Here are some quickie not in depth thoughts on Valke2’s thoughts:
God told us that he was not a man. In light of the OT Hebrew tendency to worship just about everything but God, God might have just been trying to get the focus on Him, so the Jews could prepare the world for the revelation of the Son, and the Trinity later on.
Septuagint - at the time of Christ, there were more Jews (by far) living outside Israel than in it. And most of them spoke Greek, not Hebrew or Aramaic. Most of the scholarly theological work was not being done in Jerusalem, but Alexandria. They came up with the Septuagint (which has the same books as the Catholic Bible). After the temple was destroyed in 70AD (and possibly also due to the defection of many Jews to Christianity), certain books were revised and/or removed from general circulation. I’m not sure what books are still considered to be in the Tanack today.
The Jewish scriptures that Jesus quoted, and the scriptures which were read in synagogue at the time were from the Septuagint.
- Changing the laws vs. keeping the old laws - others may have a more comprehensive answer, but some of the laws (such as divorce being OK) were actually Mosaic concessions to his own people. A change that would not have been necessary incidentally if divorce had already been OK. The original law (inscribed in our hearts if not explicitly in the bible) was “no divorce.” I don’t recall Jesus saying that “not one jot of the Torah was to be changed…”
I want to reemphasize a point already made - the early Christians were not fools. They understood the scriptures as a Jew of the time would. Only after the resurrection, and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost did they begin to understand the true obvious now that we understand it meaning of so many scriptures. Unlike the Jews who were crucified for (probably) things out of their control, the early Christians only needed to deny Christ in order to save their lives. But they didn’t. This Christianity stuff was so wonderful, they willingly died for it.
In another thread, someone posited that perhaps the early Christians “inflated” the number of martyrs in order to gain converts. WHAT?
And in a thread a long time ago and far far away someone said that this Jesus guy just got lucky and hit it big in the religion business. Yeah, he hit it so big it got him killed, and most of his early followers as well.
Today’s daily mass reading included the following:
A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel,
a teacher of the law, respected by all the people,
stood up, ordered the Apostles to be put outside for a short time,
and said to the Sanhedrin, …So now I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself.
But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them;
you may even find yourselves fighting against God.”
Since 33AD, in terms of bringing people to God, Christianity has done pretty well, I’d say.
OK - this post is longer than I said it would be