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nettodo's avatar

How do I interpret a letter I received?

Asked by nettodo (468points) August 13th, 2012

I have found a letter in my mail. I noticed that it lacked a return address, but was sent through a post office in Denver. I opened it, to find a very odd letter. It was text from Chapter 53 of The Book of Isaiah (English translation, duh). Does anyone know how this could be interpreted in any sense? I do apologize if this may seem silly, but unfortunately, my paranoia is being very suspicious as of late.

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32 Answers

bookish1's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.
Was it typed or handwritten? Do you know anyone who lives in Denver?

nettodo's avatar

Typed with the text inside. Outside, sharpie. Addressed using a family name. I know of nobody from Denver. Or Colorado. Or that region, for a matter of fact.

Kardamom's avatar

I don’t know the bible so I can’t comment on the meaning of the text. But it’s likely someone’s cute idea of how to get you into their church, kind of like when people come around door to door to witness. I’m going to try to look up the verse to see if it has any particularly sinister meaning.

It’s easy to find yours and anyone else’s family name on the internet or even in the phone book, so it’s not likely that it’s actually someone you know trying to give you a message.

You might want to check with your postmaster to see if they’ve violated some law.

nettodo's avatar

@Kardamom it was sent via USPS (I would know, because it was sorted out, since I put a mail hold when it was probably sent) and it was stamped being from Denver.

Kardamom's avatar

I looked up the passage, and although I find it hard to read that kind of old-style language, it looks like it is a reference to the Jews or Israel as being the suffering servant of God. Are you of Jewish origin or does your name sound Jewish?

I’m still thinking it’s just some person, or more likely an organization that wants you to repent and join the church, or at least make you feel guilty so you’ll think about joining the church. I’m guessing that like spam, you were not the only one to get this type of mail. You might even want to check with your neighbors, but I’m guessing that somebody might have been targeting Jewish sounding surnames, so these things might have been sent out all over the place.

I would still check with the post office to see if this kind of unsolicited mail is legal.

Aethelflaed's avatar

It’s often interpreted by Christians as prophesying Jesus; they’re trying to convert you.

nettodo's avatar

@Kardamom I am not of Jewish origin. My name also is a rather odd conundrum. In another form, it is the German word for “eagle”. In another form, it could be interpreted in Arabic as “justice”. But is is only slightly remote from those meanings. I am also not of German or Islamic origin.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Is it just text, or is there a letterhead or any other markings that could help us figure out who sent it?

nettodo's avatar

@Aethelflaed Just text. The only text beside the passage was text indicating which passage.

creative1's avatar

That someone knew you would take it as meaning something when it means nothing and I would just throw it out

WestRiverrat's avatar

Either throw it out or file it in the back of a drawer.
I would throw it out, but if it is the start of someone stalking you it may pay to keep it for a month or two in case the police want to see it.

Oh yes, Welcome to Fluther.

gailcalled's avatar

In light of your previous question about your paranoia in regards to mail; perhaps you and your postal deliverer need some couples counseling.

“I received the envelope today, as it was a pre-approval for a Citi credit card, but i found it open. It wasn’t damp and there were no foreign materials (silly paranoid me). But I discovered it to be open. Why and how could it be found open?”

(For the record, paranoias can’t be suspicious. You can be paranoid and you can also be suspicious, however.)


nettodo's avatar

@gailcalled I actually do appreciate the slight humor indicated by you. It’s soothing. And I do say that I will keep on lookout (thanks @WestRiverrat ), but attempt to lessen my suspicions.

Judi's avatar

This chapter is often used to show that Jesus was the fulfillment of prophesy.
Someone is probably just sending it out to every address they can find. They may have even bought a mailing list from someone.

Nullo's avatar

Paper evangelism, sounds like. Maybe a friend of yours? Just how much of Isaiah 53 did it have on it? It might be a carpet-tracting; ask your neighbors if they got anything like it.

@Kardamom It’s non-threatening text in itself, unless the sender has some serious interpretation hangups – in which case we are dealing with a separate problem. I can back up @Aethelflaed; it’s one of the prophecies concerning Jesus. Meshes beautifully with the account in the Gospels, by the way.

nettodo's avatar

@Nullo Contained up to 12. I highly doubt it was a friend of mine who would send this.

Kardamom's avatar

@Nullo Christianity in my mailbox is quite theatening to me. It is also un-solicited rudeness.

Even if the text itself wasn’t directly theatening, and I’m not saying it wasn’t, the fact that the letter was sent has clearly upset or irritated the OP enough to ask the Q on here. It’s just the fact of the unsolicted nature of the piece of mail and the downright sneakiness of it, by the sender leaving off his/her name or return address. It’s creepy.

