadon yhwh; see Exod. 23:17; 34:23; Deut. 10:17; Isa. 1:24; 3:1; 10:16, 33; 19:4. For the usage in Malachi 3:1, cf. Andrew E. Hill, Malachi (New York: Doubleday, 1998), 268.

15 It is ludicrous to argue that the coming of the Lord to his Temple did not refer to the Second Temple but rather to a Temple that is yet to be built, now twenty-four hundred years after Malachi’s words. There was, quite obviously, no way that the prophet himself would have conceived of such a thought, and the entire context of the Book of Malachi makes it clear that there was to be a time of divine judgment and visitation for the people who worshiped and served at the Second Temple. In fact, it is surprising that it even took four hundred years for this word to be fulfilled, since the coming of the messenger of the covenant was said to be imminent (cf. the NJPSV’s “he is already coming”). It is also worth pointing out that Radak believed that this messenger who prepares the way of the Lord was either the Messiah or Elijah (in the former case, meaning that both figures are one and the same), whereas Metsudat David states only that it is Elijah (but in v. 1, Radak felt that it was a heavenly messenger, as in Exod. 23:25). According to Ibn Ezra, the messenger of v. 1a might refer to Messiah Ben Joseph, but the ʾadon in v. 1b did not refer to Yahweh but to the aforementioned messenger of the covenant. For the New Testament application of these verses and concepts, cf. especially Mat. 11:10; Mark 1:2–3; and cf. Mat. 3:10–12 with Mal. 3:1–4. According to Moses Maimonides, the words “he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver” describe the work of the Messiah; see his Mishneh Torah, Hilkhot Melakhim 12:3.

16 For those who find references to the divine nature of the Messiah to be crass or “un-Jewish,” I would point out that either the Messiah was a divine man who brought the presence of God to earth two thousand years ago and who will return with divine glory in the near future, or else Yahweh himself had to literally visit the Second Temple (according to Malachi 3) and will have to literally return and stand on the Mount of Olives in the future (according to Zechariah 14). In light of our forthcoming discussion (see vol. 2, 3.1–3.4, 3.22), only the former option (viz., the divine nature of the Messiah) is possible. See also John J. Collins, “Jewish Monotheism and Christian Theology,” in Aspects of Monotheism: How God Is One, ed. Hershel Shanks and Jack Meinhart (Washington, D.C.: Biblical Archaeological Society, 1997), 81–105. (Brown, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus [Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI 2000], Volume 1. General and Historical Objections, Historical Objections, 2.1. If Jesus is really the Messiah, why isn’t there peace on earth?; bold emphasis mine)


According to the inspired Christian Scriptures, John the Baptist was the messenger of Malachi 3:1 whom God sent to prepare for the coming of the Lord Jesus:

“The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way’— ‘a voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.”’ And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Mark 1:1-4 NIV

“Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: “‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’” Matthew 11:9-10 NIV

This means that Jesus is the very Lord who was supposed to appear in his own Temple!

Christ is also said to be the eternal Word of God, being truly God in essence, the One whom God appointed to create and give life to all creation. This Word then took on a flesh body, which has now become the physical Temple that he resides in forever, through which he manifested his glory:

“In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were made through Him, and apart from Him nothing was made that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men…  The true light, coming into the world, gives light to every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him; but the world did not know Him…  And the Word became flesh and tabernacled (eskenosen) among us. We looked upon His glory, the glory of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-4, 9-10, 14 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

“After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days. When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, ‘Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!’ His disciples remembered that it is written: ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ The Jews then responded to him, ‘What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’ They replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?’ But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.” John 2:12-22 NIV

The verb for tabernacled, eskeonosen, comes from skene which is the word used throughout the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible for the Old Testament tent/tabernacle of meeting.  And similar to what took place at the completion of the tabernacle/Temple, God’s cloud visibly descended upon Christ and three of his disciples on the mount where the Lord was transfigured before his apostles, revealing to them his true inner abiding divine nature which was being veiled by his human flesh:

“And he said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.’ After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: ‘This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!’” Mark 9:1-7 – Cf. Matthew 16:28-17:5; Luke 9:27-35 NIV

“For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.” 2 Peter 1:16-18 NIV

It was during Christ’s tabernacling in the flesh that God granted his everlasting peace to all who would believe in Christ, and deemed all those who refused to trust in his beloved Son as being worthy of condemnation:   

“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.’” Luke 19:41-44 NIV

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:16-18 NIV

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Romans 5:8-11 NIV

“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)—remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Ephesians 2:11-22 NIV

Therefore, what could be greater in glory than God becoming a Man in order to become our Redeemer, and appearing as a physical human being throughout the land of Israel and in his very own Temple for a period of time?  

“who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.” Romans 9:4-5 New King James Version (NKJV)

“Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says, ‘I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.’ And again, ‘I will put my trust in him.’ And again he says, ‘Here am I, and the children God has given me.’ Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:11-18 NIV

In other words, what made the second Temple more glorious than the first is the fact that God appeared there as an actual flesh and blood human being, having taken to himself a physical body which he created from the consecrated womb of the blessed virgin Mary:

“and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah. This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.” Matthew 1:16-25

“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’ Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.’ ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:26-35 NIV

This is the glory which makes everything else pale in comparison!  


