The terms Messiah and Christ mean the same thing, “anointed one.”
Messiah is derived from Hebrew and Christ from Greek.
Parallels Between A New Dead Sea Scroll Fragment (4Q521)
and the Early New Testament Gospel Tradition
One of the more intriguing of the newly released Dead Sea Scrolls is a fragment now titled “Messianic Apocalypse” (4Q521). This text contains three rather striking features that are of particular significance for comparing the apocalyptic beliefs and expectations of the Qumran community with the emerging early Christian movement. First, the text speaks of a single Messiah figure who will rule heaven and earth. Second, it mentions in the clearest language the expectation of the resurrection of the dead during the time of this Messiah. And third, and perhaps most important for students of the New Testament, it contains an exact verbal parallel with the Gospels of Matthew and Luke for identifying of the signs of the Messiah.
First, a translation of the fragment itself:
the heavens and the earth will listen to His Messiah, and none therein will
stray from the commandments of the holy ones.
Seekers of the Lord, strengthen yourselves in His service!
All you hopeful in (your) heart, will you not find the Lord in this?
For the Lord will consider the pious (hasidim) and call the righteous by name.
Over the poor His spirit will hover and will renew the faithful with His power.
And He will glorify the pious on the throne of the eternal Kingdom.
He who liberates the captives, restores sight to the blind, straightens the b[ent]
And f[or] ever I will cleav[ve to the h]opeful and in His mercy . . .
And the fr[uit . . .] will not be delayed for anyone.
And the Lord will accomplish glorious things which have never been as [He . . .]
For He will heal the wounded, and revive the dead and bring good news
to the poor
Jewish Antiquities, 18.3.3 §63 (Based on the translation of Louis H. Feldman, The Loeb Classical Library.)”
About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared. ”
PROOF #3, 4, 5, 6:
Proof 6 refers to the prophecy in Daniel 9:27-29. Daniel predicts that the Messiah will come in 490 years. (He did.) He also tells that the transgression will stop and sin will end. A most holy will be anointed. The temple will be destroyed and sacrifice and oblation will stop.
Talmudic Evidence for the Messiah at 30 C.E.
by Nicholas Federoff
(Dr. T. Peterson, Editor)
In the centuries following the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (70 CE), the Jewish people began writing two versions of Jewish thought, religious history and commentary. One was written in Palestine and became known as the Jerusalem Talmud. [see special endnote at the end of this article concerning the Talmud] The other was written in Babylon and was known as the Babylonian Talmud.
We read in the Jerusalem Talmud:
“Forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the western light went out, the crimson thread remained crimson, and the lot for the Lord always came up in the left hand. They would close the gates of the Temple by night and get up in the morning and find them wide open” (Jacob Neusner, The Yerushalmi, p.156-157). [the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE]
A similar passage in the Babylonian Talmud states:
“Our rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot [‘For the Lord’] did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-colored strap become white; nor did the western most light shine; and the doors of the Hekel [Temple] would open by themselves” (Soncino version, Yoma 39b).
What are these passages talking about? Since both Talmuds recount the same information, this indicates the knowledge of these events was accepted by the widespread Jewish community.
The Miracle of the ”Lot”
The first of these miracles concerns a random choosing of the ”lot” which was cast on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). The lot chosen determined which of two goats would be “for the Lord” and which goat would be the ”Azazel” or ”scapegoat.” During the two hundred years before 30 CE, when the High Priest picked one of two stones, again this selection was governed by chance, and each year the priest would select a black stone as often as a white stone. But for forty years in a row, beginning in 30 CE, the High Priest always picked the black stone! The odds against this happening are astronomical (2 to the 40th power). In other words, the chances of this occurring are 1 in approximately 5,479,548,800 — or about 5.5 billion to one! By comparison, your chances of winning your local state or municipal-run cash Lottery would be much more favorable!
