Jesus was not the messiah?

A Jewish friend sent me this.

Christianity had a good, long run. But we are long past the point where it’s reasonable to be agnostic about the so-called “Jesus of Faith.” It’s ridiculous to pretend the lack of historical corroboration of the spectacular Gospel events, let alone the New Testament’s own fundamental contradictions, aren’t a fatal problem for Jesus the divine Son of God.

For example:

•Why does Philo of Alexandria discuss the contemporary state of first century Jewish sects in several of his writings, but not a word on the multitudes who followed the miracle-worker and bold, radical new teacher Jesus throughout the Galilee and Judea – or of all the long-dead Jewish saints who emerged from their freshly opened graves and wandered the streets of Jerusalem, appearing to many?

•If Jesus was really found guilty of blasphemy by the Sanhedrin, why was he not simply stoned to death, as Jewish law required (Mishnah Sanhedrin 6:4 h & i)? Why is the original trial account of Jesus so full of other unhistorical details and just plain mistakes that could never have actually happen as portrayed? How can each successive gospel continue to overload the original story with their own additional layers of details that are mutually incompatible with the others?

•Why does Seneca the Younger record all kinds of unusual natural phenomena in the seven books of his Quaestiones Naturales, including eclipses and earthquakes, but not mention the Star of Bethlehem, the pair of Judean earthquakes that were strong enough to split stones, or the hours of supernatural darkness that covered “all the land” – an event he would have witnessed firsthand?

•Why can’t the Gospels agree on so many fundamental facts about Jesus’ life and ministry, such as what his relationship to John the Baptist was – and why was John the Baptist’s cult a rival to Christianity until at least the early second century?

•Who were Jesus’ disciples, and why is it no Gospels agree on who they were? Why do the disciples disappear so quickly in the New Testament after the Gospels, only to pop up again centuries later when churches start spinning rival legends that they were busy founding Christian communities all along? If any were martyred for their faith, as Christians frequently insist, why don’t we have any details of any of the disciples’s deaths in the bible?

•When his skeptical Roman opponent Celsus asks the early church father Origen what miracles Jesus performed, why can Origen only respond lamely that Jesus’ life was indeed full of striking and miraculous events, “but from what other source can we can furnish an answer than from the Gospel narratives?” (Contra Celsum, 2.33)

•Why can’t the Gospels agree on so many fundamental facts about Jesus’ life and ministry? For instance, if he was born during the reign of Herod the Great, or over a decade later, during Quirinius’ tenure? Or why he was arrested? Or on which day he died? Or whether he appeared alive again for just a single day, or for more about a week, or for forty days? Or where and when he appeared alive again, and to whom?

•Why are there so many anachronisms and basic mistakes and misunderstandings about first century Judean Judaism? Why are the Gospels all written in Greek, not Aramaic? Why do Christians insist that they are eyewitness accounts when none claim to be, or even read as if they were, or if all contain indications that they were written generations later?

•Why is Paul – and every other Christian writer from the first generation of Christianity – so silent on any details of Jesus’ life? Why do they display so much ignorance of Jesus’ teachings and miracles?

•Despite the frequent boasts in the New Testament of Christianity spreading like wildfire, attracting new converts by the thousands with every new miracle or inspired sermon, why does Christianity remain a struggling, obscure cult of feuding house churches on the fringe of Roman society for more than three centuries?

•Why is there not a single historical reference to Jesus in the entire first century; a pair of obviously interpolated snippets in the works of Flavius Josephus notwithstanding?
The Jews wrote the rules for their Messiah.
Saul-Paul wrote his stuff so that his bloke fit different parts of the prophesy…
BUT he missed a few.
Following is a list of stuff the Messiah had to fulfill in his own lifetime.
Jesus failed the test… no second chances.

*The Sanhedrin will be re-established (Isaiah 1:26)

  • Once he is King, leaders of other nations will look to him for guidance. (Isaiah 2:4)
  • The whole world will worship the One God of Israel (Isaiah 2:17)
  • He will be descended from King David (Isaiah 11:1) via King Solomon (1 Chron. 22:8-10)
  • The Moshiach will be a man of this world, an observant Jew with “fear of God” (Isaiah 11:2)
  • Evil and tyranny will not be able to stand before his leadership (Isaiah 11:4)
  • Knowledge of God will fill the world (Isaiah 11:9)
  • He will include and attract people from all cultures and nations (Isaiah 11:10)
  • All Israelites will be returned to their homeland (Isaiah 11:12)
  • Death will be swallowed up forever (Isaiah 25:8)
  • There will be no more hunger or illness, and death will cease (Isaiah 25:8)
  • All of the dead will rise again (Isaiah 26:19)
  • The Jewish people will experience eternal joy and gladness (Isaiah 51:11)
  • He will be a messenger of peace (Isaiah 52:7)
  • Nations will end up recognizing the wrongs they did to Israel (Isaiah 52:13-53:5)
  • The peoples of the world will turn to the Jews for spiritual guidance (Zechariah 8:23)
  • The ruined cities of Israel will be restored (Ezekiel 16:55)
  • Weapons of war will be destroyed (Ezekiel 39:9)
  • The Temple will be rebuilt (Ezekiel 40) resuming many of the suspended mitzvot
  • He will then perfect the entire world to serve God together (Zephaniah 3:9)
  • Jews will know the Torah without Study (Jeremiah 31:33)
  • He will give you all the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4)
  • He will take the barren land and make it abundant and fruitful (Isaiah 51:3, Amos 9:13-15, Ezekiel 36:29-30, Isaiah 11:6-9)

How can I respond?

