Jews Catholics Conversion Covenant


#1

Dear Catholic friends:

First, let me put your minds at ease. I do not require “salvation” as man is not born in sin, original or otherwise, but with a wonderful capacity for great good and the freedom of choice.

I also do not require to be saved from “Hell” as the Catholic concept of “Hell” does not exist.

I am not “blind” “stupid” “obstinate” or “cursed”. I assure you that I and my fellow coreligionists are perfectly cognizant of our beliefs and why we do not accept yours. In fact, just between you and me, Jews aren’t exactly the least intelligent or least talented of people.

Over three thousand years ago God made a covenant with the Jewish people. In a world where people could only concieve of their God in human form or in stone, the Jews were able to intellectually grasp the concept of God as invisible and unique. The ancient Egyptians and the ancient Babylonians the ancient Greeks and the ancient Romans all had their stories of a god with a devine father and a human virgin mother who comes down to earth, performs miracles, sacrifices himself for mankind and is ressurected. The Jews had their God and it didn’t matter if you the others called their’s the god of the sun or the son of god. It didn’t matter to the Jews if the statue was of Augustus or of Mithras or Yehoshua bar Yosef. The God of the Jews could not not be represented as a statue and they would not place a statue in their houses of worship and kneel before it. Human beings are not God and God does not take the form of human beings. God is surreal, a bush that burns but is not consumed, an etheral light on the top of the mountain. Moses’ final resting place is unknown lest he be venerated as more than human. Jewish leaders are all potrayed in the Tanach as the imperfect non devine human beings they were. If Yehoshua bar Yosef was God than there was no covenant for the concept of the Jewish God cannot coexist with the concept of a devine human being.

However the concept of God was not the covenant, the covenant was Torah - the law- given by God to the Jews at Mt. Sinai. Laws of course had existed before, but never like this. The Law had been given the imprint of God,a religion now dealt not only with man’s relationship to God but with man’s relationship to other human beings. In a world of simplistic dogmatic religions the Jews had created a religion of intellect and legal reasoning and concepts of justice. In a world of almost universal illiteracy the Jews had created a religion requiring that every father and every son could read and write to learn the law, a religion for a people with the ability to grasp the nuances of thou shalt not kill with legal exemption of criminal and civil liability for the unexpected goring of your neighbour by your ox. If Yehoshua bar Yosef was God than their was no covenant and no Torah for Catholicism, seeking universality among the universally illiterate pagans, abandoned the law.

Now of course your free to believe what ever you desire. Judaism teaches that it is easier for the gentile to reach the world to come than for the Jew as the gentile has only to follow the seven Noahide commandments (see below). Nontheless, when Catholics try to convert a Jew they are not only attempting to break the three thousand year old covenant of the Jews with God. They are calling disdain on Jews and Judaism. They are declaring that to be a Jew is to be something less than desired, something damaged needing to be fixed. Religious justification and good intentions do not make up for this. On the contraty. history has shown that too often such disdain has led to anti Jewish persecutions.

(“Noachide Covenant
(Heb. Sheva mitzvot b’nai Noach) The covenant God made with Noah and his sons, that is, with all the people that survived the flood (Gen. 9:8-17). In rabbinic literature it is interpreted as seven commandments that God gave the whole of humanity. The most widely accepted version of the commandments includes the following: to abstain from 1) idolatry (also from polytheism = worshipping multiple gods); 2) murder; 3) sexual immorality, especially adultery and incest; 4) blasphemy; 5) robbery; 6) brutality against animals; and 7) to establish courts of justice (the only positive commandment). Non-Jews who keep these laws will, according to rabbinic teaching, have part in the world to come. These laws obviously played a role in the considerations of the council in Jerusalem (Acts 15), where the Jewish apostles decided, not to expect gentile followers of Jesus (Christians) to keep the full extent of the Torah” source: Jewish virtual library")


#2

Dear Jewish Friend,

The fact that you are even here in these forums would seem to indicate one of two possibilities. Either you wish to debate Catholics because you feel that we are “broken” or there is something deep inside of you that knows that Catholicism is true. Either way, I personally will not attempt to convert you (I promise). That is for the Holy Spirit to do. The seeds have already been planted in your heart or you wouldn’t be here. Just know my friend that if I can help you find the answers to the questions that you have, I am here and willing to try. Shalom my friend.


