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ISAIAH 53 DOES NOT PREDICT JESUS' DEATH

The Church and the New Testament teach that Isaiah, a prophet who lived centuries before Christianity appeared, predicted the atoning death of Jesus Christ. They tell us that God foresaw this and told him about it beforehand so that we would know Jesus when he came.
 
Isaiah 53, in the dubious translations used by the Church at least, says that a man without beauty, was pierced for our transgression, the iniquity of all the Jews was laid on him, he never lied or did wrong, he went silently and without protest to his suffering and was buried with the rich and the wicked. God has promised to reward him for this by showing him his offspring and he will be a king and divide the spoil with mighty kings.

The alleged fulfilment is the atoning passion, death and burial and resurrection of the sinless Jesus Christ. The reward in the prophecy is supposed to be the resurrection.
 
The ideas in it about the man giving his life for sin and bearing the sin of Israel reminds us of Ezekiel who as told to lie down and bear the sin of the House of Israel (Ezekiel 4:4,5). Christians make the mistake of taking Isaiah to be saying that the predicted man atoned for sin. It is symbolism.
 
If it is not then the prophecy was speaking of Ezekiel who is the perfect match for the prophecy. It could be argued that the first match in the Bible must be the match intended. Plus the Jews recognised Ezekiel as a true prophet. Jesus was a spurious prophet.

The New Testament interpretation is as follows. Matthew 8:17 says it refers to Jesus. He cites Isaiah saying that the man carried our sorrows and afflictions as a prophecy of Jesus’ cures. He means that suffering is caused by sin and we burden Jesus by needing healing and help.
 
John quotes the start of chapter 53, asking the Lord who has believed and to whom has your arm been revealed, as predicting the Jews not believing Jesus (12:38). Philip in Acts 8 and Luke 22:37 says the chapter is about Jesus.

Matthew thinks that when the prophecy says our troubles will be carried by the servant that it refers to Jesus healing. Also, there is some difference between a man saying the servant bore our iniquities and pains and saying this means he could heal! Why should we listen to Matthew when he was stupid?

The verse John cited obviously implies that nobody at all believes but John believed many Jews did. It asks the rhetorical question of to whom has God’s work been revealed meaning nobody believed the servant. Romans 10:16 has the same perverted interpretation.

Any innocent man who has died horribly at the hands of the unjust could fulfil this as it is interpreted by the Christians. If the prophecy is true then he will rise someday if he is rotting in the grave now. It is not said when the man will return from the dead. It is easy enough to bury someone with the rich and the wicked. The man will become king after his death and God can make a king of any man.

Jesus was buried by and not with a rich man and he was not buried with transgressors according to the New Testament.

If Jesus hadn’t died like the prophecy says Christians would be saying that he will come back some day to fulfil it.

Verse 12 says the man was numbered with the transgressors. It is stupid to imagine that this must mean that he died with transgressors.

It is not actually stated that the man will be killed by anybody though his sufferings may have contributed to his death. If the prophecy meant Jesus this death by tragedy would have been clarified for this prophecy is one of the best in the Bible and too important a credential for Christian propaganda.
 
As for the servant bearing the punishment that brings us peace and taking our guilt and making a sin offering of his life that is symbolism for the sin offering had to be done in specific rituals by priests in the Temple and even Jesus was not sacrificed according to ritual by priests. The Christians even go as far as to change the references to the servant being sick and diseased to sorrowful and full of grief for they have no reason to think Jesus had been a sick man (The Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53).

The prophecy says that servant grew up before God like a root coming out of dry ground. Why does it say that after it says the man grew like a young plant? It is an unusual comparison and must tell us something. A young plant grows better than a root starved of water. To compare a man to a desert root coming out of the ground to look for water indicates that the man was born and reared in a dry desert. Jesus was born in a town and even when he was in Egypt you can be sure he was not in a desert. Joseph would have migrated to a nice place.

The root business hints that the Servant is really Israel which grew out of the misery of the desert in which it wandered after the exodus from Egypt. Read the webpage Isaiah 53’s Suffering Servant Israel which answers all objections to the servant being personified Israel and The Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53.

Isaiah 41:8; 44:1; 45:4; 48:20 state that the servant is the nation of Israel. Isaiah 54 presents Zion as a barren wife so he was into personification.

