Does Catholic Eschatology Diminish the Hope of Messianic Judaism?

How are we to interpret the hope of our Lord’s prayer, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven?

Is there any similarity between the hope of our Lord’s prayer with the future hope of Messianic Judaism? What did the Jewish apostles of Jesus Christ hope for?

The Jews thought that the messiah would liberate and restore the kingdom of Israel from the Romans. When Jesus told them that His kingdom was not of this earth that caused them to totally reject Him.
Well most of them and the rest is History.
Judas betrayed Jesus because he understood that Jesus had no intention of liberating the Jews from the Romans. Even though he understood that Jesus had the power to do so.
Judas was a witness of the miracles performed by Jesus.
When Jesus fed the multitudes with the 10 loaf of bread and a basket of fish the Jews wanted to make Him King!
The apostles that remained with Jesus understood the significance of his ministry here on earth.
Also there is something that many people fail to realize.
During the first diaspora when the 12 tribes were taken slave to Babilonia, 10 tribes disappeared from the story.
When they were liberated only 2 tribes returned. The tribes of Juda and Israel.
If God sent His son to redeem His people would He leave out the other 10 tribes?
His promises are for the descendants of Abraham that according to God “will be like the sand in the desert”.
The remaining tribes were not “wiped out” they just spread out in the world and mixed with the gentiles. If God kept His word would He not also redeem his people out from the gentiles?

Do you think St.Chrysostom was correct by assuming that Jesus was trying to divert the attention of his apostles to the restoration of the kingdom of Israel by answering them in the way that He did? Or, did He have a two fold answer to their question?

"So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
(Acts 1;6-7)

. Wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel? Some of them, as St. Chrysostom observes, had still their thoughts upon a temporal kingdom of the Messias. Christ, to divert them from such imaginations, tells them, their business is to be witnesses of his doctrine and miracles, particularly of his resurrection, even unto the utmost bounds of the earth, to all the nations of the world.

(Haydock’s commentary of Acts 1:6-7)

God’s peace


Interesting… Please continue…

Is there a connection between the words of Jesus to his apostles in Acts 1:7: **He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. ** And, B]"But of that day and hour no one knows, no not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone." (Matt.24:36).

In other words, was Jesus implying that yes, Israel would be restored, but only the Father knows the time, and it will be at the same time that Jesus returns as the sign of the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with much power and majesty? (Matt.24:30). At a time when** he shall send his angels with a trumpet, and a great voice: and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the farthest parts of the heavens to the utmost bounds of them.](Matt.24:31).

In other words, is the resurrection of the saints at the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, somehow linked to a concurrent restoration of Israel to the kingdom. Or, are they describing the same event?

Are these the **times of refreshing **and the time for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets which the apostle Peter is referring when is speaking to Jewish listeners?
(Acts 3:20-21)

Haydock’s commentary on Acts 2:20-21:

The restitution of all things. Jesus remains in heaven, till his second coming to judge the living and the dead. That is the great day, when every thing shall be finally settled, and restored to its proper order. He shall avenge the injuries done to God; restore peace to the afflicted just men of the earth, and justice to their persecutors. He shall exalt his Church, and himself receive the homage of adoration, from every tribe of men. (Calmet) — See 2 Peter iii. 13. which text, together with what we read in this place, joins inseparably the last coming of Jesus Christ, with the universal re-establishment promised in both these passages, and completely excludes the Millennium, which some erroneously expect to take place between the accomplishment of the first and second of these events. See Bossuet’s reflexions on the 20th chapter of the Apocalypse, where the errors of many Protestant writers, especially of Dodwell, are refuted. To shew that the error of the Millennium cannot be assigned as a general cause which impelled the primitive Christians to martyrdom, it will suffice to produce this decisive passage of St. Justin, who after Papias, was the first supporter of that system: speaking to Tryphon concerning this temporal kingdom, which Christ was to enjoy here below, in the re-established Jerusalem with the saints risen from the dead, for a thousand years, he says: "I have already confessed that many others, with myself, were of this opinion; … but there are many others, and persons of sound faith, and exemplary conduct, who reject this opinion."

God’s peace


:thumbsup:Pius XII did not take no for an answer :p::slight_smile:

God Bless

Thank you for these three varied sources. They are very valuable in exonerating Pope Pius XII, and other Catholic clergy during this time, despite the theological differrences between Judaism and the Roman Catholic faith. Some of the theological differences of the past seem to have been re-explained since Vatican II, which is commendable.

