Jews & Jesus
A Jewish Perspective-1
[This Jewish perspective is placed here without any comments or alteration. We may not agree to all, due to our beliefs, knowledge and different interpretations.]
Why Don't Jews Believe in Jesus as the Messiah?
Jews do not believe that the Messiah is a part of God, or Divine in any way, more than any other person. Jews look only to God for our salvation, and when the time comes for God to bring the anointed king, then it shall happen. Jews do not concern ourselves with the messiah’s identity, for the messiah is a person and the messiah's coming does not change our relationship with God. Jews do not accept the notion that Scripture “foretells” that God would robe Himself in flesh; in fact, to Jews, this idea is idolatry, and we stand against it.
The reason why Jews do not accept Jesus as the messiah is straightforward: he did not meet the requirements in the job requisition! God outlined these requirements in the Bible. The key aspect of proof is in the state of the world. According to the Bible, amongst the most mission of the messiah includes returning the world to return to and God's teachings; restoring the royal dynasty to the descendants of David; overseeing the rebuilding of Jerusalem, including the Temple; gathering the Jewish people from all over the world and bringing them home to the Land of Israel; reestablishing the Sanhedrin; restoring the sacrificial system, the Sabbatical year and Jubilee. This simply has not happened. Judaism has no notion of the messiah not doing these things on the first visit, let along needing a second visit to do these things. Whenever these things are described in the Tanach, the description says that the messiah will come and do these things—once. According to Torah, the Messiah will:
- Build the Third Temple [Ezekiel;37:26-28]
- Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel [Isaiah;43:5-6:]
- Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall man learn war anymore." [Isaiah;2:4]
- Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel - uniting the entire human race as one: "God will be King over all the world—on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One"[Zechariah;14:9]
Jesus fulfilled none of these messianic prophecies. Additionally:
- Jesus was not a prophet. Prophecy could only exist in Israel when the land is inhabited by a majority of world Jewry. During the time of Ezra (~300 BCE) the majority of Jews refused to move from Babylon to Israel, thus prophecy ended upon the death of the last prophets (Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi). Jesus appeared on the scene approximately 350 years after prophecy had ended.
- Jesus was not descended from King David. Per Genesis;49:10 and Isaiah;11:1, the Messiah must be descended on his father's side from King David. However, according to the Christian claim that Jesus was the product of a virgin birth, he had no father -- and thus could not have possibly fulfilled the messianic requirement of being descended on his father's side from King David! The Christian idea of a virgin birth is derived from a 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." This accords Jesus' birth with the first century pagan idea of mortals being impregnated by Gods.
- Tradition teaches that the Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance. Deut. 13:1-4 states that all mitzvahs remain binding forever, and anyone coming to change the Torah is immediately identified as a false prophet
“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke unto you, and he says, Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them; You shall not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and you shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he has spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust you out of the way which the LORD your God commanded you to walk in. So shall you put the evil away from the midst of you.”(Deuteronomy;13:1-5)
The New Testament, contradicts the Torah and states its commandments are no longer applicable. (John 1:45 and 9:16, Acts 3:22 and 7:37)
“And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip said unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael said unto him, Where do you know me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you. Nathanael answered and said unto him, Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these. And he said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter you shall see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”(John;1:46-51)
“Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keeps not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. They said unto the blind man again, What say you of him, that he has opened your eyes? He said, He is a prophet. But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight.” (John;9:16-18)
“For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall you hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, who will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.”
“This is that Moses, who said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall you hear.”
Paul said; “But now we are Discharged from the Law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit”
In Christianity, the role of the messiah was redefined in order to fit the man’s career as written by his followers. As Jesus was said to have been resurrected, the Bible was examined with the purpose of finding evidence that the messiah would be killed without bringing peace to the world or redemption to Israel. There was therefore the expectation of a second coming, at which time Jesus would carry out the task expected of the messiah (because he obviously didn't do it the first time). This also required creation of an explanation for the first coming and its catastrophic end. The net result of all of this was to shift the function of the messiah from a visible level where it could be tested (as in Tanach, what Christians call the "Old Testament") to an invisible level where it could not. As a result of this reworking, the messiah’s goal the first time around was changed from the redemption of Israel to the atonement for "original sin". A reworking of Biblical themes.
There were also mistakes with respect to Jesus's death and its foretelling. Psalms 22:17 says, "Like a lion, they are at my hands and feet." The Hebrew word ki-ari (like a lion) is grammatically similar to the word "gouged." Thus Christianity reads the verse as a reference to crucifixion: "They pierced my hands and feet." Christians also claim that Isaiah 53 refers to Jesus. Actually, Isaiah 53 directly follows the theme of chapter 52, describing the exile and redemption of the Jewish people. The singular form is used because the Jews ("Israel") are regarded as one unit (this occurs elsewhere in Torah).
