How should Christians respond to the views of Jesus by Judaism and Islam?

Judaism generally views Jesus as one of a number of Jewish Messiah claimants who have appeared throughout history. Jesus is viewed as having been the most influential, and consequently the most damaging, of all false messiahs. However, since the mainstream Jewish belief is that the messiah has not yet come and the Messianic Age is not yet present, the total rejection of Jesus as either messiah or deity in Judaism has never been a central issue for Judaism.
Judaism has never accepted any of the claimed fulfillments of prophecy that Christianity attributes to Jesus. Judaism also forbids the worship of a person as a form of idolatry, since the central belief of Judaism is the absolute unity and singularity of God.Jewish eschatology holds that the coming of the Messiah will be associated with a specific series of events that have not yet occurred, including the return of Jews to their homeland andthe rebuilding of The Temple, a Messianic Age of peace and understanding during which “the knowledge of God” fills the earth,and since Jews believe that none of these events occurred during the lifetime of Jesus (nor have they occurred afterwards), he is not a candidate for messiah.

In Islam, (Jesus, son of Mary), or Jesus in the New Testament, is considered to be a Messenger of God and al-Masih (the Messiah) in Islam who was sent to guide the Children of Israel (banī isrā’īl) with a new scripture, al-Injīl (the Gospel). The belief that Jesus is a prophet is required in Islam. This is reflected in the fact that he is clearly a significant figure in the Quran, appearing in 93 ayaat (or verses) with various titles attached, with Moses appearing 136 times and Abraham 69 times. The Quran states that Jesus was born a ‘pure boy’ and untouched by sin to Mary (Arabic: Maryam) as the result of virginal conception, a miraculous event which occurred by the decree of God the Creator which follows the belief of the prophetic message in the Old Testament passage Isaiah 7:14 and referenced in the New Testament passages Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 1:26-38.
To aid in his ministry to the Jewish people, Jesus was given the ability to perform miracles (such as healing various ailments like blindness, raising the dead to life, casting out demons, etc.) which no other prophet in Islam has ever been credited with, all according to God’s will. According to the Quran, Jesus, although appearing to have been crucified, was not killed by crucifixion or by any other means. This view disagrees with the foundation of the Gospel. Instead, the Quran says “God raised him unto Himself,” which happens to agree with the Gospel message of Isa ascending into heaven. In the 19th Sura of the Quran (verse 33), Jesus is believed to have said “And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive”, a similar statement that John the Baptist declared a few verses earlier in the same Sura. Muslim tradition believes this to mean Jesus will experience a natural death with all mankind after returning to earth, being raised to life again on the day of judgment.
Like all prophets in Islam, Jesus is considered a Muslim (i.e., one who submits to the will of God), as he preached that his followers should adopt the “straight path” as commanded by God. Traditionally, Islam teaches the rejection of the Trinitarian Christian view that Jesus was God incarnate or the son of God. The Quran says that Jesus himself never claimed to be the Son of God, and it furthermore indicates that Jesus will deny having ever claimed divinity at the Last Judgment, and God will vindicate him.Islamic texts forbid the association of partners with God , emphasizing a strict notion of monotheism.
Numerous titles are given to Jesus in the Quran and in Islamic literature, the most common being al-Masīḥ (“the Messiah”). Jesus is also, at times, called “Seal of the Israelite Prophets”, because, in general Muslim belief, Jesus was the last prophet sent by God to guide the Children of Israel. Jesus is traditionally understood in Islam to have been a precursor to Muhammad, and is believed by Muslims to have foretold the latter’s coming. Jesus is unique for being the only prophet in Islam who neither married nor had any children.Muslims believe that Jesus will return to earth near the Day of Judgment to restore justice and to defeat al-Masih ad-Dajjal (“the false messiah”, also known as the Antichrist). according to tradition, Jesus will not return as a new prophet; Muhammad was the final prophet according to Isamic tradition, but will continue from where he left off at the time of his ascension.

Arianism also denied the divinity of Jesus.

Unless I’m in a classroom discussion or a formal debate, I feel no need to respond at all.

