To prove the virgin birth, Matthew incorrectly quotes the prophet Isaiah and states, “Behold a virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son and they shall call His name Immanuel.” [Matthew 1:23] But Isaiah actually wrote, “Behold the young woman is with a child and shall bear a son and she will call His name Immanuel.” [Isaiah 7:14]
The Old Testament original is in the present tense (is with child) and speaks about a specific (the) “young woman” (not “a virgin”) who is pregnant during his lifetime. Furthermore, chapter 8 of Isaiah clearly identifies the woman as Isaiah’s own wife and the child as their own!
One of the most shocking contradictions in the New Testament appears in Hebrews where the Jewish prophet Jeremiah is deliberately misquoted. Why did this happen? Christians want to give the impression that God has rejected or no longer cares for the Jewish people. “For they did not continue in My covenant and I did not care for them…” [Hebrews 8:9] But Jeremiah’s words were totally different! He taught that although the Jewish people may have behaved like an unfaithful wife, God remains a faithful husband and will not break His covenant with them. The verse actually states, “My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them…” [Jeremiah 31:32]
God also stated that He would never break His covenant with the Jewish people. “I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them…” [Leviticus 26:44] Throughout the New Testament, there are countless more contradictions and inconsistencies rooted in blatant mistranslations.
[Regarding] atonement of sin, the New Testament incorrectly quotes Psalms to make it appear that the body of the messiah (offered on the cross) is more desired than sacrifices. “Sacrifices and offering thou hast not desired, but a body Thou hast prepared for Me.” [Hebrews 10:5] In truth, the correct translation of this passage is, “Sacrifices and meal offerings Thou hast not desired; My ears Thou hast opened.” [Psalms 40:6]
Another verse from the Jewish bible confirms the Jewish understanding of Psalm 40:6 by stating that God wants obedience more than sacrifices. “…Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice…” [1 Samuel 15:22] Additionally, sin offerings were meant for unintentional sins only (see Leviticus 4) and served to motivate repentance. In the Jewish bible, the animal blood sacrifice was not the main ingredient in removing sin. Even a perfect sacrifice not accompanied with sincere repentance could never achieve atonement for the individual.
“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight.” [Proverbs 15:8]
How do we attain atonement for sins, today, when we no longer offer sacrifices in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem? The Jewish prophet Hosea (Chapter 14) taught us that when there is no Temple, our prayers replace sacrifices as the act to arouse our authentic feelings of remorse and repentance. “Offer your lips (of prayer) in place of the bulls (of sacrifices).” [Hosea 14:2] Although the context substantiates the correct understanding, Christian translations avoid the association of sacrifices and prayers. Instead, they often delete the reference to the sacrificial bulls by mistranslating the verse as “Offer the fruit of our lips”, as found in the Christian King James Bible and New American Standard editions.
Another passage that clearly instructs the Jews to replace sacrifices with prayer is found in the Old Testament, book of Kings, chapter 8. “When Your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way You shall send them, and they pray to the Lord toward the city which You have chosen and the house which I have built for Your name, then hear in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.” [1 Kings 8:44-45]
Some Christians attempt to validate their claim for the essential need of blood sacrifices by claiming that the Old Testament, Leviticus 17:11 states, “There is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood.” But this statement does not appear anywhere in Jewish Scriptures! In fact, Leviticus 17:11 reads, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.”
Although this verse states that blood serves as a tool to attain atonement for sin, it does not say that blood is only way to achieve this. In truth, the Jewish bible contains several examples of achieving atonement through various means without blood, such as “Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them.” [Numbers 16:47]
The closest reference to Christianity’s fabricated version of the Leviticus 17:11 passage concerning blood and atonement actually appears in the New Testament. Amazingly, this passage actually substantiates the Jewish understanding and significantly contradicts the Christian argument. How so? Because it states that a person can almost claim that blood makes atonement. “And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness…” [Hebrews 9:22]
In the New Testament, we are told that Jesus performed miracles, such as healing the sick. When the rabbis question his holiness and his claims that he is from God, they are asked how is it possible for someone to perform miracles if they are not from God. The New Testament account ends with the rabbis offering no response. “But others were saying, ‘How can a man who is sinner perform such miracles?’ And there was a division among them.” [John 9:16]
Even for people with just a basic familiarity with the Jewish bible, this story is unbelievable and instantly raises a red flag. Any child, no less the rabbis of that time period, knows that an answer to this question appears in Deuteronomy 13. The Jewish bible clearly teaches that a false prophet may perform miracles – not as an act of holiness but rather, as a demonstration that serves to test our loyalty to God.
