Judaism v. Christianity


#1

Do you guys ever wonder, what if the 1st century Jews who rejected Jesus were correct, and He was just another in a long list of false claimants to be the Messiah? I’ll be honest with y’all, this has been a rough semester for me in that I’ve found myself questioning my faith a lot, and this is just one of the questions that has popped into my mind. I grew up in a strong Christian environment, and I’ve always accepted that Jesus is our Lord and Savior without knowing why I believe what I believe on a deeper level. I think I need to know. What do you guys make of the various Jewish claims about Jesus, such as that he failed to meet the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament (building the third temple, etc., that the Messiah will be a human, not a man-God, who ushers in an era of earthly peace)? Or that the Trinity is alien to Jewish belief and is heresy because it is almost (or flat out is) polytheism? Or that the apostles simply re-invented some of the Messianic prophecies so the Jesus of the gospels would fit the bill? I know two things for sure: I need to learn more about my faith, its history, and our mother-religion, Judaism, and I hope that my beliefs as a Catholic will be vindicated. If nothing else, please pray for me. Thanks.


#2

Hey CK,
Have ya re-read the Gospels lately? I just don’t see how anyone who reads them can come away with the impression that Jesus was not the Christ, the Messiah. I mean what more could he have said and done than he did to “prove himself”?

I really recommend it to you my friend, to get that faith back again…get into the gospels and realize that he and a handful of raggedy fishermen and sinners turned the whole world upside down.

PM me if I can be of any help at all, ok?
Pax tecum,


#3

Good advice—in particular, read the Gospel of Matthew. Then get your hands on Jeff Cavins’ Matthew Bible study. In that study he shows how Matthew is pointing out to his Jewish audience all of the things that show how Jesus fulfills the OT prophecies. If it’s your faith at stake, then don’t balk at the price (hey, put it on your Christmas list).


#4

In 586 B.C, Jesusalem and all of Israel, especially the temple was destroyed. Daniel was told that from the time of the decree to restore and build Jerusalem, a certain time period alotted would reach the “messiah the Prince” Which means the anointed son of God. Shortly after this, which was written about 550B.C., as the writings traveled east, north, etc, we all the sudden saw buddah arise in asia, mithra arose in perisa. all these false saviors copying the Bible. The bible is unique in that its predictions are made before the event happens ;). (It was foretold that Christ would be crucified 800 years before cruficixion was even invented!)

The Bible has been prophesing the Messiah since the foundation of the world. Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac as a type of Christ. God said to Him, “Because thou hast not witheld thine only son from me…” The fact that he did not withhold his only son was a sign that Abraham loved God. How much more was this love demonstrated when God sacrificed His own son? Abraham and Isaac traveled three and a half days into the mountains for thier journey. Jesus traveled 3 and a half years on His journey to the cross.

I hope this starts to help. As CM said, faith in Christ will only come by reading the Bible!

God bless you!

-Herry


#5

College Kid:

I read a book not long ago called The Ressurection Of the Son of God by NT Wright. It is historical and not faith based and I think you would find it very interesting.

His basic thesis (very short version) is that the apostles believed without a shadow of doubt that Jesus was the Christ. We know because of the 11 left (after Judas) 10 were executed because they refused to deny the divinity of Jesus.

So why were they so sure? Two factors had to be in place. They had to have seen him risen and they had to have seen the empty tomb. It had to be both. If the tomb were empty and they had not seen him they would have had doubts based on the possibility that his body was stolen. If they had seen him but the body was still in the tomb they would have assumed it was a vision based on their hope.

So if we accept that the tomb was empty and that the apostles saw him there is no better explanation than that he was in fact resurrected because he was God. Wright in fact invites the rest of us to come up with a better explanation…confident that there is none.

I don’t do the book justice here but hopefully this helps.

