Jewish investigators of Jesus often have many common questions about Jesus and Christianity. We consider several of these here:
Was Jesus anti-Jewish?
Some Jewish investigators of Jesus assume that Jesus wasn’t very Jewish, and Christianity is an anti-Jewish religion. But nothing could be further from the truth! Jesus was as Jewish as they come. In fact, the NT explains that Jesus:
-was the ancestor of David and Abraham (Mt. 1:1), from the tribe of Judah (Heb. 7:14), and circumcised on the “eighth day” (Lk. 1:59).
-had a regular “custom” of going to synagogue (Lk. 4:16), and taught in the Jewish Temple (Lk. 21:37).
-found celebrating Hanukkah (Jn. 10:22) and Passover (Jn. 2:13).
-was called a “rabbi” by his disciples (Jn. 4:31), Nicodemus (Jn. 3:2), Mary (Jn. 20:16), and the crowds (Jn. 6:25).
-was called “the King of the Jews” (Mt. 2:2; 27:11), said “salvation is from the Jews” (Jn. 4:22), and was quickly recognized as Jewish by the woman at the well (Jn. 4:9).
-spoke to Paul “in Hebrew” (Acts 26:14)—even though Paul understood Greek (Acts 21:37).
-believed in the entirety of the Hebrew law (Mt. 5:17).
How could we ever conclude that Jesus was not Jewish, when the NT so clearly explains that he was?
Was Paul anti-Jewish?
The apostle Paul wrote 13 out of the 27 books in the NT. Some Jewish investigators of Jesus assume that Jesus wasn’t very Jewish, and Christianity is an anti-Jewish religion.
However, Paul himself was a self-identified Jewish man (Acts 22:2). His letters inform us that he was from the tribe of Benjamin (Rom. 11:1), and he was very far advanced in Jewish practices (Gal. 1:13-14) as a Jewish Pharisee (Phil. 3:5-6). When Paul came to Christ, he didn’t learn to distain his fellow Jewish friends. Instead, he writes, “I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh” (Rom. 9:3). Clearly Paul would give anything for his fellow Jewish friends—even his own salvation!
Just consider how hypocritical it would be if Paul was anti-Semitic. If Paul was anti-Semitic, he would need to hate himself, the other apostles, the earliest believers in the church, and Jesus Christ himself!
If I become a follower of Jesus, does that mean that I need to give up being Jewish?
Of course not! As we have already argued, Jesus was Jewish, as were the apostles and the earliest Christians. Instead, the Bible teaches that we should adopt cultural mores in order to share Jesus’ message of love and forgiveness with others. Therefore, if you come from a Jewish background, this means that the NT actually teaches that you should stay in your Jewish culture for the sake of your other Jewish friends and family (1 Cor. 9:20-23).
Haven’t Christians been guilty of anti-Semitism and persecution of Jewish people?
Sadly, Christian history has been plagued with anti-Semitism and Jewish persecution. Christian historian Justo Gonzalez writes about the Crusades as follows:
There followed a horrible bloodbath. All the defenders were killed as well as many civilians. Women were raped, and infants thrown against walls. Many of the city’s Jews had taken refuge in the synagogue, and the crusaders set fire to the building with them inside.
In responding to this very sensitive issue, it’s important to keep something in mind: Violence and cruelty contradict the teachings of Jesus. Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Mt. 5:44). He also said, “If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm” (Jn. 18:36). While “Christians” have been violent, this is in contradiction to the teachings of Christ.
Similarly, while Jewish people have been guilty of cruelty in the name of God, this shouldn’t invalidate the teachings of Judaism, should it? Obviously not! We shouldn’t judge a religion based on its heretics. Instead, we should look to see what the religion actually teaches. Otherwise, we will confuse the message with the messengers. Similarly, while supposed “messengers of Christ” have been guilty of heinous acts of cruelty in Jesus’ name, this is not what Jesus himself taught.