In this post I will be quoting the interpretation of Genesis found in the Targum Neofiti, which is a Jewish paraphrase of the Hebrew Bible into Aramaic. This ancient version furnishes evidence that there were specific non-Christian Jews that clearly saw from their reading of Genesis a plurality of divine Persons coexisting together as the one true God of Israel.

Note, for instance, how they interpreted the creation account, specifically the creation of humanity and God’s use of plural pronouns to describe his act of creating mankind:

From the beginning with wisdom the Son (1) of the Lord created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1 (Targum Neofiti, pp. 497; bold emphasis mine)

A non-Christian Jewish source affirms that God has a Son by whom he created the heavens and the earth! To say that this is remarkable would be a wild understatement!

Note what the footnote claims here:

(1) The word Memera, logos, is probably [sic] missing in the text, as a hand has erased the waw of shakel, and therefore one should translate <<From the beginning (the Word) of the Lord with wisdom created and perfected the heavens and the earth>>. In Jewish-Christian dialogue Bereshit was often translated <<in the Son>>; cf. A. Diez Macho in Melanges E. Tisserant, I, Rome, 1964, 1974. (Ibid., p. 497)

The problem with the foregoing assertion is that the Aramaic has the phrase br’ dYYY (bara di’YHWH), which literally reads “the Son of Yahweh.” Therefore, no amount of conjecture can erase this fact.

Besides, the Hebrew Bible plainly testifies that God has a unique, incomprehensible Son who is essentially equal to him:

“I have not learned wisdom, nor the knowledge of the holy ones (qedoshim) do I know. Who has gone up to the heavens and come down, who has scooped up the wind in his palms? Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak, Who has raised up all the ends of the earth? What is his name or the name of his son, That you should know?” Proverbs 30:3-4 (Robert Alter, The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary [W. W. Norton & Company, 2019], Volume 3. The Writings, pp. 445-446; bold emphasis mine)

Here is Alter’s explanation of the use of the plural “holy ones”:

the knowledge of the holy ones. While an exegetical tradition going back to the Middle Ages understand qedoshim as “the Holy One,” the Hebrew noun is plural. It is true that the most common name for God, ‘elohim, is plural in form though singular in meaning, but the evidence that qedoshim works in the same way is not altogether convincing. The most likely reference would be to angelic beings [sic]…

What is his name or the name of his son. This formulation has obviously invited Christological readings that would not have been within the purview of the Hebrew poet, writing several centuries before the emergence of Christian doctrine. In the patrilineal society of ancient Israel, a man’s full name was his given name and the name of his father (for example, Isaiah son of Amoz), as in our society it is the given name and the family name. (Ibid., p. 445; bold emphasis mine)

Although Alter is correct in regards qedoshim being an actual numerical plural, he is mistaken in assuming that this is because it is referring to the angels. Rather, as the context itself attests the plural is in relation to God and his Son.

He is right, however, in that there is a particular Angel that is not a creature, but a divine Messenger whom God dispatches to save his people, who happens to be his Son:

“Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, ‘Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?’ They answered and said to the king, ‘True, O king.’ ‘Look!’ he answered, ‘I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God (la’Bar Elahin).’ Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, ‘Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.’ Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them. Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God!’” Daniel 3:24-28 New King James Version (NKJV)

So, in a sense Alter is right in that the plural qedoshim does refer to an Angel who happens to be God’s incomprehensible Son that is able to do everything that God does, in the same way that God does it (Cf. John 5:15-30).

The Targum has a lot more to say:

And the earth was empty and without form, and desolate without a son of man or beast and void of all cultivation of plants and of trees, and darkness was spread over the face of the abyss, and a spirit of love from before the Lord was blowing over the face of the water. And the Word of the Lord said: Let there be light, and there was light according to the decree of his Word… And the Lord said: Let us create man in our image, similar to ourselves, and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. And the Word of the Lord created the son of man in his (own) image, in a resemblance from before the Lord he created him, male and his partner he created them. And the Glory of the Lord blessed them and the Word of the Lord said to them: Be strong and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fishes of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that creeps upon the earth. And the Glory of the Lord said: Behold I have given you all the herbs that produce seed that are on the face of all the earth and every tree that has fruit on it – the fruit-bearing tree – to you I have given them as food. Genesis 1:2-3, 26-29 (Targum Neofiti, pp. 497, 499; bold emphasis mine)

And THEY completed the creatures of the heavens and the earth and all the hosts of them. And the Word of the Lord completed on the seventh day his work which he had created because there was rest and repose before him on the seventh day from all his work which he had created. And the Glory of the Lord blessed the seventh day and declared it holy because on it there was a great rest and repose before him from all his work which the Glory of the Lord created to do. Genesis 2:1-3 (Ibid., p. 500; bold, capital and italicized emphasis mine)

Notice the use of the plural “THEY” in the foregoing text, clearly affirming that the translator(s) realized that the work of creation was carried out by Yahweh, the Word of the Lord, the Glory of the Lord or God’s loving Spirit! This refutes the nonsense of those who argue that Yahweh was addressing his angelic host in Genesis 1:26.