I also enjoyed Lee Strobel’s The Case For Christ - he’s not Catholic but it’s historical and not faith based. You’ll come away confident the Gospels are accurate eye witness accounts. Also there are a number of books available on this site about the validity of the Gospels.

And of course…meditate on the Eucharist.

I have prayed for you.


#6

I converted to the Catholic Church by way of Orthodox Judaism (through study of it with intent to convert, not full practice). For addressing your concerns I highly recommend the book “Salvation is from the Jews” by Roy Shoeman. You can find his website here.

Also check out the Association of Hebrew Catholics. They are Jewish Catholics who are extremely orthodox, and very aware of Jewish tradition and the roots of the Catholic Church in Jewish teaching.

I’ve made a LOT of posts on these forums about the connections between Judaism and the Church, and I consider the Catholic Church to not be a seperate faith, but rather that Rabbinical Orthodox Judaism and Catholicism are the two major surviving branches of Temple Judaism, not really even seperate religions. In fact, I consider the seperation to be the first major Schism.

Most of the accusations by modern Jews against Christians are rather new, not from the original split. For example, the whole “build the Third Temple” counter to Jesus is absurd, because the Second Temple hadn’t been destroyed yet when He was on Earth :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, the accusation that the Apostles made up stories about Jesus seems to not fit the traditional view of the non-Christian Jews either, with the exception of things like the Virgin Birth and His rising from the dead. In ancient Jewish writings from around the time of the Apostles, the “miracles” are actually quite well recorded. The difference is that much like the Pharisees in the Gospels, they viewed such works as magic rather than the work of God. There was no question about whether or not Jesus and His Apostles had power, it was a question of where the power came from. The Pharisees, who would become what we call Judaism today, believed it was demonic in origin.

In my experience, you’re far more likely to hear the kinds of accusations you cited from non-Orthodox Jews, rather than Orthodox Jews. Orthodox Jews, in my interactions, are much more likely to accept most of the stories about Jesus, but from the perspective of the Pharisees, rather than try and claim that it was all myth. This is because it’s the traditional Jewish view, and early debates between Rabbinical Jews and Christians (Jews and Gentiles both) demonstrate that. The ideas of modern, non-Orthodox Jews relating to Messianic expectations aren’t reliable, IMO. In fact, the Orthodox Jewish view of the Messiah isn’t as different from the Christian idea, at least in what the person will do, than the Reform and Conservative (Secular/Modern) Jewish views.

Peace and God bless!


#7

CK:

Having doubt is not bad. What is bad is when one doesn’t get to the bottome of the issues by not studying and stops praying. Many who doubt go into panic mode. But it’s the opposite that need to be done. Be still, you will know that Christ is God. Take your doubts into your prayer and if you’re more daring into your fasting.

As for Judaism vs. Christianity…these are not in the mode of opposition. Ghosty pointed that out very well. We need to see that these two are as complementary as the old and new testament are. Without the old testament, the new would not have come forth…that’s how God designed it…not as a contention but an extension.

May God strengthen you with faith in time of doubt.

in XT.


#8

[quote=herry]In 586 B.C, Jesusalem and all of Israel, especially the temple was destroyed. Daniel was told that from the time of the decree to restore and build Jerusalem, a certain time period alotted would reach the “messiah the Prince” Which means the anointed son of God. Shortly after this, which was written about 550B.C., as the writings traveled east, north, etc, we all the sudden saw buddah arise in asia, mithra arose in perisa. all these false saviors copying the Bible. The bible is unique in that its predictions are made before the event happens ;). (It was foretold that Christ would be crucified 800 years before cruficixion was even invented!)

The Bible has been prophesing the Messiah since the foundation of the world. Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac as a type of Christ. God said to Him, “Because thou hast not witheld thine only son from me…” The fact that he did not withhold his only son was a sign that Abraham loved God. How much more was this love demonstrated when God sacrificed His own son? Abraham and Isaac traveled three and a half days into the mountains for thier journey. Jesus traveled 3 and a half years on His journey to the cross.