But Christians ignore this because the servant poems of which Isaiah 53 is one say the servant is good while Israel was depraved and impious. But there is evidence from chapter 54 that he thought a change and conversion in Israel was about to take place that counters this. Chapter 52 tells Zion to get ready for purification. Also, the past tense might mean that the old Israel which was true to God atoned for the present sins of Israel by suffering. This tells us that the Servant could have been Israel. Pay no attention to the past and present tenses in Isaiah 53 for the prophet often described the future in the present tense. He should only be taken to be doing this when it is obvious from the material that it can’t be present tense. Otherwise it is the real future tense. Christians isolate chapter 53 from the other servant oracles and pretend it is about Jesus. This is arbitrary. If 53 is really separate from the others then we should take the past tense it uses literally for that would be the only way to avoid confusion which would make us believe that the person the chapter is about has already died for sins or suffered for them in Isaiah’s time. The chapter does not say that the servant is sinless but only that he has done no violence or deceit (Jesus by the way committed both in word and action). Also the servant goes quietly like a lamb for the slaughter meaning the servant does not know what fate it is in for. Jesus did so he was not the servant. The lamb is quiet and does not open its mouth because it does not suspect anything terrible to happen.  Some feel the lamb not opening its mouth means it does not squeal in pain at all but Jesus certainly did.  Jesus was also rude during his trial as if to provoke.

 

Isaiah 53:5 is interesting in the original Hebrew how it is plural and speaks in the present tense so it becomes "They were wounded because of our sins." Even worse for Christians is how 53:9 is graves not grave and so it does not support the Christian reading that it says some man will make his grave with the rich.  The plurals if they refer to saviour beings refer to more than one.  It is holy men of Israel who die for their faith who are spoken of - according to many.

www.fortunecity.com/greenfield/bp/890/interpretation.html says that instead of saying that the passage is about some he the original has some they. I think the they could be the saints in Israel for it had to have some saints. Verse 9 is taken as a prophecy of the grave of Christ by Christians though it is plural. It is graves so it is not about Jesus. The site says that the past tense says that Israel was healed by the wounds of the servants so it could not have been Jesus. It is interesting that the Church says he thought Israel was all bad but here he says it was healed so it was not all bad. The Church then shouldn’t be saying Israel couldn’t be the servant on the basis that it was all rotten.
 
The prophecy says the man will come out of desert ground like a wizened and emaciated root. Incidentally, this does not fit the Jesus of the Turin Shroud who is well nourished and tall and muscular!

 

Isaiah 53 has as less in common with the story of Jesus than Nostradamus's prophecies about the future has with the events he supposedly predicted! Christians won't believe in Nostradamus though he is more credible as a prophet!
 
BOOKS CONSULTED
 
Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, John W Haley, Whitaker House, Pennsylvania, undated
Are There Hidden Codes in the Bible? Ralph O Muncaster, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon, 2000
Attack on the Bible, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1965
Bible Dictionary and Concordance, New American Bible, Catholic Edition, CD Stampley Enterprises, Charlotte Enterprises, Inc, North Carolina, 1971
Encyclopaedia of Bible Difficulties, Gleason W Archer, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1982
Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Vol 1, Alpha, Scripture Press Foundation, Bucks, 1995
God’s Word, Final, Infallible and Forever, Floydd C McElveen, Gospel Truth Ministries, Grand Rapids, 1985
In Search of Certainty, John Guest, Regal Books, Ventura, California, 1983
Jesus Hypotheses, V Messori, St Paul Publications, Slough, 1977
Science and the Bible, Henry Morris, Moody Press, Bucks, 1988
Science Speaks, Peter W Stoner, Robert C Newman, Moody Press, Chicago, 1976
The Bible Code, Michael Drosnin, Orion, London, 2000
The Case for Jesus the Messiah, John Ankerberg Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1989
The Hard Sayings of Jesus, FF Bruce, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1983
The Late Great Planet Earth, Hal Lindsay, Lakeland, London, 1974
The Signature of God, Grant R Jeffrey, Marshall Pickering, London, 1998
The Truth Behind the Bible Code, Dr Jeffrey Satinover, Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 1997
The Truth of Christianity, WH Turton, Wells Gardner, Darton & Co Ltd, London, 1905
The Unauthorised Version, Robin Lane Fox, Penguin, Middlesex, 1992
The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus, Raymond E Brown, Paulist Press, New York, 1973
Theodore Parker’s Discourses, Theodore Parker, Longmans, Green, Rader and Dyer, London, 1876
Whatever Happened to Heaven, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1988
 