The Glory spoken of here is elsewhere associated with God’s Shechinah/Shekinah, which signifies God’s presence that is often manifested visibly on earth:  

And he cast forth the man and made the Glory of his Shekinah to dwell from the beginning to the east of the garden of Eden between the two Cherubim. He established the garden of Eden for the just who will eat and nourish themselves from the fruits of the tree of Life, because they observed the commandments of the Law and fulfilled its precepts. He established Gehenna for the wicked, which is like a sharp sword, devouring with both sides. Two thousand years before the world was created he created the Law. He established the garden of Eden for the just and Gehenna for the wicked. In the midst of it he established darts of fire and burning coals, enkindled for the wicked, to be avenged of them in the world to come because they did not observe the precepts of the Law in this world; for the Law is the tree of life for all who study it and anyone who observes its precepts lives and endures as the tree of life in the world to come. The Law is good for those who serve it in this world like the fruits of the tree of life. Genesis 3:24 (Ibid., p. 505; bold emphasis mine)

The word is derived from shakan, which is associated with the mishkan or God’s tabernacle/tent/temple where his glorious presence dwelt. God even visibly appeared in a pillar of cloud/fire to fill the tabernacle in the sight of all Israel as a sign that his glory would rest here:

“And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle (ha’mishkan). Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle (ha’mishkan), the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was above the tabernacle (ha’mishkan) by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.” Exodus 40:34-38

Now on the day that the tabernacle (ha’mishkan) was raised up, the cloud covered the tabernacle (ha’mishkan), the tent of the Testimony; from evening until morning it was above the tabernacle (ha’mishkan) like the appearance of fire. So it was always: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, after that the children of Israel would journey; and in the place where the cloud settled, there the children of Israel would pitch their tents. At the command of the LORD the children of Israel would journey, and at the command of the LORD they would camp; as long as the cloud stayed above the tabernacle (ha’mishkan) they remained encamped. Even when the cloud continued long, many days above the tabernacle (ha’mishkan), the children of Israel kept the charge of the LORD and did not journey. So it was, when the cloud was above the tabernacle (ha’mishkan) a few days: according to the command of the LORD they would remain encamped, and according to the command of the LORD they would journey. So it was, when the cloud remained only from evening until morning: when the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they would journey; whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud was taken up, they would journey. Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud remained above the tabernacle (ha’mishkan), the children of Israel would remain encamped and not journey; but when it was taken up, they would journey. At the command of the LORD they remained encamped, and at the command of the LORD they journeyed; they kept the charge of the LORD, at the command of the Lord by the hand of Moses.” Numbers 9:15-23

In rabbinic Judaism God’s Spirit is often equated with the Shekinah that fills the entire earth:

“Another Rabbinic concept to indicate the nearness of God and His direct influence on man is that of Ruach Hakodesh (the Holy Spirit). Sometimes it seems to be identical with the Shechinah as expressing the divine immanence in the world. For instance, it is related that after the destruction of the Temple, the Emperor Vespasian dispatched three shiploads of young Jews and Jewesses to brothels in Rome, but during the voyage they all threw themselves into the sea and were drowned, rather accept so degraded a fate. The story ends with the statement that on beholding the harrowing sight: ‘The Holy Spirit wept and said, “For these do I weep” (Lament. i. 16)’ (Lament. R. I. 45).

“More often it is employed to describe the endowment of a person with special gifts. Prophecy, in the sense of the ability to interpret the will of God, is the effect of which the Holy Spirit is the cause. Its possession also endows one with foreknowledge.” (Abraham Cohen, Everyman’s Talmud, [Schoken Books, New York], Chapter II. God And The Universe, II. Transcendence And Immanence, p. 45; bold emphasis mine)

Cohen goes on to explain what the Shekinah is in Jewish thought:

“What, in Rabbinic teaching, is God’s relation to the world? Is He thought of as transcendent and far removed from His creatures, or is He considered as being near to, and in contact with, them? The true answer is to be found in a combination of both ideas. The Rabbis did not look upon the two conceptions as contradictory or mutually exclusive, but rather as complementary.

“When they reflected upon the ineffable Majesty of the Creator, His absolute perfection and boundless might, they reverentially spoke of Him as a Being immeasurably removed from the limitations of the finite world. But they, at the same time, realized that such a transcendent God was of little use to the human being who was grappling with the problems of life and yearned for communion with a Helper and Comforter and Guide amidst his perplexities and struggles. They, accordingly, stressed the doctrine that God was immanent in the world, and was very near to all who call upon Him in sincerity.

