Jesus from a Jewish perspective


#1

A protestant very dear to me left Christianity all together and is now deeply into a sort of wiccan crossed with new age spirituality. Her husband, also an ex-protestant, is very much into various occult practiced. They both left the faith because they believe the Bible has beem translated horrendously and modern Christianity is a total and complete bastardization of what Jesus was trying to teach. They say they see Christianity and the Bible from the perspective of a 1st century Jew, and completely reject Paul claiming that he changed everything and started a new religion. They say that because the Bible has been so poorly translated, we totally miss all the Hebrew and aramaic nuances, and that modern scholars dont really know much.

Are there any solidly Catholic books or websites out there about Jesus and the New Testament from a Jewish perspective? I pray for them but I'm at a loss of what to send their way.


#2

[quote="LilyPearls, post:1, topic:348608"]
A protestant very dear to me left Christianity all together and is now deeply into a sort of wiccan crossed with new age spirituality. Her husband, also an ex-protestant, is very much into various occult practiced. They both left the faith because they believe the Bible has beem translated horrendously and modern Christianity is a total and complete bastardization of what Jesus was trying to teach. **They say they see Christianity and the Bible from the perspective of a 1st century Jew, **and completely reject Paul claiming that he changed everything and started a new religion. They say that because the Bible has been so poorly translated, we totally miss all the Hebrew and aramaic nuances, and that modern scholars dont really know much.

Are there any solidly Catholic books or websites out there about Jesus and the New Testament from a Jewish perspective? I pray for them but I'm at a loss of what to send their way.

[/quote]

Good question!

Well, I will let someone else tackle the perspect of Jesus from a Jewish perspective.

If they reject the Bible, then why not bring them the Torah, then, and quote the 10 commandments, about how we are not to have strange gods before us and work up to Jesus later?

I realize I don't adequately understand wicca, and there seems to be variety even within it, but it seems to encourage paganism, and polytheism, which even ancient Jews were told to avoid.


#3

Well it appears that they have been led by Satan away from the Church. The fact is that any translation today is better than following some wiccan cult. There is something more to their decision than simply a bad Bible.

You don't simply say "no one has an excellent Bible translation that can capture the extremely intricate and small nuances of an ancient language, so I'm going to become a cultist."


#4

[quote="crumblymunky, post:3, topic:348608"]
Well it appears that they have been led by Satan away from the Church. The fact is that any translation today is better than following some wiccan cult. There is something more to their decision than simply a bad Bible.

You don't simply say "no one has an excellent Bible translation that can capture the extremely intricate and small nuances of an ancient language, so I'm going to become a cultist."

[/quote]

They came to the conclusion that Christianity is false a few years ago amd wemt on this grand search for truth, which they both admit to still be on. They did not jump straigjt from Vhristianity to new age, it was a journey. It still is a journey for them.


#5

I don't know if this website will help you or not, but I always found it interesting:salvationisfromthejews.com/index.shtml

The author is a convert from Judaism and I think he has written a few books on the subject. If your friends claim that modern Christianity is a bastardization of what Jesus was "actually" teaching, why are there still Jewish converts to Catholicism today? My guess is that they became disillusioned with Protestant Christianity, specifically Evangelical Christianity, and they are not looking at Historical, True Christianity (Catholicism: both East and West).

Also, how would they know about "poor translation" if they [most likely] do not read/write/speak Hebrew and/or Aramaic?

I think the Jewish/Hebrew Catholics would know better then your two friends, who probably grew tired of their Protestant religion and general misunderstanding. Pray for them too.:)


#6

[quote="ClearWater, post:2, topic:348608"]
Good question!

Well, I will let someone else tackle the perspect of Jesus from a Jewish perspective.

If they reject the Bible, then why not bring them the Torah, then, and quote the 10 commandments, about how we are not to have strange gods before us and work up to Jesus later?

I realize I don't adequately understand wicca, and there seems to be variety even within it, but it seems to encourage paganism, and polytheism, which even ancient Jews were told to avoid.

[/quote]

A good angle of approach, assuming they are open to it. Let us pray they may have their 'Damascus' moment of enlightenment.


#7

[quote="LilyPearls, post:1, topic:348608"]
A protestant very dear to me left Christianity all together and is now deeply into a sort of wiccan crossed with new age spirituality. Her husband, also an ex-protestant, is very much into various occult practiced. They both left the faith because they believe the Bible has beem translated horrendously and modern Christianity is a total and complete bastardization of what Jesus was trying to teach. They say they see Christianity and the Bible from the perspective of a 1st century Jew, and completely reject Paul claiming that he changed everything and started a new religion. They say that because the Bible has been so poorly translated, we totally miss all the Hebrew and aramaic nuances, and that modern scholars dont really know much.

Are there any solidly Catholic books or websites out there about Jesus and the New Testament from a Jewish perspective? I pray for them but I'm at a loss of what to send their way.

