Introducing Shmuel Golding

Shmuel Golding founder of the JIBP

The Jerusalem Institute of Biblical Polemics was founded in 1981 by Shmuel Golding,  who claims to have formerly been a missionary before discovering his Jewish roots and converting to Judaism. Golding claimed to have been a Baptist minister, again, as is so common with these kinds of ex-Christian-cum-Orthodox-Jewish-anti-missionaries, the corroborative evidence is pretty hard to find.

UPDATE, we have received unconfirmed news that Shmuel Golding has died.

He famously offered a $10,000 reward for anyone who could find “he shall be called a Nazarene” in the Tanach, amongst other questions. He also made this ‘moderate’ claim: “Any Jew who can pay homage to the New Testament or allow himself to believe in it, is, in my opinion in the same category as a Jew who tries to justify Hitler’s Mein Kampf or, as one who covers up for the deeds of the Nazis.” Quoted from Golding’s online article  Antisemitism in the New Testament,, which is now no longer online.  

Such then is the venom of a convert to a new idea to the old ideas he once held so dear! I guess we can’t expect any less radicalism from someone who reportedly nearly joined a terrorist organisation.  

One version of his conversion to Orthodox Judaism is found on the Kosherjudaism web site:  

“Samuel (Shmuel) Golding was born to Jewish parents in pre-war Europe. At an early age, he was rescued from the terrors of the nazi Holocaust. He can recall the horrors of black booted men forcing innocent Jews to dig holes; he clearly remembers the sounds of the gunfire. These frightful images haunted young Samuel’s childhood dreams. Because his parents were killed in the Holocaust, Samuel was sent to live with foster parents in the United Kingdom. These foster parents were related to him, but had intermarried, and were, subsequently, Christians. Thus, young Samuel was raised in a Christian home.  

 After a troubled youth (including scrapes with the law, and almost getting drawn into the Irish Republican Army), Samuel discovered religion. He attended a Christian seminary, and was eventually ordained as a Christian minister, after years of doctrinal studies on vast topics such as sacrifices, atonement, and sin. When Samuel brought seemingly simplistic and minor objections before his church officials, he was told that the prophecies of the “Old Testament” were not translated literally, but were interpreted in a way as to make them appear to be speaking about Jesus. Examples like Isaiah 7:14 (“virgin” vs. “young woman”) and Isaiah 9:6 (“Jesus” vs. “King Hezekiah”) were verses that Samuel asked about; yet, the answers he received were highly simplistic. Many of the theologians Samuel met knew the answers being received were simply not adequate, however, they kept quiet their findings for the good of the Church. So Samuel did just that, as well. [anyone reading Protestant Liberal theologians for the last generation know that the last thing they have done is keep quiet for the good of the Church]  

 Soon after, Samuel became an avid missionary, working hard to rescue children in Southeast Asia. But, after hearing his foster parents were ailing, he returned to Europe. It was there he met a Jewish relative (on his maternal side) who alerted him of his Jewish heritage. The man explained that Samuel was the grandson of the rabbi of his home village, and other Holocaust survivors from his mother’s family wanted him to inherit the mantle of his illustrious grandfather.  

 This was an unknown world to Golding. It contradicted just about every doctrine ever relayed to him. In time, Samuel not only researched his mother’s shtetl (Jewish town), but he began to critique Christian Church history, Christian doctrine, and the Christian Bible. What Samuel found was a startling conglomeration of problems, contradictions, textual errors, and inconsistencies throughout. [Nothing new here, Bible colleges do nothing but critique Christian Church history, Christian doctrine, and the Christian Bible!]  

After studying with a rabbi in Istanbul, the birth town of his biological father, Samuel became certain of his beliefs, and eventually made aliyah to Israel. He started an organization, in 1981, dedicated to refuting Christian missionary claims to assure that no born-Jew would have to go through what he went through.” [Family members took him in when he had nowhere else to go as a child and now he is complaining! In the end he does not seem to have inherited the mantle of his illustrious grandfather in Istanbul, oh well, once a missionary always a missionary…]

65 thoughts on “Introducing Shmuel Golding”

    1. Yes it did, but looking at the formulation of the questions it is obvious that they are loaded dice. They are formed in a very particular way, they are not open questions but rather a polemic device.

      1. I thought he formulated it in it’s simplest form possible. Either it is true or not. If you think it is loaded, maybe that is because he is correct? Give me one example that you think the formulation makes a difference?

    2. No he can’t answer the questions anymore than any of the many other people who attempted to and failed. Shmuel was right on with the questions put forth in the challenge.

  1. This is a notoriously difficult verse for sure. Yeshua was called a Nazarene many times as recorded in the NT. A play on words and remez seems to be used with the Netzer – the root of Isaiah 11:1 “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.”

