Jews and Jesus


#1

Does anyone know why the Jews don’t accept Jesus as their Savior? Is that the main difference between the Christians and Jews? As I learn more about my Catholic faith, it appears that Catholicism has it’s roots in Judaism. I have a Jewish brother-in-law and I’d like to someday talk to him about Catholicism, but I’d first like to find out more about what the Jewish religion teaches.

Thanks and God Bless


#2

Of course Christianity has its basis in Judaism. Jesus is the Messiah described by the prophets in the Old Testament. The Old Testament is a compilation of Jewish Scriptures!!

Why don’t Jews accept Jesus as their Savior (Messiah)? Well, many did. The first Christians were JEWS who did believe that Jesus was the Messiah (Savior) and continued their religion as such. The Jews who did not accept Jesus as the Christ (Savior, Messiah) continued in their version of Judaism.

Why didn’t these other Jews accept Jesus Christ? Because, they expected a Messiah that would be a king, a powerful ruler, who would physically “save” them. They were not looking at it in the spiritual way that we accept Christ as our Messiah. Jews refute the validity of Jesus as the Messiah and they are still waiting for theirs… On the other hand, we as Christians do believe that he has come and will come again in glory at the second coming.

I wouldn’t get too deep in with a Jew unless you do some HEAVY reading. Meaning at least 5 or 6 books of apologetics on Catholicism/Christianity as it relates to Judaism.

-Michael

[quote=gez722]Does anyone know why the Jews don’t accept Jesus as their Savior? Is that the main difference between the Christians and Jews? As I learn more about my Catholic faith, it appears that Catholicism has it’s roots in Judaism. I have a Jewish brother-in-law and I’d like to someday talk to him about Catholicism, but I’d first like to find out more about what the Jewish religion teaches.

Thanks and God Bless
[/quote]


#3

There are many Jews that accept Jesus and all the teachings of the Catholic Church!

But then as soon as they accept these, they begin the process of conversion to Catholicism and once they’re baptised we don’t call them Jews anymore.


#4

I highly recommend this book:

salvationisfromthejews.com/


#5

Hi all!

Gez772, you posted:

Does anyone know why the Jews don’t accept Jesus as their Savior?..but I’d first like to find out more about what the Jewish religion teaches.

See forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=233191#post233191.

SouthCoast, you posted:

I wouldn’t get too deep in with a Jew unless you do some HEAVY reading.

Aww, we’re not that bad! :wink: :cool: (Don’t worry, we don’t missionize, that’s not us; neither is it me.)

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#6

Think. During the time of Jesus who were the most influential Jews? The Sanhedrin and the Saducees were the ones who shaped Jewish thought and they were the intermediaries between the common Jew and the Romans. The Jewish Priests were the interested in protecting their high-level positions.

The top level Jewish Priests saw Jesus as a threat to their doninance.Of course the influence of the Priests sifted down to the ordinary Jew - it was that Jesus was a blasphemer. The Jewish power structure spoke and wrote to eliminate Jesus and his followers. So it is no surprise that the Anti-Christian acts followed, even unto this day!


#7

[quote=atsheeran]There are many Jews that accept Jesus and all the teachings of the Catholic Church!

But then as soon as they accept these, they begin the process of conversion to Catholicism and once they’re baptised we don’t call them Jews anymore.
[/quote]

The question I have (and I’ll admit it’s not high enough on my priority list that I feel the need to research it too deeply) is where exactly do the “Jews for Jesus” fit in? From my understanding, as a group, they recognize Jesus (Yeshua) as the Messiah, yet consider themselves practicing Jews. Is that even possible? Wouldn’t that make them *de facto *Christians? As believers in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, wouldn’t they then need to be baptized according to the trinitarian formula as prescribed by Christ? If so, wouldn’t that make them a Christian sect or denomination? What do mainstream Jews think about this group?