For Jews, if the Tanach's requirements for the messiah have not been fulfilled, then there can only be one explanation: he has not yet come. To Jews, who were often subjected to mockery and contempt when asked where their messiah was, this was a painful statement to make. But it was inescapable. As our forefather's said: Ani M'amin: I believe with complete faith in the coming of the messiah; and though he may tarry I shall wait for him every day.”
Trinity in Christianity Contradicts Jewish Theology:
In Christianity, the notion of "Trinity" breaks God into three separate beings: The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19). However, the basis of Jewish belief is captured in the Shema: "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is ONE" (Deut;6:4). Jews declare the One-ness of God every day, writing it on doorposts (Mezuzah), and binding it to the hand and head (Tefillin). This statement of God's One-ness is the first words a Jewish child is taught to say, and the last words uttered before he dies. In Jewish law, worship of a three-part God is considered idolatry -- one of the three cardinal sins which 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.
Christians believe that God came down to earth in human form, as Jesus said: "I and the Father are one" (John;10:30). However, in Judaism, the fundamental idea is that God is Incorporeal, meaning God has no physical form. In Judaism, God is Eternal, above time, Infinite, beyond space. God cannot be born, and cannot die. Saying that God assumes human form makes God small, diminishing both God's Unity and Divinity. The Torah says: "God is not a mortal" (Numbers 23:19). Judaism says that the Messiah will be born of human parents, with normal physical attributes just like other people. He will not be a demigod, 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. (Maimonides - Laws of Kings 11:3)
Prayer to God Alone:
In Christian belief, prayer must be directed through an intermediary. Jesus himself is an intermediary, as Jesus said: "No man cometh unto the Father but by me." In Judaism, prayer is a totally private matter, between each individual and God. Torah says, "God is near to all who call unto Him" (Psalms;145:18). Further, the Ten Commandments state: "You shall have no other gods before me," meaning that it is forbidden to set up a mediator between God and man. (Maimonides - Laws of Idolatry ch. 1)
Role of Physical World:
In Christianity, the physical world is viewed as an evil to be avoided. Mary is portrayed as a virgin. Priests and nuns are celibate. Monasteries are in remote, secluded locations. In Judaism, the belief is that God created the physical world not to frustrate us, but for our pleasure. Jewish spirituality comes through grappling with the mundane world in a way that uplifts and elevates. Sex in the proper context is one of the holiest acts we can perform. The Talmud says if a person has the opportunity to taste a new fruit and refuses to do so, he will have to account for that in the World-to-Come. Jewish rabbinical schools teach how to live amidst the bustle of commercial activity. Jews don't retreat from life, we elevate it.
So what do Jews say about Jesus, if he wasn't the messiah. The historical Jesus (not the ‘Man-God’ Christianity made him into) accomplished a great deal in turning people away from idolatry and towards a more authentic knowledge of God. But he has no special role to Judaism, in fact, no role at all.
Jesus: The Jewish Perspective-2
“The Talmud claims that this Yeshu (Jesus) was the son of a Jewish woman named Miriam (Mary) who was betrothed to a carpenter (more accurately, their marriage was in the stage of kiddushin, where she is legally his wife but not yet living with him or having sexual relations with him).She [Miriam (Mary)] was eitherraped or voluntarily slept with a Greek or Roman soldier known as Pandeira, and Yeshu was the product of that union. Because of the status of Miriam's marriage, Yeshu is considered to be a mamzer (the product of an adulterous or incestuous relationship). The Talmud describes Yeshu as a heretic who dabbled in sorcery and lead the people astray (into idolatry). He was stoned to death by the Sanhedrin for his crimes, and in accordance with the procedure for heretics, his dead body was hung in a tree until nightfall after his death.”
The web page found upon search on ‘Birth of Jesus’ at http://www.jewfaq.org/looking4.htm , is reproduced here:-
In the past, this page was a stern reminder that it is rude to ask Jews why they don't believe in Jesus. However, because of Mel Gibson's recent movie, I understand that there is reasonable curiosity about what Judaism has to say about Jesus, so I have replaced and toned-down this page.
It is important to understand that Jesus is simply not a part of Judaism. He is irrelevant to our religion. To ask a Jew, "why don't you believe in Jesus?" is like asking a Christian, "why don't you believe in Zeus?"
In your religious institutions, you study your own religion; you don't study every other religion in the world and explain why they're wrong. We do the same. We don't study why we don't believe in Jesus, because he's simply not a part of our religion. When we discuss Jesus, it's usually in response to attempts to convert Jews, which are more common and more aggressive than most non-Jews realize.
So why don't Jews believe in Jesus?
