A Messianic Jew's interesting arguments against Catholicism

There’s a Messianic Jew on YouTube named TheMessianicDrew who I think for the most part makes some pretty good videos, but he made one attacking the claims of Catholicism (transcript) that I hadn’t heard before, and I’d like to see what your takes are on them. Here are his three main points, which he listed in the video:
1. God did not replace Israel (or the Sanhedrin) with the Roman Catholic Church.
2. If God did give Israel an infallible teaching magisterium, then Jesus was a fraud.
3. If God did not give Israel an infallible teaching magisterium, then a fortiori he did not give it to the Roman Catholic Church either.

Drew’s main argument here is that the evidence that Rabbinic Judaism provides for the continuing Rabbinic tradition is better than the evidence we provide for the continuing Catholic tradition, such that if we are to reject modern Rabbinic authority, then on pain of irrationality, we are committed to reject Catholic authority as well, a fortiori.

Also, he argues, if Israel was given an infallible magisterium in the Sanhedrin, this means that they were infallible when they declared Jesus a blasphemer, which is an obvious problem.

What is the Catholic rebuttal to this?

Isn’t he kind of ignoring the fact that it is the Holy Spirit working through the Church that makes it infallible, not just some particularly special group of people?

Sorry. That’s probably speaking very simply. This is an interesting perspective to take and probably takes a lot more knowledge about the history of Israel and the Jewish people than I have to argue against it.

Jesus Himself instituted the Church, when He declared Peter the Rock, and when He said that the gates of hel will not prevail against it. If Jesus is the Son of God, as He said, then why would He even bother saying all that?

The proof in the pudding is the person of Jesus Christ.

The concept of “infallible teaching Magisterium” does not apply before the foundation of the Church. God’s Word was alive in inspired Holy Scripture for the Hebrews, but without a defined Biblical canon or teaching authority of the Apostles, and without the revelation of Christ Himself, the Magisterium was not to be found in Israel.

The gospels give clear witness and testimony that Jesus, the Passover Lamb, fulfilled the law of Moses and established His Church with the Apostles. The fact that the Jewish leaders were blind to the prophecies even as they helped fulfill them is paradoxical, but their eyes were opened after the fact, as is recounted in the Book of Acts in recent weeks in the liturgy.

The Book of Revelation gives a clear account of the Heavenly Jerusalem and the eschatology of the Church. The teachings are clear that the status of Israel as a Chosen People of the Old Covenant was fulfilled in Christ’s coming and transferred to the whole world, saved through baptism and incorporated into the Body of Christ. The New Israel is the Church, the body of believers. It is impossible to miss this, particularly if you celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours with any regularity. Israel was not “replaced”, it was fulfilled and expanded. The Sanhedrin was not “replaced” but it was fulfilled and rendered unnecessary as part of the Old Law.

Christ certainly did replace the Old Law with His Church.

2. If God did give Israel an infallible teaching magisterium, then Jesus was a fraud.

Who claims that the Sanhedrin had infallible teaching authority?

3. If God did not give Israel an infallible teaching magisterium, then a fortiori he did not give it to the Roman Catholic Church either.

Again, who ever claimed that the Sanhedrin had infallible teaching authority?

His point is that he thinks the case for the Sanhedrin’s infallible authority is better than that of the Catholic Church.

Lest anyone be confused here: this guy is a straight-up evangelical protestant attacking “traditional Catholicism” like that “Catholic Answers”, etc.

Wolf in sheep’s clothing aside, let’s look at the his foundation - because it is just so much vanity and striving after wind. I’ve indented his “argument” for ease of reference.

Such groups, although they constitute a small portion of the Roman Catholic Church, are guilty of the Galatian heresy, and are therefore unsaved unbelievers, a sort of cult if you will.

FYI the “Galatian heresy” is from Galatians 6:12-13 shown here from an Evangelical site with their interpretation, just so we know where our antagonist is coming from.

Galatians 6:12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, THEY CONSTRAIN YOU (gentile proselytes) TO BE CIRCUMCISED (in accordance with the Passover passage in Exodus 12:48) ; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; BUT DESIRE TO HAVE YOU CIRCUMCISED , that they may glory in your flesh.

He continues on.
And therefore it is very important for all believers to learn how to argue against them. I am going to give you a Rabbinically inspired argument against the Roman Catholic claims to Papal authority.

Okay - this is just silly. If you want to step onto this playing field and give this guy any credit when he compares Catholics to people who insist on circumcision (a very Protestant practice), I’m really not sure where to go from there. It’s an inductive leap worthy of Superman or the Hulk.

BUT - I’ll give him a pass, just to see if there may be something worth merit here. For ease of reference, the red is my commentary.

As I mentioned in a previous video, you need to look for consistency when evaluating arguments. Holding one standard for your own arguments and another when evaluating another side’s arguments is a fallacy so commonly used that it has its own name: special pleading. Blah Blah, logic, Blah Got it. Remember this when evaluating Roman Catholic arguments for the existence of an authoritative teaching magisterium. Yep. Still got it. Are these Roman Catholic Apologists willing to hold Rabbinic claims to authority to the same standard in which they hold their own arguments? And here is where he shoots himself in the foot

Clearly our antagonist is confused about “Rabbinical Authority” and what that means.
Here’s a good (objective) resource:
jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/2154-authority-rabbinical
Especially interesting is this section on “Dissenting Rabbis”.