Personally, I would like to see the eschatology of the Catholic church become a bit more restrained with the details, in order to better appreciate the eschatology of the hope of the Messianic age within Judaism. For instance, here is a ‘renewal’ of ten things which Judaism anticipates(d) in the ‘world to come’ according to this portion of the Talmud.
(A portion which the apostles of Jesus Christ may have been aware).

Ten things the Holy One, blessed be He, will renew in the Hereafter: (1) He will illumine the world; (2) He will cause running water to issue from Jerusalem, and whoever has an ailment will find healing there; (3) He will cause trees to produce their fruit every month and all persons will eat of them and be healed; (4) All ruined cities will be rebuilt and no waste place will remain in the world; (5) He will rebuild Jerusalem with sapphires; (6) Peace will reign throughout nature; (7) He will assemble all beasts, birds, and reptiles, and make a covenant between them and Israel; (8) Weeping and wailing will cease; (9) Death will cease; (10) No more sighing, groaning, or anguish, but happiness will prevail.” [Talmud, Pesachim 50a]

Shalom and
God bless to you also


Wow, that is just beauty itself that passage

happiness is an essential part of the human person.:slight_smile:


Soooooooo… is the restoration of Israel, as we know it today, to be understood as an indicator of Christ’s immenent return?

A sampling:

To some Orthodox Jews, the imminence of the Messiah is more of a possibility now that they are a nation. So how does that, or should that have any bearing on our own views of eschatology? If they were to build a temple, or house the lost ark of the covenant somewhere, would it be the place where the abomination of desolation enters as spoken of by Jesus Christ?

If I could l would like to interject, the Messianic age of the world to come as described by the first website:

Is not necessarily the same as the world to come as it pertains to the afterlife:

However, they could overlap. Just as we see in Catholic, or Christian eschatology. The important thing to take into consideration is that most of the Catholic or Christian understanding of eschatology is wrapped around Jewish understanding.

Such as the rebuilding of the Temple, the regathering of Israel, the resurrection, the restoration of creation as spoken of by the prophet Isaiah (when the lion will eat hay like the ox, etc.) the sabbath rest of 1000 years, the new heavens and the new earth, and so on.

God’s peace


Thanks for the article, on balance I think it was fair and accurate to a point. Historically, I do not think the Catholic church understood that the Jewish people would be gathered into the land of Israel before the coming of Jesus Christ.

As far as a harbinger, Elijah is thought of as the harbinger of the Messiah. According to this Orthodox Jewish website, Elijah among other things, would turn the hearts of the Jewish people towards God before the coming of the Messiah, and also restore the sacred articles of the Temple.

Of course this is what Jesus says about Elijah:

The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. (Matt. 17:10-11)

This is what Haydock’s commentary says about this verse:

Ver. 11. Shall … restore all things. According to St. Chrysostom, Theophylactus, and others, these words signify that Elias shall restore all the Jews to the one true faith towards the end of the world; or, according to St. Augustine, he shall strengthen those that shall be found wavering in the persecution of Antichrist.

Sirach 48:9-10 says that Elijah will ‘restore’ the tribes of Jacob.

Who wast taken up in a whirlwind of fire, in a chariot of fiery horses.
Who art registered in the judgments of times to appease the wrath of the Lord, to reconcile the heart of the father to the son, and to restore the tribes of Jacob.

God’s shalom


Yes, interesting.

The fact that Israel is a Nation yet once again induces one to scrutinze the relevant scriptures in light of this event, methinks.

Yes, and if I might say, I think even the Catholic church is yet attempting to comprehend this from the standpoint of their past historical eschatology. Please allow me to quote a large portion of Ezekiel 39 that is most relevant from the standpoint of having very little ambiguity in this regard. I will then quote a commentary from Haydock on these scriptures.

Ezekiel 39:21:29

  1. And I will set my glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them. 22) The house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God, from that day forward. 23) And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, because they dealt so treacherously with me that I hid my face from them and gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they all fell by the sword.24) I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions, and hid my face from them.25) “Therefore thus says the Lord God: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for my holy name. 26) They shall forget their shame and all the treachery they have practiced against me, when they dwell securely in their land with none to make them afraid, 27) when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from their enemies’ lands, and through them have vindicated my holiness in the sight of many nations. 28) Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, because I sent them into exile among the nations and then assembled them into their own land. I will leave none of them remaining among the nations anymore. 29) And I will not hide my face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord God.”

