A Redeemer in Isaiah 59?

Many times when we read the New Testament, we stumble upon prophetic texts quoted from the Jewish Bible. In this example Paul is quoting from the book of Isaiah. In the Book of Romans of the New Testament, Paul wants to draw our attention to a passage in Isaiah that seems to define the major role of the Messiah.

NEW TESTAMENT
and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,
“THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.” “THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.” (Romans 11:26-27 NASB)

JEWISH BIBLE
And a redeemer will come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 59:20 Hebr/Eng Bible, JPS 1917)

Note how the Christian Bible are using capital letters in these verses. It is like saying: when you are short of arguments, then you raise your voice! Before we take a verse from the Jewish Bible and trying to apply to a situation, we must determine if this is a proper quotation or is it misquoted, is it a prophecy at all, is the prophecy taken out of context, we need to find out if the prophecy is a so called short-term prophecy, that is, it has already been fulfilled during the time of the Prophet, or is it a long-term prophecy to be fulfilled far into the future or is it a fabricated verse (Ha’Shem forbid!)? Many times Christian scholars, in all well meaning, are reading New Testament without a thought what the authors have intended. We must go a step further than the authors of the New Testament, not just swollow every statements made in the Christian Bible. We must ask ourselves, why did the author quote this text from the Jewish Bible the way he did? We will see further on in my texts, many examples of misquoted verses, verses taken out of context and sometimes, even fabricated verses, and that is very serious according to the Book of Revelation, no further explanation needed. The strangest of all, is that often times it is the authors of the New Testament who do the errors, and we read what they say, without questioning the claims.

What Paul is doing is trying to establish that the Messiah will somehow take away our sins, the major tenet of Christianity. A closer look at the actual verse in Isaiah reveals quite a different picture: The Messiah’s role in Judaism has never been understood to take away our sins. We are taught, just the opposite, when we put aside our sins then the Messiah will come! It is significant that many Christian translations of Isaiah have this translated correctly, while Paul in Romans insists on advancing his agenda.

15 And truth is lacking, and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey. And the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice;
16 And He saw that there was no man, and was astonished that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation unto Him; and His righteousness, it sustained Him;
17 And He put on righteousness as a coat of mail, and a helmet of salvation upon His head, and He put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.
18 According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, fury to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; to the islands He will repay recompense.
19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; for distress will come in like a flood, which the breath of the LORD driveth.
20 And a redeemer will come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 59:15-20 Hebr/Eng Bible, JPS 1917)

We see ample selections to demonstrate this pattern of distortion associated with the writers of Christian Scriptures. For that reason alone, it is imperative we express to our charges the importance of learning Tanach in its original language and context. I have reason to return with more examples later on.

© 2012 Jonathan Axelsson
אתר הבית של יונתן
Twitter @tzedaqyal

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About Meadow of Tzedaqyal

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, 1881-1955)
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