so as a Christian, how do we respond to these arguments? I must admit that Jesus did fulfill many prophecies, however based on my understading of Judaism the Messiah was to fullfill all the prophecies in one life (in other words no Second Coming). Jesus did not fulfill all the prophecies while he was here on earth so it seems like the Jews have a point.
How do Christians rebut all these arguments? Maybe I’m missing some Biblical stuff so could you guys fill me in here?
You are referring to the verses that speak of the Messiah as King and ruling the world in peace and equity, etc. They have been fulfilled–in Christ’s Church, which is the Body of Christ. Jesus IS reigning right now in his Church which is composed of the Church Militant (those here on earth), the Suffering Church (those in purgatory) and the Church Triumphant (those reigning with Christ in heaven). Jesus’ return will be the culmination of the Church Militant and Suffering, which will be the time of the Church Triumphant alone. There is no need for any separate time for the fulfillment of those verses, you see, since they have already been fulfilled. I hope that helps.
That’s the thing, isn’t it? So often such objections are misconceptions/misinformation. It means we could spend our whole lives trying to argue against strawmen, but what’s the point? If non-Catholics of any kind want to know what the Church really teaches the information is readily available. It’s useless trying to argue against people’s bias unless and until they are willing to hear the truth. In my experience, those who set up websites to bash Catholicism/Christianity have no such interest. It’s throwing pearls before swine to respond.
As to objections, it’s good to ask about them, but as Catholics we need to keep in mind three things:
The Church was founded by Christ who promised it would be infallible (in matters of faith and morals) and indestructible, which ought to be our mainstay.
There is always an answer because the Church has been answering such objections for 2000 years.
The information is readily available to all. The Church isn’t hiding the answers from anyone.
I agree, 5D is an oft-made claim against the Church, and one founded completely on misconceptions about what the Church actually teaches. A lot of people take the image of celibate nuns, priests, and monks and draw the conclusion that that is the life all faithful are expected to live by the Church. Not true.
Also, you notice that many of the arguments follow the form of: “This aspect of Jesus’ life was not what we expected from the prophecies of the Torah, therefore it cannot be true.” However, you’ll see even in the Old Testament, many prophecies were not understood properly until they had already been fulfilled. I’d say if someone claiming to be the Messiah came and conformed completely to our preconceived notions of what He would be, well, that would be quite suspicious in my book.
Exactly. When we read the Gospel accounts what do we see? A group of completely convinced followers who understood everything Jesus said and did with no preconceived ideas about the Messiah’s role/mission? Just the opposite–they were befuddled and upset and indignant and confused. So much so that one of them betrayed his Master for 30 pieces of silver and another, the leader of the disciples, denied Jesus 3 times before the people. Not quite the kind of response one would expect if the criteria the folks on that website are using is correct.
None of them were really rebutted on a significant level.
If you look at the link I posted it just seems more convincing.
Jesus didn’t fulfill the prophecies the messiah was supposed to but the Christians just say he will in the “second coming”…but that is just a way to excuse Jesus’ failure when he walked the Earth 2000 years ago.
He didn’t fulfill any prophesies of the messiah when he was here 2000 years ago…So why would you think he would thousand of years later?
The theory that he will has absolutely no credibility since all evidence points in a different direction.
If you wish to seriously examine the Jewish response to Yeshua bar Yosef (in your cases for the purpose of rebuttal) may I suggest “Twenty-Six reasons why Jews don’t believe in Jesus” by Asher Norman. It should be noted that the book is written for Jews and therefore discretion is advised to those who may feel uncomfortable with its contents.
I would like to suggest checking out Journey Home. It’s a program created by Marcus Grodi where people of all faiths and non-faiths come to be interviewed on their journey into the Catholic Church.
It is not a theological discussion though it does bring it up. It’s about personal stories and very powerful. There are a number of Jewish speakers that can explain very clearly what they believed as a Jew and why they decided that Christ fulfilled the scriptures.
I’ll link the official site first, however the treasure is in the second link. The second link are all the audio feeds form the show (it’s a live show with audience questions but the archive is the audio only. You can scroll down and find in the descriptions which ones are Jewish converts. There are some that are not obvious.
This is meant to be an inspirational investigation. The answers to this questions posed above can be answered in text. However, they are not going to be satisfactory because God is not something simple that we can distill down. Instead, it is through the living relationship with God and continued learning that we find answers to our own personal questions about these issues.
To understand what I mean, I have an example of a fundamental question that is intergral to our relationship with God. One very important question that I ask over and over again is: Does God love me? Well of course He does! Yet why do I ask it over and over. When I answer in words, it is very helpful and can give me a reality check. However, for the question to not even considered again, I have to know it deep inside my soul through a strong disciplined relationship with the Lord. With such a loving relationship with our Father, we can know that God has never blinked an eye in terms of being totally attentive and loving to us.
Well, I’d say we responded to 5D pretty well. Also, the major sticking point here seems to be the concept of a second coming. As charming a description as that was, this not just a way to excuse His ‘failure.’ Have you seen the earlier posts I and others have made in regard to how fulfilled prophecy never conforms to people’s expectations? If Christianity had been something that we would have expected, that would be reason to reject it. The OT covenant and prophecies were to prepare God’s people for the first coming of the messiah. If there was to be a second coming, why would that be revealed to us before the first? We were told of what was important for us to know then. Also, He didn’t fulfill ‘any’ of the prophesies of the messiah? I would suggest you read these prophesies of the OT and then compare them with the account of Jesus in the NT. It is rife with fulfilled prophesies.
A number of these other claims against Christ as messiah are fairly odd. 2A makes quite the extraordinary claim: Jesus could not have been prophet, because prophecy can only “exist in Israel when the land is inhabited by a majority of world Jewry.” I’d have to see that claim substantiated, as it doesn’t follow from anything that I know. It also would seem to suggest that, due to this claim, the messiah will never come: “…prophecy ended upon the death of the last prophets—Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.”
I think 2C and 5 are linked here. In 2C, Jesus is not given authority to defy the old commandment, and in most of 5, his divinity is rejected. However, the former can only be true if the latter is. This is a whole other debate in and of itself (which is really the problem when confronting these types of lists: each item is potentially its own debate and there aren’t enough hours in the day to confront each in a reasonable time.) For now I’ll simply have to say that there is nothing in the Trinity that contradicts a Judaic understanding of God, only in the Judaic understanding of the Trinity. We Christians are not polytheists, we believe in One God, whose presence in three persons is a mystery to us.If you were interested in a truly Christian perspective on just this subject, I would suggest reading CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity, Bk 4.
I’d also like to point out something I found to be a bit ironic: I don’t know what the extent of your experience in Christianity is, but the account in 2C is often used in the opposite way. The Pharisees’ legalism, cynicism, and worldliness are often contrasted with Jesus’ nature, even being more concerned with His spitting on the Sabbath than His curing the blind in God’s name!