Consider an illustration: Imagine if a diplomat from the American embassy travelled to China to represent our government. But en route, the diplomat was replaced by an enemy of our nation, who impersonated the diplomat to the Chinese government. Of course, it would be easy to see how such an event would leave a sour taste in China’s mouth. But what if the American government communicated that this man was an impostor, and he didn’t actually represent our nation? Would it be right for the Chinese government to still persist in despising Americans as a result? Of course not.
Jesus himself taught, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits” (Mt. 7:15-16). 17 of the 22 letters of the NT (including Rev. 2-3) mention false prophets. The Bible teaches that we should discern false teachers like this through their deeds (Titus 1:16; 3 Jn. 1:10; 2 Cor. 11:15; Mt. 7:15-20; 11:19; 23:3; 1 Jn. 2:6; 2 Pet. 2:18-19; Jn. 10:12-13) and their doctrine (2 Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1:6-9).
While false teaching and practice are very real, it would be a mistake to let heretics make you cynical of the truth of Christ. Otherwise, they would have accomplished their mission: Keeping people from the truth and love of God.
How could Jesus be the Jewish Messiah if he was rejected by the nation of Israel?
Often Jewish investigators of Jesus wonder how Jesus could be the Jewish Messiah, if in fact, so many Jewish people have rejected him. Doesn’t this seem contradictory to the very nature of God’s love for the Jewish people? A number of observations can be made:
First, rebellion against God’s plan is not a NT pattern, but an OT one. When we survey the OT, we see that God’s people frequently rejected his plan. For instance, God called his people a “stubborn people” immediately before they entered the Promised Land (Deut. 9:6). Jeremiah wrote, “And the Lord has sent to you all His servants the prophets again and again, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear” (Jer. 25:4). 2 Chronicles records, “They continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people” (2 Chron. 36:16). In Numbers, we read, “But all the congregation said to stone them [Moses and Aaron] with stones” (Num. 14:10), because they disagreed with their leadership so much. It’s remarkable that the Jews were close to stoning Moses—their faithful and anointed leader—but the Bible clearly records this (cf. Matthew 27:22). In the Psalms, we read, “Therefore the Lord heard and was full of wrath; and a fire was kindled against Jacob and anger also mounted against Israel, 22 because they did not believe in God and did not trust in His salvation… In spite of all this they still sinned and did not believe in His wonderful works” (Ps. 78:21-22, 32). Therefore, it shouldn’t surprise us to see God’s people rejecting his Messiah, when the Hebrew Scriptures contain this from beginning to end.
Second, 90% of Jews today are not practicing Orthodox Judaism. Obviously, an orthodox Jewish person would not say that God’s Torah had failed—simply because 90% of Jewish people are not participating in it! Instead, God’s people have merely failed to obey what the Torah teaches. The same is true for explaining why Jewish people have rejected Jesus. It isn’t that God failed; instead, his people rejected him of their own freewill.
Third, as Paul argues in Romans 11, God usually worked through a faithful Jewish remnant in the Hebrew Scriptures. That is, while there was usually a large nation in the history of the Jewish nation, God typically worked within a small remnant within the nation:
(Gen. 7:23) Here, God worked through a remnant of eight faithful people from amongst the entire world. This, of course, was before the nation of Israel.
(Gen. 18) In Abraham’s day, most of the people were unfaithful to God, but God spared a remnant of faithful Jewish people: Abraham’s family.
(1 Kin. 19:18) In Elijah’s day, most of the people had abandoned God in favor of idol worship. However, God told Elisha that there was a 7,000 person “remnant” of faithful men, who hadn’t bowed to Baal.
(Zech. 8:6, 12) After the Exile, God gathered a remnant of faithful Jews, while most had fallen into apostasy.
(Ezra 9:8, 13, 15) Here, most of the men had taken Pagan wives after the regathering. However, a number of faithful men had not disobeyed God.
Therefore, as we read through the Hebrew Bible, we see that it is normal to see God working with a smaller number of faith Jewish people from within the nation itself. In the first-century, several thousand Jewish people believed in God’s Messiah, Jesus. There are roughly 100,000 Jewish believers in Jesus today. This pattern shouldn’t surprise us.
Are blood sacrifices important for atonement and forgiveness?
