The dreaded 'J' word ? (part 2)

To the rabbis in ancient times (as now), God was to be revered above all things. His existence was assumed as a certainty, it was never an item for discussion. Proofs for existence were not required, the very thought of it would have gone against the core of their being. He was the guv'nor, his name couldn't even be uttered.

If anyone uttered the Ineffable Name, whether by intent or accident, then the direst consequences were promised! In the scriptures, the Hebrew word for 'God' (that Christians mispronounce as Jehovah - which is just as well really, considering the consequences) is substituted with the word Adonai, which translates as Lord. Even today, the english word 'God' is written as 'G-d' by frummers (devout Jews), out of reverence.

Now, in Biblical times, God was very strict with them when it came to laws and regulations to live by. And there were a list of crimes that were punishable by nothing less than stoning. This fate was granted to child sacrificers, spiritualists, idolators, fornicators, rebellious sons (be warned!) and blasphemers. It is interesting to note that, in our modern society, apart from 'child sacrificers', the rest of this list is indulged in quite freely by the majority, without a glimmer of guilt or threat of judgement, but I digress!

Returning to this list of shame, it is blasphemy that Miriam would have been guilty of. Assigning the term Messiah to a mere mortal was considered blasphemy of the highest order and punishable by death. This was, in fact, to be the fate of Yeshua, Jesus, when, about 30 years later, he stood before the Jewish rulers in their Council chamber and declared himself to be the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One.

So, how did this Jewish boy of humble birth and unremarkable parentage come to be in this position, declaring himself to be the Son of God, knowing full well that death could be the only outcome of this admission?

Let us turn back the years and find out. First, some background.