[/quote]

Well, I would point out to them, that actually the New Testament (The one that deals with Jesus) was never written in Hebrew OR Aramaic.
It actually WAS written in Greek (Old Greek) but Greek non the less.
Also the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew to Greek, by the top Jewish scholars of the time, 150 years before Jesus came, it is called the Spetugiant.

Therefore their assertion of "poor translation" is not a serious one.

But alas conversion is totally hinged on us being open to Holy Spirit and cannot be forced down to anyone. I advise pray for them that they can find the true way and the light.

--


#8

The Old Testament is the Torah. Christ was a Jew. Mary and Joseph were Jews. Without Judaism, there would have been no Christianity.


#9

[quote="LilyPearls, post:4, topic:348608"]
They came to the conclusion that Christianity is false a few years ago and went on this grand search for truth, which they both admit to still be on. They did not jump straight from Christianity to new age, it was a journey. It still is a journey for them.

[/quote]

I'm sorry that I don't have any books to suggest. I glanced at the site that "Tous_Logous" recommended and it looks like it could be useful.

Also - I commend you for your desire to help them on their spiritual journey.

I took a somewhat similar journey, though not to the extent that they have. Mine was more "inclusive" - I did not decry Christianity as a "bastardization" or think that the Bible was horrendously translated - - But I did wander away from the Christian faith and into other areas including some new age and Eastern thought.

This may be just me projecting since I don't know what faith tradition they came from or what their training was like - but - I suspect that what they might be rebelling against IS a gross bastardization of what Jesus taught. We hear and discuss such things regularly here. Things like the prosperity gospel, OSAS, sola scriptura, faith without works, "personal relationship with Jesus (no need for "church") etc.are all "bastardizations" of Christ's original teachings.

The problem does not lay so much in a poor translation of the Bible (though certainly these exist), rather the problem is with what people DO with the bible...how they interpret it and how they teach it.

I would suggest talking with them about what they feel is Christ's basic message. Talk with them about what they find attractive about wicca or whatever else they might be studying. Ask them to point to something in the bible that they think is grossly mistranslated. My guess is that you will find them looking for something more peaceful and loving than what they heard and understood from their religious background.

Don't try to steer them away from their particular study so much as present to them how what they are looking at and for is actually present in the Holy Scriptures. For myself, I felt I discovered a great key when I read Mt 22:36-40 where it says that all of the law and all of the prophets are based on the two great commands of agape (Love).

Sometimes on our journey we have to be like the prodigal son. We have to leave home in order to really come to appreciate what we had at home.

Sorry to prattle on so...I hope something in the above is helpful...

Peace
James


#10

[quote="LilyPearls, post:4, topic:348608"]
They came to the conclusion that Christianity is false a few years ago amd wemt on this grand search for truth, which they both admit to still be on. They did not jump straigjt from Vhristianity to new age, it was a journey. It still is a journey for them.

[/quote]

This may not help, but John Henry Newman saw everyone as being on a journey. There are two opposite destinations: Catholicism and Atheism. Protestants fall somewhere in between. However it is plain to see that your friends are traveling toward Atheism.

I don't know what they think the "truth" is, but they are definitely not following it.


#11

[quote="AmbroseSJ, post:10, topic:348608"]
This may not help, but John Henry Newman saw everyone as being on a journey. There are two opposite destinations: Catholicism and Atheism. Protestants fall somewhere in between. However it is plain to see that your friends are traveling toward Atheism.

I don't know what they think the "truth" is, but they are definitely not following it.

[/quote]

Speaking as one who took a somewhat similar journey...
Seeking after truth can and does involve a number of "blind alleys" and wrong turns...but even these can lead one ultimately to the Truth of Christ.

They may yet avoid becoming atheist....

Peace
James


#12

This may help...

amazon.com/Jesus-Jewish-Roots-Eucharist-Unlocking/dp/0385531842/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387461054&sr=1-1

Granted, the purpose of this book focuses on the Eucharist but I think he delves into some of the differences you ask about. He also has other publications that may help in more detail.

Peace!!!


#13

In the middle of our life’s journey I found myself in a dark forest, how terrible a place it was that little more is death.

~ Dante


#14

What started this journey?

Do they speak Aramaic and read original scriptures?

If not, it may be worth finding out what provided this information and calling its credibility into question.


#15

I would recommend reading, “Salvation is from the Jews”, by Roy Schoeman. Roy is a former Jew. He also had a show on EWTN. You could google it.

I have the book. Although I haven’t been able to read it all yet, it is fascinating. On the back of the book it says, “Roy Schoeman grew up studying Judaism under the most prominent Rabbis in American Judaism. After receiving a B.S. from M.I.T. and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, he taught at Harvard. His unexpected conversion to Catholicism led to a dramatic refocus of his activities. He currently hosts a Catholic TV show, studies, and writes on religious topics.”


#16

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