Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Authentic Jews" peddling inauthentic history . . . and theology

(The true) God is not racist.

Some are so tormented by sentiments of racial inferiority that they are unable to evaluate and represent facts faithfully.  Like those who want to make Jesus African, so too some want desperately for Hebrews/Jews from Abraham to Moses to the Sephardim (Iberian Jews) to be black (this trend is color-blind; some want Anglo-Saxons to be the lost tribes of Israel).  Following are a few observations on one site's false claims regarding Israel and Africa:
"This makes it seem likely that the Afroasiatic languages originated in Africa and then spread to the Asian continent."
Since all descend from Noah and his sons, and their common language was confused at Babel, no language "originated" in Africa.
"the ancient Hebrews came out of North AFRICA (Egypt)."
The Israelites came out of slavery in Egypt led by Moses, at YHWH's command, and by His power.  Their ancestors -- Jacob and his family -- entered the land as honored guests because Joseph was so esteemed that he attained a position in all of Egypt second only to Pharaoh's.  His father Jacob (Israel) was the grandson of Abraham, and he was from Mesopotamia ("Ur of the Chaldees"), not Africa.

Sometime before the Exodus, while in exile from Egypt, Moses married Zipporah, a Cushite (Ethiopian) woman, a daughter of Reuel, the priest of Midian.  Five hundred years later, King Solomon received the Queen of Sheba (Ethiopia) as a guest in Israel.  Regarding "Cushite" and "Sheba," some dispute the two terms as referencing Ethiopia, but the imperial family of Ethiopia traces its lineage to the union of Solomon and the Queen, and Josephus identified her as a "Queen of Egypt and Ethiopia."  He comments regarding the nation of Cush, son of Ham and grandson of Noah:
"For of the four sons of Ham, time has not at all hurt the name of Cush ["Chus"]; for the Ethiopians, over whom he reigned, are even at this day, both by themselves and by all men in Asia, called Cushites ["Chusites"]" (Antiquities of the Jews 1.6.2).
So, one branch of "authentic" Jews is Ethiopian.

The author of Authentic Jews continues:
"The largest centers of Jewish population and learning were once in Africa, NOT EUROPE."
Until Islam.  And before that, in Israel, Mesopotamia, Persia, Babylon.  Wherever Jews go, there is a center of learning.

Here is more evidence that racial grievances and the need for religious/political esteem has compromised the author's intellectual integrity:
It was April 9th, 1865, on the Roman/Gregorian calendar but, the HEBREW calendar corresponding date was the 13th day of the Hebrew month of Abib/Nissan, the Hebrew year being 5625, on a Sunday.
The news of Gen. R.E. Lee's surrender was received in Washington DC after nine o'clock on Sunday evening, April 9th, and at a somewhat later hour in other cities.
This made it Passover, for the sun was down, that is when the Hebrews in the U.S.A were freed, 1435 was when the Portuguese began removing the YIsraelites from West Afrika, and 1865 was when General Lee surrendered in the civil war.
430 Yrs is how long our forefathers were in slavery in Kemet {Egypt}.

Both times the Israelites were freed on the Passover, after 430 Years!
The author's history here is just wrong: America was not a nation until 1776 by Declaration, and in reality at the successful conclusion of our War of Independence in 1783.  American slavery ended by Proclamation in 1863 and in practice at the close of the War Between the States in 1865.  The longest "American" slavery could have lasted was 89 years.  Even if you include Colonial times, slavery there began as indentured servitude for a variety of "races;" it was not until the seventeenth century that slavery in America became distinctly racial:
in Maryland and Virginia, both of which passed laws that made black indentured servants slaves for life; these laws also segregated free blacks from European-Americans by making intermarriage between blacks and whites illegal.

If you want to consider the Atlantic (Old World/New World) Slave Trade, the earliest date I can find for the beginning of the capture, transport, and selling of African slaves is 1444 (or 1441) by the Portuguese; Brazil abolished slavery in 1888 (that's 447 years).

And none of this includes Islam's millennium of enslaving Africans, or the practice of slavery in general throughout human history, which includes African kings taking slaves for human sacrifice and the Aztecs doing the same.  As soon as one group of people was strong enough to use force against its neighbor, slavery was born.

I appreciate a person wanting to take pride in one's ancestry.  But that should be grounded in truth.  All of us are descended from Noah and his sons; the flexibility in genetic expression allowing the variety in human appearance we see today does not change the fact that we are one race.  Sadly, the "authentic Jew" is so focused on "blackness" that it's affected his ability to deal honestly with the facts.

So, who are "authentic Jews"?

A Jew might say, "It depends on the Jew you're asking;" an Evangelical might answer, "Someone who observes the Mosaic Law;" a Muslim might respond, "Those who 're-vert' to Islam;" and a liberal might reply with, "Those who vote Democrat."  But what does the God of Israel say?

The Apostle Paul, a Pharisee who referred once to himself as a "Hebrew of Hebrews" and recognized the myriad  blessings God had given to the nation of Israel, says that the "true Israel" are not those who are genetically-Jewish only, but those who live by faith in the Promised Messiah, whether they are Jew or Gentile. He writes:
"not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but 'Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.' This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring" (Romans 9:6-8).
"no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God" (Romans 2:28-29).
We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified" (Galatians 2:15-16).
Christ is the Savior of the Jew first and then the Gentile, the Messiah promised to Adam, Abraham, and Moses.  He is our salvation.