Letters to Ya'acov

Letter 6: From Mike

22nd June 1987

Dear Ya’acov

Many thanks for your letter of 15th June.

I was glad to receive it and I note the points you make. However, I get the impression that you have not really thought through any of the issues I raised in answer to your arguments. I dealt with many of the points you raise in my letter of 13th May: matters regarding the need of a mediator, the messianic reign of peace and the relationship of Jesus to God.

Your strategy appears to be to ignore my answers and to simply throw up a fresh set of questions or to repeat the questions I have already answered. For my part I am prepared to have a reasonable correspondence in which we both answer each other’s relevant points. So far I have attempted to do that but I have not really received any satisfactory explanations from you, only your demands that I explain certain verses to your satisfaction. If you will provide me with a reasoned critique of the answers I offered in both my letters we will have the basis for a debate.

The only point you do seem to address is the Immanuel prophecy of Isaiah 7:14, so I will attempt to deal with your argument. Nowhere does Isaiah indicate that Immanuel was the son of Ahaz. Apart from that, you do not seem to take into account that if you are correct in your assertion, the wife of Ahaz would have had to be an almah; a virgin. That virgins did not give birth is not really the point. That you think such an event would overthrow all the teaching of the Tanakh [Hebrew Bible] is not the crux of the matter. The point is; does ha almah mean "the virgin". All the philological and linguistic evidence points that way.

I am sending, as a postscript, some of the points I have raised in my last two letters. One of the problems in focusing on such a wide amount of data is that we can spread ourselves too thin. I suggest that we keep to one point at a time. In the Tanakh, sins cannot be forgiven without the substitutionary shedding of innocent blood (Leviticus 1:5; 3:2; 4:5-7; 5:5-6; 16:14, 18-19; 17:11). May I therefore suggest that in your next letter you deal with the matter of atonement.

With best wishes,


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