The first thing you need to understand is, we do not believe in the Christian "New Testament." It's not part of our Bible. Many Christians find this confusing: how can you accept one part of a book without accepting another part of the book. But the Bible is not one book; it's a collection of books. Jews, Catholics, Protestants and Mormons each have their own idea of what books belong in that collection. You wouldn't accept another religion's idea of what belongs in your Bible, so you shouldn't expect Jews to accept your idea of what belongs in our Bible.
But assuming for the sake of this discussion that the Christian scriptures have some basis in fact: Jews had a rather clearly-formed idea of the messiah and a messianic age long before Jesus came along. That clearly-formed idea involved the restoration of the Davidic monarchy and a just and peaceful society throughout the world, as foretold by the prophets during the age of the Babylonian Exile. The Jews of the Roman Empire desperately longed for that beautiful ideal as they suffered under Roman tyranny.
The Jews of Rome weren't looking for an incarnated god who would die and absolve them of their sins, because the idea of sin and its punishment and concern about salvation aren't at the heart of Judaism, the way they are in Christianity. From what three of the Christian gospels say, it appears that Jesus's own followers weren't expecting a suffering, self-sacrificing messiah. See, for example, Matthew 16: Jesus's followers knew that he was the messiah (v. 16), but Jesus had to teach them that he was going to suffer and die (v. 21), and even after he said this, one of his most loyal followers couldn't believe it (v. 22). It sounds to me like Jesus's closest followers were not aware of any teaching about the messiah suffering and dying, and were not ready to believe it. The same pattern appears in Mark 8 (v. 28: they know he is messiah; v. 30: he teaches about suffering; v. 31: Peter doesn't believe it), and similarly in Luke 9 (v. 20: they know; v. 22: he teaches; the denial is not there); John never talks about this incident.
Jews don't believe that Jesus is the messiah because, quite simply, he never did any of the things that we expect the messiah to do, the things that the prophets proclaimed the messiah would do. Christianity gets around this by saying that Jesus will come back to do all of those things. From a Jewish perspective, however, the messiah is identified by his tangible acts, and promises to finish the job in the future aren't going to convince us.
[To learn more about the Jewish idea of sacrifice and why Jesus's sacrifice on the cross doesn't fit with it, see Qorbanot: Sacrifices and Offerings.]
To learn how Jews interpret biblical passages that Christians think are prophecies of Jesus, see Jews for Judaism, a counter-missionary organization.
Do Jewish sources say anything about Jesus?
Many liberal Jews and rabbis will routinely say something like, "he was a great teacher but not the messiah" when a Christian asks. My impression is that these people haven't given any serious thought to the question and haven't studied to Jesus's teachings, and are saying this only because they don't want to offend anyone rather than because of any deeply held conviction.
Some Jewish sources have suggested that Jesus and Christianity serve a positive purpose by bringing gentiles closer to G-d. For example, Rambam (1135-1204 C.E.) comments that because of the spread of Christianity, when the messiah comes:
the world will already be filled with the idea of moshiach, Torah, and commandments, even in far-flung islands and in closed-minded nations, where they engage in discussions on the Torah's commandments
But though Jesus and his religion may be part of G-d's plan for the world, the general consensus among the rabbis regarding Jesus is not favorable. On the same page where he made the remark above, Rambam commented that Daniel 11:14 (regarding people who try to establish the vision but stumble and fall) is a reference to Christianity, saying:
Is there a greater stumbling block than [Jesus]? All the prophets foretold that the messiah would redeem the Jews, help them, gather in the exiles and support their observance of the commandments. But he caused Jewry to be put to the sword, to be scattered and to be degraded; he tampered with the Torah and its laws; and he misled most of the world to serve something other than G-d.
What does the Talmud say about Jesus?
Does the Talmud say anything about Jesus? That is open to debate.
Certainly, there is not now nor was there ever anything in the Talmud referring specifically to a supposed messiah who was crucified by the Romans in or around the year 30 C.E. The Jewish historian Josephus mentions such a person, but Josephus's works are not part of the Talmud. In fact, Josephus is viewed with some degree of disdain by Jewish scholars, because he was considered to be a traitor: during a war with the Romans, he surrendered and became a favorite of the Roman oppressors.
Rambam and many other prominent Jewish scholars believed that the stories of Jesus are based on Yeshu ben Pandeira, also known as Yeshu ha-Notzri ("Jesus the Branch," a reference to Isaiah 11:1, a passage about the messiah). Yeshu is discussed in parts of the Talmud that were censored by the Catholic Church, censored because the Church also believed they referred to Jesus and because they are not flattering references. The Talmud claims that this Yeshu (considered as Jesus) was the son of a Jewish woman named Miriam (Mary) who was betrothed to a carpenter (more accurately, their marriage was in the stage of kiddushin, where she is legally his wife but not yet living with him or having sexual relations with him. She [Miriam (Mary)]was eitherraped or voluntarily slept with a Greek or Roman soldier known as Pandeira, and Yeshu was the product of that union. Because of the status of Miriam's marriage, Yeshu is considered to be a mamzer (usually mistranslated as "bastard", it means the product of an adulterous or incestuous relationship). Some say that he was also a ben-niddah (conceived through intercourse with a woman in a state of menstrual impurity, which is also said to leave a stain on the offspring). The Talmud describes Yeshu as a heretic who dabbled in sorcery and lead the people astray (into idolatry). He was stoned to death by the Sanhedrin for his crimes, and in accordance with the procedure for heretics, his dead body was hung in a tree until nightfall after his death.