“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying ‘Let us go after other gods whom you have not known and let us serve them’, you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul… But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death.” [Deut. 13:1‑5]
The rabbis could have responded with yet another Old Testament example of unholy people performing miracles. “…the magicians of Egypt did (miracles) in a like manner with their secret arts.” [Exodus 7:11]
There are also numerous contradictions in the New Testament book of Acts. In chapter 7:51, we are told that the disciple Stephen is “full of the Holy Spirit.”  However, when recounting basic Jewish history, this spirit is non-existent because he [the spirit] contradicts well-known, undisputed facts clearly stated in the Old Testament.
Every child who reads a Passover Haggadah knows that the Jews went down to Egypt as a group comprised of 70 people and subsequently became a great nation. This statement appears in the Old Testament in three places. “Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons in all.” [Deuteronomy 10:22, Exodus 1:5, Genesis 46:27]
It is inconceivable that Stephen, a person described as “full of the Holy Spirit”, would mistakenly state, “…and Joseph sent word and invited Jacob his father and all his relatives to come to him, seventy‑five persons in all.” [Act 7:14] Moreover, Stephen continues to recount incorrect biblical facts when he states that “Jacob went down to Egypt and there he and our fathers died. From there they were removed to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.” [Acts 7:16]
in a cave purchased by Abraham from Hamor. In truth, Jacob was buried in Hebron in a cave bought by Abraham from Ephron. “For his sons carried him (Jacob) into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah,  the field that Abraham bought as a burial plot from Ephron…” [Genesis 50:13]
Once again, we see that Stephen was obviously not filled with divine inspiration when he got his basic facts confused. In fact, it was Joseph who was buried in Shechem [Joshua 24:32] in a field purchased by Jacob from Emmor. [Genesis 33:19]
Disciples Matthew and Luke present genealogical records to demonstrate that Jesus is a direct descendant of King David and therefore, a rightful heir to the Messianic throne. Jewish Scriptures emphatically state that the messiah must meet several specific criteria and genealogy is definitely one of them. The messiah must be:
1. A Male, Son-After-Son, Descendant from the Biblical Tribe of Judah
“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh (Messiah) comes.” [Genesis 49:10] Tribal affiliation is patrilineal, transmitted only from father to son. “Then they registered their ancestry in their families by their fathers’ household.” [Numbers 1:18]
2. A Descendant of King David
“I shall raise up for David a righteous branch and he will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.” [Jeremiah 23:5] “David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel.” [Jeremiah 33:17] “I will raise up your descendant after you (David), who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me.” [2 Samuel 7:12‑16].
3. A Descendant of King Solomon
“His name shall be Solomon… he shall build a house for My name and I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.” [1 Chronicles 22:9‑10] However, a careful examination of the two New Testament genealogies presents serious problems. The first concerns the birth of Jesus.
By claiming that Jesus was born of a virgin birth, he would obviously not have a physical father and would be disqualified immediately as a member of the tribe of Judah or David. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.” [Matthew 1:18]
Furthermore, the disciple Paul claims that Jesus is the messiah based on his physical genealogy. “Concerning his Son, who was born a descendant of David according to the flesh.” [Romans 1:3] “For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah.” [Hebrews 7:14] By stating that Jesus was the physical descendant of Judah and David, Paul validates the biblical criteria of biological ancestry and at the same time, contradicts the mistaken genealogical claims found in the Gospels.
