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on July 17, 2001
Just about everything Michael Brown writes is deceptive. For example, in both of his "Answering Jewish Objections":
1. Brown claims Jews are wrong in that Jews have won every theological debate with a christian. He conveniently failed to mention the fact that even when christians "won", it was because Jews were severely handicapped in their debates during the middle ages. Jewish anti-missionaries couldn't properly defend themselves because the RCC wouldn't tolerate any Jewish criticism of their beliefs, which they found to be offensive - punishable by penalty of death.
2. SACRIFICES. Brown claims no difference between intentional and unintentional sins, with regard to sacrifice. Numbers 15 proves otherwise. He claims the Yom Kippur sacrifice, once a year, atoned for all Israel's sins. BROWN IS NO BIBLE EXPERT.
a. The Yom Kippur sacrifice was clearly one for purity of the sanctuary - not for Jews' sins.
b. Sins against other people are NOT atoneable from any Yom Kippur sacrifice or confession. One MUST first seek repentance from the person he/she wronged, THEN G-d forgives. Yom Kippur doesn't do it all for you.
c. The scapegoat, which did purify Israel - was NOT a sacrifice.
3. In regards to Isaiah 53, Brown chooses to follow other deceptive missionaries in pulling out Rabbinic sources which seem to show partiality towards the christian view. However, being the deceptive NON-EXPERT Brown is, he fails to show the Rabbinic quotes in their context while also failing to discuss the allegorical ways in which the Rabbinic Talmud is written in. He fails to mention that Isaiah 53, according to Rabbis in one of the passages he quotes from, alludes to MOSES of all people. Brown actually pulls a passage from Talmud relating to Isaiah 53, in which both the Messiah AND Moses are referred to - as being the subject of one of the verses of Isaiah 53 - while ONLY mentioning the part about it referring to messiah, not Moses. THAT is deceptive. Actually, THIS is what ALLEGORICAL Rabbinic writing is all about. It's NOT literal commentary. They pull a verse out from scripture that alludes to a very righteous person. Rabbis then comment, "this is Moses", "this was the holy prophet Jeremiah", "this is Messiah". In all 3 cases, they are correct in that these are all righteous people. However, the LITERAL text does not necessarily support that view. Brown capitalizes on deceptively showing only parts of the Rabbinic writings out-of-context, while also choosing not to disclose the fact that only certain VERSES are pulled out of context (like in my example above) which allude to different biblical figures. I repeat - Brown does NOT show Rabbis writing that ALL of Isaiah 53 refers to messiah, but only CERTAIN VERSES. If we take ALL allegorical (homiletical) Rabbinic literature referring to Isaiah 53 and lump it all together, we'd find Rabbis equating certain verses to Messiah, Israel, Jeremiah, Moses, and MEDICAL INFORMATION of all things. Clearly, the Rabbis are not stupid in thinking ALL the above are the subjects of Isaiah 53. It's ALLEGORICAL. Brown chooses not to disclose this information. He is deceptive. Brown also chooses to NOT include a passage written by Origen (2nd century) which shows the Rabbis stating that the servant of Isaiah 53 is the nation of Israel. If he was honest, he would do this. But he wants his readers to believe that Israel became the servant eventually, during the middle ages - a concept created by the great Jewish sage Rashi. Yet another lie.
I could go on and on but this should suffice. Needless to say, if one is interested in deceptively witnessing to Jews - this is your book. Otherwise, don't waste your time and good money.
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on August 27, 2003
This is a planned four-volume set.
Dr. Brown is the leading expert on responding to objections to Jesus and Christian theology raised by knowledgeable Orthodox Jews. He has a doctorate in Semitic languages, the books are well-researched and well-written and he covers the material in detail, going into Talmudic interpretations, Rashi, Maimonedes, etc. Although such Jewish theologians are unfamiliar to most Christians, their names are as familiar to knowledgeable Jews as Moody and Scofield are to Christians.
Although most purchasers are gentile evangelists, material is arranged essentially as dialogues between an Orthodox Jew and a responding Messianic.
Unfortunately, the books are rather pointless. Why? See Evangelism Explosion. If a person is not open to the gospel, no amount of arguments will matter. You can see similar debates in Internet newsgroups between Protestants and Catholics, Protestants and Mormons, Messianics and non-messianic Jews, etc.