“We have seen that in the cosmology of the Talmud, the Deity is located in the seventh heaven. His habitation was therefore infinitely removed from earth

“Much more prominent, however, in the Talmudic literature is the conception of God’s immanence in the world and His nearness to man. It follows as a corollary from the doctrine of His omnipresence… ‘On the other hand, the Holy One, blessed be He, appears to be afar off, but in reality there is nothing closer than He.’… ‘However high He be above His world, let a man but enter a Synagogue, stand behind a pillar and pray in a whisper, and the Holy One, blessed be He, hearkens to his prayer. Can there be a God nearer than this, Who is close to His creatures as the mouth is to the ear?’ (p. Ber. 13a)…

“With the object of utilizing the doctrine of the immanence of God in the world, while avoiding the suggestion that He could be located in any spot, the Rabbis invented certain terms to express the Divine Presence without giving support to a belief in His corporealityThe most frequent of these terms IS SHECHINAH, which literally means ‘dwelling.’ It denotes the manifestation of God upon the stage of the world, although He abides in the far-away heaven. In the same way that the sun in the sky illumines with its rays every corner of the earth, so the Shechinah, the effulgence of God, may make its presence felt everywhere (Sanh. 39a).” (Cohen, pp. 40-42; bold and capital emphasis mine)


“The Talmud offers this demonstration of divine omnipresence: ‘The messengers of God are unlike those of men. The messengers of men are obliged to return to those who sent them with the object of their mission; but God’s messengers return at the place wither they had been dispatched. It is written: “Canst thou send forth lightnings, that they may go and say unto thee, Here we are?” (Job xxxviii. 35). It is not stated “they returned” but “they go and say”, i.e. wherever they go they are in the presence of God. Hence it is to be deduced that the Shechinah is in every place’ (Mech. to xii. I; 2a; B.B. 25a).

“The question how God could be everywhere at the same time received various answers. The problem was elucidated by this analogy: ‘It may be likened to a cave situated by the seashore. The sea rages and the cave is filled with water, but the waters of the sea are not diminished. Similarly the Tent of Meeting was filled with the lustre of the Shechinah, which was not diminished in the Universe’ (Num. R. XII. 4)…

“‘A heretic said to R. Gamaliel: “You Rabbis declare that wherever ten people assemble for worship the Shechinah abides amongst them; how many Shechinahs are there then?” He called the heretic’s servant and struck him with a ladle. “Why did you strike him?” he was asked, and he replied, “Because the sun is in the house of the infidel.” “But the sun shines all over the world!” exclaimed the heretic; and the Rabbi retorted: “If the sun, which is only one out of a million myriads of God’s servants, can be in every part of the world, how much more so can the Shechinah radiate throughout the entire Universe!”’ (Sanh. 39a).” (Cohen, Chapter I. The Doctrine Of God, IV. Omnipresence, pp. 9-10; bold emphasis mine)

Hence the Holy Spirit is none other than God’s very own Shekinah, he whom the Targum identifies as the glory of the Lord.

That this Glory refers to the visible appearance of God on earth is readily seen from the following text:

And the Glory of the Shekinah of the Lord went up when it had finished speaking with Abraham. And Abraham returned to his place.” Genesis 18:33 (Ibid., p. 542; bold emphasis mine)

Compare this with how the Hebrew text actually reads:

“And Jehovah went his way, as soon as he had left off communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.” Genesis 18:33 American Standard Version (ASV)

The Hebrew is emphatically clear that it was Yahweh himself who appeared an earth as a man to speak with Abraham face to face. And yet the Targum describes this Yahweh God in human form as the Lord’s own glorious Shekinah!

The Targum even goes as far as to identify the Yahweh who was on earth that brought down upon Sodom and Gomorrah sulphur and fire from the heavenly Yahweh, e.g., the Yahweh who was in heaven,  

“Then Jehovah rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Jehovah out of heaven;” Genesis 19:24 ASV

As the Word of the Lord appearing in human form!

And the Word of the Lord made to come down upon Sodom and Gomorrah sulphur and fire from before the Lord, from the heavens. Genesis 19:24 (Ibid., p. 544; bold emphasis mine)

Hence, not only does the Targum provide conclusive proof that this text does indeed present two distinct divine Persons as Yahweh God–One of whom appears as a man on earth and the Other that was residing in heaven–it also identifies the earthly Yahweh as the Word of the Lord!

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who is familiar with the Holy Bible, which testifies to the fact of God having created all things by his Word, Wisdom, Power and Spirit!

