I'm trying to witness to an orthodox Jew about Jesus being the sin offering for mankind per Leviticus/Yom Kippur atonement and he keeps referring me to Ezekiel 33:11 and Micah 6:8 and says belief in Jesus is not a requirement. Specifically, he says that the Hebrew in both Ezekiel 33:11 and Micah 6:8 includes the term ki im which translates as "only." It is "only" this return that God requires. He also quotes the example of King David in 2 Samuel 12:13: "Upon being sincerely remorseful, regretful and confessing his sin he was immediately forgiven because he was already committed to following the Torah." I can't think of an appropriate comeback except to say that God's truth doesn't end at Tanakh/Torah and that he needs to read the entire B'rit Chadasah/New Testament too before arriving at that conclusion. Can you please comment on Ezekiel 33:11 and Micah 6:8 and help me understand why Jews, along with repentance and Torah obedience, also need to believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins? --Nikesh
Well to begin with, Micah also says the Messiah is to be born in Bethlehem. (In 5:2, just one chapter away from the famous chapter 6!) And Ezekiel 34 (again just one chapter away from chapter 33!) says that the Messiah (also called "David" and "the Lord") will come as the Good Shepherd. (See John 10.) The orthodox Jews surely knows that the OT prophesies the coming of the Messiah (e.g. Malachi 3-4). Maybe begin there!
Moreover, I think your friend recognizes the real thrust of ki im. It is not to discount all other commands or scriptures, but to shine the spotlight on what really matters in the issue under discussion. (E.g. Micah insists that social justice is part of true religion; this is his agenda).