Saturday, July 9, 2016

He Opened Not His Mouth?

Christians claim that the suffering servant in Isaiah 53 
is a prophecy of Jesus Christ. Verse 7 says "He was 
oppressed, yet when he was afflicted he opened not his 
mouth." Farrell Till proves that this couldn't be a prophecy 
of Jesus Christ. From the Errancy Discussion list, 8-8-97:

Magill is arbitrarily asserting, without any textual proof to support his claim, that the suffering servant in Isaiah 53 was Jesus Christ and that any other interpretation is absurd. I have presented another interpretation that I am waiting for Magill to respond to, and I have cited the reference to the "seed" [offspring] of this servant in verse 10 to show that Magill's interpretation is really the one that is absurd. There is even more in the context of Isaiah 53 that is inconsistent with the view that the prophet was speaking about Jesus Christ. Verse 7 says, "He was oppressed, yet when he was afflicted he opened not his mouth." If Magill thinks that this is a prophecy of Jesus Christ, then he must explain why Jesus DID open his mouth during his oppression.

1. When Jesus was taken before Caiapas, Jesus was asked if he was the son of God, and he said, "You have said; nevertheless, I say to you, henceforth you shall see the son of man sitting at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven" (Matt. 26:64).

2. "John" claimed that Jesus at this time, when the high priest asked about his teachings, answered, "I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said" (18:19-21). This sounds very much as if Jesus tried to defend himself (in case any on the list want to argue that he didn't open his mouth in the sense that he didn't say anything to defend himself.)

3. When Jesus said this, he was struck by one of the officers standing by who said, "Is that how you answer the high priest?" Did Jesus open his mouth? It appears that he did, because he allegedly said, "If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?" That also sounds as if he was defending his actions.

4. When Jesus was then taken before Pilate, the synoptics have Jesus saying, "You say," when Pilate asked him if he was the king of the Jews, but "John" had Jesus saying much more: "Do you say this of yourself or did others tell it to you concerning me" (18:34)?

5. Pilate then said, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and chief priests have delivered you to me. What have you done" (v:35)? Jesus then answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight that I should not be delivered to the Jews, but now is my kingdom not of this world" (v:36). Such comments as these could hardly be described as the actions of an oppressed person who "opened not his mouth" during his oppression.

6. Pilate then asked Jesus again if he was king of the Jews, and Jesus opened not his mouth? Nah, this is what he actually said (according to John), "You say that I am a king. To this end have I been born, and to this end am I come into the world that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone that is of the truth hears my voice" (v:37). That too sounds very much like an attempt to defend himself.

7. After Jesus was scourged and presented to the mob, the chief priests screamed that he should die because he "made himself the son of God" (19:7). Upon hearing this, Pilate was freightened, took Jesus into the Praetorium again, and said to him, "Who are you?" To this, "Jesus gave him no answer" (v:9). Ahah, that sounds like prophecy fulfillment to me, but then Jesus blew the fulfillement by not remaining silent. Pilate said, "You don't speak to me? Don't you know that I have power to release you and power to crucify you?" Jesus then said, "You would have no power against me except that it had been given you from above; therefore, he that delivered me to you has greater sin" (v:11). And I would assume that he had to open his mouth to say this.

8. While he was on the cross, Jesus said, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" This was not only something that Jesus said during the time of his oppression, but it sounded very much like a complaint (just in case some on the list wish to argue that he didn't open his mouth in the sense that he didn't object to or complain about his treatment).

9. Luke 23:46 says that Jesus cried with a loud voice just before he died. Would that be considered opening his mouth?

In view of these many passages about what Jesus said during the oppression of his trial and crucifixion, it could hardly be said that he "opened not his mouth." How, then, can Magill argue that the suffering servant in Isaiah 53:7, who opened not his mouth during his oppression, was Jesus Christ and that any other interpretation is absurd? Well, that question isn't hard to answer. Magill can argue this by just opening his mouth and arbitrarily asserting it. Isn't that what he does in all of his postings?

Farrell Till

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