Blood sacrifices were given expressly for the purpose forgiveness in the Hebrew Bible. There are a number of reasons for thinking that blood sacrifices are crucial to forgiveness in the Hebrew Bible.
First, blood sacrifices were central to religious worship in the book of GENESIS (e.g. Abel, Noah, Abraham, Jacob). As far back as the Hebrew Bible goes, blood sacrifices are found.
Second, blood sacrifices were essential in the book of EXODUS. There we find the Passover (Ex. 12), where God did not render judgment on the Jewish people, because they poured blood of an innocent lamb on the lintel of their doorpost. Moses later ratified his covenant by sprinkling blood on the people (Ex. 24:5-8). The Tabernacle demonstrates the necessity of blood sacrifices as well. Moreover, the first reference to annual atonement in the Bible mentions the necessity of blood—not prayer or repentance or good deeds (Ex. 30:10).
Third, blood sacrifices were essential in the book of LEVITICUS. Later in the book of Leviticus, God promised to reveal himself in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle (Lev. 16:2), because of blood atonement. Leviticus 16 prescribes the Day of Atonement—whereby the high priest would sacrifice animals in place of the people’s sins. Brown writes, “Throughout the Book of Leviticus, which is the book in the Scriptures dealing with sacrifice and atonement, whenever atonement is mentioned (forty-nine times in all), it is always in conjunction with blood sacrifices.” Leviticus 17:11 explains clearly, “The life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.” Brown writes, “A careful study of the Five Books of Moses indicates that more chapters are devoted to the subject of sacrifices and offerings than to the subjects of Sabbath observances, high holy days, idolatry, adultery, murder, and theft combined.”
Fourth, after the exile, the Jewish people were quick to rebuild their Temple to bring back sacrifices again. Consider several passages:
Nehemiah: After the exile of Israel, the Jewish people immediately rebuilt their Temple and began offering blood sacrifices again (Neh. 10:32-33). Why such immediacy, unless blood sacrifices were central to atonement?
Ezra & Haggai: After the exile, the people rushed to rebuild the Temple (Ezra 1:5-6; 2:68-69; 5:1-2; Hag. 1). If blood sacrifices were replaced by other means, then why did the people rush to rebuild the Temple, in order to reinstitute blood sacrifices?
Ezekiel: In the future third Temple, blood sacrifices will still be central to atonement (Ezek. 43:19-20; 45:15-17).
Jeremiah: Jeremiah believed that the sacrificial system would be restored, when Jerusalem was done with judgment (Jer. 33:10-11).
Malachi: Malachi, who lived in the days of the second Temple, emphasized sacrificial offerings (Mal. 1:6-14).
Some Jewish interpreters have held that blood sacrifices are not important, and God has replaced the Temple sacrifices by other religious practices (e.g. prayer, good deeds, etc.). But when we survey the Scriptures, we see that blood sacrifices are central to atonement and forgiveness. Of course, as a follower of Jesus, we see that these sacrifices were fulfilled in the perfect and innocent Lamb, who gave us his life in his blood on the Cross (Jn. 1:29).
Weren’t the blood sacrifices of the Temple replaced with prayer, good deeds, or other spiritual disciplines?
Many Jewish rabbis struggled with the theological implications of the destruction of the Temple in AD 70. That is, if forgiveness comes through blood sacrifices, how can the Jewish people be forgiven when the Temple is in ruins? In order to resolve this theological difficulty, many concluded that the prophets had answered this difficulty already, during the first exile (in the sixth century BC). They concluded that God had already provided other means for receiving forgiveness, and blood sacrifices are no longer necessary. Is this the case? Let’s consider several biblical passages and weigh the cogency of this view:
ARGUMENT #1: The prophets state that GOOD DEEDS and REPENTANCE replace blood sacrifices (Ezek. 18:30-32; Isa. 55:6-7).
Consider the words of the prophet Ezekiel and Isaiah, where God states:
(Ezek. 18:30-32) “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct,” declares the Lord God. “Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you. 31 Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God. “Therefore, repent and live.”