By His Spirit He adorned the heavens; His hand pierced the fleeing serpent.” Job 26:13 NKJV

The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4 NKJV  

By the word of Yahweh, the heavens were made, and, by the spirit (uba’ruach) of his mouth, all their host:” Psalm 33:6 Rotherham(i)’s Emphasized Bible 

“O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions—… You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth.” Psalm 104:29-30 NKJV  

“The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens; By His knowledge the depths were broken up, And clouds drop down the dew.” Proverbs 3:19-20 NKJV  

“Thus you shall say to them: ‘The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens.’ He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion.” Jeremiah 10:11-12 NKJV

“He has made the earth by His power; He has established the world by His wisdom, And stretched out the heaven by His understanding.” Jeremiah 51:15 NKJV

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,” Romans 1:20 NKJV

And since the inspired Christian Scriptures identify Jesus as God’s unique Son and the human embodiment and enfleshment of God’s eternal Power and Wisdom,

“but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:23-24 NKJV

It should, therefore, come as no surprise that Christ is depicted as the One by, through and for whom all creation came into existence:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men… He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-4, 10, 14 NKJV

“yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.” 1 Corinthians 8:6 NKJV

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created THROUGH HIM and FOR HIM. And He IS before all things, and IN HIM all things consist.” Colossians 1:15-17 NKJV

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high… But to the Son He says: ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom…’ And: ‘You, Lord [the Son], in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.’” Hebrews 1:1-3, 8-12 NKJV

Concluding Remarks

Targum Neofiti furnishes ancient support that there were in fact non-Christian Jews who realized from their reading of the Hebrew Bible that the one true God is a multi-Personal Being. These Jews could plainly see that God has a Son by whom he created the heavens and earth. They further saw that the Word of this God and his Spirit, who is the very Glory of this God, are eternal divine Persons, since they were already present from before the creation was brought into existence.

This establishes that these particular Jews actually believed that God, the Son of God whom the NT identifies as the very Word of this God, and the Holy Spirit are the one true God of all creation whom the Hebrew Bible names as Yahweh!  

Hence, the foregoing proves that the assessment of the following Evangelical authors is spot on:


The opening lines of Scripture reveal God in a most surprising way:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.36

We see both God the Father and the Spirit of God involved in creation.

It gets even more interesting when we look at how ancient Jewish rabbis understood this passage as they did their interpretative translation of the Hebrew Bible into Aramaic, the common language of the people. They did a word study of “beginning” (re’shit in Hebrew) and found that it is used in synonymous parallelism with the Hebrew word for “firstborn” (bekor in Hebrew) four times in the Old Testament.37 This would mean that the two words, “beginning” and “firstborn,” can have the same meaning. Thus, their translation of the opening words of the Bible includes both words:

In the beginning, by the firstborn, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.38

In this important translation, predating the birth of Jesus Christ by approximately two hundred years. we find three divine persons–the Firstborn, God the Father, and the Spirit–at work in creation.

36Gen. 1:1-2.

37Gen. 49:3; Deut. 21:17; Pss. 78:51; 105:36.

38Gen. 1:1-2 in the Targum Neofiti. (Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears, Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe [Crossway Books, Wheaton, Il. 2010], p. 19)


In this post I will quote some of the statements of Jewish rabbis who, on the basis of texts such as Daniel 9:24-27, believed that the Messiah was supposed to show up right around the same time that Jesus appeared on the scene claiming to be the Messiah of Israel. Note, for instance, what the following Christian theologian and scholar wrote in regards to the timeline given by Daniel:

But the most remarkable prophecy concerning the time of the appearance of the Messiah, is that of Daniel’s seventy weeks, referred to in a former lecture, but on which it is requisite to dwell for a little: ‘Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to and to bring in seal up the vision make reconciliation for iniquity, everlasting righteousness, and to and prophecy, and Know therefore and to anoint the Most Holy. understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations He shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate ‘ (Dan. ix. 24-27).

Neither your time nor the nature of this lecture will permit me to enter upon any critical examination of this remarkable and undoubtedly in many respects obscure prophecy. It is to be observed that the time of the here to be specified. Messiah’s advent appears It was to occur a certain number of weeks after a certain event, namely, ‘the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem.’ It is in general admitted that the weeks are to be understood, according to the prophetical mode of computation, as weeks of years (Ezek. iv. 6). There is a wonderful agreement on this point among almost all biblical scholars. Jewish Rabbis as well as Christian commentators, those who give to the passage an anti-Messianic interpretation as well as those who regard it as Messianic, agree in considering the weeks as weeks of years, and hence in asserting that by the seventy weeks in the prediction are meant four hundred and ninety years. Thus, Dr. Adler writes: ‘The angel tells Daniel that by these seventy years mentioned in Jeremiah’s prophecy, ordinary years were not to be understood, but years of release, or weeks of years, that is, periods of seven years each.’ The Hebrew word here translated weeks denotes merely periods of sevens, without reference to their nature, whether they are days, weeks, months, years, or millenniums; the duration of the period must be decided from the context. So that the translation ‘ seventy weeks ‘ is more definite than the original warrants. Now, from the context it is evident that the term cannot be understood as weeks of natural days, because the seventy days would be only a year and a half, a period far too short for the accomplishment of all the particulars mentioned in the prophecy. Jerusalem was not only to be restored and built, but to be destroyed, and the sacrificial worship of the Jew s was to cease. On the other hand, it is evident also from the context, that the reference is to the prophecy of Jeremiah concerning the seventy years that should elapse between the Babylonish captivity and the restoration of the Jews to their city and nation (Dan. ix. 2): the seventy septenary periods of Daniel answer to the seventy years of Jeremiah; and hence it is inferred that the septenary periods here mentioned are not periods of seven days, but of seven years. According to this calculation, the seventy weeks of Daniel amount to 490 years. These weeks or septenary periods are again subdivided into three parts — seven weeks, threes core and two weeks, and one week (7 + 62 + 1); and events are stated as happening at the end of each. After seven weeks, Jerusalem was to be rebuilt; after threescore and two weeks, Messiah was to be cut off; and during one week, the covenant was to be confirmed with many. Each of these periods is to be considered as consecutive,—the one following the other, and each is calculated from the close of the preceding; this is necessary to make up the whole number of the seventy weeks. From this it follows that sixty-nine septenary periods—that is, considering the sevens to be not weeks of days, but weeks of years, 483 years—were to elapse between the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem and the coming of the Messiah. Now we learn that such a commandment was given in the twentieth year of the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus to Nehemiah (Neh. ii.), which, according to the most approved chronology, occurred B.C. 454. Adding to this the thirty years which elapsed before Jesus commenced His public ministry (454 + 30 = 484), then the period of our Lord’s appearance will, as nearly as possible, coincide with the prophetical weeks of Daniel.

