As some of my Christian readers recently showed interest in knowing the Jewish understanding of Messiah and the Messianic Age, I decided to re-publish this post.
Originally posted on Daily Minyan:
Imagine this alternate prophetic scenario, which I believe accords far better with the Jewish prophets than the New Testament’s version of the future, where the glorious multinational Church and Jesus are reunited. This is is not a version of future events where Jews belatedly accept and worship the messiah they “murdered” two thousand years ago, and finally join the Church, feeling very sorry for not recognizing Jesus all along. The unfolding events look decidedly different than what the authors of the gospels, Paul and the author of Revelation would have their readers believe. This is my reading of the Jewish prophets. I took some liberties with filling in the blanks.
Five, ten, twenty, fifty (or more) years into the future…. The hatred of Jews anywhere they live and animosity toward their national home, Israel, is reaching a fever pitch. Their enemies are demonizing the people being brought home from their…
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Christianity (including “Messianic Judaism”) makes the man Jesus the focal point of their religion. For them, everything centers on Jesus, the first century Jewish man. He is exalted as the creator of the whole world (Colossians 1:15-17), controlling the universe, both visible and invisible, even from his cradle when he was a baby, holding it all in his hand. It is little wonder then that such a belief has led to one messianic to emphatically declare: “The central theme of Judaism and Christianity should be the Messiah.”
But does the Bible support such a world view, does it focus its attention on any man, even the Messiah? Continue reading this post
A Christian told me the other day that I was being hypocritical by questioning New Testament’s validity as inspired scripture. I was warned that I should not cast stones at the New Testament, that is to claim that it is based on lies, since there are atheist critics of the “Old Testament” (the Jewish Bible) who assert that it is just as false and full of discrepancies as the New Testament.
Here’s my reply:
By Rabbi Israel Chait
Although this series of articles is entitled “A Rabbi Comments on Luke” it could have just as well be entitled: “Why the Jews Have Never Accepted the New Testament”. My purpose in this series of articles is to demonstrate the difference between the principles upon which the Torah is founded and the principles of the New Testament. My last article dealt with the endowment of supernal qualities in a human being. I explained how endowing a human being with supernal qualities is a dilution of one’s belief and faith in God. It makes no difference whether this person is a righteous person, prophet, or Messiah. If one imbues that individual with faith and belief he has deviated from the Torah system. The prophet expresses it in the following manner. “Cursed be the man who places his faith in man and makes flesh his strength (Jeremiah 17:5).” Similarly, before reading from the scroll in the Sabbath service we say, “Not in any man do I put my trust nor on any angel do I rely – only on the God of heaven.” Continue reading this post
When Christianity was still young it found itself under frequent ridicule from pagan philosophers, who derided the newness of Christianity in comparison to other, more established religions. As novelty in religion was greatly looked down upon in the ancient world, the Church father Justin Martyr (c. 100–165 CE) set out to prove to his pagan critics that Christianity was not so novel after all, and that many of its core stories and theologies could find similitude among existing Roman and Greek gods and myths. In other words, Justin wanted to demonstrate to them that ideas of Christianity were in no way more ridiculous or strange than their own long-accepted notions. (Ironically, at about the same time Jews also began pointing out pagan resemblances of the Christian ideas to their Christian interlocutors. Even more ironically, modern Christians often go to great length to deny or discount the very same similarities that were raised by Justin long ago in defense of Christianity during the time when Christianity was beginning to gain a tenuous foothold in the pagan Roman empire.)
With dignity of Christianity in the Greco-Roman world at stake, Justin Martyr penned his lengthy First Apology addressed to his pagan critics, three excerpts of which I am presenting below: Continue reading this post
For Jewish converts to Christianity the consequence of their embrace of Jesus-worship is being cut off from their people, both for the person who has fallen into the idolatry and for all their progeny as well. I can cite example after example of Jewish converts to Christianity in the last thousand years, infamous, famous and not so well known, who were lost to the Jewish people, just as it was warned by G-d in the Torah. They were totally assimilated into the people whose “god” they strayed after and were erased from Israel. Continue reading this post
It is now historically clear that anti-Judaism did not begin only in the second century, when the theology of supersession first became explicit. Anti-Judaic hostility is unmistakably present in the later parts of the New Testament itself. The sacred Scriptures of the Christian Church are contaminated with the poison of anti-Jewish untruth. Ever since it has been a recognizable religion at all, Christianity has been anti-Jewish. Continue reading this post