Were Jesus and Yeshu the same person? Many Jewish sages in history believed so. One modern commentator recently went so far as to translate the name "Yeshu" as "Jesus of Nazareth," even though the word "Nazareth" does not appear in the original Hebrew (it appears in Rambam's commentary on the text). It's probably worth noting that this commentator is selling a book about early Jewish-Christian relations.
The main problem in identifying Yeshu with Jesus is timing: the Sanhedrin did not have the power to impose the death penalty at the time that Christians say Jesus died, at the time when Roman procurators like Pilate were running the show, so if Jesus was Yeshu, then he must have died much earlier. Historian Josephus seems to confirm that Jesus died during the time of Pilate, so the problem cannot be resolved by simply changing the date. For this reason, some Jews today believe that the Jesus mentioned in Josephus became confused with the story of Yeshu ha-Notzri (the name "Yeshu" was quite common in that time) and the melded story was the basis for Christianity.
[Main Source: http://www.jewfaq.org/looking4.htm]
“… the Jewish Encyclopediaadmits that Jewish legends concerning Jesus are found in the Talmud and Midrash and in ” the life of Jesus ( Toledot Yeshu) that originated in the Middle Ages. It is the tendency of all these sources to belittle the person of Jesus by ascribing to Him illegitimate birth, magic, and a shameful death.”
Jewish Encyclopedia, article on Jesus; as Cited in: Nesta H. Webster,” Secret Societies and Subversive Movements”, p. 20; Omni Publications, 1964
The following are quotes from the Talmud :
In Schabbath, 104b : “They, [the Elders] said to him [Eliezer]: “He(Jesus) was a fool, and no one pays attention to fools.”
book Zohar, III, (282) : “Jesus died like a beast and was buried in that “dirt heap…where they throw the dead bodies of dogs and asses,…..” [Source: http://seekingilm.com/archives/182]
Status of Jesus Christ
Islam Judaism & Christianity-Comparison Table: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dc77dvbh_7drfxgpg8
In Islam, Jesus Christ was the Messenger of God for the Jews, miraculously born to virgin Mary, performed miracles, did not die at cross, raised up, will return before the day of Judgement, break the cross and kill swine, will rule the earth according to Shari’a of Qur’an and will die a natural death.
[Any negative view about Prophet Jesus Christ (pbuh), his mother Mary or any other Prophet of Allah is considered high blasphemy, in Islam]
Jesus does not have respectable place in Judaism. Jews, do not consider Jesus as messenger of God or in his miraculous birth. The Talmud claims that this Yeshu (Jesus) was the son of a Jewish woman named Miriam (Mary) who was betrothed to a carpenter (more accurately, their marriage was in the stage of kiddushin, where she is legally his wife but not yet living with him or having sexual relations with him).She [Miriam (Mary)] was either raped or voluntarily slept with a Greek or Roman soldier known as Pandeira, and Yeshu was the product of that union. Because of the status of Miriam's marriage, Yeshu is considered to be a mamzer (the product of an adulterous or incestuous relationship). The Talmud describes Yeshu as a heretic who dabbled in sorcery and lead the people astray (into idolatry). He was stoned to death by the Sanhedrin for his crimes, and in accordance with the procedure for heretics, his dead body was hung in a tree until nightfall after his death.”
Consider Jesus as son of God and incarnate God, in Trinity, miraculously born to virgin Mary, performed miracles, died at the cross, raised up on 3rd day and ascended to Heaven, to be returned before day of Judgement.
Status of Mary
Mary is highly revered in Qur’an, one Chapter (No.19) is named as ‘Mary’, she has being a chaste women have been exalted over all the women of the world, God made her and her son a sign for the whole world. (Quran;21:91,3:42)
Do not revere Mary, they consider that she was raped, or willingly slept with a Roman solder, thus gave birth to Jesus. [considered highly blasphemous by Muslims and Christians]
Consider Mary, the mother of Jesus as a pious saintly women. Some Christians sects also worshiped her, considering part of trinity.
Jesus: The Jewish Perspective:
Very few people are aware of authentic, Talmudic Jewish perspective of Jesus (Christ). If you like to add to your knowledge >>> please click: http://docs.google.com/View?id=ddr3w4sm_60hjjk4khh
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