“No rabbinical court can abrogate laws and institutions made by any other court, unless it is superior in both wisdom and number” ('Eduyyot i. 5)

  1. Superior in wisdom - I think Jesus founding the Church covers that and if an Evangelical wants to say that Jesus lacks wisdom well we do have a problem but not with this refutation.

  2. Superior in number. Again, I find it strange that an Evangelical would try to undermine all of the Apostle’s efforts and claim them to be false. Do I really need to pull up statistics here?

Ah, lets go out to the end of this travesty of a foundational argument’s paragraph shown here. Again, the red is me.

Furthermore, if they believe that God replaced Israel with the church, What, hunh WHAT??? Did I miss something? Where do we say this? on what consistent basis can they say that God did not replace the church with someone else? I propose to you, there is none.
No. It *PROTESTANTS *that claim Christ’s *Church *is replaced with someone else.

Good grief. This is not interesting or even worthwhile. Please save yourself the headache of giving it any more thought. I know I intend to.

They have no such claim. Period.
The burden is on his to show this anywhere besides contrived Evangelical postings.

The Sanhedrin where infallible in their condemnation of Jesus?!

Well, that’s his argument. He argues that if the Sanhedrin were infallible, they were infallible in condemning Jesus.

Condemning Jesus was part of God’s plan. So I guess that was an infallible act. Jesus chose to allow them to put him to death. He did not have his life take from him. He freely gave it for the salvation of man.

True, but doesn’t it still create some problems? Like, the Sanhedrin would have been infallible when they called Jesus a blasphemer.

+JMJ+

LOL, Jesus was raised from the dead after being killed resulting from that condemnation by the Sanhedrin! If this is not an unassailable refutation of that silly premise, I don’t know what is :wink:

Well, he’d argue that that disproves that the Sanhedrin was infallible, and since he argues that the case for the Catholic Church’s infallible is weaker, that we should reject the latter as well, a fortiori.

As always, we can ask this “messianic Jew” if Catholics are a dangerous cult, then why would he be quoting from their dangerous book, The New Testament? :confused: What makes him think the Catholic Church is NOT the Church of the New Testament? :confused: As was already observed, this is just an Evangelical in Jewish clothing.

Well, he’d of course say that the NT isn’t our book, and point out again his case that the evidence for continuing rabbinic Jewish tradition is better than our case, and that since we both reject the former, that we should reject the latter as well.

+JMJ+

“The case for the Catholic Church’s infallible is weaker”, how now? If the best he can say is:

Virtually all of the Roman Catholic arguments for its tradition can be applied with equal force to support the tradition of the Rabbis, or at least of the Sanhedrin. Just take the argument such as “how do you know which books belong in the Bible” and apply it 50 years before the birth of Jesus. Or take the question: “Didn’t the Apostles have other teachings that weren’t recorded in their writings?” and apply it to Moses or to the Old Testament prophets. What’s good for the Papal goose is good for the Rabbinic Gander.

Then he is forgetting Matthew 5:17-18:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

Until everything is accomplished, i.e. until Jesus has fulfilled all of the Law by His death and resurrection. After that, whatever argumentation by Rabbis or Messianic Drew or anybody else is all for naught because the reasons for the authority of the Sanhedrin have been fulfilled by Jesus’ death and resurrection.

To paraphrase what I quoted earlier, none of the Roman Catholic arguments for its authority can be applied with equal force to support the tradition of the Rabbis, or at least of the Sanhedrin, because the authority of the Jewish tradition has been removed by Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection because it is not needed anymore. End of story.

Well I think he’d argue that how do you know the authority of the Catholic Church hasn’t been fulfilled or won’t be fulfilled. He’d argue that for every verse we give to show that Christ’s Church won’t be fulfilled, a Rabinnic Jew could give an OT verse to show that God’s covenant with Israel is also eternal.

Now, I think I remember JP Holding (a Protestant apologist) pointing out in one of his YouTube videos (it was one of the videos in his series, “The Christian and the Old Testament Law”, I think), that the same word which describes God’s covenant with Israel as forever also describes indentured servitiude, so maybe that is a good way we could rebut this. I’m just saying where he’d be coming from.

Also, I think he’d bring up that since the trial of Jesus was before the fulfillment of the authority of the Sanhedrin, that they would then have been infallible when they condemned Jesus if they were in fact infallible.

+JMJ+

I’d say show me in the Bible where its says when it will be fulfilled :slight_smile:

Which I won’t, I won’t be spoonfeeding every debater I meet :slight_smile:

What I posted is rooted in the Divine Mission of Jesus Christ, and he has to contend with that instead of any Rabbi’s OT interpretation.

I’d say he’s wrong. The Sanhedrin’s authority was used to initiate the Passion of Jesus Christ; that was its purpose.

I would say that it most certainly is the Church’s book. It was written by our Church, for our Church. It was never intended to take the place of the Church however, which is what your evangelical tries to do. Just because Protestantism tried to tear the Bible away from the Catholic Church, doesn’t mean that it was effective or accomplished. Therefore, his argument from tradition is also of no use, since he neither speaks for Jewish Tradition NOR Catholic tradition, but merely argues in league with the Protestants who have torn the Book from its Church (but with a Jewish twist.) His arguments are nothing more than Protestant arguments.

He has put himself in with the same crowd as Mormonism, JWs, Socinians, etc. etc. Just another weird cult that uses the NT as a launching point for something entirely heterodox, novel, new, and weird.

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