We are the more confirmed in the correctness of this calculation by the knowledge of the remarkable fact, that about the time when our Lord was upon the earth, there was a general expectation of the advent of the Messiah not only among the Jews, but throughout the East, as we learn from the writings of Virgil, Tacitus, Suetonius, and the Sibylline oracles.1 We cannot account for such an expectation, except on the supposition that, according to the most approved calculation, the weeks of Daniel were then approaching their termination. Josephus observes that Daniel, whom he calls one of the greatest of the prophets, did not only prophesy of future events, as did other prophets, ‘but he also determined the time of their accomplishment.’2 In the Talmud we are informed that ‘in Daniel is delivered to us the end of the Messiah;’ that is, as Rabbi Jarchi explains it, the time of His appearance.’ There is also in the Talmud the statement, that about the time of Titus the Messiah was considered as having already come, although concealed until the Jews were rendered more worthy for his appearance.3 And Rabbi Nehumias, said to have lived about fifty years before our Lord, is cited by Grotius as affirming that the time fixed by Daniel for the Messiah could not go beyond fifty years.4 (Paton James Gloag, D.D., The Messianic Prophecies [T. & T. Clark, 38 George Street, Edinburgh 1879], pp. 222-226; bold emphasis mine)

1 See on this, Supplement II. to Lecture ILI.

2 Joseph. Ant. x. 11. 7.

3 Referred to in Anger’s Geschichte der Messianischen Idee, p. 86.

4 Grotius, De Veritate Religionis Christiane, v. 14: ‘ In Jesum autem tam bene convenit, ut magister Hebræus Nehumias, qui annis quinquaginta eum præcessit, aperte jam tum dixerit, non posse ultraeos quinquaginta annos protrahi tempus Messiæ a Daniele significa tum. For talmudic references to the time of the birth of the Messiah, see M’Caul’s Old Paths, pp. 387–398. (Ibid., p. 226)

Josephus, Jarchi and Nehumias are not the only Jewish authorities who believed the Messiah was to appear right when Jesus showed up, just as the next quotations confirm. All bold and/or capital emphasis will be mine.


נְהִי דְּיָדְעִין לְהוֹן דְּיִחְרוּב מִי יוֹדְעִין לְאִימַּתִּי אָמַר אַבָּיֵי וְלָא יָדְעִין לְאִימַּת וְהָכְתִיב שָׁבוּעִים שִׁבְעִים נֶחְתַּךְ עַל עַמְּךָ וְעַל עִיר קׇדְשֶׁךָ וְאַכַּתִּי מִי יָדְעִינַן בְּהֵי יוֹמָא:

The Gemara responds: Although they might have known that the Second Temple would be destroyed, as the verse speaks of three Temples, did they know when it would be destroyed? Would they have considered that it might occur in their lifetimes, preventing them from sacrificing their offerings? Abaye said: And did they not know when? But isn’t it written: “Seventy sevens are decreed upon your people and upon your sacred city” (Daniel 9:24), which indicates that the Second Temple would be destroyed seventy Sabbatical cycles of seven years after the destruction of the First Temple, which is 490 years. The Gemara answers: And still, did we know on which day it would be destroyed? It was therefore impossible to use this factor as a means to broach the dissolution of their vows. (Nazir, 32b

תנא דבי אליהו ששת אלפים שנה הוי עלמא שני אלפים תוהו שני אלפים תורה שני אלפים ימות המשיח

The school of Eliyahu taught: Six thousand years is the duration of the world. Two thousand of the six thousand years are characterized by chaos; two thousand years are characterized by Torah, from the era of the Patriarchs until the end of the mishnaic period; and two thousand years are the period of the coming of the Messiah.

