This is Rev. Barbara Di Gilio from Mayim Hayim Ministries writing you, it been a long time since we have spoken. You may remember, you wrote to me when you first put up your web site? Anyway, a few weeks ago I wrote this Book Review about pastor John Hagee's new book. I would like your permission to use your article on my web site as well, your article is just what I wrote about in my email?
A Mayim Hayim Book Review: IN DEFENSE OF ISRAEL by Pastor John Hagee
I must tell you my friends; I have never been so upset with anyone who has written a book, one who claims he loves the Jewish people. From page 1 up pages 132, I have no problem with IN DEFENSE OF ISRAEL, however, from page 132 to the top of 145, I take great issue with pastor Hagee’ understanding of Hebraic things. His perspective is wacky and off balanced, and he sets Messianic Judaism at odds with the plain reading of the Scriptures. I will give you only one instant from his book, but there are many. In his chapter: 'Answering Christian Critics,' on page 142 & the top of 143, pastor Hagee says, and I have put it all in brackets for you here:
[Two Disciples on the Emmaus Road
The two disciples on the road to Emmaus (located seven miles outside Jerusalem) wanted Jesus to be the Messiah. Luke mentions one of them by name: Cleopas, the father of James the Less. The other disciple walking on the road with him may have been his wife, Mary. As they walked, Jesus himself joined them, but they did not recognize him.
He asked them, 'What are you discussing together as you walk along?'
Here pastor Hagee only give you part of the story told by Luke. He left out Jesus’ words that are in red in my bible. Let’s look at the whole story in context, and really see what Jesus said.
... One of them, named Cleopas asked him, 'Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?
'What things?' he asked.
'About Jesus of Nazareth,' they replied. 'He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.'
—Luke 24:17—21, NIV, emphasis added
The two disciples on the road to Emmaus had not rejected Jesus as Messiah; their hopes were dashed! It was not until Jesus entered their house for fellowship, as it was late in the evening, that they recognized him. When he sat at their table, lifting his hands to bless and break the bread, they saw the scars on his hands and recognized Jesus. He instantly disappeared (Luke 24:30—35). He refused to be their Messiah, choosing instead to bet he Savior of the world.]
Luke 24:13-35Verse 26 in the New Living Translation (NLT) it reads this way:
13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
26 Ought not Christ (Messiah) to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
'Wasn't it clearly predicted by the prophets that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his time of glory?" In David Stern’ 'The Jewish New Testament,' verse 26 reads:
'Didn’t the Messiah have to die like this before entering his glory?'The red emphasis added is by me, David Stern does not have a red letter edition, nevertheless you can see Jesus though of Himself as the Messiah of Israel, the Messiah the prophets spoke of.
Clearly, pastor Hagee does not understand Jesus’ (Yeshua’) use of Hebraisms in speaking of Himself in the Scriptures, if he did, he could never have put forth this point of view in his book.
I love pastor John Hagee, but I cannot recommend this book. My fear is that people who are not 'taught' or well versed in the Scriptures will believe that Jesus never claimed to be the Messiah of Israel, which is dead wrong, for He did so over and over again to them.
I have neither the time nor the want-to, to write a paper with a "full rebuttal" on this chapter in the book, but maybe one of the rabbis or scholars who read MHM Book Reviews will do just that. If you do, I will post it. What I will however recommend is my brother Dwight A. Pryor’ DVD set: 'Behold The Man – Discovering our Hebrew Lord, the Historical Jesus of Nazareth.'
You can obtain that from www.jcstudies.com. It comes with a book and 6 DVD’s with 12, 40 minutes sessions on it, and its worth it price in gold. This series will show you that not only did Jesus know He was the Messiah, but that He said so over and over again.
Pastor Hagee has gone too far with this book, and I believe he will do more harm them good to the Messianic Movement around the globe by its release. He has hurt the Jews, and not helped them. Heaven help him.
Rev. Barbara A. Di Gilio Th.D
Mayim Hayim Ministries