I recently took Brown's course on Messianic Apologetics. He started by having two Messianic Jews try evangelizing him and he responded as an Orthodox would, with arguments from his books. One of the evangelists is an Israeli graduate of the Jewish Studies program at Christ for the Nations experienced at Jewish evangelism.
Responding like a non-messianic Orthodox, Brown "wiped the floor" with both of them, with things like "Are you Jewish?" "Is your mother Jewish?" "Is HER mother Jewish?" "Do you keep kosher?" (Contrary to the Bible, the Israeli Supreme Court says a person only is Jewish if their mother is Jewish. Hence, if the mother's mother wasn't Jewish, the mother isn't Jewish, so he's not Jewish, etc.)
It then moved on to, "Numbers 23 says, 'God is not a man'. Since Jesus can't be God, all your so-called 'messianic prophecy proofs' are worthless. Also, they can't be proofs, since Messiah has not come yet. Where do Hebrew Scriptures say Messiah will be God? He will be anointed, but only a man. Where does Isaiah 53 talk about Messiah? It's not a messianic prophecy; it's talking about Israel."
One evangelist said, "Since the Temple is destroyed, sacrifices can't be offered. How do you get atonement for your sin?" The response was, "After Solomon's Temple was destroyed there were no sacrifices. How were Daniel's sins forgiven?"
For non-Christians reading this review, understand that Brown didn't "wipe the floor" with them because their arguments were wrong. They had never heard Orthodox arguments and were not prepared to respond "off the cuff". Brown's books show that many Orthodox arguments contradict Scripture or historic Jewish interpretations or both.
For gentiles considering Jewish evangelism, an argument often raised by Orthodox Jews is, "If you could read Hebrew you would know that's not what it says." Brown studied Semitic languages because he kept getting that argument even though he's Jewish. He said materials written by Christians for Jewish evangelism routinely have Hebrew errors.
Sadly, despite claims to the contrary, what comes across in the 15-hour course and books is the attitude of "I am going to convince THAT person." An informal survey has indicated it is EXTREMELY rare for a Jewish person to accept Jesus unless the person (1) was raised secular or (2) marries a Christian. Such people are willing to listen to and honestly evaluate the beliefs of Christianity. Missiology studies show that 80% of people raised in a religion stay in that religion.
Jesus interacted with religious leaders who disputed him but he did not get into extended debates like those in Brown's books. Also see Matthew 10:14
Although Dr. Brown is VERY active in evangelism, I can't help thinking, "How many hundreds of times MORE people could have been brought to Jesus if time spent researching and writing for a VERY small audience almost totally resistant to the gospel had been spent reaching out to the MILLIONS of people who are simply indifferent and uninformed but are willing to listen if someone tells them?"
If you are a Christian considering Jewish evangelism, review the sample pages, examine the books if you get a chance and visit "anti-missionary" websites, e.g., Tovia Singer. You'll see this is EXTREMELY unproductive SUPER-specialized work requiring responses to arguments you won't hear ANYWHERE elsewhere.
But don't let that deter you from GENERAL Jewish evangelism. MANY Jews are quite secular. Their main arguments are "I'm Jewish. Jews don't believe in Jesus." and "What about all the persecution the Church has done against Jews?" They are open to the gospel if you hang in there and honestly address their concerns with sensitivity.
And if YOU think Jesus or the apostles CONVERTED from Judaism to Christianity, YOU need to learn about the history of the Church BEFORE 100 A.D. In Acts 15 the apostles created "Christianity" for GENTILES, as a religion PARALLEL to Messianic Judaism.
TELL your Jewish friends that JESUS IS JEWISH. He was born Jewish, he was Torah-observant, he died Jewish, came back from the dead Jewish and he's STILL Jewish.
Hebrews 4:14 ... WE HAVE A GREAT HIGH PRIEST who has gone through the heavens, JESUS ...
Check these out:
Our Hands Are Stained With Blood-Michael Brown
Restoring the Jewishness of the Gospel-David Stern
Messianic Jewish Manifesto-David Stern
Complete Jewish Bible-David Stern
Evangelism Explosion-D. James Kennedy
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on August 18, 2001
It is interesting to me to see the below reviews which are obviously coming from people who have either never read the book or who read the book without being open to its contents. Unfortunately, when the eyes of a spiritually blinded person reads things about God, it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to rightly understand or discern truth because they are basing what they are reading on their own erroneous paradigm as opposed to with an open heart!