(Sanhedrin 97a

ובעונותינו שרבו יצאו מהם מה שיצאו

That is the course that history was to take, but due to our sins that time frame increased. The Messiah did not come after four thousand years passed, and furthermore, the years that elapsed since then, which were to have been the messianic era, have elapsed. (Sanhedrin 97b

מאי ויפח לקץ ולא יכזב א”ר שמואל בר נחמני אמר ר’ יונתן תיפח עצמן של מחשבי קיצין שהיו אומרים כיון שהגיע את הקץ ולא בא שוב אינו בא אלא חכה לו שנאמר אם יתמהמה חכה לו שמא תאמר אנו מחכין והוא אינו מחכה ת”ל (ישעיהו ל, יח) לכן יחכה ה’ לחננכם ולכן ירום לרחמכם

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase “And it declares [veyafe’aḥ] of the end, and does not lie”? Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says that Rabbi Yonatan says: May those who calculate the end of days be cursed [tippaḥ], as they would say once the end of days that they calculated arrived and the Messiah did not come, that he will no longer come at all. Rather, the proper behavior is to continue to wait for his coming, as it is stated: “Though it tarry, wait for it.” Lest you say we are expectantly awaiting the end of days and the Holy One, Blessed be He, is not awaiting the end of days and does not want to redeem His people, the verse states: “And therefore will the Lord wait, to be gracious to you; and therefore will He be exalted, to have mercy upon you; for the Lord is a God of judgment; happy are all they who wait for Him” (Isaiah 30:18). (Ibid.,

וכי מאחר שאנו מחכים והוא מחכה מי מעכב מדת הדין מעכבת וכי מאחר שמדת הדין מעכבת אנו למה מחכין לקבל שכר שנאמר (ישעיהו ל, יח) אשרי כל חוכי לו

And seemingly, since we are awaiting the end of days and the Holy One, Blessed be He, is also awaiting the end of days, who is preventing the coming of the Messiah? It is the divine attribute of judgment that prevents his coming, as it is written: “For the Lord is a God of judgment,” and we are not worthy. And since the attribute of judgment prevents the coming of the Messiah and we are not worthy of redemption, why do we await his coming daily? We do so in order to receive a reward for awaiting his coming, as it is stated: “Happy are all they who wait for Him.” (Ibid.

Here’s a different English rendering of the foregoing references:

The Tanna debe Eliyyahu teaches: The world is to exist six thousand years. In the first two thousand there was desolation;37 two thousand years the Torah flourished;38 and the next two thousand years is the Messianic era,39 but through our many iniquities all these years have been lost.1 (Sanhedrin 97a

37. I.e., no Torah. It is a tradition that Abraham was fifty-two years old when he began to convert men to the worship of the true God; from Adam until then, two thousand years elapsed.

38. I.e., from Abraham’s fifty-second year until one hundred and seventy-two years after the destruction of the second Temple. This does not mean that the Torah should cease thereafter, but is mentioned merely to distinguish it from the next era.

39. I.e., Messiah will come within that period. (Ibid.

1. He should have come at the beginning of the last two thousand years; the delay is due to our sins. (Ibid.

Pay close attention to the fact that the Messiah was supposed to appear right at the time the Lord Jesus showed up! Sadly, because of the Jewish rejection of Jesus the rabbis assumed that the Messiah didn’t show up due to the sins of the people. Little did they realize that their Messiah arrived right on time.

There’s more:

R. Hanan b. Tahlifa sent [word] to R. Joseph: I once met a man who possessed a scroll written in Hebrew in Assyrian characters.7 I said to him: ‘Whence has this come to thee?’ He replied, ‘I hired myself as a mercenary in the Roman army, and found it amongst the Roman archives. In it is stated that four thousand, two hundred and thirty8-one years after the creation the world will be orphaned.9 [As to the years following,] some of them will be spent in the war of the great sea monsters,10 and some in the war of Gog and Magog, and the remaining [period] will be the Messianic era, whilst the Holy One, blessed be He, will renew his world only after seven thousand years.’ R. Abba the son of Raba said: The statement was after five thousand years.

It has been taught; R. Nathan said: This verse pierces and descends to the very abyss:11  For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though he tarry, wait for him; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.12 Not as our Masters, who interpreted the verse, until a time and times and the dividing of time;13  nor as R. Simlai who expounded, Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink a third time;14 nor as R. Akiba who expounded, Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth:15 but the first dynasty [sc. the Hasmonean] shall last seventy years, the second [the Herodian], fifty two, and the reign of Bar Koziba16  two and a half years.17

What is meant by ‘but at the end it shall speak [we-yafeah] and not lie?’ — R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in the name of R. Jonathan: Blasted be18 the bones of those who calculate the end.19  For they would say, since the predetermined time HAS ARRIVED, and yet he has not come, he will never come. But [even so], wait for him, as it is written, Though he tarry, wait for him. Should you say, We look forward [to his coming] but He does not: therefore Scripture saith, And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you.20 But since we look forward to it, and He does likewise, what delays [his coming]? — The Attribute of Justice delays it.21 But since the Attribute of Justice delays it, why do we await it? — To be rewarded [for hoping], as it is written, blessed are all they that wait for him.22 (Sanhedrin 97b

17. The verses cited from Daniel, the Psalms, and Haggai were interpreted so as to give a definite date for the advent of the Messiah. R. Nathan however, on the authority of Hab. II, 3, asserts that all such calculations are false. The three verses refer to the Hasmonean, Herodian, and Bar Koziba’s reign, but the advent of Messiah is unknowable, Rashi. (Ibid.