#8

[quote=mtr01]The question I have (and I’ll admit it’s not high enough on my priority list that I feel the need to research it too deeply) is where exactly do the “Jews for Jesus” fit in? From my understanding, as a group, they recognize Jesus (Yeshua) as the Messiah, yet consider themselves practicing Jews. Is that even possible? Wouldn’t that make them *de facto *Christians? As believers in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, wouldn’t they then need to be baptized according to the trinitarian formula as prescribed by Christ? If so, wouldn’t that make them a Christian sect or denomination? What do mainstream Jews think about this group?
[/quote]

they are a Christian sect (not a denomination although they would fall more into baptist doctrine than most others) just as the early Christians were considered a jewish sect. they do get baptized and are Christians but Christianity is fulfilled judaism (no insult intended stillsmallvoice). Christianity is judaism where the messiah has come and delivered us from the “egypt” of sin…

stillsmallvoice,
i have a question. you say you don’t “missionize”. might i ask why? if you have truth and don’t share it with others, is that not selfish. just a question not an attack.


#9

[FONT=Verdana]Some Jews are Catholics:
remnantofisrael.net/[/FONT]


#10

Hi all!

Exporter, with all due respect, I think that your historical analysis is a little bit off. The Sadducees (including Caiphas) were heretics whose influence on post-70 CE (what we say instead of AD) Judaism was precisely nil. I’ll cite jewfaq.org/movement.htm#Ancient:

Movements in Ancient Times

Perhaps the oldest records we have of a formal difference of opinion among Jews dates back to the time of the Maccabean revolt, which is the basis for the story of Chanukkah. At that time, the land of Israel was under the relatively benevolent control of Greece, and was deeply influenced by Greek culture. Hellenizing Jews were opposed by a religious traditionalist group known as the Chasideans (no direct relation to the modern movement known as Chasidism). As the Selucid Greeks began to oppress the Jews, war broke out and the Jewish people united in their opposition to the Greeks.

The war continued for 25 years, and the Jewish people remained united in purpose. But after the war ended, the Jewish people became divided into three groups: the Essenes, the Sadducees and the Pharisees.

The Essenes were an ascetic and mystical group devoted to strict discipline. They lived in isolation from the world. The Dead Sea Scrolls are believed to be the product of an Essene sect. Some scholars believe that early Christianity was influenced by the mystical and hermetical teachings of the Essenes.

The Sadducees evolved out of the Hellenistic elements of Judaism. The movement was made up of the priests and the aristocrats of Jewish society. They were religiously conservative but socially liberal. The Sadducees believed in a strict, narrow and unchanging interpretation of the written Torah, and they did not believe in oral Torah. The Temple and its sacrificial services were at the center of their worship. Socially, they adopted the ways of the neighboring Greek culture.

The Pharisees believed that G-d gave the Jews both a written Torah and an oral Torah, both of which were equally binding and both of which were open to reinterpretation by the rabbis, people with sufficient education to make such decisions. The Pharisees were devoted to study of the Torah and education for all.

After Judea was conquered by Rome and tensions with Rome began to mount, a fourth group appeared: the Zealots. The Zealots were basically a nationalistic movement, not a religious one. They favored war against Rome, and believed that death was preferable to being under Roman control. They would commit suicide rather than be taken prisoner. The most famous example of the Zealots was the defenders of Masada, who held the mountain fortress against the Roman Tenth Legion for months and ultimately committed suicide rather than surrender.

The Pharisaic school of thought is the only one that survived the destruction of the Temple. The Zealots were killed off during the war with Rome. The Sadducees could not survive without the Temple, which was the center of their religion. The Essenes, who were never very numerous, were apparently killed off by the Romans (they were easily recognizable in their isolated communities).

(cont.)


#11

(cont.)

mtr01, you asked about “Jews for Jesus”.

See “Jews for Jesus” by Rabbi Shraga Simmons at tinyurl.com/697ge. While many/most (?) so-called “Messianic Jews” may indeed be Jews, i.e. they were born of Jewish mothers or had an orthodox conversion before adopting their heretical (from an orthodox standpoint) beliefs, what they believe and practice is certainly not Judaism. I certainly don’t want to insult or offend anyone here (God forbid!) but beliefs in Jesus/Yeshua as the Messiah, the “Son of God”, an avatar of God Incarnate and/or a “person” within a triune God, and/or in the very idea that God could/did become flesh, etc. are totally, utterly, and completely incompatible with traditional, normative (i.e. orthodox) Judaism, whether of the Rabbinic or Karaite variety. (Heck, even the Samaritans would agree with us on this one!) This circle can never be squared.