I am pretty sure that the typical Christian response to these claims is that Jesus will accomplish all of those things when he comes again. Then, the Jewish people respond by saying that nowhere in the Hebrew Scriptures does it state that the Mashiach will come twice. This my friend is where the argument gets interesting.

Actually I have seen the same kind of critiques about Moses and King David stories. We must admit that the four gospels have some issues. For example, Matthew says Jesus’ family fled to Egypt, but Luke says they went to the Temple then back to Nazareth. But i believe that if the resurrection of Jesus had not occurred none of the 12 disciples would have continued with their work. There were many so-called Messiahs near that time most of whom tried to lead violent rebellions against Rome. They all simply faded away.

When you receive such a ravingly anti-Christian diatribe as this, the sender is not interested in a response. Not really. The charges they state are unsubstsntiated and/or untrue. My response wold be…

I won’t try to list all of the arguments that would refute these charges. I have utter faith in Jesus Christ, son of God and Messiah of the world. I will pray for you and ask that you not send such things to me anymore.

Jesus most certainly IS the Christ, the Messiah, our Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer, God the Son and the Son of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity Who is God. Amen.

No objections on the part of the Jews will ever hold up because they are false. I would just affirm your belief in Jesus and disregard the rest of the message in terms of e-mail. People so deep-rooted in their falsities like your friend probably is will probably never change and trying to evangelize her through e-mail is probably not going to work. You should definitely try to bring her into Catholicism and evangelize her properly, but you should do so in person, addressing each issue separately.

To answer her objection to the method of execution for Jesus: although, yes, stoning was the usual Jewish method of execution, the Romans executed revolutionaries and thieves by crucifixion. Therefore, since Pontius Pilate viewed Jesus as, in his eyes, “just another Jewish rebel,” he had Him crucified according to Roman law just like the rebels that had tried to rise up in previous years.

Well wait a second. Why would you call those statements an “anti Christian diatribe?” First of all, many of those arguments are very true. Second, I don’t see any type of bullying or hateful language in the post. If a person is sincerely interested in learning what is truth, then he/she will take all arguments into consideration.

Well, the gospels were written from different view points. The writers of the gospels are going to tell the story from their point of view. They are not going to include everything that happened, and they may have made a few minor mistakes from here to there, but the gospels seem to be telling the same general story from different view points. I believe that if two witness’s to a murder testimony’s were exactly the same, the police would rule them out as lying. If their testimony’s were similar but not exactly the same in every aspect, they would probably be ruled out as telling the truth. I guess we know the gospel writers were telling the truth then. What matters is, the gospels were inspired by the Holy Spirit, and are scripture.

Everything from 3:00 and after in this video is very useful for the topic at hand here. You can listen to the first three minutes, but it is from 3:00 and after that is more relevant.

youtube.com/watch?v=JKmdoX_hzuw&list=PLCTlnhY_6HmeeJfNZU4QgiOrRqGrTQfzQ&index=3

Just saying all these objections are all false or is not going to convince the OP’s friend that they are. Nor would it someone who may be dumping in their faith after seeing these objections. I for one would be interested in seeing a detailed, scholarly Christian response.

What you received from your Jewish friend is an impressive summation of many of the major points regarding the Messiahship (and Divinity) of Jesus. What you should do is search, point by point, for Christian counterarguments against these claims. There are Christian scholars, some Catholic and some not, on the Internet and in print who can rebut these questions, and Jewish counter-rebuttals as well. Dr. Michael Brown is one such Christian apologist (a Messianic Jew), and his debates with Rabbi Tovia Singer, other (Orthodox) rabbis, and other Christian apologists can be found on the Internet. Answering these arguments is a long and tedious process, but that’s what makes apologetics so interesting and informative.

Cool…the video that I posted a couple of spaces up is from Rabbi Singer. I like him!

Scripture doesn’t have mistakes or contradictions. Only misinterpretations on humans part!
In Matthew Jesus’ family fled to Egypt. Jesus may have already been about 2 years old then. It took the Maji a while to get to Herod, then on to the ‘house’ where Jesus was. When Herod realized he was tricked by the Maji, he ordered all the boys 2 years old and younger killed. But Jesus and his family were told to go to Egypt. In Luke, it is referring to 8 days after Jesus’ birth. No contradictions, just misunderstandings!

I actually did… thanks. I actually did end up seeing many articles with Christian apologist refuting his claims. You’re Jewish, why would you give me a tip like this?

Maybe he’s open minded and accepting of others? hmmmm

Why not? I’m open to discussion and debate, and learning.

Because this IS a Catholic forum? :tiphat:

You can ask your Jewish friend why God allowed the temple to be destroyed in the 1st century or thereabouts, effectively abolishing the Jewish religion up to that point in time. The Jewish religion that was formulated thereafter is like protestantism, or Jewish lite.

Sounds like you are arguing with a professional Jesus skeptic. Remember, you do not have to answer his objections. You can refer him to any number of professional apologists available here or at C.A. radio archives or in EWTN Library archives. Tell him he will just have to accept you as the Catholic you are and if he won’t stop pestering you, cut him off. Just tell him, you think his interpretation is wrong and leave it go.

O yes, pray and be a model Catholic. That may work wonders.

Linus2nd

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.