From Haydock’s commentary on these verses:

**Ver. 23. Sword. I could as easily have protected them against the Chaldeans as against this prince, if their sins had not been in the way. (Calmet) — These bring on the ruin of God’s people more than the power of the enemy. (Worthington)

Ver. 25. Israel. All who please may now return. Hystaspes was very favourable to them. He married Esther, raised Mardochai to great power, and sent Esdras into Judea with ample privileges. Many returned under him, Artazerxes, and Alexander [the Great]. — Jealous. I will restore the people to favour, and will protect them (Calmet) like a husband. (Haydock)

Ver. 28. There, except such as refused to return. They have entire liberty. This and what follows was not fully accomplished till the propagation of the gospel. God wished all to embrace it; and though Israel has been partly blind, they will enter the Church after the Gentiles, Romans xii. 26. (Calmet)**

As you can see from the commentary on verses 23, 25, 28; there is no commentary of the Jewish people returning to the land of Israel except on the commentary on Ver.25 which is interpreting this verse of Ezekiel as pertaining to the return of some of the exile of the Jewish people under the Babylonian exile returning to the land during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. There was no thought that there could be a gathering of Israel to the land of Israel toward the end of days. The verse 28 commentary actually interprets this gathering to ‘their own land’ as Israel entering ‘the Church’.

It is my conjecture that Vatican II, and Pope John Paul II have attempted to reconcile some of this misinterpetation of Ezekiel 39, but it is not been explained officially from the standpoint of eschatology as of yet.

(Even if one were to say that the present in gathering of the people of Israel to the land of Israel is not the fulfillment of this portion of Ezekiel 39, one can see from the commentary that such an idea, or concept actually as ever happening in the last days was foreign to the historical eschatology of the Catholic church).

Just as the Jewish people have in large measure been blind to the gospel of Jesus Christ, so too, has the Christian church been blind in large measure to the in-gathering of the Jewish people to the land of Israel in the last days by the LORD our God.

God’s peace


Thankyou :thumbsup: for your resarch. Very interesting indeed. I wish others would comment as well…

There are other issues regarding the ‘millenium’ that is often assumed by the Catholic church to either have arisen from Bishop Papias and the ‘stories’ that he heard from the disciples regarding this time, or from those of the early church who took Rev.20:4-5 literally. Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Lactantius all have a millenial understanding of the Messianic age when Jesus Christ returns, but each of them is somewhat different from the other.

The exception to these is the Jewish Christian, Barnabas (100 AD). In his epistle, he describles the ‘seventh day’ as a millenial rest. (Much like some eschatological views of early Judaism).

It is very possible that the book of Revelation was not known to Barnabas at the time of his writing of the epistle. What is also sigificant is his introduction of the ‘eighth day’ as the beginning of a ‘new world’. A promise that was revealed by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ on the eighth day as the ‘firstfruits’ from the dead. In other words, the Sabbath rest of the seventh day is the millenial of one thousand years, followed by the eighth day of the new creation, with Jesus Christ being the beginning of this new creation.

The Sabbath is mentioned at the beginning of the creation [thus]: “And God made in six days the works of His hands, and made an end on the seventh day, and rested on it, and sanctified it.” Attend, my children, to the meaning of this expression, “He finished in six days.” This implies that the Lord will finish all things in six thousand years, for a day is with Him a thousand years. And He Himself testifies, saying, “Behold, today will be as a thousand years.” Therefore, my children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, all things will be finished. “And He rested on the seventh day.” This means: when His Son, coming [again], shall destroy the time of the wicked man, and judge the ungodly, and change the-sun, and the moon, and the stars, then shall He truly rest on the seventh day

You perceive how He speaks: Your present Sabbaths are not acceptable to Me, but that is which I have made, [namely this,] when, giving rest to all things, I shall make a beginning of the eighth day, that is, a beginning of another world. Wherefore, also, we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead.

God’s peace to you


Hmmmmmmmm… Much food for thought here…

All I know is that when messiach comes and he ain’t Jesus then we’re all in big trouble as we’ll all have to account for idolatry in this case.

I am not denying that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, I am attempting to share what we have in common with the Jewish people regarding the hope of the Messianic future. By so doing, maybe along with King David, we can share our journey through this vale of tears with more brotherly love toward the Jewish people.

“Hear my prayer, O Lord,
and give ear to my cry;
hold not your peace at my tears!
For I am a sojourner with you,
a guest, like all my fathers.

Psalm 39:12

God’s peace be with you


so beautiful. so beautiful. I’m just right now reading his Psalms, even though I should be long asleep…

I didn’t say you were denying Jesus as the messiah. I was thinking out loud what I’ve sometimes been thinking to myself.

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