While I certainly believe in honest & friendly (always!) dialogue between Jews and Christians, I also believe that such dialogue must be based on a recognition that ours are two separate faiths; one can believe in one or the other but not both.

bengal_fan, you posted:

Christianity is fulfilled judaism (no insult intended stillsmallvoice)…

None taken! We’re :cool:.

stillsmallvoice, i have a question. you say you don’t “missionize”. might i ask why? if you have truth and don’t share it with others, is that not selfish. just a question not an attack.

Well, since Judaism does not consign all non-Jews to hell & since we believe that non-Jews can/do have a relationship with God, it follows that there is no need to “carry the Torah to them” as it were, i.e. missionize.

We do, of course, accept converts. But the conversion process can be long & arduous. Generally, someone who is thinking about converting should approach a LOR (Local Orthodox Rabbi & discuss his/her (the prospective convert’s) concerns. It is the LOR’s job to talk with the prospective convert, size up their seriousness & inform him/her of what being a Jew means (warts & all). The LOR will attempt to dissuade the would-be convert as part of his duty to ascertain her motives & see how serious he/she is (We learn this from Naomi’s threefold attempt to dissuade Ruth from following her, see Ruth 1:8, 1:11-12 and 1:15). Once the LOR is satisfied as to the genuineness & seriousness of the would-be convert’s motives, he will outline a course of intensive study (copying Naomi, who, once she understood that Ruth was totally serious, stopped trying to talk her out of it; see Ruth 1:18 ). This will include not just reading, but visiting an orthodox Jewish family, spending Shabbat (i.e. the Sabbath) and holydays with them, etc. After the LOR is satisfied that the prospective convert has studied enough, he will arrange for him/her to appear before a duly constituted rabbinical court (whether permanent or ad hoc), known as a beit din. When the three members of the beit din are satisfied that the would-be convert is both knowledgeable & sincere, they will sanction his/her conversion. A man will thereupon have to be circumcised; if he is already circumcised a drop of blood will have to be drawn from the glans of his penis (by someone specially trained!). The man will then have to immerse in a special ritual bath, known as a mikveh, in the presence of the beit din. A woman will have to immerse in the mikveh, in the presence of a duly authorized woman attendant. That’s it. The person (who will be given a Hebrew name, either in addition to or in place of the person’s previous name) is now Jewish & is usually welcomed with Boaz’s blessing to Ruth (2:12):

“The Lord recompense your work, and be your reward complete from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you are come to take refuge.”

We also take our cue vis-a-vis missionizing/accepting converts from Zechariah 8:23.

Thus says the Lord of Hosts: In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, shall even take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying: ‘We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’

Notice the dynamic here, of who approaches whom.

Howzat?

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#12

that’s fine but to think that some one who thinks COMPLETELY opposite of you about God and some one who has a complete disregard for His word in the torah has the same connection to God as you who is trying to follow His commands is naive and not consistent with your faith. too many times in the history books did God command the jews to wipe out a particular enemy. God seemed to know that the jews had a monopoly on truth. and to not share that truth isn’t necessarily condeming some one to hell (God will save whom He will save) but it is denying that person and experience with God they could not have otherwise and is not conducive with loving your fellow man.


#13

Hi bengal_fan!

You posted:

that’s fine but to think that some one who thinks COMPLETELY opposite of you about God and some one who has a complete disregard for His word in the torah has the same connection to God as you who is trying to follow His commands is naive and not consistent with your faith.

I see that I didn’t elaborate enough; for that I apologize. Please let me go into more detail. Judaism most definitely does NOT believe that it’s “our way or the highway to hell” (i.e. We don’t believe that all non-Jews will go to hell). Our Sages say that, “The righteous of all nations have a share in the world-to-come.” We believe that whereas there are 613 precepts/commandments in the Torah that are incumbent/binding on Jews, there are only 7 that are binding on non-Jews. Using the traditional methods of Jewish Biblical exegesis, our Sages infer these 7 precepts from Genesis 9:1-17 & believe that God gave them to Noah & his sons. Since Noah & sons were not Jewish, we refer to these 7 precepts as the 7 Noahide Precepts. The 7 are: 1) To establish courts of justice; 2) No blasphemy; 3) No idolatry; 4) No incest/adultery; 5) Do not shed blood; 6) Do not steal & 7) Do not cut meat from a living animal. (Bnai Noach means “Children of Noah” in Hebrew and refers to those non-Jews who abide by the 7 precepts. See noach.com/links.html for some interesting links.)

