Jews: please provide the OLDEST REFERENCE you can to support your belief that Isaiah 53 applies to the Jews?
One answerer wrote: "Simply put- Jews have always understood this to apply to the nation as a whole!"
That seems to be the automatic response ... but is it REALLY true? Actually, the ancient sages had three candidates for the identity of the "suffering servant:" it was either the Messiah, the prophet Jeremiah, or the faithful Jewish remnant. Therefore, the assertion that Isaiah 53 was "always" understood to apply to "the nation as a whole" is not at all incorrect.
Please note: references that post-date Yeshua DO NOT prove your argument; all they prove is that a Jewish apologist came up with the argument to rebut Christianity. I'd like to see references that PRE-DATE Yeshua stating that the Jews as a nation are the "suffering servant."
1) please answer the question that was asked, if you can;
2) the Essenes' theology contradicts traditional Judaism AND Messianic Jewish/Christian theology. They believed there would be THREE Messiahs who were ALL men. The first would be killed, then the last two would co-reign. But this has NOTHING to do with the question. Refer back to point one, please.
But if none of you are able to prove me wrong, then what does that say about what you believe?
If you were an honest person, you would admit that IT DOESN'T! The fact that some Jews were using this argument against Christians PROVES NOTHING, since it's NOT IN THE TRADITION! So don't try and brush me aside as if I'm some kind of idiot. YOU'RE WRONG AND YOU KNOW IT, THAT'S WHY YOU'VE RESORTED TO INSULTS INSTEAD OF ANSWERING THE QUESTION!
If I seem frustrated, it's because I'm trying to CHALLENGE YOU to prove me wrong. Please, by all means, try to do so. It will point you to the truth; it may not point you to Yeshua, but at least you would know the truth about THIS.
Didn't expect THAT, did you?
And as for your first comment: you specifically stated that I was trying to urge that nearly 2,000 years of tradition be set aside. As I answered (but you did not understand), I am actually trying to get you to read the REAL traditions, not later teachings that DO NOT qualify as Rabbinic tradition. See point number one, above.