by Mark S Railey
September 18, 2021
Among the rabbis, while no rabbi might believe all of these statements, some rabbis have affirmed each one: The believers in Hashem are called the sons and daughters of Adonai (B’nai Elohei). The Messiah would be called “Mighty God” (Isa. 9:6) thus affirming the “Son of God” title. The resurrection from the dead is a Torah teaching. Major Jewish communities have believed their messiah would return from the dead; see for example the Chabad and Breslov communities. Ascension is a Torah teaching; see for example the story of Enoch and Elijah, and all prophecies must be fulfilled.
So, if you have a community of Torah pursuant believers that affirm that their rabbi was called “Son of God” and was identified as the messiah, that their messiah died, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven before witnesses and that this messiah is coming back, and will fulfill all the remaining prophecies, etc. If that community produced texts for posterity's sake and spread the message around the world, transforming pagans into monotheists, by the millions - all praying to Hashem. Even if later theological problems arose within competing communities, you might still ask “Yeah, but why did these early Jewish believers accept that Yeshua was G-d?”
Here are the supporting texts:
Isa. 40:3, “Prepare the way of the LORD (Hashem); make straight in the desert a highway for our G-d [Elohim].” This verse was applied to John, the Baptist and applied to Yeshua in John 1:23. Meaning, the disciples believed Yeshua was the “our Elohim” for whom the desert became a highway.
Isa. 9:1, 6 “unto us a son is given… And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God [El], Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” The “El” is short for Elohim. Again, a son is born who would be called Elohim. This means the disciples would call this tzaddik, “El Gibbor” (Mighty G-d).
Yeshua corrected the Pharisee’s statement “Good Rabbi” but Yeshua did not correct Thomas’ affirmation “My Lord and my G-d” (John 20:28).
Luke wrote in Acts 16:31, 34, when a jailer asked Paul and Silas how to be saved, they said “Believe on the Lord Yeshua, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Then after the jailer believed and was saved, he “rejoiced, having believed in G-d [Theos] with all his household.” This demonstrates that Luke believed Yeshua, the one on whom the jailer had to believe, was G-d.
There are many New Testament passages that affirm the divinity of Yeshua. See for example, John 1:1, 3, 7:29, 8:46, 55, 10:15, 11:11, 17:25, 18:4, 21:6-11; Heb. 1:2, 8-11, 4:15, 7:26; Col. 1:16 & 17, 3:11; Matt. 11:27, 17:28, 18:20, 21:2-4, 28:20; Eph. 1:23, 4:10; Luke 5:4, 6, 8:25; Mark 1:29-31, 32-36, 13:31; 1 Pet. 3:22; Rev. 19:16; 2 Cor. 5:21, plus so much more.
If Yeshua is the Savior and besides G-d, there is no Savior, then Yeshua must be G-d just like the early disciples taught. That this theology is what early Christians eventually believed is undeniable.
But now the question that behaves like "the cat among the pigeons": Was this Yeshua HaMoshiach of the early believers the same as the Jesus of the later church? Now, that is a good question.