I hope this starts to help. As CM said, faith in Christ will only come by reading the Bible!
God bless you!

-Herry
[/quote]


#9

[quote=herry]In 586 B.C, Jesusalem and all of Israel, especially the temple was destroyed. Daniel was told that from the time of the decree to restore and build Jerusalem, a certain time period alotted would reach the “messiah the Prince” Which means the anointed son of God. Shortly after this, which was written about 550B.C., as the writings traveled east, north, etc, we all the sudden saw buddah arise in asia, mithra arose in perisa. all these false saviors copying the Bible. The bible is unique in that its predictions are made before the event happens ;). (It was foretold that Christ would be crucified 800 years before cruficixion was even invented!)

The Bible has been prophesing the Messiah since the foundation of the world. Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac as a type of Christ. God said to Him, “Because thou hast not witheld thine only son from me…” The fact that he did not withhold his only son was a sign that Abraham loved God. How much more was this love demonstrated when God sacrificed His own son? Abraham and Isaac traveled three and a half days into the mountains for thier journey. Jesus traveled 3 and a half years on His journey to the cross.

I hope this starts to help. As CM said, faith in Christ will only come by reading the Bible!
God bless you!

-Herry
[/quote]

Sorry but I pressed the wrong button so my comments were missed out.
Yes daily reading of the bible is important but you do not get faith ONLY from reading the bible.


#10

[quote=AquinasXVI]CK:

Having doubt is not bad. What is bad is when one doesn’t get to the bottome of the issues by not studying and stops praying. Many who doubt go into panic mode. But it’s the opposite that need to be done. Be still, you will know that Christ is God. Take your doubts into your prayer and if you’re more daring into your fasting.

As for Judaism vs. Christianity…these are not in the mode of opposition. Ghosty pointed that out very well. We need to see that these two are as complementary as the old and new testament are. Without the old testament, the new would not have come forth…that’s how God designed it…not as a contention but an extension.

May God strengthen you with faith in time of doubt.

in XT.
[/quote]

And I would like to be confident in the assertion that the Catholic Church is in fact God’s completion of the Jewish religion, however, I was referring to objections to Christianity and Christ’s claim to divinity that appeared to come from orthodox jews:
jewsforjudaism.org/


#11

Here’s a link to some of the criticisms leveled on this website against Christ’s claim to being the Messiah:

jewsforjudaism.org/jews-jesus/jews-jesus-index.html


#12

[quote=CollegeKid]Do you guys ever wonder, what if the 1st century Jews who rejected Jesus were correct, and He was just another in a long list of false claimants to be the Messiah? I’ll be honest with y’all, this has been a rough semester for me in that I’ve found myself questioning my faith a lot, and this is just one of the questions that has popped into my mind. I grew up in a strong Christian environment, and I’ve always accepted that Jesus is our Lord and Savior without knowing why I believe what I believe on a deeper level. I think I need to know. What do you guys make of the various Jewish claims about Jesus, such as that he failed to meet the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament (building the third temple, etc., that the Messiah will be a human, not a man-God, who ushers in an era of earthly peace)? Or that the Trinity is alien to Jewish belief and is heresy because it is almost (or flat out is) polytheism? Or that the apostles simply re-invented some of the Messianic prophecies so the Jesus of the gospels would fit the bill?
[/quote]

No - other way round: they experienced Jesus for themselves, and re-read the aspirations of their people in the light of Who He was. They go beyond what is written, because What and Who Jesus is, goes beyond it. He can no more be kept within the Scriptures, than the Pacific can be kept with a glass of water. That’s why Christianity is about a Person, rather than about a body of writings: Jesus is too adequate a fulfilment of the OT, to be adequately portrayed in it.

I know two things for sure: I need to learn more about my faith, its history, and our mother-religion, Judaism, and I hope that my beliefs as a Catholic will be vindicated. If nothing else, please pray for me. Thanks.

