Skip to content

Article: If Jesus was a Jew, why are we Catholic?

August 25, 2014

Recently I came across the following article on Catholic.com. I think it illustrates perfectly the attitude that Christianity has displayed toward the Jewish people for the last two thousand years. Even though their Protestant Evangelical brethren of the Hebrew Roots/Messianic flavor generally have a more positive attitude toward Jews and Judaism, they nevertheless invariably agree with Catholicism that Christianity (a.k.a. “Messianic Judaism”) “completes” the ancient Jewish religion, of which the modern Judaism is merely a stunted, “partial, incomplete form of”. Likewise, they also agree with the Catholics that the Church that Christ died for (per Ephesians 5:25) is the new universal body “by virtue of being open to people of all races, not just ethnic Jews” of which Jews are merely a part, and is indeed “the fulfillment of the Jewish faith”.

Here’s the article: Continue reading this post

Thought of the day: Christianity from a Jewish point of view

August 25, 2014

Christians view their religion as the fulfilment of every single promise and aspiration found in the pages of the “Old Testament”. They also see the teachings found in their scriptures, in the Greek text of the New Testament, as the summation, explanation and indeed the perfection of everything the Hebrew scriptures taught. Out of the old Judaism comes the new wine, new teachings, custom tailored by Jesus Christ for the new race of saintly people to populate the eternity, “the One New Man”.

The Jewish view of Christianity’s high opinion of itself and its new insights, however, is quite the opposite. It can be summed up in one sentence:

What is true in Christianity is not new, and what is new [in it] is not true.

Scandal of Israel’s “carnal” election

August 20, 2014

touching-torahThe Hebrew scriptures declare that G-d’s thoughts are not our (human) thoughts and that our ways are not His (Isaiah 55:8 ). Perhaps nothing illustrates this idea better than the biblical concept of the election of the Jewish people as G-d’s very own people. It’s one of those things that has troubled the minds of many, especially and quite naturally those who found themselves among the “non-chosen”. It certainly has proven itself quite scandalous, even for many Jews themselves, and the acting out of this resentment has been quite troublesome and often very deadly for Jews over their long history.

Why has this been the case, one might ask? Continue reading this post

What did the earliest Jewish Christians think of Apostle Paul?

August 13, 2014

paul1The Book of Acts (or Acts of the Apostles) spends so much ink on the Christianity’s favorite apostle that it should more rightly be called “the Acts of Paul”. Christian tradition ascribes this work to Paul’s companion, Luke. Whether this was indeed the case we may never know. What is more clear, however, is that it was written by a Pauline apologist, closer to the end of the first century, many decades after the described events took place. Both Paul’s pre- and post-conversion life is presented in highly positive and exalted terms (despite mentioning that he was a maniacal persecutor of Jesus’ followers), while the lives of Jesus’ closest companions who knew Jesus personally, the twelve apostles, are barely given a mention.

For much of his gushing about Paul, the author of Acts, however, couldn’t avoid giving his readers a glimpse of how Paul may have been really viewed by the earliest community of Jewish followers of Jesus, the so called Jewish Christians who were still living in Jerusalem. Presumably this was because the conflict between them and Paul was both scandalous and well known in the first century. After all, Paul’s reputation in Jerusalem as a subverter of Torah almost resulted in him being lynched by the zealous worshipers gathered in the Temple, perhaps even Jewish Christians themselves.  Luckily for Paul, he was able to use his status as a Roman citizen to have the Roman occupiers of the Jewish Land rush to his rescue to save him from Jews. It’s not the only time he relied on the Romans to save him, which no doubt didn’t endear him to the Jewish people. Continue reading this post

Lesson for Jesus from the deposed King of Tyre

August 11, 2014

jesus1That a new budding religion of Christianity has turned a dead first century Jewish man into a god and worshiped him may sound strange today, but in the ancient world such a thing was actually extremely common. It was not at all unusual for a leader, a monarch, who was usually an absolute ruler of a nation, to exalt himself to the status of deity and then demand that his subjects worship him. Many ancient rulers were also deified after their death, including those who reigned during Jesus’ own lifetime, as was the case with the Roman emperors.

The king of Tyre was one such god-king. He too thought very highly of himself, imagining himself to be a god filled with a supernatural wisdom that men should seek and admire. However, the G-d of Israel tells us (Isaiah 42:8) that He is not about to share His glory with another. No mortal man can claim deity and continue to stand before his Maker. And because the G-d of Israel doesn’t tolerate idols in His Presence, He had Ezekiel issue the following prophecy about the king of Tyre: Continue reading this post

Article: Isaiah 53: The Suffering Servant

August 5, 2014

SufferingCutting through the distortions and mistranslations of this enigmatic text.

by Marshall Roth

The 53rd chapter of Isaiah is a beautiful, poetic song, one of the four “Servant Songs” in which the prophet describes the climactic period of world history when the Messiah will arrive and the Jewish people assume the role as the spiritual leaders of humanity.

Isaiah 53 is a prophecy foretelling how the world will react when they witness Israel’s salvation in the Messianic era. The verses are presented from the perspective of world leaders, who contrast their former scornful attitude toward the Jews with their new realization of Israel’s grandeur. After realizing how unfairly they treated the Jewish people, they will be shocked and speechless.

While the original Hebrew text clearly refers to the Jewish people as the “Suffering Servant,” over the centuries Isaiah 53 has become a cornerstone of the Christian claim that Jesus is the Messiah. Unfortunately, this claim is based on widespread mistranslations and distortion of context. Continue reading this post

Part 2: “Israel is cancer that should be removed”, Iranian writes to me

August 1, 2014

destroy-israelA few days ago I posted an email from my communication with an Iranian man. Below are more of his rantings in reply to my answer to him:

First of all, if USA and the West stopped supporting Israel, Muslims would kill all Israeli citizens. Be sure – do not doubt it. The day the USA stops support you will be the day of genocide against you. You are nothing if USA does not support you. Only USA efforts save Israel. This is why Muslims fight with the USA and this is reason they hate the USA.

You must thank America, because without their help you would be massacred. It is too bad that the Soviet Union didn’t support Muslims the way it should have done.

You always will suffer and be a “victim”. Everybody wants to kill you. Be ready for suicide attacks unless you emigrate to lands where you belong.

The genocidal antisemitic hatred is palpable. And this man is not even a hardcore religious Muslim but merely a cultural one, with university education. I replied to him with this: Continue reading this post

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 104 other followers