(Isa. 55:6-7) Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
There is no doubt that both of these passages emphasize repentance. But the real question is this: Do they replace or abrogate blood sacrifices? Of course we need repentance to be forgiven. Repentance is necessary, but is it sufficient? Similarly, in the NT, we need both Jesus’ death on the Cross and repentance in order to have forgiveness (c.f. Acts 2:38; 17:30). It isn’t “either/or.” It is “both/and.”
Imagine if we applied this interpretation to Sabbath observance. Do these passages in the prophets eliminate a modern Jewish believer’s need to take the Sabbath? What about belief in God? Could a modern day atheist be forgiven by simply performing good deeds? Clearly, these passages from Ezekiel and Isaiah are not abrogating the previous teaching on blood sacrifice (or any other essential element to biblical faith). Instead, they are merely focusing on the importance of repentance.
ARGUMENT #2: Isaiah 1:11 states that God hates the sacrificial system
God says, “What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me? I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle; and I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats” (Isa. 1:11). Again, a surface reading would indicate that God is doing away with the sacrificial system, but this is not the case. God doesn’t want to get rid of Temple sacrifices; instead, he wants to affirm justice. In other words, God is not prohibiting sacrifices; he is promoting justice.
Later in the passage, God tells them that their hands are “covered with blood” (v.15) and God wants them to “cease to do evil” (v.16). These people were offering an abundance of sacrifices (“What are your multiplied sacrifices to me” verse 11), but they were also neglecting basic aspects of justice (“Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless” verse 17). In effect, God was saying, “You are doing all of the religious sacrifices, but you’re also murdering people! Why are you coming with your sacrifice in hand, if you’re not being sincere in the rest of your life?” Jesus taught this same exact principle (Mt. 5:23-24). God abhors phony and superficial religious worship (Isa. 29:13; c.f. Mk. 7:6-7).
God cannot be saying that he is abrogating Temple sacrifices and replacing it with justice. In the same exact passage, God says that he cannot stand prayer (Isa. 1:15). Obviously, prayer has not been replaced by justice! Instead, later in the passage, Isaiah explains, “They [the sacrifices] have become a burden to me” (Isa. 1:14). This implies that something changed in their understanding of the sacrificial system. The problem isn’t with the sacrificial system; the problem was with the worshipers in the sacrificial system.
Moreover, at this point in the book, Isaiah is already setting up for God’s solution to sin that comes at the end of the book. These inane sacrifices were supposed to point to the ultimate sacrifice on the Cross. The Hebrew word for “pleasure” in this passage is chaphets. It occurs later in Isaiah 53:10 to refer to the ultimate sacrifice of the Suffering Servant (“The Lord was pleased to crush him”).
It is true that blood sacrifices were worthless without repentance. For instance, in Samuel’s day, God refused to accept sacrifices and offerings to forgive Eli’s sons, because they were so unrepentant (1 Sam. 3:14). However, God also refuses to accept any religious activities apart from repentance! For instance, in Jeremiah’s day, God says, “When they fast, I am not going to listen to their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I am not going to accept them ” (Jer. 14:12). If the sacrificial system has been replaced, then so has fasting! Likewise, God rejects “religious feasts,” “assemblies,” “burnt offerings,” and “grain offerings” (Amos 5:21-24). But if this is the case, then why do modern Jewish practitioners still observe the Sabbaths and the religious calendar? A consistent reading of these passages shows us that we need both sacrificial system as well as repentance. One has not replaced the other.
ARGUMENT #3: Proverbs 16:6 states that GOOD DEEDS replace sacrifices.
The Proverbs state, “By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for” (Prov. 16:6). Does this mean that good deeds can replace blood sacrifices? We think not for several reasons:
First, it would be incredibly odd if we found an authoritative statement about good deeds replacing animal sacrifices in the book of Proverbs. The book of Proverbs is wisdom literature. It is an intensely practical book of do’s and don’ts. It isn’t intensely theological. So it is odd to use this as a basis for overriding the clear statements about forgiveness in the Torah.