Thus, we do not believe that non-Jews are free to think completely opposite of us about God; neither do we believe that non-Jews are free to completely disregard His word in the Torah; neither do we believe that non-Jews have the same connection to God as we do (in my previous post, I said, quite deliberately, that, “…we believe that non-Jews can/do have a relationship with God…”).

…but it is denying that person and experience with God they could not have otherwise…

We do believe that Jews and non-Jews have different experiences with God. If we are asked about our experience with God, we will explain it as best we can. But it is up to the non-Jew to decide if he wishes to share in that experience and make it his/her own (i.e. convert).

…and is not conducive with loving your fellow man.

While I respect your opinion (of course!), I must disagree. I’m afraid I don’t follow; how do you figure this?

Our 18th century Sage, Rabbi Menachem Mendl of Kotzk (tinyurl.com/2xadc) says: “Just as we accept that our neighbor’s face does not resemble ours, so too must we accept that his views do not resemble ours.”

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#14

Peace be with you SSV,

I always enjoy reading your thoughtful posts! It’s awesome that you frequent Catholic Answers.

Perhaps this is “off-topic” but maybe not. We, as Christians, obviously adore the one whose death brought a message of Salvation from the Living God of the Jews to all the nations. I don’t think that is any surprise and you’ve always dealt very compassionately with us on Catholic Answers even though you, in your tradition, feel we are in error and I appreciate that and feel that such conduct is a merit to you and your generosity and character. So let me ask what made Jesus a heretic to the Jews? When did this start? I know that Christian side of the argument so I’d like to hear the Jewish side if you will.

PS: If you feel this is too heavy to have a dialog on, I completely understand.

Peace.


#15

stillsmallvoice
I also have a question if you don’t mind.

A lot of Jewish people I know seem to know very very little about Christianity, and somewhere along the line have been given the impression that everything we teach is anti-semetic, and the purpose of our church is to blame the Jewish society for Jesus’ death. I was wondering if you agree with these views before by Jewish people you know or agree with any of it?

I’m very interested on your perspective.

God Bless,
Elizabeth


#16

quote=stillsmallvoice

mtr01, you asked about “Jews for Jesus”.

See “Jews for Jesus” by Rabbi Shraga Simmons at tinyurl.com/697ge. While many/most (?) so-called “Messianic Jews” may indeed be Jews, i.e. they were born of Jewish mothers or had an orthodox conversion before adopting their heretical (from an orthodox standpoint) beliefs, what they believe and practice is certainly not Judaism. I certainly don’t want to insult or offend anyone here (God forbid!) but beliefs in Jesus/Yeshua as the Messiah, the “Son of God”, an avatar of God Incarnate and/or a “person” within a triune God, and/or in the very idea that God could/did become flesh, etc. are totally, utterly, and completely incompatible with traditional, normative (i.e. orthodox) Judaism, whether of the Rabbinic or Karaite variety. (Heck, even the Samaritans would agree with us on this one!) This circle can never be squared.

While I certainly believe in honest & friendly (always!) dialogue between Jews and Christians, I also believe that such dialogue must be based on a recognition that ours are two separate faiths; one can believe in one or the other but not both.

[/quote]

Thanks for this reply ssm (and yours too bengal_fan). What you have stated is pretty much what I had thought. My confusion arose in response to hearing one of their members (on the radio) state that he/they were indeed practicing Jews. I suppose they are either fooling themselves or trying to “have their cake and eat it too” (although I’m not sure what else you would do with a cake).


#17

[quote=gez722]Does anyone know why the Jews don’t accept Jesus as their Savior?
[/quote]

It looks like most of them did. I don’t know what Fr. Neuhaus’ sources are though.