I suppose Matthew 10:16 holds our answer:

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as gentle as doves.”

If Jews or Muslims exhibit an interest in having a dialogue about the beliefs of Christians regarding Jesus as the Messiah and G-d, then by all means, it is appropriate to have such a dialogue. But if they show no interest, then it is inappropriate. Insofar as Jesus’ command to evangelize the message of the Gospel to all people, that can be done by means of the loving and charitable way Christians behave toward their neighbors, including Jews and Muslims, as well as toward one another.

Why? It seems to me that it is appropriate to study world religions regardless of whether or not someone else is interested?

I’m not talking about studying world religions, which, as you say, is appropriate. I’m talking about discussing one’s religious views with others who don’t share them. If the latter are not interested in doing so, I believe one should not attempt to engage in such a discussion.

OK. Obviously, if a person is not interested in a particular topic, it makes no sense to talk to her about it.

What is your interpretation of this statement? By implication, are Jews and Muslims considered examples of “wolves”? And does this suggest the necessity of deception by appearing to be “gentle as doves” and, at the same time, “shrewd as snakes”? What might be a more positive meaning?

Being a Baha’i I wouldn’t presume to suggest how Christians should respond…

but there are in my view areas where Christians and Muslims can agree about Jesus…

There is an Annunciation in the text of the Qur’an that should be acceptable to Christians…

Also, Jesus is referred to as the “word” in the Qur’an…

With regard to the crucifixion although the Qur’anic verse denies the crucifixion it’s possible to see this as the Spirit of Christ not being crucified…

Oh, I just meant that if a Catholic is exposed to hateful statements made about Christ, there’s no need to even respond at all. At the same though, Christ wants us to live our lives with eyes wide open, and to not shrink from seeing the world the way it really is. I wasn’t characterizing Jews and Muslims as wolves, I was thinking of wolves more as those people who are consciously and vocally at odds with Christ’s teachings.

Also, I don’t view it as any kind of “deception.” I think it’s an injunction to be gentle and non-violent, while at the same time not being an idiot.:shrug:

That’s a good question. For the sake of my own curiosity I looked up the Greek word here translated as “shrewd”; it’s phronimos, which means “mindful, wise” --perhaps an astute sort of shrewdness–more so than deceptive. So, snakes are being complimented here for their perceptiveness!

Yes, that’s what I think the Greek word translated as shrewd means—mindfulness.

Yes! I love that word!

I’m very slowly working on learning Koine, which is the form of Greek the New Testament was written in.

It seems like the best way to dig into the Gospels and try and fathom there meaning.

As far as the subject of this thread goes, Jews and Muslims, by and large, both tend to be quiet and self-contained on the subject of Christ.

It’s atheists who tend to be rude, militant and confrontational on the subject.

But anyway, I generally ignore anti-Jesus provocations and just listen and observe.

Something is wrong with denying open expression of pros and cons, known facts, and as a follower of Jesus Christ, spreading HIS teachings through the Catholic Faith. Today’s world has sunk to a level that is teetering on the edge of nuclear elimination. Discussing Islamic history and teachings has become a necessary part of our country’s defense against terrorism and global ruin.

How “should” an American speak plainly regarding Islam. Is political correctness distorting the truth as usual? Using respect is fine when it is deserved but not mandatory when truth is revealed regarding a “belief” that “demands or die” (anyway the killer chooses!).

As a cradle Catholic for 74 years, I do feel grounded in my Faith - that is the greatest Gift that The Holy Spirit allows one to humbly accept and pray to have always until a dying breath is taken. I say this because we need to reject, not respect, beliefs that result by believing in evil deeds.

If a person says “I’m not like that, others I know aren’t either” but remain aligned with the belief system, then they are part of the organization. Openly identifying what they are against and NOT a part of, declaring an identification other than the harmful history, would help resolve the lack of respect. Its not the same as asking one to stop believing in goodness - loving one another and Father God as their soul leads them. It requires that we teach others the way to Salvation through Our Lord Jesus Christ who is God, being the 2nd Person of the Blessed Trinity Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!

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