    Golding’s question is an over literal one, wanting the exact formula of words. I was reading today that “Torah is understood at multiple levels, and like the land which was unique for each tribe, each person understands Torah in their own unique way.”

      1. Interesting article, thanks. I agree that it is wrong to misuse exegetical methods to get a desired result.

        However, Matthew 2:23 is only difficult but not impossible, the Greek word used is ναζωραιος nazoraios, which I believe is a simple reference to Isaiah 11:1’s ‘Netzer-branch’. Interestingly the Targumim has the netzer- branch as a reference to Moshiach:
        “veyifok malka mivnohi deshai umeshicha mivnei venohi yitravei”
        (see: Targum of Isaiah, and in the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 93b and in the Yakult, vol. 1, pg.24).

      2. Well Matthew 2:23 has a few problems with it:
        “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.”

        People seem to key in on the wrong point here. It says specifically that he moved to Nazareth, to fulfill a prophecy. Unless you source for that prophecy implies that he has to live in Nazareth, then it is not the right one. Why Nazareht and not Bethlechem or Jerusalem (or Brooklyn.) So for example no matter where the Messiah will live, Isaiah 11:1 will apply to him, even if he never sets foot in Nazareth his whole life. That is why it cannot be the source.

        Now if you are saying it is only a Drash and not real exegesis, you have opened yourself up to some serious problems. It calls into question ALL of the claimed ‘fullfilments’. You really are in no better a place then of you admit that there is no such prophecy.

        1. Matthew is explaining why Yeshua can still be Mashiach, though born in Betlehem, where Mashiach should be born (not Brooklyn!) he was also known more popularly as from Natzeret, Matthew explains that even Yeshua’s being known as the Nazarene is in line with prophetic expectation, hence the Greek πληρωθη το ρηθεν which does not imply he went there to purposefully fulfil some prophecy, this is Matthew’s explanation that even living in Nazareth has some prophetic significance.

        2. Gev, trying to pull a rabbit out of your hat?:)

          There are two problems with this argument, historical and textual.

          1. Historical. Jesus has been called Notzri in Hebrew because of his having come from Notzeret, and in English Nazarene from Nazareth. Thsi indicates that the name is associated with the city.

          2. Let’s look at the text with a small change and see if it makes sense:

          “And he came and dwelt in a city called Washington D. C.: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.”

          Does that make any sense? NO.

        3. 1. Historical. Jesus has been called Washingtonian in Hebrew because of his having come from Washington, and in English Washingtonian from Washington. This indicates that the name is associated with the city.

          2. Let’s look at the text with a small change and see if it makes sense:

          “And he came and dwelt in a city called Washington: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Washingtonian.”

          Does that make any sense? YES, so what am I failing to understand here?

        4. Nothing. What I was trying to say is that Jesus going to Nazareth was an integral part of the reason he was called Nazarene, and any explanation of what prophecy was meant needs to take that into consideration. Isaiah 11 has nothing to do with Nazareth, so it cannot be what is meant. In fact, I contend that there is NO prophecy that can be found which this verse can be refering to.

        5. Unlike you putting your rabbit somewhere else Moshe!
          Matthew links to Isaiah 11:1 because he does see a connection with netzer and netzeret and he makes that link in Matthew 2:23.

        6. Let me rephrase that:

          You admit according to Mattherw Jesus had to move to Netzeret and be called, BECAUSE of that Notzri, and that this is what the prophecy meant?

        7. It is the other way around, Matthew is investing meaning into Yeshua’s living in Natzeret by invoking the Netzer link of Isaiah 11:1, which you refuse to accept is there because you don’t want it to be there.

        8. Whoever will be the Messiah Isaiah 11 will apply to them, no need to ‘invest’ anything. If Matthew likes to read things into verses that are not there, that does not make them ‘fulfillment. Such a view of Scripture leads to cults.

        9. Everyone dies eventually, even the Messiah will die after ruling for many years. he will then leave over to his sons until the time comes for this world to end.

        10. Will the Messiah eventually get resurrected like all other righteous people, or does he remain dead forever?

        11. According to who? Chazal? Akiva? Saadia Gaon? Rambam? Rabad?

          They all have conflicting beliefs, and you know it…..

        12. Yeshua is the Messiah so Matthew was right to apply Isaiah 11:1 to him:-)

          BTW why do you say such a view of Scripture leads to cults? Cults start for a variety of reasons, also what is your definition of a cult? What about the Hasidic cults that are still under the herem of the Gaon of Vilna?

        13. :) We don’t know what Matthew (actually the author of Matthew) meant. he just says the prophecy. He was smart with this one and doesn’t say where it is from. Guess he got caught too many times.:)

          Whenever a person takes personal authority to say what a verse means, no matter whether it is in context or anything, that can lead to cults.

  2. To this day I can’t understand why it is acceptable in haredi circles to use Nazi analogies when talking about Messianics, when we know how offensive Nazi analogies by anti-Zionists are. Moshe?