From First Things

The very title of the book, Why the Jews Rejected Jesus, is highly problematic. Scholars generally agree that in the first century there were approximately six million Jews in the Roman Empire (for some reason, Klinghoffer says five million). That was about one tenth of the entire population. About one million were in Palestine, including today’s State of Israel, while those in the diaspora were very much part of the establishment in cities such as Alexandria and Constantinople. At one point Klinghoffer acknowledges that, during the life of Jesus, only a minuscule minority of Jews either accepted or rejected Jesus, for the simple reason that most Jews had not heard of him. Some scholars have noted that, by the fourth or fifth century, there were only a few hundred thousand, at most a million, people who identified themselves as Jews. What happened to the millions of others? The most likely answer, it is suggested, is that they became Christians. What if the great majority of Jews did not reject Jesus?

I also quoted this article in the thread Replacement Theology? , and would appreciate any responses to the question posed there, too.


#18

Trying to figure out why my last post does not show on the “last post” column of the forum page and take this thread to the top of the list.

Edit: There. That’s better.


#19

[quote=gez722]Does anyone know why the Jews don’t accept Jesus as their Savior? Is that the main difference between the Christians and Jews? As I learn more about my Catholic faith, it appears that Catholicism has it’s roots in Judaism. I have a Jewish brother-in-law and I’d like to someday talk to him about Catholicism, but I’d first like to find out more about what the Jewish religion teaches.

Thanks and God Bless
[/quote]

You can read about the roots of Catholicism being from Judaism. There is a Jewish lady who became Catholic. I can’t recall her name, but I am sure her book is on Catholic answers and I am sure that many people on here know her name.


#20

Hi all!

It’s 22:35 on a cold, wet & very windy Saturday night here. Everyone’s asleep except me & Meirav (the Siberian hamster).

So…

Chrisb, you posted:

So let me ask what made Jesus a heretic to the Jews? When did this start? I know that Christian side of the argument so I’d like to hear the Jewish side if you will.

Well, we cannot accept John 1:1 & John 1:14. We cannot accept the very ideas of God having a Son, of God becoming/being flesh. Thus, Jesus’s claim to be the Son of God would qualify him as a heretic in our view. That he would substitute belief in himself for adherence to the Torah or pronounce any verse in the Torah as no longer valid would also qualify him as a heretic. Howzat for starters?

Coptic, you posted:

A lot of Jewish people I know seem to know very very little about Christianity, and somewhere along the line have been given the impression that everything we teach is anti-semetic, and the purpose of our church is to blame the Jewish society for Jesus’ death. I was wondering if you agree with these views before by Jewish people you know or agree with any of it?

Oh, you’re entirely correct. Don’t take this the wrong way and I certainly mean no insult to any Christian (God forbid!) but given such items as (the following list is representative, not exhaustive) discriminatory anti-Jewish legislation, blood libels, pogroms, the Inquisition, being accused of causing the Black Death by poisoning wells, seeing our holy books burned, forcible baptism of Jewish children (such as Edgar Mortara), repeated expulsions, the Crusader massacres, the Chimelnicki massacres, being forced to listen to conversionary sermons in our own synagogues, etc., is it any wonder that some of my brethren, particularly those who lived in eras less enlightened than our current one in which we didn’t benefit from the courageous leadership of Popes such as John XXIII and John Paul II, might evince indifference, at best, and hostility, at worst, toward Christianity?

Personally, I’m an optimist. Back in March 2000, I was fortunate enough to work on Pope John Paul II’s historic visit here to Israel (see tinyurl.com/4co5r). I have very great admiration for the current Pope’s work in furthering dialogue & conciliation between our respective faiths. If the next Pope continues in the footsteps of John Paul II (may God bless him with good health & long life) & the saintly John XXIII, I have no doubt that Jewish-Catholic dialogue will continue to make considerable progress (see also tinyurl.com/6vwqj).

I take my cue from our (Israel’s) former chief rabbis, the ones (now retired) who welcomed the Pope when he visited here 4+ years ago. Then Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau is a survivor of Buchenwald & was born in Poland. He & the Pope chattered away in their native Polish. If Rabbi Lau and (then) Sephardi Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron could welcome the Pope as their guest & receive him cordially, who am I (an unlettered yokel compared to Rabbis Lau & Bakshi-Doron) to disagree with them?

Howzat?

Be wel!

ssv :wave:


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