Rabbi Tovia Singer specializes in responding to issues raised by Christians regarding the messiahship of Jesus.
Debate: Dr. Craig Evans vs Rabbi Tovia Singer
Introducing the Scholars
Dr. Craig Evans is an evangelical New Testament scholar and author of 70 authoritative Christian apologetic books, and over 600 Christian journals. As a Professor of the Christian New Testament, Dr. Craig Evans has led many highly reputable conferences on subjects including the Dead Sea Scrolls and archeology of the Bible. A highly esteemed Christian biblical scholar, Dr. Craig Evans have had the chance to debate many other scholars on various subjects, including Richard Carrier on "Did Jesus Exist", Bart Ehrman on "Does the New Testament misquote Jesus?", and Jewish Rabbi Tovia Singer, "Was Jesus the Promised Messiah?"
The latter is a Hebrew scripture scholar and Rabbi, Director of Outreach Judaism, an international counter misisonary that responds to issues raised by Christians to claim that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah that has been promised. Rabbi Tovia Singer gruaduated from the Rabbinical school Mir Yeshiva. He wrote a two volume book called "Let's Get Biblical: Why Doesn't Judaism Accept the Christian Messiah?"
Craig Evans debate with Rabbi Tovia Singer was held at the Houston Baptist University in Houston, Texas. The format of the debate was designed to have Dr. Craig Evans speak for 30 minutes in the opening statement, followed by 30 minutes by Rabbi Tovia Singer. The debate is then closed with a 15-minute rebuttal statement from each speaker, and another 15-minute responds from each other.
In his opening statement, Dr. Craig Evans starts by acknowledging the pleasure of debating somebody who actually believes in, respects God, the scriptures and the Jewish patriarch. Dr. Craig Evans continues by introducing himself as a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, and for 25 years a member of an elite Christian scholar groups Society of New Testament Studies. This membership is a dream come true for a Christian biblical scholar as himself, as he has the privilege to sit down with the people who really know the ancient texts.
To answer the debate's topic "Is Jesus the prophesied Jewish Messiah?" Dr. Craig Evans starts by introducing Joseph Bar Mattias, the great historian also known as Josephus or Flavius Josephus to the audience. He was the writer of the 7 volume books of The Jewish Wars, and the Jewish Antiquities. Dr. Craig Evans uses the work of historian Josephus to lay the grounds of his argument that Jesus was indeed the fulfillment of the prophesied Jewish Messiah.
Very eloquently Dr. Craig Evans list down the many verses from the Torah and the Prophets as well as other Dead Sea scrolls, and explains how these talk about a future Messiah. In a very clever twist, he suggests how the Jews have many times misinterpreted these texts to apply it to Jewish leaders in the past who were regarded as the promised Messiah but then dies and thus proved otherwise.
Rabbi Tovia Singer's opening statement started with him reminiscing his childhood, how he came in contact with Christians for the first time. He continues to tell the moving story of how he delved into the job of counter-missionary to first help Jews return to the truth, then Christians understanding the Hebrew scriptures.
Rabbi Tovia Singer uses his childhood experience to explain how Christians unknowingly practices the very act that was prohibited in Jeremiah 11 - looking into the stars, chopping off woods, bringing it home and decorate it.
He continues to explain that everybody, including rabbis and bible scholars have their own opinion. Christians usually believe that their opinion is correct because Jews are blinded and can't see the truth as they have veils and scales covering their eyes. An argument against this view was Zechariah 8:23. Rabbi Tovia Singer refutes those claims as irrational because in that verse, it is said that 10 gentiles will hold on to one Jew and follow him, knowing that God is with him. The prophet said that the Jews were not to be blinded. They would be followed.
On the other hand, Jeremiah 16:19 explains that the gentiles will come to the Jews and exclaim that they indeed have inherited lies from their forefathers. Rabbi Tovia Singer points out that nobody should worry about what people's opinions are. What is foremost important what God's opinion is, what the Bible says.
The debate continued to the 15 minutes rebuttal by Dr. Craig Evans and closed with a response by Rabbi Tovia Singer. Watch the entire debate in the video below:
Dr. Craig Evans debates Rabbi Tovia Singer
© 2019 Rabbi Tovia Singer