19. I.e., Messiah’s advent. (Ibid.


One of Judaism’s greatest medieval rabbis and a hostile opponent of Christianity, Shlomo Yitzchaki (Rashi) had no choice but to interpret the weeks of Daniel as pointing to the advent of the Messiah. Ironically, he acknowledges that Daniel prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Roman general Titus, and still failed to see how the Messiah was supposed to have showed up by that time.   

24 Seventy weeks [of years] have been decreed upon your people and upon the city of your Sanctuary to terminate the transgression and to end sin, and to expiate iniquity, and to bring eternal righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the Holy of Holies.

Seventy weeks [of years] have been decreed: on Jerusalem from the day of the first destruction in the days of Zedekiah until it will be [destroyed] the second time.

to terminate the transgression and to end sin: so that Israel should receive their complete retribution in the exile of Titus and his subjugation, in order that their transgressions should terminate, their sins should end, and their iniquities should be expiated, in order to bring upon them eternal righteousness and to anoint upon them (sic) the Holy of Holies: the Ark, the altars, and the holy vessels, which they will bring to them THROUGH THE KING MESSIAH. The number of seventy weeks is four hundred and ninety years. The Babylonian exile was seventy [years] and the Second Temple stood four hundred and twenty [years]. (The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary; capital emphasis mine)

26 And after the sixty-two weeks, the anointed one will be cut off, and he will be no more, and the people of the coming monarch will destroy the city and the Sanctuary, and his end will come about by inundation, and until the end of the war, it will be cut off into desolation.

And after: those weeks.

the anointed one will be cut off: Agrippa, the king of Judea, who was ruling at the time of the destruction, will be slain.

and he will be no more: Heb. וְאֵין לוֹ, and he will not have. The meaning is that he will not be.

the anointed one: Heb. מָשִׁיחַ. This is purely an expression of a prince and a dignitary.

and the city and the Sanctuary: lit. and the city and the Holy. and the people of the coming monarch will destroy: [The monarch who will come] upon them. That is Titus and his armies.

and his end will come about by inundation: And his end will be damnation and destruction, for He will inundate the power of his kingdom THROUGH THE MESSIAH, and until the end of the wars of Gog the city will exist. (Ibid.; capital emphasis mine)

cut off into desolation: a destruction of desolation.

27 And he will strengthen a covenant for the princes for one week, and half the week he will abolish sacrifice and meal- offering, and on high, among abominations, will be the dumb one, and until destruction and extermination befall the dumb one.

And he will strengthen a covenant for the princes for one week: לָרַבִּים, for the princes, like “and all the officers of (רַבֵּי) the king,” in the Book of Jeremiah (39:13).

will strengthen: Titus [will strengthen] a covenant with the princes of Israel.

for one week: He will promise them the strengthening of a covenant and peace for seven years, but within the seven years, he will abrogate his covenant.

he will abolish sacrifice and meal-offering: This is what he says in the first vision (8:26): “and in tranquility he will destroy many.”

Through a covenant of tranquility, he will destroy them. and on high, among abominations will be the dumb one: This is a pejorative for pagan deities. i.e., on a high place, among abominations and disgusting things, he will place the dumb one, the pagan deity, which is dumb like a silent stone.

high: Heb. כְּנַף, lit. wing, an expression of height, like the wing of a flying bird.

and until destruction and extermination befall the dumb one: and the ruling of the abomination will endure until the day that the destruction and extermination decreed upon it [will] befall it, IN THE DAYS OF THE KING MESSIAH.

befall the dumb one: Heb. תִּתַּ, reach; and total destruction will descend upon the image of the pagan deity and upon its worshippers. (Ibid.; capital emphasis mine)

The aforementioned rabbinic texts show just how explicitly clear God has made it in his inspired Word that Jesus is indeed the only true Messiah of Israel who came at the exact precise time the prophets said he would. It is only the blindness of one’s heart that leads a person to reject the overwhelming and irrefutable evidence that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God who was to come into the world to save sinners from their transgressions:

“The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God… At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’” Mark 1:1, 9-11 New International Version (NIV)

“But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?’ ‘I am,’ said Jesus. ‘And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.’” Mark 14:61-62 NIV

“‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’” Matthew 16:15-19 NIV

“Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha answered, ‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ she replied, ‘I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.’” John 11:23-27 NIV

“Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’ A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said TO HIM, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:24-31 NIV



The Jewish Talmud Confirms Jesus’ Messiahship

The Messiah Revealed Pt. 1.

The Messiah Revealed Pt. 2

The Messiah Revealed Pt. 3

The Messiah Revealed Pt. 4.