#3

It always amazes me that so many Jews see Gentiles as all alike. I come from believers in hundreds of different religions, each of which was a subject of great passion and attachment for its people. We all, with degrees of eagerness ranging from intense to substantial to faint to not there, accepted your God because the evidence supports His existence. We then became convinced of the existence of the Messiah your prophets foretold, and that that Messiah had already lived and was living again, and that his name is the common name Yeshu’a, or as we like to pronounce it, Jesus, or Jesu, and we decided to worship Him. In effect, we did not convert you. We adopted your religion and took it to what we see as its natural, logical, empirically supported conclusion. Xenophobia exists, but we have been historically much more likely to fight each other. No on means you any ill-will and any attempt to persuade you is in the very same spirit of sharing truth in which we attempt to persuade each other. Shalom.


#4

What I really think is that people of all faiths should work together to find some common ground so that we can all work together for the common good.

{If Yehoshua bar Yosef was God than their was no covenant and no Torah for Catholicism, seeking universality among the universally illiterate pagans, abandoned the law.}

This is an awkward statement-did you mean that :if Yehoshua bar Yosef (Jesus,son of Joseph) was God, then there was no covenant and no Torah for Catholics, who in seeking universality among universally illiterate pagans did then abandon the (Jewish/ Mosaic) law.


#5

Well actually I’m here for two reasons. First for the simple prosaic reason of getting to practice writing in english. Secondly, and more importantly, to monitor and understand Catholic attitudes to Jews and to help foster mutual understanding by explaining the Jewish perspective to Catholics. Perhaps in certain cases among certain of the posters on this forum in matters concerning Jews it may be held that if something is not quite “broken” it could certainly stand being “fixed”. However I would appreciate a response to the content of the post as opposed to your conjectures about the poster.


#6

I don’t know how you personally see religion, but to me it is a separate concept from ancestry for the obvious reason that my ancestry is mixed and if I were to follow the ways of any of my known pre-Christian ancestors I would be part of a community that either enslaved or sacrificed people, or raided the world’s coastlines setting fire to everything in sight and stealing whatever survived. Of course, I’d have many opportunites to wonder which side of a war I was supposed to be on, having heritage on both sides as well as elsewhere. But instead I have a concept of religion as a set of factual assertions to accept or reject on their own merits. This is why I don’t perceive telling people they are mistaken as insulting them in any way. After all, my life and my ancestors’ lives were in part searches for truth, with many changed minds and hearts along the way.
I see Judaism as a cousin religion, and one to which I owe a lot, but which is incomplete. I respect the Jewish people for their ability to preserve literature and customs through millennia. But I believe that the Messiah has come and that is the most important fact there is. Not to say so would be dishonest. It would also be irresponsible.


#7

Fair enough. In simplest terms you’re incorrect. I have a great deal of respect for the Jewish people. They are after all God’s choosen; my Savior was Jewish; and I know of no other people who have suffered so much and yet have survived and are today a major power in the world. Truly God is with the Jewish people. Having said this however, I find it deeply sad that (generally) they never knew the Messiah. I believe that strngrnrth said it very accurately when he said:

The first Christians were in fact Jews. They understood this as do many Jewish people who have embraced the Church. I’ll continue to pray for the Jewish people and now for you in particular choosen people. Again, God bless and shalom.


#8

Chosen People:

Which is the greater act of love: To vanquish the enemies of your people and bring an end to their suffering, or to come down and suffer alongside your people at the hands of their enemies?


#9

#10

Ok I did understand your meaning-was just trying to help you with a more precise sentence structure.

I try to remember God’s chosen in my daily prayers-I am going to need a personal diary now as my list is never-ending.:slight_smile:

Sometime soon I would like to start a thread to only be answered by those of the Jewish Faith (or is it more correct to say Hebrew)etc.-or just how do you-all understand whatever the original Hebrew word for remembrance really means.