The lot for Azazel, the black stone, contrary to all the laws of chance, came up 40 times in a row from 30 to 70 AD! This was considered a dire event and signified something had fundamentally changed in this Yom Kippur ritual. This casting of lots is also accompanied by yet another miracle which is described next.
The Miracle of the Red Strip
The second miracle concerns the crimson strip or cloth tied to the Azazel goat. A portion of this red cloth was also removed from the goat and tied to the Temple door. Each year the red cloth on the Temple door turned white as if to signify the atonement of another Yom Kippur was acceptable to the Lord. This annual event happened until 30 CE when the cloth then remained crimson each year to the time of the Temple’s destruction. This undoubtedly caused much stir and consternation among the Jews. This traditional practice is linked to Israel confessing its sins and ceremonially placing this nation’s sin upon the Azazel goat. The sin was then removed by this goat’s death. Sin was represented by the red color of the cloth (the color of blood). But the cloth remained crimson — that is, Israel’s sins were not being pardoned and ”made white.”
As God told Israel through Isaiah the prophet:
”Come, let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet [crimson], they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as [white] wool” (Isaiah 1:18).
The clear indication is that the whole community had lost the Lord’s attention in relation to something that occurred in 30 CE The yearly atonement achieved through the typical Yom Kippur observance was not being realized as expected. Atonement apparently was to be gained in some other way. Who or what would provide the atonement for another year?
Concerning the crimson strip—though not mentioned in the Scriptures and long before 30 C.E.—during the 40 years Simon the Righteous was High Priest, a crimson thread which was associated with his person always turned white when he entered the Temple’s innermost Holy of Holies. The people noticed this. Also, they noted that ”the lot of the LORD” (the white lot) came up for 40 straight years during Simon’s priesthood. They noticed that the ”lot” picked by the priests after Simon would sometimes be black, and sometimes white, and that the crimson thread would sometimes turn white, and sometimes not. The Jews came to believe that if the crimson thread turned white, that God approved of the Day of Atonement rituals and that Israel could be assured that God forgave their sins. But after 30 CE, the crimson thread never turned white again for 40 years, till the destruction of the Temple and the cessation of all Temple rituals!
What did the Jewish nation do in 30 CE to merit such a change at Yom Kippur? By some accounts, on April 5, 30 CE (i.e., on the 14th of Nisan, the day of the Passover sacrifice) the Messiah, Yeshua, was cut off from Israel, himself put to death as a sacrifice for sin. To this event there is a transference of the atonement now no longer achieved through the two goats as offered at Yom Kippur. Like an innocent Passover lamb, the Messiah was put to death though no fault was found in Him! But unlike Temple sacrifices or the Yom Kippur events (as detailed above) where sin is only covered over for a time, the Messianic sacrifice comes with the promise of forgiveness of sins through grace given by God to those who accept a personal relationship with Messiah. This is essentially a one time event for each person’s lifetime and not a continual series of annual observances and animal sacrifices. The mechanism providing forgiveness of sin changed in 30 CE
The Miracle of the Temple Doors
The next miracle, which the Jewish authorities acknowledged, was that the Temple doors swung open every night of their own accord. This too occurred for forty years, beginning in 30 CE The leading Jewish authority of that time, Yohanan ben Zakkai, declared that this was a sign of impending doom, that the Temple itself would be destroyed.
The Jerusalem Talmud states:
”Said Rabban Yohanan Ben Zakkai to the Temple, ‘O Temple, why do you frighten us? We know that you will end up destroyed. For it has been said, ‘Open your doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour your cedars’ ” (Zechariah 11:1)’ (Sota 6:3).
Yohanan Ben Zakkai was the leader of the Jewish community during the time following the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, when the Jewish government was transferred to Jamnia, some thirty miles west of Jerusalem.
Might the doors have opened to also signify that all may now enter the Temple, even to its innermost holy sections. The evidence supported by the miracles described above suggests the Lord’s presence had departed from the Temple. This was no longer just a place for High Priests alone, but the doors swung open for all to enter the Lord’s house of worship.