Second, the author of this passage was Solomon, who built the Temple. It would be odd if Solomon was overriding the message of the Torah regarding animal sacrifices, when he spent his innumerable financial resources to build the Temple, which was at the center of animal sacrifices.
Third, one purpose of this passage is to help bring estranged parties back together. The forgiveness here is between people and people—not people and God. Context controls how we understand the Hebrew word for atonement (kippur). Here, as the context makes clear, kippur refers to purging or removing the effects of sin. The context refers to dealing with the effects of our sin on others, which is accomplished through good deeds. Proverbs is a practical book of wisdom in relationships—not a theological treatise on atonement. So this verse shouldn’t be pressed too far.
Fourth, another purpose of this passage is to oust the evil intent of religious people. The problem with the sacrifice wasn’t the sacrificial system, it was with the sinful attitude of the people offering the sacrifice. Solomon elsewhere writes, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, how much more when he brings it with evil intent!” (Prov. 21:27) Of course, God doesn’t care about sacrifices, if we are using this as a system to abuse others. Samuel explains, “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams” (1 Sam. 15:22). But Solomon also writes, “He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, even his prayer is an abomination” (Prov. 28:9). Does this mean that prayer has been replaced by good deeds? Of course not. Instead, the author is writing to religious hypocrisy—not removing the necessity of blood sacrifices or prayer or anything else.
ARGUMENT #4: Psalm 141:2 states that PRAYER replaces blood sacrifices.
David writes, “May my prayer be counted as incense before You; the lifting up of my hands as the evening offering” (Ps. 141:2). Some interpreters believe that David is replacing blood atonement with prayer.
However, this statement does not replace blood atonement. At most, this statement could replace the “evening offering,” since this is all that it refers to. Moreover, David is merely making an analogy regarding his prayer life—not a complete overhaul of blood atonement sacrifices. The original meaning had nothing to do with replacing blood sacrifice with prayer. And finally, we might note how odd it would be for David to abrogate blood sacrifices, when he saved so much money to build a Temple to God.
ARGUMENT #5: Leviticus 5:11-13 states that FLOUR replaces blood sacrifices.
Leviticus states that a poor person can bring flour to the offering, instead of an animal. However, this passage doesn’t replace the need for blood sacrifices. Verse 12 explains that the flour was added to the blood already on the altar. Thus it doesn’t replace the blood, but it was added to the blood. Moreover, Brown writes, “Nowhere is it written that ‘the flour will make atonement’ or that ‘the life of a creature is in the flour.’ Rather, the whole basis for atonement was in the sacrificial blood on the altar, and through a flour offering, even poor Israelites could participate in the atoning power of the altar.”
ARGUMENT #6: Exodus 30:12-16 states that MONEY replaces blood sacrifices (c.f. Num. 31:48-50).
This didn’t have to do with atonement for sin, but atonement from a plague. The distinction here is between the Hebrew word kopher (“ransom”), rather than kippur (“atonement”). Remember, context always determines how we translate kippur, which is etymologically close to kopher. Kopher connotes a ransom payment (c.f. Ex. 21:30; Isa. 43:3). Brown writes, “Overall, kopher is used fourteen times in the Hebrew Scriptures, meaning ransom… Never once, however, does it have anything to do with atonement of sin.” Since the context refers to ransom, this “atonement money” (Hebrew keseph kippurim) should be better translated as “ransom money.” Moreover, the Hebrew Bible never states that atonement is in the money, as it does affirm with blood atonement (cf. Lev. 17:11).
ARGUMENT #7: Numbers 16:46-48 states that INCENSE replaces blood sacrifices.
Here the word kippur again refers to “make appeasement,” as the context makes clear. The context is God’s wrath in the plague, and this was what had been at stake—not forgiveness from sin.
ARGUMENT #8: 1 Kings 8:46-49 states that PRAYING TOWARD THE TEMPLE replaces blood sacrifices (c.f. Dan. 6:10).