Additionally, the genealogy of Matthew is inconsistent with Luke’s! Matthew lists Joseph’s father as Jacob, and Luke lists Joseph’s father as Eli. “And to Jacob was born Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom was born Jesus.” [Matthew 1:16] “Jesus was about thirty years of age, being supposedly the son of Joseph, the son of Eli.” [Luke 3:23]
Matthew also lists Jesus as being a descendant of King Jeconiah whose descendants were disqualified from ever being Kings of Israel. “To Josiah were born Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.” [Matthew 1:11] This is problematic because it also says, “Write this man (Jeconiah) down childless… for no man of his descendants will prosper sitting on the throne of David or ruling again in Judah.” [Jeremiah 22:24]
Furthermore, Luke’s genealogy record lists 14 more generations than Matthew’s, and he lists Jesus as being a descendant of King David through his son Nathan and not his son Solomon, as required by biblical mandate. “… the son of Nathan the son of David.” [Luke 3:31] Some Christians try to resolve this discrepancy by claiming that Luke is actually listing Mary’s genealogy. This far-fetched and desperate theory is highly problematic for several reasons.
1. The Greek text does not substantiate this argument.
2. Mary’s affiliation to the tribe of Judah would not be transmitted to her children because tribal affiliation is patrilineal.
3. This genealogy does not include Solomon.
Possibly, these obvious contradictions compelled the disciple Paul to write the following dramatic statement to his disciple Timothy. “… nor pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than further the administration of God which is by faith.” [1Timothy 1:4] For those who seek to discover the truth, it is evident that all of these countless attempts by Christians to prove that Jesus is a divine Messiah are based on inaccurate quotes and distortions of the original Hebrew Bible.
To conclude, the examples that I have presented here represent only a fraction of the contradictions and inconsistencies we encounter whenever we make a careful examination of the New versus the Old Testament.
This article is written out of deep love for God and respect for the authority of the Jewish Scriptures. I hope you appreciate that this is why Jews can never accept Jesus as the Messiah, and why Jews must reject claims that the New Testament is infallible and divinely inspired.
Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz is the founder, Jews for Judaism, International.
Because the New Testament claims that “All Scripture is inspired by God…” [2 Timothy 3:16], and thereby places the New Testament and the Old Testament on an equal standing of divine inspiration. Consequently, the two should never contradict one another in any way. However, when contradictions do arise, we must discover a valid explanation – and if we cannot find one, then we have encountered a true contradiction.
Christianity must acknowledge that only the Old Testament – and not the New – maintains its status as inspired by God. Why? Because the New Testament was written after the creation of the Old and, in fact, uses the Old to prove its validity. In other words, when the New Testament contradicts the divinely inspirited Old Testament it bases itself upon, it cannot maintain its own claim of being divinely inspired and infallible.
…Many Christians like to quote the following verse from the book of Psalms to claim a prophetic reference to the crucifixion of Jesus. “For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and feet.” [Psalms 22:16] Although this passage appears this way in almost every Christian translation of the book of Psalms, nevertheless we have a blatant case of mistranslation and lack of context designed to create an inaccurate impression.
The first mistake is the translation of the original Hebrew word (k’ari – כארי) as “pierced.” The word actually means “like a lion” and the verse should read, “…they encompassed my hands and feet like a lion.” This original Hebrew translation is totally consistent with many other verses, such as Isaiah 38:13 which states, “I wait for morning; like a lion (כארי), even so he breaks all my bones…”
In context, King David, author of Psalms, is referring to the fear he experiences when pursued by his enemies, the army of King Saul. Earlier in Psalms, David uses terminology that unmistakably parallels Psalm 22. “Hide me under the shadow of thy wings, from the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about… They dog our footsteps; they encompass us: they set their eyes to tread us down to the earth; he is like a lion greedy for its prey.” [Psalms 17:8‑12]
In Psalms 22 and 17, David compares his enemies to dogs and lions that surround and encompass him. The Hebrew word for “like a lion” appears in both of them. Therefore, we can conclude that this Christian mistranslation was a disingenuous attempt to paint the crucifixion into the Old Testament.
Although some Christians admit that the original Hebrew does state “like a lion”, nevertheless others attempt to discredit this translation by fabricating the claim that the Hebrew text contains a scribal error. Furthermore, they claim that the ancient Greek Septuagint supports their “pierced” translation. Both of their arguments do not stand up to scrutiny, especially the Septuagint claim.