Every Knee Shall Bow And Every Tongue Shall Confess ©

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This essay study is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr. Aaron Student Litman, may he rest in peace..

The origin of "every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess" is Isaiah 45:23. Paul quoted his own adaptation of Isaiah in the New Testament books of Romans (14:11) and Philippians (2:10,11).

Isaiah's statement and Paul's statement do not agree. Isaiah's statement is from the Tenach. Paul's statement is from the New Testament. Most New Testament scholars agree that Paul was quoting Isaiah. This is incorrect! A quote is an exact word for word repetition of what was said. Paul's statement is not a direct quotation of Isaiah; he did not quote Isaiah word for word.

On the other hand, if we were to really stretch and consider Paul's adaptation of Isaiah's statement a quote, then we would have to admit it is not an exact quote. It is not a complete quote. Paul's statement does not convey the same message as Isaiah intended! In fact Paul's message is very different from what Isaiah said and meant!! As a result it is inappropriate and misleading for New Testament scholars to suggest that Paul's statement is a quote from Isaiah. It's divisive. It's a defective attempt to suggest Isaiah was in agreement with Paul. Unfortunately, many believers in the New Testament are not aware of such tactics and are misled by them.

New Testament scholars cannot connect what Paul said and concluded to what Isaiah said. They are two completely different conclusions. Isaiah is quoting what Hashem said. Paul is partially quoting what Isaiah said.

G-d said to Isaiah, "To Me {G-d} shall every knee kneel and every tongue swear."

Paul said, " 'As surely as I live,' says the L-rd, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to G-d.' "

Paul said, "That the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus C. is L-rd, to the glory of G-d the Father."

One can easily see that Paul did not quote Isaiah. Paul gave his opinion of Isaiah's statement. Paul commented on what Isaiah said. That is not a quote! That is commentary; it is an adaptation.

Now a very serious problem develops at this point. We have three statements that do not agree. It is clear that the original statement does not support or agree with the statements that followed 700 plus years later. Paul clearly disagrees with what G-d said through His prophet Isaiah.

I divert to discuss Paul briefly.
I feel sympathetic towards Christians / Messianics because of what they have been taught regarding Paul. Many have been led to believe that Paul was a very religious, ethical, intelligent, Orthodox Jewish rabbi who was a member of the Bais Din.

New Testament scholars have essentially painted the Sistine Chapel with Paul's two claims. Paul said he studied at the feet of Rabbi Gamaliel (Acts 23:3) and that he was zealous (Galatians 1:14).

Nothing supports Paul's claims, but if the writings that are attributed to him are accurate one could easily say his education was liberal and that he was the most educated writer in the New Testament. Yet, that says very little when one considers the extremely poor education of New Testament writers. Paul's claims to have studied in Jerusalem "at the feet" of Rabbi Gamliel, if true, must have been for a very short period of time. Anyone acquainted with Rabbi Gamliel immediately realizes Paul was never close to his level of education, respect and rabbinic authority. That being the case, any suggestion that Paul sat on the Bais Din are absolutely foolish.

Paul's writing in Hebrews may impress the Christian / Messianic world, but it hardly reaches the level of a young Yeshiva bucher. Paul's arguments reflect that they are not representative of rabbinic thinking thus making his claims extremely questionable.

Returning to the subject of Paul's disagreement with what G-d said through His prophet Isaiah:
Obviously this is a problem, a conflict for Christian / Messianics. You cannot have G-d saying one thing and Paul saying another. This is a contradiction. Paul is contradicting what G-d said in Isaiah. Just one conflict like this supports the controversy that the New Testament is not divinely inspired.

New Testament scholars are backed into a comer here. They must find a way to happily reconcile these two statements to mean the same thing or face the fact they have a contradiction in their Bible. Many have chosen to redefine what Hashem said and intended in Isaiah. Call it what you will but they in actuality end up twisting Hashem's Word and His intention in Isaiah... However they don't call it twisting G-d's Word. They don't call it redefining G-d's Word either. They attempt to pass this off as G-d's overall design... "G-d's design is that all people everywhere should worship and serve Jesus as L-rd." (NIV)

I feel the utmost outrage when religious leaders ignore what G-d said to Isaiah conveniently sweeping His Words into a corner hiding them behind a dresser, so to speak. The whitewash of the Truth is disappointing. The Christian / Messianic message taught around the world is: 'The Jews, G-d's chosen people, don't know G-d's overall plan. Their eyes are blinded to His true design.' Their pretentiousness is filled with sadness.

G-d told Isaiah what to write. Isaiah recorded what he was told. That did not include:
Jesus, the name of Jesus, Jesus as messiah, worship of Jesus or any form of confession to Jesus. It did not include Jesus as G-d. It did not include Jesus in any relationship to G-d!

The above facts:
...are founded upon what G-d said and intended as recorded in Tenach.
...are founded upon the fact that the Tenach is eternal and unchanging!
...are not open for a non Jewish, man-made, dispensational view. Tenach was NEVER INTENDED to be viewed, reviewed and redefined from a non Jewish, humanistic, dispensational format.

Tenach is viewed and supported by historical evidence. Historical evidence written within Tenach's pages prove divine inspiration of Tenach not the New Testament. Tenach stands on its own!

What G-d said in Tenach stands on its own. "To Me {G-d} shall every knee kneel and every tongue swear."

As a side note, for your information...
The same cannot be said for the New Testament. Christian / Messianic religious leaders try to prove the New Testament is divinely inspired by using historical evidence from Tenach. This does not work! The Tenach is Jewish. It is separate from the New Testament even though Christian / Messianics publish them as one book. This is misleading. The New Testament IS NOT PART OF TENACH. What is written in the New Testament is New Testament, what is written in the Tenach is Tenach. They are separate. As a result, any attempt by Christian / Messianic leadership to borrow historical evidence of the Tenach to validate or prove divine inspiration in behalf of the New Testament is invalid! The New Testament must provide its own historical evidence from within its own writings. The New Testament MUST stand on its own! However, after 2000 YEARS it has no historical proof!

Now in light of the above facts we consider the claims / BELIEFS that 'The Jews, G-d's chosen people, don't know G-d's overall plan and that the Jews are blinded to G-d's true design.' There is nothing to consider. Facts are facts... Beliefs are beliefs...

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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