Things like that interest me far more than circular argumentation:thumbsup:

That Christianity had it’s appeal to the illiterate is spot-on-esp when the "Laws " had been enlarged and complicated.


#11

Sorry, but you seem to have arrived very late for the party. I assume the following text relates to the Prayer for the Jews contained in the traditional Latin Mass, known officially as the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite:

First, let me put your minds at ease. I do not require “salvation” as man is not born in sin, original or otherwise, but with a wonderful capacity for great good and the freedom of choice.

I also do not require to be saved from “Hell” as the Catholic concept of “Hell” does not exist.

I am not “blind” “stupid” “obstinate” or “cursed”. I assure you that I and my fellow coreligionists are perfectly cognizant of our beliefs and why we do not accept yours.

The prayer as set forth in the Ordo Missæ of the Missale Romanum 1962 has been in continuous existence, in more or less the same form, since the third century.

The prayer itself has undergone linguistic changes a number of times, but the essential theology remains intact. It does not seek the conversion or salvation of any individual Jew, Rather, it is escatalogical in nature based on Chapters 3 and 4 of St. Paul’s epistle 2 Corinthians.

You also noted:

Nontheless, when Catholics try to convert a Jew they are not only attempting to break the three thousand year old covenant of the Jews with God. They are calling disdain on Jews and Judaism. They are declaring that to be a Jew is to be something less than desired, something damaged needing to be fixed. Religious justification and good intentions do not make up for this.

Really? How about Birkhot Hashahar where Jews thank G-d for not making them Gentile? It sounds like the same tune to me. I don’t even want to think about some of the anti-Christian things mentioned in the Talmud. Or, how about The Authorised Daily Prayer Book of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Empire, published in London in 1953, which includes an English translation of a prayer for the conversion of gentiles that concludes public worship three times a day every day through the year?

You obviously misunderstand the Catholic position regarding salvation for the Jews. Traditional Christian escatology emphasizes that people are redeemed through the saving Grace of God manifest by good works. That sounds like your Hashkabah service: “May the supreme King of kings, through His infinite mercy, have mercy, pity, and compassion on him. May the supreme King of kings, through His infinite mercy, hide him under the shadow of His wings, and under the protection of His tent, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to wait in His temple; may He raise him at the end of days, and cause him to drink of the stream of His delights. May He cause his soul to be bound up in the bond of life and his rest to be glorious. May the Lord be his inheritance, and grant him peace; and may his repose be in peace . . .”


#12

Jeremiah spoke prophetically of the establishment of a new (and better) covenant between the LORD and the Jews, a covenant unlike their former covenant:
Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD. (Jeremiah 31:31-32)

If you wish, you may enter this new (and better) covenant by joining the Catholic Church.


#13

To the best of my knowledge the belief in the necessity for salvation through Yehoshua bar Yosef is first and foremost a basic tenet of Catholic dogma as is the Catholic belief that a person who knowingly and willingly rejects accepting Yehoshua bar Yosef as his saviour risks not only not being saved but also damnation. I was merely pointing out the Jewish counter attitude.
This is a recurring theme on this forum concerning Jews.

You have missed the point entirely on the prayer “not to have been made a gentile”. The meaning of “chosen people” is not that the Jew is in any way superiour but rather that he has taken upon himself to follow all the commandments as opposed to the gentile who must follow only the seven noahide commandments. In a sense you could basically call it a prayer thanking God for placing extra burdens. Of course it has nothing to do with the conversion of gentiles as that it is unecessary. I’m afraid I don’t know what prayer for the conversion of gentiles you are refering to. It definitely wouldn’t fit with Jewish beliefs and attitudes towards conversion of non Jews to Judaism.


#14

Ah yes and who pray tell is the “enemy” or are we just off topic?