I used to worry about this a lot :slight_smile:

My solution - so far as I’ve thought one out - is that Jesus is different from what His contemporaries expected, because (to put the matter theologically, without looking at the detail of the problem, as one must at some point) He is a better Messiah than was promised.

For example - many wanted a warrior-Messiah, who would liberate Judaea from the Roman occupiers, break the power of all the Gentiles, and make Judaea “Top Nation”; for ever.

ISTM that Jesus did something better: He broke the power, not of Rome, but of death itself: and freed not the Jews alone, but Jews & Gentiles together. A mere nationalist world empire would still have been of this world - it would have been less than God was able to give. In Jesus, He has given us His own Self: so that to see Jesus, is to see His Father. What more can God give than that ?

One very good book you might find helpful is “He that Cometh”, by Sigmund Mowinckel - it’s all about the notion of Messianism during the OT period, and discusses the Christian claims for Jesus in considerable detail. It’s not short - about 450 pages - but that is because it is thorough. It’s helped me to see how completely Jesus personified the past tradition of His people, while revising it, correcting it and going beyond it.

A review from 1958 - it should be possible to borrow.


#13

Here’s an interesting link that I found that may help you:

catholicapologetics.net/apolo_36.htm

Pax tecum,

Stephen


#14

[quote=Stephen T]Here’s an interesting link that I found that may help you:

catholicapologetics.net/apolo_36.htm

Pax tecum,

Stephen
[/quote]

Thanks, it was an interesting article.


#15

[quote=CollegeKid]Here’s a link to some of the criticisms leveled on this website against Christ’s claim to being the Messiah:

jewsforjudaism.org/jews-jesus/jews-jesus-index.html
[/quote]

They give a whole lot of reasons here and on their links. Perhaps the best thing to do is to pick out one reason at a time, of something that you think is worth discussing, and then bring that one thing up so that people on the forum can address that one issue. Then, after that discussion has ended, you can bring up another point from the site.


#16

I think it’s interesting to look into what practicing Jews
actually hold - on the subject of whether Jesus of Nazareth
fulfilled the Messianic prophecies - and what the Judaicview
is, on the Covenant.

jewfaq.org/moshiach.htm

messiahtruth.com/jer31.html

I remember, on one occassion, I wanted to
know what a given Protestant denomination
held, on a subject.

I did the members of that denomination the courtesy
of asking them to explain what they held, rather than
ask a source - who does not believe what they
hold - to convey the reality to me.

Happily, the Chabad website has a copy of
Hebrew Scriptures, with commentary by
Rashi:

chabad.org/library/article.asp?AID=63255&expandid=63255

quote: Ghosty

In fact, the Orthodox Jewish view of the Messiah isn’t as different from the Christian idea, at least in what the person will do, than the Reform and Conservative (Secular/Modern) Jewish views

.

My understanding is that Judaic thought holds that the
Messiah will build the Third Temple, that he will be
wholly human, not human/divine…that he will
uphold the Mosaic Law.

But, as I say, it’s interesting to note what Judaism
holds, based on what orthodox Judaic sites present
as their belief…

But, as I say, let their sites speak for their belief.

reen12 :tiphat:


#17

As to the Trinity = polytheism:

Christ said: “The Father and I are one.” John 10:30

usccb.org/nab/bible/john/john10.htm

If the words of Christ: “He who sees Me, sees the Father”

are accepted, then God is telling us something, that we

could not know, without His revelation of same.

The glory of Israel, is to proclaim, throughout the ages:

“Hear, O Israel, the Lord, our God, the Lord is One.”

A Christian will maintain that God* is* One.

One God…in Three Divine Persons.

Judaism will continue to proclaim:

“Sh’ma Israel, Adonai Elohainu, Adonai Ehad.”

Only one of these positions reflects reality, I believe.

reen12


#18

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