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Were the disciples ignorant about Isaiah 53?


Isaiah 53 has become well known for its use by Christian apologists in trying to prove the foretelling about Jesus’ death, most specifically the following passages:

Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Christian apologists allege that this chapter and the verses within it clearly describe the same events that would eventually happen with Jesus, so Isaiah 53 is a prophecy in the Jewish Bible foretelling of what would come, and therefore the doctrine of Jesus dying for the sins of mankind is true and verified in the previous scriptures.

There is one major problem though, it seems that Christian apologists understand Isaiah 53 better than Jesus’ own disciples, and that Christian apologists have managed to see what Jesus’ disciples (and literally everybody else before Christianity) have not within Isaiah 53.

So what do we mean by this? Well during Jesus’ ministry, up to the point of his crucifixion and supposed resurrection, the disciples of Jesus were never expecting any of it to occur, they were firstly not expecting him to die at the hands of his enemies as a criminal-insurgent, and they certainly weren’t expecting him to come back from the dead. This is why they were very saddened when he did die, and why they were very doubtful when they heard accounts of him being alive again.

Now surely if Isaiah 53 taught what Christian apologists tell us it teaches, then wouldn’t have the disciples of Jesus been expecting and waiting for this? Wouldn’t they have been aware that Jesus was going to die, that he had to die as foretold in the previous scriptures? We find no such evidence of this, in fact we find the opposite that he disciples did not at all have an understanding of Isaiah 53 as Christian apologists do.

So this is the question then, are Christian apologists wiser when it comes to the understanding of the Bible than Jesus’ own disciples? How is that Christian apologists managed to so vividly understand and grasp Isaiah 53, while Jesus’ disciples did not? The answer is quite simple and logical, Isaiah 53 is not about Christian theology as Christian apologists would have us believe, not only do the disciples not share the same understanding of Isaiah 53 as Christian apologists, we don’t find any single other person who believed in the same interpretation of Isaiah 53 as Christian apologists. There was no single person before and during the time of Jesus who read Isaiah 53, and then said we are now waiting for someone, the Messiah, to come and die for our sins.


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