However, as a mainstream Christian, Fruchtenbaum denies the Biblical Messiah in favour of the Trinitarian Christ. His Jesus, then, is not “the man, Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5), but "another Jesus, whom we have not preached" (II Corinthians 11:4.)
In his celebrated essay (Jewishness and the Trinity), Fruchtenbaum works hard to "prove" that the Old Testament did indeed teach a plurality of persons within the Godhead, and that Jesus of Nazareth was one of these "divine persons." Many Trinitarians have tried to fabricate a defence of the Trinity on the basis of Old Testament evidence alone - but for sheer audacity and gall, Fruchtenbaum's essay (a curious mixture of truth and lies) is unparalleled in my experience.
An abridged version of this rebuttal to Fruchtenbaum's thesis first appeared on another Christian apologetics discussion form at the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM), where it was posted on the author's behalf, by a Christadelphian member of the CARM forums. Fruchtenbaum's comments appear in the quotation boxes; my rebuttal follows in regular text.
"Shema Yisroel Adonai Elochenu Adonai Echad"
(Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.)
Rabbi Stanley Greenberg of Temple Sinai in Philadelphia wrote:
"Christians are, of course, entitled to believe in a Trinitarian conception of God. But their effort to base this conception on the Hebrew Bible must fly in the face of the overwhelming testimony of that Bible. Hebrew Scriptures are clear and unequivocal on the oneness of God The Hebrew Bible affirms the one God with unmistakable clarity Monotheism, an uncompromising belief in one God, is the hallmark of the Hebrew Bible, the unwavering affirmation of Judaism and the unshakable faith of the Jew."
Whether Christians are accused of being polytheists or tritheists and whether or not it is admitted that the Christian concept of the Tri-unity is a form of monotheism, one element always appears: one cannot believe in the Trinity and be Jewish. Even if what Christians believe is monotheistic, it still does not seem to be monotheistic enough to qualify as true Jewishness. Rabbi Greenberg's article tends to reflect that thinking.
He went on to say,
"... under no circumstances can a concept of a plurality of the Godhead or a trinity of the Godhead ever be based upon the Hebrew Bible."
It is perhaps best to begin with the very source of Jewish theology and the only means of testing it: Hebrew Scriptures. Since so much relies on Hebrew Scripture usage, then to the Hebrew we should turn.
Fruchtenbaum opens carefully, showing great respect to the Old Testament and its message. He does this because his audience is Jewish, and he wishes to reassure them that his argument will be taken purely from the Jewish Scriptures. To his credit, he does indeed restrict himself to the OT – but his blatant misuse of the text is so obvious that he may as well be quoting obscure Russian poetry, for it adds very little (if anything) to his argument.