I feel that Michael Brown does an excellent job in tackling many of the issues that have historically plagued believers in their defense of Jesus being the promised Messiah. He has articulated truth in such a way that those who DON'T believe Jesus is the Messiah have reacted maliciously and with venom. That is exactly the response that Jesus received from the very ones that He came to save and deliver. It is my prayer that those who read this manuscript will do so with an open heart, praying that the God of Israel will give them the grace to embrace truth.
If you are ready to be challenged with TRUTH, written by someone who has a heart to see his own people saved, I encourage you to get this book -- it could possibly be one of the most important decisions that you'll ever make.
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on September 24, 2002
Dr.Brown brings to bear many very important issues that
need to be looked at carefully as to why Rabbinical
Judaism so vehmenently rejects Jesus Christ as Messiah.
The "other side" will no doubt try to refute his answers
and view: but one cannot help but come away with a new
respect for the reasons Christians [and Messianic/Christian
Jews] have for their belief in Jesus [Yeshuah] as and Messiah, - The Promised One.
His notes and annotations, by the way, are alone worth
the price of this book. I know many are awaiting Dr.Brown's
third volume [emphasizing the Messianic prophecies of the
Hebrew Bible] which (hopefully) will be available this year
or next. Dr.Michael Brown is clearly a leading apologist in
this area of controversy. Orthodox "antimissionaries" certainly
have their hands full trying to refute his many well documented
reasons and arguments.
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on March 11, 2001
Just the endnotes section at the back of the book makes this one worth the read! - It's packed with insight and information you need to see, know, and understand.
Dr.Brown is obviously a scholar and a thorough-thinker. I highly recommend this book (and the first volume also!) to those who are serious about understanding the conflicts between church and synogogue on vital issues that relate to the most important person of all time: Messiah Y'shua: The Lord Jesus Christ.
After reading both volumes in this series, I can understand why Dr.Brown is unintimidated in debating and dialoging with Rabbi's and other Jewish scholars on the validity of the Messianic credentials of Jesus/Messiah. Every Christian and every Jew should consider Michael Brown's arguments very, very carefully. - they are sound and (I would certainly add) EYE-OPENING.(!)
Kudos, and five-stars.
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on August 6, 2001
Dr. Michael Brown has offered Jews and non-Jews alike a thorough overview of the reasons most Jewish people have not become, and are not now followers of Jesus. He has fairly answered and thoroughly referenced his responses to those objections. While some might object to his motivation, which is obviously to encourage his readers to seriously consider the possibility that Scripture does indeed back his belief system, he is upfront in motivation and the book is substantial in content.
In my opinion, the first section, titled "Jews don't believe in the Trinity. We believe in one G-d, not three" is the most valuable discussion in the book. It is the most thorough and honest look at the nature of G-d that I have read, and will clear up gross misunderstandings of who it is that Christians worship. The book is a valuable resource.
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on October 24, 2000
This is a MUST for Jewish Evangelism!
Just when you thought Michael L. Brown gave you his 'best shot' when Volume 1 of this series was published, Volume 2 is released and all that I can say is that it is ANOTHER home run!
If you've ever wondered about how you can put your hands on a tool that could provide ammunition against the barrage of seemingly unanwerable objections to the Messiahship of Jesus (both from a secular as well as a Jewish perspective), this is the manual for you. Along with volume 1, Brown provides comprehensive answers that are both deeply theological as well as easily understood.
No leader or lay person should be without this incredible tool to compliment his or her library!
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on May 24, 2001
This book is very, very good. Although I am (sad to say) not used to such thoroughness, I must confess that Brown has done his job very well. He shows an impressive proficiency in the Scriptures and Rabbinic teachings; his knowledge of Hebrew is also useful.
This book is a must in Jewish-Christian apologetics, because most Jewish apologetics are more McDowell than Craig or Habermas; I am pleased to say that although Brown writes with a lucid prose that is lacking in many scholarly works, he covers weighty material thouroughly and logically.
I strongly recommend this book.
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on May 30, 2001
I was quite disappointed in this work. It was boring, and quite frankly was filled with errors of logic. The attempts to make similarities with Rabbinic Jewish doctrines seemed forced. I think a more honest approach would have been better.
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