Orthodox rabbis’ statement calls Christianity part of God’s plan


(RNS) A statement by a group of Orthodox rabbis calls Christianity part of a divine plan in which God would have Jews and Christians work together to redeem the world.

Although signed so far by 28 rabbis mostly from the more liberal wing of the most traditional branch of Judaism, the statement marks a turning point for Orthodox Jews, who until now have limited interfaith cooperation to working on social, economic and political causes. But this statement puts Christianity in a distinct Jewish theological perspective — and an extremely positive one.

“(W)e acknowledge that Christianity is neither an accident nor an error, but the willed divine outcome and gift to the nations,” the seven-paragraph statement, issued on Dec. 3, asserts. “In separating Judaism and Christianity, God willed a separation between partners with significant theological differences, not a separation between enemies.”



Interesting. Thank you for posting :slight_smile:


Two most distinctive points for me:


"Still, Greenberg conceded that most Orthodox rabbis will not sign on to the statement because they reject the idea that it is the will of God to reach out to gentiles through Christianity, and that Christianity is a divinely willed phenomenon.

Rabbi Mark Dratch, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America, one of the largest groups representing Orthodox rabbis, said the group values its partnerships with Christians. The reluctance to engage over theology, he said, is rooted in the teaching of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, one of the most esteemed Orthodox rabbis of the 20th century, who prohibited engagement with other religions on theological matters.

“Soloveitchik said very clearly that each faith community is unique and entitled to the integrity of its own positions, which are neither negotiable, nor able to be fully understood by people from other faith traditions,” said Dratch, who added that Soloveitchik understood Jews as a small and vulnerable group.

“There are still groups which have as their mission the evangelization of the Jewish people,” he added."

“Today Jews have experienced sincere love and respect from many Christians that have been expressed in many dialogue initiatives, meetings and conferences around the world,” the statement continues. Though not a direct response to the anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the statement continues that the Catholic document had paved the way for a Jewish one.

“Now that the Catholic Church has acknowledged the eternal Covenant between God and Israel, we Jews can acknowledge the ongoing constructive validity of Christianity as our partner in world redemption, without any fear that this will be exploited for missionary purposes,” it reads.


thanks for posting. I had not read that.


Hopefully this will lead to a new era in our relations to Judaism and to greater understanding on both sides!

Happy Joyous Hannukah!



Something I enjoy when I watch the march for life on EWTN is the rally before the march and how Jews and Christians both can be on the stage opposing abortion.


Praise God! I have only deep respect for Judaism. It’s so God-saturated. I’ve even dreamt a few times I was a Jew.


In some ways Catholics are more Jewish than Jews. The story that created Hanukkah is in our bible, but not theirs–First Maccabbees and Second Maccabbees.

While all Catholics I know believe that God made a covenant with Abraham, not all Jews still believe that, especially in reform congregations.

The Catholic mass is in many ways is more Jewish than modern Jewish worship which no longer includes a sacrifice.

With or without all of the above, I also agree that an honest dialogue with any faith is a good thing.


One night on Christian radio (one more thing I miss about the big city), I heard a rabbi say that the Catholic Church had preserved the sense of sacrifice that had been missing in Judaism since the end of the Temple.

And according to a super-knowledgeable priest I know, the structure of our churches re-creates the Temple of old (tabernacle = Holy of Holies, sanctuary = Holy Place, nave = outer court).

Shalom! ICXC NIKA.


Nowhere did I read in the article an acceptance by the rabbis that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and the Son of our common Judeo/Christian God
And the referenced “Nostra Aetate” in the article was offered probably by Pope John XXIII at the Second Vatican Council over 50 years ago;
So gee thanks fellas. :rolleyes:


Just so that you know, that link using the word: “statement” within that quote in your post led me to a “Whoa”; (i.e. a warning not to go there).



I am not a theologian but …
“In separating Judaism and Christianity, **God willed a separation **between partners with significant theological differences, not a separation between enemies.”

Did God will a separation?
He allows separation through His permissive will but…
Did not Jesus say…
John 17:21
1 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.


I think Catholicism is ready for that kind of theology.
John Paul II is the leader in this regard about our elder brothers

He also became the first pope known to have made an official papal visit to a synagogue,[4] when he visited the Great Synagogue of Rome on 13 April 1986.[5][6][7]

The Pope has said that Jews are “our elder brothers.” (see dual-covenant theology)


Are they supposed to accept Jesus as the Messiah?
They are Jewish and the Catholic church acknowledges the covenant between Israel and God. These rabbis are saying that Christianity is also part of God’s plan and not a fluke or an accident. That is a huge step.


I am not a Jewish person but I try my hardest to follow the Torah as it applies to Gentiles. I personally believe that both Christianity and Islam were willed by God to spread the knowledge of himself and encourage basic morality. Christianity and Islam have all but obliterated the worship of idols throughout huge portions of the earth. Further, they both preach a morality which includes the commandments given to Noah as part of the covenant with all of humanity. Unfortunately, both Christianity and Islam have persecuted Jews for centuries and the persecution and hatred continues to this day, especially from Islam. However, I believe this is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s “suffering servant” prophecy. Israel will suffer in order to preserve the Torah for a future age of universal recognition of God and obedience to his law. When the Messiah emerges, all will recognize God and worship him in unity. The world will be filled with peace, and all will be well. May this happen soon!


Whoa! Was this Catholic radio?


No, but only in Catholicism/Orthodoxy is there a sacrifice.


Jews don’t have to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, but all they’ve done is acknowledge that we Christians also believe in their concept of the coming of a Messiah which has been known for millennia:


[quote=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ ]

Jesus was not, and is not, accepted in Judaism as a Jewish Messiah, and the concept of a divine Christ was always rejected by Judaism as idolatry.[12]
Religious Jewish people still await the Messiah’s first coming and the Messianic prophecies of Jewish tradition to be accomplished.

Religious Christians believe in the Second Coming of Christ, and they await the rest of Christian Messianic prophecy to be fulfilled.[13]
Muslims accept Jesus as Isa al-Masih but not as divine or a Son of God, but still do believe he will come again


There’s also the possibility of being “cutie-pied” in that Christianity in and of itself can be considered the worship of an anointed one or a Messiah because Christ means “anointed one or Messiah” which is acceptable to Jews;
That is, until we Christians add Jesus to Christ. :shrug:



That’s fascinating. I wonder what the audience made of it, because in my basic understanding of some views of dispensationalism, some Christians renounce the Catholic sacrificial system, and the Jews will continue animal sacrifices in the Temple when the Messiah returns. I just think it was interesting the Rabbi said this to a non-Catholic audience.

Edit: As for my own views, see my signature article about the Todah sacrifice being the Eucharist.


Oops, the bolded was the same mistake I made once!

To the Jewish mind, Moschiach cannot “return” as He hasn’t been yet! :):):slight_smile:



Agree! This is from the Christian dispensationalist view though.

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