The Miracle of the Temple Menorah
The fourth miracle was that the most important lamp of the seven candle-stick Menorah in the Temple went out, and would not shine. Every night for 40 years (over 12,500 nights in a row) the main lamp of the Temple lampstand (menorah) went out of its own accord — no matter what attempts and precautions the priests took to safeguard against this event!
Earnest Martin states:
”In fact, we are told in the Talmud that at dusk the lamps that were unlit in the daytime (the middle four lamps remained unlit, while the two eastern lamps normally stayed lit during the day) were to be re-lit from the flames of the western lamp (which was a lamp that was supposed to stay lit all the time — it was like the ‘eternal’ flame that we see today in some national monuments) . . .
”This ‘western lamp’ was to be kept lit at all times. For that reason, the priests kept extra reservoirs of olive oil and other implements in ready supply to make sure that the ‘western lamp’ (under all circumstances) would stay lit. But what happened in the forty years from the very year Messiah said the physical Temple would be destroyed? Every night for forty years the western lamp went out, and this in spite of the priests each evening preparing in a special way the western lamp so that it would remain constantly burning all night!” (The Significance of the Year CE 30, Ernest Martin, Research Update, April 1994, p.4).
Again, the odds against the lamp continually going out are astronomical. Something out of the ordinary was going on. The ”light” of the Menorah—representing contact with God, His Spirit, and His Presence—was now removed. This special demonstration occurred starting with the crucifixion of the Messiah!
It should be clear to any reasonable mind that there is no natural way to explain all these four signs connected with the year 30 CE The only possible explanation has to be supernatural.
After 30 CE, and the death of the Messiah, great trouble and awesome trials began to come upon the Jewish nation. Yeshua Himself foretold it. As He was led away to be crucified, Yeshua warned the women of Jerusalem:
But Jesus, turning to them, said, ”Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’ Then they will begin `to say to the mountains, ”Fall on us!” and to the hills, ”Cover us!” ‘ ”For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?” (Luke 23:28-31).
Below is an picture taken of an “apparition” in Zeitoon.
Jesus and the Holy Family traveled to Egypt to escape King Herod who feared Jesus’ growing up, and taking over his throne in Israel. They lived in and traveled the Nile delta region from the time that Jesus was 2 years old to the time He was an early teen, at which time they traveled back to Jerusalem, after the death of Herod.
Jesus performed miracles everywhere they traveled. Coptic Churches dot the route where they traveled. There is much history, many books and hundreds of legends which tell of the Holy Family in Egypt. I am presently reading an excellent book entitled JESUS IN EGYPT by Paul Perry, which gives a map and many stories of Jesus’ travels in Egypt.
JESUS in the Islamic QURAN
“ When the angel said: Mary, god gives you a good tidings of a Word from Him whose name is messiah, Jesus, son of Mary – high honored shall he be in this world and the next, near stationed to God. He shall speak to men in the cradle, and of age, and righteous he shall be, lord, said Mary: How shall I have a son, seeing no mortal has touched me? Even so, he said: God creates what He will. When he decrees a thing He but say to it, Be, and it is” (Al-Imran 3:45-47).
“ Then she brought the child to her folk, carrying him, and they said, “Mary, you have surely committed a monstrous thing. Sister of Aaron, your father was not a wicked man, nor your mother a woman unchaste. Mary pointed to the child; but they said, ‘How shall we speak to one who still in the cradle, a little child. And he said, ‘Lo, I am God’s servant, God has given me the Book and made me a Prophet Blessed is He WHO has made me ,wherever I may be; and HE has enjoined me to prayer, and to give the alms so long as I live, and likewise to cherish my mother; He has not made me arrogant and wicked. Peace be upon me, the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I am raised up alive” (Maryam 19:29-33).
“ And when Jesus son of Mary said, Children of Israel, I am indeed the Messenger to you, confirming the Torah that is before me, and giving good tiding of a Messenger who shall be the praised one” (As-Saff 61:6).