Nullo's avatar

@Kardamom Perhaps you’re more hostile/suspicious than most. I know that I wouldn’t be bothered by such a thing. F’rinstance, if there were an equivalent quote from the Koran, and it ended up in my mailbox.
What the heck could be directly threatening about the text? Given that there’s a lot of the Bible that goes over judgment and justice and damnation and pestilence, and Armageddon, Isaiah 53 (“This is what your Messiah will look like”) is a weird choice to try to frighten somebody with.
The lack of sender info suggests that it’s not a guilt-inflicting membership drive, as you suggested.

Kardamom's avatar

@Nullo Just like with religion, I believe the complete opposite of everything you just said. And I don’t mean that as an insult, you know I don’t because I consider us to be friends, I just see things and believe (or don’t believe) very differently than you do.

This is not about you, because you just said it wouldn’t bother you, but I think there are lots of people in the good old US of A, that consider themselves to be Christians who would be outraged if Muslim stuff ended up in their mailbox, especially if they didn’t know where it was coming from. Or stuff about gay marriage.

Nullo's avatar

@Kardamom Much of the time, I am my own sounding board. It’s hardly exhaustive, but it’s a lot easier than tracking down someone else when you’re in a rush.
Why is this bit of widely-published scripture so much more unsettling than your run-of-the-mill junk mail?

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Nullo Probably the part where it’s anonymous. The vast majority of “run of the mill junk mail” lets you know exactly who’s sending it.

Kardamom's avatar

Any kind of scripture in my mail box, with the added sensation of there being no return address, is extremely disquieting to me. I didn’t ask for it, I disagree with the premise of Christianity and all other religions, and I find it offensive that someone would have the gall to send me something without knowing how I feel about it, and then sneak off without a trace. It’s like getting my house egged.

Judi's avatar

@Kardamom , I’m a Christian and it would piss me off too.

Nullo's avatar

@Kardamom Well, no anonymous birthday cards for you, then.

Kardamom's avatar

@Nullo LOL, I’m one of those people who hate the idea of surprise parties too : )

mallei's avatar

When I receive crap in the mail and it makes no sense to me I throw it out and forget about it.

zippythechipmunk's avatar

I received the exact same mailing last night. A plain 6.5×3.5 inch white envelope. It was addressed to me – last name only – with the name & address hand-printed in fine point sharpie. The postage was an actual “Forever” stamp, the one with a flag that says, “Justice forever”. No return address. Postmarked by the Denver P.O. on 19 October. Inside was nothing but 8.5×5.25 inch white piece of paper, folded in thirds, with the computer-generated bible passage in 10 point Courier typeface. Someone appears to be doing this as a proselytizing maneuver, spreading what they believe to be god’s word. I find it amusing and very telling that whoever is doing this is doing it anonymously. What it tells me is that they don’t have the courage of their convictions. Sad little people mailing out what could be taken as threatening messages, without the courage to sign their work. Pathetic.

zippythechipmunk's avatar

It’s me again. I just did a little internet research. It’s amazing what you can turn up with a few mouse clicks. Anyone interested, take a look at this website: It’s an evangelical, messianic Jewish congregation that believes Jesus was the messiah. They’re located just outside Denver, and they have an entire outreach program that revolves around Isaiah 53: – My guess is that it’s these folks sending out this mailing.

AlilWeirdedOut's avatar

I just received the same thing in my mail. Funny, it’s been 2 years since the OP started this topic. I’m about to click the link above and hope to reach those responsible for sending this.

Seeing as I just joined the site so I could respond, I’ll hold back the expletives that I’m itching to type regarding this type of BS.

Many thanks to Zippythechipmonk for his/her research. :)

AlilWeirdedOut's avatar

@nettodo Here’s their contact info if you’d like to respond to this… organization.

Congregation Yeshuat Tsion
5650 Greenwood Plaza Blvd.
Greenwood Village CO
United States 80111


Datdamwuf's avatar

I too just received the same thing, glad someone posted the question/answers. I have a protective order on a person and this letter definitely made me pause. glad of the reassurance it’s some group that appears to be pretty harmless. I will contact them to confirm.

susansusansusan's avatar

I just received this exact letter in the mail and it freaked me out as well and immediately went online and found this post. Glad to know that I’m not the only one and that it wasn’t a direct target. I have a very Jewish/german sounding last name… What is strange to me is, if they want to convert people, why does it have zero markings as to who has sent it. It is such an abstract marketing tactic unless they don’t care which church we join as long as we join one. Or, unless there will be a follow up letter with the conversion ploy. I “pray” that is not the case.

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