#15

One of my central points was that the Catholic perspective of the “new covenant” is not only “new” or “unlike” the covenant of God with the Jews it is infact its antithesis. You are free to conclude that there never was a covenant with the Jewish people
but a covenant based on the rejection of the Jews of devine beings taking human form and based on Torah can hardly lead logically to a covenant which rejects Torah and claims that God came down to earth as Yehoshua bar Yosef. It is similarly illogical to interpret Jewish scriptures (including the Torah itself) to support that the Jewish covenant was directly contrary to the “real” covenant.


#16

You apparently still do not understand Catholic belief regarding salvation as evidenced by this passage:

To the best of my knowledge the belief in the necessity for salvation through Yehoshua bar Yosef is first and foremost a basic tenet of Catholic dogma as is the Catholic belief that a person who knowingly and willingly rejects accepting Yehoshua bar Yosef as his saviour risks not only not being saved but also damnation

Your comment is obviously directed to the phrase “Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus,” which means “outside the Church there is no salvation.” Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, placed those famous words in their important historical context :

We must remember that this expression was formulated by St. Cyprian in the third century in a quite concrete situation. There were those who thought they were better Christians who were unhappy with the Church of bishops and separated themselves from her. In answer to that, Cyprian says: separation from the Church community separates one from salvation. But he did not mean to lay down a theory on the eternal fate of all baptized and non-baptized persons

(quoted in “Ratzinger Speaks,” The Catholic World Report, January 1994, p. 23). In other words, the phrase refers to those Christians who rebelled against the Church.

Pope Blessed Pius IX had this to say in ***Quanto Conficiamur Moerore***, which means On Promotion Of False Doctrines, about salvation for non-Catholics:

There are, of course, those who are struggling with invincible ignorance about our most holy religion. Sincerely observing the natural law and its precepts inscribed by God on all hearts and ready to obey God, they live honest lives and are able to attain eternal life by the efficacious virtue of divine light and grace since God who clearly beholds, searches, and knows the minds, souls, thoughts, and habits of all men, because of His great goodness and mercy, will by no means suffer anyone to be punished with eternal torment who has not the guilt of deliberate sin.

The phrase “invincible ignorance” is not meant in a pejorative sense; it does not mean stupid or unable to understand. Instead, it refers to those who have not been given the gift of faith.

In short, Catholic belief about salvation are similar to your beliefs. Righteous people will be saved.


#17

Indeed I understand your point. The only thing is I have been given the gift of faith - its called the Jewish faith. The other point is that there have been vehemnt arguments on this forum concerning whether being “righteous” means being “Catholic”. Forget the thread on Ghandi- see what Catholic apologists have to say about Mortara.


#18

I forgot to comment on this line:

I’m afraid I don’t know what prayer for the conversion of gentiles you are refering to. It definitely wouldn’t fit with Jewish beliefs and attitudes towards conversion of non Jews to Judaism.

I was referring to the Aleinu which contains this passage:

Therefore we put our hope in You, Adonai our God, to soon see the glory of Your strength, to remove all idols from the Earth, and to completely cut off all false gods; to repair the world, Your holy empire. And for all living flesh to call Your name, and for all the wicked of the Earth to turn to You. May all the world’s inhabitants recognize and know that to You every knee must bend and every tongue must swear loyalty. Before You, Adonai, our God, may all bow down, and give honor to Your precious name, and may all take upon themselves the yoke of Your rule. And may You reign over them soon and forever and always. Because all rule is Yours alone, and You will rule in honor forever and ever.

As it is written in Your Torah:
“Adonai will reign forever and ever.” And it is said: "Adonai will be Ruler over the whole Earth, and on that day, God will be One, and God’s name will be One.

In your last response, you stated:

The only thing is I have been given the gift of faith - its called the Jewish faith

“Gift of faith,” from my perspective, is faith in Christ as God and the fulfillment of the Messianic promise to Israel. You obviously don’t have that faith or we would not be having this conversation! If we are right and you are wrong, then your gift of faith is incomplete.

Finally, you said:

The other point is that there have been vehemnt arguments on this forum concerning whether being “righteous” means being “Catholic”.

Do you think other bloggers’ opinions concerning “righteousness” is more authoritative than the Pope’s opinion? See my quote from Pope Blessed Pius IX.


#19

#20

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