How is that for a blog post title?
Ok, students, I have an assignment for you.
In Josh McDowell’s book, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, he references a quote from the Jewish Babylonian Talmud which supposedly says, “Woe unto us, for the scepter has departed from Judah, and the Messiah has not come!” (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 4,37A). The Rabbi who wrote this was speaking in reference to the prophecy in Genesis 49:10 that the scepter will not depart from Judah until Shiloh comes.
I looked it up, and as far as I can tell, no such quote exists on that page of the Talmud.
So either somebody “invented” this quote because it makes a cool point in a sermon, OR the reference in wrong.
I called a “Jews for Jesus” friend of mine to see if he uses this quote in his evangelistic efforts, and he said, “All the time. It is very effective.” I asked him if he knew if the quote was authentic or not, and he assured me it was, even though he didn’t know where it could be found.
Then I aksed my new Jewish friends to help me find it, but they say the quote doesn’t exist. They suspect that some Christian invented (aka “forged”) the quote in an attempt to get Jews to become Christians. If true, somebody better tell all the pastors and authors who use this quote in their teachings (e.g. Chuck Missler, me, and others).
Finally, I tried to do some research online to find it, and discovered that lots of people have the same question, but nobody has yet found the quote. I tried to check some Jewish websites, and in the process, found out that many Jewish websites “rest” on the Sabbath (e.g. www.artscroll.com – try to access this site on Saturday before sundown). Very interesting.
So, I decided to ask you! Let me know what you discover…if anything.