    1. They are used because (and I understand you do not agree with this) that the only difference between the two is that Nazis destroyed bodies, and missionaries destroy souls. It may be offensive to you, but if you see it from this POV it makes sense.

      The problem I see is that by overuse of things like ‘Nazi’ and ‘Holocaust’ we forget what they really are/were. They become cheapened and lose their meaning and negative power. For that reason, while I agree to the comparison (if it is clearly understood what is meant) I never use it.

      It is like the issue of hell. I just do not bring it up as it is a diversion. If Messianics/Christians are wrong there is a good chance they are going there, and if I am wrong then I could be going there. But the real issue is not who is going to hell, but what is the truth? What does HaShem teach in the Tenach about Moshiach? As I have said many times, I don’t care if you think I am going to hell as long as you don’t feel obligated to send me there.

      I think the point I am trying to make is that more can be accomplished by positive discussion, then by name calling and threats. People don’t listen to each other if they are already on the defensive.

      1. Fair enough.

        I’ve seen a few times the Swastika meshed in with a Star of David. I have only seen this in 1) anti-Zionist cartoons and 2) anti-missionary sites!

    1. Hi Moshe, they had it up briefly the facebook group “JEWS AGAINST JEWS FOR JESUS” but since removed when I complained. JewishIsrael have been known to rework antisemitic imagery and use it against Messianic Jews – such as the Messianic seal juxtaposed with a skull & crossbones, which I thought was in particularly poor taste.

      1. Can you give me an example of ‘anti-semetic’ imagery on Jewish Israel that is real. What you say is only based on your assumption that you are still Jewish.

        BTW the skull and crossbones is NOT anti-semetic.

  3. Mr. Shulman wants nothing to do with the term faith, because then he has to take the parting of the red sea in faith, since he was not there?

    1. Who said I want nothing to do with ‘faith’. Try not to jump to conclusions, you may find yourself going over a cliff.

      As to the red sea, I am sure you are aware that there are records supporting it, so while I do accept it on faith, there is support for it otherwise.

      1. There is no support for Jesus/Yeshua. The best is the passage in Josephus, which can easily be shown to be doctored at best and probably a forgery. Beyond that he probably existed (although that can also be doubted since there are no first hand accounts of his life and work, outside of Christian sources written by unknown authors long after he died.)

      2. BTW there is a significant difference between Jesus/Yeshua and the splitting of the red sea. We have no history books going back to the time of the red sea splitting, while we have lots for the 1st century. None of them help your arguments very much at all.

    1. Thank you for this update Debbie, there was nothing I could find on the internet about this so couldn’t comment further than making that statement.

    2. >>> Because he DIED, dufus

      Well what kind of excuse is that? (grin)

      Reminds me of the joke told by a negro comedian in the 1970s:

      Upon hearing of the death of a friend he says, “He owed me fifty dollars. That sucka’ will do anything to get out of paying.”

      Anyway I am sure the good rabbi has had a change of heart about the anti-Messiah business by now… too late.

  4. Moshe,
    It is funny you say you have faith but are looking all the time for support..

    So, it is OK for you to take the parting of the sea by faith, but it is not right for me to take Yeshua by faith, right?

    1. :) I guess you have a different Bible from me. In the Torah it says to ‘know’ HaShem. So while I have faith, there is no reason for me not to find historical evidence.

      BTW according to you someone who is Muslim should stay in his faith.

  5. We have all the historical evidence we need, it is called the Apostolic writings (NT). The fact that you deny it is not a proof that it is not true.

  6. That you assert it is true does not make it. There are so many examples of why one should distrust it I would be hard pressed to know where to begin. I think the bogus census of Luke is sufficient to doubt it’s historicity.

  7. And you are here to stand with a straight face and tell us that the tanach is totally free from mistakes, or changes by man?

  8. So help a poorly educated southern boy from the usa out…..are you saying that Nazareth in Hebrew is called Netzeret? Just a simple question hoping for a simple yes or no answer. Be blessed brother.

  9. I actually came across Mr. Golding’s challenge over a decade ago, looked over it… prayed about it asking God for help and couldn’t initially answer because the questions were posed to ‘Jewish believers’ which I’m not. So, when the challenge came out later in one of his publications (I subscribed) I saw that it was rephrased to any believer in Jesus… and so sent off four of the ten answers… he wrote back trying to argue over them, yet couldn’t honestly do so and God judged him for that. Not too long after JIBP stopped sending out it’s magazine and shut down the website…

    Being unable to read Hebrew, I can’t tell if the wording on the linked challenge is the same version, so can’t answer here.

    “There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the LORD.” Pr. 21:30


      1. Hi Gev. I find it hard to believe that he has died. One would have though that a larger than life famous man for his works in Israel would have had some sort of publicity surrounding his death.Did he have a wife and children in Israel?

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