The parallel passage is 2 Chronicles 6. In context, this is while the Temple was still standing. Solomon’s prayer refers to the future exile—not a destroyed Temple. Likewise, in Daniel 9, Daniel prayed (and knew) that he was under the judgment of God, because the Temple was still destroyed. Some Jewish interpreters have claimed that Daniel’s three prayers (morning, noon, and night) reflect the three sacrifices offered in the Temple. Moreover, this is why Daniel prayed toward Jerusalem while in exile. However, these same interpreters fail to notice that there were only two daily times of sacrifice—not three (Num. 28:1-8; Ezra 3:4). Moreover, Daniel 6:10 is just descriptive of Daniel’s personal prayer life. It made sense for him to face this direction, because this was the hub of God’s atoning plan.
ARGUMENT #9: The Ninevites were forgiven through Jonah’s ministry without a blood sacrifice.
While the Ninevites did not bring their own sacrifice to the Jewish Temple, God made a provision for the Gentile nations in the book of Exodus. God told his people that they were to be a kingdom of priests for all of the nations (Ex. 19:5-6). Thus they were to offer sacrifices for their non-believing neighbors.
ARGUMENT #10: Blood sacrifices atoned for unintentional sins only—not intentional sins
Leviticus makes clear that the blood sacrifices also included intentional sins (Lev. 5:20-26; 6:1-7). Moreover, the high priest was to confess “all” of the wickedness of the people on Yom Kippur (Lev. 16:20-22), and God promised to forgive the people because of the sacrifices in the Temple when Solomon prayed for the future people (2 Chron. 7:12-16). This included all kinds of sin and wickedness. Brown writes, “We do not believe that after every sin an Israelite had to go to the Temple in Jerusalem (or before that, to the Tabernacle) and offer sacrifice. Every animal in the land fit for sacrifice would have slaughtered within days if that were the case, and no one would have had time to do anything except offer sacrifices day and night.”
Because the Temple has been destroyed for over 1,900 years, it’s easy to see why Jewish interpreters would want to believe that blood sacrifices have been abrogated in some way. From a Christian perspective, however, the Temple was destroyed because the ultimate Lamb of God (Jesus) was sacrificed in AD 33, and these animal sacrifices are no longer necessary. Thus instead of building another Temple for sacrifices, or replacing the sacrifices with religious acts, followers of Jesus see that God has fulfilled these sacrifices “once for all” in his Son (Heb. 9:12; 10:10).
Frequently debated passages
Various other passages have been questioned by Jewish investigators of Jesus. We have a few of these listed below:
 Tenney writes, “The Feast of Dedication, now known as Hanukkah, was established as a memorial to the purification and rededication of the temple by Judas Maccabeus on Kislev (December) 25, 165 b.c., after its profanation three years earlier by Antiochus IV Epiphanes.” Tenney, M. C. John. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: John and Acts (Vol. 9). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House. 1981. 111.
 Likewise, the other apostles were Jewish. James even addressed his letter “to the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad” (Jas. 1:1).
 Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity, Vol. 1. New York, Harper & Row, 1984. 295-296. See also Marcus, Jacob. The Jew in the Medieval World. Antheneum, NY, 1969.
 Rom. 16:17,18; 1 Cor. 15:12; 2 Cor. 2:17; 11:13-15; Gal. 1:6-9; 5:10-12; Phil. 3:2; Col. 2:16-23; 2 Thes. 2:1,2; 1 Tim. 1:3ff.; 4:1-5; 6:3-5; 2 Tim. 3:1-8; Titus 1:10-16; 3:9-11; Heb. 13:9; 2 Pet. 2:1-22; 1 Jn. 2:18-26; 4:1-6; 2 Jn. 1:7-9; 3 Jn. 1:9,10; Jude 1:4ff.; Rev. 2:2,15,20.
 Brown, Michael L. Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Theological Objections. Vol. 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2003. 107.
 Brown, Michael L. Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Theological Objections. Vol. 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2003. 73.
 Brown, Michael L. Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Theological Objections. Vol. 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2003. 113.
 Brown, Michael L. Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Theological Objections. Vol. 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2003. 114-115.
 Brown, Michael L. Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Theological Objections. Vol. 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2003. 127.