 
The WWW
 
www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_lippard/fabulous-prophecies.html
The Fabulous Prophecies of the Messiah by Jim Lippard
This site argues that Daniel’s prophecy if punctuated by the Masoretic method gives a totally different meaning from the one Christians want it to have and which eliminates all attempts to make the prophecy predict the year of Jesus’ death. It shows how Gleason Archer misrepresented a verse from Jeremiah as referring to Judas betraying Jesus for money and left out bits that proved that it did not refer to that event. For example, he deliberately hides the fact that Jeremiah said 17 shekels while Jesus was betrayed for 30 shekels. The Christians now say that Isaiah 7:14 was fulfilled in Ahab’s time but was meant to be a double-fulfilment prophecy meaning that it predicted Jesus’ virgin birth as well or that it could be applied to Jesus’ birth too and was meant to be. That is ridiculous. You could say that Isaiah 53, where the suffering and death of Christ is allegedly predicted, is geared towards a double fulfilment too. And how could either it or Isaiah 7:14 be double prophecies when they each speak of only one event? The double-fulfilment idea is just imagining prophecies of Jesus where there are none and ignoring the wording of Isaiah. The site also tells us how silly the claim that the contradictory genealogies in Matthew and Luke that were given for Jesus that they can be reconciled is. The Catholic Church claims that both lists are accurate but the differences are down to levirate marriage. Levirate marriage is when a childless man dies his brother is obliged to take his wife and impregnate her with babies that are considered to belong to the dead man. So each gospeller just chose different people as part of the line. This is garbage for they differ in the number of ancestors. And my comment is that there would not have been that many levirate marriages.
 
www.infidels.org/library/modern/farrell_till/prophecy.html
Prophecies: Imaginary and Unfulfilled by Farrell Till
This site points out that in the original Hebrew, Micah 5:2 says that the Messiah will come out of the house of Ephrathah in Bethlehem meaning the clan or family of Ephrathah. Matthew thought it meant land. Since there is no evidence that Jesus came from this family, there is therefore no evidence that the prophecy was about him though the Gospel of Matthew tries to make out that it was. Therefore it is an abuse of scripture to say that the prophecy means Jesus. Also Matthew misread Zechariah and thought he said that the king would ride on both an ass and her colt. My comment is that for Jesus to fulfil that he had to be a proper king anointed and enthroned but Jesus was never anointed or sat in a throne. He claimed to be a king but that was not much to go on. Otherwise anybody would do as a fulfilment as long as they claimed to be king. God also promised the land to the Israelites no matter what evil they did on account of his having promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Deuteronomy 9:3-6) and indeed gave them the land though he considered them totally undeserving (Exodus 33:1-6). His promise was unconditional and yet many times they lost the land. My comment is that in the last millennium the Jews were no better or worse than any other nation and were good enough people and still their land was not theirs any more. God broke his promise or the Bible is slandering him. But with Christians the Bible will come first.
 
www.mindspring.com/~bab5/BIB/lessons.htm Daniel 9:17-27 Seventy Weeks of Years
This page argues regarding Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy that since the author of Daniel knew Jeremiah pretty well and how Jeremiah’s prophecy that Israel would be exiled for 70 years proved false for it was 48 years that he probably assumed that the 70 years were not literal and so he might have not meant his 70 weeks to give a specific time span. It also points out how the conservatives often add the before the word anointed in verse 25 to make it seem that Jesus is being referred to and even go as far as to pretend that the seven weeks and the sixty-two weeks add up to sixty nine weeks when they could be running concurrently and indeed must be for the writer could have written 69 weeks instead of 7 and 62 weeks. It shows that the Jewish year was not 360 days long for they had reason to add on a month every three years which means that Jesus would have died about 38 AD which Christians cannot accept for Pilate was axed in 37 AD.
 
www.infidels.org/library/modern/steven_carr/non-messianic.html, Steven Carr, Critique of Josh McDowells Non-Messianic Prophecies This Site cannot be overly recommended. It is superb.
 
www.mindspring.com/~bab5/BIB/lessons.htm, The Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53
 
www.mindspring.com/~bab5/BIB/lessons.htm, Isaiah 53’s Suffering Servant Israel
 
http://human.st/jesuspuzzle/CTVExcerptsTwo.htm, Challenging the Verdict

www.fortunecity.com/greenfield/bp/890/interpretation.html, The Infamous Isaiah Scam

http://web2/airmail.net/bennoahl/isa53no7.htm, What You Were Never Taught in the Christian Church…The Truth About Isaiah 53