The Jewish View Of Jesus

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Many reasons for not embracing Jesus can be grouped into three categories: cultural, historical, and religious. Many Jewish people will explain that they do not believe in Jesus simply because they are Jewish. They were raised being taught that Jews do not accept Jesus, while Christians do. Moreover, if a Jew embraces Jesus, they have converted to Christianity and are no longer Jewish.

For a Jewish person to consider faith in Jesus, he or she must consider the social stigma they face from friends, family and the larger Jewish community. Would a rabbi ever agree to marry them?

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Would they ever be allowed to make Aliyah? Would they be prohibited from joining a synagogue? These are the implications many Jewish people face on considering Jesus. The fact is, most Jewish people hold that a person is Jewish according to their birth and not according to their religious belief. Being Jewish refers to an ethnic or genealogical lineage.

Judaism refers to a family of religious beliefs Orthodox, Reform, Conservative for which there are diverse opinions. In fact, a significant segment of American Jewry hold that a Jew who has embraced Jesus is still Jewish. It seems from the foundation of the early church, Christians have accused the Jews of rejecting their Messiah and killing the Son of God.

Consequently, early Christian leaders held that God has rejected them. And bring them down O lord. Down through the ages, atrocities, murders and massacres were justified on this basis. On May 27, in , over Jews were massacred in Mainz at the start of the first Crusade. Even the Protestant Reformer, Martin Luther, late in life, was unreserved in his venomous language calling for the destruction of German Jewry. However, we must ask ourselves, is any of this what Jesus taught his followers to do?

Is there a single New Testament writer who advocated violence and called for injury to the Jews? Contrary to the early church fathers, Paul declared that God has not rejected the Jews. By no means! It is clear that this tragic legacy of those who identify themselves with Jesus does not follow the instructions of Jesus or the New Testament writers.

Throughout history, people have carried out violence and injustice in the name of liberty, democracy and social justice. From Khrushchev to Khomeini, from Mao to Machiavelli, religious and political leaders have justified their means under the banners of noble principles and religious causes. None of their crimes reflect the merit of these principles.


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Rather, they reflect their evil agenda. We must ask the question: What did Jesus truly teach? The Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance.

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The Jewish Concept of Messiah and the Jewish Response to Christian Claims

The Torah states that all mitzvot commandments remain binding forever, and anyone coming to change the Torah is immediately identified as a false prophet. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable. Biblical verses can only be understood by studying the original Hebrew text—which reveals many discrepancies in the Christian translation.

The Christian idea of a virgin birth is derived from the verse in Isaiah describing an "alma" as giving birth. The word "alma" has always meant a young woman, but Christian theologians came centuries later and translated it as "virgin. The verse in Psalms reads: "Like a lion, they are at my hands and feet. Christianity claims that Isaiah chapter 53 refers to Jesus, as the "suffering servant.

In actuality, Isaiah 53 directly follows the theme of chapter 52, describing the exile and redemption of the Jewish people. The prophecies are written in the singular form because the Jews "Israel" are regarded as one unit.

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The Torah is filled with examples of the Jewish nation referred to with a singular pronoun. From where did these mistranslations stem? Gregory, 4th century Bishop of Nazianzus, wrote: "A little jargon is all that is necessary to impose on the people. The less they comprehend, the more they admire. Of the 15, religions in human history, only Judaism bases its belief on national revelation—i.

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God speaking to the entire nation. But personal revelation is an extremely weak basis for a religion because one can never know if it is indeed true. Since others did not hear God speak to this person, they have to take his word for it. Even if the individual claiming personal revelation performs miracles, there is still no verification that he is a genuine prophet. Miracles do not prove anything. All they show—assuming they are genuine—is that he has certain powers.

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It has nothing to do with his claim of prophecy. In fact, the Bible says that God sometimes grants the power of "miracles" to charlatans, in order to test Jewish loyalty to the Torah Deut. Maimonides states Foundations of Torah, ch. The Jews did not believe in Moses, our teacher, because of the miracles he performed. All of the miracles performed by Moses in the desert were because they were necessary, and not as proof of his prophecy.

What then was the basis of [Jewish] belief? The Revelation at Mount Sinai, which we saw with our own eyes and heard with our own ears, not dependent on the testimony of others… as it says, "Face to face, God spoke with you…" The Torah also states: "God did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us—who are all here alive today.

Judaism is not miracles. It is the personal eyewitness experience of every man, woman and child, standing at Mount Sinai 3, years ago. The following theological points apply primarily to the Roman Catholic Church, the largest Christian denomination. Jews declare the Shema every day, while writing it on doorposts Mezuzah , and binding it to the hand and head Tefillin. In Jewish law, worship of a three-part god is considered idolatry—one of the three cardinal sins that a Jew should rather give up his life than transgress.

This explains why during the Inquisitions and throughout history, Jews gave up their lives rather than convert. Roman Catholics believe that God came down to earth in human form, as Jesus said: "I and the Father are one" John Maimonides devotes most of the "Guide for the Perplexed" to the fundamental idea that God is incorporeal, meaning that He assumes no physical form.

God is Eternal, above time.


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He is Infinite, beyond space. He cannot be born, and cannot die. Saying that God assumes human form makes God small, diminishing both His unity and His divinity. As the Torah says: "God is not a mortal" Numbers Judaism says that the Messiah will be born of human parents, and possess normal physical attributes like other people.

He will not be a demi-god, and will not possess supernatural qualities. In fact, an individual is alive in every generation with the capacity to step into the role of the Messiah. No Biblically oriented, responsible Jewish theologian can accept such a substitution of an ontological structure for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob whose actions humanity cannot predict and whose actions are not subject to an overreaching logical necessity to which they must conform. This understanding, Wyschogrod realises, may appear to have 'diminished' the differences between Judaism and Christianity, although this is not necessarily the case.

He Wyschogrod continues as follows:. The fact remains that Judaism did not encounter Jesus either as the Messiah or as God and therefore a difference remains about what God did do even if not about what God could have done. Having said this, the reader might expect a discussion of what actually happened or whether or not an incarnation, which could happen, actually did happen in the person of Jesus.

Wyschogrod does, however, not enter into that discussion. Instead, he focuses on the Jewish rejection of Jesus. He is viewing the issue through the lens of ecclesiology.

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Jews and Gentiles interpret things differently. The 'Gentile Christianity' that became the dominant and then only branch of the church, he writes, had neglected a prominent aspect of theology, namely the election of Israel. Wyschogrod acknowledges that Paul spoke of this in Romans and that Jesus originally preached to his own Jewish people. He argues that ' … Jesus must not be separated from the Jewish people because he did not wish to separate himself from them' Wyschogrod He then proposes that Christian theology must rethink its view of the Jewish people.

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