Question: Dr. Labib, would you discuss the miracles of Mohammed and the miracles that Christ performed?
Well, according to the Quran Mohammed did not perform any miracles. You know, you go to the Quran, in surat Al Ankabout, that is surat number 29, and read verse 50. What do we read there? “And they say, why are not signs, miracles, send down to him, to Mohammed, from his lord?” Says, “Oh, Mohammed, the signs are only with Allah, and I am only a plain warner.” So in very plain words, Mohammed said, “I am not a miracle worker.” But miracles is to authenticate the prophethood of any true prophet. You remember, when Jehovah, God, met Moses at the burning bush, and they had their discussion. And then Moses said to Jehovah, to God, “If I go to the people of Israel, they will not believe me. How can I prove that I have met you?” And He gave him three miracles to perform. He says, “These miracles will prove that you are my prophet, you are my chosen man.” Jesus Christ when He came He said, “If you do not believe me believe in the miracles I am doing.” With Mohammed, he said, “I can’t do any miracles. Miracles are only with God. I am only a plain warner.” So we cannot say that Mohammed is the messenger of God, who came to begin, or establish a new religion. A prophet with no miracles is not prophet at all. Of course, when the clerics, the Moslem clerics encountered that fact, they said, “Wait a minute, Mohammed had the greatest miracles.” What is it? What is it? It is the Quran! You mean to tell me that the Quran is the greatest miracles of Mohammed? Well, the miracle should be understood by any nationality, by anybody. To raise a dead man, this is a miracle considered in Europe, Australia, America, Africa, anywhere. It doesn’t need any intelligent man to say this is a miracle to raise a dead man. But to give a man who doesn’t know Arabic the Quran, and say, “This is a miracle,” and he would say, “Are you kidding me? What miracle? I don’t understand this language. I don’t understand Arabic. How could I say that this is a miracle?” Oh, because this book is fabulous, the language is so great! But I don’t understand the language! I cannot confirm, say that this is a miracle for me. It might be a miracle for you, but not for me.
So Mohammed did not make any miracles. But concerning Jesus Christ, the whole New Testament is full of miracles. He cleansed the lepers, raised the dead, healed the sick, cast out demons, story, after story, after story. He stood in front of the tomb of Lazarus four days. The man stinks! When He said, “Take off the stone,” Martha, the sister of Lazarus came to Jesus and said, “Master, he stinks. It has been four days. We cannot stand!” And He said, “Take off the stone.” And it was one sentence, “Lazarus, come forward.” And the dead man who stinks came alive! That is our Jesus! That is Jesus Christ!
Mohammed never cast a devil, but as we have said before, he was under the sway of Satan. He never did a miracle. The Quran is not a miracle, and not only because it is not understood by everyone, but because it is full of errors. When you come to the Quran and you read in surat Al Gathia, “Do they not considered the Earth, how it was flattened out?” Flattend? The Earth is not flat, it is a circle. And you go to the book of Isaiah 40:20 and you read, “who sits on the circle of the Earth.” Isaiah, who came 700 years before Christ, indicates clearly that planet Earth is a circle. Mohammed, who came 600 after Christ, said that the planet Earth is flat. And you go to the first sourat given to Mohammed. What was the first sourat given to Mohammed? “Read in the name of thy Lord who created men from the clot.” What is clot? It is frozen blood. Man was not created from frozen blood. Man was created from the dust. And when you go to science, medicine, there is no time in the woman’s womb that the fetus is a frozen blood. No time. So the Quran is full of scientific errors, grammatical errors, and I cannot elaborate in that because it would take time; it would take a long, long time. But Jesus is a miracle worker, and I would say again, and again, if the prophet is really a prophet, he should perform miracles because miracles authenticate the prophethood of the true prophet. Since Mohammed didn’t do any miracles, he is no prophet. Period.