بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
As we continue to expose the missionary Ken Temple, here we present another example of this man’s penchant for spreading false propaganda and lies, and then claiming that he is not lying. In a blog post from 2013, that he has since posted repeatedly in his comments on BloggingTheology, Temple made the following claim:
“Rabbi Michael Skobac admits that the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur = יום כפר ) of Leviticus 16 is the closest parallel to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ!”
He then linked to a video on YouTube from “Jews for Judaism” titled “Why Jesus Didn’t Have to Die to Atone for Our Sins”. The irony is that the title of the video already refutes Temple’s sensational headline. In the video, Rabbi Skobac provided numerous reasons why the Christian doctrine of atonement contradicts that of the Tanakh. My personal favorite is Skobac’s reference to the book of Ezekiel (1:16:00 mark), which in my opinion, completely destroys the Christian belief in Jesus’ be-all/end-all sacrifice for the atonement of sins. But that is a different topic.
What interests us here is the way Temple manipulated what Skobac said about the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) vis a vis the Christian belief in Jesus’ sacrifice as an atonement for humanity’s sins. Temple makes the astounding claim that Skobac actually “admitted” that the Christian concept is “parallel” to the Day of Atonement. Now, first of all, even IF this was true (which it isn’t, as we will see shortly), it doesn’t mean anything as the opinion of one rabbi would not speak for all Jews. But as I said, this is not even the case because Temple flat-out lied about what Skobac actually said. If he was not lying, as he claims, then he completely misunderstood what the rabbi actually said (and has not figured it out even after 6 years).
Here is the transcript of Rabbi Skobac’s speech (1:30:26 mark; emphasis mine):
“This is one of the strangest things about Christianity is they’re using the Passover sacrifice as the paradigm for Jesus, meaning if I wanted to find something in the Bible for Jesus to correspond to, right, if I wanted to find an analog, a Biblical analog for Jesus, what should I have chosen? What would have made sense? I want to find an analog for someone that is going to die for general sacrifice for everyone’s sins. Yom Kippur! We have a day of atonement…right, we have the scapegoat that was sent out and on the back of this animal were carried all the sins of the Jewish people, all the sins! A general sacrifice for everything! That would have been a good parallel for Jesus. The Passover sacrifice? The Passover sacrifice had nothing to do with sins at all!”
As we can see, what Rabbi Skobac was actually saying was:
1. The Gospel of John was wrong to use the Passover sacrifice as the “analog” for Jesus’ sacrifice.
2. If the author of the gospel wanted to find a logical analog in the Bible, since the choice of the Passover sacrifice was incorrect because it had nothing to do with sin atonement, then the obvious choice would have been the Day of Atonement sacrifice, when a “scapegoat” was sent out into the wilderness while symbolically carrying all the sins of the Jewish people.
In other words, what Skobac actually said was that if he had been the author of the Gospel of John and he wanted to find an “analog” to compare Jesus’ sacrifice to, then he would have chosen the Yom Kippur sacrifice, as that was literally a sacrifice for the atonement of sins. What Skobac was NOT saying was that this “analog” vindicates Christian belief, because in the rest of the 1 hour and 40 minute video, Skobac provided numerous reasons (such as the prophecies in Ezekiel) for why the Christian belief in the sacrifice of Jesus contradicts the Tanakh. Thus, contrary to Temple’s idiotic assertion, what Skobac said was that the Day of Atonement sacrifice is NOT an actual parallel to Jesus’ sacrifice, but that IF the author of the Gospel of John wanted to find a parallel from his point of view, then he should have chosen the Day of Atonement sacrifice, not the Passover sacrifice.
This is further demonstrated from the 1:32:24 mark, where Skobac states in regard to John using the Passover sacrifice as the “parallel” (which was meant to be a critique of Egyptian idolatry; emphasis mine):
“What a strange symbol for Jesus. On some level, the deification of a human being is not a rejection of idolatry from a Jewish point of view. The deification of a human being is very similar to almost all ancient, pagan idolatries, where human beings are deified. So John basically tells us here that from his point of view, Jesus was not just a figurative, symbolic sacrifice. From John’s point of view, it was very, very important for Jesus to be dead before those Romans came to break his legs because it was important to literally fulfill this requirement of the…Passover lamb that none of his bones shall be broken…”
On a side note, Temple also claimed that the Passover sacrifice indeed had something to do with sin because Egyptian idolatry and its belief in false gods were indeed sins. He is right, of course, that these were sins, but his attempt to refute Skobac is nothing more than a straw-man argument. Skobac didn’t say that Egyptian idolatry was not sinful. In the context of the speech, what he was saying was that the Passover sacrifice had nothing to do with the ATONEMENT of sins. It was not meant to serve as atonement for the sins of the Jews and certainly not for the blasphemous sin of the Egyptians’ idolatry.
So, either Temple flat out lied, or he was too stupid to actually understand what Skobac was saying. If I was a betting man (I’m not, since gambling is haram), I would put my money on the former. Temple saw the video, and he heard what Skobac said. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what he was saying. So, it must have been a deliberate distortion of what was actually said. Christian missionaries, starting from the says of Paul, have been well-known for distorting facts.
The moral of the story is that when a missionary tells you something, investigate it. Do not just assume he is telling you the truth, because chances are that he is not. In my case, I had seen Temple link to the video of Rabbi Skobac numerous times before, but I had never actually clicked on the link to see what all the brouhaha was about. On this occasion, I decided to check it out. Maybe I was just bored and had a little extra time on my hands, but once I actually saw the video, it became clear that Temple was distorting the facts. And Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) knows best!
Jews for Judaism – “Why Jesus Didn’t Have to Die to Atone for Our Sins”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB7EZ5fgr4I&feature=youtu.be